The Road to Perfection Fell Off My Map

Failed perfectionists, unite! I have your summer beach reading right here!

Oh, wait. Unless your kids are coming to the beach with you. Because then you’ll be too busy chasing them down to slather on sunscreen, fielding their snack requests, and hauling 68.8492 metric tons of provisions with you for a wholly enjoyable seaside afternoon that feels like the opposite of a vacation situation.

So, maybe forget the beach reading idea and save the book for the 12 minutes of consciousness you have on the couch each night after the kids go to bed. That way, you can extend your reading pleasure for months.

Lately, my kids have been making more and more comments about me not having a job. I find it ironic, if not wholly insulting, that I am usually buried under twelve laundry piles while simultaneously changing a diaper and calling out spelling words for tomorrow’s quiz as I defend my full-time occupation. And so I tried to explain that, in addition to my all-consuming domestic gig, my sometimes-job is to write.

This makes them tilt their heads, fully unaware of this blog’s existence that has documented some of their best and worst moments. And mine {which are mostly driven by them}.

In my daydreams, my sometimes-job as a writer gets upgraded to full-time status with a magical salary, a cult-like following and an unbelievably slimming gown for me to wear on the Oscar red carpet to watch the screen adaptation of my acclaimed novel(s) sweep the awards season circuit. I’m thinking perhaps something in a rich midnight blue or even the navy palate, but we’ll have to see what’s trending that year.

But back under my laundry pile, this sometimes-writer has been incredibly lucky to be included in some fantastic anthologies with groups of very funny and talented women. Each time I’m selected to be in another book, I’m both completely incredulous and extremely grateful.

Today, there’s a new one out. How great is that?



Yep — it’s the latest installment in the I Just Want to Pee Alone (the New York Times Best Seller — which, come on, of course I’m going to slip in anywhere I can in perpetuity) series!

What’s that you say? You, too, have tried and failed numerous times as a mom to do too much, to overachieve, make it all work? Yeah, so have we, and we’re here to tell you how badly we fucked it up.

And by we, I mean this fine list of writers:

Jen Mann – People I Want to Punch in the Throat / I Just Want to Pee Alone

Bethany Kriger Thies – Bad Parenting Moments

Deva Nicole Dalporto – MyLifeSuckers

Julianna Wesby Miner – Rants From Mommyland

LOLA LOLITA  – SammichesPsychMeds / MockMom

Kim Bongiorno – Let Me Start By Saying

Alyson Herzig – The Shitastrophy

Kathryn Leehane – Foxy Wine Pocket

Harmony Hobbs – Modern Mommy Madness

Erin Dwyer Dymowski – Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Tara Wood – Love Morning Wood

Kelcey Kintner – The Mama Bird Diaries

Lisa René LeClair – Sassypiehole

Joelle Wisler – Joelle Wisler, Writer

Christine McDevitt Burke – Keeper of The Fruit Loops

Meredith Spidel – The Mom of the Year

Meredith Gordon – Bad Sandy

Nicole Leigh Shaw –

Allison Hart – Motherhood, WTF?

Jennifer Lizza – Outsmarted Mommy

Suzanne Fleet – Toulouse and Tonic

AK Turner – Vagabonding with Kids

Robyn Welling – Hollow Tree Ventures

Ashley Fuchs – The Malleable Mom

Kim Forde – The Fordeville Diaries

E.R. Catalano – Zoe vs. the Universe

Chrissy Woj – Quirky Chrissy

Stacey Gill – One Funny Motha

Wendi Aarons –

Jen Simon –

Janel Mills – 649.133: Girls, the Care and Maintenance Of.

Jessica Azar – Herd Management

Susanne Kerns –The Dusty Parachute

Audrey Hayworth – Sass Mouth

Hedia Anvar – Gunmetal Geisha

Christine Organ –

Shya Gibbons – ShyaGibbons


That’s a lot of fantastic imperfection, right? As in, you just got the urge to curl up with a good book over the holiday weekend and let the kids watch a movie in another room/floor/universe so that you enjoy the failure of others in silence?

I know how you feel.

Well, don’t let me stop you.

For the Amazon/Kindle/I-must-have-it-ASAP Prime set, here you go.

Barnes and Noblers/Nook folks, please find us here.


I hope you’ll pick up/download a copy. And I hope you’ll remember that there’s a profound joy in knowing that someone else screwed up worse than you did.

We can prove it.

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The Five Stages of Escaping Your Kids for the Weekend

I rarely have plans on the weekends anymore. Unless you count kids’ sports and birthday parties and laundry. Then, yes, my weekends are packed.

And yet, as social karma would have it, I had two exciting places to be this past weekend, without kids, at the same time.

I was so excited to be attending the inaugural BlogU conference as a faculty member and meeting all of my blogging friends who live inside my computer. I had known for months that the weekend of June 6-8 was all about getting myself and my laptop to Baltimore. Nothing was getting in my way.

Except my college reunion, apparently. Same weekend. Four states away.

Oh, and my daughter’s dance recital.

Suddenly, the girl who never has fun plans had signed up for more simultaneous fun than she could handle.

No matter, I decided. Yes, the logistics were daunting, but I could make this happen. Even if it meant that I would be attending more on-campus events in a weekend than I did in my entire college career.

And so began the five stages of planning to leave without my kids for the weekend.



1) Unbridled Enthusiasm: I have real-life adult plans! I’m going away! I’m not packing Goldfish or doing laundry. I am showering two days in a row. My husband will feel the intense, serial pain of the Minivan Frozen Singalong Marathon while I forget that Elsa and Anna ever existed. I will not gaze at my yoga pants for 48 consecutive hours. Oh, it’s on.


2) Complications: Hmmm, these logistics are a little tricky with the three kids. Yes, my husband is highly competent and honestly did not flinch when I mentioned something about smoke coming off my heels and getting the fuck out of here for a weekend. Of course he can handle everything. Oh wait, the recital has a dress rehearsal too? And my daughter needs a bun in her hair? And maybe it would be fun if he came with me to the reunion. And there’s gymnastics and that birthday party too. Wait, am I driving from New Jersey to Baltimore to Connecticut to New Jersey? That’s, like, 773 traffic hours.


3) Empowerment: I called in my resources. Not just friends to assist, but also my ace in the hole.

“Hi, Mom? Can you help us please?”

It takes a village, they say. Bullshit. It takes NASA-level mission execution. If I could get these logistics to run smoothly, I would immediately be qualified to run a medium-sized nation.

Or, I could be paid to write SAT questions:

You have two cars in your possession, one of which is your mother’s and has no car seats. Your husband and your mother need to be in two separate pick up points, 12 miles apart, within 6 minutes of each other. All three children require legally secure seating. There is a booster, a front-facing convertible seat and a rear-facing infant seat. Two of the three can be installed via seat belts if necessary. 

How would you configure the seating? 

Who drives which car?

**Extra credit: Can your mother find the dress rehearsal location without cursing in front of your daughter?**


4) It’s Nottttt Worrrrrrth It: This stage of planning lasted for about six consecutive hours the night before departure. Right about when I realized that my kids were all well accounted for, the groceries were purchased and I even had contingency-super-secret-plan-B-double-backup-plans to get everyone to their respective activities — but I somehow didn’t have clean clothes to wear, gas in my car or a working phone charger. It would just be easier to stay home. Maybe I’ll just skip it all. It’s just a conference and a college reunion. I can go to those things anytime/in 20 years. Plus the couch is so comfortable and who else will polish off this kettle corn if I leave for the weekend?


5) Fuck It, I’m Outta Here: Goodbye, yoga pants and van and birthday party and gymnastics and dress rehearsal and laundry and Elsa and Anna. I hope whatever I packed at 1:00am sort of matches in the light of day.


And so I did. I did some speed-socializing during the one night I had at BlogU and slept in a dorm without getting written up for any infraction by an RA. I took long car rides and had a glorious solo train stint in there as well. I saw great old friends from college on the second night (again, did not get written up — this is now a personal best for me). I overdosed on nostalgia, realized that Spanx should really be the official sponsor of all reunions, ever, and made it home to grab a few hours of sleep before Sunday morning’s dance recital.


Now to unpack and get the house back in order. Give me another week or two.


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What Would You Say About Your Husband in a Book?

I have often accused my husband of Party Sabotage. It comes up every time we have people over, whether it’s just a few friends or a group of 30 for Christmas.

I don’t know if it’s a Mars/Venus thing, or if we have different priorities, or what. All I know is that I tend to focus on things like food, a clean(ish) house and, of course, setting up the bar. He tends to get wrapped up in, shall we say, some of the smaller minutiae of entertaining.

Like what? OK, fine, I’ll give you a few examples, since you asked.

  • Replacing light switch plates.
  • Cleaning out the crawl space under the house.
  • Organizing the garage.

It’s a thing between us. Mostly because we don’t host our social gatherings in the crawl space or the garage. I try to appreciate that he’s being a perfectionist and wants the house to look good when people are here, but really: I can’t get past the fact that NOBODY HAS SET UP THE BAR.

Every time this happens, my first thought is “How can I blog about this while staying married?” Well, not really. My real first thought is that I’m never hosting Christmas again. And then I think about the blog. Or maybe it happens at the same time. Anyway.

You know where I finally could have shared this story? In a new book!

This one.

Does the title sound sort of familiar? Yes, the fabulous Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat is back with a new anthology, and I’m so thrilled to be a part of it.

The last one was about motherhood. This one is about the men in our lives.

I’m in excellent company! The line-up in this book is just phenomenal. These ladies have some hilarious stories to tell about their menfolk. I hope you’ll read what they have to say.

My husband has been a really good sport about this whole thing, starting from the moment I said this: “So, uh, I am going to submit a piece for a new anthology. And the topic is husbands.”

I had a lot of criteria: I didn’t want to talk trash about him just to be funny. I wanted to write something I could live with after it was put out there for strangers, friends and family to read. Above all, I didn’t want to embarrass him.

And then I remembered: He doesn’t get embarrassed. Well, that made things a hell of a lot easier. Still, I learned something important: It’s not easy to write a funny and accurate story about your spouse that meets all of these criteria.

Did I write about my home’s Party Sabotage streak? I didn’t. Mostly because I thought of an even better topic to tackle when it comes to my husband.

I can’t tell you, but you know who can? Amazon. Here’s the official book description:

The second volume in the best-selling I Just Want to Pee Alone series!

Don’t get us wrong, we love the men in our lives – we do (most of the time). It’s just that sometimes we would like them to go away. Not forever or anything like that. Just for an hour … or a day … or a weekend. We want some time to ourselves to read a good book or take a walk or do anything other than try to make a dent in the never ending mound of dirty clothes that keeps piling up on his side of the bed. We just want to be alone. All alone. Is that too much to ask? 



When can you order it, you ask? I Just Want to Be Alone will be available on March 22, 2014, but in the meantime you can pre-order it on Amazon.

Click here to pre-order a paperback copy.
Click here to pre-order a Kindle copy.


Also, my wedding anniversary is coming up this week. I don’t think the traditional 9-year gift is “borderline embarrassing published essay,” but I have to check.

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You Say It’s Your Birthday


It’s not my birthday, per se. It’s the blog’s birthday — The Fordeville Diaries turns three today! {Well, technically yesterday, but that was 9/11.}

Three years. 265 posts. Ah, they grow up so fast, don’t they? Where does the time go?

It has been quite a year, if I do say so myself. Let’s recap:

  • I had a geriatric pregnancy.
  • I had to give up wine (see “pregnancy”).
  • I decidedly took up no further home renovations.
  • I was published in a book.
  • I read my work on stage and almost passed out.
  • I had my third child!
  • I resumed drinking wine and extreme caffeine consumption.
  • OMG, I was published in another book.
  • I was chosen as one of BlogHer’s Humor Voices of the Year.
  • I was unable to shake the tight grip of social media addiction on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

So, yes, a lot went down in the last 12 months. And I wrote about it as much as I could. My posts weren’t all winners, but these are the ones I like best from this past year:

Facebook is Broken

I Don’t Watch Homeland. Can We Still Be Friends?

The Soul of New Jersey

A Very PBK Christmas

I Was Here First

Groundhog Day, Motherhood Edition

The Dessert Bar Baby

Target Always Wins

When 40 is the New 78

The Curious Consumer & Restoration Hardware


Recently, I have been posting far less than I did in the past. Because babies are needy and I can barely string together sentences most days. I’d love to tell you I’m trying to go back to my old ways of writing more, but the truth is that I’m enjoying my time taking in the scent of my baby’s head. These are crazy days with an infant, but also sentimental ones for me. So when I’m able to write, I write. When I can’t, I can’t. I’ve stopped putting pressure on myself to do more, because the last thing I want is for this to feel like a job or an obligation. Then I might have flashbacks to my days of gainful employment, and that would make me think of some of my old bosses. This would make me stabby {although I think I now have a pretty good idea for a future blog post}.

But I can honestly say that I still love doing this just as much as I did the first time I hit “publish” on a post. Possibly even more. This blog is a sacred space to me, and feels like a big piece of who I am. It’s where the remains of the day end up archived for me without having to tie them up in pretty ribbons. It’s sometimes messy. Sometimes sad or raw. Sometimes sentimental. And, hopefully, every so often, it’s a little funny — mostly at my expense.

So, what’s next?

I wish I knew. I wish I could tell you I had some grand vision for the blog — some strategic business plan — but I don’t. Would I love to grow it more? Sure. Will I look for opportunities to do that? Yeah, when I can. But I still love it just as it is, and am grateful for every reader and every comment. You guys are fabulous enablers.

So I think the plan is just to keep at it. I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

In the meantime, let’s have cake and coffee and wine and ice cream and more wine. Because that’s what birthdays are for.




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It’s a Confetti & Lipstick Day

I have some really exciting news today. I’ve been waiting a while to share this.


My eight week-old son finally gave me six consecutive hours of sleep. It was glorious. The colors of the world seemed brighter. Food tasted better. I completed full sentences. I considered throwing him a parade.

And while this is exciting news, it’s not THE exciting news I’m referencing. Although this full night of sleep helped confirm that I wasn’t hallucinating when THE exciting news happened.

I’m in another book!

Yes, back in the days when I only had two kids and, apparently, more time on my hands than I was smart enough to appreciate beyond measure, I submitted a piece for this book and crossed my fingers. You can file that under Things That Would Never Happen Now That A Newborn Lives Here.

Anyway, I’m really grateful I was selected. I’m in fabulous company — take a look!

Now, I KNOW that you all finished off your summer reading lists just last night, and woke up today desperately searching for a brand new collection of light yet brilliant* essays. Can you believe our timing? Fucking impeccable.

And OF COURSE you are already on Amazon today buying back-to-school crap. So while you’re there, just clicky on over here for the Kindle version or here for the paperback.

Did you click yet? OK, good. You’re the best.

Oh, wait. Just a little disclaimer for my craft-minded friends. My essay, as you’ll see pretty quickly, is firmly in the anti-craft camp. In fact, it’s called Confessions of a Craft Hater. Because it’s important for me to own up to this. I hope we can still be friends.

So that’s THE exciting news.

Now I have to go and pay for the bragging I did about the baby sleeping for six consecutive hours. I’ll be up until Sunday if anyone needs me.


*my essay does not fall in the brilliant camp



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Tell Chicago I Said Hi

Right now, a few thousand bloggers are fretting about some pretty big questions. Like what to wear. And who to meet “in real life.” And if their business cards should or should not include their Pinterest handles.

Yes, friends, it’s time for BlogHer 2013. Just an intimate gathering of 4,000 souls who like to overshare on the Internet.

I went last year, when it was held in New York, and I had a great time.

This year, it’s in Chicago, and I won’t be going.

I’d love to, but it’s not a great plan with a 6 week-old.

