10 Things To Do Instead Of Blogging

10 things I’ve done this week instead of blogging…


1. Drank my body weight in Prosecco at our Listen To Your Mother cast gathering, and laughed HARD with about 20 of the most amazing and talented women I’ve ever met. Prosecco wasn’t required to laugh so hard, but it makes my very introverted self talk to all of the people. listen-to-your-mother

2. Ate a peep cupcake. Or two. It’s Peep Week over at Vikki’s place and she merrily and kindly baked Peep cupcakes for my kids. So I ate them.


3. Astrid is on Spring Break so we went to the zoo to see the farm babies for Easter. It was 19 degrees, snowing and cold. I didn’t really take any pictures because I had decided to put my winter gear away – so I was hiking out there in a spring coat and no mittens and I lost feeling in all extremities. Also, I hadn’t been to the zoo during a weekday in years and it turns out everyone at the zoo on a Monday is four and under – which is just not an age group we associate with much anymore. I forgot how crazy two year olds are and why I don’t have one anymore and don’t want one anymore or why I’m not a preschool teacher. So then we went to the bar to be with older people. Okay, maybe not the bar..but Starbucks for a coffee and nice conversation. And then to the Minneapolis Institute of Art to look at paintings. Astrid needs to sit to “admire them fully” as she now says. It is nice and quiet there.


4. Saw Muppets Most Wanted – WORST MOVIE EVER. Even worse than The Lego Movie. Astrid and I both fell asleep. When it was over Astrid even said “I’m so sorry mommy for making you go to this.”  I haven’t yet forgiven her.


5. Running. I’m in full-on marathon training right now. Getting up at 3:30 again to do some long runs(18-20 miles) and frankly this makes me nap most of the day. My legs are working a lot more than my mind and my fingers these days.


6. Watching the final Dance Moms episode before the “Moms Tell All” next week! Oh Abby – this season has been a HUGE train wreck. I just don’t even know where to start. When not watching Dance Moms – I am at dance. All three girls are dancing a lot this year and loving it. I used to bring work with me to do while they were in class – now I bring a coffee and People magazine BECAUSE I CAN.


7. Buying all of the Easter candy. I just realized yesterday that Easter is this weekend! Hopefully our egg hunt won’t be in the snow. Hopefully I won’t eat all of the chocolate before Saturday night and then have to go back out to buy more.


8. Texting my mother. Seriously, someone from my mom’s cell phone texted me with a “Hi.” And I was all like “Who is this and what did you do with my mother??” She’s still resistant to the whole thing – but I think she’ll like it. She just needs a better phone because she cannot see our emojis on her 1978 brick phone.


9. Browsing Petfinder looking for a cat friend for Truffle. I know we don’t really need another cat..but we WANT another cat. Maybe 50 more cats. In the meantime I just go look at the hundreds in our area that need homes and cry a little. The other four people in this home are pushing for a dog. I don’t want a dog because I’m the one home all day and just really don’t want to have that responsibility, and I can’t keep this house clean as it is. However, I said “Sure, we can get a dog as soon as the four of you pick up after yourselves every single day for six months, don’t moan when I give you chores, and take over the bathroom cleaning.” Since none of this has been done since my announcement this week – I’m assuming we will get a dog oh in about NEVER. But it’s not my fault.


10. Filing taxes. Being self-employed is all unicorns, rainbows, and good wine until tax day.


What have you been up to? I’ve missed you.


Local St. Paul Mom Gives Her 11 Year Old An iPhone

It was reported yesterday that local St. Paul mom and blogger, Tracy Morrison, gave her 11 year old daughter an iPhone of her very own. The news broke shortly after school when Tracy’s daughter Eloise sent an email to a friend, and end of the message read “sent from my iPhone.” As all news travels in fifth grade, soon hundreds of tweens across St. Paul learned the news and shared the news of the iPhone with their own parents over dinner that night.


“I’m not sure what Tracy was thinking!” Said an anonymous St. Paul mom over the phone when we called for comment. “I thought we had an unwritten pact in this circle of friends that no one would have a phone until junior high. I feel like Tracy is setting a precedence and frankly it’s upsetting to our family.”


Hannah Johnson, a good friend of Eloise’s from dance also received an email and then an iMessage from Eloise later last evening, was quoted as saying “Eloise is lucky. Her mom is much nicer than my mom. I cannot believe she got an iPhone. I mean all I have is this iPad Mini that I can’t leave the house with.”


Hailey, Emma, Emily, Sophia, Maddie, and Eva – all classmates of Eloise, said she was like so lucky, but still had mixed emotions about Eloise being the first of their friends to get an iPhone. They were trying to be happy for her, but at the same time spent most of the evening complaining to their parents as most tween girls do about how life was so unfair for them since they only had a sad little iTouches.


We reached out to Emily’s parents for an interview, but they declined to comment yet mentioned something about moving Emily to a convent out East where technology was not allowed.


“I think it’s just totally unfair to the other parents that Tracy just went out and did this without first notifying us.” Said Emma’s mother. “I’m really disappointed in the whole thing. I mean it puts undue pressure on the rest of us parents – both financially and socially. Being a tween is already a difficult time – and now Tracy is really making our lives pure hell because of this iPhone.”


We sat down with Tracy last night to find out what prompted her to give her 11 year old an iPhone after stating numerous times over the past year that Eloise would not have a phone until she was in junior high. And in fact wrote in her blog in 2012 that “she’d be damned if Eloise would have a phone before she turned 12!”


