‘Sup?

imageMy lady’s been getting real good at taking selfies lately. She takes pictures of other things too, but the pictures she takes of herself are my favorite.

She turned five last week and she threw all of her toddler caution to the wind, welcoming a big kid confidence that I barely recognize. At one point while we were celebrating her birthday I looked up and couldn’t find her — until I realized that I was staring right at her, she was barefoot on stage with a butterfly painted over her entire face and a flower wreath on her head. No more reserved little girls here.

enhanced-24615-1413335011-5-1She visited my office this week for a photo shoot depicting some incredible women, and we had so much fun putting all of the costumes together. That’s her as Beyonce’s silhouette above — to see the whole shoot, click HERE.

Need more Halloween inspiration? I’ve got you covered:

This is Halloween.

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Dee, Halloween 2011.

It’s super weird how fast time is going. Too fast. Five years is hardly any time at all in adult world, but in kid world, it’s a whole life time ago. I dunno. Everyone is seeming really grown up these days. (I mean, look at that picture? That tinkerbell costume is now on one of Dee’s stuffed animals and the puppy that’s sniffing at it is now 108 lbs.) This year, Dee’s going to be a vampire. (A nice vampire.) I’m kind of proud that she wants to be something scary — she’s an October baby, so it basically goes without saying that she’s obsessed with Halloween and all things spooooooky (she’s been known to decorate the house with spiders year round.) But I also can’t believe the days are gone when she wanted to be something cute like Tinkerbell (ages 2 and 4) or Minnie Mouse/Candy Fairy (age 3). Hanging out with her is the coolest, but then we’ll be in the middle of a conversation about her new favorite song “Shake It Off” and I’ll be overcome with the question: WHO IS THIS KID AND WHAT HAS SHE DONE WITH MY BABY.

And then she’ll grin and throw her head back and laugh her crazy laugh, and I’ll thank my lucky stars I get to raise this wild eyed little person and listen to her tell me about her dreams (her actual dreams, although she did recently change her ambitions from fashion designer to swim teacher “because I love to swim and I want to teach people.”)

Want to win a $75 Babies R Us/Toys R Us gift card + a free year long subscription to Highlights Magazine to help your kiddo celebrate Halloween? I’ve got a Spooky (clean booty) prize pack courtesy of Pampers and Babies R Us to give away to one of you. And if you’ve got a tiny one crawling around, you should bring them to your local BRU for their Halloween event this Saturday, October 18th to mix and mingle with other parents of first-time-halloweeners. Just leave a comment below to enter and I’ll announce the winner on October 24th. Double entry if you share the giveaway on social media and link to the share in the comments!

(Bonus: Get a FREE $10 Gift Card when you buy any two Pampers super packs of diapers plus buy any Pampers value box of wipes for only $19.99.) 

Thanks to Pampers and Babies R Us for sponsoring this post and giving a reader a little extra happy this Halloween!

Britney Spears is my spirit animal.

Love

7 years tomorrow, baby.

It feels like I haven’t stopped moving since the summer began, and I keep waiting for things to calm down so I can get my shit together but it would appear someone drained the fluid from the brakes of my life because HEY, JANE, GET ME OFFA THIS CRAZY THING. 

In the past week I’ve been the New York, Disneyland, Palm Springs, and home again and I’m happy and tired and happy and feeling actually lucky for once in a long long while, but every few hours I stop and think: “Wait, whose life is this and when are things going to get back to normal?” (I mean, let’s be honest, an inhuman travel schedule isn’t new, but amidst a full-time-work-outside-of-the-home job, and a husband who is picking up a lot of slack, it is whhhhhhheeeeeeeeew.)

I’m finding my way in this new career that is different than the career I thought I’d have but is also a career I’m loving more than I ever thought I could love something that didn’t exist when I was making all my finite life plans at age 12. My head is spinning. My hands are clammy, but hot damn, am I excited. Pretty soon hopefully I’ll write about something else on this blog besides how blown my own mind is.

Also, I wrote this post on BuzzFeed about How Jordan Catalano Sparked Your Sexual Awakening and you really should read it. (Two words: BOILER ROOM.)

Other stuff I’ve published that you might like:

Here’s some stuff I didn’t write that I think you should read:

Kristen, at Rage Against The Minivan had a guest writer share her story of getting cosmetic surgery at the age of 10. Really interesting conversation.

I’m basically obsessed with these storage units.

If you haven’t already, you’ve gotta check out Emma Watson’s speech at the UN.

My friend Dr. Deborah Gilboa (or Doctor G as we call her here on the internetwrote a new book on parenting and behavior and I’m so in. Deb’s advice is great, actionable, and it’s a rare parenting book that’s an enjoyable enough read for me to actually finish it.

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So, a few folks have been asking what’s to become of this blog now that I’m a respectable member of society, and I thought I’d tell you. It’s alive. It’s breezy. Me and this blog are having a frienaissance of sorts as it transitions from bread and butter back to pleasure and joy. I absolutely plan to keep posting (although it’s bound to be a little sporadic as I settle in at BuzzFeed). Expect some visual newness in the near future, and if you want to see what I’m up to on the day to day, my Instagram and Twitter feeds are borderline obsessive. I’m excited to get back to the rambling writing about randomness that makes this place my home. And of course, you can always follow me on BuzzFeed.

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Time, You’re Gonna Need To Slow Your Roll.

Me+Dee

Oh, what a long strange few weeks it’s been. An excellent and exciting and affirming few weeks (month? has it been a month already since we did this total life about face?) but long and strange (read: exhausting) no less. My baby is about to be five. Gone are the days of introducing solids and learning to walk and rudely ousting are homework (albeit with crayons) and extracurriculars and drop off lines where she doesn’t even look back at me.

It hurts some. In a way it feels like we’re going through a breakup — she screams at me, she hugs me, she wails that I don’t like her any more, that she misses her old mommy, and then she kisses my cheeks (yes both!) and tells me she loves me to the sun and around the stars and back. Which is further than the moon, she says. Some days I don’t get to see her before she goes to sleep, so Scott lets her sleep in our bed so she and I can still snuggle. I smell her hair, which might be creepy to do to anyone you didn’t give birth to, but it’s my obligation as her mother to memorize the way she smells right now…like lavender shampoo and dirt.

In thirteen years she’ll graduate high school and move out and these hectic days of grammar school will be their own nostalgic memory. THIRTEEN YEARS!!! We’re more than a quarter of the way through the time this baby bird will call our nest her own.

…And just when I think my heart can’t take anymore, along comes college tuition. 

Thankfully, in honor of National College Savings Month (segue magic, there) my generous friends at ScholarShare are making it rain future tuition with their “Share Your Spirit” sweepstakes which will be hosted on their Facebook page. 

At the end of each week in September, ScholarShare will randomly select one entry to receive $500 toward a new or existing ScholarShare College Savings Plan account. And on Friday, Sept. 26, one entry will receive a grand prize of $2,500. THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. Check it out.

To enter for the chance to win, submit one official entry form through the ScholarShare Facebook page where you can even upload an image of their loved one sporting school spirit for their dream college (optional, but fun!). 

The sweepstakes will run through 2 p.m. PT on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. So go pay for some college!

ScholarShare Share Your Spirit_Image

[A big thanks to Scholarshare for sponsoring this post. I'm an ambassador it says so on my sidebar.]

This One Time, Children’s Hospital LA Saved My Life #MiracleMarathon

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I was three years old. My recurring ear infections had given way to mastoiditis, and there was a chunk of my head that had to go before the infection could spread to my brain.

My Dad worked for himself, so my parents carried private insurance that excluded my ears on account of how expensive they’d become. While footing the bill for the occasional round of antibiotics wasn’t a problem, when it came to major surgery and a seventeen day hospital stay it didn’t take long for the bills to become insurmountable. 

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It would be years before I would fully comprehend the terror my parents must have experienced. Their child was sick, really sick, and turning down the six figure surgery was not an option. 

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(That’s my late Grandpa George in the picture with me. Delilah George’s name source.)

Fortunately, they didn’t have to. My surgeon, a legendary ENT named Dr. Cohen, told my parents early on they didn’t have to worry about the cost of my care. This was Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. They were in the business of saving kids, not bankrupting families. The hospital had a fund that would cover the lion’s share of the costs.

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At three, life-threatening illness aside, I have extremely fond memories of CHLA. I played, I did arts and crafts, I got a LOT of absurd toys. I made friends with the boy in the room next to me. The nurses gave me stickers. When it was over, they rolled my goodies out in a little red wagon, and I remember being sad to leave.

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As a parent, I see the experience through new eyes. Children’s Hospital saved my life, but it also carried my family through an unimaginably scary time. There’s no proper way to say thank you for something like that. But at least by participating in the Miracle Marathon, I can kind of try.

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Miracle Marathon is a 27-day virtual event raising funds for 170 individual children’s hospitals across North America. Participants run/walk (or achieve forward motion of any kind) one mile per day at their leisure. The first 26 days are completed at the participant’s own pace—at a time and place of their own choosing. On Day 27, the final 1.2 miles will be started as a group at the same time (2:27 pm EST).  Why the number 27.2?  It’s a marathon, plus a mile, for the kids! 

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I’m the Los Angeles team leader, and I really want you to join me. (If nothing else, a mile a day is good for you!) I’ll be raising funds for CHLA, where they’ll be allocated to the departments that need them most. You can get 10% off registration by using the code: MiracleMorgan. Join my team HERE, and help me pay it forward.

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And at CHLA, they still use those red wagons to help their patients transport goodies.