Midlife Foibles!

Non-Traditional Holiday Traditions

IMG_0186I was raised Catholic. My husband, some sort of Protestant. But, he refused to go to church after someone gave him a hard time about having nothing for the collection plate.

Together, our little family is very atheist. We celebrate the secular Santa and Rudolf Christmas. Presents, gatherings, and needed time together as a family. Celebrations with no religious overtones, but which include a ton of togetherness.

This has left us with some non-traditional traditions. “Hookey Day” is our favorite. We have been doing this since our sons were young. We pick a day in the middle of the week, right after Thanksgiving. We pick a weekday because my oldest son has sensory issues and navigating crowds is hard for him. I let the boys stay out of school. [Read More…]

Merry Christmas – The View From Scott’s Corner!

_Pacific View_20151211_000009_P

Mothering contributor DeAnna Scott, 48, is the mother of twins, Robert and Phoebe (born via a traditional surrogacy in June 2013). DeAnna is a p/t photographer and full-time mom. Her work is featured on a monthly basis. Copyright Scott Photography.

Our Twelve Year Old On Tour and What Life Lessons He Learned From the Bass Player and Drummer (Part II of Touring With Thorazine)

Jo-Ann's son on tour IIII knew my son Ryan had formed a bond with our bass player and drummer before we left for the road. We see the band more than we see our biological families. Our band, Thorazine, always lived as a family and it is natural that the second time around we would fall into family roles again.

It started the first day we picked the band up from the airport in Los Angeles. Ryan does not always use his best table manners, although we have worked with him on this for years. Drummer Dallas and I both mentioned to Ryan about how he is going to choke since he eats so fast. He needs to slow down.

Of course, he is twelve, and has been oppositional since birth. Despite all this, we didn’t give up. Then bassist Hoover and my husband joined in. I think Hoover said it best, “One day, Ryan, you are going to want to impress a girl and you are not going to be able to eat like a caveman in front of her and keep her attention.” [Read More…]

Every School Day is “Pajama Day”

Stansell JammiesDon’t you love it when your kids get excited about something? I know I do! One thing my eight-year-old daughter is most tickled about is “Pajama Day” at school. At the end of the trimester, their 2nd grade teacher lets them wear PJs and bring a pillow, blanket and favorite toy to be comfy for the class reading marathon. This novelty of wearing sleepwear to school is oh-SO cool to her and her classmates.

Well, then there’s me. I have my own opinion about going to school in jammies.

I SWORE I’d never be “that” mom who would show up to drop off her kid looking like she just rolled out of bed. (Excuse me, I’m way more professional than that.) I have a reputation to uphold. I spent 14 years in television news and am now a well-known speaker and coach. I’ve been a personal assistant to high-ranking leadership in the Idaho Senate, plus I served two terms as “Mrs. Canyon County America.” I could never be seen looking frumpy, with no makeup on and hair all amess. Have some dignity, please! [Read More…]

I Need Movie Theatre Seating (A Commentary By the Mid-Life Mr. Mom)

movie theatre seatingAs parents, we’re spending all this time worrying about not keeping score at our kid’s games; being supportive, not yelling, having fun at sporting events, etc. – so much so that we have ignored our most basic needs—of us, the parents.

Why do we watch the games on television rather than go to the game? It’s not just because some of us need to be near the restroom. It’s more basic than that. We’re sitting on bleachers, wood, metal, itchy grass. We’re subject to searing cold and blazing hot days. Even the ides of any month would be bearable if we just had movie-theater seating at all the games.

At this point in my (mid) life, give me a cushy seat, a Dolby stereo surround sound speaker system, basic food stuffs, a little petit cru and some Brie, for example. I can watch any game, no matter how long, cold or wet it is. We could add a lightning rod, a wet bar and cheer our kids on until dark or the booze ran dry. (I’d prefer to keep it inside, I must admit, but it all works.) [Read More…]

Teens and Hate – A Scientific Life Lesson

Stansell Daughter - Scientific Life LessonYou know what I HATE the most?  I hate hate. And, I REALLY hate it when my children say they hate something.  In fact, I hate it so much that I hate to even write this.

I hate it when people say, “Don’t you hate it when….”  I hate that there is hate in the world that causes me to have to write about hate to help people see why it doesn’t even make sense to hate anything.  OK. Enough.  Blech!  I think you get the point.

Here’s what has me riled up:

The other day, my 8th grade daughter was getting herself ready for school.  I’m proud of her because, until now, I’d have to get up early to make sure she’s out of bed in time.

[Read More…]

The Professional Photo Shoot (In Honor of My 3rd Child)

Lori and LouieThe night before the photo shoot, I made sure he had a bath. I brushed his teeth and trimmed his hair so you could see his eyes. The next morning when I said, “We’re going for a car ride,” Louie ran to the door and waited patiently. I packed a bag of his snacks and favorite toys. Finally we were ready. Louie, my dog, was ready for his first professional photo shoot.

I am an empty nester and Louie is my third child. I admit it. Louie has replaced my children – my husband knows it, my kids know it, and Louie knows it.

I love stopping at the pet store to buy little treats and toys for him. He also receives a monthly BarkBox of surprise toys and treats. My phone is filled with pictures of my dog. I feel like a new mom as I take pictures of every new thing he does or encounters.

He sleeps, I take a picture. He looks cute, I take a picture. He plays with a toy, I take a picture. It’s his birthday … well, you get the picture! [Read More…]

Two Parenting Short Stories – by Mr. Mom

kids sofaSofa So Good

My first mistake was putting my hands down between the pillows as I helped my wife rearrange the house for a dinner we were hosting.  I’m pretty sure something moved while I reconnoitered the nooks and crannies of our living room sofa.

There was enough dirt, dog hair (HOW?  Dog not allowed on sofa.) pencils, pens, crayons and raisins (G-d I hope that was a raisin.) to fill a garbage bag.  If you’re missing Lego pieces, I now direct you to your living room or downstairs sofa.

You’ll hit the jackpot, I’m sure.  I scored 49 cents myself, a good payday for a massage therapist. [Read More…]

By |September 1st, 2015|Categories: Fatherhood, Fathers over 50, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , |0 Comments

Our Summer Vacation

Jo-Ann Rogan's familyWe are a typical family, Mom, Dad, two boys. I work part-time so that I am around for my kids, I was vice president of the PTA in school last year, and I am on the board of directors of my kids swim team.

We live in a lovely little urban neighborhood where it is possible for my kids to play outside by themselves and they know many of the names of the dogs and owners who pass our house on their way to the park and we are not beyond a “deck night” with the neighbors. All just ordinary stuff, the only thing that makes us different is my husband and I are in a hardcore punk band together.

The band was active in the 90’s and we spend the better part of a decade on the road until I discovered I was pregnant at the ripe age of 38. After the band had fiery break up, I moved on with the guitarist to marriage, parenthood, and middle age. [Read More…]

How To Create A Summer (& Lifestyle) Of Grand Adventures Without Grand Expense

Sara and Ocean on a camel

 

“Oh NO!!!” screeched the single mom with a tribe of five (that’s me). “It’s summertime again, and my kids will be home bored and hungry for 2 ½ months. We will be driving one another crazy, and my workload is fuller than ever, and, and, and…”

Sound familiar? This is how my summer started, like many before. In my summer article last year, I was asking readers to help give me ideas or suggestions, so that I could make it through! This year, I decided to take the bull by the horns.

What do I mean by that?  I decided to be as pro-active as possible – a lifestyle choice of mine – but this time, I applied it to my tribe’s summer home, and reached out to find adventures and activities for all of them. [Read More…]

Featured In