Monday, August 30, 2010

Membership Drive ala NPR

We interrupt our regular blog with the first annual Getrealmama membership drive. For the next week there will be endless tedious posts explaining why you should support this blog. You will visit each day briefly forgetting about the drive, anticipating another riveting essay. Alas, you will be disappointed to find yet another blurb explaining that we rely on readers like you, for inspiration. Yes reader, it is your witty comments that keeps this blog ticking.

Whether you appreciate the pure comedic genius of getrealmama, or you read for the intelligent, insightful musings of a self-deprecating lady, I need you. (Membership drive, or stupid flashback episode? You be the judge.)

How can you help?

  • Comment. Comment often. Tell me what you like. Tell me that I am brilliant. My posts are hysterical. You love me. That sort of thing.

  • Follow me. In fact if you think of yourself as a friend, and you are not an official follower, you might want to rethink. **

  • Spread the Getrealmama word! Recommend me on Facebook, or Tweet one of your favorite posts, spread the shear joy of ME! Dude really? How could you resist? ***

Not "feeling" the above options? There is still an alternative way to help. Getrealmama needs money. Blogging is expensive. Creativity is sparked by dollars. Just think, if I had enough money I could take a trip to Bali ,Paris or Rome. I could shop for high-end brands, go to the best restaurants. You would benefit, because of course I'll write about it, for you, my readers. And as a bonus- donate and you are eligible for the following rewards.

$50-A getrealmama coffee mug! Because, come on, who could have enough coffee mugs?Inconceivable.

$150- A getrealmama official T-shirt! One word- Wow.

$500-All of the above, plus an autographed 8x10 glossy photo of you-know-who!

** Like the Kargas Family Christmas card? Want to keep receiving them? Start Following.

*** Don't have anything nice to say? You know what they say about that.

We thank you for your continued support.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekend in review

I am up at my father's house in the mountains of Golden, Colorado. I am looking out big picture windows at morning sun over tree lined peaks. The clouds are already gathering, promising a grey day. But I have this morning with the sun.

It has been a very short trip. I arrived on Friday afternoon and leave at 4:30 today. My father is not feeling well, recovering from two surgeries this summer. All of our running around yesterday wore him out, so we will likely stay close to home until it is time to deliver me to the airport. (Likely 2.75 hours early, which is my father's style, he is even more neurotic than I am when it comes to -God forbid- missing a flight.) But that is okay. I like DIA. And DIA without children, it's like a vacation in and of itself. Read a little People Magazine, eat a little TCBY, I'll be okay.

So rather than give you the blow by blow of my vacation, here are the highlights:

  • I boarded my first flight sans children in I believe four years. Amazing how easy air travel is without squirmy little tyrants to look after. One small suitcase, tucked neatly in the overhead bin. My purse under the seat in front of me, book in my lap. No diaper bag. No arsenal of snacks. No spilt milk. No "I have to pee" just as the Pilot issues the fasten seat belts command. Bliss. I sat for the first 1.5 hours peacefully reading my novel, until miss chatter box, a 20-something tattoo covered rebel starts babbling endlessly. "You look great" "For 36" she informs me after I tell her my age. Great. Thanks a whole-heck-of-a lot. Bimbo.

  • I took the train on the George Town Loop. Funny how, now as a visitor I am doing all of the touristy things that I never experienced during my eight years of actually living in Colorado. It was breathtaking. Simply beautiful. The train ran a short loop through the mountains over Clear Creek. The sun warmed my vitamin D deprived shoulders and the mountain air felt clean and good. After the ride and a quick lunch at a quaint tea house in Silver Plume, we headed to Erie, for my nephew Kristoff's birthday party. We drove the familiar route, past George Town, Idaho Springs, Evergreen, the drive we once took on a regular basis, usually with our feet stuffed into hiking shoes, and the dog in back. I felt a strong surge of nastolgia and longing. Why did we have to move away? When can we come home for good?

  • I attended my nephew Kristoff's first birthday party. I must say Kristoff is truly a happy, beautiful rolly-poly one year old. I was thrilled to be there. Of course my sister's three year son, Finn, was also there, and be still my heart, referred to me as "Auntie Rachel". For some reason this warmed my heart until I thought it might just boil over. Auntie Rachel. I am someones Aunt.

  • One of the guests at the party was my sister's grade school friend, Danielle. I had not set eyes on her in years and yet, she looked almost exactly the same, only taller. She confessed some things that my sister never shared with me. She told me how she and my sister used to sneak in my bedroom and go through my belongings, thinking that I was cool. Cool? But I thought they dispised me. After all I was a goody-two-shoes who never smoked weed. Go figure. She remembered the care package I put together for Erica when she was graduating from high school and heading off to Boulder for college. I could hardly believe it. She told me she was jealous of that gift, how she had wished she had an older sister like me. Flabbergasted. At least I impressed someone. Thank you Danielle, for making my day. And, don't worry sis, I know you have grown to love me.

So I am finishing this post back in my Berkeley living room, eating salad at 9:00, boys tucked in bed, dog at my feet. The weekend now gone, and I feel sad knowing that the next time I set foot on Denver soil it will be a different season. Instead of getting easier, over the past few months in particular, it feels as if it is getting harder.

I know the feeling will fade over the next few days, as the recent events turn to memory and I resume my daily activities. The boys start preschool tomorrow. I have work. My in laws arrive for a (a-hem) ten day visit on Friday. Life-goes on.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


All of the sudden my kid's want nothing more than to be naked. It happens every evening as I am getting dinner ready. Just as I am putting the finishing touches on the healthy meal that will go untouched, I look over to see my two little streakers. Just what starts this off? I can only imagine:

Zack: Evan, I am planning a corporate take-over.

Evan: Huh?

Zack: That's right. I have had just about enough of our "leadership". Mama's gotta be taken down!

Evan: Mama!

Zack: Once I am running this place there are going to be some major changes. I am going to be the grown up!

Evan: Blank look.

Zack: Get this: Bed time-A million o-clock!

Evan: Night-night? I need my da-dow (translation: pillow)

Zack: Also, the tv will be on all of the time. And we will only watch cartoons. No news!

Evan: Can I watch TV now? Can I watch Dago and baby Jagwa? (Translation: Diego and Baby Jaguar).

Zack: Not now. Mommy is in the other room. When I am boss we will eat Subway sandwiches every single day. Or McDonald's. Only meals with "prizes!".

Evan: I'm hungry. I want Milkie.

Zack: Only chocolate Milk! And a new dress code! From now on-all naked-all -the-time!

Evan: I take my diaper off!

Both boys strip down and start running around the house screaming. Naked.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mr. Sun

Hey Sun,

Yeah, I'm talking to you. Nice of you to make an appearance this summer. Grace us with your golden presence for a whopping two days. You're a little late for the party aren't you? In case you haven't notice it's August the 24th. The summer is just about over.

My dear Sun, you have been absent for months now. Bueller? Bueller?

Day after day, I searched for you, only to come face to face with Fog. Clouds. Grey. They all get the Perfect Attendance Award for the season. A+++. But you? M.I.A.

And now at this late hour, you rise to show your shiny face. As if to taunt us. 4th of July Barbecue? Nope. Warm days at the pool? Negative. A sundress on my birthday? Try a turtleneck. A hot afternoon and a cool beer at the ball game? I'll take hot chocolate. Thanks a lot.

But I am sure you will be here to set the mood for Christmas.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Autumn, 1996

I recently finished the book "Ten Minutes From Home" (Beth Greenfield). It is a memoir that no mother of two young children has any business reading. It is the true story of an adolescent girl who loses her best friend and seven year old brother in a random, tragic car accident with a drunk driver. It's touching, yet haunting and sends a clear message; some things are just out of your control.

That novel inspired this post about my own "brush with death" fourteen years ago, in the autumn of 1996.

I graduated from college that May. My serious boyfriend, who would later earn the title of "husband" took a short term position writing for the local paper in Monroe, a small town about 45 minutes outside of Madison. He got his very first apartment of his own just blocks away from the local watering hole. I relished our time together there, playing house, grocery shopping, cooking meals , jogging through the small town streets and partying with the locals.

I lived with my parents. I worked a temporary clerical position at an insurance company while saving funds for our upcoming European adventure.

I drove my parents boxy blue Volvo to and from Monroe frequently. I spent weekends and occasional weeknights in Monroe, commuting in before and after work. I didn't mind the drive, not one bit. In fact I liked the time to myself. I would pop in one of my carefully crafted "mix tapes" (yes, this was before Ipods and play-lists) and jam out as I enjoyed the Wisconsin scenery (cows).

I believe it was a Sunday, but my memory all of these years later is fuzzy. I remember a last minute workout on the treadmill in my parent's basement, leaving me sweaty. Noticing the time, I decide to skip the shower. I throw my things together in a duffel bag and jump into the Volvo for the drive. Evening falling. Twilight. I had no reason to fear the the fading sky.

I'm listing to Toni Braxton. "Unbreak My Heart". Night falling. Two lane highway. I'm singing along . A bend in the road leads to something blurry ahead. A paper bag? I barely break. Slow motion. Impact. Shear force. Jolting. Shattering glass. This is it. This is how people die. Over in seconds. The car screeches to a halt. I pat myself down from the top of my head to my knees. I look at my hands. Small specks of blood. From where? Am I okay? I feel fine. I'm fine.

From there it is a blur of flashing lights and questions. What happened? What is your name? Did you lose consciousness? Does your neck hurt? Do you know the date? Is there someone we should call?
I am fine I tell them, just fine.
They insist on a stretcher. I worry that I should have taken a shower. I must smell. I am strapped down in a a neck brace. Do they think I was drunk? I hadn't had a drop to drink. But what did I hit? I am sent to the hospital via ambulance. X-rays. Insurance cards. The damn neck brace, won't they please take it off?
My boyfriend arrives. "What happened?, What did you hit?" He asks.
I have no idea. It looked like a paper bag.

The doctors give me the green light to go home. The blood was merely from my tongue which I bit during the accident, just a normal reflex the nurse informs me.
I am set home with some warnings. I am told that my whole body will ache by morning. I am told that I will have a black eye. I am told that I was lucky. My sturdy car, my seat belt, my puffy Wisconsin-style winter jacket all protected me.

I feel stunned. My boyfriend takes me home to the apartment. Eventually I fall asleep. When I awake I expect to feel stiff and sore, but I feel perfectly fine.
By the next evening, as the doctor promised a dark purple bruise starts to spread across my eye until finally it nearly swells shut. For the next two weeks I wear the badge of survival on my face and ponder the purpose of styling my hair each morning. What was the point? I looked completely disfigured.

The day after the accident my stepfather took me to the auto shop to collect my belongings from the totaled Volvo. I was told that the car actually rolled over. I had no idea. I saw the dent in the roof of the car. The paint scraped off the doors. A cat sat in the back seat of the car, eating a sandwich from my duffel bag. I worried that he would cut his paws on the pieces of glass from the smashed windshield.

The police informed me that I had hit a tractor trailer tire that had fallen off the back of someones truck. They found it in a field near the accident site. They did not ticket me. They told me that it wasn't my fault.

Perhaps not. But it is easier to think that it might have been avoided. If I had seen it sooner, if I had identified the object for what it was, a heavy tire, and not a weightless grocery bag. If I had breaked. It never would have happened.
In the weeks that followed the accident I was left with a feeling that I can now identify as anxiety. I felt jittery, a constant sensation of butterflies flitting around in my stomach. I couldn't eat. I lost weight. I had no car, so I saw my boyfriend less, but at least I avoided driving.

The accident has had a lasting impact on my life. To this day I fear night driving. To this day I sometimes dream about glass shattering in slow motion. The truth is, we are physically fragile. We take risks every single day. No one knows when a drunk might plow into us and snatch away the life of our loved ones, or when you might come around a bend in the road to find something unexpected that can turn your life upside down .

But life marches on. We get back behind the wheel because what is the alternative? Life is full of risks and danger, and things outside of our control. Our only choice is to keep going, buckle up and hope for the best.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What a difference a year makes

Last year my birthday fell on a Friday. I remember the day very well. It was hot, and my skin was brown from a summer under the Colorado sun. I took the kid's to my sister's community pool. It's a beautiful pool. There is a perfect wading area for the little ones, a twisty slide that Zack and I adored, and fountains to splash in. I spent much of the summer there with my one year old (Evan was still a baby), Zack, my very pregnant sister and my nephew Finn. We would head there on my days off, and picnic on lawn chairs. That Friday of my birthday, I received a phone call while standing in my sister's living room. A phone call that colored my day and ultimately completely changed my life.

"I got the job." he told me.

"Damn." I responded, "You just ruined my birthday."

I told my sister as soon as I got off the phone. She looked concern. "Don't worry." I told her, "There is no way we are going." But I had a feeling. The next 72 hours we agonized over the decision.

That Saturday I celebrated my birthday with a big group of girls at my favorite bar in LoDo. I sat there looking at my friends, and telling them that we were probably moving. It was a bittersweet party. I was thrilled that so many of my girlfriends came out to celebrate with me, but I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that my next birthday would look very different.

And it does. Here we are one year later. There has been no hot summer, no tanned skin, no outings to the pool with my sister. Evan is no longer a baby, and Zack can read. We have a whole new life in a whole new city. New jobs. New routines. It is exciting and fun, but still I look back at a year ago with a longing for what was. I miss having a million friends who want to party with me. I miss my sister. I miss the hot.

I miss home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Check it twice

There is a nightly ritual. Things that must happen in preperation for bed. There is a significant price to pay should one forget. Last night I forgot.

What should happen:

  • Bath.

  • Teeth. Each child must have a Spiderman toothbrush. Blue for Evan. Red for Zack.

  • Children carefully select pajamas (usually insisting on the filthy ones in the hamper) and dress. *Special note, since Zachary is apparently going to wet his bed into adolescence, a pull up is required.

  • Each child selects a book. Mommy gently guides away from the three chapter Cars book and the impossibly long Red Fish Blue Fish, and encourages more palatable reading.

  • Evening entertainment is provided. Story time, then 3 lullabies by mama.

  • Each child retrieves their "guys" for bedtime. For Zachary this means Nooderz the Kangaroo, Mr. Brown Doggie and Bob Bear. Evan has, Kangaroo (formally known as 9910), Valentine's Day Doggie, each of his identical polar bears and his usually dirty beat up Ikea pillow.

  • Good night kisses.

  • Lights Off, Ipod on-(Dan Zane's "Night Time" )

Last night's critical mistakes:

  • Zachary dressed himself, I failed to notice the lack of pull up.

  • Evan's Kangaroo (formerly known as 9910) was nowhere to be found, so by the grace of God, somehow we convinced him to go to sleep sans Kangaroo.

The end result:

  • 1:30am we awaken to Zachary crying. A wet bed. Pajamas must be changed. Child must now sleep on the floor of our bedroom.

  • Evan, awakened by all of the commotion remembers the absence of Kangaroo. He spends the next twenty minutes moaning Kangawoo! Knagawoo! We are too tired to get out of bed to continue the investigation of the missing stuffed toy. So we listen to him whimper and pray that our nanny knows his whereabouts.

  • I am unable to fall back to sleep until 3.

Tonight I will not forget.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hey Crabby Lady, this one's for you.

She sneers at me from the adjacent check out line. I look at my cart. The usual suspects. A jar of peanut butter. A gallon of milk. Strawberries, carrots, cream cheese, a frozen pizza. Nothing sneer-worthy here. I shrug my shoulders.

Okay, so I failed to mention the 2 and nearly 5 year old also stuffed into the cart, but they are well behaved, so what is the big problem? They are adorable, right?

Okay, so they both have a combination of snot and leftover ice-cream crusted to their faces, and are wearing miss-matched outfits self selected that morning. But they aren't bothering anyone... right?

Okay, so they are loudly giggling over some game silly game they are playing, but they are not crying or throwing anything, so I am free to peruse the magazine covers at the stand. Us Weekly. People. The Enquirer. I lose myself, enchanted. How much weight did Kristi Alley gain? Jennifer Anniston is going to have a baby...on her own? A Bachelorette betrayed?

"So noisy" she hisses to me as she catches my eye.

A beat passes. I suck in my breath. Are you freaking kidding me? We are at a grocery store correct? Not The Louvre, not Chez Panisse, not the ballet. The grocery store. Where people buy food. For their families.

I am unable to contain myself. I look her square in the eye and say:

"They are children. If you don't like it, you should stay home". And I turn away, leaving her speechless. Did she expect me to blush and apologize?

Perhaps she has forgotten what it was like to have small children. Maybe she thinks that she did a better job of "controlling" her offspring's behavior, or maybe she never had kids at all. Whatever the case, her judgmental looks and comments burned threw me making my blood boil, and I stood up.

And I am damn sure it won't be the last time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend in paradise

What a weekend. One of those weekends that you wish you could relive over and over again. A weekend that passed too quickly, and that left me breathless and exhausted in time for the work week to begin. A whirlwind of family, celebration, food, cocktails, hugs, scenery, cocktails, dancing, reminiscing, cocktails, freedom, playing dress up and did I mention cocktails?

This was the weekend of my cousin Rachel's wedding. My mother, stepfather, sister, and brother in law, flew in for the festivities. This was no ordinary wedding. This was a very elegant, elaborate affair at The Ritz in Half Moon Bay. In a word, Beautiful. I drove up sans husband and children on Friday afternoon for the rehearsal dinner. This was a lovely event. Fantastic Greek food, wine and great company. But if I am to be honest with you, the very best part of the whole day was the fact that I had a hotel room all to myself for 24 joyful hours. No we did not stay at the Ritz, but the Best Western, which was kindly paid for by my parents. It was actually the nicest Best Western I have ever set eyes on. I guess that is what you get in Half Moon Bay. After the dinner I came back to a clean, totally peaceful room. A remote control with my name on it. A bed just for me. I watched smut on television. The kind of stuff my husband would cringe at. I turned out the lights at 10:30 and did not get out of bed until 8:45, which is just about a world record for a mom of two under five. I dressed and went out for a run along the coast. I jogged to the sound of waves crashing and watched the fog roll over the ocean. Serene. Cozy. Bliss. After my jog I grabbed coffee and a bagel which I enjoyed on the patio of my hotel room while reading USA Today. (More trash).

It was the most relaxing morning I have had in years. Years.

The rest of the day was spent with my family, wondering the quaint main street area, lunching and sight seeing.

Then it was time for the main event. We dressed and arrived in time for family photos. We watched the bridal party snap shot after shot of magazine worthy photographs. Rachel was gorgeous. We sipped $16 fruity drinks and awaited for my husband to arrive. Our anniversary. What a way to celebrate.

He arrived looking handsome in his one and only suit, reserved for such occasions. The rest of the evening passed quickly. A light-hearted, sweet ceremony, exquisite colorful bouquets of flowers. A backdrop of the sea, waves crashing on the cliffs. There were delectable appetizers, and free flowing drinks. We danced to 80's pop, and the DJ played our own wedding song, Louis Armstrong, A kiss to build a dream on. Eleven years ago, this was our day.

It was amazing to spend time with my family like this. Most of our visits together are harried, balancing the needs of which ever kid is screaming the loudest. Wiping noses, changing diapers, cleaning dishes. This was different. Time for the grown ups to connect and chat and celebrate love and romance.

And now it is over. My sister and her husband have boarded a plane and are headed for home. My parents will follow suit tomorrow.

The house will be somehow empty, and everything a bit too quiet. Our day to day lives resume. But we will always have Half Moon Bay.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Ahhh Facebook. Beloved Facebook. You are the giant cyber space high school reunion. So many good uses for Facebook.

And yet. Yet, you ruin the mystique of long lost friends and make our cloudy memories crystal clear. You give our childhood enemies and crushes an adult face, and we are forced to see the bullies and heart breakers for who they are now. Grown ups. Nice people. Real estate agents. Balding. Unmistakably average. Kind.

I had a recent run in with my sixth grade crush. I promised him I would not use his name on my blog, so I am changing it to Stevie. (Hint that isn't much of a change from his real name). Stevie was the topic of many a three hour phone conversation with my best friend, Erica (pictured with me above). Erica and I were smitten. Stevie was so cute. Stevie was so funny. Stevie looked at me yesterday, what do you think that means? We prank called Stevie on several occasions. Giggling wildly into the phone screaming "we love you!" and quickly hanging up before we could hear his response. Ahh... Stevie. Stevie didn't like me. Boys didn't like the sixth grade me. Well except for Eli who I kissed on a double dare and "went with" for a grand total of two weeks. But Stevie had his eyes on prettier faces. He was never mean to me. Not really. It was his not -as -cute side kick who had an evil streak. Stevie broke my sixth grade heart at the school dance. He agreed to a slow dance with none other than my BFF Erica. Erica was thrilled. So I thought that I would take my chances and when "Say You, Say Me" was played I asked my heart-throb for a dance. He was too tired. Too tired? Even at my age I knew better. Liar. Jerk. He picked Erica over me.

Somehow, I picked up the pieces of my shattered heart and moved on. My friendship with Erica was not tarnished and we both went on to have many other crushes, but you don't forget your first.

And then there he was. A grown man on Facebook. He looks like any one of my friend's husbands. (And yes, "Stevie", you have aged well). And he was nice. He remembered my name. He remembered that dance. He accepted my friend request and did not tell me he was too busy or too tired to be my friend. He is an adult. So now the memory of my little sixth grade crush has transformed. Stevie has an adult face, and he is nice. It kind of ruins it doesn't it?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Scooby Snacks (Sort of)

Before I had kids I would never have eaten a package of "Fruit Flavored Snacks" in SpongeBob SquarePants shapes. But I did tonight. And they were tasty. Mmmm Mmmm good. Before I had kids, we went through a stick of butter and a dozen eggs about every two months, now, I shop for both on a weekly basis. Little growing bodies need fat to grow on. Before I had kids I would clean my living room in the morning and return home to that same spotless house. These days, a tidy space transforms to chaos in a matter of mere seconds. Seconds. Before I had kids I had long hair, died to a shiny sun-bleached shade of blond that I flat-ironed on a daily basis. Today I haven't enough hair to be styled at all. Before I had kids I would take a walk with the husband under a sky full of stars and return home at 11pm, just in time for bed. Today, I can't leave the house past 8:00. We have blessed, sleeping responsibilities upstairs. Before I had kids I would join my colleagues for happy hour after work. We gossiped and griped about the day and drank our blues away. These days I rush home as soon as the clock strikes 5pm. Little mouths to feed. A nanny who needs to be relieved.

Before I had kids life was simple. Life was about me. What I needed.

I can't lie. That was nice. At times, I miss it terribly.

But before I had kids, I never knew how it felt to be admired and loved so wholly. Before I had kids there was no one who would beg for more tickles and demand for my arms screaming "Uppy!". Before I had kids my refrigerator was stark and barren, no homemade artwork to clutter it's surface. Before I had kids I never experienced the wonder of a child learning to read and write.

Before I had kids life was quiet, life was mine. And yet, I have learned so much from the wee-ones, and along with the fuss, the tantrums and the mess comes the joy. So much joy. And the freaking awesome fruit flavored-SpongeBob Squarepants snacks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In the mirror

I hate this picture. Hate it. So it is surprising that I am posting it on my blog. Why would I place this unflattering photograph of myself up for all of you lovely visitors to view? Because I was inspired by an old high school friend's facebook status update. It said:

"The other day my daughter said she “was playing with her friend in the mirror” and it got me thinking…. When was the last time I saw a “friend”in the mirror?....."

Good question. Because when I see this picture, or when I view this face in a mirror my thoughts are something similar to: "Your arms look fat. Look at those laugh lines. Your teeth are too yellow. Your smile is too big. Your eyes are too droopy, and your face lacks definition. You look old." God help me when I get in front of a full length mirror.

So is that a friend? Hardly. I would never speak those words to a friend. Can you imagine? No if I were sitting across from that girl in the picture, I might complement her on her earrings or her sassy haircut. I would find something positive to share with her.

And yet everyday I criticize myself. I am not pretty enough. I need to do sit ups. I talk too much. I talk too loud. I am a terrible housekeeper. I have cellulite. I am lazy. The list goes on and on. If any friend talked to me like that, I would give her a nickname. Bitch.

I don't want to be a bitch. It's time to be kinder.
It's time to be a friend.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Random thoughts

To the tanned half naked jogger from yesterday:

Yes, you are fit and athletic and I understand the temptation to show off the fruits of your labor, but dude, it is 50 degrees and drizzling, do you really need to take your shirt off? You're that hot? Come on. Have a slice of humble pie and put some clothes on.

To my children:

Listen I want to raise kids that are comfortable with bodies. I am not a prude, but boys I am starting to wonder if all this constant nudity is going to lead to social services knocking on my door. Can we at least put on underwear for taco night?

To the fool who hacked my hotmail:

Beware. I am consulting with a voodoo doctor shortly. You messed with the wrong mama.

To the barista at the coffee shop where I often work:

When I ask you about your favorite dessert, please do not shrug your skinny shoulders and say "the fruit cup". You're not going to make any friends that way.

To my blog readers:

Talk to me! Comment! Don't be so shy. I'm lonely.....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why August Rocks

August is a pretty good month if you're me. And since I fit that bill it suits moi just fine.

Why August? Because it is a month of Kargas family celebrations. August 14th: Our anniversary. This year is our 11th anniversary. (Please hold your applause until the end folks). Of course that means last year was the BIG TEN. I had high hopes for the BIG TEN. A second honeymoon back in Portugal or perhaps a week at a luxury resort in Hawaii. Reality set in. We were contemplating a move to California, had two small kids at home and a (very) limited budget. So, a hasty, fun, yet unmemorable trip to Vegas was the end result. (Photo above). Not what we had in mind, but heck at least we were celebrating ten years. This year it is of course, 11. And instead of a couple's night out we are attending a family wedding in Half Moon Bay. Without kids. And staying over night. Well all-right!

August 21st (drum roll please) the celebration of the anniversary of yours truly. MY BIRTHDAY. (Applause is now appropriate). I have already referenced my affection for birthdays in earlier posts, but let me reinforce that this is MY BIRTHDAY. The best day of the whole long year. The day I anticipate starting right about now. I never hesitate to remind those around me of the upcoming event. I don't like to leave anything to chance. If Molly Ringwald looked like a spoiled pout in Sixteen Candles, I assure you that it would pale in comparison should anything be amiss on my special day. Last year was a mixed bag. 8/21/09, I had a girls party planned at my favorite Champagne Bar (Corridor 44) in Denver. A group of fabulous women accompanied me for a fantastic evening, which sadly became marred by the job offer my husband received that very day. The job offer that would ultimately leave me far away from my ladies this year. So there will not necessarily be a Rachel Love Fest this year, but believe-you-me, I ain't letting it go. Nope. I am eagerly anticipating an amazing 24 (plus) hours of pampering. Which means, honey, if you are reading this, pressure is on you babe.

Happy August Everyone!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nothing to do but cross your fingers.

We worry through our pregnancies. Will I miscarry? Will my baby be healthy? Will it have down syndrome? A healthy heart? A disability? And then by some insane miracle most of us have healthy babies. We breath a sigh of relief at their arrival and then turn our concerns to SIDS, kidnapping, autism and a whole host of other tragic maladies. If we make it through those tense few years, we should be allowed to let our guard down and relax a bit... right?

Wrong. My guess is that any parent of a teenager or a grown child knows that the worry does not cease. The love for your child, the fear for their well being does not surrender with the numbers of candles on a birthday cake.

Last night a police officer awoke us at 3:30 am. He rang the bell of our home and inquired about next of kin. Next of kin for someone who used to live in this home and who shares the same last name of our landlords. Presumably, their adult child. We provided the officer with all of the information that we could to put him in touch with the owners of our house.

We went to bed believing that our sweet landlady was receiving word that her son had passed tragically. The worst moment of one's life. The moment we all picture in our heads. The car accident. The drowning. The overdose. The murder. Anything is possible in the imagination of a parent. And the thing of it is, it is not fantasy. These things happen, they happen every day. Children get cancer. Teenagers drink themselves to death. Families die in car accidents. It is reality. A fact of life that is simply out of our control.

We were relieved to find out that our landlord's 29 year old son merely fractured his skull after some accident in the middle of the night. He will survive. We know nothing more. Of course I speculate that there is more to the story. An attempted suicide. An alcoholic carelessly leaning over his balcony with a bottle of Jack in hand. Who knows. The fact is, his parents arrived at the hospital with almost no information about their son's prognosis, and they are now thanking their lucky stars that their boy is alive. But whats next? They will scratch their heads and wonder what they can do to steer their son out of harm's way in the future. How can they protect him from his own stupidity, or from random dumb luck?

Truth be told they can't. None of us can. At some point we must let go of our children and pray for the best. Cross our fingers and hope that we will be the lucky ones, the ones who never receive that call in the middle of the night....