Category Archives: Happy Mama

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

My husband was supposed to be here today, but his business trip has been extended so he’ll still be gone tomorrow.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.  And so on.  He’s been gone for eleven days already, and now he’ll be gone another six days before he finally returns home.  That’s SEVENTEEN days, people!

But who’s counting?  (Me.)

It’s hard when he’s away.  It’s the kind of hard that generally causes regrettable shopaholic binges and obsessive “spring” cleaning.  The latter is a good thing.  I reorganized my desk, and I’ve started – yet again – to clean out my closet.

The former is less good.  The other day at Target, I bought 250 paper clips and 18 sharpened #2 pencils for no good reason, and yesterday, I purchased two t-shirts at Old Navy because, damn it, they were soft.  Then, I got myself a pedicure.  After traipsing through the backyard barefoot with Gertie for a month (she bites if I wear shoes), my toes and feet were beyond desperate.  Yes, the pedicure was luxurious, but, I promise you, it was as medically necessary as a pap smear.

Today, I got a haircut.  I scheduled the appointment a few weeks ago because I felt in my heart that I was ready to cut my hair.  I mean really cut it.  My hairdresser told me I would know when it was time, and she was right.  My hair officially jumped the shark.  It became a nuisance.  A chore.  A bit of a bore, actually.  For a long while it made me feel young and fresh, but more recently, it just felt old and limp.

The turning point came when a friend texted me a picture of the two of us from three years ago.  Not only did I have way less wrinkles between my eyebrows, but also I had a rockin’ short hair cut.

And that was it.  It was time to cut the hair.

Except then my husband turned an already too long business trip into an endless business trip, which left me no choice but to fill an online shopping cart with half a dozen items at  I was hanging on by a very thin thread, so cutting off ten inches of hair that I spent the better part of the last two years growing out seemed risky.

The general law of haircuts is pretty cut and dry (pun intended):  Don’t do anything drastic if (1) you’ve experienced a big life change, like a death, an illness, a move, a divorce, or a break-up, and/or (2) you’re pregnant (or immediately postpartum), and/or (3) your husband has been in London for nearly THREE WEEKS and the only thing on prime time television has been the Winter Olympics.

Cutting my hair would’ve been all kinds of irresponsible.

But I did it anyway.





Happy Mama!

I depend on my husband, of course.  He’s my partner in life.  The father of my children.  The guy who, among many other things, takes the trash out on Wednesday and Sunday nights and watches “The Following” with me because otherwise I’d be too afraid.  But I never want to depend on him so much that I lose sight of what I’m capable of doing on my own.  Since he left, I’ve yelled a little bit (okay, a lot), cried once (or twice), and enjoyed a few glasses (or so…) of wine during homework time, but otherwise, I’ve aced this ridiculously long test of parenting will and endurance.  I even took out the trash.  (Hang on while I pat myself on the back.)

My husband will eventually come home, balance (and socks strewn all over the floor) will be restored to the universe, and my hair will grow back, too (if I want).

p.s. I’m donating my locks to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a national campaign that creates free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer.

Tell me your haircut stories in the comments.



Filed under business travel, hair, Happy Mama

10K…By The Numbers

Bright and early on Sunday morning, I ran a 10K.  That’s 6.2 miles.  When I say early, I mean E-A-R-L-Y.  I’m talking about I-had-to-use-my-iOS-7-flashlight-to-find-the-start-line early.  Being in a park in the dark was definitely creepy – like Freddy Krueger creepy – but starting the race before dawn under a moonlit sky was pretty awesome.  In fact, the entire race was a big bowl of awesome.  Here’s a recap…by the numbers.

2:  The number of 10Ks I’ve run in my lifetime.

12:  The number of years since I ran the first one.

6:  The number of hours I slept the night before the race.  I had better intentions, but kids and dogs and dishes and all kinds of things get in the way of sleep.  All the time.

2:  The number of times I went to the bathroom at the park before the race.  In an actual bathroom with toilet paper and a light and a sink (i.e. not a hole in the ground).  Happy Mama!

2:  The number of times I cried during the race thinking about Harry.  Depressing, but 6.2 miles was a long time to be alone with my thoughts, especially at my pace.

11:13:  My pace.

3:  The number of times I listened to Katy Perry’s “Roar” during the last mile.  I know.  Enough already with “Roar,” but let me tell you, it’s a perfect song to listen to on the last mile of a 10K.  Freakin’ perfect.

1:09:42:  My official net time.

1:  The number of glasses of wine I drank at the finish line.  The race sponsor was a local bar.  All runners got a free drink.  At 8:30 in the morning.  After running 6.2 miles and becoming slightly to drastically dehydrated.  It made total sense at the time.  An hour later, not so much.

17:  My place out of 31 runners in my age category (35-39).

1:42:  The time shaved off my last 10K race.  The one I ran over a decade ago.  Not a huge difference, but I was 25 years old when I ran that race.  I was in my mid-twenties as opposed to my – gulp – late thirties.  I was a baby!  And now, well, now I have babies.  Give a Mama a break!

13.1:  The number of miles I’m contemplating running next.  February 2014 Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon, here I come?



Filed under Happy Mama, running


The Runaway Mama has been intense lately.  Harry’s medical crisis put us on a nauseating ride we just couldn’t get off.  He finally came home last Friday night – after spending ten long nights in the hospital and having surgery to remove an insulinoma tumor from his pancreas – only to have to go straight back on Sunday.  Our poor little pup began showing signs of possible pancreatitis, a fairly common (and fairly terrifying) post-surgery complication, and a new – that’s right, a new – herniated disc in his back.

At this point, I’m pretty sure Harry could be the star dog of a reality show about the medical mysteries and inner workings of an emergency veterinary hospital.   Mark Burnett, are you reading this?

On Wednesday morning, we did “take two” of Harry’s homecoming.


So far so good this time around, which is why I’ve officially lifted the veil of darkness from the blog.  It’s time to lighten up a little bit.  That, and being sad and worried and scared all the time is exhausting.

It just so happens that Harry was first hospitalized the day after my 38th birthday.  This unfortunate confluence of events unleashed my inner shopaholic, which was downright reckless considering the cost of pet healthcare.  (FYI: Obamacare doesn’t cover dogs.)

Like our favorite Chinese food delivery place (that we can no longer afford), the veterinary hospital has our credit card on file.  Hanukkah and Christmas this year (and next) (and the year after that) are cancelled, and family vacations will resume in approximately 30 years when Dylan and Riley invite us on their family trips to babysit their whiny and cranky children.  We’ve even given Harry-Barry Bo-Berry Bo-to-the-Berry a new nickname: Reno, as in, the kitchen Reno-vation that will never happen.

Yet… even so… but still… nonetheless… be that as it may… I. cannot. stop. shopping.

It started off innocent enough.  It was my birthday, after all.  I had some gift cards from friends and family, all of which helped make a little electric stage blue dream come true.


Happy Mama!

But then things got a little weird.  One morning, I found myself filling an shopping cart with pillows, clothing, and tchotchkes covered with Boston Terriers.  On that wacky online adventure down the “let’s turn my house and wardrobe into a shrine to Harry” rabbit hole, I found that the jewelry company, Dogeared, has a new line called “Wag” that features charms of popular dog breeds.  I quickly deduced that they didn’t have a Boston Terrier charm, so I did what any Shopaholic Mama with a sick dog in the hospital would do.  I emailed customer service.

Dear Customer Service, 

Please – oh please – make a Boston Terrier charm – for your new Wag collection!  Please.  PLEASE.  PLEASE!!!


Crazy Shopaholic (With A Sick Dog) Mama

Do you know what?  They actually emailed me back.  The same day.  They said they’d forward my request to their design team (or perhaps to their security team).  Either way, I’m cool, as long as they make the damn charm.  In the meantime, I’m seriously considering their dog bone necklace in silver.

While we’re on the topic of online shopping, I may or may not have purchased a blouse covered with owls from  (They didn’t have a blouse covered in dogs…that I know of.)

After my online binge (relax, I didn’t buy anything on Etsy…yet), I moved on to some good old-fashioned brick and mortar shopping.  Of course, I timed that spree with the fall Bloomingdale’s Friends & Family sale.  Of course.  And, of course, walking around the store caused me to fixate on what to wear to my 20th high school reunion on November 30th.  The reunion that’s seven weeks from now.  Of course.

I could wear the owl blouse, but I wonder what my high school classmates would think about me walking into the reunion dressed as creepy owl lady a month past Halloween?  After twenty years, we’re supposed to be past all the insecurities, right?  My owl obsession is totally cool, isn’t it?  Isn’t it?

A sweater and boots would probably be more appropriate for Massachusetts weather in late November, but somewhere between the denim and the shoe department, I became totally and completely obsessed with finding yellow sandals, because a splash of color on my feet would look great with the black and white striped dress that recently arrived in the mail from  (Did I fail to mention that online purchase?)  It doesn’t matter, though, because I couldn’t find yellow sandals anywhere.  Winter boots and metal embellished booties were everywhere, which should have turned my razor-sharp Crazy focus back to cold-weather fashion for the reunion, but instead it further fueled my ridiculous infatuation with buying yellow sandals for the sleeveless racerback voile dress that I could never wear in November in New England…unless I had a cardigan, but I digress.

I left Bloomingdale’s empty-handed and defeated, with my tail between my legs, and, sadly, wondered if DSW might still have a good summer sandal selection.  Back at home, I walked straight into my closet and practically tripped over a beautiful pair of yellow sandals with a cork platform heel THAT. I. ALREADY. OWNED.

Dear God.

My name is the Runaway Mama and I am a Shopaholic.

Harry is finally home for good (we hope), and it’s no coincidence that my shopaholic bender has subsided, too.  There are still some packages arriving on my doorstep here and there (look the other way, people!), but the frenzy is over.

Poor little Reno, er, Harry has a long recovery ahead of him.  He spends most of his time resting in a crate.  He’s not allowed to do anything but eat, take meds, pee and poop, and sleep.  Doctor’s orders.  This course of treatment might also be the perfect prescription for a helpless, hopeless, and accidentally unleashed Shopaholic.


Filed under birthday, Happy Mama, Harry, Shopaholic Mama, shopaholism, shopping