Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Princess Culture - The Real Deal: Why My Three Year Old Will be Watching the Royal Wedding With Me

This week the world will watch in wonderment (or mocking derision or complete apathy) as William, the Prince of Wales marries Catherine the Stylish. While I'm normally a fairly snarky and cynical gal, I've chosen to join in the wonderment circle this go-round and will have my three-year-old daughter right by my side as we behold the pomp and circumstance of the Royal Wedding.

Since I don't want to get hauled off for child abuse, I won't wake her at 1:00 am to watch, I'll DVR it like a good mum (see, I'm even starting to type with a British accent) and let her watch it at 7:00 am when our guests arrive for a princesses & pajamas party.

Disney has so commercialized the "Princess Culture" that many parents are turned off by the whole concept. Not me - at least not when it comes to real princesses (Princess Tiana, we'll talk later about how I think you could have set your sights a little higher than an unemployed, unskilled, poverty-stricken guy with only a title to his credit, but that's neither here nor there today). No, today I am all in awe of the soon-to-be Princess Kate and I want my daughter to witness it, right alongside me.

In today's culture of Hollywood celebrities, class seems to be, if not missing entirely, then at least severely lacking. Stars seem to go to rehab as often as I go to Costco (which is a lot, trust). Jail time, crotch shots and potty-mouthed celebs are everywhere. And that's not even getting into the pseudo reality-star celebrities... While I personally enjoy the smut-factor involved here - it makes for great reading at the hair salon, it's not exactly the example I want for my daughter. This is why I welcome Kate Middleton to the celebrity scene with open arms.

While Kate is very much a "real girl" and surely will have her share of missteps, she generally appears to be more polished and elegant than your average tabloid persona. By no means do I want to place her on a pedestal, from which she would surely fall, as they all seem to do, but I do appreciate the grace with which she seems to carry herself. Her style is classic and elegant (I personally believe she promises to out-fashion Princess Diana, the icon style-maven who would have been her mother-in-law). I want my daughter to watch her and see that you don't need to get all hoochie-mama'd out in order to be popular.

The fact that Kate is a "real girl" is yet another reason I want my daughter to watch Friday's wedding. Kate's lesson isn't that normal girls can meet and marry a prince. Kate's lesson is that real girls can study hard and get into prestigious universities, excel in their studies and graduate. Then, they can go ahead, get a job and work hard, while pursuing a fun social life on the side. That's a lesson I want my daughter to learn early on and if she does it while wearing a tiara, so be it.

Kate also teaches us that even if you marry the prince of your dreams and have a fairytale wedding, chances are, you’re going to have some oddball in-laws to contend with. No jewelry collection in the world can save you from that inevitability.

The other reason I want my daughter to watch the Royal Wedding has nothing to do with Kate or the Windsors. It has to do with the collective world experience that this event will be. With cable TV, the internet and every other distraction around, there are fewer and fewer shared events in society these days. Now that we all have more than three channels and multiple TVs in the house, people don't experience and witness events together like they used to.

While everyone who was alive at the time of President Kennedy's assassination can tell you where they were when they heard the President had been shot, now there are fewer and fewer of those collective experiences that we all share. The Olympics and the Academy Awards aren't as strong in uniting our collective history as they once were. But I believe this wedding will be as close as it comes to a shared moment around the world and I want my daughter to be able to say that when she was three, her mom served mimosas and invited all of the neighbor ladies over in their jammies to watch the wedding and toast the happy couple and that she, my daughter was part of it all.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Favorite Posts of the Week

We're behind on our reading but we wanted to share some of our favorite posts from other bloggers' last week:

Aiming Low: Spread Too Thin (No, it's not about peanut butter sandwiches gone wrong, it's about how social media can get a little overwhelming at times).

