A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: funny mom blog (Page 1 of 3)

“Oh my GOD. What’s that smell?!!”

Driving 12+ hours in a minivan with three kids is never easy, even in the best of conditions.

Now factor in Thanksgiving traffic, heavy winds, rain, bad windshield wipers, and the horrifyingly treacherous mountain freeways of West Virginia? We’re lucky to be alive today.

In driving conditions such as these, it helps to be able to concentrate on the driving.

So imagine my chagrin when I started to hear 4 year old Bucket Head whimpering from the back seat about 5 hours into the trip home yesterday.

"Ewwwww. What's that smell?"

Mind you, the three kids had been exceptionally well behaved thus far on the drive. Thanks to the advice from my Facebook friend, Michele D., we were paying each kid 50 cents for every half hour that passed without any negative incidents such as fighting, whining, not sharing, and any other general unpleasantries. (Michele, it worked like a charm. Thank you!)

My husband was driving, so I turned around in my seat to see what Bucket Head was fussing about.

And that’s when it hit me:

…the stench! 

Like a kick to the face.

“Oh my GOD! What’s that smell?!!!” I choked.

Bucket Head’s whimpering had quickly escalated into full fledged gagging.

Then he started to cry. “I feeuw yike I going to fomit.” [sic]

The stench reached my husband, the driver. He quickly covered his nose. “Oh my GOD. What the hell? Did I run over something?”

My eyes were starting to water. It was as if someone had launched a tear gas grenade into the car.

Suddenly, 12 year old Nature Boy pleaded from the back row “Dad, the windows are locked! Open the windows! OPEN THE WINDOWS!

My 9 year old daughter Mini-Me was the only one not moving or speaking.

She was just sitting there calmly, playing her DSi, completely nonplussed to our panicky gasps for fresh air.

And that’s when I noticed…

she had taken her boots off…

and she wasn’t wearing socks.

If you can imagine the scent emitted from a hot chunk of Camembert being fried into a sandwich between two ripe jock straps on top of a car radiator next to a nursing home dumpster, you are halfway there.

I’m telling you, I have never in all my life smelled something like this, not during childbirth, not at the petting zoo, not even during low tide under the boardwalk with the Golumpki-filled traveling circus carnies.

How in the world does a little girl *this* cute create such a rank odor?

Honest to Pete…whoever coined the phrase “sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what girls are made of,” obviously never met my daughter.

Perhaps a rewrite is in order: “Cute as can be but with stank a-plenty…”

Or “Smart and quite charming, but her foot-odor’s alarming…”


That’s not right. Let’s blame the man-made boots instead.

Too bad, because they are super cute.

We bought them at Tarjay about a month ago. They are absolutely adorable on her and the silver sequins go with everything!


I know.

That’s Pittsburgh, my beloved hometown. Hard to focus on the sparkly boots with a gorgeous backdrop like that, isn’t it? You should see it at night when you emerge from the darkness of the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Takes my breath away every time.

I took that picture up on Mount Washington the day after Thanksgiving last week. Look at Bucket Head holding his bird. Literally. We had just bought him a little blue clay bird whistle in town. Two minutes after this picture was taken he dropped it and it shattered into a vajillion little pieces. Good times.

There were two teenaged sisters there with their parents and one of them said to my daughter, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE your boots!” It was really sweet. You should have seen Mini-Me’s face when she was complimented by a teenager!

Sadly, you really can’t judge a boot by its cover, because the synthetic “furry” material of the lining on these puppies is a hot breeding ground for bacteria. And when sweaty foot bacteria get together for potlucks, they bring the funk, yo. 

If I had one of those special infrared cameras the CSI guys use, the boots would look like this:

Sure was a long drive home. We had to keep the windows cracked, in spite of the cold, windy rain. Mini-Me cried that she couldn’t keep the boots on because they were too hot and she wanted to sleep. We tried to wrap the boots in a blanket, but it only muffled the fragrance and gently disbursed it throughout the vehicle like a Hot Fontina Scented Glade Plug-In. (Coming soon to stores near you.)

So now I’m off to Google foot odor solutions. If my life were any more glamorous I’d be scrubbing the seat backs at Zorba’s XXX Movie Theater.

Home, sweet home.


 © Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved. Get your own damn cheese.

WTF Wednesday: The Very Special Halloween Hangover Edition

{ding dong}

You open the door.

Here’s what you see:

Witch, Orca Whale, Skeleton, Halloween 2011.

Immediately followed by the sound of my little Bucket Head singing:

“Trick-or-Treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!”

Always a crowd pleaser.

But did you know there is a second verse to this classic holiday greeting?

There is.

It goes like this:

“If you don’t, I don’t care. I’ll pull down your underwear!”


Who on earth taught that to my sweet, innocent, cherub-faced four year old son?

Uh, that would be me.

Sorry, neighbors.

In hindsight, bad idea. Apparently, pulling down other people’s underwear without their consent isn’t very socially acceptable nowadays.

But when I was a kid? Shoot. We called that “getting de-pantsed.” It was a classic bully maneuver. Naturally, I rocked at it. Just ask my little brother.

Something else you may have heard if you trick-or-treated on my street was Bucket Head shouting “I AM NOT A SHART.”

Bless his little speech impaired heart.

What he meant was “I am not a SHARK.”

And I totally feel his pain. Really I do.

What the fuck is wrong with grown-ups today?

People, if you don’t know the difference between an orca whale and a shark, you need to spend less time chatting up little trick-or-treaters and more time watching Animal Planet.

We're going to need a bigger boat.

I can’t even tell you how many adults told my Bucket Head, “My, what a scary shark you are!” To which he would always reply that he was not a shark, but an orca whale (duh). As the evening progressed, he became more and more frustrated with having to correct so many people.

And listen, the only thing worse than trying to correct an imbecilic adult who doesn’t know their sea creatures is then being laughed at for your mispronunciation by said imbecile. Thanks a lot, neighbors.

But my biggest WTF Halloween moment occurred when one of my kids received this in their treat bag:

Valentine Candy. To: _______, From: Bridget. On Halloween.

Say it with me, friends:




I know what some of you are thinking. It’s kinda brilliant.


That’s jive. (Says the lady who hands out gently used Happy Meal Toys.)

Even though I’m a huge advocate of being green and frugal, giving out personalized Valentine candy treats on Halloween is just plain shitty. That’s like giving out soy sauce packets and used dryer sheets. Don’t be a douche. These kids are working hard to walk all the way to your door and sing the “smell my feet” song. Eight month old off-holiday candy is a TRICK, not a treat. Save it for the un-costumed teenagers who show up after your porch light is off, not the cute little SHART who still says “gank you.”

And now, to answer all those lingering questions.

Did our house get egged?

No! In fact, I observed The Gatekeeper greet the first few trick-or-treaters and whenever he asked them “Would you like candy or a toy?” they always said “A TOY!!!” So there, doubters. Kids love plastic crap. Told you!

Did I dress up?

Yes indeedy. I did. Well, kinda. A hat/wig, lipstick, tattoo sleeves, and a bracelet count, right?

Semi-Biker Chick with her brood.

Good enough. Or as my stapler-wielding Mama says, “Done is better than perfect.” 

We even returned to our hippie friends’ 2nd annual Halloween Party, where once again, I was the only adult in costume. No, The Gatekeeper didn’t come. He did dress up though…as an Ohio State Fan. Whoop-dee-frickin’-doo. He stayed home and watched football and drank beer while I bravely battled my social-anxieties alone at a dry party. Awesome.

Who did we trick-or-treat with this year? 

We trick-or-treated with Mama Cloud and her kids again and it was delightful, as usual. She and I have similar parenting styles and it’s so refreshing to not have to be the lone bad cop all night shrieking things like “DO YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH? THEN GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE GOD DAMN STREET, Honey.” (Because tacking “Honey” onto any rant makes it not quite so negative, right?)

Did Nature Boy trick-or-treat with his friends and no adult supervision? 

Aw HAYLE NO. He just turned 12. He and his best friend came with me and Mama Cloud and our combined broods. And it was a good thing, too, because he almost peed his pants at the local haunted house…it was that scary. I ended up going through it twice because he was too afraid to come with me and his best friend the first time. Pussy. Kidding. We held hands the whole time, but it was totally dark, so his best friend couldn’t see what a scaredy-cat he was. Too cute.

Was alcohol involved?

What are you, slow? Of course. I had to make up for the withdrawal I was experiencing after the hippie Halloween party.

So that’s that! I hope your Halloween was a happy one too and that you got only treats and no tricks in your goodie bags! And by goodie bags, of course I mean vaginas.

I’m linking up with Sellabit Mum and Fourplusanangel for Boo in the Blogosphere and Nicole at By Word of Mouth Musings because I obviously need to make some new friends.



with kisses and consensual de-pantsing,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

We’re having a lean, green, and mean Halloween!

Have you noticed the vast selection of non-edible Halloween treats in the stores this year? We’re talking Halloween themed silly bands, bendy monster action figures, temporary tattoos, glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs, mini cans of creepy colored Play-Doh, stickers, pencils, erasers, etc.


How am I supposed to get my annual All Saints Day yeast infection?

Kidding. It usually takes until All Souls Day for me to deplete my children’s entire supply of Kit Kats and Butterfingers.

As a semi-conscientious parent, I suppose the movement away from candy makes sense. You know…all the cavity-causing sugar, the Red Dye #40 that ignites kiddies like roman candles, the neurotoxic artificial flavorings, the risk of cross-contamination from tree nuts, the razor blades…I get it. Long gone are the days of homemade candy apples and popcorn balls.

But you know what? I don’t think I can tolerate any more plastic CRAP in my house.

Because for realio, if I step on one more of those MFing little plastic spider rings in the middle of the night, I’mma be starring in the next episode of Snapped.

Seriously, I’ve already sacrificed one of my formerly lovely toes to the Plastic Clutter Gods. Enough is enough already!

I’m nothing if not practical though. And since handing out non-edible plastic CRAP is the hot trend this year, I’m perfectly willing to get on board.

My approach, however, is a little leaner, greener, and yes, according to my kids, “way meaner.”

It is so simple… you’re gonna kick yourself for not thinking of it first!

This year, I’m going to recycle random kid clutter as Halloween treats! Bye-bye Happy Meal toys, school “Treasure Box” earnings, anything that came home in a birthday party goodie bag, carnival prizes, etc.; it’s all fair game. Your kids want it, and I want it out of my house. Win-win!

Here is a picture of some of the kid clutter I was able to gather in just a few minutes.

"Mom, have you seen my Shrek and Mulan action figures?" "No honey. I haven't." (Heh heh heh)

Frickin’ brilliant, right? And I don’t have to spend a dime! Take THAT, Corporate America!

My husband already thinks I’m crazier than a shit-house rat, so of course this idea came as no big surprise to him. He’s just bummed there won’t be a stockpile of fun-sized Almond Joy bars in the pantry all week.

If you are going to try this at your house, something I learned the hard way is to NOT ask your kids to help you gather your loot. In fact, don’t even do it while they’re around… kids are notoriously clingy to those awful made-in-China choke hazards. Must be all the lead, messing with their brain chemistry. Also, once you assemble your stash, keep it hidden from your ankle biters or you will open yourself up to a world of whining, fighting, and/or stealing.

OH! Lookie here, even as I was taking these pictures, a little hand was sneakin’ in to reclaim some of the booty. That’s my Bucket Head… notorious Crap Raptor.

Hold it right there, Bub.

We get a lot of teenaged Trick-or-Treaters in my neighborhood, so I think I’ll break up the “treats” into two age-appropriate baskets; toys for the little ones, other random household clutter for the older kids.

Finally, something practical to do with our stash of pre-vasectomy condoms! (Clearly, if the kids are dressed up like this little neighbor was last year… a condom or two isn’t such a bad idea. Lord have mercy!)

Look at this little skank rubbin' up against my little Vampire! Maybe she's just cold. Poor thing.

"Well who are you supposed to be? A WHORE? Oh, a teenager? Same diff. Get away from my son!"

So that’s my hot Halloween tip for this year. Reduce your clutter, save the planet, and hoard your cash this Halloween. Sure, your kids might miss some of those toe-breaking-toys, and yes, the neighbors will probably have even more to say about you than they usually do, but think of the serenity you’ll gain by eliminating clutter and reducing your carbon footprint!

And with the money you’ll save you can hire professional window washers to remove the egg shells and soap you’ll most likely receive as a result of your non-traditional “treats.”

Totally worth it.

What do you think? Is this idea a winner or have I gone off the deep end?

I’m going to link up to Org Junkie because I think she’d approve of this idea!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. 

So now, I run.

“You’re fisting!” she snapped.

“Well, YOU’RE leaving skid marks,” I snapped back. “Pick up your feet!”

No, this is not boudoir dialogue.

This is what it sounds like when my 8 year old daughter Mini-Me and I go running together.

Okay, so we’ve only done it once. But that’s how it sounded, mixed with a lot of heavy breathing and the muffled slap-slap-slap of my ass cheeks on the backs of my thighs.

She’s part of a Girls on the Run program at her school and she’s training for her first 5K. Apparently, one of the tips she’s gleaned from her training is to not tighten your hands into fists while you run.

Guilty as charged. I was fisting. But I had my stop watch in one hand and my car key in the other.

And the fact that she calls it fisting makes me laugh, and I’m really not fit enough to waste so much of my precious oxygen cackling while I run.

What Mini-Me hasn’t yet learned is to pick up her damn feet so she doesn’t sound like a little old man shuff-shuff-shuffling off to Buffalo. Drives me nuts!

Not that I’m a pro or anything. I only ran my first 5K about 18 months ago right around the time I reluctantly turned 40. But I do know enough about running basics and physics in general to know that dragging her feet will slow her down, tire her out, and ruin her shoes.

Of course, she’d rather fist a hemorrhoidal honey badger than listen to her Mama, but whatever.

Her coaches suggested that at least one parent from each family train with the girls as their “running buddy.” They encouraged us to sign up for the 5K run too.

Our race is scheduled for November 12th. That’s less than 4 weeks away. So now I’m in training. I’m doing the Couch to 5K running plan because that’s what I did before and it worked for me.

This time though, I jumped in at training week #5 instead of starting from the beginning. Doing things half-assed and without adequate preparation is pretty much how I roll.

But I ain’t no quitter…  most   some of the   this time.

And I have really good motivation: I definitely don’t want to embarrass my kid next month and be the one rickety mom hyperventilating on the sidelines, needing medical support.

So now, I run.

I am a runner!

(photo source: http://www.facebook.com/HealthyBodyProject)

Aw yeah. Eye of the tiger, baby.

Maybe someday she’ll look back on this time together as she accepts her first Olympic Gold medal and she’ll think “That was pretty cool that my Mom trained for and ran my first race with me.” And then she’ll tell Bob Costas all about fisting and skid marks and the sound of my butt.

Hey, a gal can dream.

Got any great running (or parenting) tips for me? Leave me a comment and tell me what you know.

Born to run,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Placenta Crafts and More!

“It’s 2:00 AM. Do you know where your placenta is?”

I’m imagining a deep, slow, and serious tone for the voiceover… maybe James Earl Jones, or a Don LaFontaine impersonator.

Details. Anyhooo.

I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual. Let me back up a bit.

Pregnant women have a lot on their minds these days. In our information-overload society, they are bombarded with choices. Vaginal birth or planned caesarean? Hospital birth or home birth? Circumcision or intact? Cloth diapers or disposables? OMG, should I be teaching my baby to read?

Probably the last thing a woman who has just given birth needs to be thinking about is “What the hell do I do with my placenta?” 

I didn’t even know what the fark a placenta was the first time I had a baby nearly twelve years ago. I was young(er) and clueless. Didn’t do any research whatsoever. Just assumed that women had been having babies for thousands of years…what else did I need to know? (Have you met my triplets? Denial, Avoidance, and Procrastination?)

As a fancy-free first-timer, I can assure you that I spent more time and energy decorating my baby’s nursery than I did actually contemplating a birth plan or any postpartum details. The good news? My nursery was super cute, like Oh-my-God! The bad news? Holy shit – childbirth is hard and painful! Who knew?


My second time around on the Birth-o-Rama ride I actually did bring home my placenta in a Ziploc freezer bag. I just had no idea what to do with it.

So I stuck it in a bucket on my back porch for a few days and forgot about it while I was bonding with Mini-Me and icing my hoo-hoo.

Lord have mercy, you do not want to know how that story ended. Trust me.

But the young girls today are much more educated and conscientious than I was in my breeding years. Or at least my friend Mama Cloud is. I knew she was planning a home birth and so I assumed she’d also have some pretty spectacular plans for her placenta. 

I didn’t know what… the things people do with their placentas these days are pretty incredible. For instance, among other things, she could:

Dang. I must have missed the session on Placenta Crafts at Mommy College. Fuckin’ A.

Regardless of her choice, I knew she’d need a way to store that placenta until she was able to do whatever it was she was going to do with it. So, I designed a special gift for her baby shower that I thought would be practical AND funny.

Practical. Yes.

Funny, pretty much only to me. (And hopefully to you too, my twisted readers.)

Yes, I learned a valuable life lesson that day about gag gifts, and baby showers where you don’t know anyone but the mama-to-be, and ladies who take their placentas very seriously. Oh well. Live and learn.

I probably started off on the wrong foot by giving her a card with this on the front:

 But Mama Cloud had read and enjoyed the post I wrote about my favorite childbirth terms, so I knew (well, I hoped) she would appreciate the humor. She did. Well she said she did anyway…to my face at least.

Next up, the unveiling of my special, personal, handmade gift! I mean, what’s more personal than a storage system for your placenta?

Mama Cloud and I were the only ones laughing. Oh well. Luckily for me, she absolutely LOVED my gift and it sure came in handy! Would you like to see a close up of it?

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce:

The Placenta Keeper Plus:
For All Her Afterbirth Storage Needs

Just in case you can’t read the fine print on the back, let me spell it out for you…

Congratulations on choosing:

Placenta Keeper Plus

Exclusively distributed by The Bearded Iris
for all your afterbirth storage needs.

  • Air tight seal prevents spoilage.
  • Matching lids help you keep all your post-partum souvenirs organized!
  • Highly visible labels prevent your oh-so-helpful-hubby from accidentally defrosting your placenta for stew meat.
  • A variety of sizes to accommodate any placenta…small, medium, or large!
  • Ecnomical! Why pay pricey cord blood bank fees?!
  • Semi transparent containers give your placenta the privacy it deserves.
  • Neutral design to complement any decor.
  • Heirloom quality – a keepsake for generations to come.
  • Environmentally friendly – repurposed containers from local thrift store.

I’m so impressed with myself! And so that’s why I’m thinking I should start auditioning voiceover artists to hock my awesome product. I think I’m onto something here folks. Placenta Keeper Plus might just be my golden ticket! Remember, you saw it here first.

Sure wish I had had one of those when I brought home my placenta 8 years ago. Maybe then I could have safely frozen it until I was ready to deal with it. {Sigh} Another mothering opportunity out the window (writes the mother whose children are on their 4th hour of TV for the day so I can blog. Nice.)

Epilogue: My dear friend Mama Cloud had her Placenta Keeper Plus ready to go when she birthed her beautiful son at home. And a few minutes later when she delivered her placenta, it went right into one of those handy dandy containers and into an ice-filled cooler on the front porch. And no, I don’t know which size she used, but thanks for asking.

The next day, a volunteer from a local Search and Rescue Dog Training organization came to pick it up. I bet he was awfully impressed with Mama Cloud’s professional placenta packaging! Yes indeedy, yet another thing you can do with fresh placenta is donate it to help train Search and Rescue Dogs to find missing people! Incredible! Wish I had known that when each of my three babies were born. Mama Cloud – you rock. What a cool thing to do!

I’m a little bummed I won’t be able to taste some of her encapsulated placenta or get a placenta printed thank you note, but I sure as shit am glad Mama Cloud didn’t make that thing into a teddy bear. “It puts the lotion on the placenta.” {Shudder.}

entrepreneurially yours,

-Iris Beard, Inventor of Placenta Keeper Plus

As if I needed one more reason to hate clutter.

We’ve talked before about how “clutter costs you.” Like when I found that pile of uncashed checks in my home office worth $1463 and ended up on Oprah. Well not actually ON Oprah, she probably wouldn’t like that, and neither would Steadman. I mean on her show. True story.

But two nights ago I learned another valuable lesson about how costly clutter can be. 

Long story short: I broken my frickin’ toe when I tripped on one of Bucket Head’s toys in the middle of the night.

It’s not that great of a story, so I thought it might sound better as a song. Please click the link below to hear it:

Broken Toe

I’ve never embedded a song before, so please let me know if it doesn’t work. Alls I have to say is, watch your back Ke$ha, cuz my autotune skillz are badass.

I’m actually not even sure if my tootsie is broken… I’ve never had a broken toe before. But it sure does hurt like a mo-fo, especially at night. And it’s all bruised and swollen like a narsty fat cocktail wienie gone bad. Worst of all, it just looks SO out of place on my otherwise pretty feet. Poor, poor toe. And oh, the injustice! Couldn’t I have stubbed one of my ginormous manly fingers instead?

Sorry – but it’s just too hideous to show you the unedited shot. And to the sweet man who wrote in requesting more pics of my feet, please forgive me.

Anyhooooo, one good thing has come of this. Yesterday, Bucket Head, Mini-Me, my throbbing broken toe (“Drizella”), and I all worked together to clean the snark out of his cluttered bedroom.

Here’s what it looked like the morning after I tripped on one of his toys:

And from another angle:

Lord only knows what I tripped on! Yeeesh.

In his defense, the poor kid is only four and he’s having really bad night terrors: wakes up screaming every night. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him watch all those Friday the Thirteenth movies. I don’t know. But anyway, every night at bedtime, if he doesn’t sneak downstairs and curl up on my lap on the couch, he avoids going to sleep by playing in his room until he basically just collapses on his bedroom floor. We end up moving him into his bed when he’s sound asleep and usually just scoot the toys out of the way.

Letting him keep all those toys in his room was my lazy-ass way of not dealing with his sleep problems. It was just easier for me to let him play than to put the hammer down. Bad Mommy.

And I guess I was too tired or drunk or lazy to clear a good path that night like I usually do. Serves me right. Dammit.

But stubbing my toe on one of his toys is just the wake up call I needed. It’s time to teach this kid how to be a better sleeper. And the first step is eliminating the clutter from his room.

The sleep issue is huge – and too much to include in this post. We’ll save that for another day, because I have a lot to say about it.

But for now, all you need to know is that we have a new rule: the only extra things allowed in Bucket Head’s bedroom are stuffed animals, books, and his baby doll stuff. Yes, Bucket Head has a baby doll. His name is Zeke. Shut the fuck up. We’ll have to discuss that separately too.

Ready for some after pics? Don’t judge my shitty decorating. He’s my third and final kid. He gets nothing.

I think I’m most excited about the two baskets on the bottom shelf for all the paperback books. I already had those baskets elsewhere in the house, so I didn’t have to spend anything. They fit perfectly and it will be so much easier for Bucket Head to flip though them for what he wants. Here’s how I was storing those paperbacks before:

It was a mess.

Here is the updated system:

 We carried all the extra toys down to the basement play room, where they belong. And starting tonight, SLEEP BOOT CAMP… if I can stay awake for it once the painkillers for my toe kick in.

Humbly and gingerly, but with gratitude for the KICK I needed to stay on my organizing journey,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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