Confessions of a Scary Mommy – A Book Review

Recently I came upon the opportunity to review Jill Smokler’s new book: “Confessions of a Scary Mommy-An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood: The Good, The Bad, and the Scary”.  I took my paperback pre-copy everywhere I went for over a week; it even went with us to Catalina Island.

Before I begin, I want to confess that I was not a reader of ScaryMommy.com and in all actuality, I had never even logged onto her site. I didn’t know what a ScaryMommy was, what Jill’s point of view was or what her whole angle on parenting was. The only thing I knew was that she was popular. Call me an opportunist (do it, it’s fine) but I took the opportunity to offer her a good review (if the book deserved it) and she gave me the opportunity to review her book. I was able to read the book through an unbiased readers eye and not through an oogling fans eye. I feel this was monumentally beneficial.

The very first line of the Forward states: “I am not a writer”. Which, immediately had me intrigued and in fact, sets the tone for the rest of the 167 pages that followed. “Confessions of a Scary Mommy” is not a novel. It is not a book in which you sit down and read from cover to cover but rather a book that you pick up while you have a few spare moments. I liked that. A lot. It was more entertaining than a magazine, but not so involved as a thrilling novel. I found that convenient and relaxing especially in my crazy, busy, pregnant life.

Do you know what a Scary Mommy is? I bet you do. Because it is you, it is me, for the love-it is all of us that have children. If you can’t admit that you are a crappy, half-assed mom at times then you are living in denial. Badly. It was so refreshing to read that another mother could relate to my completely honest feelings. It was comforting to read that I was not alone. It was a Eureka! moment to read that someone else thought being a mom just sucked sometimes and that feeling…was OK. We all as mothers try so hard to act like we’re happy, that we’re together, that we like our children and want to spend every waking moment with them. This book and Scary Mommy’s perspective makes it OK to admit to each other and to ourselves that it’s ok to act like you’re not happy, that we’re not together, that we don’t like our children and that we kinda just want to run away from them. So lets stop pretending and lets get real.

“Confessions of a Scary Mommy” is chock full of hilarious titles such as:  “I hate other people’s kids (not yours, of course)”. How could you not love a book with a title such as this? Besides the awesome title, the chapter is in fact completely relatable and how I’ve always felt. My kids are clean and healthy. Yours? Are sick, dirty nightmares (not yours of course, but you know…hers). This chapter is candid and funny and tells a story about how we’d like to keep our children safe and healthy and trapped inside a bubble, far away from all the dirty kids out there. Other funny chapter titles include: “Yes, You’ll Shit on the Delivery Table”, “I Like You Best…Today” and “The Twelve-Foot-Deep-Death Trap (aka the Pool)” among others.

After reading the book, I can say with all sincerity that I am now a Scary Mommy oogling fan. This book and Jill Smokler’s ability to tell an honest, entertaining and funny story about the thrills and spills of Motherhood has made me a believer in all things Scary.
I enjoyed reading this book and I know you will too. “Confessions Of A Scary Mommy-An Honest and Irreverent Look At Motherhood-The Good, The Bad, and the Scary” is available for pre-order now. I highly suggest you order yourself up a copy.

Thank you Jill, from one scary mommy to another, for the opportunity to review your book. It was truly, my pleasure. xo 

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Be Careful What you Don’t Wish For

I’m going to admit to you all that I used to be one of those “judgmental moms”. You know the ones-that hang out in judgemental groups on the sidelines of the playground and judge everyone else’s mothering abilities? The ones that appear perfect and together and have all their sh*t in order? Yeah, those ones. I used to be one.
Well, not anymore.
When my son was a baby, I thought I had it rough. I used to complain about how difficult it was to be a mom. I judged other moms a lot. Back then, I figured that if I had what I had labeled a “difficult” baby but he still never ran into the street or threw a tantrum in the middle of Vons, that it must be their parenting skills that made horrid children and not the actual children themselves. I judged those moms for not having control over their children’s disobedient behavior. I patted myself on the back and said many times:
“Thank God I don’t have a kid like that”
I know different now.
Everything that I prided myself on for my awesome parenting skills was not my doing. It was in fact, just a stroke of luck.
My daughter is a nightmare.
A complete, and utter nightmare.

