Archive for November, 2012


It’s that time of year again… We are all focused on giving and making other

people’s dreams come true. We are all grateful for what we receive. Parents

especially forget about their own needs and just focus on what will make the

kids happy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. When it comes down to it, this is what I REALLY

want for Christmas for me and for my family.

 

Me-

  1. One date per month, planned out, with baby-sitters taken care of! This is different than a husband  agreeing to go out with me. This means: all planned, no loose ends, all I have to do is make myself pretty (done!).
  2. Personal assistant to do all the things I don’t want to do! I figure this is about 10 hours per week. He or she will be responsible for cutting my coupons, writing thank you notes (invitations, xmas cards, etc), handle any/all paper work in my life (bills, correspondence, program registrations, etc.).
  3. One goddamn minute to myself! (I can actually see the moms reading this smiling and nodding). I want to read a book, take a bath, pee alone….
  4. To be discovered! Whether it’s writing, or modeling, or…. Yeah, I guess those are the two things I excel at: the written word and being professionally good looking.
  5. Five things from Pinterest! Okay, maybe 10 things. I would love to actually have something that I have pinned. I have purchased 1 thing out the 17 million things I want. Wouldn’t it be nice to have just a few of those outfits, or the outdoor patio, or the vacation, or the dream house. Okay, 15 things. That’s it, I promise.
  6. Someone to lay out my outfits every morning! Maybe Stacy and Clinton? Anyway, I would love if I could just wake up and not have to think about putting an outfit together. But, if I can’t have that, maybe someone to just hang up all of the ‘out-fit fails’ that I put together and subsequently leave on my bed every day.

My Husband-

  1. A personal assistant to plan above mentioned date nights! Let’s face it, if this were a strong suit for (straight) men, we would have much happier women running around. He needs some help. No offense to my husband, offense is meant for all men in general.
  2. A ‘beam-me-up-scotty’ machine! I would love to give him this gift. He wastes so much quality time driving. All jokes aside, I can’t think of anything that would be more useful to my man.

My Children-

  1. NO toys that make noise! Thanks, we’re good. We have a drum set, a recorder, a harmonica, a tickle me Elmo, and a damn beat toy (like the vegetable) that signs ‘we got the beat we got the beat we got the beat’. I will cut you.
  2. Things that we actually need! You know what my 15 month old wants for xmas? Diapers, pajamas, shoes, money for day care… I know these things are not fun to buy, but that’s what we (I mean she) needs.
  3. Things that Mommy and Daddy need! I know this seems selfish, but it’s really not. We are the ones that spend every spare cent on these little free-loaders. We need money for school, day care, swim lessons, t-ball, student loans (oops, that might be me), etc.
  4. Toys that will keep them occupied for one goddamn minute! “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mama, mama” You’ve seen that clip of Stewie; welcome to my life.
  5. NO cheap plastic toys! No more crap made in China that will break in 3 minutes that fits perfectly into my running shoes. Save up the $3 for each crap toy and buy me a bottle of Vodka buy them a book to mold their young minds.

I think that about covers it. If you get confused, cash money son. I got bills to pay.

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Lazy Hazy Dazey Sunday

Snuggled up with my boos, two

Work and nonsense surrounds us ignored

 

Slowing down time with my mind

Soaking up the now-ness of well….now

 

Grinch by the tree,

the Elf’s on the shelf

And the man I love’s in my heart

1. Your Job: The latest research shows that if you sit all day at work, and spend most of your evening sedentary as well, working out 3x/week at a gym is not enough! That’s right, those (few) of you that actually get in 3 workouts per week- it’s not enough. We have to find more ways to move every day. Walk on your lunch break, pace while on conference calls, do jumping jacks in the bathroom, do push ups before you get in the shower, etc. Move that ass!

2. Your gym membership: Okay, this might not be making you fat, but it is likely keeping you fat. A large majority of people have no idea what to do while they are at the gym. FYI, hopping on the elliptical for 20 mins while reading a magazine and then doing a couple weight machines followed by a steam room is getting you nowhere fast! If you are trying to LOSE weight you probably need a professional. Maybe this is a personal trainer, maybe this is a boot camp (I recommend Lake County Boot Camps, maybe this is a group exercise class, or maybe it is a high intensity DVD in your living room. You need high intensity and someone who is going to push you. Any of these is certainly is better than dickin’ around for an hour at the gym clueless.

3. Your kids: That’s right, your kids are making you fat. You probably made your mom fat (I just called your mom fat) and now your kids are returning the favor. You have no time, you can’t find a sitter, and you steal their french fries- I get it. You have to find away to get away from those monsters.

4. Your fake food diet: This may be the worst offender! You think you are making smart choices with your diet pop or by using splenda in your coffee. False! Artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Period. They are nothing but chemicals and convince your body to crave more sweet food because it is not satisfied. Low fat cookies? Low calorie bread? That translates to full of fake non-food created in a lab. Michael Pollan: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Jillian Michaels: If it doesn’t come from the ground, and it doesn’t have a mother, you shouldn’t eat it!

5. Your sleep: Or should I say ‘lack-there-of’? We are not sleeping enough. It’s almost like a sick badge of honor. “I’m such a hard worker and I’m so dedicated that I only get 4-5 hours of sleep a night.” BS! You need sleep. You heal when you sleep. Your body releases growth hormone when you sleep. Without this sleepy goodness, you get fat! Also, more sleep=less stress=better sleep=better health. Do it.

Saturday Love

Oh, sweet Saturday nap

You delicious N-A-P

Solitary time

Special just for me

 

Got my comfy clothes on

(Bra thrown on the floor)

Fan to block the noise

Quick-quiet close the door

 

Mask covering my face

Blankets to my chin

One hour with my kids asleep

I win! I win! I win!

 

Got a red hot date tonight

With my husband: handsome, tall

Will I miss my kids? You say-

Oh, Ha! Not at all

 

Of all the days per week

My favorite is Saturday

Sure- there’s some work to do

But, it’s mostly filled with alcohol play!

Here is a quick list of the things I dare you to say to (or around) me. Go ahead, try it, we’ll see what
happens…

1. “You look tired, are you getting sick?”
This is a euphemism for ‘you look like sh*t’ today. There is no other innocent explanation for this comment. If you don’t have anything nice to say….

2. “Doesn’t it kill you that you are missing these most precious moments not being home with your kids?”
This is the sh*t that pisses me off the most! First of all, it’s none of your business. Second of all, I am NOT missing the most precious moments. I am there every day after work and every weekend doing the absolute best job I know how for my kids. Who said that the best way to raise kids was to be with them every second anyway? Third of all, my kid is going to be a well rounded individual that sees me as something else besides a mommy. Fourth of all, it’s none of your business. And, lastly, you know how many times my husband has been asked this question? Zip! Apparently having a vagina makes me more obligated.

3. “Ginormous, Fantabulous, Cray, Swag” (and so many more)
If you are over 13 and say any of these things, you should get slapped. In fact, that should be the new social norm. You say one of these things in public and the closest stranger should be allowed required to slap you in the face.

4. “Oh your kid doesn’t _______ yet?” (or any other condescending dick-head thing about my kids)
These comments are usually followed up with a comparison to the speaker’s perfect child or with a condolence about how you ‘shouldn’t worry’, and ‘that it will happen soon’. Puke. Mind your own business. My kids are off limits (unless you want to praise them).

5. “Is your husband baby-sitting tonight?”
No, he’s not f-ing baby-sitting. He is an equal parent, with equal parenting qualifications and responsibilities. He is no more or less obligated or capable.

6. “I expect my girl to be ______________” (said in douchey guy voice)
It really doesn’t matter what fills in that blank, it’s all bad. Your ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ should not be expected to be anything (tall, skinny, pretty, shaved, etc)! I am so sick of men over estimating their own value and having these unrealistic expectations for women. We all know at least one guy out there with a beer belly who’s losing his hair and is still expecting to find a hot chick with a flat tummy. How dare you tell a woman what she needs to be for you! I just pray she is not dumb enough to play along.

I’m glad I got all of that off my chest. There are a lot of dumb people out there saying really dumb things. Maybe if they started getting punched, they would think before they spoke.

 

*I have never actually punched anyone, and am pretty sure it would hurt my hand too much.

30 Day Challenge Summary

Well, my 30 days is up. Here is what I learned while to trying to be the best me I could be:

  • My happiness really has nothing to do with the number on the scale. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if I really let things get out of control it would bother me. But, if I am within 10 lbs. of my ultimate goal weight, I’m cool.
  • It turns out you cannot have a fun-size candy bar every day for the month of October and lose weight. I know… shocker!
  • I really hate cleaning! I really really do. And, the funny thing is, I don’t really care that much. Yes my house could be cleaner. Yes I could be more organized. But it turns out I can turn blind and satisfied eye to my clutter and still enjoy my day. I would much rather play with my kids, or play with my husband than clean. Perhaps if I had more ‘free’ time, I would feel better about designating time for chores, but until I do I will have a messy house but a happy home.
  • I love helping out people that need it. I will say there was a point when I was at the grocery store and was worrying about money (because we don’t have a lot) and I remembered that I have never had to go to bed hungry or had to choose between feeding my kids and something else. I have always been able to put a winter coat on their backs. No matter how little you think you have, there is always someone with less. What can you sacrifice out of your current budget that may help someone else?
  • Exercise makes me feel good, I know all the good things it does for my body, I enjoy it while I do it, and I still have a hard time getting it done. If I don’t have a plan, I will fail.
  • Sitting around ‘pinning’ pictures of fit women with inspirational phrases does not make my ass tight. I know…shocker! I actually have to put the computer away and do some mother f*cking squats.
  • Writing makes me happy. It always does. For me, there is nothing more soothing than sitting here talking to all of you. I can almost picture you while you are reading this and it makes me smile.
  • This moment right now is when I am at my happiest: I am writing, drinking hot apple cider, I have pasta sauce on the stove, and I am listening to my baby snore away on the monitor (she is sick right now and therefore sounds like a middle aged man from Wisconsin). This is what makes me feel like ‘me’.
  • I am so blessed in my life and in my love. Whenever I am not feeling like ‘me’, I need to take a step back and soak it all in. I need to take a step back and ask myself, “is what I’m doing right now, getting me closer to the ultimate dream for my life?”, or “is what I am doing right now contributing to my future happiness?”, and “is what I am doing contributing to anyone else’s happiness, or is it just my own?”

I don’t know whether I would classify this month as a success. I didn’t reach a lot of my goals. I didn’t lose any weight. I didn’t get organized. But, I did gain a little perspective. I did enjoy sharing it with all of you. Thanks for listening and hopefully you took at least one positive away from all of my ramblings. 🙂

Btw, I feel a little like Oprah using a picture of myself, but this post was about me so I didn’t know what else to use. Don’t judge!

Day-Light-Savings-Surprise

This is something I almost never do- a morning quickie. Not the cool kind, just a quick blog while my kids are happily playing by themselves. Don’t worry, the big one’s watching the little one.

If you’re a parent you know that kids do not respect the ‘fall back’ part of daylight savings. Their internal clocks usually take a week to adjust. So, it was no surprise this morning when they woke me up about an hour earlier than usual.

My first reaction was a grown up temper tantrum (you know muffled crying sounds into your pillow). But, as soon as my husband plopped my little girl into my arms and she gave me 17 kisses, I knew it was going to be okay.

I decided to practice what I am always preaching, “reframe and refocus”. Instead of being a victim to my children and their ridiculous amount of 6 am energy, I decided to see it as a blessing. What could I do with an extra hour with my kids that I normally don’t get? Normally our mornings are pretty rushed. It is hard to get everyone fed, dressed, and ready for my son’s 9 am preschool. Not today. We spent an hour just playing. Hanging out in my son’s room doing puzzles, practicing our writing and spelling, and (Ellis) trying not to be afraid of tickle me Elmo. It was glorious.

 

 

These are the moments that makes me wish I could stay at home with my kids and be there for every moment. Although there are plenty of moments that make me want to run screaming to work as well. Bottom line, I am going to treasure the times I do get and try not to throw grown up temper tantrums (you know curse words under your breath until you feel better).

Being the season of politics and campaigning, we are being bombarded by declarations of America’s greatness. It’s like if a politician doesn’t tear up just saying the words, ‘god bless America’ he/she is shunned forever. “Not only did they not mention god, but they didn’t say we are the best! And where was the flag pin?!”

Why are we so obsessed with convincing ourselves that we are the best? Why do we ignore all facts and statistics when we claim that we are the best?

I decided I would do a little research and look at America by the numbers:

  • 31st in K-12 education
  • 25th in math
  • 37th in life expectancy
  • #1 in obesity
  • 37th in overall health care
  • #1 in gun related injuries (not death), #1 in gun ownership
  • #5 in wealth inequality
  • 34th in infant mortality
  • #5 in divorce
  • 1 in 6 americans are hungry
  • 48.8 Americans live in food-insecure households
  • #22nd in Gender Equality

We’re #1! We’re #1!

I don’t mean to sound unpatriotic, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given. But let’s get real. The stats above don’t ‘shout’ the best. What exactly makes us ‘the best’? Our military? Our freedom? (Yeah, if you are a 40+ year old white straight christian male).

There is a fine line between pride in your country and being dangerously ethno-centric! There is literally a country song with the words, “we’ll stick a boot in your ass ’cause that’s the American way.” USA! USA! And we can’t believe other countries don’t like us. “They hate us for our freedom”.

You may be wondering, what exactly is the problem with all of this behavior?

If we consistently preach that we are the best, we never try to learn from others. If we think that we are #1 across the board, we will ignorantly follow status quo while others are passing us up. If we falsely believe that our health care is #1, we are letting infants die while we ignore the latest improvements. Companies that don’t evolve- fail. Countries that don’t evolve- will fail.

I have heard many a right leaning politician or pundit say things like, ‘uh oh, what is this Europe?’ Would that be so bad? France is #1 in Health care. European countries are ranked higher than the US in education. Now I am not saying we should try to be France, but I am saying we need to stop acting like we are some how superior to the rest of the world.

It would be political suicide, but I would love to hear a politician say that we have a lot to learn from the rest of the world. Why don’t we investigate or study the best policies and proceedures from the world and see what we can learn? Would that be so bad?

Or nevermind……’Merica!

6 a.m. alarm buzzes, get ready for work, kiss kids goodbye by 7 a.m., and then race to work. Fast forward to 3:30, jet home, play with kids, cook, eat dinner, go for a run (if I am lucky), bath times, kids in bed. At 7:45 I sit down for the first time, spend an hour or so with the hubby, read, and grown-ups go to bed. Repeat.

This is my life. So, do I have it all? No!

Only in America do we have these extreme ideas like ‘having it all’, ‘finding the one’, having ‘the perfect body’, and ‘living the dream’. Not only do I think these things are unrealistic, I think that they are dangerous. Having it all is not attainable because it is fiction. If we spend our time trying to get to a finish line that doesn’t exist- we never stop running! The problem is that someone is always going to have more, or have it better, or have it easier. The grass is always greener and those damn Jones’ are very hard to keep up with. If we are always looking for that next upgrade, whether it’s our cell phones or our homes or our marriages, we will never be satisfied. Now that is an unpleasant way to live- always feeling like there is something better just out of your reach.

Instead of trying to achieve the un-achievable, I propose, we focus on being happy. Just happy; simple as that. Now, to do this may take some creative thinking, but we can choose what to focus on. We may not have control over everything that happens in our lives, but we certainly have control over how we let the circumstances affect us. I am constantly telling myself, “re-frame….re-focus”. Whenever something irritates me, when I don’t have what I think I want, and when someone else is affecting my happiness, I just change my focus. I (try to) learn what I can from the situation, focus on what I DO have in my life, and I move on. I know, easier said than done.

I might not have it all, but I have enough. In fact, I have a little bit of everything. I have a job that makes me happy, but it’s not the biggest and best paying job. I have a handsome husband of five years. We don’t get a lot of fancy dinners and fabulous vacations, but we love each other. I have a social life- not much of one- but it counts! I have great friends and the world’s best sister. And, I have 2 beautiful children that make me smile every day of my life. I can’t believe how much those sticky little monkeys make me melt. But, even with my babies, very often I have to tell them no; that they can’t have it all either.

So, like I said, I don’t have it all, but it’s enough to make me happy. Although, I will admit that when I am reading my son his story and he looks up at me and says, “Mommy, I very love you” it sure feels like I have it all. That is, until- 6 a.m. alarm buzzes….

 

*This was actually submitted for a little contest and since I didn’t win, I thought I would share it with all of you. Who needs money for writing anyway???

Related post : Mommy Enough (pressure)?