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, August 27, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On Everybody!

So - as the East Coast braces for a hurricane, Busy Momma and her crew are hunkered down, battening the hatches and baking. Yes, you read that correctly - baking. Because our family motto is: You can never have enough brownies in ANY kind of crisis or natural disaster. OK - maybe that is just my personal motto. Our other motto - the motto that has gotten us through our every waking hour of our lives thus far is: Keep Calm and Carry On. 

 According to Wikipedia - which, as we all know is the most reliable source of factual information on the planet: "Keep Calm and Carry On was a poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of World War II, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of invasion." This little phrase is sooooo representative of how Busy Momma and her crew live their lives that Carrie is going to paint it on the wall above the stove in the kitchen. Don't you LOVE that phrase? I know it's very "in" right now - you can see it pretty much everywhere. But that's because it's a GREAT way to live in these somewhat uncertain times. Think of ALL of the moments in your day that would be made FAR less stressful if you took a deep breath and repeated those words in your head. Don't believe me? OK - picture the following scenarios and think about how this simple phrase might help you keep your shit together:
  1. Imagine getting a call from your kid's preschool teacher, in January, while you are dying with what can only be a fatal case of the flu. Your husband has dressed your child and has dropped her off at school. Your dear friend Sookie has promised to pick her up after school and keep her for the rest of the day while you lay in your sweat-soaked sheets, sipping ginger ale and praying that the Angel of Death comes quickly. Your first thought, upon seeing that it is the school calling is that said child has also come down with the flu. You pick up and the teacher has a very strange tone of voice. She says: "Mary, are you sick today?' She explains that she figured that you were sick because your child has come to school dressed in an "unusual" outfit. And by "unusual" she means that your child is at school, in January, wearing polka dotted tights, a bathing suit, covered by a pair of shorts, yellow duckie rainboots and a sweater. Oh - and a Disney Princess crown. Now - your first thought is of a divorce lawyer you saw on TV. But THEN you chant your mantra in your head: Keep Calm and Carry On. And you realize that the child is at least covered and protected from the elements. AND that Sookie will, no doubt, redress her when she sees the hot mess of an outfit that your husband has apparently green lighted. Divorce averted.
  2. That same preschool teacher calls you a few weeks later to report that your daughter is complaining of an earache. You call the pediatrician, drive to school and head to the doctor's office. You ask your child: "When did your ear start to hurt?" And she sweetly replies: "After the crayon came out." And you screech: "WHAT? YOU PUT A CRAYON IN YOUR EAR?????" And she cowers in terror in her car seat and says: "No. Emma put a crayon in my ear." Emma is none other than your child's invisible friend - the one that does ALL of the naughty stuff. So, when you arrive at the pediatrician - you do a big song and dance number explaining about Emma while your kid is in the waiting room. You speak with the pediatrician - who can be a bit snarky at times - that he is NOT to give your child a hard time about Emma and to say that yes he can see her if she shows up in the examining room. The doctor says: "So, I hear that your friend Emma put a crayon in your ear, huh?" And she looks at him with her big, blue eyes and says: "Who's Emma?"  and "There was no cwayon in my ear - it just huwts."And - as the pediatrician is looking at you with a look that says: "Hmm - I think this woman is a psychopath and has invented imaginary playmates for her kid and maybe I should call Family Services on her" - you chant your mantra: Keep Calm and Carry On. And as he looks in her ear he says: "Oh - wow - Emma must like purple." Your angel says: "It's her favowite color. She was trying to make the insides of my ears pwetty." And once again - crisis averted.
  3. You are at your son's first day of preschool. And you are taking pictures and trying not to cry as you think about how fast time is flying by and you feel like it was only yesterday that you were bringing this baby home from the hospital. And here he is - going off on his own for the first time - away from you for 2 and a half hours two days a week. It's almost too much to bear. The lovely teacher tells the boys and girls to go and sit on the carpet and select a book to "read" quietly. And there he goes...your baby boy, your pride and joy, on all fours, crawling now like a dog, wait a minute...why is he lifting his leg, doggie-style?...OH MY GOD...he just lifted his leg to fart in that little girl's face! HOLY SHIT! You cannot BELIEVE he just did that...and EVERYONE saw and heard it! And as you pray to melt into the carpet - you say your mantra: Keep Calm and Carry On. And that blessed preschool teacher come up, behind your back and says: "Yep - I have 2 boys. You just have to roll with it Momma."
  4. You are told by your darling daughter that in fifth grade - your locker can "Make you...or BREAK you". You were not aware of this fact of life. She informs you that she needs some "supplies" so that she does not have a "loser locker" like she apparently had last year. So - you take her and her best pal  to the craft store where, according to the pal and your darling girl, they have everything one needs for a cool fifth-grade locker. You, after living on this earth for almost 40 years and attending 2 prestigious universities, had NO idea that every fifth grader needs: magnetic flowers,bejeweled pencil cups, mirrors, WALL PAPER, picture frames AND...wait for it........... A motion-detecting crystal chandelier in order to pass fifth grade and not be a total loser. And as you begin to mentally tally the amount of money you are about to spend on said non-loser locker...you begin to panic about having enough in your checking account to cover this month's mortgage...you say your mantra: Keep Calm and Carry On. And suddenly you hear your daughter screech: "Oh NO! They don't have the crystal chandeliers! OMG - WHAT are we going to do?" And you say a silent prayer of thanks that you do not have to explain to your husband why you shelled out $32 bucks for a locker chandelier. (Post-script: This particular pal and your daughter are very smart girls, They find the website and twist your arm to order it online. You let the other mother order and you write her a check. Hubby will never know..) (Unless he reads your blog. Shit.)
I can go on with this all day, Peeps. But do you see my point? I have come to believe that we all sweat the small stuff waaaaaay too much. We worry about what other people will think of our parenting if they see our kids misbehaving or acting bratty. We worry about what teachers will think of our parenting if we forget to sign a homework folder or send in an item for the bake sale. We worry what our mothers will think of us when our kids tell them that "We had ice cream for dinner!" We worry about what the people we went to high school will think of us when we show up at the 20th reunion 20 pounds heavier than we'd like to be, wearing at least 5 extra pounds in the form of extra-strength spanxx, control top pantyhose and those chicken cutlet things that hold your saggy boobs up inside of your bra. WHO CARES? Who cares what other people think of us? I suggest that we Mommies start to care more about what the people who really matter think of us and LESS about what everyone else thinks of us. Taking a moment to Keep Calm and Carry On helps me remember this.

