the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Party of the year

You know how summers go, right? Vacations, college reunions, family reunions, camp, hair implants, breast reduction surgery, that New Kids on the Block Cruise where you actually get to mingle with Jordan Knight. Schedules are crazy, am I right? You know what I’m talking about. Right now you’re thinking about how you had to take time off of work to get in a car with your mom and drive seven hours to spend time with your aunts and uncles in a tent. You didn’t even know you were capable of murder!

So the fact that I actually pulled off a third birthday party for Marlo is nothing short of a miracle. And if this were a certain type of mommyblog you’d soon see exquisitely styled photos of the homemade party favors and cake made from scratch, the colorful bunting bearing her name, the perfectly symmetrical finger sandwiches prepared for adult guests. Listen. I love those mommyblogs and how they make me feel like a total failure.

This mommyblog bought all the food at Costco. Pre-packaged artichoke dip. A bulk bag of chips. Frozen mozzarella sticks and taquitos. A cake selected from a directory, a cake large enough to feed Idaho. I called my family two days prior to her birthday and said, hey! You want to come over and get fat?


So, yeah. Very little planning. But man, that kid had a blast. All that attention. All those people there for the free food for her. All those new stuffed animals and bottles of bubbles and that check from her grandfather to be deposited into her college fund. When she turns eighteen she’s going to be like, DUDE! Down payment for my double-wide!


My gift to her was a piñata, and because I know nothing about piñatas I had to trust Tyrant’s judgment. He’s half Mexican, so, you know, he learned how to hit a piñata before the doctor cut his umbilical cord. OH! PLEASE TAKE ME SERIOUSLY. Please tell me that I’m being insensitive and that I should know better. Because when it comes to Weimaraners and Mexicans I AM OUT OF CONTROL!



See, I thought you just went out and bought a piñata and it was ready to go. Hang it from a tree and let blindfolded kids beat it into pieces. But, no! Piñatas require work. You have to fill them with candy yourself. And then Tyrant says, “We should throw in a few rolls of quarters.”

The? A few rolls of quarters? Those things would come flying out of that piñata, hit a kid in the head and knock him out. MEXICANS ARE MURDERERS!

And he’s like, “There is no way you graduated valedictorian. Only if you were homeschooled.”

I guess you don’t keep the quarters wrapped up in the roll? HA. OKAY. You sprinkle them in with the candy and toys? How was I supposed to know this? It’s not like there is an Internet full of information just sitting out there ready to dispel all of my racist tendencies!

The piñata was probably the most exciting ten minutes of the party if only because my sister’s three boys are each strong enough to juggle a set of Hummers. Every adult had a phone in hand ready to call 911. Marlo barely tapped the thing, and my stepdad mumbled something about how we were going to be there all night when THHWAAACK! One of my sister’s boys just looked at the thing and its head popped off.



And it was like those kids had never seen quarters before! No one fought over the chocolate or the gum or the tiny train whistles. They were wrestling and fighting each other over quarters. And so here is where I give Tyrant credit where credit is due. It was all his idea. And so the medical bill for my nephew’s black eye is coming straight out of his paycheck.

  • PrettyGirlMyers

    2012/06/18 at 1:49 pm

    I don’t care what anyone says, those Costco cakes are friggen delicious (especially the one with the chocolate mousse filling).

    Happy Birthday, Marlo!

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    2012/06/18 at 1:51 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, I totally thought he meant leaving the quarters in the rolls too. I mean, the party doesn’t start ’til someone has a head injury, right?

    Also? I want a Costco in my town, dammit! And Happy Birthday Marlo:)

  • jersf

    2012/06/18 at 1:59 pm

    I was REALLY hoping when I scrolled down that the pinata would have been one of Dora the Explorer. The few times I’ve ever heard that insistent voice I have wanted to pick up the television and hurl it out the nearest window. And Tyrant being Tyrant, I’m actually surprised that he didn’t trade out the candy for a bunch of rubber spiders and ssthnakes! Those would have been some really awesome photos, and Marlo would have loved the pinata just as much.

  • Kathryn

    2012/06/18 at 2:06 pm

    I made a birthday cake for a friend’s 40th a few years ago. In the tradition of our family I stuffed the cake full of money – being Canada I used mostly loonies & twonies so that cake had at least $50 in coin loaded into it. You should have seen the mayhem that ensued after the first person discovered there was MONEY IN THE CAKE. The median income at the party was likely $100K. There is just something about free coins that gets people excited I guess 🙂

  • Cateyez

    2012/06/18 at 2:09 pm

    Ah, finally someone willing to keep it real. I’m thrilled about your store bought cake and food. I can’t take anymore perfectly assembled birthday parties!

  • mmankvitz

    2012/06/18 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you, Heather for reminding me that the best birthday parties are just fabulous with bubbles, quarters and pinatas. And, of course, Costco. Happy Birthday Marlo! So glad it was so perfect…

  • tokenblogger

    2012/06/18 at 2:30 pm

    Are those bald patches around the edge of the yard from where your dogs always run?

    Because I have those same bald patches from my dogs.

    I’m thinking of just covering the back yard with loads and loads of pebbles.

