Holi – Craze

It has been a day full of whining and crying at my house.

I’ve felt exasperated. Not sure if it’s due to his asthma or what, but I think my husband nailed it on the head. Halloween is freaking my 3 1/2 year-old out.

We have a 2 year-old as well and for a week she’s been saying, “I want Halloween.” I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what it is but it’s big and looming in her mind as well as my 3 year-old’s mind.

When my oldest was in pre-school, he went to a school that didn’t celebrate holidays. It was very low key that way. If the kids started talking about how they were noticing pumpkins the school might walk the kids over to Trader Joe’s and buy some pumpkins.

My husband and I have no family in LA so our holidays are very quiet and I like them that way. The first Christmas we bought our child nothing. Call us assholes but it was quite nice and easy. He does have two sets of very doting grandparents who love to give presents BTW.

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But slowly, by adding a few more kids and really trying to incorporate Chanukah and Christmas traditions onto our family, the stress of buying presents and trying to avoid holiday stress has become, stressful.

 

I’m determined to not let this happen again this year.

My husband and I just came up with a game plan this Monday.

Since Chanukah and Thanksgiving overlap we will just give presents on the first and last night. The grandparents can give a gift on the first night and us the last night. We might go camping. The end.

For Christmas, one present each. Maybe two but that’s it, again, the end. Think we’ll go on a hike that day as well.

“Where are all your decorations?” My mom has asked before.

Putting them up stressed me out, taking them down is just more work.

I put up a tree, a menorah and some artwork from the kids and that’s about it. I don’t think that the more decorations one puts up equates a better chance of getting into heaven.

When I was younger I loved the holidays because we had larger family get-togethers. You could divide and conquer. I’d play with my cousins, the women would cook and I don’t know what the men did but it was great.

I have learned though to stop beating myself up because I do not have a traditional holiday. It might be 75 on Christmas, there will be no snow, more then likely. We don’t have family around.

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So instead I’m just going to make it our own and call up some friends who might also be having un-traditional holidays and invite them to meet in a park for some shared egg nog.

I’m not sure.

I’m not going to make too many plans, put up too many decorations or buy too many presents.

Maybe I’m a scrooge.

But what I really want is a more peaceful me and a more peaceful home.

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The Documentary “Lost In Living”

Thanks to Kim Tracy Prince, I found out about a documentary called “Lost in Living.”

Behind the domestic curtain of motherhood, where the creative impulse can flourish or languish, are four women determined to make a go of it. Filmed over seven years, Lost In Living, confronts the contradictions inherent in personal ambition and self-sacrifice, female friendship and mental isolation, big projects and dirty dishes. The complex realities of family life unfold in this documentary film about the messy intersection of motherhood and artistic expression.

That speaks right to this mama.

Expressing Motherhood was founded on my own struggle and Jessica’s to be creative again. Even if it was in limited amounts.

 

I felt like I could not be a real artist because I was a mom. I now think that’s ridiculous obviously.

This is what director Mary Trunk writes on her website about the film:

I wanted to find women who were involved in creative work that was integral to who they are in the world, who in essence could not live without making art.

I want to have lunch with this lady.

At any rate, looking forward to seeing it.

Feedback on Our New Maternity Shirts

I asked a woman I know to be honest with me about the fit of our new maternity shirts, this is what she had to say:

I love the shirt, I think it is so comfy I honestly wish I could wear it all the time. The fabric is great and it looks good with leggings! Thanks so much again!

All of our shirts and mugs will be 20% off next Monday, November 4-8th.

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Escape To L.A.

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We stayed at The Omni Hotel

My husband and I rarely get breaks…unless they come in the form of an Expressing Motherhood show or personal illness.

His parents were in town recently so we decided to get away for the night.

It. Was. Awesome.

And by awesome, I mean, I could have stayed an extra night or 6.

 

We don’t do this enough. Life is so busy (by my own hand, granted) and we rarely get to spend time alone without the kids.

We didn’t go far…just about 10 minutes down the 5 freeway to a little place called Downtown L.A. We took his parents out to the Disney Concert Hall for a pipe organ concert his father wanted to see…and then we went our separate ways.

