Tag Archives: advice

This is 34

You are 34, right? I keep having to recount by doing the year you were born math and we all know what Mom Math looks like.

Well, this was a big year, wouldn’t you say? As a recruiter, you have learned how to add working mom to your resume. Huge skill set! But you have absorbed the role into your life so naturally. Not easily, but with the grace and whole heart that you do all things.

The best part of you becoming a mom for me has been the moments when the light bulb goes on for you. Like this one:

In the long list of our daily correspondence about the happenings in our family and all the “how did he do last night?” texts, this one sticks out for me. There are moments in a parent’s journey that they can’t ever fully forget. Nor should they. A restaurant name shakes loose a particularly trying time. We revisit that time and have a knee-jerk reaction.

A non-parent child will sort of get it at best, or roll their eyes at worst. But after squeaking out a puppy, you completely understood this.

And yes. I loved that moment. And all the other moments, both wonderful and trying, in which I get to witness your parenting experience.

Life is surely different for you now. The new road has been a challenge. And yet every day you find another moment to prove what a wonderful mom you are. And share how much joy you can derive from even the smallest experience.

The juggle is real. Watching me do it may have prepared you for it. It is not always pretty but it is never boring.

I will end this post with my best parenting advise. No condition is permanent. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Use your intuition. Never say ‘my child will never ____”. Love every moment, even the shitty ones. And never say no to a grandparent when they offer to babysit!

May 34 bring you more joy than pain, and the ability to adjust the volume of each to make life the best it can be.

Love you to the moon, Petunes.

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Filed under birthday, family, Jana, moms, parenting, relationships, Uncategorized, women

To my kids on mother’s day


This day is a tough one for me, and you guys too. But as a friend told me yesterday, ‘now we are ‘the moms’, so I am trying my very hardest to make today about what we have, not what we have lost. We all know that is what she would have wanted. And we all know she is here.

So, here goes.

I could write all the cliché things about motherhood and you could both roll your eyes about what a sap I am and laugh at how I cry at Applebee’s commercials. But I think after all these years you fully understand the way I feel about being your mom. Instead, please indulge me with ‘the list’ you have heard ad nauseam your entire lives:

Avoid drama.

Don’t be an asshole.

Misery gives happiness context.

The fork goes on the left!

Keep your eye on your own ball.

NEVER blow your nose at the table.

Put the seat down.

But we ARE rich.

No means no. Maybe usually means I am playing it out till it fizzles. Yes is always well thought out.

Bathroom humor is not only acceptable, it is encouraged.

You NEVER know what will come out of my mouth but it has hardened you to deal with any situation.

There is nothing like a good cry and an even better laugh.

Be all you can be (and be careful).

Singing Kung Fu Fighting is, in fact, the best way to start a morning.

Whatever it is, call me first. I am the most likely candidate for getting you out of it whole. (with the help of AlNel if necessary)


I love you more…

and always will.

Thanks for growing up to be the amazing people you are, the ones I want to be with the most. Thanks for flipping the parenting roles when you see me driving myself off a cliff, for learning how to truly love with your whole hearts, and for tolerating this crazy woman with such grace.


Filed under Uncategorized

Time to Cry Tuesday – Disappointment


Disappointment… such a lousy emotion. It comes tethered to expectations and rears its ugly head out of nowhere when you think you have ‘it’ all handled.  I have tried my best to manage expectations to avoid this nasty sucker. But sometimes shit happens, you are at its mercy, and it takes you down.

Big time.

To make it short and avoid a pity party, I have managed high blood pressure. It has been controlled for a long time, went a little wacky back in the fall and got back on track. Then I had a reaction to some meds that made me feel very ill and caused my ankle to swell (of course the one I sprained a while back) and the switch of meds set me on a BP roller coaster I do not wish on my worst enemy.

The net: I could not fly. And what was I supposed to do… you bet. Fly. To Spain. To see my boy who is studying abroad. Who I have not seen since January. On a trip we had planned forever. At a time when we really needed a break. On the first real vacation in many, many years. That we can’t reschedule. Not life shattering, just a piece of life that I can’t get back. One of the really fun pieces.

I am coming out the other side of this huge disappointment and all I can do is run through my head all of the things I have told my kids over the years when their expectations were shattered:

  1. Sometimes you just have to feel like crap.
  2. Misery gives happiness context.
  3. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we don’t find out what that reason is for a long time.
  4. Who you are when things suck says more about you than who you are when they are great.
  5. Sometimes its not fair. Period.

On the other end of that wisdom I was fully aware of how annoying that wisdom could be. (sorry kids)

Until a friend of mine posted a favorite Maya Angelou quote that made me smile and think about who I really want to be:

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Even a Jewish girl gets the last one.

So if you see me knocking on a christian neighbor’s door asking to borrow their christmas lights in the rain wearing the same thing for 2 days in a row, you will know that it is just an exercise.

As is all of life.



