Thursday, March 31, 2011

$1500 for a Donkey - sounds like a good price

Normally my husband comes home from work talking about this or that he heard on Bloomberg News courtesy of his Sirius satellite radio during his commute.  Tonight, while sitting down after the kids' bedtime, he said, "Don't you think it's nuts to pay $1500 for a double stroller?  And that wait list!  People are nuts."  My head titled to the side like Scooby Doo and I looked confused.  "Huh?"  "You know...the Buggyloo something.  It's a new double stroller unveiled in NYC today."  Thanks to Google, I found it.

It turns out Bugaboo (hubs was close) unveiled "The Donkey" today to the squeals of delight by moms like me, the strolleristas.  This, seeming, mother of all strollers converts from a single to a double, with all kinds of bells and whistles that are made to convince you that you'll never need another stroller.  And let's be honest, ladies.  Every time we buy a new one, we convince ourselves, and everyone else who will indulge our affirmations, that *this one* has a unique purpose that can't possibly be filled by another.  There's the single, the lightweight single, the jogger, the umbrella and the double variation for each of these.  I'm afraid ladies.  If we get a partner on board for this extravagant set of wheels, will we ever be able to plea a convincing case for anything else? 

My stroller days just recently ended with the sale of my jogging stroller.  I never did get that City Mini Double Stroller I always wanted, but rented many times in Disney World.  It's all for the better, probably...the Donkey looks like something I would have been relentless about!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Would you ever engage in reality television tourism?

They're mesmerizing, aren't they?  They're pretty.  They make your mouth water.  It's like they're talking to you...

I always thought the answer to the question, "Would you ever engage in reality television tourism", for our family, would be a no.  Yet, I just found myself on the internet a few weeks ago looking at the store hours for Georgetown Cupcakes, better known to many as DC Cupcakes, the focus of a TLC "reality" show.  The show has taught me that there will be a line around the block, but it hasn't deterred me.  The cupcakes look beyond delicious.  My girls are jazzed and we've been talking about dressing like Katherine and Sophie with the black pants and shirt, pink apron, and pink boots.  We'll pay no less than $30 for a dozen cupcakes and surely $100 in shirts for the girls and as gifts.  I've even declared that we need to go there on one of the first days of our trip so that we can enjoy the treats throughout the week.  You'd think a vacation to our nation's capital would be more about monuments, museums, and politics.  Instead, the focus has truly shifted from history to baked goods.  How did this happened?

What's next for us?  The Jersey Shore?  Been there, done that from the ages of 13 - 17.  My sister-in-law is planning a stop at Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, site of the very popular show on the History Channel called Pawn Stars.  Maybe I can talk my husband into touring the restaurants of Top Chef contestants next.  Yum!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm a Mommy, but that's not all...

Being a mother is the biggest honor I'll ever be given.  My kids make me nuts, frustrate me, and sometimes even get me angry, but they still rank the highest on my "what would you grab on the way our of your burning house" list.  I loved being pregnant, despite aches and pains.  Lots of women say "I wish my husband could do it."  Not me.  Well actually I wish I could have handed it to him for about three days at a time, just to get a little damn sympathy.  But beyond that, pregnancy was my gig.  I'm a mommy and I'm proud of it...but that's not all there is to me.

Don't get me wrong.  If your child falls in front of my house and she has a bloody knee, I'm going to patch her up, give her a hug, and lovingly bring her back to your house.  If your teenager opens up to me about some personal issues, I'm going to listen attentively and try to give her solid advice.  Once you're a mother, it's almost impossible to walk away from situations like these.  I just hate it when it's what others use this information to define me.

I was at a coffee shop awhile back with two friends.  While ordering my bagel and coffee the owner, a very chatty gal, asked if I was there with my "Mommy friends."  To be honest, I was a little taken aback, but indulged it.  "Yes," to which she replied, "Oh how nice you mommies can get away for a little while.  I know even mommies need a break."  *insert impatient sigh here*  "Do you work, or are you a full-time mommy?" she asked. 

I work AND I'm a full-time mom.  The day of the coffee break, my boss was on the Today show.  One of my friends with me?  Later that day she was off to teach her medically homebound student.  You know - bring school to a child who was too sick to attend.  My other friend?  She was off to show one of her rental houses to support her real estate business.  Our children were at school.  But how obnoxious it would have been to stand there and spit out resumes and credentials, right?  So why was I so tempted? 

It's interesting to me how PR firms and marketing agencies really play to the mom market nowadays, but there's a fine line between recognizing me as a decision-maker and patronizing me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The crummy spring morning

Forgive me...this post will be rambling.  This morning I'm just feeling very bleah.  For two mornings this week, my younger daughter played donkey.  She wasn't getting dressed.  She wasn't putting on shoes.  She wasn't brushing teeth.  She dug in her sweet little heels and did a full refusal on getting ready for school.

I wish, so very much, that I had some infinite supply of patience and great, logical tools to deal with such bouts of resistance.  Instead, I got from asking, to instructing, to insisting, to demanding, to yelling, to feeling like I want to cry.  Mornings should be filled with a gentleness and soft voices.  It's my time to get my girls ready to start their day over at the big elementary school.  It's a time I am protective of and I HATE it when it goes badly. 

My husband took the girls to school and I insisted that he walk our younger daughter in.  It breaks my heart to send her out of the car with a big, red, crying face.  I stayed behind listing all of my failures.  Why do moms do this?  I should get her up earlier so there's less of a time crunch.  There was an issue of one last piece of homework that needed to get done.  I shouldn't have let that happen.  She was tired because she went to bed a little late.  My fault. 

Two of my friends are teachers and they said this is the time of year they dread.  The kids have spring fever.  They're ready for summer.  Consistently behavior declines and frustration rises.  Maybe that's what we're experiencing.  In fact, my older daughter is having issues on the playground for the first time. 

As the weather warms and afternoons stay lighter longer, the tendency is to relax.  Instead, I believe I should get more structured just to hold this ship together through our remaining weeks of school.   Early bedtimes, early rises, all homework done immediately following school, outfits picked out the evening before for the next day...  At least when we have another crummy morning I'll feel like I did everything I could to prevent it.  Hmph.  I can only hope my little cherub is having a good day and I'm the only one sitting around with a heavy heart.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Phase out the phrase

I don't know why, but I've grown super annoyed with the phrase "date night."  It's feels so cutesy and patronizing.  It stems from every stupid parenting magazine that encourages us to reconnect with our mates by scheduling a "date night".  Yeah...wanna know how my husband likes to reconnect with me?  In an effort to keep a PG-13 rating, I'll gloss over the experience.  Sure we like to go out to dinner, maybe a movie, perhaps for a few drinks, and we even enjoy a nice walk on the beach.  But it feels so ridiculous to pretend we're dating.  So urge others...please stop using the phrase "date night".  Sure, you'll get those sappy responses to your Facebook status, " kids have fun." but I will secretly think you sound ridiculous no matter how sophisticated you may actually be.

Another phrase I'm trying to eradicate is "man cave".  If you're the male in the house and want a room for your xBox, huge flat-screen TV, tools, toys, porn, whatever, that's cool.  Enjoy it with blessings.  Just please don't lower your position on the evolutionary scale by calling it a "man cave".  One friend mentioned liking the term, "media room."  For some reason that reminds me of something that exists at the NBC studios.  That's probably, technically, a media center.  Who knows and who cares - just don't call it a cave.

My friends (and I) added a few more phrases that have to go.   Enjoy!

"It is what it is." -  Profound.  A friend says this is said by a woman when she's pointing out there's nothing you can do to fix the situation.  I suggest it always be followed by, "So what the hell are you going to do about it now?"

"Nothing for nothing" -  This one makes little sense to me.  True - rarely do you get something for nothing.  But I pretty frequently get nothing for nothing.

"To boot" -  I've heard this one when someone adds something to any given conversation in a way that indicates, "on top of it."  To boot is like the cherry on the sundae, I guess.  I'd rather have a cherry, than a boot.  Unless, of course, it looks something like this.

"Honey-do list" -  Unless there's an actual melon somewhere it's simply called a "to-do list".  And in our house, there's little sugar-coating it with a "honey".  My list is long too, buddy.

"Man-date" - This is one I wasn't familiar with, but evidently it refers to the time men spend together.  I suspect the "man-date" is a phrase used fairly exclusively in the married circle.  I couldn't see one of my single guy friends thinking humorously of such an expression.  So let's separate ourselves from the term "date" and more towards something more along the lines of "meeting" or "visit".  Sound good?

If you've got one to add, lay it on me!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I have a bee in my bonnet today, inexplicably.  What's aggravating me right now is how Danica Patrick, accomplished IRL driver and newbie NASCAR driver, is forced to use her sexuality in advertising when no other (male) driver is put in that same situation.  Let start this rant by saying, for all I know, she sought out her Go Daddy sponsorship and was the mastermind behind their campaign of Go Daddy Girls.  If that's the case, good for her.  If she did not, it's so gross, especially since there's a distinct Mark Martin absence in this marketing effort.

Let me describe to you the commercials we'll never see from her male counterparts. 

Imagine a steaming shower.  In it is a, presumably, nude Carl Edwards with his magnificent upper body, pimping out body wash.  How about Jamie McMurray selling me beer and he's shirtless whilst tailgating in the sun?  Or maybe we could convince Kasey Kahne to do a suggestive little video series for just about anything that leads me to a website that sells whatever, and lets meet see more of him in compromising positions, exposing skin not otherwise seen while he's suited up for a race.  How 'bout that?  Because, correct me if I'm wrong, the fastest growing demographic of NASCAR fans isn't men.  So why is Danica portrayed in such a ridiculous way?

And for the record, I went to my first race in 1994 and have been to 20+, so I'm not among the rookies, trying to change the way it's always been.  Those people get on my nerves.  :-p

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Does Craigslist sometimes make you nuts?

