Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hand-me-down memories.

There are clothes the kids love that are not things I've picked out for them. At least, not this year (or last). Maybe it's a pair of overalls from three years ago when my oldest was still happy to have me put her hair in pig tails. They prefer pants torn at the pockets from three girls who all stuff their pockets to bursting with untold treasures snatched from the grass, the toy chest, my bedside table.


That's the start of my short essay for this week's Trifecta writing challenge. The inspiration word is "wretched." Click below to read the rest and then go visit Trifecta to see other submissions, maybe even submit your own. You can do it.



While you're feeling clicky, visit Kelley's Breakroom and Anna at My Life and Kids for a Finding the Funny link-up. I was in the top five most clicked links last week, thanks to you happy clickers. See if I make it this week with my Murphy's Mom's Law post from December.


Last click, to vote for Ninja Mom Blog at Top Mommy Blogs, just click the banner below. You'll be repaid in good karma.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm covered in figurative pee.

During the time I'd normally be writing, I was trying to squeeze blood from a stone. And the blood is actually pee and the stone is actually my seven-year-old. Third time to the loo with the sterile cup was the charm. We won't mention the first two times; I'm not read to talk about it.

But I did manage to get myself interviewed.

Mom's New Stage, a mom blog by a dancer, has posted an interveiw I gave conducted entirely through the magic of email. (A dancer! I can not trip when I walk and that's as far as my dance skills go.) I share my secret for homemade lunches (get stabby) and the time I jinxed myself into having twins.

Go and read and maybe chuckle and be sure to give Mom's New Stage a look-see. She's a funny, sharp blogging momma.

I also managed to participate in another Trifecta writing exercise.


Click this banner to vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs! It's less painful than watching a televised Republican candidates debate and you'll be voting for someone whose only goal is making the world a laughier place.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trifecta and my other blog.

I'm playing along with the folks at Trifecta this week. I published my entry in their weekly writing prompt (the inspiration is "fool") on my other blog Truth and Circumstances. I have a feeling you all might get a kick out of my child-themed poem. Click on through to the other side.
I think that I shall never see
Parent who lord of fool shall be.

Click to read on. . .


I think that I shall never see a click as lovely as the banner you click for me? Did I lose you there? Please click? Out of pity, if nothing else.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Love notes for winners!

I have a small collection of love letters from the early days of the Hubster's courtship. They are mushy, sweet nonsense. Things I won't repeat here because the Hubster would have me killed by burly, mobbed up felons. Things about my adorable tendency never to shut up. Things about my kind nature and sparkling wit. Things about the Lambada.

I cherish this evidence of our blossoming love. I even wrote a few love letters myself. But time passes and date nights become honeymoon nights. Honeymoons become family vacations. Sometimes, love notes become grocery lists.

That's not to say our love hasn't deepened and intensified, it's simply been driven off the paper and into action. I know my husband loves me because he remembers to take out the trash, to pick up chives on the way home from work, to handle all the vet-related business. I love him back by taking his work shirts to the dry cleaner, poop scooping, and buying his Prilosec.

I also know he loves me because when I face tough choices he supports me, hugs me, tells me he's proud. And I'm proud of him. Especially when I wake up and find a note written in his own hand. A vestige of our first romantic months together when we had time to day dream about the life we might lead, to examine each other's finer points, to cuddle and kiss and caress our way through a quiet evening.

I marvel knowing the Hubster still makes room in his life for a written missive, chronicling the extent of his love for me:

Me, too, lover. I'm filled with the coffee of devotion to you.


The winner of the "Haiku? I Don't Even KNOW You!" Smutty Poetry Contest and Giveaway:

Nicki at The Loaded Handbag for her hot, hot, hot entry by Billy Shakes (aka William Shakespeare).

Nicki will enjoy hours of poetic entertainment poring over Peyton Price's seven ebooks of Suburban Haiku.

Congrats, Nicki!


A vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs is a vote for love. Click the banner to vote!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Your love is like a blood sucking pest and other romantic sentiments. CONTEST!

There comes a time in every marriage, long-term living arrangement with a lover, and romantic written correspondence with a death row inmate, when epic professions of love no longer get your motor running.

When you've been listening to the same man snore for a decade and the kids are clamoring to climb into your marriage bed, you might forgo the "I love you like a love song, baby" and cut to the chase. Because while pop music may have most of us conditioned to expect the carnal natures of love to be expressed through Barry White and Marvin Gaye songs, sexual healing has been the art of poets for ages.

Before LMFAO was sexy—and they know it—John Donne was wooing ladies into bed with fleas. Keuroac was handling his manhood with metaphors.

Maybe you're the proverbial virgin, about to be touched for the very first time by romance's sweaty cousin, smut. So brace yourself, some of literature's greats are about to ask you in for a romp.

  • Shakespeare, the Bard who gave us the world's most famous hopeless romantics (Romeo and Juliet, duh) also brought the dirty line "making the beast with two backs" into popular usage. Villainous Iago uses this classy description of coitus in Shakespeare's Othello (Abridged version: Othello's a man, baby, not a board game.) Although Shakespeare made famous a phrase that was probably already popular in pubs across Europe, if your partner whispers this to you tonight, chances are the honeymoon's over.

  • John Donne: preacher, husband, philanderous poet. That's right, object of John "I'm Too Sexy for this Century" Donne's conquest, why the fuss over a forbidden dance between the bed sheets? "We are already married in this flea who sucked our blood and you might as well give up that maidenhead. I hear this blood sucking business is going to be a big hit in romantic teen novels of the 21st century. Won't you be my Bella?" Sure, he's a brilliant man with a big conceit (if you know what I mean) but does 17th century poetry get more suggestive than this bit from "The Flea"?
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
  • Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Cassady, a beatnik collaboration that brought us "Pull My Daisy" a crazy little poem, man, that may be about illicit drug use or financial reform, but I think winning lines like "Call my worm to sup" make it a candidate for poetic Penthouse Letters. Call my worm to sup, Jackie? Gross. If my husband asks me for something like this, he'll be taking his worm to the guest room for Valentine's day.

  • Edgar Allen Poe was, if nothing else, a dogged lover of the macabre. Really ladies, is there anything sexier? Creepy death birds, deformed midget murderers, people walled up alive, I know that makes me think "Can't get enough of your love, baby." But the most blatantly necrotic love ode is his "Annabel Lee." Because nothing says Be My Valentine like a giant Hershey's Kiss and hints of necrophilia. Hey, hey, you, you, get outta my crypt.
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea. 
  • I'll end with a ray of poetic hope. A poem that only a woman could have realized would surely win lovers a ticket to naked town. Even the title is a hint, fellas. "Come Slowly," by Emily Dickinson is a quick read that reminds us that five minutes may not be enough time. This poem may be the original sexual healing. Ahem, is it hot in here?

Come slowly, Eden
Lips unused to thee.
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,
Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars -alights,
And is lost in balms! 
Poetry, the lost art of "takest thou off thy nightie because it's time to do the HumptyDance." How better to commemorate Hallmark's greatest holiday than with a few of our favorite lines? By making it a contest and ebook giveaway, that's how!


The "Haiku? I Don't Even Know You!" CONTEST and GIVEAWAY!

Along with Kim at Let Me Start By Saying and Peyton Price of Suburban Haiku, I'm hosting an ebook giveaway. You can win all seven of Peyton Price's ebooks—she's the haiku artist behind the insanely funny and poignantly poetic Suburban Haiku.

Entering is simple (that's what she said). I've showed you mine, now you show me yours. Leave a comment with your favorite sexy or romantic line from poetry/literature, along with the name of the piece and the author, and you will be entered to win some Suburban Haiku of your own.

Entries will be accepted until midnight EST on Thursday. The one and only Peyton Price herself will pick the winner based on which quote she thinks brings sexy back. The winner will be announced on Friday here on Ninja Mom Blog.

In the meantime, visit your hostesses all over the Internets.

