10 Reasons Moms Look Annoyed

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No matter how much you love being a mom, sometimes it’s hard to keep a smile on your face. As rewarding as your “job” is, it’s also frustrating, repetitive and maddeningly illogical. On any given day, one, or maybe all of these annoying things might be happening to you (and I realize this list doesn’t even scratch the surface):

1. You ask one last time, “Does anyone need to use the bathroom before we hit the road. Once they’re dressed in layers, buckled into car seats and hurtling down the carpool lane on the freeway, you hear those dreaded four words: “I have to pee!”

2. As soon as you’ve prepaid for the custom-fitted dance recital costume that costs more than your car payment, that’s when she decides she’d rather play soccer.

3. The amount of glitter stuck between your floor boards can only be rivaled by the amount of sand in your bathtub.

4. You agreed to be one of four Room Parents for your child’s grade school class. How hard could it be? Then the other three Room Parents abruptly quit, leaving only you.

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Screw Bedtime! – Why I’m Still Helping My Daughter Fall Asleep Every Night

My bedtime routine leaves something to be desired.

I’m spending up to an hour each night sardined into my daughter’s twin bed (oh why, oh why didn’t I buy the double?) waiting for her to just pass out already.

Sleeping Viv

This was not my idea. My kid claims she can’t fall asleep without a parent snuggled up beside her. Even after all the bathing, teeth brushing, hair detangling, story reading and stuffed animal choosing, she still needs help winding down in the form of made-up stories, “back scratchies” and the reassurance of my physical presence. Only then do the yawns start, her breathing deepens and she finally succumbs to sleep.

The whole process — which involves much wiggling and the occasional elbow to my face as she tries to get comfortable — can feel endless, and I become keenly aware that I am not (a) having dinner with my husband, (b) enjoying some well-deserved personal time or (c) catching up on reality TV with a glass of wine.

So why do I keep doing it? Why not just say goodnight and shut the door? Because only in the quiet darkness will my daughter finally tell me what’s on her mind:

“Mama, I said unkind words to Emma today,” she’ll confess, out of the blue.

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The Lies I Tell My Carnivore Kid About My Vegetarian Diet

I’m a truth-telling mom, most of the time. I don’t shy away from the tough topics, and my 3-year-old daughter knows more about the uterus than the average adult male. But when it comes to my vegetarianism, I’m a big fat liar.

I never meant to be a vegetarian. As a small child, I made the connection between the cute animals at the farm and ones on my plate and vehemently refused to eat them anymore.

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My mom indulged me, working hard to find alternative sources of protein so I wouldn’t stunt my growth. This wasn’t easy in the pre-Whole Foods 1970s, so props to her. That said, I am only 5’2”.

As a grown-up, I still love animals, but I’m fine with people eating them, especially the humanely raised cage-free sorts. Unfortunately, after decades of avoidance, I’ve completely lost my taste for burgers and wings. Most meat — even the leanest, most ladylike chicken breast, is totally gross to me.

However, I feel strongly that animal protein is an important part of a balanced diet for a growing child, and I’ve bent over backwards to become a mom who may not eat meat but cooks it with a smile. This is sometimes a little scary, because I’m serving my daughter food I haven’t personally sampled (hello, Salmonella?). Luckily, my husband is usually willing to be her royal taster.

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Huckleberry Cookbook Giveaway

I have very good news.  One of you is going to win a signed copy of the brand new Huckleberry Cookbook, by Zoe Nathan.

huckleberry cookbook

For those of you who don’t live in LA, Huckleberry is the always-packed Santa Monice eatery known for its farm fresh brunches and decadent sweets.

Huckleberry restaurant

I was lucky to meet chef/owner Zoe Nathan in a mommy & me class when our almost four-year-olds were just babies.  When she started working on the cookbook, I got to sample some of the delectible dishes as a volunteer recipe tester (seriously, best job ever), so I can personally vouch for how fabulous the cookbook is.  Or you can just look at these pictures.

huckleberry cookbook images

Whether your family likes bacon cheddar muffins, blueberry buttermilk scones, fried green tomato tartines or poached eggs with pesto and snap peas, these incredible recipes will make you want to serve breakfast three meals a day.  You know, breakfast, brunch and brinner!

And since Zoe’s a mom, you’ll find recipes made to amuse your kids, like egg in a hole or even green eggs and ham.  (They will like them, Sam I Am!)

The book is also packed with tips and tricks for shopping, stocking your pantry and getting the most from your cooking tools.  I love this feature in a cookbook — it’s why I have so many Ina Garten books on my shelf — for the insider advice.

To win a signed copy of the hot-off-the-presses Huckleberry cookbook, just leave a comment telling me your favorite breakfast dish, whether it’s something you cook at home or order up at brunch.  One winner will be randomly selected from the commenters using random.org on Tuesday, 9/16/14 so enter before then.

Until then, I’ll be busy stuffing my face with cornbread pudding and fingerling potato hash.

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What I Learned On My First Kid-Free Vacation

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After three and half years in the parenting trenches, my husband and I took our first adults-only vacation (our honeymoon) at a resort in Big Sur, California. I didn’t feel too guilty about leaving our daughter behind with her grandparents, because ice cream. The real question was, would I be okay? As a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t have much experience with separation. It felt weird to be flying the coop.

So, on our first night away, instead of the usual bedtime routine of mac ‘n cheese, bath time and stories, we had cocktails, a candlelit dinner overlooking the ocean, and a long soak in the infinity hot tub. It turns out a little separation wasn’t so bad! What’s more, I made some pleasant discoveries about my relationship and myself:

I like monopolizing my husband. As rewarding as it’s been to see him evolve into a wonderful father, I’ll admit it was nice to have my husband all to myself again, holding my hand and making me laugh. It felt good to have uninterrupted conversations and really focus on each other. And let’s face it; it is way easier to flirt when you can grab an ass instead of wiping one.

Without chores or childcare, there is literally nothing to fight about. At home, a sink full of dishes can have us sniping at each other like Al and Peg Bundy. On vacation, we’re more like characters from a Fitzgerald novel: “Shall I open another bottle of wine?” “Yes, darling, that would be lovely.”

 

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