15 Confessions from a Stay-At-Home-Mom


This morning, there are too many tragic headlines to count in our country– but the most imminent problem here in Chicago is all the rain and mass flooding. Highways are shut down, roads are flooded, flights are cancelled, a sinkhole just swallowed up three cars, trains are delayed. A lot of people are having a dilly of a time getting to work….but not me.

My commute from the bedroom to the living room went just fine. My breakfast meeting agenda of waffles and apple juice went over well with its attendee, and the rain was a non-issue. My bathrobe didn’t even get wet.

There is so much debate over who works harder: the SAHM or the Works-Outside-the- Home Mom. I won’t say for one second that I don’t work my butt off day in and day out. But would I prefer to be dragging my butt into an office everyday? HELL NO. And that’s the truth.

I am not saying my life is easy. Not at all. But not having to deal with a commute every morning is just one of the perks I retain in my life these days. And while some moms might not agree– or think I’m trivializing what those of us who stay home do all day– I’d like to run down a few of the other benefits I enjoy. And yes, I mean ENJOY– and don’t take for granted.

  • I finally had time to re-train my hair. As in, I don’t have to wash it every day anymore.
  • Got one “good” outfit? Me, too. And I can wear it four days in a row.
  • Omelettes for breakfast. Or homemade waffles. Or whatever. There’s time.
  • If my daughter is up all night, I don’t have to stress about being exhausted the next day. I mean, I AM exhausted, but it doesn’t affect meetings or deadlines.
  • Better control over my health: No stress-bagel binges, monthly birthday cakes, and the gym is now a place I WANT to go because it’s a reason to get out of the house.
  • I can stay up late watching TV.
  • I appreciate time with my husband more. I look forward to him coming home form work every day like a puppy.
  • We eat together as a couple now. When I worked full-time, I was rarely home for dinner. That’s important.
  • I can schedule doctor and/or hair appointments whenever. Tuesday at 1? Sure. Thursday at 10:30? I’ll be there. Total flexibility makes life so much easier.
  • Shopping during a weekday is peaceful. No crowded stores. No long lines. Having Trader Joe’s all to yourself is practically a luxury spa treatment. Was I supposed to rub my face with that lamb vindaloo sample? Cause I did.
  • I’ve diversified my friend group. A new schedule means meeting and spending time with people like me, and it’s opened me up to some great new or strengthened relationships.
  • Because I have such a supportive family, I’ve been able to explore new career paths and goals that were always just a dream for me. And…
  • I’m closer with my family, who I never had enough time for before.
  • I know my daughter better than anybody else. I’ve been with her almost every single day of her life, and no one can ever take that away from me. However, I was not there to see her take her first steps… because she hasn’t yet. PLEASE JUST WALK, KID!

I’m lucky, and now more than ever– I’ve been counting my many blessings every day.

How to Fill Up Jogging Stroller Tires

Got one of these?

Me, too… and so does just about every other mom in my neighborhood. Posey and I go for our “serious walks” in this thing. It’s a perfect 2.4 mile loop to Target and back (2.5 if you count the lollygagging up and down the aisles… make that an even 3.0), and we’ve taken the trek about a zillion times during her 18 (yes, 18!) months.

Here’s something that never occurred to me. Notice this?

I didn’t, until last week. DUH. They’re like bikes tires, and they NEED TO GET FILLED UP.

I’ve been pushing the kid around on flat tires for months and months. Who knows, maybe there wasn’t even air in them when we got the thing. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. The last time I filled up a bike tire was before I was pregnant, and I over-did it at a gas station. The inner tube exploded, and I lost hearing in my right ear for an hour. Today is finally a nice, sunny day in Chicago, so I rolled her and her deflated wheels down the road to Oscar Wastyn Cycles, where the kind gent took one look at Pose and her sorry-ass ride and pulled out the air hose.

It’s kind of like when I got my first car, and no one ever told me that you have to get the oil changed. How am I supposed to know these things? So check your stroller tires.

Happy Spring.

Posey and Carl Jung’s Theory of the Collective Unconscious

heartofdarknessMy senior year of high school, I had a truly awful English teacher who did not care for me very much whatsoever. Towards the end of the school year, she asked that we go around the classroom and announce where each of us was to attend college the following fall. It basically went down like this: “Harvard.” “Yale.” “Stanford.” “M.I.T.” “M.I.T.” “M.I.T.” and so on. I have no idea why so many engineer-minded kids were in an AP English class, but they were. Then she came to me. I shyly said, “The University of Iowa.”

She glared at me, curled her evil lip up just like the Grinch, and snarled– “You don’t want to be a WRITER, do you?” Gulp.

This post doesn’t have much to do with that story, I just wanted to tell it. The segue is that in this class, I read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and learned about Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious:

“My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited.”

So basically, we’re all born with inherited human experience collective knowledge. And you know what? I totally buy it. I’ve seen it in action. In the form of… THE TELEPHONE.

These days, the only phones Posey has really ever seen in action look like this:


So how the heck can I explain the fact that she totally instinctively knows what to do with THIS thing? Like, what do do with a handset? When she’s never seen one before???


But she gets it. And answers the phone. That Jung guy was on to something.

What to Expect When You’re Dating an Improviser

My Ex(es)

My Ex(es)

Long before I met Beef, I went on dates with Other People. Most were a disaster– both the boys and the dates. So let me be a friend to all of you young ladies in dating world, because friends don’t let friends date improvisers– especially in Chicago. Here is something I wrote for my newest online home, The Second City Network.

You’ve heard of The Second City. It’s the famous Chicago improv farm where they grow Tina Feys, Steve Carells, Amy Poehlers and pretty much everyone who’s ever been on SNL.

What to Expect When You Expect Your Baby’s Toenails to Grow, But They Don’t

*Toe-tally not Po's piggies

*Toe-tally not Po’s piggies

Posey is 17 months and 9 days old. Today, on this magical day, she hit quite the milestone– and Beef and I are mighty proud.

Did she walk? No.

Did she say “Mama?” No.

Did she scoop the poop out of the cat box? I wish.

On this magical day, my daughter grew her toenails long enough for me to be able to cut them for the very first time!!! But don’t get too excited– only 6 of them were ready for trimming. Is this normal? According to Whattoexpect.com, I need to “keep in mind that toenails grow more slowly and therefore require less maintenance.” Did they mean over 500 days?

For more of their advice on how to cut your baby’s nails, click on over to here. And no, I did not save the clippings.

3 Reasons I’m Annoyed My Toddler Can’t Walk Yet

1. The acute lower back pain I’m currently in physical therapy for from lifting a non-walking toddler.

2. The sprained rib I was diagnosed with today that I most likely got from lifting a non-walking toddler.

3. The kid pictured above, Kate Wood, is just a few months older than Posey and is already an international swimming star. A baby that swims laps? Maybe I need to re-direct my efforts and head back to swim school

The Cutest Hair Bows on Earth, for Easter & Beyond


Last weekend, we took Posey for her first haircut. Well, her first “real” haircut. My mom said it didn’t count when I trimmed the back of her head into a sweet little rattail. Now that she’s got a fancy new ‘do, I felt she needed something else in her life: fancy hair bows.

This is what Etsy is made for.

After a quick search, I came across a little shop called Ellie & Liv. It doesn’t get much cuter than this, people. And guess what? If you use discount code SPRING2013, you can save 10% now through 4/1/2013. If you don’t want a chocolate bunny to clip in your child’s hair, there is seriously something wrong with you.

chocbunny chevron


Rating the Disney Princesses: From Skinniest to Fattest


Come on, give me a break! Could you imagine? Oh, wait. It kinda happened. Read Harley Pasternak’s stupid blog, and then come on back real quick-like.

I wrote about it today on The Huffington Post. Read it here. And then let’s you and me make a plan to have Ashley Tisdale’s jaw un-wired shut, okay?