The Dawning of January: Motherhood: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (So relatable)

PhD in Parenting: Playing With One, Playing With Two (Balancing the needs of your kids when you have more than one)

Suburban Kamikaze: Top OPI Nail Colors in Suburbia (A fun laugh)

Perfectly Disheveled: A New, Old Me (Mommy's wardrobe gets a make-over. Okay, this is a little old but we've been dreaming of having someone do this to our closet since we read it, so we had to share).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Show & Tell: You Pee. I Pee. We Love to Talk About Pee-Pee

Who goes pee-pee on the potty like a big girl?! It feels both like yesterday and eons ago that I was in full-on potty-training mode. Ankle deep in wet underpants and carpet cleaning solution. Next to teaching your kid to drive, teaching a kid to go potty on the potty has got to be the most dreaded of parenting responsibilities.

There were a couple of great finds though that helped make that daunting parenting task a little easier to take though and I'd like to share them with you.

Diapers Are Not Forever. This little gem of a book made it very simple for a young toddler to understand, was encouraging and just great. My daughter LOVED to read it while sitting on her little potty chair. It works for both girls and boys. We had several other potty-training books but this one was, hands-down the BEST. 

The Potette. Have potty, will travel. At $10 you can't go wrong. This little beauty makes it stress-free to take a potty-training toddler anywhere. Sadly, I can testify that it fits in your purse (Note: I'm assuming you're using a mom purse and not a cute going-out clutch). It has little grocery store-style plastic bags with a padded lining inside to soak up all the - eh, you know. Just tie up the bag, toss it and you're off. During the early stages of potty-training we used this constantly - at the park, in public restrooms (my daughter was afraid of the loud flushing noises made by those industrial toilets), in the back of the car... Now that she's been potty-trained for nearly a year, we use it much less frequently but it still comes in handy when we're at a street fair or somewhere that doesn't have a potty (or suitable potty) readily available. Good luck and happy urination!

Monday, April 18, 2011

You're a Bad Mom!

"In the case of Good Parents Everywhere versus Dana, how do you plead?" "Guilty as charged your honor." A study recently confirmed that mom guilt is more prevalent than mom jeans, stating that 94 percent of moms feel guilt. I was shocked! Who are these six percent of moms that DON'T feel guilt?! I feel guilty about everything and I'm pretty sure that's the way God and the media intended it.

Let's assume that of that six percent, two percent are the crack head mothers of the world, the complete incompetents. That still leaves four percent of mothers who claim to never feel guilty. Who are these women and how do they do it? Don't they read the same articles I do? Don't they have friends and family pointing out their many flaws and short-comings? Don't they ever catch themselves yelling at their child(ren) and think they should have handled the situation differently?

I'm not Catholic but if I were, I'd need a priest dedicated solely to hearing my daily mothering confessionals. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. Today I used the TV as a babysitter so I could shower in peace. I also forgot to replace the water in the dog's bowl. Twice I was inconsistent in my disciplining methods, threatening a time-out for bad behavior, yet never administering the punishments. Four times I yelled at my children for various offenses, rather than remaining calm and speaking in a low voice. Three times I served them non-organic, unhealthy processed meals, which they loved. I could go on but you get the idea. The guilt starts the second you find out you're pregnant. Oh, you're drinking caffeine and you're pregnant? Guilty. Is that a bit of sushi I see on your plate? Guilty. Don't have a birth plan yet? Guilty. Haven't decorated the child's room, established a college savings plan, selected a pediatrician, fully researched the best receptacle for your child's soiled diapers? Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

Last week a study was released talking about how moms with young kids tend to eat poorly and exercise less than their childless counterparts. While this was generally a big duh, I of course, felt guilty and knew the researchers had been secretly taping me. Rather than prepare two sets of lunches (and often dinners), I find myself eating a whole lot of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese along with the kids. My children generally treat healthy food with the disdain most people reserve for murderers and Wall Street bankers, so I often just make them what I know they'll eat, rather than what I'd like them to eat. (My little peanuts are smallish and I worry about them not eating enough and rationalize that empty calories are better than no calories and hey, maybe their pants will stop falling off of them at least...)

I thought about the study and tried to think of workarounds to this unhealthy diet I was consuming. But, for every workaround I devised, I found yet another reason to feel guilty. I could park them in front of the TV , grant them a little extra screen time, allowing me to cook in relative peace, without fear of dumping hot liquids on their heads as they cling to my legs throughout the entire ordeal. The verdict: Too Much TV-Time Guilt. I could let them run amok, have unstructured playtime while I cook them healthy food. The verdict: Free-Range Parenting Guilt. They would surely use the opportunity to jump from the couch onto the glass console table, crashing through it and severing major arteries, necessitating a trip the ER. Then, all of that healthy, organic food would go to waste.

So often I find mothering to be a damned if you do, damned if you don't proposition. If you tend toward the "helicopter" style of parenting, you're smothering and don't allow your kids the ability to experience life and learn things on their own. Unless you have the dedication of the Tiger Mom, this also means they're not getting into Harvard because, as some Harvard professors will tell you, what kids need to succeed is more unstructured playtime. (Or, if they do get in, you'll have to go with them because they won't know how to function without you). Alternatively though, if you're "free-range," you're going to get a lot of dirty looks from other moms and, inevitably someone will get hurt/in trouble and everyone will ask "Where was this child's mother?! Why wasn't anyone watching them?!"

Sometimes it feels like parents (and, let's face it, that's mainly the moms) get called to task for everything they do or don't do. Everything from the number of enriching Mommy & Me classes you take with your child (you're either not providing them with enough learning opportunities or you're over-scheduling them - either way, you're guilty) to the food you serve them is up for grabs.

Just as I was about to give up hope and go curl in the fetal position somewhere, I came across a book review of Bryan Caplan's, "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids" and started to feel the guilt slip away. The review promises me that the book will show me how I can kick back and let the kids raise themselves as research has shown that nothing I say or do will really matter very much in their overall success in life. For some, this may be a depressing thought but for this guilt-ridden mother, it's a breath of angst-free air.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

Oh, goodness! The awards and honors keep rolling in. We're blushing.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! to Ms. Megan at Kitsch in the Kitchen for thinking of us. Quick, go add her site to your favorites list, then come right back.

So what is this Liebster Blog Award, anyway? This is how it's been told to us:

Some time (in the recent past), somewhere (rumor has it that it might be Germany), someone (I guessing he/she was named Liebster) decided to do something nice for a whole lot of bloggers and started the Liebster Blog Award.

It’s an award you receive, but it is also an award that you give. If you receive a Liebster Blog Award you are asked to choose 3 other bloggers and send them one as well.

Ok, then, these are the *rules*: this award is meant to highlight small blogs. So the blogger receiving the award links back to the blogger who awarded him/her, and tags 3-5 people. For those we are about to award, we should also point out there is no obligation to continue this award. If this is not your cup of tea, don’t worry.

The value behind this award is for us to get to know other bloggers who might not be well known, yet have a lot to share. And we see that. This is not about growing your list of followers (believe me, it won’t happen), but of building a community.

Here are three of our faves:
Confessions of a Super Mommy
Momalog - Good enough parenting, one day at a time.
Aiming Low - Perfectly mediocre

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Look at this! We're barely a month old and we're already receiving awards and accolades!

We're speechless. Well, not really - we wouldn't be bloggers if we were the kind of gals who ran out of things to say...

Many, Many thanks to Cynthia at My Life As Mom for reading us and liking us. Also, since it's practically illegal to not include a shout out to God and your mom for your win, thanks God and thanks to our moms. ;)

This award comes with a few conditions, so here we are, in full bloggy compliance.

To formally accept this award you are asked to do a few things:

• First thank and link to the blogger who gave you the award.

• Share 7 things about yourself.

• Share this Award with 15 other bloggers.

• Contact these bloggers to let them know that they got the award.

THANKS CYNTHIA! My Life As Mom. We're so appreciative of the mention and thank you for reading our blog.

7 things about us:

1. We're three moms

2. Between us, we have 5 kids

3. Two of those kids have the same name (no, not from the same mom - that would be too George Foreman for us)

4. Sara can do a mean knit & purl

5. Mrs. Lampshade's passport has been getting quite a workout since her hubby got stationed in Europe

6. Dana's trying the "Mediterranean Diet" and has eaten so much garlic in the past week she could ward off vampires within a 50 mile radius

7. We all connected/re-connected via Facebook. Viva la Social Networking!

Share this Award with 15 other Bloggers: There are so many wonderful bloggers out there, it's nearly impossible to pick but here goes...

1. Momalog
2. The Dawning of January
3. Perfectly Disheveled
4. Wacky Dad
5. Suzan's "Life is Better in a Tiara"


Monday, April 11, 2011

I Sold My Soul for an Attached Garage

Throughout most of my 20s I viewed life in the 'burbs as a fate worse than death. Then I got pregnant.

Being the completely irrational person I am, I immediately started checking the test scores for our local elementary school. Appalling. I wouldn't have sent my dog there. Then, I started looking into tuition for private school - astronomical. I calculated what it would cost to get two children through elementary school and before uniforms, contributions to school auctions, etc., I figured we were looking at $100k! This wasn't even for the really top-notch private schools. So, my husband and I decided that we could put the money we were saving on private school into a nice house in the 'burbs where the schools were good and tuition was included in the property tax.

The next thing I knew, we were unpacking boxes in our big, new suburban house. The first people I met were the women who lived on either side of us. They were both trim, blonde and walking Golden Retrievers (and they each drove a Suburban). I thought - S@*t!, we've moved to Stepford. Given that I'm also blonde and have a Golden, I realized that though my SUV wasn't a Suburban, it was still an SUV and I probably belonged here.

Shortly after moving in, my husband came home from work to find a whole gaggle of neighborhood kids weeding our front yard. One kid told him to roll down his window, which my husband did, and the kid said, "We just weeded your yard, can we have five bucks?" We were floored. What kind of 1950's universe was this where the Beav and the gang shows up to weed your yard? Who were these kids?! I remember being bored as a kid but I just whined about it - I would never have stooped so low as to take my boredom to do yard work for people. What kind of kid does that? And thrilled! We could get our whole front yard weeded for the price of a latte!
Here's the thing though, all of my skepticism aside, my neighbors are AWESOME! Our block is full of interesting and nice people. My next door neighbor who barely knew me (seeing as we'd just moved in) and another neighbor I'd probably only met once, hosted a baby shower for me and the whole neighborhood showed up. They did a lovely job, with beautiful, handmade invitations and a gorgeous spread. It was beyond welcoming. While I'd lived in the city, our next door neighbor had never once said so much as "hello" to us. He wouldn't even make eye contact as we all pulled in our trash on garbage day. Yet here, the whole neighborhood was literally showering me with gifts and kindness.

In the past four years, I've grown to love our life in the 'burbs. The kids can play in the street and my son, who's not yet two, already knows to move to the sidewalk when someone yells, "Car!" The older kids (even the middle school ones) are so nice and solicitous of my toddlers - they'll even hold their hands and help them cross the street.

One of my neighbors even became one of my closest friends. Sadly, she's recently moved away but while she was here, we could count on each other for playdates the moms would enjoy as much as the kids, for someone to watch your kids while you had to run an errand or go to the doctor, for someone to help inject your day with a bit of fun, adult conversation when you sorely needed it. A few of us, whose husbands often work late, even got in the habit of hosting casual dinners with just the moms and the kids, which was a treat for everyone.

There are some downsides to the 'burbs, I will admit. I miss the cute, downtown core that made up our city neighborhood. I also miss the great restaurants and bakeries. While our suburb is quite nice, it does have its share of strip malls, which let's face it are an eyesore and who can tell one strip mall apart from the next. So I often struggle to remember which strip a particular store I'm going to is located in. I also love the charm of older homes, which are obviously not found in a new development. Probably though, the thing I miss the most is the image that my 26-year-old self had of me being a cool, urban mom who still knew the hot new restaurants in town and carried a gorgeous handbag.

