That’s Why You Don’t Eat That

Yesterday was my first day back to work after a weeklong break, at home with the kids and Ryan. Because my children thankfully inherited my husband’s laziness and narcolepsy, they miraculously slept in everyday until 9:30-10:00am. When you wake up after the third hour of “The Today Show” then you know you are doing vacation right- mainly because you’re well rested and also because no one should start their day looking at Al Roker.


Needless to say, the adjustment back to reality was harsh and mildly depressing. I managed to soften the blow by rewarding myself with post-work brownie baking. At work, I sacrificed eating a regrettable amount of Special K cereal and two random Kit Kats I found in my bag in order to save my surplus calories for the brownie batter I’d eat. The only problem with this plan (which is the same problem I have in planning my fake death to escape student loan payments): MY KIDS.


Now because I’m not a total monster, Liney and OB have previously partaken in the indulgence that is raw brownie batter. I realize that this contains raw egg, but just like raw cookie dough, you HAVEN’T LIVED if you haven’t eaten it. You also deserve a swift kick to the gut if you lecture me on how it’s bad for you to eat. I do a lot of unhealthy shit: I once drank a beer mid-marathon. I buy myself individual cakes and eat them for lunch. And most unhealthy of all, I follow Donald Trump on Twitter just to make myself irrationally homicidal.


So how was I going to eat the brownie batter without my beloved kiddos noticing and wanting to eat it all for themselves? They’re scavengers, after all. This was a real conundrum that I thought about throughout the day. How could I bribe them to eat something else? How could I distract them while I slipped away with a bowl of melted chocolate? PARENTHOOD IS SO HARD.

When we got home, Caroline immediately wanted to have a snack and watch a show. YES. When Oliver caught wind of Caroline eating a snack and watching something—he wanted in on it too. SCORE! They were both going to be jamming out on pudding while watching “Tinkerbell” and “Mighty Machines,” respectively. No way would they give up watching a magical fairy or construction site footage to bake with their mom.


I stirred those brownies and got out a plastic spoon as to not make scraping sounds to draw attention to my crime. Then, I ate my way through half of that bowl. The heavenly mixture of brownie mix, a single egg, vegetable oil and water was like the sweet answer to my stomach’s search. I quickly put the remaining mixture in a pan and baked them so Ryan wouldn’t come home asking why the brownie mix was gone, but there were no brownies.

Mission accomplished.

Fast-forward an hour while playing “blue dump truck crashes into orange crane truck” with Oliver, my stomach started turning. Because I’m an intelligent adult, I thought the remedy to this was to eat Tostitos tortilla chips. In my mind, the combination of sweet (brownie mix) and salt (chips) would balance one another out. It makes sense. Like, if you’re sweating during a workout then replenish it with water. If your stomach is full of sweet chocolaty goodness then soak it up with a salty chip.



I ran to the bathroom and violently expelled the contents of my stomach. Like, hugged-the-toilet-after-a-drunken-college-night puked. I haphazardly walked out of the bathroom and met with up Caroline. I told her of my illness and she looked so sympathetic and sad that mommy was sick so I blurted out, “I’m okay, I’m okay! I just ate too much brownie batter.”

You made brownies? You ate the brownie batter? Is there any left?”

“No. They’re already in the oven.”

Cue total and utter toddler heartbreak. There I stood, the mother that Caroline thought she once knew. The one that shares her brownie mix not one that secretly eats it behind her back. Perhaps me throwing up was internal guilt that I didn’t pull over a chair for Caroline and hand her a plastic spoon to scrape the bowl. Or maybe it was really because you shouldn’t eat raw eggs.

So that’s my story of parental disappointment at the hands of a Ghirardelli brownie mix. Not only did I deprive my children of brownie batter, but I hid it from them and was punished by throwing up. Caroline may never trust me again, but Oliver on the other hand…

The secret’s still safe.



Bye Felicia {2016}

HELLO WORLD! Happy New Year to you all and a big “Get the Fuck Out of Here, You’re Drunk and No One Invited You” to 2016.

I figured I’d quickly post as to leave this (commonly abandoned) blog on a happy note instead of a post about the downward spiral of our country. I mean, certainly 2016 had some highlights, right?!

For example, I literally got highlights in 2016 and I really think it’s helped bring out my pasty skin tone and desperation to be on trend. #Win


But in all seriousness, if you had a banner 2016 then you have to be in the minority. My newsfeed was full of divorce announcements, deaths, political rants, terrorist attacks, breakdowns, broken goals, illnesses and most disturbing of all –way too mothereffing MUCH of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna.


You know the world has gone down an irreversible shit path when you feel sympathetic for Kim Kardashian.


If you had a baby or got married, I’d assume you’d rank 2016 pretty highly, but your marriage is probably cursed (go check his text messages, girl!) and your kid is probably going to be a serial killer (maybe not, but maybe…very likely, actually).

In all seriousness, I did accomplish a lot this year. For example, I finally settled on a face wash that cleanses without drying my skin. That’s pretty terrific. Caroline also learned how to dress herself which usually makes her look like she just left an underground rave, but man, is it a timesaver. Oliver had a big accomplishment in that he only stops breathing six times per hour now—what a champ! As for Ryan, he probably leveled up at some point in one of those video games where you shoot people’s heads off during the zombie apocalypse so props to him as well.

I’m happy to see 2016 end and I’m giddily looking forward to 2017. Like most, I have some goals. My biggest goal of this year was to successfully train and complete a marathon, which I did in September. Without a doubt, the highlight of my year and a bucket list item checked off. To cross the finish line with 4 bleeding toe nails, countless sore muscles and a head full of defeating thoughts was truly transformative in regards to my personal strength and the goals your body can help you achieve. However, crossing the finish line holding hands with Caroline was a mom-moment that I (and hopefully her too) will never, ever forget.


A lot of other stuff happened this year (LIKE “GILMORE GIRLS” coming back!)  and like every other person, I generically hope for more in 2017. I’ve got some big jazzy goals professionally, personally, runningly (that shit is NOT a word, but that’s okay), but nothing more than the wish that my family stays healthy and that the Queen gets over this “heavy” cold. That bitch can’t leave us just yet!


Happy New Year!

Dearest Daughter [Post Election]

Dearest Daughter,

Just the other day, we culminated our nearly year-long support of Hillary Clinton, by you sitting on my lap in a voting booth and helping me fill in the bubble below her name. My heart was beaming and my eyes were swelling with tears at the thought that I was voting for the first female president with my precocious, dream-filled, innocent baby girl on my lap. We went home to watch the coverage, ignorant that the vote could go anyway other than our own. I was going to remember this day forever. You were going to remember this day forever. Your “President Barbie” doll wouldn’t just be a mockery of women’s goals; it would be a reality in 2016.

But then it wasn’t.

By 9:30pm when the news correspondents began to look more and more perplexed, I knew it was time to put you to bed. I promised to wake you up if she won. My language had already transitioned: it was no longer when, it was if.

While you slept, I watched the news with a knot in my stomach for us. I spent two years in graduate school studying women’s history that was pack full of suffragettes and feminists and everyday women trying to make the world better. They were my historical heroes- the ones that recognized the sexist injustice of this country long before this presidential race turned sour. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt—recognizable names fighting for the unrecognized and dismissed sex. Like so many other moms, I saw Hillary as part of that long list who would be a modern day role model for you. Someone who fought for families, came out of a man’s shadow and broke that infinitely high glass ceiling. Finally.

But it didn’t happen.

Announcing to you that she didn’t win was eerily like breaking news of a death to you. You crawled deep into my lap with your head down and whispered, “I didn’t want him to win.” Words that so many others, young and old, gay and straight, black and Hispanic were all saying. You had determined rather early by your own accord that Donald Trump said “mean things” and “wasn’t nice.” Ordinarily, I’d try to lecture you that everyone has redeeming characteristics and not to jump to conclusions about people, even strangers, off of 30 second sound clips. But there was and is nothing ordinary about Donald Trump, The Politician. You were right. He wasn’t nice and he did say mean things. Your childhood naivety was actually very sound judgment.

But the problem with the results is not that he won, it’s that nearly half of the country thought that he was the better candidate or the “lesser of two evils.” It’s heartbreaking to explain to you that there are people near and far that undermine us as females, that look at people’s differences as morally wrong and that value hatred over acceptance. I want to raise you with the exact opposite set of beliefs, but I now feel like a dark world of division and contempt awaits you- threatening all the good that I will try to instill.

Do I sound dramatic? Perhaps. Do I sound pessimistic? Absolutely. But the fear that insolence, xenophobia, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and racism will trickle down from the top tier  of The White House to our little corner of the world is now real. It’s already unfortunate enough that you grow up in a world where mass shootings occur daily and terrorist attacks cover our newspapers, but now we are under the leadership of someone that instigates violence and encourages prejudice.

As I push through the oddly personal heartbreak of this election, I want you to never give in. Never give in to bullies that ridicule your appearance, mock your dreams or try to intimidate you to be less than your very best. We live in a society where white men will always seemingly have a head start and an invisible advantage. Do not let this man, his campaign, his supporters or his victory take away the morals I have instilled in you or your innocent belief that good outshines evil.

I feel guilty that I set your little heart up for heartbreak, but proud that you saw a woman loosely grip the Oval Office. You will see a woman secure that grip and keep it one day, I promise. Hillary did not let us down, she lifted us up and gave little girls like you more motivation to push through hard times and negativity. The world was not ready for her, but I will try my hardest over the next four years to make sure that it is ready for you. I don’t know what this presidency means or how it will evolve, but if it’s anything like the campaign that earned its victory then here is my motherly advice to you: do the opposite. Be kind to all. Love everyone. Embrace differences. Don’t judge. Don’t exclude. Don’t stereotype. Don’t dismiss others. Don’t hate. Be good. Follow the golden rule. Be a girl that’s a threat, not one that is threatened.

I can’t control what happens in politics, but I can control how I raise you and your brother. As much as this election has crushed my faith in humanity, it will make me a better mother to ensure that you will always see positivity and progress. Two days later and my heart is still swollen with sadness, but like so many others, we should accept this and look towards the future. You, my sweet girl, are the future. Change it for the better. The next four years will not define us as females nor will Hillary’s loss. Button up your pantsuit and go dominate the world. We now know that at least half, if not more, of the country will support you. I know I always will.

Sometimes the villains win, kid. Temporarily of course. Sometimes Spiderman gets taken down. Sometimes Wonder Woman falls to the ground, but the movie always ends with good defeating bad. If it doesn’t then there’s always a sequel and in this case, it will premiere in 2020.

Better days are ahead.






A Trip to Target WITHOUT Kids: A Dream Sequence

I remember the days of driving past that infamous red bull’s-eye and internally justifying a spending spree. My 25 minute commute home from work “magically” would turn into two hours and $200 spent on shit I never knew I needed. It was a great life.

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Then I had kids and the days of disposable income and more importantly, throwaway time vanished. My love affair with Target abruptly ended when my sole purpose shopping there was diaper deals and pureed fruits. Now as I make my weekly jaunt to Target with two rambunctious toddlers, I often find myself daydreaming of a childless trip to my beloved store. A trip that wouldn’t involve searching through children’s clearance racks for a Little Pony tee in a size 4T. A trip that wouldn’t force me to open two packages of cookies just to obtain ten minutes of silence from my children. What would I do without my children at Target?

The answer lies below…

First, I’d get a regular freaking cart- not one of those “I’m a mom of kids!” carts with the bucket seats and waist straps covered in dried applesauce or melted chocolate (or is it poop? No one knows). I’d push a regular cart that doesn’t require a boating license to properly steer and I wouldn’t fear turning a corner and knocking down an elderly woman or a display of paper towels. What freedom!

Next, I’d want to finally partake in the luring aroma of freshly popped popcorn that greets me whenever I enter Target. When I have my children with me, I have to share the popcorn with my daughter who then declares that she “doesn’t even like popcorn” and wants a slushy instead. If she isn’t complaining then my two year old is reaching for the bag and I have to waste my breath telling him that popcorn kernels are chocking hazards. I know all the young people just want to “Netflix and chill,” but all I want to do is “Popcorn and Target”—alone.

Thirdly, I’d slowly tour the women’s clothing section. My wardrobe has been reduced to tank tops with convenient built-in-bras and mesh shorts that give the wildly incorrect impression that I actually workout. I dress this way not because I’m lazy or uninterested in my appearance, but because every damn time I try to shop for myself, my children take it upon themselves to start strangling one another using dangling sweaters from the sales racks. The last time I tried to shop for a dress at Target, I watched my daughter try to blow her nose into the sleeves of a $30 jacket. My closet has suffered ever since.


Next up: I’ve sped past the beauty section of Target for the last four years in fear that my children would use the nail polish display as tribal war paint. Target apparently has items that will help make me pretty, but I never get the opportunity to actually see them. Every time I whiz by the aisles, I dream of spending time properly color matching my skin to $12 BB creams. Hell, I’d like to have enough time in Target to learn about what BB cream actually is. I’d love to peruse the shelves with exfoliating creams without my son opening up a tube of anti-aging cream and trying to eat it when I’m not looking. Twenty minutes alone on these aisles and I could come out looking like I actually shower regularly.

All while eating my buttery popcorn goodness, I’d want to sprint by the toy section giving it the sophisticated “double middle finger” salute. A trip to Target without touring the newest Monster High doll series or wasting ten minutes searching for a red tractor Hot Wheels. A trip to Target without talking my toddler down from the ledge because she can’t have 16 Shopkins despite the fact that neither one of us know what the hell a Shopkin even is. These are moments that one could only fantasize about.

Lastly, I’d choose the check-out lane with longest line with the slowest cashier and a customer using expired coupons because what’s the rush to get back? Ordinarily, the meltdowns would commence around checkout time and I’d get the judgmental and sympathetic stares from other patrons, but I’d be ALONE. I could read about the ingredients in the packages of gum if I wanted to because once again, there are no tiny tyrants in my Target cart.

However, there would be, inevitably, a Little Pony t-shirt in size 4T and $1 car because I love my kids so much that shit was on sale.

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Currently <7/22/16>

Since plagiarism is in the news (God bless your heart, Melania) I figured that I would straight-up copy another blogger’s survey. I’d give her credit, but where’s the fun in that? I’d much rather just pretend it was my own and argue with anyone that suggests otherwise.

Speaking of which, did I ever tell you about the time I invented the polio vaccine?

Anyway, let’s get to it…



Well, as previously mentioned, I’m in full-swing marathon training mode. Tomorrow I have a long group run of 15 miles that will be the longest I’ve ever run. Nervous? Yes. I also did some strength work last night, but that consisted of some squats while watching “Big Brother”—I hardly doubt that counts.

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My daughter eat ¼ slice of pizza. It’s been an hour. Who the hell needs to be FORCED to eat pizza? I could down an entire medium pan pizza by myself in under 20 minutes, but this kid takes a bite every 45 minutes and then complains about it. Sometimes I’m really proud that these kids are mine, but when they begrudgingly eat pizza and refuse raw cookie dough, I just feel sad for their futures.

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I’m eating pizza because I’m on a very strict, clean Paleo diet.

I’d also like to publicly call out my local grocery store for running out of my favorite chips. That bag kept me warm at night. My bra feels empty without chip crumbs in it. I find it disgraceful that the shelves were full of vegetables and fresh fruit, but no Cantina Tostitos? Get your shit together, store.



This entry, obviously.

I also finished a (I’d consider) humorous article that I sent out for publication. It’s been five days and I haven’t heard anything from the editor so it looks like we’re back to eating Ramen Noodles and that my half-hearted writing career is a bust.


Being home for the summer. My two rascals cause me premature gray hair, but I love just being here. It’s nice to not have the stress of work in the back of my mind (lesson planning! Grading! Seating charts!) and to just be able to enjoy them. The good AND the bad moments (like when Oliver requested a banana only to smash it on the ground and then step on it).

In a non-emotional segment, I’m also loving the #TrumpYourself website. Listen, I don’t discuss politics publically because it’s a waste of my breath, they’re all corrupt and until they pay off my student loan debt, they can all suck it. BUT! This website made me legit “LOL” yesterday because…why is he yelling at me like that? Why’s he calling me names in front of Oliver? Oh snaps, America is just great.





Well I’m forcefully teaching Caroline letter and number recognition as well as writing them. It’s the most painful experience, ever. HOW DO ELEMENTARY TEACHERS DO THIS?

Me: Caroline, what’s this letter?

Caroline: That’s “K!”

Me: It’s not “K.” Think hard.

Caroline: Hmm…maybe it IS “K!”

Me: It’s NOT “K.” I’m telling you, it’s not “K.” What’s the letter?

Caroline: My name starts with “C!”

Me: True, but you forgot the question. What’s this letter? Focus!

Caroline: That’s letter “K!”

Me: I want to stab myself. We’re done for the day.

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We are taking our FIRST family vacation next month. We’re driving six hours east to Connecticut to chill out in a hotel and by the beach. We are going camping next week so booking a real getaway where we don’t need to walk ½ mile to the damn bathroom or sleep with bugs is a way to appease me. He’s solid like that.


Well that was an enjoyable little survey/update, amiright? Happy Friday!

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

I keep typing clever ways to begin this post and then immediately and aggressively hitting the “delete” button because they all sound forced and lame. I guess “forced and lame” is technically my writing style, but I really wanted my return to be memorably stated and clever so here it goes…


Summer vacation has begun which means I’m virtually unemployed for eight weeks and my only friends are two toddlers that find me humorless and bossy.

The past few months have been uncharacteriscally busy. I’ve started up a non-profit, organized three fundraisers and participated in a weight lifting competition.

Just kidding.

I have finally caught up on “The Real Housewives of New York City” and most people would argue that’s just as important.

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What I have been up to is actually pretty major though and incredibly time consuming.

I’m training for a full marathon.

This should come as a major surprise to everyone because for someone that labels herself as a “runner” I am slower than a paralyzed snail and somewhat dislike the very act of running (mainly because of what it does to my bangs).


However, completing a marathon has been on my bucket list for years and as society tells me, I’m not getting any younger. I joined a local training group and attend two group runs a week—a speed/hill workout on Thursday evenings and a long run on Saturday mornings. I’m three weeks in and am really enjoying the group dynamic—it keeps me accountable when I’d much rather sit on my ass and eat an entire bag of Tostitos. As I’ve told everyone, I am not racing my first marathon. My primary goal is to a) get to the starting line with two functional legs and b) actually cross over the finish line with two moderately functional legs. That’s it.

Other than that, it’s been a steady stream of busyness with the kids. I forget how exhausting staying home can be, but I love getting to wake up with them each day. During the school year, I’m gone before they wake up so it’s awesome to see their little faces first thing—even if one of them is somehow already upset about her life before both of her eyes are open (I’m looking at you Caroline).


Summer has been fun and everyday we are doing something different. Last week we went strawberry picking which ended in Oliver picking rocks. Yesterday we went to a nearby splash pad that resulted in Oliver sifting through dirt. Basically, I need to drop him off at a construction site and pick him up in September.

I’m trying to think of what else has been going on, but my mind is only a half-cup of coffee into the day so it’s a bit fuzzy. I’m also focusing on the fact that the more I take the kids to the library, the more effing money it costs me in overdue fines. Like seriously, if anyone finds a kids book about demolition, send it my way. Those librarians are something fierce when a picture book goes missing.

Okay, well now that I’ve got one post under my belt, we can all hope and pray that I continue. I know what a hole my absence has caused in your lives: I’ve seen the hashtags, read the cards and completed most of the paperwork associated with the orders of protection from some of you.





As Forrest Would Say…

On Saturday, we had a jam packed morning that consisted of Ryan preparing for his upcoming business trip and me preparing myself for a 25 minute YouTube workout. Before you rush to judgment about which one of us had the more stressful morning, I’d like to say that my morning involved something called “jump squats.” My lady parts suffered.

Anyway, after we went our separate ways, we came back together because his parents were coming over and that meant: attempting to make the house look like we don’t have two kids and then after 15 minutes of cleaning, yell “we have two kids, they’ll understand if it’s dirty.” In the process, Oliver had to nap before their arrival so they’d get to socialize with a happy-Oliver and not a tyrannical-Oliver.

While Ryan was downstairs not loading the dishwasher (source of a later argument—clearly I’m not bitter), I put Oliver down for a nap. I changed his diaper and realized that he was wearing jeans. Napping in jeans seemed wildly uncomfortable to me. When fantasizing about a nap, I’ve never imagined myself curled up in my bed wearing skinny jeans. I can’t even properly bend my knees in my jeans without feeling like my ass is going to literally explode like an overstuffed cannoli. Now granted, I don’t get the opportunity to ever nap so I’d take a nap while wearing sandpaper underwear and a wet wool bra, but that’s just me. Oliver should sleep like a king.

A comfortable, half-nude king.

So I didn’t put his pants back on.


Usually, he fusses for approximately 28 seconds (long enough to make me feel like a neglectful monster) and then passes out. However, this time he was talking nonstop to himself in his crib, cooing and walking around the perimeter of his crib. Since he wasn’t crying, we figured he would eventually tire himself out.

