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Don’t sabotage your parenting partner

don't sabotage your parenting partner, frugalista blog, parenting styles, different parenting techniques, when your spouse and you parent differently

You know I love giving McSweetie a hard time. I rib him constantly on his lack of finesse when it comes to loading the dishwasher or when he puts food garbage in the recycle bin. That makes me SO STABBY! But I move on. I step away and don’t smother him with a pillow, because I’m nice like that.

But what I have learned over our married life is to not sabotage his parenting. It truly comes down to sometimes just biting your tongue.

Now that the kids are older, we parent together but differently and over different things. Not like in the olden days when there were bedtime routines to struggle with, or sleeping habits of a toddler to argue over, or what to do with a whiny child and how long the time-out should be.

I look back on those days though and remember they were a struggle. Parenting was more physical, more taxing. Now I feel emotionally drained as a parent. Helping my daughter through heartbreak or anxiety over teen stuff is more of a thing around here than whining over a cookie before dinner or struggling with a preschooler during naptime.

Sometimes I get attitude from Owen. He seems to be in a confused place of little boy on the brink of teenhood but with surging emotions and he has even said to me, “I just don’t have words and all I can do is cry!”  Sometimes I want to go soft on him and James will want to be the tough guy on him.

So sure, we differ on our parenting styles, like most parents do.

But of all the things to do with your spouse and disagreeing over how you parent your kids, try not to fall in these sabotage scenarios that will only set a lit match into a powder keg.

Number 1. Probably the most important of all. Do not say, “He never does that around me. What do you do when you’re with him?” Another version of this is, “Why does she always act like that when you’re around?”

Kids behave differently for different people. Even their parents. This is true especially with grandparents. Sometimes the primary caregiver gets more ‘stuff’ thrown at them when they’re with the children day in and day out.

So maybe if you see the kids mostly in the evenings and the weekends, your time with them is different than how they are at school or during the day at home. Kids can be tired and spent from trying to behave in front of teachers all day. Or maybe the stuff you get to do on the weekends is fun and the kids get to let off steam around you. Obviously they are going to act and feel different during those times.

Number 2. Don’t say ‘shut up‘ around the kids to each other or to them.

I firmly believe in this. It has been a rule in our house since the day we were married. When you say shut up to someone it completely negates their validity. It takes away compassion in the argument, it tells the other person that no matter their pain or feelings, you don’t want to hear them. And you know what, it hurts feelings and cuts like a knife.

Number 3. Don’t belittle your spouse in front of your children. If you want to criticize something your partner does, by all means, go ahead. But don’t say it in front of your kids. Okay, well, say it in front of your kids but in a way you would want them to say it to their peers, or their superiors. Speak to your children the way you want them to speak to you. I’m guilty of saying something like, “How come you always do it wrong?” But if Emma talked to Owen that way, I would step in. So instead I should be saying, “I know how you do it gets the job done, but could we try my way to make it more efficient?”

Yes those are more words and more work. I know our fuses can be short. But isn’t this where our love, commitment and effort come into our relationship?

Number 4. Crop dusting your spouse with a task as you walk out the door. You know what I’m talking about. You’re heading out with your girls for the latest Benedict Cumberbatch film and you tell your husband, “Oh hey, while I’m gone, be sure Timmy learns to ride a two-wheeler, and Julie needs to build a rocket ship for the Science Fair.” I mean, maybe that was your husband’s plan while you were out of the house, but if you catch him off guard, he might feel a huge obligation he can’t meet, which puts him on the defense.

The fact of the matter is, your kids love both of you. Whether your spouse parents differently than you do, your children probably love you the same. Just like your spouse loves your children as much as you do. Different styles don’t mean different love.

Focus on that, take a lot of deep breaths and choose your words. And as much as you can, always choose kindness.

Thanks for this round of joining me as Dr. Phil. I try to keep it real folks.

I want to hear about the parenting landmines you try to avoid, share them in the comments or email them to me!

 

 

Conversations with old married people

Effective communication is the touchstone of a good relationship. Listening to what the other person has to say. Actually hearing their words and not just spouting off when you want to hear yourself speak, but actually letting the other person tell you what’s on their mind.

Sometimes it takes a teenager to point out what you might be missing in this area. Sure, you’ve been married 17 years, your daughter is only 14, what could she possibly know? Apparently she just has better hearing.

It’s Sunday evening. We’re both with blankets on our laps, laptops on those blankets and on separate couches.

