The BMF- Best Mom Friend

THE BMF- it sounds like the title of a new Disney movie about a magical, mystical giant. Or a knife-wielding super ninja Bad-ass Motherf—- well, you know… and it’s kind of both. As rare as a unicorn. It’s the BEST MOM FRIEND.

                                         image credit: momsmag.com

In order to become the best mom friend, you must be born into the role, or somehow get past that mysterious, awkward stage of being “so and so’s mom” in another woman’s phone. You have to jump through flaming hurdles, and limbo under the lowest bars imaginable to reach that level with another mom. It’s the only time in life being “friend-zoned” is the ULTIMATE BE-ALL, END-ALL GOAL.

This isn’t just a friend of convenience, it’s someone you actually look forward to setting up play-dates with. It’s not just someone you have awkward conversations with while your kids run around screaming, but someone you can chat with about anything. She has to be a lady you are close enough with, who knows you and your kids well enough, to have your backs–but who also isn’t scared to call your kid on their shit, or tell you when you’re being nuts. Someone who you won’t instantly snap back at because you know she isn’t judging you or your parenting, she can just tell you’re about to lose your damn mind.

The BMF is a Best Friend PLUS, because it isn’t just you she has to be besties with. It’s your kids. And your kids have to be besties. Well, I guess they don’t have to be, but it sure makes things better. You basically become second moms to each other’s kids. You’re gonna trade them like cards when one of you needs a break, or wants to go out. Hell, you’re gonna go out together without the kids.

She has to be your ride-or-die chick. She has to be the kind of person who, even if she disagrees with how you choose to raise your children, respects you enough to let you do you.

It’s basically like finding the holy grail, because more often than not, if we aren’t gifted a BMF by our pre-kids selves, we find ourselves searching for one and coming across so many sanctimonious, judgy, “I would never do that” types. The “how dare you discipline my child?”, condescending, stick-up-the-butt types, that we just stop looking.

Finding your BMF isn’t as easy just wandering through the forest and bumping into her. The title may be bad-ass, but this isn’t Disney. It takes time, years, even. Dedication. Sifting through a lot of judgy bullshit and pointless drama. So if you have a BMF, go to her right now and tell her the following words:

“Thank you so much for being my BMF, and not a sanctimonious twat.”

Not all of us are so lucky.

Posted on September 20, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Forget Party Planning- Make Birthdays EASY this year with Netflix!

A few years back, we stopped throwing birthday parties.

They used to be my thing. I looked forward to, and also absolutely dreaded it every single year, because as proud of the result as I was, and as much as I loved watching the boys enjoy it (we did a two-for-one party with both of their birthdays being in September)–It was just so much work, and so incredibly stressful. I’d spend weeks planning, go totally all-out with themed decorations, foods, drinks, and activities, which meant days shopping– days and late nights trying to make it perfect for the kids–the ones who would actually show up. All that time, the effort, the money spent, all to create chaos in the house for a few hours of panicking you missed something, and worrying people would call the day off to say they couldn’t attend. It sounds like I’m being dramatic, but if you’ve ever thrown a party for a kid, you know this to at least be partially true.

And you’re not alone.

Did you know 71% of parents wish there was a better/easier way to celebrate their child’s birthday without all the added stress?

 

Instead, we started taking family trips-creating memories of DOING things in place of throwing parties.

NO ONE in this house misses parties.

 

Still, when the boys’ birthdays roll around, I always want to make at least a little bit of a stink about it, just on a far smaller (read: non-existent) budget. Netflix is making that SUPER easy for all of us with kids that love Netflix as much as we do!

 

HOW??

 

It’s so easy. It’s called Netflix Birthdays on Demand- all ya gotta do is go to Netflix.com/Birthdays and choose from one of FIFTEEN Netflix originals with your kid’s fav characters (including DreamWorks All Hail King JulienBarbieBeat Bugs, DreamWorks Dinotrux, Las LeyendasLEGO Friends, LEGO NinjagoLuna PetuniaMiraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat NoirMy Little PonyPokemonProject Mc2Skylanders Academy, DreamWorks Trollhunters and Word Party.)
And that’s IT.

