MOTHERHOOD PART TWO: Moms, Would You Rather Face a Starving Barracuda Or A Disappointed Daughter? Trying To Leave on a Trip Without the Kids

For all the wild and wooly and crazy adventures I’ve had in my life.... from leaping off of New Zealand bridges to skiing through avalanches in the Sawtooths to (stupidly) feeding zillion-feet-long barracudas hot-dogs while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef..... there really is no adventure greater than getting ready to leave the kids for 4 days with the husband in charge.

It’s not the husband. It’s the download. The download of massive amounts of information. And the unbelievable amount of detail that must be regurgitated from my zipping and whirling noggin into and down the throat of my poor husband as I flap-flap out the door, headed to my SFO, Jet-Blue jet-plane.

"Susi is picking up Sally at 8am for the soccer game and Cheryl will then grab both girls and drive them to the birthday party at 11am then Jo, meanwhile, will come over for a play-date between 9-noon for George and then don’t forget he’s allergic to cranberries and the birthday presents are on the table but don’t forget to have them make cards and Mark left his backpack so swing that by their house on your way to Safeway where you need to pick up the juice boxes and wheat-free muffins for the bongo-show at school tomorrow at 8:30am after drop off and then you’ll need to remember to actually drop-off the field trip form or else Sally can’t go (and thus you would break her heart. Forever.)”


How to convey that to an eager husband stepping in last minute?

Flow chart? Spreadsheets? iPhone ap? Incoherent babbling to a wide-eyed hubby? (Go to your happy place, husband… Go there…) There's got to be a storage Cloud out there somewhere with our name on it. 

And no wonder the rich and famous have personal assistants up the wazoo helping them organize their children and their bathroom tissue as they flit around the country on excursions and spa tours........ if i had that kind of cash, i'd have one for everyone of us in the family. Including the dog.

But, here, there is no whisking off. There is no personal assistant. And this is no place for perfection. Download complete and hope, pray for salvation when something is missed.

For I might rather face a ravenous, hot-dog hungry, Great Barrier Reef barracuda than my daughter’s bottom lip trembling, blue eyes welling, soul-crushing face when she finds out that Mommy has forgotten to tell Daddy that today is Pajama Day at school…. 

Yes, give me an avalanche any day.

Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM

Ps. If anyone has the answer, lemme know…. !


MOTHERHOOD PART TWO: If Evolution Really Works, How Come Moms Only Have Two Hands?

Love love this quote. Thanks to #happify for bringing it to me this morn:

"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?"

- Milton Berle

I’d like to add to this list:

If evolution really works, how come we still have pinky toes (to slam into the sides of couches, tables, bannisters, etc. and the subsequent trouble that ensues – see my Barry Bonds blog….)

If evolution really works, why don’t moms actually HAVE eyes on the back of our heads (like we, at times, resort to claiming we do indeed have.)

If evolution really works, why haven’t we grown an organic layer of clothing on our bodies that sheds itself like snakeskin and decomposes into the nature-chain naturally (a little gross but Oh to do away with endless laundry loads, sock sorting and dramatic weeping when the Sears washing-machine maintenance man doesn’t show up!)

If evolution really works, why haven’t kids developed giant, padded heads and bodies to protect themselves for the first 12 years of life… and then, upon entering the teenage years, that padding transfers itself to the area of the heart.

And finally this morn…

If evolution really works, how come Dads STILL haven’t learned how to multi-task?

Waka waka. The list is endless! (And, add to it if you'd like....!)

Enjoy your evolutionary day…..

Namaste & Three Cheers - OM


Family Bonding Over Something Strange... Are We Genetically Inclined to Love Birds or Is This Some Sort of Chronic Bird Flu We Didn’t Get The Vaccination For?

Look! Is It The Queen of England? No, It's A Red-Shoulder Hawk
in our Backyard!

My 7 year old daughter’s voice is shrill. Excited. Urgent!!!

“Mommy. MOMMY! Come quick!!!”

Oh &!@#&^&

Another accident. Disaster. What’s going on???????

I sprint to the family room where she’s perched on top of the piano looking out into the backyard. I see no blood. No snapped-in-half looking of her limbs.

What’s going on?

“Mommy! Oh, look. LOOK! There’s a huge, HUGE falcon in the backyard!”

There he sat. On our lawn. Our suburban lawn. Next to the big red slide of our falling-apart swing-set. A giant bird of prey. Gorgeous orange shoulders and belly. Black spotty markings. A pattern that only Mother Nature could design with such breathtaking intricacy.

Oh my god! We quietly run around the house, gathering the rest of the family. Searching for the (ahem, misplaced) binocs and, of course, the handy Peterson Field Guide to Western North America Birds.

In a moment, the “falcon” makes a big flap and hops onto the wooden fence that borders our house with the unbelievably cranky Cat Lady who lives next door. Hmmmmmm. Is he looking for some delicious, fuzzy feline to fill his belly perhaps?

Flip, flip. We find the Birds of Prey page. After some deliberation, we’re convinced that it’s a Red Shouldered Hawk. A Red Shouldered Hawk! Just 30 feet away. Hanging out on our little patch of backyard grass.

Oh we’re so proud. We’re glowing. Like we’ve just had a visit from the QUEEN OF ENGLAND (or her pregnant grand-daughter.) We shoot out emails to like-minded friends and family. Bird emails.

Bird Emails?

Yes, bird emails.

Like some overtaken, swooning geekster, we have become those people. Those bird people. We’ve been hit hard by the bird flu… the bird flu of love. Love for these feathered friends who delight the planet with their magical aerodynamic capacity and soaring spirit.

Ahhh. It’s an uplifting moment.

And as for the neighborhood cats and our cranky-arse Cat Lady next door, reel in your kitties – it’s lunch time out there.

Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM

For more on Red-Shouldered Hawks and awesome birds:

ps. YES, i keep changing the title of this post because i'm trying to find my audience here. Come on BIRD NERDS, where are you???


#IWishIWasSkiing – When a Ski Nut Grows Up (Has a Family, Moves to the Suburbs, and Barely Makes It) Ski Stories!

Ahh the JOY that a Ski-Mountain Can Bring!
Big Smiles @Tahoe Last Season

So here I am. Biting my fingernails. Fidgeting. Bouncing my foot.

Uncomfortable. Off.

Like a lovesick teenager. Or an addict.

I am JONESING for a ski hill. For a slope. For a snow covered mountain. FOR SOME POWDER.

For I know, that right now, many of you, my friends, are hooting and hollering with JOY on a Tahoe, Rocky Mountain, Utah, Sun Valley, New England, Teton piste. Back-country, front-country, sideways country. On a helicopter, on a snow-cat, on a pair of skins sliding up a mountain. There you are!

I can hear you!

I am home. In my relocated, not ski-country town. Gorgeous and green, it offers everything. But snow. Urg.

As responsible parents, our children’s passionate activities have trumped the family trip for President’s Day Ski Week. And I thought I’d be fine. But, you see, it’s raining down here. Which means snow up high. And we know what that means: Powwwwder Dayyyyyy!

I am not fine. I am off kilter. I am gnawing on things. On my ski-pole. On my glove. On the top, right corner of the ski rack. It haunts me. Skiiiii-rackkkkkkkkk.

Take me to the mountains.

I will get there. With patience, a credit card, and a serious “screw the indoor-soccer, lacrosse, theater, girl scouts, birthday parties next weekend, kids!!!” attitude. I will make it happen.

Yes, we will get there… soon! And, in the meantime, as you carve your fresh-tracks in the barely-fallen snow today, send a little “Yahoooooooo!” hoot my way, will ya?


Namaste & Three Cheers! -OM


The BEST Little Camping/Backpacking Stove: The Snow Peak GigaPower. Throw It in Your Pocket and Let’s Cook. Woo!

Hot Little Camping Stove: Snow Peak!

Ok. So we’re restocking our Camping Gear Box after 10 years of childbirth and diapers and never-ending, man-in-the-yellow-hat Curious George videos. (Tho I love that pain-in-the-patoot, little monkey who always pulls it off in the end, don’t you?)

Now we are past all that and finally getting into the good stuff again.... and this time WITH our kids.

It’s a re-education. And, my is it FUN!

Take the awesomely powerful little gizmo of a backpacking stove, the Snow Peak GigaPower.

It’s about the size of a pack of cards – maybe a little bigger – and literally, fits INTO a pants pocket. As my 11 year old son has demonstrated over and over again. Look Mom! In the pocket. Out of the pocket. In the pocket. Out. In. Out. In…. Out!

My son purchased one with his birthday money after doing hours of research online for the best mini stove (my own little research team!) It has the incredible, magical thing called an “instant igniter” where, instead of swearing for hours as you burn yourself with matches or the Bic Lighter trying to light it while gas flies all over ….. with one little ZAP of a button, the thing lights and – BOOM! - we are on our way to a mad-delicious pot o’ Raman Noodles.

We’ve been practicing with the Snow Peak in the backyard. I’ve been served lots o’ nice and toasty tea….. (and now we need to work on the bits of lawn and crunchy soil that somehow make their way into the pot as well. My son is an enthusiastic new consumer, however is still learning that “what sticks to the stirring spoon when you lay it on earth” is not so delicious.)
Tiny Little Package, Powerful Little Stove

This makes a fantastic, out of-the-big-box gift for anyone with an Outdoorsy spirit or a gizmo love – so, so easy to run and really satisfying to fire up and see it create a nice boil oh so quickly. 

(And sometimes, when i let my imagination run wild, I think it’s going to blast off, head out of the atmosphere, and land on the Moon it looks so much like of some sort of teeny, tiny little lunar lander. Totally cool.)

You could literally fire this thing up on a NYC balcony (if the Super isn’t looking), slope-side on a Rocky Mountain ski slope, or at the base of Everest (not confirmed but I’d like to think) and make yourself a delicious pot o’ cocoa.


Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM

Find much more about it here: Snow Peak , Snow Peak REI , Snow Peak Amazon