ranchandsyrup

Archive for the tag “parenting”

Fainting Couch STAT

victim5

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.

victim1

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.

victim3

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….

victim6

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?

victim4

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?

 

 

 

I Know Too Much

blogknow5

I know your wedding anniversary was last week and the lasagna you ordered was phenomenal.  Your child has pink eye, a stutter and likes purple.  Your husband has horrific gas in the middle of the night and often it keeps you up at night.  The neighbors on your left are loud and annoying and the smoke from their partying comes into your window. You have lost 6 pounds on your new weight loss program and typically work out at 6:30am before work.  Your youngest child has the flu and the vomit is horrible.  You and your best friend are fighting over the girl’s night out last Tuesday.  Your job sucks and you were late last week because of traffic.

You are my Facebook friend and I don’t have your phone number.  We don’t hang out; in fact, we met in passing.  When you are down the street from my house and check in at a local bar you don’t realize how close you are.  Even if you did I wouldn’t be invited.  After all, we don’t know one another and I don’t want to be real friends with you.

blogknow3

I have almost 500 “friends” on Facebook and have relationships with possibly 75.  I check Facebook throughout the day and peek into people’s lives knowing details about their family, their day-to-day activities and their life.  I know their religion, their political affiliation and their music tastes.  Many of these people I haven’t spoken to for more than 5 minutes in my entire life.

For the few real friends I have my feelings get hurt when I see a post and realize I wasn’t invited.  I can tell when someone is annoyed with me because they don’t like my picture or comment on a post they would normally comment on. I worry I might make someone feel excluded when I update a picture or event and may have forgotten to invite a friend.    Before Facebook I wouldn’t know when a few friends had an impromptu get together or quick coffee date.  I would be oblivious to a friend’s mild annoyance with me.

I have been thinking a lot about Facebook and the impact it has on my days.  More important, I worry about the time I set aside to read update after update from people I barely know.

Having aged from a young single girl to a mother the updates are equally annoying.  The constant competition of other parent’s boasting their child’s advanced skills or perfect post baby body will leave any person insecure.  On the flip side I receive notes from people commenting on the person without the perfect body or phenomenal child.

blogknow4

Then there is my favorite area.  Friends I might not be real friends with any longer but don’t want to unfriend on Facebook.  After all it would be childish, right?   I read posts of them boasting their best night ever with their newest friends or vacationing down the street.  According to Facebook their lives (or ours) is much better now and the passive aggressive dance ensues.

What is happening? Why has social media become the dominant presence in our lives? I have always defended my Facebook membership as a tool to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away.  However, I spend much more time reading updates about people I don’t interact with!  Why do we care so much about reading what people are doing? I find myself delighting in the mortifying admissions and the horrific posts people write.  I hear my disappointment because a friend forgot to invite me or another friend is annoyed because I missed an outing. This is not who I am and I am quickly realizing I have no interest in knowing so much.  Facebook creates insecurity in my friendships and encourages me to post nothing but what I want people to perceive is my life.

I am not done with Facebook. Yet.  However downsizing is part of my phase out program.  I don’t want to lose the years of previous posts because I think it will be fun to include in my kiddos scrapbooks.  Also our blog reaches all of my contacts.  But I am tired of too much information.  I am bored of worrying how I look in each picture to prove I am still a hot mom (thanks Photoshop).

For my real friends please just let me know when you are upset with me or just love me.  Please begin sending photos to my email address because I cherish them.  Remember I might not be available but invite me! Mostly, think about what you post on Facebook.  Know people are reading and might be hurt, offended or excluded.

What do you think? What is your social media pet peeve? I would love to hear your comments while I check Facebook 😉

Xo Mari

 

And we’ll collect the moments one by one. I guess that’s how the future’s done.

Bailey3 (2)

When Mari and I first found out we were having a girl I spoke with several friends that had daughters for advice and input.  I remember quite a few of them remarked on how great it was when they came home from work and their daughters squealed “DADDYYYYYYYY!”  They were right.  I love coming through the door, and after surviving the initial greeting of the dogs(who go from barking at the intruder to dancing and wagging their tails) hear our girls.  Our youngest is usually in a walker or bouncer and she gets a huge smile, screams and bounces at an increased pace. Our oldest does the “DADDY!!” squeal and (usually) jumps up for a big hug.  It’s an awesome way to feel validated for going out and doing what a father does for the benefit of his family.  But it’s not the highlight of my day.

The best part of my day happens shortly after I come home from work.  Our oldest either informs me that we should go upstairs so I can get in comfortable clothes or I remind her that I’m going up to change.  We used to walk upstairs holding hands so I could help her up the stairs. Now she is older, faster and chooses to hold my hand (and my heart) about 1 in 5 times, but that one time is because she wants to.  We head to the master bathroom and I sit on a low chair.

“Daddy, I’ll untie your shoes,” she begins.  Then she’ll pull on the heel of the dress shoes.  If she remembered to loosen the laces, they’ll come off.  “Daddy, these go in your pile.”  Compared to my wife’s neatly arranged shoe section, my side definitely looks like a pile.

“Daddy, pull your socks down.”  I then pull the socks down over my heel.  She does NOT like it if I take them off myself.  “These go in the hamper.”

“Take off your watch Daddy.”  She can’t manage to get the clasp undone yet.  “This goes in your dish.”  She climbs up on the chair and puts my watch in a little dish next to the sink.

“OK Daddy, give me your belt.  This goes in your belt drawer.”  She has to get up on her tippy-toes to put it in the drawer.

“Take out your collars and give me your shirt.”  I have fewer collar stays than I should so I take them out to use (a paper clip works well in an emergency, as an aside).  “Your shirt goes into your shirt pile.”

“Daddy, now you can hang up your pants, OK?”  She usually hands me a hanger and then goes and sits on the chair while I change.  I ask her about her day and if she was a good big sister.  Sometimes she’ll ask for some music and start dancing.  Sometimes she asks me where I was and if work was OK.  It’s nice quiet time for us.  I know the routine will fade away.  But I love that little slice of time with her so much.  I’m looking forward to a different routine with our youngest as well.  Or maybe the same one.

Geez, daddy-blogging sure is sappy.  🙂

8 Realistic Clues You Might Be An Adult.

blogadult

I am a sucker for articles with lists. When I was younger I would eagerly turn to the “5 signs he is into you” article in Cosmo.  After I was engaged I clicked every “10 ways to have a happy marriage” and “6 tricks to look fabulous”… I would be lying if I said I hadn’t peeked at the “10 signs you are an extrovert”, “20 ways to live a zen life” and countless other blogs promising to help me understand myself my kids and the universe in a simple amount of steps. (Above picture is from one of my favorite blogs about Becoming an adult)

Most of the time I really enjoy the orderly fashion of explaining the subject at hand. However I have come across a common theme in list making articles.  They are constantly using boring generalizations or obvious points.  Recently I was reading an article telling me the signs of being an adult. Examples included:

  • You have a resume with more job skills than a Subway sandwich artist
  • You have a bank account
  • You have internet, water and gas bills set up in your name

Guess what? If you don’t have a resume or a bank account you are simply a loser.  Having actual bills and a few dollars in the bank does not mean you are an adult. It means you have moved past the age of 18.

That being said, I have come smack in the face with the realization … wait for it…. I MIGHT be a bit of an adult.  I am shocked at this newfound reality but a few clues have encouraged me to look further into the possibility.

If you are like me and have had a bank account a car and a job way before one would ever consider you an adult my list might be more your speed.

1. Smoke – Last week I came around the corner to our kitchen and there were puffs of smoke billowing in the air.  Over the years there have been various types of smoke wafting through my car, my house, my sorority parking lot. Heck there may have been a few public bathrooms, concerts and walks in the park with a smoky haze.  None of the aforementioned types were emitting smoke in my house.

blogsmoke

Instead the source of my glorious smoke rings mimicking Snoop Dog’s man cave was a diffuser. With essential oils. The current blend is Doterra’s Elevation blend which paired with coffee does wonders for my energy level.  It isn’t illegal or only for people 18 and over.  My smoking kitchen is actually healthy and good for me.

2. Glitter – I absolutely adore sparkles.  Glitter, Swarovksi, Diamonds… love them all.  Makeup with glitter was integral in my going out arsenal for years.  You know who else likes glitter? Exotic dancers, go-go dancers, bottle service hostesses and plenty of female bartenders (And male in some neighborhoods).  All of which I encountered often while starting my career in the liquor industry and having a very active social life.  Now that I am a corporate gal I don’t frequent my venues at night nearly as much as I did when I was younger.  This morning, Mike had glitter on his forehead.  For a fleeting moment I felt confused.  What did we do last night? Where did we go? Am I hungover? After a moment I quickly remembered the reality. We didn’t go anywhere, I was not hungover and I did not have remnants of glitter eye makeup on my face.

