movies

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “The Nut Job 2” & “Leap” EARLY & FOR FREE

ATTENTION ALL FULL-TIME-SUMMER PARENTS!!!
I’m speaking to those of you who have been left in charge of the ankle-biters while they are out of school. I feel your pain!
I too have visited every park, accepted every play-date and purchased every kid-appropriate option GROUPON has to offer (Wait, can we take our kids to wine-tastings?)
BUT SUMMER STILL ISN’T OVER!
What do we do with them now?
Lucky for us, I was able to wrangle up free passes to see The Nut Job 2 AND Leap!
Are they good movies?
WHO CARES? They’re FREE and they’ll keep your spawn from asking “What are we gonna do NOW” for a full ninety minutes. Heck, you might even be able to work in a little snooze while they’re watching the movie. Continue reading →

College room
4 Comments

The Dreaded College Drop-Off (Told from Both Sides)

So many of my friends have been taking their kids off to college lately. They post tearful GOODBYE photos on social media, then recount the awful first moments after driving away. My friend Wendy posted what might be the saddest account I’ve read yet and she was cool enough to let me share it here:

It SUCKS. That is the honest truth. I will not hold back any punches I will give it to my mom friends straight. Yes we are excited for them, yes we all post pictures of their dorm rooms, but here is the reality. Nothing prepares you saying goodbye and driving away. You feel like you’re having a part of your body ripped off. We got books on what to expect when you are expecting, toddler years, and so forth but where is the book on how to leave your child and not fall apart book? Anyone?? Here is how it goes…
You can’t say anything you want to because you are trying not to dissolve into tears in front of their roommates. All the things you need to say are stuck in your throat in a lump. No words of wisdom just a squeaky I love you escapes.
You get in the car and you cry and everything inside you wants to go get them and take them home. You then have to sit in a hot car( or could be a hot flash because that is just how the day is going) for 3 hours. 5 minutes away you get a text from them saying ” I love you so much! Thanks for being my mom and always staying my mom. And don’t forget you are still my Mom”. Then the ugly crying starts. Where your head hurts and the car is soooooo Freaking hot, put your head between your knees cry but you can’t because you are old and not flexible. So then it happens. DQ blizzard with fries and onion rings. Yep a proud moment of complete comfort food eating. Now you just feel sick so that was helpful. Your husband wants to hold your hand but you are in a don’t touch me mood because this is ALL his fault. Right!?!?
You cry at dinner, you cry at church, you just cry….
So here is what you can do my friends. I have cracked the code. You clean their room. Because in all that mess you go from wanting to kill them, because why is my kitchen bowl under his bed? To laughing, to starting a box to send with the things they forgot, to realizing you are going to be alright. See you know THEY will be alright but let’s be honest will we???
Clean their room… It helps
😉”

I was crying by the end of Wendy’s post and I barely even KNOW her kids. I won’t be leaving my own at a dorm any time soon, but I still get weirdly emotional just thinking about it. When I remember my OWN first night at college though, it gives me a bit of relief. I thought I’d share it, and hopefully ease the pain of all those aching Mom & Dad-hearts out there. Continue reading →

Margot Robbie
3 Comments

MOMMY-MOVIE-REVIEW: Is “Suicide Squad” OK for Kids?

A handful of people have asked recently if I thought Suicide Squad was appropriate for kids or if I was planning to take my own.

Honestly, I’m still struggling with that question.

The latest from DC Comics certainly isn’t stellar filmmaking and I only gave it a C, which was pretty generous in my opinion. It’s a fun idea though, of using bad guys to fight the even worse guys and the Suicide Squad themselves have cool stories of their own to tell.

It’s rated PG-13 and filled with profanity but it’s nothing my kids haven’t heard before. Violence is glorified and there are far too many slow-motion shots of heroes dodging bullets, but again, my girls are use to that.

So what’s my problem? Why not take my daughters, when the 12-year-old specifically won’t stop asking about it? Continue reading →

tumblr_m7nzt4xhmF1qis6pso2_1280-2

Can I Stop Lying to My Kids Now? (The Tooth-Fairy is Bleeding Me DRY)

How much money did you get from the Tooth Fairy when you were a kid?

I got the occasional $5 bill, but my favorites were the awesome silver dollars that showed up under my pillow. I even recall a $2 bill that turned up once. It looked exactly like the Lucky $2 Bill my Mom always carried around and, oddly enough, it disappeared not long after the Tooth Fairy left it to me.

Ask my kids how much the Tooth Fairy gives them and they’ll proudly tell you, “Usually $10.”

People like to roll their eyes at this fact. They make comments about inflation and how when they were kids, the Tooth Fairy didn’t carry large bills. Yeah, lots of shitty comments have been made about our Tooth Fairy, which is why I want to remind everyone that SHE ISN’T REAL. Continue reading →

1747

MOMMY-MOVIE-REVIEW: Is “Captain America: Civil War” OK for Kids?


Those of us who have MARVEL fans for kids have some big decisions to make this weekend. Oh, its NOT whether or not to see Captain America: Civil War. No, that’s definitely going to happen because we’re just as excited to see it as our kids. No, we have to decide when and where we’ll see it, and IF we’ll spend the extra cash for full-blown IMAX 3D.

See, we wouldn’t miss Captain America: Civil War if The Hulk himself was blocking the door, so this blog isn’t for people like us.

No, I want to talk to all the other parents out there who DON’T watch the MARVEL movies with their kids. If you have little ones who have no interest, you’re excused. Go watch Bubble Guppies and eat Cheerios with them but for the rest of you, why? Continue reading →

IMG_6021

TOP 5 MOVIES to See with Your Kids Over Spring Break

My kids were out of school for Spring Break last week, so I’m actually late with this post. Forgive me, but I was simply too busy running around the beach, trying to convince myself it wasn’t cloudy and 65 degrees. Our break is earlier than most schools though, so you might still be planning yours. There’s always at least one cloudy Spring Break day that’s best spent in a theater, so here are my Top 5 to Films See with Your Kids over Spring Break:

5. My first pick is Miracles from Heaven, but this one comes with conditions. This is a faith-based movie (even produced by T.D. Jakes) so there’s lots of God Talk. If that makes you uncomfortable, prepare to be totally gooned out. Jennifer Garner stars and keeps it from getting too heavy-handed, so don’t scratch it off your list entirely. Miracles from Heaven is also based on the true story of a very sick little girl, which is often difficult to watch. It might be too much for more sensitive viewers, but it might be just right for your crew. Here’s a link to my original review, which was actually made by my daughters and some of their friends. Check it out first, if you can’t decide about the movie.
http://juliesaysso.com/podcast-kids-review-jennifer-garners-miracles-from-heaven/ Continue reading →

football-hooligan-training-camp-for-kids4

BLOG: Shielding My Kids from Vulgarity & Other Exercises in Futility


My sister came to visit this weekend and inadvertently taught my kids some new swear words (sorry Big Sis but YES, you’re getting busted via blog). My girls suggested that we start a “Swear Jar” for her but I said NO because their Aunt is going through a painful divorce and can use whatever words she needs to get through it. My kids are old enough to know what a dirty word is anyhow (& the trouble they’ll get in if they use it) and honestly, I’m tired of trying to shield them from everything. It is POINTLESS.

Never was that more apparent than a recent trip we took to Big Bend. The girls were introduced to wonderful experiences like hiking and canoeing, but they also learned that a man will go to the bathroom ANYWHERE. We were dining al fresco at a funky (meaning WEIRD) restaurant in Terlingua when the lead-singer of the band sauntered outside. We were eating on the patio to escape his music anyhow because all of the songs sounded like Tarrantino dialogue, but I guess he decided the indoor bathroom was too close. He relieved himself so close to us that we could hear it hitting the ground and my daughters were MESMERIZED. Later, he and his band-mates met outside again to share a tiny & surprisingly pungent hand-rolled cigarette but thankfully, the girls didn’t ask about THAT.

We escaped back to our hotel room and started looking for a TV show we could all enjoy. My husband was scrolling through the channels when we came across a scene from what I guess was one of the later American Pie movies. It involved a naked Jason Biggs and a clear pan lid and that’s where the description has to end because it was awful. It was so freakish that my 6-year-old didn’t even GET it, but the 9-year-old started asking, “Why Mommy? Why would he do that? Why would ANYONE do that?” I still don’t have an answer for her.

Compared to that, my sister’s salty language is pretty tame. It’s only a matter of time before my girls take those bad words out for a test drive, anyhow. I was just thinking about my own first attempts at playground vulgarity and how delicious those words were. Well, until an older kid pointed out that the 2 words I was using didn’t go together & I would’ve known that if I wasn’t such an AMATEUR. That’s when my 9-year-old interrupted my thoughts with the most bizarre statement ever.

“But you NEVER swear Mom. I’ve NEVER heard you swear.”

The comment was so completely off-the-mark that I thought she was joking for a minute. But she wasn’t. My kids don’t hear me swear because a career in media has given me a decent (if not always reliable) filter and without realizing it, I use it at home. Then she said, “In fact, I think the worst word you’ve ever used is STUPID.”

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the nastiest word my kids have ever heard me utter is STUPID, and that’s a shock even to me. So when it comes to shielding my kids from dirty words and nastiness of all kinds, I might be losing multiple battles.

But f**k me, I may have just won the war.

logo-new

UPDATE: Getting Your Kid to “SLEEP HAPPY” Is Now Even Easier!

A few months ago, I wrote a story about my friend Jessica Bryant and her new business Sleep Happy Consulting. Jessica wants to teach our kids how to SLEEP, which is the nicest thing anyone could do for those of us whose kids walk the halls, crying all night. She’s made it even easier for us by launching a website, which is http://sleephappyconsulting.com/sleephappyconsulting/. Now you can reach out to Jessica directly and hear from all the people whose children no longer wake them up at 3am. Wouldn’t that be nice?

If you missed Jessica’s Sleep Happy story the first time, I reposted it below. You’ll want to reach out to her, just to become friends because that’s how freaking sweet this lady is! Good luck & get some sleep! Continue reading →

IMG_5300

BLOG: I Think I Missed the “Mommy Memo” (Cotillion Blues)

I don’t think I got the Mommy Memo. You know, the email every other Mommy got that clued them into all the big Secrets of Having Kids. I think it must have skipped me because I’m continuously blind-sided by things that other Mommies have no trouble with. The memo must have included important sections, like When To Register For Summer Camp and SURPRISE!-Early Dismissal, because I screw those up all the time. It also must have included a section on Cotillion, because I’d never even heard of it before this year.

Cotillion is apparently a series of etiquette classes, where kids learn how to behave at a dance. They even learn how to dance with each other, which they all complain about but secretly relish. We didn’t have Cotillion when I was growing up. No, we just jumped straight to sweaty hand-holding at awkward school functions. No one bothered teaching us how to dance, because we all just stood in a circle and watched the one kid who could break dance. Etiquette was certainly never considered, and probably would’ve been snickered at while we smoked cigarettes behind the Youth Center. Continue reading →

sleeping-baby

BLOG: Kids FINALLY Go The F*** To Sleep With “Sleep Happy”

We have a story that we like to tell, about my daughter Emma when she was a baby. Emma was USUALLY a good sleeper but she occasionally went through periods of waking up at night. Our doctor told us to let her “cry it out,” but she wouldn’t just cry. No, on the night of our story, Emma stood in her crib, leaned over the edge and POUNDED on her bedroom door. She wanted to get up and eat the apple she didn’t finish at dinner, so she screamed “I WANT MY APPLE,” as she pounded. She emphasized each word with a THUD from her tiny fist.

“I! WANT! MY! APPLE!!!”

This continued for about 30 minutes, while my husband and I hid under the covers and giggled. Well, we giggled for the first 10 minutes of her tirade, but then it got pretty annoying. Emma eventually slept through the night again, but she still occasionally goes through periods of restlessness. She is 11-years-old now but she will still sometimes make the tearful trek down the hall to tell us, “I can’t sleep.” I know that Emma is not alone and that her sleepless nights are nothing compared to the insomnia some of her friends suffer. I also know that I have several friends who share their beds with spouses AND kids, though they don’t openly discuss it.

All of this popped into my mind when I saw that my old friend Jessica Bryant had started a new business as a Child and Infant Sleep Consultant. Jessica and I had babies around the same time and struggled through that first difficult year of motherhood together. I always loved her because Jessica never faked it or pretended that her baby was perfect (we all know THAT Mom). She would always commiserate over a glass of wine with me, but Jessica had a background in Child Developement so she also had real, workable advice. Any Mom will tell you how VALUABLE that is during the first year of parenting. Then Jessica got pregnant with twins, so we essentially lost our wine and commiserating time with her.

It’s been 10-years and Jessica’s children are now all in school, so she decided to take the knowledge she’s obtained and help others with it. Continue reading →