Thursday, January 29, 2015

10 Things I Learned About Love The Second Time Around

Reentering the dating world in your 40s is a scary, scary thing. It mostly makes me want to give up and get a cat. Things have changed since the last time I dated (in high school!). Online dating makes me hyperventilate. The couple of times I tried it, I was certain I’d encounter some psycho who wants to make a suit of my skin. (“It puts the lotion in the basket,” anyone?) But as scary as it is, there are some benefits of entering the dating pool at an older age. Most of us “middle-aged” daters have learned a thing or two along the way. We’re older, wiser, and not so caught up in the superficial garbage of our younger years. We know ourselves and what we want, and we’re not willing to settle for anything less. Here are 10 things I’ve learned about love the second time as supported by evidence from my absolute favorite movie genre — the romantic comedy.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Scattered Brain Syndrome: It's a Real Thing

I used to be put together. I knew what needed to be done and I did it. I remembered details. People came to me for advice because I was strong, capable, and intelligent. Now I have a hard time remembering my kids' names, let alone the 30,000 tasks on my to-do list at any given time. I walk into a room and forget why I'm there. I get out of the shower and start dressing only to realize I never rinsed the shampoo out of my hair. Yeah. I'm that person now. I blame it on SBS (Scattered Brain Syndrome.) SBS may not be in medical annals (yet), but I’m certain it’s a real thing. I’m not a doctor, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night so I’m pretty sure I’m onto something here.


Scattered Brain Syndrome, better known as SBS, is a debilitating affliction characterized by the inability to finish one task before being distracted by another, failure to remember the simplest of jobs, and being too overwhelmed by the details of daily existence to adequately and accurately perform the most menial chores. SBS can affect anyone, but women are nearly two times more likely to develop SBS than men. Its symptoms vary widely, largely depending on external factors such as number of children the patient has. There is no known cure for SBS. Treatment generally aims at alleviating some of the symptoms.


Signs and symptoms of SBS vary, depending on the levels of stress in the individual. Most people with SBS experience a gradual onset and steady progression of signs and symptoms which may include:

• Walking into a room and forgetting why you’ve gone there
• Forgetting your children’s names or running through a list of disjointed syllables while trying to call them, ex. Ausavjacksclaytonjackson!
• Inability to remember things like dentist appointments
• Leaving the house, only to circle the block and return home because you forgot your purse, phone, lunch, shoes . . .
• Getting to work before realizing you’re wearing two different shoes
• Shaving one leg in the shower, but completely forgetting about the other one until you’re in bed that night.
• Jaw pain from grinding your teeth at night due to the stress of having to handle everything during the day
• Consumption of massive quantities of caffeine
• Consumption of massive quantities of alcohol
• Consumption of massive quantities of chocolate
• Problems keeping up with homework, laundry, cooking, shopping, bill paying, work, life.
• Watching TV shows about a cartoon platypus. And enjoying them.


Most people with SBS have a course that gradually gets worse, with more symptoms developing over time, although it is common for symptoms to improve and worsen over the course of days and months. About 75-80 percent of people with SBS eventually give up on ever leaving the house without forgetting something. 90 percent develop a dependence on Chardonnay.


The cause of Scattered Brain Syndrome is unknown. It's believed to be a disease, in which the patient’s own children attack the brain cells by incessant whining, and demands on time and resources. It isn't clear why SBS develops in some people and not others. A combination of factors, ranging from genetics to number of children, helpfulness of spouse, and demands of job play a part in the development of Scattered Brain Syndrome.


These factors may increase your risk of developing Scattered Brain Syndrome:

• Age. SBS can occur at any age, but most commonly affects people between the ages of 20 and 50.
• Sex. Women are about twice as likely as men are to develop SBS.
• Many children. If you have more than two kids, you are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
• Mutiples. If you have even a single set of twins, your risk increases.
• Divorce. If you are a single parent by choice, by divorce, or by other circumstances, your chances of developing SBS increase three-fold.


People with SBS may also:

• lose their jobs after missing work because they misplaced their car keys in the refrigerator one too many times
• Develop a dependency on tequila, rum, and/or Pinot Noir
• Have dozens of half-finished projects


There are no specific tests for SBS. The diagnosis relies on ruling out other conditions that might produce similar signs and symptoms. ADD produces similar symptoms, but in diagnosing SBS, your doctor will determine if your distracted behavior is all-encompassing or if it is isolated to “mom type tasks.” For example, if you start to make your child a sandwich, but have to stop to break up a fight between your toddlers over a red crayon, and before you can get back to the sandwich, you clean the offending red crayon off the dining room wall, and then when you go to put the cleaning cloth in the laundry room, you remember you have to fold a load of clothes, and then the phone rings because your 5th grader is calling to ask you to bring him his homework that he left sitting in the bathtub for some reason, and when you go to grab the homework, you remember that you really need to clean the bathroom . . .


There is no cure for Scattered Brain Syndrome although studies have shown a drastic lessoning of symptoms once the children move out of the house. Treatment typically focuses on managing symptoms. The following have been found to provide temporary respite from symptoms in many patients:

• Regular consumption of alcoholic beverages
• Girls nights out
• Massages, manicure, and pedicures
• Binge watching episodes of Impractical Jokers
• Shopping
• Sending the kids back to school
• A maid


Living with any chronic illness can be difficult. To manage the stress of living with SBS, consider these suggestions:

• Hire a babysitter and get out of the house without kids, enjoy a nice dinner that doesn’t have the word “nuggets” in the title.
Read Because I Said So and your other favorite mom blogs for the assurance that you're not alone.
Maintain a membership at a gym because the endorphins that come with exercise make you feel better
• Maintain a membership at a wine-of-the-month club because who needs endorphins when you have fermented grapes?
• Discuss your feelings and concerns about living with SBS on Facebook to see what other parents are doing to cope.
• Create a countdown calendar – Days Until They Leave for College

Winner of Netflix Streaming

I loved reading all your comments about your favorite moments on Friends! So funny!

Here is the randomly selected winner of the free year of Netflix streaming!

Blogger Anissa said...
I laughed the hardest at Phoebe's chicken pox episode.
January 19, 2015 at 12:59 PM


Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Asked My 6 Kids For Dating Advice And LOL, Best. Answers. Ever.

"He should have a good accent, like an Australian accent."

For the first time ever, I talked to my kids about dating without lecturing them about dating. This time was different because I was asking for dating advice for me, their mom. I have 6 kids, 3 girls and 3 boys, aged 8 to 20 so as you can imagine, their answers were quite...varied. I've been divorced for about 5 years now and always just assumed my kids wouldn't want me to date. I was surprised to learn that wasn't the case at all.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Friends on Netflix & a Streaming Giveaway

What better way to start off the new year, than to binge watch all 10 seasons of Friends on Netflix! Friends is my all-time favorite sitcom and I cannot adequately express how excited I am about this! (I know, I know, that's how sad my life is.) My older teens and I are loving every episode. It's great because now they "get it" when I say random things like:

How you doin'?
It's a moo point.
Big, fat goalie!
Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding  you?
It's a Goldfish cracker!
We're fashioning a very long poking device.

So, in the spirit of all things Friends, here's a site with dozens of Friends quizzes. Have you seen every episode? Do you know everything there is to know about Friends? Can you quote the friends with the best of them? Test your knowledge here.

FRIENDS quizzes

And while you're watching all your favorite episodes (like Joey speaking French - Phoebe: Je m'appelle Claude. Joey: Je te flouppe Fli) enjoy a nice cuppa joe from Central Perk!


 4 cups milk
 4 T. sugar
 4 T. pumpkin puree
 4 t. pumpkin pie spice
 2 t. vanilla
 1 c. espresso

1.  Whisk milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
2.  Add espresso and whisk until foamy. Pour into 4 mugs.


6 ozs. Irish cream liqueur

6 ozs. Irish whiskey
4 c. brewed coffee
4 T. whipped cream
dash nutmeg

Combine Irish cream and Irish whiskey and divide among 4 coffee mugs. Fill mugs with coffee. Top with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg.

AND . . . to start the new year off right, I'm giving away a gift card good for one-year of Netflix streaming! Just tell me your favorite Friends moment, quote, character, or episode in the comments for a chance to win. (Make sure you leave contact information!) I'll randomly choose a winner on Friday, January 23rd. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

6 Ways Parenting Advice Has Changed Over the Years

You should let your baby co-sleep. You should never let your baby sleep with you. You should start feeding solids. You should wait to feed solids. You should give your children some freedom. You should keep a tight leash on them.

Parenting is tough enough as it is without having to field advice from every direction. Your best friend who had a baby 10 years ago, your mom who had children 25 years ago, your grandma, your mother-in-law, the stranger on the train — everyone knows just how you should parent, but everyone has something different to say.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Crucial Questions Your Future Husband MUST Be Able To Answer

Twenty-two years ago, I married the first guy who came along. There were several warning signs that it probably wasn't the best plan I've ever had. My friends and family all tried to talk me out of it. I didn't listen. What can I say? I was young, stubborn, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Fast forward. I've been divorced about 5 years now. Sometimes I think about getting remarried but then the thought of sharing a bathroom with someone again makes me a little twitchy. One thing's for sure, though: If I ever DO get remarried, I will be much more picky, er, um, selective this time around. Any possible future husband of mine will need to be able to answer these 10 questions if he wants to put a ring on my finger. Yes, I'm fully aware this may mean I spend the rest of my days alone and that's okay because I have a back-up plan for such a scenario: I'll adopt cats, many, many cats to keep me company and I'll spend my days in my bathrobe, eating Ben & Jerry's from the carton and washing it down with rum. I call it my Cat Plan. But I digress. Let's get to the questions my future husband needs to answer:


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Will My Divorce Scar My Kids For Life?

“In all my years of practice I have never heard of a parent saying that they didn’t want custody of their kids. Parents spend thousands of dollars fighting for custody.” My lawyer shook his head in shocked disbelief. My husband had declined my offer of joint custody and refused to sign the divorce papers until the wording was changed, giving me sole custody of our 6 children.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Win a Trip to See Garth Brooks Live From Game-Changing GhostTunes

I've never been a big fan of iTunes. For all of Apple's awesomeness and ease-of-use, iTunes has always left me confused and angry. When I was asked to try out GhostTunes, a new, full-service music platform, I agreed, hoping it was more user-friendly than other music sites I've tried. GhostTunes was founded by Garth Brooks, who has, up until now, notoriously held out on working with iTunes and other digital platforms to sell his music, believing that the artist gets cheated by selling music in that fashion. He has held firm to the idea that albums should be sold as a collective work and selling songs individually is akin to selling individual chapters of a book. As an author, I can respect that. GhostTunes is a different platform in that it lets the artist decide how they'd like to sell their work. They can sell albums, individual singles, or bundles of work with special prices. 

I love that GhostTunes is super-simple and easy to use. Browse your favorite artists across all genres of music, listen to samples of songs, purchase individual songs, or buy entire albums or special bundles, then download your music to all your devices, and/or listen to your purchased music on the GhostTunes site. Although the GhostTunes site is simple to use, Apple devices require you to download the music to your iTunes library, then sync your device which is a pain and kinda defeats the purpose of using a simpler music platform (thanks Apple!) Still, I do like the ease of use, the choices it gives artists, and the availability of zillions of songs on GhostTunes. Check it out for yourself at 

Now, to celebrate the debut of Garth's new single Mom, GhostTunes is offering one lucky mom and a guest the opportunity to see Garth live in concert, complete with hotel and airfare! For more information and to enter the contest, visit HERE. It would be so cool if one of my readers won! And if you felt the need to bring me along as your guest, hint hint, I wouldn't object.

Oh and you've got to hear the song! You know how country music tells a story and either makes you laugh (Joe Nichols' Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off) or cry (Tim McGraw's If You’re Reading This.) Yeah well, Garth Brook's new song Mom falls into the second category. Like all of you, I wear many hats. I'm a daughter, a sister, a friend, an educator, a writer, and a dreamer, among others. But being a mom is the best job I could ever, ever have! Being entrusted to raise my 6 little bundles of joy (even if some of those "bundles" are over 6 feet tall now) is an awesome and amazing privilege. All the diaper changes, the sleepless nights, the messes, the ruined furniture and the expense is worth it when one of my kids comes to me for advice, or just gives me a hug out of nowhere, or sends me a text with a joke that made them think of me, or does something good for someone else without being prompted. As much as I want to keep them little, it warms my heart to see them growing up into good, kind, responsible adults. Check out a preview of Mom on GhostTunes HERE.

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by GhostTunes via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Ghost Tunes or MomTrends. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BEWARE! If Your Man Does These 15 Things, He's Majorly Insecure

He picks you up, presents you with roses, opens your door, takes you to an elegant restaurant, and endlessly compliments you throughout the night. He repeatedly tells you, his voice laced with incredulous wonder, that he can't believe you actually agreed to go out with him since you are so far out of his league. He treats you like a princess and let's face it, it's flattering. It's a refreshing change to feel so appreciated, especially if you've dated a few self-absorbed, insensitive jerks in the past. You begin to think that maybe he's "the one." But then things head south. His sweet attentiveness turns to overwhelming obsession. It no longer feels like he treasures and cherishes you; it feels like overbearing possessiveness. Suddenly it seems to take all your energy to assure (and reassure and reassure again) your man that you love him. It's sucking the life out of you.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Fanciest Icing You’ll Ever Create

Spicy, warm, aromatic gingerbread cookies are my favorite to bake over Christmas. Not only are they delicious, but they’re fun to decorate too. Whenever I make gingerbread, I cut out several shapes for my kids to decorate. They love squirting icing and sticking candy to personify their gingerbread men. Of course, the also love biting off their limbs and applying red icing "blood" to turn them into zombies. What can I say? My kids are weird. 

I also stamp out a few cookies for myself to decorate with more refined designs. I use royal icing to decorate my cookies. It’s easy to make and use, long-lasting, dries hard, and is a sweet complement to the tangy spice of gingerbread. 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What I've Learned About Dating as a Middle-Aged Mom of Six

I’ve jumped into the dating pool a time or two in the past few years, but then I always remember that scene from Jaws and I quickly escape before I lose a limb. I’ve been on my own with my kids for five years now. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs. There have been times when I thought I’d really (I mean, really) like to get remarried just so I’d have a second pair of hands to help me out. It would be great to have two incomes for one set of bills. I’d like to enjoy some “adult time” with someone I love. Then again, there have been times when I have insisted that I don’t need a man; I can take care of everything on my own thankyouverymuch. I don’t need to share a bathroom with a man who leaves the seat up. I don’t want to have to pretend to like my in-laws again.


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