Saturday, May 31, 2008

100 Things About Me: Part I

The First 25 Things about Me . . .
*Yeah, I seriously have little to no attention span, so I am going to squeeze in 100 of these puppies one way or another . . .

1. Kristen asks, "What are your favorite pair of shoes and why?" And she wants a picture. Gosh. That's a lot of work.

But, an easy answer nonetheless. I always wanted to be a classy chick with a shoe closet that would rival that of a supermodel. But alas, it was not to be. My feet are flat. My toes are like little Weeble Wobbles jammed together (and hating every minute of it). I was lucky to last all of 20 minutes in my heels when I walked down the aisle. Oh, sweet agony. So, what are my favorite shoes?

Why, these of course. Yes. I run. Though I am not preparing for a marathon like Nap Warden, I do like feel of gravel skipping around beneath my feet. And, I like PICTURING myself running (and maybe even finishing) a marathon.

2. Jen asked, What's your drink of choice? Hmm . . . Drinkity, drink, drink. Let's see . . .

If I get to CHOOSE, it is probably some lame drink with fruit in it and tequila. Or, maybe a glass of perfectly aged red wine. Or, maybe a fruit smoothie made from organic fruits and flaxseed.

But. Really . . . it is . . .

Chocolate milk. I would drink it every day. All day. In my room. In the car. On the roof. Or in a bar. Yes I would. If I could . . . drink chocolate milk. My drink, I say. I love to drink it every day.

3. Painted Maypole asked, "If you had a sign on your door, what would it say?"

Unless you have food, don't bother knocking. I love food. I just love it. Or, maybe MONEY . . .

4. Cheri asked, "If you were walking down the street and found a $100 bill, and there was absolutely no way to find the person who lost it, what would you do with the money?"

I can't lie. I'd have to donate it. Why? It is a good karma thing . . . or maybe buy a cute t-shirt, some new Asics, and a bag of Swedish Fish. I'd share the fish. That oughta count for somethin', right?

5. Mommy Mechanics asked, "
If you could live the life of anyone for just one day, who would it be and why?"

Just one day? Hmmm . . . I was thinking a uber celebrity, but I don't think I'd get much out of that. So, I'd have to choose someone like

6. Rachel asked, "What has been your favorite age to live so far?"

I'm totally cool being in my 30s, but I'd have to say my favorite age was actually 12. I was not quite an awkward teen. I was still a kid. I had no mortgage, no real responsibilities. I could eat what I want an not gain an ounce. My primary job was to play. A priority in my life was catching reruns of I Love Lucy and Gilligan's Island. My clothes were "vintage" (bough from garage sales and picked out at Goodwill) and I couldn't care less.

7. Pam asked, "If you could have a super power- what would it be? Why?"

I would love to be able to heal people. Cancer, heart disease, stubbed toe . . . you name it. The reason is self-explanatory. Duh, I would be able to make a lot of money. Imagine it . . . reality shows (I could makes sick people challenge each other to determine which one I heal), t-shirts, mugs, cool catchphrases . . .

Oh, yeah, and I might help people hang on to their loved ones just a little longer . . .

8. Tranny Head (formerly Law Student Hot Mama) didn't ask a question. As a matter of fact, she didn't even do the 100 Things About Me. Then again, when you are the Boob Queen, why bother :) Yes, this one counts toward my 100.

9. TV star Kellan asked, "What are your future goals?" Seriously? Really? I have no clue. I mean, it changes on a daily basis. I want to be a doctor, a writer, a world explorer, a children's book illustrator (my stick figures totally ROCK), a hair dresser . . .

But for now, my main goal is to be a good mom. Not a perfect one (she doesn't exist--if she does, I'm going to find her and beat the snot out of her, make her swear, eat lots of junk food, and watch lots of lame reality TV). Really . . . I want J to be SAFE, HEALTHY, and HAPPY. That's it.