But, when I start to miss the city, I look at my large pantry and my three-car attached garage (which means I'm never hauling kids and groceries inside in inclement weather) and remember that older houses, while charming, are often not practical. And I think about how Mr. Crotchety-pants in the city never would have seen my Facebook status update about being out of coffee and rushed over with a piping, hot cup for me like my wonderful suburban neighbor did, and I think, Viva la Suburbia!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Show & Tell: Nighty-Night. Sleep Tight.

Parenting is a 24/7 job. Thing is, it would be so much better if it were a 13/7 job. For me, sleep-deprivation is hands-down the most torturous aspect of motherhood. So, Sara's post about co-sleeping yesterday really resonated with me. My first-born is a notorious "bad sleeper." My daughter is now three and a half years old and my mother still asks me how her night was during our daily chat every morning. My daughter will often fight going down for the night and is a very restless sleeper once she does go down.

My husband and I have tried everything - from holding the door closed while she screamed on the other side to having the Sleep Fairy come visit, to accepting a co-sleeping situation that was bad news for everyone. While she never started the night in our bed, she'd often wander in around 2:00 a.m. and I was either so exhausted that I just allowed it or flat-out asleep and didn't even notice she was there until she was well-established. And, in my stupefied state, I just allowed it. Did I mention she's a total bed-hog and also very dictatorial in the sleep patterns of others? I pity her future spouse because that guy will get an earful every time he tries to roll over in bed or asks that she not rub his arm while he tries to sleep...

Lately though, we've had a few breakthroughs and I'm going to share some of the things that worked for us. These are fairly age-specific and best suited to toddlers around 3 years of age(though the book has tips for all ages).

First up: Dr. Ferber's Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. Before you start working up a rant in the comment box, hear me out. Our family's pediatrician is phenomenal - I've had a total mommy-crush on him since the time I asked him a question and he asked me if I had time to hear the long answer. Given that I truly respect his opinion, I was willing to listen to him when he recommended this book to me.

Here's a shocker - Ferber DOES NOT advocate the "Cry It Out" approach. He's actually quite against it. He recommends letting a child cry for short amounts of time, going in periodically and reassuring them that you're there for them. I won't get into all of his philosophies and advice but he's not at all the monster he's made out to be. He has a lot of very reasonable, practical suggestions that help your child achieve sleep success. He helped me understand the inadvertent role I played in my daughter's sleep problems. Some of the things I thought I was doing to help, were actually making things more difficult for her.

A Sleep Chart is one of Ferber's recommendations that has really worked for us. He suggests giving a child a sticker/reward for nearly everything you can think of - and be generous in your judging. The more success they have, the more encouraged they'll be to continue with their good behavior. We give our daughter one sticker for going to bed and not coming out of her room, one sticker for sleeping through the night and one sticker for waiting until the green light comes on before coming out of her room in the morning (more on that, later). She can also earn one for being a good girl at nap time. The chart's on the fridge and it's a Big Deal. Every morning I drag a chair to the fridge so she can reach the chart and let her pick her stickers and we talk about how proud we are of what a good job she did. If it will get me eight hours of sleep a night, I'll do this until the morning she leaves for college.

The Stoplight Alarm Clock. Can I just say - BEST money I ever spent?! (We ordered this on a couple of months ago but it's not availale at the moment.) My daughter is insanely proud of her alarm clock. When you set the alarm at night, the light is red. When the alarm goes off (no noise so it won't wake them if they're still sleeping), the red light goes out and the green light comes on. This is very helpful for a kid who knows their colors - and gets the general stoplight concept (a few readings of Go Dog. Go!) can help teach that little traffic school lesson. My daughter loves her alarm clock and is so proud of herself when she waits until the green light comes on. She insists on showing the entire family her green light every morning - our almost two-year old is so trained in the importance of this that he immediately looks at her alarm clock and comments on it in the morning. She even calls Grandma to tell her that she didn't get up until the green light came on. Since she was in the habit of coming into our room in the middle of the night, this has cleared up any confusion about whether or not it was morning and time to get up.

