Friday, April 4, 2008

A Change is Gonna Come

Semi-Charmed Wife performed the following exercise and I was hooked immediately.

Scott always teases me about being born on The Day of Upward Mobility. What that means for me is that I always want to improve myself, make myself a better person.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about how I hold myself back. How I'm becoming the woman I want to be, but not as quickly as I'd like.

Perhaps this exercise will help me build some momentum. Below are my responses to the questions asked:

From How to Break Bad Habits_Written by Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Write down 3 excuses you are using to avoid making the changes you need to succeed:

1. I DON’T HAVE TIME. I’m so busy chasing the boys around, trying to find work, working, cleaning or cooking, blogging, etc. I always feel like I’m in a rush and I never take the time to get organized, write things down, make a plan, or set goals.
2. I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I simply don’t believe in my own abilities to achieve what I want to accomplish, whether it’s a staff writing job at a major magazine or having rock-hard abs.
3. I’M TOO TIRED. At the end of the day, I just want to spend time with Scott and relax. I’m mentally worn out by taking care of other people. In the morning, I have a hard time getting up and getting going because I always feel like I didn’t get enough sleep because often I didn’t.

How have these excuses affected your life? What have the excuses stopped you from achieving? Write down 3 very important things that you have missed out on because you’ve allowed yourself to make excuses._

1. I haven’t established myself as a writer to the point that I don’t have to look for work and I feel I haven’t written anything important.
2. I don’t like my body and feel unattractive because I haven’t/don’t work out consistently.
3. I don’t spend time just having fun with my kids because I’m so disorganized I always feel like I’m behind the gun on getting things done.

Now how do you feel when you fall victim to one of your self-sabotaging excuses?

Like an idiot. Like a really huge failure who doesn’t measure up to all the successful and accomplished women around her.

What benefits do you get from the excuse? Is it simply that you get to remain in your comfort zone? Or is it the fear of the unknown that is holding you back? Write down 3 ways you benefit from making excuses._

1. Part of it is comfort. Part of it is fear and just not knowing where to start. I feel overwhelmed. I don’t know how to be organized because I never have been, so it’s hard to force myself to change in that way. Even though I want to.
2. I don’t have to face the fact that maybe I’m just a fat girl who will always be squidgy in the middle and look like crap no matter how hard I try.
3. If I never get around to sending my queries to major magazines, I never have to hear them tell me I suck as a writer. So, I guess I get to avoid feeling like a total loser.

So now we both know why we’ve created our excuses - to avoid something. All we need to do now is find a way to overcome these bad habits. I want you to write down 3 behaviors you want to stop._

1. Putting off doing the hard work – getting organized, setting a plan, doing what I need to do.
2. Skipping work outs and simultaneously not believing in my ability to accomplish the goals of working out.
3. Eating junk.

Now write down why you end up doing it…were you bored, fearful,lazy, etc._

1. Lazy. Sometimes, I’m just plain lazy. I’d rather read or blog or do anything but the things I need to do.
2. I skip workouts because I have a lot on my plate and it’s easy to put other things ahead of myself. I fail to make myself, my health, and my happiness priorities.
3. I eat junk because it’s easy. It tastes good. It’s there. And I hate feeling deprived. My sweet tooth just gets the better of me sometimes.

Now give yourself the permission to change. Envision the rewards you will get when you make the change to your life and habits. Give yourself a powerful list of reasons for fixing the habit._

1. If I get and stay organized, I will ultimately have more time because I will stop wasting time looking for things, trying to remember things, and getting started on projects.
2. If I work out and get myself in shape, I will have more energy for my kids, and I will feel happy and confident about my appearance.
3. If I take charge of my life and pursue my dreams I can always live my life knowing I gave it my best shot and wasn’t afraid of taking a chance. That, if nothing else is a fine example to give my sons.

Working on bad habits everyday will give you an incredible boost in self-esteem and confidence. With each small successful improvement you’ll build confidence to take on the bigger, badder habits that are holding you back.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I apologize for including you all in my anger.

I realize that the things I wrote in my previous e-mail were neither kind nor compassionate.

I am sure the couple who run that store are just doing the best they can to make a living and while I do not appreciate the lack of respect and kindness they exhibited toward me and my children, it doesn't make it right (nor is it particularly useful) to aim such ire and venom toward them.

I imagine that to them any incident that damages an item and reduces their profit is taking away from their livelihood. For whatever reasons, they do not seem to understand or appreciate the norms of etiquette and respect shop owners typically show their clientele.

My apologies. I hate being unkind and sadly I let my anger get the better of me.

Mean Mr. Mustard

This is an open letter to Bena Patel and his wife, owners of Bena's Hallmark in Tucker, Georgia:

Get over yourselves and treat your customers with respect.


You have pissed me off for the last time and maybe it makes me a horrible person, but I will do everything in my power to convince folks not to shop in your store because you and your wife are so very rude.

The first time you pulled your shit, I swore I'd never sit foot in your store again. Sadly, your store is really the only convenient gift shop and card shop in the town if I don't want to go out of my way or go to a store like Target.

When my son was two, we came into your store just before Christmas, hoping to find a cute Christmas ornament to mark the first Christmas when he knew what was going on. He got so excited at seeing all the ornaments and chose one...a $15 firetruck with Santa on top. He was delighted and so was I.

Until you came over and yelled at a two-year old little boy and told him not to touch anything. Not to touch any of the non-breakable ornaments.


I left, embarrassed and in tears with my child in tears, because you yelled at us in front of a store full of other shoppers. When my child was doing nothing that could have damaged your inventory in any way.

So...I held onto my anger for a while, but when necessity dictated that I needed to return to your store a year or two later hoping to find some charming little something for my mother-in-law, I decided to forgive you. You were having a bad day. Maybe some less attentive mom had just let her child run hogwild in the store and you got a bad impression of all parents and children.

My next visit went smoothly, although I honestly don't remember if I had my son with me or not.

Yesterday, my son, excited about his new Crocs wanted to get those little trinkets that go on them. Yours being the only store in our neighborhood that sells Crocs, I saw no other option for finding them, and since you're right next door to the grocery I needed to visit, I thought we'd just pop in and pick up what we needed and it would be a fun and pleasant excursion.

Nope. Sorry. Your wife ruined it.

She locked in on us the moment we strolled through the front door and locked in on us like we were common criminals dressed in jailbird stripes, ready to pilfer and plunder the entire fucking store.

She followed us up and down every aisle, never asking us if we needed help, but telling me instead not to let my 15-month old little boy to touch the fucking Webkins.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Don't let a child touch the fucking toys you have in there to sell to children? Did you ever stop to fucking think that I might buy one? In fact, as soon as I saw that you had Webkins, I thought I would buy one, but you eliminated that chance with your stingy, grubbing, overzealous desire to make sure a child doesn't break anything in your store.

I cannot believe your store is still open!

If I hadn't been excited for my son who so wanted to buy those stupid pins for his shoes, I would have been out of there.

I guarantee you this, I will never set foot in your store again and I will let everyone I know not to go in there either.




Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Little Acorns

I just have a boatload of randomness to throw at you today. Watch out! Here it comes!

So, first, I went to the weirdest playdate ever. Weird only because my friend left Beckett and I alone for almost an hour while she went into another room and nursed her baby. After she'd given him lunch. Then, she immediately put him down for a nap. She's nursed in front of me before and I, in front of her. I just found it a little weird. Especially when she picked the time for us to come over. I know the real point of it all was for us to hang out, but we ended up only spending about 30 or 40 min. talking while we ate lunch.


Beckett loves music and this makes me very happy. Right now he's dancing to Black Water by The Doobie Brothers. Earlier he was throwing down to some Justin Timberlake and Usher, though. It's not uncommon for him to go get his dad's harmonica and take it to him and stomp his feet and complain until Scott plays. When he wants Scott to play guitar, Beckett sits on the floor by the guitar or guitar case and slaps it while staring at his dad.

In other news, Brendan got his first pair of Crocs today. You should know I hate and am morally opposed to Crocs. I'm just not a fan of crap-tacular trends. Especially those involving really expensive plastic footwear that comes in obnoxious colors. I just cannot justify $30 for plastic shoes. In obnoxious colors. With holes in them. (Boy! Do I ever sound like a mom!) However, I snuck a shopping trip into Tuesday Morning today to look for barware for our new rec room bar and found them there. In his size. In grey. For $7.

Since the boy has been asking for them for months since all the other kids in Pre-K have them, I decided I woudl surprise him with them. Of course, it meant we had to go buy those little pins all the kids wear on them after school. Those cost more than the shoes, but I still spent less than a pair of Crocs usually costs.

Speaking of Brendan... When he walks into his classroom each morning, it reminds me of when Norm walks into Cheers. Does my son have a career as a barfly ahead of him? I don't know, but each morning when he walks into class, he is greeted with everyone cheerfully shouting, Brendan! Then several of the kids run to embrace him. And always, his friend Kush is leading the charge, followed closely by a little girl named Chloe. It's very cute. HIs teacher told me that he's the only one who gets that greeting and I really don't know what to make of it. But, it's very sweet.

Let's see...What else?

I guess there's not much else going on...I've booked some new shows for Scott. I'm doing a little work for a real estate client. Not finding enough time to work out and hating my body. But that's not news, just par for the course.

Alright. Time to cook a little dinner.

Hope everyone else is happy and healthy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Handle with Care: March Perfect Posts

I haven't participated in Suburban Turmoil / Petroville's Perfect Post Awards in awhile. This post from Wendy and Jason's Excellent Adventure really moved me.

First, I thought it was a beautiful and loving tribute to a woman who obviously played a very important role in Wendy's life, who had a tremendous amount of love for Wendy and her family, and who probably, in many ways, shaped the woman Wendy is today. I'm sure there are many people who take their earliest caregivers for granted and don't pause to consider the many ways they have been shaped and informed by these women (and men) who loved and cared for them day in and day out.

More than this though, I think Wendy offers a heartfelt example that illustrates how important the love and affection of other family members and caretakers can be to our children. I think that for the most part our children know that we love them and intuitively understand that it's our job to love them. But to have another adult who doesn't have to love them actually care about them, show them love and compassion and empathy, shapes them and informs them and helps them become better, more loving, more compassionate individuals.

I know that it's difficult for working parents to leave their young ones and to feel they are missing out on all the milestones and day-to-day changes and development. It's easy to grow jealous of our children's nannies or grandmothers or other caretakers and as a result to push them out of our lives and our children's lives. And I know that as I write this, I have not experienced this on the level that many of you working moms have. My experience with this is subtle...seeing my own children enjoy their grandmother who spoils and coddles and doesn't discipline them and who scolds me for disciplining them more than they seem to enjoy me at times.

But, I tell myself that they need that. They need her and her love for them in addition to the motherly love that only I can give them.

Wendy's post, I believe, perfectly captures and illustrates how important the kind of love a caretaker has for her wee charges can powerful and everlasting an impression it makes; that chosen wisely, your child's sitter or care provider, can enhance the relationship you have with your child and leave a lasting aura of love and affection that surrounds them the rest of their life.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Each new word a child says brings such joy, excitement, and pride to the parents. Each crude or perfect sound with decipherable meaning opens wider the door through which you and your child communicate. It's beautiful.

Beckett has been saying a couple of the basics for a while now...Mama, Daddy, Budder (Brother), ball. Yesterday he added a new And used it in a new way that was contextually appropriate.

In our hall bath, I have a metal canister to hold the extra toilet paper and Beckett loves to carry it around and take the lid off. So, he wanders in there, picks it up, looks at me and says, dog plain as day, and then proceeds to go find his stuffed dog and sit down and start playing.

Later, I was trying to get him into the kitchen to eat his lunch, but he refused to come, preferring instead to stand in our foyer, pointing into the living room, jabbering away. Finally, he looks at me, still pointing in the living room, and says dog. Looking to where he was pointing, I see our dog Cooper standing outside on the deck looking in the French doors, ready to come back inside.

I just love this phase of a child's development, when they learn so much and each day is so full of surprises...for the child and the parent. It's just delightful.

Dark Was the Night

Tonight we participated in Earth Hour.

Starting at 8 p.m., we turned off all the lights and electronics in the house, lit candles, and hung out. Scott played guitar and sang a lot of his old songs that he doesn't play that often. Brendan went to bed with a battery-powered lantern that he had gotten for Christmas from an aunt and only came downstairs once after going to bed. He was very willing to go along with the flow and didn't complain or question what we were doing.

It was cool.

It was definitely a motivator to think about all the ways we can conserve energy and I was thinking it would be cool to do this at least once a week.

I only glanced out once or twice and couldn't really tell how many houses on our street were participating. I think at least one or two were. Hopefully more.

If nothing else it was a good opportunity to teach Brendan about being a good citizen of the Earth.