After about 20 minutes, he did.

He slept his usual length and after my in-laws arrived, we heard him stirring upstairs. Ryan ran up to grab him and shortly after opening the door, calmly called out my name.

Allee. Hey, Allee. Come up here real quick.”

I knew something had happened, but seeing as how Ryan wasn’t panicking, I figured it was something mild like Oliver getting his chubby thigh stuck in the crib slot or perhaps I accidentally locked the cat in his room (not as bad as when I locked her in the pantry for 7 hours while I was at work—whatever). But it wasn’t either of those…it was…it was worse.

I walked into his room and there was Oliver bouncing in his crib with his exposed little junk because he had taken off his diaper, but that part is kind of cute.

What wasn’t cute was the LITERAL pile of shit in the corner of his crib. My poor child wasn’t bored or not tired before he fell asleep, he was squatting like an abandoned peasant in the middle of a field pooping.


And then he curled up in the opposite end of the bed and fell asleep.

My son slept next to his own feces. Even dogs know better not to shit in their crates, but there’s my pride and joy baby human whipping off his diaper to take a freedom dump on his precious robot crib sheets.

I wish I could have been more surprised or disgusted, but motherhood kind of desensitizes your soul. What’s appalling and gross before children is suddenly laughable and endearing after children. Oliver could grow up to be the CEO of his own company, President of the United States, a doctor who rids the world of disease or a lawyer that Lindsey Lohan has on retainer, but to me he will always be my little man.

My little man who took a shit in his bed and didn’t give a shit.


Dear Moms that Work Out at Home

Dear Moms that Work Out at Home:

Your Facebook and Instagram posts made your fitness endeavors look shockingly easy and even fun. There you are, with your smiling children in the background of your sweaty selfie. Your caption details your dedication and how energized you are after working out and how thankful you are that you don’t have to go out to a gym to workout.

fit mom

Er, okay.

To that I say, what the fuck is wrong with you.

Today I attempted to do a 27-minute Jillian Michaels workout. I mean, it’s 27 minutes which seems long enough to make me feel accomplished and short enough that I won’t literally die since my only notable measure of fitness lately has been doing laps around the frozen food section at the grocery store pondering what ice cream flavor I’ll get.


I got out my dusty yoga mat that’s been nothing more than a cushion for our dog’s sex pillow for the last seven months and laid it out on the living room floor. Because my children have never seen exercise equipment, they were immediately drawn to the hand weights and mat. Like a model mother, I put on an episode of “Bubble Guppies” and demanded that they sit quietly while mommy transformed into a Victoria’s Secret angel.

But they didn’t and this is where I call bullshit on the work-out-at-home proclamation. Below you will find the various interruptions that I endured while trying to lift a damn 5 lb. hand weight and do a jumping jack.

  • Caroline decided she wanted to join in on my workout, but “needed” eye shadow in order to participate. I had to pause the video and apply a bronze-sparkle to her eyelids in order to proceed.
  • Oliver licked my hand weights. With his tongue.
  • The dog needed to go out twice because according to him, one should not pee and shit in the same outing. No. He needed to do it during one minute abs. My one shot at a flat stomach—gone.
  • Oliver emptied the pots and pans cupboard. I couldn’t listen to Jillian talk about proper chest-fly form because Oliver made a damn gong out of the lids. He was like a one-man 17th century Chinese parade.
  • Caroline made a “tent” somehow on top of my yoga mat.
  • Oliver knocked down the tent, which required me to pause the video to nurse Caroline through her architectural heartbreak.
  • I had to spent seven minutes rebuilding the tent.
  • Oliver demanded Cheez-Its so after every sit-up, I had to hand him another one.
  • Oliver spit out the Cheez-Its on the carpet. Pause the video to spot clean the area.
  • The cat is now napping on my yoga mat.
  • Oliver is rearranging the pantry now. Canned oranges are best placed on the floor.
  • One of the canned oranges fell on his toe. Pause the video to subdue cries.
  • Caroline announced her need to use the potty and because she’s weird, requires an audience in the bathroom. Pause the video to cheer on her bathroom habits.
  • Oliver then demanded more Cheez-Its.
  • I remembered that I was supposed to have started rice for dinner. Pause the video to boil water while emphasizing to Oliver that stoves are “hot” and shouldn’t be touched.