 

Me while sipping peppermint tea, shouting to McSweetie in the other room: “You can come in and watch football now. I’m done with my show.” (That show happened to be Les Miserable.)

McSweetie: “That’s okay, me and the cat are here napping.”

Me: “Why are you taking a nap at 8′oclock at night?”

McSweetie: “I’m norphn nea bate gluck”  (I don’t know, I couldn’t hear him.)

 

Emma walks in.

“That was the dumbest thing between you two just now. When you asked dad if he wanted to come in and watch football he said, ‘I’m hanging out with the cat’ and then you said something about taking a nap, and then he said ‘what time is it? It’s 8 o’clock’.

“You guys are the worst old people and you’re not even that old.”

Oh didn’t you know? Forty is the new seventy.

40 is the new 70 by Frugalista Blog

 

Beauty favorites for the month of October

It’s another month gone and more beauty products bought. Find out what my faves were for the month and let me know if you have some too.

Also, stay tuned for the end of the video when I talk about my latest ‘cure’ for Restless Leg Syndrome. If you suffer from this, you’ll want this product!

 

October Beauty Favorites 2014  Frugalista Blog

Big or small, old or young, I’m letting them all have the fun.

Just a short message from me today.

There has been so much discussion, blogs, and articles about the appropriate age for trick or treating. When are kids too old? What’s the cut off age?

Well, isn’t it funny how we constantly point out that the kids today seem to be leaving childhood behind so quickly? Whether it’s how they dress, use social media, are exposed to sex and violence, etc.

So on this holiday of fun and child’s play, let’s let the kids be kids. Whether they are 5 or 15.

If someone comes to my house in a costume and politely says ‘Trick or Treat” I will give them candy. If they look like they probably drove here with their friends in their dad’s car, that’s okay.

My kids are 11 and 14. Our neighborhood is one of those neighborhoods families drive to to take their kids door to door. It’s busy and bustling, kids and families are out in packs. My kids are trick or treating.

Emma, 14, is heading out with a group of her friends. And I’m certain that because they will handle themselves appropriately, they will get candy at every door they knock on.

Owen is with a bunch of kids age 11 to 14. They will go door to door as well.

Because they are all still kids!!

My friend Jen over at Real Life Parenting said that when a teenager comes to her door without a costume and seems to expect candy, she tells them they can have the candy but after they sing a song or do a dance. It makes great entertainment around their friends!

I love that idea. Remember the old, old, old days where Halloween was more tricks? Kids soaping windows, building bon fires in the middle of the town square, throwing flour on folks? Okay, I watch a lot of old movies and Little House.

So I’m letting the kids be kids. Everyone gets candy here.

Of course, it might be some leftover Easter candy or last year’s candy, but hey- Tricks on you!

Happy Halloween.

Be safe.

Frugie Halloween Let the kids trick or treat

 

Study says a study about labor pain is the douchiest dumbest thing ever

What if I said a study says that a man getting his balls chopped off isn’t as painful as men claim?

SAY WHAT?

That’s preposterous! I can’t even imagine. I mean, that would be terribly painful. Well. Now don’t get me wrong. It hurts. But ask the man 2 months later and he’ll say maybe he’ll have forgotten the pain.

Or, let’s say he pushed out the Hope diamond from his urethra and didn’t get any pain meds and he might say that it hurt like a mother fucker, but later he forgot the pain once it healed.

Where am I going with this?

Yesterday I read a ridiculous article with the headline, “Study says child birth pain not as painful as women claim.” I’m only linking to the article so you can see how shit it really is. And maybe it’s not the article so much as the study itself that is complete shit.

frugie blog and the study childbirth not as painful as women claim

Let’s look at that shall we?

Child birth pain, not as painful as women claim.

SAYS WHO??

Who the fuck says that?

Women claim? Claim? That seems to suggest doubt. We ‘claim’ to have pain. I mean, maybe just a smidgen. I claim to have seen Bigfoot, but did I really see Bigfoot? I might claim to have once been able to do a back hand spring on the balance beam when I was 15. I might claim I can sing the entire Grease soundtrack by heart.

These CLAIMS may or may not be 100% true. But I’m not ‘claiming’ I had pain during childbirth. I’m shouting it from the mother freaking mountain tops that it hurt like a beast. A mother fucking Johnny Cash Ring of Fire beast.

When you look up the definition of claim it reads:

“an assertion of the truth of something, typically one that is disputed or in doubt.”

Further in the article it reads that the purpose of the study was to see if epidurals were helpful for moms.

See, this is what pisses me off.

Why are we always having to bang down the door for our own worth? We have to fight for birth control, for pain control, for equal pay. I am sick and tired of it.

Like Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister, we’re not gonna take it anymore.

Let’s hear from my panel of experts:

“Everyone always says that childbirth for a woman is like the pain of passing a kidney stone for a man. I have passed two kidney stones and two babies. The gigantic bloody howling bowling balls passing out of my body were way worse. Just sayin’.” – Ellen from Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms (who is a retired DOCTOR by the way.)

“Illinois woman claims that childbirth felt like a flailing rhino was ripping through her body wearing her vagina as a party hat.” Kerry from HouseTalkN who birthed 4 – 10 pound babies! (Not all at once, we won’t give her that much credit.)

“I thought my uterus was going to explode from the pain. It became one giant contraction. Labor had stalled and I didn’t know if I would pass out from the pain, need a c-section, or if it was possible to actually die from pain. The baby’s heart rate was hovering at a danger zone. When they gave me the epidural, I immediately felt warm and relaxed and within 40 minutes I went from 3 cm to 10 cm and delivered my baby girl.” – Me.

Pain is a personal experience. It’s subjective. You would never tell a combat veteran how his pain ‘claims’ to be measured. Pain needs to be honored and respected. It scars us. My painful experience of labor was etched in my cortex for months and months. It brought me to dark places when I was left quietly nursing my daughter, or suffering from a sleepless night. It caused layers of underlying fears and thoughts of inadequacy that haunted me months after my initial post-partum recovery.

I’ve worked through migraines and broken limbs, endometriosis and back injuries throughout my daily life. I’ve never relied on narcotics for these. Does that make them not painful? Less painful? No. It is how I process the pain. It is how I perceive the pain. It doesn’t make it less real.

Pain is not quantifiable. Sure we ask someone to rate their pain on a 1 to 10 scale. It gives us something to measure it in order to treat what they are experiencing. But what a 4 is to one person, could be a 9 to someone else. It’s based on subjective factors like experience and emotion, mental state, fear, lack of fear. Whatever.

Studies like this don’t help women. It doesn’t help our cause for men in lab coats to  try to determine how painful we ‘claim’ child birth is.

I don’t know what it’s like to get kicked in the balls, but I believe a man when he says it’s his worst pain. Is it worse than childbirth? I kind of doubt that. But it’s a severe horrible pain.

Professional soccer players get kicked in the goody sack several times in their career, it doesn’t stop them from playing. Nor does it require 6 weeks postpartum recovery, maxipads the size of Volkswagen Beetles and perineum bottles of warm water every time they use the bathroom.

“The researchers … called the moms twice, two days after birth and again two months later, to see if they used the same pain scale and provide an overall evaluation of her labor pain. The results show the women rated the process less painful two days after their delivery than they did when the researchers asked them again two months later.” (shit study from stupid researchers)

Well gee golly whiz. We actually forget our pain. Yes, this is true. It’s our body’s coping mechanism. It’s why you need a few years between each kid for the amnesia to set in. What happens when a woman is 6 weeks post partum or 12 weeks post partum and finds out she’s pregnant? She cries. That’s what. Because it is no fucking fun.

It’s beautiful, it’s amazing and I love my babies, but it hurts. And that’s not a claim. That’s a fact.

Am I making myself clear?

 

And just for laughs- let’s watch this video and remember how funny it was to laugh at these guys thinking women exaggerated everything.

Beauty Box 5 October box

I had so much fun with this month’s  Beauty Box 5.

Have you seen the Extend Your Beauty Cosmetic Tool around your local drugstores? This little guy goes to the bottom of bottles to get the last possible bit of fantastic eye cream or Dior Capture Totale Serum (ahem that stuffs expensive!) and this way you can capitalize on those last little bits.

beauty box 5 october 2014 frugalista blog

 

This ain’t your mama’s Chapstick. Dual ended and moisturizing with sunscreen! I love it!

beauty box 5 october 2014 chapstick

 

Nanacoco nail polishes are great high-end polishes at low end prices. Great color and thick, smooth formula.

beauty box 5 october 2014 nanacoco

 

Bellapierre Cosmetics bring to the Beauty Box 5 a dual purpose product- cheek stain and lip color in a true pink. Cheek stains offer light washes of color that look transparent on the skin.

beautybox 5 october 2014  bellepierre

I always save my favorite for last – Lashem Picture Perfect is a primer to smooth and make a great canvas for makeup. It fills wrinkles and pores and gives an even finish.

 

beautybox 5 october 2014 lashem

 

Check out all the deals going on at Beauty Box 5 this month and sign up for a subscription.

*I receive my Beauty Box 5 from them in exchange for this review.

 

I Know Everything, a teen driving safety campaign #JustDrive

 

 

I Know Everything JustDrive Campaign for Teen Driver Safety Week

Young adults, teens especially, can feel invincible. Even immortal. Life is peachy. It’s a combination of freedom but without too much responsibility.

You don’t need someone to watch you cross the street, or buckle you in a car seat. You can buy your own Starbucks with your friends, go to a movie kinda late and not miss bedtime.

And when you get your license to drive- oh boy! The world is your oyster.

But let’s just remember what driving actually means.

It’s not a status symbol. It’s not your ticket to being cool. It isn’t a chick magnet. It is you moving a 2 ton vehicle along at speeds not humanly possible.

It is a means to get from point A to point B. That’s it.

And grownups- listen up- I’m talking to you too. I don’t care about your raised up chassis or your fancy rims. I just want you to pay attention when you’re behind the wheel!

I’m proud to be part of the IKnowEverything.com campaign from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

The number one cause of teen deaths in the U.S. is traffic accidents.

Let me repeat that.

The number one cause of teen deaths in the U.S. is traffic accidents.

Well that just makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I always tell my kids that I have to be paying attention while I’m driving to make up for the folks on the road that aren’t.

Please take a couple minutes to watch the following PSA. Even better, watch it with your teens.

And remember #JustDrive. Don’t do anything else behind the wheel.

 

 

Even better than brown paper packages tied up with string

Like the song says, these are a few of my favorite things.

PRESENTS!

I am not one of those folks that writes ‘no gifts please’ on an invite.

Is it because I’m a Leo? Is it my status as the baby of the family? I love presents.

And if it is a present wrapped in something beautiful, like Martha Stewart beautiful, then all the better!

However, as of late, my wrapping and gift presentation abilities of my own are sadly waning. It’s as if I’m the George Costanza of gift givers and reusing an old gift bag from Great Aunt Edna seems acceptable. Let me just disclose that Aunt Edna passed away in 2005 and she probably had kept all her gift bags from before 1987. I suppose it depends upon your recipient. Would my 18 year old nephew care if he got a birthday gift in a sad, dog-eared Christmas bag from 1998? Probably not. But would my best friend from 5th grade mind? YES.

Also, lately, I’ve become somewhat forgetful. So if I remember the person’s birthday or that it’s Father’s Day the following weekend, and I can just get myself to come up with a decent gift, the wrapping and packaging of said gift is a whole other challenge!

But not to fret. The subscription box gods have answered our calls. We not only get monthly boxes for makeup, pet snacks, or the time of the month(!) we can get gift wrap subscription packages of carefully selected artisan papers, bows, tags, cards and tissue!

Artistry Gift Wrap asked me if I would like a package of gift wrap? Uhm, would I like a package? See above. Heck yes, I’d like a package!

So I was able to try a beautiful array of papers, get this, made of limestone! I don’t know how it is done, and it assures me on the label that it is eco friendly. But honestly, this is the most amazing gift wrap paper I have ever seen. It cuts beautifully. Doesn’t tear and is sturdy as all get.

Not only that, but her package came to me back when it was my wedding anniversary, and in it, was the perfect anniversary card I gave McSweetie!

I should have let him use that card for me since he’s a little bit slacking on his gift planning. Did I tell you the time when we went to the opera for our anniversary and during intermission he said he needed to ‘go to the car’ and instead he really needed to hoof it to the corner store to find an anniversary card for me because he had FORGOTTEN up until that point? Oh, well, there. I just told you the story. That guy. What a goof. Because he needed to go through all that trouble to just sign a card that with his usual, “Love you sweetie, James”  Yes, I’ve looked through at least a dozen cards that are all signed the same way. No more, no less. HUSBANDS.

Okay, back to gift wrap.

