Monday, July 27, 2009

M.I.A.


What a crazy few weeks it's been! Weekends have definitely been going by too fast. My work life has been ridiculous! We're getting ready to go into "budget" season there which lasts until the end of October and means my life as I barely know it is about to get crazier than it already is. My nights will get longer, my kids will get grumpier and I will get even more tired. It's no secret that I hate working late, so I started early this year to avoid the inevitable pitfalls associated with the "season." Unfortunately, this year has been no acception to the last 10 years and the crazy has begun.

Something fun going on at our house is that my husband is building my kids a tree house. The "Addition," as we affectionately refer to it, is very cool. There isn't anyone I know who didn't grow up wanting our own clubhouse - my husband and I included. We figured we live out in suburbia and have a yard for our kids. I commute for a reason. Why not make it a place where not only they want to be, but where their friends want to be.

We put the monster structure in a dead corner of the yard and two pine trees shade it from the blazing sun. So far there is a deck and the house has a roof and some walls. If the walls never went up my kids would still be loving it. My son has taken to jumping off the 4 foot high structure, while my daughter has taken to laying under the trees writing songs. I love watching them play outside. There is sharing and laughter and patience when the two of them can find a common goal.

Lately, they have refused to like each other. There is a lot of tattling and crying and don't even get me started on the sassy mouths I never thought would be on my kids. We're working fiercely on the latter, but it's the meanness that is really hard for me to see. He yearns for her acceptance and she for the "mama hen" role. You'd think that these two personalities would compliment each other, but they just don't. I remember when they were both little and all my daughter wanted to do was love and hold her little baby brother. I remind them of this frequently in hopes that some distant recollection of this will veer them onto a path of hugs and love. I can hope, right?

I hope this tree house provides hours of enjoyment and avenues for peace. I am looking forward to my kids growing up someday, but a greater part of me hopes that they stay small, forever playing in the little house in the backyard.




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kid Goggles


Gone are the days of "Beer Goggles" to grant you a funny. These days I'm lucky enough to put on some "Kid Goggles" to keep things in perspective. Kids say the funniest things. We all know this and we've all been a victim of it. For any of you that remember, Bill Cosby made a great show out of it called "Kids say the Darndest Things" (man I wish I thought of that show first!). Here's my funny kid saying the darndest thing:

Kid: Mommy, why do you have gray hair?

Me: I don't know, because I just do. It happens to everyone.

Kid: Daddy doesn't have any. Why are you so old?

Me: Daddy has some and he's older than me. You just can't see his because his hair is blond and mine is brown.

Kid: I think it's because you're so old.

Me: I'm not that old.

Kid: How old were you when you got your first one?

Me: I was 21.

Kid: (wide eyed) Wow, that is young. How did that happen?!

Me: I'm not sure, it just did.

Kid: Long pause... Mommy, did you get run over by a car?

Me: Speechless.....No?

I burst into laughter after this. How could I be mad? I did look pretty bad that morning and I kind of felt like I'd been run over by a car. I'm taking this getting healthy thing seriously. I haven't really screwed up or given up in a week. As sad as it is, this is an accomplishment for me. I've been running again and I started back on the pushups. It wasn't pretty, I'm trying here.

Loving my family helps me to embrace my life for all that it is and all that it isn't. Sure, it's not perfect, but it is mine.



Friday, July 17, 2009

On the Lighter Side...

Yesterday was a little crazy, so today I thought I'd post something a little lighter.

We have rules in our house, just like everyone else does. No hitting, No screaming, No teasing - your typical household set. One of our rules is not to say mean words, like "stupid" or other possibly offensive language like "Oh, God" (for those who are offended by taking the Lord's name in vain). Nothing solicits a good head jerk from the frozen food section at the grocery like a little kid yelling, "Oh, My God." It just sounds wrong; however, "Oh, Gosh" is perfectly acceptable at our house.

Well, like most parents I break my own rules on occasion, but by accident. I dropped something yesterday and under my breath said, "Oh, God." If my kids hear nothing else in the world, they will for sure hear when I slip on the "God" or "stupid" rule. From another room across the house my daughter yelled "Mommy's making fun of God!!!!" Making fun of God? I don't know where she got it, but it was funny and I really needed the laugh. "Sorry" was all I could manage to say...kids are so funny. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Playing Hookie


You may have been able to tell from the sporadic posting lately that I have been trying to take time off this summer to spend with my kids. No big blocks of time, just a day here or a day there. I have to say again, I LOVE SUMMER time with the kids. There's so much of "them" that I get to see. The older they get, the more their little personalities begin to chisel themselves out.

