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

 

Welcome to our Kitchen

I am not a good cook. In fact, I’m a really bad cook. If you think my family is starving (or worse, eating the terrible things I cook), worry not. I married my husband specifically because he is a really good cook. Also, I love him.

Our first date consisted of conversation and a supreme pizza from Pizza Hut. Classy, right? In 8th grade, I earned the one and only ‘F’ of my academic career in home economics. It’s not as bad as you think; mom and dad thought it was funny and I was able to repeat the class (which I had skipped the first time around). When my husband learned this and noticed that I lacked the ability to prepare a meal that was not noodles, he made an effort to get me excited about cooking.

Despite the meals I prepared being considered ‘an insult to food,’ I have always enjoyed watching cooking shows. Cooking shows are great for inducing naps and an excuse for being unproductive around the house. Against his better judgment, my husband started including me in the kitchen and our meal preparations. For fun, we would suit up in aprons and he would provide commentary as though he had his own cooking show. Yes, we are very strict and serious when we cook.

Cooking was no longer a chore, it was a fun activity we did together. It was quality time with a delicious outcome. My role in the kitchen includes preparing noodles (boiling water), making rice (I have the patience to get it just-right), peeling potatoes (I’m more careful with a peeler than my husband), and chopping onions (punishment for my crimes against food). I made all of my own baby food purees and I am also in charge of baking and treat making which I do very well (it’s because I taste as I go).

Better, right?

Because we are so busy, we get into the habit of cooking things that are easy or that we can prepare quickly, thus limiting our menu options. When we acquired ground bison, we decided to try something very different. Very different in the kitchen means we have no idea what we are doing. My husband searched the internet for a recipe and was baffled by the results.

“How is this possible?” he asked. It seemed as though he was speaking to the lap-top, but his question was directed at me. “There are no recipes for ground bison. Doesn’t anyone eat this stuff?”

“Are you sure?” I asked absentmindedly as I peeled potatoes.

“There is absolutely nothing. I don’t get it,” he sighed.

I took a moment to look over his shoulder as my potato peeling production halted. As a nerd, I find it nearly impossible that Google does not find search results for EVERYTHING. There it was; 4 odd results and not one recipe.

“They sell this stuff at the store. What are you supposed to do with it?” I asked as my full attention was redirected from the potatoes to the recipe-search-fail. “You idiot!” I exclaimed in an affectionate manner. “You searched for ground bison receipts!”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s recipes not receipts!”

In all the glory of Star Wars, the student became the master.

Our little-chef has also shown an interest in participating in kitchen activities. He’s really good with an empty bowl and spoon and makes delicious invisible food. It’s only a matter of time before he becomes the new master.

Please VOTE for ME daily!

Pinterest for Mommies

I heart Pinterest. I would marry it if I could, but my husband won’t let me.

What is Pinterest? It’s something different for everybody. It is a place to organize and share ideas and thoughts. It’s whatever you want it to be! Am I vague enough? I used to imagine my head was full of tiny people and filing cabinets. This microscopic office environment’s primary function was to retrieve and provide information when necessary. If this microscopic environment had a bulletin board for thoughts to ponder and ideas to try, that would be Pinterest.

Pinterest is not so different from other popular social media; you follow and have followers, can ‘like’ and comment on what you see, and can share and interact with others. When you see an image worth remembering, you ‘pin it.’ Whatever you ‘pin’ can be organized onto different ‘boards’ which represent different categories relevant and specific to you.

Personally, my fave board is Silly-Mommy. I love to laugh and share humor with others! For many, Pinterest is the go-to for crafts, DIY, recipes, and other projects. Here is a list of 5 projects I found on Pinterest that I HAVE tried and 5 projects I found on Pinterest that I HAVEN’T tried. Remember to follow me on Pinterest.

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5 Projects I HAVE Tried on Pinterest

1. Sweet Potato Fries: I have yet to perfect the recipe and get a crispy frie, but it is delicious trying! Cost: About .70 cents per potato

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2. Bacon and Eggs Candy: Take white chocolate discs and place on top of a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Pop in a 200 degree oven for a minuter or two to soften the chocolate, then drop a yellow M&M and pretzel stick on top. Cost: About $10 for ingredients

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3. Moustache Pacifier: I think moustaches are adorable, especially on kids. Cut a moustache from felt and secure to a pacifier with tape. I used a photograph of my son with a moustache and turned it into a special Valentine. Cost: About .20 cents for a sheet of felt.

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4. Hungry Caterpillar Balloons: Inflate green balloons for the body and a big red balloon for the head. Use construction paper to make antennae and eyes. Secure all with tape. Cost: About $5 for balloons, tape, and construction paper. Learn more

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5. Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes: Make a batch of cupcakes and add green and red food coloring to icing. Ice cupcakes and get creative with refrigerator and pantry items to decorate the head. Cost: About $5.50 for cake mix, icing, and cupcake papers. Learn more

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5 Projects I HAVEN’T Tried on Pinterest.. YET!

1. Cardboard Playhouse: My son loves playing in closets. No doubt, he would enjoy a playhouse of his own (and I would enjoy not cleaning up closets after he messes them up).

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2. Cloud Mobile: I have been using the ceiling fan in our son’s room to create different mobiles. Fluffy clouds would be beautiful.

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3. Sponge Blocks: This versatile DIY toy is inexpensive and simple. When my son is older (and less likely to eat the sponges) I hope to make him a set of sponge blocks.

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4. Pretzel Buckeyes: Simple, I want to eat it, therefore I want to make it!

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5. Pretzel Rolls: They look delicious and can be frozen for later use.

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Remember to follow me on Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest too? Ready to try it out and need an invite? Leave me a comment!

Unusual Search Terms

So it wasn’t a fluke when someone found my blog by using the search terms ‘how to make barbie skinny jeans out of duct tape.’ Since calling attention to the unusual search term, it has happened again and again: how to sew a pencil skirt for barbie, duct tape barbie clothes, how to make doll skinny jeans, how to make barbie pants out of duct tape, how to make barbie jeans, and no sew barbie clothes. Have I missed my career calling? Am I the @rzrachelzoe of Barbie clothes? That’s major.

If it wasn’t interesting enough to find this blog by searching for how to make Barbie clothes out of duct tape, someone’s unique (we will call it) search for ‘how to make a flamingo out of duct tape’ brought them here.

Top Search Terms 03.02.2012

mr darcy bookmark: I might like a Mr. Darcy bookmark for myself. Let me know if you find one.

babysaurus: I have been referring to my son as a dinosaur since I had made the statement during our first sonogram that he looked like a little dino.

moms in sweaters: Some people like that kind of thing, eh?

drug theft: Hope I didn’t disappoint someone looking for an intense story about drug theft with my story about the childhood Barbie clothes heist I pulled off.

how to make a flamingo out of duct tape: Good enough to mention it again. Yeah, I just don’t know…

style up my mum: I suppose some teen was embarrassed when their mum was in the carpool lane in pajama pants and thought said mum needed a style upgrade.

“my humor is”: Nope, no humor here.

What is your most unusual search term this week? Please share in the comments below.

Getting Work and Life More in Balance

Blogging is greater than just writing. It is about conversation and interaction. If bloggers didn’t want a response or reaction to their posts, they might use a pen and paper to record their thoughts and keep them private. But here I am; an open book.

After Work-Life Imbalance was Freshly Pressed, a productive conversation about work and family occurred. Some shared their personal experiences, others shared advice and encouragement. I would be a fool if I neglected to recognize what I was learning from their comments. I would also be greedy if I didn’t share their wisdom with others.

I wanted to highlight a few comments from different perspectives and with different backgrounds than my own. Recognizing that no two stories are alike, but that they are equally relevant, is important as we all journey to be better bloggers, parents, and people.

Flav_Holman: I think my life went completely off balance 5 years ago when I had my daughter. Never to go back to the way it was again :)

ASuburbanLife: I wish I could find the person who coined the term “work life balance” and kick him. The definition of balance is “a state of equilibrium or equipoise; EQUAL distribution of weight, amount, etc.” or “to be EQUAL or proportionate” (my emphasis in all caps). When you are a working parent of young children there is no balance! I prefer “work family juggle” (juggle = to hold, catch, carry, or balance precariously; almost drop and then catch hold again!).

emmahevezi: you need to concentrate on what you are doing well not on what other people appear to be doing or how you compare to other people.

Life’s amazing journey: There’s a chance that the work/family-life balance is a myth. I think that it’s easier to take work and family as it comes separately – work for these hours, family for the other hours.

kramerjen: I don’t think anyone really has it figured out.

kcburk: Work 8 hours. Get 3 with your kids before bed time. That’s an even trade right!?

krafte: From the other side: I had a stay at home mom, and while she was always there, as I got older, she was STILL always there. It ended up being hurtful both to me, and to her, I think.

divaofdelicious: I hated to work my butt off just pay $$$ for someone else to do what I wanted to do…raise my kids.

oilandgarlic: I’ve written about this topic numerous times. I think flexiblity is more important than the mythic work/life balance, as there is always an imbalance of sorts!

Ruby Bagga: When at home, just try to spend quality time with him and the house work gets neglected. Its a never ending vicious circle.

Thank you to everyone who has been participating in the Work-Life Imbalance discussion. You are more than welcome to share your thoughts or additional comments below.

Feeling Freshly Pressed

I would like to extend a special welcome to the visitors stopping by from Freshly Pressed and would like to invite you to stay a while. Take a look at the  main menu and explore a while. Before you leave, check out the side bar ——> if you would like to follow my blog or social media.

A special thank you to wordpress.com for recognizing my post, Work-Life Imbalance and featuring it on Freshly Pressed.

Tuesday 10: 10 Things I would say to my 16 year old self

What would you say if you met your 16 year old self? Below are ten things I wish I had known in 1996.

1. Don’t be afraid to be different.

2. Being the center of attention is not always a bad thing. Stop shying away from it.

3. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up.

4. Your senior year will be awesome. Try to enjoy your junior year too!

5. Seize opportunities to sing more.

6. They are laughing with you, not at you. Just chill.

7. Your first choice of college is the better choice.

8. You and he are really better off as best friends.

9. You are smart, you’re just lazy.

10. Invent Facebook.

What would you say? Link up…

Babysaurus Rex: My 1 Year Old Eats Like a Dinosaur

Something happened at the pediatrician last week that I don’t quite understand. Although I am happy to report I did not sob through my son’s booster shots again, I’m a little confused about the way I behaved.

One of my biggest parenting peeves (EVER) is when other parents assume that they can tell YOU how to parent. But motherhood is a lot like driving; once you figure out which side of the road you should be driving on, you have to figure out how to get where you’re going. Confusing? Yes. Yes, of course it is.

I have always been very careful about monitoring the foods my son is eating. I am hopeful that the healthy choices I make for him now will be healthy choices he will make for himself in the future. Despite my scientific-research-based and pediatrician-advised efforts, I have long endured comments from other moms about how chubby my son is.

“Oh, my! Look how chubby he is! You have a BIG boy! What are you feeding him?”

I smile, nod, and pretend to ignore the vocal emphasis on the word big that makes me think they might be describing a dinosaur. It’s not necessarily a weight issue, but the implication that I am feeding my son a brontosaurus for lunch and a Jurassic Park jeep for dinner. Not sure how either one of those got into my breast milk. Also, I thought his cereal puffs were sweet potato, not extinct-herbivore. I love-love-love my son’s chubby legs and knuckles, but are his eating habits and weight unhealthy?

After 4 shots, this little dinosaur was as angry as a Photoshopped T-Rex!

When we visited the pediatrician last week, I nervously waited for a lecture (or a take-home pamphlet) about my son’s weight. However, his height and weight were in the 44 and 50 percentiles. Yes, my son is perfectly average. I must have exhaled heavily, because the pediatrician asked me if something was wrong. I explained my concern that he was overweight, and she reminded me that he was, in fact, a baby. A healthy (and handsome) baby boy.

When I left the appointment, I felt like updating my status on Facebook to proudly announce how average my son was. However, I was embarrassed about what I had learned about myself, after all, bad parenting moments are among the most teachable if we aren’t too stubborn to admit it. Despite the fact that I have strong opinions which are easily expressed on my blog, I’m not otherwise vocal about agreeing or disagreeing with others. Yes, despite saying I don’t like it when other people tell me what to do, I take what others say VERY seriously. I mostly end up thinking that I am the one doing it wrong or not very well if someone else is doing it differently. And with billions of people on this planet, that’s a lot of ‘different.’

I could not possibly say enough good things about the network of moms and women I have encountered through blogging, web, and social networking communities for their pats-on-the-back and encouraging words when I dare to be brave about my feelings regarding parenting issues. It’s not that everyone agrees with me, but merely reminds me of the fact that we all must make decisions and assessments for ourselves.

And no, brontosaurus will not be on our dinner menu this evening.

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?

Guest Post: Getting the most out of Family Portraits

Today’s special guest post is brought to you by a longtime personal friend of mine. I have long admired the wonderful portraits I have seen other moms having done and reached out to Jessica, a professional photographer, for some more information that I could share with all of you. Enjoy and stay tuned for other helpful tips from Jessica on capturing memorable moments in photographs!

