Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Halloween Is My Favorite

Top Ten Reasons Why Halloween Just Might Be My Favorite Holiday:

In case you can't tell my husband is a crazy cat man, duh.

Look I actually did a craft with my kids! 
  1.  No turkey. No ham. No 15 different kinds of potatoes. No. Feast. In fact everyone is so preoccupied with snack-sized candy bars that I might not have to cook at all. Love this.
  2. No gifts. No baskets. A few bags of cheap candy and some costumes from Target and everybody is happy.
  3. Admiring other people's more ambitious costumes. Love to see every-day-people's creativity in action! 
  4. No travel. Have you ever heard of flying a family of five across country to celebrate Halloween with the relatives? Neither have I. 
  5. Smarties. Need I say more? 
  6. Jack-o-lanterns. I love the pumpkin glow on a starlit night. I especially love that the carving has become my husband's responsibility, as I cannot be trusted with a knife.
  7. I get to wear sparkly stuff and wigs, somewhat fulfilling my dream of performing on stage.
  8. Babies always look cute in costumes. Check out my Kermit The Frog!
  9. Parties! Halloween gatherings are  fun, never stuffy and usually involve heavy drinking. All good things in my book. 
  10. Did I mention Smarites??


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kargas Inc. Suggestion Box


As a mid-level employee, I feel that we are too top heavy and that we need to hire additional staff to take on some of the entry-level responsibilities (i.e. toy organization.) I would like to suggest that leadership hire another baby brother! -Evan

CEO Response: 



The four-legged administrative staff is over-burdened and they would benefit from additional support. We recommend a guinea pig. We promise we would help in mentoring him! Pinky swear! -Zachary & Evan

CEO Response:



Senior management seems to lack empathy regarding some personal employee issues. Staff members have experienced  significant loss over the years, with little acknowledgment from leadership. We feel that the company's bereavement policy should include time off when a beloved action figure or stuffed animal has been cruelly dismembered, crushed, or kidnapped. Time off for such tragedy is required for good mental health.  Bereavement leave should include a two week reprieve from all cleaning, vegetable eating and disciplinary action. During bereavement senior leadership should do all that they can to ensure the impacted staff member is comfortable.  This will likely mean purchasing new toys and supplying the employee with plenty of candy.-Zachary

CEO Response:

Who do you think "kidnapped" the one-armed Captain America Doll? 


Is Kargas Inc. not an equal opportunity employer? I have been a victim of all kinds of discriminatory behavior just because I am a practicing Fruititarian. I believe the following reasonable accommodations should be made for me: 1) All meals should include 4 fruit courses, and dessert. 2) I should never be required to eat protein, vegetables or any dairy products with the exception of chocolate milk.  If you fail to comply with my requests I will file a complaint with the EEOC. -Evan

CEO Response:

Fruititarian is not a protected class or a disability. Eat your broccoli and shut up.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Healthy Living: Pain, Desire and Rewards

The Pain: 

In light of my ankle injury and Osteoporosis diagnosis I have adopted a new exercise regimen. Although I have avoided exercise classes for most of my life, I am now attending 3-4 weekly. Body Sculpt (AKA: Slowly Kill Yourself By Lifting Weights While A Very Buff Instructor Screams "10 More" For 50 Minutes.), Core Yoga, and Yoga Flow. I'm working to build up muscle and strengthen my tiny bones. It hurts. G-Damn it hurts. Mostly my arms ache, as they are the weakest, but also my thighs, my tush, and my jiggly tummy. With all this pain I half expect to somehow look different. But after only 2 weeks of working out, I am just as wimpy looking and soft as ever. Sigh. No pain no gain. It will come. I WILL  be buff my Christmas!

The Desire: 

I have given up diet soda. For the most part. This. Is. Hard. I had a bit of a Diet Pepsi problem. The results of my bone density test have convinced me that it was time to lay off. I miss it. I miss that fake-sweet bubbly sensation. If you aren't a diet soda drinker you can't understand, but I CRAVE it. Oh how I long for you Diet Pepsi.

The Rewards:

I'm feeling good about myself. While I have had to give up my dream of being a (half) marathon runner (for now), I have set new goals. Someday I will be able to lift more than three pound weights. Someday my arms may actually have some definition. Someday I will be STRONG.

Monday, October 15, 2012

No longer a morning person

I used to be a morning person. I used to voluntarily show up to work by 7 am, when I was at my best, so that I could leave work at 4:30 and get a workout in or hit happy hour. In a past life I would actually get annoyed when my husband wanted to lazy around on a Sunday morning reading the paper and drinking coffee. I was always anxious to get out and start the day.

Of course that was before kids. That was before the daily 4:30am news flashes of a wet bed or a spider in the window. It was before the 5:30 am nursing sessions and the 6:45 am demands for cereal. It was a time when breakfast was not an hour long battle over who had the reddest bowl, or who got to turn on the kitchen light.

I was a morning person when getting ready involved taking a nice shower, applying my make up and flat ironing my hair. I was responsible for dressing only one person, not four. There was no searching for lost shoes, or leaving the house after realizing that I have cream cheese prints on my yoga pants, and no time time brush my hair.

I was a morning person when getting up early meant more "me" time in the evening. Now my "work" is never done before 8:00 pm, after the children are fed, bathed, and tucked in. Even then, down time often involves a gigantic stack of laundry eagerly awaiting folding.

So no, sadly I am no longer a morning person. These days I would just about sell my soul for an extra 45 minutes of sleep each day.  I have actually considered forgoing the occasional Saturday night babysitter in favor of hiring a helper to whisk away my children at daybreak, Sunday morning.

Please tell me, it gets better. Assure me that one day I will sleep in on Saturday mornings, and that the days won't be so long. Tell me that some good old fashioned quality sleep is in my not so distant future. Lie to me if you must. I need hope.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

People I Want To Punch In The Face: Gym Edition

There are so many people I would like to punch in the face right now, but for today, I will focus on the gym.

I am not one who has ever really been "into" group exercise classes. I often find myself flustered and pathetic as I try to keep up with all of the moves that my classmates seem to execute so easily. I have two left feet, I struggle with form and to be honest, I'm just plain weak. However at the urging of my "fitness expert" at the YMCA I am now experimenting with different classes, including Yoga.

But let's start with my "personal trainer." I signed up to meet with the trainer, thinking he would be showing me around the gym and teaching me how to use the equipment and target my "problem areas." This is a free service provided by the YMCA, thus, I should have known better.

I arrived for my appointment and was greeted by a buff twenty-something with a hip afro. I'll call him "Tyler." Tyler looked about as happy to see me as he would a dentist offering a root canal. He sat me down at a desk and took out a form. I knew from that moment our thirty minute meeting was going to be a total waste of time. "Why are you here?" "What are your goals?" "What have been your challenges to success?" He asked the standard stale questions, painfully recording my answers in the neatest of penmanship.  Then Tyler handed me a class schedule with his recommendations highlighted in red. They included an 8:15 body sculpt class. "I can't make that one." I informed him. He looked at me sternly, as only a bored twenty-five year old can, and said "Can't and No" are "limiting" words. Apparently, if I think I can't do something I am creating road blocks to success. Okay, but I KNOW that I  can't make an 8:15 class Tyler, since I need to drop my son off at school at 8:30, and that ain't changing, comprende?Oh to be twenty-five and clueless.

Next on to Yoga, specifically Yoga Basics, a class designed to teach beginners the fundamentals. Or so one would think. The class was diverse, there were people of all ages and fitness levels. We spread out our mats, and began class when a woman announced she was having wrist problems, and could we spend some time focusing on that. Wrist problems? Ugg, The teacher agreed enthusiastically and spent a good twenty minutes talking about the wrist and the "energy" in our hand. When finally we moved on, the  woman continued to interrupt every move to inquire about the correct position of the wrist, and back we would go talking about hand energy. Yoga Basics lady. Not Wrist Basics. And as far as I can tell, you aren't the only person in this class.

The next class I attended was Yoga Flow Basics. This was a busier class, and I thought it would be a little more rigorous, but it wasn't. We ended up lying on our backs for ten minutes in a "back arch" pose. Felt like a cat nap to me, not that I'm complaining. What I will whine about is the hot chick next to me who clearly was in the wrong class. What part of basics don't you understand? She was obviously bored and underwhelmed with us beginners, and I swear she rolled her eyes every time I stumbled, but for the love of God, I'm not used to balancing in "tree pose." cut me some slack, and take the advanced flow class sweetheart.

This week I will be taking body sculpt (not at 8:15am, thank you very much), where I am sure I will fumble and struggle with three pound weights, and where I'm guessing I will gather more stories of annoying gym rats along the way. Stay tuned....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sick of the chatter

There has been a lot of chatter about weight these days. My Facebook newsfeed is filled with posts and links to articles about body image, weight and the related bullying. There is the blog post about the mom who chose to "stay in the picture" with her kids, even though she did not feel good about her appearance, the news anchor who told off a viewer after he wrote her about her obesity, the speculation about Lady Gaga's 25 pound weight gain, and on and on and on.

Weight. Haven't we all heard enough? In parts of the world we have starving populations, there are natural disasters and people dying in bloody wars and we are still talking about weight. What a privileged culture we are.

I am hardly above this. I have had my own fascination and struggles with weight and appearance and it bothers me. I wish I could put it all aside and think about "bigger" issues. I wish I could ignore the voice in my head that tells me my stomach is too big and my arms are too flabby. I wish I could stop trying to live up to the impossible standards that our society has created, but it is everywhere. It is so hard to avoid. All this chatter. He's too fat, she's too skinny,  her beach body blows, he should put down the fried chicken. You're fat, you're lazy, you're skinny you're disciplined. You're "too" skinny (which seems to amount to an arbitrary five pound difference in the tabloids) then you are sick.

I'm sick. I'm sick and tired of hearing about it, I'm sick and tired of thinking about it and I am "sick." Just days ago I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis in my hips. Let me remind you that I am not an 83 year old grandmother, I am a 38 year old mom to young boys. Too young for such an elderly disease. I'll never know for sure, but I am quiet confident that my early years of starving myself did nothing for my bone health. As a high school student and through my college years I starved to be thin. Under 90lbs and eating less than 500 calories a day thin. Now, so many years later I am still paying the price tag for "perfection." Skinny doesn't always equal healthy. There are a number of risk factors that may have lead to my diagnosis, my tiny bones, my genetics, but I contributed to my own health problems by listening and internalizing the chatter.

This chatter about weight does nothing to promote health in young women. This culture of skinny leads to self -hatred and destruction. I know that obesity has serious consequences and we need to educate people about the hazards, but what I would give to erase the the moral implications and the skewed perceptions of attractiveness. Your not a bad person if your overweight. Your not less than your slim counterpart. You are not ugly if you are above a size 4. When did beauty become a one-size-fits all? When did being skinny become so damn important?  It's a hurtful, damaging, self-centered culture we have created. Just think, if we put all the money spent on tummy tucks, liposuction, diet pills, fashion magazines, and the resulting therapy bills, into education, environmental issues and health care, the world might truly become a more beautiful place to be.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blogging in public

A few weeks ago after conducting a reference check on a candidate, I received an email from the man who provided the reference. He told me that after our call he "looked me up" and stumbled on my blog. He said it was "clever." This incident served as a reminder that I am far from anonymous when I blog. Although I am hardly a well followed writer, I never do know who will log on to getrealmama. In a way this is a thrill. My voice is heard! People are actually interested in what I have to say! But I also realize that this is limiting in terms of content. Most of my readers are family members (hi mom!), friends, acquaintances and coworkers. Sometimes I am unable to post what is really on my mind for that very reason. I have to think to myself, do I want my boss to read this? Does my friend want to be mentioned in my blog? Will that mom from preschool be offended if I document how I really feel about the"fall festival"? So I bite my tongue and write about safe topics, ones that won't get me into (too much) trouble.

Lately this has been difficult for me. I have had a lot on my mind that I am simply not able or not ready to blog about. I think that these topics would probably make the best posts, they are from the heart, they represent what I am really thinking about. Yet it all must remain unsaid in this public forum.I have found difficulty finding the inspiration to write about other things, thus I have been quiet.

So I'll wrap up today with a cute little story about my middle child, because who doesn't like to hear anecdotes about other people's kids? (Being facetious people.)

Yesterday while pushing the double stroller up a particularly grueling hill, Evan turned around and looked at me. I was huffing and puffing in 90 degree sunshine and struggling just to keep the buggy moving forward. Evan reached to put on his shoes and informed me "Mom, I'm going to put on my shoes and get out and walk. It must be so hard for you to push two boys up this big hill." I was surprised by his compassion, and answered with an enthusiastic "bless you." He climbed out of the stroller and came around to hug my legs telling me "I'm walking because I love you." 

Sweet little baby doll.