Monday, August 21, 2017

13 Signs It's Time for Your Kids to go Back to School


It’s almost here. Can you make it? Just a few more days. A few more painful, excruciating, migraine-inducing days before school starts. Can you make it? You’re not sure.

You’re tapped out. The well has run dry. The dead horse has been beaten. The source of this despair? This chaos, this destruction, this heart-wrenching suffering? Your beloved offspring. The ones you can’t wait to kiss goodbye, never to see again. Well, at least for seven hours.

Is it time for school to start? If you’re a complete sadist and you’re not sure, here’s a handy checklist. For the rest of us...well, this will just confirm our suspicions.

    1.    You plan your day around wine. You actually try to get yourself stuck out of the house, in parts of town where you will be forced to eat out for lunch, which means you can order wine. “Kids, there is NO WAY we can make it home for lunch after Nordstrom Rack, and still make it to music class on time, so we MUST eat out, or we will surely starve. (Sigh.) Oh look, there is a (enter favorite chain restaurant that serves alcohol). I guess we’ll have to eat there!”
     2. Wine doesn’t cut it anymore, and you’ve moved onto vodka. This happens! Last week I had lunch with two girlfriends and they BOTH ordered vodka tonics, and confided that it was too late in the summer to drink wine and get a proper buzz. And these girls are winos like me. Also, I guess vodka has less calories. Should I give vodka a try? I do have a few days left…
     3.  You are in the worst shape you’ve been in ALL YEAR. How are you supposed to run, and go to yoga and Pilates with these KIDS attached to you all day? How does that work? How do moms stay in shape over the summer without starving themselves?  Oh that’s right, they starve themselves. Except for my friend Kelly. (See exhibit A below.) Here, Kelly sports shockingly flat abs after birthing three children and orders a burger at Islands and eats it. With the bun. You go, Kelly!

Exhibit A. Kelly Snodgrass looking amazing!

     4.  Every single thing your kids say irritates you. Every. Single. Thing. Even an innocent “Mom, may I please have a healthy fruit snack and a refreshing glass of water?” can elicit an angry “What’s with your attitude? Go to your room!” Don’t even try, “Mom, can I put my old clothes in a bag for homeless people?” NO, YOU DIDN’T! THOSE ARE FIGHTING WORDS.
     5.  You fantasize about hiring a nanny and going back to work. To work! You could get dressed in real clothes. You could stop at Starbucks. What job could you get? You have skills, right? Of course you do! Amazon Prime skills….Facebook skills…Nun chuck skills….
     6. You are parenting poorly. Duh. This one is obvious. You’ve straight up stopped disciplining your kids because a) It doesn’t work and b) you have no energy. When you DO discipline (take away an iPad, or dessert) you forget ten minutes later when you are throwing electronics at them and shoving cookies down their throats so you can get five. Minutes. Of. Peace.
     7.  You are wife-ing poorly.  When your husband gets home from work, he takes one look at your face and immediately goes into the other room. Your entire being radiates despair and doom, and your eyes are two vapid pools of helplessness and fatigue, mixed with a healthy dose of ANGER AND ACCUSATION because HE GAVE YOU THESE CHILDREN. That’s right, you better run!
     8.  You fantasize about what it would be like if you didn’t have kids. Like, what if you decided not to have kids, or couldn’t get pregnant? Would you eventually recover and move on with your life? Hell yes, you would! You and your husband would be in the South of France right now, drinking rose on a beautiful yacht. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE DO WHO DON’T HAVE CHILDREN! I’ve seen it on Facebook! You would both look super hot and ten years younger because you didn’t have KIDS. (In real life, your not-even-40-yet husband is sporting a GREY BEARD. A GREY BEARD. People ask him if it’s because of his stressful job, and he laughs but you know better. THE KIDS DID THIS TO HIM.