The source of the party glitter?

 blogpony

Mike had helped Bailey open her newest mini My Little Pony containing Junebug and played with her and the other ponies on the floor the night prior. She is currently my favorite pony. For obvious reasons.

3. Vomit – I may have purged from alcohol once or twice in my youth.  It recently came to my attention I have only dealt with my own vomit during pregnancy or illness for quite some time.  The past few puke incidents were dog related and my vom drama last week was whether or not my sick toddler would hurl.  Further, vomit isn’t as repulsive as it used to be. I am not afraid to clean up other’s vomit and have actually put together a game plan for when Bailey has her first puke.  I even have a blue kitchen bowl delineated for bedside when the time comes.

4. Dirty Movies – I don’t have a lot of time to watch movies but when I do I like a good R rated movie as much as the next girl.  I used to get so annoyed when USA or FOX would play a favorite movie because the cuss words became ridiculous terms no one would actually use.  After all, booger flinger and dang jerky jerk just don’t cut it in Pulp Fiction.

 blogpulp

Guess what? I am thrilled when USA plays my favorite movies now because it is edited and all the cuss words turn into words my toddler can repeat. Yay! A break from Babies First TV and La La Loopsy to watch Bridesmaids!  Further, when Bailey looks at me and says poop or booger I feel like the coolest mom ever for being so responsible.  MY child didn’t say shit!!

5. Spices – I lived with roommates and on my own for almost 10 years.  During that time I had everything from a huge kitchen to a barely functioning stove and refrigerator crammed into the size of a closet.  Luckily, my parents gave me their old pots and pans and silverware.  I had matching glasses and two matching plates so I could easily host macaroni and cheese for two.  Fast forward to present day and now not only do I have matching plates and bowls, but I have casserole dishes and neat serving trays for chips and dips and just about any appetizer.  While kitchen items seem like an “adulty” thing to have they really don’t represent being an adult.  Often your kitchen was the recipient of one’s wedding registry and the fancy mixing bowl stays in a box.  However, I recently noticed a person who has a shitload of spices might be an adult. I try new recipes for my family weekly and have approached the glorious place not necessitating an extra trip to the grocery store for the spice.  I have SO many spices I can actually make a new recipe without a special trip.  I don’t know about you but this is a huge advancement in my kitchen maturity level!

blogspice

Before you get too excited about my blooming adulthood you should know I stole the Red Robin seasoning. In my diaper bag.

6. Swimsuits – My favorite swimsuit is a tiny bedazzled bikini with tie strings.  Shockingly enough it is also my husband’s favorite.  I have a lot of bikinis. Before you roll your eyes please remember we live in San Diego and have always vacationed in tropical locations.  Last summer I wore what I had deemed boring bikini (black swimsuit, no patterns and no frills) to Legoland Water Park.  I quickly realized only a few other women were wearing bikinis and they fell into three categories.

A. Single and ready to mingle mommies with newly purchased boobs.blogbikini     B. Uber hip moms who wanted everyone to know where their latest tattoo or piercing was.

blogbikini5     C. Fitness obsessed moms touting their overly toned bodies.

blogbikini4

I am none of these. One lone mom in a two piece looked my direction and we shared a nod of understanding. We were the two left who weren’t looking for a new husband, didn’t have perfect abs or had had our necks pierced with the newest bar bell triple trend. Ugh. I bought a tankini for the kids water parks because I don’t want to be the slutty mom.  Before you send me an enraged note telling me that you are fabulous and belong to one the above 3 categories, take the point of emerging adulthood. Of course I am rocking my bikini at other places and you should too.  But when I was younger I would have never noticed the appropriateness of my attire and would have assumed the side eye was jealousy, not pity for my lack of self awareness.

7. MLM (multi level marketing) – When I think of MLM’s I think of my mom’s friend who always had Avon samples at her house for me to play with.   My childhood was built on purchased Tupperware and stinky candles my mom had bought at yet another party (probably wine fueled and being a good friend).  Fast forward 20 years and I am everyone’s target MLM customer.  The past month alone I have been asked to host three different parties for jewelry, clothing  and essential oils.  I am not sure which of these clued me in I might be adultlike… is it the fact that I know so many people doing MLM (almost always stay at home moms) or that I have a home equipped to adequately handle parties? Before now the only parties I hosted were staff events to polish off the leftover booze from past programs.

 bloghost

8. Being reliable – The reason for this article actually revolves around this point.  Our toddler has been sick for the past week and I have been a mess. I don’t care about anything other than making sure she is ok. She tells me she needs me and we have conversations about dumb shit in the middle of the night. I didn’t sleep much last week because I was freaked about her temp. I am really tired but when she looks at me or calls my name I pop up like a person who has been sleeping for weeks.  All week she would wrap herself around me and get really upset if I went anywhere.  On about the 3rd night of her fever she looked at me and said for the 50th time,”Mommy I love you. Please keep snuggling me. Don’t leave ok?”  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  She actually thinks I am strong and powerful and have it together.  I am HER safety.  I am HER adult. I couldn’t believe it.

It was at that moment I knew I would never miss any moment my girls need me. I will pretend to be strong and confident and all-knowing.  I think this makes me sort of an adult.

Happy Wednesday 🙂

xo

Mari

Kids and dogs get in the way.

crazy2

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.

—–

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!

Confessions of a somewhat good person

angel

(image 4.bp.blogspot.com/)

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.

grimesmace

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

Bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan

back to work

This is my last week of maternity leave.

A few days ago I was having brunch with some of my closest girlfriends who happen to be younger than me.  I was the only girl at the table with kids, and as they are beginning to think about having kids they were asking me questions.  Invariably, the conversation turns to my choice to work. I get this question constantly.  Let me preface by saying I am VERY lucky to have the option to work. I also have a unique situation because I have a home office.  Having the ability to choose as well as working from home is a situation most people are not allotted. That being said, I choose to work.  Why?

Being a stay at home mother is the most difficult job I have ever known.  For work, I manage events. This involves the oversight of employees and a couple hundred of models.  The staff who have been tending to my markets while I am on maternity leave can’t wait for me to return.  They keep telling me that my job is so stressful and asking me, “how do I do it??”  My job is EASY compared to being a mom.

Here’s why.

When I’m performing well at work, people think I am amazing.  When I meet my goals, I get praise.  At the end of the year I get a review and typically a raise.  Clients write me notes telling me I “saved the day” or “really made it happen”.  I feel valuable.  In addition, people around me give me accolades for being a mother and a successful business woman.  Also, I receive a paycheck.  When I make money I don’t feel I need to address every frivolous item I spend money on (BTW, Mike has never, even one time, questioned an item I have spent money on. But in my mind he might. Someday. And I will be ready!)

While being home on maternity leave I work twice, no 3x as hard as I do on my job.  Mike is better than most men regarding praise. However, he (nor anyone) cannot begin to praise a mother for the amount of work they do. Why? Because most of the work is crappy and something none of us would ever notice (including me).

Here is what a mom envisions would happen:

5:30 pm: Husband home

5:35pm: Smiling, embraces wife and children and utters the following statement: “WOW, the house looks and smells amazing!! I can’t believe how well you did dressing and feeding the children today! And you cleaned too?? My goodness, how many loads of laundry did you accomplish ? Thank you for folding my clothes, I noticed my underwear and socks are perfectly clean in their drawers. I couldn’t help but see the grout in the bathroom smells like bleach and our bed is made. And you changed the sheets!  The Duvet cover smells like fresh linen! Thank you for remembering to also take the dry cleaning, pick up my prescriptions, replace my empty shampoo, and drop off my alterations in your down time. How do you manage to do all of this, while looking so beautiful?”

Here is what really happens:

5:00pm: Wife: SHIT, I worked my ass off on the fucking grout and laundry while taking care of the kids and now need to make dinner happen? I haven’t sat down for even one minute today. Exhausted. Must look like together wife and mother. Am I still in my pajama bottoms??  What did we even buy at the grocery store? What am I supposed to be making? Tacos. Yes, tonight is taco night. Put meat in skillet. Smells like dinner.  I should pour myself a glass of wine, and give kids M&Ms to quit whining so home will appear tranquil.

