Moms, we know one thing to be absolutely true: our kids absolutely adore us. However, they naturally take us for granted, as they should. We wake up, help them get dressed, make their breakfasts, pack their lunch, make sure they have water in their cups, that they have brushed their teeth, do their hair, and hold their hand as we walk them into school.
Then once school is over we come home and the real work begins. We have to get the homework done, afternoon snack, referee whatever fight is happening, have them take a bath, make sure that they actually took a bath, dress them, feed them, and also somewhere in between make sure everything is picked up. So where in all of that do we have the time to be “fun”. Even if we do have time we are so run down and ragged that we would rather sit far away and drink wine and countdown to bedtime.
Enter dad. He strolls in through the door and it’s like a scene out of a movie. It’s slow motion, the light hits him just right as he flashes his gorgeous smile, there’s even wind hitting his hair (if he still has it). The kids erupt! Daddy! Daddy! We are so happy you’re home. Their excitement would almost be endearing if it wasn’t so offensive. They’re hugging him and jumping for joy like they’ve just spent years in an isolated prison cell. And I call bull shit!
So one day I was watching TV (obviously), and a McDonald’s commercial came on promoting the Mc Rib. It was going on and on about how the Mc Rib was coming back to the menu, and it was only going to be available for a limited time. I thought to myself, “gross. Who wants to eat a “rib” from a fast food place.” I what is in this “rib” is it an actual rib or just some sort of rib-ish rib-goo that they have put between two buns.
I watched as they gave the McRib this elusive status. Saying this like “available for a limited time”. You know what? It works. People line up around the block. No seriously, people line up around the block to grab one on opening day. Something about the McRib really sparks emotion in people that they themselves don’t understand. I bring you exhibit A: remember the lady who became enraged when the lady at McDonald’s didn’t offer her an extra McRib for a $1, well click HERE.
This all got me thinking and really feeling sorry for the Big Mac. Because what happens to the Big Mac when the McRib comes out, huh? People get all caught up ordering this McRib, that they just take the Big Mac for granted. Like it’s always going to be there. No one lines up for the Big Mac ever and especially when the McRib is around. No special limited time commercials. No red carpet for their signature sandwich. Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun. People are just ok about eating the Big Mac. “Oh I’m here at McDonald’s I guess I’ll have a Big Mac.”
Boom! I saw the light. An epiphany if you will. This entire scenario is our family dynamic. Hear me out. My husband is the McRib, and I, well I am just the Big Mac. His limited time availability makes him exciting and fun. He doesn’t have to carry the weight of all the “shit” that comes with raising these kids. Dad gets home and the homework has been done, the bath has been taken, the dinner typically has been eaten, and the fight to put away toys has long been settled.
By Thursday when my patience is already running thin, and my son is having a tantrum for the 100th time this week over putting on his pajamas my husband can swoop in and say things like “take a deep breath Cristy, he’s just 4 I can help him.” Then fun dad proceeds to take our son and tickle him and make pajamas awesome somehow.
On the weekend when I am now at my wit’s end, Dad takes them for the morning and they go to Target to buy toys, or eat donuts somewhere delicious. I mean how fun is that?!? If I took them to eat donuts or to Target every time I was with them we would be dead broke with a serious sugar problem.
But I guess this is how it has to be. I am not sure I would change a single thing. I’m happy to be here to help them throughout their day. I’m happy to be here to tie their shoes, do their homework (sort of) and all the hundreds of little details that go into the day. If we are being really honest I am also so happy when daddy gets home. Besides just wanting to see him, it may be one of my favorite times of the day watching the kids go jump all over him. Also it’s nice not to be completely outnumbered anymore.
It can be argued that iIf not for the Big Mac maybe McDonald’s wouldn’t function the way it does year round. It’s the constant on the menu, that customers know will always be there. Hell it’s definitely my go to when I want to eat my feelings. But people need a little McRib in their life, a little excitement a little fun. It keeps everything balanced.
Carla’s revenge. HERE
Yesterday would be my 6th time celebrating Mother’s Day, as a mom. I’ve never been much of a birthday person. I don’t love the attention and the pressure of planning something. However I do love celebrating other people’s birthdays, so what can I say- I’m complicated.
I do really love celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s just a chance for me to take a day and appreciate the three most important things I’ve ever done. Besides marrying my husband, which was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made, creating a family with him and bringing these three little people into the world has been an overwhelming beautiful adventure.
I’ve been reflecting back on the last 7 years or so as a Mom. I sat in a quiet dark room, with my candles, playing Sarah McLachlan in peace on my bed. NOT come on. I’m a mom to a 4, 6 and 7 year old. I am never in a quiet room, anywhere. In between wiping butts, making lunch, doing homework, picking up legos, stepping on the legos when they are on the floor again, reading books, and hugs- I have reflected. In a very scattered way. This is far and away the hardest job I’ve ever had. There are tiny moments where I want to run away for a day or so to be in quiet, but at the end of every day even at my most exhausted there is always that moment when I’ve read them their books, sang them our song and see a look in their eye that just rocks me to my core. Being their mom is everything I am here for.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far:
- You are capable of more than you think you are. Before I gave birth to our second daughter, Dylan, I remember thinking there was no way that I could love another person the way I love Blake. How could it be? My heart felt so full. Boy was I wrong. With each birth, it’s like my heart doubles in size. The love I feel for each child is greater than any love I ever thought imaginable. And yes, after each birth I struggled to find my footing. But somehow it’s like you gain an extra hand. I could feed a baby a bottle, while reading a book to my toddler and help my other toddler eat. You just figure it out. It’s not always pretty, or perfect, but you can do it.
- I am not always failing. Figuring out how to split yourself up to tend to each child’s needs is definitely my biggest struggle as a mom. I feel like I am constantly trying to make sure that each of them feels loved and included. Sometimes I am just exhausted, and just play a movie. It feels lazy and definitely not like mother of the year material. But I got a card from Blake, my eldest, yesterday for Mother’s Day and when asked what her favorite thing to do with me she responded “Just lay down and watch a movie.” So it hit me that even when I think I’m being lazy or failing as a mom, it’s just the moment when I’m nailing it. Also I’ve had birds on my person on more than one occasion so technically, I just win as a mother, right?
- Kids are born as they are and we just shape them a little. Now watching three kids grow up, it is clear that their personalities are formed from inception almost. My husband and I do things exactly the same for all of them. My oldest daughter is the rule follower, gets straight A’s, wins the kindness awards, and moves more cautiously. She didn’t walk until she was almost 18 months. Then my second daughter, walked at 9 months, literally jumps from couch to couch, has had stitches 2 times on her face, and told us she wants to leave school to travel the world on boat. My son is constantly in character whether that’s Tarzan or a T-Rex, and if you ask me his scholastic potential I will say he’s a third kid and 4 so I’m not entirely sure which way he is going to go yet #realtalk
- Things may go as planned but most likely it will absolutely not go the way you thought it would. This has been the hardest lesson to learn, but the one that has granted me the most happiness. I used to try to plan and anticipate every single aspect of our day, and then when things didn’t go as planned I would become so upset or get so stressed out. I’m not saying I don’t plan at all, but I do allow for flexibility now. No plan or activity or schedule is as important as it seems. Sometimes the beauty lies in the things that weren’t planned at all. Like you think I would plan to have a bird on my shoulder… no, no I wouldn’t.
- Ice Cream Cures All. I’ve learned that almost any time one of my kids is acting out or not acting like themselves, the root of the problem is they need special time. For the quick fix I escape with him/her and we get some ice cream together, just us. Sometimes a little one on one time is good for the soul, and not just their soul- definitely mine.
- Never Stick your Finger in the back of a diaper. I don’t think I need to go any further here. We all understand what happens here, right?
- Learn from my mistakes. I’ve made so many mistakes. So. Many. I’ve forgotten formula, bottles, pacifiers. As they’ve grown, I’ve forgotten lunches, project due dates, birthday parties. I’ve said the wrong thing. I’ve reacted wrong. A good example is that time I forgot to pack a change of clothes for the kids, because what could go so wrong at the park? Well there was a very large puddle that day I guess the other lesson here is that also be easy on yourself when you don’t exactly learn from that mistake. Years later, I also had not packed clothes and well:
- Enjoy it because it just flies. This is something people tell you all the time. It’s almost annoying how often someone says this to you. But there’s a reason. One day you are holding this tiny little baby in your arms. Your hair is dirty, you aren’t sure the last time you showered or ate an entire meal from start to finish sitting down, and you are so tired that you dream about sleeping while you are taking a tiny 15 minute nap. You think this phase will never end. Then it’s like your thrusted in the future and your daughter is telling you that you embarrassed her at her soccer game because you were cheering too loud. Boom. The phase is ending, and all you end up wondering is if you held her enough? Did you play with her enough? Did you take it all in? And when you start to panic that you didn’t hold her long enough you will begin to downward spiral and beg your husband to reverse his vasectomy, to which he will obviously reply NO. So I will just look at my 7, 6 and 4 year old and make sure I enjoy this time with them. As the more seasoned moms keep telling me to do. And although I may get annoyed at times, I know they’re right. It just flies.
I think back on my 12 year old self, and smile. I was so awkward (this hasn’t changed much), had really skinny arms, and my face had not grown into my two front teeth. All this being true, I lived in an alternate universe where I was most definitely going to marry Luke Perry.
The deal was always simple in my house, I would go to the grocery store with my mom and “help” and she would buy me the latest edition of Teen Beat, Bop, or any other magazine that had a cute boy on the cover. I would rip out the pages and shuffle them around on my bulletin board, or if I’m being super honest the super secret collage I made in my closet behind my clothes.
The bulletin board had some quotes and pictures of things that weren’t just boys. I had to play it cool. I couldn’t be all Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, I needed to seem like I had layers. The closet, well, the closet was just for me. A judgment free zone.
In hindsight, my parents should have held an intervention or at least been concerned about my interests. There’s no way my mom didn’t know about my super secret closet collage. I guess they knew that whole Luke Perry thing wouldn’t really pan out.
The other night, I was out with a few friends and Tiger Beat came up. Being a self-appointed expert we started to name some of the men from these magazines, and tried to figure out who was the hottest and wondering if we would still rip their pictures out of the magazine today. Naturally I volunteered to jump down the internet rabbit hole and here are some of my favorites:
Joey Lawrence: The only reason any of us watched Blossom. Sorry Mayim, you were cute and your collection of hats was something to aspire to, but we were only watching for Joey. Every time the guy would say “Woah” I fell a little deeper. I don’t know if it is the hair, or lack of hair, but Joey doesn’t really do it for me anymore. He wouldn’t make the super secret closet collage today. You make the call for yourself. A lot of people dig the sleeveless shirt, vest, tie and cross pin look.
Jared Leto: While he was not the only reason I watched My So Called Life, because well Angela Chase was everything. He definitely didn’t hurt. I think we all understood why she loved him so deeply. Jordan Castalano, sigh. Jared Leto is not Jordan Catalano anymore. He went down a pretty serious path, taking on some pretty deep roles. He goes all in. I kind of really dig that. So even after playing a pretty convincing Joker on Suicide Squad (pictured), Jared still goes on my wall.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas: Or as his fans so lovingly called him, JTT, was just adorable. I was definitely more on the younger side when he caught my eye. Looking at this list now through my adult eyes, he’s definitely no longer a favorite. I mean the puppy, the puppy is adorbs. It’s not you, JTT, it’s me. So if you are asking, no, no he wouldn’t make my wall.
Marky Mark: Well now he’s grown up, and a serious actor so I guess we need to call him Mark Whalberg. Even though I ran into him as an adult and he told me I could still call him Marky Mark- but we can discuss this later. He was my first concert as an 8 year old. Again, mom and dad if you are reading this you may have been sending the wrong signals. Whether you call him Marky Mark or just Mark, this guy still has it. Not just that he’s still Calvin Klein ad-worthy, but he’s a producer, a great actor, and is the brother of a NKOTB. Total package.
Andrew Keegan: I will get right to it here. Andrew Keegan was adorable, and is still adorable depending on the picture you see. But did you know he now runs a religion, or if you’re being honest, a cult. He doesn’t like that word, but he is the founder of Full Circle Venice, and you can read the article HERE. Or just check out the pictures of him with his pet parrot, Krishna and circle of “community” not “followers”.
Joshua Jackson: Joshua and I go way back. All the way to the Mighty Ducks, I would shout Quack at the screen like nobody was watching. I followed him to Dawson’s Creek where I had a mild obsession, it’s not like I am still obsessed and wrote an entire article about it HERE. But Joshua Jackson is man hot now. You can currently catch him on the Affair on Showtime to make up your own mind, but if my husband goes to my closet and moves some of my clothes around he will probably find Joshua Jackson on the wall.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Leo. He had me when he showed up in Growing Pains.
Then he sealed the deal when he looked at Claire Daines through the fish tank
I feel invested in this guy. Honestly when he won the Oscar, I stood up and clapped and felt such relief like we did it together. And even though he only dates models, which is a ridiculous rule, I will still put him on my secret closet collage. Because of Romeo and his killer moves in Wolf of Wallstreet.
Luke Perry: If we could have just met, he would have known what I always did we were MFEO (google it). I had our entire wedding planned out. He was the original reason I had a secret closet collage. I had Mrs. Perry written in all of my diaries (yes I had diaries- plural). I couldn’t chose sides in the epic Brenda Kelly triangle, because I hated both of them! I was an irrational obsessive stalker. Well Luke fell off the radar for a long time, and recently popped up on Riverdale, and I have to say he’s still got it somewhat. However it does pain me to say that I can’t put him up on my wall. There is limited space now, I’m a married woman. But you make that call for yourself.
Johnny Depp: Johnny Depp has been on every girl’s top 5 for about 3 decades. Him and Kate Moss was something legends were made of. Even as Willy Wonka he had me, and that should be impossible for a mortal man. Willy Wonka is not a good look for anyone. But Johnny has let himself go a bit. So Johnny, this is your intervention. Go figure your shit out so I can put you back on the wall.
Brad Pitt: I mean this needs to explanation. Remember Thelma and Louise
I named my son after him for Brad’s sake. Well more specifically, his character in Legends of the Fall.
If we are being honest, my husband did. In fact, if my husband had a super secret closet collage, Brad Pitt would be the only one there. And if I ever found that, I would just understand, because I mean:
Scott Speedman: He perfectly portrayed Ben on Felicity. If you never saw it, trust me you have a Ben we all do. The cute guy from high school that we loved even though we shouldn’t. Whether he is the guy that kept us around “just in case” but never wanted to make it official, or made it official and then cheated, or broke up with us out of nowhere. We all had some version of Ben. And Scott Speedman was just, so dreamy. He recently appeared on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy as a potential love interest for Meredith, and Shonda if you’re listening BRING HIM BACK! – Yes still on my wall! Obviously! Hello, it’s Scott Speedman
Ryan Phillipe: I did make a promise back in 90’s Article that I would circle back around to Ryan. I most definitely had this picture
on my bulletin board. It didn’t even need to be in my secret closet collage. This scene was just epic. It kind of makes you wonder now, where did Ryan Phillipe even go? He cheated on Reese Witherspoon, and then vanished kind of. Well no matter how cute he looked driving that Jaguar Roadster
I have to say he wouldn’t be on my wall today. He hasn’t changed much, but I’m loyal. While Reese isn’t my actual friend, I’d like to think we would be friends. But we can leave that post for another day. For now, Phillipe, you’re out.
*It must be noted, that my friend (we shall leave her name out of this) read this article and is offended that Ryan Phillipe is off my wall now and cited his “MLP” as THE reason to keep him on. What is an MLP? Great question! I had the same one… Muscles Leading to Penis and then she sent me this picture:
You know what… she’s not wrong. Sorry, Reese- Ryan welcome back to the wall!
There are many many more men of Tiger Beat. But I leave you with these for now. Let me know who I absolutely missed in the comments or send me a message! Who is on your super secret closet collage?
As I’ve mentioned in my previous TV blogs, I may have a bit of a TV problem. I don’t deny it, and while I used to try to hide just how deep my addiction goes, I have learned to embrace it. Thrive even.
Since having kids, TV has kind of just been my way to escape the day. I can sit on the couch and just tune into different stories, and just disappear for a bit. My husband will vouch for this, and tell you that he wishes I would limit my time to TV that is actually “good” and kind of weed out all the “shit” TV that I watch. In fact we were having a TV debate recently with another couple we hang out with from time to time. The woman was asking me what I would recommend for them to watch next, and my husband and her husband said my opinion was not valid because I watch everything. #OffensiveAF
I sat up straight in my chair, latin blood runs too hot for an off the cuff remark like that. I couldn’t let it fly. I could not stand for that kind of talk. YES! I watch mostly everything, but I can tell the difference between quality television and what I would classify as a guilty pleasure. I also like to customize my recommendations based on my audience. [I take this entirely too seriously].
Also I feel there is a time and place for a guilty pleasure TV show. I can’t spend all my free time watching episodes of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Homeland. I will die of an early heart attack caused by stress. I just finished the last season of Sons of Anarchy and after a couple of those episodes I seriously questioned who I was, as I was actively rooting for someone to die. That is just not healthy.
Hence, the guilty pleasure. The maybe drama filled-mostly light fantasy world where even the worst situation is so ridiculous that it causes you no stress. It’s just mindless television. Sometimes it’s filled with adorable teen angst and romance, other times it’s filled with intense nonsensical drama, and other times it’s just a good solid laugh. But it is always guilty and stress-free. Here is my list of my most favorite past and current guilty pleasures:
- The entire Bachelor series: This includes but is not limited to The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Bachelor Winter Games, and The Bachelor in Paradise. I was a freshmen in college when the Bachelor first aired, and I have missed one season since. Yes, I know how that sounds. The Bachelor franchise has me in their trap. But I read once that their demo is 25-54 professional women, so also I’m a cliche.
- Unreal: I made a solemn vow to myself never to admit out loud to another soul that I watch this show. But give me a blog and a few weeks and apparently, there are no secrets. Not only is this show on Lifetime, but it is also about the Bachelor. Not just the Bachelor, but how the producers behind the scenes create the Bachelor magic. TV magic. So while I went to many great lengths to hide this show from my husband, once he caught me watching it the judgment in his eyes, and in his words, was harsh but probably warranted. It doesn’t stop me though. It’s so good. In that dirty, telenovela, uncontrollable drama kind of way. The first two seasons are available on Hulu and season 3 started up again on Lifetime, set those DVRs, trust.
- Vampire Diaries: This show has all the ingredients for a great binge. The cast is gorgeous, high school angst, and vampires (duh). What else does one even need to thoroughly enjoy television. I have a theory that we as the human species all fall into on of two categories. We are either Team Stefan or Team Damon. There is no in between. It should be noted that if you are Team Damon, I absolutely positively judge you. How could you?! If you don’t know which team you are on, clearly you haven’t watched, so RUN to Netflix and thank me later.
- The Arrangement: This is another dirty dirty secret of mine. It is not with pride that I admit to you that I not only watch this show, but really really like it [insert embarrassed emoji here]. It’s currently in its second season on E. That’s right, E. It is loosely based on the marriage of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, and Michael Vaughn from Alias is in it so it MUST be good right? Honestly I can’t even tell anymore. Is this where we draw the line and officially say I cannot be saved?
- Empire: I honestly don’t know how this happened. I don’t even watch Fox, so I’m not even sure how Cookie and Lucious Lyon walked into my life. But they didn’t walk they barged their way into my heart. I’m a sucker for the music (which was produced by Timbaland in the first season), I love the flashy clothes, and I just love Taraji P [remember when she gave out cookies then night she won the Golden Globe for playing Cookie watch that here she even gives one to Leo DiCaprio- I mean I love her!]
- The OC: I loved it back when it aired, and I loved it more when I re-watched it on HULU last year [stop judging me, I do that enough for both of us]. Adorable young Ryan from Chino gets a chance to live in a pool house and attend school with the beautiful rich kids of the OC. It’s basically THE recipe for really amazing bad TV.
- Riverdale: As you are probably starting to notice, teen angst is high on my list of priorities in picking good/bad tv. Riverdale is no exception. Riverdale is the Riverdale from Archie Comics for all my comic books folk, and so there is the Betty and Veronica thing playing out add in a little murder and the first season (which is on Netflix) you can have binged within two weeks. Count on it. Second season should be available soon 😉
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The second vampire show to make the list. If I was being more honest, there would have been at least 2 others on this list, but I had to show “self-control” and limit it to two. Sigh, Sarah Michelle Gellar, I wanted to keep her off because my husband had such a crush on her when this was airing, but then again who didn’t? The saga between her and Angel was/still is everything. I re-watched recently (obviously) and it’s arguably better now. You can catch it on Netflix.
- Gossip Girl: I don’t even think I need to explain myself on this one. New York (upper east side) + Teen Angst + Amazing Fashion + Mysterious Ruthless Blogger= EVERYTHING. Team Blair and Chuck forever #xoxo
- Jane the Virgin: This is my most recent black hole of binging. In fact I just finished season 1 (in 3 days- it was a weekend and I stayed up late and yes I’m exhausted). Guys it’s a latin, pregnant, virgin! It’s actually very funny and all I want is to be friends with Gina Rodriguez now. Catch the first 4 seasons on Netflix!
- Hart of Dixie: the little show that could! A NY doctor (Rachel Bilson) moves to Bluebell, Alabama where her dad was from, trying to discover who she is. Rachel Bilson and Jamie King, who plays a character named Lemon, become archrivals, there’s a crocodile named Burt Reynolds, and there’s this guy Wade who almost never has a shirt on. I know how this all sounds, but I watched it when it aired, and just rewatched it again, (all together, OBVIOUSLY!) and it was even better the second time. Just love the southern charm and Zoe Hart’s (Rachel Bilson) amazing collection of shorts, you gotta watch if you want to see what I mean. Catch the whole show on Netflix!