Tuesday 10: 10 Favorite Photos

Below are 10 of my favorite photos that capture some of the most special moments in my life. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I will let these special photos speak for themselves.

1. When we first met…

2. Celebrating our marriage with family and friends…

3. Baby’s first picture…

4. Our first family photo…

5. Mother and daughter…

6. Little baby goes to Washington…

7. Precious smile…

8. Sisters…

9. That’s my boy…10. I love every, simple, mundane moment…

VOTE FOR ME: Top 25 Funny Moms of 2012

I am asking you (yes you and you) to please vote for me in Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms of 2012.

Why?

Because at 8 months pregnant I dressed like a Mom-Zombie and posed for pictures.

Because I am THIS mom: Shit Working Moms Say

Because I compared my Adventures in Commuting to a classic John Hughes film. Also, there were dinosaurs.

Because what mom dreams of breaking the law with her child in the backseat? This mom!

Because I have a board on Pinterest devoted to ridiculous nonsense.

Because I proudly forged my father’s signature on a test I failed with brown crayon. Yes, brown crayon.

Because I invited everyone into the bathroom with me (and you don’t even need to knock on the door).

If I make the Top 25, I will pose for and POST a goofy photo of your choosing. No nudity, but you may suggest something equally embarrassing. I’m not a politician, so you can trust me. I’m good for my word. See, you get something in return! In politics and parenting, they call it bribery folks.

If you would like a daily reminder to vote, leave your email in the comments below (or shoot me an email privately at mommyhuhinfo(at)gmail.com). I’ll even send you something silly with each daily reminder.

Please, VOTE FOR ME!

I said please.

Thank you!

- Jennifer @DCWorkingMommy

 

How to Make Barbie Skinny Jeans Out of Duct Tape

Don’t let the title discourage you from reading. Let me explain.

I always enjoy meeting and connecting with new readers. Sure it’s nice to know people are listening to what you have to say, but it’s wonderful to hear what others are talking about. Occasionally I’ll discuss a topic others are discussing as well, but mostly I share random thoughts in my head. Life just happens and no two stories are truly alike.

I always take notice of the search engine terms that bring people to Mommy Huh. Nearly every day it is the same terms; Hungry Caterpillar Party (which I highlighted in Mommy-DIY). But today (oh yes, today is obviously different) the top search engine term was ‘how to make barbie skinny jeans out of duct tape.’

Yes, indeed strange. However, the story is much deeper and personal than that. Barbie was a very important part of my childhood. Some people have inspirational teachers or kind neighbors, I had a plastic doll. A youthful obsession with Barbie.

If we had been more realistic about Barbie, we might have recognized how much women love shoes and clothes (neither of which we had a lot of). But Barbie’s wardrobe was weak and consisted of the clothes that came with our new Barbies or something crafty our mother or grandmother had made. We also had a few vintage outfits my mother had passed down to our Barbies.

I advise you to refrain from labeling my childhood as spoiled when I discuss how many Barbies we had. My sister and I always earned our new Barbie dolls by doing our chores or for good behavior and academic accomplishments. We NEVER acquired Barbies via tantrums or bribery (are you listening son?).

On one occasion, my sister and I stole some Barbie clothes from a playmate. Obviously this was not one of our better moments nor one we ever repeated. Instead we used creativity when Barbie needed a costume or special outfit. With permission mostly from our father (mom was more likely to say no), we took the clothes we had outgrown and used the fabric to make some new outfits. We’d cut out a basic shape like a rectangle, and use that to make a pencil skirt. Or cut a few small circles for the head and arms to make a shirt.

Scissors + Unused Fabric= Simple Barbie Clothes (unfortunately Pinterest did not exist in those days or else I would be happy to showcase our designs and creations)

I had learned to use scissors in Kindergarten, but one skill they didn’t teach was sewing. Without sewing, the clothes ceased to be clothes. Our solve? Yes my friends, DUCT TAPE. Our dad had taught us that duct tape could fix anything and could be used to make seams without a needle or thread. We could tape the clothes on and pull it off when Barbie was done. With our imaginations, a pile of unwanted fabric, and duct tape there was no limit to Barbie’s wardrobe.

If you are reading this and were the person who had searched for ‘how to make barbie skinny jeans out of duct tape,’ I intended no embarrassment! I’m merely highlighting the irony that strange as it may have been to search for ‘how to make barbie skinny jeans out of duct tape,’ you have actually come to the right place! Leave me a comment and I would be happy to help!

Bloggers, have you ever encountered some interesting search terms?

Blog-Baby-Book: Walking

For some time now, my son has been disinterested in sitting and laying. Although he would rather stand than sit when he plays, he hadn’t realized that you don’t have to be hold onto the wall to walk around. On Monday evening, he let go.

Why the sudden walking? Because my husband reached across the room and offered his cell phone to our son if he walked to get it. If you need to know anything about my son; if it DOESN’T look like a baby toy, he wants it. Really bad.

Within minutes our son was less interested in the cell phone than he was in all the cheers and attention he was getting. Amazing what positive reinforcement and encouragement can do for a child.

And to be clear, he IS walking like you and I although it does seem as if he is much less clumsy than I am. He’s not cheating in any way and I’m not exaggerating (I think we all know moms who stretch the truth).

Within 30 minutes, he was running in circles and shouting gleefully. My house hasn’t been this noisy since I had a newborn and a grumpy husband. Pretty sure this was what all the moms were warning me about when they said, ‘Oh, boy. Just you wait.’

As a working mom, one of my biggest fears is missing these moments in my son’s development. I am thankful to have witnessed and share this milestone with my son, husband, and mother. Quite obviously, I am very proud.

Blog-Baby-Book highlights baby’s firsts and developmental milestones.

Snow: Everybody Panic!

Snow; a word that incites panic and excitement. Panic for the adults and excitement for the young and young at heart.

On Friday afternoon, there was nervous office chatter about the snow and wintry weather headed our way.  If you don’t know what that means in Washington, D.C., let me illustrate a picture for you. Although it is not necessary to stock up on toilet paper and water, it is necessary to conform with all the other panic-stricken zombies who are. Go to the grocery store immediately and purchase enough supplies to last for 3 weeks. Also note that in the event of inclement weather, people loose the ability to safely and properly operate large machinery… like cars. Agonizing traffic and Metro delays ensue.

All this, BEFORE it snows.

Saturday morning my husband and I jump out of bed to see how much snow we got. It looked like this:

Thank goodness everyone panicked! It could take minutes to clear off that sidewalk! We might have run out of toilet paper or water!

If you can’t tell, I’m being absolutely and totally sarcastic. Something I’m not being sarcastic about? The Federal government had a two hour delay this morning. Like, for real. I guess they were still digging their sidewalks out. I do hope they panicked and had enough tax-payer funded toilet paper.

</sarcasm>

<seriousness>

My mother presented me with a special gift last winter just after the birth of our son. Although he was too small to utilize it last year and likely too big to use it this year, her gift is a sentimental one.

She gave me my first snow suit.

I was too small to remember wearing it, but I have memories from pictures and the stories other people tell me. What I do remember is that this snow suit was a hand-me-down to my sister.

Now, it is a hand-me-down for my son.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @DCWorkingMommy

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Drugs, Theft, and Bad Things Little Girls Do

I’ve already confessed to forgery. But I’ve done other hard crimes too.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me or reads this blog that Barbies were an important part of my childhood. Not in a BFF kind of way, but more in a drug addict kind of way.

During the summers, my sister and I (partners in crime related by blood) would spend the day at Mema’s house while our parents were at work. We were always armed with our Barbies. Mema was our grandmother and lived in a small neighborhood where everybody knew everybody and what color their poop was. The kind of place where everyone locks their doors and peers through the curtains when an unidentified vehicle goes rolling down the street and large masses of kids gathered each morning to play together until sunset.

There was a girl in the neighborhood who had a lot of Barbies. We always liked playing with her. It was so nice to dress our Barbies in different clothes and partner them up with different Ken dolls. But it was always heartbreaking to pack up our Barbie things and leave her cool things behind.

One day, we didn’t.

We had a travel case for our Barbies filled with a small portion of a wardrobe suitable for eleven and a half inches of plastic legs and boobs. In true heist fashion, my sister acted as a distraction while I stuffed our case with Barbie clothes that didn’t belong to us.

At our own home, we were proud of what we did. The girl in my grandmother’s neighborhood never noticed, and we had new outfits for our dolls.

Over time, we felt dirty.

We stopped playing with the items we had stolen, but occasionally we would find a tiny dress that had belonged to neighbor-girl. My sister and I would pretend not to notice and ignore the fact that we were both feeling guilty.

I should probably apologize now, some 20+years later; to my parents, Mema, and to the girl who probably thought the missing Barbie clothes were her brother’s wrong doing.

I’m sorry…

… and my sister made me do it!

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Mommy Did It: Hungry Caterpillar Party

On Friday the 13th, we happily celebrated my son’s first birthday party. We had a small party to mark the occasion and a couple of super-simple DIY projects for decoration and party theme (Hungry Caterpillar). Remember to pin-it!

Hungry Caterpillar Balloons.

Hungry Caterpillar Balloons

Materials:

Balloons, Tape, Construction Paper, scissors

Instructions:

1. Inflate green balloons for the body and a large red one for the head. Also include a few smaller ones for the tip of the tail.

2. Secure to wall with tape and stagger to show a little squirmy movement.

3. Use construction paper for eyes and antennae.

Cost: Balloons $3.00 + Tape $1.00 + Construction Paper $1.00 = $5.00 for a super-cool decoration!

Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes

Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes

Materials:

Cake mix, sugar-free icing, cupcake papers, cupcake pan, spatula, food coloring

Instructions:

1. Follow preparation instructions for cake mix.

2. Add cupcake papers to cupcake pan and add cake batter.

3. Follow baking instructions. After removing from oven, let totally cool (to avoid melting icing or tearing soft cupcakes apart).

4. Add food coloring to icing (green for body, red for face). Use sugar-free icing to avoid sugar shock or a sugar rush. Use a spatula to apply to cupcakes.

5. For the face, look in your refrigerator for items to use as eyes and antennae. I cut shapes out of a soft tortilla shell for eyes and cut the antennae out of lettuce.

Cost: Cake Mix $1.75 + Sugar Free Icing $1.75 + Cupcake Papers $2.00 = $5.50 for a cupcake caterpillar!

A very happy birthday boy!

 

Total Party Cost: $10.50

Son’s excitement and enjoyment: Priceless!

Follow my Mommy Did It board on Pinterest for other simple DIY projects that I did and you can do too!

The Bee Gees Gene

Let me preface what follows with two key points:

1. If a child does something interesting once, it’s only interesting. If they do it consistently, then you’ve got something to worry about.

2. My taste in music sucks… as in I have no taste in music.

Having a child in and of itself is full of surprises. Despite expecting unexpected moments, I have noticed an unusual behavior in child that isn’t mentioned in What to Expect When You’re Expecting: The First Year. During playtime, we listen to the radio. The station we listen to is lite-fm because the music is appropriate for the playroom, it isn’t music without words (that would put me to sleep), and I simply don’t know any better.

One afternoon, I noticed my son shaking his bum as if he was dancing. I started clapping and smiling and encouraging the behavior. I made a mental note to mention to my grandmother that the song he was dancing to was by the Bee Gees. Oddly enough, my grandmother loves (LOVES) the Bee Gees. And who hasn’t danced to Staying Alive? Weddings, school dances, morning showers.

A few days later my son started shaking his bum and dancing again. I started clapping and smiling and encouraging the behavior when I noticed something odd.

It was the Bee Gees again.

I stopped clapping and smiling and encouraging the behavior. Was it coincidence that on the two occasions when I observed my son dancing and responding directly to music that it was the Bee Gees? It was, after all, the same song.

A week or two later it happened again and this time it was a little different. My husband was cooking dinner in the kitchen while my son and I were playing in the living room. Instead of television in the living room, we listen to the radio for entertainment. I had just picked my son up off the floor when he started kicking his legs and wiggling playfully. Yet again, the Bee Gees were to blame. This time it was a different song and it was slow.

To spare you from listening to further example of this strange behavior, let me just say that each and every time we have heard the Bee Gees (now 6 or 7 times over the past few weeks) my son has reacted with dancing. To date, he has yet to respond to any other artists.

Because of my taste in music (or lack thereof), I wonder if my son gets his Bee Gees from my husband.

First Year in Pictures

Gallery

This gallery contains 16 photos.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this blog post has 14,000. My son’s first year told through pictures. Happy Birthday, son! <3

The Moral of Griswold Family Vacations

I have never been a world traveler. I’ve only ever left the country to go to Canada, didn’t go to Walt Disney World until I was 19 years old, flew once on an airplane when I was 2 years old and not again until I was 24, and I have never been on the West Coast.

I can still remember those random winter days when we would gather for a family meeting to discuss where we wanted to go for our family vacation. Being the ten year old history buff I was, I always suggested colonial Williamsburg. I think secretly, I would have rather lived there and was tired of waiting for the invention of time travel. But no worries, my tinkering son will invent time travel very soon.

Apart from my suggestion to time travel each summer for a true getaway, we were realistic about our expectations. Walt Disney World was too expensive, Hawaii was too far, and our family bond would never survive a cross country drive. So year after year I was over-ruled in favor of Ocean City, MD, Niagara Falls, Nags Head, NC, or camping.

Our family vacations were filled with tornadoes, sun poisoning, and bike rides that were a little further than we had thought. Best part? My dad videotaped every second. Yes, as in a camera that holds a full-sized VHS tape sitting on his shoulder. The best souvenir is realizing how much fun we had.

I’ll admit I am now that I’m in my early 30’s (VERY early 30’s) and I have yet to visit Colonial Williamsburg (despite now residing a very short distance away). It has been 7 years since I have been to Walt Disney World but I have never visited there on a family vacation. Although I have been camping recently, I miss the Erie, PA campground we used to visit regularly. As time passed, our family became too busy for vacations.

Why so sad, George? Too much family vacation?

But now our family has grown +1. Although we didn’t think our +1 was ready for a family vacation last summer, I know he will be very soon. We did visit Mount Vernon, VA (best I can do until he invents that time travel) and I suspect we will try camping once or twice this coming summer. I’m finally going to have to learn how to be patient as we wait for our +1 to get older so that we can take him to Walt Disney World in a true Griswold family vacation (green station wagon and VHS camera optional).

But vacations don’t have to be distant or itinerary filled. Instead, they should be filled with sleeping in, turning off the Blackberry (crazy talk!), and spending family time together. Despite all of the places my family and I didn’t travel to, our memories are about the places we did travel to and what we did once we got there.

And we have the home videos to prove it.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @DCWorkingMommy