Why Moms Hate Summer Vacation

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7A – Wake and have breakfast with bleary-eyed Kid #1 who has not seen this hour, or any time close to it, since school ended two weeks earlier.

8A – Drop Kid #1 at Girl Scout sponsored nature park clean up.  Speed off in car leaving behind giant cloud of dust and pretend that I don’t hear other mom’s last minute request for “extra hands.”

8:30A – Return home and get breakfast for Kid #2 and Kid #3, dog and cat.

9:20A – Drop DVD rentals at video store including dreadful one kids insisted upon starring a fangless, yet still sullen, Robert Pattinson.  Regret wasting $5.00 yet delight in “I told you so” afterglow.

9:30A – Pack Kid #2 and Kid #3 in car again and pick up remarkably unsoiled Kid #1. Return home and make mid-morning snack for Kids #1, #2 and #3.

10:30A – Go to grocery store for more supplies.

12:00N – Make lunch for Kids #1, #2 and #3.

1:00P – Take Kid #1 to fashion design sketching class.  Fantasize about her upcoming career as famous fashion designer, including guest judge appearance on Project Runway.  Acknowledge that Kid #1 will likely live at home for a very long time.

1:30P – Take Kid #3 to swim-date at friend’s house.  During drive get instructed by Kid #3 that I shouldn’t get out of the car when we get there, for fear I will engage in a long conversation with her friend’s mom, thus ruining the whole experience.

2:00P – Return home and learn that Kid #2 hijacked my cell phone to text an invitation to friend for swim-date at our house.

2:30P – Welcome Kid #2A and immediately prepare snacks for Kid #2 and Kid #2A.

3:00P – Abandon plans to do laundry or anything really because must now supervise swim-date.

4:00P – Pick up Kid #1 from sketch class.  Make futile attempts to glean information about content of said class.

5:30P – Feed dinner to Kid #2 and Kid #2A.  Pour self a heart-healthy glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Realize may not drink heart-healthy Cabernet Sauvignon as still need to take Kid #2 and #2A to #2A’s recently separated father’s new apartment to “check it out” and watch a movie.

6:00P – Take Kid #1 to coed birthday party for now 14-year-old friend.  (Read laughably tiny font at bottom of invitation indicating that there will be parental supervision.)

6:15P – Take Kid #2 and #2A to the dad’s pad.  Take note of ne’r-do-well teens hanging out on balconies of neighboring apartments.  Silently wish that 11-year-old Kid #2 and her friend, Kid 2A did not already look like leggy teens.

6:30P – Drop Kid #3’s overnight bag at her friend’s house in order to accommodate impromptu sleepover invitation.  Sadly decline offer of libation, due to aforementioned driving duties.

7:00P – Return to find husband home from work.  Detect goofy grin on husband’s face.  Listen as husband points out that the kids are all gone, heh, heh, and you know what that could mean.  Offer up, “Umm, we have control of the remote?”

8:00P – Phone rings.  Kid #3 wants to cancel sleepover date.  Pick up Kid #3 and reassure her on drive home that her friend’s house does not have ghosts.  The white blur in the hallway likely just the pasty daddy legs of her friend’s father

9:30P – Pick up Kid #2 from the bachelor pad apartment.  Inquire as to the rating of already watched movie.  Convince self that she meant to say she saw The Squeakquel and not The Saw sequel.

10:00P – Pick up Kid #1 from the birthday party.  Conduct inconspicuous sniffing in entryway to smell for booze and cigarettes.  Thankfully detect none.  Note that birthday girl’s parents look a good ten years older than at party’s start, four hours earlier.

10:30P – Return home and cajole kids into their beds.  Finally reach for glass of Cabernet, but decide it is too late to drink alcohol unless desire that awful morning headache.  Opt for butterscotch brownie and calcium-rich milk instead.

11:00P – Go online and research sleep-away camp availability for remainder of summer.  Send email inquiring if there is room for just one more.  Also ask if they take adults.

 

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Filed under Children, comedy, humor, kids, mothering, parenting, Uncategorized

Trendy, Trendy Culver City

Kristen Hansen Brakeman:

Check out Forrest Brakeman’s blog! (yes, my husband)

“Trendy Trendy Culver City”
You don’t need to have ever been there to understand.

Originally posted on Forrest Brakeman:

imgres One current jewel of the great Southern California Basin is trendy, trendy Culver City, located near the Eastern border checkpoints blocking the way into the desirable West Side.

If you bypass Checkpoint Charlie, and sneak in through the still active oil fields of Baldwin Hills, you can find this hip and in-demand town firmly nestled in the armpit of the Santa Monica Freeway and the San Diego Freeway, two of the most heavily travelled roads in the country, making it impossible to get to or from trendy, trendy Culver City.

Originally occupied by the Tongva-Gabrielino originals for over 8,000 years, the area was taken by the people who deserved it more, and developed by Harry Culver, who coined the phrase “All Roads Lead To Culver City,” which in fact was not even close to true at the time – it was in the middle of nowhere.

But before long, the…

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THE CHOPPER SAGA: PART THREE (In Which His Reign of Terror Comes to an End)


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Almost two years had passed since I’d begrudgingly welcomed a dragon breath, mangy furred, one-eyed shaky little mutt into our home.

We inherited Chopper from my in-laws who, in a final display of their wicked sense of humor, left us their smelly, obese, geriatric dog instead of a palatial estate.

I didn’t really want him.  After all, I had already welcomed three kids, a cat, and my devoted German shepherd mix, Buddy, into my heart and home.   There was no room for more.

But the little dog needed a place to live, and given his age and poor health, I figured it would only be for a few months anyway, so I agreed. Continue reading

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A Stranger’s Hands . . . Touching Me?

17_fashion_spa_stock_photo_170415My friends and I were pretty stressed out from overseeing the whole college application thing and needed a boozy night to decompress.

So one of my good friends offered to host a small cocktail party where we could share information, compare notes, and let’s be honest, complain about our kids.  After inserting a drink into my hand , our lovely host told me that she had hired a masseuse friend of hers to provide free mini-massages to help relieve our stress.

“Oh that’s, fantastic!” I said, lying through my teeth.

In truth, just the idea of getting a massage made me even more stressed out and instantly uptight. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never enjoyed getting massages from strangers.  I guess I just can’t relax, and any pleasure I feel is offset by my overwhelming angst.
Continue reading

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I’ve Been Translated!

Hey, I’m big in Germany !

My 10 Parenting Tips The Experts Won’t Tell You column was on Huffington Post Parents and then got translated for the German version of Huffington Post.  For some reason I find this thrilling!

Check it out here -

And the English version here

Also – I wrote a piece for LitFactor  – about trying to get published.  It’s called “Writers Write and Other Lies”  Check it out here!

After this post, I promise not to jaw on about writing anymore and actually do some.

 

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Writers’ Roundtable

I was asked to participate in a Q and A about writing by the good people at WordPress.

Check it out here!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/freelance-writing/

Thanks!

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10 Parenting Tips You Won’t Hear From Experts

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I’m not a psychologist, pediatrician, or child development expert, but I do have three kids, one of whom is almost an adult. Over the years I’ve read a ton of parenting books, often desperate for insight or answers. But what I found is that most parenting advice is just trite hooey.  I mean, if we could all magically just nod off and “sleep when our baby sleeps” or “find ways to make time for ourselves,” then we wouldn’t be seeking advice in the first place.

I’ve made my own discoveries along the way.  Here are a few practical pieces of advice, things experts won’t tell you.

1) You don’t need to videotape every second.

Sometimes it’s nice to simply enjoy a school performance, soccer game, or birthday party without the burden of videotaping.  Besides, it’s better to videotape every day moments like your kids playing dress-up, building a fort, or having a conversation with their grandparents. They’ll mean a lot more to you in twenty years than some barely watchable clip of your kid standing behind 100 other kids singing, “Wacky Weather.”  Oh, and don’t bother getting cutaways and insert shots thinking you’re going to edit the video later. Trust me, it ain’t gonna happen.

2) Don’t volunteer during hectic months.

Arrive early at back-to-school night so you can have your choice of party signups. Pick the lesser holiday parties, like Valentines Day, Columbus Day, or even Arbor Day.  Don’t be stupid and sign up for the “Winter Holiday” party, because when December 18th rolls around and you haven’t started your “Winter Holiday” shopping, and your older daughter has a “Winter Holiday” choral performance that night, and your son needs help studying for his semester finals, the last thing you need is to suddenly remember that you signed up to bake twenty-five cupcakes for the fourth grade “Winter Holiday” Party. Continue reading

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The FAFSA – New and Improved!

coins-blurgEveryone hates the FAFSA college financial aid form.  It’s a pain in the neck to fill out, and for middle class families it seems like a big waste of time  – they won’t qualify for need-based aid anyway.

As usual, the government is quick to respond to complaints and is working on revising the form.  And thanks to the kids in my ten-year-old daughter’s “Learn to Code” class who accidentally hacked into the government’s website, I have an early version of the new, improved, FAFSA form.

Will it help middle class families?  Judge for yourself:

PARENTS’ ASSETS:

1. List sum of your parents’ assets plus the fabricated income they listed on line 7 of their federal tax return.

2. What about parents’ “other money” like what they’ve hidden in shady Cayman Island offshore accounts or under the names of dead relatives?  Also include change from sofa, coin jar in laundry room, and that wad of cash they have in the  top drawer of their bedroom dresser where every burglar knows to find it.

3. List amount parents stole from their fellow Americans in government handouts, bailouts, or other entitlements.

4. State the current value of your parents’ home using 2014 currency and assuming that home is listed for sale with the most shark-like real estate agent in town, or, what it’s worth on Zillow. Continue reading

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What Are You Wearing?

People that work on Award shows have to dress up too – or wear “show blacks”

But they clearly don’t expect people to ask them about it:

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What’s Your Real Hair Color and Other Nosy Security Questions

** Check out the full post on Huffington Post Comedy – click HERE

Those website security questions used to be so easy and straightforward like, “What’s your mother’s maiden name, high school mascot, or favorite pie?”

But now they’ve gotten strange. Either the website designers are trying hard to foil the hackers or, as I suspect, they’re just really, really bored. What else could account for these bizarre actual security questions?

What was your favorite game to play as a child? 

Good Lord, who on earth would remember such a thing? And do they mean board game like Dream Date, or like kickball or hide and seek? I need some clarity here.

What was your dream job as a child? 

When I was a five I wanted to be a mermaid. I wonder if that counts as an actual job.

What was your favorite place to visit as a child?

Okay, really people, let’s think about this for a second — if I can’t remember my password, one I created only a month ago, why do you think I can remember what games I liked to play, or what I thought or felt like back when I was a child, so many eons ago?

What was the name of your first pet?

Sandy. Uh, darn. Now you all know it and now I can’t use that.

Where is your great grandmother buried?

Continue reading

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