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, November 28, 2011

Confessions of a Bibliophile

Yes - you know me. You know that I love books more than almost anything - except my family. Some interesting facts about Busy Momma: I can wax poetic about Edith Wharton, I wrote a few REALLY amazing essays on Vanity Fair and The Great Gatsby to get college credits while I was still in high school, I read instead of watching tv most evenings and I always have at least 2 books going at a time. (I am currently reading: "Teaching with the Brain in Mind" by Eric Jensen and yet another Pat Conroy novel "Beach Music".) I have read "Little Women" and "Wuthering Heights" more times than I care to count - and yes, I still cry when Beth dies. Books are the blood in my veins, the air in my lungs - my escape. Always have been and I hope they always will be. But I don't like to read predictable, formulaic books. I cannot stand reading Mary Higgins Clark - no offense to anyone out there, but her books follow a template. The bad guy is ALWAYS the guy the female protagonist begins to trust and wham-o - he's the killer. (Sorry if I ruined it for anyone.) I also cannot STAND reading anything by Nicholas Sparks. I swear that there really is no living person named Nicholas Sparks. I believe that he is a creation of the Lifetime Television Network or the Hallmark channel. His books are designed to emotionally manipulate you and just make you cry the ugly cry until you fall asleep. I can't stand reading Stephen King, because although he is an outstanding writer, his books scare the crap out of me and the images that he paints with his pen stay in my mind's eye for FAR longer than they should. I pride myself on reading "literary" fiction and not wasting time on crap. However......I have a confession to make. One that I should be ashamed to make, but I am not ashamed. Are you ready??? Want to know my FAVORITE guilty pleasure?????????

I LOVE reading and rereading the entire Twighlight series over and over again! And - even MORE shameful??? I love watching the movies over and over again as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There it is - it's out there for the world to see. Yes, I, the self-proclaimed Busy Momma, who is far too busy and cerebral  to read "fluff "written by Danielle Steele or Nora Roberts have spent HOURS of my valuable time reading and rereading Stephanie Meyer's fantasy series about a brooding teenage girl and her romance with a vampire and a teen-age werewolf! I have ignored my husband and my CHILDREN at times to read "just one more page". I have stayed up past 2 AM to finish one of these YOUNG ADULT novels and begin the next! What is wrong with me, you ask? Is Busy Momma having some sort of reversion to her adolescence? Nope - I'm not. And I will argue that nothing is wrong with me. I just like a really good story - and the Twilight saga IS a pretty great story.

It has all of the characteristics of a great, classic love story -star-crossed lovers drawn together for eternity, a love that seems doomed from the very beginning, a handsome (if somewhat furry) stranger entering the mix that the heroine also falls in love with and the ever-interesting question of who will she choose? Now granted, this sullen, teenage heroine must choose between a 100+ year-old dead guy who might accidentally kill her as they get it on or a guy who is very much alive, but might need a flea dip every few weeks to keep things on the up and up. Hey - everyone has their flaws - right? This story even involves the heroine DYING as she gives birth to her love child....and transforming into someone quite different than who she was before. And yes, it was written for the 14 and over set, and yes, it took me about 6 days to read all 4 books and yes, there are glaring problems with the plot and characters.- especially Bella..but the story is so good and timeless that it transcends those issues. It is the perfect mix of romantic brain candy and pure escapism...with some bloodsucking and really good-looking teen werewolves thrown in for good measure.

And I am not the only grown woman who LOVES these books! Apparently, there are legions of "Twi-Hard" moms who love the books and movies right along with me. The gals and I went to see the latest installment in the series last week. It was a little pre-turkey day escape and I am happy to report that there were NO teenagers in the sudience that night. (OK - a 7:30pm show on a Tuesday evening does not usually draw the magic 18 and under demographic) The audience was filled with women who appeared to be over 30 and doing just what we were doing - enjoying a mid-week GNO. We laughed and one of us cried...I won't say which one of us cried 3 times, Tina - and we LOVED it!!!! It was everything we wanted in a movie about a sullen, clumsy teenaged human marrying and FINALLY getting it on with a vampire! I can't wait for the next movie! And I personally want to thank Stephanie Meyer for writing such a great series that allows me and countless other Busy Mommas to escape for a few hours into a world where pure romance exisits, where there are bigger problems than how to afford 2 sets of braces at the same time and where every 25 minutes or so really hot Native American boys randomly rip off their shirts and run - in the rain - for a few glorious seconds - 6-packs shimmering in the water - before they morph into big, hairy werewolves.

