Archive

Archive for January, 2011

Why I Eat Cookies

January 31, 2011 13 comments

Today has been a roller coaster!  I was scheduled to be on a plane right now headed for another business trip.  Then, an hour before I was due to leave for the airport, my meeting and trip were rescheduled. 

I am thrilled to stay home because I just got back from a week-long trip on Friday.  It was long days of meetings and social events in the evenings.  By 2:00 every day, I was ready for a nap – so I had a cookie instead. 

Once home, I was still tired and didn’t feel like I had enough time this weekend to get everything done.  I ran around until I was close to sleeping standing up – so I ate cookies to keep going.  Sugar is my caffeine.  By last night I had accomplished all I could and enjoyed a bottle (yes, a bottle) of wine, which then affected my judgment so I ate another bag of cookies.

When I got up this morning, I was melancholy about my trip.  I had been home less than 72 hours and needed more time with my husband.  What you’re expecting me to say next is “and I really needed more time with my kids”.

Except I don’t. 

From the moment I walked in the door on Friday, my little pumpkins were lunatics.  They set new temper tantrum records.  My husband was so sweet to share with me that they were great until I came home…  It is so odd, I was sad to part with them this morning, I gave them extra hugs and kisses and truly didn’t want to leave.  But now that I get to stay home, I would like to hide in my office, eat cookies and read a book.  What award do I win for that?

But I am congratulating myself on knowing where I am at and understanding what I need.  I need cookies.  I need rest.  I need cuddling with my kids.  I just don’t want the other stuff like discipline, homework, laundry and bedtime rituals.  Hmmm… I think the business trip might be more restful than parenting…

So I have decided today is I eat cookies day (and it is clearly not ‘I am a literary genius’ day).  You are welcome to join in the celebration.  This is guilt free indulgence.  Will I eat cookies in lieu if my parenting duties? No.  But will the cookies make the duties easier? You betcha!

Next time I will make this brief, I’ll quickly tell you about the isolated times when I don’t eat cookies.

What do you do to take care of yourself?  How do you cope on crazy days?



Treading Wine

January 28, 2011 19 comments

I know what you’re thinking – “Paige, don’t you mean treading water?”

Do I ever mean water over wine? Not unless we’re talking about laundry and I rarely talk about laundry.

For the last several weeks I have been struggling to tread wine.  You see, if I was struggling to tread water, I would have simply gotten out of the pool (or lake, or ocean).  But wine is complex, sometimes surprising, occasionally corked, but usually delightful, just like life.  So therefore, treading wine is worth the struggle.

So what I have been struggling with that has kept me off-balance (and writing very little) for the last few weeks?  I think I have it mostly figured out (how’s that for confidence and conviction?).  I have shared on occasion that I haven’t always been happy in my job.  The thing is, I love what I do and I am good great at it.  But I am a perfectionist and it had gotten out of hand.  I had gotten to a point where nothing felt good enough.  My confidence was slipping and my self-critical side needed a beat-down.  It had started to spill in to my personal life.  Everything felt hollow and I had stopped trusting my own instincts.  Very few people knew how it was affecting me, because, like my dramatic diva of a three-year old, I can put on a show.  The irony is during this time, I received a promotion, a raise and several accolades and still didn’t feel like my work was good enough.

But I am very fortunate, I am surrounded by smart, caring people (and a few paid professionals) who have helped me get things under control.  By examining my perfectionist tendencies, I realized that perhaps I am a wee bit… off-balance, unrealistic and um… crazy.  As I thought about the standard I was holding strangling myself to, I had to laugh.  It was absurd and not the level I hold others to.  My higher self-bar was not because I thought I was better than the average person and could deliver more, it was because of that pesky perfectionism.  This may confuse you since I talk about mold in my shower and all of my follies, but there are parts of life where I feel safe being “normal” and parts where I wasn’t giving myself that same luxury.  (Trust me, the mold is still in the shower and I think the whole house needs dusting).

So I have perfectly cured myself in about two weeks.  (When you’re done laughing, feel free to continue reading).

Welcome back, need some water or a kleenex?

In lieu of an instant cure, which I was dismayed to discover does not exist, I am being more thoughtful about my goals, my decisions and my feelings.  I am letting myself off the hook a bit.  I am taking risks again and know that sometimes I will… eek… fail, and gulp… that’s good for me.   I am also reminding myself that my job is only one facet of my rich, tannin filled life.  I am treating myself the way I would treat any of my precious friends and family members: with support and encouragement.

I know that I will have to keep an eye on that bothersome perfectionist side and I may have to occasionally smack her around, but just being aware makes me feel so much better!

So I am again successfully treading wine and enjoying it.  Not to mention that cabernet-colored skin is more attractive than some of my spray tan debacles in an effort to avoid my natural pasty white color!

Thanks to a Mad Women who inspired me to share the hard, not always funny, parts of life.

Hula Hoop Workout

January 19, 2011 11 comments

I have shared with you that on New Years Eve I demonstrated my maturity by consuming some adult beverages and showing off my hula-hooping skills.  But Dr. Oz has validated me!  Last week he featured a segment on the hula hoop workout.  Do you know what this means?!

  • I am at the front of a fitness trend, I was hula hopping before Dr. Oz!
  • I can multi-task: I was celebrating New Years and exercising.
  • You can exercise and drink at the same time!  This falls in line with my 5K selection criteria!
  • If you hula-hoop while drinking, the calories won’t count.
  • I am not a dork, I am a fitness guru.
  • I have found a form of exercise I can do while dressed up, as suggested by the pictures below.

Thank you Dr. Oz for confirming what I have been trying to share with people.  Hula-hooping is good for you!

How do you have fun while exercising?

Is it sad that I could provide two different pictures of me actually hula-hooping as an adult???

But Officer, She’s Only Three…

January 18, 2011 14 comments
We had dinner with some friends the other evening.  After dinner, the adults were enjoying a glass of wine downstairs and the kids were upstairs playing.  As we were sitting downstairs, we heard the phone ring once and stop, we didn’t think much of it.
A short time later, I saw our host on the phone.  This is what I heard:

“I’m sorry, what?!”

“You’re kidding!”

“We have young kids playing upstairs, but everything is fine”

“No, the sheriff won’t be necessary.  We apologize for the inconvenience.”

He hung up the phone, broke into laughter, looked at me and said, “your girl called the cops.”  Now, our host is a kidder and loves my daughter, but will show that love through playfully giving her hard time.  “Bullsh*t,” I claimed, “she doesn’t know how to dial 911.  So unless you have one of those speed dial 911 buttons, I know you’re full of it.” I explained.

“I’m not kidding.  She talked to them and hung up.  They called back and I let them know the sheriff wasn’t necessary.”

He was laughing so I thought he was kidding until the sheriff walked up to the door.

Fortunately, the sheriff had kids and the whole matter was cleared up quickly.  What went down that night is an absolute prediction of the future:

My son was the brains of the operation.  He knew how to dial 911.  He picked up what he thought was a fake phone and dialed.  When he realized the phone was real, he knew it was trouble, so he found himself a patsy, his three-year-old sister.  My little diva loves the drama and jumped at the chance to play the damsel in distress and also had absolutely no concern for the consequences.  When she got caught, she wasn’t crying for fear of spending a life in stripes, she was pissed that we failed to see her star talent and ended her performance.  But my girl is quick on her feet, she switched to the victim.  She pleaded in a shaky voice, “Mommy, I want to go home.  I am so tired.  Please put me in the car RIGHT NOW,” in between her tears.  She will be a Hollywood star.

My son the diplomatic boy scout admitted he made the call, explained it wasn’t his fault since he thought the phone (that had a cord connected  to it and dial tone) was fake.  He also quickly pointed out that he did not talk to the police.  Yep, my son will come up with some great ideas, that he will have someone else execute.  He is destined for management and with his parents’ OCD and strong opinions, likely the CEO.

Thank you to the sheriff for his quick response and better preparing me for the future!

My daughter's costume for a future starring role.

Categories: Humor, Parenting Tags: ,

I Beat Murphy’s Law… For Now

January 14, 2011 21 comments

Do you ever feel like:

  • Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) is a big mean guy swinging a heavy bat – usually at your face or gut?
  • The moment you get off the rollercoaster of life, you step onto a merry-go-round?
  • Just when you get on a good healthy eating and fitness kick, you get sick, injured or somebody sends you a box of chocolates?
  • You can have a quiet work week and then everything hits on Friday?
  • Nobody drops by unannounced when your home is immaculate and you are put together, but your new neighbor drops by the day you forego getting dressed to re-organize and deep clean your house.
  • The simplest of mistakes can have the biggest impact?
  • You forget the one thing at the grocery store that has no substitute?
  • Your kids only sleep in when you’re already awake?
  • The movie you’ve been dying to see was on TV the previous night?
  • The 50% off Border coupon expired yesterday?

