August 28, 2014
by Meredith Bland
0 comments

Back to school fashion and a Zupers review

My kids go back to school in less than a week. LESS THAN A WEEK. I am super excited about their return to learning an my return to sanity. I am not excited about back to school clothes shopping. In my house, that’s where you go to the store and try on every piece of clothes before deciding that all of them are “kind of scratchy in that one place.”

I hate it.

Recently, I wrote a piece for Mommyish called, “What Your Kid’s Back To School Outfit says About You.” Here is an addendum based on the fashion trends I talked about in the original post.

What Your Kids Back To School Clothes Mean For The Rest of Your Year

1. Prepsters

Get yourself some Shout, my friend, because there are a lot of whites and khakis in your future. You are going to live in a world of unapproachable kindergartners.

School Bake Sale: Only organic and gluten-free pastries, thank you. And none of that shit had better be processed in the same state as a nut.

Homework: Oh, there will be homework. This kid is probably going to fucking love doing homework. If they shun it, however, you must resist the urge to do it for them, however. Everybody knows what’s going on when a first-grader shows up with an annotated bibliography for their book report on Black Beauty.

After-School and Weekends: There will be lots of sporting events to attend…most likely lacrosse and field hockey. And you’re going to be expected to participate, whether you bring the oranges or find your way down the spiral of regret known as “volunteer assistant coach.”

Report Card: This could go either way. Your best bet is to tie academic performance to love early on.

The Future: These kids will out-earn you by the time they are twenty-years-old and shove you in a nursing home faster than you can say, “where did I put my keys, again?”

 

2. Free spirits

School Bake Sale: Expect a thorough investigation into where bake sale funds are going. What is the PTA really doing for us, anyway?

Homework: Yes, I agree that the current school system is inadequate for a large number of students. Now please do your geometry homework.

After-School and Weekends Buttercup isn’t much of a joiner.

Report Card: Congratulations! Corn Husk got a TSH in History! (TSH = Tried Super Hard.)

The Future: Having a child who is a free spirit is best when they’ve left the house. Then they can go ahead and not follow their own damn rules.

 

3. New Grunge

“Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it’s crazy for it to become a fashion statement,” so said James Truman, then editor in chief of Details. Right? It’s almost like they’re trying too hard not to look like they’re trying too hard. On a related note, I believe I just had an aneurysm.

School Bake Sale: You are for sure bringing in a couple of Snickers bars from the 7-11 down the block.

Homework: Fuck off, old man.

After-School and Weekends: Don’t even think about trying to pick your kid up from practicing with his band. He’s taking the bus.

Report Card: What they’re going to do in life doesn’t need grades, they say. I’d go ahead and invest in a quality sofa bed now.

The Future: Wherever the wind and the key to Mom and Dad’s basement take me.

 

4. Urban cool

Black clothes? Check. A variety of hats? Check. Librarian glasses? Check. Hanging out in alleys? Wait…why aren’t these kids in school?

School Bake Sale: Cupcakes with Looney Tune characters on them. It’s so freaking stupid it’s cool.

Homework: Maybe later. They’re meeting Dimebag and Beefy Weed at the arcade. Gonna go play some Donkey Kong or old school Mario Brothers, or something else that no one else does except for everyone.

After-School and Weekends: Where have they been all weekend? I don’t know. Around.

Report Card: I see you’ve written “fuck the police” on your report card. I appreciate you saving me the trouble of actually reading it.

The Future: Making lists of jobs that will let them have a neck tattoo.

 

5. Mini me

Don’t dress your kids in mini-versions of your clothes. This is not cute. No, look at me: THIS IS NOT CUTE. But if you want to dress like you’re members of the world’s creepiest family band, this is the kind of school year you’ll have:

School Bake Sale: I’m not sure what you’ll be baking, but I can guarantee that they will be identical, down to the last fucking chocolate chip.

Homework: Oh, you’re home-schooling. Please.

