Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What a New Mom REALLY Wants

practical gifts for babies
Don't even think of putting me in that stupid monogrammed robe.
Before I had my own kids I used to give really terrible baby gifts.  It's not that I wasn't well-intentioned, it's just that I honestly had no clue what new parents would find useful (I was this way before I got married too, so if I attended your wedding and I gave you a piece of art pottery instead of the toaster/blender/sheets that you really wanted, I sincerely apologize).  It honestly never occurred to me just how stupid it is to purchase a monogrammed bathrobe for a baby.  There are so many cute items that seem super practical, until you actually have a child and realize just how useless they are (I'm looking at you here, shopping cart cover).

Now that I'm a seasoned veteran of Viet-Mommy, I have a pretty decent idea of what to get a new Mom.  Interestingly enough, "monogrammed bathrobe" did not make this list.

Meal Train.  This is the gift that costs nothing, but that just keeps on giving.  One of the hardest things when you bring home a new baby is feeding yourself and your family.  Take out is great, but there are only so many nights that you can eat Kung Pao Chicken before you grow feathers and try to fly out of the spicy nest.  After a few nights of hospital food, or a few weeks of takeout, a home cooked meal tastes amazing.  Volunteer to set up a  Meal Train for new parents, and invite friends and family to volunteer to drop off a meal.  It's completely free to sign-up, and very user friendly.  Someone in my Mom's group set one up for us after the Little Lady arrived, and I was so grateful; I actually cried when I ate the delicious turkey bolognese that arrived on my doorstep.

Housecleaning.  Babies are dirty.  I guess technically they aren't really that dirty, per se, but they poop a lot and they generate a lot of laundry.  Also, the last thing you want to do right after you've pushed a human out of your vag is clean a bathroom.  If you're feeling generous, or if you have a group of friends who want to go in on a gift together, why not give the gift of cleanliness?  A new Mom who is drowning in laundry and dishes and dirty floors will be forever grateful at your thoughtfulness.

Blow out.  I may not be a fan of the delivery room blowout trend, but I am 100% in favor of getting your hair done before your first postpartum night out.  Give the gift of an at-home blow out so that your new mommy friend doesn't have to worry about childcare or nursing, and she can enjoy being pampered.

Mani/Pedi.  Give the gift of alone time and offer to babysit while your friend gets her nails done.  Changing diapers is Hell on a manicure, and now that your friend can actually see her toes, it might be nice if her feet didn't look like hooves.  Shell out for one of the nicer nail salons in the neighborhood, because there's a very good chance this will be your friend's last manicure until her kid goes to college. 

Baby Bath Tub.  Looking for something more traditional and/or cheaper?  The baby tub is your answer.  These are useful and reasonably priced.  Also, no one else ever seems to buy the tubs, so they're always left on the registry even if you're purchasing the gift the day of the shower (ahem, me).  Yes, I know that you're only supposed to bathe newborns once a week, but those little critters are super slippery and liable to get lost in a giant kitchen sink full of non-toxic soap bubbles.  Trust me, no new Mom has ever been given a baby tub and wished for a silver rattle.

Of course, sterling silver baby spoons are a great gift too; the parents can always sell them on Ebay and use the proceeds to buy a really safe carseat.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fix My Wardrobe: August Edition

 Nene Striped Dress
The weather here in Los Angeles has been far from what I would call "autumnal", but a new season is upon us, which means it's time to stock up on fall wardrobe pieces.  Sure, yoga pants are perfect for every season (and practically every occasion) but once and awhile it's nice to wear clothing that isn't made out of spandex.

As of this month it's officially been one year since I decided to sign up for Stitch Fix and pay someone else to do my shopping.  My last box didn't yielded any gems, but I'm going to overlook that fault because the service has added enough cute stuff to my wardrobe to keep me from having to go shopping with my offspring in tow.  Trust me, after twenty minutes of navigating a store with a double stroller and two screaming children, you'll understand why I'm willing to pay almost any amount to avoid this nightmare.

In fact, I might even part with my first born in exchange for fashion, should Stitch Fix ever hire Rumple Stitltskin.

Unfortunately, my most recent box was uninspiring.  I loved the black and white color palette, but the items themselves... not so much.
RD Style Culotte Pant
RD style karl culotte pant RD style karl culotte pant
RD Style Karl Culotte Pant, $68
Last month I sent my stylist a note and asked for a pair of pants that weren't jeans.  I actually liked these culottes, and they were really nice quality, but definitely not something that I would wear to the park or to toddler music class.  Anything that's labeled "dry clean only" is not a practical choice at this particular stage of my life, wherein my children use me as a napkin.  RETURNED
bancroft jaya twist loop earrings Bancroft Jayda twist loop earrings
Bancroft Jayda Twist Loop Earrings, $28
I really liked these in the box, but I thought they were kind of underwhelming when I put them on.  Also, I felt as though I could get something similar at Forever 21 for about six bucks.  My kids enjoy playing in my jewelry box, so it's a lot less painful to lose the mate to a six dollar earring instead of one that costs twenty eight.  RETURNED
Le Lis Nene Striped dress Le Lis Nene striped dress
Le Lis Nene Striped Dress, $74
I hated everything about this dress other than the color of the skirt.  The length was unflattering, the top made my boobs look super saggy, and it was totally dowdy.  I felt as though I would fit right in as a Sister Wife if I sported this fashion travesty.  At least my hair looks cute.  RETURNED
Renee C Deanton Peplum Top Renee C Deanton Peplum Top
Renee C Deanton Peplum Top, $44
I'm pretty sure this top wins for the least flattering piece of clothing I've worn in my entire life.  Okay, maybe the second most after the maroon bridesmaid dress I wore in the early '90's.  Anyway, this was heinous and also totally impractical considering I have two children who eat purple food and wipe their hands on me.  It was also stiff and kind of uncomfortable and not at all my style.  RETURNED
Pixley Lotiz Pixley crochet back

Pixley crochet split back top
Pixley Lotiz Crochet Split Back Knit Top, $48
The comfort level of this top is a 10, but the stripes and the lace were not happening.  I keep telling my stylists to please not send lace, but this seems to get lost in translation over at Stitch Fix.  I really hate lace.  In fact, it's possible that I have some sort of allergy to it.  I think the idea of this top is great, especially in LA where it's not really that cold, but you want to wear something sort of sweater-like, but this didn't work for me at all.  RETURNED.  

So I guess this means I'll be wearing yoga pants to everything for the next few months.  Or, if this heatwave holds, a pair of cutoff maternity jeans, because nothing says sexy like an elastic waistband.  

Photos by the talented Tuna Boon for Misadventures in Motherhood

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ready for Preschool

First day of preschool

While everybody is busy posting the requisite “first day of school photos”, wondering where the time has gone and woefully shedding tears, I’m over here feeling like the Worst Mom on Earth. Because I simply CANNOT WAIT for school to start. Not that I’m counting, but there are exactly 5 days, 11 hours and 32 seconds until I can leave my wonderfully amazing, adorable, spirited child in the very capable hands of the teachers at his magical wonderland of a preschool.  

For those who don’t follow my posts and/or can’t tell from the tone of this one, when Caleb was born, I put my corporate job to pasture and set out for the seemingly greener fields of being a Stay At Home Mom. Did I mention that I have no consistent sitter or family within a 3000-mile radius? (Insert witch-like guffaw here).

Don’t get my wrong; I’ve absolutely LOVED my time at home with C. I was thrilled to have been there for all of the firsts, and elated to have had the chance to experience the joys of life again through his eyes.  It's been amazing to exercise the creativity that laid dormant throughout my tenure in corporate America.  I made C’s baby food, we did craft projects, I took him on daily excursions.  We did something wonderful every day: music classes, movement classes, trips to museums, playgrounds, play dates, restaurants, Disneyland.  We traveled. We jumped in puddles. We climbed rocks, We painted rocks. We painted with ice. We made edible finger paint. We put together puzzles. We potty trained

I set my sights on teaching him the alphabet by making each week a certain letter around which the week’s activities would center. 

For the week of A, we went to the Santa Monica Airport and watched the Airplanes take off and land. We went Apple picking and made homemade Applesauce. 

For the week of B we went to the Beach, picked Blueberries and watched the horses on the farm with their Bales of hay. 

The week of S we learned about Shadows and how they do everything we do by seeing them as we climbed a mountain. That also taught us about Sun and Shade. 

You get the picture.

stay at home mom activities
We even revisited some of his favorite letters; just this past week we went back to the Planetarium so he could see, what he calls “the faces of the moon.” We went to the water show there, had lunch and came home and read all about the stars and the solar system. And then we drew the solar system on his chalkboard wall. He will happily tell you how many planets there are, what their names are, whether they are hot or cold and even on which one he lives. He can count to 100, knows all of his letters and is starting not only to spell, but also to sound words out and can easily express how he is feeling. I’m not telling you all of this to brag about my child, I’m simply trying to express that we have done quite a bit these past three years, and I know exactly where the time went. It was spent in laughter, love and many, many times, tears. (Hey, I never claimed doing any of the above was easy).

stay at home mom activities
So as I look (very) forward to the start of this next adventure, I do so knowing that I gave him an amazing foundation. He knows he is loved, he knows his worth (and even that of the penny, nickel, dime and quarter). By no means am I saying, “my job here is done” and passing him along to the teachers, nor am I implying that any mother who hasn’t stayed home hasn’t enjoyed all of these moments or given their child these gifts. I am simply saying I AM READY for him (and me?!) to be free. Free to Explore. To Learn. To Discover. To Grow. 

And when I meet him on the farewell side of the school’s Kissing Window (an amazing ritual wherein the child stays indoors, opens the window and says a specially crafted goodbye with their parent who is on the outside of the window), Caleb knows that his only responsibility (aside from being nice to all the kids) is to, as we say each day, “have the MOST fun you can possibly have.”  

I think I may also do so with cocktail in hand, toasting myself for making it to this milestone. 

Feel free to join me with this recipe I’m currently sipping on.

Paloma Picante 
adapted from Epicurious
Kosher salt
¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice 
1 Tblsp. fresh lime juice
raw cane sugar (optional)
¼ cup tequila
¼ club soda (optional)
jalapenos (optional)

Rub the rim of a glass with the cut lime. Dust with sugar or salt (depending on your flavor profile preference - I prefer sweet). 
Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. 

Stir in tequila. 

If you like things spicy (and I do) add some diced jalapeno. Mix vigorously (I like my drinks shaken, not stirred). Pour over ice and consume immediately or if you like this bubbly, top with club soda and let the consumption commence. 

This cocktail is an excellent accompaniment to those first day of preschool tears - whether they be from joy or despair.

Cheers to ALL the mamas out there, wherever you may be!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

One Kid, Two Kids, Red Kid, Blue

Just us gals, cruising Hollywood and looking for trouble.
This morning, after we dropped the Muffin Man off at preschool, the Little Lady and I hit the town went to storytime at our local library.  It was a surreal experince having only one child in tow, because other than a random Doctor's appointment here or there, I haven't been out with only one kid for over a year.  I realized, as I was driving along, that even though it's only been 15 months since the Little Lady's birth, I had completely forgotten what it was like to only have one child.

People, I had no idea how easy I had it.

This is not to say that having only one child is easy; nothing about motherhood is easy or simple or painless; I drank just as much wine when I had one kid as I do now that I have two.  It's simply that the logistics of going out with one kid are so much less involved.

1.  The single stroller.  Navigating a double stroller, especially when one lives in a city, is a particular version of Hell.  Oftentimes, the double stroller doesn't fit through doorways, so you end up contorting your body into shapes worthy of a Cirque de Soleil show just to buy your kid a new pair of shorts.  Let's not forget how much heavier a stroller with two seats happens to be (two times - go figure) and you have to lift it in and out of the car at warp speed, because there is always, always some douchenozzle waiting for your parking spot.  The single stroller, on the other hand, fits easily through doorways and is almost light enough to lift with one hand.  Oh, and let's not forget the singular joy of the sibling foot fight that is sure to ensue when your kids are sitting side by side in close proximity.

2. One carseat.  Do you know how long it takes to buckle a kid into a carseat?  For-fucking-ever.  It takes approximately six minutes just to bribe and/or force your child to climb into the thing in the first place, and then you have to hold down a small, yet surprsingly strong, wiggling human, while you figure out the puzzle of straps, ensuring that the right buckle goes into the right spot and that the stupid belt hasn't gotten twisted around, thereby guaranteeing your child's certain death in the event that you accidentally back into a pole in the mall parking garage.  This, times two, is why I don't go anyplace that's not within walking distance.

3. The stuff.  Kids require so much freaking crap just to leave the house.  Even with my scaled-down diaper bag skillz, I still find myself carrying a bag that weighs more than I did in second grade.  Just to go on a quick errand you need: diapers (or underwear), wipes, butt cream, hand sanitizer, a changing pad, extra clothes (for both kids), snacks, drinks, toys, crayons, and security objects.  In the winter you need jackets, in the summer you need hats, and at all times of the year you need a travel bottle of tylenol for the headache Mommy always gets when she attempts to leave the house with both children in tow.

4.  Nap schedules.  Trying to work around the nap schedules of two kids is a total pain in the ass.  Honestly, don't even bother planning to leave the house, because one child is always going to be asleep when the other one is ready to go.  If you succeed in getting your kids on the same nap schedule from an early age, you are a parenting hero, otherwise sign up for Instacart and start surfing Pinterest for some great at-home activities to pass the time, because you are pretty much on house arrest until your older kid goes to school.

5. Focused attention.  One of the aspects I'm enjoying most about Noah being in preschool is that I'm having the chance to spend one-on-one time with Rose.  Because the kids are so close in age, when Rose was born I really had to give most of my attention to Noah, mainly because he was liable to fall down the stairs if I didn't keep a close eye on his antics.  As a result, my poor second child sort of got shuffled off to the sidelines or simply thrown into the fray of activities meant for older kids.  Now that I don't have to worry about keeping my older kiddo occupied, I'm able to take Rose to classes or events that are more appropriate for her, and that she responds to with excitement.  I may even start taking the Little Lady out for weekly lunch dates, since dining out with one kid feels like a vacation compared to the shit show that is attempting to feed two children and myself at the same time.

The truth of the matter is this: no matter how few or how many kids you have, you're basically just overwhelmed trying to make it through the day.  I remember way back before I had kids when I would look at people with children and think, "it really can't be that hard".  Hahahaha - if only I'd known!

Maybe I should crowdfund some sort program where you could rent one extra child for a week; I'll even be happy to loan out one, or both, of my offspring to start.  I promise, after spending a few hours with an extra kid, you'll be happy to return to the lesser number you're currently raising...especially if you only have a dog.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Baby's Gone Preschool

Preschool in Los Angeles
Benchwarmers
Last week, I spent two days sitting outside of the Muffin Man's classroom while he "transitioned" into preschool.  If you're currently imagining me sitting on the floor in a long hallway while the muted sounds of children learning plays softly in the background, then you're either old; have watched too many eighties movies; or both.  No, my friends.  No sterile, linoleum-lined institutions of learning for my child.  I'm a dirty hippie, remember, which means that my child is learning through play, and engaging with his peers while dancing through fields of sunflowers.

It also means no air conditioning.

In case you have short term memory loss from smoking too much weed (ahem, me) and/or you live somewhere other than Los Angeles, let me remind you that the average temperature here last week was somewhere between 95 and "hotter than Hell".  Which would've been somewhat bearable had I not been forced to sit on a hard wooden bench outside of my son's classroom while he sang The Wheels on the Bus in air conditioned comfort.

I had every intention of using my time at preschool wisely.  I took my laptop with me, fully planning to take advantage of the school's free WiFi to catch up on work.  I brought snacks for myself, and a bottle of water, and a sunhat.  But all I did for a week straight was sit on that hard wooden bench, sweating profusely and wishing that I'd thought to bring one of those blow-up doughnut butt pillows. There were a couple of times when I either had to go into Noah's classroom or he came out to check on me, but for the most part I had uninterrupted time to myself.  Considering how much lip service I give to needing more "me time", you'd think I would've used it more wisely.  And yet, I accomplished nothing.  Not a thing.  No future blog posts, no scripts, not even one of those freelance assignments I seem to be perpetually rushing to finish before a deadline.

I'd like to tell you that the reason I didn't accomplish anything is because I was feeling too emotional about my baby boy starting school, but so far the only emotion I've experienced is relief that my kid finally has a school to attend.  I could blame my lack of productivity on the extreme outdoor temperature, but I used to live in an un-airconditioned apartment in Manhattan, and I managed to get work done even while sweating profusely.  I honestly think that I'm just completely paralyzed when presented with the luxury of time to myself.  For the last (almost) three years, I haven't even been able to go to the bathroom alone, let alone have hours of free time to spend doing anything.  I've been juggling taking care of one or two kids while simultaneously working as a writer.  The minute my kids fell asleep I would sprint to my computer and race against the nap time clock to finish whatever work needed to be completed.  My work time was fleeting and precious, and I was singularly focused on using every single second of it wisely.  

Perhaps this is the plight of every Mother, that we're so used to spending all of our time caring for others and doing only what's necessary, that we actually don't know what to do with ourselves when we no longer have to spend hours on end completely focused on someone else.  Maybe preschool is going to be good for both of us.  Noah will learn important skills like counting and how to pee standing up, and I'll get a chance to figure out what to do with the extra time I have to myself.  I'm thinking yoga - because maybe if I have a firmer butt that bench won't feel quite as uncomfortable when I have to go through Rose's transition next year.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Preschool Daze

preschool in LA

The Muffin Man starts preschool tomorrow.

After all of the trials and tribulations, and all of the shopping, the day has finally arrived.  Honestly, there were some days when I didn't think we'd make it to the finish line.  But here we are...sort of.  Now begins the transition period, which means that Noah goes to school and Mommy goes with him.

For one to to two weeks.

Basically, for the next 7-14 days, while Noah is inside his classroom covering himself in paste and singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, I have to sit outside on a hard wooden bench "doing my work".  Call me crazy, but I don't find a preschool play yard to be an optimum work environment, even with free WIFI.

Oh, and let's not even get started on how I'm not really sure who's going to watch the Little Lady while this whole thing is going down.  I'm just trying to stay positive and remind myself that it's only for a short time and that I can have wine at the end of the day.

This is all a long winded way of letting you know that I'm taking a forced vacation from the blog for the next week.  You'll still be able to find me on bitching about parenthood on Twitter and Facebook, and posting ridiculous photos on Instagram, but you'll just have to survive without all of my long form parenting screeds for the next few days.

I'm sure I'll make up for it with lots of incredible stories now that we're officially Preschool Parents.

G-d help me.




Friday, September 4, 2015

You are What You Eat




If the title of this post bears truth, Caleb is made entirely of fruit, carbs and ice cream; he fully embraces the Toddler Food Pyramid.  C USED to be a somewhat decent eater, back when his diet consisted solely of the pureed form. But once he got a taste of the solids, it was all downhill. Many a day I have to fake the goodness into his body by way of a food processor and the oven. Zuchini carrot muffins. Sweet potato “mousse.” Veggie pizza. Thank goodness for the wonder that is Weelicious, the genius book of kid-friendly foods that not only taste great, but are nutritionally sound. If today’s recipe isn’t already in the book, I’m sure it will be bound for the next edition.

If you fine readers can recall my first post for this here amazing blog, you’ll recall that I hate to waste anything. A scrap of old paper, an old item of clothing; especially any kind of something edible. So, in an effort to reduce food waste and to keep my dollars in my bank account and not lining the rubbish bin as spoiled fruits and veggies, I took stock of what I had in my fridge. An overzealous trip to the farmers market had left me with two very ripe avocados approaching the tipping point. In a desperate attempt to use them, and to satisfy my sweet tooth in a somewhat healthful way, I took to the interwebs to see what I could make out of them. Since the temps are still in the triple digits and our home owners insurance folk are playing tricks on us and fixing just one issue at a time on our air conditioner vs. just replacing the whole damn system (read: we’re still without a working one and it was 110 degrees yesterday) I was in search of something of the cooler sort, like maybe an avocado ice cream. Lo and behold, I stumbled on what will now be my all time favorite dessert.Bonus points for the fact that it's vegan.

Let me be clear: I’m not so food obsessed that I was originally planning for this to be an entire post, but the recipe I’m about to share came out so delicious, I’m kicking myself for not having thought to make it oh say, 15 years ago.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby give you Allyson’s Avocado Carob Chilled Mousse. Oh. My. Word.
2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar or stevia (I used the former)
½ cup carob powder (a great substitute for chocolate any time cocoa powder is called for)
½ cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I highly suggest their house brand. It’s the only one I’ve found that doesn't contain carrageenan, which, little known fact, is a nasty shelf stabilizer that can act as a carcinogen in the human body)
1 tsp. or so of Vanilla Extract (I never measure this ingredient)

Blend the avocados and sugar together in a food processor (or in my case, a baby food maker). 

In a separate bowl, whisk the carob powder and milk until combined. 

Add the vanilla and stir to combine. 


Transfer avocado mixture into the bowl with the carob mixture and, using a spatula or whisk, blend until combined. 


Transfer to individual sized ramekins and chill for a few hours. 

Or, if, unlike me, you have willpower, hold off until the next day when this mixture becomes EVEN MORE DELICIOUS!

It was a close toss-up on which was more enjoyable – this heavenly concoction or standing in front of my freezer with the door open. Thankfully, before I ate too much broke the freezer, the Haasbund’s amazingly generous business partner invited us to stay at his beautiful (and air conditioned) home for the weekend where we were able to cool our jets by dipping them in his gorgeous pool. If I'd had any mousee left, I would have given him some as a token of my appreciation. 

On the plus side, at least now I have a legitimate excuse to make some more.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

No, I Don't Want to Help Fund Your Vacation

crowdfunding

I don't get up on my soapbox all that often here on the interwebs, but this has been festering with me for a while and I need to just put it out there: 

THE CROWDFUNDING MADNESS NEEDS TO STOP.

Every time I open my email, or login to my social networking accounts, I'm assaulted by yet another Kickstarter or Indiegogo link asking me to donate just "a dollar or two" to make a big difference.  I am all about donating to a good cause, and I love involving my kids in charity work, but there is a big distinction between raising money to dig a well in a remote African village, and what I'm being asked to contribute to on Facebook.

Last week alone, I was presented with five Go Fund Me accounts for the following causes:

Help paying an able-bodied individual's rent (for the third time in a year).  I've been broke.  There was a long period in my life when we both worked three jobs and we literally scraped together spare change to pay our rent.  It was horrible, especially because I couldn't even afford alcohol to dull the pain of my brokeness.  If you have the time to post lots of articles on Facebook, create stupid memes, and set up a Go Fund Me page, then you have plenty of time to get a second (or third) job to make money for rent.  Maybe Go Fund Me is hiring?! 

One couple's trip to Tahiti.  I am so glad that you're in love and that you want to celebrate that fact by taking a vacation to a tropical island where you will have lots of sex and drink rum cocktails.  I think it's great that you want to spend alone time with your spouse to reconnect.  I personally haven't taken a vacation in over four years, and I would love to travel to the South Pacific, but since I can't afford to do that, the closest I'm going to get is sitting on my deck sipping a MaiTai while looking at pictures of Bora Bora on my iPhone.  So no, I won't be contributing any of my hard earned shekels to the "worthy cause" of your tropical vacation, because I''m too busy saving money for my own island getaway.

Moving expenses for a family of seven.  Moving across the country and discovering that you hate where you've ended up really sucks (I know - I live in LA, after all).  I'm sure it must doubly suck if you've dragged your spouse and your four offspring along with you.  Hey, we've all made crappy decisions in our lives, and part of maturing is accepting that you made a mistake and figuring out the best way to either fix it or make the best of it.  The only people I'm willing to help move are my relatives, and in their cases they only ask for assistance unpacking a few boxes. 

The cost of a home birth.  I completely support your decision to have the type of birth that you desire, but I'm sure as Hell not going to pay for it.  If you want to give birth in your backyard under your fig tree while being supported by a shaman and your psychic, that's your choice, but it's my choice to not help you pay for that when your insurance will cover the cost of using a birthing center or a hospital.  I totally agree that health insurance is a racket, but I need all of the money I'm currently making to continue paying off the pile of medical bills from the births of my two kids.  Maybe instead of raising money for your home birth, you should do something really worthwhile like getting involved in making prenatal care free for all women?!  Now that's a cause to which I might contribute. 

Buying a car for a teenage son.  You know what kind of car I had at 16?  A beater Chevy that broke down so often I knew all of the tow truck drivers in the Bay Area.  That car was such a piece of crap not even I wanted to get laid in the backseat, but it was a car and I was grateful to have one.  Your teenager does not need a new, fully-loaded Audi to drive himself to-and-from school, and even if he did, it is not my job to help you purchase one.  If I wanted to buy a new car for someone, it would be for myself, since I'm currently rolling in a Toyota that's older than most of the actors starring in shows on Nickelodeon.  

Or maybe I'm just old and out-of-touch and the wave of the future is asking other people to help fund your lifestyle.  If that's the case, then I better figure out how this crowdfunding shit works, because I really "need" a pair of Chloe boots for the fall.