I don’t know what’s wrong with me! Am I suffering from grandma-itis?

Sorry once again for posting the same thing on both blogs, but until I find a way to marry the two, I might be doing it a few more times!

1328928449733_1980393I was NEVER one of those moms or mothers-in-law that nagged at the kids to have a baby. You never heard these words spill from my lips,

“I need a grandchild.”

“When are you going to give me a grandchild?”

I’m not getting any younger, aren’t you EVER going to have children?”

I figured after ten years of being married that they had decided (privately) that it wasn’t part of their five-year plan (obviously) or even their ten-year-plan and it was their business and I might be obnoxious about MANY MANY things (I admit it) but I wasn’t the stereotypical Jewish mom in THAT way.

I was 100% totally OK with it, too.

So it came as a shock to no one more than myself how excited I was when my son and DIL told me they were expecting a child, and in our lovely TMI way—providing me with all the who-what-where-when details of the actual conception (my son is SO proud of himself; my son the overachiever lol.)

First, I screamed.

Then I said, “It’s about time!!”

And then because that’s the way I roll, I make everything all about ME.

Since that day, I’ve become OBSESSED with all things baby—I swear, hand to heart, it’s as if I’m the one who’s carrying this boychild and I know that sounds weird , REALLY weird if you think about it, geez, that’s my SON, but that’s how invested I am.

If everyone thought I was a helicopter mom before, all I can say is LOOK OUT.

I actually tell people I’m having a baby.

I mean I’ve told absolute strangers that I’m having a baby, and when they look at me skeptically—medical miracle and all that, plus my belly with no discernible bump- (well, there are definitely lumps but no bumps) I clarify that it’s my son and his wife who are having a baby, and they inevitably say,

“Ohhh, so you’re a first-time grandma, now I get it. Been there, done that. Best time in your entire life. Congratulations!

I’m a shopper.

I’m a shopaholic.

I’m obsessed with retail therapy.

I love shopping for myself.

I really, really do.

But there’s something wrong with me!

I drive to all my favorite stores and run my fingers through silk blouses and sparkly jewelry and high-heeled winter boots; and NOTHING.

I buy NOTHING. Not a thing. Nothing sparks my desire.

However, I find myself magnetically drawn to the baby department where I analyze and scrutinize newborn onesies, the softest little socks, nursery bedding, high chairs, and strollers.

Apparently the only stroller worth having in 2015 is a Bugaboo, which costs as much as a used car.bugaboo-buffalo-stroller-BK2015-BA-RBB-0

When my son was born, we had this pram, similar in design to this Milson used by the royal family, with big wheels and shock absorbers guaranteed to provide Angel Boy with a smooth ride. We found it at an antique store and I’m pretty sure no one else in San Diego County pushed their child in this kind of luxury.231265080

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.

In the past, I’d be happy because the office is near Anthropologie, J Crew, and Bloomies.

But now? 

I’m excited as can be because I can stop at Buy Buy BABY.

What the heck is wrong with me?

Have I been infected with that grandmother-itis I’ve been hearing about?

The high chair is used but very clean and only needs a new insert.highchair

Who could resist this sailboat onesie with matching hat?
highchair2

Yes, there’s most definitely something wrong with me.

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Lessons Learned From Blogging

I’ve been blogging since 2012 and have come to the conclusion that I don’t know much about a lot of things, but I’ve learned a few things about myself…

  • I’ve learned a lot about HOW to blog; how to set up a WordPress account and all the other socializations necessary for my words to obtain that all important reach: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram (although I don’t have a smartphone so I can’t access that.)
  • I’m more tech-savvy than the average mid-lifer.
  • I’m not a joiner of tribes or any group that is inclusionary or exclusionary. I tried, but failed, to join various groups and even attended a blogging convention, but alas, I tap my six-inch stilettos to the beat of a different drum…
  • I like to go rogue; be myself, be maverick-y, express my own views, and not blindly agree with anyone.
  • I’ve learned to become more confident (not that I was ever a shrinking violet lol.)
  • I’ve discovered that there aren’t a lot of vegan, animal defending, Jewish princess-y fashionista, workout junkie, empty nest midlife bloggers, so I fit a very narrow demographic.
  • I don’t write about my sex life (or lack of it.)
  • I don’t write about uber cringy personal topics. It’s not that I don’t HAVE any problems or issues to face and endure, but I keep things mostly private (the opposite of what makes a blog go viral).
  • I don’t husband-bash, except for gentle teasing, and that’s only after I’ve asked tugboat man whether he minds if I make him the topic of humor.
  • On a positive note, blogging has helped me sharply define what I DO care about: protecting and defending animals, standing up for what’s right and being extremely vocal about what I believe is WRONG. Like fur and hunting. WRONG WRONG WRONG.
  • And shopping. I dearly love to shop. And Chanel. I love Chanel, I really do. I’m an enigma.

a-little-confession-on-confession-day

For the last few months or so (or maybe even longer) I’ve noticed that my blog numbers are way down like half of last year!!…readership and interest seems to be dwindling and not building to that overwhelming tipping point where I become the next break out star like Arianna Huffington or Jenny Lawson.

Things aren’t supposed to go this way, right?

But I’m being completely honest, confessing as befits my blog title.

“Why”” I wonder to myself…

Why do you no longer love me?

Too princess-y?

Too tugboat-y?

Not enough seashells?

Too BORING?

Maybe none or maybe ALL of the above?

Anyway, it’s the perfect time for CH-CH-CH-CHANGES even though I don’t like change — I like when things stay the same — but not too much of a transmutation ( I LOVE that word.)

I’ve been working on creating a new blog with a slightly different format; it’s almost ready to hit the light of day!

Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife won’t disappear, but my focus will be directed more specifically to this fresh and shiny blog.

You’ll see soon enough.

WINK.

Changes  (David Bowie)

“…pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time.”

Happy Mother’s Day To My Son

Vintage Angel Boy

Vintage Angel Boy

Because, of course, without him, I wouldn’t have a Mother’s Day at all.

This was brought to my attention one year by my facetious brilliant child who remarked that in fact, HE should be the one who garners all the attention, because without HIM, I’d have nothing to celebrate.

I thought about it and he’s right and the day belongs to my Angel Boy.

I’ve enjoyed thirty-four years of receiving gifts and presents and all the little things that go along with this one day set aside to recognize mothers; handmade cards and macaroni hearts (I’ve kept them all) and coupon books for hugs and dishwashing (still waiting to collect on a few of those.)

Now that our nest is empty and I don’t wake up to a sweet little boy snuggling in bed with me; that embodiment of Mother’s Day with every smile and giggle, there’s only one thing I desire, and this is true of a lot of other empty nest moms I’ve talked to.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

What do we want?

TIME!

When do we want it?

NOW!

My cell phone rang and the little screen flashed “Angel Boy”, which always makes me verrry happy, because as much as texts and emails facilitate instant communication, there’s really no good substitute for hearing my only child’s voice.

Me: “Was ist los, mein Kinde?”

(That’s pretty much my entire body of knowledge of German, which is Angel Boy’s Ph.D.; Germanic Languages and Literatures)

Him: Hi, Mom.”

Me: “To what do I owe the honor of an actual telephone call?”

Him: “What do you want for Mother’s Day?”

(By unspoken agreement, this query includes my birthday, which is either ON Mother’s Day or within a few days of it.)

Me: “YOU know what I want.”

“It’s that little four-letter word. It’s what I always want. Say it.”

Him: “You want TIME, right?”

Me: “Yup, that’s it. I want YOU. I want time BEING with you. I want to spend TIME with you.”

“Don’t buy me any THING. What I want is priceless.”

And that’s the truth.

Ever since he left SoCal to pursue his lofty academic goals mostly on the East coast, TIME has become a precious commodity.

Now I know why my mom counseled me to spend every second, every minute — with my child, because she knew that once they grow up and fly away, all you’ll be left with is memories.

That’s why I got up at 4 a.m. and did as much housework as possible before he woke up so that every minute could be spent caring for him, playing with him — just BEING with my Angel Boy without having to say, “in a minute” or “not now, I’m busy.”

If I had to give advice to mom nowadays, I’d tell them to spend more precious time being present in their children’s lives, and spend a whole lot less time on their electronic devices.

Because one day, their children will be gone, and you’ll regret the hours you spent on Facebook.

Although I’m not seeing my Angel Boy ON Mother’s Day, he planned a camping/hiking trip for us in a couple of weeks, and that’s when I’ll bask in the glow of TIME.

I can’t wait.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

Another Empty Nest, Another Sad Mom

Another empty nest

Poor mama bird, I know how she feels…

 

I found a broken shell from a newly hatched baby under the ficus tree. A pair of warbling vireos make a home year after year in this birdhouse.

 

It’s so sad that she puts all that work into building a nest and feeding her babies and they always fly away.

They always leave mommy. *sniff*

I guess that’s the way Mother Nature intended it to be, but it still sucks.

Facebook is full of moms who can’t wait until their children turn eighteen, almost pushing them out of the nest with a packed suitcase and a sigh of relief so they can resume their “lives”, but that’s not the way I feel about it.

As much as I’m bursting with pride at the independent and successful young professor he’s become, his bedroom is still quietly waiting — just as it always was, with fresh sheets on the bed, clean clothes in the closet, and his favorite books lined up on the shelf.

In the beginning, when he first left for college (years ago), the hardest thing to deal with was the silence — the QUIET was deafening. I have no idea how one child could fill up the space with his presence, but he did.

Now, nothing makes me happier than a call telling me he’s coming home for a visit (sigh) so I can load up on the ingredients for his favorite foods.

You know how mama birds feed their young, don’t you? They regurgitate partially digested insects and worms directly into the beaks of their babes.

I’m not THAT extreme, but you know what I mean.

It’s one of my greatest joys to watch my son eat.

I admit it. I do. I sit across from him at the table and soak it all in, every single mouthful.

(Don’t feel sorry for him, he’s used to it.)

And then he leaves again, and the quiet fills our house and our hearts.

Can you guess that I’m missing my Angel Boy right now?

Older. Wiser. Better?

Many years later, still puzzling things out.

SELFIE PUZZLEStill the paramount focal point of any photo.
Still fabulously attired with beautifully coiffed and beribboned hair.
Still unable to fit round pieces into square shapes.
And yet, still, the world revolves around me.

And most importantly, still adorable.

P.S. I sent this post to hub and he emailed back that this has always been his favorite pic of me and it’s because I look so determined.

Pap Smear With Benefits #Midlife Version

In the spirit of October’s Healthy Living Theme, the entire body will be in the limelight. LOL. Don’t miss Friday’s post!


V-jayjay Exam.checkmark

Botox.

Check and double check.

Time management at its finest.

Just like most females who endure that yearly gynecological wellness check, which may or may not be another sip of the Kool-Aid that we’ve been conditioned to believe is essential for good health and cancer detection, I too brave the silvery stirrups every twelve moons or so, although at my advanced #midlife status, it’s acceptable to wait a couple of years between these physically invasive exams.

My pre-check routine is to bathe and shave (this might be oversharing, but I don’t wax ‘cos I’m allergic to it and I really have an aversion to strangers hanging around “down there”) and make myself and my lady parts as camera-ready as possible.

If I could bedazzle or drape a scarf around it, I would, as I do loves me some accessories, so I attempt to spruce it up all up for the big reveal. I mean, you never know when you’re going to be discovered, right? Always ready, that’s my motto. As Norma Desmond said, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”

A momentary pause for a brief rant:

 I gotta comment on the feelings of being post-menopausal and sitting in the same waiting room with full-to-bursting, fecund, FERTILE women.

It doesn’t feel very good. To be past — as in beyond — childbearing age.

It’s not that I want to have another baby even if I could– I’m no Michelle Duggar — the truth is that I only wanted one perfect child (which I have), but to be sitting amongst those who still have functional baby makers made me feel kind of dried up and old.

“I’m in the club”,  I whispered to myself. “I was just like you guys. I puked for four months and then ate my weight in blueberry pancakes and endless jars of gefilte fish (and I mean eating them straight from the jar and even drinking that disgusting jelly-like liquid) and couldn’t see my feet for the last two months before I went through the hell of a twenty-four hour labor and eventual Caesarean section delivery.”

I wanna pull up my shirt and pull my pants down just enough to proudly display my C-section scar, those battle wounds, my daily reminder of  the painjoypainjoy I endured to become a mom, which is all I ever really wanted to be when I grew up.

“My memories might be thirty-two years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Screw it. The solution should be separate waiting rooms. I can’t deal with the assault of fruitfulness slapping my aridity in the face.

Rant status: OVER.

Just like we all have to do whether we are the elite or the hoi polloi or even Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton, I changed into the most unflattering shade of pure and blinding white scratchy paper gown with the narrow plastic belt/tie/thingy. The great equalizer. It was barely long enough to execute a proper bow. Or maybe it was a hairband? Now I’m not sure. Whatev. Is white paper the new black? The new orange? Nope. It’s still nothing that will ever be trendy or urban chic.

Great, the next step is the inelegant hop up on the also white paper-covered exam/lounging table. I must admit I’ve become so spoiled by 800-thread count sheets that I was quite offended by the scratchy but slippery texture. At least it’s sterile — and that pleases my OCD.

The doc finally sauntered in with a pleasant smile and bouncy hair, switching on that godforsaken bright light that serves to highlight each and every darling cellulite dimple that I’ve accumulated over the last few decades. ILOVEMYCELLULITEILOVEMYCELLULITE. NOPE. SERIOUSLY. I HATE MY CELLULITE.

“How often do you do a self-exam breast check?” Doctor Z asked as she was doing just that. “Never” I said, with my most winsome smile. “There really isn’t enough there to check…” She laughed at my little attempt at levity to lighten the atmosphere while she’s kneading and pinching and probably thinking about what she’s going to be drinking later on that evening — anyway, that’s what I was doing. White wine? No. Pinot Noir? No. Straight vodka from the bottle? Winner, winner, winner! 

That wasn’t soooo bad, but then we reached  the dreaded part of the visit where the doc always says, “Can you scoot down a little more?” And then, “How about a little more?”

Ignominy. That’s the only way to describe it.

Quack quack

Quack quack

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women by collecting cells from the cervix. That first involves the insertion of an instrument of torture called a speculum. FYI, the modern speculum was invented (by a man, of course) in 1845.

I can share with you after having gone through about a dozen gynos over the years, Doctor Z is the BEST. And I prefer a woman gyn. I don’t think a man can understand what our issues are, no matter what. Only a woman knows what another woman feels and experiences.  Doc Z has perfected a painless method of scraping the cervix and she’s never accidentally pinched that very sensitive area that makes you want to convulsively kick their faces across the room. FYI, that’s the real reason why the have those little wheeled stools so they can roll away FAST before they get punched out by a valiant v-jayjay.

The most dreaded part of the exam is over; time to stuff the paper gown in the trash and get dressed.

But this visit’s not quite over because Dr. Z has joined the ranks of a new breed of doctor; combining a medical specialty with the value added option of a little cosmetic rejuvenation in the form of Botox and fillers.

Ergo the Pap smear and Botox.

I consider it my reward for enduring the humiliation of exposing my inner workings. While we chat about being vegan and a new vegan restaurant in Encinitas called #Native Foods,  Doc Z prepares the botulism that will be injected into my face; to paralyze the correct muscles and stem the flow of aging —  if only for a few brief months.

But that’s good enough for me.

Maybe I can no longer have babies growing in my belly –but my glass is still half full; I no longer have to worry about “that time of the month” and my empty nest (and womb) affords me the opportunity for a little well deserved pampering.

What’s your experience with your OB-GYN (if you care to share, that is!)
Do you have a male of female doc?

Hot, Dry. Swirling Winds of Hell Must Mean It’s My Birthday!

I was SO happy to arrive in Carlsbad that I almost dropped to my knees to kiss the ground but then I remembered all the germs and disgusting things that people spit out, and my better judgment prevailed.

We got Angel Boy all settled in; now I’m working on creating meals and recipes that are appropriate for post-surgery, and that includes a lot of things we NEVER have in the house: white bread, white potatoes, white rice.

Because of that major abdominal surgery, he’s on a low fiber, low residue diet for a couple more weeks, and then we can gradually add cooked veggies and fruits, with the goal to be back on his regular diet in about six weeks.

I’ll set aside a whole post of recipes that I’ve adapted to meet his specific needs. It’s tough for me ‘cos I’m all about whole grains and tons of greens and wheat grass and smoothies, and I think all Angel Boy wants is one of my famous two-pound breakfast burritos. He’s lost about ten pounds that he didn’t need to lose (why can’t that be me??)

Before all this happened…the phone call at 3 a.m., flying east and living at the hospital for ten days, I was planning to write a really funny post about my birthday (which is today) — something about the face of 60 — yes, I mean SIXTY YEARS OLD — and how I still feel like I’m about thirteen, and then take a bunch of selfies to commemorate my special day — but I’m too busy helping my son recuperate (a full-time job).

,,,AND I just drove to the airport at 5 a.m. to put my tugboat man on a flight ‘cos he’s going away for a month — ON MY F-ING BIRTHDAY!!!!

Live is not fair, you guys!

Geez, nothing is working out for me today. I can’t even go shopping and drown my sorrows in some good old fashioned retail therapy.

And why is that, you ask?

Because SoCal is under some witchy-type spell and the boiling hot bowels of hell opened up; we’ve got record-breaking 100 degree temps AT THE BEACH in May when it’s normally cool and cloudy, and raging fires have started which turns the air all smoky and unbreathable, thanks to almost hurricane-force winds blowing from the east — a true Santa Ana that we normally only get in the fall.

To make matters worse, there are armies of ants invading every pore of our house —  even the ants are trying to escape the heat — and I’ve gone through an entire can of Raid in my attempts to dissuade them from setting up residence at Casa de Enchanted Seashells  — which means the house smells like insecticide — can you hear my screams of frustration?

Well, it’s back to cleaning and laundry and making special food every two hours for my Angel Boy. Hopefully, it’ll cool off a bit later on and we can go for a walk on the beach.

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!

P.S. You must know that I’m really happy to be caring for Angel Boy and spending my birthday with him is an added bonus — considering that we might have lost him, even the thought of another bowl of Cream of Wheat can’t dampen my joy!

The new face of 60…(along with the top Chanel makeup artist from NY)

chanel makeover

 

Pap Smear With Benefits (#Midlife Version)

V-jayjay Exam.checkmark

Botox.

Check and double check.

Time management at its finest.

Just like most females who endure that yearly gynecological wellness check, which may or may not be another sip of the Kool-Aid that we’ve been conditioned to believe is essential for good health and cancer detection, I too brave the silvery stirrups every twelve moons or so, although at my advanced #midlife status, it’s acceptable to wait a couple of years between these physically invasive exams.

My pre-check routine is to bathe and shave (this might be oversharing, but I don’t wax ‘cos I’m allergic to it and I really have an aversion to strangers hanging around “down there”) and make myself and my lady parts as camera-ready as possible.

If I could bedazzle or drape a scarf around it, I would, as I do loves me some accessories, so I attempt to spruce it up all up for the big reveal. I mean, you never know when you’re going to be discovered, right? Always ready, that’s my motto. As Norma Desmond said, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”

A momentary pause for a brief rant:

 I gotta comment on the feelings of being post-menopausal and sitting in the same waiting room with full-to-bursting, fecund, FERTILE women.

It doesn’t feel very good. To be past — as in beyond — childbearing age.

It’s not that I want to have another baby even if I could– I’m no Michelle Duggar — the truth is that I only wanted one perfect child (which I have), but to be sitting amongst those who still have functional baby makers made me feel kind of dried up and old.

“I’m in the club”,  I whispered to myself. “I was just like you guys. I puked for four months and then ate my weight in blueberry pancakes and endless jars of gefilte fish (and I mean eating them straight from the jar and even drinking that disgusting jelly-like liquid) and couldn’t see my feet for the last two months before I went through the hell of a twenty-four hour labor and eventual Caesarean section delivery.”

I wanna pull up my shirt and pull my pants down just enough to proudly display my C-section scar, those battle wounds, my daily reminder of  the painjoypainjoy I endured to become a mom, which is all I ever really wanted to be when I grew up.

“My memories might be thirty-two years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Screw it. The solution should be separate waiting rooms. I can’t deal with the assault of fruitfulness slapping my aridity in the face.

Rant status: OVER.

Just like we all have to do whether we are the elite or the hoi polloi or even Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton, I changed into the most unflattering shade of pure and blinding white scratchy paper gown with the narrow plastic belt/tie/thingy. The great equalizer. It was barely long enough to execute a proper bow. Or maybe it was a hairband? Now I’m not sure. Whatev. Is white paper the new black? The new orange? Nope. It’s still nothing that will ever be trendy or urban chic.

Great, the next step is the inelegant hop up on the also white paper-covered exam/lounging table. I must admit I’ve become so spoiled by 800-thread count sheets that I was quite offended by the scratchy but slippery texture. At least it’s sterile — and that pleases my OCD.

The doc finally sauntered in with a pleasant smile and bouncy hair, switching on that godforsaken bright light that serves to highlight each and every darling cellulite dimple that I’ve accumulated over the last few decades. ILOVEMYCELLULITEILOVEMYCELLULITE. NOPE. SERIOUSLY. I HATE MY CELLULITE.

“How often do you do a self-exam breast check?” Doctor Z asked as she was doing just that. “Never” I said, with my most winsome smile. “There really isn’t enough there to check…” She laughed at my little attempt at levity to lighten the atmosphere while she’s kneading and pinching and probably thinking about what she’s going to be drinking later on that evening — anyway, that’s what I was doing. White wine? No. Pinot Noir? No. Straight vodka from the bottle? Winner, winner, winner! 

That wasn’t soooo bad, but then we reached  the dreaded part of the visit where the doc always says, “Can you scoot down a little more?” And then, “How about a little more?”

Ignominy. That’s the only way to describe it.

Quack quack

Quack quack

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women by collecting cells from the cervix. That first involves the insertion of an instrument of torture called a speculum. FYI, the modern speculum was invented (by a man, of course) in 1845.

I can share with you after having gone through about a dozen gynos over the years, Doctor Z is the BEST. And I prefer a woman gyn. I don’t think a man can understand what our issues are, no matter what. Only a woman knows what another woman feels and experiences.  Doc Z has perfected a painless method of scraping the cervix and she’s never accidentally pinched that very sensitive area that makes you want to convulsively kick their faces across the room. FYI, that’s the real reason why the have those little wheeled stools so they can roll away FAST before they get punched out by a valiant v-jayjay.

The most dreaded part of the exam is over; time to stuff the paper gown in the trash and get dressed.

But this visit’s not quite over because Dr. Z has joined the ranks of a new breed of doctor; combining a medical specialty with the value added option of a little cosmetic rejuvenation in the form of Botox and fillers.

Ergo the Pap smear and Botox.

I consider it my reward for enduring the humiliation of exposing my inner workings. While we chat about being vegan and a new vegan restaurant in Encinitas called #Native Foods,  Doc Z prepares the botulism that will be injected into my face; to paralyze the correct muscles and stem the flow of aging —  if only for a few brief months.

But that’s good enough for me.

Maybe I can no longer have babies growing in my belly –but my glass is still half full; I no longer have to worry about “that time of the month” and my empty nest (and womb) affords me the opportunity for a little well deserved pampering.

What’s your experience with your OB-GYN (if you care to share, that is!)
Do you have a male of female doc?