Month: May 2020

100% Scientifically Backed Facts About Parenting During a Pandemic

Parenting through a pandemic might not be easy, but one thing’s for sure: Science is having a field day.

I’ve taken some time to gather the most helpful pandemic parenting studies* to give us all an idea of what to expect as we navigate this unprecedented time.

(*studies in this case is loosely defined by personal experiences, yet to be peer reviewed, except via text threads and late night, mildly intoxicated zoom chats)

Your kids will be louder than ever before.

My working theory is the lack of air pollution is just making everything louder, but I haven’t ruled out they are slowly turning into hyena hybrids, which brings me to my second scientific fact.

Your kids will start communicating in yips, chirps, and snarls.

Sure, they’ll still use words (“snack”, “show” and “no” seem to dominate the word cloud), but you can expect most responses to begin with some sort of loud, agitated animal howl. Expect emphasis on vowels, such as “I don’t waaaaaaant toooooo” and “You can’t maaaaaake meeeeee!”

Related to their transition into hyena-type huminoids, their food consumption will increase by 9000%.

This is science and has lots of data to back it up, namely our grocery bill and my inability to keep food in the house.

Personal space will be a distant memory.

Sure, some “science” people will tell you this sudden uptick in physical contact is because kids are “stressed” and “coping with trauma” but my studies would indicate they have figured out the fastest way to get to you to give in and let them watch a show is to touch you a whole bunch so you wig out and say “oh my god just get away from me and turn on a show”.

Personal care habits will diminish.

For everybody. Perhaps it’s the increased time spent outside, or maybe it’s the sweat worked up while vigorously debating the appropriateness of drawing a dinosaur taco on the wall, but either way, they’re getting sticky, and getting them to bathe isn’t worth the fight.

They will develop blind spots in their vision.

These won’t be identifiable or treatable by an ophthalmic specialist, but the proof is in the “I can’t fiiiiiind it!” pudding. Bike helmets, shoes, water bottles, hell, their own dad – the size doesn’t matter, nor does the proximity to their face. If you don’t find it for them, it’s lost for eternity.

Similarly, their memory is getting a little spotty.

Science has noticed an uptick in the number of reports where parents give a simple directive, just to have it completely ignored by the children, who then vehemently deny ever being given the instruction. Studies are still pending, but the correlation is looking strong, with further reports indicating spouses may also be starting to suffer similar symptoms.

Previously established habits will start to disappear.

Again, the science is unclear if this can be attributed to the lack of air pollution, or the slow transition into a mangy Australian desert dog, but well known behaviors like flushing a toilet and putting on pants appear to be trending downward.

As you can see, science would indicate that parenting through a pandemic is nothing like regular parenting, and we should all probably email our schools about how they plan to handle our hyena children once school starts again in 2025. Sob.


Almost no-sew face mask for kids

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a helluva time finding a face mask that fits my kids. The combo of big heads, fidgety fingers, and slippery hair is hard to beat. One thing I have an abundance of, however, are leggings with knee holes, and an overly wild imagination that will certainly eventually land me in jail or at very least, lost in the woods.

In a lucky turn of events, today’s wild idea actually turned into something pretty cool, an almost no-sew face mask that fits both of my kids pretty well.


First things first. This mask is jankety AF, okay? I know this, but I also know that in the next few days our state will require masks in public, and I want to be able to grab a donut sometime in 2020 without being arrested. The goal today was to create something that stays on, is breathable, and can be washed with ease, which are all boxes this mask checks. It was also created out of things I had in the house, which was key for abiding by the Stay Home Stay Safe orders that are still in effect for who knows how long.

Now that we’re clear I’m not trying to solve the global PPE crisis, here’s how you make an almost no-sew face mask out of leggings.

Step 1. Find ill-fitting leggings. I don’t know if this is science, but my nearly 7 year old’s head is the same size as her 5T leggings, so shoot for a pair of pants that is not only holey, but also smaller than their current size. Extra points if it they aren’t horribly stained on the upper thigh area.


Step 2. Fold them sideways, then cut them above the knee into shorts. The mask is made from the part of the pants that would cover the side of their upper thigh, so the tag should be in the back (on the right on this picture). I’m sure there’s a sewing term for what this kind of fold is, but I’ve done enough homeschooling today and refuse to look it up.


Step 3. On one of the legs, make a one inch cut about 7 inches below the waist band. This will eventually be the strap that gets tied at the base of the neck, so if you mess this part up it’s no big deal. You’ll just have to sew the straps that tie around the neck on after.