After-School and Weekends: There’s going to be a lot of team sports: family bowling league, family softball team. No single player games for you. You won’t even play Monopoly because it just seems so hateful.

Report Card: All your kids get an A, for Awesome! Definitely not for the A in Aggravating. Or Asphyxiate. Or Alcoholic.

The Future: No wire hangers for you, Joan Crawford.

 

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You might have seen ads around the interwebs for a Seattle=based clothing company called Zupers: Everyday Activewear For Girls. Well, the lovely lady at Zupers sent me a pair of pants for my daughter, and let me tell you something…

THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

We got the Zupers Rose leggings with square knee pads.

ZUPERS

What you can’t tell from the picture is how these things feel. Let me see if I can describe it: kittens wrapped in pillowcases…wait, scratch that. Too morbid. How about: kittens dancing on clouds of extra plush toilet paper made of satin.

Something like that.

They really are the softest pants my daughter has, and they are leggings that aren’t so skin tight that I have to worry about 6-year-old camel toe. My daughter did remove the knee pads, however. But this is a girl who cuts the tags off all her clothes and is extremely sensitive to fabrics, so I wasn’t too surprised by that.

If you have an active girl who needs some active clothes for school, Zupers are awesome. And if she doesn’t like the, you can use them as a pillow. (They are so soft, y’all!)

August 22, 2014
by Meredith Bland
4 Comments

I give Google search questions some straight answers

image via pixabay

image via pixabay

Anyone with a website knows that going through the list of searches that led people to your site reveals the very worst in humanity. Things that you have never, ever, in your darkest and most disgusting fantasies, considered wondering about, go into Google and end up at you.

I get a lot of horrible and sometimes just completely weird things in my search list. So I thought, why not share some with you? Not all of them, though. There are a lot of search terms on the list that are not fit for human eyes.

But here are some recent queries, and my responses.

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1. “Aunties stripping clothes one by one in picture”

I get an absurd amount of searches related to Aunts and naughty things. Is there some kind of sexual subculture involving Aunts that I am not aware of? It seems like an odd choice is all.

2. “My vigina removes a yellow bad smelling disharge and inside it is grey,am 31weeks pregnant,can this harm my bby”

Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl you need to see a doctor. Yellow and grey are bad colors for vaginas.

3. “When the gay going to give the baby birth did they also have cut”

No, when “the gay” give birth they do it through a process called “budding.”

4. “After delivery how many days we should not be working in water”

This is not a rule. Return to your water-related employment.

5. “Why does my stomach get filled with air after f**king my wife when on her period?”

…Oh, dude…I don’t even know where to start with this one.

6. “Funny delivery p***y image”

Does not exist. Move on.

7. “Pergnat women bat pooping photo”

I think you have found the one thing that’s not on the internet. Congratulations.

8. “My husband wants to give me an enema”

SAY NO.

9. “Sexy n hot baby birth delivery”

Also does not exist. You and the “funny delivery p***y image” guy have unrealistic expectations.

10. “Vaginal deodorant suppositories”

Is this a thing?! Because no thank you.

11. “When i delivered my baby, he wasn’t covered with blood, that’s a good thing right?”

As a rule, the answer to the question, “Is it okay that xyz wasn’t covered in blood?” is yes.

12. “All real aunty vagina photos all in one”

Honestly? What the hell?

13. “Why does fart have to pass through my uterus”

Oh honey,that’s not how farts work.

14. “Can a tear during delivering of a baby cause pile”

Now this one I can understand leading to my site.

15. “Is having twins harder than one”

Yes.

16. “Pee mouth surprise gallery”

The only part of this that I agree with is the word “surprise.”

17. “I saw the baby coming out and knew she’s in labour”

You nailed it, chief. Good job.

18. “I had a dream which i visited someone given birth and she puts the child on my laps after some time i vomited for about ten minutes what does it mean?”

If you look at the hidden messages in this dream, they tell me that you might not want to have kids yet. Also, that you hate your mother and you always wanted to be a dentist.

Trust me.

****

Now for some news!

