The Good and Bad of Being in Your Late 20s, Early 30s

Posted by Julia Sogaard on 4:47 PM

Remember when you were 10 and thought the kids in high school were "like, soooo old"?  I do.  I remember telling one of my friends in 4th grade that I was excited to go to high school and she told me to calm down because it was light-years away.  That was 18 years ago.  18.  How the hell did my youth pass by that quickly?

I've come to realize that I'm a full-blown adult now, but somehow can't shake the feeling that I'm eternally 22.  But I'm not.  I'm 28, soon-to-be 29.  Holy shit.  That's practically 30.  I have kids.  Like, kids that rely on me for living... and whatever.  Whaaaaat?  

I don't know at what age you start to feel like the older generation, but I've definitely hit it.  You'll know you're there when you find yourself rolling your eyes at the younger generation.  Have you seen some of the garbage that teenagers wear today?  Girls have loose, messy ponytails and combine that rats nest with sweatpants and dirty Uggs.  Did someone just mug you or did you do this on purpose?  Do I need to call the authorities or slap you?  The guys look like Justin Bieber, and that's not a compliment.  And the selfies.  Oh, the freaking selfies.  In the words of Chandler Bing, "could you beeeee anymore obnoxious?"  

This makes me want to keep my kids indoors forever.

Anyway, I want to really take a look at what being in your late 20s to early 30s looks like.  The good and the bad.  It isn't all rainbows and puppies, but hey... at least I can buy wine and rent a car.  Score = me.

GOOD: I don't even get carded now when I buy alcohol. 

Wait, is this a positive?  Do I want to look like I could be 20?  How old do I look, exactly.  Oh God, where's a mirror?

BAD: Drinking 1 1/2 glasses of wine at night results in an next day hangover that just doesn't quit.  

What. Kind. Of. Fresh. Hell. Is. This.  When did my body start to hate having a good time?  Screw you, liver...  mommy needs a cocktail.

GOOD: You're best friends with your parents and that's cool.
Nobody knows how to have a good time like Mama Teply.  Mama Teply is my fav.  

BAD: You have to pay for things you took for granted as a kid.

How much does it cost to heat a house?  Oh my God, put on a sweatshirt and turn it to 65!  $7,000 for a tank of gas?  Is it pure gold?  Am I putting pure gold into my car?  

GOOD: I have my own house.  Like, my own.  I own it.  It's mine. 

That just seems so adult-like.  I pay a mortgage and deal with furnaces breaking.  Well, technically, I pay the mortgage and Erik and Dave Teply deal with furnaces breaking.  But whatever, I can paint the inside pink and it would be cool, because it's mine.  Although, I'm not sure Erik would be down with that.  

BAD: Purchasing said house and fixing it's furnace costs a lot of money.

"Hooray, it's payday! I'll just pay a few of these bil... and I'm broke."

GOOD: I've weeded out my circle of friends down to those who I actually care about

You don't like drinking wine and hated 'Bridesmaids'? Get out.

BAD: All my friends and social media acquaintances are apparently Martha freaking Stewart.  

When did everyone learn how to cook crusted tilapia and have enough time to hand-craft ribbon wreaths for their front doors?

Save that shit for Pinterest.

GOOD: I appreciate sleep now.
Your party starts at 9 pm?  Are we planning on hanging out for like an hour, because that's my bedtime.  

BAD: I have children who want to hang out early in the morning.  

GOOD: I am 28 and can do whatever I want.


Why You Drive Like That?

Posted by Julia Sogaard on 1:33 PM
Ok, so I have a pretty killer 18 mile commute to work every day.  It wouldn't be so bad if my options weren't Hwys 100, 169 or 494, but, alas, I have no choice but to take the same damn roads as 95% of Minnesotans at 7 a.m.  Driving this commute to and from work 10 times a week has made me develop a cute (not so cute) form of road rage.  I'm trying to work on that (no, I'm not).  I like to think of myself as a logical person, always very carefully outlining my next move, so it physically pains me to watch the people around me drive.  Pains me.

