Preschool. A juice box for him and a juice box for me. Mine has vodka in it.

“I’m going to go to school and play games and check my messages.” The Boss

Today is Max’s preschool picnic. It’s happening. He is going to go to school. My tiny boy is going to school! Will he make friends? Will the teachers be kind to him? Will they see how beautiful, sweet and caring he is? Will they protect him from mean kids? For the first time he will be out of my sight. Out of my protection. He cannot wait. I’m just trying not to cry. Over a picnic. How on earth will I survive next Tuesday when I really drop him off…and leave?

Hold me, blogland.

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My ability to lose something is directly correlated to how much I like said thing.

My ability to hold on to something I like, say a pair of earrings for example, is directly correlated to how much I like that something. Yesterday I searched high and low for a lovely little pair of earrings I bought in Hawaii. A carved flower holding a drop jewel. Oh! I love those earrings! They are like a tiny bit of heaven draping from my ears! Or rather EAR as I can only find one. I tore my jewelry chest apart. I looked high and low in all the little spots where I tuck things, and all the spots where others in the household do the same. Nothing. Just one lonely little perfect earring, handmade in Hawaii. Sigh.

So, I reluctantly chose what are perhaps my 4th favorite earrings. Little gold dangley branches. I love em. I got them from a commercial I shot in LA, the costumer telling me they suited me so well I must keep them. I was not going to argue at all! They are junk jewelry but I love them.

Sadly apparently today was like the Earring Thunderdome. Two earrings entered, one earring left. How? HOW???

Earring.

 

No earring.

 

And yet the ones that I don’t love, they seem to multiply.Two earrings become four then six then eight…they are like bunnies.They are everywhere I look, constantly earring blocking my attempts to get it on with my faves.

 

How do they know? This same principle applies to my favorite lip glosses,sunglasses and shoes. And yet the ones that I don’t adore seem to stick around just to make me mad and miss the ones I love even more.

They taunt me.

Am I crazy? Are you buffudled by this Bermuda Triangle of accessories??  Just me?

Looks like we made it…ahh ahh ahh ahh.

Are you singing Barry Manilow now? I am. My mom had this Barry Manilow cassette when I was little and I have SUCH a distinct memory of making her play Mandy over and over during one very boring drive through the mountains and day dreaming that my name was Mandy instead of Stephanie. Was I the only one who hated their name when they were little?

Anyway, we came out the flip side of Irene unscathed. We lost a shingle or two off the roof and a tree limb or two, but we never lost power and even though they said on the news we were going to get a ‘severe band of rain and wind’ it never quite happened. And that’s okay with me.

All in all we had a lovely time. Saturday mid morning we took the Boss, Huckleberry Bear and the Puptart on a nice walk in the slight mist. We just wanted to get out of the house before we had to stay indoors forever, still thinking Irene was going to be much worse for us than it actually was. My darling Father in law aka Bob-Bob suggested we head to the mall, as the rain was starting to fall but we weren’t quite ready to lock ourselves in the house quite yet. You know I’m always up for a trip to the mall! We loaded up the van and headed on out. Clearly everyone in our county had the very same idea.

I took a giant leap out of my fashion comfort zone and wore these:

Rather than feeling like a slob who was headed for the gym in 1960 I felt really cute and kicky in them! They did give me some crazy blisters but I still like them. I have this disturbing suburban desire to get TOTT, Boss, Huck and I all matching Chucks. It will happen. Guaranteed.

I hit up Sephora, Old Navy for some cute kid clothes (hello friends and family discount!) and Forever 21 where the Boss was that child. I was so very embarrased at the tantrum and destruction he left in the $1.50 necklace section. Then he proceeded to crack me up, which did not help with the disciplining of said tantruming tyrant, by running up to the full legnth mirrors and singing ‘somebodies in trouble!” over and over again in the cutest little voice.

Thankfully after that Bob-Bob and TOTT took him to the indoor kid playground and let him get some wiggles out. God bless them because Mommy was about to lose it!

The Boss was ready to go once he saw that Victoria’s Secret was closed…should I worry that he loves that store possibly more than me?

We headed home after that, exhausted and soaked by the time we made it to the car, swinging by the fro-yo place first natch!I self portraited because the humidity rocked my hair and I didn’t hate it. Thus, it needed to be preserved for posterities sake.

I’d been leaving messages for Mumsy all day because, doncha know it was her BIRTHDAY!!! I finally got to talk to her before the weather got too bad! Told her I loved her and she was the bestest Mumsy evah. I apologized again for the 13-18. I do that every year, or really every time I talk to her because holy hell! How she didn’t ship my eating disordered manic booty to military school I don’t know.

Happy Birthday again Mumsy. You rock my socks even if you do still insist I loved the color peach (that was Dub) and sometimes call me one of the dogs names. I love you more than my luggage. I mean, if I had a killer set of luggage, which I don’t but if I did I would love you more than that luggage.

 

How did you guys fare in the storm? Don’t forget to link up at Just Be Enough today thru Wednesday, it can be ANYTHING that makes you feel good. For every 20 links we get Bellflower Books donates a book to a cancer patient. Let’s do this! And check out my intro over there. I really believe in this message…if you do too perhaps you’ve got something you’d like to write? Let a gal know!

 

Enough is Enough!

All my life I have been stuck between too much and not good enough.

In school I was too loud, too funny, too crazy, just plain too much. In life I wasn’t enough. Not thin enough, not smart enough, not enough.

I struggled through an eating disorder and postpartum anxiety and have come out the other side thinking you know what?

Enough is Enough!

I am enough. I might talk too loud, you might think I am an extrovert wanting to manipulate the conversation but I can tell you I am nervous as all hell you won’t talk to me at all! I want everyone to have the spotlight, there is enough for everyone. I might crack jokes, I am indeed funny. I might be 110 pounds or I might be 150, but it’s fine either way. I am more than my weight, my self-worth is not a number anymore.

 

 

Please come over to Just Be Enough and read the rest of my first post on this amazing site. Pretty please? With upcoming snarky tv recaps on top?

Be Enough.

Guys, I’ve been struggling with finding who I am since…well since I had The Boss. So much changed after he was born and with the Postpartum Anxiety and everything I never got my mojo back. I never got back into wearing make up or you know, real clothes on a regular basis. After Huck was born it was like a veil lifted. Even though PPA reared it’s ugly head again I still feel more like ME than I have in years. Maybe it’s that I’ve settled into life here in DC, or accepted that I am no longer an actor primarily but a mother and have grown to enjoy and thrive in that role.

Maybe it’s just inexplicable, but I find myself now struggling with what my new style is, clothes, hair, and all that jazz that goes with it. Somethings I KNOW I like and some I am simply lost in a sea of uncertainty. But I do know this: I am ready to get the ball rolling on reclaiming ME.

Proof I got dressed this week:

I may not be a size 2 anymore, but here I am in real clothes mere hours after being attacked by that Cicada from Hades. And you know what? Being out in public, all dressed and happy was great! The Boss had a blast running around like a sugar infused maniac, Huck got loved on by everyone with a uterus, and I? didn’t feel self conscious once!

I played ‘tennis’ and drew with sidewalk chalk with The Boss and was really present with him, not checking my iphone for a text or twitter.

The Boss drew us a picture of ‘Piss’ aka Bizz Markie

This guy decided that he cracks himself up!

And then?? He slept. Through. The. Night.

I did a little bit of clothes shopping this week too, comfy but cute stuff. I will shake off the yoga pants as a uniform (i know, I’ve said it before but I mean it this time!! Promise)

Perhaps these are small accomplishments, but I’m going to go ahead and pat myself on the back for them. Ya gotta start somewhere, right? I’ve also joined the team over at JustBeEnough. I hope you’ll check it out, it’s something I truly believe in. We are having a linky on Mondays, you can link ANYTHING that made you feel good this week. And for every 20 links Bellflower Books will donate a book to someone struggling with cancer.

Here’s hoping we come out the flip side of Irene unscathed! Because really? That would be enough.

Oh! And PS if you ever wanted to know who #1 on my FIVE ALIVE is? I’m gushing about him over on The DC Moms! I’m all over the place! Who is your #1?

cicadas. hurricanes. earthquakes. I must really love my husband…

So cicadas. Yeah. Do you have them? Because we do and they are seriously terrifying on a biblical river of blood, ten plagues kind of way. They make this horrifically loud noise, thousands of them all at once and then suddenly shut up. All at once. They are also roughly the size of a VW bug. Okay, maybe that might be a slight exaggeration but they are big and horrible. Clearly, along with clowns, they are the work of Satan.

Seriously? This is smaller than actual size:

A mere two months ago Jen B. Shaw was nearly MURDERED IN HER CAR by cicadas. I mean, really. They have no shame! So anyway, today I was headed out to see some of my best East Coast gals at the Disney Summer Social, and you know that means I got all kinds of fancy. Like, I bathed and wore pants that zip and button and everything! It was just like the old days when I would go out clubbing except there was far less glitter and platform heels and far more toddler tv shows happening in order to you know, bathe.

I decided to go whole hog for this event and dust off my curling iron. And I mean that literally. I had to dust it off, it’s been that long since it was used! There I am jamming away to Simon and Garfunkel’s Only Living Boy in New York (because I rock hard like that) and suddenly I hear the chirping. I freeze. It’s not outside…it’s in the room with me! Do I run from the room or try to find it? It’s so loud and the chips are echoing thoughout the bathroom. I think it’s over in the corner between the shelf and the bathtub…I man up and take a peek. As soon as I get close it stops.

I decide to be a big girl and just curl my hair and head on out to “The big Mickey party” as the Boss had been calling it. There I stand, harmonizing with rocking vocals of S&G when the mutherf^&**())(*^&^ cicada FLIES AT MY HEAD.

I’ll give you a minute to absorb what I just told you.

You breathing okay?

Obviously I drop the hot curling iron-somehow escaping without a burn- and race from the loo screaming like a three year old being forced to put on shoes. Oh. my. gawd.

After I drank a gallon of vodka I had enough courage to go back in. Coffee of course being the morning vodka of moms. I heard nothing. I thought I was safe. I started getting ready again. The evil cicada launched it second attack at my head.  I dropped the curling iron again, this time it landed into the sink as I flattened myself against the wall.

And then the little sucker made a mistake. Instead of attacking me, it headed for the curling iron. The very hot curling iron.

 

Rest in peace you fried evil flying monster.

 

Now I need a new curling iron.

 

This week we’ve had an earthquake, flying pestilence and now we prep for a hurricane. With my in-laws. Because we live with them. I must really love my husband.

Earthquake!

TOTT’s building being evacuated

So here’s the thing about earthquakes, when you’re from LA as I am, a 5.9 is good time. I mean, sure it can toss a picture or two off the walls, but that’s not a real damage inducing scary earthquake. More like a “holy crap did you feel that?” kinda thing. You know, with a laugh in your voice as you say it. Yes, we’d head out of our houses, or get into doorways right quick, but nothing less than a 7 is any cause for alarm. We used to joke that the only time you meet your neighbors in LA is when there’s an earthquake.

I moved to Maryland 2 years ago thinking I had escaped earthquakes for good. But nope! The first one a few months ago was literally, actually at the end of our street. My house only 50 yards from the epicenter. Nice.

I’m going to be honest with you, even though I knew immediately what it was, even though I’ve been through bigger and badder ones than this: today’s earthquake scared the ever living crap out of me.

Three reasons:

Reason one: Earthquakes are out of context here.  Our buildings here are not retrofitted for quakes. Our walls here crack. Stone churches cracked! I actually levitated off my bed screaming to my mother in law and the cleaning ladies “EARTHQUAKE! Get to a doorway or get out of the house!” By the time we made it to the front yard our neighbor was also outside freaking out. Why? Well, because we simply do not have them here. And anything unusual is extra scary.

Second Reason: 9/11 I remember thinking and possibly saying out loud to the news “sheesh people it isn’t always terrorists!” when people would say “At first I thought it was an attack” reguarding, well, anything! But now having lived here I understand. When you have lived through planes crashing into buildings and being evacuated and then there’s a big rumble and things start shaking? Well, a bomb isn’t too far a jump for a first conclusion. If there is a giant explosion in Los Angeles we assume it’s just Universal blowing something up for their next big movie. Here, it’s real people trapped and dying, that’s the assumption because that’s what they’ve experienced. Whereas that tell tale rumble means earthquake to me, to many others here and to my husband it meant terror attack. He said he immediatly thought it was a bomb. While this wasn’t an attack by any other other than Mother Nature, it’s easy to see why everyone is so shaken.

Third (and personal) reason: I have small people now. Yes, I worried about my pets during an earthquake pre baby, but cats and dogs usually can feel it coming and take care.  So really during a quake it was just making sure I was safe. Now? More important that my safety is the safety of my two boys. I am afraid I was not too cool and I am certain my screaming scared my 3 year old more than the fact that the lights were swininging back and forth and things were falling off the walls. Now there is the fact that there are two souls, more important than mine to be located and secured.

 

So, my LA peeps before you start mocking this East Coast swing, try to remember your first earthquake and then magnify that by mob mentality. Sure our reaction might be a bit comical in LA, I know if I was back home and someone was acting like this I might giggle at them but I am telling you…5.9 here in DC is way scarier than in LA.

Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody!

And another first world problem. I know what I like. I do. Clothes wise and design wise. But for some reason bedding for the Boss’s Beatles room has eluded me for AGES. I picked this up at the oh so wonderful TJMaxx and still I just can’t make up my mind.  And so I turn to you, to help me decide.

I painted the little stool with the Beatles logo!

I raised his headboard a little bit by putting it up on blocks. One of these days when I am at Home Depot I will remember to grab some feet for it so I can raise properly. I got that at a thrift store for 3.50 (I actually got 2 for 7 bucks so when Huck is ready I can paint his and they can have matching beds.) It was in bad shape, I cleaned it up and painted it and I love it. The inspiration for The Boss’ room is the Hard Day’s Night poster above his bed. The M is from a Paris metro sign. The bedding doesn’t have any green in it, so I am not sure if it clashes/works with his nightstand. (Grandma got the nightstand at a yard sale for 5 bucks and I painted it, surprise! I love it!) Can I bring in more green/yellow when the bedding is so very red/white/blue/tan/black? I know it works with the red headboard and my old dresser which I (guess what?) painted red.

I’m still working on my collection of cute British/Beatles things. My mother sent The Boss all her memorabilia and the records are hers. My Mother in Law bought the Beatles playing cards up on the shelf and it’s on my to do list to make a mobile from them for Huck’s side of the room. I moved the green box in front of the bed to hold a few of The Boss’s guitars which must always be accessible and I think that helps a little.  I also think I will paint one of the Ikea spice racks/bookshelves to match the nightstand and move it the blank wall next to his bed so he can have his guitar encyclopedias close at hand at all times. He likes to look at them when he wakes up in the morning.


I love the mini phone booth and mail box that my friend Renee sent all the way from the Netherlands. That’s right, they were procured in London brought to the Netherlands and then sent to DC. I love them and will keep them long after The Boss has moved on to something else. The little blue bus is a  double decker painted for Hard Day’s Night. It’s so cute and The Boss loves to drive it around. The All You Need Is Love poster I painted in about three minutes to see if I liked it enough to do it properly. That was over a month ago and it’s on my to-do list to really make one.

Huck’s side of the room needs the most work.

I want to make one of those apple crate bookshelves for their room. I’m totally in love with them and I blame Pinterest.

There’s a place for everyone to rest. Even The Great Catsby.

And a little surprise for my guitar obsessed boy!

Guitar sheets!

So there you have it! The Boss’s Beatles bedroom. It’s really coming along nicely but as with most decor obsessed people it will never be done completely!

So, keep the bedding or return it? He hasn’t used it yet I just put it on to take the pictures. I’m leaning towards keeping it, but would love to hear your thoughts!

 

I have become my mother.

It’s happened. I have become my mother. My mother is a dog trainer, she’s the bestest in the westest (literally she is in Colorado so I guess she is the bestest in the western-mid-westest) Cesar the Dog Abuser ain’t got nothin on my mumsy. She is fantastico. But  she talks to herself. All day long. Non-stop. And it always drove me to the brink of ragetastic insanity. While I was such a delightful and easy going teenager I would be screaming in my head “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST THINK THAT??”It was only due to the fact that yelling that at her would have involved speaking to her that saved her (at least) one of those tirades. Yup. I was such a joy.  Now that I am not an evil teenager and we are sooper close, I must admit that habit if hers still drives me bonkers, but now in that way that only someone you love more than life can make you crazy.

And then yesterday I noticed it. I talk to myself. All day. It happened when I was running errands for the play restaurant that I suddenly needed to make for The Boss.  Huck was with me but sleeping peacefully and I found myself chattering away at well, no one, trying to decide between the 4 inch circles and the 5 inch circles for the stove top. Then I noticed it again as I was fighting with my mini sander to get the opening for the sink justhismuchbiggerwearesoclosewhywon’titfit?!

There was an actual clap of thunder (it’s thunderstorm season round these parts) and I stopped sanding looked up at the heavens as the raindrops began to fall and declared “Holy Crap. I am my mother.”

I know where this new habit came from and Dr. Laura will be thrilled to know that I do not blame my soliloquizing mumsy. I blame my son. My precious, snuggle bug, darling Boss. It’s his fault. He, like most small people, is of an inquisitive nature. Not so much the why of things, but more ‘what’s that they are doing”  & “is she happy?” and so I narrate our day from morning till sleep with the what and how of what we are doing. And when I am not narrating I am answering questions. When I am not answering questions I am responding positively to the 8000 th announcement of Mommy I did it! {Honestly I never get tired of that one. He is so proud of himself and I want that ingrained in him before he goes to school and some asshole kid tries to tear him down.}

So you can see why I am in the habit of talking all the livelong day. Now with Huckie being here I am sure the daily narration will continue for at least another 5 years? Maybe longer if I am blessed with a third mini fun sized person. As long as I have small people in the house that means I don’t need to call the looney bin on myself right?

Sorry mom, watch out for those men in the white coats…. I am not sure if there is a Dog Trainer narrating for dogs clause, but I’ll look into it for you.

p.s. i love you mom, sorry again for being a  train wreck/exorcist like monster for so many years.

 

Oh and p.p.s. I am over at my new venture The DC Moms writing about my top ten beauty buys under 30 bucks. Give it a look see please? Y’know so I am not talking to myself on the internet too.

New York I love you a Latte.

It was a whirl wind week! TOTT finished his conference and flew to New York so there was nothing to be done but for us to get our booties up there for a little New York time. I adore New York and it is infinitely more enjoyable when you are not constantly having panic attacks. *nod to postpartum anxiety and zoloft* The Boss quickly declared “I like the city. I don’t like New Jersey.” prompting us to wonder if he is sneaking late night showings of Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious.

I shopped. A lot. I’d like to pretend that I shopped at exclusive New York boutiques and bought one of a kind fashion treasures, but the majority of my moolah went to Macy’s, H&M and Baby Gap. Have you SEEN the new guitar collection? Oh, The Boss shall be stylin’! Why is it that everything seems so much more stylish in New York? And can I just say that it was New York Kismet that I found the perfect fall coat at H&M. I also fell madly for a pair of boots. Sadly I left them behind. Too rich for my current blood but I have to admit that if I were very rich I’d still be a bargain shopper…except for boots and bags. Bring on the Frye Boots and the Louis Vuitton in droves!

I was super lucky to get to go to iVillage and meet Kelly Wallace and everyone there. I cannot say enough nice things about them. They had a conference room filled with snacks for The Boss and we had a lovely chat. What a place to work!

From there I drowned in the glory that is Chelsea Market. Dear God, let me LIVE THERE. Right in the middle of Chelsea Market. Smack dab. I had the single best coffee since Italy.

New York I love you a Latte.

{Sorry I couldn’t resist}

Since there is an Anthropologie right there, I shall move right in. And find a way to make these for my own little someday home.

There is inspiration everywhere.

TOTT and I fell in love all over again. With Nutella.

The Boss got a guitar lesson from his Godfather:

TOTT took a picture of me I don’t loathe! YAY!

And by the time the week was over we all looked like this:

{Please note the wet hair in a bun, sunglasses inside, dirty jeans, t-shirt, bad hotel coffee and baby.These are the must have accessories for Fall}

 

I am so happy that my husband is back from his conference, and more importantly, his laptop! I kid, of course but man I love that laptop! My little netbook with the stuck space key is just fine, but it’s a bit like driving Yugo {remember those? No? Just me?} and then test driving a pimped out Escalade. Mommy likes the Escalade. She likes it a lot.

How was your week?