Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blog Vacation....

So sorry I have been away, working on my book.

Yes. Book. #yikes

Will be back in January a published author with a brand spanking new book for you all :-)

See you then!

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, Holidays, and any birthdays inbetween!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Overbudget . . . Really?

So my husband and I are going over our personal finances. Now this is what we do as a business . . . we are accountants. ( We almost NEVER do this for ourselves!

We are looking at numbers. (Yes, we spend too much on dining out. Thank you, Master Card.)

And there are some things that aren’t adding up. As I am a control freak highly motivated person I need things to line up.

My husband, the CPA, says: No – this is the correct number. I ran everything. You are going to have to accept this is what you spent on clothes for you and the girls last year.

I go into my closet. I count tank tops. (Yes, there are about 20 of them. I live in Palm Springs. And I like a variety of colors. Some were on sale for $11.00. Though I never wear the olive green one.)

Wait. Do I have a secret closet somewhere else? Secret even from me? But well stocked with chic expensive plus size wear?

If I have spent thousands of dollars on cute clothes, dammit, I want to know where they are!!!

I keep trying to figure out where all this money has gone. I am a big girl, and I do like to look FINE when we go out. I need work clothes, yoga (i.e. Mommy) clothes and cocktail clothes. I need clothes to wear over to someone’s house and clothes to go to a party.

I need swim suits, mountain vacation clothes and Nikes. And I do like a cool pair of wedges. (Thank you @Zappos.)

But I’m still not finding all these big bucks worth of clothing.

I lose sleep.

I talk to my girlfriend Dorothy @EcoOrganizer.

I worry about early onset Alzheimer's.

I go back to my husband and challenge the numbers.

I think that maybe I am having episodes of blackout shopping.

I ruminate to my husband: the girls have very modest clothes, skinny jeans and uniforms. How could this be?

I ask: “Honey, do you think those fancy French cuff shirts and fancy pants are factoring into this at all?”

Then one night A WEEK LATER, @Taxes007 comes home and mentions, in passing, “Oh, by the way, that clothing line item number? It was off by $7000.00. Made a little error. ”

He continues pouring himself milk like he hasn’t a care in the world.

I have a small stroke in my left temporal lobe.

“What? You swore that number was right!”

You killed me for a week. I didn’t sleep. (I did however manage to eat. I was stressed.)

He shrugs his shoulders.

Then I log onto Cuz there are a pair of Steve Madden Wedges calling my name.

Let’s see who has the stroke now. #victory

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Foundation Wear

You would think at some point, in a tired old mom’s life, vanity would wane. Hmmm…not so much.

Actually it’s worse. Cuz I look so bad I need all the intervention I can get.

Now sure, I’ll wear Spanx on a special occasion. By “special occasion” I mean events that involve the word “Millennium” in their title.

But that’s about it.

Until we had our All Staff meeting in May. One of our out-of-town staff shows up looking like a Viking Goddess! WTF?!?

I can’t stop raving about how amazing she looks. (And it is really rocking it for me, cuz she’s a yummy, mummy with a, um, curvaceous way about her.)

So she confesses.

“You know why we were late getting on the road this morning?”

“Ah, no?”

“Cuz I had budgeted the time to pull on these high waisted spanx. But the waist cincher? See this thing (pulling up lovely coral blouse, and drapey pearl beads) and all these hooks?”

Gulp. “I see the hooks. There are a lot of them.”

“Well, I didn’t budget time for the fact that I COULDN’T SEE THEM UNDER MY BOOBS. So I’m late.”

“You mean you drove 2 ½ hours in that shit?”

“Yes. And I think I may be having a stroke.”

“Well that’s okay Honey. Cuz you look AMAZING.” (I do notice she is starting to speak out of one side of her mouth . . .)

Now I’m wearing a waist cincher . . . to pick my kids up from school.

And I look amazing.

But I did sprain my ankle . . . so I do need all the help I can get in the figure dept.

Cuz flats and ankle brace . . . not my best look.

But my waist? Tiny. Like Scarlett O’Hara’s. #delusional #lying #stillarealwoman

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I feel guilty and dirty . . .

Now I’m sure you’re thinking this must be because I didn’t switch off Cinemax when it went to “NIGHTTIME” #yikes

I know you’re thinking that I’m banging the handyman. (Although after he fixed that last leaky sink I’m not saying it didn’t cross my mind.)

Or I’ve been holed up in the pantry snorting crushed Tylenol. (Wait, do you think that does anything?)

But no, unfortunately...The activity that has me feeling shameful and dirty and guilty like I’m failing my family, my daughters, our business, the Unified School System and the entire County of Riverside is . . .

Sometimes I take an hour (or uh . . . two), sit outside and read a book.

I know this will be shocking and horrifying to you but, sometimes I even nap. And drool.

If you ask me what I did that day? I’ll tell you I was super-busy working and getting stuff done.

I will also tell you that I am super-exhausted. (Do you think I’m anemic? Or have cancer? Or some kind of thyroid condition? . . .) Uh, I’m a menopausal mother.

How’s that for a diagnosis BLUE CROSS!?!

Yes, this is the life of a helicopter mom. I am driven.

I drive my kids, myself and my family. So what would happen if anyone finds out about this horrible situation, this lapse in judgment, this SLACKING in the middle of the “work” day?

I got up a 4:00 this morning to get my work done. By 11:00 I sat down to read the paper and fell asleep. Of course I couldn’t doze long cuz I had to pick up my kid at 1:30. (Please read with a “holier than thou” tone. Thank you.)

Oh, and don’t forget, I work Saturdays. Well, go ahead and forget. Cuz you can trust me to REMIND YOU!!!

See, it is VERY important to me that you know HOW VERY BUSY AND PRODUCTIVE I am, every day.

It is such a lie.

There are days when I look at my desk and I look at my To Do list and I whimper.

And I walk away.

Some days I feel so overwhelmed that I rifle through the pantry scraping Cheetos dust out of one of the bins. And drink maple syrup from the bottle. And make lots of quesadillas with tons of hot sauce. (Thank you La Victoria!)

There are days when I move shit around on my desk, sigh heavily and then put on a Crown of Thorns.

Which, by the way, a Crown of Thorns? Super uncomfortable to nap in.

If you see me with downcast eyes, unable to meet your gaze you’ll know my Dirty Little Secret.

But damn, wasn’t “Slammerkin” a really great book? #slacker

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Working it out . . . Twitter Style

My early were passionate. At least that‘s what I thought.

In the early days on Twitter, I made some friends. I was making relationships friends and ending my parental isolation. All was good.

But every now and then, I would get on my soap box. #fuck #ididitalot #enthusiastic

Some days I’m mad at the crazy Real Housewife. (Hey, you fill in the location of your choice – there’s one lunatic on every show. #Kelly #Danielle #NeNe.)

You know Angry Birds? Well, I was the Angry Tweeter.

Do you remember the Super Bowl game when CBS took the Tebow ad, which was a smarmy play against abortion rights?

Well I committed myself to sit at my computer from 8 am to 8 pm. I didn’t own a laptop. That is dedication Man! Crazy and dedicated.

I tweeted all day things like: Fuck CBS, Pro Planned Parenthood, Give to NARAL, Get your laws off my body. (Okay – not literally my body cuz uh, I’m a little older now than I was during my Radical Feminist College Chick days. I’m still Radical. And still a Feminist. But it turns out I am no longer agitating for myself, personally. #menopause.)

It was a long day. (Listening to my husband shout at the game, laugh at the commercials and enjoy loud sounding Ruffles-Like snacks.)

But dammit, I was educating people. In a very hostile manner. All 800 of my followers.

Shortly therafter, 750 followers.

Cuz I was going to change the world, one Bot at a time. (That was before I discovered Twit Cleaner.)

And don’t forget all those followers who were following two people from three years earlier. Yeah, I really changed policy in America that day.

But now? I’ve learned my lesson. I’m here to relate and hopefully entertain.

