Friday, February 26, 2010

With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row - and don't call me Mary

A little insight into my world:
Before children, I had time. I read. Nonfiction. Anthropological books about societies whose histories have been studied based on old clay pots and trash heaps. Big, huge books -- for fun (dork!!). Now, I'm lucky to take in an article in the Rolling Stone while I crap.

For millennia, in societies around the world, women have been considered the givers of life. I mean, seriously. One day she's a lumpy, waddling, fat thing and the next she poops out a kid! It's a miracle of nature. That and the swinging feedbags from which the new kid hangs for years. In addition to literally being the ones to grow a society, women often were tasked with tending to the family and provide day-to-day for the food of the tribe. While men went out and hunted or protected the tribe, women were gathering berries and other vegetation in wandering societies and later developing the agricultural practices that many in our country associate with large, old men in overalls and straw hats.

Gardening, in my experience, is more of an ideal than a hobby. Every winter, I dream of fresh salads borne from fertile ground I've tilled, amended, planted, weeded, and watered. On this wintery, cold day, thinking of the aroma of tomato plants make me long for these duties. When spring rolls around, I go and buy seeds and the gear to rear tiny seedlings indoors prior to planting. Once these tiny little plants die as a result of my over-ambition, I head to the hardware store for properly reared plants to shove into the ground.

Being of my personality structure - planting a garden is quite rewarding. The rows of perfectly aligned plants satiate the "job well done" need for sure. Pulling the husband outside to applaud my accomplishment helps too.

Unfortunately, that is the end of where gardening and I part ways. See, the delayed gratification just forces me to lose interest. I'll water religiously for a couple weeks. I'll even climb in as tiny intruders threaten my rows of peppers. Then it happens - it always does. I make an excuse one day and procrastinate. Then it turns into late July, and I have a jungle of weeds. I may even hack my way in an attempt to salvage my effort. I'll probably jump out half-way through that task to deal with a child - or to get a drink - or to grab a snack and watch Dr. Phil and the sweaty, sun-beaten, gnat-filled garden loses its appeal.

Of course, I'll start the process again this year. I won't have the anti-weeding excuse of pregnancy like I did last year. I will have the fussy baby excuse, but anymore I have to hold that card fairly close to my chest. I can't blame fussy baby for not grooming myself, not cleaning, not getting the grocery shopping done, not doing the dishes, not getting all the bills dealt with, not bathing the dogs, AND not weeding the garden.

I do have the desire to provide fresh veggies for my family. I also have the desire to start my own craft-based business and to use only energy I can produce on our property...I'm a dreamer...sue me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Giving it up - not IT it...that's for another post...

I am not a religious person. If you've talked to me since I was in my eighth grade I-need-to-save-everyone-from-the-flames-of-hell cult phase, you know this about me. I did, however, grow up beside my catholic best friend. Every year, about this time, she would start talking about what she was going to give up for Lent. To this day, I know nothing about the religious purpose for giving something up for Lent. I really don't care - that isn't the point of this post.

She'd have to choose something that she liked and give it up until Easter - a sacrifice. Normally, it was pop (soda, for some of you readers) or chocolate - at least that's all I can remember now. Every year, she would choose, and she and I would both give up that vise.

Because that's the kind of rockin' friend I am.

All the way through middle school and high school, I gave up a vise - not because I had to - or because I was told to - but because it was what I felt was right. Since we were only apart to sleep and shit, it would just have been cruel for me to slam Cokes or ate Reese's cups while she watched.

Since high school - and since she and I had each other surgically removed from one another by distance and time - I haven't given anything up for Lent.

Until this year... duh duh duhhhhhh....

This year, I've given up my couchass. That's right, folks. My most beloved of all deadly sins - Sloth. Poof! Gone. Of course, I will sit to watch an episode or two in the evenings after a hard day's work/childcare/cleaning/excercise. Gone are my days of hour upon hour of pillow-creased cheeks from marathon watching Cake Boss or Ax Men or LA Ink or Scrubs or Pregnant and 16 or Jersey Shore (I don't discriminate...if a show has 3 or more consecutive episodes on in a row - I'm hooked!).

Time between bead necklaces and plastic grass means I'm going to get some stuff done around here. Not because I have to - or because someone told me to - but because it's something I should do.

I've been good so far. I've taken walks outside (in calf-high snow with a kid strapped to my back) and done the dishes before the sink was full. This will be good for me, right?!?

The Easter Bunny can bring me back my Buddy, Kat, and JWoww - and nestled in a basket of plastic grass.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Riding no handed - back when helmets were just for the lame kids

It's a bird! It's a plane! Whoa, whatever it is ... it's starting to tailspin ... and cartwheel ... oh, it might be recovering ... whew a safe landing ... is he ... wait ... she? ... filing her nails?

Yes. I had a jaggy, torn nail that wouldn't wear down rubbing on the thigh of my jeans (stupid thin girl jeans and new bruise on my leg). Fixing the annoyance required both hands - which apparently I'm not permitted to have free at the same time.

Remember when you got your first "big kid" bike and learned that it was possible to sit up straight, center your body, and ride with no hands? At first, it sounded like a magic trick, but most of us were able to let go - even if just for a bit. I blame my lack of "long-term letting go" on the fact that I had a mountain bike rather than a 10-speed - and all the 10-speeders were riding around the block no-handed. Well, I blame that and my personality.

In recent years, I've learned the value of balancing life to "earn" a second without your hands on the handlebars. There are also times to hold on for dear life - no matter how much you need to let go. Sometimes even with the most strategic planning, you manage to make it through unscathed - other times you crash and burn.

No matter what, finding just a second - even for a shower without an extra set of eyes appearing to circle your "needs work" areas with a rush-style marker.

Everyone, including the super-est of modern super mommas needs a moment to refresh - and not smell like a junior high locker room.

And if you're so inclined - put on a little makeup. That is, if your mascara hasn't turned into a tarry clump from laying in the drawer for so long... In that case, I recommend a trip to the drug store before attempting the refresh process.

Twiggy doesn't even sport the Twiggy look anymore.

Friday, February 19, 2010

And you have yourself a flanntastic day now, ya hear?!?

Being a stay at home or work from home momma means that one has relegated themselves into at least some degree of frumpiness from time to time. Yes, the rule is that you should get up, dress yourself, put makeup on and do your hair in order to start your day off on the right foot. Well, I don't get to brush my teeth before noon - most days - so pardon me if my eyelash curler isn't fully utilized!

My priorities are such that my outward appearance is not in the backseat, but the trunk on most days. (My poor husband) I walked past a mirror as I was swinging a flannel shirt over my shoulders. I laughed out loud. I will not post a picture. That would be too easy (and easily spread over the webbernet for all to see - I have some dignity, I think). Starting from the top: Elastic headband that is quickly slipping to the snapping point on the back of my head, XXL flannel shirt that I think I could wear as pants if necessary, old tshirt with spit-up on the shoulder from last night (mmm), old-school adidas swishy pants, and kitty socks. Yes, kitty socks. Now you know why I laughed. I'm proud of my outfit - I didn't try to look frumpy today, life just served that dish.

Normally, when I go to town (aka Walmart), I still don't try very hard. I'd hate to make the others at Walmart feel bad about themselves. I can't handle that sort of guilt. Tomorrow, I'm going to a nearby city - one with a mall (no, I'm not going to the mall - the city's just big enough to have one). I may dress up - brush the hair - find some lip gloss, you know prom type stuff.

When did this happen? When did I stop caring? Actually, I never stopped caring. I care about how I look - and so help me god if someone takes a damn picture of me at Walmart.... I just simply don't have (or take, rather) the time. It's shameful really. My sister-in-law is always dressed to the nines with her toddlers right behind her. It's just another item on the list of life that I'm not addressing.

I'm going to take tomorrow to feel good about myself - and heaven forbid wear something that (at least for a moment) doesn't smell like old milk. I do struggle with the idea of dressing to work from home - that's just another clean shirt that will end up dirty...and I'm already terrible about laundry. Maybe showering counts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Suck it up and suck it in

Dear Spanx,
I wear you to compress my belliness out of its current muffin top shape. Rolling down into a condom ring above my jeans' waistband is not helpful - but a bit painful.


I did. I busted out my Spanx today. Because I wanted to show off my Lycra enhanced waist and butt? No. Because I haven't done laundry in 2 weeks and all of the jeans I can put on without holding my breath have spit-up all over them? Yes.

It was a no biggie errand, but it served as a trial run for the day to day functionality of the delumpifying undergarments. Conclusion: unless I'm planning on going somewhere that I might get a compliment that doesn't involve a cat call from a toothless guy - I'll pass.

Comfort wins again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pump up the Volume!

Winter weather has once again trapped me in the house...sitting on the couch...eating cookies...dipped in ice cream.

I know some of you MSMs out there don't have this problem...and that's fantastic. More power to you if you can resist sweets or - better yet - the couch.

Prior to becoming a mom, I struggled with forcing myself to exercise. I just don't like it. I am willing to do hard work - push mowing our hilly-ass lawn or clearing trails. But if there isn't a Bush-esque "mission accomplished" sign (or pile or otherwise "look what you've finished" proof) at the end, I don't want to do it. No drive equals crumbs and drips in my lap while watching a super marathon of Jersey Shore.

Oh, I own exercise dvds and tapes, crunch machines, butt machines, an exercise ball...which has only recently been resurrected from the green mile because I can rock on it to calm a screaming baby...ahem, without missing a beat trying to figure out what The Situation's situation really is.

Da dada DAAA...super mom!!

Anyway, lets just say the addition of "mom" to my responsibilities hasn't afforded me any more time to exercise. Or drive.

If the mood strikes me - and I don't feel guilty about doing something other than work or clean - I'll turn on music and bee-bop around the house. Risky Business baby! I'm all over that.

I did see an interview about a Zumba class where you go and dance your heart out with others dancing their hearts out. No worries if you struggle differentiating your left from your right - just boogie! It looks like a lot of fun. Of course, I'd have to drive an hour to attend one of those classes.

Maybe I'll dance a little today - maybe we should all dance a little. Lift the spirit and the heart rate.

And the metabolism for more cookies and icecream!

Have a lovely day, ladies!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mommas knew about natural selection long before Darwin - adapt or die!

Did grocery shopping or laundry or cleaning take a backseat today (or this week ... or month)? Are you making poor man's alfredo by heating cream of mushroom soup and parmesan cheese and serving over two different types of pasta because you didn't have enough of one to cover dinner? I mean, of course, I don't know anything about that because I go to the store organized, list in hand, with meals planned months in advance! (NOT!)

Seriously, folks.

(1) Yes, out of desperation, I have made poor man's alfredo, and it isn't half bad. Shredded parmesan works better than grated. Heat on stove - keep adding cheese until your arteries scream (and it gets stretchy gooey).
(2) Spaghetti doesn't play well with others, but rotini and bowties make for an interesting marriage. Broken up lasagna works too - only if you're sporting a messy side ponytail, have spit-up running down your shoulder, and haven't slept for 36 hours. We have standards, people!
(3) I do make grocery lists, but they are often incomplete and laying on the kitchen table as I scramble to revive my not-so-photographic memory in the store.

Growing up, I was never told that pregnancy would destroy my brain as it has. Maybe the women in my life forgot to tell me...

Being a modern super momma means being adaptable - rolling with the punches. I honestly think, if we knew that it would make our lives easier that we could sprout fins. I'm still working on that kangaroo pouch - since putting on the baby carrier just takes too darn long sometimes...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shoveling snow is for suckers - and poor people

Ah, Old Man Winter is upon us. If you live east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon line - you are waste-deep in snow right now.

That sucks.

I mean, I'm all about winter and snow and "ooh that looks so pretty" moments - but I busted my ass on the driveway yesterday. That tipped the scale from warm, squishy feelings about winter to only cold, drippy - aww did I just step in another melty, snow puddle on the floor in my warm socks feelings. Of course, I don't have time to clean up the snow puddles - or rather wipe the snow off the dogs as they come in to avoid them in the first place. Hell, Ellen is on. She needs me to watch. She told me so.

