Breaking Up With Facebook

It was approximately 3.5 years ago that I committed to what would become my most solid Internet marriage, Facebook. I had previously had a short engagement with his sluttier cousin, MySpace, but our relationship soured when I announced that I was on my way to the hospital TO GIVE BIRTH TO A LIVE HUMAN BEING and got nary a comment. That spelled the end for me and MySpace. It was clearly his fault.

After the “No Comment” fiasco and a few rounds of postpartum narcotics, I was ready to enter into a new relationship.

Enter Facebook.

At first we stumbled around like new lovers. I posted stupid updates about my boring day-to-day life and my latest trip to My Gym just because that’s what I saw other people do. Eventually we found our groove and I started posting only about the most important things in my life- my kids, reality television, and occasionally my husband- in exactly that order.

So why am I ready to break up with Facebook? Am I too busy with my new baby? Do I want to take a stand against everyone who posts political opinions? Is there too much baby mama drama showing up in my news feed? Nah. It is because Facebook makes me feel guilty!

As a child I do not ever remember being subjected to posing in a wasteland of pumpkins. Kids of my generation were just happy with the occasional Ronald McDonald sighting or a nip on a candy cigarette from time to time. We didn’t need to visit Pumpkin Paradise to get the most fabulous gourd in town- they do sell them in Publix, ya know. But dammit if my kids weren’t the only ones this year who were not photographed in matching orange shirts and blue jeans in the local neighborhood pumpkin patch!

I don’t remember agreeing to this photo session when I first filled out my Mom application… Or did I? I remember agreeing to love, snuggle, and smile at a cheery newborn. I may have agreed to help a school-aged child with her homework occasionally. I think I agreed to take a few snapshots here and there. But this new phenomenon of a mandatory photo shoot for almost every holiday is just waaaay too much for a slacker mom like me!

Also making me feel guilty are the recipes and craft projects that people pin to Pinterest that show up in my newsfeed. If you are actually making even 1/2 of what you pin, you suck. If you have the time to quilt little pink fuzzy warmers for your child’s pencil erasers, YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS! Also, you suck.

So will this guilt really be enough to make me break up with Facebook once and for all? Probably not. I will suffer in (near) silence. Just remember that every time you post a picture of your kids in matching outfits sitting atop an innocent pumpkin or pin a recipe for The Best Jalapeno Popper Dip EVERRRR, you are chipping away at a piece of my heart.

Things that bug me- Part III

Here we go again. And if you never did before, please be sure to check out Thing 1 and Thing 2. And without further adieu:

1. Kids with mohawks. I know that many, many people disagree with me and think that kids with mohawks are bad ass. And I get it. Clearly the parents of these kids are very cool punk rocker types. That’s rad, seriously. But why must they take this out on their innocent children? I mean, I used to be am obsessed with NKOTB. But that doesn’t mean I would put my child through the social stigma associated with having a receding hairline similar to that of Donnie Wahlberg. Can you imagine the stares I might get at Target if I shaved my boy’s head only at the temples? This would likely incur more harsh looks than the ones directed at mom’s who tote their kids around on leashes. But I don’t have a problem with fauxhawks at all. In fact, on a DILF like David Beckham, it is downright hot.

2. A bad signal on a cell phone. I’m guessing this shouldn’t bug me nearly as much as it does, but it really makes me angry. Me: “Hey, Jenny H!” Jenny H: “he…bkhj…hbgughoh… Me: “Wha-aaat? I can’t hear you! Hellloooo! Are you there?!?!” Jenny H: pause…”gvfkfvk. vuogioucfrtsetk!” Me: “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!! Whaaat?!” All of a sudden my heart is thumping angrily in my chest. God help those around me when I eventually lose my hearing one day. You think I’m cranky now? Just wait. “Whaaa-aaaat?!”

3. The endless varieties of Cream of _____ Soup. Ok, Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken; that’s cool. But Cream of Asparagus? Really? Gross. I went to the grocery store earlier today to buy a couple of cans of Cream of Mushroom soup. Innocent enough, right? Wrong! I had to wade through every Campbell’s version of Cream of Mushroom soup. Low-fat, no-fat, Healthy Request, no-trans fat, no-mushroom, no-flavor, the list goes on. I never could find the plain, regular version I was looking for. Finally I just grabbed the Publix brand and was on my way.

4. Daylight saving time. I don’t get it. I don’t like it. And as much as I love any excuse to put my kids to bed before 7pm, it still bugs me. It is depressing. But what irritates me even more than DST is when people write about it excitedly on Facebook. “OMG, yay! Another hour in my day! Woo-hoo!” Yuck. Or, “I just love this longer day, I could get used to this!” Really? Are you so short-sighted that you can’t understand that you are basically trading this one stupid hour for your entire soul? Seriously. I would happily give up several hours to make this DST nonsense go away forever and let the sunlight last past 5:30pm year-round.

Now please tell me, what bugs you? Unless your answer is “this blog,” I would love to know! Also tell me if you have any suggestions for future blog posts!

How to be a slacker mom like me

Here are a few tips for those who wish to gain some free time despite those pesky kids underfoot. Warning: if you have only one child and said child is still a baby, you may be horrified by this post. Just wait, though. I remember a time when my sweet baby girl angel was but a wee little thing and my mother-in-law came for a visit. You remember Mommy Glo, right? MG was holding her innocent baby grandchild while sitting on the couch watching TV. I had heard of the dangers of letting babies watch TV and the damage it can cause with their speech patterns and such. In order to protect baby Madeline from the horrifyingly dangerous rays of the television, I actually used my body as a shield to block the TV from her line of sight. I simply would not allow her perfect baby self to be traumatized by even one Oprah commercial. Cut to five years later. Here are my tips:

1. Turn on the TV. As much as you need it. Seriously, as long as it is balanced with outside time, playing with friends, and most importantly the occasional visit to the wine vineyard in nearby St. Augustine (fun for kids, too!), how bad could it really be? Now I am not at all advocating an all-day everyday TV type existence like the one I had growing up. No lie, I had a TV schedule posted on the refrigerator. And I’m not talking about the one they print in the newspaper. No, I had my own handwritten schedule of what I watched every day after school, from 3pm till bedtime. Heaven forbid I miss a crucial episode of Webster or Diff’rent Strokes…Or Family Ties…Or Growing Pains…OMG, pulling up the links for the theme songs for these shows makes me all nostalgic. The Growing Pains one actually gave me the chills. I digress…

2. Take couch naps. Daily. Be sure to pick a child friendly movie to serve as babysitter so as to keep your children safe and all. Ponyo is ideal. Monsters, Inc., not so much. This movie contains scream after scream after scream. And screaming tends to interrupt ones peaceful couch slumber. And that is just tacky.

3. Act really vague whenever anyone asks you to volunteer to do something for your kids school or their activities. Eager-Mom type, “Hey! Would you like to volunteer to serve as the co-captain of our annual strawberry harvesting/cheesecake pumpkin squirrel procreation project?!” Me, “Um, yeah, um, oh wait, um, I am pretty sure I have something going on that day? Let me check my, um, calendar and let you know?” Be sure to NEVER follow up on this for as long as you live.

4. Eat at Chick-Fil-A. Often. You shell out no more than $15 for the whole fam to eat and then you get to check your mom hat at the door. The kids will easily spend an hour in the playpen play area while you get to check Facebook on your phone. Even better, bring your laptop and you can really get down on some internet scum. Just don’t ever make the newbie mistake I made for so long. Whatever you do, DO NOT sit inside that play area hell-hole. It will make your blood pressure rise faster than Bill Clinton’s man-parts did around Monica Lewinsky.

Now here’s the downside of all of this slacker mom stuff. My husband is on to me. If he comes home again unexpectedly during the day and catches me on the computer while my 2-year-old is drooling to Dora, he will likely divorce me. I prefer to know at least an hour ahead of time when he will be home. That way I can perform my normal evening routine just prior to his arrival.

I fire up my garlic scented candle. This way he has no idea that the kids really had chicken nuggets for dinner, it smells like a friggin’ Italian restaurant in here. Then I sprinkle a little flour on the countertops to imply that I have spent a bit of time baking during the day. I even take the time to lovingly scrub the marker and snot stains off the faces of my children. Supermom-like, I know.

One of my slacker mom friends has similar actions she performs just prior to her husband returning home from work. The second she hears the garage door opening, off the couch she goes. She literally pops up like toast, turns off the latest episode of Sister Wives and races to the kitchen to dump some bleach down the sink. When her man walks in the door from work, he can tell she has been very busy all day cleaning the house. This makes him happy.

And being a slacker mom makes me happy. Give it a try, people. You can thank me in the comment section below. If you have any additional slacker mom tips, I would love to know. Please share!

South Florida is the new Wild West

I have spent the majority of my life living in Florida, mostly in North FL, specifically Jacksonville. Prior to dating my now-husband I had not spent a great deal of time in his hometown, Ft. Lauderdale. I had visited nearby Miami a few times but really never got a true feel for South Florida life until I met Cruggers.

Through Crug, because of regular visits down south, I was introduced to the real South Florida, the shadiest place on Earth. And when I say shady, I am not referring to the palm trees. There is simply a fast-moving, moral questionability that surrounds the place. When I am there I often feel like a country bumpkin with a rusty car and an affinity for dipping tobacco.

On one of my early visits down south, we went to visit a good friend of Crug’s, Neil. Never before had I known someone who lived in a double-wide trailer…and had a live-in housekeeper. True story. When we got there and Neil asked what we’d like for lunch, I thought we’d be having sandwiches or something. That is, until he called in Rosario from the other room and had her whip up a fresh batch of gazpacho and paella. It was totally rad. Things like this simply do not happen in Jacksonville.

I have a friend, we’ll call her “Fabulosity.” She moved to Miami from Jacksonville several years ago. Now she summers in either Chicago or the Hamptons and regularly visits NYC and Vegas. Every other Facebook picture showcases her either front row at a sporting event, backstage at a concert, or aboard a private yacht. This girl has a masters degree, mind you, but no real job as far as I know. In South Florida things as trivial as a “job” seem not to matter a bit.

Speaking of jobs, have you ever read a magazine article referencing “the most unusual jobs ever”? This list typically includes jobs like ice cream taster, cow poop analyzer and nude beach lifeguard. Maybe you, like me, wondered where these workers are from? Well I found the answer! South Florida. They have some of the craziest jobs I have never heard of. Wacky stuff just happens there!

In case you didn’t know, Jacksonville can get pretty cold in the wintertime. There was a time when Cruggers and I briefly considered moving down south for the warm weather alone. Ultimately we decided against it. Truly, there are many great things to be said about South FL, but for now it is not the right choice for us. But who knows about the future? If I could find my own personal Rosario, I’d probably trade in the rusty car and Skoal in a second.

My rules on proper Facebook etiquette

As many of you know, I am a total Facebook junkie. There, I admitted it, ok? Occasionally I go through periods when Facebook’s luster begins to dull and I go elsewhere for my online entertainment. But then I start to feel guilty and return all mopey and droopy-shouldered to my one true love, Facebook. As a self-proclaimed expert, I am going to provide my humble opinions on what is and what is not acceptable Facebook behavior.

Debbie Downer posts: not acceptable. If more than 90% of your status updates are about your sick kids, your boring life, or how you have no true friends, you may be a Debbie Downer. If you, like me, automatically make the wrah rahhh noise every time you think of Debbie Downer, this 3 second clip will satisfy you immensely.

Over-bragging posts: not acceptable. If you got a great new job, awesome. If you just closed on a million dollar home, I kinda hate you but at the same time I am happy for you. These type of posts are not at all what I’m talking about. I’m talking about this kind: “It’s 9am and I just jogged 5 miles, I already have dinner cooking in the crock pot, and my bathroom floors are so clean you could lick them. Now I’m going to spend quality time with my perfect child and relax in my McMansion. Oh! And I’ll be spending this weekend in the Hamptons. But don’t worry- I’ll be sure to upload a few pics of me and my perfect bikini-body being cute while I’m gone.”

Clever pictures of random things you come across in daily life: acceptable! I love these the best. When you see a transvestite riding a horse on a city street, please take a picture and upload it. If you are lucky enough to come across something that is worthy of being on peopleofwalmart.com  say click! and take a pic! These things are funny and appreciated by your Facebook family.

Now don’t even get me started on unfriending. I know, we all do it. But something about it still seems cruel. I know there are plenty of good reasons to unfriend people and sometimes it is downright justified. I try not to get upset when I realize I’ve been unfriended. And being the Facebook stalker that I am, I usually find out eventually (consider yourself warned). Maybe you think I post too much or you simply don’t want to read about my child’s latest adorable antic. I can understand that not everyone in the world finds my children to be quite as precious as I do. That’s OK, here’s my rule on this- if you are a family member it would probably make Thanksgiving dinner a bit more bearable if you simply hide my posts rather than unfriend me. If you are a marginal friend, it’s cool! Feel free to drop me like Britney Spears does her babies.

I know I personally have broken a few of these rules here and there. (Mom- I’m truly sorry I unfriended you that one time. I never really wanted your un-friendship. You know I can be a bit dramatical at times. And I was totally begging for you to come back to me within 30 minutes.)

Certainly I have left out some rules. Please feel free to comment and tell me what I forgot. Heck, if you feel like it, you can even just tell me that I’m wrong as a ding dong. I mean, I can’t promise that I won’t delete your comment if that’s your opinion, but you can at least let me know.

The New Facebook has ticked me off, this is my protest

Hmm, it seems like most everyone else in my family has started blogging so why not me? I mean, really. I am a stay at home mom caring for two sweet babes, 5 year old Madeline and 2 year old Baylor…Who out there is not dying to learn about my fascinating life? Here goes.

Thanks to preschool I have a guaranteed 8 hours of free time each week. Today was one of those “magic” preschool days (read: either Tuesday or Thursday)…I spent one of my free hours strolling down memory lane, transferring all of my family movies from 2008-2009 from computer to DVD…Lately I have considered pushing myself into the arms of an institution by just thinking about getting pregnant again. But watching the old videos almost makes me re-think having another baby. I mean, I just saw myself post-mortem! Oh, I mean post-partum. And so raggedy and exhausted-looking with my main fashion accessory being a crying baby. Just watching the old videos makes me want to plan a hallucinogenic vacation. Ha ha, jk…sorta. Honestly, I have never taken anything stronger than a very mild Zanax combined with a glass of wine…OK, fine, a bottle of wine, you stickler, you.

And then I dedicated another hour of my freedom to becoming a “sweeper.” I’m actually not sure if that it what it is called but my rudimentary (I had to look that up- I thought the word I wanted was “rudite”) sweepstakes education tells me this is correct…Doing sweepstakes online was pretty fun, kinda like gambling without spending any money. I’m sure my dear husband would probably prefer that I get some type of real job, but really? If I could manage to pull a tropical island vacation out of my ass, I think he might get on board with this new hobby.

And to top off this mundane and typical Thursday, I am practically famous now as I was featured on the news earlier today. Oh yeah! I live in Florida where we have state sponsored pre-kindergarten education for 4-year-olds. Apparently the standards are being increased for these programs and my local news station needed a real expert (read: mom picking up kid from preschool) to discuss these new changes…How hard do you think it might be to watch a close-up of your face in HD on a 47-inch flatscreen? Well, it’s true you will find me at the first Weight Watchers meeting I can crash tomorrow. But even worse than my super-sized face was the Valley-girl persona I took on during my interview…Apparently my now-Kindergartner “wouldn’t be doin’ so great” without pre-k, spoken all dippy-like and complete with hair flip.

And that was my Thursday, how was yours?