Friday, May 30, 2008

Fishnets or cash?

Time for a Free wheelin' Friday. Not to be confused with free willies. I may live in California, but I keep my free willies to myself. BOY on the other hand...well, we're working on his "feeling free in the outdoors" nature. My lovely stepbrother, by marriage, Sir J, just informed me by email this morning that although très quaint, my post on our most recent trip north did not include BOY's sudden need to whip down his trousers and pee in front of all and sundry, during the family photo shoot to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday. [Uh, thanks Sir J, I was trying to forget...] Not to be making any excuses, but BOY did aim for the flower garden, so at least it wasn't on E's remarkably, still white shoes. There's something.

My stepbrother, Sir J, writes:

Thanks for the blog updates from this past weekend! I had a good time reading… I wanted to add the following:

BOY going tinkle outside during the photo shots… it was absolutely priceless, you weren’t there, but it was awesome and something we’ll share with him as he’s older for some great laughs!
[Sir J, please take that on as I'm sure BOY will not be speaking to me someday when I venture to bring up said subject of embarassment in front of his future dates.]

But, WAIT!! Sir J continues:

I also enjoyed Big E’s shoes…
those were nice, and new, I have a similar pair! [Uh...Sir J, I wouldn't be braggin' about having OH, SO WHITE shoes like E's. Just sayin...]

And so on to Free Wheelin' Friday, otherwise known as...

Things you didn't know and NOW wish you still didn't know...about Casa de Motherscribe:

There are fewer evenings of JackO'Clock than one would wish for. Sometimes I just have to drink a stiff cup of tea to power through, as the whiskey makes me sleepy... [Tis' true...I am a lightweight.]

E, myself, BOY and GIRL all tend to be intense. We have to import our humor at times.

I believe dirt is healthy. Dirty hands adds MUCHO flavor to meals. Didn't cha know?

GIRL likes to fold laundry. Yes. She. Does. [Must be that recessive gene.]

BOY looks at the world a little differently than most. It took him a long time to put the "right shoe" on the right foot. He often would have his shoes reversed. They didn't correct him at school. They just wanted him to have his shoes on. I liked that. He rides his Monster, All Terrain Vehicle Trike with the handlebars backwards. He knows it is backwards. This is the way he prefers to ride it. I shall miss that once the tricycle moves on. [Note the cute little baby bird that tweets dangling from the handlebar. He added this for his "horn."]

I like my husband's ass. Really I do. [I'd put a picture here, but I know where my bread is buttered. And he'd kick my FLAT ass.]

Our cat, Dillon, who will be 16 in August, eats ground turkey meat. I cook it for him every few days. He has had food allergies for years and can no longer tolerate even hypoallergenic cat food. [We found out he had allergies when he continually threw up and then developed sores all over his head. A little clue like THAT.] He prefers to sleep on a black garbage bag [filled with paperwork to be shredded...] in the office. Even though he has severe pet food allergies, in past years he has been known to wolf down half of a pizza left out overnight ...with no visible signs of allergic response. He also likes popcorn.

Our dog, Soul Man, is 13. He is old and tired. And very fat. His joints are so tired that he can barely lift himself up and walk around. We are now giving him giant pills of Glucosamine Chondroitin stuffed into meatballs. [Hey, he's old, he deserves a treat or two.] We've only been doing this for about 10 days. We started with pills wrapped in Pastrami. I don't think he likes sushi. If the GC appears to help his joints, I may try it. It's getting harder and harder to lift my ass out of the computer chair.

We have a toilet that keeps running, a broken spring on the kitchen door, walls that have had holes patched, but not repainted. My husband is handy. He beautifies other people's homes. They RAVE about him. They pay him. I may have to pay him. ......................

Fishnets... or cash? Fishnets or cash?

I was reading someone's blog the other day. They were taking themselves to task for not being a good house cleaner. They only vacuumed and took a quick mop to the floors once a week. Oh...the SHAME! Can you IMAGINE? Mopping once a FRIGGIN' week?! Honey, my husband would be ORGASMIC if the floors were whisked once a week. Orgasmic I tell you. Over the moon. I have good intentions. Yes, I do. I LOVE clean. I love a neat house. But, vacuuming, scrubbing...just aren't high on my priority list. However, I will say that I have an amazing talent of ...turning into the white tornado.

It's a good thing, because this... awaits my tornadoesque talents.Oh, and this festival of O's dancing under the table... And of course the ubiquitous ... laundry ...[this actually looks doable-- not toppling over today.]OK, let's see how long it takes JCK to white tornado the house? How long..............................??????


Let's just check in on poor JCK, who has been forced by blogosphere peer pressure to clean her house. Where the HELL is SHE?....................

Oh, here she is: PUT THE FISHNETS DOWN, JCK!! Your special treat comes later...much later.She just ADORES her duster. It is SO boa like...................... We're SO glad she maintains the nostril hairs. Skin not bad for 46, no? Screw that dermatologist.

Let's go into the bathroom: My GOD what is that, that stench? Are we in a ZOO? I'm sorry JCK's sensibilities are just too delicate for this task.

Let's move on.................

OH, for the LOVE of GOD, JCK, you are SO fuckin ORAL. Come ON! Get a grip! Pour yourself a whiskey, lady. And the fishnets go on THE LEGS.
............................It has now been....45 minutes. 20 minutes of cleaning and 25 minutes of taking these exquisite photos of a middleaged woman FAUX cleaning. I can hear AARP VICTORIA magazine calling.

But,'s done!

Time to kick back. Light some candles in the fireplace.

And get REAL sexy....
JCK just CAN'T think of her duster as anything BUT a BOA!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mommy, I think it is like a hot tub

Watching and listening to GIRL these days is a trip. A study in contrasts. She is at once deliberately rebellious: from refusing to go to bed or getting dressed for the day, to advanced thought processes that just blow me away. I try not to get into tug-of-war battles with her - as in "choose your battles." But, I'm not as agile at avoiding the muck of a sling fest as I'd like to be. I'm a little slow on the take. What with my brain cells decreasing as fast as hers are increasing, perhaps someday we'll be meeting halfway. One can only dream...

