Not so little, plenty to go

I’m kinda bummed with my lack of creativity anymore.

I used to make a real point to write on the old blog a few times a month. Then once a month. Maybe. Give it a shot.

Not it’s like, twice a year.

It’s not like I gave up writing. Frankly, it’s all I ever do. If I’m not writing an actual story for an actual newspaper, I’m writing notes and lists and texts and emails and thoughts and ideas and facepage posts. I’m telling the kids when I’ll be home and telling old Jimmer what’s for dinner and telling myself not to freaking forget to take in the taxes yet there they sit… on the counter… I still have 15 days, don’t judge me.

I’m busy.

Not crazy busy.

But busy.

Enough that it took me a solid 10 minutes to figure out how to make a new post because all my neat-o wordpress options have changed.

So it’s no surprise that the passage of time has prompted me to have a good hard think about the passage of time.

“Are you going to be sad when I go to high school next year?”

Actual words from my actual child’s mouth. He’s going to be a freshman in the fall.

Bring on the woe is me, the “oh noes my baby boy,” the fear upon the realization that he’ll be legally behind the wheel in just over two years.

But then I saw some mommy blog crap, and my fears of “cannot believe my baby is growing up” came to a screeching halt.

Now, just a disclaimer. I really dislike mommy blogs. Like. A lot.

Probably the biggest reason that mommy blogs grind my gears is that they always appear to be written by women between the ages of 25 and 35 with only toddlers underfoot. They want to share their sage wisdom or hilarious stories of failures now that they are experienced moms with all the answers.

Even though they don’t yet know the horror of the 45 minute shower. Or wondering where all the hand towels went. Sippy cup problems are pretty ridiculous when your teenaged son morphs into a Disney princess sprawled across the bed shrieking “YOU DON’T KNOW!”

And I haven’t even hit real dating and high school dramz yet.

I often see mommy bloggers as embellishing storytellers with tales so ridiculous and way too long that sound like they come from jackasses who changed their email addresses to

Scary Mommy is the worst. If you Google “Scary Mommy Truth” you get 420,000 results, with hits including “the truth about divorce,” “the truth about having a third child,” “the truth about snow days” and my very favorite, “the universal truth of motherhood.” Spoiler alert – according to that post, the universal truth of being a mom is that we never again get to use the bathroom alone. Which is a hella lot of bullshit, get some god damn control over your home and your children and piss like a civilized human with the door closed, it literally takes a few seconds. My lord.

There’s also a “confessional” which rivals the Penthouse forum. It’s really weird.

So Scary Mommy and her sister blog sites share those DOWN TO EARTH truths about motherhood that I don’t identify with at all. But at the same time, these things have  something like a bijillion readers so obviously people like it and whatever, it’s just me. Others relate so that’s cool.

But yesterday I spotted this one – NOT Scary Mommy – and it irked me off more than usual:

“Lies I Refuse To Tell Myself Now That I’m A 30-Something Mom”

Featured on the “Message with a Bottle” blog, I have to admit, I didn’t get too far into this one. Because the very first lie that this 30-something mom refuses to tell herself is this:

I will no longer pretend that I’m young

Age really is relative, isn’t it? No matter how many 80-year-olds point a finger at me and proclaim, “YOUTH,” there need only be one 20-something to remind me that I’m pretty much ancient. Go hang out with someone fresh out of college if you doubt me. They’ll be like, “Let’s do shots!” and you’ll be all, “Ugh, just a half a glass of wine, please, that’s all I can handle tonight.”

I throw the bullshit flag on that so hard that I throw out my shoulder and dent the ground with the thing.



ENOUGH WITH THE WINE. What is this nonsense where moms are like “oooohhhhh lookey at MEEEEE I love wine!!” We get it, your kids drive you to drink. Newsflash, this started about 16 generations ago. Get with the times.

But second, and far more important, is this crap:

“I’m pretty much ancient.”

I get it. Hyperbole. Hilarious!!!

Now stop it.

For one thing, I didn’t go around in my 20s taking shots every night of the week, and I happen to know a lot of 20-somethings, and they don’t either. I had a job. Then later, I had a KID. Those  shot-takers who you cannot keep up with? They aren’t 20-somehtings, they are drunks. No one likes a drunk, not even a recent college grad.

But more importantly, it actually puts true sadness in my (apparently ancient since I’m not even a 30-something mom, I’m a fragile 42-year-old) heart to hear young people lament the loss of their youth, even in jest.

If your age is 30-something… you’re not old

Also not old — 40-somethings and 50-somethings. If you’re 60-somethings, you’re on the threshold. Maybe.

Why do people do this to themselves, this “I’m so old” nonsense. Of all the ways I love to poke at myself, age is not one of them. If you’re already doing the “oh my *deep sigh* I’m soooooo old” and you’re just in your 30s, how the hell do you expect to chase around your teenager. Because trust me — you NEED to chase them around.

You’re too old in your 30s? Aw, honey, middle school moms are going to EAT YOU ALIVE.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the passage of time, realizing that my little ones are not so little anymore.

But I’m reminded daily that while I’m 20 years out of college, I’m young as all get out. I don’t need to be 20-something to be young. I just need to be alive to be young.

My kid is going to high school next year. I look forward to him trying to keep up with his young mom.

And her glass of wine.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The real problem with Elf on a Shelf

Hint – it’s not the elf.

It’s Christmas.



Let’s be clear.

There is nothing worse than winter.

It’s cold. It’s full of salt and dirty snow. It’s perpetual chilly nips no matter how many layers you are wearing. It’s heavy boots that still don’t stop your feet from getting wet and frozen boogers in your nose and car windows that are 100 percent clean except right in front of your eyes.

Winter blows.

Its one redeeming quality – when in comes old man winter, so follows Christmas.

Jim is not exactly into, like, God. He thinks it’s adorable that people think a baby was born in a stable surrounded by farm animals and none of them ate him and he didn’t get dysentery. He loves his pagan tree. He calls a nativity a “shrine” (is it? I don’t know!).

But you know what he really loves?



Oh my lord, how he LOVES THIS ALBUM. All he wants for Christmas is you, Mariah. It’s all he wants.

When you talk about Jesus being the reason for the season, you are not talking about people like Jim. He’s not rude about it, I don’t mean it like that. He just isn’t much for organized religion.

But what he does love – what I do love – is some capitalism Christmas. The kind that tells you that Santa Claus drinking a Coca Cola while hanging out with a Polar Bear in line for the Black Friday sale at Walmart is the reason for the season!

Which means in this house, Christmas is about magic.

Enter Steve.


Steve is our Elf on a Shelf. He arrived one year IN SHELVES. No really.

George had started to ask about the elf, some of his friends had one. So we went to Target (like good suburban parents) and picked up one of the 49739591357893493 dolls on display, and brought it home. That same day, the shelves that we ordered for the family room arrived. So Jim pulled the box opening back a little and shoved in the yet-unnamed Steve, and when he opened up the shelves – boom – out popped the elf.

It was adorable.

If you don’t think it was adorable, you are an asshole have a heart of stone.

George quickly named him Steve, clearly after his favorite Minecrafter. Steve.

Then he went to work moving about from place to place, until Christmas morning.

This is our third year with Steve, and it’s possible it’s the last year that this trick will work like magic. The child is 9 years old, I don’t know how much longer until he’s ready to tell us that he knows.

But for now, it’s just more Christmas magic, and it’s as much fun for Jim as it is for George.


Steve will fight you if you take his candy.


Steve loves to play Minecraft with his friends, Frog and Lucky Banana.


There was that time that he did MTV Unplugged. Beautiful.

It wasn’t until I had an elf that I knew that elf-hate is a real thing. And now that it’s December, it’s plastered all over the internet.

A blogger on the Huffington Post proudly slapped out “8 Simple Ways to Exile the Elf” where she explains how you can use the elf to scare the shit out of your kids, ha ha! So hilarious, then they won’t like it. She ends the post with “you’re welcome.”

Another contributor writes about how we’re LYING to our children, when her daughter realizes the doll is a doll.

“Made in China?” A. asks dubiously. She fingers a white tag on Shelf Elf’s rump. “I thought he was from the North Pole.”

First of all lady. For real? She fingers his rump? What are you, 50 Shades of Elf?

I don’t know why you let your kid finger a doll, but ahem:


There ain’t no tag on his ass. Unless you bought yours at the “here are some dolls for asshole parents” store. And let’s not forget the obvious – SANTA. If you’ll lie about Santa, the elf is RIGHT THERE WITH THAT LIE.

Of course we lie to our kids.

“I totally want to hear about that video game.”

“Your hair looks great!”

“Sure, that matches.”

“That picture is really good! You could be an artist!”

“We’ll see…”

All lies.

(Especially that last one, everyone knows that “we’ll see” is fancy talk for “no way in hell.”)

Then there’s this year’s top idea, floating around the facepage like a real life internet piece of downright genius:


Hey kids. I’m here, but I’m not going to move around. Because I have a potentially deadly disease.

I just have one question to the parents who bitch and moan every year over the elf on a shelf:

Why are you assholes?

No really.

It’s not a competition. It’s not mandatory.

Every year, without fail, the whining, the moaning, the CRYING.

“Who has time to do that??”

Well, I don’t know, other people manage to binge watch TV shows and stand in line at Starbucks every day, somehow moving a doll is a commitment as time consuming as getting your PhD?

“Why would you use a doll to make sure your kids are good??”

I use discipline to make sure my kids are good. I use a doll to play a game.

“It’s creepy!”

No more creepy than a guy who rose from the dead after three days and started talking. You know… the reason for the season.

“That must be for stay at home moms!”

Yeah, we aren’t even going to go there…

Look, I get it. You don’t like the doll.

So don’t do it.

And don’t complain that you HAVE to do it because your kids are asking about the elves of their friends. You don’t have to do shit. Tell them the same thing you would tell them if the neighbor got a toy they couldn’t have, or went on a trip you can’t afford, or has things you just don’t have. Tell them – wait for it – NO.

Why is this suddenly too hard when it comes to the elf?

If you really think that the elf pictures on another person’s social media account make you look bad, you have a serious problem with narcissism. You are literally making the family fun of other people somehow about you. Dude. Put down the mirror, there are other people in the world.

Enough blog posts about how to rid yourself of the elf. Look, moms of the suburbs, if you can remember to pour yourself a glass of wine every night, you can remember to move a doll. It’s not about forgetting it, or not being creative.

It’s about that fact that you don’t wanna.

You don’t have to. It’s all good.

But no one is harassing you. Stop being so bound and determined to wag your finger at the elf.

The problem with the elf on a shelf isn’t the other parents who enjoy it every year, or the other kids who talk about it.

It’s you. You and your crappy attitude and incessant need to complain about something that you choose to do or can choose not to do.

It’s just you.


Because this kid’s happiness is not there for you to shit on.

Merry Christmas!!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mean girl

We were sitting in a meeting. My boss was talking.

“Blargity blah blah blah, and also bleh blargh….”

My co-worker tapped me on the shoulder.

“He’s talking to you,” he whispered out of the side of his mouth.

I could feel my face burn with flush as I looked up, my boss still talking. The others who sat around the table were giving me the side eye, aware — and amused — that I was totally busted.

I wasn’t listening to the bossman. But it was important.

I was on the facepage.


Dealing with a bully.


Womp womp.

There’s this mean girl who won’t leave me alone. Yes. Mean Girl. Like the movie. The one with Regina George.


Only this mean girl isn’t a teenager in a fictional film. She’s a grown ass woman. A REAL one. I’ve been around her forever but frankly didn’t notice how awful she was. But here she is, once again, terrorizing me on that stupid facepage.

Her name?


And holy hell is she kind of a bitch.


I don’t know when this actually happened, but it’s been happening for a while now, and it’s especially noticeable on social media. She is snarky and blunt. She cuts people off (as much as you can do in type). She has favorites and rolls her eyes at other people’s posts. She screen grabs them so she can show them and sneer about it with others. She is ALWAYS RIGHT. Don’t even try to argue, she’s in your face with her rightness and her-let-me-prove-its.

And she’s not letting up.

I’ll give her this though…

marney lasers

She. Is. Adorable.

I have officially entered the most ridiculous phase of my adult life. At 41, I find myself glued to my smart phone. Clicking on apps, counting up likes, posting nonsense, pissing people off.

And I don’t know what the hell is going on.

We spend all this time giving aggressive eyerolls to the youth of world. Those Millenials. They’re so full of themselves. They think it’s important to post photos of every scone they eat, every outfit they wear, and god forbid they don’t announce when they go to the gym. We get it. You do pilates.

But the fact is, if they are full of themselves, its only because someone else is feeding it. And that someone is pretty much the rest of us. For as Gen X as still am (hello, I have THREE butterflies tattooed on me!), I’m as self absorbed as anyone else.

It’s not a bad thing, to be self absorbed. To a point. I mean, sure, there are a handful of truly selfless folks in the world. But pretty much zero of them are on the facepage. It’s quite literally your own internet page with your name on the top and every word typed is about your thoughts and your feels and your needs and your hilarious whatevers.

I found myself recently counting likes.

And then?

Then I was comparing them.

“I have more likes than her, and she’s kind of a beast, so I am totally winning.”

“More people looked at my post than his post, score.”

“I’ll just type this” *clackity clackity clack* “And…… boom, send.”

Did I mention how old I am?


Yes. I’m 41 years old. FORTY-ONE.

Which is how many more likes I got than that jerk, zing!

I kid.

Kind of.

I’m older than Joan of Arc and the Virgin Mary COMBINED, and I’m counting my likes. And getting annoyed at people for not liking me more, or faster, or better, or in a more vocal way. I can only assume that the people who don’t fall all over themselves over my words are all…


Because they certainly are talking about me behind my back. There is no other explanation. They can’t stop talking about me. That’s why they aren’t talking about me.

Wait. What…


I’ve become such a narcissist about my social media, I’ve literally gotten in ACTUAL fights about it. Because people are talking. And they might be talking about me. They probably are. I need to go check.

While my boss — a real and actual person who gives me money — is ACTUALLY talking to me.

And then finally make it back home, where I sit at home and obsess over it more.

Not the assignment my boss just handed me. No no. I obsess over the likes.

This is officially the dumbest I have ever been in my entire life. Most of the people who I interact with in this way? I don’t really even know them. I think I do. But I don’t. And since there’s enough narcissism to go around, I think it’s only fair to say, they are pretty much in the same boat.

I took the facepage app off my phone. I had to. I can’t stop clicking it. And reading. And deciding what’s about me even when it makes no sense that it could be, but I’ve turned into someone so self absorbed I think that EVERY COMMENT IS HIDING AN AGENDA.

And who am I ignoring in the mean time?

jim hank george

The ones who do know me. The ones who are talking about me. The ones who talk to me. The ones who I want to talk about more than anything else in the world.

I can’t break up with the facepage. I love her too much.

But I have GOT to rid myself of this narcissist. She’s such a nasty bully.


Take that, narcissist. I’m done with you.

*end note — Writing a long blog post all about myself saying that I am done making everything all about me… now that’s just comedy.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The fall ball

He followed behind me through the Target, trudging ever so slowly, his small feet stomp-stomp-stomping on the linoleum, something obviously amiss.

“What is it,” I crabbed through a yawn.

“I just… I thought I’d get a prize,” he said, stone cold serious.

“A prize????” I said, shocked. “For what?”

“For dancing with you,” he said, looking down at his slow, stomping, untied shoes on his slow, stomping, little boy feet.

But he was serious as a heart attack. Eight years old, that tear in the corner of his eye threatening to escape right on out and down his cheek. We’d spent 90 minutes at the annual Mother-Son Fall Ball, you see. There had been line dancing former woo girls recapturing their college days with eyes closed while they forgot for three minutes that they were in the cafetorium of the elementary school. There were at least three moms who didn’t realize that it wasn’t a full on formal event. There were banana clips. We had to hear what the damn fox said.

But for a brief minute, Stevie Wonder sang some mellow, comfortable, soothing Stevie Wonder song, and that boy came and grabbed me by the hand, and let me swing and sway right in the center of that makeshift dance floor, where at one point I even dipped him low and smothered him with wet kisses right there in front of his friends. Surely that’s worth a prize. Say, a Lego, retail price, $25. Why else would he have asked to stop at Target under the guise of “I’m hungry, can I get a snack.” We needed milk anyway.

Should have seen it coming.

A prize.


He looked up at me. Pitiful.

“Please,” he whimpered. “You’re just so awesome.”

Call me a sucker. Call me a fool. Slap my ass and call me Lloyd Christmas. Because he’s right. I’m awesome.

It’s getting away from me, this childhood thing. Just like my Mama said it would. I won’t say that it’s blink-of-an-eye fast, but the things that I thought were just NEVER. GONNA. END….

  • …middle of the night wake-ups
  • …toddler sized clothes
  • …believing in magical creatures
  • …cuddles
  • …wanting me
  • …needing me

It’s fading. It’s fading fast.

There was no “mother” in the Mother-Son Fall Ball. I joked with one of the other moms that they should sell alcohol. And we both went, “ha ha… ha ha ha….. a ha ha.. ha…”


*throat clear*

*look around*

*sip lemonade*

*look at it disgusted because it’s not spiked*

*wish the alcohol fairy would appear*

*smile at one another*

*look at the air*

We really were just there to drop our kids off, and watch them run around the cafetorium for 90 minutes, and occasionally hand them a dollar bill to go and buy another glow stick like some learning curve into the raves of tomorrow. I suppose whatever it is that the fox says would be hilarious if I had some mind altering medications in me…

I digress.

My fun and free party days gave in to these days of motherhood, of poopy diapers and midnight wake-ups and sore boobs and screw it I’m bottle feeding I’ll just lie to the breast-feeding Nazis because FOR THE LOVE my nipples are bleeding and carry on and carry through and first steps and first words. My fellow women-folk and I read the books and did the work on our relationships and made MORE babies (because of the alcohol) and did it again and took on more than we should because as it turned out we could and dammit we were good at it.

But the funny thing is, while we were busy preparing for babies — leaning to install car seats and to put them to sleep on their backs and testing nipples (for our filthy bottle feeding habits!!) and becoming oblivious to the vomity smell of the boppy wondering if we’d ruin them for life with an exersaucer versus the walker — no one even ONE time told us that we’d need to prepare for things like the Mother-Son Fall Ball. Or MAP testing. Or weekly spelling tests. Or parent teacher conferences. Or the extended phone call you’d have to have with an English teacher who’d marked on your seventh grader’s paper that the event he’d written about – the 1989 San Francisco earthquake – had never happened (totally true story).

One day they went off to pre-K, and it was so adorable, you pretty much wet yourself. You fail to realize how quickly it stops being so cute. That the 100-day project and Flat Stanley only go so far into a kid’s academic career.

Suddenly you’re left still with these little kids. But they sure aren’t your babies any more. They’re youngsters who want a prize for dancing with you.

“Isn’t he so amazing, he’ll be all grown before you know it,” my mother would say, her annoying words carving like a scratching bug right into my earhole.

mom and hank 2002

Seriously, lady, why are you rushing him?


Why are you rushing along the mop top toddler-hood like I’ll forget all about it?


See. Still as little as always. Only not so much. Now, they want prizes for dancing with me.

I hate it when my mother was right.


So we made a deal. First, the selfie. The proof that there was in fact the Mother-Son Fall Ball. He wore a tie. I bought him glow sticks. I was his date. He lost a tooth just for the occasion. We danced. It wasn’t the longest dance, but it was a magical one. I sang when Stevie Wonder sang. He rolled his eyes at me. He let me kiss him in front of his friends.


He got his prize. One messy pre-packaged, terrible for you salty snack pack, and one (not $25, more like $3.99) Lego. He did, after all, dance with me.

And there is still this:

20141023_201926 20141023_212616

The little one and the big one, the big one almost there. The tips of my fingers just ever so slightly reach over the tippy tops of his. For now, this week, for the moment, my hands, these hands that once could hold both theirs inside the palm of my own, are still bigger.

They are still my baby boys.

They always will be.

You can have a prize.


Filed under Uncategorized

Into the fall

Man, have I mentioned this before?

Hate Autumn

All that happens in fall is white girls squee at their adorbs new trench and they just can’t even over this never ending pumpkin. There are jackets to be worn and blisters to be sprouted from the boots we have to be having but apparently these days we call them booties and we wear them with our ankle pants.

Are those really a thing?

"Ankle" pants

Ankle pants. For real, that’s what they are called. Ankle pants.

These pants claim to be worth $110. And they are also called ankle pants.

Versus the pants that don’t go to your ankles. I assume they are called ankle pants as if to say, hey look, there are my ankles.

My mother had a word for those.


$110 for floods. Probably double for those hooker shoes there.

I digress. Do you SEE what fall does to me??

Desperate to hold on to summer, Jim and I planned a weekend getaway for his birthday. Then some fool set fire to an FAA facility and grounded half the flights in the nation.



So we did this instead.

00bday4 00bday3 00bday2

If that’s not clear, we had a bunch of booze, posed outside ugly sculptures, and sucked in our guts while we gleefully smiled in front of a fancy boat.

See that?


It held on for the celebration of Jim.


Thank you summer!


Fall may begin.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Anyone who knows me knows that I love summer.

In summer I’m all like:


Check out these flowers!



Beers on the patio at BWW!!



Walk with Marney!



Mud race!









Did you SEE my new tattoo??




But I ain’t gonna lie. There’s a lot of this going on:


Seriously, yo.

When does school start again?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Way to go, June

It’s been a busy span of time.

A photo show, for your viewing pleasure.

We ran another 13.1 miles, despite the fact that no one was chasing us. Yet again.

We ran another 13.1 miles, despite the fact that no one was chasing us. Yet again.


Found my true talent.


Stealing my friends’ photos and adding thought bubbles.

Also used my photoshop skills to make an adjustment to the new Johnny Football shirt. Not sure why this hasn't taken off yet, but dibs on the royalties.

Also used my photoshop skills to make an adjustment to the new Johnny Football shirt. Not sure why this hasn’t taken off yet, but dibs on the royalties.

Fell into a tattoo needle.

Fell into a tattoo needle.

For three hours.

For three hours.

Mom says she's not mad, but me and the owl aren't buying it, so don't tell her.

Mom says she’s not mad, but me and the owl aren’t buying it, so don’t tell her.


Forced the boys to look at nature.


As it turned out, they liked it.


And I ended up all sweaty and tired.

Saw some mountains.

Saw some mountains.

Saw this old hag. She looks old next to my owl.

Saw this old hag. She looks old next to my owl.

Had a slumber party! Not as exciting as Jim thinks, as the pillow fight did not happen at all, let alone topless. Sorry Jimmer.

Had a slumber party! Not as exciting as Jim thinks, as the pillow fight did not happen at all, let alone topless. Sorry Jimmer.

Watched KGB drink her dinner.

Watched KGB drink her dinner.

Quality pool time.

Quality pool time.

And squeezed in a few days with just two or three or 42 of my closest gal pals.

And squeezed in a few days with just two or three or 42 of my closest gal pals.

So that about sums it up.

How’s your summer going? Because 2014 is rockin’ so far. Suck it, polar vortex.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized