A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: top 50 mom blogs (Page 2 of 2)

It’s just a phase…I hope.

So we took the whole mishpucha to the local Farmers’ Market the other day. I have as much fun people-watching at these places as I do noshing on the free samples.

Keeping track of three kids in a crowd is never easy. Even with two adults, we’re always playing zone defense. Bucket Head, the 4 year old, makes it extra challenging. He’s small, he’s fast, and he’s mischievous. It’s like  playing “Where’s Waldo” 24/7, minus the striped hat.

At some point between the cheese table and the fresh flowers, I lost him…again. Frantically scanning the crowd, I was not watching where I was going and bumped right into this gorgeous lady:

I was so startled to feel FUR on my face that I think I may have yelped a little. {Like, “Oh my God, kids…why did your Dad take his shirt off at a farmers’ market?!}

Oh phew! It’s just a little dog…

…in a Baby Bjorn.


Thankfully, she was very nice about the fact that I had just accidentally groped her little dog and she permitted me to take some pictures. Personally, I was just relieved that I hadn’t accidentally “yiffed” someone in public. Oh just google it, Grandma. I don’t have time to explain all the freaky new sex fetishes the kids are up to these days.

I had never seen a dog carried in this manner before, so I chatted her up for a minute. While we were talking, Bucket Head appeared out of nowhere.

"May I please pet your fur-baby?"

He was entranced with this pretty Mommy and her pets. And she was so sweet to him!

She totally let Bucket Head pet her fur-baby. (Not a euphemism.)

Then Bucket Head got caught up in the moment and decided to let his Freak Flag fly:

Yep. That’s my boy…smelling her dog’s crotch. I was all: “Heh-heh-heh {nervous laugh}…he’s going through a phase where he likes to smell stuff. Just ignore him and he’ll stop.”

Luckily for us, she was very understanding. Plus, with Bucket Head’s speech impairment, she had no idea what the hell he was saying.

"Mmmmmm. Your fur-baby 'mells so dood!"

Oh my God…look at the poor humiliated dog! She’s looking away like, “Really? First you put me in this ridiculous baby carrier and then you let strange kids smell my junk? Just wake me when it’s over.”

You and me both, my diminutive hostage canine sister.

Just another day in the life,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved. Get your own fur baby.

Knock knock. Who’s there? Dead squirrel!

Today’s edition of Just the Tip Tuesday is a triple header!

1.) Always keep your toilet lids closed.

2.) Always look in the bowl before you sit down on the toilet.

3.) A plastic milk jug can be fashioned into a very handy makeshift disposable scoop.

Surely you are now on the edge of your seat, eagerly awaiting more details about how these three tips are related. Just make sure it is not the edge of a toilet seat. Because after you read this, you’re not going to want to hold court on the porcelain throne any longer than necessary. In fact, Uncle John, I am going to just go ahead and prescribe you an extra large dose of daily Benefiber so you can speed up your daily doody time and greatly reduce your risk of having your butt bitten by a panicking squirrel.

Look, I don’t make this stuff up. I swear. It just finds me. And I love it. My life just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t regularly enjoy email exchanges like this:

Kristen: “Soooooooo….. guess what happened to me today??? Dead animal in my mother fucking toilet. A little squirrel. Stiff. In my terlet. I’m so freaked out…I thought I’d share that with you.”

Iris: “Nuh-uh! How the fuck did it get in there? What did you do? Flush it?!”

Kristen: “I don’t know how it got IN there… I had gone in earlier to make a deposit, and half an hour later Jack went in to pee and found the little fucker…dead and stiff in there. ‘Mom, There’s somfin’ in the toilet, you gotta see it!’ That’s never a good way to start a sentence. But, I made a scoop out of a milk jug, and scooped the fucker out and threw it in the woods… where it hit a tree and bounced into my creek. And then I poured a gallon of bleach in my toilet.”

Iris: “Well there, that sounds like a perfect ‘Just the Tip Tuesday’ column if I ever heard one! ‘How to properly dispose of a dead squirrel in yer terlet.’ – a guest post by Kristen.”

Kristen: “LOL Dude…. now that it’s out of my house, and I’ve had 3 dranks… I can laugh at it. Only I would have an already dead varmint in my terlet.”

image credit: Iris’s son Nature Boy

And so that was the end of that. Or so I thought.

By the way, she wasn’t speaking in code. “Dead squirrel in my toilet” is not a euphemism for poop, like “Chattahoochee Brown Trout” or “Taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.” She was really talking about a squirrel…a real squirrel…dead…in her toilet.

And I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Which lead to more questions.

How in the hell do you get a squirrelly in your swirly?

How did it die?

What would have happened if it wasn’t already dead when her kid went in there to pee?!

And OMG, what is Kristen feeding her kids?

I just had to know more. So I looked it up. I Googled “squirrel in my toilet,” to be exact.

And it turns out it’s not that uncommon.

Kristen honey, don’t feel bad, it’s not only you who gets a varmint in your toilet. Actually, you are lucky he was dead. It could have been way worse.

Check out this 911 call in Oklahoma.

There’s even a collection of short stories by a woman named Rebecca Cooper titled “There’s a Squirrel in My Toilet.”

So how DID Mr. Squirrel get in there? That’s what I want to know!

It’s unlikely that my friend Kristen is feeding her kids squirrel. (That bitch is crazy, but not “Squirrel-Taco-Tuesday-Crazy.”) And even if she is, odds are pretty low that one of the kids could swallow, digest, and poop out a whole squirrel, even a whole baby squirrel.

And the lid was closed, so he didn’t jump in there himself and close the lid, a la “hide and seek, you can’t find me!” style, most likely.

Best I can figure, squirrels get into toilets via the drain-waste-vents (DWV) found on roofs. According to Wikipedia, the purpose of the pipes, sometimes known as stink pipes, or in Kristen’s house: stank pipes, is to release the natural gases that build up in plumbing systems. Unfortunately, it appears as though those pipes don’t usually have a baffle on them to keep out wildlife.

That means the poor little curious baby squirrel was probably frolicking on Kristen’s roof, possibly playing hopscotch and/or singing a verse of Little Bunny Foo-Foo, when he came upon one of the aforementioned stink pipe. “Wow – neato!” may have been the last thought on his juvenile rodent mind when he lost his footing and plummeted three stories down to the bottom of the pipe. Kind of like the squirrel version of Baby Jessica Stuck in the Well. Somehow though, the squirrel managed to maneuver its way through the S-curved pipe at the bottom of that stink pipe and into the toilet bowl.

Good Lord, that poor baby squirrel! Kinda reminds me of that scene in Shawshank Redemption. You know the one:

“Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to.”

Only poor little Squirrelly didn’t crawl to freedom. Oh no. He crawled to his death by drowning in a closed toilet bowl…a tomb of unspeakable horrors.

Which sucks for him, but works out nicely for us humans who probably don’t want lost, terrified, feces smeared squirrels running amok in our homes. Most of us anyway, unless you’re one of those freaky animal hoarders, in which case, put some nuts on your roof and leave your toilet lids up and maybe you’ll score some extra furry friends.

I’m just glad for Kristen it was a baby squirrel and not a roof rat. Those bastards can swim. Or so I’ve heard.

So keep a lid on it, guys. You never know what’s gonna show up in your can. You know, now that I say it, that’s probably a universal truth. Look for t-shirts and bumper stickers in the near future.

And if something unwanted does make an appearance, try Kristen’s Hand-Crafted Milk Jug Scoop-and-Toss. Wish I had thought of that the day Nature Boy clogged and filled my powder room sink to the rim with regurgitated double cheeseburger and onion ring jamboree. Sheesh.

always an adventure,


P.S. – A vote for The Bearded Iris is a vote for squirrel-free toilets everywhere! Please help other fun people find me by casting your vote…for me…The Bearded Iris…at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs of 2010. I’m currently hovering around #21. Thank you!

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

Veggies Gone Wild

It’s Wordless Wednesday in the blogosphere.

But today I’m going to call it Wondrous Wednesday.

Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by a vegetable? I have.

Well hello, gorgeous!

This is a real tomato.

I selected it myself from my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) last week.

Well of course I did. Hello? A tomato with a stiffy? Like the cutest puppy in the window, yelping my name: “Pick ME, Iris. CHOOOOSE ME!”

So I brought him home, and I photographed him, and then we castrated that bad boy and ate him up. And he was remarkable. Possibly the best I’ve ever had. Still have the tomato juice stains on my t-shirt to prove it, Monica Lewinsky style.

There is something so delightful to me about buying from a local farm where the produce is a little wild and randy at times. I applaud the farmers who picked this tomato off the vine and gently placed it in the tomato crate, probably with a smile on their faces. You won’t find a tomato like this at the Piggly Wiggly, that’s for damn sure.

sincerely and with gratitude,


P-to-the-S: if you like my amateur veggie porn and want to help others find and enjoy it too, vote for The Bearded Iris. I’m currently on page 1 of the Top 50 Mom Blogs at Babble.com!

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

I have a favorite summertime salad recipe that is always a huge hit at potlucks and family gatherings. It’s called Jeweled Rice Salad and it is the brainchild of Mollie Katzen, famous New York Times best-selling author of the Moosewood Cookbook. I’ll include the link to the recipe at the end of this post.

The main ingredient of this recipe is brown rice.

“Huh? Brown rice? Like real brown rice?” you say?

Yes. Real brown rice. Long grain. And not that parboiled, enriched Uncle Ben’s shit. I’m talking REAL WHOLE FOOD, people.

It also has chick peas (aka garbanzo beans), grapes, toasted pecans, scallions, and parsley, so it’s a real beaut! The dressing is mostly lemon juice and EVOO with a little honey and garlic; very Mediterranean. It’s best served at room temperature, but the refrigerated leftovers are good the next day too.

This dish is totally different than anything else you’ll see at a potluck (especially in the South) because it’s SO healthy. No condensed soup, no mayo, no stick of butter, no pound o’ cheese. As much as I loves me some Paula Deen, I can’t actually eat most of her recipes (very often) or my butt would be as big as a doublewide, and not in a back-that-up-like-a-Tonka-truck-juicy-JLo-badonkadonk-kinda-way. More of a badonkaDON’T kinda way. (Look, I drink a lot and I don’t really exercise, so eating healthy foods is my only defense against the dark arts.)

This recipe is a little labor intensive, but it’s worth it. I love this dish and I hope you will too! However, in full disclosure, and in honor of Just the Tip Tuesday, I have to tell you something.

The last time I made this salad I had a teensy weensy problem.

But first, you should know, as a story teller and a writer and a private detective wannabe, I have a very keen sense of observation. Like freakishly keen. I notice things. Even minute details. And that’s not always a good thing. Just ask my kids.

So the other day when I was making this dish and I poured the brown rice into my measuring cup, I immediately noticed something strange.

Do you see it?


How about now…

No? Not yet?

Okay, let’s try this: (Special thanks to my kid for his badass LiveQuartz skillz!)

See it now? In the red circle? Looks like a grain of rice…but with a little brown tip. (Grandma, put your damn glasses on!)

How ’bout if we zoom in and drastically blur the background?

Do you see what I see? A grain of rice with SEGMENTS? AND A FACE!!!

Maybe an action shot will help:

That picture IS a little blurry. Okay fine. I have no choice but to pick it up and show you up close and personal:

Ew! I'm holding it! The things I do for you people.

One of those things is NOT like the others!!!

Wait, lemme zoom in a little bit more so you can really appreciate the fine details:

Ride that weevil, Paula!

Paula! You so crazy!

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce my uninvited houseguest: the Indian Meal Moth larva. Some people call this thing a pantry weevil. I call him Bubba.

Apparently Bubba and a bunch of his free-loadin’ kinfolk hitchhiked into my home inside the corner of my new bag of brown rice last week. Aw hayle no.

As observant as I am, I just didn’t notice the little spidery webs in the corner of my bag of rice while I was shopping at Publix the other day. I blame the three children who were threatening to tip over the cart while chanting “WE WANT POP TARTS! WE WANT POP TARTS!” It’s hard to do quality control when you are trying to negotiate with terrorists.

Well, shit. What’s a girl to do?

I guess I could have thrown out the rice and gone back to the store. But I hate to waste food and didn’t have time for that. Besides, chances were good that all the other bags of rice at the store were equally infested.

So you know what I did? I picked out the larvae and cooked up the rice anyway. So what? Big deal. If I missed a few, extra protein, I say.

Oh shut your rice hole, Betty Lou. Eating a larva or two never hurt anyone. Really. I’ve put worse things in my mouth. And so have you; don’t lie. But if a moth or weevil infestation spreads to the rest of the foodstuff in your pantry and has a free-for-all-orgy, it could be disastrous…as in throw-all-your-food-out-and-start-over. I have a friend who had a really bad infestation last summer. Every time she opened her pantry, moths would fly out at her like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I’m surprised they didn’t peck her eyeballs out or encase her in a giant cocoon and drain her blood while she slept.

I’ve been doing some research about these little buggers ever since I fed my family that Jeweled Rice and Larva Salad. Here are some steps you can take prevent an infestation at your house and keep your meals larvae-free:

  • Every time you buy a new bag of rice, stick it in your freezer for a few days.
  • If you have a current infestation, take everything out of your pantry/cabinet and clean all the shelves and corners with a vacuum and then with soap and water.
  • After it’s all dry, put a few whole bay leaves on each shelf.  Keeps them away, supposedly.  If you have wire mesh shelves, put the leaves in small bowls placed throughout the pantry.
  • Store all dried food goods, including dried pet foods and birdseed, in a glass or plastic container with a tight lid. If bugs are in that food product then the infestation will be contained and not spread to other foods.
  • Consider storing cereals and similar foods in the refrigerator.
  • Consume older food products prior to newer purchases of the same food.
  • Don’t stockpile grains and pasta unless you can store them in airtight containers.

If you’re not all heebie-jeebied out and are still interested in the Jeweled Rice Salad recipe, here it is. Larvae optional, of course. 

Oh by the by, if you and your Mom vote for The Bearded Iris over at Babble.com I promise not to bring any larvalicious food to your next potluck! (I’m in the running for one of the Top 50 Mom Blogs! Whooot!) 

Sweet dreams,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Something even better than cat shit!

When my friend Nora said “call [Iris] a mommy-blogger and get your ass kicked,” she was just kidding. Or maybe it was a typo and she meant to say “get your ass kissed.”

Just thought I’d put that out there, because as luck would have it, I have been nominated by one of my scrumptious readers for Babble.com’s Top 50 Mom Blogs of 2010!!!

I mean seriously. What a sweet surprise! So much better than finding the Trail of Tears my cat created with her magic butt brush the other day…

Although, not quite as good as finding a little face in the used tampon receptacle in the ladies’ room that one time. That’s a gift that just keeps on giving.

When Maggie nominated me the other day, I was ranked at #891. But after a few friends helped to spread the word on Facebook, my rank (last I checked) has rocketed all the way to #111. That’s out of 994 nominated blogs! Very exciting!

If you are here reading my schtick and you enjoy what you see, would you please vote for me? It’s a little tricky, but I think you can handle it. Step one: go to this link.

Step two: sort the list by “popularity.” (Here’s a pic to show you where to do that, Mom…I highlighted the sorting tabs in yellow.)



Step three: at the bottom of the screen, navigate to page 3 and look for The Bearded Iris. If I’m not on that page, that means I am already on page 2, doing the Mom Jeans Fist Pump and embarrassing the shit out of my kids.

When you find The Bearded Iris in that list of 994 nominated Mom Blogs, click on the “I like this blogger” thumbs up symbol. Then pat yourself on the back for doing something nice for someone else. Remember, what goes around, comes around. Justin Timberlake said so.

And if you couldn’t find my name, try sorting the list alphabetically and navigating to page 17 at the bottom of the screen. I should be somewhere around there. If you still can’t find me, God help you. You clearly have no business being on the Internet. Go play Mahjong or watch a Murder She Wrote marathon. (I’ll call you later, Aunt Doris.)

Okay friends, if you are still with me so far, you deserve a special treat! Bucket Head got ahold of my iPhone yesterday and recorded a song using my favorite new app: Songify. It’s so easy, even a four year old can do it. Even an undersupervised four year old with a speech impediment whose favorite words are: penis, butt, ffffomit, and dajina. Enjoy!

Bucket Head Might Have Tourette’s (Like His Mama)

giggling like a school girl,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


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