However, every now and the . . . #birther #FuckDonaldTrump

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bikram Zumba

Ahh, Zumba. I was just sure adding a Zumba class to my work out routine would change my life. And it would be so easy and fun!

Cuz I’ve got my Pilates groove on now for better than a year. (By “groove” I mean I show up twice a week to pray for the class to be over or to have a massive heart attack and die quickly.) And don’t get me wrong. Pilates has changed me. My kids don’t have to tie my shoes for me anymore.

But I’m a Big Girl and I need some AEROBICS in my life.

Enter . . . Zumba class.

So I go to this over-crowded, not super-expensive gym and join. Just for the Zumba. (Arriba! Arriba!)

And they hold the class in this corner of the gym that has NO VENTILATION.
And it is crowded. Cuz Palm Springs chicks want their ZUMBA.

And believe it or not, there is an ongoing dispute over whether or not to TURN THE FAN ON! (WTF? It is Palm Springs, People. It’s a 100 flipping degrees out.) Cuz some of these delicate flowers are afraid they might catch a cold. From the fan.

So it’s crowded. And it’s hot. And there’s no air.

Why, now that I think about it, let’s just refer to it as Bikram Zumba.

So during Bikram Zumba, I look around the room and realize I am always the biggest or 2nd biggest chick in the room. These women look amazing. And they are wearing tangerine pants with ribbons dangling down their legs.

Me? Well I do love to try to rock the Fat Chic, but in BZ (that’s Bikram Zumba to you!) I just wear my standard yoga pants and a big, hangy down, T-shirt. And a giant sport bra. Cuz that’s how I roll. Or bounce, as the case may be.

And I can’t manage the fancy footwork. So I try to swing my arms with Zest. But it is crowded. So I invariable slap someone. #oopsie

And I can’t seem to make any friends in this class. Is it my tomato red face combined with my bad attire? Is it the flailing arms while my feet don’t move? It is the fact that I keep running to the clock in the other room to see HOW MUCH LONGER THIS SHEER HELL AND TORTURE WILL CONTINUE? Is it my witty jokes about how I hope I don’t need an ambulance soon?

No matter. Cuz whatever the deal, I keep showing up. And flailing. And sweating. And shouting Arriba!

And all that Latin Music? It makes me want a margarita and a shredded beef taco with a crispy shell.

And cuz I’m dehydrated? Make my margarita a double, with salt. Arriba!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mommy, Do You Remember the Naked Ladies?

I am a mosaic artist. I make stuff with little broken shards of tile, ceramics, glass etc. Put all those itty bits together and you can create something very cool, when it is whole.

I think my kids are going to have a certain set of memories about their Mother. Little bits and pieces that make-up the whole.

Dear God. Help me. Help them. I’m sure posterity won’t be kind . . .

Ah . . . there’s the blowing my top over the forgotten homework (Visualize hair pulling: Mine, not theirs. Though if pulling their hair might work, I’d try that too.) What?!? You forgot again??? Blondie, that is three days in a row. What is it going to take? You want Mommy to go to school with you tomorrow. In my sleepy sweater? Cuz I’ll help you remember to bring that homework home . . . you get the picture.

There’s the age old favorite and constant lament: Really? You can’t pick up your shoes? You were going to die without these Ed Hardy’s and now you can’t be bothered to PUT THEM AWAY??? I’m throwing them out. I swear to God you can go to school barefoot…

There is the one of Mommy losing her shit as the dog sails over the 6 foot wall into the neighbor’s yard, AGAIN. “Shit! Dammit! Someone get that dog! Be careful of the electric fence – which doesn’t seem to be working. Glowie – call her! She’ll come for you. I don’t know why she won’t come when I call her? (Uh, hysterical voice and wild, frightening gesticulating arms perhaps?)

It helps to know they will have one good memory.

My Blondie and I were hanging out in the pool the other day. By hanging out I mean I was laying on a raft with my Kindle in its Ziploc baggie (cuz that’s how I roll People!!!) while my daughter gently pushed me around the pool, stopping every now and then for me to have a sip of wine.

But I digress, as usual.

Blondie says to me . . . Mommy, do you remember the day the Art Studio Ladies came over and everyone went swimming in their bras and panties while they drank wine and ate cheese and crackers?
It was a lightning bolt moment for me.

Because of course I remember (I’m not that far gone . . . yet). It was a magical night in Palm Springs, this cool group of arty farty broads, who just decided the night was too beautiful not to slip in for a swim.

We were all bobbing around in our underwear, wine glasses held aloft. We were talking trash and giggling and admire (or thoughtfully looking away) from each other’s . . . ahem, undergarments.

Blondie’s comment struck me because . . . it was a story that I WANT my daughters to remember. I want that to be part of the “mosaic” of who their mother is . . . you know, someone not afraid to shed her clothes for an evening swim. Someone who drinks wine and eats cheese. (Cuz the wine sounds so much classier than all those martinis.) Someone who hangs with a group of bohemian, arty women who often look at me like I am a nutcase when I talk about my parenting overdrive.

Women who love beauty and will sacrifice pretty hands to make it.

Women who wear amazingly bright colors and fabulous drapey scarves and huge, bizarre dangly earrings.

Women who can talk about anything, cuz they are safe in their group. (And yes Ladies, I am sorry I can’t shut up about the trials of menopause.)

And women who don’t think twice about shucking off their clothes to have a magical moment.

Yes My Little Blondie. I remember. But what really matters to me is that YOU remember who your Mama is. Or at least who I want you to believe I am. #hope

Today and always.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Protect the Nap

I feel that I’ve written about napping a lot. However, no one seems to understand.

I’m not dancing around the elephant in the room. I’m not speaking in soft, dulcet tones. No people. I gotta go for it. And talk about THE NAP
I work. Well, sorta.

I run our business. At home, in my dirty yoga clothes. (And btw, why aren’t they called Pilates pants. I don’t actually DO yoga.) But I’ve taken you down THIS road before. See my Bathing Blog . .

I do go into the office on occasion. And then I look very nice. No seriously. And I smell fresh too.

Oh wait, digressing again.

I can work with a consultant, run a conference call, make major financial decisions, run a complex marketing program, develop and instrument an acquisition plan, all from the comfort of my own home. I give EXCELLENT phone.

Let’s be clear. We don’t have a dining room. Seriously. I have a huge office with a giant desk, credenza, office machines, two little girl desks, big plants, giant wall calendars. We eat at the kitchen counter. Or outside. (Hey, this was supposed to be part of the Palm Springs lifestyle. What doesn’t get mentioned is that it is too cold to eat outside 4 months of the year and too flipping hot 6 months of the year. But for 2 months, we can dine outside. And let me tell you, it is HEAVEN!!!)

And like every other mother, I coordinate soccer schedules, ballet rehearsals, costumes, uniforms, music teachers, after school activities. (Not play dates. I hate play dates. They are sooooo much work dealing with everyone else’s kids . . . I mean calendar.)

I set medical appointments (unfortunately, I see lots of Doctors and so does my little Glowie … see Fuck you Mr. Doctor , and Glowie’s BD ) I schedule many different summer camps (it turns out my family doesn’t do so well with lots of unstructured free time. And Mommy does need to work – even if it is done in bad clothes.)

I sit on a committee for the County of Riverside, I’m the Site Council president and I do occasionally attend a PTA meeting where I decide I’ll never do this again and write another check.

I manage all the people it takes to keep my house running. Everything is broken all the time. Hey, we are accountants NOT contractors. We can’t fix shit in our house. Water heater, electrical issues, air conditioning, hard wood floors popping up (what the hell is that about?), and of course, we are putting several plumbing contractors’ kids through Ivy League Universities. Not cuz we are generous like that, but cuz we like our toilets to work. #divas

To say nothing of the pest control people and the carpet cleaners. Three big dogs, two kids and my carpets all have piddle stains on them. Which I have the carpet people come and clean. And the piddle stains come back in two days.

And there’s blogging. And Twitter. (Thank God. Ok, only on the days where people say nice things to me.)

So let’s get back to where I started.

I try to lie down during the day. For an hour. Or more. Instead of napping I am typing this.

But if you call and say wanna go to lunch? I’ll probably say no, I’m very busy.

But really? I’m Protecting The Nap.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Vacation

I may have overdone it.

But then the thought of spending endless amounts of unstructured time with my kids creates a blowback experience in my mind. By “blowback” I mean there is internal screaming. Oh wait, you could hear that? #oops

So in my compulsive, over-fanatical way, I scheduled summer. Cuz hey, it’s Palm Springs . It will be 115 out most days. I can’t just say, "Go play outside and leave Mommy alone." There’s that whole second degree burns on their hands from the Swing Set issue.

Two weeks of Museum Camp. (Kinda pricey, but they keep them from 9 to 4.)

Then there is a special Outdoor Classroom Camp thing at the Aerial Tramway. That sounds cool. Literally. It is 30 degrees cooler at the top of the Tram.

Then there is Band Camp. Sleepaway camp for Blondie and her saxophone. One week.

But what do I do with Glowie that week? Find a sleepaway camp? Put her in Parks and Rec camp? Without intense structure and ongoing social stimulation, Glowie won’t survive. Which means, neither will I!

Maybe she could do a three night sleepover at someone’s house? Someone that I never want to speak to again. Cuz they won’t be talkin’ to me after that.

We are doing a mountain getaway over the 4th of July. At the lake, with the dogs, and our friends. Not restful, but busy. We like busy. Well, I like napping. But with two kids, three big dogs and friends . . .

Then they are both going to sleepaway camp in August. It promises to be the highlight of my year life.

And during our August mountain time, there is a UK Soccer camp. You know, where you drive 45 minutes to get to a camp that lasts three hours. Just long enough that you should drive home. Where you go potty, have a cup of tea for 30 minutes, then get in the car and go back to pick them up.

I could buy a car for what this summer is costing. Well, a used car. With a lot of miles. And old. Very old. But nonetheless, a summer schedule is not free.

But being on the go? It’s better for our kids. That whole sitting around the house, coming up with creative ways to entertain themselves? That always leads to a lot of yelling. And mess. I hate mess.

Or video games and TV. And that makes me feel dirty after the first few days.

And the only thing I like dirty is my martini.

Bam. I’ve got a plan. Bam. I’ve got a schedule. Bam. I’ve got multi-colored markers on the calendar. Bam. I have to go lie down.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yippee! School's Out. Oh. Wait.

The pressure really became unbearable.

Within a one week period in May, we had: a field trip to Sea World, the annual fund raiser for the elementary school (Spaghetti Night anyone?), two piano recitals, testing for my youngest (you know that Educational testing? It is four 2 hour testing sessions. I tried really hard to be Nice Mommy so she would go into the testing in the best mood possible. THAT was exhausting.); oh, and two birthday parties to attend. Which I was good with, cuz now I keep a couple of Target gift cards in my desk and say: You wanna go to the party? You had better MAKE A NICE CARD!

But wait, my compulsive list-making isn’t over. Cuz the NEXT week? We had four nights of full dress rehearsal for the ballet performance, an awards ceremony, a band performance, and the actual two days of the Ballet Show itself. Where, by the way, these little girls with all this make up? They sorta look like little sluts in tutus. Oh, and the special Walk to School Day sponsored by the County of Riverside, which I headed up.

There was the day when I logged onto the school website and saw that Blondie had a C. In Social Studies. Then there was my breakdown where I, let’s just say, over-used my vocal cords and developed an eye twitch. (The missing homework was instantly found!)

And not that anyone cares about MY schedule, but we had an All Staff full day meeting that week which I facilitate; my husband was out of town on business for two days (yeah right, it was the ONLY time he could go), leaving me to pull it all together, and then a special Award Ceremony for Volunteers. (I volunteer to stay home from the award ceremony!) AND!!!! It was the last episode of Oprah EVER! Which means I had to schedule that afternoon off my calendar to lock myself in the bedroom with tissue and a pitcher of Moscow Mules.

So really? School being out? Flipping Heaven.

Until I really think about it.

Cuz though I could use a break from all the pressure?

I could really use a break from the kids.

Summer Vacation. #shit

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Best Gift Ever

I had a birthday recently. Uh, yes. Another one.

I had a very fun weekend with friends. But I always tell people – don’t get me presents. I know this is shocking and not at all in keeping with my greedy needy personality. Here’s “Why”:

1) I don’t need another scented candle.
2) I do love chocolates, but they make me fat…uh, fatter.
3) If you give me a gift, then I have to write a thank you note. It’s the law.
I don’t want to write a thank you note. I would rather you just hang out with me. (Cuz I AM fabulous company.)
4) I have enough stuff. I really do. So unless you can help offset my giant house payment on my upside down house . . .
5) For my 50th BD, I asked people to donate to my favorite charity. No one did.

So enough already. I’m old, I’m set, I don’t need more stuff.

Until I received the BEST GIFT EVER from my former Nanny.

A nice white box comes. I’m sure it is for my daughters. But I open it anyway. Cuz I’m the Mom and I can.

But, what is this? Do I see a single roll of double ply Northern Toilet Paper? Why, that is my favorite! And I do have a defining Life Philosophy which says: You can never have too much Toilet Paper stockpiled in Case of Emergency.

And underneath that? A bag of Cheetos?

I peruse the rest of the box with Orange Tipped Fingers.

Pop Tarts. Check.

Chapstick. Check.

Rosarita No-Fat Refried Beans. A staple for any healthy eating plan.

And underneath that? The special orange slice candies. With the word “Enjoy” written all over the container.

All wrapped up with a Loving Card.

Now THAT’s a great Birthday Gift.

There’s a gift that keeps on giving. (I’m referencing the toilet paper here, not the Cheetos. They are long gone.)

That was a present that made me feel seen, known and loved.

That’s better than a scented candle any day.

And I didn’t have to write her a Thank You note.

Just an email that told her I loved her and I missed her, cuz she really knew what mattered to me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Who’s the Shrew?

Dear God, my mother was a shrew.

Well, maybe not a shrew.

She was 40 when I was born. (I was 40 when my first was born.)

She was tired. (I’m tired.)

She was a yeller. (I, of course, NEVER raise my voice above a soft whisper. #lying)

She used to tell me I was a very intense child. (Okay, she didn’t really use the word “intense.” “Difficult,” “challenging,” “handful,” and occasionally the word “problem” came up.)

My youngest is a very intense child. By intense I mean . . . oh never mind.

(She’s one of those kids about which we say: If she had been born first, she would be an only child.)

My mom was a full-time wife and mom.

I was the light of her life. And, as an only child, the one who took the heat for EVERYTHING in her world.

She was a perfectionist. Her house was uber tidy.

And my mom was impatient. A lot.

As a kid I hated all this. I thought I will NEVER yell at my kids. I’ll be gentle, patient and kind. And I won’t ever let a tidy house come before a little fun.

I will be SUCH a better mother. Cuz it’s so easy. I’ll just do it ALL differently . . .

Because my children ARE the light of my life.

Okay. Well, I do like my house a little clean. (Let’s just say, Lysol Wipes are my BFF.)

The kids do drive me crazy when they leave their Lego out on the floor.
Okay – I yell when I find three week old yogurt in the bottom of the backpack. (Wait . . . was that yogurt?)

Oh Crap.

Let’s see:

Old. Check

Tired. Check

Impatient. Check

Rigid Household Maintenance Standards. Check

Oh Dear God. I’m a shrew.

Turns out... my Mother? She was a flipping saint.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is everybody really having sex THAT much?

I think my husband and I have a fantastic sex life. Until, of course, I watch something like "Grey’s Anatomy." Where everyone is getting it on like bunnies.

Hot, romantic, casual, funny, spontaneous sex.

