Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Great Bed Debate

I'm a comparison shopper to the core.  I research virtually every purchase I make--from shoes to cars and everything in between.  I am not an impulse shopper by any means.  I like to know that I'm getting the most out of my money.  We've recently decided to purchase a new mattress.  We spent more than $1,000 seven years ago on a Spring Air mattress at Sit N Sleep we are currently sleeping on.  It has decompressed on the sides where we sleep and there a "hill" now separating us.  I call it the Great Wall of Pillow Top.

So now that it's time to buy a new mattress, we started out today at Macy's for our first day of trying to find just the right mattress.  Things have changes in the last seven years.  There's memory foam and titanium lumbar supports.  There's visco foam and no flip-mattress mattresses.  My husband is convinced that about 50% of the stuff you hear about the "technology" of the mattresses is mumbo-jumbo and a line of cr@p.  I'm pretty convinced that they no longer make two-sided mattresses so that people have to purchase new mattresses more often.  On top of it all, my hubby is 6ft, 4in tall and I'm only 5ft, 5 in. tall, so needless to say, our needs in a mattress are a bit different.

Most frustrating of all if the fact that none of the stores have the "same" mattresses.  Ok.  Scratch that...they may have the same mattresses, but no two stores call the same mattress by the same name thus making it impossible for consumers to comparison shop and find the best value for their money.  How crazy is that?  Today at Macy's I really liked a Serta and Simmons mattress.  The mattress was great and Macy's said they would match any other stores advertised or documented price...but you can't because no store has the same name mattress!!!  Ugh!

Anyway, I'm not sure how the mattress saga will play out or how I will make myself feel better about not getting taken advantage of.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution

I suppose this wouldn't be a proper blog without a post about my New Year's resolutions.  I make them every year and 2010 was the first time I actually stuck with them and saw (most) of them through.  I worked hard to try and downsize the "stuff" and eat healthier.  I also vowed to be more "in the moment" with my kids.  The eating healthy kick lasted until some time around October or November--the rest of them I worked on throughout the year.  I wasn't always successful in decluttering or living in the moment, but I was always conscious of my need to be at least trying.

2011 is going to be different than last year and the years before that.  I am claiming that 2011 is going to be the year I'm putting on my big girl panties.  That's right.  Big. Girl. Panties.  I seem to spend a lot of time in life worrying about what other people think or feel about me and in the process devaluing my own experiences and feelings.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and barely recognize the woman staring back at me and that's going to change in 2011.  I feel like over the last decade I have lost sight of who I am and what I love and what makes me happy.  This year, I am going to embrace the things I love and care about myself as much as I care about my children and husband and all of the other people I cherish. 

In life, it's so easy to get lost in role of wife and mother.  Sometimes it's just easier to be what everyone wants you to be, to care about what they care about.  This year, I need to refocus a bit on me because if I am a me that I love and I am happy with, I can be a better mother, wife, and friend.  I am going to live in the moment, cherish the people and things I love, lead a healthier lifestyle, and focus on the things that truly make me happy while minimizing the negative things (and people) that bring me down.

I am slowly pulling on my big girl panties, and it feels awesome.  I encourage everyone who reads this to pull on their big girl panties in 2011--make positive changes and take control.  Get in touch with yourself, what you love, and what makes you happy and in the process we can all be better moms, sisters, friends, wives, and daughters.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I was the first Haute Mom...

Ok.  You all know I'm not all that haute, but my friend Kelley over at the blog Haute Mom sure thinks so and made me her first inductee into her Haute Mom's Club.  Thanks, Kelley, for the props and for having such an awesome blog.  Please check out Kelley's blog.  She is a new mom dealing with the ups, downs, and discoveries new moms experience!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Portable North Pole

Last night my mom called to tell me about a cool website a friend told her about.  The site is called Portable North Pole and it is a site that allows you to make a personalized video from Santa for your children...for FREE.  The site allows you to personalize with your child's name, age, pictures, special events from the past year, and more.  It is so incredible.  I just our middle son the video we made for him last night and he flipped.  It was so darling.  Here's a link to our video.  It's shorter because it is for a preschooler.  There are longer video lengths for older children.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's time to get my craft on!!!

Creating holiday magic for the family has never been easier or more enjoyable!  Disney Online introduces the new “All Things Merry: A Guide to the Holidays,” a comprehensive source for holiday planning with simple and budget-friendly ideas for holiday recipes, unique crafts, homemade gifts and much more!   I especially love because the recipes, crafts, and the like are created by "real" people, which means someone like me (wink, wink) can make the food and the crafts!

On guests can find simple and delicious holiday dinner recipes for main course entrees, soups and starters, dressing and sauces and inspirational side dish ideas, such as how to make spectacular spuds with a list of Holiday Potato Recipes. To finish off a holiday meal or party just right, there is a gallery of Perfect Pie Recipes and 20 Tempting Holiday Treats. Or families can make some holiday magic together in the kitchen, by baking up a batch of sweet Snowman Cookies or festive Candy Cane Cookies, featured on

For fun and budget-friendly ideas for holiday crafts and decorations, guests can find simple instructions for homemade Christmas ornaments on and decorative Christmas crafts at This year, offers a new series of how-to videos for making adorable Disney-themed holiday crafts, like Mickey Mouse Snowman Cards, and a guide for making other creative Disney Christmas ideas, perfect for Disney fans of all ages! 

Kids can make their own homemade Christmas gifts for loved ones, such as an easy-to-construct yarn candy cane ornament or a cute reindeer hand print. Kids can also have some fun with Christmas coloring pages or online Christmas games.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's up with 3D?

You'll have to excuse me for a moment while I slip into my granny panties, but I've gotta pose a questions.  What's up with the whole 3D craze?  3D is everywhere--TV, movies, books, even video games.  I just don't get it.  Let's get one thing straight.  If they medium is in 3D, it still isn't real.  Let's get another thing straight.  3D add much to most movies or television shows.  All 3D does is add extra cost to whatever it's tagged on to and...well...give me a headache!  Ugh.  That's all.  I'll go drink my prune juice and yell at some kids on my lawn.

Monday, November 29, 2010

In the mood for some videos?

Have you checked us out lately?  I am one of The Three Disneyland Moms.  We produce Disneyland informational and tip videos for families.  We've got some great pieces up on our site, so stop by today and learn how to do Disneyland right!

I've also got lots of other Disneyland videos, product reviews, and reviews of hotels and tourist attractions over on my personal YouTube channel.  Here's just a couple of the many videos on the channel.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let the decorating begin!

This week I started decorating for the holidays.  I was yearning to decorate for Christmas but felt like I was cheating on Thanksgiving.  I decided to start with these decorations, which I can keep up until I am in full Christmas mode--minus the Thanksgiving nutcrackers.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving

Here's what I'm thankful for...

