If the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Can Make a Comeback, Why Can’t I?

I am lame. I am shallow. I am mean and manipulative.

The painful truths are still dangling in the air weeks after I made the solo decision on what my three year old would be for Halloween. My husband shook his head in unmistakable disappointment when I told him the costume choice and he proceeded to rattle off these insults rather easily. Emma would be dressed as a fairy princess. It is every little girl’s dream come true. It seemed like a no brainer. Everyone wins! Unless you happen to be me, or Emma, or my disgruntled husband who knew that this fairy get-up was not his daughter’s idea at all. Not. Even. Close.

Emma really wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I know what you are thinking – didn’t Michelangelo, Donatello and the rest of the Renaissance named reptiles go out with bang circa 97’ along with Bananas In Pajamas Figure Sets? I thought so too, but these sewer dwellers are back with a vengeance and can be seen on Saturday mornings following everyone’s favorite yellow sponge. The commercials for the Ninja Turtles are relentless, bordering on a brainwashing level of intensity and somehow my sweet and dainty daughter was attracted from her very first glimpse. After the fifth or six commercial Emma had made her mind up, and although it was only mid September and the word Halloween hadn’t been uttered by a soul, she announced her costume idea. She wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. She said it would be ‘totally awesome’. [Read more...]

Heather Glenn

About Heather Glenn

Heather Glenn was born and raised in Gloucester County, in the heart of Southern Jersey and ruefully admits to being nicknamed “Hairspray Heather” in sixth grade. Many bottles of Aquanet and high school graduation later, she tried out several colleges in South Jersey (Stockton State, Rowan and CCC during the summers), but eventually made her way down to Florida and managed to finally graduate from University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. After college graduation in the Sunshine State, the autumn leaves, her younger brother, and cravings of pizza and cheese steaks lured her back to NJ, where she met and married her mildly comical, but always entertaining husband of four years. Since a B.A. in Psychology wasn’t worth a hill of beans, she ended up a meeting planner for a medium sized firm. With her biological clock ticking, she dove into motherhood about a year after her honeymoon and was faced with the ultimate mother vs. career dilemma. The need for a paycheck temporarily won, but the constant struggle and angst over leaving her daughter never dissipated. With her toddler always in mind, she continues to search for the amazing opportunity to stay at home with the love of her life, baby E. She currently resides in Elk Township, on a small farm complete with tractor, goats, chickens, dog, and cat, surrounded by corn fields, and with an angel always watching from above. She is a mother of one (and dreamer of having another), a step-monster to two, a wife, a griever, a crappy card hand survivor, a fighter, a relentless movie-quote contributor, a lover of sarcasm, a procrastinator, and above all, and in true Jersey fashion, a ball-buster. She currently owns and proudly wears a demin, Bon Jovi jacket.

The Book of Love

My daughter, who is 7, has recently morphed into a rampaging mood-swing monster. She’s always had slight drama queen tendencies (and I have no idea where she gets those) but her new levels of highs and lows can set me trembling at the thought of her actual teenage years still to come.

Luckily, for me, some of that passion gets funneled into a desperate devotion to her mommy. She loves me, she needs me, she simply must have me all to herself. She’s like my own little Endless Love stalker. I just hope she doesn’t set the house on fire. Dad, on the other hand, is treated like a loathsome intruder, allowed to stay only for his skill in making homemade chicken nuggets.

Last week, she found a new outlet for her mommylove. She started writing a book about me. More of a little journal, really, capturing her impressions of me, complete with illustrations!

It’s thrilling, I admit, to have my biography underway; though as she ran through her initial ideas and then started asking me more about myself to trigger new entries, I found myself slightly chagrined at how few ‘interesting’ things I could come up with. Might be time to take up kickboxing or get into a shouting match with our loud-mouthed governor to give her some good material.

For now, I invite you to enjoy a few of my favorite pages so far …

She has black hair. p.s. and a little bit of white

and lots of lotion She is funny


She has a girl and boy children / She has a good/bad husband

She can save you! She’s in love with Johnny Depp


She likes to take pictures of food.


She can get back together with you (I’m sorry. It’s OK.)  / She is almost awesome.

Love the way this kid expresses her wild little self. And love the way she loves me … no matter how she spells it.

This is an original JerseyMomsBlog post. Deanna Q is a freelance writer and mother of two fantastic little beings

Deanna Q

About Deanna Q

Deanna Q was raised in Jersey (exit 151) but has never, believe it or not, owned a Bon Jovi album. (Springsteen is the only true Jersey rock god, in her humble opinion.) After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she spent 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area where life was good and the burritos even better. She has recently returned to the Garden State and now resides in Morris County where she and her Texas-born/Jersey-raised/California-found husband are raising two wild and wonderful kids and trying not implode from the ongoing culture shock. A freelance writer with a background in book publishing and the social expression industry (i.e., greeting cards), Deanna Q has a passion for international children’s film, chocolate, reading great fiction (and the occasional bit of fun trash), and 40-something movie stars named Johnny. She was utterly thrilled to have been chosen for the Star-Ledger’s Munchmobile on her first try and finds that writing about life in NJ continues to help ease the transition back from life on the left coast.

Child Nurse

My daughter was born in December 2006. In August 2007 I was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Since she was a baby, she has come with me to all my neurologist visits (at least every 6 months), has come to various fundraising walks/bikes with my always growing team, and knows the days when Mommy is just not 100%. I pride myself on the fact that I take good care of myself. Of course my whole family is my driving force, but the emphasis on it is my daughter. Of course there are some off-days. For instance, on days when fatigue is hitting me hard, she tells me to lay down and rest. Once a month she’ll hang out with her uncle, aunt, grandma, etc, when I go to the hospital to get my infusion. When I get home she’ll see the bandage on my arm and ask me if my boo-boo is ok. (Side note: my “boo-boo” has always been ok. Never had any side effects from the medication.) I sometimes feel bad because she doesn’t totally know what’s going on with me, but on the other hand she doesn’t know any different.

[Read more...]

Melissa

About Melissa

Melissa is a born & bred Jersey Girl, having lived in Middlesex County (Edison & East Brunswick) until age 11 when her family moved to Ocean County (Toms River) where she has been ever since. She married her husband/best friend, George in 2003 and in 2006 they finally welcomed their beautiful daughter, Alison. Melissa is now a chauffeur, short order cook, hairstylist, secretary and housekeeper, otherwise known as stay-at-home-mom and wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s nothing she loves more than curling up on the couch with Alison watching one of many Disney movies. Writing has always been a passion and somewhat of a therapy for Melissa. She was an active member of her high school newspaper during Junior & Senior years, and has also had school related articles published in the Ocean County Observer. Her most recent publication was the Fall 2009 issue of MS Connection; the quarterly magazine put out by the NJ Metro Chapter of the National MS Society. The article was about her and her every day battle with MS since August 2007. She credits her “easy” battle to the amazing support system she has in her very close-knit family and also to her own will to stay strong for them. Along with staying busy with her daughter, Melissa also loves scrapbooking, reading a good book, helping plan the next Disney vacation, or watching movies, reality TV or anything on the Food Network. Melissa is very excited to be part of Jersey Moms Blog and hope you’ll enjoy her thoughts as much as she loves giving them to you. You can also find Melissa on her personal blog Melissa’s Madness or on Twitter @melissa0208.

Without Traffic, 55 Minutes

Midway through my first pregnancy, my obgyn announced she would be closing her practice in New Jersey and moving out west.  Lucky for me, her closing date fell just shortly after my due date.  At my 40-week visit and with just five days left before the close of her practice, we weighed our options on how to proceed with my fickle “cherub.”  At my 34-week mark, my cherub decided she wanted to appear early and sent my husband and I into a panic.  She never arrived and I was sent home.  Apparently the cherub was just testing our response time.  But I digress.

It was during this 40-week visit, that my obgyn and I shared a conversation that still resonates in my head.

With her cross-country move just days away, we talked about the city she was moving to and the practice she would be joining.  With malpractice insurance so much more affordable everywhere other than New Jersey and the breathtaking landscape that surrounded the new city she would call home, you couldn’t help but feel her excitement and joy. I mused at how I would love to pick up and move somewhere completely foreign to me.  To this she responded with the following:  “You are a jersey girl.  Most of you may leave for college, but in the end you return and never leave.”  She had an interesting point.  With legs akimbo, I mentally ran through the list of all my family and friends.  She was right.  Most of us did, in fact, leave for college only to return and start our families back in good ole New Jersey.

After some thought, I explained to her, “But it’s Jersey.  Without traffic everything is 55 minutes maybe 65 minutes away, tops!  Why leave?”    To this she laughed and agreed. [Read more...]

CC Fowler

About CC Fowler

CC. Fowler, aka Central Jersey Working Moms, mother, wife, marketing manager, blogger, Girl Scout Leader, Chairman of the Greater Mercer Area Mothers & More and newly elected PTO Board Member. A life long resident of New Jersey, CC was born and raised in Union City, schooled in Jersey City, received her higher education degree at Rutgers University and currently lives in central NJ with two children ages almost 7 and almost 5, a traveling husband (a COO in the circus of finance) and two dogs (mini beagle and over sized, hair wasn't supposed to shed chocolate lab). She is the daughter to Italian born immigrants who still live in a two family house with a basement apartment fully equipped with a kitchen used for all major holidays and a backyard that houses a garden that yields only tomatoes, basil and figs. By day, CC works as a marketing manager for a non-profit. During the rest of her waking hours, she devotes most of her time to her family and her writing. While CC has been was writing and editing for work purposes for most of her career, it wasn't until after a conversation she had with her sister-in-law about tricks to avoiding nipple confusion that prompted CC to really write. Having acquired so much mommy knowledge in her short time as a mother, why not share it? With her children saying and doing the most ridiculous things, why mention their actions as a mere post on facbook when it deserves at least a 4 paragraph blog?

Spare Me the Drama

These days it seems I live in a hot house of never-ending upheaval. Maintaining my composure, not to mention enough focus to get any work done, is a daily struggle. Yes, I set my daughter up for an exciting summer of different camp programs. And, while she comes home every day sweaty and smiling, she still has energy to give her mom a lot of sass.

Stress and strain at home have made her prickly, and I have to remember to be gentle (but firm) with her. Meanwhile, it has been more than a year since my mother was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She is doing much better these days, but the doctor’ still won’t let her stop getting chemo. Understandably emotional and sometimes sick, she thinks they may keep her on chemo for the rest of her life. Since she lives downstairs from me, I am often on call to take her to doctor’s visits. Somehow, leaving Jersey to drive through the Lincoln Tunnel in the middle of the day tends to take a bite out of my work day, you know?  It’s also a bit distracting to be in the home office working on a deadline and be interrupted by a call from mom, who needs me to come downstairs and disconnect her chemo pump (which entails, in part, pulling two needles out of her chest.)

Then there is my sister, who is severely disabled from a car wreck she was in years ago. When the heat wave hit, my sister (who has a small apartment in upstate New York and nearly round-the-clock caretakers) did not have an air conditioner. I had to intervene and make sure she got one; everyone was worried about her paying the electricity bill. I was worried about her dissolving into a puddle of sweat. [Read more...]

tpavis

About tpavis

Theta Pavis is a creative writer, journalist and media consultant who grew up in Manhattan and Jersey City. She left the East coast for the West coast (with a stop over in the Midwest) and then spent a year backpacking around the world with her husband before returning East and landing back in Jersey City. She enjoys gasping at the gentrification in her hometown while railing against its under-performing school district (which is just as backwards as it was when Theta starred as Maria in her high school production of West Side Story.) These days the only musical theater she’s involved in is singing funny songs in fake accents to her five year old daughter. Theta holds a B.A. from UCLA and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and literary journals and blogs, including New York Family, Wired News online, The Mom Egg and the Journal of New Jersey Poets. She’s passionate about women’s issues and works as a consultant for nonprofits. She’s grateful she married a fellow journalist/editor who understands what a deadline means and why the dishes didn’t get done, again. Theta also blogs at the North Jersey Beanstalk

No More ‘Little Hooker’ Lines

The permission slip specifically noted “no thong bikinis” for the annual field day.  A friend asked me if we received the same letter at my son’s school in the same district which, amazingly, we didn’t.  A few other heads turned in the social skills class, prompting a mass cry of abject horror over who would dress their elementary school age daughter in a thong.  What purpose did a thong serve a young girl? It wasn’t to smooth out unsightly panty lines from showing in a snug, sheer skirt or tight pair of pants.

As a child, I thought Jeannie from “I Dream of Jeannie” embodied glamour.  Both she and Cher wore midriff-baring, outrageous outfits.  I pretended to be them, wearing conservative two-piece swimsuits paired with furry winter boots.  In kindergarten, I was warned not to wear wooden clogs that, apparently, resulted in noise pollution and potentially dangerous, slippery falls in the hallway.  Confusion struck me at age seven when, before picking up my dad at the train station, my mom made me wear clothing over my swimsuit.  Sixth grade brought me run-ins with the clothing and cosmetics police.  In that year, I not only was summoned to the principal’s office for wearing a modest pair of blue culottes, mistakenly determined to be shorts; but I also borrowed two cool baby blue and mint green eye shadows from my mom who promptly insisted I wash them off my “grown-up” eyelids.

However, I was horrified hearing about girls’ thong bikinis and further puzzled by the need for padded bikini tops that my mother-in-law shockingly spotted when out shopping.  As my friend G exasperatingly says, “I’m tired of the ‘Little Hooker’ lines for girls!”  Pair that with the “Little Thug/Pimp” lines and you have a disastrous combination of innocence and sleaze. [Read more...]

About M.B. Sanok

M.B. Sanok works as a stay-at-home mom attempting housework in her book-cluttered home while holding court on the phone and volunteering for the International MOMS Club. Raised in a Northern New Jersey town, she relocated to South Jersey for love and has a beautiful, mildly autistic eleven-year old daughter; a schmoozing, mischievous eight-year old son; and occasional thoughts of a third. Her current mantra: So little time to achieve greatness when my life is tied to meeting buses. Her accomplishments include being in the second grade reading class in the first grade, dressing up in full make-up as Ace Frehley from Kiss for her high school Lip Synch, writing horoscopes in college masked as one of the infamous Psycho Swamis, and, most recently, catching a fly ball with her butt at her first minor league baseball game. She started her writing career as a lowly reporter for her middle school newspaper, progressed to writing furiously in her journal and passing notes in class as a teenager, helming her college newspaper as a stressed out Editor-in-Chief, rejecting classified ads for massage parlors for a local newspaper and getting fired from her second publishing job for not remembering or knowing enough about the rival company’s secret website passwords. MB loves reading, writing, puzzles, music, and her husband, children, friends and family. She is the Executive Editor for South Jersey MOM www.southjerseymom.com magazine and a Contributing Writer for Jersey Moms Blog. She also volunteers as a State Coordinator for the International MOMS Club http://www.momsclub.org/. Some of her blogs have appeared on the MetroKids MomSpeak website which won the Gold Award for Best Blog in the 2013 Parenting Media Association’s Editorial and Design Awards Competition. The Monmouth County issue of The County Woman featured her and her blog post, “Updating My Stay-At-Home Mom Status”, in their “Woman in Profile” section in the July/August 2012 issue. She made her radio debut on March 6, 2013, on author and baby expert Blythe Lipman’s Baby & Toddler Instructions Live Internet Radio Talk Show on www.toginet.com.

Manicure In The Wild

The older woman looked down at my 5-year old while the Fashionista eyed the gentle crone. They sized each other up, realized they were kindred in spirits, and with me looking safely on, retreated to a back table. The woman laid out the paints – blue, green, yellow, pink, orange. The soon-to-be kindergartener eyed them before carefully choosing her favorites. As my daughter sat statuesque and still, the kind woman methodically began to paint. The manicure had begun.

What made this encounter unusual was the setting. This was no nail salon. It was not in a house or beauty parlor. It was at the Lewis Morris State Park. [Read more...]

About L. Klonsky

L. Klonsky aka Mom's Crayon is a born-and-bred Jersey Girl. She is the mother of two wonderful children, one biological and one adopted from China. As a later-in-life mom, she is currently caught between the drama of having a teenager in the house and the hot flashes associated with menopause. L. is also the author of two blogs: Mom's Crayon (http://momscrayon.blogspot.com) dedicated to the topic of motherhood and "'Is It Hot In Here' Menopause, Motherhood, & More (http://isithotinheremmm.blogspot.com) which offers a fresh perspective on The Change Of Life and motherhood, with unbiased product reviews and household tips thrown in for fun. Her goal is to minimize the amount of therapy her children will inevitably need. Visit her and share part of YOUR parenting journey!

Trouble at the Border

I am an experienced traveler. Patience is not my strong suit, but I know how to wait. I once killed six hours on the Russian – Mongolian boarder reading Tolstoy and trying not to worry about whether the guards would want a bribe.

Since she was little, my daughter has been a good traveler too.  Gone are the days when she can sit on my lap tearing up in-flight magazines and riding for free, but we still enjoy traveling when we can.

So I was thrilled when, several few months ago, we planned a family trip to Quebec City. It would be her first time in another country and despite a nail-biting wait for her passport, it finally came just a few days before our departure. Still, this was not going to be an ordinary trip. For one thing, it turned out my husband wasn’t going to be able to join us. Sad, but not insurmountable. I’ve flown alone with the munchkin before, to a business meeting in San Francisco and to see her godmother in Florida.

I didn’t have much time to pack, and admit I did panic a little bit when Air Canada announced (two days before our departure) that their baggage handlers and some other staff was on strike. OK then. Seriously?! [Read more...]

tpavis

About tpavis

Theta Pavis is a creative writer, journalist and media consultant who grew up in Manhattan and Jersey City. She left the East coast for the West coast (with a stop over in the Midwest) and then spent a year backpacking around the world with her husband before returning East and landing back in Jersey City. She enjoys gasping at the gentrification in her hometown while railing against its under-performing school district (which is just as backwards as it was when Theta starred as Maria in her high school production of West Side Story.) These days the only musical theater she’s involved in is singing funny songs in fake accents to her five year old daughter. Theta holds a B.A. from UCLA and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and literary journals and blogs, including New York Family, Wired News online, The Mom Egg and the Journal of New Jersey Poets. She’s passionate about women’s issues and works as a consultant for nonprofits. She’s grateful she married a fellow journalist/editor who understands what a deadline means and why the dishes didn’t get done, again. Theta also blogs at the North Jersey Beanstalk

The Nearness of You

My 6 year-old daughter is the ultimate Klingon. Not the wrinkle-headed humanoid kind from Star Trek, but the Velcro-monkey-arms draped around your neck kind. She is on me, for many, many waking hours of the day, like the proverbial white on rice.

Upon waking, my sweet child stumbles bleary-eyed from her bed across the short hallway to my room and climbs (sometimes directly across her sleeping father) into mine. She pulls back the sheet and inserts herself as adhesively as possible into my arms. If I’m facing away, she tugs at me until I roll over and drag her into an embrace. Once settled, she reaches a small hand up to hunt under my curls until she fastens onto my earlobe (right ear, free of post earring, preferred) and begins a rhythmic caress.

Throughout the day, she generally manages to stay on her own two sturdy feet, leaving me a pleasant sphere of personal space, but there are always intermittent bursts of cling. When she approaches to explain, in her wonderfully detailed stream of chatter, about some idea or experience she’s had—all wide eyes and dramatic gestures—she often ends up in my lap or sprawled halfway across my legs as she perches on the arm of the chair or couch I’m occupying. Throughout the lively monologue, she usually performs a number of grasps and proddings, as if I am some curious specimen she can only comprehend through her sense of touch. She squeezes at the flesh on my upper arms, leans in to examine my eyebrows (once announcing, “I know what those dots on your forehead are. That’s where you used to have hairs when you were an ape.”), runs her fingers over freckles and bug bites.

[Read more...]

Deanna Q

About Deanna Q

Deanna Q was raised in Jersey (exit 151) but has never, believe it or not, owned a Bon Jovi album. (Springsteen is the only true Jersey rock god, in her humble opinion.) After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she spent 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area where life was good and the burritos even better. She has recently returned to the Garden State and now resides in Morris County where she and her Texas-born/Jersey-raised/California-found husband are raising two wild and wonderful kids and trying not implode from the ongoing culture shock. A freelance writer with a background in book publishing and the social expression industry (i.e., greeting cards), Deanna Q has a passion for international children’s film, chocolate, reading great fiction (and the occasional bit of fun trash), and 40-something movie stars named Johnny. She was utterly thrilled to have been chosen for the Star-Ledger’s Munchmobile on her first try and finds that writing about life in NJ continues to help ease the transition back from life on the left coast.

Travel, Adventure, Room Service

In a few days I am going to get on a plane and leave this country. There was a time when I was something of a globe trotter. My most famous trip to date was the 10 months I spent backpacking with my husband on a journey that, among other things, took us on a voyage that included the Trans-Mongolian railroad, with stops in Siberia.

Before you ask, yes, we did that before we had a child.

Most days n0w? I seem to travel a route that just loops back, over and over again between Jersey City and Hoboken. Last week I had lunch in Manhattan with an editor, near the Flatiron, but life is usually not that glamorous. (Jersey City, Hoboken, Lower Manhattan pretty make up my personal version of “the tri-state area” — it’s just the tri-city area.)

So yes, I AM excited to be leaving the U.S. and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take my daughter with me. She’s excited about her brand new passport and I am excited for her to see all those blank pages, like her life before her, waiting to be filled up with her own stories. [Read more...]

tpavis

About tpavis

Theta Pavis is a creative writer, journalist and media consultant who grew up in Manhattan and Jersey City. She left the East coast for the West coast (with a stop over in the Midwest) and then spent a year backpacking around the world with her husband before returning East and landing back in Jersey City. She enjoys gasping at the gentrification in her hometown while railing against its under-performing school district (which is just as backwards as it was when Theta starred as Maria in her high school production of West Side Story.) These days the only musical theater she’s involved in is singing funny songs in fake accents to her five year old daughter. Theta holds a B.A. from UCLA and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and literary journals and blogs, including New York Family, Wired News online, The Mom Egg and the Journal of New Jersey Poets. She’s passionate about women’s issues and works as a consultant for nonprofits. She’s grateful she married a fellow journalist/editor who understands what a deadline means and why the dishes didn’t get done, again. Theta also blogs at the North Jersey Beanstalk