Of course, the ass-busting ice on the driveway is avoidable. First, we don't live in the city where it's mandated that you shovel the sidewalks for the little tykes to get to the bus stop. No rules, no doing. I actually don't mind getting out and working in the cold. It gets the blood flowing - and totally affords me the afternoon nap I am already planning on taking (baby willing...). The problem now is that we let it go to far. Procrastination does not work when you're dealing with inches upon inches of snow.

Of course, being young and having a mortgage, school loans, and credit card debt --- damn you free t-shirt people on the college campuses...damn you all -- we cannot afford the luxury of a snow blower.

It'll be sunny and warm in a couple weeks. Until then, I'm stuck here at home - or I'm wearing four pairs of pants when I step out the door.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chiseling time out of a rock solid schedule - it sure isn't a masterpiece, but it gets the job done


Hammer time. (I couldn't help myself!)

Everyone needs a break. Especially modern super mommas!! It is difficult to give yourself the gift of a break. MSMs are the ultimate multitaskers. Not only are we doing at least 5 things at once, but we're already strategizing how the next 5 things are going to be done, AND feeling guilty because still another 5 things just slipped out of our grasp. We can't do it all - and trying 100% of the time to grab that perfection star isn't sustainable.

Stop and smell the roses - or vino - Calgon take me away!

There is a magic, secret password that someone once told me about that affords the speaker time, money and energy they wouldn't otherwise be granted. It's like rubbing the lamp. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice. The password is key in the survival of an MSM, but yours truly is just as guilty as the next person for forgetting it when it is most needed. "No." It doesn't need to be shouted (or growled), but overextending yourself is how you get stretched too thin.

Say "No" to something today - just one little thing. Make Nancy Reagan proud! :)

To all you single modern super mommas out there - I give you credit. Mad, mad props. Every day, I get overwhelmed with some aspect of my existence, but I am certainly not playing solo here. You ladies are my heroes for doing what you can to raise a family without the support of a partner. May you be granted a break every now and then to refresh your mind, body and spirit.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Third time's a charm - the quest to keep laundry from rotting in the washer

I admit. The ball I drop most frequently is laundry. I currently have a load in the washer that will need to be run through the wash cycle a third time before it makes the move to the dryer. The reason? Well, there is a load in the dryer. Why? OBVIOUSLY because all my laundry baskets are full of creased, wrinkled clothes that need to be dealt with.

Oh, I know I could make a huge pile on the bed. But sleeping on a mound like that is asking for a back ache in the morning!

My current job has a very low maintenance dress code, so I'm not concerned with dress-up clothes. Like Ever. I have a wedding coming up, but article of clothing that I own is dryer ready (whether the label agrees with that or not!). Ironing is not my gig. If I can't toss it into the dryer with a wet washcloth and have it come out looking new...well it sits on my closet floor for two years and eventually is transported to Good Will for someone else to deal with it.

I am so lazy when it comes to laundry that dryer sheets would get washed two or three times before they'd even get separated from the lump of underwear at the bottom of the clean-clothes basket. I do love my new Bounce dryer bar (maybe if this site gets popular enough, I'll get comped for my plug!). No more random, ratty dryer sheet sticking out of my flannel shirt or sweat pants (not yoga pants - but elastic bottomed sweat pants...can I get a "hell yeah?") as I schlep my stylin' butt out to the mailbox.

I'd hate to embarrass myself!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

All balls are in the air and plates are a-spinning. I should have gone to clown college.

Welcome to Modern Super Momma!

Modern Super Mommas are required by life to be everyone's everything. Or at least she tries to live up to that standard. Through this site, this MSM is trying to dispel myths about the artificial standards set by society (or 1950s sitcoms) as to what a Super Momma really is. Not only are we in charge of household day-to-day operations, but we're responsible (at least in part) for the well-being of individuals other than ourselves, and many of us are also attempting to keep from getting fired from full time jobs!

It is difficult to thrive in an environment where you feel you are always 6 inches beneath the surface of the water.

Join me in the lifeboat of comradery as we Modern Super Momma's drift out to sea - thriving when and where we can...and letting balls drop guilt-free (at least for a little while).