ScaryMommy.com: This one is for the mom who is heading back to work

A version of this essay was originally published in ScaryMommy.com on Feb. 25, 2017

I see you, Mama, pacing from room to room, recalling what still needs to be packed for tomorrow. You pause by the sleeping baby’s crib, in awe of his eyelashes and his measured breathing, unsuspecting that tomorrow someone else will be reading him his favorite bunny story and putting him down for nap time.

You try to cook as much as possible to prepare for your upcoming 11-hour, perhaps 12-hour, absences. You bought a crockpot and bookmarked recipes online; you stocked up on groceries as if Armageddon is fast approaching, and now your freezer door won’t close.

Continue reading

Doing car makeup right: an unglamorous tutorial

Look, I know what you’re thinking: who in their right mind would apply makeup in a moving vehicle? It’s dangerous, plus people think car makeup looks like the aftermath of a baby playing with a tube of red lipstick.

Car makeup is something I admit to doing only once in a while, and only when vehicle is stationary. Sure, I wish I could be like those 20 year old YouTube superstars, who baste themselves with 180 eyeshadow colors using 35 eye makeup brushes for an hour, before moving on to contouring.

Life with two small children shortens the daily beauty ritual. Multitasking is key. So, um, hey guys, here are some tips.

15-facts-that-girls-don-t-want-guys-to-know-745157493-jun-11-2014-1-600x4501

Continue reading

About last night: 10 ways Valentine’s Day derailed

Let’s face it, most of us have been there one way or another – because not everybody spends a day in February with Godiva chocolates and overpriced balloons.

bad_valentines_day_gift

1. Robert signed a Valentine’s Day card for Clarissa with a tentative “Love, Robert,” which forced them to confront the inauthenticity of their feelings, whereupon they broke up.

2. Jared flew across the county for a romantic weekend rendez vous  with his long distance girlfriend, only to find her sick with the flu, the situation quickly deescalating from raunchy to viral.

Continue reading

22 funny things my students wrote

The other day, I came across some pretty amusing things my former college students wrote in essays, informal reading responses and the “Here’s what happened to me/my homework” emails. And though I don’t like to admit it, I’ve written stuff like that too – even beyond college. Haven’t most of us?  

1. She glared at me with her frightful open eyes, popped out.

2. Hearing [Alice Walker] talk about the small shit she worries about makes me think about the small shit I worry about, which makes me think I really need a cigarette.

3. In the midst of California’s prospering “Silicon Valley,” my adolescent purgatory stood like a fading ghost of post-war optimism.

4. In Russia, party without vodka and herring is not a party.

Continue reading

Kveller: Embracing the Russian food of my youth for the sake of my kids

This essay was originally published by Kveller.com on Dec. 29, 2016.

I never thought I’d miss Russian food, the unassuming cuisine of my birthplace. I was self-conscious about Russian salads, for instance, referring to boiled and chopped root vegetables loaded with mayonnaise, not microgreens. Traditional Russian recipes use just one kind of cheese, called cheese. Growing up as an immigrant kid in the United States, it’s awkward having to always explain that sour cream really does make everything better, that Herring under a Fur Coat isn’t furry, that the jiggly meat jelly is no weirder than the processed American chicken tender.

Read more here. 

The Washington Post: How new mothers can avoid injury when starting to exercise again

 This story was originally published by The Washington Post on Dec. 13, 2016. It was republished by the Chicago Tribune on Dec. 15, 2016.

One January morning, while attempting my first jog since the birth of my 6-week-old baby, I was taken aback by my low endurance as I plodded along, hyperventilating and draped over the stroller’s handle.

I soon discovered endurance was only the beginning of the physical challenges I’d experience as a new mom. Pregnancy and childbirth can also weaken abdominal muscles, loosen ligaments and cause structural changes in the rib cage and pelvis. All of this makes a woman prone to injury if she pursues a bikini body too quickly.

Read more here.

17 Reasons why you may be the Person of the Year

person-of-the-yearTime Magazine has recently nominated their person of the year for 2016. (For the record, they’ve also had Stalin and Hitler on that list and their reasons are anything but complimentary.)

Of the seven billion people on the planet, many do pretty fabulous things on a daily basis. I’d like to propose someone that may be a worthier candidate.

So, gentle reader, you deserve the title, if:

1. If you’ve lost work and sleep to care for an ailing relative.

2. If you saw a nut job draw a weapon in an attempt to kill innocent civilians and you intercepted him.

3. If you grit your teeth and kicked a bad habit.

Continue reading