Category: Social Butterfly Mom

My game plan for the Longest. Summer. Ever.

My game plan for the Longest. Summer. Ever.
This year, our summer is 3+ months long: end of May until early September. Part of me loves that; part of me is mama deer in headlights. Here is my game plan for the Longest. Summer. Ever. ...

Nine twists on fall traditions

Nine twists on fall traditions
  1. Collect leaves --> Go on a fall scavenger hunt: Take leaf collecting a step further and print out (or create) your own fall scavenger hunt. Kids can arrange their treasures on a large sheet of paper for parents to adhere with a hot glue gun. Pro tip: do this after the cherubs are in bed so you don't burn yourself. #beentheredonethat
2. Pick apples/pumpkins --> Do some apple/pumpkin baking: We all visit the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, and I bet we all bake something with our fall fruit loot. My kids LOVE using the "apple snake" (apple peeler, corer, slicer) that you can buy for $13. And since I don't need loaves of pumpkin bread tempting me, we bake using this pan ($13) and then give individual mini loaves to family and friends. 3. Chug apple cider --> Sip a fall steamer: Don't get me wrong. I appreciate a good mug of apple cider, but it's so much sugar, and my kids and I slurp it down so quickly. Buy a few bottles of Torani syrups with flavors such as Pumpkin Pie and Butterscotch. Steam some milk and add a tablespoon or two for a fall steamer. Add coffee for an autumn latte. 4. Go out for the game --> Create a DIY sports bar: It's fun to take the family out to a restaurant for the Bears game. Wait...what am I saying? No it's not! Avoid the meltdowns and overpriced appetizers by purchasing some frozen snacks at Costco. Throw them in the oven, set up a plastic table cloth near the couch (or ON it, if your kids are like mine), turn on the t.v., and open a beer that you didn't just pay $7 for...

Six ways that ice cream saved our summer

Six ways that ice cream saved our summer
We had our third baby boy in February, but I was determined NOT to be home bound this June, July, and August. In late May, we kicked off our Gosser Family Ice Cream Adventure. Here are six ways that ice cream saved our summer:  ...
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What a cop and father of two says you should do if you witness a sexual assault

What a cop and father of two says you should do if you witness a sexual assault
Last week, I added my "Me too" to all the others going around social media. One of my friends responded with this: "Most people don't do anything when forced to react to a tough/awkward/scary situation... Most men know that saying something about a butt slap will accomplish nothing productive, and then put them in a confrontational situation with someone that is probably drunk and/or has low (or no) need to conform to polite society." That got me thinking: what should people do if they witness a sexual assault?  I contacted my friend, Tim, a police offer and father of two, and asked him for an interview. Tim would like to remind readers that this is not 100% guaranteed legal advice that will always keep you out of trouble and protect your physical safety. This is a hugely broad topic with many variables...

I like the Cook County beverage tax, and here's why

I like the Cook County beverage tax, and here's why
Illinois is in debt and we need money. Sure: you didn't get us into this fiscal mess, and you like your fizzy drinks. Sure: you didn't get us into this mess, and you drink Coke instead of coffee. Sure: you didn't get us into this, and you consume diet beverages with zero sugar! If your argument is that it's unfair for the government to tax something you like, then I guess you're right. I just wish there was another way... Oh, wait...It's not a required tax. Amazingly, there's a way to avoid these products: Stop. Buying. Them. (Gasp!) Like fizzy? Get a soda stream. Need caffeine? Switch to tea or coffee. Love diet beverages? There are still ones out there sans tax (just sampled some fizzy flavored coconut water at Costco, and that was a huge selling point). This leads me to point #3. These beverages are not necessities. We are fortunate to live in a country where we have clean running tap water (in most areas). Even if you partake in fizzy, caffeinated, diet beverages, they are full of fake crap, and THEY ARE NOT HEALTHY. Are they fun? Yes. Satisfying? Of course. Delicious? You bet. But they're not good for us, and we don't NEED them. They are a splurge, and should be treated as such...

I didn't think I could throw up while parasailing. I was wrong.

