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



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Can't Cook? Casting Call for Family in LA!

Hey everyone,

Got another family casting notice.  If your cooking could use a little help, maybe this is for you:

*************

Casting Families in the LOS ANGELES AREA who need some serious professional help in the kitchen! (PILOT) $1,000!

Iconic Casting is searching for All-American families to take part in a new cooking show.

· Are you or your spouse in desperate need of help when it comes to cooking?
· Is your best meal the one you order from take out?
· Is your lack of talent in the kitchen having a negative impact on your family’s health?

With the help of Academy Award winning talent, you can get a lesson in the culinary arts. We are seeking families who will open their homes to let our celebrity chefs come in and help teach you how to cook.

To Apply please email the following to cooking@iconiccasting.com

· Your family members’ names, relationship to each other, ages, and occupation.
· A little about your family and why you need help in the kitchen
· What city you live in
· Please attach a few recent pictures of individuals and as a family. 

*Shoots July 26, 27, 28 in Los Angeles.
*Pay is $1,000
*Must live within 50 miles of the greater Los Angeles Area.
*Must have at least 4 members in family.
*Must have big personalities and little cooking abilities.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer's Here...I know because I need a Xanax...

I realize I've been out of touch all week, but I have a good excuse...

It's summer.

You may recall that last year, our summer got off to a bit of a rocky start.  Vomiting, lice and other plagues followed us east.  But I was determined to have this summer get off to a better start than last year.  So I packed my Xanax in my carry-on. 

This year's plan was for my wonderful man to drive me and my kids to the airport (he couldn't come because of work so he's house-sitting for me) and the kids and I would take a flight to NY that got in around midnight.  From JFK we would take a cab to my mom's apartment in the city and sleep over.

Then, we would pick up our rental car first thing in the morning (...sure, ANYONE can rent a car from the airport, but I had to rent one from a company that closed at midnight.)  From the city we would drive up to my ex-in-laws and stay with them for 2 nights before dropping Izzy off at sleepaway camp.  The final leg would be me and the twins in our rented car driving from Izzy's camp to Woodstock where we would spend most of our summer.

After having to say goodbye to Scott in front of the kids (I couldn't even give him a proper kiss), I hauled all of our crap inside (the curb-side check-in was NOWHERE in site) and I was rewarded for my efforts by being charged excessive penalties for lots of overweight luggage.  Then we boarded the plane where my kids' screamed and yelled the entire flight causing a wake of discontent that rippled 7 rows deep.  (I apologize most deeply to the woman in 6C whose seat was rhythmically kicked every 3 seconds  and the guy in 6B who got cheese in his hair...)

We pulled up to my mom's apartment in the city at 1:00AM and we dragged our luggage (...let me rephrase that..."I" dragged our luggage) out of the cab and up to her apartment where the Hellions and I collapsed.

Four hours later my kids jumped up and down on my head telling me to wake up and "seize the day!" (Yes...Izzy said this.)  Oh, I was ready to seize something alright...but it wasn't the day...

I reluctantly got out of bed and decided to make the most of being in the city.  Now that we were finally in the city, it was all going to go smoothly.  So I told the in-laws we'd see them that night and I moved the pick-up time for our rental car. 

"When would you like to pick it up?" the lovely voice on the phone asked me.

"Around 7pm.  6 or 7."

"I'll put you down for 6."

"Okay.  But it will probably be closer to 7."

"We'll see you later Ms. Maizes."

Yes.  Our day stretched out before us. 

And it was a lovely day.  3 hours at the Metropolitan museum of art, visits with family and friends, NYC pickles.   Things were going swell!

We pulled up to Enterprise rent-a-car at 7:35pm, well-fed, happy, and ready to go see grandma and grandpa.

They were closed.

Now let me ask you...and be honest here...if YOU made a reservation at a car place to pick up a car at 7pm - even if they put your reservation down for 6 pm - wouldn't YOU expect them to tell you they closed at 7:00?????!!!! Doesn't that just make sense????!!!!!!!!

I went ballistic.  I called the main office.

"Your reservation was at 6pm, Maam."

"Yes, I know it was at 6pm, but I told them it would be closer to 7!!!!  Even if I HAD made
it for 6pm, shouldn't SOMEBODY have told me "Hey, listen be here by 7.  WE CLOSE AT 7!"

"But your reservation was for 6."

"But ONLY BECAUSE your lady told me she was putting me down for 6!  I told her I would be there closer to 7."

"It's 7:35 now."

"I KNOW!  That's not the point!  Why didn't you TELL me you closed at 7pm.  I would have BEEN HERE!!!!"

"But your reservation was at 6.  You shouldn't have been late."

"Renting a car isn't like a dinner reservation!!!!! 

"We think it is.  That's why we call it a reservation."

"It's a general TIME!  A WINDOW of opportunity to pick up your car!!!!!!"

"It's not.  It's a set time."

"THEN THEY SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME YOU CLOSE AT 7!!!!!!!!!!"  I tried to calm down, but I was SO stunned by this guys' idiocy and inability to grasp such a simple principal and help me find a way to get in a car right then and there.  "DON"T YOU UNDERSTAND?????  I"M A SINGLE MOM WITH 3 SMALL CHILDREN STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF NEW YORK CITY WITH NO WHERE TO GO!!!! (Of course I had somewhere to go, but they didn't know that.  Plus I've found that I get a lot of mileage out of the "single mom with 3 kids" line, so I pull it out when I need an Ace in the Hole.)

He was unmoved.  Cold bastard.

While Livi was pulling on my arm telling me she "thought of a way to get out car (I didn't even want to entertain this...I'm sure it was illegal), I spoke with the imbecile at Enterprise.  "Well, you can rent a car if you go back to the airport.  I think.  If they have any cars, that is.  Oh, and if you don't live here.  You can't rent a car at the airport if you live here."

"I JUST GOT OFF A PLANE AND I'M RENTING A CAR FOR 7 WEEKS!  DO YOU THINK I LIVE HERE????!!!!!"

"I don't appreciate your sarcastic tone Maam."

I had obviously hit a dead end with this guy.  

I spent the next two hours trying to find an available car in the city and a LOVELY man at Hertz came to my rescue.  So I called Enterprise all excited to cancel my next-day pick-up  (Take THAT, Enterprise!  PPPPPHHHHHHLLLLLPPPPPP!!!!!) and a very bored woman who clearly had a screen full of notations in front of her that alerted her to the fact that I was rabid, bid me "a nice trip."

We made it, EXHAUSTED, to my ex-in-laws around 11pm, where my children were greeted with kisses, hugs and the inevitable "Are you hungry???"  They were promptly plied with bowls of Lucky Charms, Trix cereal and chocolate sauce.  Yes.  Chocolate sauce.  Too tired and beaten to object, I sat at the kitchen table and watched my kids scarf down their sugar-laden, late-night snack, waiting to see if - like in the movie "Gremlins" - they would physically transformation into reptilian demons (the mental transformation was obviously complete).

Finally, they stopped seizing from the sugar and we all fell asleep around 1AM.  Their grandmother was kind enough to get up with the kids and try to keep them from waking me before 9am.  

Anyway, LONG story short, Izzy made it off to camp (with a few tears on my end...) and we finally settled in here in Woodstock.

The house is great.  It's in the mountains and it's lush and green everywhere.  Deer frolic in our backyard and you can leave your car unlocked.  It's lovely (picture below).

Like last year it was a looooooooong trip to get here.  But it's totally worth it.  And if I look on the bright side,  at least no one vomited and we don't have lice.

This summer is off to a better start already.


(Tags: Mom humor, parenting humor, Dad humor, Enterprise Car Rental, Hertz Car Rental, traveling with children, summer vacation...)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guest Blogger - Rob Sachs of NPR's "What Would Rob Do?"

In honor of Father's Day, Rob Sachs, author of "What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities," guest blogs for Mommy Lite!

Rob is a producer, reporter, and director for NPR shows, including "Morning Edition", "All Things Considered", and "Tell Me More". He created the podcast "What Would Rob Do?" in 2006 and serves as its host.  Moreover, he's funny, he's smart and he's really, really cute!

10 Things I Learned When I Became a Father
By Rob Sachs

With one month to go in my wife Anna's second pregnancy I'm about to become a dad all over again. This time around things seem to be going a lot faster. I remember before our daughter Rachel was born we were running around like crazy trying to get the house ready for her. We're still running around like crazy, only now it's because we're chasing after Rachel, a fast-moving two year old. I'm sure we'll have things ready for our new arrival, but that's probably just because we already have most of the things we need: crib, changing table, stroller, bottles, bibs, etc. It's funny to think of myself a "vet" in fatherhood but I did learn some valuable things the first time around. Now as I enter my second tour of infant duty, I thought it might be good to remind myself of the top ten things that kept me sane during the first year of fatherhood and share them with all the other new dads out there.

1) Get sleep whenever you can.

People worry about how gross it's going to be to change a diaper. You get over that after the first day. The much tougher adjustment is working on sleep deprivation . . . which brings me to # 2 . . .

2) Just because you're not the mommy doesn't mean you get a free pass on calming down the baby.

While it doesn't make practical sense for both you and mom to be with the baby 24/7, it helps a lot to work out with your spouse a way for you to both feel like you're sharing the responsibilities. This can be tricky especially if you have a demanding work schedule. The best thing I learned is to figure out a plan and have an open conversation about expectations before any resentment about one person doing more than their fair share creeps in.

3) Accept all hand-me-downs.

We've learned to accept as much as our closets will hold without any restrictions on style. Even if you get a whole bag of clothes and only wind up using two shirts, those are still two shirts you didn't have to buy. The other thing to remember is that if you turn down clothes, you risk offending the giver and cutting off your supply chain.

4) Infants are somewhat boring.

They're tiny, cute, precious, but they don't do much more then eat, cry, sleep, poop, and stare at things. Sometimes you feel like you're watching a puppy and not a baby. Be patient, slowly they'll start to give back. I remember feeling like I was worthy of a thousand "Best Dad in the World" mugs the first time I was able to make my daughter smile.

5) Don't lock yourself inside your house.

Like most parents, Anna and I started off being terrified of taking Rachel out of her hermetically-sealed environment. While it is true infants are more susceptible to germs, a lot of parents go overboard and become hermits for the first few months. It was a huge breakthrough for us when we discovered that Rachel actually liked the din of restaurant chatter and that she would even sleep through an entire meal at the local diner.

6) Don't forget to take pictures.

Of course you'll be snapping photos at the hospital, but it's important to leave the camera out for other smaller milestones like the first time they wave, crawl, stand up in the crib, or get their first tooth, and of course, their first holidays. Looking back, their time as an infant is so short you have to remind yourself to document all the great moments.

7) Prepare yourself for the fact that most newborns aren't very cute at first.

This is something doctors conveniently fail to discuss in the days before the birth. But it makes sense; think about how you would look if your faced was smushed up in a tiny liquid-filled jar for nine months. Sometimes it takes a little while for all their cute features to emerge and that mildly freaky newborn look to disappear. These days I can't imagine how any sane person would not conclude that our daughter Rachel is in fact the most beautiful girl in the world, but when she was first born I think that opinion was confined to just me and Anna.

8) Plan out alone time with your spouse.

It's crazy but from here on in -- any minute you want alone with your spouse, that's not within earshot of your little one, has to be planned for well in advance. So now is the time to work out with friends and family arrangements for giving yourselves a break. It's also a good time to start calling around other parents to get babysitter recommendations...which leads me to #9 . . .

9) Line up the baby sitter first, and then plan the night out.

In the beginning, Anna and would fret so much over whether or not our night out activity was "baby sitter worthy" that we wound up never going out. The problem was that we were setting the bar too high. After a while we realized it doesn't necessarily matter what we were doing as long as we had time for ourselves. Sometimes we'd just go to dinner or see a movie, and we were always glad we did.

10) The clich├ęs are all true.

Yes, the birth of my child was the happiest day of my life apart from my wedding. Yes, I'm turning into my parents. Yes, my baby is growing up so quickly; and yes, becoming a parent has been the most fulfilling and enriching life experience I've ever had. When you have children, people will say things like this to you over and over again and now you'll be able to nod in understanding because you're part of the dad club too.

© 2010 Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please share it.  And buy your copy of "What Would Rob Do?" TODAY!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Remote Control

I don't watch basketball.

I don't have anything against it and I certainly love enjoying a basketball game from the comfy confines of a sky box where I can eat and drink at my leisure.  But I never turn it on.  Just too much other good stuff to watch.

So it's only natural that I would be a bit miffed yesterday when my husband (okay..."Was-band," as I like to call him) was over after a gymnastics exhibition for Livi and he turned on the game.  But fine.  I'm flexible.

So I went to my bedroom to turn on the much anticipated "True Blood" season premiere.  And what do I find?  My boyfriend was sitting in bed watching the Lakers game.

I said.  "Uh...Honey?  Steven's watching the game in the other room."

And here's what I guess is the odd part.  I added, "...why don't you go watch it with him."

"I'm watching the recording.  He's 30 minutes ahead of me."  That was his reasoning.  Not that it's my "Ex," or that I'm suggesting they share the experience.  What bothers him is that there is a 30 minute time lapse between their shows and he doesn't want to miss any of the action. 

So I go to the TV room.  "Um, Steven?  You...uh...hanging out here a while?" Then I tactfully threw in "Where's (blank) tonight?  What's she up to?"  (Blank is his girlfriend.)

"I don't know.  She's with friends."  He said.  Yes, he was firmly planted in front of my TV for the evening.  I could tell.

Back to in the bedroom, Scott is simultaneously playing virtual Mahjong and watching the game.  It was clear, he was not moving any time soon either.

Most people might think the problem with this scenario is that I have a husband and a boyfriend hanging out together in the same house.

But really?  What bothers me is the way they completely monopolize my TV's.   There's a good reason why women don't take multiple husbands.  We'd never get to watch our shows.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Drawing Straws

I think my kids draw straws every day to figure out who gets to drive me crazy.

It's really the only way to explain the inconsistencies in their behavior.

One day, Ben's a dream.  Maybe he's great for a solid week.  Then suddenly, he's all "up in my face" about Spaghettios.  Then there's Livi, who could wake up each day like someone poked her with a sharp stick and then one day - WHAM!  She's a sweet little angel.  Meanwhile, Izzy lays low, waiting for the twins to settle down and then takes her spot center stage at the "Irritation Festival".

They must do it in secret.  Maybe in the closet in Izzy's room where there's room for 3.

Before we go out to dinner, Izzy takes some straws out of the plasticware drawer, cuts one down and gathers the twins around.  The short straw gets to piss mom off by complaining the menu doesn't have anything they like.

Then they have another meeting the next day and draw again.  The short straw gets to drag their feet that morning and make us late for school.

The next day?...The short straw gets to kick their siblings for no apparent reason, whine about everything, or just leave their backpack containing all of their homework somewhere FAR across town.

The unpredictability is driving me out of my mind!

I wish they would just each chose a personality and stick to it.

I have an idea.  I'll just pick a different personality each day too and see how they like it. 

Or...I could just stop buying straws.

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's My Birthday!

I just turned 44.

Forty-four has always been one of my favorite numbers, so I've been kind of optimistic about this being a good year.

The morning started the way all special mornings do when you're a mom - the kids fighting outside your door about who gets to wake you up,  who's card I'll open first and whether or not I should be allowed to pee before you open their offerings.

Oh, I knew they'd have offerings.  I made sure of it.  In fact, I gave them $50 to spend at the mall to make sure they'd have offerings.

I know I should have said "just make mommy something from the heart."  But you know what?  I want goods.  Cold, hard, material goods, and quite honestly, the sooner they learn that, the happier we'll all be.  Besides, picking out a gift for someone is a very important life skill they'll need to hone, don't you think?  When people give crappy gifts, no one wins.

So I gave them cash last week and sent them to the mall with our beloved babysitter, to whom I had pre-fed all of my major likes, dislikes, and various body part measurements.  I was wondering if they knew me well enough to buy me a gift I'd really use and was really curious to see what they'd come up with.  I was very optimistic.
 So a whole hour after they woke me up at 6 am with their fighting outside my bedroom door, I made some loud yawning noises that alerted them to my awakened state.  They stumbled over each other to present me with the FIRST real present they'd ever given me.

At their request, I opened the present first.  It was pajamas.  Blue pajamas.   They were soft.  They were comfy.  Okay. 

Then they threw cards at me.  Turns out they used the money I gave them to each pick out their own card so they could express their individual feelings for me.

Livi's card? A kitten with a pretty flower telling me I'm "...the best mommy a kid cood ever have."


Izzy's card?  A picture of a Dachshund in a hot dog costume that suggests I "Party my buns off."

Ben's card?  A photograph of bulldog drinking from a beer glass.  When you open it - it burpsLoud.  


"You know..."  Ben said,  "because you like wine.  And burping."  Yes.  That's what he said to me when I opened it.

I guess they know me better than I realized.

I am very optimistic, indeed.

:)

(P.S.  The evening was capped off with a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway for an AMAZING dinner with my boyfriend at Nobu in Malibu.  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson sat next to us.  He was really hot!  I was surprised.  But not as hot as my man.  By the way?  The dress - from GILT Group!  God I love that website!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Zoo Tycoon

My daughter got a computer game called "Zoo Tycoon."  It's awesome!  You build your own zoo from the ground up and get points based on the success of your enterprise.  You build concession stands in the most opportune places you can find, you choose the animals and build their enclosures (pick the terrain, fences, and kind of food they eat).  If you don't put up fences or they aren't the right kind, animals get loose and attack people and each other.

This is quite possibly the best computer game ever!

Her little sister (you know the one) just got her hands on it while her sister is at a birthday party.  She built like 50 cotton candy concession stands and stuck them all together on one yard.  Not great business practice, but she needs to learn how competition works. 

I figured.  She'll see what happens when all those people have so many cotton candy stands to choose from.

THEN she put crocodiles into the masses of people and cotton candy stands. 

Turns out she had lured the crowds to feed the crocodiles.

Maybe she knows something about business after all.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BEST Shopping website EVER! - Gilt Group

I've written a review of a website I discovered through a friend (a MAN at that - THAT's how good the shopping is!) and it has seriously proven too good to be true...

CLICK HERE for Gilt Group review - Check this out or you'll be totally bumming you missed it!

I'll be detailing my car...

My car's a mess.  Seriously, if you thought the playroom was bad, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

My SUV hasn't been washed in 6 months (that's like 12 years in Los Angeles time...)

And then this weekend we went on a road trip.

The trip started out with a big bag of snacks.  Things that crumble, melt and will occupy the kids long enough to guarantee at least 15 minutes of intervaled silence on the 3 hour trip to Palm Springs. 

Then my son needed to pee.  And we were stuck in SEVERE in traffic.  And the next exit was miles away.  And we were in the middle lane...you get the picture?  For the first time we attempted the "Pee in a bottle" trick.  It was moderately successful but I was happy I packed wipes.  I can only imagine what the scene looked like to the car next to us.  Small boy on his knees, mother turned around in her seat - hand up in a defensive mode as I defended myself from any residual spray.  (On a separate note, let me just add the momentary sense of pride that swept over me upon discovering that my 7 year old son does not really fit in an Arrowhead bottle...is that wrong?)

Then I accidentally left the cheese and crackers I had packed for me and Scott to ripen in the Palm Springs sun for 3 days - marinating my car with the essence of old goat cheese and pesto.

Promptly upon the beginning of our return trip?  My son barfed.  In the back seat.  He had a bag with him (I was ready, cuz as you may recall, my son barfs...a lot). 

So I'm on my way to the car wash.  I have no idea how long it will take to clean this thing, nor am I sure if my friends will ever want me to be the designated driver again once they read this.  But I'm feeling confident I can get my car back to a neutral state.

I wonder if there is an extra charge pee stains?

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