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8 Reasons Sending The Kids Back to School Sucks

smarter than 5th grader ecard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I was as excited to send the kiddos back to school as the rest of the moms out there who’ve had a 12week hiatus from normal daily life. I just wish we could remove a couple irritating back to school elements from the equation (listen to me, I already sound more scholarly … ugh, school is officially in session).

Here’s my list of said irritating elements, I mean, the annoying stuff that comes with those darn kids needing an education:

1. Waking up early blows: I love those extra minutes/hours you get to sleep during the summer, not to mention the stress-free morning routine. There’s no mad rush to get to a bus or carpool lane. No one needs to check and make sure work is completed and paperwork is signed to avoid getting docked a letter grade.

Even when the kids are in camp, I have no problem dropping them off late because, well, I know there won’t be a pop quiz in archery or dodge ball, and no one is grading their lanyard making skills (except for me, that is).

2. It makes me feel stupid: During the summer I’m crazy smart. I figured out the logistics of carrying four chairs and an umbrella, a cumbersome (but cute) straw bag, and two boogie boards from my car to the beach with little assistance. I could tell you the location of anyone who’s ever been on the Bachelor with pinpoint accuracy, due to my summer reading, which consisted of anything you could buy in the checkout line at the grocery store. I know, brilliant, right?

Now, I’ll be expected to know the order of operations or who won the Franco-Prussian war. I don’t even know who was in the Franco-Prussian war and it seems like the name is a total hint, which makes me feel even stupider. Crap, is stupider even a word? (P.S. The older they get, the “stupider” you get to feel. YAY!)

3. Getting to bed early: Because of the whole waking up early disaster, I now have to get my kids to sleep at a time that will allow them to be fresh and rested the next morning … apparently punctuality is important to the school boards. That said, my kids have this amazing ability to get a second wind right when I need them to settle down.

In fact, merely telling them “it’s bedtime” is like announcing through a bullhorn that it’s time to play with the dog, remember you have unfinished homework, realize something hurts you, that you lost something, decide you didn’t have enough for dinner, or start to divulge the details about your day, which I inquired about six hours ago, and got no response.

4. There are NO excuses not to workout: The summer schedule can be pretty erratic — one day one kid is home, one day another, we do things like find beaches or spend days at pools or go to arcades. Things that require my attendance, things that take up the time I could use to stay in shape. Now, with them gone six hours at a clip, it makes it much harder to find reasons to stay away from the treadmill, the gym, or those Insanity videos, which will induce mountains of guilt.

Maybe I’ll put up signs asking solicitors to come to my door, or I’ll make appointments at free clinics to ensure I’m in a waiting room for a good portion of the day, or I could always go to the grocery store multiples times daily because I forgot one item (wait, I already do the last one). Darnit’, I may have to actually lift a weight or something.

5. Making lunches could be the worst task known to man whoever invented the idea should be shot and dragged by horse through the town square and then shot again: I don’t know why the task of making lunches is so burdensome. It’s not like I don’t feed my children on a pretty regular basis, because I do, and I have since, like, forever. But for some reason, there’s this pressure to have something healthy and to cover the food groups or pyramid or isosceles triangle or whatever it is these days, plus the extra act of putting things into Ziploc baggies is sheer torture.

6. Teachers are a judgy bunch: Over the summer I can be a total slacker. No one knows if I’ve considered swimming the equivalent of bathing for the last week, if my children wore the same clothes for three days straight, or if they ate pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But at school there are these other adults who are watching them … and smelling them — and they are totally aware of such negligence.

Plus, those evil drill sergeants request that I sign and return things, on time no less (or they take it out on my children). They expect my kids to arrive before the bell rings … with fresh breath, and full bellies, and finished homework, and signed reading logs, and … It takes a lot of effort and acting ability to seem like all that stuff is done with ease. I don’t mean to seem paranoid, but I’m pretty certain they throw darts at pictures of the bad moms in the teachers’ lounge.

7. I have to compete with other mothers: OK, I know I don’t HAVE to compete, buuuuut my competitive nature is a real hindrance when I try to explain that to myself. Let’s just say, if I don’t beat out the other moms, ahem, kids in the fourth grade science fair this year, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.

