Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Week in Tweets: I Am a Unique Snowflake, Dammit

My personal ten favorite tweets from this past week.

This week in tweets made possible by: @BorowitzReport @Y_U_NOOO @AndreaTaylorish @sssemester @JimGaffigan @exlibris @Mama_Mash @Lord_Voldemort7

Now go... follow the funny.

(FollowtheFunny is a Twitter list of the tweeps that have recently appeared on my This Week in Tweets.)

And a new addition this week.....

This Week in Rubyspikes Tweets
For those of you hanging on my every word. Here is what you may have missed:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Snark Therapy: Laundry Room Swoon

Laundry Room Swoon
I found a pin board today on Pinterest that was nothing but laundry rooms. The board was called: Interior Design Swoon... Laundry. Now I admit, these were some quite lovely laundry rooms, 58 of them to be exact. But I noticed that one of the things that made all of these 58 laundry scenes so much more inviting than my own laundry room...


Extreme Doggie Bed
Not only does the dog get stairs, but he gets a bed bigger than a New York City apartment. And folks, lemme tell you something: the second you fall asleep, that dog is crawling into bed with you. It's only a matter of time before YOU're the one sleeping on the dog bed. So on second thought, you might want to make it a little bigger and with a little more leg room.

Extreme Hydration
Weight loss tip: Drink 1-2 liters of water right when you wake up in the morning.

Wait, wait. I'm still laughing. Trying to picture myself chugging a 2 liter bottle of water first thing in the morning. Maybe I'll just spend the first 2 minutes of my shower looking up with my mouth open.

Extreme Roy G Biv
Your friend: Hey! I never read Harry Potter. You mind if I borrow your copy?
You: Sure. You remember what color the cover was on the first one?

Extreme Pizza Kitchen

I actually saw this one at the mall with my dear friend @OakParkGirl. At the mall there was a Unilock display which included... the pizza oven. (The waterfall... not on display at our mall.)

I know we all want to turn our backyards into fabulous outdoor kitchens, but I think that Unilock may be stretching a little with this Wood Fired Oven. The description says, "Make the best-tasting wood fired pizza in your own oven." Now I don't know how much this little beauty costs, but seriously, how many pizzas do you have to make to make it worth that little chunk of change AND backyard real estate? And you KNOW how many pizzas you will actually make in that thing, right? I'm gonna go with three. Tops.

For More Snark
Visit my Pinterest Snark Board. Or just wait here. There will be sure to be more.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This Week in Tweets: Why We Don't Live at the Fair

My personal ten favorite tweets from this past week.

This week in tweets made possible by: @MomIn_AMillion @AndreaTaylorish @NealMayhem @LIFECOACHERS @TheManwife @MamaWantsThis @OakParkGirl @BorowitzReport @guiltysquid

Now go... follow the funny.

(FollowtheFunny is a Twitter list of the tweeps that have recently appeared on my This Week in Tweets.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photos of a Second Child: An Open Letter to My Baby Boy

Dear Son #2,

Right now you are my baby, not even a year old, but soon you will be a little boy. I know there will come a day when you look through all of the photos of you and your brother as infants and toddlers and wonder why there are so many more pictures of him than there are of you. Everyone will chuckle as they tell you that it’s the curse of the second child, but I am here to tell you the real reason.

First off, I will tell you that it is true that some of the discrepancy between the massive quantity of photos of your big brother as a baby and the modest number of you is due to sheer logistics. When your brother was a baby, I was a stay-at-home mom with nothing to do but play with him, dress him in tiny, adorable outfits, and take pictures of his every move. When you were a baby, I had already gone back to work part-time and, in addition to you, I had a four-year-old little boy to keep an eye on and entertain. So when you did something adorable, I didn’t always have the camera sitting six inches away. And when it wasn’t right at my side, I didn’t always have the opportunity to leave you both and run to the other room to get it. And all of those outfits that I couldn’t wait to photograph on your brother, well yes, they weren’t as new and exciting on you since I had seen them worn many times before.

But there’s another reason, a bigger reason, that there are fewer photos of you, my baby, than there are of your older brother. When your brother was a baby, I had been told countless times by every person I knew or encountered who had had children before me: They grow up so quickly. It was a lesson that I thought I understood. As a result, I was adamant about capturing every expression, every milestone, and every moment on digital film. I knew that each moment would be fleeting and that if I didn’t take the picture right then, I may never get the chance again. As a result, his infancy is chronicled in detail.  Four years later, when you were born, the biggest difference was this: that message that everyone had tried to share with me (they grow ups so fast), now I had actually begun to live it. In what felt like the blink of an eye, your big brother had transformed from my tiny baby to a toddler and then a preschooler. I looked at him in amazement and wondered how it had happened so quickly.

So how does this translate into there being fewer pictures of you than there are of your brother? It is simply this: Today, when you are being adorable, I have learned that I would rather sit and enjoy your beautiful smile instead of spending some of that time running to get the camera. Sure, I’ll take out my phone and snap a picture of you doing something particularly cute. But if the photo doesn’t come out just right, I don’t spend time taking 15 more, hoping to get one that really captures the moment. I spend more time holding you, playing with you, and watching you grow, and spend less time trying to preserve those moments for history. You are going to grow up so very quickly and all the photographs in the world are not going to slow that down one bit. So I am choosing to spend more time being with you and your brother and less time recording you. I am still a little obsessed with my camera, which you will undoubtedly know by the time you are old enough to read this, so there will still be quite a fair number of photographs of both you and your brother, my two precious boys. But hopefully there will be many more moments that, even though they haven’t been captured on film, will have been captured in my heart.

Your Mom

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck

A couple months back I hosted a baby shower for my sister. After it was over, I was totally exhausted, but threw up a couple pictures for a post: Baby Shower in Brief. Then this amazing thing happened. People started tweeting about it, someone pinned it on Pinterest, it got repinned, and now I'm getting traffic to my blog with search terms like, "Pin the Tail on the Uterus" and "Uterus Game Template". So while I don't want to become the crazy sperm and uterus blog lady (too late), I wouldn't mind being the driving force behind ending the ritual of crazy-boring baby showers. So here it is, The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck. (That link, by the way, goes to a  PDF with this whole blog post, plus some extra tips if you actually wanted to do any of this stuff, AND a template for creating the highly coveted uterus. You're welcome.)

The Goal: Host a party. Make it fun. Have people bring adorable stuff for the baby and mommy.

The Challenge: Baby showers can suck. No one wants to watch a woman open onesies and bottle sets and nipple cream for two hours. NO ONE!!!

The Plan
  • Co-Ed - Men and women were invited (and were told the party would be non-sucky).
  • All day - Our shower was from 11 am - 6 pm. People could come and go like an all day BBQ. Come by, have a beer and some food. Drop off a gift. Hang out with Mommy and Daddy-to-be. Take off whenever you're ready to leave.
  • Unwrapped gifts - Guests were encouraged to bring their gifts unwrapped and told there would be no "mass unwrapping." We set the gifts out on a display table for all to coo over, but without having to sit through two hours of unwrapping.
  • Opt-In Games - We had plenty of baby-themed games, but all were selected because they could be set out somewhere and guests could choose to play if they wanted to play and completely ignore if they weren't interested.

The Games
As stated above, all games were opt-in, meaning that they were set up so that people who wanted to play could play, but be easily ignored by non-players. Turns out, this was a fairly competitive group, so once we announced a winner for one game, people were ready to start on the next one.
  • How Many Candies
    Large baby bottle shaped bank filled with candies. Guess how many are in it.

  • Baby Word Scramble
    I chose 20 baby-related words and "scrambled" the letters. Here's a hint: if you pick your own words, alphabetize the letters in the words, even BELOTT is hard to figure out.
  • Baby Face
    I took head shots of mom and dad a week before the party and made sure they both were looking straight at the camera. I used Photoshop to crop the pictures so that they fit on an 8 x 10 and that their heads were the same size. I added "cut" lines to cut slices for each of their foreheads, eyes, noses, mouths, and chins. I printed the pictures on card stock, cut the slices, and laid them out on a table for guests to "construct" a possible baby face. Warning: the resulting faces can be creepy!

