Thursday, August 30, 2012

how to properly love your child: a DIY

I can’t tell you how often people say to me, “Leila, your kids are fantastic.  Annie is sprightly and precocious, and little Estie is so well-adjusted for a nine month-old.  I can tell that when she shits her pants, she’s only doing it out of lack of bodily control, and not out of spite like my kids.  How do you do it?” 
Well, I say to nobody at all, it's pretty simple:  I love my kids the right way.  It’s easy to fuck up, and you’re probably doing it wrong.  Here are a few simple steps to ensure that you stop the cycle of hate you've created:
1.        BE AFFECTIONATE.  Most parents think that hugs are enough, but they’re not.  Hugs say, "I like you, but I don't LIKE YOU like you."  In order to make your child actually feel loved and not grow up to be a murderer, you need to kiss them - often and passionately.  To do this, start by getting right up in your kid's face for at least thirty seconds.  Touch your nose to her nose until it seems like she has one giant eyeball.  Try not to blink.  In a firm voice, say, “I LOVE YOU, [insert name]."  Be enthusiastic, but don't patronize – she can tell when you’re lying.  Now for the kiss:  make a sexy pouty face with your lips.  This is not meant to turn your child on - it's to allow for proper latching.  Suck in through your mouth to create a vacuum.  Aim for her cheek, and attach yourself to the fatty puff like a leech.  Remain there long enough to make an impact, but not leave a hickey.  It’s a delicate balance, and the length of time may vary depending on the thickness of your child's skin.  (Do a test patch first.)  When you release, do not wipe your saliva away.  It’s a representation of the DNA you share with your child, and it will remind her of your unending connection as it dries and forms a crust on her cheek.
2.       GIVE PRAISE. I’m not talking about the generic auto-response you mumble when she shows you some abstract stick figure artwork she did at school.  “That’s nice, sweetie” is not enough.  “That’s nice” is bullshit.   Truly effective praise comes at unexpected moments.  You want your child to know that she doesn’t even have to be doing anything awesome – you’re still CRAZILY proud of her.  Tomorrow, when your child is playing peacefully on the floor with a dinosaur or a tea cup or an electrical outlet, approach her quietly from behind.  (Really quietly.  The element of surprise is key here.)  Crouch down so that your face is right at her eye level, and make sure to smile REALLY big.  Cheshire cat big.  Now shout your child’s name loudly, right into her ear hole.  This lets her know that SHE is the special kid you’re about to praise.  When she jumps up and pees her pants in terror, just keep smiling.  Embrace her, and tell her that even though she’s six years old and still pisses her pants, you still love her.  She is wonderful and has the most pleasantly-scented urine you’ve ever laundered.  *I highly recommend indoor/outdoor carpeting for this step, or some kind of mulch.
3.       CREATE MEMORIES.  Going to the park is fun.  Going to Disney world is MORE fun.  But dressing up like Mickey Mouse and climbing into bed with your child so that a huge, freaky mouse head is the first thing she sees when she opens her eyes: now THAT makes a lasting impression.  She won’t forget that.  Just an idea.
4.       CHECK IN.  Many new moms go into their baby’s room at night to check on them, just to make sure they’re breathing.  This is good.  But why stop when they get bigger?  What kind of message does that send?  “You’re old enough to wipe your own ass, so I no longer care if you live through the night?”  Stop being so selfish.  You need to go into your child’s room every hour to check on her during the night.  And don’t just sneak in like some creepy burglar – turn the light on so she knows it’s you.  Put your hand on her back to make sure she's breathing.  Then pinch her nose to REALLY make sure.  If she hasn’t already woken up at this point, shake her a bit so she knows you're there, and you care.  In the morning, the dark circles under her eyes will remind her that she is loved and properly looked after.
5.       FEED HER.  You’d be surprised how many parents forget this one.
6.       BE THERE.  You can never be too “present” for your child.  Volunteer at her school; go on her field trips.  Take her to the movies.  Hold her hand.  Carry her over puddles.  Listen to her conversations.  Follow her into the bathroom.  Set up cameras in her bedroom.  Hide in her closet.  After all, you can’t really love your child for who she is unless you know EXACTLY who she is at all times.  The same is true for your spouse.
Remember, the damage you’ve already done to your child is irreversible.  But with these steps, you can at least stop screwing everything up and hope they forget your mistakes by the time they're old enough for therapy.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Holy crap, I actually have a second installment of my Last Days of Summer photo series!  Way to follow up, I say to myself!  Back: patted.
Here are my girls, playing in the yard while daddy grills dinner.  I didn't get a chance to capture our steaks and chicken kabobs before we tore into them like starving primates, but it's just as well - you'd've been totes jelly.  <--- Did I get that right, anyone under twenty?
I think it's funny they're in the same position, making the same face!