8. School supply shopping: Seriously, if you want to test the boundaries of your patience, spend a day in a crowded discount store … with your kids and eight bazillion other people trying to vie for the last pack of Crayola Twistables. Don’t forget to add in the time it takes for your child to pick the perfect folder or composition book.

My daughter spent 25 minutes deciding whether the kitten popping out of a birthday present was “better” than the puppy looking at the kitten with sad eyes while the kitten batted him in the snout. Seriously, neither is going to make you a best-selling child novelist so just freakin’ pick one before I stab myself in the eye with this compass!

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Summer Camp is OVER and I Had to Say Goodbye to My Bestie – WHY?

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.13.39 PMWHY??? Why must all good things come to an end? It was one crazy summer and I’m not gonna lie, I made an unlikely friend that I’ll never forget. We had so many incredible moments together. Enjoying the daily grind.

So to my Summer Camp Bestie,

I’ll never forget those moments we spent watching the sunrise over the lake. Each night, when I was worn out from those long camp days you were the one who put the wind back into my sails. YOU were the one!

Each morning, I woke up excited to seek you out — knowing that you would put a smile on my face when I was angry at having to wake up to Reveille and would have spit fire at anyone who dared to so much as say “hello.”

We did it all together at camp and even though we live so far apart, I will never forget the special moments we shared. The laughter and the tears. Because of you, my cup runneth over. I had the time of my life and I owe it all to you.

PS – This is for you!

SWAK,

Jenny From the Blog
AKA
Jenny From The Bunk at Camp Lenox

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How to Make Home More Campy

I’m Back I’m Back, But I Forgot How to Be Normal

Day 32 Things I Invented in Camp Out of Necessity 

Day 31 Along Came A Spider…

 LOVE YOU KEURIG

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You Can Learn Pretty Intense Stuff About Your Kids While Playing with Barbies

The other day, a sales girl at a clothing store asked a friend’s daughter what she wanted to do when she grows up — and her answer: “I want to be a housewife.”

Said friend’s jaw dropped and after explaining that she works full time (to avoid the clerk judging) she questioned where that answer came from. Aren’t kids supposed to aspire to bigger things? Why doesn’t she want to be an astronaut? A movie star? A professional baseball player… a lion tamer?

I laughed because well, it was really funny. Plus, stuff like that is only funny when it’s not your child. (Nope, it’s funny when it’s yours too.)

That said, lately Ry has said she no longer wants to be a famous Parisian fashion designer for dogs … So, I thought I’d set up a scenario where I could figure out her aspirations,  or at least identify some of her strengths — for future careers, by playing with Barbies.

I gave her the new Entrepreneur Barbie and thought we should figure out what she’s an entrepreneur of … Did she start a company? Did she invent something? Did she design a building, a line of jewelry?  What does she look up on the iPad (that came with her) who does she call on her cellphone?

Within seconds, I was told that she’s a talk show host. Within minutes, Ry had built a set and put two other Barbies on a sofa for her to interview.

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Please notice they all have drinks, which I’m told is “In case they feel their mouths getting dry from being nervous.” Well, whatever she’s going to be, we can add insightful and systematic to her assets. Continue reading

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How to Make Home More Campy So Your Kids Will Feel More at Home

IMG_5680The other day I wrote about being homesick and back-homesick. Yes, I coined the last one, so I’ll expect royalties if you use it.  Basically, it’s the feeling campers have when they return home and it feels weird to be normal.

As a parent, we want you to be back-homesick because it means you had a great summer and the fortune it cost us to send you to camp would NOT have been better spent on a family vacation or a fall wardrobe. That said, as parents it’s also pretty annoying that you’re not more excited to see us and be back home. Well, as someone who spent the summer at camp and has now experienced both sides of this phenomenon, I feel confident that a couple tweaks to your home will be the difference between mopey kid — and kid who barely notices they’ve left camp.

