The 51 Steps a Mom Must Take to Attend a Holiday Cookie Swap

Tis the season for holiday parties! It’s time to unearth those Pinterest-worthy recipes and actually make them for friends who are no longer counting calories. It’s time to slip out of dog-hair-covered-leggings and in to a festive frock. It’s time to sip signature cocktails with cutesy nicknames, like Jingle Juice. It’s time to celebrate…if you can find the time. Time is never on a mom’s side, is it? I was recently struck by the Herculean effort I had to make to attend my friend’s holiday cookie swap. I needed three kid-free hours, and had to go through 51 steps to get them. It went a little something like this:
1.     Read invitation. Smile at the thought of a night out with friends overindulging on cookies.
2.     Consider dusting off one of my beloved mom’s recipes for the soiree. Which one should I make?
3.     Commence mental masturbation about cookies.
4.     I could go for a cookie right about now.
5.     Pilfer through the pantry to find a store-bought cookie. There’s one left. Sorry, kids. Mama needs a cookie.
6.     Take a bite. It’s stale. Of course.
7.     Chuckle. Who am I to think I could actually eat a cookie when I want one?!
8.     Re-focus on the invitation.
9.     Take notice of the date and time. It’s on a Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Is that a typo?
10.  Swear, with an emphasis on saying “f*ck” maybe 7 times.
11.  Hip-check myself. Chuckle again—this time in an odd, maniacal way –at the thought of being able to go to anything but sports practice on a    Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
12.  Wonder if other moms have secret sarcastic laughs they break    out during fits of lunacy brought on by dealing with children, work, bills, competing responsibilities, attitudes, extra-curricular activities, holiday parties, and a profound lack of sleep every day.
13.  Worry about what the neighbors would think if they heard my    alone laugh. Did they hear it? It was a pretty loud and sinister laugh, if I do say so myself.
14.  Whatever. F*ck  the neighbors.
15.  Immediately dismiss the thought of attending. There’s a perfect   storm brewing that will prevent me from doing anything but parenting. It is what it is.
16.  Hockey practice. Wrestling practice. Husband’s hour commute    home. Dinner preparation, in whatever form it takes that day. 7:00   p.m. on a Thursday?! There’s a better chance of me waking up not     looking like I boxed a round with Adonnis Creed.
17.  Under-eye bags suck. Why must we have them? Or cellulite for    that matter?
18.  Ponder life’s sh*tstorms that take the form of under-eye bags,     wrinkles, cellulite, fat…oh, and traffic. I hate traffic. Why do we need to deal with traffic? Especially now with people risking life and limb to get off the highway to fight for a parking spot at the mall.
19.  Think about how I should be one of those people. I am way          behind on holiday shopping.
20.  Vow to shop online. Log on to a couple of my favorite sites and    put items in my cart. Notice my ATM card is missing.
21.  Frantic search for my ATM card ensues. After panic sets in, and my in-home cardio sprint up and down the stairs multiple times is    complete, I remember I left it in my jacket pocket after pumping gas.22.  I exhale, finally, but forget what I needed the card for after all of the commotion. Inadvertently abandon items in my online shopping cart.
23.  Contact my friend who is a chef to ask her for cookie ideas. She   says her go-to are my brown sugar oatmeal cookies.
24.  Adopt a little cookie swagger. She likes my cookies. A chef. My cookies. Yup!
25.  Decide I am going to the cookie swap, no matter what I have to   do. I mean, I have a chef in my corner who is willing to attest to my  cookie prowess.
26.  A Thursday night? Maybe my friend will allow kids.
27.  Text and ask if I can bring my son after his hockey practice if      need be, since our boys are friends.
28.  Suffer rejection. Her kids will be gone that night so we can just   be adults. No mom-ing allowed. Sigh.
29.  Ask my husband if he can leave early, arrange for someone to      take my stepson to wrestling practice, and take my son to hockey       practice. And it’s an affirmative!
30.  Think about how much I love my man.
31.  Respond “yes” to the invitation, triumphantly.
32.  Receive notification a week later that we have to bake eight dozen cookies for the swap.33.  Eight dozen? How many cookies is that?! Try (and fail) mental math to come up with the answer.
34.  According to the calculator on my phone, I have to make 96 cookies.35.  It’s under 100. No big deal. I’ve got this.
36.  Vow to prioritize making the cookies so I am not rushing last-minute. Decide I will buy all of the ingredients the day before and bake them that night so Thursday is easy-peasy.
37.  Wake up on the morning of the cookie swap with no ingredients or time to bake due to overwhelming work demands.
38.  Seriously, how long do I have before retirement?
39.  Attempt mental math again. This I can handle. Twenty-one years, minimum.
40.  F*ck.
41.  Husband gets home around 2:00 p.m. and notices I have done nothing for the cookie swap. He offers a pity run to the grocery store. I take him up on it, despite my type A tendencies.
42.  A texting marathon ensues to ensure he gets the right ingredients, decorating tools, and serving platters.
43.  Silently acknowledge the fact that he has way more patience than I do about this hellish cookie swap.
44.  Wait until three-and-a-half hours before the party to start making the cookie batter. Nothing like a little cliffhanger on a Thursday. What’s the over/under on me getting it done?
45.  Decide to triple the recipe and dump all ingredients into my standing mixer, which cracks under pressure.
46.  Hand-mix three fussy batches of brown sugar oatmeal cookies. Bake and bake and bake. And decorate while ignoring my kids as much as possible. Mom of the year right here!
47.  Survey the kitchen. Flour is everywhere. Dishes are piled around the sink. I mean, it looks like Martha Stewart visited a frat house…or a crack house.
48.  Sprint upstairs to shower. Burn approximately 5 of the 500 calories I ingested making the cookies.
49.  Hightail it over to the party. I have no idea if there are 96 cookies or not. Apparently, I am incapable of counting and baking at the same time.
50.   Text my husband to reassure him I didn’t run away from home in haste. The kitchen is, indeed, that bad.
51.   Savor my three kid-free hours with friends. In certain circles, I am still known by my name, not just as “Alex’s mom.” It’s worth doing what it takes to find the time to toast to that!  
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Five Years of Missing Mom

Five years ago today, I lost the person I was closest to for the first 40 years of my life. My beloved mom died after a relentless fight with ovarian cancer–a cruel, horrific, insidious disease that leaves only heartbreak in its wake.

Her resilience, her sheer determination, her beautiful spirit, her divine optimism, her willingness to always choose hope in the most dire circumstances are lessons I rely on to this day. While I am not remotely half the woman she was (and still is, to me), I bask in her glow every day.

My mom loved spending time in her garden watching for butterflies. Though their life spans are short, the intricate detail; the unapologetic individuality; the vibrant, exquisite colors of their wings; the way they delicately and gracefully float through the world; the freedom they represent all resonated with her.

My mom’s favorite quote of all time was, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”

There’s simply no way to convey the gravity of how I feel about living 1,826 days without her love, guidance, and support. Frankly, I don’t know how I’ve managed to do it!

I don’t seek solace at her gravesite. It doesn’t make me feel more connected to her at all. On this monumental anniversary, I wanted to find another place to go, to take my child, when we get the urge to outwardly express our profound grief. So grateful to Conquer Cancer Coalition of Massachusetts for creating such a place with its Cancer Garden of Hope at City Hall Plaza in Boston.

My mom always loved rooms with a view! Now, she has a spectacular view of the city, and people who gather there will know she changed lives while she was here. She made my life while she was here. She poured her heart and soul into my precious son while she was here.

Michele Ann Goldman was our angel on Earth, and now she’s our eternal butterfly in the sky. 🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋

If you’re fortunate enough to still have your mom here, hug her a little tighter today, for me. Believe me, I remember all of the times she drove me crazy with her constant tardiness, how she used to keep me holding on the other line much too long when one of her many friends called, how she was a counter hog when we cooked Thanksgiving together. But, above all, I remember that incomparable feeling of being loved unconditionally, despite all of my flaws, by the person who gave me life. And that’s what I miss today and every day.

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“Mom, I Think You’re The Tooth Fairy”

It was a battle of wits last night in my home. The Tooth Fairy versus an insatiably curious and inquisitive 8-year-old who doubts her very existence.

My son has only lost four teeth. Last night was a big milestone; his first top tooth! He was thrilled, and I immediately fell in love with his toothless grin.

He carefully placed his tooth in his special holder for the Tooth Fairy, as usual, but then things took a turn. “I don’t think the Tooth Fairy is real, mom,” he said. “I think you’re the Tooth Fairy.”


Taken aback, I laughed, a little too loudly. “You really think I am that talented, Alex? That’s high praise for your mom!”

He got my vibe and didn’t press further.

After he read a book, he placed his tooth in his tooth holder, under his pillow.

“Exciting night!” I said. “Make sure you fall asleep quick so the Tooth Fairy can do what she does best!”

We exchanged “I love yous” and he went to sleep…or so I thought.

When I went into his room a few hours later to spread some mom magic, the tooth holder was not where he put it. At first, I thought it shifted a bit as he tosses and turns before he falls asleep, but I quickly realized that wasn’t the case. My little bugger was trying to test his Tooth Fairy theory!

Desperate, I started feeling under his pillow and all around his bed. Nothing. The holder glows in the dark; a can’t miss for the Tooth Fairy. He hid it!

Exasperated, I left his room, and started thinking of excuses. I could tell him that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t visit if the tooth isn’t under the pillow, or that she just sprinkled the money on his mattress, like a pimp Tooth Fairy, trusting that he will deliver his tooth the following night.

I had my husband look, too, and he couldn’t find it, either.

Around midnight, I was walking in the hallway outside of his room and I heard the familiar sound of his tooth holder closing. I swung the door open and he quickly faked sleeping. Stealth…but not stealth enough, I thought.

I shut his door again, and waited one long minute, knowing I would trick him. I am still smart enough to outwit an 8-year-old, despite losing lots of IQ points as an overworked, overtired, overloaded mom.

Triumphantly, I opened his door and caught him, red-handed, messing with his tooth holder. “You better go to sleep, Alex,” I said, sternly.


I got up at 4:00 a.m.–I am like a newborn with the amount of times I wake each night– and decided to try again. Quietly, I snuck into his room. This time, I was confident he was fast asleep. The tooth holder was in the right place; right under his pillow. What a relief!

I opened it slowly so it wouldn’t make that familiar noise. When I went to slip some money in, I noticed his tooth was missing.

That little shit!

Really, should moonlighting as a Tooth Fairy be this much work?

Once again, I started feeling around his bed for the small plastic bag that contained his tooth. It took me a solid fifteen minutes to find it. I took it with me and left, undetected.

Exasperated and exhausted, I finally crawled back under my covers at about 4:30 a.m. My alarm was going to go off in two short hours, but I couldn’t help but smile wide. 

Score one for the Tooth Fairy.

I won.

I’ve still got it, Alex. Do not doubt your mom. Ever.

When he woke this morning, he discovered both his tooth was gone and money was placed in his tooth holder.

“Look, mom, I got money from the Tooth Fairy.”

“She’s pretty talented, isn’t she?” 😏🙌

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An Open Letter to My Husband On Our First Wedding Anniversary

Dearest Mike,

I have officially spent the past 365 days as Mrs. Darter.

Maybe my moniker hasn’t fully changed professionally–I am weaning off Meltzer gradually–or at the kids’ school, where my name will always match my son’s in some way, but I shed the weight of my mistaken identity as soon as I said we exchanged our heartfelt vows.

Mrs. Darter feels right, after many wrongs.

This past year wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, either. We were tested. We have yet to go on a honeymoon. We didn’t have time to whisk ourselves away to tranquil, turquoise water beaches, or nestle our tired, achy feet in pink, powdery sand, or embrace lustful love sans the every day complexity of raising two boys.

I put a deposit on a trip to Bermuda that was voluntarily returned after it was twice rescheduled due to childcare issues. I singlehandedly drove the travel agent to drink a fruity cocktail in her cubicle, headphones be damned. And, believe me, I can relate to that feeling.

