Tag Archives: motherhood

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.” Continue reading

15 Tools Moms Need For Survival AKA The Swiss Mommy Knife

swiss mommy knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, on a road trip to Disney, I was rummaging through the contents of the arm rest compartment for some tissues when I realized the old maxi pad, that had somehow gotten stuck to the inside, would have to be peeled off to sub in for some Kleenex.  Plus it had wings, which would make for easy clean-up.

I looked at my mother and said, “We need to invent some kind of portable tool that has all the necessary mommy accoutrements to tackle any parenting task.”

Because we had been on the road a while and we were slap-happy and also listening to a Bratz movie… for the fourth time, we made a list of all the things said contraption would need.

So here are the results of our brainstorming session. I give you … the Swiss Mommy Knife:

1.  An extra arm – I can be walking with a phone to my ear, a latte, a purse, a laundry basket, and groceries resting on my hip … and one of my kids will still attempt to hand me an empty juice box. Clearly two arms just aren’t enough.

2. A sibling separator – No matter how much they need to be apart, they somehow magnetize back to each other and continue to argue slap, and tease. This device should be something with a little bite — like a bug zapper or a taser.

3.   An elevator backer-offer – I’m thinking some kind of stick-like poker that lets people know your kids will get to push the stupid buttons on the elevator.  Regardless of their age, that is somehow the most important thing they get to do all day … well, unless there’s an escalator around somewhere. Continue reading

The eNup | Why People Should Sign One Before Giving Them Your Email

E-Nup – When giving out our email addresses we should require people to take an oath promising to refrain from forwarding anything that evokes guilt, fear of bodily harm, or doesn’t mesh with our personal humor requirements. THIS IS WHY…

Of all the things that annoy me about email, people who incessantly insist I need a larger penis, need Prozac or Cialis, and I should be getting said drugs from Canada, the worst offender is the email chain letter. What’s worse is how I handle receiving them — Yes, I erase them right away. Not just because they’re junk mail but because, as ridiculous as it sounds, there’s a part of me that feels that once I’ve read one of those things, the clock has started. How the universe is somehow connected to my AOL account, is a mystery, but a powerful one.

Some chain letters go so far as to mention G-d. The idea that The Almighty is busy checking my inbox and confirming that I have forwarded the mail to the specified amount of people, in the allotted amount of time, seems like a stretch. Yet, there is this irrational side of me that’s like, “What if?” “What if G-d wants me to pass on this sentimental poem about growing up in the 80’s?”

Yesterday, I got one of those emails. In the subject box it read, “Sorry, I Had To. “ I have to say, if your subject is an apology for sending an email in the first place, rethink pushing that FORWARD button. This particular one was a message to empower women, yet to reap the true empowerment you were required to forward it to 9 of your “Sista’s.”

The list of recipients was 50 scroll-downs long. Apparently, Sista’s, hopeful at the thought of being empowered by diligently following the rules set by the email creator (probably a snickering man) were passing this thing around the globe.

This irks me even more because, I spend my days trying to disseminate relatable, humorous stories that look at the lives of moms, women and gen x-ers and here’s some poorly written warning – that actually refers to women as Sista’s – and it’s more popular than my well thought out, hilariously funny, albeit poignant articles.

So I will apologize in advance for the rest of this post.

If you “Like/Share” this article on FB or Email this:

“OMG, Jenny from the Blog at The Suburban Jungle may be the most poignant humorist of our millennium, nay, Ever! You must read her observational humor and slice of life stories as I think they’ve cured my momnesia, plus my wrinkles are 63% less noticeable.”

to 75 of your closest friends within the next hour you will meet with great fortune. Your children will be smarter, your hair will be thicker, your boobs will be fuller, and you’re husband will have a 6 pack again (or for the first time)!

This may be a humor column, but it’s NO JOKE!

I had a paralegal look it over and she said it’s legit.

Just yesterday, a woman in Westchester sent this on to 75 of her friends and the minute she hit that button, she got a call from her Mother-In-Law saying they couldn’t make it over for dinner!!!

Need I say more?

Unfortunately, if you do not take this seriously, I must fear for your safety! A mother in Idaho who ignored this request, was shopping at a Gap later that day, and inadvertently smashed into the window trying to exit the store. She was not physically harmed, but she was extremely embarrassed.

I guarantee misfortune if you do not send this, because I will personally come out to your home or place of work and open fire. I have a moderately powerful Nerf gun that shoots like ten rounds, and those suctions cups can have a very strong stick factor. I could get one right between your eyes and then it would take a lot of spit and pulling to get it off. I don’t know for certain, but it could leave an unsightly mark! All I’m saying is think about it… $10 MILLION or my saliva all over your face?

Okay, tick tock……………………………………………………………………….

Hey Sistas – If you like my writing — share, share, share and share! Ooh, and subscribe to the blog! Ooh, and did I mention I got a show? Oh, and totally comment!

xo

J From the B

How a Friend Saved Lives After the Death of Her Baby – Facts Every Mom Should Know

A story of my dear friend, what she knows now that could have saved the life of her child and thousands of others, what she’s done with that knowledge, and why you should know it too.

  I know, it’s not my usual humor column fare, but it’s nice to be able to tell the important stories every once in a while…

Phyllis seeing me off to a boyfriend's prom circa 1990. (Please ignore the hair. Oh and the eyebrows, duh.)

I became friends with Phyllis in the 7th grade. I wasn’t exactly the coolest 7th grader. In fact,… Continue reading

40 Things Every Woman/Mom Should Have and Should Know by 40

botox ecard

Everyone says that time goes by so fast, but I never saw it pass… it just did.  In the blink of an eye I went from 20 to nearly 40.  For those of you that are nearing 40, turning 40, or past the big 4-0, here you go…

I so enjoyed Glamour’s article, 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30. Shockingly, I could check many of those items off my to-do list.  What’s more shocking is that I’m not 30 anymore, not even close.

A whole decade has passed.  Where did it go?  An amazing husband, multiple careers, a recession, two incredible children, and the blink of an eye later, I’m here, turning the corner on 40. There are many subtle yet life-changing differences a decade makes.  (This may not be as sentimental as it’s predecessor, but hey, I’m a humor columnist):

By 40, you should have… READ ON, IT’S WORTH IT! Continue reading

Phrases we Could Teach our Kids to Say – to Make us Feel Younger Smarter and Prettier

“…It may be too late to train our hubby’s to dole out the ego boosting compliments, but our children?  Yes, yes (twist handlebar ‘mooostache’ if you have one), we can work with this.  Here’s a list of phrases I’d like to teach my children to say.  Feel free to borrow it – it’ll make you feel good…”

Not my little girl... but still pretty cute.

The other day my daughter said,  “I bet people who just meet us think we’re sisters.”  Frankly, that’s a bet I wouldn’t take, but who am I to sneer in the face of lovely sentiment?  I mean, that’s the kind of phrase you would have to train (or pay) a child of 7 to say, but no, she did it on her own volition.  No, coaxing or prodding, not even in the hopes of getting a new Barbie out of the deal.  Though I think a phrase like that deserves a new iPad – at a bare minimum.

The effect of this simple observation, that my clearly brilliant child made, was utter joy- total narcissistic mirthfulness – and that’s not a phrase I use often, as you can imagine.

This got me thinking:  If this tiny guileless thought could make me feel so great, why can’t we train our children to say things that will make us feel more hip, young, or smart, and less twitchy or stabby?

Truth is, Continue reading

Barbie and I Can’t Get our Skinny Jeans Over our Thighs

No matter what your weight or size, most of us experienced that moment when we realize it’s time to “retire” a pair of our favorite jeans because they just don’t fit anymore. Damn you, slowing metabolism. Damn you, gravity. Damn you, left over mac n’ cheese.

pMAT1-6593162v380Yesterday while trying to dress my daughter’s Barbie in a stunning pair of silver lamé jeans, I realized they weren’t going over her thighs. WTF? Had she gained a few? Had she borrowed a pair from Skipper? Was it her time of the month? Was she spending too much time in her Barbie McDonalds and not enough on her Barbie bike?

All I know is, this scene seemed oddly familiar. Trying to yank some slim pants over unyielding thighs… where have I seen that before?

Oh right, my closet, that’s where.

At first I felt a tinge of pity for Barbie. I breathed an empathetic sigh as I resolved to get those once fitting lamé pants over her rubbery legs. Continue reading

Top 10 Resolutions ANYONE Can Keep | For 2012

new yearsThis time of year I amuse myself by looking back at last year’s resolutions. Ones I made with the best intentions, like learning an instrument or a foreign language. Last Hanukkah I had my husband buy me a guitar. I had all the confidence in the world that by this New Year’s, I would balk at a request to play “Stairway To Heaven,” saying something dismissive like… “Please, that’s so cliché, but why not?” or “Por favor, es muy cliché, pero porque no? Unfortunately, my guitar collects dust while my Spanish collects rust.

So for this year, I am making some resolutions that are a bit more achievable:

1. Nag More

For over a decade my husband has not picked up a wet towel, washed ketchup off of a dish, changed a light bulb, or remembered trash day without a divorce threat, I mean, friendly reminder.  This year: I vow to be relentless in my nagging. I will lay immediate blame using words like always and never. As in, “I always, and you never.” I will play the martyr by saying, “Forget it. I’ll do it myself.” I will amp up the guilt with, “I do everything around here.” Or something unarguable like, “It’s obvious by your refusal to change a light bulb that you don’t love me anymore.” If all goes well, I’ll be nagging him to go to couples therapy by 2013.

2. Gain Weight

I’m going to quit all good eating habits ASAP.  I vow to add carbs to my diet with reckless abandon. I’ll start each meal with a generous helping of bread and rolls onto which I will spread an obnoxious amount of butter. I’ll stuff food into my mouth with such fervor it’ll make other eaters uncomfortable to watch. I also vow to eat everything a la mode, including ice cream.

3. Workout Less

This will actually take serious effort. The only thing harder would be to shower less. If I need the proverbial cup of sugar, I will drive to my neighbor’s garage and beep until she comes out and hands it to me. I’ll take elevators in two-story buildings. Lastly, I’m going to cancel my gym membership and use the money I save to buy more ice cream.

4. Forget an Old Language

This year, not only am I not going to learn a new language, I’m going to let my brain atrophy to forget the one I already know. I’ll watch endless episodes of Adventure Time, The Regular Show and Beavis and Butthead. I’ll quit doing crosswords and speaking in complete sentences. I’ll break all grammatical rules: I will misplace modifiers, dangle participles, and end sentences in prepositions. I will express my thoughts through that African clicking language, modern dance, and a set of bongos that I intend to wear around my neck.

5. Stay Out of Touch

This time of year, I am reminded of the many friends I have let time and space interfere with. I intend to further that distance. I’m gonna start by rejecting any new Facebook or social network requests. I will also attach a note that reads, “I never liked you in the first place, Sucka!” Lastly, I will cuss out and then hang up on people who call in hopes of fulfilling their own resolution to rekindle old friendships.

6. Be Less Patient

I vow to be aggravated, exasperated, and ready to blow my stack at the slightest misstep. The next time my son wants help with his homework I’ll say, “That’s it! Clearly this whole elementary education thing is not for you. If you don’t know how to spell “Discerning” by now, you never will…Now, go get a job! Oh, and take your sister with you, she spends way too much time on the potty.”

7. Hold Grudges

This year I vow to forgive no one. I don’t care if you step on my toe, or pay me the five bucks you owe me, a day after the assigned due date. You will go on “The List” in permanent ink and I will twirl my imaginary handlebar mustache as I think about how to get revenge.  I vow to hate you forever and never forget how you wronged me.


8. Stress More

I vow to lose sleep thinking about planning parties, redecorating my house, trying to budget, missing appointments, teacher conferences, and health issues caused by stress. I will laugh an evil cackle while erasing all the plans from my iPhone, and then cry over what I’ve just done. I will empty our bank account on frivolous investments and watch it dwindle away. Oh, wait…that already happened. Well good, more for me to worry about.

9. Become Addicted to Something

Smoking, alcoholism and Starbucks are so trite. No, this year I vow to pick up a unique dependency that people can really talk about like nasal spray or hand sanitizer or sniffing hot glue from class projects. Or at least something beneficial to my endurance like crack. Look, I already have a shopping addiction so that’s out and I do love me some reality TV; maybe I could offset the bills with a robust gambling problem.

10. Gossip More

I vow to talk about everything you do in the New Year. If I see you at the pediatrician for so much as a flu shot, I will tell everyone your child has hand foot mouth, so you can be verbally assaulted when you show up at a birthday party the next day. If you look too skinny, I will assume it’s a divorce or you’re a raging bulimic. If you look too hot, I’ll call it a torrid affair. If you look too young, it’s an addiction to surgical procedures because you’re getting divorced, due to a torrid affair.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My Other Resolution: GET MORE READERS TO THE BLOG SO I CAN GET A COLUMN IN A SHE SHE MAGAZINE AND LEAVE ALL YOU READERS FLOUNDERING!  MWAHAHAHA!!!
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Do you Speak Starbucks or are you Committing a Caffeinated Crime | CSI Starbucks

The gore is almost too extreme to look at. BTW this was full before the incident!

When you walk into a Starbucks it’s a little like entering another country.  Some of the language is “Italianish” and the rest is completely fabricated, yet universally understood by all it’s regular patrons.

Like any new country, when you visit Starbucks for the first time you might be overwhelmed by the cultural gap and the obvious language barrier.

You see, Starbucks drinkers have an acute understanding of this made up ordering system, the terminology, how to conjugate the verbs, and the proper phrasing of the request i.e. size first, then special requirements, then drink type.

The baristas, or should I call them caffeination interpreters, are trained to do far more than make a cappuccino.  My barista knows the make, model, and color of my car.  When he sees it drive up, he starts my drink.  He deduces that if I’m wearing golf or workout clothes I will require my usual to be iced  has the appropriate drink ready by the time I hit the door.

He is keenly aware of my standard approach speed and if I seem to be ambling he’ll throw in an extra shot.

But sometimes, even I, a citizen with a green card – or should I say gold card – am shocked by how intricate requests can get.  I think some of these drinkers actually believe they’ve learned another language and take an odd pride in this false sense of intelligence.

Today the woman in front of me ordered a tall 2 splenda – extra dry – machiatto – with extra foam – on the fly.

Extra dry? Really? “What is extra dry… just beans?  Or does the dryness have something to do with the foam?”

Caffeination interpreter:  “No the consistency of the foam is directly correlated to the frothiness.”

Why do I feel like I’m having a conversation with NASA?

And yet, who am I to talk? I know that a standard latte is made at 160°, which would be bad enough, except that I also know that I prefer mine at 140°.

My barista, who writes Jenny from the blog on every cup, actually figured this out while analyzing my drinking habits.

Caffeination interpreter:  “I’ve noticed you seem to wait about 8 minutes for your coffee to cool. I think the problem is an over sensitive pallet and I suggest you drop the temp about 20 degrees fahrenheit.”

“Shit, I think in Celcius.  I like to pretend I’m European… like Madonna and Gwennie P.

Caffeination interpreter: “There’s no reason to get smart with me.  I’m hypothesizing about your needs, I’ll investigate further.”

Soon coffee analyzation and Starbucks interpretation will be something you can major in, like criminal justice.  At the very least Bravo will make it into a show, “CSI Starbucks.”

There is nothing to see here.

“Everyone step away from the mocha, CSI Starbucks unit (Coffee Scene Investigation) is here.”

“There is nothing to see here, please disperse.”

“What’s seems to be the problem, ma’am?”

Disgruntled Customer:  “My mocha is not rich enough, and it’s too wet. I specifically said grande, 18 pump, extra fat, mildly damp, 157° Mochachokeonitccino with extra whip that is dolloped in the shape of a pygmy monkey.”

The area around the cup is taped off and a bit is spilled into a petri dish and run out of the store to a mobile CSI van.

The maverick of the team fearlessly swipes his finger through the java then smells and licks it, as if it’s cocaine. “One more lick for good measure and an extra jolt,” he says as he rubs some across his gums.

“Well your first problem is this is only 16 pumps. It’s also a mere 142°, which if my calculations are correct mean 7 minutes ago when it was made it was 155° and not a degree more. Your other problem was in the call. The cashier/Mayor should know not to call a whip sculpted in the shape of anything other than the Starbuck’s mermaid goddess on our logo, who we in the biz affectionately call Flo.”

Disgruntled Customer: “Like flow of the coffee or the ocean?”

“Ma’am, I’m not at liberty to discuss Flo with civilians.  Let’s just leave it at that.”

“Look, we’re gonna take this downtown to the Captain, but just for the record Cappy Joe, or Cuppa Joe as we like to call him, is the best. He’ll have this coffee and a full report back to you by day’s end. Please enjoy a maximum of 2 hours free internet access in the mean time.”

“And don’t forget to try one of our new hot breakfast sandwiches.”

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The Day My Son’s Ladybug Ran Away | Best of Jenny From the Blog

ladybug-Dealing with a lost pet can be extremely daunting… even if it’s a ladybug.

I can still hear the faint murmurs of my son Jake’s 40-minute meltdown when his pet ladybug, “Lady,” flew away. We kidnapped this 4 year old (or 4 day old bug – whatever the spot things mean), at the top of Mount Aspen. Jake loved her, cared for her, nurtured her, taught her to ride a bike, and started a 529 plan in her name. About a quarter of the way down the mountain, Lady flew to the ceiling of our gondola and made a mad dash for freedom.

Jake jumped out of his seat and bounced towards the door. This caused the gondola to start swinging. According to the warning sign that pictured a man falling out of the gondola to his unexpected demise, wild swinging was strictly forbidden. “Jake, you can’t jump around. Do you see what happened to the unfortunate man on the sign?”

This is seriously the picture!! What???

Jake continued searching, intensely focused on the whereabouts of Lady. “Hey, do you guys hear her? I can hear her. Do you hear her?” he said desperately, like someone who could put a straight jacket to good use. Continue reading

Camp Phone Calls Could End my Marriage

Who knew the highly anticipated camp calls would be such a blow to my relationship? (BTW – I’m not always this overbearing, but when my baby is 1000 miles away for a month and I get 10 minutes to talk to him… it’s ON….)

Okay, it’s camp time and everyone is getting their calls from the kids.  What I’m finding is that I want to strangle my husband during and after each call.  The crazy thing is, I’m apparently not alone.

Look, we moms are ready.  We’ve stayed up until the wee hours waiting for the pictures to download and we’ve studied them.   We know what our kids have done each day and whether they look like they’ve made friends or they’re feeling left out.  We know whether they’re arms are around a friend or they’re sitting uncomfortably next to someone with their hands in their lap. 

We can tell every detail and our minds are racing to find out the truths behind the images and we want to hear their sweet little voices.  We also know that what we have to say is way more important than what our hubbies have to say and we let them talk simply because well:

DONOR, Ahem, Father

Me:  “Jake, your hike looked insane yesterday.  Was it fun?  How cold was the water?  Were the rocks slippery?  Are you wearing your sunblock?  Your headgear?  Do you love the rock wall?  How long is the zip line?  Who’s the other boy with braces?  Is he your best friend?  Is anyone mean?  Are the counselors nice?  What are you eating?  How big is the zipline?  Was your camp cooler looking than the one you played baseball against on Tuesday?”

Sure, I spouted off a lot of questions… there’s a lot to ask and only 10 minutes to talk.  After he gave me a one or two word response to each, I moved on to the next.  I looked over to see the frustration in Mark’s eyes.  A couple of times he started to butt in with an “ummm, Hey Jake, do you umm” and I bowled right over him with my inquisition.  Then he looked at me sideways and I whispered, in that angry whisper that would be a yell if you could speak louder, and say “What?  Have your questions ready.”

Mark:  Jake, have you gotten all my letters?

Jake:  Yep

Mark: Which ones?

Jake:  Ummmm, Well the one about my new team when I get home, and ummm, I don’t know, I don’t remember them all.

Is he f-ing kidding me?  I sit on hold for Verizon longer than the time I have allotted to talk here, and my husband wants Jake to rattle off about letters???  This is not an acceptable caliber of conversation!  And I’m am the conversation rater, I’ll have you know.

Mark:  Did you get the one where I bowled a 300?

Jake:  Oh, yeah.  That was awesome.  Did that really happen?

Okay readers, I have to interject here.  You’re thinking this is high enough caliber right?  Well, I mean how often does someone who is not a pro, actually bowl a 300?  What I should share is that he’s not so much talking about this:

as he is talking about this:

Yep, I’m listening to my husband waste time talking about Wii f-ing sports!

So, I interrupted again…. “How was your camp-out?  Were you scared?  Did you sleep through the night?  What song did you do in the lip-sync; you looked like Eminem.”

Again, Mark gave me the look, but this time he put the phone by his side in annoyance.

So, again I did the whisper/yell: “You are so selfish, you don’t want to hear him talk ‘cuz I’m asking all the questions?”

Me:   Do you have a girlfriend?  Do you like the go carts?

Mark:  How many go carts are there?

Did he just ask that question?  I told him last week there are 2.  TWO Freakin’ go carts.  Great, now he’s wasting my time with shit he already knows.  Tic, Toc, baby.

Mark then went on to rattle off the line up for his travel baseball team this season and tell him about the bat he just ordered…

Mark: Guess which bat I got you?

Jake: The Louisville Vertex?

Mark: noooo

Jake: the new Worth?

Mark: noooo

Jake: Nike Aero?

Mark: noooo, I’ll give you a hint, it’s made by Easton.

Is this happening?  Does anyone feel my pain here?

Apparently, you do… I had a friend tell me that she just took the phone out of her husband’s hand when she felt he was done. Two minutes she gave him and then she plucked it right away from his eager ear. They didn’t talk to each other for the rest of the night.

Another said she arranged all calls while hubby was at work.

A third said Her husband’s only question was, “Is your bed comfortable?”

“You gave him one question and that’s all he could come up with?” I asked.

“No, I would have given him more but he lost his privileges based on his first.”

And yet another told me she can’t deal with the calls because her hubby’s voice changes. “It gets all high like he’s talking to a dog– Hi Lindseeeeeeey, how are your Friennnnds? Are you, woushey woo having fun? Hmmm? Huh?”

Tell that man to "HEAL"


In the end, I realized that we moms want OUR time to be all ours. Even if the hub is right (and he was).  All my babe wanted to do was hear us and all I wanted to do was get answers to every thought and query I’ve stored in my head from the minute he set foot on the plane.

Luckily for my hubby the calls are infrequent enough that our marriage will withstand these bumps in the road. Next year, I’m just gonna tell him they did away with calls altogether due to the rise in the divorce rate.

Take a sec to check out some of the humor that any parent can relate to:  The Day My Son’s Ladybug Ran Away – who knew saying goodbye to an insect would be so hard?  or  I May Have Run Over an Elderly Person While Driving Carpool.  OH, ENTER TO WIN a robotic floor cleaner and a bag of goodies from iVillage’s “Stuff We Love” leave a comment here to sign up.

 

- JENNY FROM THE BLOG

 

Summer Trend Report : How to be a Chic Mom

In my latest assignment, I sat down with Andrew Taylor the director of a major company that just totally revamped to find out what’s hip for summer.  Wanna know?  You gotta watch:

http://youtu.be/NvgS39SkWhA

What’s your favorite trend for summer?