To Do List

Leeza Gibbons was on The Fashion Team a couple of years ago and she talked about “setting your intention for the day.”  That sounded so heavy, but it stuck in my head and it was a different, more dynamic way of saying, “do what is on your to do list”.

Today I didn’t set my intention.  Between nothing written done to guide me, the cold rain and my cramps I feel I squandered some precious hours where I had the kids occupied.

Well, can’t be productive everyday.


This video is a recreation of a REAL conversation.  One that happened in my kitchen.  I was not the main talker in the real life version, but I am acting as the main player here so I can bring this to you.  It was so funny when it happened.   You know when you are hanging out with friends and someone brings up something so random, so snorting milk through the nose funny?  It’s usually something that you always thought yourself, but never dared say outloud.

House Arrest

A big– if not THE reason–mom bloggers have become such an significant presence online is because many of us are shut-ins.  This isolation can drive some to go inward, become depressed, drink too much, talk to themselves or act like characters in a children’s show.  But, enough about me.  One could also choose instead to have delusions of grander.

Just a suggestion

A Blog is Born

Gather round those that like a good wit!  After YEARS of begging my sister Carole (seen here in  a CM vid) to do a blog she has finally done it.  LAgirlNOW has arrived.  It’s all her faves: food, shopping and iconic LA.

Carole is a modern day Dorothy Parker.  The enthusiasm in her writing is who she is in real life. IMG_0361.JPG

Always excited to hear about new things, people, their lives.  Now, if you don’t live in LA, give it a look anyway just to get a taste of her joie de vivre.

If you are in So. California Carole will be a great guide.

I’m so proud of my big sis.

Dirty rugs

Hey, has anyone watched “Outsourced” on NBC?  That’s a funny show.  It’s kind of like “The Office” in India, but without all the jerky camera moves.  It’s nice to see some different cultures in mainstream TV and it’s funny.  We all get irritated when you call a help line and you can tell you are speaking to someone in another country.  Well, this is largely from the perspective of the people on the other end of that call.

I saw “Tangled” the other week with my daughter and Mark.  We loved it.  Always thought “Princess and the frog” would have done better if they had launched it Thanksgiving weekend instead of later in December.  I was too pooped and busy by then.  I saw it, sure, but we probably would have seen it 12 times had it been out earlier.

Oh, I have dirty rugs.

Madoff: 2 years later

December 12th 2008 is our families darkest day.  Our own Sept 11th where everything changed, well not everything.

I have to take it as a healthy sign that was I was unaware the anniversay was on upon us.  That is until Thursday night MSNBC called and asked if I would speak about my experience the following morning.  I am on the media radar as I quickly stuck my neck out, after we found out about being robbed, by finding a lawyer who would take up our case.  I was the lead plaintiff in a class action suit against Stanely Chais, the head of the feeder fund we were in (though we had to drop it once the gov.’t stepped in).  I had never heard of B. Madoff, that was the late Mr. Chais’s secret that he was handing all the money to him. I agreed to do it because 1) to give a face to this story 2) they said they would mention coolmom and I always need to drive traffic here.

The anchor asked me to talk about the day that I found out.  I did and told her the wrenching tale.  I also mentioned that I had thrown up for 24 hours after I found out.  She asked how we were doing and I said basically that, after the shock we decided that Madoff ruined his life, he wasn’t going to ruin ours.  We had a baby boy on the way and we would celebrate that.  We did have a party, albeit potluck, but it was great.  I told the newswoman, fab Chris Jansing, that it was hard to rebuild in the great recession.

“Do you still get sick to the stomach?” She asked

“No, I think I am passed that.” But I spoke about my anxiety and how some of the members of my family have had depression issues because of this.

I was driven home by a car they hired. I was thinking, that went okay, good I will be home in time to take Vivien to school and then it hit me.  I ran into the house and I did get sick.  I had flown to close to the flame.  I had allowed myself to get too deep and feel the trauma again, the life change, the “holy crap what are we going to do now?” pit in my stomach.

But, what always sets me right again is time with my kids, (exercise as well, but not in the cards that day) seeing good friends.  Okay, deep breath, seeing the glass half full again.

Then Saturday came the news that Mark Madoff had hung himself.  I found this very upsetting.  I always thought that he and his brother knew something of the scam, though I don’t KNOW that.  Yet, I was shaken by his suicide just from a humanity level and because his 2 year old was in the next room.  He left behind 4 children.  Call it the Stockholm syndrome, but I did feel a connection with Mark Madoff at this news.  Two years later, though we had never met and were on different ends of this grand theft, he was still very affected by it as was I and my family.  It actually made me feel less odd for feeling sick to my stomach.  I thought a lot about Mr. Madoff’s death as I slept. Sunday, I realized my body was aching.   I told my husband that I had been physcially dormet this week and I wanted to go and take a yoga class.  At first it felt good, but half way through the class I couldn’t stop shaking, like I was freezing, but I knew I wasn’t. I felt ill and I phoned Mark. “you must have a touch of the flu” he said.  I drove home and got into bed.

Fortunatly my sister Cecily- a therapist- came over and was very good to talk to.  She said it’s standard mental health stuff that people are vulnerable around the anniversarys of trauma.  Mark Madoff clearly .  Now, I was having a little anxiety attack of sorts. Some good food and time with my kids started to lighten the cramping in my body and warm me up, literally.  She reminded me about a great, cheap massage place near my mom’s.  I went when Mark came home from work and I felt a TON better.  Maybe the laying on of hands.

When I came home to our crowded, messy house with the four of them eating in front of the TV, the dinner table dishevled and abandonded because “The Santa Clause” was on I felt so content I happily cleaned up the plates and the mess in the kitchen.

This weekend I was also thinking of Elizabeth Smart and how she has been able to go on after the nightmare that was foisted on her.  People like that are amazing, I know she must have her dark moments, but admire how she holds her head up and continues on.  If she can do that, this should be a walk in the park for me. But, of course it’s all relative and I think that the important thing for anyone who has had a blow of some sort, death of someone close to them, a crime, is to know that there are times, like anniversaries, that can wallop you without you knowing it.  Be gentle with yourself at these times.  Ask for help with the kids or take a walk, get a massage.  Eating lots of sugar and white flour and wine do not seem to help, I know, I’ve tried that route.

(By the way, when I write about this I ALWAYS get a few snarky comments, so let’s skip those shall we?  I know how dare I be bummed about having a lot of money stolen from me and my family.  Just humor me.)

Top Baby Names

This is a little different from our regular fare, but it’s a topic that consumes new parents so I thought it would be a good addition. published the top baby names of 2010 and tracked what will be the hot names of 2011.  Here is an interview I did with editor Linda Murray on the topic.  She was on a media tour and I am the disembodied voice, but it’s an entertaining exchange I believe.  But, then my name is from a famous cartoon character so what do I know?  (Yes, Mom, I know you were thinking Daphne DuMaurier).

Going Gray: A Very Special Momversation

This conversation started because Alice Bradley wrote on her blog Finslippy that she was going to go gray, or grey. I can never decided.  Rebecca Woolf of Girlsgonechild raised her hand to be on the “you go girl” side of going gray and she had her super cute mom Wendy with her her silver bob to throw into the mix. Having had a partial hippie upbringing I have a mixed relationship with au natural.  ( see chapter in my future book called “fighting to get filtered apple juice at school”) I line up on the dye, baby, dye side of things.  Especially if you are MY age.  I have a friend from junior high whose hair has so much gray in it now it shocks me when I see it.  Last time I saw her I said, “Hey, Emmylou, if you get anymore gray in your hair I’m going to tell people you were my teacher in school not my friend.” She lives in Northern California, which is probably why I moved back home.  As much as like a stone ground wheat something something, I also like a little artifice in my life.  (see old vlog on Botox)

I brought my mom Morency to this show and tell.  Morency has made coolmom appearences, and momversation, before and she was only to ready to talk about her love of dye.  Hold on to your mouse, because I am pretty sure this is the first Momversation that included the word ‘pubic’.

Mommy, I love you and I am so proud.

Tree Up!

This vid comes very close to something that’s been brewing in me for a while.  I call it “The Daphne Doctrine”.  Don’t fight it, accept it.  Helps if you have a couple of lovely little kids to keep you on the fun and silly.

I set a record this year for myself. The kids and I got our tree on November 30th.  Other years I kept trying to coordinate with Mark’s schedule, but this year I just did it when it was good for me and fun for Vivien and Rex. Ended up it was a night that Mark and Oliver were present, so there is probably a doctrine there as well.

What’s the point of fighting the holidays?

In Plain Sight

Let’s all agree to go to each other’s houses and organize each other.  Okay?  Isn’t it amazing how when you go to someone ELSE’s house, you can instantly see the problems.  How that chair doens’t go… how they need to remove the dark wall paper… and how that pile of papers should be sorted.  But, we become blind to our own piles.

But, one day I noticed a pile that had been staring me in the face… for over a year.