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.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Unions? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Union....

OK - so unless you've been living under a rock lately, you've seen what's going on in Wisconsin between the newly-elected Governor and the Teachers' Union. Big, bad stuff - bad, bad stuff - the stuff that will either make his career or ruin him politically for the rest of his life. That remains to be seen. But this whole debate started me thinking - wouldn't it be nice if Moms had a powerful union? I mean really - no one works harder for less economic benefit than mommies. (Unless you are Justin Beiber or Miley Cyrus's mommy - those biotches gave birth to their 401Ks) I mean we work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - have no sick leave, no collective bargaining rights, no representation anywhere, are not paid a fair wage - we're not paid ANY wage...I mean come on! It's about time we organized and enjoyed the same perks other workers have!

So, I am proposing a union for us called: M.O.M.: Mothers Organized for More

More of what you ask? Well - more of everything! I mean think about it - without US, how would ANYTHING EVER get done? Children would be running around in dirty, ill fitting clothing - some would probably go naked - and they would all smell AWFUL as they would never bathe. No one would do homework, projects or reports properly, our children and their caretakers would eat frozen pizza and nachos for every meal. No one would realize that the kids' bellies hurt because they hadn't pooped in weeks - and the Emergency Rooms would be overrun with gassy, bloated people. In short, we would become a nation of very smelly, dirty, undernourished, obese, constipated people. Society would crumble. Mark my words - it would. So, I am proposing a few changes to the status quo, if you will, to make our lives a little more enjoyable - and to level the playing field.

Here are some of my ideas for making our lives just a wee bit easier....

1. All union members would have 4 weeks of MANDATORY vacation. This vacation would be funded by tax payer monies - because one thing I am certain of - every tax payer HAS or HAD a mother - and regardless if they loved or hated her - she gave them life and for that a debt of gratitude is owed. So pay up Suckas! The union members would be relieved by a cadre of wonderful, Mary Poppins-esque nannies and housekeepers - who are not physically attractive in any way - but will clean the house like it's never been cleaned before AND address any "hot button" issues with the children - like potty training and fresh mouths - while the mommy is relaxing on her mandatory vacay.
2. All union members would have a government-funded pension. This pension would make up for the 401K the member would have had had she stayed in the workforce. Even if the union member "enjoys" a full-time job with a pension or 401K - she will still be entitled to this pension because as everyone knows - once we have children and become union members - we are paid less, respected less, and more is expected of us in the workplace. Many of us leave the workforce for a period of time only to return working for supervisiors who are younger than us and are threatened by our professional and worldly experience - or work for supervisors who didn't make the same career sacrifice and resent us for the time we spent at home with our children. Either way - for most working moms - we pay the price one way or the other.
3. All liqour stores would be required to provide 1 free bottle of good wine per week to every card carrying member of the union. The wine, as many of us realize, provides important mental health and stability. It is for the mental and physical well being of our members.
4. All card carrying members would be entitled to certain medical services free of charge. These services include: boob jobs, liposuction, tummy tucks, skin resurfacing, microderm abrasion, tanning, whole body wraps, massages...basically any and all medical and cosmetic procedures that will help return your body to the state it was pre-union membership.
5. All members would have a professional cleaning service come in and clean their home once a month. It is not the union member's fault that she lives with a group of filthy and disorganized piggies. Therefore - she should not be expected to continually pick up after them.  A professional service will do the "heavy" cleaning and then the filthy piggies can certainly be trained to do the minimum for the rest of the month.
6. Any time that the union member logs in the gym trying to work her body back into pre-motherhood shape will be rewarded with an equal amount of time at the spa of her choice receiving the services of her choice. These spa services will be paid for by the father of the babies. This will happen via a mandatory auto-debit from his paycheck so there are no misunderstandings.

Now, I'm sure that my loyal readers can think of MANY more benefits the union could provide. This is just a starting point. I'm just spit-balling ideas here. Ok, OK - I'm dreaming - I know it!

But darn it all - we really do DESERVE this union because we all know that this union will never, ever materialize. And yet - not one of us would walk out on our "job" as Mommy because we can't have a cleaning lady, or a massage, or a boob job. And not one of us would ever think of NOT becoming a member of the Mommy club because these "benefits" are not available. Of course...no one tells you what breastfeeding really does to your boobs BEFORE you breast feed, and no one talks about how you'll never be able to do a jumping jack without wetting yourself a bit after you've had 2 or more kids BEFORE you have them. Even so - I know that even knowing what I know now about your body after baby - I'd do it all again! And so would the rest of you...... As for M.O.M. - maybe one day........

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ahhhh...Valentines Day

Happy, Happy Valentines Day my peeps! First of all, I have to extend my most sincere thanks to everyone who read the last post and left beautiful comments on FB or called or came up to me and gave me a big hug. It really meant the world to me. PC and I are doing ok. We have good days and bad days. Today is a good day. And the good news is that the good days are slowly starting to outnumber the bad days. And once again - today is a good day.

Why, you ask, is today a good day? Oh - so many reasons my loyal readers and pals. So many reasons! First of all, last night was one of my FAVORITE nights of the year. First of all, it was Will's Blue and Gold Banquet and he earned a boatload of belt loops for Cub Scouts - and as any good Tiger Mother knows - the more belt loops the better! But, sadly, that is not what made my night SPECTACULAR. No - what made my night absoulutely freaking SPECTACULAR was the Grammy Award Show. Also known in my house as "The FREAK of All FREAK Shows". And last night did NOT disappoint.

Where to begin?????? Now, I am briefly going to discuss my favorite freaky moments - but I am purposely NOT discussing Lady Gaga. She will get her own post tomorrow or the next day. There is just waaay too much good stuff there. The ONLY thing I will say about her is this: Last night totally cemented her in as my personal hero (besides my mom that is...as she has taken to reading the blog of late. Love you MJ!) and I now bow down and worship at the altar of Gaga. But that's ENOUGH...stay tuned for my tribute to all things Gaga.

OK - my FAVORITE sound bite of the night came when Seth Green was talking about all of the "new things he'd seen" at the grammys and what a "spectacular time" he was having "and that was all backstage while getting high with Miley Cyrus"!!!! PRICELESS.

The fashion was surprisingly tame - on the whole. I will give a shout out to the night's worst dressed celebrity: Niki Minage.(Whoever she is) I honestly don't know what she was thinking...but it was a spectacularly hot mess. And I loved it. Hair and all!

But my FAVORITE Freaky Moment was courtesy of no other than - you guessed it: CeeLo Green and Gweneth "I-can-do-no-wrong" Paltrow. OH MY GOD! What was THAT?????????? The only thing I could think of was The Muppet Show. Was he channeling his inner Elton John? And what was her excuse? Those feather earrings? I think I had them in the 7th grade.The whole number was so out there - so ridiculous - that it made my entire night!

Seriously. Priceless.

Yes, there were other surprising moments - like when Justin Boober, I mean Beiber, danced surprisingly well with Usher. I will admit - the kid IS talented. I did NOT like the Bob Dylan thing at all - he sounded and looked SO old. Now, I realize that is because he IS in fact pretty old. But - it still made me sad. I fell asleep before Babs performed and I missed Mick Jagger. It seems to me like last night's show was a mix between geriatric performers, teeney boppers and total and complete freaks - that's all I'm sayin. I'm SUPER happy that Eminem won a Grammy - as he is on my list - that makes him all the more appealing to me. Yes, Eminem is on my 'list" along with Steven Tyler, Paul Rudd, Josh Duhmel, Daniel Craig and of course - Jon Bon Jovi. Just deal with it.

Another reason that today is a good day is that it is Valentine's Day and my husband gave me the most AMAZING, from-the-heart, sincere gift a girl could ever want. You see, we've had some spectacular Valentine's Days in the past, so it's pretty hard for PC to top himself year after year. On our first Valentine's Day, he wisked me away to the beach and took me out to a very fancy and expensive dinner and then we walked along the boardwalk/beach in the moonlight. Pretty romantic - huh? We've visited all of the MOST ROMANTIC venues in Baltimore. Several times he has had roses and candy waiting at our table at these restaurants. He's no slouch in the romance department, my Prince Charming. That is why today's gift is so amazing and truly appreciated. I dare say that it tops all of the other Valentine's Day surprises.

What, you ask, did this prince of a man do for me? Were there diamonds on my morning coffee? Nope. Were there rubies or emeralds in my morning mimosa? Sadly - no. (No to the jewels AND the mimosa unfortunately) Is there an all day appointment booked at the spa for me? Negative on that one too. No, my loyal readers - after 19 years of togetherness - PC really and truly knows not only what I want...but he also knows exactly what I need. And I had a big-time need this morning.

You see, as I awoke and opened my eyes - the need for my morning cup of life-giving fluid...coffee - gripped me like a shark grips a surfer's arm. So, I heaved myself out of bed, dragged my weary bones downstairs and popped my hazelnut KCUP into the machine of happiness. As I sat down to enjoy my delicious cup of joyfulness - I turned my head and gazed into the dining room. Where what to my wondering eyes should appear?

Evidence of a large gastro-intestinal EXPLOSION courtesy of my 13year-old Golden Retriever, Dixie. Gross does not even BEGIN to describe what I saw. And it was everywhere. Now, this is nothing NEW for Dixie - it generally happens once or twice a year. But this time it was so utterly gross and disgusting that the thought "I just can't do this today" overcame me. I'd rather tear the carpet up from the floor than clean that stuff out of it. Seriously. So, in an act of undying, unconditional and unyielding love - PC came downstairs - all dressed for work, got on his hands and knees and cleaned it all up for me. Every last drop. And because of that - I hereby declare that PC is officially OFF the hook for any flowers or candy hearts this year. I'm serious. Enough is enough. PC - spend your lunch hour EATING and surfing the net. No need to hit the mall and stand in line at Godiva or Hallmark or wherever else you needed to go today. Cleaning up gallons of doggie poop earns you the right to spend an hour on ITunes...or wherever it is that you go.

Now for those of you who have not been married for a very long time, you might think that I am giving in and giving up waaay to easily. I mean - cleaning up dog poop is part of dog ownership - right? Yes it is - and PC is the official pooper scooper over here. But I see Dixie's latest adventures in gastro-intestinal distress as a metaphor for the past 6 weeks of our lives. Poor PC has had to clean up alot of proverbial poop lately. And he's handled it all without a word of complaint or frustration or bitterness. He's plastered a smile on his face and done all of the birthday party duty, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning up, childcare, petcare and wife-care with amazing strength, dignity and courage. He has had to shoulder an unimaginable burden - largely on his own without the usual support of HIS Valentine. And for that - I will be eternally grateful. There is no box of heart-shaped chocolates that is big enough to express my gratitude to him. He truly deserves his pseudonym of PC for Prince Charming in this blog. He never fails to ride into my life on his white steed and rescue me from one disaster or another. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive - and let's face it - HOT husband.  So PC - thanks for loving me through thick and thin, for my beautiful babies - all 3 of them, for all of my jewelry, and for the past 19 wonderful, romantic, love-filled Valentine's Days. You have made ALL of my dreams come true - even the dreams that I didn't know that I could dream. I love you more than you could ever imagine.

Monday, February 7, 2011

To Everything There is a Season...

How many times has someone asked you: "What's your favorite song?" Bella asks me ALL OF THE TIME - secretly hoping my answer will change and my favorite song will be a little ditty by Justin Beiber. While that will NEVER happen - I do find that my answer changes often. Most of the time, my answer changes based on my mood.  And as many of you know, my mood as of late has NOT been so great.  In fact, these days music - which has never been high on my list of priorities- is about as low on the totem pole as it can get. Which is why I find it interesting that this blog post - which I've been "working on" for the past 5 weeks- revolves around a song.

One of the songs that I've always loved, and have turned to in times of crisis is Turn, Turn, Turn by Pete Seger. It's actually NOT by Pete Seger - it's lifted from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Seger just changed the order of some of the words and added in the now-famous title line " Turn, Turn, Turn". The Byrds made the song famous. The Bible tells us that "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." And it seems, dear readers and friends, that Busy Momma has entered a cold, harsh season of her life.

The most unbelieveably heart-breaking thing happened to me - and my family -5 weeks ago. Our baby boy, Aiden Brian, who we were all so excited to welcome into our family, was born. And while the birth of his sister and brother were times of great joy and excitement, Aiden's birth was a time of heart-shattering and mind numbing grief.  It wasn't time for him to be born. In fact - much to our deep and agonizing dismay, it seems that Aiden really didn't have a divinely-determined "time to be born". Two days before Christmas we learned, much to our shock and heart-ache, that Aiden was in serious trouble. A routine sonogram detected a problem that turned out to be a disaster. We rang in the New Year with the knowledge that our little, innocent, beautiful baby boy was going to die.

The knowledge that the baby - who was still kicking and boogie-ing down inside of me - was going to die - no matter what I did - was an exquisiste form of torture. Exquisite might seem like a strange adjective - but looking back - it seems appropriate. Because feeling him moving about allowed me to acknowldge his exisitence, the fact that he was a little person who mattered. It also made me acutely aware of how fleeting our time together might be. And fleeting it was. A day and a half after we had a confirmed diagnosis of a lethal condition - he was gone. And I knew the minute that God took him - that he was gone. And while some people might say that knowledge like that is impossible, that there is no way that I could have known - I will tell you that I knew. I sensed his spirit leaving me the same way I felt the glorious moment of giving life when Jack and Bella were born. I felt that little, precious life leaving me. And as angry as I am at God right now, I do acknowldge that that moment - being able to feel that, was a gift.

I am full of anger and questions and this deep, deep sadness that is so foreign to my nature, it frightens me. I don't like this at all - not one little bit. I can't stand being so sad all of the time. And I can't stand pretending to be happy and OK when I'm all broken and shattered and dark on the inside. I went out with the girls from Book Club the other night and a little part of me hoped that someone at the bar would say something that would really piss me off so that I could punch them right in the face. Who thinks that? Especially when they are headed to BOOK CLUB?!?! I just think that it would feel so good to just go ape-shit all over some stranger and punch someone or something over and over and over again. C to the R to the A to the Z to the Y - I know. And I know that no matter what anyone says to me - I would never punch anyone. I don't even know HOW to punch something properly. But I can fantasize about it...

Everyone says thing like "It will get easier" and "Time heals all wounds" - but it really doesn't. Time has NOT been my friend. Time marches on. Life goes on. People forget, or they assume that it's been "long enough" and that you're "over it". And I'm learning THAT'S when it gets REALLY hard. The first week or so after, we had so much "stuff" to deal with - funeral arrangements, deliveries, thank-you notes, mass cards, sympathy cards. We didn't have time to grieve. We were sad and shocked and scared of what we had to do - bury him, leave the house for the first time, put the kids back in school. Our friends and family were so wonderful to us. Fifi lost her mind and just got on a plane and lived here for a week! Hermione also was spurred into nonstop action and was here cleaning and cooking and clucking all over us. My brother sprouted wings and flew here and didn't leave me for a week. Poor Sookie burst into tears at the drop of a hat and was like our own personal goalie/PR professional - she ran communications and interference in all areas of our life. The outpouring of love and devotion and genuine, heartfelt sympathy was totally overwhelming. We will never be able to express our gratitude for the love and the prayers and the calls and the flowers, meals and whatnot. What we thought was grief was, in fact, shock and sadness - the harbingers of grief - but not grief itself.

Grief rings the doorbell when everyone goes away. While everyone else is at work, writing their documents, teaching their classes, removing diseased organs and programming computers, grief sneaks onto your doorstep. And he rings the bell incessently. What I'm learning is that he is one persistent bastard. I didn't answer his call last week - because I was too busy. I was ORGANIZING! Organizing Bella and Jack's homework area. I ran out of label-maker tape, I was so busy. I just couldn't get to grief. Then, I decided to have lunch with friends - no time to deal with grief. But he showed up at lunch - and he started in on me. I pushed him away. Then he snuck up on me the next day during a conversation with someone who was trying to "make me feel better". And then he got me. And he hasn't let go of me. And I can't escape him. He clings to my back like a dowager's hump. I can actually FEEL him - my back hurts. 

My mom - who really does know everything and pretty much is always right - tells me that I MUST let him in. That I have to welcome him in, pour him a cup of tea and sit with him for a while. She claims that the only way to get rid of him is to spend time with him. And in what must be an INCREDIBLY difficult statement for her to make- she also says that I really do have to stop cleaning my house like an OCD person on crack - and slow down. She says that I have to let myself cry. Ugh. Who wants to do that? I have a desk that is a bit dusty and a kitchen cabinet that is calling my name. I haven't labeled EVERYTHING in my home with my P Touch yet.  I argue with her that obsessive, compulsive labeling, cleaning and organizing is WAAAY better than laying in bed and watching Jerseylicious marathons. She seems to disagree. So I'm going to try a compromise. Grief keeps getting in while I'm fighting to keep him away - so I might as well let him in. It seems that I don't have much choice in the matter. But I REFUSE to let him take over. The problem is that I don't know how to interact with him without letting him wash over me like a tsunami. I'm afraid that he will and that I will find myself adrift in a sea that I can't navigate through or escape from.

So that is why Turn, Turn, Turn is my current favorite song. It gives me hope that this too shall pass. I don't know when and I can't imagine how - but I know that people DO recover from this. I know people who have recovered from this exact form of torture - and worse. I know that my family - one member shy - will go on. We will thrive and grow after this long, cold winter. I know in my heart that Spring will come and new life will spring out of the cold, frozen earth where I find myself today.

Turn, Turn, Turn

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of war, a time of peace

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sew

A time for love, a time for hate

A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

Words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes

Music-Pete Seeger