Is It Monday Yet?

Posted by ZenMom Sunday, November 29, 2009 10 comments

I love my family.

No, really I do.

There's just something about being cooped up with them for 10 days straight that will send my over the edge. And I'm teetering dangerously close right now.  I sit here writing this post because, if the truth be known, I may cause the next person who whines, yells, complains or messes up my newly organized house serious bodily harm.

The beginning of our marathon week-long Fall Break (I love it, is it now politically incorrect to say Thanksgiving?) started out OK. We organized play dates and enoyed fun activities.  I was even able to do some much needed planning.  Thanksgiving came and went without a hitch.

By the time Friday rolled around things took a nasty turn.  Because I love my sleep even more than a good bargain, no shopping was done, but believe me it was Black Friday through and through.  And then Black Saturday.  And Really, Really Black Sunday.

You see, once again I made a huge error in judgment.

Since everyone was getting along so well, I thought I'd enlist the kids' help in clearing a path, then organizing and putting our Christmas decorations up.  It was going to be a family thing.  Like something you'd see in a Norman Rockwell painting.  Oh how I love Norman Rockwell.

That's when the revolt began.  Me ask my kids to work?  Pitch in to do something that had nothing in it for them?  The resulting bitching, moaning and tantruming could be heard 'round the world.

My idyllic scene suddenly turned into an episode featuring the Bundy or Barr families instead.  Mom and kids snapped alike.  Then followed a whole heap of yelling, pouting and stomping out of the room.  In the end, I cleaned while the kids spent a lot of bonding time with their respective rooms.

But tonight I have to admit there's a little skip in my step.  Tomorrow it's a school day once more.  Then maybe, just maybe, I will steal a few moments of peace and quiet.

Only one question remains.  Is it Monday yet?

Gobble, Gobble

Posted by ZenMom Thursday, November 26, 2009 11 comments

Meet my friend the turkey.  You can call him Mr. Stuffing for short.  Handsome, regal, he instills fear and respect in all he meets. Right?

Not exactly.

I have to admit, he's not really the picture of confidence.  Or majestic grace.   And there's no denying he's quite goofy looking. What was Benjamin Franklin thinking when he nominated this creature for the national bird?

But to tell you the truth, I think he's gotten a bum rap. 

I know, I know.  It's just way too easy to poke fun at him.  After all, he's not known for his smarts.  He certainly doesn't have the looks of his kin the eagle or hawk.  But when you think of it, where would we be without our lowly friend -- the one who supplies the centerpiece at so many of our holidays?

Why our tables would be barren, the stuffing and yams looking lost all by themselves.  And those cute little Thanksgiving crafts the kids bring home.  I'm sorry to say, they just wouldn't be as sweet with a pig or a cow.  Why he's the workhorse of the American feast.

And in a sick, weird way I kind of relate to this fellow.

I've never been what one would call pretty.  My style these days could be best described as Modern Frump, given my affinity for comfort over style, sweats and elastic waistbands.  Even my body showing signs of resemblance with the constant growth of my midsection and the unstoppable southward shift of everything else.

But mostly because I feel like he's a kindred spirit.  Like him, I'm overworked, certainly underpaid and definitely unappreciated.  And when it comes down to it, my house would not be a pretty place without me.

So today, I would like to dedicate this post to all the workhorses out there.  The turkeys.  The moms. The dads.  And everyone else that makes this wonderful day possible.  For all of you I give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night.

And next time you see my friend Mr. Stuffing, give him a little respect, will you?

Healthcare Reform, Stinker Style

Posted by ZenMom Sunday, November 22, 2009 7 comments

My little guy ADORES his Daddy. Whenever I go to do something for him he yells, "NO! I want Daddy."

I should be hurt, right? Well, there are some definite benefits to this arrangement. Daddy is the only one allowed to put him to bed, to give him a bath and get him changed.

Not to shabby if you ask me.

One of daddy's duties is the reading of nightly stories. And one of his favorites is Pajama Time.