So - here is Busy Momma's challenge to you: As Hurricane Irene comes crashing down around us this weekend - try to Keep Calm and Carry On. I am 100% sure that my basement will flood. I am really worried about my roof holding up. I am trying not to worry about my beautiful pin oak in the backyard that if it were to fall, would crash directly into my bedroom and/or family room. I am worried about all of the lovely food in my freezer that might spoil if the power is out too long. But I can't control any of this. So, whatever happens, we will Keep Calm and Carry On. If the basement floods - we'll clean it up. (And by We, I mean PC)  If the roof blows away, we will have to get a new one. As long as we are all ok - dry, well fed and not trapped beneath a giant, fallen pin oak - everything will turn out ok. The earth will keep on spinning. The storm will pass, we will clean up the mess and life will go on. So - good luck everyone. Check your flashlight batteries, freeze some water, stock up on PB&J and enjoy a glass of wine as Irene pays us a visit.

Oh - and before the power goes out - be sure to order those locker chandeliers.....because remember: Your locker can MAKE you or BREAK you.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So Long Summer.....

Does it seem like everywhere you go and everyone you talk to lately says the same thing? "Where did the summer go?"I know I have been thinking alot about the passage of time and how it seems to fly by much quicker the older I become. Busy Momma and her crew had a really great summer. We spent a few wonderful days with Sookie and her crew in Rehoboth.  We spent some time at the pool...the kids spent ALOT of time at the pool. Most importantly - we really did chillax this summer - it was sorely needed. But it did seem to fly by.

Now we stand on the brink of a new school year, and I find myself repeating the same thing over and over again in my mind:  "This year HAS to be better than LAST year, right?" Because last year kicked our ass. I don't know about you guys, but transitioning to fourth grade was a bitch. A real nightmare. NOT because of the teachers or anything like that - it was just the workload increased and the responsibility put on their shoulders was ratcheted WAAAAAY up from third grade. And, even though I have spent my entire adult life in education - I was TOTALLY unprepared. Plus we had field hockey 2 nights a week, Scouts, soccer and let's not forget how we started the first week after Labor Day. Me, in the hospital, miscarrying one twin, trying desperately to hang on the the other one,  all while having some sort of "mystery" cardiac condition that all of the cardiologists at University of Maryland Hospital couldn't figure out. So there I was - strapped to wires and monitors and NOT ALLOWED to get up and go to the BATHROOM by myself - because I was trapped in the Cardiac Intensive Care unit!

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, my parents are trying to shuttle the prince and princess between 2 different schools AND trying to figure out all of the new homework, sports schedules and general routines of the fourth grade while PC stayed by my side. Not the BESTEST way to start a new school year. So I have decided that THIS year is going to be better. THIS is going to be OUR year. The way I see it, fifth grade is going to be just like fourth grade on steroids - with new teachers. Long division is behind us...meaning I think she has finally figured it out. So what else is there to dread? Well...there is "The Talk" that all of the fifth graders get about puberty - that she is already telling me she is NOT attending. But as long as I'm not GIVING the talk (been there done that) - I could care less. Listening to the talk will make her stronger in the long run. AND, her nemesis (and, I suspect, secret crush) is NOT in her homeroom. What can go wrong?

Although I will admit that I am a bit worried about my little man. He starts 2nd grade in a new school. He was finally released from speech - so he can go back to our regular school - which is a Catholic school. Now, while his sister LOVES all of the Theology and prayers and the rituals of her faith, like going to mass....let's just say that Jack does NOT. Like, he really doesn't like it. And I'm kind of worried about it. The kid STILL doesn't bless himself correctly - and I'm convinced he does it backwards out of spite because we force him to go to mass. He sits in mass and does all sorts of  silent passive aggressive things - like eye rolling and claiming that he HAS to go to the bathroom at least 3 tiumes during a 1 hour mass. This is the kid that was able to hold it ALL DAY during the year because he doesn't like using " dirty school bathrooms". One time right in the middle of mass he sighed loudly and said - not quietly - "God, all of this sitting and standing, sitting and standing - when will it END?" Hmmmmm

I'm worried that I will be getting a call from school on that first Wednesday that they all go to mass. Oh God, I am really sweating it to be honest. I can only hope that they remember that our other kid is a really, really good and devout Catholic. And that didn't happen by itself. She knows all of her prayers...her brother does not. He just moves his mouth to make it looks like he's praying - but he's not! He's moving the mouth and making sounds that are most definitely NOT prayers. I know - I bent down and listened to him at mass. I was pretending to get something out of my purse - and there he was - mouthing fake words and sort of humming.

With my daughter, we don't really have to worry too much about her embarrasing us in school. She's at that age where EVERYTHING embarrases her - and that's a good thing. Little Man? Not so much. Let's just say, our dinner time conversations of late have been quite interesting.

Us: "So, Jack, you know that when you go to SMS, there will be all sorts of new rules, right?"
Jack; "Like what?"
Us: "Nothing really weird - just like no burping or farting just for fun. And no pointing out if someone burps or farts on purpose. And no farting ON people."
Bella: "Yeah - we don't "weaponize" our farts at SMS. That's just a good all-around rule, Mom. Don't you think?"
Me: "Yes, yes I do."
Jack: "Well what if you have to fart or burp?"
The REST of us: "Then you go to the bathroom and conduct your business there."
Jack: DEAD SILENCE.......
Me: "Ok Jack - got it?"
Jack: "I have a feeling we're in for a bad, bad year."

Help me Jesus.....