Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Life Cycle of Hosting a Simple......Slumber Party

All of you who have hosted one know exactly how it goes.

It all starts off about two months before your kid’s birthday you ask her what she is thinking about for their birthday.  They answer is always, Sleepover!!!  Like the Pavlovian dog that you are, you get this weird feeling in your stomach, maybe even wince a bit, possibly cock your head to the side wondering if you heard right and then think to your self didn’t we have one of these last year?  Yes, yes, we definitely had one of these last year.  You say, “what ever you’d like” knowing full well that you will try every approach to try to convince her that she’ll want to do something else. 

4 weeks before her birthday, you realize that you have to send out a save the date for her party and ask her again, "so, what were you wanting for your birthday?  Shall we go painting, or roller skating, or jumping, or (god please get excited about any of these)" and she says “sleepover!!!!” and then you pull out the piece de resistance and say…"what about…chuck e. cheese??  And she pauses (you get hopeful for the possibility of hosting a party NOT in your home) and then looks and says “nah.  You said I could have whatever I want and I want a sleepover”.  Oh, alright, fine. sigh.   Sleepover. 

You hit “send” on the invitation so now it is real. Like childbirth, you’ve forgotten about it.  The details are vague and so long ago and you’ve conceded to another kid.

I get optimistic and actually start to think how great it’ll be- the kids are older… is going to be so much cheaper than a party party….we will play pictionary…..have a dance party….it’ll really be the best birthday. 

The day comes and guests arrive at 3pm and everyone puts their stuff in their spot.  A nice and rolled up sleeping bag, a pillow, a bag and timid smiles. You’re like, these girls are amazing, why did I ever not want to have a slumber party?  I’m such a bitch.  Look at my kid, she is so happy.  They’re all having fun and laughing and getting along.  This is going to be super easy. 

Whew.  What time is it?  Oh, it’s 4pm.  Wow, I really thought it was later. 

Me- Ok, “who wants to play Pictionary?!?!” 
Them- Not us, we are playing with the toads and the dog! 
Her- Not me, I am writing in a diary. 
Them- Not us, we are playing marching band with all of the instruments in your house..
The other one- I’m hungry! 
Me- Oh, ok, maybe later. 

My hopes for containment fail me.  Oh well, they are having so much fun.

The time comes when they all yell in unison- We are hungry!  We want dinner. My birthday girl specifically said that the menu should be only Macaroni and Cheese (from the box) with NO SALAD OR VEGETABLES and bread.  Basically, carby and colorless is the theme.  Oh and gummy bears for dessert. And then cake and whipped cream. 

Stop passing and inhaling the whipped cream around the table.....that's nitrous oxide!!! YOur parents will be very upset if I return addicts to them.   Gah!

Kids have now separated into dyads and the oh-so-difficult triads.  They’re getting tired, but, don’t you DARE mention that to them.  They are all going strong still. 
I suddenly stop and look around and it looks like an outdoor concert after the concert has ended.  All I am seeing is pieces of paper, cups, plates, crayons, socks, shoes, blankets, toads, beads, scissors, pens, macaroni, stationery, glitter, marker caps, popcorn, crumbs everywhere.  Holy mess.  We clean.  They “help”.

We have them get into their pajamas and brush their teeth and get them selves sorted and claim a space on the living room floor.  Ahhhh, this is so great, you think.  Now they’re relaxed, ready for the movie.

Movie ends.  9pm- when the slumber party really begins.  Everything else has been pie up to now.

10pm- Second wind- this is when kids start to get weird and loopy. They start wanting their mommies, tattle telling on each other (even bffs), where they’re hungry again (but you ate so. much. food.), where they want new spots on the sleeping bag floor, where they have to pee, when they have to poop.

Getting them ready for bed, take two.   Set them up cozily.  Put another movie on.  Wistfully anticipate that most will not even make it through this next movie and they’ll just drop off, one by one.  It’s so late.  They have to be tired.  They played so hard earlier.  For so long. 

Movie ended and I tiptoe out of my room to shut off the television and turn off all of the lights and I see them ALL awake.  They looked like bush babies.

actual picture of a sleepover guest taken with my phone  #nofilter

No sleepover would be complete without both ridiculous parents periodically coming out of their room to shush, and remind them to “whisper”, etc.   Futile efforts, for sure. 


12:30am, the big kahuna……me, coming out of my room, crazy haired, wearing only bra and panties, not giving a rat’s ass who sees what and I say “You people are ridiculous. Tomorrow you will still be expected to be daughters, and sisters and be part of a family.  I will just Sit. Right. Here.”  Now, secretly, you know you’ve waited your entire life to be this level of buzzkill.  To be the one to shut’er down.  You’re finally the scary adult.  The girls took turns looking up from the mess of blankets and bags on the floor like little prairie dogs.  One by one they fell.  No residual giggling or weird noises.  Finally they were silent enough that they fell asleep.  1am.  A bunch of 7-8 years olds.  1am!!

I walked back into my room, door ajar, and got back into bed.  I heard one girl cough and I said “Don’t even think about it”. 

Zzzzzzzzz.   We all sleep.

6am comes quicker than you wanted it to (doesn't it always?).

It starts off slowly….one tiny voice, then a few whispers here and there, then it crescendos to all out laughter and party time.  My husband and I are trying to stay in bed as long as we can until I overhear one kid say…I know how to make eggs and bacon…where are your pans?  Ok, we're up!!!!

As we begin to clean up, the “can you help me roll this up” wedding reception line begins.  Who in the hell ever created these sleeping bags that you had to manhandle to get back in their bag home?  The elastic bands for a better/tighter roll are a farce. 

Me- who’s sock is this?  What about this shirt?  Where is your other shoe?  Etc etc.
We finally get it all cleaned up.  

It is five minutes before the parents come to pick up kids when I look at the clean living room and they are all getting along and happily playing..…pictionary!

Then, everyone has left, your kid is happy and zapped of energy and whilst floppily playing with new toys she says “I want to do that for my next birthday too”! 

You’ll forget that you’re super tired and like childbirth....the details will grow blurry and lather, rinse, repeat, you’ll be doing this all again next year because it made her so happy.

PS-yes, I haven't written in the blog in a very long time.  2016 is the year of revamping old and fun habits, like this one.  And night club dancing. And baking.  And blogging about it all.

Yes, I also know that I no longer look like my picture and my profile info and tagline should be changed.  Out of respect for the person who started this blog, I will keep it just as is.
Bar-b :) 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I heart 2 girls and a........

So, the age difference between our new love and the last kid is 6 years.  We really were not ready (not even a second) before now.  We'd contemplated it for a long while, ever since Saylor was baby.  And the girls had asked for one for a long time. Every Santa letter had a request for one and every birthday too.  Everytime we talked about having a third dependent we I would start spiraling off into my thoughts rant of "its another thing to take care of", "it's another thing to pay mind to", "what about vacations", "what about my house and all of our things that we take such good care of" and "its just another thing to be responsible for".  I just really didn't know how to work it in.  I was basically saying that I would willingly be adding more work and cost and care to my plate. On purpose!

Michael and I finally conceded and agreed that it was the RIGHT time to add to our family.  The BAMS were getting a d-o-g!!!  The search began.  What kind, what breed, what size, what color, what age, what what what.  Oh course my oldest had already classified each breed on a likert scale and this scale included making decisions on weight, height and temperament.  They both truly wanted a dog that they could my purse.  I am certain that every christmas and every birthday, Athena visualized this for her/me......

 Not happening.  Not in a million years.  I loved my kids, but, not this much.

The search got narrower and narrower and harder and harder to find a dog.  We'd told the girls that we were getting a dog on Christmas day and it was February and still, no dog.  My daughter once said to me "we're never getting a dog, are we"?  That's when I realized that I was being too anxious about jumping into the ol' dog ownership and I believe I was making it difficult, and delaying, on purpose (unconsciously, of course).  I think I was savoring the last bit of freedom only a dogless household leads.  You know the freedoms I speak of, not worrying about having to come home or being out too late, just worrying about your own human family's food, and your own fitness, and social interaction. 

We had decided on getting a rescue dog and we decided to get it from one of the many in our large city.  We'd traversed the city  and looked and looked and looked.  This ONE in particular was extra awesome because the lady who runs it (with all of the other volunteers) goes to the pound and picks up dogs on the day they're to be euthanized and rescues and re-homes them after they've been brought back to health and been at fosters homes.  We knew this is where we wanted our last baby from.

February 14th weekend comes around and I thought....that's it! They'll be stocked with pups at these places because that's what people do, give dogs as gifts :/ 

We left with..........a mangy mutt (no, for real, she had mange)

  And we. were. SMITTEN.  Simply smitten.  We named her Havana Autumn and got her when she was 3 months old, full of mites and ready to be loved and cared for.  Our puppies loved our newest puppy.

 She was so sweet and adorable and neither of us could help but love her! 

Everything she did was flipping CUTE!!!!!

I spent a shit-ton on this harness and collar set from Martha Stewart, but, who cares????

Over $400 was spent at the Vet AFTER the adoption fee and "stuff" we got for her, but, who cares????

She rides around in my car and I have to go to the car wash afterwards to get the dog smell and hair out, but, who cares??????

I took her running with me and nearly died.....but, who cares?

We even took her "Glamping" which she loved even though she is a crazy puppy and needed to stay on her leash......but, who cares???

She was itching due to the mites and I didn't hesitate to take a leotard of one of the girls' and fit it to her so she wouldn't scratch so much.  This outfit lasted all of 57 seconds, BUT. who cares??????

We've given her the best care, best food and even socialized her with a bi monthly "puppy party" where we have a massive puppy social with kibbles and wine.

We took her to a Houston Polo Match and loved every second of it with our bitch...

Tally o'Damage (off the top of my head and the tips of my fingers)
  • a book (repeat this bullet point about a dozen times)
  • a doll
  • socks
  • blankets
  • the comfy pad that was bought for her crate (she did this three times)
  • shoes 
  • she's pissed and pooped on rugs in each of our three bathrooms
  • yarn (a big spool)
  • patio chair
  • patio table leg
  • patio table glass from where she stood atop and it shattered
  • toilet paper rolls from garbage (along with everything else from said garbage)
  • wires and tigers and bears oh my!

We just knew that she had magical schnauzer mix puppy powers to make us overlook all of this!!!!!!!! 

Our family is now complete, and I mean that, wholeheartedly.

My husband caught this picture which I believe tells a thousand words.  


We don't care and we are so happy that she is the silent H in the BAMS.  More stories of Little H to come.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Riled up and maybe Derailed

So, has anyone else noticed how whiny we've become?  Like, we love to dramatize and complain about our children....a lot.  Blogs/writers/authors are making a living out of it.  The snarkier and more irreverent the better.  I mean, I get the commiseration piece, we're all in the same boat, but, the cost seems high to me.

I have to say that I am a little bit tired of reading the parent blogs out there that are written in a cynical and sarcastic tone, aimed at writing about their "real experience" of parenting.  The mundane.  The daily.  Their tone seems to be getting whinier, more impatient, entitled and quite honestly disrespectful of their children.  It's become so commonplace and truly a societal norm to rag on your kids, and your experience that we don't even bat an eyelash when someone says or writes it.   Bitching and sighing and huffing and puffing has become our knee jerk response. Insidious, really.  The wallowing and woe-is-me attitude is getting trite.  Can you just envision our parents, our aunts, or grandmothers constantly kvetching about how hard it is and how much trouble it all is. 

Also, our judgement of others astounds me.  You want to fuck around on pinterest and give your kid an awesome *insert whatever here*, go, do! I can't wait to partake.  If you don't want to do that, go, don't.  You want to elf on the shelf?  great.  You don't?  great. You co-sleep? great. You cried it out with them? great.  Not happy with being a stay at home mom, get a part time job.  Not happy being a full time employee, tweak schedule.  Make choices and commit.   Onward.

Does. it. work. for. you and your family (not being contingent on what Sally or Susan are doing)?  Great. I call this "assured parenting", notice I didn't say  "correct parenting", or "perfect parenting".  We're doing the best we can.

Parenting can feel like the abyss at times, right? right.  Short of drop kicking your child, starving your child, selling your child on craigslist, or having sex with your child, you're probably doing an ok job at parenting and I wouldn't dream of getting involved.

I believe what a child needs from us is unconditional love/safety/security/support/boundaries AND OUR PRESENCE.  An example of this is the time our wee family went to Oahu.  Amazing trip.  All sorts of activities, fun for all.  Snorkeling, surfing, eating (not too much because its too expensive), etc, etc, etc.

About after a month upon returning form our trip, my 5 year old is in the back seat of my car and I see her sorta sullen.  I ask her what's up and what she was thinking about.  She says "oh, I was daydreaming about Hawaii".  I assumed she was daydreaming of the beach, the stuff and the beauty of it all.  I said "what about Hawaii are you thinking about"?  She says "the pool.  And that little room".  "That little room"?, I ask.  "Yes, the room all four of us were together in.  It was so much fun."  I nearly cried.  What my daughter had remembered and was feeling nostalgic about was the time we had spent together.  Unencumbered, present, and focused on each other.  It was a real eye opener for us.

As a marriage and family therapist, I've seen my share of families.  When a couple has brought in their 16 year old to get "fixed", I always say "First off, Congratulations, you have a teenager". AND I say "what sort of discipline/boundaries did you have in place when they were 6 years old?  how about 16 months old"?  Meaning, that parenting begins instantly. 

But wait.   Is parenting hard?  Fuck yes it is!  It should be.

We sometimes act like we'd signed up for this though.....

Listen, we are raising beings.  Guiding characters.  Modeling behaviors.  We're demonstrating resilience, vigor, gratitude, how we're fallible, kindness, grace and acceptance.  

All of this suffice it to say that I believe we don't need to sugar coat and romanticize parenting (please, no), but, lets also rethink the way we communicate the bitch sessions.  Our children hear us.  They can feel it from us. 

You may or may not agree with me (and that is totally ok), but, alas, it's my space to write my thoughts.  Get your free blog at and go buck wild, mate.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


RIP Woven Wedges- Another "Sole" Mate

How long did we know each other? 2 years? 3?  You know, it doesn't even matter.  You meant the world to me, you were my go-to shoes when I wanted to-go. My "flip flops". My version of birkenstocks.  When in doubt, I'd throw you on and you'd pull any outfit together, instantly.  You made my calves look their best.   You were aces in my book.  When I needed were there.  When I needed a touch of floral were there.  When I needed were there.  When I needed were there. When I had a great were there.  When I needed to run to the mail/outside/grocery store/lunch/dinner/school pick up and drop off/beach/pool/ were. there.  

Don't get me wrong, I know we always didn't see eye to eye.  You didn't always want to be my fave.  I'd sometimes see your trepidation in my choosing of you, my dearest wedge.  I saw you thinking "but, I don't match with what you're wearing"! and/or "your toes are toe' up, please wear closed toed shoes", and/or "me? again?".  I know you were teased and taunted by jealous other shoes in the closet. "Goody goody two shoes" they'd say.  That red stilletto, the bully, would hauntingly whisper "waiting for the other shoe to drop".  Or those bitchy black wedges would whine "you think you're always a shoe-in".    Don't think I didn't know, and I'm sorry I had to put you in that predicament.  No shoe wants to be THAT shoe.  
You brave little sole. 

I've never been as sorry as our last days together though.   I will always cherish our last outing, hiking in Hawaii.  How you balanced on those rocks, held me high above the surf, how you allowed me to be fashionable amidst flip flopped folks.  How you were you and we were us.

 I feel guilty, I do.  Had I not pushed that last step to see the damn crab, had I not tried to climb higher to get a glimpse of the sunset, had I just been more considerate, you may be still be around.  You gave your life for me....for my ankle.  I took a rare misstep and you held me together at your expense.  When I heard that *snap* and *crrrunch*, I knew.  My heart sank.  My feet cried.  I held the tears in.  I knew you were done.  I knew we....were done.

(I can barely look at this picture).

Sigh.  I miss you, already.  I went to get dressed today and went to grab you and you weren't there.   It hasn't even been three days and I miss you.  So farewell my friend, I bid you adieu.

We'll always have Hawaii.  Mahalo, Friend. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer lovin' happened so faaaast...

Something interesting happened to me today.  I realized how I have somehow stepped over a new threshold of mother/parenthood.  A new world, it seems.  Something that I hadn't truly noticed that had happened because it seemed so gradual and so sloooooow moving. 

The last two days, I've been taking the girls to organized play places, like the ones where you pay admission to go to and you go bring snacks, a change of clothes, diaper bag, cameras, and your fellow 'mom' friends.  I haven't done this in a long time because even though I have young(ish) children, they're both in school now, so our weekday mornings aren't left to our imagination anymore.  It's all cool, the girls are so happy while learning and flourishing at school versus just at home. In the summer, its a different story and the city is once again our play place.  It's been fun to check out our old stomping grounds and find new spots. 

What I observed in myself AND in others was eye opening.  The mom that I am today as one of a 7 & 5 year old is markedly different than the mom I was when the girls were 2 & 0 or 3 & 1 or even 4 & 2.  I remembered today who that person was.  I saw (old) me in them.   The doe eyed, anxious, casually dressed, booger cleaning, snack packing, diaper checking, milestone comparing, hooter hiding, recipe exchanging, baby chasing, nap time lusting, and morning time activity filler.   I mean, I've written entries upon entries about these experiences.....mommy dating, potty training, nursing, spitting up, play dates good, play dates not-so-good, goofy stories (Oh wait, I still do that ), pictures pictures and more pictures. What I noticed was that I had blogged about these new experiences voraciously early on and I couldn't wait to share the next experience/interpretation of what it was like to have two small children in the world.  It was so new to me, so mind blowing.  I've done a ton of stuff it my life, experienced a lot, been open to life and the world and people.  Unafraid and brave of all that this life had to offer.

Having children and staying at home with them was the most (hands down) humbling experience ever.  Brought my ass to its knees.

What I've noticed throughout the years is that the blogging has dwindled (as we got busier, as THEY got busier) and the posts became more about me and how I could focus on that "me". The dawn has broken, my friends.  I am now thinking about returning to me.  Back to Barbie.  Albeit an eternally changed (and ever changing) Barbie, but, Barbie nonetheless.  I can enjoy my girls, fully.  I don't have to worry about trivial bodily functions as much.  I know they can hold their pee if need be, I know they can have a snack from CVS in a pinch and I know that they are fully aware what either taking away a privilege or time out really means.  I also am deeply aware that this is when things start to slip past you.  This is what people say when they used to tell me (which I hated EVERY TIME SOMEONE TOLD ME), "it goes by like a blink of an eye".  It feels like (get ready for an old time reference which if you get, you're my pal forever) I've been pushing my volkswagon bug to get it to a speed where you can just jump in and put it into second gear.  It just starts to go.....ignites....starts to drive...on its own.  This is where I feel I am at right now.  So many years of pushing the VW, and I've just put it into second gear.

 So, I leave this blog post saying (to myself, mostly) to ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY and SAVOR and ENJOY this time in my parenting life, where I can come up for air.  Where I don't feel like I'm in the trenches so much.  Where I can appreciate where I've come from and where we're headed.  I know that there is another hard part to come.  I know this.  Teenage angst and rebellion and just plain 'being' is a difficult (and developmentally appropriate and necessary) age to be a part of, as the person going through it or as the parent.

As a Miamian, I'd like to compare this time to the eye of the hurricane.  As anyone who has been involved in the magnitude that is a hurricane knows that there are three parts to it.  As it passes over you, it has the first part, the storm, the water, rain, sounds, sights, scary, new.  Then the second part, as the eye passes over you.  Quiet, clear, calm, but temporary.  The third part is the other side of the hurricane, similar to the first.  Storm, water, rain. 

Enjoy the ride, stock up on supplies as best you can and know that all of it is a gift. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


So, I'm laughing at a few things here.  1. the fact that my friend had to tell me to blog about this and I was like "oh, yeah, this isn't normal", and 2. that I apparently adore all that is multi-tasking.  Now,  I don't say this as a braggart, but, more like a revelation to me (yet again....I know I've blogged about this before).  As a parent mother (woman) you tend to use that beautifully large corpus callosum to its fullest....we women conceptualize differently, communicate differently, do most things....differently than men. Without getting too nerdy -when it comes to women - the corpus callosum, the white matter tract, connecting the two brain hemispheres, allowing our intercommunication - is much wider.  Don't send me emails asking me to prove this research, look it up yourself.  And (as an aside) it has been a subject of debate in the scientific and lay communities for over a century, soooo, just roll with it for my blog post :)

While your amazing husband/partner can tend to ONE thing really well, you can do 8 at an 80% (A solid grade of a B). 

So......while your husband excels at things like...........

and this......

and this......

and this......

and really showing off during Stanley cup.....doing this....

You're doing everything else :)

Back to impetus for blog post.

I've gotten my eyebrows waxed while Moby wearing my newborn on my chest, I've breastfed a baby while pooping, yes, pooping, I've changed a newborn baby's diaper with one the dark, I have finagled left, right and center with the two I heart. It's always out of necessity, not truly a preference.  Apparently, my skills are transferable.  Today trumped it all.

I was on a conference call in which I actively participate in......while intermittently hitting the mute button.......while I was getting a laser hair removal treatment.  A Brazilian.  

I'm going to just leave it at that, not elaborate any further. 

What I was reminded of?  Baby need not be present for the mad skills :) 

No pictures of any of this because well, as you mommas one takes pictures of us! Well, certainly not during a Brazilian....that'd be creepy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sister Summer Stints

School has been out for a week and half and we're having a grand ol' time!  Everything is more relaxed, more fun and less stressed.  We haven't hit a lot of our summer list yet, but, there's time.  My brazen two are open for new adventures and honestly, so am I.  I *just* bought an archery groupon (see last entry) and we'll be doing that next week!!   Oh and weirdos out there, don't steal my pictures, k?  Thanks :)

Sidewalk Scarfing

almost Swimming

Stylish Skating

Specific Snacking

 Spent Swinging

Shooting the.....breeze

 Slurping (on opposite day, its a tea party)

Scholarly Studying

Cinematic Surveying

Stringing and Strategizing

 Standing Stripes

 Stenciling & Socializing

Snarling doggy Superstructures

Striking a Spirited pose (Go Astros!!)


I'm sapped.

Set off and Savor your Summer!!!!!