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.

Monday, April 26, 2010

So, 2 Princesses Walked Into the Woods....

...and make it out alive! Yes my dear readers - Bella and I survived our camping adventure in the wilderness. And we actually enjoyed ourselves! Can you believe that?? Now, it was no weekend at the Ritz....it wasn't even a weekend at the Holiday inn Express - but it also wasn't the tour of Deliverance country that I was picturing.

My first clue that we were going to be OK was when I read the directions and realized that we were only 20 minutes away from home. You literally drive through a neighborhood to get to this camp site. So - it wasn't like Bella and I had to park the car and rely on our wits and questionable sense of direction to find humanity again.I also knew I'd be OK when I realized that I could get fresh, hot coffee at the Royal Farms that was about 7 minutes away.Once I had my emergency coffee connection in place - I relaxed a bit.

We ended up heading out there a night earlier than I had originally planned - Friday night. We were expecting heavy rain on Saturday night, and I knew that we'd miss the campfire if we didn't head up there on Friday night. My initial thinking was that we could stay Friday night and if it was truly awful - make like trees and leave on Saturday evening after dinner. So, we packed like maniacs - and brought waaaay too much - and got to the campground before dark. The cabins held about 10 people - bunk beds, electricity...the whole 9 yards. We wound up leaving our troop's main cabin because there wasn't room for one of Bella's girlfriends in the cabin. So 3 moms and 3 girls wound up in another 10 man cabin - and it was AWESOME!!! We were able to spread out and it wasn't crazy loud at night - so I thank the good Lord that there was "no room in the inn". That was the first thing that worked in my favor.

I did learn a few things about packing for camping. First and foremost - I probably wouldn't bring actual really cute pjs next time. I'd stick to sweats. There really isn't a secret, camp-fire girl fashion show out in the woods and the pjs were a bit of overkill. The other thing I learned was that bringing an extra bag filled with emergency shoes was really not neccessary. I brought slippers, flip-flops. wellies, sneakers, crap sneakers and pull on bad weather shoes for myself and nice and crappy sneakers, slippers and flip flops for Bella. Counting the shoes on our feet - that was 12 pairs of shoes for about a day and a half. Again - a bit of overkill - but then again - isn't some scouting motto "always be prepared'? I also will think twice before bringing my nice, goose-down filled pillows because Bella dropped mine - twice - in mulch on the way to the cabin. I won't put it back on the bed until it is professionally cleaned now because the bugs that could have crawled into my hair and ears are now probably living in the pillow waiting to invade me as I sleep.

As for my list of fears - I am happy to report that:

I was not bitten by any bugs

Nothing stung me

I did not get that nasty case of "cabin lung" that I was anticipating

My hair is no worse for wear and did not get infested by a family of bugs

So far - no under-the-skin bug eggs have been detected - although Glynnis is reveling in telling me that I probably have something called "chiggers" by now. Not Googling them cause I don't want to know....

I survived the hike in the woods and did not fall, get lost, get bitten by the infamous bel Air rattlesnake, did not get attacked by a bear or racoon or fox

I have no signs of poison ivy on any of my bits and pieces

A bear did not walk into the cabin

There were no mad men wandering in the woods

The only thing I forgot to bring was my makeup - can you believe it????Me - without my spakle or sparkle! I almost went home to get it - but I resisted the urge. And once I just gave it up to...smokey - the god of the campfire...and relaxed...it was really, really fun! The leaders planned a really relaxed trip. We had breakfast in our pajamas - and I will admit - I did get up early to shower and dress before breakfast - but I wore sweats. The girls played, made tee shirts, we went on a hike and communed with nature, our troop made lunch for the group of 50, and then the girls participated in a series of Olympic Events that were planned and executed by the older girls. And they had a freaking blast! It was the first Saturday in a really long time that I just SAT and relaxed and spent uninterrupted time with Bella. Ever since I went back to work - Saturdays and Sundays are jam packed with errands and games and practices and activities and birthday parties. And I really hate that. It was nice to sit and do nothing but laugh and truly enjoy myself.

