Posts Tagged ‘tips’

The mommy job is all about gaining a certain number of points per day. It’s a lot like Weight Watchers…everything you do adds (or subtracts) points, and by the end of the day you need to be in a certain range to have successfully completed your day’s work as a Mommy.

You start the day with a few points to begin with, because you deserve them for just taking on the roles of:

  • Mother
  • Cook
  • Chauffer
  • Nurse (boo-boo kisser and Band-aid dispenser)
  • Party planner
  • Fashion coordinator
  • Hair stylist
  • Nose wiper
  • Maid
  • Referee
  • Activities director (and Travel agent)
  • Conscience and Voice of Reason
  • TV/DVD/Stereo/Computer fixer
  • Battery replacer
  • Librarian
  • Teacher
  • Judge and jury
  • Zookeeper

Therefore, all mommies start the day with 50 Mommy Points!

Your goal at the end of each and every day is actually up to you.

Level 1 Mommies: Stressed out mommies with multiple children, full-time jobs, and a single status are perfectly justified in their goal of not gaining points, but simply maintaining their 50 Mommy Points and making sure the kids are healthy and accounted for by the end of the day.

Level 2 Mommies: Middle of the road mommies usually end the day with about 150 Mommy Points, kids in bed drifting off with a movie, the worst of the clutter tossed into a closet, and tomorrow’s jeans in the dryer.

Level 3 Mommies: Super Mom…well, she finishes the day with 300 Mommy Points, a roast in the crock pot for tomorrow, the coffeemaker set to start brewing at the ass-crack of dawn, everyone’s outfits for tomorrow laid out and coordinated according to each other and the weather…and a perfectly pressed red cape hanging on the door ready for the next morning.


Here it is…the POINTS LIST!!

Good Morning!!!

Good Morning Momma!!!

Congratulations, the act of not hiding out under the sheets all day is an accomplishment! It’s a little like starting the semester with an A…you just have to keep it! Good Luck!

+50         Getting out of bed.

-50          Hiding under the covers until someone calls the authorities.


Starting Out:

Once you’ve made it out of bed, the day has to begin, whether you want it to or not. Here are the Mommy Points you can gain (or lose) right out of the gate.

+10         Putting on real clothes before noon.

+15         Those clothes are clean, dry, and match.

+5           Brushing your hair and teeth.

+5           Applying makeup and styling hair in something other than a messy ponytail.

+5           Getting the children dressed in real clothes before noon.

+10         Those clothes are clean, dry, and match.

+10         Children’s hair and teeth brushed.

+5           Little girls’ hair styled.

-25          Wearing PJ’s until it’s time to go back to bed at night.

-10          Limp hair tied back in a messy bun (that you put it in three days ago).

-15          Any child leaves home wearing shorts, snow boots, a sweater-vest, and a necktie.


Feeding Time:


+5           Cereal.

+10         Instant oatmeal, cream of wheat, or malt’o’meal.

+15         Scrambled eggs.

+25         Eggs (any style BUT scrambled), pancakes or waffles, bacon or sausage, toast or biscuits.

-5            Pop-Tarts.

-10          Cookies.

-25          Drag the kids out of the cat’s food bowl and bribe into car with chocolate.

Lunch and Dinner:

+20         Home-cooked and healthy.

+10         Sandwiches and apple slices.

+5           Lunchables.

-10          McDonald’s.

-15          Chips.

-25          Mixing up the doggie bacon with the kids’ bacon.

-45          They need food?


+5           Fruit, raw veggies, baked chips, rice cakes, granola bars, or trail mix.

-5            Candy, cookies, cake, or anything with caffeine.

-20          Whatever they can scavenge from the yard or the neighbors kitchen.


Safety and Security:

+5           Playpens.

+10         Baby backpacks and carriers.

+15         Fenced yards with sandboxes and NO jungle gyms/trees/monkey-bars.

Lovin' the Great Outdoors!

+45         Going outside anytime the kids do.

+10         Helmets and pads for appropriate sports.


+5           Handy supply of Band-Aids.

+10         Seat belts and car-seats for any outing.

...but he IS buckled up!

+10         Jackets, gloves, hats, and other appropriate clothing when there is white stuff everywhere and you can see your breath.

+10         Sunscreen and bottled water when you step outside and start sweating.

