All posts by Courtney

Statistics Moms Need Right Freaking Now

Everything Mom Wants Proven Possible.

These days you can spin science anyway you like it. You can pretty much get away with anything. Take Monsanto for instance. Recently I saw a “suggested post” from them on Facebook that touted them as supporters of natural soil. I nearly pooped my pants. Really? Wow. Okay. The thing is, as long as you have lobbying dollars you can skew stats your way. I don’t have those but decided I needed some statistics to help Mommy Martyrs have a good damn day.

Losing Your Shit Scientifically Proven to Better Your Offspring’s Psyche

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  • A recent study by geniuses at Oxford has proven that losing your shit on a daily basis actually helps your child’s psyche, making him/her stronger in his future relationships, sense of self, and overall confidence. “It’s crazy,” said Dr. Piyourpantes, “But there is such a strong correlation between frequently losing your sanity and a child’s intelligence and psyche, that we have no choice but to beg moms to lose it as much as they can–that includes, screaming, swearing, throwing things, crying, and overacting in a maniacal way.”

    Study Shows the Earlier You Put Your Children to Bed, the Longer They’ll Sleep

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    Parents often fear that putting their children to bed too early will ruin them in the mornings. “I fear my kid will wake up at 4 a.m.,” said Jane Fakey. “In reality I want to put my kids to bed around 5 p.m. so I can, you know, take a piss without a toddler hanging on my leg and holding his hand under my jet stream, but I’ve been worried he’ll wake up too early.” Turns out Jane doesn’t need to worry, new science undeniably shows that putting your children to bed as early as 3 p.m. ensures they’ll sleep until 7 a.m.

Wine Proven to Improve Sleep Quality, Muscle Tone & Intelligence While Augmenting Bust

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  • A recent Harvard study proved that consuming at least a half bottle of wine per day raises IQ levels, specifically in mothers. Scientists were surprised to find that it also improved a mother’s muscle tone, tightening her ass, all abdomen muscles, and increased her bust a size or two. As for women who worried that wine could negatively affect their sleep, they should worry no more according to Dr. Poupi Pantes, “Wine has actually been proven to make women–specifically moms, sleep like they’re being massaged on the beach. Honestly, we were surprised by these results, but there’s no denying them. The numbers support them (3.14 / .575)”

Eating Your Child’s Leftovers Helps You Lose Weight

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According to a massive (get-it) study by Weight Watchers, the more you finish your child’s nasty leftovers, the skinnier you’ll become. “It was weird,” said Dr. Skinee, “but we were able prove that moms could eat whatever they wanted and as long as they finished their toddler’s disgusting leftovers, they’d still lose weight. The science was so overwhelming we incorporated it into our regimen for non-moms.”

The Less Sleep You Get, The Better Your Skin Looks

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“So bizarre,” said Dr. Gassi, “our numbers undeniably show that the less you sleep, the better your skin will look so long as you’re a mother. Even if mom can’t get a god damn wink in,  she’ll still achieve that dewy glow while reversing damage and eliminating wrinkles.”

Chocolate Proven to Make You a Better Mom

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According to a recent Yale study that took place over the span of 2,789 years and with more than a million participants, the higher the consumption of chocolate, the better the mother you’ll be. “The results couldn’t be easier to interpret,” said Dr. Cocoalot, “Moms really need to consume as much chocolate as possible.”

Science Proves the More You Feel You’re Failing at Parenting, the Better You’re Doing

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At the world’s most renowned university, they were recently able to prove that the more you feel you’re failing as a parent, the better you’re actually doing. “Chill,” said Dr. Smarti, “you’re frickin’ crushing it.”

Wishing  Your Toddler Would Stop Repeating Him/Herself Shown to Help Toddler’s Vocabulary

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Yeah, it’s a freakin’ car, you made that quite clear, toddler. “Mama, Mama, Mama–it’s a car. A car. A car. A car. A car. A car.”

“Yeah, it’s a FREAKING CAR, got-it, honey!”

A recent study by the University of Paris proved that the more a mother wants her toddler to stop repeating himself, the better his vocabulary will become. “The results are staggering,” said Dr. PiPi, “The more the mother wanted her toddler to–as you say in English–STFU, the better his vocabulary will become.”

New Study Shows the Slowest Potty Trainers Are More Likely to Become the World’s Smartest Leaders

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Not interested in potty training your toddler? No problem! According to a recent study that absolutely can’t be wrong because it was conducted by the CIA, the slower you are to potty-train your child, the more likely your child is to become a really strong, intelligent, and beautiful person. #diapersareconvenient.

Mommy’s Survival Kit for Fall

Son of a bitch are days short! I hear my baby screaming for milk and my toddler shrieking, “Mommy! Pancakes!” and it’s so dark I don’t know if its 3 a.m. or almost time to get up.for all I can tell.  Does it even matter? My eyelids are encrusted to one another. My head is tight and heavy. My back is in need of immediate chiropractic care. How are we gonna survive fellow mommies?

Mommy’s Survival Kit for Fall

  1. Garlic

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Your friends may hate you for this one. “Jesus, step back, Mama. You smell like the Olive Garden on speed.Your answer? Our kids’ stuffy little schnozes have officially inundated our worlds, so we must start eating raw garlic toast like it’s our job. Toast + extra virgin olive oil + two cloves of raw garlic + black sea salt = health. Repeat until you’re healthy. Or just always repeat and ask your partner to do the same so no one is offended.

2.   Apple Cider Vinegar

Keep your body in check with apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered and should include “the mother”). Just do it, already. Drink two tablespoons in a big glass of water and follow with a spoonful of organic raw honey.  Need actual reasons? Take it from Mamavation.

3.  Wine

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Wine is your reward for surviving another day of madness. You deserve it because your hair was pulled 18 times, you were depants by a whiny baby, your toddler dropped the F-bomb in front of strangers, and you got shit under your fingernails while changing a diaper that may as well have been a chocolate peanut butter nuclear bomb. Wine will bring you back to an appropriate mindset and heart rate.

4. Wine (oops did I already mention that?)

Well guess what – that wine will help you lose weight! Half a bottle before bed. Consider that officially prescribed by yours truly, Dr. Mommy Martyr Cures.

5. Coffee – duh.

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6. Other Mommies

For the love of God, connect with other Mommies so you don’t feel you’re alone in this sick universe. Want extra credit? Join a postpartum exercise class. You’ll work that loosey goosey pelvic floor and meet some great buddies along the way.

7. The Alliance Française

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Okay not everyone as obsessed with France and French language as I am but the point is this: find something that inspires you that has NOTHING to do with your partner or children. For me, I like discussing French literature in French with like-minded people. I do so once a week at the Alliance. Find your Nirvana–now.

8. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancakes

Trader Joes' Pumpking Pancakes Mommy Martyr Cures

Eat your troubles away.

9. The Voice

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I HATE television. I HATE most Hollywood movies. But I’m a total sucker for The Voice. Blake cracks me up. I love the blind auditions. I need something to look forward to on Monday and Tuesday. Find yours.

10. Stew

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It’s cold. You have a sore throat. By the time you come home you’re hungry as hell. Maybe just stick huge hunks of meat in there to be safe (see above). Invest in a good slow cooker and prepare hearty stews (full of #1 garlic, and #3 and #4 – wine). Bon appétit.

With Each Kid, Expect to Lose More Friends

Reliable Study Says: You’re Losing Your Friends, Mom.

Feeling cocky ’cause you’re still rocking a social life with your ONE child? Good for you. I did it too for awhile. Heck, my baby slept in his little carrier inside of noisy bars while I caught up with the gang.

With two kiddos however, the whole “friend thing” is becoming less and less realistic. (Friends with three kids, from what I understand, just move into a cave). Unless you live in my zip code (and let’s be honest, like two blocks away) I may not see you again, dear friend, for about another year or so. Yes I could get the babysitter, but just to warn you, that will look a little like this:

Boys, be quiet! Mommy’s on the phone calling your sitter! Boys–stop it! Mommy’s on the phone! Honey, give me my phone back…hold on…get back here you little–! Shit! Time out! Time-f*#king-OUT! Don’t YOU repeat that! Ready, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10!

Ring Ring Ring. Hi Babysitter–are you free this weekend? No…oh…what’s that? You’ve upped to $75.00 per hour, okay, sure, great, are you free next Saturday, no? Oh…

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Where’ve you been, Mama?

Let’s take a look at some of the main factors standing in the way of maintaining frequent in-person contact with friends.

  1. Mom’s inability to construct sentences (ba ba dah bah is generally not recognized as acceptable dialogue)
  2. Phone is missing (in toilet, hidden in a toy, under a crib mattress, and all contacts are daily wiped by baby)
  3. Failed understanding of the modern calendar
  4. Injured (yes, from a baby, don’t act so frickin’ surprised, they can really hurt you physically)
  5. Social norm says you shouldn’t leave your children home alone when they’re napping (Pfsssss mean what’s an hour or two?)

So you see, my dear friends, I do love you, I do. I miss you oh-so very much. But unless you can ring my doorbell* when both boys are asleep, show up with a bottle of wine and ignore my inability to speak about anything relevant, or that I may fall asleep while we’re talking, and that I’ll definitely be arranging toys with a vigor generally reserved only for the doomed and insane, this may be the end (but can you please still like my kids’ photos on Facebook?)

*Don’t actually ring the doorbell, silly!

Signed,

Lone Mom.

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Yes! You Can Travel Internationally with Toddlers & Babies

I’m often asked how and why I travel internationally with my little ones. The answer is simple. I cannot NOT do it . I have to see the world and  I’d miss those little crazies if they weren’t with me. There’s no excuse to pushing off your international travel for when they’re old, or when you trust them, blah-blah-blah. Go now and go often. Even better if you have a child under two because their tickets only cost 10% of a full-price.

Ultimately, traveling internationally puts us on the same course as our children. We need the foreignness to feel the sense of wonderment that they perpetually live in.

Max Parthenon

You want to cross the pond with your munchkin clan?  Here’s what I think you need to do.

Be a Damn Roman in Rome

Max the Local

Rent a home via AirBnB, your kids will start to feel more at home in an actual home. Load up on local eats at the grocery stores and markets.  Afford yourself a couple of days to be a local with no agenda other than walking around and taking it all in. Get to know the city. Feel it. Watch its people. Find the parks. Tire out your kids in them. Rent a car, get the carseats. Attempt the language. Live. Explore. Eat. Drink. Pass out in your drool.

Get Passports Immediately.

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Get your kids passports. Now. I don’t care if your newborn is one day old. Get a passport. You can’t leave the country without one. Also make sure you have appropriate Visas–even my baby needs a Turkish Visa for our trip in a few weeks. Want to go to Brazil? You all need Visas.

Above is my newborn Miko’s first passport shot. The passport photo place wouldn’t take one because he was “too young,” so I put him on his white background (diaper changer) and did it myself.

Be a Decision Maker

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Even if you’re naturally not a quick decision maker, you’ll need to become one. The last thing you want to do is stand around, mouth agape welcoming  pickpocketers, or and sex traffickers to grab your kid. Okay, that’s a touch melodramatic, but just saying. Make shit happen. Make a freaking decision. Never stand around looking confused. Don’t study maps for longer than a minute. You’re not going to “see it all” so make the best decisions you can, stick to ’em, and enjoy the ride.

Under Pack

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Guess what, they actually sell things abroad! I mean, nothing was here originally anyway (it was all made in China). Don’t overpack diapers. Don’t overpack clothes. DO NOT bring the  big stroller (side note: your stroller is the size of two family-sized tables in most countries’ restaurants). Just bring:

  • A couple of stylish albeit comfortable clothes with good walking shoes (no screaming bright tennis shoes)
  • One dress-up outfit
  • Stylish scarves for the whole family; Zara carries great scarves for children.
  • Bjorn and/or very compact stroller

Seen above, a $19.99 crap stroller that has been up and down fjords in Norway, up and down a billion stairs in the Greek isles, and over millions of uneven cobblestones in Poland.

Eat or Die.

Max Krakow dinner

What, you have a picky eater? Welcome to the club. Eat or die, kid. Lil’ man doesn’t get his favorite cereal over there and he’s going to survive. This is the mindset you have to take on. Kids are resilient, they’ll end up eating. Starved after a few days of foreign eats, my one year old grabbed my plate of Païdakia in Athens and ate nearly all of it.

Seen above, my Max  attacking golonka in Krakow.

Accept Meltdowns. They’re Half the Fun (later in your memory at least)

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Your kids will melt down. Maybe even a lot worse than at home. They’re off schedule and out of their comfort zone. They nap in crappy $19.99 strollers and they sit there watching Mom and Dad eat and drink for six hours every night. It’s called character building.

Ditch the “Schedule”

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Sure your kids operate better on a schedule. That’s not going to work abroad. Firstly, you’re in a totally new time zone. Secondly, you need to see and do what you want to do whenever possible. Making a train, boat or bus time, getting to the museum at the right hours, whatever it is, it’s not gonna jive with junior’s hit-or-miss naptime so don’t plan on it. Say goodbye to the schedule – that monotony is waiting for you back home and has no place on vay-cay.

Seen above: pregnant me and my one-year old in a jazz club that doesn’t get started until 11-ish. Disclaimer: the beer is my husband’s.

Where do you want to go? Where have you gone? Please share!

Happy Poopy Valentine’s Day, Honey

I remember when Valentine’s Day was all about what I’d get (Tiffany’s). Where we’d eat (hottest new restaurant). What champagne we’d booze (Dom Perignon).

V-Day took a turn post kids. Lady Gaga wrote about a Bad Romance, but Good God, the woman’s, not even a mother. You want to know what a Bad Romance really is? It’s Valentine’s Day everyday with little ones.

Here’s what Valentine’s Day looks like for the parents of babies & toddlers.

Dessert for Dinner

Valentine’s Day provides us with an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Except that with a toddler, that’s actually what’s demanded everyday. When not provided, a tantrum ensues. Watch as they fall onto their knees and bang away, as the waterworks begin. Worst Mom Ever for not giving chocolate for all meals. Fine, honey, you want chocolate for every meal? Then we’ll have to work out extra hard to keep off the pounds.

Lu Zhihao kicks a ball at a basketball court in Foshan

Wet & Wild

How can you be romantic when most of your days revolve around who is going to clean the latest “blow-out?” God, to think I used to order fudgy lava cake for Valentine’s Day dinner dessert. Now, that’s what I wipe up with 1.375 packets of Whole Foods brand baby wipes in one damn go. Yum.

productshowcase1Dirty Talk

Dirty talk becomes potty talk when you have kids. If only I could laugh the way I do over potty humor in the scenarios, instead of finding myself on the brink of (another) mental and emotional breakdown.

  • Holy SHIT, What the f*#$ did you eat? (oh yeah, 5 yogurts)
  • He didn’t make it to the potty – bring me the bleach!
  • What the f*#$ do you mean, we’re out of wipes?
  • Can Mama finish dinner before you go poo-poo? (STUPID question)

Courtney_Lochner_Austria_Sign_No_PoopingDowntown Date

Recently my husband and I actually got our Babywipe Smelling Selves out on a date downtown (here’s where you congratulate me)–only to be reminded what dinner downtown looks like: a three hour wait – no reservations accepted. Cool, cuz like, we got babysitters and I’m sure they won’t mind staying over night since like, we can’t even eat dinner for another few hours. No prob. Guess we’ll just get drunk at the bar and try to relish in not telling the other to clean up a pile of shit, right?

Restaurant queueMassage

These days when I want a massage, I can usually get one on-demand! How? I simply lay my baby down and then face my back to his kickin’ little legs and let the kinks work out. He paddles around and around as if biking the Tour de France, and I get a one-in-ninety-eight kicks actually hitting a sore spot and helping.

voorkant-600x600Breakfast in Your Underwear

Yes, the romance of getting down to your skivvies for breakfast. If by skivvies you mean diaper, (baby size for the kid, adult size for you).

IMG_7333A Lot of Time in Bed

To jumpstart your romance, spend a lot of time in bed. So like, go to bed at 8:30 p.m. (pass-out in your own drool) and wake up for the next feeding, round o’ tears, or cries for water.

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When all is said and done, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The tears, the poop, the late nights. Hubby – I love you and wouldn’t want to wipe an ass with anyone but you. Happy Poopy Valentine’s Day, Honey.

Christmas Cards Past, Present & Future

Remember the days when Christmas cards were a way of recapping the year on beautiful, thick stationary? They were handwritten and sent to long, lost friends – perhaps the only contact you had with some all year. These cards and photos used to hand around my home as a child and I loved watching my mother open them with excitement, and disappear into a globe of nostalgia as she read about her childhood friends. It was a way for me to enter her world, one I was not familiar with, as I sorted through those letters and photos. Reading about one family’s trip to Hawaii, or a family’s struggles through a tornado hitting their home. The letters were strung about the home, as festive as the Christmas tree itself.

Handwritten & Detail Rich Holiday Card of the Past

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These days I haphazardly throw photos onto a photo card and send without a personalized note. Ultimately, the real issue is this: everyone already knows what’s going on thanks to Facebook. So here’s what my card could look like if I wrote it:

Holiday Card of the Present

Dear Friends,

We had a lot of fun this year on vacation in…well you all saw it on Facebook.

We welcomed a new son (yeah you saw that too)

Please see my Facebook year in review, happy holidays.

So what does the future bring? A vibration on the side of our cheek alerting us that we’ve received incoming messaging from a friend? Along with the message perhaps we’ll see a database of all of our interactions with said friend. We’ll think about replying which, will in turn send the reply. And be done with it.

Holiday Card of the Future

  • Incoming message from John Doe: “Thinking of you, happy holidays”
  • Message received, send reply
  • Interaction complete. Repeat next year.
  • Happy frickin’ holidays

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Who Wins? The Daily Competition of Who Did More: Mom or Dad?

We all know marriage is supposed to be teamwork. So why is it that as soon as we have kids, the angst of our youthful competitiveness comes out with a vengeance? We begin pitting ourselves against one another like ridiculous political figures, practically staging our own campaign commercials:

Mommy changed 14 diapers and cleaned the entire house today, can Daddy say the same?

Vote for Mommy if you want things done!

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So what’s the problem? Are we horribly immature? No, (well sometimes). Are we ridiculously sleep-deprived? Yes (and love to brag about it). Do we want to be appreciated? Ding-ding-ding! Didn’t need a shrink to tell us that one. Ultimately we just want to hear that we’re doing a good job and when we don’t hear it, we get competitive. We get antsy. We want to show off our good work.

Why?

We Haven’t Outgrown Gold Stars.

We grow up with competition and recognition dating back to those little gold stars we received for our elementary projects. We got stars for everything. Didn’t pee your pants today? Gold star. Showed up to school? Sure, gold star. Stopped throwing boogies? What the hell, gold star kid. Gold stars later turned into trophies and then medals that we hung on our letter jackets. Everything was a God damn competition. With time the competition began to die down. For most of us we’re left with virtually nothing in terms of competition save for climbing the ladder at work (another story, another time). So perhaps we’re just looking to get back in the game.

Maybe we  just need some freaking gold stars.

good job momDaily I ask myself why I’m competing against my husband when I know it’s a waste of time, and ultimately that it’s begging for a fight. I know I should be on the same team and yet I find myself so desperate for him to know just how much I’ve done that I become my own slogan machine. I tout and list all the amazing things I’ve accomplished. Desperate to be recognized. Appreciated. And to win. Naturally this behavior only entices my “teammate” to list all of his accomplishments in hopes of outdoing mine.

“I made breakfast for the kids this morning at 6am.” He’ll defend himself against my first self-serving proclamation.

My response? “Oh yeah!? I made every meal for them from my own damn body for over two years, I pumped while at work, I washed hundreds of bottles every week so—I win!” We even compete over who got less sleep.

“I only slept three hours.”

“Oh yeah! I slept two.”

“I meant I slept one.”

“I’ve never slept!

This is maturity at its finest people.

Status Updates.

Conversations with my husband have turned into status updates akin to tweets and Facebook posts, albeit unglorified. They are short statements alerting him to my sad state and are most often in third person. I know I’m not alone with this one as I overhear other couples talking to each other the same way. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons why couples without kids stop hanging out with those that do. They’re so stressed out listening to the increasingly awkward status updates that they end up unfriending us.

“Mommy cleaned the entire house today!”

“Good for Mommy, but Daddy mowed the lawn and took the kids to practice!”

These little sound bites are really just more of the same: ways to gain attention and show off just how much we’ve done. Why we should win. The worst part of it is, that they serve virtually no purpose or good for our children to hear.

The verdict?

The golden rule people. If all I want is to be recognized for my hard work and to hear that I’m doing a good job, isn’t that what my husband wants too? Yes. This is how to avoid a worthless fight. After spending nearly the entire day telling our kids they did a great job, we need to hear it once and awhile too. So how do we get there? We have to swallow our pride. We have to be willing to say it first. We have to be strong enough to know that we did a good job and not feel the need to advertise what we did. Doing so only puts us in a corner, in tears, or off the podium all together. Regardless of what we feel we accomplished in a day, we should still recognize the work our partner did—or why will they ever recognize us?

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Image via Jinx!

I don’t need stars anymore and neither does my husband. We both just need a calming breath and to hear, “Good job, honey. You did a lot today and I appreciate it.”

It’s that freaking simple.

Later at night, I can look into the mirror and say ever so quietly, “I did more today.”

What Working From Home Without a Nanny Looks Like – And My Son Turns Into Hitler

So today I thought I could work from home without help. No problem, right? Wrong. The current time? 10:55am. Let’s walk through what’s gone down so far. Hint: it ends with my son turning into Hitler.

Started out well, we read Anna Karenina.

Okay so it’s a f*#king picture book, sue me.

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Then I got on a conference call.

The background noise? The soothing sounds of a breastmilk pump which, my toddler turned on. Embarrassing.

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Next? He eats half a biscotti and then begins sucking on his toothpaste. Meanwhile I don’t realize until it’s too late, that my phone is no longer muted.

My client overhears me say, “Stop sucking on your paste.”

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He moved on to the wax paper. Couldn’t hear shit on my conf call over the crinkling sounds of unraveling sanity and wax paper.

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So what do you do?

You give them an ABSURD amount of chocolate peanut butter to shut them up.

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And this too fails, as your toddler ends up looking like Hitler.

 

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But let’s not end on such a bad note. There is one good part to this story, and it’s this.

 

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Top 5 Frightfully Delicious Wines for Halloween

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover. But get real, who the hell doesn’t? We apply the same judgement on our wines too, don’t we? And when it comes to Halloween time, shouldn’t our wines being wearing a cool mask?

I set myself out to find the best of the Halloween inspired wines: both the labels and the taste. It was a really hard job and you’re welcome (ha.)

1. Bogle Vineyards Phantom

This label speaks to me. It whispers. It haunts. A dusk sky, black forest and eerie vibe. As for the wine – it couldn’t get much better. The wine is aged for 2 years in American oak and is a melange of :

  • Petite Sirah 46%
  • Zinfandel 40%
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 11%
  • Mourvèdre 3%

Don’t miss out on this seasonal wine, it’s sinfully delicious. It tastes like dark chocolate and sour cherry jam and flowers all at the same time. Tchin tchin.

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2. Clos des Fées les Sorcières

A French wine out of Côtes du Roussillon, this wine is perfect for witches, hence the name. A bit fruity now, but it will be even better in a few years, so store a few.

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3. Apothic Dark

I was first introduced to this winery by tasting their white wine and as a red drinker, I was impressed. The Apothic Red too, is quite tasty and new this season, just in time for Halloween is the Apothic Dark. Want to get in on the fun? Chat with them via #godark

apothic wine dark

4. Ghost Pines Zinfindel

I love the label, I love the name, I love the wine. This Napa Valley vineyard offers several varietals but the sinful zin has the sort of go big or go home that I crave. Think dark berries and chocolate espresso.

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5. Charles Smith: The Velvet Devil Merlot

I know, I can hardly not hear Paul Giamatti saying, “I will NOT drink merlot” every time I see or hear Merlot either. But you will want to drink this one: dark cherries, anise, tobacco and cedar…oh and you may end up in bed with you know who.

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