None of them were "bad" guys. They usually aren't.

1. My first sexual experience with a boy happened while I was sleeping at a girl friend's house. We were young and he was curious and I, like most young girls in similar situations, didn't have a clue how to react or respond. And so? I did nothing. Pretended to be sleeping. Told no one. Moved on.

2. Years later, I woke up to a boy having sex with me at a party. But because I had been "passed out" when it started, I never "woke up."

"If I don't wake up, this won't count," I thought. 

And besides, this was my friend. I didn't want it to be weird between us. I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable if I woke up. Wouldn't it make him feel uncomfortable if I woke up? Probably.

Over the years, it became almost expected. Boys would touch me when they wanted to touch me. Sometimes that meant when I was sleeping. Or passed out. Or in a mosh pit where "being groped" was part of the deal. Or just, you know, sitting on my couch.

3. One night, when I was living alone, I invited a friend to come over and watch a movie with me in my apartment, when out of nowhere, he pinned me down and assaulted me. When I told him to stop he reminded me that we had "had sex before" so "why are you fighting me this time?"

And he was right. We HAD had sex before. But THIS was different.

He was one of my best friends at the time so I didn't know how to react. He was a good guy. A wonderful friend, which is probably why, when it was all over, he burst into tears.

"I'm so sorry," he said.

See? He was sorry. He was so sorry. He was a good friend and he was sorry and I had to forgive him. Didn't I have to forgive him?

I forgave him.

4. That same year, I had a boss who thought it was funny to lock me in his office during conference calls and put on porn. He thought it was hilarious to watch me try to deliver pitches to various companies while porn played on mute in front of my face. He would laugh until tears came. One day, while we were alone he asked me to pull up my shirt and show him my breasts. And then I let him feel me up in the middle of the hallway. Because he was my boss and... what was I going to say, NO?

I didn't know how to say no. What if I got fired? What if he got angry? Violent? He had thrown things at me before, after all. A coffee cup. A stack of papers. A book...  

These examples are important to share because for many years, I didn't think they affected me. I didn't think they were wrong. I mean, yes, I knew they weren't RIGHT but I also just assumed it was par for the course.

I didn't disassociate myself from these guys. Not even close. I kept working for them... kept hanging out with them... kept calling them friends... because what was I going to do? Quit my job? NOT be friends with someone anymore? What would I tell people? What would they think about me?

Sometimes doing nothing is the only thing that feels safe. 

Sometimes "saying nothing" is the only way for it to go away.

Except it doesn't go away, does it? It just shapeshifts. Makes you angry in new places. Scared in others. Sad behind closed doors. 

5. It didn't end there. I lost count over the years, mainly because I had found, in therapy, that I had buried so much of what had happened in my youth and early twenties ... that it all became obscure, almost surreal. Perhaps the gaps in my memory was a defense mechanism. Or maybe it was denial. Or an understanding that this was just the way shit was when you were a girl, keep your mouth shut and keep walking... I had memories of certain instances -- one in particular that perhaps, someday, I will feel comfortable sharing. But I'm not ready yet. And even if I was, I still don't believe it ACTUALLY happened. Could I have just made the whole thing up? 

Over the years I have gone from feeling shame at what happened to feeling shame that I couldn't fight back. I'm a "tough girl," so what was I so afraid of?

And that's the thing about sexual violence, it fucks your head up nice and good. Makes you feel ashamed for having experienced it -- for being paralyzed by the fear of wanting to stand up but being FOR A THOUSAND different reasons, unable to.

I don't want to get anyone in trouble. 

I don't want people to think less of me. 

I don't want to be perceived as a victim. 

People won't believe me, anyway.

It was probably my fault. I probably gave him the wrong idea... I must have. 

It's not a big deal. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine... 

My four short stories are deeply personal and yet not at all particular to my experience. I know that now. I've read enough and heard enough and recognized the patterns -- the way women speak up, usually much later... and the way the men and the media try to brush it off, make excuses, call women liars, strip them of their autonomy, punish them yet again for daring to speak up...

The truth is, for every woman willing to speak up, THOUSANDS will say nothing. And yet? They are listening. WE ARE ALL LISTENING. I know you're listening. 

In my experience, I never realized what damage was done until recently when I wrote a draft of a script that, in a roundabout way, excused a rape because the boy didn't know any better.