My daughter had a musical play yesterday for summer school, so I took a half day off so I could cheer for her. She did great, of course. Her little toothless grin is priceless. Once I kissed everyone goodbye, I was off to work. When I was almost there, I realized that I forgot my breast pump and would have to turn around and drive all the way back home. I couldn't bare to drive an hour home only to come all the way back and do it again a few hours later. I called my boss and explained what happened and asked to take a vacation day. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like explaining your breast pump fiasco to your male boss. Thankfully, I was off the hook for the day.

My kids have been in swim lessons all summer. At the beginning of summer they would not even put their faces in the water, but now they were swimming under water and holding their breath. Since the lessons are during the day I have never gotten to be present for one of these. But, yesterday I got to go. I was lucky enough to see my son do his "torpedo" swim for the first time and I was excited as he was. I can't believe how much I've already missed this summer.

The Nanny was still on because I had expected to work all day and she was already getting paid. The extra set of hands would be nice at the pool. I thought we'd spend the rest of the day together so I could get a feel for how the kids are doing with her. The good news is the kids are doing great with her. The bad news is that since I interrupted their daily routine I was the outsider in my kids' life that day. You kind of know your kids will bond with their daily caregiver - gosh, you HOPE that they will, but when you actually see it right there in front of you, it takes everything in your body to not burst into tears. The Nanny did her best to include me, but I didn't want to be included in their lives, I wanted to be included in MY life.

I couldn't sleep last night. I cried all the way to work this morning. I cried at my desk. I cried when I saw my baby's face pop up on my phone. I am crying now.

Regret is a terrible thing. My biggest regret will not be that I didn't go after a bigger career or that I didn't have a bigger house or that I never learned to surf. It is knowing in this very moment that I did not spend more time with my children before they went to school. And, there is nothing I can do about it. Stupid economy. I think I read somewhere that 73% of women have to leave the home to go to work. I know I am not alone, but that's of no great consolation to me. I don't know how to fix this. I don't know how to get to the place I want to be so badly. Each day I make the long drive to work it feels like the band-aid being ripped off all over again. I keep hearing people say "Don't worry, it'll get easier." Uhhh....when?! Someone PLEASE freaking tell me!

Thank God for my little boy and his sweetness. I asked him last night if he thought the Nanny loved him. I was hoping he would say yes so that I could be comforted in knowing my kids were getting the best thing they could besides me. He hesitated for a moment, then said "Yes," then another pause "but Mommy" he said, "You love me more." I was thrilled, "Why is that" I asked. "Because you will love me forever." Never in my life have I heard more true words. "Yes, honey, I will love you forever no matter what."



Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Monday...


Today is one of those days where every task feels painful and monotonous. Do I really need a report to track someone else's job in another department?!? Apparently I do and I can't tell you how excited I am to add this to my monthly round of "to-do's." I'm pretty sure I've eliminated at least once tree species in the volume of paper used to generate these stupid reports that I'm pretty sure no one reads. The saving grace to all of this is that I had a long weekend (filled with work and cleaning, but I was home in shorts nonetheless). I took Friday off to run my kids to all their doctor's appointments. I know someone else is capable of taking them, but I like to be there if I can.

My son saw an allergist to find a way to work on all his food and environmental allergies. My little man endured a massive scratch test on his back to see if he's made any progress and to detect any other allergies we weren't aware of. He was a rock star and was super disciplined in not itching the heck out of his back. I love our pediatrician, but I found there really is a difference when you see a specialist. They offer a great many more options or suggestions on how to approach the food allergy dilemma.

Several hours later, my daughter was next. She was so proud she was 40 pounds! I don't know the last time I was as excited to get on the scale. I will say, seeing what 40 pounds looks like right in front of you is a moment of clarity. It's hard for me to believe that I currently have a 6 year old stuck to my ass holding me down. No wonder I'm tired everyday!

I ate healthy today. I'll try and show the treadmill who's boss tonight. Baby steps...



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Reunion

The morning I made my final decision about going to my high school reunion, a friend called me on my way to work to see what the verdict was. "Come on" she said "just do it, you'll regret not going - and you have a hot husband to show off." This almost swayed my decision. She's right my husband is hot, but right now, I am sooooo not. I still have a baby tire around my waist and double digit pant sizes are all that are fitting.

I had struggled with this decision for the last few weeks , as many of you read in an earlier post. High school for me was about finding the next big party, making the best mixed tapes and cutting class to head to the beach. I wasn't exactly an academic (I saved this part of my life for college). I always pictured going to this reunion feeling good about myself, and I just didn't.

I did not go to a big high school and a lot of people from high school have remained friends. It's not like anyone could just slip through the cracks and not be remembered, especially for who they were. Everyone knows everyone and parents who still live locally have retained their bragging rights as to how well their kids' lives have turned out. Nothing has changed in the last 15 years except that the population has grown.

My dad still lives in the town I grew up in and gives me periodic updates on how good or how bad he's heard someone I went to school with is doing. I get random tidbits like "I ran into Michelle's mom today at the grocery store. Yeah, I hear she talked to Amber's mom and she's not doing well- got sucked into drugs...so terrible, but she says Michelle is thriving at her job and makes a lot of money and still lives in town." Of course Michelle is doing great. Was her mom gonna throw her under the bus? Who knows what he's adding to the conversation about me (I'm sure it's all good - fingers crossed!).

All I know is that I don't want to be part of these conversations, so like a big pansy I decided to forgo attending my 15 year high school reunion. I can't bare to be the fat girl, which in theory goes against my fundamental values of self worth, but it's the honest truth. Our class already snickers about one high school cheerleader who put on a lot of weight. I'm sure she's a nice person, but that's not what people are talking about. I shouldn't care what they think about me, but for some reason I still do. I've also come to realize that practicing what you preach sucks. We should all receive the right to briefly grovel in our own pity party before climbing out to get back on the wagon of our lives.

I did promise myself that I would attend a 20 year reunion, saddlebags or not. I've gotten new running shoes and I've started tracking my diet. Not going has actually turned into a bigger motivation to do better than if I did go. Here's to hoping for the best! If I'm still talking about losing weight in 5 years, I don't know what I'll do with myself.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Aftermath of the 4th

Whenever you don't see me posting regularly it's because something had to give and it's usually this. It's been a crazy week with work and the 4th of July holiday to plan for. Now that I've been home for an extra day and the kids' schedules have been all about fun for them, coming back to reality is a real kicker for all of us.

That first day back to the norm is always a real treat for everyone. My kids are whiny, the baby is needier and I feel even more tired than the Thursday before the holiday started. We tackled the County Fair, a parade, a BBQ and the watching of fire works. It was busy, but is was so goooood. My only goal for myself this past weekend was to get myself a new pair of flip-flops. My current stash of them can be described by year - none of which are 2009. Did this happen? Of course not - but, I did go to Costco, Target, the gas station and the pet store, so stuff at least got done. Oh, and did I mention we have new pets? We are the lucky owners of two brown gold fish, Lilly and Flippy. Don't even get me started on how we ended up with these.

My Monday back to work was plagued by procrastination. I never have time anymore to watch the news and with little kids running around, I don't know that I want them seeing some of the reports anyway. So, I drank a cup of (unfortunate decaf) coffee and read the SF Chronicle online and took my time to start the day. I slowly began going through all the different things that needed to be done and I began to feel more optimistic about this day.

In my new found state, I finally took a meeting with someone who has been persistent about getting our business. "Fine," I thought. I'll throw her a bone and maybe it'll work out, but I didn't have high hopes. "Laura,"we'll call her, was talking about her product from the moment she set foot in the office. I could hear her high pitched excited voice coming at me before I even saw her. She sat down in the seat across from my desk talking away and I went to swivel my chair to face her when the wheel on the chair caught the floor mat under my desk causing the chair to flip over sending me off the seat onto my ass and the chair back landing on my head. Laura finally sat there silent.

I'd like to say it was a blessing to get her to be quiet, but let's face it. There was no blessing in my office that day. I was so embarrassed. I picked myself off the floor, flipped my chair back over looked at Laura and said "I guess it's one of those days - wow me with your product." Thankfully we quickly moved on, but this was definitely one of the most humiliating things that have ever happened to me. Please, go forth and feel better about yourself. At least you are not me.

I eventually got work done, but it was a slow start. Note to self: take the Monday after a holiday off. No good can come from going in.