My baby love.

My super sweet snuggle love.

My caring, sensitive, first born love.

My one and only love.  Forever.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 22, 2010

No Sugar and Spice, But Life Is Still Nice

I am a mother of three boys.  When you add a husband and male dog into the mix, I am clearly a woman swimming in a sea of testosterone.  I am a girly girl living in a guys’ world.  I’m a dress-wearing, hair-curling, pink-loving kind of gal.  I love to shop and decorate and make crafts. I adore antique furniture and vintage hats and gloves.  I collect teacups and bits and pieces of sterling silver.  I have not one but four sets of china.  I am just about as girly as it gets.

I love my boys with all of my heart and when I found out my third baby was going to be a boy, I tried not to let it bother me.  I already had two boys whom I adore and knew that my third boy would be just as amazing as the first two, yet deep down inside I felt a strange pain clawing its way up to the surface.  Several days later, it hit me that I was not having a little girl and my world was tipped off of its axis.  How could this be?  How could I not have a daughter?  Who would I pass all of my girly antiques on to one day when I was old and gray?  I would never have a daughter to go shopping with or go to lunch with.  I would never go prom dress shopping or have “the talk” with my little girl.  I would never stand next to my daughter in the delivery room just like my mom did with me all three times.  I would never have all of the experiences I have had with my mom and grandmother.  As these facts became clear to me, I became depressed and guilty.  I was depressed that I would be missing out on the mother-daughter relationship I had always dreamed about.  I felt guilty for being disappointed that the beautiful, wonderful, healthy baby in my belly was a boy.

I struggled and cried in secret.  I was ashamed of my feelings.  And then after a few days of really looking into myself, I came to the realization that it was and is ok to feel that way.  There is nothing wrong for having wanted a daughter and in the end I allowed myself to mourn the relationship I will never have.  I gave myself time to grieve and reflect on my feelings and past expectation.  After a few weeks, I came out on the other end feeling so much better and ready to parent my three boys in a way that will make them wonderful husbands to someone else’s daughters.  I realized that having three healthy, happy, and wonderful sons is my path in life.  I was put on this earth to teach my boys how to treat a woman right and how to live their lives with respect and dignity.  And lucky for my boys and me, I have a wonderful husband who consistently sets just such an example for them.

The other day, my mom spent the day tending to and laying in bed with my sick grandmother.  They talked about jewelery and clothes and what was on QVC.  Sometimes they laid in silence, both lost in their memories.  My mom told me it was something just a mother and daughter could do together.  While I was happy that my mom and grandmother shared that time together, the statement instantly hit me in the heart.  I cannot deny my disappointment that I will not get to experience these same moments with my own daughter.  I don’t think that it is something I will ever get over.  But I would never, ever trade my beautiful boys and all of the amazing moments we share now and will share in the future for anything.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Waffle Recipe

This morning, our family kicked off Thanksgiving week with homemade pumpkin waffles.  They were amazing and super easy to make.  Happy Cooking!

Pumpkin Waffle Recipe
2 1/3 cups of Bisquick mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 natural applesauce (no sugar or corn syrup added)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs

1.  Preheat your waffle iron as you normally would and grease with cooking spray.
2.  Mix all of the ingredients above with a whisk until smooth.  Poor onto hot waffle iron and close the lid.
3.  Cook for about five minutes or until steaming stops and the waffle is golden brown.  Top with maple syrup, whip cream, or apple butter.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Wanna Be Perfectionist

As a mother, I always try to put my best foot forward.  I try to offer my children a lot of enriching experiences and work hard to guide them into being polite and well behaved.  A mommy friend of mine once said that she was jealous of how much I “had it all figured out” as a mom.  I remember looking at her in shock and thinking to myself, “…if she only knew…”

I’m here to state for the record that I don’t have it all together—not even close.  I’m a joke and a sham.  I do get out with the kids a lot.  I do teach my kids about new and different things.  I bake cookies and cakes with them and read to them.  But then there’s the other side of me–the side that kept me from having play dates at my house for the first four years of my oldest son’s life.  The side of me that shutters at the thought of a friend stopping by for a surprise visit.  My house is a mess.  That’s it.  There it is.  As I type this, there is a Leaning Tower of Pisa of Laundry that I am clearly neglecting to fold.  My house is not dirty…it’s messy.  I am terribly unorganized.  My entryway and master bedroom closets are downright danger zones.  I wish I could get it together enough to be one of those super moms who keeps their house super neat and tidy, but I just can’t do it.  I’ve tried.

I am terribly embarrassed by the fact that I can’t keep my house the way that I want it.  In fact, this flaw deterred me from having but a few play dates in our home in my oldest son’s first four years of life.  I mean, what would people think of me if they knew I kept a less than perfect house?  I felt bad because as every parent knows, you reap what you sow when it comes to play dates and my son was not invited to lots of play dates since I rarely had other children over here…and when I did it was only after several hours of tidying up.

This all went on until last year when I was talking with a teacher at my school.  She was just about to retire and as we cleaned the room we shared, she told me a story that her daughter (who is my age) had recently told her regarding her childhood.   She said, “Mom, you know how you used to be embarrassed that our house wasn’t perfect when I was a kid?  Well, there’s a funny thing about that.  All of my friends loved coming to our house because they didn’t have to worry about getting yelled at for leaving toys out.  As I got older my friends like to hang out at our place because it was comfortable and they didn’t feel like they were in a museum.  I know you hated it, Mom, but I loved it and so did my friends.”

I’m not quite sure why my friend told me this story or how it came up in the course of conversation.  Perhaps she sensed that I was a lot like her from the stacks and stacks of papers on my desk.  Maybe she just sensed that we were kindred spirits—fake perfectionists who want the world to see us how we wish we were.  Whatever made her tell me that story changed my outlook on play dates, kids, and other moms.  I have had a lot more play dates since that day and I’ve tried to not be so consumed with making the house perfect before the child crosses my threshold.  I learned that day that kids don’t really care if I have a stack of laundry on the sofa that needs to be folded…and quite frankly their moms probably don’t either.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just Make Me Beautiful!

Dear Cosmetics and Hair Care Manufacturers,

Please stop lying to me. I'm sick of it. I'm specifically tired of the following fibs:
  • "100% gray coverage"
    That's just crap and you know it. Oh, sure. If you have ONE gray hair, I'm sure it covers it just fine. Now I don't have a TON of gray, but I have enough to know they are there and enough to see that they aren't all covered after I dye my hair. And for the record, I did dyed my hair exactly how I was supposed to.
  • "eliminate dark circle"
    More poppy cock. Really? Does that mean you get up with the baby at night to, Mr. Eye Cream. You are a liar.
  • "All-day coverage"
    I don't know about you, but my makeup doesn't look fabulous at the end of the day.
  • Plumps lips
    Uhhh...unless the tube of lipstick comes with a guy in a white coat and a needle full of something expensive, I doubt it. 
  • Longer, fuller lashes
    Maybe I'm crazy, but I've never really been able to notice the difference between most mascaras.
Although I love getting my hopes up that cosmetics will make me look like what I'm not (or what I used to be), I think I might appreciate a little more honesty--like "covers most grays" or "will stay on your face for most of the day unless it's the middle of the summer then forget it" get where I'm going.

Me :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Safety 1st Aerolite LX Deluxe Stroller Review and Giveaway

For those of you who don't follow my other blog, Babes in Disneyland, I am giving away a fabulous stroller by Safety 1st that retails for $150.  I am so in love with this stroller.  It's easy to push, handles curbs like a dream and has a very innovative sunshade.  Plus, it is soooo easy to clean.  Baby C had a "blow out" and it cleaned up very, very easily without a trace.

Stop by today to win.  You must enter before midnight, September 6.  There's lots of ways to get entries.  Just following this blog is one of 'em!  Click here to go to the giveaway!

Friday, August 27, 2010

From Never Land to Kindergarten

Last week my oldest son started kindergarten.  As a teacher, I have been through the first day of school lots of times, but experiencing the beginning of the school year with my own child has been surreal.  My beautiful baby is now in school.  I can barely wrap my brain around that fact.  It seems like just last month he was learning to walk in our front yard and last Monday I walked him to school.

The morning was filled with nervous anticipation.  All five of us made the two block quest to our local elementary school.  We were like a parade led by my excited little boy.  He sang "You Can Fly" from Peter Pan the entire way to school.  It was precious and tore at my heart at the same time.  How ironic that my son was singing the song that contained the very instructions Wendy, Michael, and John needed to go to a place where they would never have to grow up as he was about to mark a very defining milestone of maturity in his life.  As we walked, I gripped his hand tighter and tighter, wishing and hoping to stop time.  I wanted to fly away with him to a place where he wouldn't grow up and would be my baby forever and ever.

Alas, we arrived at the school.  No magic pixie dusk ever took us away.  Instead, he joined the other 30 children in his class for one last good bye to Mommy and Daddy and a first hello to his new big boy world.  I hid my tears behind my big, dark sunglasses and then looked down at my other two boys wondering how I could get pixie dust in time to go to Never Land with them before they started kindergarten.

Until then, I'm searching for Tinker Bell.  If you find her, please tell her to stop by my house.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Me and The Bulls Eye Boutique

Dear Target,

I have a hate/love relationship with you.  Yes, hate/love and not love/hate.  I hate that I love you.  I hate that you cast a magical spell over me every time I pull into your parking lot and walk through your automatic doors.

Why is it that you will not allow me to walk out to my car without spending at least $100?  I may be running in for a loaf of bread or can of infant formula, but I am sure to walk out with much, much more every single time.  You continuously mock me having the clothing section right by the checkout.  You know that I cannot resist another tank top for $9 because you can never have enough tanks.  And those $1 bins are like crack to my kids and me.  Shame on you for supplying such a powerful drug.

I would also like to take issue with your clearance sections.  Those red clearance signs with their bright white letters call to me like sirens who crash ships.  Those signs taunt me with their bargains on misfit items that I would never look at if they weren't donning red clearance stickers showing the item is now 30% off.  Five minutes ago I didn't need a new welcome mat, waffle iron, or napkin holder, but now...because they are on clearance...they are headed for my cart.

And let's talk about the fact that you now have a huge grocery section.  I don't need to go anywhere else!  I can get my eye glasses, prescription medicines, groceries, clothes, diapers, sheets, and gardening supplies all in one store.  If you just sold gas and had a doctor's office, I don't think I would ever have to leave.

Oh, Target.  How I hate that I love you!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Stikes and You're Out, Sears!

There are certain stores and restaurants in town that we just refuse to patronize and it is always due to poor service or quality.  Once we make this decision, they are "on the list."  My friends know that we take "the list" pretty seriously.  If we are out with friends or family and they suggest one of the places on "the list" we tell them that it is not an option and they can't have our money.

Once in a while, we forget why a business is on "the list" and make the mistake of going back.  This is one such story.  I hadn't been to Sears in about four years, in spite of there being one about about two miles from our house.  There's been times I've wanted to go there for things like a filter for for the water in the fridge or a tool for a job my husband's working on around the house, but I always keep on driving to the next closest "unlisted" business.

Right after Baby C was born we got a card in the mail for a big package of pictures for only $4.99 at the Sears portrait studio.  What a deal, right?  Given the fact that I hadn't had the time to take him to JCPenney to get his pictures done (I love JCPenney portraits!), one afternoon when my parents took the other boys to their house we decided to run over there real fast and get pictures done at Sears.  Now, one of the reasons we had put Sears on the list was because of their poor picture quality when my oldest son was a baby.  I had hoped that by now the quality had improved.

When we arrived at Sears, the store was just as "ghetto" and old school Montgomery Ward style as I remembered.  I tried to give the portrait studio the benefit of the doubt, as they were in the midst of remodeling.  The session went fine--as well as can be expected with a baby.  The photographer was patient and nice, but oddly sucked on a lollipop the entire time.  I was told to pick up my pictures on July 3.  The date stuck in my head because I had to pick something else up at the mall the same day.

Well, life happened and I didn't make it to Sears on July 3, but I did truck all three kids into Sears on the July 6.  We parked on the second floor, rode the elevator up to the third floor and waited...and waited for the employee to find our pictures.  After a trip to the bathroom with the kids, I returned to the desk to find out that I had been given the wrong date and they wouldn't be in until July 9.  I was fuming.  Anyone with three kids under 6 knows that getting all of them out of the car and through a department store without a fruitful end is very, very frustrating.  Strike one, Sears.

I received a call from Sears on July 8 to let me know my pictures were in.  I received another call yesterday, July 14 reminding me they were in and wanting to know what day and time I would be there.  I told her I didn't know and I would be there when I could.  I drove over there in the afternoon and parked on the third floor so that I could not have to deal with the elevator once inside the store.  I got everyone out of the car and the baby in the stroller only to find that the good folks at Sears had decided to no longer use their entrance on the third floor.  The bridge from the parking structure to the doors was still intact, as were the doors...only their handles had been taken off and they had put paper on the windows.  What?  Are you kidding me?  I had to walk through the structure to a mall entrance and then walk through the mall and through Sears to get to the portrait studio.  Strike two, Sears.

