Archive for Uncategorized

15 Nov 2012

This Is Why You Can Buy This Stuff Pre-Made

17 Comments Uncategorized

Crafts. I am not cut out for it. (Cut-out. It’s a craft pun.) I was not meant to do these things. And G doesn’t even really care if we do them or not.

I grew up in a no-craft zone. There was no felt. There were no pipe cleaners. There was construction paper, but you drew on it. You did not cut out shapes. It’s not like I grew up in a house where fun or messes weren’t allowed. They were. We just weren’t a crafty family. Our craft was word-play. We would try to out-pun one another, or make up funny rhymes, come up with new names for businesses in the neighborhood… Or perfect the craft of sarcasm.

G is growing up in a house like that, too. And I love it. But I keep thinking I should at least TRY to squeeze in some craft time. Some “let’s sit next to each other and glue things on other things and make stuff” time.

Well… I shouldn’t. Here is what happened this morning. I promise I will not exaggerate.

I decided G and I should have an easy morning. I’d bring him to school at 10:00 instead of 9:00 today, so we could have one morning where we weren’t rushing, and we could (say it with me) DO A CRAFT.

I thought this napkin ring craft would be super fun and it looked rather easy. I cut out the templates, got out our felt and the fabric glue I bought two days ago, and brought it all to the kitchen table. I also cut 5 toilet paper rolls in half to make it easier to set the rings of felt once they were glued. G was bored already.

I got to work tracing the templates and he got to work cutting out the long rectangles that make the rings. “Can I be done after this?”, he asked like a kid who knows his mom shouldn’t be doing these things. “No”, I answered like a mom determined to be… better. “If you stop after that, then I’m the only one making these napkin rings. And no one cares about napkin rings that Mommy makes. They all want napkin rings that YOU make!”

Let’s not dissect that, okay? He sighed heavily and continued cutting.

Then I got out the fabric glue. The word “cancer” was mentioned at least three times on the label, which I had neglected to read while in my shopping stupor at Michael’s. I opened windows and decided to glue these rings as quickly as possible. I opened the cap, turned it over to pop open the foil and OH MY GOD THE STENCH!! This stuff smelled like it could kill a 300-pound gorilla with one sniff. I quickly put on the funnel cap that the glue is supposed to come out of and started to squeeze the tube. Nothing came out. The freaking hole on the tip on the funnel wasn’t open. I tried to open with a toothpick but the toothpick bent. So I decided to take the funnel off and get a q-tip to put the glue on with. Holding the glue in one hand and the funnel in the other, I made my way to the bathroom and slid on the LASSO Garrett had left in the middle of the floor. Yes, the lasso. I miraculously held myself from falling and dropping the glue to the ground, but instead I flew into the wicker toy chest and scraped my leg pretty good. It is only by the grace of God that no glue flew at my face or hair or ANYTHING.

Back to the table with the q-tips. The q-tips weren’t working, so I quickly abandoned that idea and let the glue flow directly from the tube. After all ten rings were glued I exclaimed, “SCREW THIS STUFF!” and put all glue paraphernalia in a ziplock bag to throw away. As I began the next step, the glue smell permeated the air. I removed the rings to the table outside and wished them well.

Every kind of cancer runs in my family. If you die in my family, it’s from cancer. Even if you get really old, you don’t die of old age… You wait for the cancer. I’m pretty sure I gave myself some kind of glue cancer today, but hopefully it won’t take me until I’m in my 80’s.

Now it was on to the rest of the cut-outs. I interrupted G’s actual fun and asked him to cut out the yellow turkey bodies. He did. Sort of. I finished them. Then I cut out the waddles and asked G to glue those on WITH REGULAR GLUE THAT SMELLS LIKE NOTHING AND DOESN’T GIVE YOU CANCER. He did. Then I excitedly asked if he wanted to glue on the googly eyes. He said he didn’t. I begged. He said no. I begged more. He said, “Okay, I’ll glue one on each turkey and you do the other one.” I thought that was a great compromise. I ignored the fact that we were both completely miserable.

After careful consideration, I thought the napkin rings were better suited for the outdoors, and that maybe we should turn our turkeys into place cards. I convinced Garrett this was wise, and felt good about it.

Later we’re making napkin rings out of pipe cleaners that I bought not knowing what the hell I was going to do with them. That should be good fun, no?

Remind me not to buy any felt or pipe cleaners for Hannukah or Christmas. Or any day, for that matter. I’m not crafty, and I need to be okay with that.

Here’s what the place-cards will pretty much look like:


And if one of you even tries to encourage me to “keep crafting”, I’ll punch you with a fist template and stab you with a popsicle stick.

07 Nov 2012

Missing Dad

14 Comments Uncategorized

I had a wonderful therapy session today.  I’m dealing with a lot of feelings coming up after my depression and subsequent anxiety. A lot of feelings that need to be talked over and figured out and handled so I can move more freely through my days. I feel better every day. I feel like me again, only better. I’m so grateful to be where I am right now.

So my session today was great and we talked a lot about me being a mom, what that means to me, and what that entails on a daily basis. We talked about how much I love it, how much I love spending time with G, how much he’s growing and how good of a kid he is. We talked about the way we play together, the way he plays with other kids, the stuff he’s learning at home and at school, and how comfortable he seems in his own skin.  I walked out feeling so good about me as a mom, and my husband and I as parents. I felt grateful.

Then, on my drive home, I saw an old man driving. There are certain older men who remind me of my dad in his last year, when he was thinner and frailer than he had been in the past. And this man reminded me of that. And I started to cry. I realized I had mourned so much for the loss I felt of my dad not being able to see G grow up, and my son not being able to ever get to know his amazing Grandpa. But I’ve never mourned the loss of my dad not seeing me as a mom. I am so much the parent I am because of the influence my dad had on me, and I wish he was here to see me pass that on.

I thank God my mom is here to see it, and be so much a part of it. But I wish with all my heart my dad could see. I know he’d be so proud of his grandson. And I know he’d be so proud of his daughter.

25 Oct 2012

I’ve got a second to post!

3 Comments Uncategorized

I’m on day three of a gluten-free diet and I’m all hopped up on energy that I haven’t had in a while so I thought I’d harness some of it and write a quick blog post. Did I mention I’m also on a comma-free diet and I’m refusing to break up sentences to tell you when to pause??

Yeah. Gluten-free. I’ve suspected for YEARS that I’ve had gluten issues but I’ve also always known that pancakes, pies, pastries, and breads were things that I really didn’t want to give up. But it’s all gotten to be just too damn much lately, what with the bloating and the mood swings and the TOTAL EXHAUSTION! So I figured I’d give it a few weeks and see if it helps. If it doesn’t, I’ll go right back to eating everything I love. If it does, I will cheat my ass off on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the parties associated with these holidays. But I’ll live the rest of my live without gluten, which I will apparently stop craving in one month.

Did I mention I’m in a GREAT MOOD?? And I’m not even being sarcastic!

New topic:

Tonight I’m going on my zillionth school tour/open house/parent’s night. If I was getting paid for this, I’d be buying myself some new jeans, a new couch, and a new car. That’s if I was getting minimum wage.

This has been non-stop. But I do think we have finally decided to go to public school and nix all private tours from here on in.  I actually toured a public magnet school last week where a woman got up to speak and was so inspiring I almost punched the air. She was the head of the parent volunteer association at her school, (PVA? or is it just the PTA? Or PTO? WTF?), and she made it clear that it was the PARENTS who make the school what it is.

I already plan on being very, very involved wherever G-Man goes, so why not save the GAZILLION dollars it costs for private school, send G to a GREAT public school, and make it even GREATER?????

But seriously, the tours are non-stop and I have about 10 or 12 to go to after tonight. The point is to try to lottery into the best public school possible, but have several fall-backs as well. And I’m finding out my home school might be way better than I thought!!

Okay, I have to go pack a few things for G for tonight, as he’ll be with Grandma while I’m touring a school and Russ works late so we can pay the mortgage. I mean, someone has to work if my job is touring schools. Why do I feel like I’ve typed that sentence before?


09 Oct 2012

The Abbreviated Version

7 Comments Uncategorized

I sat down for an hour yesterday and wrote about all the reasons I’ve been “off line” for three months. I worried about posting it. I just read it back and I can’t stand how I sound.

Short and sweet:  Bout of depression (first ever in my life), Bout of severe anxiety once I came out of my depression (first ever that I can remember), mid-life crisis, paralyzing decisions about my future, terrifying decisions about G’s future (that I know I am putting FAR too much importance on, but can not help fretting about), etc.

I am fighting my way out of this. I am completely aware of all of the beauty and joy in my life. I am enjoying my son more than ever. I am trying to figure it out. I am trying to find myself again, but I think I’ve been looking for the wrong me. I think there’s a new me in her place and I need to learn her language.

I have been useless at my keyboard, so I stopped trying for a while. It’s more important for me to be useful in my life, and then I believe the rest will follow.

I’ve missed this. But more than that, I missed me.

And that is about 1100 words less than the post I wrote yesterday. I just saved you a whole lot of time.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you soon.

07 Jul 2012

The Cheesecake Incident

4 Comments Uncategorized

Years ago, I think I was twenty one, I was on a couples date with my then boyfriend, my good friend, and his model/actress/gorgeous/perfect girlfriend.

We were playing “adults”. My boyfriend and I cooked dinner, served wine (or beer, or some other kind of alcohol), probably laid out some cheese and crackers, and spent the evening eating and laughing at his apartment. It was enjoyable, and felt very grown-up.

It was the friends’ responsibility to bring dessert. Let’s call these friends Joe and Sally. So, when it came time for dessert, we found out that Sally made a tofu cheesecake. Tofu cheesecake. Remember, this was around 1993, and tofu-anything was not incredibly enticing. Not to mention, we were YOUNG and wanted super fattening, bad-for-you desserts. Not tofu cheesecake.

I had an open mind, however, and took the plastic wrap off the cheesecake with great optimism. I passed out pieces, and served coffee. My boyfriend and Joe went out to the patio and Sally and I stayed inside to eat our dessert, as I remember it. I took two bites and exclaimed, “This is pretty terrible!”

Okay, this is where I make a couple excuses for myself. One: I grew up in a family where honesty is valued to the highest degree, and if someone doesn’t like something you do, they tell you. Sure, it stings, but you’re better for it at the end. And you avoid future mistakes. (I don’t completely subscribe to this theory now, but I guess it gave me a thick skin.) Two: I thought we were the kind of friends that say something like, “this is pretty terrible” and everyone laughs heartily and agrees. I think I pictured her saying, “You’re right! Let’s go get donuts and bring them back to the boys!”

That didn’t happen. What actually happened was she cried, told Joe, and they left. I felt bad but I also felt angry. “COME ON! She knows it was terrible! Jesus! We get it! You’re beautiful and sweet and you’re in 100 commercials. Get over yourself!’ Those were the things I blurted out when she left. I think I remember my boyfriend saying I hadn’t done anything wrong, but maybe he was mad at me.

That incident made it difficult to ever play “adult” with that couple again. She thought I was mean and I thought she was clueless and overly sensitive.

I ran into Sally at an audition last week. I’ve probably run into her about 10 times over the last 15 years. She’s still beautiful, still in 100 commercials, and the mother of two kids. Last week we talked about schools for about 15 minutes and laughed and hugged when she was leaving. She is lovely. And I am different now. There is no doubt in my mind that, back then, I was threatened by her beauty and success. I may have not liked the cheesecake if it was served to me now, but I’d say something like… “This is good, but it’s a bit odd or something, right? Or is it just that I’m not used to it? I’ll keep eating and see!”

I look at that night as a snapshot of the woman I was in my twenties. No, the girl. I truly didn’t like myself and I certainly didn’t like other girls. And I really, really didn’t like other girls who were prettier, smarter, funnier, or better than me. I’m sure there was a part of me trying to hurt her, knowing she wasn’t the kind of girl who would laugh and agree with me. Now? I have so many friends who are “better” than me. They make ME better. They are my inspiration, and I am so grateful for them.

I’m also grateful for growing up, loving myself a little more, learning important lessons… And loving tofu. Although, I’d still prefer apple pie or brownies.

27 Jun 2012

Instincts 101

8 Comments Uncategorized

You know what’s really freaking cool about being a mom? When you listen to your instincts, you trust them, you follow them, you don’t change your mind… And you reap the rewards.

We have not stopped moving since G’s last day of school a week ago. It’s been constant playing and going and doing and swimming, and my little boy was exhausted today. I could see it in his adorable face this morning. As much as he seemed ready to tackle the day, his eyes betrayed him and he looked beat.

I decided that, unless he napped, we wouldn’t go out today. Today would be a day for relaxing, watching TV, and maybe playing a bit outside. But we would not venture out, not even for the previously planned dinner and play-date with friends.

So, around 11:00 AM I took him back to his room and gave him the full report: “If you can’t nap for a little bit, we’re not going anywhere today. Not as a punishment, but because I think you’re too tired.” His response? “Mom, I’m really tired. But I’m not tired enough to nap!” He has said these words before, just prior to slipping into such a deep sleep that I was unable to wake him up without screaming his name two hours later.

I told him to just try. He wouldn’t. Fifteen minutes later, we emerged from his room and I canceled plans with no argument from Garrett. Once you explain something to this kid, he seems to totally get it. The rest of the day went swimmingly. We took it easy, had a lovely dinner, and even started a new cleaning project that was a huge success. We read two books, got his teeth brushed, and he was sounds asleep by 7:30… Something that hasn’t happened in AGES!

So, I was right to listen to myself. There was a moment around 4:00 that I wanted to try to get our plans back, just because I was a bit stir-crazy and felt sort of bad. But I fought that feeling and continued with the plan. I think the rest of this week will be better for the time out we took today. And I do love those moments when we listen to ourselves and take care of our families. I think it’s quintessential mom-ness. And it lets me know to listen to that little voice in much more dire situations. Today was like a test-run of the alarm system. It seems to be working fine.

What does “quintessential mom-ness” mean to you?

25 Jun 2012

M to the U to the U times two

10 Comments Uncategorized

I have recently come to the conclusion that I don’t hate my body. I do, however, hate my body in clothes. Think about it. Without jeans, do you have a muffin top? Without a bra, do you have armpit fat? Without a waistband, does your stomach have anything to hang over? Without underwear, does anything cut into your butt? (Which is why, by the way, I still usually opt for a thong. I know. TMI.)

You see what I’m getting at though, right? It’s the CLOTHING’S fault! Clothes, especially today’s styles, are the enemy. So, I’m proposing we all either walk around naked, or we all start wearing muumuus.

We can modernize it. We can make it stylish. We can dress it up or dress it down. It’s the perfect article of clothing. No clinging, no cutting-in, no waistbands. It shows just enough of your arms and your neck. It highlights just enough of your legs. You can wear it with flip-flops or Uggs. Heck, throw on a pair of running shoes and jog in it!

I’m proposing we bring back the muumuu. I don’t know one woman who wouldn’t benefit. And, I’ll make sure it comes with pockets so you don’t have to tuck your tissues in the sleeve like your grandma did.

Let’s make it happen, ladies. Let’s love ourselves again. I mean, we look pretty hot naked. Let’s no longer let our clothing make us feel differently.

Muumuus, bitches. Muumuus.

27 Mar 2012

Catching You Up

8 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

I want to always remember the phase my son is in right now.

He is Mama’s Boy. Period. He wants me around all the time. He holds my hand, he KISSES my hand, he tells me I’m beautiful and the best and that he loves me more than the world. He talks endlessly about everything. Yesterday he told me he wanted to build jetpacks for all of us so we could get places easier. He wants them to shoot out fire and to have wings that help us turn. And he wants to be able to land easily.

He was hoping the jetpacks could take us up to Heaven, too. Then he told me he was always going to keep a little treasure in his pocket so that when he’s 100 years old and goes to Heaven, he can share it with our cat, Sonny.

I can’t believe how fast he’s growing and how any minute now he’ll be too big for me to pick up and hold. I want to turn my office into a play room as quickly as possible so he has time to use it before he outgrows it.

I’ve been up nights thinking about next year and Transitional Kindergarten. We had finally made a decision about where he was going to go, then changed our minds. I think we’re actually keeping him where he is, along with several other parents in the same predicament. The school is planning on coming up with a special curriculum for the kids who are returning and a few new five-year-olds who will be joining the class.

Yesterday I walked into Russ’ office in a panic that we had made the wrong choice and that G wouldn’t be getting the Kindergarten prep he needs. “Kindergarten PREP? Lisa, I was home every day before I went to Kindergarten. No preschool, no TK… Just Kindergarten. Our nieces and nephew in Oregon went from day care to Kinder. No “prep”. Garrett is smart and we teach him everything he needs to know right here at home. Let him have one last year of FUN! And I promise he’ll be prepared for Kindergarten. He’s already starting to READ! He’s FINE!” I left his office feeling much better. Thank God I married this man.

G’s taking karate now. It’s the first thing that he has chosen for himself, is pursuing, and has great passion for. Russ and I watch him in awe. He’s only taken three classes but you can already see his love for it. And he’s GOOD.  He’s respectful and coordinated and strong. I can see how it’s going to give him increased confidence and focus. I’m so excited.

I’m still Queen of the Play Date. I think I’m daily trying to make up for the fact that G doesn’t have any siblings. I hope he makes lifelong friends that become his brothers and sisters. I hope when they’re older, they come to dinner a lot and sleep over and call me “Mrs. A” or “Mom”.

I just finished shooting a new pilot for Style. Matt Iseman and I pitched it to the network a year and a half ago, they “bought” it a month later, we negotiated for six months, it got changed a lot, we gained and lost an executive producer, we got another executive producer, it got changed some more, and we finally shot it last week.

That’s what this business is all about: Hurry up and wait. And now after all that time, we have to wait another six months to see if it’s something the network wants to put on the air.

I was very worried leading up to the week of shooting. Of course I was. Worrying is what I do best. I was afraid I wouldn’t be good on camera, thin enough for my wardrobe, or able to sustain the long days. I was terrified I wouldn’t see G-Man before he went to sleep, and that he’d be upset I was gone. But it all worked out alright. I only got home late one of the nights, and Russ and he came to see me on that day. I managed to do well on camera, fit into my clothes, and pretty much stay awake while shooting. And I do enjoy being around a crew, talking like a sailor, and laughing my ass off.

I always forget how much I love to work. I love the job, the people I meet, and getting out of my normal routine for a bit. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I love my routine though. I love taking G to school and picking him up. I love cooking dinner for my family. I love all of that. But I’m truly glad to know I still really enjoy the other side of me, too. I think that’s important to know.

Now, if I could just come up with a show about me and my family, so I could work and still spend all my time at home. The only downside is, I’d have to stop having such a filthy mouth on set. Maybe I’m better off keeping the two worlds separate. Yeah, I’ll keep it that way for now.

07 Mar 2012

Susan Whitfield

1 Comment Uncategorized

I don’t have a post today (or so far this month), but please enjoy this American Idol review by this girl I know, Susan Whitfield.

She’s pretty sad and lonely, but she loves that damn show.

28 Feb 2012

Ready to get my Ass Kicked

12 Comments Health, Uncategorized

You may or may not know that I used to be a gym rat. As a matter of fact, I’ve been through several phases of rodent-like gym behavior in my 40 years on this planet. I have always enjoyed exercise (once I get my ass off the couch), and I do feel better about myself when at least one part of my body is “ripped” or “cut” or “toned”.

Over the last several years, however, it has gotten more difficult to find the time, and more importantly the motivation, to work out.  (I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the adorable blond boy who lives in my house.) Consequently, everything has gotten a little softer, a little less defined, and a lot less flexible. Not to mention, I feel bad that I’m not using my healthy body to it’s full extent. I’m not conditioning my heart, keeping my core strong, or lifting weights to stave off bone loss and osteoporosis.

Not feeling fit has been a blow to my self-esteem of late, and it’s also left me with a lot of pent-up energy and a general tiredness, that I know comes from a lack of moving my body.

Well, this weekend it all came to a head. I found myself with knee pain when getting up from the couch, along with zombie-like behavior throughout the day. Sleep was the only thing that sounded reasonable to me, and my jeans were making deep impressions in my stomach. I immediately got on line to look for a boxing class in my area. Boxing has always been attractive to me, as a sport. I like the thought of punching things, I like when my arms get toned, and I need to work off some stress.

I found a place that was very highly-rated on Yelp and I called. I was all set for a free beginner’s class Monday night at 6PM. Good to go.

When I got to the gym last night, in a very industrial part of town, five miles from my home… I was scared. From the street I could see an open warehouse/gym filled with people lifting heavy weights and grunting. I parked my car and walked toward the grunts, finding myself inside and talking to a lovely female trainer. She told me to fill out some paperwork and coach Bill (that’s what I’ll call him) would be with me shortly.

As I wrote my name, address, and general aches and pains down on this yellow piece of paper, I looked around at the people working out and started feeling a little yellow myself. What am I doing here? Why are those people walking on their hands? What is this place? Why is no one boxing? How did I get to be 40? Am I too old to work out like this?

“Are you Lisa”, Coach Bill asked. I told him I was. Bill looks like Bob Harper, in that he’s compact, completely shredded, handsome, and terrifying. “Why are you here”, he asked. I told him I was just wondering the same thing. I told him I was sick of being out of shape, that I used to be very in shape, and that I was hoping to get back to that. Then I told him this place didn’t look like the place for me and I should probably find somewhere that made more sense. He told me this was a Crossfit gym, and that people do things here they don’t do anywhere else. He told me it was the best workout possible and that I’d probably get nauseated my first couple workouts, but no to push myself too hard the first time out. I told him I was probably going to leave. Then he started the class and I was still there.

We began with leg lifts intertwined with crab walks, bear walks, duck walks, and dolly walks. All things foreign to me. Then we scaled walls. Something I’ve never done in my life, as I’ve never had to run from anything, nor have I needed to make a quick getaway after stealing anything. Then we did 200 meter runs followed by squat lifts and push-ups. That’s when I got nauseous.

I did every leg lift asked of me, and every type of walk except for the dolly walk, (as this requires arm strength that had all but left me at this point). I scaled the wall four times. This was an incredible achievement for me. I ran 800 meters, (actually, I walked a lot of it), did 30 or so squat lifts (of a pvc pipe, as I felt anything else would be too heavy), and 40 push ups. 40!

The support was incredible. Everyone knew I was new, so they cheered me on, patted me on the back, and showed me the right way to lift. At the end of it, I felt amazing. Proud. Like myself. Now I have to decide if I want to go back and continue, or find something a bit closer and more convenient where I’d probably have to push myself to get the same kind of workout. A workout, by the way, completely reminiscent of Bob’s on The Biggest Loser!! I think this must be his main type of training. And I found some things on line last night to back that up.

Long story short, I think I’m back. I don’t know how I’ll find the time to workout several days a week, but last night confirmed that I have to. I HAVE TO. I’m excited to feel strong again. It might take a while, but that’s okay. It took me a while to get to where I am now, and it can only get better.

Side note: I was not sore when I woke up this morning. Now, at noon… EVERYTHING HURTS. Ouch.