Please check out the website- Artistry Gift Wrap. You can choose a subscription plan that suits you. Is it more than heading to Walgreens or Target for a roll of paper? Yes. BUT- it is like nothing in the stores, and you get a selection tailored to the season or your preferences. Tell her Frugie sent you and I’m sure she’ll pack your box with extra care.

How cool is that?

Here’s the products I received: (not all subscription months or paper styles are the limestone paper, just FYI.)

Frugie blog Reviews Artistry Gift Wrap, limestone papers, subscription gift wrap to your door

Frugie Blog for Artistry Gift Wrap, subscription box of luxury gift wrap to your door each month

I received product for this post in exchange for this review. Thank you.

Bronze-y eye and Bold Lip Tutorial for fall

I am loving all the fall colors and palettes in makeup right now. As rich as the salted caramel latte I ordered, so is the new palette from Sephora by MAKE UP FOR EVER.

Frugie Bronzey Eye and Bold lip tutorial for mature faces, makeup over 40, autumn looks, beauty

I dig in and throw caution to the wind, playing with shiny shades and dark lips. Ooh. Want to see?

And as always, I’ve tailored this for a ‘mature’ face, so nothing too over the top.

Check it out:

The deformity I didn’t even know I had

Ladies- you thought your muffin top was a problem, wait until you start obsessing over your banana roll.

Banana rolls are a thing by Frugie Blog

photo credit Vox Efx

What’s a banana roll? Well, contrary to what you might think it is not the latest Pinterest treat to enjoy with your pumpkin spiced latte.

Although that does sound tasty.

It is the latest body obsession that we can thank bodacious babes like Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian and Iggy Azalea for. In the year of the butt, which let’s face it folks, has been every year for me, (ahem) we not only want to power out our lunges but now we can surgically take our upper thigh fat and place it in our booties. Well, not ‘we’, but plastic surgeons can.

A banana roll is an ‘unsightly’ (gasp) roll of fat just under the butt cheek. Because butt cheeks are made of fat. Duh.

Let’s just sit on this for a sec. Big butts are in. That’s cool. I always have appreciated a Kardashian backside. I will watch Keeping up the Kardashians just so I can feel better about my proportionally larger posterior.

But(t) not only are big butts in, a certain kind of ass is in. A large, perfectly round ass that has no folds or flaws that sits atop skinny thighs. Because THAT’S realistic (sarcasm font). A lollipop of a butt on a skinny leg. If you tell me that all of this is obtained WITH a thigh gap, I might have to punch someone.

What’s a thigh gap? Never mind.

The problem with celebrity culture bringing out ‘trends’ in body type is people become obsessed with unreal objectives.  These objectives achieved with plastic surgery, in the form of liposuction, that could be dangerous or reverse itself over time, aren’t worth it. Y’all know that Nicki Minaj got butt implants right? That’s not even her real ass! So if you’re trying to undo your banana roll with just your normal non-bionic butt, you’re probably not going to get the results you want in the first place.

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, some surgery clinics have seen business triple when it comes to sucking banana rolls from women’s backsides.

Well, it’s comforting to know the ladies of London have just as much insecurity as the rest of us. Geezus.

What is wrong with a flat ass? There’s a whole continent of folks with flat asses.

Let’s all mourn for the poor thing that thinks her butt is ‘deformed’ that posted her question on realself.com. The picture she posts shows a perfectly formed booty in my opinion. Nothing deformed about it!

You’ve read my rantings about body image before.

I can only handle so much the media, celebrity culture, and superficial masses are dishing out.

You’re thinking, “Gee Frugie, why not just shut up about it, ignore it and go on with yourself?”

Aww, where would the fun in that be?

Folks. I will not be getting lipo for my banana roll. Sure, it’s a stubborn bump of fat that sits under my butt cheek. Guess what?
You know what else is under my butt cheek? Cottage cheese.

Not like the real cottage cheese, but the proverbial dotty clumpy cellulite cottage thigh cheese. Yes, so pretty, I know.

I have been doing lunges and squats like crazy lately. Not because I want some pop star booty, but because working my glutes is a major muscle group that burns calories and gets my heart rate up. Plus, it makes my legs strong if I have to squat over porta potties in an emergency. I got me some serious butt game, no surgery.

I like to think of my body as a buffet; from my chicken-wing arms, to the muffin top cupcake fold in the middle, the now-labeled banana roll and of course, cottage cheese thighs.

And guess what- it’s all delicious THANKYOUVERYMUCH.