Friday, January 25, 2013


I just saw an Olay Regenerist ad that asked "How do you WOW?"

I have given it some thought, and here are some of the ways I WOW:

  • I shower (you're welcome)
  • I usually put on eye makeup, as I look terribly washed out without it IMHO
  • Deodorant
  • I have been known to randomly pounce a standing Sean, a la Calvin and Hobbes. True story.
  • I don't do it often, so when I do take the garbage out it definitely gets a WOW
  • I speak in random accents at random times
  • The shoe thing, obviously
  • On occasion, I don't let the laundry pile up. Huge WOW factor.
  • Oscar night costume changes
  • I told the boys that I would make them give me a booty shake when they ask for things until they are 18 years old. That got me a WOW, as well as some dirty looks
  • I took my 11 year old to see Les Mis, and after the "Master of the House" scene he leaned over and  asked me "Is that 'humping'?"

I think that last one is a good one to end on. Great parenting gets a WOW every time.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dear Hot Mama O Rama is born!!!

I saw that the original Dear Abby has passed away at 94 - RIP.

I could TOTALLY do that job.

How hard could it be, really?  I mean, I dish out advice all the time, if not out loud then in my head to myself whenever I see a situation that needs my help.  And there are a LOT of situations that need my help, trust me.  I could finally be on to something here.

Let's give it a try with some sample questions:

Dear Hot Mama O Rama, I'm a stay-at-home mom with 2 young kids and the housework is really piling up!  How can I do it all?  Sincerely, Busy

Dear Busy, there is NO WAY you can do it all with 2 young kids!  Are your 2 young kids breathing at the end of every day?  If yes, then congratulations - you are doing enough.  The rest will fall into place in time.  Try not to lose your mind.

See how good I am at this???  I should have thought of this a long time ago.

Let's try another one:

Dear Hot Mama O Rama, I feel frumpy.  What can I do to perk up my style without spending a lot of money?  Sincerely, Frumpy

Dear Frumpy, SHOES!  You don't need the expensive ones, just ones that make you feel fabulous.  Take a risk and try a pair you've always wanted to try.  And no matter what your weight, your shoes will always fit.  Have fun.  


So who's hiring for this gig?  Sign me up!  And feel free to send me questions of your own - I am LOVING this!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sober Sisters

Last year was a rough one for me. It sucked, quite frankly.

One of the most difficult parts of the year was learning how to be a non-drinker in a drinking world. I am a minority. I never realized how much of a minority until I was there. And one of the unwritten rules of being a non-drinker, in my mind anyway, is that you have to be an OK strong non-drinker so that no one around you feels uncomfortable. Even when you're not OK with it. It's a very isolating thing.

Now to give credit to some of my wonderful friends, who I am truly blessed to have in my life, some went out of their way to make sure I was OK, and let me lean on them when I wasn't. In case you don't know, you wonderful friends of mine, your friendship and actions have meant the world to me. I would not have been successful without you. You know who you are.

But a surprise gift I have received along the way was a connection to two amazing women from my childhood school who reached out to me and shared their own journeys of sobriety with me. I am calling these Rock Stars my Sober Sisters. Their guidance, support and advice has been invaluable. While many of my friends are so well meaning, they can't relate to my experience the same way as someone who is going through the same thing. These fabulous Sober Sisters have been there through my struggles, frustrations, milestones and successes, sharing their own along the way. They are my inspiration.

And they didn't have to reach out to me; they chose to. They took time out of their days for me. And perhaps because I have known these girls since my young days, I feel like they get me - they know where I have come from.

So thank you, my Sober Sisters! I hope you know how much you continue to mean to me, and I hope you know that you can lean on me too - anytime. Day or night.

Here's to our continued successes! LOVE to you girls!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We all have autism

Things are changing here in Vermont and I had a meeting last week to get a case manager with the organization that will help us with services for TJ.  We were talking about his autism diagnosis and the re-definition of autism, and if he still is classified as having autism.

I said to the Intake Coordinator, "Oh yes, we still have autism."

It struck me how true that statement is - we all have autism.  My entire family.  It effects every one of us, in different ways, at different times.

My sweet Peter struggles with it the most, I think.  It's hard to have an older brother with autism, especially as they both get older and he can clearly see the differences between his brother and typically developing 12-13 year olds.  And when you're 11, and being cool is everything, you don't really know what to do with it.  We see it every day in him, in how he behaves, in how he reacts to us and to TJ.  Sometimes he wants to talk about it, sometimes he doesn't.  I just have to trust that he will find his way, with our help.

I hope I hope I hope I help him enough. 

Sean and I have autism, daily.  In dealing with both of our boys.  In everything they do, and in everything we do.

Our parents have autism, even if we don't hear about it.  I know it is often on their minds, hoping for his success, worrying about his future.

My nieces and nephews are beginning to notice that TJ is different from other kids.  They have autism, too.  They love TJ, and I'm really happy when they ask about his differences.  They are wide open and so not judgemental...their curiosity is pure and innocent.  This is how I wish everyone acted around him - knowing that autism or not, he's still TJ.

To their credit, most people who know us are wonderful around TJ.  Being close to us means our friends have autism, too.  Every now and then, however, I see the way some kids look at him, like he's some weirdo, and it kills me.  TJ could care less - if he does notice he does not care.  I'm trying to take his lead and follow suit, but it's the hardest part of being a Mom I've ever experienced.  It stabs at my heart.

I suppose in a lot of ways we are very lucky to have autism.  It expands our minds and our hearts, and opens up a part of the world we would otherwise never know about.  It has brought some amazing people into our lives.  It has bonded us as a family in such a powerful way.  Sometimes I find myself wanting to say "I didn't sign up for this!!!", but that's just stupid.  You never, ever, know what's going to happen, and there are no guarantees.  Like I tell my kids, "You get what you get and you don't get upset."

Well, it's ok to get upset sometimes.  But that doesn't change the fact that we all have autism, every day, and it's not going away.

And we are better for it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Few Things...

  1. My hands look like my grandmother's. Not in the "how lovely, we have the same hands" way but the "holy crap my hands look old and wrinkly" way. I don't think there is enough lotion in the world to repair this.
  2. Hair removal is an issue. I think I'm becoming obsessed with it. I had a dream last night that I had a full mustache and beard. I tried some cream hair remover and burned the hell out of my lip. It's not a good look.
  3. My dog thinks he's a cat. He's not. He's an 80 pound lab. That doesn't stop him from lying on me and batting me with his paw. He also talks, like Chewbacca.
  4. I have lost patience with the Real Housewives series - the girls act so badly and are horrible to each other. Is this a sign of age or a sign or wisdom? Or both? We may never know. PS - just because I've lost patience with it doesn't mean I can stop watching it. There's something wrong with me.
  5. My husband's incredible sense of humor came pouring out like a geyser on New Year's Eve and it was a cross between hysterical and mortifying. There was a label maker involved. That's all I'm going to say about that.
  6. I hate my hair.
  7. TJ said "I love you" to me tonight without me saying it first. For the first time ever. He's 12. I cried like a baby and I'll never forget it. I didn't even realize it had never happened before until it happened. True story.
  8. I'm thinking of putting on fabulously dramatic make up one day next week and walking around all day with it on, just to see how people look at me. I think I need a project.