I had a week like this.  But you know what?  That Murphy guy is nothing but a bully.  I turned on him, stole his bat and beat his ironic ass – we say bottom in this house- into the ground.  I have been in pajamas (figuratively and literally) all week, just trying to survive.  But now, the sun is shining, I have taken a full shower (with a razor and everything) and am re-claiming my happy life!

They say that what goes up must come down.  But what comes down and breaks, can be fixed with superglue and a martini!

What are your brushes with Murphy’s Law?  How do you bounce back?

How I Am Going to Get Smart

January 11, 2011 24 comments

I am used to be smart.

I have never been a news junkie, but I at least was up on the world and could follow an adult conversation on current events.

Then I had kids.

Between my full-time, job, my two cherubs and all that those two worlds require, I have run out of news time.  Well that’s kind of a lie.  My husband has the same life as me, parenting included because he’s my better half.  But, he still reads the paper, watches the news and reads internet news every day.  It is embarrassing to be with co-workers and not have any idea what they are talking about.  People assume because I work and have adult conversations, I am current.  No way.  At work I discuss work or I get updates on people’s families, lives, etc. 

So what am I doing while my husband keeps up on current events?  Facebook, Twitter and blogging.  Or reading, but I bounce between literary masterpieces and vampire books.  Hmmm… as I think through my recent reads, there has been more smut than ‘noble’ books.

But I really want to know some of what’s going on the world.  The news is depressing day in and day out and I get sad thinking about what my grandkids and beyond might inherit, but I really do want to be more aware.

And I have a solution…

One of my wisest, and up-to speed friends (why does she keep me around) reads “The Week” and turned me onto it.  She even gave me a subscription.  (Is she trying to tell me something?)  My first issue came on Friday and I read it cover to cover on Sunday in between breaking up fights and by allowing extra Wii time.  It was great!  Before I go on and on, I must make it clear.  I have no affiliation to this publication, I am not being paid to endorse it, nor do they have any idea who I am. – For some reason I don’t make the top of their Rolodex (Rolodex? Who says that these days?) Ahem.  They don’t follow me or seek my editorial contributions.

Back to my free endorsement – it contains well-organized, straight-forward summaries of what’s going on in the world.  For big issues they summarize multiple perspectives and give credit to the original source.  Do you know what this means?!  I can cite the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (just to name a few) all in one decade.

I am on my way to being sounding like a smarty-pants!

Does this mean you’ll see some extra intelligence in this blog?  Not likely.  I am exhausted and can’t remember any of those brainy quotes!

What do you do to keep up on the world and still make time for YOUR world?

Lesson from My Polygamist Same-Sex Date

January 10, 2011 24 comments

I have been having a polygamist, same-sex relationship.  Online, no less.  What would my grandmother say? 

Who is this group of women?  Fellow bloggers. 

My expectation of blogging was simple: to have a creative outlet for myself, a personal playground.  I did not expect to make friends online.  And then I did.

Yesterday, I took the next step in the relationship.  I met some other bloggers for lunch and wine tasting in Napa.  Whitehall Lane hosted us for a fabulous wine tasting that was delicious and educational (ask me about glass corks).  Who doesn’t bond over wine???  We then had a fabulous lunch at Brix.  There was singing, mooning and threats of motor-boating.  It was right up my alley. 

As I drove home reflecting on my afternoon, I felt blessed to have spent a day with exceptional women.  But as I chatted with a close friend about my experience, she said I sounded numb.  She said I was saying wonderful things, but lacked my usual animation.  I thought about it and realized, I lacked emotion because I had some deep thoughts brewing.

Somewhere along the way, my blogging expectations became more complex.  I started watching my blog stats and wondering what it would be like to be one of those celebrity bloggers.  I started thinking that turning my hobby into something more might be my next goal.  After meeting these amazing women I was ready to go home and go after that goal. 

But here’s the problem with me and goals:  I am a crazy overachiever.  My competitive spirit can cloud my judgement, reaching the goal becomes more important than the journey.  I often say I could never be on the Bachelor, because I would want the rose even if the guy was a creep.  I set goals for myself and when I achieve them, I feel lost.  I expect that the next achievement will keep me satisfied.  And it doesn’t.  I end up failing to fully appreciate the experience.  I fear that I could diminish my passion for writing if I take it too seriously.

