Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Don't Judge a Mom..."

Yesterday I was at my son's gymnastics class when I saw a mom with three kids walk in. One of the kids was crying, the other was so mad his face looked like one of those balls you squish to get out frustration.

I didn't know what had happened but it was obvious the crying kid needed to be held and the angry kid needed an attitude adjustment. Then something occurred to me like a light bulb going off or one of those "Ah-ha" moments Oprah is always talking about. Forget the kids, look at the mom. She was a ball of stress. Battling different feelings, opinions and attitudes...and all she's trying to do was get someone to gymnastics because she loves her kids. Kids don't get that. But Moms do.

The one that really needed a hug was that mom. So, I stood up, walked past the kid chaos and gave her a hug. I didn't know her, but I knew what she was going through and her quiet tears proved to me she needed that hug.

Next time you want to judge a mom, get in her shoes and maybe you'll reach out to hug a stranger too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"A Single Call..."

There should be a phone number you can call, any time of the day and night, to ask a question.


The internet is no good because there is so many other distractions that by the time you've clicked on 18 other pages, you remember why you went on line in the first place.  And after 2 hours you still don't have your answer.  But you did buy a new dress, connect with an old friend on facebook, and even found a photo of your dead grandma's house on Google Earth.

Then it's dark, 10pm and we ask, "Where did the time go?"

Which leads us back to the beginning:  There should be a phone number you can call at any time of the day and night to ask a question.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Why Soccer is Painful"

I suppose if you have a superstar, watching your kid play soccer can be fun, even exciting as you see your mini-you fly pass the other kids, interested, focused and enthused on kicking the ball or trying to win.

Not me.  I watch my kids watch the other kids run by.  I watch my kids stare into the sky at some plane, bird or balloon they happened to notice.  I watch my kids watch me watching them as they mouth, "Is it over yet?"

Most parents scream, "Go!"  "Keep running!"  "Great job honey!"

I scream, "Focus!" "Stop biting your nails!"  "We can look at the ants at home!"

But really, over time, I kinda like not having the pressure of having a kid that has to do well...that the team expects to score so that the team succeeds.  Yep, now my husband and I relax and enjoy the game.  We giggle when he misses the ball.  We laugh when he sees a gopher and instead of playing the game, he follows where the hole leads.  Cause we realize, one day, twenty years from now, when he's not in professional sports, we'll laugh at these moments of enjoying our kid and letting him be just our kid.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"What IS that Little Voice I Hear?"

I was driving alone on a four hour trip to a gig in Vegas. Four hours just me. Then I heard it. It was small and quiet. What is that noise? It was so familiar but so distant. Then it came to me....oh! That voice I ME! Talking to ME.

My long lost friend, my mental guide! My inner self having a conversation with me. I was so excited I didn't know what to think/talk much had gone on since we'd last been in contact!

"Where have you been?" I asked. Oh.....I was too busy listening to my kids, my husband, my friends and my world to remember or notice that the "Me" was getting lost. Am I doing what I wanted to in my life? Am I going in the right direction? Taking the right trips? Seeing what I wanted to see in the world? Was it was time to slow down?

I decided to have a conversation with me every day. First thing. Before the kids wake up. It would be hard, cause I love to sleep. But instead of thinking about everyone else for those precious few moments in the morning, I would have a conversation with me.

I once met an older woman who said she woke up one day shocked to see she was 67 and hadn't done any of the things she wanted to do. I told her it's never too late, do it! Go for it! She said what woke her up was her husband passing away too young.

I now love listening to me....and older wiser people. They remind us all what we need to be doing today.

Don't wait. Listen to it now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Guilty At the Gym....No More"

I once heard a therapist on the radio say, "Only selfish moms take her kids to the gym to dump them off with strangers, while she works out." (Selfish Moms with nice butts.)

What was the therapist's suggestion? "Exercise at home; Run with your stroller, do sit ups next to your baby, do jumping jacks in the living room."

Hmm....? Nope. That'll never happen. Dropping the baby off with the stranger while I get 60 minutes of undisturbed challenging workout we are talking. Specially when Mom accomplishes her goal to keep healthy. (happy wife/happy life)

My one friend struggles with the guilt of taking her four year old to her gym and now uses the building as a landmark when she drives by, "Oh, hey, that's my gym!" Course she's sixty pounds overweight with a whole home-gym set she purchased to use but has never touched.

Having a kid hold you back from the gym is great fodder till they are in college and your excuse is....?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Disney Souvenirs....What Gift Not to Buy Any Child Under Age 10"

You are at Disney, waiting to see Ariel, thirty deep in 95 degree weather, and your six year daughter is so excited she has to go poddy. You arrive back and out of nowhere 80 people have joined the line.

When you get to Ariel, what are you going to do to capture this speical day and mere moments with Ariel?

a) Take a photo of your daughter and Ariel?

b) Ask someone else to take a photo of all the kids and Ariel...and you?

c) Spend $7 to $12 on an expensive book full of empty pages to fill with signatures she can't read or won't care about in a few years, all while taking precious time away from others waiting in line behind you (ready to take a single simple photo) while Mickey (or other character) gets their fingers in order inside their sweaty costume to grasp a pen and try to write a fictitious name no adult can decipher later either.

Please say a or b.

Bottom line: Disney started selling the Autograph Books because they really do havebrilliant marketing prodigies that figured out there was a need and why not make Disney richer. Yet for others, in the hot sweaty line behind a pint size autograph asker, most will all agree.......unlike a photo your child will be able to show their own kids fifty years from now, the Autograph Book will be in the trash or used as grocery-list paper within a year.

Bottomer-Bottom-line: Save your money, take a photo.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Skype Scared"

Have you tried using Skype?  Or are you one of those people that know it only as "The way Oprah speaks to celebrities that can't fly to her show."

When we went away to Aruba, I thought it was the perfect way to keep in touch with my three kids who were all staying at different families.  Wrong. 

One family was afraid installing Skype would slow down their computer, another family said, "Skype compromises the security of their life and just opening an account would cause the world to see their finances, data, and birthdates."  (I thought Russian spies or any decent hacker spent time focusing on how to break into BANKs' security systems, not one sole computer, with a family bank account?).

The other family wanted to use my computer at home..  Which was a great idea till every time my oldest son would be standing in front of the camera, my husband would comment about the background behind him, "Wow, those pictures on the wall look fantastic," or "Ohmigosh...did you see how cool that paint looks in the light?"  So much so my son stopped answering Skype and would only speak to us by phone.

But on the bright side, Skype does work and work well!  My 65 year old mom in Chicago figured out how to use it and we had a lovely time chatting...and she still won't plug in her answering machine cause it's too complicated.

So there's hope for the rest of you. 

Sign up.  It's free.  Call me.

"You Know You Are in a Foreign Country....?"

You Know You Are in a Foreign Country....?

I asked a lady in English, "What time is it"

And she responded, "No ablo Espanol."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Dear Lady With Annoying Babies...."


It was loud and annoying.  Both my husband and I stared at each other like "How did we choose a nice restaurant that lets parents ignore their kids and let them freely scream and cry."

It's different when the parent stands up embarrassed, panicked and sweaty trying to calm the baby.  It's another if they pass baby a hunk of bread and look the other way and I try and think about how long I'd go to jail if I stood up and attempted to choke negligent momma.

I'll give her some slack....maybe she was tired, maybe it was her birthday, maybe she is divorced, this is her first date with and needs a free meal.  With her kid?  Hm... Maybe not.  I have three; 10, 6 and adorable, out-of-control, 3.  They are beyond perfect.  Sometimes I call them "walking monsters."  (But never in their presence)  But if given the choice: 

1) go to a nice dinner w/attached needy, crying, disrupting little people or
2) not.

