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Dear Readers – Days 14 and 15 at Sleepover Camp – I’m Not The High Maintenance One!

Dear Readers – Days 14 – 16 at Sleepover Camp Lenox,

Day 14 at camp - I'm Not the One Who's High Maintenance

Please, make yourself comfortable… I’ll find a corner.

I came back from my time at home, ready to go at camp full force, except for the part where Mark came back with me and I had to both entertain and work. Yes, I know my job is to enjoy camp, but it’s hard to do that, while making sure someone else is happy.

Also, I had to help him get my son J, prepared to leave early and go home to practice for his big baseball tournament in Cooperstown.  Mark insisted I write a list for and that I follow up on it, and perhaps I could shadow the counselor during the packing of the listed items? and maybe I could catalog said items to ensure everything necessary would make its way home?

After confirming all pertinent items were logged, color-coded and organized, I showed Mark the camp, which he thought was stunning — and campy and rustic and pretty incredible… it is. Continue reading

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Who Says Barbie Needs All Her Limbs?

Who Says Barbie Needs All Her Limbs and Other Brilliant Thoughts From KidsAs many of you know, I’ve been selected as one of the 8 moms who participate in  The Barbie project, which is insanely awesome. This is one of my absolute favorite stories about Barbie, as it takes the idea of her being a role model and influencing a child to be a better person to a whole new level. About two years ago, one of my daughter’s friends, Ella came over for their first playdate and brought over a bag of Barbies, as Ry had requested.

At my house, Ry usually chooses to be the Barbies that have the most coiffed hair, the cutest outfits and matching shoes or at least two shoes.  So, this was a great way to avoid arguing over who gets to be whom. The first doll Ry grabbed was a soccer player which a pink ball and high socks, “I’m her.” she said. “You know she’s missing a shoe?” Ella questioned.

Ry: “Yeah, I know, but she has both socks and a ball and a trophy.”

Ella: “Cool” (then she pulled out a doll from her back which was donning a bathing suit and surfer shorts) “I’m her. She’s my favorite,” she said, staking her claim.

Ry: “You know she’s missing an arm?” (asked in the same tone as the missing shoe comment, but as if it was clearly a bigger deal.)

Ella: “Duh! She’s Bethany Hamilton from Soul Surfer.”

Ry: “Who?”

Ry hadn’t seen or heard of the movie… but I had. “I didn’t even know they made a Barbie of her. That’s really cool.” I replied, holding my hand out to see her doll.

Ella: “They didn’t, I made her.”

She had just handed me the doll as I noticed an empty socket.

Ella:  “I pulled her arm off.”

Ry: “You can do that?” (Asked, as if it may be a punishable crime. I handed it back and walked away to let them play, as I really didn’t know how to process the creepy armless doll I’d just been handed.)

Part of me was wondering if this was some odd equivalent to pulling wings of a butterfly or burning ants with a magnifying glass or shooting at squirrels with a BB gun — all things I’d seen kids do when I was young and I abhorred. Should I let this playdate continue? Will Ry start decapitating teddy bears when Ella goes home?

I stood behind the door and listened in, which by the way is totally OK if you’re a parent and also if you’re worried your child is playing with a psychopath. Over the next few minutes I heard Ella explain how amazing Bethany is and why she’s her idol. How she overcame this awful accident and learned a new way to rise to the top of her sport. I heard how she almost gave up, but didn’t and how she pulled the arm of a Barbie. She explained that no one should ever tell you that you CAN’T do anything and if they do… you shouldn’t believe them.

It was as if she’d been hired to give a peer lecture. It was amazing and upon hearing it, I was pretty sure she’d never slice a worm in half.  Then I overheard Ry asking if her soccer player could play with one arm. “Duh!” Ella said, which I’m pretty sure from the tone could be translated as, “Did you not hear what I was telling you? Of course she can!”

Then they decided to ask me if they could pull off her arm. I scooted away from the door in a flurry and made it to the edge of the kitchen where I pretended to be looking in a junk drawer for … junk. “I found it,” I declared to throw off any suspicion.

“Mom, mom, you’re probably gonna say no because she’s new and all, and you’re gonna think this is a really weird question, but can I take the arm off the soccer player?” Ry asked and then elaborated as to why it wouldn’t be ruining a doll it would just be giving her more character (I’m paraphrasing as it was a long explanation). I considered expounding on why that was such a great idea, but sometimes nothing needs to be added to a perfect conversation, so I simply went with, “Yep, let me know if you need any help.”

If you enjoyed the piece, be awesome and give it a like or a share! And Find Me On Facebook! XO- Jenny From the Blog

This post is a part of the The Barbie Project with the hashtag #BarbieProject  — stories thoughts and opinion are mine all mine. Thanks Barbie for choosing me to be a part of something I feel like I’ve always been a part of!  

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Camp Phone Calls Could End My Marriage

Who knew the highly anticipated camp phone calls could be such a blow to a relationship? Oh well, when my baby is 1500 miles away from home, and I get a few minutes to talk — It’s every man, ahem mom, for herself!

Camp Phone Calls Could Ruin My Marriage #camp #sleepaway #humor

It’s sleepaway camp time and everyone is getting their calls from the kiddos. I’ve found a pattern, in that I desperately want to strangle my husband after each call. Luckily for me (and not so much my husband), I’m apparently not alone.

Look, us moms are ready. We’ve stayed up until the wee hours waiting for the pictures to download — sometimes hitting “refresh” every minute, (and by minute I mean second) as they download one at a time. We’ve studied them like highly trained CIA agents, analyzing their smiles, their friends, their body language. Continue reading

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21 Things We Did as Kids in the 70s and 80s That Would Horrify Us Now

21 Things Kids Did in the 70s and 80s That Would Horrify Us Now #humor, funny, gen x, listicle, top 10As a Gen Xer, I so enjoy reminiscing about the freedoms we had growing up in the 70s and 80s. Our parents take on safety and acceptable ways to spend one’s time was different from the get go.  Starting with baby-proofing, which in no way resembled what it is today.

In fact, I recall being given green Mr. Yuk stickers (which were basically like yellow happy face stickers that had just thrown up) to put on anything that was toxic: chemicals, cleaning supplies, etc. I remember showing my mom the stickers we’d been given at preschool and her telling me to “go for it” (yes, I was to baby-proof my own house).

So, I actively searched my house for toxins. I checked cabinets that I’d never even thought to open before, climbed on the sinks to get to all the medicines. It was like anti-baby proofing. I slapped the stickers on all my new found poisons and added one to the vegetable crisper, for good measure. Now, as a parent myself, my own parents like to tell me I’m too overprotective. “Really?” “Well, you survived,” they say. “Yep, but it seems like the odds were against me.” Here are a few things many of us did growing up that make me wonder how our generation survived … 1. Thinking the middle seat in the front was the best seat because you could get crushed into the dashboard … I mean, because you got to control the five radio stations. 2. Being totally inaccessible — from after school or camp until dinner. Now, we would call that being lost. 3. Having an equal intake of air: 50% oxygen, 50% secondhand smoke. Continue reading

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One of the Funniest Camp Letters – Kids Write the Darndest Things

When I sent J, my son, to camp a couple years ago (you know, when I didn’t actually follow him there, though I wanted to), his letters were seriously depressing. I had hoped for these heartwarming letters about how he tried something for the first time and loved it or how cool his counselors were, or at the very least, he could have filled in those lazy letters, where you literally have to do nothing more than put a word in the blank. Camp is ________! Today, I went to _________ and it was _________. No such luck, his letters weren’t so much heartwarming as they were heart wrenching, though I’m not sure if they were that way on purpose or not… Let’s analyze, shall we?camp letter10I read that and wanted to cry. Holy crap, we need to go save that kid, we could bring him home and buy him a vending machine. How much could it cost? I bet it costs less than my sanity! Continue reading

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Dear Readers Day 5 to 13 – I Don’t Want to Grow Up – Too Late

Dear Readers (Days 5-13),OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As many of you that follow me on Facebook know, during my trip to camp my stepmother lost a hard fought battle with esophageal/stomach cancer. (If you happen to see me on visiting day, don’t mention it in front of my daughter – she doesn’t know.)

That said, I left camp after 4 days to be there with her in Hospice and there for my dad. I won’t go into much detail, but my stepmother was a young vibrant and amazing light on this Earth. She was the most positive and supportive person I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.

It was such an insane transition. I went from camp, a place where I felt like a kid in many ways, though the reality of my maturity was never more obvious, to Continue reading

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Dear Readers – Day 3 and 4 at Summer Camp – I’m Shockingly Low Maintenance

Dear Readers,

I'm Shockingly Low Maintenance (humor, mom, summer fun, camp lenox, jenny from the bunk, unhappy camper)

We have such similar summer camp style (me and the tweens) I bet you can’t guess which one is me? I’ll give you a hint… I’m the one with the wrinkles

 

Camp Lenox is pretty amazing. They cheer at meals out of the blue…

Not to be outdone by any summer camp… this totally happens at my house when I cook salmon and broccoli. Fine, it doesn’t.

 

Anyhoo, I thought I’d be freaking out about missing things, like Continue reading

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Dear Readers – Day 2 at Summer Camp – I’m the Newest Camper and the Biggest Loser

Dear Readers -

Day 2 at Camp Lenox with Jenny From the Bunk

me on first day

Please notice how I’m waving, but no one is looking in my direction… I know, I’m cool.

camp moms

Here are some of my Mom sorority sisters. You can see why I’m so intimidated, look at them being all judgy!

I’m pretty sure I’m a loser… I spent the morning picking up kids on the Westchester bus and watched as their parents waved until their hands nearly fell off. I tried to put them on a waving schedule, giving each bleary eyed parent a five-minute window to represent the other parents, as the departure was slowed by extra luggage and late arrivals, but they insisted on doing their own waving to show their level of commitment… A gesture lost on their kids, who were too busy reminiscing and meeting new people to look out the windows. As a longtime “waver” myself, I will suggest that next year they have a chiropractor on site or a ‘hand for hire’ to wave with one hand and hold a sign reading, “I’m waving to you Kayla because your mom loves you, but you’re taking too long to go and last year she acquired carpal tunnel.”

When we arrived at summer camp, Continue reading

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Dear Readers – I Will Turn This Plane Around – Summer Camp Day 1

Dear Readers,

(Day 1 at Camp Lenox) It’s the first day of summer camp and I’m already wondering, if I meant to go to camp this summer or somewhere more relaxing, like the peace corps.  “Ease her in slowly,” they said. “Maybe, just have her spend a couple hours the first day,” they suggested. “What, she’s coming from Florida? We do need one more chaperone on that flight … let’s give her that job and if she doesn’t survive, we’ll know she never would’ve made it through a summer at camp anyway, and if she does survive, we’ll make her a t-shirt.”

This is me printing 46 boarding passes at a self-serve kiosk… Can you imagine the poor woman stuck behind me as she watched me print nearly 4 dozen? I’m pretty sure she missed her flight.

That’s how I imagine the conversation went when the administration decided this would be a good introduction to my summer gig… because nothing tests your sanity Continue reading

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How Old is Too Old to Play With Barbies – I’m Over Forty And Asking For a Friend

How Old is Too Old to Play With Barbie?As I’ve said in the past, I loved playing with Barbies growing up – LOVED. I’ve been open about this with Ry since her first Barbie doll at the age of, in utero. Some mamas sat with those belly headphones on, I slept with a Barbie standing in my belly button, which made rolling over really uncomfortable.

That said, about a month ago, Ry got this Barbie she really wanted as a reward for getting a vaccination. DO NOT judge me for that — You try telling a 9yo you’ll give her a measles or influenza or small pox free life in return for her to stop hyperventilating and see how that goes…)

My poor parenting tactics aside, Continue reading

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Jenny From the Bunk is at Sleepaway Camp – and so it begins…

Guys… it’s happening! I’m at Camp Lenox. Please share with all your friends who’ve been to camp or have kids going or who need more entertainment than Big Brother.

