Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

To love, honor and assemble Ikea furniture together...

Let me preface this post by saying, right out of the starting gate, that I am disgruntled. I was not planning to be sitting in front of the computer this lovely Saturday morning, composing my brilliant and witty blog. No, not at all. I was planning on being at THE BEACH with my wonderful friends from college, enjoying some rare girl-time. Some relaxing, quiet-time. (That is code for NO KIDS ALLOWED time.) Instead, due to an unrelenting cold/sinus-infection and a sick relative who needs visiting and looking after, I am here ,at home, typing away. So, when it became clear that I would be home this weekend, PC and I decided to use the time "wisely".

Bella, as I've mentioned before has a lovely little case of ADHD. And one of the gifts this condition bestows upon anyone lucky enough to live with it is an inability to organize one's environment. And by inability - I mean, it is EXTREMELY difficult for some people - especially Bella, to organize their environment. It can be done - but it is a learned skill and takes years and years of coaching and practice and discipline and routine. Bella has been too young to really understand this process- so her room is always a complete and utter disaster. That's not to say that we haven't tried. We have bins for Barbies. We have a beautiful toy box to hold her toys. We have tubs for Polly Pockets and bins for horses and a 3-drawer system for dress up clothes. The problem is that Bella can't seem to keep the horses in the horse bin and the dress-up clothes in the dress-up bins. So, she is constantly loosing things. And I don't mean little things like American Girl doll shoes - I mean big, important things - like HER shoes. Because they are lost somewhere in one of the bins underneath the horses and necklaces and Barbies and playing cards that are all jumbled together.

The other issue is that Bella is so creative that she plays with everything at once. I really believe that's a very GOOD thing. I think it speaks to her creative nature and her ability to see things in a different way.(Carrie has a name for this and swears that is is a sign of artistic intelligence and ability.) So it is not at all uncommon to walk into her room and see it transformed into a "Horse Fashion Show". So All of the Barbies are out sewing "horse fashions" - which means that the Project Runway Fashion kit is out and the fabrics are all over the floor - along with all of the little pins (ouch) and the trims, and maybe there are feathers everywhere because one of the horses needed feather trim on her gown and the only way to accomplish that was to cut up a feather boa. And of course - let's not overlook the fact that all of the dress-up clothes are also out because Bella needed a gown to wear as the "Fashion Show Announcer" and she had to dress one of her dolls up as well and then makeup needed to be done...you get the picture.

So, after one of these particulary bad episodes where we had told Bella to clean up the mess and she had spent what seemed like hours cleaning it up - behind closed doors - and she had just made it messier, we decided that we ALL needed help. So - of course who did we call? Carrie - Mommy mentor and interior decorator extra-ordinairre. Carrie took one look at the disaster and pointed us to IKEA. She suggested a particular type of shelving unit that can hold bins and baskets that we can label - giving Bella guidance and a system for knowing "what-goes-where."

So - this is what PC and I are about to attempt. We have already purchased the shelving unit and are poised on the brink of "construction". Now, while this project might seem like a walk thru a daisy field to most of you - let me give you a bit of history. PC and I SUCK at ANY TYPE of home project activity. One time, we were attempting to put a simple bookcase together and we managed to put a HUGE hole in the wall of our apartment! I had a professional painter once tell me to "keep that man away from a paint brush and can at ALL costs." We have never been very good at putting IKEA furniture together. I remember a certain entertainment center causing PC to almost stroke out - and he was much younger then. I have vauge recollections of him shouting about suing the Sweedish government for allowing IKEA to even exist. About IKEA being some sort of Sweedish government conspiracy...in other words - it was BAD. I'll admit - I am frightened about what today holds for us. I am worried about the new vocabulary words Jack might pick up. I hope that PC and I come out of this with all of our fingers and toes. And while this might make some of you laugh - it might make some of you, who know us very well, say "Me too".

We are not "Do-it-yourself-ers". We're not. We're more like "Let's hire a guy to do this for us while we go out to lunch-ers". But, the redecorating bills are getting a bit steep, and PC thinks that we can do this ourselves. (In other words - PC isn't paying a "guy" to do this one for us.)So, here we are, drinking our coffee - readying ourselves. We are silently telling ourselves that we are older and wiser and more patient. We are trying to convince ourselves that this is not brain surgery. That high school students can put these things together. That people with far less education and far fewer resources can manage to put these things together. That this will be a wonderful way for us to spend time together - accomplishing something that will make our lives better. And maybe it will.

But - I'm really thinking that it will be a day of hell. That PC will be mad and ranting about the Sweedish government again by 10:30. That I will be fed up with him and start yelling at him by 11:30. That I will tell him to "Just leave - just GO! I will do this BY MYSELF!" by 11:35 - and then fake an injury by 11:47 because I will realize that I have no freaking clue what I'm doing and I do need his help. I DO think that we will get this thing put together by midnight tonight. I just am not sure how that will be accomplished.

But, hey - at the very least - it will probably be a pretty funny blog posting....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Haunting.....

So, my friend calls me the other day and tells me that her house is haunted. She tells me this like she would tell me that she was having car trouble. No warning, no "I have something to tell you, and you'd better sit down." So, I reply in the spirit the news was delivered. I say: "Oh yeah - I thought our house was haunted once too. But it was only mice." (Which is totally true. I am a city girl - I had no way of knowing that mice would squirrel cat food away into plastic bins in the basement until PC told me. I of course insisted that he was wrong and that we needed to sell the house immediately before Bella got sucked into the telvision by a poltergeist. PC bought a few mousetraps. Ghosts must be TERRIFIED of mousetraps because they haven't been back since.)

Well, it turns out that my pal does not have a rodent problem. Nope - she has a ghost problem. An honest-to-goodness poltergeist problem. Now, let me preface this story by saying, right off the bat, that my pal is not some sort of hippy-dippy, pot-smoking, looney-liberal let's-all-run-naked-in-the-woods kind of gal. (As these are the types of people I would assume would have bat-shit crazy stuff like haunted houses associated with them.) She's not someone with crystals all over her house. She doesn't commune with nature. She's normal! She belongs to a book club, she drinks expensive wine, she has a few well-adjusted, extremely smart kids, she's a professional woman - highly regarded in her field I will have you know. And she happens to have a gang of ghouls squatting in her house!

At first, she says, she thought that she had some sort of electrical issues in her house. Lights would flicker on and off. Lightbulbs would explode when you turned them on - the sort of stuff most of us would chalk off to electrical or wiring issues - as she did. But then - the books began to fall. Books that she was sure she had put on their shelves would magically appear back on the floor. At first she thought that she was just forgetting things or the house was shifting or the earth was quaking or something was causing these books, that by this time she KNEW she had put back on their shelves, to continually tumble to the floor. And then, the "dreams" started.

The "dreams" started, as most bad dreams do, with a hazy, day-after remembering of something vaugly unsettling about a dream the night before. An uncomfortable, kind of creepy feeling about the dream that you are able to shake off as you go about your day. Until it happens again. Only this time - the dream is a bit easier to remember. This time the dream is a bit more real - almost like it wasn't a dream at all. The dream starts off with my friend sleeping - as most dreams do- and then she gets a heavy or tight feeling in her chest. She is aware of this feeling as she sleeps and the feeling is so uncomfortable that it wakes her up. As she wakes up, she realizes what the feeling is - it is the realization that someone is in your bedroom, watching you sleep. And when she wakes up - a man is standing at the foot of her bed, staring at her. And according to her - it is so frightening- that she closes her eyes - to make him go away I guess- and when she reopens them - the man is gone. She starts having this dream over and over again and writes it off as a recurring nightmare. Many of us have recurring dreams. I have a recurring dream that I forgot to take a math class at Loyola and I have to go back to school to take the class and when I go back, I wander a labyrynth of hallways searching for this mysterious class and never find it. But, I digress.

So, the lights, the books and the dreams. What happens next you ask? What pushes my friend from thinking that she needs an electrician to thinking that she needs an excorcist? Well, my dear readers, some really spooky shit. First of all - the man "of her dreams"? Well, he appears when she's NOT dreaming - when she's wide awake and getting dressed. He appears and is so real that she thinks that somebody broke into her house. She screams - and the guy - I mean ghoul - disappears. (I know - shut the hell up right now!) So now, she's thinking - hmmm - what is going on here? And THEN - she sees a little boy run through her bathroom. And she knows that there is no little boy actually in the house, and seeing as the ghouly guy was all gaunt, and was sporting the sunken eye and cheek look and wearing clothing that could only be described as really, really old - like turn of the century old - she starts thinking that maybe, just maybe she has a problem of a different nature. HOWEVER - the clincher is when she overhears her kids talking about these "bad dreams" they've been having about a man watching them when they are asleep. And all of the kids describe the same guy - in the same clothing.

So, my pal decides to call her sister- for a sanity check. And she tells her that she and the kids have been having some "creepy" dreams. And, as if on cue, her sister says - "It's weird that you mention that. You know - the last time I was at your house, when I was sleeping in your room, I had this weird dream that this spooky guy was standing over the bed watching me. He was dressed in this old-fashioned type coat and his eyes were all sunken into his head. It was so vivid - it was like it was real. Isn't that weird?"

Weird indeed.

Now, I realize that this sounds like one of the stories we heard in girl scout sleep away camp. I really do. Only it's not one of those stories - it's real. It's really happening - to my friend and her family. And it's really frightening. What does one do in this situation? Well, apparently, one contacts a medium. A person who has a talent with making contact with those "on the other side". So - that's what my girl did. And guess what? This guy is not alone. Apparently - according to the medium - this guy is the father of a family of four. And basically, the medium told him that he needs to cross over to the other side with his family and leave my pal and her family alone because they are frightening them. And are you ready for this? The ghoul gang tells the medium: "Hell No! We won't go!" They LIKE it there. They LIKE my friend. They LIKE the sound of her voice when she reads aloud to the children. This is why they throw books on the floor. They throw books on the floor when they want to be read to. They throw books on the floor to voice their displeasure. They don't WANT to cross over.

WTF? Who doesn't want to cross over to the other side? Isn't it supposed to be the land of milk and honey? These people REALLY want to stay HERE? Are you telling me that THIS side is BETTER than the OTHER side? SERIOUSLY???? WTF? So NOW what does she do? This does NOT happen in the movies! The ghouls see the light and they cross over and everyone lives happily ever after. They DON'T EVER say - "Nah, been there, done that - we'd rather stay in Bel Air, Maryland. We like it better there. We like the pretty lady who reads Harry Potter every night"

What does she do now? Coexisit with these things? The kids have seen them. One of the kids has TRIPPED over one of the ghoul kids. One of the ghoul kids is a real trouble maker apparently - he likes to hide and trip people, slam closet doors and generally scare the crap out of them at any hour of the day or night. He sounds like a real charmer. I'm TERRIFIED to go over there. I don't want one of them to come home with me. Although - to be perfectly honest - no ghost would choose to stay here. Let's be real people. Jack and Bella could give any ghoul kid a run for his or her money. They'd be begging to cross into the light after an afternoon in Bella's room.

Of course, PC doesn't believe in ANY of this. PC thinks that she has some sort of carbon monoxide leak in her house and would be much better served by calling someone in to service her furnace than to burn sage and have a house cleansing. I believe it. I totally believe it. I wish I didn't, but I do. I think that this ghostly dude has some sort of unfinished business and cannot cross over to the light. I am afraid that he did something awful while he was alive and can't cross with his family and that is why they are all staying in this state of limbo. He's pretty adamant that he and his family aren't going anywhere.

So basically, My friend is up shit's creek. I mean I think I have it bad sometimes - but at least I do not have a bunch of unruly ghosts living in my house who throw books at me when I'm not pleasing them! So what should she do? Sell the house? Get the hell outta Dodge? My suggestion is that she stops reading to her kids and turns on Sponge Bob 24/7. If that dumbass doesn't scare those ghouls away, nothing will.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Snow Day? Say What?

I am starting to SERIOUSLY worry about my sanity. School is closed - for the 7th straight day due to unprecidented snowfall in the Washington DC - Baltimore - I95 Corridor. We've had about 4 feet of snow as a result of 2 blizzards and 1 seriously overrated Alberta Clipper that passed thru the area in the past week and a half. At first, it was super-fun and exciting. We'd never seen snow like this in our entire lives. We watched the beautiful snow fall, wondering how much would we get. When would it stop? Would it ever stop? Would we ever go back to work? And like many of our neighbors in the Mid-Atlantic, we didn't care and we hunkered down, enjoying the quiet and one another and a stack of movies, hot chocolate, and the 800 rolls of toilet paper that we dutifully stockpiled when the weatherman predicted the storm of the century. (You have to live in Baltimore to understand that one.)

Then the snow was kind of a pain-in-the-but-when my husband and I (and by that I mean my husband) had to shovel the driveway and the sidewalk. And then it became a real pain-in-the-ass when we had to shovel paths IN THE BACKYARD for the dog and for Jack when we realized that the snow was so deep that neither the 12-year-old golden retriever or the almost 6-year-old boy could navigate thru the snow in the backyard. You know that you have WAY too much snow when you have to shovel it out of the freaking backyard. That's all I'm saying.

And now the beautiful white snow has turned black along the roadways. And the children have gone stircrazy. And we have watched every Harry Potter movie we own. And Bella has informed me that there is really "no point in reading any of the Nancy Drews that Nanny bought for Christmas because I flipped to the end of them all and I know how all of the mysteries are solved." Isn't she a good sleuth? And I have already gone to the movies last week and paid part of the mortgage on tickets and Sookie spent part of her mortgage payment on snacks - so we're tapped out. We're out of Girl Gourmet Cupcake mix, I cannot bake anything else because I have already baked 2 pans of brownies and they are not Weight Watchers friendly, OMG - it is snowing again as I type this, Sookie's kids have already slept over, we have watched so much Disney Channel I am afraid the kid's brains might have gotten a bit mushy, Jack has become some sort of Grand Pooh-Bah on Lego Rock Band and can now sing all sorts of songs like "Kung-Foo Fighting" and "We Are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You" in his adorable Elmer Fudd-ish dialect...and I'm beginning to worry that my kids are going to experience some kind of academic backslide due to this blizzard and missing 12 days of instruction.

What is WRONG with me????? WHY CAN'T I ENJOY THIS?????? When will this ever happen again? Why am I buying into this high pressure, high-stakes environment that tells us that our kids have to be engaged in learning and achievement ALL OF THE TIME if they are going to be successful? I must admit that I am feeling incredibly guilty that I didn't review ONE multiplication or division fact with Bella while she was off. Did I damage her in ways that I cannot fathom? Or did I give her a well deserved break? We did read - every single day. I swear we did. And today we are going to study for that Social Studies test that is looming on the horizon. And we will play some multiplication and division games to review our facts.

Sometimes I wonder if other parents feel as torn in half as I do. I want to let them be little and carefree as long as I can. I get so mad when I see Bella's homework agenda filled with work and test, test, test, test. I want to yell and scream sometimes when she is doing homework until 8 pm - "She needs time to PLAY after school!!! She is only 8 and a half!!!!" Won't she have the rest of her LIFE to work hard and stress out? But then I look at the TIMMS testing repots (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study)and I see that American students do so poorly compared to students in DEVELOPING nations and I wonder - do we baby our kids too much? Maybe we shelter them way too much. Maybe we hover and control their environment so much that we actually do them a DIS-SERVICE. Am I sheltering them from neccessary pain and suffering? Am I over-protecting them from the little dings and scratches that they need to suffer now in order to toughen up so that the big booms and bangs that are to come won't really damage them? Am I preventing them from developing neccessary resillience?

The answer is - I don't know. All I know is that I'm doing the best that I can. There has GOT to be a happy medium. I'm going to try to find it today. We will play a little, we will read a little, we will snuggle A LOT and then everyone will probably go back to school and work tomorrow. And our little mini-holiday will end and life will return to normal. Whatever THAT is in this crazy place! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine for my Girls

So, it's Valentine's Day. (Big Audible Sigh...) I used to HATE this day with a passion - and I'll confess something right here and right now - I kind of still do. I mean - seriously - do we REALLY need a special day to FORCE the ones we love to declare their love and devotion with boxes of chocolate and overpriced flowers? Must we all head downtown to the latest and greatest restaurant to wait 20 plus minutes for a table that we reserved weeks ago, to eat off of a "special" prix-fix menu that was designed to hurry us in and out to maximize profits and not our dining experience? I know, I know - Bah-humbug - I'm the love-killer. Cupid-killer. Blah, blah, blah. The funny thing is - I'm actually a romantic at heart - I really am. Just not on Valentine's Day! I love it when PC says "Let's go on a date on Saturday because we haven't been out in a while." THAT'S romance to me. And I'm lucky - because I know that many, many ladies don't have a romantic guy like mine. So tonight - PC will be rewarded. NO red flannel sock monkey PJs for him. Tonight he will get the royal treatment - tonight he will get the non-flannel pjs! And NO fuzzy socks. Baum-chicka-baum-baum....

So, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I would like to send a Valentine to the ladies in my life that make my crazy, busy life a HAPPY, crazy, busy life. These are my girls - the ladies that I couldn't live without - my Friends. And I mean friends with a capital F. Not casual "hi, how are you doing" friends - but my true, blue FRIENDS. The ladies I could call in the middle of the night for any reason and they would be at my house within 10 minutes for any reason. The ladies who I would not only trust with MY life - but more importantly - the ladies I would and do trust with the lives of my children. Let me preface this by saying that I am lucky enough to have ALOT of friends - and I love and value each and every one of them. But the ladies I am about to introduce to you are special and unique characters in my life. They each play a role in my life and have helped make me into the person that I am today. Their names have all been changed - but they will all know who they are. And if you're going to follow my blog, you'll need to know who they are because they will make frequent appearances.

First of all - there is and always has been Fifi. Fifi has been my friend since we were twelve years old - so Fifi knows ALL of the dirt. She knows ALL of the old boyfriends, she has weathered all of the storms, the breakups, the crushes, the puppy love, the first real broken heart - the one that felt like it would never, ever heal. It did heal because Fifi spent an entire summer helping me scoop up all of the teeny, tiny broken bits and put them back together like a jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately for Fifi - the jigsaw puzzle that was my heart was made of tissue paper that had gotten wet and had to be put back together with tweezers - oh so carefully to avoid tearing any of the pieces.And she did it - without a complaint. THAT is the kind of friend Fifi is. Fifi has lived across many oceans, and has traveled the seven seas, yet Fifi and I have managed to keep it together for more than 20 years now. We now live across a continent from one another - yet we are as connected today as we were when we lived within walking distance from each other's houses. And that connection keeps me going. So thank you Fifi - for always being my Valentine.

Then, there is Zena. Yes - Zena - as in the Warrior Princess. This girl has been through more CRAP than anyone I have ever known. I won't get into her particular brand of crap - but trust me - it's bad. Some of it is crap that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy bad -and for those of you who really know me and know what a vengeful person I can be - that's saying something. When I think of what she has suffered through in the past 15 years - I can't believe she is still standing. And not only is Zena still standing - but she is standing STRONGER, and TALLER, and PROUDER and BETTER and MORE GORGEOUS than ever before! If ANYONE had reason to say "You know what - screw it. I give up. I cannot do this anymore. I give up. I'm walking away - it's all way too much." it is Zena. No one would fault her - everyone would understand.(Not that Zena would have ever done that because she is Zena after all!) But Zena has been tested by fire. She has walked right through the fire and instead of letting it burn her and melt her and change her - it made her stronger. She used the fire to her advantage. How many of us can say THAT?? So Zena - I want to tell you that when I think of you, I am amazed by your courage and I am motivated by your strength. I am so honored to be your friend and proud of you and what you have accomplished.

Then we have Glynnis. Now Glynnis is one of the newest members of "the coven" as PC calls it. (He's a charmer!) Glynnis is - well, how does one put this - Glynnis is GORGEOUS. She just is gorgeous. She is the type of gorgeous that you really need to think twice about befriending because she is so damned pretty that she would make Megan Fox or Kate Hudson look like a troll if they were standing next to her. And, I am no Kate Hudson. Now, being me - I tried to find the inner ugly in Glynnis because how could someone be this beautiful on the outside without making some sort of deal with the devil? I mean - can't she be all twisty and rotten on the inside? And then I got to know her - and CRAPPERS! She is even PRETTIER on the INSIDE!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! Now I know that I sound very petty and superficial here. But Glynnis' gorgeousness is really the first thing you notice about her - and then once you get to know her - you realize how beautiful she is on the inside and the outside seems 100 times prettier - does that make sense? Glynnis is the type of friend who is just as busy as I am - maybe even busier! Yet - she doesn't even think TWICE about offering to do ANYTHING for you if you need it. And I do mean ANYTHING. Need to borrow her car -for a WEEK? You got it. Need a babysitter? - Like for the entire weekend? - You got it. Need someone to pick you up at 3am? - You got it. Need someone's child to be nice to your child because your kid is having a rough time? - ALL 3 of Glynnis' kids will treat your kid like queen for a day - AND MEAN it!! Holy CRAP! An angel really did fall from the sky! So Glynnis - thank you for falling from heaven - and landing in Abingdon. It was such a lucky break for me.

Then we have - Her Awesomeness. Yes - that is what I'm calling her because that is how I think of her. Her Awesomeness is a few years older than me and in short, is who I want to be when I grow up. She has it all together. Or at least appears to have enough together to make it all work. She ALWAYS makes me laugh - ALWAYS. She is the person that I ALWAYS look forward to seeing. She never complains about stupid, petty stuff. She always has something funny and witty to say. She adds so much to any conversation and is just terrific to be around. Every group of friends needs Her Awesomeness. (She is going to laugh her awesome laugh when she realizes that I've dubbed her with this ridiculous name!) She is the person that I can go to with really serious professional questions and she NEVER steers me in the wrong direction - ever. Her judgement is spot on and I trust her completely. She has taught me that it's more than OK to feel comfortable in my own skin - it is essential! That is a gift that I can never repay and that is why she is also my Valentine tonight.

Then we have Carrie. Carrie is like my "Mommy-Mentor". Carrie is also a few years older than me and has a few years on me in terms of child rearing. I have gone to Carrie in tears more times that I can count over potty training and transitioning from bottle to cup and crib to bed and my bed to his bed. Most recently Carrie had to hold my hand through "THE TALK". (That's a story for another post) And time and time again, Carrie has held my hand and told me not only that "it would all be OK" but that I would be OK and that I was a "great mom" when I most needed to hear that from someone other than PC. Somehow - Carrie always knows exactly what I need to hear exactly when I need to hear it. She is so tuned in and is such a great listener. I really don't think I would have survived potty training Bella without Carrie and I have serious doubts about surviving the teenage years without her support and guidance. Carrie is currently using her divine design talents to redecorate my house. Now,not only does this endeavor require talent and exquisite taste, it also requires extreme patience as I am highly indecisive and anxious about this entire process. So Carrie I thank you for your wisdom, your unfailing patience, devotion and not sticking forks into my eyeballs as we struggled to select paint colors for the living room and hallway. I trust you completely.

And finally - there is Sookie. Ahhh Sookie. What can one say about Sookie? Sookie is the friend I turn to when I need wise counsel. Sookie is the friend I turn to when I need marital advice. Sookie is the friend I turn to when I need someone to pick up my kids - like in five minutes - oh and they are sick. Sookie is the friend who I trust to make sure my kids aren't the smelly kids in the class should I die. Get the picture? And I'm that person for her as well - so I don't feel bad about asking her to do those things for me. She is the person who I allowed to see me on my 36th birthday when I was SO depressed about turning 36 that I wouldn't take off my pjs for an entire day. I will let Sookie see me in a bathing suit - at the beach - and I don't care what I look like. I let Sookie see ME - the real me. The me that not everyone gets to see.I trust her. THAT is a true friend. Sookie is one of the first people I told that the 30-day Shred made me pee my pants a little bit. (OK - I told Glynnis and Her Awesomeness as well) Sookie is my person. That's it.

These girls are my people. I wouldn't be ME if I didn't have these girls - these wonderful, amazing, strong, fearless, perfect, flawed, flawless awesome women. I couldn't live my life without them. They pick up my kids. They take them to and from ballet and baseball. They CARE about them. They LOVE them. They mother them when I can't. They care about PC. They care about my parents - they call them Nanny and Poppy. I wish everyone had friends like mine. So today, on this Valentine's Day, I wish them love and happiness and every good and amazing thing - because they all deserve it. (And yes, Sookie - you deserve a much better name.)

My First Post! HUGE Pressure!

OK - so this is my FIRST post. Huge pressure - right? Why am I even doing this? Well - I have this friend - let's call her Jill. (Which is a crazy funny name for her, since her name is so exotic that calling her Jill is completely ironic and literary and so completely clever and all author-like of me. But I digress) So, anyway - Jill is going thru some stuff right now and needed a bit of friendly, motherly advice, and like any good friend - I doled it out. And she said - "Wow - you are so clever and wise" - I might be paraphrasing a bit here, but you get the drift - "you should write a book or something". Which is something that I really want to do - but as I am one busy momma - I don't have the time to sit down and write a book. So, I decided to start a blog.

So the immediate question that comes to my mind - and I'm SURE the question that would come to my MOTHER'S mind should I ever even mention that I started a blog - would she even know what a "blog" is - is "why would ANYONE care to read what I write?" Well, to be honest - I live a pretty interesting life. And because I live a rather interesting life - some funny and interesting things happen to me and around me as I go about my business.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. First of all - I have 2 kids. My daughter Bella is almost 9 and is in the third grade. She is smart,witty, artistic, sensitive and has a hell of a case of ADHD. Which makes our life really interesting at times - like 99% of the time. My son Jack is almost 6 and is in kindergarten. Like most 6 year old boys, he is obsessed with the Wii and his DS. He plays baseball, soccer, football, swims like a fish and has a pretty serious speech delay. He also has an annoying habit of sleeping in his mom and dad's bed - which as you can imagine makes for a rocking love life for mom and dad. (I've changed everyone's names in this blog for the sake of their privacy.) My husband - who we will call PC - for Prince Charming - is truly a prince. He's a great guy. Brings home flowers for no reason, thinks I'm HOT in flannel pjs and granny panties, doesn't get mad when I spend too much money on shoes, doesn't give me guilt when I go out with the girls...over all he is an awesome guy and I don't know what I did to deserve him. That's not to say that he doesn't have his flaws - because we all do - and GOD knows - I'll exploit his funnier ones in this blog. But - he's really the salt of the earth and I love him more than I could possibly ever express and I think he knows that. And as for me - well, that's where the crazy comes in.

I work full time on the business side of education. I used to be a classroom teacher and after teaching for a few years, I left the classroom to become a national consultant for a publishing company. I travelled around the country training teachers who taught low-income students who were at-risk for academic failure. Now that I have two children, I can't work on the national stage anymore. So, I work more locally, still with a publisher, still with teachers. I love what I do. I found that I like working with teachers far more that I like working with kids. I feel that I can make much more of a difference working with teachers. However...working fulltime means sacrifices on the homefront. I was fortunate enough to stay home with my children for 5 years. I did the whole stay-at-home mom thing for 5 years. I baked the cookies, I painted the pictures, I made the play dough - I made the freaking play-dough, people. I MADE it. With cream-of-tarter and everything. I was GOOD. I was earth mom. Never mind that I gained about 40 pounds in the process...that's another post. So, needless to say, going back to work was a HUGE change in our lifestyle. I'm not on the playground for school pickup anymore. I am not making homemade, organic, spinach-hidden-in-the-brownie-batter-brownies anymore. (Those are really good, btw.)

These days, I am sending in Little Debbie for Bake Sales and doing certain Parent-Teacher and Team meetings from my Blue Tooth while driving to a meeting. I've become "that" mom. However - I have 2 kids with special needs - and special needs require special services and special schools and special stuff - like piano lessons to help with math skills and the requisite PIANO that goes with them. And private speech sessions over the summer that the school system says that you don't "qualify" for even though the other kids are starting to make fun of your kid. So - I'm "that" mom so that I can pay for the piano lessons that are supposed to somehow magically help with the math skills that my ADHD kid can't seem to master and the private summer speech sessions that will help my six year old stop sounding like Elmer Fudd. And although it sounds like a drag - it's not. I like it. I like using my brain for more than third grade homework and projects. I like having something for ME. The only thing that I really miss about being back to work full time is not being able to be a birth doula anymore. While I was home with my kids, I went back to school and became a certified birth doula. I'll write more about that later, but it was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Unfortunately, my schedule prohibits me from taking on any clients at this time. And I really miss it.

So why start a blog? I don't know. To give me a place to rant. To give me a place to chronicle all of the daily craziness that goes along with working full time and parenting a gorgeous, wonderful, talented kid whose brain doesn't work like everyone else's. To tell my story - because it's a pretty good story. But I'm afraid that like any good story, if I don't write it down, record it somehow, life will happen and it will get lost in the shuffle.