  • I have been hired as a part-time staff writer for Mommyish.com! I’ll be posting there twice a day, Monday-Friday. I am super, duper exited to be part of the awesome team over there.
  • I am also a contributing writer to the new female sports fan site Hera Sport! They’ve got me writing funny sports posts from time to time for them, and it has been a blast.
  • Finally, the video of my Voices of the Year reading from Blogher 2014! It was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. So if you’re interested, this is me reading my post, “Nine Awesome Things About Having a Physical Disability.”

August 14, 2014
by Meredith Bland
6 Comments

Blogging for Books: Dad is Fat

My favorite thing on this earth besides Mallowmars…and my kids, who are a close second…is laughing. I love all of the funny people and the funny things they say. So when the pale and hilarious Jim Gaffigan wrote a parenting book, I said, “Sign. Me. The Fuck. Up.”

dad is fat

Gaffigan perfectly captures, in just a few sentences, many of the most ridiculous parts of parenting. Since the seller here is him, I thought I’d put in a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

On “cool” parents:

So parents who want to be considered cool, give it up. Even if you put your three-year-old in a fedora, we all know you are still getting barfed on and wiping noses and butts like the rest of us.

On kids learning how to walk:

What amazes me is that once they actually learn to walk, they are immediately trying to get away. You just say, “Time for a bath!” and they scoot away like they have an escape car outside. I don’t know where they think they are going. They can’t even reach the doorknob. I am always like, “What are you doing? You only know us! Think it through!”

On not knowing the answer:

Of corse, these never-ending questions require answers you are not qualified to give…When my son Jack was four, he pointed to a car antenna and said, “Look, Daddy, stick.” I clarified: “Actually, that is an antenna.” Jack then asked, “What’s an antenna?” After realizing I had no idea how an antenna worked, I explained, “It’s a…stick. A metal stick. You nailed it, buddy.”

On kids needing to use the bathroom:

…when a three-year-old tells you they need to use the bathroom, she does not mean in a couple of minutes. She means at that moment. Actually, before that moment. They always tell you at the last possible moment.

THREE-YEAR-OLD: I need to use the bathroom.

ADULT: Now?

THREE-YEAR-OLD: Almost done.

See? Hilarious. In fact, there were only two downsides to this book for me. First, part of the joy of Jim Gaffigan is his delivery, which you obviously lose in the book. There are parts I didn’t laugh at that I thought I probably would have if I he were saying them. And second, there are a couple of moments where he talks about him and his wife’s decision to have five children and deliver them at home and ends up sounding a little defensive. No doubt that’s because he has to explain those decisions to people constantly, but it still took me out of the rhythm of the book a bit.

You don’t have to explain anything to us, Jim. Just do you. Talk to me more about why kids scream.

Rating: FOUR STARS

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my review. All views are my own.

August 12, 2014
by Meredith Bland
5 Comments

Car-versations: This is why we’re married.

This weekend, the family drove about an hour and a half away from Seattle to go to my husband’s company picnic. The conversations on the way over made me remember why I enjoy him so much. It’s never a bad time when you’re hanging out with Mr. Bland.

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(after passing a sign for a U-CUT CHRISTMAS TREE farm)

Me: “U-Cut Christmas Trees. No thanks, that sounds hard. And sticky.”

Mike: “How about I pay you an extra few dollars and you cut it for me?”

Me: “Our family just isn’t adorable enough to pull off cutting down our own tree.”

Mike: “You know what would be funny?”

Me: “Oh lord…”

Mike: “If someone grabbed one of those day laborers from Home Depot and brought him to the U-Cut Christmas Tree farm.”

Me: “And they’re standing there in their hat and mittens, sipping on hot cocoa…”

Mike: “Outside of their Lexus SUV…”

Me: “They post a picture on Facebook and write, ‘Here’s the family getting our Christmas tree! Huh? Who? Oh, him! That’s Manuel.’”

****

(after passing an Alpaca farm)

Mike: “Hey kids! Who wants to hug an Alpaca?!”

