Monday, May 26, 2008


money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...

perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams
wants to see her in an hour...

HAVE ...
a youth she's content to leave behind....

a past juicy
enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her
old age....

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

one friend who
always makes her laugh.. and one who lets her cry...

a good piece
of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her

matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for
a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored...

a feeling of
control over her destiny..


how to fall in love without losing herself..

how to quit
a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend
w ithout;
ruining the friendship...

when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK

that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

that her
childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...

what she
would and wouldn't do for love or more...

how to live
alone... even if she doesn't like it...

whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...

where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table..
or a
charming Inn in the woods....
when her soul needs

What she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can I Have A Little Cheese With That Whine??

Ever hear the saying, "Let a sleeping dog lie?" Well, I'm here to tell you that the exact same saying applies to little children. I made the deadly mistake of finding this out the hard way yesterday.

My littlest little struggled to go down for a nap yesterday afternoon. She was "dog" tired (no pun intended), but was fighting it tooth and nail, for whatever reason. She finally, FINALLY passed out, and slept for quite a long while.

During the course of her siesta, the winds started whipping outside and the weather began to change dramatically. The temperature dropped, and as it got colder, I walked through the house, shutting down windows. I noticed that my daughter's window was open a hair (just up to the safety lock on the inside of the sash), and she was curled up in a ball, without any blankets on her.

I tiptoed into her room, and q-u-i-e-t-l-y shut down her window, and put another blanket over her (I didn't even bother messing with her other blankets that had become a balled up mess on the bottom of her little bed). As I was leaving her room, I heard her begin to rustle. I sent a quick prayer up to God, asking Him to please let it be that she's just rolling over to another comfy position, and that she'll go back to sleep.


Just that little bit of stirring woke her up. And put her in a miserable, nasty, grumpy, whiny mood for the remainder of the evening. There was nothing anyone in this household could say or do to make her stop the constant litany that equalled the sound of a fire siren, coupled with fingernails on a chalkboard, constantly spewing out of her mouth. It took all I had to keep from sitting down in the middle of the floor and throwing an adult version of my very own temper tantrum right along with her.

After what seemed like an eternity of this, she finally wound down enough to pass out again...this time, for the evening. I didn't make the same mistake twice... as I was heading off to bed, I told my husband to go and check on her before he came to bed (just in case we were in for a reprive -- let him take the fall for "round two"! :)

Thankfully, it never came, and we all slept soundly last night. She woke up like the bright, chipper, lovey of a kid she is for the most part. I don't know what happened to the devil that crawled into her last night, but I'm glad someone found the decency to perform that particular brand of exorcism! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yard Sales and Packrats

I've FINALLY convinced my husband that we've accumulated more than our fair share of junk, and he's agreed to have a yard sale. So, we set the date for this Sunday, I posted an ad on, and we started the daunting task of going through our things on Mother's Day (and, for those of you who think they should take pity on me for doing such a not-so-fun thing on "my" day, don't worry.... it was a very joyous thing for me to do, knowing I'd be ridding this house of so much, I mean... merchandise! ;).

I learned very quickly, however, that this particular project should NOT have been done while my three kids were present. Every other thing I put on the "for sale" pile kept being yanked back out by a pleading kid, who kept looking at me, all doe-eyed, saying "Oh, please Mom... don't sell this! Can we/I keep it....puuuhhhhllleeeasssseeee???"

Some things I relinquished on, and some things I stood firm for. For instance, I let my youngest daughter keep some stuffed animals that were formerly owned by her brother or sister, but would not let her keep the bag stuffed with six gagillion Christmas tree-shaped cookie tins we found (which were bought at at time when I thought I was going to be a Martha Stewart incarnate, and bake batches and batches of homemade cookies, handing them out gleefully to everyone I met. I turned out to be more like Roseanne that Christmas, giving people passing waves and a "Happy Holidays" instead. Hey, at least I was joyful about that, right?). After dealing with a pretty traumatic toddler meltdown, those tins made it to the For Sale pile, too.

So...if you are so inclined to be the next incarnate of Martha, they're up for sale! Come on down! :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I hope all of you moms out there are treated to a special day of appreciation, adulation, relaxation, celebration, and adoration.

An Interesting Article About Motherhood in the 1900's

Was It Easier Being a Mother in 1908?

By Marilyn Gardner,
Christian Science Monitor
Posted on May 10, 2008, Printed on May 10, 2008

Motherhood ranks as one of the hardest jobs to do, yet one of the easiest to romanticize.

This Sunday, May 11, as families shower mothers with cards, gifts, and superlatives, they will be part of an observance that had its humble beginnings 100 years ago. On Sunday, May 10, 1908, simple church services in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia honored the nation's mothers. A bill introduced in the US Senate that year failed to establish an official Mother's Day, but it set the stage for a successful measure in 1914.

With their tightly laced corsets, long skirts, heavy shoes, and upswept hair, the mothers of 1908 bear little physical resemblance to their counterparts in 2008, dressed in shorts, Spandex, and sneakers. But as today's busy mothers savor their holiday, some might think longingly of simpler times, before women spoke of "juggling" or "balancing" work and family. They might even be tempted to idealize mothers of a century ago, whose serene images grace family photo albums.

But wait. "It's not a time to be romanticized," says Stephanie Coontz, a historian and author of "Marriage: A History." "Mothers in 1908 spent less time mothering than they do today. Even in the middle classes, they spent much less time with their kids than we would have imagined."
One reason for this time deficit involves work. "Most families needed several wage earners," Ms. Coontz says. "Women took in boarders, did sewing at home, cleaning, and all sorts of jobs that weren't counted as jobs on the Census but were time-consuming." A photo from that era shows a mother balancing a baby on her lap while she assembles cigarettes at her kitchen table. Two other children stand nearby.

Even mothers without paid employment labored endlessly doing housework. In 1908, a New York settlement worker estimated that the average woman, even in middle-class families, spent 40 hours a week just cleaning and shopping. Laundry was an arduous, two-day task, washing one day and ironing the next. Wood and coal stoves required tending and cleaning.
In 1908, Hoover introduced the electric suction sweeper, revolutionizing housecleaning. "It'll sell itself if we can get the ladies to try it," Mr. Hoover said. Assuming, of course, that the ladies had electricity. A majority of women still lived on farms. Until the New Deal Rural Electrification program was implemented in the 1930s, electricity was unavailable to huge sections of the country.

Although the birthrate was falling in the early 1900s, women still bore an average of 3.5 children. Farm women averaged closer to five.

The mothers of 1908, like their counterparts today, received advice from pediatricians. Emmett Holt, author of "The Care and Feeding of Children," was the Dr. Spock of his era, Coontz says. His advice to women: Don't pick babies up when they cry, and do not breast-feed. And a noted psychologist, Dr. J.B. Watson, cautioned against using pacifiers or indulging in displays of affection. He wrote, "When you are tempted to pet your child, remember that mother love is a dangerous instrument."

Historians warn against romanticizing marriages of the early 20th century, when women still had to wed out of economic dependence. Husbands had the final say about domestic decisions and controlled family income. A mother could not be the natural guardian of her children unless they were illegitimate.

In the early 1900s, about 10 percent of families were single-parent households, partly because of death and partly because of a high rate of abandonment. "A lot of women were living apart from their husbands," says Steven Mintz, a historian at Columbia University.

Despite the challenges, Coontz does not suggest that there were no happy families. "If you had a husband who was a good person as well as a good provider, you were fortunate," she says. "If you were a wealthier mother in the city, you probably had a nanny and a housekeeper. And if you were in a small town, we might be envious of the neighborly interactions. It was a time when people still sat on front porches and did a lot of visiting."

Even so, Professor Mintz says, "Life was tough in ways we don't appreciate." Life expectancy was 51. Infant mortality was high. Most women could not vote.

In 1907, Laura Clarke Rockwood wrote poignantly in The Craftsman magazine about the need to simplify housekeeping: "This mother of to-day hurries from kitchen to nursery and over the other parts of the house, performing as best she can the many home duties of our times. But she is so overwearied in the doing of it all that the deep well of mother love which should overflow, flooding the world with happiness and cheer, runs well nigh dry at times."

As one solution, Mrs. Rockwood proposed moving meal preparation out of the home: "There should be food kitchens easily accessible to every home where cooked foods can be bought cheaply because of consolidation, and delivered hot to our homes with promptness and regularity in pneumatic tubes perhaps, or by whatever means the master mind shall decide is the cheapest and the best."

Her pneumatic tubes remain a dream. But cooks of 2008 have an alternative. It's called "takeout" and "home delivery."

Two months before the first Mother's Day observances, President Theodore Roosevelt addressed 200 delegates who gathered at the White House for the first International Congress on the Welfare of the Child, organized by the National Mothers' Congress.
Speaking of "the supreme dignity, the supreme usefulness of motherhood," he said, "The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to the community, and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable, as well as a more important, position than any successful man in it."

A century later, his lofty idealism might serve as a fitting tribute to mothers everywhere this Sunday as they celebrate -- simply or lavishly -- a day that is theirs alone.

Marilyn Gardner is a staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor.
© 2008 Christian Science Monitor All rights reserved.View this story online at:

Friday, May 9, 2008

One Minute It Was There; The Next Minute, It Was Gone With A WHOOSH!

Yesterday was a really weird day. It was VERY busy, with some nice things, and some not so nice things happening. I won't divulge all, but I will talk about one instance in particular.

My husband had a job interview yesterday (one of the nice things, considering this is a company he's been DYING to get into for years), and he was determined to take public transportation, so he could gauge the amount of time spent riding the "T". He quickly discovered, though, he'd missed his bus, so he showed up back at the house a short time after leaving, asking me to give him a ride.

My youngest daughter and I took him to the front door of the company, then off we went. Since my oldest daughter was staying after school for extra help, I knew I had a small block of time in which to run to the store and pick up a Mother's Day gift for my sister. I drove back to our house, refreshed my daughter's sippy cup and filled a half Baggie full of pretzels and fishies, took her to the potty, then back out the door we went.

I had a good hour (maybe hour and a half) to run and get gas, then head on over to the store to pick up the gift and a card, before I needed to go pick up my oldest daughter from school. While at the gas station, the regular attendant was chatting it up with my daughter in the backseat. Next thing I knew, she'd dumped her ENTIRE Baggie of snacks all over the place... on her, on her carseat, on the seat next to her, and all over the floor in the back. I was beside myself.

We headed off to the store, and I proceeded to lecture (okay, yell) at her about dumping her snack like that. I got even more angry when we arrived at the parking lot of the store, and I had to spend fifteen minutes picking up pretzels and Goldfish before I could even unbuckle her from her carseat.

I calmed down, we entered into the store, I picked out my purchases, paid for them, and off we went to get my other daughter. We picked her up, and then went off to get my son, who'd already come home from school, and was waiting for me at home to take him to our local Boys and Girls Club.

Once we met up with him, I told him we'd have to make a quick detour to the car wash, so I could vaccuum out the back of the car. Since it was a beautiful day outside yesterday, and I knew it would be cold and rainy today, I figured I should do it then. If I was quick about it, I'd still have time to drop my son off, then run back to the company where my husband was interviewing to pick him up in time.

Now, let me fill you in on something else that happened this week (that's not so nice). I was, once again, sitting in my car, waiting for my oldest daughter to get out of school, when I noticed that one of the diamonds fell out of the anniversary ring my husband gave me for our 10th anniversary. I love that ring, and I was devastated when I discovered this loss. My husband and I both spent a few days scouring EVERYTHING... the car, the driveway, my bed, the rugs, the stairways, all the floors... with a fine tooth comb. I finally resigned myself that looking for this thing was like looking for a needle in a haystack, and I had to let it go. If I found it, I found it. If I didn't, well... I'd have to figure out an alternative to get my ring fixed.

So... back to the car wash. The kids were being rambunctious, as usual, which wasn't doing anything to help my already stressed-out mood. So, I figured the quicker I could get this particular task over with, the better off we'd be. Before starting, though, I did take the time to once again examine the both the rugs and the mats in the front of the car. Nothing. So, I thought it would be safe to vacuum everything up, once and for all.

I changed three dollars into a huge handful of quarters, popped four of them into the vacuum I was parked next to, and started vacuuming the passenger side first. Once that side was clean, I flung the vacuum hose through the front door, and into the driver's side seat. I moved around to the backside of the car (trying REALLY hard to ignore my three children, who, by this time, were bouncing off the walls of the car's interior) and grabbed the vacuum. I started to work on the rug under the driver's seat, watching all of the salt, sand, and other debris being sucked up. All of a sudden, a small, shiny, faceted thing, with a point on one end, appeared as if by magic. By the time I said, "Oh my God... my D-I-A..", WHOOSH! It went... sucked up into the vacuum! I tried so hard to move the nozzle of the vacuum away in time, but I was too late.

My kids, who obviously heard me screaming, thought I'd found my diamond and were overjoyed. They quickly discovered where my beautiful little jewel wound up, and we all rushed to get the attendant, to see if he could rescue my lost gem.

He opened up the barrel of the vacuum, and he and I began the not-so-lovely process of sorting through all the muck (mine as well as everyone else's) that had been deposited inside. We rooted and rooted, and came up empty. I felt like a dirty, scummy mess. I also felt like crying.

It just KILLED me to drive off without my diamond in hand. He did promise me though, that would continue to look, and call me if he was successful. He handed me a pad of paper and a pen, and I wrote down my telephone number, my name, and "The Crazy Diamond Lady". I only hope my prophecy comes true!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Good News and Bad News... Pretty Much in the Same Phone Call

My husband and I try to make it a point to talk to one another while I'm sitting in the car outside my oldest daughter's school, waiting for her to be let out for the day so I can chauffeur her back home.

Today, my husband beat me to it, by calling me first. He actually caught me while I was pulling out of our driveway. After sixteen years of being together with this man, I knew his need to talk to me that badly had to have some merit. I was happy to hear I wasn't wrong.

Turns out, one of the major companies he's been itching to work for for YEARS has announced that it's hiring people in the field my husband used to work in (and wants to be a part of again). He was told this information by a fellow employee yesterday, while working a two-man job with him, I guess (awful to say, but I tend to tune out on my husband the same way I tune out on my kids... and only really perk up when the meat of the subject is mentioned). So, he said, on a fluke, he decided to apply, and forwarded his resume to their human resources office last night at 11:30 p.m. He got a phone call at 10:30 a.m. this morning, to set up an interview!

Although this position is second shift (which means I'll have the rugrats all by myself in the evenings... God help me!), it would do wonders for his soul to get his foot back in the door of the field that he really loves. I told him to go for it.

You could hear the excitement in his voice as he was talking to me, and my heart was really happy for him as we were hanging up. No sooner did we say our goodbyes, that I folded my phone back up, put it in its little holder in the console of the car, and hung my left arm outside the window. That's when I noticed.... I'd lost one of the diamonds out of the anniversary ring my husband gave me for our 10th anniversary.

Not only do I LOVE that ring, it would cost us a small fortune to replace, considering each of the six stones in the ring weighs a little less than a 1/2 carat. I was floored.

So... back on the phone I went, calling my husband to vent. I think I had to announce it out loud to someone, just to make it a complete reality to me. I was heartbroken, and I know that searching for that stone is like looking for a needle in a haystack. And, since I have no clue when it popped out, it could be ANYWHERE.

I just wish, that once in awhile, we could have a spot of good news without having the other shoe drop.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

'Tween clothing, and Spring Shopping (and the whole Miley Cyrus "Controversy")

Okay, so I've pretty well established that I'm a mom. I have a son who's 13, a daughter who's 9, and a daughter who's 3.

While transitioning their closets from winter to spring, I've discovered that all THREE of them have gone through growth spurts (not just the three-year-old, who, for obvious reasons, I totally anticipated). The older two tried on a bunch of their clothes from last year, and there were ankles, wrists, and bellies sticking out all over the place.

As much as I love shopping, this is not going to be a fun adventure for me. Why, you ask? I'll be happy to explain.

I truly believe my son would rather have all of his teeth extracted, minus the novacaine, then try on clothes. And believe me, I think I'd rather have him not be there with me, then to listen to the constant barrage of heaving sighs as he walks behind me throughout each of the departments in every store we go to. But, because he's gone through such a funky spurt, and he's now a "funny" shape, he's got to try on things to make sure they fit. Not a pleasant undertaking, by any stretch of the imagination. He'd much rather squeeze into the clothes that now look absolutely ridiculous on him, and have me spend the money on XBox Live points for him, instead. Or Guitar Hero for his PS2. Or an I-Pod Shuffle. You get the idea.

Oh, and the things he will let me buy for him? He likes the "gangsta" stuff. You know... Sean Jean, Southpole... things that make him look like something other than a 13-year-old white boy from the suburbs. Uhm, Absolutely not.

As for my nine-year-old; well, she's got legs up to her neck, big feet, and arms that stretch down to her hips. Although it's in "fashion" for most kids to expose their abdomens, she's NOT going to be one of them. The quandry lies in the fact that she's SOOOO tall, none of the girls' clothing fits her anymore. So, I have to resort to entering the lair of the Junior's department, the very thought of which raises the hairs on the back of my head.

Mind you, my daughter is LOVING the fact that she can supposedly wear some of these concoctions. But, I explain to her, clearly and concisely... fitting into these clothes and being allowed to wear them are two totally different things. I will NOT allow my daughter to walk down the Miley Cyrus path (much to her shagrin -- Miley equals God in my young daughter's eyes) and have her bear her midriff, or wear t-shirts with "I'm a Bitch" splattered across her chest, or wear a pair of pants slung so low around the hips you can see her butt crack. That's not the kind child I'm raising, and she will not be giving any other impression but that of a sweet, LITTLE girl to anyone.

Therefore, clothes shopping, which I used to absolutely adore, has become a bit of a pain in the nether region for me. Finding clothes that fit my Neanderthal man and Amazon woman children are quite challenging. I didn't mean to grow 'em this big... honest!

The only good news out of all of it, is that I can still find adorable things, that are age-appropriate for my 3-year-old.... even though she wants the shirts emblazoned with Hanna Montana's picture all over the front, too.