Seems it left its mark on the little guy. Just last night, as he was getting ready to retire he announced it was time for a Pajama Party. Then he promptly instructed both his dad and I to put our PJs on and join in the fun.

The thing that always amazes me is, we did it. This kid is going to rule the world some day, of this I'm sure.

There we all sat, at the late hour of 7 pm, in our PJs doing all sorts of pajama party type things. We played games, sang songs, and even danced. But then, almost as quickly as it started, the soiree ended.

The Little Stinker was off like a flash, heading downstairs to obviously terrorize his older siblings. Or so we thought.

We really should have known better. When will we ever, ever learn.

You see, a few minutes later the lad reappeared -- this time sporting his doctor's kit in hand.


Seems our party had now morphed into one wicked game of doctor -- the innocent kind of course (shame on you, this is a family blog you know!)

Included in his kit was one stethoscope, one thermometer, a couple of Band-Aids and of course, the requisite Crucifix.


A Crucifix?

Yep. Hubby and I both looked at each other quite concerned with what might be coming next.  Doogie Howser meets the Exorcist?

So, trying my hardest to keep a straight faced, I queried my youngest.

"Dear....what's that for?"

The look he gave me was quintessential Stinker.   One that screamed, "Mom, how could you be so ignorant?" And then -- in the best Revival Preacher impersonation I've heard in a long time -- he proclaimed:

"Jesus has come to save you.  He's come to give you medicine."

So for any of you concerned about current state of health care in this country, have no fear.  Between the Little Stinker and his Friend, we'll all be just fine.

Moms Not Allowed

Posted by ZenMom Friday, November 20, 2009 16 comments

My oldest daughter happens to be totally into the Twilight series.  I know, what warm-blooded teenage girl isn't?

It was about a year ago when she would come home from school, promptly put nose in book and commence swooning over this sordid tale of love and blood. 

So, after much pleading and prodding from my oldest -- and in an effort to bond with my ever-moody child --  I decided to give the book a gander.

The first chapter:  OK, but nothing special by my standards.

The second chapter:  Mildly interesting.

Chapter three:  Getting warmer.

By chapter four I was officially reeled in, hook, line and sinker -- or fang (pun totally intended).

Yes, I know, a forty-something mom has no business crossing over the invisible generational divide to invade TeenageLand territory, but at this point I was still doing it for the kid. And my plan worked.

Mother and daughter enjoyed more frequent conversations -- ones that didn't even involve handing over cash.  She'd bound into my room, jump on my bed and tell me how I wouldn't believe what happened next.  We talk about our favorites, share our thoughts on the plot and generally have a good laugh or two. 

But somewhere along the way, my innocent bonding strategy went south.  Way, way south.

I kind of got into the whole story.  I mean really got into it. The teen that was for so long stuffed way down inside of me was mysteriously unleashed.  And that's when the war began.

"I had it first."

"No I had it first."

"Mom, give me back my book!"

Did I mention I get a little obsessed with a good read?   This went on for months, until in the end all four books were finally completed.

Even though the story ended, I'm happy to report our bond remained.  On some level I was able to enter her world -- even it it took a few vampires to pave the way.  We still argue over who are favorite undead character is.  Or whether werewolves rock or not.

But there are limits to how for a mom can go.  I learned that the hard way.

The new movie just came out.  My daughter's had the release date on her calendar for months.  And as I'd see the previews over the last few weeks, I have to admit, my interest was piqued.

That's when I made my fatal error. I asked my daughter if she wanted to go see the movie.

With me.

The corresponding laughs could be heard for miles around.  Her go see New Moon with her mom?  Was I crazy?  Well yes, but that's another story all together.

So here I sit, getting ready to drive the big girl and her BFF to see the show.  All the while I'm secretly hoping they'll ask me to go along.  Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath.  I guess my vampire fix will just have to wait until it comes out on DVD.

Ain't He Sweet?

