Top 5 Things I Survived in 2013

We’re three weeks into 2014 and resolutions have already hit the fan here at Camp Baumer. It’s freed up some time for me to ponder all of the things I survived last year. Presenting…my top 5 list:

#5 – The Splash Bash … in Hell

For their 5th and 3rd birthdays, we threw the girls a swim party in June. I solo-hosted 50 adults and kids because hubby was out filming a national commercial that day. That meant I had to grill the hot dogs by myself. All 75 of them. Guess who has never grilled in her life? And the best part…it was 108 degrees. Not hot, but ass hot! But, I rallied (a few burnt weenies and all). No high-maintenance guests because no one ever left the pool for fear of bursting into flames. My kind of party.


The girls, Maw Maw and I staying cool!

#4 – Potty Training

When I potty trained my oldest daughter in 2011, I cried more than she did. THE worst six days of my life. In February 2013, it was time to revisit this pillar of parenthood with our youngest. But, this time, I potty trained with a friend … alcohol. We started at 9 a.m. on a Friday, and I sipped a tangy Bloody Mary as the first puddle hit the floor. Surprisingly, only my daughter was crying this time. Accidents occurred all throughout Day 1, but my bottomless cocktail kept me saner than Prozac. By Sunday night, as I sipped my Grey Goose martini, my daughter had the hang of it. Potty training complete … for the REST of my life. Totally worth the three-day hangover!

#3 – First Day of Kindergarten

To be blunt…I redefined the Oprah “ugly cry.” Some might say, “Well, we’ve all done THAT.” But for me, it was different because I doubted this day would come. Because of Emory’s autism, I thought a special needs class was the best we could ever do. And there we were … mainstream. And she rocked it!!! Never has this mama bear been so proud … despite looking like “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” both at morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.


At pick-up … a bit more composed.

#2 – Elf on the Shelf

I hate this little fucker. But, my girls adore him. They call him, “Peter.” And on Nov. 30th, the night before he flew in from the North Pole, my oldest says, “I hope Peter does all NEW tricks this year.” GA-REAT, as I ripped my 2012 list of elf antics to shreds. But, that’s why God invented Pinterest. Despite there being a lot of over-achieving parents out there who go bat-shit crazy with their Elf tricks, there were just enough “20-second-or-less” ideas I was able to steal. And the divas were thrilled all through Dec. 24th, when Mommy kicked Peter’s elf ass back to the North Pole.

And the #1 thing I survived last year … the Halloween Bird Costumes

In May 2013, the girls proclaimed they wanted to be the birds from the movie “Rio.” Cool. I’ll just go online, find the costumes and whip out my credit card. Except, NO ONE ON THE PLANET sells pre-made “Rio” bird costumes. What I did fine online was a bunch of desperate parents all in the same boat. Then, came the lady in the U.K. who took matters into her own hands, made her “Rio” costumes from scratch and then wrote a blog chronicling every step. Armed with thread and needle, this blog became my Bible for six weeks and I produced the most KICK-ASS Halloween costumes ever. My girls are not allowed to be anything else for the next five years!


“Jewel” and “Blue,” along with their handlers.

Here’s to 2014 being just as eventful!


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4 Responses to “Top 5 Things I Survived in 2013”

  1. CJ Young Says:

    Can’t wait to see what 2014 bring you!

  2. Darla Says:

    Lovely blog! Love the countdown…and glad you survived! (Thank god I have blocked out those days of my own torture)

  3. Mandy Pierson Says:

    You are a amazing Mom never doubt yourself. Always remember they can work it out in therapy when they are 30, that was my moto.

  4. Sue Mago Says:

    Awesome Brooke! Loved the potty training tactic. Been there three times and I must say it is one of the hardest things to do!

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