  • Cute as a Button
    I used a paper punch to punch out a bunch of card stock buttons. (I wanted bottles, but couldn't find a paper punch on short notice.) I "hid" them around the apartment in very obvious places such as on tables, in picture frames, in plants, etc. Guests were told to collect the buttons and the guest with the most buttons won.
  • Sooooo Big
    Guests cut a length of ribbon as long as they think the mom-to-be is around. Note: I used yarn because I had pink and yellow on hand. Ribbon would have been much cuter.
  • Beer BottlesI bought six baby bottles and filled them with six different beers. Guests had to guess what the different beers were.
    Tip: Let guests know what the six beers are. We didn't and our winner only got two right. Also, provide Dixie cups to drink out of or all your guests will have to drink out of the same baby bottles. Eewww.
  • Play-Doh BabyI bought "party-sized" Play-Doh. It comes in a big bag with a bunch of small containers of Play-Doh. Guests were told to build a baby using one container. Mommy and Daddy chose their favorite baby for the winner.
  • Who's Watching the Baby?
    When guests arrived, they were given a small baby doll. They were told that they could either hold on to it, put it down, or pass it on to someone else. Any babies put down could be scooped up by other guests. Guest with the most babies wins.

  • Baby Chug
    I bought several of the cheapest baby bottles I could find. We filled them each with 3 oz of beer. Guests attempted to be the first ones to empty their baby bottles. Not allowed to remove the nipple in any way. Tip: Baby bottles empty slowly, even when you're trying. Could easily have gone with 2 ounces. For non-drinkers, you can use apple juice instead of beer.

  • Pin the Sperm on the Uterus
    I wanted a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey that wouldn't send guests scurrying to other rooms. No one wants to be blindfolded or spun around. I finally came up with this alternative. My awesome husband assembled a construction paper uterus and construction paper and ribbon sperm. Guests were told to write their name on a sperm and stick it onto the uterus (so their name didn't show). Once all the sperm had been "placed," Mommy was blindfolded and spun (just once) and had to stick an egg on to the uterus. Closest sperm to the newly placed egg won.

All in all, it was really a fun, fun day. We did play lots of fun baby-related games, but mostly what people did was hang out, drink some beer, eat some food, and talk with friends. The baby games, those were just fun on the side.

I hope all of your parties are also a fun-for-all. And in case you want more tips on how to create the games or especially that super fun uterus, here's the whole post again in PDF form:

The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck (The PDF)

By popular request, here is the anonymized invitation that was sent to guests:

People have also asked where I found the baby dolls. The ones pictured were found at Walmart.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

This Week in Tweets: But We Did It

My personal ten favorite tweets from this past week.

This week in tweets made possible by: @SarcasticEgg @corrinrenee @Lord_Voldemort7 @BorowitzReport @smonkyou @sbellelauren @TheeeSickestKid @guiltysquid @KelleysBreakRm @JohnFugelsang

Now go... follow the funny.

(FollowtheFunny is a Twitter list of the tweeps that have recently appeared on my This Week in Tweets.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Guess I Do Care

Last night I was browsing around on Pinterest. Whenever I do this, I spend about 80% of my time finding lovely things that I want to remember and pinning them to my many boards of lovely things. I spend the other 20% finding things to make fun of. For those of you who don't know about my Pinterest Snark board, that's what the 20% is for. I started the Snark board because I was just in a crabby-ass mood one night and instead of being all grumpy to my husband, I decided to take it out on random pictures on the Internet. The first picture I ever considered snarking was this one:

In actuality, I love this room. I saw it and thought it was lovely. I loved the photographs on the wall and loved them as main art. But I wasn't going to pin it though, because I am past the point where I will ever be decorating a baby's room again. (My second and last child is eleven months old.) And then I noticed that in this room, with a child that is at least standing and probably cruising, is a dainty, white table with a vase of daisies in it. Really? Daisies? But I let it go. I didn't have a Snark board back then. Then I came across this picture:

I really liked the dress, but instead of being annoyed at myself for being too damned overweight or self-conscious to be able to envision myself looking lovely in it, I took it out on the picture and the Snark board was born. (Snark board comment: So now even mannequins are not thin enough. I have to drool over this dress because I know it looks better on AIR... literally) Then I went back and snarked on that baby's room. And then a dozen or so other random pictures from around the Internet.

I get a one or two comments a week, through Twitter or Pinterest from people telling me they really like my Snark board, and truth be told, that makes me pretty happy. I can't really explain it to people who haven't read it, because it sounds pretty lame (It's a place where I make fun of stuff.), but I think it's kinda funny and I like that at least a few other people think it's funny, too.

Anyway, getting back to last night when I was cruising Pinterest, I noticed something on someone else's board: one of my snark pins. Someone repinned my pin and kept the comment. This is the default behavior for Pinterest, so I didn't think much of it. Then I noticed that there was a whole discussion on this person's page about my comment. But because of the way Pinterest works, no one would ever know where the original comment came from. My first thought was, "Heeeyyyyyy!!!! That's MY comment you people are talking about. And you don't even know it's mine!" My second thought was, "Really? This isn't Shakespearean poetry we're talking about here. Do you really care that people don't know that it's you that's making fun of the dude in the sperm basket?" So I took a look at my most common repins from my Snark board. This is still absolutely number one:

Snark Board Comment:
This thing is sweeping Pinterest. Really? How do you get into it? How do you get out? And that guy... really? He makes me want to get a really big pair of scissors.

This thing has been repinned 23 times with my comment. (Plus several other times where people changed the comment to "LOVE" or "I want this".) BTW, I love the sperm baskets. Please someone buy me one. I'm just not going to install it over a river.

Well, I've thought it over for about a day now and here's what I've come up with. Yes. Yes, I do care. I hate to admit it, but I'm pretty proud of that little Snark board. And I'm happy to have you all repin those pins to your heart's content. I'm even happy to have you keep my comments around when you do. But when other people repin them and then other people repin those, I'd kinda like it if those people down the road knew it was me who had a rare moment of clever.

So I've gone back to my Snark board and added my name at the end of all my comments. It may be silly, but that's what I've decided. And in case you noticed and wondered why I did it, now you know.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ruby Spikes at Sea

Hello, bloggy readers. You still there? I have been gone for a whole week and didn't even line up any guest posts to keep you entertained in my absence. But with BlogHer also occurring during my absence, maybe mine wasn't the only blog that was dark last week.

In case you don't know, the reason for my absence last week was the Hubs and I went on a cruise with a couple friends of ours. And wi-fi on the boat costs a whopping $0.65 per minute. Yikes! I figured that instead I'd just relax and write and come home with a bevy of blog posts to keep your readers full for weeks. But guess what, that didn't happen either. Instead of writing I slept, drank, ate, slept some more, ate and drank some more, saw a few sights, and otherwise did a lot of nothing. It was awesome. But it does mean I'll have to get back to business writing, since I've now got nothing in the bloggy bank.

In the meantime, here's a little summary of our 7 night Caribbean cruise. Ahhhhh.

Cruise line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Freedom of the Seas
Scheduled itinerary: Coco Cay, St. Thomas,  & St. Maarten
Unscheduled tropical storm: Emily
Detoured Itinerary: Coco Cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

Highlights (at least the ones captured on film):

1. The self service, single glass wine dispenser. One of the first things I snapped a picture of once on board. Turns out, we didn't use it once. (We bought whole bottles, y'all.) But boy do I want one. Would you all pay a tiny cover charge if I have you over for a wine party?

2. Photo opportunities abound.


3. Lots of yummy food. Most of it was free, but the best stuff came after a small additional fee.

4. Really good shows. I was surprised that they were as good as they were.

5. Did I mention the drinking? 13 bottles of wine between the four of us, plus an untold number of Mango Mai Tais, Pina Coladas, Coronas, Blue Moons, etc.

6. Sleeping. This didn't photograph as well. But was super awesome. We did lots of it.

7. An ice show. On the ship. And it was good.

8. Cool ports of call, but man was it HOT!!! Quick bit of shopping and eating and we headed back to the air conditioning.


9. Bingo. Because I think it's required if you're on a cruise.

10. Royal Caribbean towel animals. Pure awesome.

I posted more cruise photos on my Rubyspikes Facebook page, so head on over if you're so inclined.