It will feel like a tailor made birthday celebration just for your little one, without the stress, streamers, and hair torn out.

 

And maybe have a little bit of cake, too..

Just remember- if no one’s around to see it, the only thing that matters is that it tastes good!

Posted on September 18, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Disney Stroller Rentals- Are Your Kids “Too Old”?

“Aren’t the boys too old for strollers?”

This was the first question my husband asked while I was tossing around the idea of renting a stroller, like we always do, for our Disney World vacation this year.

In any normal circumstance, the answer is ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY. They are both 100% able bodied, and at almost 10 and 8 years old, hearing them whine about how their legs hurt after fifteen minutes of walking or less grates on my nerves more than anything else because I know that, well… I know that they’re full of crap. Crocodile tears. They can handle fifteen minutes of walking. They can handle a couple of HOURS of walking, but Disney World isn’t a couple of minutes of walking, or a couple of hours of walking. It’s walking all day long every day. It’s hours and hours of wading through crowds in the heat.

So while during the day to day they are way too old to be plopping in strollers, at Disney World, I thought it was an absolute necessity.

And I was right.

Like every other year we’ve traveled to Disney World, we secured a stroller with the amazing Orlando Stroller

our chariot awaits!

Rentals. Usually we grab a double, but we thought, the kids ARE older, and more importantly heavier, so they can take turns in a higher capacity rental stroller. They have a really great selection of different styles of stroller to choose from depending on your needs/children’s weights. No pickup necessary, the stroller of our choice gets delivered directly to our resort and picked up when we’re done. And we’ve learned- ALWAYS GO WITH THE RAIN COVER. Just like there’s no guaranteeing how long your kids will last walking in the FL sun, there’s no guaranteeing that FL sun will even show up.

I don’t often like to pat myself on the back, but I’m patting myself on the back for ignoring the “kids are too old” judgment and reserving a rental stroller anyway.

Not only was it a great place for EITHER kid to rest when their legs decided “not to work” (insert eye roll here), but it was an awesome place for our youngest to hide from the rain while only three of us trudged through puddles and the few crazy downpours. Even when neither of them were riding in it (which actually happened more often than I thought it would, they’re growing up!) we used the seat as a place to rest our bookbag so no one had to carry it, and the undercarriage was an amazing place to store purchases to protect them from rain, and so we didn’t have to lug them around on us, or add weight to our bookbag.

look who’s NOT complaining about tired legs

 

Even better- they handle so much better than the strollers you rent from the parks. So easy that your older child (if you have one) can push it around FOR you. WINNING.

I really am going to be sad when both of my kids become too heavy for us to rent a stroller from Orlando Stroller Rentals, for ALL of the reasons listed above. It’s just so convenient and helpful! I honestly can’t recommend enough, if you are planning a trip to Disney World (or a theme park in Orlando) checking out what Orlando Stroller Rentals has to offer. See what works for you, they have a bunch to choose from! And then relax. The tired legs and rainy days and heavy souvenirs won’t be anything to worry about!

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

How to tell if You’re Becoming an “Old Person”

It wasn’t a sign of the apocalypse, but for me, it was pretty damn close.

On Saturday night, with no provocation, without losing a bet, or being sarcastic- I said, in mixed company, WHILE being recorded “I love cauliflower”.

I thought I’d be met with groans or disgust, but my friends actually agreed. In that moment, all I could think was “holy shit, when did we get so old?”

Could it be knowledge learned with time, because we know that rice is bloating and we can’t even look at certain foods without having to consider wearing a t-shirt in the pool and had to find a healthy replacement, or are our tastebuds actually dying because we are dying?

