Monday, June 30, 2008

Tankini Wahini

TankiniIs anyone else appalled at the price of bathing suits? I just ordered one on clearance from Land's End, the crown jewel of the bathing suit empire for those of us who are looking for bathing suit descriptions that include such phrases as:

  • The texture that slims

  • Tiny vertical ribs smooth and slim your figure

  • Details that flatter your figure

  • You'll look a size smaller—instantly

  • Skip the sit-ups!

  • Anxiety zone solution: tummy control firms you, yet you feel comfortable

If you are looking for a bathing suit that will make you look hot, do your shopping elsewhere but if, like me, you are looking for all of the attributes listed above (taken directly from the latest Land's End swim wear catalog), you need to look no further than Better start saving now though because a suit that lets you skip the sit-ups isn't going to come cheap. I got a bargain, snagging one from last year's collection off of the online clearance rack for $39.99. Any of this year's line will run you $90 and up for a tankini, the only acceptable mom-suit at pools these days. Sure, traditional bikinis are always acceptable for the lucky Mamas who can pull them off but for most of us, its tankini city.

But $90? $90! Does that seem a bit excessive to anyone else? You can hop on and order a pair of men's trunks for $19.99, NOT on sale. What's up with that? It's not like women's suits are incredibly detailed and made of high cost materials, we're just desperate to pull them off, so desperate that we'll drop $120 on a good suit without hesitation. So, don't be snowed by promises that you can skip the sit-ups if you wear a particular suit. Do a few sit-ups, shop the clearance racks and flash dirty looks from under your sunglasses at the hot moms in bikinis at the pool. Everybody wins.

Friday, June 27, 2008



All you twitterin' folks out there in cyberspace, give a girl a hand. My account is so empty that I can hear an echo when I log in. My networking skills are a bit rusty and I need some help. Click here and let's start Twitterin' (is that a word?). Follow me and I'll follow you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Siegfried and Roy watch out! My son is only five years old and well on his way to becoming the next hot magician. I'm going to encourage him to stay away from sequins and albino tigers but, other than that, I'm all about him making his mark on the magic scene.

Today, for instance, he put on a dynamo magic show. The first couple of tricks were standard fare involving cards and pennies but the last one was a doozy. He walked into the room and stood on his "stage" in front of the coffee table, waving his magic wand in dramatic circles,

Son: Would you believe that I can turn myself into a metal robot?

Me: No way. I'll believe it when I see it.

Son: Close your eyes. Don't open them until I tell you that you can.

Me: OK

Lots of rustling takes place at this time, and I can hear him walk from the living room to his room and then back. There's some additional rustling and then some footsteps into the kitchen.

Son: You can open your eyes now

I look around and try to figure out what is going on. There, on the coffee table directly in front of where my son's "stage" was, is a little silver plastic robot, an Ironman Kid's Meal toy. I hear a voice from the kitchen,

Son (in best monosyllabic robot voice): I'm a robot. Would you like me to bring back the magician?

I did my best not to laugh and oohed and aahhed in amazement at my son's trick.

Me: Yes, please bring him back.

We went through the same process, lots of rustling and footsteps and the next time I opened my eyes my son was standing there with a proud grin on his face. I could have smeared him with butter and swallowed him whole, he was so adorable. Maybe I should take him on, "America's Got Talent" and let him perform his trick for David Hasselhoff in the hopes of becoming someone that won a show once and now does weddings and bah mitzvahs. Vegas, here we come!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Naegleria Fowleri

I've become obsessed with brain eating amoebas. Yes, that's right, brain eating amoebas, naegleria fowleri if we're getting technical. Go ahead, google it. You'll never set foot in a lake again.

I took a beginner's kayaking class yesterday with a friend and, in an effort to impress our cute instructor, I volunteered to be the idiot who tipped my kayak over (because, let's face it, there's nothing more impressive than someone losing their balance and falling out of a boat). It was fairly painless but I did get some water up my nose. My first thought was, Crap. What if I sucked in some brain-eating amoebas?

I realize this is probably not the typical reaction to getting water up your nose but, alas, it is mine. I'm a freak like that.

While Jacquelyn and I were braving the rip roaring waters of the quarry with our mad kayaking skills, our kids were cruising around the lake on the Byrne's super fly boat, "The Wareagle." As soon as I saw my husband I gave him the third degree about my children's water experiences, focusing primarily on the amount of water that may or may not have gone up each of their noses (the amoeba can only access the brain if it goes through the nose). My son's risk factor is very low but my daughter's is relatively high, given that she went under at one point and sucked in a lot of water. I was up half the night last night obsessively researching naegleria fowleri. I've become quite the expert on this disturbing organism. Feel free to post questions at any time. My husband's response, "You've got a better chance of walking out your front door and getting hit by a mack truck than getting your brain eaten by an amoeba." True, but I'm not going to walk out there with a blindfold, hoping that there's no truck around. I'm going to look both ways. The same needs to be true of my lake time. So, be sure to look for me and my family out on the lake. We'll be the freaks with the nose plugs.

Look both ways, people, look both ways!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I’ve made it a point to keep the lupus talk on my blog to a
minimum. I try not to dwell on the disease and its presence in my life. There
are many, many days that I forget I even have it, except for the fraction of a
second it takes to pop a pill in the morning and before bed. I have always
found it suspicious that there are no celebrities who have come forward with
this disease to promote public awareness.
Statistically, there must be some. It’s a disease that affects roughly 1.5
million American and 1 in 250 African American women (it’s much more prevalent
in women of color). Come on Whoopi! Oprah! Halle! Heck, at this point I’d even
take Star. It’s not like lupus is an STD or anything. There’s no shame in
admitting you have it.

My frustration with the closeted celebrity lupus cases (like
I said, there MUST be some) can now be put to rest. I found out yesterday that
there is, in fact, a celebrity who has come forward with Lupus. I discovered
this bit of information on the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center’s website last night:

There are famous people with autoimmune disease.
Barbara Bush and her husband, the ex-president George Bush, both had autoimmune
thyroid disease. One of their sons had colitis. But the member of their family
that got lupus was their dog, Millie. Dogs can get lupus. Vets can diagnose it
because dogs can get the same malar rash that human beings do.

Now, Millie wrote a book about her life with lupus.
It's a great story, because Millie had a successful pregnancy. So, I think it's
a nice story to tell patients with lupus. Millie has since died of old age. The
current dog in the White House, Spot, is Millie's grandson. But because Spot is
male, he's unlikely to get lupus. We think the autoimmune story has ended!

So, rest easy lupus sufferers of the world. We finally have
our spokesperson. Sure, she may have two strikes against her:

  1. She is not human and
    therefore cannot actively raise awareness.

  2. She is dead and therefore
    cannot actively do anything.

But our disease has a face and a book. I can’t imagine the
comfort I will find in Millie’s inspirational tale.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hat Tricks

Given my status around the changing table (that's the mom's water cooler for those of you who aren't hip to such things) as a certifiable fashionista, I have decided to start a new trend for the summer: hats. Sure, it Life is Good
sounds simple and perhaps a bit of a faux pas but I'm determined to change that. By the end of the summer, people will see me coming around the corner in my faded "Life is Good" ball cap and haul ass to their local outfitter to purchase one for themselves. I don't look particularly attractive in a hat. I have short hair and no neck. This is not a good hat combination. In order to really look good in a hat you need a nice thick ponytail that fits perfectly through the hole in the back of the cap and a long thin neck. A sports bra and some shorty shorts come in handy too. They all come together nicely to create a hot hat look.

I'm not going for a hot hat look. I'm going for the yes-in-fact-this-hat-DOES-look-good-on-me-and-it-also-covers-up-my-terrible-haircut-and-saves-me-about-15-minutes-in-the-morning look. Are you with me?

My next move: stopping the Carrie Bradshaw-inspired stiletto insanity. Seriously, who let this happen? I'm bringing back the flip flop!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The kids and I were playing Cooties today when it turned into Cootie Chaos. Somehow my comic musings about eyes and legs falling off of my goofy green creature morphed into heads, thoraxes, legs, eyes and Dancing
antennae flying through my living room at warped speed. It felt a bit like a warzone. I ducked and covered many times to avoid impact with disconnected bug parts. It didn't take long for me to tire of this destructive game and I decided to take the energy level down a notch and cut the cooties out of the equation, opting instead to have a little dance-off in the living room. I turned the TV to the Kid's Beat music channel and busted a move to Usher's version of, "You'll Be In My Heart."

My daughter, a lifelong fan of move bustin', stood stunned for a couple seconds and I tried to cajole her into gettin' down. After a palpable epiphany she said, "I need to wear my princess dress." And there it was. In order to fully enjoy a family dance-off my daughter must wear a princess dress. I smiled and took her hand. We walked to her room and slid her dress over her clothes. We went back into the living room and got down to business, me with my clog/hip hop moves (jealous yet?) and my daughter in her downward-facing-dog leg kicks and twirls. I dread the day when she no longer requires the dress.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Claiming My Summer…

I took the kids to my parent's house last night and my husband and I are off to Atlanta today for the Jimmy Buffett concert with some friends. We've got big tailgating plans and I cannot wait to immerse myself in the Chair
Buffett culture. Our friends, Jacquelyn and Michael, are weathered parrotheads. This is their 18th concert. It's my second and my husband's first. Jacquelyn tried her best to get me to wear a coconut bra but that is simply not happening. No way in hell. I'm wearing a lei and a Hawaiian shirt. That's the best I can do. We'll be drinking lots of margaritas and cold beer and grilling some cheeseburgers in the paradise of the parking lot. I fully plan on waking up in the morning with a brand new tattoo and no clue how it got there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Super Patriot

My son is ultra-patriotic. He doesn't insist on wearing flag pins every day and cry during the National Anthem or anything but he does have an unusual five-year-old fondness for the Grand 'Ol Flag. We have a reward system in our house in which the kids are given a ticket for completing a household chore. One ticket earnsFkag
them one half hour of television viewing or one half hour of computer time. If they manage to save up five tickets, they earn $3 toward the item of their choice and, if they save up 10 tickets, they get to go to Chuck E. Cheese. Recently, my son saved five tickets and asked to go to Target (yes, I've trained them well) to pick out an item. We went and he picked out, of all of the glorious things in the Dollar Spot, an American flag. Even though I tend to have my own agenda about what my kids should want, I try to let them make the decisions.

I paid for his flag and took it out of the cellophane package. He waved it back and forth, staring at the stars and stripes with a smile, the whole way home. When we got home and I found a moment to sit down, my son informed me that we had a new rule now that he had his American flag. This is what he said:

Whenever I walk into the living room holding the American flag, you have to stop what you're doing and say the Pledge of Allegiance with me.

And so we did. He came into the room three or four times, waving the flag and I stopped folding laundry or dusting to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with him. The whole process cracked me up but I did get tired of saying the Pledge after the third time. There is something to be said, however, for repetitive Pledging of the flag. The process accomplished an unexpected feat when it actually managed to abate my post Mess-o-potamia (thank you Jon Stewart) cynicism a bit. I've even found myself humming It's a Grand Ol' Flag at random times during the day. I haven't started cloggin' it out yet but I'm close. I'm real close. It won't be long before I don my patriotic clogging duds and crank out a little Patriotic Medley in the kitchen, just for the heck of it.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I'm feeling a little random and ADD today so here goes:

I'm joining the throngs of stiletto-clad women and hitting the Cineplex to see Sex & the City tonight. I won't, however, be wearing Jimmy Choos. I don't own any. Spending $500 on a pair of shoes is so far out of the realm of possibilities for me that I can't quite wrap my head around it. I'm saving up for a screen door people. I've got no business spending $500 on anything. If you are out at the theater in Cleveland, TN tonight (there's really only one), look for me. I'll be the one in the ball cap and tennis shoes.

My son has made some strides in swimming lessons so far this summer. His reaction to getting his face wet changed from that of someone getting one of their limbs cut off with a dull knife to that of someone getting their finger tip cut off with a sharp knife. Progress is progress, right?

In Ugly Dawg news (take a look at her new logo—every camper needs a logo), I attempted to book a camping trip for Father's Day weekend (we're going with my parents) and was quoted $149 for one site for two nights. TWO NIGHTS! That's more than the-bomb-dot-com Fort Wilderness in Disney World and this is a little ol' town in Tennessee near the Smokies! I nearly drove the campground staff lady crazy with questions about location, proximity to water, playground, etc… and never even asked about cost. I was getting ready to give her my credit card number when she spilled the beans about the price. I shared with her how utterly absurd I thought that price was and politely declined to give her my credit information. I found an alternative for $28/night, bringing the grand total for both of our sites to $37 less than the cost of ONE of the sites at the other place.

Speaking of Fort Wilderness, I'm obsessed right now with my trip that is 187 days away. Do you know how I know that? Because my Walt Disney World trip planner tells me every time I log on. I've also joined a Fort Wilderness discussion board (yes, there is one) and can't stop reading it. I need to get a grip. Ugly Dawg's going to get a lot of miles on her before December.