When our kids stay up too late or get up too early–or, in our case, both, with one of each–I fantasize about a week with just you to wake when we want to, do what we want to, be what we want to be without hockey, wrestling, lacrosse, football, play dates, homework, drama, in-fighting, school lunches, work, Nerf guns, backtalk, Roblox, and endless responsibilities clouding our vision of each other.

I long to just see you–your handsome, masculine face; your soulful, sea-blue eyes; your too-cute dimples and bright, reassuring everything-is-going-to-be-alright smile. I long to hear your husky voice with your trademark New York accent, unfiltered and uninterrupted. I long to aimlessly stroll the beach at sunset, like we did on our first date. I long to hold your strong, capable hand that softens only for me. I long for adventure, to discover new nooks of the world together, leaving our collective Mr. & Mrs. handprint in our wake.

Still, skipping a honeymoon was the easiest part, considering what we were dealt. Ailing parents. Health scares. Two strong-willed children who don’t always want to “blend”. Stress. Getting our house ready to plan for a long-overdue move. Life threw a lot of shit our way to see what would stick. And, with you, my hubba hubba hubby, it didn’t stand a chance.

While this year has been anything but carefree, I am grateful for it and its hellish splendor. For the first time in my 45 years of life, I know I have a partner. When I am on shaky ground, you level it out for me. When I am pondering how to best tackle a challenge, you roll up your sleeves with me. When I am flustered, you calm me. When I am about to fall, you catch me. When I win, you cheer for me. When I am ugly, you see the beauty in me. When I go to sleep, you are right beside me.

And I know you’re not going anywhere.

Here are the top 17 reasons–in honor of our first anniversary on June 17th– that I am not going anywhere, either.

1. You always believes in me, and hold me to that standard.

2. You operate with integrity, even when no one is watching. I see you.

3. You would defend me anytime, anywhere, at any cost.

4. You are a gourmet cook and foodie who makes the most delectable midnight meals to savor together.

5. You think you’re right about all random topics that arise. This quality both delights and infuriates me, and keeps me entertained and engaged.

6. You always bring me something home from the grocery store, leave me love notes in the most unexpected places, and dedicate meaningful songs. Each day, you shows me you love me in so many ways, even when I am being a raging pain in the ass.

7. You spare me from reading directions, doing math over and above using a calculator, and relying completely on Siri to leave our driveway. You are my fixer, my mathematician, my compass, my anchor.

8. You understand me without me having to explain myself.

9. You rise to my level of sarcastic humor, and often beat me at my own schtick. You’re hilarious.

10. You open the car door for me, even if we’re rushing to get the kids to school. Now, my little man opens my door if you’re away, as he is learning to be a gentleman by your example.

11. You are brilliant in mind, body, and spirit.

12. You still give me butterflies. And the best back rubs.

13. You set the standard of how to be a man. No matter how tall our kids get, they will always look up to you.

14. You have far more patience in your pinky finger than I do in my whole body. You give me balance.

15. You are my best friend in the world. There is no one I would rather hang out with, regardless of where I am or what I am doing.

16. You love loyally, selflessly, fully, eternally.

17. You trust me. Remember when I saw a photo of a painfully thin dog rescued from living in a dumpster with her puppies in Tennessee? I immediately fell in love with her beautiful, sad eyes, and instinctively knew she was meant to be our dog.

Although you didn’t originally see what I saw in her, you opened your eyes a little wider, and you got there–for me. You’re so willing to take another look at anything if I ask you to, and that keeps my eyes solely on you, forever.

Happy 1st Anniversary, my love.

Lava you, pinf.

Your wifey


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Patriots-Worthy Peanut Butter Cups

My son and I went to the Patriots Super Bowl rally at the crack of dawn this week. Incredible day with my beloved boy!

Full disclaimer: I am an opinionated, loud mouthed, annoyingly irritating Patriots fan. Born and bred in Boston, living a scant 15 minutes from Gillette Stadium, it’s just in my genetic makeup.

I love the Patriots. I got into some Facebook duels with delusional Eagles fans already this week, and threatened my husband (a die-hard Giants fan) with the couch if he talks smack against them on Super Bowl Sunday. (My love came home with a brand new Patriots AFC Championship shirt for me to wear tomorrow; he knows where his bread is buttered).

That said, I have some real compassion for everyone who isn’t cheering for the Patriots, the undeniably greatest football team (ahem, dynasty) of all time. It must be exceptionally difficult to gear up, season after season, hoping your boys will bring home a Vince Lombardi Trophy…and they wind up on the golf course instead.

In my not-so-humble opinion, Tom Brady is the GOAT, but every other quarterback must have a better golf swing than him at this point. I will give them that.

Anyway, like all good Patriots fans do, I have my own superstitions to care to before the big game. Since I don’t have a mustache or beard to grow until they win (another winning item in my genetic makeup that I am thankful for), I have food traditions.

I must make stuffed mushrooms.

I must eat chips and onion dip with wild abandon. (Diet be damned.)

And, most importantly, I must craft (whoops…Kraft) my Patriots Peanut Butter Cups. Clearly, if I drop that pass the Patriots are screwed, so I make them every year. Trust me, Tom, these are worth ditching your TB12 eating plan that fuels you to school quarterbacks half your age. When you deliver our sixth Super Bowl win tomorrow, it’s time to indulge.

Let’s go Patriots! #notdone

Patriots Peanut Butter Cups


1/2 cup smooth (like Tom Brady) peanut butter
3 tablespoons soft (like the Eagles) salted butter
1 cup pow sugar
Melting chocolate


Combine peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar. Cover and chill for about 15 minutes.

Shape dough into footballs and dip in melting chocolate. Pipe some white frosting on to create laces, write the necessary “Go Pats!” on the plate, and chill. Take them out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving.

Go Pats!

(Told you I am annoying).


Thank you, Mike! I love you!

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12 Things That Run Through My Mind On Snow Days

Bombogenesis. In all of my long suffering winters as a native Bostonian, I have never heard this term. Blizzard? Sure. Snowpocalypse? Yup. But bombogenesis? Yikes.

Hearing the panic-stricken weather forecasters screech “bombogenesis” on repeat meant one thing in my world: Snow day. Any weather pattern that starts with “bomb” and has a biblical reference is snow day worthy. I instinctively knew there would be more than one.

Here’s what’s tumbling around in my mind (at the pace the kids’ snow clothes are in my dryer) on snow day, take two:

1. Are my husband and I the worst parents ever pretending like we did not know there was a second snow day last night? Our school called it early: 7:00 p.m. We could have shared this news with our boys, joined in on their happy dances, and let them party it up until they collapsed from exhaustion. Instead, we maintained a united, deceitful front so we could get them in bed at a semi decent time and decompress by the fire. Are we headed straight for hell?

2. The snow plow comes precisely when we are trying to put our boys to bed. It never fails. Beep. Beep. Beep. BEEP!

3. The snow plow sets our normally docile dog off, forcing us to try to put the kids to sleep to an unforgiving and unrelenting soundtrack. It’s the snow-plow-dog-losing-her-mind-barking-no-matter-how-many-treats-I-try-to-bribe-her-with remix!

4. Kids have a sixth snow day sense. Mine didn’t believe for one minute there would be school in the morning and worked us for a 10:00 p.m. bedtime despite all of our devilish planning. Epic fail.

5. My husband has been on dog duty during bombogenesis, braving the blustery frozen tundra to try to get Adara, our stubborn, four-legged Southern belle, to drop a deuce in a monstrously intimidating snow bank. He’s also the one to shovel, grab sleds from the garage, and tend to the fire. I feel slightly guilty about this but quickly come up with rationalizations in my fucked up brain. Women are paid less. We birth babies and our bellies never fully recover (unless we happen to be annoying genetically blessed bitches or members of the 90210 zip code). We generally deal with the majority of kid meltdowns. You get my point. So, because I’m likely paid .80 on the dollar, disgustingly, and deal with lots of other unfair shit (periods, cat calls from construction workers, bras, kid anarchy, etc. etc. etc.), I can sit and chill while he does some of this manly stuff guilt-free. (I am with a guy who wouldn’t let me do it anyway…too chivalrous…but I’m sharing the intricacies of my mind here.)

6. I consider a full day spent in pajamas a personal victory in my overscheduled life. Two days would be legendary. (It’s not happening.)

7. Snowstorm worthy snacks are a must. Really, being snowed in with your family is no time to adhere to your New Year’s diet. You can only take so much.

8. Snow gear is infinitely annoying. I find it hanging on doors, by heaters, on floors. A glove is always missing. Gloves must have torrid affairs with stray socks. Just sayin’.

9. Snow day photo ops are the best. I love the bright pink cheeks, the cheesy ear-to-ear smiles, the excitement in their eyes. Really, there’s nothing like a snow day as a kid. I find myself reminiscing about snow days from my childhood in-between endless hot cocoa requests.

10. Flickering lights in my home cue the “Jaws” music in my head. Every. Single. Time.

11. Maintaining power during bombogenesis gives me the urge to dot the “i” in my name with a heart when I sign the check to pay my electric bill this month. Snow days are long enough with power. Without it? Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

12. Does alcohol taste better on snow days? I say yes. Cheers!

What are your thoughts on dealing with snow days as a parent?

You can read more of Jodi Meltzer Darter’s musings about life on her website, Facebook, and Twitter @mommydish.

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Confessions of a Hurricane Mommy

Grocery stores love Mother Nature when she acts up.

So, I am in the midst of preparing for a hurricane. Are you jealous?

My son is two-years-old, and this is his second hurricane. We were without power for nearly one week during the last one, and it was beyond belief bad. I know you love me because I can bitch like a champ, but, seriously, dealing with a teenager detoxing from all things electronic and changing a cranky baby’s crap by candlelight nearly sent me off the edge. I made it through by taking out my frustration on National Grid’s automated voice messaging system (I can get really testy with those computerized assholes in a way I’d love to with many real people without the fear of repercussion). A steady supply of Mommyjuice and earplugs to block out the agonizing hum of our annoyingly prepared neighbor’s generator helped, too.

So, here I am–again. But this time I am smarter. I am more prepared. I am on it, baby. Here are the Confessions of a Hurricane Mommy:

Here we are earlier today. I am all about toddler distraction with an M&M cookie pre-hurricane.

– I am incapable of spending less than $250 at the grocery store in anticipation of a natural disaster. I get wrapped up in the frenzy of overflowing carts. I walk around with a little more pep in my step to grab (forcefully as necessary) the last loaf of my family’s favorite bread. I bribe my toddler with cookie or two so I can buy shit I definitely probably don’t need. That’s just how I roll in a hurricane. I am not going to deny it anymore.

– I use hurricanes as an excuse to buy snacks and sweets I normally leave on the shelves. If we’re dealing with the apocalypse, who the hell wants to go out eating rice cakes? Bring on the chips and salsa…and the chocolate.

A small sampling of our emergency goods grouped together by my husband. Yes, Mommyjuice is in there–right next to the batteries. The man loves me.

– My husband gets off on preparing our home for said apocalypse. A hurricane is like porn for Mr. Safety. Batteries, flashlights, candles, lanterns. Cue the Bomchickawowwow background music, please.

– My Mommybrain often screws with my ability to locate my keys, but it doesn’t interfere with my ability to learn from my mistakes. I booked a shitty hotel near my house several days ago with the enthusiasm of making reservations at The Ritz just in case I wind up being trapped in a cold, dark house eating PB&J with smelly kids in TV withdrawal.

– I look forward to the first weather-related school closing of the year like I am still a kid. Am I the only Mommy who still gets excited waking up at the crack-of-dawn to turn on the TV to look for the announcement from my town? And it’s still such a buzz-kill if I just miss the listing and I have to wait FOREVER for it to come around again.

– The only thing I am missing right now is feetie pajamas. Next time. Next time…

Stay safe, everyone! And please give me a click before you lose power:
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Dear Jodi?

I just got a perplexing letter from a reader. I nearly fell off my chair. Who am I kidding? I hit the ground hard–with a big fat thud courtesy of my lingering post-preggo poundage. (Sidebar: cheers to Christina Applegate, who recently admitted she just gave up maternity jeans and her daughter is almost Alex’s age. Take that, Gisele. You best own up to getting one freaking craving with this pregnancy or you will remain on my shit list. Ask anyone in my life–it’s definitely not the place to be).

