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, December 29, 2012

... And a Happy New Year!

I hope this post finds you all happy and healthy and looking forward to a WONDERFUL 2013. As I do every year, I'd like to dedicate this post - the last post of 2012 to you all and take a few minutes to thank you for being loyal readers and friends! I feel like the last post of 2012 should really recap the year, you know, holiday newsletter style. Or should it???

We stopped sending out the traditional "Holiday Newsletter" a few years ago. I'm kind of on the fence about those newsletters. I think that for the most part, only your older, technology -barren family members really appreciate them. In today's day and age - when we document every milestone on Facebook and let everyone know what we've had for lunch on Twitter - I question the need for the annual newsletter. Plus, I always feel like a big fat liar when I'm done with the newsletter. I say things like: It has been another wonderful, crazy, busy, surprise-filled year here in Busy Momma land. My beautiful Bella started Middle School and Jack is just loving his adventures in third grade. Bella is playing the piano like a young Alicia Keys and we think that Jack has a soccer scholarship in his future! PC is really enjoying coaching Rec and All-Star soccer while I revel in my dual role as professional, working woman and chauffer to two busy, involved future leaders of American industry and innovation. PC had the chance of a lifetime in the fall - he was asked to play semi-professional baseball  with a local team in a tournament in Florida. What an experience!

Now while that information is technically true it doesn't really capture the true sentiment that is/was felt on a daily basis. You see, if I were to go for complete and total honesty, Busy Momma's Christmas newsletter might  look a bit more like this:

Well folks, what a year it's been over here in Busy Momma land. I am happy to report that neither of the children have gotten lost, seriously injured, maimed or killed - despite, what at times appeared to be, their best efforts. Bella started Middle School and well - what can one say about Middle School? It sucks. None of us would ever choose to go back and relive it. PC and I have learned a new word this year - and that word is "Hollister". For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase, "Hollister" is synoymous with: "what everyone wears to be cool". It is also synonomous with the phrase: "you will go broke shopping here". And we think it's marketing managers are also possibly recovering pedophiles because they seem to think it perfectly acceptable to sell clothing to children by displaying posters of half-naked teenagers in their stores and on their shopping bags.

Jack is in third grade and is doing pretty well. He loves to play soccer and pal around with his buddies. He does NOT like going to school or doing homework - which is unfortunate for him as those two activities are prerequisites for playing soccer and paling around with his buddies. Many of you heard about his homework woes this year - we've taken to calling that blip on the radar: "Spelling Sentence-Gate". I am happy to report that he is doing much better with the spelling homework. Once the teacher explained why using the word "dirtbag" in each and every spelling sentence was, while very creative, also very inappropriate, he begrudgingly rewrote each and every sentence.

On another, completely unrelated note, we have decided to relieve my Dad of his homework checking duties each night. PC and I feel that picking the kids up from school and giving them snacks and keeping them alive is enough responsibility for a 72 year-young man. Checking third grade spelling and middle school math homework is a pleasure that should be saved for us after our 9 hour work days and 2+ hour evening commutes. Nothing says "relaxation" after a long day than reteaching least-common denominator and forcing an 8-year old to put 20 words in ABC order.

Bella continues to play piano. She is currently working on Christmas Carols and boy, I for one am looking forward never hearing "The Little Drummer Boy" again. Jack is still lighting up the soccer field. He is a great player and made the Fallston Cup All-Star team this year. Of course, as all young athletes do, he also has some areas for growth - such as NOT yelling and screaming at the refs John MacEnroe style when they make a call against him. The league-mandated anger management classes should help with that.

PC is fine - who wouldn't be after taking a week's vacation to FLORIDA all by themselves and playing baseball and drinking beer for a week? I mean, who in their right mind WOULDN'T be fine with that? Sleeping late, playing games and DRINKING for an entire week, with NO responsibilites??? WOW! What a lucky guy! I for one would LOVE to go away with my friends for an entire week and let someone else take care of my kids - who happened to be SICK at the time- and just drink and shop and sleep late and eat out and NOT DO JACK CRAP...

Yep - PC is fine.

And as for me - well, what can I say? Caffine is a wonderful thing.

See? That's why I don't send out the holiday newsletter anymore. Who wants to read that?

In all seriousness - 2012 has been quite a year. There have been some bumps on our road, but all-in-all,  we've had really great times together. I am leaving you with some of my favorite images of the gang from 2012.
Sunflower field at Bloom's Broom

Make your own Hershey Bar!

Jack's 1st Eucharist

The Boo Crew!

The Mermaid of Gull Pond

Soccer Star!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When there are no words....

Angel of God
                                                                 My guardian dear
                                                              For whom God's love
                                                                Commits me here
                                                                      Ever this day
                                                                      Be at my side
                                                                 To light and guard
                                                                   To rule and guide.

Once again, this country has been rocked to its core by an act of violence, so senseless and so brutal, it truly boggles the mind and breaks the heart. 24 hours after a man walked into an elementary school and killed 18 children - kindergarten babies -  and 8 adults, we are reeling with more questions than answers, more heartache than cognition and a unquenchable need for an explanation. We need to know WHY this happened. We need to try to understand what was happening in this man's head, why he felt it neccessary to prove his point by walking into a school and killing innocent children. What was he trying to say? And why did he need to say it that way? It is as if maybe, just maybe, if we could understand WHY he did this, we could make sense of it. And if we could somehow make sense of it, it wouldn't hurt so badly. And yet, intellectually, we know that is wrong. We know that hearing about this guy's motive, or reading a letter he left behind won't make a shred of difference, yet - we still seek to understand. We watch the news, we can't tear ourselves away from the 24-hour coverage of this event. We watch in horror as images of terrified children, traumatized families, mothers and fathers in agony flash before our eyes. We watch and cry, and watch some more. It isn't good for us to watch this - yet we can't stop because we must try try to find the answer to the question "why?".

And there is NO shortage of opinions out there. If you want some answers - just go check your Facebook page. According to the last time I checked my FB page, this happened because:
  1. we took God out of schools
  2. we need to "get serious" about gun control
  3. we need to remember that psychos kill people - guns don't kill people
  4. we are a God-less society in general
  5. we need better mental health services in this country
  6. apparently, it is easier to get a gun than access to National Health Care
  7. we pray too much instead of focusing on what really matters - gun control
and on and on and on. At first it really pissed me off to see all of this political stuff being posted on FB right after this happened. There is a time and a place for true political discourse - but now is not the time and FACEBOOK is hardly the place. And this blog is not the place - so don't expect Busy Momma to start spewing her opinion. Because my opinion on gun control doesn't matter right now. None of this matters right now to the 18 men and women that PC and I are unfortunately welcoming into the club that we gained access to just about 2 years ago. (Actually - 713 days ago to be exact.) The saddest, most exclusive club on Earth that no one in their right mind would ever choose to join.

                                                            The Grieving Parents Club

I'm sure that you have all seen this image - it was all over FB yesterday. PC can barely stand to look at it. I love it. If I could tatoo it on my face I would. If I could wear it around my neck I would. It captures what I have felt for the past 713 days perfectly. The only thing that gives me hope as I suffer the agony of my grief on a daily basis is the hope and belief that our child is in a better place. That somehow, he is playing in fields of endless sunshine and running barefooted through silky green blades of grass covered with a delicate, crystal dew that sparkles in the early morning sunlight.  I picture him being chased by Dixie, my beloved poochie-pie, and his laughing Granddad who has to stop and catch his breath every so often as he races to keep up with the one grandson that has been entrusted to his loving care. I picture a beautiful waterfall with a cavern behind it, filled with sparking wonders hanging from the ceiling - and plenty of critters and creatures that any little boy would love to dig up and discover. I picture my boy, Aiden, running and laughing and flying kites and literally bouncing on big puffy clouds and sliding down rainbows. I have to make that mind movie every night before I go to sleep and every morning before I get out of bed. If I don't - I'm not able to do either. I have to believe that my image, my "heaven" if you will, is like that. And the 18 men and women who joined my club yesterday, might have to do something like that as well.

We all grieve in different ways. Some people will join support groups and surround themselves with other grieving parents so that they can talk to people who really understand what they feel and what they've been through. I am not the support group type of gal - because I believe that NO ONE knows exactly how I feel about losing Aiden. Even other women who have experienced fetal death. My experience and my journey is unique to me - that's just how I feel. And I doubt that these 18 unfortunate souls will find anyone - other than themselves - who really "understand" what they are feeling and working through. Maybe if they move to Columbine.

Some people will turn this around and make all sorts of wonderful things happen because of this tragedy. Parents will start scholarships and other types of memorial funds. Countless other kids will benefit from the work that these parents will do in the hopes that somehow, some way, their beautiful, precious child will be remembered for something good - great even - NOT as just another name in the roster of victims from yesterday's event. I wish them well and so admire the strength and courage they will exhibit.

No matter how these people grieve outwardly - their inner life will be forever altered. They will never get a break from their grief, they will never have a day where they don't experience some facet of heartbreaking sadness. They will go on, I hope. They will continue to live their lives and they will somehow find the strength to rejoin polite society. I bet some of them will move away and try to start anew. I bet many of them will get sick of people staring at them or worse - averting their eyes from them - in the grocery store, at the dry cleaners or the pizza place.

In the coming days, they will be overwhelmed by the generosity of their friends, neighbors and people they don't even know. They will also hear some stupid, insensitive comments like: "It was just her time to go", or, my personal favorite: "You are young. You can have another child and start over." They will hear some people say that "this was God's plan" for their baby. These people mean well, and are trying to comfort - but their meaningless, senseless platitudes will, undoubtedly, send one of these parents over the edge. The grief monster will come and live under their beds, like he lives under ours. He will sneak up on them when they least expect him to. They will think they are going crazy because they will hear their child calling out to them as they pass a playground. They will see their child running away from them in a crowded mall. They will fill their cart at the grocery store with "his" favorite juice boxes or "her" favorite cookies and only realize what they did when they are checking out and then they will start to cry and walk out - leaving a full cart and a very uncomfortable checkout clerk behind. They will feel like they are drowning in their own tears, and then they will feel like they have cried out every possible tear - and when they start again - they will be shocked that they have more tears to cry. In short - they are in for a lifetime of "This Sucks".

Don't get me wrong - there will be happy days ahead. Their other children will bring them such comfort and help them heal. They will do things to help themselves - like take a great vacation, get a puppy, take up a new hobby - something that gives them something to look forward to. So that they don't have to constantly look back. Some of them WILL have another baby - and that will be wonderful for them. But, no matter what they do - in the back of their minds - or maybe at the front of their minds - there will be a little cloud of saddness. The knowlege that someone is missing, that somehow, no matter how pretty the picture IS, something, someone is missing. Something is just not quite right. The picture should be prettier.

I don't know why these things happen. I don't know why a loving God would give us these children, only to take them back so quickly. I don't know what we are supposed to learn from this - I really don't. But there are some things that I DO know.

 I do know that these parents, like PC and I, are probably no longer afraid of death. I heard Patsy Ramsey - Jonbenet's mom - say something so profound once. She was being interviewed and it was widely known that she was suffering with terminal cancer. And the interviewer said: "Are you afraid of death?" And Mrs. Ramsey's response was so amazing. She broke into a HUGE grin - her face literally LIT UP - and she said: "Oh no. Oh no - I know that when I die, I will get to see my Jonbenet again. No, I am not afraid at all." She died a short while later.

I DO know that THIS was certainly NOT God's plan. This is not God's fault. This was the fault of one man - the man who walked into that school and made the choice to reign down unspeakable evil on those 28 innocent souls.

I DO know that God was there yesterday. I DO know that God, or his Guardian Angel, was with each and every person gunned down yesterday. I KNOW that those boys and girls and men and women were led to heaven by a loving God. A Guardian Angel.

I DO know that it will be by the grace of God that those parents and family members will make it through the coming days. The grace of God will help them make arrangements and watch as their babies are lowered into the ground. The grace of God will keep them from jumping in the hole in the frozen ground as they will want to do. The grace of God will help them face Christmas Day - because as much as they won't want it to - it will dawn. And they will have to somehow make it through the day. And it will be by the grace of God that the day will end. And a new day will dawn. And they will have survived.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Twas TWO Weeks Before Christmas...Holy CRAP!

Hi Peeps! How's everyone doing out there? Reveling in the glow of happy little faces, covered in homemade Christmas cookie crumbs? Hearts about to burst from seeing the sleeping faces of the little cherubs God has blessed you with? Enjoying holiday peace and happiness and sitting back with a steaming cup of hot mulled cider?

Humph - Me neither. This is pretty much how I'm feeling these days:

Anybody else right there with me???? Christmas is 2 weeks from today - and I am SOOOOO behind. More behind than ever before. Like seriously, seriously behind. My TREE is not even up! We only got it tonight!!! That , I can say with certainty is NOT my fault. PC was sick this past weekend with a HORRIBLE sinus infection and bronchitis. I really didn't want to get the tree without him - so we waited.
And as for shopping - I'm screwed. I have a few things for Bella - she is easy. Clothes and Monster High stuff and she's done. I even have some stocking stuffers for her. Again - easy. Lip Gloss, hair bands, earrings and we're done. Jack is another story. I have NOTHING for him - as in NADA, NOTHING, ZIPPO Skippo - not 1 item. Except a new toothbrush. Seriously. That's it.  A toothbrush. Poor little sucker. Part of the problem is that he really doesn't know what he wants this year. He wants some video games and an electric scooter - and that's it. Mom got the scooter - and that means I'm screwed. I am considering giving him a trip to The Great Wolf Lodge - as he LOVES water slides...but I know someone who got bedbugs there. No joke. So I don't think I can pull the trigger with that one. If I get desperate enough I might have to risk it- but no promises. I might force PC to take him to New York to see the Spiderman musical...but that's pricey peeps! So, as of right now, Jack is getting the gift of good dental hygene. Lucky little guy.

So, what's a Busy Momma to do to get in the Christmas spirit? Well, first things first - I have to finish my shopping. I have PROMISED myself that I will be all done by Sunday. I HAVE to be all done by Sunday. I have no choice. I took this Friday off, so I can shop and wrap all darn day. I also took next Thursday and Friday off to finish wrapping and to start baking. We will get the tree up this week. Probably tomorrow or Thursday night. Friday at the LATEST. I have my book club holiday party on Sunday, and I'm really looking forward to that. I am going to plan my menu tonight and I'm ONLY making special, holiday appetizers and I am going to make a signature holiday cocktail. So that should get me in the mood.

 I just wish that the holidays wouldn't make me a frazzled mess. I wish that I could be one of those cookie baking, eggnog drinking moms with the holiday aprons and the reindeer antlers headbands. (OK - I would NEVER EVER wear a reindeer antler headband, but you know what I mean.)

Who IS this woman and WHY CAN"T I BE HER???????
But I'm not. I'm more of the "buy-the-cookies-at-the-bakery-and-tell-everyone-that-I-made-em" type of gal. I'm the "I'd-rather-send-in-cash-than-make-anything-for-the-"winter celebration"-in-school "type of mom. Let's get real Peeps-I'm lucky if I can FIND an apron in my kitchen - never mind having a special CHRISTMAS apron!

But, somehow, it will all get done. In the next 14 days, I will shop for everyone. I will wrap all of the gifts that I buy. I will address and mail 75 + cards.  I will make Christmas cookies. I will put up the tree and decorate it (yes - those are two completely different operations people). I will plan, shop for, cook and host Christmas dinner. I will read every Christmas book we have. I will find 13 more interesting and funny places to hide Jingle, the God- damned Elf-on-the-effing-Shelf. And I will do it all while trying very, very hard not to be this guy:

But I can't make any promises people...it's going to take A LOT of wine to prevent him from showing up!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks and GIVING

It's beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving out there my peeps. And by Thanksgiving - I really mean the day before we all go beserk and spend all kinds of money on all kinds of really useful things like Furbys and electric scooters and Monster High Dolls and flat screen tvs. The nightly news is already a buzz with which stores are opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving night for their BLACK FRIDAY sales. 8pm people - 8 pm. Ummm, excuse me, but the last time I looked at the calendar, 8pm on Thursday evening will still be THURSDAY - NOT Friday.

But, no judgement here. God knows that Busy Momma has been known to shop in somehwhat "iffy" circumstances in order to get a great deal. My friend Terrence can tell you about the time we met up in New York's Little Italy and I walked into an innocent-looking souvenir shop, whispered the code "I came all the way from Jersey" to the guy behind the counter and he and I disappeared behind a fake wall for a few minutes. When we reappeared, my friend - who by then was very pale and shaking- looked at me, and my 3 shopping bags filled with designer purses- almost killed me. I think I remember him yelling something like: "You just don't come into New York City, hear about some shop that sells designer bags at great prices and then disappear with a guy named Vinny into a secret back room! Are you NUTS? What if you never came out? What if I had to identify little tiny pieces of you because THAT'S ALL THAT WAS LEFT????"

Needless to say, this same friend was NOT thrilled when I dragged him into New York's China Town during a SARS outbreak because I was SURE I would be able to get a GREAT deal on a certain bag from this guy a friend was going to hook me up with. The code that time was: "Do you have any red sweatshirts?"  And I was correct - due to the outbreak and associated hysteria, NO ONE was shopping in China Town that afternoon and amazing deals were to be had. There were also quite a bit of bird flu germs to be had as well, but as I always say: "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger". Very, very glad that Terrence didn't kill me that day.

So trust me, I GET it. For those of you looking forward to standing on line after you've had your fill of turkey and pumpkin pie - I wish you luck. I will be in my bed, warm and toasty sending good shopping vibes to you all. And SPEAKING of good vibes...I have a CHALLENGE for all of my readers! Busy Momma and Crew are launching a WONDERFUL holiday tradition called:

Operation: Fill Santa's Sleigh!!!!!

OK - here is the deal: One of my Mommy friends is going through a really difficult time. And by difficult, I mean really awful, super-bad, heartbreaking, life-altering hardship. This Busy Momma is a hard working single mom of a beautiful 8-year old boy. He is one of Jack's besties.  She suffered a STROKE this past Sunday - at the ripe old age of 36. Yes - a STROKE. A stroke is bad enough - but the hits just keep on coming for this lady. She just learned that the stroke was caused by a heart defect she has apparently had for her entire life but was never detected. She is in the hospital, and is having complications that are baffling the doctors. So, she doesn't know when she is going to go home to her boy. AND she is STRESSING OUT about how she is going to make Christmas happen for this sweet little man who still believes in Santa! If she doesn't work - she doesn't get paid. And when Momma doesn't get paid - Santa and the elves have nothing to work with.
So, PC and I were discussing how to help her.And we realized that while we can't make her physically better, we certainly can take this HUGE worry off of her plate. We realized that we have SO many generous and wonderful and compassionate friends and family members that between ALL of us - we can fill Santa's sleigh for this little boy and maybe, just maybe, have enough left over to help Momma cover some of her medical costs.  
I sent off an email to some friends and family members yesterday and the outpouring of help has been terrific! We have a great start on donations - but we need a bit more if we are going to help Santa land on this little guy's roof next month. So I am asking my readers to help me out. If you are looking to donate to a worthy cause this holiday season, we are accepting donations in the form of checks and/or gift cards. Send your donations to:

Mary Ruff
1555 Foxborough Drive
Bel Air, MD 21015

We will be accepting donations whenever you can send them, but I am going to try to have everything together and ready to deliver to this Momma by December 22nd. So try to have donations to me by December 15 so that my elves and I can go shopping and get everything wrapped. (And by "elves" I mean PC. I am picturing him dressed up as Buddy the Elf and cracking myself up!)

I will let you all know how we do! Thanks in advance for helping us spread a little bit of Christmas cheer!

Monday, November 5, 2012

How have I NEVER seen this movie?

Hi Peeps! I hope all is well in your world. We had a relaxing weekend here in Busy Momma land. Really relaxing. I spent Saturday catching up on some of my favorite shows on the DVR. I am now all caught up on Revenge AND I finally finished watching this past season of Mad Men. Holy Cow! What a season! I can't wait to see what happens next year! So, when Saturday night rolled around, I was kind of tv-d out. I fully intended on catching up on some of my knitting. I am trying to finish a Raven's blanket for Jack. I am a bit of a slow knitter and I am REALLY behind. So, I started knitting, but all of a sudden, NBC started showing a movie I had never seen - but have heard my entire family RAVING about for YEARS. My brother has sung the praises of this particular movie, my husband counts it among his favorites and my father regularly quotes it. What movie is it, you ask???

I KNOW, right! Can you BELIEVE that I had NEVER seen "Rudy"? I should turn in my Irish Catholic card! Now, I might be just reveling in my post-Rudy glory- but after watching that movie - I think it should be REQUIRED viewing for EVERY middle and/or high school student on the PLANET! What a story. Oh my God. As my husband says: "If you can make it through the end of that movie without crying - you're not HUMAN!" Let's just say that someone in Busy Momma land will be finding that movie in his or her stocking come Christmas morning! 
So, thinking about how astonishing it was that I had made it (almost) 40 years without seeing this movie - I started thinking about all of my favorite movies. And there are quite a few, I must admit. But if I had to pick 10 - ok 12-what would my 12 all-time favorite movies be? (My kids ask me all of the time what my FAVORITE movie is - and I can't name just one!) So - I came up with a list - and I am sure that it will be controversial! But here are a few of my all-time favorite movies:

Shocked? In total agreement? What did I leave off the list? I had a hard time leaving "You've Got Mail" off of the list - I LOVE that movie! I watch it EVERY time it is on...which is actually pretty often. I must have owned a childrens' book store in a former life.  And I also left off the first "Sex and the City" movie as well - and I ADORE that movie.  There is something about the 12 - ok 14- that I picked that makes them all keepers.I can point to individual scenes or moments that just touch me. I LOVE it when Samantha feeds a very heart broken Carrie Bradshaw breakfast after Big leaves her at the altar. I cry like a baby every time. I love it when Melanie gives birth in Gone with the Wind and she is such a trooper. Who doesn't love that magical moment when Willy Wonka unlocks that mysterious door and lets you peek into that amazing room with the chocolate river and candy trees? Or when Dorothy opens her front door - and her world is forever changed! I love the wedding scene in Goodfellas when Lorraine Bracco's character slowly realizes just what she's gotten herself into as the envelopes keep coming and coming and coming. Do you remember the scene at the end of St. Elmo's fire when a very young Rob Lowe explains St. Elmo's fire to an equally young Demi Moore? Or when he asks Mare Winningham about her "scuba suit'?  When Audrey Hepburn (or her vocal double) sings "I Could have Danced all Night" I think I can too! And I can never watch "The Sound of Music" without thinking about my cousin Kathy singing Climb Every Mountain every time we watched it as little girls. (OMG - I don't even have that one on the list. This list is growing...)

I love the carousel scene in "Mary Poppins". I almost LOST it when we went to the Princess breakfast in Cinderella's Castle a few years ago and Mary Poppins walked in IN HER CAROUSEL DRESS!!! OMG! I cried like a baby!I love "The Breakfast Club" for so many reasons - but I think the best reason is that my mom let me rent it for my sleepover 13th birthday party! And I couldn't BELIEVE it! And because I wanted to be Molly Ringwald in that movie. I thought Clare was so sophisticated. (Even if Clare is a fat name!)   And who out there doesn't just LOVE it when Forest Gump and Jenny get married? And Lieutenant Dan shows up with his new legs? And who out there doesn't cry like a freaking baby when Forest is talking to Jenny and says: "You died on a Saturday morning. I had you placed right here under your tree. And I had that old house o' your Daddy's bulldozed to the ground." Again - if that doesn't make you cry - then  you are simply not human.  When little Harry Potter gets his first glimpse of Hogwarts castle from the boats - my heart skips a beat. And I still laugh every time Rob Reiner's mom says: "I'll have what SHE'S having" in "When Harry Met Sally".

There are so many great movies! I am SURE I left off some of your favorites. Write back and let me know what I left off of my list! What should Busy Momma put on her "must view" list????

Friday, November 2, 2012

No Laughing Matter....

Hello my Peeps! I hope this message finds you all dry and healthy and powered up. Sadly, I know that many of my friends and family members are without power again tonight - without heat, or hot water or a hot meal.  And my heart goes out to them.

We fared very well -thank God. We were without power for a little more than 24 hours. And we complained bitterly. Until the power came back and we were able to see the unbelievable images of devastation from the Jersey Shore, Lower Manhatten, Breezy Point  and most recently, Staten Island. Then we stopped our bitching about being without a Wii and having to charge the cell phones in the car and having to drive for a whopping 15 minutes to find hot Dunkin Doughnuts coffee.

People lost their homes, their memories,their sources of income and in some cases, their lives. I know that my posts are usually light and airy and, well, let's face it kind of useless... but I just can't find that voice today. I cannot believe that we are watching people wait on 4-hour lines to gas up their cars and generators. I cannot believe that they are pulling bodies out of homes in Staten Island. I cannot believe that Breezy point BURNED DOWN. Not a block or two - but basically the ENTIRE TOWN. It looks like a nuclear wasteland. I can't believe that the Mayor of New York thought for a second that it would be ok to continue with the preparations for the New York Marathon while residents are still without power and running water. 

I am struck with the same feelings I had after watching the footage of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. This deep, deep sadness and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness, uselessness and despair. There is nothing I can do to really help. I can't bring back power, I can't get gas to my friends and family members who are stranded. I offered to bring a generator to my brother but he was afraid to have me drive up there. What if I couldn't get home? So what can we all do?

Well, first of all - we can donate to the Red Cross. You can access their site at www.redcross.org or you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10.00 donation. Or, you can tune into NBC tonight at 8pm for a special benefit concert. All of the GREAT rockers will be performing - and I am PROUD to report that my great love - Mr. Jon BonJovi - was the FIRST Rocker to answer the call.

You will have the opportunity to donate during the concert.

We can also take a minute to thank the first responders. I cannot IMAGINE how tough it has got to be to be a cop or a firefighter in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut this week. I have a friend who is a Port Authority cop - and hats off to him. He is handling the grown-up temper tantrums at all of those gas stations we see on the news.Those guys are the REAL rock stars. The linemen who are out there in the utility buckets are working their tails off to restore power for everyone and get us all back to normal. That is a tough job - those guys are exposed to the elements and spend days and days on the job and no one ever thanks them. Firefighters are putting their lives on the line - walking through God-knows-what infested water to turn off power and gas mains. And let's not forget our political leaders who are putting politics aside to step up and HELP people. Corey Booker, Mayor of Newark, NJ, was already one of my favorite people ever - but when I saw him bringing diapers and OJ to Newark residents who were without power - well, I fell in love all over again. This guy - a RHODES SCHOLAR - is slogging through the water and debris and delivering water and diapers and HALLOWEEN CANDY to kids. He is the epitome of a public servant and I truly hope I can one day work on his presidential campaign. He's not asking any of us to do anything that he won't do himself. THAT is leadership in action kids.

And let's not forget New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Now, I know that he is a polarizing political figure. But right now I don't give a crap about his politics. I see him ACTING. That guy is doing everything humanly possible to help people. He's out there - on the streets, in homes, lending an ear and a shoulder. Again - a true PUBLIC SERVANT.

Let people say that Obama and Christie are having a "bro-mance" - who gives a crap. He is doing what he has to do - to help the people of his state. THAT is what he needs to be doing.
What else can we do? Pray. Send prayers and positive energy. As one who has been on the receiving end of prayers and well-wishes, I can tell you that it DOES make a difference. It DOES help. When you feel like all you can do is pray for someone - do it. I am praying for the families who lost loved ones. I am praying for those displaced from their homes. I am praying for people who lost memories. I am praying for people who are beginning the back breaking work of just cleaning up from this mess.
When we lost Aiden, I used to get REALLY mad at people who would say things like: "God doesn't send you more than you can handle". I felt like saying: "Oh really? Because until you said that, I was under the impression that THIS is more than I can effing handle. But thanks for setting me straight."

 Here's what I learned from our own awful times: God ROUTINELY sends us more than we can handle - on our own. We could NEVER have recovered from the devastation and loss we felt without the help of others. Our community gathered us up and said - let us help you. And we did. Because we had to. People made meals, sent flowers, goodies, cards, letters, called, bought us a star and sent prayers. And it all helped. So that is what I am going to do. I am going to try to pay forward some of that good energy that came our way. I will donate, I will send whatever supplies I can send to the area in the coming days and most importantly - I will pray. I want to be one of those people who now says Let me  take care of you. Because now I can, and I will.

Friday, October 26, 2012

FRANKENSTORM 2012!!!!!!!!!!!

Batten down the hatches my Peeps! The storm of the century MIGHT be upon us! Holy CRAP! By the looks of the grocery store parking lot - you would think that we were facing a zombie apocolypse instead of a Noreaster! The storm might hit the Mid-Atlantic at some point on Monday. It is FRIDAY and the stores are out of water and ice. Seriously people? Seriously?

I am all for being prepared. I am. I went to Target this morning and stocked up on toilet paper - in case we all get dysentary this weekend, we're covered. I got paper towels, tissues, paper plates and cups. I got 3 cases of diet soda, dog food, cat food and people food. I also got emergency brownie mix, cupcake mix and halloween Funfetti frosting. I also got a JUMBO bottle of Advil - because I know that if we lose power - my kids will drive me to headache central 15 minutes into the power outage. I also got coals for the grill. And wine - lots and lots of wine. PC will run and get cold cuts on Sunday - if there are any left! But some people are going NUTSO! Home Depot got a shipment of 50 generators last night. They were ALL gone by 8am. Sears also had generators...for $700.00. Say WHAT?????

Now I know that you are all super-duper smart and know to clean out your storm drains...whatever they are. And to clean out your gutters and redirect any water flow away from your home's foundation. However, Busy Momma has some unique storm preparededness tips for you all. These tips will help you ride out the storm in style.

First and foremost - have the proper supplies on hand. And by supplies, I mean wine and cheese. I suggest having a nice variety of wines - a nice Pinot Grigio is what I call a multi-purpose white. It goes with everything - from cheeses to pizza to hot dogs on the grill. It is your perfect storm white. If you are looking for a nice, storm-appropriate red - I would go with a nice Pinot Noir. I suggest the Sterling Vineyards Pinot Noir. It has a nice complexity but it is light enough to go with PB&J and grilled fare - like dogs and burgers. Now I am heading to Wegman's to get a nice cheese plate on Sunday. I suggest you all do the same. Pair your cheese plate with a nice baguette, some grapes and your wine and you have an electricty free meal my friends. Drink enough of the wine and you won't care if the power is out!

Pre-panning is the key to survival in these types of natural disasters. So - I plan on baking a pan of brownies and a batch of cupcakes on Sunday - before the storm hits. The brownies are for me. The cupcakes are for the kids. When the power goes out, and they discover that they cannot log on to Club Penguin or play Wii, they will need something to occupy their time. So - they can decorate cupcakes while PC and I drink more wine. I also plan on having some raw Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie dough on hand. This is also for me - and me alone. I find eating raw cookie dough to be calming to my nerves. I also do some of my best thinking while eating raw cookies and drinking cold milk. This will come in handy when I have to think about how to get the 12 inches of water out of my basement without my sump-pump -because it is broken and I forgot to call the guy to fix it. (In my defense - if we have no power - the stupid sump pump wouldn't work anyway - right?)

I also am a firm believer in the power of  positive thinking and making the BEST out of a BAD situation. So, while PC is bailing out the basement - I plan on using my time wisely. You know how they tell you to fill up the bathtubs with water? Well, I will. This way, I can use some of the water to soak my feet and give myself a wonderful home pedicure and foot treatment. I also plan on deep conditioning my hair, doing a home-facial and full-on hand treatment. So make sure that you have nail polish, polish remover, cotton, orange sticks, body butter, cuticle cream, a nice mask, a very hydrating moisturizer, and a deep conditioning treatment on hand. These, of course, are your basic beauty-storm supplies. If you still have these left from the last storm - then add the finishing touches, like cuticle oil, a parrafin machine, extra blocks of parrafin, heated mittens, scented eye pillows and a variety of body massagers and body oils and creams.

So - where does that leave us? I think we are all prepared. We have wine, cheese, essential food stuffs and basic at-home beauty supplies. OH - I forgot. books and candles. Now, depending on your situation - you want to make some very wise decisions over the next 24-hours when it comes to books and candles. These descisions will rely entirely on your husband and his behavior in the past few weeks:
 If your husband has been very, very good - I mean super-duper great...or if you've been a HUGE bitch for really no reason - then, here are my suggestions:
Candles: lots and lots and lots of small votive candles and larger lightly scented candles - all placed in the bedroom and around the bathtub.
Books: Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy, Bared to You  and other such smutty materials
Bonus Buy: Condoms...and lots of them.

If your husband has been a Jackhole lately, then I suggest a different approach:
Candles: heavily scented Yankee Candles - I suggest any one that has roses on the picture - placed right next to HIS side of the bed
Books: Anything by Naiomi Wolf or Gloria Steinam. Or The Vagina Monologues or the insert in the Tampex tampons box, the insert in the Monostat box or pages you've printed off of the internet about vasectomies or circumcision practices in the Middle Ages. Or the book: Re-Circumcision for Dummies. Any of those reading selections should do the trick.

In this case - you probably won't need the condoms -unless you're doing some sort of CRAZY arts and crafts project. (And if you are - send photos!) But you probably WILL need an extra roll of cookie dough to keep you warm when the power goes out.
So - that's it peeps. I hope we all survive this FRANKENSTORM! See you guys on the other end! I'm sure you will all be much more relaxed, your hair will be shiny and bouncy and your toes will look terrific!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Anybody Want a Dog?

Hi Peeps! This is going to be a quick one - busy night at Busy Momma's house. PC is away - again. He was away for work last week. THIS week he is away on pleasure. He was invited to play in the Roy Hobbs Worlds Series. For Baseball - for old guys. And he is SO excited! So - Busy Momma and Crew sent him packing - off to Fort Meyers Florida to play his heart out and HOPEFULLY come back in one piece. I don't care how the team does - I just want him back injury free. (That being said - he won his first game today and pitched the last 2 innings.)

So, I've been single parenting all last week and now all this week. And the kids have been pretty good. "Pretty" being the key word in that sentence. They are actually on my every last nerve today. They are in this fighting cycle - meaning, all they do is fight. And they do things to purposely set one another off - and I've had it. And they know it. So it is uncharacteristically QUIET here tonight as Busy Momma blew her top.But the kids aren't what is driving me absolutely STARK RAVING mad. As bad as the fighting has become - I can rationalize with them, I can talk to them, and I can pretty much control them. (And by "rationalize" and "talk" - I really mean yell and scream.) And they will eventually pay attention and stop the awful behavior - because I have banished them to their rooms. Unfortunately, there is ONE creature living on Foxborough Drive that CANNOT be rationalized with, that CANNOT be spoken to and yelling and screaming at him only adds to the Mayhem. Who is this awfuly behaved boy, you ask??????

Jake - or as we like to call him - DESTRUCTO-Dog! This dog is driving me CRAZY! I love him to death - don't get me wrong. But he is driving me out of my freaking mind! All he does is create mayhem. He wants EVERYTHING in his mouth. Remote controls, Wii remotes, pencils, pens, highlighters, crayons, telephones, glasses, sunglasses - you name it. He chews it. So far today he has eaten: at least 4 crayons, 3 pencils, a pen, a nice number of legos, and chewed on the Fios remote, the house phone, the Wii remote and God knows what else. It's become a little joke - if you can't find something - look in Jake's belly. It's probably there.

Now, I know what you're thinking - the dog is bored. He needs more exercise. OK - so, we take him out, the kids play with him until THEY are exhausted. We have TONS of Kong toys - the toys that you hide treats in and he has to work to get them out. We have a different toy for ever day of the week. We give him stuffed femur bones that he has to dig and get the yummies out of - you name the toy -he has it.He has toys to satisfy his urge to chew. He has toys that engage his mind. He has toys that engage his senses - he just wants to chew our stuff!

He is just SO naughty these days - I can't take it. I just can't. I wonder how much a plane ticket to the Roy Hobbs World Series is? Perhaps the Bel Air Red Sox need a team mascot?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I am the Worst Scout Mom Ever

Hi Peeps! How is everybody?  Fall is FINALLY here, and Busy Momma and her crew are looking forward to our annual trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend. As much as I love this time of year - the fall colors, the trips to the farm, Halloween and Thanksgiving...it is SUCH a busy time - isn't it? It seems like we are busy every night of the week and every day of the weekend. Between fall festivals, soccer, piano, Lego club, scouts, fall baseball...well the list goes on and on...we are swamped! And I feel like such a wuss for complaining - because PC really handles all of the sports stuff. He is the soccer coach and he is the one playing fall baseball. He also pretty much handles scouting - at least the outdoorsey stuff, like camping. My work schedule keeps me pretty busy in the fall. I have a lot of after school meetings and dinners that keep me from doing too much of the after school running around. So I really don't do all that much running around. I do more coordinating, scheduling, planning and "bossing" from the car and hotels and restaurants. And somehow - I still feel like this

I can barely keep it all straight. I am, quite literally, the WORST boy scout mom on the planet. Really - I do not jest. Girl Scouts were easy, easy. They earn a patch, you iron it on - BAM! You are the bomb.They are a Daisy for a year, a Brownie for a few years then a Junior and so on. Boy Scouts is a totally different animal. First of all - I know that we are some sort of animal scout. We are not officially a "BOY SCOUT" yet - but I'm not 100% sure of what animal we are. I know we are not a Tiger. That was year 1. I think we are a Wolf? Or a Bear? I know that we are definitely some sort of creature that might eat me if I go camping. Maybe we are a rabid ferrett? OK - probably not a ferrett. But God only knows at this point. And the patches - OMG. There are patches that go on the shirt. Then there are patches that DON'T go on the shirt. Then there are special patches that either I didn't buy, or we didn't earn or I forgot all about that he maybe should have, but doesn't. I noticed that he is missing a few patches from his uniform shirt tonight at the meeting. He was also missing his UNIFORM at the meeting because he convinced me that he didn't need to wear it to THIS meetings.

Then there are arrow points. I don't know what the hell they are - but he has a few and I don't know how he got them or what to do with them and I know that I don't have them all. And let's not even discuss the pins. I know that he earned them - but again - don't have the foggiest of what to do with them.
The belt loops are pretty easy to manage - you put them on a belt. Voila. Only we have the wrong belt. I don't think our belt is supposed to have a cute little tiger face on it. I think at this point it should have this on the buckle:

So I even have the wrong belt. I swear - it is amazing that we are not kicked out of this troop - I mean den or pack or coven. Not troop. I am ALWAYS behind the 8 ball with this scouting thing. We had a meeting tonight, and the AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL and PATIENT leaders who, for some reason, doesn't yet hate my guts for asking 8 million questions and forgetting to read and reply to emails, told us exactly what to bring. And I managed to remember everything. At the last minute, on the way out the door. We were supposed to bring pictures of the boys in uniform. Well, I, of course, didn't even have any recent pictures UPLOADED - so I printed out 4 pictures from an event 2 years ago! Then, she asked us to bring scrapbooking supplies. Now this is the real shame of the evening - I brought a tape runner - that I think was EMPTY and rusty scissors. RUSTY scissors - seriously. And what is even MORE shameful? I used to be a consultant for a scrapbooking company and I have TONS of scrapbooking crap in the house. Just not "scouty" scrapbooking stuff. The other moms all brought stickers and letters and boy-scout appropriate stuff. Like camping stickers that had tents and words like "The Great Outdoors" on them.I bought a sharp rusty implement of death - well, maybe not death - but tetanus. Definitely tetanus. And an empty tape runner. Shameful.

And Peeps - this is my BEST year EVER with scouts. Isn't that awful? I mean - what I just described is what I consider "on top of it". Jack is pretty disgusted with me I think. When I asked him if the other moms went camping - he looked at me like I had 10 heads and said - "Um - yeah. of COURSE they did!" and when I asked how everyone liked his brownie bites that he brought as his "camping dessert" he said: "Oh my GOD - we had this apple crisp that someone's mom MADE - and it was AWESOME!" I said "Well that's great! Did anyone eat my brownie bites?" and he said "I don't know I guess so. If not they can just go to Safeway and pick some up like you did."

I need to step up my game. But I don't know how. It's like I have a boy scout centric learning disability. I can't figure it out, I can't keep it all straight and for the life of me - I can't even remember what kind of animal he is supposed to be - never mind his den numbers and pack numbers. And that is AWFUL because they are ON HIS SHIRT! I think. Oh God - I hope I have them on his shirt...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Home, Home on the Range....

Good morning my Peeps! The Busy Momma crew is up nice and early this morning because the boys are getting ready to go camping with the Boy Scouts tonight. So PC is mowing the lawn and pulling out all of the camping gear and packing up.

Spitting out your coffee are you? SHOCKED the Busy Momma even HAS camping gear? Well, I certainly do. And by "I" , I mean PC does. I have absolutely nothing to do with it. You see, I will do anything, ANYTHING for my kids. I would gladly take a bullet for either one of them. I will sit at a sporting event in makeup melting conditions. I will even for forgo a much needed dye job or pedicure if need be. But the one thing I will not do - I will NEVER do...is camp out of doors in a tent.

Look at that picture. What does it make you think of? Now some of you might say: "camp fires" or "s'mores" or "great times". You know what it makes me think of?

Seriously - where are the people in this campground? INSIDE OF THIS BEAR - THAT'S Where!

Come on Peeps! The great outdoors are for...well, out-doorsey creatures. Like bears and mountain lions and rattle snakes. They don't WANT us just tramping into their homes and just pitching a tent in THEIR living rooms and building fires and cooking food in the middle of their bedrooms! I mean, imagine if a bear walked into YOUR home, built a fire in the middle of the living room and decided to put a human hand on a stick, roast it over an open flame and sandwich it between 2 graham crackers and a Hershey Bar? You'd be pretty pissed, right? I argue that human beings have NO BUSINESS camping out of doors. We belong inside, in beds, in a structure that has a floor. THINK about the lengths we take on a daily basis to protect ourselves from bugs. We have the perimeters of our homes inspected for them, we have or lawns and our foundations sprayed with pesticides, we set up bug zappers and light citronella candles to keep them away from us when we are partying out-of-doors. Yet, when we go camping - we invite them to crawl into our ears and other openings by SLEEPING IN THEIR BEDS with them! That's right - the GROUND is the BED of the BUG!

I don't understand what is WRONG inside the minds of you campers.  And I take SERIOUS offense with the Boy Scouts. I mean the Boy Scouts of America have been encouraging our children to become hardened criminals for YEARS now! That's right - Home Invaders of all of the out-doorsey creatures and bugs. And this crime spree has GOT to stop. I am making it MY mission to STOP the Boy Scouts of America from corrupting any more of our youth with this ridiculous notion of camping outdoors. With this blog post, I am launching my campaign: End the Cycle: Stop the Insanity 2012.:No More Home Invasions

And like any great reformer - I have a plan,. I have an alternative to this crazy, outdated Boy Scout approach to camping. Just take a look at the images I present and try and tell me that MY method is not superior to this:

So here is my alternative plan:

Now - this is a much more creature-friendly camp ground. Note the RAISED hardwood floor. Notice the lighting, the king-sized bed that is RAISED off of the floor and the rustic looking throw-rugs. This still gives the camper the best of the outdoors along with the safety and security of a bug-free sleeping zone.
Now, my other problem with camping in the wild is the lack of plumbing. I mean how does one wash the stink of the outdoors off? Well - voila...my solution. A beautiful pink claw-footed tub filled with hot, rose-scented waters by handsome men whenever a weary camper needs a soak.
I mean really - who would want to cook weiners over a smokey fire pit when you could have waitress service and eat off of fine china? I say it again my Peeps: Boy Scouts of America! STOP THE INSANITY!

So, as I send my boys off this evening, know that it is with a heavy heart. They do not agree with me. They claim that they would never agree to ANY of my plans and that they would never bathe while camping. They spew nonsense about communing with nature and how it is really "fun" to get dirty and how there are no bears or moutain lions on the St. Claire's farm where they have been invited to camp. Just fainting goats - whatever those are. PC thinks that I might need therapy to get over my "irrational" fear of camping outside. I argue that I certainly do not need therapy. Camping is DANGEROUS. People get EATEN by bears while camping. People who say things like: "There ARE no bears in this part of Maryland". I mean really - do you think that the people who DO get eaten by bears say things like: "Well, sure there are people eating bears out here! But going to sleep and hoping that they don't eat us is all part of the fun!" Do you think this guy said that?