Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013- A Mother's Manifesto

As 2013 approaches it is hard not to reflect on the year past.  Every morning show, evening news program, even NPR is doing a year in review. Now more than ever I am reminded of something that I wrote that seems more important than it did even when I wrote it.  With my surgery around the corner and with all the recapping of the natural disasters, tragic events, and deaths of the year I feel now more than ever I need a change.  This is my Mother's Manifesto.

I am a Mom. I am 40 years-old.  I drive a mini-van. I am a PTA member.  I drive to and from Soccer and/or dance class, agility, basketball, or music at least once a night. I am a Mom.

I chose to leave my career.  I chose to leave the city.  I chose my house based on the school district.  I chose to have only two children.  I chose to have them later in life.

I am proud to be a Mom.  I am confident in my choices.  I am disgusted with our world.

for my children.....

I want a world without hunger and hate, bad guys and bullies, war and waste, pollution and politics, indifference and injustice, obesity and obsessions, narrow mindedness and negativity, judgement and jealousy.

The world I will fight for is a world where my children can grow in peace and love and wisdom.

I want a world where no child goes without food.  A world that cares for all living creatures enough to feed those that will care for us in our sunset years. I want a world where no one procures hate for power and greed, and more importanlyt in the name of religion.

I want a world free of bullies - big and small, political and playground, worldwide and suburban, external and internal.  I want a world free of fear of bad guys that lurk to steal our identity, our property, our souls, our children.

I want a world free of war.  I want a guarantee that I will not watch my sons walk away to fight and not return.  I want a world where what we do not use is as important as what we do and the option is not based on popularity.

I want a world where people don't wait for someone else to fix-it or standby hoping someone else will speak-up.  I want a world where money can not buy equality.

I want a world where indulgence is a luxury not a right.  I want a world where happiness and passion are an obsession.

I want a world where hair color, sex, or religion is not a reason to write people off.  I want a world where being toxic is not the norm.

I want a world that not only accepts people for who they are but embraces them.  I want a world that treasures what we have, are, need- not what others have that we do not.

Our fore fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence -
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
To which Benjamin Franklin replied -
"The Constitution gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."
Let this be the year we all catch happiness - To 2013!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Silent generation vs. The loud

When I was logging into email the other day I noticed the news feed in the sidebar said, "Where have all the Mom's gone?" My first thought was Oh shit they found an escape and I'm still here! My second thought was, Wait! Maybe they've been abducted by aliens I don't need that.  Intrigued as to where all the moms could possibly be going I read on.

Face book. Seriously? That's what this is about, moms on Face book. How much more press can that crazy app get? The article said that Mom's are disappearing from Face book profile pic's and being replaced by pictures of their children. And?

I know that I've only shared a few details of my life, in this blog, about my life, but let me recap.  I am the middle child of five born to what is now called the Silent Generation.  Since we name all generations now, suffice it to say they were toddling around during the baby boom and there is a good reason to call them silent.

My parent were definitely hands on but not by today's definition.  They were always ready to put their hands on you just not to help you mostly to jack slap you back into line.  We had an open door policy in the house also, the door was always open if you didn't like it, get out.  The lines of communication in our house were better than anyone else in town! Because my father was a Real Estate agent prior to cell phones and needed to get those calls for work we had two phone lines in our house, his and ours.

There was their world, and our world.  A distinct separation between them and us.  They went out on Saturday night and we watched Love Boat and Fantasy Island with the babysitter.  Raising children meant making sure they had food, water, shelter, and Catholic school.  (Well, at least in this part of the Midwest anyway.) And they did all of that along with sports, dance lessons, prom dresses, cars, and college.  After working enough years they were able to retire allowing them to winter in Florida as "snow birds" several months a year and spend their time garage saleing, sun bathing, and bragging about the grankids.

I love my parents make no mistake and I think there is a lot to learn from them.  But there is something sad and silent about their generation.  There was not a lot of hugs and kisses, I love you's, and I don't remember an I'm proud of you.

Unlike some of their peers my parents have seen what could have been.  They tell me all the time now how very proud they are to be my parents, they tell me I am a better parent then they were, and there is no shortage of hugs, kisses, or I love you's.  And according to my six-year-old son their favorite thing in the world is to "spoil me rotten." That's what good grandparents do!

As part of a generation that lives more out loud then ever I struggle to find the balance.  My kids are my life.  If you don't like that, tough.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without them.  They are the very best part of me hands down.  If I was on Face book of course I would show off my kids, why wait for grankids to find the joy?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hello? Universe, is that you again?

After I left college I flounder around for quite a while.  Just couldn't figure out what I wanted to do let alone how I was going to make a difference.  I ended up working in non-profit for a while and met the most amazing woman.

She took me out to lunch on several occasions and gave me advice on how to handle people, situations, and things that were coming at me.  The one thing she said that I have thought about over and over again threw the years is that when something is happening that you just can't make sense of ask yourself, "What is the universe trying to tell me?"

There have been many times in my life since then I have asked that question.  or screamed that question.  or choked the question out through tears.  What am I suppose to learn? How is THIS suppose to teach me something? What do you want me to know?

I was clear with the universe that I am not good at subtlety.  "Make it a Billboard!" I would shout to the universe, "I'm not good at the small stuff."  But when I tried to get better at looking for the small things, I would miss the billboard right in front of me.  I felt doomed.

Someone asked me the other day if I was mad about getting cancer.  If having to go through all of this made me want to scream, why me!  So I thought about it.

No. I am not mad. I realized I knew it was coming, in that way that I know things are going to happen.  It's not as clear as the Long Island Medium unfortunately or I'd sure as heck be hitting the talk show circuit myself.  But I knew it, and had readied for worse.

Did I ever ask why me? No. Didn't cross my mind to ask that question, but I did ask, "What is the universe trying to tell me?"  I'm still working on that one.  But if I had to make some guesses right about now it would be that it's about damn time I take care of myself.  Not just physically. But mentally.  Being a mom is the greatest job I've ever had, and the hardest job I've ever had, but it is also the most enlightening job I've ever had.

In any other job to get a raise you get reviewed.  You sit down in front of your boss and they ask you what you think you did well that year and after you tell them they pick it all apart and tell you what you really did wrong.  It is humbling, eye opening, and infuriating but when it is done right it can be very constructive to you as an employee and a person.

Being a mother is like being reviewed everyday.  Thinking that I am in charge of making these little people into gentlemen is a daunting task and very often I am humbled when they teach me what life is all about.  Watching how they handle situations and thinking, WOW, where did you learn that? Not from me.

But they did learn that from me, I just didn't realize I was teaching.  Maybe that is what the universe is trying to tell me. To quote a silly old bear of very little brain...
"there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meet Roofis

Once again, we are late to the party, but honestly there was a very good reason we just got an Elf on the Shelf.  My children were terrified of little type people like Leprechauns and Elves.

That all changed this year and they were asking why we didn't have an Elf and how do we get one? Well, I couldn't say "because you two were terrified" and that we did have one stuffed into the back of a closet behind the extra blankets.

So our Elf appeared on December 1st after we read the book and talked about the rules.  According to these rules we had to name him on order for him to come back that night.  So after a lot of back and forth between the boys my husband suggested Roofis, to which our six-year-old said, "would that be roofis?" Sure.

Now I have to say, the boys fear of little people in general was indeed handy for a mom who is not great at remembering things like Elves on Shelves.  Since Roofis joined our family there have been many a late night flight down the stairs upon remembering him.  Also at least one morning where I gave one if not both boys an inane task while I shot downstairs trying to remember where Roofis was let alone where I was going to put him next.

The most wonderful thing about Roofis has been watching our nine-year-old interact with him.  He non-chalently looks for him every morning as soon as he wakes up, then makes sure to stop and say goodbye before he leaves for school.  I have found him telling Roofis something secret in a whisper, as well as reminding his brother that "Roofis is watching ans reporting to Santa tonight!"

I know full well that most nine-year-olds are done believing in Santa Claus.  Watching my nine-year-old hold on tight with both hands warms my heart. I know that I did, I was afraid not believing would mean no more presents.  Worse yet, I was afraid of what Christmas would feel like when I stopped believing in magic.

Friends with older children have told me how jealous they are and wish they could go back.  This year it's all good, I'm holding on tight, with both boys.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's not about you- being you.....

It's about you- being me!!

I think the hardest part of this whole freakin' mess (I refuse to say "journey" because it's not) is that my husband is trying to be support and wants to be supportive, but he's doing it his way.  And so you know what I really need right now? A wife.

I need another me.  Let go-schmet go! I'm the mom of course I can't let go.  If my husband says one more time, "I got it!" I'm going to beat him with a frying pan.  He doesn't "got it" because he's never done it and it's too damn let to explain it.

How do I explain that every minute of everyday you are desperately trying to stay 2 steps ahead of everyone.  If you don't stay on top of the laundry everyone runs out of underwear on the same exact day.  If you don't run the dishwasher at least twice a day there will be either no bowls or no spoons at breakfast.  If you only open the refrigerator to feed yourself you may not notice there is no milk, fruit, or lunch food to pack.

It's to damn late to train a replacement, I need another me.  One that understands when to let the boys sleep in and when to rouse them early and get them outside to play before the bus.  One that knows which one will slip out the door everyday in the same clothes hidden under the hoodie and how to handle the one who never has "anything to wear".  How to get them into a shower, then how to get them out.  How to get teeth brushed, prayers said, and a story before 11:30 at night.

My poor husband.  He's trying so hard to step up and all I can think is "You are not DOING it right!"
In my heart I know it's not about being's about being scared.  I just don't know how to be the care-getter.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Black Thursday Shopping

So with all the craziness that happened at Thanksgiving I forgot to update everyone on the real good stuff....

Thanksgiving evening we returned home from a friends house and since it was still nice outside the boys ended up playing outside some more, then we had to eat some more, and when I finally got them ready to go up to bed I realized our six-year-old was out of diapers.

My husband, who will only run to the store if he is out of snack food to pack for mountain biking, offered to run to the store.  I think because he was out of snack food to pack for the next day's mountain biking.  Anyway, his biker buddy called and said he had been by 3 grocery stores and not one was open.

"Now what do I do?" My husband said to me frantic.  I told him I thought that Target was going to open back up at 9 p.m. "You want me to go where?" I knew why he feigned ignorance and it was not just because I am sending him into the malay that is now Black Thursday.

"It's the only thing open that I know of, but you are welcome to drive around town and look for something else."   Reluctantly, he left for Target about 9:30 just as I was finally getting the boys upstairs to get ready for bed.  Giggling, I gave him the cell phone in case he got into trouble.

Ten minutes later I get a phone call, he can't get within 500 yards of the store.  He parked in another strip mall, walked through scrub brush, down a hill, through a drainage ditch, and stood in a line to get in the store.  When he finally made it in he grabbed the first red shirt he could find and said "Dude you gotta help me I just need diapers!"  The dude pulled his arm away and said, "Get your hands off me I don't work here!"

Being the agile athlete and fearless father he is - he was undaunted and dodged the crowd of carts filled with flat-screen TV's and toys galore.  He found the diapers and called me "Quick tell me what to buy I gotta find a way out of here!"  Then calling up all of his old football skills he tucked the package of diapers under his arm and sprinted to the front of the store where a real associate in a red shirt spotted him and waved him over.

"Is that all you have?" She said to him with a look of utter confusion on her face.  "You came in for diapers?" Yes he replied valiantly, my son needs them.  "Then lets get you outta here" she said - and rung him up and sent him on his way.

When daddy returned from the Black Thursday nightmare with the diapers, he received a hero's welcome, and rightfully so. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My little Buddha

Granted I am not sleeping well these days, but it is harder when my six-year-old climbs in bed with me.  At 2:00 a.m. this morning he came in and said "I need a drink of water". Ugh. It's easier when he just climbs in and I can roll over and go back to sleep.

We went into the bathroom and fortunately there is a full moon so we didn't turn on the light.  He drank 2 glasses of water, which made me think I should make him go to the bathroom so he wasn't up in another hour soaking wet.

He even went back to sleep in his own bed, or so I thought.  Two hours later he was at the bedside again.  This time it was bad dreams so I scooted over and he snuggled up even put his arms around me so that I couldn't roll away. (which I usually do) Must have been bad.

I really struggled to get him awake today he was obviously up for most of those 2 hours after the water the poor kid.  Daddy carried him downstairs and sat at the table hoping he would wake up for breakfast.  I finally went over to give him a kiss and said "It's time to wake up."

He opened his eyes and stretched.  I told him I was sorry that he had bad dreams.  He said, "It was really bad.  I couldn't get back to my real life.  I couldn't get back to the real you.  My eyes wouldn't open so I was stuck in the dream where bad things were happening."

Such poignant words from a 6 year-old, some days I feel like if I could just open my eyes all the bad stuff would just go away.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What now???

How apropos - What now?  I have been asking that question for over a month now.  Between a major project that I am working on at the boys school which has consumed literally weeks of my life, I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

So what now?

Well - the good news is they found it very early, scary news I'm a little young for this.  Good News is they have a genetic test to figure out if I am pre-disposed to cancer, bad news is it costs $5000 and the hopeful good news is insurance will cover it.  Good news is we are not talking about Chemo or Radiation at this time and the almost bad news is it's a double mastectomy but more good news - I get a Boob Job!!  See more good than bad!

So what now?

Acknowledging that this is happening to me.  It's an odd thing to say I have breast cancer.  I'm not feeling lousy. OK I should be honest.  I am feeling lousy because they took away my birth control pills so my IBS is out of control and my panic attacks are back to full swing and I do mean swing.  One minute I am flying around the house making dinner, putting up Christmas decorations, folding laundry, and helping the kids with homework - the next minute I am clutching the sink trying to catch my breath hoping the floor doesn't open up and swallow me whole.

So now what?

Getting mentally prepared.  This isn't easy to do with very little factual information yet.  I meet with the plastic surgeon next week and then will meet with the breast surgeon to make the final plan of attack, or should I say plan of the hack.  Right now all I have are other people's stories.  My sister, aunt, myself......they all start out well meaning and I know this I've been there myself.  So taken off guard when someone says I have cancer that I fumble around and end up telling them everyone I have ever known who's had cancer.  I think because for so many of us the word cancer = death.  We watched loved ones suffer and die.  I'M NOT THERE PEOPLE! promise ;-)

So now what?

A friend who's a 20+ year cancer survivor gave me his button that says "Living Proof".  He is truly amazing living proof considering that he has 4 beautiful children, and amazing wife, and can mountain bike with my husband.  I didn't say he could keep up, but he can ride!  My Aunt, my other friend, my Bunko Babe all of these people are living proof.  And all of them went through the wicked crazy hell of Chemo and Radiation.  It almost feels like cheating to say breast cancer.  The Doctors call this by it's initials - DCIS.  Or maybe I could just call it the mammary monster.

So now what?

My kids.  My nine-year-old son has had 2 classmates lose a parent to cancer.  One of the families we are close to and it had a overwhelming effect on him.  He was a mess last Spring wondering why good people like Mr. Carnevale have to die and what if it happens to us?  I'm not telling the kids anything and I don't care how you feel about that.  This is in my control and it is my choice.  They know that mommy is seeing some Doctors because they found something in my body that is not suppose to be there.  I told them that the Doctors are going to figure out how to get it out.

So now what?

Asking for help.  This has never come easy to me and let's put credit where credit is due.  Mom you raised me to be strong, tough, independent, self-sufficient, and stubborn as hell.  This is all your fault.  It's not even the asking for help - because God knows I will need it and I'm OK with being pampered.  What I think is hardest is that being Mom is all that I am right now - making sure there's a note in each lunch box, that their favorite sweatshirt is clean, knowing who needs a snack and who needs a hug and.........doing it all.  That's my job.

So now what?

Christmas.  I plan on thinking and working and planning for Christmas before December 23rd this year.  Well, first finishing this damn school project that seems to have taken over my life.  December 7th I can put that behind me and focus on getting Christmas presents bought and shipped without having to overnight a thing.  Baking Christmas cookies with the boys instead of buying them from Kroger on the way home.  Sending out a Christmas card that has an actual Christmasy picture and does not show up on January 14th.  Watching the Christmas specials on TV in our PJ's with popcorn instead of trying to YouTube while the children are screaming that everyone else already saw it.

So now what?

I am sending you all wishes for a great day, a wonderful holiday season, and a request.  This holiday season when things get crazy please take one moment to stop - to breath - and to thank God that we all have each other.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's my OCD! No-My OCD!

I've been thinking about this ever since the week that I went head to head every morning with my youngest son over the length of his shoelaces.  By Friday I was exhausted and said to him, "There are sick children in the hospital right now and you are crying over shoelaces. Stop!"  I was sure that he just needed to get over it.

I realized that day after school as I was complaining again about the no one cleaning up their lunchboxes that I wanted everyone to give up their OCD for mine.  What I was asking was for them to think exactly the way I do, care about exactly what I care about, to do things my way or hit the highway.

Where does this come from? Is it just me? This weekend after celebrating an early Thanksgiving and Christmas with my parents I had an epiphany.  My dad started to say something and my mom started to correct him, "No that's not what you say. You need to say this."

So when I see my own children and shake my head thinking that's my apple, it struck me that I too am an apple.  And there's my tree.  I tend to associate more with the other tree because that's what I was told all my life, "You are just like your father."  I guess it never dawned on me that I could be from both trees but becoming a mom has taught me many things.  This is just one.

Your OCD or mine? Forget it, let's call a truce and eat chocolate.  Life's just to short.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Loved Lucy....

