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A Love Letter To My Tribe

What I’m loving right now…my tribe of moms.  This blog post would have been more timely a few weeks ago around Mother’s Day, but this topic really spoke to me last night as I was …

Source: A Love Letter To My Tribe

Who Pooped In The Tub ?

Monday is bath night for our girls.

Bath nights are every other night and the kids get their hair washed, body scrubbed and are allowed to play with the obligatory toys cluttering my once pristine bathtub.  The whole process takes about 20-40 minutes depending on who is in charge.  Dad is infinitely quicker but his attention to detail does not compare with mom 😉 .

It’s easy right?

Some nights Mike and I choose to make the girls their dinner first then eat after they are in bed.  We are at our limit of Mac n Cheese and Turkey Dogs(never thought it would happen).  Plus not shovelling food in and having a conversation is a nice break from the chaos of full family dinner. Mike was planning to BBQ spicy sausage mixed with Caribbean Rice – Delish! Neither kiddo would be impressed so we went with the “kids before parent’s plan.”

They ate their turkey dogs. Drank their applesauce pouch. Sipped Chocolate milk. Refused veggies.  Bath Time!

What could go wrong? After all we are pros at our nightly ritual.

Mike and I put the girls in the bathtub and launched into auto pilot.  Both little people are clean and Mike pulls out Michaela (our 1.5 year old) and gets her ready for bed.  While lotioning Michaela, Bailey(4.5 year old) starts screaming. “There is POOOOOOP in the tub! Mom?!! Come quick there is poop in the tub!!!”

There is a large deuce floating in the tub. A colon cobra slithering in the sudsy jungle.  One ominous brown floater sashaying its way through the bubbles and toys.  It was chasing Bailey. I was sure of it.  She squealed and bounded out of the bathtub.

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I have heard of this. I know it happens. I just didn’t think it would happen to us.  On house keeper day. My freaking bathtub is finally clean and there is a sphincter spear hovering.

Dry Vomit first.

Then move to success driven execution. Both girls are hustled to the shower.  We repeat cleaning measures. Actually we doubled up on cleaning measures.

Then the bathtub. There are bubbles everywhere.  I have to push bubbles aside to find the turd and scoop it out with a bag. Then I bleached. And bleached.  What about the bath toys? Are they safe?  My germ paranoia was sliding off the Richter scale and visions of poop contamination were taking over.

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Just when my crazy thought train was chugging out of control Bailey interrupted my thoughts.

“Guys, I can’t believe Lucy or Elway thought my bathtub was the toilet! Bad Puppies!”

Bailey actually believed one of our dogs pooped in her bathtub(Logistics?).  I can’t handle it. I laugh until I snort. There is no way we will ever tell her that her sister pooped while in the bath with her.  Bailey was so annoyed the dogs got confused and pooped in HER bathtub.  If she knew it was Michaela….. well I just don’t know how that would go.

The bathtub is disinfected. The kids are clean. The dogs have been reprimanded in front of Bailey(and given cookies for not telling after she went to bed).

Just another Monday.

UPDATE…. Tuesday, 7:45am

As I was proofing this to post Bailey interrupted me.

“Mom next time it is bath night can I just take a shower?”

Fainting Couch STAT

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I haven’t written lately because I have just been SO busy.

I work Full Time. Tend to two children. One husband. Two Dogs.  Hundreds of models. 5 States worth of event staff. Girlfriends.  Family. Charitable causes. Attempted work out regime.

My kids have been sick so I haven’t slept much.  My dog gashed open his head.  Traveling for family obligations has been stressful.  My friends are pregnant/engaged/divorcing/partying/depressed. I am exhausted and stressed and being pulled in every direction.

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

If you do. Don’t.

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I decided to write on an area of abuse I see running rampant in many places of my life (sometimes mine).  It is one of the few common personality traits that knows no ethnicity, religion or gender.  It does not exclude any age, occupation or socioeconomic class.  In fact this affliction may be the most contagious disease I have seen of late (Except for diseases once abolished. Thanks anti-vaxxers).

The “disease” goes by a few terms:

Victimhood.  Playing the Victim.  Self Victimization. Victim  Playing.  (Cousins with Martyrdom)

Definition: fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulateothers, a coping strategy or attention seeking.

Playing the Victim is useful.  It works in most situations.  You can use it to win a fight.  Elicit sympathy.  Gain praise.

I would be lying if I said I haven’t played the victim before.  It is usually to throw someone off in a fight (I have married an attorney but my dad always assumed I would be one) or to get out of something I don’t want to do.  I think everyone should get a few free victim cards per year.

