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    I’m One Big Parent-Teacher Conference Waiting to Happen

    September 26, 2012

    I generally don’t beat myself up over my parenting choices. You are welcome to put the Little Tykes Car on the trampoline and then bounce your brother in it until someone throws up. I’ve given you ample warning that it’s GOING TO HAPPEN and you still think it’s a good idea. Test out that hypothesis of yours already. I’ll just stand here with a coffee in one hand and a fresh shirt that will fit any of you that vomit upon yourself. Rather than dwelling on my less-than-mainstream parenting, I spend more time beating myself up for important things like the chick who started a Mommy Needs a Beer fan page on Facebook and got 150,000 likes in 2 months. Ah, opportunity lost.

    So tonight as Ethan was making chocolate chip cookies, he glanced over at me casually.

    E: So… I got a 95 on my quiz today.
    K: That’s good.
    E: Well, I would have gotten them all right except I answered a question that was right but the computer told me it was wrong. SOOOO dumb.
    K: What question?
    E: It’s so stupid. You won’t believe it. The question was “I can use the stove by myself” and of course, I answered “yes.”
    K: You didn’t.
    E: I DO.
    K: I meant “you didn’t answer ‘yes.'”
    K: Ethan, the rest of the world doesn’t let a 7-year-old have her top secret chocolate chip cookie recipe and then let him bake cookies. And you were, in fact, “under the supervision of an adult while operating the stove.” (**LAWYERED**)
    E: No, I wasn’t. You were sleeping in bed.
    K: That was like three weeks ago. But I was standing right here tonight.
    E: Whatever. Are you telling me I should lie?
    K: ….
    E: Mom?
    K: I’m telling you that the answer that grown ups want to hear is that you were “operating a stove under the supervision of an adult.” I was in the house. That constitutes supervision.
    E: SOOOO dumb.

    Crossing my fingers that the safety quiz never says “I can brew beer by myself.” Please, Lord.

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    Anderson Cooper Loves Mommy Needs a Cocktail Tees

    May 23, 2012

    There was this one day Anderson Cooper called me because I sold this Mommy Needs a Cocktail shirt at Baby Brewing

    Mommy Needs a Cocktail Tee

    Mommy Needs a Cocktail Tee

    And I went on the show to discover my segment was called this…
    Anderson Cooper Moms Behaving Badly

    Anderson Cooper Moms Behaving Badly

    My 17 seconds of fame begins on Friday, May 25 on Anderson Cooper. And by “fame” I of course mean, “sales of thousands of shirts.” You should watch, if only to see the Great Haircut Tragedy of 2012. Seriously. Four years of law school at night while I worked full-time and my television debut is an episode of mothers who (gasp!) drink. It’s everything I hoped and dreamed when I was a starry-eyed 20-something. I’m sure my parents would agree.

    And you should totally buy this Daddy Needs a Beer tee for Father’s Day, since we’re talking about it now.

    Daddy Needs a Beer tshirt

    Daddy Needs a Beer

    Grandpa and PopPop too. I sacrificed my dignity for your entertainment. The least you could do is help me pay my electric bill.

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    In honor of my friend Susan

    February 6, 2012

    This is how I will always remember you. Riding on the scariest rope swing in the history of the world. You were not afraid. You were excited. And when you did it, you were empowered.

    Today I contributed to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with a comment that I wanted 100% of my contribution to go to RESEARCH. Because that’s the foundation that you researched, that held the values you held and that Curt designated.

    Today I contributed to the Cancer Card Xchange, a non-profit organization that donates gift cards to cancer patients all across the country. Because 100% of my donation goes directly to someone with cancer who could use a new pair of shoes or would like some apps to pass the time sitting in the big green chair getting chemo. Because while a gift card won’t make cancer disappear, it might cheer someone up on a really low day.

    Today I contributed to Prevent Cancer Foundation because they are a local foundation active in researching breast cancer and help fund the Mammovan. The Mammovan is a mobile mammography unit that provides free screenings to women in DC and suburban Maryland and Virginia community centers, clinicas and churches. Because mammograms are important.

    Today I didn’t yell at my kids once. I can hear you saying, “I’m so proud of you, Kristen.” It makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

    You were the strongest person I have ever met in my entire life, Susan Niebur. You were strong in life and strong in death. You were always asking questions and now every single one of your questions has been answered. Thank you for letting me be a part of your amazing life. Now go walk those streets of gold with your grandma, girl. Free of fear, free of pain and free of that shitty cancer. We’ll make sure that every moment of your struggle was not in vain. I promise.

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    November 14, 2011

    Ethan: NATE!!!
    K: Be nice to your brother.
    D: Ethan!
    K: he is the best brother, Ethan.
    E: No, he is NOT!
    D: Ethan, your brother loves you and sticks up for you.
    Nate: but I DO steal candy. That’s not good.


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    And that one time, Mom sold my favorite cement mixer

    August 13, 2011

    When you have a yard sale, sometimes you just have to let go of the past. You fill boxes with crap that meant something at one point but you haven’t looked at it in three years and vacation is a week away. That bad boy ain’t paying for itself, so something else had better.

    So imagine my dismay when Ethan began sobbing hysterically in the back seat of the truck as we were leaving to take our yard sale items to our friend’s house for the community yard sale the next day. Ethan never cries and he was out of control.

    K: Honey, what’s wrong? Why are you crying? How can we help you?
    E: WHY do we have to sell the CEMENT MIXER?
    K: Uh, what?
    E: THE MIXER, MOM. (insert body wracking sob) Why do we have to sell the CEMENT MIXER?

    Before you wipe a tear from your eye for the sadness that is my dear, sweet, feeling six-year-old, I’ll remind you that when I made 2,500 pounds (you read that right) of cement for the shed floor, that “sensitive” child watched 4 hours of Scooby Doo in lieu of helping me. To my knowledge, this was not only his first time declaring his undying love for the mixer, it was also the first time he had MENTIONED THE MIXER EVER.

    K: We need the money and we don’t need the mixer anymore.

    It was a cheap shot but having done family marketing research on my family, I’ve determined that crying poor is a very effective way to shut down the “I wanna” train.

    Nate: We could paint a NEW MIXER, E-fan.
    E: It won’t be the SAME.
    Nate: I have four dollars. I could pay someone to paint it the same.
    K: (because I am a bitch) Ethan, you could buy the mixer. Do you have $100?
    Nate: I’ll give you my $4 and then you’ll have $100 and can buy the mixer.

    (sidebar: I love Nathan more than life itself)

    Ethan: Mom, why don’t YOU make some money if we need money?

    If you live within 200 miles of me, that gust of wind you heard at 7:42 p.m. last night was my husband’s swift intake of breath at that exact moment. This did not deter my precious little heir in the least.

    E: If we need money, why aren’t you selling more shirts? You haven’t had a craft show in a long time. You aren’t even TRYING to find more craft shows to do.
    K: ….
    Derek: SHHHH!
    E: (sobbing yet remarkably unfazed and emboldened by the truth) All you do is relax and be on your computer. You should find a show so we could keep the cement mixer forever, just to look at.
    K: ….
    K: Relax? This is what relaxing is? Because l feel like if this is the definition of relaxing than I’m done relaxing.
    Derek: Eee-than.
    E: I’m just saying if Mom sold more shirts we wouldn’t have to sell the mixer.

    Derek tore him a new one for being fresh and we arrived.

    We got to our community yard sale location and Ethan climbed into the back of the truck and draped himself across the mixer so Derek couldn’t untie it and take it out. It was kinda like Greenpeace trying to ram the fishing boats in the Pacific Northwest, except without a noble goal of the saving of endangered wildlife. At that point Dan came out and offered him all manner of treats as salve for the wounds that are the crises of our childhood. With a wailing “No, thank you” he held firm in his defense of the plight of the mixer. I was proud.

    He wailed all the way home and from his top bunk. We now found ourselves drunk with parental power and the ability to send our children to therapy for the most mundane things. Plus, we didn’t have enough stuff for the yard sale.

    D: We should get rid of The Baby’s toddler bed. His mattress doesn’t fit and we’re going to move him in with the boys anyway. When are we going to do another yard sale anyway?
    K: But we put him to bed already. Ah, screw it.

    We turned The Baby’s light back on. He was still awake. I cleaned a spot on the floor and with his chubby little hands gripping the sides of his mattress, we lifted it out of the frame and onto the floor. And had the floor been free of toys and the mattress found a level resting place that would not have resulted with him rolling off the side of the mattress, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have cried himself to sleep saying “bed.'”

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    Texts with the babysitter

    August 10, 2011

    My babysitter deserted me to be a do-gooder in South Dakota for the summer. My children drove her to public service.

    Me: How’s SD?

    Her: its different alright, but im really glad im here-there are so many old people in this town though! it makes me miss the boys lol

    Me: That’s a tough one. I’ve been there. Resist the urge to hook up with someone twice your age. It won’t end well. lol

    Her: And that’s why you are my favorite person to babysit for. Thanks for the advice 😉

    Me: No, I’m your favorite person babysit for because I rarely leave you with awake children for longer than an hour.

    Her: well that is a plus. i cant lie

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