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Motherhood is hard. You Have No Idea

Sometimes at the fork in the road of motherhood, you see your toddler thrashing about the floor in a tantrum, raging over a denied cookie. You think back to when they were tiny, helpless infants. That was easier right? If only I could follow that other path into a time machine, go back when it was simpler.

Oh, that’s called Mommy Amnesia. An actual Web MD condition. Okay, not it’s not. You just think it was easier then. It wasn’t. Remember the midnight feedings?

You think it’s going to be easier when they’re older. It has to, doesn’t it?

But what happens when you turn over your keys to your 16 year old? That’s as hard as crowning during childbirth!

Oh “YOU HAVE NO IDEA”.

All the stages of motherhood have been covered in this video. Tell me what stage you relate to most!

This video was created for the loving promotion of Jen Mann’s book People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-off Despots and Other Suburban Scourges

Frugalista Blog in the video You Have NO Idea

“This book kicks suburban ass”

Hit list- Yoga pant wearing over-achieving Pinterest moms on crack. Or maybe just on too many skinny lattes.

Assassin- Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Mission- To sell as many books as possible that kick ultimate suburban ass

You may or may not have guessed over the last year, I’ve had a little bit of a girl crush on my friend and mentor, Jen who writes the acerbic and gutsy blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Having self published 3 books in the last 18 months, this is her Random House debut, and honestly, I sure as hell hope it’s her debut on the New York Time’s Best Seller’s List.

Her book, “People I Want to Punch in the Throat; Competitive Crafters, Drop-off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges” hits shelves this week.

In it, she chronicles her match-made-in-AOL-heaven romance with her tight-wad, somewhat stingy (sorry Ebenezer) husband, her journey into motherhood that leads to play dates, PTA meetings and themed birthday parties, among other things.

If you’ve ever wanted to flip off that  one car at school drop-off, you know there’s always THAT parent, the one that thinks the rules don’t apply to them; then you will love this book.   Jen will have you laughing out loud at her observations and keen wit, between her pajama attired self at pick up, to her undying love and loyalty to her cleaning lady. Then there’s the chapters that your jaw will drop from the sheer audacity of some of these suburban ‘scourges’ she describes!

 

I was able to interview Jen for this book review. Don’t worry, I didn’t ask her what kind of tree she would be. But in the case of great interviews, kind of like, but totally different than let’s say, Frost/Nixon, I end with the all time question of ‘Shag, Marry or Kill”.

It’s always fun to get a little back story about the author. So here goes.

Me: “So Jen, Did you ever find your ring bearer’s pillow? Was it among the sex toys?” (What the heck? Hmm… read the book to find out more!)

Jen: “No! That poor, stupid pillow. It’s never turned up. I even moved from that house and I was sure we’d find it on the top shelf of the pantry or some place random like that, but nope. Now I think it got thrown out the day I received it. It was very small and light and I think it got tossed out in a bag of wrapping paper and tissue. So sad!”

Me: “What should I do if I’m too scared to hire a cleaning lady because my house is so dirty and cluttered? My baseboards are filthy and I think the dust bunnies are breeding.”

Jen: “This is why it’s so important to get a cleaning lady who you trust. She’s going to see what you shove under your bed and she’s going to know what a pig you are. It sounds like you’ll probably need to do a bit of sweep with a high powered vacuum before you bring in someone. Bring her in the day after you’ve dusted and tell her it’s been months since you last did anything. She’ll still think you’re a hot mess, but she won’t know the truth. Then, once you find someone you love, keep her happy. Shower her with praise and gifts. Let her know how important she is to you. Romance her a bit. Good luck!”

Me: “That’s excellent advice Jen. I’ll get to cleaning and then interviewing. Hopefully I find one that has an understanding of my obsession with beauty products that cover every inch of my bathroom.”

Me: “What do you have against the cereal Krave? I buy that by 3 boxes at a time.”

Jen: “Because I’ve never tasted it, I guess I have nothing against it. However, between the name, the design on the box, and the commercials, I’m assuming it’s cereal laced with heroin and crack. You might think I have no standards when it comes to feeding my kids, but every now and again I surprise even myself and say “No.””

Me: “You might be right about the crack part. You mean, ‘krack’.

Speaking of hanging out eating cereal all day. Have you ever considered Pajama Jeans? They’re really practical in lounging all day and not actually looking like pajamas. Eh hem.”

Jen: “My daughter tried to buy me a pair last year for Christmas. She thought they would solve all of my problems with one stretchy pair of pants. They seemed a little fancy for me. I’m not sure I can pull them off.”

Me: “Would you rather go to a Pinterest themed cat’s wedding or dog’s funeral? ”

Jen: “Wow, this one is tough. I’m going to go with cat wedding. I may not like dogs a whole lot, but a funeral is still sad. I’d rather enjoy the joining of two cats in holy matrimony. Plus, I’m hoping that one would have an open bar and a karaoke machine at the reception.”