Shoes off in the grass - that's the Georgia in them! 
(Estie's pants being off... that's just me.)

My little ginger and my Mexican.  So pretty!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

the dog days are (almost) over

I don't want to disappoint you, but there are no dirty words or food-sex references in this post.  Sorry.  I do curse like a sailor and make sweet, filthy love to my food on a daily basis - it's just that sometimes I like to keep that stuff private, for my kids and husband to enjoy.  There are a few money shots, if you will, of the delicious edibles I enjoyed this weekend, but it's strictly PG.  For today :) 

Behold, the first (and maybe last, with my record of inconsistency) installment of my "Last Days of Summer" photo series.  I just love how bloggy that sounds!  Really it's just snapshots of my weekend, which was spent mostly at my in-laws' enjoying the kids and having a BBQ while it's still nice and sweltering outside.  Fall is just around the corner!  I cannot freaking WAIT.


My mom-in-law's homemade peach pie - shut your face!

Grawing happily on her new favorite teether - a carrot!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

why we're soulmates

So the initial feedback on that last post was less than stellar: the hubs thought perhaps I went a bit too far this time. A little too Fifty Shades of Party Cake.  A tad too porny.  And since I respect his opinion and  his morals, I was thisclose to having a crisis of conscience and taking it down.  But then a funny thing happened.  The post, which I'd shared on my Facebook, pretty much blew the EFF UP.  Friends and friends-of-friends were re-sharing it, and discussion threads were forming.  Discussion threads!  From strangers - about my silly little blog!  As a result my readership sky-rocketed to a record number - the highest so far for a single post since writer, interrupted began.  And if you know me at all, dear friends, you know that readership and popularity win out over morals in my book.  E'ry time.  So I left the post alone (DUH) and it continues to gain views.
So what has this experience taught me (aside from "never listen to my husband")?  It has taught me, once again, that you, my readers, are some seriously sick and filthy human beings.  You will read anything, and have no dignity, no morals.  You crave smut and profanity, gobbling up every last bit of obscene, immoral trash I feed you.  You are human compost heaps, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Best friends forever?!  Yesssssssss.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Have you ever had an experience so profound, it completely changes the way you see the world, rearranging all your long-standing morals and values?  Something like that has happened to me.

It started last night, when Annie mentioned that we have "nothing good" for dessert in the house.  Screw watermelon (fruit, bleh!) or dark chocolate, or gay-ass peppermints, she needs something GOOD.  So today at the grocery store I grabbed some random kid-friendly-looking ice cream for her. 

Party cake, you say?  Looks festive.  I like cake.  Never heard of Turkey Hill, but what the hell, right?  I decided to take a test bite when we got it home, just to be sure it wouldn't poison my child.  So with a giant serving spoon I partook right out of the gallon container. 
BOOM.  Ice cream-gasm, right on the spot.  Socks: knocked the fuck off.  I didn't even know how to handle it.  I lost my damn mind.  I'm talking laid out on the floor with the ice cream container on my face, making animal noises into an oozing mound of frozen dairy deliciousness.  Don't you judge me: this is velvety-soft vanilla ice cream with BUTTERCREAM FROSTING all swirled up in it, amid pieces of candy-colored CAKE, for Chrissake.  It's a birthday party in your FACE.  This shit is so good, it will make you SICK.  If this ice cream were a dude, I would have extramarital, unprotected sex with it. I would let this ice cream do things to me that my husband has only seen on the internet.  I would make horrible life decisions with this ice cream that would destroy my family and haunt me for the rest of my life, in the form of illegitimate party cake ice cream babies.  I'd give up my kids for this ice cream.  I'd live on the streets.  I'd sell my body just to earn enough scratch for an eight ball of this ice cream, which I would mainline in five minutes and then prostitute myself again for.  I'd get AIDS and not seek treatment, for fear that the AIDS medicine would interfere with my enjoyment of this ice cream.  I would die in some greasy back alley, shriveled and alone, with a brain freeze, for this ice cream.  It's that good. 

