Archiv for ‘Lizzie’

published: September 10th, 2013

L is for Luck

word luckDo you think you’re particularly lucky?  Or particularly unlucky?  Lizzie wanted to write about LUCK for our “A to Zs of Teenagers” feature at, and this really got me thinking:  Do I even believe in luck?  I used to when I was Lizzie’s age.  The most interesting thing for me with this new post was not what I had to say (!) but the insight it provided into Lizzie’s mind.  It prompted several conversations we’d never had before.  You might want to try this with your teen.  Ask her to talk about (or list)  the 5 ways she thinks she’s lucky, and the 5 ways she thinks she’s unlucky.  You might be surprised.

Here is the new post from Lizzie and me, L is for Luck at


published: August 21st, 2013

K is for Know

I knowI’ve spent my time in the mothering-the-teen trenches.  Battle scars notwithstanding, this rollercoaster of an experience does not make me an expert.  But I have learned a few things.  In this new post, I write about the “10 Things I Know about Mothering a Teen,” while my teen writes about (gulp) the “10 Things Moms OUGHT to Know about their Teens.”  At least hers is worth reading!

Here is the new post by Lizzie and me, K is for Know at

published: August 14th, 2013

J is for Junk Food

junkfoodAs a teen, I was a junk food junkie.  Now I’m the mother of one.

But when I make rules about junk food in the house, when I rag on Lizzie for eating at McD’s with her new boyfriend, when I make a comment about the occasional Big Gulp vessel (the thing can hardly be called a “cup”) I see on top of the trash, I am swimming against the tide.  Junk food is not just a personal issue or a family issue, it is a societal, cultural, global issue.

The question is: Do I want to spend what mommy capital I have on label reading, nutrition “teaching moments,” dinnertime lectures and Biggie Fry rants?

Here’s the new post from Lizzie and me, J is for Junk food at

published: June 21st, 2013

G is for Girlfriends

two-girls-holding-handsYou love them. You hate them.  They sabotage you.  They rescue you.

Lizzie and I talk about the ups and downs of girl-to-girl friendships in our newest post, G is for Girlfriends at  It’s part of our series, The A to Zs of Teenagers.  That’s seven letters down, 19 more to go.  Will we make it?

published: November 3rd, 2011

Happy, Grumpy

In the spirit of therapeutic dialog – the spirit of this blog, I hope, leavened with the dark humor any mother of a teen must embrace in order to remain sane  – I suggested to Lizzie that we continue contemplating what makes us happy.  With a twist.  I wanted to know what I do that makes her happy…besides give her money or leave her alone.  Or both, I am betting, in that order.  I also wanted to know – or do I? – what I do that makes her grumpy.  So I asked her to fill in these blanks:  I am happy when my mom________.  And:  I am grumpy when my mom __________.  Turn-about being fair play, I will do the same in the next post.

Join us.  It might be an interesting exercise for you and your daughter.  Or, gulp, you and your mom.

Here’s Lizzie:

I am happy when my mom and I talk at our favorite coffee hang-out about our day.  It’s our best time together.

I am grumpy when my mom bugs me about a video she watched or an article she read (or one she wrote!), and she wants me to have the same interest in it when I don’t care.  And besides that would involve me taking my eyes off my computer screen.

I am happy when my mom is happy.  Like when she can laugh at herself (that day she brought two right-foot sneakers to the gym and then posted a photo on fb making fun of herself).  Or when she smiles at my crude humor.  Or better yet when she makes an off-color remark herself that makes me shout “Mommmm!” in astonishment.

I am grumpy when my mom wants to talk about the future and colleges and what’s my plan.  She has all these ideas, and she is more enthusiastic about college than I am.  And it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I tell her that I don’t know what I want to do.  She keeps asking.



published: October 25th, 2011

What makes her happy

What makes a teen girl happy?  (No. “Gagging her mother” is not an acceptable answer.)  Although I live with Lizzie and observe – and too often participate in – her various moods, from exuberance to misery, I wanted to know what small, every day things make her happy.  I thought it would be fun and – mirable dictu! she agreed – for both of us to make our own happiness lists, without conferring. I was really curious to find out if anything on our separate lists would overlap.  I didn’t imagine that the very same thing would make us both happy, but I wondered if we might come up with items in similar categories.

I’m going to reproduce her list below.  Tomorrow I’ll post my list.  Meanwhile, you know what would make me really happy?  If you chimed in and posted a comment at the site with 2 or 3 things that make you happy.  Cheesiness (cuddling with puppies, etc.) allowed but not encouraged.

Here’s Lizzie’s list:

  1. Drinking a strong iced coffee while reading the newspaper comics
  2. Lying on the couch and playing computer games
  3. Lying on a different couch and playing Xbox with the cat on my lap
  4. When people around me are happy
  5. The tranquility of lying in my bed after a long day, not quite awake, not quite asleep, with my imagination wandering
  6. The awesomeness of smoothly switching gears in my manual-transmission car while listening to Final Countdown on the radio
  7. The day I stop sprouting pimples overnight (future happiness)
  8. Going up in gauges…shhhh
  9. An extreme concoction at Yogurt Extreme
  10. Jon BonJovi + Kevin Bacon = :)


published: October 7th, 2011

Making my mom nervous

Remember when you were my age and you were so excited to drive?  But now you’re like: damn traffic, look at those gas prices, gotta remember to get the oil changed…blah blah blah.

Well, it just so happens that I got my driving permit recently – after taking the test, umm, several times – and I LOVE it and it turns out I’m pretty good at it too.  If I do say so myself.  But here’s the problem:  My mom is soooo freaked out about my driving! I’m guessing it’s the protective mother instinct, but for the first week I was behind the wheel, I thought she had developed this weird nervous tic.  I noticed out of the corner of my eye (I say the corner of my eye because, of course, my eyes are always focused on the road) that her right leg would kinda kick at the floor of the car every so often.  I just thought this was the strangest thing ever.  And I thought:  What on earth is going on here? (Well, maybe I expressed it in stronger terms.)

After two days of this, I finally figured it out, and I said to her, “You know, Mom, the passenger side doesn’t have a brake.”

Really I don’t blame her.  Between working the clutch, switching between five gears, going up and down hills…I mean who would even think about the brake?  Okay, really I am a good driver.  But if you see me on the road, a few extra feet of space wouldn’t hurt.

Btw, I’m kind of temporarily into possibly writing for the blog again, so I’m wondering what ideas you all might have. What would you like to read from the teen girl perspective.

published: September 30th, 2011

Main stage, baby!

So my Mom and I went to the beach last week to do a book reading.  Beforehand we were discussing how to jazz it up a bit, you know, take it one step further.  Do something more than just explain about the book and read some passages, which is what my Mom usually does.  So we thought about what if the dialog in the book was a reinactment of the real thing!  Cool idea, right? (It was soooo totally my idea.)

And this is how it went.  My Mom would do the normal introduction of her book, My Teenage Werewolf, and start to read the first chapter (I really like the first chapter), but when she came to the dialog between us, I would read my own lines.   I would be an actress!  Of course, it wasn’t really acting as these lines came naturally to me  because I actually did speak them. (Snarky comments are my specialty.)

It was fun, and the audience really liked it.  Also I got free brownies.  Woohoo.  We decided to do this again for other readings.  We — okay, I — want to know your feedback on this (cough) genius idea of mine. xoxo



published: January 26th, 2011

I am words

This is a poem Lizzie wrote last week.
She doesn’t think she’s a writer.
She’s wrong.

I am just words.
You give me voice,
You give me life.
You read me, then create me.
I am just a person, place or thing.
I have nothing in this world
but everything in this story.
I make you smile, cry, feel scared.
I make you feel.

I am words, sentences, paragraphs and pages.
I am different to all who know me,
yet the same ink and paper.
You may hate me, love me or be jealous,
but I am who I am.
Created by emotion and creativity,
made by the one who writes,who wants me to be known.

I am words given to me by
my mother
my teacher
my reader.
I am words made by those who want to believe in me
and my story,
my life,
my everything.
I am words, simple words.

published: January 20th, 2011

Animal Farm

LIZZIE…I’ve always loved animals, no matter what kind.  When I was 13, my favorite animal was a naked mole rat.  I thought ti was so adorable, all squished in a litter of hairless rodents.  But when my mom gazes at them, she just cringes.

These days I’ve been trying to get my parents to get me a tea-cup pig.  For those who don’t know anything about them, they are about 5 pounds (as big as a small cat) and supposedly smarter than dogs!  And they have no fur, which is a bonus in my house because my mom is allergic to animal dander.  So far, their wonderful hairlessness has not impressed my mom.  But I have not given up the fight.  I should say that we have a cat, two bunnies, three chickens and two fish, so it’s not exactly like there are no animals around here.  But the addition of a ferret would be sooooo nice.  Or maybe a bird? Goat?

My whole life I’ve loved animals, and sometimes I think I feel more comfortable around animals than human beings.  Hmmm.  I wonder if being an old single crazy cat lady is in my future?   (more…)