Earthquakes and Instagram

It was after a party on a late night in June. I had finally slipped deep into the REM cycle of one-in-the-am sleep, dreaming something about a parked car when it hit.

I went from sound asleep to standing beside my bed on high alert.

Both an earthquake and the sound of someone vomiting can do that to me.

The earthquake lasted long enough to force me into making a choice: do I assume this is just a drill and get back into bed or do I run to save the children because I hate the idea of them getting all squished when the roof falls in?

Hubby insists that I ran through the house shrieking while he stayed in bed wishing he had a camera to video the pool during those rolling thirty seconds.

I only wanted the kids to know that, had this NOT been a drill, the nearest exits are here and here and they should proceed calmly outside to our rendezvous area for a headcount.

You know, the basic emergency procedures necessary to not get squished in future disaster situations. Or blown up. Or drowned. Or trampled in an ant stampede.

Realizing we’d never made any, I compensated on the spot.

My youngest son slept through most of my riveting five minute lecture.

It would have saved me loads of time had I simply done first what I did next.


I have two sisters whose first thoughts during a disaster do not involve kids or cameras: they find their immediate stability in social media.

And that’s where they were when I looked for them.

Still in bed…but shrieking among their hundreds of online peeps.

I have to say, I was reassured immediately.

I knew they would not rest until the details were accounted for and future prognostication was thoroughly discussed and adrenaline levels compared and analyzed with the world-wide web.

The earthquake was safely in their tapping fingertips and I went back to sleep.

Alas, this is the world of my children.

They will sleep through the earthquake, wake up pinned to the floor, and start SnapChatting about it.

They will meet the rest of the family in virtual reality and be greatly comforted.

I will be standing outside, alone and in my jammies, wondering where to dig first.

As an added precaution, I have opened an Instagram account.

My kid sleeping in the bottom bedroom has one, and I’d like to be available in case he wants to give me coordinates.

In the meantime, I feel pretty hipster about having it.

Apparently, all the cool kids do it, but until someone walks me through it a few times, I feel like my dad when he first learned about computers (maybe a couple years ago):

“Jolie you’ve gotta help me here,” he hands me his tablet, two days after I’ve set him up with an email account, “I keep typing in my name and address like it says and it won’t get me anywhere!”

Well, that’s because it wants your email address. Not your house address.

It wants your user name, not your real one.

Instagram wants my life in single-frame references. Not in context.

My life reduced to hashtags.

#Idie #butihavestufftosay #momsarehiptoo

At least it stays put for a while, like a phone text, so you can figure it all out, whereas I hear that SnapChat vanishes into thin air.

Like an earthquake, you can’t even prove it happened.

#savethechildren #theskyisfalling #guacamolejo


CozyPhones Review and Give-Away

Who’s ready to hop into summer and win a prize?

This is my first product review and it’s really something I can get behind. Full disclosure demands that I inform you that the nice folks at sent me this sample free, in exchange for an honest review on my blog.

And by honest, I’m sure they meant: have so much fun with it that everyone fights over it and you come up with ideas about it that the average mom hasn’t even thought of yet…or even the company.

“She has FIVE kids!” they thought, “if anybody can make this froggy hop, she can!”

And how right they were.

For a completely thorough review, I borrowed some kids in the proper age range: tadpoles to peepers. There are so many things going for these headphones, the fun factor is only the beginning.

When you’re a little swimmer in a big pond, it’s hard to keep up. You want to play with mom’s tablet, but the big kids’ bulky earphones are way too heavy, and they slip off. Earbuds are pokey in my ears and the cords are all in the way. Solution: CozyPhones earphones.

It’s a lightweight, fleecy headband that is as soft as my blanky and the flat earphones are hidden inside of it. I don’t even feel them. But I can hear VeggieTales loud and clear when they are plugged in, and mom can sit right beside me and enjoy her coffee in peace.

Kindergartners say YES to video games. Mom insists they are educational but iPad time is highly popular. I can sneak in a Dino Trux cartoon and my sibs won’t know the difference: it just looks like I’m wearing a fun headband. The hidden earphones keep me entertained in peace.

Well, at least until they find me.

Peeper is the cool kid on the block. Screen time is usually learning apps on the laptop for homeschooling, and done with bulky headphones on so that everyone else can get their own work done. Not only is this CozyPhones headband way more comfy, but now I can hear mom calling me when I’m in the middle of Super Smash Bros, because it doesn’t plug my ears.

Um, is that a bonus?

Double digits plugs into everything from movies to music to homework. When you’re ten you like to lounge in bed and listen to audiobooks on your Kindle. This headband lets you snuggle right into the pillow without losing your listeners. It’s soft and won’t pull hair. It’s a super cute way to hang out with a Disney playlist in the backyard.

When the kids took a look at the website, which you should do right now ( they picked out which ones they would buy, making a handy gift list for all you parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles out there:

Our zoological ten year old chose the Panda. The eight and five year olds both went with the “What If Monster” which, for the uninformed, is the star of the book: Jonathan James and the Watif Monster, a must read for anyone who has been raised by the likes of my mother. Ahem.


Little man went with the Froggy. Because frogs are cool and everyone knows it.

CozyPhones makes sleek adult versions in lycra or fleece, for runners, travelers, winter sports, meditating, or my first thought: drop it over my eyes, too, and let me finally sleep on a plane!

For that matter, how about it helps my kid finally sleep on the car trip this summer?

This set of CozyPhones earphones is all yours if you win this week’s drawing!

To enter, either put a comment into the box below and tell me where you’re traveling this summer OR send me your info through my “Contact Me” page (top menu, far right).

BUT. If you sign up to “Follow” me, you will be entered TWICE. Enter your email into the box at the top right and then go to your email and “confirm” the process, otherwise, it won’t show up in the entry list. If your email has stopped delivery during the past year or so, it’s time to re-sign up.

This is it, kids! Hop to it!


Something fantabulous happened to my girlfriend.

I don’t even know what it is.

I know she’s been on hold in more than one life strata, so regardless of whatever just went through, I’m super excited for her.

She sent out a brief little message with a handful of words and a bucket of emoticons, to which other girlfriends are replying with additional flurries of little symbols and stickers, and all I could manage was a word (“Congratulations!”) followed with a colon (:) and a right-hand parenthesis ()).

That makes a pathetic little smiley face.

But I feel in the loop.



Oh, who am I kidding?

I never took a crash course in ESL (Emoticons as a Second Language) but I should have, as my own kids (the under 20s but not my over 20s) are fluent.

They can have entire conversations in texting that contain zero actual words.

And rule the world thereby, I assume.

My phone gives me a selection of pre-made “smileys”.

Next to each one is a helpful hint as to what each one conveys.

;^) is “winking”. Simple enough.

But if I put my “foot in mouth” :-! over a “kissing” :-* incident and need to have “my lips sealed”, :-X, these little guys are here to help.

I am both o_O and :-[.

Frankly, parents, you should have seen the “new math” coming.

I’ve had my Mac Air for a year now. I have wanted to throw it out the window more than once because it doesn’t behave the way my old PC did. Like every piece of technology over the last ten years, by the time I figured out the basics, it was time to ‘upgrade’ to a new unknown.

It’s like I went to do the dishes one night, and when I got back to my desk, I could no longer use disks to back-up the photos made from film that I scanned into my laptop files that were no longer compatible with my photo program and now Great Aunt Bessie’s wedding photo is as six-feet-under as she is.

Oh, it’s in there somewhere.

We’ll just never be able to see it.

My gravy, life’s too short.

I watch everyone emailing and Facebooking all the day long and smothering their words with little thumbs-up and saxophones and puppies and cakes and hands-in-the-air-like-they-just-don’t-care.

And, ya’all…some of them are animated.

I have emoticon envy.

But from my barcalounger.

I wonder what happened to my girlfriend?

I could ask my 14 year old to interpret, but that’s just wrong.

I could call her by actual telephone and hold an actual conversation.

I presume she still speaks the mother tongue.

But we all know, no one uses that archaic device.

I could order flowers over the internet. I’m sure there’s an app for that.

I’ll attach a virtual card that says,