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What age should your kids get rid of their “security blanket”?

Posted August 6, 2013 / Jen

My son has slept with a blue dog stuffed animal since he was born.  He just turned 11 and still sleeps with it every night.  He even brings it on trips.  It is the cutest, sweetest thing in the world, but at some point it may become a little strange.  I am not ready for him to get rid of it as it will be a huge turning point in his life, but I am wondering if we it is time.  I suppose he will let me know when he is done wiht the “Bobo” as he calls it, but for now, I am going to enjoy every minute.  They grow up so fast!!!

How often do you have a “date” with your husband?

Posted August 2, 2013 / Jen

We are so busy with life, kids, work, etc.  It is so hard to carve out time to be alone with your spouse. Often we end up fighting more than we should.  It is so important to have time together to remember how much we not only love our spouse, but how much we like them.  Recently, my husband I had an entire day to ourselves.  We went on an adventure to a little town nearby where we have never spent time.  We ended up having the best day.  We went to lunch, went to a cool gallery and found a beautiful nursery where we bought some plants and sculptures for our garden.  We laughed and so truly enjoyed each other.  We all have to make this time. It is so important!!!!

What’s your hot commodity?

Posted July 31, 2013 / Barb

I have slept on the same side of the bed forever. When I got married I explained that to my husband. Well, it just so happens that my side of the bed is the closest and best view of the television.

Over the past seven years that we have lived in this house, I find that my husband takes a shower and then lies on my side of the bed in his wet robe – YUK! I have discussed and yelled at him about “getting his ass to his side of the bed.” That’s my space. I already have to share everything else with either him or my kids! Really, is it too much to ask for just this one sliver of space that I can call my own? C’mon now!

So, the other night he says to me, “if I lose 25 pounds will you give me your side of the bed?” Hmmm…..I didn’t realize that my side of the bed, my real estate if you will, was such a hot commodity.

On one hand, I do hate the fact that he has gained so much weight since we got married… but on the other hand, that side of the bed has been with me for a long time and is my last “hold out” of independence. What would you do? Do I make the trade?


How do you stay connected to your kids when they are away from you?

Posted July 30, 2013 / Jen

After breaking my foot and needing surgery, I wasn’t able to go on the yearly family trip to North Carolina. This means that I was going to be away from my kids for two weeks.  I have never spent that much time away from them.  My daughter who is 9 was really upset that I couldn’t go and freaking out about being away from me.  I came up with an idea that worked wonderfully.  We went to the bead store and made “love” bracelets for each other.  She picked out the beads (including a key which is now our love key). The process of making the bracelets together and both wearing them have given us an additional bond that she and I both love.  Every time we talk, I ask her if she is wearing her bracelet and she says, “Of course Mommy…I don’t take it off”.  It is funny how a little thing like this has given both of a little piece of mind and connection while we are away from each other.

Do your kids fight?

Posted July 29, 2013 / Barb

We have many experts on the show telling Jen and I “how to” be healthier women, have better marriages and parent better. In my quest to be the best that I can be (like that is ever going to happen) I take all of the expert advice, of which my husband is so sick of hearing about, and constantly apply it to my family and everyday life. Usually the advice requires a lot on my part but there is one piece of advice that required me to do “nothing” and much to my surprise it worked like a charm. Betsy Brown Braun is a parenting expert who you will see throughout the season (she has amazing advice and parents pay big bucks to hear it) she told me when my girls are fighting to “just do nothing,” “butt out,” “stay out of it,” “let them figure it out on their own.” The other day the girls were fighting and I took her advice and said “you guys figure it out on our own” and just like that it worked…they did!! All that time and energy, the frustration, the negotiating, the ruining of my day solved by “doing nothing.” I encourage you to get her book “Just Tell Me What To Say” and learn how doing nothing may be doing a lot.

How important are your girlfriends?

Posted July 25, 2013 / Barb

Every year my 6 best girlfriends get together for a weekend trip. We have all been friends since we were 18 years old (a long time, I am 46!) We truly have grown up together, evolving from ”dreamy girls” to ”responsible women.” Some of us got mar- ried right out of college, some of us lived with boyfriends, some of us traveled the world and some of us opted for serious careers. We have supported one another without judgment (ok maybe a little judgment) through divorces, miscarriages, heart- break, bad boyfriends, wedding stresses, parenting dilemmas, financial nightmares and the highs and lows of marriage. Yes, I need my girlfriends more than I need my husband (is that bad to say?) They are always the first call I make when something goes wrong or something great happens.

This year we went to Palm Springs and I have to say it was my favorite trip!!! One of us is in the middle of an ugly divorce, the other feeling the guilt of a successful career, another is a new parent with no family to help, one is constantly struggling with the stresses of financial security, one is juggling two small kids, a new business and a husband that travels and one is the educated woman behind the very successful man (always appearing perfect.) No conversation is off limits on this trip (let your imagination run with that one.) This year we sat around in our hotel room with our pajama’s on and made fun of, how when we smile we have double chins. We picked out famous husbands for one another and fantasized about what type of life we would have. We bragged (and made fun of) our children. We talked about old boyfriends and reminded each other of our past stories (of which we didn’t want to remember.) We ragged on our in-laws (each one with a story better than the other.) But most importantly, we laughed and laughed and laughed!!!! It reminds me how strong women are in general (I guess that is why we have the babies) how many things we manage to take on in a day and in life. How we always seem to put our family first even when we don’t realize it. How easy it is to lose ourselves in the ”mom life.”

It is with these friends I feel 18 again– fear- less, inspired and FABULOUS! So I ask you ladies, to share your ”girlfriend stories”, post pictures of them and inspire us…… Barb

I am so in love with my husband….today

Posted July 17, 2013 / Barb

There is nothing better than 24 hours away from your kids to remember
why you married your husband (see episode “Why did you marry your
husband?”.) Recently Shahrad and I went to a wedding in Napa. We
dropped the kids off at my families in San Francisco (chocolate ice
cream at midnight and Britney Spears video’s, this time it was actually
Pink videos) and checked into our hotel. We went to Bouchon for lunch
(the cafe owned by the famous chef Thomas Keller from French Laundry),
had a bottle of Rose wine (my favorite) and laughed as if we were on a
first date. We didn’t talk about the kids which was a miracle since
that seems to be all we talk about. We went back to the room for a
little romance (which is a rare occasion), took a nap and then
leisurely got ready (heaven right?) It was such a treat to wear adult
clothes that made me feel pretty. My husband looked so handsome as we
boarded the bus to go to this amazing wedding. We held hands as we
sat and listened to the wedding vows of this young couple, so
beautiful, so full of inspiration, (no worries of bills or kids or
illness) just the promise of love and the commitment to the institution
of marriage. And then I thought, knowing what I know now (10 years of
being married) would I marry my husband again? Even though some days
the pressure and frustration of being a mom and wife make me feel like
saying no, the answer is YES!!!! What I am realizing is that this is
what being married and having a family is, and these small moments
whether with your husband or your children make it all worth it. My
husband and I danced like teenagers until 2:00am so in love… So I ask
you ladies……Would you marry your husband again?


Check out the episode here:

Separation Anxiety

Posted July 16, 2013 / Jen

So many of my friend’s kids go to camp. Some of them for the entire summer.  Not only are my 9 and 10 year old kids not ready for that, but I am not ready.  Good news; no summer camp, BUT…. We go on a summer trip every year to the East Coast with my husband’s family.  We are preparing to go and have our kids spend time with different sets of Grandparents on either side of the trip.  I was supposed to only be away from them for four days before we arrived and then three days after we left.  This I could handle, but life has thrown me a curve ball.  After breaking my foot three months ago and not healing properly, I had to have surgery last week.  This reality has made it impossible to join my family (and believe me, this was a very difficult decision).  I am freaking out about being away from my kids for 2 1/2 weeks.  I know they will be with Grandparents and with their Daddy, but it is really hard for me.  On top of everything else, my son will be having his 11th birthday while he is away.  I am heart-broken, but know that this is not the end of the world.  What am I going to do when they have to go to college?  Jen

Need a Vacation?

Posted July 16, 2013 / Barb

This year money has been tight for our family so I was trying to find a fun but inexpensive place where we could take the kids for a few days vacation. I was looking for a destination that would offer culture, fun and a limo ride (my kids are obsessed with a Limo ride thanks to that damn Hannah Montana show)! Las Vegas!!! That’s right, you heard me, Las Vegas!!! Yes, it was a 115 degrees but all the hotels are air-conditioned. And yes, you might be thinking that Vegas is more of an adult destination (especially if you saw the movie Hangover – funniest movie ever). So exactly what kind of family vacation can you find in “Sin City?” Let me tell you…. we stayed at the Mirage Hotel & Casino; it cost only pennies and the kids thought it was the biggest fancy hotel ever. We went and saw the Shark Tank at the Mandalay Bay Hotel (rivals Sea World), Gondola Ride at the Venetian with the Italian driver singing to us (just saved a 15 hour flight to Venice), Volcano in front of our hotel that irrupts (who needs Hawaii), Limo ride for $25, Titanic exhibit at the Luxor Hotel (there are only eight in the world, how is that for culture?) and the best—–the Cirque Du Soleil Beatles show, Love. It was an amazing show, the kids loved it and so did we; plus if you wait until the day before, the tickets are half price. And to top it all off we drove there.

Families need vacations… in these times you just have to get a little more creative to take them (see our episode Are Family Vacations a Luxury or a Necessity?). Oh you may have to do a little explaining about the billboards with naked girls dancing on poles…..could this possibly fall under educational???

Click the link to see what the expert says:

Busy Moms Can Find Time to Cook

Posted March 6, 2013 / Tee B

Guest Blogger: Tee of That’s IT! Mommy

Dinner time is an important meal because it’s one of the few moments most families spend time together during the week. Unfortunately, like every busy mom, sometimes I have very little time to plan a meal. I just don’t know what to cook. And sometimes I’m just too tired to cook!  I admit that cooking doesn’t come easy for me. I’m always looking for simple recipes and to save time on cooking and preparation. (more…)

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