Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is the world ending...now?

Yesterday I wrote about my new favorite, love-to-hate-em, religious fringe group, Project Caravan, who are saying May 21st of this year is Judgment Day.  (Sorry Quiverfullers, you've been bumped off the top of my list.  Rest assured, I still think you're completely insane, too.)

As I promised in yesterday's post, today I want to take a little time to catalogue many (though nowhere near all) the times someone got a big head and thought they personally knew when the end of the world is coming.  Considering I'm sitting here with such luxuries as civilization and internet (as opposed to digging locusts out of my boils while accidentally stepping on all the frogs hopping around), they were obviously incorrect.

Without further ado, 8PP presents...

Times the World was Supposed to End
(and Totally Didn't)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine...

Some of you have probably heard about that crazy-as-Lindsay-Lohan-at-a-wine-tasting group that's predicting the world's going to end in a couple of months, May 21st, to be exact.  They call themselves "Project Caravan", and travel the country warning people to get saved like, ASAP.  Not, "Accept Jesus because he died for your sins and can change your life entirely for the better."  It's, "Get saved now, because the Tribulation starts in a few weeks."

(If you need further evidence that they're insane, check out their website and logo.  It's a stick figure leaning his head out of what looks like a bouncey house, with a cartoon bubble warning, "Get ready to be judged!"  Hey buddy, I'm a liberal, feminist, Christian mom living in the South.  I get judged every day.)

I have a major issue with any sort of evangelical group that does nothing to help people, but just goes around selling fire insurance (i.e. "get saved just in case so you don't go to hell").  It especially peeves me to see these jerks preying on people's fears in a period of great national uncertainty.  Every tragedy and instance of civil unrest only strengthens their cause.  "Earthquake in Japan?  End of world!  Nuclear reactor meltdown?  Definitely end of world!  Fighting in Libya?  Well duh, we all know that unrest and political upheaval in the Middle East is a sign of the end times!  It's not like that has been happening forever."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The thrilling conclusion to the epic "Hung out at my parents' house Saturday" saga

As I wrote about yesterday, my son loves seeing his extended family, and, after what I'm sure seemed to him like millenia, he got to do just that this past Saturday.

We headed over around noon.  He was dancing in his carseat for the short ride over to Poppa & Mimi's house.

When we pulled up, he tried to race ahead of us up their porch steps, yelling for his grandparents the whole time.  We were just ringing the doorbell and he was already standing on the doorsill.  When his Mimi answered the door, you would have thought it was his birthday and he'd just been told we were celebrating Christmas early by taking him to Disney World.

Of course, he loved on Mimi for about 15 seconds before he was demanding his Poppa.

You ever had a new puppy?  You know how the puppy acts every time you get home, whether you've been at work all day or just ran down to the gas station for five minutes?  That's how my son is with his grandparents.  He sees them almost every other day, and he's just as excited to see them every time.

But that's nothing compared to how he is about his older cousin.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Love from Printfection

Thanks to Printfection, we have a big Monday sale going on in the 8PP Store.  As always, customization is free upon request, and I'm adding a new design to celebrate the sale.  (Hint:  It's great for Duke fans or UNC haters.)  You want details?  Here are ya' details:

Coupon Code: MondayBlues

Discount: 10% off the base price! No Minimum!

Coupon Code: BigMondayBlues
Discount: 30% off subtotal of $50+

Disclaimer:
Please enter coupon code MondayBlues or BigMondayBlues before completing checkout. Discount is applied to the base price subtotal and does not include shipping, taxes, or additional charges. The maximum qualifying discount will AUTOMATICALLY be calculated by the website. Contact us if you have questions. This offer may not be combined with other offers and only applies to your account. Coupons valid from 3/28/2011 to 3/29/2011 11:59 pm Mountain Time.

I never run out of excuses to use a "Modern Family" promo photo.

I write about my son's extended family a lot because they're a very big part of his life.

Maybe too big.

It honestly is starting to seem like my son is getting, perhaps, a little spoiled on getting to see his grandparents and aunts and cousins so often.

He's developed an expectation that he can just see or talk to his extended family whenever he wants.  Sometimes, when we're driving home from preschool, he'll start demanding, "Poppa.  Mimi."  When I don't acquiesce and turn off on the road in our subdivision that leads to their house, and he realizes we're really going home, he'll start to cry.