It's not a miracle plan, but I get to sleep through the night about 90% of the time now, which is a vast improvement over 0% of the time. I even have so much energy now that I've started working out in the mornings again. Wow, a pig just flew by my window...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mrs. Lampshade's Top 15 Toddler Apps (iPod Touch)

When we first thought to buy you, we said, “I don’t know,
A $200+ electronic seems only for show.
Our child is but 3 and we never had one -
Our parents expected us to read books to have fun.”
So we hmm’d and we haw’d and we weighed con & pro
We finally concurred it was THE way to go.

The unit arrived and we fawned and we sorted.
We uploaded apps and had music imported.
Our munchkin took to it like bird takes to flight
That’s when we knew our decision was right.

We took iPod out for a night on the town
And, I assure you, it did not let us down.
We ate our whole meal with nary a peep
From our disgruntled grump toddler without enough sleep.

So whether we travel by car, plane or sea
The iPod will always be close by to me
‘Cause this mommy’s learned that heck or high water
I always can count on it to distract my sweet daughter.

Mrs. Lampshade's Top 15 Awesome Toddler Apps

1. Story Chimes (Free w/ads or $.99 w/o) – Who says iPods are only for games?  Find your child’s favorites like “Cinderella” & “The 3 Pigs.”

2. FirstWords: Deluxe ($4.99) – a bit pricey, but one that my toddler plays with over & over & over & over….

3. StoryBoy – (Free w/ads or $.99 - $1.99 w/o) – “All About Dragons” is a fan favorite in our house.

4. Angry Birds – (Free/Lite or $.99/Full) – Personally, I haven’t invested the $.99 for the full version.  So far the “Lite” has been enough to satiate my toddler’s lust for avian revenge.  My husband, on the other hand…

5. Balloonimals – (Free/Lite or $1.99/Full) – Blow up “balloons” then shake them into shapes.  Interact with balloons then show them who’s boss…POP!  If you have an older generation iPod, this app is less fun since it requires a mic for balloon inflation. 

6. Disney Fairies Fly (Free/Lite or $4.99/Full) – Tinkerbell, her friends & many adventures.  Not sure it would be a hit w/ boys, but my girl thinks it’s “Flitterific!”

7. Elmo’s Monster Maker ($3.99) – Pick hats, eyes, noses & mouths for Elmo’s friends.  Then interact with Elmo – dance, take pictures, be silly.  If you can tolerate the sound of Elmo’s voice (this is a borderline issue for me), it’s worth it.  So far we’ve had this app for two seasons – Winter & Spring.  Updates are pushed that provide new accessories to decorate your monster. 

8. Giraffe’s Preschool Playground ($.99 – currently on sale) – This app is a non-stop player in our house.  Just enough annoying animal sounds that are easily repeated over and over.  A toddler’s dream!

9. Little Dialers (Free!) – Simplistic in execution, Little Dialers teaches your child your phone number.  Truthfully, I haven’t tried it with my toddler yet, but I used it and it helped me learn my overseas cell phone number – for the first time in a year. 

10. Make A Martian($.99) – This app was free when I uploaded it, but I would still pay the $.99 for it.  Choose from a wide array of Martian options to create a “cute” little buddy that’s all your own.  After my toddler’s initial fear subsided, she decided she really liked this app.

11. Talking Rex/Roby the Robot/Tomcat – (Each - Free/Lite or $.99/Full) – These apps also require a mic for interactive play – they will repeat anything that is said.  Fun for kids AND adults who still get kick out of 6th grade humor. 