So there you have it, my attempt at working out at home. Tell me Moms-Who-Work-Out-At-Home, how do you actually break a sweat when your kids are literally trying to break your house? It’s too much. I was skeptical of your upbeat hashtags and captions, but having done the work out myself, I now know that you’re full of (grass-fed, organic, cage free, gluten-free) HORSESHIT. I felt no better for having worked out- my ass is still flat, my stomach is not and I still can’t try on bathing suits without being drunk.


 DVD Time to Complete: 27 minutes

Actual Time to Complete: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Total Calories Burned: Zero. I actually gained calories because while rationing Oliver’s share of Cheez-Its, I ate several of them. I’d like to think of it as “fuel.”

So Moms-Who-Work-Out-At-Home, calm it down. It sucks. And to make matters immeasurably worse, I’m pretty sure our UPS driver saw me in a size-too-small sports bra awkwardly attempting side lunges.

So thanks.


It’s Showtime

This weekend we pretended to be an upper class, Manhattan family by attending the theater. It’s important as an upcoming aristocrat to expand our minds through the arts so we decided to see an off-Broadway play. Now granted, the theater was a local high school auditorium and the tickets were $8, but whatever.

We decided to take Caroline to a matinee of “Beauty and the Beast” at my work. Aside from “Disney on Ice” and a showing of “Inside Out” on her birthday, she hasn’t had much experience trying to sit in the same seat for hours focused on one thing. At home, she can’t even play with her Little Ponies without getting up to get a Barbie and then disappearing to go brush her hair and then stopping to change her pants and then ultimately deciding to play pirates instead. She has a severe, undiagnosed case of toddler Attention Deficit Disorder.

She was pretty stoked about going to see the show despite my concerns and even picked out a shirt with Belle on it with the caption “Beauty and Brains” because let’s face it: Belle is the only damn Disney princess that is literate and doesn’t shit gold bricks all day. Home girl is an intellectual! I mean, you have Snow White hanging out with seven male dwarfs all day. That’s creepy and sounds like the plot of a disturbing “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” episode. And don’t get me started on Ariel, she’s sixteen years old and trades in her entire identity for legs and a make-out partner.


Belle has books to read, I value that and wanted Caroline to see that dedication to academia.


As soon as the first note played of “Belle” (we call the song “Little Town” in our house), Caroline perked up and yelled “This is FUN!” which made my heart happy knowing that I made the correct choice in taking her.

But then dialogue happened and moments without singing and songs that weren’t in the movie and she was o-v-e-r i-t. She wanted to see “Be Our Guest” and didn’t understand the idea of plot progression or character development. She came there for SINGING and DANCING!

She awkwardly crawled over her Aunt Jen for the majority of the first act and kept asking when the “real Belle” was coming out a.k.a. “Belle in a yellow dress.” After “Be Our Guest” concluded and it was time for intermission, she confidently stated “Well that was fun, are we going home now?” When I told her that it was only halfway done, she gave me a look similar to that of when I told her she wasn’t getting a guinea pig as a pet—utter shock and disappointment.


During intermission, we fed her a Kit Kat bar because she looked like her damn blood sugar had dropped 50 points. Thankfully, it perked her up through the noticeably shorter second act. However, candy aside, Gaston was the real reason behind Caroline’s upbeat, happy attitude.

It would appear that the little lady has a thing for the bad boys…

In what was my favorite part of the day, during the scene where sexual-predator and town harasser, Gaston battles the Beast, Caroline chanted repeatedly “Get him Gaston! Yeah! Kill him!”

She apparently missed the plot of the entire play. Gaston spent the entire first act masterminding a way to get under Belle’s provincial town dress. If Gaston had access to roofies in 1700s France, he would have definitely slipped one into Belle’s drink and here’s my daughter rooting for his forced, borderline criminal “flirting.”


When the Beast defeated Gaston, she yelled with a panicked voice “I hope Gaston’s okay!”

It’s like rooting for the Titanic to sink so Jack and Rose wouldn’t end up together. Or hoping that Allie’s Alzheimer’s gets worse so she wouldn’t remember her love story with Noah in “The Notebook.”


What kind of twisted, confused girl am I raising?!

Apparently one that values muscles over romance.


Eh, maybe that’s not that bad.




