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Category: It IS all about me!

Hide your children! They got another one!

Hide your children! They got another one!

Let me tell you a story, kiddos.  Grab your blankets and some popcorn.  It is part humor, part horror and of course, with a moral.

Once upon a time there was a Mom whose first born had started kindergarten.  As soon as school started a woman who referred to herself as the PTA president phoned her.  “Are you in the house alone?!” (I kid.  She totally didn’t say that.) Though what she said was almost as scary.  “I would like you to be the kindergarten room parent.”

[cue horror theme music and screeching violins]

After several “No, really, no thank you. Not for me.  Don’t think so.  Uh-uh.  Not gonna happen” I found myself the kindergarten room parent.  In charge of all parties and all volunteers.  Having never had a child in public school before, I found myself in charge.  Miserably.

I learned after that year and changed my outgoing message on my answering machine to “Thank you for calling.  If you are calling in regards to volunteering, I will bring juice.”

Years later, I tried again.  This time on the Executive Board.  As the Membership Chair.  I took over from someone who left.  Bad move.  Bad position.  Bad year.  From then on out I took the stance of “Play dead when dealing with anyone from the PTA.” I have been known to throw myself on the floor and play dead to avoid being tagged as a volunteer.  The Stepfords…they scare me.

One of my good, close friends has been a Stepford in denial for quite a while.  “No, no…I am not a Stepford.  I just volunteer because I blah blah blah…” (I tuned out at this point.  Sort of like when Tom Cruise starts to talk about his knowledge of post partum depression or preach to me about Scientology.) I adore her, but day by day I see her inner Stepford coming out.  I am scared.  Hold me. 

Hang on, kiddos, this is where the horror comes in to play.

I got a phone call today.

“Are you in the house alone?” (Are you still falling for that?  What she said was much scarier!)

“They asked me to be PTA president.”

Okay, I think she might have said something else, but I was laughing and crying so hard I couldn’t hear another word. 

It happened.  They got her.  It is worse than Jason from Friday the 13th.  Worse than Freddy Krueger.  Worse than ‘When a Stranger Calls’.  She has become…

A STEPFORD.

No longer in denial.

I immediately rushed to my doctor to get my vaccine updated.  I mean, one cannot be too careful when dealing with the PTA.  They bite.

I shall miss you, my dear friend.  I will, of course, laugh at you, mock you and avoid you at all costs, but know that in my heart, I will miss you.

And also know….I am laughing my ass off at you!

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Midlife, Martini’s and Me

Midlife, Martini’s and Me

When you reach a milestone such as your 37th birthday, you tend to look back and reflect on your life.  Realizing you are knocking on Mid-Life’s door, one might take inventory of her life.  Pondering the events that led her to where she is now.  Birthdays can bring out the nostalgia in many women.  In fact, a mature woman would take this time to ponder life’s amazing blessings.

Yeah right!  Good thing I am not one of those women!

imageI chose to celebrate by going out with my husband where I ate greasy, fried food and drank eleventy martini’s.  Well, maybe not that many.  But I tried several.  Apple Martini.  Toasted Almond Martini.  Chocolate Martini.  And then blah blah blah martini and yada yada yada martini etc but only the bartender, the waitress and Clint know what followed because I was just the one drinking them, not ordering them.

A mature woman would call her family to just connect and feel that sense of togetherness family brings.  Perhaps a mature woman in her late 30’s would call her business partner and friend and just let her know how much she means to her.

I am SO NOT that woman.  I called my sister–after my fun dinner out– and left her a message that went something like:

“Okay FINE don’t call your sister on her birthday.  I mean your BABY sister who looks up to you and sat by the phone all day long waiting…waiting…waiting!  No, I am SO kidding.  I love you man.  I do.  You’re my hero.  I am sooooo messing with you!” Then dissolve into a fit of giggles and hang up.

