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Making Your Kids Look Stupid Is The Best Part Of Parenthood

I am a Pinterest junkie.  My kids could brake their legs trying to sled down the stairs in a disassembled bunk bed and I would yell at them to give me a minute while I repin 'how to build a potato gun out of paper towel rolls, pizza boxes, some twine, and a tampon', 'cause you just never know.  So this morning, as my children were off trying to shave the cat, I was busy giggling at ridiculous hats.  I'm a huge fan of making your kids look stupid for as long as you can physically pin them down, so I amassed a collection of wardrobe ridiculousness that makes that possible.  And of course, no silly outfit collection would be complete this time of year without some "oh no you di'int' Halloween costumes.  Hope it makes you smile!  

Beard Hat
I'm a lumberjack, and I'm OK

Cabbage Patch Hat: Are you kidding me!! That's perfect!

It's a sleeper, it's a mop. It's frickin brilliant!!


Thus is one creative momma

 Social Services? Um, yeah.. Hilarious!
Nacho Libre: This is Classic
And as a main course, it's Derek!
And the Piece de resistance? It's Meth Lab Matt!!
 Who doesn't want their kid to dress up as the kingpin of a Meth Lab?   


WTF Friday: Episode 1

 Today marks the birth of what will heretofore be affectionately known as “What the Fuck, Friday”.
So last night, Mr. Martini and I were astounded when the last hurdle to selling our home was cleared.  We passed inspection, finalized all negotiations, and well, sold our house.  Yippee! Hooray!!  On these rare happy occasions when everything seems to be going our way I typically don’t like to screw it up by cooking, so I thought I might scrounge up enough duckets from Silly Monkeys piggy bank to order out.   And hey, I found a discount code for a free pizza from a big chain we never order from.  Score!   So far, so good.  Everyone had a great feast and we set-up a make-shift bed in the living room and all settled in to watch ET. It was almost Rockwellian.  I should have been suspicious about what fate had in store for me…

Enter 3am.  Mini Monkey decides it is time to get up, and he is pissed!  So, I waddle in his room, change the dipe, fix a bottle and try to get him to settle down cuddling on the couch.  And then it happens. The undeniable, unmistakable rumble of gastrointestinal doom.  And this baby fierce.  So I launch myself-- Monkey in hand--off the couch and deliver him sweetly into his crib as I fight the urge to open the diaper pail and take a seat right there.  I run to the bathroom and proceed to unleash the monster.  Now here is where it gets awful.  See, at our house Tuesday’s are ‘Last Box of Kleenex Tuesday’, and Wednesday is ‘Last Roll of Paper Towel Wednesday’, and as luck would have it, Thursday happens to be ‘Last Roll of Toilet Paper Thursday’.  So of course, it only makes sense that Friday happens to be ‘Explosive Diarrhea Friday’.  WTF???


Smelly Pencils: The Kindergarten Crack


Have you ever heard of Smencils?  Okay, I am admittedly new to the parenting of an elementary kid, so when Silly Monkey told me about the “Smelly Pencils” my first thought was, “Oh please lord, do not let it be smelly in the way I am afraid it is smelly”, which quickly led to, “Oh, please say you did not touch it!”.  Turns out ‘smelly pencils’ are some kind of fundraising junk that are exactly what they sound like; pencils that smell like stuff.  Apples, cinnamon, grape, fruit punch… you get the idea.  Why?  Who the hell knows, but the kids go crazy over them.  Now, if I walked into a room full of kindergarteners and saw them viciously sniffing away at the shafts of their pencils I would think someone had given them the special kool aid.  But I guess this is a normal sight these days.

So of course Silly Monkey mentions the smelly pencils on our walk home from school yesterday, with the warning that tomorrow (today) is the last day he can get one, and he reeeeeeaaaallllyyy wants to get one.  Fine.  Smelly pencil.  Whatever.  BUT REMIND ME BEFORE SCHOOL so I can give you some money.  Stupid mommy, why the hell didn’t I put a damn dollar in his backpack that very instant?  Stupid, stupid, stupid. 