Step 4. Make one inch cut on the other side, and then cut upwards toward the band.


Step 5. Repeat the process so both sides have been cut and you have this cute little elephanty looking fella. Remember this is only one leg of your leggings (this is only important if you, like me, are using scissors that can barely cut paper, let alone several layers of cloth).


Step 6. About half an inch down from the very first cut you made, cut around the circumference of the pant leg.


Step 7. At this point, it’s time to liberate the mask from its conjoined twin, a.k.a., the other pant leg. You’ll do this by cutting around the band until you’re left with something that resembles these two pieces.


Step 8. Okay, by now you might have noticed I didn’t measure the mask before cutting anything because I’m a #rebel/#poorplanner. Because of this, the mask was at this point was super long, but no worries! I just folded it up a bit before tacking the interior pocket (a smaller rectangle scrap of fabric) on. Oh that’s right, it has an interior pocket for a filter because we fancy. Also snip the small band (NOT the elastic band) so you can tie the mask at the base of their neck.


Step 9. It’s time to sew that bish. Sew along the bottom and sides, folding the mask over the pocket. Folding is optional, but it looked better than when I didn’t do it, so I’ll let you make the call. Leave the top edge of the pocket open for aforementioned filter.


Step 10. Ta-da! Pop that sucker on your kid and force them to model it because deep down you’re an aspiring stage mom. Really make ’em smile with their eyes, since nobody can see those cute little germ blow holes grinning and bearing it.


So there you have it. It works GREAT on my older kid, and the youngest tolerates it. The stretch of the elastic band makes it so you can angle in a way that keeps it on. If your kid has enough hair to wear it in a bun, putting the band above the bun really keeps ‘er snug. Final measurements make it so that the mask is about 5-6″ long by about 4″ tall, which fits the faces of my average sized nearly 7 year-old, and my large-headed 4 year-old.

This almost no-sew kid’s mask is also easy to wash, environmentally friendly, and uses materials most parents already have in the house, which is pretty fantastic if you ask me.

Have you found kid masks that fit, are affordable, and available? Let me know!


First time mom's baby memory book

Pro Parenting Tips from an Amateur Parent (and a couple childless dudes)

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has brought with it its fair share of surprises.

While some are depressing, frustrating, and straight up nightmare inducing (I’m looking at you, Disney Family Sing-a-Long), others have been really positive. For one, the book I wrapped up last year hit the shelves recently, and the positive reviews are rolling in*.

*Positive here being used strictly as a confirmation that I am positively not reading any of them because I’m a delicate flower and know better by now.

Something else surprising and fun? I was a guest speaker on a podcast about parenting tips.

Now the very first thing I should say is that this isn’t your grandma’s parenting podcast. For starters, the hosts are two guys who don’t have any kids and drink Fireball. Or at least one of them does, but still. See? Surprise!

Second, I, in no way, shape or form, consider myself a parenting expert. Far from it, I think my best angle at this point is to make enough money talking about how bad I am at it to be able to pay for my children’s therapy when they’re adults.

But back to the podcast

What’s a suburban mom like myself doing on a podcast with a couple of dudes who’d be more comfortable changing their oil than changing a diaper? Well the honest answer is I know one of them, but then it makes it seem less special so let’s call it a virtual book tour, shall we?

The naming of this achievement aside, it’s safe to say that prior to the taping of this virtual book tour I did a fair amount of worrying. What if I say something really terrible, or I moved my foot in a way that sounded like a fart and my mic picked it up and I had to do that super awkward, “whoa! My foot just made a farting sound how weird, right?” thing that nobody believes. Or what if there was ::gasp:: video while we taped it and all anyone could focus on was how I look like one of those mummies they find in a glacier except somehow my hair is even more stringy? Like I said, there was like, hella worrying.

And so what ended up happening? Well, I can happily say most of my worrying was in vain. Hopefully.

There are probably (okay, certainly) some things in there that will be lost on those who don’t appreciate satire. Also I learned that I sound like a Valley Girl, which was a startling realization at nearly 38. But overall we covered a variety of parenting topics in a way that was lighthearted, honest, and occasionally offensive. What could be better than that?

If you want to check it out, you can find it here and on Spotify. And check out my book if you haven’t already, or at least read the reviews for me. Just don’t tell me what they say.


Related: I Wrote a Book!