Tag: motherhood

Popular ‘I MOM SO HARD’ Moms Coming to Baltimore July 15

Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley of the comedy duo I Mom So Hard.

“You can’t get through this without friends.”

That’s the core message delivered by Los Angeles, California moms Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley in their online video series, called “I MOM SO HARD,” and their live show, which comes to the Lyric next Saturday.

The Little Cloud that Cried…Or How to Chill in July

image via pinterest
image via pinterest

University of Baltimore MFA grad Sue Loweree remembers her ice-skating contest/identity crisis. It’s such a cathartic read, especially in the Baltimore summertime, you’ll likely shiver.

The Omaha Convention Center is a big, cold building with ceilings as high as our new two-story house. I follow Mom and Miss Darby, the skating coach down the hall listening to them talk about Thursday night lessons.

The Long Way to Okay


For about a year now I’ve been feeling the pain of my empty nest, though it will not actually occur until the fall of 2018.

In the spring of that year, I will turn 60. That’s pretty much fine with me. Listen, by the time you get to the end of a decade, 28, 29, 38, 39, 48, 49, it’s like, enough already, let’s just get on with it. Thirty and forty were good for me. Fifty was a new beginning if nothing else– my mother died, my marriage died, my first generation of kids hit the road, and I left the boondocks of south-central PA for beautiful downtown Roland Park.

The Lucky One: A Confession

The author, left, in her turquoise bikini--with her best friend, Sara.
The author, left, in her turquoise bikini–with her best friend, Sara.

It’s balmy in December–why not go to the beach with University of Baltimore MFA grad student Terri Steel, as she recalls the teenage vacation to Ocean City that altered her identity for good.

Our bare feet dangled, Aerosmith blared, and Route 50 was a blur beneath us as Sara and I headed to the beach in the back of her older brother Pete’s new 280ZX. I knew I was there as Sara’s guest as a last resort. All the other moms had said, “ABSOLUTELY NOT!”

When My Mother Became the Freaking Buddha



Author’s note: As I mentioned in another column, I’m working on a novel that contains a character loosely based on my mother, partly just as an excuse to have her in my head. In the process, I ended up rereading this old essay. The illness described here was not the one that finally got her — she was around another 13 years.

“When My Mother Became The Freaking Buddha” is adapted from my 2005 collection, Above Us Only Sky.

One day in May of 1995, I got a call from my mother. “I was just picking up the phone to call you,” I assured her, knowing she was anxious to hear the latest on a book deal I was hoping to get. I was supposed to call the minute I knew anything, but I hadn’t. Well, only two days had gone by since I’d heard the news, which wasn’t too good, and anyway, one has to balance the pleasantness of one’s mother’s interest in the minutiae of one’s life with its faintly annoying aspect.

Making up for my tardiness, I launched into the tale, and it wasn’t until she broke in and said, “Well, I have to go soon and —”

“I’m almost done,” I said.

“Yes, but I have some bad news.”

No. “What?”

“Well… It looks like I have a little cancer,” she said, and then, in the five minutes remaining until her boyfriend Ceddie picked her up to go eat Chinese, and interrupted by my shrieks of what and how and when, she told me that she’d been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, she had known for over a month, she was starting a course of chemotherapy and radiation on Friday, and she had a fifty percent chance of cure. Then Ceddie was there, and she had to run. “Oh, Mommy,” I said helplessly.

The Gift: Mom’s One Line a Day


The Gift

What It Is:  A charming little book with space to record a single thought, a family quote, or a special event each day for five years of motherhood. That’s a lot of space, and a whole lot of mothering– but as any experienced mama will tell you, it goes by so fast. It’s a  beautiful keepsake that will ensure every one of those precious memories will last a lifetime. Available at Trohv. $16.95

Who It’s Perfect For:

Expectant mothers: This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth noting that 99% of gifts that expectant and new parents receive are gifts for the baby. Toys, onesies, blankets– you name it. Here’s a gift that is actually for the mother, while acknowledging the amazing journey she’s just beginning. And with how treasured these memories will be, this is a gift that will surely be loved and appreciated for a long, long time.

Super-Moms: It’s true, what they say: every mother is a working mother. And every mother we know is pretty dang busy pretty much all of the time. And let’s just say that the joys of motherhood are more apparent at some times than others. For the Super Mom who’s working to get it all done and keep multiple balls in the air, this gift is a great way to offer her a few moments each day to relax and reflect, and to make sure these precious moments don’t whiz by unappreciated.

That Nature Show: House Wrens Are Mothers, Too

The House Wren
The House Wren

This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. So, nu, have you bought a gift for your mother, or at the very least called her?  I just yelled loudly, “Mooooom!” and she heard me because she lives only two miles from here, and has her ears always perked for the song of her chickadee. That’s what she calls me.

I used to call her Mama, then Mommy, then Mom, then, as an adolescent I referred to her as That Woman Who Grounded Me Because I Got A C In French, then in my 20s, in my discovery-of-my-Jewish-roots phase, Ema, Hebrew for mother, because I was engaged to a guy from Israel and was learning Hebrew in Jerusalem. Now I just call her Emily. We’ve reached this place, the mountain plateau, through lots of strenuous climbing. 

We have a house wren nesting in window box of the shed. Its eggs are going to hatch by Mother’s Day. Can a bird have better Hallmark-card timing? It’s like a metaphor for the tender care I try to provide my kids. It has feathered the nest, sat patiently on the eggs (that is, when she was not disturbed by my son, 9, leering in to her abode. She flew out and almost hit him in the eye. Who wants to be the mother whose son was blinded in a bird-related melee? Not I. No Red Ryder BB gun).

Baltimore Fishbowl Top Stories of 2013


We don’t always know what will do well on the Baltimore Fishbowl. Sure, real estate and Ravens and Orioles news are sure winners, but other than that, it’s a surprise. Sometimes the stories we spend the most time and money on get little traffic. Other times, a quick, funny story  gets all the eyeballs. It’s unpredictable.

Below, see our top stories this year, a mix of creative non-fiction, real estate coverage, local transportation news, humor, bad behavior and more. Some surprises are in the mix and some favorites, too. See if your favorites made the list, below, and thanks for reading the Baltimore Fishbowl.


About a Girl – In this Bohemian Rhapsody column published last spring, writer Marion Winik introduces Jane, her daughter and constant companion. Marion embraces the togetherness, explaining:  “If you enjoy egregious doting, if you thrive on being needed, if you are comfortable with the burden of being right all the time, motherhood is a dream job.”

DC Baltimore Rivalry

“DC is So Much Better Than Baltimore” – Oh Really? After Thrillist boasted about the superiority of our neighbor to the south, writer Rachel Monroe  took umbrage and created a list of her own, extolling Baltimore’s virtues, and putting DC in its place with nuggets like this one: “I know that not every DC resident is a sport coat-wearing, briefcase-carrying, politics-obsessed snooze, but I would estimate that 87 percent of them are. Having one industry (government) dominate a city can result in dull dinner parties and an insular world view. Plus, as John Waters has pointed out, all the cutest boys live in Baltimore!”

1981 john waters

John Waters Gives a Tour of  Hip 1981 Baltimore  – This video clip, produced by San Francisco company Videowest to promote the 1981 movie Polyester, shows an very young Waters giving a tour of Baltimore 30 years ago, telling viewers he wants to be “a negative role model for a whole new generation.” A classic.

“There are glimpses of Edith Massey‘s store in Fells Point, Arabbers trotting down the street, and a very young John Waters looking too cool for school.” writes Rachel Monroe.

ray rice house

Ray Rice’s Starter Home Goes on the Market  – Combining our readers’ love of real estate with their passion for all things Ravens, Hot House columnist Cynthia McIntyre’s post about football super star Ray Rice’s  former house, “a surprisingly modest, (but classy, definitely classy) townhouse in Grey Rock,” going on the market became an instant hit.

The house sold last August for $299,990, about $20,000 under its $319,000 asking price.


I Seriously Can’t Believe the New Foods That Camden Yards is Selling A post about the Guy Fieri-esque offerings at Camden Yards by Robert O’Brien described some “culinary monster(s)” on the menu: “What sounds the wildest to me, is the Walk Off, which places an Old Bay Roma sausage in a pretzel roll and tops it with crab dip. Crab dip waffle fries will also be available, as will a chocolate stout cupcake.” A far cry from peanuts and Cracker Jack…

About a Girl



In which University of Baltimore Asst. Prof. and Bohemian Rhapsody Columnist Marion Winik introduces her best girlfriend forever.

When I was young, I knew I would never get married. I had the whole seven dwarfs of unwifely characteristics: Bossy, Macho, Driven, Ornery, Rebellious, Intemperate, and Whack. Still, I was boy-crazy from the get-go and hormones trump all cards. I spent my teens and 20s pursuing a series of mad loves, and then devoted my 30s and 40s to two passionate, screwed-up marriages. My first husband died young; the second and I nearly killed each other.

The Mom Blog: Capturing Life’s Little Moments


Welcome to our occasional series The Mom Blog by Baltimore Fishbowl contributing photographer Lee Kriel.  Lee has been shooting Sartorial Baltimoreal, our feature on personal style, for the past two years.  Her captivating blog on mothers and motherhood can be found here, but she has agreed to let us re-publish it below for our readers. -The Eds.

meet sue mead.  a mom raising two beautiful, active girls with her lovely husband alex.  the mead family  had some challenges early on when their oldest daughter julia was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three.  avery was just turning one.  julia is now in remission and sue and her family continue to help those in need, especially by supporting families who are making the same transition they made years ago as they embarked on living with cancer.  one way is by organizing a swim-a-thon each summer to raise money for child life at johns hopkins children’s center as well as arranging meals for families who find themselves in the hospital over thanksgiving and christmas.  she gathers all the neighborhood kids and encourages them to get sponsors and swim laps in the river.  it is one of my children’s favorite events — they love to compete with the other kids and make hashtags on the dock to mark their laps.  even the adults have a time to swim (with cocktails too, of course, for those not swimming)!  she has raised thousands and not only has made a difference for johns hopkins but also for our neighborhood, where she has given us all an example of how to give back.  enjoy her story in her own words below (or as she says “off the cuff words” which is what i love about her!) and her continued journey through motherhood.