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, November 18, 2009 8 comments

The last few days our Little Stinker has been....well, a stinker. And not a little one either. His mood has been so cranky, so ornery he's been promoted to a Mammoth, Super-Sized Stinker.

Last night he peaked. Yelling, hitting, screaming -- you name it he did it. Figures we had company over at the time. Why is it they always save the best behavior for an audience?

My guest, taking pity on me, took the little guy outside to play. She took him all bundled up to play in the snow.

The quiet was wonderful.  I got all sorts of things done, and no one was hurt in the process.  When the door finally opened and the little guy reappeared a change had occurred.  No more sour puss, just a really cute kid with a grin from ear to ear.  Then before I knew it I was whisked outside myself, for my own private viewing of his new creation.

Seems he had a hankering to build some snowmen.  Not just any snowmen mind you.  He carefully crafted three snowman to take on the likenesses of mom, dad and, of course, the little guy.  In case you can't make them out, let me give you the run-down.

This is his self-portrait.  Don't be alarmed, he does have two arms. One just got mistaken for a fetching toy by our over-exuberant dog.  It was later foun, in tack and all was well again in the world.


This handsome hunk is Dad -- complete with Hitleresque mustache.   You see, until a few days ago, hubby had sported a mustache.  When he shaved it off, the little guy was not happy.  This is his form of protest.


And this looker is me.  Mommy.  Notice how the face just fades into a big lumpy mass for the rest of the body.  The resemblance is uncanny.  Thanks, kid.

  Sorry to bore all of you with this sugary sweet stuff.  But this was just too cute to pass up.  Good thing too.  We were ready to ship the imp off to Siberia.  Instead he has been demoted back down to the Little Stinker.  Yes, at the ripe old age of three he's figured out how to work us.  That's OK, because its moments like this that make me so happy to be Mommy.

Hold Me Back

Posted by ZenMom Monday, November 16, 2009 4 comments

I'm usually a pretty peaceful person.

No, really.

I don't get in fights, am friendly with all my neighbors and generally don't rock the boat.

So why is it that right now, I have this terrible urge to take someone out? And not just anyone, mind you. I want to take out the school crossing guard.

Yeah, he looks innocent enough. Probably in his seventies, with silvery gray hair and the walk of an old man. But don't let that fool you.  This guy is no pushover.

I need to start by telling you that the traffic at my daughter's school makes my house look like the most structured, calm environment around. And for that I'm grateful. At least we compare favorably against something.

They couldn't have done a worse job of planning the traffic flow if they tried.  Then again maybe they did.  After all it is a very popular school and LOTS of families try to get in. Maybe this is just a little extra step to ensure you really want to be there (Whoops.  The conspiracy theorist in me just got out).

Sorry, sidetracked again.   Now back to the story.

On any given morning, it takes me a good fifteen minutes to make it through the line of cars, minivans and SUVs that wends its way through two neighborhoods and several stop signs.  When I finally hit the 4-way stop in front of the school -- like clock work -- it happens.

I swear he sees me coming.  As soon I'm in his sights (you'd think at his age they would be failing, but noooo), that big red sign goes up. No matter that there are no pedestrians anywhere near the crosswalk.  Or the fact that, given his advanced years, it takes him a few minutes just to make it to the middle of the intersection.

There he stands.  Not letting me, or anyone else for that matter, go anywhere until finally -- usually after another 15 minutes have passed -- a pedestrian appears.  All this time, sporting a look that says, "I dare you to get past me."

Believe me, I'm tempted. Just as my foot reaches for the pedal,  I have a vision.  In it, there's a headline that reads:


So in the end I sit there, resigning myself to the fact that it takes 40 minutes to get my offspring to a school that's ten minutes from my house.  All the while cursing under my breath and fantasizing his demise.  Hey a girl can dream, can't she?

Me No Meme

Posted by ZenMom Sunday, November 15, 2009 3 comments

When I first entered the wonderful world of blogging, I really had no idea what I was walking into. Things like followers, SEO and comments confounded me. Badges, buttons, widgets and gadgets made me say, "Huh?" And HTML, CSS, templates and skins simply blew my mind.

