Life with Ladybug: Borrowing my daughter’s clothes

By Shannon Magsam

Last night, I gathered my Ladybug into a bear hug and realized something I’ve known was coming: my baby’s taller than me.

It was made official when I took her to the doctor a little over a week ago and they measured her height.

Now, for those of you who know me, you’re probably thinking, “Well, you’re not exactly tall.” And that’s true. I’m not even five feet, so it’s not a big stretch to imagine my daughter would outgrow me.

I’m glad she’s going to be a little taller, although I’ve never minded being “short”. But it’s a momentous occasion when your little Ladybug outgrows you.

mom loves me tshirtWhat’s most jarring is that we can wear the same clothes. Ladybug accuses me of buying clothes for her that I know she won’t really like, just so I can keep them. I DO buy clothes for her with no guilt, but don’t buy them for myself as readily, so there could be something to that. :)

Of course, I’m not too keen on wearing shirts covered with pictures of cats or phrases like, “You are so Cray Cray” with  dancing crayons on the front. Those were definitely bought with her in mind.

Yep, she’s literally growing up before my eyes – and now above them.

After that bear hug, we marveled at how tall she’s getting and how, when she was a baby, the pediatrician predicted she would be REALLY tall. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I suppose it’s possible. (Read this article on WebMD if you’re curious about when kids stop growing and predicting height.)

When it was time for sleep last night, I sat on the edge of Ladybug’s bed, and we talked. It’s still one of her favorite things, though I often tell her it’s too late and she needs to go right to sleep. We chatted about her day, a little school drama (in sixth grade there’s always something) and she suddenly called me her friend.

“Your mother or your friend?” I asked, remembering all those parenting books that warn: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR CHILD’S FRIEND. THEY HAVE LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT ONLY ONE MOTHER. RED ALERT. RED ALERT!

“Both,” she said, after considering.

I considered whether that was a bad thing.

Then I thought: “Therapists bedanged, I’m happy with that answer.”

Maybe we can get matching BFF shirts. In the same size.

(I’m only kidding, therapists!)

Blue dress, shannon, croppedShannon Magsam is mama to Ladybug (a salty/sweet tween girl who still likes things like superheroes and unicorns, thank goodness) is wife to newspaperman/entrepreneur John and is co-founder of

Life with Ladybug: 14 questions to ask your husband tonight

14 questions

My husband and I have a long history of asking each other probing questions on road trips.

It’s a good way to reconnect, to get back a little of the old romance, to remind us of a time when we couldn’t wait to hear MORE about each other.

So when we headed to Choctaw Casino in Pocola, Oklahoma, over the weekend for a little anniversary getaway, I started the 20 questions game.

I think asking questions — even surface ones, like what’s your favorite color or restaurant — keeps things fresh and helps improve your relationship. And there’s always something new to learn about each other. Really!

Since our 14th anniversary was yesterday, here are 14 questions I asked my husband that you might want to ask yours — tonight, on the next date night or while zooming down the road on an upcoming road trip. Just make sure you answer, too. It’s called a conversation!

14 questions to ask your spouse:

1. If we could return to one of the places we’ve already visited and relive the trip, where would we go? Why? (See how I slipped an extra questions in there?)

2. What’s a trip you would love for us to take together this year?

3. If you received a windfall of money, what would you do with it?

4. What’s making you super happy lately?

5. What could I do to make you feel more loved?

6. What’s one thing you would tell your teenage self?

7. If all jobs paid the same, what would you do?

8. If you were about to be executed, what would your last meal be?

9. What’s a hobby you wish we could do together?

10. Name three things you love about me.

11. What one word or phrase would you want on your tombstone?

12. How would you describe your perfect day?

13. What’s your favorite thing that I wear?

14. What’s a goal I can help you achieve?

Bonus question! Which song best describes our marriage?

By the way, if you’ve never been to Choctaw Casino, we had a good time listening to live music at Gilley’s, eating dinner (and dessert!) at Seven Ponies and the rooms are GORGEOUS. We didn’t gamble at all, but y’all the people-watching there is epic. It might be the one last place where people can smoke in public, and boy do they ever. The only downside, I’d say. We had a great time, some good food and enjoyed the band.

Hope you enjoy these questions and that you have a good time talking to your husband tonight, or sometime soon. Are there any questions you would add to the list?

blue dress headshot blogShannon Magsam is mama to Ladybug (a salty/sweet tween girl who still likes things like superheroes and unicorns, thank goodness) is wife to newspaperman/entrepreneur John and is co-founder of

Life with Ladybug: Did I shave my legs for this?

By Shannon Magsam

fifth_avenuePull out the Essie nail polish clearly formulated to boost a girl’s mood on a cold winter’s day.

Pretty toenails. Check.

Next, after dancing around the bedroom so the toes will dry faster, take a long, hot shower.

Shave the legs, taking extra time to make sure all grooming is up to date. Moisturize everywhere. Condition hair an extra five minutes.

After drying off, apply self tanner to legs. It’s important that these babies look good.

Dry hair and apply makeup with special-occasion precision.

Find just the right outfit, the one that makes you feel beautiful — despite the extra holiday pounds  (yes, I know it’s February. Shut up).

Lastly, paint that pout a bright red and smile in the mirror.


Time to go to the gynecologist.


That was my morning one day last week. On the drive there, I had to laugh when I realized how much time I’d put into prepping for a pap smear. I told my gynecologist about all the effort and she laughed. “I’m flattered,” she joked.

I joked back that my husband hadn’t been the recipient of that kind of preening for quite some time.

Since February is the month of love – and since my wedding anniversary is this month – I’m officially stepping out of my post-holiday, it’s-been-so-freaking-cold funk.

I started going back to the gym this week. My husband and I made plans for a romantic rendezvous to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. And I’m thinking about shaving my legs again tonight.

It’s a good place to start.

Here’s hoping you have a great Valentine’s Day — and that you have a few minutes alone to shave your legs.  Also, that you get to spend today with somebody you love.

Even if it’s just your gynecologist.


Life with Ladybug: She’s turning 12. Fetch the smelling salts.

Shannon and L

By Shannon Magsam

In three days my baby Ladybug will turn 12.

That’s a pic of her (above) at a few weeks old. Don’t you just love those chubby cheeks? Mine, I mean.

I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it, but ready or not – she’ll be a dozen years old. I remember when she was little, I would hear about someone else’s kid turning 12 and I would cringe. I just couldn’t imagine it. How OLD that sounded for any kid of mine.

I worried that by age 12 she would have become some snarky, moody, pre-teen who hated me. She can be a little moody, and she doesn’t always want to do what I ask, but she’s still pretty much that sweet child ‘o mine. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that our path doesn’t get too bumpy from here.

Since this is my diary of sorts about mamahood  – and Ladybug will maybe read it someday – I give her (you) 12 words to describe my favorite (and only) daughter.

Actually, let’s make it a baker’s dozen:













And … Zany.

ladybug roundThat’s my girl. Happy (Early) Birthday, Ladybug!

Life with Ladybug: In the event of my untimely demise

By Shannon Magsam, Ladybug’s mama

handwritten letterA friend recently received a letter from her mother.

Not too unusual, except for the fact that her mom died nearly 20 years ago.

My friend had been wishing like crazy they could have a talk and suddenly this old, somehow unread, letter resurfaced just in time for Christmas, like a gift.

The story brought tears to my eyes – and gave me chills. To think — what would it be like to get an unexpected word from my mom if she had been gone all that time?

After hearing about it, I called up my own mother just to talk and to say a heartfelt I Love You. Then I thought about the letter all through the holidays.

One day, when I was sitting in my car with time to think, I considered what I might say in a letter to my daughter. What I would want my Ladybug to know, if something suddenly happened to me?

These are my initial thoughts – in no particular order (and not an exhaustive list, by any stretch):

* I know we fight sometimes and that you are trying to establish your own identity. Sometimes it embarrasses you that I sing in public or talk to nearly everyone we encounter. You’re nearly 12 and I get it. I understand that I might get smacked in the nose on days when you’re flapping your new wings, trying to figure out what it might mean to jump the nest. But please know that there’s a place in my heart that beats just for you and it glows with concentrated mama-love all day, every day.

* Do you remember that sunny summer day when you were 4 and got “nursemaid’s elbow” and were in a lot of pain? Well, when the doctor, with no warning, pulled your arm out straight to fix it I nearly punched her. If you had not cheered up right then and said your arm was all better, there might have been An Incident in the ER. When you hurt, I hurt. Whether it’s your elbow or your heart, I hurt. You won’t understand this completely until you grow up and have a child of your own.

* Your dad and I are so proud of who you are. You draw, sing, make movies, make us laugh and love animals, it’s true, but that’s not why we’re proud of you. We love you because you’re our daughter and there’s nothing you can do, or not do, that would make us love you less.

* I also want you to know that I didn’t play with baby dolls when I was a kid, but soon after your dad and I got married I got major baby fever. The kind that makes you follow behind strollers and peek around just for a glimpse of the little bundle inside. I wanted you SO MUCH. You are just as amazing as I imagined you would be. More.

* Nobody loves you like me and your daddy, but I know someday you’ll find a love to spend your life with. I want you to have a wonderful marriage just like your parents. Well, not just like us – I’m sure you’ll have new and different requirements, but I pray you find the right one just for you. To help you along, I have been praying since Day One for the boy you’ll marry. Choose wisely. Treat each other well, with respect and love.

* I pray continuously that God will protect you physically, emotionally, spiritually. I always pray that prayer when I let you spend the night somewhere or you go on a trip. I can’t be with you all the time, but God can.

* Ever since the first day we brought you home from the hospital, I’ve gone in at night to make sure you’re breathing peacefully before I go to bed myself. I’m sorry about all the times I woke you up during one of those night watches.

* I’m not sure why you call me Mama-lu lately, but I think it’s funny and I like it. I adore our inside jokes and that we laugh so much together. I hope those light moments help carry you through any dark days.

Blue dress, blogShannon Magsam is mama to Ladybug (a salty/sweet tween girl who still likes things like superheroes and unicorns, thank goodness) is wife to newspaperman/entrepreneur John and is co-founder of