Hey Ladies

There are too many lady-related topics in the news these days and I am overwhelmed with all of the things to discuss, probably because I am a lady and my brain is not equipped to handle more than one thing at a time (unless it is shoes or nagging, obvs). So I have made a quick list – read this, and you will be up to speed on all lady-related current events.

1. So you know Seth MacFarlane? Turns out, it’s not just his cartoon characters who are kind of obnoxious. Yes, he has a sweet little baby face and cleans up nice, but he managed to spend four hours hosting the Oscars repeatedly making jokes about everyone, but especially women. For example, how women can’t let something go (I know, it’s SO annoying how the lady character in Zero Dark Thirty really wanted to find Osama Bin Laden, WTF is her problem?!), how ladies show their BOOBIES in movies (often award-winning, critically acclaimed movies, but whatever, BOOBIES!), and women are most desirable when they’re super young and skinny. It made for an entertaining and kind of uncomfortable show, but I prefer Seth’s misogynistic and racist comedy better when it’s coming out of a cartoon character’s mouth – it feels a little less consequential.

2. Sheryl Sandberg wants ladies to “lean in” to the workplace and then meet with each other weekly to talk about how awesome it is to “lean in” (read a discussion of her new book here). It’s a fine point, except that women have been freaking leaning in for decades now and there’s still a lot of bullshit in the workplace, and I don’t know a single working woman who wants to get together weekly with other ladies to talk about how awesome it is to work harder. And earn less than their male counterparts. How about while we’re all leaning in, she can “lean in” herself and stop using her platform to tell women how to sit and talk in the office, and instead, support meaningful legislation to level the playing field? I haven’t read her book yet, so I should probably calm down. Must be my hypersensitive lady emotions at work!

3. Marissa Mayer got rid of telecommuting at Yahoo!. This feels like a lady-related issue to me, maybe just because a lady (and brand new mom) made the decision, but also because telecommuting was a lifesaver when I was a working mom. I didn’t have to write off the whole day when my kids got sick, I could be connected while also digging out from a huge pile of laundry, and could avoid counterproductive face time with annoying managers (not that I ever had any, natch). And in the wake of this policy change, I’ve read tons of headlines studies about how telecommuting actually boosts employee productivity and satisfaction (this article discusses some studies). What is Marissa thinking with this move? Probably about shoes, that’s what. Ladies!

4. Sonia Sotomayor and her remarkable teeth shut down a racist federal prosecutor in a well-articulated and very public fashion, just because she could. As my mom would say, you go, girl.

5. Closer to home, my own little lady has taken to leaving me status updates around the house. I applaud her hard work and direct communication style, something that all future working women need. We did have a talk about potty words, however. And ways to use them more often, and in brighter colors.

I Have Eyebrows, Too

I had just started to feel a little big in my britches about having 40 subscribers, and then I read that a cat with eyebrows has over 31 thousand followers on Instagram. And then I started following that cat with eyebrows, because he is really something. What will he do next?! Something adorable, I bet.

In other news, many people have asked how my Insanity workout is going. OK, maybe they asked, “Are you INSANE?” when I was telling them about something and I just assumed it was about my workout routine. You know, because crazy people never admit they are crazy. So I have finished four weeks of the workout and it is really hard but effective. I now look like something like this but with more veins popping out of my forehead:


In addition to looking like a finely tuned machine, I also feel stronger, I have been introduced to my “hip flexors” (did you know they are a real thing?), and I just found a long lost ab muscle. On my body! And the videos are entertaining. I love hearing the trainer dude talk about himself in the third person (“Shaun T is getting tired! Shaun T has huge quads! Shaun T could crush you with his finely sculpted calves!”), and I like when he yells at me while he jumps around all sweaty and shirtless. Sometimes I sit down in our recliner and eat cookies while he just goes on and on about pushing yourself, blah blah blah. But yesterday my husband and I started the more intense “max” phase of the workouts, where I immediately learned that the previous workouts – the ones that I had barely survived – are, in fact, for total pussies. If I make it to the end and still have the use of my arms and fingers, I will let you know how it went.

This update on my workouts reminded me to update everyone on the progress of my New Year’s resolutions, too. Um, I have done absolutely none of them. In fact, I had to look back at the list to even remember what the hell they were.

Well, that was easy.

Be Mine. Or Not. Whatever.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am going Huffington Post style and collecting my favorite love stories from around the interwebs to share with you. This is mainly because it is easier than writing my own material. Don’t worry – these are not the predictable, romantic love stories with contrived gestures and rose petals. Those always make me a little ill. For example, I have seen this one all over the place in the past couple of days and am 100% sure it is a lie.

Dead Valentine

Who knows, maybe it’s totally true. But I can think of at least one reason why it is not romantic at all: what if this lady had moved on and found a new guy to be her Valentine? Imagine she was getting dressed up for a fancy night out, feeling all excited and lovey-dovey for the first time in ages, and then BAM, a note from her dead husband reminds her that his love is ETERNAL. “I am stalking you from beyond the grave. Enjoy your date.” Eww. Which is why I prefer my romantic gestures a little more like this:

Valentine Bear

In your face, to the point, and in my case, totally true.

The romantical stuff on Valentine’s feels fake and weird to me, but these little stories about all kinds of love make me happy.

First, meet Banana Joe, the winner of the Westminster Dog Show’s coveted Best in Show award. His furry little head makes me happy, but look at how happy Banana Joe’s handler is:

Banana Joe

That is love. Of course, the cynical side of me is imagining the handler thinking, “This hairball just got me PAID!” But no, on this Valentine’s Day, I am deciding to believe that they love each other and are the best of friends, and that the handler will love his sweet Banana Joe even after he is no longer the ideal representation of the Affenpinscher breed.

Second, prepare to cry, because those bastards at NPR’s StoryCorps have done it again. This is a sweet story about the love between a mother and daughter despite lots of challenges (or maybe because of those challenges?). You can find the story here. Also, I’d like to point out that this girl is 15, right in the middle of those years when most daughters spend half of their waking hours screaming about hating their awful moms because they won’t buy them a slutty shirt at the mall. So she is really amazing.

Third, Piney Porky McHedgypants has apparently found love, right under his big pointy nose. I discovered him and Blue Bolero Bunny (that name is self-explanatory) holding paws in my son’s room last night. To be clear, “holding paws” is not a euphemism for anything. They are very happy. And as long as they don’t gang up on me and try to kill me in my sleep (which everyone knows is what giant stuffed animals do eventually), I will support their stuffed animal love affair.

Piney + Bunny

And finally, here is my current favorite love song. It took on a new, beautiful meaning when I saw the video – instead of a guy pining away over a girl, it’s a bunch of dudes showing their manly love for their buds by smashing bottles on each other’s heads. If that isn’t true love between besties, I don’t know what is.

Happy, happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. xoxo

I Only Wanna Be With You

As you may have guessed, I’m not great at getting rid of stuff. This has worked out well for some things, such as my husband, who I have kept around for more than half of my life. But it does not always work out so well. For example, I may have kept my son’s umbilical cord stump in a drawer in his nursery for a few months. That’s right – I couldn’t bear the idea of parting with the black, hardened remains of my first child’s bellybutton. Luckily I got some sage advice from a mom friend of mine about this situation. When she saw the stump laying in the corner of the diaper drawer, she recognized it immediately (it still had that hospital clip thing on it) and said: “OH my god, what the hell is wrong with you, that is so effing disgusting, throw it AWAY!” When I began to protest she said, “Look, it’s not OK to hoard rotting body parts.” Which is just good advice for all new moms, and people in general. I sadly wrapped the stump in tissue, said my farewells, and placed it gently in the trashcan.

I still wonder where it is today.

But what about hoarding things that are not rotting body parts? Despite what you might think from watching TLC, there is just no clear-cut rule. Right now I am trying to come to terms with getting rid of a sentimental piece of furniture in my house:
Rocking Chair

To people who do not attach emotional value to every inanimate object in their lives, that is just a banged up rocking chair and footstool that could probably get $50 at a garage sale. To me, though, that is the place where I learned how to be a mom, where I fell so in love with my little babies and their long eyelashes and chubby cheeks, where I learned how to soothe them and make them giggle, where I cursed everyone who told me that breastfeeding was natural and beautiful, where I fought sleep and lost hundreds of times. I have the clearest memories of my husband passed out on the nursery floor, a chubby baby sleeping on my lap, and rocking back and forth in that chair for hours, convinced that all the goodness in the world at that moment was right next to me and wrapped up in my sweet little family.

So maybe you can understand why I don’t just want to sell it to some a-hole scammer on Craig’s List.

But the chair just doesn’t fit in our house any more and I know its days are numbered. The kids are on to their new big kid furniture, their new toys that need floor space. And I’m slowly starting to realize that that is what little kids do: they push you forward, constantly on to the next thing, excited for what is to come. And most days I go along happily and share in their excitement, but sometimes I just cling desperately to those sweet, fleeting moments that have already come and gone and won’t come again.

So in honor of my milk- and snot-covered rocking chair with the deflated cushions and wobbly right arm and matching broken nursing stool (I will not put any of that in the Craig’s List ad), here is my favorite song about rocking. If you are as scared of old-timey carnies and tattooed ladies as I am, just avert your eyes and listen to the bluegrassy magic.

Apparently Hootie from Hootie & The Blowfish (not the OTHER Hootie) covered this song, and really enraged some of the commenters on this video. Hootie is not the first person I think of when I think of sentimental songs, so I chose to link to this version. But I do think of Hootie quite often, and fondly, because once I danced with a boy to a Hootie song. It was Let Her Cry.

Thank you, Hootie. I think I will.