I think the most enjoyable part of the trip was witnessing the true, pure friendships that the girls were celebrating. There was no bullying, no one was left out, no one was made to feel "less than". The girls worked and played well with everyone. Sure they have little groups and certain girls work better with certain other girls - but there was none of the mean girl business that we're starting to see in school. I was thrilled to see Bella playing and laughing with girls she has been in school with since they were 3 - girls she's been scouting with since they were 5. It did my heart good to watch her interact with other girls and realize that she's going to be OK in the friends department. For whatever reason - we really struck gold with this Brownie Troop. The girls are all strong, confident, NICE little girls - without exception. And our 3 fearless scout leaders are truly heaven sent in that they model all of those important scouting and leadership virtues for the girls.

On Saturday night, as I watched Bella bridge from Brownie Girl Scout to Junior Girl Scout - I cried, of course. I'm such a dork, I know. But, watching her take these big steps is so amazing to me. She is growing and changing so quickly now. She is still a little girl - but watching her this weekend has been amazing and eye opening. She is far more capable and independent than I give her credit for. She truly doesn't "need me" like she needed me the last time she bridged from Daisy Scout to Brownie Scout. And I think that's why I cried. I know that our goal as mothers is to help them grow those wings so that they can fly away. I could see Bella's little wings this time - whereas I couldn't the last time she bridged. It's bitter sweet to watch this happen. I just want her to be little for a little bit longer. I want her to still want to snuggle in bed with me and watch a movie. I want her to keep thinking that I have all of the answers and that I can keep her safe from the boogey-man, and clowns - who she's still horribly afraid of. These days are limited...she is in that changling phase where she is still sleeping with her beloved blankies, Pink and Pinkie...while listening to Justin Beiber on her IPOD and reading Pixie magazine.

After bridging, the girls had skits and a lip synching/dance party. It was so much fun and they all had a blast. Sunday morning arrived - and I can't say that my heart didn't sing to know that I was 20 minutes away from a HOT bubble bath. When the royal carriage (that looks surprisingly like a company-issued minivan) pulled out of the campground - my princess turned to me and said: "See Mom, that wasn't so bad - was it? You did great!" I caught my heart in my mouth - because that was exactly what I was planning on telling her.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Somebody HELP Me!!!!

So - in the annals of total insanity...I am going camping this weekend. Now, for those of you who truly know me - you are probably asking yourselves: WTF? For those of you who don't know me that well..."camping" to me is staying at a Holiday Inn or some sort of "motel". The whole idea of real-life camping - in the outdoors, with all forms of creatures and critters- is TERRIFYING to me. Truly, truly terrifying. I do not like the outdoors. Now, don't get me wrong - I enjoy sitting by a nice pool, or sitting on a nice beach somewhere...but being in an outdoor environment that is not patrolled by waiters and towel boys is not my idea of a good time.

So, the question is: WHY on EARTH am I going camping????? The simple answer is: Bella. Bella's brownie troop is camping this weekend and she wants to go. Quite shocking to me - but she really wants to go and won't go if I don't go. So, I'm off to the woods. I am so out of sorts about this adventure, that I couldn't sleep last night. So, I decided that I would do the mature thing and make a list of all of the things I am scared of and then rationalize them away. So - about an HOUR later - here is my list:

I am afraid that:

bugs will crawl on me while I sleep

bugs will crawl into my ears

bugs will crawl into my hair

a snake will slither into my sleeping bag

a mouse or other awful rodent will crawl on me in my sleep

a bear will come into our cabin and eat me or Bella

some sort of bug like creatures will bore into and under my skin and lay eggs

Something will sting me

I will get poisoned ivy or oak or whatever the hell else is poisonous and I will scrtach myself crazy and spread it before I know any better and I will get poisoned ivy blisters on my lady parts

I will get left behind on some sort of hike and be lost forever in the woods and when someone finds me, I will look like Clare on LOST.

While sleeping in these cabins (yes - cabins - no tent camping for me!) I will breathe in some sort of awful mold that will set up shop in my lungs and I will be sick for weeks on end

By the end of the trip - I might smell as I am afraid to take a shower in the showers

A crazy person will wander into the camp and take us all hostage or worse

And last - but not least - Bella and I will get some sort of disease from the toilets

And here is the problem with this list - all of that stuff CAN happen!Seriously. And when followed to the worst possible outcome - the outcomes of any one of these scenarios is pretty, pretty bad. ESPECIALLY the very IDEA of getting poisoned ivy on my lady bits and pieces. Or having bugs crawl into my ears. I honestly could not sleep last night. So, in an effort to protect myself from some of this awfulness - I am packing the following supplies:

toilet paper - the nice soft kind from home

bug repellant

calamine lotion

sneakers - for running thru the woods - and I will wear them with jeans - which I realize is a HUGE fashion faux-pas - but in this case I think Anna Wintour would forgive me

2 blackberries - in case one breaks or looses it's signal and I'm stuck out in the wilderness

my portable GPS navigational system

my flip camera - so that I can record my last moments "Blair Witch" style

a bottle of wine - cause I'll need it

a bottle of valium - self explanatory

Tylenol with codene - in case I break, sprain or bruise something

2 or 3 pillows - to make my sleeping nest

sheets for the bunk

my brand new sleeping bag - that is not even pink and has NO sparkle!

towels that smell like Bounce fabric softener

I'd really like to bring my air purifier for the cabin

my kindle

tampons - cause wouldn't you know it

a kick ass first aid kit

really cute baseball caps in case my hair gets all messed up

ear plugs - so that no bugs can crawl in while I sleep

my camera


my rosary beads

So that is my plan of attack. I am seriously sweating this. I don't know if I'll be able to do this. I get really cranky when I don't sleep and I'm sure that there will be very little sleeping happening. What was I thinking? Why didn't I offer to take Bella to a spa instead???????? WHY didn't I make that vagazilling appointment I've been interested in making?

Little known fact - when one gets vagazilled, one cannot engage in any "vigourous activity" for 24 hours. I'd say that girl scout camping is vigourous activity - right????

So, now I have to finish packing and doing laundry. Then I'm taking Bella to the craft store to get a nice, quiet craft to do tomorrow afternoon during our "down time". I'm going to hit the road around 7:45 tomorrow morning. I'm getting coffee for some of the other moms who are staying over TONIGHT - crazy people I tell you. Staying out in the wilderness for 2 whole nights. They are now TWICE as likely to get eaten by a bear as me. That makes me feel a bit better. (It's every man for herself once you get out there.)

If I make it out of the woods alive - I'll update you all next week. If I don't make it out - it's been fun peeps.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Ode to Moms Who Do Too Much.....and Make the Bull Roast Art Project

Ok - well maybe not an "ode" - because right now, I'm not quite sure what an "ode" is. I'm thinking it's some sort of poem that praises the subject. I'm too tired to rhyme or reason. Here is what I am doing right now - right this very second: while writing this post, I am doing a load of laundry, letting a gigantic planter that I've just painted for a school project dry, working with Bella on her Social Studies test prep. cooking dinner, answering work emails AND trying to get into a work website that appears to be malfunctioning. Literally. Seriously - all at the same time. And I wonder why I am so tired at night and fall asleep before 9pm!

And here is the sad part - even while doing those 7 activities - I STILL have at least 10 more on my "To-Do" list. I can never seem to get it all done. And I really wonder about the people who ARE able to get it all done. There is an evil, awful part of me that really likes to think that people who live in perfectly kept houses, who wear perfectly pressed clothing, who hand in every school assignment in perfect handwriting, who have perfect nails and perfectly clean cars - are really maladjusted, dysfunctional human beings who don't sleep and clean and iron all night long. These people, in my estimation, have terribly unhappy lives and produce unhappy, stressed out kids who have perfection complexes because their home always has to be PERFECT. I like to think that these people, who wear perfectly plastered smiles all of the time and who are always "GREAT" are really screaming banchies who yell at their kids every time they drop a kernel of popcorn on the rug - think Kate Gosslein.

But that's petty of me. I'm really just terribly jealous of these people who manage to have full time careers and still seem to have it all together. Do they really have it all together? Is the upstairs of their house as perfect and tidy as the downstairs parts that they let everyone see? Or does their bedroom or guestroom look like a pit of chaos? WHERE does the chaos LIVE in their homes??????? Are they really as perfect as they seem? Probably not - at least that's what I keep telling myself.

I have a really good friend - we'll call her Hermione - who is very similar to me in the "she does waaaay too much" category of life. And I wonder why we are the way we are. For example, this is the busiest season of the year for me, professionally. On any given night - I might be away in a hotel, or driving 200 miles - one way - to get to a client and then driving home - in the dark. And then getting up at the butt-crack of dawn to do it all again. I know what this time of year is like in my business - I've been in this industry for 10+ years. It's no surprise. What IS a surprise, however, is my absolute WILLINGNESS to volunteer for PROJECTS at Bella or Jack's school that require serious TIME, EFFORT, ENERGY and THOUGHT during this 8 week period! I'm not talking chaperoning a field trip here (which, of course I'm doing)- I'm talking coordinating and MAKING the class Bull Roast Art project.

What is a Bull Roast Art project you ask? Well, it is only one of the most coveted and sought after item at the biggest fund raiser of the school year. You see, every year, our school hosts a Bull Roast. (A dinner/dance and silent/live auction) It is one of the big money makers for the school. While feasting on oysters, pit beef and ham and getting pretty drunk, people walk around and silently bid on donated items. Now, my kids go to a pretty nice school - so we're not taking scented candles and hand lotion here. We're talking Coach bags, Vera Bradley accessories, Lilly Pulitzer jackets and clothing, hot air balloon rides, ski packages and what have you. (One year there was a STRIPPER POLE and STRIPPER SHOES for auction. Seriously. And I didn't win them despite my ridiculous, drunken bid. Boy was PC upset over that one. But i digress...) Anyway - in addition to these great silent auction items, there are "class bull roast art projects" that are auctioned off. And these particular items can go for BIG, BIG bucks. I've seen them go for THOUSANDS of dollars - for real. The class projects usually feature something that the boys and girls in your kid's class make. Some classes do big serving platters with the kid's thumbprints or handprints on them. Some classes make scrapbooks of their year together. Some classes make mosaic mirrors. And then there are the "over-the-top awesome" projects that bring in the big-ass bucks. Like the homemade puppet theater complete with handmade puppets that one class "made". Or the handmade hope chest that featured professional artwork on the outside and pictures of each child decoupaged on the inside cover - complete with their favorite memories of that year written on the inside of the perfectly, professionally varnished chest. Let's not forget the beautiful, handpainted Adirondack chairs with the school's mascott expertly painted onto the chair with each kid's name written on the back. One mom from each class signs up to take charge of this project at the beginning of the school year. Guess who does it for Bella's class every year? Yep - me. And what type of project do you think I hand in?

If you think I hand in a sad, sorry-assed project that is lucky if it brings in $25.00 - stop reading my blog you a-hole. No way, Jose - no lame-assed projects for me. My motto is GO BIG OR GO HOME - BITCH. I go for the gold. I push myself to craft the biggest money-maker year after year. (Now - NEVER, EVER has my project made the most money - but I do try.) I am so damned competitive - I even bid the damn thing up myself if I think it's going for too low of a price. Yes - I am THAT lady. Why? you ask? Good question. It's not like anyone says" "Wow that's the nicest birdbath I've ever seen, Mary! Can I commission you to make 100 of them - at 100K a pop?" No, it's all about ME. My competition with - I don't know who - Martha Stewart maybe? Isn't it NUTSO? I am a crazy, insane person to torture myself like this year after year.

So, here I am tonight- painting a big planter that I'm going to embellish with fingerprint bugs and animals made by the boys and girls. Then I will write some sort of song lyric or verse around the edge and then I will spray the whole thing with some sort of polyurethane and hand it in and watch it all night long to see how much it goes for - and if another 3rd grade project sells for more. And GOD help me if it does. That will just toast my freaking onions. And while I'd like to say that I do it all for my kids - let's get real here. My kids don't care if I ever do the stupid Bull Roast project. I do it for me - for the sick satisfaction I get from my project going for at least $100.00. I need therapy - I know it.

So, tonight while painting said planter, I'll trying to catch up on laundry, review Social Studies, multiplication facts, do Jack's homework with him, clean up from the dinner I cooked...all so that I can sit down and rework the household budget after the kids have showers and go to bed. If I finish that - there is always the yard sale I want to plan, the basement I want to clean, the desk I really need to clean, the kitchen cabinet that I really want to clean out.......and on and on and on.

And PC wonders why I aske for a nice medically induced coma for Mother's Day every year.....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Um - Yeah, That Didn't Go So Well...and Other Musings

So - the no sugar experiment is officially over. It lasted about 24 hours. And, as I like to say - it sucked ass - big time. It was horrible. First of all - trying to do it while there is about 87 pounds of chocolate in this house was insane. Second of all - trying to do it AT ALL was insane! However - the experiment and the research leading up to the experiment HAS made me very, very aware of exactly HOW MUCH sugar I HAVE been consuming and how I need to STOP eating and drinking so much of it.So, all in all - even though I have sneaked a few chocolate eggs - I'm much more mindful and aware of what I'm putting in my mouth. So, I'm counting the 24-hours sugar free as a huge success.

The "Eat Clean Diet" book should come with some sort of warning label. You know how some of those drug commercials have those disclaimers that say ridiculous things like: "if you experience suicidal thoughts, if your head pops off, if your eyeballs turn bright purple, if you experience an erection that lasts for 3 weeks, discontinue use of this medication and seek immediate medical attention."? Well - this book should come with a disclaimer that reads: "This diet will turn you into a raving lunatic, bitch within 24 hours. Your loved ones may want to move out as you will become irrationally angry at them at times and want to throw things at their heads. Erratic mood swings and crying for no reason may occur. Headaches, dizziness and general feelings of unease and homocidal rage are normal and should subside in a few days. If you find yourself face-first in a gallon of chocolate ice cream, seek immediate medical attention"

So - eating 'clean" isn't for me. Back to Weight Watchers. My good friend Xena - the warrior princess - just lost about 60 or 70 pounds and looks AMAZING and sexy and AMAZING with Weight Watchers. She's encouraging me to try it - so I will. Something has got to work - between P90X-ing and being really careful with what I eat...hopefully I will get back down to a normal, healthy size. If not - there is always reality TV. I mean it - there is "Dance Your Ass Off" - where "big" girls dance with pro dancers. It's a mix of The Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars...minus the stars. The only problem with this one is that I'm not fat enough. Fifi found this show last year and has been encouraging me to "bulk up" for the show. Fifi is obsessed with being on a reality dance show and thinks that this is her best shot. She will be the supportive best friend of the fat girl. Sick? Yes - certainly. But, it might be a better option than going to Mexico and intentionally getting a parasite - which has crossed my mind. A lot lately. And I do love my Fifi and owe her alot. But I'd seriously need to gain a good 50 pounds...that's alot of love.

