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let go of sentimental clutter
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting

Bye, Bye Baby — Letting Go of Sentimental Clutter

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It was 1997, and I was in upstate New York, hanging with my BBFs for a fun and relaxing girls’ weekend.

I was young enough to have not yet experienced the verb “parenting,” but old enough to enjoy an afternoon of the somewhat pretentious verb “antiquing.”

In a dusty little shop all the way in the back, I spied a vintage sideboard. It was a distressed “shabby chic” piece with a modern twist — it had been painted a sweet blue and had grass-green doors with a pair of faded coral flower appliqués on either side.

That would be a really cute changing table, I thought.

Let me just say I was not that baby-crazy girl. I never cradled my dolls as a kid — hell, I didn’t even own dolls because I am afraid of them (along with puppets, clowns, and carnies) — and avoided sitting actual babies like the plague. I didn’t even particularly like caring for little children; my go-to bunks as a camp counselor were any that had kids ages 13 and up.

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100 reasons you'll always be a camper
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

100 Reasons You’ll Always Be a Camper

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It’s that time of year again — summer solstice has turned the air soft, sweet, and warm, and kids everywhere are packing up and heading off to camp.

If I could throw myself into a trunk or a duffle bag, believe me, I would. There are many excellent things about being a grown-up, but not spending the lazy, hazy daze with no greater stress than getting yourself to fourth period after rest hour — I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t wish they were back at camp?

This summer my camp celebrates its 65th year, and I’m debating going back for the auspicious occasion. Then again, I’m with Thomas Wolfe — you can’t go home again. And actually, I don’t necessarily need to go anywhere.

Once a camper, always a camper.

Don’t believe me? Here are 100 reasons you’ll always be a camper:

100) When you wake up each morning, a bugle goes off inside your head, ensuring you’re definitely up for the day. Bonus points if it includes a record crackle and someone telling you to “wakey, wakey, wakey!” (Or some equally horrible/excellent early morning greeting.)

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Bitch'in Body Positivity
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

Body Positivity for the Mom Bod

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As the days heat up and we all start stripping down for spring and summer, it’s high time to give it up to the Body Positivity Movement, which is all about appreciating yourself from head to toe, and accepting yourself exactly how you are.

Fat, thin, busty, flat, voluptuous, lean… stop labeling, start loving. Screw our crazy cultural norms, and get radical with the whole shebang.

And it’s not just about weight — over at Fuck Yeah Body Positivity, we’re reminded that it’s all about “reclaiming all aspects of our bodies which society has deemed unacceptable. Whether you are skinny or curvy, short or tall, light or dark skinned, clear skinned or pimpled, you are beautiful…”

This from a 22-year-old woman named Katie — I love her blog for all her enthusiasm and support. So when my 14-year-old daughter laments about her “gigantic hips,” I send her in Katie’s direction. Or in Jes Baker’s direction. (Just because I know telling the kid she’s “fat like me doesn’t necessarily help… nor does the ye olde “joys of child-bearing hips” lecture, either.)

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where the time goes
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Moms, Here’s Where the Time Goes

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Where did the time go?

You know what I’m saying — it feels like just yesterday that gorgeous girl who looks like a princess in her strapless prom gown was a toddler playing dress-up. That handsome young dude holding up his driver’s license was last seen playing with trucks on the living room floor. Even the dog who used to have a thick, dark coat that gleamed in the sun when she romped and played is sporting grays and spends hot days napping instead of frolicking.

Where does the time go? is the popular refrain when we look at pictures of our growing, growing, (sniff) gone babies.

As we age especially, time feels like an over-caffeinated bitch, speeding away and laughing at you as it leaves you in the dust desperately trying to figure out where the hell it went.

Neuroscientists like David Eagleman have good explanations for why this is  — beginning with the fact that the passage of time is a perception, not a clear-cut sensory experience like smell, touch, taste, and sight. While these faculties reside in distinct areas in the brain, time is embedded throughout the senses  — for example, in the persistence of a smelly diaper, the eternity of a screaming child’s temper tantrum, or the endless throb of a finger burnt when hurrying to make dinner.

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Breakfast club
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting, Pop Culture

Are We Still in The Breakfast Club?

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Remember The Breakfast Club?

Thirty years later, and the question remains: which high school trope were you — the princess? The athlete? The brain? The basket case? Or the criminal?

Better question: which high school trope are you still?

Sometimes when I am writing my blog, I troll Facebook looking for inspiration. What I love about social media is it shows me that no matter how disparate the groups of friends I am looking at — peeps from childhood, high school, camp, college, post-college, early mommy group, parenting buds, or “other” — we have so much in common.

And not just the urge to take and share pictures of frosty cocktails, our feet at the beach, our kids/pets/significant other (not in that order — pets usually come first =), cooking/baking gone good/bad, and/or inspirational/funny quotes.

The human experience has a lot of overlap, especially the emotional components. The exteriors may look different, but the interior impulses are all the same. We’re just looking for connection to soothe the rough spots and know that we’re not alone in our suffering. (#Buddha, #tbt)

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ER
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting

Date Night Disaster

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It’s official: I’ve lost all confidence in date nights.

Before I give you the latest blow to the ever-popular, eagerly anticipated weekly(ish) ritual, let’s backtrack a minute and explore the evolution of the date night.

BC (forget before kids, I’m going all the way back to before commitment), there was no such thing as date night. There were nights, and some of those evenings had dates, and as I recall, those things ran the gamut from awkward and painful to hot and amazing.

The one thing that dates have going over date night is the element of surprise. Moments of mystery. And the best of them have an unanticipated happy ending (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more).

Once you’re in a long-term relationship, date nights take on new meaning. Sure they’re a little forced, and of course the fact that you already know your date intimately saps some of the electric energy, but without the ritual, the chances of an awesome, albeit anticipated, happy ending decrease accordingly (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, etc.).

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jumping
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

Three Surefire Steps to Get Unstuck

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Isn’t feeling stuck the worst?

I’ve been in a little rut of late — while I can picture myself flying, making gigantic leaps forward, in reality I can’t shake the feeling that I’m wading through glue.

This kind of things happens, when “diversions” like the daily grind, shifting schedules (youth sports, anyone?), and a whole host of external influences demand your presence, NOW, on the gerbil wheel of duty, responsibility, and obligation. As the days wear on and that thing keeps on churning, you can easily get stuck in the deep groove it makes; stranded on the edge of a depressing abyss where on the other side — and seemingly out of reach — are your creative commitment, personal goals, and artistic vision.

The good thing is about being stuck is that it’s not blocked; stuck is temporary, and even if part of you feels like it can’t go one more step, the other part of you can shimmy, pivot, and wriggle your way into freedom.

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artichoke_chicken_dish
Best o’ the Bitch, Recipes

5 Bitch’in 15 Minute Meals for Busy People

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This morning I woke up faced with a giant quandary: I didn’t have a kick ass idea for this week’s post, and also I needed to get started making dinner… lunch… and breakfast.

And then it hit me: what kind of a maniac makes dinner at the same time as breakfast and lunch? The answer is me… you… and all of us. After all, there are only so many precooked chickens one can eat before sprouting feathers, and ordering in adds up.

In the great buffet of life, capturing and cooking food is a heaping portion of angst served up daily on our collective and overflowing mental plates. Today we want things healthy but quick, easy but complex — and it all feels so oxymoronic… emphasis on moronic. And it explains why we’re all prone to have massive existential crises while in line at Trader Joe’s.

So what’s a bitch’in Betty Crocker to do?

First off, you fill your kitchen with cheap yet time-cutting tools:

– A mini- prep food processor (you can find ’em in cute colors for $40 or less)

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horomonal_jungle
Best o’ the Bitch, BIS Sez, Bitch’in Life

Surviving the Hormonal Jungle

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There is a savage beast raging through our home that’s at times as stealthy as a panther, other times as loud as a howling monkey, and always the elephant in the room.

While I’ve heard a zillion firsthand tales of how I have to brace myself for the onslaught of the teen years when the cords begin to be cut, the heartstrings torn and even broken, and the torrents of adolescent psychosis induced by the confluence of brain and body development become every day occurrences, I didn’t realize that my own physiology would be behind the worst of it.

“Your hormones are a jungle,” my homeopathic doc cautioned me recently. “A mess! So many estrogens!”

At the moment, I think her analogy is a wee bit off. “Jungle” sounds almost too tame. Lately I feel more like the rainforest — what was once lush, moist, and abundantly fertile is now being cleared for new construction. The mother-person that hormones built is going through a metamorphosis, and honey, it ain’t always pretty.

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Mommy Doms, all of us
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting

50 Shades of Say: What Women Really Want for Valentine’s Day

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There is a fantasy at the core of 50 Shades of Grey that is the sexiest part of the entire experience.

And no, it doesn’t take place in the “Red Room of Pain.”

Although if you remove the floggers, whips, and restraints (or not — I’m not judging here), the essence of what’s so appealing remains.

Domination.

And its corollary, submission.

Having a cool, assertive — dare I say arrogant — person telling you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how much to withhold and then release — hits our collective G-spots and is why 50 Shades of Grey, both the books and the movie, are so popular. (Well, that and the sex.)

We women make about 5,792 decisions a day that steer the course of not just ourselves, but also everyone around us. And for most of us, we are the Dom in every single relationship. I know in my household, nobody eats, goes anywhere, dresses, goes to bed, wakes up, or basically does anything without my participation and/or approval.

SNAP! (That’s the sound of the crack of my virtual whip.)

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