Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Something is Wrong with Grandma..."

From the moment I hear that the in-laws will be visiting CA from Philly, my shoulders lurch up in physical defense. Then when they arrive, my big smile doesn't hide that I am in full battle to morph into Queen Warrior in mere seconds. Okay, my in-laws aren’t that bad, it's just the MIL is very negative toward me and tells me what I'm doing wrong...constantly.

This year I was ready. But this year Grandma was different. Instead of yelling at me that I relocated her coffee cup without telling her, she giggled and asked me how to use the Keurig coffee maker. Not once, not twice, but every morning, for a week.....she would ask the same thing:

1) “Three years ago I used this coffee maker thing...can you show me how to use it again?”

2) “Can I heat up my coffee in your microwave?” (She'd ask me this every 5-8 minutes) (She heated up her coffee so many times she didn't even need to drink it; it evaporated.)

Something is wrong with Grandma.

One day, hunched over the bottom double oven she grasped at the handle, "Do you mind if I heat up my coffee?"

"Um...the microwave is over here..." I answered quickly coming to her rescue.

One day she dropped her coffee, another day she dropped the milk. Both times she blamed others or shook her head in disgust that life wasn't fair.

One day I made her coffee, dragged her to a chair and suggested, "You know, if you drink all your coffee in the next five minutes, it won't get cold, and you won't need to reheat it." She looked up at me like a child happy someone was finally coming to her aide.

"Okay..." She said as she smiled.

Then one day my mother-in-law walked up to my husband, her son, and asked, “And where do you live, sweetie?”

My oldest son, Ty, eleven and sometimes more innocently funny that me, added his raw commentary, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Being away from home may have increased the stress bringing on whatever dementia my MIL was already going through. Alzheimer’s or something else….it really didn't matter. All that did matter was that Grandma would never been the same.

Not that this is a bad thing. For me. For the first time in….well…since I’ve known her…she has actually been nice to me. Complimenting me. Thanking me for being in her son’s life. This was the first time I can actually say, I like her.

I’m not going to share this with family that is devastated Grandma is losing her mind…but as I watch the bitter sad sometimes mean woman fall into a new kind of normal....I welcome the upside.

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Halloween Mess Caused By Daddy..."

…Dear Children,

When your future spouse asks you to dress a five year old in a specific outfit, remind them to not get creative and do anything 'outside' what you have asked. Cause they just may spray paint that kid's head with black hairspray and forget to tell you....meaning that the child spends the morning rolling all over so many cushions causing huge 'head shaped' black spots to appear in so many spots, you'll just assume it's some kind of joke. Later discovering that 'No... your parent (i.e...'creative' spouse) didn't put down a blanket or towel or even inform the child that he should be careful, instead, he let him to be five and roll, land or head butt cushions with a staining painted head.

Please remind your spouse if such a disaster ever happens (and let's assume it's won't) but if it does, please remind your spouse they have the absolute freedom NOT tell you and fix the problem themselves! Cause if they do nothing and leave their creation remnants at the front door in a huge pile telling you, "You need to clean this up..." Let them know you will not be happy. For days. Weeks maybe.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Best Travel Advice for Cheap Restaurants!"

When you know you are going to be traveling to another city for awhile...sign up to get Groupons for that city 2 to 4 months prior!  Then watch the expiration dates and look for things you'll want to see, do and eat!  Brilliant idea from someone I met today!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Best Solution to Driving and Texting"

Best solution to driving and texting....hire a kid.  I've got one that sits in the front seat.  When I get a text, he reads it to me and then responds for me as I tell him what to type back.  Best part?  He gets to practice his 'real word' spelling and properly listening to a woman's voice telling him what to do in detail. 

What man couldn't have benefitted from that early training skill?!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The CEO of the Laurie McDermott: "The Pain of a Thank You Note"

The CEO of the Laurie McDermott: "The Pain of a Thank You Note": "I sent her a gift. She sent me a thank you. The thank you was so awesome I felt compelled to send her a thank you for the thank you... Whic..."

"The Pain of a Thank You Note"

I sent her a gift. 
She sent me a thank you.
The thank you was so awesome I felt compelled to send her a thank you for the thank you...
Which she responded with a thank you for the thank you for the thank you. 

I then called her to tell her to knock it off.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I spent the morning at Coffee Bean doing what I hate....calling on bills where mistakes have been made: late charge, insurance didn't pay properly and Verizon added some weird fee.  Even if it's $2.00, if it's not suposed to be there, I will call and make sure it's off my bill.

My husband (the guy who never looked at his bills before he met me, spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars for things he didn't buy) keeps telling me, "Okay....but don't you think you are wasting your time?"

Umm...No.  Today after calling six places and 'winning' on all of them where mistakes were fixed and charges were returned to me, this man gets up to leave Coffee Bean.  As he passes me he says, "Wow!  I need someone like you working for me!" 

Lost in my own world I looked up confused. 

He laughed and said, "I've been listening to you on the're good.  I need my managers to be more like you!"

