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Holding down the fort

holding down the fort by frugalista blog

 

McSweetie and I went away for a weekend without the kids. It was nice. I mean, except for the 5 hours of bickering in the car or how he doesn’t wear his seatbelt for the first 30 seconds of driving, WHY? and then his tendency to take 10 minutes to figure out which beer on tap he wants when we order at a restaurant worse than Sally in When Harry Met Sally. BUT OTHER THAN THAT, we had a great weekend. For real.

The kids are 15 and 12. Still too young in my opinion to leave alone over night. Right? I was wondering this and wasn’t sure what the rule was. My kids are mature and have been left alone quite a bit during the day or whenever we go out. But overnight? That seems weird, right?

We had my sister in law and niece stay with them for the first night. They were in town visiting, so I designated them as their babysitters. It worked out great! Thanks Katherine! They got to do fun stuff during the day and then she was the designated adult to stay in the house.

So what if Emma forgot how to turn on the dishwasher and had to text me for directions. That’s a minor detail. Okay. Let’s be real. My kids are really bad at housework. They need constant prodding to do laundry or pick up after themselves. They never clean the cat box, although Emma is really good at looking after her hamster. For 15 and 12, they are behind when it comes to household tasks and knowing how to do them. Is this because I’m a control freak and only like the way I do it? Shhh. We can talk about that another day.

What I’m trying to say here is, I had really low expectations while we were away.

The second night we were away, they slept at my parent’s house. My folks brought them back home before we returned. This was good so that they could let the dog out to pee, and settle in and it saved us a trip to get them.

It was so nice to come home. The kids were greeting us enthusiastically, and even the dog was happy. She was dancing on her back two feet. We hugged and danced in a circle for a bit. And that wasn’t even the best part.

As we settled in, Emma told me that when they got back to the house, Owen emptied the dishwasher and put away the dishes, and she had noticed the dog had a messy backside after going out to poop. Wiping the dog’s butt with paper towels was only making it worse. So she needed to bathe her. She put her in the kitchen sink, which the dog hates, and had to keep her from jumping out. She hollered orders at Owen to grab a big towel (he came back with the largest beach towel ever) and hand her the soap. She said they were a tag team like in surgery. She said it was fun. I was thrilled to hear they didn’t leave the messy dog around with shit smears for me to clean up!

I was impressed! Emptying the dishwasher, and a washed dog? I’m the luckiest girl ever!

Emma shared that once Owen was done in the kitchen, and had finished his dish duty, and the dog was drying, he sat down on the couch and let out a long breath. It must have been from all the messy dog excitement.

He announces: “Being a mom IS the hardest job. I only did one mom thing emptying the dishwasher, and I’m already tired!”

No kidding buddy.

It’s stuff like that that when you hear it, it just makes this whole mothering thing worth it.

Did Emma smack Owen in the arm at dinner when he got in her way over the milk? Yeah. Oh well. Kids are still kids. They are not perfect. But it’s good to know that left to their own, I can count on some things getting done!

We just need to work on the laundry stuff next.

 

Saved by the Bell- make that, Saved by the BlogU

My husband travels infrequently for business. I would say a half dozen times a year. And probably 2 or 3 of those trips might be for a conference. When he comes home he’s always soooo tired. I mean, how hard is it? You sleep in a nice hotel, get meals out and stand around and talk to people. Big deal. And he complains how his feet hurt. But he’s a guy and he wears flat shoes. How can his feet hurt?

Hold the phone. I just came back from BlogU, a blogging conference. I’m exhausted. Instead of some convention center or hotel ballroom, our conference was at a college campus. The beautiful Notre Dame of Maryland. It’s such a small campus (I went to the University of Washington. That place is huge. Any campus after that seems small to me.) Talking to about 150 other blogger/writer/creative talent forces takes a lot from a person. It’s exhausting! Dancing at the #MiddleSchoolAwkward NickMom dance that Saturday night also is exhausting. And I WORE FLAT SHOES!

I came home and I was all, “McSweetie, I’m so sorry I never acknowledge your fatigue after a conference. Talking to people is tiring! Also, dancing 2 hours to 80s hits with a banana clip in my hair is exhausting too. I bet you don’t do that at your conferences.”  Nope. You can bet your Spanx, he does not.

Dancing in a banana clip? I will tell you more about that later. Trust me. It’s GOOD.

I’ve been blogging for about 4 years now. Sometimes that seems like an eternity. Sometimes I think how far I’ve come. Sometimes, I look at other people’s success and feel sorry that I haven’t come further. But you know what? That’s what is so cool about BlogU. The bloggers who attend BlogU come from all genres, social media reaches, and experience levels. Some have just begun. Some have had that VIRAL post, some are New York Times best selling authors, and some are media mogul powerhouses. What’s great about the community of writers that this weekend brings together, is everyone is accessible, everyone has a story, everyone has a purpose.

BlogU’s creator Stephanie of Binkies and Briefcases started this conference and builds this conference, literally from her garage! But what makes this so special? What makes it so awesome that folks like NickMom like sponsoring themed dances and Scary Mommy’s creator, Jill Smokler comes to give the keynote? The special sauce is in the people. And that there’s a spirit at BlogU. It’s going to sound corny as hell, but there is a spirit of trust and camaraderie at this conference unlike any other conference, that wants to see it’s attendees soar. That the next Jen Mann can be in the crowd.

