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Friday, July 29, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Practical Parenting

Who do you go to when you need parenting advice? Your girlfriends, twitter, blogs, and books, right? This week's Blog Friend Feature combines all those things: a blog with parenting advice like it's being dished out by your girlfriends.  She's a total sweetheart with a lot of parenting know-how.

Meet Katie of Practical Parenting:
When Shell contacted me about writing a Blog Friend Feature for her, I nearly fell off my chair.  I don’t have to tell any of you that Shell is the most supportive blogger around (how she manages to help everyone feel so loved while working from home is beyond me), or that her Blog Friend Feature is one of the most coveted features out there (who wouldn’t want to meet all of Shell’s fantastic friends?).  You already know that.  I nearly fell off my chair because it didn’t ever occur to me that I would be asked.

Shell seems to have an uncanny ability to find and feature the best blogs around.  I either laugh or cry my way through these posts every Friday morning, and then begin following them almost obsessively.  

But my blog…is not that funny.  My blog is all about providing practical parenting strategies.  It’s really meant to save you from buying 1,000 parenting books.  If you ask me a question, I’ll post an answer.  My blog is kind of…nerdy.

But today, because Shell believes in me, I will break the mold.  Today I will share some of the more impractical things that go on around here:  

Lost Sleep:  Sure there’s the average sleep loss due to the revolving door of illness, constant teething, nightmares, and night terrors.  

But the real story here is that I married a sleepwalking, sleep-talking, all around sleep-doer.  Once, before we were married, he hid my favorite pair of jeans on a super high shelf in a closet.  We didn’t find them until we moved nearly a year later. Then there was the time that we both managed to wake up his band during a 14 hour drive.  His screaming ignited my screaming and then everyone was screaming…for us to please shut up.  I often wake up to find him face to face with me because he has to tell me something very important. And he loves to protect me from the giant spiders and aliens he believes are coming into our room through the locked balcony door.

Interior Design:  My 4 year old daughter, Riley, is nothing if not creative.  On the bright side, she creates some amazing art projects and has excellent fine motor skills for her age.  But sometimes the creativity translates to some interesting “decorations”.  

Just the other day I entered her bathroom to find it covered in toilet paper.  I was speechless for a while.  When I finally asked why she chose to do that she replied, “I wanted to make snow”.   

Then there was the time when she was 2 ½ that, while I ran the bathroom to pee, she managed to “decorate” the entire family room and kitchen with Tampons two minutes before a playgroup was due to arrive.  She thought they were pretty.

Lost Holidays:  I love Christmas.  More than any other holiday ever…I love Christmas.  I love the smell of a Christmas tree in the house (but not the fallen needles), hot chocolate by the fire (yes, even in LA), and watching as loved ones open the carefully chosen and wrapped gifts.  My 2½ year old son, Liam, has yet to really celebrate Christmas.  

Two years ago, we all had the stomach flu.  After 21 hours of straight puking, I could hardly lift my head off the floor.  Liam went down on the 23rd, Riley and I went down on the 24th, and Sean took Christmas day.  No one even looked at a gift.

Last year, I took precautions.  I didn’t send Riley to school the week before, we didn’t go to the park for weeks, and we avoided all play dates.  Sean came home on the 22nd (he was working in New York) with “food poisoning”.  Two days later it was another vomit-fest.  Again, Santa’s hard work was largely ignored.

And for the last two Halloweens Riley has had bronchitis and croup.  On the bright side, she didn’t have it in her to beg for candy.

Grocery Store Hopping:  I spend entirely too much time traveling to different grocery stores in order to fulfill the necessary requests.  Liam has a few staples that can only be found at Trader Joe’s, while Riley will eat almost anything…but certain things that can only be found at Ralph’s.  Then there are the very important organic items that necessitate yet another store:  Whole Foods.  And did I mention the Farmer’s Market?  Buying the food to feed this family is a full time job.