Your Life Without Kids

     9.  You get stupid ideas like taking your 6-year-old off her ADHD medicine to “give her a break” because it’s summer, or take away everyone’s electronics for a few days to clear everyone’s mind. WHAT STUPID FUCKING IDEAS. Why don’t you just stab yourself through the heart with a corkscrew. That would feel better, I fucking promise.
    10. Your self-care has gone out the window.  Your legs are hairy. Your roots are grey. You haven’t meditated in weeks. I won’t even go into your bikini line (unless you have experienced the glories of laser hair removal. Thanks, LaserAway!) Your nail polish is so chipped it’s almost completely gone. You probably have three new cavities due to a summer of poor flossing.
    11.  Your toilets get clogged on a daily basis. Apparently your plumbing can’t handle around-the-clock use by a six-year-old and a nine-year-old because they get plugged up every day. EVERY FUCKING DAY.
    12.  Everything makes you cry. The theme song to Moana. When the Grandma dies in Trolls. When you run out of hand sanitizer. When you can’t find a ripe avocado.
    13.  Your kids are fighting to the death. Their hair pulling, face scratching, biting, hitting and sucker-punching would put the worst barbarian to shame. You think of showing your kids Gladiator to put things in perspective, and you cheer up for a moment because—Russell Crowe-- then you realize that's the happiest you’ve felt all week and you start crying again.

No caption needed.


 If you answer YES to any of the above, guess what? It’s time for your kids to go back to school!!!





Monday, July 24, 2017

How to Avoid Mommy Drama, Gossip, and other Assorted Bullshit


I managed to slip through my twenties in a na├»ve haze of beach living, bar-hopping and work. The happy hour menu, job and boys changed with the season, but my friendships…they always remained consistent.  I was lucky enough to fall into an amazing circle of girlfriends.  They are some of my best friends to this day and their love and support have set the bar for friendship really, really high.

Most of us lived in PB, and when we got real jobs, we migrated North to La Jolla. When we got married and had kids, we spread out all over San Diego County. We are in Mission Hills and Point Loma, Encinitas and Del Mar.  Solana Beach and Carlsbad. I was the only one who moved to Coronado. Once again, I hit the jackpot. Once again, I am surrounded by loving and amazing friends.

Living in Coronado is sort of like a fairy tale. It’s like living in the Deep South, but more ocean and less snakes.  Everyone knows who you are. I can’t go to school drop off, the coffee cart, or Boney’s without seeing at least five people I stop to chat with. (This is why I wear makeup every day because ARE YOU STARING AT MY UNDER EYE CIRCLES?) I bump into my daughter’s swim teacher at the Yacht Club. The dance teacher at Nado Gelato.  My OB/GYN at Il Fornaio.  Need to switch up that birth control? Perfect place to ask.  It’s very Norman Rockwell. It’s very warm and fuzzy. Where else do people get excited to hang out at the annual Flower Show?

It’s also a curse.

If you are going through a challenging time, a dozen people will offer to help. But if you roll into the yacht club super-buzzed and dance wildly with the senior citizens…yup, everyone saw that too.  If your husband posts something questionable on Facebook, it MAY be brought up at a lady’s club meeting. If you are a newcomer and you try to patch up a friendship between two old friends…watch out, you might get kicked out of church group! Piss off the wrong person? You’re not getting into the Yacht Club. Looking pretty at the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone might accuse you of cheating on your husband. Seriously. You can't make this shit up.

But by far the BIGGEST problem I have with this town is lady gossip. In particular, moms. I am always shocked when I’m hanging out with a group of women and a conversation turns sour and someone says something negative about someone else.  Why does this happen?

I’ve witnessed many friendships unravel. Some, perhaps beyond repair. Most of the time I am unable to take sides because I genuinely like both parties. Usually someone is at fault but lets face it…good people make mistakes.  And are we really keeping score?

I’m not perfect. I’m not immune to trash talking, but it doesn’t happen often…I really, really try to reserve those fucks for when they are warranted. I feel like my life is better because of it. Conversations with friends are happier and deeper. People tell me secrets because I keep them. My friends trust me—since I don’t talk shit about anyone else, they know I won’t talk shit about them. Luckily, my husband feels the same way and we do our best to try to follow an anti-gossip regime in our household. It’s served us well.

I read somewhere that “what other people think about you is none of your business.”  It’s true. And I think if you stop caring what others think of you, you also start to care less about the shit they do. Shit that isn’t any of your business in the first place.

This is a pretty preachy post so feel free to unlike it and tell me how bad it fucking sucks. But this has been weighing on me for a really long time, and I don’t like to pay for therapy.

Top Tips to Avoid Mommy Drama, Gossip, and other Bullshit

1. Don’t gossip. This should be easy, but it’s actually really hard in a small town. Do your best to not say anything bad about anyone, ever. Don’t stir the pot. Gossip benefits NO ONE…EVER!
2. Don’t get in the middle. If two parties are fighting, it’s not your job to take sides, defend the friend you are closer to or try to patch things up (although I have been tempted.) We are big girls. We have pushed babies out of our vaginas or had them cut out of us. We have pledged our lives to our husbands and have dedicated everything we have to our families. Some of us have had to watch our marriages dissolve. Some of us are widows. Some of us are the breadwinners in the family and work 60 hours a week. WE ARE BIG GIRLS. We clean up our own messes. (In other words…don’t get in the middle. Be fucking Switzerland.)
3. Be kind. Always. 
4. See the good in people. Everyone, and I mean everyone has something to offer. Everyone has a unique talent. There are a few people that I genuinely don’t like being around, but I can still see the good in them, and I am sure they are amazing in their own ways.  (Just don’t ask me to lunch. I will admire you from afar.)
5. Make up your own mind about people. Don’t pay too much attention to anyone’s reputation. (True…where there’s smoke, there is usually fire. But it feels amazing to be surprised!)
6. Remove yourself from toxic situations. If you find yourself in a social situation where someone starts shit-talking, get out of the situation. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. Go get a drink. Change the subject. Never stand idly by and let the gossip grow. Then you are an accomplice!
7. Have faith in your friends. If you’ve chosen your friends wisely…have faith in them. They may go off in their own circles and join clubs you don’t like or see people you don’t enjoy. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you and support you. They are living their life to the best they know how, and know that they will always defend you should push come to shove.
8. Be forgiving. People will make mistakes. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people. It can be hard to forgive but even harder to let anger fester.
9. Be careful with clubs. I have really good friends who are super active in ladies clubs and thrive in that environment, but I found it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t any good in a sorority either. The only club I really thrived in was Stroller Strides, because we were all too busy sweating with our damn babies in our damn Bob Strollers, trying to not be fat and keep up, and giving each other advice on increasing breast milk supply and sleep training to give a shit about anything else. Peace out, Stroller Strides
10. Try to keep your shit together.  If you decide to go rogue and do some super-questionable shit, please keep it on the down-low and off the local radar.
11. Don’t judge. We all have our own shit to deal with. This includes judging yourself if you find yourself saying something unkind. Were you a bitch today? Be nicer tomorrow.

And finally, take the advice of my good friend. One day we were sitting by the pool with our then 3-year-old girls and were talking about something. She said, “You know, it takes a lot for me to get mad at people. If you try to fuck my husband or hurt my kid, then we have a problem. But if you don’t do that, I’m pretty much okay with you.”

Amen to that!



Saturday, April 22, 2017

No Clothes? No Problem! The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide to College Spring Break Fashion


Before I was a stay-at-home mom, I was a stay-up-late kind of girl. Especially when I was living in Pacific Beach, working at World Famous, and going (or not going) to school at UCSD. 

I have vague memories of Spring Break in my 20s. If I smell a kamikaze shot, images flash through my brain: Ice luges. 80s parties. Sandy bathing suits.  Late-night burritos. Phone numbers written on my arm with a sharpie. Sleeping with my clothes on. Sleeping with my clothes off.

You get the picture.

Come to think of it...this was probably just my normal life. But who’s keeping track?

Things are different now. There's always someone in my bed, but it's my husband and we've been married for 12 years. Sometimes I sleep in my clothes, but it's usually in the kids' room on the floor and someone is puking.

Ice luges are a thing of the past. Did we get brain freeze? I can't remember. Now, I'm the one sharpie-ing my number onto my kid's arms when we go to SeaWorld.

80s parties? If I'm lucky.  Late night burritos? That still happens, I'm not gonna lie.

Enter: Spring Break 2017. I'm 39 years old. My kids are eight and five. Should we go on vacation?


Let’s face it. Taking ANY sort of trip with two children is a major risk. The vacation could be awesome. Or it could SUCK BIG-TIME. If the past is any predictor of future success, I would say that most of our family vacations have been 50% shitty, 20% fun and 30% somewhere-in-between. Like, I don’t exactly want to hang myself from that giant Redwood tree we just drove through, but I wouldn’t mind if my husband drove our car off a cliff. (As long as he did it really fast, so we wouldn’t know what’s coming.)


Road to divorce.

I digress. We decided to go to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Smack during the Spring Break season. This might turn off a lot of families: sloppy teenage drinkers and fraternity pranksters, questionable poolside shenanigans and murky hot-tub water quality.  (Like, the sperm count in the Jacuzzi is higher than it is in most IVF emissions.)

And let’s not forget 20-year-old girls looking great in slutty bikinis…girls who did NOT run three miles a day and cut out carbs and practically kill themselves through starvation and almost pass out in Monday morning assembly at T-K to look great in said bikinis.

On the plus side, I reasoned our “spirited” little girls would look like ANGELS compared to these barely-legal spring breakers. Our kids wouldn’t put a dent in the chaos with their banshee wailing, sister-hitting, face-clawing, hair pulling, or downright disagreeableness. (To be fair, my 8-year-old is pretty mature, but my 5-year-old is full-on “Braveheart-at-Battle” in the body of a little girl.) 


Don't mess with her.


So, we went.

The verdict? Traveling for Spring Break as a stay-at-home mom is totally badass. Not only did I get sit by the pool all day, drinking endless Miami Vices and reading three books, but I got to witness first-hand the fun and flirty new fashion trends for the college crowd. I found it most entertaining! Check it out.

Top Spring Break 2017 Fashion Trends for the College Crowd

Let’s start with air travel.  If you’re a girl and you are boarding a plane, you are wearing jean shorts that are UP YOUR BUTT, as in your butt cheeks are CLEARLY HANGING OUT OF YOUR SHORTS.  You might even have a bruise from falling out of the Uber on the way home from the bar (See below.) You are also probably wearing a tank top with no jacket. You are trying to ignore the fact the airport is FREEZING and you have goose bumps. No, you are not cold! You’re not!




If you are feeling more demure, you are wearing skin tight, high-wasted black leggings. Preferably ones that lace up the side. You are wearing either a grey or white belly-baring tank top and either black converse or Adidas.


You have a lovely fake tan, and have spent HOURS perfecting your dirty blonde balayage hair into silky waves. “Rapunzel,” your 5-year old says.

“Yes,” you say. “But this princess has let her hair down for too many princes.”


If you are a boy, you are wearing a shirt that looks like this:

I’m not kidding.  A real human was wearing this shirt on our Alaska Airlines flight. MY EIGHT YEAR OLD CAN READ.

“Marley,” my husband says to our 8-year-old, “If you ever bring home a boy who is wearing a shirt like that, he’s going to be looking down the barrel of my gun.”

Moving on to fun looks for the pool. The most popular bathing suit trends were:

a) Cheeky bikinis




b) Super slutty Monokinis.

Let’s start with the cheeky bikinis. To be fair, most of these girls had rockin’ bodies, but thought NOTHING of the fact that, again, their ENTIRE BUTTS were hanging out of their bottoms. If you wanted, you could simply extend out an arm and wave your hand, and you could easily touch dozens of pairs of butt cheeks. It’s a wonder people didn’t try to do this. At times, I was tempted.

My husband also discovered a startling new type of monokini (Go, Ian!)…the REVERSE MONOKINI. This is basically monokini where the cleavage is actually the underboob (see underboob below.) I have no words for this new trend.






So again, the trend is bikinis or monokinis so revealing that you could actually have sex with your bathingsuits ON. Like, you could meet someone, and have sex without removing your bathing suit.  This makes my brain hurt.

And let’s face it, no look is complete without an accessory. Behold, the Cabo Bandana.



But the boys, again, couldn’t resist things like “Sex Machine” and “I Love Pussy.”  Gross. AGAIN, MY EIGHT YEAR OLD CAN READ.

Moving on to club attire. Whether you're heading out for a beach bar or a night club, the attire is the same. NO CLOTHES. Leave that bikini on. All you need to do is snap on your hot pink, sorority emblazoned fanny pack, throw on some flip flops and you’re good to go.  


No, coverups NOT acceptable and should never be worn. If you feel like you need something else on your body, stop and get a henna tattoo of your boyfriend’s fraternity ON YOUR ASS CHEEKS. Like, allow the Mexican on the beach to get all OB/Gyn on you.

I’m not kidding. Legions of girls were walking around downtown in JUST bikinis. Even at night. Why doesn’t anyone wear clothes? I don’t know. All I’m thinking is, these girls are asking to get raped! I know, I know, it’s not okay to say that. Girls are never responsible for getting raped. No means no. But I’m just sayin!

Appropriate Night Club Wear


That concludes our Spring Break style round-up. I hope you've enjoyed it!