Kids: “No, Daaaaaaaaad.”

Me: “You guys are nuts. Who doesn’t want to hug an Alpaca?”

Mike: “Should we bring one to the picnic?”

Kids: “No, Daaaaaaaaad.”

Daughter: “Besides, he wouldn’t fit in the car. He would press all of the buttons with his feet.”

Me: “Good point. He’d probably mess up all our preset radio stations and stuff.”

****

(after passing a public pool)

Mike: “If you ate a mermaid, would that be considered surf n’ turf?”

Me: “….”

Kids: “….”

Mike: “Never mind.”

****

Do Good, Do-Gooders!

I got an e-mail over the weekend from a company called MRI Ingenuity that has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for what they call, “Courage Gowns.” Anyone who has ever had a kid in the hospital knows how every very scary it can be (for everbody!) Courage Gowns will let pediatric patients dress up as a police officer, astronaut, fireman, pilot, princess, or ballerina, and maybe make their visit just a little less scary.

Courage Gowns PO

Courage gowns FM

I think this is a terrific idea. I encourage you to read more about them on the site link above, and donate to their Kickstarter campaign!

August 8, 2014
by Meredith Bland
5 Comments

Netflix for kids: Kindness is Magic

The number one lesson I try to teach my kids is that kindness is the most important thing in the world. That, and Mallowmars. Now, if Mallowmars were sentient and could be kind, THEY would be the most important things in the world. Also, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this. I’d be out there hunting Mallowmars.

But I digress.

This month’s Netflix Stream Team theme is “Kindness is Magic.” I was pretty excited to see that, because all summer my kids have been playing this game where they smack each other on the back as hard as they can until someone gets hurt. It’s a game I don’t understand, and would loved to see replaced with something a little more…what’s that word? Where you’re really nice and you care about not leaving handprints on your sibling? Oh yeah. KINDNESS.

Here are the titles recommended by Netflix to teach them abut kindness:

1. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Vol. 1 Ep. 6: Friends Help Each Other

2. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season 3, Ep. 4: One Bad Apple

3. Arthur, Season 15, Ep. 8: Muffy’s Classic Classy Club / Best Enemies

4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

5. Super Why, Season 1, Ep. 61: The Ugly Duckling: Becoming a Swan

6. The Fox and the Hound

(image via PBS.org)

(image via PBS.org)

Now, we have watched the hell out of My Little Pony. I have seen every episode at least twice, so I had to put the kibosh on that one. So my kids picked the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episode, a show we had never watched before.

I had no idea that this show was produced by the Mr. Rogers company! And Daniel Tiger is a little animated Fred Rogers only as a baby tiger! I mean, this little baby tiger puts on the cardigan and the shoes and the whole nine yards. It’s awesome.

The show also has that cat family that talks with a lot of “meows.” This always reminds me of a scene from one of my husband’s favorite movies, Super Troopers.

That movie, by the way, is NOT for kids. Unless you’re cool with your kids seeing a fat naked man covered in powdered sugar. And maybe you are. I’m not going to judge.

Anyhoo, Daniel Tiger is a little young for my kids (they are six and know what a circle is, thank goodness) but they liked it so much that we watched two more after the recommended episode was over. I was surprised, especially since they are starting to develop the fine art of sarcasm, so whenever Daniel asked the viewers a question, they became smart asses.

Daniel: “Mommy’s going to love this, don’t you think?”

My kids: “No.”

Daniel: (to the screen) “I love you.”

My daughter: “He doesn’t love us.”

This was not really in line with the whole kindness theme. But then, after watching an episode where Daniel and his Dad make a surprise for his mom to show her that they love her, my kids said, “Hey Mom, why don’t we make something for Daddy from all of us?”

Huh? But you said…no wait, never mind, say nothing. Let’s do this.

Thank you, Daniel Tiger. You reached their tiny little hearts.

Thank you, Daniel Tiger. You reached their tiny little hearts.

 

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