Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lie #11: I always follow through....

So logged on today and realized that I have neglected this all summer for the most part... oh the best of intentions I had...I have no excuse except laziness and procrastination to come up with something witty to write. I will come up with something when I'm not busy doing laundry, feeding kids, bathing kids, doing homework with kids...etc. etc.; you get my drift.... so don't give up on me. I've also become a multi blogger, which means I'm writing more then one and I have to admit that my energy is focused on the other, my sweet girlfriend blog that I share with my fab five!

Homework assignment to myself: remember some witty story of the past  to share, make up some witty story to share or get the balls to share some witty story of the present to share...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

TRUTH: sometimes when life gives you lemons... you just need to add Vodka...

Today was one of those days that I just wanted to turn back time. Turn back time to a place in time where I didn't have any responsibilities. To a time where I could sleep in as late as I wanted and eat what I wanted, drink whatever I wanted and not have to reply to anyone else's requests or whinning. 

Instead, I got up at 6:30, got the kids ready for daycare, fed them breakfast and was headed out the door by 7:25 to drop them off at daycare and head into work. When I returned home nine hours later, I used the remainder of my day mowing the lawn, making two different dishes for dinner to pacify the ones who like Chinese and those who wanted plain old American tonight. I mowed the lawn, cleaned up the kitchen, folded three baskets of laundry, put two loads of laundry in the washer and dryer to be left for tomorrow's folding duties. I made tater-tots for a bedtime snack, filled two sippy cups with milk and turned on a movie to give myself an hour of quiet time to myself. All this in a span of 14 hours. This is my day today... this is typical of everyday.

I await my sweet sweet weekend, which is packed full of overnight guests for the girls, birthday parties for sweet little friends, babysitting infants and maybe one morning of sleeping in past seven. And while I'm not complaining of my jammed pack weekend, I do yearn for one weekend from the past where I have nothing planned, no one to feel I have to entertain or cook for. I yearn for a weekend that entails drinking sweet lemonade with a s midge of Vodka spilled on top, the rim laced with lick-able sugar to cut the bitterness. I yearn for clean sheets where I can sleep a full ten or even twelve hours, only to awake slowly and finally rise out of bed when I decide I'm ready to face the day. I yearn to eat warm croissants with too much butter lathered a top, then ice cream, then pizza... not caring that the combination is both irrational and unhealthy to begin my day and call it breakfast. However, I know that my day will begin with the left overs on the kids plates, as I never put myself into the equation when making breakfast. If I was an avid coffee drinker, I would begin with a hot tall mocha latte, but even that seems to be a task these days that I'd rather bow out of out of sheer laziness... or better put, sheer tiredness....

I am whining. I admit it and take full responsibility for it. However, in the end.... for years I yearned for exactly where I sit today; a house full of chaos and sticky fingers, sweet baby hands stroking my cheek in the middle of the night when one can't sleep, hugs and kisses at my arrival home after a long day at work. 

Even in my darkest days... I can sit back and think, "today may be a lemonade day..." 

Lie #10: I love to clean....

She sat and watched an ant traipse across the counter, wondering silently to herself... "I wonder where he came from?" Perhaps a little friend from outside that migrated in from when one of the children ran through the open door for the hundreth time that day. Or could this new little pet reside inside her kitchen on a regular basis? Perhaps...

Ever since her childhood, Josie had been known to hide a plethera of items in her long dark walk in closet in order to pass Saturday morning inspections by her mother before being allowed to run outside to enjoy the rest of her day. It is no surprise that in her adult life, cleaning is not a high priority on her list of things to do throughout the day. However, with three young children, she finds that if she lets things go to long, her house can become a chaotic clutter of candy wrappers and juice boxes. 

Her newest invention has been the super deep clean, where she hauls in the large garage garbage can and just starts dumping for the day or the week, whatever time frame it happens to land on. 

Since her husband moved out, Josie had begun to deep clean with fury... a sort of purging of the soul so to say. It was amazing just how much shit they had accumulated in their 19 years together and how good it felt to throw out all the miscellaneous broken crap that her former husband had insisted on keeping, "just in case..." 

How many plastic tops to three rubber-maid bowls did they really need? Ah.... only three please... Did they really need the token waffle maker that every newly married couple acquires in the slew of wedding gifts,but never uses? No thank you. As her children grew she realized that they could finally throw out a couple dozen plastic to go cups she had stowed away by various fast food excursions, they were old enough to be trusted with a plain glass juice cup. How refreshing it felt.... how grow up she felt...

For ten years she had itty bitty hands that couldn't manage to keep away from picture frames, candles etc.  And so her counter tops remained bare for the most part, no sweet knicknacks were sitting out on her table tops. 

Recently, she  had felt adventurous and bought some black candle holders at a garage sale for a dollar and even christened them with brand new cream vanilla scented candles in her living room. She now felt like flippin Martha Stewart! How she-she poo poo she felt... her house was beginning to feel like a home and each paycheck she managed to buy a little something to introduce to the mix. Whether it was a black and white floral picture to hang on the wall she found at a local garage sale, or a sale priced basket to hold the kids picture books. Somehow these things made her want to keep her house tidy... somehow she had discovered that keeping her house clean, no matter how cumbersome and time consuming, was in a way, thanking her home for keeping her family warm and safe from the sometimes cold and bitter world outside.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lie #9: I'll love you forever....

Her dress was sheer perfection in her eyes... the Cinderella dress she had always in-visioned wearing on this most special day. Josie peered into the floor length mirror and smiled as she took in her reflection and how beautiful she felt.


Today I started filling out my divorce papers. Sadly the fairytale was but a fairytale in the end. And yet as I gaze upon the photograph of this young bride I still smile remembering how beautiful I felt that day, how absolutely in love I was and how happy I was to be getting married. Never again will I wear a dress so decadent, so innocently grand and pure at the same time. By no means was the white a symbol of my physical purity, but more so the innocence and purity of my yet to be broken heart. 

I suppose I am lucky that I go into this separation and divorce preceding with hours of silent deliberation to where I am at the point that I know in my heart that this is but a close of a chapter in my life and I look forward to finding the woman that I dream t I would be, but never became. I can move forward with out animosity in my heart, and with excitement of what the future holds. I am reminded of this young girls dreams, while remaining grounded in my experience to allow myself to dream and grow in realistic measures...

Oh dear sweet girl, I would like to tell my former self, "you are worthy of love simply because you are..." 

For months I grappled with the fact that at the time I meant every word of my marriage vows, the all encompassing, "I'll love you forever..."and yet here I am, hashing out the details of cutting ties with my husband of 13 years... and surprisingly, I am finding immense joy and peace in the process... for I know I did everything in my power to try and make my marriage work. In the midst of illness and depression, addiction and emotional instability, I stayed loyal to this man in giving every ounce of myself to better our relationship the best I knew how. 

Now I realize that while I "loved" him the best I could, I did not love myself... respect myself... and today I celebrate the beauty of my wedding day and  look upon the photograph of my former self and truly feel as light and pure and airy as the dress I wore that day. I'm thinking of pulling it out and perhaps wearing it for shits and giggles, if the damn thing fits... surprisingly, I think it just might... it's amazing how you can shed the pounds with a diet of stress....stress... and more stress...

So if you see a crazy Korean lady in a wedding dress at the Piggly Wiggly, behold.... it's just little 'ol me!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lie #8: I never act inappropriately when drinking....

Cheap girly wine was her drink of choice. Sometime vodka....always rum, but these days it was the sweet fizzy taste of Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot that made her giggly and inhibited. Josie had not been much of a drinker in the last ten years since the birth of her first child, but had recently taken it back up when social occasions arose. At first it was a single glass of wine, sitting at the kitchen table with a girlfriend while discussing personal secrets and enlightening aspects of her life as she began one of many wonderful and close friendships. It was not that she had anything against drinking...infact in her wild youth she had spent many a night drinking cheap beer till dawn with her college friends. But experience had taught her that she was useless for many days post party if she partook of too much and experience had taught her that while it felt great at the time, she had a tendency to be too inhibited and too carefree when lubricated with liquer of any time.

Why did I do it? Maybe because I am newly single and haven't been laid in six months and am a ball full of hormones... can I blame it on the wine? The party atmosphere? The twenty-two year old boy that dared me to? It was just a kiss... simple, sweet, almost child-like... that is until his tongue darted into my mouth. It is hazy at best, but I did realize it was happening when it happened and enjoyed it the best I could in the moment. Yet the next morning I felt a weight of guilt I hadn't anticipated as I waited for a friend to come pick me up to go retrieve my car from the night before. Luckily I have great friends that made sure that I had a safe ride home in my exuberant condition....

Fact: I was separated from my husband...six months now with plans of divorce.
Fact: Its not like I had planned to kiss this boy... it just happened in the moment.
Fact: I am old enough to be this boy's mother had I gotten pregnant in high school.
Fact: I will have to see this boy every time I go to my best friend's house as he lives with her family in the summer when he is home from college.
Fact: I feel like a dork.
Fact: I know people are going to give me shit about it for years to come.
Fact: I'm ashamed that I acted like a silly 22 year old girl when I am almost 40.
Fact: For a moment I felt like a silly 22 year old girl.
Fact: I'm sure it won't be the last time I do something foolish...however, I will try and be more cautious of the embarrassing consequences next time...
Fact: I must not drink liquer and wine on the same night...I am not the party girl of my youth anymore.

*apologies to anyone I might know that is reading this and thinking, oh... this is to much information for me to know... this might be a good time to un-follow my blog... no hurt feeling here... I feel as if the truth of my life might be a bit rough from here on, thus the adult content warning... nothing smutty, well maybe a little... so beware... I warned you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lie #7: I love Mother's Day....

For as long as she can remember she had made her mother a special card for mothers day. The earliest versions were whatever she was instructed to make at school, later on progressing into dramatic poems in floral embossed picture frames. There was the upside down MOM/WOW card and then of course, the M-O-M card where each letter had a significant phrase that started with said letter. Whatever the design, it was always made with love and she often wondered if that was enough to show her sentiment....


I am now a proud mother of three and I realize that each little crooked letter I wrote on each one of my homemade cards was cherished and received with love. 

That said, I must admit that while the idea is sentimental and sweet....I hate Mother's Day! Why? Because I find it obsurd that only one day a year is set aside to pay homage to the hardest job on earth. I find it rediculous that a card or a peice of sale priced jewelry is suppose to invigorate my zest of motherhood or somehow make me feel like all the shit I deal with is suddenly worth it all! 

Do I love my children? More then life itself! Do I love being a mother? Sometimes not so much...I don't look at my children nightly and think, what sweet beautiful angels they are as they lie sleeping in their beds...most of the time I'm just proud that we got through the day and made it into bed. Do I love that 20 feet of white kitchen cabinet doors need constantly wiped down from peanut butter and Cheeto finger smears? How I wish they made colorless food products like colorless Kool-aid! Do I love the fact that I haven't slept a peaceful night of sleep in ten years, the slightest sound rousing me from ever getting into a deep relaxing REM stage? Of course not!

 Before you give up all hope and think I'm the worst Mom ever, let me let you in on some things I do love about motherhood.

I loved actual labor! Yep, it's the one hippy dippy thing about me. I love giving birth to babies without drugs and with lots of pain! And no, I am not on drugs as I write this! Of course, I'm the lady that has a special pedicure done a week before my due date to make sure that my toes look cute, as if anyone is going to be looking at my toes! LOL

If I would stop smoking, I would be a great surrogate since I loved every moment of being pregnant. Luckily I was not cursed with morning sickness or heartburn....don't hate me ladies....

I love the sweet smell of a breast fed baby. I love the first tentative steps, the first high pitched words that I quickly translate into whatever is fitting of the situation to make that child seem like a genius! I love seeing the expression on their faces the first time they try a food that they simply love or the funny grimace when they try a food they will live a lifetime hating.... I love listening to children read aloud the first time it "clicks" and how proud they look as they are reading to me. I love crayon drawings and homemade paper bag puppets. I love teaching them how to ride a two wheeler, letting go and watching them triumphantly glide down the sidewalk. I love the chaotic drug like excitement the first Christmas that they realize just what all the fuss about Santa is about! I don't even mind waking up extra early. I love the feel of their arms around me when they are scared or sad, knowing that it is my own arms around them that brings them peace and protection. These are just some of the things I love about Motherhood....there are too many to list...most of them boring or predictable besides...

It is a couple days past Mother's Day and while I had originally meant to write and post this on Mother's Day, obviously being a mother got in the way and thus I finish this entry a little later then I had planned. But the sentiment is still the same.

I spent my Hallmark Card Holiday with the kids, at the park and bowling after a brunch extravaganza prepared by yours truly. As a newly single mom, I am learning that sometimes the best thing I can do is to "beep my own horn," and congratulate myself on all I accomplish on my own and recently I have realized that I don't need a special day to do this. 

In fact, I say "fuck ONE single day" to commemorate all that I do. I am head chef, maid service, chauffeur, nanny, and nurse rolled into one. I will celebrate every day! Sometimes with the luxury of a shower all to myself, no little ones sitting at my feet in the bathtub. Someday's my celebration ise eating a whole sleeve of double stuffed Oreo's in one sitting while watching a chick flick! Sometimes I celebrate by shopping online in the quietness of darkness at midnight with the soft murmurs of children snoring as a lullaby. Sometimes I  celebrate out loud with my girlfriends and a bottle of cheap chick wine! No matter how and when or where, I celebrate myself and my blessed role as Mommy!

I  celebrate the amazing calm  voice of Skater Girl and how she reminds to breathe when things get overwhelming. I  celebrate the way Hoots "kicks ass" at Guitar Hero with childlike abandon and how she reminds me of the adventurous joy of childhood. I  celebrate the shy quite smirk of MarthaStew, knowing that it hides a "naughty" Smart Aleck remark that together we think in tandem like long lost twins. I celebrate Sexy Spice's outrageous zest for all things Sexy and Spicy...her say it how it is candor allowing me to share all that I am without fear of judgement or repercussion.

I hope that one day my children will realize just what an truly awesome Mom they have. Luckily they are too young to decipher the fear that plagues me half the time, as I try my best to play referee to the ups and downs of life and raising them. Sometimes I worry that I am too lenient with everything from how much tv time to the almost free reign of our famous snack drawer in the kitchen. Should I make them eat eggs and cereal for breakfast,  or is it okay to have cold pizza occasionally on a lazy Saturday morning? I don't know all the rules and regulations and even some that I do know, I rebel own childish desires overcoming my mothering instincts! I am not perfect, nor do I want to be, nor do I want to burden my children with a life that doesn't embrace celebration now and again. Because that is what they bring to my life, a physical celebration of unconditional love!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lie #6: I am Donna Reed...

There is something about watching old television shows that is truly idiotic, and not in a slap stick Lucy and Ethel get into trouble way. It's those Leave It to Beaver, Donna Reed, Father knows Best shows that need to be taken off the air for good, sorry Nick@Nite Channel... but this is one Mom that can't take it anymore! I'm sick and tired of being reminded everyday that I am NOT Donna Reed, or worse, Mrs. Fuckin' Clever! 

It's hard enough just to get through the day without the rediculous expectation of being super uber Mom who keeps her cool under all conditions and for many tv-oholics like myself, we've been brainwashed to believe that this is even possible in today's society and now must rewire our brains to accept reality as the new acceptable norm.

This morning is a prime example of reality hitting me squarely across the noggin'. 

It's seven thirty in the morning, I have told Minnie and Teeny to get dressed and eat their breakfast. I listen to them run around the house looking for the "right" clothes and clean socks. (For some reason, our socks don't like to walk their way up from the laundry basket in the basement. ) Now it's quarter to eight, "Did you eat your breakfast?" 


"You better eat before you don't have time..." I try to remain calm. Now don't misunderstand me and think that I believe sending the girls to school without breakfast is a good idea, I just think that at seven and almost ten, they are able to prioritize what needs to be accomplished in the morning, the same three things that need to be accomplished every morning. Get dressed. Eat Breakfast.  Walk to school. Not rocket science!

In my quest to teach them responsibility and independence, we have worked months of this particular threesome. Some days each of them prides themselves on getting themselves ready for the day. Today is not one of those days.

Eight o'clock. Time to get on coats and shoes and get out the door. Teeny is sitting by the side door wrapped in her fuzzy Valentines fleece blanket. Minnie runs up and down the stairs, looking for Teeny's shoes.

"What are you doing? Where is Teeny?"

"She's sitting by the door."

"Go ahead on to school, I'll deal with her." I instruct my eldest.

Okay, time to step in. I go to the side door and find my youngest daughter. "What are you doing?" I find myself barking, "get your shoes on!" I shove her feet into her shoes, whipping the blanket off of her shoulders. "Where's your coat?"

"I don't know."

"Well, go find it, look up in your room!"

I spend hours a week picking up toys and clothes, cleaning bedrooms, discovering snacks under beds and washing dishes and folding clothes. Is it too much to ask for them to be responsible for  their jackets? If they hung them up on the hook by the door, then they'd have no problem. Is it my problem if they want to drag it all over the house? 

"Hurry up, or you're going to be late!"

Teeny sulks upstairs and returns with her coat and homework bag in her hand. 

I make her walk alone, her sister having left nearly 10 minutes before. It's now 8:18 and the first bell rings at 8:25. It is only two and half blocks to school, but I will not drive her in the car. I am reminded of the time that my own mother made me walk nearly a mile to school one morning when I got up late and I indeed was tardy to school. I am also reminded that it only happened once and I learned my lesson. 

I feel a bit guilty as I watch her walk down the driveway in tears, but I remain strong. I cannot go back on my word. I hate it when I see parents in the store threatening to leave and then amazingly when I am in back of them at the check-out, their children have gum and candy bars in their hands to pacify them. If you threaten, you must follow through. End of Story. Period.  Just last night we got within two feet of the grocery store when I had to send them back to the car; no ice cream for them, no ice cream for Mom. It sucked, but it made a clear point. When I threaten, I will follow through. 

I wait by the phone, anxious to see if I get a call from school that she didn't make it in time to join her line outside by the playground when the bell rang. 8:40, no call. 8:50, no call. She must have made it in time.

Now believe me when I tell you, I am not a hard ass, a tyrant. There are many things that my friends and my children can attest to that occur in my home that you will not find in others. For example, slumber parties in the basement till all hours of the night, no question of what they are doing, how big a mess they are making, why there is half a pizza on the floor and a bag full of powder sugar donuts scattered on the couch. This is not a battle I fight, nor care about. I will deal with this in the morning, once children have gone home and I am at one with my big garbage can and vacuum. I want my children to be children, to have fun without my interference as long as they are safe. 

I want my kids to know that I know that their home is a home where fun is permitted and boundaries are set widely. A drawer full of snacks to take at their discretion, you bet! I think of the hundreds of cookies and snacks I hid under my shirt on my way to my room and laugh at the memory. Hours at the pool, craft projects where the mess at the table is not questioned, nor expected, entire bedrooms fitted with entertainment centers, movies and video games...these kids have it easy, they are living a grand life!

But on the flip side, I know it is my responsibility to prepare them to be on their own and this is one lesson that is important: time management and responsibility for self in those constraints. It's a lesson that I find many adults still grapple with and I hope my children will learn before adulthood. I personally am a stickler when it comes to being on time. I see it as respect for where I am to be or who I am to meet. Of course, there are things out of my control that can keep me from getting to my destination from time to time, that comes with being a mother with three kids in tow. But for the most part, I pride myself in managing my time and being efficient in all that I do. 

So I struggle to find a balance in my life as a newly single Mom and on most days I find myself amazed at my capabilities and patience. A new normal is being set into motion and I am finding myself on a hit and miss venture. Most days go off with only minor situations, ones that I can over look or catch myself in a calm lesson learned environment.

I still cook well balanced home cooked meals. Not as often as I did before, but still more then many people I know. I end each meal with a special desert, a snack before bed to keep tummys full until morning. I wash and fold their clothes, make their beds, pick up after them constantly, but not in pearls and heels. I dance to Miley Cyrus and pretend to care about the quiz in the latest teen-bop magazine. I play Wii and watch High School Musical for the 100th time. I understand the importance of sharp tipped crayons and have been in attendance of over 1000 tea parties in my life,  including preparing tiny plates of minature sandwiches and cookies,  slices of cheese and real hot chocolate to pour and inevitable spill in the tiny porcelain cups. My kids are my life. 

Yet on the off days, I have to remind myself...I am not Donna Reed, nor do I want to be.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DARE: to live life in the moment....

April 20, 1978. It was an special day for Josie, it was her 6th birthday. Already, the day had been a whirl of excitement. There were pink iced chocolate cupcakes, made with much love by her mother and packed on a foil wrapped cookie sheet to bring to school to pass out to her classmates and her beloved first grade teacher, Mr. W. 

She had worn a dress to school that day, which now bounced playfully in the warm spring wind as she trotted home from school, the thirteen block walk less daunting due to her small circle of friends that joined her on the journey. There was eight of them in all, including herself. They filled the sidewalk with their party dresses and backpacks as they linked arms as they walked, stopping frequently in  fits of giggles and side tracked observations. And what should have been the best walk home of the year, with nothing but thoughts of ice cream and strawberry pink cake, presents and balloons, came a sick feeling in Josie's stomach as the secret she kept inside began to come to realization.

It all began two weeks earlier when her mother instructed her to pick out six friends to invite to a birthday party. One girl for each year that she was turning. Simple math to a mother, a little more difficult for a social five going on six year old who was a people pleaser at heart. She invited the sweet ballerina with the long braids, the tomboy that was her closest friend at the moment  and the tomboys step-sister. There was the girl with a thick glasses and the strange but exotic  name.  There was a blonde girl that she spent endless hours playing with after school at the grandmother's house that watched her while her parent's worked. There was a girl named Tracey that she invited for no particular reason. That was six. And then there was Andi. Andi lived up the block, six houses part her own. She didn't know why she decided on a whim to invite that auburn haired freckle face girl, but she did. Now merely four blocks from a room full of streamers and paper cups of kool-aid, Josie realized that she had to interrupt this blissful excursion with the truth of her miss-step. 

And while memory alludes her to the exact words, somehow she told Andi that she couldn't come to her party and as the other's ran up the brick walk in front of Josie's green house, Andi continued on her way home.

Years later, Josie tells her Mom of this incident, to which her mother is horrified, "what must Andi's mother thought all these years? If I had known, she certainly could have come to the party...what was one more?"

And while it is unknown what Andi's mother thought, ironically, Josie and Andi became the best of friends years later when they were in middle school, a friendship that would last over the years, through marriages and babies. In fact, on her 18th birthday, Josie would receive a blue and white wrapped gift from her friend, inside a small stuffed squirrel, the exact gift that Andi had nestled in her back-pack years ago on that long walk home....


Now a mother, I think back to that day can't imagine what this little girl or her mother dealt with that day. Oh, the mistakes we make as children. Why didn't I just confess to my mother that I had invited a 7th? I don't know....fear of not getting a present for not following her directions? I can't tell you why...I can only say that each year as my birthday approaches, I think about this certain day. More so, I think about the little girl and her stuffed squirrel and how we can now look back and laugh about it, how lucky am I that she didn't ban me from her life forever. 

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. Last Saturday, I arrived at my girlfriend's house, Ms. Sexy Spice to be surprised by friends and food and booze and laughter that spilled into the dark night. My first surprise party ever.  And while there were friends, both near and far that couldn't partake in the festivities, I went home that evening and thought to myself... it isn't who was actually at the party that really counted as a whole, but who was invited, who I wished were there... and in spirit, they were. And those that were there with me that night were a representation of every blessed person in my life. How lucky am I that they love me so much to want to celebrate the "Me" of Me. 

Sexy Spice. Skater Girl. Hoots. MarthaStew. Thank you ladies! Not only do you share in the ups and downs of my everday, you surprised me with one of the best surprises of my life and made me remember to 'live in the  moment", savor the sweetness....and I'm not talking about the candy from the pinata!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lie #5: I don't believe in dieting....

Her thighs burned, starting to shake out of control. This pain couldn't possibly be endured much longer. She tried to sidetrack her brain by thinking about how her butt looked suspended in the air, her hips thrust forward in the awkward pose.
"Three, two, one and rest," instructed the girl in the mirror, clad in black yoga pants and a tight fitted white t-shirt. Josie scowled at the sight of her young, toned body, jealous of her flat abs and perky bottom.

It had been two weeks since she had joined this aerobic class and she had yet to discover any change besides the soreness of muscles that up until now she was unaware that she even had.

She hid herself behind a large Native American lady that was nearly two times her size, an overweight smile encouraging her along as Josie silently glanced at the clock. It had only been fifteen minutes since the start of the class,how in the world was she going to make it through the remaining forty-five? And whose idea was this torturous regiment?

Josie reached over and picked up her water bottle, chugging the entire contents in one breathe. Perhaps she would slip out during the dreaded wall squat to refill it,only to return once "perky bottom girl"got tired of drilling their thighs into submission.

Once again, she looked at her reflection in the wall of mirrors. She really couldn't complain much. Compared to some of the women in the class, she already was the 'after'to their 'before.' However, after three children and her 35th birthday, she really couldn't hold off the inevitable.

She had always been a thin child, almost anorexic looking by today's standard. She remembered returning home after her first semester in college, when most of the girls in her dormitory complained of gaining the "freshman fifteen." She imagined she had also gained weight on the cafeteria diet of cheeseburgers and pizza, but she was surprisingly welcomed home by the comment, "you look good, you've gained a little weight." So she returned to school, free to gorge on egg and bacon sandwiches for breakfast, burgers for lunch and dinner,with the occasional whole pizza during breaks from studying late at night. She had an aversion toward any kind of recreational or enforced exercise besides the awkward dancing at Homecoming, or later, when she was old enough to get into the latest hot spot club.

She didn't know if it was her Asian genes or just plan luck that until recently, she was never burdened with issues concerning weight. Of course, this didn't mean she didn't have issues concerning her body.

She was born with the prerequisite round Asian face,  flat nose and thick course dark hair. She watched in horror during middle school and then on in to high school as the girls around her developed breasts and curves, while remained pencil thin, her breasts easily contained in the white Playtex bra bought by her mother in the seventh grade in hopes of giving her some sense of body self-esteem. She had no hips to speak of, her body reminiscent of that of a thirteen year old boy from the neck down. She used to spend hours alone in her room, examining her body in a full length mirror on her closet door,praying for any sign that womanhood was approaching, only to realize that the hair that sprouted in her armpits, the mild acne and the small buds on her chest may be her only resemblance of being on the cusp of becoming a woman for years to come.

It was lack of self-esteem that led Josie to make some ill-fated choices when it came to male attention during her college years, only to leave her feeling used and ashamed on many a morning. However,even this didn't stop her from repeating the same choices over and over again. It wasn't until she met the man that would become her husband that she realized that the body she had been given was only a vessel in which she lived, it did not define who she was.

It was during her first pregnancy that she experienced her first weight issue. Despite the concerns and lectures from her handsome male obstetrician, she packed on a whopping 80 pounds during her daughter's nine month gestational period. She remembered craving McDonald's cheeseburgers and salty french fries dipped in thick chocolate milk shakes, making daily trips to the local WalMart under the disguise of picking up needed items for the nursery in order to quench her cravings at the in-store restaurant. She was one of those women who literally "ate for two", only she ate the equivalent of two grown adults on a free-buffet cruise line.

"I'm pregnant," was her excuse, even when she began to outweigh her husband and his healthy 175 pound body.

She relished in the delusion of not caring about the weight, convinced that she would lose it quickly after giving birth. Ice cream and potato chips became her best friend as she sat watching episode after episode of 'A Baby Story'on TLC, preparing for the birth of her first born.

The first of her girlfriends to have a baby, it came as quite a shock after twelve hours of labor, to discover that only six pounds of her 80 plus were actually cradled in her arms, sheer physical exhaustion blinding her from the girth around her middle that appeared to be the stomach of a woman still at least six months pregnant.

She returned home three days later with her little pink package of joy, delighting in the arrival of her new best friends; milk engorged breasts. Though painful as the milk first arrived, she was memorized by the sheer magnitude of them. High and thrust out from her chest, they were comparable to the breasts she had seen on celebrities and models on the E! Channel and quietly prayed that they would be forever hers. Of course,one  should be careful of what they pray for, because such vain prayers are rarely answered. 

A year went by as she blissfully raised her daughter, her stomach slowly reshaping itself into a soft round belly, silver raised stretch marks reminding her of the limitations of the human body, souvenirs she would carry with her for the rest of her life. She dutifully nursed her baby to give her all the nutrition and antibodies that she needed according to her ever faithful 'What to Expect' manual, secretly postponing any weaning because of the inevitable fear of losing her "stripper boobs."

Having no full length mirror in the rented apartment, she spared herself from the truth of the matter; losing the weight she had put on during her pregnancy was not going to happen overnight, or even that year in fact. A summer vacation at the in-laws would be the turning point. Particularly one casual snapshot of her frolicking in the waves with her picture perfect Gap baby.

She was fat.

A slim respectable 110 pounds on her wedding day had morphed into a 160 pound 'before' ad for Weight Watchers. She sat devastated at what she saw in the photograph. She knew that she wasn't huge by all means, but she didn't recognize the woman in the picture. She had always been the "skinny one" and this revelation of moving up the scale was undeniable and undesired.

"What am I going to do?" she wondered, making an ill-fated hormonal choice that the best thing to do was to get pregnant again, so her protruding stomach at least had a purpose.

To her delight, she had a bit more self control during her second pregnancy and the scale only grew 50 pounds. This said, with the additional pre-pregnancy weight, she was the size of a whale.

Another healthy baby in tow, she vowed to reclaim her body when the initial nursing was done, this time sped up by a looming wedding reception that was to take place on daughter number two's sixth month birthday. 

She joined Weight Watchers and found herself at the local chapter meeting, dutifully sitting through the hour long speech about "eating with boundaries",  learning the point system and purchasing all the required books and pamphlets that would her her "shed the pounds." She found strength in knowing that she was not alone in her struggle and promised that she would make a sincere effort to stick to the plan. She did stick to the plan and lost seven pounds in the first two weeks. Then she discovered the miracle of the "Atkin's Diet" and nearly went mentally insane with graphs and total consumption over carbohydrate grams, but succeeded in shedding another 25 pounds in time to make her grand entrance at the wedding reception. 

Now, one might think that this would be the end of her quest, but another pregnancy would be discovered a mere six months later and while she did contain herself from the overabundant smörgåsbord of her previous pregnancies, weight gain was inevitable and so she found herself again struggling to balance the nutrition needed to sustain a healthy baby and her knowledge that she could very easily spin out of control with her eating habits.

Perhaps it was running after two toddlers that kept her somewhat fit and unconsumed by the death-trap she called her kitchen.Or perhaps it was the boy that grew inside of her that biologically changed the physiology of her body. She was not new age enough to understand what changed in her. She only knew that this last pregnancy was by far her most successful when it came to the dreaded scale.

The next fall, she found herself stepping out of the shower, toweling off a body that had not been in her presence for nearly five years. Yes, there was extra hanging skin that is never attractive,  but this could be easily disguised in the right clothing. Her breasts, still full with nutrition looked alright in the mirror. It was the fact that she could see a curve in her waist that delighted her the most. She tentatively stepped on the scale,something she never did unless she was actively dieting and was amazed to find that she had lost all the baby weight and then some, all without opening one book, or denying herself one extra craved carbohydrate. She felt resigned to the fact that after three babies, her body had changed and would never be that of a 26 year old bride again, but felt content in most of what she saw reflected back at her.

"Okay, I think I can live with this," she told herself. " I might even attempt bringing the kids to the pool this summer."

Now living in the mid-west in the state known for it's great cheese and sausage, she knew that she was by far on the low end of any comparison scale.She decided that if she just maintained, she could be happy. This was all said and done until her son turned three, just four months shy of her 35th birthday.

And while she had never been one to shy away from getting older,crying over the end of her twenties or living in fear of the big 3-5, she wished someone would have keyed her in to the fact that physically, 35 is a major turning point.

She could no longer eat without questioning the fat or calorie content of particular delicacies that she had never though of before.

She knew that the scale could and would swing at any moment without diligent observation of herself and her eating habits. She could no longer rely on "good genes" to keep herself in check. She needed to start to exercise to maintain the current state of her body. With this knowledge, she found herself packing up all three kids into her beige mini-van and steering herself toward the local YMCA.

It is here that she found herself each morning, glued to the individual mini television set posted above the tread mill or elliptical machine. It is here that she has brought herself to endure the pain brought upon her by a young, chipper spandex clad girl named Stacy.

It is here that she discovered that beneath the multi-colored baggy sweat suits of the women in this torture room simply disguised with a simple black and white photocopied sign entitled "Totally Toned", are women with their own stories, and most often these stories have nothing to do with the numbers that appear on the scale.


Today was the first hot day of the year, truly hot to the point that I allowed the girls to put on bathing suits and go outside. Today I am reminded that I have not been to the gym in nearly three months and summer is fast approaching... maybe I should rethink my priorities.... maybe eating ice cream in bed tonight while watching tv on the internet is not the greatest plan of attack... 

Friday, April 9, 2010

TRUTH: sisters are sometimes created, not born of blood...

I am a pre Sex and the City woman. Meaning, I missed the original broadcast of this phenomenon because I was too cheap to pay for HBO and was too busy out drinking and kissing strangers in the dark. I am now a mother of three beautiful children who can no fathom the idea of their mother partying the night away; mascara smudged around her glazed eyes, stumbling around at dawn collecting discarded pieces of clothing in order to make it back home to prepare for work, only to do it all over again that night. 

There was a time when I used to refer to these as "the good old days".  Night after night filled with  great adventure, laughter and true friendship as we set out on a quest of loud music, sweaty dancing and ice cold beverages...Most of this close knit group were boys that I filled my life with brotherly love. Through the years, some of these would cross over to become lovers in moments of liquor induced frenzy, but ironically,  for whatever reason,  the friendships meant more to us and that is what has endured over the years and it is the group memories that remain clear in my mind, the moonlight  interludes but a fuzzy recollection in the midst of the chaotic times. Twenty years later we have grown apart, scattered throughout the nation and most of us have begun families of our own. I wonder if they think back to these times and have the same sweet memories. Some of these people have popped in and out of my life with some regularity, some I have only reconnected with through the amazing technology and invention of the internet mega hit, Facebook. Either way, I am happy of these reminders of my youth, no matter how many choices were made out of insecurity, self-loathing and plain old bad judgement, I know that this is a part of growing up, experiences that I cherish, lessons that sometimes had to be learned the hard way, but learned all the same. I miss them and wish them well. 

Today, at nearly forty, which to my delight I'm told is the new thirty, I have had the opportunity through DVD technology to have watched said iconic show and must admit to my chagrin,  for better or worse, I have been changed because of it. I wonder to myself if I would have been effected as much had I been a voyeur to these snippets of metropolitan mayhem and sexual awakenings the first time around in my twenties.

Perhaps I would have put less pressure on myself to go out and find that husband and instead, find that unique sense of self worth in my earlier years, ala Samantha.  I'm sure I would have a more polished wardrobe, extending beyond my daily uniform of khaki pants and t-shirts, a matching cardigan sweater thrown on top when I need to "dress it up." Maybe I would have set out to have a high powered career and found success and empowerment in the corporate world like Miranda. If I am honest with myself ,most likely I would be ... and am... a pared down version of the doe eyed optimist Charlotte,  dreaming of the perfect existence in the suburbs. 

In interviews they always claim that it was and is an ensemble show, but who are they kidding? It was ultimately all about Carrie. Carrie's wardrobe... Carrie's career as a writer ... Carrie's love affairs... Carrie's friends. Perhaps it's because if you think about it, Carrie is the ultimate fantasy character. Every  woman who is a fan of the show wishes she was the Carrie in her group of friends...while in reality I believe we all have a part of Carrie in us,  our distinct desire to be loved, to be accepted and to feel whole in a world filled with miss- understanding, miss communication and everyday mishaps of what is called life.

I must admit here that while I am an entertainment junkie and open minded enough to watch most anything, even the sometimes down right vulgar mishaps of these made up characters; you need not have watched a single complete episode to understand the true desire and gift of sisterhood and conditional love that was ultimately was the basis the show.

I am blessed. I have found my own clan of incredible women who fill my life with mishaps, laughter and shoulder's to cry on. Throughout my writing, you will hear about many of them.  Each one unique in their own way, perfect in what I need in my life to complete what I often refer to as "the inner circle". We come from all different backgrounds and experiences. And while from an outside view, we may all appear the same, busy mother's of young children...take the kids away, add a bottle of wine and a tray of snacks and our true colors come out, the true essence of the women we were, the women we are, the women we strive to become. I long for the times when we can find the time in our hectic schedules to get together and that I can leave my "Mom" title at the door and reclaim my "girlfriend" status. I know they all feel the same. 

I know these women have my back. They have shown in through the years by their actions, but their kind words, by their open ears, by their loving compassionate hearts that allow me to struggle on. In return, they have my eternal gratitude, my respect, my love. Not a day goes by that I don't think to myself, "how lucky am I?" Should I want for something cup is filled to the brim with love and laughter and all I need to do is ask for more, and it will be provided. 

I have finally found peace in this desire. There is no Sex, though we do like to talk and giggle about it. There is no City, we live in a small midwest town, but the essence of it all is here and now and on my part, will remain forever.... 

As an adoptee, it is in my blood and in my being to not only desire, but to crave on an almost animalistic level the need for  connection... family ....sisterhood of sorts...... I have finally found "home".

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lie #4: I am not vain....

From the time she was five, pink had become Josie's signature color. A girly girl at heart, everything about the hue made her happy and to this day, she finds that if up to her, this is the color of choice she dresses in.
 Perhaps it was because after two boys, her mother found herself intoxicated by the menagerie of frilly pink outfits befitting her sought after daughter. Or more likely, as she was told, it was her mother's mother, Gramma D, that went overboard on the shopping and stocked her closet full of 70's inspired girl's ware. No matter how the trend began, Josie would find herself both inspired and drawn to the delicate hue.

It was written in her adoption documents that while she was of Korean descent, they suspected that there was some type other mixed race in her blood as well, because of her unique exotic look, particularly her naturally curly hair. As a child, like most mothers, Josie's Mom revealed in dolling up these waves with plastic color matching barrettes, the kind that were either floral shaped of in the shape of small animals like ducks and bunnies.

"Oh my goodness, what lovely curls," people would comment, "is her hair naturally curly?"

In time, these beautiful curls would become a lifetime battle of tears and tantrums as technology hadn't progressed to what it is now in the beauty industry. 

She remembers late nights in middle school spent brushing out the curls into a submissive wave with what was referred to as a "curling brush" in those days. A flaming hot rod surrounded with black plastic bristles that would inevitably end up stuck in her hair and have to be painfully extracted with sensitive burned finger tips. And on the  occasion that she would forget to unplug said curling brush, it would be put into hiding by her mother as a learning experience as to "not burn down the house." On these occasions, going to school with her now hormonally changed hair was a nightmare to say the least, and if it had been up to her, she would have been suspiciously ill the remainder of the week in question.

How could her mother be so unfair? she would cry as she experimented with hair bands and braids, frantic and desperate to somehow find away to keep her hair under control in the moist northwest air. How she yearned for long stick straight that would dry in it's natural state after her bath. How she begged God to somehow miraculously change the molecular structure of each strand that tortured her on a daily basis. Unfortunately, each morning she would awake to her same head of hair and the quest would continue.

For a brief time in highschool, she succumbed to the curls...luckily big hair was the look of the 80's and while she yearned for gravity AquaNet induced bangs, she knew it was never meant to be for her.

How many hours spent over her life span were actually spent trying to transform her hair are a mystery...a unfortunate test of finding peace in what nature had bestowed upon her, and her tolerance and desire for what she envisioned as beautiful. 

There is something to be said about a woman that says she is NOT vain. I don't believe it to be true no matter what one says. For example, I have one acquaintance that is quite "granola like" and natural, but I know she washer her long shiny hair at least three times a week. Even if she does it out of normal "hair maintenance", there must be a part of her that does it so it doesn't look greasy. My education and experience from Cosmetology school tells me that there are many women in the world that ONLY wash their hair once a week when they come in for their weekly 'wash and set'. Also, I know that washing one's hair too much is actually damaging to the hair follicles and promotes hair breakage and excess hair loss. So even if not consciously, this woman washes her hair in order for it to look nice, not out of necessity.

Of course, this is said from one who is extremely vain. Not in a "gosh, aren't I soooo gorgeous, I won't leave the house without full make-up" vanity, but as in a "I want to look the best I can." This is said from one who has struggled all of her life with the reflection she sees in the mirror.

I have to be honest and sat that I among of those women that has been mind fucked over the years by society, the media; ie the E-Channel and every other rediculous port of idealism of what beauty is and how my appearance stacks up in a world of unrealistic expectations. Over the years, I have learned to fight this insecure battle better, but I still have my days when I feel less then stellar about my appearance and find myself restless with insecurities.

I am happy to announce that through the blessing of the invention of the hot iron, and hours of practice, I have finally nailed down the perfect blow out and am the proud owner of long straight sleek hair. How my life could have progressed in a different direction had this been so twenty years ago. 

Now don't you go feeling sorry for me and think I have super low self esteem... I think I am a  realistic example of many women across this country. I think I've found a balance between accepting how I look and wanting to look better. I have come to peace with the fact that I will never be the blue eyes, blonde haired girl from the Lo real commercial. I have come to peace with the fact that after breast feeding three babies, I will never have the perky breasts of a teenager again. Nor would I change my decision or the memories of my warm babies nestled in so close, even knowing the physical repercussion of these choices. 

Though I must admit that I do sometimes harbor flashes of jealousy when I see my good friend Sexy Spice and her fabulous new full monster boobs! But unless I win the lotto (which won't happen since I'm too cheap to even buy a ticket in the first place) or find a man who is willing to pay for them, I'll have to make do with my simple National Geographic breasts.

As for the rest of my reflection, I have my good days and my bad days... everyone does....

Most importantly, even on the bad days...I have come to learn that my beauty resides the goodness of my heart, in the moral of my being...but hey, that doesn't mean I don't  still yearn to be "the hottest bitch around"...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lie #3: I don't have a temper....

There were certain things in her childhood she could always depend on staying the same. One of these being the Sunday evening ritual of Banquet Pot Pies and ice cream for supper before rushing off to yet another church service to finish out the weekend. In this quaint home of home cooked meals and not a store bought cookie in sight, this had become quite a treat for the little wavy haired girl. Her favorite was chicken pot pie, the perfectly diced vegetables and processed chicken surrounded by salty light brown gravy beneath a toasty golden crust. She looked forward to this meal each weekend, a taste of store bought goodness and a foray into a life long addiction to comfort food. This tasty meal was the predecessor to yet another treat that would be known as ice cream Sunday, the only day of the week that desert took on the form of creamy cold vanilla or chocolate goodness. These two things made Sunday and all the hushed sitting in church and memorizing of Bible verses a little more tolerable to this young girl who usually spent her days on the go,  an energized whirl of action and destruction left in her wake.

It was one such Sunday evening when her world was suddenly turned upside down without any notice.  She saddled up to the green Formica table, licking her small rose bud lips in anticipation of her much loved meal, her silver fork perched over the steaming golden crust in it's shiny miniature tin pan.  After a quick simple blessing, she dug into her supper, but was surprised and shocked when she was met not by a golden gravy center, but a dark brown liquid surrounding her tiny peas and perfectly square cut carrots.

"This isn't chicken?" she exclaimed in her squeaky Smurfett voice.
"No, that one is beef," her mother gently explained.
"But I don't LIKE beef, I LIKE chicken," she said, her eyes crinkled up in a confused stare.
"I only have two chicken pot pies, tonight you're having beef," her mother rationalized, "you always have chicken, tonight you can try beef."

She felt the tears begin to well up in her dark almond shaped eyes, her gaze falling upon her older brother's plate, his chicken pot pie already naked of it's flaky pastry top. 

"Why can't I have Ethan's pot pie, he has chicken... I LIKE chicken..." she spoke softly, more to herself then to someone else, having not yet learned to filter her thoughts before voicing them at her young age.

"Josie, you can try beef tonight.  Next week you can have chicken again," her father interjected in a calm, but firm baritone voice.

It was more then she could take, her small heart beating faster and faster as her tear stained face transformed into a grimace and then a frown.

"If I can't have a chicken pot pie, then I'm running away!" she declared in a shrill demanding tone.

Her always calm father put down  his fork and turned slowly toward her. "Fine, if you're going to run away, then you better go pack."

With this said, she flung herself away from the table, tears of rage and frustration falling down her rose blushed cheeks. Bounding out of the kitchen, she pounded up the stairs, making sure she was extra careful to make as much noise as possible on the orange and brown shag carpet. She kicked the white painted door shut with her foot and scurried toward her closet, reaching deep into the back to retrieve the bright floral miniature suitcase that she used when she went on family vacations to Gramma's farm.

Into the polyester lined rectangle, she put her most prized possessions... her brown teddy bear with the orange glass eyes she had named Pumpkin, a hair brush with what she assumed was a real ivory handle and her fake patent leather Mary Jane dress shoes with the little heels that tip tapped along the sidewalk when she would run off to the Sunday school building.

"Now where can I run away to?" she pondered, before coming up with the perfect idea. Of course, the front hall closet was perfect, they wouldn't be able to find her behind all the winter coats and stacks of boots. Zipping the suitcase shut with a relish and a evil pint-size grin, Josie tip toed down the entryway staircase and quietly opened the closet door. She peered in at the surroundings and found a small nook near the back and nestled in for the chaos of what would surely be the frantic search for the dear beloved young princess.

She sat and waited....the smell of the hot fragrant meat pies making their way to her hiding spot. "Maybe beef would be good?" she thought, and then shook her head in disbelief that she could or would give in that easily. "No, I like chicken!" she reminded herself. She sat, one arm perched on her suitcase, the other placed firmly in a tight fist beneath her chin.

It is said that it was mere minutes after her disappearance into the closet, but for her, it seemed an eternity, when suddenly the door squeaked open and she looked up to see her older brother's tousled dark hair. 

"Josie, you can have my chicken pot pie...." he sighed,  the look in his eyes one of disbelief of how one such incident could put his baby sister into such a tizzy and yet still a glimpse of true brotherly kindness.

"Really, I can have yours?" she perked up immediately, a look of triumph on her sweet small devilish face.

"Sure," Ethan agreed, "Mom said  I get the last of the chocolate ice cream for desert," he proudly announced. 
Josie's eyes widened in amazement of  such a statement, "Wait a minute! I LIKE chocolate ice cream...."

My dear sweet mother will be the first one to tell you, "Josie has always been her own woman, feisty and stubborn and willing to tell you when she doesn't like what's up!" 
I know this to be too true. And while there are times when I have incredible patience and tolerance, I have found that there is an invisible line that once crossed can never be rewritten in the sand. I will be your best friend, or your worst enemy...or much worse in my mind, I have no thought either way of your existence in the world in which I live. This may come off as rather harsh. Is there no in between, you may ask? Not for me. I have lived what seems to be a thousand years trying to be the peacemaker, the one who will tolerate anything in order to be liked and admired. And what has this gotten me? Stepped on and pushed aside, made to feel inadequte and under appreciated, that's what it has gotten me. 

Not to say that I am inconsiderate or even a bitch when it comes to my relationships. Don't get me wrong on this statement. I have found that I have an incredibly large loving and kind heart when it comes to my friendships. I find immense joy in helping those in need, lending a nonjudgmental ear, a warm hug or a hot home cooked meal. I just expect that in return.  My love and respect are hard to earn, but given free reign one taken until I sense the feelings are not reciprocated in a kind and loving manner to which I now realize I deserve. 

I believe my long lasting friendships, some over the entire span of my life, are a testament to my devotion to those close to my heart.  And yet there are a few people, relatives included that I have put not only in a recycle box of the inventory of bad and unhealthy relationships, but have also emotionally shipped off to Switzerland, the land of neutrality, as I find I have no emotional ties to these people.

I have discovered over the last few years that my life is too short to spend unnecessary emotional energy on those who cannot or will not bring their best light to my life. Perhaps it is a matter of an ill fitted, one sided relationship that I find so disturbing. I just know that I am a giver of my heart, my mind, my soul, my time and energy and rather then harbor ill feelings when I feel I'm not given the same in return, I use my recycle method to rid my life of those I don't find complementary to my needs or desires.

I have found the lifting of the emotional burden amazing and thus I can go forward and give my all to those special people in my life that truly enliven and enrich my life in so many blessed ways.

Those close to me already know this about me. I was quickly reminded of that when I was told, "the first day I met you at playgroup, I could tell you were someone I wanted to know... but I also knew that you weren't one to mess with... if I was going to be your friend, I would have to go all in!" And I am delighted to say that after years of ill timing, we finally did find the courage and energy to seek each other out on a more personal level and this wonderfully insightful woman is one of my closest and most cherished friends.

As for the temper issue of the girl of my youth, I think that age and experience has softened me somewhat. I must be honest and admit that at times, I can fly off the handle into the utmost irrational behavior if I don't monitor myself. God's cheap thrill in it all is that he gave me a daughter with the same vibrant attitude as my own. There is plenty of shrill tearful moments to remind me of my former self and I feel as if I need to apologize to my mother on a daily basis for some of the  hysterical antics of my youth. Who the hell did I think I was to be so demanding when I was given every opportunity and blessing in my life. I do not want the legacy of such an attitude to be handed down to Minnie Me. Fortunately I am still young enough with a almost "Ripley's Believe it or Not'" type of  memory of such times that I can find tolerance and patience to explain in a loving way how such behavior is unnecessary and unflattering to my beautiful, truly kind hearted daughter.

And it is the wee ones around the house that remind me to tone back my speech, as my sailor mouth can sometimes get the best of me. 

"Mommy, that's a bad word!" Teeny will exclaim in faked comical horror if I slip up and start ranting.

 Or better yet,  Mr. Whitestrips will grimace his small handsome GQ face at me from the back seat of the car as we arrive at MacDonalds and I take an extra moment digging in my purse for my wallet and innocently exclaim, "Come on Mom, quit fuckin' around and let's go!"