Mommy Monday: Maui Wowie by Liz & Lisa

It's been a crazy year. And we're not gonna lie, we've been feeling a bit burnt out.  So what do we do when we can't type another word?

We head to Maui. Together.

But before you get too jealous, we should probably mention that we were outnumbered by children on this trip.  Because nothing says relaxation like having 4 kids and a baby on a five-hour flight and in close quarters for seven days.

So how did we find a way to get our aloha on?  Read on to find out....

Thank Gawd for iPads

We may have been traveling with five children under the age of seven, but the flight was- dare we say... peaceful?! Thanks to, count 'em four iPads and three iTouches. Thank you, Steve Jobs, and the brilliant people of Apple for this invention. And yes, even the baby played Angry Birds. Lisa officially sold her soul to the devil in exchange for five minutes of uninterrupted time reading about Nick Lachey's wedding.

Pool Seat Wars

There's nothing like going on vacation only to set your alarm to get up at the crack o' freakin' dawn so you can, what else? Get pool chairs! Because as much as we loved our resort, there were only two chairs with umbrellas that overlooked the kids' pool. So each morning, one of us dragged our tired ass body to the pool with all of our crap pool toys (side note: if this whole writing thing doesn't work out, we can become sherpas!) to claim our spot that we wouldn't return to for, um, a while. (Er, sorry to the folks who had to move our stuff. Liz and Lisa+no shade=burnt unhappy campers.)

The love affairs

For Liz it was a middle-aged concierge with a bright smile and a serious gift of gab. For Lisa it was a far too young, boy-toyish paddle surfing instructor who bragged about how much money he made but made up for it by exposing his amazing set of abs. But hey, the pickins were slim at our resort so we were excited to get our flirt on with some decent looking men. Or for one of us, a boy.

Hi, I'm Julie McCoy, and I'll be your cruise director.

We should've given Liz a clipboard, a perm and a really short pair of shorts because the second we landed in Maui, she became our cruise director. Our really anal, really controlling cruise director. The upside? She and her boyfriend, the concierge, set us up with a lot of really great activities like surf lessons and reservations at Maui's finest restaurants. The downside? Let's just say only our time spent in the bathroom wasn't choreographed. Things got a bit tense when Lisa, in a moment of desperation, had to put the kabosh on the Luau. Where was Issac and a round of cocktails when we needed him?

Liz the lobster

Maybe it was the fact that she thought she had to be on her A-game because she was our cruise director, but Liz barely even glanced at a cocktail until the last day. And then, well, let's just say she had a LOT of fun. But she forgot to put on sunscreen. Oops. Liz+vodka pogs+forgetting sunscreen= drunken lobster. But a really, really fun drunken lobster that let us all stay at the beach an hour longer than scheduled!

Liz's hidden talent

Lisa's six-month-old daughter was awesome. She slept poolside, beachside and just about everywhere we needed her to crash out. So we had to deal with poopy diapers in all kinds of places. And Lisa is still somewhat of a rookie when it comes to all of this. So when there was only one wipe left, (in a serious situation that required a lot more than one wipe!) Liz took that wipe smugly and said, you have no idea the things I can accomplish with just one of these. Twenty seconds later, one clean booty and one highly impressed BFF!

The Booze Cruise

Desperate for some alone adult time, a sunset and some "free" drinks, we set sail on a sunset cruise (a.k.a. booze cruise). Things we learned:

1. There's a fun game to be played called "Is she his daughter or his girlfriend?"

2. Even when it's drowning in a sh*t load of pineapple juice, Smirnoff is not and will never be a proper substitute for Grey Goose.

3. We're the only selfish parents who didn't bring our kids!?

4. After a few really bad well drinks, everyone on the cruise seemed to morph into a character from an 80's sitcom. (We thought we rubbed elbows with Eric Estrada "The Ponch" and Michael Keaton- not that Michael Keaton. We're talking that dude from Family Ties!)

Nanny 911

Of course we love our kids. And, yes, we know we already went on a booze cruise without them. But let's just say after six days and the reality hitting that we were about to go home, one of the adults-who shall remain nameless- begged for another nanny service our last night in Maui. And we have to say it was worth every penny of the million dollar price tag (um, why didn't we become nannies in Maui again?) to be able to sit at a restaurant table for longer than two minutes without someone asking for a freakin' SMOOTHIE!

Tell us about your summer vacays and be entered to win a copy of one of our favorite beach reads of the summer, The First Husband by Laura Dave. We'll randomly select the winner after 6pm PST on Sunday, August 14th!

Aloha!  xoxo, L&L



Mommy Monday! Battle of the Sexes-Parent Edition

Welcome to CLIND's first ever MOMMY MONDAY! And to celebrate, we're giving away three copies of Kristin Hannah's latest release, WINTER GARDEN, a story about mothers and daughters.  Just leave a comment to enter! Today, I'm going to be bitching discussing how gender roles come into play when parenting.  Or in simpler terms, Why Daddy always gets to be the good guy.

I've always known that my husband was higher up on the fun-o-meter than me.  His willingness to act as a human submarine in the pool and ability to hold the children on his shoulders for hours were constant reminders.  And for the most part, I've always kind of accepted the fact that, well, the kids seem to like him better than me.

I've learned the hard way that cooking their food, purchasing their clothes and, oh, what was the other thing?  Oh yeah, GIVING BIRTH TO THEM just didn't hold the same weight as playing Chutes and Ladders twenty times in a row. Or that I didn't go on the pool slide as much as Daddy while vacationing in Maui.  Hmm, is this where I bring up that we WOULDN'T be on vacation if it weren't for Mommy?  Should I mention the hours Mommy spent scouring the internet for those legendary yet impossible to find internet travel bargains? (Well, I *might*  have squeezed in a little Facebook time too. But you see my point.)

Not that I don't spend quality time with the kids-I do.  In fact, nothing makes me happier than taking them to the Farmers market or reading their favorite books at bedtime.  But I'm never going to build structurally sound tent cities or Lincoln log houses the way my hubby does.  Just in the same way that he can barely operate the microwave and starts sweating the minute he's tasked to purchase items unsupervised at the store. (He learned the hard way why you don't purchase the fruit with the "manager's special" sticker on them!)

Don't get me wrong -I'm incredibly thankful that my husband is a wonderful father. I just wish we could share the glory from all of our hard work. Now I know how the Vice President must feel. Or that guy that only got to host American Idol the first year. Or the people who actually sang those Milli Vanilli songs.

So the next time my daughter tells me that I'm not fun like Daddy because I won't play Memory a third time, (Which, btw, is more due to an actual lack of memory than playfulness...) I'll show her this.  I like to call it my Mommies needs love too list.

  • I'm so happy that you and Daddy had fun playing superheroes all morning. It's too bad that Mommy's the one that needs to be burning  calories.  But the only running Mommy seems to do these days is into Starbucks when she's late for work.
  • I understand that you love playing  tee ball with Daddy in the backyard, but does he let you stir the cupcake batter or let you roll the homemade pizza dough like Mommy?  On second thought, Does Daddy even know how to turn on the oven?
  • Yes, it's so fun to play with Daddy in the pool for hours. But isn't it nice to have a Mommy doesn't look like a HOT MESS with her air-dried hair? And on that note, Did you see Mommy's belly button last time she wore a bikini? Not. Right. At. All. Mommy loves you so much that she was willing to give up ever feeling comfortable in a bathing suit ever again.
  • Thank you so much for reminding me that Daddy is PERFECT when I put you to bed last night. I'll try to keep that in mind the next time we receive a "special gift" for being such loyal customers to

xoxo, Liz

Flying The (Un) Friendly Skies By Lisa

hi-00204-chula-dancer-hawaii-posters There are certain things that baffle me.

Decaf coffee drinkers.


And those who lack the travel etiquette gene.

You’d think that most people on their way to Maui would be happy (give or take a crying baby or a cranky flight attendant that you make the unfortunate mistake of calling stewardess); perma-grins plastered across their faces; visions of Mai Tais dancing in their heads; their biggest anxiety over how early to wake up to claim the much coveted umbrella-covered pool chairs or figuring out which drink would cause less bloating– a beer or a Bloody Mary.

Or maybe that’s just me?

On the morning of our flight to Maui, I had a pep in my step even as I bounded *gag* barefoot through security and then spent the next five minutes frantically searching for my ID that I thought I’d lost for the SEVENTEENTH time that morning!  Sorry, Matt! (See anal traveler disclaimer, below.)

As I maneuvered my way through LAX, I looked around through my Maui colored glasses and all of the usual airport drama was lost on me.

So what if it took the cashier at Hudson News six and a half minutes to ring me up for TIC TACS!

Oh well if the Starbucks line was wrapped around the corner, they were out of sugar free vanilla AND they forgot to give me my apple bran muffin!

Too bad that a whitehead somehow popped up on my face between the walk from the airport shuttle to the gate!

Because in five and a half short hours, I’d be belly up at the Hula Grill bar inhaling coconut calamari. I was going to Maui, baby! And nothing, I repeat, nothing, was going to get me down!

Well, until I boarded the plane.

Those aforementioned glasses started to fog up just a wee bit as I was bombarded with airplane colleagues who seemed quite a bit less happy to be on team “bound for Maui.”


Exit Row Nazi  a.k.a. The Angry Guy OMG- Last time I checked, you didn’t own the bulk head/exit row, dude. And maybe it wasn’t your problem that I read the airplane map wrong and poor 6’2” Matt and I ended up crammed in the row directly behind the exit row instead of in it.  But when, by the grace of the travel gods, the seat next to you remained empty after we were told to turn off “anything with an on/off switch”, I took it as a sign. Matt could sit there! And I didn’t have to spend the next five hours obsessing about my mistake and instead could focus on far more important matters like immersing myself in my Bride Wars iTunes rental.

Not if the Exit Row Nazi had anything to say about it.

I kindly asked you if Matt could move into the empty seat next to you (more as a formality, than as an actual request-BTW) and you snidely replied that you “liked your space” and your answer was “no!”  WTH crawled up your ass? You were already in the Holy Grail of economy class seating. You already had four freakin’ feet in front of you–more leg room than someone in first class.  You really wanted more?

Ever the negotiator, I didn’t give up. I decided to appeal to your height. Surely you’d feel bad that another tall guy had his knees shoved up under his chin?  Not. The tall plea was absolutely lost on you. You were just bound and determined to be angry guy.

Well angry guy, you f***ed with the wrong girl.

Because somehow you managed to IRRITATE me while I was trying so hard to bask in my Hawaiian, euphoric glow. And nobody f***ks with my glow!

And I was more than done with you because saying NO to giving us that seat was not the first time your angriness had reared its ugly head.

Remember when you crammed your tattered, brown leather bag into the overhead bin and shoved my new, sassy Tory Burch beach bag to the back– annoyed because somehow I didn’t get the memo that the space was reserved for you? And need I remind you of when I tapped your shoulder and said, “sir, sir, excuse me sir” simply to let you know that your pillow was jammed in my tray table–and you acted as if I was asking you to hold my tampon box?

So, when you told me that my man could not move into a seat that–incidentally–you did not own, that was it. I decided to go over your head and I told on you! I asked the flight attendant if Matt could take that seat and she said, “yes!”

So, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!!

The Barefoot Guy

The fact that you could walk into that airplane bathroom without even so much as socks on your feet, made me want to pull out my barf bag and puke my six dollar, pre-packaged turkey and pesto sandwich into it. For the love of God, my friend, couldn’t you have at least put on a freakin’ flip flop, if not for your own sake, then for mine?! No one should have to even THINK ABOUT what you were stepping on in there. No one. I wish I had your address because I’d send you a vat of antibacterial gel. Although I’m not even sure a case of Purell would help anyone after that.  I feel like I need to be hosed down like a prison inmate after just walking in there.

The Chatty Cathy

Remember when I mentioned my Hawaiian euphoric glow? Well, that didn’t mean I was so happy that I was going to be your in-flight entertainment. Watch a movie. Play Solitaire. Count Sheep. Anything. Because there was no way, especially after angry guy, that I could even fake interest in the story of how you were supposed to go to Mexico and stay in a five star resort, but changed your trip because you were petrified of contracting the swine flu. You made me want to put on surgical mask and start coughing just to get you off my jock.  Didn't you understand that Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson were waiting?

The Frustrated Flight Attendant

Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed the envelope and asked you for a pen to fill out my agricultural clearance form after I’d already  asked you to take sides in my battle with angry guy. (Although, for the record, you chose very, very wisely!) I kind of get why you’d have a short fuse because you probably have to deal with so much shit on every flight that this blog post represents every day fodder for you. I can’t imagine how, flight after flight,  you put up with the call button whores; the “I’m going to get drunk on little bottles of booze” boozers; the people who put TWO bags in the overhead bin; the people who refer to you as stewardess.

Or maybe those things just bother me?

But I mostly can’t understand how you can physically deal with that much air travel because (TMI alert) just ONE flight can completely jack me up–for days. So, I wouldn’t want to share my pen either… if I had to use that bathroom and then couldn’t use that bathroom, if you know what I’m sayin’…

ANAL TRAVELER DISCLAIMER: Because I got up on my 30,000 foot high soap box, it’s time for full-disclosure.  I have a major case of traveler’s OCD. I definitely bring new meaning to the word anal when I travel.

Imagine a Type A, overly caffeinated, Aries on crack.

I have many "day of" travel rules. I must print my boarding pass at home. On the way to the airport, I can’t have a conversation about anything un-airport related because I have “I must make my flight” tunnel vision until I get to the gate. Until I’m on the plane (and sometimes, even after), I check, re-check and check again that my ID is in my wallet. (Again, Matt, sorry about when I almost turned the car around because I thought I’d left it in my wallet–on top of my car!) I must stop at Starbucks on the way to the airport AND after I go through security because I love my coffee and I read somewhere that you should never order it on an airplane. (Although I’m not sure if that’s even true & if it is, I can’t remember why you shouldn’t.) I have to be at the gate one hour before departure. (I have access to the Admiral’s Club, but can’t really relax when I’m in there because I’m worried about losing track of time!) And those are just the MAIN rules.

But at the end of the day, if something isn’t going right on the morning of my flight,  I’m not going to make you pay if I’m cranky.

That’s what my travel partner is there for! ;)

Just kidding! (Sort of!)


I'm a (book) swinger By Lisa

stack_of_books2 My name is Lisa Steinke and I'm a swinger. A "book" swinger, that is...

I'm ready to face the cold, hard reality that I no longer believe in book monogamy.

I just can't seem to commit to just one novel anymore. I can no longer live in denial as the Jenga-like stack of reads on my nightstand stares me down each night...Each book calling out to me that it should be the one I choose.

I've got saucy books-- Lisa, pick me I have really.. big... WORDS.

Needy books--Lisaaaaa, you haven't held me since last Tuesday....!!!

Arrogant books--Lisa, I'm on the New York Times Best Seller List-- as if this is really a hard decision for you.

But the book I'm going to crawl into bed with is completely dependent upon what kind of mood I'm in. I might need a little romance one night. But the next, I might need a hardback...if you know what I'm sayin' *wink* *wink*

So, that's why I'm currently reading several, er, ten different books.

Yup, I'm seeing ten books at the same time.

But it wasn't always this bad...Really, it wasn't.

In the beginning, it was two, maybe three tops. But before I knew it, I was in double digits...

And now I'm a full-blown book whore.

I read around. I do. I can't help it. I want to be with them all... I'll be in bed with one but I'll be distracted, thinking about the other. It's not that I don't LOVE book "X", it's just that book "Y" is new, exciting, different...

And my whoreyness has never been more evident than while I've been trying to pack for my trip to Maui this week. I haven't been facing the usual packing dilemmas like how many pairs of espadrilles to bring, how many sundresses are absolutely critical or if I really do need aviators and Jacki O's. My true struggle has been deciding which lucky books get to travel with me to a romantic and relaxing vacation in Aloha land.

My instinct is to grab four or five so I can have options, but realistically, I'll probably only read two or three because I plan to be doing *cough* other things with my very human lover.

And although this space issue is a problem a Kindle could easily solve, I just don't think I could whore out with Kindle the way I do with my books. Call me old school, but I'm a gal who needs a little foreplay...who loves to hold and caress her book, to bury her nose deep within its pages and inhale that glorious new book smell. I just don't think I could go all gadgety even if it came down to not having the room for another pair of wedges or needing to forgo that lime green Banana Republic sun hat, even if it was an impulse buy...

So you'd think that knowing I have this problem... Knowing that I'm already juggling ten different stories from ten different books (just keeping all the names straight is a full-time job), that I'd stop adding to my fictional and nonfictional harem. If only it were that simple. If only I had the will power to avoid that place called Barnes & Noble.

I imagine asking a book whore to stay away from Barnes & Noble is like trying to convince an alcoholic to stay away from the bar. Aint .gonna. happen.

So, I pull into the parking lot and tell myself that I am allowed to go inside but I'm not allowed to buy anything. Not even a bookmark. I'll just see what new books are out. No harm in that, right? Just because I'm on a diet doesn't mean I can't look at the menu...

But once I'm inside and all the books are surrounding me-- New fiction, Best Sellers, Recommended Reading, Bargain Bin (actually, I never stop there--even I have limits...)-- I can't help myself.

And before I know it, I'm picking up a book and reading the back cover. Then, the first page.

That's not cheating, right? Books A, B, C, D and E will never have to know. But then...

I. want. it.

I. must. have. it.

I. am. going. to. buy. it.

And as I walk out of the store with my green, plastic bag (I know, I know... I need to go canvas) I vow that I will NOT read the new guy. I'll take him home, put him on my shelf and only after I finish the other books will I even dare crack him open.

But that's never what happens.

I get home and somehow he ends up on my nightstand, staring at me. Begging me to open him. Taunting me with his promises of new and different protagonists and exciting plot twists.

Until finally, I cave.

And that's exactly what happened after my most recent "browsing" excursion to B&N. Even though I obviously had plenty of books to take with me to Kaanapali, I couldn't resist the urge to see what else was out there.

And as I exited with Laura Dave’s, London is the Best City in America (hey, I didn’t have it in paperback & after devouring The Divorce Party, I decided I have a total writer crush on her!), Cathy Yardley’s, Turning Japanese (it sounds so fun!), Alison Pace’s, City Dog (one of the narrators of the book is the dog-- how clever is that?!) and *throat clear* Candy Spelling's, Candyland (c'mon, who isn’t curious about that mansion?), I tried not to feel guilty for being unfaithful to the books faithfully waiting for me at home.

So which books made it into my brand spankin' new Tory Burch beach bag?

A true book whore never reads and tells...

Although please let me know if you come across any books that could help with my disorder. Anything along the lines of…

Book Whores Are People Too!

Don’t Turn That Page! An Addicts Guide To Faithfully Reading


Confessions of a Book Swinger: How One Just Wasn’t Enough...

xoxo, Lisa