Me: “Karaoke! We could sing a duet to Wicked! You have an alter ego as a realtor. Will you ever write a realtor’s Tell-All?”

Jen: “Oh, I don’t think I can. I think I’ve signed something legal-like that says I can’t dish on my clients. I could talk about my co-worker’s clients though. They’ve got better stories than me any way.”

Me: “Are you sure? That swingers party was some good dish! I think you should consider it. Speaking of swingers, do you have any piercings or tattoos?”

Jen: “No and after visiting a water park last summer, I’ve decided that I’m the only person in America without any piercings or tattoos.”

Me: “You can count me in on the no tattoos/piercings club too. What would you do if Adolpha came home with a face tattoo?”

Jen: “Cry and then give her a paper sack to wear over her head for the rest of her life.”

Me: “There’s really good concealer these days at Sephora. She could upgrade from a paper sack if she needed to.

Okay. Now for the grand finale. My favorite game of—–

Marry, Shag or Kill- Your choices are- Tom Hilddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Stewart. Now go!”

Jen: “This is easily the hardest question for me. You’re really killing me. I adore all of these guys. OK, here we go:

Shag: Tom Hilddleston and then join a polygamist compound and marry BOTH Benny and Jonny.”

Me: “Way to take the easy way out! Although, I’m probably in the same boat with you.”

Thanks Jen for playing along with my interview. And congratulations on a hilariously funny and revealing book!

Find People I Want to Punch in the Throat; Competitive Crafters, Drop-off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges” everywhere; Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iTunes and independent book stores.

I gave this book my 5-star Amazon and Goodreads review. Go read it for yourself!

 

Frugie reviews the new book, People I Want to Punch in the Throat

25 reasons not to have sex every night. Or much at all for crying out loud.

Frugie blog- reasons not to have sex with your husband. HUMOR, Marriage, life

There was an article in Huffington Post this summer about why I should have sex with my husband every night that made me roll my eyes out of my head. Like, I think I sprained something.

Power to that woman and her husband. But gobsdangit, she just convinced about 8 million husbands that they should be gettin’ some on every day that ends in Y.

Oh PUHLEEZE.

Disclaimer- I’m a happily married woman of 17 years who gives and gets it from her hubs plenty. So there.

But here’s my list on reasons not to have sex.

1.  I haven’t showered.

2. It’s Tuesday.

3. I had to clean the cat box earlier.

4. I have gas. Again.

5. I’m constipated.

6. I’m feeling bloated.

7. I had to put the kids to bed.

8. I made dinner.

9. I did the dishes.

10. I’d rather watch Downton Abbey.

11. I had to go to our kids’ school and it was exhausting.

12. I had to go grocery shopping.

13. I just washed the sheets.

14. I ate too much bread today.

15. The dog is snuggling me.

16. Our son is sleeping on our floor again after his nightmare.

17. It’s Thursday.

18. We did it last week. Or month. Whatever.

19. You promised me a back rub and only a back rub.

20. I need to exfoliate my face.

21. I’m tired.

22. We talked about our financial situation.

23. I’m worried about a UTI.

24. I just showered.

25. I painted my nails and they’re still wet.

Well, I could go on and on. Couldn’t you? I mean, let’s not get carried away. Sex is natural, sex is fun, just like George Michael sang. But good gracious, I’ve got things to do. I’m middle aged and tired. I don’t need no twentysomething who hasn’t found her first gray pubic hair, or crows foot, telling me what to do. If he wants sex every night, he can have it. By himself. But see, even he’s too tired for that. So there you go. It’s called life.  And nobody needs to tell you what to do. So there.

 

Girl crush Friday

Meghan Trainor. Who’s that? Let me tell you.

Frugalista Blog Girl Crush Friday All About That Bass

By the end of today I will get a song stuck in your head for sure.

But in a good way!

Yes, this summer has been all about Iggy, and Ariana, and Pharell. But, for me, it’s been ALL ABOUT THAT BASS.

And that’s BASS pronounced (bayse). Just so we’re clear.

You probably have never heard of her- Meghan Trainor. An adorable 20 year old from Massachusetts, who is probably considered the American Adele with her raspy mature voice, retro cute looks in her video and vocal pipes.

But I think she’s Meghan all on her own. Not just an Adele comparison. No offense Adele, you’re awesome.

Let’s talk about her single and her video.

All About That Bass is an anthem of sorts but not just for fat girls. No. It’s chorus,

“My momma she told me don’t worry about your size”

and “You think you’re fat. But every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” needs to be shouted from the mountain tops. I wish it could be piped in the halls of high schools everywhere. These words need to resonate with girls all over of all sizes!

Whether you’re a size 0 or size 16. The body image thing isn’t overdone. Trust me. Because girls are still looking in the mirror comparing themselves to magazine pictures. My daughter included. And myself.

So let’s “Bring booty back” and not worry about numbers but revel in our (s)ass and glory! Yeah!