-20          Losing a child for any amount of time.

+15         Finding that child within a few minutes (and a few miles).

-35          Not noticing you have lost a child until the police bring them back.

-10          Leaving the dog in charge, that only works in Disney homes.

A Girl and her Dog


Random Common (and not so common) Happenings:

+25         Time playing outside and doing things that don’t involve TV.

+15         Limiting TV to age-appropriate shows.

+10         Setting the Dish to turn to your child’s favorite show every day at the same time.

+15         Enforcing naptime.

+5           Board games and coloring.

-5            Video games (except educational…those cancel out to no loss or gain).

-20          Setting the Dish wrong, and not realizing that your child has been watching Criminal Minds or Law & Order S.V.U. every day for the last month.

+5           Considering that an educational experience and double checking the TV from now on.

+25         Your child knows how to pretend.

+30         Pretending with your child, even if it means wearing the tiara and drinking air tea.

-10          You manage to get overheard by the 4 year old when discussing how much money you should leave for a tooth…and cannot come up with a fast enough answer for “But I thought the TOOTH FAIRY left the money!?!?!?”

-35          You do the same as above, about Santa Clause.



+25         The kids go to bed clean, no matter how they got that way.

+10         Real bath with warm water and tear-free shampoo.

+5           Water toys in the tub.

+15         BUBBLES!!!

+2           Water hose in the front yard (summertime ONLY).

Swimming in a Horse Tank

-500       Toddlers and babies in a tub without you in the room. L


Better Home and Garden:

+25         Everyone has clean clothes every day that come from the closet or dresser clean and folded or hung.

+10         Everyone has clean clothes that come from a laundry basket or dryer.

-15          Everyone runs around naked waiting for the wash cycle.

+50         There is NOTHING sticky on any surface in the home.

+25         The house is cluttered, but relatively presentable.

+10         When company comes over, a quick tossing of random things into a closet is required, but nothing major.

-15          There are trails to get from room to room.

-25          The last time you mopped was when your water broke on the kitchen floor.

-50          You strongly suspect that there are things growing in the fridge and under the couch.

-2            Pets drink from the toilet.

-25          Kids drink from the toilet.


The Bedtime Routine (or lack thereof):

+25         You read a bedtime story.

+25         Pajamas and sheets are always clean.

+5           The kids get to watch TV before bed.

-5            The TV is on all night.

-10          The baby sleeps in a dresser drawer or laundry basket.

-20          Pets sleep in the kids’ rooms.

-35          You don’t know if they went to bed yet or not.


Okay ladies, this is by NO means an all-encompassing list, just a few guidelines that you can customize to fit your own personal needs.

Good Luck!!!


There is a project I’ve been working on. As a Mommy, I sometimes go to bed at night wondering if I succeeded that day in being a good parent.

If they are alive and healthy in their beds, was the day a success? Or is that the baseline of expectation, and I have only succeeded if they are in bed with full tummies, clean hair and sheets, full of the educational bedtime stories I have read, and without the TV on?

Therefore, I have been working on a points system much like that in Weight Watchers or something where there is a specific goal for those list-making, obsessively worrisome, perfectionist mommies out there like me. We can either attain a goal and go to bed at night happy and satisfied that we are raising future doctors and lawyers…..or I am giving us all something else to stress about.

We shall see….

I recently had the great pleasure of experiencing the lovely traffic found on the streets of Lubbock on a Saturday afternoon. All the gloriously happy and considerate people working in harmony to get everyone where they needed to go with the utmost efficiency and care…


I needed a drink before I made it halfway around the loop. By the time I had navigated the transition from the loop onto the Interstate and back again via my FAVORITE kind of exit (the twirly ones that recommend a top speed of 15 in traffic averaging 87), several smaller streets, one alley, a Sonic drive thru, and a mall parking lot complete with rent-a-cops in golf carts, I needed more than a drink.

Actually, by then I would have welcomed an illegal substance dealer of any kind knocking on my window in the questionable neighborhood I was lost in.

The apartments and dorms of Lubbock must have been eerily quiet that day, because I am sure that the entire population of the city was out on the roads at their un-medicated or overly altered best. I am quite sure they were all stalking my poor countrified chevy…

My ultimate destination for the day was a Jackyl concert in the Depot District. Elbow to elbow with the tattooed and pierced rockers of Lubbock, singing the Secret of the Bottle at the top of our lungs, thinking that THESE people are so much friendlier than the ones out on the roads.

In fact, it is usually the tattooed, the bikers and truckers, the punks with Mohawks, and anyone with unnaturally streaked hair and heavy eyeliner who are the first to be kind to a stranger in need. Before you judge, find out who is behind the decoration…they might surprise you.

But I digress….as I have a tendency to do…

So anyway, traffic…

I encountered all the different kinds of drivers there are in a city like that…in one afternoon. It was actually quite a good learning experience. If you are ever conned into repeating my mistake on a weekend afternoon in the summer when all the crazies are out to play, here are some of the fellow drivers you should really watch out for…

Sunday Cruisers:

These people are out to see the sights, smell the smells, and annoy as many fellow motorists as possible. They weave gently from side to side within (somewhat) the confines of their lane, and turn their blinker on roughly a half mile from where they plan to actually turn.

Speed limits are irrelevant to Sunday Cruisers, as they rarely travel over about 35 mph. More than likely the car you’re following at a painfully tedious pace is an aged Buick…baby blue or beige. Station wagons with fake wood panels are also usually driven by a Sunday Cruiser.

Garage sales, fruit stands, children selling lemonade, and flea markets are valid excuses for drivers in this category to suddenly brake in the middle of the road with gleeful oblivion. For these, the turn signal is often a distant memory…and you will be lucky if their creeping ride has properly working brake lights.


Pappy is very nearly a Sunday cruiser, only the Buicks and station wagons are not popular here. A Ford or Chevy truck with more rust than paint is the giveaway in this category.

Instead of rarely driving faster than 35 mph, these drivers have a steady pace of 55 mph. Whether the speed limit is 15 or 75, urban or rural, these old pickup trucks have one constant pace, and they will not deviate.

They are often found congregating at Dairy Queens, discussing in minute detail the rainfall that Texas has experienced over the past 40 or 50 years.

Soccer Moms:

These women are found cruising the streets in minivans and obnoxiously large SUV’s, usually sporting small yellow window signs proclaiming “Baby on Board” or “My kid is an Honor Student.” For some reason, fake bullet holes are popular, as are stickers on the back windows with a name followed by a football, basketball, or cheerleader symbol. In fact, you can usually look at a soccer mom’s car and immediately know the names and gender of the children, the sports they play, the GPA of the older ones, and where they are bound for college.

Soccer Moms are actually pretty good drivers most of the time. They are typically courteous, obey traffic laws, and try to maintain the safety bubble of their “precious cargo” drooling and screeching in the backseat. They are determined to be a role model for all the young teenage drivers out there.

However, when a Soccer Mom’s driving goes bad, it goes very, very bad. These women are hyped up on lattes and metabolism pills and vitamin B…they are jumpy and will freak out about any sudden movements (or honks). There is also the chance you’ll happen to catch one at a red light about the same time a toddler tosses a Sippy cup across the car, resulting in a distracting hissy fit as Mom gropes around behind her, yells at the child, and tries to navigate to the pool at the same time.

Another hazard that Soccer Moms present to the driving world is that they will slam on the brakes for ANYthing that might decide to cross the road, whether that be a dog, cat, child, or field mouse. They are sometimes found on the road crying hysterically because they didn’t miss the sparrow that swooped across her path at the wrong moment. The best thing you can do for these women in this situation is offer to pick the feathers out of her grill.

GPS Gadget Guys:

These guys are possibly the most erratic and annoying out there. Until someone perfects the GPS navigational systems of the modern age, these well-meaning technologically obsessed individuals will follow the tinny voices in their dashboards into lake bottoms, ghost towns, and dead ends with relentless determination.

If a GPS unit suddenly decides the driver should “turn left,” he will…immediately and with no warning, sometimes from the far right lane. He is often so excited about the sudden change of direction that a turn signal is the last thing on his mind.

GPS Gadget Guys are often found sitting at a busy intersection, oblivious to the four cycles of green lights that have passed and the impatient honking of those around him, while he pushes buttons on his GPS or waits for the machine to “recalculate.”

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a specific “type” of car these guys are found driving…anything built after 2003 seems to be fair game.

Corporate Asses Who OWN the Roads:

Ugh…my least favorite. These are the guys who think they are God’s gift to women and the rest of the world. They hate animals, “lesser” people, and imperfections in people. They have no patience for the small flaws that make us all human, and are rude to the doormen, maids, and grocery store clerks who cross into their privileged lives.

These guys drive BMW’s, Mercedes, and the occasional Lexus…some of the more insufferable will be spotted in a Hummer or a lifted 4×4 that’s never seen mud, because they think somehow it makes us all think they have a bigger…ahem, never mind.

The “Asses” are aggressive drivers that will cut you off, then flip you off for daring to be in their way. They are usually found with a cell phone surgically attached to their ear, and everything in their car is shiny, loud, or expensive.

Watch for vanity license plates that read: “GR8!!”  “HOT STUF”  “STUD MFN”  “LADYS MN”  or  “BG DADY”

Student Drivers:

By student drivers, I am not just referring to the actual students in the school owned sedans with “Student Driver” emblazoned in red across the entire vehicle. These are actually very safe…they will be creeping along with their knowledgeable teacher in the passenger seat, obeying EVERY law to the letter, trying desperately to drive perfectly. Not really dangerous.

No, the student drivers to worry about are the ones who just passed their tests and are carrying their shiny new driver’s license in their wallets like a medal of honor. These are the kids with daddy’s insurance, momma’s car, and the undeniable taste of freedom.

These young drivers don’t mean to be a menace, but they freeze up at the slightest thing, park crooked in parking lots, and cannot parallel park to save their lives. They will turn on the blinker a mile before turning, and are often found parked on the side of the road, wide-eyed or sobbing with fear.

Daddy’s Little Princesses:

Ohhhhh, but these girls are highly entertaining. They go into hysterics that provide endless amusement when you catch them outside their 16th birthday convertibles and SUV’s. Their cars are usually pink or red, and covered in cutesy bumper stickers that say “Daddy’s Girl” or “Princess.” Vanity license plates in the same taste are common.

One of the problems these girls have when driving is that they often have so much crap hanging from the rearview mirror that they have blocked out a third of their view of what’s in front of them. They also tend to attempt the fine art of simultaneously driving, texting, and applying mascara.

These girls don’t react well to being honked at, they will startle and immediately drive off the shoulder, slam on the brakes, and sob hysterically.


Well, I am quite sure I have left out plenty of driver’s from this list, but these are the most dangerous. They are the ones who have made me swear off going back to Lubbock anytime soon on a weekend or during rush hour. I will stick to my small town full of nothing but Sunday Cruisers. They’re just as annoying here, but they are predictable, as they travel the same routes at the same time and same speed every day.

• Momma can reach across an 8ft dinner table and knock you out of your chair without getting out of her chair or spilling a single thing.

• A rusty nail in the foot doesn’t hurt until you see the blood. Actually, not much of anything really hurts until you see the blood.

• You will be very angry at the person who “let go” and sent you riding along happily on your first bike…as soon as you discover they let go and fall on your face. This fall will happen after you apparently rode half a block without assistance of any kind.

• Umbrellas do not make good parachutes.

• Brushing a cat’s teeth will result in an angry feline tearing through the house, foaming at the mouth, alarming any adults that aren’t fully aware of the situation.

• Cats don’t need haircuts.

• Poodles do need haircuts…but not by a 7 year old girl with safety scissors and foam hair curlers.

• Bath towels do not make good parachutes.

• Mud pies hold their shape better than sand pies. Sand pies taste better.

• Doggie biscuits are hard to chew, and don’t taste as good as sand pies. They do taste better than mud pies.

• Shampoo burns your eyes.

• If you live in a small town and get in trouble at school, your parents WILL know about it when you get home that day.

• Bed sheets do not make good parachutes.

• If you’re small, a recliner and an exercise trampoline can be transformed into a great slide.

• A waterbed makes a great raft in the middle of an imaginary ocean.

• The closet door can be left open, or left closed…it cannot be left ajar through the night. That is when the monster will be inside.

• Speaking of monsters, it is never acceptable to lay in bed with a hand or foot hanging off the edge. This is just an invitation for something to grab you and drag you under the bed.

• Anything can be made prettier with Lisa Frank stickers.

• Balloons and cats don’t mix. Neither do baths and cats. Or sprinklers and cats.

• Actually, cats are anti-social and hostile when introduced to just about anything that is not their expressed idea.

• Deflated air mattresses do not make good parachutes.

• An old semi-trailer is the perfect clubhouse.

• Fruit tastes much better when it’s stolen from someone else’s tree.

• Digging the cotton out of the side of a cotton module with a child sitting on top will result in a child buried under a layer of cotton…and at least one angry parent.

• It takes skill to eat ice cream and ride a bicycle at the same time.

• Ten helium-filled balloons tied together does not make a good parachute.

I am a terrible mom, apparently. If you look at some of the most popular and highly rated parenting websites, you will find oodles of articles and blogs about how to be the BEST parent you can be!

There are thousands of dollars worth of gadgets you HAVE TO HAVE to raise children safely. Every single cabinet and drawer must be locked down so tight that your husbands cannot get into them. The toilet must be so sealed shut that you have to decide to go to the bathroom BEFORE you really have to go, so that you have time to get into it. Cleaners must be organic and all natural, and there mustn’t be a single germ in the house anywhere! There are even articles that tell you how to sanitize sand for a sandbox!

Here are the reasons I am a BAD MOMMY:

  • My kids play outside in the dirt. I am sure that they have both eaten at least a couple of handfuls. Sure, I try to stop them…but have you ever seen those little shits move!?!
  • I call them little shits. Occasionally, I forget and call them that within earshot of their tiny ears.
  • The toilet lid is down, but not locked. My son has (more than once) came up and wiped suspiciously wet hands on my jeans. I cleaned his little hands off with a baby wipe, but I didn’t exactly freak out.
  • The kids know the best way to dry off hands is to wipe them off on jeans.
  • There is not a single cabinet lock in my house unless you count the one that was painted shut when I moved in…not sure what is back there.
  • My son kisses the cats. The cats live outside, and don’t take regular baths with antibacterial soap.
  • When my daughter was little and had a pacifier, she would occasionally drop it of the floor. In a pinch, when I was in a hurry, I popped it into my own mouth and then back into hers.
  • They have both had tea, soda, and tasted coffee.
  • They have both eaten a cracker that had been forgotten on the floor for a couple days.
  • They both fall down and get told “brush it off, you’re fine.”
  • They watch Spongebob Squarepants, Nick at Nite, and House MD.
  • My son has tried to open a bottle of Dos Equis…with a screwdriver.
  • My daughter knows that when we cross our own cattle-guard, that I don’t mind if she unbuckles her seat belt and sits up to look for animals.
  • They have both seen and heard a gun being fired.

Here are the reasons being a BAD MOMMY makes me a GOOD MOMMY:

  • Because of the dirt they play in…they have been exposed to germs. Meaning that yes, they have caught colds and the flu, but they won’t be hospitalized because their little bodies never developed an immune system.
  • They might pop out with the occasional s-word and get told that is a grown-up word…but they also hear and say “I love you.” every single day of their lives.
  • Because the cabinets and toilets aren’t locked, I don’t have to help them with every little thing they might need to get (or go)…and when we inevitably visit a place without cabinet locks, they won’t go crazy with newfound forbidden freedom.
  • My son is happy kissing the cats…and it hasn’t hurt him yet.
  • Because I don’t freak out and coddle them for every scraped knee…they are tough kids that can take a spill and get right back up. Don’t freak out…if there is blood, I fix it. I even kiss the boo-boo. Neither kid freaks out at a little blood, though…unlike those who watch their mother’s freak out at a little blood.
  • They know there are things on TV they cannot watch, and things they watch that they cannot repeat. My daughter also knows she wants to be a cop and a doctor when she grows up, instead of a fairy.
  • My son never did get that bottle open, but I was so proud of the fact that he knew to go get a tool out of the toolbox for a job he couldn’t handle. And yes…I stopped him before the bottle could hurt him in any way.
  • They will both grow up knowing gun safety, and never accidentally shoot themselves because they don’t know which end of the gun might fire.
  • My kids get hugs and kisses every day…from people, dogs, cats, and each other. The germs are probably spreading like wildfire…but so is the love.

Even though I am not a perfect parent…both my kids think I’m pretty damn cool for a mom (in fact my daughter told me that the other day…verbatim). Their sometimes snotty or drooly little kisses might have germs in them…but they’re the germs of some happy, well-rounded little kids who will grow up knowing how to take care of themselves.

Taming Oscar: Tips on Coping with OCD

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Inside OCD
Tags: , ,

Another one from the archives that I’ve dusted off, in a sense…

I have lived with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, for years now. If you have OCD, you know there is no stopping the tape that plays on loop in your mind. It plays like a CD on repeat in the background, no matter how loud your world gets. In these years of listening to my broken soundtrack, I have found some ways to “trick” my mind into occasional normalcy.

These are only suggestions based on my own personal trial and error…not actual medical advice.

1. Make an alternate soundtrack. I was cleaning house one day with my favorite CD turned up loud. I caught myself singing along to the music, and as I focused on the lyrics, an amazing thing happened. I was focusing on the music, and not on the ever-running checklist that usually accompanied my cleaning.

2. Give it a name.  I think of my OCD as an alternate personality inside my mind, who is uncontrollable, anti-social, and has no reflection whatsoever on my otherwise charming and sweet persona. His name is Oscar. When the OCD thoughts are really intense, I can mentally berate Oscar…it’s strangely therapuetic. Much like a kid blaming the mess on his imaginary friend!

3. Let Oscar run free on some of the little things that don’t make a difference. This is something that seems to help when I’m overwhelmed with the tiny details on every possible little thing in my universe. I pick a few small ones and let OCD take over. Shopping list? What does it hurt to recopy it a couple times so that it’s a perfect specimen of pretty penmanship? Then you have temporarily satisfied Oscar’s penchant for perfection, and can move on with washing the dishes only once while that perfectionism is, for the moment, quieted.

4. Pick up a book that you love, and have read many times, and read it again. There is comfort in knowing how it all turns out, and you can get lost in it. No surprises, no unexpected plot twists…nothing to obsess over.

5. If you obsess over all kinds of what-ifs, keep a journal of them. Write down all the possible bad scenarios. Then argue them out loud. Often, I find that once I read a fear, and hear myself point out why it’s not reasonable, I can put the fear to rest.

6. Long, hot, bubble bath. Trashy, no concentration required novel. Ice cold drink. No explanation needed. Don’t drop the book in the water…books cannot swim well.

7. Finally, give yourself a break. When I stress about OCD, Oscar is at his absolute worst. It is a never-ending cycle. So, keep this mantra, and repeat as necessary: “This is a condition, it is not me.”

Some random tips on teething infants. I pulled this out of the archives…figured some of the old stuff could be dusted off and put out there again.

A teething, cranky infant is not quite the picturesque domestic bliss you imagined when you turned the stick blue. However, it is a part of the package, usually following the months of no sleep, poopy diapers that send your husband running to the store with any little excuse (“Honey, don’t you need milk, or eggs, or tampons?!?!”), and endless comments of, “You look tired.”

These days will end, though, and there are a few tricks of the mommy-hood trade that might make them pass just a little faster. You might even come out with your sanity hanging by a thread.

Your pharmacy is your friend. Know it, love it, learn it. You should be able to walk down the aisle in your pj’s, right to the over-the-counter tooth and gum products. Better yet, send your husband, he’s probably needing a break from cowering in the corner. A tiny bottle of Ambesol is worth its weight in gold. Use a cotton swab to apply it to your baby’s sore gums…those two tiny, pearly white teeth you are so proud of can make short work of a cuticle.

Grandma was right. A teeny (tiny, minuscule) amount of bourbon applied to the gums can bring instant relief to the aching gums, and to your frayed nerves. Please don’t give your baby more than the drop you get when dipping a cotton swab into the liquor. I am not condoning getting your baby drunk. Although, once the baby is asleep, by all means, fix yourself a much-deserved drink.

Get ready for this one, it’s a little complicated. Dip a washcloth in cold water. Wring it out. Give it to the screeching little person to gum on.

I’m not a fan of medications that aren’t topical, like the gum gel, but you might find that some baby Tylenol helps. Please follow the guidelines and dosing instructions…this is a very tiny person you are medicating.

Give baby a cold, peeled carrot to gum on. Just make sure it is too big to fully fit inside his mouth.

Good luck, and remember, this won’t last even as long as the poopy diapers. It will, however, be much shorter than the teenage years you have looming on the distant horizon.