I don't know who doesn't love Lucy.  However, I was born a dramatic redhead who married a crazy Greek.  I feel a direct connection to the Queen of Comedy.  Thanks to something called ME TV I was able to share Lucy with my two boys this summer.  There were days that they just needed some down time between the pool and dinner and it was the one channel I could trust to be appropriate but not for "babies".

The one thing that struck me from a very young age was when Lucy would start to tell a story about what happened and it would be NOTHING like reality.  But it was her reality.  So this summer we started playing the I Love Lucy game.

This is how it goes.  The boys are playing in the playroom, upstairs, or outside without direct adult supervision.  A scuffle ensues and the first one in says, "MMMMMOOOOOMMMM! He _______me and then he _______ me and tried to ________me." Then the second child follows with, "NaUh! He _________ me first then he _______ and I didn't even do anything!"

Thus begins the I Love Lucy game.  By the time it was over we were sometimes laughing and giggling and trying hard to make the story even bigger and bigger and bigger.  My youngest son who is 6 years-old is the very best at this game.  In fact he sometimes plays it by himself.  He lapses into a story and it keeps getting bigger and then one of us makes the mistakes of giggling and then it really gets big.

Yesterday he came home from school and as he was snacking told me that it was the Asst. Principal's Birthday so on the way to the bus he said "Happy Birthday Mr. Buck." to which he replied "Thanks- you are the best student ever!" I said wow that was really cool of him, knowing the man's sense of humor and totally believing this.

My son replied, "Yeah - that never happened.  I just said Happy Birthday and he said Thanks."
That's my Lucy!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keep the Faith

It is not easy to write while sobbing.  I am dripping tears and snot all over the keyboard, that can't be good.

I just really can't take anymore.  I can't take the upheaval in my house every morning that happens when I say the words, "Time for school."  It happens every morning, school that is, and the upheaval at the suggestion that you get ready and be at the bus on time.

I walked my youngest son to his classroom this morning after 30 minutes of screaming and crying.  It started with the pants that he didn't want to wear.  Then the shirt that he didn't want to put on.  My husband tried to take over as I put our oldest on the bus.  That didn't help.  Daddy was trying to convince him to dress warmly because of the snow on the ground.  He missed the bus and that sent him into a tail spin.

I can't say that we recovered from this, because I don't think he did.  I just got the car, gathered his things and all the clothes in question and told him to get dressed before we arrived at school.  Then we grabbed his backpack and ran to class.  Everyone was already seated, quiet, working.  He was tense and whispered to me, I told you I am late.  The teacher was in the corner digging in a cabinet.  I told him she didn't notice yet keep going.

I took the opportunity to slip over and say to her that he is having a really really tough morning and could she just give him a little extra TLC.  She asked me what happened.  and I started to cry.  I don't know is all that I could muster before I slipped out of the room giving my little one a big squeeze and telling him it would be a good day.

Bullshit.  Today is going to suck and we all know it.  I haven't stopped crying yet.  My heart hurts. Physically hurts. and I think I'm going to throw up.  I can't help him.  This is all my fault. I have anxiety.  These are my genes.  I did this knowing I could have a child just like me, and I did.  And I can't help him because I am 40 years-old and I can't help myself.

Anxiety sucks.  It is not something you fix. It is something you deal with everyday.  There is no miracle drug.  If you treat the anxiety you cause depression and trust me life is already depressing and exhuasting enough when you spend everyday running from anxiety.

My friend sent a beautiful email about keeping the faith during these trying times of election rhetoric, storm tragedies, and scary world events.  I try.  I don't wake up with anxiety.  I wake up with hope everyday that I have outrun it, finally.  I wake up with the idea that there is someone out there more in need of peace than myself.  I wake up with faith, the trick is keeping it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Take a Hike.....

I took a hike yesterday.  The weather was perfect, the trail was dry, the fall colors just starting to turn were amazing.  As I was hiking I was thinking about how much hiking and life have in common.

The trail starts with a walk around a beautiful open field.  The grass was so green, the sun was so bright, and the air was so crisp everything seems to be in high definition.  As the trail head dips into the woods I had to remove my sunglasses and that's what made me think how quickly life like hiking can plunge you into darkness.  There is an easy dip in the trail but then a major decent that twists just at the bottom before heading straight up.

Have you ever been carrying on in life when suddenly, you have to take off the sunglasses?  Everything seemed to be going along just fine, in the field, then the next thing you know you're headed straight down?  Sometimes it's just a dip, you flunked a bio test, got called into the bosses office.  Sometimes it's straight down, a death, a job loss, an illness.

The trail heads almost straight up then levels out before a bridge.  There's a lovely view, I had to put my sunglasses back on due to a break in the trees and I stopped for a moment thinking about my husband, my boys, my family both here and abroad.  The leaves are changing, the creek bed was almost dry, and the trail ahead continues to climb.

Even in the darkest times, life hands you a moment, a reprieve, a piece of level ground where you can stop for a moment and catch your breath. College, marriage, babies.  And then you continue to climb.

The trail snakes along a ledge above the little creek and really dips and twists in and out of darkness and light and there are times when you're really not sure if you've still on the trail.  It's more overgrown than the rest and the markers are not as often as in the beginning.

How many times in life have you been sure you were on the right path, only to look up and wonder where it went?  Did you miss a turn?  Was it clearly marked? Where are you? How did you get here? Should you keep going? It's times likes these that you wish you were not alone.

I finished the hike and my husband called and asked where I was.  Hiking, I said. Can I join you? That would be great.  After he arrived we took another trail, a more rocky one that has many twists and turns and dips. He held my arm and told when to watch my step - root, rock, deer poop.

I was thinking about how quiet my first hike was and how exciting because of the element of danger being out there all alone.  This was different, less quiet, but that was o.k. There was less danger too having someone there to share the risk, but also more responsibility with someone I love.

There are bigger ups and downs on this trial, it's the longest trial in the park.  There are also several places that level out where you have to put your sunglasses back on and stop to take a breath.  There are also some very very dark places where the honeysuckle and other brush are very overgrown and the trail markers are practically invisible.

Marriage is the longest trial on my journey.  I will soon be married longer than I lived at home.  It is most certainly has more twists and turns and dips then other paths that I have taken. But when it levels out it has been more glorious than I could have imagined.  Houses, vacations, babies, and the many many "firsts". 

I just keep thinking how much life is like a hike.  It's a beautiful fall day today.  I think we'll all go for a hike.  How 'bout you?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The most perfectly UNperfect marriage

As yet another couple we know goes through a divorce it made me reflect on my own marriage.  It has made my husband however lose his ever loving mind and ask me 52 times a day instead of 22 if I love him, miss him, and want to have sex. Ugh!

I personally think that my husband and I qualify for the most perfectly unperfect marriage ever.  I think I knew on our first date that we were going to be together forever, but not in that Hollywood - fade to yellow, cue sappy music, blur the rest of the scene- sort of way.  More like crawling into bed after watching an entire football game in 20 degree weather with freezing rain.  It wasn't Aaaahhh!  It was more like aaahhhh.

Did I mention that my husband is Greek.  Right off the boat as he likes to say although he's never traveled by boat anywhere.  He is dark and loud and very very Greek.  I'm an American mutt with enough Irish and German roots to ensure that I get sunburned indoors.  So in the beginning, everyone called us Lucy and Ricky.  We were.  He is passionate about everything and can turn the simplest thing into an argument leaving me in tears. ex. Would you like Chicken or Steak for dinner? WHAT! Chicken, how you ask me if I want chicken?! Why I want chicken for dinner?! You know what I like for dinner! and on and on. To quote Taylor Swift, "It's exhausting."

Needless to say he would rant and rave about everything from why I didn't serve bread with dinner to why I would want to visit family on Labor Day Weekend.  From harwood floors versus carpet to Ajax versus Dawn and as for money, well that's a whole other blog in itself.  Needless to say every conversation we have has the potential to turn into what sounds like a NATO session on nuclear arms.

The one constant in our marriage.  Fighting.  We are always working and perfecting our weapons, tactics, and strategies in the arena.  It's not just a sometimes thing it's a way of life.  We have both read all the articles, forget the books he doesn't read anything more than 4 pages and we all know I'm only good for 1/2 of any book from the self-help section.  How to have a happy marriage, How to communicate better with your spouse, How to fight fair.  I had to save that one, we get it out once in a while to read because it makes us both crack up laughing.

This year we will celebrate our 17th Wedding Anniversary - just as we have celebrated the other 16, with a fight.

My little angel

My six-year-old is one of those children that says things that make adults do that laughy snorty coughing thing you do when you know you shouldn't laugh but you absolutely have to like when a 3 year-old drops an F-bomb.  Or he can make you tear up.

The neighbor was saying that her kindergartner has found that girls are very exciting and cool.  I mentioned that my little guy found that in Pre-School and there has been no looking back.  Wanna find our little Swavvy, look for the girls.  However Kindergarten produced his soul mate.  (You may remember that blog after the horrible first day) Anywho not to digress.  He told me that he found the gril he was going to marry and she was beautiful, but she could be more beautiful with make-up.

