Friday, July 3, 2015

Fashion Flashback: The 70's

 
    My spare closet is stuffed with clothing from the bygone era of my youth. This includes a few maternity outfits from the late 1980's that I just haven't had the heart to part with. Goodwill probably wouldn't want a tent-size nautical shirt with a big white bow on the collar, anyway.

     When I pull a few of these old relics out of my closet, I'm instantly transported back in time. There's the pinstripe satin shirt and blue velour knickers I wore on my first date with my husband. And let's not forget the sequin tube top and red leather pants that were a big hit on the disco floor in 1980. 

     But what I really miss are my clothes from the 70's. I often wonder what happened to them. Maybe my old halter tops and corduroy pants are part of a moth-eaten, patchwork quilt in somebody's attic. Or maybe they're trapped beneath a pile of non-biodegradable diapers in a landfill somewhere in south Florida. 

     It seems like only yesterday that I was walking to middle school in my hip hugger, bell bottom jeans and a pair of my Dr. Scholl shoes. I also had a red bodysuit with snaps at the crotch, but that was long before I hit my "jelly roll" stage at fifteen. The bodysuit had a short lifespan once I realized that I needed to be a contortionist in order to unsnap the outfit quickly when the urge to pee hit.

     The boys I dated wore some pretty sharp outfits as well. Tartan plaid pants with wide belts and turtleneck sweaters were all the rage. This was accented by shaggy hair that dusted the tops of their shoulder blades, and every boy I knew kept a comb in his back pocket. It wasn't until the mid to late 70's that I found myself drawn more to boys in white painter pants and tight, nylon shirts. Bonus points if they wore a Puka shell necklace or an Italian horn on a gold chain around their neck. 

     Stepping out for senior prom in the 1970's meant pastel colored leisure suits and platform shoes for the boys while the girls donned flowy, chiffon  gowns and carried dainty, seed pearl purses. 

     You name it, I owned it:

*Terry cloth shirts (they could have doubled as car towels)
*Gaucho pants with a belted tunic and boots (safari bound?)
*Fringe shawls (they should have come with knitting needles and a rocking chair)

*Hot pants (these left little to the imagination for the boys) 
*Wool poncho with a fur collar (not sure where the fur came from: Raccoon? Possum? Squirrel?)
*Shirts with high, ruffled collars (channeling my inner granny) 
*Crochet hats and bandanas (best way to hide a bad hair day)
*Rabbit fur purse with a rabbit's foot keychain attached to the strap (okay, that was just MESSED UP)
*Jeans with bright stitching on the outside (long before we knew what a Bedazzler was)
*Elephant pants (yes, they really were large enough to hide an elephant inside….or chunky thighs)
*Smock tops with ruffled sleeves (nothing screamed "maternity top" more than these super blousy shirts. Not cool when you're twelve)
*Midi skirts (should have come with a warning: "Not designed for women with cankles")
*White overall shorts (going for the naughty "farmer's daughter" look)
*Chunky I.D. bracelet with my boyfriend's name etched across the front (the bracelet lasted longer than the boy)

*Wooden clogs (yeah, those were really comfortable…. for about two seconds)
*Quilted denim vests and skirts ( yes, we thought looking like human bed covers was attractive)


       My husband didn't have quite the variety of "stylish" clothing that I owned, but he had his share of outfits that belong in a section of the Smithsonian called, "Ugly Fashion From The 70's That We Hope NEVER Comes Back In Style."

*Paisley shirts in bright colors (throw in some psychedelic drugs and these shirts would have you tripping in no time)
*Wide leather belts with a marijuana leaf or peace sign belt buckle (nothing like advertising your extra curricular activities)
*Corduroy pants (pretty hip, especially if you owned them in egg plant purple or mustard yellow)
*Aviator sunglasses (no airplane necessary)
*Leather or silk headbands (think Jimi Hendrix or Tonto)
*Cut-off denim shorts (these were so short that the frayed ends tickled the testicles)
*T-shirts with popular sayings printed across the front ("Sock It To Me," or "Keep On Truckin'."  Too bad "WTF" t-shirts didn't exist back then…)
*ANYTHING that was tie-dyed (this type of clothing was enhanced by black lights and sandalwood incense)
*Denim overalls (no shirt required)
*Polyster sports suits (in colors that made you look like you owned a Good Humor ice cream truck)
*Fringed leather jackets (Davy Crockett wanna-be)
*Plaid, cotton madras shirts (channeling your inner lumberjack)

*Nylon shirts and gold chains around the neck (the shirt was left unbuttoned to the middle of the chest----back when hairy chests were considered sexy and razors were obsolete)                                                                             *Velour pantsuits ( maroon ones with gold stripes were especially popular. What the hell were we thinking?)
*POW bracelets (because everybody knew somebody who was fighting in the Vietnam War)
*Jackets with wide lapels (large enough to use as landing flaps)
*Suede cloth jumpsuits (good thing they didn't come in orange, otherwise you would have been mistaken for an escaped convict)
*Desert boots (ugly as sin, not to mention the nasty foot odor caused from wearing them)
*Corduroy sports jackets with leather patches on the elbows (what were those patches for, anyway? Walking around on your elbows? Protection from rug burns?)

     Some people might view the 70's as an era of fashion disasters, but I'm all in favor of bringing sexy back with some gaucho pants, smock tops and a velour pantsuit!



***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I am honored to have TWO posts featured on Midlife Boulevard this week as part of their "Best Blogs From The Past."! One is a humor piece about hot flashes, and the other is about the hunger games we play during menopause. You can read them here:  http://midlifeboulevard.com/hot-flashes/   and: http://midlifeboulevard.com/menopause-hunger/ 


   





    

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nine Ways To Light Up Your Man (Or Not) Guest Post By: Vikki Claflin

 
    One of my favorite things to do during the summer when things slow down a bit, is to get caught up on my reading. I have stacks and stacks of books that I'm dying to read, and most are written by my fellow writer friends. There's something magical about getting cozy on the couch with a cup of coffee in one hand a good book in the other.

     Another favorite pastime of mine is visiting my fellow writer's blog sites to see what they've been up to over the summer----the trips they're taking, new recipes they've tried, DIY home projects and of course, my favorite thing---HUMOR posts!

     This summer while I'm getting caught up on my reading (and working on a special writing project…shhhh!), I'm going to invite a few of my favorite writers to pop on my site once or twice a month to share their awesomeness with you. 

     Today I am over the moon happy to have my sweet friend Vikki Clafin of Laugh Lines on my blog! I ADORE this woman---she's kind and generous and so damn FUNNY!! Vikki has the ability to pull me back up when the world brings me down; she dusts me off and convinces me to keep moving forward with my dreams by reminding me that the hard work will soon pay off. Seeing as we are both authors of humor books, Vikki and I share the same goals in life and are always here to lift one another up. It really is wonderful to share this journey with such a good friend!

     Please welcome my beautiful, talented and super funny gal pal Vikki Clafin to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love! Thank you!



9 Ways to Light Up Your Man (or Not)
I was recently running a Google search for material on another post, and up popped a dropdown selection of ways to spice things up in ye’ ole marital bedroom.
Congenitally incapable of not going where I shouldn’t, I clicked on a few links. Three hours later, my cheeks hurt from laughing out loud at the visuals in my head, as I imagined Hubs’ responses, and I’d completely forgotten what I originally sat down to research. But whatever it was, this was way better.
I decided to share some of the best suggestions with you because, well, that’s the generous kind of person I am. Who knows? Maybe I can save a marriage or two. What can’t be resolved by a teenage style make-out session in the family SUV?  You’re welcome.
1. Send him on a “Love Hunt.” Similar to a treasure hunt, but he must drive all over town, asking storeowners if they’re hiding something for him from his wife. Suggestions were the liquor store for his favorite beverage; the florist for their limited-edition “You’re My Hot Stuff” bouquet; and Safeway for a half-dozen “I Heart my Husband” balloons.
Yeah, no.
Hubs hates to run errands, and although I could probably sell him on the liquor store, I’m reasonably certain, after 15 years together, that flowers and balloons wouldn’t get him where I wanted him to go.
2. Sex up the bathtub. Light a couple dozen candles, draw a deep bubble bath, and pour the champagne. Get into the tub and call him with, “Babe, can you bring me a towel?” The theory is that he’ll take one look at you lounging naked and bubbly in the tub, backlit by the soft glow of the candlelight, and be diving in to join you before the water cools.
The one time I tried something similar (two candles, wine, and no bubbles), Hubs dashed down the hall with a towel, tossed it through the open bathroom door, with nary a glance, yelling “Gonzaga is up by 12!!” as he ran back to the living room to watch the game.
3. Take personal photos of your man so everyone can see what a stud he is. Suggestions included cowboy hat and boots, pajamas, briefs or boxers, and of course, nekkid.
Just…Wow.
My brain just can’t formulate an appropriate way to ask Hubs if I can photograph him in his birthday suit, wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and boots, so all my Facebook friends can see what a hunka-hunk I married.
4. Kidnap him. Walk in, unannounced, to his workplace, and hold a toy gun on him while you handcuff his wrists, and take him away for “secret interrogation.”
Oh. My. God.
Any visual of me walking onto Hubs’ job site and slapping handcuffs on him while carting him away for an obvious afternoon of motel room boogie ends with him being totally mortified, while the scene is embellished and replayed for weeks at every construction site in town. I’m not sure that making your man the laughingstock of his industry for the next year is the way to his…well, you know.
5. Share his favorite sport by initiating sex with him on the football field, the soccer field, or in the gym. Because nothing turns a man on like having his name in the local paper for public nudity and indecency after getting caught having sex in a public stadium by the high school marching band. All 42 members.
6. Give him you as a present. Cover yourself with sticky bows and let him take them off one by one.
Before we get started, who puts the bows on any area I can’t reach? I scrolled my speed dial list and couldn’t find a single person I’d be comfortable calling to ask if they would come over and slap red bows on my naked behind. As for Hubs peeling them off? Possibly the world’s worst Brazilian.
7. Send him to work with a balloon bouquet. Fill his car with balloons that have tiny “I love you” notes inside, and leave a pin with a note that says he has to pop all the balloons before he can get into his car.
Maybe I’m getting old, but this would just piss me off. Trying to get out the door to work and finding my car full of cutesy teenage-appropriate balloons that I had to pop and then clean up before I went to work would not be foreplay.
8. Take a walk in the rain, wearing nothing but your raincoat and rain boots.
Are you high??
Walking in the rain is one of those things that sounds more romantic than it really is. And the mental image of me, standing in the rain, shivering, with hair plastered to my head and water running down my face, flashing Hubs in nothing but rubber boots and 58-year-old boobs would pretty much guarantee never getting laid again.
9. Be Jane and Tarzan. Him in a loincloth and you in a leopard print bikini. Feed him by hand from a bowl of nuts, fruits, and berries while jungle drums play on your iPod.
Few things leave me speechless.
This might have worked in my 20s. But Midlife Jane, still trying to work the leopard thong, with body parts having migrated visibly southward and butt jiggling in time to the jungle drums, as I snuggle up to Hubs with a handful of berries, is more likely to send him screaming for an eye wash station.
At this point, I decided that the best way to find out what would fire Hubs up would be to ask him. “That’s easy,” he grinned, “Greet me at the door. Naked. Holding a beer and a sandwich.”
Notwithstanding the fact that, at 58, naked is not my best presentation, I can do that. What the hell. As long as it doesn’t involve balloons.






BIO:



Vikki lives in Hood River, OR, where she writes the award-winning humor blog Laugh Lines, sharing the funny ups and down of midlife. She believes that laughter, a good glass of wine, andan econo-sized box of Milk Duds are the path to true zen. Vikki has been featured on the Michael J. Fox Foundation website, Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Midlife Boulevard, Better After 50, and Funny Times Magazine. She also received a BlogHer14 “Voices of the Year” Humor award. Vikki recently released her new book Shake, Rattle and Roll With It: Living and Laughing with Parkinson’s, recently added to Amazon.com Editor's Favorite Books of 2014, which chronicles her hilarious, and sometimes poignant journey living with Parkinson’s disease. Her book is available at Amazon.com.


 
LINKS:
***WANT MORE MENO MAMA??*** I am THRILLED to be featured on THE MID this week with a poignant post titled: "What Happened When I Finally Stopped Counting Calories And Embraced Life", which you can read here: http://www.themid.com/wellness/i-am-embracing-my-inner-beauty-for-my-children-but-mostly-for-myself?u=unknown

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fly On The Wall in a Nutso House

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group postings, hosted by Baking In A Tornado. Once a month you have the opportunity to peek into the homes of 17 other bloggers' lives to see what REALLY goes on behind closed doors…if you're into that sort of thing.

Gross stuff is what's always going on around my house. We have no filters for the things we discuss here. If you get squeamish easily, this blog post might scare you off. Consider yourself warned…..


"I ate too many grits and now I have the shits."
"That sounds like a new breakfast cereal---'Grits & Shits'."

"If only toddlers came with remote controls to lower their volume."
"A mute button would work better."

"I must have been living under a rock all this time--I had no idea that duct tape came in colors other then gray."
"Of course it does! You can get it in any color you want, plus a variety of patterns. You can even get Hello Kitty duct tape."
"That's awesome! I can use duct tape instead of wallpaper to redecorate my office."
"Yep. Consider yourself duct tape educated.

"If you don't stop picking that pimple on your face, I'm going to strap a doggy cone-of-shame around your head."

ME: "There's another politician in the news today who got caught in a video sex scandal. Aren't you glad you don't have any videos like that floating around to come back and haunt you?"
HUBS: "I'm not worried---sheep don't have cameras."

"Stop doing rapid fire farts in bed while I'm trying to sleep. It keeps me awake."
"It's no worse than the neighbor's dog barking all night."
"Yeah it is, because yours are 'butt barks', and that's ten times worse."

"We're getting so fat that we're going to need a sidecar attached to our Winnebago whenever we take road trips."

"Forget about a zombie apocalypse survival kit. What we really need is a public toilet survival kit."

"Just saw a cockroach on the ceiling. Time to burn down the house. "

"I hate driving our crappy old minivan. Every time I hit the brakes, it hisses. It sounds like there's a snake coiled under my seat."

HUBS: "I have a GREAT idea for a new invention. You know how some people have large poops that clog their toilets? I think every house should have a special gadget, sort of like a spoon with a long handle, that chops it up before it's flushed. It would prevent clogging and save on embarrassing plumbing repairs. I'll market it as the 'POOPER CHOPPER'."
ME: "Seriously, dude? Why are we discussing this at the dinner table….while we're eating meatloaf?"
HUBS: "I can also invent the 'Pocket Pooper Chopper' which is a smaller version of the original one, for camping trips, sporting events or public toilets."
ME: "You're really grossing me out here…"
HUBS: "I've already figured out the commercial for it----it'll go something like this---'Buy the full size Pooper Chopper and we'll send you a free box of latex gloves. Order now and we'll also send you the Pocket Pooper Chopper for free! It works great for those long R.V. trips!'"
ME: "Okay, I'm not hungry anymore…."


NOW do you see what I mean about not having any filters around this nutso house? Don't delay---go order your Pooper Chopper today!



***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I'm featured on What The Flicka this week with my 10 Father's Day Fails. You can read it here: http://whattheflicka.com/10-fathers-day-fails/




Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                      Follow Me Home    
http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                        Stacy Sews and Schools
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                                   Battered Hope
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                  Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com                                        The Momisodes
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                            Someone Else’s Genius
http://gndisney.wordpress.com                                Disneyland in Kentucky
http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                            Juicebox Confession
http://dinoheromommy.com/                               Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.angelaweight.com                                  Sanity Waiting to Happen
http://www.southernbellecharm.com                        Southern Belle Charm
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                      The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com                   Searching for Sanity
http://www.gomamao.com                                            Go Mama O
http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/              Eileen’s Perpetually Busy
      




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UTIs: Myths, Facts, and Preventative Measures

     I was several months pregnant and home alone with two toddlers when my husband went on an overnight field trip to the Everglades with our oldest son. I was looking forward to having a little peace and quiet that evening, so shortly after tucking my daughters into bed, I curled up on the sofa with a good book and a bowl of popcorn.