And then there’s the Housewives of . . . oh any fucking city, with their silicone lubricated sex.
Jesus, there was even a bit on Regis and Kelly.

It turns out that everyone else is not just having sex constantly. No, it is some kind of romantic, sexy, hot interlude. There are chocolate covered strawberries, hot baths and rose petals.

My question? Where are the kids banging on the door?

You can’t toss me on the bed, cuz it’s covered with unfolded laundry. (Dear God – is it even clean laundry???)

Kitchen table ? Covered with the fucking science project.

And the fantasy that my husband will pick me up and carry me to some clean surface is kinda shattered. Do you know how old he is and how much I weigh? #arthritis #nothappening

Our lives are more like this:

Husband, home from work, late #taxseason, dishing out leftovers from last night’s takeout. I’m on all fours, sorting through the kids backpacks for the latest lost permission slip. If he leaned over, brushed my hair aside and tried to kiss my neck, I would probably topple over (cuz I’m kinda like a cow, I tip easily) and if he could finally get up off the floor (hopefully HE’S not injured, cuz he’s no spring chicken) I would be pissed.

I would be pissed because now I can’t remember who we decided is picking up the kids tomorrow. Cuz there’s the track meet, trying to be coordinated with soccer practice, and the other one’s ballet class and saxophone lessons. Just typing that makes my juices dry up.

Like I said, a real magical moment.

There are several factors working against me and this bizarre goal I have of knocking it out like bunnies.

Number One – I am old. Old and tired. Tired. Dead. Tired.

Number Two – Menopause is a gift that keeps on giving. Oh wait? It doesn’t give… anything – you know what I’m talking about. Now before the big moment we have to go to the store. Not for condoms. Cuz that ship has sailed. No. Now? We go for lubricant. (Sadly, not cuz I have a high Freak Number. You know, like you know, those Real Housewives of Atlanta, Candy Coated Nights!)

Number Three – Kids.

Number Four – Kids.

Number Five – Soccer practice, ballet, piano lessons, sax lessons, working with the tutor.

Number Six – How exhausted I am after soccer, ballet, piano, sax, tutor, showers, teeth brushing and oh shit . . . I guess they need to be fed dinner also? (So demanding, those kids.)

Number Seven – Work. Mine. His. All consuming. All the time.

Number Eight – My slight problem with TV watching. I mean if there is something new on Bravo that night …

Number Nine – The 10:00 p.m. knock on the door. "Mommy, I’m worried about something." "Mommy my leg hurts from soccer." "Mommy my sister is asleep and I’m lonely. How come you guys get to watch TV and we have to go to bed?"

Number Ten – Did I mention I’m old and tired?

So when I hear people talking about doing it a few times a week, I just want to scream: A week? Did I hear you right? Don’t you mean a few times a MONTH?

And by few times, don’t you mean .032?

Cuz me and my husband? We’re bunnies too. Just you know, the old ones you find in the petting zoo that have given up. #ButOhSoHappy

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day Mama.

My Mama has been gone for five years.

And she wasn’t in the best place the five years before that.

She was my Mama and I loved her. And she loved me.

I was an adopted girl (just like my two daughters). My parents were 40. (I remember 40, that’s when we adopted our Blondie. And back then? We called her Baldie.)

I was an only child. (Something my oldest can only long for!)

And I was the light of my parents’ lives. And I knew it.

So here is the most important thing my Mother taught me, that I am trying to teach my daughters:

Things will always look better in the morning.

When all of us are falling apart at night, I ask my girls – What was it that Gammy always said? I knew we had it wrong when Blondie answered: “I’ll give you something to cry about—right, Mommy?”

Well, yes . . . that was one of the things Gammy said, but I meant the other thing she said ALL THE TIME!

This is the mantra in our house (the” morning” thing, not the “something to cry about” thing). So many things can trigger a bedtime meltdown. And my girls can have a bad time at bedtime also. (Bah da bing.)

And doesn’t everyone’s anxieties come out at night? Or is that just me cuz I watch too many scary, crime procedural shows.

My husband and I often lie in bed at night at 10:00 and worry about our business, or a staff problem or a client issue. I have to grab his hand and say, “Remember what my Mom always said! We can deal with this tomorrow.”

And in the morning? Nothing is as looming.

My mother gave me many other gifts: stability, music and dance lessons, great schools, a dog, a college education, freedom, independence and some (often misplaced) trust, along with a lot of self confidence. (The self-confidence thing? I may have been born with some of that.)

I knew who I was, where I came from and that I was loved. Loved AND the most important thing in the world to two people, no matter where I went or whatever stupid choices I made. (Hey, my 20’s were a little rough.)

These are the gifts I so desperately want to pass along to my daughters. Along with always remembering that “Things will look better in the morning.”

So on Mother’s Day? I say, “I love you, Mama!”

Happy Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Mommy Bus is Pissed

First let’s talk about the Daddy Bus . . .

The Daddy Bus is supposed to leave at 7:20.

But Daddy is a pushover for his girls!

Cuz if you leave any later than 7:20, school drop off goes from serene to entering the Vortex of Death (otherwise known as the “Drop Off Circle”).

So back to the Mommy Bus.

I have said before, and I’ll say it again. I like to run a tight ship.

Which doesn’t always go my way with two kids, three big dogs and a couple of handfuls of employees.

I employ all sorts of techniques to keep things running: checklists, flip charts, computer task lists, notes on fridge and, of course, yelling.

So yesterday the Daddy Bus was sick. Something else I can’t control. (Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps, Man!)

So I’m going to run Blondie to school.

So when I tell her that I’m leaving at 7:20 cuz Daddy is sick? She doesn’t seem to really believe me.

7:20. 7:21. Let’s Go!

7:22 I don’t care if you aren’t ready. Get your stuff and go.

7:23 Just put your shoes on in the car. And forget about combing your hair.

7:24 No sunscreen yet huh? Again, do that in the car. (Hey, it’s Palm Springs. She’s fair skinned. Sunscreen isn’t even a choice in our family.)

7:25 Complete meltdown. (Hers. Not Mine.) This is not FAIR!!!

7:25 If you’re not ready in the next 60 SECONDS the MOMMY BUS IS LEAVING.

7:26…0h well Blondie. You missed the Mommy Bus. The next bus leaves at 8:00 when you sister goes to school.

7:26…Hysterical wailing (Hers. Not Mine.)

Now the retarded thing about all this is that Blondie is dedicated to school. It is VERY important to my kid to get to school on time. She loves a routine herself. And the thought of walking into her Math class 35 minutes late? And having people LOOK at her? Absolutely horrifying.

But you know what? The Mommy Bus has a schedule. The next departure time was the elementary school Mommy Bus at 8:00 a.m. And that bus was a walking bus.

So Mommy walked them both to school. Blondie with the reddest blotchiest face you’ve ever seen. She is calmer, except for the little hysterical crying hiccups she’s got going.

Me however? I spent the day doing a little victory dance.

Here’s the good thing about this. Which btw, is another version of Big Picture Parenting. (Parenting that sucks in the moment, but has some promise of payoff in the future.)
Yeah, this morning sucked… for both of us.

But you know who will be the number one passenger on the Mommy Bus at 7:19?

At 7:19. Teeth brushed, hair brushed, sunscreen on. And she’ll probably even be wearing shoes!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Pilates

It has been a year ( and a tiny bit ) since I started Pilates.

I was the big, whale of a girl, laying on the mat.

It appeared that I was quite devout and religious.

Cuz there was a LOT of praying going on:

“Dear God in Fucking Heaven – HELP ME”

“God, I will give you anything, anything if you will transport me out of this room.”

“Holy Jesus, let the hour be over RIGHT NOW!”

Well, and there was this . . .


And the gentle sobbing. And the not so gentle sobbing.

And the breathing that sounded just like sobbing.

But hey, I’m a Big Girl, with some seriously messed up joints, so Pilates seemed like the only thing standing between me and some sort of assisted walking device.

So I just showed up. I swore. I wept. I swore. I prayed. And I cried inside.

I also believed that no one had ever suffered or endured such pain during exercise. (I actually still believe this to be true.)

So it’s been a year.

And I can do a lot more stuff. (Like touch my feet. Hey, for me the goals were somewhat modest.)

Though I still think the hour is over when it has only been 20 minutes.

I still pray for a divine intervention at least twice during each class.

And I am pretty sure the teacher judges Fat Chicks.

Who could blame him? My teacher worked for Richard Simmons for 15 years. That must do something to a man.

And may I just say, my teacher doesn’t exactly bring that upbeat Richard-Simmons-sunshine to our Pilates class.

But I’m sure, in my mind, that I’m the teacher’s pet. And I know he loves me. Cuz he keeps showing up!

And you know what? After a year of Pilates? I’m still a Fat Chick. And no, I have not turned 50 pounds of fat to muscle.

But I am a Fat Chick who can touch my toes! Hah! Take that Jesus!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 15th . . . Well April 18th This Year

Tax Season in our house is kinda brutal. Well, really it is a mixed bag.

We have an accounting firm, my husband is a CPA. So he’s working 7 days a week, some days 20 hours a day.

The good part of this? The bills start to get paid. (And btw, if you have been waiting for payment from us? Thank you. It’s coming. No, I swear, the check is in the mail.)

I try and hold everything together like a wife out of Mad Men. (Well, without the foundation wear. And the lovely manners.)

I try to hold our staff together by telling them I am there for them. (I’m not really, but I think it is so nice to say that.)

I try not to mention the fact that our shower appears to be leaking and has created a vast plaster buckling on the adjoining wall. Instead? I hang a rather odd, very large, king sized blanket beach towel over the oozing drywall.

And as soon as we are flush? (No pun intended – Dear God!) I’ll call the handyman. (And weep softly into my pillow that I won’t be getting an iPad, yet again.)

There is no leaving the kids with their dad and running a quick errand. My solution? I just don’t run errands during tax season. (So much easier to do without, rather than load the kids in the car with all their detritus and whining.

Oh wait…maybe that’s my detritus and whining. Well, no matter.)
Parent/Teacher conferences, music lessons, ballet, tutoring, birthday parties, medical appointments . . . I do it all without bitching. (OK, this is a total lie.

I bitch like crazy to anyone who will listen. Just not to @Taxes007.)

The training of the New Dog? Honey, don’t lift a finger. You just get your cup of coffee (from Starbucks people – I don’t make coffee!) and run along dear. I’ve got the new dog handled. (Vomit, crate break-outs, fence jumping, poop pick up, dog park tips, training sessions . . .)

And it was our wedding anniversary also. But I’m okay foregoing a dinner out or a celebration. No, no. Really. It’s been 15 years. Fifteen happy, wonderful years.

I understand the demands of our business. (Really, 15 flipping years and we can’t figure out how to get a little break during tax season???)

But while I am dusting in my girdle and heels, with a lovely stew on the stove, I count my blessings. (Translation: I’m LOOKING at the dust, I’m wearing a bad bra and stretched out yoga pants and the smell? The Carl’s Jr. I picked up for dinner.

And dammit! It smells great!)

But I do count my blessings. Thank God for tax season. We can replace our broken TV, get a decent bra and yoga pants, buy our little Glowie a new dress and our Blondie some new Lego. We can pay our mortgage payment (don’t get me started on how upside down we are in our house, I’m Blessing-Counting dammit!). And we will get some family time (which will be so much better when we have a TV!!!)

I can go back to bitching at my husband. And @Taxes007? He can get some sleep!!! So much better to enjoy his delicious dinner. From Carl’s Jr.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tax Season – Holy Fuck

Tax Season is different in our house.
I know that you are panicking and experiencing all sorts of procrastination agony.
You’ve rediscovered afternoon soap operas rather than look for that envelope with the receipts.
That new Oprah network has some mesmerizing shit on it if instead you should be putting together your mortgage interest for the year. (Which is painful, cuz if you’re like us, you are paying interest on a HOUSE THAT ISN’T WORTH SHIT any longer. But I digress.)
And all of a sudden you’ve taken up a new zeal for housecleaning. I understand that speaks to how agonizing it is to put your money shit together and FACE FACTS.
But in our house? This is Hell Week. Except Hell Week lasts 8 weeks.
This is the time where I get to experience the intimate joys of being a single parent.
Cuz Daddy? He’s doing the Green Lightshade Thing. Every day. And night.
And me? I’m trying to hold everything together and “not bother Daddy.”
By hold together? I mean yell at the kids more, wish I hadn’t gotten that third dog, try to be in two places at the same time. (Ballet/Soccer; Band Concert/Dance Rehearsal-- you get the picture.)
There is weeping. “I miss Daddy.”
And it appears the children miss him also.
It is long hours.
When my youngest wrote a story about the seasons for school, she wrote that there are five seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and TAX Season.
For her? It is an immutable Law of the Universe that for a couple of months a year, everyone hunkers down with a siege mentality and goes without sleep. (But not without nourishment. Oh No! There is PLENTY of BAD FOOD CHOICES being made!)
But Hey! This is OUR season. You know, the season where we make the money to pay our bills.
Honey? I’ll see you on the other side…The other side of April 15th.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Webpage and My Ass

I work with a Social Media consultant in our business. She, luckily for me, happens to be my friend. And, she’s a little geeky. By “geeky”, I mean she understands things like “coding”, “search engine optimization” and “google analytics”.

And I like her anyway.

The other day she wants to tell me there is a problem with the coding of our website. (I don’t know what she actually said. It was all said very quickly and in Croatian, I’m pretty sure.)

Partway through the emergency phone meeting, (let’s just say I was involuntarily doing Kegels from the fear of how much money this “problem” was going to cost me), I stop her and say: Uh, you need to slow down. I don’t understand. And it might be very helpful if you took a brief moment to tell me my ass looks great right now. (In these baggy, worn-out Yoga pants.)

She pauses. (Cuz she can get very wound up when she speaks her own special Computer Nerd Language.)

I hear her little brain processing . . . processing . . . processing.

Then she responds: Your ass looks FANTASTIC!

And we move on. Well, she moves on.

I move to cut another check.

But every conversation we’ve had for the past four days? She slips a compliment about my ass in somewhere.

And I’m finding I’m much calmer about the problems and the cost of solving them.

Now, if I can just train my kids to do the same thing, when I am yelling at them about picking up their shoes!

Can you imagine? “Mommy, by the way, have I told you today that your bottom looks really, really pretty in those black stretch pants you wear every day?”

Uh, yeah. That would work for me!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Goddamned Dog and My Outdoor Shower

So we love our new dog. No really.

Well, some days we love her more than others.

I have written in the past about my obsession with bathing outdoors. It’s kind of a romantic, under the stars, “this is the life” kinda of thing. Well . . . that and some sort of claustrophobia in the house.

Actually our regular shower is lovely. Like something out a magazine. If you like slippery marble floors, I’ve got the Hot Ticket for you.

Every time I step into this large, glass encased shower, I’m pretty sure I’m slipping to some sort of head or joint injury. It’s a death trap I tell you.

But I digress with an analysis of my indoor bathing phobia.

So I make my kids shower outside a lot of the time (hey, it’s Palm Springs!).
Imagine the glory of a bathroom without wet floors, steamed up glass, wet toys dripping all over everything.
But my kids, who are NOT very tall, always manage to take the shower massager/shower head thingie down. They leave it laying on the ground. Cuz they leave everything they own on the ground. Why wouldn’t they leave my shower head there too?

But back to the dog. So she’s romping in the back yard. She’s like a gazelle let loose for the first time on the savannah. I’m mesmerized watching her. Until I realize she is running around with my shower head IN HER EFFING MOUTH.

I don’t know who to yell at first. The girls? For their carelessness? The dog? For feasting on one of my favorite objects in the world?
So after something like that, what do I need?
Hello! A nice, relaxing shower.
So I make my husband go outside with me, cuz that’s just the kinda of relationship we have.
The shower head is toast.
So he’s going old school. He’s got the hose and his thumb. He’s spraying me down like we used to water the lawn.
Of course, he thinks this is hilarious while I’m busy screaming: “Not my hair, you Moron!”
But I love my husband. And I love my dog. (And yes, even my children who can’t pick up a damned thing.)
And after I get the new shower head today, there may be another shower in my future today. Under the stars. Blissfully alone.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Interview Where I Lost My Mind

We are looking for a CPA to work in our Accounting Firm. We have three offices now and a rapidly growing client base. My husband is just one guy, and God knows, I have needs.

We needed to find another Accountant.

So we cull through resumes. (Hello, is the “Cover Letter Thing” completely obsolete? Cuz I really long for you to tell me something about why you want to work for my company.)

One person in particular has a great skill set. And an MBA to boot. This makes our hearts race a little faster. (That and the stairs up to our office.)

And maybe his cover letter was a little odd and stiff, but hey, when you see the Hot Guy on, you don’t ask if he’s living with his mom. You just let crap like that slide. Cuz Baby, it’s all about the fantasy!

Sadly, because we are overworked and needy, we start fantasizing about him. No, not sexual fantasies. (There is no CPA hotter than my husband.)

But fantasies about how this Magical CPA guy is going to solve all of our needs: He’ll be in two places at the same time; he’ll charm the most difficult of clients; he’ll knock out tax returns faster than a speeding bullet; he’ll bring in so many new clients we won’t know what to do with all our money!

And all this, while championing our business and our values.

And then: The Interview.

I usually run a VERY tight interview ship.

But . . . for this fantasy CPA, I’m like the giggly school girl. I’m shuffling my papers and I think I see fairy dust twinkling from the pages.

I do my little song and dance at the beginning. You know, flip the hair, lick my lips, bat those Latisse lashes. I was working it. I asked my first question, waiting with baited, minty-fresh breath for his answer.

He opened his mouth, and answered. And answered. And answered. And Dear God, he answered some more.

Saying the man wouldn’t fucking shut up is an understatement.

He makes John Kerry look pithy.

I realize at some point during the answer to the first question-- the FIRST question, let’s be clear-- that I've left my body and am hovering in the corner of the ceiling thinking to myself: Help!!! Get me out of here!!! What the hell is happening???

This guy won’t shut the fuck up. So finally I wedge my way into his answer. And by “wedge,” I mean I just start to talk over him.

And I say, in the interest of time, maybe you could just jump to the bottom line, you know, in the interest of time. (Inside I’m still screaming – HELP ME.)

But as he is into his fourth minute of “cutting it short” I still can’t let go.

Cuz remember, this could be my Magical CPA! He still could be. I swear. Just wait. I know at any moment he’s going to bring this home.

It was like being held hostage in a basement on Criminal Minds. Except of course, I could get up and walk away. But then what about all my dreams and fantasies about my Magical CPA?

Then he proceeds to tell a story about a job he didn’t get, cuz they thought he wasn’t interested.

YES! I exclaim. I too thought that from your oddly perfunctory cover letter.

I’m waving the three sentence letter in the air, animated for the first time in an hour.

His response? “I pride myself on being short and direct in all my communications.”

WHAT??? (I’m still oddly waving the letter in the air.) You did NOT just say that???

All of a sudden my lovely crossed ankles, leaning forward posture, fake but hard worked-for look of interest in my eyes, is OVER. My legs fall apart, my mouth drops open, my head flops back in a seizure type movement.

Turns out my Magical CPA is still just a figment of my imagination. #Dammit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Daughter’s Night as a Cheerleader

My Daughter’s Night as a Cheerleader

My 7-year old wants everything Big Girls have. Even boobs. She is just that kinda kid. Heels, jewelry, lip gloss are all things she covets.
(Boobs, you may ask? Well, several times she has stuffed tissue into her ballet leotard and pranced in front of her mirror, checking out her “curves.” Try to understand this – she weighs 36 pounds, if we weigh her right after a big meal.)

Now my 11-year old just wants to be 11. She wants to play Lego, read books, climb trees, ride bikes and play with the dogs. And if she could do these things in grungy old clothes – so much the better. But I digress.

So Glowie gets a chance to go to a Cheerleading Camp with the high school girls. (If you could just tremble slightly when you read the words “High School Girls,” all the better.)

Then she got to Cheer at the High School Basketball Game during Half Time.
I was a wreck.

For one thing, I weep when a new jar of peanut butter is opened. My children are constantly bringing me tissue and saying: “Aw, Mama.”

So the weeping started before the pretty Senior came out and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." What pipes that girl had. A little National Anthem, a little Pledge of Allegiance and I’m a blubbering wreck.

And just sitting in the stands looking down at Glowie vibrating on the bleacher, wedged between those beautiful big girls, I was a one woman snot-fest.

All I can think about is: if this is what she wants and loves, how do I help her build the skills to have a chance to do this in high school, which is only 7 years away.

So while the boys are playing basketball and while the cheerleaders are stomping and cheering; while my Glowie is lit up from inside; me? Well, I’m making a plan:

• Sign up for gymnastics lessons.
• Don’t quit Ballet.
• Find out at what age kids can wear contacts.
• Don’t delay calling the orthodontist. (Glowie’s mouth is going to be some kind of $10,000 mess, not including jaw surgery – egad!)
• Put some protein powder in her morning instant breakfast.
• Start investment fund for giant hair bows.
• Type up Plan of Action.

And suddenly the buzzer rings. It is not the buzzer on the floor of the gym. It is the buzzer in my mind that suggests I may want to move out of the way.

Cuz any minute my Helicopter Mom whirly-bird is going to land.

Wait-- I can feel the breeze. And I think I hear the gentle whoosh, whoosh, whoosh sound of the blades.

Cuz God forbid, my daughter should just get to be a 2nd grade kid getting an exciting night with the Big Girls. Nah.

Bring it on General Petraeus! Any battle plan you’ve put into action won’t hold a candle to mine!

Gooooooooooooooo Glowie!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You Know You’ve Got It Good When . . .

You Know You’ve Got It Good When . . .

I’ve got it good.

I knew I was living the good life when I got a TV in my bathroom. To me, that is the mark that I’ve “made it.” It is also how I fit in so much TV watching into my very busy daily schedule. Now bathing is NOT so tedious any longer when I can do it with "The Real Housewives!"

Now, I’m not a “shower me in diamonds” kinda girl.

Well, there was my engagement ring. I did want a diamond for that. Actually, when my husband asked me: “If you ever get married again, what kind of diamond would you want?” I replied without missing a beat: “I want a diamond as big as my head.”

I was quite clear about this.

And boy, did he deliver! I have the mother of all diamonds (hey, I’m not talking the scorned-wife-of-Kobe –Bryant-big, and Liz Taylor isn’t actually crippled with envy).

It’s big to me and it makes me happy.

This year, after 15 years of good marriage (note that I don’t say “happy.” You don’t get “happy” for 15 flipping years. But you can have “good.” If you have a great therapist!) my husband bought me a diamond necklace.

Prior to this I never gave a shit. But I LOVE this necklace.

So I have a TV in my bathroom, a diamond necklace, a house (that the bank, ever so mercifully let’s us live in) and all the vodka money can buy.

I may have a titanium spine, a ceramic hip and a kid that will be riding in a car seat until she goes to college. I may have problems with ah, shall we call it, over-rigidity?

But in the Big Picture kinda way?

I love my husband, my kids are in a good place, it is the most beautiful time of the year in Palm Springs.

So what you may ask, what could I possibly want for my birthday? This girl that has it so good?

An iPad.

Cuz I always want something. #Dammit.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Science Project – Another Family Killer

Oh shit. Science Projects are due . . . tomorrow.

Now, of course I’ve been down this thorn-filled road before. Many times before.

Okay – NINE times so far, and still counting.

And at first, I had a Fire in my Belly for these projects. And there were awards received. And Mommy was proud.

Though this is a child-driven project, let’s be real. The parent has to come up with a concept that they can stand. We’ve done the carnations with food coloring one a couple of times. (Two kids, two different schools – how bad is that?) Who do you think buys the carnations, the food coloring and the Science Project Board?

And let’s talk about carving out time for this “learning experience.” It feels so big and looming in my head that I’m filled with a sick stomach for the entire month that it's due. I don’t actually DO anything about helping the kids work their stuff through, I just feel guilty.

Science Projects are a lot like being back in college. You know how you would go out and party instead of study for a midterm? Feeling dirty and guilty the whole time you were partying? (And then there was the Academic Probation . . . but let’s leave that for another story.)

So adding “Mommy guilt and dirt” to the Science Project checklist IS important.
And then there is the typing of the hypothesis, the method and the conclusion. I always disclose on the Board that the “typing was done by Mom.”

But Hey!!! Last night my older daughter was able to do the typing for my younger daughter. This Science Project says “typing was done by my sister, Blondie.”

Last year was the first year I really started to give up on this stuff. I was fatigued-- in the moment, and in a big-life way.

So I let the teenage babysitter help on a Saturday night while my husband and I went out for martinis. Genius, you might think to yourself.

Well, all except for the fact that last year was the first year my kids didn’t get even a lousy “honorable mention” ribbon. Wow, that stung.

It stung, but not enough to change the game up this year.

So the babysitter was here over the weekend. There was colored paper, glue, a concept AND a hypothesis.

I had a lovely petite filet and my martini was shaken, not stirred.

I’m not holding my breath on my Mother of the Year Award. Not this year, at least.

But next year we are going to roll up our sleeves. We are really going to pre-plan.
Next year, there will be a timeline and a schedule. We will pick our project early and make a list of supplies IN ADVANCE.

Next year, we will be really well stocked-- okay, maybe not the science boards, but dammit we’ll have vodka.

Next year. . .oh, who am I kidding?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If we only had a Lab.

We spent last summer going back and forth to the mountains.

It was a summer filled with envy.

I hate this about myself. But I have it. Envy. Sort of like: Keeping up with the Joneses syndrome.

We bought a little trailer (do not insert the word “trash” here) in the mountains. You know, to get away from the Palm Springs heat. (Which I always told people I didn’t mind the summers here. The truth is? Summer sucks.)

Okay, EVERYONE has a boat. Well, we can’t really manage the cost of a boat. (Bitterness Alert.) So we bought a couple of used kayaks.

You know, so we could kayak out into the lake and look at all the multi-million dollar houses that we will never live in. (More Bitterness.)

I have no car bitterness however, cuz I have one of those family vans with the auto sliding doors. That totally rocks. But I digress . . .

And we can take our dogs with us. And we have two great dogs. Both rescues. One old, one young. Great dogs. No really…

But EVERYONE in the mountains, you know the people with the boats and the docks and the big fancy lake houses – they all have Labrador Retrievers. Or Goldens. They all have these cute, big, goofy dogs that swim in the lake and ride in the boats and fetch sticks from the shore.

Now we aren’t getting a boat, or moving up from our trailer (didn’t I mention you are not even to think the word “trash” here!). But dammit, we can get another dog.

So I spent the entire summer on every flipping dog rescue site in California. And the Western United States. Trying to find a water dog for my family.

(I think discussing the 6 page applications I filled out for all the different rescue sites is a separate blog I’ll save for later. A teeny weinie bit of bitterness here.)

Cuz I am just sure, if we had a third dog, our lives would be perfect.

My kids would be angels all the time, our business would flow like delicious maple syrup (okay, I’m hungry right now), the plumbing issues in our house would dry up like something in the Sahara. (Hey, I live in Palm Springs, that can’t be too much to ask.)

I would be thinner and more flexible, my younger daughter would calm down (that is code for TALK LESS), my girls would get straight A’s just for being themselves, homework would get done easily and there would never be a pair of stray shoes left anywhere.

I would never be tired and irritable and yell at my kids.

Our staff would run into work every day and beg to work extra hours for no pay, AND they would tell us how fabulous we are.

Our clients would pay their bills the second they received them, and never complain about anything.

Why, if we just had a Labrador Retriever, we would have more joy in our lives every day. I just know it.

Cuz this Lab? She will be able to pick up her own poop, right?


We got her, our beautiful Lab puppy. A lovely little rescue girl.
It happened so fast. My vet saw an ad on Craigslist. She ran over that day. The dog was fabulous, so she snatched her up. We then all piled in the car (by “all” I am including my two daughters and TWO dogs), drove to the Rose Bowl to do the handoff under the dark cover of night. (Very drug-deal-like. Not that I would know. But I have watched a lot of drug deals on TV. )

Of course, we didn’t think about the fact that this was two days before the Rose Parade. It was a little, uh, crowded in the parking area. (Not the wide open spaces that had seemed like such a good idea two hours earlier.) But there she was! Our little water dog, already wanting to run after sticks!

Now our lives will be complete. The envy is over. We will never need anything ever again. Well, except for the fact that it turns out? She doesn’t pick up her own poop. KIDS???

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Husband. This is a love story. No, really.

A Valentine's Day Post...

People often ask how I met my husband.
I advertised for him in the Los Angeles Times. (Hey, this was before online dating. Cut me some slack. I’m old.)
I wanted someone who was a Gentle Man, a sweet talker, a mover and shaker, someone who had done a little therapy. (Ok, I really wanted someone who had done a lot of therapy . . . cuz I’d been down the marriage road once before and I didn’t want go through that again.)
And there he was . . .the perfect guy. At least that was how he sounded. But just in case he wasn’t "The One” I set up dates with a bunch of guys. Cuz I do like to hedge my bets.
But he came out of the gate hard and strong. First date? Ivy at the Shore.
No “let’s meet at the park” or “let’s grab a cup of coffee.” This guy instinctively knew to feed me a foody-licious meal right from the get-go.
And then I cancelled all those other dates.
Because he told me he wanted to build an empire with someone.
And I found those the hottest words ever spoken.
In the past 15 years we helped raise his son, bought and sold a few houses, and moved a few times.
We started our accounting firm. And we grew our accounting firm.
Together, we shepherded my father to his sweet death and we took care of my mother with dementia. And when my Mama got really sick and she needed to be lifted and moved at 1:00 a.m., my husband was the one lifting her with gentle love.
We adopted both of our beautiful daughters.
We went through hell when our baby girl needed major skull surgery as a baby.
I had 10 surgeries in 10 years (you know, just to test that “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” line).
We made a Vigil party for my mom with my closest friends when we were waiting for her time to come. And her time came. And Greg was there.
And we adopted some dogs. And some of them died. So we adopted some more. Cuz we do love our dogs. (We are NOT cat, hamster or bunny people. We do have parrot fish in one of our offices, however.)
Then we moved again. Moved our business, our lives, our daughters’ schools.
And we built a new community, made new friends and found new ways to be part of the community.
And we just kept growing that business.
I started a blog and put our lives “out there.” And he continued to support me and believe in me.
And I got in fights with friends, broke up some old-time relationships, made new friends. And we did it all together.
It’s been 15 years. And I have to say, I thought I had it made when I got a TV in my bathroom.
But really? I had it made 15 years ago, when he saw that ad.

I love you Honey. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Soccer – The Sport That Ate My Family.


Every family does it. At least once.

Some families do it with more zest than others.

We are one of the families that does it with less zest.

My Blondie, 11 years old, has a lot of athletic ability. No aggressiveness though.

So we thought Soccer would really play to her strengths while helping her through some of her shyness, and timidness.

And now we have no family time.

Cuz there are those practices two times a week. (And I get it. I shouldn’t complain.

She is practicing on a dark field in PALM SPRINGS! There is no ice, no biting wind, no snow.) And those game(s) on Saturday. (Where you must wear sunscreen, have plenty of water and need sun-protective headwear.)

However, when you add that in with Glowie’s ballet, each girl's piano lessons, saxophone lessons, after school activities, homework . . . well, it feels as though there is nothing left.

Like a leisurely Saturday.

But, no worries. Cuz it’s almost over.

Except Blondie’s team is undefeated. And now they are in tournament play.

And what parent has secretly wished for their kids team to lose . . . so it can be over.

But since Blondie has been working so hard on improving her game . . . she has been selected to be on the Select Soccer team.

Meaning this is not almost over. Oh no.

Why, we have only just begun.

#Dear #God #Help #Me

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm in love with...


Because if you hadn't guess by my Tweets, I am a BIG Real Housewives fan. By “big” I mean, not only a full-figured girl, I don’ t miss an episode. Of ANY of them. And I’m not choosy. DC? Jersey? NY? Orange County? Atlanta? Beverly Hills?

If there’s a new season of Housewives running, I’m watching.

I’m also watching “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen. At first I was watching cuz I couldn’t get enough dirt on these chicks, but gradually, over time, I have developed a little middle age crush on Mr. Cohen.

Okay, I think he is totally HOT!

Love his cute body, his shy ways and the way he has learned to “go for it”. Oh, and he squints those cute crossed eyes when he’s reading off of his blue cards. Dear God,

I love that in a man! (It makes me feel less alone.)

And could this guy know any more about extensions, weaves, injectables, and rhinestone false eyelashes? And still maintain his Manly Man ways about him?

So Cooper Anderson. Move over. There’s a martini swilling, lip smacking, bitter mother ready to claw her way (or body slam) you to get me one of those Andy Sweet Kisses!

My Mazel of the Week? Andy Cohen. Doing just about anything.


But back to my obsession.

#1. Kelsey leaving Camille. When I first heard? I thought: YOU BASTARD! What a shit! (Really? A 29 year old blonde?) That poor, poor Camille. I totally felt for her.

#2. Three episodes later . . . Kelsey? Why didn’t you call me? I would have helped you pack!!! I would have rented the U-haul!!!

#3. I have a total girl crush on Bethany. I love a “call it as I see it” chick. I love you Bethany!!!

#4. Where’s the Real Housewives of Palm Springs? Cuz I could so represent the Fat Chick/Fat Chic! I’m calling Pheadra now to find out who deals, I mean supplies her with those Rhinestone Eyelashes!!!

#5. Andy – call me!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Obituaries and Shoes. A Story of My Life . . .

Wow, it is just now hitting me, that this is the worst part about being a Mommy. (As you know, I think there’s a litany of things that suck about being a Mommy. So, if I say it’s going to be the “worst”, go with God – it’s gonna be bad!)

Now, fabulous girls in your 20’s or 30’s, you may not relate to this, but anyone who gets winded walking the kids to school or orders Spanx in bulk is probably going to know just what I am talking about. I am at THAT middle age; middle age where I am obsessed with death.

Five years ago, I wondered why they even ran those Obituaries in the paper. Really, they could have used that space for another column of Dear Abby, or Ask Carolyn. You know, stuff that is actually interesting and relevant to my life.

Then a few years ago my eyes started to linger. These seem like interesting little narratives of people’s lives. Now? I read them compulsively.

If someone has passed away, you know from untimely accident and they are younger than I am, I feel that I’ve been given a gift: “I have gotten three more years than that Poor Sap.”

But this obsession with death, and the concern with exactly how much longer I will live, kinda affects my parenting.

Cuz it isn’t quite hard enough to parent, now I look at my kids everyday and wonder “Will I see them through to college?” Can I live until they have incorporated all the life lessons that Mommy has to give?

And then the question comes into play, what if I live a long life? How much therapy will they need if I live 30 more years? And do I have to pay for that therapy? College and therapy? Will this affect my future shoe budget? And at my age, can I expect to even need cute shoes much longer?

I know this is supposed to make me treasure all the moments we have together.

I do have a consciousness about remembering we’re in a golden moment in a golden period of our lives.

But that doesn’t mean I enjoy one fucking minute of The Witching Hour. (You wanna know about homework, juggling jazz, ballet and soccer check out. . .

Or the “She’s looking at me” “Make her stop looking at me!” Or the hysterical weeping over not getting their way every minute of every day of their lives.

I just want that weeping to be about stupid shit. Like an owie on their finger or the fact that we were out of hot dogs or the WII game is cheating. #again

Well, maybe I should stop reading the Obituaries. Hell no. Never gonna happen.

But I am probably going to buy some more shoes. Cute shoes. Cuz I’m an eternal optimist.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I have an unnatural relationship with my couch

So when we got our little trailer in the woods, we needed a couch. I took great pride in finding one at a local consignment store. It looked really good: clean, neutral color, kinda puffy. Cool.

Look Honey – only $250 dollars for a SLEEPAWAY sofa! How great is that?

Now can you make it fit in your truck and haul it up to the mountains?

Never in my life have I been so tortured in a sitting position.

This couch hated us. It would literally push its cushions and our asses to the floor.

Or you would start out sitting, but find yourself slumped in a very odd position, only your neck keeping you “upright”.

So, then you would try lying down. Uh. Well, only if you can “rest” with one foot on the floor.

We tried everything. Propping up the front legs, removing some of the stuffing, velcroing the cushions.

This “bargain” was sheer torture.

So we went to Macy’s furniture department during a sale.

And found a couch. A big, beautiful, comfy couch.

But due to our recent “couch misstep” I was leary. So we left.

And went back with our Kindles and iPhones, explaining to the saleslady that we would be needing some “time” with the couch before we could make a decision.

We bought the couch.

The only problem now?

I love this couch so much, my husband has to get up in the middle of the night (while I’m sleeping IN THE BED) to lie on it.

My children aren’t allowed on it, while I’m on it. It turns out, I’m on it a LOT. (Hey they’re kids – they can sit in chairs or the window seat!)

The best part? It’s leather, meaning just a quick wipe with a cloth and Voila! Mommy’s drool stains are gone!

I love my couch.

Monday, January 3, 2011


well, uh . . .

Every year, my girlfriend Dorothy @EcoOrganizer, says to pick your word for the upcoming year.

Last year my word was “Out There”. (Okay, two words for me. I’m rebellious like that.) Which was really fun. Until it wasn’t. Then my word(s) were “Never Mind”.

But “Out There” did become a defining value by which to make choices. I went to Bloggy Boot Camp and tried to buy everyone off with gifts. Gifts of cheetos and vodka. Really, is there a better way to garner affection? That was a scary, yet successful way to experience being “out there”.

I was definitely more “out there” in my business and the way I made decisions, as well as in my volunteer work with the school Site Councils.

But I did struggle last year. I struggled with being overwhelmed a lot. As a business chick, as a mom who figures I can never get this shit right, as a volunteer (trying to figure out when my opinion mattered and when it didn’t’) and in my creative pursuits (writing a book, my mosaic artwork, working on my one woman show).

So I decided this year my word would be “Decisive”.

We even wrote each of our words on a Christmas ornament (hey, the box of ornaments was half off at Rite Aid). Blondie wrote: “Fun”. Glowie wrote: “Family”. Taxes007 wrote: “Patience”. (Read into that whatever you would like!).

I wrote: “Decisive”.

And then I panicked. Seriously.

I was afraid that wasn’t the best word to define my life for a whole year.

So I also wrote: Health, Strength (working the Pilates thing), published author, fun (I’m a rather driven and uptight person when not under the influence. And even then . . .) and adventure (cuz I’m a little agoraphobic about things like travel or going places too far from my house.)

So there goes everyone’s ornament up on the tree. Each person’s name, the year and their word. My ornament however looked like it had been hit by a group of crazy taggers.

But dammit. This decisive thing? I’m gonna make it work.

I hope.

Happy New Year.

And tell me your word!