At dinner this week he announced that having to be at school all day was really too much.  (I've been waiting for this revelation considering I tried to drop out of school after the 1st day of first grade for the same reason.)  He said he just wasn't really adjusting to the all day thing very well and it was too much.  Being the crack parenting guru that I am having read 1/4 of every book I've every picked up I responded, "You should talk with the principal about that."  What else is there to say, I agree, a whole day without a nap is too much to ask for some of us.

Last week as the weather was starting to change back and forth which it does quite often here in the mid-west he was struggling to breath through the copious amounts of snot in his system.  He was also struggling to eat.  Everything we had in the house was suddenly "Yucky" all my fault of course not the snots.  So after trying everything else in the refrigerator we settled on ramen noodles.  He was alone at the table eating while I was busy, very busy doing something when he said, "Mom I think God is in this room with me."  I told him God was always around us.  "No mom he's right here with me, I can feel his hand on my shoulder."  I went over and told him how cool that was and that I believe in guardian angels, maybe it was his guardian angel.

"Yeah my guardian angel is a girl and Mom - I am the only person in the world that can feel their guardian angel touch their shoulder."

You know what baby, I think you are right.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Will I miss this??

The other night while going through the nightly routine I said to the boys I will not miss this...but there are things I will miss.

I will miss driving around town with Batman.  I will miss holding their teeny tiny hand.  I will miss footsie pajamas.  I will miss the gaps in their smile.  I will miss the spontaneous "I love you Mom" as well as the "Why is...?"  I will miss reading the same book every night for a week because it's the new favorite. (Ok, I may not miss all of them, I have been known to "lose" a library book or two before it was due.)

I will miss the babies, the smell, the feel, the calm they can bring when they are asleep on your chest.  Nothing else matters.  I will miss the band-aid phase.  I will miss the tiny sound in their voice.  I will miss gut giggles that grab my heart and hug my soul.  I will miss tickling matches.

Like so many things growing up brings the bitter and the sweet.  With all there is to miss, there are also new things to love.  I love watching them mountain bike with their dad.  I love that we are sharing music and with that a lot more stories some good some questionable. (I really should stop having a glass of wine while I cook, lunch.)

I love reading and cooking together.  I love watching them try something new, something scary and succeed. I love watching the light bulb go off after the 500th time we try tying the shoe, zipping the coat, or reading the word o-n-e.

My mom warned me the other day, that in time, I will even miss spending 30 minutes in the bathroom every night trying to get them to brush their teeth without being sidetracked by making faces and checking themselves out in the mirror, then adding silly voices and cracking each other up to the point that they are rolling on the floor laughing.

Yeah, maybe she's right.  What will you miss?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Too young to be a player?

What is too young to consider a player? Is it 6....

I should have been alerted when #2 son went off to pre-school and complained about the other boys but talked about Yilly (aka Lilly) everyday.  In Kindergarten he came home and declared he found his soul mate.  First grade has started no different.

He is sitting at a table with all girls.  When neighbors and family would ask if he had any buddies in his class he would enthusiastically say, "Yes!" Kelsey, Grace I., Lexi, and Tori.  So is it any wonder that on Friday when my husband went to school to surprise him at lunch he found him at a table of, you guessed it, all girls.

My husband said he was speechless, which I find hard to believe.  He said the girls were all asking to have a play date with him, giving them extra cookies, and asking for help opening their juice boxes.  "Where did he get this?' my husband looked shocked.

Really? I met my husband while both attending a small college.  I was introduced to him by members of the girls volleyball and basketball teams.  Everyone on campus knew him and at any given time of the day he could be found "holding court" in the weight room, cafeteria, or dorm room with 5-15 girls.  Any one of whom would and did do anything he asked.  When I met him in college he had never bought a text book, typed a paper, or owned a car.  (But he got around just fine)

Where did he get this? I have no idea honey but dinner's ready, the laundry's done, and I made your Doctor appointment for Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Resume help

So with both boys in school for 7 whole hours a day I do believe that it is time for me to get a part-time job.  How do you fashion a resume after being home with them for 9 years and really only wanting to work a few hours a day, a few days a week?  It will take a very understanding employer, or creative resume writing.

Objective: To make enough money to pay for soccer, school fees, and a babysitter and dinner at least once this year.

Skills: I am skilled at Office '00 and Windows Explorer.  I am adapt at the Franklin Planner system completing all 10 levels of their courses.  I can multi-task, am self-motivated, and a good communicator.

Examples: Created many forms in word and excel that people could actually write in.  Never missed an appointment that was actually written in my planner.  I can talk on the phone while changing a diaper at the park with no wet wipes.  I now get out out of bed before the children drag me, and I have learned to use my words and not my hands.

1994-2003  Real Jobs that required big girl clothes, a day planner, and lunch meetings
2003- Present  Mom Jobs that required more patience then Job, more ingenuity than Ford, more magic than Houdini, and more work than I did in the first 10 years combined.  I have become skilled at navigating museums, amusement parks, and stores with a toddler and a stroller.  Knowing just when to feed, water, and relieve the troops to avoid accident/meltdown.  How to handle an irate toddler, teacher, or store clerk after my child has hit, cussed, or taken what isn't rightfully his.
Most recently I have learned how to sit through a PTA committee meeting without falling asleep, work with said committee without hitting, cussing, or taking what isn't rightfully mine.  I have organized and planned classroom parties and volunteers for special events, and it worked!

Interpersonal Skills: I am somewhat organized for no longer having a day planner, I can usually communicate effectively as long as I've had 5 hours of sleep, and most importantly, I play well with others.

Anyone know whose hiring?

Retire this!

I have permanently retired this blog because it caused my husband much angst.
That was not the intention and I am sorry.

It was my intention to bitch and complain that men think about sex on average every 30 seconds and they make them drugs like Viagra.  Women think about sex an average of 30 seconds in a month and what do we get???

That's all I'm saying - Where's my drug?!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Commerical Madness

Sometimes I watch TV and wonder who writes commericals and what they must think of little ole' me.  Have you seen the commerical for Liquid Plumber that looks more like an ad for Porn?
Two men stand flanking a woman who plunges the plumbing snake down the clogged drain - in slow motion - with her eyes half open - when the Barry white voice comes on and says Liquid Plumber now has a longer snake.

Who gets turned on yanking a hair clog that looks like a small dead animal out of the drain? Thanks - but no thanks.

What about the fact that half the commericals have a gorgeous wife and a dopey potbellied husband?

There is a commerical for a breakfast item where the mom looks like she's been up since 5 a.m, done an insanity workout, been made over by Hoda and KLG, and drank 3 pots of coffee.  She's pulling the children out of bed, anticipating their every need and gets them out the door at the honk of the bus.  Then turns around as the husband is leaving and when he says, "Where are my" - Keys she says and hands them to him with a sweet smile and a kiss.

Are you kidding me.  I haven't found a breakfast bar yet that can make me a damn clairvoyant. I'd buy that even without a coupon!  I get so frustrated after the third time I've asked what they'd like for breakfast that by the time I am packing their lunch we are all screaming at each other and if my husband asked "Where are my keys?" I resort to an army saying an old boss used to use...If it was up your --- you'd know!

How about the fact that commercial writing sounds like they think no one has an IQ?

It's so bad that during the Olympics when we all watched more TV then we ever have in our lives even my kids who are 6 and 9 started talking back to the television.  (Oh, yeah that's straight from my tree.) They have become adapt at predicting a commercial - when the music suddenly turns sappy they chime He went to Jared.  When a car appears they rattle off 0% down for 36 months.  When the commercial makes no sense at all they sing Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

While we may all know the commercials, my husband has never shopped at Jared, there are no new cars in the garage or in the future, and if State Farm was a really good neighbor, they would come mow our lawn.  Sorry Charlie's - there's no squeezing the Charmin here, and that's not an ancient Chinese secret!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Blues

It's worse than the flu, or a cold, the summer blues have afflicted our house.  Everyone is lethargic, snippy, and mad most of the time.  The idea that summer will be over in two weeks has hit everyone very hard.  The sudden change in weather, while wonderful, has not helped.

I can't say it hasn't been on my mind.  It's hard to believe that both boys will be in school full-time, but the mom in me has been pushing it all to the side in order to take care of everyone else.  The six-year-old wants to know where his classroom is and how to get there and what he'll ride and when he'll eat lunch.  The nine-year-old is anxious to see who his teacher is and if he has any buddies in his class.  He knows he'll be in the modular classrooms this year which are air conditioned but wonders where the bathrooms are and if he has to wear his coat every time they have to go outside and back in.

I wish I felt better that once school got rolling we will fall into a routine and it will all work out.  But I know that this year that is too much to to hope for.  I went to one day off first grade and announced that I was not going back.  My exact words were, "No one told me I had to stay all day, they made me eat lunch there, and we didn't get a nap!"  Considering the six-year-old finally got on board with Kindergarten in April, I am in for trouble.

