Friday, November 30, 2007

I Cannot Tell A Lie

It wasn't one of Stink's better behavior days. For the second time in 72 hours, he fibbed. Nothing major, but you know what? It pisses me off. I mean, the whole point about not spanking this child is because studies after studies show that kids who are spanked tend to lie more to get out of being punished. Serves me right for going soft.

HOWEVER... I'm holding my ground on my anti-spank stand. (And thank you all for your thoughts on spanking. I appreciated them all.) But what about lying? I hear that fibbing is common in 5 year olds. Is this true? What are your experiences? And how did you handle it?

As for how I handled it, it was straight to his room where he got to write out the word "LIE" 50 times, front and back. Took him about an hour, but boy did he practice those writing skills. When I asked him how it felt, he responded, "I am sooooo tired. My hand is not happy. I need a hug." And that, my friends, was the truth.

Little brat.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Can't Believe It's Not Fabio! ... Wait, it IS FABIO!!!!

So ya'll know that I saw Matt LeBlanc at the grocery store yesterday.

Then, last night, I'm at dinner with Rex at Benihana's (this group seating style resaturant where the chef prepares the food at your table) and who walks in but the Italian king of romance novel covers himself... Fabio.

Unlike Matt LeBlanc who wore dark glasses, kept to himself, and had a 5:00 shadow, Fabio enters with a bright purple shirt with buttons open to the chest. His long hair was flowing and his muscles were bulging. He came with an entourage of folk, including a Naomi Campell-esque date who spent the evening nuzzling his shoulder and chatting up a mafia type man on their right. All that was missing from Fabio's sushi restaurant entrance was, "I can't believe it's not cooked tuna!"

Only in L.A..

Monday, November 26, 2007


Today I was shopping at Whole Foods with Mrs. V. As we scanned the bakery section looking for sugar free syrup, she whispered quite excitedly, "Look over there! It's Joey Triviani!"

Who was she talking about? One look made it all clear. There was Friend's most eligible bachelor, checking out the labels like the rest of us.

Oh my God! Like, he actually shops by himself? Where were the paparazzi! Where were the autograph seekers?

He wore dark glasses, so I couldn't tell if he was in a good mood or not. He was alone, so unlike myself, he couldn't chat up his Thanksgiving holiday, what to buy a mother-in-law for Christmas, the benefits of receiving flowers at the door from good friends, the taste of Gorilla Munch cereal, the differences between raw sugar and agave, coveted holiday shopping with husbands who took the day off (not mine), the outrageous price of yeast free bread (thankfully Mrs. V found me a box for $3.99 that you bake in a conventional pan as opposed to a bread maker - I'm willing to try it) school mom drama or the decisions to buy, or not to buy, our siblings Christmas gifts.

I'm thinking he could not have had as much fun as me. The celebrity life: it's so over-rated.
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Funky Brewster to the Rescue!

Many of you know I've been bitching for 3 years about not working. So God bless you for celebrating my big windfall last month when I landed not one, but two blog gigs for national websites.
In the name of all things Diet and Cokey (um, I'm back on the juice, man) the stars were aligned, Mama P is getting some income, and neither my husband (nor you) have to hear the words, "If I don't get my brain thinking about something else besides gluten free pancake glue I'm going to go crazier than that time Anne Heche ditched Ellen and started psycho babbling at some rural home in Fresno.")

My point: I'm beyond elated for work and some income, but...


Almost more than my husband and Eric Bana. (Oh, I love all your choices in men from yesterday's post. I especially appreciated the Hugh Grant and Russell Crowe picks.)

At least once/week you can find me doing retail therapy at either Out of the Closet, Salvation Army, Good Will, or even the 99 Cent Store in a pinch. I pride myself on my kids' funky clothes - designer, yet practical. A rainbow striped Mork from Ork styled pair of tights for Pip? Will she love them? For 45 cents, I'll take the chance. (But if they were 85 cents, forget it. I'm not made of money, you know.)

Take the ski pants above. "I'll take vintage 1980's for 800 please!" I mean, check out the legs. Punky Brewster would be hard pressed to find anything more Valley Girl. The good news? They cost me a whopping $1.35. The bad news? I bought them when Pip was 1. They are a size 5. They have been sitting in my closet for 3 years - closets so small that the Ashley twins might not be able to store their clothes there. Not even during their anorexic stage.

I live in L.A.. Except for all my tv meetings of days gone by, or Lindsay Lohan's coke habits, there's not many snow jobs in my town.

After flipping a few other dollar ski suits for $10.00, I decided to check out Pip's. Size 110? What the heck is that? One Google hit and Ebay search later, I found that it's European sizing. And the brand name? Pure 1980's Austrian designer.
So, practical mama that I am, I swapped this suit for another non-brand name suit (You know... in case we make it to the mountains this year... and I give up Diet Coke for good and learn Mandarin Chinese.) And my fortune? It's up to $27 bucks baby! With 10 watchers!

Who wants to guess the final score? I say $47.42. The one who gets closest, without going over, gets an official medium sized "Desperate Housewives" crew tee shirt. I got it for $1.99, but it's worth about $19.99 on Ebay. I'm a saint for giving it up. (If any of you with blogs entitled "Good Enough for Now" think, "Oh, a sized medium would never fit" you must bid anyway. Because it will fit. Very very tightly in all the right places. I'm thinking some housewife won't be desperate that night. Wink wink, nudge nudge.)

PS: Liv, I threw out the plastic, sage burning, piece of ca-ca tiger you won. I figured with your new digs, you didn't need the new clutter. (AKA: I never got around to mailing it. But I PROMISE something else is coming your way. It is!)

The real point of this post: Can a real living replace my passion for thrifting and the thrill of Ebay? Stay tuned to find out. And, like big brother, I'll be watching you, too.

More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stuff It

Did ya'll eat too much, drink too much and tell lots of sordid stories over frozen pumpkin pie? If ya didn't, then you weren't celebrating with me. At least not today. Yesterday it was a super yummy meal at the in-laws. Today, it was leftovers at my house. And by leftovers, I mean my side of the family brought over their left overs from Thursday's dinner and we all repeated the process again. Only this time it was done to....

Christmas lights!

Yes, I have decorated my house already and we were awash in twinkly lights, candles and a faux fireplace DVD. It was disgustingly cozy. And just a little unorganized. Um... family came at 4. At 3:45 I made the mad dash to the grocery store for some appetizers. Apparently just because you're having a pot luck does not mean you should have nothing to serve people. Etiquette 101. Lucky for me, my cousin in law was great company as we chatted our way through frozen foods, debating on chicken vs. pizza for a "main course".

I will post photos tomorrow. Tonight, I'm just happy to have been with the people I love for two days straight. It doesn't get much better than that.

Well, maybe Eric Bana would want to have a brief affair with me, but other than that.

Speaking of stars, who would you love a quickie with? Or am I the only bad mother/wife who will admit that I'd like nothing better than a torrid affair with Hector!!!!!!!!!!! Have you all seen Troy? If you say yes and you say Brad Pitt was more do-able than Eric Bana, I just might scratch your eyes right out. Or drop you from my blog list.

So who does it for you? (Okay, Susie Q, I know you'd stick your husband under a bus for Brian Dennehy.) But other than that wacky Rabbit Run cottage woman - who makes your heart sing more than a Rudolph marathon?
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Roots and Wings

"We can bequeath our children only two things of lasting value: One of them is roots. The other, wings." Hodding Carter.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. You have blessed me more than you know.
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

North South East West... In All the World This Desk is Best

I'm sitting in an internet cafe with a $4.00 cappucino in a porcelain mug. Jazz music pipes through JBL speakers - speakers that are carefully situated behind shabby chic book shelves and antique coffee pots. The cashier has blue stripes in her hair, the bus boys are dating, and there's ads for closet rearrangers and dog walkers on frames bought from an art sale in Tuscany. The internet is fast. I have hours on end to write. I can take breaks here and there to read up on politics, art and the best farmers markets in the Valley. I'm doing all this...

... in my head.

In reality, I'm sitting in Grandma stella's mobile home spare bedroom. She's giving Stink a lesson on turkey manners to be executed on Thursday at the in-laws. While I type, Pip periodically pops in with de-shelled peanuts, serving them to me in a plastic Baja Fresh pico de gallo cup. "Don't throw it away," she implores me. "I wouldn't dream of it," I reassure her.

I love being here, listening to my little voices in the next room. As I stare at her desk, I'm immediately reminded of my father who is now gone. His office looked just like this: with the old desk lamp that sways and bends like a goose. The 1980's brown phone with the soft ear piece added on with sticky glue. There's a calender from the local bank on the wall. A family photograph sits (with her son's head spliced in since "he wasn't actually there") on the faux wood paneling. There's a piece of tape over her light switch to remind her that, with the lights going off, so does the computer. An old rolodex sits to the left full of names that probably no longer live anymore.

I love this desk. I loved my dad's desk. The staplers were solid and felt good in my hands. The pens (often pilfered from doctor's offices) had hours of stories and poems in them. Stella's desk has character. Like my favorite people, everything you see is what you get. Not like today, where everything is hidden behind a flat screen monitor. Contacts are stored in address books on files. And godforbid someone else wants to find one. You need the password and code name just to get the number for the neighbor. Stella doesn't need her neighbor's number. She just walks out front and taps on their door.

I know I'm idealistic to think of life in the old days. They had their problems, too. The relics from thrift stores I assign meaning to were probably tossed for a reason: bad reminders of a decade that left a scar. But for me, it's simplicity. And a time when people lounged around. Where formality wasn't more important than sincerity. Where you could fight and stick your foot in your mouth and still be friends the next day because you were going to live in the same apartment for the rest of your life, so just suck it up and move on.

What do you think? Do you romanticize the past or look toward the future? I mean, if we didn't have technology, where would bloggers be? Oh, I'd never know you! Can we find a combo of both?

Happy weekend. I hope you spend it doing what you love, with who you love.

More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holding up under fire & Veterans Day

Thank you to everyone who responded supportively over the spanking incident of 2007. I appreciate that you didn't call me a monster and have admitted to either saying you'd never spank but did it anyway, or acknowledging without regret that it's a discipline method you choose. It has helped me tremendously to feel better over losing my cool. I suppose, despite my perfectionistic tendencies, I'm a human after all. Cue '80s music.

I also forgot to acknowledge the amazing men and women who have fought to protect me from harm. Their service to our country allow me to tuck my children in bed each night (some nights are less chaotic than others) and worry over the big, the small and the insignificant matters of my life.
One Tall Momma gives a wonderful tribute to her Uncle Ben about three posts down in the link. Check it out.

In closing, can I just say how grateful I am to live in a land where I can be who I am meant to be? Where my kids can be who they're meant to be? The freedom factor, like Spiderman's powers, does not come "without great responsibility". It's perhaps why I work so hard to be the best person I can be. I have that option when so many don't. I owe it to myself - to those who put their life on the line for me - to live up to that freedom. How fortunate that with freedom comes such great room for joy and exhuberance. Where else in America can my son, with his Jewish background and Catholic upbringing, stand in front of our Japanese imported wide screen tv and celebrate Kwanza dancing with a furry red puppet?
Life is good. Thank you all for being there to celebrate it with me.
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Brand Spanking New Goal

The other day I spanked my kid. I'm not proud of it, but I did it. I was exhausted physically and just lashed out. Nothing life alterating - one quick pat - but emotionally it sucked. For both of us.

I wrote about it at my Babycenter blog. Thank you Maggie, for commenting so soon. I'm bracing for the backlash from moms who not only never spank their kids, but cook everything from scratch and never let them watch tv. How do they do it?
My mother would kill me. Not about the spanking, but about talking about it. Hailing from Boston and, in being in her 70's, she's of the conservative ilk that, "Some things are just private!" But here's the deal. I know I'm not a child abuser. I just lost my cool. And if it can happen to me, I'll bet O.J.'s soon-to-be-guilt-free trial that it's happened to most of you. If you say you've never done it, I don't believe you. But if you really haven't done it, please go to my Babycenter post and let me know how.

Anyway, despite hardly ever spanking my kids, I've instituted a no-spanking policy. It's too easy to lash out in anger. I never want to have to worry about crossing the line. So it's about more scheduled breaks for me. More time with my husband, like Sunday night, when just the two of us sat at dinner together and chilled out. In fact, we did that on Saturday night, too. Which leads me back again to the point of sometimes, no matter what kind of support we get, we still lose it.
I don't ever want to be pushed to that emotional frustration again. Stink is only 4, for Godsake. What will I do if he knocks up a girl at 15? Throw them in the river? Time to get a handle on my emotions and take the advice I throw to the kids, "Control my body. Control my language!"

In closing, I want to give a shout out to Rex. Someone at a party on Saturday night asked me where Rex was. I was honest. He was home taking it easy. I used to feel bad about that... take in everyone's pitied looks (and sometimes comments) of "ooh, that must be so hard." You know what? It used to be. But it's not now. I love that I'm confident enough that I can do stuff without my husband and come home to a lovely, warm environment. I'm social and he's a homebody. It's that simple. And guess what? He's not losing it emotionally on the kids. He's not screaming and yelling. He knows his limits, and in knowing them, he is the most accessible for me for when I need it most: at home, during the quiet hours after dinner and pre-bed, when the kids want stories and loving Papa to wrap their arms around them. Thanks, Rex, you grumpy old man.
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stop the Presses!

I am so glad I am not allowing my children to play with guns, watch violence on tv, talk about hate or use the word kill. Just look at how peacefully they play?

On the note of having your limbs torn apart, I was asked to send in a photo for a new gig I'm starting soon. I feel like I should be hush hush about this job since I don't want to jinx it.

But I'm not good at secrets.

So I'll tell you. It's a column for Good Housekeeping! A blog to be exact, but it's premiering in the magazine in January. But to really not jinx it, I won't tell you the theme.

Okay, you twisted my arm. It's on Sex and Marriage. Rex is beyond thrilled. But probably not as thrilled as his family will be who tend to be more on the private side. As in tasteful. As in properly proper. Opposed to their brother's/son's/grandson's wife who puts everything out for the world on display. Kind of like a salami hanging in a deli window. (It's references to salami that got me this blog, so let's not knock the simili, shall we?)

So back to the bio. They wanted a photo. I turned in what I thought was a pretty decent pic. My writing partner from my tv days - forever the diplomat - had this to say:


I fixed your picture as best I could. I suggest you use another one for publicity. This one does not do you justice. The lighting is horrific. The color of your sweater makes the rest of you look pasty. You need better make up. Pencil in your eyebrows. Use more mascara. Get rid of the wrinkles. Use better and more lipstick and have someone pose you. Otherwise I loved the picture.

I could get mad, but I laughed. I mean, if a good friend can't tell you the truth, who can?

So, $200.00 later from a paycheck I have yet to receive, I have a lovely new set of makeup. Wednesday I'm off to the Picture People for a portrait. Friday I'm getting my red-hair re-installed - at my old salon no less - as a celebration of my old funk. I'll be broke, but cute once again.

Happy Monday! What are you all doing nice for yourselves this week? Are you having lots of sex? Do tell. It's not like you'd end up in a national magazine or anything. Ahemmmm.......
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Get a Peace of This!

Life has felt deliriously happy lately. Like the carnival wheel pictured, it's been dizzying with its round and round of kid needs, shopping, laundry, cooking, driving, but I'm never so happy as when the lights and whistles are blaring in full force. Add in some giggles - a little organ music - and you've got one happy Mama P. (Add in some kettle corn and I'd pass out in comatosed nirvana.)


Always a however... I am going to prevent a crash and burn situation by removing myself from the computer this weekend. A spinning wheel can be very exciting, but let the circle spiral too long and someone's gonna upchuck.

And it ain't going to me, because frankly, I have a clean home and car for once.

So until Monday, I'm off to enjoy some silence. Well, with kids, there's never silence. And this time manana my car and home will be more messed up than a hotel room after prom. But I'll take the chance. Because let's face it, my kids won't be swayed by a 3.00 carnival ride in a few years. I have to enjoy their innocent exhuberance while I can.
But hey, while I'm taking a break, if someone out there in cyberspace wants to invent a toddler straw for me to suck it all up I'd be forever grateful.

In closing, if any of you out there aren't feeling so good, let me remind you that for every down, there's an up. It is going to get better. Platitude, schmatitude... it's true what they say: That sometimes the stress helps us appreciate the peace. And sure, the ride down a mountain is easy, but the hike up is a bitch. I've been there. Better stated, I've been that bitch. But it's worth it.

And again, thank you to everyone who is so kind to read me like you do. It means more to me than I can express.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Witch Way to the Sugar????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We survived Halloween! Three families joined us for a spooktacular time. Lots of noise, lots of laughter, and very little insanity of the fatal kind.

I'm once again amazed that if I'd planned a menu, or had a huge agenda, it wouldn't have flowed as nicely.
Taking a cue from my kids' preschool, I made last minute string cheese spiders. I threw together a gluten-free graveyard, replete with R.I.P. in organic ketchup. See the green stuff? That's not brocalli. It's haunted trees! They were cut down by a mad cemetary janitor. My kids even managed a nap before the festivities arrived. (Who needs Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook when you've got Mama P OCD brain. Though I hear, despite wanting to be snarky, that it's a great read.)

Today was marked with lots of whining for candy. Stink: "Mommy, I ate 2 bites of brocalli. So can I have the Skittles NOOOOOW?" Me: "You haven't eaten your greens yet." Stink: (seperating them by color, pointing to the green pile): "How about I eat these?"

Part of my kids' elation is that they don't eat sugar at all anymore. Halloween for them is like an alcoholic, ten years sober, falling off the wagon at Bev Mo.

Mama P, sugar guidance counselor extraordinaire, is trying to be understanding. I'm letting them have their day in the sun. (Literally, the sun. They are hiiiiigh, man.) But tomorrow it goes away. I fully expect shaking, sweating and the cursing of, "You don't know what it's like to live without the white stuff, dude!" But a few days later, when they're clear eyed and bushy tailed, I know they'll appreciate me.

Or when they're 18 and can navigate their way through a salad bar at the university cafeteria.
If they even have cafeterias at college in 15 years and they're not ingesting everything through capsules.
But will they make gluten-free capsules?
And what if the kids don't go to college? That will be fine, as long as they're happy. But how will they get enough money to pay for their organic food packets without a degree? Because they're certainly not going to eat the day away under myyyyyy roof.

All done now.

Um, wait. A quick joke for the 4th grader living inside of you. Why can't female witches get knocked up? Because male witches have hollow weenies! (I say 4th grade because, like the gluten-free food capsules, society is getting so advanced. Perhaps I'll start writing a Birds and Bees book for the toddler crowd. It could be my ticket to millions!!!!!!!! Which the kids still won't get their hands on if they're living under my roof in 15 years instead of going to college.)