You Had Me At Free Clam Bra. . .

Mermaid Mug

When I saw this mug I knew I’d found my tribe. Okay, perhaps nix on the murderous intent, but a life with no pants, no periods and perfect hair – count me in! And with the cost of lingerie why should Ariel be the only one who can rock a free clam bra? A girl can dream. . .


Macy’s, Menopause and The Men’s Room


Recently actor and dad Ashton Kutcher and his 5 month old daughter Wyatt Isabelle were in the news. It seems that doting dad Ashton was rightfully miffed at the curious lack of diaper changing facilities in men’s restrooms.  It’s 2015, people – dads change diapers! So what’s a dad to do when faced with a diaper changing dilemma? Will Koala answer the call and outfit men’s rooms across the nation with changing tables, or will desperate dads everywhere start storming the ladies’ room to avail themselves of their diaper changing facilities?

While it would be rather startling to walk in and see some guy in the ladies’ room (especially if it’s Ashton Kutcher!), having recently made my own foray into the men’s room, I’m hardly one to judge.

Allow me to explain.

I’m at a point in my life where hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and yes, a fussy bladder have become a fact of life.   A quick search over at  WebMd bore this out:

During and after the process of menopause, levels of the female hormone estrogen drop significantly. In addition to controlling your monthly periods and body changes during pregnancy, estrogen helps keep the bladder and the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, healthy.

Lack of estrogen may also cause the pelvic muscles responsible for bladder control to weaken, resulting in urinary incontinence.

While I haven’t started cruising the Tena aisle at the drugstore yet, lately the sense of urgency I feel when I have to pee is, well, pretty damn urgent.  When I have to go, I. Have. To. Go.

And here comes the part about the men’s room.

I was shopping for my husband at Macy’s one afternoon when the urge hit. Having learned the hard way not to ignore it for too long (my first ever UTI a few months ago taught me well – thanks again, menopause!) I made my way to the ladies’ room only to find a burly plumber at the entrance, who informed me that it was closed due to a burst pipe, and that I should use the ladies’ room on the 1st floor.  I was on the 4th floor. The men’s room was right next door. My brimming bladder felt like it was knocking against my uterus and ovaries, threatening to make a break for it.

I made, what seemed to me, a perfectly logical, rational decision. I was going to use the men’s room.

I have three younger brothers. I have a husband. I have a son. I know what boys look like. There was nothing in that men’s room that I hadn’t seen before.  After all, I wasn’t going in there to look. I was going in there to pee.

The plumber watched me turn, make a right and start walking into the men’s room.

“Hey, you can’t go in there!” he called after me.

Now, I’ve always been a calm, reserved person; I play by the rules and don’t like to make a scene. But this stage of life has flipped a switch in me where my tolerance level for just about everything is at an all-time low – so dude, there is no way in heaven or hell that you’re going to tell me that I can’t go pee!

I turned to face him and replied sweetly, “Oh, really? Watch me.”  Head down and eyes averted, I scurried into the men’s room (I think I caught a fleeting glimpse of some boots standing at a urinal, I can’t be sure) and plunged headlong into the first stall I came to. I locked the door, and stood there for a second, listening. Was the plumber going to call security to come hustle me out of the bathroom? Was there a guy wearing boots standing at the urinal ready to curse me out for invading this sacred man-space? Was I going to make it through this without peeing my pants?

All I heard was silence. I yanked down my Lululemon’s, squatted over the toilet, and mercifully, gratefully, peed. And peed. And peed. When I was done I slowly opened the stall door, stuck my head out and looked around. The men’s room was empty. I rushed out, quickly washed my hands at the sink and glided out triumphantly, the plumber nowhere in sight. But there was an elderly couple standing in the hallway who saw me exit the men’s room. They looked at me, looked at the “out-of-order” sign that was now in front of the ladies’ room, then quizzically looked to me again.

“It’s okay, go ahead – it’s empty” I whispered conspiratorially, nodding over to the men’s room.  The woman gave me an amused little smirk and, shrugging her shoulders, walked in to use the facilities while her husband stood guard outside.

And, not that I was looking, but I don’t think there was a diaper changing table in that men’s room, either.

Snacking & Me: Not Perfect Together


I saw this on Instagram today and it really resonated with me.  After being told by my doctor at my yearly physical that my alarming weight gain was probably not caused by my thyroid or perimenopause but by Entenmann’s, I’ve been forced to reexamine my eating habits.  Or more specifically my snacking habits.  I snack like a ninja on a rescue mission – silently, stealthily and without witnesses. And I’ll admit that this has led to my snacking getting way out of control.  So in answer to that age-old philosophical question, ‘if I open the giant bar of Toblerone hidden in the big stock pot at the back of the cabinet and sneak-eat in the laundry room, does it make me fat?’ – the answer is  yes.
To that end check out  A Parent’s Guide to Snacking on the Sly by blogger Jess Ullrich at The Momma Review and treat it as a cautionary tale.  While the reasons leading to sneaky snacking are totally valid, for the sake of my waistline I’ll be going through my home and purging all my secret stashes.  And fishing the Hershey’s Kisses out of my bra.
Do you snack on the sly?  What are your secret hiding places? Let me know in the comments!

In Memory of Tater Tots

When my 12-year-old son gets home from school, we always have a little chat about his day.  As he gets older, those chats seem to get shorter, sprinkled with generous helpings of “nothing much” or “same as yesterday”, but I usually wrangle out the details about the social studies test, or the funny thing his science teacher said, or any cafeteria antics.  When we get to that part, I always ask what he ate for lunch that day.  I normally expect to hear his standard menu of tater tots (‘potatoes are a vegetable, mom!’) and a carton of milk.  At a lanky 85 lbs., I always encourage him to eat more at lunch, citing that he needs the energy to finish out the rest of the school day.

Apparently, he was listening.  Today’s menu went something like this:

Him:  For lunch I had. . .

 A cheeseburger,


and a taco;


two fudge chip cookies,

fudge chip cookie

and some green beans (!?!?!);

cafeteria green beans

a  pretzel,


and some milk.

Studio Shot of milk carton. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.

Me:  Wow – you ate all that?

Him:  Well, I couldn’t finish the pretzel.

Me:  What. . .

no tater tots?


Him:  Mom (cue eye roll), nobody eats tater tots anymore.   Are we done now?  I’m hungry – can I have a snack? And when’s dinner?

No more tater tots?!?!  It’s a sad day for the folks at Ore-Ida, to be sure.  But what’s with the snarky attitude and appetite spike? A hormonal shift must be causing this disturbance in the force.   Now what will I do with the 3 bags of Crispy Crowns in my freezer?  

Photos courtesy of Google Images

Am I Renewed and Radiant Enough?

Has anyone seen the commercials for “Dove ClearTone” deodorant and “Tampax Radiant” tampons?  I caught these commercials on television the other night – I don’t know if they’ve been around awhile or if it’s just the first time I’m seeing them, but the message I got from these two ads was a) my armpits need renewing and b) my tampon is not radiant enough.  And isn’t that just the way with advertising?  To trick us into thinking that what we’re using isn’t good enough/radiant enough/renewing enough and that next new thing will make our lives so much better!

First up is “Dove ClearTone” deodorant.  The ad claims that this product “visibly reduces underarm dark marks for more even-looking skin tone in just 2 weeks”.  I thought those dark marks were just razor stubble and I needed to do a better job of shaving, but apparently shaving is the culprit.  Dove claims that shaving and the resulting dryness of underarm skin causes the offending discoloration; that’s why their product is so vital.  They are daring me to try their product and then bare my “renewed underarms”.  I like to multi-task – can’t I just slather some Regenerist under there when I’m done “renewing” my face and neck, which happen to be way more visible than my armpit skin?  I suppose that Dove’s new product is something of a multi-tasker itself, providing protection against odor and wetness while bleaching my armpits.  I just didn’t know I needed it.  Thanks for the heads up.

And then there’s the “Tampax Radiant” tampon ad.  I wonder what makes them “radiant”?  Do they glow in the dark for easy insertion during a blackout?  I just picture opening the box and being momentarily blinded.  The website states that:

New Tampax Radiant tampons give you an ultimate protection experience like never before! The Radiant tampon features FormFit™ protection that gently expands to fit your unique shape, a LeakGuard™ braid to help stop leaks before they happen, a CleanSeal™ wrapper—the first ever re-sealable wrapper for worry-free disposal—and a CleanGrip™ applicator designed for incredible comfort.

Okay – new, improved, enhanced, redesigned, convenient, revolutionary?  Maybe.  But radiant?  A bride is radiant.  The sun is radiant.  But a tampon is neither shining, luminous or bright.  Although if you’re caught without protection at that critical moment, having a tampon handy would be a pretty brilliant idea, to be sure.  In the commercial the actress utters the tagline “it helps keep my period out of sight, so I can stand out” – while the girls sniffing around her targeted cute guy disappear into sparkly poufs of smoke and some shimmering graphics dance around a tampon (my guess is that’s the radiant part).  Huh?  I guess the secret to getting the guy is using a sparkly tampon – excuse me, a radiant tampon.  I’d still close my eyes when opening the box, just to be safe.

So sorry, marketing mavens, but I’m perfectly happy with the products I currently use (which don’t happen to include either of these brands anyway), so I think I’ll skip the bleached armpits and glittery tampons.  But I did get sucked into buying a can of Kaboom FoamTastic bathroom cleaner today – you know the one that sprays on blue and turns white when clean??  The lure of graffiti tagging the bathtub with a freshly scented blue foam proved too great, and I caved – those advertising gods show no mercy. 🙂

Photo courtesy of Google Images