Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stay at home moms

This entry started (as so many of mine likely will) by responding to my friend and fellow Ninja Mom on live journal. If you've happened onto my journal in both places, feel free to ignore one or the other (although on THIS one I've learned to do some remedial tricks and it's prettier with music!)

Anyway, back to the subject.

Like Ninja, I have a problem with other sahm's. I can't seem to find any like me to hang out with. I always feel like I'm a pseudo-sahm and they'll call me on it one day. I'm sure there are other sahms out there who consider hamburger helper a legitimate recipe for stroganof, and call a cake from a mix their own design. Who allow their kids to watch endless tv to get a nap in, and find a 6 foot purple dinosaur a suitable babysitter for a colicy infant. Who still believe sometimes a kid needs a "good" spanking because the notion that you can rationalize with a three year old is the reason kids are so out of control these days. Who say things like, "When I was a kid we learned to fear (I mean respect) our parents." Who send their non-disabled kids to a preschool for MRDD kids for the sheer experience of accepting those with disabilities, rather than worrying their 3 year old won't get into Harvard later from lack of Montessori schooling. Who can lay on a healthy dose of mother guilt that would make any Italian, Catholic, Irish, Jewish, Greek mother proud. Who consider a household a monarchy where the parents are divine rulers and the children are to behave as loyal subjects. Who don't join the PTA even though OBVIOUSLY they have time, simply because they have no desire to hang out with the type of folks who ENJOY being on the PTA, the neighborhood association, or the church board. Who threaten every year at Thanksgiving to pass out meals to the homeless to teach their kids why they should appreciate that Turkey dinner, but still decide serve it up to whining and complaining because they lack the resolve to follow through on that threat. Who say things like, "Mom has her own flippin' homework! My mom and dad never had to help me with mine!!!" three out of four nights a week. Who's sons will surely end up in therapy one day, forever haunted with Oedipal complexes due to a certain incident involving a string of expletives that flowed from their mom's mouth, when the elastic cord on her jacket snapped back into her left eye one morning on the way to school/work. As a matter of fact... who can, when provoked by endless pushing of well known buttons,expose her kids to a string of expletives like a trucker with a sailor's thesaurus. Who then reserves the right to apply soap to their little mouths when they demonstrate their years of careful study.

Aren't there?????

Although I understand Ninja's perspective about it not being the most important thing many women do with their lives, I do believe it's the most important thing I've done and that I am (for now) best at it. I am a recently relapsed sahm. That's right, I have fallen off the type A over-achiever wagon. What I mean is...I was staying at home with my sons when I got divorced in '99. Obviously I had to work to support myself so I gave up sahm status in order to "better" our lives. Well, ok. To better my life. Since then... I just finished a degree, which I worked on mostly while a single mom of five years. I graduated with honors, which was no small task for me with everything else going on. During that time I also worked full time as an ophthalmic tech and experienced (became obsessed with) the first truly heartbreaking relationship of my life. Wanna know what I regret about those things?

Looking at my two year old and five year old sons one day and realizing they were 8 and 11. Having my youngest son forget to ask me recently if I wanted to come to his field trip or Valentine party because he's not used to the fact that I can. That gives me some perspective. So with Anna, I am soaking up every minute. It's like a second chance. My degree is an accomplishment. But in the end it doesn't love me, or want to share my time. Oh- and Anna's growing up so fast! She's eight whole weeks already!!!! Where has the time gone?????

Now... back to Ninja's other point about having good beer swiggin' girlfriends. I have a few. Actually Sat night I am going with one of them to a "high school reunion" of hers. Every year her 3 girlfriends from high school have a sleep over called "bitch" night. They drink wine and gossip and pass gas and get very silly. I am flattered they allow me (7 years older) in. But I secretly feel like a voyeur. I want my own group of bitches! The few I have are scattered across the country.

I do have a few things that help. I attend a writer's retreat every year with my mom. As a matter of fact they would thoroughly enjoy this post! The retreat experience is intellectual and creative and hilarious and informative and I look forward to it every year! Unfortunately THIS year I have to sacrifice for Anna and attend only the day seminar rather than the whole weekend. She's nursing and I can't be away for two whole nights. But...

Next year I'll be back! And bring my favorite bottle of wine :) I'm also one of the youngest women there, which is always nice. Not only can you learn from the wisdom and experience of the other women, but you get to feel like the "kid" again! Although, being a working mom and student the last two times I went, I found myself telling my mother, her friend, and my cousin to "keep it down in there! Some of us are trying to sleep!" To which there was a burst of girlish giggles from the adjoining room. So who's the kid, really????

Oh- and Ninja also mentioned the ultra conservative scary sahm's. I am a Unitarian Universalist. If I get into a group of bible thumpers I am SO in trouble. Either they've never heard of my religion, or feel compelled to lecture me as to why it isn't a "real" one. Usually I just smile and nod. Though at times I can't resist temptation (what's THAT about anyway? What kind of loving God wants to TEMPT me to do wrong????) Anyway...I digress. In the past one co-worker felt compelled to lecture me as to why living your life being a caring, compassionate, responsible person wasn't good enough. She said, "Well being a good person is no way to get an afterlife!" I said, "Well, I think those things matter more than anything else in life. And..since we UU's don't believe in Hell, I'm not goin' there anyway. So I really don't have to worry about that!" She was NOT happy.

Sorry to ramble. As Ninja mom pointed out sahm's need to have adult conversation. Staying at home IS isolating. That's why Oprah and Ellen become your best friends. I guess maybe even Martha for those more motivated sahms.

Thank God for internet! I have met some amazing women here!


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

PROPHET? Ohhhhhh! I thought you said PROFIT!

You Are a Prophet Soul

You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone.
Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people.
Sometimes this faith can lead to disappoinment in the long run.
No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.

You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle.
Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people's feelings.
A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning.
You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul

Happy Belated Valentines Day!

Here's a fun site to visit. I discovered it while up at 3:30 am with Anna. I was, of course, wide awake after taking care of her nursing and changing needs, so I was surfing the net and (ironically) eating half a bag of Valentine Hershey Kisses when I came across this

It was so realistic I could TASTE it!

Oh...wait. I guess that could have been the half bag of kisses I had already consumed.

They have virtual chocolate cards to send, as well as real chocolate gift links, chocolate facts, and chocolate quotes.

My favorite quote is, "Researchers have discovered that chocolate produced some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are."
~ Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show

My Valentines Day was nice. Andrea Bocelli was waiting with a card by my coffee pot this morning, and the Il Divo boys were waiting in my minivan (which sits up to seven) this afternoon.

Ummm... that is their new CD's were waiting, not the men. I do already have my own hot Italian ;) And he's the one who left me my presents before heading off to work at 5am.

Hope everyone had a nice Valentines Day.

Z - aka The Chocolate Muse

Friday, February 10, 2006

My Own Clean Sweep

Anyone else love this show? I am attempting to use tricks from the show to organize my house as well as my life. Although I'll have to do my sorting inside the house as opposed to on the lawn. I do think that would likely work better, since who the hell wants to carry all of that junk back INTO the house? I will also be lacking the assistence of someone forcing me to let go of all my junk. I bet DG would LOVE the opportunity. But she is only allowed if she helps organize the rest and designs the rooms just like the designer on the show ;) My husband would help, but has the same problem with purging his own things (though is better at it than I am.) He would whimp out as soon as I made my case for keeping every single picture my oldest son made in preschool. He loves me too much to make me part with anything sentimental.

The big garage sale won't be until June when our neighborhood hosts one. But if I start now it will be impossible to let that opportunity go by.

So which room first? How 'bout 2 like the show.

My husband and I both have our own office type rooms across the foyer from each other. Mine was the former dinning room (we have a large kitchen so we put the table in there and divided up our office spaces.) It is at times kinda cute to have our desks sit across the hall from each other. I have been known to send "hey cute guy across the hall" emails. Insert collective disgusted with sapiness "awwwwwww" here. However, it is very anti- feng-shui, and not even the least bit aesthetically pleasing. Especially since we live in a pretty constant state of disarray due to four kids. This is further complicated by three of them having staggerd residential rotations with other households half the time, including their own hords o' STUFF that travels to and fro.

So... I decided to keep my husbands side the office. It looks like a place where people mean business with all his miliatary decor- did I mention he was a Westpoint grad? My side is going to become a library. I will have tons of bookshelves (with books of course) and a couple of reading/studying areas. It will be the family "quiet zone." Ha Ha Ha.... we'll see about that one.

I have been surfing the net looking at IKEA and Container Store organizational solutions but even these "cheap" stores would prove expensive. So I went to Pat Catans (crafty store) and bought 14 photo boxes (2 for 5 bucks) and various paper maches sets that resemble the popular hat boxes sold for a lot more. I also bought a cool basket set for 14 bucks on sale that would have been fifty or more somewhere else.

Oh- and I found these prints I want to use in keeping with fantasy reading themes. I'll look for more as I go.

I think I am also getting 2 small chairs which would be the perfect size for two different reading areas. Just need some floor lamps and the time in between nursing (that is feeding as well as 'back to health') Anna to organize.

I am a pack rat. DG knows this and has always been dying to see me organized. My father suffers from OCD (undiagnosed) and has horded himself into qualifying for appearances on Dr Phil (not that he'd ever go.) Since I don't want to end up like that I have lived my life hording but purging. I am determined to break that cycle and be able to toss toss toss without hording in the first place. I feel as though I never catch up.

Today I am taking before pics. The room is actually unfairly at it's worst due to my having shoved a few extra bins in there to sort through. They arrived after our speedy evacuation of my other house when it sold a few weeks ago. But that will only make my transformation more impressive!

Then when I'm finished I'll post them on here. There's my motivation.

Wish me luck!


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Colicy colicy colicy....

Third night in a row. No sleep for mommies. My third baby has decided to take after my first. She has colic. She starts screaming as soon as she awakes, is fussy and irritable when nursing and is in awful pain :( It gets considerably worse at night.

The only cure? Hot Italian Opera singers. LOUD. (or the vaccuum cleaner or the hair dryer, but they aren't as pleasant to listen to or look at.)

Here are her favorites (and mine- hmmmm... one thing in common already!)

Andrea Bocelli :)


Even if the latter was the invention of Simon Cowell. I hate giving that guy more money.

Andrea's a little strange too. He was supposed to sing on Oprah once (Opera meets Oprah!!!) However he stunned both the talk show diva and her audience when he walked off instead. I'm not sure if he ever said why.

But they all sound as good as they look, so Anna is on her way to Opera Chic...or should I say "Sheik". long as Andrea shaves and cuts his hair once in a while. But hey! He's blind so you can forgive him a bad hair day.


The old school guys!

Although I gotta admit of the "three Tenors" Jose wasn't too bad lookin'!

The Bugaloos! And other Krofft Creatures

testing 1 2 3...

Hey! It might be working again. Finally!

Here's the promised tribute to Sid and Marty (below) Krofft!

DG, that's Martha Raye not Phylis Diller (Martha's a much better actress as well as a former beauty queen!)

Nope--- I don't think the Krofft bros did ANY illegal drugs :)

Any Days of Our Lives fans out there? Does Electra Woman look familiar to any of you? Marlena! No wonder she could survive countless possesions, trials, comas, abductions, and bouts with amnesia!

And finally.....who didn't wish they were Holly? Will? Marshall?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Farewell old and trusted (sometimes) friend

What's in a Jeep? A Rolls by any other name would smell... hmmmm....

My Jeep is no longer safe to drive. It makes some sort of banging noise as if the whole bottom is going to fall off. So we are venturing into mini-van territory tomorrow. Now I am full circle. I had one of those in '99 before my divorce, and sold it for a crappy (but paid for) Escort. Then a few years later I totaled that and purchased the Jeep. That vehicle and I have been through a lot. It will be a sad day when I drive (or TOW) her to the trade-in-dealer-in-the-sky.

So now my husband will keep his Xterra (which I wanted him to anyway) and we will trade in the Jeep and pickup truck for the mini-van. Then I will look like a soccer mom (eek- those women are ruthless.)

Speaking of ruthless or maybe relentless,) here's some interesting news. My real estate agent calls me Tuesday (the day AFTER the house sale closed) and said, "The furnace died and needed a 350 dollar repair. The other agent called to ask if you would be willing to pay any of it!"

I said, " Unfortunately, since he was in such a hurry to close that he waived a home warranty AND inspection (both house and termites) AND moved in the day BEFORE he was to have possession, AND the gas co won't switch the account out of my name until Feb 6th (like that won't be 300 bucks for him anyway)....since he asked me to pay 3500 bucks (essentially ALL) of his closing costs, AND we dropped the price on the house 5000 bucks for his offer.... ummm.... no. A 350 buck repair on a house you just bought is getting off easy. Hope the garage doesn't fall down. Welcome to home ownership. My agent agreed. It's the first time she and I have been on the same wavelength this whole home selling adventure.

It just annoyed me. You have possession of a house. Why in the world are you asking the old owner to pay a repair? Bummer for you, but that's the way it works. For cryin' outloud, my ex and I put 8 THOUSAND into that house when we bought it (including a new furnace,carpet,refridgerator, stove,hot water heater, bathroom and kitchen floors etc). While single, I put in new windows, new front door, new storm door, new roof, new siding, re-did the bathroom, waterproofed the basement, and installed a new chimney liner and cap right before listing it. Then because the agent insisted, we mulched the flower bed, painted the garage door, patched and painted the cement stoop, and painted the interior walls in a neutral color.

I'm done. It's yours now dude. Sorry about your luck.

Ok... vent done :)

On a happy note, the furnace waited to die until the day after I wouldn't be responsible for it. My house loved me after all.