Friday I’m in LOVE


I took all of last week off because we went to Ohio, Zach’s nana had hip replacement surgery and his papa ended up in the hospital and it was just a giant ball of relaxation around those parts. My Mother in law has been there for a month taking care of them and so we headed on over in the van armed with a dvd player and more goldfish crackers than there are actual goldfish in the world.

While we were there I had the chance to shoot my new little cousin Finley’s 3 month photos! (Yes, we now have a Huck and Fin and someday theme photos will be taken) I also got to do a little photo shoot with her big sisters Kaylin and Lauren. It was a blast and I continue to learn every time I do a shoot.








This week I fell madly in love with a whatchamacalit cyclone from FLUBS. This will be a definite when we go back for Thanksgiving. IN the meantime I have eaten two Whatchamacallit bars since then. Obviously.

This site made me laugh because I am indeed a fashion blog stalker. How I adore watching these women in their  5 inch heels jauntily skipping across the street carelessly swinging their Celine bag. Because my life is JUST LIKE THAT. Except heels=flats and I am not so much jauntily skipping across the street as I am haphazardly racing after a toddler screaming not in the street!  

My new obsession with Pretty Little Liars continues. As soon as the Boss passes out I am on Netflix faster than you can say what the hell is going on!? I am only on season two, so don’t tell me…but holy crap. Also? Those teen age girls are way wild. I was very boring in comparisson.  Are you watching this? Because it is damn good fun.

I don’t love this, but it’s terrifying and good to know. Before you head to the beach, read it.

I have a new hair dye love. I know…but hear me out! I am not going to dye my hair whore yellow again. I may or may not have some greys, and depending on whether you have some greys may I reccommend the lovely new cheap-o hair dye by Vidal Sassoon? Because it is the BEST. It actually covers the greys and has such a nice color! I’m playing it safe from here on out. Plus there is always a coupon so it ends up being like $5.99. The End.

And last but not least the LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER VIDEOS are up!! YAY! (i do hope you’re picturing me doing my very best Kermit the Frog impression there) I am extremely proud of this years show, and as I work my way through the other cities I am so proud to be involved and believe even more in women’s voices being raised up. Here’s my piece on Postpartum Anxiety.

This weekend I am going to take Boss on a little date. I think maybe a movie and some fro-yo. We need some Mommy-Max time. And Sunday? I’ll be at the pool. All day. All the livelong day. Have a wonderful weekend!

Mad Mom: Beyond Thunderdome.


I lost my shit yesterday at Target. I mean, completely lost it. I’m not proud, and I may switch Targets because when I say I lost it what I really mean is I spanked Boss. I’ve been a in a spiraling K-hole of shame and dispair ever since.

I’ve never spanked my child before. I don’t believe in spanking. My mother spanked me once when I was about Boss’ age and then she took me shopping. I understand both impulses now. Once when I was about 15 she told me she was going to shove my head into a wall. I have conveniently forgotten to remember what I did to cause such a statement from a woman who has never and would never do such a thing but I can guarantee you one thing: she would have been totally justified if she had actually carried through with that threat.

Leading up to the point where I lost my shit was 10 consecutive hours of arguing with my child. Do not climb on the chair and jump off the balcony said I. So he did. Do not spit on me, said I. He did. Do NOT spit on your brother, said I. He did. It wasn’t just willing disobedience, it was endangering himself which is not his usual modus operandi. I tried everything. Usually his currency is his toys. I can usually say “Leonardo going away in 1,2…” and before I get to two the behavior has stopped. At the worst, a time out will work. Time outs usually mean he is tired and needs a break. I don’t even mind a little disobedience. He is nearly five and testing his boundaries on all fronts. But when it comes down to safety or destroying things and injuring others….no. Just no.

I tried everything. He has been working to earn the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (How I miss the days of Smurfette now). Raphael costs $20 so he needs to earn 20 points. First thing, he lost his points. Then Michelangelo was gone. Then Donatello and finally our leader in blue Leonardo. All gone. It did nothing . One time out, then two, then three. Nothing. Huckleberry went down for a nap and I thought perhaps a tv show and some snuggles would work. Sometimes it’s just a cry for attention, and we had been gone in Ohio where Huck became super needy so I hardly saw Boss at all. Nothing doing. He jumped on me, kicked me, threw things at the computer, threatened to smash my camera.

Who was this boy? All I could think was if he rested for ten minutes I could regroup and he could relax.

It was my fault. I KNEW I shouldn’t have taken them out. But having just gotten back from Ohio we had nothing in the house; specifically cereal and milk and the five other things my children will eat. This includes green beans, so I don’t feel too horrible. He promised to be good. I told him maybe he could earn a point or two back towards Raphael and he seemed to like this idea. Oh, if only it had worked. I got everything as quickly as I could while he screamed and tossed a giant ball down every aisle. I employed all my tricks. Nothing worked. He took off like a shot for the jewelry section and began messing with the necklaces. I told him to stop. Again and again. I redirected behavior. I removed him from the situation, we headed to check out and LEAVE. He went back and I could see myself buying 30 $16 necklaces because he broke them all.  That’s when I lost my shit. I grabbed his arm in that way that only moms can and I smacked his booty. Having been trained in stage combat and never in real combat I smacked the only way I knew how, a good old stage smack. This means my hand was cupped so it makes a loud sound when the air is pushed out at the time of impact so it doesn’t really hurt. But it’s LOUD. And to the elderly couple near us it must have sounded like I hit him with a big old piece of wood. WHACK.

The sound stopped him more than the hit and he looked at me shocked – and this is what killed my soul – betrayed. His face reddened and tears sprang as he howled “Mommy, you hitted my bottom!” I knelt down and cuddled him in my arms and we had a Come to Jesus talk about listening. I told him I never, ever wanted to do that again. That I never ever wanted to do that in the first place. I resisted the urge to buy the entire toy department. This is where we were and I had to stick to it. Within a minute he said it didn’t hurt and we hugged tightly, both of us teary eyed. We came home and he ate a good dinner saying “this was perfect mommy, thank you.” then I drew a new graph for Raphael and he earned two points for clearing the table and we went to bed. We cuddled up for bed and he settled down, I kissed his cheek and he laughed that musical giggle. That tickled he whispered. I whispered back we had a bad day today, but tomorrow will be better. Even when you misbehave, when you have time outs, I love you. I always love you. Nothing will ever change that.

I love his drawing of Raphael!

I love his drawing of Raphael!

His eyelashes fluttered and he fell asleep with a little smile.  But I lay awake. Today he has forgotten all about it, he is all smiles and cuddles, but I will never forget that on July 10th 2013 my hand touched my child with something other than love.  I’m not over it.

Just me and Channing…and four hundred others at the White House Down premier

For weeks my husband has been saying how much he wants to see White House Down and for weeks I thought, seriously dude, you’re on your own. Mama doesn’t get out much and if he thought I was going to waste date night on watching the White House get blown up he was mistaken. Then I got the invite from The Moms that made my husband’s day. I quickly sent him a text asking if he would like to attend the premier of the movie and see Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. The answer was an emphatic hell yeah.

I blogged last year about how I just didn’t get the whole Magic Mike thing my sensibilities being more offended by the horrible furniture than the stripping. I’ve nothing at all against stripping but strip clubs just ain’t my thing. It’s kind of a fact that Mr. Tatum’s personage is indeed a fine specimen of male physicality. This made it much easier to go see White House Down. At the very least an hour and a half of man candy, right? Plus it was a ‘mom’ blogger event and that meant that several women who I adore would be attending so happy husband + happy wife means I can drag him to a chick flick and he can’t complain.

Hey! what moron forgot her camera? Oh yeah...

Hey! what moron forgot her camera? Oh yeah…

The nitty gritty: Channing Tatum- humble, shy, adorable. Jamie Foxx: obviously one of the most talented people on the planet. Maggie Gyllenhal brought down the house when she acknowledged the moms and said she nursed her newborn in her trailer on the set. As if we didn’t love her before!

Here’s the thing, and I can’t believe I am going to write this; I loved the movie. It was a good old time, along the lines of Die Hard. It was action packed, with great (if occasionally over-acted) villains, and best of all it was funny; complete with D.C. insider jokes. The girl who plays Channing’s daughter is a stand out and the audience collectively screamed at the irresponsible way the press in the film handled a certain thing…I won’t give it away. And both Zach and I agreed it’s the best White House set we have seen. It was creepily like being there. It’s the classic formulaic action movie and it works. So if your man suggests seeing White House Down this weekend, go for it. It was fun, it was funny and Channing Tatum runs around saving the day in a tank top.

photo credit Sony Pictures

photo credit Sony Pictures

White House Down opens today and it is, indeed, a good time.

the taste of childhood

When I was young we would spend summers with my grandparents in Galveston, Texas. It was a goldmine of treasures in the closets and being spoiled shopping with grandma and a minefield of family secrets and old wounds. My memories of these early times in Texas are diametrically opposed. The gorgeous old mansions, getting my hair and nails done and loving being with my family then suddenly the comments, the tears, the feelings of shame. Perhaps it seems silly to then remember the candy of a chain restaurant as such a part of it all. No matter what part of the trip we were in, the good or the bad, we could always count on dinner at Monterey House. The Mexican food was good and cheap and in the bottom of the chip basket was this candy. Oh, the candy! You could buy pralines at the counter, but not THE CANDY which was some sort of brown sugar praline like thing but better. Then, Monterey House shuttered it’s doors and disapearred taking that delicious candy with it. I’ve searched high and low for it, checking every Mexican Market I encountered in Los Angeles but to no avail. Last week it occurred to me that others might miss such a childhood delight. And I was right! There are message boards and recipes galore all trying to recreate this candy. I took two recipes, smooshed em together and gave it a shot. Despite feeling this was an utter failure they turned out perfectly. Exactly the way I remembered. Judging by how my husband and father in law scarfed it, they thought it tasted dang good as well.

candyboil (1)

Milk, butter, sugar…smells heavenly.


It’s easy. It’s sugary. It’s so good. Here ya go, (Mom) here is the recipe!

5 1/2 cup sugar

2 cans (12 oz) evaporated milk

5 1/2 teaspoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup packed brown sugar.

directions: Mix the milk, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it boils add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Reduce heat to medium stirring occasionally until it reaches the ‘soft ball’ stage. Remove from heat and stir until it thickens. Pour into candy molds or if you are lazy like me dump it into a brownie pan. I actually used a cookie sheet this last time to make them thinner. Hence less guilt when you go back for a second. I like to score the candy once it is almost cooled (about 20 minutes) makes it easier to cut and eat!

Grocery day is tomorrow and I will be buying more evaporated milk. Because OMG. YUM!

candy (1)

Friday I’m in Love

1. He loves Boss so much. 2. SpderBoss in trouble again. 3. try to do something good and the closet door Gods smite ya! also? OUCH 4. Backyard fun 5.. Rainy Day walk Boss "Ill keep puppy dry" 6. post-bath warm baby snuggles. One of the best things in the world.

1. He loves Boss so much. 2. SpderBoss in trouble again. 3. try to do something good and the closet door Gods smite ya! also? OUCH 4. Backyard fun 5.. Rainy Day walk Boss “Ill keep puppy dry” 6. post-bath warm baby snuggles. One of the best things in the world.

We started swim classes this week and my timid boy went from not putting his face in the water to jumping in to jumping off the diving board. Yes, I cried. I was just so dang proud! I believe we are going to have to do one of those paper ring count downs to class because he asks constantly if today is his swim class. And it’s not. And Boss? Boss’ sad face  makes sad people sad. It’s sad you guys. SAD.

That’s a big deal you guys!
Huckleberry has been in rare adorable-non two year old tantrum mode this week. Nothing but snuggles and adoration for big brother. It’s been heaven. I can’t get enough of those snuggles. This morning as I lifted him out of his crib it seemed as if he had a growth spurt over night. He just seems so big!


When I was a little girl we would always go to Monterrey House in Galveston Texas and they had this candy, it’s been closed for decades but I never forgot it and according to the internet, I was not alone! Iput together about two recipes..fiddled with them and made candy you guys. And it is just as I remembered it! Problem: I’m spinning like a top from all the sugar! (recipe to come becase OMG you guys, so good)

I kind of went on a statement necklace binge. But I don’t CARE! So cheap. So love.

I’ve never been a girl crush before! But Heather calls me just that, and I blush.

This picture from 1947. Men and cats. Never change. 


This weekend we are having a yard sale and I came across some Sweet Valley High books and was like aw hell yeah! And then Kristin from Said Kristin sent me this link. YOU ARE WELCOME SVH fans. Also? I still want to be Jessica.

I mentioned earlier that I grew up without a dad. He passed away when I was very young but through the beauty of facebook I get to see pictures of him as my aunt and especscialluy my Uncle go through and scan the family archives. This week I saw this picture, of my father, age 2. I see some Boss, I see some Huck and I see some of myself. Photos are best, aren’t they?


Tonight I am off to see White House Down and walk the red Carpet with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. We are turning it into Date Night as well. Zach wants to see the movie so badly I was pretty sure he would divorce me if I went without him!

What did you fall in love with this week? I hope you have a great weekend!

And for the first time in my life I am Team Angelina

angelina-jolie-hot-pic-300x300I’m not a big Angelina fan. Obviously she’s gorgeous, there’s no denying that. But I just…don’t love her. And not even in the fun love to hate her in the way I cruise GOOP and enjoy-hate Gwynnie. I just, don’t care for Angie. I’m still team Jen on that front, although I certainly think Angie did Jen a favor. If Brad’s that dude…let him go, and also someone make that man bathe for the love of God! I once had a run in with her dad, I was very pregnant with Max while she was pregnant with the twins and I was leaving a store as he was entering. He quickened his step to open the door for me and gave me the sweetest smile, then looked down at my gigantic belly and smiled wider. He said hello and asked how I was feeling, then told me to have a good day. It was so…genuine. So sweet. But that has nothing to do with this.

Angelina and cancer. Ugh.

Surely she knew there would be backlash. No matter what someone in the public eye does  there will always be someone else who will vocally disapprove. But I bet it took her by surprise that it was cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge (who has since “clarified” her comments which is PR code for I said what I meant but then people got pissed so I had to make it better). In her original statement she said that Angelina had not made the brave choice by having a double mastectomy, but rather ‘the most fearful choice one could make’ and that Angelina should have faced cancer head on. What is head on?

I respect Etheridge. She is one hell of a fighter and she has experience with this that makes it hard to be objective. But is she right? Did Angie make a fearful choice?

I say no. She did, indeed, face it head on. With 6 kids (is that right? I’ve lost count, but OMG aren’t they all cute?), an 87% chance of cancer and having watched her mother pass away from cancer she did the brave thing, she nipped it in the bud. Pun unintended, but you know…whatever works. But this is brave in another area, one that most of us don’t have to think about. Angelina is a STAR. Yes, she is indeed a good actress, but let’s be honest most of her success is due to her allure, her raw sexuality. She is both powerfully sexual – almost predatory- and yet remains fragile. She is the fantasy. This? Is not a fantasy. This brings her body to a human level. Of course she has the best doctors and the best care and should she ever do a topless scene again I would wager that no one could tell anything was done.

But to put all of that aside easily and chose to have your much beloved by all breasts removed because there is a chance you might get cancer? Brave.

Another thing that makes this a brave choice is that in true Jolie fashion she is not only speaking out about it but working so that this is available for ALL women. Not that everyone would make the same choice she did, to have a double mastectomy, but to have the test which now comes in at over $3000. With knowledge comes power and if women who have a family history and meet the qualifiers want to get this test we need to make it available and covered by insurance. Then armed with that knowledge they can make the right decision for their family, whatever that might be. What is it about our cultural mindset that we can’t seem to get it into our heads that preventative medicine is actually cheaper?

Angelina did more for breast cancer awareness and research than any Facebook meme could dream about. She hasn’t shied away from speaking about it, but she waited until she was ready to do it on her terms putting her family first. That is brave.

Etheridge’s clarification reads:  “I don’t have any opinion on what she ‘should have’ done. All are free to choose, I only objected to the term ‘brave’ describing it.”

I can respect that statement, although I disagree. Brave is relative to our own obstacles and fears. Angelina faced all of hers “head on” and that is brave.


What do you think?

It’s better to be plain.

photo credit Road Theatre

photo credit Road Theatre

Let’s call him Brandon.

He was young and handsome, with a devilish glint in his eye. He was charming and charismatic, like most of the men in my class at acting school. We sat in his car outside my Pasadena apartment talking late into the night, in the way that only 20 somethings can, still enjoying the new found freedom of apartment living and bar hopping. Leaning our heads back on the headrests and alternately staring into one another’s eyes, both of us summing up whether or not we were either tipsy enough or attracted to each other enough to kiss. I was fresh off a heartbreak that really wasn’t a heartbreak. You know, when you’re more upset and sad about the way it went down that the actual loss of the person. My pride was hurt, but my actual heart wasn’t. It was a very confusing time to be me. Mix in some heavy duty insecurity and a hard core eating disorder and I was ripe for the picking.

Somehow we ended up on the subject of my ex and how it all happened. There was another girl, you see, as there frequently are. She was gorgeous. She was talented. She was mean as a snake. Worse than all of that put together, she was better at being eating disordered than I was.

It was only when I was hospitalized the first time for my eating disorder, at 24 and after my second heart “incident” ,that I realized there is competition among us, the eating disordered.  I sat in group therapy at a treatment facility without an ED specialized unit and listened to people of all  walks of life tell horrific stories, the details of which are still fresh in my mind all these years later. There was only one other girl besides myself who was eating disordered. Her hair was cropped short, for the electric shock therapy she received twice weekly, and she folded perfectly in half on her metal folding chair in the cold therapy room. Her knees up by her face and her feet on the seat. her hands pulled inside her sweatshirt sleeves as she spoke. But all I could see was the space. There were probably 4 or 5 inches from the tips of her toes to the end of the seat. So much space. She was so thin. I was so jealous. Even know typing this I feel myself flush, my heart speed up a visceral reaction to the remembrance.

Later that night in my room, alone. I tried it. No metal chairs of course.Our rooms were an attempt to provide a home-like atmosphere while ensuring there were no sharp edges where we could injure ourselves, either on purpose if we were suicidal or accidentally from passing out.  I had bulimia. Girl had anorexia. A much more desirable eating disorder. In the hierarchy of eating disorders it’s the tops. Every night since I was 17 I had prayed that God would take my bulimia and leave anorexia in it’s place.  An unanswered prayer as it were. So it was that I tried to approximate the size of the folding chair and measure myself against her. I was barely 90 pounds at that time, a skeleton, but my feet left no space at the end of the chair. I didn’t measure up.

“Just once I want to be one of the beautiful people.” I said tipsily to Brandon. The girl whom my ex had become fascinated with, as everyone was, definitely qualified as “beautiful people.”

“No, you don’t Stephanie.” He said staring into my eyes and moving the tiniest bit closer. “It’s better to be plain. Like you.”

Then he tried to kiss me. I laughed, though I wanted to burst into tears from being told out right that I would indeed, never measure up, never be beautiful, never be the thinnest, the most talented, the desired one. But somehow, I laughed. Then, finding some self esteem somewhere I opened the car door and got out.


That thing where you don’t have a dad…

He takes such good care of his baby brother. He learned that from his father.

He takes such good care of his baby brother. He learned that from his father.

Sucks. I mean I don’t ever remember having a dad, but now that I have a husband who IS a dad and his dad who is such a dad I see, truly, how much it sucks. I never even really knew when Father’s Day was growing up because we just simply ignored it. My mother not acknowledging it’s existence and so it never really entered my world. But now? Now I celebrate like crazy because great dads are a thing of beauty. And I am so blessed to have my husband and my father in law in my life, my father in law shows me what it would have been like to have a protective dad, he doesn’t want me making long road trips alone with the kids and checks and double checks that all the doors are locked and the kids are all safe. It’s pretty cool. My husband can take a grumpy crying kid and have them laughing and dancing with in minutes. It’s his super-power.

This year we went low-key for Father’s day. But I will tell you this much, it was wonderful. And I hope Zach knows how much I love him, and how much the boys adore him. Father’s day isn’t a sad day for me, it’s one of gratitude. Thank you Zach, for being an incredible husband and a wonderful father.