I hate to admit that my learning curve is far from over. Every day I have one of those, So-that's-what-that-is moments.  Like yesterday.  I always wondered how so many of you could comment on my new posts so quickly.  I thought that took some pretty fast thinking -- and fingers.

Then I decided to enter my first contest.  Don't worry, I'm no competition to anyone out there.  I never win a thing.  I just like to think I can.  But anyway, in order to enter you had to sign up for this particular blog's RSS feed.

Me, not liking change, resisted at first.  But I really, really wanted that car seat, so sign up I did.

Then a curious thing happened.  I got an email every time a post was added..  AHAH!  That's how its done.  Hmmm.

This kind of thing seems to happen a lot.  I know the drill. After taking a few moments (OK I'll 'fess up -- a few days) berating myself for sheer stupidity -- I pat myself on the back and embrace whatever new concept it is.  Except for one.


Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against them.  I truly enjoy visiting other blogs and reading all those thematic lists and posts.  I'd even like to do some. But for some odd reason, I just can't.

I know they'd make my life easier.  Like the writing prompts I had in school.  Might even provide me with a little fresh material now and then.  But then I think of who we're talking about here.

And then I just have to say, "Me no do memes."

Why?  Well for starters, deadlines have a way of making me break out in a cold sweat.  Given my ability to create on demand these days, we'd have some pretty odd posts.  Take Thankful Thursday.  Thankful Saturday -- which is when I'd get around to it -- just doesn't have the same ring.

And Wordless Wednesday.  Me?  Wordless?  Now that's an oxymoron of epic proportions.

The list goes on, but you get the point. But you never know -- some day I might just change my tune.  Then you all have permission to say, "I told you so." Until then, I'll just have to stick with writing when the spirit moves me.

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Posted by ZenMom Saturday, November 14, 2009 9 comments


Or click.  Or do whatever one does in the blogsphere. I'm just too choked up to speak. I'm beyond words.

Yeah, don't you wish.

Seriously folks, I'm in awe of all of my friends and followers out there. Especially those who have bestowed some pretty awesome awards on my humble little blog. You rock!

Now please don't be insulted. I don't do rules too well. I'd just mix 'em up, forget some and basically make a mess of the whole thing. So you won't see ten things about me that no one knows.  Seriously, don't I confess enough already?

But have no fear. I would love to express my gratitude and pass these wonderful little tidbits of love on to others. I'm just gonna do the condensed, Reader's Digest version. Otherwise, it may take me until Christmas 2010 for this post to be written.  So, here it goes...

First to Rocky Mountain Memoirs and EcoMeg, here is my extremely belated Thank You for passing on the Lovely Blog Award.

And, in turn, I would like to present this award to....Strawberry Seeds, Coming Clean and Its a Beauty-Filled Life.

A huge thanks also goes to Brittany at MommyWords. You are truly the bestest!  Your posts always make me laugh.

Now its time for me to pass this on to Brilliant Sulk, Stacie's Madness and Hormones, Headaches and Hotflashes.

I'd also like to thank Amy from Confessionals of a Stay at Home Mom.  From me to you, I absolutely LOVE your list of lesser known facts.  I think the pool one is my all time favorite.

And my winners for this are:
Menopausal New MomThe World According to Me and Mean Mom Academy.

To Nancy at If Evolution Really Works,  I love you too.  I also loved your award post.  Way too creative.

I also love Country Fried Mama, MommyLiteOnline and Immoral Matriarch.

Last, but not least, thanks abound for Stina at Woman and Mom for this refreshing award. And to Forever Folding LaundryBloggin2Noggin and Crazy Mom With 4 Boys. Come on down and pick up your very own lemonade award. 

Pheww!  I made it.  This was a hard list to make.  There are so many wonderful sites out there, this was a toughie. 

Right now, the snow is falliing, my eyes are getting heavy and its time to call it a day.  Good night and happy blogging.

That's One Strong Glue

Posted by ZenMom Thursday, November 12, 2009 9 comments

Our little guy is one active kid.  Mind you -- ALL our kids are pretty energetic.  At least that's  the phrase that usually exits the lips of every adult that has spent any time with my broad.  But my youngest, he's decided to take it up a notch or two. 

This is actually quite ironic.  When he was born he was the quietest, sweetest, most content baby in the world.  He would stay in his little bassinet and just watch the commotion around him.  He'd smile and coo and take it all in.  He wasn't colicky, rarely fussed and was an all around pleasure..

With a huge grin and knowing sigh, I would sit rocking him and declare, "Ah, I finally got a calm one."

I really should have known better.  As soon as those six little words entered the universe, the forces that be decided it was yet again time to mess with my head.

The day he became mobile, the honeymoon was officially over.  And the world as we knew it ceased to be.

No gate could contain him and he could pick every safety lock known to man. In no time he was stacking chairs, scaling counter tops and leaving a path of destruction where ever he went.  It was during this time that our once plentiful babysitting offers mysteriously dried up.   They were replaced instead with the whispers of friend and passerby alike.

"He's the PRECOCIOUS one."

That's my boy.  The one I used to joke would be the first one to be taken to the emergency room after pulling some Jackass-like stunt. 

I really should know when to shut up. When will I learn that all those little "sayings" of mine always, always come to fruition.  And today was the day.

Luckily it wasn't so bad.  Especially given my history of hysteria at the sight of blood.  It was, however,  a little unnerving.

I was in the middle of such a nice nap when my oldest bolted into my room.

"MOM!  Mom! Come quick.  He's hurt."

This really is a cruel trick to play on a groggy Mom.  And of course my mind had thought of a hundred and one scenarios, none of them pretty, by the time I made it to the scene of the crime.

Turns out my little monkey was jumping on the bed, fell and bumped his head smack dab on the corner of the nightstand.

It didn't even bleed -- at first.  But when it did start, it wouldn't stop.  No gushing blood or anything, just a steady stream requiring multiple bandaid replacements.

After a few hours (yes, I am very slow in my old age), I realized this wasn't going to resolve on its own.  Luckily our pediatrician was game and no trip to the ER was required.  All the way there, I was dreading the inevitable sewing of the wound.  I knew the screams would not be pretty and lets face it, I'm a wimp when it comes to a crying three year old.

So imagine my surprise when I heard the prognosis was gluing.  Yep. A wonderful invention, they just dab a little on the site, squeezed it together and -- Presto -- it's good to go after a short 60 second wait.  Just like Super Glue.

So tonight I'm feeling pretty smug.  The experience wasn't half as bad as I thought.  But that's all I'm saying. I've learned my lesson and if asked I'm pleading the fifth.

This Has Got to Stop

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8 comments

I woke up this morning to yet another bug -- this time the common cold. I've been getting sick almost continuously since school started. So much so that I was wondering if I had some terrible illness that was wrecking havoc with my poor, abused immune system. I even went to the doctor, who promptly put half of my blood supply into little tubes to see what was the matter.

Turns out I'm fine. Well not exactly fine, but close enough. So then I started wondering if I was just a hypochondriac and that my various ailments were all just figments of my sometimes overactive imagination.

I kept up with this line of thought until a couple of days ago. That's when I made a discovery that blew me away. One that sent millions of tiny shivers up and down my spine.

I've always taught my kids to share. Actually, I've hammered it into their little brains from when they were knee high to a grasshopper. Well it looks like I might have overdone it a bit.

Two days ago, when I asked my soccer girl where her toothbrush was, I got the infamous shoulder shrug and almost incomprehensible I dunno.  She's a teen, what can I say.

Then I started to get suspicious.  With a little prodding (OK, threats of bodily harm might have been involved) I found out that because she lost track of which one was her's, she's been using any toothbrush that was in sight. Yuk!

But wait, it gets better.

Turns out all my kids have gotten in on the action.  They have all been partaking in a game of toothbrush round robin for a while now.  The best part was when I found out I was an unknowing participant.  All those times I saw them lingering in my bathroom, I thought they were just using my hairbrush or make up. How could I be so blind?

Is nothing sacred?

Nope.  There are no boundaries in this house.  My kids walk in on me getting dressed on a somewhat regular basis -- there's usually an eeeww involved (Thanks kids, I needed that.).  They will hold entire conversations with me while I'm on the phone and usually want me to help them with their homework while I'm in the bathroom.

So now, I'm turning over a new leaf.  I bought new toothbrushes for everyone and spent the evening labeling each one with their respective names -- its more like wallpaper, but I want no more questions as to who's is who's.

Then, I'm going to start with the lessons.  There will be no more sharing in this house!  And anyone who even thinks about using my toothbrush again might just see these pearly whites staring them in the face.

Membership Has Its Privileges

Posted by ZenMom Tuesday, November 10, 2009 7 comments

I've been thinking a lot about getting older these days. Usually when I'm looking in the mirror. That's when I see those new lines and all those new gray hairs cropping up.

It also crosses my mind when I go to put on my pants and realize I've outgrown them yet again. Or during those times I try to get up from a sitting position only to be stuck in some yoga-like pose, sans the yoga.  Not before I let out a few good old lady noises of course.

Come to think of it, this whole aging thing is pretty much on my mind 24/7.  Getting older is really a downer.

I went on a hike with an old (no pun intended) friend of mine a while back.  The whole time we talked about how different we are now than in our younger days.  How appearances don't seem to matter half as much as they used to. We talked about our growing disdain for small talk and anything superficial.  And how we just don't have time to make nice-nice with people who are just pains in the ass.

As we made our way up the mountain, the theme for the day became clear.

It just doesn't matter anymore.

I'm no longer bound by what others think of me.  My idea of fashion consists largely of what is comfortable. And, as many of you can attest to, I feel a certain freedom to speak my mind.

The biggest revelation? I feel more free to be my own person than I have in years.  So along with all the bad, I'm coming to realize aging most definitely has its privileges -- and I must confess -- I'm kinda liking them.

So it looks like I'm a proud, card-carrying member of the Old Geezer's Club. Wanna come join me? 


Posted by ZenMom Sunday, November 8, 2009 6 comments

DISCLAIMER:  We interrupt this normally light-hearted, satirical blog to talk about something seriousI have a sneaking suspicion I may ruffle some feathers out there, so I formally apologize in advance. If you're offended, all I have to say is -- the hormones made me do it.

We all know the economy sucks.  There is so much need, so much hurt. With the holidays coming up, many are wondering how they will get through.  The reasons are as numerous as the stories...lost jobs, medical expenses, dwindling (if any) savings accounts.  This is serious stuff folks.

I know.  We've been there.  In our case, some big medical issues reared their ugly heads, putting us into a tailspin trying to figure out how to keep our heads above water.

Now I don't say this for sympathy.  We have been blessed more than I could ever imagine.  God has provided for us and I have faith that however hard, we will make it through.

But because I've had a taste of this, I'm a tad sensitive to things that others seem clueless about.

While I've always been on the cheap thrifty side, I find it funny that being frugal is now in fashion. I see so many otherwise loaded individuals now rambling on about how they need to tighten their belts.  That's OK.  We could never have enough fiscal responsibility. But what really irks me are those, many whom I know are quite comfortable, complaining about how hard they have it.  If they only knew...

Being the old advertising type that I am, I figure this is nothing that a good ole awareness campaign can't cure.  So I've taken it upon myself to educate those of the more fortunate out there.  Its not that I want to make fun of them, I sincerely want to help them stop making total fools out of themselves.

And now for my Jeff Foxworthy impersonation.
NOTE:  The following is based on true events, I couldn't make some of this stuff up.  No worries, all the names have been changed to protect the innocent oblivious. 


  • ...cutting your two week trip to Disney World to a mere seven day jaunt.  As a last resort, you may just go up to the mountains for a ski trip instead. Get over it.  If this is you're biggest problem, you are so not struggling.  If you're able to go on vacation, any vacation, thank your lucky stars. People with REAL problems can't even do that.

  • ...the fact that you can't put enough money in the kids' college funds.  Whoopie.  Be thankful you have a college account or retirement account or savings account for that matter. REAL problems mean your savings consists of a bunch of pennies in the jar in the basement or whatever change you can find under the couch.

  • ...the fact that you have to cut out little Buffy's gymnastics camp because you're just too tapped out with her dance, riding and French lessons.  Hate to break it to you, but  I think she'll live.  REAL problems include not having enough money to pay for your child's school supplies, lunch or field trip fees.

  • ...not being able to get your nails done because you have to cut back.  Hold me back. I really want to hurt you.  If this is your biggest worry, please, please shut up.

  • ...poor people, saying "So many of these people create their own problems. Why should I pay for them?" Do I really need to explain this one?
  • ...the fact that you'd like to help out, BUT {insert any of the above here}.  Pleeeeaase.  My only advise is...wake up and look around you.  Then give. Or do.  Whatever you choose, do it like your life depends upon it.  Tides have a way of turning. You never know when it actually will.

The ironic part of this is that the people who need it the most are the ones that rarely complain.  Why is that?  Is it that they have learned to appreciate the smaller things in life? I don't know for sure, but we can all learn a lesson or two from those "less fortunate" then ourselves.

My World's Been Rocked

Posted by ZenMom Friday, November 6, 2009 6 comments

This has been one long week. First, the phone incident. Yeah, you know about that one already.

Then dearest hubby had a run-in with John Law. No, he wasn't speeding (not this time) but he had expired plates. A fix it ticket's not a big deal, right?

As our luck has it, this was not a fix it, but a Hand-Over-95-Smackaroos-and-Be-On-Your-Way ticket. Highway robbery if you ask me. To top it off, our old, shoddily built banister lost a post.  So now we're left with a gaping hole between the kitchen and family room.  As I went to call the handyman, I swore I saw visions of dollar signs swirling above my head.

Then, on Wednesday, the unthinkable happened. The Word Which Must Not Be Spoken was uttered. It was awful.  Traumatic.  I think I'm scarred for life.

Why so glum?

My laptop died. There, I said it.

I wasn't in the room when it happened. I did however hear the screams.  I made it down the stairs just in time to see two of my dear children, both looking so, so guilty.  And then I saw it -- the dreaded blue screen.  You know the one. The lovely That's All Folks shade that tells you all is definitely not well in computerland. .

After some requisite screaming and threats of groundings for life, we tried to resuscitate my old friend.  No such luck.  Today, as tears streamed down my cheek, I watched my hubby packed it up to bring it into the shop.  At this point, the best I can hope for is retrieving at least some of the stuff I had on it.  And, no, smart me did not back it up.  I thought about it.  But that's as far as it got.

Now that the shock is finally worn off, reality has hit. And boy does it bite.

My laptop. My life. It's all over now, plain and simple.

I never realized how dependent I have grown on the little sucker until I tried to do without it.  Yeah, we have another computer in the house, but its not the same. No more writing posts from bed?  Or declaring "Mommy's taking a time out" only to steal way and shop while watching Monk in the peacefulness of my room?  How's a Mom supposed to get any peace around here?

Instead I'm left to share a computer, sitting in the middle of our family room, with three kids -- two of which don't know how close they came to biting the big one.

So if this post seems a little rushed, that's because it is.  Right now, I have about two more minutes before the door opens and the circus begins.  Ahh, there's nothing like a deadline looming to get those creative juices flowing. 

Uh-oh, the knob is turning.  Let the games begin. Until next time...

Please Press $@#%!

Posted by ZenMom Tuesday, November 3, 2009 5 comments

Here goes another confession. Yeah, I know, what else is new?

Call me old fashioned, but I'm horrible with cell phones. I'm notorious for my uncanny ability to lose mine. When I do find it, the battery's usually dead. And on that off chance that its in place AND has power, its probably stashed at the bottom of my purse so I never hear the stupid thing go off.

Today was no exception. A couple of days ago it wouldn't charge so I neatly (not!) put it away. I admit, with kids screaming, dogs running off and dinner burning, it just wasn't at the top of my proverbial pile.

Too bad for me, when I went to find it, it was nowhere.  Kaput!

And right now I could really use that normally insignificant hunk of metal. You see, our home phone (yeah, I know a lot of you in the younger crowd may consider this in of itself archaic) is having issues.

Every time I pick up the phone, it shouts back a static sound at a decibel level way too high for human ears. At first I thought it would go away on its own, but after a day of causing irreparable damage to my eardrums, I decided to take drastic measures.

I called the phone company.

I was greeted by a lovely voice (automated of course), then prompted to several other equally automated voices. Then the real fun began. I got to the part where I was supposed to give my computerized friend some simple answers.

Simple? Right. Between the static and the three year old screaming in the background I guess I wasn't making myself very clear. I kept getting the Hal of automated systems saying, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Could you say it again?"

Well after the fifth time around, I began to get a little testy. That's when I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs. The neighbors stared, the little guy cried, wondering why mommy was acting so crazy. (Don't worry kid, in time you'll get used to it.)

When I finally did get a live person, they kept asking me for my alternate number.

"No, I don't have another number."


I don't have an alternate number."

"Are you kidding me?


The chuckles could be heard, right through the static. And then, "Well...I'm sorry, but if you don't have another number, I can't help you."  Chuckle. Chuckle.

Two hours, three more calls and a probably a small fortune later, I have a tech coming out tomorrow to assess (and hopefully fix) the damage.

This could have been so simple.  If I just had that wee little phone.

So right now I have just one thing to say:  Please, please come back, cell phone.  I promise not to take you for granted anymore.  Just make the noise go away and I'll be your bestest pal ever.

It's the Most Wonderful Day of the Year

Posted by ZenMom Monday, November 2, 2009 2 comments

Yesterday just happened to be my absolute favorite day of the whole entire year.

Nope, not Halloween.  Not All Saints Day. Not even Christmas.

It was  Daylight Savings Day!

Now I forget if its the beginning or the end of this funky little arrangement, but whatever it is -- all I know is its the day when the impossible happens.  For just one single day out of the entire year I get what I begged for the other 364 -- more hours in the day.  Well, at least one more. 

I know its only sixty minutes, but around my neck of the woods, I need all I can get.  And that single hour has a way of recharging me and making me feel -- dare I say -- downright serene.

It was an added bonus that this year it fell on the day after Halloween.  This put all the kiddos in an extra special relaxed mood.  Coming down from that sugar rush can do that to the system, I guess.  Or maybe it was the euphoria of knowing they had that much candy.  Whatever the cause, the result was wondrous.

With the kids happy and contained, I was able to do what I do most days.  I got things done.  I just didn't do them at my usual frantic pace.  It was like I was floating through the day in this surreal slo-mo state.  Why the feeling was so foreign, I couldn't put my finger on it.

At least not until tonight.  Now I know what it was.  I remember feeling it long ago, I think sometime in a former life.  The name?  Its on the tip of my tongue.  Ah, yes, it's called R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N.  All the way down to my bones.  There was no rushing, no hurrying along.  No worries about being behind.  Because I knew that -- at least for one day -- I actually had enough hours in the day to keep up with my crazy life.

Now I know that with this change comes shorter days, longer nights and the inevitable cold, but right now I'm too comfortable to care.  But like all good things, this too came to an end.  So now its time to go.  Unlike yesterday, we're back to our measly 24 hour stretch, so time to get myself in gear to face another way-too-short day.


Zen and the Art of Motherhood

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