Friday, December 27, 2013

Falling Apart

It's happening.  I suppose it had to at some point.  At the ripe old age of 32, I'm falling apart.  Physically, that is.

Here are my Top 3 Issues at the moment:

1.  I'm missing a front tooth.  Really.  It's hideous.  I have a crown covering the nightmarish stump (left behind from a root canal from my adolescence), but it is a temporary one until they can make a good match. In the meantime, my temporary crown has come out a couple of times during meals, and I've rushed to a mirror to stick it back on, trying to avoid looking at my carney-self.  I fear that if I get a few drinks in me, I'll be tempted to whip it off as a party trick.


2.  My back hurts.  Pretty much all night, every night.  It has for years (since having my first child).  But the good news is that I'm finally doing something about it: I've made a physical therapy appointment!  I don't know why I put it off so long.  Life, I guess.  Who on earth has time for such luxuries as physical therapy on top of the daily rigmarole of life-- obligatory kids check-ups, dental visits (see above), nap schedules, The Bachelor, and preschool drop-offs/pick-ups?

                                            (This photo is not me.  A little too dramatic to be.)

3.  I've been diagnosed with the lovely Reynaud's Syndrome.  Heard of it?  Basically, my toes were in so much pain when it got cold outside that with the urging of the hubs, I finally went to a foot doctor.  Turns out, I'm one of the lucky people whose circulation doesn't always reach their feet when they're cold.  This is a problem:  remember where I live?  Minnesota.  It can be colder here than the North Pole.  I think I read that one time.  So just when life couldn't get any less sexy, I've invested in a multitude of big brown slippers, thick woolen socks, and Uggs.

(Photo from HelloGiggles.com)

What plagues you?  Misery loves company!  :)

~Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas for Real

Although one might think the night before Christmas with little ones is totally, completely joyful and exciting, there is also an element of work, sleeplessness, and stress associated with it.  

My adaptation of the famous 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (A Visit from St. Nicholas) is a humorous look at what I think is a more accurate portrayal of Christmas Eve in a house with little ones.

You can check it out on Mamalode by clicking here.
It's also on What the Flicka, right here.

(Who doesn't love A Charlie Brown Christmas?)


Merry Christmas to all of my loyal readers and newer visitors.  Despite the chaos of the holidays, we here at Frantic Mama really do love Christmastime, footed jammies and all.  So, "Let's fight the good fight!" :)

~Frantic Mama

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Frantic Mama's Favorite Shows for Young Kids

Yes, that's the title.  My favorite shows for young kids.  Because, just like you [admit it!], I let my kids watch some t.v. during the day.  I do not fall into the group that has the t.v. on all day for background noise (though I am not judging those who do: the days can be long, people!  Do whatever works!), but I do take advantage of the fact that-- finally-- my children can focus on a show for a good 15 minute stretch.

And as anyone with kids knows, 15 minutes is a lot.  In 15 minutes, I can clean up the kitchen and get dinner started.  In 15 minutes, I can check my e-mail and even reply to a couple.  In 15 minutes, I can send a few texts (but only if the kids don't catch me using my phone, in which case they run over to try to grab it out of my hands).



I have two requirements when it comes to Frantic Mama-approved children's television.

  • The show has to hold their attention (both the 1 year old's and the 3 year old's) for more than 2 minutes.
  • It has to be educational.  (I really do think t.v. can be educational.  And I went to Ed. school at Harvard, so hopefully I'm not a complete idiot).  
Without further ado, my Top 3 Favorites are:

1.  Little Einsteins on Disney Junior.  I could be a walking advertisement for this show (actually, Disney executives, if you are reading this, I'm open to any and all lucrative offers).  The characters are smart and kind, use high-quality vocabulary, and travel around the world.  My son knows about Egypt, Antarctica, and Africa, along with various animals and beautiful artwork mainly because of this show.  I love classical music (I'm a nerd, remember?), and they feature a different composer each episode, along with a wide variety of art.  I often end up watching it with my kids (and abandon the proverbial pile of laundry).



2.  Dora the Explorer on Nick Jr.  This might be surprising because a lot of people seem to think Dora is annoying.  I happen to think it is a fantastic show.  There are so many cool habitat, animal, geography, and language lessons crammed into a 20 minute show.  (The Map's voice is creepy, and there's a talking backpack, but overall I still think it's well done).


3.  The Wiggles.  Specifically, The Best of the Wiggles DVD.  Perhaps this one isn't as educational as the others, but it makes up for it with the physical activity and participation it encourages.  Again, some people find the four grown men dancing, singing, and strutting their Aussie stuff to be annoying/laughable, but I find many of the songs catchy, and nothing helps me get out of a slump than dancing around wildly with my kids.

Go, Diego, Go! also looks like a great show, but they don't put the episodes OnDemand, so we don't get to see it often.  My 3 year old son likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but it doesn't completely fit criteria #1 (my daughter is sorely disappointed if it's not Dora or Little Einsteins).  I also find it annoying and ridiculous in too many ways, so it doesn't really fit criteria #2 either.

What do you think?  Is television ruining my kids, or do you let your kids watch some too?  Any shows my readers and I should check out?  Please share!

~Frantic Mama

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

My New Years Resolution: Worry Less, Enjoy More

Worrywart. Worry is your middle name.  Don't worry so much.  Calm down!  Oh, don't worry about it.  I have heard ALL OF THESE phrases a million times in my life.  But guess what, folks?  I am, therefore I worry.  Or, I worry, therefore I am.

On another note:  I've never believed in those God-awful, self-depriving New Year's Resolutions, such as:  This year, I will severely restrict calories [and be miserable all year!]; this year, I will go to the gym daily and get in a sweat [and be miserable all year!]; and, this year, I will never drink a drop of alcohol [and be miserable all year!]).  I don't see how such resolutions are helpful or encouraging at all.

This is not to say I'm an overly optimistic Pollyanna either (I'm a little allergic to those people).  As I said, I'm the epitome of a worrywart.  Hence my blog title, Frantic Mama.  Calm is simply not much a part of my nature.  It is something I relish, however, when I do catch a glimpse of it (perhaps watching a bad Hallmark movie with my husband after the kids are in bed, working on a blog post during naptime...).  Calm is something I work for.


We all have something we want to improve, right?  This is mine.

My non-depriving, resolution/goal for 2014 is to worry less, and enjoy more.  Sounds good, right?  (A side note:  To those delightful Type B's reading, this might sound easy or silly.  If only it were!  I'd love to be more Type B (Would you know, I have never once been described as "laid back" or "relaxed?" What would it be like?? I wonder  But I digress.).  Finding calm, and worrying less, seem to go hand in hand for me.

How can I go about such a large task?  How do I not worry when the preschool teacher calls me [again]? How do I not worry if my daughter has a fever?  How do I not worry about my husband's job security in this (still) depressing economic climate?

