Posted in Good Things

Saturday morning cartoons

I miss waking up Saturday mornings with a bowl of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch and orange juice in my McDonald’s Hamburglar glass to watch cartoons.  Smurfs was my favorite but I also loved Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and the Snorks.  Curls and Red will never know the delayed gratification of waiting all week to watch these 15 minute long shows before being pushed out the door by their parents to play until the street lights came on.  Now it’s Musical.ly, YouTube, and at least a tablet or videogame console to occupy their time.

I for one would still like something to look forward to at the end of a long week of working, running my kids all around town, and just handling STUFF.  We all need a little happy so I compiled a list of clips that either made me laugh, cry, or both.  Enjoy and have that extra donut with your coffee or tea.  I won’t tell anyone.

Celeste Barber: I just recently discovered this unabashedly funny Australian comedian who spoofs celebrities.  She has a following of 4.7 million on Instagram for a reason and her recent collaboration with Tom Ford had me dying:

You can find her here on Instagram along with more footage of her with Tom.

John and Hank Green: I will love the Vlogbrothers until the end of time.  And what John did for Hank’s book release had me in tears:

Billy on the Street: Billy Eichner started the new season of his loud and energetic show on Youtube.  Him running down the streets of New York with celebrities while screaming at passerbys always makes me cringe and laugh.  The first episode is with Emma Stone but I have also attached one with Paul Rudd (who wouldn’t want to sleep with him??) and Keegan-Michael Key:

Mary Halsey and Missy Elliott: If you haven’t seen the clip of Mary Halsey covering Missy Elliott’s “Work It”, you can find it here.  Then you can watch this clip of Missy surprising her on Ellen.  The anticipation of watching Mary performing knowing that Missy is about to come out on stage made me feel like a kid waiting for her presents on Christmas morning.

Posted in Good Things, Wellness

Bringing the 60s back

Y’ALL. I checked my beloved weather app this week and it could get as low as 61 degrees at night. I am savoring that chill. I am imagining the fireplaces being used all around town because any weather below 65 degrees makes us Californians bust out the scarves and hats. I need my denim jacket at night and it is GLORIOUS. It makes me dream about my fall wardrobe which led me to scouring my go to websites Target and Gap and even checking out others (Eshakti). Hubby and I have three scheduled dates for fall and I need new outfits, right?

Foster the People concert

Since we like to do stuff as opposed to buying stuff, this concert is to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. Hubby would probably think something is wrong if I wore a dress and heels so jeans and a tank it is:

ff74f946-602b-4dd1-bfbf-21395f75d21d

Universal Thread Tank 

Gap Grey Girlfriend Jeans 

Silver Metallic Hi Top Chucks 

Pacifica Firebird Lipstick 

Baublebar Silver hoops 

Horror Made Here

This year we are braving the studio lot at Warner Bros for their horror event. I will be counted on to do lots of screaming and running so again comfort is key:

 

e5236316-0656-4cae-9ba6-a053a7ffed72

Nightmare before Christmas T

Gap Cords (my top fall go to) 

I am dying over these penny loafers 

There is no more back to school for me (can I get an AMEN?) but I still need this backpack

Dear Evan Hansen

In November we will be going to see the musical Dear Evan Hansen in Los Angeles. As I type this I am trying to contain my excitement because it is SO FAR AWAY. While I wait I will have the cast recording on repeat and purchasing my theater (say that in a snotty tone to get the real effect) wardrobe:

9914f07b-e09e-46f1-9bfe-e371326c7bfa

Have you heard of Eshakti? I was clued into this website by a brilliant group of women and all I can say is dresses with pockets (It also gives me that Marvelous Mrs. Maisel feel, which is my new favorite show if only for the droolworthy costumes but also because it is hilarious)

T Straps 

Baublebar Crawler earrings to make feel a little punk rock 

Gold Clutch

And just because I have a thing for overalls and stripes:

92ab208c-6121-4000-8b5d-ba974897d77f

Universal Thread Charcoal overalls 

Gap long sleeve stripe crewneck 

Gap grey ankle boots 

Are you excited for sweaters, jeans, and boots? Is it cold where you live yet? Tell me so I can live vicariously through you!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Wellness, Word Therapy

You are not alone

The first time I tried I was in my teens. The second I was a mom to two babies. I had lost all hope and I couldn’t see life getting any better. Everything that could go wrong did. I tried to lock myself in the bathroom with a mouthful of pills. I was stopped by the person who loves me the most. I was told to look at my children. I was asked if I really wanted to do this. He called family, telling them he didn’t know what to do. I spit the pills in the toilet. Things did eventually get better. I was lucky.

Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and countless others that we don’t know but don’t make them any less important. They took their own lives, no matter how happy they looked to us. “Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide, and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts.”-NAMI

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. If you read or watch the news you know mental health is a hot topic. Finding help and getting the coverage for it is stigmatized. Speaking about it makes people uncomfortable. But we have all felt despair at times in our lives. Imagine feeling so hopeless that leaving this Earth feels like your only option? Here are some stats from NAMI that alarmed me as the mother of two kids with their teenage years around the corner:

  • 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 live with a mental condition
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24
  • 37 % of students with a mental health condition at age 14 and older drop out of school

Follow this to know what the 10 common warning signs are.

As much as I talk about anything and everything, I don’t like to talk about how I got to a place where I tried to end my life. Depression has definitely affected me my whole life but I never thought during those two times that it would lead to making that decision. It came on suddenly with such an overwhelming feeling of desperation. I wanted to do something drastic so I didn’t have to feel what I was feeling anymore. I am grateful every day that I failed. With my medicine, writing, and exercise, I can now identify when I am feeling bad and why. I can see things with perspective. I know I am strong enough to handle whatever is thrown at me. I didn’t before. Back then I felt all alone in the world. But I wasn’t then and I’m not now. None of us are. And if you don’t feel that you can reach out to friends or family, here are some places that you can:

NAMI

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Trevor Project

You are loved.

Posted in The Happy

Tire Swing

We drive over the gravel as the rocks and dirt kick up behind the car. We pull alongside a minivan and turn off the ignition. The kids hop out of the car before we can say, “Wait!” We hold hands as we head pass the little shack on the left with the organic honey and knick knacks to buy. I blink to get the dirt out of my eyes as the spores attack from every angle. We head up to the right towards a makeshift square made up of bales of hay with a Peanuts flag waving from the top. We stop at the tree right before and see the kids waiting to be pushed on the tire swings. The tree branches hang over to give shelter from the dark sky and full moon, the only real light. The kids laugh and scream as they fly through the air on the tire that used to be too high for them and now they drag their feet when they come back towards the tree. I breathe in the air, thinking I can smell the baby Christmas trees that will be for sale in less than eight weeks. When the kids have been given equal time on the tires with the promise that we will come back for one more push before we leave, we head over to the pumpkin patch. Twinkling lights light the way as we check out the orange and white pumpkins that have been picked up, put down, dropped, and deposited in one of the wheelbarrows scattered throughout. Once we decide on a couple, their dad goes to have them weighed while I take the kids on a hay ride. We cough and sneeze but still laugh as we circle the farm in the darkness.

Scarlet Tire Swing

Ever since we moved back to the OC last year, I have been trying to make the kids as comfortable as possible and help them realize that making them leave everything they knew was a good thing. Taking them to new places, encouraging them to find new friends, and hopefully establishing new traditions. We have been taking the kids to multiple pumpkin patches since they were babies. But their favorite was Wickerd Farm. It has all the caveats that other pumpkin patches have plus the beloved tire swing. So I am making a list of places to take the kids this fall so we can make some new memories.

Wesley Tire Swing

OC Children’s Book Festival

Curls loves her books and what better way to encourage that with a book festival geared specifically towards her and her brother. On 9/30 they will have 125+ authors and illustrators plus book sellers and other vendors.

Annual Sandcastle Contest

Since we are lucky enough to live close to the beach and the weather will continue to be warm until November, the Corona Del Mar sandcastle contest on 10/7 will be fun to check out.

Disneyland’s Halloween Party/Knott’s Spooky Farm

The Disneyland Halloween party is an event we have been going to for years. The kids love wearing their costumes, seeing others dressed up, trick or treating throughout the park, and riding Haunted Mansion decked out a la Nightmare before Christmas. They close the park in the early evening to regular guests which helps with the crowds and also put on a fireworks show narrated by Jack Skellington with Disney villains making an appearance. Knott’s Spooky Farm is not as done to the nines as Disneyland but seeing the Peanuts gang in costume is fun.

Irvine Park Railroad

Irvine Park Railroad has paddle boats, a train, a hiking trail, and a pumpkin patch during the fall. They even do a weigh in for large pumpkins. Now we just need to find out if they have a tire swing….

Do you go to a pumpkin patch before Halloween? Or do you buy your pumpkins from the store?

Tire Swing

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

Cinespia

On Saturday August 25th, the family and I headed up to Los Angeles for a day of fun. My long suffering husband rode shotgun as I drove us to the Skirball Cultural Center, Sparrow Mart, and finally, Cinespia. We covered a lot of the freeway system and would you believe that my hands still hurt from gripping the steering wheel (road rage side effect)? We had some struggles throughout the day with the traffic, missing Sparrow Mart, and just becoming hangry. But we also experienced Jim Henson’s world and checked off an essential LA event, Cinespia. It almost felt like a last hurrah for summer before we gear up for Fall.

Skirball:

img_2034

Stood in line for about 20 minutes just to buy tickets and then another 45 minutes to get into the exhibit

img_2036

A reminder for anyone who needs it

img_2043

Kermie welcoming us in

img_2064

Fun fact: I dated a guy in high school who looked just like Beaker. I will always love Beaker.

img_2067

The Dark Crystal: creeping me out while also making me love them since 1982

img_2080

 Forever in my heart

If you aren’t aware of Kehinde Wiley, you should be

img_2092

Reality Check at Skirball: Red threw a fit, rolled his eyes, and kept saying “I’m bored.” Red and Curls wouldn’t stop fighting and irritated me so much that I snapped at one of the employees when she wanted to only give us one program (which I apologized for after I calmed down).

After Skirball we drove back down the 405 to Sparrow Mart, an art installation at The Standard Hotel in Downtown LA. The artist created the inside of a grocery store from the 1980s and everything was made from felt.

We got there before they closed but were told after standing in line for 10 minutes that the last person to get in would be the woman who was in front of us. I wasn’t surprised and understood since it was the last day but it was handled poorly by the employee. Curls was crushed as all she wanted was a baby brussel sprout but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

We picked up Shake Shack before heading over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to watch the Tom Hanks’ film Big. I have wanted to attend Cinespia for years. When I got the email for the 30th anniversary screening of Big I jumped at the chance. And it did not disappoint:

img_2095

img_2099

The rainbow and palm trees just fill my heart up

img_2102

img_2105

Finding his best light

Now bring on the pumpkins, the Nightmare before Christmas soundtrack, and all the scary movies!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Not Today Anxiety

No Filter

Ever since I started becoming more accepting of myself on the inside (thanks Prozac), I have started to look at my outside differently. I have come to the conclusion that I am tired of trying to keep up with society’s standards of how I look.

Image result for hannah gadsby i identify as tired

In elementary school you wear what brings you comfort with sneakers, t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, and pants. You don’t care if you get grass stains on them, you just want to play. A good comb through of the hair and a brush of the teeth and you’re good to go. As you hit your tweens, glasses and braces accompany the acne. Your friends start to shave their legs and you wonder if you should too. Your mom takes you bra shopping and you are mortified. All you really want is to look like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles.

In junior high your hair isn’t straight/curly/long/short/perfect enough and you use way too much hairspray to try and get it right (it never is). You get contacts to replace the glasses but the braces won’t come off for another 2 years. Your chest grows as much as it’s going to and you realize that in the land of big boobs you aren’t even a contestant in the competition.

High school comes and your hair is finally the way you want it but it doesn’t matter because you just don’t look the “right” way. Your twenties is about experimenting and you start coloring your hair, wearing makeup, and getting piercings. Tanning beds, going to the beach, and laying out gives you a glow that makes your unacceptable pale skin acceptable. At least you can still eat what you want.

You get married in your 30s and a month later become pregnant. Two years later you become pregnant again. You bounce back within a month with both kids and go back to working out but that lower stomach fat is here to stay.

Your 43rd birthday brings shorts that are too tight. All your clothes make you hot. You accept that you aren’t going to be as small as you were in your twenties and that going up a size isn’t the end of the world. Pilates, jogging, biking, weight lifting, and yoga give you strength and health. You see yourself being active to the day you die and that will always be the motivation. Big hats, as much as you don’t want to wear them, are a necessity. You bring bangs back to cover up those forehead lines but decide to join the Grombre movement because your hair color no longer defines you. Green and cruelty free is your motto with skincare and makeup. The less chemicals on your person, the better. Fashion will always be fun but you feel yourself moving closer and closer to Julia Louis Dreyfus’s character in Enough Said as your aesthetic:

Natural hair, casual but stylish, minimal makeup-she is a goddess

You’ve always presented yourself the way you want but now you have confidence in your decisions and that is freeing. And even though magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue are becoming more inclusive, there is still Facebook and Instagram. Social media is the new magazine with the airbrushed model on the unrealistic cover. It’s a standard that is impossible to live up to. You know that. But your brain still insists on telling you that you are less than. And rather than give up scrolling, you start telling yourself that you are good enough and that you don’t need no stinkin’ filters to present who you are to the world.

Posted in Not Today Anxiety

Sleepover Mania

Since Curls and Red have birthdays five days apart, this year we did back to back sleepovers the first weekend after school started. Our friends told us we were crazy. They weren’t wrong. But we were crazy armed with our medicine. And that made all the difference.

Before Prozac, just one kid sleeping over would make me anxious. A series of questions would run through my brain. How do I tell a kid the rules in our house without upsetting them? Will they tell their parents and then an angry parent will call and yell at me? When is it okay to tell them to go to bed? Should I just let the kids stay up and resign myself to a night of no sleep? Anxiety doesn’t just attack my social skills. It also tells me that I am uptight because I can’t stop cleaning while the party is going on. Just leave the damn food, plates, and anything else alone because people are having a good time. Don’t make them feel bad for enjoying themselves while you pick up.

Now that I am taking my Prozac, I am equipped to handle them. This past weekend’s sleepovers consisted of 4 kids staying each night, not including Curls and Red. But instead of my subconscious bullying me, I was able to enjoy their personalities (funny, polite, and sweet) and let them do their own thing. I let them know when they needed to wash their hands before meals and dessert, throw away their own trash, and keep food and drinks in the kitchen. I also made it clear that if they needed anything at all, to just let us know. They were there to have fun and we wanted to make sure they were comfortable in our home. I also didn’t stress about what time they went to bed as long as they played quietly past 10 pm so the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops (let them save that ruckus for their twenties and college).

If I started to feel my body hum with nerves, I would throw away used paper plates and napkins. I would wipe down counters, put shoes by the door, pick up stinky socks, and wipe down bathrooms. Cleaning calms my brain and centers me and I need all the tools in my brain arsenal that I can get.

Were back to back sleepovers still tiring and difficult? Hell yes. But hubby and I teamed up, planned well, and tried to have humor and patience. I hope the kids remember the party as a great time and not crabby parents asking at 2 am to keep it down.

If you’re a parent, do you do sleepovers? Do you love or hate them? My BFF does sleepovers pretty much every weekend for my niece and nephews and I would like to nominate her for sainthood.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in The Happy, Word Therapy

Leo

A lion is known for being powerful, courageous, and fierce. They have strong personalities, are very social, and live in groups. The male lions are filled with vitality and affection and protect members of their pride. As you turn nine, you are all these things. You are the lion of our family.

img_9363

When you started a new school this year, we never worried about you making friends or adjusting. You showed strength and courage and now have a group of friends you can be silly with and even took an after school comedy improv class (which you loved). You will talk to pretty much anybody once you are comfortable in your surroundings. Your strong personality means everybody knows who you are from teachers to parents to kids. If somebody is in your circle, you will make sure that person knows they are loved. Hugs and arms slung around shoulders for your friends and kisses for mom, dad, and puppies. And you will stand up and protect friends and family without even thinking about it.

img_0884

Your new favorite video game is Undertale and you haven’t even played it yet (but Fortnite is a close second). Tacos are still life but you have made room for bean and cheese burritos. You were brave and tried jalapenos in Seattle this summer and it didn’t end well for you (don’t worry, you will laugh about it when you’re older).

img_1871

At 9 years old you are the most energetic person we love. But when it’s time for bed during the week you obediently turn on your Legend of Zelda meditation on YouTube, pull down your bed, lay on your back, close your eyes, and are asleep within five minutes. You do chores for the most part without having to be asked more than once. You still want to be a video game maker but could just as easily be center stage hamming it up.

img_1715

You are a ferocious lion that loves his video games, tacos (with a side of bean and cheese burritos), and his friends. You have a heart of gold. Happy birthday Red. We love you.

Posted in The Happy

Dope

You are 11 today and you will be receiving your letter from Hogwarts, even though anybody who knows you already sees you as magical. You like to draw characters from the books you read while listening to Panic! At the Disco. You take BuzzFeed quizzes all day and LD Shadow Lady, Thomas Sanders, and Percy Jackson are on your rotation on YouTube.

img_0166

Your favorite is still mac and cheese, especially Red Robin. When we went and got ice cream at Thrifty’s after we saw Eighth Grade, you informed me mint chip is the best. You are at the beginning of figuring out your way in life, even if you remain tight lipped about it (which is normal but drives your mother crazy).

img_0373

You are starting to embrace your womanhood with your love of cheese and bread. You also announced that you wanted a a cat and said hairless would be fine when we told you Mom and Dad are allergic.Things that you are impressed by are dope or legit and will playfully tell me to “get wrecked.” I can see hints of the teenager you will become when you lose your temper or I do anything that will embarrass you in public.

img_7453

I tell anyone that will listen how smart you are. But when your dad called you a social justice warrior recently I realized how right he was. When you see something on the news or social media that you know is not right, you get angry. You hate to see people being mistreated and have no problem vocalizing that. You aren’t leading protests or standing up for the rights of others just yet but I see that in your future. Being a good person is who you are. Don’t ever forget that.

img_1154

We have thrown a lot of change at you your 10th year and you have handled it well. We are proud of our smart, funny, and strong girl. You are dope af.

Happy birthday Curls. We love you.

Posted in California Livin', Good Things, Not Today Anxiety, The Happy, The OC, Word Therapy

Summer Recap

On Monday, August 13, 2018, I will have a fourth and sixth grader. Summer will continue to make us sweat buckets, visit Soak City, and eat all the ice cream. But our Summer Bucket List has been completed and there were many lessons learned during #WilsonSummer2018. Curls and Red started summer camp for the first time this year and it is the GREATEST. A side lesson from that is I now know that it is practically impossible to write when the kids are home (for me at least-props to writers that can do that!). And I will never ever regret doing anything and everything with my kids (and be incredibly grateful that I can):

Father of the Bride (1950) in the park

img_0483

Red went on his first plane ride this summer and he was a PRO

img_0778

His name is Filson and he is just another example of why dogs are the greatest and we will never be good enough for them.  We exchanged addresses in Seattle and will become life long paw pals. 

img_1062

Little Lending Libraries remind me of the good in the world

img_1067

My crowning achievement as a mother will be that I raised readers (even on vacation)

This was the first summer my anxiety didn’t take over any time Curls and Red were near water.   Two thumbs up.   

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!