And the Bad Parent Of the Year Award Goes to...

Posted by ZenMom Saturday, January 30, 2010 16 comments

Bet you guessed Brittany Spears.  Nope. That was a couple of years ago.  How passe.

Or maybe Brangelina.   Will they stop having kids already?

Or maybe one of those moms on Jerry Springer.  You know, the one that needs a paternity test to figure out which five guys is the father of her 3 year old love child.  She's also the one to get into a fist fight with the other two ladies trying to figure out the same thing.

And the answer is...none of the above.  As of this afternoon, its settled.  Its me.  Big time.

It all started on Wednesday when I got a call from school.  I should be used to these by now.  But the nice nurse at Pond Boy's school called to tell me he had a little accident in gym.  Seems he had a run in with a basketball and he jammed his finger.

She said he was fine, it was OK and he was coming home with some ice.  No biggie.

I promptly examined it, and yes indeed it was swollen.  But so are a number of other injuries we see around here.  So being the decisive person I am, I told him, "Let's wait till you dad gets home."

Now there's one thing about my dearest hubby.  He's a minimalist in the way he approaches problems.  Most things are fine until proven otherwise.  So when, after examining the injury, he proclaimed "nothing but a sprain"  I should have said something.

Like that happened.  I was too busy making dinner, supervising homework and after-school activities and thwarting the Little Stinker's efforts to torture the cat.   I got sidetracked, OK?

Fast forward to three days later.  I'm in the kitchen with Pond Boy when I notice something funny about his hand.  Was it always that blue?  I don't remember it looking like a balloon before?  I know my memory is a little fuzzy these days, but something was most definitely not right.

So one trip to Urgent Care and two hours later we got the verdict.  Its broken.  Its also out of place.  He was put in a splint and first thing Monday morning we'll be making a visit to the hand specialist.

So now you all know my dirty little secret.  I let my son go three days with a broken hand.  Isn't that special?  I'm the proud recipient of the Worst Mother of the Year award.  And its only January.  Can't wait to see what the rest of the year will bring.

Feeling Really, Really Stupid,

Today is Offical Non-Sequitur Day

Posted by ZenMom Friday, January 29, 2010 9 comments

Today I'm a little scattered.  That's because its the first day this week I'm home WITHOUT sick kids, and I'm not sure where to even begin.  Besides, I think I'm coming down with the stomach thing myself.  Welcome to my life.   And my stream of conciousness.

Why is it that I have over a hundred followers...did I mention I hit the 100 mark? Yippee...and I only get 10 comments?  I'm starting to have self image problems over this one.  Please help.

I'm actually thinking of going to BlogHer this year.  Yes, blogging has officially taken over my life.  Then again, I don't have a life, so it really doesn't matter.

Did I get the dogs their heartworm shots yet?  Where are the dogs anyway?

To all my bloggin' fiend friends out there, I have a favor to ask.  STOP.  That's right, stop writing.  Just for a little while.  I need to get caught up and I realize that's the only way its gonna happen.

Remember I said dieting wasn't so bad.  I lied.  If I have to keep eating like this for another six months I think I'm going to lose it.  Stop.  I know what you're thinking.  I should have added "even more" to that last statement.  There, I did it.  Are you happy?

I did brush my teeth today.  I think. God I'm a wreck.

As I try for the millionth time to spring for a real, professional blog design, I get sidetracked and never do a thing.  Someone mentioned mommy-onset ADHD.  Is there a support group I can join?

I'm done now.  My mind is officially on strike.  Plus, I've got to go clean the bathroom. Hopefully next time I'll be able to write a real post.

There will be no Zen today,

If Its Wednesday....

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9 comments must be Screw With Mom day.  Officially.

Long, long ago, there was a time when Wednesdays were so peaceful.  And quiet.  Just me, the dogs and over five hours of  uninterrupted down time.

Only I'm having a hard time remembering what is was like.  That's because its a myth.  A fantasy.  A pure figment of my imagination.

Why it seems that as soon as humpday rolls around, someone has it in for me.

And not just someone.  EVERYONE.

When the kids get sick, its always on Wednesday.  My dentist appointments, the only open slot for months is on the very same day.  Same for the root canal.  Oh, and one cannot forget the Kermit Incident.  Yep, Wednesday again.

This week, like all the rest, I had hope.  And a to-do list a mile long, just waiting for some quiet time to complete.

I should have known better.  The writing was on the wall.  Monday night, the Little Stinker came to sleep in our bed.  Since he's so damn cute, we let him.  An unfortunate decision on our part, considering he decided to throw up on the sheets, the pillows and us at about 2 am.  Nothing wakes you up from a sound sleep like that oh-so-lovely smell.

It was downhill from there.  He was running a fever yesterday.  But yet I still hoped.  Maybe it was just a 24-hour bug. 

As I picked up my daughter from school yesterday, she was sporting the same greenish hue.  And that's when all hope of a day to myself went out the window.

So here I sit, stealing away a few moments to write as my two sick children nap.  There will be no errands run, no exercise done, no projects completed.  I'll be whipping up a couple of batches of chicken soup instead.  With a family as generous as ours, I'm sure we're not done yet.

Depression Rules,

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen

Posted by ZenMom Monday, January 25, 2010 11 comments

My recent rash of computer woes has gotten me thinking.  I realized its been a while since my last confession.  Not wanting to disappoint, I will force myself to divulge one of my deepest, darkest secrets.

I used to be a techno-geek.  Through and through, technology was in my veins.

I lived in Silicon Valley.  I worked for a software company.  I owned the coolest hardware and ran the hottest software.  I ate up info on new trends and releases like it was candy. And my idea of a good time was going to a conference where I'd promptly drool over Steve Jobs' or Bill Gates latest presentation.  Did I just admit that?  Well, its too late now.

You see it was the early 90s --  a time when Apple still ruled the world and money flowed like water.  I was in the know and I loved it.

Then a funny thing happened.  I moved to the middle of the country.  I had kids.  Suddenly my days were filled with diapers instead of databases and the only conferences I attend have a teacher sitting at the other end of the table.  The slide was gradual, but the result obvious.  I lost my edge.

Big time.

And nothing brought this home like a computer crash or two.   It made me realize I can't even get my email up and running without major difficulties.  We've already been over my challenges with cell phones.  I won't even go into my texting issues.

So today I am faced with the cold, hard reality that technology has passed me by.  I am a geek no more.

Well actually, according to my teen, I am -- but I can no longer put the word techno in front of it.

I'll just have to get used to the fact that I'm just one of those out of touch parents.   the ones that need their kids to fix the computer, test the latest software and help them get set up on Facebook.

After all, technology's for the young.  So why am I having such a hard time letting go?

Simple.  I guess I have a few denial issues to iron out.  And when it comes right down to it, I so don't want to grow up.

Repeat after me...Denial Is Your Friend,

From Couch to 5K Wheelchair

Posted by ZenMom Friday, January 22, 2010 9 comments

This getting into shape stuff is highly overrated.  I think its officially going to do me in.

Now you may know that I'm attempting to turn over a new leaf.  Tired of the continual upward movement of my pant size, as well as the jeers and wisecracks from the kids, I decided to get healthy and loose weight.

News ain't as easy as it seems.

Surprisingly, the diet stuff is going OK.  Then again, its only been a week and a half.  But I'll except small victories where I can get them.

The thing that's really getting to me is the exercise.  Here I thought is was supposed to make your more healthy, fit and flexible.

Not exactly.

As I make my way through the Couchto5K plan, I am forcing myself to jog at least three times a week.  I use the word jog loosely, because you really can't call it running.  I am officially the slowest jogger on the planet.  Why, even senior with walkers have been known to lap me.

But I keep plugging away.  Who knows, with a little work I might actually make a 30 minute mile.  OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit.  But seriously, 20 minutes is my goal.

What's worse than the pace is the pain.  My back, my neck, my feet.  So much for that increased flexibility.

There's also the laughter.  My oh-so-encouraging family takes great pleasure in mocking my ohs and ouchs. They're having way to much fun with this.

But I keep plugging away.  Why?  Because I am that proverbial tortoise. I may be ungraceful and pokey, but I'm gonna win this race -- dammit -- if its the last thing I do.

Calm but Sore,

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

Posted by ZenMom Thursday, January 21, 2010 15 comments

So remember the bomb scare yesterday?  Today I have a few more details.

They're pretty juicy.

Actually slimy would be more like it.

Thankfully, it was a false alarm.  As the story goes, a teacher pulled up at school and saw a duffel bag in the middle of the empty parking lot.  Something looked suspicious, so it was reported and the cavalry was called in.