But even writing that- ‘the next Jen Mann’ seems wrong. Because the individuality of each blogger is what makes them special. There’s only one Sass Mouth, or Real Life Parenting, or Quirky Chrissy. And they will get their success and blogger notoriety how they are meant to. Best selling author? Talk show host? Reality TV star? Who knows!

When you think of the endless sea of bloggers, you think how many more does there really need to be? And you even think about your own blog, ‘why bother?’ But then it only takes one person to say they read something of yours and it really related to them. Then you smack yourself in the forehead and say, “yep! That’s why I blog.”

It’s stories. And stories need to be told. Thanks BlogU for lighting that fire, or blowing on the coals to stoke them a little more. I have lots of stories to tell!

So I’m just gonna leave my #MiddleSchoolAwkward dance pics right here-

Left- photo booth sponsored by That's What She Said, Top R- Jen Mann, and Harmony Hobbs in the back! Bottom R- Kerry HouseTalkN and Nikki Moms Who Drink and Swear

Left- photo booth sponsored by That’s What She Said, Top R- Jen Mann, and Harmony Hobbs in the back! Bottom R- Kerry HouseTalkN and Nikki Moms Who Drink and Swear

 

 

Top right - Mommy Shorts, Bottom L- Nicole Shaw- Bottom R- Me- 2nd place WINNER #MiddleSchoolAwkward

Top right – Mommy Shorts, Bottom L- Nicole Shaw- Bottom R- Me- 2nd place WINNER #MiddleSchoolAwkward

Ellen, Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms, Susan, Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, and ME

Ellen, Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms, Susan, Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, and ME

Yep. This is how I dance. Elaine from Seinfeld just comes out. Notice the fanny pack, popped collar and sky high bangs?

Yep. This is how I dance. Elaine from Seinfeld just comes out. Notice the fanny pack, popped collar and sky high bangs?

 

Here it is. The best picture of all Middle School Awkward 80s themed shots. Taken by the fabulous Susan of Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, it looks right out of a Nickelodeon TV show. Yes- I’m ‘you can’t touch this’.

Saved by the Bell at BlogU15

Saved by the Bell
at BlogU15

 

If that’s not enough- there’s this. I think I made my kids proud. Thank you Kim from Let Me Start By Saying, for being my dance soul sister. Thank you Anna Bardsley for capturing the video. Click on the date below and it will take you to awesomeness. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to rub ointment on my aching feet. Something I didn’t need to do in 1985.

Wildness

Posted by Anne Bardsley on Saturday, June 6, 2015

Why I deserve the greatest Mother’s Day of all. And you do too.

I know, I know. You’ve heard it before. We (moms) think were goddesses and fucking saints for pushing watermelons out of our easy bake ovens. And if you had a C-section- power to you. Because stitches through five layers of tissue makes any guy whining over a vasectomy look like the pansy ass douche he is.

Where was I? Why am I so angry? I don’t know. I mean, maybe it’s the PTSD from the pre-epidural catheter they gave me in the labor and delivery room when I went hypertonic trying to birth Emma. Hypertonic- abnormal muscle tone. Sadly, my over active uterus did not leave me with 6 pack abs.

Maybe it’s the bloody nipples I got a week after she was born because I spent those 7 days with her latching on improperly while trying to breast feed. Then cried when I was pumping milk sitting on the toilet in our cramped little bathroom because I felt like a failure.

Yeah. Moms unite! Bitches get shit done. And you know what? We get birthing done.

When I gave birth to Emma, there was a story that week in the news of some natural disaster in Africa ( I can’t remember because part of the brain that holds memory and reason comes out with the after birth. It’s true.)  that caused a woman to give birth in a tree. A GODDAMN TREE! By herself. Her and her baby were there for a good day or so before the rescue choppers got her. Did she worry about saving the placenta later because her MOPS group wanted to make smoothies out of it and then paint pretty pictures on canvases while drinking wine? NO! She did what she had to do.

And gosh darn, I was laboring in a comfortable first world hospital bed and I thought of her. HER. And she was my hero. But also, it kind of scared the shit out of me because the way things were going with Emma, I would have died in that tree and she with me. So yay, modern conveniences!

So I’m sorry if my wish for this Mother’s day is to be treated like royalty by the subjects of the house. But dude! I earned it. It’s been 15 years since all that happened. But still.

Not that you want to know this, but one of the first times I got up to go to the bathroom after I had Owen, I thought I had birthed a second child. I had been lying down in the bed for several hours. It was so scary, like, I paged the doctor  and all and told her that a pile of left over something and I think it had teeth and whatnot had just smooshed out of my cooch and did they need to weigh it or take it for a biopsy, because that twin baby looked like I was bleeding to death. It was frightening.

She laughed, sweetly, and said, you know, most moms forget that their vagina is a long tunnel that fills up with all kinds of good stuff after the baby is born. It was just waiting to come out. Sometimes the muscles contract and it doesn’t until you get up to go to the bathroom. And then I was all, “Like a JELL-O mold!” And she’s all, “YES! You’re fine!”

Oh phew! I thought I hemorrhaged. And so does every other woman who just pushed an 8 pound bag of potatoes with a 90th percentile head out of a hole the size of a golf ball.

Let’s not forget the old days when our mothers and their mothers had babies. When they gave them enemas, shaved their pubes, and knocked them out with drugs. You know. Because it’s easier for the doctor. The male doctor. Oh boo on him for dealing with female pubic hairs. Thank GOD when they changed that. Even though now everyone’s got a Brazilian, so who cares. And I’m all for drugs, but I’d rather NOT wake up two days later to find out if I actually had the baby or not.

Ugh. Men.

“Waa. Let me whine some more because my wife snores when she sleeps and insists on sleeping with a body pillow we’ve named Phil. She never wants to do it anymore. WAAA.”

Someone call the whambulance, because I’m sick and tired of men complaining. I’m sick and tired of men complaining about their vasectomies and that their wife doesn’t want to have sex. Oh, and then newsflash. She’s not going to want to have sex with you after because, well. You’ve seen the Hindenburg disaster. Who wants to fly after that? We need some time. And by time, I mean at least, at LEAST 6 months post partum. And lube. Lots and lots of lube. And probably booze. And the promise of a nap afterwards without a baby attached to my body.

And again, sorry for the graphic nature of this- but if you had hemorrhoids, you don’t want your man down in your crotchal region with anything other than some nice cotton or microfiber breathable underpants. Stuff changes. It’s not the same.

Did you have an episiotomy? Or how about a 4th degree tear? Do the words ‘transvaginal mesh’ send you into flashbacks of trauma similar to a combat veteran’s? You didn’t know what a ‘taint was before, but now you do.

Yeah. So lay off dudes. We deserve pie, and croissants. We should have long leisurely baths alone without people asking to climb in the tub with us. That goes for little kids AND husbands. STAHP. If I wanted a bath with you, I would have said so.

Plus sex in bathwater leads to UTIs and nobody got time for that.

Happy Mother’s day mamas! May you get all the worldly goods you deserve. And peace.

 

Frugalista Blog in the Pee Alone Trilogy

Buy the books on Amazon!

What Would Beth Do?

WWBD?

This is going to be my new phrase. Who is Beth? Well let me tell you. Beth is the genius blogger behind The Cult of Perfect Motherhood, my friend, and co-contributor of I Still Just Want to Pee Alone. But Beth is also, a wife, mom and woman living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. That’s a pretty big deal. It’s a big deal because when you’re diagnosed with Stage IV anything, it pretty much means that you probably will die within a few years or months. We’re all dying. But Beth is very open about the fact that she doesn’t know how long she has to live. And this breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart like an ax through wood because Beth is pretty fucking awesome and she deserves more time. Yep. I’m just going to say it. “God, she needs more time!”

And when I had heard recently that she’s had some bad news, I couldn’t believe how positive she was about it. She knows. She knows it’s bad. And yet, she can make jokes, throw F bombs, and frickin’ quote the Constitution.

Because Beth is a lawyer. A civil rights attorney, actually. She’s not working right now, and that sucks. Well, I think it’s kinda cool she gets to be a SAHM. But Beth is a wicked smart attorney. She knows her law. We need more Beths in the legal system. She’s a feminist who knows her shit.

She knows Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not personally, no. But I feel that she has a connection with Notorious RBG. She sees that woman on the bench who gives no shits and fist pumps the feminist who fights for justice.

So as I’m griping to myself over my haircut that I decided I didn’t like because now I want to grow out my hair, I will instead refer to WWBD? Let’s begin.

I don’t like my haircut. WWBD?

Beth would take the peach fuzz growing in post chemo and dye it bright red to emulate Alice on the BBC drama, Luther. Alice is a bad ass. She gives no fucks. Neither does Beth.

Having a bad day? Did you get tired of the Bruce Jenner interview? WWBD?

Beth would have a  Manhattan on the rocks and let her friends know on social media, that despite the mets in her liver, she’s feeling pretty fine. She’ll email her oncologist to make a drinking date with him probably pretty soon.

I’m griping about my belly hanging out over my swim suit. WWBD?

She would hand me a Jell-O shot and tell me to shut the fuck up. I’m beautiful dammit. (Beth likes the F word if you haven’t guessed already.)

I met Beth last year at MamaCon. I didn’t know who she was. I knew her blog. But I had never met her or seen her. There was an entire group of ladies in the front row wearing multi colored wigs and really rallying around this one woman. When she met me, she knew me and my blog and introduced herself. I was like “Duh, it’s YOU!” The wigs were all in support of Beth’s bald head from recent chemo. I was a little jealous of this woman and her devoted friends. Wow. What a group. They all got tickets, spent the night in the hotel doing pudding shots. Beth on chemo and cancer, can party harder than me on my best day in my twenties.

When Beth knew the cancer mets were in her brain, she also knew it would head to her liver eventually. Her oncologist, who she lovingly calls Eddie, and who has Bourbons with her, told Beth that she would probably need more chemo very soon. He’ll go easy on her this time. Chemo-lite, I guess. Nope.

WWBD?

Beth told him, “Fuck that. Go balls to the wall on these roaches. Kill the mother fuckers.”

Yeah. She does it for her kids, and her husband and herself. She’s fighting. Beth on chemo and cancer has a sharper, wittier mind than most people I know.

God I love her.

So when you’re having a bad day. The mortgage payment is late maybe, job got you down, kids pissing you off…. ask yourself WWBD?

She’d fight to live another day and toast that day with a fucking Bourbon on the rocks.

************

 

If you’re in town and want to raise a glass with Beth and I join us for this- Garden Party Book Club

or join us on May 15 for MamaCon

Rebecca and Beth book at MamaCon lite

 

 

Jazz party, book signing and cocktails

Sometimes when you’re invited to a party there’s certain aspects of the party that make it more fun. Like, will there be cupcakes? Will there be a pinata? When you’re a grown up you want to know will there be booze? Will there be cute boys and dancing?

Well what if I told you that I was throwing a party and there will be booze, cute boys (at least McSweetie will be there but he’s taken) and dancing. I’m sorry I can’t guarantee cupcakes and there will most likely not be a pinata. BUT STILL- doesn’t it sound like an awesome party?

My friends Beth and Tracy who are co contributors in the book , I Still Just Want To Pee Alone, are joining me for a book signing May 4th in Seattle at a place called Sole Repair Shop. It’s a cool, snazzy venue that will have cocktails and food and US (of course!) signing your books and selling as many copies as you need. Mother’s Day is the next weekend you know- you’ll need to be prepared for all your mama friends.

The jazz party will be provided by a group called Emily Asher’s Garden Party.  You guys. This chick and her band are AWESOME. She plays a trombone and sings and sounds like Ella Fitzgerald hopped out of a speak easy and into the new millennium. Even if you don’t like jazz, you will love her and her band. Because you just will. Beth at Cult of Perfect Motherhood (who will be there and hooked us up with Emily) was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer last spring. Emily wrote her this song-

This song makes me cheer and makes me cry.

I’m so excited for this awesome night of talent, fun and coming together for celebrating the book, garden parties, and life in general.

Get your tickets here so we know how many books to bring and the bar knows how much Bourbon to stock.

Cheers-

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1413884

 

garden party book club poster

“Bikini body in 30 days!” – Nacho fast

See what I did there? I put nachos in a bikini title. I like nachos. And it was a play on words. Get it? “Not so” is also “Nacho”.

But you totally got that.

If you’ve been doing all the right things but still don’t look like one of those rock hard bikini bodies on Instagram or Pinterest, don’t be discouraged. I am right there with you.

Let’s just jump right out of the gate shall we with the cold hard truth. It takes way more than 30 days to look like you’ve got washboard abs and buns of steel.

You probably already knew that huh?

You probably already knew that huh?

And when you want it to happen like all the charts and gurus and detox whatever folks are telling you it can be done by, but it hasn’t, you throw your hands up in the air and say ‘fuck it’. I’ll just order the onion ring tower. Might as well since I’m just going to be fat forever, is what you tell yourself.

Well, let me tell you. Don’t. Or do, but share it with friends and eat just a few onion rings.

Don’t give up. Slow and steady wins the race, not fast and hard.

And you know what else? Being 40 totally sucks. My body doesn’t get in shape as fast as I want it to. AND I am more susceptible to injury and strain. So I can’t go full on Cross fit for 2 hours and think I will be able to function the next day. If by function I mean pull my pants down myself to go to the bathroom. Also, there’s these things called kids that I’m in charge of. Sucks that I can’t work out and be all ‘me, me, me’.

It’s not fair for a woman with 13% body fat who’s been working out most of her adult life to pose for one of those pics that us squishy moms look at and get all excited about and start hitting the mat with our lunges, planks, and squats. Yes, those exercises work, but it takes TIME.

I had been skinny all my life up to getting pregnant with my first at 27. I packed on the pounds, was stuck on bed rest, had a hard postpartum, and didn’t get moving much until my daughter was around 6 months old. I finally felt like myself when my daughter was 2, only to gain weight again with the pregnancy of my son. After he was born the weight came off fast and I really seemed to be more kind to myself. I understood what I could do to get fit. Things were working. For the next several years I did a random circuit of my own workouts that included classes, gym time, and my own stuff of walks with the dog and training for 5ks. I was pretty disciplined with my diet. I didn’t realize how good I had it. I still wanted to be thinner, skinnier. I was probably around a size 4/6. I always felt self conscious of my waist or my arms. If I knew then what I know now, boy would I have been more accepting of how my body looked.

Once I started blogging I became lazy. I spent more time on my laptop and social media than I did working out. I thought I could just get away with the occasional walk with the dog, skipping lunch, maybe a few squats. Then I would read different articles that would make my head spin. I could get fit in just short workouts, no wait, I had to sweat it out for at least 45 minutes, no wait, sweating wasn’t necessary, as long as you engage your core. Ninety percent of how you look starts in the kitchen not the gym. Drinking wine is like a workout. Eat kale. Drink coconut oil and you’ll totally whittle your waist down. Eat avocados and lose weight. Do Pure Barre. Do ten minutes of planks. But hey, if you’re not doing cardio, then all your core work is wasted.

Dear GOBS I want to scream.

WTF? Eat less and work out more right? Nope. Hold the phone. You might be making yourself fat if you eat too little, and maybe the workouts you’re doing and the food you’re eating are working against your hormones. How much coffee do you drink? Coffee is bad. Coffee makes you hold fat in your stomach. No wait. Coffee is good. Coffee before a workout helps you burn fat.

If you’re confused too then- yay. My point is made.

Here’s what’s going on right now. I’m using My Fitness Pal app to track my food. I’m using my pedometer on my phone to track my steps. I get 10,000 a day for the most part.

I am still doing my 30 day whatever challenges for abs, planks, pushups, etc. BUT. I am reminding myself that it will take me more than 30 days to even look the way I want to look. I’m remembering that feeling stronger climbing up into my son’s loft bed to change the sheets is a win. Pants that were tight to zip up 3 months ago are fitting better. My favorite little black dress still doesn’t fit. But it’s closer than it was to fitting a year and a half ago. So I’m keeping at it. My waist is 3 inches smaller than it was before Christmas. It’s still soft and pudgy like a bagel before it’s cooked, but hey, 3 inches is 3 inches!

After 8 weeks of consistent exercise, calorie tracking and just feeling like I was getting somewhere, I headed to the hotel pool of our vacation in my two-piece feeling a bit sassy. I had Emma take my picture, you know as a ‘look at me, I’m on vacation’ picture.

I have to say I was disappointed when I saw it. I felt thinner in my head. Seeing my dimples and fleshyness kind of bummed me out. But I shared it in a private group of friends and they were so positive. Of course they said I looked good and I was rocking the two-piece and yadda yadda yadda. Because they are my friends and that’s what friends do. Which was what I wanted to hear. But what it proved to me is that we all have our ideals in our head. Just because I see this picture and don’t feel a hundred percent like I’ve ‘arrived’ at some fitness precipice of awesome, I can feel good in the fact that I am on my way. I couldn’t do a 25 second plank 8 weeks ago, but now I can rock 90 seconds and maybe two minutes on a really good day. My arms are still squishy, but they are stronger than they were before. And remember those 3 inches I lost around my waist? Yeah, that’s something!

So here’s my journey. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. My point is that even if your success story doesn’t seem as obvious as the next person’s, don’t give up. Keep on doing what you’re doing. Doing nothing is not an option.

Also, I will not caption this, “How a ‘real’ woman looks in her 40s after 2 kids and not a whole lot of exercise”. But instead I will caption it that I’m just a ‘regular’ woman. Real women are size 0 and size 18. Size isn’t what makes us real. But you already knew that didn’t you?

Regular woman in bikini after 2 months of steady working out and eating well.

Regular woman in bikini after 2 months of steady working out and eating well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still not peeing alone- and that’s OK

Did you know that even when your children are 11 and 14 they will still come and bother you in the bathroom?

Yes, they will.

And you know what else? When they don’t come bother you in the bathroom, the pets will. The dog and cat sometimes join in together to sniff around my underpants at my ankles, sit on the counter and watch me do things, and then pop their head in the bowl to watch a swirly. I mean, it’s a good thing I’m a people person. Or animal person. Otherwise I might have kicked everyone out (of the house mind you) years ago.

But  that’s OK. You know why? Because ahh, motherhood. I’m blessed to have two adoring children I have brought forth from my (tender) loins that I have pretty much signed a contractual agreement in blood that says, I will never have privacy again.

It means, that if someone is actually IN the house, they will most likely need me to find their sock, locate their iPhone, or not know how to open a box of cereal, and they will come to me while I’m in an otherwise indisposed disposition.

And I know I’m not the only one in this No Privacy ship. So let’s all commiserate together-

Frugalista Blog in I Still Just Want to Pee Alone the book

So I bring to you the sequel to I Just Want to Pee Alone (now a NYT best seller!) -

I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE

Yes folks. An entirely new collection of kick ass mom stories and hilarious anecdotes, and some tear jerkers too, of motherhood and womanhood.

Some authors are from the first book, like me. And some others, are new and you might not have heard of their blogs and you will be forever grateful to find new and refreshing voices to laugh at (or with) and be inspired by. Or you’ll know these bloggers and be all, “hot damn, ’bout time she’s in a book!”

Now, do yourself a solid and go and get the book.

Amazon

iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Or, you can come to my house and by one from my hot little hand. I accept cash.

All the awesome contributors to this book-

Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Bethany Kriger Thies of Bad Parenting Moments

Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying

Alyson Herzig of The Shitastrophy

JD Bailey of Honest Mom

Kathryn Leehane of Foxy Wine Pocket

Suzanne Fleet of Toulouse and Tonic

Nicole Leigh Shaw of Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Aretist

Meredith Spidel of The Mom of the Year

Rebecca Gallagher of Frugalista Blog

Rita Templeton of Fighting off Frumpy

Darcy Perdu of So Then Stories

Christine Burke of Keeper of The Fruit Loops

Amy Flory of Funny Is Family

Robyn Welling of Hollow Tree Ventures

Sarah del Rio of est. 1975

Amanda Mushro of Questionable Choices in Parenting

Jennifer Hicks of Real Life Parenting

Courtney Fitzgerald of Our Small Moments

Lola Lolita of Sammiches and Psych Meds

Victoria Fedden of Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds

Keesha Beckford of Mom’s New Stage

Stacia Ellermeier of Dried-on Milk

Ashley Allen of Big Top Family

Meredith Bland of Pile of Babies

Harmony Hobbs of Modern Mommy Madness

Janel Mills of 649.133: Girls, the Care and Maintenance Of

Kim Forde of The Fordeville Diaries

Stacey Gill of One Funny Motha

Beth Caldwell of The Cult of Perfect Motherhood

Sarah Cottrell of Housewife Plus

Michelle Back of Mommy Back Talk

Tracy Sano of Tracy on the Rocks

Linda Roy of elleroy was here

Michelle Poston Combs of Rubber Shoes In Hell

Susan Lee Maccarelli of Pecked To Death By Chickens

Vicki Lesage of Life, Love, and Sarcasm in Paris

Kris Amels of Why, Mommy?

Mackenzie Cheeseman of Is there cheese in it?

Tracy DeBlois of Orange & Silver

 

Mom turned author reaches New York Times best seller list with humor anthology

Yeah!

How do you like them apples?

I’m a best selling New York Times author. Our little book, I Just Want To Pee Alone, made the list in the Family category. A few notches down from the classic “Go The F*ck to Sleep”. Because family.

I Just Want To Pee Alone NYT Best seller

I Just Want to Pee Alone on Amazon NYT best seller

You want to know why this is a big deal? One- New York Times baby. Duh. And two- Self published anthology of a bunch of kick ass mom bloggers. Yeah. That’s right. We go from soccer practice, PTA meetings, minivan carpools and Saturday nights with laundry to being national best selling authors.

The American dream folks.

So I could go on an on about my excitement level, but honestly, I have laundry to fold and dishes to do.

Two years ago when we first hit the charts, we booted Tina Fey’s BossyPants from her #1 spot on iTunes. Now we’ve got the big apple to put in our belt notch.

This calls for some celebrating. And if you haven’t ordered the book yet- now is the time! Click here to go to Amazon.

 

P.S. The sequel drops Friday. BOOYAH! Call the police and the firemen, too hot, hot damn. Girl sing your Hallelujahs. (Some Bruno Mars lyrics for you there.)

 

 

 

Gwyneth is a ‘common’ woman and Eva says never wear sweatpants or your husband will divorce you

Folks. I can’t help myself. When a celebrity opens their mung bean hole and says words that make me want to roll my eyes back to Christmas, I have to write about it. It’s what I do.

First, let me talk about Gwyneth. That’s GP if you didn’t know. She recently was talking about her Goop website. Goop must be her nickname for her initials GP. Because Goop sounds like a very unassuming website of maybe crafty supplies, like glue, and rubber cement.

But it’s not. It’s a ‘lifestyle’ website of things to buy, like alpaca chin hair place mats and pigmy goat dyed wool culottes; recipes on how to make huckleberry lip scrub and the latest on laser hair removal for your coochy.

It’s all very relatable. <coughnoit’snotcough>

It's only $1425. Mortgage? Or leather jacket? Courtesy of Goop.com

It’s only $1425. Mortgage? Or leather jacket? Courtesy of Goop.com

Gwyneth, oops, GP, sorry, forgot, has been under fire before. She has this condition we like to call foot in mouth. She places her Prada clad hoof in her quinoa gob a few times throughout the year. It’s like blogging fodder the blog gods just rain down on us. I don’t want to make fun of her. I don’t. I’m not here to ridicule or judge. No. I do that on wine night with my girlfriends. But I just HAD to address the idea that GP wants us to think she’s like the common woman every where. She is just like us. The same hopes and dreams. The same fears and pleasures.

GP- So relatable. Even with side boob.

GP- So relatable.
Even with side boob.

GP, if you want to feel like the common woman. Let me help you-

When you wake up in the morning, and you see a random dried up cat turd that rolled over from the laundry room where the cat box is to the top of the stairs- step over it. Highly achieving, exceptional women take a piece of toilet paper and pick up the cat turd. But no, folks like me, just yawn and take your Dearfoam slippered foot and just lightly tap it back towards the cat box where you will probably scoop it up later. And by later, I mean in a couple of days when you remember.

Start packing the kids’ lunches with regular white bread, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Even better, use cold cuts that probably have nitrates in them. Us common folk need to have our fill of nitrates and preservatives to carry on with our day.

Smack your Keurig machine a couple of times to get the thing to work. Or if you’re like some of us, remember that you were supposed to remember to buy pods the day before, but forgot. So dig out one of those pods from yesterday morning and reuse it. Don’t worry. It’s okay because you will probably get interrupted 50 million times before you get to drink your coffee and you’ll forget it in the microwave before you leave the house.

Oh, that reminds me! Check the microwave and just drink yesterday’s coffee and you don’t even need to worry about using the day old pod in the first place! Genius.

