Saved by Ferris

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of my favorite John Hughes’ movies and I was tickled pretty in pink when my kids wanted to watch it on a recent family movie night. We had one of those weekends packed with so many activities (including celebrating my first born’s 13th birthday), we actually needed a touch of “Bueller, Bueller” to help balance things out. And yes, I did break down when I looked through my son’s baby pictures and turned to see a man-child of 13 years standing before me. Oh boy, it’s starting. Thankfully, he’s a good kid. Very sweet. But the fact that he didn’t want to blow out 13 candles in front of his friends made me feel like he’s already 16! My baby! It’s going fast. It’s only a matter of time before we’ll be shopping for college dorm supplies. And I digress. (I’m still in shock that I’m officially a mother of a teen, so thank you for allowing me to keep rambling so I can stay in this state of perpetual mommy denial a little longer.) So anyhoo, I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that my kids “get” Ferris. The “righteous dude” is a witty, playful, grab-high-school-by-the-car-horns genius. We fear him and adore him simultaneously. That unsung hero that none of us, even in our totally-on-sale Forenza jeans and 1980’s bi-level hair-cut, were brave enough to even try to be.

Granted, there are some bad words in the movie. So, being the Mrs. Goldberg momma-bear that I am, I simply pretended to cough or sneeze every time I heard a swear word in the movie. There were a few “Ahh sh**t –COUGH COUGH, and a$$– A-aaaa-chews” moments coming from my side of the couch. At least it’s not a show where zombies rip people’s heads off. (Something my soon-to-be-10-year-old will not be allowed to watch until she’s in college!) There’s nothing horrible. Just a few bad words that seem to automatically come with any 1980’s-something PG 13-rated movie. Aside from that, it was perfect. My kids giggled along to Ferris’s computer-generated “sick” stereo, his hilarious antics, his sister, Mr. Rooney, and Cameron. And they actually learned a few things from Ferris too.

When my daughter woke up the next morning, all I could hear was a faint noise down the hall.

“Mommy. Moooooooooooommmmmmmmmy.”

Her voice started to get a little louder. I was very concerned, so I ran as fast as I could. I found her, face down, lying in bed, wimpering. “Mom, I feel queasy. My stomach hurts.”

“Oh no, honey, are you OK?”

“I don’t feel so good. I feel really faint.”

“Oh no, honey. Do you feel like you’re going to be sick?”

My daughter then lifts her head, turns to me, and with a shhhhhugar-eating grin, says, “Gotcha, mom!”

Son of a!!!!!!

 

 

Giddy by Association

Tags

, , , , , , ,

My cheeks hurt. And I’m grinning from ear to ear. Not just from seeing chocolate bunnies everywhere, or the fact that my grandmother celebrated her 87th birthday or the fact that we have another five birthdays to celebrate in the week ahead. (Oh, Lordy, all I ask is that I can get through the next 12 days in good health and NO frosting-induced migraine.) I’m honored and thrilled to be the featured author interviewed by Mike Squatrito of the Association of Rhode Island Authors today. Check it out here!

43 Candles: On Samantha Baker, Farmer Ted and truths on turning 40-something

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

You’ve probably seen it circulating on Facebook already. A friend recently sent me the time-wasting-but-I-so-have-to-see-what-this-is survey, “Which John Hughes classic are you?”. Like any curious 40-something raised on John Hughes (R.I.P.) classics, I knew I HAD to open the link and take the survey. I got 16 Candles, one of my favorite movies. I remember seeing Samantha Baker hash it out with her big sister (and Farmer Ted played by the always hilarious Anthony Michael Hall) on the big screen when I was 13. Wow, to think I was as old as my son is now when I celebrated Molly Ringwald’s entire wardrobe and began reciting “Dong, where is my automobile?” “Jake, he’s my boy,” and “I can’t believe my parents forgot my &*^^ birthday,” on a daily basis. Scenes from John Hughes’ classics, from The Breakfast Club to Planes, Trains and Automobiles, became permanently locked in my brain, helping me become the person I am now. (Minus the laugh lines and back fat.)

As I face my 43rd birthday in April, I wish I could wipe the day from the calendar and just carry on as Samantha Baker did on that infamous day. I’m glad I’m alive and I’m thankful for my family and friends and all, but 43? It’s not exactly the most thrilling number. To quote Jake Ryan’s friend, “It’s…void.”

Things to keep in mind when you face 43:

• Teenagers will be calling you “Ma’am” until you’re 93.
• If your family forgets your birthday (like Samantha Baker’s), but remembers to pack carrot sticks, it’ll be a good thing.
• You may have reached total happiness and self-acceptance by age 43, but you will forever be immune to the fact that you’re viewed as an old dorky person in the eyes of every middle schooler in America.

With each passing year, you’ll look more and more like Elaine from Seinfeld when you dance in front of your kids

.
• In your mind, you’re still a teenager, which means you’ll mentally be 40-something when you’re in your 80s.
• You are as old as your parents were when you were a tween.
• Wearing floral pants is a big no-no at 43 because no matter how cute they look on the mannequin, you know the minute you try them on, you’ll end up looking like Mrs. Roper.
• Your 40th birthday is just as memorable as your 21st birthday, but your 40th is probably the last birthday you will care to celebrate by partying after midnight.
• Going to bed by 10:30 p.m. is no longer a social embarrassment but a celebrated accomplishment.
• They don’t make candles, balloons or cards with the number 43.
• During your annual doctor’s visit, remember to remove all jewelry, shoes and socks before stepping on the scale. Then blame the **&&%$# glass of water you drank before the appointment on the shocking number.
• When you turn 43, your metabolism will slow to a screeching halt unless you exercise every day.
• After skipping a day or two of exercise, you’ll feel like your mind and body are turning to mush.
• Just Googling “heart health at 43” is enough to scare you back into jogging.
• For every sprinkle of salt you add to your plate, you can count on an inch of bloat that lasts for days.

Farch Madness

2014-02-18 11.05.37Are you “done” with the cold weather? I know I am. I’ve had it with Farch. (Farch: When March feels more like eff-ing February). This morning, my daughter walked outside wearing more layers than Ralphie’s little brother in the movie Christmas Story. She got to the end of the driveway, turned around and said, “Mom, it’s freezing! Can I please have a ride to school?” Who can blame her? I drove four freezing cold nine-year-olds to school today.

This morning it was 25, but felt like 11. Yes, 11 degrees. In March! IT MAKES NO SENSE. I grew up in Texas and was wearing short sleeves this time of year. (White sandals? Not until after Easter, but short sleeves, oh yes.)

I realize there’s nothing we can do (aside from slowly go insane) to change the fact that yet another snowstorm is heading to Rhode Island. So I thought why not try to look on the bright side.

Before you start throwing snowballs at me, following are some good things about Farch that I have to share with you:

1)      In Farch, no one knows how desperately you need a pedicure.

2)      You don’t need to expose your un-pedicured toes until June.

3)      If your roots are showing, you can just put on a hat.

4)      You can get away with wearing practically the same outfit every day in Farch by simply changing out your hat and scarf.

5)      The piles of dog poop you forgot to scoop have turned into hard, odorless poopsicles.

6)      There’s no yard work to do (except eventually picking up poopsicles).

7)      If you’ve gained weight over the winter, you have more time to get in shape before swimsuit season.

8)      Because there’s no yard work to do on the weekends, you can justify binge-watching shows on Netflix while folding laundry.

9)      Exercising in the cold helps you burn more calories (along with some feeling in your face).

10)   If you’re not in the mood to go for a run, you can easily blame it on the weather.

11)   If you forget to shave, no one will know (or care) until July!

You know you’re over the hill on St. Patrick’s Day when….

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

You know you’re over the hill on St. Patrick’s Day when:

  • You have two drinks over the weekend and still feel “hung over” on Monday.
  • Rather than make green cocktails, you make green pancakes for your kids.
  • You end up wearing the same faded and stained green t-shirt (or scarf or sweater) every St. Patrick’s Day because it’s the only ^%^%*& green item you own.
  • You could give two green poops if the *&&^% green item makes you look like a kindergartener.
  • You try to remember to buy something that’s more updated and green for your wardrobe, but you manage to forget, every year.
  • Your version of “tying one on” is going for a jog after Pilates class.
  • You used to bar hop with friends on St. Patrick’s Day, but these days, you’re too exhausted after taxiing the kids around, cleaning the house and doing five loads of laundry.
  • Just watching the cast members of Jersey Shore stay out until 3 a.m. makes you tired.
  • You delete all the Groupons you receive from local pubs because you’d rather stay in and make green cookies with your kids.
  • You consider a soy green tea latte your green drink of choice for the day.
  • You juice green vegetables and pour the mixture in a wine glass to make you feel like you’re partying.
  • You’d like to go see a band and drink green beer, but when you find out the band doesn’t go on until 9:30 p.m., you put on your PJ pants because you know it’s so not going to happen.
  • When you do (miraculously) decide to make plans to go out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you get a text from the sitter that one of your kids is sick… five minutes after you leave the house.

I hope you have a fun St. Patrick’s Day…. no matter what you do!

You know you’re struggling to get back into running when…

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I see many moms and dads running around my neighborhood. It’s very inspiring as I begin, very gradually, to train for a 5K in April with some great gals. It’s a 5K race that’s close to my heart, in support of a dear friend who works for an amazing organization called Day One. I’m thrilled to participate in the 5K. But I hope, for the love of Sarah Jessica Parker’s new stationary collection (yes, she has a new line of cute cards and notepads at Hallmark and Paper Store and it’s adorable), that I can get in shape by race day! Getting back into running is so bizarre for me. I used to run a lot, participated in a couple triathlons a few years ago and even worked as the PR and Communications Manager for Brooks Sports (running company) when I lived in Seattle. I loved that job so much – I could run nearby trails during my lunch hour. The good news is I’ve been trying to maintain a girlie figure by walking and doing Pilates. But I have taken a long break from running. As I try to get back into it to support my friend and her cause, I’ve been pondering a few things. (Some things you might relate to.)

2014-03-08 09.05.17

This is me after a training session at the track with the girls recently.

You know you’re struggling to get back into running when:

1)      You realize your body is not the same as it was when you were in your 20s. (When you could go for a six-mile run in 95-degree Texas weather and not pass out from heat exhaustion);

2)      It takes you more time to squeeze into your old sports bra than it does to go for the actual run;

3)      Your sports bra is older than your daughter;

4)      Your running socks are older than your son;

5)      You jog with your dog and as soon as you start to feel that runner’s high, he decides to stop, sniff around, and relieve himself. (When this happens, which is often, I have to run in place until he’s done and then pick up his mess (which I’m happy to do in the privacy of my own yard, but not in front of sleep-deprived high school students waiting at the bus stop who shoot you looks that could frighten a hawk into hibernation);

6)      You enjoy jogging when it’s pitch black outside so you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing. This is a great thing, until the sun starts piercing through the darkness, showing off my Fartlek-meets-Flashdance ensemble and pillow hair. Then I know I have to pick up the pace!

7)      You contemplate running in your ski parka when it’s 23 degrees, and end up tying it around your waist, adding to your Meet the Goldbergs 1980’s look;

8)      You pee a little every time you jog;

9)      You run hills when cars pass by but take a 60-second sanity walk-jog when there are no cars around. (Stop denying it, you know you’ve done it);

10)   You can’t pig out when you come back from a run like you did in your 20s, when you could eat all the chips, salsa, guacamole and fajitas you wanted and burn everything off before going out for margaritas with the girls;

11)   You purposely juice after a run to feel better because you’re still paying for that *&&^^&^$ donut you inhaled five days ago.

You know you’re procrastinating (taxes) when….

Spring is definitely NOT in the air. (It was 13 degrees this morning in Rhode Island, and it felt like 7.) (I can barely feel my face as I type this.) But it’s March, which means…. it’s tax season. My birthday is on tax day. Yes, my birthday is April 15. (I share it with a friend, and my husband’s birthday is the day after.) So I tend to get a little stressed about taxes…. and excited about spring fashion trends this time of year. I run my own consulting business, so I have to do both personal and business taxes. So. Not. Fun. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’d rather get a mole and my molars removed on the same day, without any pain killers, than do my taxes.

So, the following list is for every one of you, in honor of all the bean counting that needs to be done in the next few weeks. God bless America, let’s all try to get through this. With all the procrastinating I’ve been doing, if anything, this should make you feel better about your progress.

You know you’re procrastinating (during tax season) when:

-        You vacuum UNDER the couch;

-        You dust even when guests are not coming over;

-        You unload the dishwasher at 6:30 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. and put away that random piece of Tupperware that somehow gets stuck in the bottom rack and never gets put away;

-        You fold and put away your laundry as soon as they come out of the dryer;

-        You make the kids homemade pancakes for breakfast (even during the week);

-        You clean every toilet in the house (with a toothbrush);

-        You bake cookies the same day your Girl Scout cookies arrive;

-        You voluntarily do the grocery shopping every day (even just to pick up two apples);

-        You make excuses to go to CVS so you can flip through gossip magazines;

-        You remove the dog fur from every surface of your house and car (with a lint brush);

-        You clean the kitchen floor with a sponge;

-        You “like” every post on Facebook;

-        You comment on your own posts;

-        You make a dentist appointment without rescheduling it;

-        You go to the eye doctor;

-        You brave the cold and actually exercise in 13 degree weather;

And last, but not least….

-        You write articles about avoiding doing your taxes.

The Joys (and Peace) of Grocery Shopping (without your kids)

Do you LIKE grocery shopping? I never used to enjoy going grocery shopping. (I’ve vented about the Horrors of Shopping with Kids before.) It was never something I looked forward to.

Not until my youngest started school.

Oh, I said it. You see, that was when I knew I could actually shop… in peace.

Shopping without kids for me is like spending an hour in a charming European village with cobblestone streets. It’s pathetic, but true.

The fact that I can wander the feminine aisle without someone asking, “Can I have some? What is that, mommy?” is exhilarating.

That I can put a brick-sized bar of dark chocolate in the cart and hide it in the back of the pantry? Zen.

That I can smile (that knowing mom-to-mom smile) to another mother as she whisper-yells to her kids to be quiet in the cookie aisle?

Like falling into child’s pose.

Knowing that I have to take a trip to the grocery store at least twice a week, I’ve started to make a game of it. The fun part is actually at the end of my list and the beginning of the check-out line.

The few times I don’t have to race back for a meeting or appointment, after I cross off all the items on my list, I search for the longest check-out line.

Yes, the LONGEST line.

Why, you ask?

So I can stop and smell the roses?

Not exactly. Unless Sarah Jessica Parker has one pinned to her adorable sweater jacket.

It’s actually so I can see who wore what best.

And find out why so and so left so and so. What she said. What he thinks.

What’s on trend for Spring. The newest hairstyles.

How I can find happiness in six easy steps. How I can stay fit in five minutes a day.

And so I can read all about Lena Dunham, and see how cute she looks in her photo shoot in Vogue.

Yes, I am one of those women who shamelessly flips through magazines while waiting in the check-out line. I’m a marketer’s dream…in the market.

And I enjoy every minute of it.

I think of it as junk food for the brain.

I try to suck in as much information as I can in a matter of minutes. And as soon as I notice that the lady in front of me has enough items to feed a soccer team, I head straight for something like O, Marie Claire, In Style, Vogue, Real Simple, People or US Weekly. I rarely read OK magazine, because, and mark my words, they feature mostly lies. But People and US Weekly? Now these guys are the bomb. They’re practically the kings of truth (especially when it comes to useless information).

I am a maniac. A maniac..for magazines.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still like to hold the glossy pages in my hands rather than digest it all online.

Just as the check-out line thins out, and the white-haired woman has finished counting her manila envelope of coupons, I realize it’s almost time. Just as I’m desperately trying to find out Oprah’s secret to feeling and looking good, I know it’s time. Time to say goodbye to the pages that make my brain smile and hello to the teen behind the cash register. It’s time to start lining up my groceries on the conveyer belt. So I buy one magazine. Just one.

