Tag Archives: things I’ve learned

36 Things I’ve Learned in 36 Years

  1. Life is too short to waste time matching socks.
  2. Small children are the funniest people on the planet.
  3. Humidity is dumb.
  4. The best thing you can save up your money for is a family vacation. I don’t remember what gifts I got for my birthday three years ago or what I had for breakfast yesterday or even where I set down my youngest child just now, but I remember every vacation since childhood with startling clarity.
  5. Embrace your inner nerd.
  6. A good bra changes EVERYTHING.
  7. Yelling at your kid to stop yelling is pretty ineffectual.
  8. The cheap water tastes exactly the same as the expensive fancy water.
  9. Humans are complicated. Stop expecting everything to be in black and white.
  10. Sit down for family meals as often as you can.
  11. Never waste more than 10 seconds cringing over an awkward social interaction. Deep down we’re all hot messes who still can’t remember your name even though you’ve told us three times already.
  12. I literally have no opinion about coconut oil. I feel the world would be a better place if more people followed my example.
  13. If other parents are judging you because your kid is misbehaving in public and their kid never does, just remember that their kid is probably going to grow up to be a serial killer.
  14. BACK. UP. YOUR. PHOTOS. Then back them up again. Then print them out and put them in a photo album. Then seal that album up in a climate-controlled, fire-proof, nuclear fallout safe room deep in the heart of a mountain.
  15. Sometimes, no matter how much it hurts or how much you dread it or how wrong it seems, you just have to bite the bullet and do what’s best for your family and sign your toddler up for soccer.
  16. Cursing is awesome. That’s why kids can’t wait to grow up. So they can finally curse.
  17. Never ask a man for his chili recipe.
  18. Never ask a woman to do the dishes on chili night.
  19. Why do so many people have so many strong opinions about what drinks other people order at Starbucks? I know technically this isn’t some piece of wisdom I’m sharing but I genuinely want to know.
  20. Teach your kids the proper names. It’s “penis” and “vagina.” They’re just body parts. No one refers to arms as “hoo-ha’s” and legs as “run sticks.”
  21. Rejection and failure aren’t an end but a beginning. No great story starts with “they were born and then they immediately succeeded.”
  22. It’s okay to have a cupcake for breakfast. It’s basically a muffin with a better wardrobe.
  23. Children have bad days too.
  24. Don’t ask your friends to spend a small fortune celebrating your birthday.
  25. Please stop telling pregnant women every horrific birthing story you’ve ever heard. They’re stressed out enough.
  26. The average ninja knows over a hundred ways to kill you. The average baby knows over a thousand ways to kill themselves.
  27. Teach your kids how to execute a proper high-five. Because approximately one out of every three strangers they encounter will want to high-five them.
  28. If you’re on a date and they order their steak “well done,” RUN.
  29. Home is where the giant pile of never-ending laundry is.
  30. The best way to calm a child during a tantrum is to not have children.
  31. Climbing trees is still fun.
  32. Try to remember when you’re freaking out because you haven’t started saving for retirement yet that all the stress will probably kill you before you even get a chance to retire.
  33. Marriage is 10 percent unconditional love and 90 percent trying to figure out what to eat for dinner.
  34. Support people’s dreams. Unless their dreams are dumb. Then just shut up and politely nod as they explain the confusing plot of their as-yet-unwritten fantasy novel.
  35. Potty training is a war. You need a good strategy. There are no winners.
  36. “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
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34 Things I’ve Learned in 34 Years

My birthday is next week. Which means it’s that time again. Time to reflect on all the ways I’ve grown wiser. All the ways I’ve matured. All the ways I’ve perfected my spitball-throwing ability.

And as such, here are the 34 things I’ve learned in 34 years…

1. There are a lot of horrible things that happen to people every day. The dude at Burger King forgetting your fries is not one of them.