Anyway, here’s the letter (below). Steady yourselves…

Hi there,

I have recently discovered your blog and find it very interesting to read, so I thought you would be a good person to seek advice from. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you in this way.

I have a four-year-old daughter and she can be, shall we say, quite a handful! Don’t get me wrong, she is very loving, but a lot of the time she is hard work and is very disobedient. I have tried timeouts and taking things away and also taking to her about her behaviour but it doesn’t seem to work. What works in your home? What is your secret because your family seems so happy and well balanced. I appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you and God bless you and your family.

Me? The Mommy at the helm of a happy and well balanced family? Only with a steady supply of Mommyjuice–and if my wine glass is half full!

Do I come off as someone who has her shit together? Some days my car sends me a panicked message– “— until empty”–because it’s running on fumes. I don’t have time to stop because my son fought me like a ninja warrior to avoid getting dressed, I burnt my English muffin, and I forgot my cell phone so I had to turn around at the end of my street to get it. Or I spilled my coffee trying to place it in my passive-aggressive cup holder and I needed to change for the tenth time because all of my clothes look better on the hanger again for work (sometimes I’ll act like my java jolt happened at the office to avoid squeezing into a new outfit, but don’t tell anyone). Whatever.

Bottom line is I am a hot mess who has the ability to fool many people into thinking I am on top of everything (remember when I paid the ridiculous rush fee and almost took a Granny out trying to score a parking space at the mall to get custom holiday cards printed on time for New Year’s?)

My son is a perfect little angel at school. He charmed his teachers, the administrative staff, and his classmates in two-seconds flat. He is the center of attention wherever he goes, has dance moves that rival early Michael Jackson (pre-moonwalk–can’t do that yet, but give him time), and has killer dimples. He holds hands with my teenager’s friends in the back seat of my car and has no fear of rejection when it comes to kissing girls full on the lips. He’s a player with mad game, and he knows it–at age two.

Trust me...he's up to something. He's always up to something.

But he still backhands me when he doesn’t want his diaper changed, or his my iPhone taken away. He chucks his sippy cup across the room if he decides he’s the victim of a bait-and-switch. (Milk, Mom? Hell no! I want juuuuuuiiiiiiiccccceeee!). He hides under the table when I am running late just to test how long I can maintain my Mommy cool (your guessed it–not long!). Oh, and he whips off his diaper and pees in his indoor tent for giggles.

Time-outs do nothing. My evil Mommy look does nothing. I am completely ineffective.

And my teenager? She can have a major attitude, too. Don’t even get me started…

I am with you, dear reader. No advice here…except to Google it. And hug your daughter extra tight when she lets you to make up for all the times she makes you get on your knees and pray for bedtime. Treat yourself to a glass of Mommyjuice/bar of chocolate (the good kind–you’ve earned it) to take the edge off when she kicks your ass. Relish the few hours of sleep you do get and dream of a better tomorrow. That’s all I got–and it blows.

Does anyone out there have any real idea on how to discipline their young children effectively? Beuller? Beuller?

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Posted in Baby, Family, Kids, Life, Parents, Teenagers, Thoughts, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Google: Friend or Foe?

Alex would dig this one. Maybe one day he'll be a Google addict like his Mommy.

Freaking Google. It’s a frenemy to us Mommies, don’t you think?

I have been MIA on Mommy Dish for awhile (not like me–I am sorry I suck right now). But, no worries, I can give you a recap on my life based on my Google searches. I am obsessed. Maybe I’ll Google naughty Mommy blogger. Or staying sane while your favorite Mommy Blogger goes insane (thanks for your emails asking for a post, loves). Or both. When in doubt, Google it, right?

Anyway, here’s my life, Googlified:

Remember when Winona Ryder stuffed her coat with clothes when she could have bought out the whole store? That's the story with Ashley's friend. No money problems...just attention problems.

1) Shoplifting teens: Yup, I was the lucky Mommy on pick-up call at the mall when one of Ashley’s friends stole Hanky Panky thong underwear from Nordstroms. No, “friend” isn’t code for Ashley. I tell it like it is, and would own up to it if my kid had sticky fingers. Anyway, I had Alex in tow and, somehow, I was the bad-ass adult who had to deal with this whole clusterf*ck of a situation. Local cops, disappointed sales staff, a cranky manager, a crying teenager caught on surveillance…and me. I had to call the girl’s Mom, who I adore, and tell her that her daughter has been banned from Nordstroms for two years and may be prosecuted. I had to calm Ashley and her other friend who didn’t pull a Winona Ryder down. And, yes, I had to bribe my impatient two-year-old with a $7 smoothie to buy some time with the men in blue so the alleged thief could be released into my custody (fun ride home, let me tell you). According to Google, stealing for the thrill of it is not uncommon in teenage wasteland. Yay me.

2) How to do it all and not be overwhelmed: I am working and Mommying now. It’s really freaking hard. I am exhausted. I’ve gone through two $25 under-eye concealers in one month, and I still look like a celeb on the verge of a mandatory rehab stint without the benefit of airbrushing. I miss getting up with my baby and figuring out what our daily adventure will be over coffee and a sippy cup. I miss yoga pants, park dates, “aha!” moments, and cuddle sessions with no time constraints. I miss us. According to Google, I am definitely not alone on this one, either.

3) Peeing toddler: My son’s teacher mentioned that Alex was soaking his diapers to the point they were going to burst. With concerned eyes, she told me Alex’s ghetto diaper was weighing his pants down due to a daily peeing frenzy (well, maybe she didn’t say that exactly, but you get the gist). I’ve tried time and time again to resist the urge to Google every single ailment that affects everyone in my life. But I just can’t stop. Thankfully, the Google matches for diabetes and all sorts of sinister diseases did not apply here. My husband was pumping Alex full of juice (and water, though I am sure it was more juice) before drop off because he didn’t feel like he ate a big enough breakfast. One day after I reeled Daddy in on his “Hey, Mommy’s gone, here’s the good non-organic sugar-laden juice she doesn’t let you drink!” offers to Alex, the ghetto diapers disappeared. Whoomp there it is!

I Googled National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in honor of my Mom, a ten-year survivor who’s still fighting, and dedicated one million hours to the cause (feeding my under-eye concealer addiction). Learn the symptoms so I can get some rest, okay?

Of course I Googled at least one hundred more topics, but I can’t share them all with you. Google probably knows more about me than my husband! ; ) So, an inquiring Mommy wants to know: Google, friend or foe?



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Posted in Baby, celebrity, Kids, Life, Mommy, Parents, Teenagers, Thoughts, Uncategorized, volunteer | 3 Comments

Eeeeeek! EEE!

There are 50 cities and 301 towns in Massachusetts.

I did NOT create this drama.

Six are grappling with an outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE )-infected mosquitoes, and one is at the epicenter of it all.

By now, you must know I attract drama. I couldn’t repel it with a lifetime supply of Off! Of course my town is the superstar of this shit show.

My little Jedi trying to fend off the little effers.

My freaking Footloose town–a town where you will miss the whole center if you blink. Somehow, those lethal little shits think it’s the place to be. They’re pulling all-nighters, using my citronella candles for mood lighting at their raves. Really, they’re the only ones who party it up in Easton on a Monday night or any night for that matter.

The state has labeled us as a “critical alert” town (there are only three others with that designation). There have been times that you can smell my son from a mile away because I have hosed him down with herbal insect repellent in a state of Mommy panic. The streets are empty from dusk until dawn–the peak hours of the mosquitoes’ drunken binges for blood. If I venture outside during prime biting hours, I beg for mercy during my 11:11 prayers if I stay up late enough to make them. What else am I supposed to do?

Tonight, Alex fell asleep to the loud hum of another aerial spraying of poison. I had to lug in all of his toys, create giant condoms for my herbs, and shut all sources of outside air off on a humid night to keep us pesticide-free. I love dealing with this after I work, cook dinner, and clean up my house that stays tidy for less than one minute on a good day. It’s just awesome.

Die, mosquitoes. Die.

End rant.

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Posted in Kids, Life, Mommy, Parents, poison, Thoughts, Uncategorized | 3 Comments