A Giveaway in Honor of My 86th Ex-Step-Cousin Twice Removed


alexander skarsgard autographed poster giveaway

If Alexander Skarsgård shows up at my front door, knocks three times (no doorbell and no knocking two, four or five times) and says, “Leave all this and come run away with me.” I’m going to abandon everyone and leave here with this slightly broken very handsome tall man.

Ok, maybe he’s not slightly broken but his character in What Maisie Knew sure is.

Yesterday William and I saw a screening of What Maisie Knew and it was a ridiculously uncomfortable movie to watch. It was a great movie (see William’s review) but I found myself not breathing regularly. I was holding my breath and my hands would unconsciously find their way to my chin where I’d just hold myself steady and hope for better. Onata Aprile made me forget I was watching a movie. It was that good.

So I left the theater moderately disturbed. I think that these are the best sorts of movies, the ones where you can’t get it out of your head. I had two hours left in the day before picking kids up with a few errands to run. The first was to exchange Alexander’s XL shirt from the Gap to get him an XXL. The kids have a performance at school and they’re meant to wear plaid shirts like ranchers do so I bought him one and asked him to try it on two weeks ago. He tried it on alone and told me that it fit. Two mornings ago I thought I’d like to see it on him and when he put it on the sleeves were ridiculously short. Apparently the solo try on session hadn’t included rolling the sleeves down.

The Gap doesn’t carry XXL shirts. I guess they do online and I don’t think I’ve shopped there in 10 years prior so I wasn’t sure what to expect and as I returned his XL shirt I had this moment where I realized I would no longer shop for my son in children’s stores. I didn’t expect to be moved by this but I was and immediately ducked outside to catch my breath and text my friend Laurie begging for time with her kids. I adore Laurie but let’s face it, yesterday I just wanted to use her for her toddlers.

Immediately after texting Laurie, still reeling from What Maisie Knew and feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, who should come tromping through the mall but my ex-stepmother and her favorite shopping buddy. Lucky me. I sort of smile and fake a hello, get the updates on her kids, get the updates on which celebrity kids are going to kindergarten where, mentally make a note that I’m so so happy that my kids aren’t at that school, smile, nod, marvel at the odd look of plastic surgery and get on my way to find my son a shirt that’s too big to belong in a kid store but really small for an adult one.

Maisie and I didn’t have a lot in common in the ex-stepmother department.

In any event I loved the movie and obviously William did too but we have different frames of reference. My parents were divorced by the time I was four, Williams parents are married. I’m a mom, William is a very young adult and had better not have any kids (do you like how I managed to squeeze in some finger wagging?).

The folks over at What Maisie Knew want to do a little giveaway. There will be three winners in this one so be sure to enter to win What Maisie Knew poster signed by Alexander Skarsgård, an autographed copy of Julianne Moore’s newest children’s book from her Freckleface Strawberry Series and What Maisie Knew pens from Millennium Entertainment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep in mind I never do giveaways but Cassie asked me in a moment of weakness. Don’t ask!


There is No Such Thing as a Bonus Mom


This morning I had breakfast with a girlfriend and tried to explain the unexplainable. She, in turn, shared her nonsense and we tried to make sense of the nonsensical. I’ve decided that shrugging a lot is probably the best way to go through life. Unless you’re a blogger, then commentary is the best way to get through life.

I wasn’t planning on posting today. I thought I’d just let the video of the mother who injects Botox into her eight year old daughter simmer and gather everyone’s interest. I thought I’d poke around Facebook and see what’s happening, but then I saw my friend Tracey mentioning LeAnn Rimes’ insistence that she’s a “Bonus Mom”. Wow.

Boundaries for Leann Rimes

If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, what you are seeing in the larger text on top is Brandi Glanville sending a public message to LeAnn Rimes. Apparently Glanville is the first wife of Eddie Cibrian and mother to two boys with Cibrian. According to country music websites Rimes has talked about the fact that she was married to another man and Cibrian was married to Glanville when Rimes and Cibrian began their affair. Leann Rimes married Eddie Cibrian less than a month ago. The message states:

I told Eddie to please tell you that I think it is highly inappropriate for you to sing in my son’s class on Friday. Boundaries. (I fixed her typos because I like her)

Below that you see Leann Rimes’ profile which begins with WIFE, Bonus Mom….

My family tree is more like a vine than an oak. Making me an authority on shiny new stepmoms. There is no such thing as a bonus mom. The fact that she’s a 29 year old pop star who can count the length of her marriage in days can only add insult to injury.

What childless stepmothers will never understand is that love isn’t an adequate word to describe our pull to our children. When my children hurt I ache, when my children have a victory I celebrate, when my children look at their father with adoration I fall in love with him all over again. Some of these childless stepmothers will go on to make babies with their new husband, and I’ve watched friends go through a new kind of torture with that one.

As an adult, when I think of the people I need to survive in this world I think of my two children and my husband. I love my brother, my parents and their spouses, and I’d be sad if we had to live far apart from one another but I wouldn’t want to live another day if I couldn’t live with my husband and my children until they are adults and in their own homes.

That is motherhood.

A bonus mom simply doesn’t exist. A Bonus Mom is an arrogant title that second and third and ninth wives give themselves so that they can pretend as if they are loved deeply and wholly by their new partner’s children. A Bonus Mom is a perky newlywed who thinks that her designer gown and Queen for a Day party endears her to the world. A Bonus Mom is an absurdity and any mother who has put in the work, who has sacrificed parts of her life with no regrets knows that a Bonus Mom is, quite frankly, an idiot and a narcissist.

I know blended families where the children love the stepparents as if they were their own. I’m willing to bet that the deep and binding love didn’t pop up in the first few weeks of the marriage. I know adults who have their stepparents walk them down the aisle. Blended families aren’t instant, it’s not like adoption or birth, you have to wait for the kids to love you back.

Before step kids love step parents, they need to know that their real parents are loved and respected. By everyone.


Even Walt Disney Knows There’s No Such Thing As A Good Stepmother


walt_disney_hates-stepmothersSince my children could speak I’ve repeated the same mantra, “There’s no such thing as a good stepmother.”  Walt Disney built a film studio based on the notion that Stepmothers are evil. I know I’m right.

I also know the mantra doesn’t qualify me as a great mother, but it secures me a spot I’m desperately searching for. Martyrdom. I’m not too worried about divorce, but should I meet an untimely end, I don’t want my kids calling someone else Mom.

Yes, I’ve heard the arguments. Yes, I realize this is selfish, foolish and I’d be dead anyhow. I don’t care, and I won’t be bothered with your logic now LeaveMeAlone. If you’re looking for further proof that I’m not interested in logic, my living will clearly states that my organs are available for harvest, but not my eyes. I am terrified that the Messiah would come and I woudn’t see him.

Shut. Up. I know.

I happen to like my step mother, so I let her be my dentist and I don’t pay my bills. Now I realize that although she clearly loves my children, and quite possibly my husband, she has an evil streak that Walt Disney warned me of.

I was there for my routine cleaning and there’s all this small talk about what pretty teeth I have, and how they’re strong with good enamel and aren’t the Grandchildren cute and all… then she runs right into, “now you just call Tracy to make an appointment for your grafting and did you know the Kosher Butcher on Pico has this really great turkey…”

What? Call Tracy for WHAT? Tracy is a surgeon who specializes in grafting.

Then she draws this picture where you take a hunk of skin out of the roof of your mouth and graft it onto your receding gumline. That’s when I whisper “What the Fuck?” I whisper because my kids are there, not because I’m concerned about her other patients. I am in total meltdown.

The Stepmother then goes on to explain how it’s typical with age, and it’s really no big deal and she’s having so much fun with Jane at their sewing class. I realize at that moment, that although she is a magnificent dentist with tiny quick hands, she is still a stepmother. Much like the bitch down the street, she has called me old, and now she’s gonna get a friend in on the act to cut my mouth open.

My sweet husband’s dream will come true. I’ll be unable to speak for at least a day. It’s a good thing too, becuase I’ve got a feeling that when I walk into Tracy’s office they’re going to ask me if I’m a member of the AARP.

Photo credit wikipedia via creative commons