Being common is fun!

Now load up the kids in your 12 year old minivan with 160,000 miles on it and goldfish crackers stuck in the seat from 2007. Make sure your minivan has some dried milk in the cup holders, some juice stained on the floor rugs and has enough dirt and grime on its exterior since November. It rains here in Seattle. We only wash our cars once a year in July.

When you get to the bus stop and see the neighbors, name drop some cool names, like, you know, the principal of the middle school, the president of the homeowners association. Name dropping Jay Z and Beyonce is so last month’s Oscars.

So GP, how’s it going for being common? It’s only 9 am and there hasn’t been any time for yoga with Madonna or pasta making with Mario Batali. In fact, none of that will happen, because you’re going to need to run to the grocery store and get a frozen pizza for dinner since your boss needs you to stay late for meeting. And you might as well forget seeing your kid’s soccer practice because the commute home from the office will set you back an hour.

And then guess what? You get to do the whole thing again tomorrow! Yay! When it gets really tough and you feel like each day is the same as the one before. Don’t sweat it. Vacation is ahead. Not some villa you get to share with Elton John in Versailles. No. But a La Quinta Inn with your in laws. Fun!

Thanks GP. I hope you enjoyed that you could relate to being common and recognize how much we’re similar.

My next celebrity to school that opened her pie hole is Eva Mendez.

Now Eva. Eva Mendez thinks that the reason for Americans divorcing is that the wife wears sweatpants.

Excuse me, but I need to get my corset off the clothes line and starch my bloomers since apparently it’s 1890 again and someone is telling me how to dress to keep a man!

Eva, Eva, Eva.

Eva says look like this so your husband won't divorce you. Sweat pants are a gateway to divorce.

Eva says look like this so your husband won’t divorce you. Sweatpants are a gateway to divorce.

Let me tell you something sweetie. I know you just had a baby. And that’s awesome. And you’re with that hottie Ryan Gosling who has the photoshopped chest in the adorable movie, Crazy Stupid Love. BTW, I LOVE that movie! I bet you do too.

I thought you were awesome in Ghost Rider also. Your level of sexy mixed with brains was perfect next to Nicolas Cage’s devily skeletor motorcycle riding persona.

But telling women that we can’t wear sweatpants because our husbands will divorce us, is not cool. You know how much I would love to just run around and look cute 24/7 in pencil skirts, heels and little tight sweaters? I mean, because that is what hubs would dig, right? Or let’s just walk around in a satin negligee and a robe when I want to relax. It’s just that, hmmm, how do I say this? I WANT TO BE COMFORTABLE!

I own cute clothes. I do. I wear them from time to time. Usually out of the house. But my job as a SAHM, Stay At Home Mom, calls for me to be hanging around the house a lot. I walk the dog, scoop the cat box (sometimes, not always, see above), I fold laundry, do dishes, empty the recycle bins, sit around and blog….sweat pants, or yoga pants, allow me to sit comfortably, heave up a laundry basket, squat down to scoop the cat box, bend over to shove a frying pan in the cupboard. All those things that Betty Draper did while wearing a girdle and crinoline; but she had to. Lycra hadn’t been invented yet.

I can look cute, sure. I can make my husband’s jaw drop on date night, no problem. But if you think divorce is caused by wearing sweatpants, which implies you think that most of us have just let it all go and Costanza’d our way through life, then you will be sadly mistaken.

My parents have been married 56 years and my mom wears mom jeans, and my dad wears faded Wranglers from a time when Matlock still was making new episodes. To assume that the strength of their relationship has been related to their wardrobe is missing the value of their commitment, hardships, and dedication.

How about this- when you and Ryan are still married 10 years from now, I vow to not wear any yoga, sweat or lounge pants for an entire year. That will be a great way to celebrate my almost 30 years of marriage by then. How many years have you been married? Oh, that’s right. Zero.

This concludes Frugie’s portion of Putting Celebrities in their Place.

 

 

From Graham Moore to Lady Gaga to Glory, my most prized Oscar moments reviewed

Here we are. The Oscars. You love them. You hate them. You’re above all the Hollywood kiss buttness, or you’ve got a paid subscription to it. Ahem <cough> me. Paid in full.

I love the Oscars. I watch the Oscars like it’s religion. No. Wait. Better than religion. I fall asleep in church (no offense Pastor), but I don’t fall asleep watching the Oscars. You just never know what’s going to happen. And face it, all that spray tan and fashion and cleavage is very eye catching.

Even if you HATED the Oscars this year or HATED the movies this year, you had to love certain moments.

Let me break them down for you.

It might be hard for me to remember that far back, considering the show started 3 days ago and I’m sitting here growing a beard longer than Matthew Maccaughnheyeey’s. DUDE. I can never spell his name without looking it up.

In no particular order whatsoever:

When JK Simmons won his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and he told us to call our parents. Not just email them or text them, but to call them. Which my mama knows that I am not interrupting my Oscar telecast to call her. Bless her heart. But she’ll hear from me. Probably tonight in an email. That’s okay though. She knows I love her. Did you call your mom or dad?

Then when the director of Ida from Poland won the Best Foreign Language Film and was talking over the music and then the music finally finished but he was still talking. That’s how it’s done! Give the English is a Second Language People some extra time folks. It’s not fair!

Who didn’t love a Lego Oscar statue handed to Oprah during the Everything Is Awesome musical number? I’m sure she knew that was the only one tonight that she was getting. But bravo to her for being the first black female producer nominated.

Okay, I can’t wait. I have to cut to John Travolta and Idina Menzel doing their whole shtick over the “Adele Dazeem” fiasco of last year. BUT THEN, but then John had to go and ruin it and touch Idina’s face! If anyone touches my face I will cut them. I’m sure she was all thinking, “dude, why are you touching my face, there’s like two hundred dollars worth of cosmetics and shit that have been painstakingly placed on here, do not touch my face. Have you washed your hands recently?” Because that is what I would be thinking if someone was touching my face. But props to her for just being a true sport.

And then, and then, OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH, the best part ever of the whole night ever, ever, in the night of all Oscar nights. Like, even better than any previous years when Adele sang or Beyonce sang, or that cute couple from Once sang, but when the lights came up on the orchestra and forest of trees and Lady Gaga all sillhoutted as a lonely goatherd (just kidding) and she did the whole “The Hills Are Alive….” and she NAILED IT! YES, THAT!

gaga sound of music

All night long, everyone was all, “Gaga’s doing a tribute to Julie Andrews.” “Oh my gosh, how can Gaga do Sound of Music?” “Heaven help us all Gaga is going to sing Edelweiss wearing a Miss Piggy hat” or whatever.

But in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “Dude, this chick can sing. What is everyone worried about? Tony Bennett has been touring with her and put his career on the line all year doing duets with her. Do you NOT know this?”

And then boom. With the first melodious, “The hills are alive….” the room went <GASP> and jaws dropped, and goosebumps popped up and Twitter exploded, and the universe of Gaga Hating, Sound of Music loving people collided into a rainbow of fruit flavors that was more scrumptious than a bag of Skittles or a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

I just sat back with Emma while the tears rolled down our cheeks and we were all “Hell yes!”

And then, AND THEN… Julie Andrews actually comes on stage and hugs Gaga and you can tell Gaga is all verklempt because this, this, people is DAME JULIE ANDREWS and she’s all “Thank you Lady Gaga for that lovely tribute.” And you’re all, “what the fuck did I just hear?” Because anyone who didn’t like that number is dead to me. Dead, I say.

gaga and julie andrews

And yes, this was after the glorious musical number of Glory from the movie Selma, performed by Common and John Legend. And not to take away from that performance, but everyone knew that performance was going to be amazing. And it was. The set direction of the Edmund Pettis Bridge was fantastic with the people marching, Common coming from the streets in the distance and not to mention their victory speech for winning Best Song when John Legend mentioned the fact that the number of incarcerated black men is more than that of the slaves in captivity in 1850. A disturbing statistic to say the least.

We can’t overlook the fact that two recipients, both the adapted screenplay winner for The Imitation Game and the producers of Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 for documentary short; mentioned suicide.

The pained and troubled people of this world need a voice, need to be heard. We need to talk about suicide. And God bless Graham Moore who accepted his award with these words, ” I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there that feels like she’s weird, or she’s different, or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise, you do.”

A movie like Crisis Hotline is needed more than we think. Twenty two veterans commit suicide a day. A day.

graham moore quote

To keep this post less long than an Oscar telecast, I will skip so many details but just gush about Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech. You know the one where she said that basically all us who have given birth to everyone else deserve equal pay and equal rights. And if you think that’s too political for an awards show then, sorry. I guess you don’t want equal pay or equal rights. Because why not say things at an award show? Heck her character in Boyhood plays a single mother. And she played that character for 12 years. She can talk about equal pay and equal rights.  But what made that moment even more glorious was Jennifer Lopez and Meryl Streep in the front row cheering her on. Because even though those women have a bajillion dollars between them, they know the plight of the everywoman. The woman who gets up to get her kids to school or puts off vacation to save for college, or gets passed over for a promotion or has to fight insurance companies for birth control coverage. They know. So yeah, preach it Patricia.

meryl and jlo during arquettes speech

Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything deserved every inch of that win and the gold statue that he dedicated to victims of ALS around the world.

Julianne Moore FINALLY won an Oscar. This dame has been nominated like 22 times and always gets edged out. But finally, she got her glory. And like a true talent and gentlelady she is, made sure to give honor to the Alzheimer’s community and the recognition they deserve.

So maybe you hated the movie Birdman that won for Best Picture. Or maybe you loved it. I think we can all agree that just because our favorite picture doesn’t win an Oscar that year doesn’t mean we need to give up on movies, or award shows in general. After all, there’s still enough entertainment, humanity and gosh darn inspiration to get us to keep coming back for more. Right?

Like my friend Sandy says, “I don’t always like the movies, but I appreciate the gifts and talents that create them.”

And that my friends is my Oscar recap. Join me again next year when maybe I will have attended the show itself. I might post a selfie with Benedict Cumberbatch if I do. Mark my words.