Adventures in Chaos

A peek into the life of busy working mom Kristin van Ogtrop, managing editor of Real Simple and author of Just Let Me Lie Down. Follow her on Twitter @kvanogtrop.

Does the Spanish National Anthem Have Any Words?

Yesterday we got Baby down for a nap at 2:15 EST, just in time for the start of the World Cup final, a.k.a. The Thing That Ruined July. I made popcorn, and Eldest, Hubby, and I all parked ourselves in front of the T.V. wearing our Dutch team jerseys. (Seriously. That’s how ridiculous we are. I even wore mine to […]

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I Swear I Am Never Buying Furniture Online Again

It all started when I wanted to buy my husband a lamp for his birthday. For reasons having to do with space and lack of imagination (mine, not his), my husband does not have a bedside table on his side of our bed. We’ve lived in the house for five years, which is a long time to go without reading […]

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Iron Clothes for Half an Hour, Straighten Out Your Life

As previously reported on this blog, June is pretty much the most hideous month of the year. I realized the other night that one of the reasons my husband and I are still married is because we agree on so many things, like the fact that the three most stressful months of the year are June, December, and September, in […]

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What Kind of Person Forgets Her Own Anniversary?

This kind, apparently. Today I woke up and looked at the calendar and thought, Hmm, June 22nd. June 22nd…. I know that date means something. Oh! Today is my anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 19 years. And we both forgot. For the first time ever. What does it mean!?!? Possibilities: A. I no longer wear a […]

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The Day I Fell in Love With American Girl

T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but clearly Mr. Eliot did not have three boys in five sports, not to mention final exams. Honestly. Anyone with half a brain knows that June is the cruelest month, hands down. Among the playoffs/exams/sports banquets/end-of-year teacher gifts/etc., last week I had to engage, for the first time in my life, […]

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What Is Your Recurring Dream?

I don’t think mine is what it’s supposed to be. Last weekend my husband’s family came to visit, and one night over dinner we got to talking about recurring dreams. You know: Like the one where you show up for a final exam and it turns out that you didn’t go to class all semester. According to our very small […]

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How Do You Go on Living If You Can No Longer Eat Like a Horse?

Last year, when Julie and Julia came out, I read an interview with Nora Ephron in The New Yorker. The interview was entertaining on a number of levels (she is very funny, after all), but the only thing I remember from it was her remark that all of her friends—women of a certain age, with a certain sort of horrifyingly […]

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No Thanks, I Really Don’t Want the Receipt

I have been traveling around a fair amount to promote my book, and while I have had a ball meeting new people (and what could be better than meeting a total stranger who says she loves your book?!?!? winning the lottery, maybe?), I have also noticed a disturbing new national trend. I call it receiptism. Receiptism is a disease that […]

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Just Let Me Lie Down Book Giveaway

As Kristin revealed in the May issue of Real Simple, we are giving away 100 copies of her new book: Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom.

Starting Monday May 3, 2010 at noon EST, the first 100 people to comment on this blog post in the comments field on Simply Stated will receive a copy. A simple “me” or “yes, please” is all you’ll need to write in the comments. We will contact the winners via e-mail.

Not in time? Buy a copy now on

Here are the complete contest rules. 

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What Do You Get a 15-Year-Old Boy for His Birthday?

Next week, Eldest turns 15. I have decided after much thought that 15 is the year when a child becomes A Genuine Teenager. Thirteen is teenagerhood on training wheels and 14 is a weird sort-of-a-teen-but-not situation. But no matter how you look at it, 15 is undeniably a teenage age. That said, I still don’t quite understand what people mean […]

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