  • Pandora Has A Box

    2012/06/18 at 2:34 pm

    This mommy doesn’t make shit for kids’ birthdays. Cake from Servatii’s. Food from wherever. Pinata filled with everything *but* quarters…thanks for the idea, Tyrant!

    Looks like it was a fun party, and happy birthday to Marlo! It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years.

  • theurbancowgirl

    2012/06/18 at 2:48 pm

    I, too, thought the quarter would stay in the roll. Really, why not?! 🙂

    Happy birthday Marlo.

    Thank you for showing me it’s okay to totally buy all my (future) kids shit from Costco 🙂

  • Talon

    2012/06/18 at 2:49 pm

    I know EXACTLY where to put all those quarters too! In Marlo’s dimples!! Those adorable little dents were made to fill with shiny 25 cent pieces!!

  • ThePeanut

    2012/06/18 at 2:58 pm

    You had me at frozen mozzarella sticks. Friggin’ delicious.

    Happy Birthday Marlo!

  • Issa

    2012/06/18 at 3:01 pm

    I love Costco. That artichoke dip? Yum. People who write you hate mail about it probably live someplace not near a Costco.

    The joy of three, is how the simple things still make them happy. It’s my favorite part of three. My ten year old is not so easy to impress. She’s all jaded and crap and needs monkeys juggling clowns in a clown car that’s on fire for it to still be entertaining. My three year old is happy enough with a clown sticker on his hand.

  • ladygray

    2012/06/18 at 3:46 pm

    in that first photo (w/the bubbles) i thought I was looking at a photo of Leta. I had to readjust when I realized that this post was about Marlo. Sisters!!!!

    My dad and husband got lost on the way home from Costco (with all the food in the car) in the middle of my 1 year old’s party this year so… we second the Costco party and aren’t nearly as good at making it TO the party with all the food as you guys are.

    Party looked awesome! Loving the dragon pinata. happy birthday, Marlo!

  • somethingcool

    2012/06/18 at 4:16 pm

    That photo of Marlo about to hit the pinata is so cute that it very literally brought tears to my eyes. I just wanted to reach into the screen and smother her with kisses, so I bet she’s really glad I can’t do that.
    At my daughter’s 4th birthday party she had a pinata, and the photo I got of her is adorable in an entirely different way. She’s got this hilariously fierce, scary look on her face. You can tell she was not only prepared to beat the crap out of her paper mache pony, but was going to relish it.

  • Sabine

    2012/06/18 at 5:21 pm

    Heeey, that pinata doesn’t look anything like Coco! (When I was reading the part about filling the pinata I thought to myself ‘don’t forget the nickels!’ darn inflation.)

    All this talk about the Costco artichoke dip almost has me convinced to spring for a membership.

  • marbenais

    2012/06/18 at 9:34 pm

    Oh, man, I miss those Costco sheet cakes.

  • karakarakara

    2012/06/18 at 9:49 pm

    Oh, the artichoke dip. That, alone, makes the party.

    I don’t even let myself go to Costco anymore, because if I do, then I MUST buy the artichoke dip, and if I do that, I will consume the entire tub by myself in less than 24 hours. BECAUSE IT IS SO GOOD! But, since I don’t want my arteries to pump cheese and mayo, I must resist. Sigh.

  • apostate

    2012/06/18 at 9:51 pm

    I want to nose dive through the internet and straight into that chocolate cake. I’ve been off sugar and Diet Coke for nearly 3 weeks and I’ve gained a pound. I angry.

  • apostate

    2012/06/18 at 9:56 pm

    Is that pinata from Bust A Move: most awesome game ever? (Not Young MC though he was awesome too.)

  • CrisLawson

    2012/06/18 at 10:40 pm

    I love that Marlo had the bat upside down. “I do what I want!”

  • makfan

    2012/06/19 at 12:12 am

    I’m a whole lot more than three, and I still prefer simple things like Costco cake for my birthday.

    Tyrant is part Mexican? No wonder I find him so damn hot.

  • Carol

    2012/06/19 at 1:41 am

    I really hope Jon was there too, for his little girl …

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    2012/06/19 at 8:44 am

    when lio turned 3 in early march, he had the blue dino cake from costco. still talks about it, weekly. wants more. who can blame him? @prettygirlmyers is correctomundo.

  • Not So Glamorous Housewife

    2012/06/19 at 9:45 am

    Wow, Marlo is 3? Your blog was a birthing staple for me with my now 2 year old followed by my now 9 month old, Perhaps soon I will have time to read and catch up! She is beautiful. Congrats and happy birthday Marlo.

  • JasmineStar

    2012/06/19 at 10:28 am

    As a fellow brown kid in Tyrant’s world, I was used to getting coins in pinatas, but they were pesos……and I was raised here in the US?!? Just think of the possibilities next year…it’s like TEN TIMES the amount of coins you had this year.

  • JudithNYC

    2012/06/19 at 10:44 am

    If it’s any consolation, I too was valedictorian and when you mentioned rolls of quarters I too thought they went into the pinata that way, all rolled up. What makes it worse it that I am Latina and have seen many a pinata get beaten to death.

    Happy birthday, Marlo.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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