Gift Giving Rules

You know the parents that I love the most? The ones who give their 2nd graders iPads. I mean I really love them. I love them so much that I think they should buy everyone in the class iPads. Wouldn’t that be even more awesome?


Eloise asked us for an iPod Touch last Christmas because(and feel free to use air quote here) “Everybody else is getting one!” And I said “no” and held firm. Then I get all 1966 on her and told her that I gave her the greatest gift of all – SISTERS! “Go play with your sisters!” I also gave her another amazing gift – A BACKYARD! “Go play outside!


Then the sisters head to the backyard to play so I can have the iPad all to myself!


Ironically, just last week Eloise asked for an eReader for her 10th birthday which is coming up soon. I say this is ironic as I just wrote a post for The Powder Room about the New Gift Giving Rules to basically redefine rules for all of us parents so we can feel less pressure to make sure our kids have the ‘latest and greatest gadgets.’ Can’t our kids can be happy when we just give them a candy stick and a pair of red knit mittens for Christmas? (Puts on bonnet and churns butter…)


So I thought I would educate myself on eReaders just in case Eloise wore me down by December, so I asked Facebook – Kindle, Nook or iPad? The vote was about 33/33/33 which was NOT helpful at all – so now I’m even more confused and think that I might just buy her 10 BOOKS to relieve my stress over this technology stuff.


What do you think about the expensive gift requests of this generation? I would love for you to come visit me In The Powder Room and leave a comment with your thoughts.
I Rock the Powder Room


Thank you!(comments closed here)


Isn’t it about time you like SellabitMum on Facebook!


Dance and Pain

Happy Friday everyone. Today is our last dance performance and also the last day of school.  This week has been brutal and I am so glad it’s nearly over so I can sleep for like four days straight. I get to do that, right?


I the meantime I’m honored to guest post today over at Erin Margolin’s place.  I met Erin last year at Blissdom, and truth be told, am awestruck my her. She’s a brilliant writer, one of the kindest people I have ever met, also the mom of three stunning and smart little girls, and Erin herself is truly just gorgeous.  (I have a serious crush on her and if she lived closer I would make her my sister wife).  Erin is doing a series on her blog about our “writer’s roots” and she asked me to write about how I became a writer.


I would love for you to join me over there today. (Comments are closed here) Warning though – it’s a serious post from me today.


So to balance the serious and continue our dance moms recital week – I’ve copied and pasted a post below that a wrote three years ago after our dance recitals…


Dear Psycho Dance Mom,


I am writing this letter to apologize for laughing hysterically in your face when you yelled at me in the dressing room of our daughter’s dance recital.

First it was your passive aggressive comments, and then your blatant bitchy yelling that got me. Really, I am sorry for laughing back at you.

At the time it was really all I could do.

Sure, I could’ve jumped on you all “8 month pregnant hormonal lady crazy” and taken your ass down and beaten you up and made you my bitch.

But no.

I just laughed. Because it was quite humorous.

Really, weren’t we all just in the same boat? Trying to get our hundreds of girls dressed and ready for the big recital. Aren’t we doing this because they are just so darn cute and so they can have some fun at the age of FOUR! Isn’t it really just for the kids to have fun? We are just pawns in this silly recital, child make-up game? Right? Why take it so seriously.

Now, I do realize that I laid my purse AND god forbid sat my daughter down exactly 5 inches from “YOUR” chair – and somehow this impeded on your day so much that you chose to get the vapors and yell at us.

But you know, after 3 days of listening to you yell at your precious FOUR YEAR OLDS about how they were doing nothing right, I actually appreciated you yelling at me and NOT THEM for once…and it kind of made me smile.


We all just try to do the best by our children – even when they are wearing blue eyeshadow. I understand that this whole four nights of dance craziness evidently stresses you out beyond repair. I feel your pain.

I promise not to laugh at you next year. I will bring the vodka.


You Know You Are A Parent Of A Toddler When

I find that most of my friends in my age group have moved well past the toddler years and instead find themselves attending more graduation parties than playgroups. While my girlfriends are buying gorgeous new accessories and handbags that don’t have to be toddler proof, I find my typical accessory is still simply my toddler either balancing on my hip or hiding behind my right leg. (But at least we match)

It’s a rare occasion that I find myself out without kids so I try to act like the mature adult that I believe I still am. Until I realize that there are some tell-tale signs, no matter how hard I try, to tell that I am still a parent of a toddler when I’m out in public.

