Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writer Guest Post By: Stacey Gustafson, Author of Are You Kidding Me?


    I'm sure you're already familiar with today's fabulous WWW guest since she's been on my site before. I featured her book when it was first released a few months ago and later on participated in her book tour.  Once again, please welcome humorist Stacey Gustafson of Stacey Gustafson.com and  author of "Are You Kidding Me?" to Meno Mama's blog!

    I'm always excited to have this funny lady as a guest, not only because we are friends but because her writing is 100% relatable to me. When I met Stacey last April at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, we clicked immediately since we both share the same sense of wacky humor.

     Today Stacey is sharing a story from her book, and it just so happens to be one of my favorites. Why? Because this story could have been written about my own family. At one point, there were six of us living in a 1,600 sq. foot home, and it was loud. VERY LOUD. I've read this story numerous times and it still makes me chuckle. I think you'll love it, too.

     Please welcome this talented, funny friend of mine to Meno Mama's site today with lots of love!




MY FAMILY IS LOUD



Like fans at a Brazilian soccer match, my family is loud. I crave moments of silence, seeking times I can avoid the thunder, everyone talking at once, doors slamming, television blaring, kids fighting, general noise pollution.
Saturday morning, I peek at the clock; it’s 8:30 a.m. My daughter and son are sound asleep. Tiptoeing down the stairs, I start my morning ritual, I prepare coffee, grab a novel and plop on the sofa. All mine. A few blissful moments of silence. I crack open my book and begin to read the first page.
But wait. I tilt my head towards the staircase. You’ve got to be kidding. My husband should be sound asleep, he just returned from a week in Japan. And I am certain the kids will stay in bed until 11 a.m. since there are no activities scheduled for this weekend.
But there it is: Clomp, clomp, clomp. My husband decends quiet as a Clydesdale. He mumbles a weary, “Good morning,” and reaches for the object of his affection, the Cuisinart Brew Central 1200 Coffee Maker.
He shoves aside other appliances. Rattle, rattle, thunder, clatter, boom. Then he removes the coffee grinder from the cabinet, dumps in a cup of beans, pushes the top and whirls away. Like a buzz saw, the racket shatters the silence. After 15 seconds, he pushes the top down again for good measure. I cringe as he turns coffee beans into powder.
Clearing his throat, he says, “Want some?”
“No thanks. I’m fine.” Why are you so noisy!
He grabs the weekend paper, snapping the pages each time he finishes a section. Snap, crinkle, crinkle, hmmmmm. On it goes, page by torturous page, snap, crinkle, crinkle. He sighs to himself and attempts to engage me in conversation about one sports story after another. Trying to relax here, mister.
Still on page one of my novel, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog.
Thirty minutes later, like a herd of rhinos, my son and daughter stomp down the staircase in search of food. A fight erupts over cereal.
“Where’s the good cereal? What happened to the O’s?” my son asks.
Oh, please, not the Honey Graham O’s. On a noise-o-meter, it registers at 100 decibels, not recommended without earplugs.
He pours a big bowl, fakes to the left, kicks the empty box into the trashcan and starts to munch. And crunch and crunch and slurp and smack.
My daughter whines, “You ate all the good cereal. The rest is gross.”
She rummages around the pantry, poo-pooing one box after another. Metal pots and pans bounce off the shelf and drop onto the tile floor. Crash, whiz, bang. I cannot stop my hands from shaking.
After 45 minutes, I am only on page ten. Can’t remember a thing. Must reread. Again.
Briiiiiing.
“Mom, phone,” screams my son as he hands me the phone.
Sally from All Star Sports says, “The stuff you ordered is in. Stop by anytime to get it.”
“Thanks. And do you have any blue athletic socks in stock?” I ask.
“What?”
“Socks. Do you carry blue socks?”
“Can’t hear you. How many kids do you have? Sounds like you’re running a daycare center.”
Tell me about it.
Within moments, they rush upstairs, yelling and laughing. With quivering hands, I turn back to page one. In the living room, my husband listens to the Wall Street on the iPad, high volume. Reruns of the Warrior’s game run wildly on the television in the background. Thousands of screaming, chanting fans. I imagine the house vibrating.
My eyelid starts to spasm and head jerks to the right. He notices the tics and asks, “Are you okay? Your eye’s bugging out.”
“Trying to read a book. I’ll go in the other room.”
I’ve heard that too much noise can cause increase levels of anxiety, tinnitus and hearing loss. I head for shelter at the nearest safe place.
If you need me, I’ll be hiding in the upstairs closet reading.


BIO:

Stacey Gustafson is an author, humor columnist, and blogger who has experienced the horrors of being trapped inside a pair of SPANX. Her blog, Are You Kidding Me? is based on her suburban family and everyday life. Her short stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and seven books in the Not Your Mother’s Book series. Her work appears in Midlife Boulevard, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, ZestNow, More.com, Pleasanton Patch, Lost in Suburbia, Better After 50 and on her daughter’s bulletin board.
She lives in California with her husband and two teenagers that provide an endless supply of inspiration. She writes about parenting and daily frustrations like her dislike of the laundry, self-checkout lanes, public restrooms, Brussels sprouts, roundabouts, and being middle-aged. Her book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives was released September 2014, available on Amazon. Visit Stacey at staceygustafson.com or follow her on Twitter @RUKiddingStacey.
twitter: @RUKiddingStacey





Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review: The Big Book of Parenting Tweets

      I am so excited to share with you the publication of a new book that has had me giggling for days.  Congratulations to my friends Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler of Science of Parenthood   for putting together a clever collection of some of the funniest parenting tweets I've ever read! From Tooth Fairies leaving Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons to toddlers asking for beer for breakfast, this hilarious book has it all. The illustrations that accompany each section capture the humorous moments in parenting that resonate with anyone who has raised toddlers to teens.

      I've pulled some of my favorite tweets from the book to share with you:


"Took the boys to the beach and heard 6yo yell to a little girl, "You have crabs? Cool!" Please let that be the only time he says that to a girl." ----Domestic  Goddess

"How to get a kiddie pop-up tent back into the box:
1) Place foot on tent.
2) Twist.
3) Fold.
4) Light in fire.
5) Pour ashes into box."
----Lurk at Home Mom

"I go full-on hostage negotiator when I see my 3 yo. holding a permanent marker without the lid. "
----Simon Holland

"Parenting is all fun and games until your 3yo pees in the garbage pail instead of the toilet. Then it's just a fraternity party with no beer. "---- Jennifer Lizza

"My son just referred to the 1980's as 'turn of the century'."----Sarah del Rio

"This margarita tastes like I don't even have kids."----Kate Hall

"Kids are like sponges. They smell bad."----Bunmi Laditan

"How to ensure a sleepless Christmas Eve:
Child: Do you know how Santa fattens up?
Me: By eating all the bad children?"  ----Science of Parenthood

"My 7yo has been practicing arm farts--punctuated by cartwheels--for the past 10 minutes. Harvard, save a space!"----Kathy Cooperman

"My son tripped over a box of Legos and landed on about 185 pieces. I feel like this is 6 years of Karma finally catching up to him."----Bethany Thies

"3yo: *singing in the bathroom* I have to go poopoo. The poopoo is coming out. And it's okay to touch the poo--
Me: *sprints into bathroom*"----Father With Twins

"My son can now reach the light switches, so don't come over my house unless you're really into raves or want to have a seizure."----Dad and Buried

"Every night I tuck in an adorable 6yo. yet every morning I drag Keith Richards out of bed."----Brenna Jennings

"There are days that start with a beautiful sunrise, and then there are days that start with mistaking a dead fly for a raisin."----Stephanie Jankowski


      For parents on the go, this book is a great, quick read with quotable tweets that tickle the funny bone. You'll want to read the book more than once, and it'll make the perfect gift for every parent on your holiday list.  What are you waiting for? ORDER THE BOOK HERE: http://bit.ly/BBoPt



Friday, November 21, 2014

Fly On The Wall In A Crazy House

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The wall Group Posts! Today, sixteen courageous bloggers are inviting you into their homes for a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors.

The fly that has been buzzing around my crazy household this month has seen me go through a roller coaster of emotions---anxiety, fear, relief and elation as the editing process on my forthcoming book, "Who Stole My Spandex?" reached the final stage of completion. A week ago, I left my "baby" in the very capable hands of my publisher. Since that day, the fly has witnessed my nail biting habit in full swing, along with me staring blankly at the computer screen. Yes, the anticipation is killing me. Mark your calendars, folks. Black Friday, Nov. 28 is LAUNCH DAY!

I've been too nervous lately to be funny, but as always, I can rely on my family for humorous blog fodder. Here's what the fly overheard in my crazy house recently:



"We're hopelessly lost. I think my GPS is drunk."

"I would only consider plastic surgery if the doctors could put my food baby belly on my butt. They could call the procedure a 'bellybottomy'."


