Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Sweetest Thing

Today I pose this question, if a child yells "Mom?!" repeatedly in a forest, will a mom answer?

Okay, well the knee jerk response will probably be, "Why is this child in a forest? That seems rather dangerous. And sad. Is he lost? Where is his mother?"

Fine. So, hypothetically, if a child were in a very safe and well lit forest and had a cell phone on him but instead of using it he chose to yell "Mom?!" repeatedly, would a mom answer?

Odds are, yes. Somewhere within a 1 mile radius of said child are approximately 10 mothers awaiting to spat a blind response of "Yeah?"

Every mother has at one time or another been in some public venue, distracted by her surroundings, and answered the beacon of some random child.


"Yeah? Oh, sorry. Wrong mom."

When our children are babies we mothers wait in bated breath for that precious moment when they gurgle out their very first "mama". Never has anything sweeter ever been said. It melts us to our very core.

Strangely, though, 9 times out of 10, their first word isn't "mama". God help us, it is typically "dada". Why, yes. Why shouldn't their first word be "dada"? I mean after all, their father was the one who carried them in their womb and developed every little organ, tissue, fiber, hair, nail, soul for the better part of one year. Yes, the daddy IS the one who's skin was stretched beyond repair out of pure love for his offspring. And, daddy WAS the one who sprang their pride and joy from their very loins. Of COURSE our baby's first word should be "dada".

Maybe it's easier to say. Mama. Dada. Mama. Dada.

Nope. Don't think so.

Well, be that as it may, I suppose we mommies should be careful what we wish for. Because once our sweet little boogers have fully captured the essence of cooing out "mama" and watching as our hearts melt a little more each time they say it, they never stop saying it. EVER.

Take tonight, for instance. From the moment I picked my children up from child care until their angelic little backsides hit their mattresses, I'm guessing the "mom" count somewhere in the arena of 5000. Give or take a few.

It's freaking exhausting.

But, as moms do, we learn avoidance techniques. Or, something you men may better understand, selective deafness. Oh, yeah, we're on to you.

So, back to tonight in mother-of-the-year-land, once my darlings were fed and settled in (or so I thought), I opted for a little me time. I plugged my head phones into my iPad, cozied into the couch and logged onto Pinterest. Life was good. For possibly 4 minutes, or less. I'm not certain.

Kelly Clarkson was yelling at me about being stronger when all the while child #1 and #2 had been jockeying for my attention from the floor of their bedroom.

"Mom!!  MOM!"


To no avail. I was in my happy place. Don't judge me.

Next I know, #1 is limping into the living room holding the back of his head. And, in a much more dramatic performance, #2 scooches in on the floor dragging what appears to be a dead limb behind him. (It was very much alive, I assure you.)

Apparently I had missed a modern day throw down the likes that "Wrestling at the Chase" had never seen in the mere 4 (or whatever) minutes I had been out of touch.

It would appear that perhaps I had become too adept at my selective deafness.

"Mom! Why didn't you answer me? Mom! Mom! He pushed my head into the dresser. Mom, it hurts so bad! Is it bleeding? I feel a little sick. Is there blood? Mom?"

Nope. No blood. Lil' bit of a bump. Awesome. Now for #2.

"Mmoooaaaaammmmyyyyy. Aaa ah haaa. He eeee hurt me! Mom I hate him so much!"

"No you don't."

"Mommy, moooommmy! He broked my leg! Look mom it's broke!!"

"No it's not. You're standing on it."


"Why didn't you answer us? We were both yelling for you and you didn't answer!"

Two things come to mind, DCFS and that cute outfit I didn't get to pin because I was interrupted.

"Listen. Here's the thing, mom couldn't hear you because I had my headphones on." Great, now I'm  referring to myself as mom. "And, quite frankly, you were both supposed to be in bed." who's really at fault here, huh?

"Come on guys. Back to bed. It's been a long one. Can you please just ease up on the yelling of 'Mom'? Please?"

Once we have all finally settled in I hear #2 yell from his bed, "Julie? I need to go to the bathroom!"

I shit you not.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ton of Bricks

A ton of bricks.

Tonight I was curious. How much does that actually weigh?

 Oh. Duh. A ton.

Admittedly, I am no math genius. But, tonight, I felt that exact weight collapse on me. Out the hell of no where.

I had actually had a rather lovely evening. Had a very successful jewelry show at a friends house. Spent some good quality time with some rather awesome gals. All in all, a good night.

Cut to me tucking my boys into bed. Prayer time. The slight few imbibations I had in me directed my thought process to thinking that this was the perfect night to begin teaching my boys the Lord's Prayer. As always, I was a tad slow at considering the end result of my choices.

May have had something to do with the imbibing.


Prayer time was relatively successful. Though #2 found it lengthy and "hard to say".

So, then a thought occurred to me. My mother loved the version of the Lord's Prayer sung by Barbra Streisand. I think I'll download it.

What a fantastic idea. Yes!! You should do that....... you simple foolish fool.

Cut to me. On the bathroom floor. Yet again. Silly sobbing blubbering idiot mess. What the?????

Oh yeah. Big. Ugly. Cry. In it's purest form. Snot bubbles and all. Sooooo attractive. I could almost hear my mother talking to me. "Julia Yates! Pull yourself together. You're acting ridiculous."

But, what I know is this: "this" does creep up on you. And slam you on to the bathroom floor. Like a freaking ton of bricks.

I'll never stop missing her. And I don't want to.

She would have been so excited for me because of my good night. She was my biggest fan.

She was there. But, I just can't help but wish she were still here. Selfish girl that I am.

Ah well. There you have it. As you know I do like to share. I guess my point tonight is this: be happy and be grateful. And, if you feel the need to have a Big Ugly Cry, by all means, do it in your bathroom, because, really, NO ONE needs to see that business!

And, please, watch out for those damned bricks. They're a bitch.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Like Coffee for Elephants


I think it may be happening again. No. No no no. I KNOW it's happening again.

Somehow each and every time I find myself teetering over this precarious ledge I can't help but be amazed at how easy it is to let go and allow yourself to fall down that slippery slope of this crazy little thing called love.

Yes. Love. Amore. Adoration.

I said it.

Crazy, right?

But, it is only too true.

It has taken me 43 years to finally succumb to what I feel is a deep, unbridled and passionate love. I become absolutely intoxicated at the mere mention of my loved ones name. And I practically unravel when I am in the presence of my loves aroma. It is like a passage to ecstasy. A high off of which I do not wish to come.

I can no longer deny it. I want to shout it from the top of the Farmers State Bank and Trust Co. building!

I AM IN LOVE!!  WITH COFFEE!!!! What the hell did you think I was talking about?

Maybe it's the time of year that makes its appeal that much more tantalizing. Not sure. Don't really care.

All I know is that I go to bed most nights almost twitterpated at the thought of the tall and dark roast awesomeness that awaits me in the morning. Sad, but true.

And, thanks to the Kuerig coffee maker my sister gave me for my birthday I only have to wait a scant 3 minutes for that first cup in the morning.

Yes. My palette has conceded to my sense of smell. I can at last tote around the coveted coffee cup without shame.

Now, I do not mean to offend any tea drinkers out there. It's just that I, for one, am proud to finally classify myself amongst the ranks of true coffee drinkers. For a little back story you may want to refer to my Novemer 4, 2011 blog, "Coffee Wars". Or if you don't want to, that's cool.

So, about once a week, after I have dropped my boys off at school, I carve out a 45 minute window before I head to the Y in which I indulge in a little quality time with the object of my affection. I'll sip on a cup of Starbuck's Pike Place Roast with a dribble of fat free hazelnut creamer, scroll through Pinterest and listen to George, Robin, Sam, Josh and Lara chatting in the background. It is pure Heaven. And, it never lasts quite long enough.

But, it is the little things that make love so great, right?

So, there. I outed myself. I am an official card carrying and cup toting member of the Coffee Lovers Club. CLC. It's real. I swear.

You'll have to excuse me now. I have to find a way to get my hands on some Starbuck's Christmas Blend Expresso Roast. I mean, SHUT UP!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Fall

The Fall. I adore it. It is by far my favorite time of year. Everything is so beautiful....the colors, the sky, the smell of the air.

Tonight I had found a nice cozy spot under a blanket on my couch. I was snuggled up listening to the rain with every intention of sneaking in a cat nap when son # 2 presented me with a book. He is quite eager to fulfill his Book It chart as the end result is a reward of his very own Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut. Who was I to deny him of such a prize?


"Okay, bud. Lets read."

The book was The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. I had forgotten about it. I remembered digging it out this time last year to share with both of my boys. My mother had given it to me when I was 11 to help me understand the loss of someone who was very close to our family. And, this was the very same reason I brought it out last year. I had hoped it would help my boys understand why they were losing their Ninny.

It is a sweet book. The story simply follows the life cycle of Freddie the leaf and emphasizes the importance of a life purpose. In the end, Freddie is comforted by the fact that his life had great purpose and that he had nothing to fear in death.

It did not take long before I was a sobbing mess. Not quite a big ugly cry, but, it was borderline. It absolutely hit me like a ton of bricks. But, I was resolved to finish reading the book. I think #2 was a tad bit freaked. His little eyes were transfixed on me, as if he could vex me to stop crying. Poor little guy. Nothing terrifies the male species more than a crying woman.

#1 was alarmed enough that he managed to drag himself away from the Xbox to see what the situation was.

Next thing I knew, I had a child on each side of me. #1 had his head on my shoulder and #2 was rubbing my back. They both listened intently as I sobbed my way through the book.

When I had finished, #1 said, "Please don't be sad, mom."

It was one of the sweetest moments of my life. In the midst of crazy schedules, hectic days and nights that are too short, we found time together to remember my beautiful mother.

I miss her so much. I will always will.

And, then life returned to status quo. The boys were back to arguing over video games and I was again determined to embrace  couch time.

Yes, I really do love the Fall. I love everything about it.

I am particularly grateful for this Fall day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Place

Most all fairy tales start with "Once upon a time..." and end with, "And they lived happily ever after." Well, good for them.

I'm not knocking fairy tales. I do believe in them. Well, some of them. I mean, I am a girl after all.  It's kind of an unspoken rule that I should feel compelled to believe in them if not live in one. And, for that matter I'm not saying that I don't live in one. It's just that modern day fairy tales are slightly different than those of folklore.

I live with two very handsome and very young, I might add, princes. How much luckier can one gal get?

They are my happy place.

I think we all get so caught up in the rigmarole and stress and even sadness of every day life that we forget to stop and remind ourselves of what our happy place is. We all have one, or two or a thousand, if you're so lucky.

I'm not really even speaking of a physical place. I believe our happy place is where we  mentally reside and are at peace. And, no, you didn't just mistakenly land on some new age happiness guru's blog. It's me, your normally cantankerous, bitchy and typically agitated blogger.

I don't want to alarm you, but, for the moment anyways, I am happy.


It's not any one thing or one person. It's just me, finally recognizing that I've actually been in my happy place for quite some time now. I was just forgetting to open my eyes. And, I'll let you in on a little secret: it feels really nice. To be happy. Crazy, right?

It's actually more of a contentedness. I have finally accepted the fact that I am in charge of me. No one is going to step in and "save me", because, I don't need saving. No white horse. No knight. And that's okay. I got this.

Now, I do not foolishly expect to permanently reside here in Happyville. But, as long aus I'm here I figure I may as well blather on about it. Lucky for you.

I've spent way too much time outside of my happy place. We all have at one time or another. I wish there was some sort of top secret set of instructions on how to find your happy place to share with anyone you know who may need a little help. But, the bottom line really is that the only person who can get you there is you.

So, for now, I'll enjoy my newly found residence in my own little fairy tale.

Once upon a time there was a young-ish and alarmingly stylish girl who lived with two very dashing young princes. She was surrounded by wonderful family and friends. Every day she got to play with shoes and every night she got to play with jewelry. She even found the occasion for naughtiness and debocharie. She and the princes were very happy in their cute little rental castle. Life was good. No big bad wolves. No evil witches.
And she lived happily ever after.
Well, for now anyways.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's Complicated

Let me just start by saying this: the situation here in Singlemomville is,'s complicated.

I'm half-ass tempted to change my relationship status on Facebook to "it's complicated".  If only there were an option for "whatever", now THAT would be a tad more apropos.

Yes, it's a complicated, confusing, boring, exciting, barren and exhausting place to be. Care to join me? No. You really don't.

Fortunately for me I do have company. Well, that's actually a blessing and a curse. I consider it fortunate in that I have girlfriends in the same situation with whom to share experiences, advice and even child care.

The unfortunate part of it is that we also have to share the same pool of the usual dating suspects. The possibilty of finding a suitor who hasn't either flirted with, been set up with, asked out, dated or slept with one of your friends or family members is slim to none.


So, I'm kind of starting to think that it may be time to retire my jersey. For a while, anyways. I never really have been a huge fan of the single scene. I'm more of a mate-for-life type gal. Yes, I've been sooo successful at that so far.

Perhaps I just need to hone my skills at being a contented single gal for life.  Certain sets may refer to such a being as a "spinster".  I prefer option "a", thank you very much.

Honestly, I have come to appreciate my space.  Well, the space I share with two rapidly growing and space hogging boys. But, it's mine, nonetheless.

But, sometimes....sometimes you just kind of want that someone with whom you can curl up on the couch. If only it didn't eventually have to turn into something, well....again....complicated. 

I mean, wouldn't it be nice to have a someone who would cuddle with you when you wanted to, or go out to eat with from time to time or just flirt with you every now and then? I mean, there is such a thing as a fu....okay, I'll stop myself here, I understand that my frequent use of the f-bomb may offend some of you, so I will refrain.....there is such a thing as a "shag buddy" (how's that?). Why not have a "cuddle buddy", or a "dinner buddy", or even a "make out buddy"?

Oh, I don't know.  I suppose that could get even more complicated....all those men, each with a different role. Imagine dinner buddy's confusion when he shows up for your bi-weekly night out and you're in your yoga pants and tank top patting his spot on the couch.

If only it were that simple, right? Honestly, there's really no such thing as a simple shag, or even a simple cuddle for that matter.

So, that puts us back to square 1. Roll all of these fellas into one man and what do you get? A boyfriend. And, where do you get him? Fuck if I know. Oops. That one slid out.

So, for now, "it's complicated" gives way to "whatever" in Singlemomville.  For this gal, anyways. And, truly, there's not a darn thing wrong with that.

I recently pinned a quote from the book He's Just Not That Into You : "...and maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future.  Maybe the happy ending is just moving on."

I like it. Kind of makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Nothing too complicated about that at all, wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shine Your Light

Such great words of wisdom that came from a great, albeit petite, woman. They have been resonating through my brain since I heard them.

Her message was simple yet clear: "Turn your light on. You don't have to be Oprah Winfrey or even me to change the world. All you have to do is treat others with human dignity and kindness. Shine your light! And, when you leave here tonight and someone f#*+$@g pulls out in front of you in traffic, shine your light on them!"

I'm not sure how literally she meant the traffic part, like, turn your brights on the jerk, or what. But, I get it. She was basically talking about the Golden Rule.

And, yes, the "she" to whom I refer would be the one and only Madonna. Surely you didn't expect that I wouldn't wax somewhat poetic about my Madonna experience? 

Let me just say this. It was worth every penny. And then some. My Madonna delivered. Her show, in a nutshell, was nothing short of fanfuckingtastic!

I feel as though Madonna and I are somewhat kindred spirits. Two single moms working hard to provide for our children and doing our best to ensure they live their lives by following that Golden Rule. It's almost a sisterly type bond.


Only a few glaring differences between the two of us gals.

Nonetheless, her message came through loud and clear. It's the whole Golden Rule/Karma thing. The one thing that my mother tirelessly tried to get through my brain. "Do unto others", "live your best life", "be kind to people"....that's how you leave your mark.

It's not a new lesson by any stretch, but, the messenger, I suppose, is what has me thinking about it so much. I mean, Madonna told me to shine my light, so now I gotta figure out how exactly I'm going to do that.

Okay, the easy part should be being nice to people. SHOULD be. I, however, have worked in retail for 21 years. I'm a tad tainted. But, okay. Fine. I will do my best. My mother was one of the nicest people in the world. Surely I got some of that?

As for the living my best life part, well, I think most of us can say that that is a constant work in progress. I'm not always sure that I am but I am always at least trying to live my best life. It's like she said, you don't have to be Oprah or Madonna to make a difference. But, if you're living your life with great passion and consideration for how your actions will affect others, then I think you're doing your part for the universe. As I've heard said, what you put out there comes back to you in tenfold. Good and bad. Yes, indeed, Karma is a bitch.

Now, her show wasn't all sentiment and sunshine. Quite the opposite, in fact. It was fairly dark and provocative. But, it was awesome. I left entertained and enlightened.

Who'd have thought?

So, shine your light, people! Or just tell me shut the hell up. Either way, be happy. It's good for you. And the universe.  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Storm Warning

Son #1 is and has always been a sizable fellow.  He is also a contradiction of terms...a gentle giant, if you will. The child has the looks and stature of a linebacker and the demeanor of a kitten.  You get my point.

So, it puzzles me how this 5'3", 140 lb., size 10 shoe wearing 10-year-old boy could have a ridiculously weak stomach. It's almost comical. He did not inherit this trait from his mother. I'm not a puker.  This isn't necessarily something I'm proud of, however it makes me very curious as to how I could have a child who is so extremely the opposite case.  If someone within a 10 mile radius of my son vomits, he will also.  I shit you not.

Puke boy also has a few, um, we'll call them, anxiety issues.  Most notable of which is that he is not fond of storms. Of any kind. And, that is putting it very mildly. 

So, how fantastic for me that the back-to-school-let's-all-share-our-germs-after-3-months-hiatus season and hurricane season go hand-in-hand. It is a remarkable time of year in our home. 

Recently my good friend and I took our kids out for dinner to a local restaurant. It had been a stormy day but had subsided so we figured it was safe to go out. You see, my friend is equally as fond of storms as my son is, so, we had to be certain that the barometric pressure was in check and that there was no storm front circling the vicinity....and that we were in a building with a strong foundation and storm shelter, should one be necessary.

Now, allow me a bit of back story. Since it had been a stormy day, I had taken my boys to a movie, where, of course, large amounts of popcorn and candy and soda are consumed. I think it's some sort of rule or law. So, we obliged.

And, then, we felt compelled to cap off the day with a meal of pizza and cheese sticks and french fries....I don't remember thinking that was a bad idea at the time, but, now as I write this in hind sight I find myself a tad horrified.  Bygones.

Then something struck me, #1 was not eating.  And there was food left.  Odd.

"You okay, bud?" I tried to be discreet.

"Yeah", burp..."just a little gas."

How nice.

So, as all good mothers do we then decided to treat ourselves, and our children, to a frozen yogurt desert. Again, seemed like a fine idea. 

We piled into my car, my friend and I in front and 3 kids in the back. And, then, friend's weather alert goes off on her phone.  It may as well have been helter skelter.

"What was that????"  #1 sounded desperate.

"Uh oh!" says friend. "Weather alert!  Oh boy, look at that sky ahead.  Not looking good...."

"Is that a TORNADO????" the child was consumed with panic. My friend realizes this and totally changes her composure. 

"Oh, it's just a warning.  It's fine.  Way far away.  No big deal.  We're gonna get some rain."

But, I could sense the desperation in her tone.  Something wicked was this way coming.

So, we hastened to the yogurt shop, yet another tragic mistake. It was a mere 2 block drive, and, as we turned the corner into the parking lot we heard it.  The unmistakable sound of the launch and landing of vomit.  In the back seat of my car.  Followed almost immediately by the sound of screeching banshees, aka, the two younger boys in the back seat.

"Puke!!!! Oh my god, PUKE!!!!  EWWWWW!!  Grossssss!!" They were literally clamoring on top of one another.  "AAAHHHHH!!!  AHH AHH AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

My friend and I looked at each other, dumb founded.

I bee lined it into a parking space where I and my passengers practically fell out of the car. I darted around the car and commenced clean up detail in hopes of beating the oncoming storm. My apologies, by the way, to the owners of the establishment where I deposited my son's, "anxiety relief", in their parking lot. Desperate times, people.

Meanwhile, my friend is trying fruitlessly to calm down son #2 from his epic meltdown with regards to the abrupt ending to our yogurt shop visit.

"But I want frozen yogurrrrrtttttt!! That's NOT FAIR!!!!"  Seriously? Must have his mother's iron gut.

Somehow she managed to calm him down when I heard, "Mom?  Aren't you going to clean me up?"

Again, mother of the year had been diligently ridding the car of any trace of tonight's eruption that I had neglected to clean my poor child up.  And, he certainly needed it.  Poor guy. 

Yogurt shop visit aborted, car relatively cleaned up, we climbed back in and decided to call it a day as all good adventures must come to an end.

We managed to make it home before the storm hit.  And, hit it did.  A doozy as they say.

Turns out, #1 had not been feeling well for most of the day, but didn't want to have to spoil it for anyone else.  He allowed as how "a kid in my class threw up right in front of me yesterday".  Naturally.  I can't believe he made it a full almost 24 hours before he reciprocated.

I share this little story with you mainly because now I do find the humor in it.  That night, not so much.  But, also, because this is just another day in the life.  One many can relate to.  It's not the end of the world, though it felt like it that night.  So, it's just nice to be able to sit back and put things into perspective and have a good laugh at our own expense.  Though, frankly, Puke boy still doesn't seem to think it's quite so funny.  Some day, maybe?!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Like a Virgin

My memory of the first time I heard her is very clear.  I was 14 years old and was on vacation with my sister and our parents in Acapulco, Mexico.  I could not be bothered to do any touristy activities as I was at the height of pubescent angst and self-glorification so I parked myself on a lounge chair on the beach, lathered up with Hawaiian Tropic oil (with no SPF, thank you very much) and plugged into my totally radical Sony Walkman.  My musical library at the time consisted of Duran Duran, The Police, Huey Lewis and the News and The Gogo's.

My sister was parked on the lounge next to me.  She was equally as unenthusiastic about the thought of tromping through ruins and sight seeing as I was.  So there we sat.  And baked.

As if out of no where she tapped me on the arm and sent me flailing into orbit, swatting at what I was certain was a Mexican grande-sized bee.  I managed to collect myself and was then transfixed by my sister's unapologetic stare.

"Here." she said.  "Listen to this.  She's new.  Everyone at Northwestern is listening to her."

She handed me a cassette tape (it's a real thing, youngsters...look it up) with a black and white photo of a semi-dirty looking and rebellious girl on the cover.  Her name was Madonna.  Or was that the name of the band?  I didn't know.  Surely that wasn't her real name?  Weird.  But, okay.  I'm in.

"Listen to this song, 'Borderline'.  It's pretty good."

So, I obediently popped in the tape.  And listened.  My pulse quickened and my view was instantly tunneled.  What IS THIS?  You could actually see my brows rise over the top of my white plastic wayfarer sunglasses.  I think I may have even felt a little faint.

Good???  Good you say?  No.  No no no.  It was literally life changing.

Little did my uberconservative sister realize that she had just offered unto this world one of the very first Madonna-wanna-be's.  Well, at least I'd like to think so. 

Over the course of the next 28 years I spent many an hour studying, watching, listening to and imitating the Material Girl.  Much to my mother's dismay.

When I was 16, I managed to "trick" my mom into letting me get a kinky perm.  Mom was a bit of a perm connoisseur so it was like music to her ears when I said I wanted one.  Her enthusiasm went down in flames when I unveiled my newly disheveled and highly coveted look to her.  She told me I looked like a tramp, which was, in turn, music to my ears.  That was, after all, what I had sought.  Not the tramp part.  The look.  I've told you all before, I am not a whore.  I am a whore wanna-be.

So.  In a matter of days, 19 to be exact, I will for the very first time in my enduring career as a fan/worshipper of the iconic Boy Toy, bare witness to the very Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone herself.  In concert.  I will lose my Madonna virginity. 

Even as I say this, I am, in fact, breathless.  Twitterpated.  I....I....I can't believe it.  After all of these years, I will see her, from the FLOOR, mind you!  I make absolutely no promises about my state of mind or my behavior that evening.  As for my 2 girlfriends who will be accompanying me, I say only this: I am so sorry.  For whatever it is that I do, or say.  All I ask is for a bit of patience.  And understanding. 

A Xanax may be in order.

This is definitely one of those life events that you always say you're going to do, but, sometimes just don't get around to it.  I am getting around to it.  And, I am thrilled to say the least!

So, I will leave you with this....what am I going to wear???

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Goddess Revenge

When you think about it, break ups really are a silly thing. It should be so much easier. Two people who once shared good company with one another should be able to part ways amicably and say "thanks so much for everything...had a really great time...but, it's  time to call it". No hurt feelings. No animosity. It SHOULD be so easy.

No such luck.  Typically one party is left in a heap wondering "what the hell just happened to me?". And, then, stage #2 in the stages of grief arrives....anger.

Oh, yes. Anger. What to do with this?  My advice?  Channel your inner goddesses.

Naturally the first goddess to step up to the plate in such tumultuous times would be Athena, Goddess of War.  She senses your pissedoffness and is ready to take aim. "What shall we do first?" the deity would beckon. "Bust his windows? Take a Louisville slugger to both headlights? Or just set his car on fire?"  Your heart quickens as you envision yourself as Angela Bassett walking in slow-mo towards the camera with billowing smoke and flames shooting up from behind you. Ohhhh, it's so tempting. You just want that idiot to hurt a fraction of how you hurt. But, you and Athena both know that destruction of his property will only make you feel better momentarily. And, besides, I think setting someone's car on fire might be a felony. Totally not worth it.

So, Athena concedes to Eirenne, the Greek Goddess who symbolized peace. Funny, you never really hear too much about her, do you? Oh well.

Eirenne will help you find your inner goddess peace. Yes, peacefulness is the next best solution. "Release your anger unto the Universe" she'd implore. You two would practice meditation and deep breathing. "Positive thinking will help you purge your spirit of the evil that has taken over. Set yourself free, my child."

Record scratch.

Okay, Erienne. Wrong girl. Sorry, honey. Next?!

Ahhh. The Mighty Aphrodite. The Olympian Goddess of Love and Beauty. You're feeling it now.

Yes, Aphrodite has the right idea. "Time to focus on your inner and outer beauty. Time to be selfish. Because, my child, there is no sweeter revenge than looking and feeling your personal best. It symbolizes that you have moved on. And it will make you more attractive to other men because they will sense your confidence."  Well, she ought to know. Her strength was the ability to make men fall in love with her. I like her already.

Aphrodite would run trails with you, spin on the bike next to you, shake her head at you when you "accidentally" reach into your son's bag of Doritos and carefully help you orchestrate each and every outfit you put on. She'd even jump up and down and cheer gleefully when you slip into a pair of jeans you haven't been able to wear in years.

And, then, before you know it, Nike, Goddess of Victory steps in, slaps you on the rear and runs the victory lap with you.  You made it, sister!  You are in the maintenance phase of post break up recovery.  Back to the you you loved long before you loved the idiot.  Just try not to lose sight of her next time around, okay?

Yes, eventually the dust does settle and you finally feel yourself return to some semblance of normalcy. You're about where you were, oh, say, almost a year ago. Only this time, you're a lot smarter, more peaceful and definitely hotter, thanks in large part to your goddesses.

I guess the silliest part of a break up is that we allow another person to take such a personal toll.  But, it's all a part of the game I guess.  So, if it's necessary to seek out the help of some mythological gals to get you through it, then so be it.

Fortunately for me, my goddesses are real!  True story.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

5 Simple Things

I recently read a blog entitled "10 Simple Hints to Make Life Easier for Moms".  I was intrigued to say the least. Could it be true?  A mere 10 things to do to make my life easier? Oh, I'm in.

And then I read step #1 and realized that this woman must be a total whack job.  Just the title alone is an oxymoron. I should have known. But, curiosity got the best of me. Well, that and the dashing hope that maybe one out of ten things might grant me a moment's ease. A girl can dream.

So, allow me to share what I found to be the five most tantalizing items on her list.

1. Do 1 load of laundry a day.

 Ok. Let me see if I can get this straight. ONE load of laundry a day?  Apparently the darling woman's children are not allowed to eat sauces or condiments, they play no sports nor are they allowed to play outside. Or anywhere. At all. One load of laundry a day would put me back about 20 loads a week. Seriously.

2. Take at least 1 swipe of some area in the bathroom every day.

Well, this would work in MY bathroom. A simple swipe in my children's bathroom is not quite so simple. I have two boys. Enough said. A "simple swipe" would still require me to don a hazmat suit. And, that takes some extra time to slip in to. Nothing all that simple about that.

3. Plan meals ahead one week at a time.

We actually do this one. Monday, PB & J's; Tuesday, order pizza; Wednesday, leftover pizza; Thursday, pantry grab bag....I kid!!!  But, okay, you get the point. It's not really that bad at our house. I actually have been more thoughtful about creating a menu. I am the queen of the crock pot. But, the planning thing, well, let's just say its a work in progress.

4. Get up 1/2 hour earlier each day.

I really don't even know what to say here. Does this woman even have children?  My guess is one plus the assistance of a full-time nanny. Otherwise she'd surely know that the mere suggestion of this is a complete and utter epic fail. Sleep for mommies, my dear, is an elusive and coveted luxury. And, you're asking us to give some of it up?  I think not.

5. Have a chore list.

For who?  Me?  Already got that. But, thanks, really, for the helpful tip, sweetie. I mean, I get it. I do. But, by the time I got said list written I could very well have had all of the chores completed. Properly. And in a timely fashion. And, if you're thinking "this gal's a total control freak" then you would be correct.

So, I decided to create my own list of helpful mommy tips tailored to the single mommies with full time jobs who just need a little, teeny, tiny break.

"5 Simple Things for single working moms to do in order to keep from losing their ever-loving mind and winding up in the loony bin" 

1. Sleep in.

Whenever and wherever possible.

2. Enlist the shared help of other single mommies.

This is a gem. You share the same lot in life. Make it work for each other. How else do you expect to ever have any kind of a love life? Ever again?

3. Drink wine.

Or whatever. Not in excess, of course. Just enough to soften the edges of your severely frazzled nerves.

4. Exercise.

'Tis true. Endorphins are better than Prozac. I'm a believer. It's the time thing that's tricky. But, do it. And, yes, sex counts.

5. Breath.

It's easy to forget. But, you really shouldn't. I find myself holding my breath at times in order to keep from self combusting. But, it really is counter productive. I typically end up with a massive head ache. Breath. In and out. Count to ten and take deep breaths. It's kind of fun to see the kids faces when you open your eyes. They're always a tad freaked.

Honestly, it's whatever works for you. I try not to get too bridled down by how these self-professed super mommies make their lives look so effortless. Because, you have to believe that somewhere, deep down, they, too, are one toe out of the nut house.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The End

In every relationship there is a beginning, a middle and an end.  Yes, I realize this is a rather elementary revelation, but, recent events have allowed my brain the opportunity to think more than is entirely necessary.  So, I have found myself, yet again, analyzing my situation, looking for some sort of enlightenment.  Not sure if I've found it exactly, but, as you know, I like to share.

                                                           THE BEGINNING

This is the tour de force.  Let's face it, there is simply nothing quite as magical as the beginning of a relationship.  It's all bells and whistles and fireworks and pure, unadulterated hysteria.  This is the phase of the relationship where rational thinking goes completely out the window.  It is when we lose sleep, lose weight, giggle incessantly, walk into walls, run stop signs and write sappy blogs.

But, in my opinion, there is no better place to be.  You are in a state of ridiculous and unimaginable bliss.  Happy.  Yes, very happy.  A stranger in your work place could throw their wallet at you and you'd say, "I think you dropped this!" as you hand it back to them with a genuine smile on your face. 

You get my point. 

The time frame for the beginning of a relationship varies.  I think both parties try to hold onto it for as long as possible, but, inevitably time wears on and the next phase takes over.

                                                             THE MIDDLE

The middle of a relationship is usually where things start to get a little gray.  You're starting to get more and more comfortable with your partner.  You even start to notice characteristics and habits that could and will eventually drive you bat shit crazy, but, for now you overlook them because you are still extremely smitten.  As my good friend put it, "You even lose your sense of smell.  And then one morning you wake up with them and realize that their breath actually does smell."

In the middle of a relationship most women will notice a rather significant three-way tug-of-war that commences between our head, our heart, and our, uh, lady part. Though last time I checked mine was acting like anything but a lady, but, we will stick with that depiction. 

Nonetheless, the head is usually the loser in this precarious phase.  The heart and the lady part are completely caught up in duking it out for first place.  Up until now, the heart was succinctly in charge.

Now, I must interject that there are times when a relationship never actually does have a middle phase.  This happens at the unfortunate and exact time when we allow our lady part to be our decisive body part in the beginning phase.  Big mistake.  Next thing you know Romeo is "running late for an appointment" and he will "call you later".  Naturally, later never occurs.  And, you are unwittingly faced with a preemptive ending.  Don't let this happen to you. 

I was recently educated by a particular Romeo that jumping into bed too early, before you've created a substantial middle, will inevitably lead to a quick and painful ending.  The hunter has made his kill....challenge over.  Sad, but true.

But, what you fellas may not understand is that there is a VERY short distance between our hearts and our lady parts.  They tend to have frequent collisions and it can be very, very confusing! There is an almost useless, fine line between love and lust where we are concerned.  We really don't know who to answer to, so we might just throw caution to the wind and hope for the best.  Meanwhile the head is exhausted from all of the screaming and foot stomping it's been doing just trying to get a little air time, to no avail. 

And, then, one day, you hear it.  That faint little hoarse voice in your head saying, "Um, excuse me!  Remember me?  I'm the one who gives you rational thoughts. Yeah, you've been doing a bang up job of ignoring me, but, we need to talk.  NOW!"

This is about the time you notice the crossroad in the distance.  And, you get a little nervous because you don't really know which one to take.  So, as women we do what comes naturally.  We avoid it at all costs.  We tell ourselves that it's okay because we're just not quite ready for this relationship to be over just yet so we will just pretend that all is well and sit back and enjoy the ride for as long as we possibly can.

Until we no longer can. 

                                                                   THE END

I suppose I could just leave it at that, but, no surprise here, I have a few thoughts about this.

The end isn't necessarily a simple occurrance.  It has a tendency to build up over time.  You know it's inevitable, you just don't know if and when you'll be ready to stamp the document.  Because, as they say, when it's over, it's over.

Or is it?  Not always.  That's the frustrating part for most of us gals.  We like closure.  We like things tied up in a neat little bow.  But, it's just not always that simple.  I guess I can't remember who it was if anyone at all that told me that it would be simple.

The best we can do is move forward.  You've ended it. That's a fact.  The rest is not up to you.  Well, not really.  See what I mean?  GAH! 

So, here it is.  In some way shape or form you have an ending.  The initial outset sucks beyond anyone's imagination.  But, it will get better.  This too shall always, thank you for that gem, mother! 

The best thing you can do is remember why you got here, but, don't regret anything.  Each and every second meant something to you or you wouldn't have invested so much of yourself into it. 

Live, love and learn.

The End.....and, maybe, another Beginning?

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Morning Dash

"  Mommy?"

It's #1.  His voice is so faint.  Oh, just let me sleep, child.....

"Mommy?  I'm just gonna go downstairs, mm'k?  Play can stay in bed, K?"

"Mm hmm."  That was all I could muster.  Now....back to my lovely dream...about someone....and...something................

Child #1 is a genius, by the way.  And, not just because he got straight A's on his last 3rd quarter report card, because he did, by the way.  But, because he knows that the earlier he attempts his request for morning X-box play the better his odds are at getting my stamp of approval, as I am still groggy and still of somewhat mild demeanor.

A fleeting thought sneaks in....What time is it?  I do a quick phone check.  And, now it's on the floor.  Crap.  OK.  Got it. 6:23 am.  Early....nice.  Back to dreamland.  Very nice.

Wait!  X-box at 6:23 am????  Not good.  But.....I'm so cozy and snuggly and.....the dream.  Oh, one day won't hurt him, right?...............................


I am suddenly flung involuntarily out of bed and onto the floor.  It would appear as though a 747 has just crashed through the sliding glass doors in my kitchen.

Aaaaaggghhh!  GAH!  What the....????

"Baby!  What happened?  Whaaaaa?"

#2 is the proverbial stone-faced deer.  He is immobile in a hot mess puddle of produce, cottage cheese, salsa, cans of Coke Zero and some left overs that should have been tossed a few days back.  The only casualty I can spot so far is the bowl in which said left overs resided.  Well, that and the cottage cheese.  And the salsa.  Dammit.  I just bought that.  Yeah, pretty sure we won't open any Coke Zeros for a bit.  And, thank goodness I moved the milk to the door shelf.


Somehow the shelf to which my child clung to as he teetered on the ledge of the fridge remained in tact.  Small favors.

"Umm...what happened?" I murmur as I slump to the floor to begin clean up.

"I was hungry, and, um, you told me to get it myself.  I wanted yogurt...and...sniff...and....I...sssslipped...."

Oh boy.  Here come the tears.  Mother of the year strikes again...can't wake up to feed children and allows them to play video games at the crack of dawn.  Awesome.

"Come here.  I know it was an accident."  Man, I hate to admit it but I kinda love these moments when he needs his momma to love him and he nuzzles his little head into my neck.  Gotta enjoy it while I can.

Time check.  7:37 am.  7:37 am!!!!!!  MOTHER FUUUUUdgecicle!!!!!  OK.  Calm down! Assess.  OK.  Finish clean up, 3 showers, dress self and help #2, dry hair, apply makeup, coffee...oh god, yes, 3 breakfasts, pack my lunch, drive through bank to get money for day camp field trip, drop boys off at YMCA, and get self to work...all by 9:00 am.

Totally unreasonable.  Reassess.  Clean up, shower children, bird bath for mom, straighten hair, 5 minute makeup, cereal for 3, coffee for 1....totally non-negotiable, order Jimmy Johns for lunch, bank, Y, work.  OK.  That should do it.

Yeah, don't judge me on the bird bath thing.  Desperate times...desperate measures.  All key areas were tended to, I assure you.

I am midway through my 5 minute makeup when I hear what sounds like a 1 gallon water balloon crashing down on my kitchen table.  Oh...nope.  Just the entire pitcher of juice I made last night spilling all over my kitchen table, chairs and floor. 

"Oh for #@$% #%!^$#@#%#$^^&%*&%J*!!!!!!!"

And, now I have 2 stone faced deer in my kitchen. 

#1 attempts an explanation.  "I was getting us juice and I didn't want to bug you because I knew you were in a hurry and the lid, it just, I don't know, popped off."

Run to closet, grab towels.  Toss at children.  Bark orders for them to start wiping up while I finish makeup.  I'm gonna need all the help I can get today. 

Time check.  8:33.  Not as bad as I thought.  Time enough to do a quick Swiffer mop of the floor.

"Let's go!"

After about 10 lovely seconds of silence in the car, #1 speaks up.

"Mom? I have an idea.  What if you started getting up a little bit earlier, you know, like 30 minutes or so.  Maybe you wouldn't feel so rushed in the mornings.  Just an idea."

I wasn't sure whether I should kiss him or flick him.  But, yes, I realize he's right. Today, I blame the dream.

It was just another day in the life.  One to which I'm certain many of you can relate.  But through all the trials and tribulations one thing is very clear, every day is an adventure.  Yes, that's a nice way of putting it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lobotomy vs. Beach

Maya Angelou is quoted as having said, "If you change your way of thinking you can change your life."

Okay.  How does one do such a thing?  Please, a little insight on this elusive task would be greatly appreciated.  Is there an online course I could take and absorb and re-enter the life force a carefree, stress free and generally happy-go-lucky type gal?  Oh, please....tell me it is so.

My mother frequently used a term to describe me.  Get ready for it....wait for it.....uptight.  Ugh!  I loathe the word.  But, alas, I know it fits me to a "T".  And, frankly, it sucks.  To be so uptight.  It is THE thing about myself that I would most like to change.  If only it were so easy. 

Oh, yes.  I've read self help "stop and smell the roses" books, blogs and magazine articles.  My Pinterest boards are chalk full of inspirational quotes such as "Keep Calm and Carry On!", or "Live each day with a fresh start", or "If you want to be happy then be".......oh, blah frickity blah.

I mean, of COURSE I would love to be "that" girl.  Kind of like the one, you know, in the New Freedom maxi pad commercials back in the 1970's?  She was strolling on the beach with her sandals in her hand....kicking at the waves and giggling relentlessly.  Not a care in the world, that one.  Even though she had Barbie's twin sized mattress stuck between her legs she just didn't care. Why?  Because she had found New Freedom!  She was a trail blazer of the women's movement to "go with the flow".  Truly, no pun intended there.  That just happened.

But, there is something to be said about the beach.  It, to me, is the most tranquil and heavenly spot on this great Earth.  Any beach will do, but, one in particular is where I'd like to be.  As often as possible.  Any of you who have been there know exactly what I am talking about.  It's a little slice of heaven on Lake Michigan.  I only have to wait 6 more weeks before I get to go there.  I hope my sanity remains in tact until then. 

So, in the mean time I think I'll forgo the idea of a lobotomy.  At least for now.  Seems a tad drastic anyways.  I'm not so sure that they even do them anymore.  I'll have to ask my favorite local surgeon the next time I see him. 

I choose beach.  Yes.  The beach awaits me and my uptight self.

Perhaps subconsciously I'm exposing my over-active uptightness to a higher-than-normal degree because I know that my beach therapy is in my very near future.  It's a thought.  Albeit a rather obtuse one. 

But, hey, to know me is to love me.  At least I hope so.  Oh, wait...I don't care.  But, I really do.  Oh, whatever.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Ugly Cry

Oh, my God...why can't I stop crying?  Oh my God!  What the fuck is wrong with me?  I can't stop!!!  Breath...gasp....breath.  Oh, for fucks sake, get a fucking grip on yourself!!!!!

Where are my kids?  How long has it been?  Do they know I'm curled up in the fetal position on my bathroom floor?  What the hell is wrong with me?

Oh, shit....there's child #2, peeking through the crack in the bathroom door.

"Ummm....." I feign a sniffle but the snot to air ratio in my sinuses is a bit skewed.

"Hi, baby.  Mom's just a little...... sad."  Really?  "I'll be out in a minute...okay, pumpkin?"

"Mommy, I need to poop."

"Well, then I'm glad we have two bathrooms.  Please go use the hall bathroom, okay?"  By the way, I'm certain I didn't come across quite this politely when this conversation actually occurred.  Bygones.....

"The toilet's clogged up in that bathroom."

Of course it is.

"What's wrong with your eyes?  They're sticking out funny."

"Oh, just allergies."  "Allergies".

Yes.  This is exactly what I need right now.  A tad bit of reality to bring me back to planet not-so-crazy.  Christ-a-freaking-mony-on-a-Popsicle-stick. 

Only took me 5 plunges this time.  Not a record breaking poop.  How considerate.

"Okay, baby.  Poop away."

"I don't need to anymore."

Of course you don't.

Okay, sister....are we done here?  Quick check in the mirror.  DEAR LORD!!!  I look like hell!  Note to self...who needs collagen? upper lip could shade my entire torso from the sun at this point.  The thought of which, of course, makes me begin to cry even harder.

Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror in the midst of the ugly cry?  I truly hope not.  There is, quite frankly, nothing less appealing on the face of this planet than a middle aged woman having a chronic breakdown by herself in her bathroom....and then bearing sole witness to it in the mirror.  Horrific, in a nutshell.

Oprah coined the phrase. Naturally.  The "ugly cry".  And, every single woman out there knows exactly of what I speak.  It is a necessary and unwelcome event of every woman's life.  And, typically it occurs about once each month....sometimes worse than others, depending on current life circumstances. 

Tonight's episode hit me quick and hard.  My head is killing me.  Throbbing, at best.

But, what was it exactly that made me cry like that?  Or who?  Oh, I remember.  But....was it really worth all that?

Sometimes, well, most of the time, the answer to that question is a resounding "no".  Sometimes we  womenfolk just need a good big fat ugly cry.  To purge, so to speak.  To release the toxins that consume us unto the world so that we may move forward, confident, happy and whole.

Yeah, whatever

But, it's a nice thought, right? 

So, here I sit in the aftermath of a level 4 (out of 5, by the way) "ugly cry" asking myself, and anyone out there who may care, why the hell do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we allow certain circumstances of our lives to take us to a level where the only thing that we can do to amend the situation is cry at unholy levels until we can cry no more?

I suppose on some level it does make us feel better.  But, for the most part, tonight in particular, I just feel tired and swollen. 

I don't know.  Food for thought.

P.s.  Sorry for my absence.  It's certainly not for a lack of topics.  I have plenty of those.  Oh, just you wait......


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thank you

I have no words. 

A dear friend of mine posted this on Facebook the day her beloved left this world due to the atrocities of cancer. I remember thinking, "How could you have words?  How could you know what to say?  How will I?"

I'm not sure if I will have the right thing to say but, I do feel the need to say something. 

Thank you. 

Thank you, God, for Alice Mary Crabtree Rowe. She was your master piece. You should be proud. 

Thank you, God, for giving my sisters and I the most amazing mother anyone could have ever asked for. She wanted us to be proud, yet thoughtful. Strong, yet kind. And, most of all loving,, just that. Loving. 

My mother loved so many people. And, thanks to so many beautiful words from so many people I know that she was so loved in return. But, that really was never in question. She was one of the most lovable people anyone was to ever come across. 

Thank you for the most beautiful life full of beautiful memories. 

Thank you for giving one woman so much vitality and so much fortitude and courage and passion. And, thank you, God, for giving us so much time with her. I understand that you could use a gal like that on your team, but, we really needed her here for the time that we had her. A little more would have been nice, but, ok, fine. I get it. 

And, I thank you, forever, for allowing my sisters and I to be there with her during her last moments. That is, I'm certain, the most precious moment of my life. 

I am beyond sad. My heart is broken. But, I do understand. Most of all, I am grateful. All I can say is thank you for my mom. I will endeavor to leave an eighth of the mark that she left on this world. I hope that I can come even a tiny bit close to that. 

Good bye, mom. I love you and I miss you so terribly. But, I promise that I will be ok. We will all be ok. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Worry Wart

Well now, that title really conjures up some nasty images, eh?  Never fear, I really do have a point. I'll get to it in a bit. 

But, first and foremost, I must apologize for my lengthy absence. I have no valid excuses, other than I have a severe case of brain frazzle. I can't seem to think clearly or even get out an intelligible sentence as of late. Not even sure if I'm making any sense as I write. But, the fantastic thing about writing is a little something called proof reading. 

Life comes at all of us a million-point-one miles an hour.  The difference in our experiences is how we manage it. I don't think I've been managing it all that well. So, rather than do or say something completely asinine or, god forbid I have a complete mental meltdown in some public venue, I have opted to shut up and hole up.  It's a relatively juvenile form of coping, but, it works for me. 

Except for one little glitch.  In spending more-than-normal time in private I am, in turn, at one with my thoughts. Not necessarily a good thing. Rather, a potentially precarious situation. You see, I tend to, um, over think things a bit. I like to worry. 

So, it's your lucky day. I intend to use my current form of therapy, blogging, to "cleanse" my brain. To purge, if you will, my anxiety riddled mind. 

We all have our worries. The ones that keep us up at night. The ones that creep in in the middle of what was a good day and tear it to shreds. Some relevant, some not so much. 

I, however, make worrying an art form.  I'm very, very good at it. I'm not saying I'm proud, just stating the facts. Fortunately I have very low blood pressure. 

So, currently I am consumed with: a few moles that look a little suspicious; why my 5 year old's 2 front teeth have not started coming in yet; filing my taxes....don't judge; if my friends still like me because I never call; if my boyfriend still likes me now that he's REALLY getting to know me; if my ex has taken the dogs to the vet; if I'll ever find time to clean up my yard; how elaborate of a party do I need to have for a 10 year old; is Ben really going to choose Courtney; finances....BIG one; my children, my sisters, my nieces and nephew, and, most of all, my parents. 

Welcome to the looney bin. 

And, like the proverbial wart, I feel as though I might explode. Sorry about that.  

I come from a long line of worriers. My mother, she is the Grand Dame of worriers. She is not content unless she has something current to worry about. Good thing she had four daughters. Plenty of material there. 

It is an absolute amazement and such a gift that my mom is still here.  She is fighting her cancer with every speck of strength that she has left. However,  she is extremely anxious. When you ask her what she is so anxious about she can not come up with an answer. My sisters and I and mom's care takers all try to put her mind at ease. We tell her to relax, that there's nothing she HAS to do or even worry about. To no avail. 

The other day in a relatively clear moment she said to me, "I'm so apprehensive.". I asked her why she thought that was. She simply said, "I guess you would be when you're about to die."

And there it was, the very reason that I have been so ridiculously anxious. I mean, I knew it. Deep down. It just took a little mother's wisdom to remind me. 

Mom has always said, this too shall pass. I know I've shared that before, but it's more relevant than ever. Yes, it will. She will. And, I can't help but worry about that. It is an overwhelmingly troubling reality. So, I now recognize that I have packed my brain with somewhat mundane worries to cover up the one anxiety that could and will consume me with grief. 

I certainly don't expect to stop worrying any time soon. There's no quick fix. But, I did recently read something that basically said to embrace your troubles because they are shaping your future. Hmmm. Makes sense. Okay. I'll sure give it the old college try. But, I make no promises. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Susie Homemaker

Ok, if you know me well then you may stop laughing now. And, no, this is not a write up on my fantastic domestic skills. I can sum that up in 1 word: challenged. 

I am a wanna-be....a domestic goddess wanna-be. 

I admire these women from afar. These happy little homemakers.  I am genuinely impressed with their ability to juggle their roles as mother, wife, chef, decorator, handy woman and cleaning lady. And for those who are also able to act as frequent hostess AND career girl AND sex kitten, well, girlfriend, I salute you.  But, God forbid they also manage to squeak in a workout here and there. We're bordering on animosity at this point, truth be told. 

Seriously, though, at some point, something's got to give!!!  Right?  It seems relatively inhuman to maintain such a routine.  But, dammit, I would certainly love to be in their 4 inch high (what else?) stilettos for just one day!

June Cleaver has been resurrected. The difference is now she's a bitch in the boardroom, a tiger in the bedroom and Ward does half of the chores and the chid care. 

Or am I just making this creature up?  No, I really don't think so. No!  In fact, I know her!  I know several of her!

But, it does take some finely honed delegation skills. Just ask Martha Stewart. Turkey Hill was not built in a day, and not just by Martha's hands alone. 

My problem is mostly that 5 and 9 year old boys don't take well to delegation. Well, that and it's hard to squeeze in things domestic between blogging, pinning, texting and face booking. 

Pinterest. Ah, Pinterest. It  is alarmingly addictive. It has reminded me of how much I miss decorating, organizing and, yes, cooking.  So I spend endless hours pinning what I want my life at home to look like. It's all very pretty right there on my pin boards.  And, then, I log off, close my iPad, look around my home and sigh. It was just a dream. It's gonna take a little more action and a lot less pinning. 

Once upon a time I was a domestic goddess.  I could paint the living room walls, mulch my flower beds, create a duvet out of a shower curtain, clean the entire house, set a dinner table for 8, prepare a well thought out meal, rock a fabulous new outfit, host an elegant evening in for 6 of our closest friends, get my freak on,  clean up the kitchen and paint my nails, all in a days time. No big deal. 

It makes me tired just thinking about it now. I wish I still had it in me. Something happened along the way. I lost focus, or something. But, I feel the urge.....the urge to buy storage baskets and to dye my slip covers and to fire up my new Crock Pot. Those seem like reasonably simple ways to ease my way back into goddess mode. 

Because, really, there's nothing quite as nice as coming home after a hard day at work to a neat, clean, well-organized and fantastically decorated home where the aroma of some culinary delight wafts through the air. 

Just ask Ward Cleaver.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Coming of Age

My 9 year old asked me the other day, "Mom, when did you become an adult?  I mean, when did you become a grown up?"

"Well, son, those are two entirely different things...."

"Huh?" his attention was already wavering. 

"Let's see...well, legally I became an adult at 18. But, frankly, I don't think I actually became an 'adult' until I was somewhere around 24. As to when I became a grown up....I'm still working on that one."

"I have no idea what you mean." 

"Me either, babe."

Okay, not completely sure on how to proceed with this one. How do I explain to him the importance of acting responsibly while maintaining the notion of being young at heart....without totally confusing the poor guy?  I'm not so sure that I've actually accomplished said task. 

Well,  first of all, the notion that someone is capable of acting as an adult at the age of 18 is slightly ridiculous. Even crazier is that our government considers 18 year olds mature enough to go to war but not quite so to drink a beer.  Don't get me started....

Honestly, I can remember when I finally recognized that I was, in fact, an adult.  I was a ripe old 24 and had just gone through a series of unfortunate events, all of which were of my own doing. I had a choice to make. I could have surrendered and run back home to live with my parents until I was ready to act like an adult, OR, I could face it head on, chalk it all up to life lessons and trudge ahead. I begrudgingly chose option #2. I knew I'd never forgive myself otherwise. 

I suppose it does take some level of crisis to snap us out of adolescenthood and heave us into adulthood. That's one of those things that other adults neglect to tell us, as well as "child birth hurts badly", "there is no such thing as financial freedom" and, the grand daddy of them all, "life is NOT always fun". 

Alright, it's not really all that bad. You know I can't make it through a blog without quoting a movie.....but, one of my all time favorites comes from the movie 'Parenthood'....

Grandma: You know, when I was 19, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. 
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story. 
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it. 

So, I guess part of being an adult means being able to take the bad with the good.  Makes sense. 

Now, as to being a grown up....does anyone actually accomplish that?  Ever?  Well, not anyone that I spend much time with has. I'm happy to report. 

I think not acting your age every now and again is a very good thing. As long as you do it in moderation. We all know someone who refuses to grow up. You know, the good time guy or gal who's always up for the party but is no where to be found when the proverbial s**t comes down. 

But, life is just too short to be serious all the time!  It's finding the perfect balance between frivolity and practicality that is the real task at hand.  And, I'm pretty sure this must take the entirety of a life. 

My parents are shining examples of striking that happy medium of a joyful AND purposeful life. They have lived well. They acted responsibly and enjoyed every second. And, even in the midst of creating what they both know are their final memories, they are doing it with finesse. Because they must know that somehow they managed to take this business of being an adult seriously all the while not always acting like a grown up. 

I only hope I can do it half as well as my parents have. 

So, before publishing this I allowed my son to read it in hopes that maybe I could impart some of my "wisdom" on him. 

"I don't really get it, mom."


"Me either, babe. Maybe someday we will both figure it out."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baby Steps

I think it may be true. I think that you quite possibly can teach an old dog new tricks. It just takes a little bit longer. 

Patience. I've never really been a fan. We've just never really seen eye to eye. I resist it at all costs, but, for the most part, patience kicks my ass. Every time.  One would think I might have figured it out by now.  It's a work in progress, people. 

My sister ever so gently reminded me recently that I am of the instant gratification school of thought. I want what I want and I want it now. Frankly I don't really see the err of my ways here, but, I guess I do realize that: a. You can't ALWAYS get what you want, and b. Good things (supposedly) come to those who wait. 

Still not a fan, but, ok. I'm on board with the movement. 

So, if you're feeling a little lost at this point or if you think I'm being a bit vague, then, good. That is my intent. 

Skipping along hand in hand with being patient is also the art of being able to relax. And, yes, I do consider this to be an art form. One which I have yet to master. Who am I kidding?  I'm not even in the beginner's class yet. 

Relax?  What the?  Who the heck has time for that?  Times a waistin' folks!

Okay, maybe if I'm sitting on a beach with a full margarita and the knowledge that I still have an entire week to sit there and do just that, then, yes, I can then relax. Until I look at my watch an realize that I only have a week left to relax. And, then I start to get nervous that I won't be able to relax. 

I know. Believe me, I really do know. 

But that's me. Have we met?  I'm not excusing my erratic and sometimes annoying behavior. It's just that I've been this way for 42 years. But, it's never too late to try your hand at something new. I am down with that. ( I'm not at all hip, by the way. I do recognize this.)

I think I've been pretty good at trying new things as of late. So, in an attempt to better myself and possibly put an extension on my expiration date, I will try to focus some/a little energy on relaxing. And being patient. But, if I'm being totally honest, the thought of it makes me uneasy. 

In a sense I guess you could consider this to be my New year's resolution. Though, I've really never been a fan of those either. What I mean is, if you've got something about yourself that you want to change, then change it. Why lay false hope on the idea that you may actually do it in a year's time. 

If I'm coming across as relatively snarly, I apologize. It's just that I recognize that these behaviors of mine have thrown quite a hitch in my giddy up over the years. And being of the Oprah era I think it's time to move forward. Lighten the load, so to speak. It's just that I know it isn't going to be easy. By any stretch. 

One day at a time. 


Okay. Fine. But I refuse to get rid of my daily planner. That's a deal breaker right there. 

So, if you come across me anytime in the near future and notice me taking deep breaths, sitting down and doing nothing at all or even going to a yoga class for crap's sake, you'll know why. I haven't lost my mind entirely. I'm just trying my best to learn a couple of new skills. For personal enhancement and, honestly, for the personal enjoyment of anyone who knows me well enough. 

Like I said, baby steps.