Let me describe these people to you, mmk?

1. The "I'm Obviously In a Bigger Rush Than You" Guy.  "Oh, that person must have woken up late or had a bad morning, let me just move over while in traffic to let them in..."  NO.  You will sit there like everyone else.  Calm down, sir.  Do you not think I got in my car to drive somewhere, too?  Just like you, I totally want to play leapfrog -- I don't enjoy sitting on the freeway, either, pal.  I'm not eager to get to work, I'm eager to not be surrounded by morons.  And, by the way, where are you going?

2. The "I Definitely Have Enough Room to Squeeze in Front of You" Guy.  Umm, no you don't.  If I have to slam on my brakes so as not to hit you, you did not have room.  Luckily, I've perfected my glare into their rear-view mirror.  We will make eye contact and you will feel shame.

3. The "I'm Going to Speed Up Every Time The Car in Front of Me Moves, Then Slam on My Brakes" Guy.  YOU SUCK.  Do you think that traffic directly ahead of you all of a sudden significantly sped up, while cars 1/2 mile in front of you are still at 5-10 mph?  Pay attention, my friend.  I do not want to be one with your bumper stickers and I'm definitely not in the mood to meet you today.

4. The "I'm Not Even Trying to Hide the Fact That I'm On My Phone" Guy.  Yeah, you may not care if you get into an accident today, but I'd like to live.  I mean... I'm not even down to 80% on my DVR yet.

5. The "I'm Going to Forcefully Make My Way in Front of You As My Lane Ends" Guy.  If Minnesotans understood how to "zipper merge," none of this crap would exist.  First, if you merge into the new lane early, sitting their for ages, you're an idiot.  Second, if you speed past me and try to wedge your car in front of me when I'm finally at the front, I hate you.  See Guy #1.   

6. The "I'm Not Going to Let You Into My Lane For No Reason Even Though You Politely Have Your Blinker On and Are Waiting Patiently" Guy.  Hey, a-hole, I need to get off at that next exit... could you please decide whether you want to speed up or slow down so I can share your lane?  Thanks.

7. The "I Refuse to Use My Blinker" Guy.  Woah, fella...  let me just veer off the road here because you decided to slam on your brakes and take a quick turny-turn.  Maybe it's the OCD in me, but I have a little habit of using my turn signals whenever I plan to do something.

8. The "Creepy Stares at You Every Time Your Cars Pass Each Other" Guy.  Don't make eye contact! Just remain cool and dream of a day where it's legal for all of your windows to be tinted black.  

9. The "Slam on Their Brakes When the Light Turns Yellow" Guy.  You've got to be kidding me, right?  That light had at least four of us making it to freedom.  This is where I watch the cars that made it to the other side in completely jealousy.  Lucky bastards.

10. Just Simply The Fact That Everyone Decides to Take My Roads.  There are perfectly good roads not being used.  You go there.  This one is now mine.  Thank you.


The Pro's and Con's of Having Children

Posted by Julia Sogaard on 12:55 PM

Ok, so having kids is awesome and my boys bring me so much joy, but yes... there are a few downfalls.  Fortunately, the good outweigh the bad.  Phew.  Anyway, I have decided to jot down a few of the PRO'S of having kids and a few of the CON'S.  Yeah, let's take this journey...

PRO: Having kids allows you to have fruit snacks and multiple boxes of Little Debbie snacks in the house without feeling like a complete loser.

CON: You eat said gummies and Little Debbie snacks, leaving none for your children.

PRO: Having kids and a babysitter at home allow you to leave a boring party early without guilt.

CON: Having kids and a babysitter at home forces you to leave a good party basically before it gets started.

PRO: Buying cute clothes for your kids is ridiculously fun.

CON: They outgrow that crap before it's third wear.

"Oh look, this says 18 months.  This will fit my child."  

WRONG.  Carter's size "18 months" is for tiny mini people.  Beware.

PRO: They become much easier to feed once they start eating real food.

CON: Once they start eating real food... they start eating YOUR food.

PRO: You always have a shopping date when you need to go to Target.

CON: Your shopping date throws crackers on the floor, has to pee 3 times within an hour, and screams at you in the middle of checking out.

I'd rather step on a lego.
PRO: You get to spend all of your time with them.

CON:  You have to spend all of your time with them.

PRO: You found an awesome daycare or babysitter who is like family and you trust them with your kids.

CON: Paying for childcare is like paying for two brand news cars, but then still driving a 2003 purple Dodge Stratus.

PRO: Once your kids get old enough, they can be entertained by a cartoon while you get ready in the morning.

CON: You will sing the theme song to Go, Diego, Go under your breath as you sit at your desk.  All day.  All day long.

"... with baby Jaguar by his side!"
PRO: If your kids are still young enough to take naps, you can get all your stuff done during the 1-3 hours they're sleeping.

CON: Your kid can fall asleep for 7 1/2 minutes on the car ride home... and will definitely be up the rest of the day.

PRO: Hearing them say their first word is absolutely precious.

CON: Two years later, they DON'T. STOP. TALKING.

No, seriously... they don't stop talking.

I hope this has served to give you a nice, condensed list of the ins and outs of child-rearing.  Now, I'm off to take my crazy pills and go hang with my kids.


The People of the Minnesota State Fair!

Posted by Julia Sogaard on 8:40 PM

Mmk, so I took my littles and joined my in-laws at the Great Minnesota Get-together yesterday and I must say... people watching just gets better every year.  Don't even lie and say it's not a hobby of yours... I know I'm not alone in this.

So, just for funsies, I thought I'd list a few of the people you'll see at the Minnesota State Fair:

1. The Woman Who's Too Dressed Up.  Heels... really?  How's that going for you?  And a mini-skirt?  C'mon... settle yourself, guuuurl.  Who are you trying to impress?  The carnies?  The man stuffing his face with cheese curds (my husband)?  I know you don't have bionic feet, so my only assumption can be that you hate your feet and would like to see them die a slow, painful death.

2. Creepy Carnie.  Yeeeeeeah, if you could not touch my child and just take the tickets, that would be greeeeeat.  First off, do they literally stay in trailers all year?  Are their children with them?  Do the kids go to school?  Do they bathe regularly?  I have so many questions, because this lifestyle is so bizarre to me.  I want to sit them down for a nice little lecture about skin care and dental hygiene.  But, let's be honest, if I had set-up and take-down heavy rides all year, then spend 12 full days at a time taking tiny paper tickets from sweaty kids and their crabby, exhausted parents, I would probably fake my own death and head to Mexico.  Yeah, Mexico's a safe alternative.

Mmmm, sweet nicotine... "Come aboard, kids!"
3. The Suburban "Ghetto Thug".  This is by far my favorite sighting.  Nothing screams thug more-so than a dude whose style idol is Justin Bieber.  Cool gold chain, dude!  Where did you get it?  H&M? Charming Charlie?  Yeah, pull up your oversized Old Navy pants and let's just pretend we didn't see your undies. "Naw what I'm sayin'?"

"I gotta be home by 10, yo'."
4. The Unnecessary State Fair-Issued Power Wheelchair Guy.  Ok, I totally understand why the State Fair rents out these sweet rides, but there are definitely people that make you doubt the legitimacy of their need.  These wheelchair newbies also have no sense of space and just freakin' plow down the street like you gave them the signal that you wanted your foot run over.  Cool.  Oh, and you better believe that thing is just caaaaaaalling out to the high-heel girl.  Homegirl's dogs are barking.

Oh, who am I kidding.  This looks awesome.
5. The Woman Wearing No Bra.  Ok, no. Unless you're Heidi Klum, this will never be a good look for you.  I would actually prefer you go and put on like three sports bras and another two or four shirts.

6. The Emo Kid Pretending They Don't Want Attention.  "No way, dude, you're spiky black, pink and neon green hair and Covergirl eyeliner don't make you stand out at all."  For realsies.  Also, aren't you completely soaking in sweat under your over-sized JNCO jeans?  I'm glad your "expressing" yourself, but your 40 year-old self called and he says you look like a douche-nozzle.

7. The Person Rockin' the Airbrush T-Shirt.  Nothing says you love your kids more than wearing a creepy airbrushed picture of them.  Better yet, why don't you have them write your boo's name on the shirt in some fancy cursive?  Yeah, that's a good look.  Don't change.

8. The Person Proudly Carrying Multiple Large Stuffed-Animal Prizes.  Really?  Do you really want that in your house?  One is maybe fun to win, but how the hell do you bring them home?  What possesses you to spend that much money playing a game that's obviously rigged to be harder than it should be for a stuff animal you could probably buy for a ten spot?  I can't imagine a spot in my house where an nine foot Tweety Bird would look good.  But, then again... I haven't seen your house, so who am I to judge?

Yes! Took me 49 tries, but I finally won that big, pink dog!
9. The Baby Only Wearing a Diaper.  Parading your baby around in the hot summer sun without clothes on is totally a great idea.  Wait, no... it's not.  Is this a matter of laziness or do these parents honestly think this is normal?  A pack of cheap onesies at Target runs like $5.  I have to assume you've dressed your baby before, so what's different about today?  Poor exposed, sunburned little nugget.

10. The Baby Being Changed Right Next To You.  I'm a mom, I get it.  There isn't always a great place to change your baby's diaper in public and you gotta do what you gotta do.  But, c'mon... people are everywhere and they're EATING!  If you can't get to a restroom with a changing table, try, at least, to be discreet about it and find a nice little corner.  I'm sure your child would appreciate not being exposed to everyone on this list.  Maybe you can find the man carrying the oversized Tweey Bird and use it to shield Junior's yoo-hoo.

11. The Person with the Killer Mullet.  Yes! Brilliant! Nothing says State Fair more-so than business in the front, party in the back.  Bonus points if the top is spiky or the back is longer than their shoulders.  I absolutely love this sighting.

So. Much. Awesome.
12. THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON EVER!  This person walks around huffing like everyone is in their way and that they are forever and always being inconvenienced by absolutely anything.  This person also parked their big black SUV literally inches from my car, making it seriously impossible to open the door, much less get my kid in his seat.  To you, I say... "you suck and I hope you step in horse poo."

and finally...

13. The Girl Rockin' her Muffin-Top. "Yes! They fit! Honey, my jean shorts fit!"  Umm, no they don't and crack is whack.

Oh no she didn't!

The End.  Now, go eat your weight in cheese curds!


My Children Will Do It Differently

Posted by Julia Sogaard on 10:37 AM

So, I was thinking the other day about all the technological advances since I was little.  I can't wait to talk to my grandkids and blow their minds when I tell them I'm older than the internet; although, I feel like the internet has been around forever.  How old does that make me?

Anyway, it got me thinking about all the things my kids get to (or will get to) experience everyday that the average 80's (or even 90's) kid could never even imagine.

1. Cell Phones.  Man, I didn't get a cell phone until I was 17.  It was the cool, new thing.  It felt everyone around us was getting them left and right and my brother and I wanted to be in on it.  Wanda came through and we got our PORTABLE phones!  Success!  I didn't have to call my friends houses and fear catching their parents, or worse... have to leave a message on the family answering machine.  I could call them directly and talk about important things like which *NSync member was the hottest and whether or not we should go to Valleyfair or the mall.  Man, those were the days.

"Let's go to the mall, guuuurl!"
And by the way, my cell phone screen was GREEN.  Remember those old computers with green type.  Yeah...
Don't be jealous, k?
Now a camera, computer, camera, calculator, notebook, calendar, and phone.
Now, I've babysat kids who had cell phones.  The youngest I've seen a kid with a cell phone is 8-years-old.  Whhhhhaaaaaat?!  Although he "technically" had it so his mother could get ahold of him and for emergencies, you can't tell me he's not downloading stupid farting apps and perusing the inter-webs.  My boys will never know a time where people didn't have high-tech iPhones and iPads with giant touch-screens that can do absolutely everything and that's crazy to me.  Think of how easy it is now for kids to talk to each other, use the internet, take pictures (of whatever 8-year-olds take pictures of) and waste time playing games.  These kids don't know what it's like only using the phone for calling people and playing snake...

(Side note: At like 15 or 16, my good friend, Jennie, was given a pink pager before we all collectively got cell phones and I was super jealous.  Looking back, it seems so silly to give a teenager a pager.  The only person that's really going to page them is their mom and even then, they had to go find a pay phone to call them back.  Regardless... I wanted a pink pager, too, damnit!  Jennie, you better still have that thing.)

2. Watching TV & Movies.  My three-year-old will never know the rush of getting home in time to watch a TV show or having to actually drive to the video store to rent a movie and then paying the inevitable late fee for not returning them on time (because ain't nobody have time for that).  He is just starting the grasp the concept of watching TV in real-time.  I guess I'm totally the one guilty of perpetuating his belief that Dora and Diego come alive on TV when mommy says they should.  I've recorded countless episodes of his favorite shows, making it so he can literally choose which shows he wants to watch at any given time.  And now one step further, we have Netflix streaming on our iPad and iPhones.  He can watch his shows literally everywhere.  And here we thought we were all cutting edge when I was in middle school when Wanda put a 13-inch square-box TV in the backseat of the car on a road-trip so we could watch a VHS tape.  Now, my boys can literally browse through thousands of show options and watch them without individually paying for each.  R.I.P. Blockbuster.  (Side note: remember the "back room" of the video store, where creepy men had to go out in public to check out their dirty stuff?  Eew.  Get yourself in check, man.)

You tell 'em, Dawson.
3. The Internet.  "Skreeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrreeeeeeeeerrrrrchhhhhhhhhheeeeeeerrr.  Welcome to AOL."  Ahh, the good ol' days.  Remember logging into AOL to instant message your friends for seven hours straight?  Nothing says you're cool like a screen-name like KrazyforKittens1487 (side note: totally wasn't my screen-name, but it should have been... kittens are krazy).  This was sweet technology back then, but damn, it has gotten crazy since 1995.  With the wealth of info on the internet and the ease of "googling," kids honestly don't have to know anything anymore.  Just google it.  There is literally an answer for pretty much anything on the internet, so screw talking to actual humans... I'ma learn to make me a bird feeder on WikiHow!  No time or don't want to go to the store and buy stuff... buy it online!  It's all so eaaaaaasy!

Life before the Internet
What We're Like Now...
4. Social Media.  Ahhh, social media.  Remember when you had to just call that person you knew from high school and asked them to describe their dinner to you?  Oh, wait.  When Facebook started, it was just for us cool college kids.  Now, every 14-year-old with an iPhone and a love for taking selfies with their "duck lips" has a profile.  Lame.  What's worse is Instagram.  Have you seen some of the garbage that those kids post?  If I ever catch my boys taking shirtless bathroom selfies and attaching #tagforlikes, I want someone to just off me right then and there.  The. Worst.

While my generation grew up with social media and, for the most part, understand how to properly use it, the younger generation is coming in and ruining it for everyone.  If you affix more than three or four hashtags to your picture, I immediately begin picturing you clutching your phone, checking it every 5 minutes, praying to see a red notification that four more people have liked what you posted.  Hooray for empty validation!  We're probably all guilty of this to a lesser extent, but damn... calm down.

(Editor's note: I would like to thank God for not allowing Facebook to be a thing when I was in high school.  The End.)


Things I've Learned from Having Kids

Posted by Julia Sogaard on 1:19 PM

So... I've been parenting for almost 3 1/2 years now (yay, go me!), and throughout this time, I've come to learn a wide variety of things I consider "advice" for any new parent.

Wanna hear some?  Awesome.  Read on...

1. There is no such thing as child-proofing your house.  Yeah, you may think just keeping the knives up high and covering the electrical outlets is enough, but think again.  Kids will find things in your house and try to eat them, put them in their ear, throw them at the dog, or wipe it on your walls.  "Oh look, half a crayon!  It's covered in dust and something sticky... let's play with it!"  Eerr, nope.  Not in this house.  I should start a jar of things my kids find and try to give to me.  That way, I will have a graduation gift for them when they're 18.  **Fingers crossed they're still into dead bugs**

1. You're going to feel like an idiot.  A lot.  They say that the most honest people in the world are kids and drunks and that couldn't be more accurate.  It's also true that they are like little sponges and remember everything that ever came out of your mouth.  Be prepared to brake off a piece of your dignity and give a half-smile when your kid loudly tells you about the "biiiiig buuuuutt" of the lady in line with you at Target, or when they yell, "uggggh, damnit!" in front of a bunch of strangers at the park after spilling their juice box.  However, I will say that it's totally okay to feel a little proud if your kid swears in the proper tone and context.  Hey, at least you taught them something!

2. A toddler's attention span is just above, and slightly to the left, of non-existent.  Yeeeeeah, if you could literally just sit still for like 5 minutes, that would be greeeeeeeeat.  We all know kids are like this before we have one of our own, but nothing solidifies this fact better than trying to accomplish a task, run an errand or (god forbid) take a trip with kids in tow.  Bring snacks, drinks, toys, and if you're driving or flying somewhere... a bottle of benadryl for them and bottle of wine for you if you expect to make it out alive.
(Editor's note: I do not condone drugging children. Unless it works, then whatever.)

3. People love to give you parenting advice.  Hey... random, chatty woman in the yogurt aisle, grab your dairy and mind yo' business.  I don't think I need to know how you raised your litter in the '60s.  Do not listen to these people.  Simply smile, nod like you're listening and slowly back away...

4. At some point, your kid will inevitably hit, kick, scream at, or bite another kid.  Yep.  It happens.  Bury your initial urge to overreact, apologize and move along, sister.  Every kid goes through a vampire phase.  It's pretty "in" right now, actually.  Kudos to your kid for being trendy.

5. You'll need a place where you can secretly eat your Oreo in peace.  For me, it's burying my face in the pantry like I'm desperately looking for something or the bathroom.  Don't think you'd enjoy eating cookies in the bathroom?  Become a parent.  Momma don't share food.

6. Your child will ask a lot of questions.  Be prepared to answer 3,457 questions a day from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed.  "Why is that sign blue?""Where does Elmo live?" "Why is your hair so crazy?" "Where did Eli come from?" "Why are you wearing those shoes?" "What's this?" "Where are we going?" "Why can't I put my hand in the oven?" "But, why?"

7.  After a while of watching nothing but cartoons, you'll begin to get your daily validation from correctly answering questions meant for a toddler.  "RECTANGLE! A rectangle fits there!" "THERE! Swiper's right behind you, Dora!!" "SWIPER, NO SWIPING!"

and lastly...

8. There is no arguing with a three-year-old if he wants to wear his Spiderman costume at 6:30 in the morning.  Choose your battles.  If I can make it to 8 am and out the door without a meltdown, I consider myself a winner.  Don't be a douche-canoe and squander your child's dream of saving the world one web at a time.

*And two feet away from him is a mother who does. not. care.*

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