Come the dawn, as Mr. Martini is scrambling to get our little monkey in to class before the tardy bell, Monkey exclaims something about smelly pencils to which my husband’s response is, “What the hell is that?  Get moving; you’re going to be late.” Melt down ensues, followed by a quiet yet stern “shut the yapper” or something to that effect.  Mr. Martini gets home 10 minutes before I have to leave to take this ri-god-damn-diculous earlyglucose test I told you about last week, and exasperatedly tells me the story of Silly Monkey’s major malfunction re: smelly pencils, and how he (Mr. Martini) had no idea, doesn’t carry cash, and really doesn’t know what the hell all the commotion is all about but feels terrible his little boy feels like daddy failed him by not scoring the smelly pencils.  

 So I call the school.  I actually call in an attempt to see if I can get some on reserve.  And of course, no one is there to take my call.  So I search the big box stores online to see if maybe I can drive across town to buy one of these crack pencils my son needs like a junkie needs a fix.  “Why don’t you just go to the school?” 5 minutes before my appt.  Hell yeah, I’ll just go to the school (where 3 staff members are communing in the office, while the phone rings off the hook with frantic parents on the other end wondering what the poop is up with the smelly pencil supply, and can they get one).  I score the damn pencils (grape and crack-scented I think), and I am told I am the mother of the year for coming down just for smelly pencils.  Little do they know, I would have driven 50 miles to get those damn crack shafts if I had to.  My little Monkey wanted a smelly pencil, and damnit, I forgot to give him a dollar.  So there.  Mommy saves the day.  And I even made it in time for this piece-o-crap-waste-of-time test, where at least I got to knock out this story for y’all.  So in the immortal words of Ice Cube, “Today was a good day”.  


Guns and Drugs; a Typical Day in Kindergarten

Silly Monkey came home from school yesterday with the usual answers to the "what did you do today" question,  "I played, I ate lunch, and we learned about uppercase poo-poo".  'Poo-poo', in case you didn't know, is sort of like the five-year-old's 'bling-bling'.  You can say it pretty much with reckless abandon and everyone will think you are infinitely cooler for it.

But a couple hours later he shouted from the door of his room, "Hey mom! I know what you do when you see a gun." Oh lord, where is this going?  Did you pretend to shoot one of your classmates?  Did one of your classmates threaten you?  Did a gun accidentally fall out of your teacher's purse, along with her Percosets and whiskey?  I knew we should have called them 'water shooters' instead of squirt guns, like the good moms we know who are afraid to be friends with me. As if some of my spastic, recklessness will wipe off on them and their perfect Nat Geo watching angels.  I digress...

"First, you don't touch it! Then you run as fast as you can and tell a grown-up or teacher."  Hmmm... gun safety, already?  My mind quickly went to the obvious, "Did the police come to your school today"?  Not something I expected to say to my Kindergartner, but something I guess I should be prepared for at any age.  It could be worse, his teacher could be asking him if the police came to his house yesterday.

"Yep, he was our special guest.  But we didn't get much time with our reading buddies because he was late".  Typical. "And he told us you never put bugs in your mouth, and you never put hair in your mouth, and you never put eyeballs in your mouth.  And you never put grass or leaves in your mouth.  All those can make you sick".  I guess that is one way to get the 'say no to drugs' conversation started.  Personally I think my way is more effective: "See this little brown bottle?  DON'T EVER TOUCH IT!  YOU'RE HEART WILL MELT AND YOU WILL EXPLODE!!!" 


10 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Blog: and why they won't work for you

Funny Cat Photo Sure to Bring More Traffic
Courtesy of theChive

So I've been running this blog for two weeks and I haven't gotten the 324k views I was expecting.  This is a total bummer, and makes me feel like a total failure.  Oh, you've been there?  Well, cool.  At least I'm not alone. Start following me (and I'll follow you back, I promise).  This less than stellar launch has led me to waste countless hours doing research into "How to get more traffic" (this is a legit link with some really good ideas if you are actually looking to gain some helpful insight).  This has led me to come up with MY top ten list of things to do to get more traffic to your blog, and why they won't work for you.  This list is in no particular order, because I just don't care that much ):

1) Social Network
Why It Won't Work For You:  Assumes you already have people in your life who love you and are interested in your current and future well being.  If you, like me are like the unpopular kid with snot on their shirt, then you're out of luck with the hipster social network crowd.
But if you want a for-sure follower, scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.  Like me on Facebook, or Follow me on Twitter and I'll return the favor.  One is better than none, right?

2) Use Stumbleupon
Why It Won't Work For You: Assumes you already have a billion people following your blog.  Seriously, the only blogs that show up when you "stumble" are blogs from fortune 500 companies or people who have invested years and years of salary (gained at a real job) in getting their blogs "seen".  You don't stumble across anything here, you land face-first in a giant, well-financed, pile of main-stream-esque media poo.  

3) Post on Forums
Why It Won't Work For You: People on forums are just as self-involved and narcissistic as you are.  They are not there to help, make friends, share insights, or be useful.  They are there for the same reason you are: to get other people to look at their blog.  They don't give a poop about you, and won't bother to click your signature link. And you won't bother with theirs either.  Trust me.

4) Post Meaningful Comments On Other Blogs
Why It Won't Work For You:  The person writing the blog may get a quick "oohh, that felt good" from it, but chances are, they have a zillion other comments from people who are following their blog, so they don't need you to feel good.  Much like posting in forums (or blogging at all, for that matter), no one cares about what you have to say and won't click your signature link even if you remember to put it in your comment.  And most are no-follow links anyway, so it won't even help trick google into thinking you're more popular than you really are.

5) Guest Blogging
Why It Won't Work For You: As I have said, time and time again, no one cares what you have to say.  That is why no one is reading your blog.  Why the hell would someone who is at least moderately successful let you sully their blog with your stink of failure? 

6) Create a "Best Of" List
Why It Won't Work For You:  You create a list of the "Top 10" blogs in your niche, and expect the traffic to come rolling in because, just like you, bloggers in that niche are doing the same thing you are: doing competition research.  Or, you somehow get a gaggle of readers who are interested in the niche looking for new blogs. Why this won't work: 1) you can't include your blog with good conscience unless you really are one of the best (which you're not), and 2) the blogs included in your list see you as a floater in their gold-lined in-ground swimming pool.  They are unlikely to acknowledge your saying they are on your obscure top ten list.  Who are you, anyway?

7) Write For An Audience Likely to Share
Why It Won't Work For You:  I was always told to write about what you love or hate. Not to write about what others love or hate.  If I did the latter, I would be a cat photographer and write a blog about all the crazy things that cats do; posting photos of cats in hats, cats dancing on the table, cats in costumes... and it wouldn't be too long before my blog would go static due to my violent suicide.  What good is having a bazillion people following your blog if your blog makes you want to drink bleach?  My "audience" (all three of you, whom I live for... thank you for not making me drink bleach!!!) are people unlikely to share because they don't even have time to shower, let alone "share" nonsense they find on the internet.  But I love you anyway.

8) Make Your Content SEO Friendly
Why It Won't Work For You:  No one is searching 'How to clean poop out of the dryer" or "Why my grandma smells like vinegar".  But these maybe the random craziness that makes up your life, and thus you want to shout it to the world. You can litter your post with "How to clean poop out of the dryer" links but if no one is googling it, no one will find you.  And people are looking for ridonk you just don't care about: Kim Lardashian (not a typo), How to Lose 30 lbs in 5 days, Binders Full of Women, Prostate Cancer, Bike Repair, etc.  So unless your target audience is searching for "How to give a cat a bath", SEO the crap out of your blog and no one will know the difference.

9) Use Graphics
Why It Won't Work For You: Graphics actually do bring in traffic.  On my other blog (a wedding industry blog for work) I get a lot of traffic from the graphics I include, but so what?  These people are googling something like "Red and Purple Wedding", they look at images and a post I wrote 12 years ago with an inspiration board pops up.  They click.  Go to my Blog.  See the full size graphic, and leave.  They got the eye candy they were looking for.  That leads me to porn.  Unless your blog is about porn, graphics are not going to keep people coming back.  Or cats.  Photos of cats seem to work too.

10) Enable Subscriptions via Feed and Email
Why It Won't Work For You: How many blogs do you follow religiously?  Now just think, 1/116th of that number are likely to follow you religiously. There are a lot of blogs I really like, and a lot of individual blog posts that I think are great, but I sadly don't 'follow' most of them.  I am overwhelmed as it is by the sheer magnitude of cool stuff out there I wish I had time to focus on.  But sadly, I spend a majority of my time at my full-time job (being a mom), being self-absorbed (i.e. trying to get this blog off the ground), and the other 15 minutes are spent in the bathroom.  Now what makes you so special that you think you will be able to steal minutes from my precious potty time?  I guess I could multi-task, but that is just gross.  

So in the end, write your little heart out about what you love.  Just like the kids who played magic cards in high school, your crowd will eventually find you.  And if they don't, you can't blame me for not warning you.


