3 easy steps to handle the Kindergarten blues.

Attention all moms of kindergartners. I’ve seen your posts. I’ve heard your cries. You’re having a tough time. Your sweet baby is off for 8 hours of reading and writing and ‘rithmetic. Now what? Don’t worry. I’m here to help. Listen to me, a seasoned mom of three, follow these 3 easy steps and find your way out of the Kinder blues.

1.Get moving.  The first step in breaking out of your kinder funk is to put on workout clothes. This sends a message. A message to yourself and others. The message is clear: You are a person with discipline. You are person that has her shit together. You are a go getter. It sets the tone for the whole day. Then move your body over to the couch, and start working on step #2.  The Daily Mail says thinking about moving is just as good as actually moving. Awesome!

My favorite exercise…

diddly squats

2. Get support. From 8am-3pm, you have a void that needs to be filled. You are not alone. Find your friends.  If this is your first child, going for coffee isn’t going to be enough. You need extra strength therapy. You need brunch. Brunch can start as early as 9am. Bloody Mary’s and mimosas will help fill the void.

Keep calm and have brunch!

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3. Get some rest. Step 3 is easy if you have already followed steps 1 and 2. You’ve strengthened your muscles by thinking about working out, you’ve broken bread (And opened wine) with your support group. The logical next step is a nap. Day drinking makes everyone tired, and now that your little one is at school, you finally have an opportunity to catch up on some z’s. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and clear headed. Which is exactly how you want to be when navigating school pick up!

The dog daze of Kindergarten.

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So there you have it.

From sappy to happy in 3 easy steps.

You don’t have to be pulled down by the Kinder blues. All you have to do is take the first step. This schedule has helped many a mom break through and fill the void. Don’t waste anymore time feeling depressed. Find the strength and start with step 1. You’re going to get through this. You will be ok.  xoxo

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It’s summer! Now what?(Plan B activities in Los Angeles)

We’ve just begun our summer break and I am already googling, “Things to do with Kids in Los Angeles.” This is a search I make anytime I’m with the kids for more than 24 hours. I told myself I wasn’t going to overschedule them. I told myself I don’t need a bunch of overpriced summer camps to entertain my kids; they can figure it out themselves. But after several full days of online gaming and wine thirty starting earlier and earlier, I realize I may have a problem on my hands. So I’ve got to have a Plan B.

Lucky for you, my problem is your gain! Take a look at some of the Plan B’s. This is a list of the not so obvious things you can do around Los Angeles. Some I have done, some my friends have done, and some need to be done by someone soon. Feel free to add your own suggestions or reviews in the comments!

  • The Skyspace and Sky Slide in DTLA. This just opened! It’s got killer views of the city and a glass slide that takes you from the 70th to the 69th floor on the outside of the building! 1000 feet in the air! You read that right. Tips: Splurge for the VIP Sky Slide combo ticket so you bypass lines! Check it out!
  • LACMA Friday jazz nights! It’s free! Grab a blanket, a cooler, and let the kids run free. The museum is free after 5 for Los Angeles residents on this nights. Here’s the lineup. Fridays from April to November.
  • Surf lessons! Yes you can go to the beach and not surf, but why not shake it up a bit and hang ten with some rad instructors. (That is surf lingo.)  Most recently we went with Go Surf. 2 instructors for 3 kids. Other friends have suggested LA Surf and Swim,  MalibuMakos, and Santa Monica Surf School.

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  • IFly! Ever wanted to skydive but that whole falling out of an airplane thing scared you off? IFly has you covered. Skydiving experience without the worry of falling to your death. It’s located in Universal City Walk which is an event all on it’s own.
  • Museum of Death. I don’t like museums. And truth be told I’m a big scaredy cat, so this might not be good for me, but finding things to entertain the older kids can be difficult. If you think they can handle it, why not go check out death up close and personal? Museum of Death.
  • The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Speaking of museums, this is not one. It is, but it isn’t. I was told that it was actually something for a movie, but then someone else said it was an art installation, but then someone else said ….you get the picture. It’s intriguing and there’s a Russian tea room. Something to think about….or is it? Museum of Jurassic Technology.
  • Grand Central Market food booths. In Downtown LA there is a national caliber eating experience. With booths like EggSlut, Sticky Rice, and Horse Thief BBQ there is something for everyone!  It’s an adventure in eating!Market
  • Chinatown Summer Nights. Every 3rd Sunday of the summer months, Chinatown opens up to bring you food trucks, food and cultural demonstrations, and hands on activities. Some have been known to leave with a turtle or two. Click here to get the 411.
  • Watts Towers. Take a tour of the artwork and get a bit of history and cultural in South Central. Definitely take the guided tour.
  • Santa Monica Trapeze School. Everyone goes to the pier for the amusement park and beach. Why not do something different? Fly through the air with the greatest of ease.  I took my 16 year old nephew and even he had blast. I honestly recommend this for the whole family. It’s a blast. Make reservations, the classes fill up! catch me
  • Horseback Riding. One day a few summers ago, I asked my kids what they would like to do for the day….for some reason, horseback riding was the answer.  I took them to Griffith Park. There are two options for you. For little kids there are pony rides. It’s an enclosed pen and the horses will walk or trot. My kids loved it when they were little. Pony Rides.  For older riders you can take a guided trail ride with Griffith Park Horse Rentals. INFO AND RESERVATIONS:(818) 840-8401 Another option for horseback riding is Sunset Ranch.
  • Movie nights at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I didn’t realize that there were kid friendly movie options here, but it seems they do offer some. You can bring a picnic and beer/wine. A DJ spins music before and after the movie!  Check out the lineup here.
  • Greystone Mansion. This is a place to come and “stroll.” You can pretend it’s your lavish estate and you are walking the grounds, sitting on benches and admiring the gardens and fountains. Kids have lots of space to run off their summer energy. If the walls of the mansion could talk, you’d hear a tale of wealth and murder, but for now, you can only peek in the windows. The mansion itself is closed unless you are attending a special event. Here is the current calendar of eventsGuided tours are suspended for now, but are supposed to resume in December 2016.  Yay!
  • Escape Rooms! A great family bonding activity. You get locked in a room and have a limited amount of time to solve the clues, get the key and escape the room! A group of us did Trapped in a Room with a Zombie which was super fun, but not really best for kids. A few options for the younger crowd: 6 escape rooms for kids.

LOS ANGELES ADJACENT 😉

Here are a few options within 45-60 minutes outside of LA.

  • Royce’s Arcade Warehouse. You guys, they have free game day on Saturdays 10-3. This place rents and repairs old school video games and pinball machines. PacMan, Frogger, Donkey Kong! If it’s working and on the floor, it’s free! You do have to drive to Chatsworth, but who cares!? Check it out! 
  • Adventure Playground! This is in Huntington Beach, but man is it cool! Forget swing sets and slides, this place has do it yourself treehouses, wooden rafts, and a mudslide. A real outdoor play area for kids. Bring a change of clothes and shoes because your kids will get muddy! $3 entry fee for kids 16 and younger. adventure

 

  • Malibu Wine Safari. Yes a safari with wine! I want to do this with my girlfriends, but since we are talking about kid stuff, they have a Family Tour during the week that still involves wine but serves lemonade to the kids. Wine pairings and wild animals! what could go wrong! Here’s the info!
  • Paradise Cove Beach Cafe. This is a fun place to go have lunch in Malibu and then hang by the beach. They rent beach chairs, umbrellas etc and have tasty cocktails! If you really want to do it up, you can rent a beach terrace for the day! Paradise Cove.

WANT MORE IDEAS?

Check out these websites for current events and activities around Los Angeles.

We Like LA

Red Tricycle

 

Get your shit together, Whitney.

6am this morning my 5th grader gets in bed with me.

Hi mom. I’m sad.

Why are you sad, baby?

I don’t like Mondays.

What’s wrong with Mondays?

School.

Ah yes. School. Are you stressed out?

Yes.

Feeling lost?

Yes.

And so it begins. The rest of the day I am feeling anxious and worried about how his day is going. He feels lost. I feel lost. He’s overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed!

And then the shaming begins. I’m a terrible mom. I haven’t done my best keeping him organized. Following up with teachers. Forcing him to study on weekends so that he goes to school on Monday feeling prepared. Get your shit together, Whitney! Why haven’t you been more on top of this? How dare you let your child feel anxious or overwhelmed. And you broke up with his tutor!! Money shouldn’t play a factor. The kid needs help! And Lord knows you aren’t giving it to him.

The next round of thoughts go something like this: Whitney, get your shit together. It’s fucking 5th grade. It’s not the end of the world. Who cares if he feels overwhelmed once in awhile. That’s good for him. He needs to learn to cope with uncomfortable feelings. As a matter of fact, you need to learn to cope with uncomfortable feelings.

Truth be told, he has probably gone on to school and hasn’t given it another thought. I’m the one internalizing his words and creating scenarios where my kid’s life is ruined because I’m not on top of things.  I should probably get a job. I obviously have way too much time on my hands.

I really do need to get my shit together. This has consumed my whole morning. I’ve emailed tutors and googled “How to Handle 5th grade stress.” (PS- there were actual articles to read. Apparently I’m not the only one overreacting.) No one’s life is in danger. I barely remember 5th grade, so it’s obviously not a huge factor in the grand scheme of things. Someone once told me, “Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems. ”

I better pace myself.

I’m exhausted now.

Is it 5 o’clock yet?

The breakup

We had been together since September.  We met through friends. He had an answer for all my problems. Even my kid liked him. That sealed the deal for me. We bonded quickly. I thought I could handle a long term relationship. I was wrong.

I became 2 dependent on him, you see. It wasn’t healthy. Once a week became twice a week. If I couldn’t see him, I would panic. I wanted more. But I couldn’t have more, mainly because he was 2 expensive.

Yes, he is a trained professional. Yes, he understands the common core math curriculum. But the weight of his fees were 2 much to bare.

Today I broke up with him. In an email.SATC-breakup-post-it

It was short but took me almost an hour to construct. I tried to explain that we had outgrown each other. Mainly he had outgrown my budget.  I gave him praise and promised I would keep in touch. We both know it doesn’t work that way.

I know it was wrong but I couldn’t do it face 2 face. I didn’t want see the pain in his eyes. The hurt in his face. The shock of getting such news out of the blue. I didn’t want to run the risk of being persuaded to give him 1 more chance. As we all know, sometimes 1 more just doesn’t add up.

If train A leaves the station at 3pm and a car is going 60 miles an hour, no one can get an equal number of strawberries. 

I will miss his brightly colored manipulatives.

If I broke your heart,  I’m sorry, math tutor. I’m so very sorry.

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Ladies Who Lunch.

lunch ladies

The first rule of Ladies Who Lunch is you don’t talk about Ladies Who Lunch.

And if by chance you forget this rule, then don’t forget Rule Number Two:

If you fess up to lunching, always include a long list of all the errands you ran, tasks you completed, laundry you folded, etc. etc. before said lunch. It lessens the guilt.

Well guess what? Forget the rules. We don’t need them! I’m going to take away any guilt you may have for lunching, brunching, or cocktailing. It’s not lunch, ladies. It’s a business meeting. It’s a strategy session. A support group. It’s freaking therapy!

meeting in the ladies room

Think about it.

We are a company of women. We come together as moms, wives, friends and colleagues. Our business is family and these lunches are crucial to our work development. If you aren’t lunching(or brunching or cocktailing,) then you aren’t reaching your full potential!

These powwows empower us. They reboot our focus, inspire and energize us. The discussions we have at these lunches develop work and leadership skills. They are morale boosting. We solve problems, strategize and advise our colleagues. Damn! What are we waiting for?

Gather up those friends! Make a reservation! Plan a lunch in the park or drinks on the veranda (if you have a veranda, can I come?)  You owe it to your family! You owe it to yourself!

Let’s start lunching, ladies!

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The predictable New Year’s Eve post!

I hate being predictable.

But inevitably, the last day of the year makes people want to share things.  They want to tell the world what they will carry into this new and untainted 2016.  They want to give uplifting advice on how to start the new year right.

It also makes people want to party.

time square

Dreams of ringing in the new year while having the time of your life! But it usually falls short. As Jennifer Lawrence so eloquently put it, every New Year’s Eve I just end up “drunk and disappointed.”

I had party plans, but then my party people bailed.

I’m fine with it.

This year, I won’t be fooled by the New Year’s Eve promises.

Now my plan is to ring in the new year with my husband and kids! Game night, pizza, and a ceremonious bonfire made up of our broken dreams and disappointments.What happened in 2015, stays in 2015.

aggie bonfire

Pizza and fire!  There’s no way this won’t be amazing!

This will become a new tradition! Ain’t no party like a family party!

This night will bond us together. A perfect example for my children that starting the new year as a harmonious family is always the better choice! We will ring in the new year with love and laughter and a renewed sense of life’s endless possibilities!

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Or I end up drunk and disappointed.

I’ll keep you posted. 😉

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Smells like Tween spirit

I am the parent of a tween girl. I had heard the term tween before, but I didn’t truly understand the term until now. I thought it was just referring to the age. Nope.

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It’s mental.

It’s emotional.

It’s crazy.

One minute she is asking for lip gloss and rolling her eyes, the next she wants to snuggle with me and watch cartoons. (Don’t tell her I told you that.)

She holes up in her room most of the day, “doing Instagram.” but when her brothers get all geared up to play Clash of the Clans, she’s the Queen fighting for her kingdom! (Don’t tell her I told you that!)  She wants a purse AND more stuffed animals!

4th of the July at the lake, it was all about the sun bathing and the hair, but in the blink of an eye, she was jumping off the boat doing flips and having water fights. I want to do flips off the dock! But I don’t want to get my hair wet. Do you know how long it takes me to dry this mane straight? And it’s dangerous! What if I crack my head open? People can get paralyzed you know. Stupid adult rationale.  I want to tell her to be young. Maturity isn’t all its cracked up to be.

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It sure is a confusing time….for me. Yes me. That’s my baby and she wants to be a grown up. But then she doesn’t.  I know the feeling, honey. I don’t think anyone ever wants to be a true grown up.  That’s why I sometimes wear a Turkey Suit!

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My hair stays dry, and although somewhat dangerous,

 no one’s head is getting cracked.

So just like with every stage in my kids’ lives, I am trying to figure out how to help her.  How to guide her through the tween spirit. It’s a balancing act. Encouraging childlike qualities but expecting adult like behavior.

Actually the more I think about it, we are all tweens. Right? I am still trying to hang on to that childlike carefree attitude. I like hugs. I like lipgloss. Life is hard as an adult. You can get too serious. You forget how to play. You walk on the sidewalk instead of tightrope walking the curb.

I know how I’m going to handle it. This tween spirit.

I’m going to embrace it.

Whatever side my daughter is on. Lip gloss – check!  Crying for no reason- I’m there, girl. More stuffed animals- ummm. I may try to guide her in a different direction.

It’s actually not a balancing act. It’s about having both feet completely in that one moment.   Yep. That’s what I will do.

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