arianagoldbook

 

So. I wrote this book everyone. It’s a middle grade book about a young ice skater and things just aren’t going her way even though she’s a freakishly good ice skater.

Here are some reviews:

 

My mom: “This was the best book I’ve ever read.”

My mother-in-law: “I read this book twice it was so good.”

My father-in-law: “This was the best middle-grade book on ice skating I’ve ever read.”

My son: “I stayed up until way past my bedtime just to finish your book, Mommy.”

My husband: “I haven’t read it yet, but the cover looks cool.”

The neighbor girl: “I loved your book.”

 

So there you have it, some pretty awesome reviews of my new middle grade book. This should be hitting the NYT bestseller list any day now, I’m sure of it.

Here is where you can buy this book, your kids will love it and stay up way past their bed times to read and you’re welcome.

Me, very pregnant with number two.

Mommy stereotypes bug me, but they also tend to make me feel less alone when I’m sitting in my yoga pants that have never seen an actual yoga class, hiding in the bathroom from my kids,  drinking a glass of wine and lamenting about my huge receipt from Target. If the wine glass fits, drink it?

Here are some common Mommy stereotypes and some explanations of how they possibly came to be…

1. Moms eat leftover food off of their kid’s plates. We are basically one tantrum away from our entire day going to crap, what are a few congealed macaroni noodles?

2. Moms can be bitchy to other Moms. I’m not bitchy, I just haven’t slept properly in 8 years so now my face looks like this.

3. Moms hide from their kids in the bathroom. The door has a lock on it. And there is a toilet and fresh water so you could survive in there for a good long while.

4. Moms spend too much money at Target. Come on! It’s basically set up like a Mom-filled toy store and then we have to go there to buy toilet paper. And we ate congealed noodles for lunch so you know where our willpower’s at.

5. Moms complain that Dads can never find anything. I love my husband but he can’t find the butter. Or his belt.

6. Moms wipe boogers. Off of everybody. Habit. Sorry.

7. Moms like to drink coffee and wine. These things help give us the illusion that we are in control of when we are awake or asleep. And this illusion of control makes us feel better when we lose arguments with three-year-olds.

8. Moms talk a lot on the phone. Yeah, well, sometimes talking to one of your girlfriends about last night’s episode of The Bachelor is the only way you can survive while cleaning a toilet that has had frequent altercations with a little boy.

9. Moms think other Moms are doing it wrong. None of us knows what we are doing and we all know it. So, if we see someone who acts like they know what they are doing, we know she just hides in the bathroom longer.

10. Moms wear black yoga pants. Well, my theory is that we are so tired from trying to get someone else to wear pants that we are protesting wearing real pants ourselves. And they are stretchy to help with all the congealed macaroni-eating and black to cover all the wine stains. And we can buy them at Target.

This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

GraySwing

Before becoming a mom, I had never asked the question, “Is it okay for this child to use my sock as toilet paper?” Or, after my two-year-old sprinkled her great grandparents ashes in her hair, I asked, “How much soap does it take to get human remains out of someone’s hair?” The answer: A lot. But I have asked these questions, now, and I can never go back.

Here are 25 other questions that I never knew I would be asking once I became a mother:

1. Is that chocolate… or poop?

2. Oh crap, will anyone notice that I’m wearing two different shoes?

3. Can a baby actually suck your life force out through your boobs?

4. Ketchup totally counts as a vegetable, right?

5. How is it that I have a college education and I can not solve this second grade math problem?

6. Wrestling this person into her clothes counts as cardio, right?

7. Did my mom hide in the bathroom, too?

8. How long can a kid survive on just toast?

9. Is it possible for my ears to explode from the sheer amount of words that have been stuffed into them?

10. Is she really being nice, or does she want something from me?

11. How long until someone actually dies from lack of sleep?

12. I don’t have to put new makeup on if I didn’t wash off the stuff from last night, right?

13. What, exactly, is the octave of scream that will shatter glass?

14. Does my husband really sleep that soundly, or is he full of shit?

15. Yikes! How long has it been since I actually looked at my eyebrows?

16. If I don’t make a sound, will they find me?

17. How much do I really care about enforcing this rule at this moment?

18. Did I put a bra on?

19. Do I have enough reserve patience to let her help me put these ingredients into the bowl?

20. Oh God, didn’t my mother used to say that exact same thing?

21. How did I not know that I am a complete control freak until he decided he has to pick out his own clothes?

22. Was Google placed on Earth just to scare the shit out of me?

23. Was I this annoying?

24. Am I irreversibly screwing up this kid?

25. Who the hell am I?

 

This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

Categories: Kids

jorobb3

I started dating my husband when we were 19-year-old college students. During our first fight he purposefully flung himself into a snow bank and I started laughing and decided that I loved him.

We have now been together for 20 years. That is a very long time. We have weathered moments of hating each other’s guts, and door-slamming, mirror-breaking fights. We have weathered moments of laughing so hard that we are falling out of our chairs and wiping tears and snot off of our faces.

We have weathered days of just floating by each other, living our own lives and communicating in pre-coffee grunts. We have weathered moments of helplessness—one time as we watched our littlest one puke again and again after she had hit her head on a rock. We have weathered many first-thing-in-the-morning-tired looks, like, do we have to get up and do it all again?

Through all of these moments, I know that he is my person. My imperfect, sorta bossy, totally genius, loudly burping person.

But there are some things that I didn’t know would be true when I first saw that goofy guy in a red baseball cap standing outside my dorm room with a super soaker and an evil grin:

jorobb2

1. That one day, we would be able to communicate just looking at each other.

Did that little punk-ass just say that?

He sure freaking did!

Should I take the iPad?

Totally do it!

I’m sorta scared.

Me too.

2. That we would say and do hundreds of hurtful things to each other over the years, and that marriage is basically learning the art of not holding a grudge.

3. That the human body is basically gross and even after never being able to un-see the things we have seen, we would still want to get naked together.

4. That there would be moments of small perfections that sometimes come in the form of sitting in silence for 5 minutes together. Or in that moment when I step out of the shower, 2 kids later, and I’m not feeling my sexiest, he says, “Damn, girl.”

5. That there would be one day, at the end of a kid-filled summer, when we would drive down the driveway watching our kids wave with the babysitter, and we would feel so free that we would want to keep driving and maybe never come back. But we did.

6. That we would purposefully say stupid, mean things to each other because we’d know precisely what will make each other lose our minds.

7. That we would be the carrier of many secrets for each other. At our age, playing “Have You Ever” while drinking, would not be wise.

8. That there would be one morning that the sound of him brushing his teeth would make me want to stab him with his toothbrush. But I didn’t.

9. That Saturday mornings would be a delicate thing. They can be wonderful and lazy but they can also be the time when we can miscommunicate about bacon and life insurance and maybe even about miscommunication.

jorobb1

10. That we would find out that it is perfectly fine to not want to be with each other on those days.

11. That we would lose each other every once in a while. Especially while elbow-deep in kids.

12. That for the most part, life would get so much better. Or maybe little things like him bossing me around in the kitchen have just stopped bothering me so much.

A 20-year relationship weathers thousands of storms. I think the magic comes when, after each storm, the next morning we can look at each other as we slowly blink our eyes awake. And then one of us farts so loud that it rumbles the bed and wakes our 3-year-old sleeping in the next room. And she giggles.

That is marriage.

This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

Categories: Kids

Graymama

Now that summer is finally, hopefully, for the love of all things hot and sunscreeny, here, we have been making the rounds at some popular pools in Boulder. Sometimes I find it fascinating to watch other people interact with their kids. This may mean that I don’t get out a whole lot.

Here are some variations of moms that I have seen at the pool:

1. The Regulars: The swimming pool that you are at is their swimming pool, you just haven’t realized it yet. They come in small groups and set up shop at the prime sunny/shady spot with their matching fold-out chairs and their coordinated snacks and brightly colored towels and eye you a little suspiciously if they don’t recognize you. They are together. You are clearly not in their togetherness with your raggedy bath towels and your chocolatey-faced children.

2. The Nannies (Or “Au Pairs” if fanciness is required): They often look as weary as any mother. One told me the other day, after she rehearsed an oddly mechanical phrase to the child she was watching, that she has a set “script” that she was supposed to say to get the children to stop doing something. I could tell that her heart wasn’t really in it though, and I think the little girl could too, because she kept right on pushing those other kids off the ladder to the slide like it was The Lord of the Flies.

3. The Fun Mom: This mom makes us all look bad and I don’t like her very much. She tickles her kid going down the slide EVERY TIME and she lets the kid ride around on her back even though they are clearly choking her and she encourages games of tag where she actually tries to catch them and everything. And she brings swim noodles for chrissakes. Swim noodles. Her kids look pretty smug too, as if they know they had done something pretty great in a previous life to earn Fun Mom.

4. The Phone Moms: We all need to talk at some point, but there are some moms that literally spend the whole time on the phone at the side of the pool. It’s impressive. Their child is eating other people’s snacks, using my kid as a floaty and clogging up the slide situation by trying to go up backwards and Phone Mom is completely clueless.

5. The Toddler plus New Infant Desperation Mom: She has a new baby snoozing at the side of the pool. She has a toddler wreaking havoc like a boss. She is lucky if her swimsuit is on in the right direction. She looks a little freaked out around the eyes. We’ve all been there. You may see her nodding off a bit as she sits down in the shallow end and then get startled awake when her toddler pokes her face with an errant swim noodle.

6. The Perfect Mom: Ugh. Almost as annoying as the Fun Mom. I look at Perfect Mom and mentally berate myself for not caring more about how I present myself to the world. I mean doing 1000 sit-ups a day to have abs like that couldn’t be that hard! And I could probably attempt to wear some sort of flowy beach cover-up and wedge sandals and bring actual beach towels. I could buy actual beach towels! Perfect Mom’s children even look like they have bathed in an actual tub in the last week. Not having to take a bath is half the reason we even come to the pool.

7. The Mom Looking For a Friend, Any Friend: I have been there, so I know how she feels. It’s almost like dating; she notices your children are about the same age with the same interest in being human water tornadoes with no regard for other people. She catches your eye and strikes up a conversation, always starting out with “So…how old is she? What a good little swimmer! What’s her name?” The similarities and differences between children are compared and contrasted. “Your child loves to jump off super tall things and scare the shit out of you? So does mine!” “Your child enjoys getting into the car very slowly and crying at dinner? So does mine!” You exchange phone numbers between bouts of telling your respective children that fingers don’t go in other people’s eyes and to spit out whatever that was floating in the pool.

8. The Hippie Mom: You will recognize the Hippie Mom with her homemade raw food vegan granola snacks in cloth containers and her children with names like Bringer of Light and Namaste Jones. My kid’s middle name is Rainbow, so I probably don’t have a lot to say about this. Hippie Mom may or may not have dreadlocks (and you may or may not stare in fascination like me to find out what exactly happens to dreadlocks when they get wet), and there might be a head scarf involved. She is at peace even when her children are mauling one another, happy in the moment, living and breathing. Don’t be surprised if Light Bringer politely requests a sip of milk from her right breast as they lounge poolside.

9. The Grandma: It is often hard to tell the Grandmas from the Moms in Boulder. Partly because women tend to have their babies later here, and partly because a lot of the Grandmas are still smokin’ hot and sporting a two-piece in a way that makes me want to cover myself with a tarp. The Grandmas seem to genuinely like the children they are swimming with. There is a lot of high-fiving and pool- jump congratulations and delicious-looking cookies at snack time. Grandmas are as awesome as Fun Mom.

10. The Discipline Mom: She expects her children’s perfect behavior at all times. No pushing, no sliding out of turn, and for goodness sake don’t blow your nose in the pool like that kid (pointing at my kid). She has a lot of rules and there are a lot of time-outs on the side of the pool and she talks a lot about good and bad choices. But all I can think is, jeez, give the kid a break, they all like to splash an unsuspecting friend in the face once in a while. It just feels good.

I have fit very snugly into all of these Mom categories at one time or another, depending on the day, or the amount of sleep that has been bequeathed to me by the children in my home. Well, except for Perfect Mom. But we all know that girl has something crazy locked up somewhere.

 

This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

Categories: Kids

IMG_9077 (1)

My son is a thoughtful, book-loving, slightly nerdy soul. He has also been known to be ditzy, intensely focused, and gets teary with any and all emotional thoughts.

He is me.

He’s so much me that it completely freaks me out sometimes. He is me in the way he reads a book so intently that a Mack Truck could drive through the living room and he wouldn’t even notice. He is me in the way he is calm and collected for months at a time and then his sister crosses her eyes at him one day and he cries for three hours. I have found that raising a miniature me can be enlightening but also the most annoying thing in the world.

Here are 10 reasons why:

1. When he does something dumb, my genetic makeup gets blamed. Like, when he forgets that he is brushing his teeth while he is brushing his teeth and just stands there looking confused, my husband will say, “Oh my God, he’s so you.” It’s awful, but it’s true.

2. I’m not a very good adulting example. He can hardly take me seriously when I am hollering at him to not to talk with his mouth full, but he can’t understand me—because I have my mouth full.

3. I know what he is thinking, which isn’t always good, especially when he is glaring at me after I’ve taken the iPad away.

4. I see him battling the same demons I battled. Learning common sense comes to mind. It’s learnable, but everyone laughs at you a lot until you learn it. I once swept my parents garage with the door to the house open and managed to cover the entire place with a fine layer of dirt. Yup.

5. I don’t get nearly as frustrated with my other child. She acts just like my husband, and I have learned how to deal with all of that.

6. I have come to realize how frustrating I am as a human being. I don’t listen very well, I have no sense of direction, and I forget stuff all of the time. I am so annoying and so is he.

IMG_9159

7. I really want to help him figure stuff out. But ultimately I know he will do better if he fails on his own—just like me. He has to fall out of that tree, hit his face with the tip of that hatchet, and run into a million poles.

8. At parent-teacher conferences, I am now the parent, having to hear all about things that I did at his age. It can be mortifying. Love letters, crushes, goofiness. At least it’s followed up with good math scores.

9. Trying to reason with a younger version of myself is, well, like, trying to reason with a younger version of myself. We can talk circles around each other until both of us are so frustrated that we want to throw each off of the deck.

10. And I have to watch myself go through every painful social situation all over again. He has a tender heart that will be broken many times. He will feel awkward in large groups. He will feel lonely at times.

The best I can hope for is that I will be able to guide him a bit through life, probably not in the right direction, but that’s why we had his little sister.

 

This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

Categories: Kids

Here is the hat of names from everyone who commented…

 

IMG_0812

 

Here is Nora looking SUPER excited about her job.

 

IMG_0813

 

And the winner is….Pam!

Let’s just pretend there is some clapping, cheering, and streamers instead of a slightly annoyed 4 yo standing right here because she thought she was winning something herself.

IMG_0814

 

Pam will be getting this handy dandy little gadget from MyCharge called the HubMax. Yay Pam! And thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Now go check out some of their awesome chargers.

AND, if you didn’t win, you can use this promo code: ‘MOM’ for 40% off the HubMax. Wahoo!

 

HUB MAX Product pic 1

 

Categories: Kids

(This is a sponsored post by MyCharge. WHAT. I know. And, I have a prize to give away and everything. An awesome prize. There is going to be brawling in the streets for this prize.)

Well, first of all, I don’t think we have actually managed to stay sane, so that title was misleading. At one point this past weekend I looked around and my entire family was wearing party hats and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Everyone was going about their own business like everything was normal, except that we all had party hats on. Nora’s was especially fancy, so I suspected that she had something to do with it. Her very unfancy family is a constant disappointment to her.

IMG_0746

You unfancy people disappoint me

So stir-craziness aside, there are things we mountain people do when the online meteorologist starts making up words like snowmageddon and snowpocalypse and ending all of his sentences with exclamation points. He gets annoyingly excited about the chance of huge snow.

First of all, I start storing water in any and all receptacles. My husband makes fun of my OCD tendencies but I just don’t even care. I think some kind of survival thing kicks in and I just can’t manage to Stop. Filling. Receptacles. I even fill up the bathtub for toilet flushing emergencies just in case the power goes out. Next, I buy and hoard food like a rabid squirrel. I just don’t feel okay until we could eat out of our cupboards for about ten years. I then heat the house up a like we are all octogenarians because we don’t have a fireplace and I hate being cold. Yes, I get the irony of my living in The Mountains and hating being cold. Then, I dig out the snowshoes just in case we need to hike to our neighbor’s house for sledding and Yahtzee marathons and cocktails.

That’s after we get tired of throwing our children into the snow bank.

Or trying to get out of our driveway.

 

Finally, I charge the devices. You know the ones. The things that are vital for our survival in times of extreme stress AKA too-much-family-togetherness. We charge the iPads, computers, phones, and reading devices. Luckily, during this last snow storm I happened to have this amazing thing from MyCharge. I don’t do sponsored posts, so you know that I am freaking excited about something when I do. This thing i is called the HubMax and it is a GAME CHANGER. Or a game charger. Both, really.

 

IMG_3178

Click on this pic and it will take you right on over to MyCharge. Whee!

 

It’s small and portable and has, like 67 hours of charge time or something ridiculous like that.

Weirdly, when there isn’t a snow storm, I am the opposite of prepared. As in, I always forget to charge my phone. Always. With this little beauty, I can charge my phone with the HubMax sitting in my purse, like tra la la I’m a super responsible grown-up type person with a charged phone and everything. It’s like some kind of adulting sorcery I tell you.

AND I GET TO GIVE ONE AWAY FOR MOTHER’S DAY. This sucker costs 129.00. And I get to just give it away to someone. To enter, just put in any comment in the comment section by Friday.  That’s it. I’ll put your names in a hat and have a kid pull one name out. This would make a pretty amazing Mother’s Day gift, just saying. The only catch is that this giveaway is for US residents only. Sorry Canada.

GOOD LUCK! And stay safe out there, people.

 

Here is all of MyCharge’s info for your perusal, they have a ton of different products in different sizes and shapes and colors.

FB – https://www.facebook.com/myCharge

Twitter – @myChargePower

Instagram @myCharge

Categories: Kids

angry

Four-year-olds can get very angry. At 4, they are harder to fool, and they have a lot of passion about things like yogurt. Also, they can speak in full sentences and tell you exactly what they think, which is not always nice.

I made the recent mistake of disagreeing with my own 4-year-old about whether or not she ate a certain yogurt (she had eaten it, but I couldn’t figure out a way to evict the yogurt from her stomach to prove it to her). Three days later, and I’m still startling at loud noises.

If you find yourself stuck in a room that is being dominated by an angry 4-year-old, here are some steps you can take to try to ensure your own survival:

1. Start with giving them a time-out. Realize quickly that you did not anticipate the level of their commitment to the yogurt that has already been consumed. It appears that they have associated the yogurt with “oxygen” or “will to live.”

2. Suggest taking deep breaths as the child seems to be self-combusting. Call and apologize to your neighbors for the noise. Explain to them that you have a 4-year-old who wants a certain yogurt that has already been eaten. They end up apologizing to you and sending you a get-well package.