Look we all spent a lot of time and money, making camp more homey – we sent, great sheets, a soft rug, a cushy chair (which they don’t need) for bonfires, plush towels, their favorite pillows, stuff to decorate the walls, fans for comfort, pictures of us … But I’m gonna teach you the tough part — How to make home more Campy:

1. Start by taking all their electronics and tech items. If they want to text a friend they’ll have to write it in a letter. They’ll complain a little, but deep down they love to be disconnected.

2. Tell them they can only drink sodas from the vending machine. If you don’t have a vending machine. Act as one … take a dollar each time they want a soda, but only give them a soda 2 out of every 4 times they pay you … and 1 of those times give them the wrong soda … that’s about right.

3. Make them write letters to you about their day in order to eat dinner. They love that!

4. Don’t allow your daughters to wear any jewelry they couldn’t make themselves.

5. Make a fancy chore/job wheel and turn it each morning. Make sure everyone else slacks on their chores, so that your child feels like the only one REALLY doing his/her job — don’t forget to fail him/her during inspection.

6. To wake them up in the morning, do not gently nudge, tickle or kiss them. Blare Reveille in their ears and follow that by speaking into a bullhorn while announcing what’s on tap for their day.

7. When they’re sleeping, close off all the ac/heat to their rooms — open their windows and maybe drip some honey or juice on them to ensure the maximum amount of mosquito bites by morning. Trust me, they’ll thank you for it.

8. Serve all their meals buffet style and make sure there isn’t a single item on the buffet that they truly enjoy. If you do cook something they like, eat most of it before allowing them to the table and fight them over the last piece. This will feel normal.

9. Have your kids crochet you a potholder at least twice/week.

10. Allow them to snack on whatever crap they want … with the stipulation that it’s a month old and that they must keep the packages opened and stashed under their beds, behind their drawers etc. Campers know that Cheez-Its taste best when fished out from a mattress.

11. Cheer for them at random times for doing random things … like, if they’re in the bathroom, bust in with “push it out shove it out way out” nothing says “I love you” like an impromptu cheer… they’ll beg for more.

12. Make sure their bathrooms are flooded with a brownish cesspool of water at all times. (Put them on anti-biotics.)

13. Draw things on their face while they sleep — in sharpie.

14. Run all the water in your house for large (but varying) increments of time before your child takes a bath or shower — they’re used to bathing without knowing how long they’ll have.

15. If you child still takes baths, make sure to throw in some dirt along with fish that nibble and snapping turtles, then tell him/her to try not to touch the bottom.

16. After you wash their clothes, make sure that at least 10% of the items are ruined, 10% are lost and 10% belong to someone else.

17. Also, do not, I repeat do not fold any of their clothes! Roll them into balls while damp and throw them around their rooms haphazardly. That’s how they like it.

18. Do not let them listen to the real words to any songs!

19. If you have a boy and a girl, tell them they get in trouble if they go into the other one’s side of the house.

20. Call them to meals in a staggered fashion and claim it’s too crowded for the whole family to eat together.

21. Any gifts or new items should be mailed in the form of a care package. Tell them it’s coming weeks before it actually arrives and when it does — inspect it and remove half the stuff, claiming it’s contraband.

22. Never wash their water bottles, just let them fester in the hot sun and refill them every morning. (Put them on anti-biotics.)

23. Steal a pair of their underwear while they’re sleeping and make all their friends stare at it.

24. Never let them leave a table without fighting over who has to bus it. Even in restaurants  — tell the waiters/busboys to “back off,”  whichever child loses has “got this.”

25. Wake them in the middle of the night by hovering over them and screaming “We’ve got spirit yes we do…” when they groggily respond, goad them by announcing “We’ve got the most!” and then run out of the room.

PS — You should probably put your kids on anti-biotics.

SWAK

~ Jenny From the Bunk at Camp Lenox  Blog

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I’m Back I’m Back, But I Forgot How to Be Normal

Day 32 Things I Invented in Camp Out of Necessity 

Day 31 Along Came A Spider…

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through 

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Jenny From the Bunk is BACK From Summer Camp – But Forgot How to Live in The Real World

goodbye camp pic

I’m Back I’m Back I’m Back!!! In case you didn’t hear, I’m back from my summer at Camp Lenox. I have so much to catch you guys up on, first of all, being home kinda sucks…

Yep, this summer I’ve gotten to feel both homesickness and “back-home sickness,” and they’re oddly similar. When I was at summer camp, and there was downtime, a rainy day, a rest hour, a cancelled period … the locomotive (that is camp) went from careening around bends to simply chugging along. During those times, I missed my hubby, my coffee, my bed, hot water …

Coming back home from summer camp is not so different, except it’s worse … that same freight train doesn’t slow to a chug, it screeches to a halt. Continue reading

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You Helped Me Go Glamping This Summer

Dear Readers,

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Remember when you guys awesomely tweeted and put up Facebook requests to #SaveJennySendKeurig? Well, it actually worked and that means you guys made a difference. Sure, you could’ve volunteered at a homeless shelter or served food at a soup kitchen, and I bet that woulda felt great. But if you didn’t, I’m just saying, please take a moment to be proud of yourselves because you made a huge difference in my summer.

I had been suffering from major headaches, groggy mornings, and snappy AM syndrome. That is when you literally bite someone’s head off for simply smiling, asking a question, or saying hello. It’s not pretty. Also, it’s probably not a good condition to have around children.

Plus, I’d like to reiterate what I’ve had to endure until now. This was no glamping trip. You probably can’t empathize because the stuff I’m about to discuss is hard to put on paper, let alone imagine, but do you know how truly difficult it is to watch a glorious sunrise over a breathtaking lake while drinking a crappy cup of coffee?

I doubt it.

Do you know how tough it is to endure slightly uncomfortable chronic headaches that hit around noon as I’m hiking to a resplendent waterfall, tie-dying an awesome tee shirt, taking a relaxing yoga class with awesome kids, or learning how to spin like a DJ?

I don’t think so.

What about how truly heartbreaking it is to feel tired at around 2 and be forced to take a siesta during rest hour? I don’t think you could really sympathize until you see me resting snuggly in my bed, having a camp nurse rub my temples and tell me, it’ll be alright.

Well, do your best because …

I was forced for like nearly a month to do these things, it in many ways reminds me of The Shawshank Redemption (well mostly because the coffee tasted like sewer water, but also because I like to fill my pockets with sands and slowly release it out my pant legs).

Then this happened …

 

The last couple weeks have been magical and you made that magic happen, cheers!

SWAK

#JennyFromtheBunk

#ThanksKeurig

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Dear Readers – Day 32 – Things Invented at Camp Out of Necessity

Dear Readers (Day 32 at Camp Lenox),

dance night

Brilliant things I invented out of necessity: SO, we just had a DJ at camp. Honestly, I love dancing. You know who does not love me dancing? Most kids that are the age of campers. There’s that factor … and also, I was in my Uggs and a sweatshirt, but I was not going to let those things be setbacks. No, I danced with my favorite counselors and campers.  I showed my skillz, I raised the roof, did the hip hop modified Cabbage Patch I’ve been working on, threw out a retro running man… Oh yeah, I did my best moves, but I realized my moves, which I thought were pretty darn fly (using those terms to describe them is a sign that they are anything but), were not by comparison.

That is how I, (out of necessity) thought up the most brilliant dancing style and I’m pretty sure if I hone it and put it on DVD I’ll be able to sell it to the masses and ensure they’ll be a hit at every upcoming camp dance, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Sweet 16, and school prom they chaperone.

I’m calling it Dance Magic or maybe Abraca-dancing (not sure yet, so refrain from using either as I’m copyrighting the terms as I write this). Anyway, Abraca-Dancing will be irresistible and anyone who is proficient at it, will be da’ bomb, yo.

Let me explain with a couple scenarios:

1. You’re kickin’ your fly moves to some song and you only know the chorus, but all the kids know every word. That’s OK, you should be proud, at least you know the chorus, but to be accepted, you’ll probably want to distract others from your obvious missed word mouthing. This is a great time to reach across the little dance circle you’re in and mouth, “Oh snap … is that a penny behind your ear?” then (while moving rhythmically, you pull out a coin and show the other dancers).  “Whaaaaat?” Throw a made up gang sign and you’re a magical rockstar.

2. Say Talk Dirty to Me comes on (not the one we all know and love by Poison — I kinda had a thing for C.C. DeVille) and everyone starts to do some weird slide based maneuver that you just can’t pick up: You look across to your fellow dancers and point to your pocket where a bit of a handkerchief is poking out. You nod your head to the beat while pointing to it, as if to say, “It’s yours… go ahead grab it.” (I mean what teen/young adult would turn down a handkerchief?) Then they’d pull it and it would just keep going — one tied to the next, to the next and so on. You could add some cool backing up step, to imply your body is down for the party, but your face would be all business with an expression that says “What the hell is happening here? Does it ever end? Even I am amazed!” (selling it is key). Then finally, they’d get to the end … as the song also came to an end: embarrassing moment averted, awesomeness revealed.

3. Now, let’s say everyone is twerking. Maybe you can twerk, maybe you can’t, but it doesn’t matter because you’re not about to twerk with a bunch of kids 10-20 years your junior. It’s gross. You may not think it’s gross, but they’ll think so. And being gross is what people will use Abraca-dancing to avoid. This is the time to pull out the big guns because your grossness will be trumped by the sheer embarrassment you’ll feel, caught in the middle of kids twerking.

You will not only want to deflect from the twerking, you’ll want to stop it all together.  Reach down to your toes, as if you’re about to twerk and come up with a fake bouquet. Then (while showing it rhythmically to the crowd), tap it on another dancer, cup your hand around it and turn it into a dove. Then open your hands and let if fly away. Do this over and over — tap, dove, set free, tap, dove … until the song ends. Note: You’ll wanna have 12-14 doves handy.

Of course, if none of these work, you can always make yourself disappear.

SWAK

~ Jenny From the Bunk

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Day 31 Along Came A Spider…

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS BACK TO CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.6LRgILqj.dpuf

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS BACK TO CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS BACK TO CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS BACK TO CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS BACK TO CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf

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Dear Readers – Day 31 – Along Came a Spider and I Ran Away From Home

Dear Readers (Day 31 at Camp Lenox),

spider chartThis is one of those stories that I have to share, but I really don’t know if it will translate … I’m hoping you’re amused by the comedy of errors that ensued. If not, you clearly have no real sense of humor and should not be reading this blog (I will never take the blame, ever).

That said, I’m still at camp. I had gotten to the point where I was feeling OK, even comfortable, in my cabin and then this happened. Last night, I had a visitor. He was hairy and aggressive and uninvited. I tried to slap him with my shoe, which is how I handle all unwanted guests. That’s a warning to you, don’t visit unannounced.

So, this visitor was lightning fast and also really large. I’m not one to tell a fish story, in fact, I have a tendency to actually downplay details. Therefore, when I say this intruder was the size of a small dog, it may have actually been the size of a small child. Actually, I’m pretty sure I missed contact the first time because I wasn’t sure if it was a camper — and I was a bit hesitant to whack a child with my shoe.

Now, I should also inform you that I’d been on OD and it was about 130 AM. In case you didn’t realize, I share a foyer with a senior administrator, Tim (remember the area where the AC unit is that leads to two closed doors?). The second I heard the main door open I yelled his name and sent him through the roof. I don’t think he was expecting someone to scream as he entered. I explained that there was an interloper the size of a softball and it was multicolored and had some weird pattern on its back and it was probably going to kill me … or at the very least make me some kind of radioactive superhero. Continue reading

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Dear Readers – Day 25 at Camp Lenox – I Did NOT Think This Through

Dear Readers (Day 25-30ish at Camp Lenox),

Day 25 at Camp Lenox... I did NOT think this through!

Last night was my first night sleeping at Camp Lenox, I know I asked for it. I was staying in the creepy Mom Sorority House and yes, I wanted to move and be in the thick of things. Sure, the Mom House basement looked like the set of American Horror Story. Sure, I complained about the crooked walls, creaky floors and chipping paint, but that was child’s play compared to this. Actually, camp is child’s play and the Sorority house was cushy Mom’s Play, but I think you get the point.

That said, I let you guys pick my room on Facebook and you picked option 2:  (The “spacious” 1 Bedroom/ 1 Bath with my own bathroom, limited access to AC and a gross mattress — that had this label on it… Continue reading

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The Best or Worst Ideas For Your Letters to Camp – Not Sure Which

tumbleweedDear Readers (Day 19 – 24 at Camp Lenox),

As we all know, the best ideas are generated during periods of total and utter boredom. Also, in the shower but there’s never anything to write with so, I imagine lots of great inventions are washed down the drain. Like time machines and renewable toxic waste…

Well, this is one of those brilliant ideas that I dreamed up and had the good fortune to get on paper. PHEW.

BTW, someone needs to invent a pad and pen that you can write with in the shower…

With the advent of camp emails and bunk notesit’s never been easier to keep in constant contact with your camper. Unfortunately, it’s you contacting them and not so much them contacting you. I should know, spending this summer at camp, I realize that my own great intentions to write letters were squashed by one of my other great intentions —  to enjoy camp. Yes, speaking in your camper’s defense, camp is tiring and non-stop, and like being on a constant roller coaster — the last thing anyone wants to do is screech all that fun/energy to a halt to write an update. Also, so much happens in a day that when anyone does sit down to write it’s almost daunting to try to recap, hence the one liners: “Camp is fun.”  

That said, I get the plight of the parent as well. Unless you’re rock climbing, getting up on water skis for the first time, tipping canoes, having bonfires, talent shows or raucous games of Name That Tune around the house, the whole we write you and get nothing in return is an oxymoronic phenomenon. Continue reading

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Dear Readers Day 18 – Did I Survive the Camp Lenox Swim Test – Video

Dear Readers (Day 18) VIDEO BELOW -

Today, I took the Camp Lenox swim test. (Well, did I pass or did I drown? I’m not gonna spoil it and tell you which, but one of those things did happen.) Anyhoo, this is the test all the kids have to take to be rated.

When I was at my first camp, Camp Louise in Maryland, we had to wear a bathing caps. Not for speed, I assure you, it was because we were polite young ladies. I think??? When we completed the swim test, a lifeguard spray painted a color on your cap to let everyone know what level swimmer you are.

First of all, there is nothing less sexy than a swim cap!!! NOTHING!

Second Continue reading

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Dear Readers – Day 17 at Camp Lenox – Who Knew The Great Outdoors Were So Lovely?

Outdoor Education...Sleepaway camp is super fun . Today, I had a salad … again. I’m really happiest when there’s feta. I know, who would’ve thought feta could make such a difference? I think it may be the Switzerland of cheese. Well, Swiss cheese is probably the Switzerland of cheese, technically speaking, but it seems like Switzerland in the fact that it’s universally inoffensive.

I see now that there’s a reason people don’t compare cheeses to countries.

Anyhoo, last night Continue reading

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Dear Readers – Day 16 at Camp – I Forgot How to Be a Kid

Dear Readers — (Day 16 at Camp Lenox)

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One of the things I’m constantly questioning at camp is my coolness. No, I don’t mean that in a popularity way, I mean it in a, ‘Can I hang with people who are younger?’ specifically those who haven’t had the ability to do stupid things sucked out of them and replaced by worrying about your kids doing stupid things. Have I lost my ability to have fun? Do I currently have a stick up my arse? As a neurotic mom, I often think that I’ve lost my spontaneity, my energy, my spark.

When you’re young you like to tell yourself to never grow up. You say things like, remember, never to be like that parent, that teacher, that authority figure. Remember never to punish your kids for blank. Remember what it feels like to be yelled at to be talked down to … to be made to feel guilty and swear you won’t do that to your own children. Pinky swear. It’s like a note-to-self to never grow up.

The truth is, we all grow up, whether we want to or not. We realize why certain actions need punishing, we lay guilt from time to time, we get frustrated with our children and yes we use phrases we swore we would never say like, “because I said so” and “Don’t make me turn this car around.”

Yesterday, at camp I saw a reflection of myself that was not pretty. It looked like this. Continue reading

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Dear Readers – Days 14 and 15 at Sleepover Camp Lenox – 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, Continue reading

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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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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

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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?

Continue reading

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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.
Enter your email to get updates on The Mom Goes Crazy To Camp series:

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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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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

I May Have Run Over an Elderly Gentleman While Driving Carpool… Oops

This picture imlies that he was washing my car.  He in fact, was not, but I couldn't find a better picture of an elderly man near a car... MAKE DO.

This picture implies that he was washing my car. He in fact, was not, but I couldn’t find a better picture of an elderly man near a car… MAKE DO.

See how polite I’m being?  Calling him an elderly gentleman and not an old curmudgeon?  No, that would be rude and I am not rude.  Well, unless you consider running a poor old curmudgeon over with your car “rude.”  Then yes, I may be rude, but I have an excellent vocabulary and that has to count for something.

Well Judge, my infraction was merely that.  I was exceeding the limit by a minuscule measurement as my true intention was to get the minors in my vehicle to an establishment of learning to imbue their gray matter with knowledge.

My lady, (This is a Parliamentary court in the 1700s, obviously.) your grasp of the English language is truly inspirational.  Clearly, a logophile such as yourself could do no harm to our language, let alone an old curmudgeon.  NOT GUILTY!

(BTW:  A logophile is a lover of words and vocabulary, which I wouldn’t have to define for you if you were one.)

Moving on.  My neighborhood is fill with inconsiderate speeders during morning carpool.  Especially the first couple weeks!  Most of my neighbors have kids in elementary school and being that our development is exactly .1 miles short of the school bus cutoff; we’re all trying to get to the same place at the same time (anything shy of LATE).

The fact that this elderly gentleman was in this neighborhood in the first place leads me to believe that he wandered in from somewhere with a minimum age.  Regardless – as the busy moms sped around beeping from door to door, it was I that mowed this man down.  I must have been going at least 30MPH, which is fast in an area that has a sign. I don’t know if they’re just not quick or there’s something wrong, but there are enough of them to require a sign.

 

slow children at play sign 2

Frankly, someone should try and speed these kids up.  Maybe if they got rid of the knickers and padding reminiscent of a 1908 football game and gave out some bikes.  The sign could simply read:children at play(Let’s be honest, these tykes don’t look so speedy either.  Nor do they seem to have the latest in outdoor play equipment.  Razor anyone?)

But I digress.  The elderly gentleman in my story was not walking on the sidewalk, but on the street and going against traffic, no less.  He held up his arm in what I took to be a friendly hello.  I waved back, pretending to recognize him, as I do with all my neighbors.  Plus, he was pretty darn old, so maybe he thought he knew me. When I was about to pass him, he flung himself to the sidewalk as if narrowly escaping a careening boxcar.  I guess that wave was really the international, “Slow Down Crazy Lady” sign. 

Oops, I didn’t recognize it without the shaking of a cane, though he did seem a bit melodramatic.

old man yells at cloudI guess the main question is:  Did he pitch himself to the curb or did I send him hurling to the sidewalk?  I didn’t hear a thud; that’s always a good sign.  Though it’s hard to hear much over the din of 6 elementary schoolers trying to one up each other.

Kid 1: I have PE today.

Kid 2: Yeah, well I had it yesterday and 2 kids in my class got lice from sharing bike helmets.

Kid 3: Yeah, well 4 kids in my class got lice and I sit next to one of them… who also has braces.

Kid 4: I’m getting braces.

All other kids: Lucky!

Kid 5: Yeah, well I have glasses.

All other kids: No fair!

Kid 6: Well, I may have scoliosis!

All other kids: Why can’t we have scoliosis?! (creepily said in unison)

Me: Hey, could someone look under the car for an old man?

Me Answering Myself: Huh?  (I tend to answer myself in carpool, as no one pays attention to the driver.)

Still Me: Forget it.

Did I hit that elderly gentleman out for a morning walk?  I can’t say for sure. I didn’t see any wrinkly parts in my chassis. 

Wow, there’s a sentence that could be taken out of context!

Did I mean to run him over?  Certainly not.

Do I think he was being melodramatic?  A little bit.

Am I spraying out my car for lice?  Without question.

(PS no elderly people were harmed in the writing of this blog… I can’t say as much for lice)

xo

-Jenny From the Blog