Rating the Disney Princesses: From Skinniest to Fattest

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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?

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7 Reasons Not to Hate Me for “7 Things On Mom’s Holiday To-Don’t List”

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I am so blessed and proud that my Huffington Post Parents piece was not only “bigger” news than Kate’s pregnancy yesterday, but that it was– and is still– featured on their homepage today.  The comments, however, are kind of surprising me.  I know, people saying mean things on the internet? Well, I never!!!!  My intent with the post was to poke fun at the pressure parents put on themselves to produce (and yes, PRODUCE– parenting is no different from pulling off The Oscars, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Wheel of Fortune) the Perfect Christmas for their kids.  I, more than anyone I know, am guilty of planning things out in my head one way… only to completely fall apart when things don’t go according to plan.

This happens a lot.

Writing about my personal life has taught me to toughen up and not take too much personally– even though people calling me a lazy mom or suggesting that I drink a lot is pretty personal.  And only half true.  But I know what these people don’t– I’m a great mom, and Mom Who Loves Christmas.  I can prove it!  Would a Bah Humbug Mom go to Home Goods every other day to Ooh and Ahh over the seasonal hand towels and bundle up their daughter for a joyous six-minute stroll through Zoo Lights before the reindeer poop hit the roof?  Here’s the “real story” behind the 7 Things on Mom’s Holiday To-Don’t List.

  1. Bake. No, I’m not hosting a cookie exchange.  Yes, I did make cookies with my mom growing up.  And they were TERRIBLE.  Raw on the inside, burnt on the outside.  My mom is a lot of wonderful things, but she isn’t a baker.  So for me, the meaningful holiday memory is what my mom DIDN’T do– and I love her more for it.  Besides, I made Rice Krispie Treats last weekend, and Posey and I shared one together.  She liked it.  That counts, right?
  2. Make Martha Stewart crafty homemade gifts. I believe that there are lots of folks out there who are making gifts this year.  I also believe there is a .01% chance that you are one of them.
  3. Get a real Christmas tree.  My fake-ass cheap tree looks glorious.  It’s also my cat’s most favorite place on earth to sit beneath.  The baby is too young to care yet, but the cat is seriously at peace under that thing.  I’m also an excellent cat mom.
  4. Remember to light the candles on the first or even second night of HanukkahI looked it up.  Hanukkah starts at sundown this Saturday.  If there is an accident resulting in the baby getting singed, it’s on you.  A good mother doesn’t allow an open flame in their home.
  5. Watch Miracle on 34th StreetWhy would I watch this when the world has given me Blake Shelton’s Not-So-Family Christmas as an option? Why, I ask? (Side note: Yesterday, Beef mused aloud, “I wonder if there is going to be another Michael Buble Christmas special this year?”  A boy can dream.)
  6. Take a seasonal family photo.  Just last week, I got super-mad that we have no professional family portraits with Posey yet.  I saw so many leaf pile shots of my friends’ families frolicking– the kids all smiles, the moms all sassy in new boots– that I demanded my husband book us a session as my Christmas gift.  Then, we took Posey to get her photo with Santa.  I’m not going to say that Santa dropped her, but I’m not going to say that he didn’t.  She squirms a lot.  I think I’m going wait til I have a better guarantee I won’t get super-mad that we spend money on super-bad pictures. (PS– Didn’t people see the picture of us that accompanied the post?)
  7. Mail out holiday cards before December 26th. Fine.  Send me your address.  But I really will have to ask you for it again next year.

And to all of you nice people out there who’ve been writing me kind comments and emails:  Santa is sure to put you on his “nice” list this year! Thank you!

10 More Types of Moms on Facebook

Part two of my last HuffPo piece.  Read it here!  For those of you coming here via the HuffPost mobile app, it seems the content (which is a chart) isn’t visible on mobile devices. So I’m posting the text below!

 10 More Types of Moms on Facebook

I heard ya, loud and clear!  Seems I left quite a few of us off The 10 Types of Moms on Facebook.  Thanks to your responses, I added to the list.  Think we can get to 100

1. The Blue Ribbon Mom: How will the world know her children are prodigies unless she endlessly boasts about them?

Typical Status: “Phillip took 1st place in the pre-K talent show with his dead-on impression of Sir Anthony Hopkins doing Hamlet while riding backwards on a horse!  SO PROUD!”

2. The Au Naturale Mom: She would never judge you for getting your kids vaccinated.  She’s too busy washing her cloth diapers in the river and after photographing her kids in a field of sunflowers. (Note: NOT in an Anne Geddes kind of way)

Typical Status: “Anyone got any good placenta recipes? I’m so sick of the one I usually make.”

3. The Potty Training Mom: What’s that sound?  I think I just heard a plop and a tinkle in my news feed!

Typical Status: “Charlie made a #2 in the potty today!  Three cheers for his clean underpants!”

4. The Mommyjacker: How does she do it?  How does she manage to make every single one of your status updates into something about her kids?  On a totally unrelated side note, Liam Neeson is such a badass in Taken 2 as a former CIA agent!:

Comment: “Little Eleanor hasn’t “taken” one, two OR three naps today!  Does Liam Neeson have any current experience as a CIO (cry it out) agent?” (*Note: This joke was funnier when I wrote it– a month ago.  So imagine this is something witty and Argo-related)

5. The Paranoid Mom: Not a picture, not an update, not a personal bit of anything.  After all, basically everyone is out to get her and her kids– she saw that segment on the news about cyberstalking.

Typical Status: “Nice weather we’re having today! Might rain, though.”

6. The Show Me the Money Mom: Girl Scout cookies. Popcorn. Wrapping Paper. Her kids are selling it all, and lucky for you, you can pay her in cash at her next Stella & Dot jewelry party!

Typical Status: “Libby’s school is raising money for their French Riviera trip! Help her reach her goal of $36,000 by buying Neil Lane diamond chip cookie dough.”

7. The Hangover Mom: No, not that kind of hangover.  I mean a baby hangover.  This mom can’t let go… no matter how old her kids get.

Typical Status: “Look how adorable 40-year-old Betty looks on her first day of being Miss Big Girl Bank Vice President!” (Note: She always seems to forget to update her status about Little “Mr. Big Boy Correctional Institution” Jimmy.)

8. The Just Rejoined Civilization Mom: Her kids are finally grown and out of the house.  Welcome back to the world, my friend.  There’s so much you’ve missed.

Typical Status: “OMG! You guys have to watch this– I can’t stop crying!” (Note: “This” refers to a link to Susan Boyle’s original audition clip from Britain’s Got Talent.)

9. The Means Well Mom: No matter how many times you send her the link to Snopes proving it’s a hoax, she won’t stop posting fantastical claims about online privacy changes and household items allegedly made with asbestos and/or dynamite.

Typical Status: “Warning! New study proves (insert name of the only food your kid will eat) contains non FDA-approved levels of arsenic and human hair!”

10. The Aspirational Mom: Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I click through every one of her photo albums, admire her perfect teeth, laugh out loud at the hilarious thing her kid said today…. and wish I was her.  Shhh. Our secret.

Typical Status: “Liz Kozak, please stop Facebook stalking me.”

The Mom Gets in the Picture on the Picture Box

Did you read the Huffington Post‘s smash-hit post by Allison Tate, The Mom Gets in the Picture?

I admit it– I’ve alway been self-critical of myself in photos, and now with a baby, I want every snapshot of us to be picture-perfect, so Posey will see what a pretty mama I was when I am old and gray and Botoxed.  So, pretty much next year. Plus, I am the family photographer.  It’s rare that Beef offers to take over so I can get in a shot or two.

Now’s your chance to let the world see you and your kids in all your “take me as I am” glory: The Katie (Couric) Show is looking for viewers to submit their photos for an upcoming show.  Submit your photo here, and don’t dally– the show tapes later this week!

I even clicked past the photoshopped ones to send in something more real. And NOT the kind of photo where I show it around because I look good, but Posey’s making a weird face.

Is reality liberating?

 

Tragedy in Colorado

*This post also appears today on The Huffington Post.

The news this morning is almost too heartbreaking to take in. A midnight audience full of excited moviegoers, all set to watch the summer’s most anticipated blockbuster, tear gassed and massacred by 24-year-old James Holmes. At least 12 killed, at least 38 injured, one of whom is a 3-month-old infant.

As families pray for their loved ones and a nation mourns another senseless spree– my thoughts immediately went to wondering who this boy’s mother is. ABC News found her already, and she told reporters:

“You have the right person,” she said, apparently speaking on gut instinct. “I need to call the police… I need to fly out to Colorado.”

This mother– and our country– will most likely get at least some answers. It’s rare that the person responsible walks away at the end, as has happened here.  But as the president just said, “we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this.”

I’m reminded of another Colorado tragedy, and of one of the mothers left behind who will never understand.  Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold’s mother, Susan Klebold, resisted interviews for years.  Finally, in November of 2009, she broke her silence in an essay called “I Will Never Know Why” in O Magazine:

“Dylan was a product of my life’s work, but his final actions implied that he had never been taught the fundamentals of right and wrong. There was no way to atone for my son’s behavior.” 

She candidly opened up about what it’s like to mistrust your own judgement, be viewed by society as a woman who raised a “monster,” and constantly be consumed by “What Ifs?”  I’m re-reading it this morning, sad for every single person affected by what happened last night in Aurora.  Every “monster”, every angel, every victim, every misunderstood, damaged, broken human being was– or is—  somebody’s baby.

I’m grateful for my family, my friends, and every single blessing I can’t even count fast enough.

To Market, To Market

Is it ever the “right time” to start a family?  And how do you know when that time is?

When Beef and I decided we wanted a baby, part of our motivation was the fact that stuff wasn’t as fun as it used to be.  It felt like a lot of places/holidays/activities would become magical again if only we could experience them through the eyes of a child.

Of course, I wanted to be a mom for all the “right reasons.”  But I also wanted to be one of those women rolling a stroller down the street with big sunglasses and an even bigger coffee.  I just wanted that.

Today, I lived one of the moments I’d dreamed of. The farmers market.  Read about it here on the HuffPost.