5:30pm: Husband home, exhausted from driving, dealing with people etc. He is thinking. “Honestly, where is dinner??” Starving, because he sacrificed long lunch to be home early. Not sure why mom is so frazzled, after all she didn’t deal with the demands of clients sucking the life out of her. Is she still in her pajama bottoms? He is not smiling or embracing. Instead, he is confused why someone isn’t feeding him after a long day. ** Disclaimer: I am exaggerating a bit for effect. In actuality, Mike is almost always smiling when he comes home, does hug all of us and usually tells me I look beautiful.  Also, he helps make dinner most nights. I am ridiculously lucky to have snagged a good dude. But, I listen to the gripes of many of my friends.**

Every day I fall into bed exhausted.  Being a mother is no joke.  The job doesn’t stop! The “To Do List” is never-ending! At work, when the checklist is complete my work day is complete.  At home I am the mother of a thousand lists, all of them partially complete with many tasks ongoing making them “un check off able”(technical term, I’m sure).  However, the happiness of being around my family is much more gratifying than any type of work praise I could ever receive.  I am obsessed with my girls, with Mike- even my pain in the ass dogs.  But, I felt it important to explain why, in my opinion, going back to work is actually a great deal easier than staying home.

Since becoming a mother, I have noticed there are two distinct tribes of women:

The stay at home group, and the working group.

For some reason, both tribes subscribe to the fact they are the better option and often criticize the other.  I have absolutely no idea why women do this.  Obviously, I am removing the variable of those not able to make a choice, be it dual wage earning necessity, or a single parent.

As a woman able to make a choice, I choose to work. I choose to work because I like the balance and really enjoy having the help around the house.  The never-ending list exhausts me and sometimes frustrates me.  I like the feeling of knowing I actually completed something when I crawl into bed at night.  As a woman who has been home the past few months, I love tending to my family.  The feeling of taking breaks for afternoon cuddles, making lunches, and folding tiny onesies is pretty awesome.

In case you haven’t figured it out I am making a few points here 🙂  First, if you are at work today go home and give your homemaker a whole bunch of snaps.  She (I know some Dads that stay home as well, so and/or He) is probably home magic erasing crayon marks off the wall while making dinosaur shaped sandwiches and simultaneously on hold with the cable company.  She is still in her pajamas, hasn’t eaten breakfast, and has hopefully had time for a cup of coffee.

Secondly, if you are guilty of being a judgy-wudgy (another technical term) tribe member, make it your resolution to stop.  Both teams work their butts off, and I have yet to meet a mother who said, “I am just sort of trying to be a good mom”.  We are all trying and both mom groups deserve a medal for doing the best they can!

Happy Monday!!

Best,

Mari

Resolving.

2014

Now that my hangover has worn off I am starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions.  I know, I know, they are typically cliché, but I try to pick resolutions that make sense to my life,and actually stick with them.  For example, I would never resolve to “get in shape” or “only drink on the weekends”.  Those resolutions are just silly for me and would never work out.  Instead, I like to think of attainable healthy goals that will enhance my life and my family.

Last year my resolution was “Vices in moderation, love in excess”.  I was pregnant by February.. needless to say, my resolution was met 😉  My vices were certainly in moderation, and love was definitely in excess!

This year’s resolution is a bit different.  My resolution is “Celebrate and Integrate”.  My last week of maternity leave is next week, and I find myself conflicted. For the past 3 months I have been home with the girls. I have play doh’ed, baked, cleaned, cooked, breastfed, hosted and wined in the afternoons (Thanks Megan J).  I know the last time our newborn pooped, every cute saying my toddler has said for the past month has been shared and documented, and my Christmas cards went out on time. It has been fabulous. However, I think I am ready for the integration.

For me, working allows me to integrate into the adult world successfully.  Work is not only an outlet for me to use my brain; it also makes me feel valuable as a woman.  Also, I like having something to talk about other than mommy stuff 🙂 I can’t wait to integrate back into this world, and most important reconnect with girlfriends I have neglected (Especially Charlynne-EEEK).

This year, I strive to celebrate the little successes.  When you have two little girls and three dogs, times get a bit chaotic.  I plan to celebrate my husband, my girls, and my furry faces’ victories. As a mom successes come in small doses and are easily ignored.  Something as simple as a long nap should be celebrated! Too often the successes of a day are ignored and we find oneself dwelling on the little defeats.

Speaking of celebrating little successes, I should probably go kiss my husband for cleaning the puppy pee/poop that surely happened this morning-I didn’t see any!

Happy New Year!!

xo Mari

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: