Archive | January, 2013

Unsolicited advice: what say you?

30 Jan

Picture this: I’m in Target, trying to find some more of the sippy cups T uses (day care is no-man’s land for sippy cups. Where are they hiding them? How hard is it to put it back in his back? Sigh.), when around the corner come three chatty ladies. One of them is pregnant, as indicated not so much by her belly as by the scanner gun poised in her hand. If the fact that two other people were with her didn’t tip me off that it was her first, their conversation sure did.

“What about this one? Oh no—it says 12 months and up.”

“I’ve read that the kind with the straw encourages brain development.”

“This one is for 4 months and up. She’ll still be on formula then, right?”

“This one is for real cute.”

“Check it out: keeps drinks hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. (Side note: it’s a thermos.)  I don’t think I need that.”

“Yeah, if you’re feeding your baby coffee and soda you have other problems.”

Although they were practically standing on top of me by this time, none of them had said a word to me. I felt the urge to speak up: yes, 4 month olds drink formula…usually still from a bottle. The kind with the straws are not very spill proof, and they’re a b!tch to clean. Don’t worry about cute, you’ll be writing your kid’s name in permanent marker all over it anyway.

But nobody asked me.

I chewed over it. She’s about to have a baby, and I just had one—I’m in the perfect position to provide an opinion. And I remember how confused I was when I registered. But then again, nobody receives more idiotic, unwelcome, and downright intrusive pearls of wisdom than new moms. I’m just as likely to get a stony stare as a warm thank you.

This topic obviously transcends parenthood, or even shopping. It probably happens a dozen times a day at workplaces across the nation—you see someone struggling, and wonder whether to step in. I’m always wary of trying for helpful and friendly and coming off as an intolerable know-it-all and butter-inner.

I obtained my data from this chart

In the end I didn’t say anything, but when I told P the story he thought I should’ve done. So what’s your opinion? How would you feel if a stranger offered up a heaping helping of (kindly) advice, unbidden? And on the other hand, what would have done in my place?

15 Ways in Which I am a 60 Year Old Woman

24 Jan

I did a terrifying thing today. I invited something like 75 people to sing karaoke with me on my 30th birthday.

A lot of you are thinking karaoke is the scary part of that equation–HA, not for me. Well, maybe it’s scary for the people who are listening to me, but not to me personally. No no, the scary part for me is the big party. I really love my friends, and I love getting dressed up and doing stuff. But a room full of people–even my favorite people–makes my stomach tingle and my hands sweat (or maybe vice versa.) Especially one I am hosting and therefore can’t back out of at the last minute with a lame excuse about the baby.

I’m getting way off the subject here. The reason I decided to finally bite the bullet is, HELLO, I’m turning three decades old and if I’m not going to have a giant party with everyone I know then, when is it going to happen? Live while you’re young.

Which then made me realize:  I think I’m not really young. Even before I had ‘ol Ten Spot, a.k.a. perfect excuse for old-fogey-anti-social behavior, my usual Saturday night (which I think tells a much more complete story than your “ideal” Saturday night) consisted of watching back-to-back past seasons of TV shows (on a DVD that I rented, no less) and eating chips n’ salsa. That would be the first way in which I am a 60-year old trapped in a 30-year old’s body. Here are 14 others:

  • I don’t like Google Chrome or Windows 7.
  • I use Revlon and Avon makeup. Not sure if this is really an all old woman thing, but my granny definitely used them.
  • I keep notes by writing them down. With my hand. Using a pencil. I also have a paper calendar that I carry around—my 70 year old boss and I have that in common.
  • I can’t hear whispers and I also can’t read lips. (If you have to tell me something in secret, best write me a note—in pencil).
  • I think baked goods make great gifts.
  • I keep a gratitude journal. Fine, I’ve been meaning to keep a gratitude journal.
  • I like Reader’s Digest.
  • My bedtime is 9:30. (However my preferred wake up time is still 10:30, so maybe that’s not so much an old person thing as a Rip Van Winkle thing).
  • Lavender is my favorite scent, followed by rose.
  • I read books in book form, even on public transportation.
  • I do not consider invitations received through Facebook to be serious (not saying they’re not real. Just saying they’re not serious.), and email is not an acceptable vehicle for a thank you note.
  • I really can’t stand automatic faucets. They never work! And I hate hand dryers. You know what they called hand dryers in my day? Paper towels! *Shakes fist*
  • I could talk to people all day about their babies and pets. And heck, why not admit it? Monopolize most of the conversation talking about my own baby and pets.
  • I use expressions like “geez,” “give a hoot,” and “what’s that got to do with the price of beans?” without irony.

What’s your internal age?

Top Three

15 Jan

The Bert Show (a popular morning radio program, if you’re not in Atlanta) did a bit recently where the host’s wife stood in for him in an interview of Mark Wahlberg, because he was evidently one of the three celebrities on her Hump Island. Hump Island is a magical place where you get to cheat on your significant other with immunity, given the chance, with your personal top three hottest celebrities.

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard of the island, but it was the first time I’d ever heard of it having influence in any realm other than the hypothetical. In fact, they got into a very real argument about (among other things) whether you can change the people in your top three based on the likelihood you’ll actually meet one of them. I realized I’d better put it in writing if I want to avoid such a disagreement in the future. (Kind of like a will?!)

Turns out that task is easier said than done. Lots of people are attractive but too old, or too young, or too inconsistent in their hotness factor for me to put on my list. And let’s face it—overall, girls are prettier than boys, even to the heterosexual female. I’d hate to actually get the chance with one of my top three, only to be like, ew. Nevermind. There were a few I had to sadly oust for just such reasons.

Johnny Depp? Oh, Johnny. Totally swoon-worthy most of the time, but you have smoker’s breath, possibly B.O., and I can’t deal.


Joe Manganiello? The uber-manly, I’ll-protect-you vibe abounds, but one careless bear hug and Janie crushed.


Jake Gyllenhal? Really adorbs IMHO, but I’m way over the jerk phase. (Thanks Taylor Swift, for taking the hit for all of us).


Robert Downey Jr.? I think plugging our ages into the creepy equation would produce the result of “ick.” Although the appeal may be entirely due to this picture.

Is there anything sexier than a guy goofing around with an adorable kid?

Is there anything sexier than a guy goofing around with an adorable kid?

Chase Crawford? Same as above, but the other way around.


So after all the hemming and hawing, I am hereby putting in writing my official top three. Should there be any questions over future infidelities my attorneys will refer you to this document.

Janie’s Official Top Three

Jude Law. The only person who springs to the top of my internal search engine when I enter “hot celebrity males.”


Peter Facinelli. I liked him back from Can’t Hardly Wait, so zip your Twihard lips. He’s cute when he’s smiling OR brooding.


The fact that he’s gotten a tad puffy of late would only help me feel less self-conscious. Actually, he kind of reminds me of my hubby! Who is not at all, by the way, puffy…I mean…aaahh….[insert foot in mouth]

Especially in this picture.

Especially in this picture.

Prince Harry. Not only does he meet my secret penchant for gingers, but I love accents. I bet he’s funny too. At any rate, he’s definitely royal.


Can I get a runner-up?

Christian Bale has been a favorite since Newsies days, but sometimes he looks downright gross. If I met him during one of those times, I’d have to take a pass. Plus, didn’t he hit his mother or something? That’s no good. But, sigh.


But there’s a few “hot guys” I just don’t get:

Ryan Gosling. His appeal is entirely due to the Hey Girl memes and every girl’s strong internal desire to be Allie in The Notebook.


Joseph Gordon Levitt. I really like him as an actor, but why is he suddenly on every hot list ever?



Daniel Radcliffe. My sides hurt from laughing at the sultry shots on Pinterest. Sorry, you’ll always be Harry Potter (translation: 16 years old).



And over here on Patrick’s Hump Island we have…

Blake Lively


Jessica Biel


Avril Lavinge


Isn’t it disturbing when you look nothing like anyone on your man’s top 3?

Who’s on your island?

NAMB: A Mother’s Resolutions

8 Jan

Not Another Mom Blog is a regular satirical feature exploring all the vital, life-saving, keeping-your-child-from-growing-old-alone advice out there. NAMB: Because every mother needs something else to worry about.

It’s January! That time of year where we check our running tally of all the areas in which we need improvement. I know mothers are really busy—maybe too busy to make a proper list of resolutions—so here a few suggestions to get you started.

Resolution #1: Strive for perfection.

You’ve heard it said many times: nobody’s perfect. But that’s no excuse not to try. Mary Poppins was practically perfect, and she was just a nanny.

Resolution #2: Keep looking ahead.

What’s more important: planning the outfit your two-year-old will wear for the professional pictures you’re having done next week, or watching her pull everything out of the drawer with intense deliberation and assemble her very own “outfit” right now? The answer is obvious. Photographs are forever.

Resolution #3: Make more money.

If there’s one thing I remember from my own childhood, it’s exactly how many toys I owned and the annual increase of my salary allowance as a percentage of my parents’ take home pay. Don’t deprive your child of that experience.

Resolution #4: Make your child’s life as easy as possible.

Mothers who truly love their children don’t allow them to feel any pain. Yes, even if that means writing his college entrance essay or showing up at the school bully’s house in full camouflage. Bumps and bruises are perhaps inevitable, but emotional scarring doesn’t have to be.

Resolution #5: Put others first.

You really should have already learned this lesson as a little girl, but just in case you didn’t  it all comes down to a simple mathematical equation. Time has different values for different people. The people you take care of–your kid, your husband, your mother, your boss—have time with a higher value than yours. Don’t be selfish.

Resolution #6: Don’t be ugly.

Just because you’re following resolution #5 is no reason to let yourself go. If you can’t fit in regular gym sessions, pedicures, and careful comparison shopping for elegant clothing, you probably shouldn’t have had kids. (P.S. This goes for your home too, which is as everyone knows, an extension of yourself).

And that’s all there is to it! By this time next year, you could be looking back on the past year and congratulating yourself on all your accomplishments instead of strategizing a self-improvement agenda. Remember, most mothers aren’t failures. Just the bad ones.