I think it is great to turn passions into careers or have goals for your hobbies.  I met women yesterday who, for them, this is more than a hobby and I revere them.  But for me to have balance in my life, I have to catch myself.  Motivation is good in moderation.  I need an area of my life where I don’t push my hardest.   

Does this mean I don’t have secret dreams of turning writing into something more?  Of course I do.  Would it be great to make a little wine and lunch money while doing something I love?  Uh, yeah!  But I need to slow down, take time to smell the cabernets and enjoy my new polygamist same-sex relationship.

Do you have something that gives you pure joy without stress?  Is the journey or the destination more important to you?

Escalator Gymnastics Saved My Son’s Life

January 7, 2011 26 comments

I have consumed the obligatory glasses of wine to recover from the adrenaline rushes of yesterday.  But I did promise to share the story of my escalator gymnastics…

When my son was three years old and my daughter was three months old, we planned a trip to Disneyworld with another family.  As we headed towards security, my husband went into frequent flier mode.  You put my  best friend and better half in an airport and he’s all business, even on a trip for pleasure.  We had decided he would be in charge of my son and I would take the baby (who was strapped to my chest) and the diaper back pack.  To reach security in our airport, you must go up an escalator.  My husband was two car lengths ahead of me as we approached the escalators.  With potentially crippling fear, I realized that while my husband was stepping onto the escalator, my son, wearing a toy-filled backpack, was about 6 steps behind him.  I screamed to my husband to take our son’s hand, but it was too late.  My sweet boy, in an attempt to keep up with daddy, tried to step onto the escalator, by himself, for the first time. 

I could see him hesitate and waver.  All of my internal alarms went off and time slowed to a crawl.  My husband looked like a statue and I knew he was merely a false sense of help at that moment.  As the steps started to ascend, I could see that my sweet pumpkin’s feet were on the very edge of a step and he was teetering.  All that went through my head was that he was going backwards and his head was going to smack the metal grates.

I sprinted. I dove.  I think God may have picked me up and carried me, it was all a blur.  I threw myself forward with my right hand extended and caught my son’s head two inches above the grates.  But it’s not over yet, remember my baby strapped to my chest?

I knew that my forward momentum would send her face first into the same predicament.  While maintaining the hold on my son’s precious head, I kicked my legs out from under me and threw myself backwards.  I put up my left arm to block my daughter’s head as I slammed against the side of the STILL MOVING ESCALATOR.  As I fell backwards the diaper backpack kept my head from a similar fate that I had just avoided for my son.  My girlfriend rushed up behind me and held my head up as I rode up the escalator on my back, legs in the air, baby strapped to my chest, holding my son’s head above menacing metal spikes.

I am staring at my statue, I mean my husband, and see a flash out of the corner of my eye.  A man behind my girlfriend dropped his bag, sprinted the stairs, ran down the escalator, pushed past my frozen husband and pulled my children and I up. 

The next few seconds are a blur but it seems airport personnel were there in an instant.  They had stopped the escalator (a little late fellas) and had summoned the paramedics.  (Taking a breath because after three years I still choke up when I say or write paramedics.) 

They responded quickly to check me and my children out.  I told them my son was fine, I had caught him, but my daughter was crying and had a small bruise on her forehead.  Although my arm took most of her impact, she did hit the glass.  “Ma’am, we’re going to check you all out, but we have an ambulance waiting downstairs.”  At this point, I am wondering if I did the right thing.  I didn’t see what other choice I had at that moment.  I told the paramedics, “We’re on a way to Disneyworld, but if you have the slightest hesitation, we are getting in that ambulance”.

Fortunately, everyone checked out fine.  My daughter had stopped crying and showed no signs of trauma and my son and I had escaped even a scratch.  We were cleared to fly.  As we walked through the terminal, people were pointing at me and whispering. 

I was whispering too, “Thank you God”.

A Mama Bear Kind of Day

January 6, 2011 14 comments

I have said before that I am the classic, over-protective, mama bear.  I had Mama Bear feelings three times today before 10:00 am! 

Mama Bear #1:

My son woke us up at 5:45 this morning because he had had a nightmare. 

He failed to mention that he had already filled his diaper and subsequently pee’d through the full diaper, soaking my husband and his side of the bed (thank God for California Kings – my side was dry and warm!).  In disgust, my husband got up, changed my son, put him in bed next to me and got ready for the day (45 minutes early).  But I digress…

My son couldn’t go back to sleep because he was so scared from his nightmare, his little heart was racing.  (I know because we had to snuggle tight to avoid the pee.)  He started asking me questions about bad guys and home security.  I ended up turning on the light and talking with my son for forty-five minutes about ‘what-ifs’ and why he is safe.  He wanted me to get his dad, because he was worried I was too small to defeat a bad guy.  I tried to explain without showing my over-dramatic true colors that I would keep him safe at all costs.  I explained that bad guys have no interest in us, we have an alarm system, etc, etc.  But I was getting worked up being asked questions like, “What if a bad guy came in with a gun and tried to take Sissy or I?”  What I really wanted to say is that if somebody came in this house that shouldn’t, I would kill them.  Did you see the period?  Kill them. Period.  Even if they were bigger and had a gun, I would win because you always bet on the crazy mama bear!

Mama Bear #2:

After getting my son safely off to school, I was driving my daughter to preschool.  We literally live within a mile of the school and could walk if it wasn’t so damn cold this morning.  (Who am I kidding, I always drive!)  As I was going straight, somebody turned left in front of me.  I had to SLAM on my brakes with my sweet, precious girl in the car! Once I realized that, by the grace of God, we had stopped (I truly don’t know how I brought my husbands huge truck to a stop that fast!) I was relieved… and pissed!  What kind of moron makes a left turn without slowing down, or looking both ways!  I wanted to yell at her, but I settled for a long honk.  My little girl is too young to witness road rage. 

However, when I dropped her off at school my heart was still racing and my voice cracked when I tried to tell the story.  You all know that feeling… I get chills just writing about it.

Mama Bear #3:

After dropping my daughter off at preschool, I went to the gym.  I hoped to run off the adrenaline pumping through my veins.  I had a nice run and on my way home noticed that our neighbor’s nanny’s car was parked in front of their house.  Except, they had fired that nanny yesterday

Now maybe, I was already mentally in the wrong place with the bad guy talk and near collision, but I started worrying about disgruntled employees and my neighbor’s sweet little girl inside.  I instantly pulled my car over.  But I didn’t jump out of my car and barge in the front door.  No, I am balanced and mature, but the thought occurred to me.  I texted my neighbor at work to make sure the nanny was supposed to be there, she confirmed that while they gave her notice yesterday, her last day was today.  I took yet another deep breath and went home.

I think I need some serious wine and chocolate to counteract the adrenaline from today!

Are you a mama or papa bear type?  Do you mentally prepare for the worst in situations?  Have you, like me, mapped out your exit strategies with the kids if an intruder got into the house?  Have you performed acts of heroism for the sake of your children? Some other time I will tell you about my escalator gymnastics that saved my son’s life…

Bottom line, am I crazy or a normal mama?

My protective side...

Categories: Parenting Tags: ,

How To Choose a Superbowl 5K

January 5, 2011 12 comments

My friend and I have decided to do a few races this year and think about training for a half-marathon.  I am trying to get rid of the 12 pounds of Christmas.  And we’re both trying to get back to a place where we can eat and drink without guilt. 

Our first race is going to be Superbowl Sunday.  We had two races to choose from.  Here is our decision-making process utilizing my scientific, health-focused, methodology:

Me: “Okay there’s one 10 minutes from you and one 10 minutes from me.  Which one should we do?”

Her: “Didn’t you say the one by me had tailgate food afterwards?”

Me: “Ooh, yes, good point.  Tailgate food afterwards is a must.  Okay, I checked they both have tailgate food afterwards and beer.  Maybe we should look at elevations.  I don’t do hills.”

Her: “Oh yeah, flatter is better.” 

Me: “Okay, they both look about the same for elevation.  But the one by you does football jersey style shirts and the one by me does Hanes Beefy Tees – ugh.”

Her: “Oh, the beefy tees, always attractive.  What’s the cost of each?”

Me: “Ding, ding, we have a winner.  The one by you is $60, the one by me is $25.”

After emailing some other friends with our decision, a wise girl pointed out there is a great dive bar by the cheaper race too.

In summary:

  • Post race food and beer
  • Flat course
  • Cheap fees
  • Dive bar

We are true athletes!

Categories: Cocktails, Food, Humor Tags: , , ,