And as soon as I get home, I hide the magazine away. And then, when everyone else is reading or drawing or watching TV, I open it up and happily consume every last page…along with my secret stash of dark chocolate.

You Know You’ve Outgrown Your Favorite Clothing Store When….

I took my daughter on a “girls’ shopping day” recently. We used the excuse that we had to stock up on long underwear and other necessities to help get through the rest of this bitterly cold New England winter. It’s the truth. Well, what can I say, as a native Texan, I truly believe in the power of retail therapy, (as long as what you’re buying is on sale).

What the mannequins look like to me.

So off we went, listening to tunes from Pitch Perfect. (And in case you’re wondering, I sang along too.) I have to say we enjoyed our day out. I realize that in a few short years, going shopping with mom is going to be more “torture” than a “treat” for my daughter even if it includes an entourage of friends and a stop at the local frozen yogurt shop. So I celebrated her still being nine and we drove to Garden City with big smiles on our faces.

We had a ball, walking around the adorable shops, trying on sunglasses and scarves, smelling candles and gathering home design and fashion ideas.

Then suddenly, like a sugar crash following a Pink Berry frozen yogurt with chocolate drops, my mood changed. The moment we walked into a store that was one of my favorites in my 20’s and 30’s, the ugly truth came to me.

The mannequins looked anemic.

Every skirt was too short.

Every top was way too trendy.

And every pair of skinny jeans looked like they were made for an American Girl doll.

Whether I wanted to believe it or not, I had outgrown this store, and it had outgrown me too.

You know you’ve outgrown your favorite clothing store when:

  1. The sales associates don’t even bother to make eye contact with you.
  2. You are never greeted with a friendly, “May I help you?” because every sales associate (that looks 14) can tell you’re 20 years and two dress sizes beyond their target customer.
  3. You try on one pair of “stretchy skinny jeans” and get depressed.
  4. Nothing fits no matter what you try on. And if it does, it makes you look like something that begins with the letter “h” and rhymes with “looker”.
  5. The horrid lights in the fitting room accentuates every lump, every dimple and cellulite you didn’t even know you had.
  6. Even the pieces on the sales rack no longer appeal to you.
  7. If you attempted to tie a “skinny belt” around your waist as many times as they tie it around the anorexic mannequins, you would embarrass yourself even more because you’d soon be surrounded by paramedics on the dressing room floor.
  8. The sales associate announces that all regularly priced button-down shirts are 20% off, but she doesn’t share this information with you. She shares it with the 20-year-olds walking around the store.
  9. Even the headbands are too tight for your head.
  10. You walk in and out without buying ANYTHING.

On Pajama Jeans (& Love Letters) on Valentine’s Day

Holy schnikies, it’s almost Valentine’s Day! And my dad’s birthday! Happy birthday, dad!

Do you do anything out of the ordinary on Valentine’s Day?

We do something silly every year. My husband and I have been married for 18 years. I realize we’re not old pharts yet, but we do tend to get a little tired of the same-old, same-old every Valentine’s Day. We go all-out for birthdays, Christmas and our anniversary. But Valentine’s Day, not so much. We actually treat it like opposite day.

You see, my husband has a quick, dry wit. He likes to use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to give me the cheesiest Infomercial-inspired gag gift possible. Through the years, he has given me a Snuggie (with a free reading light), Pajama Jeans, roses from the gas station, an As Seen on TV-featured “Ahh Bra” and the Time/Life Country Love Songs collection, which I still keep (and play) in my car…to everyone’s dismay.

I can’t wait to see what he’s getting me this year. I’m secretly hoping for a pair of these. Oh yes, they are As Seen on TV’s super-spectacular Slimming Sauna Shorts: http://www.asseenontv.com/slimming-sauna-shorts/detail.php?p=370074&v=fitness

In the meantime, I invite you to read my Valentine’s Day Love Letter that I wrote to…well, myself.. in honor of The Revelation Project’s Valentine’s Day Love Letter challenge. This is a first for me, so please be kind. Please click on the pictures (above or below) to read it.  Or here: http://www.therevelationproject.me/2014/02/05/love-letters-to-myself-for-valentines-day-jackie-julie/(Yes, I’m talking about you, Gramma Hennessey!) And take the challenge yourself by writing a love letter to yourself this Valentine’s Day. Here is a glimpse of my love letter to myself below:

Talking about a Revelation

There are so many reasons to celebrate your imperfections. I know I joke about this all the time. From my obsession with chocolate to my issues with Spanx, the list goes on and on. But I have to say it’s also important for you to remember the fabulous stuff about yourself too. The good things. I write about how I rediscovered the good stuff in my latest Ask Mom OnlineRI.com column. Thanks for “listening” as I share more about my experience with The Revelation Project. Being a part of this amazing photography and social media “experience” actually helped me grow as a person and overcome my insecurities. Learn more here at this link to OnlineRI.com. 401262_282087958515918_258114348_n

Too old to play house?

“I don’t think I want my play kitchen anymore,” my daughter announced while we spring-cleaned the basement the other day.

I had to leave the room to collect my thoughts. (And weep quietly in the bathroom.)

I may be walking around with a smile on my face this week, but I cry a little inside every time I think of that moment. Not just because of the dreary weather (well, maybe) or my erratic hormones (well, that too), but because I’m realizing that my little girl isn’t so little anymore.

She couldn’t mean the plastic gourmet play kitchen that she used to “slave over” when she was a toddler? The one with a “working” stovetop, beeping microwave, faux hardwood floor and other cute mini-gourmet-culinary accessories?

It couldn’t be.

I still want to play in that kitchen.

How could she NOT want to play in it anymore?

The fact that this mini-kitchen is nicer than any kitchen I’ve ever owned is beyond the point. Or the fact that if I sketched a Randy-to-the-Rescue blue print of my dream kitchen, you’d pretty much see THIS KITCHEN.. in white. And the fact that I’ve actually pretended to make bacon and eggs on the stovetop that makes an unbelievably cool boiling noise and brew a pot of coffee in the pretend coffee maker that actually sounds like a real coffee maker is also beyond the point.

What kills me… is that my daughter getting rid of this play kitchen symbolizes the beginning of a new phase.

The pre-tween years.

I realize my baby is growing up. But she’s 9.

Can’t she hold onto it a little longer?

My best friend and I played house…until we were WAY too old to play house.

We actually turned her mom’s garage into an imaginary world – we transformed half of it into an apartment and the other into a school. We were like Janet and Chrissie Snow without Jack, but we were teachers in Clear Lake City. We would play school for hours and then go back to our “apartment” while listening to the Go Go’s and Foreigner. And, yes, our older siblings and their friends totally made fun of us for playing pretend straight through fifth grade. They still do, to this day.

But we couldn’t help it. We were kids. And it was fun.

It’s not that I don’t want my daughter to grow up. I want her to grow up and be everything she wants to be in life.

I just want the growing up part to slow down a little.

I should be thankful that she still likes to play dress up. She still plays with her American Girl Dolls. (I no longer have to take care of them while she’s at school.) But she doesn’t want the kitchen anymore.

What if we remodeled it? Maybe THAT would change her mind? Re-vamping the cabinets and re-finishing the faux hardwoods?

Why You Should Say NO to New Year’s Resolutions

I’m all about ringing in the New Year in style. I mean, we stayed in and watched New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on TV and kissed when the clock struck midnight. The next morning, we cheered on my husband as he took the Penguin Plunge! But as far as New Year’s Resolutions, this year, I’m just saying NO. I’ve had it with all the “New Year, New You” guilt. I work out…and eat dessert. So shoot me. I’ve decided this year, to do away with New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve resolved to be at peace with myself. Yes, this year, it’s all about accepting myself and all my imperfections. (I’m enjoying a handful of semi-sweet morsels right now, in case you’re wondering, but I did work out this morning.) So far, I’m loving every minute of my decision! Check out my latest AskMom OnlineRI.com column to see why you should too! https://onlineri.com/articles/ask_mom

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers