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!