The school was closed, mass hysteria ensued and there were a whole lot of worried kids and parents wondering what the heck was going on.  It turns out that using a robotic device, the bomb squad very carefully inspected the bag.  And this is what they found:

Yes, folks, in case you're wondering that is indeed Kermit the Frog sprawled out, his hands and feet spread.  I don't know about you, but he looks like he's been roughed up to me.  I'm wondering if a home video is going to surface in the next few days showing unnecessary police brutality against an amphibian.

So, just to recap, what appeared to be law enforcement from all over the state of Colorado, plus the news media, all gathered at our little school because of a muppet sighting.  To put in in other words, I MISSED MY ENTIRE FREE DAY because someone left one of Miss Piggy's friends in the parking lot.

Now if that don't beat all.  I am very thankful that this was a true false alarm, but truly, it doesn't get much better than this.

Laughing Hysterically (but trying to look serious for the kids),

Tick, Tick

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8 comments

It was a beautiful morning.  The sun was shining, the sky was clear and there was just a slight nip in the air.  Add to that being greeted by the SWAT team at school, and you have the makings of one fine day.

The sad thing is, I'm not even exaggerating.

This morning was calm -- at least by our standards.  Everyone got ready without too much fuss and there was only one fight over the bathroom.  We even got out the door on time to bring my younger daughter to school.

I thought is was kind of funny that we were hitting so much traffic.  Then I saw the sirens at the school.  Silly me thought is was just an accident blocking the way.  Under much protest -- I had my girl get out and walk the rest of the way.  Hey, I'm pretty practical and it was definitely going to take less time for her to walk than for me to drive.

I was making my way home when I called the school to let them know she might be a tad late.  That's when I was promptly told by the somewhat flustered receptionist, "Uh, the school's closed right now.  We've had a bomb threat."


You've never seen a car whip around so quickly.  I think I broke a few speed records trying to get back to my daughter.  Luckily she was safe and home we went.

I don't have a lot of info yet, but it seems a suspicious package was found in the parking lot.  Examining it was the police department, the bomb squad, the SWAT team and the fire department.  Topping off the spectacle, we even made the news.  Even the news helicopters came out for this one.

The worst thing about this?  Once again, this was my day.  The day when my little guy goes to Lunch Bunch and I have the house to myself.  So all the way home I just kept shaking my head, wondering why the Powers that Be have it out for me so badly.  Damn, I'm a bad mommy.

Calm has left the building,

Stop The Violence

Posted by ZenMom Monday, January 18, 2010 10 comments

At Starbucks.

Bet you didn't know this was a growing epidemic?  Well believe me, it is.

What? Don't you trust me?

Why just today a male walked into our local Starbucks, looked at me and screeched at the top of his lungs.

"BANG.  I'm going to shoot your head off!"

So what if he's only four and happens to be related to me.  Mere details.  It was still traumatizing.  Can you say PTSD?

It all started months ago.  My oldest son is a Transformers Afficionado.  Mind you he's never seen either of the movies, but he can tell you (in great detail), who's who, what they turn into and if they're an Autobot (the good guys) or a Decepticon (bad guys).  Thank you very much YouTube.

It just so happens that Pond Boy is idolized by his little brother.  When he went through his Indiana Jones phase, the Little Stinker could be seen using any belt, hose or yarn as his own "whip."  That was fun.  Especially when he used it on the neighbor kid.  We've been blacklisted from playdates ever since.

As Pond Boy transitioned into Star Wars, his little brother joined in -- the only two year old who could hum the Theme Song unprompted (usually in Church or at a meeting or some other totally inappropriate place.)  He could also wield a light saber with amazing speed.  Once again, social engagements were inexplicably canceled.

The new Transformers stage is no exception to this trend.  My four year old is equally obsessed with all things Megatron, Optimus Prime, BumbleBee and all their friends.  And let me tell you, they have a lot of friends.

So when we had to run some errands today, it seems quite reasonable to bring one of the toys with us.  It would keep him occupied and quiet.

It was a good theory.

All started out fine.  He made it through the grocery store without incident.  Even when we were in Starbucks, he sat quietly, downing his hot cocoa.  But once the treat was gone, all bets were off.

Those creative juices started flowing and soon he was recreating one of his favorite scenes.  Pointing his Transformer at me he said I was a bad guy.

And then it happened.  As all was quiet around us, my little angel stood up on his chair, looked me square in the eyes and told me I was a goner.  He not only said it, he included hand gestures.  Oh yeah, and the loud voice.  The stop-everyone-dead-in-their-tracks kind.

So as all the nice people around us stared in horror, I slowly picked up my little delinquent, smiled and made my way to the door.  Guess we can add yet another place to our list of banned venues.

Eternally Embarassed,

Work It Baby

Posted by ZenMom Sunday, January 17, 2010 7 comments

For a while now, I've been thinking of going back to work.  Well, not exactly going to work -- I was kind of hoping it would come to me.

Between the kids, the animals, the house and all the activities, there's no way I could hold down a 9 to 5 job.  But given the current state of the economy, and our ever-shrinking bank account, its no longer a wish, but a necessity.

The only problem has been my lack of focus.  Until recently, I truly had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.

In a past life (before kids), I used to be in advertising.

But that was then.

Now -- 14 years and 4 kids later -- there's no way I could go back to that.  First, my contacts have dried up.  So I'd be pounding the pavement with credentials that are over a decade old.  Let's face it, I'm not exactly a sought-after commodity these days.

Even if I did land a job, the hours would kill me.  Not just the normal 9 to 5 type business, deadlines rule and so do long, long hours.  And what about the kids?  Clients have a funny way of frowning on missed deadlines because your kid happens to have strep.

I was just about to give up and go take that retail job down at Target when my luck suddenly changed.  I'm pleased to report I just landed a couple of writing gigs.

First, I'm just doing some article rewriting.  Its a no-brainer, but it pays.  And I can do it from home --  when I want, how I want.

The second is a little more exciting.  I just was hired to write blog posts on family camping by Woodall.  It may not be glamorous to some, but its perfect for me.  We're a camping family, you see.  We've got the trailer, the gear and the stories.

And given my family's penchant for drama, material will certainly overfloweth.

So who do I have to thank for all this?

Why blogging of course.  It reminded me how much I love to write.  And it gave me a little confidence.  So I'd like to give a big fat thanks to all of you who actually take the time out of your days to read the rantings of little ol' me.  I couldn't of done it without you.

And now for a little update:  I'm one week into my diet and I'm proud to report I lost 5 lbs AND made it through Week One of Couchto5K.  I'm pleased, but the real test will be not gaining all the weight back in the upcoming weeks.  Wish me luck.  I'm definitely going to need it.

Keep Calm Busy,

When Did I Get So Old?

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11 comments

Its only Wednesday and I'm already beat.  I think I've tracked more miles in my car over the last few days than all of last year combined.

First, we have yet another bug making its way through the house.  Here I was so looking forward to Monday, and I ended up with three kids home sick.  In between answering pleas for ginger ale and chicken soup I had to drive my oldest all over the place.  So much for getting anything accomplished.

Yesterday was met with trips to the doctor, the dentist, pick up, drop off, and again I had the privilege of being my teenager's personal chauffeur.  You see, next year, she'll be starting high school, and it seems like we've toured just about every one in the state in an attempt to find the right match.

Today, is my day of rest.  In theory at least.  I had a handyman to supervise, food shopping to do -- why I even went on a run (my second day of #Couchto5K and already I'm dragging).  There was a little relaxation time thrown in, and for that I am very, very grateful.  I'd better be, it has to last me a whole week.

On the flip side, all that alone time always seems to lend itself to that pesky thinking stuff.  And today, my mind kept going to one simple fact.

I'll have a kid in HIGH SCHOOL next year!


Or more appropriately, WTF!

It seems like just yesterday I was picking her up from preschool and coordinating princess-themed playdates with her little friends.  Or helping out at the class parties in grade school.  (Funny, I never thought I'd say this, but I really miss those little parties).  I even remember driving her home from her first middle school social.  And I thought she was old then.

But now....

She's almost as tall as I am.  She certainly has more attitude.  And did I happen to mention she'll be in high school?  HIGH SCHOOL.

This scares me on so many levels.

There's school itself.  Have you been in your local high school lately?  Its downright frightening.  I've found out that Goth is passe (I think someone forgot to tell the ten or so I saw though) and Emo's are bizarre.  Of course, peppered in the crowd are the jocks and the popular types too.

Then there's the whole social scene.  Late nights, dating, parties with drinking or drugs.  Oh crap.  I'm so not ready for this.