In my script, he was sorry. He was a good kid with a fucked up past and he was sorry.

That script has since been rewritten and with it my POV on speaking up. On creating something that combats destructive behavior. Which, in today's case, I guess, is this post.

Because I am a parent. Because I have a son. Because I have three daughters. Because -- and here's where I lose some of you -- I don't think it is ALWAYS their fault.

Shhhhh. Hold on and hear me out. I have spent A LOT OF TIME thinking about this. Years of time. Time on top of time on top of time. And in a roundabout way, I've written about it before, but this time I ask that you humor me for a moment -- and open your mind to what I am going to say.

I used to think it was my fault for falling asleep at a sleepover, for drinking too much at a party that one time or, THINKING I could watch a movie with a friend I had also slept with or... you know, working alone with a male boss. I used to think it was a friend's fault for waking up at stranger's house with no recollection of how she got there.

"If you hadn't have been there... this wouldn't have happened," I heard myself say.

Boys can't help it, I'd think.

Boys will be boys, I'd think.

Boys only want one thing, so, naturally.... I'd think.

Those THOUGHTS didn't come from nowhere. They came from everywhere. They came from parents of friends and teachers and school yards. They came from music and movies and television shows and and and and.... they came from BEING.

And in the same way those thoughts helped me and MANY other girls and women justify bad behavior, so did they enable MANY boys and men to do the same.

They still do. 

And while many years in therapy helped me recognize that I DID NOTHING WRONG, I also came to the realization, through time and age that we live in a world and a culture that praises, supports and enables the treatment of women as objects and that fucks men up royally as well.

"Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.  Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety."

A perfect example? See Urban Dictionary's definition of Rape Culture which claims it doesn't exist.

See, also, the GOP candidates and the platforms on which they are running. Stripping rights. Closing health clinics. Punishing single mothers against their will.  These are MEN DECIDING with their laws what is RIGHT for women. These are men DOMINATING the female demographic with aggressive legislature and dangerous ideas, insights and measures that would HURT women. And? IT'S LEGAL.

What message does that send to women? What message does that send to other men?

Earlier this week I read the following post written by Emma Gray in response to the Dr. Luke's tweets about his friendship with Kesha. And his three sisters and daughter. And his feminist mom. Gray writes:

I thought of my own experience, and the experiences of friends who have also been victimized by men who were also friends, boyfriends, co-workers...  Who had sisters. And daughters. And, yes, even feminist mothers... and I thought, well, THIS, we can talk about.


It's so simple and yet so impossible for us to dialogue in a healthy way that doesn't vilify. Especially when so many of us refuse to tangle with the nuance of power structure, sexuality and the seldom discussed sexual urges that many men -- and some women --  have that cannot be controlled. Sexual predators are SELDOM lurking in the shadows.

"It isn't uncommon for men with wholesome reputations to be accused of rape. Daniel Holtzclaw was "a nice kid." Bill Cosby was a "father figure." R. Kelly was "in love" with Aaliyah. James Deen seemed like a "really nice dude." (To date, only Holtzclaw has been convicted.)

...In reality, it's the "nice guys" -- the acquaintances, friends, lovers and partners -- who are most likely to commit rape. According to RAINN, 4 out of 5 rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. Forty-seven percent of rapists are friends or acquaintances of the person they assault, and another 25 percent of sexual assaults occur in the context of an intimate relationship. Half of assaults occur within a mile of the victim's home."

The truth is, some boys and men have impulses they THINK ARE OKAY to act on.

Even when a girl is sleeping. Especially when a girl is sleeping. 

Even when a girl is passed out drunk. Especially when a girl is passed out drunk. 

Even when a girl says NO. Especially when a girl says no. 

This is not APOLOGIZING for the behavior of rapists or those who sexually assault. But it is ALLOWING them to be judged, not as monsters, but as people, who, I believe, are capable of knowing better. Who are capable of learning. Of listening. Of talking out in the open about their urges and worskshopping where they come from while recognizing WHY they cannot act on them.

I believe we aren'y doing NEARLY enough to protect our children, our sisters and each other while ALSO recognizing that sexuality is nuanced and in many instances, violent in urge. (50 Shades of Grey is a great example.

In The Atlantic, Emma Green writes:

Women can be turned on by men tying them up, even hurting them. This can be extremely confusing to men who SEE and HEAR and KNOW women who LIKE to be "taken."  (As of June, 2015, 50 Shades has sold 125 million copies worldwide.)


When I think of how I can make any REAL change in this world, I look to my children -- to ALL children and I look to myself -- to ALL parents. I, like most mothers, believe my son is near-perfect. A model student and sensitive musician with three little sisters. And yet, I would be doing a disservice to him and everyone else by recognizing that HE IS JUST AS CAPABLE OF DOING THE SAME THINGS THAT WERE DONE TO ME.


Everyone is capable. 


"Statistics show that ONE IN THREE MEN would rape if they thought they could get away with it and that 1-16 men have raped. (Some studies show as many as 1 in 7 men have raped.) One in five white women have been raped. One in four black women have been raped. One in three native american women in the United States has been raped. One in four women will be raped in college..."

... By men who will grow up and become model citizens, husbands and fathers. 

Statistics also show that most women who have experienced sexual assault are like me:  "Only 27% whose assault met the legal definition of rape consider themselves rape victims, so great is the minimization and normalization of sexual assault in our society."

It's SO prevalent -- so completely and unbearably systematic, it overwhelms. Perhaps it's just too hard for us to wrap our heads and hearts around the idea that a good boy, raised by a feminist mother, is also capable of pinning a girl down in her apartment and saying "YES, YOU DO!" when she says, "NO, I DON'T."

In Gray's piece she writes:

And fighting that culture? Starts at home. It starts with talking to our children about sex, about what is and isn't appropriate touching... It starts with talking to our children about consent and the nuance of sexual urges that, in some cases, can be dark and damaging to others. It starts with YOU and ME and all of us -- the parents -- the sisters -- the women with stories we are afraid to share because we don't want to be perceived as victims. 
Because here's the thing: good mothers raise rapists. Good fathers raise rapists. WONDERFUL people raise WONDERFUL children who...  will go on to rape. Molest. Assault. Harass....

Rapists are not always monsters. In many cases they are ALSO victims themselves. Of assault. Of toxic masculinity. Of peer pressure. Of NOT KNOWING ANY BETTER BUT TO THINK IT'S OKAY. 

Which is why CONSENT is something that desperately needs to be taught --  introduced at an early age, talked about in a way that empathizes and recognizes all parties. And this list right here (CLICK ON ME! CLICK ON ME!) is a GREAT place to start.

ESPECIALLY for fathers. TALK TO YOUR SONS, DADS! UNCLES! GRANDPAS! Guide them to make healthy choices. TEACH them about the importance of consent. That a real man doesn't FORCE himself on a woman. Or wait until a girl is passed out drunk to "get his piece."

"Rapists are human beings, not monsters. The sooner we can wrap our collective minds around that fact, the sooner we can get down to the business of fighting the culture that creates and protects them."

Because a girl's first sexual experience shouldn't happen when she's pretending to be asleep. Just like a boy's first sexual experience shouldn't be with a girl who is "sleeping." And we NEED to talk about what we're doing, collectively as men and women, parents and guardians to fight, to guide, to LISTEN, to empower, to MAKE LASTING CHANGE...  (Thank you.)

Things I Love for Me and Us: February

tumblr_n37toc3Ool1twrv77o2_500 Scott Wolf, Party of Five! BROAD CITY is BACK! 

I forgot to do this last month. And also the month before. Okay, so I've only done one of these before but I'm going to do another one. Right now. Go team. So, without further ado, these are things that I currently love. 

1. Wear, for me: 
Kelly Teegarden Lip Gloss
(in Amber Simply Naked)
Not only is this lip gloss my favorite in all the land, it also has a mirror AND AN LED LIGHT. Like ON THE LIPGLOSS. So you can gloss your lips in the dark on a deserted island and THEY WILL LOOK FUCKING FLAWLESS. It's the Macgyver of lip-glosses, people. Get you one of these. 

2. Osborn Shoes
I purchase, on average, one new pair of shoes a year. I used to be VERY EXCITED about shoes but now I don't give two damns so long as I have 1. A pair of black heels that are somewhat comfortable-ish 2. A pair of black moto boots 3. A pair of flip flops 4. A pair of brown oxfords 4. A pair of sneaks. Because, that's really all a girl needs these days. HOWEVER.  I am currently sporting my second pair of Osborns (first pair is made out of cork, no longer available to buy) which look fantastic with jeans, long dresses, short dresses, shorts, pajamas, nothing but a smile, etc. 

Anyway. Check out their site. Dig their stylish eco-friendly ways. 

3. Members Only Jacket(s)
My most prized sartorial possession these days is my Members Only Jacket that I got for $20 on a Melrose Blvd sale rack. I get more compliments on this bad boy than I do on any other item. You should totally buy one and then we can all be Members Only together!

P.S. This pink one is radical. Like your ideas.


1. Wear, for them: 
Costumes at Chasing Fireflies on super sale
My girls wear costumes as every-day clothing so, if I'm not purchasing their clothes on consignment, I'm purchasing their clothes, here. For example this birdcage gown is on sale right now for $30. I recently bought the same one for Revi and this Chess Queen gown for Bo. Dig it. 

Read, for me: 

I would actually LOVE some recommendations from you guys. Fiction, specifically, which I would like to do more of in 2016 which is, like, already halfway over. What books are blowing your mind right now? 

Read, for them:

This month I consulted Archer and Fable on their current faves and this is what I got:

Archer (who is in 5th grade) 
would like to recommend two books:


Fable (1st grade) would like to recommend:
(She has read the entire series thus far and is pacing around the house for the next book which cannot come fast enough...)

TV for us

Broad City is back (see above) so nothing else really matters.

Except Animals which is REALLY funny and well done.
And Baskets which is fucking GENIUS and odd and fantastic and genius.

TV, for them: 
Project Runway Jr.

I know. This show is over now BUT IT WAS SO GOOD. Did you guys watch it? Did you guys love it? I wasn't so sure a show that pitted children against each was a good idea but I was blown away by the love and support the kids showed one another (they were FAR more mature than any adult contestants I've ever seen which was FASCINATING) not to mention the TALENT level which, WHOA! We really enjoyed watching the show as a family and can't wait for it to come back.


What about you guys? What are your recommendations for watching, reading, wearing, playing, eating, doing, seeing, etc-ing? What are your latest and greatests for February?


may all girls decide for themselves where they belong

I had a skateboard once. Until it disappeared from the driveway a mere hours after its maiden voyage. I had a second skateboard after that. That one was smashed in front of me in case I didn't get the memo.

Girls can't skate. 

Boys only.

Go away. 

There was one boy in particular who thought it was funny to push me around. He put condoms in my mailbox when I was too young to know what they meant, and he once pushed me off my bike so hard I hit my head on the pavement.

Baby's first concussion. 

Later on, when we came together for a "family meeting," his parents excused his behavior as "that of a boy who has a crush on a girl."

Because boys will be boys and girls can't skateboard. 

My mother and his mother didn't speak after that. I was convinced my mom was overreacting at the time and was mortified. Not only was I NOT ALLOWED to be part of the team, I was the girl who got one of the boys into trouble. I was a tattle-tale.

Any hopes I had at being accepted were long gone after that.

Still. My one and only squad goal, even after everything that happened, was to be included. I was naturally drawn to boys at that age - wanting desperately to relate as peers to a group who took great pride in telling me I wasn't allowed.

Had I been a boy, I would have grown up skateboarding like every other boy on our block. Instead, I grew up watching from the driveway.

It wasn't until I grew boobs and became teen-girl-hot that I was able to be part of their world.

I spent my entire high school years dating skateboarders, sitting on their boards, attending their contests, wearing the logos of their sponsors to school on my backpacks and hoodies and shoes. I even worked at a skate shop for two summers, gripping boards and selling trucks and picking up lunch for everyone.

I've written about this several times over the years, mainly because the older I get, the more I realize how DIFFERENT the world was back then. Or maybe it's still the same, I don't know. Skateboarding was a “boys only” activity where I grew up and we girls took our places as cheerleaders on the sidelines.  

Not that there is anything wrong with a girl wanting to cheer on her skateboarding boyfriend, but there was something very EXPECTED about girls as sideline cheerleaders as opposed to participants. And not just for skateboarding, either... football was much the same. Girls didn't play. Girls watched. Girls cheered. Girls wore their boyfriends football jerseys. Girls painted the signs the boys broke through on the field 

I was no different, of course.  I settled on being a cheerleader to skateboarders -- a groupie with a backstage pass.  There were loads of us -- our livelihood dependent on the wants and needs of the same boys who once told us we couldn't.

These were boys -- many of them friends and boyfriends later on -- who didn't want me/us on the field, they wanted us on the sidelines. That was "where we belonged" and that was perfectly fine with me. So long as I was liked for being what I needed to be in order to be liked. Rinse wash repeat.

I was unable to SEE myself as someone other than the spectatorNot that I would have ever become a great skateboarder but now I recognize that instead of standing up for myself I sat down. 

If you've ever spent time with a groupie (or spent time BEING one) you will know that MANY of us/them wanted to play guitar long before we started hooking up with guitar players. Many of us/them wanted to be the boys dropping in on the vert ramp before we became the girlfriends of those who did.

"Here, hold my coat." 

"Can I get a ride home?"

"I forgot my wallet. Can you spot me some cash for lunch?"

I took great pride in being able to say. 


And yes.

And yes.

It is a very real trope, in our lives, our popular culture. We are brought up to KNOW ourselves as leads but to SEE OURSELVES reflected back as supporting characters. As characters who support. Which is why, lately, it has become a huge priority for me to prioritize LEADING LADIES in my daughters' (and son's) lives.

Because RAISING OTHERS, while important, cannot replace the priority that is RAISING THE SELF.And while mothering and supporting and BEING THERE as a sister is beautiful and important work, one must not sacrifice her own needs in order to fulfill the needs of another. 

Girls have always been great at supporting boys. We have been doing it for generations and generations. And generations. We are SO good at taking care of others we often make it our lives and livings to do so. And not just as mothers but as partners. Friends.

Sometimes we don't even notice we're doing it. We're moms, after all, and that includes those of us who don't have children. Because in the same way it is expected of boys to be tough and not give a shit, our softness and willingness to support becomes just as damaging an expectation. Emotionally. Mentally. Sexually... 


I was having this conversation with my friend Angela last month -- my friend, who like me, spent a great part of her adolescence groupie-ing it up. I told her about Bo and how she found Archer's old waterlogged warp-wooded skateboard in the garage and started to ride it barefoot down the driveway, and how for Christmas, I wanted to get her her own board. 

Later that day, we wandered into Supreme, a skate shop on Fairfax in the neighborhood I have spent my entire adult life. Tino was working, a friend of Angela's and an acquaintance of mine from years back. 

We got to talking about Bo and getting her on a skateboard and the conversation drifted back through our own personal narratives -- of skateboarding and what it meant to our young lives...  I told Tino about my first skateboard and how broken I was when it was broken. I told him about being a girl and then raising one, two, three of them... 

Tino listened, nodded, understood, and then disappeared into the back of the store, reappearing moments later with a deck, a sheet of grip tape, four wheels and two trucks. 

"I'm going to set up a board for her," he said. "What's her name?"


"I'm going to set up a board for Bo."

He didn't charge me for the board. He mumbled something about it being a sample or an extra or something they couldn't sell... 

He told me not to worry about it. 

"This was meant for her," he said. 

I cried leaving the skate shop. The whole thing felt so poetic -- my broken board in exchange for her free one... 

My inability to stand up for myself vs my willingness to fight (finally) for the girls.

One of the reasons I rejected feminism for so long (and why so many other women probably do) is that I ALWAYS felt I had power. I was a great fucking cheerleader. I OWNED those pompoms. I was in more control in those days than I probably am now. But that was because my OWNERSHIP was LIMITED to a box on the sidelines.

And that's just it, isn't it?

It wasn't until I had daughters of my own that I realized how UNLIMITED I wanted their fields to be. And how LIMITED I had been without ever having acknowledged it.

I want my daughters to have the whole field AND the sidelines.

I want my son to have the SIDELINES and the whole field.

I want them all to have access to all of the places on all of the fields in all of the land.

I want my son to feel supported by his family and community to continue ballroom dancing and singing at the top of his lungs on a stage. And I want my girls to skateboard if they want to fucking skateboard. Not be bullied by any boy (or girl) to sit down and watch.

I don't know if skateboarding will be Bo's thing or if it will be one of her many things—or if, this, right now is just a blip. Perhaps by this time next year she would rather ride a bike than bomb a hill. Or read a book. Or paint a portrait.

Skateboarding was my unrequited love. But it won't be for my daughters. Not if they don't want it to be. If I regret ONE thing from my past it's this: 

I didn't know any better but to listen to the boys who didn't know any better. 

And whether my children grow up to be professional DOERS or LOYAL supporters of ... I pray they continue to recognize how capable they are to DO and BE and RIDE and RUN and JUMP and TRAIN and INNOVATE and PLAY and in every incarnation of their lives, decide for THEMSELVES where they belong. 
Even if that means on a skateboard. 

Thursdays and Saturdays

Growing up, we all played a sport. And an instrument. Some of us did theatre, too. Some of us took dance. I don't remember after school extra-curricular life being particularly hectic, but then, I wasn't the one shlepping everyone from hither to thither and back. That? Was my mom.

Fast forward to present day life.

Sundays: the twins have gymnastics.
Mondays: Archer takes guitar (and Fable and I have alone time).
Tuesdays: Fable has dance after school (and Archer and I have alone time).
Wednesdays: Archer and Fable have play practice.
Fridays: Hebrew School

And Thursdays and Saturdays are wide open.

They weren't always, though. There were a couple weeks when every. single. day was accounted for. Archer and Fable started piano lessons AND were ALSO doing theatre on Saturdays. Which was too much. Financially and also just... time wise. Like, what the hell is happening? How did we book so much shit? OH, RIGHT. There are four children. Who all want to do things. And there are only seven days in the week. And two parents... 

You can read my post in its entirety, here. Cheers to a relaxing (ha) weekend, everyone! 

Girls by Girls

First of all, hooray for girls! Specifically, for-girls-by-girls photography collectives like Girls by GirlsIt's Me and You and Teen Vogue's new Girl Gaze Project, (which you can read more about here/follow on Instagram, here.)

I was first introduced to Girls by Girls through this piece by Maddie Crum on HuffPo and I've been following founders, Ashley and Ophelie ever since.  IMO the teen girls and young women of today represent the ULTIMATE in squad goals and I am SO excited for my girls to have so many INCREDIBLE role models as they come of age. Because while "perfect images on social media" are TOTALLY a thing, so are collectives like Girls by Girls and The Girlfriends Gallery, which yes. 

I love that movies like The Diary of a Teenage Girl are being made. And Girlhood. I love that it was Kiersey Clemons that stole the show in DOPE. Oh and P.S., Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was my #1 favorite movie of 2015. In fact, ALL OF THE ABOVE were my favorite movies of 2015. (Youth, too. I LOVED Youth.)

via Girlhood, currently streaming on Netflix. 

Via the aforementioned HuffPo piece:

“At first it might be shocking, but then through exposure it becomes normal,” Armitage said in an email describing her work, which currently lives only on social media, although she plans to put together an “IRL” show in the future. Last year, she took her project a step further by kicking off a collaboration with another young woman photographer, Ophelie Rondeau. The two met on Instagram, and decided to start a collective where only photos of girls, taken by girls, could live.

"...Girls by Girls, is a mashup of the pair’s own photos displayed alongside submissions, which they aim to keep as diverse as possible in terms of expertise, orientation and race... “I’m trying to show that being ‘beautiful’ does not mean being white, thin and cis-gendered.”
For more on Ophelie, Ashley and Girls by Girls go here, here and here. LAWLESS over FLAWLESS. Keep on, ladies.
Phoebe by: Stefanie Bonnefoy


“When you see Elvis Presley singing songs early in his career, I think you [should] imagine, he is channeling Rosetta Tharpe. It’s not an image that I think we’re used to thinking of in rock and roll history. We don’t think about the black woman behind the young white man.” 
 - Gayle Wald, author of Shout Sister Shout

266. Didn't it Rain and Up Above my Head
 by: Sister Rosetta Tharpeinventor of Rock n Roll 

Elections are for Everyone

This week on, I was asked to write down a list of reasons why women, mothers specifically, should WANT to be involved in this election's proceedings. Apparently there has been some discourse on the Facebook page about "NO POLITICS! STICK TO PARENTING!" which, okay, cool. I get that there is a time and a place for politics but, also? Really? Are we that short-sighted? Do we not see that VOTING and ELECTING a government that RECOGNIZES our needs as women and mothers is INTEGRAL in our experience raising our children? 

No offense to those who would rather NOT DEAL but SHIT IS GOING DOWN, you guys. It always has and it always will and that is ALSO important to recognize because YES, WE ALL HAVE A SHITLOAD OF SHIT on our plates. And some of that shit? Is awesome, beautiful, INCREDIBLE shit. And some of it is just shitty and TIME WE HAVE NO TIME THERE'S NEVER ANY TIME.

However. There is a world outside our homes. And neighborhoods and I believe that as parents it is our moral obligation to stay informed, to have an opinion and to converse intelligently about all the things.

Also, I hate the idea that "PARENTING" and "POLITICS" are to be washed in separate cycles as not to bleed all over one another. Because, here's the thing. They should. They SHOULD bleed all over one another...

... As citizens of this country and parents to future citizens of this country, engaging in respectful debate, listening to other points of view, paying attention to what is happening in the world is crucial to building a better one.

And if you're still not convinced, here are 7 reasons why you should care about this and ALL elections.

You can read my entire post, here...

Last year we made Valentines and they turned out delightful.

The following is a repost from last year when, in the 11th hour, we decided to rock some serious DIY Valentine's Day action...
photo 5
It's late. It's Thursday. Figuring out valentines with four kids has been... more than I expected it to be and now I am realizing that this is just the beginning... Of purchasing 120 valentines and 120 "treats" to go on them and then, you know, overseeing the assembly line of signatures and uhhhhhhh...!?

This was the first year ever, in my parenting career, that I went above and beyond the usual drugstore valentines box. For the big kids, anyway. 
photo 2
ED:  I tried with the twins, but gave up after one try because they're three and, well... they do not care about awesome homemade valentines. They DO care about Elsa and Anna, however. So... back to plan A we went. 
I got the photo-card idea from Kristen (thanks, Kristen!) and then, after snapping photos of Archer and Fable with what limited props we could come up with, I modified Kristen's photo strip creation to work with the photo apps I already had on my phone (Pic Stitch for the four squares, Squareready to add the extra room on the bottom, Afterlight for the 4x6 cropping.) 

After creating 4x6 cards, I had them printed at my local photo printing shop, which also happens to be THE greatest photo printing shop in Los Angeles.  Marvin, the owner is magic.
And then the kids filled them out, signed them, taped chocolate hearts to the bottom and voila. 
(And by "voila" I mean, "drahmah" because it took a very long time and, we, of course, waited until the very last minute, and, well... hi.

Still. It was totally worth it and now I feel like this is something we can do for various occasions, you know? I feel like I have more confidence for craft this week than I did last week. Feels good.

What walks on two legs in the morning, grows an entire pant size by noon and is impossible to shop for?

This week on, I wrote about the great drought of tween boy clothing items. 

In the last few months, my 5th grade son went from can-totally-shop-in-the-kids-section to... uh... wait... where-the-hell-do-we-shop now?

Archer is tall for his age and going through a growth spurt as most children at this age do. He put on three inches and 15 pounds since the summer, which, I mean... pants have no chance in this house. One pair of jeans in particular he only wore once because... he grew. Overnight. Literally.

That is a thing that happens to children at this age. You're like, "Goodnight!" to your little baby boy and in the morning, you wake up to a man with a mustache.

(We recently watched BIG with the kids and I was like, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IT FEELS LIKE LATELY. JOSH!!!)


Archer's going to be 11 in May and wears a size 7 shoe and a size ? in clothes. And, yes, the question mark is legit because we just had to get rid of all of his 11-12 pants because they no longer fit him and when I went to go get him size 13s, all of those were too big so I ended up getting him MORE size 11-12s because... well... what else could I do? Except that I just got rid of his OTHER size 11-12s which didn't fit him anymore and I don't even know what's going on...
Archer wearing GAP jeans (the first/last day he wore them because... growing)

...I do know that for the last ten years, Archer has been perfectly fine with me purchasing all of his clothes for him. In fact, he's URGED me to do the shopping for him, shopping is the worst, Mom, come on...  And now? He has to come with me/try things on/say "this is the worst" 678798 times before settling on something that is "FINE. Can we just get out of here?"

You can read my entire post, here. 


And for those with boys this age, WHERE DO YOU SHOP?