What people say is not necessarily what they mean, baby

Another cheat-sheet to print, laminate and carry in the diaper bag if you have recently given birth to a tiny human. Consult it any time someone begins to talks to you and you’re too tired to figure out what they are really saying.

You’re welcome.

WhatPeopleSay

Or you can order it as a helpful greeting card for new parents here. And special thanks to Scary Mommy who ran this graphic yesterday on her popular and hilarious community for real parents.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A really good offer that will be hard to refuse.

You probably already know this, but to win on the internet, you must be popular. This is why we have news stories about people falling into fountains and tweeting themselves out of jobs, because those people are our heroes. Idiot heroes.

Well, now it’s my turn to be an idiot, both by submitting some of my blog posts for a contest, as well as by asking you, my faithful readers, to vote for me. I guarantee that this exercise will be a pain in the ass. Because it will involve registering if you’re not already a member of the BlogHer community, AND if you register you may receive spam.

To make this an offer that you cannot refuse, I will personally bring home a free gift for you from the BlogHer conference in July. It will be a pen with the hotel’s name on it or something made out of foam that is pink, because this is a conference that targets women, and we are always attracted to pink objects more than any other color of objects.

So here is what I am asking you to vote for: To make me one of the Voices Of The Year.  I have listed the category, a link to the story just in case you actually read stuff before you vote for it (I don’t. That’s Pam’s job.), and the most important part: the voting button!

Category: Humor
I am the North Pole and Other Scientific Facts
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

Category: Heart
One Idea about What to Do If You Have No Dad in Your Family
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

Category: Humor
Does the Cat in the Hat Belong on the Sex Offender Registry
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

Thanks. You should take the day off now. That was a lot of work. I’ll write you a note, if you need one.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to buy a toy, if you must.

There comes a time in many adults’ lives when we must purchase a toy. I’d like to think that most of the time this is an act of love. But I realize that sometimes it’s motivated by guilt or just social pressure.

If you have kids, this comes up every other week, because if your own kids aren’t begging you for something, then you’re probably buying toys for their friend’s birthdays.

And if you don’t have kids, you might not be aware of the hazards of toy buying. There are many. And in an effort to prevent you from making many of the common toy-buying mistakes, I present a decision-making flow chart that I recommend you print out and take with you to the store. Do it.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

toychart-1

Or you can order it as a greeting card here. And special thanks to Scary Mommy who ran this graphic yesterday on her popular and hilarious community for real parents.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Where have I been? And other questions that you didn’t actually have.

(Thankfully) Pam noticed the other night that I hadn’t posted any blogs in a while. Technically, she is incorrect. What she meant to say is that I have published any posts on my blog, recently, which is true. I haven’t. And I have reasons. Because I like to think that I have reasons for everything. It’s part of my irrational rationalism.

Anyway. In 2013, when this whole, ridiculous, writing diversion started, I was creating two posts a week usually on Monday and on Wednesday, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. I was committed. And I think I had about 19 fans, one of which was Pam, which is good because she is the person I’m always trying to impress. And then I might have gotten a few more fans or not.

It’s actually way harder to measure how many fans you have on the internet than you might think, because there are a lot of haters out there. And I’m not sure if those people actually count as fans. Also anyone who publishes exact stats about the number of fans on their blog is probably lying. And that sentence right there, probably makes me a hater. And my previous paragraph about my 19 fan probably makes me a liar. So this self-promoting thing is going great so far, don’t you think?

But, let’s forget about the math for right now and talk about 2014 instead. It was the new year, and I got some fresh ideas. And one of those ideas is to write posts that are little higher quality (meaning fewer typos) and a little less quantity. So I’m giving that a shot. And I also got viral pink eye, which makes it quite hard to see. That was NOT one of the fresh ideas for 2014, but shit happens. And it contributed to the lack of posts, because I don’t know braille and I don’t think WordPress hasn’t offered that as a plugin, yet.

And while we’re at it, can we please rename “pink eye?” That name sounds like something that a princess gets after being bitten by a unicorn. How about something like “prickly blindness with puss?” I know it’s a little long, but I think it really captures the essence of the experience.

So back to my original point, which is explaining why I haven’t been posting as much. Quality vs. quantity, people. It’s a epic, ancient battle fought since the dawn of time, since the birth of man. Or just another way of saying that I’m spending more time refining stuff that I’ve written (except this post). And I’ve been guest posting in other places. And frankly, those places demand a little quality. And now to try really hard to get to the point because this post is getting way too long and wander-y, here is a list of some other places I’ve been working:

HuffPost: You can find me here.

Scary Mommy: I have one article and one info-graphic both being published in February. I’ll point them out to you in a poorly organized post, just like this one, when they are up.

Erma Bombeck Writing competition: This is kind of old news, but the new news is that I actually submitted something. And it cost me $15, so I’m treating this like Powerball with the same odds of winning. Except that if I do win, the prize will be a weekend writing workshop, which is perfect. Because the reward for being a good writer is always the opportunity to work harder at being a better writer. I should probably join Masochists Anonymous, instead.

So thanks for reading all this. And you can always follow or become my fan in these places:

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

 © Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I expect the sex talk to be easier since it was an immaculate conception, literally

Now that my children are getting older, I expect them to have a few more questions about how they got here. This is one of the down sides of teaching them how to talk, but there were so many other advantages to talking and it seemed to come naturally, so we just went with it.

