This Single Mom's Bucket List

1. Let's just get the sleep portion of this bucket list out of the way: I would kill for a 48 hour opportunity to soak up uninterrupted REM cycles, preferably in a hotel where I can order room service, wear a fluffy robe and make a mess that I don't have to clean up. 

2. Go on a date and NOT have to wear Spanx.  Seriously, it's just impossible to actively listen to anyone speak when you're realizing your control top panties are slowly rolling down, creating a that-much-more unflattering silhouette and also trying to find the most opportune time to yank those suckers back up to where they belong without looking like a completely unladylike slob of a human being.  

3. Show up at a school event and NOT feel like the black sheep. 

4. Go on a vacation without my son and NOT feel guilty about it.  

5. Create a massively successful business that allows me to spend the majority of my time working braless/pantless.  We are all more productive when we don't have to worry about those formalities, right? 

6. Hit the gym more often and with less insecurities.  I see these people in the gym looking all carefree and unencumbered by years of "fat kid" trauma.  When I go to the gym I am constantly aware of how red my face is, how jiggly some of my parts are and how I'm constantly trying not to cuss like a sailor.  I'd like to just go in there and go full-beast mode and give zero fucks.  

7. Trust more freely and with ease.  This is a big one, and maybe it's an unattainable goal, but I would love to be able to just be the kind of person who makes friends or meets people and isn't constantly questioning motive.  Thanks, anxiety. 

8. Find the perfect haircut.  I know, I know...It's a lifelong journey for some of us.  

9. Roll around in a clean car for more than 3 hours.

10. Have a professional organize my house...and maintain said organization.  I feel like sometimes we live in the center of a tornado made up of toys, laundry and never-ending "to-do" lists.  

11. Meet a man who appreciates the fact that I may not have a perfect body or look flawless 24/7 but I can hold a conversation about world issues, literature, art, music and design...and those characteristics make me sexy AF.  

12. Take a ride out to the beach on the back of a motorcycle or in a convertible just to feel the wind in my hair and feel free for a small amount of time before I get back to worrying about school projects, taking out the trash or hustling to write this blog while balancing my life.  

13. Have someone send me flowers just because they know it would make me smile.  

14. Have a spa day where I am pampered from head to toe.  This is different from when you get enough time to shave both legs past the knees, or commit to blowdrying your hair.  This is the full deal where every part of your body is luxuriated upon, while someone brings you cucumber water and you walk away feeling like you did before you procreated.  

15.  Do all of the laundry without having to run the dryer twice because those clothes have been in there for 2 days.  

16. Leave the house for a night out with matching and even eyeliner for once. (You gals know what I'm saying.) 

17. Eat dinner at a grown up restaurant past 6:00 pm. Preferably someplace that has a longer cocktail menu than a kids menu.  

18. Walk through my house and NOT step over legos, action figures or random articles of clothing. 

19. Convince my child that he does not have to crawl into bed with me at 2 am and proceed to kick, slap or punch me in his sleep.  

20. Meet a partner who can accept and/or relate to the list above.  

 

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Beauty Edition

  1. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..." but that doesn't mean I still don't get a little startled when I catch a glimpse of myself in the rear review mirror on the way to drop off... Seriously, who is that woman looking back at me? 
  2. Remember when you woke up and "got ready" for the day by doing your hair and putting on makeup and an outfit that you planned right down to the perfect accessories? Remember when you spent hours doing beauty treatments and facials and mani/pedis and even cared about waxing? Remember when you got your hair done more than biannually?
  3. I will admit this to all of you right now...I GET BOTOX! Trust me, you don't want to see my real facial expressions anyways.  
  4. When it takes more time to apply wrinkle creams and anti-aging treatments at night than it does to put your kid to sleep, you know you're in trouble...
  5. I don't think doing things to make yourself feel good about how you look, or what your hair looks like, looking younger and fresher, and feel more confident is being a "bad mom", and when people imply that to me they usually look like hot trash too, so I take what they say with a grain of salt.  
  6. I appreciate that fact that the "messy bun" is in style but there's a difference between what Pinterest is talking about and my messy mom hair that hasn't been washed in a week and at one point housed a gummy bear for a whole day without my knowledge.  
  7. I call it multi-tasking when I put on a seaweed mask or clay mask and scare the shit out of my son with my "monster makeup"...
  8. Back in the day I used to oil up and lounge by the pool until I reached the perfect shade of tan.  Now I look like a bee keeper out there, completely covered up and slathered in SPF 3 million...except on the tops of my feet...I always forget those. 
  9. I think a lot of Moms judge each other way too much on this subject.  Either we are too put together to be "super mom" or we look like a pile of shit and are told we "aren't taking care of ourselves properly to be a good mom." F THAT! Do what makes you feel good! Lasers, peels, injections, make-up, weekly blowouts...or nothing at all.  It's up to you and no Mom at the playground should make your vanity or lack-there-of a weapon against you.  (Plus you know that bitch dyes her hair too... Girl, Bye.) 
  10. Summertime beauty is basically all about waterproof mascara and trying not to resemble a troll doll.  
  11. Its inevitable that your child will look more put together than you do 80% of the time.  The other 20% is when they stay home with a sitter.  
  12. Just accept that your winged eyeliner will never match and save yourself the time and the aggravation.  
  13. Being "trendy" is a lot less practical at this stage in the game, ladies.  Mermaid hair or unicorn hair is always the coveted "anti mom mop-top" goal, but its a lot of maintenance...and lest we forget we haven't shaved our legs in three weeks, let alone remembered to use special shampoos and to only rinse that dye job with cool water.  
  14. Shower routine with kids in the house: wash what you can and get out of there before they set the place on fire. 
  15. Shower routine with no kids in the house: Spends a whole hour and all of the hot water shaving one's self as smooth as a dolphin and enjoys the simple sound of the water rushing over your face without anyone bursting in to have you fix an Autobot or take a poop while your trying to wash the stink of the day away. 
  16. My motto is: contour and beat that face until I look like I did when I slept 8 hours a night and ate better than cold leftover mac'n'cheese. No shame in my makeup game, gals.  
  17. If you haven't worn makeup and done your hair in a while and you finally have a night out where you get the opportunity to go ALL OUT...and you end up looking like a contestant on Ru Paul Drag Race...
  18. When someone says "you smell nice" and you reply "thanks, I just wiped my hands with a baby wipe." It's anyone guess why you still have friends.  
  19. Here's a little truth bomb: I keep a black t-shirt dress, sunglasses and red lip gloss in the car, just in case I need to look "some-what-presentable" at any given time. I can give you 'tired-ass Audrey Hepburn' with those few things in under 5 minutes.  
  20. You know you're going out when you adjust your bra straps to pick those puppies up where they belong.  

Bonus: When you're at any makeup counter, beauty supply or cosmetics store and the sales person has a Sally-Jessy Raphael meets Marilyn Manson look going on:

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Summer Edition

  1. I'm the kind of person that wears all black...then complains about the heat.  
  2. Due to my choice of wardrobe I always end up looking more like Morticia Addams then Carol Brady...even at the pool/beach.  
  3. It's a scientific fact that it takes children about 6 minutes to get bored after the last day of school let's out.   
  4. Summer time means going to the beach and the pool.  Mom's love nothing more than getting sand in every nook and cranny of literally everything they own after a beach trip...well, maybe the idea of swimming in the public toilet, er, I mean, pool is just as thrilling.  
  5. Summer Camp means labeling everything your child owns meticulously, buying new camp clothes and shoes, packing the healthiest lunches and slathering them in sunscreen as they walk out the door... only to end up with sunburnt and hungry kids with one of their shoes, someone else's somewhat moldy towel and a half eaten sandwich that you DIDN'T make in the bottom of their bag.   
  6. Summer is just Mother Nature's way of reminding you of all of the places on your body that you didn't know were capable of sweating.  
  7. To be honest, the only time I remember to reapply our sunblock is when I see some other Mom frantically chasing after her kid to spray him down and I think, "Oh shit, I should probably do that..." 
  8. I am not ashamed of my bikini body. However, wearing a skimpy bathing suit while trying to play with your kids at the beach is literally close to impossible to do without exposing parts of myself that I would rather not have sunburnt, let alone have strangers at the beach see while attempting to build a sand castle.  I choose practicality over making a politically correct statement.  
  9. Fact: It is very rare to hear a child say they have to use the restroom at a public pool...we all know why.  They are all just basically swimming in pee water for 6 hours while you hope to get them home tired at the end of the day.  That's the type of sacrifices mothers learn to make when raising children.  
  10. Summer Vacation in parenting world is more "let me spend money so my kids can go to camp and be someone else's responsibility for a few hours a day." 
  11. They should have summer camp for parents.  Sign me up for Spa Camp, Wine Tasting Camp, Nap Camp and Taco Appreciation Camp.  
  12. Is it me, or does a day at the beach make you feel like an extra from The Walking Dead for about 48 hours? That shit is exhausting.
  13. I went to let the dog out yesterday and I think I heard her say, "oh, F*%# this" as she walked back in the house and sat on the couch.  
  14. Summer injuries consist of the following: burning yourself with the first water that comes out of the hose, sunburns on places that haven't seen sun in 8 months, seat belt burns and burning your feet on hot asphalt.  Basically you spend the next three or four months being a human french fry.  
  15. Apparently my kid thinks nothing is more awesome than standing over the water jets at the splash pad for what seems to be an inappropriately long and now what has just become an uncomfortable amount of time with a goofy grin on his face while other Moms look at me like I should be stopping him.  Thanks kid. 

Truth Bomb: Superheroes, Villains, and The Power Of Trusting Our Children

Trust.  It's a key part of human interaction, but also one of the hardest parts about being a human.   Do we trust? Will we trust? How does one trust? What happens when trust is betrayed? What qualifies someone as trustworthy? Trust surrounds us, engulfs us in her deceptive arms and lulls us into submission as time passes on. She makes us feel safe and secure and gives us emotional freedom when we embrace her whole-heartedly.  She also shakes the shit out of us, can make us feel our most vulnerable, wakes us up from our slumber with a swift kick to the gut and destroys the dream, turning it rapidly into a nightmare. You see, trust...she's a fickle bitch.  

I can sit here and write about the countless breeches in trust I have run into in my 37 years.  Relationships, marriage, friendships, and so on and so forth.  Here's the REAL reason I'm writing about trust.  As a parent, I trusted people at a particular institution and that trust was torn apart.  Without revealing too many personal and intricate details, I will say this: When it comes to our child ANY and ALL trust that we have given is with a degree of hesitation and uncertainty at first, but slowly earned and appreciated...but if it is ever broken, be prepared to feel our wrath.

Recently our family was faced with a situation that fragmented and splintered all of the trust we had given.  Sending your child off into the world is hard enough, but when you have to do so knowing what an awful place it can be, it is even harder.  We trusted his safety and security, we trusted his spirit and his heart would be protected, we trusted his mind would be unburdened of all the harshness of the world and that we would be given a chance to flourish and thrive. We noticed a pattern of behavior in our son that indicated stress and anxiety.  We know him, we observed him and we TRUSTED him and his four-year-old communication and disclosures.  Stories can sound outlandish, but are rooted in TRUTH. As a family we addressed issues that we all noticed, and in the end we believed that the villains in our story heard our concerns and heeded our warnings.

They DID NOT.   They BROKE that trust into a million tiny pieces of anger and sadness. 

Our heads spun.  Our hearts sank.  Or bodies wretched in utter disbelief.  But never, not once, did we ever lose TRUST in OUR CHILD.  That's the thing with raising kids in today's world, if you aren't listening to your own kid and blindly trusting adults, you've got a problem.  In this particular instance we learned very quickly to shut up and listen.  Listen to every word our son said to us and every word he muttered to himself in his room.  To calm down and watch.  Watch every expression on his face and every move he made.  And we TRUST him.  Trust that he's saying what he needs to say and exploring his environment how he needs to explore it in relation to his feelings and experiences.  Those are his superhero powers.  He may not be invincible, or be able to fly from building to building, but does have words and actions that give him capabilities beyond the scope of what we all can imagine.  That is his way of telling HIS truth. 

PARENTS: I cannot express this enough...without that we would have never known to battle his villains and to make the moves that we did to protect him from a potentially life changing event.  Even though we can't possibly shield him from everyone and everything that intends do him harm in the future, it's today that we realized that placing trust in him and allowing the conversations between us be entrenched in sincere certainty that we are empowering him with the right to tell us anything without judgment or punishment, to allow him to communicate feelings that we will validate, and create an environment where he is free to express himself, has created a person who is not easily victimized or taken advantage of by someone he didn't trust.  It's our opinion that he was able to stand up for himself and that power makes untrustworthy people uncomfortable.  

This isn't a blog about advice.  This isn't a blog about telling anyone how they should parent their own children.  This isn't about me telling you that we do it all right and anyone else did anything all wrong.  This is me telling you all that we trusted our child and it allowed us to take on a potentially threatening situation with confidence, even before we knew all of the underlying issues.  We gave our child trust and we took away the trust of the adults in the situation.  We took away the power from the adult and gave it to our son. It was HE who did the right thing and so did every child in the same situation, each in their own way. Every parent trusted their child and the children trusted the parents and in that trust a dangerous situation was addressed.  These kids were the super heroes.  They stood up to their villains and they are the ones that saved us all from certain doom.  Behind every super hero is a parent that believed in them first, and it was then we realized we are actually doing something right.  

10 Things About Children's "Entertainment" That are Ruining My Life...

 

1. Is it me or is the Hotdog Dance song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse causing a Pavlovian response to want to choke the life out of Goofy? 

2. Thanks to Elmo for saying once (like 2 years ago) that broccoli is gross and now my kid refuses to even try it because "Elmo said its yucky." Frankly, I don't care if Elmo gets some kind of colo-rectal issue, but I'm over here trying to teach my kid how to eat to live in a world full of diseases from genetically modified food and the damn puppet is veggie-blocking me.  

3. I'm not sure Little Einsteins is creating a culture of classical music officiandos as much as its just angering parents and care givers who must now explain that one cannot simply start a vehicle by clapping.  If you have ever argued with your kids on these types of things you know that a root canal is preferable. 

4. "Dog With A Blog" is a show where an actual dog has more blog followers than I do. 

5. I have a hard "No Calliou" rule.  It's legit whinier than our current administration.  

6. Why in the world do children's movies allow the words "stupid" and "dumb"?! I have had to do damage control since Monsters, Inc.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Disney movies, but hearing the word 'stupid' coming out of your 2 year olds mouth is a bit disconcerting, to say the least.  Honestly, I would rather he drop an F Bomb. 

7. Have you seen these YouTube Kids reality shows? There are several.  All they do is show videos of their everyday life, only in the MOST annoying way possible.  Now my kid thinks sending a cute video to his grandparents should include the words "don't forget to subscribe and 'Like' this video at the link below..." 

8. While I'm on a YouTube Kids rant...just the background music in the app hypnotizes my kid into some sort of stopper and he can't seem to pay attention anyone or anything else.  Case in point: he walked into a wall the other day and bounced right up like something out of the Walking Dead.   

9. What in the actual F*&% is going on with that SpongeBob Squarepants and his gang of weirdo cohorts? I mean, really.  WTF?? 

10. I am totally annoyed that in most children's films the male characters is either a prince who is completely void of any depth and complexity, or a cad, a thief or a complete asshole.  Why? Let's not even begin to discuss the gender roles and age issues of these movies but I mean, come on.  Don't little boys deserve some sort of relatable protagonist that starts out a good person and makes good decisions and doesn't need a to be jerk to get the moral of the story conveyed to the audience? Just a thought.  

 

What annoys you about whatever shows or movies your Little Rebels are geeking out over these days?

MLR Fave Rave: February is Sunny Vacays, Love and Birthdays!

Hey Rebel Leaders and Domestic Warrior Princesses! I haven't done a Fave Rave since August because, well...I keep forgetting! Oops! Honestly, I have so many new products that I am totally obsessed with that I am feeling the need to share, but also just want to include some tips and tricks of how I get through some of the stuff we have planned for the next few weeks of crazy.  February is my birthday month, annual family vacation to Key Largo, FL (a 6 hour road trip) and Valentine's Day...all of those either being really exciting or super depressing. I'm not sure which, yet. Here's an idea of what I am gathering up for all of this years festivities.  

First of all, I am a huge fan of the "at home spa day." So as my 37th birthday (yes, I said my actual age) approaches I wanted to share some of the new products I have been tinkering with on the rare occasion that I get to indulge in some beautification between loads of laundry and packing lunches.  I love all things Bliss for the best in DIY spa days with high quality products.  Recently I have had all the feels for the Mask-A 'Peel' Radiance Rubberizing Mask! Just mix with water, slather on, let dry and peel. And before I get ready for vacation I like to use a Hot Salt Scrub and Self Tanner because literally no one wants to see my pasty legs without a little sun-kissed glow. When it comes to my hair, I have a serious crush on the Olaplex at home treatment.  It's easy to use, you can get about 4 treatments per bottle (depending on the length of your hair) and it's legit a miracle for color treated tresses like mine. Can we say godsend?!

We all know I am single AF, but that doesn't mean I don't do a little Valentine's Day splurging.  This year I am making a little gift basket for my son with some fun little surprises, like awesome bath bombs, a sweet new shirt to wear to school and my little man's FAVORITE candy.  Don't judge, but may I report back after the most humiliating holiday of the year that I sent myself flowers...and carbs.  Let's face it, I will probably eat a whole pizza that day. That being said, I'm also really into taking ownership and loving my own body this year.  I am getting up there in years and have always battled with weigh issues. I have always worn a one piece bathing suit...but this year, NO WAY! I am learning to LOVE my body for Valentine's Day and letting it shine on our sunny vacay.  This year I will be lounging poolside in a bikini and reading my new favorite book by Ashley Graham.  

 Also, it takes me a good month to plan for a 6 hour road trip down to the Keys, or anywhere for that matter, so this year I am preparing a few weeks in advance by getting the car super organized and making sure we pack light and save plenty of room for all of the ridiculously amazing road-side crap you can find in Southern Florida.  One of the things I am pretty adamant about it not eating junk food along the way..  It's just not a good idea.  Sour bellies and sugar cranked kiddos don't make for an easy coast down state.  I try to pack healthy snacks, and meals for the backseat where B and passengers can grab something easily.  When we make a pit stop I am fully prepared for the horror of public restrooms.  Trust me and always have these items in your car at ALL times: Trash bag, Gallon ZipLoc Bag, Paper Towels, Toilet Paper.  You never know when these will be needed and you DON'T want to be stuck roadside with no way to clean and contain messes or mishaps.  This has happened to me and they only thing I can say is that if it weren't for my make-shift hazmat kit, I would have been totally screwed.  

So, wish me luck.  Another year closer to 40, another adventure, and another single Hallmark holiday to come and go.  This year its about ME! Time to love myself, own my life and be grateful for every wrinkle, dimple, disaster and triumph.  

 

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Dating Edition, Volume 1

Ugh.  So, as we all know, I am very single.  Well, I decided that 2017 is the year I try to be less single.  I'm not really interested in jumping into anything super serious, but maybe it would be good for me to try and give this dating thing a try.  We're one month in to this journey and its basically a disaster. 

  1. How do people actually meet each other now? No, seriously...HOW??? I have heard bizarre stories like, "we met at Whole Foods" or "we met at the gym." These are the two legit LEAST likely places for me to ever meet anyone! Pretty sure I'm so distracted by reading labels to make sure my four year old ingests the least amount of GMOs that I wouldn't notice a good looking man in the grocery store.  And the gym? Really? Thats where I go to forget about men and focus on myself! 
  2.  What ever happened to friends setting friends up on blind dates? Oh, yeah...that's right, I forgot that all of my friends have either been married for ions or are way more single and desperate than I am, so they have no decent dating pool options.  
  3.  Meeting someone in a bar? Not an option.  It hasn't worked in the past, why would I think it would work now? 
  4. Dating websites/apps, you say? Ok.  Well I have tried this route and it's a nightmare.  Why are they all holding fish or some other animal they have killed? Do women dig that? I have no clue.  
  5. Why can't anyone take a decent selfie? It's 2017! Its basically the only form of portraiture at this point.  Do they ever clean the bathroom mirror, I mean, do that before you take a bathroom selfie...please.  And what is it with just the pic of your nipple? Thats just SO strange.  
  6. Statistically speaking there must be a pretty large part of the population that is divorced (me) and a parent (also me) so why is every man in my 25 mile radius "never-been-married-no-kids-cats-only" guy? I really am hoping to date people that have had some life experience.  How am I supposed to relate to someone who has no responsibility outside of work and a cat litter box? 
  7. Have you ever seen couples and think to yourself, "Those two weirdos found each other...so why am I still single?"
  8.  Why do single men with no children think that I'm looking for a father for my kid? I'm NOT! Thats utterly ridiculous.  My son has a great father, and we're friends.  The assumption I need a man for the "positive male role model" is presumptuous and insulting, at best.  
  9. I have come to realize after 4 years of being single (by choice, thank you very much) that I am independent to a fault.  Its kind of my biggest flaw.  I should work on that.  
  10. Can't I just date John Cusack? Is he available? 
  11. I would be the perfect girlfriend.  I'm busy, so I wouldn't be needy.  I'm also not likely to waste someone's time.  Being a Mom has taught me to just be honest.  No BS.  No games. No assumptions.  I mean, can't we just see a movie once in awhile? Maybe some dinner and a glass of wine? I'm looking for someone to make fun of these dating apps with.  
  12. When someone messages you and say "hey beautiful, what are you looking for?" it makes me want to respond with "someone to clean out the car and fold the laundry..." 
  13.  Why do all men assume that "fit/active" means skinny? I gave birth to a human, run, go to the gym to lift, and eat a very healthy diet...I AM NOT SKINNY...nor do I really want to be.  
  14. Raising a son means I have seen my share of penis by 8 am, so why would a man think I would want a "dick pic" sent to me while I am cruising Target for some new flannel pajamas?! UMMM, NO.  
  15. When I think about going on an actual date I think about having to wear spanks and do my hair and I start to realize being single might not be that bad after all...