The other day he picked up my phone and started repeating his older cousin's name, holding the phone up to his hear and then out to me, making it clear he wanted to talk to her.  I texted my sister and she said it was fine, so I let him call his cousin.

A phone conversation between a not-quite-three-year-old and a not-quite-two-year-old is about as dumb and pointless as you'd imagine.  Remember when you got your first middle school boyfriend or girlfriend, how stupid those phone calls were?  This was almost that bad.

It really is great that everyone is so close, and it's so sweet how much he loves them, and I am really so thankful for all of it.  But nothing excuses the way he acted this past Saturday.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Being pregnant is like being in the "in-crowd"



Garfunkel & Oates are hilarious, and I had to share this song from them.  (You may recognize the brunette on the left as the lady who sings the hilarious songs on "Raising Hope".)  This song has some mild profanity, but I think the humor outweighs it.

I hope that all my pregnant friends realize I have all the love in the world for them, and am only sharing this as a joke.  It's just funny to me because, as I've written about before, it feels like every woman I know is pregnant.

So turn up the speakers and enjoy "Pregnant Women are Smug".

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Book of I Samuel (as directed by Christopher Nolan)

Over the years, there have been many movies made off Bible stories.  Most of them are terrible.

The terrible movies run the gamut from low-budget, overacted Bible School schlock, to trashy, intentionally sacrilegious made-for-tv schlock.  (Does anyone remember the made-for-tv "Samson and Delilah" miniseries?  No?  You're lucky.)

Even the big budget movies haven't fared much better.  "The Ten Commandments" is a classic, but that movie's 40 years old, and the acting is terrible.  (It probably doesn't help that I can't watch it without yelling, "The golden calf is people!  It's people!")  Plus, Charlton Heston kind of ruined everything by just becoming a crazy old guy who was way too in love with his guns.

Then we had "The Passion" which was awesome, but also kind of ruined when we found out that, true to what everyone was saying, Mel Gibson really is a crazy racist who is way too in love with graphic depictions of torture.

So, that leaves the best Bible movie in 20 years to be "Prince of Egypt", and that was a cartoon (great songs, though).

What we need is a big, sprawling, epic movie (or series of movies) based on a story that's full of action, betrayal, torn loyalties, all that jazz.  If movies like "Troy" and "300" can be wildly successful, there's no reason that 1 Samuel can't be the next period epic blockbuster.

Being the awesome movie producer I am, I've even figured out the casting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Christian Pole Dancing: Where's the controversy?

WARNING:  The following post blends theology and feminism, and is not recommended for people who are offended by either, or by any combination of the two.


Also, we're going to be talking about pole dancing the whole time, so if that bothers you, might want to just check out now.  Click here for more wholesome fun.

Okay, now that the prudes are out of here, let's talk about the newest moral outrage cluttering up my Facebook feed:  Christian pole dancing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upcoming Kids' Movies (and why I don't want to watch them)

Last week I wrote about my somewhat traumatic experience taking my son to see "Rango".  I enjoyed the movie okay, but, let's face it, if I didn't have a kid to bring with me, I'd have spent my movie tickets on "The Adjustment Bureau", and would have waited for the kiddie movie to be released on DVD.

But, one of the good and bad things about being a parent is that you go see a lot of kids' movies.  It's good when it's a movie you want to see, because then you have an excuse to go (me seeing "Gulliver's Travels", for instance), but it's bad when it's a movie you really don't want to see.

In the spirit of painful viewings of children's entertainment, 8PP presents to you:



Movies I Wish I wasn't Being Dragged to this Year

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Never work with kids or animals...

One of the things I absolutely love about my family is that my son has three cousins, all of whom live very close and whom he gets to see quite often.  They're also all very close in age, all under three.  I'm the oldest of three sisters, with only four years age difference between myself and the youngest, and we all had babies around the same time.  (It makes for interesting family get-togethers.)  For the sake of simplicity, here's how the babies and ages breakdown:

Cousin A - daughter of 2nd sister, just shy of 3 years-old
C - My (1st sister) son, about to turn 20 months
Cousin L - daughter of 3rd sister, 10 months
Baby I - son of 2nd sister, 4 months

Now, ever since Cousin A, the oldest was born, my parents have very generously taken the babies for portraits every 4 months, just adding babies as they come, basically.  Everyone gets individual portraits, but there's also always at least an attempt at a group shot.  Last time, because Baby I wasn't here yet, it was the older three cousins, and it actually worked out okay.