There is no guide book for talking to your kids about how your gay parents had you, although I’m sure someone is writing one. And if I may, here is a suggestion for a title: How to Not Talk to Your Kids about Sex.

It recently occurred to me that I got pregnant without having sex with anyone. Or at least the sex didn’t cause me to become pregnant. OK, wait, I knew that at the time but what I’m saying is that it dawned on me that I could relay all of the details of my daughter’s conception and birth to her without mentioning anything but online shopping and trips to the doctor’s office, both of which she already knows about.

Really, it would be talking about an immaculate conception – in that it was immaculate and there was conception. In fact, it was so immaculate that my dirty vagina wasn’t allowed anywhere near the place where the sperm and the egg got together. It probably happened in a sterilized room where smart people dressed in cleanroom apparel and using pipettes put some sperm in a petri dish with my eggs. But, I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t directly involved. Seriously, I have an alibi.

immacgreenhair3

And it’s probably rude or blasphemous to call it an immaculate conception. But I didn’t call it The Immaculate Conception, because I read up on that, and I don’t get it. There are so many self-referential euphemisms in the description of the Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception that I could not figure what the Catholics were talking about. It was like talking to someone who insists on using air quotes around every other word. I mean, seriously, how can you write three paragraphs about something and still not really say what it is. So, I gave up. Maybe I’ll ask my mother-in-not-law next time I get a chance.

I think all that this really means is that in our house there will be two talks: The sex talk and the how-babies-are-born talk. Except that there won’t be, because I don’t want to have a “big talk.” I would like all of this to become part of our normal, family dialogue.

Stop! Wait! Don’t call social services! We are not going to sit around all day talking to our kids about sex. We are just going to answer questions with facts and compassion when they come up, just like everything else that we talk about.

In fact, Wynn and I have “big talks” all the time. Last night’s was about “why it’s OK to feel afraid.” And the night before, it was “being nice to your sister.” And we even had a talk about how some children don’t come out of their mom’s belly (because they are adopted). So far, that one was the most surprising to her judging only by the size of her eyes. And “feeling afraid” had the most tears. And, of course, “being nice to your sister” involved the most eye-rolling.

So, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can not talk about next.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
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Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Deciding to do nothing in 2014 turns out to be something. I can’t win.

I decided this year that I wasn’t going to have any New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure why or even when I decided this. It’s possible that in the weeks leading up to the end of the year I was busy thinking about other things. Except I forgot to think about what to get for Pam for Christmas, so what WAS I thinking?

And just to be sure that I wasn’t accidentally having any New Year’s resolutions, I checked Wikipedia to make sure that I understood what I was talking about. And as it turns out, people for thousands of years, even before Jesus, have promised themselves that they’ll do better in the New Year. They plan to repay their debts or to return borrowed objects. No one was trying to lose ten pounds, but it was ancient Greece so no one needed to. You know, they were all Greek gods, remember? Yeah, I didn’t, because I wasn’t thinking.

So it was true, I wasn’t making any promises or New Year’s resolutions to myself. At least not on January 1st. Because I know better than that. And I don’t want to change. I would like to stay exactly the same. Generally happy. But no, that wasn’t going to happen, either. Because I bought this book. And I read it, which is an accomplishment in itself. Except that it’s a book that is mostly full of pictures, so I can’t really pat myself on the back too hard for that.

hyperboleandahalf

This is one of the saddest fucking books I have ever read. And also the funniest. Together. In one book. The pictures are ridiculous, as you can tell by the cover. And the stories, except the ones about the dogs, are gut-wrenching.

The book contains two posts about depression, one of which is also about suicide. And at least three of the chapters are about how much Allie hates herself. And it’s all funny. But sad. And I’m guessing you’re getting that part, because I keep saying it over and over again. But that’s also what the truth is: Comedy and tragedy. Shakespeare figured that out a long time ago, but we don’t listen. So people need to keep writing books so we can learn this over and over again.

And ironically, although this book made me cry it also made me hopeful. First, I am hopeful that Allie will start to like herself a bit more, because she wrote an awesome book with funny pictures and a lot of truth in it. But also because I am writing a funny book about a mostly horrible experience, and I wasn’t sure that it would work. But now I think it can.

And bonus, Allie’s book also proves that you can write a book about nothing, mostly. There is a whole chapter about trying to clean the house and then playing on the internet instead. Like I said: This is truth, people. Gospel, even.

Anyway, this isn’t really even a blog post. It’s more like a book review. And it’s not really about New Year’s resolutions or the lack of New Year’s resolutions, except to say that you can have no plans to change yourself, and then be changed anyway.

Also, don’t stop buying books. That’s not the point of this post, either.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I have never claimed to be helpful, but this is:

I have some really good news. If you found this blog by accident, and you were hoping to get some real medical, legal or financial advice about creating an LGBTQ family, you are out of luck. I am way too lazy to try to figure all that stuff out for you.

But we’re both so in luck! These lovely people – The Experts – that are part of the Family Equality Council have started a Q & A for all of us. And it’s REALLY good. I love experts.

Now you can Ask the Experts if you have questions about creating, financing and legalizing your unconventional family. Seriously, check it out. These people seem really friendly and smart.

experts

And if you just want to hear about the ridiculous things that happen after you become a gay family, you can stick around here. Or….

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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