That’s right, I just wrote those words and I’m the mother of four children. Throw kitchen implements, like can openers and boxes of Mac and Cheese at me if you need to, but I speak the truth.
Every week I lose hours, lots and lots of hours, of productivity because of my children. There are the phone calls and texts, Facebook messages and IM. They need money, they need love, they need an idea for a paper, they need a copy of their birth certificate, a bunch of boys on the high school football team got caught with a beer bong and are suspended from the team, their best friend just lost her virginity to a super creep. The reasons for the conversations go on and on and I love them because I’m a good mom. The truth is these calls are the highlight of my day.
Then there are the secret trips for the kids. The ones I take when I’m supposed to be out working, selling things and making money for my employer, but I’m actually at the doctor’s office because one of them has a funky wart. Or I’m buying sophies or tennis shoes so she can work out with the volleyball team. Or there’s the legendary and desperate message on my cell phone, “Mom, I left my report at the house. If I don’t turn it in I’ll get an F, can you go get it for me? I have to have it by noon”.
There’s time spent on Facebook stalking my children. It’s really important so I can figure out what’s going on and who I need to ban from the house (probably the 14 year old boy with huge swoopy hair who appears to be smoking a joint the size of a cigar).
And when my child wakes up with a 103 degree fever and needs to stay home, I make that phone call to my boss in a heartbeat. Nothing at work is more important than my child’s health.
And finally, I spend time every day staring at pictures of my kids, thinking about how much I like their faces. Sandor’s buck teeth and freckles, Lexie’s joy filled eyes and dress that’s waaaayyy too short, Mary’s splendid arching eye brows and her funny duck face and the way Jack puts his arm around me when we take pictures and his porn star mustache. I just stare at their pictures and sigh, all the time. I bet I spend ten minutes everyday doing that, almost an hour a week.
I suspect most good parents are just like me. We have to put our kids first, and do what’s necessary. I think an employer would be totally justified if he decided to pay me less.
But who needs money more than a good parent? We have to buy stuff for our children, we want them to have an instrument so they can march with the band, we want them to go to football camp so they can start next season. There are prom dresses and crappy cars and insurance. College text books ($300 for biology) and orthodontists. We have to pay all those doctors to look at their weird warts and moles, we need money, lots and lots of money so we can take care of the children we love so much.
So, maybe good moms are the best employees. Maybe we are the most motivated and driven…maybe moms should actually be paid more!
I have to go now, my boss is texting me because I’m late getting back from lunch and the nurse just said it’s Lexie’s turn to see the dentist.
*Guys, men, fathers: I did not write about you because I don’t know what you do during the day. Do you Facebook stalk, do you look at pictures and sigh? I’m not so sure. But if you are a good dad and do the “work day run around” for your child…this piece is for you too. Keep up the good work.
Tags: AR, Facebook, glass ceiling, Hot Springs, moms, money and moms, pay for women, prom dresses, working dads
STRIP KAROKE…I PROMISE. But I don’t know who’s dancing, who’s stripping and who’s singing..
Next up, An Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo…how’s that for a bad idea. Why not a shark tank and petting petting tank combined.
These are just goofy picture I took today, driving around Hot Springs, Arkansas. I haven’t figured out how to control pictures on the blog, they just show up, but not necessarily where I want them to. So, if these pictures don’t make you laugh you shouldn’t read this blog.
Tags: alligators, Arkansas ar, firing range, Hot Springs, signs, strip karoke, strippers
It’s all over the news, SEXTING. It’s an epidemic, worse than swine flu or the black plague. All our children are spending hours, every day, sending each other naked pictures with their cell phones. When they should be reading To Kill A Mocking Bird or studying geometry they are actually standing around naked, with their cell phone in hand. When I think they are bowling and eating french fries, they are gazing provocatively at their phones wearing nothing but a pair of panties. According to NPR one out of six teens has sent naked or partially naked photos via their cell phone.”
I do need to make one point clear. Not all sexting involves pictures. Sometimes it’s just teasing and flirting via the cell phone.
‘DON’T DO IT, DON’T SEXT!’ Screaming that at my daughters and their friends, over and over and over probably won’t keep them from sexting.
Alex, my husband, thought we should take away her phone. But she has to have a phone so I can stalk her throughout the day.
Finally, I decided I was going to actually have to talk about this issue like a grown up. Generally, when I take on a serious topics I like to have two or three kids at a time so they can form a “don’t smoke crack gang” or in this case a ‘no sexting gang’ . And the car is, of course, the perfect place for lectures becasue they can’t escape.
I know fear of legal repercussion doesn’t exists in the teen aged brain. They drive too fast because they don’t think they will ever get caught by the police. They try the double back flip on the trampoline because they don’t think they will ever get hurt. And the kids who send naked pictures to all their friends believe no adult will ever see the photos.
So, “It’s against the law”, will not be part of my lecture.
Here’s how the conversation went with three cute 13/14 year old girls in the car.
“Ok , I’m about to give you really good reasons to never ever send naked, or half naked pictures of yourself to anybody, ever. Reason number one, I want you to imagine the grossest, most disgusting guy at school. Chances are he will end up with a copy of the picture on his phone. And here’s why. Your boy friend loves you now, but in six month when you break is heart he’s going to be mad. So, he’s going to send his best friend the picture of your boobs and say, ‘she sent me this on our one month anniversary”. That friend never loved you and probably doesn’t even like you that much so he sends it to his friends on the track team. And guess what, none of them will ever delete that picture. They will all be looking at the picture of your boobs for the next two or three years.
Reason two: All guys share pictures of naked girls. If a boy has a picture of a naked girl, he will show it to people. This doesn’t make him a bad guy, it just makes him a guy. Show and tell is part of their DNA.
And finally girls, I know a guy who has a seventeen year old son and everytime he gets hot pictures of girl, he shows them to his dad.” When I said that I got a round of ‘ooooh gross,’ from the back seat and I figured I’d made my point.
One of the real problems with sexting in high school is the simple fact that high school is a big fish bowl and you see the same people everyday for four years.
As a grown up if I do something embarrassing in front of people I can simply avoid most of them for the rest of my life. In high school you have to live with your mistakes until graduation.
In the end, the best thing you can do for your daughter is give her the information and facts needed to make the right decision, trust her judgment and wisdom…or make sure she never ever owns a cell phone with a camera.
Tags: daughter, e-mail, sexting
My oldest son, Arkansas, moved to NYC last week and every day he calls with a new and bizarre New York Fact. The City is a stunning place but I don’t believe we are actually living in the same universe anymore.
First, there’s the dating issue. Here, in Arkansas, when a boy meets a girl he likes at a bar or football game he will start texting and face-booking. Then they will go out a couple of times and then, they “are going out’. Which means the boy is not allowed to go out with any other cute girls. If he does talk and text and date other girls, he’s a sleaze. The rule down here is one at a a time.
When Arkansas found out dating a half dozen girls at the same time was not only acceptable but expected, he could barely conceal the absolute joy in his voice.
On a Tuesday morning my son called to share another crazy, but wonderful ,NYC reality. You can get just about anything delivered, including sushi at one in the morning or pot. That’s right, in New York you order pot via a text message then a dude on a moped shows up at your apartment door with your order. “Guys on scooters are all over town Mom, delivering pot, twenty four hours a day and I got three sushi rolls for twelve dollars”. Wow, Arkansas sushi is a lot more expensive.
I thought maybe he was exaggerating about the pot delivery but, after googling “pot delivery in NYC” , I learned it’s just another accepted fact of life in the city. I found a blog on tipping the pot delivery guy and a pot delivery rating based on quality and delivery speed, just like restaurants.
Yeah, he’s in a different universe now. He gets to date lots of cute girls in the same week.But everyone needs to remember, no matter how crazy things get, always tip the sushi delivery guy.
I’VE ALWAYS MADE UP CRUEL AND GOOFY RULES FOR MY FAMILY, as a result we are all pretty happy, noisy and in love with each other. I know it sounds revolting and sappy, but it works.
So, here are three random and possibly cruel rules we’ve enforced and they have helped keep our family tight tight tight.
#1. No child (and I have four ages 22-7) will ever have a television or dvd player in their bedroom. Pretty brutal I know. We have one tv in the living room and Alex and I have one in our bed room that we share with the kids. I just can’t stand the idea of my children disappearing into their bedrooms for five or six years to watch Family Guy, or falling asleep every night with the television on.
The end result of not allowing individual televisions…we hang out together a bunch, I know what they are watching and we all know how to negotiate.
2. We call each other names, all the time. “Hey Poop face it’s time to wake up”. “You won’t eat my spinach, artichoke and feta omelette? You are a big chicken baby cheese cake”. Or I sing Bob Seager’s Beautiful Loser to my ridiculously pretty daughter.
The only rule on name calling is you can’t call someone a name that’s actually true. For example, Alex can’t make fun of my big nose, because I really do have a big nose and that would hurt my feelings.
#3. No one is allowed to text when they are in the car with me. I have to tell all Lexie’s teen-aged friends about the no texting in the car rule before they get in. I tell them I made the rule because I’m paranoid and insecure and I think they are all talking about me , (the text would look like this ‘ur mom suxs’ ).
But the truth is, I just think texting in the car is rude. If you are getting a ride from me or hanging out with my family, don’t spend all your time talking to other kids.
The truth is I make up cruel and arbitrary rules all the time. (When the kids were little, if they said ‘shut up’ they had to suck their thumb, no matter how dirty, for two minutes.)
Hey, if you’ve got any to share maybe I’ll start enforcing yours too.
Tags: cruel rules, discipline, family, television, texting
FROM LINDSEY LOHAN TO SARAH PALIN…WHAT’S AMERICA SEARCHING FOR ON GOOGLE? Yesterday I met with a ‘blog expert’ and he told me I needed to find out what everyone in America was searching for and then write about those things, so I’d get more traffic on www.hampoland.com.
That sounded like a good idea, so this morning I did my homework. Unfortunately, the stuff America is searching for isn’t in my area of expertise. But, here’s what I know about a few of the hot topics.
1. Lindsey Lohan tweeted that she failed her drug test. And someone was surprised? Maybe she can do what Brittney Spears has done, and make a comeback that saves her from the terminal skank label. Maybe?
2. Sarah Palin: If I have to spend the next five years listening to her talk about mamma grizzlies, pit bulls with lipstick and a herd of pink elephants marching on Washington I’m moving to Cuba. I’ll learn to smoke cigars, sit on the beach and wait for her to go back to Alaska.
3. A tornado hit Brooklyn yesterday. WTF (I pretend that means ‘why the face?”) My son ,Jack, threw a guitar over his shoulder and moved to New York City…yesterday. He left Arkansas, part of tornado alley, and a tornado hits Brooklyn…… Well, good thing he knows how to hide in the bathtub.
4. Vincent Jackson and Reggie Garrett. I got nothing, but I love the Razorbacks.
5. The last episode of As The Word Turns aired this week…my mom, Ann Stell, was in the first tv soap opera, she played an evil beauty with crazy eyebrows. The show was called “Far Away Hill”. And my brother Granger watched General Hospital while he was in prison. That’s what I know about soaps.
6. There’s Bethany Storro , the girl who faked having acid thrown in her face, apparently she’s popular right now. You know, I’ve faked a lot of things in my life from passion and family emergencies (generally when a cop pulls me over) head aches and tummy aches, but it has never ever occurred to me to fake an acid attack.
7. There’s Mike Huckabee (had him as a Gov. and I think he looked better when he was plump) and The Rally To Restore Sanity courtesy of Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert …since Huckabee and Palin made the list of most searched for topics, I don’t think the Rally will help. But it’s worth a try.
So, I guess I will ignore my blog wizard and continue writing about stuff I know, or at least stuff I think I know. In the blogging world that’s enough.