1. Upon entering a home and invited to sit down, I immediately sit on the floor instead of on a comfortable chair.
2. I speak to other adults in the third person “Tracy would like another glass of wine now.”
3. I use the word “potty” instead of “bathroom” when I excuse myself to go.
4. I find myself cutting my food(and maybe your food) into tiny pieces before I start eating.
5. I have a gut reaction and find myself blurting out “NO!” to every question asked.
6. If you are a guest in my home I will occasionally pour your coffee into a sippee cup.
7. I will randomly praise my adult friends for doing a good job. “Great job Sandy on clearing your own plate!”
8. I find myself fastening your seat belt when we get in my minivan(yes, minivan).
9.  When we go shopping and my adult friends pick-up something breakable I immediately snatch it out of their hands while yelling “Don’t touch that!”
10.  Instead of talking about interesting articles I’ve read lately at the Huffington Post or Wall Street Journal, I will ask if anyone has seen the Yo Gabba Gabba episode starring Anthony Bourdain or if they caught Katy Perry on Sesame Street.

Are you a parent of a toddler? What gives you away in adult only social situations?  Maybe I just need to get out more.


In other news I am guesting posting at Debi’s place today – The Truth About Motherhood.  I got to know Debi last Summer when I bought her BlogHer ticket. We’ve been friends every since. She’s an amazing lady and I love her dearly and would love for you to visit me there.



I had to laugh this week when I posted about kissing the boys at church camp and my mom left a comment saying that I was ‘grounded’ – which is truthfully turning out to be kind of a bummer. See, we only had a one story house growing up when I’d be grounded so sneaking out of my bedroom window was really no big deal. But now I live in a 2-story house and I’ll be damned if it isn’t a pain the ass to jump down from my bedroom ladder each time I want to leave the house AND figure out how to sneak three kids out with me.


I promise not to ever kiss a 10 year old boy again mom.


So I decided the only way to get back at my mom was to post this picture of her from 1976.(Payback for the haircut you gave me...)

Yo Disco Queen. Do The Hustle…  I’m not exactly sure what a 4’11” Catholic white girl from Duluth was doing with a ‘fro – but the pointed pink collared shirt kind of made it work.  Kind of.


I also tried to find a few pictures just of my mom and me.  This was the only one I could find.  Although I’m not sure if that is me or if my mom was actually on the set of Family with Kristy McNichol.


OMG I’m a lesbian. I’m so happy.


I also found this picture of the three of us. I’m assuming that they had my mom sitting on phone books for this picture because I’m pretty sure we were both taller than she was by the time we were 10.   I call this picture “Dorothy Hamill and Her Offspring” for obvious reasons.


I often wonder if moms in the 1970’s worried about doing this parenting thing all wrong.  I doubt it.  I think they had their own lives and identities(besides that of ‘mom’) and just made sure we were loved, clean, fed, housed, safe, nice, educated and well-mannered and just let the rest fall into place.  I remember my mom taking us on a few trips and on a few visits to the zoo and of course forcing us to sit through church.  I remember my mom trying to show me how to do a cartwheel and throwing me in the pool and yelling ‘now swim!’ and lacing up my skates when it was 20 below zero.   But she never took me to an organized music class or story-time and never set-up a play-date with anyone.  Instead she played The Carpenters, Helen Reddy and Beatles 78s while we cleaned the house all together, she read The Saggy Baggy Elephant Golden Books to me, and would open up the front door and yell ‘now go out and play!’


I read so many stories of motherhood now with all of us wondering if we are ‘doing it right’ and agonizing over decisions that seem so big at the time while you know in a few years you will look back and think ‘my god that was such a small blip.’ I know we don’t get there without experience so I’m glad I’m finally learning.  I’m not the same mom I was four years ago when I agonized over Eloise’s kindergarten and I dare say I’m embarrassed of that mother now.


My mother was not a perfect mother. None are. She didn’t agonize over our school choices(but she expected good grades), we didn’t take extra lessons of any kind, she wasn’t a big reader, and I’m sorry but my mother could not bake an edible chocolate chip cookie if her life depended on it.  She didn’t volunteer at our school – and I never asked her to, she worked full-time, but she was the first to volunteer as our Brownie leader when no other parents would and I’ll be damned if our Brownie troop didn’t earn about 48 badges that year.


But she taught her children to be fiercely independent, to live an earnest and honest life, to work hard, to live by the Golden Rule, to fight for what you believe in, to always be there, and to laugh.  She is still my biggest cheerleader and the first to give me a kick in the ass when I need one.  My mom is one of the funniest people that I know. She’s sarcastic, witty and self-deprecating. She’s the first to lighten the mood, and every day that we talk on the phone the woman cracks me up.


My mom is my heavy – all 4’11” of her – she will kick your ass like nobody’s business and then immediately afterwards tell you a story that will make you pee your pants.


My mom is a social worker. I think people who choose this type of career are some of the best of the bunch.  They are the ones who are always helping someone else, they are the best listeners, and they open their hearts up daily to other people’s pain.



I don’t want my kids to think I’m perfect. I want them to know that I’m human and I struggle, but I also want them to remember that I laughed a lot.  I want them to know that I make mistakes and bad decisions, but I want them to know that I took risks and chances.  I want my kids to know that I was/am there for them, but I want them to know that standing on their own two feet is even more important.  I want my kids to be happy.  Isn’t that really what we all want for everyone.


I see that now as an adult daughter – that no matter the love, the fights, the jokes, the groundings that my mother gave me during the past 43 years  – in the end she really just wants me to be happy. And I see she hurts when she thinks that her kids aren’t. I get that now. And as a mom, boy is it hard to watch your kids hurt.  But sometimes that is all you can do.


Sometimes I think about how much I hurt my mom 25 years ago. I was defiant and angry. I starved myself into even more unhappiness and eventually I just left home.


My mother is a forgiving type though and within a few short years we became close again. But it wasn’t until I became a mother that I really understood what my mother wanted for me. It wasn’t to control me or guide me or judge me or protect me – it was simply for me just to be happy.


As my daughters now approach their preteen years I need them to know that I just want them to be happy. And to laugh more.   I keep my blog lighthearted because one day I want my kids to know that laughter and humor have always been important to me – and it’s a legacy passed down from a long-line of funny women. Nobody had a laugh like my grandmother.   So I’m sharing the heavy on Just Be Enough today. It’s a story I’ve never told except for a small excerpt on my blog last year.   But maybe one day my kids will read this and realize how much they have really saved my life.  Motherhood changed my life forever. And that’s no joke. I would love if you would visit me there today.


And Mom – Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you know how much you mean to me…even when I make fun of your white tennis shoes.  I promise to bake a batch of cookies when we come visit in July.  Oh, and am I happy? I think so.  xo



Wordless Wednesday – Mystery Edition…What is missing from these photos..

..can you be the first to figure out what went missing this week?




Speaking of my favorite child…this week. I am guest posting at Alison’s place today.  She is having her 2nd baby soon and asked me to reassure her how awesome it’s going to be to bring another baby into their home.


I’m not sure I did a great job. Maybe I scared her a little(insert evil laugh)..also I hope she gets an ‘Esther baby’ for her 2nd as this child didn’t fuss. ever.


So pop over and visit me there. I may have used the ‘f’ word though if your eyes are sensitive.


Also – there is one more day for our HUGE giveaway for a timi & leslie Annette bag over at Pin Savvy Social…so go pin and enter! NOW!


Linking up to Wordful Wednesday with the gorgeous Dumb Mom.



What Happened to MY FACE!

It’s my birthday tomorrow. I’m giving you notice so you can skip work and/or housewife type duties today and go buy me a present stat.


You’re welcome.


In honor of my birthday, I am also guest posting at my dear and gorgeous friend’s Cheryl’s place today.

(Aren’t we cute together)

I talk about how awesome it is turning “not in my 30’s” and how my “friends in their 30’s” better enjoy their youthful faces now and how also men in their 70’s now consider me a trophy wife. True story. Ask Molly. Or my friend Rachel(who doesn’t have a blog- seriously there are people without blogs..pray for them.)


Anyway – I would love a visit over to Cheryl’s place and a comment and some love and a latte(non-fat of course) and dark chocolate and a neck massage oh and only 18 more shopping hours until my birthday so scoot and buy me something sparkly.






The Friends We Keep

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. – Oprah Winfrey

Today I am guest posting over at Friends You Love.


When Kristin asked me to guest post I had to ask her four times if she really meant me? Why me? Really me? Because I wonder if I am really a good friend.  It’s one of the areas in my life that I question – Do I really do enough? Am I really there for my friends?

Because as you know – as mothers of young children – life gets busy – between work and parenting and your significant other and the vacuuming and grocery shopping and then after school activities..well and twitter, ….what comes last is you. And part of you is that critical time you spend with your girlfriends.


I know I don’t see mine quite enough.


But one thing I know is that they understand because they are living that same life and usually apologize to me in the same sentence that I am apologizing to them.


Because even if we only make time twice a year…we are still dear friends. We are still there for each other.


And this I know – because these are the type of friends we keep. Forever.


Which is what I wrote about today at Friends You Love – which is a website put together by some amazing women and bloggers to celebrate friendships and about building friendships and making our existing friendships stronger.


I would love for you to visit me there, dear friends.



A Summer of Love…

We just spent the last hour sharpening 72 pencils. School starts in exactly one week. Wouldn’t it be cool if they could just sharpen their damn pencils at school.  A fun getting to know you game? Anyway, I have a lot to vacuum here. It keeps me busy.


Also, I have not picked out their first day of school outfits. This is stressing me out. Okay I am stressed out about Esther – I want her to look cute but I know she will want to be casual and fit in at her new school. Eloise will wear…wait for it….jean shorts and a graphic tee or tank. I know – branching out.

I am also SUPER stressed out that they currently do not have backpacks. I ordered backpacks from Lands End and was SOOO excited to receive them – and when we did – they were so uber small. Seriously. We ordered the LARGE size and you could barely fit a few books in there. Here in Minnesota you also need to fit in snow pants and a change of shoes so I had to deal with the hassle to send them back for a refund AND find new backpacks in record time. Fingers crossed that they arrive in time.


How can school be here now and I can be so damn unorganized? It’s overwhelming for some silly reason. Also, who is going to play with Astrid once her big sisters are gone? Volunteers?


In the meantime I am relishing the nice Summer we had. Really – I think this was my favorite Summer in a long time.   I wrote about it today and am guest posting at Gigi’s Place. Come on over and show some love.  And maybe loan us a backpack or two and a free babysitter.



Proud Mommy Moment…

I find myself caught some days in that space of being needed every single moment of every single day by these small people I live with – and the thought that pretty soon they will mainly only need me for my money, or lack there of.


And I will say to them “but dears – it’s my wisdom you wisdom I want to share with you.”


And they will be like “um, wisdom doesn’t buy us movie passes or popcorn but $20 does.”


And then they will leave me there at home. I will watch reality T.V. and with my cats.


After I do my happy dance.


Today you will find me sharing a Proud Mommy Moment over at Kir’s place.


Kir is one of those women that you meet in this amazing land and you wish you were neighbors so she could make sure you never ran out of sugar.  I love her to pieces.  Mainly because she also like shoes.


So please visit me there and leave some love.



I am wearing pants today..

Which is actually really strange. As many of you know, I cannot stand pants. Pants are for 25 year olds and five year olds. Actually I like dresses on five year olds. Well, five year old girls of course.

Not that I just hang out in my underwear. If I am wearing underwear today. I like skirts and dresses. It’s like I am super religious but love wine. For the win.

Anyway, I was honored when the gorgeous Cheryl at Mommypants asked me to write a guest post for her blog about a Mommypants moment of my own.  Cheryl is such an amazing writer. Her blog is beautiful, poignant and full of humor and love.

A little of what her lovely blog is about:

I like to think of my blog as a place where we can share our stories – the good, the bad, and the really, really poopy. It’s about the sometimes stinky, frequently joyous, occasionally heartbreaking, often hilarious but always REAL moments of parenting. Because WE wear the Mommypants.

I hope to meet her someday so we can share a long run and a bottle a wine. Maybe at the same time.

I would love for you to visit me over at Cheryl’s place today. I’ve written about letting my kids go. Not that they are running away or getting an apartment or anything…just that sweet time in their lives where they start spending more time with friends and less time with the woman who gave them birth. Or something like that to make them feel really guilty.

Thank you for the love.