Midlife Foibles!

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…]

(Navigating the Waters of) Getting Your Kid’s First Passport

passportGetting a passport for your children makes Putin, Castro, Kim Song Il and Dentists seem like a walk in the park, a day at the beach or anything that could actually be called pleasant.

Our first experience with a passport for our son, five years ago, had both my wife and me dancing with apoplexy.  We went to the post office, where, after waiting for 20 minutes with no information, we were told we had to make an appointment three months later. Pity the poor postmaster that day.

My son’s head snapped back and forth Grand Slam style as first my wife and then I worked him over.  Didn’t help, but we felt better and we visited the postmaster in recovery.

[Read More…]

Just Before Two Years/Six Months/Five Days and a Handful of Hours – Ago

hollywoodWhat do I do here, in Hollywood, with the V-Word? Backstory: (Before Kid) I remember scores of parents everywhere talking about their children. Sorry, that’s a lie. I don’t remember scores of parents saying anything. That would have required caring about what parents were saying, and I remember a decade or two, maybe four or so, when I didn’t much care what they said.

Apart from that, I do recall them asking things in plangent tones like, “‘What are we teaching our children about the world?” and other sayings that felt a good deal like whining at the time.

Back then – about two years, six months, five days and a handful of hours  (that is, before Sophie was born) – I could not have cared less about what we were teaching our children. Especially, about the V-Word. No, get your minds out of the bedrooms. I meant Violence. It’s no big deal, right? Especially since it’s everywhere? [Read More…]

Dressing Daddy (That is, My Husband)

Gina's flipflopsTwenty-eight years ago, the following were my husband’s five rules of fashion:

1. Beige is good; more beige is better, and a whole lot of beige is best – Most people identify red or green or even periwinkle as their favorite color.  Not my husband, Jeff – he liked that nebulous not brown, not white shade of regurgitated oatmeal, known as beige.  He liked it so much that in the pre-Gina era, 90% of his wardrobe was beige.

He had it all – beige golf shirts, beige (aka khaki) pants, beige sports jacket, even beige socks which he often wore simultaneously for an effect that what was, at best, underwhelming.  There was an advantage (if one can call it that) to Jeff’s love affair with beige – his outfits never clashed.  No danger of pink paired with red, no maroon mixed with orange.  Only beige – bleak and boring beige. [Read More…]

By |June 18th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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