But wait, while I have the phone, it is absolutely vitally important that I call my friend and partner and discuss the deepest meanings of life…

“Hi!  I know it is late and all but I totally felt like dishing with you.  Tell me the gossip. I mean it.  I need some serious dirt on someone.  Make it up. Do NOT talk business because that is such a buzz kill…..I love you man.  No really, I do…Do I tell you enough that I appreciate all you do?  You ROCK…”

The call lasted so much longer than those few sentences, but really, neither you nor I need to hear what was said.  Especially when you call said friend and partner the next morning and her first words are, “How’s that headache coming along?” (For the record, I have no headache.  At all.  Jumped out of bed at 6:00am good to go.  So there!)

Anyway, thanks for the birthday wishes.  Thanks for the fun times.  Thanks for knowing that I am SO not the woman who is going to do a retrospective of her life but rather tell you about martini’s and “not as clear headed as I normally am” phone calls.  It’s for that reason that love you, man!  No, I really do!



[Update:  For the record, here is a link to a huge list of various martini’s…made with vodka.  They may not be by definition “true” martini’s but vodka martini’s.  Call them what you want, just buy me one next time we meet! Ha!]

[Yet Another UPDATE:  If you know me, you know my fun love of exaggeration.  That would be this entry.  Relax.  I have not slipped back into making drunk calls, acting like a sorority girl and completely losing my mind.  I didn’t think I needed to qualify that, but here I am doing that.  Just an FYI]

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Spinning the wheel of the diagnosis du jour

Spinning the wheel of the diagnosis du jour

Okay, so this is that long ass boring entry where I tell you what the doctors think is actually happening with my chest pains.  *yawn* So, I am going to send you around the net if you want other writing I have snuck online in the past few days.

Over at Mommybloggers, I wrote about why moms and women might be having trouble sleeping at night. (But before you read that, you have to read the amazing interview and essay by Krisco of Crib Ceiling.  I absolutely love that woman!)

And at Aggroqueen (where I am meeting other women who are into gaming such as the play girlz and The Adventuress) and learning the tricks from them, I finally was able to reveal that I have been alpha and beta testing their upcoming expansion pack to World of Warcraft:  The Burning Crusade.  Yes.  It just goes to show you that the gang over at Blizzard have one hell of a great sense of humor.  (Mwah, guys!) I am so in love with this game now.  Not that I would admit it. DO NOT tell my husband, kids or Blizzard.  They must all think they still have to win me over.  I am not a gamer yet, but trust me when I say this expansion pack is quickly shoving me in that direction.  Shhhhhhh!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Guess who got to spend half a day Friday at the hospital/doctor?  Did you guess me?  I bet you did.  You’d be right.  The diagnosis du jour is:  costochondritis.  Which is pretty much just a fancy name for “Ouch!  You have pain in your chest.  Bummer!” No, really.  That is what it means.  See.  According to About.com who knows everything.  (They do.  I asked and they confirmed.  Everything.)

Costochondritis a syndrome of chest wall pain that is due to inflammation of the cartilage and bones in the chest wall. Also called Tietze’s Syndrome, costochondritis occurs when there is inflammation at the junction of the rib bone and breastbone (sternum). At this junction, there is cartilage joining these bones. This cartilage can become irritated and inflamed. Depending on the extent of the inflammation, this condition can be quite painful.  (No shit!)

What causes costochondritis?

Most commonly the cause of costochondritis is classified as ‘idiopathic,’ or unknown. This means that there is no identifiable cause for the condition. This does not imply that idiopathic costochondritis is any less painful of a condition than if the cause can be identified.

See?  It means “Ouch!  You have pain in your chest.  Bummer!” (Sometimes referred to the “too bad, so sad” in the School of Throw a Dart Medicinal Diagnosis.) Honestly, knowing that we have ruled out just about everything life threatening that you can rule out, I could care less what they call it as long as they make this horrendous pain go away. 