After collecting my pictures, which were very cute, I decided to head downstairs to the appliance section, as our second refrigerator seems to be on its last leg.  I looked at the refrigerators as my two older boys ran around like monkeys trying to open every fridge in the store.  There was no missing us.  I searched and waited for a sales person for 15 minutes before finding someone in the electronics department who in turn went into the back and found someone who was not on the sales floor to come help of only two customers in the appliance department.  Now I know I haven't been to Sears in a long time, but one of the last times I did go there was when I was shopping for appliances for our kitchen and I know for a fact that every time I went there, I could barely walk by the department without being asked if I needed help.

When a salesperson finally did come out, he barely gave the the time of day.  He could barely tell me about the rebates, as he was distracted by his cell phone the entire time.  In the end my "Blue Crew Appliance Specialist" (ha, ha!) told me that I needed to look into the rebates myself and when I asked him about credit offers, he checked his cell phone AGAIN!  I told him that I was sorry to interrupt his cell phone time and that I would be on his way.  He told me that he just kept checking the time because he had to go to lunch.  Oh, that's sooo much better...NOT.  I walked away in disgust and told him his customer service skills were CRAP.  I've never said anything quite so ugly to ANYONE, but then again, I have never had a salesperson quite like this guy.

On my way back to the elevator, I asked the cashier in the tool department for the store manager's name and number.  She quickly got the manager on the phone.  I relayed what had just happened.  She gave me a very half-hearted apology with the caveat that they were short-handed.  That was it.  Strike three, Sears.  You're OUT and you are on "the list."

Sears sucks.  Period.  I said it.  I haven't always hated Sears.  We actually registered there when we got married so we could get things like tools, etc.  This time, however, I have learned my lesson.  I will not go back to Sears.  Not in four years, not ever.  In the next week or so,  I plan on going to the Home Depot to buy the GE refrigerator I was set on buying yesterday.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Punctuation Plunder

Does anyone else find this sign ironic?  The "Writers Store" apparently sells everything writers need...except for apostrophes.  Perhaps the "Writers Store" doesn't believe in plural possessive nouns.  Any way you slice it, I just can't trust a company that boasts itself as a "premiere source for writing" but doesn't have a basic command of punctuation.

I am by no means a perfect writer, but if you are running a store for writers, you probably should be pretty well versed in the ways of the apostrophe.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Laid Down the Gauntlet

Tonight, I laid down the gauntlet with my boys. Most nights I am a short-order cook whipping up customized meals in order to stave off whines and complaints. Tonight, I made a dinner that both of the boys said that they wanted. After taking eating about half of his dinner, A refused to eat anymore and B poured half of his cup of milk into his dinner. This meal was the meal that pushed me over the edge; I had had just about enough. They began asking for just about anything else than the food I had cooked--oatmeal, cheese, hot dogs, you name it. Usually, I would just give in, but not tonight. Nope. No more giving in and no more Mrs. Nice Mommy. From now on, you eat what I cook and that's it.

Tomorrow night is meatloaf night. My meatloaf isn't bad. If the boys don't eat their dinner and want something else, that's just tough. I will wrap it up and they can have the leftovers the next night. My cooking isn't amazing but it's not gross. I don't want to raise picky eaters and I can prepare three or more dinners every night. I've taken a stand!

Friday, May 28, 2010

This Time of Year

Yesterday was the last day of school for our school district and there's something about this time of year that makes me so emotional. Today I committed the act I try to avoid at all costs: driving by our local high school when it is lunch time or when school has just gotten out. Today I drove by as school got out. Ugh! It takes at least five minutes to go from one end of the school to the other when this unfortunate navigational misfortune takes place. My blood typically boils when the kids refuse to let the cars pass and take forever to walk in the crosswalks, but today was a bit different.

As my SUV slowly crawled down the street, I was instantly transported back to my years at Pacifica High School and my own personal feelings that came with the end of the year. I loved seeing the yearbooks my friends and I had worked so hard designing in our fellow students' hands. I loved the idea of three months of freedom. I adored that excitement of feeling full of possibilities and the fresh slate of the following school year.

And within that five minute crawl past the high school, my eyes fell upon a group of boys talking. I imagined they were making plans for the summer. Swimming at one boy's pool perhaps? Summer jobs? Maybe a road trip or what movies they wanted to see together. Then I imagined these boys being MY boys and my eyes welled with tears. They will go to this high school one day. In the not-so-distant future, they will be sharing last-day-of-school pats on the back with a yearbook under one arm. One day, my boys will be like these boys making excited plans for the future, cracking jokes, and goofing around. They'll be tall and gangly, but have fabulous skin, of course. I tried to pick out which kids my kids will look like and who will make up their group of friends. Will they hang out with the kids on the steps, the kids under the tree, or that big group on the corner. I then slipped into a fairy tale in which my boys want my husband and me to play an active roll in their clubs or teams--a time when I'll wear Burroughs High School red to their games and maybe wear their letterman jacket as I sit in the stands...if they haven't already loaned it to some (stupid) girl.

All of this happened in the span of five minutes. When I pressed the brake pedal at the final stop sign at the corner of the school, I glanced into my back seat and saw three beautiful little boys all in some sort of car seat or booster. Their cheeks are still chubby with baby fat and they all have some sort of shmutz on their faces--even the littlest one had a little dried milk on his chin. As I placed my foot on the accelerator I was instantly thankful for the precious days I have with my little boys and I vowed to treasure the present and look forward to the future.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Little L.A., A Little OC

I grew up in the O.C. I was a beach girl--the daughter of a surfer. I was a baton twirler who spent her high school Memorial Day weekends in the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Parades. I cruised Balboa with my friend Tracey listening to Color Me Bad and sneaked my way in to Knott's Berry Farm more times than I can count. (I knew every trick in the book.) I was O.C. through and through. So when I got married back in 2000 and agreed to move to Studio City (L.A.) with my husband who is in the entertainment industry, I was truly a fish out of water.

Giving up my life in Orange County (and Long Beach) was not easy. I gave up my hair place, doctors, the florist (yes I had a florist!), malls and stores, restaurants, family, and friends. The big city feel of L.A. scared the crap out of me. I'm not going to lie, people drive CRAZY here! I felt like everyone looked different than me and I certainly didn't feel cool enough to fit in with the people I did meet. I saw a celebrity almost every time I went to the grocery store...and I'm not talking about B listers either. It was tough to start a marriage in a land I didn't know. I was starting over. No friends, family, or familiar haunts. We hadn't lived together prior to being married. In fact, we had only ever spent time together on the weekends, so needless to say, it was not an easy adjustment all the way around.

