100 Things About Me

My good friend, and fellow blogger, challenged me to write this.  It was harder than you’d think.  So, here it is, 100 Things About Me . . . (that I am willing to share!)

  1.   I am a Christian Woman. (I believe in God; that Jesus is exactly who he said he was, and that the Holy Spirit lives within me.)
  2. I met my husband at age 27, while we were both working at Arthur Andersen, and I’m older than him by almost 3 years.
  3. I met my husband’s mother before I met him. (She loved me. Then, months and months later, he loved me. Cute, huh?)
  4. I always wanted a big family, and now I have 4 kids and 2 dogs and I am completely overwhelmed!
  5. I LOVE to run, and do so most mornings, on the mountain trails, with my dogs.
  6. I never struggled with my weight until I had kids. (darn, them! :))
  7. I was born in the same town and hospital in which my first 3 kids were born.
  8. I was a sorority girl in college, and I loved it.
  9. I can talk to a wall. (So, if I can’t connect with a person on some level, I tend to wonder . . . )
  10. I have a very strong personality! (bull-headed)
  11. Most of my friends refer to me as “refreshingly honest”, basically, I’m blunt.
  12. I have been a waitress in several different restaurants, and I was a delivery person for a sandwich place in college.
  13. I love wine, and I probably drink too much of it.
  14. I have 2 dogs, both Rhodesian ridgebacks, and I currently don’t like either one of them. (I know it sounds awful, but remember, I’m overwhelmed…)
  15. I have a handful of best friends, and I love them all.
  16. I would absolutely DIE without sunshine! I have to have light in my home; I have to have all of the blinds opened during the day, etc. I need sunshine…thus, I moved to Colorado!
  17. I drive a mini-van and I LOVE it!
  18. I can’t stand spicy food. I try to like it because my husband lives by it . . . but I just can’t do it.
  19. I rarely leave the house without mascara on. I hate having blond-ish eyelashes!
  20. I often cry at cheesey commercials and shows, including children’s movies!
  21. I had the “all-American” high school experience, and loved it, but I couldn’t bring myself to show up to my 20th high school reunion.
  22. I prefer to be lead, when lead properly, than to be a leader.
  23. I don’t like cats.
  24. I am an avid reader, but I have to be really engrossed in a book by page 35, or it’s over.  I typically read a novel in 3-5 days.
  25. I have a trampoline in my backyard, and when I jump on it, I pee. (an awful result of having 4 kids and not doing enough kegels)
  26. I don’t like hard alcohol.  (maybe the occasional, totally weak, margarita…)
  27. I love dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is not worth the calories.
  28. I am addicted to Diet Coke from the fountain. It simply tastes better from the fountain, with ice, than from the can.
  29. I am also addicted to Fresca!
  30. I went to the University of Michigan and loved it! Go Blue!
  31. Even though I loved it, I wish I had gone to a smaller college.
  32. I have had several “loves”, and heartbreaks, in my life . . . all leading up to the “love of my life” — my hubby!
  33. Other than motherhood, I don’t think I have found my true calling in life . . . yet.
  34. I speak Spanish. Sort of. Well, I used to be fluent.
  35. I still like soap operas.
  36. I like top 40 music — my husband might disown me for admitting this . . .
  37. I can’t sing, can’t carry a tune, can’t read music, but LOVE listening to music!
  38. I believe in prayer.
  39. I have a very difficult time managing, or handling, my emotions.
  40. I love to cook, but I hate the pressure of having to plan dinner every night.
  41. I always dreamed of being a volleyball coach.
  42. I pick my feet. It’s gross, I know! I hate that I do it, but I can’t seem to stop.
  43. I have a scar on my face; it’s been there since I was less than one years old. (Thank you, big brother!)
  44. I cackle when I laugh.
  45. My husband says I have great legs! (a good thing, considering I am seriously lacking in the “chest” category)
  46. I have only attended public schools.
  47. I have mastered the art of looking great in a wet ponytail.
  48. I love to entertain, and do a lot of it!
  49. My 3rd child is special needs. (We don’t know what his diagnosis is.)
  50. My only daughter, child #1, has Tourette’s Syndrome. (it makes a person wonder about our gene pool, doesn’t it?)
  51. I have been married for 9 years, and I still love my husband!
  52. I like my in-laws! All of ’em! How ’bout that!?!
  53. One of my siblings was adopted as a baby.
  54. One of my summer jobs in high school was riding the ice cream cart up and down the beach front for J.K. Sweets. (I also rode it along the 4th of July Parade.)
  55. I have been in 3 parades, all for the 4th of July, and all in my home town.
  56. I spent a semester of college living in Seville, Spain. I lived with a family who did not speak English.
  57. When I was in junior high, Jeremy Piven was my camp counselor at Camp Echo. I had a tremendous crush on him!  (He’s the agent in the tv show Entourage)
  58. John Cusack once offered me a ride home from a party. (If you know anything about the aforementioned actors, you probably know that they grew up in the same town and went to the same high school as me. Needless to say, neither one of them would EVER know who I am…)
  59. I have been highlighting my hair since high school. (I once even dyed it auburn, but it’s more fun to be blonde!)
  60. I have given birth 4 times, 4 different ways. (1st: went into natural labor & had an epidural, as well as forceps; 2nd: natural labor and natural birth — NO DRUGS!; 3rd: induced, with epidural; 4th: c-section.)
  61. I had braces for 2 years in junior high school.  (and HUGE bangs, but who didn’t?)
  62. I have no living grandparents, and neither does my husband.
  63. I streaked through my dorm with a bunch of girlfriends my freshman year in college.  (I had to avoid my R.A. for months after that!)
  64. My husband proposed to me on a boat in the middle of a lake in Wisconsin. When we got back to the pier, some of my siblings were waving sparklers and champagne glasses. (It was magical!)
  65. Our wedding was truly one of the most amazing days of my life. (I say “one of” because the birth of each of my children ranks up there as well!)
  66. I still get together with my college friends once a year (sometimes more). They rock!
  67. I have been snow skiing since I was 5 years old. I learned at Devil’s Head Resort in Wisconsin . . . a far cry from the Rocky Mountain resorts that I now ski.
  68. I have been waterskiing since I was about 8 years old. My father taught me on skis that were called Lil’ Nippers.
  69. The first car “accident” that I got in was on the same day that I got my driver’s license, at age 16. (I piled all of my girlfriends into our tiny Plymouth Horizon, and one of them opened the back door into another car.)
  70. I backpacked through Europe all by myself the summer I was 21.
  71. I am an off the charts extrovert.
  72. I homemade all of my daughter’s baby food, while I was still working. (fyi — she was the only lucky one — it’s been jarred food ever since!)
  73. I shook Bill Clinton’s hand, while he was President.
  74. I don’t remember a single moment of my mom & dad’s marriage to each other.
  75. I have a vanity license plate.
  76. I took piano lessons when I was a kid, and I can still play the song “Tomorrow”, from the musical Annie.
  77. I also played the clarinet. Briefly.
  78. I ran a marathon. That’s 26.2 miles! (My husband ran it with me.)
  79. The diamonds in my engagement and wedding rings were my mother-in-law’s.
  80. I went to the Rose Bowl in 1989 with a ton of friends, and Michigan won!  (one of the most wild and fun trips of my life!)
  81. I have lived in the following states: Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado.
  82. I ran track in high school, and I will forever hold the school record for the 300 meter hurdles — because the event no longer exists!  (It’s now 200m — or maybe it’s vice versa — it’s been 20 years, and I can’t remember!)
  83. I have been skinny dipping ~ on multiple occasions!
  84. I have terrible handwriting, and it bothers me, but I never take the time to write neatly. (Again, I’m overwhelmed!)
  85. My daughter just informed me that I always wear a ponytail.
  86. I pass a lot of gas. (and I always think it’s funny…)
  87. I like to ride my road bike. It’s a new obsession, since moving to Colorado.
  88. When I was in Portugal, I sunbathed topless.  (when in Rome. . . right?)
  89. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I always go overboard — on the gift giving, the decorations, the food, the parties, the ornaments, etc. (thanks, Mom!)
  90. I have a built a snowman every winter since having kids. I do the whole deal: eyes, nose, mouth, hat, scarf, mittens, etc.
  91. I eat meat every day. (How do vegetarians survive???)
  92. I have horrid stretch marks on my belly from all of my pregnancies.
  93. I have been to Mt. Rushmore — twice! (but I have yet to see the Grand Canyon)
  94. I was President of my class in graduate school.
  95. I suffered post-partum depression, at least twice. (but I got help!)
  96. When I was in my 20’s, I did a week-long mission trip to an orphanage in Mexico, and I have rarely felt so moved, and so close to God.
  97. I used to play flag football – in college, in grad school, and as a young professional.  I was quite good, and I still have a crooked finger to show for it!
  98. I hit a grand slam in the old Chicago White Sox ball park. (playing softball with the law firm where I worked as a summer intern.)
  99.  I have been a bridesmaid 9 times.
  100. I have never experienced anything even close to the love that I feel for my husband and my kids.  I am truly blessed!

September 24, 2007 at 3:17 am 2 comments

Oh, the Places You’ll Eat!

Today I was struck by just how inconvenient it is to feed a baby. With my older kids, I can hand them all sorts of snack food in almost any location, especially the car, and even while I am driving. I always keep a pack of “emergency food” in the glove compartment, just in case my kids are starving ~ or extremely bored. It’s the kind of junk food that I don’t usually feed my kids (pre-packaged cheese & crackers), but there have been moments when those packets saved my life! (Okay, not my life, but most certainly my sanity!!)

Babies, however, require a lot of stuff and set up. Bottles require fresh water at just the right temperature. So, even though it’s easy to pack a bottle and some pre-measured formula in my diaper bag, the water and the issue of temperature still exist. Now that baby #4 is 7 months old, we have added baby food to the mix. So, I usually pack a few jars or plastic containers of food in a ziploc baggie with a baby spoon and a bib. And, of course, I always have wipes on hand for clean-up. So there you have it; “it” being breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Just this past week, I have fed my baby his baby food while doing a multitude of things. Our basement is currently under construction, as we’re adding a bedroom and a bathroom. So, I have been running around trying to get all sorts of things picked out, purchased, and organized. The other day, after spending an hour with the guy at Lowe’s going over bathtubs, toilets, faucets and the like, I fed my baby his food while I sat at the customer service counter ordering stuff. Another day, I was in Home Depot, and I was in a rush. I was standing at their special services counter ordering some stuff, and all the while I was squatting down to spoon some mushed pears into the baby’s mouth. Yesterday, I put him in his carseat and stood next to the van feeding him in a parking lot.

Later that same day, I was home and cooking dinner. I strategically placed the high chair in the middle of the kitchen and stirred food, fed the baby, chopped food, fed the baby, washed dishes, fed the baby.  It was crazy!  Last week, however, was even more nuts.  I had to bring the baby to a dentist appointment.  So, I propped his bottle up while I was getting my teeth x-rayed.  Then, while the tech was developing my x-rays, I was spooning “plum oat banana” into my son’s mouth.  I can’t believe I had time to feed him, wipe him off, clean off the bib, the spoon, etc.  Wow!

One of my favorites, however, is feeding the baby at soccer practice.  I propped him up and started spoon feeding him sweet potatoes, only to hear my 4 year old causing a ruckus down at the playground.  So, I ran down the hill to deal with my 4 year old, and ran back up to continue the baby’s dinner.  Well, he was rolling around in the grass and laughing — with the sweet potatoes acting as a “glue” for the grass that was all over his face and body!   Too cute, and messy!

All this to say, “boom, boom, ain’t it great to be #4?  boom, boom, ain’t it great to be nuts like us?  Silly and foolish all day long . . . ”  (Please say you remember singing this song as a child;  otherwise you probably really do think I’m nuts...)  Well, thank God my #4 is flexible!  I’m now keeping a list of feeding locations:

  • parking lot
  • Home Depot
  • Numerous Restaurants
  • Soccer sidelines
  • Lowe’s
  • Dentist’s Office
  • Mid-kitchen while cooking
  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • High chair
  • Someone’s lap
  • ???

September 22, 2007 at 3:41 am 1 comment

How Many Degrees Does it Take to Install a Carseat??

So, this question is near and dear to my heart:  how many degrees does it take to install a child’s car seat?  The reason I have such history with this question is simple.  Years ago, or shall I say eons ago, my oldest sister was entrusting her two younger sisters (me being one of them) to take her son on a field trip.  We picked him and his car seat up, and embarked on the “oh so fun task of installing an kids car seat” into one of our cars.  I will never forget the frustration.  The pulling, the pushing, and the sweating — simply trying to install a child’s car seat.  I remember swearing.  I remember laughing.  I also remember making up jokes, like “how can you tell an Aunt from a Mom?”  But one of the most humiliating, and humorous, moments was watching my nephew laugh at us.  He found the whole thing totally humorous!

I also remember my sister saying to me, “how is it that 2 Masters-degreed women cannot figure this out . . . I mean, how many degrees does it take to install one of these things?!?”  And so on, and so forth . . . until we gave in, rang the doorbell, and asked my oldest sister how to install it.  She did it in 2 seconds flat.  It was embarrassing, but it was also humorous.

So, that brings me to another memory, one when I had become a mother myself.  I was suddenly immersed into the “some assembly required” category.  Here are just a few of the things my husband and I had to put together:  the stroller, the crib (yes, we called my brother-in-law in a panic), the high chair, the exersaucer, the bouncy seat, the Baby Bjorn (this took weeks to master), and, one my husband and I will never forget — the pack n’ play!

When I was only a few weeks post partum, I decided that I wanted the pack n’ play set up in the living room for the baby.  My husband was at work.  I attempted to set it up, and immediately began stressing and sweating and swearing.  I simply could NOT figure the damn thing out!!!  So, I did what any post-partum-woman-on-the-edge would do — I called my husband at work and started yelling and crying and swearing and freaking out into the phone — all because I couldn’t figure out how to set up a stupid portable crib, that, let’s face it, I really didn’t need at that moment!  He tried to calm me down, but I continued to freak out.  I think I hung up and figured it out eventually, but I don’t exactly remember.  I just know that ever since then, I am very patient with people who struggle with pack n’ plays…

Today, however, I fall into a different category:  the experienced mom;  mom to 4 kids; mom who knows what’s going on;  mom who should have it all together by now.  Yeah, right.  Well,  here’s the skinny on how clueless I really am…

My 7 month old is too big for his infant carseat.  My 4 year old is too big for his 5 point harness car seat.  I had it all figured out.  I would pass the expensive and really safe Britax car seat from my 4 year old to my 7 month old, and then I would only have to buy a booster seat.  Not so expensive.  Sweet!  So, I bought a booster seat for under $100.  I took my 4 year old and my 7 month old out to the parking lot of Babies R’ Us to do the switcharoo, and I was feeling swell about it, too.  I had 45 minutes to “spare” before I had to pick up my 8 year old.

Uninstalling the fancy Britax and reinstalling it as a rear-facing seat for my baby was about a 10-15 minute endeavor.  But that was okay, seeing as booster seats are easy as pie.  I mean, there are no latch systems, no balance issues, no tethering, etc.   They simply “sit” on the seat.  And I had at least 30 minutes to do it.  So, I unpack the car seat.  I attach the head rest to the back rest.  Then, I go to connect them to the base . . . no can do.  I try at least 25 different ways, angles, etc.  I’m pushing, I’m pulling, I’m yelling at my 4 year old to stay near the car and not run into the parking lot.  My 7 month old, safely secured in his new hand-me-down, rear-facing Britax seat, is screaming his head off.  (He’s hungry by now…)  I read the instruction manual (while baby is crying), but it makes it sound so simple.  I’m starting to sweat . . . and swear.  People are looking at me.  But, I might add, no one is offering to help me.

Being the smart woman that I am, I whip out my cell phone thinking, “I’ll just call Babies R’ Us and ask them to send someone out to the parking lot to help me.”  Well, I called 6 times, all to no avail.  I kept getting that computer answering service . . . You know, the one where you have to listen to the menu, push five million buttons, and still not get a human on the phone (another subject for blogging).  By now, I’m yelling into the phone (at the computerized answering system) and sweating and swearing!   I finally hit my limit of ridiculousness and panic.  I pack the kids into car, drive up to the entrance of Babies R’ Us, double park right in front of the doors, leave my kids in the car, and march in.  I interrupt the woman at the customer service desk and tell her that I need help.  (I’m not rude, but I’m well aware of the fact that I appear like a freak…)  She calls for help.  No one comes.  I’m shaking with anxiety.  I see an employee and say, “can you please help me?”  in a freakish kind of way.

So, the dude follows me to my car, listens to me rant about the carseat, picks it up and puts it together in 2 seconds flat.  Done.  I’m an idiot.  But, at least I’m a humble idiot.  I sing his praises and thank him profusely and apologize for being a freak.  At this point, I suddenly calm down and become aware of the people that are staring at me.  I don’t know if they feel sorry for me or are simply judging me . . . but, in the grand scheme of life, who really cares what a bunch of strangers at the local Babies R’ Us think of me?!

I mean, seriously, folks, how many degrees does it take to install a car seat?????? 

September 14, 2007 at 4:35 am 1 comment

Summer is tooooooo long!

School started yesterday.  Hallelujah!  I was so ready!  I was standing at the bus stop this morning when one of the dads said, “I just needed 2 more weeks of summer!”  I shot him a horrified look and said, “are you serious??”  He was.  So, what in the world is wrong with me?  I was done with summer by August 1st.  Enough.  I had done the day camp, the overnight family camp, the family vacation, the swim lessons, the pool days, the playdates, and the “dog days”.  I was done.   And you know what?–My kids were done.  They were ready for school, too!

Why is summer 3 months long?  I mean, I think I speak for most parents when I say that we’re all ready for a break when June arrives.  We need to not get up and get going in the morning.  We need to not have homework, school projects, and school events.  We’re exhausted from going, going, going.  We need a break.  We’re tired.

So, summer settles in.  We do camps, swim lessons, vacations, . . . . and a whole lot of hanging out.  Well, we did all of it this summer.  We had theater camp, sports camp, ranger camp, Vacation Bible School, family camp, and family vacation– a driving tour of the midwest – we drove through 10 states in all, including Mt. Rushmore, in South Dakota!  We also did the swim lessons, diving lessons, and general pool days;  fireworks, family visitors, friends visiting from out of town, lots–no, tons, of BBQs, happy hours, and just hanging out.  So, by the end of July, it felt like we had done it all.  I was actually looking forward to 2 and a half weeks in August with absolutely nothing to do.  Well, I was a fool!

Having 4 kids, means, by definition, that there is always something to do.  There is always an activity, a fight, a “time-out” to give, a chore to do, a task to ask for, a playdate, or lack-thereof, an errand, a nap, a feeding, a “you-fill-in-the-blank”  . . . so, basically, when you have 4 kids under the age of 8, there is no such thing as “nothing to do”.  There is also no such thing as “sleeping in” or “hanging out all day” or “dog days of summer”.  (What does that mean, anyway?????)

We’ve been doing “nothing” all of August.  I truly thought my family could use some “down” time.  Hah!  The joke is on me, yet again.  The truth is, kids do need “down time” . . . but only in half hour increments — not in days or weeks.  They prefer the “go, go, go” schedule.  Unfortunately, this is probably due, in part, because we, as parents, instill this in them during the school year.  They go to school all day ~ come home ~ have a snack and rush off to some activity ~ then they come home and do homework and have dinner and go to bed.  How boring!  When do they just play??

I often think of my friends who are from huge families (like 8-13 kids…)  how did they do it?  Well, they really didn’t “do” a whole lot until high school.  They didn’t have an activity every season during the school year.  Sports were mostly saved for summers and/or high school age.  They played.  So, why don’t we? Why don’t our kids just play every day? Why do we feel the need to keep our kids “productively active” on a daily basis?

Well, I simply can’t.  I let my kids pick one activity per season.  That’s about all I can handle when it comes to shuffling schedules.  But, I remember as a kid watching “The Little Rascals”, or just recently watching, “The Sandlot” or something like that — I can’t remember the title.  I do remember, however, that it’s about a bunch of neighborhood kids, all different ages, hanging out all summer together, and having a bunch of adventures.  It just seems like our kids are too scheduled and require too much supervision these days for them to just hang out like kids used to do.  What do you think?

What do your kids do all summer?  After school every day? Leave a comment and let us know . . .

August 24, 2007 at 3:21 am Leave a comment

A Woman on the Verge . . .

I titled my blog “Life with 4 kids, 2 Whammies & No Nannies” because that’s my life. I have 4 kids. Two of my children have issues: one has Tourette’s Syndrome and one has an undiagnosed syndrome. And, to date, I have no help. All of this has put me on the verge of a nervous breakdown all summer long. So, the question I’m throwing out there today is this: Why is it that I feel the need to justify getting help?

My life is insane! What’s wrong with me? Often people will see me someplace with all 4 kids, and I’m chasing one down or dealing with one crying, or one yelling, or two fighting, and people say to me, “I don’t know how you do it.” I always answer with some kind of humbling comment like, “Oh, I really don’t do it very well.” Or “Well, I’m an insane woman most of the time…” and so on, and so forth. I did go so far as to say to a man at my friend’s pool party, whom I had never met before, “some days I think I deserve a medal”. Usually, however, I stick to the humbling comments, as self-deprecating humor is one of my specialties.

The other day I was in Target getting school supplies. I had all 4 kids. My 6 month old was crying; it was time for his bottle. My 4 year old special needs child was yelling incoherent babble at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason. (He does this often; it’s maddening!) My 8 year old had run off to check something out, and I had no idea where she was. So, I was sternly asking my 5 year old to go find her. A woman I sort of know from the neighborhood passed me by and said, “just keep smiling, you look great! I just don’t know how you do it.” And I smiled and made a joke. Then I beelined for the bathroom, where I could make a bottle and yell at my daughter . . .

So, where is this blog leading? Well, I’m finally getting help. My husband and I have decided that my sanity, unfortunately, defines the family’s sanity. Basically, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!!! (I actually read a book with that title…) My husband wants a sane wife. I want a sane life. I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m overwhelmed. And all of this probably makes me normal. But, the question remains . . . why do I feel the need to justify getting help?

I’ve gone over it in my mind. I know a handful of people that grew up in families with 8 or more children. When I ask them how their mothers managed, they seem to say the same thing: pure and simple neglect. Well, that probably worked 40 years ago. But, today we don’t let our children run free throughout the neighborhood streets. We don’t let our kids play out front unsupervised. We definitely don’t let them go to the park or walk to school on their own. It’s different now. I used to walk about 6 blocks to elementary school, all alone. I can’t fathom that today. I’d let my daughter walk the 6 blocks to the intermediate school (4th — 6th grade), as long as she walked with the neighborhood kids. But not alone. Not ever. So, all of this to say, that our children require a LOT of supervision in today’s world. Too much for one woman with a full plate, too much for a woman on the verge . . .

Yesterday I took my kids to the pool. We came home in the pouring rain, and while I was unloading the car and talking to my husband about our time at the pool, the doorbell rang. (We had been home about 15 minutes.) It was my neighbor ~ with my 4 year old special needs child, dressed in nothing but a diaper. My neighbor had found him up the street, half naked, happily stomping/dancing around in the puddles in the street. My special needs son has figured out how to get out of our house. Yes, I was mortified — and totally grateful. I need help.

Having a special needs 4 year old makes life a lot more physically, and therefore emotionally, draining. I cannot complete a household task. I am constantly saving my infant from him. I am constantly moving him “away”, stopping him “from”, keeping him “away”, shuffling him “out”, etc., etc. Unsupervised (and I use this term to describe 10-15 minutes of me doing something like folding laundry, talking on the phone, or going to the bathroom…), my son will: flood the bathroom, draw on the walls, draw on himself, draw on the furniture, draw on anything; he will smother my infant, empty my freezer, eat sand, take off his diaper and smear his poop everywhere, go through my make-up, dump toys out of the bins, dump/eat as much pirate booty as he can get his hands on, drink any kind of drink/cup/glass left anywhere he can reach, tear apart my older son’s legos, pump out the soap, the lotion, etc., and his latest fancy is: spitting. He spits out juice, water, saliva, food — anything; it simply intrigues him to spit stuff out of his mouth.

We’ve decided to get an Au Pair. And the funny thing is, while filling out the necessary forms I started really thinking about my special needs son. How should I describe him? He’s not in a wheelchair, he doesn’t need to be fed through a tube, he’s not autistic — he loves socializing and he loves people. I realized that if I didn’t have the multi-tasking, multi-faceted role to play (whether or not you “work”, you know what I’m saying ladies, don’t ya??), I don’t think he would be that much to handle. If I was to simply focus on him, and not on the others, not on my husband, not on the house, not on the bills, not on our activities, not on our social life, etc. . . . well, then, if he was all I had, he would not be that much for me to handle. I found myself, yet again, feeling the need to justify getting help.

It’s done. We’ve invited our Au Pair to come live with us. We’ve paid our deposit plus our initial fee. We’ve started construction on our basement to add a bedroom and a bathroom for her to use. We’ve told the children. We’re getting help. Hallelujah! I’m a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown . . . but I’ve made the sane decision not to breakdown ~ but, to get help.

Should I rename my blog??

August 21, 2007 at 4:31 am Leave a comment

Contests — Who Enters them & Who Wins them?

 I’ve got a friend who enters every contest she can find.  I find it somewhat amusing all the things she tries to win, and I wonder if she ever really does win enough of these contests to make it worth it to enter all of them.  But, some people tend to be luckier than others.  For example, I once won a year-long supply of Sam Adams Beer.  Yup, I did!  I ended up giving a ton of it away, because I’m not really a beer drinker.  You see, I was hoping to win a trip to the Rose Bowl.

I  used to watch Michigan football games at a bar where the U of M Alumni club met.  So, they were raffling off a trip to the Rose Bowl one season.  Every Saturday that I went to watch a game, I entered the raffle.  So, the final game of the season, they did the drawing.  My girlfriend and I decided that if we won, we’d take each other (this was in my pre-serious-boyfriend and pre-marriage days).  We were just tipsy enough to think that we had a chance . . . and then it happened.  The Sam Adams Beer rep threw in the idea of raffling off a year’s supply of beer.  So, the first name they drew won the beer.  And they drew my name first.  Can you believe it?  I came so close to winning the trip!  I ended up with beer. (I think the trip should have been the first name drawn, with the beer being the consolation prize!  Don’t you think??)

In any event, my husband is now convinced that I tend to win silly contests.  So, here goes another silly contest:  I’m entering one for a flat screen tv.   The contest is through a website that I like: Five for Minutes for Mom contest, and it’s sponsored by Best Buy
I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Please leave me a comment if you’ve won a silly contest.  I’m very curious as to who actually does win these things . . .

July 29, 2007 at 4:40 pm 1 comment

Old Friends — Great Friends

I spent the other night with 3 of my girlfriends from college. You know, the sorority type. The BIG university type. Well, I was once one of those . . . those rah rah chicks who wore my college or sorority sweatshirt with pride. The kind that never missed a football game and knew the college fight song by my first week at school, and, with pride, sung it at the top of my lungs at football games, surrounded by a whole lot of others doing the same.

I feel really far away from that world most days. I remember it, and I remember it well. Not because I want to relive it, and not because I live in the “glory days” of my college existence.  I seriously lived life with these women. These women that were tossed together by the most bizarre circumstances of college acceptance, dormitory placement, and sorority rush.

With college long over, it’s my sorority sisters and one friend from my freshman year hall in the dormitory, that I remain in close contact with. They are the girlfriends I love the most.  It is these girls with whom I drank too much, lived, shared clothes, shared secret (and silly) handshakes with, and did the date parties and football games with, that I love the most. And I mean really, really, LOVE! They are awesome women!!

My college friends are interesting, beautiful (inside and outside), happy, smart, successful, women. I remember when we started the first round of weddings: we all brought our college boyfriends to the weddings. Then, after a few years, we started showing up single. Then, slowly by surely, we started marrying men that none of us had ever met. We stood up in those ridiculous bridesmaids dresses and gave sincere toasts to the women we adored and the men we barely knew.

The first few years after the “wedding years”, we decided that we needed to see each other more often than at weddings. So, we started annual gatherings. The interesting thing about these gatherings, is that at first, we were always “great”!! I mean, that was always the answer to life. “it’s great”

  • How’s your job? it’s great!
  • How’s your marriage/husband? it’s/he’s great!
  • How’s your house? it’s great!
  • Are you pregnant? Not yet, but we’re going to be soon!
  • How’s life?  it’s great!

Well, soon after that, some divorces occurred, and the “it’s great” line didn’t seem to fit. So, life got a little bit more real for us. Then, infertility set in, and “it’s great” didn’t fit at all. Then, second marriages, unexpected fertility and infertility set in, jobs changed, and step-children arrived on the scene. Life was weird, and “it’s great” didn’t seem to capture it anymore. So, now we’re REAL women.

We are women who have succeeded and women who have suffered. We are still sisters, but not just because we pledged a sorority together or lived in the dorms together, but because we have loved each other and supported each other through some grave circumstances. Because we have been there for each other in person, in prayer, in thought, in phone calls, and most importantly, in our hearts. We can honestly say now, “it’s NOT great, and here’s why…”. We can listen. We can learn from each other. And we can love each other still.

So, I guess I want to say thank you. Thank you to the women I have called “sisters” for many years. Sisters in my sorority, in my college, in my life, and in my heart. Thank you for letting me be fat, depressed, post partum, stressed out, and most of all, for letting me be a REAL woman with REAL issues. I love you, girls! I need you in my life! And, here’s to turning 40 in Mexico with you all by my side, (and a personal chef cooking our meals!!!!!)

July 25, 2007 at 5:03 am Leave a comment

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