As I’m trying to finish a blog post, I feel a kiss on my elbow and hear a soft giggle.

Because I love you too much.

 

I’m folding clothes and trying to make some headway on the to-do list when she bear hugs my waist from behind.

More than chicken in cherry pie, Mom. That’s how much I love you.

 

On the way to the park so she can ride her new Tinkerbell bike on the trail.

Mom? When I grow up and am a lady you have to drive me to my wedding.

 

While brushing her hair after a bath.

I think I’ll have just one kid when I’m a parent. It’ll be nicer that way. And more room in the car.

 

After a long day at the zoo and I squeeze myself into the back seat of the two-door jeep so she can cuddle with me.

Yay! Your big butt didn’t get stuck! That’s great, Mom!

 

As I dry myself off after my shower she kisses the belly she made so soft.

I love all of you, Mama. Do you love all of me?

 

Always. (Mostly.)


 

Write what you know and make sure you write what you know for the audience you have in mind. That, in a nutshell, is the gist of all of the writing advice I’ve had thrown at me since I decided I wanted to work for peanuts for a living. And Eric Ruhalter is a prime example of how this whole thing works if you, you know, do that.

Ruhalter is the author or the newly-released The Kid Dictionary: Hilarious Words to Describe the Indescribable Things Kids Do. Ever find yourself at a loss for words when some little punk blows out the candles at your kid’s birthday party? That’s what Ruhalter refers to as a “wishjack”. Want to bitch and scream when you can’t DVR American Idol or The Real Housewives of Plastic Surgery and Impossible Standards County because it’s full of kid shows again? Just tell the kids you’re tired of being “Spongebogged” feel good about not cursing (for once).

Want to know more? Of course you do. Read on for a short interview with Ruhalter and a chance to win your very own copy of The Kid Dictionary.

He's Kind of Made of Awesome

 

AspiringMama:  Gimme name, rank, and serial number.

Eric Ruhalter: Easily amused Man, Father, husband, Writer, Dreamer, Maker-Upper of Words.
I work in New York City at AMC Television, producing TV Promos, which are commercials that air on AMC about the shows and movies on AMC.  It may not earn me a Pulitzer, but I enjoy it, I love the people and rarely if ever does it put me in any physical danger. Nor is it one of those dirty jobs where my wife makes me leave my clothes on the porch every evening.

My wife Kara and I live in Morris Township, NJ and have 3 kids. 13 year old son and 10 year old son/daughter twins, a dog, and two cats. I like to write, edit video, play Frisbee and ping pong and surfing. And I’m really nice.

AM: Good. I don’t interview assholes on my blog. So you being really nice is totally convenient for, like, both of us. Before I forget, I have to ask (because I ask this of all my interviewees) do you chew your ice cream? Bonus points if you say yes.

ER:  YES! YES I chew my ice cream!

Except i’m lying. I do not chew my ice cream.  I just wanted to impress you.  I had a very traumatic experience as a child where i thought you had to chew ice cream, and i did so despite the fact that it hurt my teeth. Ultimately i stopped eating ice cream for a large portion of my childhood. (Except for milkshakes, because they were already chewed.) Now Ice cream is one of my greatest taste-oriented pleasures. But i just let it melt in my mouth. That’s how i roll.

AM: ok so you’re a nice guy who doesn’t chew his ice cream who wrote a funny book. Two outta three ain’t bad. Tell the lovely people reading this how you came up with terms like “Curdler”. Cuz, like, I’ve totally been there.
ER: I apologize about the ice cream thing. I’d really like to chew it, but I’m just not ready.
More than 90% of the words in The Kid Dictionary were inspired by things I saw with my own eyes, watching my own kids. There were countless scenarios that didn’t have names but needed them. I, the tireless philanthropist, made them up. And I like to think the world’s a better place.  Okay, maybe that’s overstating it, but I’m glad people like the book.
Okay, “CURDLER.” That one came about after repeated episodes of finding old Sippy Cups, usually containing milk that disappeared. Kids in the toddler phase are not much for rinsing out their cups and plates and stacking them neatly in the dishwasher. They’re more likely to throw it under the couch. And eventually you’ll find them, either by chance or by following their stench and they’ll look like there’s a scientific experiment going on in there. A fuzzy, pungent, moldy scientific experiment. I called them “Curdlers” because it seems as though the milk has turned to cheese. And I like cheese, but probably not that kind.
See? Told you the man knows his audience. Cuz? Raise your hand if you’ve been there.
Now for the fun part.
Sourcebooks, publisher of The Kid Dictionary, has graciously offered a copy for one Aspiring Mama reader. To enter, simply do one of the following (or more for extra entries!)
* Leave a comment for Eric on this blog post.

* Tweet, Facebook, Google +, or include a link to this post on your own blog. Each counts for it’s own entry, so be sure to leave me one comment letting me know what you did so I can add up points!

* Comments will be accepted through midnight, EST, on Wednesday, April 4.

* One winner will be selected via Random.org and will be announced here on Aspiring Mama shortly thereafter. And of course, if you don’t win, The Kid Dictionary can be purchased at all major booksellers.

 

This might be worth money someday

Just a short note between the coming from from Buttercup’s 30 minute swim lesson 45 minutes away (you do that math), getting the garbage out, feeding the dogs, the story time before the bedtime before the Mommy Gets Her Martini time to let you know I‘ve got another post up at Funny Not Slutty. I’d like to take credit for being considered hilarious enough to be invited back, but this one’s all Buttercup.

Stop by and I’d sincerely appreciate a comment or 35. You know, so FnS thinks I’m popular or something.

 

 

I’m sitting here in my stretchy Walmart-worthy yoga pants and reveling in the Alone-ness. Buttercup is asleep, The Husband isn’t home from work yet, and the dogs aren’t very reliable witnesses. So I take a deep breath, and as I exhale, I smile as I mentally turn off the auto-suck.

You know what I’m talking about, ladies. Unless you’re Kate Moss, there’s a high probability you’ve got a belly pooch even if no one else thinks you’ve got a belly pooch and gets all pissed off and offended when you insist that you do because my left thigh is bigger than all of you so you turn off the auto-suck and at the same moment I do, too, and then we both marvel at the fact that we might not be able to rock a bikini but damn we have strong abdominal muscles if we can hold that in all day.

Spanx are not involved. Auto-suck is simply the ability to train yourself to breathe in such a way that your diaphragm moves up and down instead of in and out while performing what has to be the single longest standing crunch in the history of mankind. The upside is that when you pee you don’t have to worry about painting yourself back into the sausage casing that is a pair of Spanx because that convenient crotch hole they designed is not convenient at all. The downside is that Spanx aren’t affected by too much wine, resulting in a You’ve Had Too Much to Drink Obviously Because You’re Pooching Out So Give Me the Keys rule initiated by The Husband, who happens to be a fucking genius. I never told him about the auto-suck. He just figured it out all by himself. And he still asked me to marry him.

Pretty snazzy.

So was the expression on one of the maternity ward nurses as I was waiting to be emergency induced almost five years ago when The Husband, who was bored, asked me to show her my mad abdominal skills to pass the time. I prepared much like a weightlifter getting ready to dead-lift something ridiculously heavy by closing my eyes, taking a deep breath, and focusing on my goal. Then I simply auto-sucked my 36-week pregnant belly into myself before gently letting my bump take up the three feet in front of me it had been before my little trick.

“Did you see this?” the nurse asked a co-worker who came in to join to prep for my delivery. “Do it again.”

So I did. And The Husband and I laughed as both nurses stared in amazement and gushed about how I’d probably push the baby out on the first try with abs like these. And yes, they were wrong, which totally sucked.

My recovery time involved peeing out about 15 pounds of water retention and then getting pissed off when I realized I was going to have to work to lose the rest while consoling myself with something dipped in chocolate. Not once did I consider lacing up my running shoes and winning a marathon six-weeks postpartum like this mom did. Yay for her and her obvious lack of need for the auto-suck. I’m cheering for her, really I am. I’m also thinking it’s over-achievers like her that make the rest of us look bad and calling her names which I know is evil and spiteful so I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and free the belly I subconsciously sucked in while reading the article about Marathon Mom.

Good for her. Now where’s the chocolate?

 

I once dropped my phone out of my back pocket as it was flushing as I was pulling my pants back up. It was our first week in our brand new house after getting married, my mother and mother-in-law were over helping to paint over the hideousness that was left by the previous owner we still refer to as Captain Half-Ass, and my shiny new husband had to take a break from whatever he was working on to unscrew the toilet from the floor and turn it upside down in the bathtub so he could fish my phone out.

We ended up having to get me a new phone. Obviously.

Also? I was high on Valium at the time. Comes with the territory after getting a major breast reduction. And while I blame the Valium for my serious lack of judgement in placing my cell phone in my back pocket before going to pee, The Husband likes to argue I’m just an idiot and Valium had nothing to do with it because Valium cannot explain away every dropped phone, broken screen, and I Left it in My Back Pocket AGAIN incident between then and now. I think he’s being way too factual.

So when I finally got my pretty iPhone 4S after getting tired of pretending to not want to be one of the mindless masses of Apple lovers, The Husband naturally insisted on every warranty and protection option possible. This baby wasn’t cheap and I happen to have a penchant for forgetting I’ve got a phone sitting on top of my purse because I just sent a tweet when standing up to get out of the Yukon and hoping like hell he doesn’t notice me bending down to pick up the phone that landed on the pavement.

We tried the Otterbox Commuter, which was my tried and true for my past loves — blackberry and Droid — but after three cases cracked in the exact same spot, The Husband made the executive decision to try something else. He’s in law enforcement and I’m a former newsroom reporter, so we usually research like hell before narrowing our pool and then comparing reviews and price-checking various online sources for the best deal. But since I had noticed the third Otterbox had a cracked corner when I tried putting it in my bra and scratching my boob while we were out shopping and there was no way in hell The Husband was going to trust me with an unprotected iPhone. So we hightailed it to Best Buy before heading home.

All the pretty plastic cases were easily dismissed. Anything that didn’t require following directions to put on the iPhone and another set to remove the case from the iPhone also was dismissed. That pretty much left us with the Lifeproof. It’s water, shock, snow, and dirt proof, which in Swahili, directly translates into PaulineProof, so The Huband didn’t even blink when it was time to pony up the $79.99.

I got the pink case.

And after The Husband filled a pot with water and weighed the empty case down for an hour and a half to test it before installing it on the iPhone and I tested it out by sending a text message from the shower just because I could, I asked Buttercup’s swim teacher to get a shot of my little mermaid in the pool.

I can’t blame the Valium, but if I drop my phone in the toilet again, at least I know the only part The Husband will be bitching about is the having to fish it out part. And that, people, is totally worth eighty bucks.

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