Lost Time:  If I counted up the twenty minute increments of time spent searching for missing cars, cats, shoes for Polly Pockets (do they need to be that small?), and other miscellaneous items, I would lose at two weeks of my life.  Seriously.  “Gold Ramone” was just located at the bottom of a huge Lego box after nearly two months on the missing cars list.  Can I speak for all of us when I say thank you Disney for getting our children addicted to your products only to have you put them in the vault so that they can never be replaced?

Bribery:  Some parents are firm believers that kids should just do what they’re supposed to do…end of story.  I believe in bribes.  I believe a single Tic Tac can make a trip to the grocery store a breeze and a sticker chart to earn books or cars can cure a sleep issue.  I once fed my kids jellybeans and lollipops pretty much all the way from New York to LA minus a nap (read: sugar crash) when I had to fly home with them solo.  Yes, I believe in bribes.
The practical parent (read: control freak) in me loves schedules, calendars, organization, and rules.  With my bass playing husband on the road for long stretches of time or holed up in studios for more hours than you might think actually exist in the day, I need structure.  My kids need structure.  We crave practical.  But even the most practical parents have moments of impracticality.

What are some of yours?

Please leave Katie some comment love here and then go follow her fabulous blog!

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Anonymous tracy@sellabitmum said...

Oh I love Katie!!! SO fun to see her here. xo

July 29, 2011 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Katie has the best advice! Katie, congrats on your BFF Day!

July 29, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Oh, my, Polly Pockets have long been on my list of most hated toys ever (especially the old-school ones; do you remember those where the dolls were only about 1/4 inch tall? LITERALLY.) I cannot believe they have separate shoes!

Oh, and bribes, they make the world go round!

July 29, 2011 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

What a great feature!

I think I had a party the day my daughter decided to get rid of her Polly Pockets. Although now I have to deal with a 6 year old boy obsessed with Legos.

Bribes can be a life saver!

July 29, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Very cool BFF. Wish we had blogs like hers when mine were little. (LoL)

July 29, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Katie is so sweet and such a great resource for us moms!

July 29, 2011 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger By Word of Mouth Musings said...

I have a girl crush ...

July 29, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Mandi Miller said...

LOVE these!! Haha!

July 29, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

So glad I am not the only one that uses bribes :). And that is so awful about Christmas. I really hope it works out this year.

July 29, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Desperate Housemommy said...

Nice to see that even the practical ones have their impractical moments. Thanks for keepin' it real, Katie. :)

July 29, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I use bribes all the time. How else I'm supposed to get my kids to do what I want. And grocery shopping...I go to 3 different stores each week to get everything for my family. Then we end up just going to dinner.

Great to see Katie featured here.

July 29, 2011 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger I'm Jennifer. said...

Nice to "meet" you Katie! Glad to have found you here. I'm sorry your past Halloweens and Christmases haven't exactly worked out. Hope this year your fam gets to enjoy those holidays!

July 29, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Katie Hurley, LCSW said...

Thanks for having me, Shell! And thanks for all of these lovely comments so far. I love it here!

July 29, 2011 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I haven't "met" Katie yet...I'll have to go check her out.
Thanks Shell! She's right...you are the best blog friend around :)

July 29, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger The Education Of Ours said...

Nice post, Katie! I have another impractical tip: dress you car sick trio in all white for a hoity toity Cape Cod photography session an hour away. Not my brightest moment.

July 29, 2011 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a fun post! I had to laugh through much of it - I think most people can relate to this!

July 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Victoria KP said...

Great post! So glad to meet you--you sound like my kind of mom. Finding sanity means the occasional bribe. When my kids were younger I could shop an extra 15 minutes at Target if we stopped for popcorn on the way in.

We've had a couple of pukey Christmases too--no fun!

July 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Mom of 12 said...

I've never read Katie before, so thanks for the chance! Lots of her adventures sound like my house.

July 29, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Hopes said...

Bribing kids is a must have in the backpack of mommy tricks! And the grocery shopping...it takes all week! I swear they should have my picture up at 3 of the stores I go to as a honorary member for frequent visits!

Nice to meet you Katie...off to see your blog!

July 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

What wonderful advice! I love her writing style.

July 29, 2011 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

You are so funny! Sounds like you've got your hands full. And you're dishing out free advice? Boy, do I have questions!! I just got back from the pediatrician after talking her ear off. She was probably ready to kick me out!

July 29, 2011 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Yes! Bribing--I'm a big believer. Though my kids have taken it to a new level lately. They've been demanding money for their good behavior.

Congratulations on your feature!!!

July 29, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love this post!! Headed over to check out her blog. I love BFF Day. I always find new blogs to read.

July 29, 2011 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I feel like I have met my counter part...I find myself going to different stores all the time just to please everyones needs.
As for bribes...grocery store is a must!
Going to check out your blog!

July 29, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Nicolette said...

Just checked out your blog love it! I also bribe. Just yesterday I bribed my daughter with a lollipop to pee on the potty. Before being a parent I said I would never bribe but that was before I knew anything :)

July 29, 2011 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Just Jennifer said...

Great post! Love the "impractical" side of Katie!

By the way, I believe in bribes too.

July 29, 2011 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Clayton Thomas said...

I've been a fan of Katie's since I started blogging. This post was certainly different for her. Could it be she is coming out of her shell? :)


July 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Daily Mom said...

Love Katie! can't wait to follow you both!

July 29, 2011 at 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Tonya said...

I like your impractical side as much as I like the practical advice :-)

My daughter once hung tampons on the Christmas tree because she thought they looked cool -- thankfully we didn't have a playgroup (or other guests) due at that momemnt!

July 29, 2011 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Love all the "practical" tips! Now I am off to check her out!

July 29, 2011 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Mercy D'souza said...

Darn, I don't use bribes half as often as I should. It just might work. And why is it that the toy that is missing is just the one they want you to find?
Gotta check out this blog and see what other tips I can glean.

July 30, 2011 at 5:22 AM  
Anonymous Tammy @ Skinny Mom's Kitchen said...

This is my first time here...Hi

I absolutely HATE small toys. I threaten anyone who is even thinking about purchasing them for my kids. I don't mind legos because they stick together...but any other little itty bitty toy I despise.

Yes bribery...oh bribery...could not survive without it. I actually work better with bribes myself...hang chocolate over my head and I am all yours :)

This is super fun! I will be back!

July 30, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

What?? I think you're funny. :-)

July 30, 2011 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger jenny said...

Loved this. Your impractical side is just as cool as your practical one! (And yes, you're totally funny.)

So glad you were a BFF here. Even more glad you're my new one! xo

July 31, 2011 at 3:30 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Your impracticalities post was *funny*!!! And with a kidlet who eats gluten & casein (protein in dairy) free, I do the Grocery Store Hop quite regularly!! :>

July 31, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Watson said...

ohhh- i cant wait to check her out! her blog sounds amazing! :)

July 31, 2011 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger Dana @ WhatWereWeThinking? said...

Oh, wow! Your "lost holidays" made me cringe. Last year, my son's first Christmas, was spent in the hospital. He had a stomach virus. Within about 3 hours of us finally coming home, Chris & I had the stomach virus. Worst. Christmas. Ever.

Klaw is only 16 months, so I'm merely waiting for some of the other impracticalities to happen. ;-)

July 31, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I love Friday BFF posts! I get to meet some amazing new blog friends!

August 1, 2011 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I love Katie!!

These are great, especially bribery. Children have a hard time reasoning but they understand jelly beans and I plan to exploit that for as long as possible!

August 1, 2011 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

What an awesome blog feature. OMG, her story about the tampons?! Cracked me the hell up. Always look forward to this series; you feature the best bloggers here, Shell!

August 2, 2011 at 11:18 PM  

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