When Grandma Gets A New Wig And Thinks She’s ALL THAT

Always Test The Produce | Photo cred: Chris Chabot on flickr

Seeing my mother in action is like watching a rerun of I Love Lucy after a few margaritas. She just does shit that makes you laugh without even trying. One of the things she insists on doing—religiously—is to walk around wearing the female equivalent to a man’s toupee. For whatever reason, my mother has been wearing hair hats for as long as I can remember, but every once it a while, they betray her. Recently, her eyes fell on a flaming red wig with spiked edges. I image you could achieve the same effect if you were to mesh Liza Minnelli’s short tresses together with Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov’s disheveled mess from Orange Is The New Black. It wasn’t exactly my taste, but my mother was seeing stars. She was certain that this new look was going to cast a bewitching spell over men that would cause her to become irresistible and, at seventy-four-years-old, my mother was eager for worship.

When she entered the store that afternoon, her confidence was through the roof. She knew she looked good because the reflective glass on the supermarket doorway said so, and because she was wearing her Galina ‘Red’ wig. As she perused the shelves in search of nothing particular, she noticed an attractive gentleman staring at her from across the room. Uncertain as to whether or not she was his focal point, she nonchalantly inspected the aisle and confirmed there was no one else around. “I still got it,” she thought to herself while gushing over his gallant appetite for lust, “I told them this wig was special!”

As she maneuvered her way around the produce department, caressing the fruits and vegetables and breathing in their delightful aroma, she had forgotten all about her mysterious friend; until she glanced up and saw him again. He was still there, ogling her with a beckoning steel-blue gaze. “Who was this man?” she wondered. “And why won’t he take his eyes off me?” Determined to confront her unshakable stalker, my mother began the lengthy journey toward the imported cheese section where he was standing. It was her belief that this bold move was going to force him to run for the hills—brokenhearted and terrified, but when their eyes locked one last time, halfway between the condiment section and health foods, there he stood; transfixed, like a deer in headlights. Only, this time, he confused her by waving.

What. The. Fuck.

One of my mother’s strengths is her ability to see the humanity in everyone, so she did what she thought was right: exposed her pearly whites and promptly waved back. She sauntered past the bakery with her eyes to the ground and eased her way over to a wheel of cheese right next to his brazen frame. “This is it,” she imagined, “it’s do or die.” And that’s when she met The Most Interesting Man In The World: a life-size, cardboard cut-out of the Dos Equis guy with a springboard arm inviting strangers to come on over and grab a chilled beverage to pair with an exquisite fromage.

Escalator Boot Camp For Kids

Escalators are scary when you’re little. They’re even scarier when you are a mom and have to balance a stroller in one hand and a kid in the other. It’s sort of like dropping your keys in a thunderstorm while wearing high heels a week after giving birth; there’s a good chance you might fall, but you do it anyway because it’s quicker than taking the stairs.

I don’t know what the protocol is for training toddlers to mount a moving stairwell, but my kid wanted no part of it. She was scared shitless and rightly so. I never told her about the girl who got her arm caught in one when I was growing up or the lady in China who fell to her death after saving a little boy because I didn’t want to freak her out, yet somehow, it happened. For years, I have hoisted her up or located an alternative method of transport whenever traveling to higher (or lower) grounds: eight years, 72 pounds, and a whole lotta attitude.

Over the holiday break this year, I decided it was time to prepare my daughter for the future. She was going to learn how to ride an escalator on her own—even if it killed me. I chose Dillard’s as a practice field because the store near our house usually didn’t get busy until later in the day and I didn’t want her to feel pressured or overwhelmed. We showed up when the doors opened at 10:00 am and started slowly with one foot barely skimming the surface. She would tap the metal grate with her faux Ugg boot and then pull it back to safety. “See,” I smiled. “I told you it was nothing.” For the next ten minutes, we stood on the P1 platform and practiced touching the step with one foot. She was beginning to get the hang of it, and once her terrified face eased up, I knew she was ready for more. “You’ve GOT this!” I cheered. “How about keeping your foot ON it this time instead of taking it off.” Still hesitant, she continued to pat her foot on the ascending stair. “But Mommy,” she cried, “I’m scared!” Just then, a three-year-old girl blew past and climbed her way up, backward, toward the shoe department. It was a slap to my daughter’s face and we both froze, laughing at the irony. “It’s time,” I whispered, “Just DO it,” —and she did. She grabbed the railing with two hands and held on for dear life while verbally applauding her success. “Did you see me? I DID IT, MOM! I can’t believe I did it!”

I would like to thank Dillard’s for not kicking us out that day. We spent four hours riding up and down the escalators and didn’t buy a thing. That night, she took her father back to Dillard’s and did the same thing. The next day, she begged me to take her again. She was hooked. She needed a stairwell fix to get her through the day, and no other store would do. I told her we could go on one condition: that we only stay for an hour and bought something while we were there. Though our escalator training camp was a huge success, it didn’t come without a price. My daughter locked in on a pink ruffled dress, and I walked away with a little more pain than I ever thought possible. Who knew that standing still on a moving stairwell could be such a tough workout? Do yourself a favor and don’t wait until your kid’s eighth birthday to teach them. Your body will thank you.

When Will The Whine Go Bad?

​My kid whines a lot about shit that doesn’t matter. I think she just does it to see how far she can push me before my head explodes all over the kitchen floor. She complains about everything: brushing her teeth, bedtime, getting ready for school; even down to the seams on the toes of her socks—pretty much anything that will buy her a few extra minutes of complex negotiations.

 

Last week, her class went on a field trip to the beltline; a fancy way of saying that they went for a walk. She was wearing sneakers that day and the comfiest pair of unicorn sweatpants that you’ve ever seen. I packed her a healthy lunch for the journey which included a turkey sandwich, some delicious red grapes, and a zip lock bag full of veggie sticks, along with an ice-cold bottle of city tap water to guzzle down whenever the desert sun of the Atlanta skies was too much for her to bear.

 

When I picked her up at school that afternoon, it was obvious that something was wrong. But when I asked what was it was, she shrugged and said nothing.” The second time I questioned her, she glared back at me with one eye and then rolled it in a tiny circle like she was visually chasing a fly. Again, she said nothing. When we got to the car, I gave it one last try by tossing out a few unrelated questions to rule out a friend war and then I asked about the field trip. The next thing I knew, she was Lindsay Lohan—three days after the paparazzi snapped a picture of her eating a Big Mac in the backseat of a Prius—tears were everywhere. She proceeded to wail, uninterrupted, for a solid four minutes while complaining of aches and pains: her feet hurt; she was sweating hot, and starving. It was like a scene out of Shawshank Redemption, and I waited for her award-winning performance to end before gently placing a thermos full of chilled watermelon in her delicately troubled hands.

 

The next morning, all of the parents received an email from the teacher encouraging us to use our holiday break as an opportunity to get off our asses and play with the kids outdoors. Though he addressed it to the entire class, it was clear that he wrote it for me, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Apparently, the grievances my daughter had over foot pain and hunger had been shared with him while they wandered down a popular urban pathway as a dry run for a much longer walk in the future. I pity the fool that gets to hold her hand during that trip.

 

I love the confidence that our teacher has in my child. He thinks that she will complain less if she spends more time doing things she doesn’t enjoy; like walking in the hot sun on an empty stomach. What he doesn’t (yet) know is that she never touched her lunch that day. Why? Who the hell knows? She was probably too busy complaining about nothing, but it turns out that the deprivation component of her ailment was very real because she hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast.

 

Kids like to complain. It gives them a sense of purpose, but the nagging drip of a whining little girl is one of the worst sounds in the world. I keep thinking it will end one day that I will wake to the sound of birds singing outside my window and my child whistling along in harmony. The funny thing is that I also keep thinking I’ll win the lottery. I wonder which one has better odds of happening.

Enter to Win a FREE myCharge HUB Max Charger

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I took my mother and daughter on a road trip last month so they could visit with family while I attended a writing workshop nearby. It was an eight hour drive from Atlanta to Ohio and each of us had at least one device running at all times. At some point, my mother’s phone died and she needed to charge it, but I was using the only port available so we didn’t get lost in the boonies. Luckily, I remembered that I had an extra plug with a separate USB port in the trunk of my car and managed to hillbilly rig her phone for the remainder of the drive. It was unfortunate that this device only worked in the car because I sure could have used one at the hotel.

This was my second writing conference, and I wanted to stay connected in case my daughter needed something. So, I stuffed my purse with portable chargers and wishful thinking, feeling certain that my fanatical planning was going to pay off. Much to my chagrin, both chargers died after the first use and finding an outlet near a chair was next to impossible. In fact, the only time I was able to charge my phone long enough to make a difference was while I slept which—thanks to my friends—was very little.

There is nothing more frustrating than your phone dying in the middle of an event, but for a mother, it’s downright scary. In a few weeks, I will be flying to Baltimore to attend another conference, only this time my daughter won’t be coming along for the ride. Though I know she will be in good hands, I still need to hear her voice on a daily basis, and the thought of it going straight to voicemail makes my blood boil. Imagine how excited I was when the folks at myCharge asked me to review their best selling charger: The HUB Max 9000mAhGo ahead, twist my arm!

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I’ve been using the HUB Max for about a week now and love it. Not only does it allow you to take all the videos and pictures you need so you will never miss another memory; it extends talk time for up to 67 hours. This thing has kept my phones charged and connected like a boss. And, if you have ever been on the receiving end of a two-percent battery when your child is about to perform, you understand how valuable that can be. Yesterday, my daughter’s school had their spring performance–outside! There were no outlets or fans, just a solar powered nightmare from the blazing hot sun. While some parents were battling Mother Nature with a flimsy umbrella, others were sweating it out over poor battery life, but not me because I was chillin’ in the shade with an iPhone in one hub and a Bluetooth in the other. And by the time my daughter walked out on-stage, I was fully charged and ready to roll. Best part? I didn’t have to carry a freaking phone cord around with me all day because there are two built in to the device!

The HUB Max is a TSA approved device and small enough to store in your carry on luggage (note: you can throw into your purse once you leave the airport because it really is that small). It can also be used to charge tablets, GoPro’s fitness watches, speakers and a slue of other must haves. In the age of technology, this is the perfect accessory for any mom on the go and this week, I will be giving one away for free. Yes, you heard me right; I said FREE!

Now, before you get all clickety-split with your fingertips to enter this awesome contest, please be aware that it is limited to UNITED STATES RESIDENTS ONLY. I know, I know… and I apologize in advance to my overseas friends, but I feel quite certain that there will be more opportunities down the road, so make sure you follow me everywhere. For those living the US who are interested in entering, the retail value of the HUB Max is $129.99 (which is a small price to pay for one that works). The only downside I found in this device is that the charging port didn’t fit into my LifeProof case, but anyone who has one of their cases already knows this is an issue that is easily resolved by ordering one of these (note: this adapter is designed for iPhone 6S/6S Plus, but they do make others).

If you don’t win, don’t freak out because you can still cash in on a HUB Max up at 40% off the retail value via the myCharge website for a limited time only using promo code MOM. Also, be sure you are following me on Facebook and Twitter as I will be announcing the lucky winner online in a few days. Good luck!

Please note: this is a sponsored post, but opinions are my own.

Dental Phobia In Two Words 

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You know how… when you go to the dentist, and he gives you three intense shots of novocaine; the kind where he has to physically TURN his body to poke another piece of flesh… and while he’s pivoting and jabbing that fucking skewer into your gums, you secretly want to cry? And just as you begin to assume the worst is over, he starts drilling into your tooth and HITS A NERVE?! So you say…

Read the whole article… »

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