And of course, because I love to baffle the medical community, we had a fun game of “Why Is Your Stress So High and Your Blood Pressure So Low?” Remember they are also tacking on the “stress out and exhausted” tag to me?  Therefore, one would think that stressed out would indicate high blood pressure.  Nope.  My body likes to be different.  The nurse took my blood pressure 3 times insisting it must be wrong, but all 3 times it came back within 2 numbers of each other.  100/55.  She just shook her head at me and wrote it down.  Again, I just shrug it off and watch them scratch their heads in confusion. 

I have had enough EKGs that it is no longer a big deal.  Take for instance the fact that I am lying there on the examination table naked from the waist up with a hospital gown open to the front with electrodes hooked up everywhere when I noticed that my socks didn’t match.  I do not mean an obvious “one is red and the other is blue” kind of not matching.  It was more subtle.  One had a pink stripe over the toes and the other did not.  Oh the HORRORS!  I am trying to curl my toes or hide one foot under the other in an attempt to not have anyone notice that my socks don’t match.  Forget that I am half naked and having an EKG to ensure my heart is not about to kill me.  MY SOCKS DON’T MATCH. 

Yep.  I am pretty sure I have had more than my share of doctors if that was my biggest worry of the visit.

Stay tuned next week for another exciting installment of “The Pain is Still There, Let’s Spin the Wheel of Diagnosis to Determine Another Cause.” For now, I am still on medical leave from most of my freelance jobs until Nov. 1st and am trying (meaning pretending to try but am really worrying about not trying hard enough) to relax and not worry about worrying.  Which worries me.  Ha!  Gotta love the way the mind works. 

Badgermama said it best when she told me: “It would be way more to the point to get up, do your thing, but get a little help, restructure a bit, cut something from your life, and do some extra exercise or yoga or something.” That is what I am doing now.  Restructure.  Refocus.  Redirect my energies.  And of course, realize that life without stress means you are dead.  So, screw that!

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Run! Run for your life!

Run! Run for your life!

I have a confession to make. 

Although I pride myself on not being a follower, I am competitive.  Not a smack talking, in your face competitive person.  Not so much. (That whole stab you in the back to try to get ahead thing tends to get old when you have amassed the collection of knives that I have pulled free, so I really prefer not to go that route.) More like a “If she can do that, I can do that” type of fun competition.  I prefer to call it inspirationally competitive.  Why?  Because I will go right up to the person and tell them they are inspiring me to do what they are doing and then ask them to tell me more.  I cannot even tell you the number of amazing women I have met by just telling them they inspire me.  By just asking them how they do what they do.  Oh sure, you will run into people who will hold their cards close to their chest and not share.  But I have found that to be rare and only in the most insecure of people. 

So, where is my confession?  I am getting to it.  Wait for it.

I am sure you know Grace Davis.  (Even Andrew Shue of Melrose Place and ClubMom knows Grace Davis!) She just celebrated her 51st birthday.  (Happy Birthday, Grace.) One of the gifts she received was from NYC: She found out she was chosen as one of the 30,000 other runners that are able going to run in the New York City Marathon.  Marathon.  That is more miles that I can comprehend RUNNING.  But not Grace.  Grace even has an amazing blog, Marathon Mom, that talks all about her running-goodness.  Complete with schedules and running logs and running goodness that makes my eyes roll back in my head as I convulse in fear.  And she does it with humor and style!

I know.  Right now you are thinking to yourself, “Surely, there is absolutely no connection between Jenn and anyone who writes about running.” Well, you would be wrong.

I have a confession to make.  I have decided to start running.  And by that, of course, I do not mean from the law, having the runs or running from someone chasing me who must be intent on wanting to kill me which is the only reason I would ever decide to voluntarily run.  I am seriously talking about training, a schedule and actual r-u-n-n-i-n-g.  Hold me.  I am scared.

