Amy Wruble Tue, 23 May 2017 21:05:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 30245521 Quiz: Has Your Baby Turned into a Toddler? Tue, 23 May 2017 21:05:05 +0000

Babies supposedly become toddlers at one year, but that’s nonsense if you ask me. At 12 months, my daughter was still crawling, babbling and mostly bald. That’s a baby, right?

Also, she was super easy-going back then—open-minded towards whatever books, meals or plans I presented. Mommy could do no wrong, which means Mommy still had a baby.

Becoming a toddler is a gradual process, and you may not realize it has happened until a copy of “Goodnight Moon” is flying at your face. So how do you know for sure whether your baby has become a toddler? Take this quiz and find out!

1. You’re in an elevator. Does your child need to push all the buttons, including the big red emergency help button, requiring you to assure an unseen voice that you’re not in any danger other than dying of embarrassment?

2. You’re in the car. If you attempt to listen to your favorite morning radio show, the alternative rock station or news and weather, does a DJ you never hired shout “No! Change it! Don’t like it!” and demand the “Moana” soundtrack.

3. You’re anywhere in the world. Is your offspring naked for no good reason?

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much trouble would you be in if you pre-cut the breakfast waffle when your child wanted it to be “ONE PIECE!”… despite said child indicating the exact opposite 30 seconds ago?

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Dear World, Stop Calling Me “Ma’am” Thu, 04 May 2017 18:08:12 +0000

The other day, I found 15 extra minutes in the morning and used it to blow dry my hair and dab on some concealer and gloss. I also managed to squeeze into a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans. So I was feeling F-I-N-E fine when I strode into my coffee place, only to have my self-image shattered moments later by a barista’s thoughtlessly cruel question.

“Would you like anything else, ma’am?” she asked.

Just hearing myself referred to as a “ma’am” deflated me like sad balloon. I instantly went from hot mama to frumpy old hag.

RELATED: 8 Reasons Why I’ll Never Be a Perfect Mom

Now, I realize that as a married woman, I technically am a ma’am. But that doesn’t make it OK with me. Maybe it’s that “ma’am” conjures images of grandmas complaining to customer service. Maybe it’s that “ma’am” always seems to be uttered with an annoyed tone of voice. Maybe it’s that no one ever addresses someone they think is sexy as “ma’am.”

It doesn’t matter that “Miss” passed me by about 10 years, one marriage and two kids ago. “Miss” is a young lady with a life full of possibilities. “Miss” is who I will always be in my heart. “Miss” will get you a big tip and a huge smile, people. (Seriously, I don’t know why more customer service departments don’t train people in the art of a little harmless flattery—it really does get you everywhere!)

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8 Reasons Why I’ll Never Be a Perfect Mom Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:24:46 +0000

If you’d met me before I became I mom, you would have been impressed. Not only had I earned a masters degree and become the boss at my job, but I wore stylish outfits and blow dried my hair every time I took a shower, which was daily.

I really had it going on.

So when I became a stay-at-home mom, I assumed that all the drive and determination that I’d brought to my career would make me an amazing mother. I’d study the latest child development books, create a calm, nurturing and educational environment, cook healthy but adorable meals, limit screen time and otherwise kick motherhood’s ass, because why wouldn’t I?

Now, after six years in the trenches with two small girls, I know the answer to that question. Here’s why I’m not even close to being the perfect mother of my dreams:

1. I Yell

The first time I snuggled my beautiful, innocent, totally dependent newborn baby in my arms, I never imagined that in a few years, I would be screaming in that baby’s face. But when the baby has become a stubborn threenager who is refusing to get into her car seat even though the ice cream is melting and horns are honking and I’m operating on four hours of sleep, things can get loud. And by things, I mean my scary mom voice.

2. I’m Distracted

I really admire parents who can be 100% present with their kids, but apparently, I am not one of them. My toddler’s first complete sentence was “Mommy, put your phone down.” It’s not like my texts and tweets are particularly pressing. I just feel more human when I have a lifeline to the outside world. Which means I am the asshole who is scrolling Facebook looking at pictures of other people’s kids instead of looking at my actual kids who are right in front of me.

3. The Rules Keep Changing

Car seats should be rear-facing until age 1. Just kidding, age 2. Just kidding, forever. Only a psychopath would buy a drop-side crib or crib bumpers or crib tents. Unless it was 10 years ago, and then it was totally fine. In other words, babies should sleep on their back/stomachs while always/never swaddled. Got it? Yeah, me neither.

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7 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Being the Short Girl Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:52:37 +0000

Throughout grade school, I was the second shortest kid in my class. The shortest kid was an actual little person, yet I remember her being way more confident in her stature than I was.

I hated being short. It made me feel powerless and insignificant. I hated being at perfect head-patting height, like I was everybody’s pet dog. The worst was being teased and called “Little Amy.” This was long before Lil’ Kim and Lil Wayne made that sound cool.

From an early age, if you asked me what qualities I sought in my future husband, I always said the same thing: tall. I wanted to breed with someone whose genes would obliterate mine, saving my kids from the plague of shortness. And guess what? I succeeded, at least with the husband part. He stands a glorious 6’2″, so I assumed my kids would eventually tower over me.

I may have assumed wrong. At her last checkup, my 6-year-old clocked in around the 30th percentile in height, which isn’t bad. But if you lined up all the kids in her kindergarten class, she might actually be the second shortest, just like I was. (California kids get too much sunshine and are freakishly tall, if you ask me.)

I don’t think my daughter is nearly as neurotic or self-conscious as I was. But if she ever does start to resent being petite, I’ll be there to share these things that every short girl should know:

1. You’ll wish you looked older. People will make snap judgements based on your height and think you are younger and less mature than you really are, working against all of your best efforts to seem grown up. I was mortified that my mom could still get the child price for me at the movies when I was in my teens. But years later, when I was still getting carded in my thirties, it wasn’t so bad. 

2.  You might get left out. There will be that moment when your whole third grade class is boarding the best ride at the amusement park and you get stopped by a sign reading “You must be THIS tall to ride.” And it sucks. But you’ll catch up in a summer or two and never look back.

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:27:39 +0000 It’s an exciting yet bittersweet day on the blog, as I re-launch Carriage Before Marriage as Ta da!

Aw, come on, don’t be sad.

This is a good thing, really!

Those of you who have been reading me since the beginning know my story: I started Carriage Before Marriage when Viv was just a baby and I still called Dave my Baby Daddy. With life a whirlwind of first-time parenting adventures, wedding planning and trying to conceive again, I figured I had plenty of blog fodder. Perhaps I would become a famous blogger and household name!  (I didn’t). Perhaps blogging would lead to some jobs and I’d fulfill my dream of being a working writer. (I did!)

I have loved blogging at Carriage Before Marriage, but the name doesn’t exactly fit my married-with-children vibe anymore.  While it will always be my origin story, it’s not where I am now. And I am trying to Be Here Now, just like Oasis says.

When I started out, it seemed like every blogger I admired used a pseudonym. We were all confessing our terrible human secrets, hidden behind the safety of our cute blog names. Yet over time, I’ve noticed some bloggers coming out of the closet, using their real names, owning their terrible human secrets. And I thought maybe I could do it too, even though it’s scary.

So that leaves us with the very un-creatively but accurately named In case you are wondering, my last name starts with a silent W (doesn’t everyone’s?) and sounds like the Russian currency, but I swear I had nothing to do with hacking the election.

Going forward, I will still blog. I will still link to stuff I write elsewhere. I will try my hardest to entertain both you and me. If you haven’t already, please subscribe by email—I promise it’s not annoying. You’ll just get an occasional blog post and you’ll be on the list for when I write The Great American Novel self-published bathroom reading in 20 years or so.

And now to give credit where credit is due, big ups to Kayleen at Booyah Creative for designing my beautiful new website, and to Krista at Classic Kids Santa Monica for shooting such a flattering author photo. If only her retouchers could follow me around all day.

Ciao for now. Please leave me a comment so I know you’re there.  Love ya.

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I’m Done Having Babies And I Have All The Feels Sat, 14 Jan 2017 21:21:45 +0000 IMG_5363

 My baby daughter smells like freshly baked bread lightly misted with unicorn sweat. I spend most of my day inhaling her while she sits on my lap, gently nuzzling my cheek against hers so I can feel the insane softness of her brand new perfect skin. I’ve had to stop myself from nibbling her earlobes, because they look delicious. This must be what it’s like to have a drug problem, as I’m clearly addicted to Baby. But what happens when my stash runs out?

No matter how hard I try to keep her on my lap, this particular baby, at 21 months, is rapidly outgrowing her infancy. Though her hair still barely touches the top of her ears, and her chubby foot still fits in my palm, she’s started running. And jumping. And singing “Happy Birthday,” regardless of the occasion.

She’s also been having these tiny tantrums when things don’t go her way (we have this crazy rule about not playing with steak knives), tearing across the room with her arms above her head until she flops, sobbing, onto a bean bag pillow.

How much longer until she goes full toddler, insisting on choosing her own clothes, refusing to eat vegetables and melting down when it’s time to leave the park? And from there it’s just a hop skip to snarking that I’m “the worst mom ever” when I deny her use of my lipstick. I know this, because I have a 6-year-old who might as well be a teenager.

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11 Obnoxious Things Your 1-Year-Old Will Definitely Do While Flying Wed, 04 Jan 2017 05:26:45 +0000 img_5240

Everybody loves a 1-year-old, unless of course they’re on an airplane with one. I remember my Mommy & Me class leader telling us that from age 1 to 2.5, we should make all faraway friends and relatives come to us and avoid flying altogether. So when the invitation arrived for a family wedding 3,000 miles away, and my youngest daughter was still in that age range, I knew I was screwed.

But luckily, my 19-month-old toddler surprised me and was a perfect angel who slept the entire time. Kidding! (And wouldn’t you hate me if I wasn’t?) No, flying with her was pure hell in the skies, because here’s what she and — let’s face it — all 1-year-olds really do when you dare to fly with them:

1. Repeatedly kick the seat back in front of you, earning you glares and seething hatred from the affected passenger who is now your mortal enemy and probably creating a brand new Twitter account just to complain about you more publicly.

2. Demand to get “Uhhhhpp!” just as the captain puts the fasten seatbelt light on. Nothing will stop their screaming. All the things that work at home, like getting some fresh air outside or eating ice cream are totally unavailable to you now. Ha ha.

3. Cruise up and down the aisle using strangers’ inner thighs as convenient handrails. This will be far more embarrassing for you than for them.

4. Drop their goldfish crackers on the floor and eat them, digesting a mélange of airplane germs, which will incubate for 24 to 48 hours before giving your 1-year-old, and thus your entire family, a nasty virus right in the middle of your vacation.

5. Blow out their diapers — especially if the plane has no changing table. So then you’re forced to change them on your own lap. Hope you brought a big plastic tarp! You didn’t? That’s okay, your white pants will do nicely.

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I’m Worried I Like Babies Better Than Big Kids Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:19:48 +0000 img_5721


My husband and I have a long-standing disagreement: I’m madly in love with babies. He wishes our kids could be born at 2-years-old.

Maybe it’s a woman thing, but how can anyone not be obsessed with babies? Sniffing their fuzzy duckling heads while they snuggle in for a nap on my chest gets me higher than any drug. Watching them breathe, staring into their wide, alien eyes, and feeling the clutch of tiny fingers around mine is the closest thing I’ve had to a religious experience.

But to my husband, babies, while cute, are fairly useless.They can’t tell jokes.They can’t ride a bike or go bowling. All they know how to do is poop and keep you up all night. So when our kids were little babies, he literally counted down the days until they were toddlers. “Stop wishing it away!” I would yell at him, as if his complaints had the power to speed up their fleeting infancy. We have never seen eye to eye on this.

When our first kid got old enough to skip down the street singing made-up songs, my husband started truly loving fatherhood. He embraced all the daddy stuff you can’t do with a baby, like hoisting our daughter on his shoulders, taking her to the diner for hot cocoa and chocolate chip pancakes, and explaining Star Wars. This was the job he signed up for. I am glad for him. For her. For both of them. And a little bit sad for me. For not only am I obsessed with babies, but I feel much more competent taking care of them. Babies’ problems are easily solved with a boob, a cracker, a snuggle, or a nap. When they get frustrated, distracting them is a simple as, “Look, the garbage truck!”  Mothering babies may be tiring, but it’s satisfying in its straightforwardness.

Babies never say “You’re the worst mom in the world,” just because you wouldn’t let them have a popsicle before dinner. Babies don’t kick the back of your seat while you’re driving when they don’t like the song on the radio. Babies don’t ask you all about dead bodies and sexual intercourse and Jesus before you’ve had breakfast. I can change a blowout diaper in an airplane bathroom with no changing table without breaking a sweat, but I still don’t know how to respond when my kindergartener says she hates me…

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The 9 Stages of Grieving the Brangelina Breakup Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:38:49 +0000 Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce news is hitting me hard, yo. Longtime readers may remember that my second blog post ever was actually about Brangelina being “Carriage Before Marriage” just like me. Our weddings took place the same year. I pretty much assumed we’d all be planning a special trip together for our 10-year anniversaries. And now they’ve gone and ruined it.


So excuse me if I’m in a bad mood. If you’re feeling crushed, let down, and disappointed like I am, here are the 9 stages of grief you can expect to experience over the next few days:

1. Intense Curiosity

For the first few hours, I’m just clicking links. Page Six claims there’s another woman. TMZ blames Brad’s substance abuse and anger issues.  Twitter is blowing up with Jen Aniston memes. But I need more. This might be the week to swing by Walgreens and buy all the tabloids.

2. Smug “I Told you So” Attitude

I can’t help it – the words “once a cheater, always a cheater” are ringing in my ears. What did Angelina expect after she fell for a married man?

3. Guilt

What am I, a monster? They have 6 kids together!

4. Denial

This can’t be happening. Maybe they’ll get back together like Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green?

5. Anger

Dangit, I defended you guys! When everyone else was Team Jen, I said Noooooo, can’t you see they’re perfect together?  That Mr. and Mrs. Smith chemistry cannot be denied. The mutual passion for do-gooding. All those tattoos. Genes that could make this face:


I had your back! Why you gotta make me look like a chump?

6. Assigning Blame

You know Brad, when I pictured us together, you were the guy from Legends of the Fall. Or at least Moneyball. But it turns out you were Floyd the stoner from True Romance all along. Six kids. Get it together, Brad.

7. Assigning Blame, Part Deux

And Angie, I know you’re a badass and all, but sole physical custody?  What happens if they all fall asleep in the car and need to be carried upstairs? Dads are nice to have around, even when they annoy us.

8. Depression

I guess that’s it. Love is dead.

9. Acceptance

Is Taylor Swift dating anyone new?


Dear Husband, Please Stop Getting Hotter Tue, 20 Sep 2016 03:03:00 +0000 img_4629

Dear Husband,

I’m not trying to pick a fight, but there’s something you’ve been doing for a while now that really gets on my nerves, so I need to say something…

You’ve been getting hotter.

And it’s a problem.

When we first got together seven years ago, you and I were roughly equal on the attractiveness scale. If anything, I had the edge because I’d already perfected my “style.” (You needed a wife, a.k.a. me, to do that for you.)

Now that we’re both in our 40s, I’ve noticed an alarming trend. My looks are gradually fading, and yours, well, aren’t. In fact, you seem to be getting more attractive.

For example, you’ve been adding a few gray hairs to your otherwise dark, wavy mane, and they are literally the perfect salt to your pepper. Like, Patrick Dempsey and George Clooney wish they knew your hair secret. Me, I’m at the salon every 10 weeks desperately tinting and highlighting. Nobody wants to see the dishwater situation I’d be working if I let my hair go au natural.

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