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I am not speaking of the occasional overwhelmed feeling of a person needing a moment of praise.  Heck we all need some snaps every once in a while!

IMAG4976_3(My snaps cup of praise given to me by my fabulous friends)

 This blog is geared to the perpetual victim.

The card toting year around victim who literally feeds off the attention and praise devoted to their plight.  You can find the greatest offenders of victimhood in various arenas.  These are just a few I have seen this week:

1. The Social Media Abuser – Facebook, Twitter, Victims.com (OK I made that up).  Good Lord the victims use social media as a personal soap box for their need for affirmation.  These offenders post weekly but most often daily.  They share inspirational quotes about how they are wonderful in a passive aggressive way.

They write about being stressed. Over worked. Over tired. Can’t sleep. Trying the best they can as a (insert lifestyle). The posts literally BEG you to say, “You are AMAZING”, “Keep your head up!”, “You deserve the best!”, “It will get better”, “We are in AWE of how awesome you are!”… you get the picture….

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I should preface.. the Social Media Abuser probably falls into the following categories as well….

2. The Over Achiever- We all know this person.  This victim is cloaked in a shiny coat and often not categorized as a couch fainter.  This person pushes to be the lead in everything.  The class President. Head of the Pismo Beach Disaster Fundraiser. Cheer President.  The Soccer Mom, Carpool director, Team Captain- All in one week.  The over achiever is the individual others are immediately drawn to because they appear to “have it together”.  Months or perhaps years pass before one realizes the praise of being an “overachiever” is the Heroin of choice for this person. Keep praising or this hidden victim will crumble.  This person does not take on one or two areas.  They demand to be in charge of everything.  They headbutt their way to the top then wait for the praise to flow.

3. The Public figure- UGH probably the most offensive to me.  If I read another celebrity complaining about their public comments being taken wrong…. Some celebrities love to talk about how hard it is to be rich and famous.  The horrible problems they deal with and how we should pity and celebrate them.

4. The Plight I Overcamer- “Overcamer” is not actually a word but you know who I am talking about.  The person who overcame the horrible (insert situation) and is reformed… but not really.  They remind us of their past plights constantly, passively begging for us to praise them over and over and over and… well you get the picture.  They want applause for becoming better. Unfortunately they haven’t actually overcame anything because they compulsively seek adoration. Daily.

5. The Never Follow Througher- Again… I might be making a new word but this person tells everyone constantly how they are starting (insert plan).  It never actually happens but we are supposed to praise them for their thoughts toward awesome.  The “never follow througher” is the quintessential beacon of hope wrapped in a soft victim blanket.  They are letting us know they have been through EVERYTHING but are still willing to (insert-go to school, run a marathon, build a boat, become vegan, get a medal, host a speech, break up with bad person, start a freaking revolution). Obviously they never actually complete their goal(or come close) but as a victim encourage others to say YAY!! Way to go!! We never see any results because the ego is fed until the next proclamation.

It is fine to play the victim every once in a while.  We all need a dose of confidence to remind us we are amazing. Capable. Phenomenal. Awe worthy.  However, is this your crutch? Is being a victim your go to? Do you beg for affirmation regularly?

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Maybe I am crazy but why not ask for praise when you need it? Or better yet why not count one’s own blessings?

This past weekend I was in my home town and blessed to see my oldest and most dear friend Rachel.  She is the same age as I am. She has 4 children and is divorced.  As soon as she arrived to meet me her first question was, “How are you?? You have so much going on I need to hear everything”.  I rambled for an hour.  When I inquired about her and her family she shrugged it off.  She mentioned she had been a bit frustrated getting the kids out in the morning but otherwise life was great.  She doesn’t have time for Facebook or social media.  She doesn’t complain or bitch.  She is AMAZING.  If she had a fainting couch I would buy her pillows.  But she never will.  She’s not a victim.

Yet another of my best friend’s volunteers with children.  She devotes her time (quietly) to provide positive opportunities for those in need.  The stories she has told me of visiting orphanages in Mexico and being a “big sister” to two special kids…. hopefully she will guest blog- Unicorn you know who you are…

Remember when this video went viral?

The people who have the most tend to need more.  Those who could actually BE A VICTIM choose different.  Some of the most confident individuals I have met are those with little to nothing.  More important people who actually need our support don’t publicize it.  At what point does the need for praise and affirmation become an actual addiction?

 

 

 

My Ass Is In Your Spot

Last night I went to bed with a plan.  To be honest I go to bed every night with a plan.  Most mornings it gets derailed before 8am.  But a girl’s gotta have a goal right?