12. Tozzle (Free/Lite or $1.99/Full) – Multitude of puzzles & number play.  Really well-done app.

13. Waterslide Extreme (Free) – My toddler never fails to school me on this app.  She is the master.  I am the student.

14. Fisher-Price: BIGFOOT the Monster (Free) – A marketing tool from Fisher Price, this free app is one of the best.   You can interact with Bigfoot, work labyrinth-like mazes & watch short videos. 

15. KidsSong Machine by Genera Kids – (Free/Lite or $1.99) – A mixture of traditional children songs and seasonal updates keep kids singing even when they don’t have their iPod in their hands.

Of course this is 15 of thousands - what apps have I forgotten/not heard of/neglected?  

And let's not forget the OtterBox!!! Surely it was invented by parents because this little, rubberized lifesaver is a must-have for iPods.  Seriously. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Snot is Not an Accessory

While I was never a true "fashionista," back in the day I could put together some fairly cute outfits and owned a number of fun, open-toed slides. I could even walk in a fairly high heel without making a fool of myself. Now that I'm a mom, those days are gone, my cute skirts replaced with jeans and my slides with comfortable "mom shoes," perfect for sprinting after a toddler who's pulled a runner in the mall. How did this frumpy person take over? I'm a girly-girl, damn it! This wasn't supposed to happen to me.

Does the ability to breastfeed replace the ability to accessorize? Sara once asked, "Do these shoes go with this spit-up?" which cracked me up, because that's about the extent of my accessorizing these days. At the end of most days I retire my clothes, only to find a big smear of snot or peanut butter streaked across my shirt and am not even fazed by it. Although there was the day I walked around with a "fresh meat" sticker on my butt that Bonnie had peeled off the hamburger package and placed there, I suppose that added a little flair...

Last fall we went to a local farm for some Halloween festivities. As I looked around, I noticed every other mom there was sporting Hunter boots while I was wearing my $13 Costco specials. How did I not get the memo that rain boots had gone designer?! I used to be aware of such things. Even if I couldn't buy them, at least I knew I was supposed to want them. A few weeks ago, I took a look at the assemblage of clothes I'd thrown on and realized I'd worn gray sweats, a gray t-shirt and a gray hoodie - I looked like an inmate, or as Mrs. Lampshade hilariously put it, "the Unimommer."

I see other moms, the ones who've somehow managed to pull off the skinny jeans and tall boots look. How do they do that?! They're accessorized and their wardrobe is current, not four years behind the times as mine is. I nearly became a paraplegic, trying to get a pair of skinny jeans on once. I was hopping all over the dressing room, yanking them up, to no avail, only to have Bonnie scamper out of the stroller and start jumping around saying "Look Mama! I can jump too!" That's when I threw in the towel on that particular trend. I've even found myself thinking the Mom Jean is unfairly maligned. Yes, the pleating's unfortunate but that high waist sure does eliminate the possibility of a muffin top and you're not about to show your panties while sitting on the library floor during story time because your low-rise pants have slid too far down.

I know that in a couple of years my lifestyle will change again and I won't need to be playing all over the floor and sprinting out of stores chasing toddlers who are sick of shopping. Then I'll be able to invest in some cute outfits again. Until then, I just keep a close eye on the moms featured in the Elmo's World videos. I figure that as long as I don't get as bad as them (can someone please hand them a bottle of leave-in conditioner and some tweezers?!), then I'm okay.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Top 10 Signs You're a Toddler's Mama

10. You only know about new music from watching Glee

9. You know what the letter of the day is on Sesame Street

8. You go on more playdates than date nights

7. You can't remember the last time you wore dangly earrings

6. You have either peanut butter, snot, or both smeared on your shirt right now

5. You've changed a diaper in a parking lot in the past month

4. Your chief criteria for a new car purchase is that it must accommodate a double-stroller

3. The only Oscar nominee you saw last year was Toy Story3

2. You now consider making boxed macaroni & cheese on the stove "cooking from scratch" as opposed to just serving EasyMac

1. Every day you experience a love unlike any you ever could have imagined before becoming a mom

We want to hear from you: What would you add to this list?
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