Wednesday, December 31, 2014

People I Want To Punch In The Face: Winter

Welcome to my latest "People I Want To Punch In The Face" post.  This week's target? That son-of-a-bitch Winter.  But since winter is not a person, I came up with the following list of humans I want to punch in the face due to this brutal winter.

1) Anyone, and I mean anyone who utters the following words: "Your from Wisconsin. You should be used to sub zero temperatures."  Really? I should get used to snot freezing on the inside of my nose? I should get used to my fingers and toes feeling as if they are being stabbed relentlessly with pins and needles? Let me ask you this, do you think anyone could get used to having a fork poked in their eye repeatedly? No? Then No. No. I am not "used" to freezing my tush off.

2) People who insist on keeping their house below 67 degrees. That is great that you are saving energy! I understand you run "hot." But my lips are turning blue and I want to leave.

3) My children who bitch and moan about wearing proper winter attire. The sweaters are too itchy, the socks are too tight, the gloves always fall off and yes, yes, I understand that you think shorts are so much more comfortable than jeans. But it's negative eleven out there and social services is going to have my ass picked up if I let you outside in flip flops and a t-shirt, and mommy is too pretty for jail!

4) Anyone who says that the cold temperatures are "refreshing" or "not that bad." Okay refreshing is a glass of lemonade on a hot summers day, refreshing is not losing feeling in your fingers and toes.  As for not that bad?  Maybe it's not as bad as being mauled by a rabid grizzly bear, but it's pretty freaking bad.

And finally.....

5) People who seem to be "above" shoveling their sidewalks. Perhaps they think the shoveling fairy is going to come out and do it for them. Perhaps they assume people prefer walking over snow and ice when passing by their home. Or maybe they believe that slipping and falling and breaking a tailbone is no big deal and that everyone should quit whining.  Or MAYBE just MAYBE, they are lazy bastards who more than likely keep their house at 64 degrees and don't even deserve a sidewalk!
Shoveled, Shoveled, Lazy Bastard! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holidays By The Numbers

We survived The Holidays.

Okay. Perhaps that is a tad bit premature since we have not yet reached the New Year, but Hanukkah and Christmas are behind us. The money has been spent, limited crafting and almost zero baking has been done, the tree was put up and taken down and we are all still summarize I give you the Kargas Family's Holidays by the numbers:

24 Hanukkah gifts for 3 kids
Only 1 ornament broken in the annual "mom-I didn't mean to do it" tradition
7 cousins 9 and under gathered on Christmas Eve
1 Christmas meltdown by an overtired 6 year old.
 6 bottles of wine consumed over 2 days.
Zero latkes made, Zero latkes consumed
22 times reading How The Grinch Stole Christmas
1 time reading Curious George Celebrates Hanukkah
20 Million times I have sung  the two lines I actually know of Wham's "Last Christmas" over and over again in my head.
1 gift broken before it was even opened by a whimpering 3 year old
6 hours spent wrapping gifts
11 minutes spent unwrapping gifts
3 hours spent cleaning up after unwrapping gifts
1 trip made to the somewhat creepy "North Pole" in Colorado Springs.
45 minutes standing in line at the "North Pole" for a hot dog and a cup of instant hot apple cider
Zero returns or
exchanges made!

Zero visits to see a bored questionable old man sweating in a hot red suit and a phony beard at the mall.
1 container of the obligatory eggnog consumed
3 Pajama-Jamma-Jammy Parties ( 9 and under only!) 
1 adults-only holiday party 
2 hangovers the next day
1 (my first ever!) Kate Spade handbag received on Christmas morning.
1 viewing of The Nutcracker with all of my boys
1 3 year old pooping his pants in the middle of that Nutcracker performance
2 Parents who forgot a change of clothes for the 3 year old at that Nutcracker performance
1 half naked kid carried back to the car in the snow by 2 sheepish parents after that Nutcracker performance.
1 giant vat of Christmas Glug prepared
153 photographs taken.
Not 1 picture captured where all children were actually looking at the camera at the same time
6 Lego sets
8 books
3 chemistry sets
3 sleds
1 Mario Kart Wii game
1 500 piece jigsaw puzzle
3 packages of colored pencils
1 Nerf Gun
1 Basketball Hoop
3 Kids whining "there is nothing to do!"
1 Mama happy to say a fond "Adios" to Christmas/Hanukkah 2014
1 Family of 5 feeling lucky and blessed as we welcome 2015!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hello Again

Hello old friend. I have returned, brushing off the metaphorical dust of your homepage, checking back in via a keyboard and peering  through shuttered windows to catch a glimpse of a place that was once full of light and creativity. 

I have abandoned you old friend. My enthusiasm for you has waned. I have lost my inspiration and it saddens me. I once took pride in calling myself a "blogger" and had dreams of making something of this online diary. I used to turn around ideas in my head as I lay sleepless at 2am, now I reach for my phone and stare blankly at the big stories listed on Yahoo "News."

I want to return to you dear blog. I want to tap back into my enthusiasm and creativity, but I worry that as I stare at the blank screen nothing will come to me, or that all my thoughts will be dull and dreary.

But I have yet to fully leave you. I have not written the self-reflective goodbye piece or removed "blogger" from my Twitter profile. So old friend. What I am trying to say is maybe. Just maybe we can try again. See if we still hit it off. 

What do you say?
Are you ready to give me another shot? 

With Limited Hope,


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Be Afraid. The Holidays Are Coming

If I were to try I would be a Pinterest Fail too.
It's snowing. I am watching it from my kitchen window with a luke warm cup of coffee.  I would nuke my beverage since it's so much better hot, but I'm on crutches and hopping across the kitchen with a mug of hot anything is a recipe for trip to the ER. 

It's a cozy scene really. Heavy snow pulling down tree branches still partially covered in orange and brown, the last remnants of autumn. And yet as I lounge in my snug home taking in the beauty of freshly fallen snow, a cold shiver runs down my spine.

The holidays. Are coming.

Hanukkah (I don't even know when it falls this year)
New Years.

The turkey, the stuffing, the stockings, the pine needles, the wrapping paper, running out of scotch tape, figuring out the perfect gift for my Father-In-Law, the pine needles, the shattered ornaments, do I make potato pancakes? Nobody likes potato pancakes, the dishes, the shopping, Taylor Swift singing Santa Baby over and over again, the pine needles ev-er-y-where, we aren't sending cards, I just can't do cards, should we do cards?, the pressure to bake, office secret santa (what do I get my boss that won't offend him and will make me look clever and thoughtful for under $10?), don't forget the teacher, the babysitter, the mailman, guests are coming, the house is a disaster, quick clean the house, and make it look festive! Pine needles freaking EVERYWHERE.

Ahhh. It's a magical time of the year. 

And I'm afraid. Very afraid. 

I hate being grinchy about the holidays, I really do. I want to love them. I want to think they are "magical."  I used to. Now they just stress me the hell out.  My house is never transformed into a sparkling festive winter escape. My ornaments don't match. I don't have Christmas tableware, the chaos of Legos, unmatched socks, spilled Cheerios and PBJ fingerprints don't magically disappear to make way for our enchanted pine tree of lights. Time for cookie baking, shopping and memory-making doesn't just suddenly manifest. I still have to make tacos, pack the damn lunches, keep up with the laundry and police the insanity that is my family, only now I have to do it while pulling off a *beautiful* feast for 14, and holiday shopping for 47 (or something like that.)

I'm stressed out.  And the Simplify The Holiday's Board on Pinterest with the following ideas, were no help at all:

  • Use what you have! Create decorations and gifts from things you happen to have lying around the house, like an old rake and buttons that with a glue gun can be turned into a wall hanging of a Christmas tree, or scrabble tiles used to somehow create (unattractive) coasters.... of course, my father-in-law would love that!
  • Instead of shopping, give people the gift of time! Create coupons for free house cleanings, babysitting or meal preparation.  Because that is exactly what I have as a working mom of three kids, time to clean your house! Brilliant!
  • Shop for second hand gifts. Nothing screams time saver like sorting through a bunch of worthless crap at Goodwill!
  • Use all of the zucchini you grew in your garden last summer to make loaves of bread as gifts for neighbors, teachers, housekeeper and friends.  So many problems with this one. So many. A) my garden this year produced exactly two cucumbers and half a dozen cherry tomatoes. B) My neighbors, and most friends aren't getting squat from the Kargas family (don't they have their own families to shop for?),  most housekeepers are expecting one thing at Christmas: a check. Zucchini bread ain't going to cut it. C) Baking is a pain in the ass.
  • Decorate with nature: Like what? Oh! Hand painted pinecones! Duh! I'll do that while the Zucchini bread bakes!
I did learn one thing about simplifying the holidays, stay off Pinterest.

Well the madness is just around the corner. I'm going to prepare by taking a nap.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BravoTV-My sad addiction

I had big plans for my recovery. While resting my bum ankle  I was going to read! I was going to blog! I would email old friends! Do upper body workouts, play board games, take up the art of some sort of Zen meditation... you get the idea.

 But instead.

Instead I have become addicted to Bravo TV. God damn Bravo TV. The Real Housewives, The Millionaire Matchmaker, Top Chef, The gay-house flipping dude, Andy Cohen drinking cocktails.  Yes, I used to be a sucker for all of that crap, until a little over twelve months ago... I quit, cold turkey.  No more hours spent mindlessly munching pretzels and watching botoxed, rich bitches throw cocktails in each other's faces as they launch over priced jewelry and handbag lines. Gone were my days of drooling while watching an always slim Padma devour  coulis, duck three ways, bacon foam, pickled pineapples and tofu emulsions.  No! I had evolved, I had moved on to mindlessly drinking wine while perusing Yahoo! News for the latest up-to-date information on Amanda Bynes Twitter feed and Rob Kardashian's emotional breakdown. I had overcome my obsession with all things Bravo. 

Until now that is.  Five days ago I found myself in a drug induced haze as I sat on my sofa recovering from a minor ankle surgery. Last April, on what may very well be my last jog ever, I broke my right ankle. Snap. Yes I heard it. And all these months later it appears that the stubborn bone didn't want to heal so a surgeon put a big old screw in that ankle to (hopefully) force a fusion. It's minor outpatient surgery. I have a fairly high pain tolerance and I expected an easy, if perhaps inconvenient recovery.  Well folks I spent five days in misery, mostly suffering side affects from general anesthesia, which apparently does not agree with me.  I will spare you the details and leave it at this: I was in no mood to read, blog, exercise, eat, drink, or do anything but sleep and.... the next best thing. Bravo TV. 

Sweet, comforting Bravo TV. And how it has changed since my former obsession... it's gotten even better!

Patti Stanger: 50-something and HOT

I started with Millionaire Matchmaker. First off, I'm obsessed with Patti Stanger. She is abrasive  full of herself, crass for the purpose of being crass and I freaking love her. I love the way she puts cocky rich-past-their prime dudes in their place, telling them that their money can buy them a 22 year old playboy bunny but not a relationship.  I love the way she tells her employees that she can fire them at anytime (it's got to be great for ratings, but she comes off as a total bitch!)  And she looks effing AMAZING. She is in her mid 50's and she is stunning... so much hotter than she was when I last tuned in. Yes. I realize. Plastic surgery and weight loss, but I'm going to give the girl some credit..she has good people, damn good people.

What else? I love watching these millionaires go on dates. Now it's true, I don't go on dates. In fact I seemed to skip the whole adult dating scene altogether, however I am quite sure that if I were dating right now, I would not be invited on first dates that require a wardrobe change, involve private cooking lessons, helicopter rides or going to a venue that has been rented out for the soul purpose of my hook-up. And there is no way in hell I would be good about sticking to Patti's two drink maximum rule. Hell, Patti, have you not watched the Real Housewives? Get some rich people drunk and watch the fur fly... RATINGS.

There so pretty it hurts my eyes
Next up: Vanderpump Rules. Oh hell yeah.  Now I had never watched this one before, its a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spin off- featuring restaurateur, Lisa Vanderpump and her super sexified staff at the uber trendy SUR.  First rule of employment at SUR- you have to be an aspiring model. Second rule of employment at SUR-you have to have the maturity of a 6th grader. Third rule of employment at SUR- You have to be so self involved that you think that your sexual escapades, cat fighting and birthday parties are important enough that they should be televised.  Fourth rule of employment at SUR-you have to have sex with a lot of crazy good looking people and than cry about it. If you haven't watched Vanderpump Rules and you are looking to laugh your ass off at other people's "problems" for the love of God tune in!

Right Padma, I totally believe you are a foodie
Lastly Top Chef Boston.  I used to watch all of the Top Chef seasons, but of course over the past year on my Bravo hiatus, I haven't tuned in . Not much has changed it's still as Awesome (bur blanc) sauce as can be! The cast this season is entertaining. Padma is still stuck up and gorgeous.  I love that Blais is judging, he was so darn likable as a contestant all those seasons ago. Aaron is like the "Puck" of Top Chef Boston. He is a cocky arrogant, punk, who was just recently arrested for domestic violence Awesome (bur blanc) sauce (can I use that joke again?) It's fun watching Aaron fight with pretty Chef Keriann, a mom who happens to swear like a sailor (love her!) and Chef Katsuji, an owner of a Kosher Mexican restaurant (I'm not Kosher, but Jewish so I think this is pretty stinking cool.) Thus, along with all the impossibly complicated recipes that I will never attempt I can also wait in anxious anticipation for an actual fist fight to break out. Nah. Top Chef is too classy for that, this isn't Hell's Kitchen.

Okay. Well I have wasted enough of my precious television time. I have to get caught up on Manzod With Children.  Can't wait to see what that feisty bunch is up to.

Save me.

Me. Because there are too many beautiful people on this post. I'm at the gym. Watching TV.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween: The Day After

Yes, there were good times. Pumpkin Patch!
Oh Halloween. 

Remember when the morning after meant a nasty hangover and packing away your sexy cat costume for the year? Sure there was my junior year in college when my girlfriends and I actually hosted a Halloween bash, so when we rolled out of bed at 11am the next day we had mop up spilled beer and vomit, before moving on with our day, but beyond that November 1 officially marked the end of Halloween.

Flash-forward some twenty years later and All Hollow's Eve takes on a whole new meaning. No longer is the holiday about slutting it up as a sexy witch, nurse or (these days even Oscar the Grouch), and doing jello shots while listing to Thriller on repeat, oh no. It's so much more.

Me & Zack, 9, "Chrome Man"
But this is not a post about the craziness of the Halloween preparations (you know spending $268 at Halloween City for costumes, making treats like "spider sammies" "marshmallow mummies" and pumpkin-spider-ghouls-goblins anything for the school bake sale, the neighbor's open house and the class party, and convincing a nine year old that you are not converting your entire home into a haunted house while charging guests $2 per visit.) No. This is a post about the day after. And the day after and the day after.

 Now that we are parents and we are spending our Halloween bundled in jackets, trudging after children who beg for one more house.  We are the pack animals, holding the swords, light sabers, masks, magic wands and buckets of candy that have become too heavy. And it's these buckets of endless sugar that will be the source of our suffering for the next several weeks.

Evan, 6, ninja
The f*cking candy. The Snickers, Skittles, Dum-Dums, Junior Mints, Kit-Kats, M&M's, Smarties, Dots, Heath Bars, Crunch Bars, even those horrid inedible chewy candies wrapped in black and orange. The damn candy will be responsible for unbearable sugar high's (think three little boys running around sans pants screaming "I hate Taylor Swift!" at the top of their lungs while foaming at the mouth), the candy crashes (think three little boys stomping around the house with eyes glazed over, sticky fingers, screaming "I hate YOU and YOU and YOU" at the top of their lungs while kicking the dog,) and the inevitable fights over candy.

Oh the fights.

There is the:

I want another piece. Why can't I have another piece?  I hate you, give me another piece fight.

And the:

He stole my candy! I had 17 mini Hershey bars, and now I only have 16. I know, I counted.. He stole it!! fight.

And the:

He has better candy than me. He has all the Skittles. I wanted the Skittles. It's not fair. He needs to share. Actually no. Mom it's your fault I didn't get any Skittles. You made sure nobody gave me Skittles. You have to buy me Skittles. GIVE ME YOUR SKITTLES fight.

And the:

My second costume, don't ask
I swear I didn't sneak any candy! It's not chocolate on my face... it must be...err... dirt or something. That wrapper must be yours! I'm not going to time out fight.

Yes. This is what our lives will look like until the freaking Christmas tree is hauled in and we start with the damn candy canes and sugar cookies. I know. I know I will get the following feedback: "we donate our candy to charity" "our kids use their candy to buy other privileges" and "we take our kids to an organic trunk-or-treat where they get raisins, nuts and whole grain crackers.... they love it." Well my kids aren't going for that, and I can't say that I blame them. I remember being a kid to and stuffing my pillow case to overflowing with Halloween treats.  It's part of being a kid. And now... dealing with the aftermath, is part  of being a mom.

Julian, age 3, Pirate

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GetRealMama, it's time to put on some heels!

The times, they are a changing.

This mama is going back to work FULL TIME. IN AN OFFICE.

This is a big deal.  I went back to working full time after my eldest was 12 weeks, and my maternity leave was completed.  That lasted only a couple of months before my mama heartstrings were pulled and I felt that I needed more time with my cute little bundle of wonderful.  So I cut back to a four days per week schedule.  I had Friday's off for mommy and me classes, play groups, and errands.  I cherished those Fridays, and I don't for a second regret that decision.  In the years since his birth my work schedule has fluctuated, particularity as we added brother #2 and brother #3. I experimented with staying at home full time, which while was an *epic fail*  taught me a few things.  One, I'm not crafty. I'm not going to be the kind of stay at home mama who sews awesome dinosaur Halloween costumes, makes bento box lunches that artfully craft food to resemble Dora The Explorer, or uses recycled egg cartons to create anything. Second, I get bored easily. I can only read that God damn Lighting McQueen book so many times before I start to lose it. My attention span for playing Hotwheels is about 3.2 minutes. Third, I'm claustrophobic and I like to spend money way, way way too much. "Staying at home" meant one too many $250 purchases at Target, just to..."get out."  So over the next few years I did contract and part time work.   Most recently I have worked somewhere between 24-32 hours a week, from home and while in many ways it has been wonderful, it has also left me feeling lonely and unfulfilled. I have felt as though I was straddling two worlds, part stay at home mom, part working mom, but I didn't quite fit into either category.  Too busy and stressed to volunteer for the PTA and not dedicated enough to advance my career. I knew that something had to give.

 I am a recruiter, a woman who has always derived her energy from interacting with others.  While working from home afforded me amazing flexibility which has been nice for my family, it has slowly sucked the life out of me.  I need to be around people. Specifically grown-ups. And while I dearly love my children, I feel the need to be in the workforce.  I want face to face adult relationships, staff meetings and occasional happy hours. I want to feel I'm a valuable player on an awesome team.  I want  to get the hell out of my ratty yoga pants and into a decent pair of heels.

So I did it.  I accepted a full time recruiting gig with a great company. I have an office in downtown Denver. I will have coworkers, business cards and occasional travel.  I am thrilled.  Excited. And yes a little scared.  Change is scary. Will I be successful? Will my kids be happy? Will I? Does this decision make me a bad mother?

I'm a firm believer that reasonable risk is a good thing.  This is a big step, and a bit of a risk, but I'm ready. I'm ready for a change. I'm ready to leave my basement and reenter the world. I'm ready to take the leap of faith, that if I am happier and more fulfilled, my family will reap the benefits too.

So cheers to all of you moms and dads out there who have made these difficult decisions for yourselves. Cheers to the stay at home dads, the part time working moms, the parents who don't have a choice and those that decide to work outside the home. We all try and do what's best for our families, and we will keep trying until we get it right.

I feel I have made the right decision. I'm feel excited about this next chapter in my life.  I feel....good!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What To Expect: Seymour You're Doing It Wrong!

What To Expect When You Are A 40 Year Old Mother Of Three School Aged Boys

Dear Moms (No. You are no longer a mommy. You will never be a mommy again.),

 You no longer have the time to read a full book about parenting while lovingly patting your nice round belly and dreaming of the new life inside.  You no longer have naps. You have been told that plopping your kids in front of electronic devices is a cardinal sin for which you will burn in a fiery hell infested with SpongeBob and very sharp Lego pieces strategically placed to meet your barefoot at 5 o'clock in the morning. With your busy lifestyle, I thought it would be best to simply break life down into bullet points, something you can skim as you single-handedly  whip up three PBJs (one hold the jelly, add honey, one crusts removed light peanut butter and one cut into quarters) while creating a clever Pinterst worthy science project due tomorrow. So here you have it, what to expect when you are a 40-something mother of three school aged boys: 

  • Random strangers will stop telling you how adorable your children are, and if they do, you should be afraid. No seriously back away from the creepy pedophile-child abductor and flee.
  • Worried about your social calendar? Don't be! It will be booked solid for the foreseeable future with school fundraisers, soccer games, school fundraisers, baseball games, school fundraisers, basketball games, school fundraisers, birthday parties and hey, did I mention, school fundraisers?
  • You will now actually have to actively budget for birthday party gifts and.... school fundraisers. 
  • Yes! You will still get me-time, have no fear.  It's called, the dentist, the gyno, cleaning the bathrooms*, a mammogram and maybe, just maybe, a haircut.
  • *Clean & bathroom are two words that will actually never be uttered (honestly) again. 
  • You will be stumped, on a regular basis by your third graders math homework. 
  • You may find yourself horrified when your six year old asks, upon seeing your naked belly if he is going to have a new brother. 
  • You will smile when you hear "Hi Zack's Mom" and cringe when you here "Mam" far more often than you would like. 
  • You will still get plenty of free parenting advice, don't worry! Nobody will be shy about telling you what you are doing wrong and how you are permanently damaging your offspring with  too much sugar, glutton, rules, lack of discipline, over protection, coddling, swearing, PG movies, processed food and.... you get the point. Seymour, You're doing it wrong! (Random Simpsons reference for you fans.) 
  • You will feel guilty on a daily basis for your lack of participation in the PTA, unless you are in the PTA, in which case you will feel resented on a daily basis by non-participating parents who believe you should "get a life." 
  • You might contemplate getting a bumper sticker, like "soccer mom" or "proud parent of an honor role student" and then you will be overcome with an overwhelming disgust for yourself.
  • You are totally accustomed to seeing a pair of dirty underwear on your coffee table or a naked butt on the sofa. 
  • You are reminded on at least a weekly basis that you do not in fact have a penis, but a "gina", and this is regarded as an utter tragedy. 
  • You see your grocery bill skyrocketing, realizing that it is only going to get worse and worse and you wonder how the the Pilgrims did it without Walmart. 

I could go on, and perhaps there will be a second edition of What to Expect, but it's 9:30 on a Saturday night, and I'm a 40 year old mom of three school aged boys, and I need get to bed...... 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kargas Inc, Code of Conduct

Kargas Inc Code Of Conduct. 

Dear Kargas Inc Employees,

Thank for your time at our last all staff.  Based on the fact that several employees were shoving fingers in their ears while humming "I can't hear you" and no noticeable changes have resulted from our meeting I am concerned that my points did not come across.  In an effort to be very clear about company expectations I have created a Code Of Conduct.  I expect you to read these over until committed to memory. For staff members who are unable to read, we are working on an animated tutorial featuring Spongebob, Dora and Bart Simpson.  

  1. In this company all staff members deserve to be treated with respect.  From this point forward if I witness name calling, physical threats, door slamming or eye rolling, I will take a 30 minute break in my personal office with a bottle of wine.  
  2. Regarding our company's eating areas, it is imperative that all staff members wear pants to meals.  In addition, as you know the restroom is located directly adjacent to the common eating area.  It is required that you close the door when using the facility. 
  3. While we here at Kargas Inc appreciate artistic expression it is not acceptable to carve tick-tack-toe games into fine furniture, or to use permanent marker on clothing, walls, body parts, floors, furniture or bedding.
  4. In order to reduce the risk of a rat infestation we request that you do not leave cups of milk or half eaten sandwiches in hidden places throughout the facility.  
  5. Please remember that I am the CEO of this company, not Stupid-Idiot-Jerk-Snot-Butt-Fart. Please call me "Mom" "Boss" or "Our Queen." 
  6. Our current finances due not allow for us to hire an entire kitchen staff.  Thus, we will require you eat the meal that is provided. We assure you that you will not die from the consumption of lasagna, vegetable soup or chicken teriyaki. While senior leadership do not possess culinary degrees, we are trained in food safety and we have yet to kill anyone with our cooking. 
  7. Please take pride in your environment.  Office space and furnishings are expensive.  Please refrain from destroying company property whenever possible. We realize that our big screen tv was recently "accidentally" smashed when a Wii controller was inadvertently hurled at it after a lost game of Super Mario Brothers Galaxy, but please, please lets have fewer accidents.  

Please note that this list is fluid and we reserve the right to continually amend and add to our code of conduct.   

Thank you for your time. 

With Little Hope Of Real Change,

Mom, CEO, Queen, Boss.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Yom Kippur: At Home

So we are in the midst of the High Holidays. Today in fact,  most of my fellow MOT's are in   synagogue. They will fast. They will reflect. They will repent.

I don't belong to a temple. I don't observe most of the Jewish holidays.  Over the past few years I have made half-hearted attempts to embrace Jewish culture and tradition mostly because I wanted to share this with my children. Zachary and Evan attended a Jewish preschool. Each year we light the menorah, I have taken the boys solo to family friendly Rosh Hashanah services and we have attempted to create something that resembles a seder.

But this year, on the holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, I sit at home.  We had soccer this morning. Errands to run. My husband is in Kansas City for the weekend. And in all honestly, I have had a pretty lousy week.

Monday, I rear ended a truck. Yes. It was my fault.

Thursday a visit to the orthopedist resulted in orders for an MRI, which will likely reveal that my ankle has not properly healed and I will require surgery.

Friday morning after discussing a variety of symptoms at my annual physical my doctor informed me that I am in fact probably in peri-menopause.  She said something about my ovaries petering out. Drying up. I received orders for my first mammogram and a bone density scan.  Welcome to FORTY.

Friday afternoon, my boss called me and basically told me that I am being replaced by a local recruiter, and that the remote situation was not meeting the business needs. It came as a surprise as I had felt very good about work in the past couple of months.

And my husband is in Kansas City.

So I was prepared to be in poor spirits this weekend. In no mood for services. In no mood to repent for my sins when it feels like this whole week has been one punishment after the next.

At 11:00 last night as I lay awake, unable to find sleep once again, I started thinking. Perhaps the timing of all of this couldn't be more perfect.  Whether I like it or not circumstances have pushed me into a time of change and uncertainty. I can bury my head under the covers and cry, or I can embrace a new start and learn from my experiences.  I can reflect on what I have done in this past year to contribute to my misfortune, and I can admit to myself what I need to work on in the coming year.

This new year is full of opportunity. In addition to the mistakes I have made in the past twelve months, I have also done some pretty awesome shit. I have made strides in understanding where I excel professionally, and now I will have the chance to follow my passions. I have learned a great deal about self acceptance, and I can live more comfortably with my perceived "flaws." I have opened my mind in many ways which I believe will ultimately  open myself up to greater happiness.

Although not I'm not in synagogue, I believe this weekend I have embraced the spirit of the this holy day, perhaps more than in any year past.

So I wish my friends and family Shana Tova, a sweet New Year, and G'mar Chatima Tova, may you be inscribed for goodness.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dinner Dilemmas: Pizza Cupcakes, You Are Welcome!

LinkedIn & Wine. Living the dream!
Some weeks it is really about the small victories you know? This past week included an epic meltdown brought on by a sugar crash after a birthday doughnut binge, a six year old expressing his artistic side by creating a "mural" on our back fence with a black sharpie, and too many evenings shared with a glass of wine as I scoured LinkedIn for candidates. So yes. This week I was all about the little "wins."
Evan's artwork 

A year or two ago I did a series called "Dinner Dilemmas" because at that time I felt I had picky eaters! I laugh now. What did I know about picky eaters then? Fast forward to 2014. Today I am an expert with picky eaters. To be fair, my nine and three year old boys don't give me too much trouble, it's the six year old, Evan. . Evan would subside on a diet of skittles, Honey Nut Cheerios, milk and cake topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and extra sugar for good measure. Sure sometimes fruit and plain noodles are acceptable, but I can't push my luck.

The kid is impossible. What's for dinner mom? Doesn't matter what I answer.  The words barely escape my mouth before they are met with "I don't like that!" Lasagna? No. Tuna casserole? No. Homemade mac & cheese? No. Eggs? No. Tacos? No. Turkey sandwich? No. Soup of any kind? No. Mashed potatoes? No. Chili? No. NO NO NO NO.  You get the idea. It is infuriating, not to mention I think child services may show up at my door at any moment since my kid potentially borders on malnourished.

Last Sunday I pledged to find something my six year old would eat. I went to trusty Google and typed in "Dinner recipes, kids, picky eaters." Well my search returned plenty of recipes for... mac & cheese, tuna casserole, scrambled eggs and lasagna. Right. Not going to help me with my problem.  I was about to give up and fill my grocery cart with noodles and cereal when I stumbled on a recipe for Pizza Cupcakes.  You can follow the link for the actual recipe, but it could not have been any easier, which as a working mom with two kids in soccer practice most evenings is what I am all about.  If I have to peel, measure, puree, blend or beat too many ingredients, it ain't happening.

Pizza Cupcakes met the five ingredient criteria so I was sold.

What you need:

Refrigerator pizza dough (like Pillsbury)
Pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Mini pepperoni
Ground Italian sausage.

What you do:

Grease a muffin pan
Line each pan with pizza dough to create little cups that will be filled with a mixture of cooked sausage, pepperoni, sauce and cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 16 minutes

Garnish plates with sauteed green beans that *may* go uneaten but that will make your feel like a good, health conscious parent.


Too my shock and amazement all three children consumed and enjoyed them. Read that one more time. ALL THREE CHILDREN CONSUMED AND ENJOYED MY PIZZA CUPCAKES.  (No green beans were even touched during this experiment however.)

I brought back my trusty five star rating system and the results are in:

Bon Appetit! And here is to a week with many more small victories

Saturday, September 20, 2014

All About The Bass: "Skinny Bitch" Speaks Out.

Yeah. It's catchy. So damn catchy I find my self repeating it over and over all day.  While making breakfast "I'm all about the bass, about the bass, no treble." In the shower "You know my mama she told me don't worry about your size." In the car "i'm no stick figure silicon barbie doll."

All freaking day. That song. I thought it was a guilty pleasure. The bubble gum pop I'm supposed to be "too sophisticated" to enjoy. And I'm not above that. Fuck. I can admit that I like Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" (although I do take exception to the whole hammer licking video.) At first I thought it was a woman boldly singing a body-positive message, encouraging larger women not to "worry about your size."  Then I really listened to the lyrics, and I scratched my head.  Then I watched the Video, and I got pissed.

This is not a song about all women embracing their size. No. This is just another form of body shamming , albeit the reverse of what we usually see in our weight-obsessed society. What may seem like the anthem for the  full figured woman, still promotes a dangerous philosophy that one body type is better than another and that women are valued most for their sexuality, as defined by how many boys chase their "booty."

In case you are not familiar with the song, which means you probably don't listen to Alice 105 (guilty as charged,) it is performed by Meghan Trainor and here are the lyrics:

Yeah it's pretty clear, I ain't no size two
But I can shake it, shake it like I'm supposed to do
'Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
All the right junk in all the right places
I see the magazines working that Photoshop
We know that shit ain't real
Come on now, make it stop
If you got beauty beauty just raise 'em up
'Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
You know I won't be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,
So, if that's what's you're into then go ahead and move along 

Because you know I'm all about that bass,
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass
I'm bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches Hey
No, I'm just playing I know you think you're fat,
But I'm here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
You know I won't be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,
So, if that's what's you're into
Then go ahead and move along

I'm sorry lady, but did you just call me a bitch? I have a problem with that. As far as I know my weight does not define my level of bitchiness. What if we changed the lyrics to "go ahead and tell them big bitches?" I think it would be seen as what it is, an insult based on weight. Yes. I understand that heavier women (and men) face more discrimination than their skinnier counterparts, yet, I don't think promoting disdain for either body type is healthy for our society, or for the young, developing girls listening.

The song, and the video in particular demonizes "skinny bitches" telling us that thin women aren't sexy, thin women cant "shake it" and thin women are fake (silicon barbie dolls.)  The one skinny woman in the video is a caricature   She is overly sexualized and foolish, looking on in amazement at the big booties she ain't got. The song tells us our bodies are perfect from the "bottom to the top" (as long as you aren't a skinny bitch, right?)  

 The whole concept that she isn't a size two, but she has the "boom boom" that the boys really want is disturbing on multiple levels.  First, Meghan, are you trying to tell me that no boys want my "boom boom?" I beg to differ.  Men and women like people of varying body types, including skinny asses and round ones too. Second, as a women are our bodies acceptable only  because men find us sexually attractive? Because that is the message I am hearing.   "Hey it's okay I'm not a size two, because what men really want is a little extra booty."  This isn't a song about self-love or body acceptance, this is a song that tells us a woman's body is acceptable if men want to screw them.  What I first interrupted as a song to empower women is really just another objectification of the female body.

And it is sad. This song could have been so much more.  It could have been a sassy song about shaking what you got, whatever it is you got, because your perfect, from your bottom to your top, no matter what your size.

Someone needs to write that song.

Monday, September 15, 2014

People I Want To Punch In The Face: A Real "Genius"

It has been so long since I have vented in the form of People I Want To Punch In The Face.  It's time. Oh, yes it is time.

It came to me today as I sat in the Apple store with my busted IPhone. The screen shattered when I was on an emergency potty run with my three year old during my six year old's "soccer game." I put soccer game in quotations, because seriously, have you ever watched six year olds play soccer? It's a mix of excessive celebration combined with organized chaos and nose picking. Anyways, while coaxing my youngest child to go potty, my IPhone fell from my pocket and landed face down on the bathroom floor. The screen was shattered.  Long story short I made an appointment at the "Genius Bar." Really? Come on, as far as I can tell the employed "Geniuses" are bored pseudo techies punching a time clock. I don't remember the name of my "Genius" however he wore an official blue shirt, glasses and about a million electronic gadgets affixed to his belt. *HOT*. My Genius took one look at my phone shook his head and actually made a tutt, tutt, sound with his tongue, something I might expect of an 84 year old, but he couldn't have been over 25.

He placed my phone on the table and pressed here and there determining after 22 seconds that my phone was bent. He removed my case and noticed something "sticky" on the back of my phone, and snickered in disgust.  "What is that?" he questioned, eye brows raised and smirking. As my three year old sat beside me mindlessly pounding his chubby fingers on a sample Ipad, I looked him straight in the eye and said: "Have you ever seen inside a mommy's purse? How the hell do I know?"  He quickly announced that I would need a replacement. He picked up my phone and started fiddling around disabling icloud, and resetting passwords. He handed it back to me, informing me I needed to back my phone up and come back later to purchase the new phone. I sighed and texted my husband about the latest expense, and realized that most of my contacts had simply disappeared. Gone. Erased. I panicked. HOW AM I GOING TO REACH IAN'S DAD TO ARRANGE A PLAY DATE? HOW CAN I REACH THAT ONE BABYSITTER WE USED LAST YEAR? HOW WILL I REMEMBER WHO MY KID'S PEDIATRIC DENTIST IS??? Holy crisis.

I asked my Genius, what had just happened. He looked down at my phone in complete dismay, informing me he had no idea, and it was certainly nothing that he had done. Dude. One minute I held my trusty IPhone with all 170 contacts in place. The next after you put your genius hands all over it my contacts are gone.... you are telling me this is a coincidence?  "Miss, I don't know what you want me to do, they are gone." Um... hello.... aren't you called a Genius? This is Genius? Are you kidding me? No. No. Apparently he was not kidding me.  He handed me the work order and told me to return in a few days for a new phone and walked away. Leaving me....contactless.

I left the store, irate, my busted IPhone in my purse and my cranky three year old on my hip screaming for an Ipad and informing me that he had just had an "accident" which was now obvious to anyone within a two mile radius. As I walked my stinky child to the restroom I remembered to secure my phone now devoid of contacts in my purse, since this was in fact how I ended up at the "Genius Bar" in the first place.

So Public Service Announcement: Keep your phone tucked in a safe place when bent over your child in a public restroom, and never trust a genius with your contacts. You are welcome.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Crib

This house has had a crib in it for nine years. Nine years. Now, I realize that is nothing in comparison to the Duggars, but I don't care to compare myself to complete maniacs.

I remember all those years ago, I gratefully accepted a hand-me-down crib, the crib that was my sister's stepson's. It was old fashioned, but sweet. I remember, honestly as if it was yesterday, standing in Babies R Us with my mother picking out the bedding, the area rug, the lamp, everything coordinated with a jungle theme. (As a side note, why do we assume babies like jungle animals? I mean really, aren't tigers and lions a little scary?)

I was so proud of that nursery. It was ready weeks before my baby was to arrive. It was to be his home, his safe haven, the crib there to protect him, the baby animals to comfort him. My eldest climbed out of that crib just before his second birthday, so it was retired, but only briefly until our middle child, Evan would arrive in the spring of 2008.  That crib moved with us to Berkeley California when Evan was one.

Evan loved his crib. Loved it. Unlike his older brother he never made a move to escape. I thought he might stay in that crib until he was twelve, but frankly, it was falling apart, and when we found out we had another baby on the way we decided one crib per family was enough. Evan was promptly transitioned to his "toddler bed."

In 2011, my girlfriend Hannah gave me her beautiful never-used crib. It looked expensive. I'm sure it was. Her kids never cared for the crib, opting instead to bunk with mom and dad. So Julian was the lucky recipient of a brand new crib. That was three years ago.  That crib moved with us from Oakland back to Denver and up until two days ago my littlest child, my baby Julian, was as happy as can be in his "cribey." Like his brother Evan, he never made any effort to escape, in fact whenever he grew tired he would ask for it. When he was scared he would run for it. His crib was his safe place.

Two days ago the drop side of the crib became loose. Rather than fix it, we simply removed it, so that the crib is now open on one side, almost like a regular bed.  My baby loves it. He loves the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He no longer has to cry for me each morning to help him out of a crib. Three or four times a day he asks if he can go take a "nap" just so that he may have the experience of getting in and out of his bed by himself.  It doesn't take a genius to know what this represents. He is growing up.

So after nine years, this family will no longer have a crib. We never will again, not until my babies have babies of their very own. My children have outgrown the need to be contained, they have reached a level of independence, and the bittersweet truth is, it has only just begun.  Every day my nine year old, the baby who once gobbled up jars of pureed peas with gusto, surprises me with his maturity. He has transformed what was once his nursery into a boys room scattered with Harry Potter novels, baseball cards, and dirty socks. He rattles of multiplication tables and baseball statistics and want's to go on "real" roller coasters.  My younger boys are catching up everyday.

This house no longer has a crib. I can't protect my boys the way I once did, watching their every move, catching them when they fall, being there all the time. No. My children no longer have the protection of a four sided bed, those days are gone forever.  Instead we now must create a home, four walls within which they know they are safe and loved. Where we will hold them, support them and try to comfort them just as much as we did back in the days when a lullaby could sooth them to slumber.

This house no longer has a crib.  I won't lie. It hurts a bit. Letting go. Saying goodbye to those baby years. The years when nobody in the world compared to mommy or daddy. When their faces would light up at the very sight of us. I have always been infatuated with the passage of time, and nothing makes the passing of each year more noticeable than one's children growing up. Time is all we have, and we can't rewind, we can't go back. I will never have a baby in a crib again. We will be buying another big boy bed, dismantling the crib and hopefully handing it down to another young family. One  that is just beginning. I will blink back my tears as we see it go, and then I'll turn back to my big boys and move on...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's official, I'm a grownup & your shorts are too short

Inspired my recent tweet.....
All grown up

You know you are officially a grown-up/a parent when.....

Instead of happy hour you spend your Friday night cleaning your kid's rooms, and almost enjoy it.
Your server gives you a wink when he asks you for ID
You have no idea what is happening with the Kardashian's however at the gym you select the machine with the best view of CNN
You still like Facebook.
You just can't stop commenting on how short that chick's shorts are. Really? That short? Really? 
You have celebrated the New Year in a time zone other than the one you currently are in.... year after year.
You cannot believe how young those "kids" in college look. And how short their shorts are.
You think seriously about adopting Martha Stewart's idea of a  family "command center" with color coded folders, a white board and a communal calendar to get organized.
All of your celebrity crushes are now in their fifties, or sixties.
You wouldn't dream of leaving the house without a bra, in fact you wouldn't dream of leaving the house without a damn good bra.
You walk into H&M and can't find a single item of clothing you would ever consider wearing, and you are appalled by how teeny-tiny the shorts are. 

You would rather read the book than see the movie, but it doesn't matter you won't have time to do either.
Flying alone, no matter the destination is a vacation within itself.
Miss has systematically been replaced with Mam.  
At your annual physical your doctor now brings up words like "bone density" and "mammogram"
Your doctor is younger than you.
You get mad at the teenagers hanging out on children's playground equipment, blocking the slide and wearing really small shorts. Is that a butt cheek hanging out? Seriously? WHERE IS YOUR MOTHER!
The term "midnight snack" has been eliminated from your vocabulary and replaced with a last glass of wine at 8:30.
It's 7:30 on a Sunday morning and you already have two kids in time-out, a load of laundry done, breakfast served and put a way, and you are wondering what the hell you are going to do with these monsters for the rest of the day!

It's official I have arrived as a true mom and grownup, and there ain't no turning back! (This does not however mean I have forgone my obsession with all things Hello Kitty, or that I always behave like a "grownup")

Monday, August 18, 2014


I remember that show. I was in my early teens when I watched, mesmerized by the lives of Michael & Hope, the super attractive couple with an adorable baby girl. Then there was Nancy and Elliot, separated and fighting while juggling their small children.  And finally Gary the sexy single professor chasing skirts. I viewed with a mix of anticipation (maybe someday I'll have a hot husband running his own advertising agency and an adorable baby girl!) and terror, (am I really going to be that old?)

It was a television show but I felt it was really the official guide to Adulthood, akin to "What To Expect When You're a Grownup." As it turns out, if I remember correctly, it wasn't that far off. 

My life has had a similar cast of characters.  Most of my friends have taken their wedding vows, experienced the joy of bringing a baby into the world and struggled with the balance of career and parenthood.  In our early thirties we held on to some of our more youthful habits (bar hopping, expensive vacations and lazy Sunday brunches.)  As 30 rolled into 37, our lives became filled with pediatric doctors visits, promotions and career angst. I still had a few single friends who would occasionally tear me away to join their world on a Saturday night, but now, at the end of this decade, I have fully grown into a certified grown-up. 

My thirties were good.  Over those ten years I gave birth to three beautiful boys.  I spent four years in California exploring San Francisco and Sonoma.  I made new friends, while other friendships faded away, left to Facebook memories and occasional text messages. My remaining grandparents passed away and I watched my parents retire and embrace their new roles as grandma and grandpa. I have seen more divorces than all the bridesmaid dresses I have worn combined.   I ran my first half marathon. I quit working. I started working. I quit working and started working... trying to achieve the perfect balance of motherhood and self.

And here I am a few days shy of my 40th birthday looking back, remembering how I had watched Hope, Michael, Nancy, Elliot and Gary so many years ago, thinking 30 was so far away, so... old. Part of me wishes there would have been a spin-off series, fortysomething, so I may have continued to watch the lives of my television role models.  What happened to Michael and Hope, did they attend parent-teacher conferences together? Stay married, Overcome depression? Did Ellen's cancer come back? How did these thirtysomethings turn fortysomethings approach aging? Where is my road map, my What-To-Expect-When-Approaching-Middle-Age?

Perhaps it is best to leave it all to the imagination and admit that I have no idea what the next ten years will bring. Yes there are some things I can anticipate.  Baseball games, growing pains, driver's education and high school graduations. Aging. Yes I will continue to age.  My skin will continue to wrinkle, gravity to assert it's will, and a certain beauty will fade.  I would be a liar if I said these things did not scare me, did not make me a little sad. Watching my babies turn into young men and eventually leave the nest we put so much energy in building, scares me. My own parents approaching their seventies, scares me.  Looking older scares me. 

And though there is fear and sadness as I leave behind the thirties, there is a certain joy in knowing I have in fact matured.  So many people say that as the get older they feel "comfortable in their own skin" or that they are confident in themselves and have given up the insecurities of their youth.  I can't go that far, though I wish I could. Rather I can say that at forty I am finally able to start confronting some demons. I am more open and willing to face and own my shortcomings and better able to identify my strengths.  Though still a far cry from "self-confident" each day I feel myself getting a bit stronger. 

I find myself wondering how I got so stuck in my twenties and thirties. I have been so stubborn in my pessimistic view of myself and the world.  Perhaps it is true that with age comes wisdom and I'm finally starting to wise-up. For the first time in my life I feel that I am really capable of change, and while I don't know what the future will bring I, know that I can make my own happiness. 

Yes I realize that this  would probably make for a very boring television series, free of youthful angst  drama.  But guess what? I'm totally okay with that.

Happy fortysomething to me.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pass the "Kool-Aid-Summertime With Kiddos.

I seem to remember summer as a time of endless bliss. The moment that last school bell rang the weight of the world was suddenly lifted from my tiny shoulders. SWEET FREEDOM! I would lug home my backpack full of dirty gym clothes and scraps of paper salvaged from my locker, dump it in the front closet and not look at until late August.

Summer seemed to last forever. So many weeks without responsibility, to do whatever I wanted to (which consequently turned out to be watching copious amounts of daytime television and eating a fuck ton of Kool-Aid
mix without water (sugar high!) I still remember the daytime line up. 10:00 Price Is Right, 11:00 Young & The Restless, 12:00 Days of Our Lives, 1:00 Another World, 2:00 Santa Barbara, and at 3:00 to balance out the Soap Opera smut, it was Little House On The Prairie. Ahhh good times.

When we weren't vegging out in front of the tube, we would walk to the neighborhood grocery store and stock up on candy. Nerds were a personal favorite, clearly I had an affinity for sugar. And in the evenings the neighborhood kids would gather outside to play tag or kick-the-can until the mosquitoes became unbearable or our parents called us in.

What I don't remember was being bored.

Hiking. It looks like fun. right? 
Am I just blocking it out? Because this seems to an epidemic with today's young whipper-snappers. Doesn't matter what we do. After a weekend spent at a mountain cabin the first words uttered upon return were "what are we going to do now?" After a day spent at the pool we come home and hear "Mom, I'm BORED."  While hiking the Rockies, one child will inevitably whine, "This is boring, can we go home now?"

Seriously? Seriously? For the love of God, when I was a kid we weren't entertained every damn second of every summer day. We did our own thing. We used our imaginations (if that includes borrowing from the imaginations of soap opera writers.)

This summer has been a bit of a challenge. We ran into some childcare snafus and scrambled to find fun and entertaining camps for the older boys. This week the boys went to some crazy expensive sports camp across town, adding nearly two hours of driving to my day. While at camp the boys have played dodge ball, tag, home run derby, baseball, soccer, and even (to my utter shock) enjoyed a zumba class. And every day they have returned overtired and crabby, complaining about the quality of the food (and here I thought it was only my cooking they hated.)

Yay for the camp commute! 
And we are only two weeks in. Two weeks. We have like what eight more to go???

I'm starting to think about sleep-away camp next summer....for me.

Good luck to all the moms and dads out there trying to survive June, July & August. Stock up on sangria and cold beer, because Kool-Aid just does not do the trick anymore!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sleep Ritual. Unisom & Wine

So in my "free" time I read an article about the importance of having a night-time "ritual" to unwind from a busy day and prepare the mind for sleep. Now apparently checking work email, Facebook, Twitter or reality television does not count as an acceptable "ritual." The article suggested that down time is critical for a good night's sleep.

As a chick who regularly has a glass (or three) of wine, a couple of Unisom and a quick prayer to the sleep Gods as my bedtime routine I was intrigued.  

It takes no genius I suppose. Everyone has heard that a glass of warm milk and a bedtime story is the key to sleep success, but I never quite bought into it myself. 

My days are busy. Managing what is now a full time work schedule, three insane offspring, a household, physical therapy and my crazy life...isn't as easy as I make it look.  (She does it with such grace, said nobody ever.)

Evenings are something I just get through. Survive. Preparing a dinner which will be the subject of many dirty looks and harsh criticism, negotiating bath and bedtime which has crept up later and later as my children grow, and trying to maintain a sanitary home with three boys 8 and younger (why can't they pee in the toilet??).... leaves little room for any "me" time. Yet.... according to sleep experts, such time is the key to sleep success. Fuck.

The article suggested  that meditation, a hot bath (with candles!) or deep breathing exercises are fabulous predecessors to a sound sleep. I know you can't see me now, but.....*eye roll* screw that crap! I took a "mindfulness"  class my senior year in college (easy A), and man did I try. I sat in my crappy apartment being mindful of the bacteria infested carpet underneath me, noticing the stench of stale beer that clung to the peeling paint, being aware of the fact that my roommates were in the next room drunk off their asses and having way more fun than me.  Yeah. Being mindful ended up pissing me off.   As for a bubble bath. Meh. Maybe in a beautiful hotel, but in my bathroom.... not so much, it's too hard to resist grabbing a bottle of bleach and some rubber gloves.  

So I jest, but yes, I see the value in finding something that might work for me. Something so perhaps eventually I can wean myself from the Tylenol PM (not the wine! stay away from my wine!!) But what is it? I know! How about three child free hours a night? No? Um... a personal massage therapist who will visit me nightly? Not realistic? Oh I got it! A sanctuary in my home, clean, peaceful, absent of all Hotwheels, used and discarded pull-ups or half eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! (Yes. Pure fantasy.)

Okay, Okay. Clearly I do not have an open mind. Perhaps I just like my wine. Maybe I'm just anti-sleep, or afraid of my own mindfulness. Whatever. It's time for some Unisom.


Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm Back!

Oh my poor sad neglected blog. Yes, yes I have forgotten you. Between nursing a broken ankle back to health, nursing a child with a concussion back to health, a broken laptop, a visit from one of my best Oakland girlfriends, and a ladies trip to Vegas.... I haven't had time for you. And I'm sorry. I had so many earth-shattering blog posts in mind, but instead you will get a brief, and hopefully mildly entertaining run down of recent events.

The Ankle:

One word-sucks. Well it's on the mend now, but the whole experience was entirely sucky. From the 3.5 weeks in a cast, developing tendinitis in my right wrist from using crutches, intense pain in my calf, and an acute case of claustrophobia, to the two weeks in a clunky boot, answering countless innocent questions about my injury, to the painfully boring hours of physical therapy... I am flipping done with this ankle business. So done with it. And I have come to the final decision that my running days are officially behind me. My bones are too weak to withstand the high impact exercise, and thus I am on a quest to discover my new fitness passion. Expect more on that in the months to come!

The Concussion: A little over a week ago my eldest son was in a sledding accident on a glacier in the mountains. I was not there, but received the call that no mother wants from my frantic husband informing me he was in an ambulance with our kiddo on his way to the hospital. It's a long story, and frankly not funny at all, so I'll keep it brief, Zack is fine. He had a concussion that left him with a terrible headache and unable to participate in many of the activities he desperately wanted to over the past week. All and all we are very lucky with the outcome, and I think my husband and I are more traumatized by the event than my tough eight year old.

My Oakland Gal-Pal (Hannah! That is you!!) was awesome enough to come to Denver for a girls weekend and it was fan-fipping-tastic. There was a massage, a makeover, dinners, a hotel stay and some major catching up. We splurged on a night at The Oxford, a classy, hotel in downtown Denver. After our spa treatments we got glammed up and went to a swanky restaurant. I had envisioned us hitting the bars after dinner and stumbling into our room, the very least after midnight, however somewhere around dessert our eyes heavy, we realized there was one only one thing we wanted.... our own fluffy bed. There is something to be said for sleeping alone underneath crisp overstuffed bedding. Damn straight I'm old. And proud of it. We slept in, had lattes and then went to brunch. A-May-Zing.

Vegas: This past Mother's Day weekend I flew to one of my very favorite get-aways- Las Vegas in honor of a friend's fortieth birthdays. I met up with twelve other lovely ladies (most of whom I had never met before) at the Wynn hotel for a weekend of total gluttony. First there was the $38 sunscreen I purchased outside of the  pool (yes, that was a mistake), then there was the $21 Pina Colada I ordered immediately after (totally not a mistake it was worth it), and then there was a whole lot of laying around the pool, drinking and eating. Pretty much perfect. I do have to say, I didn't feel quiet the same in sin-city as I did ten years ago. I had no desire to hit the clubs and I felt a little out of place at the invite-only pool party we stumbled upon, which was filled with rowdy 20-somethings dancing more than half naked, cocktails in the air.  At first I felt a little guilty for not indulging more. Why wasn't I wasted, it's Vegas? How could I come back to my room at midnight, it's Vegas?  Why am I not flashing my naked breasts at the 21 plus only "European" style pool, it's Vegas? And then it hit me. Because I don't want to, that's why, and I am totally ok with that. Damn it. Guess that means I'm a grown up now.

So there you have it. My first blog post in a month. Hopefully more to come. Thank you for reading :). Until next time...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sitting Still

I have had a lot of time on my hands lately, what with the inability to get off of my ass due to the florescent pink cast on my right ankle. True I have enjoyed a variety of narcotics and spent some mindless hours surfing Yahoo news, but I have been generally uninspired to do anything meaningful.

Seems I'm in a bit of a slump. This time a year ago I was training for my first (and last) half marathon. I was full of motivation and spent my weekend mornings putting in 8 to 10 miles. Living in Oakland, I would bus into the city once a week in big-girl clothes and spend eight hours in real office. I had drinks and dinners with girlfriends in the fancy financial district restaurants.

Flash-forward 12 months, four injuries and one move later and here I am. My tush is either firmly planted on an office chair in the basement or on the sofa in my living room. I won't run again. I will never have the thrill of pushing myself to the finish line. That part of my life is over. Removed from San Francisco, my days of office life and happy hours are gone as well.

So you would think with all of this time sitting around I would embrace my other hobbies and interests. Well as it turns out with the exception of blogging I have no other real sedentary hobbies and it's gotten me fairly... BLUE.  Unlike song writers and poets, I don't seem to be inspired to write when I'm.... "blue."

I hoped that the pure act of pulling up a blank screen and moving my fingers would have sparked *something* but unfortunately I'm coming up... blank.

I'm wondering how to find my spark again. In the wake of this newest injury I have felt isolated and let down. Let down by my body, by people, by life. All of the sudden I feel I have to revaluate my goals. My goals of being an athlete, my dream of returning to Denver with hopes of reclaiming an amazing support network, even my career goals.

Things haven't turned out quiet the way I hoped and expected them to this past year. I am starting to realize that I have to take a long hard look at my life and develop a whole new set of standards, a whole new set of goals. It isn't easy. As much as I would like to gracefully accept my losses and disappointments and move on to whatever is next, I don't feel I'm ready quiet yet. Perhaps that is what this period of sitting still is all about, maybe it's my time to grieve lost dreams and wallow in my sadness. Maybe I need to experience this first before moving on to what is next.

And maybe with some space to mourn and revaluate my life, in time I will find that missing spark once again.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dear Abby

Dear Abby,

I have a problem. My mom is a big old liar! And when I told her so, she sent me to time out-so she is also a mean poopy-head.

Here is what happened. We went on a vacation to Florida and she said she broke her ankle while jogging with my dad. Instead of going to the beach my mom spent the whole morning at the doctor's office drinking coffee.  When she got back her leg was all bandaged up so I couldn't even see if there was anything wrong. Then all she wanted to do was lie on the sofa. I know she just wanted to sleep more. She always complains about not getting enough sleep anyway.

Since we have been home she has been sitting around on the sofa and won't do anything for me! She is so lazy. Every now and then she gets up to the bathroom and does this fake crying thing like Phoebe in my Kindergarten class does when she doesn't get her way. FAKER.  My mom wouldn't even help me clean my room. I told her that even if her ankle was broken, her arms still work so she should help me pick up all of my Legos and dirty underwear. And anyways I know she is just faking her stupid  broken ankle so she doesn't have to clean and drive me to soccer practice.

I got mad when she told me not to hit my bratty baby brother in the head with Fischer Price dump truck so I told her that I hoped she would die soon and that I was going to steal her crutches and her cast because I know she is faking the whole thing. Then I got in trouble for that!

Abby, I heard you help people with their problems. Can you help me get a nicer mom? (and a less bratty brother while you are at it?)

Evan (Age 5)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Vacation Report

 So. Has everyone been anxiously awaiting a vacation report? Did the Kargas family survive? Was there any fun to be had? Well. You asked for it.

Let's start at the beginning. The airport heading out to Florida on an early evening flight. Our youngest munchkin Julian was getting over a cold which seemed to get exponentially worse while waiting to pass through security. We were a good 45 minutes behind "my"schedule, putting us in an already stressful situation. There may be nothing  that strikes fear into my heart like the threat of missing a flight. Just as we were approaching the TSA dude to check our tickets and Driver's License, Julian started in on a whopper of a coughing fit. Enough to turn heads, and enough to induce vomiting in the little guy, which in turn lead to wailing.  Happy vacation indeed.

The next two days the weather was cool and windy and Julian slept like a newborn waking up every two hours during the night. The boys were anxious to check out the pool, so they braved the water with their dad as I sat and watched, promising to join them in the warmer days ahead.

Tuesday morning the sun was shining and we were planning a trip to Siesta Key, the prettiest beach in the area. But first... a morning jog with the husband. A short run. I didn't want to aggravate anything- just wanted to get the old heart rate up. Big. Mistake. A mile and a half in, a twist of the ankle, the sound of a "snap" (no that was not a branch) and I knew that the only trip I would be making that day was to urgent care. As if the snapping sound of my ankle and the purple tennis ball which instantly appeared above my foot wasn't enough confirmation the x-ray sealed the deal. Broken ankle.

I spent the next five days of "vacation" on the sofa in a Vicodin induced haze. I did attempt a few piggy backs onto the beach and spent some time at the pool and ate a fair amount of seafood-but overall folks it was the worst vacation EVER. EVER.

Luckily there was no puking on the plane ride home.-I did however have to wear my Hello Kitty pajamas all day. I had selected a pair of skinny jeans for our journey home *genius* and instructed my husband to strap the suitcase on top of the car. Didn't take me long to realize at 5am the next morning that no skinny jean was fitting over my splint. So I spent the my time at the Tampa airport being pushed around in my pajamas. I felt a lot like a toddler actually. The experience wasn't all bad. I didn't have to do a damn thing. I even got to ride in one of those carts while the driver screamed at all the able bodied folks to "MOVE OUT OF THE WAY"

And now I'm home and in my hard florescent pink cast with orders to stay put for most of the next 2.5 weeks. L
ater, I will graduate to a boot.

Needless to say I feel entitled to a REAL vacation now. You know.. the kind without puking children, and broken ankles. Maybe like Hawaii? Like without the monkeys? And maybe a suit of bubble wrap just incase.....