It really is.

So I hid it from Annie.  That bitch can eat peppermints.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

summa time, summa time, sum-sum-summa time...

I know, I know - it's almost over.  But at my house we are still enjoying the last fruits of summer.  Yesterday Annie came home from the park with a bike helmet full of goodies she'd helped pick from the neighborhood garden, including a watermelon!  That's right - she used her helmet to literally protect her melon.  That's my shining star...


We had yummy squash and zucchini for dinner tonight, with watermelon for dessert.  Tomorrow's lunch: flowers!

Monday, August 20, 2012

pictures i'm in

Go to YouTube.  Pull up one of the following songs, and turn up your volume.  In the words of Father Leahy at my best friend's Catholic church when we were ten, "Do this, and think of me."

1.  "I Miss You" by Incubus
2.  "Missin' You" by Trey Songz
3.  "I Miss You" by Blink 182

(I've missed you.)

Here are some thing's I've been up to while I was gone:

Bachelorette Festivities

1. A brewery tour in Denver. So many pretty ladies!  2. Rickshaw, bitches!   3. I think Denver recruits out-of-work hipster models to pedal their rickshaws.  These cuties were everywhere!  4. Possibly the hottest facility I have ever stood in for 45 minutes.  5.  BEER.  6. The panties I made for the lingerie party, featuring the bride's beloved German Shepherd.   7.  She loved them.  8.  Out on the town.  9.  Warm milk nightcap, courtesy of the cow in the lobby of our hotel.

A Wedding

1. The hubs and our nephew, Miles.  2. Estie and Grandpa.  3. Nuptials.  4. Drake, the best man (see panties).  5. The happy (and so gorgeous) couple, Madeline and Stefan Runstrom! *Photo credited to the groom's sister, Monika.  6. Wildflower centerpieces.  7. Annie and Miles.  8. Us.  9. Sunset at the loveliest wedding site, the bride's family's ranch.

It's been a crazy few weeks, but much fun has been had and I've made some wonderful new friends.  Annie is back from her summer in Georgia, just in time for school to start.  Tonight we go meet her teacher, and tomorrow begins fourth grade!  She's ready and excited.  I just feel old and confused - where the hell did the last nine years go?  I couldn't tell you.  But that's how it is when you have kids: the days are long, but the years, they fly.  And baby Estie is no exception, of course.  Her first little tooth finally popped through, bringing with it restless nights and an awful cold.  But she's still our happy little chunk, busy and nosy and so close to walking I feel like it could happen any day.  She's also saying dada, nana, and heeeeyyy (accompanied by a baby bird-esque flapping of her hand - SO cute!).   She's basically ready for college, which is both thrilling and horribly depressing.  No turning back the clock now, though.  Onward we go, brave soldiers.  Onward we go.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

here's the deal

Life's speeding by quicker than something that goes really fast these days.  We've just been going, going, going.  I have stories and even some pics, but here's the deal:  Annie is home now, with just four days left of her summer.  And every time I head for my computer, the Jew in me slips into guilty mom mode and I just can't make myself do it.  An hour spent uploading pics and crafting an anecdote is an hour away from my girls, my hubby, and whatever else we could be doing right then.  I hate (HATE) neglecting my blog.  But if it's between my fam and my laptop...

Every time.

See you soon, though.  Mwah! <3

Saturday, August 11, 2012

debauchelorette party

Well, I guess I'm off the see the wizard.  Wish me luck!

*By wizard, I mean a shit ton of booze, seventeen crazed, party-faced femme fatales, and a yet-to-be-determined number of people who get paid to take their clothes off.  And instead of Oz, it's Denver - a city I get lost just approaching, let alone navigating [let alone drunk].  And instead of Toto, it's a wastey-faced bride-to-be in six inch glitter heels, not in a picnic basket but slumped over the shoulders of three equally incapacitated BFFs.  (Or would the bride be the Scarecrow?)  And instead of a witch, it's a pissed-off lady pimp in some greasy back alley, smacking us around cause we don't have the money we owe her.  Wait, what?  Damnit, I always mess up the Wizard of Oz analogies...