I don't remember having a particularly rough transition into fourth grade.  I was never eager to start the year however I remember it being a tough year socially.  There was that sudden awareness that you were not cool or the pressure to change something about yourself so that you could be.  I'm not sure if it runs the same for boys but I do know that this will be the year they finally introduce grades.  As well as test, and projects, and "the binder".  The kids were all talking about it at the end of the year already.

So it's going to be a challenging year all around.  I'm already trying to think of ways to combat the Summer Blues from leading into the Fall of Despair.  I'm reading the second book of a trilogy where a witch and a vampire mate and find themselves with child.  (No comments from the peanut gallery! I know many of you assume this is our family biography.)  The witch is lamenting about whether or not she will be a good parent and the vampire tells her that children need three things -
"All that children need is love, a grown-up to take responsibility for them, and a soft place to land."

No truer words were ever spoken, even from a vampire.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Well, how many times can I say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree??
My six year-old son has been ready to loose his first front tooth for about a week and a half now.  The thing is hanging by the thinnest of threads, or whatever holds your teeth in your mouth.
Like his mother, he cannot bring himself to pull it out nor will he let anyone else touch it.
Needless to say this maybe the tooth he swallows with a meal in the next few days and meanwhile I have to look at snaggletooth.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Come on!! The first time in 20 years I decide to run out of the house without a bra on.....

When we got home from the pool today I realized I have absolutely no clean clothes.  Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.  Since it's 95 degrees outside I opt out of wearing the jeans and turtleneck stuffed on the shelf in the closet and instead choose a "European" outfit.

Let me relatives in Greece and Cyprus love to shower all of us with gifts which is wonderful! I am not complaining by any means.  But if any of you follow fashion you may know that European styles are a lot different than our casual conservative American style.

I don't really know if I can do this outfit justice but it's not the worst part of the story so...

I grab the last pair of underwear in the drawer which we all know are the dreaded granny panties.  Then I find the thin black mini skirt better used to throw over a swimsuit then to walk around in.  When I say this mini skirt is thin I mean that if the panties had the day's of the week written on them everyone would know what day it was. 

The top isn't much different then the skirt to be honest.  And now that I have to try to describe it in writing I am suddenly terrified that I misunderstood the good meaning cousin who purchased it for me since skirt and shirt sound awfully similar with a Greek accent.

It is a gold colored strapless t-shirt with a crazy cartoon lady and something written in French or the Greek equivalent of French.  I tried to wear this shirt in Cyprus but it kept falling down. (could it be because I have no boobies?)  My cousin told me it was the fact that I was trying to wear a  strapless bra underneath it - silly me!!

So today considering I decided to finally wash my bra (yes, singular) after 2 years I am wearing the top braless, the skirt and the granny panties assuming that I am done for the day, no where to go, kids pooped from swimming, in for the night.  Nope.

I get an email that I need to stop by someone house and fill out soccer papers by Wednesday at noon. Well, since the boys are not in bed by 7 p.m. I decide we should run this errand tonight before I forget and get a nasty call on Wednesday.  All I have to do is find some one's house, look for a cooler on their front porch, fill out the paper. Ba-da-bing! Ba-da-bang! We hit the store for laundry detergent I am rockin'.

OH - Wait, probably shouldn't wear this top into the grocery store someone might see me, God Forbid! I'll just grab this sweater to throw on when we get into the store. Still rockin'.

I find the house without getting lost. Rock on.  There isn't really a front porch on this house more like a 3x3 piece of concrete.  I find the cooler behind a bush outside the door which I am now directly in front of and as stealthy as I can I grab the form thinking I'll be outta here in 1 minute.  Then I hear my kids.  "What are you ding out of the car?" I hiss as the front door opens.  "Well, Hey you guys!"

Shut the Front Door! Literally. It's one of my son's soccer trainers and I am dressed in this horrid outfit with no bra or makeup and pool hair.  Just shot me now.  He stood in the front door making conversation while I fumbled to get the form filled out and get the hell out of there.  And there goes the rock....

Good thing I brought that sweater for the grocery store though, well the hell is that laundry detergent!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

They're everywhere!!!

I posted a while back that I am done with Facebook, however since that time my account has reactivated several times.  What? Why? How? Who knows? I may never since I am technically challenged - well that and I used a made up email address for the login.  Thank goodness for Anastasia Beaverhausen.

But after this last time of being reinstated and finding several friend requests that scared the bejesus out of me I was determined to get out of Facebook permanently.  After many failed attempts because there wasn't actually information in the help section on how to Delete your Account I was desperate.

I contacted Martin Holmes by carrier pigeon.  He sent the pigeon back with a telegraph machine.  We communicated through Morse code and smoke signals until the private security team arrived.  I fired all other social media accounts loyal to Facebook, was given a disposable cell phone, alternative identity, and moved into a safe house.

Awaiting me at the safe house was Katie herself, ready to help me acclimate back into a reality minus Facebook and evidently the Church of Scientology's who runs the all consuming mean spirited mind numbing social media.

It's good to be back.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

See what's news

So check out The bearded Iris in the blogs I follow. I think she is witty, clever, funny, and she curses. I love that about people, makes them human! O.k. It really makes me feel better about my own potty mouth.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Forty isn't Fabulous

Forty is....flabby, flatulent, forgetful. One thing I do not feel turning 40 is wiser. In fact the exact opposite is true. I feel more useless and out of date than than I ever have before. Technology is moving faster than I can and watching the morning show while I am on the treadmill at the gym trying to keep my ass from growing the size or two axe handles - I mean keeping my heart healthy - no longer keeps me in the loop. (not that I think I ever was)

I've tried to analyze why turning 40 is turning me inside out. Is it because 40 used to be "old"? Something our mothers were, not us, heeheeehee. Is it because I am suppose to be upset and start lying about my age? I am celebrating the 11th Anniversary of my 29 Birthday. Is it the fact that I totally wasted my 20's by not walking around completely naked? Why don't glamour magazines tell me that! Ladies your skin will never be tighter or softer, your ass and arms will never be firmer then they are right now so Enjoy It!

Maybe it's the fact that every time I turn around someone is talking about their bucket list. I got to swim with dolphins, ran a marathon, ate rattle snake mark that off the bucket list! Bully for you Gov'ner. I have not yet made a list of things to do before I die, perhaps because I'm too busy with laundry, soccer, library duty, and dinner to die.

Standing at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean watching my oldest son who is now 9 years old and almost as tall as I am I realized something-I have no control. I can't turn back time any more than I can keep the waves from crashing. And sometimes crashing on those I love. There are days I want it back.....good skin, tight ass, real blond hair, my babies, my youth. I want more time. I want to fix what I F'd up so badly that it still keeps me up at night.

I don't want any regrets, and right now that's all I have. I should have said yes, said no, left early, stayed late, hugged more, fought less, listened, laughed, loved. Did I leave it all on the field? Give it all I had? Get all that I could? Have I reached my potential or is it still buried some where deep down inside?

Maybe forty isn't suppose to be fabulous, maybe it is suppose to be freeing? I will let you know on the 21st Anniversary of my 29th Birthday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Does this go on my resume?

At the end of summer my youngest will be in First Grade.  What does that mean you ask? It means that I should really find activities to do during the day that will produce a paycheck.  I love volunteering at school, being able to clean the house without interruption, getting dinner ready early, speeding through the grocery store with only my list and not 300 additional questions.  Unfortunately those activities do not help to pay for the select soccer, dance lessons, etc.

I am not afraid to say that trying to reenter the working world scares the bejesus out of me.  The last job I had was Shipping Supervisor in a manufacturing facility.  Yeah, I know.  I managed 20 union forklift drivers.  Not my dream job, not any one's dream job.  It was a job.  It sucked.  I ran from the place and never looked back.

On this morning three weeks into summer and only two weeks into our chore lists we have yet again fallen into a screaming fit because I have asked that everyone get their chores done before we go to the pool.  What was I thinking? {insert eye roll and toss hands in the air}

What makes me more frustrated then my kids giving me lip every time I ask them to do something is that this is what I did for a living.  The first year I was supervising was awful.  I struggled to figure out why these people gave me such a hard time.  Then an older supervisor gave me a tip.  He said stop telling them what to do and asking them what to do.  He was right.  I went to college and management seminars and I was "enlightened" he grew up in this factory and made his way through the ranks.  He was well liked and respected and not just because he had done the same job, but because of his approach.

He never yelled or ordered or demanded things.  He communicated what he needed clearly.  When a truck pulled in for an order the forklift driver was picking he would go to them and explain the situation and ask their input.  "Got load 1542 on deck Leroy we need to get them outta here by 3.  Should I pull him in the dock let Russ start loading? How far along are you? Is it a cherry pick or an easy fill?"

I learned a lot from him.  Like most all of us, I hate confrontation.  I don't want to tell people what to do and I certainly don't want to yell at them.  He showed me how to work with people motivating them to work for me.  And they did.  I was wondering what happened to that person this morning as I was yelling at everyone in the house to get to work.

I think we all know who needs to get back to work!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Mother's Motivation

How do I motivate thee? Let me count the ways..I scream my head off.
That was quick.  What Took Elizabeth Barrett Browning so damn long?  I am so frustrated trying to find my nine-year-old sons button.  What motivates this child? Do I reward his horrible behavior with a ipod touch just so that I have something to take away? Daily?  I have friends that say that even threatening to take the ipod away makes their children snap to attention.

I don't have the financial resources nor the moral ones to give my child something more valuable then my entire wardrobe just so that I can threaten him with losing it.  Maybe if I myself owned something that valuable I could stomach it, but all my phone does is ring.  No games, calendars, emails, or music here.

Well, in any case I will keep looking for that magic button.  For now I am stuck with writing a weekly chore chart by hand, following up three times a day, and finally losing my temper and screaming until it gets done.  At least one of goes to bed exhausted.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

50 Shades of Gray

I've got everyone reading now don't I? Ahhhahhhahhhahh (insert evil laugh here)

There is an awful lot of buzz about this book.  Most of what I'm hearing is, "I've read better erotica in an airport bathroom".  Funny for someone like me who would give anything to be the next overnight writing sensation you would think I would jump on this opportunity to figure out the who, what, when, where, how! Not really.

That's the whole problem. There is so much buzz about this book I am quite sure it will be an utter disappointment.  Besides, when the buzz gets so big my husband hears it, you know it must be bigger then EuroCup Soccer.  He's offered to buy the book for me.  This is where I have to draw the line.

I know full well that the only reason husbands are buying this book for their wives is because of the Saturday Night Live skit which promises your wife will be so horny she won't make it down to breakfast on Mother's Day.  My husband would money for me just to pretend interested let alone initiate anything.

Maybe I have just figured this out? Maybe the real bestseller lies in telling men what women truly want in order to get us to bed.  Like putting a dirty dish in the dishwasher, not the sink.  Putting the kids to bed on a night that I am not at Bunko.  Doing a full load of laundry not just the bike shorts.

I would hope that by now, 2012 I mean, we have come further than this but I fear not.  My girlfriend was lamenting to me the other day how much her husband "doesn't get it".  Amen Sister.  She said her husband failed to do anything on Mother's Day.  He didn't even buy a card.  He's offer at 11:00 p.m. "I'm the best Mother's Day present I could get you." I'm sure you know how well that went over ladies.

The next morning busy with kids, lunches, school bus, errands, etc she realized she forgot to unload the dishwasher.  When she returned home at lunch she went to unload it and low and behold it was done.  She was so taken back and overwhelmed, maybe he finally heard her, maybe he's getting it, maybe she had gotten through! She texted him a message.  Thnks for getting dishes that made me horny.  His response.  Really? Big tits do it for me.  Nope-haven't gotten there quite yet.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer's Here.....yeah?

I mean YEAH! I really am excited to have lazy mornings and easy days, the pool, a vacation, and spontaneous moments.  But right now I am listening to screaming, complaining, and tattletaling.  Five minutes from now when I get done writing this and can't take it anymore, I will be the one screaming, threatening, and punishing.  Then they will look at me like I have 5 heads and wonder what is wrong with me because "We weren't fighting mom, just playing."

Perhaps it is not a schedule full of activities, play dates, camp, exercise, and homework that I need to work on, but my attitude.  I mean, duh? It is summer!

My distrust of technology

Here I am writing in a blog that I totally distrust this new fangeld gadget called technology.  Our computer recently bit the dust, and not just "Uh, Oh  the computer won't boot up." I fried the hard drive (the part of the computer like my storage containers in the basement that holds everything valuable to me and no one else) to the point that they can not open it.  Now all those pictures and videos from my children, all the stories that I have told them and written down hoping to make a book for them, and other miscellaneous things that are of value only to me - are gone.

So here I am on the Internet blogging on the new computer and wondering what good this 3 pound piece of equipment is if it can not hold those memories safe for me.  Can't I just pack them into a storage container in the basement??

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A note to my husband from his "car"

I am not a Ferrari. I do not turn over on the first start.  I do not go 0-60 in 3.3 seconds.

I am an old Ford.  I need to be keep in the garage where it is warm, maybe even under a blanket.  You need to start me up 20 minutes before you want to drive...and I may not turn over on the first try, or even the 10th.  You need to be kind and loving and gentle and SLOW.  You need to show a lot of extra TLC because the engines always cold and the oil is always low and yes, the tires need replacing but not on our budget - don't bother checking them.

So stop trying to drive a Ferrari! I'm just an old Ford, and if you take the time to treat me right, I'll promise to take you where you need to go.  You might even find you enjoy the ride, even if it's slow, we still get to the same place.  This way you just get to see a little more scenery.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Tail of Two Bunnies....

When you are married to a Greek, you get to celebrate two Easter's.  The normal Easter that most of America celebrates and Greek Easter usually the weekend after.  David Sedaris who is 1/2 Greek says that Greeks celebrate the week after because all Greek are tight wads and want to get their Easter grass half-price.  (He's totally right.)

Anyway, with Gia Gia here with us this year I know that we will REALLY be celebrating Greek Easter in style, but I couldn't short my kids the fun Easter, the normal Easter.  The one where you get to color eggs, then the crazy Easter Bunny hides them while you are slpeeing along with 200 plastic ones filled with candy and money and a big honking basket full of dollar store toys made in china.  The greeks color all the eggs one color then sit around smashing them against each other to see whose can last the longest. Yippee.

24 hours before Easter my husband says to me, "I'm going mountain biking in the morning early, so I'll be back around noon."  Wait just a cotton tailed minute mister! You don't take off on Easter morning - that would be like saying to the kids on Christmas morning I'll be back by noon you can open presents then. No way!  He didn't get it, he was quite frustrated and then obviously no help in filling or hiding the 100 frickin' plastic eggs.

At 11:30 Saturday night while he's trying to get frisky I'm hiding eggs all over inside the house because I'm too tired to traipse around outside with a flashlight hiding them in the damn lawn.  Then I realize I have to hide the baskets yet and don't want to set the alarm to get up before the kids to try and hide the hard boiled eggs outside.  Do you know what this lazy ass bunny did? I left the boys a note from EB saying if they liked the game of colored eggs so much, hide some for each other outside.

So much for a normal Easter.

What a day!

So I started off the day - only the second since spring break mind you - getting everyone out the door including myself. (Which was not easy) But not after turning on the computer and sending 3 emails in 6 minutes none of which were about me. 
Then I head to the school for 3 hours of library duty, along with Garden committee work to finish, then pick up the Kindergartner and head to the Public Library where all our books are now overdue.  After that it was home for lunch, review and send the taxes, finish my husbands receipts so that he can get paid, answer more emails and take the kindergartner with for a mad dash through the grocery store because all the other adults in my house are napping. 
Return home to put groceries away, write a note to the third grader threatening him with future imprisonment should he not get his homework done before he turns the TV on and zip back to school to catch librarian before she leave because I need a document off her computer and attend a 3:45 meeting. 
Home at 5:00 where dinner is made, children are safe, and homework is done. Nice! for about three minutes until I order the TV off, then ask "How was your day" to which the third grader melts into tears.  Recess is once again the bane of his existence so we spend 45 minutes trying to solve the problem with the help of the kindergartner because HE KNOWS EVERYTHING. Just ask him. Including why the refrigerator is spouting water like the fountain downtown.
That's when I send them outside to play and make a few phone calls to see if I can take care of part of the recess issue while sopping up water.  The Kindergartner sneaks in seeing that I am on the phone and cleaning up water and takes the opportunity to score apple juice without asking which he ends up dropping breaking the cap and spilling a half gallon of apple juice on the floor.
That's when I finally decide to open the bottle of wine that I bought for Easter and the cork won't come out.
I go down to the neighbor's house and when she opens the door I just show her the bottle, she got the cork unstuck and shoved a straw in the bottle.
Good Night.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

No Funny Farm for me, yet...

As some of you have noted, I have become some what of a downer, a drag, a real whiner.  You are correct.  It is however, not my fault.  It's my children's fault.  They did it! They stopped doing anything cute.

OK, fine. I'm sorry. I am starting to funk about turning 40-give me a minute would ya'!  I'll get over it soon, promise about a little cuteness, as my son's friend would say.

I was in the Kindergarten classroom the other day when they had a Naturalist visit with live animals.  One little boy who was sitting very still and hanging on her every word would get more and more excited with each animal she produced.  the last animal she brought out was a screech owl.  As she hushed the students and brought it out of the carrier this child proclaimed, "I can't wait to see this aminals cuteness!"

My neighbor's son is home on Spring Break and was experimenting in the kitchen.  He came down with a plate of delicious treats to share and stayed for a little while to play basketball with the boys.  After he left we went inside to sample the goodies when my five-year-old exclaimed, "These are awesome.  the next time I see Corbin I will have to tell him he did a really good job."

My five-year-old came outside today while I was taking advantage of the nice weather and vacuuming out the car.  "Mom, something smells really really bad!" What does it smell like, what do you think you are smelling? "Gia Gia's cooking."

Our friends four-year-old was having a tough day and so he lost his play date with my son.  We went to lunch together anyway where I asked him what happened and why he lost his privilege.  He said, "The rain made me make bad choices."

This same beautiful four-year-old overheard his family talking about giving things up for Lent which prompted him to ask "What is giving up?" So his mother lovingly explains to the four-year-old what giving something up means at Lent.  He very enthusiastically replies,"I GIVE UP LOSING!"

My three-year-old nephew was standing behind his mother in the kitchen looking longingly at something.  She had turned and noticed this several times before asking,"What are you looking at Harrison?" To which my nephew replied, "Your big bottom. I can't wait till my butt gets that big."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I can't save the world - I can't even save myself

I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now.  Does anyone else feel the overwhelming pressure to save the world, the country, their community, their schools, and their children? No, just me...figures.

It's not a news flash that I suffer from anxiety. I've written about that dozens of times.  And now my eight-year-old is struggling with the same issue which not only breaks my heart, but has thrown me into high alert.  Add to that I am living with my mother-in-law and worried about her physical and mental health being far from her home, language, culture, and now dealing with the death of two family members.

Now let's just talk about the everyday stuff: exercise, eating right, hygiene.  Then there is school, homework, social life, sports teams, not to mention trying to raise my sons to be gentleman of high moral values.  And I'm not asking for perfection, but I would like to say write a Thank you note without hearing, "NO! Why do I have to?"

Those are the others that I am charged with caring for, sometimes I find time to think (being the operative word) about taking care for myself but only after I have taken care of the house and serviced my husband who is constantly reminding me how neglected he is being last on my list.

Living in OH it is now time for the Primary.  We have a school levy that needs to pass just to keep our schools up and running at this point.  We are being bombarded with campaign calls, commercials, and propaganda.  Across the world my relatives that have worked their whole life and should be considering what to do in their Golden Years are eating once a day in a desperate attempt to have enough money to keep the water and electric on one more month.

I am overwhelmed.  I can't help anyone.  I can't make people see that voting is not an inconvenience but a privilege.  I can't make them see that people in Greece are not lazy, they believed in their government that in turn lied, cheated, and stole from them.  I can't bring back my mother-in-laws health or relatives.  I can't stop my son from having a panic attack every Monday morning when he returns to school.  Hell I can't even get someone here to take out the garbage!

I am overwhelmed.  I didn't think I was in this alone....but it sure feels that way.  We can't discuss the school levy without arguments over how money should be spent.  How should it be spent? On our future, that is our children.  We can not discuss the Greek economy without arguing over what is wrong with our own.  What is wrong with our economy? We handed it over to a bunch of greedy @&(#@.   We can't discuss what is going wrong with our kids because it makes us look bad as parents.  Am I a bad parent?  Some days, hell yes and I will own it.

I am overwhelmed.  I want to save the world, but I'm not even sure I can save myself.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I want a Do Over!

Wouldn't it be awesome if I could shout "DO Over" for my 40th birthday.

Just imagine a day where you could do it over.  The talent show where I did a front walkover off the stage.    Prom.  The 80's.  My first boyfriend.

I was thinking about this tonight when I took the boys to dance class.  I want to take dance again, but not with 40 year old knees and post-baby back. I watch them not with regret, but with envy because in my head I can still do all that.  When reality is I haven't done the splits in 20 years.

I was thinking tonight how great it felt to drive to dance class with my Grandpa.  It was such a special thing to have him all to myself, and because we always stopped at McDonald's afterwards.  I was thinking about all the shopping trips with Grandma.  We always stopped at the "talking tree" in Lazarus and the got lunch in the restaurant.

My mom and I once drove down to stay at my sisters college apartment when she wasn't even there so that I could go to an audition the morning.  We hung out, had pizza and even had to fend off some boys that saw the lights on just wanted to make sure we were all right.  I fell in love instantly and wondered why my sister wasn't.  Mom wasn't so easily swayed and I later figured out that was what they meant by a booty call.

We went on a family trips to Disney World, New York City, Washington DC, and even Baltimore.  We ate at a Fudrucker's before the mid-west had ever heard of it and I brought that name up every chance I got for at least 4 years.

I had multiple bad boyfriends, but had my first kiss on some bleachers by the track behind our house.  I was terrified the whole family was watching from the living room and ran home. The curtains where closed tight.

We had a multitude of First Communion's, Easter's, Birthday's, and Christmas's at our house where there were so many relatives I thought the house would explode.  More often it was our stomach's from consuming copious amounts of fat laden good old Midwest cuisine.  (Cheesy potatoes anyone!)  There were so many kids we didn't have a table - we had the ourselves.

I want a Do Over. Just for one day.  I want to wake up in bedroom, smell coffee, and hear the hair dryer.  I want to take off running through the field behind our house till I get to Mama and Papa's house where I can have any darn thing I want for breakfast - even dried beef and pickles.  After that I will take off down the street to Grandma and Grandpa's house where we will get in the car to run "errands" even though there is not a single thing we need except lunch.  Then I'd stop at Mrs. Gehble's house because she didn't have any girls and whenever I talked, she listened. And whatever I wanted (cookies) I got.  I would beg to go all the way to Coldwater to our cousin's hosue because they lived right across the street from the park and if you took a quick shower with your bathing suit on you could get into the pool just by saying "been in".  Plus there were six kids in their family and if you add a friend to each one there was always something going on at their house.  I'd come home exhausted to find dinner on the table.

But it's not just my stomach that would be full, it would be my heart. Because what I've realised the older I get is not how much I've lost, but how much I had.  How lucky I was to have all four grandparents in my life growing up.  To have had people like family, friends, neighbors, dance instructors, coaches, teachers, and yes - parents that helped to love, support, guide, and push me in this direction.

I don't want to do it all over, even the really bad parts have taught me something.  I mostly just want to hang out with them for one more day.   And when it's time to go, get a hug goodbye....maybe two.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ok, who's got it?

OK people, who's got it? It's been out of print for years, the library copy is missing, not even amazon can come up with one - So who's got it?

I've got the marriage licence, the birth certificates, even those darned HIPPA papers but no manual.

Where's the manual people? I need a copy.  I need a reference.  I need some help.

No one said being a grown-up would be this damn hard.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The "tummy-ache" disease

My year was 4th, it seems that for my son it will be 3rd grade.  We have the dreaded "tummy-ache" disease.  I've talked with his teacher, counselor, even the nurse.  So unfortunately he is going to have to be really green in order to get sent home.  Which was part of the problem on Friday.  He was having a rough tummy day and just wanted to come home, and instead he got to hang out with the nurse, and the counselor, and go to the bathroom as often as he needed - but he stayed the whole day.

To their defense, the poor staff at school had an unprecedented 4 ambulances at the school the day before.  So Alexander's "tummy-ache" seemed to pale in comparison.  The day before two children collided playing football on the playground, one walked away with a concussion and one with a split eyebrow.  The one with a split eyebrow has an older brother who by the time he got to the playground had heard that his brother lost an eye, then seeing all the blood on the concrete freaked out and ended up in the ambulance with his brother.  Next four or five children in the 5th grade all started vomiting simultaneously in the classroom.  And to finish off the afternoon a student being bullied stuck her alleged assailant in the neck with a pencil. That's all.  (Just a reminder we live in the burbs)

I wouldn't think much of Alexander's "tummy-ache" disease but he even bagged the movies last night with his dad.  He missed Journey 2 Mysterious Island to stay home with mom.  Normally I would be flattered, but I am starting to worry since it is affecting his home life, I guess it is time to rethink this, is there more?

I laid awake last night running every scenario though my head.  Is there a bully? Is it the teacher? Pressure at school, home, sports? He is once again not going anywhere in the house by himself.  Last night the boys, who I thought would soon want separate rooms, pushed their beds back together.

Am I in a hurry for him to grow up - Heck No! Hold out as long as you can that's my motto.  (But then turning 40 this year has that effect.)  I just want everything for him, especially what I did not have.  My sister made a good point, she said what about letting him call you from the nurses office, just to hear your voice.  That way you can say, I can come and get you if you really need me, is there anything you will miss, like gym or art? Since those are still a really big deal we may sell him on sticking it out.

My head knows that there is nothing really wrong and that we will get through this, but my heart lay in a million pieces as I want so badly to scoop him up and snuggle in bed with him for the rest of the day.  Just holding him tight and hoping that he doesn't grow-up, at least for today.

In memory and thanks to the best school nurse ever Louis Dobbins - I would not have made it 6 years without you - and my cot!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Parenting Philosophies

I am getting ready to watch Parenthood, thinking about how grateful I am that not only is the show on network television but that it is on during this time in my life.  It is so well written and even more well acted and I appreciate how true to life they have stayed.  Unlike the so-called "reality" shows and some dramas that start off well then fall in the Desperate Housewives funk (Grey's Anatomy).

It started me thinking about my own parenting, or tonight my lack there of, and the philosophies that I have formed while on this journey.  I love that we can call everything a journey now.  Weight loss, parenthood, drug abuse, losing your mind, all a journey. Some a lot more fun than others, like, never mind I digress...severely.

Here are some of my parenting philosophies:

Children can not grow and be sane at the same time.

This applies to growing 1/2 and inch as well as learning to sit on the potty.  Has anyone else noticed that the moment life seems to be good, you really feel like you are cruising along just fine, maybe even telling yourself what a good job you are doing raising the child- BAM!  Out of the blue the child decides to cuss at grandma, pee in a potted plant at church, and scream "You are not my mommy" at you all the way down the milk aisle in the store.  It's taken me a while, but now before the cashier can hit social services on her speed dial all I say is, he's going through a growth spurt.  The sigh is audible above the the sirens.

Children will do the exact opposite of what you ask them to do, unless you ask them to do the opposite.

This one sounds tricky, but it's not.  If you see the fight brewing and you know that the five-year-old is about to retaliate by hurling the Lego ARC-170 that took the 8 year-old (and you unfortunately) seven hours to build and you scream "DON'T DO IT!" you are guaranteed it will hit the floor before the words finish coming out of your mouth.  However, trying to apply reverse psychology to the child that asks for another cookie for the 15th time, "You know what honey, eat what ever you want", will reduce cause said child to lie on the kitchen floor screaming that you don't love him.

Children can smell fear.

It's like dogs or horses or both, Trust me!

Children will be perfectly healthy until midnight.

It didn't take long to figure this one out.  Had I actually listened to my Aunt who was a nurse for 25 years I might have understood that children have the innate ability to spike a fever, cough up a lung, or break out in a weird rash only after both you and the Doctor have finally fallen asleep.  So keep that wonderful amazing most kind Aunt on speed dial - or bring a book because the ER takes forever and the child will get well again as soon as you walk in.

Children do get hyper after eating sugar.

And toast, an apple, even Cheerios.  Just feeding them gets that blood sugar back up to warp speed so be ready, Scottie!

Children will repeat everything you say only at the exact inappropriate time.

We are all guilty.  We are so angry at {insert name here} that we turn Ralph's World a little louder and think we're talking quietly on the cell phone until we get to the play date and someone asks, "How are you?" and your child replies, "She's pissed."

Children will amaze and astound you at least once a day -if you watch for it.

When all is said and done, I have the best job in the world.  These are truly amazing creatures and I am blessed to watch them grow.  It is so cool to watch them go from sitting to walking to talking to reading to telling me how to fix the computer.  It's incredibly hard to watch the fighting and crying and struggling and failing, but I also get to watch how that makes them stronger the next time around.  It is not the easiest job that I've ever had, but I hear grand kids make up for a lot.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tooth Fairy Blues

So there is one advantage to finally joining Face book about a year ago - misery loves company.  My five-year-old has begun to loose baby teeth.  Mind you they have to wiggle in his mouth for a good month or so before they actually fall out.  That's right, I said fall out.  He will not touch them let alone pull one.  I think he currently has about three loose in varying stages of course.

After much work on my part with the toothbrush every night...Have you ever tried to brush a tooth out? It ain't easy folks.  We lost tooth number two.  He was so proud and put it in a plastic bag. Thank God! Not that I asked him to but touching those things gives me the willies.  Besides they are REALLY small.

He showed everyone and decorated the sandwich bag.  Then there were a few tense moments when we thought we lost it, but after the screaming and tears I finally settled down and realized it was still in the bag, just too damn small to see.

It took five days to remember to put it under his pillow.  Every morning he would come down for breakfast and say, "Oh look, I forgot my tooth again." So is it any wonder that when he finally remembered to put it under his pillow, I FORGOT!  How much do you suck as a mom when you forget to be the Tooth Fairy?!

I was really beating myself up over this one, because there was no getting out of it.  Oh, it's happened before people.  But my older son never came in with the tooth bag and a report of all the places the money was not.  He would just casually say, I think the tooth fairy forgot.  To which I would casually reply, "Really? Let's check under your bed at breakfast.  Excuse me while I go to the bathroom."  At which point I would dash upstairs cursing under my breath, stealing money from his own stash (under the bed) then grab the tooth and leave a dollar and no one was the wiser.

But the five-year-old really had me.  What now?  Couldn't even blame it on a snow storm like I did for my older son.  That excuse actually lasted three days until I threaten my husband with his sex life if he didn't remember to do it because I obviously can NOT!

When I posted this to my Face book page I had 8 comments from friends about how typical this was of the Tooth Fairy.  Perhaps because the Tooth Fairy is expected to do it all by herself.  Raise the little fairies, feed the little fairies, put the fairies to bed then spend all night picking up teeth!

Like I said, misery loves company.  And according to Face book I am in good company.  Maybe even at the top because one friend posted that she is pretty sure her son has had a tooth under his pillow for six months now.  The interest on that could put the Tooth Fairy out of business. Not a bad idea, not bad at all.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Resolution

I have said before that I do not believe New Year's resolutions.  They are pointless and guilt ridden declarations that I think 90% of the population makes while fall down drunk on New Year's Eve.  This year I may have had a change of heart.

The first reason came after getting about 1/2 sick after Christmas.  Due to the pounding headache, sore throat, and insipid cough I sat on the couch doing nothing as often as I could.  Because of this, I happened to caught an episode of The Middle on ABC.  They made New Year's resolutions for each other and it ended up working out pretty well, in that funny sitcom sort of way.  The 17 year-old son went back to 5th grade to turn in a paper for an A - except that the teacher took off a point for every year it was late, and for every misspelled word so he still didn't get an A.  The 15 year-old daughter tried to drum up support for the wrestling team with a band of misfit cheerleaders.  And the youngest child who was hoping to get time with mom ends up getting left at her job 4 hours after closing. See what I mean?

The second reason came when a friend, father, and husband lost his 11 month battle with cancer.  Our birthday's are 8 days apart.  We would both be turning 40 this July.  He leaves behind my good friend-his wife and their three beautiful children.  This really hit me hard.  I'm pissed, still.  I know that I should feel relief that he is not suffering, gratitude for our friendship, and peace that God has a plan.  But I'm struggling, because it sucks.  Wish I had a better expression, sorry Mom.

I was looking at the list that my son made last year right around this time, I have it hanging on the kitchen cupboard, it says and I quote

stuff I need
1. more kindniss
2. more hugs
3. more play time
4. more sleep
5. Kind words

That sounds about right.  Wishing everyone all the stuff they need for 2012.  Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Being 5 is tough work....

Tuesday was the first day back to school after Christmas break.  My five-year-old is in half day Kindergarten.  When I picked him up from school at noon he jumped in the mini-van (yes, yes, I know Julie keep laughing) and said "That was EXHAAUUSSTING!" I am sure it was big guy.

I asked how his day was otherwise

Really? What made it horrible?
"I can't talk about it."

Oh, my little man.  Being 5 is tough.  There are so many expectations and so little reward.  Get up, get dressed, eat your breakfast, go to school, do your homework, take a bath, eat your green beans, get some exercise - no Wii does not count - pick up your room, put on your pj's, brush your teeth and don't ask any questions, misbehave, whine, cry, or complain.  Thank you. Now repeat 10,839 times before graduation.

He seemed to be plugging away just fine this week.  When I got him up on Friday he said, "What are we going to do today?" Here it comes.....I said you are going to school. His reply, "AGAIN!"

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Where's my Guidance Counselor?

I will have to go to a funeral this week for a friend who was my age.  He fought a long and horrible battle with cancer and although he is at peace - what about the rest of us?  What do I say to my dear friend who is left without the love of her life?

She mentioned the school guidance counselor has already called her with the plan for telling the children's classmates and talking to them about how to be a good friend.  It made me so jealous.  Where's my guidance counselor?

There are so many situations not just this one where I feel lost, uncertain, ill-equipped to handle.  How do I be a good friend? What do I say when someone is sick? Is it OK to ask them how they feel? Do I bring chicken noddle soup? Or a bottle of wine?  What do I say at a funeral? Is it OK to laugh - tell a story about how I tried to feed him three year-old cream cheese brownies???

I wish I had a guidance counselor, better yet I wish I had super powers.  Flying, super strength, mind control - that would all help in fighting evil doers who are plotting to take over the world, but all I want is the power to heal.

In honor of Caesar Carnavale.  Extremely fun-loving friend, amazing husband, and great father. May your family feel your peace as you watch over them.  and C - next time give me the numbers!!