My plan was to get Bailey to preschool early, visit with her teacher and drop off the 45 baby food jars I had washed the night before (for art projects).  Next I would get my errands done and get home in time to get my work done and laundry folded before 1pm pickup.  Easy peasy right?? Wrong.

My morning started out late and before I knew it I was wrapped up in a work project needing to go out before leaving the house.  At 8:15 I was still in pajamas, Bailey was not fed or dressed and baby Michaela had a full diaper. UGH.  Our sweet nanny Summer knows every morning is an adventure.  Some mornings she shows up to a clean house and dressed and fed kids with backpack and lunchbox packed.  Today was not that day. Instead she came through the door with me shouting, “Watch out I am tossing Bailey’s clothes downstairs”…”Also can you please put away all the food on the counter?”… “Michaela pooped can you deal with that??”…”I need to leave in 8 minutes”….

By the time I pulled into the parking lot it was 9:05am (School starts at 9) and I screeched into the first open parking spot  I could find.  I jumped out opened Bailey’s door and glanced down at the pavement.

Half of my car was in the parking space next to me.  BALLS.

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I had inadvertently double parked.  I knew I would need to fix the car even though I was running late.  But before I could get back in the driver side I saw the owner of the car through the windows.  She realized she couldn’t open her door (Because my entire car ass was in her spot) and had turned around.  I was trying to get her attention waving through my windows but they are dark tinted(illegal tint-I know, I am hardcore) so she couldn’t see me.  Next thing I know she is jumping in her passenger  seat and climbing over her seats to get to her driver’s seat.  I was mortified.

When she backs out I walk to the back of my car to get her attention bracing myself for the daggers she would certainly fling. I was envisioning a shaking head.. utter disdain.. annoyance…

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 Instead she sees me, smiles and waves! WHAT?? She rolls down her window since I am flailing around like an Idiot and I immediately start stumbling over myself,” I am SO SO sorry about my horrible parking…. I was just getting back in my car to fix it…. I was running so late I wasn’t paying attention….I can’t believe you climbed over your seats… ” you get the idea.  This adorable mom just laughs and explains it happens to her all the time and her garage is so tiny she is used to climbing in any door that has the most space.  Then she tells me to have a great day and drives away.

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O.M.G.  How cool is that?? How many of you would have had a smile on your face if someone parked in your spot and you had to climb through your car? She didn’t know I was on the other side about to amend my wretched parking.  She wasn’t annoyed or snarky.  She was wonderful.

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Her kindness inspired my day and reminded me for all the negative stories and poor human behavior kindness is still alive and well.  Patience and assuming the best in others is still thriving.  It really tickled me.

Remember the next time someone double parks or cuts in front of you they might not be a horrible person.  They could be just running late or distracted.  They could be shuffling and multitasking and their morning plan might not be panning out.  Let’s try to be kind to one another and assume the best.. not the worst.

XO Mari

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Unresolved Resolutions?

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Happy New Year!!

Did you make resolutions??

Making New Years Resolutions has always been a great way for me to ready myself for January.  I would write them, print … sometimes even laminate and bedazzle my goals to make me fabulous everywhere.  The bathroom mirror, sun visor in my car, the refrigerator.. you get the idea.

My après Christmas routine began the same as most years and I thought about what goals I would like to accomplish.  Although I didn’t have time to write them down I decided to focus on balance this year.  I figured this would be the year I would successfully balance healthy eating, frequent exercising, moderate drinking, increased children’s activities, more giving and of course better organization.  No big deal right??

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New Year’s Day came and I was much too hungover to think about any type of balance.  Instead I got Chick-Fil-A, put kids’ shows on repeat and took a nap.  “After all, who starts resolutions ON New Year’s? I am pretty sure they begin the following Monday,” I said to myself.

Sunday morning started strong.  We cleaned out the garage (Organization!), I made breakfast  (Healthy Eating!) and we donated children’s clothes and toys (Giving!).  I booked my Pilates classes for the week (Exercise!) and made plans for a play date at the park. (Kids Activities!) By afternoon I was exhausted keeping up with balance and poured a glass of wine  (or three).  I had unfinished phone conversations to tend to and before I knew it the sun had set, the kids were dirty and everyone was hungry.  I did what any mom would do. I zapped some hotdogs in the microwave opened a can of mandarin oranges and hastily wiped their feet with baby wipes. BOOM. Clean and fed!

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As I settled into bed I promised myself Monday was the real start of New Year’s and convinced myself I was right on track.  Just as I was dozing off my phone beckoned me and I saw the message every working mom dependent on child care dreads.  “I am so sorry but I am sick and can’t work tomorrow”. UGH. My first Monday back to work after two weeks off and I didn’t have childcare.

Monday was not the successful first day I envisioned.  Neither was Tuesday.  I have a strong feeling Wed and Thursday will not go as planned either.   In order to maintain my sanity I jotted down a REVISED list of resolutions and couldn’t help but think others might benefit from my more realistic list.

Enjoy!

REVISED New Year’s Resolutions- 2015

  1. Feed Children three times per day. Feed Husband as needed.
  2. Keep Laundry from overflowing on the floor.
  3. Integrate more fruit and vegetables into dinner to ensure healthy food options. Frozen counts!ny6
  4. Bend knees on stairs to increase glute exercises.
  5. Walk briskly at Legoland and Animal Park for Cardio.
  6. Hang out with friends who have children for increased kids’ activities
  7. Only drink wine when frustrated, overwhelmed, happy, or busy. ny8
  8. Organize one drawer per month.
  9. Try to go to Church sometimes.
  10. Feed Dogs and give them baths.

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OK, I might be exaggerating a bit but doesn’t my new list seem a bit less daunting?

Next Monday I will attempt to kick start my “balanced” resolutions but chances are my perfect plan will be derailed.  If you are anything like me give yourself a break.  Remember resolutions are merely a guide to improved behavior not an unbreakable outline of how one’s life is supposed to look.

If your first week sounds like mine pour a glass of wine give yourself a hug and eat a cookie.  Next Monday we can try again 😉

Xoxo Mari

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P.S. This image didn’t really work for my “walking through Legoland for Cardio” but it tickled me 🙂

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Good Lord That’s a Lot Of Liquid!

JuiceCleanse

Mike and I just completed a 3 Day Juice Cleanse (Disclaimer: This cleanse was accompanied with light dinner). We were not the annoying people who post their updates to Facebook and tell everyone incessantly about it… (except for my daily voxing to Keri, Megan, Holly and Molly – oh and my mom. And my friend Shana. OK, maybe I was the annoying juice person!)

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Thing is, if you know me you know I don’t do diety stuff.  Or sporty stuff. I like my wine and my cheese and of course my bread.  In fact my favorite hobby is “wining” with friends while eating delicious appetizers!

If you think this post is about how fabulous we felt on a juice cleanse you are wrong.  If you are assuming I am going to talk about how easy it was and how I can’t wait to do it again you are incorrect.  The point of my juicing blog is to talk about something entirely different.

The night before we began our cleanse Mike got us an obscene amount of our favorite takeout. I decided I should probably drink more wine than a group of 6 would drink and I completed the night with a few Twix bites.  After all a cleanse was beginning.

The first day was gag worthy.  It could have been the hangover or possibly the chunks of radish and celery.  It certainly didn’t help that something in the juice had a sand like texture so drinking it was a bit like sanding my throat.  8 ounces every hour, 16 ounces of water every hour, fluctuating every 30 minutes from 9am to 5pm.  Then in the evening we were able to have a light dinner sans carbs, sugar, dairy, fat, alcohol… umm did I forget anything? Basically grilled chicken and plain vegetables.

By the time 5:30 came I had the table set and was waiting for Mike to finish making the chicken.  I was literally salivating at the sight of steamed veggies.  In a matter of 12 hours I had morphed from a completely rational human being to:(photo cred: happyorhungry.com):

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I tore into the chicken like a dinosaur and inhaled my steamed vegetables.  And they were the most delicious morsels I can remember eating in a long time.  Just one day prior I would have considered this bland dinner the low point of the week.  However, fasting for almost 24 hours reset my thinking to be so damn thankful for any morsel I could put in my mouth.  The broccoli was so tender, the simple spices on the chicken beckoned me to lick the plate.  It was amazing.

Over the next few days we continued to drink our 64 ounces of juice and 128 ounces of water every day.  Mike and I would wait patiently for our boring chicken and vegetables and clamored about how delicious the carrots were (we did have a little hummus on day 3).  We were just so damn appreciative for the food in the evening.

Now that we are finished I have been thinking a lot about the effects. The cleanse didn’t just reset my body but also forced me to acknowledge the reset in my mind.  I had to admit I don’t like going without. I had to think about what a baby I am and how much I complain about the most trivial crap.  But the most interesting take away was how quickly we adapt to survive.  I was shocked how thankful and satiated I was with so much less and that when we “reset” our lifestyle and needs we can see past ourselves.  The things we take for granted on a day to day basis should be appreciated.

Honestly, I don’t know if I will do a juice cleanse again.  But I would recommend everyone to try it. Taking time to not grant yourself everything you want is good practice for life.  Going without your favorite vices for a bit forces you to think inward and more important think of those who are not blessed with what we take for granted.

I have done my time, and my day 4 cleanse (pic above) is calling my name 🙂

Best,

Mari

Kids and dogs get in the way.

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Last week our second child turned 6 months old. So we have a 6 month old, a 3 1/2 year old and two dogs(see this post about downsizing for why we have two, rather than three). It is a full house and it completely gets in the way of being efficient.

Last night Mike took the dogs with him to pick up burritos and both of the girls fell asleep. I couldn’t believe it. I am alone. With the opportunity to do anything, I chose making the bed and a glass of wine. I forgot how easy making the bed is without a frisky puppy and an overzealous toddler playing parachute with each layer.  In the few moments of glorious silence my mind began to think about how time consuming and arduous the simplest tasks are.  Activities I used to take for granted now require organization and planning.  Whether you have children, aspire to do so, or just relish in the fact you will always be responsibility free I put together a list anyone can appreciate.

At Home:

1. Going to the bathroom. I never thought I would be the kind of girl who left the bathroom door open. With kids and dogs it is a necessity. Recently I closed the door and Lucy (our Maltese) started scratching within seconds, Bailey (our toddler) started banging on the door asking where I was and why I closed the door.

2. Heightened interest in bodily functions. Furthering #1 my home has become an “elimination check in”.  As if having dogs and kids in the bathroom with you isn’t bad enough, Bailey insists on knowing what type of excretion I am leaving. “Mommy, are you pooping or peeing or both? Let me see!!” If I blow my nose, “Mommy, did you have boogers”? The inquisition does not stop at me.  Bailey wants me to know when she poops, when Daddy poops, and checks to see if our baby has pooped or peed. It is mortifying and disgusting. Lately she has turned to the “tooting” (our acceptable word for ripping ass) inquisition and calls out anyone who discreetly passes gas.  Yesterday she told our neighbor that I am stinky and toot all the time.  Shameful.

3. Laundry. When Bailey turned 3 the multiple outfit changes began. She prefers to change her underwear after every bathroom visit and an entire ensemble change is necessary at least twice per day. Couple that with baby Michaela’s drool ridden onesies and we have a solid 2 loads of laundry per day. Doing laundry with a toddler is messy and inefficient — two words I abhor. The effort is there from her but the skills aren’t. Unfortunately by the time Bailey has acquired the skills to properly fold she will have no interest in doing so.

3. Cleanliness. I absolutely love a clean home. The smell of bleach turns me on, and clean floors is ecstasy. With kids and dogs both are impossible for more than one hour. I try so hard. But between Bailey’s scooter carving a dirt track and the dogs dragging whatever clings to their paws it will never happen.  Michaela moving to solid foods only adds to the funk on the floor. I have actually deemed floors clean when the dogs lick up the food the kids leave. Even worse? When I am in a hurry I just push the extra crumbs off the counter onto the floor so the dogs can help me.

4. Enjoyment of coffee. Prior to 9am I do the following: Feed dogs. Clean up dog poop. Feed baby. Clean up baby poop or pee. Make chocolate milk for toddler. Bottle for baby. Encourage poop and pee in toilet for aforementioned toddler. Return work emails. Attempt to clean kitchen and pick up toys from night prior. Conference call. Wash bottles…. you get the idea. Guess what? I make coffee and usually microwave it 2-3 times because I just don’t have time to drink it while it’s hot.

5. Personal Grooming. As a fairly high maintenance gal I have always carved out a large amount of time for “upkeep”. Prior to children my nightly ritual included a hair mask, face mask.. heck even rejuvenating gloves on a good night. I needed 30 minutes to brush, tweeze, moisturize, and decompress before bed. Fast forward 3 years and I am lucky if I get 3 minutes. My toddler micro manages every personal ritual I have to the point I have to make up stories to keep her at bay. I told her if she touches me when I spray tan her whole body will turn orange.  She thinks bronzer is fairy dust that can only be applied on holidays. Convincing her not to use my über expensive face cream as her body lotion is a lengthy argument.

In Public:

1. Coffee and restaurants.  The drive through is a life saver for a mom.  If you don’t have children, it may not have occurred to you that infants may finally be sleeping, toddlers are reading, and for a moment chaos is controlled. That being said, I get angry when the drive though line is long with one person in their car. Seriously?? If I am by myself I will gladly walk my latte driven ass into the Starbucks to order a coffee.