When I lived in Orange County, I believe that the world revolved around those of us behind the Orange Curtain. Now that I'm here, I've gotten a much bigger picture and better appreciation for the fabric of California as a whole. This September, my husband and I will have been married 10 years and during that decade something pretty awesome has happened. I've started to become more adjusted to life in L.A. I used to drive with white knuckles through the streets of Hollywood during my occasional trips "over the hill" and now zip through Hollywood's crowded streets without a second thought. I like that every house is old and they all have a story. I have grown to love that I live in an "industry town" in which the moms at the park understand what it's like to have a husband who has to leave on a shoot for days, weeks, or even months at a time. I love that I live where I can walk to a bakery, restaurant, antique stores, the hardware store, and world famous studios all within minutes.

Now, almost ten years after living here, I am now at a crossroads in which I've discovered that I'm not an O.C. or L.A. gal. I read the L.A. blogs and most of the time I don't feel like I connect with them. In fact, I still feel a bit like an outsider when I talk with a lot of other women here in La-La land. And while I try to keep up with what's going on in Orange County, I know longer fit there. I'm used to driving like a maniac, trendy shops every few blocks, and the diversity I just don't recall from my days in the north O.C. Not feeling like I truly fit in in my past or my present is a strange sensation. I carry a lot of what I grew up with in West Garden Grove but have grown to love and value where I am raising my children. I guess I'm a Californian stuck between my past and my present hoping to instill in my boys the best of both.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting Back On Track

It's been five and a half weeks since Baby C joined our family. We've gotten through the toughest of the newborn days but still have rough patches here and there. C's smile is amazing and melts my heart every single time. My other boys adore him too and are always happy and willing to give him a bottle when I'm too busy to sit down and nurse him.

I had a minor setback the other day, personally. Someone I am close to made a crack about me still carrying my baby weight. I was crushed. As I've mentioned before, weight is a really big deal to me. I had thought that I had done a pretty good job up until that point of camoflaging my ample thighs and belly, but apparently it wasn't good enough. Now before you go and say nasty things about the person who made the comment, let's just say that they "didn't know any better" and leave it at that. I have to turn the other cheek and just move on from the comment. Move on and do something about it, that is.

I started eating better and I've already seen another pound shed off by controlling my desire for after-dinner desserts. I've cut out "naughty" breakfasts and replaced them with a (measured) bowl of Special K, a banana, and strawberries each morning. (I'm allowing one splurge breakfast per week.) I'm really controlling my portions and allowing myself healthy snacks when I need them. But on top of it all, as if from heaven, one of my girlfriends emailed me today and asked if I would like to run the Disneyland 5K in September.

It's on! I'm doing it! I haven't been on my treadmill since the first trimester of my pregnancy and I've NEVER ran a 5K or to the corner of my street for that matter. I'm going to take it slow, but this 5K is the perfect motivator to get my booty moving again. I have a big press event June 10 and hopefully I'll seena bit more trim me in the mirror by then. I know that I can do this! And when all is said and done, I eventually want to lose 20 pounds, I know I need to take it one day and pound at a time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time To Be Social

Grab the link-up button and post "It's a Social Parade Wednesday Link-up."  Every Wednesday a new linky will be posted with that weeks exchange info.  This week is Google Friend Connect Round Up!! Here's a link to the details

To participate, follow the blog in the first spot or all of them.  All blogs participating must post about Social Parade and link to that post. Have fun and be social!

Smart and Trendy Moms

Reporting From the Trenches of Motherhood

I haven't posted here in a while because I've been sent out on assignment down into the trenches of motherhood. On April 6, my husband and I welcomed beautiful baby C into our family and life has been nonstop ever since. Baby C weighed in at 6 lbs, 5 oz and 20 inches long. I had a labor that I will perhaps blog about once I have had a chance to get over the fact that the jerks at Kaiser made my labor way more traumatic than it needed to be due to their arrogance and lack of compassion.

Anyway, we are back in the land of sleepless nights and exhausted days. It's funny how motherhood has a way of producing some sort of Jedi mind trick allowing you to forget how tiring it is to be up with a newborn all night and how fun it is to feel like the baby is going to suck your boobs right off your body. You forget the joy of yellow poop projecting across the changing table and the fact that your waist is still but a distant memory even four weeks after delivery.

Baby C is fabulous. He's is a cute as a button and growing fast. My other two boys love him to pieces and the dog has yet to give him a second look. (Of course, that could very well be because the dog is desperately in need of being groomed and can probably barely see the baby through his long "bangs.") He seems to have a pretty calm temperament and doesn't mind the noise the other boys make while running through the house playing.

I have to say that by and large, baby number three is pretty darn easy. As a mother, I feel like I have lots of tricks up my sleeve. (And believe me when I tell you I'm wearing sleeves. My post-pregnancy arms are not a sight to behold.) I'm also so much more calm than with my last two. I know that the difficulties and sleepless nights will pass. I know what I have to look forward to. Every moment is so very fleeting. Today, for example, I swear that my four-week-old bundle of love smiled at me for the first time. (Yes, he is a genius. I just filled out his MENSA application.) It was magic. It made me forget the fact that I have not slept since 4:30 and the fact that my boobs feel like I imagine my dog's chew toys feel. Baby C is just so precious, I can barely stand it.

So anyway, I'm back and sorry it took so long to get here. I'll be reporting the good, the bad, the ugly, and the wonderful of my journey. I'm also hoping to start doing a few giveaways here, instead of over on my Disney blog, Babes in Disneyland. If you aren't already, please follow this blog through google and "like" me via Facebook so that I can have more visible fans here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Parents Say The Darndest Things

I am a public school teacher and proud of what I do.  Reading intervention is my specialty.  I take education very seriously and feel that my time as a teacher has exposed me to the ins and outs of public school, private school, and homeschooling.  In light of this, let's just say I have pretty strong feelings about education and appropriate placement for students.

No matter where you stand on the issue of school placement, I heard a comment from a parent the other that would/should shock and disappoint anyone.  A mother at my son's preschool mother actually told me that she was considering not sending child to public school in our district because the district has a healthy-eating policy that prohibits students from bringing cupcakes on their birthdays.  Now, I am not a fan of the no cupcake-birthday ban, but I certainly can understand its foundation and furthermore cannot begin to comprehend how this would impact a parent's decision about their child's schooling--especially given the fact that this student has a speech issue that is currently going untreated and likely would continue going untreated in the private schools the parents are considering.  What a shame.  I feel so bad for this child, because I see so many children with the same stumbling block given my line of work.

I've heard a lot of excuses for not sending children to public school and this one was the worst.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Did This Happen?

I'm now in my 39th weeks pregnant with my third son.  I've made no secret that I'm not a huge fan of being pregnant and now I must admit to the fact that I'm...just plain HUGE.  I told myself I wouldn't get this way this time...but I let it happen.  I gave myself license to eat things I would never normally touch.  Because of my discomfort, I stopped exercising, which I had vowed not to do.  Basically, I had planned on doing "everything right" this time around.  Ummm...not so much.

