Category Archives: parenting

It’s All Bully Talk and No Action


The title sounds like something you would see on Pinterest — in “4 easy steps to beat bullies,” but it’s not. It’s not easy for our kids to combat bullying or even understand it. As a child of the 80’s, “bully” wasn’t the buzz word it is today. We all got bullied to some degree. We were teased and made fun of over the smallest things, from clothes, to acne, to not developing fast enough or too fast, to how you pronounced a single word. Teachers generally ignored it or wrote it off as part of the growing up process and left the dirty work to after school specials and “One to Grow On.”

(Well, unless you were the bully, which we now know was probably a backlash caused by circumstances where you felt out of control… or you were just a douche, in which case, I hope you got your just desserts in the form of some Revenge of the Nerds / Karate Kid / Pretty in Pink / every teen angst movie ever made, style comeuppance!)

I’m not gonna lie and tell you that some of the ribbing I got as a child didn’t help shape me into the person I am today. I also, won’t lie and tell you that it didn’t fuel the self-esteem issues I had back then. That said, there are people who truly believe we’ve gone too far on the bully talk. That everything is considered bullying and children are labeled “bully” after the smallest infraction. I won’t say that I don’t see it, I do. Compound that with the fact that this overuse ironically hasn’t diminished the weight of the label, it becomes a hard one to shake and a harder one to define.

I’ve realized that I can’t begin to sift through what determines bullying verses any other form or negative interaction because it just doesn’t matter. I don’t care what people call it or how often they use the term, I only care that my children are armed with ways to talk to people who make them feel badly and better yet, don’t allow them to have control over their feelings at all.

In the past we talked everything through ad nauseam, which I thought was working until the time my daughter went to kindergarten and confronted a kid by saying, “I understand why your mean to me, you have problems at home and this is how you deal with it.” Though, I was proud she said something, I realized she rotely repeated my words and probably had no clue what the hell she was talking about.

Since then, we’ve dealt with negativity through play. When we’re in the middle of our Barbie games, which usually involve me being the mean Barbie, who rules the school but has little more than beauty on her side, while Ry is the underdog. You know, the cliché movie version — the smart sweet dowdy girl, who’s a little lip gloss and a pair of contacts away from being drop dead gorgeous? (Look, she makes up the games people.) Which works for me because during the games I get to be relentless — I get to say mean hurtful things to her character and she gets to react and she does… well. Though unpopular and underrated her girls, over time, have learned to come back with brilliant and witty retorts, they’ve chosen not to attend cool parties because their friends weren’t included… they’ve told boys that they need to be treated a certain way if they want to go on a date. Her Barbies have learned to be standup people who stand up for themselves.

I don’t know how much it will help her in the future, but I can tell you it’s translated into her real life, in the now. I can tell you she gauges how she feels about other people based on whether she likes them and not whether they like her. For a child of 10 or an adult of 40, that’s pretty amazing self-esteem wise. I can tell you she repeats stories that make me feel sad for her until I realize they don’t affect her the way they would affect me. She has a skill in understanding right from wrong and positive verses negative that I never had at that age. It’s probably innate, but I like to think I helped build and strengthen that foundation. That’s my 2 cents and my not so easy steps… I’d love your thoughts on the subject.

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People ask why I love Barbies so much and this is one of the reasons why, because they have more uses than anyone would ever imagine. This post is a part of the Barbie Project. Thanks Barbie for choosing me to be a part of something I feel like I’ve always been a part of!  Learn more about The Barbie Project with the hashtag #BarbieProject


Getting Back at the In-Laws – a Thanksgiving Tradition

happythanksgiving 2Let’s face it, sometimes in-laws can drive us crazy.  Mine love to whisper in front of me in a rather loud rendition of a whisper… (among other things).

But on Thanksgiving I get them back, or should I say, “I give it back” and isn’t that the point of Thanksgiving … the giving? Yes, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition.

You see, I’m a poultry-phobe.  I fear fowl, and when cooking it, I’m usually convinced that poultry is simply a bunch of salmonella clumped together in the shape of wings, breasts, turkeys etc.  You know, like the way meat was shaped for the McRib? In fact, whenever I see a picture on Facebook where someone has stupidly stuck an entire raw turkey on their head (and I’ve seen a few), I assume they are going to die. Continue reading

‘I Played With Barbies and Turned Out OK I Think’ Barbie Nostalgia Party

I played with Barbies and I turned out OK!For Throwback Thursday, I’m having a party and you’re invited. No seriously, there will be wine and cheese and crackers (if you have any of those things in your house) and scintillating conversations where witty people add hilarious quips, We’ll gossip and reminisce and wax nostalgic and wax on — wax off and make candles with all the excess wax.

Mostly, we’re going to talk about Barbies, because growing up I was mildly (to moderately) addicted to them. There was an intervention when I was about 13. It came in the form of being kissed by a boy (with tongue, whaaaat?) and I realized my Barbies weren’t the only ones who got to make out. I came home one day and said, “Barbie, this is why you seem so quick to jump into bed with every plastic coiffed doll who has a lump for a groin. I get it. Now put some clothes on,” and I packed Barbie an her cohorts away.

Yet, to this day, I so enjoy talking about my Barbie heads (the makeup ones, I wasn’t a psycho), celebrity Barbies (I’m looking at you Osmond), vehicles, clothes, accessories… We’ll play Barbie Nostalgia favorites like:

“Remember This?”

“Did You Have This One?”

“This Was My Favorite and It’s So Much Better Than Your Favorite Because …”

“Your Barbies Did WHAT in the Camper?” and

“Such a Sign of the Times”

 I’m insanely excited. I was asked, as one of the bloggers for The Barbie Project) what I would want to do if I could do anything and I thought this would be the coolest thing ever. OK, maybe cool isn’t the right word, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it will be the most fun you’ve ever had at a Facebook TBT Barbie party!!!

That’s a bold statement but I’ll stick by it!

HERE ARE THE DEETS and a Link to the Event Invite:

NOVEMBER 6th at 900PM (when the kids are in bed and you’re Tivo-ing The Biggest Loser) THROWBACK THURSDAY ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE – Be there

Feel free to have pictures of your faves, stuff you had and miss, vignettes etc (and by “feel free” I mean please please do)!

Take a sec to share this with any friends who grew up with Barbie and seem pretty normal. Click the link to the invite and join… And bring the wine!


Jenny From the Blog

Men Can’t FInd A Thing Which is Why They Need Crotch Radar

Below, is a story that started on my Facebook Fan Page this week. Frankly, I’m not sure how it went where it did or how we all sunk to this level, but we did … and it was fun.

man can't find things

Thursday is my free morning – by that I mean my husband works from home — and because he loves me — he makes the kids’ lunches and breakfast, so that I can get an extra hour of sleep. However, it never quite works out that way… He often wakes me to ask what the kids eat (though he’s been doing this every thursday for years), or what fruit to serve with breakfast or something like this …

Mark: We don’t have any bread, what should I make the kids for lunch?

Me, groggy and annoyed to be asked this question: Yes, we do have bread, so make a sandwich.

Mark: No we don’t, I looked.

Me: Well, we did last night and I bet it’s not gone. Are you gonna make me get up to show you.

Mark: Yeah, I am because it’s not there. Continue reading

Women Can Be Such Bitches|But Sometimes People Deserve It

woman-frustratedFun fact: This is an old post that I took down because I got so much flack for being such a horrible wife. Now, 3 years later, I’m over 40 and frankly don’t care if you people think I’m a horrible wife. Also, if I’m being honest, we all have our meltdowns and our horrible wife moments, if you don’t than you probably shouldn’t be at this particular site. PS you know who really thought this post was funny, my husband.

Hubby: “Jenny are you busy?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m writing.”

Hubby: “Listen, where is that car wash?  Next to the Ale House?

Me: “Yes.”

Hubby: “And where do I pull in?”

Me: “Like you’re going to the Ale House, but you turn into the wash instead.”

Annoying Hubby: “And which one do I buy?”

Me: “Whatever is most expensive.”

Hubby that is now like another one of my children: “And then what? Do they just hand you a ticket?”

Me frustrated: “Can’t you just go to a car wash like everyone else?  You get in the line and it will all be self explanatory.”

Hubby who doesn’t realize that I lost patience for inane questions years ago: “Because I can ask you.”

Me, done with this conversation: “I think you can handle it. People go there all the time and they often leave with a clean vehicle.”

Hubby who is now totally pushing it because my snideness is annoying him: “Why can’t you just answer me?”

Me trying to be witty and lighten the mood: “Look you only get so many questions per day; you must use them wiser.”

Hubby who does not find me amusing: “grunt.”

Me being an asshole: “Ok, you pull into the lane a man with broken English will ask you which wash you want and then he’ll point to a chart that describes your options in depth.  Get the one that costs the most.” (his car hasn’t been washed in like a year)

Hubby asking a question because he does still want info: “But not the one where they wax it right?”

Me still being an asshole, but making myself giggle: “No, just the highest of the standard, you don’t need it detailed.  Then he will hand you a ticket and point you to the register which is inside the mini-mart looking building.  There you will in turn hand the ticket to the lady who speaks English with a thick accent.  She will give you a receipt and she may also give you change. This occur if and only if, you do not give her the exact amount.  Then you will go to a waiting area and sit on a bench, providing there’s room.  You’ll want to avoid sitting on someone’s lap as it’s frowned upon.  You will send work emails or text from your phone until you see your car pull out.  You may also opt to read from your Amazon library or play Ruzzle the possibilities are endless. You will do this until another man, who speaks no English what-so-ever beckons, the owner of a car that looks like yours … your car.  As you are the owner of your car, you will hand him a tip, take the keys and return to me.”

My Husband is Cocky Stubborn and Relentless |What’s Wrong with Yours

We all have those little things that irk us about our spouses.  Some women tell me that their husbands are too involved in every little decision around the house, making buying a new chair harder than getting your toddler to try broccoli.  Some women tell me their spouse’s are so tight with money that they can’t buy a ribbed tank without a budget discussion.  Well, neither of those are Mark.  For the most part he’s hands off when it comes to decisions and purchases (yay for me).  No, mine is an obstinate man with a desire to do everything in the easiest quickest way… with little remorse to boot.

Yesterday while dropping my son at a friend’s house he decided to tailgate the guy in front of him to get through the guard gate.  G-d forbid he waits in the line like an average Joe.  No, he has places to go and people to see.  BTW I,  (nagging wife) have warned him that this habit would end in damage to his car.  To which he has assured me the gates will stay open for him.  I mean don’t they know who he is?!?  Hello?

Well, this gate’s bar didn’t get said memo and slammed down just in time for him to crash into it, leaving it hanging from it’s hinge.  Oh, that’ll show that ignorant bar.

Guard: Sir, could you please get out of the car, we need to write up a report and call the police.

Stubborn Husband:  For what? I used my sensor and it didn’t work.

Guard (authoritatively, as if he had turned down a job with the police force for this.): Sir, you tailgated the car before you in.

Mark: (Who is now fighting as if he actually believes his own bullshit.) No, your gate closed on my car.

Guard: Nooo, your car crashed into my gate.

(I imagine this went on a bit like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercial:  You got your chocolate in my peanut butter.  Noooo you got your peanut butter on my chocolate.)

Well, it ended with my willful hubby refusing to get out of the car and defiantly driving through the gate to drop off my son, who was now crying about what was sure to be his daddy’s pending arrest.

Is he nuts?  Do rules not apply to him?  Why do men feel the need to fight (and win) every argument? This is why I spend much of my time Googling things.  ‘Cause my hubby is so freakin’ sure of anything that comes out of his own mouth.  He looks at himself the way people look at gossip mags.  He thinks, “If I say it… it must be true.”

Here are some of his doozy’s “No, you can’t get zits from dirty pillowcases Jenny, that’s insane.”  “Thanksgiving is ALWAYS on the 28th of November.”  “Ferngully (1992) was the first full length animated movie that wasn’t made by Disney.” What’s crazy is that somehow through unwavering tenacity he convinces other people to second guess what they know to be true… or he causes them to want to pull their hair out in frustration.  Either way, it’s a win for him.

What, you don’t believe me?  Case in point:   “This is the same man who talked a police officer out of giving him a ticket for driving in the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane through adamant denial that he had stopped the wrong car.  As Mark says, “I planted a kernel of doubt.”

Mark:  Why did you pull me over? Was I speeding?

Policeman:  No, You were in the HOV lane.

Mark:  What?  I think you have the wrong guy.

Policeman:  You’re what we call a jumper, you pull in and out and I watched you pull out.

Mark:  Yeah, that wasn’t me.  I’ve been in this lane the whole time.  It must have been another black car (accused hubby, as if the cop was car profiling.)

Policeman:  Nope, it was your black car.  I saw you with my own two eyes, plus I’ve got it on camera.

Mark:  Well, check it and you’ll see you’re wrong (said cocky husband banking that he wouldn’t). Haven’t you ever made a mistake? (He continued)

Policeman:  Oh, I have, but I didn’t this time.

Sweet Lovable Man O’Mine:  Well, with all due respect, that’s the thing about mistakes; it wouldn’t be a mistake if you knew you were making it.  (I know you’re jealous that he’s not yours right about now.)

Policeman:  With all due respect, I don’t need a vocabulary lesson.

After more arguing and the writing of a citation my brilliant husband walked out of  his car on the side of a highway and approached the policeman with ticket in hand saying thus:  “I’m just very uncomfortable with getting a ticket for something I didn’t do.”

The policeman (in what I imagine to be shock) looked him in the eye, swiped the ticket out of his hand and said, “I’m going to rip this ticket up because you are the most persistent  mother fucker I’ve ever run into.  Now don’t do it again!”

Lesson learned:  If you deny relentlessly, you will be rewarded!

So, you wanna know what happened with the guard gate?  Hubs returned to the scene of the crime to find the police waiting for him.  Oh, I wish I were kidding you.

Guard: Sir, this is property damage and we need to write up a report.

Mark:  Well, your gate was clearly not working as it didn’t read my sensor.

Guard:  Sir, you tailgated we have it on camera.

Mark:  Then you should check the footage.  You would see I was trying to use my sensor. (he seems to think checking the camera is a whole to-do or I assume he would stop suggesting people do it.)

Guard:  May, I see your sensor?

Mark then proceeded to take out the Liftmaster 2000 clicker that came with our house.  It’s kinda like someone asking for ID and you showing them your Blockbuster card.

Guard: (with policeman snickering in the background) Sir, you’re showing me a 1960’s style garage door opener… I can’t imagine that you got it confused with our sensor.

In the end, it cost him $250, and you know what?  It was worth every penny.   And trust me, I’d like to put those pennies towards groceries or school supplies or a pair of stilettos.

Me: (smugly avoiding saying ‘I told ya so’)  Well honey, did you learn anything today?

Mark:  Yeah, don’t tailgate at Weston Hills

I want my $250 back!

Feel free to share this with your friends, it’ll make them feel better! And follow the fun on Facebook!

BTW – it’s MARK WEEK here and on Facebook in honor of Mark and I making it to our 15th anniversary (almost) without one of us answering a lot of questions across the desk from a suspicious detective sitting in front of a two way mirror, I’ve been putting up some of my favorite MARK stories. 

(Note, he is usually annoying in them and always wrong, it’s not that he doesn’t do amazing thoughtful sweet stuff — it’s just that, that stuff isn’t funny.)

You May Like: I Can Be Such a Bitch, But Sometimes My Husband Deserves It (At least, that’s what I tell myself).

XO  -Jenny From the Blog

Lice – Breaking Down the Sanity of Our Society – One Mother at a Time

lice ecardLast weekend was my first time dealing with lice. I say first time, not because I’m expecting more, but to justify the level of manic lunacy that ensued. Look, I’m not proud of the series of events that unfolded or how I handled them, but I bet I’m not the only mom who’s lost sanity over those little buggers.

Being the neurotic person that I am, I spent the first twenty minutes trying to convince the mom who found said lice that she was certifiable and that no child of mine would EVER bring such an unseemly infestation into my home. Her child had lice the week before and she explained that she noticed my daughter itching her head, which she thought warranted further investigation. Then “the mom” all but put a nit (lice egg sac) in my cornea and I still claimed not to see it.

Crap, it’s 7PM on a Saturday night, my daughter is now crying over her lost sleepover. And I’m pretty sure there’s no place or person available to rob me blind and comb out the lice/rid my house of them, in return! 

This is when I made the shift from being your run of the mill mildly annoying naggy wife to a “we will get a fucking divorce if you don’t listen to my insane rantings and follow my orders to a T” wife.

“If you leave one nit just one, the cycle will start again,” echoed in my head. Those were the parting words of “the mom,” who yelled them out her window as she drove off, like some weird gypsy clairvoyant, giving me a warning about my future. Plus, she was shaking a finger at me, which is always a foreboding way to talk to someone.

Knowing nothing about lice and not having time to look up any facts, I decided that the most efficient way to tackle this plague was to do all the cleaning, washing, vacuuming, and nitpicking simultaneously or one lousy louse could start the whole cycle again. To make matters worse, I had convinced myself that lice multiply rapidly and jump from head to head eating away at your brain cells for sustenance and stripping you of your ability to do complex math problems, so time (and getting a prescription for Xanax) was of the essence.

I started barking orders at my husband, “Go to Walgreens and get Lice MD stat, and buy a metal lice comb, not a plastic one “the mom” said plastic doesn’t work – IT MUST BE METAL!!! … And we’ll need a ton of detergent, oh and trash bags because apparently we have to bag up all her stuffed animals and decorative pillows and store them in our humid Florida garage for like 3 weeks or until all the items collect a solid layer of toxic mold. (Whichever comes first) Now, go go go!!!”

15 full garbage bags of stuffed animals, Barbies, American Girls and throw pillows later, I called to see about my husband’s progress.

“I just got to Walgreens.”


“Well, CVS didn’t have it, so I had to go to Walgreens.”

“You mean you’re just getting to the place I told you to go to in the first place? Listen Buster (oh I called him Buster), you cannot be creative or lazy right now, the future of our family unit depends on you following my very explicit and not at all insane rantings, um directions.”

5 more full trash bags later, Buster arrived home with a lice kit by Lice MD, complete with a crappy plastic comb.

In a full sweat from packing up the house at lightning speed and boiling all of the bedding in our home I whispered: “Where’s the metal comb?”

Please know, that the quiet through the teeth whisper should never be taken lightly.

“The kit comes with a comb? I got a whole kit, see?” he said trying to impress me with his ability to think under pressure.


“I don’t know.”

“Well, let’s see what it says on the box, shall we?” I said, lifting it and backing it away because I do that now that I’m old. “Hmm, it says it includes 1 PLASTIC lice comb right here on the box, so I’m guessing it’s not metal, because I can read. Mother fucker.” OK, the Mother Fucker was silent, but it was clearly implied.

“I’ll go get a metal comb.”

“Do you have the detergent?”

“Nope, I’ll get that too.”

“The trash bags?”

“Um, nope I’m on it. I wanted to get you the lice stuff fast, so I ran in and out.”

“Why is J eating a Drumstick ice cream cone then? We didn’t have them before you left… Did you just buy that?”

Mark made a run for it, but he clearly hates me and he hates our home. I know this because he is leaving me no choice but to leave him and burn the whole place down, so that we can make a fresh, lice free start.

That or having it tented, like they do for termites and taking the risk of it becoming an undercover Meth lab.

When Mark returned, I gave him the job of vacuuming because I needed to keep him out of my presence, as I had grown snakes for hair and may have been spitting poisonous venom at everyone but my sweet little girl whom I coddled and reassured, and shampooed with toxins that I combed out for 2 hours straight!

Then I re-vacuumed the house and added vacuuming the sofas, beds and maybe the driveway, I can’t be sure.

Then I asked my husband to check my head, as I’d been itching ever since someone uttered the word “lice” and those snakes were irritating my scalp. Not having any clue how to check someone’s head for lice, or what he was even looking for — and clearly not remembering the popsicle stick days of our childhood, he smushed my hair flat in a couple of places and said, “It looks like a head to me.” He may as well have been looking at my ass!

At 2 AM I toxicically shampooed myself and combed out my own locks, stripping my scalp of any hairs that were not snuggly secure and making it look like I had a mild to moderate case of alopecia.

I continued to do laundry, heated everything in our home in the dryer for 20 minutes (including our cat), checked for lice, and re-vacuumed — for 5 days straight. Then I did it all over again when we went for a recheck and there was one dead lice (Lii? liche?) ONE, and it was dead. The stuff stayed in my garage for a month, meaning my car could not — and I combed out everyone’s hair numerous times, and always against their will.

PS next week my daughter is having a sleepover party for her birthday! Do you think it would be Picking Monkeyweird if instead of a glitter tattoo gal, I hire a nurse to do fun lice checks? (What? I don’t want that pestilence being reintroduced into my perfectly lice free home/Meth lab.) Fine, not a lice lady, but maybe a woman to do braids, who’s crazy thorough and doesn’t let you into my home until you’ve gotten the “all clear,” I mean, a cute fishtail?

OK, last try: I hire a monkey. Kids love monkeys!!! They’re festive and adorable and totally novel!  Really, who needs another cliché glitter tattoo or balloon animal? But fun with a monkey and a cute picture of him picking parasites off your body = priceless. Yes, and if he can do braids it’s a bonus.

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