I’ve known for many months that I wouldn’t be able to attend this year, given the timing.

And then a few things happened that made me reconsider.

First, 15 of the funny ladies from the book I was fortunate enough to be a part of are doing a book signing and reading in Chicago to coincide with the conference. How fun is that? I would love to meet all of them. I feel like I already know them. It would be great to have an evening laughing with them and celebrating the success of this great project.

Then, very unexpectedly, I found out that I was one of just 25 bloggers chosen as a 2013 Humor Voice of the Year by BlogHer. How cool is that?

So I started to think about pulling the logistics together for just 24 hours in Chicago.

I booked a hotel room. I started researching flights. I got excited about the possibility of a quick trip to BlogHer. The blog world is both massive and small. It is both anonymous and filled with friendships. And it probably sounds ridiculous to many, but we spend so much time interacting with each other online that the thrill of meeting up in person, just once a year, is really a treat.

I was *this close* to going but, in the end, it was just too much to leave a newborn at home. Could I have made it work? Yes. Was it stressing me out? Yes.

So I’ll be home. Hanging out with a cute 10 pound milk aficianado. And that’s totally OK.

But I have to bust out some I’m Missing BlogHer Coping Mechanisms. This mostly entails removing myself from social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the next few days, where the constant stream of BlogHer photos and updates would taunt me.

And then I have to block out the insane fact that Friday night’s Voices of the Year ceremony is going to be hosted by Queen Latifah.

Queen Latifah.


Will she call out all of the honorees? Will Queen Latifah speak my name? And I’ll miss it?

I can’t think about it. I can’t.

But you guys. QUEEN LATIFAH.


So, to my blogging friends, save me a pretend seat at the bar, have a great time and bring me back some good information. Or gossip. Or both. And tell Chicago — and Queen Latifah — I said hello.

Oh wait — you’re not reading this. Because you’ve already redeemed all of your conference drink tickets. Just as I would have done.

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I Left Town & Then Crazy, Exciting Things Happened

So we’re back from Florida. I have some highlights to share with you, but not just yet. For now, let me just say this: If you’re ever concerned about global warming and want a surefire way to lower your hometown’s average temperature by 20 degrees or so, give me a call. My family and I will bring a localized Arctic Blast right to you. Just a little short-term cold pattern to last the length of our stay. Really, give us a try.

But in the meantime, I have to tell you that clearly I should go away more often. Because crazy exciting things happened while I was gone.

First, I got a fabulous phone call. It happened while I waiting in an endless line to have my kids meet Ariel. Or maybe it was my husband who really wanted to meet Ariel. Whatever. The point is that this call delivered the great news that I’ve been selected to join this year’s New York cast of Listen to Your Mother.


Wait. What?

How exciting is that? I auditioned a few weeks ago and basically chalked it up to a good experience, since I was pretty sure they didn’t want to cast someone who looked like she might vomit from nervousness. Not exactly a crowd-pleasing vibe.

But, somehow, I was selected. I went to my first rehearsal last night and I’m so thrilled to be joining this fabulous group of writers. And while I’m perfectly comfortable on my couch in my yoga pants behind the keyboard, reading my work in front of a live audience is going to be a first for me. I will probably pass out. Or hyperventilate. Or go into labor {since the show is just a few weeks shy of my due date}. If you want to see for yourself how this pans out, you can buy your tickets here.

Something else equally exciting happened while I was freezing in Florida and wondering why Ariel was only wearing a seashell bra in a borderline-frost climate.

I had my writing published.

In a book.

This book.


The one that is, as I type this, sitting at #1 in the Amazon Humor/Parenting & Families category and #4 in Overall Humor.

{For the record, that’s ahead of Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Handler’s books. Now we have to set our sights on knocking Sarah Silverman and Tina Fey out of the #1 and #2 spots.}

Wait. What?

Yes. The amazing powerhouse Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat gathered 30+ bloggers for an anthology of fabulous parenting essays.