2. Never cheat on your spouse. Even if it means nothing to you, it was just five minutes, you just wanted a little taste, a little thrill. It’s not worth it. No matter how much you want to watch the next episode of “Game of Thrones” before they get home.

3. If a woman breastfeeding in public offends you, by all means you should feel free to avoid all public spaces.

4. If you find a coffee shop without a long line, RUN. It means the zombie apocalypse is finally upon us.

5. Marriage isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. Only instead of stopping every few miles to chug water, you head to the bar and chug beer.

6. Everyone needs to stop making fun of women who wear yoga pants and flip flops in public. We were once forced to wear corsets and bind our feet. Not to mention the jelly shoes we wore as children in the 80’s, which were basically tiny plastic blister factories. We’ve paid our dues and earned the right to be comfortable no matter where we are.

7. Baking is an art not everyone can master. But you throw enough cocoa powder into the batter and pretty much anything is edible.

8. Children should be seen and not heard. Because if you can’t see them, chances are high they are rubbing Vaseline all over the dog and eating a blue marker.

9. Remember that you can always turn your life around. Just look at Ryan from “The O.C.” Now he’s police commissioner and his best friend is Batman.

10. To you, that 3D ultrasound photo of your unborn baby is a beautiful rendering of your precious miracle. To the rest of us, it’s a horrifying image of baby Skeletor.

11. Always turn your weaknesses into your strengths. For instance, in my almost 34 years here on earth, I have never successfully folded a burrito. But that’s why Monday night dinners are called “Mexican Waffle Cone Night” in my house.

12. Is there any sound better than the sound of a child’s laughter? Yes. The sound of a cranky child finally napping.

13. No, you weren’t a queen in your past life. You were likely a peasant who died of scurvy.

14. There is only one way to end a friendship with another woman you no longer wish to be friends with without hurting her feelings. And that way is one of you has to die.

15. Just when you lose faith in humanity, some genius comes along and sets a Beyonce video to the “DuckTales” theme song and your faith is restored.

16. Always do the voices when reading aloud to your kid.

17. I don’t care what anyone says, pets adopted from the shelter know you rescued them.

18. Don’t let your age determine your style. Be you. Always.

19. Having tattoos doesn’t make you a bad person. Wearing Crocs makes you a bad person. (Kidding! Seriously though, the Croc industry has to be stopped).

20. Call your mother.

21. Just when you lose your faith in humanity AGAIN, some genius sets a Taylor Swift song to an 80’s exercise video and BOOM. Restored. Again.

22. The laundry can wait. Playing “The Floor is Lava” with your children can’t.

23. Stop worrying about getting your hair wet and just swim.

24. Read more books.

25. If you’re on the subway and a pregnant woman gets on, give your seat to her. And your coffee. And your donut. And your newspaper. And $1,000. Growing humans is hard.

26. Speaking of which, love your body, no matter what shape or size. Your mom worked damn hard to make it.

27. Go ahead, have that second glass of wine.

28. We need to take better care of the Earth. Because the Earth produces coffee beans. Which produces coffee. Which is the only reason humans haven’t completely destroyed each other yet.

29. Travel more.

30. I don’t know the meaning of life, but I suspect it has something to do with stuffing a baby’s tootsies in your mouth.

31. Go ahead, have that third glass of wine.

32. You never see hamsters in the wild. This isn’t really a life lesson, I just think it’s super weird.

33. Teachers should be paid more, for a lot of reasons, but mostly because they have to pronounce all the ridiculous names, with all their ridiculous spellings, we give our kids nowadays.

34. Og head, hav htat forth bootle off wine.

The 12 things I learned the first 12 months of my baby’s life

  1. No matter how many times you check to make sure your baby is still breathing while he’s sleeping, you will still need to check one more time. And then, just to be safe, one more time after that.
  2. Babies are born with the mistaken idea that diapers grow on trees. Which is why they think it’s totally cool to immediately poop the second they get a fresh diaper velcroed to their tooshie. Hey man, don’t sweat it. Mommy can just run out to the diaper tree in the backyard and pluck a fresh one. Which I will also immediately poop on. Because diapers are plentiful and free, dude.
  3. Vegetables truly are the worst. Human beings were never meant to eat them. Because if they were, babies (who have very little to compare them to and haven’t even TRIED cheeseburgers yet) wouldn’t spit peas out with the speed and accuracy of an AK-47.
  4. Newborn babies like to cry between 7-8:30 p.m. for no other discernible reason than they never want you to watch TV again. Which is why moms are always out of touch with pop culture and call celebrities by wacky monikers such as Jack Gypsypants and The Girl Who Looks Like She Smells Bad And Is In All Those Vampire Movies.
  5. The only people who can successfully swaddle a kid are wizards and my cousin Andrea. And I’m pretty sure Andrea is a wizard anyway.
  6. Babies don’t care if you lose the baby weight or if you have makeup on or even if you smell like a dead weasel carcass. They just want a nice, warm, soft place to vomit on.
  7. Children will think it is absolutely hilarious for you to gently throw a big rubber ball at their face for exactly six times in a row. The seventh time they will give you a look that says “Mommy, why would you hurt me?” and immediately start crying hysterically.
  8. You’re only as good as your last game of peek-a-boo. Babies know when you’re phoning it in.
  9. Cheerios taste better when they’ve been hiding under the couch for eight days and have a nice dust bunny coating on them.
  10. Babies spelled backwards is Seibab. There really is no point in me telling you that other than to demonstrate how child-induced sleep deprivation makes you very, very stupid.
  11. The only thing more joyous and wonderful than looking deep into your baby’s beautiful eyes is looking deep into your baby’s beautiful eyes while the babysitter is holding them and you are halfway out the door already.
  12. It’s never going to be about you again. And you wouldn’t want it any other way.

33 Things I’ve learned in 33 years*

*(New Parent Edition)

1. A baby’s cry has the magical ability to make time stop. For instance, 45 seconds of crying feels like three hours. And three hours of crying feels like you can’t remember life before the crying started and will probably die before it ends.

2. There are a lot of perks to having a baby. Using them as an excuse to stop cleaning your house is the best one.

3. How much a baby wants to vomit is directly proportional to how much you like the outfit you are currently wearing.

4. Never get mad when someone gets the gender of your baby wrong. Only get mad when they get your gender wrong.

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5. Watching your kid get a shot at the doctor really does hurt you more than it hurts them. But then you remember how much the first six weeks of breastfeeding hurt and suddenly you don’t feel nearly as bad for them anymore.

6. Babies are born with two very strong instincts: To suckle and to headbutt you right on the nose. They will want to do both of these things often.

7. Ironically, babies themselves are the best form of birth control.

8. You will love your baby more than anything else in the world. Except for sleep.

9. Always assume a pregnant woman is hungry. Because she is.

10. You cannot fathom how much you will talk about poop once you have a baby. How much, how often, consistency, color, smell, whether or not it exploded out of their cute, little tushie like an erupting volcano. It will sneak into every conversation you have.

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11. Apparently, there is such a thing as a stupid question. Or at least that’s what my son’s pediatrician told me when I called him at 3 a.m. last night.

12. Dogs love babies. And they show this love by licking them directly in the mouth every chance they get.

13. Hearing your baby laugh is the best sound in the world. I don’t have a follow-up joke for this. It just really is.

14. You will often find yourself oversharing incredibly personal information to your other mom friends, such as how your C-section scar is healing and why you need to use a nipple shield while breastfeeding. And you will do this loudly. While in public places.

15. Never tell a pregnant woman that cheeseburgers are not an acceptable breakfast food. She will stab you.

16. Babies use sleep deprivation as a mind control device. You will quite literally be willing to do anything for them if it means you can just take a five minute nap.

17. No matter how clearly you explain it to them, babies will never understand the correlation between them shoving their finger in their eye and why they are currently in pain and crying.