I didn't think I could throw up while parasailing. I was wrong.
France. Spain. Ireland. Austria. Hawaii. Mexico. Vietnam. Thailand. Botswana.  I have thrown up on the airplane, en route to all of these destinations. I've gotten pretty good at calculating my time to see if I can make it or not. If there are 20 minutes or more left on the flight, it's best to open the barf bag and get it over with. Fifteen minutes to go means that I should locate the barf bag, but just hold it in my hand, as a security measure. Ten minutes until landing is the sweet spot. I can make it 10 minutes. The first time I threw up in front of my husband was on our way to Ireland. Remember that ten minutes is the sweet spot... But we had a lot more time than that on our descent. I told him I didn't feel well, and he patted my leg. I reached for the barf bag, and he gave me a "Really, honey?" sweet roll of the eyes. I tore it open, whispered, "I'm sorry," and did the deed. He was a little shocked, but now he knew that I wasn't fibbing. Throwing up on planes was definitely a thing for me. Which is why, when I wanted to go parasailing in Aruba, I didn't give a second thought to my history of air sickness. My thing was throwing up on airplanes, and the parasailers I saw were gliding gracefully in the air with no bumps or turbulence to speak of. Boy, was I wrong...
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The time that lady told my two year old to "SHUT UP!"

The time that lady told my two year old to "SHUT UP!"
When the random lady at the grocery store screamed, "Would you SHUT UP?!" to my two year old, it confirmed three things: The first was that people were judging me. Hard. How do I know? Because: Hi, my name is Erin, and I'm a recovering "judger" of other moms. My kid's screams would make strangers' heads turn, and make me want to hide my own under a rock. I'd pretend not to hear the annoyed "wow's" whispered in my direction. Several years ago, that would have been me, rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath. While that's hard to admit, I was definitely guilty of judging others. So I knew now that I was the one being judged. When the random lady at the store screamed, "Would you SHUT UP?!" to my little kid, it also confirmed... that he was- and is- LOUD. I don't doubt that every parent thinks his or her child can break the sound barrier. What I do know is that my son's scream is what it would sound like if a pterodactyl and a rooster had a baby, and then this creature infused its voice with essence of ambulance siren. When the lady at the store screamed, "Would you SHUT UP?!" to my son, it also confirmed, to my surprise, that people were on my side...

In case you were wondering, YES: a mouse can build a nest in your car and eat all of your Costco almonds

In case you were wondering, YES: a mouse can build a nest in your car and eat all of your Costco almonds
The title pretty much says it all. Good news is that we solved The Great Almond Mystery of 2017. Bad news is that mysteries can be expensive... Early January 2017: I reach down to grab a few almonds from the Kirkland bag I keep in car. Instead of a handful of nuts (ha!), my hand scrapes the middle console. The bag is empty. Huh, I think. That's funny. I must have eaten all the almonds without realizing it. Mom brain! I go on living my life, and the next time I shop at Costco, I replenish the bag of almonds. Mid January: I reach down to grab a few almonds. Again, my hand scrapes the console and comes up empty. "Logan," I playfully say to my 5 year old, "have you been eating all of Mommy's almonds?" His bewilderment looks genuine. "No." Huh, I wonder. I guess my husband must have taken the rest for his car. Geez, I wouldn't mind buying him some if he'd just ask me. Annoyed, I put almonds on my Costco list. End of January: I reach down into my third 3-pound bag of almonds in a month, and, feeling nothing, incredulously look at the bag of almond...crumbs. What the?! I phone my husband to confront his nut thievery. My husband promises that he hasn't taken a single almond from my car. My 5 year old claims the same. Friends press us that he's probably lying, but he's not quite that smart yet. And it's officially The Great Almond Mystery of 2017....

The most important thing my grandpa taught me was to show up

The most important thing my grandpa taught me was to show up
The most important thing my grandpa taught me was to show up. That meant various things, from large to small. On some days, it meant crossing a bridge in pitch black night to then destroy the bridge and stop the Nazis. On other days, it meant watching a grandchild's soccer game. It meant providing for a family of nine so that his seven children grew up to be productive human beings. It meant playing with baby rings, marbles, and puzzles with his great grandchildren. My grandpa never stopped showing up. From hometown staples: St. Patrick's Church, the Colonial Coffee Shop, Gold's Gym, to further away places: Illinois, Florida, California, you could count on him being there...
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10 New Years resolutions for the "Hamilton" fan

10 New Years resolutions for the "Hamilton" fan
Have you guys heard of this musical, “Hamilton?” I’m a few years late to the party, but this show is so amazing that my two year old often requests “Ham-oh-ten.” Here are 10 New Years resolutions for the “Hamilton” fan:  Talk less. *Smile more. (*listen) 2) Do not throw away your shot. Make your resolutions... Read more »