Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summertime, and the Mamas are Frumpy

Summer is one of the worst seasons of all in Frumpistan. It seems to me that less layers would mean less frump, but the exact opposite is true. Open a summer magazine, and you see pages upon pages of cute hats, beachy hair, jazzy sandals and easy sundresses. Step into a suburban park or a museum between the months of June and September, and you see hundreds of versions of this:

Everything about these outfits—the drab colors, the stretchy fabrics, the unbrushed hair, the multiple straps, the various carrying devices, the fanny packs (!) and, oh god, the footwear—makes me want to poke out my eyeballs while simultaneously mainlining antidepressants. This is SUMMER, moms. Stop giving me Seasonal Affective Disorder with your outfit choices.

Interestingly, the children of moms like this always look cute, colorful and summery. I just don't get how you can zip your daughter into a brightly colored sundress, then slump back to your room and pull on your faded, earth-toned t-shirt and stretchy pants. If it's comfort you're going for, stretchy clothes come in colors, too. And maybe I'm wrong, but I've got to believe a fanny pack cancels out the comfort factor of an elastic waistband.

Not all hope is lost, however. I saw this cute, comfy summer mom at a park a few days ago and she undid some of the damage that's been done to my retinas over the past few months. Thank you, unfrumpy mom. I really, really needed that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Splish Splash, I Was Frumping my Frump

One of my best friends has a daughter who is a crack swimmer so she spends the majority of her free time at swim meets. This makes me sad, because I never see her, but it helps take the sting away when she sends me photos such as these:

Perhaps this woman was trying to go with some sort of flowy water theme when she rummaged around in her closet and pulled out her blue silk genie pants. Ok. But there's a bigger problem here. SHE HAS BLUE SILK GENIE PANTS IN HER CLOSET. As always, I am flummoxed not just by the wearing of such an item, but the question of where these kinds of things are being purchased. If I decided one day that I really, really wanted smocked-top blue silk genie pants to remain comfortable while matching the pool at my child's swim meet, where would I go shopping? 

I am an equal opportunity unfrumper. Men don't cross the line nearly as often as women, but alas, sometimes it happens. This poor guy just needs someone, probably his wife (unless his wife is the genie pant wearer) to separate all these items of clothing into four different outfits. That shirt with different pants, not stuffed into a waistband. Those shorts with a t-shirt, also preferably not stuffed into a waistband. Those socks under a pair of dress pants and stuffed into dress loafers. Those shoes stuffed into a bag, tied down with rocks and thrown into a river. I wonder if this guy glanced up at the cute casual dad standing in front of him, looked down at himself and said, "Well, crap. I did it again. I wore every black thing I own. Dang." (Doesn't he just look like a guy who says dang?)

Thank you for the awesome pics, my friend. You know who you are.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


You know you haven't been to your own blog for awhile when you forget your password.

Once, in highschool, three of my friends and I took a boat out in a lake at night and went skinny dipping. While we were in the water, we heard the distinct sound of a motor boat heading in our direction. It was really dark, we didn't have a light, and we were naked. Envisioning a very dangerous and very embarrassing collision, we all fish-flopped ourselves back into the boat as quickly as we could. Or almost all of us did. I got myself caught on the side of the boat, straddling half of my naked self in the water and half in the boat. Somehow my fright or general lack of grace kept me from being able to successfully complete the flop. Apparently this visual is burned into the retinas of my three friends. And believe it or not, they remain my friends. (Apologies, ladies.)

Anyways, this pretty much aptly describes how I've been feeling for the past two months. One half of a graceless body in sanity and one half in insanity. I HAVE remained mostly clothed, but I'm not sure the visual is any better. There's no one reason for it all—more like 400 ones—but it adds up to me falling down the rabbit hole and not seeing a rope anywhere handy.

So here I am. Blink. Blink. Blink. My, it's bright in here.

If anyone is still out there, I have some unfrumping to do. To myself, in the world, in general. Hopefully I will stay clear of rabbit holes, gopher holes and man holes. (Why does that world suddenly strike me as dirty?)

Until then, stay clear of naked boaters and dirty man holes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

World's Best Noun, World's Worst Adjective


When that word comes out of my children's mouths, my heart sings. I never knew I would love being one so much. After losing my own mom at a young age, I always expected that word to be a little fraught with sadness when hearing it directed at me. But no. Just joy. Pure joy. As far as nouns go, MOM pretty much kicks ass. But as an adjective? Oh, the humanity. Think about it. Mom jeans. Mom purse. Mom shoes. Mom car. Is there anything you can put MOM in front of without completely firebombing the cool factor out of it? Why is that? I'll tell you why. Because too many moms AREN'T COOL. They are killing us slowly with fanny packs, Tevas, floppy hats and camping clothes. They are trading their appropriately sized totes for nylon satchels full of goldfish and sunscreen. They are turning their homes into miniature versions of the Disney store. They smell faintly of peanut butter and diaper wipes. They forgo shaving. Everywhere. And the funny thing is, I think many of these women do these things with the idea that they are being better moms. But instead, they are helicoptering themselves right out of their own lives. They are losing themselves in the service of their children, not to mention killing the word mom for the rest of us. So let's take it back. Let's put a little sex appeal back into MOM. Do one thing today to make yourself look and feel less like a mom and more like a you. Maybe we can make the adjective feel almost as good as the noun.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Am I missing something?

We haven't cured cancer yet, right? There are still terrible diseases and starving children and abject poverty running rampant in the world, correct? Why then, please tell me why, some really smart people are using all their 900 IQ points making a ROBOTIC BUTT. That shows EMOTION. Because what we really need in this world full of war and hate and angst and what-have-you, are more emotional robotic butts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Having little kids is the best. They are so damn cute, they say the funniest things, they are constantly changing and growing and learning. And they're not old enough yet to judge you when you pour yourself a glass of wine before 5.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blogger on Blogger Love

I am not a good blogger. I don't update as much as I'd like, I swear too much, I don't use enough pictures, I say to myself "I'm going to blog about this" about 22 times a week, and get around to it approximately .25 of those times. That said, a good friend and EXCELLENT blogger recently (and gratefully) took pity on me and gave me a shout out on her blog, along with a fancy little badge that will quite possibly appear below if I can figure out how to make it do so. I am always amazed and a little intimidated by my friend Amy's Using Our Words—she is equally good with kids, words and emotions. So thank you, Amy, and I WILL pay it forward! Let this be my one good blogging deed for the day/week/month/year!

(Oh hey. That worked.)

The rules that go along with this award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post. (Check!)
2. Tell us seven things about yourself. (Can't imagine why you'd be interested but read on for those.)
3. Award 15 recently discovered new bloggers. (15??!! This is where my bad blogger status rears it's ugly face. I don't know that many new blogs, but I promise to do what I can.)

Seven things about me:

I am a picker. Nose, pimples, hair, hangnails. I will pick your various things too if you will let me. When I see monkeys at the zoo grooming each other I think to myself, "YES. I get that."

I am currently under a therapist's orders to learn to love my boobs. Yes, you read that right.

My dream careers are: interior decorator, fashion designer, professional poker player and celebrity interviewer. And in my mind I am awesome at all of them.

I am addicted to coffee, water, wine, and the smell of my children's hair.

Years ago, I was on Wheel of Fortune. I won $5,000 and I think Pat Sajak flirted with me.

The older I get, the more I suck at multi-tasking. And the more I need to do it.

There are very few people I don't like. And if I love you, I love you forever.

When I DO get around to reading them, the blogs I tend to really like are the ones that make me laugh, think and/or cry, better yet if I can do it all simultaneously. I also love the little peeks into my friends' worlds that I get from their blogs, especially since we rarely get to talk much these days and just forget about actually seeing each other's faces. So without further ado, please meet:

Jen Frase, Stuff I probably shouldn't say out loud
This girl is seriously funny and her skewering of the Bachelor franchise while not being able to stop watching is awesome. It's worth it to watch that godforsaken show just so you can read what she writes about it afterward. Emily's season is coming up... despite my repeated, fervent oath to never watch another one again, I'm sure I'll be glued to the TV then promptly glued to this blog.

Trembling Ovaries
This blog checks all my boxes because Amy makes me laugh, think and cry, AND she's my friend. Damn, I'm lucky. Whenever I read her blog it makes me wish I was sitting next to her, drinking wine and talking about the stuff she writes about, but then life gets crazy or my son gets strep throat and I have to settle for cyber Amy. Good thing it's such good stuff.

Canvas Style
My friend Catherine has knockout taste and this is her blog about interior design and fashion. Visiting it is like a little oasis of beauty in my day, plus I feel like I checked in on her despite the fact that she lives in Florida and I haven't seen her beautiful face in I don't even like to think about how long. But I can still be inspired by her eye for fabulousness.

Hyperbole and a Half
This blog is not new nor written/drawn by a friend of mine, but I had to include it because it is just pure tragic, comedic truth. Both the writing and the illustrations are brilliant, and I dare you to not see yourself in one of those crazy, jacked up little pictures. This chick is illustrating our psyches. And no, I am not high.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mom Confession

As we're coming up on Mother's Day, when mothers all over the world are revered for all the wonderful things they do, I thought I'd bring us all down with a little good, hard honesty. Here are a few things I do as a mom that I probably should not do but I do anyway. I'm not writing this as an apology--no, this is more of an absolution for all you moms that do the same thing. I know you're out there.

 1. Eat the best part of my kids' food.
 Like the very middle of the waffle, after I cut it into small bites. The part with the most butter and syrup. What? I don't get paid in cash for this job.

 2. Throw away a lion's share of their artwork.
 I keep the great stuff, but honestly. Our house is less than 1500 square feet and I'm pretty sure they could fill twice that much space with their masterpieces (i.e. one googly eye glued to a piece of cardboard complete with a couple of scribbles.) Will I regret this? Only if one of them becomes a famous artist and I could be making money off of this crap.

 3. Lie to them.
Here's a scenario. We have a free morning and my daughter comes to me and sweetly asks, "Mom, can we go to _______ today? (Pump it Up, the park, or, usually, randomly, The Pez Museum.) I have laundry that needs to get done and, more to the point, no zest for a last minute fire up. What do I do? I say, "Sure, honey, let me check on the computer to see if it's open..... oh, shoot. It's closed today." My child is going to grow up thinking that most places of business are open once a week for a total of 2 hours.

 4. Laugh when they fall.
Not if they're hurt, of course. And not in their face, of course. But come on. Sometimes that shit is funny.

 5. Let them watch TV or play Wii when I want to do something.
Like read a trashy magazine. Or write this blog post.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My house needs an enema

Lately I've been working on trying to get my house to not look like 17 children live in it. So I'm investing in cute storage bins and trying to be more organized, which somehow turns into me being just as disorganized while now wondering what the hell to do with a green woven basket. I look longingly at the kids rooms in magazines, which always manage to look cute and organized but not like someone with OCD lives there. I want my kids room to look like this. Desperately. But here's the thing. We seem to have accumulated an overabundance of crap. Not toys or stuffed animals or art supplies or legos. Crap. Like the plastic thingamajigs that they get sent home from the dentist with. Or the lovely pinata items from the last 12 birthday parties. Or the cheap made in China stuff that the easter bunny broke down and bought them at CVS the night before Easter. Just 100% crap. And sadly, my kids seem to love this stuff more than anything else they own. SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH CRAP? I actually have a (cute, green) basket on my daughter's dresser that is filled with this crap, but the crap is endless. Do I create more crap baskets? Do I cull the crap? (Every time I try to do this my daughter senses some kind of tremor in the force and manages to find the crap I've thrown away and resuscitate it back to her room/crap basket.) Is it just us that this is happening to? Are we crap magnets? Crap hoarders? They say admitting it is the first step to getting help. So here we go. My name is JJ, and I am a crapaholic. Now someone come help me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Let's be extremely clear about something.

Lately I've overheard a few conversations between my kids that go along the lines of this:

3YO: I don't have a vagina. I have a penis.

5YO: I know. Vaginas are for girls, penises are for boys.

(p.s. Here is where I stopped myself from jumping in to say that many people would argue it's the other way around.)

(p.p.s. But not everyone, and that's just fine with me.)

3YO: I have a penis. You have a vagina.

p.p.p.s. (He's repetitive. Or maybe just making sure.)

5YO: Yes and it's mine and you can't touch it.

4ps. (You go girl.)

What gets me isn't the fact that these conversations are taking place, I think they are perfectly normal and natural and hey, I'd love to have more conversations where I was this sure about what I was talking about. It's the utter earnestness of the conversation that amazes me. It reminds me of Tim and I on the rare occasions when we discuss our finances. Everything is very no-nonsense, because if something gets fucked up it can have grave consequences. Their little heads are together, their faces are serious, their voices are low and strong. They are solving the problems of the world, one wiener and koo-koo at a time. And all I can do is stand aside and quietly slow clap.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Perspectives in Parenting

I would like to relay a conversation that happened in my house today. My daughter and son had gotten into a full-scale war over a toy. It happened to be a fake bottle of ketchup. Why must it be that we have room upon room (in a house with not so many rooms) of toys—fun, brightly colored, expensive, sometimes even educational toys—and the one which my kids decide to go guerrilla over is a fake bottle of ketchup? So I, being of sound mind as long as no one is losing their shit over a BOTTLE OF KETCHUP, took it away. My three-year-old son then came to me, weeping from the depths of his being. And this was what followed.

I want the keeeeettttchuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.

I know, love.

I want the keeeeettttchuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.

I know you do.

I want the keeeeettttchuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuUUUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPP!!!

I know sweetie, I'm sorry.


I want a Porsche.

......I want the keeeeettttchuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuUUUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPP!!!

I want a personal assistant.

.......I want the keeeeettttchuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.

I want a four hour massage.

........I want the keeeeettttchuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.

I want 12 straight hours of sleep.


I'm not sure this deep lesson on perspective had any impact on my son's psyche, but he did give up in confusion and leave me alone. AND he forgot all about the plastic ketchup bottle full of air. So I take it as a win.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I blame Lucky

Lucky Magazine (which, in full disclosure, I receive) is chock full of wack-a-doodle fashion tips that they make sound like good ideas. They'll say, in their oh-so-cool and seemingly fashion-wise way, "Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to cast aside your favorite shorts. Pair them with a pop of colored tights and a fun sweater and voila! You're an instant fashion maven." I'm making this up, not quoting, but this is exactly how they sound. So in the know. So cool-girl-you-wish-you-were. So there you are, considering it, and then they show you a picture that looks like this:

And you start to think "Woah, that's a little koo-koo. Not so sure anymore." But then they do cute girlfriendy things like drawing arrows toward the tights with a little handwritten note that says "The orangey color really off-sets the drab brown shorts!" Or one towards the bizarre owl-infested jacket with a note that says, "Pair with a funky top for a vintage feel!" And you look again, and yes, on this 6 foot tall, 100-lb woman, perhaps this look is not so bad. Perhaps I, a normal person without 60-inch legs and chiseled cheekbones, perhaps I could pull something like this off. I do believe I will rummage through my closet to find a pair of shorts, colored tights, and a vintage-y sweater. Which is how people end up walking the streets of San Francisco looking like this:

(Thanks to my friend Andrea for capturing this gem.) Mind you, this is not frump, because this person is really trying. And I bet $1,000 that if I were to take a poop in this woman's bathroom, I would find about 17 issues of Lucky Magazine neatly stacked next to the toilet, ready to read. Though I doubt I'll be invited to do such a thing after this post.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Every Thursday, a babysitter shows up at my house and sets me free. I love love love my life with the kids but I look forward to her arrival with the anticipation of a five year old on Christmas eve. Because, for five hours, I am me again. Not mom, or carpool driver, or grocery shopper, or diaper changer, or nose wiper or... what have you. I make an effort to not do errands or work out during this time, though that would be wise for efficiency sake. But I find that I NEED to escape for a while and just be me. With myself and by myself.

That said, I can't escape the fact that I drive a minivan full of carseats and toys and books, even during my me time. (Anyone have a vintage convertible Porsche I can drive once a week for a few hours?) This past Thursday, while I was driving around and doing my me things on my me time, THIS started coming from the back seat:





The kids keep books in the car and one of them has colored buttons that say their color when you push them. Apparently, this lovely little tome got stuck somewhere under a seat and every few seconds, it would talk to me in a robotic woman's voice.




It was so relentless and annoying that I actually got the giggles. There by myself, in my minivan, sipping my cappuccino and listening to NPR, trying to pretend for a few minutes that I'm not a straight-up suburban mom, with a little voice reminding me every few seconds about my reality. And apparently, my reality's favorite color is:






Tuesday, February 28, 2012

M.O.M. (Mom-item of the Moment)

These pants will change your life. Especially if you have a tendency to wear the same black yoga pants over and over again, like many people I know, and yes, when I say many people I'm talking about myself. These are the Pixie Pants by J. Crew. They aren't cheap, but really, when you're pushing forty, do you really want to be running around in cheap leggings? These suckers are worth every single penny. The fabric is thick enough that it hides any unseemly lumps as well as panty lines. It's stretchy enough that they are comfy when you're having a fluffy moment. But it's also tight enough that it feels like you're getting a little tummy tuck every time you wear them. And if that's not enough of a sell job, let me tell you this—my husband can't keep his hands off my ass every time I wear these pants. And I take that as a very positive sign, since it's a 38 year old ass that's seen better days. He likes these so much on me that he bought me not one -- but TWO -- more pairs for Christmas. So yeah, this is pretty much all I wear these days. And my ass gets a lot of action.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Topknot or not to Topknot

Apparently the new quick updo of choice among the stylish set is the topknot. Like, all your hair on top of your head in a knot. And when I say top, I mean TOP. I'd seen it on J Lo, or in magazines, but then lo and behold a very stylish mom friend of mine showed up one day wearing all her hair pulled tight and right on top of her head. And she looked fabulous! So I've been experimenting with topknots and I'm kind of digging them. I think it makes you look younger because you pull your hair so tight that you get a mini eye lift. And it somehow seems more fashionable than a ponytail, though I have no idea why. Maybe just because it's different. I wore one yesterday and a mom friend of mine told me I looked like a Charlie's Angel. And I don't think she was kidding. Considering I had not showered and had slept less than 5 hours the night before, I'm thinking it was all about the topknot. Anyways, it's super easy and looks even better with unwashed hair (thus the perfect hairdo for moms.) Here's a pic of how it should look (this is NOT me, unfortunately):

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm just ignoring January

My last six weeks in three words:

Holidays, stomach flu, Disneyland.

It was 66% fun. But all very busy and therefore here I am, with no posts to go under the cute little January button on the right of my blog.

On a brighter note (literally), please take a look at my new purse.

In case you can't tell from the picture, that stripe down the center is neon orangey pink. I love it. It's making me want to paint a neon orangey pink stripe down everything—my minivan, my cell phone, my husband. Honestly, what in life wouldn't be better with a neon orangey pink stripe?

Also, my son won't poop in the potty, but he WILL poop in his diaper, remove it, and try to clean his own rear. So I'm spending lots of time running around my house sniffing the air like a bloodhound in case he's left any remnants anywhere. I think I'll add him to the list of things I'd like to paint a neon orangey pink stripe on.