This past Saturday, we tried to take one with all four.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hate it when guys hit on you? Have a kid.

People tell me all the time that I look just like Angelina Jolie, especially my two, non-jealous boyfriends, Alexander Skarsgard and Zachary Quinto.  Unfortunately, somewhere between them telling me that and winning the Pulitzer of Blogging, I wake up.

So, no, I've never really been mistaken for Angelina.  But, just a few years ago, I was considered by many to be quite the hot young thing.  I had a string of boyfriends, and always guys fighting over me.  (Any woman who tells you she doesn't like guys competing for her attention is a filthy liar, or has never had it happen.)  I could go to clubs and the doorman wouldn't make me pay the cover charge, and I never had to buy my own drinks once I was inside.

Even the first few years after I was married, it wasn't so bad.  I could flash my ring and got to say, "I'm flattered, but no thanks, I'm married."  At my work, where I got bonuses for large sales, I'd take my ring off.  "Oh, I totally get that you only want to keep a betta fish and a few tetras.  I just think they'd look amazing in this 250-gallon under some metal halide lighting."  (Of course, I got my comeuppance once I got a stalker, who called the store about 20 times a day looking for me, and didn't understand why I never came on the service calls to his house.  The manager finally asked him not to come in anymore.)

Despite getting creeped out by overbearing older guys a few times, I always enjoyed my harmless flirting.  It was a nice self-esteem boost, and I always made sure I wasn't leading anyone on.

Then I got pregnant.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spanking: Abuse or discipline?

The other day, my Dad, (my son's "Poppa") asked me if we ever spanked my baby.  He wasn't asking in a nosy or accusing sort of way; just genuinely curious.

It had been prompted by my son's attempt to disobey me by climbing up the stairs by himself.  When I picked him up off the stairs and sat him back down on the floor, he threw what, for him, counts as a tantrum:  He arches his back, gives a little yell, and we lay him down on the floor.  He lays there, I ignore him and walk away, and 9 times out of 10, instead of continuing to cry, he realizes it just isn't working, and gets up and follows me.

After watching this procedure, my not quite 3-year-old niece came up to me.  "Is he going to get a spanking?"  "No, honey," I told her.  "It's over now.  See?  He's already over there playing with the toys now.  Do you wanna go play with him?"

This is what prompted my son's grandfather to ask if we ever had, or ever did spank him.  And, on the rare occassion, we do.  There's just certain guidelines we follow.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

LinkFromBlog

Buy blog reviews

Hi guys.  I just wanted to give you a quick heads-up that, now that the site has seen a major increase in traffic (almost doubling daily page views), I'm going to be trying out some new advertisers.  One of the ones I'm hoping to start working with is LinkFromBlog.  They operate via coordinating with advertiser to buy blog reviews from sites like mine.  While I'm organizing which reviewers and services I work with, you may see some minor site design changes.  At this time, I have no plans to make any major design changes, and no content will be moved or deleted.  If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Thanks.

My kid is too friendly!

I have a problem with my son.  He's too social, charming, gregarious, you name it.  A born performer, my 20-month-old is happiest when he is in a huge group of people with the attention on him.

He gets so excited about a trip to the store, he'll be practically dancing in his carseat.  Though he prefers to walk next to us, we put him in the shopping cart so he doesn't walk up to random strangers to say, "Hi."  (He still greets everyone we pass, but in the shopping cart, we can restrain him better.)

When he gets home from school in the afternoon, we give him a snack and try to get him to sit on the floor with us and play with toys, or read a book.  He will, but after about half an hour, he drifts over to the window.  He'll then sit at the window, waving down at passing cars, and people walking dogs, yelling greetings and identifying what he sees.  "Doggie!  Truck!  Hi!  Hey!  Hi doggie!  Car!  Beep beep!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Love Printfection

Just got an update from Printfection that they're going to be running a March Madness sale from this upcoming Thursday through Monday.  Any order from the 8PP Store is 20% off with coupon code, and any order over $50 is 25% with coupon code.  Use the following codes:

Coupon Code:  MarchMad20%
Discount:  20% off No Minimum!