You can follow on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube (PLEASE DO)

XO ~ Jenny From the Blog Bunk

Sleepaway Camps, Jenny From the Blog, #JennyFromtheBunk, Real Moms of Camp Lenox, Sleepaway Camps in the Berkshires

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Sending Kids to Sleepaway Camp Could Make a Mom Insane

camp annoying momThis post was written the last time I sent my son to camp and may be the reason I’m going with my kids this year. Ahem,I mean, I’m going with them to tell you guys what it’s like from a mom’s POV and as a nostalgic and humorous experiment, not at all because I spent that summer sucking my thumb in a corner…

So, I’ve been totally anxiety stricken lately.  I wasn’t able to put my finger on why, until I looked at my finger and saw that I’d done this to my beautifully manicured gel nails.50206624beea11e1b00112313800c5e4_5

Then it dawned on me, it’s camp.  Sending my son to camp makes me mildly certifiable, which lucky for my family, manifests in all parts of my life.  Like when I got upset with my hubby the other night while watching The Change Up, because I asked, “If you were in someone else’s body, would you go on a date with Olivia Wilde?” and he was all “Yes.”

“What I’m not enough?” I said.  But why? Continue reading

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What REALLY Goes On at Sleepaway Camp These Days – A Mom Tells All

Jenny From the Bunk is Going Back to Camp and Telling AllI have a confession, well I should call it an announcement, but it feels more like something I must divulge in a hat, glasses and a wig … I’m following my kids 1000 miles away, to sleep away camp.

Oh, you read that correctly, Jenny from the Blog, a 40 something Gen X mom, is going back to camp with her kids in a series called: JennyFromTheBunk – I Followed My Kids to  Sleepaway Camp – Now What? (hashtag #JennyFromTheBunk) I toyed around with One Crazy Summer – A Neurotic Mom Goes Freakin’ Crazy And Goes to Camp Too, but the coinciding hashtag would be too long. I’m pretty sure I made the right choice. Plus, the first name has “Now What” in it, and that’s really the big question…

Well, there are lots of questions and I intend to answer them all during a summer of spying, avoiding bugs and pretending I can relive my youth. Here are just a few:

  • Why would anyone ever do this on purpose?
  • Are there bugs at camp these days?
  • Will my house fall apart without me?
  • Will my husband cheat on me … or worse eat steak and cake every night and need to be cut out of our bedroom when I return?
  • Will I fall in love with a counselor that has an awesome accent and leave my hubs for the glamorous life of being the with the guy who works the rock wall at fairs in Great Britain?
  • Will my pets survive without me – my husband has already asked where he can buy fish that look like Ryan’s (so I know they’re goners). Will I survive without my cat (yes I’m that person).
  • Can I pull off Soffe shorts with the tops rolled over?
  • Can I survive doing what the campers and staff do, like, pass the lake test? Make it through the ropes course? Let go on the zipline? Get up on water-skis? Survive a day working in the infirmary? Not fall asleep, being on OD? Wear flats?
  • Will I make it through a summer without Big Brother? What if it’s an all star cast, again? Could I miss that?
  • Is there a Starbucks on the premises? Will there be lattes? Will I survive without a green colored smoothie? 
  • How will I know what goes best with morning announcements — a wedge or a stiletto?
  • Am I supposed to ignore my kids when I see them?
  • Will I get dirty playing mud football on a rainy day?
  • Will I get eaten by a bear?
  • Will I be able to do staff skits or talents shows? Is sarcasm a talent?
  • Can I dress as something inconspicuous and spy on my kids who I’ve told I will give independence? Like maybe I could dress as a cook or a bush or a basketball???
  • Am I still a tetherball, ping-pong and jacks champion that I paint myself to be in my selective memory?
  • If there’s Chinese jump rope, will I remember how to do it? And will I pee a little on the floor of a girls bunk, every time I land and blame it on one of the other kids?
  • Will my daughter Ry (the child with the attitude pretend not to know me if we pass each other) and send me to my cabin to cry quietly?
  • Will I find out what really goes on at camp and whether my nervousness about parting with my kids is founded or just based on crazy helicopter mom tendencies brought on by my adult onset   combo of ADD, OCD and generalized anxiety disorder, which DSM IV calls GXPD (Gen X Parenting Disorder).
  • Are the things that worry me even founded? Like are the kids actually supervised? Are counselors aware of bullying?  Are kids left to cry when they’re homesick, like some horrible version of tween ferberizing? Do the kids run on rocky terrain in flip-flops while sucking on hard candies?
  • Do the photographers make the kids smile in pictures to make sure the kids look like they’re having fun, but really they’re being forced to make fake Nikes and Reeboks to sell on the black market?
  • Do the camp pictures really load that slowly or is there some evil techie on the other side twisting his handlebar mustache as he puts in one picture every 47 seconds?
  • Can I take a two minute shower? (It’ll be hard only because I tend to forget what I’ve already washed and redo stuff. Maybe a waterproof checklist.)
  • Will I get all the crappy jobs on the chore wheel?
  • Is there someone in the laundry who purposely shrinks their clothes and switches them into other kid’s bags.
  • Is the fact that I’m living with 6 women (I don’t know) in a cabin in the woods the beginning of The Real Housewives of Camp Lenox, an MTV Real World – Camp Edition, or a horror movie?
  • Is camp these days even remotely similar to the way it was when I was a kid?
  • Will you follow the series and see what kind of humor, sentiment, Gen X nostalgia, anarchy and craziness ensues? Please.

To follow along make sure you’re a fan on Facebook page and twitter and if you’re on Pinterest or Instagram (I’ll surely have some doozies to post). And please take a sec to share this with any friends who’ve been to camp, have (had or will one day) have kids in camp, or people who like the humor in the unknown.

RELATED POST: Gen Xers — You Know You Were a Camper If…

XO – Jenny From The Blog Bunk

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Gen Xers – You Probably Went to Camp If …

You Probably Went to Camp in The 80s If... (Nostalgia, Remember When, Generation X, 1980s, Sleepaway Camp)

Every summer, many of my Gen X cohorts and I, were carted off to sleepaway camps across the country. We packed our trunks, made sure we had as many flip up collar polo style shirts as possible and headed off for 2-8wks of re-wording pop songs, crushing on counselors with British accents, and dressing up as Madonna and Michael Jackson . This summer I’m going to back to camp, with my kids.

Let me restate that so that you can process it… My kids are going to Camp Lenox in Massachusetts and I’m freakin’ following them — because something is so very wrong with me… and so I can write about the camp experience from a mom’s POV (while I slowly go insane).

Sooo, while thinking about how I’ll survive camp the 2nd time around (as an adult who likes morning lattes and pillow top beds with box springs… and roads), I started to reminisce about what it was like the first time around.

Here it is: Hey Gen Xer, you were probably a camper if…

1.  If you can finish most of these songs:  Shave and a haircut… Everywhere we go-oh people wanna know-oh… John Jacob Jingle… Hello Muddah hello…

2.  If you understand the utter and complete joy of receiving a care package. I mean, equal to winning the lottery kinda joy. And hoped for booty like: Easy Cheese, Pop Rocks, Ring Pops, Dweebs (Nerd’s cousins), Whistle Pops, Wax Bottles, Dots… and the motherload – dry packets of Kool Aid, Jello or Fun Dip.

3. If you went to bed freaked out by some guy named Cropsy or whoever haunted cabin 13 or something that lives in the lake and steals little kids … which a grown up told you about around a campfire (with the sole purpose of scaring the crap out of you).

4.  If you understand that having Canteen Credit is the equivalent of having cigarettes in prison.

5. If you know the other meaning of canteen and you had an actual one. Not some BPA free suction release Camelback, I mean a hard rounded metal container with a cap and a strap.

6.  If shaving your legs was a group activity. I’m talkin’ on the  steps or porch of your bunk with a bucket of cold water (it didn’t stay hot long) a can of shaving cream and 4 or 5 other girls you shared said bucket with *gags* (maybe this is also true for women’s prison – haven’t been there yet, so I can’t say).

7.  If most of your summer jewelry was made of gimp or lanyard.

8. If you blew out fuses every Saturday night before socials drying your hair with your Conair Yellow Bird, your trusty diffuser for your perm or using your awesome Windmere crimping iron that only singed  your hair a tiny bit, so it was worth it.

9. If you can’t recall the smell of the singed hair but would recognize the aroma of your go to hair spray (feather finisher, perm scruncher or bang freezer) ie. Aussie Sprunch Spray, Paul Mitchell Freeze & Shine or Sebastian Spritz Forte’ or  good ol’ Aqua-Net.

10.  If dizzy izzies, suck and blow, the Pepsi challenge, jacks tournaments, an obstacle course, and a rope burn, were a given every summer.

11.  If you have a clear understanding of the 4 food groups: cereal, Popsicles, bug juice, and S’mores.

12. If you ever watched underwear run up a flagpole and prayed they weren’t yours.

13. If you know the tune and words to Reveille and Taps, yet you were never in the service.

14. If to this day the song, Leaving On a Jet Plane makes you cry.

15.  If you were initiated into some cult like group around a fire with chanting and maybe Indian terms or fake names …  and you were not at Waco.

16.  If people asked what you wanted to be when you grew up and you didn’t say President, you said, “color war captain.”

17.  If your mom had tons of those tiny woven pot holders that were too small (and frankly to holey) to ever actually hold a pot.

18.  If you tried to never touch the bottom of the lake because you were pretty certain there were things down there that could eat you. The bonfire stories and your recent Jaws viewing did not help.

19.  If you traveled with a hard-sided trunk that could fit a body. And you knew this because you had to see if you could fit in it before you let your mom pack your stuff.

20. If said stuff you packed included: flip up collar Izods/polo shirts, pleated shorts, striped rugbys, overalls, denim skirts/shorts that were acid washed, stone washed, or shredded and jeans that had to be pegged and tapered to sit atop your scrunchie EG socks and awesome velcro high-tops.

21.  If picking out stationary to take to camp was an actual event. I’m lookin’ at you Snoopy, Hello Kitty, and Precious Moments …

22.  If all your letters on said awesome stationary ended with K.I.T and they were S.W.A.K. and didn’t involve a single lol, ttyl, or lmao.

23.  If you mastered the 2 minute cold shower with your Kaboodles caddy in tow.

24. If your camp mixes trumped any ‘Best Of’ album and they had at least one from these artists: The Bangles, Depeche Mode, Madonna, Micheal Jackson, Foreigner, James Taylor …

25. If you felt your rendition of Like a Virgin and Madonna’s were identical except for the lion. Also, your version was titled Like a Bass Weejun, worn for the very first time and you were flat chested with braces, but they were close.

26. Finally, if you cried for days upon reentry to society as if you could not function without someone addressing you each morning at a flagpole.

How many of those made you nostalgic? What do you remember most?

Please Share with all your camp friends and read the note below!

I think I may have to back out of this summer gig. I jump when I see a spider… I’m screwed. However, you’re not… you can follow the Mom Goes to Camp Experiment on FACEBOOK

(Also, I need a hashtag like #WhatTheFuckWasIThinkingPleaseRescueMe - wait, that’s too long – how about #JennyFromTheBunk ?)
Here’s hoping I don’t break a wedge heel … or get eaten by a bear.
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So This Happened AKA How to Scare Kids At A Bus Stop

embarrass tweenSo this incident actually happened and I’m pretty sure it was not a coincidence… we can file it under the heading – How to Scar Your Tween for Life 101 – Is that a class? I should probably teach it.

Yesterday, I put up a piece about how to screw up your kids and I also did a piece for SmartBeautyGuide on adult breakouts – and in some weird twist of events I had an incident that was a weird mash-up of the two, in the most amusing way possible. Well, amusing for me, not my tween.  I was driving J to the bus stop, which is within our gated community and about 200 yards from my house.

Me: Dude (I call him dude in an attempt to seem all casual with him, and I’m pretty sure it also makes me seem awesomely cool – if it were the 90s)… Dude, you should really walk to the bus stop in the morning.. it’s literally like a block away.

