Because I have been taking myself too seriously…

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I realized something this morning. I miss writing. While I write something everyday – my journal, an article or just a facebook status (does that count?) – I miss what I do best (humble, I know): Write.

I loved everything about blogging when I began writing at My days and activities were all potential blog posts and I would stay up late doing what I enjoy the most and which blesses me with FLOW – seeing my words spin into sentences and paragraphs. I loved that I had followers and people who related to the antics of my children or my frustrations as a mother. And writing about those things helped me laugh at myself and take life a little less seriously.

But my ambition took over my love. I had read that I should focus on one blog and I was so intent on doing this online presence thing “right” that I denied my own needs. Please don’t get me wrong, I am passionate about journaling and helping others to gain self-awareness through writing, but I also need to write. And not just about journaling. I want to record the funny image of my naked son running around with only a sheer ballet skirt for a modicum of decency, shouting, “I am a Ballerina Wolf Dad!” I want scream on screen at the washing machine which, in mid-cycle, clunked to a stop, leaving my still-accident-prone son only 10 dripping wet and sudsy pairs of underwear. And I want to share the simple joy of finally planting the barrel in my front yard with flowers.

I have put a part of myself on hold and thrown everything into this venture called Wisdom Within, Ink but the truth is I am not using my own “ink” enough. I am not feeling whole. And even if no one reads these ramblings at least I will be capturing and celebrating the precious moments of my own life in my own words for myself – which in the end is really all that matters.

If you care to join me, I will start writing again at very soon. If not, I’ll still be here too.


Please visit my page for articles on Journaling for Kids, Organization and almost everything in between.

Put the lime in the coconut

It finally turned warm (again) this weekend. Two weeks ago I got a sunburn, one week ago I was scraping snow off the car and today I am sitting by an open window trying to get some air while the sky threatens a thunder storm. That kind of dramatic weather change not only messes with my wardrobe (I had put away all the winter coats) but with my sense of time. What month is it? What season? Who am I? What am I doing here?

OK, so that’s a bit of a drastic reaction to seeing snow on tulips, wearing a coat over a sunburn and then sweating on the deck next to a snow shovel, but I’m telling you, something wasn’t clicking in my head.

While driving across town this weekend with the windows down I turned the radio to a station I don’t normally listen to – 70’s and 80’s rock (not the 80’s POP that I still inflict on my family on Saturday morning cleaning binges) – and I was rocking out! The warm air on my face and the loud music took me back to my younger days. Driving fast and singing at the top of lungs used to be my favorite mood-adjuster. And despite the fact that I was cruising along at 40 mph instead of the 70 mph I was partial to at 22 years old and that the volume of the radio was unable to completely drown out the thump-thump-thump of some rusting component of my jalopy, I was happy. Warm, free and happy.

Then I glanced in the rear-view mirror and was shocked to see myself looking right back at me! Not me at 37 but me at 7. Bee-bopping along with her ancient mom was my Mini-Me. In my heat-and-music-induced time warp I had almost forgotten she was there. What? I have a kid? When did that happen? She looked up, saw me looking at her in the mirror, flashed an angelic smile and went back to seat-dancing to Heart’s Barracuda.

It was a lesson to me: I can still be myself, I can still have fun even though I am now a Mother. The world will not disintegrate if I let lose once in a while. In fact, my children might benefit from some parental silliness. While I do not wear mommy jeans or set my hair (it would never take anyway), I am a big ol’ stick in the mud most of the time. I have taken my role of decorum-deputy and politeness-police very seriously and my poor children rarely see me let down my guard. But last week for some unprovoked reason I started singing at the table, “Put the lime in the coconut…” with a really bad Caribbean accent. My children stopped eating, forks mid-air, and mouths open. They looked at me like I was a pod-person. My daughter said, “It’s like you’re not my real mom right now!” Then they began to laugh and have been begging me to sing the “silly song” ever since.

So, my journal and I are going on a little journey to reclaim balance – balance between Mommy and Me. To reclaim my youth. To reclaim my former, fun self. I need to remember to put the (sassy) lime back in the coconut because (no fun, over-anxious) coconut alone is not what the Doctor ordered.

Prompt: What activity takes you back to your younger/former self? Do you need a little more of it in your life? How do you put the lime back in your coconut?

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P.S. Please visit my page for articles on Journaling for Kids, Organization, and almost everything in between.

A reminder just in time for summer vacation

Note: This is a recycled post, the second in a series while I take a journal-blogging break. I hope you enjoy the off-topic jaunt.

Silly Mommy, trips are for kids!

May 10, 2009

Funny how memory works. We swear we will never take both kids to the grocery store right after school, then we do again… and again. Flying with the children is an absolute No-No until they have full responsibility over their own bodily functions and can run the length of Detroit’s Terminal C on their own two legs. But then we book that flight. Road trips and hotels were off the list too, but…

We packed the car and headed for a lovely weekend in Maine. But after we had stopped for the 6th bathroom/poopy diaper break in two hours and the Laughing Game ensued (which would be more aptly called the “Let’s See How Many Times We Can Say The Word Poop and Scream With Laughter Game”), I began to realize our mistake. This was no vacation, this was the trip to hell.

What I learned this weekend:

a) You don’t need to buy a jungle gym or trampoline when you can just book a hotel room.
b) The number of times a child can ask if she can go swimming increases in direct relation to the lateness of the hour.
c) If there is an alarm clock in your hotel room, it is best to unplug it before bed because it has undoubtedly been messed with by little hands and set to blast you awake at 12:00AM. In the ensuing hitting of said clock you will inadvertently turn the radio on, set to the loudest, heaviest metal available to the listening public.
d) Once you have just drifted off to sleep again, your child will awake just enough to discover “Pappi-dog” has wandered off and alert you at the top of his lungs of this emergency.
e) The air-conditioner will whir loudly back to life the moment you have entered dream-land again.
f) The fact that hotel bed bouncing did not end until after 10PM, 5:30AM is a perfectly acceptable time of day to wake your mother by placing your mouth directly by her ear and announcing you’re bored and need to go swimming NOW!
g) No matter how many outfits you pack, they will all get wet, sandy and/or ketchup-stained and you will have to buy something extra.
h) On the journey home you will be so exhausted you won’t realize you drove north instead of south until you are arriving in downtown Portland.
i) There is not enough Dunkin’ Donuts iced-coffee in the world to make the drive home (which is now an hour longer) go by fast enough.
j) Home and your own bed are the best places on earth.
k) Happy, sand-encrusted, swimmed-out kids make it all worthwhile… maybe.

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P.S. Please visit my page for articles on Journaling for Kids, Organization, and almost everything in between.

Fry-daddies and other down-right scary things

This post is off topic but a necessary rant for me (thanks for listening).

I’m not one to promote TV shows or popular culture issues or to insert highly Google-able words just to get readership. If I was in this for high stats I would change my focus – “journaling” isn’t exactly a hot SEO. But I have to do this.

I stayed awake long pass my bedtime of 10PM last night watching the first episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (ABC site). I didn’t intend to be sucked in to another reality saga, but pizza for breakfast and a fry-daddy in the family kitchen had me hooked. Morbidly fascinated, to be precise. By the end of the show I was feeling thoroughly disgusted and afraid for this country’s future. I was also feeling smugly self-righteous.

One “lunch lady” was heard to say that the children would obviously choose pizza over Jamie’s roasted chicken (which looked delicious, by the way). Wouldn’t you? I mean, if you had never been given a real piece of chicken, all gloopy and yummy with sauce with a side of green, green broccoli would you really choose that over the greasy, carbalicious, instant high, eat-with-your-fingers pizza?

If parents decide that their children “won’t eat this” or “wouldn’t like that,” well, they won’t will they? My babies were given broccoli, spinach, peas, kale, etc. as soon as they could digest solid food. I liquidized it and added it to oatmeal or rice cereal. When they were older it was scrambled egg and a veggie. They would even eat cold tofu as a snack, and my son has been known to choose grapes over a cupcake at school. My oldest had hardly tasted sugar until her first birthday cake. She didn’t like it much… oh, how I wish it had remained that way! But what hope did I have when, upon joining at Mommy and Me group when she was just 18-months old, every birthday, holiday (seven in all), and oh, why not? Monday too, became a candy-cookie-chip fest. Start ’em young!

My children are not picky eaters. We don’t allow them to say they don’t like something until they have at least tried it. And yes, like most children they love pasta and breads, but they will also eat the “little trees” (broccoli) and “leaves” (spinach, raw with dressing). Don’t get me wrong, my daughter would devour all the cookies on the plate if left to her own devices and she would probably choose a hot dog over chicken if given the choice. But if only chicken was on the menu she would happily eat it.

The stomachs and double-chins bulging out of the TV last night made me slap my own forehead in exasperation. The shopping list for one (very rotund) family included nothing but processed food: corn dogs, hot dogs, donuts, and a freezer FULL of mini pizzas for “snacks.” OH MY GOOD GROSS! “Don’t you get it?!” I screamed at the TV. And then there were the food administrators who counted French fries as a vegetable and saw nothing wrong with the list of chemicals and additives on the box of pre-cooked mashed “potato pearls.” No wonder chubby, unhealthy children are growing into fat, dying adults.

Breakfast pizza, chicken nuggets, bright pink milk, canned fruit, pizza counting as the required two grains…

And this was all in compliance with the USDA standards!

Even in the tiny school in England I attended as a child had a fully-operational kitchen where all the food was cooked from scratch. We had “meat, potato and two veg” and then a pudding (dessert), usually smothered in custard, sometimes even chocolate custard (yum!), but in general it was a balanced meal made from fresh ingredients. In France, the children are taught from babyhood how to enjoy good food and how to sit politely and eat it intentionally (as opposed to throwing it down your throat while racing around the living room). In a back issue of Mothering magazine I recently read an article (which doesn’t appear to be available online) about how Japanese children are served not only a balanced meal but a eco-friendly and artfully-served one, a far cry from the American brown and ziploc bagged, throw-away processed meat lunches most American moms chuck together each morning. The amount of waste highlighted on Food Revolution was a crime. Recyclable bottle after recyclable bottle was dumped along with untouched salad and apples.

I should clarify here that this show highlighted one school in one city in one state. That city happened to be categorized as the most unhealthy one in the country – so we are talking extremes here. I happen to live in one of healthiest states in the country (according to various statistical studies, including this one from Forbes) but I still see chubby children sitting in carts of crap at the check-out line and high fructose corn syrup flowing freely from the cans of fruit served in daycare.

How could any loving mother watch as her children swell, get sick, and get picked on, and still feed them that junk? How can a school to whom we parents have entrusted our children’s care feed them such slop? I understand that we all have the option to send a packed lunch, but that is besides the point. School is about education – how to read, how to write, how to share, how our bodies work – shouldn’t that education include how to eat well? Obviously parents have to be the primary purveyors of this information but – let’s not kid ourselves here – some parents leave the full task of education and socialization, and more times than we like to admit, their sustenance, up to the schools.

Where is the responsibility? To our children? To the environment? To our economy? To our healthcare system?

As Whitney once told us, the children are the future. But what does that future look like  if all the sugar/fat/salt junkies are pulling up to McDonald’s drive-thru window for another quick hit whenever their energy and motivation seeps out their oily pores? It’s not the children’s fault. It isn’t entirely the parent’s fault. We are now looking at a generational, societal problem which is result of so, so many interconnected factors. It will truly take a revolution. And, despite it’s sappy, rating-grabbing reality TV venue, I support Jamie’s fight against the obese, profit-hungry monster that is the American food industry.

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Simplifying, one (beautiful) dish at a time

Last week our dishwasher began rinsing with chunky, mustard-yellow water which then pooled in the bottom of the machine. Hubby attempted to fix the problem to no avail and I descended into minor panic mode. I can’t keep on top of the endless piles of dishes, pots, and cutlery as it is and now I would have to wash them by hand?! But then as I stood amidst the greasy towers upon the counter I had an eureka! moment. (Ah, how slow we sometimes are.) What if we used only enough plates and bowls as there are members of the family and, gasp! wash them by hand immediately after each meal?

As Hubby and I washed and dried and put away every last dish we became more and more attracted by the idea of only using a minimum of crockery. He wanted to go as far as physically banishing all the extras and have only a set of four available. But this I refused. I love dishes! I love mugs! I love pots, dutch ovens, tea pots, bowls… antique or modern, pottery or ceramic… love ’em. And I like everyone to eat from matching sets. I even check to see which coffee mug Hubby had taken out for his morning beverage to ensure I choose its mate. And if my mug is pottery then my cereal bowl must be too. But if my cup is the bright yellow one then my toast plate is also bright yellow.

I also like looking at my colorful dishes so for Hubby to suggest they be packed away was just too big a request. He compromised and we put all the extra dishes on the top shelves. And we started fresh. Empty sink, empty counter, organized cupboard. Ahhhhh.

And what a difference! While I have sacrificed using my other precious dishes what I have gained is so much more:

1. Only a handful of dirty dishes in the sink at any one time, not piled high in the sink or overflowing onto the counter because the dishwasher hasn’t been run or emptied.

2. A chore that is finished in 10 minutes – including washing the cooking pots – rather than the half hour it used to take to empty and reload the dishwasher.

3. A Hubby who willingly washes the dishes because, compared to loading the dishwasher to his wife’s (insane) specifications, it is fun.

4. Sparkling clean nails.

5. The wonderful relief of walking into a clutter-free kitchen every morning.

6. One less overwhelming chore to stress over.

I never thought I would be happy for my dishwasher to break down. We still have it and we’ll get it fixed for the next dinner party. But for now I am more than happy to have it sit there empty and redundant. I even taught my kids the “proper” way to “do the washing up” — a game for them (oh, that it could stay that way through the teen years!) and I was relaxed enough to let them play.

This was a simple change with a huge pay-back. I can still enjoy my crockery as decor but it is not taking over my kitchen, my life, or my sanity. And maybe eventually I will be able to let some of it go – do I really need three different styles of ice cream bowls? – but for now I’ll bask in the new simplicity.

Now I just need to figure out what the hell to do about the five baskets of clothes spilling out the laundry room door…

Journal Prompt: “The one thing I could do today to make my life a little less stressful or overwhelming is….”

Finding my rhythm

Children don’t know about rhythms, not the ones we adults recognize, anyway. Their internal beat is like one from another culture – African, Asian, Alien – that is not the 4/4 we Westerners are used to.  Time is of no consequence. Play always, eat whenever, sleep only when legs will no longer run.  Until my children are old enough to tune into the boring beat of responsibility, I must attempt to live with an erratic pulse.

I fantasize about a time when I, the Writer and Business Woman, will have my own rhythm by which to structure my day. Writers are always interested in the working habits of their fellow wordsmiths as they try to unscramble the secret code of being a writer. One thing comes through from these stories: There is no one way to practice your craft.

The two stories I recall (and I have no memory of where I read them or to whom they refer) offered just two possibilities. I’m guessing this first one sounds downright luxurious to most of us. The writer in question would arise at a fairly normal hour, say 7AM, eat breakfast, walk the dog, and then go back to bed! Wow. She would then get back up a few hours later and write into the night. The second author was a mother (ahhh, someone I can relate to). She would get up crazy, crazy early, like 4AM (oh, no longer relating), work until the kids got up, get them off to school and then write for a couple more hours. After that I don’t recall how she spent her day – I would guess zoned out with exhaustion.

For how differently these two women scheduled their life, one thing is consistent: Discipline.