"Ahhhh…the innocence of youth….when a two-year-old tries to put a dirty toilet plunger in her mouth."

"I'm going to cut you off from the wine now, because nobody sings 'This Land is My Land' or 'Leavin' On A Jet Plane' when they're sober."

"What the heck is this Farmers.com site I keep hearing about?"
"It's a site for lonely dairy cows looking for true love."

"I'm awake, but if you're expecting bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, go catch a squirrel."

"You're about to exceed the limits of my Prozac."

"A meal without wine is called breakfast."

"My belt, socks and baseball cap are black. My shirt and my pants are also black. NOW do I look thinner?"

"Whoever stole all of my leftover chicken salad from the fridge is a Motherclucker!"

"I just heard a commercial from a place called Harbour House for the Blind, and they're looking for used car donations. Isn't that an oxymoron…. cars for the blind?"

"I can't stop spilling beer into my mouth."

"What are you--the World Pug Herding Champion"?

"If you keep weary my socks, then I'm going to start wearing your underwear."

"I just burped and farted at the same time. It's called a 'Bart'."

"I know how I can help you sell your book. I'm going to wear an owl costume, stand by the highway with a bag of books and yell, "Whoo! Whoo! Who hasn't read this book?"


You heard the owl, folks. Buy the book on Amazon November 28th! WHOO WHOO!


Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado
http://www.therowdybaker.com                                  The Rowdy Baker
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                                   The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                        Stacy Sews and Schools
http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                                 Battered Hope
http://dinoheromommy.com/                         Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                   Someone Else’s Genius 
http://www.crumpetsandbollocks.com                     Crumpets and Bollocks
http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                          Juicebox Confession
http://www.risanye.com                                              Risa Nye
http://www.gomamao.com                                    Go Mamma O

              

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Writer Mom Blog

   My lovely WWW guest today is funny lady Angela Keck from Writer Mom Blog! I met Angela last year when we were both published in Mother of All Meltdowns, and have been a fan of her writing ever since. Her blog is a beautiful mix of humor posts, heart-felt stories and parenting tips. She has also been featured on numerous websites with posts that have gone viral and created quite a buzz.
 

     Not only is Angela a talented writer, but this woman also has a heart of gold. Several months ago when I was in the middle of an "I-can't-write-my-own-book" meltdown, Angela sent me a kind message of encouragement that lifted my spirits and reminded me of why I needed to finish my book. Thank you for that, Angela. You truly are an inspiration!

     Please welcome this sweet, talented writer to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!







I knew when I started dating my husband that he’s the kind of guy who believes that farts happen.  He’s not a ‘hold it in’ kind of guy.  I firmly believe he has never, ever had the urge to pass gas and suppressed it.  No pun intended.

Not only is he a guy who believes that holding a fart in will give him some kind of excruciating stomach ache and probably worse, he also believes that farts are meant to be heard.  The louder the better!  And he takes pride in the stench he creates.

Yes, you read that correctly.  The stinkier the fart, the more proud he is.

I know you’re jealous right now, but he’s all mine ladies so stand back!

I’ve been with my husband in a variety of situations where he has farted, and I have been embarrassed.  I have left him standing alone in the grocery store, I have walked away in the middle of a conversation, and I have smacked him on the arm for embarrassing the kids and me.

But there was at least one time when he took that embarrassment to new heights, and yes believe it or not it did occur at Walmart.  The place where I thought it was impossible to be embarrassed by my family.

I mean it’s Walmart!

My husband had Wednesday’s off and we would drop the children off at their schools and run our errands.  If you’ve never run errands at 8 am I highly recommend doing so, the stores are virtually empty!  No lines, no crowds, no idiots.

Well, except for one.

My husband was pushing the shopping cart through the grocery department at Walmart, and talking at the same time, we were discussing the list and what we needed to get when suddenly, and unexpectedly he not only farted extremely loudly he actually lifted his leg-dog on fire hydrant style-to do so!

The store was virtually silent so the sound echoed.  A LOT!

Me: “Oh my God, seriously?” As I make a beeline away from him and down the nearest aisle, which just happened to be the paper goods aisle.

I can hear what sounds like young men laughing hysterically about three aisles away.

Husband: “What? It wasn’t that loud was it?”

Guys three aisles away: Laughing even harder now.

I’m picturing them holding onto each other and falling over into shelves as they try to control their hilarity at my husband’s gas issues.

Husband: “Holy shit, that’s a stinky one.  We might have to head home soon.”  waving his hand behind his rear-end to dissipate the stench he is now standing in.  Alone.

I’m about halfway down the paper goods aisle now, and seriously ticked off!

Husband: “Hey, where are you going? Do we need toilet paper?” (that’s the aisle I darted down…see)

Guys three aisles away; “Ohmygawd” more laughing.

Me: “You might!”

Elderly woman at the end of the paper goods aisle looks at me disapprovingly

Me (to elderly woman) “I don’t know him.”

Husband: “Yes you do.  Hey, wait up!”

Husband is laughing, the guys three aisles over are laughing, the elderly woman is giving me the stink eye and I am considering how fast I can get out the front door before he catches up to me and everyone knows I’m with the farting dude in the toilet paper aisle!

Me: “I can’t believe you did that.”

Husband: “What, I just farted.  Everyone farts.  Get over it.”

Guys three aisles away: “Ohmygawd that’s HILARIOUS!”

Me: “You’re a dead man.”

Elderly lady at the end of the aisle sniffs her disgust at us, inhales a whiff of what he’s trailing behind him and immediately looks like she’s going to hurl.

That will teach her to stick her nose in other people’s business, unfortunately none of this taught my husband a damn thing about not farting in public!

Has your spouse or significant other ever done anythin to embarrass you in public?  Share your story in the comments!




BIO:


Angela is a social media and online community professional who has always dreamed of being a writer. She’s proud to be a contributor to the anthology Clash of the Couples and The Mother of all MeltdownsBlogging combines two of her passions, social media and writing! She blogs about anything that strikes her fancy and is always thrilled (and a little surprised!) when someone lets her know they enjoy reading her work. You can find her on her blog www.writermomblog.com, Google+, Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review and Sneak Peek of “Are You Kidding Me?” From Stacey Gustafson


I'm doing something a little different today on the blog. I want to give a HUGE shout-out to a good writer friend of mine who just released her first book and it is AWESOME! I LOVE Stacey Gustafson's "Are You Kidding Me?" because it is so relatable and hilarious! From the driving lessons with her daughter to the ill hamster and the snoring husband----I swear she has encapsulated my life in her writing and I can't stop laughing. There are so many good sections that I've gone back to read some of them twice. This book is a must have if you love good quality, comedic writing!
Here are a few sneak peeks:

Stressed Out in the Passenger Seat
Hurry up, Mom,” Ashley yells. “I can’t wait. I’m so excited! Are you?”
Uh yeah. I’m ready,” I stammer.
We hold hands as we walk towards the family van, car keys in my sweaty grip. The smell of freshly cut grass permeates the neighborhood. My feet begin to sweat and my lower eyelid twitches. It is time to give my daughter her first behind-the-wheel lesson. I feel like Tom Hanks in The Green Mile, going down that last stretch to the electric chair. I am not ready for this.

Good Pets Gone Bad
The next morning, I placed Chubby Cheeks in a box and drove to the vet. After the doctor examined him, we met in the waiting room. He said, “Good news. We can operate and remove the tumor. What would you like us to do?”
Hmmm…how much will it cost?”
$300,” he said, checking his watch.
Do you mind if I ask my husband first?”
I called my hubby and explained the problem. He listened without interruption for a few minutes. After a long pause I asked, “So what should we do? Operate? They can squeeze it in today.”
How much does a new hamster cost?” he asked.
Five dollars.”
Problem solved.

Does Size Really Matter?
And even when he wasn’t snoring, his heavy breathing was impossible to ignore.
Air in through the nose, out through the flaring nostrils. In and out. In and out. In. In. In. Out. No particular rhythm. Even the dog jumped off the bed in search of some quiet. But I vowed tonight was going to be different. I had enough.
Lying next to him, I could just make out my husband’s face from the dim nightlight in the hallway. He slept like an angel, lips in a small circle, eyelids fluttering. Quiet for the first time in months. I can’t stand his breath in my face. Must wake him up.
Hey, Darth. Roll over, you’re snoring,” I lied




Stacey Gustafson is an author, humor columnist and blogger who has experienced the horrors of being trapped inside a pair of SPANX. Her work has appeared in Chicken Soup for the SoulNot Your Mother’s Books, Midlife Boulevard, More Magazine, Better After 50 and on her daughter’s bulletin board. Her book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With An Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, was released September 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Twelve Good Things About Being A Grandparent

When I first learned that I was going to be a grandparent, I was surprised and terrified at the same time. I hadn't changed a diaper or burped a newborn in 16 years. What if I'd forgotten the basic rudiments of infant care? I prayed that it would come back to me like riding a bike----even though I haven't been on one in twenty years, I'm pretty sure I could still pedal my way around the neighborhood. I might wobble a bit at first, but eventually I'd straighten up and glide effortlessly down the street.

After talking to several of my friends who had already been initiated into the ranks of being a grandparent, new worries arose. What if my daughter had the same difficulty adjusting to the drastic changes brought on by new motherhood that I once experienced? What if my grandchild was colicky and inconsolable at all hours of the day and night? Even worse---what if I was unable to bond with my grand baby?

Fortunately, my fears were assuaged once my granddaughter was born. She was a healthy, happy baby, and my daughter eased naturally into her new role as a mother. And I couldn't have been any prouder of the patient, confident parent that she became.

Despite a few fevers, tantrums and troublesome teething episodes over the years, I think I've gotten the hang of grandparenting. Now that my granddaughter is approaching her third birthday, I've had time to reflect on my relationship with her and the advantages of being a grandparent:



1. You can load them up on homemade chocolate chip cookies after dinner, then send them home to their parents before the sugar kicks in.

2. You're allowed to teach your grandchild descriptive words such as "dingleberry" and "fartcake" without an ounce of guilt.

3. When the grandchild has a meltdown in the grocery store and thrashes around on the floor like someone in need of an exorcism, you can hand the whirling dervish over to the parents.

4. You'll have fun reading to your grandchildren all the old storybooks that you read to your own children... but this time you're allowed to tweak the tales: "There once was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She lost all her teeth and forgot how to chew."

5. When the grand baby gets sick, you don't have to be on barf patrol 24/7. This is a job for the parents…and the reason why speed dial was invented.

6. You don't have to buy your grandchildren boring things such as school supplies and uniforms. You can spend your money on entertaining toys such as Tom the Talking Cat, Wubble the Bubble Ball and My Little Pony. Bonus points for loud toys or ones that require assembly and have over 100 parts.

7. Any parent who talks incessantly about their precious offspring's accomplishments will receive plenty of eye rolls and cold shoulders. But as a grandparent, you're automatically allowed the bragging rights you were denied while raising your own children. "My two-year-old grandchild knows the Preamble to the Constitution by heart and can recite the Seven Deadly Sins…in fluent Russian…" No eye rolling, please.

8. You can embellish stories from your youth and your grandchild will believe every word. "When I was two, I learned how to skin a bull and make my own diapers out of his hide." No one needs to know that Grandpa grew up in the city and that the closest he ever came to a bull was a plate of Rocky Mountain Oysters.  

9. If the grandkids don't finish their dinner at a restaurant, you have permission to eat their leftovers. "What? Grandma gave you too much milk and now you're full? Of course she can help you eat those extra chicken tenders and fries!"

10. You have the opportunity to pick and choose which recitals/ concerts/ sporting events you'd like to attend. Skip the three hour violin concert but don't miss the twenty River Dancing toddlers in Pull-Ups.

11. Grandparents have free license to act silly, play games and spoil their grandchildren without punishment or unsolicited advice.  Because no one will put the grandparents in time-out.

12. You get to skip the whole potty training phase. If someone leaves a poop on the carpet, better check on the dog...or Grandpa.


My connection to my granddaughter is a bridge between the past and the future.  When I look at her precious face, I see my own childhood mirrored in her eyes.

I'll never be too old to use sidewalk chalk, finger paints or play kick the can in the suburban streets of my youth.

And I'll never be too old for fairytales with happy endings.



***Want More Meno Mama? This week I'm up at Humor Outcasts talking about my husband's obsession with fire. You can read it here: http://humoroutcasts.com/2014/firebug/

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Mother Of Imperfection

I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to introduce you to today's remarkably talented Wacky Wednesday Writer, Sandy Ramsey of Mother Of Imperfection! What I love about Sandy's writing is that she's not just another "niche" blogger. She writes on a wide variety of topics on her blog---some humorous, some poignant and many that are thought-provoking and informative. I've gotten to know Sandy through several Facebook writer groups that we both belong to and I have to say---she has a kind heart and a giving spirit. She's happy to help promote her fellow bloggers and is always there to offer support when needed. Even better, Sandy and I share the whole midlife mayhem thing, so it's always fun to compare thoughts on perimenopause with her though humor. Her post today had me in stitches because ohhhh boy, can I relate!

Please welcome Sandy to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!



TIME OUT FOR BIG BOOBS



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