Coupon Code:  MarchMad25%
Discount:  25% off subtotal of $50+

So, starting St. Patrick's Day, be sure to order your 8-Pound Preemie funny maternity shirts, paternity gear, mugs, beer steins, etc.

My Mom-crushes

No, I'm not talking about men I find attractive now that I've become a mom.  I'm talking about sweet, upstanding guys that I want my son to grow up to be like.  My mom-crushes.

I'm sure other parents do this.  You see someone, maybe a fictional character on television, an altruistic public figure, one of the last upstanding professional atheletes, or just a really nice kid who works at the mall, and you think, "Man, I hope my kid grows up to be like that."

While obviously we don't want our kid to be exactly like anyone else, there are definitely qualities we admire in other people's offspring, qualities we aspire to endow in our children.

Now, I am a huge Gleek (fan of the show "Glee", for the uninformed), and there are tons of things I love about it:  the songs, the storylines, the positive messages.  But I think a lot of the appeal in it, for me, is that it's filled with so many mom-crushworthy guys.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A chance to help people who are hurting this Easter...

Hey guys, I don't normally do stuff like this, but this is something that's really been laid on my heart, so bear with me...

I'm relatively new at my current job (a little over 6 months) and just got an e-mail yesterday that, every year around this time, we collect stuffed bunnies, chicks, lambs, and other animals to give to sick kids and people on pediatric and geriatric hospital wards.  Per hospital policy, the plush toys have to be new, with the tags still attached, to be accepted for donation (to lessen risk of germs and infection).  Last year the people at my work's campus donated 1,316 stuffed animals.

And that is an awesome amount.  But I know that there are a lot more people than that who are suffering in these hospital wards.  Wouldn't it be nice to brighten their day with something as simple as a little stuffed animal?

This is where you come in.  I would like any and all interested readers to please contact me regarding stuffed animal donation.  It's really easy to contribute.  For my part, I just went to my local Tuesday Morning and cleaned them out of their "Easter" (bunny/chick/lamb) animals.  They sell decent sized stuffed animals for only around $5.

And, to further encourage you, everyone who donates will receive a free gift from the 8PP Store.  I really want to help make this year's Bunny Drive amazing for sick kids and the elderly.  Please contact me if you're interested.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mom's Movie Review: "Rango" is great for adults and/or if you're mad at your toddler about something.

My husband and I have been excited for months about all the upcoming summer movies geared towards kids.  Kids' movies are so much more accessible for adults now, and having a 1 1/2 year-old allows us to go see things like "How to Train Your Dragon" without looking creepy (or like potheads).

So for weeks we have been looking forward to "Rango", the animated kids' Western where Johnny Depp voices the titular protagonist, a domesticated lizard stranded in the Wild West.  We finally got our chance to see it this past Saturday.

My husband and I loved it.  I just wish we hadn't brought our son.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

No organs or tumors this weekend!

Just a little design I was working on to amuse myself.  I'm debating adding it to the store as a maternity shirt.  What do you think?

Friday, March 11, 2011

How to be a cheap date

My husband and I are actually going out this weekend.  Yay!

Of course, pre-baby, we would sometimes go out multiple times in the same week.  Movies, restaurants, concerts, whatever we felt like doing.  No need to budget, or plan in advance.

Now, we have to consider expenses, whether we can find a sitter, or if we're going somewhere kid-friendly.

Not that I would ever want to go back to not being a mommy, but for comparison's sake, let's look at a typical date with my husband before, and after we became parents.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sale in 8PP Store: 20% off aluminum water bottles!

Now through Tuesday, all aluminum water bottles in the 8PP Store are 20% off!

Just use coupon code SpringinaBottle before check-out.

Like I always do any time Printfection runs a sale, I've added new designs.  Follow the link above, visit the tab labelled "8PP Store", or just direct your browser to http://www.printfection.com/8poundpreemie.  And as always, customizations are 100% free.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pregnancy for Profit: How to make money from pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy

Kids are awesome.  Babies are great.  But they don't come cheap.

Fortunately, if your morals are flexible enough and/or you're willing to sacrifice your ethics, you can actually use the impending arrival of your little one as a cash cow.  (Don't you already feel like a cow anyway?)

I'm not even going to suggest anything that's harmful to yourself or your little one.  Just a few simple things for which there's a market, and that only pregnant woman can provide.  (In other words, I'm not going to suggest you be a medical lab rat, or sell the naming rights to your kid, or anything like that.)

Per the usual, this article is intended for humor purposes only.  8PP is not legally or financially responsible for any bad decisions you make following our tongue-in-cheek advice.  (Really, we're not responsible about anything in any sense at all.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The "typical" American Mom

Yesterday, I wrote a post talking about cultural stereotypes of my mom readers from other countries.  I meant it all in jest and good fun, and was mainly attempting to showcase exactly how ignorant I am of other nationalities and societies.

Today I wanted to prove that I can take as well as I dish out, so I'm going to be highlighting all the wonderful stereotypes of the "typical" American mom.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Clueless Western Mother

Every once in a while, largely out of curiosity, I like to check the stats on my blog traffic.  It's always interesting to see whether Linux users outnumber Mac users in my audience this week, or what Google searches people are using that lead them to me.  (Apparently, googling "my child ate Crayola washable finger paint" equals a hit for 8PP.)

One of my favorite things to check is geographic location of readers.  Don't get paranoid about internet Big Brother; it only shows what countries hits are coming from.

The other day, I found out that I'd received 8 hits, that day, from China.  China, origin of notorious "Tiger Mother" Amy Chua, the advocate of ultra-disciplined parenting.  My blog talks about teaching my kid to fetch beer, and taking him to the ER because he tried to eat a Christmas ornament.  I have absolutely nothing in common with the Tiger Mother parenting theory.

But when I started thinking about, I realized that, beyond a few scant stereotypes, I know almost nothing about parenting in a lot of my readers' countries.  Here is what I've patched together via Google searches and my own faulty memory.

8PP Presents:  Parenting Styles Around the World

Friday, March 4, 2011

Personal Ads: Goldilocks seeking church.

If you're a churchgoer, unless you've gone to the same church your whole life, you've been in this boat.  Maybe you've moved, or just had a falling-out with your old church, but for whatever reason, you're looking for a new church home.  So you visit different places every Sunday, trying on churches like you would a prom dress, looking for that "perfect fit".  A lucky few find that right place right away, maybe in the first month of searching.

A few less lucky (or just pickier) people do like me, and half a decade passes before you join anywhere for good.

For the most part, I'm very glad for how things worked out.  I love my church and feel lucky to have found it.  But I don't think I should have spent 5 years barely going anywhere because nowhere was "juuust right".

Here's some of the reasons, good, and not so good, why myself and others cross prospective churches off our lists:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pregnancy and babyhood: What the books don't talk about

Though I have very few female friends, there are two ladies around my age I meet with once a week.  Of the three of us, I have a 19-month-old, one has a 10-month-old, and the other is 21 weeks pregnant with her first.

And let me tell you what...It gives me such a self-esteem boost to have a pregnant friend ask me questions about pregnancy and childbirth.  It makes me feel great about myself as a mother.  This woman knows my son pretty well, has kept him in the nursery before, and I guess she thinks I'm doing a decent job if she's interested in my opinions.  As a (relatively) new mom, it really validates me.

Of course, I can't say the other woman with a child and I don't take a bit of perverse delight in informing our pregnant friend about some of the less pleasant things associated with having a little one (the stuff even the most "honest" baby books only glaze over).  Stuff I wish someone had told me.  Things like:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Childbirth is beautiful. Afterbirth is not.

8PP just reached its 100th post, and I haven't enjoyed writing anything disgusting or controversial in a while, so I figured I'd celebrate with a topic that is both...

The current trend of utilizing your baby's placenta.

I understand that the placenta is a miraculous organ that nourishes and sustains your little angel all throughout your pregnancy.  That doesn't change the fact that placenta is absolutely disgusting.  It's a bloody mass of meat and vessels that was once one of your internal organs.

One of the few things I remember from the drugged haze of my son's birth is being horrified by the placenta.  There is no scary movie monster or alien more disgusting than placenta.  And this is coming from a woman who made a cartoon monster out of her dermoid tumor.

So, needless to say, I'm really creeped out by all the ways childbearing women are saving and putting their placentas to use.