Back during the summer between junior high and high school my battle with weight began.  I packed on a good 20 to 30 pounds that summer.  From there I yo-yo'ed up and down for most of high school.  I used to gain and lose weight so quickly that I once "outgrew" my clothes while on our family's two-week vacation and had to wear my dad's jeans.  No teenage girl wants that to happen.

My senior year in high school, I finally got all of the weight off and dropped to about 108.  I went on the most unhealthy of weight loss plans--I barely ate.  Mixed with my new love of swimming on the swim team, I was what I thought to be fabulously slim and trim.  That is until one day a friend told me that I was a little too slim and trim.  She had me look in the mirror and pointed out to my purtruding collar bones.  I was not just thin but way too thin.  She told that I was so thin that I was wasting away and that she couldn't see me any more until I got my problem under control.  That was a wake-up call for me.

For most of college and into my married life, I had my weight issues under control.  I straddled the line between thin and too thin carefully and tried not to get to hard on myself when I would fluxuate by five pounds every now and then.

After my first baby, I lost most of the weight within the first year or so.  With my second child, I lost most of the weight in about a year too, but that year was very, very difficult for me.  I fell into my old feelings about my body and let my issues about weight consume me.  My body image and how I appeared to people around me plagued my thoughts. 

And now, I'm huge again.  I've never made it this far in a pregnancy; my other sons had already been born by this far along.  I'm so incredibly uncomfortable, it is hard for me to move, which means I just keep getting bigger and bigger.  (I swear that this baby is going to rip through my ribs at any moment.)  It's gotten to the point that I don't even want to look at myself in the mirror when I'm wearing a tank top or (GASP) naked.

I have a feeling in the months to come, I will be dealing a lot with my weight issues and the troubling roller coaster of pounds and emotions I have been on since I was so very young.  It's my thing, it makes me crazy, and I will undoubtedly be putting a lot of pressure on myself to look like I used to.  I'm just warning you now, because this will probably be the place where I vent and cry and whine.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Because That's How I Roll

Do you hate those people with all of the plastic toys in the front yard? So white trash, right? Well, here's my front yard today.

I hate me too. Here's the thing. I can't get an internet signal in the backyard, so this morning I dragged all of my kids' crap stuff to the front yard so I could sit on my porch in the cool So Cal breeze and relish in the discomfort of the sweet, sweet baby who is late at coming out early and sip juice boxes.

On top of it all, my kids think I'm super cool for setting up a different place to play with the same old junk. I'm pretty ok with life's little victories.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Desperate Times Call for...Salad

Today I loaded the kids and we drove a whole 3.5 miles to the locally-famous Caioti Pizza Cafe in Studio City.  This small restaurant located across the street from the restaurant Robert Blake made famous, Vitello's, is known for it's labor-inducing salad.  I know it sounds crazy, if you search the restaurant's name or "labor salad" online, the two are found side-by-side throughout the web.  The labor-inducing property is supposed to be the dressing. 

I'm not at my due date yet, but this is the farthest I've gotten in either of my other two pregnancies and I can honestly say that I am beyond miserable.  My back and ribs are killing me and I feel like the baby has a foot just below my arm pit.  I'm tired...really tired and in constant pain.  Already, little baby "C" is bigger than my other boys were when they were born and in my book...he's ready to come out.

I ordered a half order of "the salad" and a cheese pizza for us to split.  The salad was served up with to log books and other literature attesting to its success.  I'm not going to lie, the salad was amazingly delicious...and that's not just the pregnancy appetite talking.  The boys played with their toys while I mowed down "the salad" and filled in my own page of the infamous journal.  While I was eating it, I noticed an older couple in the corner of the restaurant anxiously watching me, as if I was going to go into labor and push out the baby with the aid of the young, way-too-cool wait staff.

The waiter enthusiastically told me that just yesterday he served a woman her salad and after eating it her water broke at the restaurant before she and her husband had finished their meals.  It's been about three hours and I've felt no contractions.  My water has not broken.  In fact, I don't feel any different than before lunch--still miserable.  Now I'm wondering if I should have ordered a whole salad instead of half a salad.  I'm also wondering if it's just the law of averages when it comes to "the salad."  When you have that many women in the final days and weeks of their pregnancies ordering the same thing, you are bound to have some of them go into labor soon thereafter, right? 

Nonetheless, in the days or weeks (oh don't let it be weeks...) of my final pregnancy, I am glad that I have taken part in an L.A. tradition.  And here's to the labor-inducing salad.  Everyone cross your fingers (please!) that it works tonight!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Secret Hiding Place

Kids love secret hiding places--forts, treehouses, clubhouses. My kids love to build forts out of blankets and hide away in their Star Wars tents for hours. My friend Pam and I have a fantasy of a hide away of our own. We talk about it all the time--nothing fancy, of course. We dream about a place where we can just get away to every once in a while, perhaps a studio apartment. This amazing place would be girly and stylish. It would be free of toys and other small debris that make you scream in the night when their sharp edges jab into your bare feet. It would be a place where the freezer was always stocked with the ice cream and Lean Cuisines WE like and where it is perfectly acceptable to watch Lifetime movies without criticism. There would be no apple juice in the fridge or raisins between the sofa cushions.

Most importantly, this place has two beds. They are soft, comfy beds...and no one steals the covers. And speaking of these beds, while in them, no one wakes us up at the crack of dawn requesting a cup of milk or to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This place is the girls' hideaway that we half joke about sharing one day. It's a place where we can go for a night--together or alone--to just get from it all and come back to our families recharged and refreshed. No laundry. No dishes to clean. No bottoms to wipe.

I love my family more than anything on this planet, but sometimes it's nice to just get a little peace and quiet and remember who I was before I possessed "working boobs." Sometimes, it's nice to imagine a place like the apartment I had before I got married. Pam and I lived on the same street when we lived in our single gal apartments, and I sometimes think we are dreaming of very similar hideaways when we discuss our grand plans. It would be a place where we can just zen out and ponder all of the day-to-day little things and life-altering big things that we all allow to fly around in our brains but never have enough time to contemplate.

Let's be real. I would never do it. We would never do it. Financially, it's crazy and well, the idea of being able to get away for a night more than once every four years is completely unrealistic. My family needs me too much and I need them too--plus I would feel way too guilty leaving them for my own needs. Pam and I will, however, continue dreaming and talking about our little piece of paradise for years to come--over giant dinners at Lucille's and delicious desserts at Yogurtland.

And even greater than our daydreams about our hideaway is my friendship with Pam because it provides me with a getaway in and of itself. We came together through college, our sorority, and living on the same street...and several other ways as well proving that we were always bound to be friends. I know that I can make it though the ups, downs, good, and bad of motherhood because we are doing it together. I know that she is just an email, texts, or phone call away when I need her and more often than not my conversations with her--long or short--are all I need to recharge and refresh.

I love my friend Pam and you will too. Stop by her blog, Mom is a Four-Letter Word.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rights for Breastfeeding Mothers

It was announced today that it is now "illegal" to tell a woman she cannot breastfeed in a public place in the state of Wisconsin. The bill, signed in to law today, allows women to nurse their children in a public or private places so long as she is permitted to be there by law.

Wait. Are you kidding me with this? Was it actually "illegal" to breastfeed a hungry child in Wisconsin in a public or private place before? That seems unbelievable. You wouldn't tell a mother she can't give her baby a bottle, so how dare someone say you can't nurse your child? The kicker is that only 40 other states have such rights signed into law for mothers and babies. What?!

Here's more on the law...
Breast feeding in public is permissible, thanks to a new WI law - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

And for the record, I'm not a granola mom who whips it out in public without considering those around me. I am always covered up and not only make sure no one can see "where" the nursing is taking place, but try to ensure no one can see any other skin as well. If you are a nursing mom and looking for a great solution to cover up while nursing, stop by my blog and enter to win a Cover Me Strap. These straps turn baby blankets, towels, etc. into a nursing cover. It's fabulous!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

During a conference today, we suggested to a parent that he should read Dr. Seuss to his student so that she could hear examples of rhyming. He had the following questions:

1. "Is the Dr. Seuss something I can find on the internet?"

2. After explaining that they are popular books he asked, "Can I get these Dr. Seuss at the Nobles?"

3. After explaining it is available at Barnes and Noble I suggested he go to the library. He asked if the library would let him borrow the books for free.

4. "Do I actually have to read the books to my (kindergarten) daughter? Are you sure she can't just do something with this Dr. Seuss online?"

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss. It's pretty sad that some of today's parents would rather sit their kids in front of web entertainment than read your books. Pretty sad.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Friendship Values

Years ago I experienced a painful "break up" with a friend.  If you haven't experienced it, you're lucky.  A break up with a friend can be just as upsetting and unsettling as a break up with a boyfriend or signficant other.  The thing about friend break ups, is that they aren't always as clear cut and easy to figure out.  When I experienced my break up, I was pretty bummed and dumbfounded.    We had been friends for years, closer than close, and did everything together.  When we lived together, it wasn't uncommon for us to get mail addressed to the two of us as if we were a couple.

About nine years ago, this friend cut me off cold turkey.  I was devastated.  After a number of phone calls went unanswered, I sent her a marathon email apologizing for anything I could have possibly done to upset her.  I never got a response.  I just couldn't understand how someone I had been so close to couldn't take the time to even respond to me to let me know what I had done and why our relationship was over. 

A friend who knows both of us was very helpful in assisting me to get over the end of this important relationship.  She comforted me by telling me that perhaps our friendship values were just different.  I was intrigued by this concept.  She went on to say that maybe for my former friend, her expectations of friendship and what she needed out of a friend were different than mine.  Some people only want friends who will tell them what they want them to hear and others don't.  Some people need friends who are around 24-7 and others see great value in their friends, even if they only speak to them or see them a couple of times per year.  She went on to explain that people need and expect different support and interactions from their friends.  She suspected that our mutual friend perhaps didn't internalize friendships as deeply as I did and perhaps needed something I couldn't provide her.

I'm so grateful for this life lesson.  Up until that point, it had never dawned on me that everyone I knew didn't have the same wants and needs when it came to friendships.  As for me, I grew up without a sister and always had lots of friends who as coincidence would have it, moved away.  For me, when I have a friend, I am very excepting of the time apart and thankful for the time together.  I appreciate my friends' honesty, supportive criticism, and encouragement--no matter the dosage.  I have learned that I might not agree with everything my friends say or do, but they are still my friends and I accept them for who they are.  Perhaps even more importantly, I have learned that when a friendship's negative or nonbeneficial interactions and attributes out weight the positive, it's time to terminate the relationship, and that's ok.  All friendships are not meant to last forever.  Some are meant to benefit us for a short amount of time and some friendships are relationships that we will engage in at only certain times in our lives.

Taking a close look at my friendship values has been one of my most important life lessons.  When you have some free time (stop laughing--I know that's rare!), think about your own friendship values.  More importantly, think about how your friendship values match up to the friendship values of those in your life.  If you are reading this, you are probably one of my friends and I am very, very thankful to have you in my laugh.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh, Maternity Clothes!

Dear Maternity Clothes,

I'd like to start this letter by saying that I understand that you have a very difficult job. You have the task of clinging on and/or around an ever-changing belly, spreading butt, and expanding bust. I understand that you are covering the body of a very over-emotional woman who seems to have lost all sense of ability to not spill food all over herself or be able to hold her pee every time she coughs and sneezes.

Here's the thing, Maternity Clothes. Why do you have to be so damn ugly and unflattering. I mean seriously. Is it so hard to get a properly placed crotch on a pair of jeans? Is it that hard to mimic regular jeans? Are large ruffles necessary? I recently won some "high end" maternity clothes in a blog giveaway. While I'm thankful for the new clothes, the apparel (which is proudly designed by women who have never had children), have giant ruffles on them and one of the "stylish" dresses looks like a horrible bag. Do you know what those ruffles do to a pregnant woman? My big belly simply pushes those ruffles into the faces of oncoming pedestrians. Oh, and the bag dress makes me look like a black and white weather balloon with pockets.

This time around, my last time around, I've opted to wear as many nonmaternity clothes as possible. After having dealt with you in two other pregnancies, Maternity Clothes, I have decided that enough is enough and I'm simply not going to tolerate you. This time around, I purchased very few of you and opted to hunt down regular, nonmaternity clothes that were forgiving. Your ugliness, terrible fit, and poor quality found you out of much of your normal work this time around.

Good riddens,

I you have not been pregnant, you should not be able to design maternity clothes. Women modeling maternity clothes should be pregnant--and not just a little pregnant, but REALLY pregnant. And finally, if you are going to design maternity clothes, please try them on pregnant women of all ages and stages before pushing them on the public!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm Thankful for Blogging

Yesterday I was down in the dumps and being able to blog saved my sanity. Just typing out my thoughts and feelings made me feel so much better.

I think I was "made to blog." I love to write but could never really stick to the journal thing. And while I don't consider myself an attention whore, I do like the idea of there being some sort of audience for my words. It doesn't have to be big...just enough to get occasional feedback.

I have several book ideas that I have tons of material for, but with the kids, it's hard to discipline myself to get the work done. Blogging satisfies my need to write in small doses. Sometimes I blog more than once a day and sometimes I'll let a a week or so pass before I blog again. Blogging is like my little drug and I love it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One Big Ball of Hormones

I'm now 32 weeks pregnant and I can honestly say that I am one big ball of very emotional hormones. I feel like I have the worst case of PMS on the planet. My fuse is short. I've been crying all day. I've gotten frustrated by the simplest things. I feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin. (That's a fun one.) You know, as if it's not bad enough that I'm swollen (I'm telling myself I'm swollen even though I know I'm actually just FAT), uncomfortable, and achy from my giant belly, but I have the added bonus of being an emotional wreck as well?! I mean come on!!!!

To all of you out there who just LOVED being pregnant, I just don't get it. I mean...really? You "loved" it? Which parts exactly? You "loved" the food aversions? You adored swollen feet and/or ankles? You thought watching your otherwise flat stomach turn into a veiny beach ball was totally hot? Please tell me which part you loved. I'm dying to hear the great part.

Look, I know that the great part of pregnancy comes at the end when I get to meet my beautiful new baby boy and hold him in my arms (and smell like breastmilk and look like a train wreck for the next 9-12 months), but all that aside, let's be real. God must be a man because a woman would never make another woman go through the agony of pregnancy considering what you have to go through with a newborn in the aftermath.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

They Came From Far and Wide...

They came from far and wide Saturday to buy our junk. We had a yard sale. Call it what you want: yard sale, tag sale, garage sale. I call it a study in the strange and desperate. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of yard sales--both giving and browsing at--but there's something about the yard sale phenomenon that intrigues me.

My like for yard sales goes back to my college days. My mom and I attended estate sales almost every Friday to find treasure we couldn't live without and those we could sell at a profit at an antique store we rented space at in Orange County. I loved it. By Thursday nights I was craving the adrenaline of pushing past gray haired ladies at Leisure World to grab a great antique French cup and saucer. I could imagine the great pieces of furniture I would stumble upon and put in my apartment. I yearned for the treasured surprises the professional estate sale hosts would set aside for me because they "knew my tastes." The deals were like drugs and the sense of history behind the items we purchase thrilled me to no end.

My fascination with other people's junk/treasures continued when I got married. I maintained the estate sale love but had to give up the store because it decided to focus on "reproductions" instead of the real thing. My husband and I took it up a notch and started frequenting antique auctions and eventually furnished a lot of our home with beautiful things we had purchased together at auction and estate sales.

Once the kids came, we had to give it all up. You can't really take a baby into the tight spaces of an old person's apartment. Strollers to don't fit and small grabbing hands don't mix well with delicate pieces of crystal. Once in a while when we see an estate sale sign, we pull over so that I can do a once over inside and tell my husband if it's worth getting the kids out of the carseats to go in. And, of course, it's not the same. I'm not plotting my estate sale route the night before in the Thomas Guide and scouring the ads for what appears to be the sale with best stuff.Now our searches are passive and happenstance. We stop by yard sales and estate sales because we are in the neighborhood, not as a fun hobby.

And this leads me to having our own yard sales. Like I said, yesterday we had a BIG one that we hosted at our house with two other families. It was the first weekend in some time in which it wasn't raining; it was a gorgeous sunny day. The high hit 80 degrees and yard sale attendees were out in droves. And among those droves, we experienced all sorts of "interesting" people. Here are some of my favorites and not-so-favorites.
  • You always have your bickering people--the people who want to fight with you and tell you your prices are too high. Those are the people you want to shout at and say, "It's my junk and I'll change what I want! You can't walk into Target and tell them you think they change too much for their sheets and you can't tell me that either!"
  • I love the old guys who are clearly just "doing the yard sale circuit" so that they can get away from their wives for the morning. They are always looking for similar stuff--records, tools, fishing equipment, etc. They are totally pleasant to talk to and just happy to meet up with their buddies who also do the circuit. I love it when they talk about the morning's take and where they are headed next. It cracks me up.
  • The people who pretend they don't speak English. You know 'em. This is how the exchange with them goes.
    • Them: "How much (in a thick accent)?"
    • Me: $1.
    • Them: 50 cent?
    • Me: No. $1.
    • Them: Uhhh... 50 cent? (Accompanied by puzzled look.)
    • Me: No! $1!
    • Them: 50 cent? (Still unsure.)
    • Me: NO! (And giving them my most disapproving teacher look.)
    • Them: Pull out a $5 bill to pay for the $1 item.
  • The people who try on our clothes at the sale and then wear them to their cars. So gross. Even worse...the people who try on our clothes and then leave them.
And then there's the characters who can't be characterized...
  • Our friends were selling one of those whirlpool foot spas. It was brand new (still wrapped) but one side of the box had been opened. The woman looked at it and asked if it worked. I told her that it did (which made her happy) and then told her that it had never been used, in order to sweeten the deal. This comment brought her great disappointment. She was actually bummed that someone else's skill cells weren't clogging the thing up. So gross.
  • The grossest guy of the day was the man who will go down in history at "the poopy Nazi." He walked up the driveway wearing some sort of military hat. He was disabled with a metal cane and a crippled hand. I immediately felt bad for him and thought he was a vet. He walked straight up to me and started to ask if I had any knives, bayonets (oh and I can honestly say this is the first time I've never had to spell the word "bayonets" before), riffles, or guns. I thought he was kidding and told him no. He went on to ask if I had a laundry list of other items that included daggers, shrunken heads (I'm not kidding), or Nazi memorabilia. It was at this point that I realized the smell of poop wafting in my direction. I was feeling as though I might gag. He kept going and talking. He started talking to me about his Nazi artifact collection and the fact that he reads Hitler's teachings. In the meantime, all of our friends stood far away and laughed that I was now the winner of talking with the craziest person of the day. When they took pitty on me and finally walked over, I made a mad dash into the house with an excuse so pathetic I can't remember it.
In the end, the day was a success. We had a blast laughing it up with our friends, enjoyed a day without the boys, and made almost $300!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Celebrity Life

The celebrity set seem to love to be hopitalized for "exhaustion." Now, I'm no dummy. I'm fully aware that "exhaustion" is code word for drug, alcohol, or insert-other-vice addiction. But in the case that exhaustion is really exhaustion, I would like to know if Kaiser covers exhaustion in my private health plan. I'm tired, really tired. I would love the chance to lay in a craft-o-matic adjustable bed, watch television, read, and be served meals (even crappy ones) without having to change diapers, clean the house, or tend to anyone's needs. I want a break from work, the kids, and responsibility. I don't have deep pockets, a personal assistant, nannies, housekeeper, or entrouge to make my life easier. Celebrities have it so much easier than moms like me, so I MUST be more more exhausted than they could ever be.

My name is Lisa and I suffer from exhaustion--the real kind. Contact my publicist for details.