Follow us on Twitter: @ninjamomblog, @letmestart, and @suburbanhaiku

Like us on Facebook: Ninja Mom, Let Me Start By Saying, and Suburban Haiku


Click my banner, call my worm to sup. *gag* A click equals one vote for Ninja Mom Blog at Top Mommy Blogs.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Character Assassination Carousel: Cynicism 101 and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Supercalifragilistic, it's expialidocious! It's time to ride the Character Assassination Carousel! If you're new to the Carousel here are the Cliffs Notes. Each month a participating assassin (or two) will roast a beloved children's book. Click on the pretty pony above and get full the scoop. Anyone 36" or taller who has a blog can ride this ride.

Today's assassin is:

Doc Cynicism at Cynicism 101. Click to read howDoc's parents guaranteed him an adulthood in a therapist's office all because they scared him senseless with tales of evil flying monkeys. Nothing says "Have a few nightmares, kid," quite like reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to him before bed.

Previous assassin: Iris at The Bearded Iris.
Next assassin: Ilana at Mommy Shorts.


Now who doesn't like a good assassination attempt? Click the banner below to vote yes for literary carnage!

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A blogger is born.

This is what happens when one installs mobile Blogger on her iPad, then leaves it in the hands of her almost-three year old.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Candy nobody likes.

It's another candy holiday next week. There will be mini-lollipops clumsily taped to flimsy, store-bought Valentine's cards. Scrawled across the bottom of the card will be a mono-syllabic name that spans two lines, because it's not within a grade-schooler's grasp to leave enough room to write "Love, Jake" across a two-inch horizon.

There will also be Hershey's Kisses, Hugs, Fist Bumps. I imagine "Fist Bumps" will be the marketing direction when Hershey's decides to sell the mangled Kisses that didn't make it through QC, "Fist Bumps, chocolate for buddies!" There will be Smarties wrapped in heart-bedecked cellophane, Reeses Mini Peanut Butter Cups in pink foil, and other yummy, trade-worthy candy currency for the grade school set.

There will also be off-brand conversation hearts, Necco wafers circa 1923, stale candies that were once chewy, and plocolate (an old friend's name for that "plastic-tasting chocolate" that comes in ill-fitted foil wrappers). Maybe the kids will score jelly beans in flavors that only a starving person could love. Maybe they'll get a marshmallow confection that aims to look like cupid but more closely resembles a burn victim.

These are the candies nobody likes; these are the candies the kids give to me.

In terms of candy, Valentine's Day is the 10k to Easter's half-marathon; Easter is the half-marathon to Halloween's 26.2-mile slog. It takes ages to get through it all and someone always ends up with a stomach cramp.

On these holidays our house is ambushed by candy. Candy hides in book bags, in the children's bedrooms, in hot little fists, jumping out at the worst times to spark a mom versus the kids war. "No, you cannot have Skittles for breakfast."

Eventually we come to the end of the stash. There's only one sucker left. Will Bee relinquish her grip on the paper stick in exchange for Zippy's banana-flavored Laffy Taffy? Like prison inmates exchanging smokes for safe passage in the showers, my children are deadly serious about the final candy exchanges. They have come to realize that the canister in which we store candy is not bottomless and too soon it's time to establish a family pecking order or be left only with the black licorice hearts that looked so tempting at the Dollar Store. It's time to see who runs the black market in our home.

Kindnesses rendered during the original candy crush ("Sure, Roo! Have more M&Ms! I have tons!") have been forgotten while Beans and Zippy wrestle over a smooshed, fun-size Snickers bar. If looks could kill, then harsh words could vaporize. "You're not my sister then!" This genetic divorce over a measly Twizzler.

As mom I know this is a time to duck and cover—a time not to mention that bag of Milky Way Minis in my bedside drawer. Because when the dust settles, the only thing the kids leave me are the candies nobody likes. But the truth is, I'm the warden, and like a dirty cop, I run the black market.


Twitter Party with Snoopy! Join @mommyshorts, @Snoopy, @ArianaGrande from "Victorious," and me, @NinjaMomBlog, for a Snoopy Twitter Party Wednesday, February 8th at 9pm EST.

There will be lots of Peanuts-themed Valentine's Day prizes as well as the good company of @momofthreeunder, @sellabitmum, @juliecgardner, @briconstable, and @heididavid.

If you want to join us, follow the hashtag: #snoopyvalentine.


I would NEVER give you Necco Wafers for Valentine's Day. I think that's worth a vote for Ninja Mom Blog at Top Mommy Blogs. Just click the banner below to cast your vote.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I screw up because I care.

Every misstep I take as a parent—yelling, not insisting on good tooth brushing habits, The Wiggles—is just a learning opportunity. One mistake flows seamlessly into the next, piling guilty error upon guilty error into a mountainous heap of parenting failure. A heap from which I will, in the spirit of revisionist history, cull lessons on life. If parenting is largely a magic act in which the kids know I'm fooling them (but they insist I do the trick anyway) then call me Houdini.

Yesterday, I left at home (read: forgot to buy) the pancake mix for Roo's class pancake and PJ day at preschool. Had he asked me why I forgot I might have claimed, "I didn't forget the pancake mix, silly. I'm going to get it now so it will be really fresh!" Alakazam! I'm not neglecting my duties as a responsible parent who supports empty carbohydrate consumption. I'm the mom who cares enough to rush off the morning of his pancake party to get the freshest, shelf stable pancake mix that expires some time in 3013.

Neither did I decide against buying Bee new snow gloves this winter because she has an annoying penchant for shunning all snow gear as "too itchy." I simply decided for keeping too-small gloves because I thought it would more easily facilitate snow-person construction. Especially because the gloves are so tight her nails are wearing a hole in the tips, giving her extra sensitivity when gouging out eye-holes for Frosty.

If taken in this opportunistic and optimistic way, my days work out like this:

In the morning I help the kids cut down on our laundry output and conserve water by encouraging them to re-wear lightly soiled clothes. I also allow them to take their own dental health and hygiene in hand, even if that means they aren't as thorough as I might be. These, after all, are their teeth.

I encourage the children to learn about nutrition and making the best choices for their active lives. I give them options, even some indulgent ones, so that they can experience many tastes and grow up to appreciate lots of different foods.

I support their school activities by volunteering to bring snacks, help out in the classroom, and be a real cheerleader for their endeavors. In fact, I make sure to think outside of the box when it comes to supplying their class with snacks from our home.

A predictable schedule and a well-organized closet really helps things to go smoothly in the morning. But when things are off kilter, say, we can't locate our winter hats and have to wear the back up hats I have neatly stowed in the closet, we are ready to roll with the punches. It teaches to be prepared first, and be flexible when preparations fail.

In the famous words of my daytime TV guru,* Dr. Phil, I'm raising adults. I'm invigorated by the challenge that parenting brings. I say, let's do this!

Reality goes a bit more like this:

I realize, again, that I haven't managed to find a single clean, matched pair of socks for the kids this week—a four-day record. I guess it's time to sniff out the least stinky pair of socks from their bedroom floor.

While I'm sock hunting, time keeps on ticking and I holler for the kids to get into the bathroom and brush their teeth. I remind them again. Once more for good measure. When next we meet I see they've been filling the bathroom sink up as a Polly Pocket pool and that not a one of them has brushed their teeth. I give up because, ohmygosh the time!

Breakfast is a very important meal and I have lots of fruit in the fridge that I'll need to wash, peel, cut and MY WOULD YOU LOOK AT THE CLOCK!? The kids will have to make do with cereal that is a "good source of whole grain and tooth decay." I'm pretty certain this will compound the dangers of not having brushed their teeth, but hey, Apple Jacks are tasty. At least they're eating now.

I never packed those school snacks! Eighteen young minds require mid-morning nourishment to keep up their learning and nose-picking at preschool today! I have very healthy—celery. And—unsalted walnuts. But no napkins! Well, shucks, this toilet paper is double-ply.

School starts in five minutes? Are you kidding me? Did we set the clocks ahead? Where are your shoes, people? The closet, surely. I think I saw the kids putting their shoes away in the hall closet yesterday.

Okay, those were the clean diapers I couldn't find last night, not their shoes. If they can't manage to keep the shoes where we can find them they will have to wear whatever we can find. It's pretty warm for January, I'm certain the flip-flops are fine.

Thank God we're here at carpool. I need a Xanax and a nap.

*No, not really.
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