Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Trips Not Gifts

In my house we have birthday season. My husband and oldest daughter have the same birthday and my youngest is 10 days later. At this time every year I would to contemplate what we are going to get them for their birthday. I was always pricing the latest gadget or toy that I just knew will be left in a pile in the playroom in just a few months. I know that I am going to spend a lot of money on things. Frankly things they just don't need. So I made up my mind that for my birthday crew we are going to do trips and not gifts. Take the money that we would have spent on a party and presents and go somewhere we have never gone before.

This year we headed to the Central Coast of California. More specifically, Morro Bay and Monterey Bay. My youngest is obsessed with sea otters and so I researched the best places to see them in the wild and Morro Bay was at the top of the list. We spent 4 days seeing just how beautiful the California coast is. We not only saw sea otters, but we got to see elephant seals. We stayed in hotels and took a dip in the pool. We had some great meals and our last stop was to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where we took a behind the scenes tour of the sea otter rescue center.

These 4 days were amazing and weeks later my kids are still talking about it. I know that this will be a trip and birthday they will never forget. Now...where to next year?

Friday, June 10, 2016


Last week I read the 12 page statement that the victim of the Stanford rapist read to the judge. It was a rough read and I can't believe that this young woman had the strength to stand up and read this.

Like most of the world I am outraged with the judge's sentence and disgusted with the rapists father statements. As I read more about this rapist and his background it was clear to see that he belongs to the generation of kids who are being treated like royalty and given anything and everything they want without questions. So the idea of consent may have been hard for this spoiled brat to understand.

Thankfully a police department made a video that helps anyone understand what consent means...

Friday, June 3, 2016

You know you're getting old when....

... You throw your back out doing Zumba (true story, not proud)! 

... Know one quite gets your slang. I just yelled MODED in a staff meeting and the early 20- somethings looked puzzled.

... Babies just don't do it for you anymore. Instead of 'oohing and awwing' you're ready to hand the little alien back at the first squirm.

.... You can't make it through a night on the town without swollen feet and a hunkering for street dogs, tacos, or both.

.... You spend more time organizing closets and shelves than applying makeup or shopping.

... You ask anyone and everyone to help you manage a simple remote. 

... The hottest celebrity and A-list movie stars could have been your child or every hot guy you ever crushed on has grandkids and gray hairs -Ugh!

... You have to use the zoom feature on your PC to type and read!

... You only have the strength to type a list of 9 "you know you're getting old" lines and nothing more!

Share your personal "you know you're too old" lines 
in the comment section below!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Jet Blue Rewards Crying Babies

Flying with a baby anytime soon? 

SCARY! Well, at least for parents, oh who am I kidding, passengers get scared too. Who hasn't spotted the big eyes on flyers watching a baby enter the plane, likely thinking, "I hope that baby doesn't cry the whole flight!"

For parents, flying with child is one of those moments you pray all the Gods are in your favor. I know firsthand the angst of hoping everything goes well so you didn't find yourself with a stuffy infant, crying due to cabin pressure, and yelling into strange earlobes while you're buried in the middle seat. Boy, I've seen and experienced the process. It's a process that includes navigating a small plane aisle with the largest diaper bag known to man, carting a bigger than average baby, and enduring a combination of sad eyes and annoyed stares from sympathizers and judgy-types alike. The latter really having NO CLUE. Because don't you just appreciate non-parents judging parents?

... NOT!

They don't have a clue how hard this all really is. Parenthood isn't easy and carting a baby on an airplane will teach you that in less than a millisecond. Now, I don't know if the following scenario was real, but the level of baby acceptance and incentivized understanding meant everything to me.

Thank you Jetblue, thank you!


Monday, May 30, 2016

Kids Cheat Sheet: Democrats versus Republicans

My kid came home the other day to chat about how racist Donald Trump is. He really knew nothing about him other than what kids were saying at school and the fact that he didn't want him to be president. Now I don't care to defend "The Donald" but it wouldn't be fair to leave the judgment of racist as a stand along opinion. I asked my son what he knew about Mr. Trump and he knew very little, but could describe him as republican. He then asked me to define democrat versus republican and boy was I stumped. Stumped because everything that came to mind was not quite appropriate for a 9 year old such as pro-life versus pro-choice.

In this moment, my son really wanted one of the two to be the good one versus the bad one and the right one versus the wrong one. To me that didn't teach him anything. So I quickly googled how to explain political parties to children and this nifty video popped up.

The video is perfectly simplified, but doesn't make anything necessarily wrong. When talking to my child about the topic I wanted him to remember civic engagement was important. He also should strive to be an informed and active voter. In time I am sure he'll decide for himself what party is best, maybe even one not represented by an elephant or donkey. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The French Now Have The Right to Disconnect

How many weekends or vacations have been ruined because of a work email? Okay maybe not too many. But how much of your off-time is spent checking work email or worrying if the boss emailed you something important? Is it easy for you to leave work at work or does the ding on your phone send your stress levels up?

I was recently on a 2 day mini vacation. I do not have my work email setup on my personal cell phone. But I can still use my internet browser and log-in to my work email. I did really good up until the last day and I just had to check. The moment I did my mind was back at the office.

The French government understands how employees can easily get job-related burnout because they are always connected.

“All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant,” Benoit Hamon of the French National Assembly told the BBC earlier this month. “Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash-- like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails -- they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down."

The El Kohmri labor labor law will make it illegal for companies with more than 50 employees to email their employees after typical work hours. As of now there are no penalties for not following this law so companies are really only doing this voluntarily. This new law will also change the current 35 hour work week and is said to help with the high unemployment rate in France. Of course there are two sides on this labor reform. While some are fighting for a fair work/life balance, others are fighting to help the French economy flourish.

What do you think about this "right to disconnect"? 
Do you think laws like this can help people relieve some stress in their lives? 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Unicorn Moms

The other day I came across a term to describe a Mom I had never heard before. Now I thought I had heard them all, but "Unicorn Mom" stumped me. I had to google it. Turns out a Unicorn Mom is.....

I think I might be a little bit of a Unicorn Mom. I am by no means perfect. Let me give you my kids hair and clothes for an example. Where one Mom might stress over every outfit and hairstyle, I am just happy if my kids walk out of the house in clean clothes and hair. Most days my 11 year old is dressed like a homeless person and my 6 year old's hair usually looks pretty disheveled. You should see my house. June Cleaver I am not. Most days there are toys strewn all over the house and there is pretty much dirty dishes in my sink 100% of the time. Laundry baskets are always full and my bathroom counters almost always have toothpaste on them.

And enjoys alcohol? Well I may or may not be writing this with a glass of moscato in my hand. I do like myself a good drink. I usually prefer fruity but sometimes a ice cold beer will hit the spot. Just the other day I tried one of those new hard cherry colas. Not bad.

Sense of humor? I think I'm pretty funny. But most importantly I can find the humor in most situations. When the kids spill a brand new box of cereal all over the floor I can laugh, well because crying isn't going to do much.

And not caring what people think? Well I know how we parent our kids is not everyone's cup of tea. And people may think we are crazy to homeschool our kids. But in my heart I know it's the best thing for us so others opinion do not matter.

As for the Bitch and Zero F#&ks given. Well that a bit vulgar for me. Maybe I'm just part Unicorn Mom.