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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!


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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.)




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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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Why Are My Children Against Me?

Posted by Julia Sogaard on 1:17 PM

Ok, if you're a mom... you feel me on this one.

I have the great pleasure of being "momma" to two little boys, but lemme tell ya... it ain't all sunshine and puppies.  In literally seconds, these cute little faces can go from sweetheart to sweet mother of God, whatthehellisgoingon?  I thought we were on the same team here?!

Since my kids have apparently recently made it their mission to get me to drink by 11 a.m., I've decided to jot down a few reasons they should instead immediately kiss my feet when they wake up in the morning...

1. I don't remember what hot food tastes like.  Yes, that's right... I tend to you first, little man.  I pour your drink and cut up your chicken just right ("noooo, not like that!") and go back into the kitchen seven different times to get you something else before my butt even touches my chair.  You want to know what?  I like food.  It's even better when it's cooked.  Every time you ask for something else before I can take a bite, a little piece of me dies.  I think I need to instill a new rule that after the third time you ask for something, I get some cash or something.  Maybe, after three requests, I'll slowly take some money out of your college fund.  That way, when you're 18 and are psyched about college and learning and whatever, I can go... "Sorry, mommy wanted to send you to school, but she also wanted to eat her damn dinner."  

2. I have to plan my life around when you eat and sleep.  "Who, me?  Forget about me.  I had stale Froot Loops four days ago, I'm good.  The kids are awake, WE NEED TO GO TO TARGET!" 

3.  I can sing the theme songs to every show on Nick Jr. and the Disney channel.  I mean, word-for-word.  This means, that I forgo my sanity and let you watch Dora find her way through what appears to be the same damn forest on the daily.  Does this chic ever know where she's going?  You'd think after living in the jungle (it's not the jungle, but why is she leaping over rivers and walking through forests all the time?) that she'd know where the hell she was going by now.  Homegirl needs a Garmin.  Also, do her parents ever watch her?  What about her abuelita?  Does she live near Diego and baby jaguar?  Does she have like 50 pink shirts and orange shorts or does she wear the same set over and over again?  Do they have washer and dryers in her village?  At age 28, these are the questions that run through my head.

4. I read the same damn books every night.  Over and over again.  Is it just me, or have children's books become absolutely terrible?  Outside of the genius that is Nancy Carlson (what up, Nancy!), I've realized that an alarming number of authors are lazy and can't rhyme.  If throwing 4 words in a book and scribbling a cow and three ducks gets you published, then sign. me. up.  I'm just a "quack, quack, mooooooo" away from my payday!  

5. I am subject to your ear-piercing shrieks.  What's that you say?  I think only dogs heard you that time, short-stuff.  Calm down, get off of that ledge and I'll get you some damn milk!  This also goes for public meltdowns.  That, my friend, is you truly testing my character.  There are only so many Targets in a 20 minute radius of our house and I would like to be welcome back to at least one of them.  I ain't going to no K-marts.

6. I haven't truly slept in almost four years.  I used to be able to sleep through anything, but now you slightly move to the left in your sleep and I'm all, "I'm up! What happened?! Where am I?"  It's like I'm on the bench always prepared to get in the game.  I'm not sure what game I'm playing, but I think I wanna sit this one out, coach.  I wanna sit this one out.

7. I wipe your butt.  I am literally one with your feces every few hours.  This is a given, as a parent, but yeah... it counts.  Also, when I hear you yell, "I'm dooooooooooooone!! Come wipe my buuuuuuuutt!!!" from the bathroom, I immediately snap into a reoccurring daydream where hearing loss is a possibility.  But, because I don't want your poop on my bathroom wall, I reluctantly come to your rescue.

and last, but most important... 

8. My pain is your gain.  Hey, remember when you were born?  Me either.  I was in a pain-induced coma for a day and a half.  Every child should literally thank their mother three times a day for their entire lives for what their mom did for them.  Forget growing and carrying you IN MY BODY for months and months... childbirth was like God's final way of asking, "Hey girl, are you sure about this?".  I don't care if someone had a natural birth, an epidural-laced birth or suffered major abdominal surgery to get that baby out, their child is forever indebted to them.  Bad news for me is that my boys will never get to experience the feeling of a bowling ball falling out of their hoo-has, so they'll just have to trust me on this one.  (Editor's note: Shout out to my mom, Wanda. You go guuuurl.)



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