J: No way, it’s too far. Continue reading

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13 Ways to Totally Screw Up Your Kids – Or Your Money Back

(WARNING: DO NOT TRY THESE AT HOME, IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU’RE OLD) 

Inventive Ways to Totally Screw Up Your Kids (Do NOT Try These at Home) #humor #funny mom #parenting

One moment of creatively messing with your kiddos (for your own amusement) could potentially last a lifetime (see Jimmy Kimmel).

After clicking on an article titled How to Emotionally Fuck Up Your Kids, I realizing it wasn’t what I expected. Yes, I was looking for the witty list of inventive ways parents could wield their awesome powers (not that they would).. Though the piece I read was scientifically sound (who believes science anyway?) I wanted to read my version. Sadly that meant I’d have to write it.

Well, I’ve already written lists, which I’m sure you’ve read, ahem, about the lies we tell our kids to stay sane and the Momisms we trick them with so, why not?

That said, here it is: 13 Guaranteed Ways to Emotionally F*ck Up Your Kids (My Version) Continue reading

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The Best Gen X Barbies and Barbie Stuff Ever – Remember This?

Time for a little Barbie nostalgia: How many of these did you have/want/remember? What am I missing from this almost perfect list of the best Barbie Stuff Ever?

Growing up I was a total Barbie Girl – I played with Barbie and her friends way longer than I should’ve. Over the years I’ve come across one or two of my old (but still totally awesome) Barbies and passed them down to my Barbie girl, Ry (though she usually makes me be them in our games, as they’re a bit rattier than her newer shinier models).

But I don’t care because I know how cool they are, even if they have a couple hair plugs showing from visits to the “salon” gone awry, or if Ry doesn’t know who some of the obscure celebrity Barbies are – I’m lookin’ at you Jimmy Osmond. And I know that you know how awesome they are too, which is why I’m giving you a list of my favorite Barbies and Barbie “stuff” growing up. Here Goes:.

VOTEwhich did you have/want/remember? (You can vote on my Pinterest “Barbie Nostalgia” Board, or Facebook “Best Of GenX Barbie” album or send me your fave on Instagram!)

If you want to be really awesome – add a picture of your fave (ebay is a good source) – at any of the places above with tags #BarbieProject #BarbieList and tag me too! — and I will add your choices.

Before we know it, this will be the definitive list of the Best Barbie Stuff ever and I SHALL RULE THE WORLD!

NOW GO FIND ME PICS OR SIMPLY MAKE SOMEONE SMILE AND SHARE THIS LIST WITH  ALL YOUR GEN X FRIENDS (THEY’LL LIKE IT)

This month I’m talking about playing with Barbies through the generations and nostalgia – two of my favorite things! Click here to join the conversation.

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Rosetta Stone Mother’s Day Edition – 12 Phrases Your Kids Could Impress You With

Things Someone Should Teach Our Kids to Say on Mother's DayThe best Mother’s Day ever – the gift of laughter… I mean lying, the gift of lying. A child who’s been brainwashed, ahem, slightly nudged into making complimentary statements. It’s the gift that keeps on giving…

Let’s face it, kids are brutally honest. For instance I had no idea my butt was so jiggly until my daughter nicely informed me. (OK fine, I knew, but I didn’t need it pointed out.)

My kids also say lovely stuff like, “Mommy, I’m lucky, you’re way more fun than the other mothers” or “Mommy, I bet when we go out, people think we’re sisters.”

When my little ones say stuff like that, the result is sheer unadulterated joy, which is why I’m inventing Rosetta Stone (Mother’s Day Edition) so that we can all feel that love everyday.  Yep, I’ll be putting a multitude of beautiful sentiments (we wish our children would utter) on cassette, CD, MP3, 8-Track and those odd tiny tapes that came with 80s answering machines … so that our kids (via our mates or parents or anyone else willing to shell out the $499.00 I’m charging) can be brainwashed into showering us with enough kind remarks to last a lifetime, or at least until next Mother’s Day, when we’ll be expecting a new piece of jewelry.

That’s right, in no time your kids will be speaking fluent “Mother” with popular phrases like: “Mommy, I know I can be exhausting … shall I pour you Cab or Chard?” and “Mommy, even though you can’t seem to convert fractions into decimals, I still think you’re smarter than daddy.”

Here are some of the other amazing things your children will be repeating like parrots in no time:

  • Mommy, how come all the other mothers look so old and you look so young? Was I a teen pregnancy?
  • Mommy, can we please run more errands? There’s no bonding time that could surpass the bond of a joint trip to say, Costco, we will bond in bulk.
  • Mommy, I don’t think I want to date until I’m 20, and I want to wear one of those creepy celibacy rings the Jonas brothers wore, because it’s OK to be creepy when you abstain.
  • Mommy, I will love you forever and when I’m married my family will still spend all holidays at your house, heck, we’ll be living next store, so it’ll be a short trip.
  • Mommy, I promise to never ask you to drop me off a block away from my destination and pretend we don’t know each other. You are my bestie and I want the world to know it, that’s why I got you this Best Friends charm (pick your half).
  • Mommy, I think hand sanitizer and sunblock are the most brilliant inventions ever. I shall use them unsparingly.
  • Mommy, you shouldn’t feel guilty about checking your email, updating your Facebook status, tweeting, or playing Words With Friends while only half paying attention to me. Nay nay, I’m in awe of your ability to multitask.
  • Mommy, I’ve learned that you are never wrong, which is why I will listen intently to all your advice and never claim to know better.
  • When I have a tantrum over a candy, toy, pet, random thing that in no way seems like something a child would want … I’m utterly impressed when you don’t give in! (Also, for the times that you do give in, I promise not to tell anyone.)
  • Mommy, I know there are children starving, which is why I am going to eat this broccoli with total love and thankfulness in my heart … and a smile on my face and then I will have seconds.
  • Mommy, I’m done with my book, now I’ll  just go clean my room, run myself a bath, and get along with my brother.
  • (And my favorite suggestion from my awesome Facebook Fans who probably think I’m going to share the wealth from my Rosetta Stone Mother Language Edition, which I’m not):  “Mommy isn’t it amazing that I am never, ever bored?”

Well, help me become a billionaire … Ask someone to buy you my Mother’s Day Edition of Rosetta Stone and feel free to add any phrase you’d like to hear below (for an extra grand I’ll add them to your personal set). I feel the money rolling in… (And be on the lookout for the Mom of a Tween edition where you will actually get “yes” or “no” responses to questions and a trusty Grunt to English guide to decipher all the wonderful things your tween will be whispering under his/her breath!)

GO JOIN THE INSANITY ON  FACEBOOK – AND ALSO PLEASE TAKE A SEC TO SHARE OR LIKE! XO

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Gen X Heartthrob Smackdown Round 1 Recap – Countdown to The Hottest 80s Hunk

This week on my Facebook Page, I’ve been having a Gen X Heartthrob Smackdown (sorry to my male non-gay readers). Anyhoo, I’m doing it because I’m tired of seeing my hub and his friends have all the fun with their NCAA brackets … and also because I’m bored. Continue reading

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Home Sweet Home After Kids – Ways the Reality is Different Than the Dream…

18 ways my home is not what iWhen Mark and I moved into our home, I was obsessed with making it perfection. I painted it myself in trendy hues. I placed unread books on bookshelves and organized them by color simply for the aesthetic. I set up little vignettes on counters in groups of three to make my home seem chic, yet warm, you know, a cross between make yourself comfortable and maybe you shouldn’t touch that? Continue reading

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First Child vs Second Child – 10 Things Parents Do Differently

1st Child vs 2nd Child: 10 Ways Things Are Different #humor #parenting #funny #list #siblingsWhen I had my first child, I wanted to do everything by the book. I was so nervous that the tiniest misstep would somehow break the baby. In fact, one of my first pieces was about how shocked I was that they just let me leave the hospital with this infant.

What were they thinking?

I had no clue what to do with him. In fact, Continue reading

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I Love that My Daughter Loves Barbies

That’s my confession. Barbie hasn’t fiendishly ruined my daughter’s self image — quite the opposite — she’s helped her learn to solve problems, to be accepting, to stretch her imagination, and to have compassion.I love that my daughter loves Barbies #barbieproject #humor #sweet #mom #barbie #play

As a card carrying Gen-Xer, I had an obsession with Barbies. I played with them until I was nearly 14, which I try not to admit in public because at that age, your Barbies are basically having make-out sessions that lead to awkward Barbie hookups, which is both ironic and also impossible – hello, has anyone seen Ken’s crotchal region? 

Continue reading

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8 Cutting Edge Gen X Items That Our Kids Would Find Archaic – Remember When?

8 Things That Were Cutting Edge to Gen Xers That our Children Would Totally Laugh At #generationx #humor #nostalgia #rememberwhen #momhumor #atari #80sREMEMBER WHEN? Here are a couple of “modern” Gen X items that our kids would totally make fun of today… (Warning: waxing poetic about these things will only make you feel old, uncool, and out of touch) Continue reading
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24 Stupid Things Mommy Brain Has Made Us Do – It’s Not Our Fault, People

24 Stupid Things Mommy Brain Has Made Moms Do.... #funny #momhumor #guilty #parenting #momnesiaThis is what I’ve realized as I’ve aged… Though I have an uncanny ability to remember theme songs to sitcoms and John Hughes movies, verbatim, I have no ability to remember where I left my keys, the names of people I see on a daily basis, what pending appointments I have, or why I just walked into this room?! I’ve also realized one can get hair on their pinky toes, WTF is that?

SO, in the name of “Full Disclosure About Utterly Stupid Shit I’ve Done,” I give you my momnesia moments -  Just don’t judge me, as I’m not the only numskull … My awesome  Facebook Followers added some… (they will one day keep me company in a padded room). Or we can all blame Mommy Brain together.

Continue reading

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The Gen X Road Trip: As Kids vs With Our Kids

The Gen X Road Trip: As Kids vs WIth Our Kids ( #humor #funny #nostalgia #rememberwhen #80s #genX ) @Jenny From The BlogYou guys know how I’m a slightly obsessed, nostalgic Gen Xer? Seriously, things were so different when we were kids.  Take the road trip … Sure, there are  similarities — we elbowed our siblings, rolled our eyes at our parents as they blared their oldies, and asked “How much farther now?” more times than the Smurfs on their way to visit Father Time. (How many of you were with me for that reference?) And yes, my kids have to go to the bathroom the second we hit the highway, the same way we did, but that may be where the similarities end. Here’s proof:

AS KIDS: Wow, were our games complex. There was I SpyMake the Trucker Honk His HornThe License Plate GameGHOSTMad Libs, those Yes & Know invisible ink pads, and the most desperate game of all: the Wave Game, which was played in desperate times and consisted of you and your siblings waving at people in passing cars and then fighting over who got the most waves back. (It was hard to really tell who they were waving at, but you were always convinced it was you, which made keeping score tricky.) And of course there was my Dad’s favorite, The Quiet Game, which earned you a whole nickel (no it wasn’t wooden, I’m not that old). Continue reading

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18 Ridiculous Things Parents Say to Their Kids Because They Have To

18 Insane Things Parents Say to Their ChildrenYou know how there are certain phrases you’ve said to your children, that upon reflection, you can’t believe actually came out of your mouth?

Last week, I had to ask my 12 yo son, J to “stop smelling the cat” and there was a time I explained to my daughter Ry, that “the balls boys have are not the same as the little balls on your tongue,” (may we never discuss balls on her tongue again) and just a couple weeks ago  I had to explain motorboating to my tween son (with an audio and quasi visual demonstration), so that he could keep up with the middle school cafeteria banter.

As parents, we’ve all had to turn some pretty insane phrases at one time or another. The question is, have we, the parents, gone bat shit crazy for uttering these words, or is it our children who are certifiable, for doing things that require us to speak them?

Here are some of the weirdest things I’ve had to say to my children over the years (I surprise myself daily), plus some phrases from my awesome Facebook Fans, who never disappoint.

1. “You can have a favorite shirt, but you’re not allowed to have a favorite pair of underwear.”

2. “Gum you find under tables is NOT ‘free’ gum.”

3. “I don’t care how much she annoys you, your sister is not for sale.”

4. “Please stop riding the dog.”

5. “You cannot charge your friends at school for massages. And please stop massaging people at school.” Continue reading

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You’re Probably Not a Parent If …

You're Probably Not a Parent If... (a humor list for parents)A little parenting humor for the moms and dads who know what it’s like to notice (after being out and about for the day) that there is a dried booger on your shirt, which has clearly been there for hours.

That said:  

You’re Probably Not a Parent If…

1. The name people use to get your attention is your actual name.

2. The only person you wipe is yourself.

3. You don’t sneak vegetables into things like meatloaf, smoothies, and brownies — you just eat them. Continue reading

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22 Little Things My Husband Does That Annoy The Crap Out of Me

annoying things about husband 2 ecardFor better or worse … that’s what we agreed to, right? Who new when we signed up for this by saying “I do,” that our mates would become so annoying?

Sure, we love them, but let’s face it, when you live with someone day in day out for what feels like an eternity, the little quirks that were once endearing, or at least easy to ignore, can become somewhat irritating, exasperating, irksome, maddening, and grating. Have I said too much?

Last week, my husband — who has pretty much no idea how to use most of the items in our home or where we keep them for that matter — screamed from the kitchen (after having a tooth extracted), “Hey honey, where do we keep the saltwater, or do we not have any in the house?” I was tempted to send him to the store to futilely search for a bottle o’ saltwater simply to avoid dealing with the ridiculousness of that question, plus I needed time to think of reasons I love him.

Instead, I made you this list of annoying things husbands do (well, mine at least), for the purpose of female bonding and personal sanity… Continue reading

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36 Ways You Know Your Baby Boy is Officially a Tween

ways you know boy is tweenI have to tell you guys something pretty scary, pretty anxiety inducing, pretty unbelievable … Wait, I have to take a deep breath and say that again without all the cracking in my voice (like the one I hear around the house each day) … My son is officially a tween.  Everyone knows, this time in life is a major turning point — a time of self exploration, acclimating to the social mores of tween/teen culture, learning which hair products work best, and feeling like a total loser (whether you have tons of friends or none at all).

Being a tween reiterates the fact that they’re no longer our little boys. As terrifying (for me) as that is, I’ve actually been banned from writing about it. Seriously, after calling us moms of boys jealous shrewsand exploring what to do when your tween actually pays attention to you, I’ve literally been given a writing restraining order — imposed by mothers who can’t stop sobbing and giggling … while sobbing. Though I can no longer wax poetic, I can list the numerous indicators that your little boy has entered big bad ‘tween years. Here are 36 of them:

Continue reading

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21 Lies Moms Tell Their Kids To Stay Sane

21 lies moms tell

Last Sunday, as we drove home after a long baseball tournament in a heavy downpour, my kids suggested we continue this tedious day and go see a movie. Frankly, my eyes were closing just thinking about my cozy bed and if I wasn’t the one driving, I think I would’ve passed out cold.

Me: “Um, sorry guys that’s a great idea, but they don’t show movies after 8PM on Sundays. Maybe tomorrow.”

Yes, I’m always quick to throw out a creative, well placed lie. my daughter paused for a quick sec to access the statement, and confident in its validity, went back to whatever she was playing my iPhone. My son went back to his phone too. After a short pause, he said, “Yes, they do, there’s an 8:25.”

Damn you interwebs from ruining the only sanity saver I had left!

I’m just gonna come right out and say it. Moms lie! We do — Continue reading

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25 Unexpected Questions Every Mom Will Ask Herself at Some Point

25 questions every mom asks (best Mom bloggers)

Lately, I’ve found myself asking my readers rhetorical parenting questions in a not so overt attempt to assuage guilt and make sure I’m not alone. Last week’s guilt driven query: Is it wrong for the “Tooth Fairy” to steal money from one kid to pay the other?

PS: The answer according to my Facebook Fans is a resounding no. Phew. Though I fear that armed with this knowledge, I may be asking them next week if the same goes for paying the pizza delivery guy. Oh well.

That said, I’m guessing there’s a slew of questions every mom will ask herself at least once — here are just a few… Continue reading

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10 Cringe Worthy Secrets Our Kids Tell Other People

kids secretsI was just writing a piece on things our parents do that embarrass us even though we’re grown up, when it dawned on me that my kids do things that embarrass me even more. My children have blurted out some very personal secrets to teachers, doctors, the person who gives you shoes at the bowling alley, and I’m sure unbeknownst to me — to other people’s parents as well.

The first time I recall being outed by one of my children was when my son was about 3. While in the checkout line at the grocery store, he looked at cashier and nonchalantly said, “My mommy walks around naked.” As if it made perfect sense in the context of buying juice boxes.

I’ve also been privy to other people’s juicy secrets, unsolicited mind you. (It’s not like I drill little children that innocently come over to play or hook them to lie detectors while we enjoy cookies and then I ask if their mom has had any work done.)

Here are some of the reasons we should never share anything private with our children (KIDS TELL ALL!) — and the reason we shouldn’t let them leave the house … Continue reading

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5 Things Gen X-ers Did Growing Up That Our Children Just Wouldn’t Understand

5 things 80s kids did growing upI recently made a list of crazy things Gen X-ers used growing up that are completely antiquated now.

It reminded me of the conversations I would have with my older relatives when I was growing up. The ones where they would tell these fantastical tales about things my generation would never experience or understand. Like, walking 20 miles to school … in the snow … uphill … shoeless. Or running into gypsy bandits that lived in the woods near their house or even sitting around the radio to listen to their stories.

Those sagas seemed so ridiculous to me (exaggeration aside), and yet, I’m pretty confident that my tales of growing up as a Gen X-er would sound equally ridiculous to my own offspring. Yes, I imagine these are the yarns I will spin as my kids grow up and they have kids of their own.

“Well, youngin’s, you think you’ve got it tough with your Facebook and your Google and your iParaphernalia? Why, in my day, we had to …” Continue reading

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What Was Hot Then vs. What’s Hot After Marriage – Who Woulda Thought?

80s 90s vs now

 

“Shit, I’m totally running late and I have an appointment for the new kitty at the vet, do you think I can call my husband and have him get her ready in carrier and stuff?” I said to a friend as I rushed back from a meeting.

“You can try… giggle, giggle. You know how it’ll go right?” she replied, fully knowing this would be an exercise in futility which would end with me getting home frustrated at my husband’s inability to follow the simplest direction and then doing it all myself.

She was right, I knew how this conversation would go or any conversation that involves more than one detail… it gets lost in the abyss that fills the air between my words and his ears. Like this… (insert squiggly lines from a Scooby Doo cartoon) ~~~~ Continue reading

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Enough With The Freakin’ Awards – Should Our Kids Get Trophies For Everything They Do?

Trophies ecard

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 3, my kids received trophies for soccer, which I assure you were not deserved. How do I know? Um, there were times my daughter would stop kicking the ball to chase a dragon fly. And, I could be wrong, but I don’t think my son was bending it like Beckham when he would pick up the ball with his hands and throw it to a friend mid-game.

I know, it wasn’t about them deserving their awards … all the kids get trophies for simply showing up to the ceremony — because that’s what we do to our millennial children, we make them think that they’re the best at everything. We praise them constantly and tell them everyone is a winner, leaving them little motivation, little idea of what the real world is like, and little chance of not freaking out when they realize they aren’t perfect. Continue reading

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40 Signs You’re a PARENT …

40 signs that you are a motherAfter writing about how you know if you’re the mom of a boy or the mom of a girl, I realized there are so many indicators that define us moms and literally set us apart from every other life force on Earth. So, here you have it: Signs You’re a Mom or as I like to say, You Know You’re a Moms IF…

1.  You haven’t heard your actual name the entire day, but you’ve been beckoned relentlessly.

2.  You’ve ever sang Old MacDonald with the same enthusiasm you once sang I Will Survive.

3.  Lying is always an option, as in … “I’m sorry, the arcade is closed on Sunday.” “I love the outfit you put together yourself.” “You’re right, you do sound just like Beyonce when you sing.” and “No, they don’t give ketchup at the drive-thru.”

4.  You have some sort of stain on your clothing that you would literally have to taste to place.  What is that latte or spit up? Hmm… Gimme a sec…  Oh, it’s spit up.

5.  You’ve recently consumed a partial plate of sliders, french fries, chicken nuggets, or mini hot dogs and you weren’t attending Mayor McCheese’s wedding. Continue reading

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Carbs Are Like That Hot Guy You Loved in The 80s – (carb talk and 80s humor)

OK, without going into too much medical mumbo-jumbo, I’m supposed to have a new healthy diet, which includes cutting out most carbohydrates. Not fruits and veggies, but Starchy Carbs – like pasta, cereal, rice, baked goods, potatoes, and grains (YES, even if they’re made with yummy grains and oats and the gluten that comes with them).  And Sugary Carbs — like desserts, sodas, juices, and sweets.rob lowe 80s

So, I shall explain what I’ve learned about these carbs and why they are so truly “sucky” and unhealthy (unless you do a ton of anaerobic activity), in this little vignette where the carbs are the hot guy from high school/college who you so desperately wanted — who can resist carb talk and 80s humor? (Be Warned: I’m a Gen Xer so my references may be dated). 

It starts like this: First, you see the hot guy (donut, multigrain bagel, bbq potato chip, bowl of whole wheat spaghetti) and you think, Oooooh you’re cute, I totally want you. Your heart beats a bit faster and you do your best to impress. Now, I realize no one needs to impress a donut to eat it, though I will admit there are times I tell the donut how I’ve worked out earlier that day, in hopes that it doesn’t think I’m a gluttonous slob.

Hot Guy is up for a little conversation – you take a bite. (I mean of the donut, not the guy — this is a comparison remember?) You love your little tête-à-tête and you want more, you crave more, your body can’t get enough (Oh that’s because carbohydrates raise insulin, which then lowers blood sugar, which causes a craving for more food.)  So you talk a little more to Hot Guy and you trade digits! (Trust me the donut’s already got your number).

SCORE, you’re on a high (your adrenal glands are pumping out adrenaline and cortisol and you feel chipper and awake). You can’t wait to get a ring on your new Panasonic speakerphone with something called “speed dial” and a 20 number memory!!! You’d like to call him, but you’re gonna have a little will power here because you know how to play it cool Continue reading

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35 Reasons Moms are Late

35 reasons moms are late

I was never an incredibly punctual person, but but becoming a parent has put a whole new spin on my excuses for being late to meetings, school drop off, parties and appointments. As was made apparent in my “20 Momisms Translated” post, we moms have a lot in common… why should this be any different?

Back in the day, I was late because of the normal stuff, you know, my hair didn’t look just right, my alarm clock didn’t go off, there was traffic on 95… Now, between me barely keeping my head on straight and my kids being out of their minds, my excuses look more like this:

Sorry I’m late but …

1. My daughter’s socks hurt, or as she put it, her socks “hate her.”

2. All of a sudden, none of their shoes seemed to have a mate. NONE.

3. I couldn’t find my keys … they were in my pocket.

4. My kids were fighting over who got to sit in which seat.

5. My daughter’s fingernail was itchy.

6. My son decided to wrestle with the dog rather than simply walk out the door, so we had to roll off the fur, but I couldn’t find the lint roller, so I had to fashion one from masking tape and MacGyver it off.

7. Both my children had to make a last-minute poop.

8. It seemed like a good time for one of them to ask where babies come from. Continue reading

The First Installment of – Things That Happen in the Middle of Nowhere with Jenny From the Bunk

So, I left camp today to trek out into the Berkshires to pick up a prescription. The Berkshires are absolutely stunning, but everyone drives really slow.

I mean slower than the speed limit, slow… like they aren’t actually driving to a destination. Even Siri was giving me lazy directions, alerting me milliseconds before my turn, one time she was like, “Ooops, you were supposed to turn about a mile back but I was too enamored with the scenery to mention it, my bad.”

“Whatever Siri!”… Continue reading