Monday, October 26, 2015

Hello. It's Me.

Well, I'll at least embed it so you can listen to it while I write a post that is in no way, shape or form meant to be sad.

If you saw the title of this post and thought it was a link to the record-smashing new song from Adele, I'm sorrynotsorry you'll have to read this.
I haven't written in an age and a half and I would love to tell you all of the reasons why.
One of them is that I've been trying to focus on work, which backfired in only the way things can for me. Pro-tip: don't update your Ashley Madison credit card information with the company card.
Other reasons include:

  • I'm so tired
  • I'd rather watch TV
  • I'd rather read this book or this book or this book
  • I'm taking a new medication, which I'm convinced causes me to be distracted easily. Side effects include fatigue, weight gain, excessive urination, dry mouth, distraction and your eyebrows falling out
  • L.E. is in Girl Scouts...not that I'm committing a ton of time to it, I just felt like adding that in because overscheduling kids is the new normal. That hour and a half every other week is just HUGE.
  • Dr. T has been traveling a lot (This has everything nothing to do with my Ashley Madison account)


In all seriousness, I just haven't had much to really write about. It's this time of year when the weather changes and I find myself full of even more self-doubt and self-loathing than normal. I don't know if it's because it's time for my long sleeve shirts and they never fit from the year before – thanks, queso! – or something else.
I felt compelled to write here because anytime I'm full of self-doubt, my readers – all 2 of you – say something nice to make me feel better. So thanks in advance for telling me you like my outfit – why yes, these are new yoga pants! – and that my haircut is fabulous.
I haven't completely abandoned writing; I've had some posts for LiveMom. You should read those, too. Some of them, well most of them, involve alcohol.
Wow, this post is kind of pointless. I think I just wrote it so I could make my side effects joke.
And link to Adele.




Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Things that are Hard (Now that I Have a Kid in Kindergarten)

Yep, that's right. Another list!
School starts at 7:30 every morning. If you're asking how are kids supposed to learn that early, I do not know the answer; I only know that every day after I drop her off, I feel like I won a hard-fought battle. 
And I haven't even gotten to work yet.

Getting out of bed
Getting my kid out of bed
Brushing the kid's teeth while she's still in bed
Putting clothes on the kid while she's still in bed
Finding something for breakfast that doesn't leave crumbs in the bed
Finding matching shoes
Finding her backpack
Keeping her water bottle from leaking
Keeping her water bottle clean
Finding your keys
Trying to figure out where those precious 15 minutes of downtime went
Leaving the house without forgetting something
Driving a safe speed
Parking in a properly-marked space
Drinking a mug of coffee while hurrying into the school
Fighting the urge to harass the dad wearing a Cleveland Browns shirt
Not using the phrase "getting my shit together" while talking to her teacher
Exercising
Doing my hair
Doing my makeup
Caring that I wore the same outfit last week
Putting gas in my car
Remembering breakfast before I say "fuck it, I'm going to Whataburger"
Getting to work on time, despite being up for over three hours
Working
Returning emails
Returning calls
Remembering to push SEND
Drinking water
Eating snacks
Signing forms
Checking in with family
Checking in with friends
Checking Facebook
Staying awake
Sleeping
Blogging
Leaving work on time
Watching TV that does not have an animal or muppet as the main character
Cooking
Cleaning
Feeling good about my parenting
Feeling good about my appearance
Feeling good about my blogging


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ten Ways to Get Kicked Out of the PTA the First Week of School

Because being in the PTA is a thankless job...just like parenting.
  • Cut to the front of the coffee line at the First Day of School Breakfast
  • Pull out a flask at the First Day of School Breakfast
  • Pay your dues in pennies carried from an old sock
  • Shout, "Where the strippers at?" at the first all-hands meeting
  • Wear this shirt to Open House:

  • Offer to organize a fundraiser called Shots for Tots at a local dive bar
  • Yell, "It's only the second day so fuck off!" across the parking lot as you're trying to make it inside before the bell rings. On the second day.
  • Park your car on the sidewalk for drop-off and pick-up
  • Openly complain that the library doesn't have the most current issues of Hustler
  • Ask the school nurse when you can schedule a PAP smear for yourself so you can avoid a $30 co-pay

Monday, July 6, 2015

39 and Doing Fine

I turned 39 yesterday.
I said to Dr. T, "Remember my 19th birthday? My sister threw me a surprise party and you had to keep me out of the house all day."
That was 20 YEARS AGO.
So I had a moment of reflection on that day in 1995.
I had a Rachel haircut.
I was wearing shortalls.
I still lived at home.
I would move to Albuquerque a month later.
Nobody thought I would survive on my own. There actually was a bet involved on how long it would be until I moved back home.
I sure showed them!
I remember turning 29 and having an age freakout. I was going to be 30 in a year...a real grownup who won't be able to get away with the fun stuff that people in their 20s do.
Three months after my 29th birthday, my husband's best friend committed suicide. 
I could have gone off the rails and devolved into a shame spiral of drugs or drinking. I started smoking again and began therapy.
Nothing makes you face adulthood like dealing with a loss like that.
My next age crisis came at 35 and for that I blame a friend who once said "35 means you're closer to 50 than you are to 20." 
Fucker.
So I turned 39 yesterday which means one more year till 40. Honestly, the only age crisis I'm having right now is where do I celebrate my 40th birthday so that all of my friends and family will come?
I feel good about my age. I don't look 39, I still look good enough so that I'm not a "she looks good for her age" person yet. 
The weight is coming off, literally and figuratively. 
The only way I feel old is when my daughter tells me my age is a big number. What does she know, she's only 5!
And the fact that I'm always tired. ALWAYS.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Things You Shouldn't Do After You Take Ambien


Trust me, all are bad ideas.
  • Shop online
  • Shop online at Amazon Prime
  • Shop online at Amazon Now
  • Order pizza
  • Order Chinese food
  • Order both pizza AND Chinese food
  • Call your mom
  • Call your dad
  • Call that one friend you haven't spoken to in months
  • Call that one friend's ex-boyfriend and tell him he's a dick
  • Call your husband a dick
  • Book a trip to Vegas
  • Book a trip to Europe
  • Book a trip to outer space
  • Experiment with eyeliner
  • Experiment with Sharpie eyebrows
  • Experiment with your hot female neighbor
  • Trim your bangs
  • Hair removal of any kind
  • Clean your oven
  • Clean your bathtub
  • Fix your vacuum cleaner
  • Give your dog a bath
  • Sew
  • Watch the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones
  • Watch Brazil
  • Watch any non-comedy made before 1984
  • Watch your child sleep
  • Watch your husband sleep
  • Watch House Hunters
  • Pull peeling wallpaper off the wall
  • Hire an interior decorator and general contractor for your house remodel
  • Plan a house remodel
  • Sign up for a subscription of any kind
  • Be anywhere near an internet connection
  • Take another Ambien

Monday, May 4, 2015

Reality Check #5342

Worried about flabby arms, double chins, stomach rolls and giant boobs.
Photo courtesy of Casey Chapman Ross Photography
The title of this post refers to the number of posts I've titled "Reality Check" and then never actually finished. It's referred to all different sorts of reality checks like going back to work after a vacation, realizing my daughter knows how to spell z-o-o and p-a-r-k, finding out my favorite band broke up and an all-too-humbling trip to the doctor.
But let me back up.
Listen To Your Mother was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I'm sure I sound like a broken record but to have been included with all of these amazing and talented writers was beyond a dream-come-true. I enjoyed bonding with my castmates before the shows and mingling with them afterwards. The second show was such a whirlwind with the amount of "my people" who showed up that I barely got to meet "their people," which I regret. I came to think of us as a sisterhood and I wanted to meet their families. I think we should have a reunion of sorts.
But the reality check came as I walked to the podium to share my story: my doctor was in the audience. It's extremely jarring for me to see an authority figure out of context, like when my 5th grade teacher came into the restaurant where I worked in high school. Since I whine to my doctor a lot about weight loss and depression, I felt odd sharing a humorous story about wanting an only child. It was even odder because I had an appointment scheduled with her four days after the show. Knowing she was in the audience led me to believe that she was judging my every motion. Breathe too deeply, and she'll think I have some sort of pulmonary disorder. Cough and she'll think I started smoking again. Exhale my gut and she'll see right through my Spanx.
After our performance and we took our bows, I looked around the post-show reception to see if she was there. I was relieved that she wasn't. So I continued to bask in the warm glow of validation that I so desperately craved after being on-stage. I was great! Buy me wine!
Flash forward those four days. The doc kept me waiting for over an hour. But she was super-apologetic about it. And when I asked her if she was at the show, she beamed and said that she goes to it every year and really enjoyed my story. We settled into comfortable chit-chat about how i've been doing. I started going to a therapist again which is great for everyone around me. I mentioned my breast cancer scare and my mom recently having a stroke. Then came the subject I was dreading but knew was important: weight loss.
I want to love how I look and embrace my body no matter what it looks like. For the most part, that's easy...except for the days when my pants are cutting into my c-section scar and I feel like a sausage at the end of the day. I've bought bigger clothes and avoided the nagging feeling that I need to get my wedding ring sized up. I haven't worn my watch since we moved to Austin because it just doesn't fit. But I convince myself that I look good and I'm happy and healthy. I'm boosted by women like Amy Schumer, Elizabeth Moss and Abbi Jacobson – they look like normal women! But the reality is I'm not as healthy as I should be. For someone with a family history that reads like A Series of Unfortunate Illnesses, I need to get my shit together. Doc suggested I kickstart weight loss with a diet program and then try the Mediterranean diet to maintain that loss. Here's the thing: I'm lazy. I have no willpower. I've TRIED to do the self-appointing diet plans like Weight Watchers and I'm notorious for cheating.  I like to drink. I like queso. I like the guac that costs extra at Chipotle. But I decided that I'd rather live long enough to see my daughter graduate from beauty school than keep eating like crap.
When it came time to do research and choose a weight loss plan, I leaned towards the cheapest one, Nutri-System. But when I saw what the photos of the food looked like, I backtracked. They looked like the worst school cafeteria food combined with the leftovers at Luby's on a Tuesday night.
Jenny Craig has better food reviews so I signed up, ordered 2 weeks worth of meals and now...I wait. It's hard to be spontaneous about eating when there's shipping involved.
I don't want this to be a weight loss "journey." This is just me being accountable for all the damage I've done to my body with burgers and pizza. And I know there are better, "healthier" ways to go about this but again let me reiterate: I am lazy. I don't cook. And I can't afford to shop at Whole Foods for every meal and then cook said meal.
Also, this isn't a cry for compliments. You can say I look great and I will be forever in your debt for that! But know that this is more for my insides than my appearance.
So please don't judge me for Jenny Craig.
And let's keep the Kirstie Alley references to a minimum...I'm more of a Valerie Bertinelli girl anyway.
Stay tuned for bikini pics! *Totally Kidding*

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Listen To Your Mother



Me during rehearsal. I didn't know what to do with my hands.
Photo courtesy of Casey Chapman Ross
This Saturday, I have the honor of performing in Austin's Listen To Your Mother show. It's really happening; I've gone to two rehearsals and they haven't politely asked me to leave so they're stuck with me.
It's a surreal feeling to be chosen for this show. I'm sharing my story amongst these remarkable women whose stories are so profound.
Mine is not as profound. I don't do deep, usually.
I'm not nervous about performing or being onstage.
I'm nervous about fitting in and looking good and not embarrassing myself.
I'm nervous that my jokes will fall flat and that my husband will roll his eyes.
I'm nervous that my therapist will come and tell me afterwards that there's no hope for me.
I'm nervous that I'll trip on my way to the stage. Sure, it's endearing when cute, young Jennifer Lawrence does it but when a 38-year-old me does it, it won't be as adorable.
I'm scared I'll miss it completely. True story, I have nightmares about this all the time. That I'll just forget to show up.
I'm terrified that nobody will be proud of me.
I'm nervous my dress is see-through and I'll wear the wrong bra.
I'm nervous my Spanx will cut off my circulation.
I'm nervous my shoes won't be the cutest. Judging by the photos we've been sharing, there's no way my shoes will be the cutest. These gals have some serious shoe game!
I've been told they're laughing at me for my words and not because my fly was down.
Photo courtesy of Casey Chapman Ross

Mostly, I'm nervous that I'll be exposed for the fraud that I am. I'm not a real blogger; I barely keep up with Hip-Baby Mama anymore. Writing was supposed to be my outlet but I put so much pressure on myself to be good at that I blank at every second. If I update once a month, that's lucky.
If my blog traffic increases, will my new readers even like what they see? But that's a whole other area of insecurity.
So this is my pre-show freakout. I know I'll be ok the moment I step on that stage. I'll have the support of my amazing castmembers and our producers and my family and friends in the audience. I'll look great, my Spanx will do its job and if the polish on my pinky is chipped, nobody will notice.
And somebody will be proud of me.
If you want that somebody to be you, please buy your tickets and come see me. 

I mean, just look at these wonderful women! Award-winners, published bloggers...all that and they have amazing taste in shoes!
Photo courtesy of Casey Chapman Ross


Friday, March 27, 2015

Is My Child Gifted?

Gifted?
For some reason, I never unsubscribed from BabyCenter alerts. Today this one showed up:
13 Signs Your Child is Gifted

I giggled my way through it because it's about as arbitrary as you can get when it comes to five-year-olds. But I'm sure there are tons of parents out there who obsess about this once they see those two pink lines on a pregnancy test.

I really didn't think I would have to worry about L.E. being gifted until 2nd grade. But what the hell, BabyCenter, I'll bite.

Let's see if L.E. is gifted.

  • Thinks abstractly – that is, she grasps advanced mathematical and linguistic concepts and can talk about such complex issues as ethics, morality, and religion. The other day, she asked me why the sun shines and then said, "It must be because it's smiling so much its face hurts and then it farts so it goes away." Mind-blowing, eh?
  • Has a specific talent, such as the ability to perform mathematical calculations in her head or understand concepts like multiplication before they are taught in school. I asked her what 2 x 2 is and she said 4. I asked what 3 x 3 is and she said 4. I asked 1 x 1 and she said 4. 
  • Is able to concentrate intently on one activity for long periods of time. Give her an iPad and she won't move for hours.
  • Has a large vocabulary and understands words not typically used by her peers. A car was coming as I was backing out of the driveway so I hit the brakes quickly. L.E. yelled, "OH SHIT!" I couldn't even get mad at her because her context was perfect.
  • Is a leader who often organizes group activities, such as initiating games with other children. "Mom, wanna play Hide & Seek? Mom, where are you going? You can't hide in the bathroom again!" Much door-banging ensues.
  • Is confident in her accomplishments and ideas "I'm the best drum-playing ever!" "I'm great at putting my shoes away." "I'm so good at drawing!"
  • Performs well academically. I can read her writing so that counts.
  • Is creative and loves to tell stories, draw, or compose songs. This is the story she told me the other day: "There is a rabbit named Jack. He is not a Jackrabbit. The end."
  • Has a sense of humor and appreciates wit. She giggles at farts. And the Silas Ramsbottom part of Despicable Me 2 reduces her to hysterics.

  • Prefers to spend time with older children and adults. As an only child, she has no choice most days.
  • Performs academic work that is two years ahead of her grade level. I can't figure out how to answer this because I don't know what 2nd graders learn. I'll take a pass on this one. Is this one of those "answer yes to more than five of these?" or is it "answer yes to ALL of these?"
  • Is sensitive to other people's feelings. "Mommy, you know what will make you feel better? Giving me jelly beans!"
  • Memorizes facts easily and can recall them and relate them at appropriate times. "Mom, please don't let George out the front door because then he runs away and you leave me in the yard like you did that one time." That happened over two years ago. And she told the story to my parents during Christmas dinner so she doesn't necessarily have "appropriate" down yet...
So what do you think? Should I be contacting MENSA? Does it really matter if she's gifted?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Five




L.E. is five today.
Deep breath.
I don't have the normal anxiety I do about her birthday. She's five and that's a pretty incredible age. She still needs me and is still filled with wonder about the world.
Her class held a special celebration of life today and I was invited to share her story and photos. I don' t know how I didn't cry!

Her classmates each volunteered to say something nice about her.
"I love her so much."
"I like it when she chases me."
"I like it when she laughs."
"She is the best girl in the class."
"I love her."
"I like it when she catches me."
"I love her smile."

Then her teachers:
"She brings such joy to the class."
"I love her clothes because they are so her."
"She is so smart and loving."
"She brightens our day every day."

Next it was my turn.
"I am so lucky to be your mom. You are the sweetest and best little girl in the world. I love how you are such a great helper and you make me laugh more than anyone. I love you."

*sniff*



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

#ToddlerStylist

I let L.E. be my #ToddlerStylist for five days. I figure it's win-win: I don't have to stress about what to wear and she gets to earn stars for her chore chart.
As much as I would love this idea to have been 100% mine, it wasn't. Summer from The Girls With Glasses got to write about her experience on a much larger scale but that still doesn't mean the rest of us can't join in.

L.E. seems to get laziness from me because she didn't want to bother with clothes in my dresser. It was closet only. The results were pretty great! L.E. has paid attention to things I like to wear and she did an awesome job of putting things together, including shoes and jewelry.


Day 1: All three pieces are from CAbi but weren't made to go together. Surprisingly, this worked though it's very uncomfortable to wear non-fitted jeans tucked into boots. Also, tube top.


Day 2: CAbi again! This is a top that's meant to be worn post workout *snort*. She picked the navy sweater and said "black pants." 


Accessory close-up: The necklace Daddy got me and my Vinca USA unicorn ring.
My earrings are custom-made by my sister.


Day 3: This was as wacky as she got. Pattern-on-pattern is not something I would have tried alone. It didn't look too bad! Cardigan is from ModCloth. Tank is – you guessed it – CAbi.


Jewelry included more earrings by my sister and my ruby anniversary ring from Red Envelope.



Day 4: Giving the kid credit: she pays attention to my favorite pieces – CAbi again. But I wouldn't have paired it with pink shoes. One of her classmates told me it was the wrong season for high heels. I told her every season is ok for high heels!
I didn't get an accessories close-up but I'm wearing Stella & Dot earrings and a Kendra Scott necklace. #basicbitch


Day 5: She grabbed this blouse out of my closet and said, "This! Aunt Margie got you this!" Yes, it's my dear friend and sister-wife who is the only person allowed to buy me clothes. I've been unsure about this top – from JCrew – because I feel like it's not flattering. But my stylist proved my instincts wrong and yanked the black cardigan off the hanger and said, "You love this shirt so wear it too!" The kid gets me...


She did not dress me in this photo but she dressed herself and loved that I'm also wearing navy and white stripes. My dress is from StitchFix, which is my latest addiction. If you are lazy and hate the frustration that goes with shopping – fitting rooms, too-small dresses, yelling for the 20-year-old size 00 workers to come help you get out of the too-small dress, sweating, sobbing....StitchFix is for you.

Click here to get started.

All in all, it was a really fun experiment! I learned several things from letting my four-year-old be my #ToddlerStylist.
1. I take terrible mirror-selfies.
2. Nobody at work ever notices my clothes.
3. I only own jeans and leggings.
4. I love my red hair.
5. Red lipstick can pull a whole outfit together.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Five Little Things that have Totally Changed Since I Became a Mom

The title of this post seems very Austin Moms Blog-ish. But I figured since L.E. is about to turn five – and i'm procrastinating planning her birthday party – I thought I would reflect on the little changes in my life. These aren't the HUGE things that happen when you become a parent, like all of your love and worry go into this tiny person who doesn't understand logic or reason and can make you go insane while wondering how you ever lived without them...that's a whole other post. I'm talking about the little things that used to be simple but now require tactical-mission planning.

1. Movies. We used to go to movies ALL THE TIME. Every Saturday we would go to the movie theater in downtown Reno, gorge on popcorn and smuggled-in sodas and then have a drink either at the Tap House or wine bar nearby. Now when the Oscars come on, I realize I have no idea what any of the nominated movies are nor do I know any of the songs that are not from a kids' movie. I didn't even know the animated ones this year! (How did The Lego Movie get the shaft?)

2. Shopping. My after-work trips to Target are a thing of the past. My commute is about 45 minutes at night so I'm usually racing home to see L.E. and Dr. T. The working-mom guilt still persists when I realize that I only have about four hours a night of quality time with her before she explodes in a rage because I selfishly kept her up till 10. There are no more leisurely trips to Target where I can spend $75 on useless crap. And when I needed to buy a nice dress for my girls trip to Vegas, I had to take L.E. with me which was fun for about an hour. She was perfect, it was me who had the fitting room meltdown when I got stuck in a dress. Luckily, I didn't have to yell for someone who worked there like that time at Zara when three size 00 gals had to practically cut me out of a size 10. (I digress...)

She never judges.


3. Shoe shopping. See above. I used to go to DSW on a regular basis. Now I can't even recall the last pair of shoes I bought.

4. Brunch. Going out for breakfast on a Sunday morning was a highlight of my week. We'd have to wait for a table for over an hour, though, which just isn't going to happen these day. But the upside to this is most taco places are counter service and delicious. Everyone wins!

5. Music. I work with a bunch of people who are younger than me and they're always talking about this awesome show last weekend or this incredible record that's coming out. I used to be way on top of the music scene. Once I became a mom, I lost interest in keeping up with musical trends. I still like what I've always liked. I'm sure I'll get made fun of for this but I'm non-ironically excited for new Modest Mouse and Death Cab albums. As far as seeking out the next huge band that you've never heard of...it's just not me anymore.

This isn't meant to sound like a plea for my old life. In fact, I love my life now and I don't really care that the only movies I see are from Disney and Dreamworks. I don't need to buy the useless crap from Target and shoes are over-rated. I would much rather hear L.E. jam on her accordion than hear the latest track from that Swedish band who's about to make it big.
And T is a master of the breakfast taco; I can eat those at home while wearing my PJs.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Girlfriends

Throughout the years, I have cultivated relationships with many women who have blessed me with their friendship. My girlfriends are my family. Sure, my husband is amazing. But there are millions of things that I just can't talk about with him.
With girlfriends, I can talk about anything. Sex, money, clothes, sickness, motherhood, alcohol...
I am lucky to be friends with women who take care of me.

Who would bring me fried chicken when I was pregnant and on bed rest?
A girlfriend
Who spent an entire Cyber Monday scouring the internet for the perfect pair of Gucci shoes to give me for Christmas?
A girlfriend
Who did not get mad at me for puking on her back porch, through her living room, up the stairs and all over the bathroom?
A girlfriend
Who would convince me to skip belly dancing lessons to go eat pizza?
A girlfriend
Who leaves me brand new tubes of mascara on my front porch because she wants me to try it?
A girlfriend
Who do I call for fashion advice?
A girlfriend
Who brought me soup when I was sick while Dr. T was out of town?
A girlfriend
Who tells me to "Treat. Yo. Self"?
A girlfriend
Who gives me career advice and tells me I'm strong and that I can do anything?
A girlfriend
Who "gets" me like no other and knows that yes, I do want the last scoop of macaroni and cheese?
A girlfriend
Who would go to lunch with me and order dessert first?
A girlfriend
Who sent me a leg lamp in the mail even though we hadn't spoken in months?
A girlfriend
Who would sit in a bar with me wearing black and gold and cheer on the Steelers just for me?
A girlfriend
Who would I go shopping with for expensive jeans?
A girlfriend
Who do you call when you have a "waxing mishap?"
A girlfriend
Who invited me to the VIP area of a club in Vegas despite not having seen me in 20 years?
A girlfriend
Who gets it when you need to vent about everybody in the world – including your child – is being a total jerk?
A girlfriend
Who understands my relationship with food and never judges me for it?
All of my girlfriends

I am very lucky.