The point is, shit's about to get "cray," as the kids say.  And if you're just tuning in, I'm a mom.  I haven't done cray since halter mid drifts were involved.  Okay, okay - it was a few months ago.  But it didn't turn out well, remember?  I'm too old for this shit.  But once again, off I go...

I guess it ain't easy being fabulous.  Bitches.

Friday, August 10, 2012

happy friday!

Kicking off a big weekend here in LeilaLand (the second greatest place on Earth).  A big week, actually...

So tonight is the pre-party for the hubs's ten year high school reunion.  He wants to me to wear "fierce heels," and I will oblige, since A) he's pretty much the best husband ever, fer rill, and B) I'm pretty sure I'm his redemption after some rather awkward, late-blossoming teenage years.  "Look, guys - she's fairly cute!  And we have sex!"

Tomorrow afternoon I'm headed to Denver (what, what!) for day-to-night bachelorette festivities for a wonderful, beautiful girlyfran of ours.  I'm super excited, but increasingly nervous - the whole thing is shaping up to be something for the books.  The guest list is rather large at SEVENTEEN, so we will be rolling deeper than freaking Adelle, and the ladies in attendence look like people who know how to have an incredibly good time.  (They're also some of the most adorable bitches I have ever stalked on Facebook - I'm sudddenly feeling mommish and old and... married).  The events kick off with a brewery tour (so fun!) and segue into a lingerie party, and then dinner, and then horrible, drunken debauchery after that, possibly involving strippers.  Okay, definitely involving strippers.  Thankfully, I did manage to find a pretty killer frock for the evening, and I've been wearing five inch heels to work all week to break my feet in.  My liver, on the other hand... wish me luck.

Things just keep poppin' after that, with Annie coming home Tuesday, above friend's bridal shower that same evening, her wedding next weekend, and then, oh, the giant baby shower I'm planning for another friend (you remember preggo Lo?).  I'm sorry I've been so busy/distracted lately, but it's really for some pretty legit reasons.  Things WILL slow down eventually, and until then I PROMISE funny stories and incriminating photos from my adventures.  Promise. 

See you soon, bitches.  (I'm practicing my young, hip chick speak.  No?  Don't do that?  Okay.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

i pretty much suck

Usually when I skip a day blogging, I know it.  It happens when I get super busy or distracted - but I'm aware that I'm neglecting my duties, and it nags me as I'm falling asleep at night.  But you know how I know I'm a crazy person right now?  I didn't even realize I'd missed yesterday's post until thirty seconds ago, when I logged on to write this one.  Yep, I'm fried.

I can't decide if I need coffee or booze at this point.

OMG, Bailey's!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

tuesday schmoozeday

Running running running, projects projects projects...

Brain: fried.

(Deets later - some of it is un secret!)

It's not all bad though.  At least there was some comic relief in my day...

Gump's evil twin?!
(This guy is real - he bagged our groceries today.)

The hubs snagged these for Annie today
because "WAH-TAHHH!" is the totally racist noise we always make
to imitate anything Asian.
I can't even believe these are real, they're so awesome. 

One more week til Annie comes home!!!
I miss her face off.

Monday, August 6, 2012

i'm a dirty, dirty girl

You know when you get your hair colored and then the next day it just has this magical, awesome texture to it?  Ugh, I LOVE that!  And then you know how it looks even better the next day, so you rock it again?  And then how, amazingly, it continues to look even better over the next few days, with lots of crazy volume and badass rock’n’roll grit, so you just go ahead and ride out days four and five, because why the hell not, it doesn’t even look dirty.  It just looks SEXY.  And then day six rolls around and you’re pinning it up into this perfectly messy bun, which only works right now at this very moment, because it’s magic hair and it can do anything, and you’re thinking to yourself, "this good fortune can’t possibly last another day – where the hell are my body oils funneling to? Oh well, better enjoy it while I can!”  And then BAM, you wake up on day seven looking like some hairy dead bird the cat dragged in from a freaking swamp, with leaves and sticks in your mangy pelt, half of it sticking to your head and the other half seeming to run away from your scalp in terror.  And my God, what is that smell?  And of course you’re late for work, so you frantically try to coax the rotten carpet sample on your head into the same adorably disheveled updo from the day before, but no.   Ohhh no, not anymore.  The sexy bedhead ship has sailed, and it took your dignity with it.  Now you have to just cram some bobby pins in there and go to work looking like you shared a sleeping bag with Homeless Dave on the sidewalk outside the building.  In a rainstorm.  After a dust bowl. 

During a nuclear fallout.

…No?  You don’t know how that is?


Yeah, me either...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

weekend warrior

I just love that term.  It's so like, "GRRR, prepare to be dominated, days that start with S!” defines a weekend warrior as someone who has a job or other responsibilities during the week, and makes up for it by being completely irresponsible all weekend.   I guess that makes sense (though I usually just call that "being single"), but I personally feel the term weekend warrior is better suited to mommies.  See, we don't really get weekends off - so the phrase is far more literal for us.  Instead of, say, partying til dawn, for us it's more like, "Watch me clean the bathroom and do seven loads of laundry and run a crap-ton of errands, WITH a baby on my hip, cause I am awesome, I am woman, hear me roar."  Or, if you're like me, "Watch me only get like five of those things done and then still not be able to cook dinner at the end of the day because I forgot to go to the grocery store, holy shit I’m tired."  Either way, I think mommies are much more warlike than people who get to do whatever the hell they want two days a week (not that I'm not totally jelly).   Fending off a teething zombie baby from gnawing on your ankle while you're washing dishes- now that's a battle. 
I think we mamas totally OWN the weekend warrior tag, and I'm officially taking possession of it.   I am gonna look so fierce folding these hand towels with war paint on...

*     *     *     *     *
Now, because I promised more pics on the weekends,
even if all we did was run errands:

This is what warriors look like!
(Dig my new favorite mani color - Mint Sprint from Sally Hansen!)
Speaking of Sally Hansen, THIS is what it removing  my last mani looked like!
Those nail polish strips are no joke! 
(This removal method did work - click here for a tutorial.)
I must say, this was kind of a pain in the butt,
but those strips score a big fat TEN for durability!
They still looked perfect after several days - I was just ready for a different look.

Errands can be so exhausting.
(Looks like E. was only awake for Auntie Lo's birthday this weekend!)
I saw this in the mall parking lot and decided that
I wanna be THIS guy when I grow up.

Bring on the work week!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

babies and blondies and a birthday, oh my!

One of my very bestest friends celebrated her, ahem, 2nd annual 29th birthday yesterday (wink, wink).  And by "celebrate," I mean she totally denied it was even happening.  Thankfully we work together, so I was able to remind her every few hours of how freaking decrepit she really is.  I think she appreciated it.  My friend, who shall remain nameless, is due to have a baby in October, which I think is all the more reason to celebrate.  So tonight a few of us bombarded Lauren my friend at her home, to remind her of how wonderful she is and how much we love her, despite the fact that she is basically almost dead.  It's always fun to obnoxiously celebrate an event that your loved one is trying to pretend did not happen. 

Unless it's like a funeral or something.  I'm not a total monster.

The birthday girl, complete with baby bump and spare baby.
Birthday serenade?
Crazy-delicious blondies I made for the party,
which disappeared in about a minute and I have decided are my new specialty.
(Click here for the recipe, from the adorable Coury Combs over at Fancy Treehouse.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

baby date

Yesterday Estie had her first play date without Mommy and Daddy!  She spent the afternoon with her BFF, baby Elliot.

Technically Elliot is still inside Auntie Lo's belly...
but she and Estie are already attached at the hip.

Apparently the play date went well (or Lauren was sweet enough to lie to me), and our little redheaded ham was a total dreamboat.  I tried not to text Lauren 27 times while I was out.  It wasn't that I was worried about her competence or Estie's safety, or even that I just missed my precious baby that much (though I did, of course).  No, I was more concerned that in the absence of both her parents, Estie's fiery ginger temper would spiral out of control, and in a fit of teething rage she would turn into a tiny, belligerent-drunk Irishman, just yelling and running into things and trashing Lauren's house, prompting Lauren and her husband to rethink their decision to reproduce. 

But apparently my fears were unfounded, because when I got there to pick her up, Estie was still the bouncy, happy chunk we'd dropped off earlier, and Auntie Lo had not thrown herself down a flight of stairs.  Success!  Now to just get baby Elliot to come out and play...