Ha.  I didn't know him but it was nice that someone actually noticed that yeah, I was doing the right thing.  And keeping these companies in line on their 'charges.'

Have you looked at your bills lately?  All of them?  Open your eyes, read the charges and don't believe everything on your bill.  You may be surprised at what you've been paying for over the years that you didn't even know about!  And if you find something, be brave.  Pick up the phone, ask about it or stop it.  

Never be embarrassed to want to know what charges are.  Cause the 'takers' know people believe more than they doubt.  It's your bill.  It's your money.  Keep it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

College for Who....?

My neighbor's daughter got into Stanford. 

I was so happy for them and said, "My kids will never get in there...unless they play on getting a scholarship for ping-pong."

My neighbor Maura laughed and told me something I thought was so cool I had to share, "Laurie, your kids could to Stanford and do nothing...or the could go to a community college and do everything!"

She's right. 

Forget pushing the ping-pong idea.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raising Chickens...?

Sick of paying outrageous prices for organic eggs, my farm raised Uncle, in the middle of Chicago Suburbia, built a chicken coop and sent away for chicken eggs.

The eggs arrived morphing into chickens until a year later...pop! The first egg. Sadly some of the chickens were eaten by various rodents that broke into the chicken pen till my Uncle had the coop reinforced.

Visiting Chicago with my "can’t-we-get-chickens" kids this week, they were excited to see the birds and graciously offered to care for the chickens when my uncle left town for a week. Our job was easy: Fill the bowls with feed, water, then go collect the eggs. It was like being on a farm…only the farm was a 8 x 20 foot shed.

The first day was scary, the chickens didn't know us and we didn't know them. The second day was scarier, the chickens almost seemed to be trying to attack us. The third day my kids convinced me they could do this job on their own and returned sweaty and panicked: “The chickens are out! They are attacking!”

I ran to my uncles house with a broom and a red towel (bulls follow it, why not chickens?). Then with my kids screaming in the background, I got all the chickens back in the pen. Catching my breath I realized the upturned empty bowls for their water and feed were deep in the pen. I had to go back in. With feed in my hands I ran to the bowls as the chickens charged me with their heads and bodies. Literally they would run on their ledges and launch themselves into the air and then me, sacrificing pain to get me out of their home.

Scratched but not bleeding I closed the pen and left with my shaking children. For the rest of the week, we threw feed in. They were chickens, they didn’t need a bowl! The water I put by the door and filled it with a heavily padded arm.

The question came up about getting chickens and my kids all paused, “What about a dog?”

I wasn’t ready for a dog, but at least the chicken idea is gone for good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Risiduals of Vacations...

For five days straight at Paws Up Resort, I had one (okay two) s’mores around a campfire each and every evening. (Just typing this makes my mouth water…whoops...sorry...let me wipe off that drool...)

Why did something so ordinary taste so dang good? I was obsessed with them. One night at camp, I almost pushed over two kids to get the last piece of chocolate. Maybe it was that Paws Up is so relaxing? Maybe it’s because at Paws Up camps, you get a butler...who helped me so much, I never had to even think about what to feed my child. (Hmm...what did she eat anyway?)

Obviously addicted, earlier tonight, I turned on my stove, found a marshmallow, saltine crackers and some M&M' wasn't Montana, it wasn’t a campfire, but the mere act made me happy.

BTW: If you try this at home, forks and flames don't mix. Flaming hot and screaming do.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Wrong Words....

I often get in trouble to saying or assuming the wrong thing or words.  Not like the politicians lately....but I've been known to confuse what my kids have said to me, forgetting they are children and their "S word" is actually "Stupid."  I've put my foot into my mouth and have even upset some parents.  It's all good, but I couldn't help buckle over in laughter when I read the following story thankful I"m not the only one...

Tony was about 9 years old and staying with his grandmother for a few days. He'd been playing outside with the other kids, when he came into the house and asked, 'Grandma, what's that called when two people sleep in the same bedroom and one is on top of the other?'

Grandma was a little taken aback, but she decided to tell him the truth as she always did, 'Well, dear, it's called sexual intercourse.’

‘Oh,’ Tony said and he went back outside to play with the other kids. A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, 'Grandma, it's NOT called sexual intercourse. It's called Bunk Beds. And Jimmy's Mom wants to talk to you.'

A Moms Love...

I've had a staph infection on my thigh for almost six weeks. At first it was annoying, then it was painful, and then I couldn't walk....

What was inconvenient for my kids, soon became inconvenient for my husband.

After two weeks, I was desperate and called the only person I knew could help. Superman? Um...close. I called my mom.

Within a day of my call, she flew 3,000 miles to come to my rescue and save my world. She took the kids were they needed to go, she cooked, she cleaned, she fed my family, but most importantly, she gave me the love (I so needed) that only moms know how to give.

Beyond comforted, I knew my mom, with unconditional love and my best interest in mind, was here to help and I could relax and heal. And while it took a long time to get better, I couldn't help think about what I'd have done if my mom wasn't alive anymore.

I guess I'd suck it up? Be brave? Hire help? It was a mushy, teary night of reality as I thought about dear friends who have already lost their mom, even calling two of them to say, barely audible, that if they ever got sick, or needed me, I'd be there for them. Of course, I could never be their mom, but I could do my best to make them feel loved.

Make a note of those buddies you have who may not have their mom. If the time ever comes, make them joyful that at least they have YOU.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Costco with Two Monsters

Recently I went to Costco with my youngest and his buddy with the promise, ‘I need two things.  If we’re out in ten minutes, we’ll go to McDonalds for ice cream.”  Sounded good, right?

I should have taken bets…I’d have made serious cash. The boys ran, hid and even disappeared behind boxes and shelves I didn’t even notice were there. Every time I asked them to walk with me, stop touching products or stop staring at strangers, they either laughed or ignored me running the other way. I wanted to strangle my child but knew that would scare his friend into never coming over again (not like that’s a bad thing). In the end I asked a big guy employee with a walkie-talkie to pretend to arrest the kids.

He laughed and walked up to the children still hiding behind a box and in a deep authoritative voice said, “Stay with mom or I’ll have to arrest you and take you to jail!”

The boys immediately ran over to me. The friend didn’t leave my side, asking questions like, “What does arrested mean? Where is jail? What is jail like?”

Great…I can see the conversation at his house over dinner…. ”Well son, what did you learn today?”

I answered the boys' questions and reminded him he could come over any time but we’d have to wait they both boys learned to listen.

It’s now been three weeks…........still haven’t heard from his mom.  (not like that's a bad thing either.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's JUST Flag Football People!

Rarely do I repeat other's words (cause no one’s funnier) but today, I laughed so hard I almost peed.

My oldest plays flag football. Clueless on the game, I just love watching my son run around. It's fun, but the parents around me are insane. It's a problem in all sports, but what do you do? Me? Laugh at the goofy parents.

Well today, an email came down to all players from the City that runs the program and I had to share. Because anyone who's ever played sports or had a child play sports, is going to either laugh or cry.

In the subject; "It's Just Flag Football People!"
The letter starts off....

So this weekend -

1. One Coach challenges another Coach to fight, and calls a Mom a (female dog).

2. One Coach walks on to the field during the game, curses at Refs, gets thrown out of game and refuses to leave the field.

3. One D4 kid (allegedly) repeatedly grabs kids by the neck.

4. One D2 kid (allegedly) throws a punch.

5. A bunch of D3 parents start screaming at every play or call against them, so much that the other team parents have to move.

6. An anonymous parent sends a nasty email to a D2 Coach insinuating the coach purposely "broke a kid's spirit and shattered his confidence" - when the other coach had no issues.

People - this is youth sports - not life or death! The league will react swiftly to this kind of behavior, and we can tell you Coaches will be suspended for life, and kids will be removed from the league for their actions.

We don't have the time, staff or quite frankly, the interest, in reviewing every piece of tape to see that specific "bad/missed" call! And it doesn't matter - you still need to act as a role model and not a raving lunatic.

Please people - check yourself. When 6 year-olds are looking at you like you're crazy... you are.

-The XXX City Board

YES! And depending on your level of parental sportsmanship, you may or may not be laughing but at this point, but all I can say is “AMEN!”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pregnant Again?

A few hours ago I thought I was pregnant with my fourth child.  My life is crazy, I don't want any more kids..  And I don't believe in abortion.............but suicide.....!

When Mommy is Sick

I'm on crutches, standing in the doorway talking to my dear friend, Gloria, when my six year old walks up to me with her swimming towel and says, "Mommy, can you hold this?"  followed quickly by, "I'm hungry!  can you get me something to eat?"

I looked down at the girl people have called, my "mini-me" and wondered why she didn't notice my hands were already full, holding handles that allow me to carry my body on two silver sticks. 

For almost 2 weeks I fought this weird infection on my leg.  Staph infection they determined.  Big.  Red.  Nasty. What comes along with Mr. Staff Nasty is fever and pain.  Nice, huh?  I, the mom that never gets sick, was ordered by a couple of doctors to SIT and let others do things for me so the swelling will go down!  Ha!  "Others?"  Did they think I lived in a group home?  I wanted to laugh!  Actually, I think I did.

That first week I was up and down, on and off the couch, giving directions, helping kids, helping my find things, fix things, make things.  As I'm limping in pain over to 'help' my daughter find the tape, she stands starring at me as if she's angry that I'm taking too long. 

The swelling and pain grew so much that one doctor threatened to admit me to the hospital.  YEAH!  But I knew I had one other (better) option.  

The next day, I called the one person that could help savior, my superman.  Superwoman.  I called my Mom.  She understood.  She'd had a husband (he died) and she'd been sick.  She knew exactly how I felt and what I needed!

Even the very thought of calling her caused me to burst into tears.  I could barely speak to make my desperate plea, "Mom, I need you...."   And that was it.  My mom was at my side as soon as she could get a flight.

Since then, things have calmed; my kids are happy, my husband is happy (but still can't find things in his own home, but he's happy), and I'm happy.  No.  I'm blessed.  I've been able to do as the doctors said and do it with love and support all around me.  (which some say, makes healing happen even faster!)

I know Mother's Day is long gone, but your mom, if living, isn't.  Thank her often.

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Puppy-Sitter

It was early morning on Mother's Day and my sister-in-law, Amy, was doing a good deed. Babysitting the neighbor's 6-week old Golden Retriever, in his cage for the night, till my young niece and nephews took him out to play....


Amy ran to the frightened scream to see the tail end of her black thong panties being swallowed by the tiny puppy, "Nooo!"

In an instant, the panties were gone inside the barrel of the dogs' tummy. The family knew they had to get the dog to the vet or risk having to tell their newly divorced neighbor, who purchased the puppy to ease stress on her kids, that puppy was heaven-bound.

Amy grabbed the dog and ran to her car. It wouldn't start!

(This was when, rude as it may seem, I started to laugh.)

It wasn't even 10am on Mother's Day and poor Amy was battling fires she didn't even cause.

(I continued to muffle my laugh as she continued her story...)

Her husband yelled and protested as Amy then climbed into his immaculate, no-dogs-or-children-allowed-car, to transport the underwear infested puppy to the Vet.

Thankfully, the undies were still in the dog's tummy and inducing vomit produced the underwear, his Dorito breakfast and a $385 fee for their trouble.

Days later Amy wondered out loud if she should have let the dog try and digesting the thong, but is still happy she did what she did.

As am I love stories like that!

But if they ever watch another dog again, it will not be on Mother's Day and will not be left unattended with children And her dirty clothes...they will forever make it into the hamper...with a new lid.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Watch the GAME?

Oh...I’m sorry. I’m just not into sports.

I love that my kids play sports.  But when I sit there…I watch my kid.  Not the game. 

Then my mind wanders.  As I watch my kid.....I’m thinking....what will they be like in 30 years, will they get married, what will their job be like, what will they be like?  Will he be nice?  Will he invite me to dinner or call me once in awhile?

Someone shouts, “Did you see that shot?” missed it.

I smile and go back to my thoughts......look at the other kids….as they get older, how will their lives go, who will remain friends when they are my age…who will die early from some weird tragic death?   Will I still be here?  Will my kids be the ones leaving early? 

The man next to me stands and screams, "Yeah!" 

I look to the kids smiling at their latest goal and realize this will be the last time they will ever be this small.  They are so sweet, so innocent, so cute in their pre-teen, pre-acne, pre-I-know-more-than-you-Mom age.

The game is over and my ten year old runs over to me as I smile open my arms to hug him, "Did you win?"

My ten year old stops dead in his tracks, "Didn't you watch?"

I admit the truth, "I watched every second...."

My ten-year old lets out a big sigh as he rolls his eyes and walks toward my husband as I see the early onset of "My Mom is so dumb." 

Truth is....I'm much wiser than he'll ever understand.  I'm a mom.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Upside of Death

Two men under 51 died two days apart. Separate incidents, their wives did not know each other.

I knew the first man, other friends knew the second.

Friends who were consoling me, two days later, I had to console them.

That week I was in a walking coma. This is life. We get one. Breathe. Live. Breathe. Laugh.

It was a sad, dreadful time...but if you think about it....when I look back at that week, I feel so happy and content.

That week my life stopped. I cancelled appointments, cancelled activities and stuff that wasn't as important as sitting with my friends and family. My house was a total mess but my kids had my full attention as we played games, read, talked, hugged, sat and prayed.

In the end...that yucky, horrid week was the most connected I've felt to my husband, kids and friends in a long, long time. See what death does to us if we open our minds?

That was wonderful week. I miss my friend. I'll see him soon. Uh....hopefully not too soon.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Bad Sports Mom

Even though I'm a girl, I like sports. I like my kids to play sports. But not when it's 42 degrees and raining so hard and long kids (shaking from the cold) can't see the ball or other players they keep crashing into.

Sports-lover OUT….loving Mamma IN.

My son had two lacrosse games back to back in sleeting freezing sideways wind and rain. Every inch of his body, clothing, socks and shoes were wet like someone threw him into a river. He was shivering so bad it looked as if he was going through a seizure. Fifteen minutes into the second game….

Coach said, "Suck it up..."

Dad said, "Be a man...."

Mom said, "Get your butt home...."

I won't tell you who one this battle but I will tell you when a woman is involved (let me repeat...when a Mom is in involved) in a battle over whether her child will be put into danger, bodily harm, or sickness, move over. Mom becomes a bear and won't settle down till she gets her way for her child.

My large tween baby came home in tears to my warm hugs and soft heart. Reminding him....all is fair in love and sports....unless he needs a rational supporter, in which case, I will always battle to protect him. (Better do it now, only have a few more years before he'll avoid my embarrassing hugs.)

Yes, they won their game....but five of the boys missed three days of school or more.  Was it worth it?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Hot Sexy New Boobs!

Need a boob job?  Need a laugh?

A Happy Ending...

The worst part about life? It ends. If not for you...then for someone else you're gonna miss horribly.

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Todd, 51, dad of 2 little kids and husband to a great wife, had a heart attack and died. No warning. No I love you's. No "did you remember to pay that life insurance bill?" Nope. None. Just hanging with the family one day...gone the next.

Last week another friend called sad that her 98 year old Grandfather passed away. While I feel bad when anyone has to say good-bye to someone they love, I also wondered why my friend couldn’t see how lucky and blessed she was that she got to have Grandpa in her life so long?

And really, how long do we expect a person to live anyway? I'm in shock every New Years when I realize another year has past and if I live to be 100 I now only have 63 more New Years left. Then I reduce 100 to 80 and then I only have 43 more left. It may be morbid to you, but to me, it's a reality check to remind me to get off my butt, take chances and not let the silly crap bog me down.

Do I expect to live to 150? No. Do I want to? The idea is horrifying; all my friends would already be gone and I'd have to endure all those funerals as I literally fall apart. (That's me being selfish.)

But when I think about my friend’s Grandfather, I’m still blown away how lucky is. She got to experience soooo many wonderful memories with him that she wouldn't have had if he had died when he was.....hmm…say, 51 like my friend Todd.

Bottom line: Go! Do! live! Appreciate those you love and tell them you love them. Over and over. Cause tomorrow you (or they) may be gone. And yeah,'ll be sure to tell them when you see them later in heaven, but in that case, why not start now?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Which Wine Trinket?

What is the point of the colored wine things you put on your glass to make sure you remember which glass is yours?
After ½ glass, I’m lucky if I can see the trinket, yet alone recognize what color it is AND remember what color I had when I started.

I say they make ones that are ‘shocking;’ like a small penis, a hand with the middle finger exposed, or a metal sculpture of two gay pigs.  One look and not only will you remember it that night, you may even remember it for weeks, months, even years to come of that night you drank from a glass that held a small trinket of a big hairy uncut metal toe. 

Then again, I’d have such a good time laughing and looking at all the weird trinkets, I’d probably still forget when disgusting trinket was on my glass.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

It's Closed?

The conversation went like this….

“Who wants to go to Diary Queen?”

There were shouts and screams of glee, followed by the voice of my friend's kid who said, “Oooohhhhhh, I hope it’s not closed!”

Hmmm….closed? Why would he say that? It’s sunny, 2pm, why would he think it would be closed? Then it hit me! He said that because his brilliant Mom says that to him when she doesn’t want to take him to ice cream!”  It's closed!

She's a liar! 


Liar to children!

I couldn’t stop laughing.

The kids all got quiet as they worried that Mom, aka 'trusty safe driver,' was going to choke on her own spit.

And I thought I was the only one that lied to my kids when I was broke or tired…!   At least I waited till it was dark, this Mom convincingly does it during the day!

Absolutely hilarious. (Love that Mom by the way.)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Win a Dream Home?

I'm not a Vegas girl.  Why?  I don't like to lose.  In fact, the only real betting I do is hitting the snooze alarm each morning.  In Vegas, I'll sit at the nickel slots, pretending to play till I see the cocktail waitress come by with free drinks to those betting.

That said, if the money I spent gambing didn't go to the fat-head casino owners, but instead went to some family in need, I'd bet with pride!

Today, I found that fun-worthwhile gamble.  $150 a ticket and I got a chance (one, single chance) to win a 7,300 square foot, 1.8 million dollar house!  All the proceeds go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego.  So regardless if I win or not, someone else gets my money that needs it.

But wouldn't it be cool to win?  Tee-hee.  It's their 7th annual!  Let me know if you get the house - I want to visit!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Screw-up of San Francisco

Really? Who's idea was it to put a major city on top of a massive hill?

Like most mountain roads builders built them with safety in mind. They go side to side like you do when you ski a mountain.

Not San Fran! Whoever designed that city said, "Nope! Our people are face adversity! Our roads will go straight up and straight down!"

Later as global warming set in, someone must have said, "Let's just hope it never snows here."

Who Stole My Time?

Five minutes ago it was 9am, now it's 1pm!

When I was a kid in school, I'd stare at that big white time counter, watching the second hand click and click, using my brain, my magic power from watching "Bewitched" to make that black pointer click faster, just a bit I could be free!!!!

Never worked.  The day dragged on.  Slow and painful.

Now, today and every day.....I wish that clock back in my life.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Cleaning Headache

My mom has a cleaning lady....or ladies.  4 women that sweep through her house in record speed doing crap she loathes; stove, bathroom, toilets.  These ladies have been cleaning her house bi-weekly for as long as when I once lived there.  Now they are all getting old and blind. 

