December 6, 2014
by admin

My Favorite Mommyish Posts And Giveaway Winner

Hello all! Hope your December is chugging right along.

First off, the winner of last week’s book giveaway is Katia from the great blog, I Am The Milk! She guessed 18 and my number was 17. That’s some damn good guessing. She gets a signed copy of Absolute Mayhem, written by the wonderful Kelly Suellentrop.

Second, since I’m writing over at Mommyish all the time now, I decided to link to some of my favorite posts here. So, kinda like regular Pile of Babies posts, but at a different place. And I get paid for them. Winner winner chicken dinner.

1. Your Favorite Douchebro Just Found A Way To Jerk Off And Offend Women At The Same Time

Just when you thought your day was safe from dry-heaving, here comes a new product called “Spankrags.” They’re tissues that have a picture of a girl’s face with her mouth open on them. Let that sink in for a moment, for lack of a better phrase. Now, ready to go tear this idea a new one? Sweet. Let’s go.

2.List Of Which Names Are More Often Naughty Or Nice Makes Me Question The Validity Of Non-Science

Have you ever had a conversation with a friend about how you’ve never met a bad Dave, or how every Jessica you’ve ever know has been a horror story in human form? Well, an educational program called School Stickers has compiled the most common boys and girls names on Santa’s naughty and nice lists.

3. You’re Going to Want to Scream After Reading These Jill Scott Tweets About Bill Cosby

No, Jill Scott. Please, no. The actress and singer has gone on Twitter and declared her support for Bill Cosby and her disdain for his accusers, forcing me to put on my “Who Is Jill Scott” CD and cry hot, salty tears.

4. Dear Baby Stores: Please Stop With The Soft, Adorable, And Suffocating Crib Bedding

When you’re expecting a baby, it’s easy to look at magazine photos of crib bedding and fall in love with those matching sets of bumpers, blankets, and pillows. But please, people, keep that stuff out of your kids’ crib until they are old enough to fix a situation in which they find themselves unable to breathe.

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December 1, 2014
by admin

Holy Crap, It’s December Again

Winter is my favorite time of the year, and Christmas is my favorite holiday. I have worked really hard to make my children love this season, and now it has come bak to bite me in the ass as I now have a child who wants to start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.

Yeah. She’s one of those people.

I am crazy for all things Christmas, but we just had a major holiday. Can a mother take a breath, please? The answer is no. Every decoration we have has been pulled out of the closet and strewn around the house. And damn it if I’m not already feeling the spirit. You can’t help it when you have a three-foot tall penguin that lights up and wears a scarf standing in your living room.

Because it’s the holiday season, I have a few things to pimp.

1. Here’s something I wrote.

I wrote this last week for Mommyish and I’m pretty proud of it. It’s about how the word “mommy” gets used as an insult.

2. Oh my God, Kiwi Crates.

You’ve probably seen ads for Kiwi Crates and thought, “Gee, those sound nice.” Well, guess what. They are nice. The folks at Kiwi Crate contacted me after I wrote a post for Mommyish about how hard it is to find indoor activities for kids and offered to send free boxes for my kids. I had been wanting to try them so I was super psyched. They arrived on a Tuesday night. I decided that the next time my kids said they were bored, I would bust them out.

I got my chance at 7:45 Wednesday morning.

My son got the Castles and Catapults box, and my daughter got the Gingerbread House box. And they lost their damn minds.











They worked on them till we had to go to school — the instructions are so easy that my kids could do 99% of this stuff by themselves. And they have continued to play with the castle and the gingerbread house since then. It was awesome. Merry Christmas, kids. I got you a one-year subscription.

2. Absolute Mayhem, the book

An internet friend of mine, Kelly Suellentrop of the great blog Are You Finished Yet, has written a children’s book. Like, a real-live-hold-it-in-your-hot-little-hands book. She also illustrated it. What the what?! I know!! That’s some talent.

I got an advance copy of the book (available now at and read it with my kids, who lurved it. The drawings are terrific and the story is a lot of fun, and my kids loved the anticipation of the next moment of “absolute mayhem.” It’s so very terrific that I am giving away a copy of the book, to be signed by Kelly!

To win a copy of Absolute Mayhem, guess the number I just wrote down on my calendar. It a number between 1 and 20. The person who comes closest by the end of the week (one entry each) will get the book. HUZZAH!!


3. Support the National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day organization!

They’re using the power of ugly to do some good. Here’s what you need to do:

Check out our list of preferred vendors for ideas of where to pick up an ugly Christmas sweater.

Rock your sweater all day and all night, from the time you wake up till the time you sleep. No breaks. No copouts. No excuses. The sweater must stay on.

Share this special day with friends and help us spread the word. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people participate in National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, and with your help, we can put this holiday on the calendar for years to come!

Then do some good by donating to Save The Chidren’s “Make the World Better With a Sweater” campaign. Hurray for ugly Christmas sweaters!! I’ve got my eye on this looker from Tipsy Elves:

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Happy holidays, everybody!

November 25, 2014
by admin

Take Your Turkey and Stuff It: Four Thanksgiving Foods That Should Be Banned (GUEST POST)

Hi all! The wonderful, talented Emily from The Waiting is guest blogging here today and I am as happy as a clam. Seriously, I’ve met her in real person time, and she is delightful. And a great writer. She’s all things good and I hope you enjoy her post on Thanksgiving foods that should be banned.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!


tgHere we find ourselves once again at the season of Thanksgiving. This week, we’ll travel to be with friends and family, count our blessings, watch football, and possibly most importantly, sit down at a table and eat a truly ungodly amount of food.

Let’s talk about that food for a sec. Kaythanx.

I’m risking being called out as the worst American since Benedict Arnold for the declaration I’m about to make, but blog traffic is always down around the holidays, so what they hay: I effing hate Thanksgiving food.

No, really. I hate it. Remember in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” when Snoopy has to make a Thanksgiving feast for all those little Charles Schultz bobblehead kids and ends up serving jelly beans, toast, popcorn, pretzel sticks, and nothing else? Every year I watch that special and pine for a day when I can openly eat after-school snacks on Thanksgiving and not be made a pariah by all my countrymen.

But today I’d like to take the opportunity so graciously extended by Meredith to talk a little about all that’s wrong with the Thanksgiving meal that is on my horizon. Please hear me out and possibly adjust your own holiday menu. We have all suffered for far too long.

May the waking up of the sheeple commence.

1. Stuffing (AKA Dressing)
Oh hey, guys, I have a great idea: let’s take flipping everything that’s already in our kitchens and mix it all together. No, really, I mean everything. Don’t hold back. Add some stale bread, some seasonings like sage that you don’t even really like because you only use them once a year for this very holiday, some rancid fat drippings that you keep next to a can of Ajax under your sink, and some celery in there because God knows everyone just loves celery. NOMS. Now, go ahead and stuff this concoction into the cavity of a raw poultry carcass. Make sure that you only pay attention to the doneness of the turkey itself so that the stuffing has a nice colony of bacteria inside it once it’s time to give thanks. Nothing says gratefulness like salmonella poisoning.

Serve Instead: Burritos
2. Cranberry Sauce
I never cease to be amazed by the audacity of cranberry sauce. It’s like someone said, “Hmmm, you know, while I’m enjoying this turkey and pumpkin pie immensely, I could really use a side dish that is so tart that my taste buds will commit hari cari upon receipt of tasting it.” Some Thanksgiving cooks realize how painful cranberry sauce is and thus put a ton of sugar in it to make it halfway palatable. This is of course good because Thanksgiving is famously a time when no one eats anything sugary or decadent.

Serve Instead: Pickles

3. Yams and Marshmallows
You will not find pumpkin pie on my list of Thanksgiving foods that need to be banned because there is absolutely nothing wrong with this dish. No, pumpkin pie is about as perfect as it comes. And that’s why sweet potatoes need to step the frick off. Sweet potatoes are basically the obnoxious baby brother of pumpkin pie, always whining that they can be orange and dense and moist tooooooooooo. But instead of saying, “No, yams, you need to let your older sibling Pumpkin Pie do their thing. You’ll get your turn at Christmas,” we are all, “Oh, YES, my precious sweet potatoes! You may certainly have a starring roll on the menu even though you are a far lesser dish.” And then it just goes and ruins our appetites for things that are actually worth eating. Fricken yams.

Serve Instead: an extra pumpkin pie

4. Turkey
Nothing is sacred, so let’s talk about all that’s wrong with turkey. So, first of all, if you are the lucky one who is in charge of bringing this holiday dish-gone-wrong to your Thanksgiving feast, you’re going to be up at seven AM getting this thing prepped and in the oven for a six PM meal. Let that sink in for a second: seven AM. This is a holiday, is it not? And aren’t holidays for, um, sleeping in at least a little? Turkeys are basically the toddlers of the holiday meal, making you get up early to tend to their needs.

Then there’s the whole issue of taste. When dining on turkey, you have a choice: would you like dried-out white meat that was actually used as gauze during the Civil War, or greasy dark meat with congealed fat all around it? Actually, don’t worry too much if you’re too full to sample both today. There will be enough leftovers to last you and your entire tri-county region until Easter. Eat up!

I once read that the real pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving didn’t eat turkey at all. They ate what they had a ton of, which was lobster. Lobster. Seriously, this is a no-brainer, y’all. Sign me up for some of that.

Serve Instead: Lobster

What’s going to be on your table this Thanksgiving?

November 22, 2014
by admin

Oh Science And Math, Just When I Thought I Was Out They Pull Me Back In

The_Martian_2014When I graduated from high school, I figured my days of math and science were done. I went to a college without core requirements so I majored in Psychology and went on with my life. For the most part I am able to function very well without knowing anything about atoms or trigonometry.Recently, however, my ignorance has come up and given me an open hand slap; once in a book, and another while doing first-grade math.

For me, math is like that friend you haven’t seen in twenty years who you owe something two because they said they’d never tell anyone about that night and they didn’t. Then one day, math shows up on your doorstep and says, “Hey, I just moved to your city and don’t have a place yet. Can I crash on your couch?” And you’re like, “Ok.” Then weeks later they’re still there, and you say to your spouse, “Why is Math still here?” And they say, “Oh, I asked them to move in.” And you say, “What? Shit. Okay, Math. You can go bunk with Science.”

As part of the awesome Blogging for Books program I do (because I have a price, and that price is free books) I get to choose one of a large selection of books to read. This time around I decided to bust out of my wheelhouse and try something different. I’d heard a lot of good stuff about this book called The Martian, which is about an astronaut who gets accidentally abandoned on Mars and his attempts to get home. Ok! I thought. I liked Gravity. Maybe this will work!

It mostly did, and I say mostly because I am someone who is willing to run my eyes over text that I don’t understand and shrug it off instead of worrying about what it means. Cuz’ I am what you call, “intellectually lazy.” The Martian is a really, really good book. It’s the great mix of hideously scientific stuff that my eyes move over while my brain takes a nap, and a writer who has a hilarious sense of humor. Here is how I read the entire book:

The Martian:

I can create the O2 easily enough. It takes twenty hours for the MAV fuel plant to fill its 10-liter tank with CO2. The oxygenator can turn into O2, then the atmospheric regulator will se the O2 content in the HAB is high, and pull it out of the air, storing it in the main O2 tanks. They’ll fill up, so I’ll have to transfer O2 over to the rover’s tanks and even the space suit tanks as necessary.

Meredith’s brain:


The Martian:

As you can see, this plan provides many opportunities for me ti die in a fiery explosion…If I make any mistakes, there’ll be nothing left but the “Mark Watney Memorial Crater” where the HAB once stood…If you asked every engineer at NASA what the worst scenario for the HAB was, they’d all answer, “fire.” If you asked them what the result would be, they’d answer, “death by fire.”

Meredith brain:


All in all it’s an interesting, funny book, but I had no idea what was going on for about a third of it. I enjoyed it anyway, because that’s the way life is when you’re an idiot.


I’d also like to give a big shout-out to common core math, which I was introduced to this week with problems like this: “7-5. We know that 5-5 is zero. So we can take that 5-5=0, which leaves us with 2, so 7-5 =2.” I’m not going to kid you — the first four or five times I read that I thought that perhaps this math worksheet had been translated from English into Japanese and then back into English and that was what I was reading. I said to my husband, “Why can’t 7-5 just equal 2? Why can’t it just equal 2?!” But then a few days later I was doing some more problems with my kids when I realized that Common Core math is exactly the kind of math I have been doing in my head for years. When presented with a problem that involves addition or subtraction in the tens, I always do the easy part first, which is adding/subtracting the tens, and then I add/subtract the ones.

I can totally do first-grade math. This is one of my proudest moments; I was pretty sure that this was not the way things were going to go down.

(Image via wikipedia)

November 19, 2014
by admin

The Key To A Happy Thanksgiving Is To Be Alone

Thanksgiving was always a huge production at my house while I was growing up. My mother would start prepping a day or two before by chopping vegetables, thawing the turkey, and so on. Then she would wake up early and cook all day long while the rest of us ungrateful bastards watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The meal would be ready at around 2:00, and it was always perfect. And my mother was always exhausted. So for me, Thanksgiving has always meant hours and hours of backbreaking and complicated work. The idea of cooking one on my own was a nightmare, because not only do I a) hate to cook and b) hate being around people, but I also c) really really hate to cook and d) see a and c.

Last year, my husband and I ended up up with a Thanksgiving at our home with just us and our twins. All of our relatives were going other places, and we were on our own. At first we were like, “Uh…so what do we do? Do we just skip it? Do we do the whole shebang? Where are the adults who tell us what to do here?” We decided to go ahead and have ourselves our very own full-on Thanksgiving. And you know what? It was heavenly.

Turns out when you are making Thanksgiving for four people, two of whom weight less than forty pounds, cooking that meal is super easy. We finished cooking at around 11:30 and said to each other, “Is that it? Really? Why was that so simple and free of drama?” It was like learning the truth about Santa Claus. All these years I was convinced that making Thanksgiving dinner equaled misery and stress. instead, I learned that, as with so many other things in life, things are a lot simpler if there are no other people involved.

I know. I sound like a sad, eccentric loner. I am undoubtedly on a watch list somewhere.

This month’s Netflix Stream Team theme is “Friendsgiving,” which is apparently something people do. On Friendsgiving, people invite their friends over for Thanksgiving instead of or in addition to their families. I have never in my life had friends over on Thanksgiving because if I had no family I would for sure be spending that day by myself, in my underwear, watching football, eating cranberry sauce out of a can with a spoon. Because that’s what winners do.

This month’s Netflix titles for celebrating friendship are:

For the little kids:

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1. Bob and Larry: VeggieTales in the House
2. Bert and Ernie: Sesame Street: Elmo and Friends
3. Bo and Dezzy: Bo on the Go!
4. Justin and Olive: Justin Time
5. Tod and Copper: The Fox and the Hound 2
6. Clifford and Elizabeth: Clifford

I didn’t even offer the kids Veggie Tales, because while I have never watched one, my understanding is that it is about Jesus vegetables. And the Blands don’t do Jesus veggies.

The kids picked Clifford. Or, rather, my daughter picked it and my son said, “Whatever.” They seemed to really enjoy the story of the big red dog whose poops must have their own zip code. (Really, I’m positive I’m not the first person who has wondered where the heck Clifford goes poop. “People in the neighborhood blame the smell on the local dump. If only they knew how right they were….”)

They loved Clifford, as they love all of the new stuff on Netflix. And I loved the list of suggestions for grown-ups because it included not only 30 Rock, but also Breaking Bad. This proves once again that Netflix knows me better than my own mother. Thanks, Netflix. I’d invite you over for dinner but I don’t do that.

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