Long Time, No Write

Posted by ZenMom Saturday, February 27, 2010 9 comments

Wow!  Its been so long since I last posted, I don't know where to start.  I'm not even sure what happened to cause my daily venting sessions to cease.  Its not like we had any huge crises or major announcements or anything remotely interesting.

It all started a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to do a little work on my blog design.  And that's never a good thing.

Let's just say I got a tad hyper-focused in the process.  For a whole week, I ate, slept and dreamed tweaks.  Why, I spent an entire weekend in my room on my computer trying to figure out how different programs could help me accomplish the beautiful vision I had in my head.  Yep, its true, I really know how to have a good time.

God, I've come to hate those visions.  They're always the same. The idea seems so simple and amazingly straight forward.   Why I can pump it out in a matter of no time. 

Too bad that's not the way it works -- at least in my world.  Hours (or days) later, I'm left swearing at my trusty little laptop and my family is left to figure out who the strange, crazed woman is...the one seen emerging from her bedroom from time to time, looking more like a psych ward patient than their beloved mother.

All because I can never seem to recreate the stupid idea that's dancing around in my head.  And being the flexible, take-it-as-it-is kind of person I am, I can't seem to let go and move on.

So after all that, my blog remains untouched. 

Kind of.

As I tried to input my new, mediocre design, I totally screwed up my posts, my sidebars and everything else.  For the first time in my life, I can totally understand why Mr. Van Gogh went after his own ear.

Being creative is overrated, totally obsessive and wreaks havoc with family life.   So next time I try to implement another totally inspired, yet illusive idea, you have my permission to do an intervention.  Or maybe just politely remind me to read my own blog.

Sanity is fleeting,


Sweet Sixteen

Posted by ZenMom Friday, February 19, 2010 14 comments


It was sixteen years ago today.  During a torrential downpour, in front of all our friends and family, I walked down the aisle of a small church in Palo Alto and said I Do to my one and only.

What a ride its been.  We had no clue back then of what life had in store for us.  It was all so romantic and new.  But as the Gods must be crazy, so must we, because we've managed to hang in there through thick and thin.  So today, as we were just able to steal away a couple of hours to celebrate, I remembered why we embarked on this journey in the first place.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.  Here's to many more.

Staying Blissfully Married,


Welcome to Shameless Plug Friday

Posted by ZenMom Friday, February 12, 2010 6 comments

OK.  I'm bad, I know.  Today, there will be no witty commentary on my dysfunctional family.

Today, its all about me.

I think I mentioned I've been trying to actually make some money, instead of spending countless hours puttering around the blogsphere.  In an effort to do this, I started writing articles for Woodall's Family Camping blog

So in an effort to make me look good to the editors (and help me keep my job), I'm posting links to my beautiful prose about trailers, travels and more.   This is my shameless plug to get more people to actually read what I've written.  Hopefully you won't be too bored.

Head for the Hills
Go, Dog, Go!
Best of Both Worlds

I promise more stupid family stories next time.

Typing away,


Snark, Snark and More Snark

Posted by ZenMom Thursday, February 11, 2010 6 comments

Not really.  It's just that I've always had a certain fondness for that word and have been dying to use it in a post.  So what if it makes no sense.

What I am up for is for some healthy venting.  Ready, set, go.

With all the craziness in my household lately, my nerves a fried.  Gone are any illusions of exercising, dieting or taking care of myself.  And in the middle of everything else, the Stinker leaped over the edge of impdom today.  Not sure if impdom is actually a word, but just go with me here.

Once again, I've been remiss in my mommy duties.  I've put a few minor things off.  And because of it, the little guy's gone without a haircut for -- actually, I forget how long its been.

As a result I now have a four year old that looks like the youngest Flower Child in recorded history. A shaggy do, complete with long sideburns -- why all he needs is some round glasses, a tie dye shirt, a few beads and presto..

So this morning I set out to right this neglectful situation.  We headed into the nearest Great Clips for a cut.   Normally, this only takes a few minutes, tops, and we're on our way.

Too bad this wasn't a normal day.  As soon as the Stinker saw the chair and the cape, he bolted.  No amount of pleading or bribing could get him in the thing.  Kicking and screaming reared their ugly heads, so even though it killed me, I cut my loses and headed home.

That's when my little imp spent some quality bonding time with his room.  After some lunch and a mommy time-out, I decided to try again.  We picked up his big sis from school and went to another fine beauty establishment.  I was way too embarrassed to go back to the scene of the crime of earlier in the day.  You can call me chicken if you'd like.  Or just a sucker for punishment.

The second time around, he walked right in and hopped in the chair.  He even let the guy put some tape around his neck and fasten the big ole cape.  But as soon as the trimmer came out, all bets were off.

After a few futile efforts, the trimmer was replaced with the scissors.  Too bad the damage was already done.  He kept lurching and jumping in his little booster seat until the nice hair cutter made us leave.  Yep, we were kicked out of Super Cuts.  Of course, this happened AFTER the nice haircutter jerk made a few artful cuts.

So tonight, I am left with a half-hippy, half do-it-yourself-trim looking kid.  Can't wait to hear what the other moms at the preschool Valentine party have to say about that.  Guess we can kiss those visions of playdates from that bunch goodbye.

Gotta go.  Need to check into military schools -- FAST!


Where O where has my Zen gone?


What a Week -- And Its Only Wednesday

Posted by ZenMom Tuesday, February 9, 2010 10 comments

I'm afraid you'll find no humor, no sarcasm here this evening.  I try to keep things light on this blog, but just can't manage it tonight.  It would be too dishonest.

Life has been difficult these past few weeks.  Although I don't touch on it much, I have two kids with some special needs.  Over the past year, both have them has had their share of issues.  And over the last few weeks one in particular has showed some serious decline.  It all came to a head a week ago and we've been dealing with the fall out ever since.

While things are marginally better, we're all pretty jaded and exhausted.  When you have a child with special needs it not only affects them or you, but everyone in the household.  I find myself running around in circles as I try to put out fire after fire.

So right now, I just ask for your thoughts and prayers while we sort through the mess that is our lives.   Hopefully I'll be in a more Zen-like mood soon next time you come to visit.

A Definite Downer,


Doing the Time Warp

Posted by ZenMom Sunday, February 7, 2010 9 comments

As the rest of the world was stuffing their faces and watching some hopefully funny new commercials during Super Bowl 2010, I was at the local mall with my oldest.  By the way, if you ever need to go shopping, that's the time to do it.  We parked right out front and practically had the whole place to ourselves.

Anyway...halfway through the mall, my daughter started a chant .

"Please can we go into Forever XXI?  Please, please, pleeeaaase?"

In a moment of weakness I acquiesced and in we went.  Within a few minutes I had an eerie feeling come over me. Why, it was like I had died and gone to that great '80s haven in the sky.  I seriously thought Madonna or Flock of Seagulls or Duran Duran were going to jump out from behind a wall and start reenacting some vintage MTV video.

Since THAT didn't happen, I settled on the fact that I was having one of the most amazing deja vu experiences ever!  Rack by rack, I walked by things swear I wore when I was young.  I even have pictures to prove it.

As far as the eye could see, there were cropped jeans, cropped jackets and leggings galore.  There were long sweaters with banded bottoms and neon print jackets too.  The only things missing were the shoulder pads.  You remember the ones, don't you?  They made us all look like very pretty, very feminine linebackers.  Oh, those were the days.

Now I realize some of you are youngsters.  At this point in my little tale you're probably uttering a not-so-quiet, "Heh?  What the hell is this lady talking about?"

But for all you old farts like me, this was a bittersweet walk down memory lane.  Sweet because it brought back so many memories, and bitter because I realize how long ago it was that I was young and was decked out in stuff that could have come from Forever XXI.

Chuckling and Crying (all at the same time),


This is So Lame

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, February 3, 2010 15 comments

Calling all bloggers! I need your help.

I've been mulling over an idea -- well, more like two ideas -- lately.  Come to think of it, its been more like months but I move very, very slowly. Remember?

I really want a blog makeover.  While the youthful, peaceful blond on my header may be sweet, she most definitely is not ME.  I'm a middle aged, overweight brunette.  Actually there's more gray than brown these days, but lets just move on, shall we?

Every time I visit one of your sites I keep thinking, "That's it!  Mine's gotta go."  I also threaten to move to Wordpress on an almost daily basis now.

But suffering from Mommy-Onset ADHD like I do, thinking and threatening is a far as I get.  Since funds are at an all-time low, I had the ingenious idea of doing it myself.  After all, how hard could it be to learn a little code?

After THAT exercise in futility, I am officially ready to admit I have a problem.  And I'm willing to seek help.  The only thing is, this little confession creates a whole new set of problems.

I have no idea where to start in my search.  I start hyperventilating just thinking about choosing a designer.  Ferreting out who's good and who's cheap is daunting.  And who could move my stuff to a new platform without wiping out all my friends?

Then I started thinking.  Wait a second.  I have all sorts of bloggy friends that are not shy with their opinions.  So I'd love for you all to weigh in on what you think of the different platforms and who you used (and if you'd use them again.)  Do you have to get a second mortgage to pull it off? If you don't want to dish for all to see, just shoot me an email at zenmommyhood AT gmail DOT com.

You guys are the best!

Forever Grateful,


Call of the Wild

Posted by Accidental Expert Tuesday, February 2, 2010 7 comments

Lately, I've been giving a lot of thought to why I like to write so much.  As I look back, I realize I've been in love with the written word for as long as I can remember.

Being the shy, retiring type I am, I also dreamed of being published. My earliest works are still on display at my parents' house -- from STOP etched into the living room end table to my more stream-of-consciousness ramblings scribbled on the inside of my mother's sewing cabinet.

As I grew, so did my portfolio. Unfortunately many samples from this period have been lost -- most confiscated by intolerant teachers, not recognizing the raw talent right beneath their noses.

During those days, multiple choice tests confounded me. But give me a blue book and a pen, and I could write my way to an A almost every time. Not that my style was always appreciated. Biting sarcasm mixed with a good dose of irreverence didn't go over so well on my essay on Christopher Columbus or the Economics of Third World Countries.

For me, a pivotal moment came when I landed an internship at a local newspaper. A stroke of luck placed me in the advertising department, where my mentor told me, "Just write like you speak."

That cinched the deal. My style was a natural fit for a career in copywriting. I also dabbled in greeting card captions, event marketing and other equally meaningful endeavors. I not-so-secretly dreamed of becoming a comedy writer. Ah, those were the days.

Then came motherhood and everything changed. I no longer had endless hours to ponder self expression, so my hiatus began. Playing peekaboo replaced prose. 

Now eleven years later I've finally found some time to steal away from my crazed existence just long enough to write down a few words here and there. And once again I'm hooked.  I just hope all of you out there enjoy my ramblings half as much as I love writing them. 


Zen and the Art of Motherhood

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