Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day Is Every Day: Stop Using Plastic

Earth Day may have been yesterday, but this video about the trash in our oceans, is equally shocking on any day.

I hope after watching this, you use NO MORE unrecyclable plastic (bisphenol A)  and you work harder to reduce, reuse, recycle your other garbage.  I  WILL.

This is truly astounding and tragic.

Toxic: Garbage Island (skip the ad)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

The last two weeks have sucked the big one for a myriad of reasons, some huge and significant, some small and merely bothersome.  But the thing about life is that each new day, each new week, is an opportunity for improvement.   At least that's how I'm choosing to look at it right now.

So let's focus on some gratitude!

  • I am grateful for a new week: one where I won't be wasting away in bed.
  • I am grateful each day my daughter peforms better in school.
  • I am grateful for the giggle I just had when my daughter fell in the pool fully clothed (while playing fetch with my dog).
  • I am grateful for the beautiful flowers blooming in my yard.
  • I am grateful for gouda cheese.

What are you grateful for this week?  Please share.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Maddie Spohr: Once A Heartbreaker, Always A Heartbreaker

I got my March for Maddie t-shirt in the mail today.
Now don't all get your panties in a bunch because you didn't even order yours yet...this is  NOT THE NEW ONE.
It's the first design.
I was such a quick trigger to buy the first one that now I'll be the lucky owner of two Maddie t-shirts.

As my son and his friend, two boys with a surplus of snark and sass,  played nearby, I checked out the purple tee.   I was wondering when I would wear it since most people will be Marching for Maddie in the other design and I've ordered that one, too.  My thoughts didn't even get as far as "I guess I'll sleep in it"  when my son passed by and asked, "Can I have it?"

"Sure," I answered, a bit puzzled.

He promptly took off his sports jersey and covered his chest with Maddie's radiant smile.

Running out the door he said to his friend, "This is the little girl I was telling you about."

"Wow, she was cute," his friend said.

My heart laughed and cried a little at the same time.

Can you feel the attitude from that face?  Yup, that's my boy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle: A Lesson To Us All

Susan Boyle is making headlines around the world the last two days.  
I am thrilled for her.
She deserves all the attention she is getting.
Because she is an incredible singing talent.
NOT because the rest of us are A**HOLES.
I mean, before that woman sang, everyone in the live audience and very likely in the audiences at home, rode the snarky Simon bandwagon.  People were caught on camera literally rolling their eyes at Susan when she said she dreamed of being a professional singer.  Even the judges, after she sang, stated bluntly that "everyone was against her" and "everyone had been laughing at her".
Who are we?  I teach my 8 year old everyday not to treat people like that and there are hundreds of adults out there doing it on television!  Great role models, NOT.
Thankfully, Susan seemed nonplussed by the judges statements as well as by the juvenile, middle-school snickering.  I don't know if she didn't care or was clueless but I'm not sure it matters.
What struck me as most impressive about Susan, besides her powerful singing ability, was that despite her less-than-glamorous appearance (I'm sure that will soon change thanks to stylists), and her self-admitted solitary life (she is unemployed, lives with her cats, and has never been kissed), she was confident and strong and couldn't give a crap what any of us "cooler" people thought about her.  She walked on that stage with courage and a belief in herself that transcended the rest of our petty bullshit.  She laid bare her vulnerabilities and her quirks (did you see her grind those hips?) for us to trample while simultaneously challenging us to not be "rocked" by her singing.
Well, Susan, we were rocked.  By your singing and by YOU. 
So, to those of us who judged her and actually had the bad form to make fun of her AND to those of us who have reason to be confident and brave but are too afraid to show it for fear of... well, for fear of, people like ourselves... take a lesson from Susan Boyle.   GET OUT THERE.
Here is Susan's performance on Britain's Got Talent.  (Unfortunately, YouTube will not permit embedding.)  Please click on the link.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Madeline Alice Spohr

Wishing I could be there today.
But it helps to know that so many friends ARE there and that those of us who can't be,  are there in spirit.
Much love to Heather and Mike, today and everyday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

After a week like this one, it's difficult, but all the more important to find a way to appreciate what we have in our lives.

Heather and Mike Spohr lost their beautiful girl, Maddie,  this week.  One look at her eyes and that smile and you could tell she was special.  Despite Maddie's short time here, and through the power of the internet, she lit up many lives, including my own.  It is evident in the plethora of photos out there how Heather and Mike packed every moment of the time they shared with Maddie with love and gratitude.  For that, I can be grateful in the midst of such a tragedy.

  1. I am grateful that my friends, Heather and Mike, got to have 17 beautiful months with their daughter, Maddie.
  2. I am grateful for the, I think, unprecedented outpouring of love and support from the internet community to help the Spohrs during this challenging time.
  3. I am grateful for the opportunity to STOP and take time to appreciate my own family and friends.
  4. I am grateful that I live in the same city, can attend the funeral, walk the MoD walk, and wear purple to show my love for Maddie and her family.
  5. I am grateful I became a blogger.

What are you grateful for this week?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In Honor Of Little Miss Maddie

I can't believe I am writing a post about the passing of this sweet, sweet little girl.  I cannot imagine the devastating heartache Heather and Mike must be feeling.  There is no sense to be made of this tragic event.

If you know or, PLEASE show your love and donate to either the March of Dimes or to the Paypal account set up for them and their upcoming expenses at

Donate.  Send your love.
Support someone in the March of Dimes walk in your area.
Hug your children.

It's the least we can do.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday (and much rambling)

Nothing like watching an Oprah episode with mom bloggers to make me remember, "Hey, I'm a mom blogger too!"  That is, I would be if I paid any attention to my dang mom blog.

Hey, Oprah, It's me.  Merlotmom.  I'm over here.

I'm a bad mom blogger.
I'm a bad mom.
I'm a bad wife.

You see, as much as these women were on the show to let us all know that in some ways "we all suck", that none of us are fairy-tale moms, that few of us are horny for our husbands, and that THAT IS ALL OKAY, just the fact that these women were on there, that they had published a book, or were starring on a tv show, or were making oodles of money with their blog (Hey, Dooce!), or just looked so damn pretty on tv!, MADE ME FEEL WORSE.

Why can't I focus on something long enough to be Oprah-worthy?  Why do I feel like I work so hard, am so tired all the time, but never actually succeed to the point where anyone else would notice?  

I seem to have developed adult-onset ADD.  I can't focus on anything long enough to make significant strides.   I dabble in my blog, I write fiction but I don't submit it for publication, I don't like lunching with the girls, and I am a fair-weather FaceBooker and Twitterer.  Aaargh.

I don't usually watch Oprah during the day cuz I don't have time but it's spring break and I was supposed to be watching the kids swimming in the pool, but I got caught up in Oprah instead cuz she was talking to my people, and see, I do suck as a mom cuz someone could have drowned while I had my feet up, munched on sugar snap peas (lunch) and listened to my mommy peers, dammit! 

But the episode did give me a swift kick in the ass, so here I am, merlotmom, fickle mom blogger, writer of run-on sentences extraordinaire, danger to everyone's children,  to present some KICK ASS GRATITUDE FOR THIS WEEK.  (did you see that coming??)

  1. I am grateful that my husband is having surgery on Thursday and that he is traveling for business right after so that I don't have to play nursemaid for long.  (Suck it judge and juries, I said I was a bad wife,  sheesh!)
  2. I am grateful that it is Spring Break and the weather is nice and I don't have to carpool anyone anywhere.
  3. I am grateful there's no homework for a week.  Yeah!
  4. I am grateful someone else is doing Passover Seder. (Except for the soup cuz no one beats my soup.)
  5. I am grateful for our trip to Disneyland tomorrow cuz we're going with a friend who got us all VIP passes and there will be no long-ass waiting in lines for us.  Yeah, baby!
What are you grateful for this week?
Or how bad do you suck?
Whichever floats to the top my friends...

(and no, I am not drinking in the afternoon, not yet, anyway...)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm Not Dead...I'm Just Dodging Curveballs

I just thought I'd stop by MY OWN BLOG to tell everyone I'm still alive.

The last few weeks have been 1) surprising 2) a bit alarming 3) a huge, distracting pain in my ass.

I'm having teenager and school issues. My "A" student was failing all her core classes. It was a shock to my system, indeed, and I went through the "I am a horrible mom for not having seen this" and "how could my baby lie to me with such a straight-face?" phase. Now, I am taking action. I am the homework police and literally sitting on my daughter to make sure she does her work, puts it in her bookbag, and HANDS IT TO HER FREAKING TEACHERS. I email each of them every few days to confirm. So far, in a few short weeks, she's gone from risking repeating 7th grade to a 3.4GPA. WTF!!!!

This on top of already sitting on my third grader to finish his homework before running out to play basketball, stuffing his face with cookies to keep him from whining and crying, and yelling at the dogs to keep them from barking because they, too, want to go out and play.

This on top of my "I refuse to believe I've hit middle-age" husband who continues to do karate despite already tearing a bicep 7 years ago, who went out last weekend and tore HIS OTHER BICEP leading us to the ER and the hospital next week for surgery and 6 weeks of immobilizing and painful post-op.

This while we've been attempting to spring clean and spruce up our house for our daughter's upcoming Bat Mitzvah. (Apparently, now the heavy lifting is all MINE).

And you know, I could be the sensitive, doting, wife (but when have I ever been, really).
Instead, I am pissed...and you know why????, No??? I'll tell you... Because even after tearing both his bicep tendons, muscles, whatever, (not to mention countless other back and other large muscle injuries over the years), HE IS STILL GOING TO GO BACK TO KARATE WHEN HE'S HEALED... TO GET HIS BLACK BELT!


I say if he wants sensitivity, here's what he should do:
1) Send me to Hawaii
2) Call rent-a-wife.

"Oh, poor baby".

Nice talking to y'all. Hope to be back soon!

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