“Well, it certainly wasn’t our plan to give Eloise a phone this early. However, as parents I think we all need to grant ourselves some flexibility with the right to change our minds. A big lesson I’ve learned about parenting is to never say never. Sure you might intend to feed your kids all organic foods – but damn Cheetos are yummy. It’s the same thing with the phone. We’ve always planned to delay this day for as long as possible, but since she turned 11 we’ve been giving her more independence in staying home alone for longer, being able to go off with her friends more, and she has more afterschool activities. She’s also proven herself as incredibly responsible. Quite honestly though, this weekend we called AT&T because they were raping us with our current rates and it turned out we could activate my old cracked iPhone 4 that was just sitting in a drawer and put her on our plan and actually SAVE $40 a month from what we were already paying because it was now a family plan. I call it a win/win.”


When asked how Eloise was handling her new responsibility with iPhone ownership, Tracy mentioned that Eloise understood there were many rules on usage with her new phone and she would not have it at school with her nor in her room at home, and that there were many blocks on websites and everything would be tracked carefully.


We tried to reach Eloise for comment, but she did not return our calls. Instead we received a text from her with just “…’sup, yo, who r u?” and then a long string of panda emojis. So we think that Eloise is enjoying her iPhone ownership very much.


It will be interesting to see how the rest of the kids and parents continue to react and accept the news.


–St. Paul Fake Planet News, Mandy Johansson reporting



How To Prepare For Spring In 5 Easy Steps

Are you thinking that Spring is here finally(silly, silly you) – here is how to get ready in five easy steps!


1. Get those feet Summer ready! Take off UGG to put on sandals you dug-out from under 450 sweaters in your closet. Look down at feet.  Realize that no one should ever see your toes again. Consider cutting nails, waxing, toes, filing off dead skin, painting toe nails, wearing socks with your sandals. Decide it cannot be spring yet and put UGGs back on until June.


2. Put away coats, hats, and mittens by your entry way!  Haul down 10 giant plastic tubs from the attic and put them in the middle of your living room. Realize your need to wash or dry clean all coats. This takes approximately four days and $400. The plastic tubs still sit in your living room. In the meantime you need to match all mitten and glove pairings. Cannot find any mates. Throw the rest away. Decide what coats your kids will outgrow by next Fall. Decide all of them. Start making piles for ‘donation’ ‘consignment’ ‘hand-me-downs’ and ‘will wear again’ – and then decide this project is way too big for just one day. Let the tubs and coats sit in your living room for another week. Thank god, because it snowed again so you had to wear almost all of the items again. Too bad you threw all of the mittens away. A month later you finally get all of the coats put away. And then it snows again.

3. Find your Spring clothing! Put on a skirt because it’s much too warm for jeans or leggings. Look at hairy legs. Realize it’s too much effort to shave. Put leggings back on. Then UGGs.

4. Prepare of sunlight! What is that giant orange ball of light shining through your windows. Your windows with a film of winter crap, and full of water and snow spots, and fingerprints from the children begging to go outside and play, and cat nose prints. You did not notice any of this because you hadn’t seen the sun in so long. Decide you must wash windows to enjoy the Spring sunshine. This takes approximately four years because you only wash maybe two windows and say screw it because you too want to enjoy the sunshine.


5. Prepare the backyard to play! The snow is finally melting. The snow that has been piling up in your backyard since November. You see, in Minnesota we don’t get snow and then have a melt. We just have snow accumulation from November until April. As the snow melts your backyard becomes an archeology dig site.  You find: six balls, five hula-hoops, two pens, a sharpie, 22 ponytail holders, nine newspapers, a library book, six pieces of sidewalk chalk that are no longer completely intact, your neighbor’s dog, two towels, a cardboard box, 15 jump ropes, 73 cents, and of course four mittens that would’ve completed some of the pairs that you already threw away.


Now I’m too exhausted to even enjoy this warmer weather. Well, only five more months before we have snow again! Thank goodness I did not put my UGGs away!


What is your favorite season?


In honor of our first day hitting 60 degrees since last October – I did break-out some Spring-ish clothing! First time without a heavy sweater and UGGs. And my body did not shrivel up and die.

Whippy Top and Heather Leggings from Matilda Jane, cardigan from Target, TOM wedges, Presley Scarf from Aventura Clothing. (Linking up with What I Wore Wednesday with The Pleated Poppy) Astrid in Matilda Jane.



The Four Friends You Need

I believe there are four types of friends that you need in your life, and that you need to also be for others.


1. Be someone who will bring a latte(or insert drink of choice)when a person most needs it. When you are sick, tired, overwhelmed, sad, need a smile, alive, just because. Because. Be that person. And don’t expect to be invited in or stay – unless they want you to. But don’t just dump and run either. Especially if it’s below zero in Minnesota. Because a frozen latte would kind of suck for that friend. Because now it’s something not to be enjoyed – but something to be thrown away and cursed at. And now they are disappointed because a latte sounded so good and now that didn’t get one. So be the friend that will bring a hot latte just at the right time. Otherwise forget about delivering it and just drink it yourself.


2. Be someone who will never judge. I mean sure, those pants look ridiculous on her, and yeah she didn’t do the best job on that project, and sure she should respect her mother-in-law a little more, and maybe she’s a horrible driver, and maybe SHE’S WRONG – but be the friend who lets her know that she’s awesome even though she’s really not. Because everyone needs someone just to sit with them and let them know they are okay. Even though you know deep in your heart that she’s wrong. But don’t tell her that. And maybe don’t drink wine during this gathering with her because if you drink wine the judging would start. So just drink coffee and nod and give her that caring look. This is what friends do.


3. Move the body. I mean I hope none of my good friends murder anyone, but if they do, someone needs to help them move the body. I guess I would do this in a strange Scandal type of way and I’d even wear a white trench coat and drink red wine while I was doing it. I mean, please don’t kill anyone – but yeah, I’ll move the body for you. But I don’t dig holes because I’m deathly afraid of worms – so you’re on your own there sister-girlfriend. You need a better friend than I am to dig the hole for the body that we just moved while wearing our white trench coats.


4. Take care of your pets when you travel. And not just feed them, water them, clean the litter box, and bring in the mail and papers – but a good friend will play with the pets, treat the pets as their own, and maybe text pictures of the pets to you each day. Yes, a good friend sends you pictures of your happy, healthy pet each day. Be that friend, even if you hate cats.


What’s on your list of the type of friends you need and that you need to be for others?


You Are Not An American

We actually watched Pitch Perfect last weekend after Astrid was in bed. I felt we needed to try after my Facebook blew up when I asked if the movie was appropriate for my kids, and if it was any good. Every person on the planet(or at least my Facebook friends) said it was Amazing! Fabulous! The Best! So Fun! The Feel Good Movie Of The Decade! So, who are we to miss out on that. A little sexual innuendo and crass humor won’t stop us from watching Pitch Perfect 42,560 times dammit.


And we hated it. All three of us. Like hated almost all of it. I texted a friend saying that I felt strange hating it so much because I was suppose to love it. My kids were suppose to love it too because of Music and Cups. And even that could not keep our interest.


“You’re not an American.” She texted back jokingly. “It’s like how you like to grocery shop every day for like three apples and a pint of milk instead of stocking your fridge with 740 ounce bottles of ketchup from Costco. You’re not normal. Or American. Also, you are no longer allowed to watch Dance Moms or Project Runway. You are not one of us.”


My kids love music, popular music, top 40 music, Glee club music, and the song Cups. And even they did not enjoy Pitch Perfect. Maybe it was because the Cups song was only on for a total of about 30 seconds. Or because so much of the music was so poorly done. Or predictable. Or because most of the movie was one long dick joke(pun intended), and that’s not really a word we throw around in our home very often. Ever. Even the person who has a dick in our house doesn’t throw that word around.


But when they movie ended both of my kids just let out a “meh,” said it was just okay, wished there was more music and less talking(ha!), and that they didn’t really need to see it again.


I put them to bed and tried to process the whole two hour long “Dick Joke Movie” that I just watched. When I asked for public opinion about the movie – everyone mentioned typical light-sexual scenes on par with a PG-13 teen movie. That I can handle. That I don’t mind. That I don’t mind my kids seeing. But in my opinion the whole movie was about how crass can females and males be to each other in college and treat each other like pieces of meat and make fun of their dicks – whether through fake shaking around or through bad jokes, and go to frat parties and drink as much beer as possible. I don’t want my kids to think THAT is how we should talk to one another or act in college. All the time. Parties and crazy times in college – yes. Tweens now thinking this is allthetime acceptable behavior – notsomuch.


For me, instead of being a fun movie about changing your tune, letting go of stereotypes with lots of feel good music moments, it was more like my generation’s Fast Times At Ridgemont High with one good song in it. And I sure wouldn’t let my 9 and 11 year olds watch that. I would feel more comfortable letting my four year old watch it for just the music while the incessant dick jokes would float over her head. And those jokes did float a bit over my 9 year old’s head.  But at 11, at the age where you understand almost everything, but are still innocent enough not to know how teens may talk to each other in a joking manner – where you still don’t get many jokes, and are forming your own ways and opinions – I think this movie sucks. Sorry, that’s the only word I could find without making my own crude dick joke. Instead of a ‘meh’ – Eloise gave it more of an “Eww – I hope boys never talk to me like that.”


Call us prude, call of sheltered, call us crazy, call us not worthy of doing movie reviews  – but don’t call of Not American.


I mean sure, I’ve never shopped at Costco, I don’t buy toilet paper in bulk, we’ve never been to Chuck E Cheese, or purchased LEGOS. We’ve never taken our kids to Disney, we don’t listen to Country Music or watch The Bachelor, and we will never take in a meal at Red Lobster.  We don’t own white tennis shoes and you won’t find me wearing shorts.


But you will find us watching Frozen for the 354,687th time, watching Dance Moms, enjoying a Filet O’ Fish during Lent, and flying down a water slide with the masses.


None of this has to do with defining myself as American. It just means that I have my own individual taste for things. And don’t like dick jokes.



Zombie Mommy

“Mommy, I don’t like when you leave me.”


I don’t always like leaving you either. But sometimes I have to…and I always come back.


“But if you were dead you wouldn’t come back.”


True, but I’m not dying anytime soon – so just for now, know that I’m coming back.


“But you will die someday and then you won’t come back and I won’t know you aren’t coming back.”


But by then you’ll be older and maybe a mommy too, so you won’t need me as much. So it will be okay. And that’s a long time from now.


“I’ll still need you when I’m a mommy.”


Maybe for some stuff. But not everything. You’ll have your own house and kids and life and even your own cats. And I’ll be very old when I die.


“Well even if you die when I’m a mommy and you’re very very old. I will still wish you were coming back.”


Me too.


“Unless you were a zombie. That would be super creepy. Don’t come back as a zombie mommy.”


I feel like I can promise you that I won’t come back as a zombie mommy and creep you out.


“Because if you did come back as a zombie mommy, I don’t think I could let you in my house.”


I understand and will respect your wishes if I did show up at your door as a zombie mommy. I wouldn’t let me in either.


“Okay, so don’t feel bad.”


I’ll be dead. I don’t think I’ll feel bad. I’m going to try not to be a zombie mommy ever.




Promise. Now I have to get going to my thing.


“Okay, I will miss you, but please come back just as a regular mommy.”


Right, I’ll come back as regular mommy. Not dead. Not a zombie. And I’ll tuck you into bed. It won’t be creepy.


“This is why I love you so much. Because you’re not a zombie mommy.”



20 Things I’m Giving Up For Lent

1. Caring that I don’t have a set of matching dishes and why should people have this by the time they turn 45.


2. Checking to see if my ass looks good in a particular pair of pants. I’m just walking out of the house knowing that my ass looks good in all the pants.


3. Caring what you think about my ass.


4. Bitching about no one helping me around the house – but making time to make sure that everyone helps around the house.


5. Cleaning up toothpaste blobs out of the sink unless I was the maker of the toothpaste blob.


6. Wearing matching socks. I wear boots 99.9% of the time anyway – so let’s just all wear mismatched socks. I’m done matching socks at all. Even for you.


7. Spending more than I save. I will not buy things because they are on sale. I will buy things because we need things. Not just because OMG so pretty!


8. So I’m giving up all of the catalogs that come to my house. HOW to make them STOP!


9. Wearing head to toe fleece to bed. This is both because it’s cold and for husband repellent. I hope it gets warmer. For Jed’s sake.


10. Feeling not good enough or young enough or rich enough or hip enough to shop anywhere. I will feel comfortable everywhere I go. Except if I go to a strip club. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable there at this point. Unless there were free drinks. But I need to get to the point where I feel more comfortable going into H&M than into a strip club.


11. Guilt for not volunteering at school more. I don’t like to be around that many children at one time. All things in moderation.


12. Procrastinating. Okay – staying off Facebook until my work is done. Also, no more cat videos until my work is done. Or online shopping until my work is done. No more BuzzFeed quizzes until my work is done. No more finding out what my John Travolta name pronunciation is until my work is done. No more playing with the cat until my work is done.


13. Pretending that Astrid is not going to kindergarten in the Fall. Telling her she’s going to be home with me FOREVER is not healthy for either of us. But I’m totally going to college with her.


14. Obsessing over getting a nose piercing and just going to get the damn nose piercing.


15. Embarrassing my tween. I don’t think I really do this. But because I BREATHE, it turns out I do this. I promise to breathe quieter and from a distance that is approved by this tween and not talk about her ever again.  You totally should hear what she said today though.


16. Stop eating the peanut butter directly out of the jar and maybe double-dipping with the spoon.


17. Typing LOL when I text, email or message people. I feel like it makes me look less professional. LOL


18. Stop drinking coffee at 10pm. HEY THERE PEOPLE – WHATCHA DOING UP SO LATE?


19. I’m giving up negative people and those who just want to gossip. Seriously, did you hear what Susie said the other day? Right? She’s so weird and I like totally cannot believe she did that! I mean – who’s Susie?


20. Eating coconut. Okay – I hate coconut, so I’m not really giving that up. But I could only come up with 19 things.


What I wore to work today – very awesome gray woolish blend legging-ish pants from H&M, black sweater from Poppy Togs, and black booties from Seychelles.  Astrid is wearing Matilda Jane.


Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.


What are you giving up for Lent?


How To Become A Yeti

I’m going to talk about winter again. Go ahead and click-away – but you know you really want to read more about it because it’s really all we talk about now. We talk about it with our stylists, our mail carriers, our grocery baggers, our neighbors, strangers on the street that you are pushing out of snowbanks, bank tellers, UPS drivers, the cashier at Target, every parent at preschool, the teenager down the block who never smiles anyway, and my mother – because she’s in Arizona for the winter and I kind of don’t like her anymore.


Also, I’ve worn a hat, mittens, wool socks, fleece pajama bottoms, three cardigans, a scarf, and possibly a winter coat on since November. In my house. We keep the house at about 57 degrees so it warrants inside hat wearing to keep the heating bills down.


At any rate – what happens when you are toe to top of head covered, you forget you have a body under there. Also you become a Yeti.


Because Yetis are hardy. And hairy.


Things I haven’t done since November.

First let’s reminisce about what I looked like last November. Also, let’s reminisce about the sun.


I haven’t:

-cut my hair

-colored my hair

-styled my hair

-looked at my feet – you don’t even want to know what’s going on with my feet right now

-paid attention to my hands. My nails are all broken off from the dry cold, and my skin in cracking. Enough said.

-shaved my legs or armpits

-if fact, paid attention to any hair on my body

-did you know that body hair is warm when you grow it out

-and it doesn’t bother anyone when you’re wearing at least five layers at all times

-and don’t even try to get fresh and remove my fleece pajama pants because 1. It’s effing cold and 2. You don’t even want to know what’s growing under there.

-and wow how pedicure/manicure/waxing services must have a huge boom in in business in Minnesota once the temps rise above freezing. Yeti waxing specials everywhere!


But we have a wedding to attend soon – so besides thinking about having to shave my legs and maybe actually buy a razor, I also finally got a cut and color.


But then I still had to leave the salon with a hat on. Because Minnesota. And -12. So no one saw my hair. So this is all you will see of my new cut.


I feel better. Just don’t look below the top of my head. Because the Yeti is still in there.


And I think I need to take things slow – not to overwhelm this winter body. Also shaving sounds cold.


Next week LEG SHAVING.


The week after ARMPIT SHAVING.


Maybe then some pedicure action.


Who knows how crazy I’ll go after that.


All I know is that no one wants a Yeti at their wedding. Unless you’re a Yeti. Then you want alltheyetis. YETIWEDDINGS! New Minnesota Winter Business!


When I do have to leave the house – I do get dressed sometimes….


This week I wore my Matilda Jane Ruffle Pants – YOU NEED THESE. They are the like yoga/sweatpants with style. I get stopped no less than four times at the grocery store every time I wear these. Trust me. I’ve styled them with with Nine West motorcycle boots, a Gap cami tank and a gray Dove sweater – also from Matilda Jane. Scarf old – Target maybe? (Please note this was also pre-haircut – so awful pony…sorry.)


Astrid is wearing the Ice Cream Social skirt from Matilda Jane, a souvenir tee from Albuquerque, and leggings from Target. She wore this to preschool for the morning and then hung out with Yeti-Mom for the afternoon.


How’s your Yeti-ness treating you this winter? Make me feel better and tell me you don’t shave either….Or just lie to me.



When I Grow Up..

Many of Astrid’s classmates said that they want to be doctors or lawyers or teachers or firefighters.


Some even writers, dancers, singers, or artists.


When I was four, I wanted to work at Dairy Queen.


Turns out Astrid’s career aspirations are even bigger than mine were.



All I can say is “Yay to unlimited chips, guacamole, and margaritas! Mommy doesn’t really need you to buy her a retirement home.”


What did you want to grow-up to ‘be’ when you were four?


Will Winter Ever End



No it won’t.


The winter that started in October will not end. Ever.


That’s what entered my mind at five this morning. I woke up in a bad mood because we lost power during the winter storm last night that dumped nearly a foot of snow on us, brought winds up to 35 miles per hour, and dropped temps down below zero again for at least the next week.


But I wasn’t in a bad mood because of the winter or the storm. And I wasn’t even in a bad mood because of the loss of electricity. No, I was in a bad mood because without electricity there is no INTERNET or COFFEE. These two things are what sustain a modern woman in the year 2014.


Oh I know – I should be thankful for the beautiful things in my life – my health, my kids, my husband, my wonderful neighbors, the roof over our heads, the food in our fridge, our furnace still works.


But none of that matters without INTERNET or COFFEE.


And I know, this could be the ‘aha’ moment where I realize I lean too much on INTERNET or COFFEE. But at the time – without INTERNET or COFFEE – I say “SCREW YOU” ‘aha’ moment people who look at the damn silver lining. We cannot be friends anymore until I have INTERNET and COFFEE.


So I took a long run to get my mind off my loss loves. But instead of taking a long run, I ended up with a short run – mostly because it’s hard to run in 12″ of fresh snow without falling down dead of a heart attack, and if I died the morning that I did not have INTERNET or COFFEE – well that’s like a modern day Greek tragedy – and also my run was cut short because of all the cars to push out. I helped get six cars out of the snowbanks covering our streets.


And no, St. Paul still hasn’t plowed our street if you’re wondering.


I also found out that I am a better driver-outer than a pusher-outer. So I got to drive six strangers’ cars while they had to push themselves out. All men. And only one of them asked me if I had experience with a clutch. “I”m old!” I told the young chap “All old people learned to drive on a manual transmission car!”


So after I got home, and school was officially cancel; we bundled up, packed up Astrid on the sled, and headed to the coffee shop for INTERNET and COFFEE. We dined on a nutritious breakfast of sprinkled donuts, hot cocoa, and a HUGE MOTHER OF A COFFEE, and then played in the deep snow all the way home.


And Mama got a new attitude. With coffee that cleared her head and an internet fix that connected her with the world again – she brought focus back to where it did matter – to the people right in front of her.


And she enjoyed a beautiful snow day with her kids – knowing they were safe and warm in their house – surrounded by the people who mean the most. And not missing electricity at all.


Until the power came back on and everyone went back to their own personal ‘i’ devices, mom made some coffee, and no one had to talk to each other the rest of the day. Back to normal 2014-style.


The end.



Why I Can No Longer Shop At CVS

Sometimes I feel like I should do a better job of setting up the best subject categories for my blog. I mean sure I talk about parenting, tweens, fashion, and fitness. But the past year I’ve talked about my period probably more than I had conversations about it with my mom back in 1983 when I finally reached puberty at the ripe old age of 14.


But now at 45, my period is all I think about.


And Dad, and my step-dad, and Jed, and even Mom – you can just stop reading now. Oh, and all of the men who sent me ‘hate tweets’ and ‘hate mail’ after my Nordstrom post. You can stop reading now too. Because my period does not concern you.


Unless of course you were in line at CVS about an hour ago. Then, please talk to me about my period – because you now know all about it.


I ran to CVS quickly to restock my tampon supply. I started yesterday and was running out quickly – which happens when you use 26 in a day. So I grabbed a box of SUPER-PLUS-HUGE size (and then a bag of dark chocolate valentine heart candy now at 50% off – because my period), and went to pay. But there was a line. A short line. Three women who were together actually. But they had a cart full of shampoo and toothpaste and laundry detergent and tissues. Multiples of everything. And in their hands were hundreds of coupons.


This could take awhile.


But I wasn’t really in a hurry. My kids were at home, it wasn’t dinnertime, and my last tampon seemed to be holding just fine.


And then I sneezed.


Drip.Drip.Drip. Onto my pants.


And I am not one to speak-up or complain -but I quietly said “Um, can you call someone else up to ring since this order will probably take awhile and I kind of have an emergency?”


By this time, I also had four more people in line behind me.


No, everyone else is on break. It will just be a few minutes.


So I stood there feeling like a bitch for saying something, but I was a desperate woman knowing that these drips were just the start of something much bigger.


I waved my tampons at him(I’m 45 and he is 22 and I could be his mother) kind of shyly and said “I kind of need to pay for these right now though…I mean right now…like now…you have no idea….”


Just another minute ma’am.


And then gush. Blood was running down my left leg soaking my pants and running into my boots and dripping from my crotch onto the carpet at CVS.


“Okay – well I’m just going to open these and take them into your bathroom and then I’ll be back to pay for them in a minute. I’m good for it – I promise.” I said as I was already turned around and running towards their bathroom – leaving a trail of blood in my wake.


But ma’am! I heard him yell.. You cannot bring unpaid merchandise into our bathrooms!


I expected the cops to arrive while I cleaned up in their ladies room. But none came. So I decided to open the chocolate too.


And when I went back out to pay for my tampons and chocolate- the three coupon ladies were still paying for their 60 bottles of shampoo and now 15 people stood in line, avoiding the line of blood coating the carpet. No one made eye contact with me.


It’s a good thing I didn’t wait to pay.


And the entire bag of chocolate was empty by the time I reached the cashier.


Reason #245,875 why I am not a coupon blogger.


And reason #465,750 why I should just start a period blog.


20 Ways You Know That Your Preschooler Has A Tween Sibling

There is a seven year age difference between my oldest daughter and youngest daughter. When my oldest daughter was four I took her to music classes and we’d sing and clap to repetitive and traditional children songs, play with scarves, and roll balls back and forth to the rhythm of these songs. I remember smiling really big and thinking that this is what good parenting was all about. I bought Raffi CDs, we watched Baby Einstein movies, and I admit to spending $150 to attend a Wiggles concert. Twice. She loved Sesame Street and her stuffed Elmo tagged along with us on every outing, we had play-dates with other kids and their moms, and I spent more time picking out her preschool than we probably will for her college.


You know – we did the required first kid things. And while it’s typical for you to be a little less focused on doing all of the ‘right’ things with your third child, since now a trip to Target is considered just as enriching as a trip to the zoo, what I wasn’t prepared for was that my current preschooler would spend so little time seeking out appropriate preschool-age activities and more time wanting to be like her tween sisters.


And when this third child entered preschool and started making friends of kids who were the oldest in their family – well those parents may have questioned my parenting. As they should. Because my child is rapping to Low by Flo Rida while their child is rightly appreciating Puff The Magic Dragon.


But in about five years, when maybe their third child is in preschool and they have a fourth grader at home – well come see me my mother-sister and we will just laugh together. While the kids play in the other room and dance to music that we cannot believe we let them listen to. Because as sweet as a four year old is, a four year old with tween siblings is inevitably a bit precocious.



1. Your preschooler says  ‘Well duh’ for almost every answer when taking her kindergarten readiness test. The evaluator just shakes her head, gives your daughter a perfect score, and jokingly tells you that she’d probably be fine in third grade too.

2. Wears Rainbow Loom bracelets all the way up her arm like all the cool kids do, and has mastered the coolest color combinations and wants a double/triple in all neon green.

3. Asks why her closet is full of pink and pretty clothing, tights and dresses that twirl, and cute mary janes, when she’d really rather shop at Justice and wear peace signs, bling headbands, and Taylor Swift concert t-shirts. A trip to Claire’s trumps a trip to the children’s museum any day for her now. “And when can I get my ears pierced, Mom?”

4. Has never owned or asked for character pajamas – and only wants tank tops and flannel pajama bottoms like her sister. You sadly fold and giveaway the Tinklebell nightgowns that her sweet sisters wore when they were little. The Disney princesses that ruled our life for years with older daughters has made way for reruns of iCarly and Shake It Up.

5. Hears a friend singing Wheels On The Bus and asks if you’ve ever heard that strange song. You realize that this child has never even heard London Bridges. When asked what her favorite song is she says it’s a toss-up between Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream and Mirror by Justin Timberlake…and she also can sadly sing along to Blurred Lines.

6. You don’t have to carry around kid song CDs -instead you are ordered to turn on KDWB(the top 40 station) before the minivan is even turned on.

7.  She is used as a real doll by older sisters as they apply make-up on her to practice for their dance performances.

8. She knows full dialogues from the latest Sam and Cat and Good Luck Charlie episodes. She has never seen Sesame Street. In passing she has seen a large yellow bird. She asks what his name is. You feel like a preschool mom failure.

9. Is treated like royalty when she goes to her older siblings’ schools. Tweens gather around her, pick her up, tell her she’s the cutest thing ever, tell older siblings how lucky they are to have a baby sister. We don’t have to wonder why she is so spoiled. Ever. Or loved.

10. Has a hard time making friends as she talks like she’s 11 instead of 4 and KNOWS WAY TOO MUCH and SHARES. SHARES SO MUCH. Play-date invitations are few and far between.

11. Asks friends to come for sleepovers instead of play-dates because that’s what her sisters do. Now you have to awkwardly explain to the other mom that yeah, I don’t really want your 3 or 4 year old to spend the night. EVER.

12. Has never visited sproutonline.com or ABCmouse – but can kick some serious Just Dance butt when Roar comes on. Can possibly twerk.

13. Knows how to order dinner at the sushi bar and knows what gourmet cupcakes and real frosting should taste like. The sweet sugar icing on character cupcakes from Target just won’t suffice. She knows what ganache is.

14. Can work the iPad and can download music better than any parent. Has Minecraft houses and stuff and you just stare at her and wish she would play with Little Ponies.

15.  Has seen PG13 movies whereas her sisters at four years old had barely seen their first movie and it was most definitely rated G. Sorry, but this girl loves Harry Potter!

16. Is convinced that she should be able to stay home alone too like her sisters if you just run to the store. “I’ll be just fine, Mom!” Honestly, she probably would be – but you’d rather CPS did not pay a visit.

17. Instead of the sweet calls of ‘Mommy” and “Mama”  – at times she also thinks your name is really “MOM” or “MOTHER” said in the most OMG I cannot believe you just said that kind of tween voice.

18. She also makes “Please knock” and “Private – stay out” signs for her bedroom door.

19. Does ‘homework’ each evening when her sisters do theirs and tells you to be a little quieter so she can concentrate on her maths.

20. And the best tween habit – can do all of the chores her sisters can – from laundry to dishes to vacuuming floors. Dang, now why didn’t you teach your older kids how to do these important chores earlier?


What did I miss on how your littlest tries to keep up with their tween or teen siblings?



A Trend I Miss From The 80s

This decade is confusing to me. I see my kids wearing neon, off-the-shoulder Flashdance type shirts, converse hi-top sneakers, and feathers in their ears and hair.


They are stealing things from the 80s. From my decade. My teenage years were influenced by the end of disco, the emergence of punk, and the puke popular Top 40 that consumed my life. My teenage closet looked like Boy George, Madonna, Michael Jackson, WHAM, and Cyndi Lauper had a love child and it vomited up neon, sequined gloves, lace, oversize shirts, and scrunchies.


This is probably why my mom used to cry at the mall when I wanted JUST ONE MORE NEON GREEN TOP, and why she may have snickered when I left the house each morning.


It’s also why my brother – HELLO 80s Prep-argyle-stand-up-collar boy – used to refuse to be seen with me.


But I don’t want to talk about the musical trends or fashion trends.


This is the trend that I miss most from high school.


Linking up with MamaKat’s vlogging workshop.


So Much To Talk About This Week!

It’s suppose to be -24 on Monday morning. Actual temperature. Windchill will be about -786. Totally tolerable in my humble opinion and school should go on as planned. But I’m already preparing for another ‘snow day‘ and having the kids at home. Which is why I am still considering dropping them at Galit’s house.


Or I could just stay home and look at my daughter’s beautiful face.


Jed and I(okay, maybe I’m still bitchy) are having a tough week. I would like to blame it on 1. Sure, maybe I’m bitchy and 2. One toilet in the house and 3. We’ve spent way too much time indoors this winter. Because COLD! We need more tolerable snow days to get outside and play. 4. Also, I might be bitchy because one toilet, the cold, too much time indoors. So I’m trying not to let it bother me and to accept his compliments even when I’m feeling gross and stinky.


I wrote an essay this week about one of the houses I lived in when I was little. It’s strange, the details you remember about a house from when you were only five years old. Sometimes I wonder what my kids will remember about the houses of their lives. And about how much this current house means to them – the only home Esther and Astrid have known. When I get mad at our house for being broken or old and too small-ish – I need to remember that children don’t care about any of that. It’s the people inside the house that matter.


But Eloise will probably only remember that we never let her have a guinea pig.


Since it’s the season to stay in – we are reading a lot. I just finished one of my dear friend’s books. Jennie – from A Lady In France just published her first book. It’s a stunning memoir of her incredible and extraordinary life spent all over the world, and her journey of faith. I yearn for the day when I can sit down with her in her home in France and have her tell me the stories of her life. I love Jennie dearly – and now her book has made me even closer to her.  Maybe I’m peeking in her kitchen window right now.


You need a copy of her book – maybe two or three. A Lady in France is available on Amazon in paperback or for your Kindle.


And if you are looking to work on your photography this year – I highly recommend following along Alison and Greta’s 52 week #ThroughTheLensThursday project. They are fun and easy weekly prompts and you can join in anytime!


One more thing – my friend Alexandra has published a beautiful and important piece on the Huffington Post about How Our Society Raises Young Boys. I suggest popping over there today.


AND one more week to submit your stories on motherhood for our Twin Cities Listen To Your Mother Show. We would be honored if you shared your words with us. xo


Happy Saturday!


You’re So Vain

“Mommy, don’t close the door on me when I’m peeing because you won’t be able to see me pee.”


Hon, I don’t need to watch you pee. I’ll just be in the hall folding laundry. I’m right outside the door.


“But, Mom, if you close the door you won’t see my beautiful face, and I have the most beautiful face in the world. Even when I’m peeing my face is beautiful. Won’t you miss my face?”


So I watched her beautiful face while she peed.


Motherhood is so weird sometimes.


The Difference Between Men And Women

This is what I look like right now.


I’ve just returned from a five mile run.


My running clothes are sweaty and stinky but I’m too Sunday morning lazy to change out of them.


I’m even leaving sweat-marks on the chair.


My breath is combination of morning and coffee as I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.


My feet are cracked and bleeding from the dry, the cold, the running.


I have yesterday’s make-up still caked around my eyes.


I’m checking Facebook instead of talking to him as he sits across from me and is shockingly freshly showered.


And he comes over, puts his arms around me, asks me for a kiss and then whispers that we have a few moments alone(if you know what I mean) before the kids get up.


And I say “I am so sweaty, gross, stinky, yucky, omg you are so weird, go away!”


Because if I were freshly showered and he was the one sitting here in his stench – I would tell him to go take a shower because gross! Who wants to touch that let alone have sex with it.


Men are so strange.


45 Signs That You Have PMS

1. You curse the invention of the penis.

2. You eat all the peanut butter directly out of the jar and don’t even bother wiping your mouth clean.

3. Hallmark commercials not only make your cry, but make you consider just taking a nap for the next four years under expensive down comforters.

4. NFL commercials make you cry. And you hate all sports. And men.

5. You cry because you’ve never splurged on nice bedding and you deserve nice bedding RIGHT NOW.


6. You only have love for your cat. Only your cat loves you. You take selfies with your cat.

7. You think about how your whole family just needs to move away for a few days. BECAUSE PEOPLE!

8. You dream about living in a yurt in the Yukon without any neighbors ever.

9. You could totally live off the land and nobody would ever talk to you again ever. Ever.

10. You are annoyed by how your husband breathes.

11. Don’t get you started on how he chews.


13. You apologize to your daughters because they also each have a uterus.

14. They ask you what a uterus is and you have to take a 10 hour nap because you just cannot talk about it.

15. Where is my nice bedding?

16. You eat your weight in dark chocolate and have to hide the wrappers in the bottom of the trash can.

17. You eat your husband’s weight in dark chocolate and say “Fuck it” and leave the wrappers all over your bedroom. Then you give the “DON’T CROSS ME -PMS” look to anyone who dares judge you about the chocolate eating. They bring you more chocolate.

18. You think maybe you need to get another cat because two cats, or 10 cats, is all that you need.

19. It takes you two hours to get dressed because nothing fits and you are so bloated.

20. The extra water weight in your cheeks makes you wear infinity scarves that now cover the lower part of your face. You envy mummies.

21. You praise Jesus that you live in a a cold climate and bloat camouflage is possible. But you start crying about summer. And PMS. And lack of infinity scarves even though it won’t happen for six months.

22. You start talking to the washing machine because nobody else gets you. BUT MY GOD, WHY ALL THE LAUNDRY NOW!

23. You are convinced that you will never have a good hair day again.

24. You will wear a hat until you are 62.

25. You cry because your cat doesn’t have the right kind of thumbs and can’t hold a coffee cup when he sits next to you. AND YOU JUST NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE WHO GETS YOU. Because the washing machine pissed you off yesterday.

26. You’re convinced that everyone on Facebook hates you because nobody talks to you and they ignore your posts.

27. WHAT ABOUT ME?????

28. You think about deleting all social media accounts because what’s the point. No one cares about MY WORDS!

29. You realize you are 45 – not 15 – and then get sadder because when will the PMS EVER END.

30. You meet the eyes of a strange lady in the produce section of the grocery store and realize she has the same PMS look, so you nod and pretty soon you are hugging a stranger at Target. Because PMS.

31. You feel better being NOT ALONE.

32. But then a man walks by and you both whisper ‘men‘ and you cry again. Because how dare he BREATHE!

33. You think about getting more cats.

34. But buy more chocolate instead.

35. And then a dozen donuts because your jeans are tight this week.

36. Donuts and tampons. Donuts and tampons. That’s all I need.

37. And more cats.

38. You cry to every song on the radio. Especially the ones by David Gray.

39. Fucking Babylon indeed.

40. Don’t even get me started on The Indigo Girls. You sing Closer To Fine with the windows down and as you pass by, women nod and whisper amongst themselves “PMS.” They throw chocolate at your minivan.

41. Oh my hell I drive a minivan – this is what it’s come to, isn’t it?

42. Make lists of what to buy daughters when they start their periods for the first time – 1. Chocolate 2. Cats 3. Nice bedding 4. Peanut butter 5. Private yurt 6. Donuts 7. Tampons.

43. Make lists of what to take away from daughters when they start their periods for the first time – 1. Males 2. People 3. TVs 4. Computers 5. Music 6. Society 7. Minivans 8. Mirrors 9. Jeans.

44. Curl up on couch – cat on lap, chocolate in mouth, computer off, and listen to David Gray. But curse his penis. Because men.

45. Yell at husband when he suggests you might just have PMS this week. HOW DARE HE?


What am I missing here? Share your signs and laugh with me. And send cats holding chocolate. OMG they can’t hold chocolate, can they???