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.

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.