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Because It’s Tradition, That’s Why

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Conversation with my mom many years ago: Mom: (groan) I don’t want to do Thanksgiving. I don’t want to do all that cooking. I don’t want all those people over.  Me: Then don’t. Mom: But it’s tradition… (Following year, year after that, year after that, etc.)    Mom: (groan) I don’t want to do Thanksgiving. I don’t want to do all that cooking. I don’t want all those people over.  Me: Then don’t. Mom: But it’s tradition… (Finally one year) Mom: (groan) I don’t want to do Thanksgiving. I don’t want to do all that cooking. I don’t want all those people over.  Me: Here’s what’s going to happen: you’re going to do Thanksgiving. You’re going to do the cooking. You’re going to have people over. You’re going to complain about not wanting to, but you will anyway. It’s tradition.  Mom: Oh. Alright then.  Now it’s my turn. Jason doesn’t understand my relationship with the holidays. I get excited and count the hours after Halloween until my family lets me decorate. Then on Thanksgiving Day, the off

Not One Of Yinz Yet

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After four years, I still feel like a visitor in Pittsburgh. The people here are great, it’s just a city with a very strong identity. Added to this, I’m from Portland, Oregon which is also a city with a strong identity, albeit a very different one. Here’s why I don’t quite fit in yet:  If I want a good parking spot, I arrive early and wait. I don’t reserve one with a broken patio chair.   I specifically order my fries near my food, not on or in it.  I can go a whole meal without dipping something in something.  I’m not a fan of fish no matter which church basement it was fried in.  Instead of saying “watch you don’t fall” if the kids are climbing on stuff, I yell, “Get the f*ck down!” like a normal person.  Tom Brady seems lovely. There, I said it.  The grocery store cashiers are stumped over the exotic produce I hand them. It’s rhubarb, and it’s native to Pennsylvania. No one in Portland has ever asked me, “Why are you dressed up?” Out here, I’m overdressed wherever I go. F

The Sexiest Men of Toddler TV

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My husband is wonderful. Doesn’t like my writing about him, but is nevertheless fantastic. Now that I’m middle-aged and married with kids, what I find attractive in men has completely changed. Working out at the gym isn’t sexy because that means more time away from family. Begrudgingly wearing matching Christmas pajamas? Super hot.  While he’s at work, I’ve replaced him with new boyfriends from children’s programming. Kid stuff is intolerable without some courtesy eye candy.  Here are my top pics:   The Dad From Cocomelon Be still my heart, green eyes. From romantically dancing with his wife in the kitchen, to helping with dishes, he’s 100% heartthrob. Not only does he play with his kids, he patiently laughs off their shenanigans. He’s humble enough to take public transportation, and my goodness, have you seen those big hands? Swoon!  2. Blue Shirt From The Wiggles His name is Anthony Field, and he’s a 58 year old former preschool teacher, soldier, and pop musician. His openness abo

Why People Are Obsessed With Their Kids

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Just a few years ago, I convinced myself that if I ever had kids, I wouldn’t talk about them incessantly. The universe abounds with other topics, many of which won’t thoughtlessly annoy people who don’t (or can’t) have kids.   Then I had them and learned that those fascinating topics are still out there, I just can’t access them because my brain is mush. No one warned me that they do that. In fact, a lot of things were left out:  They : Once you give birth, you’ll forget all about the pain.  Me : I’ll make them pay. They : Take time to play with your kids and enjoy them.  Me : I don’t enjoy playing with my kids. Their games are dumb, and the three year old criticizes my sand building.  They : Take lots of pictures! Me : They stole my phone.  They : Write down the cute things they say. Me : I don’t even write down the cute things I say.  They : No screen-time . Me : I’m not firing the iNanny.  They : Don’t yell at them. Then they won’t listen if you need to yell.  Me

I’m Unqualified To Babysit My Kids

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If I were Zach’s and Kate’s nanny, and not their mother, I would have been fired a long time ago. Despite being the most influential person in their lives, my standard for hired help is much higher than for myself. If I came home to toddlers eating crayons for dinner while watching a documentary on Richard Ramirez, I would be furious. Yet when I’m watching them, I consider it a successful day if everyone is alive by the end of it.   My performance review of myself: 1. How has your relationship developed with the children? If I try to take a bath, they climb in and pee on me.  2. What kind of healthy foods do you serve? High fructose corn syrup is a vegetable, right? It might be a whole grain. 3. What is the bedtime routine like? I routinely scream into a pillow.     4. How much screen-time are the children exposed to? I don’t know what they do when I’m not there. 5. What disciplinary measures do you use? Darwinian ones. 6. Give an example of when you used positive parenting

The Mean-ager

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(His shirt says “Kind people are my kinda people.”) We went to a park and two boys and a girl, all about 13 years old, were sitting and chatting in front of the entrance to the slide, subsequently blocking it from my son. I told Zach to ask them politely if he can use it. He ran up, pointed, and asked if he could use the slide. The girl didn’t fully understand toddler English, and replied patronizingly, “Yeah, a slide!” The boys did and started getting up for him, to which she snapped, “I’m not getting up!”From the ground, I yelled up to them, “I told him to ask nicely.” She was huffy, but did. Zach and I thanked them, and the boys smiled and gave a hearty, “Yeah, no problem!” and the visibly irritated (and extremely pretty) girl sat back down.  Now when a woman becomes a mother, she develops the superpower to destroy a girl down to her essence. As soon as they hand us our beautiful newborn daughters, we suddenly have the ability to plant seeds of shame and can water them throughou

Hope You Like Your Birthday Hooker

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Near where my husband grew up, a new business appeared a few doors down from one of his favorite pizza shops. It claimed to be a massage parlor, but I told Jason, “That’s clearly a rub-n-tug.” He was skeptical, but upon inspection, did think it was odd that they were open until 11pm, and the only way to get in was by calling the number from the Post-It note on the front door.  I looked them up on a site that lists local massage parlors offering “extra” services, and sure enough, there it was. In fact, dozens of them were listed, and while reading the reviews, I suddenly realized that my mom accidentally sent me to one on my 25th birthday.  Upon reflection, they weren’t even trying to disguise it. This place was in Beaverton, Oregon and advertised as an “Asian spa”. I had never had a salt scrub added to a massage before, so I assumed side boobs and inner thighs were part of it. As far as her “thoroughness”, I reasoned that she should be lauded, not criticized, for going above and beyond