     I had barely finished the first chapter when I felt a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. I'd had a large glass of water with my dinner, so I thought nothing of the urgency to pee. But ten minutes later, the pressure on my bladder returned… and then again…and again. Each time I tried to pee, I felt an uncomfortable pinching sensation that increased with each visit to the restroom.

     Two hours and ten bathroom trips later, I was doubled over in pain on the couch. Panic set in because I had no clue what was going on with my irritable bladder.

     Unable to reach my husband by phone, I did the next best thing and called my mother once the pain became unbearable. She calmly explained that I had what her generation called the "honeymoon disease"---a urinary tract infection. Fortunately, my sister was nearby, and after a quick call to my OB/GYN to explain the situation, she was able to deliver the antibiotics I desperately needed to clear the infection. Had I been informed earlier about UTIs and preventative measures, I might not have had to suffer the discomfort and fear that I did that evening.

                                                       * * * * * * * * * * * * *

     Last month I wrote a blog post on the symptoms and factors that contribute to urinary tract infections in women like me who are peri-menopausal or menopausal (you can read it HERE). Today, I'm sharing part two in my sponsored series for the Uristat campaign to educate women on the myths of UTIs, which includes preventative measures that can be taken to avoid recurring infections.

     Many women entering the menopausal years expect to experience the usual symptoms that their peers complain about----hot flashes, irregular periods, night sweats, mood swings etc. but few are aware of another common side effect---urinary tract infections. These are more prevalent in middle-aged women due to a decrease in estrogen production, which leads to changes in the urinary tract, making it more susceptible to infections. With 53% of women over the age of 55 experience recurring UTIs (at least three over a twelve month period), it's important to understand that there are ways to prevent the recurrences, and relief from the painful symptoms should an infection occur. 

MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT UTIs:

MYTH: Only sexually-active women in their 20's get UTIs.

FACT: Urinary tract infections can occur at any age, especially in women who are peri-menopausal or menopausal. They're caused by a lack of estrogen and a drop in "good bacteria" levels.

MYTH: UTIs only occur in women.

FACT: Men can also contract a urinary tract infection, although it far less common in males. Roughly 12% of men will experience a UTI in their lifetime compared to 40%-50% of women. 

MYTH: UTIs are nothing to worry about.


FACT: A urinary tract infection may subside on its own without preventative treatment, but it's also true that the infection is capable of spreading to the kidneys and causing irreparable damage. If you are experiencing discomfort, it's best to consult your physician for treatment. 

MYTH: UTIs are caused by poor hygiene.

FACT: Getting a urinary tract infection does not mean that you have poor hygiene. You can be completely clean and still get a UTI. There are several causes and risk factors involved, which include sexual activity, certain birth control methods, pregnancy, menopause, urinary tract abnormalities or complications in the urinary tract, an impaired immune system, catheterization or previous UTIs.

MYTH: Pregnancy and UTIs are unrelated.

FACT: There are several changes that occur in a woman's body during pregnancy, which are conducive to UTIs, such as an increased amount of progesterone. A higher level of this hormone relaxes the muscles in the uterus and bladder. The decrease in muscle tone, coupled with the pressure that the growing uterus puts on the bladder, can slow the flow of urine and put a pregnant woman at a greater risk of urinary tract infections. 

TIPS FOR PREVENTING UTIs:

* Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Frequent urination is necessary to flush as much bacteria out of the system as possible.

* Always wipe front to back. Bacteria from the anal region does not belong around the vagina and urethra. 

* Avoid douches, vaginal deodorant sprays and powders. These products can irritate the urethra and cause a UTI. Certain types of birth control such as diaphragms and spermicidal agents can also increase the risk of infection. 

* Urinate after sex to prevent bacteria from moving into the urethra. Drink water if necessary to trigger the urge to urinate. 

* Wear cotton underwear to keep dry. Bacteria thrives in warm, moist areas on the body. Undergarments made from nylon, polyester, or spandex restrict the airflow to the genitals, whereas cotton is porous and keeps the area drier. 

* Go to the bathroom whenever you feel the need to urinate. Holding in urine is never good and makes it easier for bacteria to multiply in the urinary tract.


     There's no need to suffer through the discomfort of a UTI while waiting for a doctor's appointment or for an antibiotic to kick in. The good news is that there is now an over-the-counter medicine that will help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of the infection. From the makers of MONISTAT comes URISTAT Pain Relief Tablets, which are specifically designed for fast, temporary relief of pain, burning and frequent urinating associated with a urinary tract infection. Each tablet contains phenazopyridine HCI, which is the #1 doctor recommended OTC ingredient for relief from UTI pain. URISTAT Pain Relief Tablets can be taken as soon as the the symptoms are detected, and while being treated with antibiotics.

     To determine whether or not a UTI is present before meeting with a physician, URISTAT has available a convenient Relief Pak that includes a test strip for detecting white blood cells and Nitrate in the urine, which can indicate the presence of a UTI. Each URISTAT Relief Pak comes with one test strip and twelve URISTAT Pain Relief Tablets.

     URISTAT products are available in many drugstores and online retailers across the country, including Walgreens, Walmart, Kmart, Rite Aid, Kinney Drugs and drugstore.com

     For more information about UTIs ad URISTAT, please is it www.uristat.com  and download a $1 off coupon by clicking  HERE.


   


  

Friday, June 12, 2015

10 Reasons Why I'm Glad I'm No Longer Raising A Toddler

 
    I've been through the toddler trenches---four times, to be exact, and I'm happy to say that I survived unscathed. Okay, that may not be entirely true. My memories are blurred. Maybe I'm just suffering from PTSD (Post Toddler Stress Disorder), which explains why I don't remember much from those mind-numbing years of motherhood. But now that I have a young grandchild, it's all coming back in waves. I'm remembering what I didn't like about those years, but I'm also feeling immense pride in my daughter for being such a patient mother amidst the toddler turbulence she's currently experiencing. I'm happy that I don't have to deal with that kind of stress anymore on a daily basis (just on the weekends when I'm on babysitting duty, thank you very much).  

     If you have older children, you can finally relax and celebrate all of these reasons why it's great to no longer be raising a toddler:


1. BEDTIME: You get to skip the nightly ritual of putting a cranky, overly-tired toddler into pajamas while she's flailing around on the floor----which is about as much fun as trying to put long johns on a slippery octopus.

2. FOOD WARS: You won't have to smother every vegetable you serve with ketchup or cheese sauce and then lie to your child by telling them it tastes like chicken nuggets.

3. POOP: No more running to the bathroom at breakneck speeds when you hear an excited voice shout, "MOMMY, I DID A BIG POOPIE!" If you don't get there early enough to help them wipe, you'll be smelling butt vapors the rest of the day.

4. PROPERTY DAMAGE: You won't have to live in fear that your precious little angel will scribble all over your expensive baseball card collection with a waterproof marker.  

5. TANTRUMS: No more dealing with meltdowns over a sandwich that was not been cut into the shape of Simba's head, or the entire Lion King pride, for that matter.

6. LACK OF SLEEP: You'll no longer be prodded awake at 5:00 a.m. by a toddler who needs to pee, then claims to be thirsty and hungry. They rarely go back to sleep after they've made the long trek to the toilet and back. Whenever this happens, it's like having a little person running around all morning cracked out on Kool-Aid and lollipops. Be thankful that the only thing waking you up now is an alarm clock.

7.  ANNOYING KID SHOWS: No more whiney Caillou, Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora The Explorer or Bubble Guppies invading your living room each morning (which is far worse on your mental state if the coffee hasn't kicked in yet).

8. NOISE CONTROL: You can ditch the kazoos, electronic alphabet games, talking storybooks and mini drum sets. You might even be able to ditch the ear plugs too, unless your have a teen at home who loves to blast dubstep in decibels loud enough to make your ears bleed.

9. MESSES: The word "toddler" should be synonymous with"twister", because once these little human beings have been awake for a more than thirty minutes, your house looks like its been picked up by a tornado and tossed upside down. Now that your kids are older, you don't have to worry about developing curvature of the spine from bending down all day to pick up their toys.

10. OUTDOOR "FUN": Your thighs will no longer be chafed from the slide at the park, nor will you be forced to squeeze your butt into a swing the size of tight sling shot that's ready to launch you into outer space.

     Despite all of these things, if I didn't have my sweet grandchild to cuddle and love, I'd be missing out on all the good things that come with raising a toddler. They love unconditionally, expressing unbridled affection for family and friends alike. They're quick to forgive, trust easily, and are fiercely loyal.

     Toddlers also have an insatiable curiosity and a zest for life that most of us have lost. They find immeasurable joy in the simplest things, whether it's running through a sprinkler, digging their toes in the sand, dancing to silly songs or hugging their favorite animal. Every meltdown and struggle is worth the sound of their infectious laughter and the light in their eyes when you walk into the room. Their unvarnished souls are a glimpse into what our lives are intended to be---joyous, unfettered and filled with boundless love.


***Want more Meno Mama? This week I was featured on Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories From The Trenches, with an excerpt from my book, Who Stole My Spandex? Check out my post, "Born This Way (And Up All Night) HERE: http://motherhoodmaycausedrowsiness.com/2015/06/08/born-this-way-and-up-all-night-by-marcia-of-menopausal-mother/

 

Friday, June 5, 2015

You Might Be Considered Over The Hill If…..

 
     Several of my friends recently celebrated their fortieth birthdays, and each of them bemoaned the fact that they would now be considered "Over The Hill." I bit my lip to keep from laughing because they have NO CLUE what life (and gravity!) has in store for them 10-20 years AFTER turning 40..

      For anyone who has just hit the "big 4-0", here's a little glimpse into what your fifties and sixties will be like:



* You worry about the amount of candles on your birthday cake and keep a fire extinguisher close by, just in case.

* The vitamin store down the street has become your one-stop-shop, and you find yourself wishing they had a 24 hour drive-thru when you're constipated and in need of some heavy duty fiber pills at 1:00 a.m.

* You pop Tums like candy after every meal and keep an extra bottle on your nightstand. 

* If you're a woman, you start tucking your boobs into your waistband. If you're a man, you worry that you might trip over your testicles if they drop any closer to your ankles. 

* You recognize all the songs on the easy listening radio station and sing along with each one. 

* Despite hating it as a kid, prune juice tastes pretty good now.

* You consider yourself lucky if you remember where you left your car in the Target parking lot.

* It takes a moment to straighten up your spine once you push yourself off the couch. 

* You pay special attention to infomercials advertising the "Girth Girdle", "Pound Around Pantyhose" and the "Belly Buster." 

* You're squinting at road signs and switching all of your 40 watt light bulbs for 60's, especially the ones above the bathroom mirror.  

* You drag the heating pad out of the linen closet more than once a week.

* Your pills and supplements no longer fit in an ordinary pill box, so you're forced to use a large shoe box instead.

* You own more than one pair of Spanx.

* Your refrigerator is stocked with probiotic yogurt to regulate your digestive system and to prevent a bowel blow-out in public.

* You hate to miss an episode of Dr. Oz and plan your schedule around his daily show.

* Your days of sunbathing are long gone but the leopard spots on your face, arms and legs are a constant reminder of all the times you forgot to wear sunscreen.

* Your butt is beginning to droop like two wet sandbags.

* While at work, you long for your kindergarten days when napping after lunch was encouraged.

* You spend a small fortune on teeth whitening strips to counteract your increased consumption of coffee and red wine.

* You're either sweating or freezing all the time. The weather is no longer your friend, and neither is the thermostat.

     No need to worry, my forty-something friends. Pour yourself another prune juice cocktail and embrace your inner leopard!


In honor of the upcoming Father's Day holiday, I have a post about my Dad over on the TODAY SHOW Parenting website if you would like to check it out, VOTE and share. Thanks! You can find it here: http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/my-fathers-chair

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Where Moths Go To Die: Five Bedtime Survival Tips For Moms, a Guest Post by Lisa Nolan


Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to my guest writer, Lisa Nolan, editor and publisher of Monkey Star Press! I'm also honored to be a part of her humor anthology, Motherhood May cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories From The Trenches (you can also visit her website HERE). Today she's sharing her five bedtime survival tips for all the sleep-deprived moms out there. Please welcome Lisa with lots of comment love and shares. Thanks!

Where Moths Go To Die: Five Bedtime Survival Tips For Moms



At night before I go to bed I shut my computer off and grab a book to read from my pile of library books. Then, my black kitten (who is almost a cat) slinks in from the yard like a slow-motion shadow, wide-eyed, with a fluttering moth in his mouth. He brings his treasure under my bed and bats it around. I try and rescue it by getting down on my hands and knees on the beige, dog-hair covered carpet. I am not upset (although my hubby does a freak out). The moth and my cat are doing what is natural when the moon comes out.

But am I doing what is natural at the end of my day? I’m not batting a moth around, but I seriously doubt my nighttime habits are “natural”. And what does that mean? How do I know what’s normal, what’s true to human nature in this modern, high tech world? Maybe if I took away the TV, the computer, and the smart phone after dusk. Then what?

How about doing some p.m. housework? Should I be washing dishes, by that I mean loading the dishwasher, or maybe I should be washing them by hand? OK, how about exercise? Nah. Ain’t gonna happen. Should I be baking something like bread to serve at breakfast?

What about writing? Not on my unnatural computer, but what about in my journal? (Aren’t writers supposed to be doing that anyway? Every day or night? Consistently?)

What did my mom do at night before bedtime? And was that true to human nature? She was a single mom working a full time job so she prepared for the next day: she set out her color-coordinated clothes and accessories: a navy pant suit with matching low-heeled shoes, faux pearl necklace and earrings, and a brown-bag lunch with carrots and tuna fish. Nature or not she was the bread winner, the only bread winner, so it was a matter of survival.

Are we mom supposed to be doing what’s important for our survival?

The moth, a night-flying insect attracted to light and heat, is trying to survive under my bed from a cat just going by his instincts (and having an evening snack). What do we moms need to do at bedtime? After all, isn’t survival of the fittest?

So here are my five bedtime survival tips for moms:

1. Dim the lights so you won’t see the dust on the furniture or your over-flowing laundry baskets, causing you to go on an all-night laundry and dusting binge.

2. Your computer is off limits (and your smart phone) unless you are chatting on Facebook or reading using your Kindle app. It’s survival of the brain, too! Let’s not deprive it of social emotional connections!

3. Go and check in on your sleeping angels, for tomorrow they will be awakened little monster-tantrum throwers, or chatter boxes in cookie-survival mode.

4. Now it’s time to get ready for the next day. Get out your jogging shoes because you’ll be chasing your toddler at the park (not because you are playing a game but because your tot picked up some trash on the ground, again, and won’t let you have it).

5. Fill up your water bottle because you are not drinking enough water (maybe because drinking so much water makes you run to the bathroom all day long)!


OK, my dear readers, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment and tell us your survival tips for moms when the moon is out!

Want to read more stories by sleep-challenged moms, stories that will make you laugh, shed a tear or two, inspire you, and make you feel like you are NOT alone in your sleep-deprived, post-baby world? Be sure to check out Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches!

From start to finish, this book is a gem. I can’t think of a mother who shouldn’t read it, whether you have a newborn or grown children, you will totally relate to these funny and heartwarming stories. This second edition includes 18 new essays from some amazing authors. Having bought the first Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, I was delighted to read this new edition. One of my favorite quotes from the book: ‘Organic homemade cakes made out of kale and promises.’ This book is funny and then funnier.”—Stephanie Marsh of We Don’t Chew Glass.


Lisa Nolan touts herself as a supermom with a second-hand cape and an empty glass of wine. She is the editor and publisher at Monkey Star Press and is working on three parent humor anthologies at the moment. (Lisa thinks she might be a little bit insane, but in a good way--we hope.) She’s craft challenged, a lousy housekeeper, a great cook, and a dedicated locavore. She blogs about Montessori and writes mom lit and memoir. Lisa is also a book publisher, mom to a DS child, a 3-6 and 6-9 Montessori trained teacher...and she often asks herself the question “Wait, where am I?” You can find her at Monkey Star Press, and Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: evilpeacock / Foter/ CC BY-NC-SA


***UPDATE: In honor of the upcoming Father's Day, Meno Mama has a post up on TODAY Show parents. Would love some votes if possible! Please share with your friends too if you can. Thank you so much!!!http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/my-fathers-chair

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