One thing that countless "experts" (whoever they may be) seem to agree on is the idea of gratitude being a powerful force in our lives.  That feeling and expressing gratitude is a key factor in our age-old quest for happiness.

I think I agree with these experts.  I find that taking time out of each day to think about what I am grateful for is extremely effective in helping me focus on the here and now, which I think is also a way to slow down, and therefore calm down a bit.  A deep breath, a focus on staying in the moment, and seeking out things, activities, and people that I enjoy-- all of that helps me feel calmer and therefore happier (or is it happier and therefore calmer?  Chicken-and-egg type scenario, I suppose).

                                                          (What does he know that I don't?)

It's said that four out of five people will have abandoned their resolutions by February 1st.  February 1st?!  I guess that isn't so hard to believe if you think of all the aforementioned torturous resolutions (and in that case, I'm glad that people often abandon things that make them unhappy).  But I'm hoping to remain at least somewhat cognizant of my goal for long after the expiration of 30 days.

I'm curious:  Do you make resolutions?  If so, what are your resolutions for 2014?  Have you had previous success setting goals for the new year?

~Frantic Mama

*This post is featured on What the Flicka.  Check it out here!

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

The World According to Ceci: My Mom's Lessons

You know how in your twenties, you start noticing that you occasionally sound like your mother? You might flinch a little and sigh, "I'm turning into my mother!"

Then, in your thirties, when you perhaps have children of your own, you hear yourself-- often-- sounding exactly like your mother.  But you no longer flinch.  You accept it.  Maybe even embrace it.  At least, that's how I've been feeling recently.  Because the older I get (and no, I'm not that old) I realize that she was and is often right about lots of life's little (and big) things.

My kids call her "Ceci," pronounced Sessy, because like most modern grandparents, she's simply not going to go with Grandma.  That's because she's less like this:


And more like this:



There are countless Ceci-isms that I enjoy, and surely many more that don't come to mind right at this moment.  However, until she starts a blog of her own (do it, Ceci!), I feel compelled to record some of her most classic/hilarious/ridiculous opinions/sayings here [not that I agree with all of them (still holding out hope that George Clooney will end up with a friend of mine), but beware: some that seem the most absurd, tend to be true]:

The World According to Ceci
  • Energy begets energy (i.e. stop your lollygagging).
  • Chocolate causes zits.  (A hard pill to swallow when I was pregnant).  But wait, you say!  That's an old wives tale!  I will then ask you:  why do I always break out after eating M&Ms?  AND, I must tell you, sorry folks, there has just been new "scientific evidence" that something in chocolate just might cause acne after all.  So, Ceci might be right on this one.


  • Don't drink alcohol during the day. (Again, this seems [unfortunately] to be sound advice; I always feel sluggish if I indulge too early).
  • Be suspicious of anyone who doesn't drink coffee.
  • If your friend has a baby, go visit her; even better, bring her a meal.
  • Lunch is the most boring meal of the day (Ceci has often said: if they made a pill I could take for lunch, I would).

  • Don't live together before you get married (that whole, 'why buy the cow when you get the milk for free' thing).   Is it old-fashioned or a wise form of self-protection?
  • Water your Christmas tree every day.
  • When in doubt, stick with beer.  This is true for me:  I like wine, but it keeps me up at night and makes me tired.
  • Wear layers.
  • George Clooney is gay.  (Alas!  he is now married, so this might be proved incorrect).
  • Don't trust a guy who drinks Diet Coke.  The problem with this one: my husband drinks it.
  • Kids should go to bed early.  Amen.
  • There should be a box of Kleenex in every room. 
  • A nap during the day will make you groggy.
  • Put on some lipstick.
  • Be sure to have plenty of towels and washcloths.
  • Floss your teeth.  (I do.  And it does wonders for shortening dental appointments).

What have you learned from your mother over the years?  Are there any lessons--big or small-- that have especially rung true since having children?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Getting Out the Door (with Kids)

Allow me paint a picture for you.  It's called:  Leaving the House with Children.  It's inspired by comedian Michael McIntyre's stand-up act comparing people with and without children.  His catch-phrase of sorts (You have NO IDEA) is spot-on.  You simply don't know until you know.

[For a 6 minute video clip of his hilarious act, check out the Huff Post.]

If you do not have kids, you will likely think I am exaggerating when I say:  it recently took me 10 minutes to get my kids ready for a 5 minute stint in the yard.  But I am not kidding.

It's winter in Minnesota, so to go outside, you have to put it all on: coat, of course, but also mittens, hats, and boots.  Does my 3 year old son like coats?  No.  Mittens?  Hats?  No, of course not.  It is an epic battle of wills.  Every. Single.  Time.

                                                                   (Image from 123RF)


My daughter?  She's younger (1), so can't verbally fight her way out of it, but she can waddle away from me at surprisingly fast speeds.

I eventually got them both bundled up.  Then I decided I better use the bathroom before going out (mothers rarely get to use the bathroom).  My son follows me into the bathroom and takes his shoes off. The baby comes in too and proceeds to rapidly take every toothbrush, roll of toilet paper, and feminine hygiene product out of the cabinet and strew them on the floor.  I take a deep breath.  We are going outside, I think, determined.

I chase my son around to put his shoes back on.  I wrestle a tampon out of my daughter's hands.  I'm sweating as I wrangle on my own coat and step into my own boots.  The clock reads:



We get outside into the brisk but sunny November weather.  The baby wanders around and heads towards the street.  I run after her.  My son wants me to spin him around in the air by holding his hands in an "airplane."  I do it.  I get dizzy.  My daughter attempts to scamper towards the street again.  I chase after her.  We all run around in a grand attempt at tag and hide-and-go-seek.  It's fun.  It feels nice to get fresh air.  The kids start getting cold (never mind if I'm cold), and we head back in.  It's 4:05.

Seriously.  This really happened.  The I-have-to-laugh-or-I'll-cry thing is that this is not at all unusual in our household.  It is so ridiculous, and before I had kids, I never would have believed me either.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Monday, November 25, 2013

What the Flicka

If you are a mom or a soon-to-be-mom, be sure to check out the website What the Flicka, created by the smart, funny actress Felicity Huffman.  As the website says, it "features fun and easy tips from Flicka (Felicity) herself, as well as her celebrity friends, sisters, experts, and other guest bloggers...we talk about life, children, family, cooking, beauty, fashion, books, the latest thing we are obsessed with, and of course, urban mom survival tips.  

I like the writers on there because they keep it real.  Articles are typically lighter fare to make you laugh at the craziness of motherhood.

I'm thrilled to be one of their new contributing writers, and my first article started running today:




                        Click this link to check it out:  Tips for Traveling with Babies and Toddlers 

In it, I share a few humorous but hopefully helpful ways to stay sane when flying the very unfriendly skies with little ones (Hint: wine is involved).

Thank you to all of my readers for tuning in.  With your support, I hope my blog is making a difference for moms everywhere, with the underlying message being:  you are NOT alone in this!

~Frantic Mama


Monday, November 18, 2013

Phobias: What Scares You?


A phobia is defined as:  an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.

People casually throw out this word, as in I'm totally phobic of germs/public bathrooms/wearing my swimsuit to the beach.  But many of us have a real phobia, one that we are embarrassed to share or afraid to admit to.  One that makes our hearts thump just thinking about it.  Common phobias are:  fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of public speaking.

If you are fortunate enough to not have a phobia, it might be easy to shrug off those that do, blaming their irrational, ignorant brains.  But I urge you not to judge.  Supposedly, an estimated 8.7% of Americans have some sort of specific phobia (that's 19.2 million American adults).  Beginning onset averages at age 7. (National Institute of Mental Health).  While that is a lot of people, I'm beginning to think more-- if not most-- people have some sort of phobia, whether kept in the closet or aired out in the open.




What's mine?  Flying, e.g. Aerophobia.  Lots of people don't like flying, you might note.  Who wants to drive to the airport, pay $25 dollars a day to park in the lot, wait in endless security, put all your liquids on display, wander the airport, find out your flight is delayed, wander the airport more, eat unhealthy airport food, board the plane only to sit in a stuffy cloud of other peoples farts, being 11th in line to take off, waiting for the snack cart to reach your last row seat?  (Multiply the challenges of air travel by 10 if traveling with young kids).  No one thinks it's fun, right?  Air travel is rarely luxurious anymore.  I would be shocked if pilots can keep a straight face when they encourage us over the intercom to "relax and enjoy the flight."

However, on top of all these typical annoyances, I'm scared.  And I mean scared.  Of course I know rationally that it is safer to fly than drive.  That chances of something serious happening on a plane are something like 1 in a million.  But that's part of what defines a phobia-- it is irrational.

The problem is that it doesn't feel irrational.  Especially when I'm booking a flight, getting on a plane, and worst of all-- taking off.  The dizziness, the heart pounding, the sense of panic, the churning stomach is all very real.  My fear has only gotten worse as I've gotten older because I feel I have so much to lose. I have a wonderful husband and two little dumplings.  I don't want something to happen to me or to them.

In part, I'm writing about my phobia to get to the positive side:  my deep fear of flying has not totally prevented me from doing it (wine helps).  My sister lives across the country, and if I want to see her, I usually have to fly there.  I don't want my irrational fear to keep my son and daughter away from my sister's children.  We also usually fly for a family vacation once a year; I don't want to look back 20 years from now and say, "oh we never went on vacation because I was too scared to fly."  And I certainly do not want my kids to inherit my crippling, heart-pounding fear.  So, each time, after sweating and swearing on the plane I'll never do it again, I do.  I book another flight.

What are you scared of?  Does it prevent you from doing something you might love?  Have you ever conquered a phobia?  How?

~Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Since When is Being Shy so Terrible?

This is probably something you have only noticed if you have a reserved, shy, and/or introverted child. Or if that's how you define your own personality.  Having a child that fits this personality type, I've observed a general consensus that being shy or reserved is something to "work" on.  Apparently, it's not as good as being outgoing and extroverted.

But why is being reserved, watchful-- or even shy-- so negative?  I have frequently found that 'watchers' (we'll call them) are more observant, more sensitive to others, and really, to be totally honest, often smarter than those of us who just recklessly dive right into something.

I'm a bit of an odd mix, I suppose.  I like to chalk it up to being a Gemini (the twin Zodiac sign):  I'm outgoing and not at all shy, but I'm also textbook introverted-- spending time being social in a big group is exhausting to me.  I've read that extroverts become energized by being with others.  That's certainly not me.

Like husband and me, my 3 year old son falls into the introverted category.  He seems to prefer smaller groups.  Big groups and crowds completely overwhelm him.  However, different from me but similar to my husband, my son also falls into the reserved, watchful category.  He might wave to a passerby, but he certainly doesn't jump into the center of a group to command attention.  In fact, he cried when all of us surrounded him and sang happy birthday on his 3rd birthday.

                                             (Not my kid, but it could be; Image from ConsumerBell).

I'm fine with this.  That is, I've learned to be fine with this.  Because I admit this personality type can be challenging to parent.  (Just try explaining why your kid cries when people are celebrating his birthday or runs into another room when friends come over.  It can be embarrassing.).  He also doesn't like having people over, which is tough on me (even I would like some adult contact during the day!).  He is usually quiet at preschool and in groups, so I don't think teachers know how much is going on in his busy little brain.  He certainly doesn't have a large social circle (then again, do any 3 year olds?).

Fortunately, I've come to appreciate that there are many positives about this temperament, some of which outweigh the challenges.  Isn't there something most charming about a shy smile?  Isn't the more reserved person often the most thoughtful and least aggressive?  They aren't busy talking; they're busy listening.  When he says something really smart, he covers up his eyes with his hands to hide from praise; it's painfully adorable.  There is something inexplicably humble about the shy person.  They don't feel the need or desire to be the center of attention.

Perhaps that's why I married a watcher.  And why I'm learning to embrace a watching child as well.

Here's what I'd like to propose for any interested parties:  let's not see shyness/introversion/reticence as so innately negative.  Please stop looking at me with pity if my son hides a bit behind my coat when entering a new situation.  Please stop trying to make him be the center of attention.  Please stop sighing when you tell me "he didn't really play with the other kids" at school that day or that he wasn't the first to jump in the baby pool.  He may not be easy-peasy, but he's just fine.  Really.  I love him just the way he is.

~Frantic Mama

*I have recently read Elaine Aron's book, The Highly Sensitive Child.  Whoa!  My son absolutely fits her description of a Highly Sensitive temperament.  If some of the above sounds familiar, you can read more of my thoughts on Aron's book here.

*I'm honored this piece was featured on Mamapedia.  Check it out here!

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Frantic Mama Writes

*Updated August 2014

Ever since I was little, I've wanted to be a writer.  Other careers occasionally caught my interest (being a judge, a psychologist, or a teacher (the last of which I eventually became)).  I even made a family newspaper when I was in 5th grade and delivered it on Sundays under bedroom doors.  While teaching, and before I had children, I wrote a young adult book.  It is currently tucked inside one of the filing cabinets in our basement, saved on a single floppy disk.  I'm scared to get it out.  It's just too overwhelming to polish it up and then somehow get it published in the insanely competitive world of agents and editors.

Until I become brave enough to dust off the old floppy, to satisfy my passion for writing, I write about my life as a mother.  What better material is there really?

I'm thrilled that Mamalode (my favorite online magazine about life as a parent) is featuring some of my pieces.  You might have read a few on my blog before:  one is about the 10 head-slapping, red-faced-inducing things many of us said about raising kids before having our own children.  You know, when we were such experts on child-rearing.  The other is a more serious look at adjusting to new motherhood.

To support me by checking out the piece on Mamalode, just click here:

                                                            (Image from Mamalode.com)


Here is a personal one I wrote about postpartum anxiety, posted August 2014 on Mamalode.

(Image from Mamalode.com)


If you have a chance, it would be awesome if you could share it with friends, like it on Facebook, or Tweet it.  (It is also on Mamalode's Facebook timeline:  www.Facebook.com/Mamalode).  But no pressure, because just like here at my home, I'm sure your kids are about to wake up early from naps, color on your white walls, poop in their pants, etc.  You're busy.

In my own small quest to become a real, live writer, my core readers (especially my own mother, of course!) have been the most encouraging.  Thank you so much for your support.

~Frantic Mama








Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Not Cut Out for This

One cold November morning I had one of those, I'm not cut out for this! moments.  The exhausting, traumatizing moments of motherhood that you can't necessarily prevent, and that you do not soon forget.

I was picking up my 3 year-old son from preschool.  It was pouring rain.  I had my one-year-old daughter in tow.  I was getting over a sinus infection.  It was one day after Daylight Savings.  The list goes on.  When we got to the parking lot, I managed to find a single faraway empty parking spot.  I had to prop open my umbrella over the car door to get my daughter out of the car while trying to keep us both somewhat dry until we got in the building.

After plenty of struggling, my daughter and I made it inside, dragging the travel stroller behind me, as she had refused to sit in it.  On Mondays, there is a swim lesson at the end of  my son's class.  It sounds terrific, right?  I had no idea how hard it would make pick-up Every. Single. Monday.

Allow me to set the scene for you:  the indoor pool area is incredibly hot and humid.  I was wearing a down vest to protect me from the brutal Minnesota elements and still holding my getting-heavier-by-the-second, fearless toddler so that she wouldn't run directly into the pool.  My ubiquitous yoga pants were now wet from the rain, and I was in a sweat within a few seconds of entering the pool area.

Before I could even wave hello, my son was out of the pool, standing in his wet swim trunks yelling for me to take them off.  In front of everyone.  All of the other children in his class were still happily swimming in the pool.  He was the only one who had clearly decided he was finished.

I rushed over to him to avoid the tantrum I knew was brewing, but I couldn't find his bag of clothes.  My daughter started crying for me to put her down, presumably so she could try out a cannonball despite the fact she cannot swim.  The sweat beaded on my forehead.  My son was getting more frustrated trying to pull his own swimsuit down at this point, and soon enough it was very possible that he would be completely naked in a large public space.  I was also somewhat aware that his teacher was trying to tell me something.  I still have no idea what she was saying.  My nose was running and I had no tissues or free hands to wipe it anyway.  Uncomfortable does not begin to describe my state, and the fun was just beginning.

The other preschool moms-- without toddlers in tow-- were sitting comfortably in chairs by the pool, enjoying their break and watching their kids splash and swim.  Probably looking at me with a mixture of pity and relief that they weren't me.

This is awesome, I thought, feeling the many pairs of eyes focused on my children and me.

Against all odds, I eventually shuffled my angry toddler and 3 year-old son into the locker room and proceeded to force my daughter in the travel stroller so that I could focus on getting my son dressed.  He was now naked.  I rummaged for his clothes and then glanced over to find that my daughter had miraculously freed herself from the stroller and was aimlessly wandering the locker room and touching every germ-ridden surface she could reach.  I strapped her back into the stroller, despite her loud protests and surprisingly strong arms.

The locker room was filling up with other families now, possessing what seemed like perfectly calm, well-behaved children.

I turned back to my son.  I couldn't find his socks.  Let's just put the shoes on and get out of here, I mumbled, grabbing his shoes.  "I NEED socks!" he yelled, apparently deciding for the first time in his entire life that he wanted to wear socks.  Knowing I couldn't win this one, I fished through my bag and found a pair, and got him dressed as quickly as I could.  But then he found his other t-shirt in his school bag.  He insisted on layering his shirts.  They had to be layered.  He also wondered [over and over] what was causing the loud noise he heard in the locker room.  My daughter started to share her hungry cry with the crowd.  All I wanted was to get us home.

But remember, it was pouring rain.  So I wasn't done yet.  I had lost my umbrella at some point during all the excitment.  My hungry, tired children and I wandered the large, busy building and by the grace of God eventually found it.  I could have cared less if I got sopping wet at this point (I already resembled a drowned rat), but there is nothing my son hates more than having water on his clothes.  Seriously.  There is no way he would have left the building without rain protection, and I wasn't strong enough to carry two kicking and screaming children to the car.

Armed with my umbrealla, we made it to the door of the building, and I tried to balance the umbrella over the kids and myself as we waddled to our faraway parking spot in the windy, gray November weather.  The kids stayed somewhat dry.  I was soaking wet.  Tired.  Shivering.  Embarrassed.  And still sick.




That's it, I thought, as I realized I had dropped my car key in the middle of the parking lot, I'm not cut out for this!

It was one of those mornings where I wanted to wave that white flag of surrender, and though a few episodes of Dora later we all started to recover, I'm not sure I will ever forget it.


~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

To Make You Laugh

I'm under the weather, and I needed a pick-me-up, so I found a few fun pictures.  Here are some that I hope make you chuckle too:

                       
                           This rings true:




Remember bunk beds?  This poor kid always will (image from Dumpaday.com.  



Remember the Jersey Shore?  See below.




                     
                                  And, well, this is just ridiculously cute (image from WhatTheFlicka.com)





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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frantic Mama on Pinterest

I created a Frantic Mama profile on Pinterest a while ago, and I'm just now trying to figure out how to use it in a way that makes sense for me as a writer and as a mother.  I'm definitely not making rainbow-hued spaghetti anytime soon, nor am I planning on making playdough from scratch (they sell play-doh for a reason, right?).



But Pinterest is a cool way to share and read other people's blogs and make new connections.  Meredith @ Perfection Pending has started a board Blogs you Should be Reading that I (and other writers) share posts on regularly.  Be sure to check it out if you have a chance.  

I've also figured out how to add "pin it" buttons when you hover over an image on my blog.  To do so, I had to add HTML code to my template!  Yes, seriously!  I'm surprised at how much tech stuff I've learned by working on this blog.

So I'd love to hear from you:  What are your favorite things about Pinterest?  How often do you use it?  Do you find it inspiring or guilt-inducing?  
(And if you tell me your Pinterest page, I'll be sure to follow you).

~Frantic Mama

*Find me on Pinterest as Frantic Mama to see if I've made any headway.

 

Friday, October 25, 2013

3 is Better Than 2

I will confess.  There was something that really annoyed me when my son turned 3.  I would proudly announce that his 3rd birthday was approaching, and parents would roll their eyes and warn me, "oh, just wait-- 3 is way harder than 2!"  Really?  There's something worse than the Terrible Twos?  Aren't they called that for a reason?  

I found this common, if meant-to-be-funny, statement so deflating.  I had worked so hard for 3 years with my son.  I love him beyond measure but he was not an easygoing, happy-go-lucky baby or toddler.  There were some very long days with him as a 2 year old (and as a one year old for that matter).  2 year olds can just barely communicate their needs, and as a result they become so frustrated when you can't decipher their toddler-speak...it's enough to drive the most sane quite mad.

Tantrums weren't necessarily my son's biggest issue at two (though of course I experienced my fair share); it was the constant demand on my time and attention that I found the most draining.  There was virtually no independent play in my house.  I was his daily teacher, entertainer, caretaker, best friend, etc.  He did not like going to playdates or having people over to our house.  His anxiety could spike at the smallest incident. Add to that a new baby in the mix, and I think you get the point: 2 was a hard age for all of us.  And I was looking at 3 with guarded optimism.

Though I'd chuckle at people's warnings of the "horrible 3's," inwardly I refused to accept this Downer Debbie look at the 3rd birthday.  Why on earth would people keep having children if it truly just never gets easier?  I rationalized.

So, I have good news for you.  3 is better than 2.  Maybe it's my stubborn refusal to accept anything else. Or perhaps I have willed age 3 to be better.  Fine.  So be it.  It doesn't matter how we got here.

Because at 3 and 4ish months, my son is more fun to be around.  He can be my pal when we are out and about.  He is the sweetest older brother to his little sister.  He is affectionate.  He tells hilarious jokes. He enjoys watching a show or two.  He goes to preschool a few mornings a week.  He has crushes on little girls. He dances with us to country music.  He can use words to tell me what is worrying him (i.e. lots).  He even...wait for it...plays by himself.  Maybe just for five minutes, but trust me, this is progress in our household.



Of course we still have rough days.  Of course he can still throw an Oscar-winning tantrum when it's time to go to the doctor, or he when willfully refuses a nap.  But still.  Overall, it's better.  

I've always loved my son with my whole heart.  That hasn't changed.  It's just that now, he's, well, kind of fun.  Maybe it depends on the temperament of the child which age is better, but for this kid, 3 is where it's at.

~Frantic Mama

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Frantic Mama on Mamalode

I'm honored that my favorite online parenting magazine, Mamalode, chose one of my short essays to feature on their wonderful site.

I would love it if you checked it out.  You can find it by clicking here: Sometimes I Wonder on Mamalode.


                         (Image from Mamalode.com.  It's not me.  But it would be cool if it was, right?)

Sometimes I Wonder takes a humorous look at a challenge many of us face:  raising children far away from our own families.  For me, the biggest challenge I have had raising my two young children has been doing it hundreds of miles away from my own mother and sister.  Some days, I let myself wonder what it would be like to do it together...sharing preschool pick-ups, spending afternoons at each other's houses, meeting at McDonald's for lunch, taking turns babysitting...and then I stop.  Because that isn't my reality, and I have to focus on the here and now and be grateful for all of the wonderful aspects of my life.  But in Sometimes I Wonder, I let myself go there, in a way...

Being on Mamalode makes me feel like I got invited to sit at the cool people table at school [not that I'd know].  I hope you enjoy it as well.

Thank you for your support!

~Frantic Mama

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Trader Joe's Mystique

When there was a Trader Joe's near my old apartment (back when I was sort of cool and didn't have two little monkeys pulling at my legs), I often wondered what the big deal was.  There was never any parking. The store was always packed.  And they didn't carry any of my normal brands (you know, necessities, like diet Coke, Nutrigrain bars, Honey Bunches of Oats, etc.).

Occasionally, I bought a few of those cheap bottles of wine and felt thrifty for about five minutes, but every time, the parking alone made me question if it was really worth it.

Fast forward a couple years:  I live in the suburbs.  I have two kids.  I stay at home with them pretty much All. The. Time.

A Trader Joe's opened nearby.  People have been acting like it is The Second Coming.  The frozen meals, I'm told, are what people love about it.  They are supposedly inexpensive but actually taste good; which is ideal when you need to make an easy dinner [every night].

So, I went.  Yesterday.  On Opening Day.  With very little expectations.




But, alas!  You can mix different beers in a six pack!  Yes, really!  No one ever lets you do that anymore. I Highly Recommend:  Trader Joe's Pumpkin Ale.  (Yes, yes, all things pumpkin these days; I've joined the bandwagon).

My other favorite purchase:  Almonds "drenched in dark chocolate sprinkled with seat salt and turbinado sugar."  Dangerous.

The produce was also really good too.

I didn't get anything that needed refrigerating because I was going to be out for a while.  So, readers, what should I buy next time I go?  (Because I'm beginning to grasp the Trader Joe's mystique.  And I'll be back.  Oh yes, I'll be back).*

~Frantic Mama

*Update:  The four packs of little pepperoni Bambino pizzas (frozen) are the perfect size for little kids!  They would even make cute appetizers at a grown-up party.

Can't get enough Frantic Mama?  Check out my piece on Mamalode: Sometimes I Wonder



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shameless Plug


Hello Frantic Mama Readers!

As many of you know, one of the major goals of the Frantic Mama blog is to reach other new moms and help them see they aren't alone when it comes to the, ehem...less glamorous side of motherhood.  You know, the sleepless nights, the long days, the countless dirty diapers...

One way I'm hoping to reach more people is by making it into the Top 25 Family Blogs on Circle of Moms.  So, if you have a minute, could you vote for me please?

Just click the Circle of Moms button on my blog homepage to go to the Circle of Moms site to vote, or use this link to go to the site and cast your vote (click the heart) to show your support of Frantic Mama:  http://www.circleofmoms.com/blogger/frantic-mama?blogroll_id=113.

Thank you for your support...and since I know all the new moms out there have so much extra time on their hands, you can vote every 24 hours :).

Well, I'm off to wipe another nose!

~Frantic Mama




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

T.V. Time: 7 Awesome Shows

I recently wrote a post about the t.v. series I miss.  So why not discuss the ones I currently love?  I don't really care if people say I watch too much.  It's fun!

I lean towards comedies these days because they help me unwind at the end of a long day of butt-wiping and  blood-curdling tantrums.

