Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Let Me Lie Down...

Awhile back I was reading Real Simple magazine, and I saw that the editor had written a book called "Just Let Me Lie Down - Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom." "I'll bet that's funny," I thought. "I might have to read that one."

Lo and behold a few weeks later I learned that Silicon Valley Moms Blog was reading this book for their April book club and I signed up as quickly as possible.** Shortly after, I began to get nervous. I felt like an impostor because I am not a working mom. Would I relate to the book? How would I find anything to write about?

My nerves were for no good reason, because what I took away from this book was a feeling of connection. Turns out, a lot of the terms necessary for the half-insane working mom work for a half-insane stay at home mom as well.


"Fight Club: The secret society your children belong to that requires them to spontaneously pinch, punch or otherwise provoke one another whenever you are in a hurry to get out of the house..."

Universal to working and stay at home mom's for sure. I have to wonder what on earth is so hard about grabbing a backpack and lunchbox (on the days I have myself together enough to pack my kids' lunches) walk to the car, get inside and buckle up. I wonder why I bother to say "boys, keep your hands to yourselves," because really it is futile. In addition to the fight club behavior, my 4 boys like to circle around the van, open the back door and climb in that way, aka "trunk dive." Once in the car, the punching and pinching begin again.

"Just Let Me Lie Down: A request... that, by the nature of its constant presence and persistence, has formed a path around your brain... 'I am dreading that work meeting today... oh, just let me lie down.'"

Okay, I don't have work meetings, but my line is "I just want to sleep." Because in a blissful state of sleep I wouldn't have fight clubs and kids running circles,and more housework than should be legal with no desire to do it. I understand the sentiment well.

But my favorite line in the whole book comes from the term for the half-insane working (or not) mom "Pie Chart of You." The line that resonated with me was "...and if you are spending time doing one thing, you are just stealing hours from something else." That just sums it all up for me. Right this minute I am typing this post in lieu of many other responsibilities I must complete today. I intended to do it earlier, but three phone calls stole the time I had then. I could have also been cleaning my kids' pigpens bedrooms, or the playroom, or the garage or a multitude of other items on my to do list that should be checked off today. Yet, if I were doing that right this minute, I would feel remiss that I wasn't instead playing with my preschoolers, or writing this ahead of time enough to proofread it before the deadline. Later, I will volunteer at my big boys' school, which will take time away from more chores. You see what always loses? The housework will always come last, I guess.

In conjunction with this book club, I was able to sit in on a conference call with Kristin van Ogtrop and the other Silicon Valley Moms Group regional bloggers. The topic revolved around ambivalence and when you stay home a part of you feels like you should be working, but the opposite is also true. That as moms of any variety our lives are crazy (but we kind of like the crazy), and that no matter where we are in terms of working or staying at home there is no right decision, only what is right for our individual families. Thank you Kristin, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us! Even though I didn't say anything, being on that call made my whole day!

**I received this book free from the publisher as part of Silicon Valley Moms April book club.

Be sure to head over to Deep South Moms on Friday morning to check out the rest of the posts responding to "Just Let Me Lie Down."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Yesterday I broke Zack's heart, which in turn broke mine.

You see, I have this trip planned to go to Oklahoma to meet my brother's brand new baby girl (who is now 8 days past her expected date of arrival.) When I planned the trip I failed to check the calendar to see if it happened to coincide with any important dates. It was after Mark's birthday, so I didn't have anything to worry about.

A month later, I somehow realized that I wouldn't be home on Mother's Day. I experienced much agonizing Mommy Guilt over that and then comforted myself that I would get to see my mother on Mother's Day which hasn't happened in 6 years. So there was that and I made my peace with not seeing my own children on Mother's Day. I do see them every other day.

So all was well, and my excitement built to go on this three day trip all by myself. To say I'm thankful to my husband for taking off work on Friday so I could pull it off is an understatement. All was well, that is, until I picked up Zack from school yesterday and he handed me a paper detailing "Muffins With Mom" a lovely Mothers Day activity planned for Friday May 7. The day on which I leave insanely early in the morning to go meet my baby niece. Upon my telling him that I wouldn't be able to attend, his blue eyes filled with giant tears and his whole little body shook with sobs. He just broke my heart right then and there.

Later he asked me if I could go on his field trip with him in May and I said yes. I think if he'd have asked me to buy him a pony right that minute I would have answered the same.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Mark's backpack is completely worn out. I've never had a backpack do that and often they have been carried more than one year. However, I kind of don't want to buy a new one for the month and a half we have left of the school year. So I went looking for one from last year (which, incidentally was carried 2 years in a row and is STILL in better shape than either of the boys' current ones. Anyway, I informed Mark that he'd be using the Lightning McQueen backpack until the end of the year since his was falling apart. His response stunned me. "MOM people will make fun of me because that's a BABY show."

So, I found a plain red backpack and he is happy with that.

Lessons learned from this morning.

1. Super Mario Bros. is fine, Lightning McQueen not so much.
2. Life was easier before my kids had opinions on ev-er-y-thing.
3. My BOYS are growing up... sniff.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Body Doth Protest

I decided recently (finally) to actually start the couch to 5K program. While I don't really consider myself a couch potato, I do know that when I've tried to run (read: jog) in the past I always end up getting injured and not continuing. So I like the idea of starting slowly. I've given couch to 5K a couple of false starts in the past. Usually quitting, because I would get bogged down in trying to keep track of time.

Yet, recently, a friend of mine ran in an actual 5K, and trained using this program, and some other friends or doing it too. Plus I heard that there is a podcast you can download that tells you when to walk and when to run. So that was what put me over the edge and made me decide to just do it.

Yesterday, I completed day one of week one. Today every muscle in my lower body is screaming. I don't really understand it because it didn't feel that hard while I was doing it. And yet I am stiff and sore.I guess that means it was a good workout. Or that I'm more of a couch potato than I thought (in spite of exercising regularly.)

Today is a "rest" day, but I did a low impact exercise video this morning. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be recovered enough to hit the road again.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Garage Sale

Every time I have a garage sale, I am reminded why I don't do garage sales. This weekend was our neighborhood sale and I decided to just do it. What better way to motivate myself to declutter, get rid of too small for Ben clothes and other odds and ends.

It might have been fine if Mark hadn't come down with some icky flu like bug that had him miss school for 3 days. Which Ben then got and led to some sleepless nights for all of us.

But I'm getting off the topic. The reasons I don't do garage sales, are:

1. I'm so tired by the day of the sale that I'm really not in the mood for it anymore.
2. People who say "will you take a quarter?" When something is marked 50 cents. If you think of the actual value of the thing they think is only worth a quarter it kind of makes you crazy.
3. Dragging all the crap that didn't sell back in.
4. Wondering if you should keep or donate the stuff that didn't sell. Why I have to ask myself this question is a little beyond me. It was ok to get rid of before, why do I second guess as I pack it all up?
5. Being so done that I haul it all in at 11:30.

There are good things, too, of course. Hanging out with some fun neighbors. Laughing at the people who try to get things for a dime. Laughing at different yard sale strategies (practically giving stuff away, vs. standing firm on your pricing to try to make good money. The good might have outweighed the bad.

And yet, I as I write this post, my resolve is firm that I will NEVER have another garage sale again. That's what I said five years ago when I did my last one.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I laugh every time we go into Publix and the boys run over to the big scale to see how much they weigh. They get on all together, and then one at a time. Then they beg me to get on the scale to see how much weight I add. I politely decline.

The last few times I've been into Publix alone I've seen grown men do the same thing. Jump up on the scale. I guess some things never change with boys. Incidentally, I've never seen an adult woman on that scale. I'd bet money I never will.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break Thus Far

Today is the midway point of Spring Break. Kevin took off so we could have some family fun!

So far we have:
Taken one kid into Urgent Care with a case of strep throat (Happy Easter!)

Taken another kid to the regular pediatrician due to a croupy cough. And, evidently also strep. (Monday) Oh yes, we also went and saw a movie, even though I'm pretty sure that was not the right thing to do. We needed to get out though, and there was almost no one else in the theater. How to Train Your Dragon is a very cute movie by the way.

Taken two more kids into Urgent Care one due to sore throat and one just because I hoped they would just give me the meds so I could be done with Doctors offices for the week. (Tuesday)

Today, we are going camping. Everyone seems healthy enough and we are doing "camping lite" where we usually bring everything under the sun, cook yummy food, and stay more than one night, we are doing a one nighter - cooking hotdogs for dinner and cereal for breakfast. Even though the first time I suggested cereal for camping breakfast oh so many years ago the thought was shunned by Kevin, this time easy prevails. I like easy! Oh! Also, we are camping close to home so if it gets too crazy, we can just drive on back.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Alright Pollen

Ok, Pollen, we need to have a talk. It's me or you. One of us has to go. And since I have four little boys who count on me to fulfill their every whim physical, emotional and otherwise needs I need to be around. Just sayin'.

I know you have an important function too. Flowers and bees and honey and all that. Yes, you are, sadly necessary. Yet, let me explain to you what you are doing to me.

Every time I take the boys out to play I come in with red, watery itchy eyes, a sore throat, stuffy slash runny nose which is becoming quite irritated what with the the blowing and the wiping and all. Basically, a general feeling of grossness.

As if that is not enough I currently can't breathe through my nose and despite trying various allergy medicines I still can't breathe. I'm pretty sure after taking Zyrtec last night, Sudafed this afternoon, and Benadryl thirty minutes ago I should be able to get some air through my nose. Maybe not.

And, the real sticking point here is my kids. Mark is sniffling and stuffy, Ben's eczema is acting up. For real, it's one thing to mess with me but leave my babies alone.

So, it's you or me. Get out of town or figure out how to cook a meal,potty train a three year old and deal with back talk.


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