Its All the Same to Me

Posted by ZenMom Friday, March 26, 2010 Comments

If I had a keen eye, I'd see it.  If my ear was more in tune, I'd most certainly hear it.. If I had a discriminating palate, I'd taste it.  If any of my senses were finer and wiser, I would feel it in my bones.

But that is not my fate.  No matter how hard I try, how deep I look, it doesn't change.  When I look at the days of the week, they all look the same to me.

Now I know that many of you get all giggly and excited when the weekend comes.  But are those two little days THAT special?  Really?

Not in my neck of the woods.  I still clean, I still do laundry, and I most definitely still watch the kids.  All while desperately trying to fit in all those projects and errands that didn't get done during the "work" week.   I actually find myself biding my time, waiting patiently for Monday to roll around.  At least then I get a couple of hours of quiet time while the kids are at school.

But that doesn't stop me.  I still find myself with a little skip in my step come Friday.  Every week, I still have hope that maybe, just maybe, this week will be different.  Oh when will I ever learn?  Instead, like clockwork, my bubble is burst by Sunday evening. 

There are no gourmet dinners, not wild parties.  Just another day in the life of a frazzled stay-at-home mom. 

So as we head into the weekend, I hope you all have a great one.  Sorry if I don't share in the excitement -- its all the same to me.

Your Friendly Curmudgeon,

Productivity Redefined

Posted by ZenMom Tuesday, March 23, 2010 Comments

Once again I find myself apologizing.  Life has this pesky way of getting in the way of my blogging.  I will get around to visiting, commenting and posting again.  I promise.  But all in good time.

This has been just a symptom of my entire existence these days.  Every day I seem to fall further and further behind.  Papers to the ceiling, bills unpaid and dishes piled high and wide. I just can't keep my head above water.

Being the Queen of Disorganization, I'm always looking for ways to mend my evil ways.  So my predicament started me thinking.  Why am I having so much trouble?  What's getting in my way of being efficient?

And this, in turn, set off a whole other chain of events.  The result?  A slew of rather philosophical inner discussions centering around the meaning of productivity.

What does it mean to be productive, anyway?

From an early age, outward signs of accomplishment are drilled into us.  You know you're making progress when you can check stuff off your list or see the fruits of your labor in a nice, clean environment.

Lately, my little guy has been more needy than usual.  He follows me around and in a constant, extremely endearing manner, he chants:

"Mommy, will you play with me?"

All too often, my response includes one of the following lines.

"I'm too busy right now.  Maybe later."

"I need to clean the dishes."

"We need to go to the store."

And this situation, my friends, let to yet another revelation.  It all began when I asked myself a simple question.  In 20 years, what will be remembered?  Will it be that my sink was always cleaned or that I actually found the time to build a relationship with my kids.

So today, productivity has taken on a whole new meaning. 

It involves lounging in my rocking chair.  With the Stinker in my lap,  we watch Land Before Time for the eleventh time together.  Or maybe it is that mid-day trip to the pond to feed the ducks and play make-believe fish.

Now don't get me wrong -- this doesn't come easy.  To the contrary.  I constantly feel a pull to "get something done" instead of just enjoying the kids (or anything else for that matter). 

That's when I force myself to remember how quickly they grow.  I know, right now that seems like such a fantasy!  But when that day finally does come, I know I'll miss Ducky, Little Foot and all their friends.  My kids will be on their own and then I'll have plenty of time to be productive.

Doing Nothing (and loving it),

Zen is Overrated

Posted by ZenMom Friday, March 12, 2010 Comments

OK.  I need to breath.

No, not just short, shallow breathes.  You know the ones.  My kids are famous for these, especially when I tell them to turn off the TV.

No, I'm in need of some cleansing breathes.  Ones that reach deep into the diaphragm then work hard to blow out all that stored stress.

That's the theory at least.  If the truth be told, I've been huffing and puffing all week long and those great moments of calm are nowhere in sight.  And that, my friend, bites.

What's got me so worked up? 

In short, my life.

What was I thinking when I had four kids?  They were just so darn cute, I guess.  But now? Not so much.  Between the laundry, the homework, the messes and the meltdowns, I'm about ready to blow my proverbial top.

And then there's the house. The projects I look at everyday, only to run away hyperventilating. There's also the bills.  These just happen to go hand-and-hand with the lack of money to pay said bills.

Last but not least, there's me.  Imaginer of many, finisher of few.  Its already the end of March and I'm nowhere with my This-is-My-Year kick.  I am sad to report my Couch to 5K exercise plan has now morphed into Couch with Doritos.  As for my diet?  Let's just say if I was on a weight gain regime, I'd be doing great.

There are days when everything seems to swirl above my head and put me in the front-row seat for my very own Beat Yourself Up show.  And if you haven't noticed already, that day is today.

The one thing I'm thankful for today is this blog.  Yes, I realize you may not be feeling the love as you read this written venting session, but for me, this outlet keeps me sane.  OK, maybe not sane, but as close as one gets in these parts.

Hopefully the show will end soon and I'll be back to my in denial normal self tomorrow.

Its My Pity Party and I'll Vent If I Want To,

I Hate Winter

Posted by ZenMom Tuesday, March 9, 2010 Comments

This has been an exceptionally bad year around here.  Seems we've gotten every bug, sniffle, sore throat and cough known to man.  Why it hasn't been this bad since the older kids were younger.  Back then, with three little ones under the age of three, everything came to a grinding halt whenever one of the kids got sick.

But its different now.  This time I'm the one who's fallen for every germ that's come within a five mile radius of the house.  And, unlike the days of old, I still have to complete carpool duty, run my errands and entertain the little guy -- all the while wishing I could just curl up and take a nice, peaceful nap.

This time its a good old-fashioned cold that's got me down.  Contrary to popular belief, there's nothing common about this one.  Its a dozy and has me actually looking back on my time with the Swine Flu fondly.

So tonight I'm typing from bed, with Kleenex strategically place on my right and cough drops to the left.  I can't wait for the warmer weather to get here so I can feel human once again.

Sniffling Away,

Houston We Have a Problem

Posted by ZenMom Monday, March 8, 2010 Comments

Our Little Stinker's done it again.  And just when I thought that I had heard and seen everything.

To say he has an active imagination is most definitely an understatement.  Like most boys his age, he's way big into dinosaurs, tigers, lions and any other predatory beast past and present.  But, as usual, he needs to take things a step further.  Not only does he have a passion for these creatures, he now things he's one of them.

I've already told you how he growls at new people he meets.   This has caused many a problem as little kids run crying to their mommies when the mean kid roars in their faces.  Yep, that would be my kid.

The other day, I realized I've been remiss in the hygiene department.  I looked down and saw his fingernails were longer than mine.  But when I got the clippers out to remedy the situation, my efforts were met with a big, loud "NO!"

Determined to push through this I continued, "We need to trim your nails, bud.  They're way too long."

"But Mooommm.  They're not NAILS, they're my claws."  This last point was emphasized by drawing up his hands, giving a good swipe and a mean growl in the process.

What's a mommy to do?

This went back and forth a few more times like a good game of ping pong.  Would you be horribly surprised to hear that I lost?  Didn't think so.

  I know my boy and there is no way, no how I'm going to get him to do something once he has his mind set on it.

So go ahead and laugh if you will.  I might just have to sneak into his room tonight and separate him from his claws. If that doesn't work, we may be making a trip to the salon. Hey, those suckers are long and strong and, well, claw-like.  If they're here to stay for a while, might as well make them look good.  .

Keeping me on my toes,

Silly Walk Central

Posted by ZenMom Friday, March 5, 2010 Comments

The Little Stinker's been having a hard time getting to school lately.  This is quite perplexing, considering who he is.

He's the youngest of four.  From the day he was born, he's had all sorts of people holding him, caring for him and babysitting him.
He's not exactly what you'd call shy either.  Of all my kids, he's the most unflappable of the bunch.  Noises don't phase him.  Nor do crowds or big events.  Why, he's my kid who would take off at preschool to go play with his favorite toy without even a backwards glance.

That's why this new found separation anxiety has left me scratching my head.

At first I thought it would just go away. 

Not a chance.  Every time we'd go, he'd cry a little longer and a little harder.

On Monday, he was so distraught he clung on to my leg and wouldn't let go for anything.  No one could pry him off, leading me to give the little guy a mental-health break from preschool

By Wednesday, I wised up.  I brought out the big guns.  Dad was enlisted to take over drop-off duty.  And I'm happy to report, it worked like a charm.  It never ceases to amaze me the crap the kids will  pull with me.  But Dad?  No way!

Today, preschool duty was back in my trembling hands.  I really, really needed the day off.

We were off to a good start.  He got ready without a fuss, even got in the car without undo force.  But as I opened the car door, I saw it.  His face fell, his fists were tense and those dreadful words were uttered.

"I don't want to go to preschool."

At that very moment I knew I had to do  So I whisked him out of the car and started walking.  Not just any walk mind you.  But the silliest, goofiest gate ever seen.  Then I asked him to join in.  Together we skipped, hopped, leaped and shuffled our way through the parking lot, up the stairs and right into his classroom.

As the other parents stopped and stared, I was sporting a huge grin.  That's because as my steps became more absurd, all I could think about was our friend above in his official capacity as the Minister of Silly Walks. 

I do believe that the Era of Shy is officially over.  And so ends today's installment of Parenting Tips by Python.

With a skip in my step,

What's R Got to Do With It?

Posted by ZenMom Thursday, March 4, 2010 2 comments

We interrupt this normally light-hearted blog for a very serious topic -- one that is near and dear to my own heart.


Just last weekend, I read two editorials for and against the campaign to end the "R" word.  In case you don't know what this is referring to, there are those out there that would like to ban use of the word retarded.

I look back to when I was a kid and how this was used to describe those with developmental disabilities or one of your friends that had a particularly bad blond moment.  No harm, no foul, right?  After all its just a word. 

Yeah, right.

Today, I have a totally different perspective.  You see, I am the mother of a child with autism.  Brilliant, quirky and able to think on a totally different plane than the rest of us, he's a genius in the making.  Yet, over the years, this one little word has cut my child to the core more times than I can count.


He's different.  He doesn't always know the right words to say, is a bit uncoordinated and tends to goes on and on about his favorite subject.

Kids can be cruel.  And grown ups can be stupid.  I don't know how many times I've heard boys will be boys, after my son was beaten up or called the "R" word by the "popular" kids. It was not taken seriously and nothing was done.

And so it continues.

The worst of all is the result.  After hearing this so often, my little guy began to believe it.  For so long, he thought he was dumb -- too stupid to do anything right.  And he's not alone.

He's just one boy in one school.  There are so many others like him.  So tonight, I'm here to tell you this is so much more than just a word.   It is a symptom of a bigger problem.  A society where intolerance is not only ignored, but sometimes encouraged.

So I will do what little I can to change the world.  I'm going to take the pledge.  Won't you?

Fighting the good fight,

Inquiring Minds...

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, March 3, 2010 3 comments

I think I'm back.  For reals this time.

While I was a tad obsessed with tweaking my design, many of you have offered me a wonderful suggestion.
Yeah, if I had any active synapses still firing, I would have heeded this wise warning.  I still might, but in the meantime, I just needed to figure out how things worked.

Why must I inflict pain on myself in this manner?  Good question.

I realize there's something inside of me that is just  too curious.   I can't seem to leave well enough alone.

There was the time I was determined to paint the house myself.  Why hire a nice, tidy painter, when I could do it myself.  How hard could it be?  Two years, a hundred cans of paint and a whole set of professional painter supplies later, I realized the error of my ways.  But I am a damn good painter, if I do say so myself.

Or how about the many pieces of junky furniture I've lugged home from yard sales because I was certain that I could transform them into works of highly creative, inspired art.  Part of my collection still graces our garage, while most have gone on to live out their useful lives in some thrift store or another.  Whenever my family sees me making my way down the street -- the trunk of the van ajar, holding my latest find -- they just shake their heads and smile.

Too bad I never seem to learn.  My inquisitive nature may offer a challenge or two, but when it comes to results, I'm no Martha Stewart.  Instead I'm sporting an eerie resemblance to our furry monkey friend, George.

After a few weeks spent developing a totally uninspired, average design, I've come to a decision.  When it comes to a creative outlet, I'd better stick to writing.

 Intelligence is Overrated,

Zen and the Art of Motherhood

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