‘Father Of The Bride’ Cast Reunites For A Zoom Wedding, Because 2020

Father of the Bride cast reunites for a Zoom wedding in just-released pandemic short film

Earlier this month, Nancy Meyers announced that the long-awaited third film in the Father of the Bride series was actually happening and on Friday, September 25, 2020, the cast of the original film got back together for what Meyers lovingly referred to as “Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish).” Like most nostalgia reunion shows filmed this year, this one was also captured over Zoom, but in true Father of the Bride fashion, there was a wedding. Well, a Zoom wedding, because #PandemicProblems.

The 30-minute short film aired on Netflix’s YouTube and Facebook account on Friday afternoon and it was the first time in 25 years that the cast was together again. Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, George Newbern, Martin Short, and Kieran Culkin all reprised their roles from the ’90s films while actors Ben Platt and Florence Pugh played the adult version of the babies born in the second film. As for the wedding, Matty (played by Culkin) surprised his family during their usual Zoom family call by announcing that he wanted to marry his fiancée Rachel (played by actress Alexandra Shipp) right then and there over Zoom, as so many couples have had to do this year because of the pandemic.

Of course, Martin’s George Banks loses it, saying all he ever wanted was to attend his son’s wedding because he could finally just sit back and relax and not have to pay for anything. “I’ve waited 30 years to be father of the groom and now her dad is getting out of the wedding?” George exclaimed. “Was this her father’s idea?”

Oh, and Matty’s fiancée’s father is played by Robert De Niro and Martin Short reprises his role as the eccentric wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer. By the end of the short film, Martin has transferred the title of “Father of the Bride” over to De Niro.

Meyers, who wrote and directed the short, said she got the idea during quarantine when she imagined how George Banks would react to the chaos of well, everything about this year.

“If he thought a wedding was a lot, how would he react to 2020?” Meyers teased on Instagram earlier this month.

She wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times that she reached out to Martin, who said he was doing literally nothing during the pandemic and was down to make the short film. And those amazing and iconic Nancy Meyers kitchens and living rooms in the backgrounds of each actor’s Zoom window? Most of those are greenscreens because let’s be real, we highly doubt Kieran Culkin in living in a spacious earth-toned colonial home with a sprawling kitchen island.

The short film benefitted the World Central Kitchen, an organization working across America to safely distribute individually packaged, fresh meals in communities that need support — for children and families to pick up and take home, as well as delivery to seniors who cannot venture outside right now during the pandemic. To date, WCK has provided over 25 million meals in more than 400 cities.

You can watch the Father of the Bride reunion special on Netflix’s YouTube account now.

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The Pandemic Has Forced Me To Be Flexible When It Doesn’t Come Naturally

“I am nothing if not flexible,” I said once to a friend when our plans were spontaneously changed. We both laughed and laughed because, though I have a sense of humor about it, we both know I am not flexible. I am mature enough to make changes when necessary, but I am not a go-with-the-flow, roll-with-the-punches kind of person. I am more of a “sweat myself into an anxiety attack if I don’t exert some sort of control over a situation” kind of person.

I’d rather create a dam or wind tunnel to harness powers bigger than myself than be moved by forces I will never be able to predict or persuade. My personality in a pandemic reads like a Shakespeare play: so much tragic comedy. Thankfully I am self-aware and have enough social-emotional intelligence to know not to be a dick to others when things do spin away from expectations. So many elements of our lives are spinning right now, and being flexible doesn’t come naturally for me. I would be a big liar if I told you I was okay with bending when I want to stay rigid in my routines.

When I say I am self-aware, I mean that I know my response to change and my resistance to it is a mix of trauma response from childhood abuse and my obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnosis. My OCD does not manifest in germ-fearing; instead my brain plays a swell game called Imagine All The Scenarios, wherein I obsess about them and make plans to “solve” them. My plans have backup plans. As you can imagine, this is super fun during a pandemic where nothing is certain and everything is out of my control.

During normal times, routines, plans, and doing anything in predictable ways on a schedule I can control are vital tools in my toolbox. My to-do lists have to-do lists, people. And on hard OCD days when my anxiety and fear are overwhelming, I overcompensate by micromanaging people and situations while constantly checking the status of anything that has a status—the weather, Facebook, trending news, and now I have added COVID-19 related infections and deaths.

Of course I know that what doesn’t bend, breaks. I know all of the clichés and “shoulds” and blah, blah, blah. I also know I would probably be better off if I wasn’t so dependent on structure and predictability. But instead of fighting who I am, I recognize where I struggle and do my best to make accommodations when necessary. I’m allowed to be stuck in my ways, even if digging in is simply another example of my aversion to flexibility. And apparently the universe is allowed to throw a pandemic at me and all of the other people who cringe at the words, “Let’s mix things up!”

I am a creature of habit. I don’t like surprises. Last minute changes of plans make me anxious and angry—even if I ultimately agree with the change or end up happy with the alternate plan. This is because if I let go of what I thought was the truth about what was going to happen, then I lose control and risk being physically and emotionally hurt. Unpredictability and change are scary.

Since March, everything feels like it has been thrown into the air, including how we grocery shop, socialize, and send our kids to school. Everything is weird and we are living in the upside down. And our kids are living it too. When my kids asked me questions pre-COVID, I could either answer them confidently or tell them we could work together to figure out what they wanted to know. We could always find an answer.

But we can’t Google our way out of a pandemic, and Alexa is useless when it comes to knowing when we can travel to see family again, when we can stop wearing masks, and what will happen this winter to sports and school when it’s too cold to be outside. I tell them I don’t know and remind them it’s important to be flexible even though it’s hard to constantly be asked to pivot. I tell them these gems while knowing how hard and frustrating change can be, and while struggling to take my own advice.

This pandemic has harnessed all of my fears and waved them in front of my face while expecting me to accept promises and plans based on smoke, mirrors, and irrational people who think all of this is a hoax. I have had to scramble to find new ways not to break thanks to COVID-19. It hasn’t been pretty, but even in a world of uncertainty, I have managed to cultivate some certainty each day to help me manage my mental health. I know we are all out of fucking whack here, but I decided early on that I would throw everything I had into my mental health. I rely and thrive on routine. Even experts say that building routines are good for us.

So I made a plan to exercise each day, eat food that makes my body feel good, and go easy on myself when just functioning feels like too much work. I created routines for my kids too — set screen times, bed times, and meal times have allowed us to structure our days at home so that the pandemic is a backdrop, not the star of the show.

My Crossfit coach recently told me to loosen my grip on the barbell during a transition for a lift I was struggling with. I dropped the bar and laughed at the apt metaphor. “My grip is too tight, huh? Well, if that doesn’t sum it all up.” In Crossfit — and in life — my results are better with a looser grip, but it’s going to take a lot of repetitions to get comfortable with the adjustments.

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Why I Don’t Say Anything When My Partner’s Ex Bad-Mouths Me To Their Child

For the past few months, every time I go see my boyfriend on Wednesday nights (he has his kid on that day, and I don’t have mine), it’s been awkward.

A few weeks ago, his ex-wife called him, telling him she was coming to get their child because I was always there and if he wasn’t going to spend time with her, she might as well be with her mother.

In a calm tone he told her that yes, I was there, and the three of us were going to eat together and watch a movie or something. 

That’s just an example of what’s been happening lately, which has been a twist. At the first sign of this shift, when the honeymoon was over and the newness of getting to know me had worn off for his daughter, I felt like perhaps I should leave and not come over there when she was there. 

I could tell her mother was having trouble with the fact her father was now in a long-term, serious relationship.

Having a daughter of my own, and being a daughter of divorce myself, I understand how this goes: She feels the need to be loyal to her mother. If her mother is upset about me, then so is she. I feel like a stranger coming into her world that maybe she wasn’t quite ready for. And I get it.

Of course, I wanted to grab the phone and tell her to shut her face because I wasn’t there all the time — seeing her child once a week is hardly “all the time.” But that is my ego talking, and I know it would serve nobody for me to feel like I have to get in between this. So I don’t.

Not to mention it’s my boyfriend’s job to handle it, not mine. 

He explained when his daughter was with him, I’d be there once a week or so. He also tells them both that I love his daughter, I have the best intentions for her, and I am not trying — in any way — to be any sort of a parent to her. I have kids of my own that keep me extremely busy, and honestly, I don’t want any more children to keep track of.

I know in the depths of my soul that I’ve let her know I’m there for her without being pushy. I’m polite but not aggressive when talking to her. If she wants to stay up in her room and not come down and say hello to me when I’m there, that’s okay. It has nothing to do with me.

Of course I wish things were different and that I didn’t have to wonder how tense it was going to be when I saw her, if she wanted to spend time with me or not, or if my boyfriend was going to get a phone call from his ex-wife because their daughter sent her a text letting her know I was there.

It’s clear when her mother talks about me it’s very negative, and she feels I shouldn’t be spending time in the home that used to be hers. I get that too. 

But it’s okay; I’m okay with it, because I know it’s really not about me. I am more than happy to have my boyfriend’s daughter’s company when she feels like giving it to me, but it’s up to her, and it needs to be on her terms, not mine.

I also think when she’s struggling with the fact her father has a girlfriend (which is very sporadic), her mother wants to come to her defense — and the only way to do that is to come get her and spend time with her. 

I understand because my own daughter has come to me many times about something that’s happened between her and my ex-husband’s girlfriend. My daughter wants to stew and say mean things about her dad’s partner because she’s in a situation she can’t control and she wishes her parents were still married. There have been times she’s wanted me to come get her, but that’s incredibly disrespectful to her father — that is his time with her and they need to work things out.

I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to play that game with my daughter. I love her dearly, and all it does is stir the pot and cause unnecessary drama. Her father’s girlfriend treats her like gold and has taken such good care of all my kids. What happens in their home is their business, and I feel confident saying that because I know my ex is fair and puts his kids first.

Now, I realize not every situation is like ours and there are plenty of women out there who deal with an ex who isn’t like mine and who brings people into their kids’ lives that shouldn’t be there.

What I’m saying, though, is that just because my boyfriend’s daughter decides she wants me around sometimes, and there are times when she doesn’t, isn’t reason enough for me to let her know I feel sad or hurt — which I do, because I’m human.

But because I’m the adult, I keep it to myself.

I never want her to hear me bad-mouth her mother because, holy fuck, that’s her mother and that’s not what you do. There’s enough drama over the situation without me squeezing lighter fluid into the fire. 

My boyfriend’s ex doesn’t know me, and I don’t know her. What I do know is that the person who matters the most in this situation is their daughter. And over the years, I’ve learned and preached about supporting women. Who would I be if I lashed back?

I’m not saying it’s easy to keep my mouth shut; of course there have been times I’ve wanted to go rogue.

But I don’t, because my feelings being pricked by another woman could never justify the kind of behavior that could do damage to that precious girl. I don’t want to add an extra layer of tension. Kids who have gone through divorce have been through enough.

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The TikTok ‘Teeth File’ Trend Has Parents (And Dentists) Horrified

I have three teenagers in my house and it’s no exaggeration when I tell you TikTok is their Bible. I’ve told them to stop believing everything they see and hear on that damn app, but it’s a daily struggle.

It seems to be the latest way for them to get their dose of social media, and they now believe Facebook and Instagram are for old people. Like me. So, now I have another job to do as the mother of teens: stay afloat on all the trends, even though it’s breaking me one video at a time.

The thing is, there’s a lot of bullshit floating around and teenagers of the world are eager to want to try whatever they see on TikTok. I mean, I’ve tried a few things with them — the fun and harmless stuff, like rolling pickles in hot Cheetos — but I make sure I monitor the things and challenges they are trying really closely.

Apparently the latest craze involves getting your DIY-degree in orthodontia by simply taking a nail file and filing your teeth down to saw your teeth to a desirable height.

People of the world are looking for a cheap and easy way to perform their own enameloplasty, because of course they are.

The word on the street is that folks got tired of waiting for a better smile when all the orthodontist and dentist offices were closed during COVID-19, so someone decided to teach a class in ruining your teeth by shaping them yourself using a nail file.

Um, no.

I can’t believe this even needs to be said, but nail files are for nails; they don’t belong in, or around, your mouth. Your teeth are not like your nails in that they don’t keep growing, are much more sensitive, and can be permanently damaged — unlike when you file the tips of your claws.

It’s one thing to start dyeing your own hair, plucking your own eyebrows, and asking your bestie to trim your split ends. But doing your own damn cosmetic dental work is taking it too far.

If you don’t want to take my word for it (my teenage daughter certainly didn’t), Scary Mommy spoke via email with Dr. Kami Hoss, D.D.S., M.S., who is the co-founder & CEO of The Super Dentists, a leading multi-specialty dental practice in the U.S. and one of the largest dental groups in Southern California, which sees 20% of the youth in San Diego County. He told us this procedure can cause a lot of harm — and cost a lot of money.

If you file your teeth down, they will never grow back,” says Hoss. The truth is, people are just taking a file and going for it without knowing what the hell they are doing. Once the tooth is gone, that’s it. They aren’t going to grow again like the time you gave yourself a really bad brow job, or sliced your bangs off to your hairline.

Our kids need to realize how dangerous this can be, regardless of the pictures and “success stories” they are seeing on TikTok. You think your kids can be left alone in the bathroom or their room for long periods of time when they get older but word to the wise: check in on them every now and again to make sure they are doing things like, I don’t know, erasing their teeth.

@gustexoxWATCH THIS IF YOU HAVE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT FILING YOUR TEETH!♬ original sound – gee

Hoss explains this is harmful for many reasons. Not to state the (should-be) obvious, but it damages the tooth. “We all get one set of adult teeth and we need to make sure they last us for the rest of our lives,” he says. 

Your enamel is sensitive and “is a thin layer that protects your teeth from the harsh, acidic environment of your mouth. Once you remove it, it’ll never grow back. If that happens you may get sensitivity or pain, increase your risk of cavities, damage the nerve, and remove luster and white color from your teeth,” says Hoss.

This sounds like the opposite of what people are trying to do. Instead of walking away with beautiful, straight teeth, they are stripping their mouth of the very things it needs to be healthy.

Not to mention that filing your teeth is not the answer if you are trying to straighten them. Hoss says this needs to be done by an experienced orthodontist because, “When teeth don’t line up, it typically means one tooth is erupted longer or is more crooked/angled compared to the next one,” he explains.

 If you just file down one tooth, or the teeth that are bothering you, your teeth will never look good since gum levels won’t line up, and the edges will be crooked or shorter. You may even do so much damage even an orthodontist may not be able to ever fix it.

Our kids taking things like this into their own hands is scary for their health … and our bank accounts. 

Dentists or orthodontists that perform enameloplasty, or are straightening your teeth with braces or lines, are educated and trained professionals who have been doing it for years. They have the right tools and equipment — and I promise, none of it involves nail files!  

Stick to the basics when it comes to your teeth: brush them, floss them, swish some mouthwash. But please, folks, keep the nail files out of your damn mouth and I beg you, send this to your teenagers and tell them what damage they could actually do if they try and file their own damn teeth. 

There are lots of entertaining and amusing things on TikTok, but this is one trend that’s nothing to smile about.

The post The TikTok ‘Teeth File’ Trend Has Parents (And Dentists) Horrified appeared first on Scary Mommy.

8 Kids’ Menorahs Your Littles Will Have Fun Lighting For Hanukkah

—Getting children excited about more than just presents at holiday time is no easy feat, but involving your littles in lighting the Hanukkah candles is a lot easier when they have their very own menorah. Things may look different this year, but holiday traditions are not canceled — and it’s never too early to start teaching those traditions. You just need to get a little creative with it: That’s why we’ve searched out the most fun kids’ menorahs that are all but guaranteed to keep your kids engaged in the celebration.

From fire trucks to emojis to crafty paint-your-own options, there are menorahs available that will thrill kids of all ages and interests. Older kiddos can help light the candles atop a spaceship or dinosaur, while babies and toddlers can pretend play along with toy versions in foam or wood, complete with removable “candles.”

Whether you’re shopping for your own little ones, looking for the perfect gift for your niece’s first Hanukkah, or hunting for a classroom-friendly menorah for teaching purposes (bless you), there’s a pick ahead that’s sure to delight this Festival of Lights. Scroll on to shop the cutest kid-friendly menorahs and get a head start on the holiday season. (A miracle, indeed.)

Best Kids’ Menorahs

Rite Lite Ceramic Emoji Hanukkah Menorah

Want to get your mini excited about the Festival of Lights? One word: emojis. It’s no secret that kiddos go nuts for them—for whatever reason that is. So a kids’ menorah with a different emoji expression for each of the eight crazy nights is all but guaranteed to keep your little interested in more than just the presents! (It is a holiday about miracles, after all.) Made of hand-painted ceramic, this menorah fits traditional Hanukkah candles and measures 8.5 inches high—and of course, all the emoji faces are varied versions of happy! Just pour hot water into the wax to loosen and clean this playful piece. Simply put by one happy customer, “It was a fun gift for my kids and they love it.” Mission accomplished.

$24.99 AT AMAZON

Aviv Judaica Firetruck Menorah

Found: A kids’ menorah that is all but guaranteed to delight the truck enthusiast/wannabe firefighter in your crew! This sweet little resin ceramic pick comes complete with the requisite firehouse Dalmatian, as well as a hydrant and hose—too cute! Kids are all too eager to light this one every night, according to reviewers, including one who wrote, “A fun way to celebrate the holiday with our young boys. It has held up to my 1 & 3 year old boys playing with it and they can’t wait to light it for Hanukkah!” Another raved, “Perfect for the 2 year old who loves trucks. Very well made.” You may need to hide this fun find before Hanukkah actually arrives—and maybe make sure your kiddos don’t decide to play firefighter and put out the candles themselves!

$47.99 AT AMAZON

Dinosaur Menorah

Looking for a menorah for your dino-obsessed offspring? This campy gilded Tyrannosaurus Rex has reached Bestseller status on Etsy, which means there’s likely already a lot of happy Hanukkah revelers out there. Measuring 11″ x 5″ x 2″, the plastic dinosaur is spray-painted gold and affixed to a plastic base, and fits standard, shorter Hanukkah candles around 9mm thick. Whether you use it as a kids’ menorah or to delight your significant other, it’s almost guaranteed to be a holiday hit. According to one reviewer, “It’s solid — pretty heavy, high in quality. The color is nice and my son loved it immediately. Even better, it comes with a few ‘fun facts’ that are adorable. Highly recommended. May even purchase a second for my nephew. Holes are appropriately sized for my standard Hanukkah candles — they won’t wiggle like others do!” In other words, purchase this pick and you’re golden.

$49 AT ETSY

Zion Judaica Polyresin Spaceship Menorah

For the budding astronaut in your life: a kids’ menorah that’s, well, out of this world. This rocket ship menorah fits the standard size Hanukkah candles and actually makes a fun display piece for your little space explorer’s, er, space. Light it up during the holiday, keep it on a shelf or desktop the rest of the year. As one reviewer described it, “There’s no better available Menorah for a Hanukkah offering to your local astronaut.” Another noted how this option has potential to go the distance (pun intended), writing, “My kindergartener wanted a “big boy” menorah to replace a more babyish menorah that we had been using since he was born. This rocket ship menorah was perfect! It was cute enough that he wanted to use it as a toy, but sleek enough that I don’t think he will mind using it through middle school.”

$34.99 AT AMAZON

Menorah Crafts and Toys

Mia Sorella Gifts Ceramic Hanukkah Menorah DIY

Nope, you don’t need a professional ceramic kiln — you and your kids can simply paint directly on this menorah, turning this important teaching moment about an important holiday into an arts and crafts projects. (If you want to get it glazed, just drop it off and your local ceramic shop.)

$26 AT ETSY

The Dreidel Company Hanukkah Foam Toy Menorah

For grabby littles, a foam kids’ menorah with removable rubber candles is the ideal way to keep them engaged and out of harm’s way. Your kiddo can join in the Hanukkah fun, minus the flames—”Perfect for keeping my 3yr old son away from the real candles,” as one reviewer put it. Great for a ‘baby’s first Hanukkah’ gift, you can keep this pick well into the toddler years and even pass it down thereafter, so said a happy grandparent,”Great product, my granddaughter loved it and carried it with her everywhere! She did leave a few teeth marks on the candles but it withstood her nibbling. She was able to put the candles in and ‘light it’ while we said the prayers. We plan to have this menorah for years to come and to pass it on to her future siblings.” Another reviewer noted, “I am a children’s librarian, and this is the IDEAL prop for storytelling about Hanukkah. You can give each child a candle, even a group of toddlers, and rest easy knowing that they won’t hurt themselves or damage the toy.” Whether it’s a toy, teaching tool, unofficial teether, or all of the above, this soft menorah is ideal for little kids.

$12.95 AT AMAZON

KidKraft Children's Menorah

With the look of a vintage children’s toy, this brightly-colored wooden kids menorah promises to be an instant classic. It comes complete with 9 removable “candles” that are safe for minis to “light”/place on the menorah base each night of the holiday. “Such a fun menorah [for] little ones! Our kids loved pulling out the candles and putting them in themselves. Sturdy and vibrant pieces,” wrote one reviewer, who also noted it was “perfect for little hands.” Another described it as “an adorable way to get your child in to the festive spirit. I found it really durable and easy for my two year old to use. She was really thrilled with it.” Teachers take note: This pick is also a great option for classrooms. One mama recounted,  “I first purchased this for my son’s preschool classroom. When I took my daughter to his class holiday pajama party, she ended up playing with it the entire hour. We ordered one for our house too.”

$12.69 AT AMAZON

The Dreidel Company Children's Wooden Chanukah Menorah

Another wooden menorah with removable “candles,” this kid-friendly find makes a great gift for family. It’s also an ideal option if you don’t like to leave an open flame! Kids can play —and pray— along safely as grown-ups light the real deal. As one grandma wrote, “Bought for my 1 yr old grandchild. Well made…She had much fun putting the candles in the menorah as we [lit] the real one. Great way to teach holiday traditions.” Measuring a petite 6 x 2 x 8 inches and weighing just over a pound, it’s easy for little ones to handle, and they may even want to play with it post-Hanukkah. So said a happy customer, “My grandchildren love this so much that they are often seen playing with it even though the holiday has passed. I purchased it for three 4 year olds.” Now that’s a successful gift.

$24.95 AT AMAZON

Now that you’ve found the perfect menorah, shop more kid gear to delight the littles all year long!

The post 8 Kids’ Menorahs Your Littles Will Have Fun Lighting For Hanukkah appeared first on Scary Mommy.

The Best Snow Boots For Toddlers, Because Winter Is Coming

You’re gearing up for winter, and it’s time to get your toddler some winter boots, right? It probably seems like every couple of months you’re buying new shoes for your toddler—and that’s because you probably are! Baby and toddler feet grow at an insane pace that it can be near impossible to keep up. The best way to go about it to ensure that your kiddo always has a few cool pairs of kicks that you don’t have to squeeze him into is to switch up his shoe selection at the beginning of each season.

The undisputed best two seasons to shop for toddler shoes? Without a doubt fall and winter. The shoes are the cutest and there are so many different styles that you just desperately want to see your child in. And, let’s be honest, your kid needs to wear shoes during these seasons, unlike in the summer when she can pretty much just run around barefoot (most of the time).

When it comes to picking shoes for a baby or toddler, no matter the season, support should be the number one consideration. You want shoes that are comfortable and provide enough support for your child to move freely. Any constraints around the feet or ankles can prove to be troublesome for tiny feet.

Ready to get shopping? From slip-on sneakers and ballet flats to chic booties and rain boots, here are some of the best toddler shoes for fall and winter.

Best Kids’ Snow Boots

Northside Toddler Frosty Winter Snow Boot

If you have a toddler in the fall-to-winter seasons, and you live in a place where it snows, you definitely won’t regret investing in a pair of durable snow boots. This brand has amazing reviews for their cold-resistance, adjustability and how easy they are to get on. They also come in over 40 different colors and prints, so you get your pick of the litter. 

$29.99 AT AMAZON

Northside Icicle Snow Boot

These boots (perfect for toddlers and kids ages 4-8) are lined with Berber nylon, making them extra comfortable, and what makes them winners in the winter boot category is that they’re insulated with 200 grams of Thermolite insulation, making them extra warm. They also have a removable EVA insole with sherpa lining (the warmth is great, and the fact that you can easily clean is a plus). These come in a variety of colors.

$31.95 AT AMAZON

Sorel Snow Commander Snow Boot

Sorel is definitely a trusty go-to if you’re looking for sturdy, warm boots for the winter. Available in toddler sizes and for kids ages 4-8 years, these boots are made for *serious* winter weather — snow, ice, and freezing snow days. Sorels have  200g of insulation to keep those little feet warm, and the thermal rubber shell is waterproof. Plus, we gotta love how fashion-forward these look.

$49.95 AT AMAZON

Itasca Snowcat Toddler Winter Boots

Available between sizes 7T and 11, Itasca Snowcat toddler winter boots are extremely padded, making it hard for snow to make it inside your LO’s boot. Other features include a padded collar, plush shaft, an adjustable strap for a lock-fit (no worrying about boots flying off mid-kick!), and durable traction sole. Created with nylon and canvas material, this boot is super sturdy.

$50 AT KOHL'S

Columbia Youth Powderbug Plus II-K Snow Boot

This seal-seamed boot is waterproof and made of synthetic leather and nylon textile that can take on all kinds of cold weather. These Columbia boots are known for their insulation (400g of insulation!!) and the traction support is best in class — perfect for if your toddler isn’t the most coordinated and tends to slip and fall in snow and sleet. These are easy to slip on and off (they look loose, but as soon as you put them on, you cinch them tightly with an adjustable hook and loop ankle closure strap), and they come in a variety of different colors for BBs of all tastes.

$55 AT AMAZON

Best Boys’ Snow Boots

London Fog Boys Oxford Toddler Cold Weather Snow Boot

Available in sizes 6T-10T, London Fog always offers reliable products (they were known for their iconic raincoats in the ’60s — thanks Mad Men!) and kids’ winter boots included. The duck shell provides extra protection and comfort from the elements, and the warm lining not only makes your kid look extra #chic, but it provides another layer of coziness much-needed during the winter. Although they’re snug, they’re easy to take on and off (which is a relief, since moms will be doing the majority of this work). Colors come in black, dark brown, and cognac.

$34.95 AT AMAZON

GUBARUN Boys Snow Boots Winter Waterproof Slip Resistant

Waterproof, anti-skid, and easy to take and off, these boots are perfect for all-day winter wear. And while they’re labeled “boy” boots, they come in all kinds of colors (and are budget-friendly, so you can easily purchase several pairs if your kid can’t decide between blue camo or silver-black).

$26.99 AT AMAZON

totes Taelor Toddler Boys' Waterproof Winter Boots

Available between 5T-11T, Totes Taelor are many a parent winter boot go-to for their features, which include: waterproof shell, easy slip-on and take-off design, an elastic loop that keeps snow out, and a non-slip tread that helps with extra icy days.

$50 AT KOHL'S

See Kai Run, Baker Waterproof Insulated Boots

If you’re looking for boots that don’t necessarily have to be super long (maybe your kid isn’t spending much time in snow), these boots are shorter yet still incredibly durable and warm. They’re seam-sealed and are completely waterproof, making them ideal for sludge and rain and feature 3M Thinsulate thermal lining that’s good for weather as cold as -35 degrees.

$50.14 AT AMAZON

Best Girls’ Snow Boots

Tundra Boots

These slip-on snow boots are water-resistant and come with fleece lining to keep those toes warm. Adjustable hook-and-loop closure makes sure boots stay on, and sole is designed to keep your little from slipping. These are good for temps as cold as -22 degrees.

$50 AT ZAPPOS

UGG Kids Bolden Metallic

We love how these simple black boots (they also come in metallic gold) are comfortable, warm, and also double as more formal wear, in case you have a family holiday party to go to and still want the kiddo to stay warm. These are definitely for more moderate weather (not snow days), so don’t expect heavy-duty insulation.

$60 Zappos

London Fog Girls Toddler Tottenham Cold Weather Snow Boot

The ever-reliable London Fog boots come in a more ~girly~ pattern (obvs if your daughter prefers all-black or brown, or whatever! That’s totally cool) that we honestly wish came in our size. These boots come with all the bells and whistles, including a duck shell, fur topline for warmth and style, and a synthetic, grippy sole.

$34.95 AT AMAZON

Apakowa Kids Girls Insulated Fur Winter Warm Snow Boots

Don’t worry, these boots come in different colors, so if your girl detests pink, she can choose from red, gray, purple, and blue. The insulation for this boot is top-notch, and it also features a side zipper, making it easier to take on and off.

$28.99 AT AMAZON

totes Jalynn Toddler Girls' Winter Boots

Aside from just looking ultra cool and slightly punky, these boots feature thermolite technology for warmth, a soft and cozy lining, a side zipper, and fleece lining.

$50 AT KOHL'S

Classic II Boot

Again, this isn’t a girl-exclusive boot — boys can and totally should rock the UGG if they wanna — but we’re just putting this option out there. This is purely an indoor winter boot, and if you own a pair, you know why. It’s a cozier and warmer alternative to a slipper, and UGGs are sooo comfortable. And easy. So easy.

$110 AT UGG

Best Winter Boots for New Walkers

B-Moc Garden Party Bogs Boots

As one Scary Mommy editor says, “once they take one step they have tasted the heady taste of freedom and strollers are now beneath them.” Chances are, they’re not spending too much time in the snow — but you should prepare them nonetheless, because they will run out into the yard whether you like it or not, and you should have a sturdy pair of boots to quickly put on them. We love Bogs because they’re waterproof, warm, AND machine washer-friendly! (They’re a bit steep for boots, but they’re indestructible and you can always save them if you choose to have another baby or want to give them to a friend.)

$65 AT BOGS

OshKosh Snow Boots

You’ll want a pair of very sturdy, snow-ready boots handy if you do plan on spending a lot of time outside, and your little walker decides they want to spend a lot of time in the snow. These come padded, have a sherpa padded collar for extra warmth, have lots of tread, and come with hook and loop enclosures to make sure they stay on (but aren’t too hard to take off).

$39 AT CARTER'S

EsTong Thick Winter Outdoor Snow Boots

These anti-slip, faux fur-lined boots are ideal for first-time walkers who need durable protection. They’re also designed for anti-collision, making them extra safe.

$21.99 AT AMAZON

Enteer Infant Snow Boots Premium Soft Sole Anti-Slip Boots

Although these are designed for pre-walkers, these are good for BBs up to 18 months old. They’re not designed to be worn outdoors for long, but they make for perfect travel wear, as they’re waterproof and have faux fur lining for warmth and comfort.

$13.98 AT AMAZON

Best Rain Boots

LONECONE Rain Boots

Rain boots are always worth investing in for little feet, because, let’s be honest, few things are more fun than stomping around in a puddle. This pair has more than 8,500 great reviews on Amazon and comes in more than two dozen fun prints that your little one will love. They’re also available in a ton of sizes from toddler and youth size 4T to 4. 

$23.99 AT AMAZON

Best Bootie

Janie and Jack Suede Bow Bootie

Can you even with this pair of suede booties made from genuine leather?! The accents are beyond adorable—the side bows and gold-tone accents. While they most definitely scream fall, your little one can certainly wear them well into the winter season and all the way to spring if she still fits!

$69 AT JANIE AND JACK

 

Ready to do some more buying for your little one? Check out more mom-approved kids gear here.

The post The Best Snow Boots For Toddlers, Because Winter Is Coming appeared first on Scary Mommy.

I’m Finally Not Sweating (And 6 More Thoughts You’ll Have This Fall)

Welp, that’s a wrap. Summer is officially coming to a close. And whether you read that with a resounding “Hallelujah!” or a few silent tears, the lazy days of summer are morphing into the hustle bustle days of fall right before our tired, bleary eyes. 

In addition to the sweet relief of realizing you’re not sweating all day every day, here are a few more thoughts I’m betting you’ll have once or twice as summer calls it quits. 

 

  1. “It’s Casserole Time, Babyyyy!”

Some of you may live the kinds of aspirational lives where summer dinners are whatever you effortlessly chop up fresh from your garden and that inspire recipes that begin with “This recipe takes me back to our summers in Tuscany…” And then there are the rest of us. And we greet the return of slow cooker and casserole season with an enthusiasm usually reserved for a surprise spa day. “Set it and forget it”? Uhhh yes, please. 

 

  1. “Here Comes No-Shave Season”

Ever since most of us decided “Sure, I’ll buy into these weirdly arbitrary beauty standards you’ve set up for me” we’ve been shaving, waxing and plucking our body hair into submission. All summer long, there’s an expectation that your sundresses and swimsuits won’t reveal that you do, in fact, have working hair follicles. All that pressure disappears once the weather cools off. Tank tops give way to hoodies and shorts to leggings. Fall clothes are basically the “you’re doing amazing, sweetie” of wardrobes. 

 

  1. “Is It Too Soon To Buy Halloween Candy…For Myself?” 

One of the most disappointing things about summer is the distinct lack of seasonal candy. We go from Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Easter and then there’s suddenly a yawning gap in the calendar until Halloween. With the return of fall each year comes the excuse to buy your trick-or-treat supply in September, you know, just to be prepared. No one needs to know if you restock it a few times before the first friendly ghost princess arrives at your door. 

 

  1. “Wait, Fall Is Allergy Season Too?”

 

Fall allergies are tricky little buggers. Since they tend to sneak in quietly at the exact same time kids are returning to a school schedule, it’s easy to dismiss the fatigue and grogginess as a side effect of earlier mornings. And then it dawns on you: “Ohhhh, right, my kid’s allergies are triggered at this same time every single year.” Untreated seasonal allergies cause all sorts of issues like missed school, inattention and poor sleep. Luckily, there’s Children’s Allegra Liquid, the #1 allergist recommended children’s brand for non-drowsy relief.* It gives your child powerful allergy relief that won’t impact learning or concentration due to drowsiness. When used as directed, Children’s Allegra Liquid offers effective, non-drowsy relief on sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes, and lasts throughout the entire school day without the compromise. 

 

  1. “Why Did They Change Math?” 

Excuse me, I’d like to see a manager about math homework. Are we not using words like “borrow” or “carry” anymore? Ugh. You can be living your life, going about your business and feeling like a reasonably smart person and BAM — here comes yet another new way to do math. There’s nothing quite like the pity in a third grader’s eyes as she realizes her mom doesn’t actually get it. 

 

  1. “All Pumpkin Everything!”

If you don’t bake pumpkin muffins, drink PSLs, burn a candle with a name like “Pumpkin Wishes and Cinnamon Apple Dreams,” are you even momming, bro? Love it or hate it, fall is Team Pumpkin’s time to shine. And it’s not just scents and flavors. Once September rolls around, it’s like the whole color scheme changes and all you see is different variations of orange-y gold everywhere. Hope you like earth tones because that’s all there is until red and green show up around, oh, late September. 

No matter how you greet the end of summer, some things never change. As soon as you notice that, hey, your underboob is finally dry, you’ve got about a week before – surprise! – the holidays are here. Enjoy! 

Don’t let your kids’ seasonal allergies put a damper on That Fall Feeling. Get effective, non-drowsy 12-hour relief with Children’s Allegra Liquid

*Among OTC oral antihistamines

 

The post I’m Finally Not Sweating (And 6 More Thoughts You’ll Have This Fall) appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Why I Turned Off My Birthday On My Facebook Profile

For the past few years, I’ve gotten really intense anxiety on my birthday. And while it’s true that I’m hurtling toward (and am probably already at) middle age, that isn’t the reason for my anxiety. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but the anxiety was coming from—get this—people wishing me happy birthday on social media. I am perfectly aware that this is the weirdest fucking thing ever to get anxious about, so don’t @ me in the comments section to tell me so. I already know.

But you know how Facebook has that birthday reminder feature where, on your birthday, it prompts everyone on your friends list, many of them whom you almost never exchange words with (or at least not since your or their last birthday), to tell you happy birthday, and you end up with at least a hundred notifications? So many notifications! All day long! HAVE A HAPPY BIRTHDAY RIGHT NOW, DAMMIT!!

That was causing me anxiety. And not just a little. I’m ashamed to admit it had gotten to the point last year that I was honestly kind of letting it ruin my birthday. (Yes. I know I was letting it. I am aware I can choose not to look at social media. But my job is in social media so it is actually kind of impossible not to.)

Now, before I go on, I need to make two things super clear: First, I do not begrudge anyone wishing me or anyone else a happy birthday. I think it’s wonderful! Despite my anxiety, I realize it’s a thoughtful, kind gesture to take a few moments to wish someone a happy day. Second, I am a total fucking hypocrite because I also wish acquaintances I barely know a happy birthday, and I do so with complete sincerity. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t spoken to a person in years, if I see it’s their birthday, I am excited to take a moment to wish them a happy birthday, and I truly mean it!

Nevertheless, for the past few years, the energy being directed at me on my birthday, even though it was positive and wonderful and thoughtful, was just too much. I was having horrible thoughts, like “Why is this person wishing me happy birthday even though we never speak?” followed by “Kristen, you are a big dumb hypocrite who also wishes acquaintances happy birthday, seriously, what is wrong with you?” and the grand finale: “You’re an entitled douchebag with ridiculous first-world problems who doesn’t deserve happy birthday wishes anyway.”

Honestly. Who doesn’t enjoy when people literally wish them happiness?

Turns out, it’s actually not that uncommon to have social media birthday anxiety. I know because I asked on my Facebook page if anyone else experiences similar anxiety, and the comment section exploded with a chorus of “Holy crap, me too!”

Tons of people said they experience social media birthday anxiety, often followed by similar guilt for said anxiety. Many turned off their birthday on social media years ago. Monica, from Maryland, said, “Yes! I absolutely hate it. I hate all and any attention.” It didn’t occur to me until the moment I read that comment, but I think that’s definitely part of my issue. I’ve come a long way from the attention-hungry 20-year-old who threw back a couple of tequila shots and entered a bikini contest during spring break. Please, do me a favor and don’t notice me.

Kristina, from Florida, said all the messages actually made her feel lonely. “It’s a full day of no one actually intimately interacting with you.” This makes so much sense too! When I picture a perfect birthday, I imagine a low-key, chill day spent with the loved ones closest to me, eating good food and too much cake.

Quite a few people expressed distress about thanking everyone for all the wishes. They felt obligated to respond to each and every post, but then also worried they would forget someone and come off looking like a jerk.

This year, in an effort to reduce my weird birthday anxiety, I switched my birthday to private in Facebook. I didn’t do it in previous years because, again, who doesn’t enjoy wishes of happiness? I didn’t want to be a party pooper and I was holding out hope that my anxious ass would chill the hell out over it. Instead, I kept the anxiety and also added guilt and self-loathing for being an ungrateful, panicky turd who apparently can’t handle people trying to be nice to me, and so each consecutive year spiraled into an ever-deepening whirling vortex of panic.

This year, with notifications turned off, was perfect. A few family members and friends with crazy-good memories messaged me privately and posted on my page, which did prompt a few others to respond likewise with happy wishes in the comments, but everything felt much more organic and not overwhelming at all.

I am the first to admit that all of this is sort of a made-up problem. Social media isn’t even real life! Why are we stressing about online birthdays? It’s super weird! And yet, it can’t be that weird because it’s definitely a thing, I’m definitely not the only one, and as much as we’d love to pretend social media is an imaginary place that doesn’t impact our real lives, we all know that’s not the case at all.

I enjoyed my recent quiet birthday with my kids and partner. I was genuinely touched by the people who remembered my birthday even without a Facebook reminder and sent well-wishes my way. It was exactly the right amount of attention for someone with an inflated aversion to attention, so I don’t see myself turning my birthday back on anytime soon.

The post Why I Turned Off My Birthday On My Facebook Profile appeared first on Scary Mommy.

I Can’t Shake The Fear Of Something Awful Happening To My Kids

When I brought my first child home from the hospital, I either held him all day or he slept right next to me. Those first nine months, his crib touched my side of the bed. When he was four days old, a friend of mine wanted to hold him. I was sitting about a yard away from him, but it was too much for me to bear.

I had to reach over and get him back. 

He napped on my lap, or in his baby carrier which I had on me at all times. 

He wasn’t left with a sitter until he was almost one, and that day I had to cut my date with my husband short because I couldn’t enjoy myself.

I was so overcome with fear something would happen to him, it was all I could think about.

I realized my anxiety wasn’t healthy for either of us but tried to keep my mouth shut about it.

Every time I discussed it with another mom, they didn’t do the things I did or worry the way I’d worry. 

It made me feel ashamed and dumb, and it reinforced what I already knew: I needed to try and break away just a little bit and stop thinking the worst.

The thing was, I was so afraid if I relaxed a bit about it, something horrible would happen to him.

He was one when I moved him into his own room.

That first day, when he fell asleep, I went in about ten times to make sure the window was closed and locked. I kept having visions of someone sneaking in his room and doing horrible things to him — things I don’t even want to say because I don’t know how those thoughts crept into my mind.

That was over 17 years ago. I now have three teenagers and I’ve worked through some of this, but man, that fear has never gone away.

My oldest drives now and I can’t relax until he’s texted me telling me he’s gotten to his destination safely.

If they wake up at night to go to the bathroom or get a drink, I still shoot up in my bed and get up to ask them if they are all right.

There have been days when dropping them off for school has been overwhelming and I wait outside the school, or will do a drive by if I’m out running errands to make sure everything looks normal.

When they were in elementary school, there were days I’d call the main office, claiming I had the wrong number, just to make sure the secretary sounded happy like she always did when I picked the kiddos up. That meant there wasn’t anything bad happening like my mind was telling me there was.

I’ve been called irrational. I’ve been told to “cut the cord.” I lost sleep and was asked why I always think of the worst possible scenario. 

Because of this, I usually keep my fears about something happening to my kids to myself.

Before giving birth, I never worried about bad things happening. In fact, I was always pretty calm, happy and never thought about any of the things that creep into my head now.

This behavior drives my kids bonkers. They say I’m too overprotective and I’ve kept them in a bubble. They didn’t go to preschool, take the bus to school, or ever go to a friend’s house without me until they were teenagers. Even then, I needed to speak with a parent and would count down the minutes until I could come get them.

What if the parents are mean to them?

What if they fall and get hurt because no one is paying attention?

What if they feel uncomfortable and miss me?

What if they are in a horrible situation and no one is there to help them?

None of these things have ever happened in the past seventeen years and yet…

Yet I still go to the bad place so easily and make sure my phone is two inches in front of my face when they are with their dad at night or sleeping at a friend’s house.

I try every single day to try and strike a balance so they aren’t too sheltered and I’m not getting splinters in my feet from pacing the floor because I’m physically sick with worry.

And every day it’s hard. 

I don’t do well with the unknown, and I can’t imagine life without my children in it. They are my world and I feel connected to them in ways I’ve never been connected to anyone.

I know there is an element of selfishness in this. I say really mean things to myself about it and don’t love this part of me.

I want my kids to have a great life. But my desire to keep them safe can make me feel out of control and can rule my days and my mind.

I have to constantly remind myself (in between deep breaths) that I only have control over so much, I can not keep them in my four walls for their entire life, and my parents weren’t like this and I turned out just fine.

The post I Can’t Shake The Fear Of Something Awful Happening To My Kids appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Old Habits Die Hard And Make Sh*t Awkward — Especially After Divorce

My ex-husband dropped off the kids a few months ago and we stood in the driveway talking. It’s something we do every month or so to catch up on things, and I’ve always felt it covers more ground than texting or the rushed phone calls we manage to fit into our circus of a life.

After going over the logistics of how we felt the kids were dealing with not seeing their friends as much, not returning to school, and the zillion hours of the day they were on their cell phones, he said he had to go  he was meeting his friends and was running late.

“Don’t drink too much,” I said, half-aware that I sounded like his wife.

“You know I have the two drink rule then I call it a night,” he said as he walked back to his truck.

We both paused a moment and laughed.

It’s been four years since he moved out. He doesn’t need, or want, me to tell him how to spend a night with his dudes. I mean, he didn’t particularly like it when we were married, but it was in the brochure. He knew I did shit like that and married me anyway.

My point is, old habits are hard to break. Especially after you’ve lived with someone for two decades, they’ve watched a human come out of your vagina three times, and you’ve washed their underwear. At least that’s the excuse I make for myself.

There are no secrets and when you are deep in a relationship there are things you start doing automatically without thinking. Like saying, “I love you” before you hang up the phone or one of you leaves the house. 

I still call my ex “honey” sometimes. It was something I did a lot when we first divorced, even if I was angry with him. It was like a reflex that had a mind of its own and I had no say in the matter.

I had to concentrate really hard when to call him by his name and it still feels strange.

For almost twenty years, to me, he was “honey.”

My kids are over this mistake I make. But I tell them it’s kind of like when I call them by the wrong name. I know what their names are, but everyone is allowed to have a mind-queef every once in a while, for fuck’s sake, and that’s all that “honey” talk is.

He’d called me “Babe” for almost twenty years — and even though he’s been calling me Katie for the past four, it still sounds funny coming out of his mouth.

There are nights when I’m setting the table for me and my three kids and I’ll look down at the stack of five plates I’ve grabbed instead of four.

Last year, I made his favorite Christmas cookies (again) and my kids pointed out that no one likes those but Dad. Also, his girlfriend makes those for him now, so I can stop.

Just like many of us need to be on our phones in order to take a crap (hey, I’m not throwing shade, I’m right there with you) our ex-partners have instilled behavior in us that takes a while to go away. It’s like Pavlov’s dog, if you will.

You still fold the towels a certain way because it’s how they liked it done.

You still have pizza on Friday because it was a tradition you started together.

You still pull the sheets back for them even though you haven’t shared a bed for years.

You still get irritated at them when you’re reminded of something they did a decade ago because dammit, there are people who have that effect on us, and it’s usually a spouse.

I mean, I still turn the thermostat down to 62 degrees upstairs in the winter because he used to insist on it, until I catch myself and realize I answer to no one because I pay the freaking heat bill myself.

And if you really need to feel better about yourself, I’ve called my ex-husband my husband a few times … in front of my boyfriend that I’ve been with for over a year. So, there’s that.

We all get set in our ways and set in our routines. We all have something that can trigger an emotion or memory in us that causes us to call our ex-husbands by their pet name, or to give them an unnecessary lecture because it’s what we did for so long. 

It doesn’t mean you still want them to be your “babe” or “hon.” 

It doesn’t mean you have not moved on.

It doesn’t mean there is a hidden message in there somewhere and you need to go to The Googles to figure what the hell is wrong with you (please don’t do this).

It’s a slip up, it happens to a lot of people, and the only thing you can do is laugh it off in between feeling like an idiot and realizing you have a shit ton of stuff floating around in your brain and you are allowed to make mistakes.

It’s awkward, yes. But it’s also pretty damn funny. And if you think about it, having an “I love you” or a “honey” slip out of your mouth is a hell of a lot better than some of the things I know you’d like to say to your ex.

So, bravo to you for keeping those to yourself. If the most you let out is an accidental “honey,” consider that a win.

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