Whenever this song came on the radio this summer, my daughter and I blasted it and broke out in our best moves. Even in the car.

Here’s the video that is immensely popular. Anything with retro looking Betty Draper style mixed with cotton candy explosion of pastel colors, pretty much begs me to love and adore it like a new kitten.

And if the tune ain’t your thing, no biggy. Just remember that ‘You’re perfect from the bottom to the top’.

Meghan, you go on with your fine self. And if you ever want to go makeup shopping and shoe shopping, call me. I know a great place next to the best donut shop!

If that’s not cute enough, here she is on Jimmy Fallon:

 

What it’s like to go to the Emmys

Where do I begin?

Have you ever been so joyously happy and miserable all at the same time? And don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of the night, but gosh darn it, I need a team! A team people! Celebrities have it good. They have stylists, assistants, handlers, you name it. I have just myself. But enough complaining- here goes.

As you may or may not know, I won tickets to the Emmys through the Galderma Breakup With Your Makeup Contest.

We happen to be in the LA area on vacation anyway. So as fun as it would have been to fully take advantage of hotel and air travel the contest provided, we were already down in Southern Cal.

The limo picked us up that Monday afternoon. It takes a solid hour to get through LA traffic. I’m not sure who’s job it was, but I didn’t get a limo pass or a parking pass for the driver. Our driver, Felix, has done this for 20 years or so. He takes celebrities and guests to all the award shows. He knows the drill. So when he asked me for my pass, I didn’t have anything to give him. I’m guessing this was so I could be dropped off for the red carpet. Huge sad face here for not getting that privilege. But I also felt bad for Felix since he couldn’t park in the designated limo lot and had to bide his time for 3 hours while waiting for us.

Because we got dropped off 2 blocks away, we had to walk. No biggy. But our shoes were brand new. What idiot wears new shoes to an awards show? These idiots. I thought since my shoes were flat with a tiny heel, I’d be good. No. Patent leather doesn’t give. Add 85 degree temperatures and sweaty feet and what do you get? Blisters.

Holy shit the blisters killed me and we hadn’t even gotten in the door!

Speaking of the door. Our entrance was not the red carpet, but it was parallel to the red carpet of all the celebs, entertainment reporters and the who’s who of Hollywood. They went in the same door though to the lobby as we did. When I started to get a glimpse of stars like Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) I started to get a little flustered!

Then I saw Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black and I almost shrieked out loud.

Frugie Blog at the Emmys Laverne Cox

There’s Laverne Cox walking right by me!

Emma and I only had 15 minutes until air time and they are strict about you being in your seats when cameras are rolling. They don’t let you in except for commercial breaks if you don’t make it to your seats. So I wasn’t going to miss anything!

We slipped into the ladies room for a quick pre-show tinkle (heck, it was supposed to be a 3 hour broadcast!)  I turn the corner and there is Laura Prepon from Orange is the New Black!

Then out comes from a stall, Uzo Aduba “Crazy Eyes” from Orange is the New Black! What the hell? Are they all in here?

Frugie goes to the Emmys

Uzo “Crazy Eyes” Aduba from Orange is the New Black. In the bathroom!

I take note of the free eyeliner and lip gloss left in glass jars provided by L’Oreal at the sinks. I shove a few in my clutch. Normally I’d be flipping out over free makeup, but seeing your favorite Netflix actors in person kind of trumps product!

As much as I wanted to see what other actors were going to come out of bathroom stalls, it was really time to get to our seats. There was a throng of folks pushing through the lobby. Oh and you know, Laura Prepon was right behind Emma. I’m trying to take a selfie, but unsuccessful. I can’t walk and take pictures at the same time. The number of times I saw that woman you’d think I would have gotten a picture!

We go up to our seats in the Loge section.

Once we were in our places, we look out and the whole Nokia Theater is amazing! It’s just like on TV only better! We’re here! We’re actually here!

Frugie Blog at the Emmys

The view from our seats at the Nokia Theater.

We sit down and they are doing all kinds of prepping for the audience over the intercom. Counting down until broadcast, asking folks to applaud when we’re on the air. That kind of thing.

Perched above in our seats, we could look below at all the celebs in the front section. Is it weird that I could spot and recognize Sofia Vergara from 300 feet away?

I was looking for Kevin Spacey and tweeted him my seat number, but he didn’t reply.

My blisters were killing me and I took off my shoes. It’s dark, no one could see.  And then I realized that it had been several hours since I ate and it will be several more hours until I will eat again. Hmm, is this how celebs stay so skinny?

I was starving!! Emma and I chewed on sticks of gum and I had a packet of dried apricots in my evening bag. What I wanted was a giant basket of fish and chips and a cold Gin and tonic, but sadly, gum and apricots were all we had.

If the show seems long while watching from home, it flies by when you’re sitting in the audience. For real. It went so quickly.

The In Memoriam tribute for those lost in the industry, and the special Robin Williams tribute by Billy Crystal weighed heavy in the room. I was crying. Not sure about anyone else, but it was incredibly heartfelt.

At the last commercial break, there was an announcement that those with Governor’s Ball tickets are to exit the side door, and those without are to exit through the back door. Sad trombone here.

Gee whiz. How I wish I could’ve snagged a few of THOSE tickets!

As we file out and head down the escalator, I’m rubber necking around to see any glimpse of folks that I’m dying to rub elbows with. And low and behold, there he was. Off to the side. Standing like he really didn’t want anyone to notice him. But his 6 foot plus frame is hard to miss. Not like a lot of other actors who are short and blend, mind you! But I could tell immediately it was Idris Elba. He’d been nominated for his role in Luther and come from the UK just for me, er us. Er, the show.

I told Emma, “hang on a sec.” And bee-lined for Idris. I touched him on his arm and said, “Sir, may I have a picture?” He seemed reluctant, but answered, “Sure.”

I fumbled with my phone (holy shit, holy shit, holy shit) and snapped the selfie hoping and praying that it looked good. You only get one shot kid!

I looked him in the eyes and gave him a most sincere “thank you” and I think I might have curtsied, but whatever. He nodded back and said “thank you” as well.

I met back up with Emma and she was all, “who was that?” I told her and she didn’t seem to get the magnitude of what had just happened. I felt my knees go weak and my heart race. HOLY SHIT I JUST GOT A SELFIE WITH IDRIS ELBA!

Frugie with Idris Elba at the Emmys

Look! It’s Oscar and Emmy nominee Idris Elba!

I immediately posted it to social media. My Facebook friends were freaking out. My mom texts me, “who is the handsome man with you in the picture?” My night was made. Boom.

And then, Emma and I hobbled our way out the back door, just like we were supposed to. We texted Felix that we were approaching. How I wish we had that frickin’ limo pass to pick us up at the door!

Part of me didn’t want to leave and the other part, my feet and stomach part, wanted desperately to get home. Or to our hotel in Disneyland with the boys.

Emma and I did something so awful and disgusting. We took off our shoes on the streets of LA to walk the 2 blocks to our waiting limo. Yes, people gave us sideways glances. Sure there was probably urine and God knows what on the concrete. Who cares? We were miserable.

Heading to the hotel to Disneyland in the limo, Felix asked about the show and what celebrities we saw. He got a real kick out of all the ones I spotted in the ladies’ room.

Arriving at Disneyland only kept us on our cloud and getting in our hotel room to the room service waiting that McSweetie ordered (a pot of tea, bless him!). We chowed down on our Ceasar salad and quesadilla while rattling off everything we could to the boys.

And that’s our Emmys night folks.

It was a thrill and a half.

Now I just need to go to the Oscars! A girl can dream.

 

 

A kid’s guide to how to ask your parents for a hamster

 

A kid's guide to how to ask your parents for a hamster by Frugalista Blog

My daughter knew her father would be a tough sell on getting him convinced she could have a hamster.

We have a cat and a dog and despite my request for a houseful of kittens, he says that we have all the pets we’ll ever have.

Emma is a pretty clever kid.

So she knew that if she left the gate with just, “Dad, can I have a hamster?” the answer would be “NO”.

She decided to come up with a plan.

First- clean your room or bathroom, wherever you plan on keeping the little furry rodent’s dwelling.

Second- don’t ask for anything for awhile and come across as very low maintenance.

Three- have ovary surgery where they rearrange your insides.

Okay, that’s not fair. Not every kid can pull the surgery card, but it does work well if you do have it in your deck.

Find a time when dad isn’t stressed or just came home from work, isn’t distracted by a World Cup game, watching the NBA draft, or finishing his roster for coaching your brother’s soccer game. Yeah, if you understood that sentence, that means there’s very little time dad isn’t stressed or distracted.

Have a whole bunch of your babysitting money saved up so you don’t ask your parents for funding this furry venture.

Once you’ve accomplished all the above, sit down with your dad casually. Probably while he’s chilling with a beer.

And then in your sweetest, yet direct on mature, but not too mature voice, ask, “A lot of my friends have gotten them, and I know it seems weird at first, but I think you’ll consider the idea, can I get a belly button piercing?” Then hold for dramatic pause.

Then when he looks at you in shock, appease his worries with soft laughter,

“Ha ha, I’m just kidding.” “But rather, actually, can I have a hamster?” Then look him squarely in the eye and smile.

Ha! See? It’s the old ‘bait and switch’ tactic!

Once the shock of the thought of his little girl getting some kind of ornamental piercing hanging from a part of her body that he once bathed and applied ointment to the first few days after birth to ensure it healed properly, he can wrap his head around a furry little friend joining your home that pees and poos in a cage of wood shavings.