By guest blogger, Jessica Grof:

My name is Jessica, and I’m a mom to my 2 stepdaughters, Jessica and Gina,
and my son Nathan. I’m also a professional photographer and I work at
McMillen Photography, and part time at a one hour photo lab
in Uniontown. My kids were my main subjects for quite awhile (they mostly
just squirm when I get my camera out anymore, I guess I wore them out…)
but now I enjoy focusing on other people’s children in a studio setting.

I realize that the thought of getting portraits done can be overwhelming,
especially if you have more than one child, but the effort that you put
forth is very much worth it. It seems to me that people get a false sense
of security anymore because of digital cameras. You can click away and
have hundreds of snapshots of your children and the quality of point and
shoot cameras is improving. Most people don’t even print their photos
anymore. They just keep them trapped in their camera or computer. I’ll let
you in on a little secret here…memory cards fail and computers crash.
Things are changing rapidly if you haven’t noticed; there are several
different types of memory cards and it seems that each brand of camera
takes a different one. Instead of burning CD’s anymore, we use DVD’s
because they hold so much more information. Think about how many changes
have been made since cameras came about. They started off with tin or
glass plates, then film came along. Most of us think of 110 or 35mm when
it comes to film. But before that there were slides, the discs that remind me of Viewfinder
reels and who could ever forget the Polaroids (makes me want to sing shake
it like a Polaroid picture!). Polaroids aren’t around anymore, and who
reading this still even uses 35mm film? My point here is that things
change, all the time. Prints will last, as long as you take care of them.
And they can be passed down from generation to generation.

One of our main points of business at the photo lab are old black and whites that
customers want to get reprinted. Very rarely do these customers have the
slide or negative, they come in with the original print so we can scan it
in and re-print it. That’s just the way it is. I personally value a print
that I can hold in my hand or put in an album (just ask my husband, I have
so many photo albums that it’s a little crazy). Nothing beats taking a
photo album to a family reunion and seeing the looks on the faces of
relatives you don’t see very often as they admire your little ones. And
how in the world are we supposed to fill the frames on our walls without prints?

Portraits are important for many reasons. First, your child will never be
the same as he is today. Tomorrow brings changes that can’t be undone. As a parent, I know how quickly time flies. Before you know it, that baby you just had is walking, then he is walking into his kindergarten classroom. Where did all the time go? You may feel that you are too busy, or that now just isn’t the right time, but if not now, when? We also want to give our children something to remember. I suggest using a 3 ring binder with the
clear pages to store your 8×10’s in when you replace the photo in a frame, instead of stacking pictures on top of one another. That way you have an over-sized album of all of your portraits that you can look through and pass on.Do you remember what your parents did with your pictures? Shoe box? Albums? Nothing? I’m proud that my kids will have their photos to show their children.

Here are a few tips for your portrait day:

  • Schedule your appointment around your kids. When are they happiest during the day? Don’t schedule at a time when they would typically be napping or hungry.
  • You can dress you child casually. The frills and lace are optional. But if your kid is comfortable, it will show in the pictures, and the shoot will probably go smoother too. It may be a good idea to bring a few outfits, in case he happens to get dirty (we are talking about kids here). Most photographers don’t mind waiting the few minutes it takes to change clothes.
  • Bring snacks and a sippy. Sometimes bribery works.
  • If your child has a favorite toy, or if you have a special blanket or hat, bring it! It can be incorporated into the shoot, and make it all the more special.
  • This one depends on the photographer and your child, but sometimes its easier if mom and dad stick to the background and let the photographer be in charge. It can be confusing to a child to have so many people try to get his attention, and he may not be quite sure where you really want him to look. Bunches of people jumping up and down playing peek-a-boo can be overwhelming!
  • Be patient! It’s rare that we have children that come in, sit still and smile for every picture. A lot of the time we have to work for it. Kids wiggle, so re-posing may go on a lot! If they need a break, give them one.
  • Pick up your baby and cuddle or let your toddler roam around a bit.
  • Studio sessions aren’t the same as outdoor sessions. During an outdoor session, we are able to get more natural, unposed pictures of your children. They are more on their turf, so the smiles won’t be forced or fake (you know the big cheesy smiles I’m talking about!). We are able to move around more and get different, creative shots. If the weather is nice and the option is available, a mix of studio and outdoor shots is the way to go!
  • If you can’t choose just a few pictures that you like because there are so many good ones, get a collage. It’s a great way to incorporate several of your favorite pictures into one photo, and in a creative way.

I hope that I have inspired you to make that call and schedule an
appointment to go get some portraits taken. It will be well worth it!