Here’s a full list of my hilarious partners in crime:

Insane in the Mom Brain
The Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva
Baby Sideburns
Rants From Mommyland
You Know it Happens at Your House Too
The Underachiever’s Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess
My Life and Kids
Bad Parenting Moments
Let Me Start By Saying
Frugalista Blog
Suburban Snapshots
Ninja Mom
Four Plus an Angel
Honest Mom
Binkies and Briefcases
Naps Happen
Kelley’s Break Room
Toulouse & Tonic
Hollow Tree Ventures
Mom’s New Stage
Nurse Mommy Laughs
The Dose of Reality
The Mom of the Year
Life on Peanut Layne
Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine
Confessions of a Cornfed Girl
I Love Them Most When They’re Sleeping
Random Handprints
You’re My Favorite Today
Funny is Family
My Real Life

Again, I’m so thrilled to be included.  These ladies are funny and irreverent and setting the blogosphere on fire.

What’s that, you ask? Where can you buy this book? How can you help us outsell Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman?

Ah, I happen to have that information handy.

For the Kindle version, you can find it here.

iTunes folks, head over here.

Old school print copy, here you go.

I mean, you can’t expect me to tell you about Disney World after all that, right? Because there clearly aren’t enough Mickey waffles on Walt Disney’s personal grill to compete with this other news right now. I am still waiting for it to sink in myself.

Then we can go back to half-nude Ariel and the like.





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Get These Naked People Out of Here

Did any of you catch something different on my blog last week?  Like the masses of naked people looking for “dates”?

Please say no.  Please say you never saw any of it.

Hackers.  They are persistent motherfuckers.  And, unfortunately, they like my site.

I was hacked in January.  That time, I basically couldn’t log in to my blog or access it in any way.  I was locked out.  That was upsetting.

Turns out that was nothing.

This time, I wasn’t locked out, per se.  I was held hostage.  I had access to my site but was unable to stop the crazy shit that was happening to it.  It was like being locked in a room with a Keanu Reeves movie marathon and no liquor.  But worse.

Take, for instance, last Friday night.  My husband was away for his guys’ golfing weekend {more on that another time}.  I had the kids in bed early.  It was just me, the pug and the torturous question of whether I was ready to switch from white to red wine for the season.  So I sat down to do some blogging.

And then.  Suddenly.  A voice.  Deep, creepy, British.  Through the speakers of my computer.  No video.  No pop up.  Just an invisible audio file that I had never heard before.

Talking about some crazy sexual antics.  Over the top, really perverted stuff.  On. My. Blog.

I was basically in the fetal position with one hand covering my ears and the other hand swatting at the laptop until I could shut down the browser and just make. it. stop.

Holy shit.  What was that?

I called my web hosting company, who had been rock stars during Hack #1.  This time, they couldn’t find anything, nor could they replicate the “situation.”

I was creeped out.

Then, two days later, bizarro pop-ups on my site about malware and potentially infected files.

I was getting upset.

Then, on Day Four, my site started redirecting on its own to spammy, weird sites that sold bad music videos.

I felt violated.

Until I realized I had no right to previously feel violated.  Because the worst was still ahead.  Like, later that day —  when the site started redirecting to the most deviant websites I’ve ever seen.  This was violating.


It got bolder, the hack.  It wouldn’t let me shut down the browser.  Then it wouldn’t let me shut down the computer unless I did so manually by holding down the power button and weeping, “Please, don’t show me those websites ever again.”

The web hosting company had multiple techs pore through my files on the server.  They could find nothing.  Nothing.  While my eyes burned from the trauma that was now my blog.  My baby.  I felt like I was waiting for the interventionist to arrive and help me send my child to rehab.

Then, last night, some light.  Someone referred me to a lovely woman who knows how to deal with these situations.  She was like The Cleaner.  Or The Hack Whisperer.  Within 12 hours of contacting her, she found the infected file and all of the naked people in chains went away.

So, if you saw anything, uh, wonky here over the last few days — I’m so sorry.  {Or, you’re welcome, if that’s your thing.  Let’s just never speak of it.}

As for me, I think I’ll be OK.  Once I get this PTSD in check with a therapeutic amount of wine.

Hackers, you suck.  Go bother some mom who blogs about making her kids’ clothes from the cotton she grows herself.  Or go and violate some fantasy baseball site.  Leave my only emotional outlet alone.



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Celebration & World Domination



It’s birthday party time around here.

Don’t worry — there are no kids’ birthday cake disasters in the works.  And I’m not still attempting to extend my 40th {well, not much}.

Nope.  This birthday belongs to the blog.

That’s right, folks — The Fordeville Diaries meets The Terrible Twos.  I’ve somehow learned to crawl and walk over the last two years in Blog Land — so now I guess it’s time for unpredictable public tantrums.  Let the fun begin.

This is my 208th post on this site — 80 of which were written in the last year.  I won’t bore you with everything that I covered in the last 12 months, but here’s the Reader’s Digest recap:

  • We unknowingly undertook the longest basement renovation in modern American history — pending final ruling from the people at The Guinness Book.
  • I drank wine.
  • I dreaded turning 40.
  • I embraced turning 40.  This entailed taking my deep denial on a series of road trips, both domestic and international.
  • I almost kicked our General Contractor in the kneecaps somewhere around the eight month mark of the basement project.
  • I drank wine.
  • I had an apocalyptic swarm of bees in my yard, which resembled a National Geographic episode and a scene from Candyman. Which led to self-imposed house arrest and, ultimately, more wine.
  • I began to deny the very existence of our basement.  Except that I was dragging dirty clothes to the laundromat for six months.
  • I kept the 40th birthday party going.
  • I harbored an unhealthy amount of rage toward my basement.*

{*Note: The final, final approved basement inspection JUST OCCURRED LAST WEEK.  So if your wager on the completion timeframe of our “5-week” project was 54 weeks — you win!  What you’ve won exactly is still TBD, but I have a ton of items in our storage pod you can choose from.}


Now that you’re up to speed on the riveting excitement of my life, I’ll tell you a secret —  in the spirit of the blog’s birthday:  I never get tired of writing here.

If I had more spare hours in the day, I would spend many of them doing exactly this.  The blog is one of my favorite things in the world.  And every time, with every post, I’m so thrilled — and sort of surprised, and certainly lucky — that someone will read it.  And even comment.  And then — sometimes — come back to read more.

Some posts are better than others.  And it’s always fascinating to see which ones generate more comments and traffic {all you closet 50 Shades fans, I’m looking at you.}

These are my favorites from this past year.  Because a birthday is a good time to look back.

How to Lose Your Will to Live at the DMV

The Days Are Long

Out of the Office

Lawyering Up

Say It With Tape

I Might Be Scared of These Families

Hibachi PTSD

The Problem With House Hunters


A birthday is also a good time to look ahead.  And though the terrible twos can be tough, I’m confident we can get through them together.  With wine, of course.  And coffee.  And some unconventional parenting.

If you want to celebrate this birthday with me, I’d love it.

What’s that?  You want to bring a gift to the party?

Oh no, I couldn’t possibly accept a gift.  I don’t really need anyth–

Wait a minute.

I know what I really want.  And you can help me get it.






I’m kidding.


What I mean is this:  I love to write this stuff, but I’m bad at promoting it.  Really bad.  There are bloggers who excel at catchy, attention-grabbing titles and witty tweets to spread the word and attract more readers.  I’m more like, “Uh, hey, if you guys have time and aren’t totally busy, maybe you could read this.  I hope you think it’s a little funny.  OKthanksbye.”  

I was never a marketer by trade.

So, remember those Faberge Shampoo commercials from the 80s?  “And then she told two friends, and she told two friends.  And so on.  And so on…”  {If your answer is “Oh those were made before I was born,” just keep that to yourself, ok?}

That Faberge Effect is the best gift you could give me.  If you like what you see around here — please pass it along to someone else who might enjoy it too.  Because if my chronic mis-steps in parenting and, well — life in general — can help make one person feel less crazy, more normal and like Mother of the Year — then my writing is not in vain.

