Thursday, December 29, 2011


Today's topic for our Thursday post is:

In 2010, the Denver Broncos drafted Tim Tebow, a quarterback from the University of Florida. Tebow, a devout Christian, would wear biblical references such as "John 3:16" on his eye paint during college games. Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the news about Tebow and how he kneels and prays after a game success. "Tebowing" has become a widespread phenomenon to the point that it has been accepted as a word in the English language.

With all this in mind, should professional athletes be able to publicly display their religious beliefs during games? What other thoughts do you have on this phenomenon?

I don't usually cut and paste the topic, just summerize, but I didn't think I could do it justice.  I had no idea what Tebowing even was until a few weeks ago.  I did a run in Ventura, Ca with an old friend of mine.  She is not a runner and she was a little nervous about the whole thing.  (She should have been the race was bizarre, but more on that later.)  She joked, "When I cross the finish line I am going to Tebow."  Mac explained the reference to me as he rolled his eyes.

Here is my take on this, it will probably surprise you.  But first a history lesson.  This country was founded by people escaping religious persecution.  See, those on the ships headed out of England contained on them people that did not want to follow the preaching of the Church of England, and some felons thrown in for good measure.  Because these folks did not follow the Church of England, they were punished, by law.  Yes, some of the people escaping persecution were probably also felons, but let's not split hairs.

This is why there is a seperation of church and state in our constitution.  People forget about that.  The Christian Collation forgets about that.  See, government can not endorse one religion over the other, period.  It is not a debatable point.  It is a point of fact.  That is why I get all worked up when tax payer funded, governement operated schools and other programs appear to have a religous agenda.  They can't, it is unconsitutional. 

Private institutions can have religous points of view (let's not get into a discussion on how some of them are funded with tax payer dollars, ok.)  People can have a religious point of view.  People have a constitutional right to express their religious point of view.  If you or I disagree, we have a constitutional right to disagree and engage in that debate.  I don't begrude Tim Tebow his right to paint what ever he wants on his face.  He can pray all he wants.

Now for the sticky wicket.  I am ok with all the hype and attention about this, if and only if, Ryan Braun can paint a Star of David on his face and have that be acceptable.  As long as it ok for Shaq can pray to Allah during a game, or thank Allah when a three-pointer is played.  (As an aside, finding the sports stars has sparked quite a debate of who is better in my household; and I realize that Shaq is not a current player.)  I am not sure if it would be acceptable.  No one has really tried, but my feeling is that there would be backlash. 

Christian stuff is ok, because it is "cultural."  Other stuff is religious.  The attitude frustrates and annoys me, because of the history lesson I just gave.  It is ok for one, it needs to be ok for all.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Re-duex

A couple of years ago I wrote this in response to an email.  It was relevant then, and still is today.  Enjoy.

I have a friend who has children who are grown. The wisdom in starting early is that when you are young enough to enjoy it, the kids are gone. She emailed me, said it was 1:00 pm and she had nothing to do but knit. The house was clean, the dinner was prepped, the kids were gone. She asked me about our day, and this is my reply:

1:00 in the morning the parade begins, little children in stocking feet to check and see what Santa may have brung. Shuffle, shuffle, sneaky feet, as the creep by my room loud as elephants in heat.

2:00 things start to wind down, children tucked snug in their beds, as visions of sugar plums dance in their heads.

3:00 one more check to see if the ho ho ho on the street was Santa stopping by for a quick slice of meat. (Seriously, that is what the excuse was, they wanted to know if Santa wanted cold cuts.)

4:00 Everyone settled, mommy finally can sleep. Children threatened with cancellations if they utter a peep.

6:30 It is light out, time to awake.

6:31 Gifts all open, children crying, why isn't there more? This is not what I wanted. My Christmas is ruined. Oh, why don't you love me?

7:00 All settled down to look over Mommy's credit card bill to show that she spent more than she should so they would have their fill.

10:30 Brunch with family, come one come all. Brother David winds up the children and watches them fall.

11:30 Grandma has had it, take your kids and your stuff and get out of here. We all leave, mostly out of fear.

1:00 House is cleaned, preparing for more, dinner will bring them all ringing at the door.

2:30 Return home from the park, all is better. Sunshine...

3:00 The dinner for 15 is now down to 5, we think left-overs rather than roast and all that jive.

My friend's response: This is why some animals eat their young.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Today's topic is about the new NSTA recommendation that cell phones not be used in cars, at all, not even with a hands-free headset.  The question, is what do you think about that?

It is a sticky wicket.  I understand that when you are driving you are distracted when you are on the phone.  I know I am distracted when my kids are demanding my attention when we are driving.  The rule in our car is that you can not talk to me when I am driving unless I say it is ok.  There can be no fighting, no talking, no arguing, no screaming, etc, when we are traversing a crowded parking lot or driving in lots of traffic.  They must be silent, or I will crash the car. 

Granted this "rule" was born out of necessity.  Mac would talk endlessly when we were in the car and I just needed him to shut the f*&^ up.  As more kids entered the scene, I didn't want to listen to fighting in the car.  But, now, I realize that I can not pay attention to what is going on around me when I am trying to listen to them and understand what they are saying.

With that in mind, I agree that it would be safer for most folks to not chat on their phones while they drive.  I don't generally talk on my phone while I am driving because I like to enjoy the silence.  When I am on the phone, I am not in difficult driving situations.  If I am, I hang up.

My husband spends a good deal of time in his car.  His argument would be that the lost productivity would be too much to recover from.  I wonder if perhaps spending the time listening to a book on tape or the radio and just relaxing would be a better use of his time.  While I understand his argument, as a society we have gotten just a bit too impatient.  Does he really need to return that call immediately?

Remember the dark ages when we did not even have fax machines and things had to be mailed, through snail mail?  Remember when overnight delivery seemed like the best thing since sliced bread?  Then the fax machine, then email, now smart phones.  We get more and more instant communication.  We don't need to wait anymore.  I often wonder if it is a good thing.

Sadly, until as a culture we can accept waiting a bit for a response, we will probably not give up our cell phones in our cars.  I just don't see that recommendation changing how we function.  I have a hard time believing that legislators would ban the use of cell phones in cars.

It is not a good idea to text, surf the net, play words with friends, or really chat on your cell phone when you are behind the wheel of a 3,500 pound vehicle.  Next time you get in the car, ask yourself, is your life worth the text you are about to send or the call you are going to make?  Like they said on CHiPs, be safe out there people.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today's topic in our Thursday blog project is who do you look like?

I look like no one I know.  Yet, people come up to me all the time and tell me I look like so and so.  They ask if I am a sister, cousin or mother of someone.  I decided a long time ago that I must have one of those faces.

Being adopted, when this first started happening I thought, maybe these people are my "real" family. As it happened more and more and more, I came to realize that the over all blandness of my features makes me look like someone else.

I know that this is cheating, but this story is so appropriate for the question and I have sand in my underwear, so here is a replay of a blog post from 1/1/10.  Enjoy!

In the airport on the way home I was stopped by a woman in the airport. "Are you famous," asked strange woman in airport (swa)?

Me: "Not on TV. But my blog is read and loved by millions."

SWA: "Are you sure, you look just like the woman on that TLC show, the one with the 12 kids."

Me: "I am pretty sure I don't have 12 kids, just the 3 you see here."

SWA: "Oh, well you sound just like her."

I have no idea what this woman sounds like, but I imagine she yells at the kids a lot? Cuz I was a yellin' at the kids while we were waiting to get on the plane.

The woman in question is Betty Hayes, in Table for 12 on TLC. Her picture is below, let me know what you think, do I look like her??

Anyway, I am used to being the face that everyone knows. Sometimes this is good, it puts people at ease. Sometimes it is bad, I would like to be me! I guess yesterday I was famous.

Who does everyone else look like?  (ps, I bet they didn't cheat either!)  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Interview with Melissa

So, it is Thursday.  Last week we wrote about a person in our blog group.  This week we got to interview them.  Below are the answers Melissa provided to my interview questions.

How did you meet your husband? Did you immediately like him?
We met through one of his friends. I was out with a bunch of friends, Froggie included. It’s a long story involving Froggie in some ways, but we got to a point where it was super late and his closest friend overheard me say that I had to bowl the next morning. He laughed and then told me that he had a friend who was single, Jewish and liked to bowl. Not only that, but we lived in the same suburb! I gave him my number and said it could be besherte. Even though his friend was drunk, he remembered me saying “besherte” and relayed this to my husband. (Apparently, he used that word a lot too!) He also called his cell at 3:00 am to give him my contact information. Whatever he said worked because I got a call less than 12 hours later! We talked the next night for three hours and met in person a few nights later. I think the fact that he didn’t wait long to call me and that he sounded so sweet and genuine really drew me in. When we met in person, I felt like I had known him my whole life. So yes, I liked him immediately.

What is your favorite story about your kids?
I like telling everyone how each of my children was born in a different state. It's somewhat unique!

How you think you are like/different from your parents?
I think we have a nice blend. I’m very charismatic like my dad. He and I like to joke around a lot too. And my mom and I have tons of things in common, especially our love for books. I think my religious observance definitely separates me from my parents. However, they’ve become more interested and involved in their own way when it comes to Judaism.

Do you have a favorite saying or expression and why?
“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.” It comes from “Into the Woods.” It just means that when something good comes along, you should seize the opportunity because it might not be there for long and might not be available again either.

If you could have three wishes what would they be?
Financial security for myself and my family (not outrageous, just comfortable with the ability to splurge sometimes), an all expense paid trip to Disney World and that everyone I love and care about will live a long and healthy life. (No particular order to this list!)

What is the biggest complement you have ever received?
One of the first was when I started going to “Rocky Horror” and became friends with this lovely gay man. He told me that he loved talking to me. The compliment just floored me. No one had ever said that to me before. Nowadays, I love the positive remarks I get at my Chick Lit Central blog.

What do you do for fun?
Reading is always fun for me. I can't get enough of it. I also love watching movies and marathons of a TV show I really like (these days, it's "How I Met Your Mother"), bowling, playing billiards, playing board games with friends, watching my kids do something they really enjoy, etc.

There are some ages we look forward to and some we don’t, what birthday were you least enthusiastic about and why?
None really. I love birthdays. They’re an affirmation of life! I’ve had some birthdays I’d rather forget because they didn’t go so well or passed by unnoticed. All I can really say is that I hope to NEVER have a birthday on Tisha B’Av ever again!!! That was the absolute worst, aside from the small gift of seeing my baby for the first time in sonogram form. I was sick from pregnancy and an ear infection, hungry from fasting and annoyed because I felt guilty being happy on my birthday due to the nature of the holiday. This was my 34th birthday, by the way.

What was the first big purchase you made with your husband, how did you feel about that?
Our town house in Buffalo Grove shortly after we got married. We found it while driving around looking for "For Sale by Owner" signs. It was the perfect size for us at the time and we just knew we had to have it. I was thrilled when the owners accepted our offer and very happy to move in and have a place that belonged to us as a couple. (However, getting off all the wallpaper borders was a huge pain!)

What is it like to have a religious tradition that is perceived by many to be fairly restrictive? Do you ever feel that your tradition is restrictive, or is that a judgment being place upon it by outsiders?
It’s interesting to be where I am. It’s something I chose to do instead of being born into it. I know differently and my children don’t. They’ll never know the taste of a Wendy’s cheeseburger, for starters! In any case, I took baby steps to get to this point with keeping Kosher, family purity and Shomer Shabbos/holiday rules. I don’t feel that I’m 100% strict as I still do some secular things. I like the label of “Modern Orthodox” because it does allow for some secular things and doesn’t put pressure on how observant one needs to be. We go at our own pace. I may be more observant than some people who consider themselves MO and less observant than others in the same “category.” I don’t think it’s as restrictive as people make it out to be. However, I'm careful about what I "like" on Facebook sometimes. The funny thing is, people who aren’t Jewish at all are more understanding about things than people who are Jewish but less observant. There’s a saying that two Jews can still be a mixed marriage. This goes for when one person is more observant than the other. It’s really like two different worlds operating in one home. There have been times when non-Jewish friends of mine have made assumptions based on something they read, but it bothers me more when someone who IS Jewish rolls their eyes about something I do or don’t do and asks where it says in the Torah that we should or shouldn’t do an activity that wasn’t even thought up during biblical times. The only thing within my community that will always annoy me is the expectation that all kids should go to private Jewish school. It's expensive and the days are really long for kids. There's also a lot of politics involved. I like the public school where my older son goes and plan to send my other two there, as well. It has a great reputation for education. I hate having to justify why I am sending my kids to public school to people in my community. I also hate how the public school PTA holds all their fun family events on Friday nights, but that's another story for another time!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweet Melissa

For this week's topic, we are discussing what we have learned about each other.  In order to make things manageable we have been assigned partners.  My partner is Merrylandgirl (aka Melissa).

I met Melissa through Tracey, we have been virtual friends for a couple of years.  We email periodically and talk about issues with the kids and what not.  While I have only seen Melissa in person one time, I feel like we are still friends.  Strange electronic world we live in!  I guess in days past we would have been pen pals.

Melissa is a Modern Orthodox Jew.  I am a non-Jew trying to raise my kids to be good Jews.  I struggle with how to do that sometimes and Melissa, while she may not know this, is my before I ask the Rabbi person.  If she doesn't have the answer, then I go to the Rabbi.

Being Orthodox, is something that amazes, impresses and confuses me all at the same time.  It is great to talk to someone who has so fully embraced their religion, and is really trying to live a life that enables them to be closer to G-d.  On the other hand, the restrictions would overwhelm me.  While not using electronics on Shabbat would probably not be a bad thing, the thought of not being able to knit would make me sad.  The one question I have always wanted to ask Melissa is how she handles those restrictions.

We also both have three kids, two boys and one girl.  Yet, they only over lap right at the end for me and the beginning for her.  I am a few years ahead of her, but then I am also a few years older.  It is fun to watch her littlest one grow.  It reminds me of my baby, who is really no longer a baby.

Melissa also writes a chick-lit blog that is pretty well known, maybe even famous!  I have a hard time reconciling Melissa with the face of someone famous, she is decidedly down to earth.  But  her blog is actually something that publishers consider when the launch a new chick lit book.  How cool is that?

I am sure that if Melissa lived closer we would probably hang out from time to time.  But, until she moves back, we will have to continue to be cyber-buddies.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say about each other?  Check them out at Merrylandgirl, Froggie, Momarock.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thanksgiving is best described as the holiday of text messages.  Mac got an iPhone, and he texted people even when he sat next to them.  We texted each other from different rooms.  It was all in good fun, we also talked to each other.  But how better to share the event than to share some of the texts?

  • Talking is lame so I will text u even though u are right there next to me
  • I survived.  I know you survived mom, Aunt Debbie didn't text me to tell me to call 911
  • Add salt.  Now add some pepper for color.  aaaaah, much better
  • J is a jerk, he kicked Sam. 
  • H and A are standing on the table.  I am sending you a picture
  • Soup time.  But is it not as good as yours.  You are my favorite now.  Mom, it lacks flavor.  Add salt.  Now add pepper for color.  That is fine, but it only effects the broth.  The balls looked fine to me.  They are, I just like yours better.  You are still my favorite.
  • Where are A and H?  I don't know.
  • You need to shower, your butt is bad.
  • Pls pass the snacks.  How much longer till we get there?  3.5 hours.  Mom, I love you.
In all, it went much better than I would have expected.  Mac behaved so well he earned computer and Wii back.  Thoose in the know, know that is a BIG thing.

If you want to get in touch with me, text Mac.  He will text me and I will get back to you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ten years from now

Lunch with my 10-year-older self is the topic for this Thursday's entry.  Sure, we could have gone all traditional and written about what we were thankful for, but the purpose of this little exercise is to challenge ourselves and I think we can all manage a Thanksgiving post at this point.

So, anyway, I am going to dine with my 10-year-older self.  Before that happens, let's do some math.  I will be in my early 50's.  My kids will be 21, 18 and 16.

The reality that I will have a freshman and senior in college sort of freaked me out.  Where is all the money we saved for college?  The kids are all driving, and this is our first Thanksgiving since Sammy started college.  He best be coming home.

The actual topic, is what would you discuss with your older you.  I just needed to do the math so I could fix in my head where we were.  Ten years is not that far away.

What would I want to know?  I think that I would like to know that Mac is ok.  I really want to know that all the work and effort I have put into trying to make him a productive, happy member of society has paid off.  At 21, he might have a girlfriend.  I wonder who he will end up with.  What sort of job will he try and get?  Will he understand why we were so hard on him?

Of my three kids, I worry most about Mac.  He seems like the most likely to struggle as he gets older.  I wonder, am I wrong about that?

Of course I would be interested in hearing about how Sam and Hannah are doing.  Perhaps Sam is going to college on a soccer scholarship?  ::it is hopeful that the billions of dollars we spend on soccer might turn into something, I realize it is unlikely::  Maybe by this point he will be over soccer, but it is hard to imagine.  I wonder if Sam is tall, and is he still charming?  Right now, Sam bats his eyelashes and gets out of trouble with every single teacher.  He oozes charm.

Hannah, she is trouble that one.  Too smart for her own good.  Perhaps a good question to ask is will I survive having her as a teenager.  I bet my older-self might be wondering the same thing!

My curiosity centers mostly around the kids.  I feel confident that Bob and I will still be together.  I imagine I will have a job, have to pay for college some how.  I imagine we will still be living here, but who knows.  Those details aren't really interesting to me.  I know that I will figure it out as it comes.  The only thing I will wonder about myself is do I ever let my hair be uncolored?  For those that don't know, I am 100% grey.

Want to see what the other ladies wonder about?  Check them out at Froggie, Merrylandgirl and Momarock.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Don't mock the slow old lady on the trail

As I ran along the trail today a skinny 20 something with a bouncy ponytail entered the trail.  It was at my 3/4 mile mark.  The trail is fairly wide, but apprently my slow fat runner self was in her way.  She yelled, move over old lady.  I gave her a look and trundled along as she sprinted away. 

I passed the bridges, the mile markers and approached the bridge over the train tracks.  There is a big hill over the train tracks.  I have been pushing myself to run up said hill.  As I lowered my center of gravity and trundled along up the hill (to the almost top this time) I spotted the mean girl.  She was walking over the bridge.

When she hit the "turn around" she, turned around and passed me again on the bridge going the other way.  I didn't pay it much mind.  Until I turned around and went back over the bridge.  When I got through the yucky hilly part, I was trying to lengthen my stride.  I noticed that I was gaining on her.  I kept on.  I figured once I got up to her, she would sprint away.  Happens all the time.

As I kept getting closer I thought, seriously, you are going to let the slow fat old lady pass you?  The one that was in your way?  Really?  I passed her.  I didn't say anything.  I decided to model classy trail behavior.  Besides, it just creates bad karma. 

In other news, I have been reading a blog written by the slow, fat, triathelete.  She is currenlty training for an Iron Man.  YIKES!  Check it out, I echo her feelings about coming out as fat.  I may have more to say on that.  Coming out as fat

Friday, November 18, 2011

Down by the lake

It is Thursday, and it is time for the next installment in our blog project.  The topic today is what is something you have always wanted to do but never done.

I want to go on vacation.  Yes, we go to California on a very regular basis, and while that is fun, it is not a vacation.  I realize that California is a vacation spot.  I also realize that while we are in California we do things like go to amusement parks (Disney, Legoland, etc).  But, again, this is not a vacation, it is a trip to see my family.

I want to rent a house on a lake or the ocean and get up in the morning and go outside my door to the beach.  I want to spend long idyllic days frolicking in the water.  Evenings would be spent relaxing by the fire and enjoying each other's company.

We could spend the twilight hours on the deck.  Watching the sun set, while the kids toss rocks in the water.  Perhaps even feed the ducks.

I am not a huge boater, but perhaps we could canoe a bit.

But, all we would do is relax.  Maybe go into town and take in a movie or go out to eat or do a bit of shopping.  But mostly, it would be peaceful and lovely.

Do not harsh my fantasy with the reality that my kids don't get along that well.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beware of the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt

It is Thursday.  It has been a really shitty day, so before I dive into the topic at hand I want to paint the picture of my mental status.  I have not been feeling real well for the past 2 or 3 weeks.  Not sick, just not right.  The stress level in our house seems to be inching its way back up.  Last week when I did my thankful post and said, "I probably wouldn't do this again unless we went back to the dark place," made me nervous.  Because I felt that the dark place was looming over us, like a cloud on the horizon that you can sense but not quite make out.  Now, the dark place is that black line of storm clouds marching towards you.  There is still time for the wind to blow them a different direction and spare you, but will it?

I am going to get to our topic, which comes as a welcome relief to the reality of what is happening here.  The likelihood is that I will not probably ever address the reality of what is happening here, because somethings aren't really any of your business.  No, I am not trying to be coy either.  I just wanted you, my lovely reader to understand that as I write today, I am really running from something that scares the shit out of me, that I am not sure I can do again.  Chocolate anyone?

Our topic is to talk about clothes you can not wear or would never wear.  It stems from Momarock's babysitter wearing jeggings on her most recent assignment at the house of Momarock.  I imagine that Momarock could rock the jeggings, but she says that they are something she would never wear.

So, I am over-40 and over-weight. This list of things I can not wear or will not wear is long and alphabetized.  Seriously, there are somethings that the general public that can see wants to never have me wear.  A bikini leaps immediately to mind.  I swim, I wear a bathing suit, but without a large enough lycra content to keep all the jiggly parts from jiggling, it ain't happening.  I see people who are too large to wear a bikini and think, while I respect your self-confidence, you might want to re-think your fashion choice.

I think that I might be happier if my fashion choices didn't revolved around "things that cover my body."  But, I also don't want to expose my stomach to anyone.  So, if it is too tight, too short, too belly shirt, it ain't happening with this girl. 

There is a whole range of 20 something clothing options that are just not appropriate for a woman of my advanced age.  I like to look cute and stylish, but I don't want to look like a fool trying to wear her teen aged daughter's clothes.  My actual daughter's clothes won't fit me... no way no how.

I saw some tights at the mall one day.  They were ripped, and had a mock fly on them.  But they were not jeggings, they were tights.  Why in the world do you need tights with a mock fly on them?  Seriously, tights are NOT ment to be worn outside of your skirt.  I could sort of see how these tights would look cute with a mini-skirt, in an 80's retro sort of way.  But, they are just not an appropriate pant for anyone.   What do you think?  (Remember they are tights, made out of a fabric that reminds me of beefed up pantyhose.  Hannah has tights that are more substantial than this.)

I am going to leave you with that picture, because a picture is worth a thousand words.  Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

PS  Don't worry about us, just say a prayer for us!  We are trying to avoid a rocky place and could use the help.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I can

Who am I?  I define myself as a mom, a writer, a knitter, a wife, even a soccer mom.  I would never in a million years add runner to that list.  Seriously, have you seen my butt?  Runners have much smaller butts than I do.  But, we need to back up a bit for all this to make sense.

I have been challenging myself to do things I never believed that I could.  One of them was to run a 5K.  Which I did in mid-October.  I was pretty proud of myself for doing that.  I am now even faster and able to go farther than I did then.  It amazes me.

This weekend my SIL asked me to run with her and friend in a 5 mile race while we are in for Thanksgiving.  Now, let's do a little math, a 5K and a 5 mi race are not same same.  As you may recall from studing the metric system, 5 kilometers is actually 3.1 miles.  So a 5 mi race is almost double what I have accomplished so far.  I would also like to add I have NEVER run that far at one time in my life.

Seriously, if you had asked me to run in July, I would have told you "Only if a bear is chasing me."  I started to run in August, and celebrated running a whole 1/2 mile without stopping to walk.  Now in 4 short months I am considering running 5 miles?  There is something wrong here.  If you see locust, don't be surprised.

I was sharing this story with a friend.  She asked me, as I was telling her about how I was considering running 5 miles on Thanksgiving, if I was a runner.  Even Bob didn't immediately say I was a runner.  He said no.  I said no.  It isn't part of my definition of myself. 

Really, what is a runner?  The dictionary definition is someone who runs.  I run.   But, still, I am not ready to call myself a runner.  Right now, I am out there proving a point to myself and the world.  I am doing something I never thought I could.  I am showing the world, that while I may not look like someone who can run 5 miles, guess what I can.  haha jokes on you.. you non-believer.

Some things I have learned on this journey is that running is more a mental thing than a physical thing.  I think our minds tell us not to do something, but in reality our bodies can do them.  I think we get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task and give up.  I am not fast, but I keep on keeping on.  Oh, another thing... socks matter, who knew.

Runner or not, on Thanksgiving, I am going to run 5 miles.  Not because I want to be able to eat more, but because I want to prove to myself and everyone else that I can!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Electricity ROCKS

It is Thursday, and you know what that means, yup, Thursday blog project.  Today's topic:
There is a thing on Twitter called "What Went Well Today" where you tweet things that went well during your day. (Within the 140 character limit of course.) Anyhow, I'm asking y'all to keep track for the next five day (either from today through Wednesday or Tomorrow through Thursday - which mean you post Thursday night) things that went well. If you'd like, share them on your blog. Then talk about your experience doing this little exercise. Was it hard for you to come up with what went well? Did it change how you looked at things? Is this something you think you'll keep doing?

We returned the hummus-that-ate-Glen-Ellyn without any issue.
I got to take a nap today.

We have electricity.  Our old house does not.
Still got to go to knitting.
In spite of rain, Panthers win!

Submitted my paid article to Interfaith Family
We still have electricity, our old house still does not.
Halloween!  Candy!

Mac got straight A's, 4 of which were A+'s.
We still have electricity, our old house still does not.

Hung with friends
We still have electricity, our old house still does not
Did I mention the straight A's?

The Conclusions:

For the most part I am pretty positive about my lot in life.  Yes, I have bad days, and yes there are people that piss me off, and I have generalized angst about things.  But, generally, I believe that I am pretty lucky and that usually the universe is not out to get me.   That said, it was hard for me to think of something note-worthy that was good that happened everyday.  It isn't that my days are bad, I think it is that my baseline is to expect good things.  So, good things are not necessarily noteable.  That isn't to say that I don't appreciate that most days are good.  I totally do, I just don't tend to recognize each little event that goes into making them good.

The one really good thing I kept going back to during the week was the fact that we have electricity.  I LOVE electricity.  Seriously, if I could marry it I so would.  Electricity is like a million Mark Harmons.  My good friends in Connecticut do not have electricity.  They are not expected to have electricity until maybe Monday if the stars shine on them and the wind blows in the right direction.  My old house in Connecticut sits dark.  My old house missed most of the brunt of Irene.  Our little Hamlet didn't loose power for too long in that event, but now, folks are saying it might even be 2 weeks.

The kids are so happy to turn on the television, to have heat and to be able to use lights.  It has really made us aware of how blessed we are with our little conveniences.  Bob and I have talked about how we do not have to spend $5,000 to get a generator, because we both know that we would be driving to where ever to buy a generator if we still lived there.  While we are saying we are happy we don't live there anymore, it is really just good luck.  We are currently appreciating our good luck.

At the end of the day, I don't think this is something I am likely to continue.  At least as long as things are the way that they are.  If we go back to the dark place again, I might start doing this.

Want to see what the other ladies thought was good?  Check them out at Momarock, Froggie, Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


It is Thursday and you know that that means, the next entry in the Thursday blog project.  Today's topic is about failure.  It was my turn to pick the topic, and I selected it because it is both topical, given Steve Job's death and it is something I have been talking about a lot lately.

I have written about failure.  I wrote about Sam's soccer team and how they lost every single game during their winter season.  The parents were up in arms about it, and there was a lot of derisive behavior because the team was loosing.  One parent even said that their kid didn't want to play anymore because the team was loosing.  I wrote a blog post about this situation, and you can look back at it if you want.  (Link, but you can't come back so finish this first and then check it out.)

I have talked about how I came to be a stay at home mom.  That decision was driven by my failures as both a mother and a career-woman.  I was unable to really do either job well when I was doing both.

Failure.  It is something we all experience.  Sometimes the fails are big, and sometimes they are small.  I didn't post the topic for this weeks entry in a timely manner because I didn't realize that it was my turn.  That was a failure on my part.  Now I have my weeks flagged in my calender so I don't do it again.

Failure helps us learn and grow.  Einstein is credited with saying the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  The reality is that failure helps us avoid insanity.  I try and teach my kids that if you are doing something over and over again and you keep failing, it is time to take a step back and understand why you are failing.  What is causing this to happen?  If you can understand the mode of the failure, you can correct it.  Sometimes it is impossible or to complex to understand the mode of the failure, but if you fail over and over again, it is time to try something different.

I deal with this reality a lot as I try and parent Mac.  Everyday I fail to get him to do what needs to be done.  Everyday I try and come up with something new. Everyday, I think maybe today is the day that something works.  Finally, after dealing with this long enough and thinking about what I said about insanity, I decided it was time to try the one thing I didn't want to try.  I didn't like that solution.  But, for all the resistance I had to it, it is the one that has worked the best.

This is another lesson on failure that I want to share with my kids, if there is something you just don't want to do, no matter how valid your reasons, maybe it should be reconsidered when all else has failed.

We evolve through failure.  Everyone fails.  Want to read about the other failures?  Check out the other ladies at Momarock, Merrylandgirl and Froggie.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This it today's topic for our Thursday blog project.  The topic is Halloween. 

When I was a kid I loved Halloween.  The excitement of being something different than normal.  I would spend months dreaming up the perfect costume.  In all honesty, I don't remember what I wanted to be anymore, but I am confident I did not want to be a gypsy every year.  Every year my mother would dress me up as a gypsy.

I would wear a Foley skirt, a scarf in my hair and a bunch of my mom's costume jewelry.  While I don't remember what my dreams were, I do know that I was disappointed every year when I would ask my mom to make me a special costume, just like my friend's parents did.  I would have even settled for a store bought one.  (Funny, my kids would not be caught dead in a handmade costume now.)

One year, I was probably in 4th or 5th grade, I was sick and tired of having my costume dreams dashed, so I dreamt up a costume that I could make.  I was snoopy. Here was the plan, I would wear my white jeans.  (Never said I was a fashion diva.)  My mom said I could paint a black spot on the back of a white shirt.  I would use the white face makeup that my brother had from an old Halloween costume to paint my face white and use my mom's eyeliner for a black nose.  My hair in pigtails for the ears and a tail out of felt.  I worked all the details out, my mom could not say no.

This would be a good place to say my mom did say no, and that I had all sorts of childhood angst about this issue.  But, I really didn't have that sort of childhood.  She wasn't down with me using her eyeliner, so she bought me some black face makeup to use. 

I was over the moon excited that I finally had a cool costume.  I was so proud of the idea, the fact that I made it and it all came together.  I wish I had a picture. 

EVERY single house I went to, not one person had any idea what I was.  NO ONE.  Not a single freakin' person figured it out.  House after house after house, I explained what I was.  In the beginning I went through the whole story about how I concocted the idea.  By the end, I just answered the question, took my candy and moved on.

After that, I was a gypsy. 

Want to see what the other ladies have to say about Halloween?  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

Monday, October 17, 2011


About 5 years ago, I was listening to some of my friends talk about running.  They were talking about running in a 5K race in May.  It was Octoberish at the time.  I indicated that I could never do something like that.  My CT Friend (CTF), told me that she thought I could, that there was plenty of time to train and do it.

CTF is one of those people that is super fit.  I thought, well, if she thinks I could do it, maybe I can.  She may have just been being polite, but it sure didn't seem that way.  So I started to train.  I got on the tread mill and ran for 2 mins.  I nearly collapsed in a heap of exhaustion and cardiac arrest.  I pressed on and eventually I could run for a whole 10 minutes.  I was all excited about this and I decided to go for a run outside.  This is where things went south for me.  I fell, hurt my foot and that set me back.  I stopped running and then life got me and I never ran in the Mothers Day Dash. 

We moved away, and I just decided that running was something I would never do.  I wasn't a runner, it wasn't going to happen.  But, CTF's belief that I could always sat in the back of my mind.  Enter T, and she said she was going to train for a 5K with another friend.  I was like, hey, I want to do that.  When her friend dropped out, I stepped up and said, let's do this.

Running has always been hard for me.  ALWAYS.  I have also had a lot of negative feedback when ever I have talked about trying it.  It always circled around, you are too fat to do that.  The only person who ever believed that I could was CTF. 

On Sunday, I ran in my first 5K.  I did not die, I actually ran the whole thing.  While my time was not amazing, it was respectable.  It was under 40 minutes, which was my goal.  I really wanted to write, Fat Chicks Can Do It Too on my shirt.  I wanted to prove that in spite of being over-weight, over-40, I did this.  I achieved this goal.

I am not sure why I succeeded this time, I had an injury this time as well.  But, for what ever reason, I was determined to not let this sideline me.  I pressed on.  When I woke up on Sunday, it was rainy and cold.  I thought, G-d really does not want me to do this.  We went.  We ran in the rain.  It wasn't so bad.  It was actually fun.  I think, this might make me a runner.  I am not totally sure.

Snowflake Shuffle anyone?  Shamrock Shuffle?  Warrior Dash?  All of the above?  Who knows what is next.  I do think that it would be poetic to run in the Mother's Day Dash with CTF.  Who knows, maybe some day I will.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Safety First

Lock the doors, bar the windows, here it Thursday's blog post.  Our topic is about safety.  Are we less safe than we were 30 years ago?  Specifically, are our children less safe.  We hear about children being abducted and killed, being kidnapped, are our children less safe? 

I do not think that the world is less safe than it was 30 years ago.  If you look at the FBI database about violent crime 2008 and actually reports violent crime at the levels of the 70's.  Which is a significant decline over the 90's.  The graph actually shows a peak in violent crime in the 90's.  Things are better now then they were 30 years ago.

If you look at crimes against children, they also reflect that trend of declining since the 90's.  Actually, when you look at child safety data, which includes all violent crimes, environmental factors, etc, our children's greatest risks are obesity and disorders that are generally caused by being over weight.  The only violence against children that has increased since the 70's is violence perpetrated by other children.

The data is great.  The reality is that we are more aware of the bad things that happen to our kids.  There are some great things that media as done for us.  It enables us to be closer to people that are far away.  That said it also gives us information that we might not have had 30 years ago.  It makes us afraid of things that are unlikely to happen.

Our brains are hardwired to be afraid of things that we don't understand and are novel.  We think nothing of putting our kids in a car, which is the most common reason children die.  We worry that someone will take our kids and harm them.  So we think we are protecting them by keeping them at home close to us.  Are we really?  Keeping them at home and near us, they aren't learning coping skills, the aren't feeling the trust and respect that they need from us to become functioning adults.  Also, we are dening them the greatness of being able to do something on their own.

We need to make wise choices.  We need to teach our children about the risks, give them tools to deal with things that might come up.  Then we need to trust them.  We need to let them go out in the world, to learn how to navigate.  I never want my children to limit their lives, their options and possibilities because they are afraid.

So, when you see a band of kids running around the 'hood, chances are they are mine.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at Momarock, Froggie and Merrylandgirl.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The End

I have tried
I have cried
I have been passive/agressive
like you
I have been direct
like me
I have apologized
I have ignored
I have made changes

You still hate me
You are still mean
You still hurt me
You don't respond
You try and push me away
You want us gone
You win

I give up
I am done!
I loose

Or did you

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Walk a mile in my shoes

Thursday's blog project brings you the following topic:  "trying walking a mile in their shoes" is a saying peole use when someone is being judgment about life circumstances they've never experienced before. For our next topic talk about a time you finally experienced circumstances you never had before which helped you understand what someone else was going through. What effect did that experience have - Were you more sympathetic towards that person? More humbled? Or, did it not change your opinion at all?

I try VERY hard to never say never.  It seems when ever I say I would never do that, guess what I end up doing like five minutes later?  Yeah, what I said I wouldn't. 

I remember talking to a friend when my kids were really small she was criticizing her sister for giving her kids candy to get them to be quiet.  I, feeling very high and mighty, said I could never imagine doing that.  Enter Sam, he would cry all the time when he was a baby.  I would give him lollipops to get him to stop crying.  I would shove a sucker in my baby's mouth to have a few minutes of peace and quiet. 

Sam cried for most of the first 18 months of his life.  He was allergic to milk and the milk was eating his stomach.  He was in pain.  I didn't know.  I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't make him stop crying.  Some days I wanted to make him stop crying, and I would give him candy. 

I am the mother who does what she needs to do in the moment to make it to the next moment.  When I see other moms trying to make it through, I remember my high and mighty belief that I wouldn't make give my kid candy to make him shut up.  I try and stop, smile at them, and tell them that they are going to be ok.  That they are going to make it.  I have walked a mile in those shoes.

That moment sticks with me.  I try very hard to not judge what other people are doing.  I may not think it would be something I would do, but one never really knows what they will or won't do until they are in the situation.  I try and assume that everyone is doing the very best that they can do with the information and skills that they have at that moment.  That they too are just trying to make it to the next moment.  Well, I am done, Elvis says it best really...

Let's walk a mile in the other ladies shoes... momarock, froggie, merrylandgirl.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Green as the grass on the other side

This is the next installment in our Thursday blog project.  The topic is jealousy.

Jealousy is not a very attractive quality.  But I think that is is something that we all struggle with from time to time.  I have been battling a bit of jealousy lately, and that is why I suggested the topic.

I have a lot of friends at the gym.  They are gym friends, not people I hang out with, friend on Facebook, or anything like that.  We chat in the minutes before class and at the end of class.  We help each other out when one of us is late, and we encourage each other to keep going.  I know a lot about my gym buddies, I know about their husbands, their kids, their in-laws, etc.  I know a lot my gym buddies lives, and in some cases, I do not know their names.

There is one gym buddy in particular that has lost a lot of weight in the past year.  I have lost track, but some where in the vacinity of 75 lbs.  I was talking with her the other day and she confided in me that she did it by taking pills.  That the pills made her less hungry and helped her have a ton more energy.  These were pills that were not prescribed for her.

I have really stuggled with this, because part of me is so jealous of how fabulous she looks.  I want to look like that.  I want to be thin and fabulous too.  It is in total contridiction with where I thought I was with how I looked.  I decided about 3 or 4 years ago to be healthy and not worry about how much I weigh.  The number on the scale is just that and as long as I am healthy, it is mostly meaningless.  I embraced my Fat Chick status and was ok with it.

To suddenly be googling how to get my hands on these pills makes me wonder how comfortable I really was.  The other day I was confronted with a very easy way to get the pills.  I could have taken them, I would have had a steady supply, and no one would have been the wiser.  Only I would have lost weight and looked great.  I didn't even think about this when it happened, I immediately said NO. 

I know that I don't want to loose weight the "easy" way, but maybe I do.  I think this conflict is going to be running around in my head for a while.  I know that at any time I can change my mind and get them.

Right now, I can run 3 miles, and mostly not die.  I can lift a pretty significant amount of weight.  I surprise even the trainers some times.  I can move my body in ways that even some of the skinny chicks can't.  My vitals are all good.  I am healthy.  I worry that if I take the pills the "I am healthy" part of my statement will change.  Am I dying to be thin?

For today, I am going to stay the course.  I might even wear a Fat Chick Power shirt when I run a race in a couple of weeks.  I hope that will not let my jealousy of what this one person did change my mind about my quest to be healthy.

Want to see what the other ladies are jealous about? Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yarn Soda

Today's topic is:  What is your biggest vice/addiction? 

I have two addictions.  One is Cherry Coke Zero and the other is yarn. 

I love Cherry Coke Zero, but I am not really picky about what type of diet caffineated soda I have, but I love the Cherry Coke Zero.  I need a pick me up every day.  There are days when I am so happy to pop open that can, inhale the smell of the carbonation.  To drink down the icy, caffinated goodness.  To feel my body start to pick up again.  My afternoon soda is the only way I can make it till bed time. 

When I was pregnant, I was told to avoid caffine, I limited myself to one can a day.  My soda makes me happy.  I know it isn't good for me, but it improves my mood and makes me happy, and that is good for me.

The other thing that I am addicted to is yarn.  It sounds odd, but I love the smell of yarn, I love the colors, the way it feels.  I will probably never knit all the yarn I have, but some of it I bought only because it was pretty and not because it would ever be used.  I have a wonderful collection of yarn. 
My kids know I am having a bad day when I go visit the yarn.  I like to pet it, inhale the smell of the dye and fiber, to drink in the color.  Each hank has a story.  The memory of when I bought it.  I love each and everyone.

I know my addictions are unusual, but that is how I roll.  Want to see what everyone else is addicted to?  Bet it isn't soda and yarn!  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baby, it hurts so bad

The next installment in our Thursday blog project is to write about pain, specifically the worst physical pain we have ever experienced.

I would have to say that the worst pain I have ever experienced was the pain I was in after I delivered Hannah.  It was a full year before I was mostly pain free and the issues from that birth still haunt me today.

Hannah's pregnancy was totally and completely uneventful.  But as soon as I had her all the pain started.  The list of ailments I had was long, but the most painful was the adhesions.  After a surgery, your body can develop adhesions, which is scar tissue that can connect parts of your body that shouldn't be connected.  I can not tell you what was connected that shouldn't have been, but I do know that the pain associated with sitting up was excruciating.

My options were to have another surgery and have the adhesions removed, which could cause me to have more adhesions, or to just try and rip them so that they stop bugging me.  I opted to rip them apart.  The main source of my pain was in my lower abdomen.  About where your fingers would be if you put your hands on your hips.

It hurt to get out of bed.  It hurt if I stood too much.  It hurt if I turned in the wrong direction.  It hurt to pick up the baby out of the crib.  Sometimes it hurt so much it would make me nauseated.  I had no choice but to live with this pain.  The pain that felt like someone was stabbing me with a hot poker. 

Every single day, many times during the day, I was stabbed with a hot poker in my gut.  Not only was I sleep deprived and overwhelmed by the addition of a third baby, I was in extreme pain.  The only thing that helped the pain were pain meds that were addictive, so I didn't use them often.  I learned to just muscle through everyday.

The pain was not consistent, it was blessedly, intermittent.  When it would come it would take your breathe away.  But if I sat down and rested a bit it would usually subside in a half hour or so.  Eventually the pain became my governor.  It told me when I was over doing it and when I needed to sit down and take a break.

I still feel this pain today.  It is very infrequent, but there are days when I move in just that way that I will feel that sharp reminder of Hannah's first year.  A reminder of all the pain.

Wanna see what everyone else has to say?  Check them out at Momarock, Merrylandgirl and Froggie.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Talkin' about sex...

This is the next entry in the Thursday blog project.  We are talking about sex baby.  Specifically the topic is sexuality, and we get to talk about what ever you want.

Just the other day, while driving home from some activity or another, Mac asked me if he could watch me and his father have sex.  It stems from an on-going family joke where Hannah wants to watch us make her a baby sister. 

She has been asking for a baby sister for about a year.  Finally to get her to shut up about it Bob and I agreed to try and make her a baby sister.  Since Bob has had the procedure of eternal happiness, success on the baby sister front is unlikely.  After about two months of no results, Hannah suggests that she should watch us try and make a baby sister so that she can 1) confirm that we are really trying and 2) that we are doing it right.  I assure her that the answers are yes we are trying and yes we are doing it right.

But anyway, Mac said he would like to also watch.  Now clearly this is not appropriate for him to do, and is not going to happen, it does raise an interesting question.  Until now, we have taught our kids most of the life skills that they need.  We teach them about how to use the potty, how to care for their bodies, how to interact with other people, etc.  But we do not embrace teaching our children about sexuality the way that we do using the toilet, shaving or using deodorant.

While I don't plan to let Mac watch his father and I have sex, it does make me think that as a society we don't teach our kids enough about this import part of their lives.  We leave it to the kids to figure out on their own and in many cases they figure it out wrong.  It seems wrong to me that we spend more time teaching our kids how to use the toilet than we do teaching them about sexuality. 

Our puritanical roots make us uncomfortable discussing sex with our kids.  I want my children to understand that sex is something the are all going to experience at some point in their lives.  I want them to feel comfortable in their own sexuality and be able to ask questions.   The reality is that we are all sexual beings, and I want my children to embrace this aspect of themselves in a way that is healthy.  How is that going to happen if I don't teach them?

Want to see what everyone else has to say about sex??  I am sure you do..  Check them out at Froggie, Merrylandgirl and Momarock.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I knit too...

The next installment of our Thursday blog project is to comment on the following article:  Tough Gals: do they still exist?  You can take a peak at it and then use the back button on your browser to come back and see what I have to say about it.  I'll wait.

::insert muscial interlude::

Ok, so did you read that?  (if you didn't I am about to summarize)  The basic premise is that in the 70's women fought hard so that women of today could have it all.  They fought for equal rights at work, sexual rights, the right for women to do what they want, just like the men.  Yet, here we are today, going back to traditional female roles.  Have we let our fore-mothers down?  Are we just not as tough as we were then?

I think having it all is sort of an unrealistic objective.  I think that there was a period of time where women worked, had families and basically burnt the candle at both ends and in the middle.  What you learn when you do that is that the candle burns up pretty quickly and then you don't have anything left.  Essentially, if you try and do everything, have everything, you end up with nothing.

There are not enough hours in the day to do everything.  We are so over-scheduled, over programed and as a result stressed out.  I talked about this in a post a couple of weeks ago, about why I left a hard won senior level corporate job to be a mommy.  I guess you could say I let my fore-mothers down.  Oh, and I knit. 

But did I?  I still am the one that deals with the cars when they break.  I can go on about Honda transmissions at an depth that is sort of frightening even to me.  I am the on that talks to the plumber, intelligently I might add, about the issues with the house.  My husband, is not as knowledgable about these things.  The tradesmen/women I deal with don't generally have an issue with dealing with me and not my husband.

I learned that having it all is an impossible dream.  It is like trying to grab the golden ring on the merry-go-round.  Round and round you go, but the objective is ever ellusive.  I decided that quality of life was more important.  That taking time to be with my family and raise my children was more important than having a high power job.  Other women have made other choices. 

Choices, that is what we were fight about.  I think that women of the 70's where not fighting so that women would be required to do everything, but rather to give them the options to do what ever they wanted and to have that be ok.    I appreciate that I have the option to have a high power job and a family.  I just choose not do that.

Even though I knit, make cupcakes and wear Hello Kitty jammies, I am not wimpy.  I am not weak, I am strong enough to recognize what my priorities are and to do what I think is important and fullfilling.  Even if it is girly.

Bet the other ladies are up to something tough too... wanna see if I am right?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It has to be Mr. M.

This is the next installment in the Thursday blog project.  We are writing about our favorite teacher.  My favorite teacher is Mr. Maiste.  He was not my teacher, but one of Mac's teachers. 

We spent two years with Mr. Maiste.  When I first found out that .we had him, I was nervous.  He is a football coach, and the football kids like to pick on Mac.  Soon after we started, our first year with Mr. Maiste, Mac came home in tears, the football kids were picking on him... again.  I decided to see what would happen.  Would he defend these kids?  Would he stand up for Mac?

I sent him an email and told him what happened.  His response, was that he takes pride in squashing bullying.  He won't tolerate it.  Wait a minute, you are a football coach, where does this attitude come from?  He spoke to the kids in question and had them apologize.  Guess what, these kids never picked on Mac again.

It was like a turning point in Mac's educational career.  He felt safe at school for the first time in five years.  All of a sudden he felt like someone would stand up for him.  This act enabled Mac to build confidence and begin to be less "weird" and start to create some relationships with the other kids in his grade.

Mr. Maiste inspired Mac to learn more about sports.  This gave him something to talk to the other kids about.  All of a sudden he had something in common with these kids that used to pick on him.  Are they inviting him to birthday parties or to hang out?  No, but they aren't picking on him. 

I see in Mac a confidence and ability to navigate social situations that was not there before Mr. Maiste took him under his wing.  Mr. Maiste did for Mac things I could never do, because I am his mom.

Mr. Maiste also helped Mac deal with other teachers that just didn't understand where he was coming from.  He smoothed ruffled feathers and helped Mac learn to work with "difficult" people.  By providing insights in how to get Mac to do what you want him to do, he made Mac's life out of the main classroom better.

I don't know where Mac would be without Mr. Maiste, but I do know that because of him Mac is a better person.  I am sure when Mac is older he will tell his kids about Mr. Maiste.  I will always remember the kindness and grace he showed my difficult child.

Want to read about the other ladies' favorite teacher?  Check them out at Froggie, Merrylandgirl and Momarock.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Plastic Surgery

This is the latest entry in the Thursday blog project.  Our topic is would you consider plastic surgery?  If so what type?  Why or why wouldn't you?  Plastic surgery is a sticky wicket.  I see plastic surgery in two ways, medically necessary and cosmetic.

When I first read the question, I thought about writing some feminist piece about how we need to accept our bodies they way they are.  Our bodies are actually pretty amazing things.  I created three amazing individuals with my body.  I fed them, and grew them into beings that could subsist on their own.  The potential of these kids is awesome, and my body did that.

I wear the extra flubber, saggy breasts and stretch marks with a certain level of pride.  Well, pride isn't really the right word, perhaps acceptance.  Plastic surgery, to achieve some sort of perfection as defined by a picture in a magazine really isn't part of my reality.

It irks me that people, mostly women, feel that they aren't good enough unless their breasts are large enough, their bellies flat enough, their noses small and straight enough.  We need to work harder to be healthy and accept the hand that G-d dealt us.  It irks me when people get poison injected into their faces so that they can look younger.  Plastic surgery, for purely vanity reasons is in my mind, a risk not worth taking.

That said, my very crunchy, super-hippy, vegetarian sister had breast augmentation.  She had her breasts removed because of breast cancer.  In the end, her breasts were perkier and bigger than when she started.  It was sort of a happy accident, at least that was how she described it.  I never really thought that what she did was "plastic surgery," although it was.  She was attempting to restore what cancer had taken from her.  To achieve some level of normalcy.

When I worked in retail, almost a lifetime ago, one of my co-workers had breasts so large that her cup size was some place in the middle of the alphabet.  I don't remember what letter it was but was in the neighborhood of H.  She was working nights at the retail store to save up enough money to pay for her surgery.  I quit that job before she had enough money, but I am confident that if I saw her now, her breasts would be smaller.

But, if you were to totally apply my believe that our bodies are perfect the way that they are, then couldn't you also say that what my sister did was out of vanity?  Should my co-worker have accepted the hand that G-d had dealt her?  It is a hard line to draw, because to some extent, I believe that people that have plastic surgery are trying to achieve what they think is normal.  What ever that means. 

I might have plastic surgery some day, who knows life is short.  I can tell you, my nose won't change, I won't have a face lift or liposuction.  If I loose my breasts to cancer, I will probably get that fixed.  If I am disfigured in an accident, chances are I will want that corrected.  Hopefully, I won't have to make those types of decisions.  For now, the scars on my body are here to stay.  Some are reminders (like my cancer scar that reminds us to use sunscreen), and others are part of the story of my life.

While plastic surgery is not for me, at least right now, if it is for you, well that is part of your story.  Want to see if it is for any of the other ladies?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: Something Fun

  by slperrett9

, a photo by slperrett9 on Flickr.

30 Day Photo Challenge: Something I Made

  by slperrett9

The rabbit is not done, that is why it only has one leg. Don't worry it will have the right number when I finish it up!

10 years ago

The next entry in the Thursday blog project is:  Are you today, where you thought you would be 10 years ago?

My old brain is having a very hard time even remembering 10 years ago.  Let's do a little math, 10 years ago was 2001.  In August of 2001, Mac would have been celebrating his first birthday.  He would have had about his millionth ear infection and would be preparing for tubes in his ears.  This is only relavent to me because after he got the tubes in his ears, his ability to speak went from one or two words at a time to full paragraphs and by the time he was 13 months, he could out talk most anyone.  Anyone who knows him won't be surprised by this.

In September, on the 11th, some dudes would decide it was a good day to fly a plane into a building.  This changed the fundamental character of our nation.  We now submit to gynecological exams at the airport.  It is now acceptable for some stranger to feel my breasts in public at the airport.  Naked pictures are flashed up on a screen.  All in the name of security.

During this time, I was working.  I was trying to figure out how to balance having a baby and a job that required long hours and lots of travel.  This balancing act was made more difficult because my husband also had a job that required long hours and lots of travel.  We were like ships that passed in the night handing the baby off from one parent to the other.  Sometimes in airports.

I hated my job.  Well, hated would have been an improvement.  It just wasn't the right thing for me to be doing.  I was super good at it, so I was able to acheive a lot of success and as a result make a lot of money.  In October of 2001, Mac dressed up in a costume and went trick or treating to a few houses in our neighborhood.  I missed it because I was on a business trip.  This is an experience I will never be able to have with him.  I can not get this back.

The job I had at this time was actually a step down in terms of money and status, but theoretically I was trading that for increased flexibility.  The reality was that they weren't happy when I would leave at 4:30 so I could get my child at daycare.  Even though I worked at home and got to the office at 6:30 most days.  I just wasn't available enough.

I spent the better part of 2001, wishing I could just be with my child.  That we could figure out a way to make it work on just one salary.  It was made more challenging because I was the primary wage earner.  It was hard to choose to walk away from my six figure salary.  To take more than a 50% cut in pay.

Anyone who really knows me, knows that if I want it bad enough, I will generally figure out how to make it happen.  We ran the numbers up one side and down the other.  We figured out how to make it work.  We cut back on things we didn't need, refinanced our house, I got a cheaper car, etc.  We figured out how to live on less.  ::soap box moment::  When people wish they could stay home with their kids, when they complain that they can't afford to not work, in all but very few cases, I think, if you wanted it bad enough you could have it.  You just have to stop spending money on all the things you think you need.  Life isn't about things, it is about experiences and if you are working you miss so many experiences.  Like your kid's first Halloween.  You can never get that back and that is more important than stuff.  We are not lucky, we are frugal.  ::end soap box moment::

By July of 2002, I took the lowest paying, hardest job I would ever have.  The job I will have the longest.  On July 1, 2002, I became a Stay at Home Mother.  I left the corporate world and started using coupons and living on much, much less.  Amazingly, my kids want for nothing, we have plenty and it has worked out ok.  We will still retire, send our kids to college, live in a pretty nice house, and go on trips.  If I had not done this, we would not have been able to make it work out.  We could not have managed our kids and their needs and our jobs without loosing our minds.  During this year, we made a hard decision, but it was without question the right decision.

Where I am today, is not really surprising or unimaginable to my 10 year ago self.  That person was stressed, overwhelmed and cried a lot.  I get stressed and overwhelmed today, but I am not that lunatic that called her mommy hysterical in an airport because she couldn't be with her baby.  My mother told me, "chase what you want, I believe you can make it work."

I admire working moms, their ability to keep all those balls in the air.   They are like super heros.  But, I wouldn't trade my life for theirs for all the money in the world. It is 78 and sunny today, I will be at the pool.

Want to see how the other ladies have changed in the last 10 years?  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.