18. Never ask a pregnant woman if you think she should be eating that. She will stab you.

19. You will completely forget how much you hated people who constantly posted photos of their kids all over Facebook and Instagram while you’re busy uploading 56 photos to your album “Baby’s First Tuesday!”

20. Never eat off a pregnant woman’s plate. She will stab you.

21. If there was an Olympic sport called “Who can pee the farthest?”, a baby would win.

22. If there was an Olympic sport called “Who can spit the binkie out the farthest?”, a baby would win.

23. If there was an Olympic sport called “How many times can I make this idiot pick up the binkie off the floor?”, a baby would win.

24. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure maternity ward nurses are angels. Angels handing out magical painkillers made of rainbows and unicorns and the happy tears of a teacup pig.

25. The second you brag about how well your baby sleeps through the night is the second he decides to wake up every 15 minutes every single night for the next six months.

26. Never ask a pregnant woman if she ate that entire cake. She did. And she will stab you.

27. Grandparents are the only people on this earth who will not immediately hand back to you your screaming child.

28. Screw sliced bread. Disinfectant wipes are the best invention since forever.

29. Once you have a baby, eating a meal becomes a luxury. One you can no longer afford.

30. For some reason, babies hate any entertainment that isn’t jiggling keys. Hence, you will never watch a full TV episode or a movie in its entirety ever again.

31. Never tell a pregnant woman you think she’s gained too much weight. She will cry. And then she will stab you.

32. There are a lot of things wrong with the world. But it’s hard to think of any of them when you have a sleeping baby on your chest.

33. It’s likely at some point in your life you will be stabbed by a pregnant woman.

The 32 Things I’ve Learned in 32 Years

Well, despite my attempts to thwart it once again, my birthday is right around the corner. And so in honor of this very important day that only I and my mother really care about, I’ve decided to impart some of the wisdom I’ve gained over the years.

Here are the 32 things I’ve learned in my 32 years on Earth:

1. The book is always better than the movie.

2. Everything tastes better with bacon. Everything.

3. It’s not drinking alone if you’re on the phone with somebody who is also drinking.

4. If you’re having more than one wedding shower or more than one baby shower, you’re doing it wrong.

5. Superhero franchises should not be rebooted so often that you can still fit into the same pair of pants at both premieres.

6. Before you marry someone, make sure you enjoy doing boring, mundane crap with them. Because your marriage will be composed of 10 percent magical moments and 90 percent doing boring, mundane crap together.

7. No amount of digital remastering can change the fact Han shot first.

8. The quickest way to kicked off a singing competition show is to attempt a Whitney Houston song. You will never sing as good as Whitney Houston. Hell, toward the end of her life, even Whitney Houston couldn’t sing as good as Whitney Houston.

9. No, ladies, you do not deserve to be treated like a princess. You deserve to be treated like a human. Get over yourself.

10. Travel as much as you possibly can.

11. A slow Internet connection might be the ultimate first world problem, but it still really, really sucks. Like, REALLY sucks.

12. If no one will publish your book, publish it yourself. If no one will cast you in a TV show, start your own web series. If no one will sell your art, sell it yourself. There are no excuses anymore.

13. Never become so jaded and callous that you don’t give the homeless guy the spare change in your pocket.

14. It is absolutely impossible to resist yelling out “Leonard Bernstein” while listening to “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M.

15. Dog fur is the most resilient substance on Earth. No matter how much you use a lint roller, it will still be there on your pants. Even if you’re murdered and dumped in the ocean and found two years later, police will still be able to identify you by the dog hair they find on your pants.

16. Tweet like no one’s reading.

17. Don’t pay too much attention to statistics. Over 64.7 percent of them are made up on the spot.

18. Never put too much stock in winning awards. Just remember: Kathie Lee and Hoda have won multiple Emmys.

19. No one can make you feel guilty. Only you can make you feel guilty. Unless it’s your mom. Mom can always make you feel guilty.

20. Violence is never the answer. Unless the question is “What should we do about Kim Kardashian?”

21. It’s always better to look your age than to look like you’re desperately trying not to look your age.

22. Shelter pets make the best pets.

23. Fellas, if the woman you are marrying is a bridezilla, don’t be shocked when she continues to act like an entitled brat for the rest of your life.

24. You should automatically unfriend anyone who uses hashtags on Facebook.

25. If you’re worried about your privacy, posting rants about privacy on your Facebook page probably isn’t the best solution.

26. Don’t give your kid a stupid name. Just…don’t.

27. Sometimes living life to the fullest includes 18 hours straight of watching “Arrested Development” on Netflix.

28. You’re not officially old until Bingo becomes fun.

29. Leggings are not pants. I repeat, leggings are not pants.

30. Don’t bother keeping up with the Joneses. They’re jerks anyway.

31. Never let Christmas morning lose its magic.

32. Never get a tattoo of an Internet meme. YOLO looks dumb on your wrist now and will look really dumb 30 years from now.

31 Things I’ve Learned in 31 Years

1. Yoga pants are a lot more fun to wear when you’re not actually doing yoga.

2. Facebook has turned a whole generation of people into really crappy philosophers.

3. Your 20’s are the time to make mistakes. Your 30’s are the time to make fun of idiotic people in their 20’s.

4. A true friend is someone who doesn’t send you spam email about what a true friend is.

5. People who are the most uninformed about politics are usually the ones on TV screaming about them.

6. Cheese is…it’s…it’s just amazing.

7. Free never actually means free.

8. A dog wearing the cone of shame and trying to climb up stairs is simultaneously the funniest and saddest thing you will ever see.

9. Speaking of dogs, they don’t need all-organic, gourmet food. They say hello by sniffing butts and consider random sidewalk vomit a treat. They’ll be just dandy with plain ‘ol dog food.

10. Throw out every diet book you’ve ever bought. If the diet actually worked, it’d be a bigger seller than the Bible and the dictionary combined and we’d all be a size six.

11. America may have its issues, but the one thing we got right is our superb “standing in line” skills.

12. Everyone should strive to see as much of the world as possible. If anything, just so you can truly understand why America’s superb “standing in line” skills are so important.

13. When your biological clock finally finds batteries, babies magically stop looking like loud, whiny blobs and actually start looking like adorable mini-humans.

14. Relentlessly pursuing happiness is bound to make you unhappy. You can’t feel the peaks of happiness if you try to ignore the valleys of sadness and the seemingly endless plateaus of “meh.”

15. Delicate ecosystem balance aside, all spiders should be systematically hunted down and murdered in cold blood.

16. Having Instagram does not make you a photographer.

17. Giving your kid a normal name that is “creatively” spelled is only fun for you.

18. People will judge you based solely on your iPod’s playlist.

19. The key to a good marriage is not marrying a celebrity.

20. LOL is not an appropriate way to end a sentence. And never will be.

21. Never put too much stock in winning awards. Just remember: Kathie Lee and Hoda have won multiple Emmys.

22. Orange is not a desirable skin tone.

23. When you start to feel bad about your age, rejoice in the fact your teenaged self never had YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to record all your stupid thoughts and most embarrassing moments.

24. You’re never too old for Jell-O shots.

25. Cooking is only fun if you don’t HAVE to do it.

26. Another key to a good marriage: Marry someone you like doing boring things with because doing boring things together will constitute about 90 percent of your relationship.

27. You never know how strong you are until you have to pee really bad and the line to the bathroom is 20 people deep.

28. Cheese really is just so amazing. I know I already said that but it just really, really is.

29. Age ain’t nothing but a number. Size ain’t nothing but a tag in your clothes that can easily be cut out.

30. You don’t truly know someone until you share a bathroom with them.

31. Mmm…cheese.