This morning, after we finally succeeded in getting out of the house, GIRL and I were in the minivan on our way to Mommy & Me at church.

GIRL, are you getting excited about being in Pre-K next year?


Well, that's OK. You've got a lot more time in your room 3 class now. I'm glad you're having fun at school.

Mommy, I think it is like a hot tub. At first it is really hot, but then you get used to it.

Girl, that is a GREAT explanation! What you just did is make an "analogy". An analogy is when you compare one thing to another in a similar way. Like the feeling of starting a new class, Pre-K, with the comparison to when you first get in a hot tub.

She's not even 4 years old and she's making analogies. I think I'll go sit in a hot bath for a while. I've got a raging case of PMS. I expect to be in the tub for a long time. Perhaps when I get out, she'll be a teenager. And I'll be going through menopause. Perfect timing! Forget hot baths. Pass the chocolate and the whiskey, please. I've earned my JackO'Clock.

**Photo credit: iStockphoto

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Last night we sat down to dinner. Canned chicken stew from Trader Joe's with a few green beans added. (I was tired, OK?) Heated on the stove in 7 minutes. Accompanied by crackers. Whiskey would have been a nice finish to this elaborate meal, but alas...water and milk were had by all.

The Blessing by BOY:

Thank you, God, for a wonderful meal. Thank you for Daddy and Mommy and GIRL. ............ I love you guys.

We thanked BOY for doing the blessing, and E got up to kiss him and tell him he loved him, too.



It is these moments that I will treasure forever. And hopefully will hold on to when BOY is a teenager and the very last thing he will say is that he loves us. Or, that canned chicken stew is a wonderful meal. Maybe I'm wrong about the teenage years, but I'm not in any hurry to get there. Unless I'm reading Jenn's post on life at the beach: The Beach: Toddlers versus Teenagers. And then I am very, very jealous. But...with these little people, life is full of great, big, bursts of love right now [inserted with the occasional colossal tantrum], and... I. Want. To. Feel. That.

**Picture courtesy of Google images

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It was a special weekend...and I am tired

There are those times away that stand out, and this was one of them. We drove up to northern California for a Memorial weekend chock full of cowboy rustling, a hoedown, good eats and a celebration on Sunday of my mom's 70th birthday. And the wild poppies...oh the poppies...
It was a large family gathering and at one time, on Sunday, we had 11 adults and 10 kids (8 of them under 6 years old.) It was a blast!

I could write about all of BOY's firsts: his first time riding a horse, the first time down a water slide by himself (x 5 million), or the first time winning a race (while riding a hobby horse.)

Then there were GIRL's exploits: counting to 100 with Uncle J, putting on a purple velvet evening gown and joining her cousins in a dance skit, more dancing at a hoedown, or going down the water slide with her daddy.

I will never forget hugging my sister for the first time since her near fatal accident- the feel of her wrapped in my arms...alive.

I had my Susie Homemaker hat on and I whipped up a homemade carrot cake with real cream cheese frosting from scratch for my mom's 70th birthday- with a little help from BOY, GIRL and one of their cousins. Baking a cake is a wonderful way to visit, and I enjoyed the time with my sister-n-law and my sister in the kitchen.

We presented my mom with a Shutterfly photo album containing pictures of her children, stepchildren, and all of her grandchildren (20 of them!) She cried. Worth every hour of putting the album together. A wonderful collaboration from everyone involved.

My favorite moments:

BOY getting up on a horse with no hesitation, a huge smile on his face.

Seeing BOY barreling down the water slide and shooting into the pool, and the expression of accomplishment on his face afterwards.

Watching BOY as he raced across a field -running while managing a hobby horse between his legs, then going around a barrel and racing back - winning his first race. I was stunned at his competitiveness. And proud. He got a lot of high fives.

Helping GIRL pick out a costume from my mom's costume box. Only the purple velvet would do. And then watching her in a little dance skit with her girl cousins performing for the family.

Seeing GIRL dance with joyful abandon at the hoedown in the barn on Friday night. Twirling and smiling. Twirling and falling. Twirling and smiling.

GIRL's wide eyes as she came around the curve of the water slide with her daddy.

Lest you think it was all poppies and cowboys, GIRL honored us with several volcanoesque tantrums, a cot was broken, a bit of china shattered, there was much piano pounding with small hands, and E's white shoes were so distracting to the family photographer that she had me place my skirt over them for the picture.

It was a special weekend... and I am tired.

**Photo credit to Google images

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Collecting clouds and the Witsy, Witsy Spider

Best moments of the week:

Mommy, I want to collect the clouds! - from BOY.

BOY, you can't collect the clouds. - GIRL, ever the pragmatist.

I know how we can do it! ...with a construction truck, NO...a cloud truck! -BOY, ever the inventor. He may invent a cloud truck yet. I would not be surprised.


E got new sneakers yesterday. They are quite white. And bright! In fact, the glare off of them is tremendous and noticeable. He is very proud.

Daddy, do those shoes light up? - BOY noticing shoes, but then how can he NOT notice these shoes.

No, BOY, I wish they did. - E, very, very proud of his very white, bright new shoes.

Well, they certainly look like they could light up! - JCK, blinded and stunned by the greatness of said very white shoes.

Did I mention that they are very white?


GIRL has been articulate from a very young age. At 2 she was talking in full sentences, often stringing 2-3 at a time. So, one of the things that I find most endearing is when she doesn't quite have a word down. Elephants used to be "elemens," the itsy, bitsy spider was the "witsy, witsy" spider and she still says, "I sink" for "I think." I never correct her, other than occasionally repeating back what she has said so that she can hear the very slight correction in my voice. I know that she will learn these things on her own, like she has with other words, and there are so few of them.

One night last week I was reminiscing with her about how she used to call the "itsy, bitsy spider" the "witsy, witsy spider" and how cute that was. So, now every night when I tuck her in, after we sing "Twinkle, Twinkle little star," we sing "The Witsy, Witsy Spider." She is able to differentiate doing that at home and singing it with the "correct" pronunciation anywhere else. I'm not sure who is loving this more, but it makes us both giggle.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

No computer. Such freedom!

Oh...such luxury! Such frivolity! I am gone. Checked out. On leave. No computer. Such freedom! No checking Site Meter. No feeling DESPERATE to knowwondering who is reading my blog from...Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan CANADA - HI, MOOSEJAW!, from Rome, Lazio - ITALY...mmm how I'd LOVE to be in Italy, from Monheim, Nordrhein-Westfalen -GERMANY...could go for a BIG STEIN of something cold right now, and Chaguanas, Caroni -TRINIDAD and TOBAGO...please stay a while and leave a comment in that wonderful, sexy accent. Welcome to my blog...I'll be in touch when I return. Ciao, baby!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

That Holly. She's too much! That Holly.

Holly of June Cleaver Nirvana recently linked to me on her discussion group, Blue Moon Salon. The current discussion is on women in the new media and this post was about Mommy Bloggers. She eschews the title, as I do. But, then we both had to get over driving minivans, and there you have it. In the post she mentioned me. Me? I cried. Her comment on my blog, letting me know that she had been up to this mischief, literally came in within minutes of me hanging up with my recruiter turning down that job. Timing is everything. That Holly. She's too much! That Holly. We all know she's that sexy, tile lusting, victor in beautifying, artistic fierce trapper, potluck legend. That Holly. She's the best. But, is she really reading my blog? My blog?

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm actually not here

Wanna know a secret? I'm actually not here. I'm using that incredibly freeing service that blogger now offers in which you can write posts ahead of time and designate publishing your the future. What a concept! It is, by far, my favorite blogger trick. Well, other than the spell check. When it works...

We've gone off to my mom's in northern California to celebrate her 70th birthday. I'm looking forward to getting away and visiting with family. The kids love their time with Ma'Mai and Pops. They are very excited. Every day for the last week BOY has been asking, "Is today the day we are going to Ma'Mai and Pops?!!" Every day a disappointment in the constant reply of "not yet, BOY, 7 days." "Not yet, BOY, 4 days.".... You get the picture. It's going to be great!

Car travel. SO much better than it used to be. The minivan, once I got over the idea of driving one, is truly the GODDESS of long trip vehicles. I am grateful for it. No stops for poopy diaper changes or wailing for bottles. That time is behind us. Now it is "I spy with my little eye" and probably a DVD. Shameless, I know.

So, there will be a post or two or three. Depending on how organized I was before I left town. Please check in. And know, that I will be checking up on you saucy wenches and butchies, when I get back. Oh, yes, I will return to your blog...with a vengeance! Ta Ta!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why was it even tempting in the first place?

As it turned out, it was an easy decision to turn down the job offer. I am so glad that the interview took place on a Friday, as I was able to spend lots of time thinking ...weighing the pros and cons, over the weekend. I sat down and did the childcare math and if I had taken the job, BOY & GIRL would be moving from doing 25 hours in preschool/childcare to 50 hours a week. That would be 10 hours a day. I found that number just mind blowing. Of course, if it had been a job that I felt really passionate about doing, somehow we would have made it work. Somehow. Isn't it a human implulse to justify our decisions? But, this seemed an extreme jump in hours away from me for both of them. Also, BOY is just beginning small steps on his way back to gaining an afternoon or two a week -staying a full day. He is in such a good place right now and it is wonderful to see his growth and his readiness to take this next step. His first full day experiment will be a week from this Friday. He is very excited.

It was immensely helpful to meet with a close friend, who also has a younger, sensitive boy and talk it through. She works full-time, her husband is in school, and something she said really struck a note with me. "JCK, I have a wonderful job, love the people whom I work with- they're flexible when childcare issues come up, I've established myself...yet it is still very hard for me." And because her husband has a more flexible schedule, he can drop off the kids a bit later in the morning and she picks them up at 4:30pm. Then he gets dinner started so that they can eat by 6pm. She also looked over the job description, which I had asked for during the interview, and told me that it sounded like a job that I would excel at, but one that would truly be exhausting. And she is right. I certainly was qualified for the job. I worked as an Executive Assistant/Administrative Assistant/Personal Assistant for 7 years. I've got the chops. But, do I want that frenzy in my life? And the answer is "no." Being a mom to a 3 and 4 year old is frenzy enough, thank you very much. I can do frenzy, but my natural rhythms are not fast paced like that. I'm a tea drinker, chocolate connoisseur and occasional whiskey sipper, after all.

However, what I have been grappling with since yesterday's conversation with my recruiter is this: Why was it even tempting in the first place? Other than a good salary, which is really only a surface consideration. Not that additional money wouldn't help us, but the answer requires digging deeper. What I came up with is this... I'm needing to be SEEN - for my work to be seen. An acknowledgement that the work that I do as a stay-at-home mom has value. A recognition of sorts. Other than the intellectualizing of "I'm staying home with the kids to give them ___ (fill in the blank with what you will.) My "fill in the blank" is: "to give them time with me," and perhaps ...honestly, "for me to have time with GIRL & BOY."

It felt really, really good to be wanted, to have an offer 20 minutes after I left the building, to have a concrete monetary value placed upon my potential work that I would do there. What we do as mothers is so invisible. All of the little things that make a household run smoothly...or not so smoothly, but it runs - are so intangible. Sure, there are the concrete things: I do the laundry, cook the meals, take them to play dates, schedule our lives,etc., etc. But, all of those little moments ...gone like gossamer wings, yet vital to mothering. What of those? So, the truth? The truth is that this job offer was tempting, because my ego was fed and it was HUNGRY for food. The food of being a "valuable" citizen. And the lure of a job that I could do and do well with a paycheck at the end of it.

I sometimes fantasize about being a full-time working mom. I imagine myself with chic shoes and tidy clothes, free of food stains left by grubby little hands. I have friends who do the juggle - both a career and a family. Some work because they have to work for the financial benefit, others because that is what keeps them sane and they have a passion for their careers. These passionate women who work outside the home, who thrive on their careers, didn't exist many years ago. Today we have choices. Perhaps too many, but I'll take choices over no choices any day of the week. The women who are working today are enjoying the life of the women who fought for us. I believe it was something called ..."the women's movement."

One of the saddest things I find is that we as women are our own harshest critics. How is it that the source of our sanity, our sisterhood - the ability to share experiences with other women can also be the source of jealousy and competition? It is the SAHM vs. the Working Mom. And it is rampant. A powder keg. A set-up of US against THEM. I don't want to join in that contest. I want to support other women as they make the right choices for their families. Some women truly need to be working. They would go insane being a mom who stays at home. God bless them. They're right. It can be insanity. However, some of us as moms at home, at least on certain days, feel that the decision is a great one. For us. It can work! It is a roller coaster, but the ride can be an adrenaline rush!

Some women are "better mothers" because they don't stay home with their children. They feel they are "better mothers" to their children, because if they stayed home they would find themselves frustrated and angry. And they don't want to raise children that way. That makes sense to me. Some women have to work, and that is a better decision for their families. And some women choose to be at home, and that is my current choice. At some point, a job opportunity will present itself -perhaps even part-time, and I will take it. But, for now, on most days I am more than content being a stay-at-home mom. I just wish that, even for one day, I could experience someone handing me a paycheck for the challenging career that I do - that of being a mom who stays at home and runs a household. I would be visible. And, they wouldn't even have to say I did a great job. I would know it...

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Monday, May 19, 2008

I said... thanks, but NO thanks

The phone, the phone IS ringing...

What, what is your decision about THE JOB?

I said...... thanks, but NO thanks.

AAARRRRGHHHHHHHH!!!! ...the sound of screams reverberating off of the San Gabriel mountains.

It is 9:15am Monday morning.

I believe my recruiter has begun JackO'Clock early.

The whys of my decision to be continued...

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bathing suit...a one piece WONDER

THIS....BULLETIN...JUST....IN ....FROM....JCK..... CUTE, DEEP BROWN, HALTER ONE PIECE BATHING SUIT FOUND!!! What's up is up and what's around stays a ROUND. No need for frump, bump or lump. And where did I find this gem? This pièce de résistance ? Once again, SCORE AT TARGAY!

In fact it "flatters, fits and inspires confidence."

And it even goes with the Targay hat!

No bathing SKIRT, people!! Never, NEVER, never! This fishnet Mama DON'T do skirts.

*off to do pushups and to keep up my image of a 2 fisted, whiskey drinkin', chocolate munchin', caffeine gulpin' good ol' flat assed MAMA!

*TOTAL LIE on the pushups. Oh, and the crunches. Unless the chocolate is crispy!

**Photo Credit: Esther Williams from Google Images

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

I get a phone call...

WARNING: Extremely long post ahead. Perhaps best to check back later.

Life has been running fairly smooth at Casa de Motherscribe as of late. GIRL loves going to school part-time and we're doing a Mommy and Me swim class at the Y on Saturdays. BOY is still going to school 5 mornings and will be doing his first full day in two weeks. It feels like he is ready and he's been talking about wanting to do a full day and play with his friends for weeks. E has his own home renovation contracting business going full throttle and has decided to start a professional theater company. He is handpicking his board and is very fired up about it. I am continually struggling with balance in my life, and feel on some days that I am succeeding. These first 4 1/2 years with the kids have been challenging for me. It is definitely what I wanted, but I didn't expect it to be so hard at times. Or so incredibly fulfilling either. I find being a mother so full of paradoxes! This may sound odd, but recently I have actually just begun to see what the fun of being a stay-at-home-mom can really feel like. Being available to take BOY to swim lessons, having time with GIRL on mornings when BOY is in school -even if it is doing errands is special time. I feel like I am just getting into my groove. Maybe it is temporary, maybe not.

There was a time, after I got over the hurdle, when I definitely wanted to return to work full-time. However, things have changed in our lives a bit. E is working for himself again and we are not under quite the financial burden that we were before. And with GIRL starting the Pre-K program in the fall, I have been considering what it would be like to work part-time, since they will both be in school 5 mornings a week and 2 afternoons. I also haven't been thinking about outside work over the last few months because I've been focused on BOY and getting him through the rough patch. And he has gotten through! He's flying solo -with us there when he needs us. It is joyful to see his growth!

This week has been crazy with the preparations for Teacher Appreciation Day at the kids' school. We had 30 teachers to celebrate. We booked 2 massage therapists to come in and give the teachers 15 minute mini-massages, had all the families bring in flowers for the teachers and had a dinner catered for them last night. The dinner was scheduled for 5pm and at 5:05pm we were done. It was exhausting, but felt good to pamper the wonderful teachers who take such great care of our children. So, in the midst of racing around picking up supplies for the dinner at Targay and another store, I get a phone call....

It is my recruiter. I haven't talked to her in months! Did I ever get a job? Am I available? She has a job possibility for me as an Executive Assistant to a woman with her own company.

This is the job description: This is a personal assistant to a very educated, particular and fast paced person. LOTS of travel arrangements for the executive in ____ and an additional executive in Austin. Must be computer proficient however uses mostly Outlook for calendaring as R does her own PowerPoint presentations (80 pages plus) and Word, and Excel but wants this person to know the programs in case something needs to be reprogrammed. As the former President of ____, she now does high level compensation deals. Will also do work for another one of her cos. This company is a holding company. Will also assist with personal work such as dinner reservations and appts. Will pitch in with phones as everyone in the office does. Will need to screen calls and realize the when to put calls through. Needs to schedule her appts and confirm them each day. R is a perfectionist who needs all the "i"'s dotted and the "t"'s crossed. She is very set in her ways. She is an Ivy League graduate and a mathematician. Wants a "seasoned" professional to interact with her "high level" ____clients.

I Google the woman. She has testified on a committee discussing the President of the United States' salary. She's been on TV. She's a go getter and a high achiever.

In between last minute errands and setting up for the Teachers' dinner, I go on the interview. I enjoy myself. I'm weird that way. I actually like the interview process. I like meeting people. I meet first with the business manager. She is very personable, and has a great sense of humor. She says THAT is KEY to working there. We meet for about 30 minutes. Then I meet with R who would be my boss and another woman. R has been described as tough and blunt, challenging to work with. I can see that immediately, but what I like about her is that she recognizes this about herself and talks openly about it during the interview. She also says that she does not mean to come across that way, but she is always running, running, running and on to the next thing. The assistant has to be able to run with her. We talk for about 30 minutes and then she has to take a call.

I continue to talk with the other woman, who is friendly and has a good vibe. R may be tough, but she certainly surrounds herself with nice people. It is a small office, and everyone emphasizes the importance of everyone getting along. Apparently the former assistant (who worked there 8 months) had a problem with a bad attitude that impacted the entire group. R needs a people person as the assistant would be representing R. I feel good and finish up the interview. Then I race over to the school to do the final set-up preparations for the Teachers' dinner. My cell phone rings. My recruiter says they want to make me an offer. It's been 20 minutes since I left the interview. The official offer letter is coming in by Monday morning.

And NOW what to do?

There are lots of positives. It is only 5 miles away with a great salary. I would be challenged and I know I could do it. The benefits are OK. Not bad for being a small start-up company. (She resigned as President of another company to start this one just a year ago.) No overtime is expected, unless work is not getting done during a crunch time and then I can work from home in the evening. That is expected to be rare. The former assistant will come in to train me. During the interview, I brought up my needing to be available to go to special functions at the children's school and to go on school tours in the fall observing kindergartens. She said that would not be a problem. The pace would be frenetic on some days and low key on the days when she is out of the office. She travels every week. Sometimes for a night. Sometimes for several days. So, I would have some days that aren't crazed. The other people in the office seem very personable and approachable. I want to work for a workaholic? (She is there weekends, late at night and early in the morning when she is in town.) Do I want to work for someone who is tough and blunt and needs me to be operating full tilt (even after those nights of 3 wake up calls from BOY)? Do I want to work in a fast paced environment again? Most of all, do I want to spend that much time away from my children? Things would be different. We would have basically the weekends as family time and evenings during the week. Can I jump BOY quickly up to 5 full days? Taking this job would greatly increase our finances, but much of the work that usually falls to me now - the laundry, cleaning, baths, bedtime routine, grocery shopping - basically running the household would probably still fall to me as E is trying to run a business and start a new business, his passion - the theater. I know a lot of women do it - work full-time and do the majority of the work at home, too. I just don't know if that is what I want, if I have a choice. The idea of taking a job would be to benefit the family. I just want to make sure that THIS would benefit the family.

I have NO idea what I will decide. What would you do?

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

BOY sets future sights on making beer

Conversation with BOY on the freeway:

See those huge tanks, BOY? That is a beer plant - where they make beer.

When I grow up, I'm going to make beer, right mom?

Well, BOY, you might not like beer when you grow up.

Oh, PISH POSH, I'll like beer when I grow up.


Mom....I'm SERIOUS.

At the rate BOY's learning to swim and now this professed fondness for a future that includes making beer....I am a LITTLE afraid.

**Picture courtesy of Google Images

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy gone BAD!

At the end of last summer my slenderizer hot pink one piece bathing suit from the LE catalogue had to be tossed. It was beginning to shred. You know how bathing suits do that after awhile. I had ordered it the summer before, so it got two summers of beach and pool before disintegrating in front of my very eyes. Luckily no one else's. Anyway, I thought since I had had such good luck with this certain LE catalogue before that I would try it again. Since I am always one for a good deal and don't easily fork over $80 for a bathing suit, I decided to check out their clearance section. Fantastic! Cool looking bathing suit in a small flowered pattern, color chocolate to match my new beach hat [Targay $12.] They have 2 sizes left. One is my size! I order it. I hesitate briefly as I couldn't remember if I had ordered the short torso last time, and I am definitely a short torso, but I decide - just order the regular size. I do.

Today, the LE package was waiting on our doorstep when BOY and I arrived home from Costco. He was just as eager to tear open the box as I was. He's into using his scissors. Since they are the "safe scissors," well...except around hair, I let him unseal one side. I pull the bathing suit out of the box. It looks kind of interesting.... I'll go try it on.


I look like a MATRON OF HELL! The stomach section, which is supposed to be slenderizing is...well just kind of there. In fact everything seems to focus on "the there" rather than shifting the focus "upwards." And the upwards...well, it just looks like NOTHING. Shapeless. Hideous. The ONLY thing worse than this, this...suit would be a swim skirt.

The cover of the LE catalogue that arrived with the bathing suit says:

"Inside: an ocean of flattering solutions."


"Swimsuits guaranteed to cover, support & slim."

It's covering all right. Covering up everything to look like one big NOTHING. I look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy gone BAD!

"We have suitable solutions for every anxiety zone."

HONEY, you haven't MET an anxiety ZONE. Come OVAH HEAH and let me SHOW you MY anxiety zone ON FIRE!

So, we go to the Y for BOY's swim lesson and after he's done he plays in the childcare and I go sit on a life cycle and pedal for 25 minutes. I burn 111 calories and go 9 miles. In a stationary position. I have never been so FRIGGIN' bored in my life. But, I do feel better afterwards. Legs all tingly and such. Slimmer. Covered. Supported. Feeling Inside like: "an ocean of flattering solutions."

SOLUTION: Tomorrow, return the LE swimsuit to SEARS. Get refund. Order new, short torso, hot BROWN [to match new beach hat from Targay] slenderizer bathing suit that looks good. " that flatters, fits and inspires confidence." Worth $80 to not look like Dough Boy on parade.

"But, if the suit doesn't flatter, you might as well stay in the cabana."


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008


JCK's Quest for some Quiet Time:

Put sunblock stick under BOY's eyes & on nose. Put sun hat on his head.

Put sunblock stick under GIRL's eyes & on nose. Put sun hat on her head.

Send them both outside to create fun for themselves.

Breathe deeply. Enjoy the 10 minutes 1 minute of quiet.

Fix a cup of tea for self. Add plenty of cream & sugar.

Sit tired ass on office chair that should be replaced, as tired ass feels like it is supported by a board covered with vinyl. It is.

Take a sip of tea. Begin to write...

Sound of water running. Not unlike a fire hose. Firemen...mmmm... dreamy...


NO, not firemen.

Go outside.

BOY. And GIRL. Nekkid. Mud everywhere.

Snippets from the day:

GIRL pushing her baby doll in the stroller.

Baby, do you know how much I love you? 20 miles.

So, I sink we're ready now, baby. Come on little baby, we're ready.


BOY talking to me while climbing up on a chair and putting away groceries in pantry.

This is helping, right? Team work!

It's been a quiet, mud filled, 20 miles of love, team work kind of day!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

A clean bill of health!

Today looks promising. I went to a dermatologist to get a mole check. She checked me out. All over.

These are age spots.

These are maturity spots.

And of course the sun adds wrinkles and premature aging.

These little white scars on your arms...sun damage.

Make sure you wear sunblock and a hat in this climate. The southern California climate is not a normal one. People are outside 2-3 hours a day - just wearing sunglasses and a visor - if that.

You're fine, JCK!

A clean bill of health! No problems. Great news! No worries on skin cancer. On aging, well... that might be another story.

Here's to 5 more chocolates left in my 1 lb box from yesterday! If I'm going to age rapidly, I might as well enjoy my chocolates rapidly, too.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

I used to hate Mother's Day

I used to hate Mother's Day. Hated it! Always....IT seemed to arrive during a period when I was most vulnerable. Another failed IVF. Another negative pregnancy test. Another dream shattered. Another friend or family member pregnant. The hope slipping away...

No one GOT it. Except other women going through what I was living on a daily basis. Other women who wanted to be a mother more than anything and whose destiny appeared to be barren. Infertile. Unable to conceive. My happiness for the other mothers in my life was there, but muted by what I didn't have. It was a separate piece. They were "the have's." I was a "have not." My capacity for loving my nieces and nephew was enormous. Yet, the cavernous place that housed my sorrow over not having my own children seemed endless and all encompassing.

I sit here now, writing this, watching GIRL & BOY outside riding their tricycles. Their little legs whipping around the pedals; their toys strewn on the driveway. I get up having to intercede on yet another argument. It is annoying and aggravating to hear their bickering. Yet, I get to hear it. They are my children. I. AM. A. MOTHER.

I'm thinking of BOY's birthmother. We haven't heard from her in a while and she's most especially on my mind today. She chose us to be BOY's parents, his forever family. She trusted that we would be able to do it. She loved him enough to want a better life for him than what she could provide. She was truly selfless. She did a mothering act. This loving deed helped to create our family and I will never forget that. Ever.

Things are different now. I treasure Mother's Day. The commercialism doesn't bother me. That feels other - at a distance from the pure joy in embracing this day. Sure, there are many times throughout the year that I can acknowledge being a mother. But, Mother's Day is a chance for me to stop, to reflect, and to celebrate the day. I don't know that I will ever take Mother's Day for granted. Or ever forget my first Mother's Day. The words, "Happy Mother's Day!" The calls. The cards. A sense of belonging to a club I had long coveted. One moment captured in a photograph, holding 6 month old BOY on my hip, the swell of my belly pregnant with GIRL visible front and center. There is a radiance about the picture. I can almost reach out and touch it - the happiness on that day.

Today, I want to celebrate Motherhood in all its forms. To the women who are struggling with infertility and yearning to become mothers. To the single mothers who day in and day out struggle to make it work, and do, with grace and strength. To the men who lovingly mother their children. To the many women who have chosen a different path, that of being child-free. And to the ones who haven't chosen, I wish you hope and ...peace. Mothering comes in many forms. And I am confident that all of us - whether mothers of children or not, each of us, can and do nurture lives on a daily basis. We are all Mothers of a sort. And it is important to honor that.

Happy Mother's Day!

**Photo Credit: The Sculpture Gallery

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

You found me HOW?

It seems that people find Motherscribe by various means. Searches that is. We'll just put these under the category:

You found me HOW?

Gluteal Cleft - yep, I OWN that one.

500 great cookies to make - oh, YES, that's ME... Miss Susie Homemaker. I whip up 500 cookies ALL the time. Actually, I do enjoy baking. But, my sights are a bit lower than 500 cookies. I do love making easy cookie recipes with my kids. Or, maybe not easy... Just ask Happy Geek about that. She's still cursing me months later.

Video of baby coming out of vagina - NOT IN THIS LIFE TIME.

Crabby Mom Award - Guilty. But, I wear it proudly on my sidebar.

Flashdance hair - yes, I LIVED the 80's.

A good mother is a GOD design - Why, thank you. I'll thank GOD for designing me in the morning when I go to church. I'm just going to assume YOU think I'm a good mother.

Sound of rolling marbles - mmmm, didn't know others could hear them rolling around up there.

I feel like disconnected - I DO live in Southern California. I DON'T believe that I speak "VALLEY GIRL", though.

Craig's List bunk beds - DON'T do it! Keep them in toddler beds until highschool. Your children will never sleep through the night again!! Here's the post on the bunk beds debacle, otherwise known as the closest one can come to Mommy Dearest without a hanger.

Selfish Freak - apparently so.

Viggo putting cigarette out on tongue - Viggo YES. Tongue none of your business. But, cigarettes....NO. He IS going to try and quit for me. He's nice like that.

Wrinkle Cream - some of them apparently work. Just don't mix it with hemorroid cream. Not that YOU were thinking of doing that.

Long Nailed Mistress - Oh, YES... I have SO much time on my hands to be a Mistress AND to have long nails. How DID you find out?

Tootsie Farklepants - Uh...No. I believe YOU are a bit confused. The lovely Ms. Farklepants can be reached here.

Where will I be in 10 years from now - Well, yes, but THAT was written in 1993. Now I'll hopefully be progressing past writing posts on how people find me in search engines.

Cartoon kids & docid - I admit I had no idea what "docid" meant. I still don't. This is what the Free Dictionary said: DOCID is not available in the general English dictionary and thesaurus. However in a google search, I did learn this:The DocID is generally the last item in the header. And now class is dismissed. See you tomorrow.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Coming full circle

Back in February we were considering the option of taking BOY out of school. He was showing signs of stress: having accidents, chewing on his shirt sleeves, and expressing a desire to not go to school. Until this winter, we had felt really excited about the program and BOY has been at the school for 2 years. He is a young 4 in a Pre-K class, and our concern was that he was being pushed. We also were questioning whether their expectations for him were too high as to where he is developmentally. On the positive side, they were concerned about BOY's stress as well. The Director asked us to consider staying, to try out having BOY go just half days for a while and for their focus to be just getting him back to a level of comfort and ease. They also were open to bringing in an outside consultant, someone whose specialty was preschool aged children and working with teachers in preschool settings. We agreed to give it more time and were happy to work with a consultant.

In March, we met the consultant. She came to our house and spent two hours with us discussing our concerns and getting to know us. Then she went to the school and observed BOY in the classroom setting. She really loved the program, and thought there was a myriad of wonderful things during the day for the children to participate in as well as the class having a great group of teachers. She met with the lead teacher and the Director of the school after her observation and made some suggestions that they could use to help BOY and all the children. I think that BOY's teacher also felt validated by her, because not only is she a former preschool teacher, but she has had a career spanning 30 years with preschool age children.

One of the issues that BOY has is that he gets overwhelmed during the music and movement activity. He has always been sound sensitive. We believe that he has an extraordinary sense of hearing. As a baby he could hear a plane approaching much before we could and while we were immersed in more immediate sounds. My feeling is that because he hears a multitude of sounds acutely, sometimes sounds or music to him can be as if someone were banging symbols directly in his ears. It may be that he has a hard time tuning some sounds out and hears a cacophony of sounds.

On the day that the consultant observed BOY, he walked away during the music activity and started looking at a wall of pictures in the classroom. He was not disruptive. He just took himself away. The teacher tried to reengage him, but he didn't want to return to the activity. The suggestion proposed by the consultant was that instead of trying to get him to reenter the activity, find out why he is leaving the activity by asking him "wondering" questions. I noticed you walked away from the music. I'm wondering if it is too loud for you? She also talked to the teachers about the importance of having a space within the classroom that he can go to for a break, and when he is sitting at circle time perhaps having his back up against the bookshelf so that he feels grounded. Just those small incremental changes have made a huge difference. And they don't put a burden on the teachers, but provide options that make it better for everyone in the classroom. The teachers have been using these suggestions over the last couple of months.

Last week the consultant observed the class again. It was the Week of the Child at school and on that particular day it was Pajama day. All the children wore their pajamas to school and they had breakfast for lunch...pancakes. Not only that, but they got to sit on their cots and eat in bed. It was a huge hit!

BOY is comfortable in school again. And it has really come about, which is very exciting. He is not showing any signs of stress. He is having fun and he's been asking to be able to stay for a full day for weeks now. We are going to try one full day on a Friday at the end of this month to test it out. Then we'll go for a few weeks with one day and then add a 2nd day. We'll keep it at 2 afternoons for now.

On Wednesday, E and I had a final meeting with the consultant, BOY's lead teacher, and the Interim Director. (We will continue to have check-ins with Boy's lead teacher.) It was a very positive meeting in which we discussed ways that we can all help BOY to continue to grow and allow him to help himself. She told us what a pleasure it had been to work with all of us, to observe such a special program, and to have both parents and teachers eager to stretch and grow themselves.

I am feeling excited about next year, as BOY will get a bonus year. A year in which he can be, for the first time, an older child in his class. What will THAT be like? Our focus has been on BOY, but he hasn't been the only one changing. Because of the consultant coming, I am more appreciative of his teachers. Because of the positive changes I've seen in BOY, and because we decided to stick it out, I have been able to see what can happen when you hang in and work things through, instead of leaving. Maybe, the most growth has occurred in me, as I feel we have come full circle...back to a place of appreciation. And perhaps my BOY can do more than I think he can. is SUCH a journey.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I am finding myself

The other night I was talking to a close friend's husband whose life is suddenly on the brink of major changes. In all probability he and his family will be moving somewhere else this time next year. He received some news that changes everything. And it has been an impetus for reflection. He shared with me that even though things haven't happened the way "they were supposed to" - his emphasis, he's learned something very important. He's figured out what makes him tick. What gives him juice. What gets him going in his work. Really, he's found himself. And no matter what the future brings, he knows that he's going to be fine...because, he has an amazing wife, two beautiful girls and he's figured out where he fits in the world and what he is good at doing.

At one point during our conversation he suddenly turned to me and said, "YOU know what it's like - your blog. What it's like to find yourself, to know that you've found IT." And the cool thing, the really cool thing is that YES, I know exactly what he is talking about. Something has happened to me over the last year, as I celebrate my 1st anniversary of blogging. I am finding myself. At least for now. And it feels damn good!

post #342!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How come I missed out on the tummy tuck?!

Aging. What a beautiful thing.

About, oh...a year ago, I was invited over to a close friend of my mom's to try on clothes that she didn't want anymore. She was ready to part with them. Since my wardrobe speaks of Target with only the occasional flash of Rod Stewart boots...mmm..preKIDS, I was IN. My mom went with me. I knew it was going to be a good time when my mom's friend opened up a bottle of wine at 3pm in the afternoon. The feeling was cemented when she walked in the guestroom bearing an armload of clothes and kept going back for more. It was a little overwhelming and intimidating...but, I hung in there. You see, I don't really have that "shopping gene" that most women seem to have. It makes me a little anxious and uncomfortable. I love great clothes, but the process of acquiring them - even when presented as a gift is not something that comes easily. As I slipped on leggings, shimmied into pants and slid sexy tops over my head, I felt as if in a dream. I was molting out of outfits and into new ones that definitely didn't feel like couture de Targay.

But then...

You have a beautiful figure. Enjoy it while you can. Once you hit a certain age, well just isn't the same. And it never goes back.

It appears that the lady with the bounty friggin' cursed me. Wham! Not even a year and a half later...It has happened. I am 46 years old. And my stomach in the belly button area looks as if Saggy Baggy Elephant has taken up residence. My stomach! Forget droop. It drips. And there is this certain area directly over the belly button that looks as if it is there to stay. I don't know how to describe it really...other than a bread that's risen...and fallen. Kind of sunk in the center. I did gain 45lbs during my pregnancy with GIRL. It felt right. I ate everything. I was ZAFTIG and round. I loved it. I lost the weight, mostly due to running after BOY and having two children 10 months apart. Imagine a woman with two baby shaped footballs under each arm, running - and that was me.

But, I don't do all that much running any more. Unless I am running AWAY FROM THE KIDS into the house because...after all, it is JackO'Clock. And the addition of blogging into my life has been delightful, but sedentary. Alas, I believe I have hit that certain age. And it isn't fair, dammit! I don't feel 46. I feel...mmm 36.

When I went in for my postpartum 6 week check-up after giving birth to GIRL, I thought it would be a good time to bring up the subject of having my tubes tied. NOPE. Apparently, the time to bring up having your tubes tied is RIGHT AFTER BIRTH!! My OB/GYN sighed if looking at that sad stray that's been hanging around your house begging for scraps.

I'm SO sorry, JCK. The time to have your tubes tied would have been right after you gave birth to GIRL. It would be quite a procedure at this point. Dangerous.

You've got to be fucking KIDDING me...I wanted to say. I'll show YOU dangerous, baby!! Dangerous is sending this woman home to her husband!! But, I slunk home and GLARED at E. Vasectomy...I hissed. And he wonders why every time he leers at me my hair stands on end. The thought of getting pregnant again, EVER again, is a thought that warrants a sign-up for that indefinite stay at Casa de Insane Asylum. Having more than 2 children is FABULOUS ...for OTHER people. I'll just hum along with 2 children, thank you very much. Keep your PopAwheelie's reserved for the 14 day safe margin. I'll wave the fishnets, you bring the blanks.

But, the worst thing? The worst thing about all of this...this, flesh dripping, aging thing? The worst thing is that it all could have been avoided. Yes, MA'AM! You see, I missed out BIG TIME. My friends who got the little "snip, snip tube tying action" also got a bonus. A free tummy tuck. Yes. They. Did. Wenches! And all I want to know is come I missed out on the tummy tuck!?
**Picture Credit: Google Images

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Monday, May 5, 2008

You see, he believes he can already swim.

Today was BOY's first swimming lesson. He was BESIDE himself. He COULDN'T wait to get to the Y. We arrived a few minutes early, so I took him for a walk throughout the facility. We stopped in at the gym, which was empty, and he had a great time running on gymnastic mats, scaling a bar, and hearing his shoes squeak on the gymnasium floor. We visited the weight rooms, he took a swing at a punching bag, and we went up and down stairs. It only slowed him down a bit, but I think it helped both of us. I was really anxious about the lesson. BOY absolutely LOVES water, of any kind. But, he is a bit fearless and his impulse control is OUT THERE. Right before we went to the pool, BOY had to go the bathroom. As he was washing his hands he started singing:

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

...and I about died watching him so full of happiness.

Last Wednesday I brought him to the Y to go swimming during the open swim. I thought it would help him to see where he would be taking the swimming lessons. He was like a rolling marble. He leaped out of the little pool and was down the steps of the big pool within seconds. I got to him very quickly, but not before he had stepped off the last step and gone under, swallowing some water. He was quite startled. You see, he believes he can already swim. I had to sit down with him and the lifeguard and go over the pool rules, (which I had already done 3X!), letting him know that if there were any other incidents of running away from me we would leave. He was pretty good after that. He'd get ahead of me, but then stop when he got to the steps.

Just before his class started today, we met his swimming teacher and I described BOY as "incredibly enthusiastic about taking swimming lessons, how he loves the water and is fearless-- with impulse control being really...well, minimal at present." The teacher smiled. It seems that they weren't too concerned and thought it was great that he loved the water. And it WAS great! He did so well! I watched him from the waiting room, sitting by the huge glass window looking into the pool area. He kept popping off the stairs and wanting to go out into the pool with the teacher every time, his turn or not, but the teacher handled it well. And BOY just thrived. He practiced kicking, blew bubbles, tried using his arms and just played in the water. And every once in a while he would move his goggles up to the top of his head and readjust them, before putting them back over his eyes. Just that simple gesture...and he looked SO big. So mature. So "heading toward 5ish." It was a joyful experience to see him today and to glimpse the bigger boy lurking underneath, who will be here all too quickly.

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

It is too late to hide HER

It is too late to hide HER
standing naked
legs planted wide
palms OPEN to the sky.

She arrived here
riding a wild wave
myriad colored shells
dripping from her wind lashed hair.

Some broken
some whole
all borne of a LIFE
flexing inward.

The tide receding
to reveal HER
tasting the panoply
of juicy bits.

SHE living amongst shadows
all this time and more
her artistic resonance
buried deep.

Part narcissistic nemesis?
Part pleasure goddess?
Why now? Why HER?
Why not?

HIGH on words
she who is GREEDY, rapacious she?

** Painting Credit: The Birth of Venus, 1879
William-Adolphe Bouguereau

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

One baby with hair. And one with not much.

Will you tuck in my babies for me?

Tonight I tucked in two little babies. Their mommy was so tired she stumbled on her way to bed. One baby with hair. And one with not much. Their eyes wide open as I turned them over on their tummys. It is important that I honor her way of doing things. I couldn't find the special baby blankets. I looked around the room and finally spied the overstuffed large purse. She was well prepared. The baby blankets were there. As were a bottle of milk, one of juice, a rolling pin, colander, 2 stew pots, napkins for high tea, a bracelet, and a Fancy Nancy fan from a recent bookstore outing. How she loves those books! As I tucked the blankets around each baby, I couldn't help but remember...not so long ago, when I had two babies. Close in age, yet not twins. One baby with hair. And one with not much. I gently patted their backs and turned off the light...

**Photo: Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly

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