Thursday, September 9, 2010

Picture Day

Today is picture day for my 8 year old; my beautiful daughter who has entered the tomboy stage. You know the stage where she refuses to wear anything even remotely feminine like skirts, dresses or earrings. The one that requires her to constantly wear her braids in a plain old ponytail, no headbands, no cute little hair accessories, nothing. Because of her affinity for skinny jeans, plaid shirts and revamped Chuck Taylors, she has been dubbed as my skater princess. For the life of me I do not remember going thru the tomboy phase, I believe I have always been a diva.

In any case, my little skater princess had to wear a dress today because her school requires it. There was no conflict when it came to wearing the dress, but I had to force her to wear earrings and I thought she would faint when I styled her braids in a bun on top of her head. I think the style is absolutely adorable on her; she on the other hand has a different take on it. I believe her exact words to me were, “Mom, this is too formal.” Now I ask you, what in the world does an 8 year old know about formal?

When I finished “styling” her, I had to take a deep breath in. I was amazed at how quickly she is growing and becoming a young lady. I am reminded that I should just embrace the stage she is in now and enjoy these days. All too soon, I am sure she will be trying to invade my closet, my makeup and my jewelry and when that happens I will really have to remember to breath deep.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And The Beat Goes On...

More from the reality show I live....Last weekend started off pretty nice. Long holiday weekend, the boss said I could leave 2 hours early on Friday, I had time to go grocery shopping and do a little end of the season shopping at my favorite store, Loehmann's (where I picked up a hot little dress for next year's vacation). All before picking my girls up from school.  I felt so good I even allowed my 8 year old's BFF to sleepover. This was her first sleepover and it has taken me 8 years to allow that to happen.  It wasn't too bad though because my 4 year old was at her BFF's house (sister of the 8 year old's BFF) - did I confuse you yet? I am glad because I am not sure I could have handled four squealing girls at one time.  Brady bunch, this is not!

Now Saturday started out a little rough because those chicks were up at 7am asking to be fed! 7am -REALLY...Gone are the days of kids sleeping late after being up way too late for their age. Now if that had been a school morning ice cold water wouldn't have awakened the little zombies.  As the day progressed things got a little nicer, the parents of the BFF's offered to take ALL the kids to a family barbecue and that meant FREEDOM for me.  That rarely happens so excuse me if I seem a little overly excited. 

My BMF (best male friend) offered  insisted on cleaning my poor, neglected 1999 Honda Accord who I have affectionately named, Lola.  I bought Lola for cash in 2004 and in spite of my often neglectful ways, she has not given me any major problems.  My BMF cleaned my girl from top to bottom on Saturday, I mean she looked good! So good I had to take a picture of her and send it to my mom.  All she could say was Wow wow wow....That ought to give you some idea of just how bad Lola looked. After she was all cleaned up, I felt like I was driving a new car again. My baby girl got in the next day, looked around and said, "I've never seen it like this." And her eyes were as big as saucers - LOL. 

And so we made it to the last day of our long break when I decided there is just no way I could stay in the house all day with those children and we went window shopping. We were all over, Ross', Marshalls, Once Upon A Child and finally,Wal-mart.  After all that driving, I decided to be proactive and fill my car up with gas the day before instead of the morning of and trekked on over to my local Royal Farm Store.  I finished filling Lola up and turned on the ignition. Nothing...What nothing, no turnover, no sound, nothing! OMG, what am I going to do? My heart was beating fast, but I couldn't let it show because the kiddies were in the backseat and heaven forbid they see I am upset. I certainly had no time for their drama.  Thankfully my roommate was in the car with me and she and another customer pushed my precious Lola over to a parking space. 

Let me just say God is good because I was within walking distance from my home and off we went.  I needed to get my cardio in for the day anyway. 

I am so blessed to have a great support system because my BMF was able to get my car home and have it towed to his mechanic. My single, childless roommate shuttled me and my children around for a couple of days - talk about culture shock for her.  Perhaps I have never mentioned this little tidbit about myself but I am fiercely independent and it was indeed a humbling experience to be without a car for just a small amount of time. 

Apparently Lola was in shock over her new found cleanliness and decided something just wasn't right.  It turns out she needed a new starter. Yep you heard it, all she needed was a new starter.  I think that is pretty darn good for 245,000 miles.  Onward and upward....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Learning to Breathe Again

Raising two children alone, working full-time, and managing my entrepreneurial interests, running a household, operating as party planner and chauffeur to my children, etc. WHEW, instead of managing my life, my life has begun to manage me. Life for me over the past few years cannot be described in one word; instead a series of words are needed. Words like: frenetic, tumultuous, madhouse, chaotic and plain old nutty. I often joke that I should have a reality show, at least then I would be getting paid to live this overly animated life.

Earlier this week, I took advantage of a gift certificate for a massage given to me by a good friend. The highly skilled and intuitive therapist started at my feet and began to tell me all about the problems going on in my body. She described to a “t”, the lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain and tingling sometimes in my fingers. None of her assessments came as a shock to me because earlier in the year I saw a chiropractor for a few weeks in an effort obtain some relief from those very same issues. As relaxing as a massage is supposed to be, part of it for me was a struggle. A struggle to relax, relate and release. Ahhh…the story of my life and the resulting uptightness I mentioned in an earlier post. The therapist said to me, “You don’t breathe.” And in an instant I knew exactly what she meant.

In all of this confusion somewhere along the way I forgot how to breathe, literally.

I am now on a quest to learn to relax, relate and release. A quest to learn how to breathe again. I must first learn the actual process of breathing again, so I have begun to practice deep breathing exercises. This is a really simple exercise and can be done anywhere. Take a deep breath in thru the nose for five seconds and breathe out thru the mouth for eight seconds. I do this numerous times per day and if you see me and I look strange, please keep walking. I also need to figure out how to compartmentalize the many roles I play. Men are great at compartmentalizing; I need lessons in this. Any volunteers? Another thing I am going to do is to purchase two kitchen timers for my children; one for each of them. If I make chore time fun for them, I can grab 15 minutes here and there for myself to….you got it, breathe. And last but definitely not least I will find a way to bring exercise back into my life. Coming in second place after my time with God, exercise helps to give me balance. I have not had a consistent workout routine in several months and not only am I getting way too soft for my taste, I am out of balance and my breathing is off.  

Above all, I need to remember I am not in control of any of this, God is. He has chosen me for these roles and has given me everything I need to perform them. I am not superwoman, nor am I supermom and neither you. Let’s all of us remember to breathe again.