There are just so many amazing women I know doing so many amazing things right now and I have the honor of knowing them and sharing in these things with them.  Inspirational competition.  It’s karma, baby.  Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.  These women–women like Grace– are amazing women.  Know what else I am going to do?  I am going to start sharing these women and their amazingness with you here.  I love the whole Pay It Forward, Pass It On, Karma thing that the Internet and blogging provide so easily.  Sooo…..

Inspire me, too.  What are you doing?  Tell me more about it!  (And yes, everyone is doing something inspirational.  So don’t say nothing!)

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Does this dress make me look fat?

Does this dress make me look fat?

image The other day one of my children (whom I shall not name to protect the oh-so-guilty) told me that I was fat and added a twist of was I aware of that fact? (Okay, the actual words were “I think you are overweight and don’t know if you know it.”) I removed the knife from my gut and immediately put the child up for auction on e-bay.  (Starting bid only 99 cents!)

Seriously, as IF I am not aware that my ass has recently applied for it’s own zip-code.  I could blame it on stress.  For the love of all things stress eating related, I certainly deserve that one this year.  But no, I blame it on my daughter.  (What?!  As if she won’t grow up and blame everything on me anyway.) Okay, not so much my daughter as my 7 months spent on bed-rest while pregnant with my daughter in which my ass spread was proportional to my bump growth. I looked my best ever just before I got pregnant with her her.  (See?*) But even so, it isn’t like I am 5 weeks post-partum.  I am 5 years.  Five freaking ever-loving could’ve lost it by now years.  Guess blaming it on her is probably out, too.

What about age?  Can I blame it on age?  Genetics?  I can totally blame it on my Mom.  She would totally understand.  But again, still not practical or fair. 

So it looks like I have 2 choices.  (1) Bitch and moan and hate the way I look while continually avoiding activities that I should enjoy while crying and feeling miserable–thus making everyone around me miserable or (2) Do something.  As hard as that decision seems, I am totally going to just stop the bitching and moaning and self deprecating comments.  I am taking action.  But what to do?  What to do?  Do NOT even suggest giving up anything like caffeine, coffee or my occasional chocolate.  I would be forced to ban you and then hurt you.  Badly.  Besides, it isn’t the eating that is the problem.  I would have to say it is the lack of exercise.  But ohhhh how that bores the hell out of me.  I need fun.  I need excitement.  I need cheap.  I need suggestions.

So for now, here is the game plan.  First, I want your suggestions challenges.  Second, I am going to team up with someone to keep me accountable and urge me on.  Who?  Well, someone who is already doing this.  Someone who has a goal.  Someone who has already given the shout-out for challenges that I can follow with her.  (And then add to those the ones you offer up.) Who am I talking about?  Why Jenny of course who is doing an awesome job at her weight loss blog, Big Slice of Life, Small Slice of Cheesecake.

She has been incredibly brave in her openness about her weight loss.  (Don’t expect that.  I don’t even tell my husband what I weigh.) And she has an amazing diet plan going on–well, more a new way of eating and not so much a diet plan. (Don’t expect that either.  I don’t do plan ahead meals or anything as organized as such.) And she has decided to post some photos up documenting her exercise challenges.  (Okay, maybe I will steal that idea because that is hilarious.)

Anyway, it is on.  Three weeks until the beach.  Two months until BlogHer.  IT. IS. ON.

* Yes, I know this photo is not recent and that I have blonde hair.  (Blonde is real.  Red looks more natural.  Go figure!) This picture was taken by one of my very best friends ever about a year or so before I got pregnant with Gabriella.  It is a motivation and reminder that I need to get back to this look.  But without the cheesy pose.  I can lose that, too.  (Now if only I can find the picture of me in the smokin’ black dress I wore to my sister’s wedding. THAT is real motivation!)


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What’s caffeine addicted, crazy as a loon and has short red hair?

What’s caffeine addicted, crazy as a loon and has short red hair?

[Editor’s note: We’ve had a lot of the heavy stuff. I need a break and am betting you do, too, from the heavy. No heavy lifting in this post. I do feel I need to share about the breakdown, but that will be soon. Thanks for hanging with me, people. You are better for me than that first cup of coffee…no wait….okay, yeah, you are!]

Last Friday my sister came to town. Yes, if you do the math that is exactly one day after I left her in Houston. Trust me, it was necessary for her to come, but that is a different story all together. As she unloaded all of her ginormous trappings one brings when going out of town, I just sat and watched from my front porch.

“Hey, looks a bit heavy. Need help?” But I was really just that out of it to think to actually get my ass up off of the chair to actually do it. To that she just replied, “No, dude, I am pretty sure this PURSE is the last thing, but the offer was cool.” Then we saw the absurdity of it all and began to giggle.

I would love to tell you the tales of taking the children to the zoo and the museums and the arboretum. I would love to tell you of the movies they saw, the games they played and the amazing meals they ate. I would love to, but I can’t. Because for one entire week, my sister and I sat on the couch and read every trash gossip rag known to man. (Oh, and a few unknown and some that could possibly be called reputable.) The kids played. The dogs played. In fact, while the kids were outside playing at the same time the dogs were outside playing, they all learned a new phrase. If they were all here I would have them recite it in an adorable chorus of cherubic voices, “NO HUMPING! NO NO NO HUMPING!”

From the oldest to the baby, they all had to yell it at the dogs at one time or another. (Yes, my sister and I are so proud!) As we sat on the couch with trash tv (Can someone please just tell Shawn he is the the friggin father or Belle’s baby already??!) and read magazines that made us lose IQ points (Want to know who is expecting, how far along they are and who the Baby Daddy is?), my sister looked up at me and said in a tone that could only be described as mock intimidation, “Oh my god, Supernanny would totally jump our shit for the way we are acting this week!”

Not as funny in the retelling, but the way the conversation went and the mimicked proclamations of poor parenting and reprimands from JoJo about what lazy mothers we were, we were laughing ourselves silly. We both needed it.

At one point, I was totally interrupted from my OK! magazine with the immediate need to check the mail. (No, I have no idea why. But when you have the immediate need to check the mail, you do it. Trust me. Don’t question crazy.) So mindlessly I opened my front door.

There stood a man who to the best of my ability to guess these things, had not shaved since Nixon was in office and wore clothes that had seen better days. Let me just say he shocked the shit out of me! I screamed the scream of a woman about to be murdered on her front door step, danced the “Oh-my-god-who-are-you-and-why-are-you-standing-at-my-door-don’t-kill-me” dance while trying so hard not to pee my pants then slammed the door in his face.

My sister casually looked up from her magazine and said, “Mail not here yet or is someone about to bludgeon you because that was one scary ass scream!”

I peeked out the peephole to see the man still standing there. I slowly opened the door when I realized all he was doing was putting flyer on my door. Making an honest living and this crazy woman SCREAMS right into his face and slams the door. I am lucky I did not give him a heart attack. He just put on hand over his heart and the other hand up towards me as if to ward off my insanity and keep ME from hurting HIM. I took his flyer. I think I may now have to have my entire yard landscaped in order to appease my guilt of nearly killing an innocent man with my SCREAM OF DOOM AND DEATH.

Another afternoon I told my sister to just go get pampered. The sentence was not quite out of my mouth before she was sprinting toward the van shouting out lunchtimes and nap-times. The day went well. I think. The kids all took care of themselves and I caught up on magazine gossip and still sat screaming that “Dammit someone better tell Shawn that is the father of Belle’s baby for the love of dragging a story line on too long to do anything but make people yell at their television set.” But when my sister got home, she had a gorgeous hair cut.

I was green with envy. “I want one!” I whined.

So (the real reason for this entire long winded babble-assing post), I got my hair cut off. Short. It was below the middle of my back and a sable-ish color. A hint of possible red, but not really.

I am guessing at this point you want to see it? Are you sure? Okay, here is one sneak peek:

image

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