An Almost Perfect Present

Number 5 and 6’s birthday was last week, and one of  Number 5’s gifts was to go to the salon with me for her first mani/pedi.

She has been begging for this for a couple years now, and she is my girliest girl, so I knew she would truly enjoy and appreciate the experience.

Not having my shit together for the past few weeks, I didn’t make an appointment or anything. We just winged it and went to my favorite nail place. I rarely have my nails done, but when I spring for a pedicure, this is the place I go to.

It was 11:30 on Saturday morning, the place was packed, and they had no openings.

I was bummed.

So we got back in the car and headed across the street to a place I’d never been to.

It was a newish place that opened up fairly recently.

They weren’t as busy as my first choice and were able to take us immediately, so we stayed.

Number 5 was so excited. The sheer number of nail polish colors from which to choose had her squealing with delight.

We sat down next to each other.

She felt right at home.

She had a dude doing her nails.  She’s a little shy, and I thought she might not be comfortable with that, but she was happy as could be.

Since she was going to have both her hands and feet done, I splurged and got myself one of the fancier pedicures. I’d have time while she was getting her manicure.

I very rarely get pedicures. This is partially due to the fact that they aren’t really in the budget.

But it’s also because I spend as much of the summer barefoot as possible, and I don’t spend very much time taking care of my feet.

So they’re kind of a disaster. Especially my heels.

If I got one of those baby foot peel treatments, I could  make a seriously satisfying skin peeling video.

So anyway,  the lady started going to town on my heels.

Five minutes in, there was a disgusting (but impressive) accumulation on the towel under my feet.

About the same time, I noticed the TV on the wall in front of us.

They weren’t playing The View or HGTV or any show a woman would stereotypically watch.


They were broadcasting a fucking UFC fight.

What the hell?

I hate that shit! And I didn’t really want my 8-year-old daughter watching it during her first ever birthday mani/pedi!

I wanted to say something. But I also didn’t want to be that mom.

So I kept my mouth shut.

It wasn’t long before Number 5 moved to get her manicure.

I had fun watching her enjoy the experience while my technician continued her Cross Fit workout on my feet.

Number 5 seemed so big to me before we walked into the salon, but so small and cute when I watched her from across the room.

We both finished up at about the same time and sat at the dryers for a couple minutes together.

She had a smile from ear to ear.

We left about five minutes later.

As we were walking to the car, I asked her if she had fun.

“YES!!!” she said.

“Except there was just one thing I didn’t like,” she told me.

Fucking UFC fights. 

I was angry that my girl would associate her first ever mani/pedi with anything negative, but especially with that.

“What didn’t you like?” I asked her, knowing full well what her answer would be.

“I didn’t want to look at…


Oh. My. God.

Not the answer I expected.

But on the bright side, regularly scheduled pedicures are now officially justified.


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For Those Of You Struggling With The Transition Into Summer

This first day of summer has snuck up on me.

I’m not prepared. I’m not organized.

It’s kind of like when Christmas seems so far away, and you know you have plenty of time. And then all of a sudden, BAM. It’s Christmas Eve Day and you haven’t wrapped a single present. You haven’t even finished your shopping.

And you freak out.

I am freaking out a little bit.

Swim practice times have changed. My coaching hours are completely different. Summer swim team is starting. I started teaching swim lessons here at home yesterday. I am also close to launching a new and improved website and I have kind of a massive amount of work to do for that. From home.

And all the kids are here now. Every day. All. Day. Long.

Oh yeah. And it’s Number 3’s birthday today.

I feel so overwhelmed that I’m kind of paralyzed. I’m having trouble knowing or deciding where to start.

This paralysis leads to avoidance, where, inevitably, I end up on Facebook.

And Facebook is flooded with last day of school pictures/celebrations/whatever.


I managed to take a first day of school picture for some of the kids back in August..

But there was no last day of school pic.

Apparently the thing to do these days is have your kids wear the same outfit on the first and last day of school. And then document both days.

At least if you really have your shit together.

I don’t have my shit together.

I didn’t decorate the driveway with chalk or buy sparklers or make a cake with a custom message or go out for celebratory ice cream yesterday.

And today I didn’t start Number 3’s birthday off with a special birthday breakfast. In fact, I’ve planned nothing for him.

For me, right now, the goal is no blood, no fire, and no death.


And the no blood goal is pretty lofty.

I am functioning on the basics. Keep everyone alive.

That’s it.

Today I am just going to tread water. It is only about keeping my head above water.

I’m not worrying about forward progress. There will be no pressure to check anything off a to-do list. The kids may eat Frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

They will survive. If I keep it simple for today, we all will.

Tomorrow, I’ll make a small list, and start to pick away at it.

I love summer. I really do. It is BY FAR my favorite season.

But this year the transition into it has not been smooth. At all.

When Number 6 first started preschool, he had a very hard time transitioning from one activity to another. Any time he had to stop one thing and start another, he would be inconsolable.

At the time I was frustrated by this. I couldn’t relate.

But today, I can.


If I were four years old, I’d be hysterical right now.

So if you, like me, feel like you are one of the only people on the planet who is overwhelmed by this change in routine, who is struggling with it a little bit (or a lot), and who is not even close to 100% excited that the school year has ended, you are absolutely not the only one.

And it’s okay to give yourself some time. Take the day. Take a week (or a month) if you need to!

Let the kids watch too much TV. Let them eat crap for a day.

Just keep everyone alive. And survive.

You can start to sort things out tomorrow. Or next week.

You’ll get your shit mostly or sort of or maybe just marginally together eventually.

Until then, just breathe. Take comfort in knowing that at least one other person out there gets it. And you are definitely not alone.



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A Simple, Affordable and Super Cute Way To Celebrate Your Kid’s Birthday

It’s no secret how I feel about over-the-top birthday parties.

I hate them.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think everyone deserves some kind of celebration on their birthday.

Of course they do!

But if you are like me, if you are on a budget, if you have more than one kid, if you have a crazy schedule, if you don’t want to go overboard with presents, and if you are trying to teach your kids that lots of stuff isn’t what truly brings you happiness, then you don’t want to go crazy every year.

That’s why I wanted to share this super cute and simple birthday “party” idea with you.

A friend posted pictures of what she did for her son’s birthday last week, and I LOVED IT. So I wanted to share it with you.

Like my friend, I like to let the kids choose what they want to eat for dinner on their birthday if we are just doing a celebration with the family.

And that’s what my friend did, but she took it one step further.

She asked her son what he wanted to eat for dinner, and then she turned her dining room into a “restaurant.”

She didn’t do anything crazy.

But the way she set the table and printed out dinner menus was so cute.

And I know my kids, especially the younger ones would love this, and I’m totally doing it for our next birthday (I might even attempt it for breakfast for the summer birthdays).

Anyway, here is a picture of the menu:

How cute is that?

*Can be made into a Frito Pie upon request.

That’s awesome!

And who doesn’t love a bacon kabob???

Those are awesome, too. And hilarious.

Here is the “diner” setup:

Very simple and super cute.

And I think a GREAT idea if you have a weekday/school night birthday and want to do something special but need to stick to your routine.

We will for sure be “going to the diner” for at least one of our next birthdays!


A Reminder To All Moms To Chill The F*ck Out

Dear Moms,

I thought maybe you could use a reminder.

Because last night I  had one of those nights and I realized that I needed one, too.

Whatever that thing is you are losing your fucking mind over right now?


It’s not that big a deal.

Oh, wait…

Your thing is different? Your thing actually is a big deal?



No it’s not.

It’s okay if your kid didn’t get invited to the birthday party that most of her class got invited to.

Sure, it sucks. But it’s not going to send her directly to the stripper pole at eighteen.

Your kid got cut from the baseball team?

Didn’t make the age group cut?

Didn’t get into her first choice school?

Didn’t get a medal?

Didn’t place in the top three?

Didn’t make the honor roll?

Didn’t make the travel basketball team?

Didn’t get the topic he wanted for that school project?

Didn’t get the lead in the play?

Didn’t get any role in the play?

Didn’t get asked to the dance?

Didn’t do her homework?

Has a teacher who’s a total dick?

Was sick and missed the field trip?

Got dumped by his girlfriend?

Was cheated on by her boyfriend?

Lost her jacket/goggles/backpack/shoes/hat/gloves/phone/iPad/wallet/etc…?

I get it. Trust me.

Watching your kid get her feelings hurt, seeing your kid being rejected, watching him fail or fall short of a goal he’s set for himself — all that stuff totally blows, and it’s no fun.

And it’s super annoying when your kid is missing out on something because they Just. Didn’t. Listen.

But all of these situations, while shitty, aren’t bad.

In fact, they are necessary.

Your kids need to learn how to handle being disappointed. They need to learn how to deal with people being assholes to them. They need to learn how to fail.

All of these shitty situations aren’t life ending.

They are opportunities!

Opportunities to learn about how the world works, and opportunities for them to learn about how they work.

Opportunities for growth.

It’s okay for your kids to be uncomfortable. And disappointed.

It’s okay for them to lose.

It’s okay for them to be sad.

They are kids.

If you remember, you were a kid once, too.

You didn’t get a trophy just for breathing, you only had like twelve television channels to choose from (and you even had to get up off your butt to change the channel), you probably only had one (or two if you were really lucky) big birthday parties when you were a kid, you had to learn how to use the  Dewey Decimal System to locate a book, and you also had to look up directions on an actual map and,


write them down.

Somehow, even with all these “hardships”(or possibly, because of them?) you managed to survive.

And look at Thomas Edison. He was told by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”

(Could you imagine if a teacher said that to a kid today? We’d lose our fucking minds!)

Albert Einstein didn’t start speaking until he was four or reading until he was seven.

Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage the first time he did stand-up.

Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team!

Your kids’ Olympic dreams aren’t going to be dashed because they got disqualified in a race when they were ten years old.

Their lifelong goal (or is that your lifelong goal) of getting into an Ivy League school won’t be crushed if they get a C on a test in fifth grade.

They’re just kids.

They need to learn how to deal with assholes. Not be protected from them.

They need to experience failure and disappointment. Not be rescued repeatedly.

They’re resilient. They will be fine.

And who knows? These tough times? These disappointments? These failures?

They just might be the things that motivate and inspire your kids to go on to greatness.

So do your kid (and yourself) a favor.

Take a deep breath. Take a chill. And ease up on the freak outs.

Either way, the world is going to continue to spin.

And there’s no sense in making yourself (and your kids) sick over it while you’re all along for the ride.


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