Toni Hammer

Why I’m Not Writing About Poop

photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

photo credit: Βethan

If you’ve liked my Facebook page, you know that Monday night I got pooped on. The silver lining to this tragedy is that I was given blog fodder for today’s post.

But then… last night happened.

Neither kiddo got a good nap in which made me giddy because generally this means an early bedtime. Woohoo! More time to spin around in my chair and sing “I’m not funny, I can’t write, lalalala…” because that’s what professional writers do.

Around 6:45 (bedtime is normally 7:30) I laid Levi down. Then it was Lillian’s turn. I did the normal routine:

“Lils, it’s time for night night. Yep, I got your baby. Yes you’ll get a suck (pacifier.) Yep, grab your water. Let’s go.”

She toddled into her room and I lifted her into bed. After she laid down I itemized each of the 47 toys in her crib, gave her the pacifier, her water, turned her Glo-Worm on, prayed, and kissed her on the forehead.


Until about 7:30 when I glanced at the baby monitor and noticed she was still awake. She wasn’t screaming or throwing a fit. She was just standing at attention in her crib. I did something I don’t normally do and went in.Read More »Why I’m Not Writing About Poop

Wanna talk about stuff parenting books don't talk about? How about chicken nuggets taking over your freezer? Or 30 second showers? Or the other five things on this list.

7 Side Effects of Parenting

Wanna talk about stuff parenting books don't talk about? How about chicken nuggets taking over your freezer? Or 30 second showers? Or the other five things on this list. In my experience, it takes about a year to come out of the fog that blankets one’s life after having a child. Or a second child. Or a third or fourth or fifth or however many babies one has pushed out of their woman parts. For me it was two, and I am more than pleased with that number as is my uterus.

My son recently turned one and the cloud has begun to lift. The days and nights are slowly moving towards “normal” and I wake up in the morning with a vague idea of what to expect. My daughter will disobey me at least once a day causing discipline and tears and later apologies and hugs. My son will throw a tantrum over something really, really silly like my not allowing him to play in the toilet. (Can someone please tell my kids there is no “toy” in the word “toilet?”) I will spend a long time in the evenings apologizing to my vacuum for what I put it through, and occasionally rearrange my daughter’s dolls in entertaining ways to amuse myself.

But now that I’m seeing clearly for the first time in two years, I’ve noticed some side effects of parenting that no one ever told me about.

1. An uncanny, and impressive, knowledge of Sesame Street plot lines. You need tin foil to make Rocko the Rock float in water! Max the Magician is using addition and subtraction! Big Bird doesn’t understand that moving habitats means leaving everything he’s ever known on Sesame Street!

2. The laughable notion of a “quick’ shower. Showers now take at least 15 minutes. Not only because a short, babbling audience is sure to emerge once you get undressed, but because the first five minutes you’re in the bathroom are spent picking up and putting away bath toys. And maybe cleaning or sterilizing them if you’re one of those parents. I am not. And, yeah, I kinda feel bad about it.Read More »7 Side Effects of Parenting

Guest Post: How to Become Your Child’s Favorite

Hey everyone! Today I’m super stoked to have a guest post for you today by the hilarious Ariel Bernstein!

When you’re a mom and you have a new baby, you’re likely it’s favorite person in the whole world.  You give them food, keep them clean, and have the voice they’ve heard the most for the past nine or so months.  They might cry when others hold them or only fall asleep in your arms.  You love them and know you are loved right back.

Being their favorite person can last for a while, maybe even a whole lifetime.  Or maybe you have a child who wakes up from every nap and asks for their Dada, even though every freakin’ weekday you explain that Dada is at work, where he always is during the day, and it’s just you.  And your son looks at you, disappointed but resigned, and you know you are not his favorite.

Or maybe you have a child who waits outside his classroom for the first day of preschool to start, surrounded by classmates who scream and moan and clutch their parents and caregivers hands in disbelief that they will soon be parted.  And through this sea of emotional turmoil, your son somehow finds the strength to push your hand away and walk into his classroom with glee.  You go over to him and tell him to have fun and be good and that you’ll miss him.  He looks at you, wondering why you are still there.  Then he smiles at the teaching assistant.  And you know you are not his favorite.

Or maybe you have a child who welcomes his grandparents and wonderful baby-sitters into his house with clapping and smiles and does not notice when you leave or even when you return.  And you know you are not his favorite.Read More »Guest Post: How to Become Your Child’s Favorite

“I’m a Bad Mom” Monday: I Launched My Son into a Desk

photo credit: mikecogh via photopin cc

photo credit: mikecogh

I struggle a lot with finding new and interesting and fun activities for my kiddos, especially those that entertain both kids at the same time. Lillian is 2 so she can do fun things like color (every flat surface) or play with Play-Doh (and smash it into the carpet.) Levi is 1 so he’s capable of eating crayons and Play-Doh. Which he does. I’ve changed the technicolor diapers as proof.

While my children are close in age, the gap right now is pretty developmentally dense, so anytime I come up with something all of us can do together is pretty exciting. The other day I had one of those great ideas.

My mother-in-law recently gave us a new desk chair. It’s a sturdy, swiveling, salmon-colored chair that is perfect for my husband who’s on the bigger side. It’s wide and has a tall back and did I mention it’s capable of spinning around and around in circles at speeds capable of injuring small children?

Well it is.Read More »“I’m a Bad Mom” Monday: I Launched My Son into a Desk

Sometimes I Forget to Breathe

photo credit: ((carola)) via photopin cc

photo credit: ((carola))

The other night I was immensely blessed when my in-laws offered to take both of my children overnight.

Know what that means?

I cleaned my house top to bottom, prepped all the meals for the week, did the monthly budget, organized the pantry, and learned Mandarin.

Or not.

In reality I obsessively checked Twitter (follow me!) and Facebook (like me!) and wrote some things. Then I did about four minutes of yoga.

I love yoga. It’s the only exercise I’ve ever done which I genuinely enjoyed. Maybe it’s because it’s not cardio. I hate cardio. The only time I want to be huffing and puffing and sweating like I do when I’m doing cardio is if I’m either being chased by a knife-wielding vulture-bear-whale hybrid, or if someone is offering me a lifetime supply of nachos.

But yoga… I can get behind that. The stretching, soothing music, and breathing is my kind of exercise.

It’s the breathing thing that struck me the other night. When I first began the routine (I know “routine” sounds impressive but remember I only did it for the length of a long commercial break) I began inhaling deeply as you’re supposed to do but…

They weren’t actual deep breaths. They were short. Shallow.Read More »Sometimes I Forget to Breathe