Saturday, March 31, 2012

I need a good cry

It's 4am. I have been awake for two hours. I hear him cry. Even though he didn't wake me up, I don't feel like getting out of bed. I know he isn't hungry. He is crying for me because he is lonely. Because he wants to be held. Because he is awake in the middle of the night. I go to him and his sobbing stops as soon as I pick him up.

Babies use their tears to communicate. It tells us they are hungry, tired, cold, bored, or really pissed that you took the bag of tacks out of their reach. Kids cry too. A lot. I realize that every single day my kids are reduced to a wet puddle. This house could float away on tears shed in a week. They cry when they are frustrated, over tired, disappointed or when their feelings are hurt. The angry cries can be infuriating, and the quiet sad tears can break your heart.

I have come to believe that this is a good thing, all this crying even when it is painfully annoying. (Crying over a missing Buzz Lightyear sock?) I always know exactly how my boys are feeling, there is no guess work. The tears are often just what they need to get over something, it's a fabulous release.

I wonder when I lost my ability to cry. Don't get me wrong I can cry, on occasion, but often times the tears fail to come, even when I will them to be there. When I left Denver and said my goodbyes most of the encounters left my eyes dry. It was only as I pulled away from our home that I broke down in sobs, alone in my car. It seems these days tears require a powerful shove by a couple glasses of wine and a sappy song.

This week has been hard, I won't bore with the details, but I believe that I surely would have benefited from a good cry. I think it would do me some good. Perhaps a viewing of Terms of Endearment may be in order...... Shirley MacLaine always makes me cry. Bring it Shirley.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Only Child Envy

The reaction I get when I tell people that I have three boys is usually the same. A sympathetic look, and one of two comments: "You have your hands full!" or "I don't know how you do it!" Truth be told I don't know how I do it either. I am afraid that the answer may actually be "not very well."

Poor Julian. The third baby. He gets dragged from play date, to soccer game, to doctor appointments, the grocery store and big boy birthday parties. Naps be damned. We are always on the go. There will likely be no Gymboree classes for the little guy, no baby book, and a whole lot of hand-me-downs.

Julian isn't the only one who suffers. I have several friends who have decided to have only one child. How different their lives are. They go out to eat at real restaurants, they don't think twice about stopping off at the grocery store to pick up a quick snack on the way to the park. They take naps. Of course I am talking about my friends who have older children. I think about what my life would be like if it were just Zack. Maybe I would actually have time for a pedicure. While I am envious of all of that, I am also thinking about how special an only child must feel.

Today I had the rare opportunity to just take a walk with Zachary. Zack didn't have school today, so we dropped Evan off at preschool and took our time walking home. He talked a mile a minute, and I really listened. The kid is hysterical. He told me stories about all the kids in his class, rambled off facts about reptiles and birds, and informed me that although he would like to move to Seattle with his best friend Ethan, ultimately he wouldn't because Ethan's family doesn't have an Ipad. He cracked me up. At the end of our walk he hugged me. He was so awesome, and I wished that I had more of those moments.

It's hard. Day to day, I am usually juggling so much and it's difficult to be the mom that I would like to be. I know that I have given my boys the gift of family. They will have their brothers for life, the Three Musketeers. I love each of my boys more than I thought possible, yet sometimes I wish I could treat each of them as if they were an only child.

Julian-Messy as usual


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And The Winner Is

And the winner is....

The laundry
The baby who wants to nurse at 4:30 am, I can't fight you anymore.
The cat. Please, go right ahead and vomit all over my entire house. I surrender.
The sock monster. Nobody has matching socks in this house. Big freaking deal.
Gravity. No. I am never wearing a bikini again. Ever.
The random crap my kids receive in birthday party "goody bags" feel free to take over. Pile high.
Time. There will never be enough of you. You are running too fast and I can't keep up.
Bravo/Facebook. You may suck away all of my time. I am helpless in your presence.
Cheeze-It's. I can't help myself.


Liz-The winner of the $25 Macy's Gift Card! Congratulations! Please email me your address, so I can send the card in the mail.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It's the middle of the night, and here I am awake. Again. Throughout my life I have periodically dealt with periods of insomnia. My first experience with sleep difficulties came in eighth grade. 1988 is a year that I'd like to forget. It was the height of awkward adolescence, my parents had both remarried, I changed schools and was greeted by a bunch of girls (a high proportion of which her blond and named "Amy") who decided they despised me. I started having migraine headaches, headaches so bad that I actually threw up all over myself on the school bus one day. That did nothing to help my popularity. Some time in the fall I seemed to lose the ability to sleep. The more I thought about it, the worse it would get. As night would fall I would feel a horrible sense of dread. At dinner I would begin to anticipate the quiet of midnight. At bedtime I would toss and turn and cry in frustration. I don't know exactly how long this period lasted, but I remember the greatest relief of all came when I discovered that a combination of George Winston and Little House On The Prairie could put me to sleep.

These days I have no trouble falling to sleep. Exhausted I need only to close my eyes and I'm gone. It's one am that gets me. I wake up, and I'm usually wide awake for a couple of hours. It's terribly frustrating as I know that even on a Saturday the day will start early.

I suppose I could be productive during these middle of the night hours. I could do a load of laundry, mop the kitchen floor or even do some candidate sourcing, but all of those ideas seem terribly unattractive. I'm tired. I just can't...sleep. So here I am. Babbling into cyberspace. Writing a post that is essentially nothing but a request for pity.

Apparently middle of the night blogging isn't a good idea either. Sorry.

But here I am. Typing about.. nothing.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vegas (Baby)

A couple of nights ago I had a dream that I just cannot seem to shake. Julian took his first steps, which is not such a stretch since he is pulling up to stand and starting his cruising phase. In my dream I watched as my baby took his first two tiny steps and then in an instant he was a toddler all blond curls and running. My heart ached. I felt panicked and desperate. My baby, a baby no more. Gone.

The first weekend of May I am headed for a girls weekend in Vegas with my best girl, Shannon. Believe me I cannot wait. Sunshine, massages, cocktails, conversation with a dear friend and sleeping in until whenever- the- hell- I -want -to are on the horizon. But I'll also be leaving my baby for the first time. I'll be gone two nights and inevitably this will probably mean he will wean. Julian will be one at the end of May. I am not the type of mama who feels the need to nurse a baby to childhood, but weaning Julian means that I'm done. I'm done being a mom to a baby. At the moment I have two boys who adore their father, as they should, but I often feel left out. Dad wrestles and plays sports with the boys, and I'm on the sidelines. After the nursing ends I'm afraid it won't be long before my sweet baby boy starts to prefer papa too.

As a girl I dreamed of my wedding day, the white dress, the flowers, the wonderful man I would marry. It happened when I was 24. From there I dreamed of our first home. We bought one in 2001. Finally it was all about pregnancy and babies, and now that phase is quickly fading to memory as well. What's next? I never planned this far.

I have no idea.

P.S. Do not forget to enter my contest for the $25 Macy's Gift Card!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

People I want to punch in the throat.

Recently I saw a blog titled "People I want to punch in the throat." Sadly, this resonated with me. I couldn't help but think it was kind of... hysterical. Violent? Yes. Negative? Yes. Funny? Yes.

So today's post is titled "People I want to punch in the throat" *

#1&#2: The two ladies I met in the Safeway parking lot on a rainy day last week. I was there with Julian in my arms,and Evan by my side. I was attempting to navigate my way through the busy parking lot without losing a child under the tires of a speeding vehicle. Have you ever noticed how crazy people get in a Safeway parking lot? For the love of God. The ladies looked at me. They shook their heads in disgust. One of the women opened up her big ol' mouth and snickered "Why don't your babies have on rain jackets? Tisk, tisk" I was headed for the store entrance and did not have time to turn around and explain (in the rain) why exactly my children were not wearing the appropriate rain gear. But here is why. I had spent the previous 10 minutes fighting with a three year old about the importance of wearing a rain jacket. I lost. Three year olds can be very persuasive when they are screaming in your ear and spitting at you. That's right. Spitting. It's his new thing. As for Julian, I don't even think they make rain jackets for 9 month olds, and if they do, I don't own one. I try to keep a hat on him, but he is already just as stubborn as his older brothers and pulls it off. Every. Single. Time. So Safeway ladies, that is why my babies were sans rain jackets. Mind your own damn business.

#3: All of the women at Evan's school who keep asking me if I want to serve on the Parent's Board and the Auction Committee. Sure they are well intentioned, but it is stressing me out. As it turns out I am just not one of those kinds of moms. You know, the kind of mom that likes planning all the fundraisers and organizing teacher appreciation day. I feel guilty about it. I do. But these mom's take this whole thing very seriously. They have job descriptions written for the various positions. I already have at least two jobs (Mom: AKA Personal Slave to three bossy boys) and part-time recruiter. I don't have the energy to head up the fundraising committee. I I don't know how these other mamas do it. Maybe they have more time than I do. Maybe they are just more super-awesome than I am. Either way, please, please stop asking me.

#4: Gotye. They sing "Somebody That I Used To Know". I am obsessed with this freaking song. It's catchy. It's emotional. It's sexy. It's stuck in my head 24x7 and I think it might drive me to doing something desperate like listening to Bill Harly's "Down in the Backpack" just to chase the damn song out of my head.

Okay. That's it. Off to my happy place.

*Disclaimer: Really, I'm not a violent person. No really.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Giveaway $25 Macy's Gift Card!

I have been stuck at around 200 "followers" for far too long now, something must be done. Better writing? Maybe. But I need immediate gratification. So I'm selling out. I'm doing a give-away. The lucky winner will receive a $25 Macy's gift card. Who couldn't use that? If you raised your hand, then we probably wouldn't be friends. Shopping sadly, is my most favorite hobby.

I'm making the process easy. Here is the deal:

To enter comment to THIS post. Tell me something. Shower me with compliments about the awesomeness of my blog. You must also become a "follower" of getrealmama. That's it.

For extra entries tweet the contest, post it to your facebook or on your blog and let me know.

Extra entries for commenting on future posts.

Winner drawn on March 25th.

Good luck!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I miss that girl.

I haven't been on this blog for nearly a week. I have thought of a few topics to write about and yet, I haven't been inspired. I've been thinking. The days have been grey, cold and rainy here in Oakland. Earlier this week as I was pushing Julian in the stroller on a misty morning, I felt such a wave of nostalgia. Twenty years ago I would spend cold days such as this one tucked in a tiny coffee shop on State Street. I would sit at a table in the back away from the drafty front door. There, I laid my books out in front of me and studied feverishly for hours while nursing a cup of black tea. I was intense about my studies, and it showed. In 1996 I left UW with a 3.98 grade point average. I earned every damn A I received and it felt amazing.

Not only was I a serious student, I was disciplined in other ways. I ran every single day, sometimes twice, and I had the muscular legs to show for it. (Which I did, frequently, I wasn't shy about "rocking" a mini-skirt.) I was smart about money. I kept my checkbook balanced, I waitressed several times a week at the local spaghetti house and I never spent beyond my means. I partied once a week, usually drinking enough vodka lemonades and cheap beer to give me a hangover, but I would still get up and study. I was determined.

I miss that girl. These days I find that my greatest accomplishment is often getting out of bed in the morning and making it through the day. Feeding, entertaining, washing and cleaning up after the boys seem to be all that I can manage. I have traded mini skirts and heals for my jeans and sensible shoes uniform.The ambitious, pretty, organized girl seems to have completely vanished. My home is chaos, no longer neat and orderly. I now run infrequently, and usually strive for "good enough", rather than perfection. Even my work on this blog illustrates a lack of concentration and effort. My posts are often hastily put together, and I pay little attention to grammar and tone. In some ways, I've lost the parts of myself that I liked the best.

I have spent the past week pouring through old pictures. I see the young woman I once was, surrounded by my friends, so many awesome friends. I miss my friends, and I miss that girl. I miss that girl. I know I can't get her back completely. Beauty fades. Without plastic surgery I'm never getting all of that back again. But there are other things that are fully in my control. As corny as it sounds, I need to get some of "me" back. I need to find my ambition and determination once again. Perhaps it won't be in the form of a career or studies, it may just be something as simple as a better blog, a refreshed wardrobe and new jogging routine. I'm thinking. Just thinking. I haven't figured it out yet.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Office

Daddy: I'm working from home today.
Zachary: How will you make bleach at home?
Daddy: Well I don't really make bleach.
Zachary: Then what do you do?
Daddy: Mostly I work on the computer and talk on the phone.
Zachary: But how does that help anything?
For most of us it is very difficult to explain to our children exactly what we do at the office. Unless you are a teacher or a doctor it's hard for kids to conceptualize our work. For example, how exactly shall we explain to Zack what a PR Manager does? I can't even explain it to my own parents. And how but my job? A Recruiter?
Last Friday I decided to take Evan to see daddy's office after preschool. I knew this would be an exciting experience for the little guy, and I was right. First Evan was curious about where daddy eats lunch (this is the most important part of the day) so we had lunch in the city center plaza. We sat outside eating our meal , while enjoying the sunshine with the rest of corporate America on lunch break.
Next we entered... The Clorox Building, where we collected our visitor badges, quite exciting, indeed. Then we rode the elevators up to the MarCom floor where daddy has his office. We were greeted by some of David's coworkers who smiled and tried to chat up a timid Evan. "How old are you?" They asked, and Evan held up three little fingers. "What's your name" they inquired, and shyly he turned away pretending not to know. He was sufficiently cute.
When we finally got to Daddy's office it was more awesome than Evan could have possibly imagined. There were jelly bellies. BAGS OF THEM. Even I was surprised. Evan and I started stuffing candy in our mouths. Then it was on to see where Daddy has "circle time." Yup the conference room. And we saw the potty, and the view of San Francisco. All very exciting. As we were leaving we asked Evan if he liked Daddy's office. He answered "Yes, but what takes him so long here every day?" I think he wanted to know what his dad could possibly do in this building after eating jelly beans and going potty. I thought about trying to explain how daddy builds brand awareness for kitty litter and develops social media programs for ranch salad dressing, but instead I merely told him daddy was very, very busy eating important jelly beans.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pity Party & My Essay: The Plan

So, I'm a little bummed out today. Okay A LOT bummed out. I didn't get in. In case you missed my post about The Audition, you can read it here. I suppose I'm not one bit surprised, true to form I didn't get the part. Remember? I never get the part. At least I am consistent! I know folks will say that I shouldn't take it personally, that I should be proud of myself for trying etc, etc. Perhaps I'm just not in the right frame to hear it. I don't want a consolation prize. I really wanted to get in. I wanted to feel I had some talent that might be appreciated by someone other than my mama.

So that's it for now, I'm done. I have to say I have a bad attitude and I'm sorry that I tried. Truth be told, the piece isn't all that great. It doesn't have the dramatic punch or comical flare that I'm sure some of my fellow bloggers nailed.

Now, instead of reading this piece for an audience, I will quietly post it on my little blog. I don't think that it translates as well on paper. It was meant to read with some expression, but thanks for reading anyway.

The Plan
I have two beautiful daughters, Violet Mae and Shayna Lily. I cannot begin to tell you how much I adore them. We are all but inseparable. Of course they each have their unique interests. Violet is rather precocious. She has a beautiful singing voice and at seven she has already performed in several productions with the children’s theater. She shows great promise. She is sassy and loves being the center of attention, just like her mama. Shayna is five and a social butterfly, one of the most popular little ladies in her pre-K class. Shayna is my budding artist, constantly painting pictures of flowers and rainbows.
I don’t spent quiet as much time with the girls as I thought I would, since I head up the recruiting department of a Fortune 500 company, but we have the weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays we have tea parties, spa days and we bake wholesome meals together. Sometimes it is hard to balance it all, but I am blessed to have a fabulous nanny and a housekeeper. Without their help I would have no chance at maintaining our historic Victorian home.
It’s a beautiful life. It’s just not my life. Rather it is the way that I intended for my life to be. Life didn’t go exactly how I planned.
To begin with there is no Violet Mae or Shayna Lily. Instead I have a Zachary, an Evan and a Julian. That’s right. Three. Three boys. The first ultrasound was a shock. A penis? My heart sank. A penis wasn’t part of my plan. Of course eventually I adjusted, and since I knew that I would be having two children, I still had one more chance for a daughter.
The second ultrasound was a devastation. When the technician announced the appearance of yet another penis I began to blink back tears. “You’re so happy!” the tech beamed, and I cried harder. By the time I called my mother from the parking lot I was full on sobbing. Big, fat, sloppy tears. My mother thought that I had lost the baby. “Not the baby” I cried dramatically “but the dream.”
The third ultrasound wasn’t even supposed to happen, because in my plan there were two babies, never three. However, by now I began to realize that my plan had very little to do with reality. At least by ultrasound number three, I had no expectations, and when I learned of the third penis joining our family, I merely chuckled.
My boys are now 6, 3 and 8 months. Believe me when I tell you that there are not a lot of tea parties at the Kargas home. Instead we have epic battles, car races and wrestling matches. My sons have no interest in my cabbage patch dolls or the various Hello Kitty paraphernalia that I have saved over the years. No, instead their room is cluttered with images of the hideous, obnoxious, diabolical SpongeBob SquarePants. Instead of flowers and butterflies adorning our refrigerator I have crude drawings of pirates and Captain Underpants. Why do girls get adorable kittens and baby dolls while boys seem to be drawn to smart-ass, bug eyed bottom dwellers?
Life is not what I expected.
That fancy job I planned on holding? I am Head of Operations & Human Resources at Kargas Inc. I over see Facilities, Employee Relations, Meal Production, Inventory & Logistics for an organization of five. That’s right; I’m a Stay-At-Home-Mom.
No, Life is not what I expected. Am I disappointed? Honestly, yes, sometimes. But let’s be realistic. Violet and Shayna probably would have turned out to be bitches, or at the very least tom boys. I might very well have been laid off from my fancy corporate job, forcing me to fire my fabulous nanny.
The fact is life doesn’t care about our plans, and thus we need to embrace what we are given. I am lucky. I have been gifted a life far better than most. Three noisy, naughty, entirely lovable, healthy little boys. A husband who is not only my best friend but who is also worthy of any father-of-the-year award. An income that allows me to stay home and work the hardest, most important job that I have ever held. Things are not always easy, and I have had to adjust to a life I didn’t fully expect. But I am happy, and perhaps that should have been the only plan all along.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This may be my most unpopular post...ever

Warning: What I am about to say may anger some of you. It may cause you to consider sending hate mail. While I realize that my sentiments are wildly unpopular, I simply cannot hold it in anymore. Brace yourself.

I do not like Girl Scout Cookies. At all. I do not understand our country's obsession with the mass produced "treats." Perhaps you are now thinking of unfollowing this blog. Go ahead if you must, but hear me out first. Below you will find my top three arguments for why Girl Scout Cookies suck.

Reason Number One:

They don't taste very good. Honestly I don't see how Girl Scout cookies taste any different than other store bought cookies, yet people go insane for them. I have friends who ordinarily would turn their noses up at Chip's Ahoy or Oreo cookies, yet they act like their box of Thin Mints was whipped up by a celebrity chef in an exclusive bakery. Seriously? I would take one of my own homemade chocolate chip cookies over any variety of the Scout's, and I'm not a particularly good baker.

Reason Number Two:

In an era where we are facing a childhood obesity epidemic, why on earth are we asking our children to sell large quantities of junk food? The point is to sell as many boxes of empty calorie cookies as possible, thus girls are begging parents to stock their own kitchens with a dozen plus boxes in order to reach a goal and collect a badge. Why not have the Scouts do a walk or a run like every other fundraising organization? At the very least they could sell garden seeds, or raisins or some sort of healthy snack.

Reason Number Three:

Girl Scouts don't sell cookies anymore, their parents do, and they do it by pressuring you-often at the office. First you get the email. Then the order sheet makes the rounds, and then it is finally posted prominently in the lunch room. Out of guilt you order two boxes from the Accounting Manager's daughter. Then on Friday the department Vice President sends around his daughter's order form. What are you suppose to do? You order two more boxes of course, because Thin Mints are sooo good with freezer burn. Wrong!!! It's all so wrong.

That concludes my least popular post to date.

(And no, I did not order a single box this year!)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Break Up

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited

But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it

I had hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded

that for me it isn't over

Never mind I'll find someone like you

I wish nothing but the best for you, too

Don't forget me I begged, I remember you said

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Once we were inseparable. I was your everything, and you mine. We spent every waking moment together, we had good times, we had hard times.

You know how the time flies

Only yesterday was the time of our lives

We were born and raised in a summer haze

Bound by the surprise of our glory days.

When we were apart I knew you held me in your heart. You would speak of me to anyone who would listen. I didn't need to miss you.

Nothing compares no worries no cares

Regrets and mistakes they were memories made

Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

And now, I'm old and alone. Discarded. I wait patiently for your return, but it will never be the same.

Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead

Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead

My heart is yours eternally,

Mr. Brown Doggy

Friday, March 2, 2012


It's been a long time since I have auditioned for anything. The reason is simple, I stopped trying because I never got the part. Never. I used to try out for all of the high school productions. Our Town, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys & Dolls, Pippin, you name it. I never once got a speaking role. Out of fairness the Director allowed me in some of the shows, then I would find myself in the back of the chorus, out of sight. In retrospect I understand why the musicals didn't work out for me. I can't dance. At all. Two left feet. At the auditions I would try in earnest to follow the moves of the choreographer, but my limbs would end up in a tangled mess. My voice is also only so-so. I have a limited range and a tendency to get off key. So no, I was never going to make it on Broadway.

But I should have got a speaking part in a play. Just once. I know I wasn't that bad. When I got on stage I would come alive. At least that is what my parents told me and I sort of believed them. Yet time after time, I would walk down the skinny little hallway that lead up to the theater room where the cast list would be posted. My heart a flutter, I thought maybe, just maybe. But no, never. Not once. And I continued to be disappointed, even crushed at times. I wanted the lime light. I wanted to know that I was good at something that I enjoyed, that I had an ounce of talent.

Instead the Director made me Head of House, which was ironic, because I can't think of anything I was less qualified to do. I have never been particularly organized or good with numbers, yet there I was in charge of ticket sales, programs and ushers. I would spend Saturday mornings in the school office fighting with a copy machine as I made hundreds of two sided programs for the play, while the rest of the cast, (the actors) were rehearsing. I still do not know why I agreed to it. I found it boring and stressful, and opening night flowers were never part of the deal.

After high school I gave the whole mess up, and I have not auditioned since.

Until last week. Last Saturday at 37 years old I tried again. I auditioned for Listen To Your Mother, reading an essay I wrote for the occasion. If I get in, I'll read this piece in front of a real live audience. My husband said he was proud of me for trying. My mother said she would fly out to see the show. And now as I wait for the casting list to be posted, I am wondering if this was such a great idea afterall. I know that I am suppose to feel empowered. I did something scary, I tired something new. But instead I feel like I am 15 again, waiting for the inevitable rejection.

I won't get in. I won't. I never get the part.

As a teenager the rejection was crushing. Luckily today, I am a grown up, and while it's going to sting, I know my life will go on. I am going on almost twenty years of living life off stage and doing just fine.

Just please, please, don't ask me to be an usher.