And the cruelest twist of nature?  Next year I'll have one in high school, one in preschool, plus the two in middle school.

This keeps getting worse by the minute.  I think its time for me to stop typing now -- I'm starting to hyperventilate.

Trying to Keep Calm (but failing miserably),

Weighing In

Posted by ZenMom Saturday, January 9, 2010 9 comments

I know, I know.  I have been a bad bloggy friend.  I'm just having a hard time getting back into the swing of things after my little "break."  If I haven't come a commenting lately, once again bear with me.  I'm just a little slow on the uptake these days.

And no, I wasn't committed (yeah, you were thinking it, admit it).  I was truly hanging out at home, sans the straight jacket or padded walls.

Then again, this week was kind of crazy.  After all that yummy food, fruitcake and downtime, getting back to the grind was downright brutal.  Monday the hubby went back to work, by Wednesday I had all the kids back at school and by Friday I was ready to lose it.  Come to think of it, I DID lose it.  Whoopsie.

With everyone back into their respective routines, I once again found myself with some time to think.  And that's never a good thing.  'Cuz this week I started thinking about all those things that I wasn't happy with.  That alone sent me into a tizzy, me because I kept losing my list.  Told you I was slow.

Seriously though, one thing keeps nagging at me.  Because 2009 was a tough year, I had to let some things go.  Unfortunately that shedding process took a toll, because I prioritized eating properly and exercising right out of my life.  As a result, I am now the heaviest I've ever been in my entire life.

And that sucks.  I live in Colorado for God's sake.  THE most outdoorsy, healthiest state in the country.  While I was never what one would call skinny, I was always healthy.  I'd ski and hike and bike and run.  I would do spin and aerobics.  I could even keep up with the kids.

But now....

I'm pretty pathetic.  I feel like an geriatric 40 something.  My joints ache.  I can't make it up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing.  I make tons of Old Lady noises.  And I have one big, fat muffin top.

So, I've made a decision.

Its time to get off my ever-growing bottom and do something about it.  I'd like to thank Kathy at Strawberry Seeds to introducing me to Couch-to-5K. It means I'll have to drag my carcass off the couch and train for a real, live 5K run.  It may be the last thing I do, but I'm going to attempt to run the Bolder Boulder this year.  Its a 10K, but what the hell -- 5K, 10K, what's the difference, right?

I also came by some inspiration from Elastic Waistbands and Comfortable Shoes.  She turned me on to Lose It Bitches.  The name alone will have me coming back, let alone the weight loss support.  Thanks for the encouragement.

Now, I know me.  Remember all those good intentions last year?  So I figured if I publicized this here, all of you out there wouldn't let me get away with blowing it off come March or April.

Right now I'm gonna need my rest.  Then I start...tomorrow.

                                          Keeping Calm (in theory),

The Year of Good Intentions

Posted by ZenMom Monday, January 4, 2010 13 comments

What a difference a couple of weeks can make.  I feel like I've been away for a lifetime.  Actually, I'm a little rusty so bear with me as I stumble through my first post of the new year.

The break was just what the doctor ordered. 

First and foremost, it was R-E-L-A-X-I-N-G!

No, there's nothing wrong with your eyesight.  That word actually came from me.  Really.

For a brief moment in time, I think I actually achieved Zen-ness (is that a word?).

Along with the relaxation, I also had a lot of time to reflect on the last year.  I'll be the first to admit that 2009 was not one of our finest.  If you must know, I'm kinda glad to be rid of it.

During one of my introspective episodes, I dubbed the last 365 days The Year of Good Intentions.  And you know what they say about good intentions, don't you?

The year started off innocent enough.  I had plans.  Big plans.  Small plans.  You name it, I was going to do it.  Exercise more.  Be more organized.  Do more to help others.  [Go ahead...insert more of the same here.]

As the year progressed, one by one, each one of my little resolutions dropped like flies.  Seems I had a little problem with something called follow-through.

Then came the holidays.  And nothing magnifies one's faults like the holidays.  So all those great crafts, baking, gifts and decorating I was going to do?  Nope.  Didn't do any of it. 

The funny thing is, this was one of the nicest Christmas's on record.  No pressure, no deadlines, just downtime.  Lots and lots of quality downtime.

As for my resolutions this year?


Prioritize. Commit to less but do what I commit to.  Can I do it?  Good question.

Come March or April, I'll let you know how its going.


Zen and the Art of Motherhood

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