You know those kids that can’t ask for something without a whining cry? That’s her.
You know those kids that go into a store, fling everything off the shelves that are at their level and bite into anything they can sink their  teeth into? That’s her.
You know those kids that cry at the drop of a hat? That’s her.
You know those kids that thrash around while being changed? That’s her.
You know those kids that bite? That’s her.
You know those kids that hit? That’s her.
You know those kids that spit? That’s her.
You know those kids that run into the street while you’ve got your arms full of groceries? That’s her.
You know those kids that fling themselves onto the floor in a tantrum? That’s her.
You know those kids that undress themselves at every opportunity and show the world what God gave them? That’s her.
You know those kids that refuse to pee anywhere but on the carpet? That’s her.
You know those messy eaters that throw food? That’s her.
You know those kids that run the opposite way when you call them? That’s her.
You know those kids that act like they can’t hear? That’s her.
You know those kids that scream inside the car, or the bathtub, or the middle of the store, or at church? That’s her.

My son was never any of those things. My daughter is all of those things and more.
She is the kind of child that when I saw while my son was a baby, I stayed away from. She’s the kind of child whose mothers I judged. She is everything I didn’t wish for.

But she also gave me so much more. She gave me a sense of womanhood and a sense of empowerment. I had to change, I had to make myself better and I had to cut the bullsh*t out of my life to become a responsible, mature model for my daughter. The day she was born, I had a new perspective on life. I had to be the best me I could be so that she could grow up to be the best She, she could be.
So, sure she’s a strong-willed, emotional, loud, energetic, disobedient nightmare. But I love her…because she made me-Me.

Irvine Park Railroad’s 16th Anniversary Celebration

One of my favorite family fun destinations is the Irvine Park Railroad. We visit the railroad at least a dozen times a year! Both of my children absolutely adore riding the train and partaking in all of the fun activities that the Irvine Park has to offer. We even go to all of the holiday events the railroad hosts.

This Saturday and Sunday-February 25th and 26th-will be the Irvine Park Railroad’s 16th Anniversary Celebration! To celebrate, the Irvine Park Railroad will be rolling back to the original 1996 prices by offering Train rides for $2, $2 activity tickets for things like Panning for gold and Face painting and much more! Don’t forget the hot dogs, sodas, ice cream  for $2 and free Irvine Park Railroad balloons as well!
These prices are only valid this weekend, so come on down to the Irvine Park Railroad to enjoy a family fun-filled day and help them celebrate 16 years of family fun-ness!
For more information, log on here.

If a celebrity dies in the forest and no one hears it, did they really die?


Credit: Brian Richardson on Flickr

What is it with the public’s fascination with celebrities? Why do we all care so much about these people? What makes a celebrity “celebrity”? An inordinate amount of attention that’s what. We see them as special because they’re seen. Seen by many. But that doesn’t make them special. That doesn’t make them good people. They’re just famous for being good at something. Like singing or pretending…er I mean acting. Sometimes, they’re famous just for being famous. What the fizzle is Kim Kardashian famous for again? A sex tape? Well, you know what? I’m really good at scrubbing toilets and I bet that if I found the right agent and the right publicist, I could become a toilet scrubber extraordinaire celebrity. I’d scrub toilets all the way to the bank.

So in case you haven’t heard, Whitney Houston passed away. In case you didn’t know, she was a singer. A good one mind you, but she sang. Sure, maybe by proxy she helped people by momentarily making them feel better. She probably brightened a lot of peoples days with her music. Perhaps she was a good person that helped her community. But she didn’t save lives like doctors do, she didn’t sacrafice her safety like Police men and women do every day, she didn’t teach our children like teachers do, she was not a hero like the men and women in our armed forces. She just sang pretty.
Every news channel, every entertainment special is running programming on the life and death of Whitney Houston. Fans are weeping and gathering and mourning the loss of someone they didn’t even know.
I don’t find this fair to the real hero’s that pass away every day. The people that really make a difference and really touch peoples lives. When they pass, it’s just another Tuesday. But when a celebrity passes, hold the crackers because it’s a big deal.

 

Jesus and Santa Clause are stealing my thunder

Jesus and Santa Clause are stealing my thunder.

Every Christmas, good ol’ Saint Nickolas is the hero.  The excitement of Christmas Eve is palatable as my children eagerly await to see what the jolly good man may have brought them. He knows just what my kids want and he grants their wishes. Their eyes light up as they see what Father Christmas has lovingly bestowed upon them in toy generosity.
Chris Cringle had been watching my kids throughout the year, making his creepy good boy and good girl lists and checking them twice. He huffed and puffed and squeezed his jolly self down the chimney to lavish my children with gifts they’ve wanted all year. He’s a freakin’ hero to these kids and he only has to work hard one night a year. Even after all this time, my son still talks adoringly about what Santa brought him this year.
Well, what the f*ck about me? Shouldn’t I get some credit? It’s me that slaves over breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. It’s me that washes clothes, bottles and dishes every day. I’m the a-hole scrubbing toilets and bottoms and nose crust every day. I’m the sap who cries when their feelings get hurt, when they are sick or unhappy. I’m the one that has sacrificed my body, my hair…my good shoes.
But Santa get the credit and the recognition. And he isn’t even real!
Today, my son brought this craft home from preschool:

And now I have to compete with Jesus? Of course of all people, there’s just no competition with Jesus. Hands down Jesus loves you more than me son. He’s just absent in the toilet scrubbing, breakfast making, grocery shopping department. Cause for his own names sake HE DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOU.

However, I’ve decided that Santa is no longer going to give awesome presents to the Eaglin children. From now on, he’ll be giving socks and underwear. Mommy (and mommy alone!) will be giving the good sh*t that is worthy of appreciation and love. Not Santa.
Santa is done stealing my thunder in this house. 

It’s not you I can’t stand…it’s your online personality I can’t stand

Let’s confer here in this space of sarcasm, comedy and honesty that some people just don’t get “it” when it comes to social media connections and general online etiquette. Am I right or am I right? For some reason, some people just can’t seem to figure out how to use social media to come across online in a way that is socially acceptable and honestly it’s as if they’re stumbling blind in the dark.

Here is a list of the most obnoxious online personalities I encounter on a daily basis that just drive me insane.

The Whiner-everything sucks to these people. They never seem to get a break and everything they write ends with a FML.

The self soother-they create status updates meant to cheer themselves and lift themselves up. Reading them is like reading their self-help diary.

The quoter-I like quotes. You like quotes. So do these people, obviously. Because ““Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making quotes.” – Desiree Eaglin

The confused emphasis YELLER-The person who can’t figure out how TO capitalize the right WORDS.

The YELLER-the person that YELLS about EVERYTHING. Even if it’s just to say that THEY WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE AND RAN INTO SAMMY.

The diarrhea-Every thought that enters these people’s heads end up on social media.

The comedian-They only think they’re funny.

The bragger-their husband is the best, their kids are the smartest, their vacations are lavish, their lives are fantastic. (I think they’re just lying)


 

 

 

The mobile paparazzi-they take blurry mobile pictures of any and everything throughout their day and post them. It’s instagram hell.

The party girl/boy-they’re constantly talking about “partying” and how “wasted” they got. I hate them…but only because I’m jealous.

Polly Pocket of Sunshine-they! are! happy!…and! they’re! not! afraid! of! letting! everyone! know! it!!!!

The Linker-they link everything, stuff they read, stuff their sister read, stuff their dog read, stuff their neighbors sisters cousin read.

The friend collector-they have 1,500 friends on facebook and they’ve friend requested you but only because you sat next to each other in the cafeteria once in middle school, so you must be connected right?

The blessed-they’re blessed for their lives, they’re blessed for their friends, they’re blessed for their husbands/wives, they’re blessed for their breakfast. In case you missed it, these people are blessed.

The vain-they post 5,000 self pictures of themselves. They have an album titled “me” and it’s just that: them…and that’s it, no friends, no kids, no pets-just pictures of them.


 

 

 

The shy-they don’t have any pictures of themselves found anywhere online. It’s like they’re a ghost and you wonder if it’s really Jenny you’re talking to and not Fred the 50 year old hairy pervert.

The lame commentor-you’re happy and you’re not afraid of saying it, but then some person swoops in and craps all over it.

The Emo-the obvious cry for help that makes you wonder if you should call the authorities.


 

 

 

 

The cliff hanger-they start to imply something but then…stop. They want to lead you on and make you ask what’s up.

The passive aggressive-they don’t have the balls to say it to your face, so they say it through their status update.

The question asker-they ask questions about how ‘everyone’s’ weekend was, what ‘everyone’ had for dinner, what ‘everyone’ is doing for new years…

The ignorer-they ask a question or make a statement that seems to need an answer, so gullible people answer but then the ignorer doesn’t acknowledge that person even exists.

The MOM-they are a mom and they want you to know it. It’s all about their kids. Pictures of their kids, status updates about their kids, quotes from their kids, videos…of their kids.

 

I know these made you laugh, because you know, you know some of them…or better yet you are some of them. Do you have any more obnoxious online personalities to add?

Guest Post: “Live” from the playroom – How I learned to tolerate children’s toys at The Big Toy Book

Allow me to introduce myself; I am a mother of two with another one on the way. My son is 5 years old and my daughter is 18 months old. When my son was a baby, we lived in a small condo in Orange County, California. Not having any real experience with children or babies and being a first time mom, I wasn’t used to the bright colors, loud noises and general obnoxiousness of children and their toys.

To continue reading click HERE.

The Small will Stand Tallest of All – “The Secret World of Arrietty”

The Small will Stand Tallest of All

Last week, I was invited to a media screening of “The Secret World of Arriety” at the Walt Disney Studio’s in Burbank, California. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to go as I do love myself some Disney movies. My 5 year old son came along as my “cover” haha.
The film “The Secret World of Arrietty” is based on the award winning children’s novel by Mary Norton “The Borrowers” published in 1952. The original book and its 4 sequels are about tiny people that live in peoples homes unbeknownst to them and secretly “borrow” things in order to survive.
In the film “The Secret World of Arrietty” Arrietty (voiced by Bridgit Mendler)  is a teenage girl, living at home with her parents (voiced by Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) and is seemingly to their knowledge the only borrowers left. They borrow things like sugar cubes and tissue paper and doing so takes great tact and skill.
On Arrietty’s first borrowing experience, she gets seen by Shawn the new young “bean” in the human house. They form a secret friendship that can potentially threaten her families safety and may force them to move from their comfortable home under the floorboards.
“The Secret World of Arrietty” is a coming of age story about friendship, love and acceptance and is profoundly interesting. The film is quiet and emotional and something worth watching with the entire family.
My son’s favorite character was the cat because as he says “it was funny and made funny faces”. Go figure we are an animal loving family after all. I enjoyed the music and sounds that made the characters come to life. For instance, the sound of the sugar cube that Arrietty had just borrowed moments before dropping onto the floor was profound. And who knew that sugar cubes can sound so dramatic?
In my opinion, this movie is very anti-pop culture. It is not fast and loud, it doesn’t shout from the rooftops or scream in your face but is rather quiet and softly provokes emotions of acceptance, love and friendship.

So do me a favor and go see “The Secret World of Arrietty”  it will be in theaters near you on February 17th.

The secret friendship between Arrietty and Shawn