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Showing posts from June, 2014

Confessions of a Horrible Summertime Mother

Most people wouldn't classify me as a terrible summertime mom. I mean, I've already shared with my readers the color-coded calendar I hold in such high esteem. I'm very good at finding activities for my children to participate in during the hot summer months. It's the downtime I have trouble with. 

That, my friends, is what makes me a terrible summertime mom. 

I work. Which means that my time with my kids is relegated to anytime during the week after 1 and before 8 or 9 p.m. (preferably 8). That's usually when my kids want to go to wet places like the pool or the splash pad or the lake. 

Now, I do love summer. Really. I grew up frolicking lakeside with my cousins, skiing, wake boarding and living in my swimsuit. It never bothered me that my diet consisted mainly of Rainbow white bread and bologna. In fact, at 10 years old, I liked it that way. I don't remember a lot of adults hovering around. Heck, I don't think I ever wore floaties or a life jacket. My family…

I Don't Want a Girl: 5 Reasons Having Only Boys Is Awesome

When my husband and I were awaiting the ultrasound for our second pregnancy, I was, as most moms, excited. I couldn't wait to tell everyone I was having a girl! I even wore pink that day to commemorate, what I assumed would be, the outcome.

I grew up a girly girl. My mother entered me in my first pageant at age 4, and I continued on through the Miss America system until I aged out at 25. So, my life was pretty much make up, high heels, glittery dresses and spotlights from the time I could walk a straight line. I couldn't wait to doll up my little girl with frilly things and pretty bows. I was so ready for that!

What I wasn't ready for, however, was the bitter disappointment I felt when I was told we were having boy number two. My spirits plunged. I had the ultrasound tech check again. Yep, she said. She was certain. I smiled, of course, thankful that our baby was healthy and that we were blessed by another little person to raise. But I couldn't shake the disappointment. …

TransFOURmers: Four Decades of Lessons Learned

This week marks my 38th birthday. How can this be possible? I mean, I remember knocking on 18 thinking I was old. Now, 40 is breathing down my neck, and I still feel like I'm, well, 18. Except a little creakier, a little fluffier and, I hope at least, a little wiser with wear.

As with most birthdays, I've become a little reflective this week. You know, pondering things like,"What have I accomplished?", "What have I done?", "Where is my future headed?" In these times of thoughtfulness, I realize that each decade has brought its own transforming moment. And with those moments have come certain lessons that, I hope, I'm passing on to my children.

My Youth: 

My childhood was one of, let's just say, transition. Mom and Dad divorced. He pretty much disappeared from our lives, and then remarried quickly thereafter. I plunged into an uncontrollable depression at age 7, where I couldn't stop crying. Mom tried everything from counseling to bribe…

Motherhood and the F Word

My 10-year-old son took one bite of the dinner I had slaved over (okay, so maybe not slaved so much as threw together at the last minute), before leaning over and whispering in a not-so-quiet voice, "Mommy, no offense, but Grandy's a much better cook than you." That's when I lost my appetite.

Now, I'm not usually so easily offended by my kids. I get that they are kids. They don't take into account the hundreds upon thousands of times I've made their lunches, dinners and breakfasts. In their minds, dinner magically appears with a wave of my hand. They don't hear the inner groan whenever I think about menu planning, or understand the effort it takes just to muster the energy after a long day of meetings, tasks and deadlines to pull together our little family meals.

I get that he's 10. His world is very small and protected, thank goodness. But on this particular day, my emotions were just raw enough (and perhaps my meds were just unbalanced enough) f…

The Beauty of Nothingness: The A, B, Cs of a Sunny Summer Outlook

Do you see that picture? That's my kids' summer schedule, and it's a thing of beauty. All those color-coded, scheduled events read like a Monet painting to my eyes. But I've sort of always been that way. I like structure and schedules, knowing what's coming next, and having plans B and C ready to go in case (heaven forbid) my original plan gets shredded.

But while I really like to have something set for every minute of the day, I know it can be trying on my kiddos. So, I made a radical (for me) decision for this summer. I decided to schedule weeks of nothingness amid the camps and trips.

Now, let me explain why this is a big deal for me. And by big, I mean HUGE. When I first met my husband, I was about as rigid as you could get. I liked to be spontaneous, as long as it was carefully planned out. And sitting down for a "quiet moment" was not among my favorite things. I felt antsy, like I needed to be doing something more ... productive. My husband, Dan, o…