Monday, December 21, 2009

Best Blog Posts of 2009

Ross reminded me last night that not only is the year rapidly winding down, but the entire decade is. It seemed like such a big deal in 1989 and 1999, but this year, I nearly overlooked the fact. So strange to think about people reliving the ’10s and the ’20s isn’t it? Crazy, man.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my bests posts this year. There have been some duds, but here are my personal favorites, month by month…

January: I Love Eating Crow (Proof that I don't always have to be a perfect mom)

February: Shopping Gripe #4,563 (Yeah, I bitch too much about customer service LOL)

March: Litters of Babies (Who doesn't like to rag on Octomom every now and then)

April: Here Lies Erin's Fat Roll.....RIP (This one got a whole lot of response -- even via email messages)

May: Momologue (How much bragging is too much?)

June: The "I Just Don't Get It" List (Apparently what I don't know COULD fill a book....or a blog post or two)

July: 10 Things Every New or Expecting Mom Should Know (A post that may make you reconsider having children altogether)

August: Brothers (They have their moments.....and those moments take my breath away)

September: I Was Gonna Write a Kick Ass Post About Zombie Dogs, But Demi Moore Sucked It Out Of My Brain (Sometimes even my dreams are crazy)

October: Momma's Do's and Don'ts for the Playground (You never know when advice like this could come in handy LOL)

November: What Dreams May Come (A completely honest, soul baring post )

December: Beware of the Mom Zone (Because it’s great to feel better about your own parenting skills)

{Let me know if you’re doing a year in review post, too- I’d love to check it out!}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ode to my Andrew

I take him aside to let him know how proud he's made me, how beautifully he played his saxophone at the concert last night, how I noticed that he always knew exactly when to come in, when to play softly,when to hold a note, and when to let it go.

And under the bright hot light of my scrutiny, he writhes. He is that uncomfortable in his own skin these days. But when I look closer, he is pleased, so pleased, to hear my words, even though they are causing him such obvious physical discomfort. He rides high on my praise for at least an hour.

These tweens are disguised to us. They are too tall for their own good. They've sprouted pimples overnight. They are rough and coarse, reflexively rude, chronically out of sorts. They are hard to like. But really very easy to love.

I will not stop complimenting my twelve-year-old son, even if he makes it harder and harder for me to want to do so. I will not stop, because he is no different from you or me in his need for, or desire for, validation. Or it may be that he requires more of it as he hurtles towards the undeniably fraught adolescent years. I will not be fooled by my child's adolescent shell. It is just armor, nothing more. I will not forget that within lies a stunning vulnerability and softness.

He is nearly as tall as me now. His feet are larger than mine. But never have I been surer that he is my baby, that he will always be my baby, even when I am eighty and he is sixty. Then I will see through his thinning hair and bulging middle to the infant I cradled and fed and loved sixty years earlier, the memory no less potent for its age.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ms. Manners goes to the movies

Literally every single one of these things has happened to me. It's time to lay down the law.

Dear Movie Goer:

1. Even the movie preview guy tells you to turn your phone off - yet somehow you're so enthralled with the 80's movie concession montage that you forget. So right at the climax, someone (who doesn't know you well enough to know that you're at a movie) calls you, and we're interrupted with Sprint's latest rendition of "Baby Got Back" in no more than 10 total tonal sounds.

2. And please, if you're the culprit above, for the love of muffins -- DO NOT ANSWER! Even if your mom calls and says your dad just had a heart attack - take that crap outside. It's not like you'll be able to hear her anyway - no...noooo don't turn up the volume. Great. Now I can hear her too. "What's happening? Oooh is the movie good? Did you see the first one? Okay I better let you go. Wait, did you get that package I sent? Good okay, well better go. Wait..."

3. Oh, and if you think it's acceptable to "text" during the movie because it's "silent" - you're forgetting that the brightness level of your phone's screen in a dark theatre is equivalent to a nuclear explosion . I use my phone as a flashlight in dark places, so please - "OMGYG2BK dis moV iz the BEST u shud b hre!! ok TTYL CU soon" can WAIT.

4. I don't care if you're at the movie with Helen Keller, there's no need for a play by play. With hands, words, actions, noises, anything. And if you're too dumb to know what's going on, and you have to ask, there's a perfectly comprehensible rated "G" movie in the adjacent theatre.

5. Rest assured the actors cannot hear or see you, so yelling at Ms. Getting-Ready-To-Be-Murdered to "Get out of the way!!!" isn't going to do anything but make my want to throw my popcorn bucket at you.

6. Speaking of popcorn, I know it's a dark theatre and no one can SEE you shoveling the popcorn into your mouth, but I know that sound isn't a cow chewing its cud - its really you...cramming handfuls of grease into your face. An X large bucket of buttered popcorn has over 2000 calories. Even if you're sharing that's enough to feed you for ONE DAY. So lay off - just because you had a "light dinner" and just because it has the word "corn" in it doesn't mean it's healthy and you need to shovel it in like a madman.

7. I realize you haven't been on a date in over 15 years Mr. Divorcee, but that Old Spice bath you had before you came isn't going to impress her. That goes for you too Miss On My First Date. That Baby Phat stuff is spendy, so lets not use a whole bottle in one night.

8. I don't care if you're going to "Veggie Tales" - don't bring your baby to the movies. I also don't care if he's "Normally so quiet" and "Never cries in movies." Get a babysitter or sacrifice your movie night.

9. Oh, and speaking of kids. Please don't bring your 5 kids to the 3 hour long "Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Maybe Hotel for Dogs, maybe even Paul Blart Mall Cop - but for the love of Pete even I know they won't "Just fall asleep if they get bored." No, they'll run up and down the aisles (just like at church) because you refuse to contain them!

10. No, I will not scoot down. I wanted the middle for a reason, and I got here 30 minutes beforehand to make sure I got this seat. So take your 20 person party and go up a few rows.

11. The cup holder to your right is yours, the the cup holder to your left is mine. It's not for candy, or your coat, or your purse....or even your napkins. It's for ME.

12. If you want a foot rest, bring your ottoman. I can go without the stench of dirt, sweat socks, and dog $hiz in my face so keep your feet off my chair.

13. Yes, I heard that. And that. I know you thought you could quietly let out that fart or burp during a loud part in the movie, but your ass is closer to my ears than the speakers are.

14. Did you pee before you came? Do you have plenty of popcorn and drink to last you? Because you don't need to get up and leave every five seconds. What's the point of paying $10 for a movie if all you're going to do is get up and down four hundred times, squeezing past me and obstructing my view?

15. Don't clap. Just don't. Applause is for live shows only - no one who cares can hear your obnoxious approval.

16. Is that a DOG in your lap? How did you even get that in here? Actually, I'm not even mad. That's amazing.

17. If I completely turn around in my chair and stare at you, clear my throat loudly in your direction, kick your chair, or say "SHHHH", that means you're doing something to annoying - so quit it and take my hint.

18. Every single rule above applies in the PREVIEWS too!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beware of the Mom Zone

Sometimes I think one of the hardest things about being a mom is resisting the siren call of stereotypical mom clothes.

And by stereotypical mom clothes, I mean clothing that doesn't take too much effort, clothing that celebrates comfort over style and function over form, and clothing that, if I am truly honest with myself, I would not have been caught dead wearing prior to giving birth.
I'm not trying to be a smart-ass: it really is hard.

We moms are tired and rushed a lot of the time. Time and money are tight, but our bodies?Not so much (not mine anyway).

And I think that drinking in the silky skin and shiny hair of our children - our beautiful children - goes a long way towards satisfying our inherent need to feel the presence of beauty in our lives.
And that's not necessarily a good thing.

Ease and practicality might not sound like the worst things in the world but the problem is, if you continually let them start to dictate your wardrobe choices, your fashion confidence starts to erode.

Once you start to become unsure about your ability to pull off fun and stylish clothing, you become less and less apt to wear it and enjoy the boost of confidence it provides. It becomes a vicious cycle and before you know it you're telling yourself that you don't care about what you wear or looking good anymore anyway: you're a mom now.

I don't pretend to be the most fashionable person in the world, but I have established a mental list of clothing items that I consider to be beyond the pale. If ever I find myself softening my strict no-go stance on these items, it indicates to me that a strong dose of retail therapy is in order.

In keeping with my firm belief that we moms have to stick together, I'd like to share my list with you:

1. Crocs. Straight up: they are evil and hideous and have no place on the feet of anyone between the ages of 12 and 65. I don't care if they're comfortable and easy to clean and practical: so are flip flops. I will never, ever wear Crocs and you shouldn't either. Seriously, trust me on this one.

2. Clothing with your children's picture on it. I know it's easy to get wrapped up in how gorgeous our kids are but don't, just don't. If you must broadcast their beauty, give fashion a fighting chance and opt for the World's Greatest Mom mug as opposed to the sweat shirt.

3. And speaking of sweat shirts...I'm not big on 'em at all. Ditto for sweat pants. With the exception of the cute yoga pants that have been all the rage the last few years, I don't think any clothes designed for wear in the gym should be worn outside the gym. Sweat suits might spell comfort for some people but to me they just say, "I've given up."

4. Your husband's clothes. I'm sure some young ingenues can roll out of their sexy beds and into their sexy boyfriend's clothing and look all sexy as hell, but chances are you can't. Once you're past a certain age, rumpled and baggy isn't a fashion statement it's just dumpy. Remember those photos of Katie Holmes wearing Tom's jeans a while back? She's like 5'10 and 100 pounds and she looked like she was wearing a potato sack. If Katie can't pull it off, neither can you.

5. Pants with pleats in the front. They are dorky. You know this: I know you know this. But one day when you're feeling self-conscious about your tummy, you're going to find a pair of pleated pants which are a nice color and reasonably priced and butt flattering and you're gonna to think: I should just get these - they aren't so bad. But they are. Pleated pants are the banana peel on the slippery slope towards full-on mom jeans: do not allow them to throw you off balance.

That's my list. How about yours? Which clothes do you consider strictly in the mom zone?

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Christmas Card Conundrum

Reading this post is going to truly be a waste of your time.

Seriously, I’m just warning you. If you want to jump ship now, I don’t blame you. Because this post is going to be 2 minutes of your life that you will never get back.

My burning question is:

How do you display the holiday cards you receive? I mean, DO you even display them? I really want to display mine, but in a tasteful manner.

More classy than the year I just taped them to the wall, you know?

Google annoyed me because when I tried to see what other people do, I got images like this:


So help me out here….what do you do?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

More words I've totally made up

To continue my quest to invent more "Words That Should Be in the Dictionary But Aren't"..........I give you:

pewblurt (pyoo'-blurt) n.
A wrong word or phrase said out loud in church when everyone else is silent. (Something like this comes to mind)

shrinkspiracy (shrink-speer'-a-see) n.
The baffling mystery of clothes that used to fit fine, but "something happened to them in the dryer." Usually correlates to an overindulgence in Cool Ranch Doritos.

perpendicutot (pur-pen-dik'-u-tot) n.
Any small child who is physically incapable of sleeping vertically in a bed, mostly your bed, resulting in their feet or head digging into your ribs all night.

chiaberry (chee'-a-berry) n.
The strawberry that starts to grow grey fuzz and infects all the other berries in the box.

debeautiflate (dee-byoo'-ti-flate) v.
The process by which you start off an evening out with your hair looking primped and perfect, but by the time you get home and look in the mirror it's all wilted.

caraoke (car-ee-o'-kee) n.
Singing along to your car radio or cd player.

caraokabort (car-a-ok'-a-bort) v.
Abruptly halting your singing when another car pulls alongside you, usually punctuated by a faux-yawn or cough.

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