The Real Kids of Eastern Iowa

So, hopping aboard the Real Housewives craze, our local hospital sponsors a blog called the Real Moms of Eastern Iowa Sitting in my MOPS group this morning, it made me think we need a blog called the Real Kids of [insert geographical locale here]. Because, speaking for myself and the moms I know, we have stories to share but lack the wherewithal to compose a 250 word essay on every momentous occasion. We’d much rather watch The Mindy Project and have a rare glass of whine, I mean wine, than do anything constructive with our free time. So, I’m really glad that I spent time chasing my tail around in circles because I just realized that this amazing blog I’m thinking of, you know, where moms can record pictures of their lovelies or jot down snippets from our long lost wit is called Facebook. But you’ve read this far so here you go.


It’s never too early to teach our kids anatomically correct body parts. Yes, that is a ghost peeing out uv his peeynus. Maybe this is the right forum for this-don’t think I could post it to Facebook! #bestkidever (#noidonthavetwitter) Teehee!


What I have

Had a choice after school dropoff today to go shopping in search of unknown treasure or come home, do laundry, and clean. Another day I might go for the unknown treasure bit and hopefully for my pocketbook I’ll search frugally.  Today I feel like enjoying what I have. Recently I’ve noticed my focus changing from scrambling in search of more to taking care of what is already mine. It doesn’t just apply to material or tangible things either-this outlook is affecting my relationships, my priorities, how I take care of myself. Maybe this is growing up. It feels right to embrace myself and my life instead of running from it. My life is my responsibility. How often do we tell kids to take care of themselves and be responsible for their behavior and not even consider what that advice would mean in our own lives? Our responsibilities include our mortgage payment, our homes, our children, but also our marriages, thoughts, feelings, hurts, and dreams. So, take this philosophical rambling as a nudge to take care of yourself. Take inventory of what is yours and take care of it; it’s much more rewarding than a trip to the mall.

Age appropriate milestones in the 21st century

Is 6 too young to learn to use the microwave? I didn’t even have a microwave until I went to college and began a microwave-popcorn-binge that’s lasted for 15+ years.  And what about ear piercing? If God would have wanted extra holes in our ears, he would have made us that way-so my dad told me in the late 80s. So, I was 18 when I first had my ears pierced.

Today, kids have quite the sense of entitlement.  At age 2, they tell us to change their diapers. At 3, they dictate our grocery lists. By 4, the Netflix account syncs with their favorite shows. Around 5 they have us searching local colleges so they can bring their laundry home on the weekends.

So, it should come as no surprise that my now six-year-old has some pretty fanciful ideas of what she can not only ask for but readily receive. Somehow she still manages to surprise me!

I picked her up from school today and pulled into the garage. She ran inside to see her daddy, so I took the dog out and came back in to find a Ziploc baggie of leftover bacon and a note on the floor. Now the note was written on an actual card that goes with a gift and was put in its matching green envelope. I took out the card and read her message scrawled out in marker, “Pleas worhm ths up for me.” It’s time to teach her how to use the microwave.

Most moms lead lives of qu-

-asi psychotic desperation. Thoreau(ish) Obviously he wasn’t thoreau enough!  I knew a mom, she was crazy–how crazy was she? She wore a booze bra to church and stuck a dollar in the usher’s belt as he passed the offering plate. Seriously, motherhood seems to stretch us all to the brink of insanity. You’ve seen it. Getting groceries, mommy’s sipping her Starbucks while pushing her cart, nursing one of her brood and opening a fruit snack for another. And nobody’s happy-junior’s whining that HE wanted to open the fruit snack even though if HE opened it all the gummy goodness would fall to the ground and mommy would have to either a.) pick em up and blow em off which involves bending over with an attached baby at her breast, b.) run to aisle 4 and grab a new box enduring a 16 year-old’s scorn at the checkout that she opened a box before paying for it, or c.) let junior learn his lesson that Mommy is always right and endure his wailing and flailing body parts throughout the rest of the shopping trip. I always feel a little guilty when I’m out shopping alone, without my daughter, and the scream of a child draws my attention. I try to mentally note what is happening before jerking my head to stare and give my best appalled look. But it usually happens that I lock eyes with the struggling mom and give her a sheepish, empathetic look. Then it hits me that I don’t have a kid with me so I probably look like a bitch and I do feel a little superior to her and have to avert my eyes to restore equilibrium. Damn startle reflex!

You’re gettin’ too big for your britches!

Kids say the funniest things. That’s what Tom Bergeron always says. I agree. Just wanted to capture some of the funny things my daughter has said over her 5 years, 10 months, and 22 days. One scream I will always remember was at Bay Beach amusement park in Green Bay. We were there with my husband’s parents and Grayson was the only child on the rotating swings. She must have been about 3. She was brave enough to let the unkempt attendant strap her in and before we knew it she was soaring through the air, her hair blowing in the wind. I started to notice a scowl grow across her still-chubby face and I didn’t have time to distract Dean’s parents from enjoying their youngest grandchild’s innocent essence before she cried loud enough for the whole amusement park to hear, “MOM! MY VAGINA HURTS!” While the grandparents were taken aback by her protest and mainly her grown-up terminology, I couldn’t blame her. I guess a tight crotch strap is what you get for a 25-cent ride.

The next humorous conversation that comes to mind involved my favorite college-aged babysitter. Do your kids ever tell people besides blood-relatives really embarrassing things? Yeah, it sucks. So Diana came over to babysit one evening and she and Grayson were catching up on the main events of the day in the dining room. I was packing my purse in the kitchen when all of a sudden I heard Grayson say, “Mom had a REALLY big poop today!” Poor, poor Diana! To her credit, she sweetly said, “Really?” with believable feigned interest and made no gagging sounds, not even an evil snicker! I have since learned to do really exciting things before babysitters come over so the mundane doesn’t seem as appealing to talk about!

I’ve written before about gaps in Grayson’s advanced vocabulary. My favorite of which is when she says, “No, I am it!” instead of “No, I am not!” It’s one of those cute and endearing phrases I love to hear her say that reminds me she’s still a child. I need these reminders, believe me! She continually surprises me with her mature dialogue and daily seems to be “gettin’ too big for her britches” as my parents used to say of me. A few mornings ago, Grayson delighted me by relentlessly tickling me in bed. I hugged her tight to stop her little fingers from doing their work when she chided, “I’m a little devil, am it I?” My daughter knows I love a good laugh and I had one. I just love how she can be so adorable and astute at the same time! Just a few days earlier, we had visited Dean’s parents and Dean’s mom had been fond of calling her black lab puppy “such a little devil.”

Hope you can hold onto the sweet, sacred moments with your loved ones this holiday season!

As seen on TV

How many “As seen on TV” products do you have in your home? Pre-parenthood I could safely say none. I’ve been known to mock a Chia Pet. Scoff at a purse organizer. Now that I’m a sucker with a five-year old daughter, however, I have enough to count them on both hands.

The obsession started innocently enough. Watching Dora or Sponge Bob with my daughter over and over again, I lived for the commercials. One of the most prolific and mystifying commercials advertised the Slushy Magic. You could take any drink (I have yet to try alcohol, but that’s an idea), pour it in the slushy cup over the magic ice cubes and Slushy Magic! Impressive, right? Much more alluring than the Pillow Pet. “It’s a pillow, it’s a pet, it’s a pillow pet!” Go ahead, shudder. There is no way I would have bought one for my daughter-no way-until she asked for a unicorn Pillow Pet for Christmas from Santa. So, technically I never bought it, Santa did. Okay, in the spirit of confession, I did buy a mini-ladybug Pillow Pet on Thanksgiving at Wal-Mart. I blame that on the pre-Black Friday, throw-every-gift-under-$10-in-your-cart craze. I was helping out the economy.

Alright, the count’s at 3 so far. Before moving on, I’d like to say that Christmas can be a stressful time for parents. There are toy catalogs with hundreds of toys over $50 that children love to fill up their Christmas lists with. There are relatives that hound you for perfect gift ideas for your little cherubs. Everyone wants in on the magic and Mom and Dad have to deliver. Add this to the stress of my only child having a birthday in January and you can see why I turned to Shimmer, told my mom to buy Stompeez, bagged a Dreamlite, and scored a Bright Light pillow at a birthday party all in a four week period.

Whatever baby wants, baby gets. I’m drawing the line at Hot Buns and the Ear Vacuum-seriously! What?! Need a snack? Coming dear-I’ll just grab your Gyro-Bowl!

Talking to Mr. Coffee

There should really be a coffee pot appreciation day. Think about it, besides the dog, who gets neglected and verbally abused more than the coffee pot? Seldom or shodily washed, the dog and coffee pot sit in a corner of the house awaiting a kind word or a gentle touch. Here are a few suggestions for bringing the spark back into one of your most important relationships.

“How you doin’?”
“What you got for me today, sugar daddy?”
“Me likey!”
“You’re so bold today!”
“You know just what I need!”
“I knew you were meant for me when I first laid eyes on you.”
“I love the way you smell.”
“I love it when you brew it, big papa!”

Turn a phrase or two like these and Mr. Coffee will purrrrrrrculate your favorite java and you won’t be left with a guilty conscience for taking the goods and heading out the door.