I am learning to structure my days in order to be more efficient and productive, but it is difficult. So many times my mood and energy depends on how many times I was yanked out of REM sleep by a Mama! or how the wake up-breakfast-school departure went off. Some days I can sit in front of my computer all day with not much more to show than some meaningless babble on Facebook. On these days I need to give myself permission to sit on the couch with my journal or a good book (and consider it research). I’ve written before about the benefit of the spaces in between work, but it is hard to remember the creative benefit of stopping once in a while. I also have to remember that doing a load of laundry or meeting a friend for lunch will not kill my career. The Work From Home police are not going to come and check up on me to see if I took a break to have a cuppa.

But efficiency is the name of the game. My goal is to set time limits on myself. Half and hour to journal before the work day begins, another half an hour to email (and OK, Facebook – for business purposes). Two hours to write whatever piece I’m currently working on, and then my blog. Another day it might be writing an Examiner article or preparing for an upcoming workshop. Whatever it is I’m working on, I have to block out the time in advance and be fair to myself. Don’t work at it until I’m ragged but turn to something else to always keep it all fresh and exciting. I must take breaks and most importantly, schedule in some FUN!

I’m still struggling to get the hang of this working from home thing. Time away from the computer still feels like I’m slacking. But I dream of the day when my day will run like clockwork from bed-rise to beddie-byes. I will churn out words like John Grisham, I will email and do paperwork as if I was my own legal secretary, and I will make beds and pick up toys with the spit-spot of Mary Poppins. And then at 3:30 precisely, I will shut down the computer and put on my Mommy hat.

Rhythm. Sometimes it is hard to keep in time with a new and unfamiliar one. But if you keep at it, eventually the beats, the rests, and the cadences will click with your own and you’ll be able to dance.

Prompt: What does your ideal day look like? Does it have a rhythm?

Perpetuating our own truth

Even before I got out of the car I questioned why I was here. I had pulled myself away from a cozy fire and good company to go out into a chilly, damp December night. I was about to walk into an overheated crowd of locals, some of whom I hadn’t seen for twenty years or more. Immediately we have two problems with the scenario: 1) I’m an introvert. I don’t like crowds or rowdy parties. I’m more of the intimate dinner party type where you can have deep, interesting conversation. How’s the weather? and What have you been up to for the last twenty years? strike me dumb. 2) I don’t drink (that much). And 3) at this particular point in our lives I was painfully aware that the money passed across the bar for the wine or Malibu and Coke that might have relaxed me a little could have fed my family a nice dinner.

It was my high school class 20th “preunion” held in advance of the official July reunion in deference to the few class mates who were shipping out to Afghanistan  in January. Hubby and I had spent Boxing Day (the British name for the day after Christmas) with my parents and so were in town anyway, I thought we should go.

I worried that I looked slim enough, 37 and not 45, and if my hair wasn’t too poofy. And I worried I wouldn’t know what to say to anyone. The very few people I was close to in high school weren’t going to be there and any others were in reality only acquaintances. Yes, we had spent four years knocking around the same halls and suffering under the same teachers, but I did not know them. And they don’t know me.

I hadn’t spent my formative years with them. Our mothers did not chat over coffee, our fathers didn’t watch the Game together. I never went to high school parties because back then I was “religious” and probably wouldn’t have been allowed to attend even if I had been invited. I wasn’t a cheerleader or soccer player. I attempted to play field hockey but that was only because a friend had told this newly arrived “English girl” that you weren’t anybody in high school unless you played a sport (she also told me that it was imperative that I wear a turtle neck under a button-down oxford – and I thought there wasn’t a school uniform here). So upon arriving at the school, I signed up for the only sport I had any experience with in my former school. I spent the next three springs sprinting (which I was good at) up and down the side of a field, stick in hand, praying the ball wouldn’t come anywhere near me. The only compensation was that I knew I looked good in the little pleated skirt.

I was too shy to join any other groups other than drama and the peer help group called Students to Students. Not one student ever came to talk to me. I question whether that was because no one had any troubles or because I sent out vibes that declared I was unapproachable? I’m guessing the latter. The truth was I was so anxious and unsure of my place in the (American) world that I erected a protective wall of which I was unaware but very few people penetrated.

Where I really belonged was in the music room. Once dear Mrs. LaPlaca heard me sing that’s where I and my closest friends spent a lot of  time. It was here I felt freer to be me.

That was twenty years ago. My high school friends are living their own lives and we are no longer physically or socially close. I have been away from the area for more than 15 years and I am not the shy, unauthentic, uncertain 16 year old I was. Or am I?

Walking into that bar, seeing faces from another time, another life time, bought it all back. The discomfort of not knowing where you fit, how you fit, or if you should even try. If I was an extrovert I would not only have had more friends in high school to begin with but I would be able to walk into a room of almost-strangers and initiate conversations, chat about football or kids, and throw caution and money to the wind for a few drinks.

But as it was, I felt like running away I moment I stepped over the threshold. Not because of the people there but because of me. I didn’t like being reminded of the lost little girl I once was. Just like the pathetically bad field hockey player who missed out on being in two plays because she was trying so hard to be a “somebody,” and the socially awkward student mentor, I felt uncomfortable and ostracized. And who made me feel this way? Me. I was once again the self-conscious “English girl” who didn’t belong. And so I made it so.

We make our own beds. What do you believe about yourself that you know in your heart isn’t true? How do you continue to perpetuate your own truth? How can you change this “truth” in 2010?

Code Red: Avoidance

If avoidance had a color it would be red. Red alert. WAH. WAH. WAH.

Avoiding talking about the state of your bank balance with your spouse.

Avoiding going to the doctor with that chest pain.

Avoiding thinking about how much you are drinking.

Avoiding your journal.

Fortunately, I am not avoiding my journal (not today, anyway) but I am writing this post right now in full-blown avoidance of writing down my goals. Career goals. Writing goals. Why on earth?! I’m so excited about my future. I can see it so brightly I almost do need those shades. I know I am going to be successful.

But it’s not my journaling workshops and instruction that I’m worried about. It’s my writing.

My writing has been put aside, as it has through every other excuse I’ve come up with: Working, New Mom, Just Moved, Course Work… and I wonder why I haven’t been published more than I have. Kind of hard to publish something that isn’t written. Duh.

I have been swamped with ideas lately. Essays, memoirs, even a book (something I was convinced I would never want to commit to). If I put my toddler in daycare for 30 more hours, hired a housekeeper, found a mistress for my husband, and stopped pushing myself into people’s faces trying to convince them they need to write, then I could write to my little heart’s content. Man, there’d be no stopping me!

But that’s not my life and nor will it be if I don’t get those goals down on paper. I know that once you write down your dreams they have a way of sneaking in and coming true, sometimes when you’re not even paying attention. I have to ask myself why I’m scared to become a Writer (and by that I mean a Writer who May or May Not Get Paid for Their Efforts but Whom People Read and May Actually Notice the Byline).

I do think that I continue to sabotage myself. I am scared of success in the one area that I am the most passionate about. Yes, I want to teach journal-writing. I believe in that and I love that I can help others find healing in their writing.

But my writing is about me. All about ME. And what does it say about me if I fail?

At being me?

Red Alert! WAH. WAH. WAH.

1991 called

I think I have mentioned before that I am addicted to planners. Not a bad addiction when you consider the options. But I fear I am woefully out of date (pun intended).

I watched the movie 27 Dresses where the main character Jane, played by Katherine Heigl, is a perpetual bridesmaid and wedding planner for her friends. She scribbles all her bridesmaidenly tasks in a dayplanner, which, when left in a cab is the cause of much distress and missed appointments. I relate… I would sit on my rump, head cocked sideways staring at the floor not having a clue what to do next if I mislaid my planner. My daughter has a book about some creature who makes a list of what he has to do that day but when it blows away in a wind gust he is helpless. When his friend suggests they look for the list he refuses because that wasn’t on his list of things to do. I’m not quite that bad but if I accomplish something that wasn’t on my to-do list I will write it down just so I can experience the pleasure of checking it off – a far more healthy obessesive trait, I believe.

Anyway, back to the movie… when the love interest in the movie finds Jane’s planner, making fun of her, he says something about 1990-something wanting its planner back. At the end of the movie when they are all kissy-kissy and she has thrown out her closet-full of dresses (and symbolically, her past), he gives her some electronic, very 21st century, planning gizmo.

Now, before watching this movie I had no feelings of inferiority surrounding my complete dedication to the paper and pen method of time-management. In fact, I wondered why these very-berry thingy-ma-jigs were so popular – what was the point? But suddenly, I am questioning my whole life and its so-called efficiency. Why exactly do I carry around a 5lb tome when I could have a slick, clicky thing that fits in my pocket… and it’s a phone too! Now, there’s true efficiency for ya.

But I don’t have a blackberry, or even a strawberry for that matter, and I probably won’t have for a very long time (well. maybe I will in 2038 when everyone else has their daily schedule implanted behind their eyelids).

But continue to plan I must.

So, it was with resignation I ordered a Franklin-Covey designed especially for busy mothers. But when it arrived, its pink and brown mommy-ness and unmarked pages laying flat and shiny waiting for my life to fill its lines, reminded me why I love them. Yes, it’s heavy and not as fun or multi-taskerific as a handheld computer/phone/camera/music player/kitchen sink but until 2038 when my grandaughter’s discarded device is passed on to me, my planner and I will continue to make plans the good old fashioned way.


As an addendum to this story – when I opened my new planner and inhaled its scent in true addict fashion, my husband, who in true male fashion hates gift shopping, says to me, you better wrap that thing up and put it under the tree, it might the only thing you get. I think I deserve a blackberry after that comment… or at least a new cuddly sweater.

Update 7/22/14: I now own one of those shiny everything-but-the kitchen-sink “phones,” and I don’t know how I got to appointments and meetings before its existence. However, for planning my day-to-day to-do list and brain-storming ideas, it will always be paper. Paper = thinking.

Just asking

Why is it…

1. After you spend 20 minutes stuffing your children into their five layers of winter clothing, hats, mittens, and boots, they stay outside for exactly 2.2 minutes? And then after peeling them back out of it all, leaving a puddle of melted snow and ice on the rug (in which you step in your socked feet), they ask to go back out?

2. Your husband unexpectedly brings home a cheesy, gooey, yummy, pepperoni-free (miracles can happen) pizza half an hour before you leave for a Christmas party that includes food for which you have already (over)paid?

3. Daughter could be playing with anything, let’s say something as uninteresting as the can opener, and Son will scream that it is his, so you try to distract him with, say, a wooden spoon; dropping the can opener, Daughter will yell that no, the spoon is hers, making Son once again focus on the spoon; so, you give them both wooden spoons, which they immediately crack over each other’s head?

4. A Christmas ornament that somehow did not make it into the storage box last January 6th and has been hanging around all year, its location known even through a move, is no where to be found when you put up the tree? And with 100% certainty you know it will magically reappear once the Christmas box is back in storage, thus starting the process all over again?

5. In the same mail as you receive a surprise Christmas check from your grandmother, you get a surprise bill for the exact same amount?

6. Son’s colon decides to empty itself in the most pungent, leak-potential way after you have just wrestled him into a clean diaper, clothes, snowpants, jacket, and boots, and you are already running 10-minutes late?

7. Children sleep like the dead through 1/2 hour of an eee-eee-eeeing alarm clock on school mornings but are awake and bouncing at 6AM on the weekend?

8. Children begin the I-really-need-a-nap-whine three hours earlier than usual on the very morning you were psyched up to go Christmas shopping, leaving you adrift and in denial that you could use the time to finish cleaning the kitchen (and so you write a pointless blog instead)?

Just asking…