They went home, my sister in law stayed at our house and got the kids off to school in the morning and Don and I had a night away!

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My Husband…sittin’ next to Charlie Chaplin

I had the best time! We explored LA on Columbus Day…no one was working. It was nice and quiet and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Love the time with the spouse without the three ducklings.

 

 

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ExMo Challenge – Seriously This Time

ExMo alum Shannon Noel and I were supposed to start another round of the ExMo Challenge last Monday but somewhere between Palm Spring and LA that got lost….

So, we begin this Monday.

If you are interested in making some healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days or 30 weeks(gulp, go Shannon) feel free to join us. We are unprofessionals but real moms struggling with work, kids, tendencies towards indulging and we will help inspire you(?) or at least we can be in it together. We did this last July and we both went 30 days and fulfilled our goals.

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Totally typical scene in Hollywood. I was like 4 months pregnant here. That’s how big I got during each pregnancy. Not joking.

Unique Vintage Is Having A Fantabulous Halloween Party Today!

img_5110-1Lindsay and I love Unique Vintage.

A year ago in Burbank, UV dressed us for our “Ladies Night Out” opening and gave away a $100 gift certificate to their store on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank.

Today, at their Burbank store, they are hosting a day long Halloween celebration from 10am-6pm. They’ll have a food truck, swing dancers, a sneak peek at their newest collection of the UV line and 20% off the entire store!

 

If you are in the SoCal area, this store is a must in Burbank…especially today!

postcard-5inx7in-h-frontClick on the image above to enlarge details…..And don’t forget, you can shop online with UV at http://www.unique-vintage.com/

Follow Up With Chicago Performer Jayme Miller

Jayme Miller is an Illinois mom who recently performed in our first ever, Chicago show. She was actually the first submission I received and she had me laughing out loud. She had never performed before and I said Jayme, you are a natural, you even blocked yourself so well. What does that mean she asked me. She really did a fantastic job and how brave to do this, having never done it before.
1. What was it like participating in Expressing Motherhood?
Since this was my first time on stage since high school musicals and dance recitals, the experience was a bit scary for me… at first. The cast became like a sorority of misfits to laugh and cry with at rehearsals and backstage! Once I got through “opening night,” I felt like my story had an impact and that’s all that mattered. Audience members were complimentary and caught up in the stories. I was proud of my role in the show.
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What surprised you about being in the show?
I loved the connection and immediate bonding. We all came from such different backgrounds and our stories were so diverse. It was interesting at how we connected through each others’ stories. It is like a very complex spider web, where our lives all cross in so many different directions but are united together.
2. Had you ever performed before?
I had never performed in an ExMo show, but I would love to try it again!!
3. What projects do you have on the immediate horizon?
I am hosting a viewing party for all my friends and family who could not make it to the show in Chicago! I feel like I got a little theatrical itch that I may need to scratch… there are some local theater groups that I may take a chance with! I also plan to keep teaching elementary school and try to come up with a miraculous way to organize the closets of my four children in my spare time!
4. In regards to your piece, what kind of questions were you asked by people?
My piece was some of the laugh out loud moment in my pregnancies that were a little “UNEXPECTED”! Since I explained these moments in GREAT detail, I didn’t have many follow up questions;)
How did your friends respond?
My friends and family were amazing support! They laughed, they cried, they complimented every bit of the show! I really can’t explain how grateful I am at their love and friendship throughout this experience. We also had a great time talking and laughing after the shows! What a great excuse for Girls Night Out!!
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Expressing Motherhood gave me the opportunity to laugh at myself. It made me proud of my role as a mom, with all my flaws included. We all have a very difficult job to do, and this show, the cast and directors, my family and friends and the strangers in the audience… all reminded me that you can not do it alone. Being a mom requires a whole lot of other people in the world to help get the job done right! So thank you, for helping me to be better at being me!

S P A C E in the S U B U R B S.

Look at this closet space!

I would tell every friend who had made the 20 minute drive from “the city” to come see us in the, gulp, suburbs (I choke mentally when I say that word.)

Oh my God, was more or less their response and then I’d see the wheels clacking in their brain. I could have this. I could have these closets. I could have all of this space. If I just moved out of the tightly packed, very child-unfriendly houses into, da burbs.

My old house wasn’t small but it had no closets. Literally my two boys shared a room and they didn’t have a closet. By the end of us living there the baby and I were in my bedroom, the two boys were in a tiny room and my husband was 2 stories down. That sounds pretty good, some of you are saying.

And I am by no means, comparing this to any real problem. It was pretty good. It was actually great but it’s taking me moving out to a “quiet”  “family-friendly” neighborhood to realize this.

I like people and think people are nice where ever you go. People can also be tricky, insecure and insincere wherever you go as well. This is not a post about people.

It’s about space.

Leaving my home, a glorified bachelor pad, that became something we kept together with tape, it felt like, once we added 3 kids and a huge dog.

We lived in the city.

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We had a lot of crazy stuff go down in our neighborhood. We lived in a beautiful neighborhood, filled with eclectic people. We also had weirdos who would knock on our door and tell us they were from Highland Avenue and wanted to introduce themselves to us. (That’s a street about a mile away) Meaning they were not really neighbors. I will tell you those stories over cocktails and dinner, they are juicy and good.

Helicopters would often hover over us and drive me crazy. People came to party in our neighborhood, a lot. I wanted to yell at them, this is a neighborhood guys. And they should or could have yelled back, it’s the Hollywood Hills geezer. Sex, drugs and rock and roll are the foundation.

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As much as the noise and crazy situations would get to me I deeply enjoyed it.

 I loved hearing my neighbors squeaky garage door open. I enjoyed looking out the window at 3AM and seeing my neighbors light on, as he is a writer and loves the night. I of course loved my view.

 

I liked being on top of people, yet I also felt like I was going nuts sometimes from being on top of people.

We all began to know each other. We didn’t have big yards so we’d often take walk on the sidewalks and those of us with kids clung to each other tightly, oh you’ve got a baby, yes, great, playdate, it’s on.

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I did hate not having family friendly bathrooms or ease of taking my kids out to dinner.

I hated having them sit in traffic.

I hated that one who was a good sleeper would wake the other one.

So we moved.

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Now I have a lot of room.

We don’t hear anyone. And it’s dark as shit.

I now have a lot of space and privacy yet I’m missing knowing the ins and outs you learn when you live on a street where people are out and about walking, talking, yes and gossiping.

There are lots of cool, smart, nice women in my new hood who have been more then welcoming and they too complain that our neighborhood could be improved if it were more walkable.

I get it.

There’s a trade off.

My life is easier now.

B………..U………….T

I kind of miss the crazy and I’m sort of lonely.

Please don’t stalk me, I’m not asking for that. And trust me I feel guilty complaining, my poor husband.

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We spend most of our time playing in our new driveway. With no sidewalks & people driving 40 in our neighborhood it’s a safe place for the kids to ride their bikes. It’s eery that there are almost no kids playing or riding bikes in the neighborhood.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to admire my closet space.

 

Our Opening Night Sponsor, Club MomMe, Is Hosting A Fun Fall Fest November 3rd!

Club MomMe LogoWe are so excited to share with you that Club MomMe will be sponsoring our opening night out on February 7th, 2014!

Club MomMe is the social events community for moms, expectant parents and families in LA, Chicago, Houston, Denver and Orange County!

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Club MomMe Event With Jill Smokler

They will be hosting their first ever “Fall Fest” on November 3rd…you can see all the details below. Expressing Motherhood has attended several Club MomMe events around Los Angeles, including speaking on a panel with Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy.

We are excited to be working with the fabulous team here in LA and encourage you to get your tickets fast when the go on sale! This night will fill up, that’s for sure.

 

 

 

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Club MomMe will hold its FIRST-EVER “FALL FEST” powered by Honda on NOVEMBER 3, 2013
11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Bel Air Bay Club, 16801 E Pacific Coast Hwy,
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

On top of the amazing panels with fantabulous guest speakers, there will be an activity zone featuring local family resources, a dance party area, a wellness zone with cooking demonstrations, and a pamper zone with various treatments. All attendees will have the opportunity to socialize, enjoy refreshments and connect with participating brands as well as leave with a gift bag.

MORE INFO and TICKETS: http://clubmommefamilyfest.com/