Thank you Ms. Meyers - thank you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Is There a Doctor in the House???

Well peeps - it's been a fun week in Crazy Town, that's for sure. I have spent the past 48 hours in the hospital helping my poor mother recouperate from a very bad break-up. She and her gallbladder, Gil, decided to part ways this past week. Theirs was a classic love story - but it ended as so many of these tales do - with Gil turning rotten out of no where. See, Mom and Gil had been getting along really well for about 71 years or so...give or take the gestational period...not sure when in utero that sucker forms...but I digress. They had really been getting along peacefully until one day a few weeks ago, when he started acting up. Typical bad boyfriend stuff - heartache, upset stomach, sleepless nights. But she just chalked it up to bad sushi, you know, tried to look past how he was about to betray her. So, he calmed himself down for a while and then pulled the same BS about a week later. Stupid SOB - same act, different day. But once again, she tried to look past the pain and blamed Gil's misbehavior on any munber of things. And he settled back down. But this past week - he just behaved SO badly, caused so much pain and agony, that his complete betrayal was evident to everyone - even Mom. So - she kicked him out. She is doing really well - although it really sucks that we can't suck down some ice cream or "Bad News Pie" to help her recover from this one. We need to find other coping strategies. So far, we have been watching alot of tv, I have been knitting, showing her my knitting and forcing her to make all sorts of nice comments about how much better my knitting is getting. It's working out well for me.

In all seriousness - it was some nasty business. Who knew the gallbladder could cause CHEST PAIN??? Oh yes it can Peeps...in the patient and in the people taking care of the patient! But here's what I'm forced to reflect on- she, like so many of us, had had these symptoms for about 3 - 4 weeks and kept on self-medicating and diagnosing. And almost self-diagnosed herself into a big, fat mess. And I can't be mad at her for that because I do the EXACT same thing ALL OF THE TIME!!! I ignore aches and pains until they become unbearable and then and only then will I go - kicking and screaming to the doctor. Case in point:

Many of you know that I "ran" a 5K about 3 weeks ago. I put "ran" in quotes because I trained really long and hard and started out with the best of intentions - but about 10 strides in - LITERALLY 10 strides in, I landed on my right leg and WHAMMMOOOO - OUCHIE OUCHIE OUCHIE - as my good friend Junie B. Jones would say, I landed and the pain that shot through my right hip was BAD - like bad, bad. Like I had to stop running and every time I started again - I hurt worse. So, I walked it...and forced PC to walk the rest of it with me. And in typical boy fashion - PC's advice was shake it off, relax, ice it, take Advil - you will be ok. And to be honest - by the end of the race, I was really craving some pancakes, so instead of going back to Mac and JoJo's to ice that puppy up - I convinced Sookie and Co., to go to IHOP for breakfast. And then we went back and instead of icing up the hip, I showered, yelled at the kids for being messy, cleaned up after the messy kids, did some outlet shopping and resumed normal life. Fast forward 3 weeks -I am now dragging right leg behind me like wounded animal and WORST of all - cannot BEAR to wear high heels as they hurt. So what do I do??? I wear CFM shoes to Leenie's wedding last weekend - walk all over the damn place in them., REFUSE to take them off even though Leenie has provided everyone with FLIP FLOPS and ONLY agree to take them off at the END of the night when I have already danced the night away. Why? Why did I do such a ridiculous thing?

Cause if my body doesn't look as great as I want it to - I will be DAMNED if my feet don't.

Um - have I mentioned how I wore a long dress and nobody could even really see my sexy "come hither" stilettoes???

So - now the leg is dragging behind me and I am cranky. And I am slightly worried that it might turn green and fall off. So, PC convinces me it's time to give up the ghost and actually go to the doctor. He does this by pointing out all of the lovely high heels, carefully labeled and lovingly arranged in clear shoe boxes in my, I mean our closet. He says "They will be so lonely for you if you stop wearing them. What will they do without you?"

He always knows just what to say. So - I go this past Wednesday. Guess what??? Guess what I did to myself???

I broke my GD hip!!!!

Busy Momma has a STRESS FRACTURE to her right hip!!!

Now - even though it was only 9am - I was headed home, yelling at PC over the phone that "See - see hotshot? That's what happens when you make me go to the doctor? I get a broken hip! Are you happy now???" and telling him to pour me a glass of restorative wine, when my other line rang. It was my dad telling me that my mom was in process of breaking up with Gil. Ahhhh - are you kidding me????

So, here I am - with a broken hip, limping my way through the parking lot of the emergency room to take care of my mother. Seriously - it was like a scene out of a sitcom. One Gimp trying to take care of another. I haven't even had time to fill my perscription - I am just loading up on Advil, dragging my dead leg behind me and going about my business as if nothing is wrong. All while yelling at mom for ignoring the warning signs of the breakup of Gil for weeks.

Hello Pot, it's Kettle - you're black.

Why do we do this? Is this a woman thing? A Mommy thing or just a stupid person thing? What do you think?

Ok - well I'd love to stay and chat - but I have to shower and get going. I'm headed out to a fundraiser in HIGH HEELS to dance the night away. I am thinking that a mixture of wine and more Advil might numb up the dead leg enough for me to teeter on my sexiest black heels.....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where-oh-where is Emily Post when you need her???

Ok - so I'm going on a rant. A real tirade if you will. It is now my belief that we, as a POLITE society, are going to hell in a hand basket.

(Disclaimer: I don't really know what a hand basket is, or why or how someone might climb into one and proceed to the firey nether-regions - but hey - it's one catchy phrase.)

What led me to this belief, you ask? What could have possibly happened to Busy Momma to give her such a negative outlook on the future? Well, as many of you know, Busy Momma has the IDEAL job for herself...I actually get PAID to TALK for a living. I talk/teach/consult...and get paid to do so. I am kept very busy in my home state, but occasionally they let me leave the local salt mines and travel to exotic locales - like Syracuse, NY or Columbus, OH. And recently, while "on location" if you will, I was faced with an interesting dilema:  an audience primarily composed of "under thirties". As in an audience comprised of people born AFTER 1987. Almost the entire group I was speaking to were people in their early to mid twenties. Now at first, I was excited by the prospect of speaking to people just starting out in their careers - people with a real fire in their bellies, people who were all shiny and new and ready to CHANGE THE WORLD!!!

These were NOT those people.

Nope - not at all. These people had a very different agenda. AND it had nothing to do with what I was there to talk to them about. These people had far more pressing matters to attend to.

Now, one might ask: "Why, Busy Momma - what could be MORE important than listening to you wax poetic about  reading comprehension, or writing in the content areas or brain research or classroom management or whatever other golden nuggets of wisdom you might have shared?' and Busy Momma might say: "Oh, you are way too kind...but thank you for the encouraging words..." But I digress.

What was WAY more important than whatever I was speaking about was: Facebook,Tumblr, Twitter and email and texting and ...wait for it....Bejewled Blitz AND Angry Birds. That's right my Peeps - they ALL were playing on their IPhones ALL day long!!! And it wasn't like we were in a big, giant lecture hall, or I was on stage and they were far enough removed that I couldn't see what they were doing...oh no. We were in a very small room - no desks to hide behind - phones out in the open and these people were playing shamelessly. Now, at first, I began to question myself. Was the workshop innappropriate for the audience? Well, not really as this was the topic they REQUESTED. Was I just droning on and on and on with no opportunities for reflection, interaction or practice? Well, not really. I had videos, cartoons, reflection questions, partner and group activities and ideas and suggestions for things they could begin implementing THE NEXT DAY that might make their lives much easier. PLUS, I had just completed this EXACT SAME workshop for a different group and it went over really, really well. So I really don't think I was boring them. So - what was it???

I hate to say it - but I think I am now old enough to see a "generation gap" if you will. These people were listening and paying attention to me - I figured that out later, based on their responses to me at the end of the workshop. They were just "multi-tasking". And I really don't think they realized how RUDE they were. Is it possible that we are now raising a generation of people - professional people at that - who think it is perfectly ok to text and Facebook and play computer games while someone else is speaking to them? IS IT Ok to do that now? Am I just hopelessly old-fashioned to think that when you are sitting in a class or a meeting that you kind of owe it to the speaker who has spent hours preparing the presentation and travelled from East Ja-Pup to deliver the presentation to PAY ATTENTION and not play Bejeweld Blitz as she talks to you????

Has anyone else noticed this? Has technology deadened our common sense? Have we allowed technology to advance at the expense of common courtesy?  Have we become so techno-reliant that our basic human interaction skills are suffering? Are we modeling this form of  "tech rudeness" in front of our kids?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage....

What an AMAZING weekend! I was fortunate enough to spend MY weekend at a FABULOUS wedding on Cape Cod!!! Besides being one of my favorite vacation destinations, Cape Cod holds many special memories for me. My cousins have a house on the Cape and many a fun-filled week was spent splashing in the ocean and Gull Pond. The stories and memories we made would take hours to tell - hours filled with love and the kind of laughter that could bring you to tears! So, you can imagine how special it was to be able to travel to the Cape and share in my cousin's amazing day.

The bride is my baby cousin - she was born when I was eleven years old. And really, the only word you can use to describe her is: loveable.  Ever since she arrived on the scene, she has been nothing but loveable. Now, granted, it did take me a while to get used to the idea of her being around. You see, when my Aunt announced that she had a "surprise" for my cousins and that she would tell them what the surprise was after school one day - I was really convinced that they were getting a puppy. We all wanted a puppy, really, really badly. My brother and I knew that WE would NEVER get one -  my Mom made NO excuses. No dogs for us. But my Aunt and Uncle are a wee bit more adventurous than my parents, so we had VERY high expectations. IMAGINE our disappointment when, the next morning, a very downcast ten and seven year-old climbed into my mom's car for morning carpool and announced that they were, in fact NOT getting a puppy. They were getting a  BABY instead! I won't go into detail about the absolute devastation that my brother and I felt. If they weren't getting a puppy - now we REALLY had no hope of ever getting one. We really didn't care that much about the baby...until she arrived.

I vividly remember the September evening that Mom and Dad loaded me into the car and let me visit my Aunt and the new baby in the hospital. Once I saw that little pink bundle - I was hooked. I will admit to thinking, as we drove to the hospital,  that no matter how cute she was, a puppy would have been WAY more fun. But I had to admit  once I saw that little taco baby all wrapped up- she WAS pretty cute, and I remember thinking that perhaps she would be pretty fun once she could walk and talk. And I was right!!!

So you can imagine what it felt like to watch her walk down the aisle and marry one of Ireland's most WONDERFUL exports on Friday. Her husband is as lovely as she is - they are a perfect pair. You have to have a certain degree of repect and awe for ANY guy who can assimilate into our family. When we all get together, we are loud and rowdy and outspoken and seriously really, really  LOUD... so any guy who can weather a family holiday and then keeps coming back for more - is a keeper. And her man is CERTAINLY a keeper!

The Happy Couple
The priest, who is an old friend of the family, gave a lovely homily about looking to other married couples as an inspiration for marriage. And he mentioned that there are few if any examples of married couples who are saints. Now despite my immediate thoughts of Mary and Joseph as a sainted married couple, there aren't that many more who pop right into my mind. And that is kind of a shame, because marriage can get kind of difficult at times and it does help to have other couples to look to in times of trouble. And in today's society when certain "celebrities" spend MILLIONS of dollars on lavish, over-the-top weddings and then decide, 72 days later that marriage really isn't their "thing", it really IS somewhat difficult to find rock-solid marriages in the spotlight. So, I've been thinking about this since the wedding on Friday. Who do we look to for examples of great marriages? I mean if we look to "celebrities" - the pickings are somewhat slim. Even when we look at our own communities, we see many examples of rocky unions, we hear rumors of who is cheating, who is thinking about cheating, and so on. It's rough out there!

And then it hit me -  examples of great couples are all around us if we only know where to look. So here is MY unsolicited advice for the bride and groom. If you want to look for inspiration for a wonderful marriage, if, when times get tough and you don't know what to do - look at your family photo albums. Look at pictures of your grandparents and your parents. Our grandparents got married right around the Depression. Talk about times being tough! They worked hard, created a family and managed to keep it all together - until death parted them. Things certainly weren't always easy, there were money woes, and sick kids and job woes and really scary things happening in the world they lived in. Yet - they managed to keep it all humming along. When things got tough, they didn't consult an attorney, they didn't find comfort in someone else's arms - they put their heads down and plowed through. When the fire burned, they walked through it, and emerged stronger and forged together on the other side. Our parents didn't always have an easy time of it. They had their share of worries and woes as well. But all you had to do was look at them on Friday night - dressed in their finest, dancing together at your wedding, 40+ years after their own weddings, to see an example of a rock solid marriage. They might not be famous and no one might ever reference them in a wedding speech as a well-known example of marital bliss - YOU will always be able to reference them. And it will be up to YOU and the rest of US to continue to tell the stories of their love affairs and mad-cap adventures. And someday, Leenie and Fiachre, when WE are watching YOUR baby get married, WE will be SURE to tell her all about her Nanny and Poppy and Great grandparents love affairs. We won't have to tell her about yours - because she will live it right along with you.