Monday, December 31, 2012

This is NOT the year of Lauren - I'm not even gonna say it!

In 2013 I don't want new clothes, or fancy jewelry, or even shoes!

Hard to believe, right?  I'm serious.

Here's what I want in 2013:

I want TJ to tackle his challenges with determination and drive.  I want him to struggle, for within struggle is growth.  I want him to laugh more.  He has the greatest laugh.  And I want him to feel proud of who he is.

I want Peter to challenge himself every day, to not give up, and continue to grow into the sweet sensitive young man he already is.  I want him to not hurt so much, and feel things so strongly, that it stops him from taking chances.  I want him to continue being goofy - his smiles are like magic.  And I want him to know that TJ is no more his responsibility than he is TJ's responsibility.

I want Sean to continue to find the humor amongst the daily stresses, and to do more things for himself for fun.  I want him to ski more.  I want him to feel spoiled, and to know that he is the greatest husband and father there is.

As for me, I just want to not fall down as much and get hurt.  That's deep, when you think of it, except that I mean that literally.  I really took some knocks this past year.  My ankle still acts up.

So no, this is not going to be the year of Lauren.  This is just going to be a year.  And I hope that for my family, and for yours, that it is one filled with love and laughter and snapshots of memories that last forever.

And if a new pair of shoes is, indeed, in my future, then so be it. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Sensitive Sniffer

My hearing sucks.  My sense of smell, on the other hand, is superb.  Which is perfect, really, because in college I always used to say "Smell you later!", so it's very appropriate.

When our boys were babies, however, it wasn't that superb.  I could smell their stinky little butts from a mile away.  Which usually meant that I was the one to change them.

Also, once when we were in the woods of Maine, I smelled a forest fire that was happening in Canada.  True story.  Freaked me out.

These days, I'm smelling more than I should be smelling.  For example, when we are making coffee, it has started to smell like skunk to me.  And only me.  Not the best smell, and I have no idea when it started, but there you go.  Also, there are parts of my house that smell like a small animal has died, and I can't find the source of the smell no matter how hard I look.  I am the only one who smells it.  Which I suppose is a good thing for everyone else.

Just something I'm noticing lately.  That, and my hands are really dry.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Hurl-mas!

I am spending the holidays holding puke buckets for my poor boys. That kind of sums up 2012 quite nicely.

Here's to a great 2013! Lots of love and laughs, and a lot less hurling!

Xo from Lauren

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Joyeux Noel!

One Christmas when Susan and I were little, like 5 and 7, Nanny came from Long Island to our house for the holiday.  Nanny was something.  No muss, no fuss.  What you see is what you get.  I write more about her here

Anyway, it was Christmas morning and Susan and I were jumping up and down, screaming and yelling with joy that Santa had eaten our cookies that we had left out for him.

Nanny, who we had clearly woken up, asked why we were so excited.

"Nanny, Santa ate our cookies we left him!  Isn't that great?"

Nanny gasps, covers her mouth and says,

"They were for Santa?!"


We were inconsolable for a good 1/2 hour.

And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

A Very 70s Lauren

Thursday, December 20, 2012


My sweet boy.

TJ is my 12 year old with autism.  He has been going through a lot of changes lately.  First, he started using deodorant (triumphantly, might I add) which you can read about here.  Then yesterday he got a ginormous zit.  Not to get too graphic but Sean, dreamboat that he is, aided with the ceremonious first zit popping.  That's all I'm going to tell you about that.

Just now TJ and Peter finished watching a Simpson's episode where Bart leads an uprising against a bully.  At the end I said "TV off, screen time is over!"  TJ started to walk upstairs and said, quietly, "I've learned something about bullying, Mom.  Don't fight back and tell the principal."  Then his little mouth turned into a frown and he turned and went upstairs.

Well my stomach lurched as I went upstairs after him.  In my head I'm already half way to Mama-Bear mode ready to rip the arms off of the kid that bullied my sweet boy.  And that's half way Mama Bear!  Imagine me at full force!!!  Anyway, I sat down next to him on the bed and said, "Do you want to talk about anything?  You look like you wanted to cry."  BOOM - tears-o-rama.  Waterfalls.  He leaned into my shoulder as I asked if he felt bullied.

"No Mom, no one bullies me.  I'm just different.  I feel different.  I think I react to things differently."

"We all react to things our own way, buddy.  Everyone is different.  There is no right or wrong way to feel, sweetie.  Did anyone tell you that you are different than everyone else?"

"No.  I just in my heart feel jumbled."

How cute is that?

I asked, "Do you feel kind of all over the place?"

"Yes, Mom.  What is that?"

"I think it's hormones, buddy.  This happens when you turn into a teenager.  Sometimes you just feel sad and you don't know why."

"Can I have my iPad to draw Mom?"

", no iPad, but I'll bring you some new white paper.  How does that sound?"

Then he started talking about Power Ranger MegaZords.


On a different note, our fish Pee Wee that literally disappeared from our fish tank a month ago suddenly re-appeared out of the volcano.  The volcano that we had previously lifted, searched, removed, get the idea.  Pee Wee is back.  We have no idea what happened.  Except that I think this proves my earlier theory that the fish tank volcano is a portal to another world.  But we may never know the truth.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thanks a lot, kid

This morning getting ready for our day....

Peter: "Hey Mom, do you know Madonna?"

Me: "Not personally but I know who you're talking about."

Peter: "Did you know she's an author?"

Me: "I think I did know that. She writes children's books, right?"

Peter: "Right."

Me: "Did you know that she's a Mom, too? She has 3 kids."

Peter's jaw drops as if I just told him that our raggedy carpeting is spun from pure gold.

Peter: "You mean she's a famous singer, an author, AND a Mom?!?!"

Me: "Yup."

Peter: "Wow! "


Peter: "You're just a Mom."

Haha! True!

But I'm pretty sure that I'm a better Mom than Madonna. So suck on that, Madonna!

Friday, December 14, 2012


There is no way to laugh today, as my heart breaks for those Connecticut families suffering unimaginable losses.

I'm hugging my children, and wishing I was with my sister and her family today to hug my nieces and nephews. 

Life is fleeting. 

Reserve judgement for others, as you don't know what is happening in their lives behind the scenes.

Put aside your troubles with friends and family in your lives to come to some sort of mutual respect and understanding.  It takes too much negative energy to hold on to anger and resentment.

Smile at a stranger.  They may need it.

Please show each other love and kindness.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Addendum to my previous post, with a bonus at the end!!!

It has been brought to my attention that my previous blog post, while humorous, came across screaming "LAUREN IS A MESS!!"  This was far from my intention, as this was not a list of things that occurred during one outing, rather over a period of 20+ years of alcohol consumption.  We're talkin' teen years, dorm years, college years....and let's get real folks, how many of you looked at that list and said "I've done that!"

And I went to UVM, so I know that you UVMers can confirm your participation in such events.

In any case, it is what it is.

AND, bonus for today, I have learned that to say "suck it" in Spanish, or at least a Spanglish version, is "Chup it" (pronounced "choop").

You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Newly-Sober Girl's Guide to the Holidays

So as you may or may not know, I'm 1 year 5 months booze free.

It's awesome.  And it sucks balls.

I can never predict which one it will be.  So I have decided to find the positive aspects of celebrating the holidays sober.  It's worth a shot, right?

So without further ado, may I present


  • There is no "oh my god did I really fall down in front of our neighbors?" mortification the day after the party
  • There is no "oh my god did I really say that out loud to my mother?" mortification the day after the holiday (feel free to replace 'mother' with father, sister, husband, wife, kids, get the gist of it)
  • You can wear stilettos without the fear of stumbling or tipping over randomly - your fashion choices are limitless!
  • No drunk crying (this one is true 365 days/year actually)
  • No embarrassing slurring or random phrases that make no sense (I seem to recall I actually once said 'lumpy on the beast'.  It made perfect sense to me, and me alone)
  • For once, you can answer your friends' questions of "I don't remember that last night - what did I say?"
  • No one will ever say "In vino veritas" to you again!!!  This one alone is worth it.
  • You always have a ride home because you are the driver!

And perhaps the best one....

  • SAVED CALORIES CAN BE SPENT ON DIP!  I love me some dip.

So there you go!  Happy pre-holiday celebrations everyone!  Enjoy your dip.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ugly Criers

I think I'm an ugly crier.

I'm certainly not a cute crier, because when I cry, I'm trying to stop myself from crying.  Hence, ugly crying.

But at least I'm not famous and my ugly crying face is not out there for all to see and copy and paste into blogs.  There are some seriously ugly criers out there.

Kim Kardashian, ugly famous-for-no-reason crier.

Heidi Montag, ugly made-of-plastic crier.

(By the way, how funny is that subtitle?)

Farrah Abraham, ugly teen-mom-is-selfish-and-has-no-clue crier.

You get the picture.

I'm sure I'm an ugly crier too, but you're not going to see a picture of it here.  'Cause that's the kind of blogger I am.  If/when I get famous, I promise I will allow ugly crying Lauren pictures.  I'm a giver.

Have a nice day.


How could I have forgotten Claire Danes, My-So-Called ugly crier?!?!

There - that ought to do it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oh no he DI' AN' T!!!

Peter, this morning.  Before I've had my coffee.

Pete:  "Mom, my teacher said her shoes are her babies.  I told her you have a whole closet full of them, but only wear like 3 pairs."

Me:  (horrified)  "Peter!!!  That's not true!  And we live in Vermont, it's not like I can wear peep toes in the winter!"

I then thought to myself, "Well, I CAN, but I have to carry them to where I'm going and put them on after I take my boots off...", but I knew better than to even have that conversation with my son unless I wanted to stare at a glazed over face.

Pete: (after some thought) "Why do you have so many shoes, anyway?!"

Me: (thinking "Oh no you are NOT going there!!!")  "Why do you have so many legos?!?!"

Conversation over.  Finally I spoke his language.

And I may have multiple shoe changes today, just to prove my point.  You do NOT mess with the shoes.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Teeth Whitener and Yummie Tummie

My boys wrote their Christmas List for Santa (Peter knows it's not for Santa, please see this post for the whole story).  It got me to thinking about when I was young and what I used to ask for.

It also got me to thinking about what is on my list now.  Brace yourself for Elder Awareness.

Then - Charlie's Angels Hideaway Treehouse
Now - Teeth Whitener
Then - Lucite Skateboard
Now - Spanx /Yummie Tummie
Then - Esprit Sweatshirt
Now - Jewelry we can't possibly afford
Then - Atari
Now - a new roof
Then - Ribbon and barrettes for making ribbon barrettes
Now - Rogaine
Then - ski goggles
Now - Hard wood flooring
Then - Sony Walkman
Now - more memory on my laptop
Then - Go-Go's Album
Now - new sheets

Look how practical I've become!  Growing up sucks.

Merry happy. 

How do you tell your kid that Santa is too cheap?

The only thing TJ wants for Christmas are Power Ranger Megazord Collectibles.  The $300 ones on Amazon.

How do you tell your kid that Santa can't afford it?

This is a puzzle.  TJ strongly believes in Santa, and told the "Santa" that we saw last week that I'm emailing his list to him.  "Santa" already told him he's all set.  This was before we looked at the prices.

We are screwed.

We tried telling him that Santa wants more on his list to choose from - he put down 3 books. 

Peter knows the truth about Santa already and keeps trying to tell TJ "You may not get those Megazords, they are really expensive."  But TJ thinks that Santa makes everything at the North Pole!  AAUUUGGGHHH!!!  The jolly ole' elf is working against us!  Conspiracy!!!  J'accuse!!!

Rant over.  Go back to what you were doing.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

TMI but I can't help myself

Just now on the couch:

Me: "What is that smell?"

Both boys look at me like "I don't know".

Me:  "TJ I think it's you!  Get over here."

I grab him and pull him over to me.  He thinks I'm going to tickle him so he starts giggling and squealing.

Me:  "Gimme your armpit!"


Me:  "Get over here!"


Me:  "I'm not tickling you - get over here!!!"

I finally get his arm hoisted up and BOY does he stink!

Me:  "TJ it's you!  Your pit stinks!"


Me:  "TJ go to Dad.  Sean, smell TJ!"

Sean:  "Uh, no thank you."

Me:  "Sean you HAVE TO!"


Sean:  "I'm not smelling the love."

Me:  "You're his father!  You have to!  This is a big day!"


Sean:  "I really don't have to."



Me:  "You can't not smell the love, Sean."

Sean:  "Oh my god, OK TJ."

Sean sniffs and says, "Yup, you stink."

TJ:  "Now let me smell you."

Sean:  "I used deodorant already, it's not fair."

TJ sniffs and says, "I just smell fresh air."

Me:  "Peter, get over here and let me see if you stink too."

I grab his arm, hoist it up, and sniff.

Me:  "Nope, you're not stinky at all."

Pete:  "WOO HOO!!!!"

And that's Saturday.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Do as I say, not as I do (duh!)

The road was icy as hell on our lovely 9 degree commute to school this morning and when I heard the ambulance siren I pulled over like you're supposed to.  Thank god Sean had the studded snow tires put on yesterday because cars were spinning out on that road like it was a frickin' Disney teacup ride.

Anyway after the ambulance passed, I started to pull back out onto the road when a dickwad in a truck almost barrelled into my side and scared the crap out of me.


Pete: (from the back seat) "Man, that was scary!  I almost flipped him the bird!"

Me:  (after a stunned silence) "Pete, you would have gotten into serious trouble if you had."

Pete:  "Well you said some bad stuff too...."

Me:  "When you're a grown up you can make your own decisions when you're the driver.  And I could have said a lot worse."

Pete:  "That's true."

I hid my smile the rest of the way to school.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'm still celebrating my birthday

Holy crap Thanksgiving is exhausting.  Wonderful but exhausting.  It was also my birthday.  I got a tape dispenser in the shape of a stiletto - love - and a ceramic chalice that says "it's good to be queen" - love - and a sweater - love - and a yummy robe - love.  The robe makes me look like I'm wrapped in cotton candy but who's going to see it besides Sean and the kids?  No one.  So cotton candy it is.

My Aunt and I were talking on Thanksgiving about my working - or not working - and she said "I think your job is to stay home and do what you're doing.  That's what you're meant to do." 


This whole time I've been wondering what I'm supposed to do with my life, it never occurred to me that maybe I'm doing it.  The day to day of running things around here.  Maintaining the house.  Caring for these boys.  Even writing this blog.  Maybe it's all just the way it should be.

And maybe it's not one thing that is permanent - maybe it's a fluid thing that changes constantly.  Right now, this is what I'm doing.  Who's to say what's going to happen down the road?

Something to think about.  I hope that there is something down the road that I'm a good fit for, because otherwise all that boarding school and college money was a waste.  Sorry Mom and Dad.

When I got home some of my girlfriends had planned a dinner to celebrate my birthday.  I'm telling you, if you have your birthday on Thanksgiving, it gets extended.  I've had like 4 birthday outings and lots of cake.  Not much better than that.

Also, Dreamboat Sean said that since I didn't get to pick my birthday dinner I get a do-over dinner night.  Who would pick turkey for their birthday dinner, anyway?  Those of you who answered "me", no offense, it's just not my #1 pick.  I have to think about what is - this takes thought and planning.  It also kinda extends the birthday thing a little longer.  That's certainly not a bad thing.

Come to think of it, I haven't worn my tiara yet either!  I'll have to do that on the birthday-dinner-do-over night.  Maybe I'll take a picture.

Monday, November 19, 2012


This morning TJ slept in. Late. At 10:30 I decided to wake him up.

Me: "TJ it's time to get up sweetie."
TJ: "Huh...grumph..." and rolls back over.
Me: "TJ where is your iPod?"
TJ: "" as he points next to him.
Me: "Did you watch something in the middle of the night?"
TJ: "Yes, at 2."
Me: "What did you watch?"
TJ: "The Simpsons Movie."
Me: "The whole movie?!"
TJ: "Yeah. And my eyes kept closing like (show me droopy eyes) so it was hard to stay awake."
Me: "You know you're not supposed to do that, right?"
TJ: "I know."
Me: "You're supposed to sleep at night time."
TJ: "Well I went to sleep at like 4."

Typical 12, right?

Autism looks different every day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Raise your hand if you saw Amadeus and know who Salieri is.

If your hand is down, click this link:

Basically, Salieri was a very talented musician who had the unfortunate circumstance of existing in the same circle as Mozart.  No one stood a chance against Mozart.  So it sucked to be Salieri.

In the film Amadeus, Salieri, because he was comparing himself to Mozart, said he was the king of mediocrity.  "I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint."

Dude - YOU TAUGHT BEETHOVEN!  A deaf musician!!!  Have some self respect!!!

In my opinion, Salieri totally gave up.  He made the choice to compare himself to someone no one can compare to.  Who HASN'T felt like the king or queen of mediocrity?  Seriously, at one time or another, haven't we all felt talentless, without direction, and without purpose?

The trick is to not let it own you.  Don't compare yourself to anyone!!!  When you have a kid with autism this is almost an easier lesson to learn, as I know there is no one like my boy, so I teach him to compare himself ONLY to himself.  But look what happens to you when you make a different choice!  Nothing good.  You end up feeling responsible for Mozart's death locked up in a hospital, absolving all the other sick people of their mediocrity.

So many times I have felt like Salieri!  Except that I have not been exceptionally talented in one area like him - my talents are many and just happen to not be concentrated.  I have faced my share of life challenges and choose to find a way to smile.  Yes, sometimes things suck, but what good will it do to dwell on it?  I choose to focus on the good.

Like my gorgeous and fabulous friends!  I have an amazing network of wonderful people all over the country!  Who is luckier than me?

And my shoes - well, those things of fabulositude speak for themselves.
And my family!  I have amazing people that I am so lucky to share this label with.  There is something so wonderful about the bond you have with people who have known you your entire life...and the fact that they are exceptional people doesn't hurt either.  And the family that has been added along the way have been beautiful gifts.  Our family keeps growing, I'm thrilled to say, and I am so fortunate to have these fabulous people in my life.

And my chosen family!  I have some friends who are like family to me, and these bonds are strong.  Like crazy steel strong.  Some are local, some are far away...and it doesn't matter where they are because they are always in my heart.

And my sister!  She was my first best friend, and I'm happy to say, still my best friend.  Whenever we get together there is a certain peace that I feel.  And a certain hysteria.  No one makes me laugh like her, hence our nickname from my cousin of "the laughing cousins".  Our history has forever bonded us, good and bad.  She is like my arm.  I don't know how to function without knowing she is in my corner.  She is my Susu.

And my kids!  They are sunshine even when they're not.  Seriously - those are two amazing people I have the good fortune of raising.  They teach me something every day and just looking at them fills me with such unimaginable joy and pride that I can't believe they are mine.

And my husband!  He is and always has been my dreamboat.  And my best friend.  We still laugh together after almost 20 years of being together.  He is the treasure I always hoped for and I'm not letting go.  He is my backbone.  He keeps me honest.  He lifts me up to be the best person I can be, and catches me when I fall.  And I fall a lot!  Sometimes it's hard to believe that (1) someone as wonderful as he is actually exists and (2) he kinda likes me too.  That alone makes me the most fortunate person alive.

So what have we learned?

Don't compare yourself to anyone - ever.  We all have our Mozarts.  Don't try to be something you are not.  Be your own benchmark.

If you DO choose to spend your life comparing yourself to someone, don't be surprised if you land in a psych ward absolving the other mediocrites.  Is that a word?

Focus on the good.  Laugh.  Honor what you are lucky to have.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Class dismissed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Crap crap crap

So since my last post, the one about the Tag Lines, a few of my friends have asked me to write tag lines for them.  Theirs turned out better than mine.  I think mine will be a work in progress.

What is normal language for an 11 year old?  For example, and this is totally hypothetical, is it OK for them to walk around the house saying "Crap crap crap"?  Just for example.  How about a 12 year old?  Who is sprouting the teeny wee tiny beginnings of dark mustache hairs?  Who has, oh I don't know, let's say autism?  Is it normal for him to turn any word or name into "penis" and then laugh hysterically?

The reason I ask is because these things may or may not have started to happen in public.  OK, it's me, we are talking about me and my kids.  And they have started to happen in public.  I swear these boys used to have greater decorum, and I really don't use bad language in front of them.  Clearly I say "crap" but c'mon, a girl's gotta have a bad word every now and then.  And it could be worse.

So what are other kids this age saying?  I know my boys aren't swearing in school, thank god, or if they are it's not around the teachers.  That's normal, right?  I remember saying worse when I was their age, and I was in an all girl's Quaker school.  So all in all, we are doing OK, right?  Plus, and I hate to admit this, but it's kinda funny when it happens.  And embarrassing, in the case of TJ's trying every way he can to say "penis" in public.  But that's neither here nor there.

As for the mustache hairs on TJ, they are ever so faint, but enough that he's talking about growing a beard too.  I want him to grow chops.  That would look awesome.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In search of a tag line

At the beginning of each Real Housewives show on Bravo TV, the ladies say a tag line about their lives.  Here are some examples:

“People call me a gold digger, but they just want what I have.” 

"I'm here for a good time, not for a long time."

"I'm living the American dream, one mistake at a time."

"I don't make money, I spend money."

“I may be married to a plastic surgeon, but I’m 98 percent real.” 


Is that really the best they could come up with?!  Those are lousy tag lines.  Especially the American dream one - what the hell is that?  She sounds like an idiot.  Don't you think that if you're going to be on national television that you would put your best foot forward?  I'm curious about what input the Bravo TV folks have on the ladies who say these lines.  Are they cracking up every time they hear them?  I would be.  I AM, as an observer. 

Then I start wondering what my tag line would be if I was on one of these shows.  Here are some ideas:

"Some days I just don't shower."

Hmmm...that's not really putting my best foot forward.  Next.

"I am who I am.  If you don't like it, you can suck it."

I like the idea behind this one, but it's a wee bit aggressive, don't you think?  I can do better.  How about this?

"D is for Diverticulitis, AND Diva!"

I just cracked myself up with that one!  We may be on to something. 

"I can change my mood as fast as I can change my shoes."

This is true, but makes me sound a little schizophrenic.  

"Vermont can be cold, but it's fine if you're a Hot Mama like me."

DING DING DING!!!  We have a winner!!!

I think a tag line should be changeable every day.  There is no way one line can consistently represent me and my life.  So now that I've tried to come up with my own tag line I have a greater sympathy for the ladies who do have to pick one to stick with for a TV show.

Except for those ladies who said the lines at the beginning of this post - really, there is no excuse for the stupidity of those.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I just glimpsed at a report about an interview that Andy Cohen (from Bravo TV) did with Rihanna for Facebook live.  She was asked where she wanted to be in 30 years.  She basically said when she is 54 she wants to be skinny, fierce, and hopes her t!ts are still where they are now.


Is that all?  Seriously?  What about "happy"?  There was no mention of happy.  Or healthy.  I'm shocked.

I'm also terrified for our future.  Is this the main concern for all 20 somethings these days?  I knew there was too much focus on the exterior in this age group but had no idea it was this extreme.  I think it's important to look good, but MAN!

Granted she was drunk.  I hope her answer would be different if she wasn't.  That's a pretty sad state of affairs too, being drunk for an interview, IMHO.  But that's a different blog post.

And by the way, what's with this one piece of my hair? It gets all Shirley Temple on me after a Zumba class. I have straight hair, people, this is a bizarre phenomenon. Whassup???

Friday, November 9, 2012

Help!!! I don't have a job title!!!

I was a child of the 70s.  As a child of the 70s I spent a lot of time listening to the record "Free To Be...You And Me."  Anyone else?  I mean I listened to this A LOT.  I loved the stories, I loved the music....I loved all of it.  To this day any time I hear Marlo Thomas or Alan Alda, I am instantly transported to my childhood.  Love love love.

I remember listening to this record and thinking that I could be anything.  I wanted to be on Broadway.  Or the movies.  Or on TV.  I knew I was destined for greatness.

Turns out, I was destined for the EJ.  I love the EJ, I do, but I never thought I'd be a housewife in Vermont.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but really folks, I don't even have a job!  Talk about ending up differently than you thought you would!

This is interesting especially now, when I just had my college reunion and my high school reunion is just around the corner.  Everyone asks:  "What are you doing now?"  My answer is "I married a dreamboat, have 2 amazing kids, one has autism, we have a dog, and I hate laundry.  But I hate cleaning bathrooms more."  Is that a good answer?  It's an honest answer.

What's a better answer?  I need some help here.  Domestic Goddess?  That's way too "Roseanne" for me.  I do have my Hot Mama O Rama business cards, that's always a safe bet, but it still requires some explanation.  How about "Shoe Diva of fabulositude"?  Too pompous?  I don't want to come across as self centered.  But let's face it, shoes are my thing.  How about "Undiscovered Stylist"?  That's a good one too - I'm always silently styling everyone.

I thought of all this today because as I was doing laundry, after asking the boys to put their dishes in the dishwasher, Carol Channing's voice ran through my head:

"Little boys, little girls, when you're big husbands and wives,
If you want all the days of your lives
To seem sunny as summer weather,
Make sure, when there's housework to do,
That you do it together!"

I think I need to play this for my boys.  Carol Channing really does explain it perfectly, don't you think?  Also the whole "Parents are People" part too - that's good stuff.

Maybe instead of explaining anything to anyone, I should just put my blog web address on my Hot Mama O Rama business card.  But if anyone has any really good ideas of an official job title, let me know. 

PS - I STILL think I'm destined for greatness.....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Risk is good

When I was 14 I went to the Exploration Summer Program at Wellesley College. I went when I was 13 too, one of the very first Intermediate program attendees, thankyouverymuch. But the summer I was 14, I took a course called Risk. It was focused on, well, taking risks. Up until this time in my life I was not a big risk taker at all - I was much more comfortable playing it safe. But it was in this summer program, and more specifically in this class, where I realized how valuable it is to take risks in life.

The risks in the class were not huge ones - we were blindfolded and led around campus.  We heard water near us.  Our instructor, Stuie, said if we trusted him, take a big step forward.  Some stepped.  Some didn't.  I stepped.  And I didn't fall into the water.  That's the kind of stuff we did.  We pushed ourselves, then asked ourselves why we made the decisions we made.  It was really wonderful.  The home I came from had its' share of anxiety within its' walls, so a class like this that challenged me, and made me uncomfortable, and scared me, and rewarded me, and was just what I needed.

I find that in my adulthood, the risks I take are bigger.  I invest myself more into them.  Usually they are worthwhile.  Every now and then, I fall on my face.  Or sometimes, not often, I'm tripped up by someone or something else, and fall on my face.  It's during these times that it is most important for me to get back up.  That's hard.  When I'm hurt, I hurt a lot.  I put myself all out there, and when it goes bad it shakes me to my core.  It is also during these times, just like during my Risk class, that it's most important to figure out what I get out of it, and what it has taught me.

So I'm standing up tall, happy with who I am, and proud of what I stand for.  In many ways I am much stronger, and in every way I go forward with more wisdom.  I'm sure I'll fall down again, but it's worth the risk.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grease is the word

Sometimes the truth is gross.

Remember a long time ago when I was struggling to find the best combo of cute and practical when it came to how I wore my hair to Zumba?  Or Bazoom as I like to call it?  Well folks, I think I've found the answer.

Day old hair.

Yes, that's right.  If I don't wash my hair for a day, the grease holds it nicely in place.  I haven't washed my hair since last night...look:

May I just take a second to pat myself on the back and say what guts it takes to discuss your greasy hair for all the world to see?  You're welcome world.

Anyway, this is what I tried Monday night for Bazoom class.  Tory my faboo instructor was afraid I would grease up the floor as I danced and she would wipe out.  But guess what?  The hair did not move.  I jumped, bounced, twisted, got even stronger with the sweat.  I hate to say it but I think I looked much cuter than when I wear the ever-sensible pony tail.  

So there you go - Bazoom hair problem solved.

Now if I could only unify the American people, I would be the best EVAH.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Don't Wanna!

My beautiful boys are my world. I adore them. They are my everything.

They also drive me crazy.

The attitudes of teen boys are emerging - like swamp creatures from the murky waters in a horror movie. We have had many discussions lately about house rules, and thoughtfulness, and respect, and how we are the parents and they are the kids and sometimes they just have to do what we say. Discussion over. They hate that.

Can't say I blame them.

Take this sobriety thing for example. It sucks. I hate it. It's been really difficult lately and I'm wondering why I have to be so good when I see so many others who don't have to. I never broke any laws, I never drove, I never hurt anyone...why do I have to be the good one? Seriously. I don't want to do this anymore - at all.

Then I think of why I am public about it and why all my friends know what I am doing - accountability. Really, if I was clever, I would have stopped drinking silently so if I wanted to start again I could have done that silently too. That would have been much, much easier. But instead of going home and sneaking some sips, I sit and write this. I'm kind of trapping myself so I can't self-sabotage. This is the grown-up Lauren, laying the groundwork for my own success. The selfish kid Lauren is pissed. She wants to stomp her feet and yell "I DON'T WANNA!!!" And do what she wants. She feels a little stronger than the grown-up Lauren right now. But just like I can't give in to my boys for their own good, I can't give in to the "I don't wanna" Lauren. Even though I really, really want to.

Man, doesn't it suck being a grown up sometimes?

No worries though - it's here in black and white, like a contract. Grown-up Lauren wins.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Toot toot!!!

Skinny jeans really can work for anyone, if you only buy the correct size.  I'm just sayin'.

So I'm back from San Francisco and what an AMAZING trip my sister and I had!  Of course, I did fall off a chair in the lobby of the hotel where Susan's conference was in front of about a thousand psychiatrists, but other than that it was really wonderful.  There were no arms on the chair.  It's complex, really, and not the point of this post at all.

One of the best things about going away is coming home.  I was so happy to make it home safely, after changing my flight to go through Cleveland instead of Newark (hello Cleveland!!!).  My poor sister had to spend 2 days in Chicago (granted she was with one of her favorite people besides myself so it could have been worse, but she missed her kids) and just made it home in time for Halloween.  So glad she's home safe.  Anyway, my boys met me at the airport and we all were thisclose to tears hugging at the gate exit.  Seriously.  It was one of those moments.

Today is a gray rainy chilly day, so we went to the ECHO Lake Aquarium Center in Burlington.  Google it.  It's got exhibits that change twice a year, and the one that just opened is about Race.  Sean and I told the boys that the exhibit is looking at how people are all different.  We went in and on the wall are pictures of many different people, of many different ages, who wrote little blurbs about their heritage.  Below this on a table were blank cards, pencils, and a binder where you could write your own blurb.  TJ grabbed a card and a pencil and wrote this:

Then he put it into the clear plastic sleeve in the binder.  Satisfied with his completed task, he went on to the "Exploring the Lake" section of the museum.

This made me smile, and sad, and thoughtful, and proud all at once.  It seems like something has he has confirmed his understanding of what he's got and knows that it's just a part of him.  Almost like he's proud of his differences.  I don't know.  But something about it made me feel content.  Like we are really are doing a good job with him.  Which I almost don't want to say out loud, as I never have, and don't want to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT!!!

As long as he is OK, I'm OK.  And I think he is OK.  Today anyway.  And that's good enough for me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

This tired old mom sure does feel pretty right about now

When I got to the hotel in SF there was a Sephora gift card waiting for me. In case you don't know, Sephora is cosmetic heaven. My heart rate picks up when I look at their web page, and goes through the roof when I'm lucky enough to actually be in one of their stores. It is beautiful. And amazing. And overwhelming but in a good way. So you get the idea - I like Sephora.

Quick side note - me simply saying "I like Sephora" reminds me of this thing we used to do in college...we'd ask each other "hey, do you like beer?" Then the askee would think for a minute and say, "you know, I really do. I like beer." For some reason it cracked us up. Anyway, back to the story...

I was walking around, smiling again like a crazy person, when this lovely man asked if he could help me with anything. I told him no thank you, I'm just browsing and in heaven. He then said, "would you like me to touch up your eye makeup? It would give me something to do." Ummm....YES PLEASE!!!! What could be better? Usually at home I'm the one doing everyone's makeup, and the thought of someone doing mine sounds perfectly luxurious and faboo. So I sat down and he got to work.

The first thing he tackled were my eyebrows. Now I haven't talked about this before here, but my eyebrows are wonky. There are hairs in each one that have a mind of their own and grow in a completely different directions. The right one more than the left. It's genetic - TJ has an uber wonky left eyebrow. Anyway, as this lovely man assessed the work to be done, his expression was amazing. Like he was reading a different language and trying to figure it out. I said "I have wonky eyebrows" and he quickly agreed. Ice broken. I then asked his name - Michael.

As Michael worked his magic we chatted about San Francisco, Vermont, snow, kids, autism, and the ginormous amount of child psychiatrists in town for this conference that my sister is going to. I told him, "Michael, I really like you - you are fabulous." He said "Well you haven't seen your face yet - you may think it looks like anus." Which just made me love him even more.

I can't tell you how nice it was to sit, chat, and look like a glamour girl when I stood up. My eyes have never looked so green. It's amazing. He told me how he did what he did and gave me lots o samples to bring home to try - he totally gets me. I love him. Then I asked if I could take his picture for my blog - see below. He gave me his email and I gave him mine on the back of one of my Hot Mama O Rama business cards, which he seemed to really appreciate. This proves what a good soul Michael has. We hugged goodbye and if she's not too busy I'm bringing Susan to meet him later today after her conference.

I am overwhelmed by the amazing people I am meeting on my adventure, overwhelmed by the amazing time my sister and I are sharing, and overwhelmed by how I can't stop smiling. Not bad, right?

UPDATE!!!! My faboo new friend Michael and I have already emailed back and forth, and after reading this blog entry he has informed me that he didn't say "anus", he said "hot mess"!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I can't stop laughing!!!!! And, I think I need to get my hearing checked.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lauren, you're not in Vermont anymore

Hello from San Francisco!

My faboo sister Susan had her conference today so I walked her to the hotel where the conference was (Psychiatrists wear very sensible shoes) and we said goodbye until lunch. I left and found my way to that part of the city where the trolleys turn around. There was a huge line at 8:30 in the morning. Tourists. Anyway I found myself on Market street and knew that at the other end of this street is where Susan and I were having lunch. I also knew that there was supposedly good shopping around here and I had some money burning a hole in my pocket. So I started walking. It was drizzling rain but I didn't care - I love love love walking around a big city and I was as happy as can be. I think I was smiling like a complete idiot because I was getting some interesting looks.

Finally I stopped someone who looked like a local and asked them "Can you look people in the eye walking down the street here? I know in New York you can't without getting punched in the nose so I thought I should check." He looked amused and told me that San Francisco is a very friendly city. So far I concur.

My next interesting experience was this guy who was drumming on a plastic pickle tub. He wasn't very good. I glanced at him as I kept walking and he stopped drumming and yelled, very loudly, "How much do you get paid to suck dick?!?!" Then went back to drumming. I mean really!!! I kept walking and was shocked until he stopped again and yelled something else, trying to be as anti-establishment as he could be while drumming a plastic pickle tub. Somehow I felt better as he kept yelling things and decided it wasn't directed to me personally. And that's the story I'm sticking with.

Later, I found my way into Bloomingdales. I could hardly breathe it was so beautiful. I also could hardly believe the price tags. So as soon as I decided this was a browsing only stop, I saw my shoes. They were the least expensive ones there and so gorgeous that I had to have them. Erica, the sales lady and my new best friend, told me that if I go to the concierge and show him my VT drivers license (we were BFF pretty quickly) I can get a 10% visitors discount. Done! Alex the concierge was so nice (I know that's his job but still I enjoy nice people) and he told me if I spend more than $200 he had a gift for me. Well on my way out after spending WAY less than $200 I sadly told Alex that I didn't qualify for a free gift but it was so nice meeting him. He said "I'm not supposed to do this..." and slipped a pink ribbon cookie and pink rubber breast cancer awareness bracelet in my bag. So sweet!!!

Well wouldn't you know that as soon as I walked out of Bloomingdales there was a homeless man who came right up to me and said "Can I have some money? I'm hungry!" I said "I'm so sorry you're hungry - here's a pretty cookie." Then he said "No! I want money! I'm diabetic!" My reply was "Eat it when your blood sugar is low! Have a nice day!" And off I went.

On my walk back up towards the Ferry Building where I was meeting Susan for lunch, some guy decided to start walking with me. First he was small talking about the San Francisco Giants, and I nodded politely. Big mistake. Suddenly he was talking about his Uncle Joey and random sick cousins...this lasted about 7 blocks. Finally he took a left while I went straight. Free at last.

Do I attract crazy? I'm just offense to Sean.

Anyway we had a fabulous lunch and then my new best friend Coco gave us fabulous facials. And I have about 4 restaurant recommendations from those to whom I spread sunshine.

Just another day in the life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I didn't even freak out!

I'm writing this from 36,000 feet. I haven't been on a plane in 3 1/2 years when I flew to (1) Bogota, Colombia and (2) Nassau, Bahamas back to back. I'm on my way to San Francisco where my sister, Susan, is attending a conference. This trip is my early birthday gift from her. Hang time in a fabulous city with out the kids (no offense to the kids but you moms get it).

Here's the crazy thing about my current status of 36,000 feet - I'm not freaking out. For years I have been terrified of flying. And so far I've been calm as a cucumber (which I can't eat btw - seeds. Thanks a lot diverticulitis). No, I'm not drugged. I have no idea why I'm calm. I even took a picture from above the clouds for my boys - steady as can be. My only thought is that I'm so excited for this trip that even being flung in a tiny metal tube through the air isn't bothering me. Although actually saying that freaks me out a teeny tiny bit, so let's stop for now and just keep it at I'm doing awesome, thanks for asking.

PS: don't even get me started about the Skymall selections - I think I'm still traumatized from the combo dog bed/bedside table called the "Townhause". Seriously. It has a door. I can't even.

P.P.S. Here's what 36,000 feet above the ground looks like:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's Not Personal, It's Just Business

Last night Sean and I went to a Roaring 20s party. All the girls wore gorgeous flapper dresses and fabulous headbands (and one amazing Betty Boop!) - everyone looked really beautiful. The guys all were dressed as gangsters, with a couple of golfers and a zoot suit thrown in for good measure. Everyone looked absolutely amazing. Sean and I had to go against the grain, however...big surprise there. I was a gangster girl and Sean was Babe Ruth. He carried a bat, and I had a holster for my toy gun and lipstick. Actually it was a lip stain. Here's a picture:

Sean made the shirt himself.  Isn't he creative?  I wore black pointy toed stilettos that all the guys were afraid of as the shoes could inflict some serious damage if used for groin kicks.  Of course I would never do such a thing.

I realize that I often write about the difficult times I have with my not drinking, so I thought this time I'd write about a really positive experience.

I, of course, was in full character last night - speaking in a tough guy accent, randomly telling people to "Shut up!!!" - I had a blast.  And I wish I could remember who said this, but one of my friends said something like "See, this is the true Lauren.  This is why we love you.  You don't need booze at all!"

You know what?  She was right.

Maybe it's because I've had some other recent successes under my belt to look back on (college reunion was a blast too, booze free)...who knows why, exactly.  The important thing is that I really had one of the best nights I've had in a while, enjoying so many people, and I didn't miss the booze for one second.

Not even when a really funny gangster guy was yelling at me "ICE LUGE LAUREN!  NOW!!!"  The pressure was there, believe me, but a simple, persistent "no thanks" sufficed.  And I wasn't bummed at all.

I LOVE it when that happens!!!

So there you go.  I had the best time on my own terms.  A great, great night.  WAHOO!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Farewell to Twix

Sometimes I have things on my mind that I really want to write about, but I know a family member or friend will read it and think, "That's about ME!"  even though it's not.  I'm not in the mood for the delicate writer's dance today, so to avoid such conflict and questions, today's post will be a fond farewell to the foods I can no longer eat.

Smooth, right?  See how I did that?  No one gets upset this way.  I should be in politics (not).

Because of my diverticulitis (which, by the way, is bad for my well being but great for my waistline) I have to eat a modified diet.  Because of my TMJ (my jaw just got stuck writing this - protest?) I have to eat a modified diet too.  I'm still learning about this one....I figure out what I can't have by my stuck jaw.  This morning I've only had can my jaw get stuck from coffee?!?!  But I digress....

You would think that with these food restrictions that I would be stick thin, right?  WRONG.  Here's why - my sugar habit.  I never had it before I quit drinking, now I have it in full force.  I know it's because of the sugar that was in the alcohol and my body is missing it, blah blah blah.  Truth is I love me some chocolate - always have.  But now I have so many excuses to tell myself "I have already given up so much, I'm not giving this up too!"  The fact that it's October doesn't make this any easier, it just dangles it in front of my face and I'm not good when it comes to restraining myself.  CURSE YOU FUN SIZE CANDIES.  So basically, this is my only vice.

The world can be cruel, however.  Thanks to my fabulous health, my only vice has to be restricted.

So farewell Snickers, I truly loved you for years.  But your peanutty soul is not good for Jerry the colon.  You will be missed.

See ya later Twix.  I have fond memories of you from being a kid, when you were the new guy in town.  You are still just as fabulous in my eyes as you were when you first arrived on the scene.  But my jaw doesn't like you.  Sadly, the jaw wins (I think I have to name my jaw....maybe not....gotta think about this one).

Adios Heath Bar.  Your buttery goodness lives on in my memories.  But you are deadly for TMJ.  Your perfect unity with coffee ice cream will forever be in my heart.

$100 Grand, I knew ya when you were the $100,000 Bar.  Yes, we go back that far.  There simply are no words.  I'll smile at you as I pass you by.

Charleston Chew, I used to freeze you and whack you on the counter.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  Oh my god, that's funny!!! 

I don't think I can top "I used to whack you".  Seriously.  It's good to end on a funny note anyway.  Hahaha, I used to whack you.  That's so funny!!!  I'm so mature!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Adolescence Autism Style

There are many different dimensions of living in the world of autism.  One of them is observing how my beautiful boy of 12 1/2 is entering the world of adolescence.  I know it's not a smooth transition for any of these boys, but throw autism into the mix and it's a whole different story.  Imagine the confusion of growing up - now multiply it by 100 - and bingo, you've got adolescence, autism style!

One of TJ's weaknesses is a grasp of social appropriateness, or a lack thereof.  In a way it's kind of nice that he is oblivious and not stressed about looking cool all the time.  In another way, it's not kind of nice that he's the nose picker and crotch scratcher and pants hiker upper who acts like no one is watching.  We're working on this, every day.  It's hard for him to remember that there are certain things you don't do in public.  Maybe we'll get there, maybe we won't...who knows.  All I can do is keep reminding him, and hope that his peers don't hold these behaviors against him.

Another of his weaknesses is his language.  He is fully verbal, but he is a quirky talker.  I love it.  Really.  It's one of his gifts to the world, the wonderful things that come out of that kid's mouth. 

This morning, however, I didn't love it so much.

TJ has been fighting a cold.  Coughing during the day.  He was home a couple days last week and is well enough now to go to school.  He is, however, very bummed that he's well enough to go to school.


OK I have to interrupt my writing this cute, funny story.....TJ just called from school, from I don't know where.  He said to me "I quit, and I'm leaving."  Then he hung up.  I immediately called the school back and told the secretary about his call - she's alerting who needs to be alerted and I'm now sitting by the phone, waiting for an update.

Why am I writing about this?  Because this is how my life goes.  From smiling about a cute story that made me laugh, to panic stricken by the phone, waiting to hear that my precious child hasn't left school grounds and gotten lost somewhere in Essex.  I know he will be fine, as the school is wonderful, and TJ called from some populated area as I heard kids in the background.  I'm thinking positively that there is no way he could just walk out unobserved.  But this is what happens to me - this is about as true of a snapshot of my life as you can get.  Laughing to panic.  Happy to worried.  Knowing the phone will ring soon with positive news.

Ring, dammit, ring now.

Not waiting for the ring, calling the school back myself.

Now, thankfully, knowing he has not left the school.  Dissolving into tears.  Waiting now for a call from the special educator for an update on how TJ is doing.  Thanking god or whoever that he is not wandering angrily around town.  My baby is safe.

Now, having just gotten off the phone with the AMAZING special educator who is currently processing with TJ, knowing he is in good hands, I cry.  I cry for the panic that froze me solid.  The fear that this could happen again.  The feeling that sets in when a crisis is over and it's now OK to cry.  The worry for my boy and what he is going through to cause such a crazy morning.  That he still struggles with being mad....he can't just be mad, it takes over his entire being.

I am OK that he is mad at me, and OK that he is dealing with it however he needs to deal with it.

I am OK.  So is he.

Wow - what a turnaround in one post!  Welcome to my life.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My list of excuses for today

Today was SUCH a Monday.  And I don't even have a job, remember???

I haven't been to Zumba in a week and every class hurts, as I am not back up to my 3-4 classes a week routine.  Today I spent some time coming up with excuses as to why I should NOT go to my Zumba class tonight.  I seriously spent some time on it.  Here is my list:

  1. TJ has a cough.  What if he needs me?
  2. My jaw hurts.
  3. I look like an ass in my mouth guard that I  have to wear for 2 weeks because I have a degenerative TMJ thing going on and I can only take it out to eat.  Did I mention this before?
  4. Madame Bovary, my left ovary, was hurting last night.  Maybe she should be coddled?
  5. I rolled my ankle last week - it needs time, precious time.
  6. Sean's on the road - what if my car breaks down or something?  I'm screwed.
  7. What if Peter, my now 11 year old, wants some snuggle time?  I'll miss it.  That would suck.
  8. My knee.  
  9. My other knee.
  10. I'm having a good hair day - Zumba will ruin it.
  11. What if I smell?  Yes, this one was really on the list.  No one needs to smell me - no one.

All perfectly valid excuses, in my opinion.

I went anyway.  And I actually uttered the phrase, "Please pardon my crotch" out loud in class.  That has never happened before.

And hopefully, as I'm sure the other Zumba ladies will agree, I'll never utter it again.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I'm outnumbered.

"C'mon, you hit me in the bazooka!"

"How's your banana?"

"DIE! DIE! DIE!!!"

We are hosting 3 other 10-11 year olds tonight to celebrate Peter's birthday.  They don't talk - they yell.  They yell everything.  At the top of their lungs. 

And they haven't even had their brownie sundaes yet.  I'm in big trouble.  Huge.

My friend has twin girls - their birthday is tomorrow and they are having a girls' sleepover tonight, 1 street away.  In the future, I'm sure we will have to booby-trap all the doors of this house on sleepover night to stop them from invading the girls' party.  The words "panty raid" come to mind, but I'm pretty sure they don't call it that anymore.  Plus, I hate that "p" word.  Not gonna say it if I can help it.

The boys are playing Wii while yelling, laughing, screeching, and making various sound effects that I'm sure the game creators never thought of.  It is during times like these that I think (1) I am so out of my element and Sean clearly has to take the lead on evenings such as this, and (2) don't you agree that if there is a need for late night moderation, that it should be Sean?  While I gently slumber?  I used to have slumber parties as a kid and I'm pretty sure they were NOT as loud as this.  Plus, I was an angel and if there ever was a problem, it was never me.  I'm pretty sure all this is true.

OK - back to boy land.  It's gonna be a long night.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Attention: please change my ads

Since my most recent post was published, the ads that have popped up on my screen are like this:

Cheap Sexy Shoes!

Date Asian Women!

That's when I stopped looking and decided that this post will be directed toward the type of ads I'd like to see on my blog.  Also, if anyone knows how to set Blogger Ads so that skanky ads don't show up anymore, please let me know.  Please forgive my gratuitous posting of the following:

Saks Fifth Avenue
Manolo Blahnik
Oscar de la Renta
Diane Von Furstenberg
Life Is Good!
Raising healthy children
Classic literature
Tretorns (remember those?  I'm pretty sure an ad for them won't come up but what great sneakers they were....sigh.....I miss them.....)
Broadway Show Tunes
Culture culture culture!!!!!

Thank you - that is all.

When did Halloween become trampy?

My dear friend Jennie, from Bogota, was here for one night so of course we were looking up Super Girl costumes on her computer.  Listed under the Super Girl costumes were sheer body stockings.  The girls wearing them were just wearing these body nylons, basically, and nothing else.  What were they dressed up as?  I'm not seeing a costume.  Smoke?  Steam?  Dusk?  I don't get it. Their boobs, by the way, were totally real, I'm sure of it.

Which got me to thinking - when did Halloween become trampy?  And who really wears these costumes?  Besides the college girls who wear kleenex-sized dresses, I mean.  That's a no-brainer.  But are there really "adults" who wear these costumes?  And where do they live?  I've never seen them.  I'm no wallflower - I've been to my share of parties in my time, and I have never ever seen a tramp-filled party.  Maybe I'm going to the wrong parties.  Is there like a secret trampy society out there that I don't know about?  And if so, what do the guys wear?  Socks?  And are those socks sheer too?

I realize I sound a little judgmental - I'm not trying to be.  I'm simply astounded that there is a secret underground tramp body stocking and male peen nylon wearing society out there that I never knew about.  It's bewilderment, really, not judgement.  More power to the tramps and male hos.  Really. 

One more thought though - don't they get cold?

OK - enough about that.  My final thought for today is about Contigo Coffee Travel Mugs.  Thank god for them.  If it weren't for them I would have had to change my top 3 times already today.  I'm not kidding.  3 times.  I got mad balance skills.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Class of '92! At least we wear underwear.

This weekend is my 20th college reunion.  My neighbor and former college roommate, our other college roommate and I all went out last night.  And oh my, the times they have changed!!!

Where to begin?  Well, first of all, the group of guys we were friends with from Freshman year get together every year - they are super tight, and may I say, super nice - it's always such a pleasure to see these guys every 5 years and hang out with them and their fabulous choices of wives.  We went downtown to meet up with all of them at a bar.  Then we went to their old college apartment to hang out.

OK.....maybe I need to back up a bit.

These guys, every 5 years, go to their old downtown apartment to party during reunion weekend.  It's impressive, actually, the way they've worked this out.

I think during earlier reunions they just used to show up at the apartment with a keg and say, "we used to live here, if you let us hang out the beer is on us."  I could be wrong about that, but I'm not sure I am.  Anyway, now, apparently, they write a letter to the current residents ahead of time, asking about hanging out during reunion weekend, introducing themselves, and asking to begin correspondence.  I'm not sure if they always receive a response, but no matter, they just knock on the door during reunion weekend and see if the current residents are ready for all of us.

Now this year, I believe, is the first year that the house is occupied by females.  They were ready for all of us.  Not only were they ready, but they had planned a party.  So when we got there last night, we were allowed to walk up the front steps and enter through the front door.  Current students had to go to the back door, where there was a hired security guard with a list of who could come in and who could not.  I'm not kidding.

Another major difference is the party attire.  We all were casual - jeans, shorts, t-shirts.  They, however, wore dresses.  The girls I mean. 

Here's what I noticed through my 42 year old bias:  the girls, sweet as can be, wore barely any clothing.  The boys, also sweet but not as outwardly sweet, looked like they were 12 and some wore backpacks.  One had a "vintage" t-shirt of a Dead Tour from the 80s.  I went to one of those shows from that tour.  Moment of clarity.

Anyway, back to the attire - the girls wore pretty dresses.  Pretty small dresses.  All of them.  Every different size girl wore a pretty small dress.  The size of a Kleenex.  And I'm assuming none-derwear.

That's all I can say about that.  Other than this:  a bunch of us were hanging outside on the front porch, and those who were not at the party (other neighbors, people walking by...) were really rude.  Yelling at us, "Go home to your kids!" and things like that.  One kid from next door threw a lime at us.  Seriously.  I NEVER would have been this rude when I was their age - what's happened to these kids?  I thought of the best come backs as I was walking to my car with my girls but I'm not going to share them here as I may need them tonight.  We will probably end up at this apartment again.

I think I should send the current residents of this house a thank you basket - filled with underwear, nipple covers, aspirin and eye drops.  It could be sponsored by Commando Underwear!  They really make the best underwear - if you haven't tried it yet you really should.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm a little grumpy - so?!?!

Sean has a late conference call tonight so he came home early. Here's kinda how our short time together went:

Me: "So Sean, this water bottle you put in the sink, do you want me to put it in the dishwasher, are you going to hand wash it...."

Sean: "I was going to hand wash it."

Me: "But there hasn't been time in the past 2 days to do that?"


Sean: "Right."

Soon after this we sat down to dinner.

Sean: "I'm thinking we need to paint down here."

Me: (I've been waiting 3 years for this) "So we need to paint these three walls but not that one."

Sean: "Why not that one?"

Me: "Because it leads right into the office - there's no break. You'd have to paint all the way into there."

Sean: "No, you can just paint a line down where the entrance way ends and the office starts."

Me: "Just a line down the wall?"

Sean: "Yup."

Me: "Nope."

Sean: "Not a straight line?  Just like a stop line?"

Me:  "Nope."


Sean:  "Hey Pete, guess which baseball team is in the playoffs?"

Me:  "The Skankees."  (Sean's favorite team - gag)

Sean:  "Hey Pete, guess who they beat?  The Red Sox!"  (My favorite team)

Me:  "Are you seriously starting this right now?  We are talking about the walls."

Sean: "Well, what color were you thinking?"

Me: "A light tan that goes into the kitchen, replacing all that horrible wallpaper, and a tan and white glass back splash. Then we can get a chocolate brown slipcover for the couch, blue and white pillows, and blue and white curtains."


Sean: "Tan? Really?"

Me: "A very light tan."

Sean:  "All the way into the kitchen?  You don't want to do the kitchen in a different color?"

Me:  "Well, what were you thinking?"

Sean: "I don't know, maybe butter cream?"

Me: "Yellow?!?! No. Next."

Sean: "Mossy green?"

Me: "No. Next."

Sean:  "You can decide whatever color you want, you know."

Me:  "Oh, believe me, I know."

Sean: "Do you need a costume change?"

The water bottle is still in the sink, by the way. I'm not washing it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's all about your costume, baby!

Sean thinks it is endearing and super-cute when I call the clothes that football players wear "costumes".  He tells me they are called "uniforms" but I think we all know the truth.


Let's take those football players for example.  Do they walk around their every day life grunting like animals and body checking people in the grocery store who take the last box of Franken Berry?'s a distinct possibility....but most likely not.  Put them in their tight pants costume, however, and watch their inner animal be released!  It's like instant permission to act a certain way!

I used to act in plays in high school and college (isn't that a shocker???).  There was such a difference from regular rehearsals to dress rehearsals - my true character that I had been working so hard on came out fully in full costume, in a way that it just couldn't before.  And when I used to sing A Capella in college, when I was dressed up for a show, I always sang better.  Always.

See?  Costumes.

Whether you agree with me or not, we all wear costumes every day.  Yes, this is me telling you that I am right about this and if you do not agree you are wrong.  I never do that!  It feels kinda good.  A new beast may be born.  OFF TOPIC ALERT!  I'm back.

When I'm feeling dumpy, I find myself wearing my grubbiest jeans and sweatshirts.  When I was trapped like an animal in bed with diverticulitis, in pain and feeling terribly sorry for myself, I wouldn't even shower every day (see how much of myself I give to you, my faithful readers?  You're welcome.).  I looked on the outside the way I felt on the inside - terrible.

When I'm in those in-between moods where it could clearly go either way, I have complete control over which direction it goes depending on how I dress.  This includes make up.  If I am dressed in things I like and am not at least wearing mascara, I'm not standing as tall as I could be.  If I just can't pull myself out of a funk, is a little more casual and no make up.

Think I'm shallow?  Go ahead.  I'm right, you're wrong.  THIS IS FUN!!!!

Do you know when my crazy shoe obsession started?  Right after TJ was diagnosed with autism.  During the darkest time of my life, I found relief, and an exhilarating sense of joy, when I put on a pretty pair of shoes.  It was that simple, when nothing in my life was simple.  Joy was hard to come by in those days, so I created my own.  My shoe love was born.  Plus, you can gain all the weight in the world and your shoes will still fit.  And you can change moods as quickly as you can change shoes!  It's seriously one of the best things I ever did for my personal psyche. 

So there is all the proof you need - now go try it yourself.  Put a little extra time into your costume, or maybe try a new costume, and see what happens.  I'm going to do that myself.

I always did love a costume change.

BY THE WAY...if anyone from Ann Taylor or Steve Madden is reading this and would like to sponsor my costume changes, I'm very open to that. Or Prada. Or Christian Louboutin. Or....

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Quick Little Dose of Wisdom

I just had a too-quick visit with a friend when I was supposed to be running errands.  This visit, in my opinion, was a much better use of my time for a couple of reasons:  number one, because I love to see my good friends, and number two, we got into a discussion that resulted in a good catch phrase for me to remember when things get tough.

 When the head is over here:

and the heart is over here:

it's time to follow your head.

And I'm talking about your BRAIN, you dirty minded little people.

No matter what the situation is, no matter how much it hurts, if you logically know something isn't good for you, even though you may want it, follow your logic.  Your head will lead you in the right direction and you will do what is best for you in the long run.

That's it for today.  I can't give you too much wisdom or you'll all get spoiled.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Retail to the Rescue!

So this not drinking thing has really sucked lately.  I mean REALLY sucked.  I haven't fallen off the wagon, don't panic, but I thought about it.  In my mind I had planned my perfect wagon leaping drink - champagne.  And of course I would have to do it all by myself because I can't even begin to imagine the look on anyone's face I would dare to cocktail in front of.  See, part of the reason I'm so public about it is accountability - this way I can't sneak one by anyone.  A very clever thought at the time the decision was made, but now it pisses me off.  In a good way.  Does that make sense?

Anyway I'm not going to go into why it's so hard, mostly because I'm still trying to figure that one out.  I will say that it is difficult, even after over a year of success, to be the only girl at the table with a seltzer.  Please keep in mind my friends are great and I'm so lucky to have them, but it's difficult taking this on alone.  Not that I'm alone, but my main sober support lives in RI and I'm struggling locally.  My RI support, we'll call her D.D., is amazing, and I can't thank her enough for helping me through these past few weeks.  OK enough about that.

The reason for writing this is what I did to drag me out of my blue mood today....

I went shopping.

Cliche, I know, but good god it works really well!

I am the most practical shopper ever.  I hate to buy things at full price - I'm a great bargain hunter.  Also, I don't buy anything unless I ABSOLUTELY love it.  That means, when I look in the mirror, it's never a "Mmmmm, maybe...." kind of thing.  If it's not an immediate "LOVE IT" then it goes back.  This is my shopping theory.  Also I have to be able to wear it in at least 3 different ways for it to make the grade.

So I ended up with a new pair of jeans....SKINNY jeans.  Whoever came up with this marketing plan is brilliant.  I could have bought a size 326 and it still would have been labelled "skinny".  Psychological genius.  It worked for me.  And by the way, have I ever mentioned that I am "Joanne Average"?  You know that group of people who most marketing is directed toward, the average sucker in every crowd?  That's me.  Even the impulse buy section at the cash register - I find myself thinking "Oh my god, I totally need that shake weight I saw advertised on TV!  Look, it's right there!  I will do it every day and have amazing Linda Hamilton circa Terminator 2 arms!"  This is when my shopping theory saves my life and Sean's wallet.  Works every time.

Back to my original story - I came home with my new SKINNY jeans, and a cute sparkly top on sale, and some fun size Twix (they were by the register.  No judgement).  Fast forward a few hours when I'm upstairs helping the boys get ready for showers when I decide IT'S FASHION SHOW TIME and I try on my new SKINNY jeans with many outfits.  Right now I'm in outfit #6.  May I just say how cute these SKINNY jeans are with heels?  All sizes?  2 1/2 inch to 6 inch - no problem!  My SKINNY jeans are faboo in every situation!  I think that before I go to bed I will break out at least 6 or 7 more pairs of shoes.

In any case, it is a cliche, but for me, a little shopping saved the day.  A little shopping and a lot of costume changes.  And D.D.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's possible I watch too much TV

Last night Sean went to play poker with the guys. I said, in front of the boys, "Poker? I don't even know her!" Not my best parenting moment, but it was funny, in my humble opinion.

Anyway about 10 minutes after he left I texted him asking if he remembered his house keys. After a while he texted me back "no - leave the back door open for me, OK?"


Doesn't this guy watch Criminal Minds? Doesn't he know that this is the way the show begins, with an unsuspecting fabulous woman filled with trust keeping the back door unlocked for her poker playing husband in any town USA while the innocent but doomed children quietly sleep upstairs? Then a masked - or sometimes unmasked - psychopath comes in the back door and the fabulous woman and her kids are done for. EVERYONE knows this! What was he thinking?!?!

Just so you all understand that I'm not a selfish diva, I said to Sean "not ideal but OK" (I may or may not have added a mad face emoticon so there was no confusion about my true feelings). I unlocked the back door, turned on every light on the first floor, and went upstairs.

Now this was a test for our dog, Sam. He stayed downstairs while I did the cleanse-tone-moisturize routine in a desperate attempt to ward off wrinkles. Then I got in bed and watched anything OTHER than police shows. I was really tired but I knew better than to close my eyes. What am I, stupid?

When I heard a car in the driveway hours later, I was anticipating the mighty bark of Sam the wonder dog as he protected his family from evil intruders.

Never happened. Test failed.

We'll keep him anyway - he's pretty cute. That goes for both Sam AND Sean.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This is a "cute shoes all day" kind of day, for sure

Clearly I'm being tested.

So in January I declared, with all the confidence in the world, that this is going to be "The Year of Lauren".

Never, EVER declare that this is going to be your year.  At least not out loud.  It hasn't exactly worked out the way that I planned.

This morning I was diagnosed with a degenerative jaw right "ball" if you will, of the famous "ball and socket" partnership, is wearing away.  I hold tension in my jaw when I sleep (tension????  what tension???) and this is progressing the ball-wearage.  Yes, I just made up a new word.

There is a device, however, that will help!  Apparently it's made out of gold because it's super expensive and insurance won't cover it.  Time to get creative.  Never fear, we WILL get creative and take care of it.  I may even bedazzle it, like a tooth grill, with the words "SUCK IT" in glittering sparkle for all the world to see.

Now I'm going to watch Intervention, or something equally shocking, so I can remember just how wonderful my life really is.

And it really is.

PS - I am wearing fabulous shoes, all day.  I may even have a costume change.  Take that, stupid degenerative jaw!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shhhh....don't wake the hormones!

So apparently I'm pre-menopausal.

If you think this is an overshare, may I suggest you stop reading right now?  This is not the post for you.

You have been warned.

The beauty of this situation is that while I'm an unpredictable raging crazy lady with random emotional outbursts, both my boys are beginning this lovely journey called puberty.  Peter is almost 11 and TJ is 12.

I described it to Peter as his "hormones are just waking up."  Along the same lines, mine are going to sleep, kicking and screaming.

I tried to describe this to Peter.

Me:  "You know how when it's bedtime, you hate to go to bed?"

Pete:  "Yes..."

Me:  "And you know how at bedtime, you keep calling out, and coming downstairs, and doing whatever you can to just not go to sleep, and you sometimes get angry and upset?"

Pete:  "Yes....."

Me:  "Well if your hormones are just waking up, mine are fighting going to bed, just like you do."


Me:  "Does that make sense?"

Pete:  "Yes."

Me: "What do you think?"

Pete:  "I think we're in trouble."

Me too, Pete.  Well, technically, WE aren't in trouble.  Poor Sean, however, that's another story.

AND, I ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's for lunch today.  Don't judge me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My keen crime-fighting eye has paid off....almost

So I'm in the lobby of the hospital, you know, just sipping my barium, minding my own business, when I hand the barium to Sean so I can use the ladies room. I admit it, times were desperate enough that I used the fully accessible stall because the other was taken. Lo and behold, sitting on top of the tp dispenser (worst tp ever, by the way), was a Baggie containing a tissue and at least 200 small lavender pills. Just sitting there.

My first thought was "do NOT touch the bag and get your fingerprints on it!" See how useful my late night crime show viewing has been? This could have been a very different story if I wasn't obsessed with these shows right now.

As I exited the stall, the woman who checked me in was washing her hands. "There's a full bag of pills in there, FYI" I told her. Then quickly added, "Not mine." just so we were clear. After we expressed our relief that a child didn't get to them first, she took them out and gave them to security.

About 5 minutes later, as I'm sitting there sipping my barium, a woman in too-short shorts spilling out of her tank top ran like a crazy woman into the bathroom. She came out and I (stupidly) said "are you looking for a bag of pills?" Yes, I really said that. I told her that the check in lady gave it to security. Way to deflect responsibility, right? So she ran outside to talk to the security guard. I see her frantically talking, waving her arms around, looking really upset, until a cop car pulls up. Then she leaves in the other direction. They retrace steps to the scene of the crime and I was waiting patiently to be questioned.

Can't lie, I was excited.

But it never happened!!! HUGE BUZZ-KILL!!! The check in lady told the cop that I was the one who found the pills and all I got was a nod of the head.

I was so disappointed.

Maybe next time I'll get called to court - I know JUST how to be a perfect witness.

All tests are fine, btw.  I'm as healthy as a cute horse in fabulous shoes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

In this one I admit that my brain was once slightly immature

Yes I'm still sick with diverticulitis. I don't wanna talk about it.

My little brother started college last week in the next town over. Yes, that's right - I'm 42 and I have not just 1 much younger little brother, but 2.

They are awesome.

My parents divorced when I was in high school and my Dad remarried when I was in college. My sister and I loved her immediately.

Back then, my relationship with my Dad was a bit complicated in my slightly immature brain. So when my sister and I first met K (I don't know if she'd like me using her name or not so I won't) she sat quietly in a chair and didn't talk that much.

At first Susan and I were like "Huh? Is she scared of us? We're fabulous, what's the problem?!?!" We were totally serious. We couldn't imagine why it would be awkward to meet your boyfriend's college-aged kids from his first marriage.

See? Slightly immature brains. They were fabulous brains, but still.

Eventually we all became very comfortable and close with each other, which is good because Dad and K had 2 kids - one when I was 21, and the other when I was almost 24.

I love them like crazy.

Let's call the older one "C" and the younger one "S".

When C was 5 I was visiting during a birthday party. I was standing next to him, his little buddy was standing on his other side, and his buddy's 2 year old sister was next to him.

"Who's that?" buddy said to C.

"That's my sister." said C.

Buddy looked at me, totally stunned. Then he looked at his own sister, then back to me.

Then buddy said, "Your sister is gigantic."

Nice right? I've been called a lot of things - that was my first "gigantic".

Anyway, S is now here which I love, and my boys love, and it's hard for me not to call him everyday and have him over to hang out with us cause we all love him so much but it's his time away at school and I'm not supposed to interfere with it because that would totally suck for him and who wants your 42 year old sister around no matter how fabulous she may be?

My mood has been pretty grim lately with this continued crappy illness but writing this cheered me up.

Score one for me. Not that we're keeping score.

Clearly it's time for me to lie down. And I just said "Ooh Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Makeovers is on - I love this stuff" out loud. Help me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm baaaack!!!!

I've been absent a while - sorry about that.  I got sick again with Diverticulitis - but that's boring to talk about.  Let's not mention that D word again.

Except to say that since the only position I was slightly comfortable in was flat on my back.  This put me in bed for 2 weeks, which gave me lots of time to get obsessed with police shows.  They are on all the time, has anyone noticed this?  I got was like police drama crack.  I was jonesing for more for the half hour that they were not on.

The downside to this is that at night my mind went bananas.  First of all I couldn't sleep because of the pain, so I was up at 1am watching Criminal Minds, which is a really freaky show.  There are some messed up people out there!  Poor Sean in the meantime got really good at falling asleep with pillows over his ears.  I really should take a picture of it.

Anyway, the show would freak me out so much that I would walk around the house and quadruple check that the windows and doors were locked up.  Which is really silly because if I learned anything from these shows it's that if the bad guys really want to get to you they can - doors mean nothing to these hulk like psychopaths.  Have I mentioned before that I was raised in a home where anxiety wafted through the air like oxygen?  No?  Well maybe that explains a thing or two.

One night Sean the superhero saint took the boys on a backyard camp out.  Big tent set up and all.  They boys were thrilled (minus a little drama by my youngest as to whether or not he wanted to sleep in the tent.  First yes, then no, then yes, then no, then yes.  He settled in the tent around 11).  Of course I was alone in the house but stayed awake until about 4 so I could hear any attempted massacre that took place in the backyard.  I had completely prepared myself for the gruesome scenario and how I would defend my family with the mighty dog that is Sam.  In my mind I was invincible and had the power to defeat any Freddy Kruger or Jason that would appear in the night and dare to attack my family. 

Seriously.  This is not healthy.

Finally I fell asleep and decided it may be time to cut back on the police show dramas.  Maybe.

Really, with my overactive imagination, I should only be allowed to watch My Little Pony or something equally fluffy.  Although there are certain horrors associated with these shows too, but I won't get into that now.

So that's me in a nutshell.  And how are you?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Peter and TJ earn coins around here (they are actually poker chips - have I mentioned this before???), and each coin is worth 10 minutes of Wii.  TJ could care less about Wii and uses his for computer time.  Peter, however, is crazy about the Wii and is forever asking how he can earn more coins.

Pete:  "Mom, what can I do to earn coins today?"

Me:  "Well, you can dust, vacuum, and play with the dog.  He needs some attention today."


Pete:  "I'll vacuum.  That's worth the most coins, right?"

Me:  "Yes, but you have to dust before you vacuum."

Pete:  "Why?"

Me:  "Because when you dust, some of the dust falls on the floor.  Then you vacuum it up."

Pete:  "Well I don't want to dust."

Me:  "Well then you have to wait to vacuum until I do the dusting."

Pete:  "Well do it now."

Me:  "Well thank you for your suggestion but I'm reading right now.  I'll do it later."


Pete:  "How long are you going to read?  The whole book?"

Me:  "No, but I just sat down.  I'll read for a little bit and then I'll dust."

longer pause

Pete:  "How long is a little bit?"

Me:  "Pete, I can tell you right now that the more you ask, the longer you'll be waiting."

extra long pause

Pete:  "Dang it, I'll dust.  Where are the single socks?"

I win.  :) 

And that's where I'm at.  Kids need to go back to school....and soon!!!