I want to be Sia when I grow up (& here’s why)

I wish I could go around life in a Sia wig.

Lucy’s first concert experience was a few weeks ago…and I took her to see Sia of the famed black and white wig and the giant bow and the “cheap thrills.”


MAN ALIVE, it was something else. It was weird and dazzling and I can’t get her amazing songs out of my head (or those funny little dancers jumping around like skin-toned lemurs).


That’s Sia…way in the back…getting all happy and chilly in the dancers’ springy shadows

I’ve also decided that I want to be Sia when I grow up.

I’m telling ya, this woman has it figured out.

Here’s somebody with a crazy gift — pipes that won’t quit, songwriting chops for days — but she doesn’t love being “the star,” the center of everyone’s spotlight, a perfect product to be bought and sold.

So she hides under the bow and the bangs, she stands stock still in the corner of the stage, and she sings her wig off. The clamoring masses never see her face.

She still uses her gift. She still sings her song. But she does it without giving everything away, without making it all about HER.

To me, that is something truly magical and unheard of in pop culture.


I feel like I need to open a vein today and just confess something to y’all.

My very first book is out there now in the world, as you know all too well, and I’m trying in my teeny little way to promote it and sell it and help people know about it. It’s become a major part of my life at this moment in time.

And while the high of my first book-signing was a joy in every way and I’ll never forget the beauty of that night, I also want you to know…I’m sick of seeing my own face.

I’m weary of my life being consumed with self-promotion, of always trying to work an angle, of fixating on details and sales figures and Amazon reviews and what to say and what to wear.

These are wonderful problems to have, I’m aware. But I just wanted to tell my dear friends out there who are following me on this strange new journey — please know that all this book-selling business really isn’t my bag. (Which is obvious because I’m not doing it very well…)

I’m like every other writer who’s been dragged by her bitten-down fingernails from her cozy quiet hovel into the semi-public eye. I’d much rather squirrel away at my desk and string words together…create something funny or useful or something not so very much about ME. Lord knows, I’m so very tired of me.

Today I want to be Sia.

I still want to sing my song. In the corner. Preferably in a wig.


Oh yeah, and whenever possible, under a fuzzy blanket.


The Case of the Missing Uniform & How I Didn’t Try to Solve it (for once…)

My kids are the biggest losers.

By that, I mean THEY LOSE EVERYTHING. If something isn’t Washi-taped to their foreheads or (better yet) the forehead of the person standing across from them, it’s gone. Into the abyss with all the other lost things, papers, PTA forms, reading logs, ephemera, whatnot, what have you.

That’s why it wasn’t such a giant surprise that when my 7th grader received his cross-country uniform, it was promptly “stolen.”


Thievery was clearly the only explanation for how the uniform that had been lying atop his backpack one minute could have vanished –Poof! Just like that!– the next.

I had a few other explanations. Like, DUH, HE LOST IT. Or shoved it someplace weird. Or forgotten he’d left it in his locker like a normal person.

But whatever the case, his first meet was fast approaching, and he didn’t have anything close to the proper threads.

The situation called for intense glowering paired with unwavering insistence that he could not–under any circumstances–be seen in some plain jane, non-team-issued burgundy shirt and black shorts.

This would never do.

I offered the obligatory stern talking-to’s about teamwork and not being a weenie and really good parenting stuff like that. But I could not make the uniform magically appear.

That’s when my dialing finger started getting itchy.

That’s when I could feel the helicopter wings starting to sprout from my back, gearing up for swooping and solving and calling the coach and smoothing things over and coming up with Plan B.

It took all the super-human strength I could muster to keep my X-Mom Mutant Wings all tamped down.

But I am happy to report to you people that I DID IT. I held back every motherly impulse in me that cried out to fix it. To make it better. To make my boy happy, whatever the cost to his future self-sufficiency.

Here’s what worked for me (and you can feel free to use this). Every time I thought of jotting off an email to the coach about that uniform, I would visualize Will off at college, texting me in desperation because he couldn’t figure out where the quarters go in the laundry machine.

For his future manhood, I decided to make him figure this one out on his own.

He would have to ask the right questions. He would have to suffer the natural consequences. He would have to start figuring his way out of life’s paper bag.

And do you know what? I showed up to the meet, and he was wearing that flipping uniform.


He placed 30th or something, but still. Victory is mine.

He found it.

All by himself.

His buddy had picked it up by mistake.

Problem SOLVED.

And I didn’t have to do a thing.

Parents, listen to me. I never thought I’d say this, but it can be done. We can actually let our kids fix stuff on their own. They are capable. And if they’re not, they’ll get that way — if we let them.

Tamp those X-Mom wings down, mamas, and let those kids FLY.

Or let them flop, then fly.

But it’ll happen…eventually…I’m pretty sure.

Either way, at least your kid will be the one who can figure out where the quarters go. Which means he’ll be the one who does his own laundry.

And that’s what I call WINNING.














A Dirt Hater’s Guide to Gardening and Friendship

An ode to friendship and dirt seemed right today…

Tales from the Crib

I hate dirt.

I’m pretty much adverse to all forms of grunge, sweat, humidity, bugs, and most displays of physical exertion — basically all the things you experience outdoors.

I, like everyone else, love pretty flowers, sunshine and rainbows. And all those things look really nice on my screensaver.

But somehow I have an awesome friend who loves dirt. She loves it so much she could roll around in it – all while reeling off the names of every last plant in her flowerbeds. In Latin.

She even knows what these strange garden implements are called - and how to use them. She even knows what these strange garden implements are called – and how to use them.

She knows her stuff. Better yet, she loves her stuff. And what my pitiful black thumb has done to almost every plant in my possession makes her want to cry.

After my husband (with delusions of yard makeover grandeur) jerked out every overgrown shrub from our front yard by the…

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The Big Reveal

This is it. Big Reveal Day. I won’t go on and on like usual, but I’ll just get right to it.

Everyone, I’d like you to meet my NEW BOOK.


I hope you love it as much as I do.

The cover absolutely makes me swoon. I am really, really proud of it – and the stuff inside too.

Y’all have been so sweet and supportive all these years I’ve been writing this mess–and now it’s a bonafide BOOK. I can’t quite believe it still.

It’d be amazing if you’d consider putting one on your bedside table. And your hairdresser’s bedside table. I’d love you forever for it.

The book comes out November 1, 2016, but you can click here on one of these fancy AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE links and pre-order it TODAY!

And pre-ordering is surprisingly helpful.

You’ll get the book a bit earlier than the release date, and early sales tell booksellers that I’m not a total hack and they should order more. So that’s a very good thing.

Be forewarned: If you search for me by the title, Tales from the Crib, don’t be deterred if you run across a few chick lit books or Rugrats first.


Apparently I’ve got a long way to go before I’m up to Rugrat standards. They totally rank.

Thanks for everything, y’all. Seriously. This is happening.

Reporting Live from the Cave

Hello. It’s me.

It’s DeeDee, reporting live from the cave I’ve been living in the past three months.


I’m, of course, speaking of a metaphorical cave, not this ACTUAL cave we visited last weekend. (This is Luray Caverns in Virginia. Pronounced “LOO-ray” for the legit.)

Anyway, three months. That’s how long it’s been since I blogged last. And for those of you who even noticed, I figured I owed you a pulse check. (Sure, my pulse tends to be a bit elevated due to extreme inactivity, but I do have one.)

I’ve been a cave dweller lately for several reasons.

Reason #1: Three months ago or so, I started working every day. Like real-life normal people.


Lucy was there this morning for a few minutes and took this FRENETIC ACTION SHOT. 

You’ll be happy to know I’m off that daily stuff now…it was just a temporary thing. But what a wake-up call. Were you aware there’s an expectation of ironed pants and thoughtful accessorization every day in the workplace?  I’m sorry, but that’s a bit much. I’ll stick with Tuesdays and Thursdays, if it’s all the same to you.

Reason #2 for the cave-dwelling: My kids are aging out of this over-sharing thing.

My daughter, who’s 10 and who has unwittingly had her life documented since she was in diapers, told me, “Guess what, Mommy? Emily reads your blog. She says it’s funny.”

Ohhh, so it’s out there now for real.

It’s different than before, back when it was all just greasy kids’ stuff and funny stories about poop. Now I have to guard my children’s tender tweenage hearts.

After years of running off at the mouth and processing my parenting life on paper, I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure what to do…how to safely toe that line between privacy and transparency. It’s got me kind of stuck. From here on out, I have to figure out a way to still write what I love–but from a safer distance somehow.


So I’m noodling over how I grow into a different phase that is still funny and honest but doesn’t make me feel like a narc from 21 Jump Street, telling stories on my kids out of school. I’ll get there. But I am a bit frozen in the not-knowing.

Reason #3 for the cave-dwelling: There’s the whole BOOK thing.

Nutshell version for those who don’t know…I have a book of my essays coming out this November.


It WILL be called Tales from the Crib. God willing, It will NOT look like this.

We’re talking, THIS NOVEMBER. Which is in, like, THREE MONTHS. Oh crap, I have to put my head between my knees now.

After what has literally been years in the making, this thing is really happening. And all of the sudden, there are book covers to review (and soundly reject), bio’s to write, endorsements to beg for, potential events to plan, and nail-bitten hands to wring.  It’s all very exciting and tumultuous and consuming.

But here’s the thing: I need people to actually know this book exists so they might consider the random possibility of buying it and helping me in my mission to not completely embarrass myself.

So it’s time to put the big-girl pants on (you know, the ones made of wooly mammoth pelt) and emerge from the cave I’ve been living in.

It’s time to get brave and get out there…even if it takes my husband dragging me out bodily by the hair.

This is DeeDee, reporting live from the cave.

I’ll see you out there.








Birds, Bees and (for lack of a better word)…Coconuts

Kid #2 just finished what she called the “Human GROSS and Development” unit in 5th grade science, so let’s just say– she knows ALL THE WORDS. Just one year ago, we were embarking with Kid #1 on this Sex Ed “virgin voyage,” and I wrote about it, OF COURSE. Kid #1 came home shocked to his core that Daddy and I had “done that TWICE.” So I am sharing that post TWICE because, well, some things are worth doing more than once (wink wink).

Tales from the Crib

My little boy is getting the sex talk at school today.

Somebody get over here and HOLD ME.


He is today embarking on the fifth grade science unit about “human growth and development.” That means that today the light will dawn on all those weird words I was never enlightened enough to teach him. (I’m sorry, but most of those words are gross…except for Vas Deferens, which sounds kind of fancy. I much prefer the vagaries of “down there.”)

IMG_5956 See what I mean??? Ugh.

Today he will watch that video (if he ever gets out from under his desk) with drawings of girls and boys “blossoming,” which boils down to getting hairy and growing “coconuts.” (That’s Will’s word. I swear I didn’t teach him that one.)

Today the shales will fall off his eyes and he will become acquainted with “sanitary napkins.”

Today my child will learn where babies come from, without any mention of storks or cabbage patches or God’s eternal mystery.


Today is the…

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Hair I Am

There’s just something about a bad pun that stirs my cornball soul.

And when a business puts all its eggs in a pun’s basket–when their entire name, brand, business model, and marketing strategy are based entirely on a painful pun–there’s just nothing better in my book.

Beauty parlors are absolute masters of this. If there’s a way to work in the words “shear” or “cuttin'” somewhere, anywhere, on a business card, they will DO IT.


This trend is best exemplified by the ultimate beauty parlor pun: Curl Up & Dye. It’s everywhere. But we can do better.

I’ve been jotting down ridiculous pun-tastic beauty parlor names for years, and I recently struck upon THE ONE BEAUTY PARLOR PUN TO RULE THEM ALL.

But I need to build to that.

To whet your appetite, allow me to share a tasty sampler of my very favorite beauty parlor names that I’ve collected from across this great land. You’ll thank me later.

(Throat clearing noises…) I give you:

  • Best Little Hair House – Voluntown, CT. This is not only hilarious, but there also may be scandalous levels of permanent waves going on here.
You see that I had no choice but to veer off wildly and take a picture.
  • Hairoics – Kill Devil Hills, NC. These heroes of cosmetology are ready to storm your grays like the beaches of Normandy.
  • Vanity Hair – Onancock, VA (which the Internet tells me is now closed, but not for lack of classy pun perfection);
  • Cutt’n Up – Hayes, VA. (Not to be confused with Kuttin Up in Hampton, VA. The kreative use of K’s opens up whole new worlds of possibilities.)
  • Bee’s Hive of Beauty, New Rochelle, NY.  This is just adorably home-spun, even though it harkens back to a big oversized do that’s now a big oversized don’t.

BIG bonus points for their tag line: “Weapons of Mass Seduction.”

But there’s one barber shop name that stands HEAD and SHOULDERS above the rest. (See what I did there?)

We just happened upon it the other night, and it blew me away with pure pun-tastic genius. I can’t NOT laugh every time I think of it.

I guess after so many plays on the words “head” and “clip” (usually with the letter Z tagged on to the end), I’d gotten hungry for something bold and new on the menu…something I never saw coming. Sort of like an ostrich burger.


The heavens are parting now.

Here it comes…


Right smack dab in New London, CT.

The 2nd Combing.

WAIT FOR IT. Chew on it a minute.

Oh yeahhhhh. You got it.


If I weren’t such a dork, I could retire from my pun pursuits right now. The 2nd Combing is my pun Everest.

Yet I press on. I will continue my quest for the most ridiculous beach house names, boat names, even strip club names…but I don’t see how anything can top this one in the whole realm of barber shop names.

But maybe you have some choice offerings I’ve missed. Please please please share.

We all need something, anything, to make us laugh these days. Even if it’s just a pun that’s so bad it’s GOOOOD.

Skater in the Broken Places

If you’d have told me something was broken in there, I’d have EATEN. MY. HAT.


Sure, there’d been a little fussing here and there about a foot bothering her after the church roller-skating party. I mean, that’s to be expected after my girl Lucy skated for hours all crazy bowlegged, like she was skating on the inside of her ankles.

We learned way too late that she’d never even tied her laces, like AT ALL. I guess I stupidly thought I was past the point of having to tell a 10-year-old to tie her shoes. (Note to self: I’m not.)

But once she’d done the grueling work of snapping those top straps, she set her course for adventure…her mind nowhere near a hand-me-down set of crutches.


She may not exactly have been Peggy Fleming out there, but she didn’t fall one time. Not once. Even so, stuff was breaking inside.

We know that because a few days later, after some rigorous skipping and Frisbee tossing, she couldn’t drag herself up the stairs without dramatic sobs.

It sort of became our Tonya Harding moment, featuring a wailing girl pointing at where her god-forsaken skate used to be and a stony-faced Nancy Kerrigan-esque mother. (Who’s with me, moms? Don’t pretend like you haven’t been there. Let ye who is without the sin of ignoring a crazy injury and calling it a “flesh wound” throw the first stone.)

“Okay then, if you can’t POSSIBLY go to school,” I proclaimed the next morning, “then I’M TAKING YOU TO THE DOCTOR!”

This was purely a motherly game-of-chicken tactic. I totally expected her to fold.

She said, “Okay.”

Let me just say that it’s serendipitous for clumsy people to be friends with a podiatrist.

So when my foot doctor friend did X-rays (“just to rule out a fracture,” she said), I laughed in her face and waited to be completely red-faced that I’d wasted her time and gamma rays on this silly sideshow.

But X-rays (unlike the occasionally dramatic child) don’t lie. There it was…a little tear-off fracture, actually in two places. One on the tip of her ankle, another on the side of her foot somehow.

How did that happen? I mean, there were people falling in the most calamitous ways that night, staggering like the Walking Dead and taking out entire rows of hand-holding preschoolers. That’s the deal you make at roller rinks; round after round, you just try to stay out of the way of one careening face-plant after another.


A rare moment of calm before the next dazzling display of splatting.


But there was Lucy, never once falling, never making a spectacular scene for the AFV blooper reel, smiling and laughing like normal. You’d never know things were cracking inside.

Something about that is wildly metaphorical to me.

Because isn’t the world full of people who are great at putting on the brave face, at smiling through the pain, at hiding what’s broken? So good that you’d never, ever know. Unless they let you in and showed you the pictures of what was really going on, we’d assume it was all clear sailing and jazz hands to the tune of YMCA.

My girl’s like that. Until the cracks burst and everything pours out in a deluge.

Maybe your kids are like that. Maybe the cranky guy at the DMV is like that, or the non-communicative bagger at Stop & Shop. Maybe you’re like that.

I’m going to go on the assumption that everyone’s kind of like that.

Everyone’s walking around with pain. Everyone is pushing stuff down. Everyone has broken places nobody sees. And while we may not be able to do much about that, everyone could stand to be treated a bit more gingerly in this life.

Around here, I’m gonna start with the little girl with the fractured foot.

Geez, I’m sorry, kid. Maybe I’ll get better at this by the time you leave the house.

Either way, let’s go ahead and put the podiatrist’s phone number on speed dial.











Me and Taylor are going back to December

I wish we could get double portions of December and just skip January altogether.


After the jovial over-indulgence of December (“Eat! Who ever heard of a skinny Santa??”), here comes that blasted harpy January–with all its cranky resolutions and its Weight Watchers commercials and its relentless reminders of reality.

Every year, January just comes at us like an icy blast of water to the face, and quite frankly, I don’t care for it.

January is a drill sergeant flipping on the lights in the middle of a perfect dream about going sleigh riding through Devonshire with Colin Firth and screaming, “Drop and give me twenty!” (which I haven’t done since last January.)

January is a sneering busybody slapping my hand with the snickerdoodle in it.

January is a big fat boring killjoy taskmaster who’s weirdly obsessed with everybody’s weight. And on top of all those endearing qualities, January is cold. (Usually.)

I am not a fan.


Here’s our dead wreath. Also not a fan. (January is the Wreath Reaper.)

Sure, December struggles with being a bit too frenetic and trying a little too hard, but somehow we can let that stuff go because December’s just so darn charming.

I mean, think of all those twinkly lights and the crackling fires and the cheerful songs. Oh yeah, and the copious amounts of cookies.

IMG_4099IMG_4004IMG_4105It’s like one minute we’re basking in all the treasures under the tree, watching Danny Kaye tap dance across our TV, and trying to remember what it felt like to be hungry.

The next minute, a cold shriveled finger is wagging in our faces, browbeating us on how we’re gonna right this ship and get our crap together and eat a salad already?

I know I should have made some New Year’s Resolutions, but I just wasn’t in the mood for January’s theatrics this year.

(Oh, here’s a resolution. I really should get my watch battery changed so I can stop wearing my daughter’s Minnie Mouse watch. Or not. I honestly don’t care.)


But that’s it.

January, you are not the boss of me. I’m ready to skip right on to February. There may be only 28 days, but at least they’re crammed with hearts and flowers and rows and rows of candy I can buy for myself.

I’m so ready to run headlong into the loving arms–and candy aisles–of February. Because February loves me.

Its conversation hearts told me so.

Actually they said “TXT ME” and “U Go Girl.” But you get the idea. There’s definitely something there.

And seriously, I’ll take “#LOVE” any day over another Jenny Craig commercial.







Holla, y’all. I hit “send.”

There has been some serious radio silence from my corner of the world lately.

I’m probably the only one who noticed or cared, but I haven’t posted anything since November. And that was a re-run.

Sorry, but I’ve been in Book Mode (which doesn’t sound nearly as fierce and athletic as Beast Mode, but it’s the best I’ve got.)


Most of you know I’ve been working on a book (it’ll be a selection of my columns and blog posts, due out Fall 2016 from Skyhorse Publishing) since what seems The Beginning of Time. My manuscript deadline was yesterday, which means I’ve spent the last month or so chained to the desk (where unfortunately there has also been easy access to online shopping).

But after relentless editing and rearranging and hand-wringing (and more editing) for what seems like half my life, I finally, with great trepidation and jubilation, hit “send.”

Did you feel the Earth move yesterday morning? Because I DID.


Lucy made me tea and typed me a message on my last late-night before “send.” Awww. She doesn’t even know what truths about her are yet to be revealed… 

I don’t have a clue what to expect from the editing/shameless self-promotion process yet to come; my gut feeling is I’m going to much prefer the writing-anoymously-in-my-pajama-pants part of the process.

But this hurdle crossed just felt like something big I should tell you — especially since you’re the ones who’ve been kind enough to read my drivel all these years. I appreciate it more than you know.

So now I’m taking the day off. I may just watch Sense and Sensibility and eat bon bons and wallow around in these pajama pants before the big-girl pants have to go on. This day feels like a long time coming.

Holla. And hallelujah.