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The Hot Mess Mom’s Guide to Baby Registries

The Hot Mess Mom’s Guide to Baby Registries

Disclaimer: NO this is not a sponsored post. Meaning, none of these companies have paid me to recommend their products. YES, I have included affiliate links (read more about those here). Enjoy!

I have four kids. I get asked a lot about what I recommend for baby products. Let me just say, whew, babies are no joke. Like, for real. As a parent, I would sell internal organs at some points to soothe their screeches and make life at least remotely easier.

Shit gets expensive.

As a middle (lower?) class parent, having four kids requires some serious budgeting. If you’re like me, you’re extremely frugal (my husband actually is and forces it on me, but I digress) but get clouded by pregnancy hormones and the next thing you know you’re crying into $300 worth of baby socks.

Let me help.

I’m going to tell you literally all of the items you need to register for and what items you can skip to save your pocketbook (or marriage).

First, let’s start with saving money! Here’s the crap I wouldn’t buy again:

  • A crib. What the shit? This chick is NUTS! Nope. Not. First of all, there are much more ergonomically and spatially beneficial products than a crib. Sure, it’s cute and magical and all that sappy crap, but, when it’s all said and done most of my kids never set foot in the two that we have. But they transition into toddler/twin beds! Yeah, once you have your teething heathen in that bed, you won’t want to transition. It will look like someone put it through a wood chipper with all those jagged little teeth marks up and down every square inch of your precious $400 chew toy.
  • Bumbos. You know, those little chairs that make your babies look like uncomfortable piles of mashed potatoes? Skip.
  • Noise machines. Ever heard of a fan? Skip.
  • Mobile. First of all, isn’t this, like, a little noose dangling above their beds? Yep. Pass.
  • Baby clothes. Gosh, this one is painful even to write. I know the absolute heroin-like high that comes with rubbing little onesies on your face and dreamily staring at your bulging gut. Calm your tits a little. Everyone and their cocker spaniel is going to buy you baby clothes. Literally everyone. Save your money.
  • Baby toys. Again, everyone is going to use that last $5 impulse purchase to buy little rubber keys that will cascade to the bottom of you toy box in two weeks. Babies don’t play with toys. By the time they do, they will be lost and you’ll have 17 dozen more to replace them.

Okay, okay, Negative Nancy. Get to the good stuff! Let’s S-H-O-P! 

Here are the items you absolutely must register for:

  • Amazon Prime membership. Hell, your entire registry should be on Amazon. Everyone Primes everything and everyone hates going to those germ-infested kiosks at Target and printing off 32 pages of your registry and then learning Mandarin in order to figure out what color sheets to buy.
  • Huge ass diaper bag. You are going to need to shove a lot of shit in that bag sometimes. Most of the time, it’s a diaper bag and your purse. This Skip Hop Duo bag changed my life. I had it with my twins and wish I had it with the other two turds. Lots of pockets, room for a pump if you need it and, when your dog pees on it, you can easily get the urine stench/stain out of it.
  • Snap and Go stroller. Again, this was a recent discovery. It seems bizarre. Just a frame to hold your infant carseat? However, it’s genius. It takes up less than half the space of a travel system and costs way, way less. I mean, if you spring for a travel system, aren’t you getting rid of it with the matching infant carseat? So, you never actually used the seat portion of the stroller. Snap and Go all the way.
  • A good carseat. I know, this is supposed to be a cheap list, but since I saved you money elsewhere, spend it here. This Chicco carseat is: cute, easy to clean, comfy, light and super easy to use. I have had four infant carseats. This one takes the cake, by far.

  • U-Shaped pillows. I have had Boppies and the generic versions. Both are great. Go generic for the extra savings. You definitely need these for those first few months. I used them in my lap and whenever I laid the babies anywhere that wasn’t their beds. They always loved the little cocoons.

  • Rock and Play. Holy farts on fire, this is the best thing you will ever, ever, ever need. I’m not kidding. Don’t go with the battery-operated version unless you have a battery factory. Get the one that plugs in. These are so compact, easy to store and baby cocaine. No bassinets needed. This is all you need for beds for the first 4-6 months.

  • Bouncy chair. My twins had colic. For a few weeks (months? years?) I had to bounce them in these chairs with my feet in order to keep them from waking the neighbors deaf dog up in the night. Buy the chair. Worth every penny. The vibration feature was worthless to me. Mostly because we would have spent $456 a day in batteries to keep that shit running. Just need the chair and anyone’s foot to rock that beast until they graduate high school.

  • Jumperoo. No, you don’t need this right away, but they can be an expense, so I recommend having Grandma and Grandpa buy them. Get the ones that actually hit the floor, not with a platform underneath. They don’t have enough jumping fun and get pissed real quick.

  • Avent bottles. You’re going to hear people tell you to buy 14 different styles because you never know your baby’s palette. I do. They like Avent. I have four kids and they all drank just fine from them. Buy them. You won’t be sorry.