2. Nice restaurants. Before kids Mike and I would choose restaurants based on the food and wine and didn’t think about whether it was family friendly. Having children means fancy restaurants are a waste. Yep, I said it.  People are always telling me they take their kids to upscale restaurants and it’s great, the kids were well-behaved blah blah.  Fine dining is fabulous sans kids and this is why. My children are well dressed. My toddler is polite and charming. Guess what? She is still a toddler.  My idea of a fabulous dining experience includes multiple courses, invigorating conversation and a bottle (or two) of wine. I have never met small children who have a pallette for imported cheese and prefer to be silent for two hours.

3. Errands. Everyone has errands. I have always been a person of numerous errands on a weekly basis. Some of these are choice related. For example, I prefer Trader Joe’s for beverages and snacks, Farmers market for veggies and salsa and Ralph’s for our day-to-day essentials. My dry cleaner is great but I prefer a different alterations person. You get the idea. Doing errands with children takes FOREVER. Instead of running from place to place everything has to be an adventure. I listen to myself narrating the errands and I even convince myself: it sounds awesome. Couple that with the gear, diaper changes for the inevitable poop blowout, special surprises for being good and three stops will take all afternoon.

4. Meeting for coffee/lunch. I love meeting my girlfriends for breakfast. It is one of my favorite times to catch up and there is an energy and earnestness that comes from meeting up late morning.  But, coordinating the tiniest get together is a BEAST. Before kids, meeting for coffee or lunch was an after thought. Having kids completely changes the cavalier meet up. It takes coordination of a sitter/partner days in advance. If a partner isn’t involved then it costs a ton of money.  I recently told one of my best girlfriends the cost of us “lunching” and she was aghast — and that didn’t include the cost of the lunch itself.

5. Leisure anything. I am in a hurry every moment of my life. I don’t browse. I don’t stop for lunch with the exception of a sandwich to go. I tap my foot impatiently when the person in front of me chooses to be indecisive or holds up a line. My heart speeds up when someone causes a delay. I take it personally when someone causes and delay and want to say, “Don’t you know how much I have to do today? Hurry Up!!” I can’t help it; as a mom with a career someone ALWAYS needs something.

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Looking at this list, I can’t help but giggle.  Two of my dearest friends, Megan and Molly are always asking me what it’s like to be a mom….. when they read this they will surely rejoice they are without children.  What is crazy to me is how children can provide the biggest annoyance and a surge of happiness in a 2 minute period. Bailey was in the backseat today and was calling me. I turned around and she said, “Mommy, you are beautiful. I love you.” When our baby wakes and begins fussing I go into her room. As soon as she sees me she gives me the biggest smile. It melts me. I will take the chaos of my life any day.

Happy Mother’s Day to the fabulous moms who read our blog!

I’m just trying to be cool

MGMT by JennPellyWhen I was in grade school I constantly got into trouble for talking during class.  I can’t remember the amount of notes confiscated throughout my adolescence.  My brother asked for a TV for his room.  I asked for my own phone line.  I was on my phone every moment I wasn’t in school.

I was and am an extrovert.  And I really want you to like me.

Spending time interacting with a friend refreshes and rejuvenates me.  After a coffee or wine date with one of my best friends I feel relieved and confident.

I am also insanely nervous of social situations and need a pep talk, either from myself, my mom or my husband prior to almost every event I plan.

Surprised?

My closest friends know I have anxiety about everything.  Someday I might have the courage to write about it.  Not today. Today is reserved for the plight of the extrovert.

As an extrovert, I am expected to be fun. To be outgoing and charming and to facilitate a good time.  I am very good at this. However, I am so fearful of not doing well I anticipate to the point of panic.

For some reason, extroverts are viewed as confident and immune to disappointment.  I deal with both regularly.  Introverts are commonly viewed as “deep and pensive”,  lovingly labeled as troubled or sensitive.  Introverts are applauded for having feelings while extroverts are encouraged to be shallow social butterfly’s without a care in the world.

I think many people are confused as to how an extrovert gets their strength.

A true extrovert is happiest when they are communicating well with another human being.  This human being is typically a close friend or family member.  I am most at ease when I am talking to Mike or listening to my toddler tell me about her day.  My strength does NOT come from a big party or a night out with 15 friends.  Am I good at planning it? Absolutely. However, it is the opposite of rejuvenating because I am worried about the outcome and am hyper sensitive to everyone around me.

Extroverts get their feelings hurt too.  Extroverts use “I’m so busy” and “My week is crazy” on a weekly basis. It is true, and makes us feel important. We are busy making plans, organizing get togethers and worrying about details.  Extroverts also know both quotes are bull shit when used as an excuse.  Regardless of how busy I am, I can and will always make time for important people.  Extroverts know this and when others constantly talk about their stressful schedule and lack of availability it is deeply hurtful.  Extroverts take these excuses as you letting them know they are not important enough.

Extroverts worry about others opinions constantly.  Much of my self-worth is derived from being viewed as capable.  I work tirelessly to be a mother, friend and wife, while excelling at my career and remembering birthdays.  I wake up at night, fearful I have forgotten a detail.  I obsess that one of my friends may not be happy with me or Mike isn’t fulfilled.

Extroverts are just as scared as introverts.  Doing well socially does not mean it comes easy.  Many days I don’t want to show up.  Often, I want to stay under the covers and call my best friend and talk through it.  The pressure to “perform well” makes me anxious and drains me.  When you are viewed as an extrovert certain qualities are expected and if they are not achieved people are disappointed.  If I’m not smiling, others worry something is wrong. If I am not boisterous people are concerned I am sick.  It is exhausting and makes me nervous.

This past week I managed to get through one of my crazier work weeks. I also had a slumber party with one of my best friends, a wine afternoon with my favorite group of friends and spent quality time with my family.  I organized my out-of-town friends schedule and coordinated events for St. Patrick’s Day.  Everything turned out fabulous but I was anxious the whole time.  I just wanted everything to go well, for my friends to like me and my family to be happy.  There were some disappointments this weekend and my heart hurt. Luckily, I have my introvert husband to listen to me.

Have you hugged your extrovert today?

Confessions of a somewhat good person

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When I think about the differences between me at 35 versus me at 20, I see that the basic foundation is similar. I am definitely not an angel but like to think of myself as a pretty good gal.  People like me, mostly.  Lately I have been thinking about the antics younger me pulled and came to a scary conclusion: Younger me and older me aren’t so different and would probably be good friends.  For some reason I thought having kids and becoming an adult would miraculously make me a different, perhaps better person.  Oops. Do any of these sound familiar to you??

Adult me versus Kid me

As a grown up I knowingly make a difficult dinner and often do a bit of baking the day before our housekeepers come.  Dinner and baked goods taste better when I don’t have to mop up the flour my daughter spills and clean the oil off the stove top. Younger me rarely had a clean house but I had a special closet saved for emergency visits. This closet housed loads of laundry, fast food bags, and boxes of trash.  When people came over they assumed I was neat and tidy, not knowing about my stash. — In my late teens I worked in a department store. While working a boring day shift, I pretended to faint in order to be sent home.  The reason? My girlfriends were going water skiing and I wanted to go. As a side note, I don’t recommend doing this if you work in a corporate job.  Did you know state law requires a company to contact an ambulance if an employee faints? I was not equipped with this information and was surrounded by with a wide array of handsome firemen and EMT’s… On second thought if you are single this may be an excellent opportunity to meet someone 🙂 It couldn’t possibly be a waste of time and resources on the part of emergency crew. fireman A few years ago, I knowingly took a sick employee on a work trip with me because I liked her the most.  When we got into town she was horribly ill.  Since I had brought her I couldn’t have her call in sick so I taught her how to faint to be excused from her work shift.  Not to worry this environment would not necessitate a 911 call.  The bar industry calls a cab not an ambulance. —– In my twenties I was constantly running late. Instead of curbing my poor behavior I would count on people to forgive me because I was cute.  If they didn’t I would be confused, and wonder why they were so mean! Now, when I am in a hurry at Target I will look down and quietly cut off others in the check out line, then give my surprised, “Oh my gosh I didn’t see you” smile and it usually works. —- When I see people I haven’t been good with keeping up with I will duck the other direction. When I get home I will send them a message telling them I have been thinking about them and schedule plans to get together. Younger me LOVED running into people. It was so fun! I typically ran into them at night and we would be drinking and I would tell them how we needed to hang out the following week and forget to follow through. —— As soon as I got pregnant I traded in my shiny sports car for the largest most ridiculous SUV I could convince Mike to purchase.  Now that I am so big I am more aggressive and cut people off, knowing I am bigger.  I always smile, wave, and say THANKS as if they had a choice. suv When I was younger and couldn’t find a parking spot, I would park in red and put my hazard lights on.  This worked almost every time.  When my car was finally towed I figured it equated to a small price to pay for all the illegal parking I had done over the years. —– I have used the having kids excuse at least a dozen times to get out of something–usually work related that I don’t want to do. Years ago, the flat tire excuse worked at least a dozen times to get out of something–usually work related that I didn’t want to do.  —  In my twenties I became obscenely in debt.  I spent thousands of dollars on designer clothes and handbags and fabulous trips with my girlfriends.  Toward the end of my spending I recall using three credit cards to purchase one top.  I was not embarrassed. As a mom I try to buy key groceries on sale. I love seeing the “savings” at the end of the checkout and consider the wine I purchase to be free if it is the same amount of the amount discounted.  Hooray! yippee1(image from http://www.indieberries.com/)

Looking at this list I couldn’t help but laugh.  My parents swear I am a fabulous person and have grown up so much over the years.  They are biased.  I do know I am a much better friend than when I was younger.  I believe I am kinder, more empathetic, and genuinely concerned with others.  But today’s blog isn’t to tout my growth as a human being. xoxo Mari

Escalades, Maces and Snakes. We know what’s hip.

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Mike and I will be having our first overnight date sans kiddos since Michaela was born.  At the ripe age of 3.5 months and Bailey boasting 3 years they can pretty much fend for themselves…

Needless to say, we have strong reinforcements coming in to take over kid/dog duty while Mike and I have our first big adventure!

Where to, you may be asking? I am SO glad you asked!

Mike introduced me to an amazing band about a year ago. Grimes.  He saw a video of a fierce little lady cruising an Escalade, wielding a Mace complete with large snakes, metal ensembles and schoolgirl innocence. He sent me a video link, with a preface of something like, “Babe, Grimes is right up your alley. I think she may be one of the girls”. “The girls” are an elite group of women artists who I hold close and will play at any moment. Sometimes on repeat.

I clicked the link and was hooked.  Since then, I have all of Grimes music and listen to her daily.  One night after too much wine, I contacted her via her facebook page and begged her to visit San Diego and offered her a place to stay. Does that make me a stalker? For the first time I understand why people are crazy over an artist 🙂

Last year, Grimes played Coachella but I was pregnant.  From what I can see on her website she mainly plays at music festivals.  However, a few weeks ago I received a band alert that she was playing at House of Blues in Hollywood. For one night. I couldn’t believe it.  I told Mike about it and the next day he was working on tickets, a hotel and ample childcare.  My husband seriously rocks my universe.

We have hotel reservations on Sunset, are dining at a über hip restaurant and going to see Grimes at House of Blues.  I wonder if we will be the oldest fans? I have no idea what to wear. I want to look cool but not trying too hard.  I told Mike to be ready because I will be the girl up front, tearing up the dance floor (Thanks Lizzie/Tana for the cool term).  I am so excited I feel like a little kid.

Onto Grimes.  Her name is Claire and she is 25 and Canadian.  I love Canadians. In fact, I have never met a Canadian I didn’t like.   I have read up on her a bit, and know she isn’t the kind of girl who likes to be called tiny or adorable.  I can only describe her as a unicorn, which is the highest praise in my world(I have only deemed one other person a unicorn, which is my fabulous friend Molly, truly a magical unicorn inside and out).

Her videos remind me of my best friend Eva and I when we were 25.  I recently played her music for Eva and she said, “Her voice reminds me of Enya with amazing dance music”.  I think Claire has a much stronger voice but definitely understand Eva’s sentiments.  Her music gives me goose bumps and I find myself putting on Grimes for when I want to dance, relax, or work.   I don’t have any other musician in my humble music library that works for all emotions.

I love how simple this video is, the delicious man candy and the emotion of underlying gender stereotypes.

For me, Grimes makes me feel young and careless. Her music makes me want to dance, but also encourages me to know the lyrics because I know they are much more than a pop song.  I feel happy when I listen to Claire.  It isn’t often I find a talented artist who writes her lyrics, has a phenomenal voice and puts together amazing music.  The best part? It sounds like she is a really cool person.  I have read interviews and she is honest when she describes her music.  One of my favorite songs, Vowels and Space made me think it was super deep only to find this candid interview from Pitchfork:

“The song “Vowels = space and time” was actually me angrily writing about the fact that people were always getting on me for not writing songs about things. It’s based on a theory from Russian Zaum philosophy, which is this weird, obscure pre-Dada early-1900s surrealist group that believed language was false because vocal expression had inherent emotional meanings or qualities. I was like, “This justifies my other records!” 

I could write so much more about Claire. Her rider requests puppies. She is eco-friendly and polite.  Her videos are tops, and quite honestly her music just makes me happy.

I cannot wait to see Grimes.  Can you tell?

xo Mari

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