America’s Funniest Home Fails

One of our favorite pastimes as a family is watching America’s Funniest Home Videos on Sunday nights.

(You know, the show that is currently in it’s TWENTY-SEVENTH season. Yes. 27.

Only 49 fewer seasons than Law & Order.)

About 6 months ago I decided to try submitting one of our own home videos to the show. Not because the video was *that* funny, not because I was trying to win $1,000,000; simply because the thought of surprising our boys with a cameo on their favorite show sounded magical.

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Learning to Unplug as a Family

Junior high is a rough time. It’s awkward, it’s pimply…you’re trying to figure out who you are and where you belong. You’re trying not to panic about your body parts that are growing and doing weird, new things.

Junior high is a lot of social experimentation. Not necessarily experimenting with drugs and alcohol, more like experimenting with friendships.

Learning what is kind vs. what hurts people’s feelings. Learning what traits draw others in vs. alienate the general population. Learning the difference between high-energy and just plain obnoxious.

I wouldn’t wish my junior high self on my worst enemy.

But.

When I had a bad day in junior high – when I was super obnoxious and alienated everyone in the vicinity with my hyperactive energy – I got to go home, relax, maybe watch an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and start again the next day.

My social life took a break at 3pm and reconvened in the morning.

Now?

It. never. stops.
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Little Little Brother

“So the other day my son, David — I mean….Davis….”

– actual words that came out of my mouth

Being a third child is a struggle.

Being little little brother is definitely a struggle.

We had a BABY vs. WILD themed birthday party last month to celebrate one full year of his surviving the suburban wild.

It wasn’t until the day after his birthday that we realized he never opened his birthday present. His one, single birthday present.

David sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Even at his own birthday.
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Because They’re Worth Remembering

Direct quote from Beckett, the kid who cried actual tears recently because “mom PLEASE stop dancing in the car. it’s very unsafe to dance while operating a vehicle!”:

“Since I’m 5 now, can I just be one of the parents?”

He is – by far – the most responsible adult in our home.

He is always reminding me of the rules to ensure a safe and just home.

He is also always soaking up everything around him and asking ridiculously mature and insightful questions.
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Bro-thday Bash

One year and one week ago, I was miserably, hugely pregnant with our 3rd. I didn’t care when he came out or how he came out, just that he came out.

So on the night of our firstborn’s 4th birthday, I didn’t even care when I started feeling signs of impending labor as I play skeeball at Chuck-e-Cheese.

And I certainly didn’t care when our baby finally made his grand entrance the next day, making him and his oldest brother 4 years and 1 day apart.
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30 Reasons to Celebrate our Favorite 30 Year Old

August 7, 1986: our favorite man in the world was born.

30 years ago today.

What a beautiful life he has lived up until this point. I mean….he’s created 3 additional humans, among many other accomplishments.

We are opposite in many ways. (Ok, every way. And then some.)

I love talking. He loves silence.

I love chaos. He loves order.

I love spending time with 82,305,342 of my closest friends. He loves spending time with our family of 5.

I love big parties. He loves when people forget it’s his birthday.

Unfortunately he’s out of luck this birthday because THIRTY. It deserves extra attention.
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Celebrating Differences (and Teaching Our Kids to Do the Same)

“Dear ______, Stop _______.”

– the formula for titling your next culturally relevant blog post

These “open letters” are all. over. Facebook. All the time.

Have you seen them?

Something like:

Dear White People, Stop Saying “All Lives Matter”.

Dear Black People, Stop Protesting on Highways.

Dear Police Officers, Stop the Excessive Force.

Dear Everyone, Stop Assuming all Muslims are Terrorists.

Dear Republicans/Democrats/Liberals, Stop …..

Everyone wants to be treated equally (rightly so, obviously) yet we create all these rules and stipulations for how we relate to someone who is different than us. We have an army of writers and Facebloggers writing extensive bullet point lists of things each type of human can and can’t say, can and can’t do towards another type of human.
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Survival of the Summertime

I see you, mom bloggers with 5 kids and enough time to not only create homemade sensory bins but to post a how-to that same afternoon. I see you.

And I’m wondering where the heck your kids are while you’re blogging, because they certainly aren’t in the room with you.

The hungriest my kids ever get is when I sit down at my computer and start typing. Or when I pick up the phone to actually talk to another reasonable human. It’s like instant starvation when my attention is diverted from their angel faces. Either that or all-out war with each other. They’re kind of the worst.

(Especially the toddler. Did you see the post about how often he yells the word “penis” in public? Because that’s still going strong.)

This summer has been an epic survival experiment.
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Wildly Toddlerpropriate

“Teach them appropriate names for body parts,” they said.

“They’ll be more empowered,” they said.

You know what they didn’t say?

That a two year old yelling about his penis in a crowded public area is incredibly awkward.

Even more awkward is when you’re trying on clothes in a dressing room with running commentary in the background.

1st Favorite Son: “You look beautiful, my lady.” (?!?)

3rd Favorite Son: “MOMMY I SEE YOUR PENIS.”

…yep.

Have I mentioned that my two year old suffers from Megaphone Voice? (He comes by it honestly, but still.)

Couple things.

  1. I do not have a penis. Nor did he see any body part remotely resembling one.
  2. This was yelled in a Target changing room which – if you really think about it – is absolutely perfect considering its current status as the hub of all things transgender controversial. I can almost hear the phone call later that afternoon. “I heard it with my own ears, Wanda! A mommy with a penis. Canyouevenbelieveit.”

(You’re welcome, people who haven’t yet boycotted Target. We successfully pushed those still on the fence right on over the edge which means more sizes of the 25% off summer sandals to choose from.)

And last week with said two year old?! I still break out in hives at the memory of his little sausage fingers pointing at a (fully-clothed) elderly gentleman in a nursing home and informing everyone within a 10 foot radius that he “yiked” his man parts*.

(*medically correct male anatomy name I can’t bring myself to type again)

So, {….slow clap…..}.

Thanks for the suggestion, medical community. Not only will my son be incredibly “well adjusted” and “comfortable in his own skin”, he’ll “empower” everyone else to feel incredibly uncomfortable.

Two year olds are such terrors.

Hilarious, wonderful, foul-mouthed little terrors.

When our first son was two, he dropped the F bomb every time he saw a “fire truck”. I thought he might’ve set the bar too high for future Brooks toddlers.

I was mistaken.

Because now that our second son is two, we’ve discovered that he cannot for the life of him (and the sheer delight of us) pronounce the word “popcorn”.

HIM: “me hab some pocketporn.”

ME: “popcorn. pop. corn.”

HIM: “pocketporn. pocket. porn.”

ME: “POPCORN.”

HIM: “POCKETPORN. NOW, SARAH.”

He’s, like, so good at being two (a professional toddler, if you will), his discretion leaves quite a bit to be desired, and we simply couldn’t adore this pork chop any more.

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On the Road to {Vacation} Recovery

I see your summer vacation photos. Your trips to Maui and Cabo San Lucas. Your moonlit walks on the beach and leisurely bike rides through sleepy, romantic towns.

I see these and I raise you the scenery along my 98 degree run the other night:

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Yes, a steaming pile of poop that spells “hi”.

It’s kind of the perfect picture of our summer so far.

Not really.

But really, we are still recovering from our vacation from hell.

Last I left it, we were about to board our flight to come home.

Home sweet home.

Home, the place I was afraid we wouldn’t get to when Taylor lit up like a Christmas tree at airport security and had to have his palms swabbed. The palms, you know, that were covered in what appeared to be leprosy.

Please don’t detain us.

(They didn’t.)

Home, where I unpacked a suitcase full of standing water after discovering that the airline had left it sitting on the tarmac in the middle of a Floridian monsoon.

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Home, the site of the broken 8 month old that had to be picked up by his butt and left armpit only, making it appear to onlookers as though you’ve never held a baby in your life.

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Home. Still better than our beach vacation.

Fast forward 4 weeks….

Taylor is still not 100% back to normal. Turns out Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is a horribly disgusting virus that sticks around for – oh – 12 years or so. If you’re unfamiliar with this virus, basically your appendages rot off blister by blister and you grow all new ones.

Some people experience the virus in their hands, feet, or mouth. Taylor opted for extra measures of all 3. (Not recommended.)

In a random late night discussion recently, I asked what he thought was the most humiliating form the human body can take.

Personally, I think it is a toss up between retching and shimmying up palm trees. (I saw a 40 year old man with misplaced confidence attempt it once. It was…indescribable.)

Taylor’s answer was immediate: Hand, Foot, and Mouth.

He may be right.

As for the issue of the collarbone, I continue to be amazed at how bodies heal themselves.

This was taken on a Wednesday….

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…and he was crawling by Saturday.

I know. Makes you cringe, right?

Our biggest risk at this point is another child re-breaking the bone during the first 6-8 weeks, something I thought would be easily avoidable until the very first time I let him crawl around near his brothers and found the giant toddler SITTING ON HIM 14 SECONDS LATER.

It’s really a wonder he’s even made it this far in life.

Our vacation (or lack thereof) has continued to make us laugh.

I was talking to a friend the other day who said, “I thought you were just doing ‘that Sarah thing’ when you were posting about it. I didn’t know it was actually bad.”

First off, I think I’m offended.

Secondly, it really was that bad. Possibly worse.

Thirdly – and most importantly – it was just a vacation. It’s a luxury to even have the means to experience a bad vacation.

If there’s anything our family is good at, it’s laughing. (And kung-fuing inanimate objects, but that’s neither here nor there.)

In a world filled to the brim with hate and pain and tears, I’ll find every opportunity I can to share a smile, even if it’s at the expense of my husband’s flesh-eating disease.

I hope you find a reason to share a good laugh today. It rights so many wrongs.