You may think that rolling out of bed and sounding like a wet bowl of Rice Krispies is one of the first signs, or maybe it’s the wrinkles, gray hairs, and/or the plethora of bills that come in my mail that should have been red flags everywhere, but you’d be wrong. Those are signs of aging, not getting old. Getting older is inevitable- and we’re lucky to be able to do so. BEING OLD is a mindset. We could control it, but we just don’t want to, because we’re old, and we want you to get the fuck off of our lawns.

I’m only two punches away from having an official “Old Folk” card. It comes with a discount on adult diapers and a discount on the first bingo card.

Here are 11 signs that you may be rounding the corner to the mental retirement home:

  1. When someone uses the term “bae” and it makes you want to hit them in the fae, you might be nearing old age. NO I DON’T WANT TO “GET LIT” THIS WEEKEND! I want to sit on the couch and veg. The only thing “gettin’ lit” are my scented candles. Y’all aren’t radical like us! And we ain’t your “fam”.
  2. When you go to bed at the time you used to go out. Dude, if you’re asking me to leave the house at 10pm, we can’t be friends anymore. I’m in my jammies, bra off, and I’m not going anywhere except for on the internet.
  3. Grapefruit, cream of wheat, and Metamucil have a heavy rotation in your weekly schedule. Might as well make it a foursome and sign up for AARP.
  4. You get the insatiable urge to pull the “back in my day” card on youngins who don’t know how easy they have it. Don’t get me started.
  5. You wax poetic about shit that closed/was discontinued/ended twenty plus years ago. Looking at you Blockbuster, Surge, Animaniacs, and actual music on MTV.
  6. You think the music is too loud. I mean it is, but yeah, take your old ass home.
  7. Things like new sponges for the kitchen excite you.
  8. You’ve actually said something like “I can’t eat stuff like that anymore”
  9. Remember when you thought 30 was ancient? Yeah, now you catch yourself saying “Forty/Fifty isn’t that old.”
  10. You call everyone who is younger than you– even if by only a few years– “kid”
  11. You lament about “kids these days”

So how’d you do? Ready to collect your free bingo card and complimentary prune juice?

 

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments

The Smallest Moments can be the Biggest

Out of all the stories I could tell about the Disney cruise I just returned from, I didn’t think this would be it. I thought it would be about how everyone on the cruise knew me by “Number 19!”, or how one night, my husband had far too much to drink and somehow, mysteriously, nearly broke his pinky finger. That particular story may be lost to the sea. I thought a more worthy piece to write would be on whether or not the cost of a Disney cruise is worth it, as they are far more expensive than the other cruise lines out there, or how many clothes you really need to take (so many articles say to pack half as much as you think you need… we ALL RAN OUT. THAT SHIT’S A LIE), or even the story about how a dolphin peed on me– but none of those are the memory I keep coming back to the most.

It’s such a small story, no big epic sweeping drama, or life-altering realizations, but if it’s something I can’t get my mind off of, I think it’s worthy of sharing with you– because it’s a moment of “Wow, people don’t all suck after all”, and I think we could all use more of those moments right now.

This Disney trip of ours wasn’t just any Disney trip, it was to celebrate not only the boys birthdays, but mine and Thomas’ 10 year wedding anniversary, so I guess you could say I was in more of a giving mood than I’d usually be. Or… more than I like to pretend to be but usually can’t help myself when it comes to Disney gear.

STILL- Parker is the king of frivolous purchases, so on day one when he found a baseball cap in a store at Epcot and insisted he absolutely had to have it, I was like “no.”
This is the kid who insisted he needed sunglasses and never wore them. Insisted he wanted this plastic stegosaurus from the thrift store only to put it in his donation pile a week later. To put it frankly: he buys shit he never uses. And this wasn’t just some $1 thrift store dinosaur, or $5 Wal-Mart cap– this was a $24 with tax Disney baseball cap.

ONLY get this if you plan on ACTUALLY wearing it- I tell him.

You need to be SURE you love this- I told him.

Not just at Disney but at home, too- I insisted.

THIS NEEDS TO BE SURGICALLY IMPLANTED TO YOUR SKULL– I didn’t actually say this one, but I implied it. He knew I meant business if he was going to have us shelling out serious cash for a baseball cap when the kid has never worn a baseball cap in his life. But he wasn’t leaving without it… and to be honest, it looked damn good on him.

Is that hat just made for him, or what?

Though he’s never heeded my words and warnings and insistence before, he actually listened and wore that hat everywhere. I think he even fell asleep in it a few times. He loved the hat so much that he needed to be reminded to take it off for meals (um, hello? manners!)

We hopped on the cruise with the hat, and with the sun bearing down and no trees to block it, the hat was perfect. He went to the kids club while me and Thomas played trivia (and lost every. single. game). We had meals, went in the pools and the hot tub, and the hat went everywhere.

And then came day 3 of the cruise. He wore the hat to the beach, and only took it off to avoid getting it wet. He left it next to our stuff, which was placed on a beach chair under an umbrella with a cup full of shells he collected. Everything made it back to the boat once we’d left the island except the hat and the shells, and by the time we’d realized it, it was too late. There was no going back to look for it.

Cue meltdown. I didn’t give him too much of a hard time, as Thomas was the one who told him to remove his hat, and who also collected our stuff to bring in, so it was really the fault could be laid on anyone. There was no use arguing about it.

The glimmer of hope came in that Disney owns the damn island. The only people there were people on our boat, and employees. The kind folks at Guest Relations assured us that they comb the beach before picking up anchor, and if an employee found it, it would absolutely be returned. All would be right with the world again. We breathed a sigh of relief and went about our business, planning to return once they’d collected all the items and were ready for people to come and claim them.

Which we tried to do. Twice. Once that day, and once the next morning (our last full day on the cruise)- just to be absolutely sure. The hat was gone. Which means either it was swallowed by the island or someone else picked it up and kept it.

I TOLD YOU THIS WAS A POSITIVE STORY. UPLIFTING. THIS AIN’T THE END, I PROMISE.

Parker was upset, obviously. We took him through the shops on the ship once they opened to try and find a new one, and none of them clicked. He found one he kinda liked, but you know how it is– once you attach yourself to something you love, a replacement just isn’t the same.

Bummed, we sent him to the kids clubs with his brother and went off to the LAST round of trivia while we tried to decide what to do. By that point at the cruise, we recognize the crowd in the room. We’ve been playing trivia against these people the entire time, and we know who’s been whooping our asses, and who we can take down. We’d lost by 1-2 points every. damn. time. to one or two teams, and we were determined to win.

We didn’t.

 

Almost everyone leaves immediately after, but we stick around to say our goodbyes to the cruise host we’d been torturing the entire time, and to chat with people (remember, I’m #19, PEOPLE KNOW ME).

The winning team approached our table, asking for a picture with us. I guess they wanted to remember repeatedly whooping our asses. After pleasantries exchanged and photos snapped, the cruise host walks up to the winning team with their prize- Disney Cruise baseball caps.

I AM NOT ONE TO ASK FOR FREEBIES– and maybe it was the drink I’d had during trivia talking– or the fact that it was the last day and I was desperate– but I pulled the cruise host aside and explained the situation and asked if he had an extra hat he might be willing to spare.

Before he can even respond, the winning team approaches us again, and offers up one of their hats– a special Disney Cruise hat you can’t buy on the dang boat (well, that I could find, and we scoured the stores) just for Parker. I was so shocked and thankful, I must have said thank you 100 times, and when we picked up Parker and presented it to him, his entire bummed out attitude was completely turned around by this tiny act of kindness from a random passenger on the cruise.

He had no reason to give us the one trivia he’d won, the special prize he’d received, but he did- because he could. Because he wanted to. Because not everyone sucks. As small as the moment was, even though he’s probably already forgotten outside of that one random snapshot he took, it’s those small moments that prove the world is still SO fill of good. There’s never a bad time to be reminded of that.

 

Posted on September 8, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment