Category - Top 10 Lists

Top 10 Signs You Are the Second Child


As you know, The Laughing Stork is not always about making silly jokes — the cats and I also work tirelessly to raise awareness about devastating conditions afflicting families around the world.  Such as pacifier addiction.  And Fifty Shades of Grey Disorder.  And, of course, Second Child Syndrome.

Second Child Syndrome happens to be a cause that is near and dear to my heart because, you see, my son… well, I forget his name right now, but I’m sure it will come to me… was born with the all-too-common condition.  So, in the interest of helping other kids who wonder why the pages of their baby books are blank, here are some other telltale symptoms:

Top 10 Signs You Are the Second Child

10.  Your mom’s “diaper bag” is her back pocket.

9.  You think pacifiers come packaged with lint and pet hairs.

8.  “Hand-puréed breakfast” = crushed Cheerios on the floor.

7.  By the time your parents bother to come and pick you up from the crib in the morning, you could have read War and Peace from cover to cover.  Twice.

6.  You think your name is “Hey you.”

5.  Your parents have more pictures of the cats than of you.

4. Your first solid food was a basket of BBQ ribs.

3.  You think the Imagination Movers are your babysitters.

2.  All of the tags in your clothes have somebody else’s name written on them.

1.  Your parents exclaim with surprise: “Hey, wait — when did you start walking?!”  Just as you’re about to accept your high school diploma.

For more laughs about first kid vs. second kid experiences, be sure to check out Luvs’ hilarious campaign celebrating us second-time moms.  This short video about packing up to leave the house particularly resonates with me:

Except my rug has way more crushed crackers and juice stains.

Disclosure time:  This month I’m working with a team of parenting humorists, including Kelcey, Robin, Susan, Amy and Ann, to hijack Luvs’ marketing for their clever and funny 1st Kid/2nd Kid campaign, for which I am indeed compensated.  If you have a second kid story, please do share!

10 Things I Hate Myself For Thinking… But Never Say


Oh, c’mon.  You know at least one of these embarrassing thoughts has crossed your mind, too…

10.  Really?  Only 3 likes and 1 “lol” comment for that HILARIOUS Facebook update about that cute thing my son did?  Hmpf.

9.  I wouldn’t mind having a wardrobe like the Kardashians’.

8.  I hate it when my daughter turns the page before I’m done coloring it.

7.  Why didn’t that waitress smile at my son?  Didn’t she see HOW FREAKIN’ CUTE HE IS?

6.  What’s the right amount of time to wait before adding someone on LinkedIn?

5.  Oh dear.  That kid is not very cute.

4.  If I give my son a weird look, maybe everyone will think that HE’S the one who passed gas.

3.  That Dave from Imagination Movers sure does have pretty eyes…

2.  I’m jealous that my daughter can pull off a tutu and boots.

1.  Yes!  The 7-Eleven cashier carded me!  I’VE STILL GOT IT!

5 Best Halloween Pranks for Parents


Why should only the kids have all the mischief-filled fun on Halloween?  If you’re looking to exact revenge on that teenager who smashed all of your pumpkins, or simply have the urge to play some pranks of your own, here are five ideas tailored just for us parents this Halloween:

The 5 Best Halloween Pranks for Parents

5.  Three words:  Dirty diaper bombs

4.  Instead of forking lawns

…LEGO them!  (“Very painful, indeed,” most parents’ feet agree.)

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10 Things People Say to New Parents—and What They Really Mean


When we welcome a new addition into our lives, we also have no choice but to welcome a whole slew of comments from family, friends and perfect strangers. And, as I’ve learned after having two babies, what people say isn’t always what they mean exactly. So I thought it would be helpful for new parents to translate some of the more popular coded comments. Here are:

The Top 10 Things People Say When You’re a New Parent—and What They Really Mean

10. What they say: “Bluebell Apple… what a unique baby name!”
What they mean:Why would you torture your child with a name like that?

9. What they say: “Don’t worry. You’re going to lose that baby weight in no time!”
What they mean:Wow. You still look like you’re pregnant.

8. What they say: “You look tired.”
What they mean:You look terrible.

7. What they say: “What a cute… baby. What is its name?”
What they mean:I am politely trying to figure out if your baby is a boy or a girl.

6. What they say: “I have never seen a baby spit up so much.”
What they mean:You must be over-feeding that child.

5. What they say: “It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you have a baby, huh?”
What they mean:Your house is a mess.

4. What they say: “He’s really got a set of lungs on him!”
What they mean:I’m so glad I don’t have to listen to that wailing all the time.

3. What they say: “It’s great you’ve been able to find the time to post so many pictures on Facebook!”
What they mean:Stop clogging my newsfeed.

2. What they say:Our son started sleeping through the night when he was just six weeks old!”
What they mean:We are the BEST PARENTS EVER. You, on the other hand…

1. What they say: “Would you like me to watch the baby while you take a shower or something?”
What they mean:You smell.

Originally written for Disney’s

10 Totally Embarrassing New(ish) Mom Moments

Last week on Facebook, I mentioned how I did my daughter’s preschool drop-off with my fly down the entire time.  I thought that was humiliating, but no!  You guys totally trumped my open fly with some mortifying mom moments of your own.  Here are some that really made me laugh, all gleaned from Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and Google Plus.  (Ha, ha.  Google Plus.  Just kidding!)

Here they are:  10 Totally Embarrassing New Mom Moments

1.  I did the school drop-off with a BOOGER on my face “…note, it was NOT my booger!” — Stacey B.

2.  “After my first outing with Erik (to show the baby off at my office and also a trip to the library), I discovered I had poop on my shirt. And the last poop had been before I left the house. Good initiation into motherhood….” –Hannah W.

3.  “I can top that, one day I went to two meetings and then realized my shirt was not only on backwards but also inside out.”  –Melanie H.

4. “I pumped gas after nursing my son…totally forgot to tuck my boob back into my shirt.”  –Bethany E.

5.  “Oh my, had to volunteer in my son’s class, and was doing laundry due to being completely out of undies. Realized when I got home I had been there with my fly down the whole time, while going commando. Oy, so embarrassing.” — Jennifer S.

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Top 10 Signs Kerri Walsh Jennings Was Pregnant During the Olympics


Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings has announced that she was actually five weeks pregnant while spiking volleyballs during this summer’s London Games. Although people seem to be surprised by this news, I believe there were some very obvious signs of her pregnancy.

Top 10 Signs Kerri Walsh Jennings Was Pregnant During the Olympics

10.  Well, just look at that belly:

Talk about a ginormous baby bump.  Looks like she’s carrying at least a six-pack.

9.  She was weepy:

8.  Often looked like she was trying not to pee:

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Top 10 Things My Three-Year-Old Likes to Do in a Crowded Elevator

Apparently, there is just something about being in the middle of a packed elevator that makes my daughter want to do these things:

10.  Point at her baby brother and giggle, “Drew has a penis.”

9.  Scream nonsense AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS.

8.  Ask me if I’m wearing my Hello Kitty underwear.  (Which SHE picked out for me at Target, I want you to know.  Because that makes it TOTALLY not weird.  *Ahem*)

7.  Point at an older man (meaning:  50+) and declare, “He’s a pappy!”

6.  Pull up her shirt and insist, “Look at my big belly button!”

5.  Pull down my shirt.

4.  Pull up my dress.


2.  Sing a song about poop.

1.  Mention poop several dozen more times.

10 Ridiculous Excuses Kids Have Given for Not Eating Their Food

A preschooler's delicacy

A preschooler’s delicacy

Food must meet at least one of three important criteria before my three-year-old daughter will agree to let it pass her lips:  1)  It must be packaged in a bag adorned with cartoon characters; and/or 2)  It must be drowning in ketchup; and/or 3)  It must be ketchup.  Seriously, just spoonfuls upon spoonfuls of ketchup.

Some parents buy Happy Meals for their kids at McDonald’s.  Suckers.  All I have to do is grab a handful of ketchup packets from the condiments bar and yell, “LUNCH IS SERVED!”

If I have the audacity to serve food that does not meet these requirements, my daughter offers any number of excuses for not consuming it — and the less sense they make, the better.  It doesn’t matter if she LOVED macaroni last week.  Now it’s touching the blue part of her plate; therefore, it is inedible.  The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches she’s always devoured?  Today, “it has bread on it” and you know what that means:  SHE WILL NOT TOUCH IT WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE.

Meanwhile, my 14-month-old son will eat her macaroni, bread and ten-foot-pole.  Then he’ll ask what the main course is.  But that’s another story altogether.

So I asked friends and readers what ridiculous excuses their children, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. have provided for not eating their otherwise perfectly fine food.  Here’s a sampling of what those crazy — er, I mean, creative — kids of yours have come up with (thanks for the laughs, guys!):

10 Ridiculous Excuses Kids Have Given for Not Eating Their Food

10. “I can’t eat dinner tonight, because I have to drink my milk. If I have both, I will throw up and since you work way too hard, it’s hard for you to clean up the mess.”

9.  “I can’t eat vegetables hot.”

8.  “Vegetables are not for boys.”

7. “I can’t, it’s not sausage!”

6. “I only like the tree part of the broccoli because it tickles me in my belly. I can’t have the bark part of the broccoli because it gets stuck going down.”

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Top 10 Worst Pieces of Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Received

Parenting is like the Jen versus Angelina debate: everyone has an opinion. I’ve received unsolicited advice on most every aspect of raising my two young children—and not just from my family members. Oh no. I have had a coffee shop barista lecture me on the “only proper way” to potty train my daughter (she was 10 months old at the time) and a hair salon assistant condemn my childcare choices (I guess she didn’t really want a tip). While some opinions have been helpful, the following pieces of eye-roll-worthy advice inspired this list:

Top 10 Worst Pieces of Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Received

10. “You can’t get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding.” My second child proves that wrong.

9. “Put rice cereal in your baby’s bottle to help him sleep through the night.” Uh, thanks, but my 2-month-old is going to hold off on the solid food for now.

8. “Having a second baby is easy.” If by “easy,” you mean “exhausting and chaotic,” then I agree!

7. “Don’t ever let your child watch TV.” Actually, the Imagination Movers make totally acceptable babysitters for my 3-year-old while I’m going to the bathroom or throwing laundry in the washing machine. Even if they do talk to a mouse.

6. “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” This oft-repeated advice may work for some moms, but I am not blessed with the talent to fall asleep on command—so the very moment I would finally fall asleep, the baby would wake up. Better to use that precious free time to get important things done, such as catching up on the latest celebrity gossip.

5. “Don’t pick up the baby when he cries because it will spoil him.” Heaven forbid my child is spoiled with love and reassurance!

Read more not-so-helpful parenting advice over at Disney’s, where I’m a weekly contributor…

10 Things That May Hurt More Than Childbirth

A friend pregnant with her first child recently asked me how much labor hurts, her voice dropping to a scared whisper and her hands clutching the sofa arms in anticipation of the scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs pain portrayed in the movies. I couldn’t lie—childbirth is not exactly a walk in the park. Yet with the help of either medication or adrenaline (and the knowledge you’re going to be rewarded with a beautiful baby), it’s also not the worst pain in the world either.

In fact, there are things that happen after having the baby that can hurt even more than childbirth—causing the kind of pain that can linger for months or years, which inspired this list:

10 Things That May Hurt More Than Childbirth

10. Your freezer breaking down, making you lose 50 bags of frozen breast milk (which also equals 25 hours of pumping and 3 gallons of milk). Oh yeah, that hurts.

9. A woman asking when you are due—six months after you actually gave birth. Talk about a bruised ego.

8. Your baby doing an explosive poop while you’re out running errands—at which point you realize you forgot the diaper bag. The sting of your nose and your baby’s behind: ouch.

7. The amount of money you have to put away for your kid’s college tuition. Which may cause you to feel sick to your stomach for, oh, another 20 years or so.

6. Your baby refusing to sleep through the night—for two years. Painful exhaustion.

5. Having to sing “Wheels on the Bus” 400,000 times a day. Torture by children’s songs.

Read the rest of my oh-so-painful list on Disney’s, where I am a regular contributor…

Top 10 Best Things About Weaning My Son

I am in the midst of weaning my 14-month-old son (almost wrote 14-YEAR-old… would have loved to have seen the comments on THAT!), a fun process marked with painfully engorged breasts — despite having weaned gradually — as well as hormonal mood swings and sadness about never sharing that special bonding time with my son again (which we haven’t shared since he got hand, foot and mouth disease, causing painful sores in his mouth and permanently affecting his ability to nurse properly).

Yes!  Good times!

So I thought I would lift my spirits by looking on the bright side and highlighting the best things about weaning…

Top 10 Best Things About Weaning My Son

10.  After being pregnant and/or breastfeeding for almost four years now, I can reclaim my body and do WHATEVER I want with it — like have that margarita without a second thought!

9.  …And eight lattes!

8.  …And bottomless sushi!

7.  …And allergy medication that works!

6.  …And any antibiotics I want!

5.  …And a hit of that young man in the alleyway’s crack pipe!

4.  Basically, I am free to use the pharmacy’s inventory as my personal buffet.

3.  Never have to be subjected to the sight of myself pumping milk in the bathroom mirror again, a reflection that always made me yell, “MOO!”

2.  My currently engorged, huge, misshapen and unnaturally hard breasts could help me land a role on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

1.  When the kid wakes up in the middle of the night, I can tell my husband, “YOU get him!” and actually GO BACK TO SLEEP.  Hallelujah!