What you REALLY need to make Holiday (or ANY) Travel Bearable

I remember a time in the not-too-distant past where my family had just gotten off of our very first cruise and were starting the first leg of our journey home. We take road trips quite often, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. We got all packed in, the kids set up with their books and coloring things, and that’s when we realized we’d already watched all of the movies we’d brought with us for the portable DVD player.


The kids would just have to rely on their books and toys, then. No biggie.


About two hours in to our ride home, I heard a familiar moan from the back seat. I couldn’t place it at first. I turned around and my then whatever-year-old (remember, this is the past) had turned a lovely shade of puke-green. He’d never gotten car sick in his whole life. It was too late to pull over, and we were completely unprepared. The only thing we could do was empty out a lunchbox full of snacks and just…. yeah… we let it happen. We also threw that lunchbox away in the parking lot of a roadside burger joint never to be seen again.

We have this awful habit of getting stomach viruses on the way home from trips (it’s one of the reasons we STOPPED flying)- but once he felt better and we were back in the car, he was completely fine until he picked up his books again. That’s when it hit me. The moan was the moan of “book related car-sickness”. I know it well because I have the same issue. I can’t read in a moving car. Which sucks because I love books. Which sucks because he loves books. Which really sucked because that’s all he had to do.

It wasn’t a fun trip home.

I thought to myself many times on those many silent hours “you know what would really help? If Netflix were frickin’ portable”

And as though the powers that be were listening to me–it is now! Woulda been great back then, but definitely better late than never, because guess who’s never yacked into a lunchbox on a car trip again?

This holiday season, I know many of you will be doing lots of travelling and trying to keep the kids happy and occupied. Or at the very least occupied. 23% of parents in the US say their number one concern on trips is keeping their kids entertained- you are NOT alone. So, along with the snacks, barf bags, coloring books, and motion sickness pills (look, I’m not saying you’ll need them, I’m just saying it’s better safe than having to toss the ol’ barf bag into a dumpster on the side of the road)- check out the ‘Available for Download’ menu on the Netflix app on your mobile or tablet device and browse all of the titles available to take with you whenever and wherever you want.

ARM YOURSELVES! Make someone of every age happy by stocking up on their favorites before the long car rides to the in-laws (or wherever it is the holidays may take you). And they don’t even have to wait for Christmas for this wonderful gift of Netflix. You just have to remember along with the mashed potatoes and presents to do it!


Here are a few suggestions for a few age groups, in case you need some inspiration!

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

The “Are You Ready to Have Kids?” Checklist of Doom

What is the first thing that comes to mind when people ask/ed if you’re ready to have kids? What boxes do you check? You might instantly think of finances, space, diaper stockpiles, and a knowledge that nights where you get a full 8-hours will be things of the past. Sure, those might rank high on the list, but they are just, for lack of a better term, child’s play. It’s barely scratching the drool-soaked surface.

In other words– none of that shit is really going to prepare you to handle all things baby. You can X those boxes and sleep comfortably tonight, but know, deep down, those aren’t the real preparations you need to be making. Sleep deprivation is a bitch, but here’s the list soon-to-be-parents need to be checking off on their road to parenthood.

  1. Comfortable cleaning shit out from under fingernails. Their fingernails. Your fingernails. All fingernails.
  2. Superior upper body strength for slowly and carefully lowering baby down into crib without waking them and having to start the whole fucking process all over again.
  3. X-ray vision to see behind furniture and under couches for lost baby socks, toys, and sippy cups. DO NOT LOSE THE SIPPY CUP. YOU WILL REGRET IT.
  4. Learn to translate baby cries. Are they hungry? Are they tired? Did they shit their pants even though you JUST CHANGED THEM? You will pretend to know. It will give you mild comfort.
  5. Hone the ability to black out random screaming and pick up the quietest hint of mischief (and it is always quiet)
  6. Know proper stain removal procedures for baby vomit, pureed carrots, shit, blood, and other miscellaneous fluids.
  7. Can jump out of bed and immediately snap into action in 3 seconds flat in order to successfully handle a screaming/puking baby.
  8. One-armed everything. The other will be occupied with a tiny human that shrieks every time you put it down. Bathroom? One arm. Cooking? One arm. Driving? Wait… no, you’ll still have two arms for that. Get a wrap. Prepare for your baby to act like you’re giving it an exorcism every time you put them in it.
  9. Mental perseverance to be able to sit through the same cartoon/animated movie 47 times without breaking the tv. NO, ANNA. I DON’T WANT TO BUILD A FUCKING SNOWMAN.
  10. Master of the booger bulb
  11. Comfortable biting another human’s nails because using the clippers is too dangerous, knowing full well there might be shit under them.
  12. Beastly immune system. Because otherwise you are going to get so, so sick. All the time.
  13. I was going to write a #13 but I got distracted and pulled away by kids screaming because you’re never, ever prepared. Deal with it.
Posted on November 17, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Half-Assed Jingler Syndrome

What if I don’t want to Jingle all the Way?

Don’t get me wrong–I have nothing against Christmas. It’s perfectly fine. A holly jolly hell of a good time, I guess. But… what if… I just don’t want to do it this year? What if I don’t want to deck the halls? What if I don’t want to haul out the holly, or kiss under the mistletoe, or catch mommy kidding Santa Claus…. I swear I’m going somewhere less weird with this.

I’ll admit it, I’ve never been the type to pull out the holiday decorations as soon as the sun sets on Halloween. I avoid listening to Christmas music outside of Christmas day itself. I don’t particularly revel in putting up lights, or dealing with tons of family, or tree-themed everything.

Having kids turned that around for me, at least a little. It’s easier to get caught up in the holiday spirit (and I don’t mean the kind that’s stashed in the liquor cabinet) when you’ve got little ones around, believing in all the magic, tinsel, and that a rather large man can squeeze down the chimney without getting stuck. Even if you’re the biggest Hum Bugger around, it’s hard not to feel some sense of childhood nostalgia come Christmas morning, watching your kids open presents to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.
I dare say I even started looking forward to it. Why be a hater, right? Why poop on something that gives so many other people you care about great joy? Fill the f’ing stockings and get over yourself! Don’t be a half-assed jingler. If you’re gonna jingle, jingle ALL THE WAY.

I know it’s only mid-November, but Christmas shit has been out since before Halloween and the music is already taking over the stations, and most of my family has all of their trees up and I… just don’t wanna. I feel as though the Christmas spirit in me is broken. Like everyone else got the goddamn update and my systems have crashed.

Error 404: Christmas does not compute.

All I want to do is crawl into a giant pile of Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and not emerge until 2018. It’ll be like I’m a butterfly, only more starchy and covered in gravy.

No part of me wants to yank out the giant Tupperware containers full of Christmas crap and argue with my kids about placement of the ornaments on the trees, or who gets to hide the magic pickle (answer: NEITHER OF THEM. THAT THING IS WORTH MONEY).

Not a single bone in my body wants to listen to family complain as I ceremoniously and triumphantly steal the best gift during the “Dirty Santa” Christmas gift game.

No, I don’t want to spend time sweating over the fucking stove to bake some kind of amazing dessert, only to have to take it home because my family always makes too many desserts and NO ONE EVER EATS MINE, so I get zero praise for my efforts. YES I REQUIRE PRAISE.

I don’t want to have to elbow people through the aisles of Toys R Us and Target because I never, ever go Christmas shopping early. And I really don’t want to have to pay for the shipping online, or order a bunch of crap I don’t really need just to qualify for free shipping.

I don’t want to have to reorganize my house to make room for red and green trinkets, only to have to put them back again in a month.

As I was thinking of all the things I didn’t want to do, something occurred to me. Like an early Christmas gift–and as grumpy as I am–I’m always open to gifts. All these things that I dread, all the work, all the bitching about hiding the pickles, and stealing the gifts, and sweating over pies no one eats, and elbowing my ways through the aisles of Target while the radio blares “Jingle Bells” are actually things I sort of enjoy. My Grinchy holiday traditions. They happen every year, without fail, and so much so that I have stories to tell about them. I can’t stand it, yet somehow, all of these things I loathe are my Christmas fuel. I kinda feel like the Grinch himself–so motivated to sabotage Christmas only to find some weird, twisted love for it underneath all the bitterness.

I AM THE CHRISTMAS GROUCH. My joy lies in complaining and dragging my feet, and a general sense of humbuggery. I revel in it.

So I guess I am in the Christmas spirit after all, just not the way I expected.

Find your joy, y’all. Even if it’s in putting coal in people’s stockings. BE MERRY-ISH!

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

The Mom Diet (Spoiler alert: It’s not a diet)

To those of you with unbreakable willpower- I applaud you
To those of you who actually enjoy all the healthy foods and detest “junk”- I wholeheartedly salute you
To those of you who can look temptation in the eye–even when that eye of temptation is the adorable eye of your child who is only trying to share- I envy you

I am none of those things. I love food. Yeah, healthy food is fine and dandy, and I do sometimes enjoy it- but I have to be totally honest: I fucking love junk. I was raised on Nutty Bars, Ho Ho’s, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and boatloads of Goldfish crackers, and who could forget Fruit by the fucking Foot? And while I am am an adult and absolutely nothing is stopping me from eating any of those things at any time, I am trying to be healthy, which means that shit is basically off limits. Or it should be.

It was easy when my kids were eating mashed carrots and liquefied meats that resembled chunky diarrhea. Zero temptation. The food in my house was adult food. No need for little snack cakes or magical fruit flavored gelatinous creations. AND YEAH, you can come at me and say there’s no need to have that shit in my house even now that my kids are older because I should be teaching them healthy eating habits alongside me, BUT THEY ARE CHILDREN WITH HIGH METABOLISMS AND YOU CAN’T GET THAT SHIT BACK ONCE IT’S GONE! I could deprive them of the joys of Cheez-it fingers, biting the heads off of Goldfish, and peeling apart a Nutty Bar to scrape the peanut butter off with their teeth (if you’ve never eaten them that way, WHO ARE YOU?)- but I’m not going to. Not totally. I’m gonna let them live a little, while also driving home healthy eating habits.

For the most part, they make me really proud. I don’t buy really shitty garbage, but just a little garbage here and there and they eat it every now and then in between fruits and granola and other crap that my parents could never force me to eat when I was their age. But do you know what that means? It means the garbage I buy for their occasional splurge sits there. Taunting me.
I’m not crazy if I hear junkfood calling to me, people. It REALLY happens. And it’s a REAL struggle.

Even if I say no, even if I resist the call of the saturated fats, sometimes the kids leave me no choice. My weakened healthy-diet, sugar-deprived brain can’t handle it.

Some days my diet consists of fruits, veggies, grains, and the proper amounts of lean proteins. Plus 8 glasses of water.

Other days my diet consists of:


The leftovers on my kids plates when it’s something REALLY DELICIOUS AND NOT AT ALL GOOD FOR ME and it’s not enough to save and I’ll be damned if I throw it away. This is, of course, after I’ve finished my own meal. Not even hungry anymore. Just refuse to be wasteful. This includes, but is not limited to, sandwich crusts and pizza crusts (HEATHENS!)

Whatever I can make in a pinch, no matter how unhealthy or full of crap, because I’ve spent so much time dealing with the kids that I’ve run out of time to make anything decent to eat.

The Halloween candy I forced my kids to get “for me” without thinking about just how seriously they would take the job, but now I’m obligated. YES. OBLIGATED. I DON’T HAVE A CHOICE.


Don’t feel bad if you slip off the diet platform, fellow moms. Don’t even feel bad if you weren’t really on it to begin with. The truth is that our kids are just trying to kill us. Go ahead and eat the chocolate.

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

What Happens when your kids Learn about Queefs. Yes, queefs.

The awkward moment you realize your baby is actually a little man

Last night, as I was tucking my eight year old into bed, I got hit in the face. Not by a fist, or a foot, or the always-lovely headbutt of doom. It was by his armpit.

How is being hit in the face by an armpit physically possible? When the smell is so strong that it causes a a wave of stench to fly out like a bat made of BO and knock you down if you dare get close, that’s how. I expect this kind of full-nasal assault from my ten year old, but my eight year old? Who said this was okay? Who approved early boy-stink? WHO ALLOWED PUBERTY TO ENTER THIS HOUSE BEFORE THE TWEEN YEARS?

I almost feel like I should take part of the blame here. It’s not genes- I certainly didn’t go through early puberty.
The day of the stink bomb was the day my children learned the meaning of the word “queef.”

LOOK, it wasn’t intentional, okay? It’s not like I sat them down and said “oh hey guess what, boys? Vaginas fart.”
It’s just that I have never 100% filtered myself, and at honestly, I get tired of having to hide all the weird lady shit that goes on with me. Hold on… this is totally not coming out right. I wasn’t sitting around on my couch queefing and the kids didn’t over hear it. I wasn’t telling my husband a story about the last time I queefed when I sat down to pee because LET’S BE HONEST THAT KIND OF THING JUST HAPPENS. I truly don’t even know how “queef” came up in conversation, but damnit, they heard it, and damnit- much like the menstrual cycle, it was about time they learned. No more excuses. No more “Oops, had a bloody nose” when the toilet is full of period blood. No more avoiding the word tampon in general conversation because I don’t have to have to go into what it is and what it does. If I’m crampy, I’m not going to pretend to be in a good mood, or that it’s due to the weather or some other dumb bullshit.

It’s exhausting. Queefs happen.

But with the knowledge of queefs comes great responsibility. It comes with a greater understanding, and knowledge… and awkward questions.

Just know that if I ever get in trouble and the police are going through my internet search history and come across “what is a penis fart called?”- this is why. This blog. And so you don’t have to Google it yourselves, the answer is “Peef.” It’s called a Peef. Yes, a Peef is the male version of a Queef. There. That’s something you know now. And it’s something I know now. And it’s something my eight year old knows now. I’m not saying that the sudden knowledge that vaginas can “fart” is what sprouted this many stench to emanate from his pits, but I can’t confirm that it didn’t, either.

Going into this blog, I really thought it was going to be a coming-of-age, “oh my god my kids are starting puberty” type of story… but somewhere along the way it became the cautionary tale of why you should be careful who you queef in front of.

Wait. No. That’s not it.

A queef in the hand is worth two peefs in the bush?

No… definitely not that, either.

What I’m trying to say here is be aware of all the things, because before you know it, you’re explaining what a queef is one second, and being blasted in the face by your kid’s BO the next, and wondering not only how your life got so fucking weird, but how your kids got so fucking old.
Yeah… there we go. We got to the point I thought we were going to make in the first place- we just had to take a detour through some weird shit… which is basically all of parenthood, isn’t it?

Posted on November 6, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment