Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

I am grateful for paradise...and pineapples.


What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our Kids Are Growing Up: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

My son's friend, the boy he's been closest with since pre-school, is here for a sleepover.  We haven't seen much of him this summer.  He's been off at camp, taking tennis lessons, and visiting relatives on the East Coast, while my son's been watching tv, playing Wii, and eating everything in my pantry.

This boy is incredibly smart.  Way ahead of my son.  Way ahead of most kids his age.  But as far as maturity, he has always been true to his nine years. 

Since they were three, he and my son have enjoyed bouncing off my walls, eating all my food, and torturing my older daughter (the longstanding object of this boy's affection). 

My daughter had her own thoughts about him over the years but hers were easily reduced to one word:  pest.

But tonight was different.  A tectonic shift in the natural order of things.

The boy came into my house dressed in board shorts, ready to swim.  Bare chested, tanned, I noticed that he was...built.  Muscular.  Broad.  Thinking it was an illusion, I looked at my son standing next to him.  By comparison, my boy was pale, boyish, scrawny. 

Uncomfortable, I turned away and let my thoughts drift to other, more innocent things, like dark chocolate and Twitter.

But just when I thought it was safe, when the kids were screaming and squirting each other with water guns, I heard my daughter yell out to the boy, "Wow (his name), you're buff!"

The look on the boy's face was priceless, and, as a mother, all too frightening.  The object of his crush, rather than tossing him out of her room, was tossing him a compliment.   He was proud.  Pleased.  His chest pushed out a fraction of an inch further.

"What does everyone want for dinner?," I interjected.  I'd seen enough of the future for one day.

*photo courtesy of google images

Monday, August 17, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life Monday (eventually...)

"How are the Bat Mitzvah plans going?"  People ask when they hear it's less than two months away.


"So you've sent out your invites?  Bought your dress?  Ordered the flowers?"

"No, no, and, ummm,  no."

"Oh," they say pretending to be impressed while simultaneously creating space between you as if laziness is catching.  "You're so... calm," they add.  Where calm really means  HOLY SHIT WOMAN why are you sitting here talking to me when you should be home ordering yarmulkes with your daughter's name on them!

Needless to say, I spent this weekend stuffing, stamping, and addressing envelopes and I can already share with you a few of the errors of my procrastinating ways:

1.  DO order extra envelopes and DO NOT stamp them BEFORE you address them.  I apologize in advance to those guests whose beautiful envelopes arrive scarred with ugly cross outs, "N"s that look like they were once "M"s, and street addresses that say "Drive" instead of "Road".   I sure hope those last ones get to you :).

2.  DO have your entire guest list typed up and DON'T forget to include the addresses.  You don't want to be embarrassed (or drawn into another lengthy phone call with your lonely, great Aunt Sylvie) because you forgot to write the info down when you sent your "Save the dates".

3.  DO tally (DO NOT estimate) your guest list before you order your invites.  Almost is okay for horseshoes and hand grenades, but not when needing two more means you'll have to order 50 and wait another two weeks for delivery.

4.  DO NOT realize all this days before you leave for your tropical vacation when your calendar is already filled with day trips to amusement parks, Target runs, and double sessions with your Wii Fit trainer.

OY!   So much for calm.

"Hey," I can hear you saying, "it's Give Me The Gratitude - Monday, where's her f**king gratitude?"

And you're right (but you didn't have to get all bitchy about it.)
Here it is.  Jeez!

  • I am grateful for the season opener of Mad Men and the chance to watch Jon Hamm for another short, but very sweet, season.
  • I am grateful for the big, cushy lounge chair waiting for me on the big, cushy island of Hawaii.
  • I am grateful for the Wii Fit cause in the next few days that motha's gonna beat my abs into bikini-ready submission.
  • I am grateful for the cream-cheese frosted, triple-layer, berry cake from my favorite bakery, Huckleberry (which means spending more time with the Wii Fit but it was totally worth it.)

What are you grateful for today?

Friday, August 14, 2009

My New Design - You like?

I just wanted to call attention to my new design and thank Sam at Temptation Designs (see button below) for her gorgeous work.

I tried working with other designers but Sam got what I wanted immediately.
It took me so long to find the right person but once I did, the process was quick and easy.

Thank you, Sam. I LOVE my new site. Maybe the beauty of it will motivate me to write MORE.

I hope so.

Mommybloggers Get Trashed After Schuler Tragedy

The horror on the Taconic involving Diane Schuler, the drunk-driving mother responsible for the deaths of eight people, including her own, has turned into a media mutiny on moms who drink.  One journalist, Ada Calhoun, in her recent TIME article "Mommies Who Drink: No Joking After the Schuler Tragedy,"  states that mom blogs and sites whose titles reflect mothers who make light of needing the occasional drink, are now uncool and unfunny.  She infers even worse; that indirectly, these mothers who drink are responsible for these kinds of deaths.

My heart bleeds for the families and friends of all the victims.  In particular, I ache for the lone survivor of this emotional wreckage, Ms.Schuler's five year old son. But, in spite of my heartache, my blog title, merlotmom, and my sense of humor persist.
This does not make me a bad mother.
It does not make me a blogger with poor taste.
Nor, as Ms. Calhoun's Time article suggests... read the rest of the article here at LA Moms Blog

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Rabbi, A Son, and A Pocket God


From behind closed doors,  I listened to my daughter demurely sing as her tutor led her in the Hebrew prayers.  To my right, behind a glass case, stood three Torah scrolls.  Precious and worn, swathed in silk and suede, I stared at them.  Silent.  Curious.  

"Mom.  Mom.  MOM!" my son stood beside me, poking me out of my reverie.  "You said you'd update Pocket God for me."

Funny.  The God, the religion, that I longed to know better was of absolutely no interest to my son.  The only God he desired was electronic, palm-sized, and responded to his every button-pushing whim.

Minutes before, our Rabbi had explained to us that our role as the parents in the upcoming Bat Mitzvah ceremony would be to literally hand the Torah down to the next generation - to do our part to ensure the carrying on of the ancient Jewish stories and traditions that resided within the text of the sacred scrolls.

So, as the game was updating, I put down the phone and pointed out the Torahs to my son.  I explained to him, hoping to elicit an appreciation in our next generation of Jewish adults, how it took over a year to carefully, hand write each page of the Torah and how the scrolls were made from animal skins just like they had been over 3000 years ago.

"Yeah, yeah, great, Mom.  Is the app loaded yet?"

I'm not sure my son is who the Rabbi had in mind.

*photo courtesy of google images

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In My Day: Another of My Failing Attempts to Revise History

Back in the '80s, I interned in New York City for a well-known international advertising agency and one of the big three television networks.  My cohorts and I thought we were pretty cool.

We eagerly performed all of the lowly, degrading jobs these guys speak of and more.  During the day, we got coffees, lunch, and dry cleaning.  At night, we stayed late while drunk clients abused us and commented on the size of the girls' asses.  We hand-delivered letters to satellite offices in Hell's Kitchen, almost getting caught in the middle of a drug deal gone bad and seeing a pistol up close for the first time, because an a-hole executive "forgot" to mention it could go in an inter-office envelope.   (Okay, that just happened to me but it bore mentioning anyway.)

Unfortunately, in my day, we didn't have the rap, the palm-sized digital videocams, and the internet to prove how cool we were.

Hold on...wait...

On second thought,  I guess we did have Kurtis Blow and Grandmaster Flash.  We did have video cameras, though they were the size of a Smart Car,  and we did have the internet, though common use was limited to Computer Science majors and nerds with no life, bad complexions and over sized prescription eyeglasses.

Okay, forget it. Compared to these guys, we weren't hip.  We were losers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

I am grateful for television.
I am grateful for baths.
I am grateful for wine
      ....and my bed.

That is all...

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