Not a fan of the Faberge model?  How about this instead:  If you’re not already following along on Facebook, please do.  Because you get exclusive bonus features* over there beyond my blog posts.  If I were a real blogger, I’d have some birthday giveaways or contests or something for all of you.  The truth is, I’m just not that organized.  But I suspect you already knew that.

{*Bonus features = mainly snarky photos about my kids or life in suburbia.}

But in all seriousness — thanks so, so much for your readership, your comments and your support.  And your wine suggestions.  You guys are fabulous.

So, if you’ll have me for another year, I’ve got a lot more up my sleeve.  I can’t reveal everything, but I’m told that good marketers use teasers.

  • Will we renovate the kitchen next?  Or maybe tear down the whole house?  And who will live to tell?
  • How will Señor and I resolve our legal battle around the annual Halloween costume debacle?
  • In which states will my kids vomit this year on road trips?
  • And — last but not least — how many people will I accidentally poison through the new couples’ dinner club I’ve joined?

You’re all on the edge of your seats, aren’t you?  I can feel it.

Year Three awaits.  After I have some celebratory cake and wine.  Join me, won’t you?


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Found: The Funny

Wednesdays can suck in a lot of ways, right?

I guess that whole “Oh-look-it’s-already-the-middle-of-the-week” thing can be uplifting.  At least I’ve heard.  Or, if you’re like me, you might think of Wednesday more like “Holy shit, I still have to make it 2.5 more days to get to the weekend.”

But, I have good news.  Turns out there are two nice upsides to Wednesdays:

1)  The summer drink special at the bar up the street from my house

2)  Finding the Funny

Finding the Funny

If you’re not familiar with #2, it’s a great weekly link-up of — you guessed it — funny posts, hosted by Kelley’s Break Room and My Life and Kids.  I usually try to link up something I’ve written, hoping it’s funny enough.  And even if it’s not, it’s always fun to read the other submissions.

This week, I had Finding the Funny homework.  I’ve been tasked with telling you which are my favorite five out of this week’s 52 posts.  Not a bad gig, right?

So, here we go.

1)  Ah, This is Push It — Ninja Mom.  She lives inside my mind, Ninja Mom.  And apparently inside my shoes as well.  It’s all about how subtly you can physically “prompt” your kids out the door, now, isn’t it?

2)  Make 4th of July Fun or Die Trying — Hollow Tree Ventures.  Why, yes, this national holiday is a real hoot while trying to navigate pyrotechnics with your children.  I felt her pain.

3)  9 Things I Learned at the Water Park of America — People I Want to Punch in the Throat.  Seriously, this singlehandedly validated every. single. fear. I have of water parks.  Sorry, kids, I have now pushed back our water park timeline from “maybe we’ll go next year” to “probably never.”

4)  No, It is Not Hot Enough for Me — Good Day, Regular People (The Empress).  Look, she invokes both Chuck Norris and Bananarama.  Need I say more?

5)  Firecracker, Firecracker, Sis-Boom, Blah Blah Blah — Actual Times May Vary.  More July 4th fun with the kids.  Bonus points for mosquito-feasting graphics and insanity-inducing repeat bathroom trips.

At the risk of sounding like a late-night ginsu knives informercial — Wait, there’s more!

Honorable Mention:

Aw, nuts.  Or, how puppies and testicles are related. — The Bearded Iris.  So, really, if you weren’t already considering using your pet’s genitalia as an opportunity for a life lesson, this should sway you.

Lessons Learned by Seeing Magic Mike — Let Me Start By Saying.  Hang onto those matinee listings, folks.  Read this first before you buy your popcorn.

Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder.  Here I am at Camp Granada.  — Bad Parenting Moments.  Oh yes, the magical pull of summer camp.  I packed those lunches, sunscreen and medical forms a little faster after reading this.

* * *

So if your Wednesday is sucking the life out of you, stop by these blogs and have a read.  Although they won’t bring your weekend any closer, they will give you something fun to do while you plan Friday’s happy hour in your mind.

{T minus 58 hours.}



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