7:37 AM

7:37 AM is the time that I opened my eyes out of a weird dream in which our pool was flooded and giant red fish were swimming up to our sliding glass doors like they were in an aquarium.  I glanced across my bedroom to look at the time on the cable box.  7:37 AM…  Elementary school begins at 8 AM with the tardy bell ringing at 8:15 AM.  Crap!  It was already shaping up to be one of those days…

I shot out of bed racing around like mad, throwing cereal bowls at the kids and barking orders.  The boys were perfectly good listeners this morning, thank goodness!  We managed to get Wildman to school on time dressed and all.

Then I came home and spilled my breakfast on my shirt.  So, now I have this awesome wet spot on my front and I’m cursing the South Beach Diet…  You see, I’ve gained what I consider to be a lot of weight since the beginning of the year.  I workout five times a week and eat pretty healthy so I’m really at a loss for why I’m gaining.  It’s incredibly frustrating, as you can imagine.  My family doctor basically said that it’s what happens when you’re 35 and have 2 kids.  I wasn’t convinced so he sent me to an endocrinologist to have a full workup of my hormone levels.  The specialist suggested that I try the South Beach Diet for two weeks while we wait for my lab results.

So here I am on my second day of the SBD and I’m going a little nuts.  J’s not in town this week so I had to take my boys shopping for all the new groceries I’d need for a week’s worth of recipes on Tuesday evening.  It was a three ring circus…  Then I have had to prepare all of the meals and snacks from scratch which is proving to be a huge time commitment.  If the food wasn’t so delicious I’d be tempted to throw in the towel.  But it really is good so I need to just man-up for two weeks.  I can do this, right?

In the mean time, my poor body is freaking out without carbs, sugar and caffeine.  I’m going on a 24-hour headache that Advil won’t touch.  I’m kind of shaky too from this food detox.  Ugh!  I hope it goes away soon.  My patience is already waning.



Tanning Bed Blues

I’m frustrated.

I’m annoyed.

I am drained.

My frustrations with Steph can be summed up by one incident involving a tanning bed.  I cannot tell you how much I loathe tanning beds.  For the record, I have never been to one and there is no way that I would ever go.  But Steph goes.


And it makes me nuts.  She’s an RN for Heaven’s sake!  You would think she would already understand the dangers, and she probably does, but chooses to ignore them.  That’s the worst.  When intelligent people behave stupidly.  I’ve taken to calling it the “cancer bed” when I’m around her because I sound like a broken record every time I get on my soapbox about the dangers.

So, the incident…

There was a time when our friend, B, Steph and I would get together on Wednesday evenings to scrapbook and chat.  We would meet every week without fail.  Rain, cold, sleet, hail- whatever- we would get together.  Then we took a break because life got busy and we had gotten a little burned out on scrapbook, quite frankly.  Our break lasted about a year but lately B and I have started missing our weekly visits.  So, in January the three of us convened at B’s house just like old times.  It was great!

This week I decided that we needed another scrapbook session (at my house) since two months had gone by since our last meeting.  Steph immediately made the excuse that she would not be able to come because Big Red would probably work late.  I told her that I would ask him to come home to watch the kids so she could come over.  “Uh, ok…” was her response.  As if, my request to Big Red was completely absurd.  I agreed that it was a long shot but I figured why not ask and see what happens.

So, I texted Big Red and, much to my surprise, he agreed to come home.  When he arrived home he informed me that Steph was already in bed.  At 8:15 PM…

I sighed but figured that it was typical of her behavior these days.  She’s depressed and I totally understand that given the stress of the impending divorce.  So, I thought no big deal.  She had blown me off many other times when I’ve invited her to do something so this came as no surprise.

Not 10 minutes later, G texted again with the message that Steph was up and was heading to Starbucks for a latte then going to the tanning bed.


So, I asked her if she was coming over and, of course, the answer was no.  She was heading to Starbucks and the tanning bed.

I had specifically arranged for her husband to come home to watch the children (which is pretty much impossible these days) so she could have some free time with her friends.  Instead, she took advantage of the free time and blew me off.


Now, I know there are many, many ways to look at this incident.  The fun activities she used to engage in are less than appealing when her life is in turmoil.  Hanging out with two happily married friends is not her preference.  Scrapbooking happy times when everything in her world is torn apart is not something she can face.

I get it.  I do.  But B and I are the support system that she’s chosen for herself.  She’s involved us.  She has asked for us to be there for her. But when we try to do just that we’re pushed away.

When you deal with almost daily drama from someone, you watch them engage in self-destructive behavior, you are at their beck-and-call for babysitting without so much as a thank you,  and they ask for help but won’t take it, the situation gets extremely old.  Steph does not realize what an emotional roller coaster her divorce has been for me and B.  I care about Steph so much.  I want her to make the best decisions for herself and her children.  But she’s not.  She’s floundering.

