Stefism #43 You've got to get credit when you're being nice, right?
Stefism #42 Umm...
Stefism #41 This is normal, right?
Stefism #37 Camping with kids: A couple hours shoving everything you own into the car, a couple hours driving, a couple hours unloading the car, a couple hours sort of sleeping, a couple hours packing up the car, a couple hours driving home, a couple hours unpacking the car, a couple hours drying everything out, a couple hours putting it all away. Wait, why do we do this again?
This is a boring blog post. Essential to my philosophy on parenting, yes, but boring, nevertheless (as most essential things are). Consider yourself warned.
By the request of my sister, I have created and am posting my Teach Your Kid This Stuff So They Will Be Competent Happy Adults and Won’t Live With You For the Rest of Their Lives List
Let’s just call it the “What I Need to Know” list for short. Yeah, I know the titles don’t match.
And here’s a disclaimer: it’s not my brainchild. The idea came from one of my favorite parenting books, The Parenting Breakthrough, by Merrilee Boyack. It’s a great read. I highly recommend it.
Back to the list. What you do is write down everything your kid needs to know by they time they leave home and then break it up into appropriate age categories. In my family, we pull these out about once a year, usually in the summer, and my kids love crossing off the stuff they know how to do. Here’s a pic of our old lists:
However, if you don’t have time to write your own lists, never fear. Here is my snazzy new list, available for purchase on my Etsy shop, StefHohlCreations. After printing, just laminate onto a manila folder for durability, and write your child’s name on the tab. Voila:
Or, just staple it together and call it good. As seen here:
Remember, nothing is set in stone on these lists. Every child develops differently and the age lists are just recommendations. Often my kids will cross off things on various ages all at once. It just provides a nice general outline and reminder of what your child needs to learn by the time they leave home. And honestly, by the time you get to your 5th kid, sometimes you forget to teach him stuff. Like his ABCs. So this helps. And the TV also helps. At least with ABCs. Okay, bye.
Stefism #34 When your 4-year-old "accidentally" bounces a bouncy ball into a pee-filled toilet, you can try to extract it from the drain with various tools, such as a plunger or tongs. But let's face it. Eventually, you're just going to have to stick your hand in.
Yup, that’s gross. Disgusting, really. But being a mom requires you to do gross things. Don’t even get me started.
Stefism #31 You might feel impressed with yourself when you decide to join a “weight-loss competition” with some of your friends during the week of Halloween. Don’t be surprised, however, when you drop out after three days because you realize that chocolate is more important to you than basically anything else in the world.
Let’s get real. A weight-loss competition at Halloween? Who was I kidding?
Stefism #29 Teeth. My worst enemy. Teething, biting, first 8 teeth, canines, 1st year molars, 2nd year molars, 6 year molars, loose teeth, falling-out-teeth, tooth-fairy, permanent teeth, cross-bite, under-bite, over-bite, expanders, braces, head-gear, missing teeth, overcrowding, impacted teeth, 12 year molars, braces phase II, wisdom teeth, brushing, flossing, cavities, fillings, root-canals, crowns. The nightmare never ends. And I'm pretty sure I just paid for my dentist's new Porsche. #yourewelcomeRead More
Stefism #27 Want to know what's really fun? Flying on an airplane with 5 kids by yourself. Want to know what's even more fun? Having your 2-year-old get a bloody nose on the plane and watching the blood splatter all over yourself, the person next to you, and the flight attendant as she thrashes her head around.Read More
Stefism #26 You know you have finally reached the high point in your mom life when your husband says in a panic, "You can never die. I'd never know which clothes belong to which kid."
Moments like this really help you understand how valued you are. I recently went to a writing conference and left my husband and kids at home for a week. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I came home. I’d expected mounds of laundry piled to the ceiling, but instead found the laundry clean, folded, and put away. My husband was so proud of himself - he was bursting to tell me, “I figured out how to know whose clothes were whose. I held the clothes up, and the kids called out ‘mine’ if it was theirs.”
Good job, honey. Me? I’m just glad to know I can leave for a week and my kids will still have clothes to wear. They may not have showered or changed their underwear, but you can only ask for so much, right?
Stefism #25 Ah, the joys of pumping. So beautiful. So natural. So bucolic. #moo
I’m sorry, but there’s no way around it. Pumping is just weird. Try not to think about it.
