Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Home Inventions: Frantic Mama-style

Do you have inventions around your house that you created since having children?  A tool, you might call it, or a problem-solving gadget?

Here's ours.  We call it, simply, "The Tool:"

Yep.  That's it:  Wooden Train Tracks + Duct Tape = The Tool.

It measures about 4 feet long and is flat enough to fit in tight spots.

As with most inventions, The Tool was borne out of frustration with losing small, precious Hot Wheels and other sundries under our heavy coffee table and couch.  My son would be happily ensconced in a rapid-fire round of "sending," when one of his cars would get stuck under the table.  BHA!!!  Cue the frustrated yells and cries.

If I was right next to him (as I usually am), I would push the table aside so we could grab the car and resume playtime.  Even though I'm not too ancient, all that pushing and pulling was taking its toll on my back.  Same with my husband's.  My son certainly wasn't strong enough.  And so the glorious tool was created.

Credit where credit is due: The Tool is the brainchild of FranticMamaHubby.  I may have laughed at the time of initial creation, but I think the fact it still exists-- and is useful-- 2 years later speaks for itself.

The Tool:  It reaches places you can't.  TM.  (Just kidding.).

What have you "invented" around the house?  Should we take them all to Shark Tank?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

Let's Connect:  I'm on Facebook, Pinterest, & Twitter.

You can purchase Clash of the Couples on Amazon and Apple!  It makes a perfect holiday gift for anyone ever with a sense of humor.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Frantic Mama's 5 Friday Faves: Winter Edition

What's that?  Winter hasn't officially started yet?  Tell that to Minnesota.  Where we live, it's been winter since November 10th, when the first several inches of snow filled our yards, driveways, and streets.

Despite the cold, there are things I like about winter.  Here are five things to help you enjoy it too!

Here are five of my favorite things:

Tarte Cheek Stain.  Perfect to perk up a pale reflection this winter.  You just dab this sheer color on your cheekbones and rub it in with your fingers.  You look a million times better in seconds.  Expensive, but it lasts forever.  (Similar to Nars The Multiple, which I also love).

Clash of the Couples: A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers' Squabbles and Relationship Spats (of course!):  I can't miss an opportunity to promote this book [and not just because I'm in it].  I think many of the essays in this anthology are laugh-out-loud funny, and everyone with a sense of humor should read it.  Especially those Smug Marrieds Bridget Jones was always talking about.

San Francisco Bay French Roast K-Cups:  This coffee (available to order online) will keep you warm and toasty.  My brother gave me a huge box of these for my birthday (he asked me what I wanted, and I said something along the lines of "one of the only things I really like is coffee.")  These are biodegradable (they come from San Francisco after all) and they are SO good.

Educational Insights The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game  This cute, well-made game is perfect for young kids just learning how board games work.  I actually enjoy playing it with my son (age 4), so it will come in handy for long hours spent indoors over the next few months.

90 Day Fiance on TLC:  You cannot understand the true meaning of 'guilty pleasure' until you watch this show. O.M.G. doesn't even cover it.  My husband (poor guy) and I cannot keep our mouths from dropping open every other minute while watching.  I tell everyone I see about it even though it makes me look pretty dumb.  The show is ridiculous yet endearing and completely addictive (perfect for winter nights!).

I want to hear from you!  What are you loving this winter?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hooray for 4 Year Olds!

There's the God-forsaken, sleep-deprived newborn stage, followed by the blood-curdling teething stage, which leads to much-feared Terrible Twos, topped off with what is now often considered the hardest stage of all-- the Terrible Threes.  Dear Lord, we wonder at each age, when does it get easier?!

Many naysayers with older children love to answer a new mother's despairing when does it get easier pleas with a downtrodden, "it never gets easier.  Just different."  As a mother of a 4 year-old kid, I'm calling B.S. on that!

Of course it is never easy to have children.  Nothing totally awesome and worth it in life is easy.  Marriage.  Career.  Artistic endeavors.  Whatever you devote yourself to is going to be hard.  Being a mother is no different.  However, that doesn't mean things can't get just a teeny weeny bit more bearable easier.  While there is beauty and joy at each age-- no matter how challenging-- here are 5 reasons why four is a GREAT age.

1.  Cold Medicine.  You know how there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do for your 1 year-old's nasty green snot or your 2 year-old's hacking cough?  Sure, sure you can "buy a humidifier" and "use a nasal aspirator."  Oh, and have you heard?  "Honey is the best cure for a cough."  To heck with that!  None of it works.  But finally, at age 4, you can buy effective, legitimate cold medicine guilt-free because-- get ready-- it is for ages FOUR and up!

2.  Errands.  You know how getting babies and toddlers in the car to go on an errand can take longer than the errand itself?  How you are already in a sweat by the time you arrive at the big box store (to spend all of your money on diapers, baby food, and coffee)?  When your kid is four, it doesn't [always] suck anymore to get them ready!  They might even throw you a bone and put on their own shoes and socks, and get in their car seats by themselves.  Praise. The. Lord.

3.  Preschool.  It's so sad to say goodbye for 2.5 hours, three mornings a week.  NOT.  It's freaking awesome, and it's your right as a parent of a 4 year-old to give both of you the gift of preschool.

4.  Bathroom Time.  Potty training is pretty much wrapped up at 4.  Sure, treats and rewards are still bartered (let's own that one, folks), but now you can let the days of gigantic diaper bags and poop all over your hands slowly fade into the deep dark recesses of your consciousness.

5.  T.V.  There's a new kid in town I want you to meet, and his name is Nick Jr.  We've been warned to never show t.v. of any kind ever to kids under age 2 (God help us!), and your 3 year-old will only sit in the same spot for 30 seconds anyway.  But when they're 4?  Meet Nick Jr., featuring adorable shows your 4 year-old will actually sit and watch.  With Nick Jr. on your side, you, my friend, will occasionally be able to check your email in piece, fold the laundry, or....wait for it...take a shower without a baby screaming at you the entire time.

(Something tells me this image was created by a mom of a 4 year old.  Just look how happy they are!)

Conclusion:  Parenthood will never be a piece of cake, which is all well and good, but it really does get easier and more enjoyable-- not just "different."  So BOOYAH!  Bring it on, four!
~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Did I mention that Clash of the Couples is available on Amazon, Apple, and more?  Get your copy today and get ready to laugh with 40+ brave, hilarious writers.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clash of the Couples Deal for November 13th!

Still haven't ordered your copy of the hilarious anthology Clash of the Couples?  You are in luck!  Today, and only today, November 13, 2014, the Kindle version is available on Amazon for 99 cents!
Check it out right here.

If you read it, please share your thoughts with me.  I'd love to hear about your favorite essay(s) (even if it isn't my own!).

Thank you for supporting Frantic Mama!

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

Find me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Differences Between TV Moms and Real Moms

*This post was featured on Felicity Huffman's site, What the Flicka.  Check it out here!

Family shows abound across the networks.  Modern Family.  The Middle.  Parenthood.  The Goldbergs.  The Millers.

It's clear networks want these shows to be realistic, and they attempt to base the characters in a more entertaining version of reality.  But how real are these shows?  Let's take a look at the moms, in particular.  Many of them are funny, sure.  But realistic?  I'm not buying it.

                                                            (Image from

The Differences Between T.V. Moms and The Rest of Us:

The HAIR.  Why must t.v. moms always have Perfect Hair?  For decades, even the women with young children (think back to the Claire Huxtable, or more recently Christina Applegate's character on the defunct Up All Night) donned perfect styles.  Now, Claire, on Modern Family, who might be the most relatable t.v. mom, flaunts freshly dyed curls, taunting us every Wednesday night.  Don't betray us like that, Claire!

Where is the baby?  On Modern Family, Gloria had a baby a couple of seasons ago.  Forhensio, I believe.  Where is he?  When the rest of us have newborns, they quickly become attached to our various body parts, and yet the newborns birthed on t.v. are rarely seen.  When they are finally presented, they are massive.  Little Forhensio will likely be a toddler in the next episode.

Absence of Dark Circles:  See above.  No newborn in sight.  No visible dark, puffy eyes.  Come on, make-up team, let's show the world what mothers really look like when there are young children in the house keeping us up all night.

The Perfect House.  Another burning question regularly occurs to me as I sprawl out on the couch at night, watching the television families:  do t.v. writers not understand that homes with kids DO NOT LOOK like that?  Do children not exist in Hollywood?  Where are the masses of plastic toys, piles of dirty laundry, and fluorescent orange Goldfish crumbs?

The Clothing:  At long last, the most pressing question of all:  Where are the yoga pants, t.v. moms?  Where. Are. They.

What other differences do you see on t.v. versus reality?

Julia Arnold @ Frantic Mama

P.S.  Clash of the Couples, a hilarious anthology I contributed to, is all about ridiculous couple fights, and it is officially AVAILABLE on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Clash of the Couples is HERE!

As of today, November 3rd, 2014, the humor anthology, Clash of the Couples: A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers' Squabbles and Relationship Spats, is available.  My essay, Don't Spill the Beer, Dear, which relives a completely absurd argument we had when my daughter was a newborn, is in there, as well as many other true stories by awesome writers that will make you laugh (and happy it wasn't your fight).

(The Modern-Day Adam & Eve cover.)

You can find Clash of the Couples on the following sites as an ebook and as a paperback:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Apple.

*Goodreads is an online community I recently joined.  The site is for anyone who loves to read.  You can follow your favorite authors, take part in Q&A with them, and track the books you have read and want to read.  You can now find me on there too (as Julia Arnold).

P.S.  I also have a piece about my son up on Mamalode starting today.  Check it out here if you have a minute!

Thank you to all of my readers for your support!  

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

Connect with me:  Facebook, Pinterest, & Twitter.