She’s being rebellious and self-centered as well.  There are so many other examples I could give but I’m not here to spread her dirty laundry out for the world.  I’m just trying to express my feelings on a situation that is suffocating me.

I need a break from the circus.  I’m tired of trying to reach out to her only to be shot down.  I’m tired of just being the babysitter and dumping ground for drama.  My psyche can’t take much more.

Perhaps I need to revisit my resolution for 2010…

Sorry to unload all of this here but writing about it helps me deal.  *sigh*  I hope to get back to regularly scheduled fun posts soon.

Are You Kidding Me?!

Let me preface this rant by saying that I’m not sure that I should post it to my blog.  I’m writing this to vent and venting doesn’t always need to be made public…  I just have to get this down.  Writing about it helps.  I’m sure there are other women in my position who ‘get’ this.


I met the wife of one of my high school friends for the first time this weekend.  Several of us met up for lunch at a local BBQ place on Saturday.  We were all having a great time chatting, reminiscing, catching up and getting to know the people we’d just met.  A bunch of folks were in town for Dr. Cindita’s wedding reception so it was a great opportunity to socialize before the party.  When meeting people for the first time the question “what do you do” will almost always come up.  Saturday was no exception.

The wife asked me what I did.  The conversation went something like this:

Wife: What do you do?

Me: I stay home with my boys.

Wife:  Oh, wow!  That’s a hard job.

Me: Yeah, it’s pretty tough.  Much harder than I’d imagined.

Wife: I don’t think I could do it.  I mean, what do you do?

Me: Well…

Wife: There’s just no way I could do that.  I mean, how do you get to know people?  Aren’t you bored?

Me: My life is surprisingly full and busy.  I’ve met many people with kids my age through my cousin and various activities I do with my boys.

Wife: Oh, I guess you would eventually make friends who have kids.  I still don’t think I could ever do that.  It’s just so hard to be at home with kids all. day. long.  Do you think you’ll ever go back to work?

Me: …  Yes, I probably will…

You’d have to have seen the almost horrified look on her face to get the full effect of this conversation.  I understand that it’s a natural reaction for some women to behave this way when all they’ve known is working.  But come on!  I don’t sit at home all day long beating my head against a wall out of the sheer boredom of being trapped with my children.  This is not 1950.  I made this choice.

I am thankful everyday that I am able to be home with my children.  Truly thankful.  Not everyone has this opportunity.   I value this precious time with my babies.  They won’t be young forever.  In the blink of an eye, they will be in the school system for 13 years.  I have the chance to make their toddler and preschool years as full of fun, learning and new experiences as I can manage.  I see it as my job to enrich their world and shape them to be curious, compassionate, expressive little people.  I want them to have the skills to be successful both academically and socially.

I am not outsourcing the early childhood development of my boys to some underpaid, overwhelmed daycare workers.  That’s a harsh statement.  Many moms don’t have this option and I am not directing this rant at them.  Like my own mother, many moms have to work to make ends meet.  And I understand that there are many wonderful daycares out there.  But I want my position to be clear.  I made a choice that was right for my family.  I am highly offended by people who think that all I do is sit on my rear end watching my kids eat play dough all the livelong day.  Who think that I am boring or wasting my time or raising socially isolated children.

I’m not saying it’s not hard, frustrating work being with them all the time.  Sure, I want to pull my hair out.  Quite frequently, actually.  But, you know what?  Time is fleeting.  And I want you to know that I am certainly not wasting my time.

I’m going to be sitting at a couple of college graduations one day.  And I’m going to think back to this time in my life  like it was yesterday.  The happiness of picnics in the park, zipping up and down the streets on our bikes, dancing around wildly in the living room on a Tuesday afternoon,  cooking experiments, trips to the zoo, blowing bubbles, sketching Elmo on the sidewalk with chalk, and all those spontaneous hugs and kisses will not be looked back on with regret.  My time with my boys these past four years has been amazing.  I won’t remember the whining or temper tantrums so much.  What will stick out most in my mind will be the joy that they have brought me.  The pride of hearing my son use his words to avoid conflict with another child or express his feelings to his friends or declare his love for his brother and knowing that I taught him how to do that.

The truth is I can have it all.  But just not all at the same time.  I’ve chosen not to short change my children when it comes to quality time with their mother.  I can be a stay at home mom and I can have a career.  Work will always be there.  My sons will not always be this young.

Just for the record, I can still calculate the fugacity of carbon dioxide, tell you how to make phosgene gas, negotiate a contract, design a distillation tower, conduct a cost-benefit analysis, create a mean spreadsheet, wow you with PowerPoint, perform a triple integral calculation, explain Bernoulii’s principle and at the same time create a win-win solution.  Don’t ever assume I’m less of person because I’ve chosen to stay at home for a while.  I have priorities.  My goals do not involve doing anything halfway.

I think I’m done with this explosion of frustration.  I hope I haven’t offended anyone too horribly.

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