Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Girls Night Out – Our New YouTube Video

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Remember what it was like to be young and free, to go out and party all night?  This video shows three women doing just that, then shows the same women going out just 5 years later, after kids.  Think minivans and mom jeans….

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I Used to Be Cool Contest Winners

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our contest.  We really appreciate the comments, the facebook fans, twitter followers, blog entries, and everything.   If you did not win, we will be having more giveaways, so please check back.  Please remember I used to be cool when holiday shopping–our shirts make really funny gifts!

Our winners were chosen by drawing this morning.  They are Kerry Brown, Shannon Dickson, and Carol Sue.  I will post what they chose as soon as they let me know.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Shannon from I used to be cool

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I Used to Be Cool Giveaway–Three Prize Packages–Each package includes 2 Shirts, 2 Stickers, 2 Huggers

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

We are giving away three prize packages–each prize package consists of two shirts of your choice, two stickers and two can huggers.  Here’s how to enter:

1 entry: Go to www.iusedtobecool.com and check out the merchandise.  Come back here  and leave a comment about which shirts, bumper stickers, or other items that you like the most.

kid

1 entry:   Become a fan on Facebook. Include this in your comment or leave a new comment.

2 entries: From the links at the left on the I used to be cool Facebook page, suggest the page to your friends.  Leave this in your comment or leave a new comment.

2 entries: Post to the wall of the Facebook
group www.iusedtobecool.com.
Leave this in your comment or leave a new comment.

2 entries: Post this contest and/or the Facebook group on your wall.  Include this in your comment or leave a new comment.

I used to be cool...now I drive a minivan.

1 entry: Follow me on Twitter.  Include this in your comment or leave a new comment.

2 entries: Tweet about this contest (see post to Twitter link below).  Include this in your comment or leave a new comment.

2 entries: Link to us (http://www.iusedtobecool.com) from your website or blog.  Leave this in your comment or create a new comment.  We will gladly link to you from our website and our blog!

3 entries: Blog about us.  Include this in your comment or leave a new comment.

I'm still cool. - Men's Shirts



stuff

Winners will be chosen by a random drawing on November 27. They will be posted, along with the merchandise that they choose.

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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

blog-iutbc-mens blog-kids-shirt blog-pink-van blog-can-huggers www.iusedtobecool.com

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Mommy Wars – Working vs. Stay at Home Moms– How is this an issue?

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

I made the mistake recently of looking at parenting.com. Not for fun, mind you, as I try to avoid anything that is aimed at making me feel like a crappy mom or person in general, but some of my ads run on there and I wanted to see what the space looks like. So I came across a bunch of articles on the so-called Mommy wars, or the debate about being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. You may, particularly if you are a man, be thinking, Why is there a debate about that? It’s not like there’s a vote and it’s going to be one or the other for all women.

For some reason, be it societal norms or just the way that we females are wired, women worry way too much about what other women are doing and love to look down on those that aren’t meeting their expectation of correctness. The hardcore breastfeeders act as though a woman who gives her baby formula is a criminal, prompting all women who didn’t breast feed to explain themselves, “I didn’t have enough milk”, “He wouldn’t take it”, etc. Seriously, have you ever once heard a woman say “I just didn’t want to”? No, because they’re scared to. TV Nazis looove to go around explaining the evils of TV to the less-informed/intelligent of us. Don’t even get me started on organic food superiority. Where I’m going with this is that you might think that it would take a very insecure woman to listen to, or even care about, what other women think about their choice to work or not work, but it has become so commonplace to make and to accept judgments that we do.

It is my opinion that there is no right answer here.  What is right is what works for you and your situation, though I will say that it has been my observation that my friends who work part-time seem to be the happiest overall. In my five years as a mom I have covered the spectrum. I had always just assumed that I would work, and I went right back to teaching when my daughter was four months old. The thing that I could not have predicted was that I couldn’t handle childcare. In fact, in the course of a ten-month school year, I went through three day care situations. Every day of that year was absolute torture for me, imagining my little girl lying unattended with a dirty diaper on the floor, crying in a crib, being tolerated but not loved. I was also pregnant with my son that year, and the hormones no doubt fueled my paranoia. Needless to say, that was my last year teaching. My son was born and I was officially a stay-at-home mom. This was a necessity for me;  I literally could not deal with daycare (and god do I envy those who can). About a year into my stay-at-home stint, I realized a definite loss of identity. Just about any stay-at-home mom will tell you that they experience this; there is pretty much no societal value put on staying home with your kids. It’s mentally draining and there’s no transition-it’s the same job all day, until the kids go to bed, including weekends. That said, it’s not the worst situation in the world-if you use your time wisely, you can keep the house clean, keep up with laundry and go to the grocery (albeit, with kids) during the day, which leaves your nights and weekends much more open to enjoying family time and time with your husband. About a year and a half ago, I started my business and work part-time from home. This would be ideal except that I haven’t yet contributed to our family’s income because I have this thing about paying off my business before I take a paycheck. So I basically work for free, but it has done wonders for restoring my identity.

I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to judge me for my choices, to have said, “She’s neglecting her child” when I worked, to have said, “She’s wasting her career potential”  when I wasn’t working. But I’m sure that they did, and I’m sure that they still do. Whatever. They aren’t me and they aren’t in my situation, and they aren’t in your situation either. I’ll do what’s right for my family and sanity and you should do what’s right for your family and your sanity. And for god’s sake, we’re not in the 8th grade, let’s all stop worrying about what other women are doing.

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Is That Teenager Laughing at ME????

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Last week I went to Holiday World with my kids and my husband in our minivan. Yes, Holiday World, a kiddie amusement park. A place that I always swore that I would never, ever, ever go in my whole life. Funny how having kids changes your perspective on things. I never understood how parents did crazy things like use precious vacation days and pay $110 to get into an amusement park and be happy to do it, just because it makes their kids happy. But now I understand.

The weather was fantastic. It was not crowded because most schools hadn’t let out yet–only a handful of parents with young kids and a bunch of teenagers on their 8th grade graduation trip. It was freaky clean so I didn’t have to worry (as much) about my kids getting a vile disease from the grip bar on the Scrambler. It was fun, it really was. Our kids were ecstatic and we decided that maybe we are amusement park people after all. I was having a great day.

At one point, I was walking along with my friend Laura, and she said, God, can you believe that we are 40? All of these teenagers are laughing at us. WHAT??? Laughing at us? Laughing at ME? Then I realized how I must look to them with my bent-up straw cowboy hat, my I’m still cool at 40 t-shirt (yeah, right), my capris that, according to Adam Glassman in Oprah magazine, are exactly the wrong length for me, and my tennis shoes and crew socks. Pushing an empty stroller strewn with sippy cups, SPF 50 sunscreen and wet wipes.

Then it hit me: Karma had come and bitten me right in the butt. I had a sudden flashback of being on Spring Break in New Orleans with my roommate and getting into a verbal altercation with a woman at a bar. When we left, we stood outside the plate glass window and taunted her with hand motions that said, Me 22, You 44 over and over again. Yes, big exaggerated movements where I would point to myself and put up 2 fingers on each of my hands and then point to her and put up 4 fingers on each of my hands. Over and over. Yes, I really did that. I am not proud. And I feel soooo bad for that woman now. What if she was really only 38 or 40 at the time? What if she was on a date with a man that she was trying to impress? What if she was already having a really hard time coming to grips with getting older? The fact that I had consumed 4 Hurricanes doesn’t alleviate my guilt. What if some young girl did that to me?

I realized that hypothetically being laughed at by teenagers isn’t the worst thing that could happen to me and enjoyed the rest of the day with my family and friends being a happy, uncool 40-year-old mom with snot on my shirt at an amusement park.

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My Kids Are Underscheduled

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

My kids are not involved in one single extracurricular activity. Not one. Granted, they are only four and three years old, but I don’t know of a single other 5 or 4 year old kid who isn’t involved in something.

It makes me a little nervous. My husband is unemployed and I have just started substitute teaching, so there isn’t a lot of extra money floating around our bank account. But our kids weren’t in anything before he lost his job.

In fact, one summer of ballet for my daughter is all that we’ve ever done. 8 ballet classes. I signed her up for summer ballet because there is no recital and there is no way in hell that my daughter is going to wear makeup for a recital. Other moms that I know are taking their pre-schoolers to soccer, gymnastics, music, art, dance, martial arts, even basketball (basketball!)

Our kids get their enrichment from Blues Clues computer programs, playing whiffle ball with Dad in the back yard and endless Tom and Jerry reruns. Okay, so maybe that doesn’t count as enrichment. I vascillate between guilt over this, “shouldn’t they be involved in something?” and ambivalence, “They are only 5 and 4, for chistsakes!” My husband is squarely in the ambivalence camp.  His argument is, “What can a four year old learn about soccer, they just run around out there.” Kind of like our feeling about Disney, which is that they won’t remember it until they are at least five years old, so why waste our money now?

I kind of think about Tiger Woods starting golf lessons at three, not that I really care if my kids become professional golfers, or professional anything for that matter. But I am aware that kids absorb like a sponge at this age, and wonder if we will regret this later. Before I had kids I was absolutely against activities, as a teacher, I would hear parents complain about “running their kids” from the minute that they picked them up in carpool until 7:00 at night, grabbing dinner at the McDonald’s drive-through and rushing home to do homework and go to bed. To me that was ridiculous and appalling, how can a kid be a kid if they are scheduled all of the time? Where is the play and the fun? And what is the woman’s life like who is essentially an unpaid taxi driver? And how can a kid swim for two hours straight? How can a kid swim for two hours straight five days a week? Swim team was always the most brutal of the activities, in my mind. from the time that one of my fourth graders told me that he went to swim team practice from 5:30-7:30am every day of the week, and when I asked what his mom did when he swam he said that she just “sat there”. Well, what else are you going to do at a natatorium at 6 o’clock in the morning?

As a 30-year-old single teacher without kids, I thought that his mom must be out of her mind. As a 40-year-old mom who worries about what I’m “supposed” to do more than I wish to admit, who lives down the street from a world-class swim club with a daughter who swims like a fish, I can see that it is probably my fate. Not that I’m looking forward to it.

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How Far I’ve Fallen

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

This afternoon, as I was spending an inordinate amount of time loading a Pez dispenser for my 3-year-old, it occurred to me just how far I’ve fallen  from my original parenting goals.  As a member of a sweets-loving family (dessert was a part of every meal growing up), I had sworn that my kids would not learn to like sweets, only accomplished if they don’t actually eat sweets, right? For my daughter’’s first birthday I spent hours, literally hours, making that damn sugar-free carrot cake in that god-forsaken-guilt-mongering book, What to Expect the First Year. The cake was okay, about as good as a store-bought mix with a little bit of doctoring, “sweetened” with sugar-free applesauce. So, how, you may ask, did it come to mainlining sugar into my kids” bodies with Pez? I blame it on the grandparents (the sweets-lovers). No matter what we said or did, they gave my daughter sweets. “It’s a grandma’s job to give cookies.” Because I was so grateful for their help, and so needy of it, I was reluctant to really get on them. I made token efforts and then finally just gave up, thinking it wasn’t so bad if it was just at their house. Then they started infiltrating our house with sweets, bringing something over every time they came. We’d throw most of it away when they left in the beginning, then we just got lazy I guess.

By the time my son was born, all bets were off. I remember saying that my kids would never eat McDonald’s, and being appalled when some friends left our Christmas party and came back with Happy Meals for their kids. Now we do McDonald’s. I justified it at first with, “That Playplace is just so great, so safe, and shaded.” Now I get it whenever I’m meeting another mom/kids for lunch at a park, because it’s way easier than making peanut butter sandwiches, and also because I could never rival most moms’ organic-government-pyramid correct-gourmet lunch making abilities. I just go the dead opposite. There are no french fries or chicken nuggets allowed, however. I did see “Supersize Me”. Even though my mom swears that the fries are now trans-fat free I don’t believe her, they taste too good.  My one bastion of hope is that I don’t allow my kids juice–as in, if you put juice in their sippy cup, I will kill you. Their dentist said that it’s the #1 cause of cavities in kids because the sugar coats the teeth.

So, there you go. Eat that Pez, kiddo, but don’t even think that I’m going to give you juice.

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Ways to Stay Cool After You Have Kids – Part 1

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

My husband and I came up with this list for those of you who are worried that you are losing your coolness due to your parenting responsibilities, or that you will lose your coolness if you have kids.

Shannon and Dixon’s Ways to Stay Cool After You Have Kids (First Installment)

Not numbered in order of importance

1) Whatever you do, do not talk about your kids’ bathroom habits outside of your own home. The cool people with kids do not want to hear about this and the people without kids will just be mortified. Cool people want to talk about pirates and politics and Brangelina  . If you talk about pee and poop socially, you will be relegated to having uncool friends.

2) This one is going to hurt. The only people who really care about your kids’ sports and intellectual accomplishments are you and your parents, so do not excessively brag about your kids, if at all. That’s not to say that your friends don’t care about your kids; they care that your kids are safe and healthy and happy. But they have their own kids with their own accomplishments. And if they don”t have kids, they really don’t want to hear about it. There are few things less cool than announcing at a social gathering:”Harrison is so advanced, he can say his A,B,C’s, write his name and count to 15 and he’’s only 26 months old!” What they hear: “Harrison blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Seriously. The poor person who is trapped talking to you is mentally going over their to do list, trying to figure out how to get the heck out of there. They are not listening to you.

3) Do not believe that your views about parenting are the only views in the universe. So breastfeeding until your kid turned 4 was the most nurturing experience of your life, good for you. So you only feed your kids organic food, good for you. Your children have never watched TV in their lives and they are 5 and 3? Good for you. Home school, cloth diapers, daycare vs. staying home, the list goes on and on. Sure if someone asks, tell them what worked for you, but know that it’s not the only way and that it’s very uncool to push it on them. If you are this kind of person, make sure to get a bunch of really insecure friends who will lap up all of your wisdom.

4) Get a babysitter when you attend events that are customarily “adult-only”. Even if the invitation doesn’t specifically say it. Weddings that happen at night and involve cocktail hours are generally intended for adults only. Events in general that occur at night are usually intended for adults only. People don’t always put it on the invitation because they a) don’t want to be rude, or b) assume that you know. Ask yourself: “Have we ever been the only people (or among the only people) with kids at an event? Has this happened more than once?” If the answer is yes, then you should not have taken your kids.

5) Don”t talk super-loud baby talk in public. As in, (affect a very high-pitch of voice here), “Oh Tomm-mmy, did you get a boo-boo? Does your boo-boo hu-u-rt? Can I kiss it and make it bet-ter? Oh ba-by, oh ba-by, my little bitty ba-by….” And then there’s the ubiquitous, “Samm-mmy, did you toot? I think I smell a toot! Do you need to poo-poo?” This is very, very uncool. We cannot stress it enough.

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