  • Lots of pacifiers. This is where I would get two options but LOTS of those two options. You’re going to be delirious at 3 am digging between couch cushions wishing you had spent the extra $20 on emergency pacifiers. Spend the money right now. I recommend the standard newborn style and the softer nipple style.
  • Fart whistleWhat’s the now? Yes. This was an urgent overnight purchase I made with my twins. You see, they had severe gas issues. This was the holy grail of recommendations in my mommy groups. It’s like a butt straw you stick in their cracks that lets all the trapped farts loose. Yes, really. You can literally hear the whistle sizzle and see their little faces relax after their monster farts are freed. Buy a box and have it on hand. You can thank me later. 

hot mess mom baby registry mrs mommy mack

Gettin’ that Worm: The Life of an Early Bedtime Mom

Gettin’ that Worm: The Life of an Early Bedtime Mom

It’s 6:25 pm.

All four of my kids are asleep.

This is how it has been most nights since my twins were born. Hell, this is how my life has been for as long as I can remember.

In high school, my best friend was a night owl. As soon as it got dark, she would want to eat fudge, watch scary movies and carry on until dawn. I barely made it past dusk and fell asleep with a chocolate mustache. Then, I was up with the birds reading Seventeen for hours until she cracked her eyeballs open.

Not much as changed, except replace best friend with husband and life has come full circle.

There’s not much I can do. By the time 3 pm rolls around, I can barely function. It’s movie time for the kids and my brain is mashed potatoes. I barely ever follow through with the promises of dinner not out of a can and board games. We are all in our pajamas by 5 pm. If my husband’s home, the kids will stay up until 8. If not? I am crashed with them by 7.

Now, that’s not to say I don’t get up before the sun every day. My kids and I are kicking the day in the face by 5 am. We all leap out of bed like we are auditioning for a musical and seize the shit out of the day. I clean, play, sing, dance, and exercise before my husband wobbles to the bathroom.

Sometimes, well a lot of times, this can mean we miss out on a lot of stuff. Activities that take place at 6 pm make me weak. There’s no way my family of early birds can do more than watch Homeward Bound after 5 pm let alone swim laps in a pool.

There’s times when it pays off. Like for my bi-monthly mom group that starts at 845 am. I am the first mom there with all four of my kids who are dressed, fed and fully prepared to enjoy every ever-loving second of play time. Other moms will roll in with feathers from their pillows still in their buns casting me confused looks like I have a hard drug habit in order to arrive early let alone on time.

So, before you judge me for having my sugarplums nestled before Jeopardy, know that if it comes to an early morning showdown, the Mommy Mack clan has this shit locked down.

What’s your bedtime/wake-up routine? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Christmas Gifts for Mom: What We Really Want

Christmas Gifts for Mom: What We Really Want

I am a member of my local Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. We meet twice a month to finally talk to another adult and drink coffee that isn’t cold with a Lego in it. Last week, we met for our only December meeting. The look of bewilderment, exhaustion and overall twitchiness I felt from these mamas was pretty universal. We planned a day of games, all things sweet and relaxation. It felt a bit like military R&R as we headed into battle this holiday season.

Even the speech was ominous. Our fearless leader spoke of how the idea behind our holiday party was to let loose one last time before we took care of everyone else in the home. I looked around the room at many thousand yard stares and relished every second of our time together. We were ready. It was time.

We suited up with our infinity scarves, leggings, knee-high boots and headed out into the wintery weather to face the Christmas music.

As I climbed into my minivan, sweaty from wrestling four children into their car seats but glowing from mommy-time, I wondered: what about us? What’s on our Christmas lists?

Then, I knew. I got you, girlfriends. Here is the universal FREE list for mommy’s whether they’re naughty or nice because cut us some fucking slack we are held together with tinsel and Starbucks at this point.

Here you go, ladies.

  1. Hot coffee. It doesn’t even have to be good coffee. Our mouths are singed from gulping down the first and only hot sip we are allotted per day, anyway. We just want a few days per year that our coffee is eternally warm.
  2. No bitching about our Priming. Dear men, we really don’t care if you buy us anything. Most of the time, we would prefer to pick out our own shit. So, for one year, please just shut your pie hole about the mountain of Prime boxes on the doorstep. Most of it is toilet paper and bleach, anyway. So what if we sneak a few pairs of leggings in there? We deserve it, damn it.
  3. Time to wrap. Let’s face it. We are all way too neurotic to actually give up control when it comes to Christmas wrapping. But, it would be nice to have it done before the 11th hour on Christmas Eve. Maybe take the kids anywhere so we can handle this shit in the daylight.
  4. Go to sleep without World War II. Oh, we know, Christmas is so thrilling. We are gaga over matching PJs, hot cocoa, cookies, meticulously laying out said cookies and milk, 867 pictures in front of the tree and reading The Night Before Christmas at least a dozen times. However, when mom says it’s time for bed, let’s haul ass without a hassle. We all know we decided to nap instead of wrap presents when we had the chance so we have  at least 8 hours of wrapping and maybe one trip to Target before sunrise.
  5. Don’t change your mind.  My dear, darling son nonchalantly mentioned to his great grandma that he wants a Mickey Mouse airplane for Christmas. I quickly retorted, “But you asked Santa for a blue and white airplane. There was no mention of Mickey Mouse.” He whispered in my ear, “Maybe I will change my mind.” You bet your sweet ass I am going to be bragging up the pros of flight for blue and white airplanes as opposed to the cheaply made communist plane driven by Mickey Mouse. That, or I will have a heart attack and be at Walmart at 2 am December 24th. Please, don’t do this to me, I mean Santa, this year.

And that’s it. Five simple things that will make moms’ lives a million times easier this season and won’t cost you a dime. This means more Happy Holidays and less merry fucking Christmas!

Merry Fucking Christmas: The Holidays as a Mother

Merry Fucking Christmas: The Holidays as a Mother

One of my brother and my’s favorite stories of our childhood is how every holiday season, without fail, my mother would lose her ever loving shit on us and scream, “MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS!” She would proceed to slam her bedroom door shut and, I assume, cry into wrapping paper for the next three hours.

 

As a child, all I could think was, “What a flipping psychopath! What mother screams f-bombs during Jesus’s birth month!? What is the number for CPS? This woman cannot be trusted with children.”

 

Now, as a mother, I have come out of my self-indulgent fugue state and remember things a bit more accurately. I remember laying like King Caesar on the couch, covered in chocolate covered cherries, watching TRL while my mother sweated and hurled box after box of decorations up from the basement. I craned my neck around her as she twitched with rage while the tree fell down for the seventh time and I shushed her so I didn’t miss a minute of Britney’s latest album release.

 

I remember her holding it together as she gingerly unwrapped each Christmas ornament from the prior 15 years, remembering how sweet her swine of children once were. I also recall the rubber band of sanity snapping in her brain as the dog lifted it’s leg on the  ornaments and my brother and I guffawed with gaping mouths of taco Doritos while my poor mother lost her ever-loving shit.

 

We deserved much more than one violent, “Merry fucking Christmas.”

 

In an all-encompassing “what goes around, comes around,” I am now the mother. I am not just the mother of two hideously unappreciative heathens, but four. Well, I will admit, mine are still little and Christmas joy prances across their faces quite merrily still. But, the holiday rage is still bred into my veins.

 

The questions on locale for the holiday parties start around August. Where do we have Christmas this year? Is the million dollar question you don’t want to answer. It’s not just one party, either. It’s LOADS of parties.

 

The choice is yours.

 

Do you want to scream “Merry fucking Christmas!!!!!!” every day as you scrub feces off the baseboard in anticipation for guests. OR do you want to scream “Merry fucking Christmas!!!!” into your pillow as you wake Christmas morning and think about stuffing three pairs of chubby legs into three pairs of tights and then those same legs into snow pants and then into car seats and drive at least an hour one way with your vehicle busting at the seams with: crushed gifts, spilling side dishes, pack and plays, toys, diaper bags, eight month old french fries and a sleeping husband?!

 

Pick very carefully.

 

Then, there’s the joys of 24/7 sugar highs the entire month of December. Everywhere you look is someone shoving a sugary treat in your childrens’ yaps. The threats of calling Santa lose their muster around December 2nd and Mom is back losing her shit like normal. Riding the sugar high roller coaster daily with four kids should deserve some sort of Medal of Honor.

 

What about trying to get four equally fair Christmas lists? You know what my son wants for Christmas? A fucking claw machine. As in, the $3,000 machines at arcades that you can win shitty toys with after you put a kidney in the slot. He’s four so trying to get him to just “forget” about the claw machine is never.going.to.happen. That’s super easy to pull off.

 

So, there’s the stress of managing an Amazon wishlist under your covers because kids are for sure always sleeping with you and there’s nowhere to hide. You add one pencil to one list and you HAVE to add three more pencils to the other three lists or this will be the one thing that sends them to therapy for their entire 30’s. You may be running on 45 seconds of sleep and dreaming about a Black Friday killing spree, but you’re ready.

 

Then, you wake up Christmas morning at 2:30 am because kids don’t know about clocks and you went to bed at 2 am so that should be plenty of sleep. You crawl down the stairs muttering, “Merry Fucking Christmas” with each creaky step. You swear to yourself this is the last year you put yourself through it. Next year will be different. Next year we are taking on the Asian minimalist life and everyone gets a rubber band for Christmas and they will LOVE IT! We won’t leave the house the entire month of December and our Christmas tree will be OUTSIDE so there’s no needles being pooped out.

 

But, it never fails, every damn year their little eyes explode with happiness. Your old, hardened Grinch heart shatters into a million pieces. You record so many videos your phone is full but you don’t give a shit. So, you giggle with pure glee as you snap photos of them up to their eyeballs in wrapping paper. You silently sob as they scream, “Thank you, Santa!” You swallow 367 lumps in your throat as your husband wraps his arm over your shoulder, hands you a coffee and whispers, “Great job.”

 

These are your little MIRACLES! Look at how precious my family is! And GRATEFUL! They are such blessings from the great Lord above! Praise you Jesus on this glorious day!

 

And that’s how they get you. Merry fucking Christmas, moms. You’re gonna need it.

 

Tell me about the times you completely lost it during the holidays in the comment section!

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