Report Card: FAIL

Mr. Martini and I don't often discuss my son's school... I mean really examine the quality of the education he is receiving there.  Let's be honest, who has time for that?  I'm not a PTO mom; they have those meetings at noon and I'm lucky to have slapped on a bra by then. I'm not one of these "advisor-types" who constantly have to give their two cents.  I figure the 14 year old that is teaching my son must be qualified, right?  I ask Silly Monkey everyday 'What did you do in school today?" He answers, I poke a little, and we're good.  That was until last night. 

I received an automated phone call alerting me that report cards were in backpacks.  I was a ball of excitement and anticipation.  Well, actually, I was a little nervous since my boy has demonstrated an uncanny ability to focus on anything except for the task at hand.  I was eager to see whether or not he was excelling in his new Kindergarten environment.  Or at least not sinking like a fish.   I was, I presume, going through the ball of emotions that most parents go through before checking semester grades.  And I admit, I was a little excited to see if we would have an excuse for an early bedtime.

In sum, I was very pleased!! Silly Monkey was paying attention, participating, and has shown significant improvement in all areas of what is deemed important by a board of parents who clearly take this stuff more seriously than I do. However my sense of pride quickly dissipated when I took a good look at the stuff that makes up my son's permanent record.

report card: FAIL
Now, I'm not stupid, but I was a little confused.  What the hell is "RIMES"? Are these people that lazy that they can't proof-read the frickin official document that goes into my Silly Monkey's permanent record?  Or is 'rime' like the new 'thru'?  An acceptable substitute for the official word?  I started to question my own hipness, and intelligence... like, what if I didn't even know rime is the new rhyme?   So I googled it.  And I am pretty sure that rhyme is in fact still the accepted spelling.  Which can only mean one thing.  'Rime' must mean something else entirely.  And it does!
Apparently my son can create a hard ice covering on single syllable spoken words.  Ice, out of thin air!    That is frickin amazing!!!  There is way more for me to be excited about than his ability to count by fives, or to sound out simple words.  No... my son is apparently on his way to being a real life Harry Frickin Potter!  I could not be more thrilled!  Thank you school for revealing talents we didn't even know we should be looking out for!  I can't wait to find out what they'll be learning next.  I hope it's horcruxes.  This evil genius wants to live forever!  


I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of October...

We are a very political family. Mr. Martini and I both studied it through grad school, and would consider ourselves astute both in terms of policy and in the workings of the government. However, we are also, shall we say, vehement.  During the '08 Vice-Presidential debate, I sent poor Mr. Martini to the hospital.  Well, I say he sent himself but I was the mechanism that made it happen, and you would have relished the opportunity at the time too, I assure you.

But knowing how heated we can get, we try to keep a lid on our political fanaticism around our kids.  They are obviously too young to understand the complex concepts involved.  BUT... being patriotic is something we do encourage.  Last night, as usual, Mr. Martini and I were were discussing the political events of the day and of course, Barack Obama came up.  I was excited when Silly Monkey interrupted, "I know who Barack Obama is."  We were thrilled, "oh yeah, who is he?" we questioned. "He's the President of the country", he responded excitedly.  "You're right!  Do you know what country we live in?" we asked, trying to get a measure of his social studies knowledge.  "Bloomington", he said.  No...  "October", his second guess.  Ummm, yeah... we've got some work to do here.

I wasn't really concerned that he doesn't have much of a clue when it comes to social studies... it wasn't too long ago that he was making poo in his pants with a fury, so I cut the kid some slack.  But when Mr. Martini asked if he knew The Pledge of Allegiance, he began reciting proudly.  When asked if he knew what The Pledge meant, he couldn't have given us a better "huh?" face.  I began to wonder, "why do you know the words if you don't know what it means?" Which quickly became, "why are you required to say that, if you don't know what it means?"  Then, "Why the hell don't you know what it means?"!!!  What?  It is not patriotism if there is no understanding, rather, it's closer to indoctrination.  And that shiznit is dangerous. 

Now, I don't have a problem with kids saying The Pledge of Allegiance in school... the whole 'Under God' thing, I know, big panty-bundler for some.  Not me, really.  But I would appreciate it if my child was taught the significance of it's recitation, at least on a really basic level.  Like, "hey, this is a saying that means you support your country".  You know, the Republic of October.

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