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.

Friday, February 27, 2015

I Need a SERIOUS Pin-ter-vention!

Ahhh - Pinterest. It's my new favorite website, my new favorite thing, my new favorite obsession. And by obsession - I mean, total, crazy, insane, time-consuming, mind-numbing addiction.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Pinterest is a website that allows you to "pin" various images that appeal to you on a virtual bulletin board. Each image usually links to a blog post or a recipe or a retail site. Now, don't get me wrong - PINTEREST is a great tool. There are great recipes and other types of information that is really useful on the site. We have tried many of the recipes and for the most part, they've all been great. There is information on every and anything you'd ever want on Pinterest - diet and excercise tips, pet health and wellness tips, funny quotes, funny pictures, home decorating suggestions and advice, fashion advice, makeup and hair pages,organizing advice, parenting advice, bookclub suggestions, educational suggestions, teaching tools....you name it - it's there. And that's the problem....there is SO much available to look at, you will never get bored. And there is always something new to see, explore and investigate. 

My addiction started out innocently enough. I initially visited the site to check out some educational ideas. I used many of the ideas I saw with teachers I was working with. So I started by creating a board called: 
And then I noticed that there were some great recipes on this site, so I created a few more boards:
Nothing crazy - right? 
But then, I started exploring and I found all sorts of images and information. I found pictures of awesome, blinged out, customized soccer and baseball mom tee shirts! So I created a few new boards:
And then, I started finding all of these beautiful pictures of Jacquie Kennedy - well, I couldn't just let them disappear into the ether.. so...
I know..I know. This is where it started to get serious - the addiction started to gain control. 
I created a board for my beach house...you know - the one I don't have.
Then, I realized that a beach house board was ridiculous since I don't have a beach house. So, I created another board to remedy the issue:
Yep - this is when I admitted that I had a problem. Because that's the first step in recovery - right?
I don't even know what prompted me to create a "Smarticles" board. Or a "Pretty Little Things" board that is entirely made up of images of peonies. Pink peonies. That's it. Pink Peonies. No shit.
I have boards that have crafty projects and home projects that I really want to get around to. At the rate I am pinning these pottery, wreath, painting, home redecorating, knitting, sewing and yard projects, I will have enough to keep me busy until 2099. Seriously. 

I have at least 4 boards dedicated to "Healthy Me", "Exercise", "-60 Motivation" and "Wellness". I have a board dedicated to Bella, gifts for Bella, Bella's birthday parties, even - and I am ashamed to admit this - ideas for Bella's hair. I have an entire board dedicated to nail art. I have another one devoted to cakes! And I don't even BAKE CAKES! 

I need a serious intervention. I need Dr. Phil! I need to hear his concerns and admit that I have a problem. Then, I need Dr. Phil to tell me that he is willing to help me if I am willing to get help. I need him to send me to a rehab center somewhere remote - somewhere with no wifi signal, no internet. I need to detox. Maybe a luxury resort in the woods, or a beachfront mansion where I can reconnect with nature. I need to get back in touch with the simple things in life. I need to have huge blocks of time WITHOUT technology. I need hours and hours and hours with unlimited crafting supplies so that I can create something REAL. What will I create, you ask? GREAT question, let me check a few of my Pinterest boards....

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Notecards and Outlines and Papers Oh My! (Oh - and Throw a Board Game in There for Shits and Giggles!)

Hi my Peeps! Has everyone dug themselves out yet? I spent HOURS shoveling us out this morning. What was supposed to be a 3 incher dumped about 8 inches on us. Normally, PC handles these sorts of clean-ups...but he is sick...AGAIN! So, it was up to me and my 2 helpers. As much as I hate the idea of my little babies growing up and leaving the nest - having children who are of an age to help me do things like shovel and clean is kind of nice!Although I did feel very bad asking them to help me today.

They both have massive projects due tomorrow. Epic projects that they have been working on for weeks. Bella is working on an English project. She has to craft a speech that will convince her teacher and English class that the death penalty should be outlawed. The process of writing the speech has to begin with the kids creating 50 electronic note cards with facts that will support their case and the proper citations for each fact. She has been working on this for about 2 weeks and is FINALLY, as I type, printing them all out. She is going to take a brief break for dinner and red-carpet fashion critiquing, and she will be right back on the computer, putting the finishing touches on a Science project that somehow also involves notecards and the different types of energy.

Jack also has a Language Arts project due tomorrow. And if you want to talk about RIDICULOUS projects - well, come sit by me. I have a personal educational pet peeve - and it is about ridiculously inappropriate school projects. This particular project takes the cake. The teacher had the kids read a novel - a really good one - The Westing Game - and is asking them to do a project with it. Awesome - I love good projects. I love it when a teacher allows a child to express their understanding in a unique manner. I love it when a teacher gives kids choices. Power point presentations, timelines, sculptures, flipbooks,  board games, movies, songs are all GREAT ways for kids to express their understandings as well as their personalities and strengths. The problem is when the teacher wants them to do a power point AND create a board game AND compose an original song AND write a bird watching book...as 1 project worth 100 points. Note I didn't say "or" anywhere in there. My boy created a 25 slide power point presentation, a board game complete with game pieces, and 2 sets of cards, an obituary for one of the characters AND a movie pitch for the book.

So - yeah. We've had no life for the past 2 weeks. Thank GOD we had some snow days or we would have been in big, big trouble. My boy choose my absolute LEAST favorite project - the board game as one of his activities. I would rather help him write a paper or sculpt one of the main characters out of butter or hire a Mime to act out the book than make a freaking game. I have NO creative mo-jo when it comes to board games. They make me panic and sweat. I can't draw a game board. I can't come up with original rules or clever game pieces. Yet, somehow the game is done. (Thanks to PC)

Now I do like to pride myself on having everything done on time - early in fact. But that isn't happening with these bad boys. And I blame it entirely on the snow. And PC's sinus infection. Because my people are STILL working on the finishing touches. And it is stressing us ALL out. PC is trying to get to bed - like that's going to happen anytime soon. Jack is REFUSING to compose an original song about the Westing Game. I have provided all sorts of helpful suggestions. SO far, this is his song of choice:
(Sing to the tune of "She'll be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes")

Oh I hate this stupid stupid book I do!
Oh I hate this stupid stupid book I do!
Oh it has too many characters
and I don't care about any of them
Oh I hate this stupid stupid book I do! 

Ahhh - my own little Kanye. So, I am thinking we need to come up with a late night bird watching book or I need to get cracking on my Sam Westing butter sculpture. But wait - I can't. Because I have a hysterical 13-year old girl crying about the thousands of people sitting on death row "just waiting to die"!!! I am now questioning the wisdom of making "The Death Penalty" one of the topics for the 8th grade speech project. I mean, knowing what we know about the melodramatic nature of 13-year old gals, couldn't we have stuck to less emotional topics? I mean, can't the objective of the lesson be met with a less hysteria-inducing topic? Like vanilla or chocolate? McSteamy or McDreamy? Coke or Pepsi? Neil Patrick Harris or Ellen DeGeneres? Birdman or Boyhood?

So, as you sit back and enjoy watching the Oscars - think of me. Picture Jack, singing his "original" song. Picture Bella, working on her types of energy notecards, smearing the ink with the tears she is crying over all of the "poor, poor people on death row....sitting and waiting to die......". Picture PC, coughing, blowing his nose, trying to block the singing and crying out while yelling "KNOCK IT OFF!" at the singer and telling the crier that the people she's crying about "won't be crying for you tomorrow when those Science notecards aren't ready!!!!"

And friends, picture me. Guzzling wine right out of the bottle at this point. Guzzling wine, massaging my butter, wondering if it will soften up in time for me to sculpt it, trying to come up with rhyming words for "Westing Game" and "Faked his own death" and "Turtle Wexler". (In case the butter sculpture doesn't work out and we have to go back to the original song.) All while contemplating the fact that in this country of ours, one can be put to death by lethal injection, firing squad, gas chamber and hanging. And if Jack keeps singing, Bella keeps crying, and PC continues to yell at them both - I think I'll go for the firing squad.....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Open Letter to Nationwide Insurance

Warning: This letter is not written in usual Busy Momma style. It is serious and not funny and gruesomely honest and real. If you don't need a visit to the dark and twisty forest that lives inside of Busy Momma -stop right here. 

To: The Marketing Team at Nationwide Insurance
From: A mom who represents thousands of potential customers

Re: Superbowl Commercial

I am writing in response to your multi-million dollar Superbowl ad. I realize that you are receiving a barrage of letters from parents who have lost children as well as parents who might not have lost children but were equally horrified, confused and offended by your ad.

I lost my son, Aiden Brian, on January 1st, 2011. He was our surprise baby - our gift from God. He was actually one of a twin, but I lost his twin very early on in my pregnancy. Aiden was a very active boy while in utero. I would often say that he was destined to be a professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars - he was just so active in the womb. It did feel like he was tap dancing - especially at night. His brother and sister would read to him every night. They would read "The Cat in the Hat" and "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Cars and Trucks and Things that Go!" and all of their other favorites. They would read into my belly button so that he could hear them! My son told me that he was reading into my "pothole" so that "Baby Aiden can hear the story." My husband and I would often say that Aiden wasn't "our" baby - he was "their" baby. When we told them that I was pregnant - they both burst into happy tears. When we found out that "sweet pea" was a boy - we filled the house with blue and white balloons so that they found out as soon as they walked in the door from school.

My pregnancy was picture perfect after we got over the initial miscarriage of his twin. I wasn't nearly as nauseous as I was with the other 2. I felt great, I worked and traveled and all was well. I did everything right. I took my vitamins, I drank my water, I made sure that I was taking in enough folic acid, vitamin C, iron, calcium, vitamin e. I cut out the sashimi, the soft cheeses, my wine, I exercised and got plenty of rest. I was your model pregnant lady. I thought that I was insuring a healthy, happy baby.

But here's the thing I learned; you CAN'T insure health or happiness. Aiden died in utero at 24 weeks. I was 6 months along and he just died. One minute he was there and the next - poof - he was gone. I felt his spirit leave my body. I was the one who told the doctor that he was gone. I was the one who warned the tech at the sonogram that she would not hear a heartbeat - and that it was ok. I actually told her not to feel bad when she told me - because I already knew. I didn't want her to feel bad - especially on a holiday.

See, that was how we learned that there is NO insurance that can be purchased that will insure your child's life. If there was - we would have bought the Cadillac version of the policy. Trust me. We'd have been your best customer.

This is why your Superbowl ad so disturbed me. I'm being honest - I was only watching for the commercials and the snacks. The other commercials were GREAT - best I've seen in a few years. Some of them were real tear-jerkers...but in a good way. Your commercial was NOT a tear- jerker. It reminded me of the scare tactics employed by Dick Cheney and company after 9/11. It made me ANGRY. See - here's the thing: you decided to capitalize on the worst thing that any human being can go through. Oh, I know, I know, your intention was to "start a conversation".

OK - so let's converse.
Me: Oh, you want to discuss what happens when a child dies? Ok - well for the good of the order, I can give you a bit of insight. No one knows what to do with you or what to say. Oh, wait, I take that back. Did you know that there are nurses who actually go to school to help patients and parents of patients who die? Did you know that there are certificates that a nurse can get to become a specialist in neo-natal death? Sound gruesome, right? But let me tell you - they are angels. They know, for example, that you need to contact a funeral home - and they aren't afraid to tell you. They tell you exactly what is about to happen - without flinching and without sounding like an emotionless robot. They remind you that you have to look at your dead child, that you will want to take pictures. They will send you home with a little box that has everything your baby wore, anything that touched him. They will take his footprints and give them to you. They will fill out all of the paperwork for his death certificate. They will make sure that you are so drugged up that you don't "feel" a thing as you deliver him. They will sit with you as you cry and cry and cry until you think you will die. And when you don't die, they talk to you about grief counseling and grieving and how important it is. When it's time to go home - they sneak you out, like you're a celebrity, a back door. Why, you ask? Well - so that you don't have to go through the labor and delivery waiting room, silly! I mean who wants to see an obviously not-pregnant mommy leaving labor and delivery without a baby in her arms and "It's a BOY!" balloons attached to her wheelchair. That's a downer.

Have you had enough "conversation"? Seriously? But I haven't even told you about what it feels like to have your milk come in and NO baby to feed it to. Or what it is like to have to tell your 6 and 9 year-old that their beloved baby brother has died.  Or what it is like to watch your Dad try to convince you that he's not crying as you tell them. Not to mention what it is like to bury your child. That can be another whole letter. The one thing I will tell you is that the cemetery workers are super smart. They make sure that the hole is too narrow for the mommy to jump into with the casket. I mean that hole is really narrow. I couldn't fit in with my coat on - forget fitting in there with the casket.

Oh - ok. You've had enough. Sorry - as you know by now - dead kids are a real downer. So here is my question: which of your policies "prevents" this type of thing from happening to us again? I visited your website, but I couldn't find it. I must be clicking on the wrong link.

What? What's that? You don't have a policy to protect my living babies from "never growing up"?

I'm confused. So what does your policy do?

What? Seriously?

Pay funeral expenses? Wait a minute....that's not what your ad implied....

I guess Nationwide is NOT on my side.