death, divorce, comic books and oxygen

Getting a divorce can feel like the grief after someone dies

Recently I wrote a post comparing marriage to marathons.

After further analysis (which typically happens mere moments after a I click “publish” on a post) of that analogy, I realized that it wasn’t a very accurate comparison, mainly because in a marathon, there is one runner following one specific goal, yet in a marriage, there are two people whose pace, stride, and end goals can and, more often than not, do change through time.

Back in January, my husband told me that he “wanted to see what life was like not together.” In June, we were separated.

I was blindsided by his claim and not remotely ready for it, though I’m not sure anyone is ever ready for such news. The marathon I thought we were running together became something else entirely. Yes, we had hit that 23rd mile bonk, but it was also a fork in the road where the path we had been traveling on together for sixteen years was suddenly split into two.

The shock I felt upon learning that my marriage was at risk was reminiscent of how I felt thirteen years ago when an oncologist told me that my dad had a grapefruit sized tumor in his stomach and that he only had a few months to live.

Life as I knew it, in both situations, took on an almost comic book quality–surreal, strange, sardonic. Words like cancer, separation, death and divorce–how did they, in a split second, become a part of my lexicon? I fought them off like crazy, those ugly, malignant words. I refused to let them into my space, so instead, they hung above my head like a comic bubble, next to words like, Pow and Blam–like sucker punches to my gut.

The similarities between watching my dad die and watching my marriage fail are many:

The roller coaster of emotions.

Sadness, helplessness, loneliness, anger, fear, regret, doubt, devastation.

The wonder.

Will I have a dad tomorrow? In a week, a month, a year?

Will I have a husband tomorrow? In a week, a month, a year?

If not, how will I survive? 

The dealing with friends and relatives not knowing what to do or say.

The choosing of chardonnay over clarity.

The random break-out-into-tears sessions that come out of nowhere. 

The sudden emersion into a club I never signed up for and never imagined I’d ever join.

Many couples who battle marital issues survive the rough patches and many people who are diagnosed with cancer survive.

But, in both situations,

how to clean your retainers with fresh guard

New way to clean retainers with fresh guard by efferdent

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Fresh Guard™. All opinions are my own, especially since I use this product every day of my life.

I share a lot of personal things on this blog, like:

One thing I have never admitted to, until now, is that I wear a retainer.

Say what?

Yes, a retainer. It’s a sexy retainer, I swear, but nevertheless, a retainer.

I only wear it a few nights a week to keep the awesome alignment of my teeth granted to me by Invisalign about 10 years ago (I had quite a prominent snaggle tooth for many years of my life that made me cringe every time I smiled), and so, getting Invisalign was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. However no one warned me that after the straightening process was all done, I would need to wear a retainer FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Once I got over the shock of having to wear a retainer, I decided to embrace the retainer. I mean, what else was there to do? So, I learned to love my sexy retainer, but what I didn’t learn was how to

how to talk to your tweens about puberty

Last week my almost 8 year old daughter and her BFF had a debate over the words puberty and period. My daughter Lily had heard me talk about periods (as in, “sorry mommy’s grouchy, it’s my period week) and her friend had heard the word puberty on one of those darned Disney “people” shows. To set the record straight, they decided to ask her friend’s dad to explain “puberty and periods” which led to an awkward pause and then a pretty common reply of, “go ask your mother.”

Upon hearing this story, it occurred to me that, ding, ding, ding, it’s time to have the puberty talk with Lily.


I asked on my Facebook page how and when other moms broached this subject and came up with some great replies including using the American Girl Doll book called, The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition and also in-home seminars called, Healthy Chats, which sound more like a Saturday Night Live sketch than someplace I’d want to be with my daughter, but I’ve heard awesome things about them so I will most likely be trying them out.

Coincidentally, our Fox 5 Ask the Moms panel received a video question regarding talking to kids about (more…)

help cure hot flashes with the hot flash helper (aka kool tool)

This post is part of my ongoing paid campaign with Kool Tool, one of the most ingenious items ever created. All opinions are mine. 

A lovely bloggy friend of mine, Tracy Morrison, just published a hilarious post on HuffPo entitled, 12 Sure Signs of Menopause. Though there is nothing funny about Menopause, just as with everything in life, we women need to find ways of laughing at ourselves and the crazy-ass stuff that happens to our bodies.

I think I have a few years yet before I can relate completely to Tracy’s post, she described a few scenarios to which I can definitely relate.

The first two I have for sure (but not sure I can blame on menopause):

#1) The bitchy syndrome—I’ve been bitchy and cranky my whole life so this one ain’t new in my life.

 #2) The weight gain—I’ve gained a ton of weight lately but I’m gonna go ahead and blame that on my stress eating and drinking.

But the #3rd situation that she described in her post that I am definitely experiencing and is DEFINITELY a sign of perimenopause is . . .


Holy lawd, “my own personal summers” are happening nearly every damn day, and it’s not pretty. Honestly, I get so hot that I make my kids wear their winter gear so I can have the A/C at a ridiculously cold temp.

use Kool Tool aka Hot Flash Helper to help ease hot flashes

One of the things that has saved me from these annoying flashes-of-heat is the most ingenious invention ever created – the Kool Tool aka the “Hot Flash Helper” that I blogged about last month.

The Hot Flash Helper is a special cloth that retains moisture and stays cool for HOURS but DOES NOT drip or leave watermarks. It’s soft and can be kinda fashionable if you wear it like a scarf.

All you have to do is:

  • Wet it
  • Wring it
  • Snap it
  • Wear it

And you’ll be relieved instantaneously!

use the kool tool or hot flash helper to keep cool during a hot flashLadies, if you are experiencing this fun time of life, go straight to the check out line located HERE and buy one or ten of these life-savers. And be sure to use the code MamaMaryShow at check out for 25% off your order.

You can find them on Facebook and Twitter too!

9 tips for giving a wedding toast

One of my nieces has just entered the phase where some of her friends are getting married, one of those being her best friend. Guess what that means . . . She gets to give a wedding toast! The thought of wedding toasts can be daunting and diarrhea-inducing, even for people like me who love being on a microphone, so it’s important to prepare in advance.

Back in the last 90′s I gave three different wedding toasts at my college besties’ weddings so I’ve decided to impart some of the knowledge I learned back then (mostly the hard way) to anyone facing the task of giving a toast. 


How to Give a Good Toast at a Wedding

1) Don’t be sloshed OR sober, be some where in the middle–Slurring like The Hoff does not go over well in a crowd, but a slight buzz will help settle the butterflies.

2) Don’t Drink Red Wine–At least prior to the toast so you don’t risk purple lips or a dark red stain on your dress.

3) Rehearse it, out loud–Even if you’re an “off the cuff” type of person, plan out what you’re going to say, and practice it at least once.

4) Do not mention exes (or anything that happened at the bachelor/bachelorette party)–Granny does not need to hear stories of theblushing bride’s debaucherous past.

5) Think of it like a term paper–Come up with one message you’d like to get across about the bride, groom or bride & groom. In your toast, start with an intro, stating your main message, then give 3 brief examples, and then tie all it with a succinct conclusion.

6) K.I.S.S. or Keep it SHORT, Sucker–There is drinking and dancing to be done so keep it

the surf meets the turf and so much more at the del mar race track

Where the surf meets the turf at Del Mar Race Track
The Del Mar Races are a highlight of the year for San Diegans and every year they seem to keep upping the ante with more and more fun activities and events. The 77th season kicks off tomorrow, Thursday, July 17th, with a Hat Contest and big opening day party with beer gardens, food trucks, DJs and probably some of the best people watching all summer. Gates open at noon and the first post is at 2:00pm.

Sidenote: I’ve never attended opening day but it’s definitely on my bucket list!

We’re headed to the track this coming Sunday (thanks to complimentary tickets from their PR peeps) for Family Fun Day. Here are the deets on Family Fun Day:

Kids 12 and under will receive a free Webkinz Plush Horse (while supplies last). Families can also:

  • Decorate their own hats with the Rad Hatter
  • Meet the Del Mar Mascot, Pony Boy
  • Enjoy: rock climbing walls, bungee trampolines, inflatable rides, face paining, pony rides, magic shows, baseball and golf activities and more.
Family Fundays at the Del Mar Race Track every Saturday and Sunday

Pony rides are on my kids' summer bucket list so looks like we'll get to check that one off!

These kid-friendly activities in the Infield continue every Saturday and Sunday throughout the meet.

Important dates during the season to note:

  • Opening Day & Hat Contest Day (7/17)
  • Donuts Day (7/19 & 8/23)
  • Free Plush Horse Giveaway Day (7/20)
  • Jockey Photo Day (7/20)
  • Beer Fest (7/26)
  • Pacific Classic (8/24)
  • Weiner Dog Nationals (8/30)

 And check out the awesome Summer Concert Series line-up: