Sunday, September 5, 2010

Us Magazine Review

Hello and happy Labor Day weekend! In the earlier stages of this blog I said I would do an Us magazine review weekly...obviously that didn't happen. Truth is, many weeks in a row I didn't find anything entertaining/notable enough to write about. I mean, do we really need me to pontificate on the farse that was Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin's engagament? Bachelor engagements have been more genuine (and longer) than that for pity sake. Alas, this week had some notables that I felt like writing about, so here we go...

First of all, I think "Teen Moms" have been featured on the cover three out of the last four weeks. I don't watch this show. While it probably makes for compelling TV (hopefully it gives the whole, not so pretty picture), I don't think these girls should be treated as celebrities and be showing up on magazine covers. Should we really be glamorizing their very difficult life choices? On a lighter note, or should I say emaciated note?

This picture is frightening to me. Worse is the caption ' "I try to do a variety of exercises," a cut Kelly Ripa...tells Us." First of all, those aren't "cuts" of muscle...they're protruding ribs. Her sternum is grotesquely protruding, and her jaw looks hollow. Okay, so the arms and legs look like they have some muscle tone, but all in all...waaaaaay too thin. In light of the popularity of the movie "Kick Ass" I think Kelly Ripa is going for her own movie franchise "Carc-ass." Please eat a sandwich.

Next up we have unfortunate dresses. Jessica Simpson got a full page spread on an ill fitting red dress that admittedly looked just awful. The media calls this poor girl out on everything related to her appearance. I say, "leave her alone," however I will gladly take a shot at Kate Gosselin.

I looked at this and I thought, Didn't she wear? Isn't that from? and after a little research, yep, she wore a costume from Dancing With the Stars to an Emmy party. (sorry the picture is so grainy...had to pull a low resolution one from the internet)

Now, there is no shot in hell they asked this woman to dance (hello, one DWTS judge said she looked like a shopping cart that her partner had to push around, and another said it was "hard to watch."), so let's sum it up with one question...Why? Outside of the dance floor, the only place these costumes are appropriate is a tranny convention. Then again, she had on enough makeup (you could pave a road with the amount of mascara)and the hair looks wiggy enough, so maybe? Now, there's a new reality series for you. Moving on...

Much earlier in the magazine they had a whole spread on Katy Perry and cute little dresses she was wearing. I always thought she had a bit of a Betty Boop thing going on, but when I saw the first dress I had to pat myself on the back for the accuracy of the thought...

Am I off base here? I have no beef with Katy Perry, it was just a notable in my shallow book.

And that's a wrap. Frankly, I like writing about the real life mommy stuff better. Let's see if back to school offers any more material. Enjoy the holiday weekend and I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, August 30, 2010

10 Misconceptions of Moms and Back to School

Okay, so I didn't write this, but I wish I did. The "buying crap that you already have in junk drawers" in misconception #2 is speaking to me...BIG TIME. It made me laugh and I think it will make you laugh too. Thank you K for sending to me in the first place. Laughter feeds the soul.

10 Misconceptions of Moms and Back-to-School

Misconception Number 1: Moms miss their kids when they go back to school
Seriously. I've had enough of you by now. Every morning with the "what are
we going to do today, Mom?" is finally over. I've had looked at your face
twenty-four seven for the last 77 days. It's time to go learn something. No
more asking me about the pool, when is the next snack or if you can stay up
late and watch a movie. It's over..You're going back to Hogwarts and I get
to have a life again. There is a Christmas morning for parents and it's
called "back to school".

Misconception Number 2: Moms like to go school shopping.
Are you freaking kidding me? Why do I pay taxes?.so I can rack up a 200
dollar bill at Staples for crap that we have laying around my house in junk
drawers. Why does it have to be new pencils? What's wrong with the chewed
up, broken strawberry shortcake pencils sitting in the bottom of the toy box
for the last 6 months? And how many subject books can you possibly need?
What happened to reading, writing and arithmetic. If they added a couple of
things for parents to that list I wouldn't mind so much..why not pencils,
erasers and vodka ...or some Nyquil.

Misconception Number 3: Moms like back to school night.
Why must we do this every year? I got it already. You're the teacher.I'm the
parent. My kid is either going to be smart or dumb. If he gets a certain
number or colored dot on his discipline chart, he can't get a prize from the
prize box. Pretty simple stuff. Listen, I'm pretty old school. If he doesn't
listen to you.you can throw something at him. I don't care. But I got a lot
of work to do at home and I'm paying a babysitter right now. Plus, I'm
pretty sure you are going to assign some project on wigwams made by some
Indian tribe I've never heard of, so I need to get home and start my
research. So, I got it. We're all here for the betterment of the kids. Blah
Blah Blah. Can I leave now?

Misconception Number 4: Moms like school paperwork.
How many trees are you planning on killing to tell me the same stuff I had
to pay a babysitter to listen to the other night? You know our name, where
we live and our emergency phone numbers. He doesn't have a nickname..call
him "stinkbutt" for all I care. We don't have any "special circumstances"
that you need to know about. He lives in a home with two parents who may or
may not like each other at any given time and they will fight. If that
qualifies as a reason he can't get his homework done on time then he won't
be able to function as an adult and have a real job so you may want to
"educate" him on that life lesson.

Misconception Number 5: Moms like covering books in that annoying sticky
paper.
What exactly will you be doing with these books that I have to cover them in
a plastic laminate? Do you often teach in the rain? Or while the children
are drinking soda and eating soup? Do you know how long that takes? Has any
parent in the history of education been able to do it without any air
bubbles in it? From now on I'm covering it the old way.brown paper bags.
That way I can cover the books and pack their lunches at that same time. Who
says moms can't multitask?
PS. Please tell my son if he can't find his lunch to look in his science
book.

Misconception Number 6: Moms like helping you with your homework.
What? I am scared out of my mind. I'm pretty sure that I forgot everything I
learned in fifth grade by the time I was in sixth grade. I have no idea what
you are talking about most days. I don't really know my 12 times tables, I
read the cliff notes to all your summer reading and I don't know how to
conjugate anything but I do know that song "conjuction junction what's your
function" if that helps at all. And please don't even say the words "new
math" to me. What the heck was wrong the old one?

Misconception Number 7: Moms can't wait to pack your lunch every day until
we die.
I hate doing laundry. Making dinner every night is the bane of my existence,
so making your lunch every day for an entire year, in terms of "mom fun",
lies somewhere between brushing plaque off the dogs teeth and scheduling my
annual pap smear. Listen, as a child I hated what my mom packed me for
lunch. But, like every kid before me, and every generation to come you will
find a kid to trade with.I'm sure someone likes sardines.

Misconception Number 8: Moms love after school activities.
I don't know who made up this idea of organized clubs and sports but they
should be the ones in charge of carting your ass around. Don't get me wrong.
I'm not against all after school programs. I just wish they would offer it
during hours that would work best for me so that dinner wasn't at 8:30 at
night followed by 4 hours of homework. Why not do it on the weekends and
call it "after-hours activities" so mommy and daddy could actually go out
one night and pretend that we have a life of our own. Don't worry about us
though I'm sure that me and "what's his name" will be married a very long
time.

Misconception Number 9: Moms don't mind taking you to school if you miss the
bus
Your bus comes at 7:10 am..which means that you should be standing by the
door at 7:05 am. Not eating breakfast , chasing the dog around the house or
in the bathroom, asking me to check your homework while I'm taking a shower.
Get it together! I don't like running down the street in my jammies at 7:12
screaming "Please wait" or "If you stop I'll show you my boobies."

Misconception Number 10: Moms cry on your first day of school
We do cry but they are tears of joy. I have done my job. I have successfully
kept a human child alive for at least 5 years without doing any major
damage. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world!! Sure, doctors save
lives and CEO's run million dollar businesses but.you teach a kid not to
poop their pants and then you can say you've made the world a better place."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wrapping Up Summer

Hello Everyone! Yes, I have been out of touch for quite some time, but I've said it before and I'll say it again...until it pays the bills, it's called a hobby. So, here we are less than two weeks before school starts and I find myself in the scramble to get all of those "summer" things in before we hit the madness that is "back to school." Where did the time go? I have to laugh at myself. Sometimes I reread my blog posts thinking of ways I could have made them better (sentence structure...YIKES!). In rereading "Summer Buzz" I have to say that was an idealistic joke. Here's how the summer went down.

First two weeks out of school, you decompress while simultaneously try not to lose it on your kids as they alternate between bickering and begging you to do unrealistic things (No, we're not going to Dorney Park today or going to Rita's for lunch).

Camps - We ended up extending from three weeks to six. During these six weeks, by the time I shuttled everyone to where they needed to be and got the baby two naps, the day was gone and I still hadn't unloaded the dishwasher. Don't get me started on the rest of the to do's that got ignored (unless of course you count "update Facebook status").

The Shore - One week vacation. Fun, fun, fun! Then I came home to all of the laundry and the wreckage that was my house. It took another full week to recover.

And that pretty much brings us up to date. As for some of those other things that I swore I was going to do this summer, here's how that went.

