Turn Around and Swim

Life | Lessons | Laughter | Love


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Thankfully He Wasn’t REALLY Drowning

(Image Courtesy of Google)

(Image Courtesy of Google)

So the three little monkeys of mine now have swimming lessons. All in one place and for a half an hour every week. For thirty minutes I sit calmly and safely. I sit there and zone out from time to time while cannon balls shatter in the distance. I nod my head every once in a while to acknowledge a water tread, back float or half attempt at a dive. I nod away, they think I’m watching.

Sometimes if I get really animated I yell out, “Great job boys, keep it up.” I feel so free. I know there will be no Sharpie’s upon my walls or gallons of milk dripping from the counters. I know no child has clogged a toilet with a toy screwdriver which would later lead to its demise and removal. I know nobody is putting special bubbly in mommy’s contact case. I know no child is breaking and entering a neighbor’s home for chips in their pantry. I am at peace.

Why in the world didn’t I come up with this sooner? Why? This is the calmest thirty minutes I get each week. I do not care if the instructors pass them. I will pay anything to keep them learning water survival tactics. You’ll see, by the time they are 20, 15 and 13, we will have Olympic hopefuls in the making. I am a perfectionist and I believe, in order to achieve, we must practice, practice, practice. Ah, Namaste.

So by the time Peeno gets out of the pool and I wipe him dry, Noochie is getting out. Then Nickelbass finishes up his last belly flop from the high dive. Now I have regrouped, recharged and didn’t even need alcohol. But as we all know, all good things must come to an end. Now when your children are escorted out of the pool by their instructor, you dry them off and they put their shoes on, you expect them to make their way towards the exit sign. There should be no need to have your guard up or your mommy defense in overdrive. Nobody is getting back into the pool.

But yesterday when I was gathering my belongings, because somehow we always leave with more articles of clothing than we came in with, little Noochie decides to conduct a test. Yes, quite similar to the Emergency Broadcast System. Where it gets your attention until you hear, “This is only a test”. Well I guess over the thirty minutes while I was meditating, when I thought little Noochie was working hard at his breast stroke, he was eyeing up the Lifeguards.

(Image Courtesy of Google)

(Image Courtesy of Google)

Not in the ‘dude scoping out the chicks’ kind of way, but as in, ‘are they really paying attention kind of way’. Oh yes, you guessed it. He “accidentally” falls in. Of course they do nothing. I hurdle the swim team members, resin chairs and water-logged noodles and practically jump in after him. He says, “Mommy just calm down. I got this.” Then he swims to the ladder and in Baywatch fashion climbs out. I am all like in fight or flight mode and this little $h*t walks up to the Lifeguard and goes,”Hey, I just fell in the pool and you weren’t even paying attention.” I wanted to crack him upside his head. Yet, at the same time, he did have a point. Well at least he proved a point, which is exactly what he set out to do.

The Lifeguards are all apologizing to him, a five-year old, and I was still without words due to a potential drowning shock. But last night as I lay in bed with fury critters (more on that to come) I thought to myself, what a sly little guy. He is five and while he was challenging his instructor to push his limits and watching me to make sure I didn’t miss a stroke, he was also eyeing up the fact that the Lifeguards were not life guarding. The fact that teenagers were shaking in their swimmers for fear of job loss as a result of a five-year old’s test, just awed me.

Last year on vacation, when a stranger said to her sister, “That boy. That boy right there is gonna be somebody. He just has that look about him.” Well, she was talking about Noochie. I guess she was on to something. I hope I survive to see his triumphs.

What recent scare did you almost ___________ your pants from? What about you LifeGuards? Do you pay less attention when parents are around?


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Let Running Reign

20130416-110836.jpg “We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.” -Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile

For a runner, running is freedom.  Running is facing your fears, your “I cannots” and going the extra mile.  When your feet hit the pavement, it creates a symphony.  A collection of notes you create.  You set the tempo, the softness and the beat as you go along with Mother Nature’s rhythm.

Some days we conquer and others days we take it slow, erring on the side of caution. Then there are those days we have no fear.  We plow through. Sometimes we arrive sooner and other times later. But we arrive.  We are present.

We gain acceptance of the challenges, conquer our fears of the unknown and relish in the beauty and adventure. When we finish, we are humbled.  We are strong.  We overcame.  We defeated our negative thoughts.  We made it happen.

Whether we are crossing a finishing line, laying down to rest or slowing down to avoid injury, we conquered.  We let running reign and so to will freedom.


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$182.13 and You Got What?

Some people decided to drink their St. Patty’s Day away. Others suddenly turned Irish for a day. Some looked to the leprachauns for luck and inspiration. I went broke on my three little clovers. I decided to forego the festivities and spend the day with my little men. We had a great day filled with a mommy workout, a free lunch due to their creative coloring artwork submissions to a local cafe, boys haircuts super pimped out style, a trip to the grocer and an all hands on deck homemade dinner. It was the “Patty’s Day of Perfection”. Well almost.

After it took more of a workout to get out the door Sunday morning to get the kids to my gym than my actual workout, I got dooped by the gym childcare center. Apparently somewhere between a gym name change and last Saturday they now require a key card pass to check the kids into the kiddie zone at the gym. I’m sorry but I seem to have missed that memo. It required all this paperwork, new credit card on file, blood type, shoe size, a photo ID of me with the kids, me separately and then each kid separately. By the time I checked into the workout class they were already 3 towels of sweat into their groove and by the time I busted my first bead, class dismissed. Huh?

Then off we went to gather our free brunch courtesy of childhood doodles. As they each cashed in their lucky leprechaun coloring pics, I was standing in between them and the mob of drunks from the local college who needed a quick carb fix before round two of their Guinness frenzy. Yikes. When you tell children some people just act silly on St. Patty’s day and they look at you with a questionable gleam in their eyes, do know they know. Anyways, we carried on through our brunch while I distracted them by spilling Vitamin Water all over my lap. Oh boys, time to go, mommy made a mess.

Would you like a hot facial wrap with your neck and shoulder massage there little fella?

Would you like a hot facial wrap with your neck and shoulder massage there little fella?

Luckily it was a “National Holiday” or something observed for all things Irish and nobody was getting their haircut on a Sunday afternoon. Most people don’t down 10 pints of Guinness and crave a haircut. Most people. So we had the whole place to ourselves. Now let me tell you these boys got the royal sports spa deluxe treatment for free. I’m talking haircut, scalp massage, wash, wax, dry, finish, hot towel facial wrap and neck and shoulder massage. They definitely got the MVP VIP upgrade. I can only imagine how they talked their way into this one.

When I went to the ladies room I didn’t expect to come out and see the three amigos getting massages and wrapped in towels. But I do know what I will do the next time they are getting too wild and crazy. I will institute the mommy hot towel wrap massage session. They were so quiet. I totally would have paid extra for this service and I even inquired how I can pay in advance to secure this MVP VIP treatment in the future. I actually read six uninterrupted pages of my book I downloaded last August. Count them. Six. Six whole pages.

Now with nothing but time and booze free fun ahead of us, we headed to the grocer for a few things. The kids begged and pleaded for each of them to have their own cart. Peeno had a mini me and Noochie and Nickelbass got the express shopper dual basket cart. So we were off. Mama duck and her three little ducklings cruising from aisle to aisle. Now when there is one cart and eight hands, I can usually put things back onto the shelves (a few aisles away of course – and I do apologize in advance for messing up the store). But when there are four carts and three sets of grabby hands, I cannot be responsible for what happens.

So, as they were unloading their carts and I was desperately trying to open a fruit stick for Peeno before he had a major meltdown, the cashier was scanning and scanning and scanning. It wasn’t until my oldest asked, “Umm Mommy, do you have money? Like a lot?” I immediately threw down the fruit stick, well, tried to shake the sticky thing, and peered up at the running total. $170.00 and still scanning. Then the cashier pages Customer Service Baggage Help. Oh no that could never be a good sign. So when all was said and done I had to hand over a card because cash wouldn’t cut it as my total was $182.13. Cha-ching! Now mind you I had just gone grocery shopping three days earlier.

Being this independent can only mean trouble.

Being this independent can only mean trouble.

When we got home and I began to unload the groceries, these are some of the items we now have in stock. Two pineapples, a cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine, hydroponic tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, potatoes in every family to include Idaho, Yukon, Red, Sweet and Yam. We also have every variety of Kids Cliff bars in triples. Three mega size shower gels, deodorant for a five-year old, protein powder for a nine-year old, bananas, more bananas, another pineapple, almond bites, ice cream sandwiches, 4 pints of ice cream and frozen pizza in plain, BBQ chicken, Greek, pepperoni and sausage. We also have sesame sticks, trail mix in everywhere color of the rainbow and I no longer have a pot o’ gold.

But we learned about economics and bartering. We learned that sometimes it takes 4 bags of coffee to get the grinder to explode work and grind the beans. We learned that our grocer has a baggage help person on staff. We learned that coupons are pointless when it comes to keeping hands from getting stuck on a conveyor belt. We learned that mommy cannot just whip out a card when the green stuff runs low. We learned teamwork and most importantly we learned that spending time together, no matter what the cost, is worth it. Even if after $182.13 and my bags didn’t even include mommy juice wine.

After the initial shock of cost and the full stocked pantry, we were able to use our ingredients to prepare a delicious dinner. Like all hands in the cart, we had all hands in the Sunday dinner food prep. It was lovely and if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t get a sitter for two hours at $10.00 bucks a pop for a quiet budget wise trip. Sometimes the most unplanned and out of budget mishaps turn into the best adventures.

Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. - James Russell Lowell

Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. – James Russell Lowell

So parents, do you bring your children to the grocer? Do you leave them at home with a sitter? What did you do back in the day?


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The Art of Losing an Hour

Last year I approached spring forward very roughly.  It was not quite my style nor very character like of me.  But it happens, we venture off path every once in a while.  It’s okay.  We live, we learn and we carry on.  So this year I re-blog my Art of Losing an Hour post as a reminder of what not to do tonight.  Happy Daylight Savings Time!

The Art of Losing an Hour

March 12, 2012 by | 2 Comments

It is that momentos time of the year; Daylight Savings Time.  When we “Spring” forward  with the hopes and promises of springtime to arrive.  Yesterday might have just been the finest Daylight Savings Day ever by way of weather and WEATHER ONLY!

Just last Thursday it was snowing and yesterday you were not even able to grab a parking spot in the local Metroparks.  Man kids running, bikers, motorcycles, lovers walking hand in hand and runners galore.  There were kites flying, birds chirping and layers shedding.  It was a balmy 68 give or take a few degrees.  Now that is what most would call a “Spring” forward!

Had I gracefully approached the loss of an hour I might have gained full appreciation yesterday for Daylight Savings Time.  But I sprung forward and landed right on my face.  The trek may have been worth it at the time, but trying to navigate through Daylight Savings Day on three hours and a mild to severe hangover made for a slippery ride.

So, I have compiled a list, mostly to myself, so I do not make the same mistakes next year when I “Spring” forward.  So, if you will, please learn from my mistakes and never, ever repeat!

Top 10 Things To Avoid the Day/Eve Before Daylight Savings Time

1.  Low to no carbs. You have to carb Load!  Yes, that’s right, maximum carb consumption!  If you are going to consume wine in Margherita fashion, you best get your starch on.  Crispy romaine, a few tomatoes and 3 greasy croutons will not absorb that type of wine consumption you silly rabbit. (Note to self: this is not how to consume wine either)

2. Shots – Just Say No!  Shots can never be a good thing. With a lack of starch and wine consumption up the yin yang what was I thinking?  Shots are just an evil reminder that I am not 21 anymore.

3. Pulling an all-nighter.  Real smart.  As if losing an hour isn’t enough, I have to close the house down.  Who do I think I am? I don’t wear a cape.  Go home fool!

4.  An oversized Panini stuffed with turkey, cabbage and french fries.  These should be illegal as they are stomach aches, among other things, in the making.  Especially when consuming this delectable at 1:45 in the morning.  How did I go from a fine food and wine enthusiast to a college student?

5.  Thinking you are minus 3 kids.  Yep, HELLoooo mommy!  My Panini loving shot doing wine guzzling a$$ will need to get up with three kids in oh say less than 4.5 hours.  I have to maneuver through Daylight Savings Day with my mommy title.  No, there is no abandoning post.  Ha, ha, dummy, deal with it now.  Once you earn that mommy title, it is yours for life! Hangover or no hangover.

6.  Getting home at 2:30 a.m.  Oops that is now 3:30 a.m!  “Spring” forward has sprung.  Now we are down to 3.5 hours, 3 kids, one very dirty stomach and a pounding head.

7.  Rounding up a big crew to meet at Starbucks pre-spin class at 8:00 a.m.  Can’t bail now as I peel myself off my bed linens, slap some cold water on my face and get my workout gear on.  OUCH and why do I look so blurry in the mirror?

8. Getting on a stationary bike for a 15 mile, one hour ride at 9:00 a.m.  I already have my spin on…in my head!  I was so dehydrated I couldn’t even sweat.  How in the world did I make it through that class? The whisper of the fan was hurting my head.  You go mommy, pedal now, faster and faster.  No pain, no gain.

9.  “Playing” mommy.  There is no such thing unless you are a little girl.  So, sure kids, we can go to the park!  Fresh air might do us all some good.  Let’s take full advantage of this spring-like day and play.  You go ahead now, while I slumber under this tree.  Who am I kidding?  Swinging, hiking, frisbee throwing and uh oh, hello again Panini.

10. Navigate through Daylight Savings on 3 hours of sleep.  Never do this on any given day either.  Sleep is crucial, beneficial and very much appreciated.  Yah, sweetie, there is no nappy, nap like back in the day.  You need to push through this day, non-stop, until the kiddies are tucked into bed.  But you go girl, have another shot!

So, with all appreciation for what Daylight Savings promises to bring, is it really necessary to “Spring” forward via loss of an hour? As if time is not limited as it is, you have to go and get all short on me? I need you minutes!

I know now not what to do next year.  In fact, I think I am going to settle into a nice Daylight Savings Spa Retreat.  The H2O plentiful, non-alcoholic, detoxifying,  fresh fruit and veggies type.  I would rather lose the hour gracefully than party like it’s 1999. (Although, at the time, it was blast!)


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Terrible Two’s Ain’t Got Nothing On The Tortuous Threes

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I do go to that happy place everyday fella. I ponder how we skipped the terrible twos and proceeded directly to the tortuous threes. Three is the age of potty training, learning to write your name, taking a lunch for the preschool field trip and testing mommy beyond no end. Three is the year my boys put me on a parental assessment.

I have been here now three times and in all honesty returning to that “happy place” gets sidetracked by things like Wusthof knives cutting Play-doh while mommy takes a shower, emptying the entire contents of bulk Kirkland laundry detergent on the carpeting and putting Purell into mommy’s water bottle.

What is it about this age? Is it just boys or do parents of princesses go through the same thing? Are girls this destructive? Three can be a wonderful but terrifying year all in the same. I know somewhere in history somebody came up with the “terrible twos” but I beg to differ. Can anyone relate to the fact that the age between two and four is the longest 365 days of your life as a parent?

Since the little squirt turned three I have been walking around on my tippy toes checking for pistons of poop droppings on the floor, with my shoulders crunched up into my ears while reminding myself to breathe. We should never have to remind ourselves to breathe unless we are drowning. I know I can survive though because I made it out alive with the other two. I cannot say I was not injured and I am deeply scared for life, but I am alive.

When my little Noochie was three he put some sort of solution in my contact case. It took a few minutes after insertion, and then the burn and oozing began. It burnt so bad that the other eye started burning and I couldn’t even open my eyes to remove the contact. When I asked the little man what he put in there, he smiled with his giant blue eyes and said, “Oh just some special bubbly mommy.” For the love of my eyes. He was so proud. I was so in pain. But I reminded myself that when the eyes are blind, look with the heart.

When you have brought up kids, there are memories you store directly in your tear ducts. ~Robert Brault

This one time, in mommy boot camp, I woke up to the mini drill sergeant. I purposely set my alarm very early so I can gather my thoughts, contacts and sanity before the little men wake up. So, one morning around Valentine’s Day when the same little boy who burnt my eye was three, I had to survive a sugar and honey bath. I proceeded into the kitchen, in the dark, on my tip toes of course and slid into the cabinet. It was as if my feet hit sand. The sand-like mixture and ceramic tile was like a slip-n-slide without the rocks poking through and water.

My right hip hit the cabinet and my feet got stuck in sandy goo. I was so sticky and could barely make my way over to hit the light. When I did, all I saw was sugar and honey everywhere. The honey bottle was still dripping from the upper cabinet, down onto the counter and down onto the floor. As I was just about to scream, I see him, those big eyes and giant smile peering at me from across the living room. What on earth happened here?

He jumped out of his chair and ran over to me and said, “Mommy, are you glad I finally did not wake you up? Remember when you told me to never wake you up in the middle of the night again when I can’t sleep? Well, I tried to read and since, well I am only three, well that didn’t work because I can’t read. So since I am not allowed to boil water for tea, I made sugar and honey water. Aren’t you so happy I didn’t turn on the stove? Then when that didn’t work….” “Wait a minute! Stop right there! What do you mean when that didn’t work? What did you do?” I exclaimed. He replied, “I decorated our house for Valentine’s Day! Let me show you mommy, you are going to be so proud!”

I ruined this kid. When he was expecting me to be “so proud” I was crying in terror. He glued everything and I mean everything to our walls, doors, cabinets, closets, head-boards and carpeting. He broke down in tears because mommy was supposed to be so proud. It took me two weeks to clean up the mess. That was two years ago and I still have remnants of Valentine’s Day 2011 lingering throughout my house.

The trouble with learning to parent on the job is that your child is the teacher. ~Robert Brault

Where am I?  Who am I?(Picture courtesy of Google Images)

Where am I? Who am I?
(Picture courtesy of Google Images)

So now, I have another three-year old. I do not want my boys to grow up. Yes, I want to keep them little forever. Bull$hit. But when will enough be enough? Can I survive another round of the Torturous Threes? So far it has cost me my eyesight, I will need a future hip replacement, a whole house woodwork and paint job and $75.00 in plumber fees this year. That’s right, my fresh little three-year old recently flushed a Diego screwdriver tool down the toilet. The plumber looked at him, then me, then him and was like, “huh?” Did he think that was odd? I actually thought it was a clean disaster. A little pricey but picking up the phone to let someone else deal with the mess was a lot easier than other adventures I have been on with my boys.

I love them. I do. I have no idea what I would be without them. Sometimes I wonder if Karma is real. Perhaps Uncle Karma is knock-knock knocking on my door. I know from experience and asking of my parents, I was never like this. Being a girl I just wouldn’t think of these things. I wanted to paint, color and draw, on paper. I wanted to brush my dolls hair and put my mom’s makeup on, neatly. Never did I want to cause extreme fatigue or bodily harm to my parents.

Parenthood is one crazy ride. I do love every minute of it. Especially since I am still here to talk about it. So my advice to new parents approaching that magical age of three, if you think age two was rough, hold on tight. You are in for one heck of a ride! Just remember, moms and dads, you are your child’s favorite toy!

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t. ~Barbara Kingsolver


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It’s a Pinterest Account Not a Rite of Passage

I have to work this Sunday. My clients typically do not want to hear me say things like I want to be home to tuck my children into bed, it’s family day or I’m sorry my boys have a game. They want me on call at all times of the day. I don’t blame them. Technology has given us the quick fire response. The hitting of a key or button has induced this constant state of urgency among people. Hell, I’ve even trained my clients by being Suzy on the spot for the past ten years.

There is a huge disconnect between real people time and world-wide web time. I think real people time is now getting the short stick. I never want to lose my passion for my career nor make my children feel like they are a nuisance. There is a fine line between work and home and it’s a delicate art balancing it all.

I have extreme working mommy guilt. So, I over commit and over schedule things for myself with respect to being all in for my kids and their school events. Usually I get flustered. Not because I can’t handle it but because it takes me away from what matters most, my children. So the past twelve months I have said that one syllable word, no, more than I ever have. So instead of Room Mom I am just parent volunteer now. I get the same amount of hands on time without the planning and organizing task. Simple. So you might think?

Anyways, I am working this weekend because I volunteered to help out in my middle son’s kindergarten class for their Valentine’s Day Party. I was delegated the task by Room Mom #2 to bring the sweet treat. Yet, because of all the allergies and sugar addictions I had to submit what I would be bringing. If you know me and how I bake it’s a pinch of this and a smidgen of that. So, I had to actually find a recipe. Room Mom #1 recommends for me to set up an account on Pinterest for ideas. Really? I am quite qualified to come up with some original and festive treats on my own. She gets really bothered and indicates to me she sent me an invite on Pinterest.

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Alrighty then, Pinterest to the rescue. I had no time to set up an account but since everyone is pinning, I could too. Pinterest is a creative ideas, arts, crafts and motivational posters sharing world. It forces us to now steal or is it pin other’s ideas and have all our friends ooh and ah us. Don’t get me wrong, there is some hot things on there but is it forcing us to lose our sense of creativity?

So, I find M&M bars and candy bark. I get approval from Room Mom #1, Room Mom #2, Grand Master Head Room Mom, teacher, aide, school nurse, school psychologist, principal and district superintendent. These delectable treats are a go.

So I make them up the night before the party while entertaining a friend, cooking dinner, doing homework and watching my children NERF each other to exhaustion. Now the easy part, set the timer and let them bake. That is until your newly potty trained son is running around naked from the waist down shooting his NERF gun at our guest. What the? He proceeds to tell me he peed on the basement carpeting. So, I pseudo clean that up and tell him to go upstairs and get some clothes. In the meantime, his other brothers come running down the stairs to tell me, this same child now pooped upstairs. Oh my heavens.

In the midst of all the chaos I forgot about the baked goods. Oh they were baked alright. They were definitely done, toasted, burnt and disgusting. I am two glasses of wine into the evening, 1.5 children tucked into bed and 11 minutes away by expressway to the grocer. No thank you.

So the next day I planned on giving myself an in home manicure at 5:00 a.m., working a half day plus a few and then stopping to pick up some M&M cookies. Bars or cookies, who’s keeping track? Fault numero uno right there. The PTA secret service is, that’s who. Anyways I woke early and began my manicure prep. Now I must disclose here that last Saturday I treated myself to a manicure. I was asked 40 times if I wanted a shellac/gel manicure and I kindly replied each time, “No thank you!” I do not have time to come back and get it removed and keep up with that kind of routine. This is a small treat I do for myself once in a while.

So naturally when I went to remove my polish on Valentine’s Day morning, it should come off, right? I didn’t insert my hands into an ultraviolet light drying contraption. Why won’t this polish come off? Come on already. I soak them and still no polish removed. My nails looked hideous and my skin was forming 2 inch paper cut lacerations from the acetone bath soak. I can’t even call the nail salon because it is 5:30 in the morning. The day must go on and it does.

So when I get the kids off to school and tuck myself into my office chair, I call the nail salon. I explain to them I did not have a shellac/gel manicure and that my nail polish will not come off. The nail representative replies, “Oh we use a gel topcoat to make your french manicure last very long. You can come here and we can take it off and do another manicure for you, okay?” No it is not okay. I need this polish off. This is not what I asked for. I reply, “I am not wanting another manicure. I want my polish off and now maybe a refund for my inconvenience.” Her reply, “NO, I will not give you both. You don’t like that we tried to do something nice for you well than I am too busy to talk to you!” Click. Are you for real?

Time to forget the nails, I needed cookies. And the M & M cookies were there all right at the store. Yep, one pack of ten cookies left. A whole table of M & M cookies sold out. So I had to get chocolate chip brownie stuffed cookies instead.

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

I arrive at the party start time not set-up time and run into the classroom. The room moms turn and give me a stern eye with folded arms while proudly displaying their VISITOR badge. One proceeds to say, “We were getting nervous because we didn’t think you were coming.” Right, I know because being on time now constitutes late. Then Room Mom #1 goes through my bag and says, “Umm, where are the M & M bars?”

I explain what happened and they become frantic and all like, how are we going to serve these without the Head Room Mom’s approval? So I grab the cookies, run down to the nurse and principal and they okay them. There, done. It was in that moment that I realized I had been in my son’s classroom and school for at least 12 minutes now and never even acknowledged him. That’s when I put my foot down to these women and said, “I’m here for my child and his friends. I am going to say hello to him now!”

I ran over to him and could see the disappointment in his eyes and just gave him the biggest hug. I wanted to bury myself in his shoulders and cry but these Pinterest freaks are not getting the best of me. So, I gather myself and walk over to the orange table to help the children assemble their bead necklaces. Now mind you they have been inserting micro-mini beads on a wire for the past fifteen minutes. Owen J. turns to me and says, “I’m done, can you tie it together?” Sure buddy, I sure can.

See because in the eyes of a child you can do no wrong. A cookie is a cookie and being on time is whenever. Until I go to twist the wire and my severely numb, acetone cracked fingers get pierced by the wire end and I drop the necklace. A gazillion beady things go flying everywhere and Owen J. starts screaming and crying, “Noochie’s mom ruined my necklace!”

photoI literally dropped to my knees. My poor son was horrified because nobody wanted his mom near their necklaces. Room Mom #1 walks over and just when I thought she would put her hand on my shoulder and reassure me she goes, “How about you just put those cookies of yours on the plates. You did bring the plates right?” Huh? I was supposed to bring plates too?

I’m banned as a parent volunteer, I am sure, for life. I feel horrible for my son as I think I did more harm than good, by being there. He will always have the mom who ruined Owen J’s necklace.

Just as the bad mom stigma couldn’t get any worse the teacher called out all the children whose mothers helped out because they get to go home early. No, no please don’t. I can’t take him home because I have to finish up my work day at a client’s house across town. In front of the room mothers, my son, his teacher and all his peers I had to mumble, “He can’t come home with me because I have to work.” The words I have hated saying since all three of my boys were born.

I want you to know if you are that mom or dad struggling daily to be all in for your kids and your career, that it is okay to fail once in a while. It is okay if you don’t have the perfect craft or cutest felt frog to pin the heart on. It’s okay if you ruined Owen J’s necklace. It’s okay because I demonstrated to the kids that nobody is perfect. That accidents can and will happen. That how we respond under crisis is when our true character is formed. I told the orange table this and the blue table and green and red. I still got just as many hugs as Room Mom #1 and Room Mom #2.

Nobody is perfect. You don’t have to have a Pinterest account to make you a good parent. Being there for your children, no matter what happens, is what matters most to them. And I can promise you that if you are ever that mom or dad, struggling, hurting or treading in the deep end, I will not push you under but help you float! I promise!

So I ask, do you juggle family and career? Do you have mom or dad guilt? Do you Pinterest and if so, do you think it makes you a better parent? Do we volunteer to out do each other or to be involved in our kid’s lives?


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Onto the Bad Guys

Seven Days of a Detox Challenge

Seven Days of a Detox Challenge

Since you are reading this post, this can only mean one thing, I survived the cleanse. As you know the first three days were really rough. My head ached so bad and I was so hungry I could have eaten dirt, but I pushed through the pain. By day 5 I had super human powers and was starting to think I was no longer real.

I got into pretzel like yoga poses I was never able to accomplish in 9 years of practicing yoga. I had so much energy that I could have done my entire street’s laundry and still had time to make cupcakes, gourmet tofu dinners and clean my home’s interior walls. I was like a ball of sunshine no matter what crossed my path and all you had to do was glance my way and you would have had zip-a-dee-do-da chills go up and down your spine. Everything about the day 5 turning point was unreal.

I worked out everyday during the cleanse. I climbed 38 flights of stairs in 8:01 minutes in a climbing charity challenge and I gained and lost. I lost eight pounds in seven days and feel healthier than ever. So, I am not stopping. I eventually will stop losing weight when my body gets to it’s magic number but I never want off this high. In fact, I never set out to cleanse to lose weight. That was just one of the additional perks. I am not going to follow the exact daily detox plan because well that would be just stupid and borderline unhealthy. Plus a 38 flight descent, defying gravity, cranking my lung capacity into full gear and twisting and turning in a stairwell is enough stupidity for one week. Yet, I am all for helping out a good cause! Even if it means hacking up a lung or two.

But I do want to adopt this “better” way of living and eating. I’ve always been pretty good with diet and exercise but I learned more about my body in seven days than I have my whole life including three labors and delivers. And if that didn’t teach me things, then something needed too. A seven-day detox did the trick. I am also onto the bad guys. The hidden ingredients squawking my health and wellness goals and the bad guys I should not consume.

I am all for the organic dairy farmer and their aim to produce antibiotic and growth hormone free cheese, yogurt, dairy and milk. I thought I was doing my body good by replacing conventional dairy with organic back in 2006. Milk does a body good, right? No friends, not mine it doesn’t. The cleanse allowed no dairy. I am a walking cheese ball. Life 9 days ago was not worth living without cheese. So, this was my hardest struggle. Yet, dairy was the one bad guy beating me up my whole life.

Moo-ving On(image courtesy of Yahoo Images)

Moo-ving On
(image courtesy of Yahoo Images)

So, I am moo-ving on to greener pastures. Ones where the soybean and coconut grow. Perhaps even where the goat roam. Cow’s milk and human beings should probably never co-mingle internally. I am starting to believe we were not meant to consume dairy. There are plenty of other ways to get calcium and Vitamin D.

  1. Sunlight
  2. Kale
  3. Broccoli
  4. Cabbage
  5. Spinach
  6. Blackberries
  7. Raisins
  8. Blueberries
  9. Bananas
  10. Figs

These are just a few. I’m not trying to cause a controversy, persuade you to tip the spotted animal or boycott dairy. I realized something about how dairy affects my body and honestly I will never go back. I might slide down the pasture every now and then but I don’t think milk does a body good. I think if we look at the history of our own species, milk wasn’t in the kettles burning over our ancestors fires. Perhaps it is an industry induced hype? Whatever it is, it’s no longer for me. Now how do I recruit my chocolate milk loving romano cheese licking children? I lead by example I guess. That’s why they have been drinking coconut water and almond milk all weekend. They love it!

So, what do you think? Is milk for you? Does it do a body good? Could you cut out dairy for a week? Can you make a switch to a greener pasture?