Tags: acid attack, as the world turns, bethany storro, brittney spears, brooklyn tornado, lindsey lohan, mike huckabee, rally to restore sanity, reggie garrett, sarah palin, vincent jackson
Gulf Shores, Nobody Is There, So You Should Be If you have some cash or a credit card and a car, you need to find your swimming suit and go to Gulf Shores, Alabama…right now. I don’t care if you are secretly reading this blog on your I Phone in church (God knows), or during you daughter’s volleyball game. Do yourself a favor and go to the Gulf Coast.
That’s what we did last week. We smashed three of our four children into a car that was much too small for all our voices and legs and musical tastes and drove ten hours to Gulf Shores Alabama. The drive was fairly miserable, but the moment we walked out on the beach it was all worth it.
I had never visited Gulf Shores, also known as the “Redneck Riviera.” And I’m an idiot.
First, let me tell you about the sand, it was magical, soft, white, fluffy and this is coming from a woman who grew up in South Florida and lived in the Florida Keys for ten years. Endless and pristine, the beaches were breathtaking. I swear it took us two days before we found a single BP tar/oil ball. I don’t know what it is about the Gulf Coast but there weren’t even cigarette butts or bottle caps in the sand. It was that clean. And the beaches were, for the most part absolutely empty, except for the beach chairs the famous Gulf Shores Chair Fairies deliver every morning before sunrise, then cart them away every evening.
There were birds and exquisite bird tracks on the perfect sand, egrets, seagulls, sand pipers, all poking around as though hired to be extras on a movie set.
The water was crystal clear, full of fish and shells, some rays and on one afternoon jelly fish. Twice, bottle nose dolphins graced us with their exuberant presence, leaping over waves together, the perfect team in the sparkling waters. But we were just about the only ones watching the dolphin’s elegant and silly performance.
I interviewed virtually every local I met and they were all so nice, from bus boys to the half a dozen Russian girls working in surf shops. It’s been so long since they’ve had tourists so they were exceptionally friendly, helpful, and eager to visit. They explained that the beach and waters have been clean for almost two months but because of all the publicity, Gulf Shores has been virtually abandoned by tourists. I know that’s a really sad thing, but man, did it make our visit better. We were treated like royalty. I expected Admiral Thad Allen to appear and straighten my beach towel. The town was that friendly, especially all the teen-aged boys who kept smiling and nodding at my 14 year old daughter…humm.
We were able to rent a two bedroom condo with a huge balcony overlooking the Gulf. And this lovely condo cost less than a single room at the Holiday in Express on the interstate. Every day we were able to hang our damp clothes, towels and swim suits on the porch and they dried in the ocean breeze and sunshine.
Sure, we had mishaps, Jack threw Lex in the pool while she was holding her phone and that ended her texting career. And when we walked on the pier we saw so many little sharks and rays that Sandor (7 years old) freaked out, but, like good parents we lied our way out of that. We told him the pier was in Florida, not Alabama so those were all out of state sharks and rays. My face got so sunburned my lips puffed up like a blow fish (I think my husband thought it was kind of hot).
As the sun set we tried to launch a kite on the beach. The kids and I got it so high we used up all the kite string ( don’t think that’s ever happened to me). Then we chased seagulls and picked up seashells. Lexie stalked an egret on the beach until people started giving her really dirty looks. We could tell, they were thinking, “why is that pretty teen-aged girl harassing that big bird?”
We visited with fishermen as they hauled in Amber Jack,then drank a cold beer and grilled shrimp on the BBQ as we listened to the waves rolling up on the beach.
Wait, the shrimp… I need to tell you about the crustaceans. Shrimp season started two weeks before we arrived. We met Joe at Gulf Shores Seafood and were able to buy massive shrimp that had never been frozen. We cooked them with bacon and they were the finest seafood I’ve ever eaten.
We did some tourist things too. The kids loved The Hangout with it’s live music and family friendly atmosphere (ie. cute boys aged 14-16). Hey, when was the last time you played ping pong, listened to live music and sipped on a margarita as the moon rose over the ocean? That’s the Hang Out.
We went on a two hour Dolphin Cruise. The cost…just 12 dollars for adults and 10 for kids. I can’t even take my kids to a movie for twelve bucks. And we saw an entire of pod of dolphin, mom, and a baby competed for our attention body surfing side by side, launching themselves into the air, right there, next to the boat . Sandor, in his giant orange life vest, kept looking back at me and screaming, “This is so awesome, Mom.” So tell me, what’s that worth? More than twelve dollars.
I could go on and on but you get the idea. Right now, everything on Gulf Shores is absolutely perfect, there’s nobody there and they need tourists. Head on down and I promise you, you will have the post card vacation you’ve always dreamed about.
Tags: Alabama, bikini, BP, Dolphins, egret, Gulf Coast, Gulf Shores, Oil Spill, Thad Allen, vacation
DEFENDING GAGA AND HER MEAT DRESS….AGAIN After an evening of watching the MTV VMAs, I’m defending Lady GaGa… again. What’s wrong with this? A forty something, white woman, shouldn’t have to defend the top pop star on the planet.
For the most part, I’m defending GaGa when talking to young people who are too young to remember when Elton John, wasn’t lame and dressed like a molting peacock with live goldfish in his platform shoes and he wore glasses the size of his face. You are too young to recall the disgusting pictures of Alice Cooper (he looked like a zombie/skeleton with black face paint) or Gene Simmons who had a tongue the size of the Florida peninsula and he liked to spew blood on concert goers. Ozzy Osbourn bit the head off a bat during a show once.
Ok, GaGa wore a meat dress (maybe it was sirloin pounded out really well), that’s pretty extreme and it got EVERYBODY worked up. But I think that’s what she was going for…so good job GaGa.
And I’m defending GaGa to old people (over 40) who don’t remember we bought ticketet and climbed out our bedroom window to go see Elton John, Alice Cooper, Cindy Lauper (remember her masterbation song?), Gene Simmons , Ozzy Osbourn and David Bowie…on the way back from the concert we all argued, “is he a woman or a dude? ” Sound familar?
Devo (Just Whip It) guys wore flower pots on their heads and the Thompson Twins shaved their eyebrows, then realized human evolution placed them there to soak up sweat. Iggy Pop cut him self (before cutting was a trend) and whipped “it” out on stage. Rumor had it Frank Zappa’s drummer ate poop on stage. And we’re shocked by Lady GaGa and her meat dress. She also wore a meat swimsuit on the cover of Vogue Magazine.
Come one. Lady GaGa is an entertainer. Her job is to make us talk and point and say, “OMG, I can’t believe she’s wearing a dog bowl hat.” And she’s really good at entertaining us with her wacky clothes, funky pop songs and dead animal wardrobe. If she was CEO of a medical facility and wore a meat dress or a politician, I’d be worried by her behaviour. But she’s an entertainer, she makes us look and laugh and sing along.
So young people, under 30, have fun and get ready for the ride, in the next few years you will see entertainers a lot more shocking than GaGa.
Old people, lighten up for God’s sake and get off that Disco Stick, and hang on to your Poker Face. Lady GaGa is nothing compared to what we grew up with. And remember, it’s just a show.
Tags: alice cooper, david bowie, elton john, lady gaga, meat dress, old rock and roll, ozzy osbourn, prince
I got a new dentist a couple of weeks ago and I was terrified. I was going to let a new man in my life and in my mouth. I was going to let a new man with unfamiliar instruments poke around my gums and molars. I would be totally exposed and vulnerable to Dr. Dillon of Monarch Dental.
I think most of us hate going to the dentist because there’s rarely any good news. You can have thirty perfect teeth and the dentist will focus on the one with the cavity, of course, that’s his job.
But Dr. Dillon was different. The first time he looked in my mouth it sounded like this, “Good, good, this one looks nice, oh, we need to work on this area. These are all fine. The gums are good, excellent. Ok, here’s a little spot we need to pay attention to.”
In other words, my dentist used the sandwich method! I love the sandwich method. We try to use it when teaching little kids Taekwond do. And every decent teacher encorportates the sandwich method unless she’s some old hag. In martial arts the sandwich method goes like this. “Joey, good job, your punch is getting a lot faster, you just make sure you don’t tuck your thumb inside your fist. or it will get broken. And you’re hitting harder, like you mean it, not like a little girl in a slap fight.”
The sandwich method, Compliment, Correct, Compliment.
Finally, I have a dentist who understand my need for praise and didn’t beat me up.
Once the nurse sucked all the spit out of my mouth I said, “You use the sandwich method! You said nice things!”
“Well,” he said and pulled down his mask. “I’ve got seven kids. I know you have to reinforce the positive.” Didn’t Kermit the Frog say something like that? “You have to tell people what they are doing right.”
Finally, a dentist who understands children, sandwiches and my fragile ego. I’ve been looking for this guy all my life. I think I’ll go home,tell my kids all the things they are doing right and floss really well Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: dentist, kids, parenting, sandwich method
First, I buy my makeup at Wal-Mart. So.if you make more than $80,000 a year you don’t need to read this.
Recently, I spent fifty dollars on myself. It was a big deal to me and a really really big deal to my face.
Well, I’m looking in the mirror and things haven’t changed much. But there are some high and low points to report. For me, the make-up failure/success ratio is very important and the products that cost me money but don’t work really piss me off.
First, the item that upset me the most. Garnier Ultra-Lift Pro Deep Wrinkle Roller. Oh my Lord, I’m so sad because I wasted nearly fifteen bucks on some juice that doesn’t seem to work and doesn’t even feel good when I put it on. According to Garnier it was going to “plump skin from within and push even deep wrinkles up and out”. Push things up and out? I’ve got bras that made the same promise and you know what? They get the job done.
It comes in a plastic roller, like a deodorant roller, so when you put it on your wrinkles it’s hard and cold. And, after three weeks of religious use, I’m pretty sure I look exactly the same (except I’ve lost my tan because the summer is almost over). According to the ad, which stared Sara Jessica Parker, this stuff was going to “lift and firm my face” and give me more “defined contours”. In other words it was going to make my neck look like it was chisiled out of granite, like Sarah’s. I wanted to see right angles, or at least minimal results. I got nothing…nothing. And it feels clinical when you put it on. I can smear olive oil on my face with a Q-tip and get better results.
At least my old standby,Olay Active Hydrating Cream feels nice and silky when I rub it in. And it comes in that comforting light pink box that reminds me of my grandmother, Bubba. She had beautiful skin.
The product itself is fine I guess. It’s four, truck-stop shades of blue eye shadow in a plastic box. But someobdy must have been smoking crack when they wrote the instructions on the back. Not only were they impossible to understand because they didn’t actually make sense but the outcome was laughable. According to the ad I was supposed to “easily create a smokey effect for my eye color”. I even had my daughter’s 13 and 14 year old friends try to decipher what it was L’Ore’al wanted me to do. After several attempts the girls just laughed and laughed then started texting each other even though they were in the same room.
And the winner of the day? Maybelline’s the Falsies Macaria. This stuff, which comes in a fat purple tube and costs less than seven dollars, it outstanding. I have exceptionally wimpy eyelashes. With the help of Falsies, I look pretty good. And Lexie, who has average eyelashes looks really really good. We don’t look as good as the hoochie mommas in their commercials, but we’re getting close. And, Maybelline has a pretty cool website for this product.
Maybe the secret to beauty isn’t in the shopping, it’s in the research. Last year Mary (oldest daughter) read an article extolling the virtures of a sugar and water paste as an exfolliant. We all tried it and it’s true. Sugar and water smeared on your face it wonderful. It’s makes your skin smooth and soft and it costs less than a nickel. Just rinse the sink well when your done or you’ll have an ant problem in the morning.
Tags: beauty, Garnier, Loreal, makeup, maybellinr, Olay, review, wrinkles