Archive

Posts Tagged ‘friends’

3 Things Every Mommy Needs

April 25, 2012 7 comments

Today was one of those days.  I didn’t sleep well last night, thanks to an adorable, yet snoring child in my bed.  It was grey and drizzling outside and frankly, I am pms’ing (apologies to my male readers).  My plan was to go inward metaphorically.  I would hide from the world and maybe even skip yoga because it’s just a crummy day. 

Then I got a text from a friend that she’s having a tough week too.  I decided the best way I could support her and anyone else having a tough day was to dust off the blog (Oh my! Does anyone have an extra feather duster and some Pledge, because I have been gone too long!) and share the 3 things every mommy woman person needs.  Hopefully, you all know what you need, but consider this a reminder, permission or just a loving nudge to be good to yourself!

  1. The Real Story – You are awesome, without having to be perfect.  Nobody is perfect.  If you are, please don’t tell me, I am fragile today.  Here’s my shining examples of not being perfect-
  • Every mom feels guilt.  We were tired so we only read the top sentence of every page of our child’s book (sadly when they learn to read, I have to find other ways to cheat).  We tell our kids we left their favorite movie at a friends’ house so we don’t have to hear it AGAIN.  (Notice I say hear, because I am guilty of not even watching it)!  We pick going to get a massage over watching a ballet practice.  I think I have said enough to win mother of the year, I am moving on…
  • Every mom yells.  Our preschool teacher is amazing, like off the charts patient, kind and creative.  AND she has FOUR kids!  FOUR!  She was recently asked, do you ever raise your voice and she said of course she does.  If she says she does, than I know its okay that I do!  That is one benefit of rainy days, I know my windows are closed so that my neighbors can’t hear me yelling!
  • Every mom gets behind on housework.  A note to the working moms – the stay at home moms have laundry piling up too!  Even the cleanest houses and those with cleaning ladies have their bad days! (My blog isn’t the only thing that needs dusting…)  You can’t perpetually hide the kids’ toys, husband’s junk or pet paraphernalia!

2. Vices

  • Pick your poison.  We all have our coping mechanism alcohol, caffeine, sugar, carbs.  Okay, I pick all of them!  There may be people out there who don’t need any of those, but I am not confident enough to be friends with somebody like that, so I choose to think we all have our vices.  One mocha Prozac vodka latte please –with whip!
  • Pick your distraction.  TV (Somebody should give the Nobel Peace prize to the inventor of DVR, because that person keeps the peace in my house), books (Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?!), magazines (I get more than I have time to read, but it’s comforting to know they are there to fill my head with gossip, recipes, fashion and homemaking!).  What’s your distraction?
  • Pick your escape. Book club, bunko, mom’s group – these all could be bucketed as an excuse to get together and drink wine. Yoga – hmm, add wine and it might be utopia…  The point is to find a way to blow off steam and smile!

3. Friendship

  • The sounding board. You know, the one you call and say, “I am going to kill my kids”, but she doesn’t call CPS (although you might appreciate if she did). Or the one you can call and say “should I be mad at my husband for …”.  Or the one you tell, “I really need to pull it together” and she tells you that you don’t have to.
  • The one that takes the high road.  Just like we need the in-your-corner (even if it’s the corner of crazy and whack job) friend, we need the one who puts it in perspective, plays devil advocate and tries to make you a better person.  Let’s be honest, we only call that friend when we’re not afraid of heights.  But when we’re capable, the high road reminds us that there are people with bigger problems and helps us find gratitude for our blessed lives.  She is also not a mind-reader, so when you tell her to “F” off in your head, she probably can’t hear you, I don’t think…
  • The vice connection.  She is my personal favorite. When the going gets tough, the tough get cocktails and she’s the gal stirring the drinks!  She’ll split the whole chocolate cake with you and insist on opening the second bottle of wine.  Who can have bad day while in a sugar induced coma?

The moral of the story- There is someone with a messier house, a shittier day and no wine in the fridge.  Call the friend you need, meet her for yoga and have a snickers and cabernet on stand-by.  You deserve it.  Yes, you!

My Better Half

September 15, 2010 22 comments

My husband left for a business trip this morning.  He was gone before the sun came up.  My daughter had me up from 2:30 to 4:30 am and I was trying to catch a few extra winks when my husband called to say good morning and make sure I got up okay.  He was worried that he had not re-set the alarm clock, although unbeknownst to him, I had set my own alarm.  So I drug myself out of bed and started the morning routine.  When I walked into the kitchen, he had laid out my son’s lunch bag, put out everything for his lunch that didn’t need to be kept cold (down to the knife to make his sandwich) and arranged his homework.  This was such a sweet gesture, but I wasn’t shocked…

My husband is better at… well everything sometimes.  He gets  up (usually before me), gets our son dressed, packs his lunch and starts breakfast.  He does the laundry, the grocery shopping and the cooking.  He volunteers in my son’s class twice per month and helps coach his sports.  He has tea parties with our 3-year old daughter and knows  my son’s weekly spelling words better than me every week.  Oh yeah, and he’s the bread-winner.

There are days when I definitely feel like the lesser half.  This is not because of anything my husband says or does, but just because I have a nasty habit of keeping score when I am losing.  (Ironically, I don’t keep score when I am ahead).  I often jokingly say, “What do I bring to the marriage?”  But those are thought for another day.

Today, I want to celebrate and appreciate having a better half.  I have shared in a previous post that he is my best friend.  I am so fortunate to have a husband who is my partner in all of this chaos.  He keeps me as balanced as I can be (which is still off-balance).  My kids are lucky to have a dad that is not solely devoted to his career.  Our family and our life works because my husband is great.  People often ask how we juggle two careers, two kids and still appear it to have it together most of the time.  The answer is often simple: I have a better half!

Cocktails and Passion, Hold the Books

September 13, 2010 11 comments

Since the beginning of time, women have had diversions: bridge club, garden club, Bunko, book club, and the myriad of at-home parties – Stella and Dot, Pampered Chef, Cookie Lee, Southern Living – you get the idea.  Let’s be honest: these are all excuses to get a few hours away from the kids, husbands, boyfriends, pets, whatever and enjoy some time with the girls. 

These events are a time to catch up on each others’ lives, share parenting horror stories and exchange beauty tips, recipes and laughs.   The theme, activity or reason for gathering is arbitrary, as long as we come together as women to blow off steam.  I remember my shock the first time I attended book club, with my book in hand, to find that half of the women don’t read the book and we rarely discuss it. (I, being an avid reader, was slightly disappointed, but the second cocktail made me feel better.)  In summary, our gatherings are the male equivalent of grabbing a beer after work (or so I suspect).

To my knowledge, all of these female gatherings include wine, cocktails or other appropriate alcohol (I’d go to Spanish Club if they served Sangria).  Maybe that’s just my group of friends, but I remember my grandmother pulling out the terrifying jug of Chablis (that poured like maple syrup…) to offer with the iced tea for her bridge club.  (Emily Post had nothing on those women who were steadfast enough to drink that with a polite smile).  Depending on if the gathering is day or evening dictates how much consumption is socially acceptable.  Occasionally, there is the added thrill of a gutsy gal exceeding the quota and being the entertainment for the evening.

This last Saturday night I attended a Passion Party.  This is the pinnacle of the secret female gatherings.  A consultant comes in to provide ideas and products to make life more interesting in the bedroom.  *If you are conservative, stop reading, but may I remind you that if you’re a mom, you likely had sex to have a baby and if you’re not a mom, your parents likely had sex to have you – get over it!

Glad you’re still with me.  But, lucky for you, the Grapefruit martinis make the evening just fuzzy enough not to articulate.  (But I do believe we made the party consultant blush with our comments!)  Therefore, if I am not going to provide details of the evening, why do I bring it up?  Because it highlights all that is perfect about girls evenings.  They are uninhibited, real and can bond perfect strangers. (I can now tell you – but I won’t – who has handcuffs in their homes and who is the most knowledgable about toys).  As women, we openly discuss menstruation, children’s’ poop and weight; how is sex any more taboo?  We are empowered to speak the alcohol induced truth and share our “wisdom”, humor and most embarrassing stories.  We laugh so hard we understand the importance of Kegel’s. 

After such an evening, we are rejuvenated – we have the smug smile of somebody holding a juicy secret and some of us anticipate the arrival of unmarked package, while dreading the visa bill.  For me, I felt more romantical (it’s my favorite made up word) towards my husband and was more patient with my children.  I feel closer to my girlfriends and somehow feel like a stronger woman in general.

So I am huge supporter of female gatherings and all the “secrets” shared there.  I also like pages 6-9 of the summer catalog, but that’s another story…

What New York Taught This Suburban Mom

September 7, 2010 7 comments

I am home from New York.  I spent four days with my husband, WITHOUT MY KIDS, in a town of incredible sights, history, food and culture to celebrate the wedding of a friend.   It was my first trip to the Big Apple and I was delighted, overwhelmed and more than a little off-balance.  Here are my lessons learned…

Flights Are Fabulous: Normally, when my husband and I fly together, we have the kids with us, which means I come off the plane sweaty, exhausted, cranky, stained and ready for a parachute.  On these two glorious flights I read books, drank wine (yeah, the break-up might be over), watched movies and RELAXED.  I didn’t actually care where the flight landed since the experience itself was so therapeutic.

Size Does Not Matter, It’s All About the View: My 2,800 square foot house can seem too small with the kids and all their toys, but a 1,000 square foot corner suite hotel room (thank you hotel points) over-looking the harbor is a little piece of Heaven. 

I Hate Crowds: I am a people person but  I DO NOT love swarming crowds of tourists.  Yes, I get that I was one of those tourists, but I think the problem was that I would like to sight-see like a celebrity, while everyone else stays home.  The sensory overload of Times Square is craizer than 25 kids for a six-year-old birthday party!  If I am in the mood for sensory overload I will chaperone my daughter’s preschool field trips.  At least then I will know the kids who own the sweat I rub up against. 

Suburban Life Requires Less Showers: I have shared in my posts that, since I work from home,  there are times, a-hem.. days, when I do not shower.  I had to wash city life off of me at least twice per day.  If I stepped off the curb wrong, I was splashed with gutter grime (water would not be an accurate word to describe what hit my legs). 

Moms Should Teach Taxi Driving School:  I can get an SUV full of 6 year olds anywhere on time without inducing motion sickness.  I can drive the carpool, while putting on a movie and passing back the juice boxes, without breaking any laws or startling anyone. (Unless I yell, “Don’t make me pull this car over”).  The taxi to the airport took two ginger ales to recover from.

Moms CAN Sleep-in After Having Kids: It turns out that staying up until 2:30 in the morning, having cocktails is doable if you can sleep until 11:30 the next morning.  I didn’t even know if I was still physically capable of sleeping late.  I have confirmed that mothers can still do shots and be the life of the party if given time to recover…

Adults Need Moderation Too: We don’t hand our children the candy basket and tell them to use their best judgement.  The same rule should probably apply to parents re-released into the wild – aka at an event with a fully hosted bar.  Just because it is there and free, doesn’t mean one (okay, me) should try to take full advantage.  The extra sleep helped, but I still had to relive the hazy memories of giving breast-feeding advice to someone I had just met.

Parks Are For Adults Too: My favorite part of my kids-free trip was a park!  We had a delightful brunch at The Boathouse in Central Park and then strolled around the lake. I turned to my husband and said, “oh the kids would love this”.  He said, “You’re right, but we’re not bringing them while they’re young”.  He’s a smart guy.

Thank you New York for reminding me what being a civilized adult feels like.  Thank you for the one-on-one time with my husband, for the beautiful sites and delicious food.  Finally, thank you for perspective – when I had my first dose of mommy frustration upon coming home, as the kids were being loud and rowdy, I was able to say, ‘Thank God I am not in the heat of Times Square with all those crazy tourists!’

World’s Quickest Relationship Summary

September 6, 2010 5 comments

We attended a wedding this weekend.  When the couple got engaged I sent the groom the following email.  I think it nicely summarizes their relationship from here on out:

“Congratulations on your engagement!  Since you and [bride] have been dating for quite a while, I am sure you were getting questions on when you two would get engaged.  From the moment you get engaged, people ask when the wedding is.  From the moment you get married they will ask when you will have your first child.  Once you have a child, they will ask when the next child is.  So basically, the questions never stop – enjoy!”

 

I Have Slept in the Rain, I Am Not High Maintenance

September 2, 2010 2 comments
I realize that yesterday’s list of rules may have made me sound a bit high maintenance.  So I would like to set the record straight: I am medium maintenance.
My husband always says being high maintenance is relative and that on the spectrum, I am “not that bad”.  I think I was on the path to high maintenance, and then I had kids.  They took my wallet and kicked me off the path.  They keep me balanced.  Here’s the proof:
  1. I don’t belive in manicures. (Although I have vastly different views on pedicures)
  2. If there is food involved I can be ready in under three minutes to walk out the door. (But you may not want to sit across from me)
  3. If you’re cooking, I will eat it, no questions asked.
  4. I drink beer, not just wine and cocktails.  The Silver Bullet suits me just fine.
  5. I love hand-me-downs for my kids.
  6. My Nieman Marcus is Marshalls.
  7. Filet mignon and pizza are pretty much on the same level for me.
  8. Days, okay I won’t lie – weeks, go by without me doing my make-up or hair.
  9. If I don’t leave the house, I don’t dress up, or get dressed…
  10. I will camp.  In a tent.  In the rain.  And have fun.

Just like the Four Seasons!

10 Effects of Shopping with Kids

August 31, 2010 3 comments

While my husband was on his guys trip this weekend, I stayed home with the kids.  I was thrilled to have no schedule to adhere to other than one soccer game.  I had planned to just relax with my kids, until I had the brilliant idea to do some shopping for my upcoming trip to New York.  Here are the effects of my bright idea…

  1. While wearing flip-flops I had my foot run over by my insistent cart drivers SIX times
  2. They opened the dressing room door, exposing my semi-naked body, TWICE
  3. My daughter did “snow angels” on the floor of Ross – hello bath time!
  4. I fed my kids two chocolate milks, two LARGE cookies, hotdogs and popcorn in an undisclosed order…
  5. I had to bribe with a toy submarine, a Dora backpack, and two dollar-bin masks, AFTER say, I would not buy them anything
  6. I ran into someone I knew at the exact moment I was hissing at my kids that they had better behave or else
  7. I “temporarily” lost the car keys
  8. I was impressed by my kids creativity when they devised dressing room games including
    • Different ways to wear a strapless bra and underwear (picture underwear on their heads with sunglasses over it)
    • How to turn plastic hangers into weapons
    • How high can they throw the tags that tell how many items I have in the dressing room
  9. I almost inadvertently shoplifted when I found a bracelet in my purse, as I was pulling out my wallet at the register, that my daughter had decided she wanted
  10. I have come up with a new mommy threat – “Be good or I will take you clothes shopping with me”

I have friends and family who would have watched the kids, but I decided I was supermom and could handle a few errands with the kids.   Isn’t it great how life reminds us that we there is no such thing as supermom?

I Believe in Vampires Because of My Kids

August 30, 2010 8 comments

First, a confession.  I have told you in the past that I have seen the Twilight movies, but I love Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse and  True Blood, Black Dagger Brotherhood and The Gates.  To make this statement requires me to swallow my pride.  When Twilight fist came out, I teased my friends for reading teeny-bopper books.  I told them I am not into vampires.  Then I read Twilight and was hooked on the series.  But I maintained that it was just those books and I would not read any other vamp books…  Well, clearly, I ate those words.

As I was watching True Blood last night, it occurred to me that my children have all the same powers as vampires, so I can only surmise that vampires do exist.  Here’s the “proof”:

  • Vampires defy gravity with their jumping and sometimes flying abilities – My son scaled the dressing room wall at Target Saturday to retrieve a toy I took away from him.  He regularly climbs door jams and other objects for sport.
  • Vampires suck the life out of you by sucking your blood – My children have one up on the vamps here – they can suck the life out of me without even leaving a puncture mark.
  • Vampires keep odd hours, awake at night and sleeping during the day– My children enjoy keeping me awake at night and then recharging their batteries during the day, while I struggle through work sleepless.
  • Vampires can glamour you to erase unwanted memories– Vampires have to learn this trick.  My kids started erasing my unpleasant memories the day they were born.  6 hours of labor while waiting for an epidural – that must be a rumor, I don’t remember that.  When they have been naughty or unruly, they simply come up, snuggle me and whisper I love you in their cutest voice and I am putty in their little supernatural hands.

So yes, I believe in vampires now, but I am not afraid of them.  I know a vampire is no match for my kids!

The “Real” Me

August 26, 2010 8 comments

I attended my daughter’s preschool  back to school night this evening.  This means, getting to know a new group of parents, some of which have their oldest in preschool.  New parents always worry me because they may not have given up their ideals and sanity yet.  They say admirable things like, “How do we know what our kids learned in school today so I can ask my child about it?”  I respect this, but the easy way out is “what did you do, what did you learn and what was your favorite part”?  They are still trying to do everything right (bless their hearts).  I have to say, all of the moms I met seem very nice and down to earth, but time will tell who is as off-balanced as me.  I have decided to show them the “real me” as early as possible in hopes of bringing them to the dark-side of reality parenting.  Or maybe they are already there…

Last summer, there was an evening when I had too much to liquid fun and I was acting like a child.  I was throwing food at my friends (trying to start a food fight, not out of malice) and generally acting silly.  My husband was getting irritated with me (how could this be?!) .  I turned to my group of friends and proclaimed, “This is the real me!”.  I will never live that quote down, but I have also embraced it in many ways.  Here’s more about the “real” me.  Yes, it’s another list of confessions.

  • I loathe the idea of owning a dog.  My kids want one very badly and I am dead set against it.  When I hear dog, I think hair, fleas, chewed up furniture, doggie breath and more responsibility.  It is a threat to my precarious life balance.  Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs – when they belong to other people!  I am also not a huge fan of overnight dog guests, but have made exceptions for my dearest friends. (Devon – I am high-fiving you right now).
  • I let my kids eat food they have dropped on the ground (there’s no dog to clean it up).  Correction, I tell my kids they have to eat what they drop, because I am not giving them more.  Now, this is only in my house, when the floors are reasonably clean, and maybe outside if it’s not too public of an area…
  • I love the idea of playdates that involve cocktails.  I NEVER drink when I am responsible for someone elses children AT ALL and I never have more than one if my husband is out-of-town.  This is not a joke and if you drink while watching my kids, you will learn about mama bear.  But, if you bring your little one over in the afternoon and you’re staying and want to have a beer with me, that is my kind of playdate!
  • I am perfectly comfortable letting my children’s teachers be responsible for their learning.  I will do all the homework and read to them, but frankly, I am exhausted at night and do not feel compelled to do extra credit as a mom.  I am glad there are professionals to ensure my kids are brilliant.
  • I recycle, but I drive a diesel SUV, do not compost, never made my own baby food, use disposable diapers and pull-ups and loved having drugs to ease the pain of labor.
  • I bake the bread for church, but mostly to make up for how often I miss Mass (meaning mostly absent) and to see a friend who I never get to see unless it is baking time.
  • I don’t like cold water so I spend more time watching my kids swim than swimming with them.
  • I cannot do math.  Period.

What’s the real you?  You can tell me, I promise to use a fake name when I blog about it! 😉

Stolen Rental Cars and Naked Hotel Guests

August 24, 2010 2 comments

I am currently on business travel.  I got up at 4:00 am yesterday morning (don’t ask me how I feel about this) and was at my destination by 9:30 in the morning.  I travel approximately once per month to the same location.  My destination and itinerary have become familiar and I am typically on auto-pilot for the duration of the trip.  Herein lies the problem – as I was driving from the airport to the office, I was on auto-pilot and almost took the wrong freeway.  This reminded me of previous business trips mishaps that were more amusing than getting on the wrong freeway.  So here are three in order of mildly amusing to so funny that if you’re not laughing, there might be something wrong with you.

Mildly Amusing (though not at the time):

I did my 4:00 am wake up call and flew in, I worked all day in the office, correction, I worked until 9:30 pm in the office.  I then drove two blocks to my hotel, desperate to crash.  I gave my rental car to the valet.  I normally self-park, but was so tired, I decided not to bother.  I stumbled into the hotel blurry eyed and on fumes.  I went up to the front desk, threw my corporate card and elite card on the desk like I owned the place and hoped they could get me to my room before I slept in the lobby.  I didn’t notice at first that he was typing more than usual.  Finally, he said, “Mrs. Morgan, I am sorry, but are you sure you have a reservation?”  What?!  I physically shook my head hoping it would help me process his question.  It dawned on me that I was in town for a conference and had not made my own travel arrangements…  It turned out my hotel was 30 minutes away and it was now approaching 10:00 at night (remember, I got up at 4:00 am).  I now had to rescue my bags from the bellman, wait 15 minutes for the valet to bring my car back and head to the correct hotel.  I was tired and frustrated; so as a further poke from the universe, my GPS wasn’t working.  I got lost three times trying to find my hotel!  When I finally got into my room, sometime after 11:00, I turned on my computer to cancel my early morning call and my laptop died!

Fairly Amusing

Same trip as above (I should have stayed home!).  I checked out of the correct hotel to fly home.  I had asked the valet to have my car waiting because I was going to be cutting it close, having a morning meeting before I scurried to catch my flight home.  I ran out of my morning meeting, handed some money and my ticket to the valet, grabbed my keys and headed for the airport.  Halfway to the airport, I went to turn on the radio and thought, ‘hmm, that’s funny, I could have sworn the button was on the other side’.  I ignored the feeling for a few minutes, then on a hunch, I looked at the key chain, it said Avis, my rental company, so I kept driving.  It was still bugging me, so I grabbed the rental car agreement and flipped it over – “WHO THE HELL IS D. SMITH (name changed to protect the victim) and why do I have their tag?!!!”  I had taken the wrong rental car!  At this point, I am one mile from the airport.  If I turned around, I would certainly miss my flight.  For me that was not an option, because I wanted to get home to see my kids!  I called the hotel valet from the car and made them stay on the phone while I pulled into rental car return.  I did what I do best – I put on my biggest apologetic smile and started talking.  I explained that the valet gave me the wrong car and I was going to miss my flight and inquired if could just return the one I had.  I was in luck, because I had no personal belongs in my car and D. Smith had no belongings in the car I “stole”.  The hotel tracked him down, we made a deal and I flew home.  As a side note, I am sure you all assume it was the same car in the same color – uh, no.  Two different foreign four door cars, one was silver, the other champagne.  Oops, I now try get electric blue cars whenever possible!

The Winner

This was not my brilliance, but certainly wins.  A friend of mine was on a sales trip and had been at a big, wine-filled dinner with clients.  He stumbled into bed pie-eyed and bordering on incoherent.  In the middle of the night, nature called and he staggered out of bed, headed for the bathroom.  Still drunk, he walked through the door and then the door closed with a click.  He had gone out the door to his room!  And, he sleeps naked!  (His wife told me the story, I do not know the sleeping attire of my male friends).  He now has two problems – the urgent need to pee and he is locked out of his room in the middle of the night, naked!   Solution one: he pee’d in the drain of the ice machine.  As he is figuring out problem two, he hears the elevator door open and he throws his naked 6 foot tall, football player frame against the hallway wall in hopes of being missed…  He gets lucky and uses the house phone to call the front desk.   While waiting for security to come up, he finds an unlocked housekeeping closet and grabs a towel that is just enough to cover the ‘public display of indecency’ parts.  When the security guard comes up, he averts his eye, keeps the verbal exchange short and files workman’s comp the next day I am sure.

Whether your work brings in a paycheck or raises a family, we all have those times when auto-pilot (or too much wine) gets the best of us.  Remember that when someone steals your rental car or you see a naked guy in a hotel.

The hotel robe would have come in very handy...