I'm so frustrated.  Why do some Craigslist shoppers want you to give them your stuff?  I've got a fabulous jogging stroller for sale, barely used, and listed for less than 50% of retail.  There is zero wear, other than a little dirt on the wheels.  It's a piece of gear a family could bring on, use for years, and still sell it for $75 when they're done.  So why is it that I keep finding people who want to pay me $50 for it?  I love the defense, "Well other people are selling theirs for $35."  Yeah...I sold a stroller once for $15 too, but that's because it was beat up!  If you want something as close to new as possible, you have to pay for it.  Ay yi yi!

Dear Craigslist shoppers, thank you for your interest.  I really do appreciate it.  I never mind answering your questions. I don't even mind meeting you so you can see the stroller before agreeing to purchase it.  I believe this is all very reasonable of me.  Please offer me the same courtesy and offer a price that's realistic, show up at the time and location we agreed and don't make me uncomfortable by trying to haggle on the spot.

With that all said, I love Craigslist.  I wish I could get my butt in gear and move more stuff out the door!  :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Searching for a MFF...not to be confused with MILF

I remember when my girls were younger, the produce department is my new bar.  There’s a pretty little one over by the cantaloupes.  I’m not a freaky stalker or anything.  I genuinely need fruit, so I wheel my cart over there.

“Your daughter is beautiful!  How old is she?”  I look to the other mom, hopefully.  Do we have anything in common?  Does she seem nice?  Is she into me?  Do I ask for the digits on the first meeting to arrange a playdate or do I hold back, hoping to bump into her somewhere else?  Making mom friends has thrown me back into some strange parody of the dating world. 

 When my daughter was just eight-months-old, our family relocated to an area where we knew no one.  Talk about isolating!  I did my best to get involved in things like library story time, yet still I found myself really yearning for the BFF, or in my case a MFF (Mom Friend Forever) that I could call and whine too when the baby was teething and drink wine with while we mastered potty training.  She was harder to find that I had imagined.

I’m an outgoing gal.  I can strike up random conversations.  I take rejection well.  Yet it felt like everyone had friends already. 

Seven years later, I think I finally have some valuable tips to share, brought to you straight from the frontlines. 

  1. Don’t worry too much if a potential MFF seems to have a child who isn’t the same as yours.  She may have good advice to offer if her little one is older than yours or may make you feel pretty good about yourself when you get to offer her advice when you’ve BTDT.

  2. Watch out for the MFF who needs you more than you need her.  Great examples are the “urgent” need for you to babysit often or constant requests to have a Pampered Chef book party to help her get her business off the ground.

  3. Don’t freak out if she doesn’t return your calls or emails right away.  She’s busy and probably slept 45 minutes last night.

  4. Don’t judge a mom by the choices she makes that differ from yours.  Bottle-feeders can make great friends to breastfeeders, for example.  One of my MFFs never even considered it while I did it for a combined three years over the course of two children.  I wished she saw the value and emotion associated with breastfeeding.  She probably wished I didn’t whip out a boob when my girls whimpered.  Dare I say “tit for tat”?

  5. Don’t rely on the crutch of your children getting along to have a relationship with a MFF.  Kids can change their mind daily about whom they like and dislike.  Part of the beauty of a MFF is your ability to enjoy each other’s company without having to rely on interruptions from little ones to fill in the awkward pauses.

  6. And last, if a budding friendship falls flat, don’t take it personally.  Sometimes nurturing a friendship is a lot of work and not everyone has the energy.  When you stop hearing from a MFF candidate head to the grocery.  I guarantee you another possibility is somewhere near the bananas. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is it fever-reducer or blood-infused vomit? You decide.

I sent my husband to the drug store to get a new bottle of children's acetaminophen.  Since the Tylenol recalls, we've been using generics and I assumed that's what he would come home with.  Instead, he bought Triaminic's new product, which, much my to sarcastic delight is red. 

Dear Triaminic

When you make your product that shade of deep red I'm immediately concerned about two things.  1.  How much dye did you use?  That can't be good for anyone.  2.  How am I supposed to determine if my daughter's vomit contains your medication or blood?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Birds, bees, and when they touch themselves

I always thought I was a cool mom.  Looking ahead to when my daughters ask about the birds and the bees, I didn't panic.  You just tell them the truth right?  The mechanics aren't anything to be embarrassed about.  My focus would be 50% physiology and 50% relationships.  It's important to me to convey the merits of a relationship that would warrant sex. 

Yeah...that was all true until I saw someone share this video.   In it, Dr. Laura Berman guides a mom through talking with her tween daughter about sex.  Being blunt, I can't imagine talking to my daughter about her clitoris and how it's normal to touch around to see what feels good.  I hadn't anticipated a discussion about masturbation.  Yikes!  You know darn well that ten seconds after you tuck your baby in at night and kiss her head the exploration will begin.  Not that there's anything wrong with it, I'm just not as cool as I thought.  I'm squeaming. 

I know self-exploration is normal.  I know it's healthy.  I know there's nothing wrong with it.  I just have a hard time saying, "now that you know, have at it".  Am I nuts?