Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mega-Bright: My Face Loves You

Ever since I had Samara, my skin hasn't been the same. I've been breaking out with enormous cystic acne (one of which ended me up in the hospital when it turned into a boil) and getting dark spots.
My new skin problems made me really sad, considering I've never had significant skin issues in life.  My friend Donna suggested that I try Origins products, since I have really sensitive skin and their stuff is either organic or made with natural ingredients.

I walked into the Origins store on 23rd and Broadway, in the city, and I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of different products the housed in that small space.

I asked one of the salespeople about a product to help with the dark spots on my face. She recommended Mega-Bright. I was definitely skeptical because it was super expensive ($55 USD to be exact) considering the bottle is only 1fl oz.  I told the salesgirl that I wasn't sure about it, so she gave me a sample to take home.

I've been using it for three days and I'm obsessed with it. It makes my skin feel amazing, and it works! Check it out, this is me with NO MAKEUP.   Not that I wear any makeup ever to begin with, but you get the idea. All I have on is moisterizer and Mega-Bright.

I hung out with my friend Bonnie, yesterday and she was like "Your face looks great! Are you wearing makeup?"
Nope, just Mega-Bright.

I put Mega-Bright on my dad's face, and he was like "Wow, this makes me look five years younger!" He was pretty psyched.

Needless to say, I went on the Origins site and ordered it. If you have dark spot issues, I highly recommend this product. And dude, Origins doesn't even know I'm writing this.

Don't Lie to Me, I'm Your Mother!

Here's an excerpt from a few days ago:
"Ari, did you spill chocolate milk on the table?"
"No, Egreck did it."
"I find that hard to believe, Egreck doesn't have opposable thumbs, he's a cat."
"Well he did."
"It's okay if you did it, just tell me. I won't be mad."
"I didn't!"

Here's another one. We're walking down the street and I see one of those chalkboard signs outside of a restaurant that list daily specials. One minute I'm looking at the sign, and the next minute I notice that the once pristine sign has blurred words. Then I see there's chalk residue on Ari's fingers.
"Did you touch that sign?
"There's chalk on your hands, I think you touched it."
"I didn't!"
"Please just tell me the truth, I won't be mad."
"I touched it."
"Don't do that! The people inside the restaurant will be mad and people walking by won't be able to read the sign!"
"Okay [Sighs]."

I don't understand the lying. It seems like he just doesn't want to get in trouble. The thing is, if he's going to lie, at least come up with a plausible excuse. I don't want to give him any ideas, but if I were him, I would blame everything on Samara. He sort of had the right idea with Egreck, because Egreck can't talk back and say something like:
"No dude, that wasn't me."

But Samara can't talk either...yet. Blame it on the baby, not the cat! If Samara "accidentally" spilled chocolate milk on the table, she can't help it. I would totally milk that for all it's worth, pun intended. But, again, I don't want to give him any ideas.

Seriously though, this lying situation is grating on my nerves. I wish he would just cop to what he did instead of making things up.

Did your kid go through this phase?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blogger May Delete My Old Posts

Dear Blogger, Google and anyone associated with the confusing email I just received,

I have been informed that my blog is a "legacy account." I have no fucking idea what this means, and I'm terrified that after May, 30, 2012, all my posts will be gone.

Since it's virtually impossible to contact anyone at Blogger or Google, I am writing this post hoping that someone can help me figure out how to preserve my blog.

I've tried to login to the Legacy Migration Page using my email address associated with Old School/New School Mom, and a password, which I know is correct, and I keep getting this message:

I know I'm using the correct email address, because when I look up my blog on the weird legacy site, this email adress comes up.

Someone please help! I can't to make sure my posts don't disappear.

Thank You,
Sarah Fader

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Nintendo Secret

Back in 1987 or so, my brother shared with me a very important secret. I'm now going to share it with you. Be careful who you tell about this:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Confessions of a Scary Mommy- A Review and Giveaway

Jill Smokler, otherwise known as Scary Mommy in Internet land, has written a hilarious book entitled Confessions of a Scary Mommy.

I wrote to Jill and asked if I could review her book. She wrote back immediately and replied "Where can I send the book?" I love her.

Confessions of a Scary Mommy, which Jill describes as the "anti-parenting book," makes you feel good about yourself as a parent.

Chapter 20, which is entitled "The Xanax Approach to Parenting," seems to be the overall theme of the book. Essentially what this approach boils down to is, chill the fuck out. Don't take yourself too seriously, do the best you can do as a parent, and call it a day. There's no need to obsess over being the "perfect mother," because there is no such thing. This "perfect mother" (that many of us aspire to be) lives somewhere with the tooth fairy and the easter bunny.

In Confessions of a Scary Mommy, Smokler reveals what it was really like to be pregnant:

"I wish the government could bottle the discomfort that accompanies this point in pregnancy--the bloating and the aches and pains and the baby's kicks. I think if they were able to inflict all of this on even the strongest of men, those men would cave under pressure. It would be the best torture method ever."
(Smokler, P. 18)

Damn straight it would! Men could not remotely handle the demanding physical state otherwise known as pregnancy. They would undoubtedly crack under the pressure.

Smokler begins the book with the "not so glamorous" time of pregnancy and quickly moves into the even less fancy part of her journey more commonly referred to as "motherhood."

"No matter how well groomed and well coiffed a woman might be before she has children, she transforms into something entirely different as soon as she becomes a mother. Something resourceful. Something impressive. Something...disgusting. Motherhood just has a way of stripping away all the girly glamour we try so hard to exude and reverts us back to how I imagine our cavewoman ancestors lived--mud on the face, raccoons for lunch, urine for hydration."
(Smokler, P.53)

I can remember the first time I licked my finger and stuck my saliva onto Ari's face to wipe away the schmutz that was convening there. Motherhood is truly the antithesis of glamour.

Confessions of a Scary Mommy tackles difficult issues like why mothers find the need to compete with one another, disliking other people's children, how lazy husbands can be, and much much more.

Beginning each chapter are some excerpts from The Scary Mommy Confessional where real people have shared their deep dark secrets anonymously. Here's one of my favorites:

"No matter how old you are, no matter how badass you think you are, if a toddler hands you his ringing toy phone, you fucking answer it."
(Smokler P. 119)

Ultimately, Confessions of a Scary Mommy is a manifesto declaring that whatever kind of parent you are, it's okay. If you're happy, and you're kids are happy, that's all that matters. With every page, I found myself nodding and laughing aloud in agreement. This book is a must-read for parents with children of any age.

I just finished my copy, and guess what? I'm giving it away! I want everybody to read this book.

Now it's your chance to win Confessions of a Scary Mommy!

Each counts as an entry:
1. Follow Scary Mommy on Facebook
2. Follow Scary Mommy on Twitter
3. Post a link to the giveaway on Facebook.
4. Tweet about the giveaway.
5. Follow Old School/ New School Mom on GFC
6. Follow Old/School New School Mom on Facebook.
7. Follow Old School/ New School Mom on Twitter
8. Post a comment about why you would like to read this book.

Winner will be selected randomly, and announced here on OS/NS Mom on May 16th 2012.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Patterns, Counting, and Addition Starring Unifix Cubes

I love Unifix Cubes. The Unifix Cube people are not paying me to say this. Hi Unifix Cube people!

I just love them. In fact, I accidentally overdrew my checking account while ordering them from Amazon. Oops!

Unifix cubes are awesome at teaching math and patterns. I also got a really cool Base 10 counting system which is fun to build with. Yep, I'm a nerd and proud of it!

Check it out, Ari will show you how they all work:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Biking With a Broom and Strangers That Can't Shut Up

Ari got an early birthday present, his first bike!

When I bought the bike, it had training wheels on it. Since getting the bike, I've been in and out of the bike shop, having the training wheels put on, and then taking them off. I was ambivalent about the training wheel situation, since I've taught kids to ride bikes before by just taking the pedals off the bike entirely.

One of the times that I was in the bike shop having the training wheels taken off, this guy approached me and said:

"You know how I taught my kids to ride a bike? I'm from Sweden, and we bike everywhere. I never bothered with training wheels. I used a broom to hold the bike up. I have four kids and it worked with all of them."
"That's a great idea!" I replied. And with that, Ari and I went to the 99 cents store to buy a broom. The broom ended up being $4.00, which I didn't understand seeing as we were at the "99 cent store" where I believe things should cost 99 cents.

I bought the broom and tried it out. It worked great!

We were having an awesome time, until two guys passed by. One of the guys smiled and looked at our broom/biking experiment.
"Isn't it cool?" I said "It actually works!"
The guy replied:
"Yeah, you know what else works? A belt." And then looked over at my jeans, which were low on my hips.
He and his friend started to laugh. I was dumbfounded.
"Hey!" I shot back "That was really mean!"
That was all I would muster up. I had no witty comeback.

So we went back to biking with the broom. Then the broom snapped in half and broke!

Lesson learned: If you do try the broom/biking combination, I would recommend using a plastic broom as opposed to a wooden one.

Maybe I should stick to training wheels.

Also if a stranger gives you unwelcome wardrobe advice, quickly assess what they're wearing and find a way to make fun of it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Day I Tried to Clean Up- A Video

This morning, I decided to try to clean the living room. Here's what a video:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

10 Reasons Why My Period Can Go Fuck Itself

I have my period right now, and I hate it. I've hated it since the moment I first got it at 12 years-old. I'm still in denial about it. Every time it ends, I feel like it's the last time I'll ever see it again. But yet, like an unwelcome ex-boyfriend, it keeps making a regular appearance every month for the past 20 years, minus the two years I was pregnant where it was absent,
thank G-d!

Without further ado, I bring you 10 reasons why my period can go fuck itself.

10. Going anywhere or doing anything seems impossible.

9. I can't zip my jeans.

8. No matter what I do, I have stains on my underwear and potentially my pants, so it looks like I pooped on myself.

7. I look pregnant even though I'm clearly not, hello! I have my period!

6. Whenever anyone says anything to me I want to tell them to fuck off and die.

5. Period products are bullshit. Maxi pads feel like adult diapers, tampons are uncomfortable and leak, and I end up losing the reusable products in the chaos that is my apartment.
I have my period, where the hell is that thing that I paid 20 dollars for that is supposed to save me money?

4. I want to sleep all day, but I can't!

3. I want to eat everything all the time, and I do! Then I feel like a hot air balloon.

2. I can't have sex, which (as we all know) solves most problems in life.

And the number one reason that I hate my period is...

1. It makes me feel totally and utterly insane.

This has been a public service announcement from your mom.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Live Your Life- RIP Karyn Kay

My English teacher, Karyn Kay, died this morning. My friend Roy told me the news. I didn't know what to think or how I felt about it. I was in shock, to be sure. She was only 63, younger than both my parents.

One of the thoughts that went through my head was, I still have my creative writing notebook from Ms. Kaye's 11th grade creative writing class.

If I close my eyes, I can feel what it felt like to sit in a chair desk, the kind that were both chair and desk combined. I can imagine the room full of 29 students, Ms. Kaye petite and slender, dark red lipstick on her pursed lips, sitting at the front of the classroom nodding as Maria read her poem aloud to the entire class.

Ms. Kaye's eyes were small, but pensive. She was listening. My heart pounded, thinking I could volunteer to read my story, but I didn't feel like I was good enough. The other 28 students in the class were far more talented.

But there was something about Ms. Kaye that made me feel safe. She made me feel like I could raise my hand. I could share something of myself. My heart began to race as my hand slowly crept up. Ms. Kaye and I locked eyes, and she nodded at me:

I read my story aloud to class, wondering what she would think. Occasionally I looked up trying to gauge her expression. I knew she was listening.

Thank you, Karyn Kaye for believing in me. Thank you for creating an environment where we could feel free enough to express ourselves as 16 year-olds going through one of the most difficult times in our lives.

Thank you for inspiring young writers to continue writing.

A great woman died today.
She will be missed.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

People On YouTube Are Assholes

Rated P for Parenthood and Playtime!

Last Saturday I had the opportunity (thanks to MamaDrama and Playtime!) to see Rated P for Parenthood, a musical about what parenthood is really like. While I saw the play, Ari got to go back to Playtime again!

Playtime! (run by Playwrights Horizons) allows parents of kids 4-12 to go to the theater, while their kids are engaged in art projects including drama, dance, and visual arts! Here's what Ari did last time he went to Playtime!

One of the best parts of this experience was that I was able to take my parents to the show!

While we went to the show, Aunt Mimi and Uncle Mike watched Samara. She told me she had a great time too.

Rated P for Parenthood consists of short skits. There are four characters, two men and two women, who play multiple roles ranging from parents to kids to in-laws and more!

The audience sees what it's like to be parent of a newborn all the way up through when your child goes off to college. It tackles issues such as puberty, when you think your son's soccer coach is a sexy beast, in-laws being over zealous as far as knowing what's best for their grandkids all in a humorous way.

While my parents and I were laughing in commiseration at Rated P, Ari was involved in an art project.

The theme at Playtime that day was Keith Haring. Ari made a Keith Haring-esque collage:

Now we can go to the library and check out books on Keith Haring.

Here's what Ari had to say about his experience at Playtime!:

After the show, we all went out to eat at a diner nearby.

Rated P for Parenthood was hilarious. If you want to see it, check it out by clicking on the "P" below:

If you want your child to go to Playtime! while you see Rated P or another show where Playtime! is offered, click here:

A Parents' Guide to Creating Wonderful People- A Giveaway!

A couple of months ago, Jennifer Berryman, PhD sent me a copy of her parenting book, A Parents' Guide to Creating Wonderful People to review for my blog. Like most things in my house, it disappeared, maybe the cats were reading it. That's all I can figure.

She was kind enough to send me another copy, thank you Dr. Berryman! And it was worth it. A Parents' Guide to Creating Wonderful People is readable, and gives practical advice as to how to cope with various parenting situations.

I like that Dr. Berryman stresses the importance of modeling in the book. Here is an excerpt:

"Never underestimate the power of modeling. Children are constantly learning from their parents and watch their every move. You might think your child is just tagging along while you run errands, but he is watching you closely and learning to behave just like you do. "
Berryman, P. 108.

I find this to be true of Ari. When I'm at the grocery store, he thanks every single person who even remotely helped us, which I believe he modeled from me. I thank the employee that helped me find the flax seed, or the one who checked us out at the register, or the one that said good morning as we walked into the store. Ari sees me say thank you, and he is always running around saying thank you to all the people that help us.

Berryman's book is based on concepts that we intrinsically know, but she highlights them, and makes us think about our behavior:

"Never tell your children their bad. Kids don't need to hear comments like "you're a bad boy."
If you dislike their behavior, tell them that. Say "I don't like it when you hit."
Berryman, P. 81

This is something my dad used to say to me about adults, actually. He had a boss that would tell the employees "I don't like what you did." He wouldn't attack the person's character saying things like "You're a bad worker," or "You're a jerk." It's one thing to say "I don't like you," and quite another to say "I don't like what you're doing." I think Berryman is onto something here.

Now if only Dr. Berryman could teach me to have more patience. I could really use some right now, because I told Ari to clean up his toys 80 times as I'm writing this post and he's just standing here.

Want to read more from Dr. Berryman? Here's your chance to win" A Parents' Guide to Creating Wonderful People.

Leave a comment here about what you hope to gain from this book! Make sure to leave your email address in the comment so I know how to contact you if you win!
Note if you do not leave your email address, I cannot enter you in the drawing.

Winner will be announced on May 2nd, 2012!

Good luck!