Oh, Howdy Neighbor

Last week, we got new neighbors a few houses down. We’ve been in this neighborhood for over two years and the most I can tell you about my neighbors is that their trash day is Friday and their kids like early morning driveway-hockey sessions. They could be mass murderers or Catholic priests—hell if I know.

Mother and daughter talking to neighbor while at clothesline

I’m cordial with most people on the street: I wave when I drive by, they ask about the kids when we’re on a walk and I compliment them on their garden beds. Am I inviting them over for beer on the back deck? No. Are they giving me a spare key to their house to feed their cats when they’re away? No.

The truth of the matter is that I have NO idea how to make friends as a grown-ass adult. I watch Caroline make friends at the park in 4 seconds flat because she just finds a girl whose sneakers she likes or the boy that says he’ll chase her. I’ve had the same friends for decades because they befriended me before my anxious, awkward weirdness kicked in. They’re still friends with me because I pay them quarterly.

I’ve been monitoring the house in anticipation of seeing who our new neighbors would be. I was fearful that we’d get angry elderly Republicans or people that used bed sheets as curtains so you can imagine my absolute DELIGHT when outside with the kids, our new neighbors pulled in. Out of the car door came a young, stylish, pretty, pregnant woman with a husband AND toddler son!


By looks alone, this girl was destined to be my friend because of our obvious similarities:

  1. She’s young and I’m young(ish). I’m young enough to know that slang words like “lit” and “turnt” exist, but too old to properly know how to use them in a sentence.
  2. Unlike our one neighbor, she wasn’t wearing oversized fleece Tweety Bird pajama pants which is an automatic upgrade. Said neighbor also hasn’t brushed her hair since the first George Bush was president.
  3. She’s pregnant and I was pregnant. She has a toddler son and I have a toddler son. What else do we need to have in common before we start braiding each other’s hair and sharing secrets?

I was straight-up giddy when I saw them preparing to take their son and little dog (I HAVE A LITTLE DOG TOO) for a walk in the direction past our house. This was our chance! Friendship with our new neighbors! Positive first impression, positive first impression…

I anxiously walked down the driveway to approach them when verbal diarrhea made an appearance with me shouting “WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD! HIIIIIIIII!” As if that weren’t awkward enough, our diabetic watchdog decided that this wholesome family and their well-groomed 10 pound dog was a threat to our safety so he barked like a rabid zombie dog in the face of dinner.

Think fast! I need something to save ourselves! Caroline! She’s cute, they’ll fall for her!

Caroline came running down the driveway, completely unfazed by strangers.

“This is our daughter, Caroline…”

“My NAME is Little Red Hot!” (Well there goes that first-impression rescue)

“Okay, Little Red Riding Hood…”

“NO IT’S LITTLE RED HOT!” (Awesome. She’s introducing herself as a character from some random-ass library book we got where Little Red Riding Hood is instead ‘Little Red Hot’ and gets rid of the wolf by feeding him hot sauce. This is great. She looks like a freaking LUNATIC)


 Thankfully, the new neighbors segued into informing me that she is expecting another boy any day now and that their son is 18 months old. Instead of playing it cool, I geeked out and yelled “ME TOO! HE’S UP THERE!”

I figured my perfect 18 month old Oliver would be doing something precious and endearing when we all turned our attention to him, but instead…he was speaking incoherently, pointing at the sky and RAKING snow. Meanwhile, their son was sitting peacefully in the stroller probably doing long division in his head while my son was two minutes away from eating paste.


At that point, they hinted at continuing on with their walk and ending our completely bizarre interaction. I tried really hard to be calm, but the thought of having a new friend made me BLURT out (again), “I hope the weather stays nice so I can see you again!”

What the f*^%.

Not even convicted stalkers sound this eager.


Upon them walking away, Ryan stated “you sounded a little desperate there, huh?” which naturally makes me want to soak my diary with girl-tears, but he’s probably right. But seriously, how do you make friends at 31 years old without looking like you’re auditioning for the role in “Single White Female.”

In a less-creepy manner, I’d really like to get them something to welcome them to the neighborhood or something for their new baby. I just want to be nice without looking too desperate. Maybe a gift basket? Or maybe I’ll offer to pay their mortgage for a month? Or volunteer to breastfeed their newborn during the night?

I don’t know…I just want to make a good first impression. Guess I’ll just stay here and wait for her to make the next move. I don’t want to appear too keen or creepy…