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Archive for August, 2013

Flashback Friday! (Reverse Intuition)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:30 AM
Friday, August 30, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

Ok, so… writing yesterday about Reverse Intuition’s role in hypochondria (ie – as an occasional hypochondriac, deep down in my subconscious, I believe that by “feeling I may have a tumor” I will, in the end, actually NOT have a tumor), I decided I may as well go ahead & ‘splain to all you regular folk just what the heck in tarnation “Reverse Intuition” means.

You know how some people are just, like, intuitive? These are the people who are like, “I have a feeling I’m going to get this job” and then they get the job, or, as more often happens, they get the job and THEN they reveal, “I had a FEELING that would happen!!” etc., etc. Or, if you are my husband, and lost in the labyrinth of the downtown Los Angeles freeways, your intuition guides you safely away from Compton and the City of industry, homeward bound.

Not so much me.

I’m that lady you may have seen on those self-same freeways (or in the Hollywood Hills, or over by National and Overland, I mean, come on that area is like the Bermuda Triangle!) – alone, in her car, panic (mixed with tears) in her eyes, screaming curse words to herself and pounding the steering wheel – a lady who is obviously lost and just getting lost-er by the minute.

The problem is my reverse intuition. Since I was old enough to walk, I would walk out of a store and immediately walk the WRONG DIRECTION back to the car (you know, the car that belonged to a stranger, since ours was parked the opposite direction). At least now, when friends ask for my opinion about directions if we are lost (my husband already knows better), I am wise and experienced enough to answer, “Well, my intuition tells me to stay on the 405. So we’d better get over to the 5 immediately.”

My dreams have worked in similar fashion – I dreamed of being a millionaire by age 25, was sure that it would happen. Yeah. Right.

My sleep dreams too: Years ago, the night before my boyfriend’s all-important interview with Yale to see if he would get into Yale Drama school, I had a VIVID dream that he did NOT get into Yale, and I was sobbing because of it. When I awoke, I was rattled… and cautiously optimistic…

… and sure enough, he got in! I was right! I mean – uh – well, I was “wrong” but my Reverse Intuition was right!

You know what I mean. Don’t you?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

You sure you want to ask me? Did you READ my post??

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It’s Okay. You can Laugh.

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 1:09 PM
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So I broke my tailbone the other day.

Yep. The bone in my butt.

Okay, technically, no doctor has actually x-rayed my tailbone and probably I am exaggerating the injury.

But still – it is most definitely badly badly bruised.

How did I do it, you ask?

Well, turns out, this is not the 1st time it’s happened! Lucky me.

The last time, it was about 2 years ago, and I was learning to surf. Remember that? (No? Okay, stop for a minute and check this out.)

Anyway, after my amazing feat of getting up on the surf board (with help from a trained teacher, I’m such a faker), I did try several times to get up again without professional help… only to NEVER BE ABLE TO DO IT AGAIN. Not once. But I did manage to slip off the board in the shallow part of the beach and come down so hard on my ass that my tailbone cracked!

Don’t be jealous now.

It only took like, a year, to heal. I’m not kidding. I even went to a few chiropractors/Chinese Doctors for help, & one of them warned me if it didn’t heal on its own, I would possibly have to find SOMEONE to stick their finger in – well, duh – yeah, you can guess which hole is closest to the tailbone – and pull the tip of the bone back so I wouldn’t keep re-injuring it every time I sat down for too long. Which, by the way, is how I injured my tail bone a second time – sitting in one chair for 8 hours straight doing my husband’s company’s books.

Now you really want to be me, right?

Anyway, that chiropractor told me HE couldn’t do it – I’d need to get someone ELSE – the idea grossed him out too much. I was like, (in my head), Dude, YOU are the doctor. If I can handle you sticking your finger in my butt and pulling my bone back into place, YOU CANNOT? Go home, asshole, and get another profession.

And then, not in my head, I was like, “Okay, sure, sounds reasonable.”

I can be a real wimp.

I can also be very lucky, which I was, when – after yes, a YEAR – the thing finally healed on its own and I forgot I ever had the problem.

Until the other night.

When I was bouncing the baby to sleep by bouncing up & down on our large exercise ball, and I leaned forward to clean some spitty off the floor, then went to bounce back on the ball, only…

…the ball had – unbeknownst to me – rolled backwards.

So what I actually did was throw myself, butt first, onto the hardwood floor.

Yes. It killed.

And yes. It’s okay. You can laugh.

You know those videos of a person slamming into a glass door or slipping on a banana peel?

I’m just thankful no one caught me on video.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I think it was a mistake to draw an 'outline' version of myself on the ball as a way to show you where I was balanced before I bounced up & then fell flat on my ass. It sort of looks like a ghostly Madonna and child mermaid pushed me, doesn't it? Wait, maybe THAT'S what actually happened!?! (Yes, I really need more sleep.)




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Hate Her

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:45 AM
Monday, August 26, 2013

Danielle Steel you are such a bitch.

Just kidding I love you.

Just kidding I hate you.

Just kidding I don’t even KNOW you!

Nya nya nya nya nya!

I do hate you!

Just kidding. I really do love you.

Let me back up a bit.

This all started when I heard recently that Danielle Steel, authoress (you know, like, ‘actress’) of about 10 thousand best selling novels, billionaire, and ‘lady of a certain age’ who still looks hot…

…Also has like 20 kids.

Okay, I think it’s only like 7 or 8. But I mean, HELLO?!? SEVEN KIDS? AND YOU ARE HOT? AND A FAMOUS NOVELIST? AND A BILLIONAIRE?


I dream sometimes of getting published, or self-publishing a book.

And then I remember I have 4 kids, one infant, a husband who I work with, a house to run, blogs to write, and I barely have time to brush my teeth, let alone go publish something myself or submit something to agents.

And then I remember Danielle Steel.




Disclaimer: Danielle Steele is obviously not a bitch, nor do I actually “hate” her. I’m sure she is, in fact, very close to The Perfect Woman (I imagine – it’s not like I know her). And I am not a ‘hater’ so much as I am really, really envious that she can accomplish so much all in one lifetime, stuff that I too would like to accomplish but can’t seem to. So please – before I get the “tsk tsk” comments & emails, this blog is meant to be FUNNY. If you didn’t laugh, go surf your Facebook wall, don’t waste your time complaining to me. I barely had time to write this blog, who do you think I am, anyway, Danielle Steel?

Book-turned-to-movie! Starring Chris Sarandon, ex-husband to yet another woman whose body of work, personal & professional puts me deeply to shame. Sigh....

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Flashback Friday! (Is it a TUMOR???)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:01 AM
Friday, August 23, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

Okay, maybe it was just a pimple. This time. But still, for a second there… I wasn’t sure.

It doesn’t make sense. I’m (somewhat) enlightened. I study Kabbalah. I believe in mind over matter. (Haven’t quite gotten the hang of practicing it, but that’s a different story.) I go to my homeopathic doctor for treatment of 99% of my issues or my kids’ sicknesses… and it works. I’m young (at least in my head), I’m fit, I am smart…

So why, after two hours of experiencing an ache in my ear (not inside the canal, in the ear itself), an ache that I couldn’t properly look at because of the difficulty looking inside one’s own ear, did I allow the thought to float into my head that maybe I have a tumor?

Chas V’Shalom! (shout out to all my Israeli & Kabbalah friends)

Forget the fact that I know that tumors generally don’t pop up overnight and create a soreness all around the surface area of the skin. Not to mention, once the nanny arrived and I had her inspect the ear closely under the light, even my poor Spanish was enough to help me understand that what she described seeing was less “tumor-esque” and more “pimple-esque”.

That was my original thought – it must be a pimple. (Sorry to keep grossing you all out with that word & image, but it’s central to my storyline here.) But a few hours alone, (pre-nanny inspection), without an adult to confirm visually what I suspected, left an opening in my mind to let in the monster that is… HYPOCHONDRIA.

I used to be worse. As a child, I suffered from various illnesses, including migraines, IBS, TMJ, and yes, even fake headaches and braces.  And each time, I imagined something much, much worse was going on. Which was never the case.

Which makes me wonder…

Do we hypochondriacs think ourselves into a panic because, somewhere deep down, we believe in Reverse Intuition, which says, “That which we predict will therefore not occur”?

This type of thinking is does not exactly hold true for a deeply spiritual person, who believes our thoughts dictate the physical. And I do believe this… in theory. But… in practice…

I mean, look at Woody Allen. Typical hypochondriac – healthy as can be! And, obviously, worrying about the Worst Case Scenario has kept Woody in tip-top shape, so why should he change?

I certainly don’t want to “bring that type of energy into my life” (AKA the energy of a tumor – CHAS V’SHALOM!). But I also can’t seem to stop those sneaky little thoughts from popping into my head.

Plus I’ve always loved Woody Allen. I mean, did you see Midnight in Paris?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Looks healthy to me!

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Mommy Jeopardy!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 2:52 PM
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Answer: She smells awful, her hair looks like three squirrels have nested in it, she writhes with chills while out of bed & is wracked with muscle aches and pains while in bed.

Question: Who is – a woman with the flu!?!

Ding ding ding ding!

Remember back when I was pregnant and stopped writing blogs? Come on, you remember – back when you cried every day for the lack of humor in your life? No?


It turns out some of that lack of blog-writing was due to a massive 5 day long mega-flu that I caught when I was in my 3rd trimester.

Good times!

I know this does not excuse my lack of a single blog over the course of that 4+ month hiatus. But it turns out I did actually write this blog (sort of) in a semi-aware flu-induced delusional haze.

And as much as the flu completely sucks no matter who has it, I have to add that being 32 weeks pregnant made is ohhhhh so that much more special.

Cause, like…

Answer: It makes your muscle aches 10x worse than a regular flu, makes the need to pee and therefore exit the warm bed 10x more urgent than a normal illness, and exacerbates the overall misery by about 100- fold.

Question: What is… Being PREGNANT & having the flu!!??

Ding ding ding ding! Correct again!

Not to mention my sweet husband had to be completely in charge of all 3 little ones while I was down for the count.

How did that go, you ask? They survived with all their teeth intact.

I’ll leave it at that.

And so, gentle readers, if you do little else, take my advice: Do NOT get the flu if you are pregnant.

You are welcome.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Me - rocking the Flu Dreadlocks. And by "rocking" I mean, of course, 'letting a few squirrels nest there.'

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The Beastie Boyyyyy!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 2:27 PM
Monday, August 19, 2013

My theme song from last week?

No! Sleep! Till Brooklyn Maryland!

My little cutie David. So small, so sweet, so gas bubbly, so…


Not always, mind you! He takes nice long stretches of sleep – many naps are two hours long and at night they usually stretch between 3 & 4 hours long.

But traveling to visit my mother & family last week in Maryland? A bit of a different story.

Once we were there, mind you, he was fine. Sleep, wake, nurse, diaper change, “play” (10 minutes of smiling and spurts of a giggle while his grandmother cooed at him), diaper change again, rock & cuddle, sleep again.

The life of a baby.

Yes, the visit part of the trip was great.

It was the transportation part of the trip that was – how shall I put this delicately? -

A nightmare.

My friend, mother of a one year old, reassured me before I left Los Angeles – “Oh you are so smart to take him now! He’ll sleep the whole way on the plane!! How old is he – 3 months? PERFECT!

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Well, the joke is on you, my friend!

Just kidding.

The joke is definitely only on me.

Me – mother of the 3 month-old who didn’t sleep more than ten minutes of the 5 hour flight.

Excuse me. RED EYE flight.

Yes. I am still slightly traumatized.

I carried him around in my bionic arms the whole flight – excuse me, I meant my Baby Bjorn, same difference – bouncing and swaying and rocking and walking, and all I can say is thank G-d for kind stewardesses (GO VIRGIN AMERICA, GO!!) and also for my husband who was great with our other 3 kids and also for those other 3 kids who miraculously behaved wonderfully the whole time.

People kept walking by me and David on the flight and saying things like, “Oh you poor thing. I feel so sorry for you.”

They were talking to me, by the way. Not David. He was fine. I… was also fine. Just a little – not getting any sleep.

At least he didn’t scream or cry THAT much – mostly, it was just that he didn’t sleep. At all.

On the 2 hour ride to my mother’s house from the airport, he did sleep quite a bit and was generally in good spirits… And as I said, the trip itself was swell.

Not so much, however, on our ride in the taxi back to the airport, when the 2 hour ride turned into a 3 hour ride (in traffic) and David LITERALLY SCREAMED THE ENTIRE WAY.

Hey, readers with no kids – wanna try a really fun game!? Record the sound of a baby screaming at the top of his lungs for a few minutes, and then play it on repeat for THREE HOURS! It’s a blast!!

My bigger kids didn’t behave much either in the taxi, fighting and generally behaving as most cranky kids in a 3 hour ride with traffic are wont to do.

Talk about traumatized. Poor cab driver.

At least our flight back to Los Angeles (again, GO VIRGIN, GO!) had a spare seat for David where I could plop his car seat and – oh, Joy! – leave him blissfully asleep for the majority of the uneventful flight home.

Until he screamed the half hour in the cab ride home.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Yes, Boys ARE Awesome! And... loud. And... awake. And... Zzzzzzzzz....

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Flashback Friday! (Perfectly Flipped Hair)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 1:34 PM
Friday, August 16, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

Everything about the early eighties conspired to make me look super fugly – the headgear, the bright makeup colors (SO clashed with my olive-y-ish skin), the white lipstick (see afore-mentioned olive skin note), the shoulder pads (admittedly, those made everyone look terrible), the flipped hair…

Ah, the flipped hair.

I used to spend up to 30 minutes in the bathroom with a comb, carefully combing forward my grown-out bangs until the comb ALMOST reached the tips of my hair, and then – FLIP! – flipped the whole flap of hair expertly back so that it created a wall of feathers.

At least, that was my fantasy. The reality was much grimmer, as I’ve never been any good at styling my own hair. I was doomed and destined to walk the halls of my 5th grade year: metal-mouthed and feather hair-impaired, super tall, supper skinny, and – duh – insecure.

So imagine my joy when I fell in love… and he fell in love with me too! Jackson was [not] his name [what, you think I’m going to out the poor guys here??], and God bless him, he must have been a good four or five inches shorter than me.  Picture that dancing with my ten year old self on the dance floor of our junior high school slow dance. Stairway to Heaven, baby! Hot, right?

But sitting down we were the same height… So sitting down is how we lost our French kissing virginity – right in the back of the movie theater showing what I believe may literally have been the worst movie ever (at least in the eyes of any self-respecting pre-teen): Cross Creek. In other words, the PERFECT makeout movie, because we didn’t need to waste time watching the screen.

And make out we did (with our tongues, anyway) – our two braces-filled mouths clacking away at each other.

No, we didn’t get stuck.

It was awesome.

For a few moments, I didn’t even care about my imperfectly flipped hair.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I love this pic because you just know this girl spent like one hour getting her grown-out bangs to flip "just so" before she carefully placed her headgear on top. She's also rocking the plaid faux-button-down-sweater-combo.

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Am I Really the Only One…???

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:14 AM
Monday, August 12, 2013

…who doesn’t have the appropriate bionic arm/upper body/back strength to carry & rock my baby for the hours on end required in order to be properly soothe & cajole him into sleeping?

And please, make no mistake – I am all for the Ferber method of leaving the babies in their cribs & letting them “cry it out” – for hours on end if necessary – in order to train them to sleep soundly through the night.

But that technique is for older infants – not zero-to-five-month-olds with gassy stomachs who simply cannot settle or relax unless they are positioned upright over a shoulder so that the gas in their tummy is coaxed out if its hiding place, allowing the baby to FINALLY relax and sleep deeply.

So I bounce. And rock. And sway. And dance. And walk and run and skip and hop and everything else required to make that tiny newborn get the sleep he needs.


He’s not actually that tiny.

And I’m not actually that strong.

Granted, he is super small and cute. But let me tell you, when he has been in your arms for the better part of one, two, three or sometimes even four or more hours…?

The weight feels more like a 20lb sack of baby vs. the 12-ish pound infant he actually is.

Even 12 lbs is nothing to sneeze at. You try taking a dumbbell of that weight, sticking it in a pillow, and rocking IT to sleep for three hours STRAIGHT. And please- for verisimilitude here – put some earphones in and turn up the volume and play a soothing iPod melody of 20 decibel intermittent baby screaming as you rock & bounce that dumbbell pillow for 2-3 hours.

Having fun yet?

Welcome to my nightly (and daily) ritual, folks! Jealous yet?

I’ll give my life savings to invest in the first guy (or, duh, lets be real here, the first MOM – who else would have the incentive) to invent featherweight bionic arm attachments that you connect to your torso and arms in order to help your muscles withstand the daily increasing weight of these need-to-be-in-the-arms babies.

Hey, Tony Stark! I think you’ve just been handed the inspiration for your next venture! The comic may not be a best seller, but trust me, the patent will be worth billions.

You are welcome.

Now get to work inventing before these arms drop off my body!!


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Better than bionic arms - my husband's arms.


posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:38 AM
Friday, August 9, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

I used to be that little girl – dreaming and fantasizing that I would somehow be lucky enough to get glasses, braces and a broken leg. (Duh! For the cast that everyone signs!) I wanted the chicken pox too.

What? A little girl can dream, can’t she?

Look, every kid goes through their little ‘wish I had what Johnny and Susie have’ phase. Just so happened that my longings centered around broken bones, metal teeth restraints, infectious disease and corrective eyewear. Perhaps my parents’ sudden divorce the summer I turned six played a part in my particular fantasies, but what do I know, I’m no therapist! All I know, is that I wanted these things so badly that I faked ongoing headaches and difficulty reading until my mother finally caved and took me to get my eyes checked.

For an amateur attention-seeker, faking the eye exams  — figuring out which letters to lie about not being able to see and which to admit were crystal clear – would have presented a challenge. Not for me! I was a born actress. Looking through the ophthalmologist’s microscope-like contraption, some letters actually were blurry. I was so “in the moment” I didn’t even have to pretend.

I came home that day with a prescription – the glasses were mine!

Victory! Until…

It came time to pick out a pair. This was around 1980. There was no Prada, no Fendi, no Ralph Lauren kids frames – at least none that my mother was about to buy her eight year old little faker. So while I was SOOO excited about getting the glasses, the reality of having the glasses was…


They didn’t enhance my looks, let’s put it that way. So I never used them. My mom got super suspicious when she never saw me wearing them. I didn’t want to never be able to fake  her out again, (oh yes, I learned my lesson from that kid who cried ‘wolf’ all the damned time), so I had to use the glasses occasionally and slowly fake my way to developing “stronger eyes” again, which took about six months.

I think God got suspicious too, but unlike my gullible mom, He was totally onto me, and decided to teach me a lesson by making me really, actually, and not-fakingly need braces.

And a headgear.

Do I even have to describe for you the ripped up gums, food stuck between the shiny glued-on brackets, and the scraping sound of metal as I inserted the headgear tubing into its socket every night?

Wait – don’t leave! – I didn’t even tell you about the thick, dried, snail-like trail of saliva drool I would have to scrape off my cheeks every morning with my fingernails because the headgear kept my mouth open all night!

ANyway, I totally got God back when I finally got my braces off – because I got to have a retainer, and everyone knows RETAINERS are cool! You can flip them in your mouth, take it out and put it back in, smack it loudly in the middle of math class… My retainer ruled.

And then I guess God gave me a pass, because I never did break my leg and “get my dream come true” of a cast – though perhaps He was involved in the incident when I was 24, at a wrap party on the Santa Monica Airport Tarmac, and drunkenly crashed a golf cart down some stairs and broke my wrist into an “S” shape…

Ooooh, I’m gonna get Him!


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

The photo that inspired this original post - SHE looks cute in her dad's (upside-down) glasses, of course. I on the other hand, could never pull that look off.

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Eat Your Heart out Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:35 AM
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

(please sing this blog to the tune of Ebony & Ivory – the worse your voice, the better…)

Energy and lethargy-

Go together like Grandma and technology!

And yet that’s what my life’s been like lately, with the baby, don’t you see?

Vision’s blurred-

Is it the lack of sleep, the hormones or am I just getting old?

There is good and bad… in everything

For example I don’t have to see the spilled chips on the floor,

but then I stepped on them twice – so I guess it wasn’t that nice.

Energy and lethary

Am I covered again with spit up and pee?

Don’t know whether to cry – or laugh – or flee

But this is my life for now so I guess I will try to hide from insanity!


…wish me luck! :)


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

It is possible I've hit a new low with this drawing.

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