The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: kids (page 1 of 3)

Ketchup is a Vegetable by Robin O’Bryant

Have I ever told you about my friend Robin O’Bryant?

We met online a couple of years ago through mutual friends and hit it off like peanut butter and chocolate. When we finally met in person at a blogging conference it felt like coming home, minus the piles of clutter and that wet dog smell.

Ketchup Front cover 200

Robin and I have the kind of relationship where I can text her questions like “Bucket Head says his butthole is itchy. I’m scared,” and she’ll text back sage advice like “Whatever you do, DO NOT Google Pinworms,” and then digitally hold me while I reply, “Too late. OMG. MY EYES!!” Continue reading

A Full Circle Cornhole Moment

My 6-year-old son Bucket Head wants to be a Tiger Cub.

It’s all he’s been talking about for two weeks: “MOM! THEY GET TO SHOOT BOWS AND ARROWS! AND GO CAMPING! AND RACE PINEWOOD DERBY CARS!!!”

Is it just me, or does this statue look like a giant turd?

Is it just me, or does this bronze statue look like a giant turd?

Bucket Head was made to be a Cub Scout. The kid can’t walk without finding and picking up sharp sticks wherever he goes.

So we went to the Cub Scout Roundup last night; sat and listened and whooped and hollered at all the appropriate cues; and then when the Cubmaster asked for volunteer Den Leaders, it was so quiet you could hear a flea fart.

Honest to Pete, the only sound in the joint was the cafeteria clock going tick-tick-tick as all the parents put their heads down and avoided eye contact with each other.

Cubmasters must be used to this response because they played it pretty cool.

…for the first five minutes.

And then the begging began in earnest.

One of the other leaders approached my husband who has worked with my oldest son’s Boy Scout Troop for years and said, “Jim? How about you? Ready to be a Den Leader?”

“Sorry, Bob. Can’t do it this year.”

“Oh, come on. It’s only an hour a week and the first four meetings are totally planned out for you.”

“No can do, man. I’m already spread way too thin.”


“Anyone? Folks, we can’t have a Tiger Den without two Den Leaders,” the Cubmaster pleaded.


“Do it for the kids! We’ll help you. There is training!”

You could see the panic sprawled across all those sweet little 6-year-old faces.

“What’s happening, Mom?” one of the boys whispered.

Nobody was stepping up.

A bead of sweat slowly trickled down the face of the dad across the table from me as he busied himself on his iPhone.

Uh-oh. This is bad, I thought to myself.


And just when it looked like poor little Bucket Head wasn’t going to get to be a Cub Scout after all, a small voice piped up from the back:

“I’ll do it.”

A universal, audible sigh of relief reached everyone’s ears at once. 

Wait, who said that?

Who is that crazy woman in the back raising her hand?

Hey! I know her! Hi!

Oh no.

Hold on, folks.

She might not be the best choice.

Isn’t she a… a… a humorist?

I mean, she overshares on the Internet. And she has a book on Amazon about lady bits and stuff!

Oh well. Too late now.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to your newest Cub Scout Den Leader!

(It’s me. Say hello to me. Thanks. I get tired of talking to myself, y’know?) 

Yeah. I’m just as shocked as you are.

(But I’m pretty excited about the uniform!)

So we’ll have to see how it goes. I’m bracing myself for the very real possibility that I will be deemed “unacceptable” as a Cub Scout Den Leader based on my, well… me-ness. But like I tell my kids all the time, beggars can’t be choosers. You don’t want someone like me* heading up your Tiger Cub Den? Then step up.

But in the meantime, I already know one of the crafts we’ll be doing! The boys are going to LOVE IT!

To help you fully appreciate what an enormous full circle moment this is for me and my family, I’ve spruced up one of my very first blog posts for you about the time I played Cornhole and perfected the art of the Dutch Oven at Cub Scout Family Camp five years ago. It’s probably new to you, and it is one of my all time favorites. Enjoy!

© 2013 The Bearded Iris

Are your kids on Instagram?

Hiya! I’m In The Powder Room today sharing the six REALLY BIG reasons why my ten-year-old daughter doesn’t have an Instagram account. It’s a PSA with humor and heart. My gift to you.

Instagram is no place for kids by The Bearded Iris In The Powder Room


Listen, y’all, I lurve Instagram. It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with friends. If you are on Instagram, let’s hang! I post pictures of everything from my prized Hosta collection to the sparkling inside rim of my freshly scrubbed toilet seats. Yes, I’m THAT fascinating.

But I’ve been using this app long enough to have found some pretty skeevy things about it that all parents really should consider before allowing their children to Amaro their American Girl Dolls or Hefe their hopscotch games. Which is exactly what kids this age should be doing instead of gazing at naked men or horrifyingly violent comments.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one.

With care and concern, and a big vat of eye bleach,

How To Ruin Your Kids’ Spring Break

Join me In The Powder Room today to hear the story behind this photo:

What we did on our spring break via The Bearded Iris and In The Powder Room

It’s either kind of awesome, or just one more reason why my children will clock many hours of therapy someday. Probably a combo of both…

I’ve been crappified

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may already know that I had the incredible honor of having one of my posts illustrated last Friday by Amber Dusick of the wildly popular blog, Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures™.

Sorry if this is old news to some of you, but I want to post about it because lots of my readers are NOT social media mavens. (Hi Mom! Hi Jenny’s Grandparents Frank & Fran—Happy Anniversary! Hi Tracy’s Grandpa! ::fist bump::)

Amber applied her wonderfully “crappy” illustration style to an old story I wrote about me and Mini-Me when she was going through an interesting phase several years ago.

And girlfriend nailed it.

The Bearded Iris as illustrated by Amber Dusick

Seriously. How freaking adorable is that? I may need to change all my avatars now.

It’s funny, when Amber asked me which post I’d like her to illustrate, I knew right away which one I thought would be a great fit. It was one of my most memorable posts from 2008, so I thought it would be a great way to revive an oldie but goodie and introduce it to new readers. When I mentioned it, Amber said:

 “…that one would be perfect!!! Lots of conversation that I can pull from for speech bubbles.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

You’ll have to go to Amber’s blog to see the whole thing, but based on a vast majority of the comments, we picked a winner, and Amber’s hilarious illustrations are the perfect icing on the (very sticky) cake! Please go show Amber some love for choosing little ol’ foul-mouthed me to showcase to her vajillions of dedicated readers.

Without any further ado, I present Sticky Situation, now Illustrated with Crappy Pictures.


You are going to want one of these books for your kids

I get a lot of PR pitches to review and/or giveaway stuff on my blog. Most of them are pretty crappy pitches. Here’s a tip, if you’re pitching something to a blogger, take two frickin’ minutes and get to know the blogger first. For instance, even though I have a goatee on my avatar, if you address me as “Dear Sir,” I jump on that delete key faster than Honey Boo Boo on a dropped Cheese Ball.

Needless to say, due to the sheer volume and crapitude of most of these pitches, I rarely respond.

But I received one a while back that caught my eye.

It was from a couple in Ohio who makes children’s books.

“Dear Leslie,

The wife Susan & I created a kids’ book. It’s a custom photo book kinda like Where’s Waldo but uniquely made for each kid. We are looking to expand our media and found your dancing ad promo. Nice moves by the way…”

He knew my real name. (Nice.) He sounded like a decent hardworking midwestern guy with his whole “The wife & I” schtick. (I’m listening.) He complimented my dance moves. (Bonus points.)

And thus, an email conversation began.

His book is called Find Me If You Can!™  Tom offered to make a free one for Bucket Head, so I checked out his website and was immediately intrigued.

I decided to send him a photo of Bucket Head so I could see if I liked the quality of the book enough to want to do a review on my blog.

As cute as my Bucket Head is, the boy ain’t the most photogenic child I’ve ever pushed out of my baby maker.

Bucket Head ain't the most photogenic child I ever pushed out of my baby maker.

See what I mean? (Bless his heart. He gets it from his Mama.)

But I finally found one I thought would work and emailed it to Tom.

bucket head on his 5th birthday

About 10 days later I received my book.

I think it will be easier for you to see Bucket Head’s reaction to it than it would be for me to tell you about it, so here—have a look.

I wanted to keep the video short, so what you don’t see is the following:

  • Mini-Me (who is almost 10-years-old) took one look at this book and wanted a copy for herself with her own little face on each page.
  • My children stopped fighting for the first time all day while they worked together to find little Bucket Head’s photo on every page.
  • Bucket Head kept going back to the book for days after he received it.
  • Every time his friends come over, this book is the first thing he shows them: “Look! I’m in a book!”
my kids enjoying their new find me if you can book

Folks, I am telling you—you need one of these books for your kids or grandkids. This is THE coolest personalized gift we have ever received. (No offense Aunt Debbie, the kids love their monogrammed towels and all, but it’s hard to compete with seeing their face on every page of a Find Me If You Can! book.)

I’ve done all the research for you, so let me point out some of the book’s features based on questions I’ve already asked Tom and Sue.

1.) There is a spiral binding on the inside of this hardcover book because Tom and Sue have found that to be the sturdiest option, even though it costs them more to produce it that way.

2.) Yes, if you have multiple children, you can put siblings in the same book, but it will cost a little more due to the extra labor required. Plus, the more kids you put in the same book, the more crowded the magnifying glass on the title page will be.

title page of find me if you can

This is the title page in Bucket Head’s book.

3.) Based on the child’s age and ability, Tom and Sue can customize the number of random faces that appear on each page. They have done as few as 12 faces a page for children with learning disabilities. My book has ~120 faces per page and it was just the right level of difficulty for Bucket Head.

space page of find me if you can

4.) Don’t worry – your child’s face will not be used in other people’s books (unless you want that, and if so, you just have to sign a photo release form).

The books are $29.99 each and cost $4.95 to ship anywhere in the USA. For a limited time only (the next 7 days), Tom and Sue are offering my readers a special 10% discount ($3.00) on each book. Just go to to place your order and use the promo code BUCKETHEAD.

Tom and Sue have also generously offered to give away 5 of these books for FREE (with free shipping) to 5 of my fabulous readers! 

Want one?

Let’s do this.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll announce the winners next Wednesday.

If you are a blogger and would like a free personalized book to review on your own blog, please email me at Iris <at> TheBeardedIris <dot> com and I’ll introduce you to Tom and Sue.

Yours truly,

PS – I’m creating a photo album on Facebook so we can post the worst photos of our kids. Please join me at The Bearded Iris page to share yours.

Disclaimer – I received a free book in order to personally experience it for this review. As always, all opinions are my own. 


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