3. Speak softly, or loudly, or don’t speak at all. I’m not sure. One time, one thing works, and then the next time, I am told that I am a horrible, mean, no-good sort of person.

4. Create a diversion. Or focus on the problem. Do whichever but make sure you are wearing a protective coating of some sort.

5. Play soothing music. And then stop doing that, immediately.

6. Confuse them with your superior language skills. Find yourself hours later, rocking in a corner, speaking gibberish.

7. Approach slowly, or quickly, or run away. Choose quickly but know that any of these things will be the wrong choice.

8. Suggest a snack. Feel real fear for food in general.

9. Plead with them to tell you why they are so upset. Be prepared to not like the answer, as it may have the words “poopy face” in it.

10. Give into bribery. Offer bigger, fancier, more delicious yogurts. Yogurts that only princesses eat. Yogurts that can only be found at Disney World and you will take them there. They don’t care. They want the yogurt that they had already eaten and nothing else will do.

Then, they finally get a hold of themselves and walk to refrigerator to show you which yogurt they wanted. You brace yourself because you know, without a doubt, that they had eaten it already. They pull out a container. The container holds the leftover yogurt that was in their lunch from the day before, not the yogurt that they had already eaten for breakfast.

They are a ray of sunshine. They are as sweet as honey, as pie, as that frosting that makes your stomach hurt.

It was all a misunderstanding.

Welcome to parenting a 4-year-old.

 

This post was originally on Scary Mommy.

IMG_4295

 

My son is a thoughtful, book-loving, slightly nerdy soul. He has also been known to be ditzy, intensely focused, and gets teary with any and all emotional thoughts.

He is me.

He’s so much me that it completely freaks me out sometimes. He is me in the way he reads a book so intently that a Mack Truck could drive through the living room and he wouldn’t even notice. He is me in the way he is calm and collected for months at a time and then his sister crosses her eyes at him one day and he cries for three hours. I have found that raising a miniature me can be enlightening but also the most annoying thing in the world.

1. When he does something dumb, my genetic makeup gets blamed. Like, when he forgets that he is brushing his teeth while he is brushing his teeth and just stands there looking confused, my husband will say, “Oh my God, he’s so you.” It’s awful, but it’s true.

2. I’m not a very good adulting example. He can hardly take me seriously when I am hollering at him to not to talk with his mouth full, but he can’t understand me—because I have my mouth full.

3. I know what he is thinking, which isn’t always good, especially when he is glaring at me after I’ve taken the iPad away.

4. I see him battling the same demons I battled. Learning common sense comes to mind. It’s learnable, but everyone laughs at you a lot until you learn it. I once swept my parents garage with the door to the house open and managed to cover our entire just-cleaned-for-Grandparents-visit house with a fine layer of dirt. Yup.

5. I don’t get nearly as frustrated with my other child. She acts just like my husband, and I have learned how to deal with all of that.

6. I have come to realize how frustrating I am as a human being. I don’t listen very well, I have no sense of direction, and I forget stuff all of the time. I am so annoying and so is he.

7. I really want to help him figure stuff out. But ultimately I know he will do better if he fails on his own—just like me. He has to fall out of that tree, hit his face with the tip of that hatchet, and run into a million poles.

8. At parent-teacher conferences, I am now the parent, having to hear all about things that I did at his age. It can be mortifying. Love letters, crushes, goofiness. At least it’s followed up with good math scores.

9. Trying to reason with a younger version of myself is, well, like, trying to reason with a younger version of myself. We can talk circles around each other until both of us are so frustrated that we want to throw each off of the deck.

10. And I have to watch myself go through every painful social situation all over again. He has a tender heart that will be broken many times. He will feel awkward in large groups. He will feel lonely at times.

The best I can hope for is that I will be able to guide him a bit through life, probably not in the right direction, but that’s why we had his little sister.

 

This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

Categories: Kids

%d bloggers like this: