Things I Never Thought I’d Have to Teach Another Person

When you become a parent, you know that one of the biggest parts of your job is going to be teaching your child.  You imagine singing the alphabet song, chatting about colors, sorting shapes; all those fun things that Gymboree charges you $700 per minute for.  Of course you imagine teaching life lessons too.  Talking to them about kindness, generosity and how to smile and nod at whatever asinine crap their boss says.  But there are some things I never thought I’d be teaching my kids.  You don’t realize just how many rules there are to follow in life until you have to teach ALL OF THEM to someone.  Rules like:

  1. You can’t just send all foods you don’t like hurtling to the ground at dinner.  You are not Andy Samberg.  Throwing stuff on the ground is totally NOT funny when you do it.
  2. Speaking of dinner, standing on your chair in order to bang on the light fixture with your fork?  Generally frowned upon in polite society.  And here at home too.  Cut it out.
  3. People don’t want you to lick their face.  Usually.  Err on the side of caution.  Don’t lick people.
  4. Nobody likes it when you put peas in their wine.  This is a universal truth.
  5. The same rule applies to golf balls and sangria.
  6. Actually, just stop putting shit in my drinks.  I hate it.
  7. It is not necessary to lock everyone out of your bathroom just because you’d like to use a different one for a change.  If you want to use another bathroom in this house please, feel free.  You don’t need to test our lock-picking skills in order to validate your choice of toilets.
  8. Speaking of toilets, rocks do not belong in toilets.  Ever.
  9. For the most part, people don’t like it when you “roar like a dragon” two inches from their face.  This is especially true of three year old girls.  Well, all girls really.
  10. It’s truly not necessary to hip-check everyone that you walk past in the hall.  I promise.
  11. The cat does like to play fetch.  The cat does not like to play sit-still-while-I practice-spitting-on-you.
  12. While we’re discussing the pets, I can assure you that you do not need to throw everything within a 50 yard radius into the koi pond.  The fish do not want: sippy cups, golf balls, water guns, baseball bats, sidewalk chalk, tree branches or that large spatula from the grill.  A handful of their food will make them quite happy.
  13. Swiping the cheese off someone’s pizza is a total douchebag move.  Seriously.  That shit will not fly.  People with less self-restraint than your mother will punch you in the face for that.  
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The Big Reveal!

Our third baby is due in June.  We were looking for a fun way to celebrate this new little person and really liked the idea of a gender reveal party.  With two boys in the family already there was a lot of speculation about whether or not baby #3 might be a girl.  Suspense, opinionated friends and family and cute baby stuff; it seemed like the perfect recipe for a fun party.  And it was. While it was incredibly difficult to keep the baby’s gender a secret once we found out, it was so much fun surprising our friends and family with the exciting news.

I had planned to take tons of great pictures of the party.  I even remembered to charge the battery for my camera!  So of course I completely forgot to take pictures until the party was nearly over.  Luckily a sweet friend snapped some photos on her phone for me and I did manage to snap a few of the decor a little later in the evening.

The party was a blast.  We feel so lucky to have people in our lives who are as excited about our baby as we are.

Our “Baby Betting” table.  Guests could buy into a baby pool and fill out ballots with all their predictions.

Once the baby is born, the guest who predicted most accurately will win the pot!

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A little data to help guests make their predictions.

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This was one of the most creative ballots, submitted by a friend’s daughter.

Not sure which part is most intimidating, 14 pounds or 1 yard long!  Eek! Too funny!

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The Super Secret Cupcakes.

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Junebug wine.  Because I couldn’t resist the idea of coordinating the wine with the baby’s due date.  That’s normal, right?

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Pink icing inside the cupcakes = GIRL!!!!

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First Official baby girl outfit!

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Although, I may or may not have picked this up at Target as soon as humanly possible after our sonogram.  Pink!!

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Homemade taco seasoning as party favors.  Because TACOS.

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That bump is what nearly 22 weeks of baby + a LOT of artichoke dip looks like.

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In the Spirit of the Grammys

The Grammys are tonight and I’m really looking forward to getting upset about all the completely awful music that somehow manages to win awards.  Or more accurately, I’m looking forward to feeling superior to pretty much everyone in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences because I clearly have much better taste in music.  So in honor of this misguided pageantry, I’d like to submit a list of my current favorite songs.  It’s a pretty random list.  In fact, its a bit of a mess.  It has no rhyme or reason because VH1 is not the boss of me. I do what I want.  I’m kind of a rockstar like that.  A rebel, you might say.  Some people call me the space cowboy…unless that dates me, in which case they do not.

Without any proper theme, you may be wondering what exactly my criteria is for putting a song on this list.  I have a few simple guidelines that I followed to help me narrow things down:

1. I really like the song.

2. I listened to it within the past year.

3. It does not involve Taylor Swift, Nickelback or Nicki Minaj in any way, shape or form.

As you can see, I’m really quite discriminating.

So, please join me as we delve into my psyche iPod and find out what songs speak to the soul of this particular suburban SAHM.

  • Most Cathartic Song of the Year – Shake it Out by Florence & the Machine

This song is, of course, incredibly popular and gets tons of well-deserved airplay on the radio.  Honestly, Flo + the Machine is easily one of my favorite new bands.  However this song in particular really speaks to me and I’m totally guilty of putting it on repeat when I’m in the car alone.  I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason why but something about this song is truly like therapy for me.  You know, one of those songs that just gets in your gut and stirs things around.  I can – and have – sobbed like a little girl while listening to this song and come away from the experience feeling lighter and steadier.  I guess it’s really just about finding peace with yourself.  Not letting things bog you down.  Stripping down your ego and just Being without that relentless inner monologue that so often just leaves you feeling beat up. Bottom line, pay iTunes the $1.29 and indulge in some cheap therapy.

  • Just Because I Think its Beautiful – Thistle & Weeds by Mumford and Sons

I’m fairly certain this is my favorite Mumford song.  It’s not played on the radio and it is sans banjo.  Which, depending on your feelings about banjos, is either a good thing or a bad thing.  I happen to like Mumford’s riotous banjo riffs but this is a wonderful departure from them.  This song is haunting but has a little thread of hope running through it.  Listening to it feels like being in a lonely cottage in the middle of the desolate English countryside and its pouring rain outside, but there is a fire in the fireplace and maybe, just maybe, you’re in love.  Really, it’s just beautiful.  The strong drums and the feeling of sweeping drama…*sigh*  Gorgeous.

  •  Favorite New Booty-Shaking Song – Thrift Shop by Macklemore

Groovy.  Funky.  Silly.  Catchy.  What more could you want from a song about shopping at thrift stores?

  • My Inner Pop Star Needs Love Too – Oops…I did it Again by Britney Spears

I had totally and completely forgotten about this song until a few weeks ago.  I don’t think I’d even heard it in years.  It came on the radio one day and suddenly the sun was shining a little brighter and I needed knee socks and a frappuccino. Stat.  I immediately felt a little perkier and sassier.  Now, this next part is a little embarrassing but I think I should just come out and say it: I seriously think that I could hold my own in a sing-off against Britney Spears.  I wish I could say I was joking but I’m not. I actually believe this.  In a dance-off, I’d be totally fucked.  That bitch could take me down even if she had a peg-leg and a serious case of vertigo.  She also has WAY more charisma than me.  But if I’m singing her songs, rest assured, I am owning that shit.

  • Cutest Unrequited Love Song – Ho Hey by The Lumineers

This little ditty is just sounds so happy you kind of forget that the guy seems to be singing to someone who doesn’t return his feelings.  Also, if you want, you can just tune out the verses and sing the chorus gleefully to the love of your life.  He/She will love it.  Especially if you’re the kind of person who could beat Britney Spears in a sing-off.

  • Most Nostalgic – Sail Away by David Grey

This song is 10+ years old and it is one of my all-time favorites.  I’ve loved it for a long time but listening to it while in labor with my youngest son has given it an incredibly special place in my heart.  My iPod played this song on repeat for literally almost my entire labor.  I had my earbuds in and I tuned the world out.  It reminds me of the crazy journey that is giving birth: The excitement. The unbelievably hard work.  The creeping doubt that maybe you aren’t going to be able to do this followed by the spectacular triumph of realizing that you did it and oh my god it was so worth it.  The staggering amount of love that you never knew existed until that moment.  I’ve had this song on my mind a lot lately as I think about having our baby this summer.  I’m not sure what this baby’s song will be but I know I can’t wait to meet her and that life is going to be absolutely beautiful when I do.