Here are some good ones:

1.  Modern Family:  Let me guess, you already watch it?  If you haven't, you are missing out.  Phil Dunphy is my favorite character ("shower snacks" anyone?).  But Manny can deliver great lines too ("she's a rare books librarian; I'd love to pick that brain").

2.  The Middle:  Such an underrated show.  I think the oldest son, Axl, is spot-on as a college kid/oldest brother character.  This show is surprisingly realistic and funny.

3.  How I Met your Mother:  I jumped on the bandwagon a little later than most for this show, mainly catching up when I was nursing my baby at all hours (you can find this show on t.v. just about any time of day, playing in syndication.  Go on, try me.  Turn on your tv.. I'll wait... It's on, right?).



4.  Big Bang Theory:  I alternated between this one and HIMYM (above) when feeding my baby.  Because, again, it's always on.  And it's funny.  And that's what I needed.  In fact, I still need that.

5.  Shark Tank.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  It's reality t.v.  But it's so interesting!  I love watching the various entrepreneurs from so many different fields pitch their products, and I love hearing the sharks advice even more!  I don't like it, however, when some poor soul's dreams are crushed.  That can be brutal.

Here are some bad ones [that I watch anyway]:

6.  The Bachelor/Bachelorette.  No, I'm not 22 anymore.  Yes, I'm married.  So what?  It's fuuuunnnn.



7.  Big Brother.  I know-- terrible, right?  Frantic Mama Hubby is making me admit to it right here and now.  We've been fans for years.  Don't judge!  It's a force bigger than ourselves.

What are some of your faves?  Please share!

~Frantic Mama

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blue Eyes vs. Brown Eyes: Enough Already!


My husband has blue eyes.  I have hazel eyes (light brownish-green).  Both of my kids have blue eyes.  I've never given eye color much thought, except that occasionally I notice someone's eyes and think they are especially unusual.  Unlike what I'm finding out there in the rest of the world, I happen to think all eye colors are beautiful.  A rich dark brown, to me, is just as pretty as the lightest green.  Because everyone's eyes are just a little different.  It is part of what makes us unique.

So why is it that so many people say this to me when I'm alone with my kids: "Oh, wow, look at their blue eyes.  Where did they get those?" (i.e. 'when their mommy has such plain brownish eyes?').  Uhhhh...their dad?  Do I need to draw you a punnett square?  

This weird (even if well-meaning) opinion that blue eyes are somehow superior reminds me of that 1950's experiment we all learned about in Psych 101. You know the one.  Where the teacher wants to impart the concept of group-think and an us vs. them mentality to her grade schoolers.  First she says the blue eyed children are better.  Quickly, the "brown eyes" feel dejected, and the "blue eyes" feel superior.  Then she "corrects" her previous stance, and informs them that actually the brown eyes are better, and just like that, the roles switch.  It's an experiment that would never fly in today's helicopter parenting, teacher-doesn't-know-best mentality (can you tell I used to be a teacher?), but it illustrates a striking lesson.

I know people are just trying to be nice and give a compliment to my children and me.  I think my children's eyes are beautiful too.  But I would think their eyes were beautiful if they were brown, gray, or purple for that matter.

There are similar opinions that certain body types, hair color, etc. are also "better" or "worse" than others.  I find it fascinating that in a world with such an infinite variety of looks, some are more valued than others depending on which culture you are born into.

Have you experienced similar attitudes or opinions since having children?  Please share!

~Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times

It was bound to happen, the dreaded fall cold.  My son miraculously got over his in a couple of days.  But just as we were getting into the "best of times" (i.e. preschool for my son, nice weather, new fall t.v.), my now one-year old daughter has a nasty cold.  One of those beauties featuring two steady streams of yellow fluid pouring out of her tiny nose.  (For more ramblings in the horrific nature of children's colds, see my post: The Neverending Cold).

I keep thinking things will get easier now that my son is in preschool a few mornings a week and my daughter is past the impossible, exhausting newborn stage, and yet, and yet... 

There are still days when I want to go hide in my closet (admit it: you have a hiding spot).  Because if my son isn't whining for me to play cars with him, my daughter decides she needs to spill the entire contents of the Cheerios box on the recently vacuumed floor.  Or there is another stinky diaper to change.  Or someone is hungry.  Or both of them (and I) desperately need a nap, but one is refusing.

                                                       (Image from Schoolofhardknox.com)

Last night, after getting the kids in bed, I wanted to wave the white flag of surrender.  I just simply could not picture being home with both of them all day again.  To survive another day solo with my two young kids sounded impossible.  But here it is, another day.  And I'm here.  What choice do I have?  Moms don't get sick days.  We don't get to occasionally call in and play hooky.  We show up because we live here.

Here's hoping things get just a bit easier soon (even if that simply means neither kid has green snot), moving past the worst of times, and focusing on the best of times.

~Frantic Mama

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Testing. Testing. 1-2-3: Tru Hue Makeup

I can't imagine I'm the only one out there who has never used eyebrow pencils before.  Even eyeliner is a stretch for me.  As in, maybe once or twice a year, I might, just might, try out a little neutral, dark brown eyeliner.  I just started understanding the beauty of mascara this year.  Better late than never, right?

So I was flattered/surprised when Marcella Cardinal, a successful makeup artist/businesswoman, contacted me about her new line of makeup, Tru Hue Makeup.  The main premise of Tru Hue is that in a simple 6 step process you can feel more beautiful in just a few minutes.  A good idea for mamas on the go, I think, even though there are days when making myself presentable feels pointless (do my babies care if I have lip gloss on?).  Still, I always feel better wearing some makeup (regardless of who I see), but I am sometimes bored with the idea of putting it on (if I even manage a few minutes to myself to do so).  So I decided some updates to my routine might help motivate me.

I asked to try out Tru Hue products before writing about them, of course.  After I told her my coloring, she sent me the product of which she is most proud: the Super Wear Brow Definer ($19).  Ummmm... really? I thought.  Not a simple lip gloss or bronzer?  Haven't you seen my blog's name?  I'm lucky if I put lipstick on!

But if you read Marcella's bio, you'll quickly see that she is a master make-up artist (for almost 20 years), so she clearly knows more than I do about how to make the most of one's looks.  I wasn't making any promises, but I figured, let's do this.



When I managed to wrangle both my kids in their rooms for nap [attempts], I sneaked off to the bathroom and put the eyebrow definer on (Dark Taupe for me-- I have dark hair and brows).  It feels and looks more like a little paintbrush than a crayon or pencil.

Looking closely in the mirror in the unforgiving bathroom light, I couldn't really see anything different in my eyebrow area.  Fortunately, I certainly did not see the dark brown crayon marks that I was expecting.  But when I stepped back and looked in the mirror, I thought, yes, my eyes do stand out more.  And yes, my eyebrows do look nicer filled in a bit.  And it was really, really easy (I "painted" for about 5 seconds).

My final test was to ask Frantic Mama Hubby if he noticed anything.  While we soaked our two ragamuffins in the tub later that evening, I asked him, "Do I look better, worse, or the same as usual?"  He said, "Um, I don't know if you look different, but you look good."  Ha!  Smart man.  (Looking back, I realize if he had chosen option B, he would have been in trouble).

*Bottom Line:  If you are on the lookout for a few simple makeup tips or products to add to your routine, I encourage you to check out the Tru Hue Website:  http://www.truhuemakeup.com/.  (Click Here for the Pinterest Page).  On the website, there is a cool "Quick Help" section where you answer questions and are given recommendations about which colors and products to order (I also think the "mineral lip mousse" sounds luxurious.  What a name!).  The website also has a Tutorials section where you can watch Marcella and other women use the various products.

                              (Image:  Tru Hue Creator Marcella Cardinal and her line of cosmetics)

~Frantic Mama

*Please note: I am not being paid to write this blog post!  I agreed to try her product and I really do like it and I like her (yay for female entrepreneurs!).  This is my real, honest opinion.  And I would post "before and after" photos, but I'm still attempting to be at least semi-anonymous here, so you'll have to take my word for it :).

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Monday, September 16, 2013

8 T.V. Shows I Miss (and should come back)


It's no secret that I like t.v.  I don't hide it so I can seem more intellectual.  In fact, there's no other way I like to unwind more at the end of a long day than turning on a good show and cracking open a Sam Adams.

Here are some dearly departed shows I miss, in no particular order:

1.  The Office (British AND American versions (2005-2013).  Most people have seen the American version, and on a good night, it was fantastic.  (I love Steve Carell!).  If you haven't seen the British version with Ricky Gervais, you are so lucky...because now you can order it all on Netflix and enjoy it for the very first time.  Hilarious.

2.  Freaks and Geeks (1999).  Did you ever catch this short-lived, totally underrated series?  So many of the actors are famous now (James Franco, Jason Segal, Seth Rogan) and I'm not surprised.  But it only lasted ONE season. Criminal.

                                                              Ricky Gervais:  The Office

3.  Bobby's World (1990-1998).  I vaguely remember this cute little cartoon created by Howie Mandel.  I watched it way longer than their target audience.

4.  Sex and the City (1998-2004).  I don't care if the women are getting older.  I hate it when people say that.  They're still awesome!

5.  Jack & Jill (1999-2001).  This one is so random, but I remember watching it a lot my freshman and sophomore year of college.  So cute.  Lots of now-famous people in it, like Amanda Peet.  And the theme song, Romeo's Lament, is great.

6.  Arrested Development (2003-2013?).  I feel like I missed out on this show.  I watched some episodes online recently and loved it.  Actually now that I think about it, I heard it is coming back?

7.  My So-Called Life (1994-1995).  Ok, yes, she'd be in her late 20's or 30's by now.  That'd be perfect.  Maybe she would even have a baby and be married to Jordan Catalano!

8.  Felicity (1998-2002).  Noel or Ben?  I'd be thrilled to find out what's going on in 2013.

What small-screen gems am I missing?

*Frantic Mama Hubby thinks Seinfield should make this list.  And I agree that it WAS hilarious.  Loved it.  BUT, I'm not convinced it would be funny if it started up again...then again, I'd of course watch if it were on. And should Friends be on this list?  I think it's run it's course, but maybe not?

~Frantic Mama

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Junior Monet Review (Personalized Keepsakes)

My 3 year old son likes to color and paint (hooray hooray!) so when Junior Monet asked me to try out their product and review it on my blog, I thought it would be a good fit for my blog and fun for my son.

What is it?:  Junior Monet (www.JuniorMonet.com) uses your child’s art to decorate personalized items such as cards, journals, calendars, canvas, stickers, magnets, and posters.  Debbie Lewis, one of the founders (Please note I'm 3 for 3 for featuring female-powered businesses.  Booyah!), wanted to see art celebrated in a more fun and permanent way than to just pin it to the refrigerator.  

How it works:  First you print out a form from the Junior Monet website using regular computer paper and have your child color on it.  Send the art in the mail to the company.  In a week or two, they send you an e-mail with the link to your image.  In their online store, you can choose to have your child's artwork put on just about any object you can think of (the obligatory coffee mug, yes, but also aprons, stamps, laptop sleeve covers, and much more).


What item did I choose?:  I chose a simple tote bag (Budget Tote; $10.95) that features my son's artwork inside a big red truck with his name on it.  I like things I can actually use (I do not need more stuff in my house).  A cute tote that he can carry to preschool or swimming, etc., will be useful.  Including shipping, it was under $20.


                                                              Red Truck Tote (not my son's artwork)

My son's reaction:  Not great.  He gave the tote a cursory glance and went back to watching the Wiggles on my phone.  It had been so long since he had created the art that he didn't really remember it when he saw it on the tote.  Keep in mind that he's only 3.  I think an older kid might think it was really cool, especially if they had worked hard on the art itself. 

My Reaction and overall takeaway:  A great idea, especially for kids older than 3.  Some of the products are very cheap (under $5), but you do have to pay shipping.  The overall process (printing the paper, getting your little jumping bean to sit and color, mailing it, waiting for the email, and then placing the order and waiting for the product) takes a while, so it is not something to undertake for a birthday or occasion one week away.  The artwork on the canvas looks less vivid than it did on paper, so be sure to use bright, vibrant markers on the art paper.

Website:  www.JuniorMonet.com.  Coupon Codes: http://www.juniormonet.com/coupons.html

Let me know if you have tried Junior Monet or plan to try it.  Was it worth it?  Did the recipient love it?

~Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On The Eve of Preschool


*I wrote this the night before my son started preschool.

In some ways, I've waited for 3 years for this week.  Bringing home my son (my first baby) from the hospital after he was born in 2010 surprised me in so many ways that I could never have predicted.  Especially just how hard Motherhood was going to be.

So, after years of being with my son almost around the clock, save the occasional babysitter or once-a-year weekend away, my son and I have been attached to each other's daily lives for over 3 years.  3 years.

With all the challenges and exhaustion that come from staying home with babies and toddlers, I thought I would be completely excited for him to start going to school.  After all, it's only 2 and a half hours long, just a few days a week.  But-- and this is what surprises me-- I'm also nervous.  How will he do?  Is he going to cry really hard, pulling on my leg, as I struggle out the classroom door holding my daughter (because yes, I have a toddler too; it's not as if I'll be alone for 2 and a half luxurious hours)?  Will the teachers like him?  Will they see his true personality and appreciate his sense of humor?  Will he be nice to other kids?  Will they be nice to him?  Is this the right choice for him?

Sounds familiar, right?  Like the night before you started school yourself?  And that's what it feels like this time around.  I'm excited for his new chapter, just as I would have been embark on my own new start (high school, college, new job, etc.) but I'm also nervous about all the unknowns.  He is my heart, and I so want this to be a happy experience for all of us, and especially for him.

~Frantic Mama

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Open Letter of Apology [to all parents who had kids before I did]


You know how before you had kids, you used to think your friends/siblings/co-workers with kids were a little crazy?  You and your spouse would look at each other and under your breath say, "we'll never to that" [whatever that might be].  Oh, how wrong I was.

Here are a few [obnoxious/clueless] thoughts I had pre-baby, that I'd now like to openly apologize for:

1.  Why on earth do they plan their whole day around their children's naps?  Can't the kids just sleep in the car?  (No, they can't 'just sleep in the car' if you want them rested and happy and somewhat enjoyable to be with.  And they plan their days around naps because that is their only salvation!) (For more on the fleeting beauty of naptime, read: Naptime Revisited )

2.  We'll always manage to go out and have fun, even when we have kids.
(Um, unless you have a babysitter (i.e. grandparent) who is willing to give up any of their free time, sadly you will not get to go out and "have fun" whenever you want.  You will need to find, interview, and pay a babysitter, and organize a "date night" (shovel list*) on one of those huge family calendars you never thought you'd buy).

3.  I'll be sure to dress well even if I stay home with kids.  (Excuse me for a sec, just have to stop laughing at myself, as I sit here in my old Adidas shorts from college with a t-shirt I got on sale at Target...ahhhh, ok, I'm back).  (For more on my awesome new mom look (ha!) check out my post: What Not to Wear).

4.  So, if you quit your job to stay home with your kids, you just hang out, watch t.v, take them out to lunch, have lots of playdates, etc?  That'll be a walk in the park compared to teaching [or whatever job you might have] full-time.  (It may be somewhat less stressful than the demands of a full-time career outside the home, but being a SAHM is certainly not easier or less exhausting).

5.  Why don't they ever come out anymore?  I miss her! (Trust me, she misses you even more).

6.  They can't come to our wedding because they have kid(s)?  Really?!  I'm so disappointed!  (Yes, it is disappointing when some of your favorite people can't make it to your wedding, but once you have little babies/kids, you realize why it is so hard to travel with little ones (and if it's a no-kid wedding, what are you supposed to do with your children while there anyway?).  Inability to go to a wedding certainly does not mean they don't care or value your friendship).

7.  What's with all this "picky eater" b.s.?  They should eat whatever's on their plate.  We'll never cater to our kids! (Ah, the sticky smell of ignorance.  You can be oh-so-smug until you experience the joys of a picky eater for yourself.  Because guess what?  If you have a picky eater and don't occasionally make chicken nuggets?  Your kid just might not eat anything but Goldfish that day (and yes, you'll probably buy those too.  Don't judge).

8.  Did you see how many toys they have?  No one needs that many in their house!  Hahahaha.  The innocence of youth.

9.  Oh, come on, potty training can't be that bad.  (My 3 year old went through a stage when the only place he'd pee outside of a diaper was in our shower.  Enough said).

10.  Did you see how much Jack and Diane bicker?  We'll never be that couple.  I might love my husband even more now that we have children, but it is a lot harder to be romantic all the time when you haven't slept more than a couple hours for a few nights and your last meal out was McDonald's.

What am I forgetting?  What did you once mumble smugly about parenthood before creating your own glorious brood?

P.S.  *This post was featured on Mamalode.  Check it out here!

~Julia @ Frantic Mama


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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Frantic Mama Nominated for Liebster Award?!


Thanks to Mamamusing (www.wijnker.blogspot.comfor nominating my humble little blog, Frantic Mama, for the Liebster Award, which recognizes newer bloggers with less than 200 followers.  




I need to nominate 10 blogs to continue the tradition.  Here are some of my favorites (with under 200 followers on Bloglovin' or elsewhere) that I highly recommend checking out:*


Shakespeare's Mom
This Mom Said It
Faking Picture Perfect
My Toddler Rules...That's Official
The Campbell's (http://ourcampbellsoup.blogspot.com)
Please Sleep In
Mooshkatoo
Hip to Be Mom (Hip2bmom.com)
I Got This Martha
Wonderfully Unkempt

*If any of you have more than 200 followers that I didn't see because I use Bloglovin', my bad!  Please take this post as a compliment to your fantastic blog.  Or, if you already have a Liebster that I missed, well, twice the compliment to you!  And if this is all too overwhelming, no biggie.  Just keep up the great blogging, Mamas!  :).


The following rules apply to those who have been nominated:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back up to his/her blog.
  2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for the award who have less than 200 followers.
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Here are the questions Mamamusing asked her 10 nominees with my answers in italics:

1. Are you willing to admit you sing in the shower and if so, what song do you sing most?
Yes, of course!  Mostly old R.E.M. songs.  Child of the 90's and all...

2. You get to become a villain for a day from a Disney movie. Which villain are you?
Professor Z in Cars 2 (is Pixar related to Disney?  Isn't everything?)

3. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I have so many embarrassing moments that keep me up at night...hmmmm... which to share, which to share...Probably the time I had to run out of a college class to puke from a hangover.  

4. If your friends could describe you in one word, what would it be?

Loyal (I hope).

5. Name a place you have traveled to that MOST surprised you.

Bermuda.  They really do wear Bermuda shorts.

6. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

That kids can't get cancer.  Make that anyone.

7. How has the Internet changed your view of other cultures and people?

I have met so many interesting people through my blog and social network.  I'm not sure it's changed my views, b/c I've always been openminded, but it is definitely fun to learn about moms across the world.  

8. What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten, and why?

In Minnesota, there is a fascination with eating things on a stick at the State Fair.  So I suppose a pickle on a stick (wait that sounds a little dirty...).

9. What is the most important thing you read online this week?  Include a link please!

That assumes I read anything important.  Okay, I do read blogs when I can, so I'll say Mamamusing for the compliment of nominating me!

10. What children’s book describes the meaning of life best in your eyes?

Guess How Much I Love You.


Now, here are 10 Questions for my Lovely Nominees:

1.  What's your favorite t.v. show or movie?

2.  What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

3.  If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

4.  What's your trick for getting through one of those days when you feel like you might just lose it?

5.  Are you a cat person or a dog person?

6.  If you could have (for free): a personal chef, full-time cleaning person, or a private chauffer, which would you choose and why?

7.  Where is your dream vacation going to be (someday!!)?

8.  Coffee or tea (or neither?!)?

9.  What is your must-have beauty product?

10.  What is the cutest thing your kid(s) has ever said to you?

If you answer these, please comment on this post so I can check out your thoughts!  Enjoy the weekend :).

~Frantic Mama

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