Filed under danny, family, Time to Cry Tuesdays, travel

Time to Cry Tuesday – Words of Wisdom

Hug your kids.

Make good choices.

If it is not broken, don’t break it.

No place is ever as far away as it feels.

Quality. Speed. Price. Pick two.

Don’t eat yellow snow. (this one was for levity)

If you feel it, tell them.

If it’s not so nice, keep it to yourself.

When doing your best isn’t enough… tough, it is your best.

Age is irrelevant.

The best way out is always through.

Sometimes you just need to cook and clean. (unless you are Wendy)

Cry when you need to (and because it’s Tuesday).

Laugh because otherwise what is the point?



Filed under Time to Cry Tuesdays

The Daystretcher

Stretching Time.When I was little my grandfather had all of these great little sayings that we took for granted. Now that it has been many years since he died, 20 actually, I often think of his quotes and smile at how right on he was.

My favorite of these was, ‘I think you might need a daystretcher’. A man who was never idle, even in is older years, he knew the true meaning of never having enough time in a day. It was not uncommon to stop by his house and find him on a ladder cleaning the gutters… in his 70s!

I shared ‘daystretcher’ with someone today and realized how perfect it was. Thought it was a good follow up to Technojanitor.

Another favorite from Pop: “How much did you pay for that $5 shirt?”

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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How about a big box of shut the hell up?


Angry? Me? Actually no. But this search term that landed a reader on my blog just kills me. Wendy, you challenged me to write a blog post on this one, so here it is. 

Ask my family. This has overshadowed my need to sing Kung Fu Fighting daily. (yes, I really do that) I don’t know why I find this so funny. I love when something can make me laugh like that, even if it is completely ridiculous. Oh, that’s right, I love the completely ridiculous. In fact, I might have to say that is the mission statement of this blog. (are mission statements still fashionable?)

Over the past few days I have found that I have given this advise to people more than once.

What, you have a client that just changed the complete direction of a project you are working on? (you know who you are). Well, just send them ‘a big box of shut the hell up?’.

You say that a social worker you hired to help you navigate the horrific sandwich generation task of handling your elderly parent’s healthcare issues just threatened to quit? (you also know who you are). Well, my friend, get her on the phone and let her know she is getting a special delivery ‘big box of shut the hell up’.

Ok, one more. Your teenager is arguing with you, over text message no less, and you have had enough? (you surely know who you are). Tell her case closed and when she gets home she can carry that ‘big box of shut the hell up’ to her room and remember who’s the mama in your house. 

I am thinking of putting out a product line. (nobody steal this, ok) If you would design a big box of shut the hell up, what would it look like? Seems I have already started on the logo.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.


Filed under blogging, humor, search engine terms, searches, teenagers, work, work habits

Advice to my son

This is going to be a new series. I have decided to give Danny a piece of solid advice whenever I can. Occasionally, when I have compiled a nicely balanced list, I will post it here.

I am thinking I can establish myself as the teen advice-giver. What do you think? Well, perhaps you may need to sample a few posts before you actually want to share these with your own kids.

I figured this is my last chance to leave my mark on the little bugger. Now Janny, I know this might be pissing you off right about now because I never did this with you, so consider this for your ears as well. (Except when I mention body parts that you don’t have). And there may be one thrown in there for you once in awhile

Here is the first list. It is in no particular order.

1. Be all that you can be (not in the military way). I have actually said this to my kids every day before they left for school, right before they roll their eyes and walk out the door muttering some unsavory name under their breath.

2. Never spend money you don’t have. Credit card debt is a nasty hole you don’t want to fall down. (believe it or not I said this just before the financial crisis hit, I am sounding less stupid to him now).

3. Never show your penis in a business setting. This pertains to a story that I wish I could, but can’t share here. Danny’s response was, “what if I go into the porn business.” Note to self: decide if this is concerning.

4. Keep your eye on your own ball. This one works for everything but is especially crucial during college prep.

This one actually came up the other day in a conversation with Jana (since she thinks she is the more interesting child I figured I would throw her in):

5. Your true friends are the ones that will hold your hair back when you puke. To those who have done this for me in the past – and you know who you are – thank you from the bottom of my heart and back at ya anytime you need it. Or the grown up version of that which is ‘the ones that sit in the emergency or surgical waiting rooms with you’ when you get older. Why does it sound like puking is more fun in this context?

6. Don’t do crack. I figured this might be obvious but it can’t hurt to mention it.

7. Try not to hit anything when you are driving. Again, kind of obvious but he just got his permit and I thought it would be good to start with the fundamentals.

8. Don’t marry an asshole. Not sure how this one came up but it did result in him telling me that he thought I would make a good mother-in-law. Sweet, I will try to remember that and bite my tongue till it bleeds so as not to prove him wrong.

I am going to open this up for comments. Give me your best shot. I will compile and do a ‘Readers Advice to Their Kids’ post from the results, so I urge you to please join in.

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Filed under advice to my son, danny, family, humor, parenting