2 Things Never To Buy At Target.

Posted by Tiff in Momsanity, Uncategorized | 4 comments

I know this week is all about getting what we want. Step one of embracing a freaking awesome freeplaylife starts with figuring out what we want/need and then speaking it. I hope you all have stood up for your needs like ninjas so far! A bunch of us are having a party over at Pinterest by creating a “What I Want” category and filling it with everything we think is awesome.

Sometimes, though, when we get something that we want we realize it’s not what we want at all. That’s OK, it’s part of the process. It’s better to live and learn than to opt out altogether in fear that we’ll make the wrong choice! Carpe the fucking diem, bitches!

Except for these two things from Target. Never ever make my mistake and get these things that you see in my pan. Which would be this style bra and spatula.

I used to get my bras from Victoria Secret and Frederick’s. And then I had kids, my boobs deflated, and I realized I could outfit all 3 kids in clothes for an entire season for the price I’d pay for 5 bras. Sooooo, Target it is! Which is usually not a problem except these cute colorful ones are no bueno. For some reason, my nipples keep popping out. Being as small as I am, I’ve never had this issue before. I mean, busty cannot be used to describe my chest and nipples popping out is an entirely new thing. It’s waaaaaay annoying. I’ve talked with other women that I know shop at Target to see if they’ve gotten these bras and if they have a nipple problem in them and they all do. I’m thinking there’s gotta be a class action lawsuit we can file. In any case, do not buy cute colorful bras like this unless you are well versed in tucking-nipple-back-in.

And while you’re avoiding that, by all means avoid all Giada De Laurentis cookware. It’s super cute and super colorful, and it looks innocent enough. It’s also coated with something that keeps it from scraping the hell out of nonstick pans. Which is why I got this spatula. However, note that while the bottom is coated, the handle is metal. All the cookware is like this! I didn’t notice it until the first time I touched it after leaving it resting in the pan while the eggs cooked. When I picked it back up again after a minute, I had a nice burn waiting for me on the part that grabbed hold of it. If you think this kept me from making the same lean it against the pan/pick it up and get burned mistake, you’d be wrong. I pretty much do it every day. There was probably a lawsuit potential there if I would have stopped after the first burn, but now that it’s a habit I’m too embarrassed to draw attention to myself. In any case, save yourself a burn and get a handle that is insulated.

Now that you have room in your cart, all is not lost. If you have a kick ass Target around you like I do (it’s basically a full bar with housewares and groceries attached) then you’ll be able to find juice boxes for moms (and dads!).

As the comments over on the facebook page informed me, these special juice boxes are great to take places where full wine bottles aren’t very convenient…luggage, movies, horrible Nick Jr. live theatre, beach, pools, playgrounds, church…

So there you go. Live and learn. Sometimes we get things that we need and they are awesome! Sometimes we get things that we think we want and they end up exposing our nipples to the free world. If you don’t try, though, you’ll never know and you’ll miss out on some pretty great shit.

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Pardon While I Clog Up Your Pinterest With Octopi…

Posted by Tiff in Momsanity | 9 comments

When I was 8 or 9, I read a story about a Native American boy who found out his spirit animal was an eagle because the bird came to him in a dream and they soared around together really majestically. For a while after, I would lay in my bed and will myself to dream about a wild horse that would visit me in my dream and then we could gallop around together really majestically. But…it never happened. And with all the bitterness of a crushed dream, I forgot all about totem animals.

Until!

I was chatting with Tara last year, who not only has a totem animal but has a son with one and a husband with one as well. And my long lost dream of connecting with an animal guide came back to me. I complained that the horse wouldn’t come to me in a dream, so she instructed me that you can’t choose your totem animal…it chooses you. Also, that you have to be really good at following your intuition to be able to recognize when your animal totem showed itself to you. This was at a time when I was doing more “putting out fires” in my life and less “listening to myself”, so I knew I was fucked. My totem animal was going to elude me again!!!!

Eventually, all the “putting out fires” resulted in me feeling “sick and tired unto dying” and I just kind of let a lot of stuff go that was out of my control. I had been so wrapped up in the move, the separation and getting divorced, the child sharing, basic living, etc., and had forgotten how to just BE. Be happy. Be content. Be enough. Be me. I was afraid. Scared I was hurting the kids because of the divorce. Scared to be alone. Scared I couldn’t do it on my own. Scared I wasn’t enough. Ugh. It was dark days indeed.

And then one night, I had a dream. Usually my dreams involved me dying of suffocating in some way. Some nights I was ejected into space. Other nights I was sucked underwater. One night I even dreamed I was being tickled so hard I couldn’t get a breath and was dying. Nice, right?

But this night I found myself dreaming I was in a roller rink. I had on old school skates, like the kind I wore to 6th grade roller skating parties! I was skating around and around in my rainbow socks and skates, while the disco ball turned and threw prisms of light everywhere. I was having so much fun!

And then a guy got on the microphone and announced it was couples skate, and anyone who was single had to get off the floor. My heart dropped as I searched for an exit…I didn’t want to stop skating just because I didn’t have anyone to skate with. As I exited the rink, I felt a tap on my shoulder and a voice ask me if I’d like to be his partner. I turned around and saw….a big octopus. Huge. Taller than me. Somehow, this was OK in the dream and I didn’t object to his octopussiness.

Instead I objected to being partnered with anyone. “Oh no, you don’t want to skate with me. I’m clumsy. I fall a lot. I can’t do anything cool, I really don’t know any tricks or anything. I don’t think I’m good couple skate material. You should go find someone better than I am…”

The octopus laughed and cut me off. “You don’t understand! None of that matters! Look at me…I have four tentacles on the ground (and here he wiggled four tentacles with skates on the end) to help me stabilize us! And then I have four tentacles (and here he waved the other four tentacles) to put around you so you never have to worry about falling! We’re perfect together! Just trust me.”

So I did. And we skated together. He ended up being the perfect partner. He flipped me up high, dropped me down low, and flung me around until I was dizzy; but I always felt a tentacle or two around me and never worried about falling or hurting myself. I just laughed and played and skated until I couldn’t skate anymore. We ended up winning a bunch of trophies for best couples skate. It was pretty epic.

When I woke up, I kept the feeling of security and happiness with me. My dreams of dying via suffocation stopped. Whenever I’d start getting myself all worked up over something, all I had to do was think back to how I felt roller skating with a disco octopus and that stable whimsical feeling would come back to me. Skating through life is more than it’s cracked up to be!

When I visted Tara to document her head shaving, I told her that I thought my animal totem had visited me. “But Tara, I thought it would be a little bit more of a sacred, majestic experience. Soaring with an eagle or something like that! Instead it was a disco skate octopus party!” She laughed at me and said, “He’s perfect for you.” And yes, he is.

So, I love looking at octopi. I have an octopus necklace that Tara gave to me, and an octopus purse that Sara sent me and I really can’t get enough of them. They will always be connected to that feeling I had while rollerdiscoing with one. And if that isn’t all kinds of awesome, then I don’t know what is!

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Sacrificing isn’t Martyrdom

Posted by Tiff in Momsanity, Playful Parenting | 5 comments

Oftentimes the biggest obstacle to getting what we want in life is…….our kids. And I say that NOT in a “isn’t it terrible and aren’t they assholes!” kind of way, but in that special parenthood way of knowing that we wanted these precious kids in our lives and will do anything for them to keep them safe, happy, and thriving. Sacrifice is such a big part of parenting love…but martyrdom is not.

Sacrifice says “I’m willing to do this for you as a gift of love, and let you be who you are.”
Martyrdom says “Look at all I’ve done for you! I expect certain behaviors/actions/words/respect in return!”

Big difference!

If you’ve ever thought, “if you only knew how much I do for you around here”, then you’ve done too much. The more of your personal needs you give up, the more of a martyr you become. The more you respect your wants and needs, the more emotional stockpile you have to give in sacrifice. (Incidentally, the older the kids get, the more wise they are about personal boundaries–my preeteen and teenager are totally good at understanding and respecting the fact that I need some things (wine and quiet time) just like they do (sweet tea and ipods)).

For everyone who is stressing out and thinking, “what if that makes me selfish?!” I have a rule of thumb I think applies. The people who worry about being selfish will never truly be pathologically neglectfully selfish. It’s the people who never worry about it that you have to watch out for.

Kids can really push us to our limits of tolerance. On twitter the other day I read a tweet from Amanda Palmer of Dresden Doll fame (she is so freaking fantastic on twitter!):

and I laughed and laughed and thought…that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mommyhood! Concerts, hot food, clean clothes, movies in an actual theatre, movies at home, personal space, sleeping in, and 485034985 other things immediately disappear when the cord is cut and the tiny baby is placed in your arms. It’s for this reason that I am a strong advocate for making sure motherhood is a win/win. If you can get little bits of what you need on a daily basis, then you’ll have a big reserve of awesome to help you through the long, poopy, vomitous nights.

A friend on mine pm’d me after monday’s challenge and is letting me post it here as long as I don’t give out where she lives or her security code. Which I NEVER would over the internet…but come over with a 12 pack and watch “Lost” with me and I might let it slip. Anyway, our discussion went like this:




So far she’s reported that when she engages Austin in rambunctious play (tickling, etc.) at the times that she has more energy, then he doesn’t sneak attack her at night when she’s worn out.

When dealing with kids it’s important to respect that they are acting on their needs, and to also respect that you need to act on your own needs. If you can do that while maintaining a sense of humor then things go much smoothly. If your sense of humor left you to take up with someone else who was getting a full night’s sleep, then you really need to protect and preserve more of what makes you happy. Get a babysitter. Order in. Do nothing at nap time but polish your nails or nap yourself. Take care of you with the same patience and love that you take care of everyone else.

You. Are. Worth. It.
and your kids will thank you.

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No, I’m Not Crazy. Yes, I Shaved My Head.

Posted by Tiff in Momsanity | 6 comments

I did. I really, really did. Shaved! My head! To 1/8th of an inch! It’s true!

First, I watched Tara, aka The Organic Sister, shave her dreads off. I was there taking pictures to document it for her, and it was an amazingly awesomely touching experience. I made a timelapse video using all the still pictures I took over the course of 2 days:

Both of us found ourselves in the same place, mentally/emotionally/spiritually. A place of renewal, release, energetic shifting, transformation, rebirth. These are all internal feelings that found a perfect outlet in a shaved head. I know not everyone feels driven to shave all their hair off…especially women…but I know I did. As did Tara…so…it was the only reasonable thing to do! Because she was the expert after shaving her own head, she helped me shave mine. It was a pretty awesome feeling of sisterhood, I gotta say.

I did this for me. This whole last 2 years has been me trying to reconnect with my voice. My intuition. My self. I mean, once I understood what it really felt like to be so disconnected from my self that I was numb…like, truly completely unable to figure out what I want/think/need to make me whole/happy/joyous/connected…once I felt that I had to do something to connect again. I did this by really finding my intuition and giving myself permission to do things because I wanted to, or felt a stirring of emotion towards it, or a feeling deep down that I need to somehow connect with it.

If any of you are feeling a pull to reconnect with yourself again…something I highly recommend…sit down, put your seatbelts on, and get ready for the ride of your life! Because your intuition?! She’s gonna be a crazy awesome beyotch! In the last year alone of listening and acting on intuition alone I have:

*been painted gold and ridden on a hippogriff in front of thousands of people
*driven the length of Route 66 on a solo trip across country
*started hoop dancing with a hula hoop
*spent 3 days and nights in the middle of a desert listening to music around the clock
*colored my hair red (back when I had hair). After going platinum and short.
*ran my first half marathon

I’ve learned something about intuition. She’s pretty whimsical. She’s fun. She’s outrageous. She doesn’t give a shit about ‘what if’s’. She exists in the present moment. She doesn’t make any sense. She knows what is best for you, deep down. She doesn’t judge. She wont force. She’s quiet, like a whisper. She suggests in dreams and feelings. You may feel angsty and freaked out thinking about what she’s suggesting:

but deep deep down you also feel excited, invigorated, and badass.

Listening to her is a life changer. And never boring. My one friend ran a 40 mile personal course because she woke up one morning after reading a book on barefoot running and heard her self telling her she was going to start training to run a long distance. She still doesn’t know the who-what-when-where-why of it all…it still doesn’t make sense in the normal “why are you doing this” way…but she is wise enough not to put off intuition and gained a lot of clarity and balance because of it.

I still don’t really have a clear knowledge of my own voice yet, but I do know that the best way to understand myself is to listen to my intuition. And that soft, still whisper was urging me to shed my hair for 2012. I don’t know why my hair. Or why shaved…it was already so short! But I’ve learned intuition is either listened to or not listened to. She doesn’t give a shit if I do it or not, it’s my choice. But to not do it, i’ve learned, is to miss out on understanding something vital and important and happy about myself.

So I did it. And I laughed and laughed and it. is. awesome.

Thank you intuition, for knowing just what I need especially when it’s the last thing I’d ever think I’d want…

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A Foolproof Way To Not Say Psycho Shit To Your Kids

Posted by Tiff in Momsanity, Uncategorized | 5 comments

There’s something about parenthood that I’m trying to keep hidden from my kids…which is, how terribly fucking crazy it makes me. I mean, being a mom has quite a few side effects…situational ADD (like when do I ever have time to focus on just one thing at a time?), terminal insomnia, and post traumatic stress syndrome (if people rush up behind me, I’m constantly afraid I’m about to get vomited on) to name a few. But insanity, the kind I suffer from, is the most alarming and pervasive because it springs out of the vast love I have for these 3 awesome human beings that have sprung from my loins. (Can I use that expression? Springing from loins seems more like what the dad’s do, technically speaking. I mean, yes, there is lots of springing forth from dad loins to make the babies, but not so much when it’s time to have the babies…)

Anyhoo…crazy train. Yes. Because of love. Yes yes. When I say love, I mean I’m constantly veering back and forth between two kinds.

The first kind is the kind of adoring, tender, sweet, humbling, tear inducing love that leads to finding enjoyment just watching your kids while they sleep and not even getting upset when they barf all over you or the car or the couch or the carpet instead of the tile that’s just a few steps away (again…hello PTSD!). It’s an unconditional feeling that doesn’t go away no matter how many times you get hit in the face with a matchbox car, or how many shitty diapers (and blowouts) you change, or the level of whine you hear on a daily basis. It’s rooted in the indispensable truth that nothing on earth was ever created with more awesomeness than your very own child. This kind of love I share as often and ongoing as I can. It’s like the sun and rain to a growing seed…nourishing and lovely.

But the other kind of love…not so much. It’s a little more…ominous. I say this because never did I understand why Lenny, in Mice and Men, would love something so much he would smother it to death….until I had kids. Sometimes when I’m hugging them and start thinking about how precious and valuable and awesome but most of all how fragile they are, they start squirming and tell me I’m holding on too tightly and I get this paranoia that I’m slowly turning into Lenny. If the first kind of love is rooted in awesome, this kind of love is rooted in fear. Fear of loss, abandonment, guilt. It’s tinged with greed, insecurity, entitlement, martyrdom and possession. It’s whiny, and not pretty at all. I wish it weren’t there, and this is what I try to keep to myself. Well, myself and the group of friends I have that are already familiar with this parental induced psycho love. And now, you!

It kinda works like this:

Kid: “I lost my tooth! My first tooth!”
Psycho Love Me (thinking): Oh. My. God. First your first tooth. Then braces. Then you’ll be off to college with your pretty smile and I’ll be left here still paying your orthodontist bills. While you’re having fun and NOT thanking me with phone calls every day…
Real Me: “This is so freaking exciting! Let’s put it under a pillow and hope the Tooth Fairy brings you some glitter and a bunch of quarters!”

Kid: “I can do it myself!”
Psycho Love Me (thinking): But, if you don’t need me here to do it for you, then what good am I? Do you know I gave up a good job and now have NO certifiable skills, and you think you’re gonna push me out of this job already?!
Real Me: “Yes you can! Mamma’s going over there to take a nap…let me know if you need help…”

Kid: “I’d rather go in my room/listen to my ipod/be by myself than hang out with you right now.”
Psycho Love Me (thinking): Are you saying I’m not cool? Because I’ll have you know I’m SO COOL. So freaking cool! I have, like, 300 friends on facebook! Because I’m so fun, and cool, and maybe if you took your earbuds out of your ears every once in a while you’d KNOW THAT…
Real Me: “Cool. I’ll let you know when we’re doing something fun or that you might be interested in!”

Kid: “Can we snuggle?”
Psycho Love Me (thinking): Of course we can. Because I’m the best. THE BEST! You will never in a million years find anyone who loves you more than I do or treats you better, I can guarantee you that!!!
Real Me: “Of course we can. I love being around you so much!”

Kid: sick and in bed, throwing up everywhere.
Psycho Love Me (thinking): I’m gonna clean up this mess and be at their beck and call for the next 48 hours and no one’s going to say thank you but I’ll do it anyway. I’ll do it and I won’t ask for anything in return even though for anyone else they would owe me BIG TIME.
Real Me: “I’m so sorry you don’t feel good. Call for me anytime. I’m a mom, it’s what I do!”

On the days when the real love shines I feel so calm, peaceful, connected and happy. On the days when the psycho love comes out I hit the bottle early and take a vow of silence. Usually, this occurs most often when my raging PMS makes an appearance so I find if I can nip it in the bud with an IV of white wine things go much better.

If you find that you also have these two forms of love pitching around your psyche, I have devised a foolproof way to keep from saying psycho shit to your kids. Are you ready? Here it is! Remember Kathy Bates in the movie Misery? The most freaktastically effed up story in the whole world? And because it’s so terribly terribly frighteningly scarring I’ve remembered most of the lines in that movie. Sometimes, especially now that I have pre/teens in the house, her dialogue veers eerily close to things I think in my head. For instance:

Annie Wilkes: Anything else I can get for you while I am in town? How about a tiny tape recorder, or how about a homemade pair of writing slippers?
Paul Sheldon: No, just the paper would be fine.
Annie Wilkes: Are you sure? Because if you want I can bring back the whole store for you!
Paul Sheldon: Annie, what’s the matter?
Annie Wilkes: WHAT’S THE MATTER? I will tell you “what’s the matter!” I go out of my way for you! I do everything to try and make you happy. I feed you, I clean you, I dress you, and what thanks do I get? “Oh, you bought the wrong paper, Annie, I can’t write on this paper, Annie!” Well, I’ll get your stupid paper but you just better start showing me a little appreciation around here, Mr. MAN!

So now I think about what I’m about to say to my kids, and if it’s something that doesn’t seem out of place for Annie Wilkes to say, then I just zip it. And have some wine. Then rethink, and then try again. I find this sufficiently keeps my kids calling me good ole non psycho “mom” instead of “mommy dearest”.

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5 Tips For Badass 2012 Resolutions.

Posted by Tiff in Momsanity | 4 comments

I’m back, bitches! I know you’re probably wondering what the freak happened, but that involves Russians, hackers, viruses, and lots of html code. And while it sounds like the plot to the next Bond movie, it’s not all that exciting. It’s so not exciting, I don’t even want to talk about it. It was terrible having a forced sabbatical for 2 months. So let’s just say, I missed you! You all missed me so much you cried every night, I know. But everything is OK now, and I’ll never leave you like that again!

Anyhoo….let’s instead talk about resolutions!!!! Fuck yeah, right?! Or maybe no. I mean, resolutions are a double edged sword. On the one hand they promise that if we can just do these few things, then we’ll be better. Do better. Feel better. For one short period of time we have hope that we can solve our problems by cutting out sugar, going to the gym, meditating 3 times a week, and not yelling at our kids at the end of the day. Thinking about how great we’ll be if we manage to keep up with our resolutions is a bit like walking out of The Container Store with a shopping cart full of organizational objects that will singlehandedly make our lives perfect. Except, they rarely do. And we end up with hundreds of dollars of plastic crap and the same issues we had before we walked into the stupid store.

I want you to be successful in your resolutions, whatever they may be. I don’t want you to end up in mid-Feb feeling hopeless and lame because you’re not meditation/going to the gym/cutting out sugar/etc… I want you to create space for things in your life that you are so happy with, you continue them well into 2013 and the rest of your life. So, here’s some tips that I find helpful:

Tip 1:
Don’t call it a resolution! “Resolutions” are for Founding Fathers and lawyers. “Resolutions” are chores. Burdens, by the end of February. “Resolutions” are kinda boring. But if we go f

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