A snow day picnic with some sweet desserts

I owe Mother Nature an apology.  If it wasn’t for her blizzard (that I cursed at earlier this week) I wouldn’t be having a picnic right now.  


Snow day picnic – party of one!

And for dessert at the picnic, it’s a little slice of heaven… a sleeping baby, a completely unexpected free afternoon, a hot coffee & some Girl Scout cookies.   True, we might never ever see summer, but I haven’t had a day like this in months and it feels AMAZING.  Thank you Mother Nature.

Today is a reminder that life is about the sweet stuff, so here are some other fun little happenings in our world right now:

  • New episodes of Parenthood
  • A favorite little St. Patty’s day nephew who turns ONE this weekend!  Happy Birthday Jack!!!
ryan and jack 3_2013

It’s hard to believe Ryan became a big brother to Jack an entire year ago! I sure love these little guys.

  • Good friends that have had great news lately
  • Shamrock shakes!
  • Some really big wins at work
  • A daughter that recently fell in love with karaoke (or perhaps she just like drooling on the mic)

“I will survive”

  • An upcoming visit from the Easter Bunny
  • A facelift for the blog by the summer (hopefully)
  • A June wine tour
  • A Q cousins weekend that is getting closer and closer
  • SUMMER!!  Even thought it feels like it will never ever get here


    “Hurry up summer, I wanna wear these cool shades of mine!”

  • And the opportunity to finish this post so I can enjoy some snuggle time with my favorite little karaoke star

Whether your drink of choice is SImilac, juice or Pinot Grigio, I’m a big believer that we need to sometimes slow down and focus on keeping our bottles half full!  I’m not always good at it myself but today was a great reminder of it.  What sweet little things are happening in your worlds?


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Introducing the iMom

For those of you that haven’t yet experienced this, I have something to share… I hang up on people all the time.  Just this week I’ve hung up on my mom, my co-worker, the pizza guy (directly between pepperoni and extra cheese),  my hairdresser and the pediatricians office 3 times.

But before you judge, let me explain.  It’s not that I have a raging temper (which I don’t), it’s because I’ve been living with a chronic case of  terrible-signal-itis.

(Yes I’m aware of the irony that I live on Signal Drive)

slam down phone

Can you hear me now?!?     What the  $%#^!*@*&!!!!!

Out of respect for the cell phone company, I won’t tell you that their name rhymes with Schmerizon, but I will tell you that it’s been one of the most frustrating experiences ever.  I’ve tried troubleshooting til the cows come home but I haven’t made any progress.

So I’ve done the only other option I could think of…I kicked my Samsung to another Galaxy and I opted for an iPhone.  And so far, so good!  I haven’t hung up on anyone.  (Hallelujah!!)


But it hasn’t been all bad because in the process of switching to a new phone I started thinking…  In many ways moms are like smart phones.  We have to operate multiple apps at once, we have moments in life when we’re dropped or beat up and we have to get right back up and keep moving, we all run until our batteries absolutely die, and we all have default settings.

Our default settings are our  automated responses to everything in life.   These are important because these can greatly affect our biggest customers – for me it’s Makenzie, Denny, my family and everyone else in my life – so I started asking myself some questions.

As an iMom:

  • Do I “drop” connections with people when I get busy?
  • Am I often saying No to things because it’s an easy response?
  • Am I quick to give a user error aka say why it won’t work versus taking time to figure out why it will work?
  • Do I freeze up and act cranky when I’m trying to operate too many apps at once?
  • Am I often too busy to try a new app during an expected situation in life?

I bet that times we’ve all said Yes to some of these.  But negative defaults can impact our customer satisfaction level aka our kid’s childhood.

So what kind of experience do you want your users to have?   I say that I want Makenzie to embrace the world with an open attitude and welcome change.  I say that I want Makenzie to be adaptable and optimistic in life.  I say that I want Makenzie to always be connected to me as her Mom…  And if she’s learning from me I think it’s time I double check my defaults.

As for my dropped calls I think I’m in the clear.  The new phone has signaled some good changes.  I’m ready to embrace some new defaults and restore some faulty connections.  Will it mean that the pediatrician and pizza place forgive me for hanging up on them?  Will it mean that I never overheat from too many apps?  Will it mean that I’m a better mom each day?




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If I listened to myself…

Tonight I had the opportunity to connect with college kids.  I was supposed to be a “wise adult” and give them post-graduate advice.  Clearly someone made some type of clerical error in allowing me to be a wise adult, but I faked it okay and I even learned something along the way.

