Attention! Attention! Late, Breaking NEWS! I've moved my site over to Wordpress so please continue to be my friend and follow me on over. If I could I'd have wine and cheese waiting for you as the nice hostess that I am but well, this is cyberspace for god sakes so have your own wine and cheese!
My new site is:
It's all the same stuff but much easier to read and I'll actually be able to comment back to you.
So come on over! I have a new post waiting, right now. See you there!
Thursday, January 07, 2010 | | 1 Comments
Yesterday was a rough day (as you may have guessed if you read yesterday's post). It was as rough as they get with Hannah. I guess the gift I get with her turning five is a boatload of sassiness and a new sixteen year old-esque attitude. We both yelled until our throats were sore. We both shed too many tears. I promised myself that this girl is going to have some new rules to follow. This mommy is going to take charge! Because days like yesterday, cannot continue. I felt like I was run over by a Mac truck when I went to bed last night. And based on Tim's reaction when he got home from work, I looked like it as well.
This morning was a new day. My first new rule was that Hannah must get dressed on her own by 8:15. Before yesterday the routine was that I would go up to her room while she lazily played in the family room, pick out her outfit du jour and help her get dressed in the family room. It moved things along. It ensured an on time departure to get to school by 9:00. It was also a guarantee that I'd like her outfit. Yes, I'm one of those moms. One of those moms that takes pride in how their children "look" when they leave the house. I don't spend a lot of money (anymore) on her clothes but I like for her to look put-together and neat, with a little style thrown in as well. I don't care much about how she looks when she comes home from school. I actually LIKE when she's a mess at the end of the day because it shows she had a busy, live-like-you're-five type day. I've just always felt that how she looks is a reflection on me. I know, I know ( I hear you all lecturing me now), letting kids wear what they want fosters creativity and lets them think for themselves, blahdiblahdiblah. I just feel good when my children look cute. Shoot me. Or sue me. Or whatever cliche you'd like to add.
Anyway... at 8:00 I sent Hannah to her room to get dressed. After a few stomps of protest, she shuffled herself up the stairs. After a few minutes, she burst into my room, fully dressed. I thought she was joking. I actually laughed. I'm not going to bore you with the mismatched details so I'll just leave it as, I think she worked as hard putting this train wreck of an outfit together as she would have to put together a catalog worthy outfit. Part of me thought she was mocking me.
"Do you like?" she asked hopeful.
"Ummmmm..." was all I could muster.
"There's a lot going on here, isn't there mommy." she said, reading my mind (and repeating a comment I must have said before).
"Yeah, there is. But..." I was revving myself up to tell her it was ok to wear what she chose, but she cut me off.
"It's ok mommy. People don't really care what I'm wearing anyway. They only care that I'm nice and sweet."
My 5 year old was lecturing me on "it's what's on the inside that counts". My 5 year old is more mature than me. She's less superficial than me. Ugh.
I wish I could live by this mantra more often. I hesitate to write the words here that I really feel because I don't want you to think less of me. But maybe if I write them, I'll try harder to change. I DO care what I look like. I DO assume people judge me for how I look. I spend too much money (money that I don't even earn anymore) on clothes. I often put too much thought into what I put on in the morning before I leave the house. I believe that my style says a lot about my personality. And I think it's because (deep breath) I sometimes JUDGE other people too quickly by what I SEE. Don't get me wrong. I'm friendly to everyone. I will never turn away from anyone or think less of someone for how they look, but I'll often start the conversation with them with an initial opinion in my head. One that is more often than not, WRONG. I think many of us are like this. We make judgement calls on people before we give them a chance. We judge people on where they went to school, where they live, what kind of work they do, how they raise their kids. But judging someone for how they look... it's one of the first lessons we learn. It's unacceptable.
Part of me strives to be the mom who looks like she has it all together. I am so NOT that mom. I don't have it together on so many days. I am usually hanging on by a thread. But I guess I think if I LOOK like I do, maybe that's half the battle. I meet moms at Mommy and Me gym classes, school drop off, the grocery store who I wonder how they took that shower in the morning. When they had time to buy that trendy, chic outfit. How they don't look painfully exhausted. How they got makeup on their face with kids hanging on their legs and arms. I think to myself, next time I come to this gym class, I'm going to get MYself together. I can look that great too. I rarely do, but on occasion, I try.
Why Do I Care? I'm a nice person. I am interesting, fun, smart. But somehow, it's not enough. I need to reevaluate what is important in myself. What is important to others. My clothes, my hair, my shoes, are not. But now, without my yearly work review, without a boss telling me how I'm doing, without the "normal" ways of being judged... this is all I've got. Now, these days as a full time mom, the judging of myself is on me. I feel so much better about myself on the days when I shower and wear an "outfit" that's not the clothes picked up off the floor from the day before. Not the same black t-shirt that I slept in the night before. When I give myself the luxury of blow drying my hair, putting on a pair of earrings and rubbing my newly glossed lips together, I feel like I've achieved something. But really, I've achieved nothing more than impressing myself.
So here it is, another resolution. Brought to you by my 5 year old daughter. I will focus on what is important. My insides. Other people's insides. Being proud of keeping my kids alive, nourished and loved each and every day. Because it's all that really matters. (Although Tim would be thankful if I shaved my legs and brushed my hair a few days a week).
Being nice and sweet. It's all that really matters.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010 | | 10 Comments
I guess sometimes you have to shed huge tears
So that you appreciate the tears of joy that much more.
I guess sometimes you have to scream crazy loud
So that your nice voice rings sweeter.
I guess sometimes you have to say things you don't mean
So that the ones you do mean hold more meaning.
I guess sometimes your heart has to feel broken
So that you realize the happiness when it sings.
I guess sometimes you have to lose your patience
So that when you find it, you hold onto it tighter.
I guess sometimes you have to have an angry side
So that your pleasant side makes more of a statement.
I guess sometimes you have to feel lost
So that being found is that much more comforting.
I guess sometimes you have to feel like you have no one
So that when your someone is there, their arms wrap warmer.
I hope that there are all these "sometimes"
Or else today was really for nothing.
Yes, I had one of "those" days. One of those days that is thrown at us so that we appreciate the better days. One of those days where my kids decided they had been giving me too much of a good thing. One of those days where I had to EARN my huge salary. One of those days where I'm really thankful I have this place. This place where I can shed my tears and my words... and feel better tomorrow. Thanks for that.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010 | | 13 Comments
Hannah had her first gymnastics practice in her "advanced preschool" class today. She's been looking forward to it for weeks. She had to "try out" for this class and was thrilled when she was selected. I'm not sure what the criteria was to make the class but I guess she showed some potential in her crooked little cartwheel or sideways forward roll. And today, in her new shiny, stripy, polkadotted leotard she was ecstatic. On the drive there I asked her if she was excited, wondering if there was a part of her that was nervous. New kids, new coach, newly five years old.
"Oh I'm so excited mommy! So so so excited. It's going to be the best. It is going to be the most fun ever. If I can't do something, I'll just ask and the coach will come over and help me. Because you know, I haven't done gymnastics for a long time (the summer/fall) so I might have forgotten some tricks but I'm sure I'll remember right away once the coach has showed me. I'll probably have the most fun I've ever had. Ever."
My little optimist.
I'm an optimist. I grew up in a household full of pessimists but somehow, I became an optimist. I don't know if it was a retaliation against the negativity surrounding me or if I was just born this way but I definitely view things in a positive light, for the most part. My mom used to always assume things wouldn't go well. I'd desperately ask her why she always put a negative spin on things and she'd say, "I'd rather believe the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if I'm wrong". I used to press her saying, "wouldn't it just be better to live life assuming things WILL work out and then, if they don't, be sad?" She absolutely, no doubt about it, disagreed. She hated the let down. It used to drive me crazy. Things as unimportant as the weather to things of utmost importance like whether I'd be asked to prom, she would prepare me for the worst. I guess she didn't want ME disappointed either. She was protecting me. She was loving me.
Often I'd look over at my dad when she was casting a negative light on things in my world, asking him to support my optimism and convince her to see the glass more full and he'd just shrug his shoulders. He knew it was a battle not worth fighting. Often my mom would say she was just being realistic. Not negative. If the chances were not in her favor, she wasn't willing to take a risk to think things would fall on her side. It was easier for her this way. It still is. I'm used to it. I now often do the "Wah Wah" of Debbie Downer when she makes a negative comment about something involving me. It's become a bit of a joke. One that she doesn't often laugh at but I have to.
Yesterday for Hannah's birthday I made big plans to take our family to the Big Apple Circus in NYC. I paid top dollar for close ringside seats. I decided to buy Luke his own seat even if he chose to sit on my or Tim's lap for the entire show. This way it would give us extra space and would give him the option to climb up and down off the chair if he wished. Hannah and I counted the days down to the big event. I was nervous in the back of my head. Nervous the Big Apple Circus may be a let down compared to the Ringling Brothers I saw and remembered clearly from my childhood. Nervous that Luke (and Hannah) would be petrified of the loud noises, big animals, clowns and crowds. Nervous that Hannah would want to go out into the ring with the acts, reminiscent of our trip to see the Wiggles on stage when she was two. Nervous that all of the planning would somehow not play out as Hannah and I had dreamed. But everything I said out loud, for anyone else's ears... was very positive. I told everyone how wonderful it would be, how sure I was that everything would go smoothly.
Yesterday morning I spoke to my mom.
Not surprisingly, she wasn't as full of optimism. I tried not to let it effect me. I tried to keep my steady, sturdy, upbeat attitude. It's not always easy when one of your biggest supporters isn't walking to the same beat.
She ended the conversation with, "Have fun!" And I know she meant it. She always wants the best for me. She is crushed when I'm sad. I'm sure the fact that I choose her to complain to when things DON'T go well makes her that much more interested in seeing things turn out positively. I don't blame her. I don't want her to stop communicating her thoughts to me... I guess, just as I always did when I was little, I wish I could drain some of the negativity from her head. Let her see how much shinier things could look without it. But you can't change the way someone views life. I just have to let it roll off me... and stay confident in my opposite approach.
I am not someone who looks at things through rose colored glasses. I actually get frustrated with people who do. People NEED to at least take NOTE of both sides, it's just which side they choose to let guide them that differentiates them. I am grounded. There are times when reality gets the best of me and I have a hard time snapping out of it and hoping for things to take a change for the best. I do worry. I do vent. I am not the person who says, "I'm sure everything will be fine." when I have reason to believe it won't. BUT, I choose to look at the sunny side. I choose to notice the flowers, not the dirt. The peaks of sun, not the clouds. It gets me through rough patches. It keeps me from wallowing. It keeps me sane on days when I could otherwise get pulled under.
I'm still glowing in the bask of the circus. That's right. It was AMAZING. Luke sat with his entire fist in his mouth for almost two hours, eyes as big as saucers. He applauded when anyone else clapped. He yelled, "Ta DA!" when the trapeze artist made a perfect landing. He "woof woofed" at the doggies parading around. He was asleep within 7 minutes on the car ride home. And the birthday girl? She had her picture taken with one of the head clowns. She got a birthday kiss from the ring master. She had her face painted, peed for the first time in a port-a-potty and announced to everyone and anyone who would listen that she was five. The only tears that were shed were this morning, when she realized it was over and we weren't going again today.
I'm so happy I was optimistic about yesterday. If I hadn't been, my nerves probably would have gotten the best of me. I would have left Luke at home and worried about each and every detail. Instead, I went with the flow. I planned a great day, and it was over and above what I dreamed of. I saw my daughter's eyes widen with excitement and disbelief at what was going on in front of and above her. The thrill in Luke's face will forever be etched in my memory. He won't remember one second of it... but I will.
Two months of excitement and one afternoon of perfection. Certainly better than two months of fretting and an afternoon of relief. It gave me reason to continue my optimistic way about me. And reason to encourage the same with my kids... if nothing else it will keep the Debbie Downer impersonations to a minimum.
Monday, January 04, 2010 | | 12 Comments
Saturday, January 02, 2010 | | 16 Comments
January 1. The day that I always search deep within for what I want to do better. Do different. Do. I've always done this on this day of new beginnings. I write them down on a piece of paper and store it in a private drawer with the hope of pulling it out on December 31 and smiling with pride as I check each one off having been completed. I don't think I've EVER checked them all off. My list is always over ambitious and the items are always too general consisting of words like, "be better at..." or "work harder to...", things that are not even check-offable". Yesterday I didn't even pull out my 2009 list. I knew I didn't achieve any of my resolutions and didn't want to depress myself by confirming it. Plus, I feel like I put that list in my drawer yesterday, not 365 days ago. WHERE oh where did the year go? What DID I do?
One thing I did do was this. My blog. Drama for Mama was born and with its birth a new passion and new friendships also came to life. I have written before about the fact that my head is full of "wonder". I wonder all the time. Wonder what people are thinking. Wonder if I'm doing things right. Wonder if I'm the person I hope to be. Wonder who it is I hope to be. This blog has allowed me to wonder aloud. And I feel as if I've been given permission to wonder because I have found I'm not alone. No matter what is on my mind, someone else has it on their mind too. This blog has brought me support, empathy, sympathy and inspiration. Who knew.
This year, there's no piece of paper. There's no drawer to put it in. I'm writing my resolutions here. For all to see. This way you can keep me honest. You can keep me on track. And at the end of 2010, we can celebrate my successes together or laugh together that they were ridiculous to begin with. I am going to tie my resolutions in with the Ten Things You Don't Know About Me that I'm required to write in receipt of my Sugar Doll award to give my list reason for being.
FIRST thing you may not know about me:
I count things. I count without knowing I'm counting until it's over and I have the number in my head. For instance, I never go up a flight of steps without counting them. I rarely go from point A to point B without knowing how many steps I took. If a train is going by, I count the train cars. Weird, I know. My mom does it too. I don't count out loud so I don't get bizarre looks from people but the numbers still tick in my head.
Resolution: I will apply this OCD behavior to my house. I will THROW out. I will purge. I will organize. Things will have a PLACE. It will not be easy, but it will happen. I will be able to breathe easier and feel a sense of calm. It will be worth it.
SECOND thing you may not know about me:
I was NEVER a girly girl. When I was little I used to drag baby dolls around by their hair. Most of them ended up without heads. I didn't get a manicure until after I graduated from college. I didn't wear or have an interest in wearing makeup until I was in my 20's. I liked being outside, riding my bike, throwing balls around, playing tetherball and beating the boys in the 50 yard dash. I have a daughter who although looks just like me, is the exact opposite. She is all things GIRL. Baby dolls are her passion. She likes having her toes painted rainbow colors. She likes bows in her hair and necklaces adorning her neck.
Resolution: I will revel in her girliness. Although I will push her toward sports because I am a strong believer that team sports are extremely healthy for kids, I will also allow her to BE all girl. And I will continue to find my inner girl along with her. I will enjoy the moments of playing mommy and baby with her. I will schedule weekly dates on the couch where I paint her toe nails while she sits in her bathrobe. I will let her dream in pink if she so chooses.
THIRD thing you may not know about me: I used to get up at 4:55 every single weekday morning to go to the gym. I was addicted to the adrenaline rush I got from working out. I had muscle tone. I was energized. I may have been NUTS. I may have driven Tim crazy with the alarm buzzer. But I felt great. I am still up at this hour more mornings than I care to admit due to insomnia or a non-sleeping child but I have not seen the inside of a gym at this hour in 5 years.
Resolution: I will be reconnecting with and hopefully re-igniting the love affair I once had with the gym. I will find the time. I will MAKE the time. I cannot hope for every day (hell, I don't even WANT to try to go every day) but a few days a week the gym and I will have a hot date.
FOURTH thing you may not know about me: I have my MBA. It's hard to believe I walked up on that stage in NYC and shook hands with the dean as he handed me my hard earned diploma almost TEN years ago. It's hard to believe that after crying through economics and swearing at the world through accounting and finance, I only put it to use for 7 years until I hung up my hat in the corporate world and opened my arms to my kids and a job that has far more working hours in a day than even my LONGEST days in the real working world. I do miss my old career. I miss marketing. I miss coming up with concepts for new soaps and lipsticks and talking to consumers about why they buy what they buy and then seeing a new tube of lipstick hanging on the wall that I helped create, advertise and sell. I still walk down the cosmetic aisle and read all of the packaging for new products wondering how the idea came to life. I watch commercials and have opinions about them all.
Resolution: I will bring my marketing consulting business to life. I will find some projects that inspire me. I will hand out my business cards and find businesses that need me. It may be one project at a time, a few hours a week, but it will be something. I need something else. My kids need me to have something else.
FIFTH thing you may not know about me: I am a hypochondriac. Seriously. I worry far too often that something is terribly wrong with me. I google my symptoms. I diagnose myself with rare and terminal illnesses. I don't go to the doctor but instead worry myself into despair. It's terrible. It's a sickness in itself. I never used to be this way until I had kids. My kids have given me new reason to live and I now worry incessantly about something taking me away from them. I have brought myself to tears lying in bed thinking about it.
Resolution: Knock it the fuck off! 'Nuff said.
SIXTH thing you may not know about me: I LOVE people. I write a lot about having a hard time making friends, keeping friends, talking to friends, being honest with friends, etc. But honestly, I love to be with, get to know and spend time with friends. People fascinate me. It must be the marketer in me but I have a passion for understanding what makes people tick. It's why I ask so many questions, it's why I may get caught staring a little too often. It's why I have a daughter who won't STOP ASKING QUESTIONS!
Resolution: I will see my friends more. I will have more playdates with Hannah's friends. I will make more of an effort to connect and reconnect even when it's so much easier to stay home.
SEVENTH thing you may not know about me: Conflict scares the crap out of me. I avoid confrontation at all costs. I would rather let something stew inside my head giving me an horrendous headache and then diagnose myself with a brain tumor than confront someone with something hurtful, bothersome or disappointing they said to me. I let things roll off me very easily. I forgive almost immediately. I apologize before even realizing something wasn't my fault. I'm terrible at using my words although I get very upset if someone isn't straightforward and upfront with me. I'm afraid of losing someone close to me over conflict. I'm afraid of offending someone or being viewed as too sensitive or weak. So I stay quiet.
Resolution: I will say how I feel. More often at least. I will realize that those who love me, will still love me even if I tell them they hurt me. I will let myself feel hurt even if I AM being too sensitive. I will broach tough conversations to lighten the load in my head.
EIGHTH thing you may not know about me: I love to cook. I actually didn't even know this about myself until pretty recently! Who knew I'd find it so relaxing, so peaceful, so rewarding? And add a glass of wine and some music to the activity... I choose that over a bubble bath any day!
Resolution: My dinner table will see more home cooked meals during the week. And by home cooked I mean, from scratch. No box of dinner that requires adding some butter and milk to boiling water. No peel back celophane on a dish that is placed in the microwave. Home Cooked. By me. With raw ingredients. And I will require the family to eat it Together. At the table. At the same time. At least the kids and I since Tim doesn't usually see the dinner table until the kids are sleeping.
NINTH thing you may not know about me: I'm a shopaholic. I love all things shopping (ok, so maybe I am a girly girl). I don't even need to buy... I just love to shop. Some people have a drink to calm their nerves. Some people go for a run to clear their head. I hit the stores. I feel a buzz as I touch the fabrics on the racks. I am energized by the music, the fellow shoppers. It's my zone. Tim (or his wallet) is lucky I don't have time to do it more often. Superficial? Yes. Just speaking the truth.
Resolution: I don't have one. I just needed to get this addiction off my chest.
TENTH thing you may not know about me: I wrote a children's book. Yes. I actually did it. You may recall a story I told in a post a month or so ago about a pair of shoes? You can see it here. I now just need to push it through the "system", whatever system that might be.
Resolution: Move it along and make it happen. I have a whole series in mind so I have to get this first one off the ground.
It's a long list. It's not a complete list. But it's a start. It's a big year 2010. Hannah will turn 5. She will start Kindergarten. Luke will turn 2. He hopefully will learn to SPEAK. And I will have big changes too. Things that will better me for me and for my family. And you'll be here to see it happen!
Friday, January 01, 2010 | | 8 Comments
Ever have someone that you respect and look up to and ADORE give you a fantastic compliment? One that makes you blush, look over your shoulder to be sure they're talking about you and then be left speechless? This happened to me recently. I have met some amazing blog friends over the past few months. Women who write with a style that I could only dream of. Women whose stories resonate with me and have me nodding my head in agreement with every word. I talk about them with my family as if they are my real friends because I feel like I've gotten to know them and them me as well as or better than my real life friends. One of these friends is Lindsey. Lindsey writes an incredible blog called A Design So Vast. I found her through another of my favorite blogs, Momalom. I was attracted first to the way she wrote comments on Momalom's blog. I always agreed with her comments so decided to check out her own stories on her blog. Wow. Every post I read impressed me more than the last. The words she hand picks to illustrate her feelings are breathtaking. Her stories are magnificent. So when she honored me with a the Sugar Doll blog award. I was speechless. Who, me? I skipped through that day, feeling like I had received the highest compliment I could have imagined. It made me feel like writing the words I choose to write (as silly, dark or superficial as they may be) were heard and understood and well, LIKED! Yay me! And I now have to share 10 things about myself that you don't know. It will be coming in the form of my New Years Resolutions. Stay tuned!
So thank you Lindsey! Thank you for giving me this Sugar Doll Award honor. Coming from you it truly is just that - an honor.
And now it's my turn to pass it along to another blogger who I have come to love. I haven't been at this blog writing thing for long, but in my short time I've come across a variety of types of writing and personalities. This one I feel like I would be friends with if we lived down the street from each other. She makes me laugh on most days with her anecdotes of her kids and family. I usually think I could have written the same story about my family. She is so REAL. Her words ring true. She makes me smile. When I want a break from my drama, I go read about hers because it makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who it happens to. She speaks the truth about her husband. She is not shy about her pajama choices, she admits when she (thinks) she's being a bad mom (which she never is!). She is LZ from My Messy Paradise. And I promise, if you go read what she has to say, you'll want to be her friend too. And now I'm thinking I shouldn't be telling you about her because I want to keep her for myself. I'm selfish like that. Although, it's too late because she already has a million friends. But I'm a good fighter so I think I may be able to win a seat by her at a party if I'm ever lucky enough to be at a party where she is.
So congratulations LZ on your Sugar Doll Award... go share the love! Pass it on to someone you love. And then share 10 things we don't know about you. I can't wait to read them!
Thursday, December 31, 2009 | | 11 Comments