Mask Making Instructions for People With Noses

Mask Making Instructions for People With Noses

After a month of making masks for first responders, friends and neighbors, I have tried pretty much every pattern and technique on the internet and have come up with my own pattern that addresses the issue that most of the other patterns didn’t: I have a nose.

Perhaps there is a medical benefit to squashing your nose so hard that moist-talkers’ (thanks, Justin Trudeau) spittle can’t sneak into your nostrils. But as we move from simply using masks to pop into the store for a couple minutes to wearing them for extended periods to protect our communities, comfort is a virtue.

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Nose Frida Sucks…and That’s a Good Thing!

Nose Frida Snot Sucker

This post is originally from my old Dusty Parachute site but I’ve brought it over here in honor of my support for Frida Mom’s banned Oscars ad and pretty much all things Frida. Don’t know what ‘too graphic’ ad I’m referring to? You can check it out over here.


As the mothers of newborns we do some pretty strange things to keep our babies healthy & comfortable:

Would you use your teeth to trim your baby’s fingernails? Anything for my baby!

Would you squirt your breast milk into your baby’s eye at the first sign of conjunctivitis? You’d be crazy not to!

Would you suck snot out of your baby’s nose with a plastic hose? Of cour…..Wait a minute…..you want me to do what?

My name is Susanne, and I sucked my baby’s snot…..and you should too!

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about – This is a Nose Frida – The Snot Sucker, and the name says it all.

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The 10 People You’ll Find at the School Book Fair

school book fair

It’s Book Fair time again!

Even kids who haven’t willingly opened a book the entire school year completely lose their minds over Book Fair.

And who can blame them? Especially when the decorating committee transforms their simple library into some magical land, like a medieval castle, or an undersea experience, complete with a bubble machine at the entrance.

Even if you’ve missed the Book Fair reminder notes in your kid’s folder or all the giant red banners around campus, it’s hard to miss the kids wandering around after school dressed as human billboards ringing bells and spreading the news about the Book Fair.

My daughter’s in the 5th grade now (and one of the human billboards,) so I’ve been to my share of Book Fairs. Heck, I’ve even been known to volunteer to work the Book Fair a time or two and I’ve got to admit, I still get caught up in the festivities.

Although the faces change from year to year, the general School Book Fair population remains the same. Here are the Top 10 types of people you’re likely to meet during elementary school Book Fair Week.

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I’m Done Being Embarrassed of My Anxiety Disorder

I’m Done Being Embarrassed of My Anxiety Disorder

Hi. I’m Susanne. And I’m done being embarrassed that I take an antidepressant for an anxiety disorder.

I mean, seriously, I have so many other things that I should be embarrassed about, like that time in the fourth grade when I didn’t have an act for the talent show so I just walked back and forth on the stage, doing random, jerky, Rockettes-style kicks to the J. Geil’s Band song, “Centerfold.”

That was embarrassing.

But taking charge of your health is just smart. We tell our kids all the time that they should be proud of being smart.

Therefore, I should be PROUD to be taking an antidepressant.

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13 Steps to Playing the HEB Buddy Buck Machine

13 Steps to Playing the HEB Buddy Buck Machine

For those of you who don’t live in Texas, let me take a moment to explain HEB & the HEB Buddy Buck machine.

HEB is THE grocery store in Texas. Pro-tip: It’s pronounced by saying the actual letters, H–E–B. It is not pronounced Heb, like Jeb, and most importantly, it’s not pronounced Hebe, like the ethnic slur. H, E & B are the initials of founder, Howard Edward Butt. (Cue giggling children.)

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The Search Is OVER! The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever!

World's Best Sugar Cookies

Original post at my old Dusty Parachute page.

I have exciting news for you all – After 42 years on this planet, I have finally achieved my goal in life!

I know what you’re saying to yourself.  “Wow, I wish I could achieve my goal in life, maybe I should work harder!”  Maybe you should.  Because then you could be like me, 42 years old without a single care in the world, living the rest of my life free and easy because I’m no longer burdened by my life-long goal of finding the perfect sugar cookie recipe.

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8 Trump Temper Tantrum Survival Strategies for the 116th Congress

Presidential Temper Tantrum

Any parent who has been in a toy aisle with a hangry toddler who’s tired from staying up too late the previous night hate-tweeting and binge-watching Fox News can empathize with the 116th Congress having to deal with our President’s border wall fixation.

Just like a three-year-old kicking and screaming on the floor because you won’t buy them the extravagant, over-priced toy that they bragged to all the kids in class that they were going to get, our toddler of a president is ready to prove to the world that nobody is better at throwing tantrums than he is.

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The How (Not) To of Childcare Instructions

susannekerns.com

I was digging through an old bookcase today when this old, folded-up note fell out.  I unfolded it to discover the six-page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious choice of words) that I had written years ago for my mother and father-in-law when they came to care for our daughter while I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with my mom.

This was eight years ago.  My daughter had just turned one, plus we had moved into a new house the week prior.  There were boxes everywhere, not to mention the general craziness of living with a one year old.  Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her for ten days, while my husband was at work, so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.

I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and in hindsight, am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.
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“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

Gather around, children, while I tell you a little story about Halloweens back when I was your age, waaaayyyy back in the 1970s.

Ah, those were the days! Children wore costumes their mothers made from scratch, and store-bought costumes were much less slutty, (and much more flammable.) This period also marked the final years when it was acceptable, nay, encouraged, to raise awareness to the plight of the homeless by dressing your child up as a Hobo for the night.

Which brings me to Exhibit A, featuring my brother, the Hobo and me as Raggedy Anne. My mom made the hat and the apron and of course there’s the cute little red dress underneath. Look how sweet we are posing out in front of our house in Idaho.

Happy 70's Halloween - TheDustyParachute.com
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Beware of Unsolicited Pumpkin Texts

Halloween Pumpkin Text Fail

There’s a good chance my in-laws think I’m crazy.

I miss 85% of their correspondence because I only check emails once a month.

It takes me approximately four months to cash the kids’ birthday checks they send.

There’s the time I left them SIX PAGES of crazy baby-care instructions while they were babysitting our (then) one year old daughter.

And then there’s the Pumpkin-Text-Fiasco of 2013.

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The Birds & the Bees & Hard Candies – Why Sex Ed Is Important

Photo by Casey Chapman Ross

I originally performed this piece live as part of the Listen to Your Mother Austin 2016 Show. I’m sharing it here again as just one example of why I believe that science-based, comprehensive sex-ed is important for all children.

 

When I was 8 years old, I became a walking after school special when I showed a neighbor boy my underpants in exchange for a fun-size pack of Life Savers.

I should have known he was bad news when he suggested we take his riding mower out for a joyride around the back pasture (not a euphemism).  Our ride ended with the lawnmower stuck in an irrigation ditch and me in his grandpa’s basement trading a peek at my underwear in exchange for his hard candies (also not a euphemism.)
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My REVISED Amazon Squishy Product Review

susannekerns.com

If you haven’t read the original Squishy Penis Post, you can find it here.

Dear Amazon –

It is with a heavy heart that I must remove one star , or eggplant ?, from my previous review of my Mochi Squishies Squishy Toys Squeeze Random Animals Stress Toy Kawaii Squishies by Shovan, 30 Pieces.

Once it was confirmed by several hundred people that one of the MSSTSRASTKSbS30Ps I ordered was definitely not an Animal, and was, in fact, a Penis, it started to generate some tension in our household.

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My Amazon Squishy Product Review

SusanneKerns.com

My Amazon Review for “Mochi Squishies Squishy Toys Squeeze Random Animals Stress Toy Kawaii Squishies by Shovan, 30 Pieces”

Dear Amazon –

I recently purchased your MSSTSRASTKSbS30P (aka Mochi Squishy Animal Stress Toys) for my son’s 2nd Grade “End of School” Treasure Box

As always, I relied purely on all of your completely legitimate product reviews to make my final purchase decision. Sure, I was a little suspicious that all of the reviews were 5 stars, in broken English, and submitted within the past month, but I was sold by Sunny’s critique about being “worried that the smell would be too heavy” but discovering that her “worry were superfluous” after receiving them.

If they pass Sunny’s sniff test, then that’s good enough for me!
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America Needs a Little NEMO in our Sex Ed

SusanneKerns.com

When I was in grade school, I spent a year of my life distressed over the possibility that I could be pregnant, all because a boy saw my underpants and a friend of mine told me that that’s how babies were made.

My psychosomatic pregnancy scare has influenced the approach I take when teaching my own kids about sex. Since preschool, my kids have known that boys have penises, not “wee-wees,” and that girls have vaginas, not “front-butts.” They also learned that babies are made when penises enter vaginas, not when 10-year-old boys sneak a peek at your underwear.
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5 Reasons I’m Having School Photo Rage

susannekerns.com

Even on a good day, there are quite a few reasons to be annoyed by school photo day.

  • You have to remember that it’s school photo day.
  • You have to fight with your kid about why for ONE DAY you would like them to consider wearing a shirt that doesn’t have a picture on the front of it.
  • You have to have them practice a smile that doesn’t look like they’re plotting the photographer’s death and/or hitting the peak of an acid trip.

But the absolute worst part of photo day is dealing with the purchase procedure of said photos.

  1. Choose from backgrounds. This year’s selections included, “Barbara Walters 1984 Interview,” “Between Two Ferns,” “A River Runs Through It,” “That Scene From Gravity When Sandra Bullock Floats Away,” or “Underage Camp Counselor.”
  2. Select from packages A-Q, ranging in price from a minimum of $20 to a maximum of infinity dollars, because of all the mind-boggling add-ons like puzzles of your face, and note pads of your face, and pillows of your face so you can put your face on your face.
  3. Use the convenient “pay online feature” so your kid can keep saying, “there’s no money with the order form…they won’t let me get my picture taken if you don’t pay….I don’t think that code counts, I think they only take real money….”
  4. Pay with a check, if you can find your checkbook, because, do they even make checks anymore?
  5. Forget to put the order form in your kid’s backpack.
  6. Deliver order form to school office and add to a 3″ pile of other forgotten order forms.
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Dear Moms: It’s Okay To Skip The Class Field Trip

susannekerns.com

Today I am filled with mom-guilt. Since there are more types of mom-guilt than there are Eskimo words for snow, I should probably be more specific.

Today’s guilt (or at least this hour’s guilt) is Guilt Type #26: When you have to tell your child that you won’t be chaperoning their class field trip today even though you never missed any of his big sister’s field trips. Even worse, the aggrieved child reminds you about how you used to drop him off at a daycare for the express purpose of being able to attend his big sister’s field trips (Guilt Type #37.) To top it off, you may have kind of, a little bit, fibbed (or at least exaggerated) about the excuses for missing the filed trip (Guilt Type #26.B)
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The 10 Stages of Grief of Being Reported to the HOA Yard Police

SusanneKerns.com

I was recently subjected to the lowest of the low in Suburbia-shaming: I was reported to the neighborhood HOA Yard Police.

In case you ever find yourself in the deep pit of despair associated with being yard-shamed by one of your friendly neighbors, who is waving, “howdy neighbor!” at you one moment, only to duck into their car and shoot off a report to the HOA about you the next, here’s my experience to help guide you through your stages of grief.


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Kids > Guns

Kids > Guns

Sorry, everyone – there won’t be anything funny posted here today. In fact, there will probably be a lot of completely unfunny things posted here.

You see, I just finally watched one of the many videos from the latest school massacre.

I have to admit, I was too cowardly to watch them yesterday. I was also too cowardly to watch them today, but one autoplayed in my Twitter feed and I saw it.

I didn’t want to see it, because I did not want to feel it.

I was afraid that if I saw it, and felt it, that would make it real.

Like a Schrödinger cat. I didn’t want to “open the box” and make 17 people die.

But I did see it.
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The Time I Argued About Sex Ed With a Stranger at a School Meeting Until My Face Looked Like This.

SusanneKerns.com Sex Ed

A few months ago, I started hanging out at the SHAC.

What’s a SHAC, you ask?

It’s a lot like the B-52’s “Love Shack,” except it’s in Austin instead of Atlanta, and it takes place in an Austin Independent School District conference room instead of in “a little old place where we can get together.”

Like “The Love Shack,” I would like to put up a sign that says, “Stay away, fools, ‘cause love rules at the Love Shack,” because a few meetings ago, I had an encounter with someone who is quite foolish.

In fact, she, and her anti-LGBTQ+ group, are the reason I now will be attending the SHAC (School Health Advisory Council) meetings on a monthly basis.  (That, and because the SHAC feeds me dinner.)

She’s also the reason I had to post this to Facebook after I returned home from last month’s meeting.
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Try These 3 Things When Your Kids Get Stage Fright

3 Things to Try When Your Kid Has Stage Fright

I would be the last person to volunteer to go up on stage and dance or sing in front of a room full of people (or iPhone screens which presumably have people holding them up,) so I’ve had some challenges convincing my kids to get excited about things like recitals and school plays.

“You’ll be great!”

“There’s nothing to be afraid of!”

“No one has ever literally died of embarrassment (that I know of) so PLEASE JUST PUT ON YOUR DAMN BALLET SHOES!!”

If parenting has taught me nothing else, it’s that it’s impossible to be rational with irrational little humans, especially when their fear is actually pretty rational and natural, (and your primary driver for making them perform is the fact that you just shelled out $50 for that recital costume, so it will be worn on stage even if you have to go up there and move your child’s limbs like a little, angry marionette.)
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