If at first he gives you the no answer answer, which goes like, “Oh, a hamster, ha ha. I get it. Hmmm…”  and then goes back to his beer and laptop, don’t fret. That’s not actually a ‘No’. It’s a non-answer that just hangs in the air.  What’s critical here is not to press him. Just go with the flow.

If you’re mom is already on board and supporting you with the decision, then let her do the closing.

Do your research and maybe mention a few people you know who have experience with hamsters as pets. Stress the low maintenance feature. Dad’s appreciate this.

It doesn’t hurt to take a trip to a few pet stores and scope out the one you want to get.  Once you find the one you fall in love with, bring back these anecdotes of how you held the cutest, sweetest hamster of the bunch and we wouldn’t want him to get purchased by someone else.

Have your mom approach him casually with, “well, Emma’s gotten all she needs for her hamster and we’ll head to the pet store tomorrow to bring him home. It really was the cutest one and it liked her immediately.”

When your mom helps convince your dad, you’ve hit a home run.

Bring that fur ball home and congratulations! You are now the owner of a tiny rodent.

Oh, and the pee and the bedding do stink. I’m not gonna lie. Be sure to tidy it daily, and clean its shavings weekly. If the smell overwhelms your parents, you’ve failed at the hamster parenting task and they’ll never trust you again.

For part two of this story, stay tuned on how to retrieve your hamster from the floor boards when you lose him behind the bathroom cupboard. That was fun. (sarcasm font)

 

 

 

Damn you, Gwyneth!

It seems of recent, that you can’t eat kale or be a health nut without being mocked just a little bit.

There’s this weird dichotomy of it’s hipster to be healthy, but it’s also hip to make fun of  the healthy chickpea eating hipsters.

And then there’s the notion that not eating meat makes you a wimp. Or eating super healthy makes you a hipster at all. Which I am not trying to be! DO I look like a hipster in my pajama jeans? I think not.

Or that getting excited over chia seeds makes you crazy.

I’m blaming Gwyneth Paltrow.

Ever since Gwynnie consciously uncoupled from Chris it’s been cool to hate her.  And I will admit, I kinda don’t like her these days. I’m a little bit flummoxed over her ‘working on a movie set is hard’ complaints and her ‘I can’t decide which manor to live in’ divorce issues. And the fact that she doesn’t let her kids eat ice cream is criminal in my book.

But this isn’t about Gwynster. It’s about all of us.

We’re fat. A lot of us are fat. And I mean that in the nicest, most loving way possible. We have DIAHBEETUS, and heart disease up the wazoo. And it’s killing us.

Kids are fat too. We eat fast food. We like Frappuccinos. And not just a Frappuccino treat, but a frickin’ Venti Big Gulp size Frapadingo with syrup!

So we hate on Gwyn because she’s skinny, right? No. We hate on Gwyn because she makes us feel bad for our love for Big Gulp Frappy Syrupy drinks we chug each week.

But what if we had the Frappuccinos sometimes, maybe a little bit smaller, and we tried the chia seeds? And if you’re friend is eating kale, don’t make fun of her. What if we tried that, huh?

I posted on my Facebook that I made a ‘compost pile dinner’. It was a giant combination of veggies, fruits, beet juice, coconut water, chia seeds all mixed in my Vitamix. It was a crazy concoction. But you know what? I feel so good after drinking it. Folks were telling me to put vodka in it. (Uh, that defeats the purpose.)  And I was making fun of it too. Because it’s not cool to mix beets and swiss chard. It’s cool to eat bacon on a bacon cracker with bacon dressing and bacon sauce. Or whatever. Bacon.

Bacon is cool. Kale is not.

I can’t eat bacon. No. I’m not Jewish. My body doesn’t like it. It makes my tummy angry. And guess what America? It makes your arteries angry too! But don’t take my word for it.

A friend in a Facebook group confessed that she’s trying to do some clean eating but she doesn’t want to tell a whole lot of people because they might think she’s being pretentious about her food choices.

I think it’s pretentious not to poop for days because your bowels are all backed up from eating crap. So I told her, you go on with your fine self and eat the plants. Feel good! Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I have a love / hate relationship with food. Not in an eating disorders kind of way. More like a, I love meat and cheese and it doesn’t love me back. My milkshake does not bring the boys to the yard, it brings me to the bathroom with diarrhea.

So it’s coconut sorbet for me! But if I talk quinoa and coconut, folks look at me sideways.

Hey, let’s agree to this: How about unless you’re boiling kittens for dinner, we save our judgements about our food choices to ourselves?! And if you need to eat plants because you want to be healthy and not spend all day in the bathroom, yay. I support you.

If you like pork and Velveeta and think it’s yummy and it gets you through your day, I support that too. I know there’s hardcore vegans out there that think differently. But making someone feel bad about a choice doesn’t necessarily change their thinking about that choice.

We need to form people’s thinking to be positive around the plant foods. The sustainable choices that are good for us and the earth. Not chastise them for eating the meat. That’s just my feeling. Make plants cool without trying too hard.

Like my friend Katy says, “I haven’t eaten a face in 20 years, but I’m not a dick about it.”

So if you’re friend orders a quinoa loaf with a side of chickpea and sesame salad, don’t rag on them. And if you’re friend orders a bacon double cheeseburger when you ordered the quinoa loaf, maybe don’t make them feel like a serial killer.

A little respect, compromise and open-mindedness can get us further.

And if I post on Facebook that I’m eating less junk and more greens, it’s because I like my colon to be happy. Not that I’m trying to be like Gwyneth.

Mung beans for everyone!

Just kidding. Actually, I have a really good farro recipe…..

Little Frugie on the Prairie

I would kick ass as a prairie woman! Okay, except for the outhouse part. And the working from sun up to sun down. And maybe the fact that there was no WiFi in 1888.

BUT, still, I think I would rule the homestead.

I took the children and my friend and her children to a place called Pioneer Farms. It’s in the Ohop Valley in Washington and is a good one hour drive from my house.

Of course, this involved a Starbucks stop and a potty stop on the way. Obviously we weren’t embracing the accurate means of covered wagon travel to get to this pioneering homestead.

So with our iPhones and Galaxy S4s charged up for plenty of pictures and Instagramming, oh, and not to mention lots of hand sanitizer and sunscreen, off we went to experience the life of the pioneers. (sarcasm font)

Upon arrival, of course, I had to pee. So the outhouses they have on the site, are – outhouses. Yep. No Honey Buckets especiale here. These babes haven’t been emptied in at least 50 years. I’m guessing they put some enzyme in them or something so that the waste doesn’t actually climb out and meet you on the freeway. I had been to this farm when I was 9 and the outhouse was in the same location. So if you think they dig a new hole every ten years, then you’d be wrong.

How nice that I’ve dedicated an entire paragraph to outhouses. But the point is, they’re awful. They stink. And anything down wind stinks too. So enjoy that in the middle of the night when your bison fried steak disagrees with you.

We got to see a school house where the rules were made clear that girls got more lashes than boys for having something misspelled or a math problem wrong. Too bad women’s rights would be another 30 years and then some.

The homes were pretty small in those days. I guess since you built them yourself with only your wife and 5 children under the age of 5 to help you, granite counter tops, bonus rooms, and bay windows were kind of hard to come by.

With that said, the homes were really small in those days. So apparently bedrooms and privacy were nil. Personally, I would just make the house bigger if I’m the one building it. But having 7 family members in 100 square feet of space is cozy.

Children did major chores by the time they were 4. And not just gathering eggs from the chickens or kneading bread dough. They cut wood. Can you imagine giving your 4 year old a saw?  Ha ha ha! I know, I know, I know. There was a necessity to make them work so young. I’m not stupid. But still. A saw. Owen can barely butter toast. If I was waiting for the wood for that morning’s breakfast and Owen was in charge of bringing in the wood, we’d be eating at noon.

Our tour started in the barn. We got to milk Daisy the cow and gather the eggs and the children did an excellent job of picking up the chickens to gather them in the coop. The goats and pig and sheep were super cute and friendly. Every kid got a ride on Jake the horse. I would have ridden him too, but I was wearing a skirt and flip flops so that would have been silly if I did.

We would all have been screwed in 1880 without our Zyrtec. We all started sneezing from the hay.

My question is, would I be lactose intolerant back then? Hmm… that would make things a little awkward since coconut milk was not at the General Store.

For your entertainment, here’s all the chores and farm activities I got to do in pictures:

Little Frugie on the Prairie

I’m a po’ down trodden woman. Look how pitiful I look. The bonnet is a nice touch, don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frugie on the Prairie

That shirt was like a piece of cardboard after drying in the sun all day. Can you imagine wearing it?

 

Frugie on the Prairie makes horse shoes

Yeah, so that’s a 2000 degree forge and Owen and I are just you know, heating up metal to hammer and shape for horse shoes. Despite my protective eye wear, I did not feel confident. A flame retardant suit and giant Ov Glove would have made me feel more safe.

Frugie on the Prairie shaving wood

This was one of the jobs a 4 year old would do. Apparently, I’m not as skilled as a 4 year old. It’s the process of shaving down a piece of wood for an ax handle or something. It was quite difficult.

Look Ma, I’m shaving wood!

I caught this chicken and then made it into soup. Just kidding. I didn’t make it into soup. Actually, I didn’t catch it either. Emma did. Notice the photo bomb?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Blog U recap, ovaries, and soy lattes

There’s two things you should know by now; I was part of the faculty for a blogging conference called BlogU in Maryland last week, and, Emma had surgery.

The surgery happened first. Emma has been suffering from ovarian cysts and some of the worst pain imaginable. After rounds and rounds with doctors, it was determined she would need surgery. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of when you bring your child in to surgery and the anesthesiologist is going over risk factors with you. Blerg. But she was a trooper.

She told me that she had the nurses and doctors in giggles when she was ready to go under and asked if her ‘lady bits’ were showing. Classic Emma.

Basically they removed a cyst and some awful endometriosis tissue that was causing her pain and we found out she has a banana shaped ovary pretty much under her rib cage. It’s all so weird and well, weird. I will probably blog more about it. Because it’s kind of a big fucking deal. And also I think women problems need attention so stay tuned.

With that said- I had a lot on my mind these last few days.

So with Emma’s blessing, I hopped on a plane as planned, to Maryland for BlogU to meet up with the ladies of the Internet that live in my computer.

A couple things that I feel I need to elaborate on; 1) people look a lot different in real life than their thumbnails on a computer screen. I spent the majority of my time saying things like, “who are you? oh, you are shorter/taller than I thought you’d be”. 2) Friendships on the Internet are real.

BlogU faculty

The awesome in this picture makes me explode. From L to R, Naps Happen, Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms, HouseTalkN and Underachievers Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess.

 

We converged on the  lovely campus of Notre Dame of Maryland University, near downtown Baltimore. The weather was uncharacteristically NOT humid and pit sweaty for the East Coast this time of year.

I continued to get texts from Emma of the nature, “I feel so bloated, I want to fart.”

And me replying, “Are you taking your stool softeners and your pain meds?”

I owe the world to my mom and my friend Kristi who stopped by to check on Emma, make her food and basically check to see that the house was still standing and not piled high with dishes in the sink.

Arriving on campus that Friday was, let me tell you, SO MUCH FUN!

I got to see and hug my roomie Kathy from the blog Kissing the Frog.

Frugie and Kissing the Frog at #BlogU

She is just as sweet in person as she is in her words on the screen.

Then there’s getting to meet Janel of the blog, 649.133, Girls, the Care and Raising of.

She scoured the campus for a ‘pop’. (She’s from Michigan.) Soda, cola, soft drink. She couldn’t find any ‘pop’. Not sure why there wasn’t a vending machine handy. But with her efforts only slightly more successful than Geraldo revealing Al Capone’s vault, I was on the hunt for a soy latte. Well, folks, we’re not in Kansas anymore. And  espresso isn’t on every corner like at home in Seattle.

What the what? This was difficult for me. It rendered me less capable of being any help at all really. When I put the resident helper campus student on a hunt for lattes, it was clear I had a problem. I didn’t actually make her physically walk to find me a latte. I just had her make a few phone calls.

Frugie, Kissing the Frog and 649.133 Care and Keeping of Girls at #BlogU

Look how awesome we are as greeters. “Welcome to BlogU. We can’t find pop or lattes and we’re grumpy.”

Let’s take a moment for an incoming text from Emma, “Mom. I still haven’t pooped. This is awful. I need to poop.”

Me, “Have some prunes. Are you drinking the Miralax?”

Emma, “I’m not eating prunes, gross.”

Me, “…”

(a few hours later)

Emma, “Oh wait! I had a poop baby, it’s a boy!” (I will spare you the picture of the smallest turd that she sent me.)

Me, “That baby needs to be bigger. I’m hoping for triplets next time.”

Back to BlogU—-

Friday night the faculty arranged a book signing and an Open Mic session for bloggers to read their works. I have to say, seeing so many fine ladies I love in one room, was a SQUEE-worthy moment.

Here’s my pictures to prove it:

 

Snarkfest and Frugie #BlogU

The ‘riotous’ Teri from Snarkfest. She’s such a huge supporter of my blog and I couldn’t wait to meet her. Plus she’s damn funny and was in the Pee Alone book with me.

 

Frugie, Real Life Parenting and Dried on Milk #BlogU

It’s my friend Jen from Real Life Parenting. And that’s Stacia from Dried on Milk photo bombing us. Photo bombing is all over BlogU. Like, epidemic.

HouseTalkN, Mom of the Year and Frugie #BlogU

See what I mean? More photo bombing. That’s Kerry from HouseTalkN and look- it’s Meredith from Mom of the Year! She’s my boo for sure!

649.133, Frugie and Domestic Goddess #BlogU

Who are these people and how did they get in my picture? Just kidding! That’s Janel and Andrea! Aww.

I never slept in a dorm in college. I only had my own apartment with a real bed and box spring. I had never slept on a dorm mattress before. Not bad for the two nights I was there. Not great either. Although, I was so tired, I probably would have slept on the lawn.

 

This is me Saturday morning with the fabulous Kerry of HouseTalkN. I’m pretending to smile since I’ve not had a real cup of tea, or a soy latte. Life is hard people. The struggle is real.

HouseTalkN and Frugie #BlogU

Look how ‘fake’ happy we look.

The day was filled with fabulous sessions, smart people, funny and phenomenal women. But no soy lattes. No really. It’s okay. I’m fine.