While talking to a student about the uncertainty of her life after college, she commented that life works out for the best because she always listens to her inner voice.  Hmm, smart girl but this made me think…

I know that I have a ‘Good Erin’ voice that tries to always steer me in the right direction, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I haven’t always listened.

Flashback to high school

‘Good Erin’ voice once said, Hey Erin, maybe a singing role in the school play isn’t really your cup of tea.  

But I didn’t listen.  I sang.  I humiliated myself.  And I allowed my parents to buy the video.  Great.

And just when I thought I buried this skeleton, I started dating Denny and he found the video.  Then he watched the video and he laughed hysterically for hours.  Oops.

video tape

Nile Drama Club presents… A big fat mistake

Flashback to my years at Ohio University

The ‘Good Erin’ voice came with me when I lived in the 45701 and frequently spoke.

Erin, do you really think glitter jeans are cute?…  Hey Erin, do you think it’s smart to steal those police barricades and put them in front of the RA’s door?…  Hey Erin, a beer bong, really?!?   

But just as frequently as the voice spoke, it was ignored.  And in turn, I paid for it dearly through fashion blunders, through getting busted by the RA and through hangovers of epic proportions.  Ugh!

police barracades

Do not cross, especially if you are dressed in sparkly jeans!

Now fast forward ten-ish years to present day

‘Good Erin’ is still alive and well.

Do you really need to eat those chips? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to clean the floor during naptime?….  Shouldn’t you keep on Makenzie’s schedule instead of letting her have a dance party?

Luckily I’m becoming slightly smarter and listening more often.   I guess that’s all part of growing up and being an adult and a Mom.

But I also think it’s okay to sometimes ignore the ‘Good Erin’ and have a little bit of fun.  If I listened to myself all those years ago I would have missed out on some good experiences and some even better laughs.

So when the time comes and I have to be a “Wise Mom” and give Makenzie advice about the next step of her life, I’ll be thankful that I had this practice round tonight.  Now I can tell Kenz to not always listen to ‘Good Makenzie.’  Life’s too short, and I have a feeling she’ll be able to pull off glitter jeans a little bit better than I did.


Do you think you’re a wise adult?  You’re probably not. 

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Dear Makenzie… two words to keep in mind

Dear Makenzie,

As much as I don’t want to think about it, there is a slight possibility that…

Someday you might  roll your eyes at me because I won’t let you get a new cell phone… someday you might tell me that I’ve ruined your life because I won’t buy you that ahh-mazing pair of ripped jeans from Abercrombie… someday you might say that I’m the worst mom ever because you didn’t wake up to a brand new car on your birthday… someday you might cry yourself to sleep because materialistic stuff will seem more important to you than everything else in life.

 I really hope that this never happens.  I hope you prove me wrong and stay your sweet self forever.  But if it does happen, I want you to keep in mind two very important little words…

Chevy citation



Your Aunt Melissa dug up this gem of a photo tonight.  Believe it or not, we spent our high school days driving around in a non air-conditioned, noisy 1987 beige Chevy Citation appropriately nicknamed Clicker.

This picture brought me way back to what I thought was an embarrassing time in my life.  But it turns out it wasn’t really so bad after all.  The plastic seats might have left waffle marks on our legs in the hot summer months, but the car also left a special memory in the hearts of all who piled in it to drive to football games and parties.

So there you have it.  A little story from me to you to hopefully help you not lose track of the important things.  But if you get lost along the way (and I expect that you might) and what you have seems to be more important than who you are, I’ll be there to help you get back on track… as long as you don’t mind getting back on track with a Mom who drives a basic car and wears jeans from Target.

Love you to the moon and back,



PS  Your Dad had a Chevy Citation when he was in high school too!


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An (Honest) Mom’s Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Hey big guy!  It’s me, Erin.  You’ll be here in a few days and I have yet to send you a letter.  This is partly because I’ve been busy, but more so because I’m afraid I don’t have a spot on the ‘Nice’ list.  Last year at this time I just had a baby and I was full of crazy hormones, but I’m not sure my excuse this year… Sleepless nights?…Working mom craziness?…  Do those count?

The past few weeks paint a pretty vivid snapshot of the year so I’ll be honest and tell you what I’ve been doing (and what I haven’t been doing).


Here goes:

  • Our family went four days in a row without eating vegetables at dinner – Not nice
  • I failed to make our bed… for the past 51 weeks  – Not Nice
  •  Makenzie ate a chicken nugget out of the trash can while I was in charge of her.  – Gross and Very Not Nice
  • I missed my Grandpa’s Birthday – Definitely Not Nice
  • I bought Denny chocolate as stocking stuffers and then ate them all within 2 hours. (Sorry honey) – Slightly Naughty
  • I went through a yellowish light, crap! – Very naughty
  • I snapped at Denny because I was feeling stressed. – Not nice at all.
  • I said curse words when my Roomba stopped working. –  Naughty.
  • I said another curse word when I woke up late. – Naughty, naughty.
  • I said curse words when I went through a yellowish (red) light, but I was not with my daughter if that makes up for it. –  Naughty, naughty, naughty.
  • I forgot to give the cat breakfast. – Meow, not nice.


  • I lied about my weight when signing up for life insurance. – Not nice but who tells the truth anyway?

I think that’s it (oh wait, I have a dentist appointment Monday morning and I’ll likely lie about flossing regularly).


Phew.  Okay, that’s really it.  I’ve officially come clean with my Not Nice-ness.  It’s not  pretty but it’s the truth.  Now, it’s your call as to what list I’m on.  If 2013 is the year I end up on the Naughty List, I can accept it, and I’ll definitely try harder next year.  If I can squeak by on the Nice list, awesome!  And if that’s the case, I would like to request a 12-hour night sleep and perhaps a pedicure.   Otherwise, I’m good to go and I have everything a girl could want.

I’m looking forward to a really fun Christmas!  Thanks for all your hard work and keep me posted on your answer.  I’ll be eagerly waiting and hoping to unwrap a full night’s sleep under the tree.



naughty nice


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Christmas came in like a wrecking ball

It’s now official… Miley Cyrus and her inappropriate twerking have even impacted Santa Claus.  We’ve all known for years that jolly old man likes Ho Ho Ho’s, but now the perhaps biggest Ho Ho Ho of 2013 has changed the course of the holiday season as we know it…

How, you ask?  Well because Christmas has come in like a Wrecking ball!

I have a feeling she’s not on the Nice list.

What’s up with this very short time frame between Turkey Day and Christmas?

It’s a mere 26 days… that comes down to only 8 weekend days aka 16 hours of baby naptime in which to finish all the gifting, baking, decorating, writing, addressing, wrapping and prepping… it seems like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it!

Mom holiday meltdown, tis the season!

And I’m wondering if I’m the only one feeling way behind right now.  According to my Facebook and Instagram feeds, I’m the only Mom in America who hasn’t done all of the following:

  • Cut down a tree in from the whirly-twirley forest of fun
  • Decorated the inside and outside of the house with LED twinkle lights
  • Hung the specially embroidered stockings by the chimney with care
  • Made and frosted organic gingerbread cookies
  • Designed a wreath out of candy canes and scrabble pieces (oh boy, don’t get me started with Pinterest)
  • Made a scrapbook of the elf’s journey around the shelf, the house and the continent of Europe
candy cane wreath pinterest

Seriously, what’s up with my overachieving friends and family?!?  You’re killing me people!

Perhaps the holidays seem extra busy because now we have a little elf running around the house making it challenging to get anything done beside dance to the Hot Dog song (incredibly fun but not productive)… Perhaps the short time frame truly is adding to the stress… Or perhaps I’m just being a whiny Mom who will end up on the naughty list if I don’t change my attitude.

So if you’re out there and you feel my pain, please let me know.  As for everyone else, please lower your expectations of my holiday festiveness this year.  We’re definitely going to enjoy the holidays but there is a strong possibility we’ll be doing it with a bale of hay on our front porch (still from Halloween) and a cookie jar full of store-bought cookies!  Cheers to that!


Is that a candy cane in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

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One Tense Mama

My 2014 planner arrived this week, woo hoo!  There’s nothing I love more than having a fresh planner to mark birthdays, work events and vacation dates.  Totally lame but life’s all about the little things, right?

But before I could even flip to February I started thinking about my New Years resolutions.  I’m serious about this… 2014 WILL be the year I make and stick with my resolution.  I’ve known my resolution for a while so it’s time to get moving on it… and there’s not better way to hold myself accountable than to announce my resolution to all my millions thousands hundreds-ish readers on the blog (Hi Mom!). 

So without further adieu.

My 2014 resolution is…. (drumroll please)….

To be one tense Mom.

No, not tense as in uptight.  Tense as in present tense.

And here’s why…

Lately I’ve been thinking about how Moms are master multi-taskers.   Even when we’re with our babes we’re sometimes not with our babes.  Life pulls us in lots of directions and Moms, more than anyone, have a lot on their minds.   And I’ve come to the conclusion that even when you are with your kids, you may not be present with them, hence the Three Tenses of Mommy-ing.

Present Tense Mama – The present-tense Mom is with her kiddos and having fun. This is the Mom that’s fully engaged and paying 100% attention.  The present-tense Mom makes memories and lives in the moment.  She rocks!  This is my goal!!

Future Tense Mom – This is the Mom that’s spending time with her kiddos but rather than engaging she’s thinking about life 20 minutes from now, 4 hours from now and 3 days from now.  This mom’s packing sippy cups for the afternoon trip to the park…. while thawing meat for tonight’s dinner…. while making a shopping list for Sunday’s grocery (no doubt we’ve all done this).   She’s 10 steps ahead of the rest of the world.  Watch out world!

Past Tense Mom –  This Mom is spending times with her kids too, but rather than playing she’s caught up with the memories of the past.  This past tense mom is too busy to have fun because she’s taking pictures, making calendars and sending photo books to the grandmas.  Aside from carrying the baby, this mom carries passwords to all the accounts – Instagram, Shutterfly, and Snapfish.


It’s not a bad thing to be a past tense or a future tense Mom.  In fact it unavoidable at times, but my NY resolution is to focus on being a present-tense Mama with Makenzie as much as possible, and here’s a few tricks I’ve learned to achieve this….

  • Night-time prep – the more I can do while she sleeps, the less I have to do while she’s awake.  Nighttime = full-on prep mode.  Set out clothes, K-cups, keys, bags, bottles, binkies… you name it!   Granted mornings still get crazy at times, but once in awhile all the prep will give me some free time before work and Kenzie and I get to play, play play.
  • Committing to activities – It’s true that the swim class and baby gym class benefit Kenzie but the other perk is that committing to a regular activity requires me to be a present-tense Mom as we splash, tumble and make memories.

And lastly, the key to being a present-tense Mama is…

  • Dance parties – We love these!!  We stop everything and turn on 80’s station on Pandora to dance and get silly.  There’s no time to stress about planning for the future or snapping photos, there’s only time to get crazy and dance your cute little 13-month old heart out.  Awesome!!!


Now Bring it on 2014!

I’m challenging myself to be more tuned in as a Mom.

Will it work???  I hope!

I’ve got a goal.   I’ve got clear steps to achieve the goal.   So now let’s see if I can be less tense and more present tense.


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One-Minute (Blog) Bedtime Stories

Time and Energy – my two biggest enemies.

I can’t seem to find both together, and sometimes I can’t even find them individually.   I realize that complaining about being a Mom is like complaining about winning the lottery, but balancing it all can definitely be a challenge some days.   Between work, the house, family obligations, and all the demands of life I’m always questioning if I’m dedicating enough time and energy to being an awesome Mom.  I think I do okay, but some  ALL days I wish I had more.

Then I stumbled upon a little blast from the past in Makenzie’s bookshelf that gave me an idea of how to deal with this.  Hello One Minute Bedtime Stories by Sherry Lewis.  This book was mine as a kid, hence the copyright of 1982, and it had an insightful story that I thought was worth sharing.

Snuggle up with a blankie, and grab a bottle and a binky… it’s bedtime story time on the blog.


The Big Family in the Little House

Once there was a poor man who had many troubles.  So he went to a wise man in the town and begged for help. “My wife, my father, my six children, and I all live crowded together in a tiny little house.  We trip and bump into each other all day, have little room to sleep, and no privacy.  What shall we do?”  The wise man considered a moment and then said, “How many animals do you have in your barn?”  “A cow, a goat, a pig and some chickens,” the man answered.  “Good.  Go home and take all of the animals into the house with you,” the wise man said.  The poor man was surprised, but he did as he was told.  And the following day he was back.

“What a terrible thing you had me do,” he said.  “The animals are into everything.  They have turned the house into a dirty barn.  They have eaten our food and we have had to sleep standing up.”

The wise man thought again and said, “Now go home and take the animals out of the house.”  The poor man hurried home and did so.  The next day he was back smiling.  “With the animals out of the house, it seems quiet and peaceful now,” he said.  “And with no animals around it is so clean.  And my wife and children, my father, and I have much more room in which to eat and sleep.  Thank You for helping us.  I’d give anything to be as clever as you are.”


There you have it.  I’m not exactly the wisest man in this town, but when life seems busy, think about adding more instead of stressing over what’s already there.

Volunteer for a few more committees, work longer, commit to more obligations.  When your bank account seems scarce, add in a few more bills.  When your house seems dirty, bring in some barn animals (Mommy McBlog can not be held liable due to damage of floors brought about by cows, goats, pigs and chickens).   And when you feel like you can’t take any more, take more.   I promise you won’t break.   And just when you think you really truly will break, take a deep breath and go back to the life you once knew.

Your once crazy chaotic mess might suddenly seem a little calmer, a little more manageable and a lot more enjoyable.  And if you’re lucky, those around you will appreciate the calmer, more manageable, more enjoyable you!


A cow, a goat, a pig and some chickens have already liked Mommy McBlog on Facebook.

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You’ve come a long way baby… 100th Post!

It’s a big week to say the least.  For those of you counting (um, zero of you), the wait is over!

The 100th post has arrived !!!!!

Not sure who this little girl is, but sometimes when I’m excited about stuff I do this in my head! Thank you nameless girl for living out my dream!

It’s a big week of milestones and I didn’t want to miss this blogging milestone, so if figured I’d do a blog post full of the topics that float through my mind each day.  Most of them have already earned a blog post or two (or more).

Without further adieu, the ABC’s of Mommy McBlog.


A – A blog.  It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming McBlog into the world.  And here we are 100 posts later.  She’s growing up so fast!

B – Baby.  A super cute baby girl names Makenzie Ruth.  She’s what inspired this blog.  We kind of like her and have written a post (or 99) about her.

C – College (go OU!).  My four years as an undergrad actually prepared me to be a mom, read about it here

D – Dear Makenzie… some notes I’ve been jotting down to our girl about ears, Lysol and lots of other randomness

E – Erin, that’s me.

F – Feeding time for the under 1 crowd aka breastfeeding.  This was a tough one to write but I’m SO glad I did! 

G – GOLF!  

H – Hanging with cousins!

I – Itsa Party

J – Journey with a Jeep

K – Keeping up with the, uh, McGees?   Toys R Us coupon drama and museum trips… Not quite exciting or glamorous, but what’s your other option right now, an E! rerun?

L – Labor & Delivery and the music to go with it.  Yikes!

M – Makenzie Ruth!!!   Ever since she came into our lives 362 days ago, our world has never been the same!

N – Nursery, aka The Kenzie Inn.  Check out where this little pumpkin lays her head each night.

O – Ohio University!!!!! 

P – Pregnancy and the fun that goes with it.  Apparently in my pre-baby days I had too much time on my hand and I created the pregnancy Olympics.  What was I thinking?

Q – Quiltys!!   I love these people.  This year has been a really sad year for us… we’re always keeping the people we love so much in our hearts

R – Remembering how lucky we are to be here.  It wasn’t always an easy journey

S – Stickers.  We Love those Picky Stickies 

T – The truth about Pinterest

U – Us, meaning me and my cute hubby.  We’ve been legally locked together for 5 years and so far, so good.  Sure we have days when we want to throw dirty diapers at each other, but he’s a best dad/husband/friend Makenzie and I could ever ask for.

V -View on Life – Changing Diapers or Building a Cathedral

W – Working Moms, phew!  Not an easy job.

X –X-tra quarters in the meter

Y – You!!  It means a lot that you stop by this blog on occasion.  Thank you!

Z – Zoo?  It’s all I can think of for Z.  I’m so glad we took her here or I wouldn’t be able to finish this post.

100 Posts and going strong.  I still love this blog for a chance to write down a memory or share some insight with other Moms. I hope you like it too.  Here’s to 100 more!


100 Posts and a 1-year old baby girl.  What a week!

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Excludes all toys… or does it?

A few days ago I got a little coupon from Toys R Us that made me wonder what the heck they were thinking.  You can read about it here.  Rather than wonder what they were thinking, I sent them an e-mail asking them what they were thinking.  Here’s what they responded:


Dear Erin M:

Thank you for contacting “R” Us.  We would be happy to honor the $10 off coupon. Please contact us at the phone number below.  Thank you once again, Erin M, for contacting the “R” Us Family.


Tonya 6025

Toys “R” Us Customer Service Team



Thanks Tonya 6025.  Short and sweet, but at least they stepped up to accept the coupon.  And they did it within 24 hours of my initial outreach.  That counts for something, right?

So off to Toys R Us we went to check out their cozy coupes.  The pink and blue baby mobile wasn’t in the store but it could be ordered.  And they would price match Wal-Mart if we contacted the manager.  And they would allow me to use the coupon if I called customer service.  Phew, too many steps for this Mom.

So I stepped my fingers over to google and Bam, I found a sweet little cozy coupe from Sears (who knew they even sold toys).  Then I found another $5 off coupon on RetailMeNot.com and got free shipping if I picked it up at the store.  Score & score!

So there you have it.  Toys R Us fumbled and tried to recover, but at the end of the game they didn’t score my business!  I’ll be spiking my credit card in the end zone at Sears.


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