Journaling/Writing - this lasted for my son until camps started, then it was out the window. As far as my blogging, look no further than my last entry date (July 13th) to see how well I did with that.

Reading - We actually did pretty well here. I am on my third book for the summer. Our son has gone above and beyond on the summer reading and we're almost done reading the fifth Harry Potter Book. Tangent time! In reading "Eat, Pray, Love" I alternated between thinking, "Wow this chick is cool and gets it," to being exasperated with the endless self introspection. Enough already. I'll still see the movie, but will probably have to wait until it comes on pay per view. Also, I have to wonder about these authors who write about disturbing sex crimes as in "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." At the end of the book there was an excerpt from the author's next book "The Girl Who Played With Fire." Lo and behold it had another disturbingly graphic sex crime. I'm thinking nobody should let their daughters near this guy. Just Sayin...

The board games - I said we had a million that never see any action and were going to get played this summer. In the end, the only action they will see is the big heave ho as I give up the ruse that they'll be played. In regard to these and the other stifling amounts clutter/junk I have in this house, I am adopting the mind set of an environmentalist. I need a 50% reduction in crap to save the environment that is this household. Purge 2010 is in effect. It has to go out now, because if it doesn't, the back to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas junk just gets added to it and, oh, here come the men in the little white coats...

Playgrounds - I got to my first playground with the kids this past Monday. It was fantastic for about fifteen minutes and then 4 groups of campers invaded and bedlam ensued. That was fun.

The Library - Do we even have a library around here? (That's code for "I never made it.")

Triathlon - Yes I did it! Time and placement are nothing to brag about, but it's done! I'm contemplating another triathlon or two and have signed up for a half marathon for February. I just ran my new long of six miles and feel like I need a hip replacement, so I'll let you know how training for that goes. By the way, why don't I look like Twiggy yet?

That's pretty much it. Grousing aside, it really has been a good summer even though it wasn't the picture of perfection, but then again, what is? Have fun cramming in the best of what summer has to offer into these last two weeks. If you don't hear from me before, chances are I'll see you at Staples duking it out for school supplies. Until then, be well and have fun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Wanted to Tri, but I'm Still a Du'er

Hello everyone! This past weekend was supposed to be my first ever triathlon. This non swimmer, biker and runner started training in January, so needless to say there was quite a bit of excitement and anxiety surrounding this event. Alas, the local river is highly volatile and thanks to a persnickety Mother Nature, the swim got cancelled. The event turned into a duathlon with a two mile run, seventeen mile bike, followed by a 5K run. Stupidly, I have never run more than 4 miles consecutively, so I wasn't sure how running five (even if it was broken up in two parts) was going to go down. I'll cut to the chase and tell you that I finished with control of all bodily functions. For the first time out, this was the only goal. After all of the anxiety over potential crashing and burning on my bike, getting dehydrated, or just discovering the hard way that I am incapable of being a multi-sport athlete...those never came to fruition. Here are the the snippets that made the event memorable and also forced me to laugh at myself.
1. Packet pick up the day prior in the rain. The place was a freakin swamp especially in the area in front of the port a potties. EVERYONE goes to the bathroom before the race. The thought of waiting in standing water (in the sneakers I'm supposed to race in) for port a potties is enough to make me break out in a rash. I'm thinking there's no way the area is going to be sufficiently dried up by race day. I come up with the brilliant idea that I'm bringing my wellies to navigate this marshland. The practicality of this was in the idea alone. Triathletes look pretty sleak and techy and there I am lugging a pair of wellies (which I never wore - ground was pretty dry after all). Hello stupid.
2. The transition area. This is where you come back to after each portion of the race to change out equipment for the next leg. It is not a spa. You want to get in and out of there as efficiently as possible. Some people bring balloons to mark the end of their rack so they can easily locate their bike. I did this, but probably didn't need to as I was the only one with a pair of wellies sitting with her bike. I was nervous about setting up my area correctly. It turned out to be no biggy, but a special shout out to the girl who showed up late, pushed the bikes over to fit hers in, and consequently knocked over my bag allowing ants to get in and attack my nutrition bar.
3. My bike. The only change I made to my entry level mountain bike was taking the child seat off the back. I didn't even take off the metal framing that supported it. Being a triathlete is not a cheap hobby. Seeing as it was my first time and I needed swim lessons, gym membership, tri clothes, etc., I decided that this was one area that I would cut my investment. When comparing my bike to the others in the race, I would say it was like Titanic vs. a speed boat. If I had to do it over, I would have left the child seat on, planted a doll in it and placed one of those "Baby on Board" signs on the back just so everyone else could be in on the joke. I will own up to stopping once in the race because I seriously thought something was caught and dragging in the back of my bike. Nope, the dang thing is just that heavy. I've already been to the bike shop to buy myself an early birthday present.
4. This was an all women's triathlon, but I didn't expect Mother Goose to show up. Nope, not the writer, the damn bird. One was crossing the road during my bike ride. There was another rider to my left and the curb to my right so my choices were few. Perhaps the bird saw that my bike weighed 500 lbs and could do serious damage and therefore decided to slow down and prevent a collision. I congratulated myself on saying, "Oh Damn!" instead of some other choice four letter word. Very lady like if I do say so myself. My fear of crashing is what prevents me from taking a hand off the handlebars to pat myself on the back.
5. I have tried several times to become a runner and failed. However, after pedalling a mac truck for seventeen miles, I have never been so happy to start running in my entire life. I actually felt energized knowing it was the last part of the race and started to enjoy myself (maybe it was because it was here I started passing a few people). I also enjoyed seeing the gals who chose to wear tiaras, a boa and even a tutu. Rock on ladies!
6. The finish! Wahoooooo! I did it! The husband came down with the two older kids who made a "Way to Go Mom - We Love You!" sign. It was a mental snapshot I will not soon forget. I am reminded that I started training when my youngest was three months and who is now nine months. I was able to do this nine months post partum...nothing to feel bad about there.
So, I have been renderred victorious in my first multi-sport event. I will cop to disappointment that it was not a triathlon. Still, I was extremely happy with my duathlon experience. I feel energized and more upbeat than I have in months. It has made me want to be overall healthier and work to improve. I came home and signed up for another triathlon taking place later this month. I really want to get in a tri...I did train for it. The bike shop just called saying my new bike is ready. Happy birthday to me! In conclusion, I have to say that all of the thinking and anxiety beforehand was erased as soon as the race was under way. It amazes me that sometimes doing something is easier than thinking about it. So if there is anyone out there who can't imagine doing a duathlon or triathlon, I assure you, I used to be that person. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking and start doing. I am crazy happy that I did. Have a great day everyone and if you have a chance, make like Nikey and Just Do It!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Not Feeling the Justice

Hello and happy heat wave! It's a doozy, that's for sure. I've seen at least three or four postings on Facebook that show people's car thermometers with temps over 102 with some caption marveling at the oppressive heat. Mother Nature has been working the power play all year (first the crazy winter and now this). Girlfriend needs to go on vacation and take a load off. So what does one do when it is actually too hot to go to the pool? When I posed this very question to my almost five and a half year old daughter "K" she promptly answered, "Can we go to the mall?" I contemplate this. Lately the mall has been dangerous. A while back it used to be our favorite hangout. We would get a little lunch, visit the pet store (free), toy store and Disney store (free, with a large dose of will power), and a visit to the rides. The rides can potentially suck quarters out of your wallet at the speed of light, but luckily K was happy to just jump on and off the rides without a single quarter going in, so they were free too. It used to be the perfect two to three hour outing. Fast forward a couple of years into a crap economy...pet store, closed. Toy store, closed. Rides, getting too old to care. So now I equate the mall with the money pit and/or full deployment of meltdown management skills as I say, "No" to everything K wants to buy. However, on this occasion I have two birthday presents to buy, so I say, "Okay, let's go have some lunch and buy our two gifts, but NO Disney Store!" I recall our last "free" visit which culminated in our buying a pair of shoes for $7.99 (but not before she begged for everything else in the store). I justified this because they were cheap and had every color of the rainbow which means they would go with almost any outfit. K would sleep in these shoes if I would let her, but at the end of the day, I caved and bought her something when it was supposed to be a "no purchase" zone. I feel my authority as a parent go down the drain as my follow through on my "no purchase policy" goes out the window. Back to the present. We head to the mall and enjoy a girls' lunch (I have nine month baby girl "A" with us too) and then head out to buy our gifts. Gift number one is a visa check card, no fuss no muss. Done. I head to Ann Taylor Loft for gift two. There's a good sale and I am pleased with my second gift purchase. Done. Now what? We walk along, I ignore the request to go to the Disney store, and then we see them...peace signs. Lately K is obsessed with peace signs. Anything emblazened with them is instantly cool. The store is Justice which incidentally is where I buy all of my niece's gifts, so it's not like I'm unfamiliar. I'll sum up the store this way - sparkles, and tie dye, and peace signs oh my! Truly, it is the peace sign mother ship. Mylie Cyrus' "Party in the USA" is playing confirming we are in tween universe. I usually don't set foot in the store without a 40% off coupon. Just our luck, today the entire store is 40% off with no coupon (even then...it ain't Target). Up till now, K has been too little to fit into their clothes so I was pretty safe outside of the webkins, junky jewelery, fuzzy covered notebooks and other tween treasures (nightmares) they sell. K resembles a pinball machine bouncing from rack to rack as she spots each peace sign. I agree to the matching back pack, lunch box and water bottle (appropriately blinged out and peace signed) as they are school necessities. Then we start eyeing up the clothes. A feeling of dread hits as I realize I have been sold out by a growth spurt...their smallest size now fits. It's not like we're short on clothes, but K has grown out of some of her things. A peace sign bathing suit and pajamas (the pj's totally make her look like a teenager - tank top and lounge pants - I want to cry) later we find ourselves at the checkout counter. It is here we spot the peace sign head bands and pony tail holders. Why stop now? Throw them in. If I find these in pretty pony hair at any point I am going to kill myself. Tally it all up and we have our new hundred dollar store (that title was previously reserved for Target, but at least then it was groceries and other "necessities"). I am somewhat mullified by what I "saved" with the 40% off, but there is no way in hell I'm ever buying anything in there without it. K walks out carrying her Justice shopping bag looking like a scene from Pretty Woman. She is beside herself with joy. I can't get out of this mall fast enough. An effort that is being hampered as Baby A keeps grabbing everything that is sparkled and in arms reach (which is everything by the way). As we finally make it to the exit, we pass Abercrombie. The manequin is sporting a skirt the size of a postage stamp and a plaid shirt tied above the naval (and it's not looking as innocent as Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island either). Maybe I can live with over priced bling and peace signs after all. Stay cool everyone...even if it means a trip to the mall!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Scenes From a 5K

Hello, my name is Margi and I am a joiner. Find me a fun activity where a bunch of other people are involved and there won't be a whole lot of arm twisting to get me involved. Luckily my friends aren't usually jumping off (or bungee jumping from) the Brooklyn Bridge. However, last year a bunch of friends of mine signed up for their first triathlon. Yours truly was prego and way too busy swelling to join in the festivities. Fast forward one year and the joiner in me has prevailed. Craving a change in workout post pregnancy and searching for a sense of accomplishment (endless diaper changes, loads of laundry and emptying the dishwasher weren't cutting it) I signed myself up for my first triathlon which will be taking place later this summer.

Allow me to start by saying although I exercise regularly, I don't swim (unless you count wading to make sure your children are safe), I whine when we bike as a family in the neighborhood, and I had previously tried running for the past three years and failed. I'm thinking there is a fine line between challenging yourself and plain old stupidity. Nevertheless, I find myself a training plan, get a swim instructor, join a gym, and get to work. Five months later, I am in no danger of winning this thing, but I'm doing all right. Turns out, I love to swim. Thank God for my swim instructor who got me started on the right path. Spin class is a challenge, but good. Turns out all of those years I was whining, my bike seat was way too low making it much harder. And for the first time, I took a sensible approach to running, building slowly and I here I am still running five months later (prior years, I gave up in three to four weeks).

At this stage of the game I'm thinking it makes sense to do a few warm up events before the big triathlon, so I sign up for a 5K. Now I'm no fool, I need a motivator. I sign up for the 5K sponsored by the local Tex Mex restaurant as it is well known for its after party where a margarita and a burrito are included with your entry fee. This is my version of the dangling a carrot. If I have to crawl, I know I'm making it across the finish line.

Welcome to race day. It is HOT AS BLAZES. We're talking ninety plus degrees. The heat and I have always had a relationship that mirrors water and the wicked witch of the west (I'm meeeltiiing!). It's no wonder my chosen sport as a child was figure skating. I still don't know if I chose wisely or if spending summers in leg warmers in frozen facilities has ruined my internal thermastat for life...I digress (as usual). Anyway, race day I spend the day indoors, in the air conditioning and drink water like it's my job. I fire up my iPod and eat the right foods at the specified times according to my Google search. I also look up the race course and see where the water stations are located in hopes of gaging where I am in the race. I arrive at the event and find a bunch of other moms from school who are also running. I register and pin on my number. How is it the simple act of wearing a number makes you feel like a competitor? Start playing the Rocky theme! It's crowded and I don't really have my bearings, I'm just kind of moving along with the masses and confirming with my friends what going on. I try to align myself with people I think I can hang with (the competitive gals are long gone having headed to the front of the line). Truthfully, I am jittery. Time to get a hold of myself. I'm basically anonymous in a mass of people running towards a drink and a quesadilla...get a grip. How on earth do Olympians do it? Before I know it, the mass of people is moving forward and me with it. It's go time. I actually feel pretty good and am surprised that I am passing people. Wahooo! My iPod volume is too high, but I don't want to fiddle with it, so I try to use it as a motivator. We get to the first water station. According to the map I looked at earlier this should be the halfway point. I'm going pretty good, but my mouth is dry, I totally feel the heat, and my knees feel a little funky after yesterday's bike ride. Water up, keep going. I'm in love with the neighbors who are out providing additional water and have their hoses on so we can run through the spray. Still going. I'm starting to think the end should be getting near. Still going. Make another two turns. Still going. Where the H E double L is the finish??? Still going. I take my headphones off in hopes of hearing someone give a clue as to how much further. Another turn or two later gracious spectators yell, "Three more blocks to the margaritas!" Amen! I cross the line seeing my time letting me know I did ten minute miles which is about as good as it gets for me. I revel in this thought for two seconds before I dive head first into the water table and stay there refilling no less than four times. I find some of my friends and immediately start trading war stories. Who you saw, who you passed, who passed you, the gross guy who kept spitting, where you tanked...you get the idea. I also learned that they told you when you hit the one mile mark, but I missed it because of my too loud iPod. It's finally margarita time. I'm not one to pass on a party, but my body is telling me that alcohol at this stage of the game is not wise. I seriously feel like I have no shot at keeping food down. Fifteen minutes later, my friends around me look pretty well recovered. I on the other hand, am still actively sweating like a pig. I have my said margarita in hand and am halfway done. I feel an involuntary impersonation of "wicked witch of the west meets water" coming on. That's my cue. I'm outta here. I pass my half finished margarita and jet without so much as a tortilla chip passing my lips. Oh well. My air conditioned home and a shower felt better than any bean concoction could have ever tasted at that point.

So, 5 pounds of water weight lost, half a margarita, and a foregone burrito fest is how this 5K went down. I finished at a pace of ten minute miles and with control of all my bodily functions. I'll call it a mission accomplished. How I will be able to complete this post swimming and biking remains to be seen, but one thing at a time.

It's another ninety degree day, but I think I'll opt for swimming today. Maybe we'll make quesadillas for dinner tonight. Regardless, Speedy Gonzales here is signing off. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Buzz

Hello Everyone! Today was the last day of school for my oldest and we are officially in summer vacation mode. I kicked off the season with a very nice afternoon at the pool and have the sunburn to prove it. I swear I haven't burned in twenty years and I really did apply the SPF 50...not really sure what happened there.

So, summer is here...now what? It's a question I ask myself daily and one that constantly seems to be falling out of the mouths of my children (except the infant who can't speak yet, but give it time). We have a couple of camps scheduled, but they're pretty low key. Outside of that, we're clear, and you know what? I'm excited about it. As a matter of fact, I almost wish we weren't doing any camps. That might be the "summer buzz" talking. The summer buzz consists of all the great ideas of what you're going to do over the summer. It's at its peak those first two weeks of no school when you dial down the schedule and start to feel resuscitated. Bye bye morning scramble (and I'm not talking eggs here - who had time for that during the school year?). You want to stay up? Suuuuuuure! No homework! Have some ice cream! After two weeks of this, your kids are over tired, over sugared, and bickering like it's their job. At this point many of us are looking at our watches asking, "How much longer until school starts?" Truthfully, as my kids have gotten older, the summer buzz has stretched longer and longer. Last year we almost made it the entire summer. Buzz Kill didn't fly in until mid August, but bear in mind, Labor Day was late last year. Those last two to three weeks felt way long.

So what cocktail of summer activities are making up your buzz this year? Personally, mine is all about simplicity and getting back to some good'ol basics. Sunburn aside, yesterday's trip to the pool was the perfect start. Grabbing some friends (or sometimes going solo is just what the doctor ordered) and heading to the pool for some good old fashioned splashy fun will undoubtedly top the list this year. I have no intention of living at the snack bar, so making healthy meals is also at the top of my list. If I can share this meal with friends...even better. I have a stack of recipes and have every intention of cooking with my kids. It's an activity they enjoy and haven't spent enough time doing. I can't say involving them in the kitchen has greatly expanded their eating repetoire (to be fair, it's really only my second child that needs to broaden her food horizons), but I can dream can't I? Also, it's time to come out of the closet...I'm referring to the board games here. We have a million of them and I think it's time they saw some action. Reading, there's a novel thought (pun intended). We asked for gift cards for my son's birthday (most of which will be donated by the way), and we used some of those to buy all of his required summer reading and some fun reads too. He can read independently, I can read to the two little ones. A trip to the library is also always a beautiful thing. Get thee to a playground! Enough said. Journaling - I'll count my blogging here, and my third grader is definitely writing this summer. As long as it's not a letter to Dr. Phil about me, we're cool. I'm also digging the free movies at AMC and Regal for the occassions when the homespun stuff just won't cut the mustard.

So, you noticing the "free" or utilizing something we already have theme? I just feel the time to appreciate what we already have is upon us. I'm hoping good friends, healthy food, a good book, getting the creative juices flowing and actually sitting myself down to play games with the kids will be the perfect concoction to get my summer buzz on. Well that and a few cocktails on a patio never hurt. Happy summer!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Us Magazine

Hello! Happy weekend everyone! It's been a fun one. I attended a college alumni picnic, our neighbors hosted a Minute to Win It party (even if my performance was lack luster, it was still fun on steroids), and we're off to a nephew's birthday party shortly. On the flip side, my subscription to Us is all goofed up. I really thought I had renewed, but it stopped showing up in my mailbox. Clearly, getting that straightened out needs to top the to-do list this week. Until then, I will happily buy my copy at Target (even if I have to pay the cover price).

So Kendra is on the cover due to her "Sex Tape Scandal." Shall we take a moment's pause and break this down?

1. If you are a playboy bunny, isn't it almost pre-requisite that you have a sex tape? Hence, what scandal?

2. Ever notice whenever a star has something to promote that they miraculously induce some media circus over some controversy? Which leads me to...

3. Kendra's new fitness DVD. After a three page spread on her "Sex Tape Scandal," there is a two page promotional spread for her new DVD which, drum roll please, is part of the Us Weekly Fitness series.

This "scandal" is nothing more than a thinly cloaked PR/promotional stunt. It's dressed so poorly it really belongs in the "Fashion Police" section.


Next we have Mylie Cyrus and the "Things She Hates." Starting with Glee she says, "Honestly, musicals? I just can't." What's the matter Mylie? Are you too "rock star" for musicals? By the way, we all know your music is digitally enhanced, and even then you don't sound as good as this cast, so I think you should zip it. Next we move on to Jay-Z. "I've never heard a Jay-Z song." I'm no music expert, but I'm thinking Jay-Z is not a guy to be dismissed, especially by a 17 year old who's music is written by her dad. Then there's Rob Pattison and Twilight. "I don't believe in it...I don't like it." Girlfriend, if you finished high school you would know it's called fiction and you're not supposed to believe in it. Secondly, I'm sure you don't like it because judging from this line up your giving, you don't like anything that is equally if not more successful than you. Lastly, we have Mylie on Twitter. "I think Twitter should be banned from the universe." Well, no one has accused you of being a PR genius (or any type of genius for that matter), but any knucklehead in your position should understand that Twitter is a cool tool to connect with your fan base. Somebody, PLEASE take this girl's ungracious sassy pants and gag tie her with them. P.S. you're not in an 80's punk band, lose the spiked collar.

Other notables in this issue include coverage of Tom Cruise's performance at the MTV movie awards. I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds like it was hilarious. Searching for this performance on YouTube will also make my to-do list this week. Would you believe the past two issues have had pictures of Kristen Stewart smiling? Say it isn't so! After launching a megahit movie franchise and allegedly landing Mr. Pattison, it really was time for her to cheer up. Also, somebody call the cops! The Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky ate some pizza and pasta and now wants to lose fifteen pounds. You and half the world babe...this is not news. Moving on...

Ahhhhhh, Bradley Cooper. So easy on the eyes. I think he looks like Patrick Dempsey in this picture. Although if you move down to his neck...EWE! Dude, it's vampire movies that are hot, not werewolves...shave your neck!

And that is it. I normally like to change things up a bit rather than do two Us Magazine entries in a row, but it was the lowest hanging fruit in terms of material and I really do want to get up two posts a week. The last week of school is upon us! Once everyone is out, lord knows when I'll find time to write anything, but even so, I'm ready to have everyone home and start really enjoying the summer months. Hope you're looking forward to it too!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Us Weekly

Hi Folks! I'm busy as usual. I'm sure you are too. Quick shout out to Mother Nature who played very nice yesterday and didn't rain on our two outdoor events. After two big parties in the heat, the kids have their own version of a hangover...overtired, too much sugar...Then there's me who's operating on four hours of sleep. This may be a good night's sleep in Lindsay Lohan's world, but it's crash and burn time in mine. Anyway, I had a two issues of Us backed up. This past Friday's issue was okay. Real Housewives of Orange County is on the cover. I don't watch it, but probably should as it sounds like perfect fodder for blogging. However, the issue before that totally held my attention. Perhaps it was the cover:

I'm a sucker for diet information. Apparently I'm not alone judging from the magazine covers that I see in the grocery store checkout line. They tout things like "Lose the Belly Fat for Good!" Have you ever studied all of these magazine covers as a group? "Beat Stress!" "Walk the Weight Off!" "The Five Minute Solution For Exhaustion!" Why do we buy these? They really make us women out to be a sorry lot and P.S. If anyone out there has ever found a lasting solution to any of these problems in a weekly magazine, drop me a line. I digress. Back to the Us.

I always get a kick out of the "Who Wore It Best" section. I play a little game with myself and make my own judgment before looking at the stats. I am wrong 90% of the time. This week was no exception:

Grant you I was only off by four percentage points, but I picked Audrina Patridge. Seeing as the press is just crazy hard/cruel to Jessica Simpson, I'm glad to see some glimmer of positive press. However, I'm also happy to see the shirt that I gave away in 1995 (having not worn it since 1992) has made its way into the hands of someone who will wear it.

I wouldn't think this section would give me so much material, but the next page was great:

A blow out! It's about as common as pitching a perfect game (Go Halladay!) but it is well deserved by Lauren Conrad here. The parent in me cringes to see Taylor Momsen go from playing sweet Cindy Lou Who in "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" to looking like a cross between Avril Lavigne and Courtney Love. This has "fallen child star" written all over it. Moving to the top right, do we care who wore this dress best? Apparently you turn into a miserable statue the moment you put it on. Now to the bottom right. Can anyone truly wear this dress best? It looks like a table cloth suitable for a luau with a checkerboard runner on it. Frankly, I'm surprised two people wore this creation. I don't get it.

The magazine also covers the Sex and the City premier, Bret Michaels' health issues (I think I'm a renewed fan post Celebrity Apprentice...may have to dig the old 45's out. Get well soon!), and the Sarah Ferguson scandal. However, it was two other clips that caught my attention.

Wahoo! J. Lo and Marc Anthony have managed to make it to six years of marriage. This means they are the new poster children for "long term" marriages by Hollywood standards. Congratulations! They are renewing their vows and have reportedly registered for gifts. I am absolutely sure they don't have everything they need from his first marriage or her first or second marriage. As celebrities, they clearly don't get enough free stuff, so people should absolutely drop cash so they can have the "paid for" variety. Hello tacky. Moving on...

No Dating for Tiger Woods! Apparantly Elin's team is watching his every move and his team feels as though it would not be a good idea. I couldn't agree more. Taking a woman to dinner publicly could be horribly damaging. Better stick to the undercover serial whoring. Go get him Team Elin!

And that's a wrap! I am out of mental steam to write anything else (the fashion reviews really take it out of me...sarcasm anyone?). So I will just bid you adieu and wish you a good night. Talk to you soon!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

Hello and Happy almost Friday! Sounds better than just plain old Thursday doesn't it? I must say, I am in a very good mood this morning. Why you ask? I am the latest recipient of a spray tan. Well that, and I have a bit of a caffeine buzz on this morning. As I look down at my bronzed arms typing away, I must declare spray tans are not just for Britney Spears and the cast of Dancing With the Stars. It may be the perfect Mommy pick me up. Look like you got away to the Carribean without the price tag. And, you get the appearance enhancing quality without going all Heidi Montag Pratt (that's code for crazy plastic surgery). Perhaps it is not the spray tan itself, but the fact I got mine via a "Spray Tan Party" that I hosted last night and did this in the company of six other girlfriends. Fun!

I was totally ready to trade in my "winter glow" (white glow worthy of avoiding any black light) for a summer one (bronze glow synonyous with relaxed summer days and less makeup) and had a conversation with some friends who felt the same. I have another friend who provides the spray tan service and was looking for business. This business girl knows a win win when I see it. Turns out my friend who does the spray tanning does it in a party format, so I said, "Sign me up!" My spray tan friend offers the service for $35. Helloooooo bargain (instant happiness)! If you ask me, this also beats the pants off of $35 of doo hickies you would buy at a typical demonstration. Now, this is not the party you can invite the masses to, you really need to go eight or less unless you want to party into the wee hours (hmmmmm on second thought). So I gather some of my neighborhood posse and we got giddy over our little aesthetic shin dig.

What do I wear? Could we be any more predictable in asking this question? We all wore something bathing suit-esque and were told to wear dark loose clothing for afterwards. We all showed up in our bathing suits and little pool cover up dresses (most were black - there's a shocker). No make up, hair up, equals Instant pool/vacation vibe. I was happy everyone opted for a pomegranate martini which we renamed the "Tan-tini" for the evening festivities. Truthfully I wanted to create a new cocktail for this with some sort of orange juice and orange flavored vodka. Two sips of my first not-so-successful concoction made me realize I would be hammered by 4pm (roll tape for Housewives of Montgomery County...no thanks). I settled for my favorite, renamed.

Can she spray tan abs and boobs on me? Sadly, no. It was a spray tan party, not an airbrush party (I would pay big bucks to go to that one - wonder if that could be the next millionaire mom idea?). The best I could do was serve light fare for food as to not create additional bloat.

How are we going to do this? My friend/technician set up a tent in my garage which we stood in to get all tanned up. For ventilation purposes, the garage door had to stay open. No worries, the tent saved everyone from passing eyes. The tan process also gave us a chance to laugh at ourselves as we posed as a body builder, egyptian and as if we were being arrested to make sure all body parts were "tanned" sufficiently. As each person came back into the kitchen we cheered them on and admired their tan.

Special instructions? Yeah, there's a good number of those, the most important being, no showering 6-8 hours afterwards. However, be sure to shower before you go into your next sweat session alas, your tan will turn green. I will admit I get a bit "Grinchy" in spin class, but no need to get all literal about it.

Facing facts, standing in front of a gal in your bathing suit in someone's garage...let's just say you could have snapped a picture (as if) and planted it next to "awkward" in the dictionary. My friend/technician was great in making us all feel comfortable...even me who is still a bit post partum blobish. Anyway, if anyone wants her name to throw your own party, drop me an e-mail. (There's nothing in it for me...just spreading sunshine)

So I am still basking in the glow (literally) of my most recent gathering. Girlfriends make the world go round. They are there for the good, the bad and the ugly. Who got me my last job? Girlfriend. When I was in potty training hell with my daughter, who had the solution? Girlfriend. May I say, "Girlfriends for government!" I'll bet you we could find a solution to the BP oil spill (no levity to be found there). May I propose "Girlfriends Day?" Kind of like Mother's Day, but instead of flowers and brunch, you gather your girls and get some sort of spa service and have a cocktail. Brilliant right?! Until we get that pushed through, gather your girlfriends and celebrate your friendship. Whether it's a tan party or not, you'll still come out with a glow.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

For the Love of Shel Silverstein

While reading Harry Potter to my son one evening, it made me remember fondly the time back in grade school when the teacher would read aloud to the class. This usually happened after recess as an attempt to get us riled up little rug rats settled back down into learning mode. I remember loving Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and James and the Giant Peach to name a few. If you were really into one of the books that the teacher was reading, when it came to library time you bolted to get your hands on one of the two or three copies that the library had. This way you could read along, or if you couldn't control yourself, read ahead. Only one time, when I really loved a book, did my parents buy it for me. That would be "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein. This is my idea of poetry. It rhymes, it's literal and it's cute and funny at the same time. Who could forget "Sick?" "I can not go to school today said little Peggy Ann McKay..." (By the way I'm doing this from memory so don't hold me to the exact quote). Now that I'm allegedly grown up (married with three kids...guess I have to throw in the towel on childhood, but cling to the fact I still feel early twenty-ish), I look at this poetry from a different view. Remember Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Who Would Not Take the Garbage Out? In grade school, I thought she was hysterical. As a parent...not so much. Lately, I'm finding there to be nothing amusing about kids who refuse to pick up their sh*t. It is sucking the life out of my day and taking over the house. When the cleaning people come (total luxury, I know) I am always tempted to change the locks so my little tazmanian devils, Thing 1 and Thing 2, wrecking balls can't ruin it for me. However, rather than go all Mommy Deareast on them, I'll vent in a creative way. Here is my adaptation of Shel Silverstein's "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out."

Better Listen When Mommy Shouts, "I'm Throwing All of Your BS Out!"

Better listen when Mommy Shouts,
"I'm throwing all of your BS out!"
As I take a look around our home,
I can not help but piss and moan.
Your shit is everywhere I look,
It's in every cranny and every nook.
I do not care how much you pout.
It's time to throw the BS out!
Littlest Ponies and Polly Pockets
Matchbox Cars and little toy rockets.
They fill your room, they cover the floor,
I trip on them, they block the door.
Dollar store toys and DS games
One costs a fortune, but you treat them the same
They're in a pile, they're under a bed
Find me a wall so I can bang my head
Puzzle pieces, activity books
Mangled dolls that have lost their looks
Markers and crayons and paints oh my!
We have tons but keep getting more...why?
Plymobile and Lego sets
As if those aren't enough, we have Kinex
These lovely sets with a million pieces
They're everywhere, it never ceases
Dress up clothes and junky jewels
Games to which we can't find the rules
As if the party weren't enough,
You come home from that with more stuff
The stuff you con me into buying
You say, "I'll pick it up," I know you're lying
See that is where I draw the line
The crap that is everywhere is not fine
No longer will I scream and shout
I'm just going to throw this BS out
Silly bands you can't live without
You'll pitch a fit I have no doubt
When I fill a bag like Santa Clause
And throw it out without a pause
Balls and toys from Happy Meals
I throw them in the bag with zeal.
Party bags filled with little junk
Into the trash I happily dunk
"Stop!" you say, "I'll pick up, you'll see!"
"Good," I say, "You've got to the count of three."
The house gets picked up in a snap
In one afternoon, it's back to crap
You see, the problem is too much stuff
So you have to say, "Enough's enough."
So if you must, Scream and shout
But always throw the BS out!

I am available for dramatic readings of this at your local bar. Buy me a drink and entry is free. If you're one of those folks who's house is always spotless, drink or no drink, you will be denied entry.

Ta Dahhhhhh! See what reading as a kid does for you? It gets the creative juices flowing! But seriously, this parenting gig is rarely easy (house maintenance just being a small part of it). Reading Harry Potter with my son at night is a ritual I love and one of a the few slam dunks I get as a parent. If you're not a parent, join a book club or just go to the book store. My book club forces me to read something other than Us magazine and I always feel better off when I've completed a book (even if I didn't love the selection). And although I usually buy my books on Amazon or Overstock, on the occasions I go into a bookstore, I find it instantly relaxing. That's never a bad thing.

So grab a book and get thee to bed. However, once you're done reading that book, it becomes a dust collector. Be sure to get that BS out!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Humor Found in Dr.'s Waiting Room...

Hello and happy Sunday. Things seem to be settling down here a bit after a very chaotic few weeks. I can only assume it is the quiet before the storm, because that's how we moms roll. I am, however, reminiscing about the crazy period a few weeks back. Three rounds of strep throat in the house, two of which evolved into ear infections. One of these cases was yours truly. This left me feeling like I was three years old (if only I could have indulged in a temper tantrum). This was especially challenging because of course this was happening as we were scrambling to celebrate a bunch of family events. Why then? Murphy and his laws can shove it.

So, dramatic flashback to making yet another visit to the pediatrician. It's one of those times that you wish the doctor's office had a frequent flyer program because I would would be half way to freakin Fiji by now. We scored the last appointment for 8 pm (you like how I use the word "scored" like its a reservation to some hot restaurant?) which is the only time we can make it post First Communion rehearsal. Oddly, it here that I am handed my laugh of the week.

As there were no outdated copies of Newsweek, Time, or People available, and I avoid any magazine featuring the word "Pregnancy" like the plague, I picked a new magazine called "Mom." I get a chuckle out of the article on how to teach toddlers yoga. If anyone out there accomplishes this, please call Guiness immediately...no, not the beer people (although admitedly I would need alcohol to accomplish this), the folks who publish world records. Then a few pages later I see this...

Heaven help me. You expect us to believe that your baby can learn in utero by strapping this bad boy on? Just expose your belly to "X" and presto, they have increased ability to do "Z?" I have scientific evidence to disprove this theory. Due to lack of sleep during pregnancy I was the late night infomercial queen. If the theory of exposing your unborn child to exterior stimuli to increase their abilities in particular areas was true, my kids should have popped out as real esate moguls with flat abs and the ability to cook dinners in five minutes flat. Enough said. And may I say, "Poor Shannon Miller?" I guess Nikey hasn't come calling. Although they might be able to create a beautiful segue here. Shannon Miller does a Nike commercial with her Einstein-esque child wearing this Baby Plus contraption with an "Oz like" voice behind her saying, "What have you learned?" (If you ladies don't understand the Nike commercial reference, I'm sure your husbands can fill you in).

Moving on to the advertisement section in the back:

Love it! The name alone makes me want to ditch every other "suck the life out of me" undergarment I own and buy five of these. If it makes me look like the chick in the picture, I'll buy ten. However, I suspect it will be very much like bringing a picture of Angelina Jolie to the hairdresser and asking if they can "make me look like this." The ad references "Muffinology." This is science and technology I can get behind. Truthfully, I think I just want to say, "Mother Tucker," in conversation. I.e. my fantastic friends who's job it is to tell me I look great post partum (even if I look like a blob). I just want to turn to them and say, "I owe it all to the Mother Tucker!" Fun!

This leads me to my favorite. Truthfully, this wasn't in the magazine, but these first two items made me think of an item I saw in Babies'R'Us. It was a plaster molding kit so you could make a sculpture of your pregnant belly. Two words...no thanks. I wanted to hit anyone who came near me with a camera and you think I'm going to let someone lather me up in plaster? Get a hold of yourself. Anyway, I went looking for the product online so I could include it with this post. I didn't find the same one, but I found this:

I've already used "Heaven help me," so I think I roll with "Lord have mercy" this time around. Yes, that's a mallot they are showing with the copper mold of a pregnant belly. You can make music with it folks! I recall how utterly HUGE I was with my first baby. The thought of making music with a copper mold of that conjurs a vision of "The Gong Show." Remember the life size symbol they used? Yep, that's about right. On the flip side, I think I missed my opportunity for a really cost efficient in ground pool. I'm learning to live with it. The cherry on top here is the logo. Take a close look at the top of the "B"...that would be a nipple. These are details I could live without.

So this is the over marketed world we live in. Do any of us really need this stuff? I have to answer with a big fat, "NO," especially in this economy. I think I would rather spend my money on silly bands. Also, a note to those who so want to be pregnant/have children and haven't gotten there yet. Don't despair. Everyone has their own story in this department and it almost always works out. This post really isn't about pregnancy, it's about assessing what we need. At the end of the day, I think it's very little. However, with more and more stuff being marketed, the lines between need, want, and what is practical/useful, definitely get blurred. Appreciate what you have, purge the stuff you have but don't need, and leave the rest of this garbage on the shelf! (Except the Mother Tucker...definitely need one of those babies.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Business of Father Time

Greetings peeps! I know, I know, I have been crazy absentee. The past few weeks have been nuts as many of you moms can sympathize. Apparantly there are some nazi bloggers out there who say you need to write consistently two to three times a week. My thought is, until it pays the bills, it's called a hobby and doesn't always make it to the top of the to do list. Well, that and the past three issues of Us Magazine didn't give me anything I was really excited to write about (clearly the first sign of the apocolypse). The real source of my problem though is Father Time. If he were on Facebook I would totally "unfriend him"(or at least provide justification for a "dislike" button). That being said, it is time to put Father Time in the hot seat.

Now bear in mind, when it's all said and done, I'm a business girl . I appreciate making a deal, creating "win win" situations, and am all about my customer. Father Time clearly has not gone to business school. If he were on The Apprentice...color him fired. Here's what I'm talking about.

Economics 101 - The basic laws of supply and demand. Hellooooooooo! We're dying down down here (I say "down here" because I have this vision of Father Time being some God like figure watching over us...perhaps I give him too much credit?). If your customer is demanding more you're supposed to increase supply and create some sort of balance. We are screaming with demand, but yet you give us nothing. Don't give us the daylights savings schpeal either, because you may give us an hour, but then you yank it right back...totally doesn't count. Not only is this unfair, it's just confusing. Do I turn the clocks, forward, backward, how the H E double L am I going to get my infant to sleep past 5 a.m. in this scenerio? Just make it straight forward, give us more. We need it, we want it, throw us a bone. If the makers of Zhu Zhu Pets can figure out supply and demand, so can you.

Making the Deal / Creating the Win Win - It's time to get a power meeting on with Mother Nature. As time marches on, why must we decompose? Time to renegotiate. Frankly, it's a no brainer. You give us more time and in direct proportion Mother Nature slows the aging process. If you want to get really ambitious you can throw a little "Curious Case of Benjamin Button," in there. You know, have us age backward so we get younger as time goes on. Be creative! Great ideas don't have to be confined to fiction, get on it! Make it happen! It worked for Apple and Google, it can work for you.

The Monopoly - Three words. Don't go there. Oh sure, you may think you have control over it all, nobody can touch you, and we all have to put up with you and your sub-par product, but it usually doesn't end well. If you want to take what I'm talking about out for a test drive, go to a crowded cocktail party and mention the word "Comcast." amongst a group of men and watch the disgruntled sparks fly. Then watch the sunshine appear as people talk about how they LOOOOOOVE their Verizon. I'm just saying I think there could be a Verizon to your Comcast. Who's with me in developing "Mother Time Efficiency?" I've got ten bucks that says we can develop a far superior product that people will love! Why would we put time in the hands of of a man anyway? They have four hours and they play a round of golf. Women have four hours and we clean the house, plan an event, make two meals, chauffeur to two activities while simultaneously returning phone calls. Look out Father Time, we're going after your market share!

And there it is. I'm off to tackle the to do list that doesn't have the decency to take Sunday off. Then we're going to celebrate our nephew's college graduation. Hard to believe he was only ten years old when I met him. Whether it's managing to do's or watching your family grow up, it really all boils down to time and it's value. Cherish your time and more importantly the people you spend it with. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Us Magazine...Thursday???

Hey, it happens sometimes. 3 rounds of illness, A travelling husband, a 50th anniversery and a birthday celebration have made time evaporate in this household. So now it's Thursday. I am back from spin class and I am finally able to sit down and blog. Admitedly, I'm listening to my almost seven month old on the monitor and trying to mentally will her back to sleep (that's code for I'm ignoring her...c'mon girl, help a mom out. GO BACK TO SLEEP!!!)

So, back to the magazine. I got to page 2 before I was hit with a two page spread of Kim Kardshian displaying a variety of mini dresses. The cost of the dresses and shoes undoubtedly could have fed an entire third world country, but hey, anything for a photo op for the Kardashians. Page 4, Khloe Kardashian. Page 23 back to Kim Kardashian with this pic:

So, she states she gets "bikini ready by doing squats and lunges." You sure? It looks like you get there by sticking your head under my kitchen sink (I'm referring to the plumber butt here). One word...gross. Spare us the peek-a-boos and just go naked already. Oddly, I think it would be more tasteful.

Onto Hilary Duff's 25 Things You Didn't Know About Me. I'm torn on this one (Except for the fact she decidedly has to step away from the spray tan booth). Is she my soulmate or providing TMI here?

2. I speak gibberish fluently - soulmate
3. I watched "The Holiday" nine times last Christmas - soulmate, it's in standard rotation in my DVD player
4. My mom used M&M's to potty train me - TMI
9. I sleep with four dogs and two cats when my fiance isn't home - TMI, and by the way it makes it sound like Lizzie Maguire has one foot in the adult section here. Ewe.
16. I lose my keys at least twice a day - soulmate
23. The only car accidents I have ever been in were on my property - TMI, but only because this didn't work out so well for Tiger Woods.

Yep,it's a draw. But I'm leaning towards soulmate because of my own downfall where TMI is concerned. If you want to know what I'm talking about, just drop the word "pregnancy" around me and you'll get far more than you bargained for. That is a shout out for my dear friends who have listened to me tell the same stories ad nauseum...I love you for putting up with me and I will make a valiant effort to stop.

I seriously don't know where to start or stop with this one, so I'm just going to post the picture.

Okay, one comment. I heard she got the chin done. Why? The laws of gravity dictate that the second she trips the boobs are going to pull her straight down causing her to smash it again. Just an excuse for more surgery I guess. Moving on.

Now, I don't go to the Us for fashion advice and here is a perfect example why:

"Marbled" denim my foot...it's called acid washed and the memories are not fond. If they're going to bring back these eighties nightmares, could they at least bring back the million pockets? Those would actually come in handy and might eliminate my need for a diaper bag. Judging from the length of the shorts, I am entirely too old to be reading this magazine. The "sporty" pair also serves as a time machine. If you wear them with a pair of sports socks pulled up to your knees (preferably with two colored bands up at the top) you will be instantly deposited in 1975.

And that's a wrap. I didn't even have to go on a tirade about K.G. (I don't even want to type her name) and managed to make it to page 58 before having to endure her presence.

For those of you wondering, I caved and got my precious baby girl five minutes after starting this. No animals were hurt, and there were two diaper changes, one Baby Einstein video, countless pacifiers, and a bottle feeding during the creation of this post. TMI? Old habits die hard.

Happy Thursday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The HGTV Factor

As you familiarize yourself with my blog, you are probably getting the picture that I get hooked in certain things. I think you all got the memo about Us Magazine and Target. Since officially leaving the workforce and staying home with my 6.5 month old, I added a new one to the list...HGTV. It is the perfect channel to watch when your folding laundry, which you also got the memo, I do PLENTY of. However, there is something ironic about watching a show about styling a room while you're sitting in one that looks like Mt. Saint Laundry just errupted. This has lead me to really scrutinize the content of HGTV. There are a couple of issues/suggestions I would like to bring to the forefront.

The "Staging" of a home to make it more sellable. They transform these homes, update them, and make them spotless for like five cents. On these shows, clutter is the root of all evil. This basically means my house is burning for all eternity. I am CONSTANTLY decluttering my house. It's very much like trying to bucket water out of a sinking ship. Color it futile (What a great idea for a paint color!). They basically make these homes look like they are not lived in. No clutter, no personal photos, and I suspect if they opened a closet they would show the children gag tied and straight jacketed. So to net it out, the only thing that can be staged in my house is an intervention because Mommy is going Coo Coo trying to keep up this charade.

Now, to address the whole "decorating a room on a budget." deal. The shows where they completely redo a room for a thousand bucks are just insulting. I have seen an "under $100" antique door used as a headboard, transformed into a dining room table, and retrofitted to an existing armoire to add "depth and character." Anyone out there ever pull off a project like this? Lands where teams of designers and cute, talented, carpenters are available to us at no charge, are usually very very far away not to mention fictitious. This fairytale land also allows us to redo our rooms in half an hour. It's like editing is the new LSD. It makes us delusional in thinking we can pull off these projects lickity split. The exception would be TLC's Trading Spaces (I don't even know if this show is still on). They used to show people clearing out a room before the work began, but they would fast forward the footage so it looked completely frantic. That's pretty spot on in my world.

How about these shows where they look at three properties, pick one, and buy it as if it was a grocery store purchase? Anyone who has purchased a home knows it's blood, sweat, tears and stress out the ying yang. I'm telling you...editing...LSD. Enough said.

Now, I am a big believer, that if you have a problem, don't just whine about it, try and come up with a solution. That being said, I would like to suggest HGTV develop a show on how to artfully decorate your home with stuffed animals, baby gear, and the BS brought home by your kids. I have a vision of priming and painting the baby's exersaucer to blend in with the rest of the room. Super balls artfully collected in a painted shadow box. My favorite vision is the stuffed animals taken apart and reconstructed to make throw pillows (the part where my child is sobbing into it saying "but it was my FAVORITE," will be edited out). Gold mine right?

Home is where the heart is. It's also the place where all of life's doody falls. There's no "staging" that although on occassion it does require some spackle and paint. HGTV would have a field day with my house. Oh well. My house is like another family member. I love it no matter what. Too bad lent is over...I could have totally given up the HGTV had I thought of it. Since that time has passed I think I'll just turn the channel to the food network. Next posting will be about how bogus "thirty minute meals" are. It's always something. Have a great day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Us Magazine Monday 4-12-10



Happy Us Magazine Monday! Let me start by saying...WRETCH!!! You can take this in one of two ways. Kate Gosselin is a wretch, or "I wretch" as I have been forced to see this woman suck up space in my beloved Us magazine for waaaaaaay too many weeks. To make matters worse, I'm now writing about it, going against my own plea not to buy any more magazines that included her or the Kardashians as they are worthless "celebrities." However, my commentary this week is very well summarized from the front page.

First, continuing my tirade on Kate Gosselin. Does anyone else find it creepy that she looks like Britney Spears in this picture? Seeing as Britney is like ten years her junior, this should be a compliment. However, as a mother of eight, it strikes me as pathetic. The article inside goes on how she trumped John on her Easter celebration with the kids (photo op Easter egg hunt), how she's horrible to her dance partner Tony, and how the cast of Dancing With the Stars finds her nasty and "stand offish." Well Kate, after no less than ten Us cover stories, we get it...you're a bitch. Here's the deal people...we have control over this one. Nobody vote for her and we can get her off this show. I need a vacation from this woman.

I would also like to note PR strategies here. Kate gets divorced and she gets 10+ magazine covers from Us. Tiger Woods is a cheating, rotten scoundrel, and he had max 2 covers and maybe a sub story. To net it out, Kate's people are paying to keep her in the tabloids and Tiger's camp is paying to keep him out. I'll gladly set up the "Let's Buy Kate Gosselin Out of the Media Foundation" All I need is a Paypal account right? Who's game? But, getting back to Tiger Woods...



I would like to officially become a member of "Team Elin." I was so sick of these political wives who "stood by their men" as they were publicly humiliated by them. Go Elin for grabbing a golf club and going after him. I also congratulate her for standing her ground and not going to The Masters. I love the title of this article "Elin's Still Angry." Duhhhh. He cheated on her for years, but four months, and several pay offs to the dirty girls ought to be enough to smoothe things over right? Even if she ultimately stays with him, he really needs to be hung out to dry for the haul. Stand strong Elin!

Allow me to jet right into the whole "rehab for sex addiction" thing. Jesse James is the latest to cry "addiction." How come this is a "celebrity only" addiction? Any of you out there know of any "common folk" who "suffer" from this? I think not. It's called too much money, too much access, and code amongst high paid people to cover up bad behavior. As soon as they're caught they cry addiction. Two words...get lost.

Moving on to "Kourtney's ultimatum..."



Based upon these pictures I would say the ultimatum is "Stop stepping out like Hugh Heffner's mommy dressed you for Easter or I'm outta here!" I'm not even sure Mr. Heffner should get away with wearing a bathrobe in public. Mr. Kardashian certainly shouldn't. What is up with the smoking jacket and searsucker pants? I don't even know what to say about the fuschia china doll loafers. Can anyone envision their husbands in this getup? Maybe on Halloween, but that's about it. I would get into the real story as to "the ultimatum," but I really don't care. My support of the Kardashians being celebrities ends with the mocking of the wardrobe/wardrobe malfunction thank you very much.

One last unrelated snippet. I love Kristin Davis and Sex in the City, however, she has a normal pear shaped build and this picture is so blatantly airbrushed, I couldn't ignore it.



Would it kill us to see a normal build on the cover of a fitness magazine? Personally, I would embrace it, but no, they had to airbrush her down to a string bean.

That being said, I'm off to go work off my post partum pudge. Keeping my fingers crossed with some hard work I won't be humiliated to be seen in a bathing suit come June. Maybe Heidi Pratt has the right idea after all? Anywho, that wraps it up! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scenes From a To Do List

Dramatic flashback to last Friday. Kids are off from school and my mom is with us for the holiday weekend. This is my chance to run (I want to write "away" here, but no...) errands child free. I'm in the car and doing Oprah proud by making it a "cell phone free" zone. However, I have it in the cup holder for easy access at red lights. It starts buzzing. The anticipation kills me, is it a girlfriend calling to chat? An emergency at home? I dutifully wait until I can safely check. And the answer would be "D - None of the above." Turns out it's a reminder from my to-do list. It may as well have been a call from Buzz Kill. In an effort to go paperless, I upgraded my phone to an android do-hicky that allowed me to download an app to put the ever present to-do list and calendar on my cell phone. Now it's as if the damn thing has a life of its own, buzzing me to let me know what is "over due." Next thing you know it's going to be like an electric fence giving out shocks when things don't get done. I have a vision of me being zapped all over the tri-state area...it's not pretty. But I am getting ahead of myself, for now it just buzzes. The fact it is on my cell phone prevents me from chucking it out the window.

This is what the to-do list looks like this particular Friday:
1. Wash laundry
2. Fold laundry
3. Put away laundry
4. Mall
- Goggles for kids
- Buy reprints at Picture People
5. Target - Easter treats
- infant toys
- fip flops
- bread
- cards

The whole laundry thing is on the list every day. I HATE laundry. There is zero accomplishment factor. Even if you get the God foresaken task done, by day's end it's already piling up again. They should really add a new cycle. Heavy duty cycle, perma press cycle, and the new vicious cycle just because it is so appropriate. Doing a week's worth of wash for five people could seriously take all day. This is why I have it broken down into wash, fold, and put away. It gives me some shot of being able to cross off something in the laundry arena. The only real purpose of having a to-do list is so you have the satisfaction of crossing things off. You have to give yourself every advantage.

Oddly, after all of that ranting I'm not even doing laundry. I am on my way to the mall and then off to "the mother ship" (that is code for Target)to take care of items 4 and 5. I whip through the sporting goods store and get the goggles in record time. Off to the Picture People. Reprints ordered. I have now fired through two to-do's in ten minutes. I am on fire. While my pictures are printing I feel a magnetic pull to Ann Taylor Loft. I reward my time efficiency with this "off list" stop. Sale racks are looking good. They had cute jeans and a flowy white top that I thought would look good with a jacket I have at home. I recently got through a post pregnancy weight loss plateau and am feeling optimistic. I buy my pre-pregnancy size. I am of the opinion that the world is a scary enough place...no need to go into the dressing room. Fast forward to the "try on." at home. Optimism quickly evaporates to "What was I smoking?" Jeans cause terminal muffin top (I may not die of it, but think I may die WITH it), shirt is way too shear and my jacket is proportioned all wrong for foreseen outfit. I add "Return to Ann Taylor Loft" to the to-do list. This is what happens when you make off list stops. I wonder if the phone can zap me when it senses my doing this.

Off to Target. Again, I whip through my list, but this time fall victim to another shopping vice. Buying in multiples. When flip flops are $2.99 you should buy them in a couple of colors right? This however, is not what gets me in trouble. Infant toys are on clearance. I pick up three and on a last second whim pick up a musical fourth. I check and make sure it works. It plays music in the cart all the way to the check out counter. I don't think too much of it. Then it plays all the way to the next stop which is the gas station. Starting to grate a little, but hey, the car was moving and it's motion detected. It's now playing while I am pumping gas. I add "return annoying ass toy to Target" to the to-do list.

So this is how the day nets out to-do list wise. Laundry doesn't budge. I got two items off the list but added two more due to my own shopping vices (stupid). Not satisfied with this, I add "Update Facebook Status" and "Eat lunch" on the list so I can immediately cross them off and boost my self esteem. I'm considering adding "Deep six to-do list" and being done with the whole torturous process.

Hope everyone out there is having a productive day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Us Magazine Monday

Hello and happy Monday! (All right, all right, it's now Tuesday. I had a little trouble finishing this since the kids were out of school). As I am the type that does not fly by the seat of my pants, I thought I would start giving this blog a bit of structure. Every Monday I will provide a little commentary from my last issue of Us Magazine (otherwise known as literature or the bible, take your pick). Sandra Bullock is once again occupying the front page with Jesse's face inset. His small head shot would provide the perfect bullseye for target practice if anyone is interested.

I managed to get to page 19 before seeing Kate Gosselin's mug for Dancing with the Stars. This show could really be the mother of all reality TV shows. It combines "The Bachelor," the aforementioned "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" (vomit), and this season features Buzz Aldrin. The fact that he walked on the moon is secondary to the fact that may have unwittingly provided us with one of the first reality TV experiences. American hero? Ha! It's all about the reality TV. Anyway, I did manage to catch the first episode thanks to my DVR and now have my beloved Us magazine for the "drama behind the scenes."

First of all, I fully anticipated a pole to appear somewhere in the middle of the broadcast so Jake (The Bachelor) Pavelka's beloved Vienna could jump on and do her own dance. Everything about this girl screams stripper to me, but alas, she was left to clap politely from the sidelines next to his family who apparantly wanted nothing to do with her. Moving on.

Newly annointed host Brooke Burke, was lovely. I tried not to hate her considering she has that bod after four kids. After last post I do not want to harp on, ahem, the "upper extremities." However, hers were popping out of the dress. Then after interviewing each couple said "They need your support." She said this at least twenty times and all I could think was, "Babe, they look like they're doing A-Okay on their own."

Ahhh, now my favorite. Dear Kate Gosselin. Bruno said she looked like a shopping cart that Tony had to push around. Not unlike you Kate, karma is a bitch. Here is a picture of our dear Kate reacting to the judge's critique:

So, Lillian Glass sees "tension..." all I see is "Barbie - Mommy Dearest edition." When interviewed afterwards and asked if it was a relief she got through it, her reply was "it's good knowing my kids can rest easy." Um, that's not answering the question, but hey, whatever it took to get that "mom plug" in...P.S. your kids would rest easier, if you were HOME and not across the country trying to extend your fifteen minutes.

Onto Page 92. Aha! Something that doesn't require me to go in snark attack mode. Jamie Oliver, I love you! I'm not fluent on our food system, but know it is whack-a-dooed beyond belief. This undoubtedly contributes to our obesity problem. Dear Jamie's new show is "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Thank you for giving us a reality show that is not a total train wreck.



I will wrap up with page 98 where we have the movie section. Drum roll please. Mylie Cyrus and Nicholas Sparks' "The Last Song" has earned the "Us Bust" award. AMEN. I skipped the movie, but read and loved "The Notebook." However, my attempts to read other Sparks' books has resulted in my gagging on the schmaltz. I also think Mylie Cyrus is way too big for her precocious sassy pants. Us magazine, I knew I could trust you to spot toxicity at its finest. You never fail to disappoint.


And that is my replay of Us Magazine for the week. Can't wait until Friday when my next issue hits the mailbox even though I discovered today that wasps were building a nest in it (the mailbox that is). I'm deathly afraid of stinging insects, however, wasps will be harmed if they come between me and the Us.

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are You There God? It's Me Margi

Ah, the book club of our youth (more like pre-teen angst) anchored by our fearless leader Judy Blume. Thank you for addressing our changing bodies in a way we could deal with (I prayed for illness the day of the "sex talk" at school). Alas, here I sit at the age of 36, three kids, and still have trouble getting my head wrapped around what's going on with this bod of mine. With no Judy Blume book geared towards mid life post partum moms, I'll take my questions straight to the big guy. Here are my most pressing:

WHAT THE #$@!& IS GOING ON??? Allow me to follow that up with, ARE YOU SERIOUS??? With each passing year I am asked to do more and more but yet my metabolism retired at the age of 30 and may have died at age 35. Don't go telling me to work out, because I do. Six days a week for over 4 years Mister. I would say I'm working my ass off but the reflection in the mirror and my jeans beg to differ. So to net it out, I'm just working. I look at pizza and I gain a pound. If I actually eat it - 5. Don't get me started on the holidays. Did you really mean for us to eat for a straight month to celebrate your son's birthday? However, I must say thank you for Flag Day. Maybe the only non stuff-your-face holiday. I would include Groundhog Day in this, but the little bugger almost always sees his shadow predicting 6 more weeks of winter, causing instant depression and into the pantry I go. I realize emotional eating is not your problem. However, I would have appreciated a metabolism that could handle it, not the early retirement package.

Moving on to body type. I would like to confirm my hypothesis that genetic code is really your lottery. Hitting the jackpot is almost statistically impossible. The
.0001% who have are Victoria Secret models. The rest of us settle for having one or two of the numbers and make do with what we have. We look enviously at the jackpot winners, but know there is not a damn thing we can do about it.

The "Power Ball" of this hypothetical lottery has got to be the boobs. I have had more conversations with my girlfriends about this body part than any other. Please tell us how the boobs are dealt out. Is it a rock, paper, scissors situation? Rock for big ones. Paper for flat ones. Scissors, you give out whatever you feel like because you know a third of us will contemplate going under the knife anyway? Speaking of the fake variety, those of you who have them...rock on. They are far cuter than the real deal. Yes, you are hearing the voice of experience here. Speaking as a "C or above" (no one gets my vitals) they're really not that great. Newsflash, they're made of fat tissue and don't look cute in sundresses. One last questions regarding "the girls" (my nickname of choice by the way). Please explain to me why post pregnancy those of us of the "petite variety" shrink to mosquito bites and those of us who have the "grade A larges" jet on up to "jumbos?" I will sum this up for you in two words. Have mercy.

Now I realize that sassing God is never recommended, so allow me to say after all of the sass, I am grateful for this healthy bod that has served me quite well physically and emotionally these past 36+ years. For those who have not been so fortunate, I pray for you and have faith that God hears that first and ignores my nonsense.

And that wraps up this installment. I'm heading to spin class and will then exercise every shred of will power I have not to dive head first into the Easter Candy. I'm signing off to play with my kids for the rest of the weekend. Be well and appreciate what you have!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why the Fancy Branding? Call it What it is.

Hello Consumers! As good'ol Americans we probably consume more crap than any other nation out there. No, I did not do a great amount of research on that statement. I'm blogging, not trying to be a journalist. But seriously, we can't jump on the computer, grocery shop, get our nails done (wish me luck getting that off the to do list) or even take our kids to the dang doctor without being assaulted with some advertising/branding message. We're numb to most. We don't even recognize the assault anymore. However, I would like to call a few brands and marketing ploys on the carpet. Cut the crap, let's just call it as we see it.

1. The "Fun Size" candy bar. This is a total joke. Hands down this should be called the "Denial Size" candy bar. I would never eat the regular size one. Eating the big daddy sends me into a downspiral of guilt, but three little bitty sized ones? Housed without thinking twice. I know more than one gal that leaves the gym and dives head first into a bag of "fun sized" Snickers, but she washes it down with a Diet Coke so all is well. And speaking of...

2. Let's just call Coca-Cola "Crack-a-Cola," or in my case "Diet Crack." I have rehabbed myself off this stuff more times than Robert Downey Jr. and somehow I always fall back. On my last attempt I decided the only way I wouldn't drink it is not buy it. This is how that went down. Mid morning, I start having "the Diet Coke meltdown" (withdrawl). I got the lunches packed, everyone to school alive, and worked out. Dammit, I deserve my effervescent, caffeinated, can of chemicals! (enititlement) I call my neighbor (dealer) who has a stash. She agrees to leave not one, but two in her mailbox so I can come get them (the drive by). My first sip is pure heaven. I actually feel it going through my veins (full on substance abuse). I drive to Target to buy my own case. This brings me to...

3. Target. This one may not be too far off as it "Targets" my wallet. but in the spirit of keeping things literal, can we just call it the "Hundred Dollar Store?" I go in for diapers and formula and I come out with a picture frame, vase, movie, three new t-shirts a piece for my daughters, one for myself (that's how the ratio works...3 for the kids, 1 for me), pokeman cards, and a mini bottle of Purell that they sell at the checkout counter (because you can always use that right?). The sad thing is, there's a good chance I will have forgotten to actually pick up the diapers and formula, sending me back into the store for round two.

4. Some things I understand, like the "Happy Meal." It's really not practical to call it "My kids don't eat anything resembling a vegetable anyway, my husband's away and I'm not cooking" meal. However, here is one suggestion, just to be literal. The big "Golden Arches" out front that you can see a mile away? Turn them upside down and call it "The Big Fat Ass" because that is what you will have if you keep eating there.

Just calling it as I see it folks! We're intelligent people. Don't try to fake us out with cutesy names, jingles, and slogans. We're Americans. We'll consume the living daylights out of it anyway. Find the fun around you today!