Here is my favorite brownie recipe:
1. Go to the store and buy a box of brownie mix.
2. Go home and follow the directions on the box.
3. Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top of the brownie batter.
4. Bake your brownies and enjoy them as soon as they are done cooking, because warm brownies can’t be beat. Go ahead and throw some ice cream and hot fudge on there too.Read More
Stefism #14 I remember when I used to have dreams of traveling the world and doing amazing things. Now I just dream of the day when I have a bathroom door that locks.
Since having kids, I have never had a bathroom door that locks. Why? I really don’t know. Okay, I don’t actually remember if our bathroom door locked in our first house, but according to my memory, it didn’t. In our new house, the bathroom had a pocket door that warped with age, so the locking mechanism didn’t line up. When we remodeled our bathroom last fall, the main thing I said was, “MAKE SURE YOU FIX MY BATHROOM DOOR SO IT LOCKS!” The amazing construction people readjusted the door and put a new lock on. A beautiful, shiny, locking lock. That worked for approximately three day before my kids broke it. Big surprise.
Why do my kids not understand when they open the bathroom door and I shout, “PRIVACY!” at them? We obviously need to work on this.
And then, even if they do listen and close the door, they insist on standing right outside the door: “Mom, are you done yet?” “Mom, I’m hungry!” “Mom, can you see my fingers?” “Mom, can you see these Pokemon cards I’m sticking through the crack in the door?”
Stefism #10: A good way to get your kids in the car real quick is to tell them they can each pick out one toy at the store. Then when you get there, say, "Kidding! I just need to get some milk."
See? I’m chock-full of good parenting advice. Let me know how it goes when you try this. I expect to hear some really good stories.
But seriously, when you have a lot of kids, it’s pretty much impossible to get them in the car ‘real quick.’ A minimum of a fifteen-minute buffer has to be built into getting ready to go. By the time you find your 2-year-old’s Spiderman boots (because he refuses to wear anything else), your 5-year-old has surely just remembered he has to go number two. And then your 10-year-old will have to run back upstairs to get something she forgot, while your 9-year-old continues to chew gum and watch TV as you’re screaming all over the house for your 7-year-old, who, as it turns out, is the only one who actually listened to you, but is now hiding from your red-faced hysteria in the back seat of the van. And if you have a baby, he will most definitely spit up all over you right as you walk out the door.
Alas, sometimes a 15-minute buffer doesn’t even cut it. Is that why I’m always late?
Stefism #8: Speaking of brains, I read once that for every child you have, you lose half your brain cells. That means I'm left with 1/32 of my original brain function. That explains a lot. Wait, what were we just talking about?
Wait, were we speaking of brains? I am actually happy to have read this fun fact, because it really does explain a lot. Like why I can’t remember anything unless it’s written down. Or why I can’t even remember my kids’ names. Or why I am constantly dropping things. (Was I always this klutzy? I swear I wasn’t!)
But my real question is – where are all these lost brain cells going?? And how do they leave? Do they drain out our ears or hang on to all the dead hair we lose after childbirth? I always joke that I’ve given all my brain cells to my children. Is that true? Or are they just floating around somewhere in the universe waiting to land on some strange creature, finally giving them their big evolutionary break? Or maybe they just die. In that case, I believe we should hold funerals for our brain cells after the birth of each child. RIP…Here lie the brains of Stef…may she learn to function without them. It’s called closure, people.
Stefism #1: If you swear you will never have a blog and will never wear skinny jeans, don’t be surprised a few years later to find yourself blogging while wearing skinny jeans. Welcome to the new age. You’re only like 5 years late.
Well, folks, this begins my journey as a blogger. I always swore I would never have a blog, and now I can’t even remember why. I’m pretty sure the sleep-deprived haze I’ve been living in for the last ten years had something to do with it. However, I do remember why I swore I would never wear skinny jeans. Because they look hideous on me. Really. Skinny jeans and thunder thighs just don’t mix. Oh, well. The things we do to avoid looking frumpy…
Each week I will be sharing “Stefisms” with you, or little bits of Stef wisdom that I’ve picked up through the years. According to Urban Dictionary a “Stefism” is “a joke or anecdote characterized by a distinct lack of humor or purpose.” How perfectly fitting- and, ironically, hilarious- is that? Who knew such a word really existed?
So I hope you enjoy my blog. And if you have skinny jeans, enjoy those too.