Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mom, Is God in there?

My littlest kid, Roc, said to me as we were driving by the church we go to on Sunday, "Is church over?”

I said, “Yes…”

He leaned forward as if trying to see and said, “Is God still in there?”

I wanted to tell him God is everywhere but thought he'd start nervously looking around like you do in the big chair at Disney's Haunted House when that green ghost sits next to you at the end. 

So instead I took the opportunity and said, “Yep, that’s his house…and when you go there he wants you to be quiet."

Roc said, "Yeah, I'm not quiet."

Working Mothers Deserve Sainthood

The list of daily activities seems to get longer and longer and it's only 2 of my 3 that I'm escorting around. And then somewhere in-between all these activities, someone says they are hungry and I do the math on what they ate that week and should this 'fix' be a crap snack or healthy snack and how long is it till dinner and (by the way) who is fixing dinner. Oh, yeah, that would be me...the lady glued to the car lacking the strength and mentality to muster trying to put feed everyone.

What will happen to my brain when that third kid starts the "after school activities?" Will I power through with a coffee pot strapped in, brewing in my back seat, shouting at slow, tired kids to "MOVE! MOVE!" or will I have a complete breakdown with hospitalization for six months and have peace and quiet in a white room with no complaints, food requests or argument breakups. Um.... That second one sounds kinda nice.

Then I think about those moms that work....and my heart aches with stress for them. Whether they want to work or have to work, I don't know how they do it.

I have a few little jobs but they don't even compare to my friends working those serious jobs (with a boss and yearly reviews) from 9 to 5 or 7 to 7. My family struggles a little, but for my full time working mom friends who work and then come home and have to do everything that I do (yes, okay, some husbands help...but really, truly, if a husband does's only because a Mom has organized and told him to do it), I bow my head to them.

So if you are a working mom, this is me bowing and telling you that you are a truly amazing woman. Here. Do you feel that? It's a pat on the back.
Now go plan your next amazing vacation. You deserve it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Everytime I'd see an escalator I'd be reminded of shopping and beauty surrounded by businesses in the business of making me look good.

Now, with three kids under ten, whenever I see an escalator, I turn into this crazy lady convinced someone will miss a step and fall to their death while I watch stuck myself on a level I can't get off, because the escalator going the other way is clear on the other side of the mall!

So I shut commands like a veteran drill sergeant:

Tie that shoe!
Don't lean!
Hold the side!
Look straight ahead!
Stop licking the rubber!

Everyone hates me till we are off the 'ride' and safely on the next floor. One time I was so mad at them for goofing around, I told them the story of the kid who got his shoelace stuck and the escalator teeth ate his shoe and his foot and to this day he can't run or play. I didn't care if it was true or not, they were petrified. For like three more trips, they were the perfect little soldiers on the escalator. Two months later, my story went into a distant memory that I'd bring up now and then and they'd just roll their eyes.

Till last week, when we witnessed an older woman mis-step getting on the escalator. Not only did she end up riding the escalator on her backside, (upside down with her panties showing) but she had a gash on her knee that looked like the escalator bit her. My kids mouths were on the floor and we watched the paramedics come and the lady being taken away to get her knee repaired.

Later we spoke again about the dangers of being careful on the moving stairwell, but there is something annoying about a Mom having to tell and tell and tell. Cause when kids watch, witness or see with their own eyes. It's in there. And they get it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why PrePackaged Meals Are So Popular

After hours of going to the store, then cutting, slicing and cooking a great yummy meal...using only ingredients you know each and every single person in the family likes and eats on a regular prepare this massive meal out of goodness and love only to hear:

"Yuck!  This sucks.  Can I have something else?"

Teaching kindness and manners is unlikely when all you really want to do is hit them in the head with an egg.

Why I HATE Car Salesmen at Carson Toyota

I went by Carson Toyota in California, to check about a light on my dashboard. A salesman outside helped me and then suggested I could turn in my 2008 Sienna for a 2011 Sienna (the same model) for the same monthly price.

We did this song and dance thing for four months, until he convinced me "I have all the numbers solid, no drive off fees, no nothing, and your payments will stay the same."

What do you think happened?

After visiting the dealer twice, I emptied my car (kid seats, toys, things I never knew I had hiding in there) and returned to Carson Toyota to discover I was a victim of 'bait and switch.' This five year veteran salesman lied to me. Lied to ME. An on-the-ball girl who crossed her t's and dotted her i's. I was so mad I cried for days. (comedy is humor plus time...I haven't had enough time, so this may come out kinda angry) (sorry loyal readers but you must know this horrid Toyota story)

I was so mad I told this salesman, who commented he'd never seen two credit scores as high as my husband and I, that the reason we had such high credit cores was that we were honest people who paid their bills and Toyota would be lucky to continue to have us as loyal customers.  (OK, I did swear a few times) and left. They didn't expect that. They thought even though they changed the deal on me, the deal we agreed on over the phone over and over and over, that I would still do this new deal because I wanted this new car so bad.

Ha.  Nope. I walked.

I walked with my story about a corrupt dealer that opened my eyes to the ugly side of car buying, that in this day and age of Toyota trying to win back loyal customers, is still going on. They all should be ashamed of themselves. (and other nasty words)

Bottom Line: Do not be a victim of car salesmen, playing you against some Wizard of Oz, hidden 'big' man behind a partition that's about to control your financial future.  What are they talking about in there?  It's your car?  How can they negotiate without YOU?  Help end this fifty year old game and be wise.  Know your price and before you go to the dealer, negotiate over the phone. And then be SURE to get EVERYTHING in writing...or they will play dumb, "Oh that car wasn't even here..." "Oh we thought you wanted the fuchsia colored car...." Do this all before you waste your time and patience.  Then email me your hero story!

How Old is Ok to Die?

"I'm really sad, my Grandfather died last week."

"Oh, no..." I said, "How old was he?"

"'s so sad."

I wanted to laugh.  But instead I hugged my friend trying to hide what I thought was hilarious.  Every grandparent on both my parents side died when I was a kid.  I never got to see them at birthday parties or share memories with them or hear stories about their life and the valuable lessons they could have taught me from sharing their life with me.  Nope.  I got nothing.  Now here was a friend who had all of those wonderful things for so long and instead of appreciating it, she was mad and upset.

Since I do "funny" for a living, I made sure to remind her to remember how lucky she was to have had him in her life all these years as well as the funny things she loved about it.  Within seconds she was laughing.

Member when you were ten and hearing someone who was 40 meant they were deathly old?  Then at 40, 60 wasn't that old.   I bet at 80, will 90 still look young?  Then at 100, what are you thinking?  Can I make it one more year?  Ten?  Twenty??

Bottom line:  When someone dies, we are reminded of how short life really is.  We only get one life...don't screw it up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Short and Sweet Emails or Texts? Don't Take it Personal

By email I invited a friend to coffee, this was after I praised her efforts on a benefit we had just closed and also answered several of her questions on how to get in to see a certain doctor.  This was her response:

"Can't today, crazy."


My first reaction was, "Really?  I wrote 5 paragraphs and all she said was three words?  Couldn't she have noticed my efforts in responding and done the same back to me?" 

My second reaction was, "Have I angered her?"

My third reaction was "She's out.  She must be using a blackberry or be in a store or pushing a grocery cart." In which case....I'd like you all to know: Stop using emails while you are out in the world.  Emails should not be done in the car, while you pee or standing in line at Disneyland where it's so loud and distracting you spell words like 'know' (no) incorrectly and people begin to think you have a mental problem.  Wait till later to respond. 

I will not die if I do not get a reply within one to seven days.  (By day eight, yes, maybe.)

Also, don't ever answer any email with the words, "not going to work for me’ or ‘ it doesn’t work for us.’

What?  Really?

How about ending every email with, "Thank you so very much for taking the time to email me today."

No one will be wondering if your words were genuine or not.  They'll just be so happy to see the one person online who still has manners happens to be their friend.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Need a Job? This is What NOT To Do

I was standing ordering a icy jamba-type drink when I heard a voice behind me interrupt.

"Are you hiring?"

I turned.  Wearing ripped jeans, flip flops and a smirk, the girl speaking asked her question while looking down at her blackberry. 

The kid taking my order stopped talking to me and answered her, "Nah...we're full."

I watched her walk away as the kid said, "Tough market out there..."

My brain was on fire.  So many thoughts I didn't know where to start:
1) Who did this girl think would hire her if she doesn't look at the person she's speaking to?
2) Did she think anyone would hire her if she can't put her blackberry down for ten seconds?
3) Didn't someone tell her to dress for success, even if it's boring retail?

I wanted to run after her, to help her, advise her, tell her how to smile, what to wear, to ditch that electronic contraption controlling her eyes to look at only it.   I watched this girl walk into Starbucks and again get denied.  She wasn't even trying, her head still looking down at her blackberry.  She could have asked another question, the one about if anyone knew if anyone else was hiring.

Collecting all the balls in my body, I was just about to walk over to her when a car pulled up and she climbed in.  Okay, so my regret today?  Not reaching out and blowing her socks off on how to get a job.  But if you have kids....share this story with them and see what they would have done.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

HealthCare Problem; The Rising Cost of Doctors That Think Everyone is Rich

I drove an hour to see this doctor.

Constantly fearing the next earthquake (aka "The Big One") is moments away, I avoided the 6-story parking 'thing' and circled the building for twenty minutes looking for a street spot..

Defeated, it took another 10 minutes to find an open spot in the "death lot".  Walking to the elevator I heard a lady complaining on the phone that every time she came to this building it cost her $30 in parking. Guess her doctor didn't validate. Once in the office, I was horrified to hear the front desk lady tell me, "Well, it's only $2.20 every fifteen minutes."

Only? Really? She must be making close to ten an hour to believe her salary was good enough to cover parking in her building for an hour. I asked if they wouldn't mind if I filled the paperwork out in the room and was told, "Well, you are late and there are four people ahead of you."

I looked at the clock. I was six minutes late because of the parking problem (which no one thought was American fraud but me). So I said, "How many people would have been ahead of us if we arrived six minutes ago?"

The assistant shrugged. Maybe I was the first ever to have answered one of her obviously routine nasty remarks.  So I spoke again, "How long will it hour?"

She responded without looking at me, "No. At least an hour and a half."

I took my family by the hand and turned, "Okay, Bye."

The assistant was shocked, "You're leaving?"

I didn't respond. I just wanted to get out of there....vowing to myself the following:

1) This one is too nasty to mention.
2) If I ever become a doctor, a good doctor, understanding the mind-blasting costs of health care and the difficulty family members undertake to invest in proper care, I will honor and value their pocketbooks and never, ever, ever, ever take residence in a building where my dear valued patients (driving hours because they have chosen to come see ME) are forced to pay hefty embarrassing rates, just to see me.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

"Mom Lies to a Cheaper Path..."

Let's be honest.   I’m a mom…I lie. 

To friends when they ask if they look fat, to my kids when I say I don't have a favorite, to my husband when I can hardly utter that I'm tired.

It's survival.   Which is why I can barely breathe when I hear the cost of a single kids ticket is $68 and an adult ticket (do we even want to ride any of the rides?  Can't we just be an unpaying chaperon?) is $76.  

I know kids under three are I plot. “I know my son looks 10 but he’s really 2, it’s a growth mutation…shhh don’t talk about it...he's so sensitive.”  

The movies?  Did you know where I live in Los Angeles, it's up to almost $12 for 1 ticket?  I pick up my two youngest (3 and 7) and carry them in, “They’re blind….”  

At Taco bell I buy one small coke for my family to share, because the serving machine is on my side with a nice sign that says, “free refills!”  

My one friend who joined me at Taco Bell said, “that’s so unsanitary…” 

I’m responded with, "You kiss your dog on his tongue and let him lick your lips.  I just saved $4 by sharing a coke and germs we all have anyway."

I take my kids to happy hour in bars.  Not cause I'm there to drink, we're there to eat!  Some of those food items are $2!   Are the people at the bar happy I brought kids in to eat their food?  No, they want drinking customers cause the profits are huge. 

Bottom line:  Times are tough.  Keep your money in your pocket, by thinking outside the box.  Thank you Taco Bell!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

"Skinny Jeans Make My Fat Move Up"

They were having a sale.  Skinny Jeans.  The "in" thing compared to the baggy Levi's I practically wear to bed.

My sister begged me to make my butt look like it arrived into the 21st century.  So I went to the sale where the saleswoman tried to convince me (or squeeze me) into a pair of jeans two sizes smaller than what I normally wear.

"Suck it in!  Pull!  Great!  Look at how good your butt looks!"

My butt?  Was that my waist?  Having trouble intaking air, I noticed the fat on my lower half was squished so tight it had nowhere to go but up over the top of the jeans! 

Trying not to faint I grabbed the saleslady.  In my old loose jeans, my fat evenly melted into my body.  In these jeans, I looked like I just ate a buffalo.  And felt like it too.

The saleslady giggled, "Oh, everyone has waist fat, just wear a loose shirt to cover it."

Really?  I'm to give up breathing so I can fit into skinny jeans only to be forced to cover my spillage fat with a big shirt which will hide the view of my nice butt which was the very reason I bought the jeans in the first place?

It was exhausting.  But yes, I did buy the jeans.  Why?  Cause I have a husband that never gets to see my butt, even in bed (cause it's dark).  I owe him that. 

Who cares if I change to my big jeans in thirty minutes.  How long does he need to see my butt anyway?

Friday, October 01, 2010

"High School Girls..."

Yesterday I happened to drive by our local high school with my soon to be 11 year old son who, after we passed the school, asked, “Mom, why do teenage girls wear shorts that high up on their legs?”

I said, “They just want to look hot.”

Ty said, “I think they look cold.”