Recently I watched as they swept, mopped and vacuumed my moms house, missing obvious crumbs and a dried coffee spill that any normal eye would have noticed.   Yet at the end, they stood in admiration of the now clean home (or so they thought) as they gloated in appreciation of one for having a home to clean, the other for doing a great job.

As they parted ways till the next visit in two weeks, I quickly picked up a napkin and wiped up the coffee spill and the crumbs. 

I know there is a saying that would go perfect here, but I can't think of is blind?  It only bothers you if you notice?  Friendship is better than a clean home?   

While it annoys me that my mom pays for a service that isn't being done right, she's so happy.  And who am I to ruin that for her?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Nice Girl

For some reason I'm always aware of people that can't find a place to sit or have trouble fitting in. It's in my blood. I want to help. I have to get up, move chairs or even forgo my own seat to share with another just so someone can fit in and be happy.

But not when I'm working. Once a week I go to a coffee house somewhere to write my column for the magazines I write for. One time a woman came in and when I saw her struggling to find a place to sit, I made room at my table so she'd have a place to sit down. Ten minutes later, she turned on her IPod and began to sing. Loudly.

Thinking I was set up by Ashton Kutcher on PUNK'd....but doubtful because I didn't know him yet....I went ahead and kindly asked her to turn it down. Suddenly she started screaming at me to mind my own business and to get a life. She started singing louder.

I looked around for support. Didn't anyone see me help this lady find a place to sit and now she was abusing me? Nope. People don't want to get involved. They just looked down. I left and went somewhere else.

Weeks later whenever someone else asked if they could share my table, I asked if they had an IPod or liked to sing in public. If they said no to both, they could sit.

Then I had a guy that sat on his phone the whole time laughing, sharing details about his pickups. While it was interesting and useful if I had a dating column, it was loud and distracting.

Another time this guy wanted to sit with me. I told him, "My husband is on his way..." He said he'd move when my husband arrived. Then when my husband arrived, he told us, "I'm not moving there is nowhere else to sit. Why don't you go somewhere else?"

So I've learned. Now when I go to write at a coffee house, I bring a large binder, scraps of notepaper and then I purchase two cups of coffee. I then set up the other side of the table to look like someone else is sitting there. Ahhh. No one asks to sit there cause it looks like that person is in the bathroom.

I'm still nice and helpful. Just not at a coffee place.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lunch With Laurie

Tonight I have a show.  I love doing standup. Love it.  It's in the blood and must be done weekly or I've been known to get antsy.

But I hate the fact that comedy clubs are only open at night.  

7pm I'm leaving as my kids stare at me as if  I'm moving out.  Once at the show....if I beg to go on first and perform right away so I can get home fast, chances are I won't be 'seen' by agents, producers or people that can put me on Leno, Joy Behar, or Judge Judy (, not her)  Cause those important people don't seem to even come out till after I'm usually in bed.

Unlike most comics who sleep till noon, I'm up at dawn and put me up to perform past 9:30pm, I've been known to yawn on stage.  And that's attractive. 

I dream about working during the day, and am moving forward with my new show title: 
"Lunch with Laurie"

No more angry, sad stares from my kids, just everything I love:  Day, food and laughter.

Why didn't I think of this before? 

Alright...who's got a women's luncheon coming up? 

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little Love on V-Day

It wasn't that hard. I saw some candy boxes and thought about my older neighbors, some married for 50 years, some widowed, and some I'm sure hadn't received a Valentine in years. So I planned a little 'happy.'

My kids and I put cut out pink squares, wrote "Happy Valentine’s Day" and delivered them to the doors of women (old and young) in our neighborhood.

I was so proud, my kids were so thrilled (after they screamed at each other about who would deliver what, and who was delivering more than someone else!). Bottom line it was just a fun little 'life lesson' on showing appreciation for women and making others feel special.

The response was so unbelievable, even my tween boy (who won't let me kiss him in public anymore) said, "I'm so happy we did that Mom."

Bottom line; Where others may say, "Ugh, why bother...." That's when you can say, "Hey, why not?"

Making someone else feel happy will make you feel even better.

Seattle's Best? A Cup of Water Puh-leeze?

I spent $13.65 on a three coffees and a muffin-thing for my littlest tot.  Thirty seconds later I went back and asked for an ice water.

"50 cents."

I laughed. Really? For ice water?

"We have to pay for the cup...."

My friend (for whom I just purchased a coffee), as well as a stranger in line both offered to pay for my water.

I was so shocked, it froze me. I just stood there. I didn't know what to do. Was I on candid camera? Was I being poked by someone on facebook? (never sure what that does, but yesterday I was walking funny because I had some weird pain in my leg. I think I got poked?)

Yes, I know the economy is hurting. People are hurting. Yet, here I am, patronizing a store. Instead of making coffee at home and drinking water for free, I chose this store to visit. And bring some friends (oh and a child). Then I get smacked with a ‘are-you-kidding-me fee.'

Being the bad-ass the mother in me won’t allow. I didn't pay it. I told her ‘Hmmm…no thanks.”

As I walked back to my friends (laughing at me as they do), I saw the girl behind the counter look me in the eyes and throw the cup of water into the trash. (Maybe she thought I’d wait till they close the store, climb in the dumpster and go get the precious cup of water…. that by now I'm sure she had poisoned?)

The silliness of it all.

My other friend went next door and got a huge cup of water in a plastic cup (with ice and a straw) from another restaurant. For free! And we didn't buy anything there!

(Last week, the counter clerk at Noah’s Bagels overheard someone say it was my b-day and not only did he give me a free bagel, later he brought out a tray of fresh fruit. Did he know me? No. But I now know him. Will I come back? Triple yes! That place is awesome. The people there are awesome! Oh and they have free cups for ice water.)

Seattle’s Best? Are you listening?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Waiting To Fix It

What on your body do you want fixed?   My knee bears an old acl tear, my tummy ripped and has a hernia from three kids growing in there, my boobs got the same treatment, my bladder (ha), my foot has some small weird callus growing that makes it painful to step on.  I'm sure there's more but I'm already embarrassed.

My husband says, "Can you do your boobs first?"

It's a nice idea but I know that road looks long, painful and is full of , "Why is Mommy just sitting there?"

Then I think...why bother?  Another 40 years I'll be dead...who really cares anyway?  And how mad would I be if I do some of this stuff then get hit by a truck?

That must be what old people think when their kids suggest they buy new furniture or redo their kitchen thinking, " can do it when I'm gone!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Stress Call of an Ex

It was a death alarm, "BAMM!  BAMM!  BAMM!"

My heart stopped!  I ran for cover fearing America was under attack as my friend Sara grabbed her phone and said, "Ugh!  It's my ex!"

Later I asked why she had such a loud horrid ring attached to him.

She said, "Cause I hate him.  Every time he calls, he just stresses me out!"

I giggled....I didn't even know the guy and just from that ring, I hated him too. 

Sara said, 'That's the point."

Monday, February 07, 2011

Too Young to Look?

I caught my four-year-old son looking at my Victoria Secret Catalog over my shoulder. 

He gave me a grin and said, "Those are fancy girls."

Aren't Wii Old!?

What a sight!  Eighteen 35-45 year old adults, smart and educated, making good decent money, completely baffled.  Unable to figure out how to use the white Wii equipment until someone finally yelled, "Go wake up the kids!"

It was 10:30pm when my husband ran up the stairs to wake up one of our kids to help Mommy and Daddy play "Just Dance" on the Wii.

Thankfully before he woke a sleeping child, someone shouted, "We got it!"

It was a hilarious night.  Not only did we realize we're old, we now know our kids are smarter than us. some areas anyway.  Just yesterday my eldest tried to staple his finger to a wall.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Help Wanted: Sick Mom Need Appreciative Kids

After announcing I had a 102 fever and begging my husband to take our three kids to school, he responded that he was late, way too busy and that, "why don't you keep the kids home today and just have fun with them."

Speechless I watched him walk out the door.

Have you ever been sick and had to take care of children?  I'd sooner die. Maybe that was the point.  Maybe instead of plotting to try and kill me, my husband would get me to kill myself.

I had to take the kids to school.  I put on an ugly hat (so no one would recognize or talk to me), unmatching coat and old stained UGG Boots.

Sadly two of my kids also fell sick and had to come back home with me.  Together we spent the day on the couch.  Wait.  Let me rephrase that...they spent the day on the couch, I spent the day preparing, cooking and serving various foods, beverages, spreading blankets, fluffing pillows, fetching water, fetching ice, changing channels and breaking up ridiculous fights that always ended with me yelling like a two-year-old, "Are you kidding me?  I'm the one who is sick!" 

No one cared.  At one point my eleven year old cocked his head and looked at me like speaking wasn't an option and said, "Moms don't get sick."

Oh...yes. That's right.  I forgot.  I'm a Mom.  I'm not supposed to get sick.  I'm just supposed to...die?

So, that's what I did.   I laid on the floor and pretended to be dead. 

No one noticed...they already ate.

For like 3.2 minutes I laid still on the floor.   Relaxed.  Happy.  Till the phone rang and Daddy said he was coming home.

I wanted to sing.  I think I did.  It was just a vowel.  Like an angel.  "Ahhhhhh..." 

It was then I went to my bed, curled into a ball and didn't say boo till the following morning. 

Then it was back to business:  Where are my clothes?  What's for breakfast?  Why didn't you die? 

Friday, February 04, 2011

My Brain Is Not Alone! The Memory Problems....

The Chairman, Sara, kept calling and nagging at me that many of my parent volunteers hadn't turned in their forms.  Oddly my volunteers kept telling me they were in fact confirmed and that they had paid weeks earlier.  I seriously thought someone was lying, on drugs or delusional...till Sara called to tell me she 'goofed.'   I believe the word she used was, "Whoops!" followed by a giggle.

Just today a woman who I thought had been avoiding me for months finally snapped at me that I still hadn't  paid her for a costume she gave me.  Really?  I thought I had?  "Nope. Never," she told me.  I went home, dug, researched, called the bank and found out not only did I write her a check, she actually signed and cashed it 5 days later.

After I told her I had a copy of the check and her signature, she still seemed angry with me.  Maybe now it was embarrassment? 

Either way.....I'm thrilled!!!   I always thought it was just me that was losing my memory!  Turns out, we're ALL losing it!!!  I'm not alone!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coupon Retarded

After watching these shows on TV where women save hundreds of dollars by using coupons, I realize I am coupon retarded.

Below is the letter I mailed to Dentyne Gum....

Dear Dentyne Customer Service,

Awhile back I called you because product I had purchased (still good and not past it’s expiry date) was bad. It was wet. We’d never had such an experience with your gum.

I called to tell you about our bad product. You were so kind and sent me coupons for free replacement product.

Unlike all those coupons lovers I admire on TV, saving hundreds each shopping trip. Coupons and I do not get along.  I forget I have them, or I bring them and forget to pull them out, or my purse eats them.

Yet, grateful you sent me coupons for replacing the product, I should have marched to the store and redeemed them. But I'm a mom of three (four if you count the husband) and when I got the coupons, they went into my purse (things get lost in there) and then they went on a shelf so I could ‘SEE’ and remember to ‘use’ them. And then they went back in my purse…till I went to use them this very last week and after pulling them out, thrilled that not only did I remember to bring them, but I remembered to present them to the cashier! I was so proud!

Till she said, “These expired last week…”

What? Really? How does that happen? Is this candid camera?

I’ve enclosed the three coupons you sent me to please help me:

1) Replace the coupons for me? And I’ll do the “march to the store, do not pass go” thing.
2) Never write you again.
Ok....I mailed it off today....let's see what happens....?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Moms are Watching

I was sitting with my kids at a gymnastics class when this kid suddenly spoke, "God Damn it!"  I turned toward the eight-ish looking girl and spoke in a tone, "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Startled the girl looked up at me, the stranger, but yet still a mom, and said, "Oh, yes, sorry, I meant 'dang' it..." 

The girl went back to her math a little flustered and nervous.

I smiled.

That's the warning I give to my kids daily, "I know you are smart and will always do the right thing, but in case you forget, I have spies everywhere."

When I saw the girl's mom, I introduced myself and shared what happened with her daughter.  She and I had a nice giggle as we reconfirmed what we already know:  We like the nonjudgmental Moms that help keep kids in line.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Too Many Clothes

I’m the American Girl:  

I have a closet full of clothes, and yet I have NOTHING to wear.   I have clothes with tags on them….that I know I will never wear.  But I can’t get rid of them cause then I’ll be admitting I made a mistake. 

So I’m saving them….till my daughter grows up or my husband becomes a drag queen.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Best Thing about A&E's "Hoarders"

What is the best thing about watching "Hoarders" on A&E? 

Besides feeling deeply amazed and horribly sad that a human can simply live with such horrid clutter, I'm also completely elated that my own home (daily scattered in toy and random recently worn and piled "I'll do it later" clothing) is sparkly clean in comparison.

(It's the same feeling I get when I go to Disneyland feeling fat because my jeans wouldn't button with normal breathing. Walking through Disney, I'm shocked to see the abundance of heavy normal American people and recognize, I'm doing fine.)

Yet that hoarder show puts me in action. It makes me clean. I tape episodes to watch when I need motivation to clean out that closet. And let me tell you, when it comes to "keep or toss?" after one episode, even 1/2 an episode, I can move quickly without that mental debates; "Maybe I’ll wear this when pink miniskirts come back again in six years?"

Thank you A&E.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Smile

I've met her five or six times.  I've talked with her at length.  Yet, I've never, ever seen her smile.  I've even caught myself staring at her lips (where her 'smile wrinkles' sit) wondering if it's a facial deficiency that won't make her face smile or if it's...her?

She wasn't the happiest person.  Mostly she complains.  And what she does talk about is either depressing or negative.  I often thought of just telling her, since she isn't a great friend I can do that and not feel too guilty.  And, maybe she doesn't even know she's such a downer? 

Sitting with her today, I got up my courage to speak frankly to her when it happened.  A little 1/2 one, to the left, under her nose.  A creak of a smile.  And just as fast as it happened, it was gone.  I almost shrieked with glee!  I was so distracted, I forgot what we were talking about!

In the end, I decided to keep my opinion to myself taking my old saying to heart, "I love my friends because of their faults...."   Even though she wasn't really a friend, maybe just being with me caused that halfer smile to appear...and well, if I can do that for a human that never smiles, maybe she'll learn to laugh a little more.  Or maybe not.

All I know is that when you smile, you create happiness in your heart.  So go smile at someone.