Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spring Cleaning (or "Do you really need this Pony?")


My boyfriend and ex-husband staged an intervention this weekend.

They lured me into the playroom outside with promises of "it's nothing bad..." and "you'll like it!"  As I entered the playroom, my mom (who was in from NY) blocked my retreat.

"Sarah.  You can't live like this."  Said my mom.

"You have to get rid of all of this crap!"  Said my boyfriend.

"You're setting a bad example for the kids."  Said my ex-husband who was wearing a 30 year old striped mock turtleneck from the 80's.

I surveyed the room.  It was filled floor to ceiling with puzzles, incomplete race car tracks, wooden blocks, infant puzzles, Barbies, Barbie dwellings, and enough Barbie accessories (plane, RV, remote cars, beds, tables, chairs, evening gowns and shoes) for her to colonize a small planet with her fellow Barbies. (Ken can dream...)

They were right.  Something needed to be done.  I just didn't want to be the one to do it.

I don't know why I have such a hard time with organization and throwing stuff away.  I actually love to be organized.  I love the equipment you can buy to get organized. I love the containers you can use to keep you organized.  I love the concept of having all of my stuff put in special places so that it's always ready and available to me the moment I need it!  Unfortunately, I just never know what to put where, or what to get rid of, in order to achieve that beautiful zen-like state other people achieve - you know the one...the one where you can actually see the desk under the boxes and papers.  

I get attached to stuff.  Ridiculous stuff.  Like a small silk flower that came with a present from some guy for some reason I don't even remember, but I assume that since I've kept it this long, it must be important.  I have letters from friends from sleepaway camp (from when I was, like, 9), I have every picture I've ever taken - even if it's out of focus - and I recently discovered my Girl Scout sash - complete with all of my hard-earned patches (music, sewing, cooking, ice skating...), many of which still had pins in them so my mom could sew them on at a later date when she "had a minute" (let's not even discuss the fact that my mom put PINS through my patches and sent me out like that - exposed sharp tips and all - she didn't even attempt to tuck them through the fabric to protect me...Aaaaahhhhh, the 70's....)

But this weekend I was forced to face the boxes and boxes and boxes (and boxes) of archived, abandoned and broken toys that reminded me of my children at varying stages of childhood.  And I had to throw it away.  It was not easy.

"Awww...look at this My Little Pony - it's Rainbow Dash!  This was Izzy's favorite!"

"It has no mane and no tail."  Scott pointed out.

"It was so cute.  She would bring it in the tub...then she gave it a haircut..."

"...and you are getting rid of it."

I handed over the bald pony.  Along with half a Pony dance studio, the ticket booth for Butterfly Beach and Pony cakes, flatware and hairbrushes to tame the no-longer flowing locks of 80% of the Ponies.

We tossed an Easy Bake oven we never used, a dead Rock Band guitar, dolls, and Brueder trucks I had kept if only to rationalize spending the crazy money for them.  "Those are GREAT trucks!  Do you have any idea how expensive they were?  Maybe Ben's kids will want them."

"Honey...your own kids don't want them.  They're getting tossed."  Scott can be so cold.

"Sarah, what's this?"  My Ex stood up from behind an electronic keyboard and stand I hadn't seen since we'd moved in.  He held up a hat box filled with baby caps and bonnets.

"Those were the kids' hats."

"Do they fit?"

"No."

"Then we're giving them away."

"Wait!!!!"  I jumped over a pile of plastic food, nearly twisted my ankle on a cabbage and grabbed the hat box away from him.  I went through the hats and bonnets holding up each one, remembering the tiny toothless faces that went under them.  "Awwwww.......Remember Livi in this?"  I held up a green bonnet with ruffled fringe.  "She looked like a Pilgrim."

"Sarah, get rid of it."  Said my Ex.

"Sarah, step away from the hat box" said Scott.

"Sarah, there are children in Africa without hats." said my Mom.

"Really?  You're going with that?"

She gave me a look that told me she had wished my three kids upon me - and not in a good way.

Together, they got me to stop reminiscing about every item I touched and to clear away all of the toys we no longer use.  Duplo blocks, Barbies, race tracks, anything Elmo...

We put the usable ones out on the lawn and hoped that people would take them.  In LA, stuff on the lawn is like gold.

The room looks gorgeous and my kids were bouncing around it saying "This is AWESOME!" and "We have SOOOOOOOOO much room now!" and "it's not embarrassing anymore!"

We set up areas for each kid and on their shelves - in plain view - are the toys they play with.  It's lovely.

They tell me the next project will be my office.  As it stands, I don't write in my office.  I can't.  It's filled with stuff.  But I would love to be able to use it, so I'm accepting their help.  

But if anyone tries to throw out my Girl Scout sash, it could get ugly.

Monday, May 24, 2010

OPRAH CASTING MESSY FAMILY!

I received this casting notice for a show that's being filmed this summer for Oprah's new network (OWN).

It's a GREAT opportunity for any family desperately in need of getting their lives in order.  I submitted myself, but the shoot dates conflicted.

Please feel free to contact Charisse Simonion at Big Fish Casting directly if you think you and your family would be right for this!


ARE YOU READY TO CONQUER YOUR CLUTTER AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

If you are tired of struggling with the life you’re living and think that your clutter or disorganization is holding you back, we want to hear your story!
 

Let Organizational expert, Peter Walsh, help you achieve your goals with your home and your life!
 

OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is now seeking Los Angeles area residents who are ready to dig deep and change their lives!
 

To be considered for the show, email a brief paragraph about your situation & how it got to be that way, a recent photo of yourself and your clutter and contact information to:
bigfishcasting@mac.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Swagger Wagon

I don't know if you've seen this, but this is quite possibly the best advertisement for a minivan I've ever seen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Irony Man

My book was due this weekend.  I've been writing every day from 7 am till 11pm.  My eyes don't work, my brain is fried and all I do is type, type, type and hope I form cohesive sentences.  I'm completely burnt out.

I'd been carrying my computer everywhere with me - guarding it like I was carrying diamonds.  There should be handcuffs on the computer bag the way I cling to it.

My editor told me I could take till this morning to get it in so I convinced myself I deserved to kick back for 2 hours and go see Iron Man.  I didn't want to stop working but I REALLY wanted to see it.  LOOOOVE Robert Downey Jr.

So I gave myself that "well-deserved" break.

We parked and I carried my bag inside with me - partially because I felt guilty about not working and thought maybe I could squeeze in some work time while I waited for the movie and also because I'm always afraid the fates are after me and that if I didn't bring it sure enough the care would be broken into and all of my hard work would be gone forever - along with my computer. 

The movie started.  I got enjoy 2 hours of action-packed laughter.  Aaaahhhhhh.  It felt so good. We left the theatre and I felt refreshed and ready to write again.

We pulled up in front of my house.  The kids looked occupied.  My nanny was there to handle trouble and my boyfriend was giving me a free pass to miss a party so I could keep writing.

I went to grab my computer bag off the back seat...

It was gone.

WTF!!!!!??????

Panic was beating in my head, coming out my pours, making my hands shake.

Where did I put it?  Where was I?  Did I leave it at the theatre?  Was it stolen?  HOW COULD I LEAVE MY COMPUTER BAG WITH SOMETHING SO IMPORTANT JUST LAYING AROUND??????  My whole year's work was in there - along with the computer I bought so I could do "said" work.  I am such an IDIOT!

Why did I go to a movie?  I should have been working.  This is fate punishing me for being lazy.

We turned around and drove to the theatre across town at the speed of light - I can't believe the cops didn't pull me over.  The police in Beverly Hills sit all over town poised behind large shrubs and topiaries, ready to nab someone who commits any and every offense. 

Scott pulled up to the theatre and I jumped out before he even came to a complete stop.

I ran inside.

WHEW!!!!  It was on the floor where I left it.  Sitting there.  Like it was no more important than a wadded up napkin.

I hopped into the car relieved and gave Scott exactly 10 minutes to make every joke he needed to.  "Soooo...couldn't leave it in the car like I suggested...,"  "Hmm, let's see, you called me stupid for having to run back inside to get a jacket last night...let's see...forgetting jacket...forgetting life's work...hmmmmmm"

"Yeah...yeah...I get it.  I'm an idiot.  You were right.  I was wrong.  Your 10 minutes are up."

This morning, after the manuscript was sent and "whooshed" off to my editor via e-mail, I relaxed.  For the first time in 6 months.

As I drove to a breakfast meeting, a friend called to tell me with good dirt.  It was nice to have the time to listen.  Yes...freedom is good.

Then I saw the flashing lights behind me.

Yes.  I got pulled over for talking on my cell phone.

The fates have finally nabbed me.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2 Days and Counting...

If you follow Mommy Lite and the regular  catastrophe that is my life, you may be wondering...what the hell happened to her?  Could it possibly be that everything is okay?  No one's thrown up, no one had a melt down, she hasn't offended anybody at the market, or school, or at the gym?  Could it be she's run out of ways to make herself LESS attractive to her boyfriend?

The truth is I have managed to do all of these things.  I just haven't had any time to write about them.

"Got Milf?" is due to my editor in 2 days and I'm freaking out.  Two more days to pull together scraps of information about which I feel incredibly unqualified to give.  (I hope that won't stop you from buying a copy though - it'll still be funny - at least that's what my agent tells me.)

The last time I wrote a book I had a friend writing with me.  She was also a colleague and my roommate so we sat up till 2am writing and drinking wine on our dueling computers.  It was motivating and fun.

I'm all alone on this one.  Sitting in coffee houses, carving out niches at my kids' school library and shutting myself off in my bedroom trying to create hilarious pearls of wisdom.  (I've discovered the bedroom is the worst place to write because it makes sleepy...it's hard to be productive when you're mid-REM).

I have probably consumed about $200 worth of pancakes at the local restaurant I've haunted throughout this process, in hopes that their yummy goodness will put me just the right fun-loving, happy mood necessary to write something brilliant.  (Turns out pancakes are a key part of the writing "process."  Who knew?

Anyway, I'm working day and night and hoping...just HOPING, the end result will be some semblance of what I want it to be.  And that my editor accepts the manuscript when it comes in. 

Accomplishing this monumental task means the world to me.  The cost (emotional and financial) of not delivering is something I can't even think about, but it haunts me.  Every little voice in my head (I have lots of them apparently and they've been waiting for an opportunity like this to come out and say their piece...) says "you can't do this."  "You can't write a book."  "Why are you even trying."

I want to punch them all in the face.

I can do this.  I can do this.  I can do this.  Can't I?

I'm at 31,806 words and counting...wish me luck.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Happy Mother's Day

This morning I was woken 2 hours earlier than usual by a sensitive boy bearing a bowl of bran cereal and a mini muffin.

I was still asleep and mumbled something about "can I eat it later?  i love you.  Thank you."

He cried anyway.

So I ate some bran cereal groggily while he watched and tried to fall back asleep while listening to my kids fight and scream in the tv room about who was going to bring me another mini muffin when I  got up. 

2 hours later (knowing my sister would be here soon to share the ZABAR'S gift basket of bagels and lox we splurged on together for our day) I got up.  Livi and my boyfriend brought me coffee in bed and let me drink it while Livi pushed the mini muffin on me again.

Ben and Izzy joined them to watch me eat it.  Exciting stuff.

My boyfriend presented me with a present of a leather journal and a note he wrote for me.  It was sooooooo great I'm sharing it with you:

Dear Milfy McMilferson,

It must be a wonderful feeling to walk in to your home each day and have your children look up at you with nothing but love and admiration in their eyes.

Or if not that then perhaps bitter acceptance and the expectation of presents in the near future.

In either case, you are a creator of life and love.  And that makes you so beautiful.


I hope you have a Mother's Day surrounded by the people that bring you joy and the food that makes you sigh.

And on the off chance that your children should drive you crazy one day, then you will have the honorable distinction of being the first Milf in the asylum.


Happy Mother's day my favorite Milf.


Love,


Scott

What a man.  Looks like it's going to be a pretty good day but if one more person shoves a mini-muffin at me - there's going to be trouble.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Kick-Ass" Movie Review

Kick-AssWell, it's Wednesday and if you're a procrastinator like me, you're avoiding work by thinking about what you want to do this weekend. 

If you're thinking "movie" and want a back-up plan just in case Iron Man 2 is sold out, I just posted a review of "Kick Ass" in "Reviews".

See you at the movies!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spilled milk...

My son spilled his milk again.   He does this almost every night.

So I said to him "Ben! How'd you spill the milk again?"

"Well," he said "It was in my hand...and then it wasn't."

Ask a stupid question...

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