Now, there is always The Biggest Loser - but again - not nearly fat enough for that. And there is the Jillian issue. Hate that biotch. I'd have to be on Bob's team and I'd probably end up falling in love with him - which would be a problem as I'm married to PC...oh and as Bob is gay. But - we all know that I do have a thing for the gays...HOWEVER - I would probably end up having a HUGE HUGE girl fight with Jillian and I would SO smack her skinny ass down JOISEY style. So I'd get pretty famous for that.But I'd also get kicked off the ranch before getting skinny either for beating the crap out of Jillian or sexually harassing and frightening Bob.

My best option might just be Dr. 90210. I'd go for that narssicistic Cuban doctor. The one who does Karate and wears tight scrubs and always gives people big boobs - Dr. Ray? First of all - he's a hot, Latin guy. Who doesn't love that? Second of all - I need so much work that I would probably be a good 2 hour Dr. 90210 movie! I can hear the announcer: "Never before has Dr. 90210 been faced with such a challenge - a whole body makeover...in a day." It would be awesome. He could just suck all of my fat out - bind me up in a girdle, send me to a recovery spa, pump me full of oxycotin, and then - give me a makeover and a big reveal. This is a really good idea! The drama would be incredible. First of all - I am SUCH a baby and a wimp - I'd be AWFUL with the pain. I'd cry and throw up and yell at everybody. And then they could cut back and forth between me being really mean and mad and pathetic and poor PC taking care of the kids. Shouldering the whole burden for his awful, selfish wife. And he's be so upset with me for doing it in the first place - and he'd probably punch Dr. Ray if he gave me super big boobies- it would be SO Jerry Springer.

Hmmm...but then there is that whole "major surgery" thing. And the possibility of dying and whatnot. And I REALLY don't want to be "that mom who died while getting plastic surgery". Can you imagine my kids having to tell that to all of their boyfriends/girlfriends? How humiliating.
"Your mom is dead? OMG! How Sad! Cancer?"
"Car Accident?"
"Nope - Brazillian Butt Lift"
"Oh"....uncomfortable silence...........

Yeah - can't do that to them. Crap - I guess I'll have to keep doing P90X...........

Monday, April 5, 2010

What part of EASTER CANDY don't you understand?

So - for those of you who give a hoot - I'm still P90X-ing. Still sore - but in a good way. Haven't seen a big big weight loss. I was hoping to be down a good 25 pounds by now. Seeing as I've only P90X-ed for a week, I'm rethinking that goal. It might have been a bit too aggressive. I have lost about 4 pounds in the past 2 weeks - so I think that is pretty good progress.

Now - I have to work on the OTHER part of the equation - the eating part. So, in typical Mary fashion - I've decided to make a radical change. I've decided to try to eliminate sugar from my diet. Not good sugar - like from fruit - but the bad, refined stuff. Like the stuff that makes life liveable and enjoyable. I didn't just decide to do this lightly. I've been reading about clean eating and how wonderful it is for you. People who espouse this type of diet claim that ditching the sugar and all processed foods from your diet makes you feel great, energetic, and well. These people also claim that ditching the sugar and the processed crap has helped clear up their skin, improved their sex lives and basically helped pounds "melt" away.

Now I do not for one moment think that anything I do will help pounds MELT away. However - I know that I am totally addicted to sugar. I'm like a junkie. I need something sweet at the end of every meal. I need chocolate like a addict needs a hit. And that can't be good for me. So - I'm trying it. I don't think I'll ever be able to be "sugar free" for the rest of my life. I don't think that is realistic. I do want to see how long I can keep it up.

So far it's been about 7 hours and I'm really, really wanting to dive into the kid's Easter baskets. WHy oh WHY did I pick a week that is basically dipped in chocoalte to start this experiment? There are 4 chocolate rabbits, 2 chocolate duckies and 2 chocoalte baseball players sitting in baskets in this house right now. Argh - I need to stop thinking about it. My goal is to get through 3 days. Isn't there some sort of rule that says that once you've lived without sugar for 3 days, you won't crave it anymore? Please - somebody say yes.......