10. Pregnantly Plump asked if I had ever misunderstood music lyrics. Um, yeah. ALL THE TIME.

Here's a good one . . . I thought that instead of "What a nice surprise, bring your alibis" from Hotel California, was something along the lines of "When your rabbit dies . . ." I always wondered what was with the rabbits.

I also sing songs when I have no clue what the lyrics are. I just sing "watermelon" when I have nothin'. Otherwise, I just make 'em up. I'm such a joy when it comes to long car rides.

11-21. Oh, Jennifer, I like you. You are an overachiever. I like overachievers. I do. Here are Jennifer's QUESTIONS:

what is your favorite color? BLUE/RED/GREEN--I'm into primary colors.
favorite: food? besides swedish fish. ;) Oh, does she read my posts or what? Let's see, food . . . I am really into fruit. Not because it is healthy, but because it is sweet and I can eat a lot of it (though my bowels sometimes get a little ticked off) and LOOK like I'm health conscious--we all know I'm lazy when it comes to "dieting." And, if we are being honest. I love just about anything fried. I mean, fried veggies is good, isn't it? Oh, and I really do believe you can dip just about anything in A1 and it'll taste fantastic.

car? My 1985 Mustang. It was just an LX, but it made me feel way cooler than I was. It leaked oil, the engine blew, and the manifold caught fire. God, I loved that car.

place to vacation? I like places where there is a lot to see and do. Hubby hates it. Why? For some reason I think it is my duty to visit EVERYTHING. The Smithsonian nearly sent my husband into the hospital with exhaustion. Oh, and don't even make me tell you about Boston.

best memory? My memory stinks for most things. But, I would have to say that one that sticks out (besides the ones with J) is probably ones where I would sit in bed with my three little siblings and make up stories to tell them. It usually ended in a tickle/giggle fest. I loved those moments. I miss those moments.

how you named your son? We were in the produce department at Giant Eagle when we started bouncing names off each other. I threw out names like Zeus, Kilpatrick, Judas, Javier, Winston. Finally, I got what I wanted . . . J is totally named after a hot guy in an 80s teen movie. I so tricked my husband into being OK with the name. He cringes when he hears me tell the story now.

hobby? I like blogging. It is fun and can be a bit addictive. Reading. Writing. Even running. I am also one of those, "Ooh, that looks so cool. I want to try it." So, I go out and buy crochet hooks, charcoal pencils, paints, investing books, jewelry making gems, scrapbooking materials . . . I always try it for awhile. Awhile . . . then my ADD kicks in . . .

nervous tick? I am such a fidgeter. And once I heard that fidgeting can burn calories . . . I headed for the hidden chocolate stores and fidgeted away.

pet peeve? Bad drivers--those who forget there are OTHER cars on the road. People with a sense of entitlement. CD and baby toy packaging. Ridiculous. Know it alls. I need to dedicate an entire post blog to this.

driving habits? I used to be a bit aggressive behind the wheel (I lived in Detroit and Chicago--you sorta had little choice if you wanted to get anywhere). We won't even discuss how many tickets I've had (or how many I've gotten out of). That changed when I moved to an area with NO traffic. And, it has changed again now that I have J. Now I curse drivers for doing exactly what I used to do.

fav movie? So many to list . . . but I'm a sucker for a good comedy. I used to be into HORROR--Exorcist anyone? But life it too short not to laugh. I avoid lame romance flicks--I just can't do it. I'm a blubbering idiot when it comes to sappy love fests (The English Patient, The Notebook . . . ). See my profile for specifics. (I'm listening to the 80s station and they are paying Ollie and Jerry's "Breakin'" song. I so loved that cheesy 80s movie . . . ).

where you got married. I was married in Detroit over a DECADE ago. I swear it feels like yesterday (ugh, I hate talking in cliches). Lutheran church. Little hall with creepy castle wall coverings. Big dress and long veil (things you'll do to make mom happy--I'm like 5'3" so I looked like a little girl playing dress up). M&M favors. Awesome dessert table (that I never got a chance to sample!). Great mid-90s music. Standard dinner fare of pasta and "meat". Dress ripped as hubs carried me over the threshold of sketchy hotel. We had to use our toes to plug the jet in the whirlpool tub to get it to work. What a glorious night . . .

22. Just Jamie asked, "
What is your proudest parenting moment (so far)?"

I would have to say it happened this past weekend. J got his first cold/flu/bug of some sort and was feeling horrible. I let EVERYTHING go. I just held him. Cared for him. Focused completely on him. Absolutely nothing else mattered. I think it is those moments when I am intently focused on him of which I am most proud. I wonder how he feels, what he thinks, what he will be . . . from his smiles to him sitting up to him babbling to him crawling and now standing. I just relish in it all.

23. Lori asked, "
What is your least favorite chore around the house?"

Oddly enough, I like chores. Sort of. I like PARTS of them . . . like loading the dishwasher, but not emptying it. I like putting clothes in the washer and dryer, but hate taking them out, folding them, and putting them away (my husband's sock drawer gives me the shakes). I like vacuuming, but hate wrapping it up and putting it away. I'm selectively lazy . . .

24. Beth from the Funny Farm asked, "What one thing would you change about yourself?" Only ONE? Oh, boy. How about ONE sentence?

I wish I could stick to one thing and be happy with it, I wish I had a better sense of style, better hair, clearer skin, cuter feet, a quicker wit (mine is like 10 clicks or so behind), a longer attention span (mind is waning terribly right now), more height (saves me from looking like a Weeble Wobble when I gain weight), was a better multi-taskter, had a way with numbers, less hair on my arms (I am so NOT shaving them), my OCD (though sometimes it works for me), my penchant for AI (though now I am into So You Think You Can Dance--I'm so NOT blogging about it . . . ), my addiction to sugar, my obsession with the ellipses and exclamation point . . . ! But other than that, I'm totally OK with myself. ;)

25. Erin asked, "who do u think should be president and why?"

"Approximately 300 million people seek an individual that is able to put aside his/her political leanings, personal gains, selfish desires and focus on fixing a broken economy, creating/finding jobs for every American who WANTS one and is willing to work for one, ensure each child (at the very least) has access to quality health care, knows BS when he/she sees it and isn't afraid to call ANYONE out on it, truly has the best interests of the American people at heart, is able to facilitate productive discussions that lead to real solutions with people from any party, any country, any walk of life. Finally, has the ability to use common sense, be honest, and be real." That person should be president. But, since we don't live in fantasy land . . .

Ugh. That's all my tiny brain will allow me to do in one sitting. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I love to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, epples and benenes, ipples and bininis, opples and bononos, upples and bununus . . .

and anything else that I can get my hands on.

And apparently . . .

so does my mama.
This is what I meant by eating way too much over this past weekend. My BFF and I shared. I swear!.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have been MIA in Michigan the last several days. We were scheduled to return on Sunday, but illness (poor hubby), teething (poor baby), and major overeating ("poor" mommy), have us staying a couple extra days.

My hope is that you are all out there enjoying the wonderful weather (if you are getting it!) and your families. We are all recovering. Though, that "Memorial Day" cake is lookin' pretty good . . . when will I learn?

I'll be back soon!!! I can't wait to hear what you've all been up to! Please take care . . .

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ode to Fluffy

I remember the day I first met him (or at least I remember as much as a five-year-old can--the rest I fill in with my imagination). He was a bean bag mutt. He was not all that different than the piles upon piles of critters that occupied my bed, my bedroom floor, my closet. He didn't move. Didn't make noise. Wasn't particularly soft. Wasn't expensive. He didn't look all that cool. He was just a mutt.

Maybe I got him.

Maybe I related.

Maybe I knew what it was like to not quite fit in. Even at the age of five.

He became my buddy mutt. My constant companion. My best friend. I snuggled with him in my bed. I cried tears into his fur when I was hurt. I talked to him about my day. He loved me. I loved him. If I lost him, my world came crashing down. Everyone suffered until he was found.

My Fluffy. A name that certainly did not fit, but he was mine. And it was his name. No one dared to argue. I was five. You don't argue with a five-year-old.

I was 13. I still remember the day. Fluffy had his spot at the foot of my bed. He sat there every day for eight years (unless he was in a backpack, suitcase, or of course, in my arms). No one made fun of the thirteen-year-old girl with the stuffed puppy dog. Everyone knew better.

Except on this day. My mother was angry. She was steaming. Boiling over. I'm certain that in the midst of my teenage angst I said or did something to cause her to flip out. Between screams and yells, door slams and threats, Fluffy got caught in the crossfire. As a last ditch effort to get through to me, my mother grabbed Fluffy and in only a moment ripped him in half. In half.

Little beads went flying. I fell to the floor and began frantically gathering up the tiny parts of Fluffy. With tears streaming down my face I looked up to see my mother holding what was left of Fluffy in her hands. In an instant she was on the floor, desperately trying to undo what she had just done.

My mom and I made up (tearing apart my nearly life long companion had my mother surprisingly seeing things my way). But Fluffy, sadly, had a very long recovery. I stuffed what beads I found into his limp little body. I took a needle and thread and stitched him up. His legs never quite matched up. The stitches stretched along the side of his little torso and up the side of his head and down to his snout. He looked like Dr. Frankenstein's puppy. Over the next several years the paint on the eyes started to scratch off (until I took a Sharpie to them) and his fur became more and more matted (probably from my tears and Lord only knows the germs that accumulated on that poor thing). I attached an old angel pin when one of the stitches broke open--it has been there ever since. No matter what, I never gave him up. Never. He now resides in the cushy drawer next to my bed--yes, he has a little puppy bed in the drawer (an old receiving blanket). I don't pull him out often. But there are days that I need to . . .

Over the years my mom tried to replace fluffy. She bought me countless upgrades. Some were bigger, fluffier, cooler, cuter . . . but none of them was Fluffy.
The original is in the lower right-hand corner. You can see the stitches on the right, near his ear.

The stitches . . .

The angel pin.

Fluffy isn't so fluffy anymore.

I never thought I'd see this day . . . Fluffy has a new friend.
Fluffy's thinking, "Man, I hope this kid doesn't try to eat me."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

(Not so) Wordless Wednesday

It was a bittersweet moment, but I was excited nonetheless. J crawling. J standing. How amazing. How cool that he could explore the world . . . and change my life forever with such a seemingly simple knee/leg/arm movement. But it has . . .

I've been away from the computer (except for that late night Idol post) for the last few days. J is perfecting crawling and has decided to find anything and everything he can to climb. I can't look away for a moment. I've missed you . . . I'll be back when J goes off to college soon.

Until then . . . here's what has been going on (I have only the time it takes for J to devour a Mum Mum cracker to write this, so bear with me).

The rare moment he isn't moving. Oh, peaceful floor play. How I miss thee . . .

LOVES this toy. LOVES it. But, you can't turn away for even a second.

I couldn't resist. And, once I put him in (I know, bad idea), he didn't really want out.

Eeek. He's almost done with the cracker . . . must hurry.

This is from our adventure to the Columbus Zoo on Monday. The boy in the picture (his silhouette) is my friend's son. Both of her boys are so adorable and watching them was like watching J at two and four years old! WOW! Their momma amazes me . . .

See how this momma is RIGHT behind her baby? Well, that's like me and J. Constant attention. Oh, momma, I feel ya. Cracker is devoured. Must go . . .

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I am not a thief . . . not on purpose anyway

Today T (the husband) and I met at the local Kroger so he could give me some cash to pump some gas. He filled the tank. We chatted. He decided to come along with J and me to the store. We hopped in my car and took off. We hit Walmart (I hate Walmart, especially on FRIDAYS!) and Toys R Us (we need to baby proof and were looking for supplies--yes I did end up with two toys that I argued would be distractions thus they would keep baby safe.). We were in the car headed back to get T's car and he suddenly shouts, "I never paid for the gas!" I was in disbelief. WHAT?

We sat in a stony silence. I swear I was holding my breath. OMG. My husband is going to jail and I'll be left to raise little J all on my own. We'll have to move closer to the prison so that J can have a relationship with his father. I quit my job! What will we do for money? This will be in all the papers! The little old ladies at church will hold fundraisers to buy diapers and clothes for J. They'll bring by pot roast and pie to help keep my spirits up. The thoughts kept piling up.

We fully expected the squad cars to be there . . . waiting. I kept looking for any police car--surely they already have an APB out for us. I mean, we're fugitives, right? I see the Kroger sign and I swear my heart stops . . .

Nothing. No cars. "They are probably undercover, waiting to pounce on you," I announced. I wasn't very helpful.

He jumps out of the car (I swear it was still moving) and rushes over to the attendant. My eyes dart around looking for the cops that I am sure are about to descend on T. I spot an old lady. Nope. Probably not her. I see a young couple. Nope, probably not them either. A little kid hanging on to his mom's coat. Can't be him.

I see T chatting it up with the attendant. Blah, blah, blah . . . bring out the cuffs already.

But there are no cuffs. There are no cops. There are no sirens. T comes back to the car with a big dorky smile planted on his formerly pasty white face. "He didn't call it in. He figured I'd be back. I mean, my car is right there." What? Are they kidding me? I mean, this guy pumped gas (nearly $70 worth) and they were going to let him go!?! What about the rest of us schmucks who plunk down our hard earned cash for just a few gallons? We were gone for well over an hour! How long was the guy gonna wait--a week?

Not one cop. Nothing. Is it bad that I was just a little disappointed?

note: we live in a small town. I swear if we were back in Chicago or Detroit, we never would have made it out of the parking lot . . .

Maybe once J starts walking, we can train him to do this . . .

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Baby boy . . .

your smile . . . thrills my soul.

I'm a mush . . . forgive me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Bunch of Stuff

What happens when you little baby decides to grow up?

First, J decides to crawl. Awe. So cute. This crawling thing. He started out scoot crawling, then went to a reluctant cross crawl. Now, in a mere 48 hours he is Speed Racer (crawling is so overrated--especially when you have yet to fully baby proof). Toys are now barricades. Or, they were. Until he decided that not only would he crawl. He would CLIMB. Over EVERYTHING. Me. Toys. Imaginary playmates. Me. As if that weren't enough. J decided to stand. STAND. OK, Law Student Hot Mama, I may count my blessings that he isn't walking like Sumo Baby . . . but, I am still ILL PREPARED. He was my cute little lump only a few weeks ago!!! Good grief! (Do NOT say he will be walking in no time. I love living in the land of denial).

What's worse?

He figured out to stand on his own in his crib (video will follow soon, not because you have no idea what I am talking about but so you experienced moms can LYBO at what I am about to endure--I'm too lazy to upload right now). Anyway, this wasn't the worst part actually. Crawling, Climbing, Standing Baby Boy J's mom decides to make use of her receiving blankets and tie them to the crib, fashioning a sort of bumper. So incredibly classy of me (he still ended up with a little bump or two . . . ).

I've officially lost it . . . wait until you see what I've done to this crib today . . . video to follow.

J decides that rather than sleeping he would prefer to practice his new skills . . . ALL DAY LONG. No naps. None. Not one. In TWO days. I figure this kid just wants to make my life a little more interesting.

Tonight was the banquet (Nice time, good food. I got a little teary. Big surprise there--I'll give more details soon . . . ). T took J to the bowling alley since we were without babysitter. J was a star and according to T he had a gaggle of bowling chicks fawning over him. Which resulted in a major snooze fest when they returned home.

I'm gonna watch Idol now and my anal retentive self will still end up doing my review. So, you die hard Idolists better read it . . .

*Pistons won. Wings tomorrow. Woo hoo!!! Do I smell a Wings/Pens match up??? Could be . . .

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Being a Mom

Today is my very first Mother's Day as a mom. I'm not often burdened with emotion, but ever since I became a mom it seems that I am on the emotional Tour de France (another side effect is my desire to write poetry full of rainbows and unicorns, or something equally mushy and cheesy). I blame my hormones, but I know that what has really happened has more to do with that little being that sleeps in the room right next to me (and sometimes he sleeps right next to me). He's changed my world. J is now nine months and one day. Yesterday, he crawled across the room, from daddy to mommy, for the very first time.

I wish you all a very happy Mother's Day.

I remember the day I gave birth to you.
Only nine months ago one became two.

Your sweet little smile and sparkling eyes,
And a personality that took me by surprise.

I held your hands and played with your toes.
I marveled at your belly, your knees, and your nose.

A day, a week, a month passed so fast,
Those peaceful days sure didn’t last.

You started with an ohh, a baa, a coo,
You wiggled, you squirmed, and let out a goo!

You rolled one way and then the other,
You grabbed one toy and then another.

More time passed and you learned to play,
We sang, we danced, and read all day.

One day you pushed out of my lap,
You turned, you reached and then you sat!

And I found in time you loved to eat,
Sweet potatoes, pears, and even your feet!

With each little change there is something I know,
Each passing moment means that you’ll grow.

For now I’ll be right there; you’ll never be alone.
But the day will come when you’ll be on your own.

Today it happened, you crawled away from me.
Your little legs went so fast I could barely see.

Tears came from out of nowhere as you crawled away,
You turned and looked at me as if to say,

“Don’t worry mom, I still need hugs and kisses from you.”
“Yes, little baby boy, momma needs them too.”

I know this is how it is supposed to be,
To give you love and then to set you free.

But, for right now you’re my little man,
And I’ll hold you tightly for as long as I can.

*This was taken a couple days ago when J managed to crawl BACKWARDS and lodge himself under his Pack 'n Play. This is his steely look of determination. Yesterday he figured it all out. Now, he wants to walk . . . (his momma thinks she'll just have to put a stop to that right now).

Friday, May 9, 2008

100 Posts . . . oh, boy.

Technically, this is BLOG FREE FRIDAY (THE get-out-and-enjoy-the- day-and-don't-even- think-about-a-computer DAY--at least it will be from now on). BUT, I used that new blogger feature to SCHEDULE posts for a later date. It is actually THURSDAY when I am typing this. What a great idea . . . MOVING ON.

I remember when I made my first blog post, some 100 posts ago. Since that time I've written about J, being a new mom, politics, American Idol, family, my sordid past, and my obsession with Swedish Fish. Blogging has been fun. It has been therapeutic. It has been inspiring (that came from reading YOUR blogs!).

So, now is the time I should write my 100 Things About Me. Although I have the attention span of a flea in a dog pound, I will try to do this. But, I'll have to do it bit by bit.

Can you help me?

I need some questions. Other bloggers have done this before, so I'm fairly certain you know the drill. What do you want to know about me? Or, if you aren't all that curious, what do you think other people would want to know about me?

Hopefully your inquisitive natures will provide me with enough inspiration to get me to 100 things about me.

The ABOUT ME part is a little overwhelming. Talking about myself, poking fun at myself here and there is OK. But, much more than that and my personal motto of "thriving in anonymity" goes out the window. BUT, I'm going ahead with it because in a way, I think it would be pretty cool to see 100 things in virtual print. And, since I'm asking you for help, it won't get a list of 100 foods I like to eat.

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Somewhat Wordy Wednesday

Do you remember this post about My First Crush? You know, the one about the Italian Stallion and my prom? Remember how I told you I MIGHT post a picture of us? Well, we were doing some spring cleaning and guess what I came across? Yup. Here it is . . .
OK. Not the one you were hoping for? Well, I wanted to elicit some sympathy from you, so I thought I would show you the unsuspecting and innocent three-year-old I once was. This little girl would one day develop a crush on a boy and then fulfill all her dreams and take him to her prom. And if you read about My First Crush, you'd know just how *insert sarcasm here* terrific that turned out.

I had to protect the not so innocent . . . He is even wearing white shoes. I don't know if you can tell, but he is POSING. Look at the slight flex of his left arm. Ugh. By the way, I don't want to hear a word about the gloves, the hair or the dress . . . it was a prom from the 90s for goodness sakes!

I have a challenge for you. It is prom season. And you know, if I could have the guts to post my prom pictures, then you can too! So, let's do it. Drag out those old photos, scan 'em in, and POST THEM. Let's all have a laugh at each other's expense celebrate a major milestone of our high school careers.

Monday, May 5, 2008

You're The Inspiration

Last week I received a call from one of the teachers at school. I thought maybe she was calling to express her extreme sadness over my decision to remain home with J. Or, maybe she had some juicy gossip to share (it runs rampart in my old stomping grounds). Nope on both accounts.

She called to tell me that a student had chosen to honor me at a banquet later this month. I inspired this student. The student looked up to me. I made a difference in his/her life. Wow.

I haven't been in the classroom in nearly a year.

I thought "out of sight, out of mind." Apparently not.

I don't know who the student is. They like it to be a surprise.

I started thinking about last year, the last year I taught. What could I have done to inspire this student so much that he/she chose me?

Let's see . . .

I made them write. A lot. And read. A lot. I'm an English teacher so it sorta goes along with the territory.

I listened to their stories. I told them some of mine.

I asked about their lives. I asked them about their plans for the future.

I went to their games. I attended some of their concerts. I showed up at their work (not knowing they would be there). I was around . . .

I told them they could be whatever they wanted to be . . . as long as they were willing to work hard, believe in themselves, and be true to who they are.

Respect. I told them to give it and to earn it. It is a rare commodity . . .

We laughed. They laughed at me, their roly poly little English teacher who at times could barely keep her eyes open or food out of her mouth. They were there the first time little J decided to make his presence known. They were in awe. So was I. We shared a moment.

I remember saying, "I really want you to do well." A student replied, "You actually mean that, don't you." Yes . . . I do.

I am flattered. I am humbled. I am continually amazed that I could do this . . . make a difference.
That means they were listening. They were watching. Watching and listening . . . oh, my.

Now with J I think about all I do. What I say. How I act. We've already discussed how I won't be perfect. It just won't happen. It wouldn't be any fun anyhow.

That means he'll watch me when I cook and clean. Or when I don't. He'll listen to my stories of first loves and my youthful misadventures. He'll see me make a fool of myself (he can add that to the times I've already made a fool of myself). He'll stare at me when I clearly don't have a clue. He'll see that I am uncoordinated and clumsy. He'll know I can be a slob. He'll laugh when he watches me lose my keys for the bazillionth time. He'll clearly gaze disapprovingly at my fashion sense, taste in books/movies/music. He'll NOT laugh at my super corny jokes (that are seriously much funnier when I remember how they actually went).

Look up to me? Be inspired by me? Me, make a difference?

Poor J . . . he doesn't have a chance.

Or maybe, just maybe . . . he does.

* * * * * *
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For all you who are or will one day be the "inspiration"--I dedicate this to you. We are SOOO in trouble . . .

An 80s tune. You knew it was coming.

*My 100th post is coming up. Really? Shouldn't we just count the non-craptastic posts? That would be . . . like 3. Yes. I meant to make this announcement really, really tiny. Maybe you won't notice it. Do you? Then you have really good vision 'cause I can barely see it and I'm typing it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Just a Mom?

What a beautiful day today. Gorgeous. J and I spent the better part of the afternoon in the park. While we made our laps around the pond, I decided to take a chance and call one of my best friends (we'll call her Ms. May . . . it is MAY after all). We try to talk as often as possible, but with her two little ones and my one, it is a challenge. You see, if we could talk for a quick five minutes, we would. BUT, that is impossible. Oddly enough, neither of us is one for talking on the phone that much. But, put the two of us together and it is near impossible to tear us apart . . .

In between the street sweeper, wind gusts, and motorcycles, Ms. May and I had one of our typical thought-provoking and riveting conversations (seriously, we could talk about the variety of generic cereals or the fact that NKOTB is making a comeback and it would be thought provoking--to us anyway). One of our topics was this whole idea of mommyhood. Oh, I hear your groans. Dear Lord, it is a mommy blog and she actually wants to dedicate a post to this?!?! Yes, yes I do. For good reason.

I'm still sorta new to this whole mom thing.

We talked about the perfect mother. You know who she is. Her children are the center of her universe. Her world revolves around them and everything they do. Everything she does focuses on being a mom. She's the one who leads mom clubs, organizes school activities, schedules the best play dates, plans the most awesome parties, makes the most healthful and creative snacks/treats, bakes and cooks from SCRATCH, wears "cool" mom clothes, her hair is always perfectly coiffed, and she is always, always full of energy! She is EXHAUSTING. Besides, we all know that NOTHING is as perfect as it seems. I have no doubt that she struggles as well.

I never had actual aspirations to be the PERFECT mother. That simply was not going to happen--and I'm OK with that. I just wanted to be a good mom. BUT, alas, the pressure to be the perfect mom, the cool mom, the mom who has it all together is ever present, even when we don't want to admit it. Heck, have you ever paged through some of those baby or parenting magazines? Sometimes it looks like the models in Vogue got pregnant and jumped onto the pages of American Baby or Parents. Yikes!

There's got to be a balance, right? This was the heart of our conversation . . . so many women define themselves as a mom. I know that I do, to some degree. But many define themselves as only a mom. Just a mom. That being said, it is easy to understand the pressure to do it PERFECTLY when that is ALL you believe you are. At least in your eyes.

Ms. May and I discussed how vital it is for a mom to have something along with her identity as mommy. Something that shows her creativity, her intelligence, her confidence, her tenacity in a different light. (A quick conversation flashback. When we first got on the phone we talked about our passions. What drives us. What motivates us. It was kinda fun to think about what we want to be when we grow up--even if we are in our 30s.) We both agreed that when the day comes we would love for our children to not only feel that we were the best (not necessarily perfect) moms we could be, but that we were also the best people we could be.

I want J to appreciate his momma's love for literature and the power of words. I want him to see that I took pride in my health (hopefully he'll forget seeing me dip a spoon into the Betty Crocker butter cream frosting and will only remember me jogging in the park--but if not, no biggie.). I want him to appreciate my sense of humor (even though he'll be sure to remember my corny knock knock jokes he'll never forget my awesome ability to mimic farm animals). I want him to know the little girl and young woman I was before he arrived. I want him to be proud of me for following my dreams and accomplishing my goals.

So, I don't know if I'll be leading any mom's groups. And, I tell ya, Goldfish crackers and Fruit Roll Ups are perfectly fine snacks. I will try to get it together more often than not, but some days, I WILL spend the better part of my day in my PJs (like on rainy ones where snuggling is much more preferred than going anywhere!). We may not have huge parties with clowns, celebrities, and fireworks (we'll opt for pizza and s'mores and scary stories in the tent out back), I won't be the perfect mom. Perfection is overrated anyway. But I hope I'll be the "perfect" mom for J.

I want him to know he is the center of my universe. A universe where you can be anything you want to be. And that means mommy, too.

A few moments from today . . .

Right now, our little universe is a pretty cool place to be . . .

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