I had to save all my strength for the NickMom Retro Prom. I knew I would be wearing acetate, scrunched hair and frosty eyeshadow while busting some serious moves to Milli Vanilli, Bananarama and Madonna.

Imagine your prom (mine was in the 80s, well make that 1990, but kinda sorta the 80s) and take away all the adolescent hang-ups and self conscious social barriers (at least for me anyway) and you have the best dance party of all time. I mean it. Retro dresses, big poofy lace and neon fingerless gloves, tiaras and suntan hose, ass bows and crimped hair. It was pure gold.

I will tell this part of the story in pictures.

 

Frugie ready for NickMomProm #BlogU

Here I am in all my scrunched, frosty 80s glory.

 

 

 

BlogU NickMomProm

Oh my goodness. How does this picture not be more awesome? Julianna from Rants from Mommyland. I was so proud to put in her Bump It for her. Nicole Leigh Shaw and Kim Bongiorno. Oh, look, who is that little photo bomber? It’s Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat!

 

BlogU faculty at NickMomProm

Almost all of the awesome BlogU faculty

 

Yeah that’s me shaking my thang with Suburban Snapshots in pink. I did not hold back with my dance moves.

That’s Tara from You Know It Happens At Your House and look at HouseTalkN next to us. Goodness knows what song this was. Clearly we aren’t having any fun.

I have fifty bajillion more photos from the dance floor that are grainy and of lots of sweaty shiny ladies having a ball. And for the record, I was stone cold sober. I was drinking tea! Yes, tea.

OH, wait. This text just in on Saturday night from Emma, “I POOOOOPED! Oh my GOD make it stop, now I have diarrhea.”

I learned so much at BlogU. From meeting friends, making new friends, getting a shit-ton of information for my blog, meeting Huffington Post and NickMom people. Oh boy.

If you missed it this year, don’t worry. A little birdy told me there’s already a date set for BlogU 15. See y’all in Maryland next June!

Meet SAM, your new best friend

Once upon a time I was able to jump on a trampoline and keep my bladder from completely giving up.

And once upon a time I was able to sneeze freely without clenching into a vice grip kegel. Ahem.

But once upon a time my boobs didn’t droop past my belly button. Okay, enough with the ‘once upon a time’, this isn’t a fairy tale. Instead, it’s a public service announcement of sorts to inform you of SAM. Super Absorbent Material.

Poise Microliners with SAM by Frugalista Blog #poise #LBL #SAM

SAM is a new product within the Poise brand of Microliners.

Like a thin undetectable panty liner, this will catch the leaks that tinkle, I mean trickle, when you laugh or sneeze.

1 in 3 women experience LBL (light bladder leakage) and I’m guessing that 99% of those women have had children! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, it can happen to any of us.

What you don’t want is it to happen when you’re wearing the wrong outfit, or if you are sitting on your neighbor’s couch. Say what?

Yeah.

It happened to me once at a party. And it wasn’t a couch, but a chair to be honest with you. I laughed so hard I peed my pants. Well, I leaked on my pants. I was so afraid that I might have seeped through my pants and onto the seat! I didn’t move for hours. Well, maybe an hour. It was miserable, embarrassing and downright tragic.

I was thinking,’does this happen to everyone?’ Well, it happens to 33.3% of us! But I bet it happens more and those statistics are skewed because there are women out there not revealing their LBL!

Okay. As if you need ANOTHER testimony from me as to why I could use the SAM from Poise, here is a short tale of female super powers if I ever had them.

The other day I was driving. And I sneezed. And I almost peed my pants. But I was able to flex in to a kegel. (Look it up if you don’t know what a kegel is. And if you don’t, where have you been hiding?) Do you realize what the potential dangers are of all these events WHILE DRIVING that I just described?

Handling three simultaneous acts of heroism is hard. And I couldn’t prevent the sneeze, nor could I really prevent the fact that I was about to pee my pants. But had I been wearing a Poise Microliner, I wouldn’t have had to worry about the kegel.

And last but not least- the trampoline. If you have every been to one of those trampoline birthday party places with your kids, you know what I’m talking about.

You really want to jump. I MEAN, come on! It looks like so much fun. There’s that really uber fit mom over there in her Lulu Lemon running capris and she looks like she is having fun. So you go for it. Hey, what’s some jumping on the trampoline when you’re 41?

WHOA! What just happened? Does gravity really do that where you bladder hits your knees and you need to tuck and roll to prevent serious puddling beneath you?

ZOMG! Need I say more?

Listen, if any of this sounds at all familiar, then go get yourself the free sample here, of Poise Micro liners with the SAM!

You don’t have to tell anyone you did. OR, you can be a dear and tell all your friends. Go on, YOU get a free Micro liner, and YOU get a free Micro liner, And YOU….

Okay, you get the idea.

And just so you know, Poise paid me to talk about peeing my pants. They’re special that way.

Meet Sam, Your New Best Friend by Frugalista Blog #LBL #SAM #Poise