I take not.  If you have babies, you should too.  Stay home.  Enjoy your mini-yous in private without all the stares from people like me.  Or get a sitter.  Heck I'll come over and sit w/your kids.  Well, no.  How about McDonald's?  It's loud there, inexpensive and when your kid cries, you may even get free ice cream.

Good luck.  Stay away from me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"The Doctor Bills..."

If I have an apt at 9am to see a Doctor, and he is so busy I must wait till 10:43am to see him.....

...should he pay me for my time?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I had to go out of the country for a few days. I was excited till a few days prior. Then...I was sick. I didn't want to go. What if something happened? To me? To my kids? (These are my same thoughts moments before I get on a rollercoaster at Disney....) "What if I don't come back? What will they do without me?"

But I was going out of the US. Out of a "planes aren't flying, so I'll just rent a car and drive home" area. And what if there was another terrorist attack?  A hurricane? Tornado? Some freaky mud slide? Or avalanche...that trapped me for days? (I was pretty sure it didn't snow in Aruba, but when you mix kids with mom-panic, anything is possible.)

AND...I was going to Aruba....isn't that the land of the Van Der Sloot/Natalee Holloway?  Not like I was going to hook up with another man, or that I looked like something anyone would want to hook up with...but a tragedy happened there once and ...well....what if?'s true. I watch WAY too much "Dateline NBC."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Best School Ever..."

I wear a really cool grey university sweatshirt that says, "McDermott University."

Everyone asks where it is.

When they ask, I give them the home address. Cause that's where McDermott University is.

Yes, they go to school to learn all that stuff they need but will never really use...but we all know Moms are the true teacher of life, love and how to be a good human.

And these lessons are FREE.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

"Home School Option..."

My son wants me to home school him.

I entertained the thought of having him at home with me all day, teaching him lessons of the world, teaching him math, teaching him fractions, teaching him calculus, reminding him to pay attention to me, asking him to stay focused and do his work, begging him to sit down and finish his assignment, yelling at him to complete his reading, screaming at him that if he didn’t finish before midnight he was going to have to move out.

Yeah. Home schooling is not for me.

Yet, the real answer I gave him was simple, "Sweetie, I would love to home school you, but if I did and there a school shooting, one of us would go to jail."

He didn't even blink. He just nodded, "Oh, yeah..."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"Book Club Loser...."

I'm trying....I really am.  I joined a book club 3 years ago.  Two actually.  One stopped emailing me cause I kept forgetting to go.  (truth was I kept forgetting I was in the club, to buy the book and then to READ it).  The other I am in I DO go to......not cause I read the book...but because I like the girls and people actually bring delicious snacks they make.

I like to read...but there's so many other things to do.  By the time I have all my kids in bed, the idea of trying to fall into a story that never seems to be as interesting as the choas in my life, seems pointless.  And of course sitting under a light, trying to reorganize my eyes that will never see 20/20 again is painful.

One good thing...I've convinced my book club to do a "movie night" once in awhile.  Maybe I can change the whole book club to "Movie Club."  That involves only 2 hours of my life...and hot popcorn.

Who's with me??

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

"The Perfect Chopper...."

I love to cook.  I hate to prep. If I could have little people cut all the pieces and measure all the spices in those cute little tiny bowls....I'd cook all day long.   For my wedding someone gave me a huge Cuisinart.  Scared the crap out of me.  Then 8 years later I had some chopping to do and broke it open.  We've been in love ever since. Hands down one of my favorite time saving gadgets in the kitchen.  Course the clean up part with the machine isn't so easy....but I do have one of those dishwashers.  He's 5'10" and good in bed.

If you don't have one....get one!  Thank me later...

"The Reader..."

Last night after a battle trying to force my children to start their nightly reading ritual, my 10 year old said to me, “Mom, can you do something to make me want to read?  Like pay me?”

Great, he’s a republican....