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Girlfriends

Dearest Siri,

Now that we are BFFs, I just can’t tell you how much I love and admire you. You are so wise about so many things. I can ask you where to get sports bras at a discount. I mean, really. And I will never not know where the nearest Starbucks is. Whew.

We do need to talk, though. It’s about my husband. I think he is smitten, and I wish you would quit chatting with him so much. He doesn’t really need directions to anywhere—he was an Eagle Scout, for God’s sake, and he can read maps.

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An Open Letter to My Teenage Daughter

My dear moody teen,

You’ve been part of this family for nearly two decades, and I love you now every bit as much as I did when you were laid on my chest as a greasy, wrinkly newborn. While I’m not as blind now as I was then to your imperfections, I’m every bit as sure that you are truly wonderful. I know now what I could not have known then: you are an intelligent, talented, kind-hearted, wise soul with endless potential. You can be whatever—whoever—you want to be, and I want nothing quite as adamantly as I want you to be happy.

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Start ‘er Up

Dear husband,

We’ve been together a long time now, and after all these years, I’m happy to report that I’m still crazy about you. You’re my best friend, my favorite hanging buddy, and the man who makes this house my home. I respect and admire you now as always and love the father you are. And, much to my advantage, you’re a good lover, even a great one.

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Doing “It” the Man’s Way

My husband is a really smart guy.  Seriously, he can read about something in a book and understand how to do it himself, no instruction required.  I consider myself fortunate because this ability means he can fix things around our house that would be far more expensive to have done professionally.  Sometimes, though, this blessing is a curse.

No matter how simple the task, with hubby dear, it always becomes complicated. This weekend, as I was lugging both kids by myself to a home improvement store to buy some forgotten item for one of his projects, I thought about what it would be like if I cooked the way he does home projects. I think it would go something like this:

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PGSD

My kids have a bad case of PGSD:  Post-Grandparent Spoiled Disorder.  For those of you unfamiliar with PGSD, it is characterized by a dramatic increase in whining, pouting, and tantrums, a loss of ability to use words like “please” and “thank you” and ask nicely, and the expectation that every whim will be entertained instantly.

If your children are suffering from PGSD, you may notice that they express unusual dietary requests, like fruit snacks for breakfast or popcorn for dinner.  They may begin to whine if you don’t give them what they want within 2 nanoseconds.  PGSD can also infect a child’s toys, causing their rooms to be suddenly overwhelmed with new acquisitions, usually ones that make noises or have impractical, small parts or are completely age-inappropriate. In rare extreme cases, PGSD can involve live pets, ear piercing, or the inexplicable introduction of chewing gum to your two-year-old.  In older children, expect a considerable amount of heavy sighing.

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One Day

Wake up. It’s seven thirty. My God. Too early. Shut eyes and concentrate on sleep, dammit.

Nine. Ok, then. Stumble down the stairs. Make a bowl of nuts and seeds. Really, this paleo thing kind of stinks. Add blueberries and one drop of vanilla. No sugar, because PALEO. But pour on some heavy cream. Oh, yeah—paleo doesn’t always suck. Make a flat white. Carry it upstairs.

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Wear Pants While Visiting Rabbits

I’ve noticed lately that many books for children, especially those aimed at 3-6 year-olds, are a little light on creativity and a little heavy on messages. Perhaps it’s time and age, but I don’t remember the authors of yesteryear taking it upon themselves to cram as many life lessons into our bedtime reading as possible.  Sure, there were always morals and parallels that could be drawn, but as the reader we were allowed to use our imagination and sensibility to interpret as we might.

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Get It Together

You know those mothers who always look perfect?  They fix their hair and wear make-up every day, they only wear workout clothing if they are actually working out, and in general they just seem to have it together?  Yeah.  I am not one of those mothers.  I’m the other kind.

I’m the kind of mother who wears a velour tracksuit on a good day.  For me, putting on a pair of jeans counts as “dressing up.”  In fact, I’ve been known to take off my jeans when I get home and put on a pair of sweats or yoga pants because that way, my jeans don’t get dirty and I can wear them again the next time I leave the house (and despite the fact that I probably own 10 pairs of jeans, there are maybe 2 that actually fit).  I own make up, but I don’t wear it very often, and I’ve been known to go 6 months or more without a haircut.  I usually intend to at least blow-dry my hair on days when I get a shower, but about 80% of the time, I’m at school drop-off with wet hair.

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Who Says Oreos Aren’t for Breakfast?

We are only two days into summer, and already I can feel my standards slipping.  Bedtime has gone out the window, the Monkey has already watched two PG-13 movies that he’s NEVER been allowed to see before, and, most notably, we’ve eaten Oreos for breakfast.

Oreos.  For Breakfast.

Now, while I’m lax about a lot of things, I do try to maintain some healthy influence over my children’s eating habits.  But something about summer makes poor choices easier to justify.   I try to ease my guilty conscience with a little game I like to call “Find the Food Groups”.

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Dinner Party

I suppose that in Paris, if you are invited to someone’s home for dinner, it is really about the wine. Or maybe in New York City, it is about the sparkling conversation, or maybe the clothes the women are wearing. I guess in most cities, it is not really about the food.

I think this is wrong. I live in Ohio. The heart of the Midwest. Although if you look at a map, Ohio really ISN’T in the middle of the west, but I digress. We have dinner parties in Dayton. There are glamorous people hosting them. Not at my house, however. Another digression. What bothers me is the disingenuousness of all this. Because in my opinion, dinner parties should be about the dinner.

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