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Thursday, May 31, 2012

I've Moved...

Visit me at my new site

and don't forget to change your feed, or you just might miss me.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A {Hiatus} Sound Bytes of the Week

Happy Friday and Happy Memorial Day!

This is the weekend we kick off summer.

The college kids are GONE {at least most of them} and as the locals in Iowa City say "we can finally find parking downtown." Downtown is quieter and our weekends will be spent at the Farmer's Market and playing in the ped mall fountain.

As we ease into summer, I've decided to slow down a bit too.

Mostly out of necessity, because if you haven't noticed I'm training for TWO triathlons each within two weeks of the other. So, I've called in reinforcements. Sure you will see me around these parts next week, but as of June 2 I'm off for two weeks, and turning the blog over so some lovely ladies who will entertain you with their witty commentary. I hope you welcome them with open arms, and show them the same love and support that you show me EVERY DAY.

Now for some Sound Bytes of the Week.

3. "Mom don't kill bugs they are part nature."
Of course he says this and then about an hour later informs me that he stomped on an ant. He's a walking contradiction that little boy.

2. "We are going to plant toots and then have toot plants. There will be so many toots we will have a toot party." 
All these toots in answer to one question. "What should we plant in our garden?" Oh, boy.

As some of you may have read, our Saturday excursion wasn't all happy, happy, joy, joy. At least not for me. However, one person was so mesmerized by the dinosaurs that couldn't care less about anything else. He was our resident Palentologist, reciting everything he knew about dinosaurs.


So what did you hear this week?

Well, I have a busy morning ahead, kickboxing class, G's doctor's appointment, and a work event at the UI all before noon...WHEW!

Yeah I need a break for sure.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Theme for the Week

This my theme for the week, a here's the inspiration behind it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Take Me Back in Time

In my life I've made A LOT of mistakes.
Like flunking out of college.

Not asking for an episotomy.


This Saturday.

In a moment of frustration I said something, and once the words fell from my lips I regretted them. I wanted to immediately run after them, scoop them up in a butterfly net and shove them back in my mouth.

But they were out there and he heard them.

In a flash I ruined an entire day. One that should have been filled with fun and joy.

I turned my smile into a frown, and pitched a temper tantrum to rival my two year old.

But the worst, the absolute worst part is that in my whirl wind of fury I squashed a dream.

Yep, with three words I stole a dream and now things just aren't the same. Feelings have been hurt and hearts have been broken.

I can never express how sorry I am, but I can tell you this if I could go back in time and change ONLY ONE of the above mistakes, I'd pick Saturday. Because the other two hurt only me, but Saturday hurt you and I NEVER meant to do that.

So I'm on a mission to find Doc Brown, and fire up my flux capacitor, because I'm going to GO BACK IN TIME, and fix it all.

So we can keep the dream alive and drive off into the sunset together.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A {Jurtastic} Sound Bytes of the Week

I could really use one of these today. It has been a BUSY week. Work events have been consuming me, but now they are over {at least for another week}, and it's time to get back in the swing of things.

My triathlon training has taken a hit, because of this crazy week, and I'm getting nervous. Other than my adventurous bike ride, which included rain, wind, and multiple hills, I haven't exercised since last Friday. NOT GOOD!!! So, this weekend and upcoming two weeks I'm training, training, training. Come hell or high water. It's do or die time.

However, I will find time for some fun this weekend. We are headed to The Putnam Museum for Dinosaurs Unearthed. Our little paleontologist is extremely excited about this adventure and he had a couple of comments about our upcoming exhibition....and other funny randoms.

3. "When we see the dinosaurs, I'm going to name every single one, and tell the guy all about them. Because I'm a Paleontologist. For real mom. Really."
After I hear him shout out names like Cretoxyrhina or Hadrosaur, I pretty much believe him. I can't wait to see him go head to head with the museum guide. This could be fun...

2. "This your gateway drug."

E doesn't really like soda pop, but B2 gives him some once in a while. Most of the time he hates it because of the fizziness. However, once he had some of this he was hooked. Awesome {said in a sarcastic tone}.

1. "Where's dad? I didn't just come to this campsite to play and dance."

Really? What else WOULD you do at a campsite? Because I know for a fact E that you don't sleep, sit still or listen.

So....what did you hear this week?

Well, time for work.

Have a GREAT day, and enjoy your weekend.

Watch out for dinosaurs.

They can be anywhere and they like to vacuum.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Mirage IS Real

As I enter the house I can already hear the little voices chatting upstairs. The clatter of dishes in the sink, and deep voice of B2 asking the boys about their day. E's chirping voice enthusiastically detailing the trials and tribulations of preschool life.

They haven't noticed me yet, and as I continue staring at them from my perch at the top of the stairs I wonder if this is a mirage. Is this family really mine?

Never in a million years did I EVER think I would be here. As the mom of two children, married to a wonderful {and hot} man, and working at a job that allows me to balance family and career.

At an early age, I had always wanted the white picket fence, with little children perfectly coiffed donning matching cardigans, and my husband and I hugging in the background.

That image was just a mirage. I'm a realist. Reality dictated the need for a career before family. I needed work my way up the corporate ladder.

Each rung up the ladder was a struggle for my livelihood, but I remained focused always looking toward the top. There were times when I faltered and my foot would slip. My corporate career path was always just out of my grasp. I kept climbing, fighting, crawling and sacrificing. The higher I climbed the more my heart hurt, but my head won out. “Keep climbing,” it said. “Your heart won’t pay the bills.”

I kept climbing. There were moments when the heartache grew too much to bear I needed to look somewhere else. Through the haze I’d catch a glimpse of the white picket fence and I’d hear the faint sounds of giggling children. Tears formed in my eyes and I mourned the loss of something I never had. But I couldn’t dwell on that I was alone in the desert and what I saw was a mirage.

The ladder was reality.

Over the years I fought my way up the ladder, painstakingly climbing each rung. My body and brain grew weary from the journey. My was heartache unbearable and in a moment of desperation I jumped off the ladder.

Once on solid ground, I saw the mirage in the distance. The blurry outlines of children playing and a handsome man smiling at me.
Blinking back tears, I finally hear his voice. “Hi, honey how was your day?” Wiping my tears I smile and immediately the blurry image comes into focus and I know for certain it is real.

This piece is a product of our Bigger Picture Blogs Writing Circles, where writers come together virtually to share a work and then offer encouragement while giving constructive criticism while applying benevolent pressure to others in the circle.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Letter and a HUG to my 16 Year Old Self

Dear Sixteen Year Old Me

I know life sucks right now, because over 20 years later I still remember all of it. The pain, the hurt the sadness.

So, I'm writing to tell you that you are loved. That no matter how alone you feel right now there are people that care about you. If I could I'd give you a hug, and tell you that things will get better.

If you can hang on for another year, you will find a wonderful friend and she will be your confidant for a long time. While you may grow apart, you will always keep in touch via email and Facebook {which hasn’t been invented yet}.

I’d also warn you about a girl, mean as hell, that will pretend to be your friend, but she will betray you, and pull everyone else in on her game. Don’t fall for it. Be strong. And if you don’t heed my words and you still take the pills, know that you will survive and that you will be here tomorrow, because life has so much to offer you. I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true.

I know you cry yourself to sleep at night wondering why you don’t have a boyfriend, but trust me as you get older you will realize that boys are nothing but trouble. Once you can love and accept yourself, you will find the love you deserve. You don’t need to be anyone’s doormat.

And I’ll let you in on a secret. One day you will meet a man that will make you feel special, and you will marry him and have two lovely children. Hopefully now that you know this, you won’t look for love in all the wrong places.

You are so smart, even though you may not know it yet. And even though Mr. R told you that without Calculus you might be flipping burgers, the truth is HE WAS WRONG!!! What you need to learn is how to write and create, because that’s where your passion lies. Don’t try to be pre-med you will only fail. Just because you like helping people doesn’t mean you will like taking Chemistry in college. You should follow your dream of being in advertising even if it means wearing gold and red.
One day you will drive just fine {maybe a little fast} even though you flunked your driver’s ed test twice. Don’t worry no one in real life knows how many feet to stop in front of a stop sign.

I know school isn’t your thing right now and you plod through each day just longing for the comforts of home. However, it will be over soon and you will soon be at college, which I hate to say wasn’t the greatest either. But it will make you stronger, it will make you wiser and it will make you know what you want out of life. These experiences will be hard no doubt about it, but you are so much stronger than you think you are. YOU CAN DO IT!!! And you will succeed. You will live these experiences so that you can tell your children about them, and hopefully they will listen.

Oh, and make sure you watch out for that fly ball in PE class, because that shiner hurt like hell, and almost got you a free nose job.

And while I may give you all these warnings and try to guide you on a different path, you will most likely choose to do what you want. Which is fine, but know that you are loved no matter which path you choose.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Birth Day for Us Both

If I was one of those seasoned bloggers, I probably would have a totally awesome Mother's Day post planned. One with funny stories about the boys, and poignant words of wisdom and a lesson at the end that would make you tear up. But...

We had a birthday to celebrate yesterday.

Yep, our little redhead has turned two! And yet again I can't believe how time flies. How every single minute with them seems to; on one hand last an eternity and on the other fly away like a butterfly on the breeze.

So here is an ode to you my second child, on mother's day I'm celebrating YOU. You. The one who made me two times a mom, and who won my heart with your red hair and spunky personality.

Within two years I have learned so much from YOU.

You came during a time of sadness, and filled our lives with joy. You share the name of a grandpa you will never meet, but I'll make sure to tell you about the best parts of him. How he was a dreamer, and a romantic and that his heart was sometimes so big it would make him too sad. There are days when I look into your big blue eyes and I feel that even though you never met him, you know him. That there is a part of him in you.

Perhaps it's the red hair, because it sure didn't come from me or your dad.

And while you and your brother may share the same genes, you look nothing alike and your personalities are so very different. A fact that fills me with both joy and dread.

See, when we found out we were having another boy, all I ever wanted was for you both to be different. In looks and personality. I wanted you to be individuals, and etch your own place in the world.

From the time you were born you blazed your own path.

We can put you to bed without pomp and circumstance. Two stories and a kiss and you are good to go.

You are the bravest little boy I know and I'm often envious of your fearlessness. And in the same moment I have an inner panic attack, worrying that one day you will fall into the arms of danger. Even before you turned two, you had your first visit to the ER. Nothing major, but it still gave me some heart palpitations that I could have done without.

As you blaze your path you are stubborn and independent. Choosing to walk and talk at your own pace. Driving me, your dad and your teachers crazy. Although, after only two years, you have me trained, and now I know you will just do things at your own pace when you want. Pushing you will only make things worse. {good to know now before you start grade school}.

I'm not sure if what they say about redheads and tempers is true, but looking at you I'd say that Old Wives Tale is correct. You have a temper that can light up a room, and you know it too. Working it to your advantage when it comes to brotherly disagreements. Your first word was "No", an emphatic and loud  "No" that is still said today.

Even with all these things, you are still a little lover boy. Recently you have decided that you want to be held ALL THE TIME by only me. While I cherish these moments it does pose a problem when I'm trying to cook dinner or go to the bathroom.

Oh, the bathroom. Your favorite place in the house, because that's where the tub is. You will crawl in there fully clothed if we let you. Your love of water has been part of you since you popped out of the womb. I hope someday you will learn to SCUBA dive just like your grandpa.

You are also infatuated with dogs and yell "doggie" all the time whenever one crosses your path. Doggies are only second to choo choos. Watching Thomas the Train is now one of you favorite pastimes, as well as playing with choo choos. Whenever we see one on our way to school we have to stop and listen to the clang, clang of the bell.

As we wrap up the birthday celebration, and Mother's Day, I just want to say that being a mom to you and your brother has made me a better person. I can't even remember my life without the both of you. While there may be times we don't agree, or you just "aren't my friend anymore" remember this ...

I will always love you no matter what.

Thank you for choosing me to be your mom!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A {Poop} Sound Bytes of the Week

Did you know Sunday is Mother's Day?

For real, like I'm freaking out because I know what I want to get my mom, but I think I waited too long and now I might be ... dare I say screwed...UGH...

Oh, wait I didn't wish you a Happy Friday.


Due to my Chicago getaway, I'm a day off in the week. So really to me it's Thursday, which has made this Mother's Day thing blow up in my face.

Along with the fact that I had to buy a new phone because mine broke on the way home from Chicago. Picture me on the Expressway terrified because I may or may not have any connection to the outside world. YIKES!!

Then WHILE I was in Chicago I received a text saying that our oven crapped out. {Yes this is the second appliance to crap out while I've been out of town} Perhaps it died because IT CAUGHT ON FIRE earlier in the week, just a hunch.
And then...our car needed $1,500 in repairs.

Oh, and I backed out of our driveway and into our neighbor's car. {which is completely unrelated to the other car that needed repairs.} It was just a bumper bump, but it sounded like I smashed his whole car to smithereens. Good thing our neighbors are our best friends, otherwise it could have been ugly.

Of course this all happened on Monday and Tuesday, so up until today things have been quiet.

However, today starts a new batch of craziness that includes ...

Cleaning mouse poop out of the Winnie so we can go "camping" on Saturday.
Celebrating little red's SECOND birthday!!! What??? I know right?

And that damn Mother's Day gift on Sunday.

UGH!!! Where is my personal assistant when I need one? Maybe she can clean up the mouse poop, while I concentrate on this week's Sound Bytes of the Week...

3. "If you think it ink it."
A friend told me that and as a writer I love it. I think it's even T-shirt worthy.

2. "Blip, Bleep, Blip, Bleep."
That's the sound of my phone attempting to charge itself on the way home from Chicago. This week I said hello to the iPhone, and Siri {too bad she doesn't clean up mouse poop.}

1. "Mom I know what I'm going to get you for mother's day. It's a big golden rock, and they call it Fool's Gold."
I was really excited when I heard "big golden rock" then I died laughing when I heard the rest. He said it so seriously too. I guess we will see what I get come Sunday. HAHAHAHA.

What did you hear this week?

Well, I'm off to work, then play.

May all you mothers out there have a WONDERFUL day,
and may you receive more than a chunk of Fool's Gold.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Viva la Vlog: Favorite Movies

Grab the popcorn and settle in it's another episode of Viva la Vlog.

This week we are talking movies. One of my FAVORITE topics.

Seriously, if I could finagle a job as a movie critic I would be living the dream. But alas, my dream job is beyond my grasp. However, before B2 and I had kids we were movie junkies. Every Friday, Saturday and sometimes Sunday was spent in a darkened theatre with the surround sound blaring and popcorn in hand. We watched everything from R-rated comedies to thrillers to action flicks.

Now...things have changed, but we still have our favorites.

So what's your favorite movie?


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Building a Village One Voice and One Brick at a Time

As a mother our voice is often drown out by the wails of children, the pleads from husbands and the inner voices that clog our brain. But on Sunday night mothers took the stage for the Chicago production of Listen to Your Mother and shouted for all to hear, and I was lucky enough to see it in person. 

Motherhood snuck up on me and it has taken me a while to get to that point where I could define myself as one. After watching all those lovely women, and Lou {whose mother was one tough cookie}on the stage, I knew I was in an elite club of very extraordinary women. And while our stories are unique {just like ourselves} We all share commonalites. We can all nod our head during childbirth stories or cry at the heartache of a lost child or experience the anger of a mama bear. 

And of course one performance stood out from the crowd. The one duet. However, they are such good friends it was like they were one person on the stage. I was lucky enough to have a sneak peak of their reading before the show, and as I giggled to myself tears wet my cheeks. See, they were talking about finding friends, finding community, finding someone to hear their voices, finding their VILLAGE. 

As I sat there in my theatre seat, the world stopped. I realized THANKS TO THEM I was lucky enough to find MY village. Granted you all may not live down the street, are here. Only a car ride away. 

You welcomed me into you home, let me cuddle with your children and gave me hugs and words of encouragement.

You have taught me the ropes of blogging and social media, and how to live life BOLDLY.

Without YOU my life would be incomplete. My village would be of one.

So I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for taking me under your wing, and building MY village one brick at a time.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A {Windy City Adventure} Sound Bytes of the Week

Welcome to have finally made it. Here have a drink.

I'm feeling pretty good about this week. Things have been happening and life is whizzing by, but {knock on wood} nothing totally insane or crazy has happened.

This weekend I'm off to another beautification appointment. As the temps have increased, I've been pondering more and more about whether to chop off my hair again. When I mentioned this to B2 the other night, he said "I don't think so." Hmmm, good to know that after ten years he's REALLY wanted me with long hair. Awesome. So, I guess the big cheese has spoken and my hair will only receive a slight trim and of course a heaping dose of red to cover all that grey.

Where the heck did all those gray hairs come from?

Oh yeah...I have two boys.

Thank goodness I'm getting the full treatment on Saturday, because on Sunday I'm off on a quicky roadtrip to Chicago. I can't tell you how giddy I am about seeing Hyacynth and Melissa in the Chicago production of Listen to Your Mother. Squeeeeellllll! {I've been doing that a lot this week, and jumping up and down like a mad fool.} I just can't contain myself I'm so excited.

Since another road trip is on the schedule, I really want to update the tunes in my iPod. However, I have no clue what's hip nowadays {see above comment about gray hair}. Do you have any music suggestions?

Speaking of music, some of this week's Sound Bytes were music to my ears, and my funny bone. Grab another drink and have a listen.

3. "I'm so hungry I could eat my whole backpack."
I think your backpack would be a little chewy, but I'll admit I was pretty hungry on the way home too.

2. "Well, I gotta go because I need to crack some coconuts."
You don't hear that everyday...thanks for the giggle Hy. And I'm looking forward to tasting some of your healthy grub this weekend.

1. "Hahahaha. That's funny my grandparents say that too." 
The response from my grocery boy when I said I had rockstar parking. Since when is that comment old school...hmmm must be the gray hair that gave me away. it's your turn. What did you hear this week?

Well, I'm off to work.

Hopefully we will be having a date night with The Avengers {if we can find a sitter}. Nothing says date night like dinner and a gang of superheroes.

What are your big weekend plans?

Whatever you do make sure it's full of adventure.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Soundtrack of My Life

It starts out low, I hear the breathing of my husband the whoosh of cars on the interstate outside our bedroom window, and the cat snoring at the foot of the bed.

Then the crescendo. My alarm goes off the sounds of hip hop music in air, I quickly turn it off with a loud click. The pitter patter of little feet against the bathroom tile, a tinkle, a flush then more pattering feet to the side of our bed. "Can I sleep with you," says the little voice in the dark.

"Sure hop up," I say sleepily.

He hops up and snuggles between us, I hear him sucking his thumb.

The baby starts chatting to himself in the next room, a low murmur over the monitor.

I wearily get out of bed and head to the shower, while B2 and E whisper to each other.

The shower comes to life and so do I as step under the warm water. The strong spray against my skin.

Voices in the hall, the baby's chatter turns to cries and more pitter patter of feet.

The water stops I step into the room.

Sounds are coming from every direction, the TV blaring the latest news about engaged movie stars and other nonsense. The clatter of spoons in cereal bowls. The aimless chatter of little ones.

The blow dryer drowns out everything. B2 says something and I can't hear him. Only his lips are moving. "What," I yell over the dryer.

I click it off, he asks about stuffed animals and school clothes.

Quickly I get dressed, throwing clothes haphazardly. "Hurry up," I yell. "We are running late." I should put this mantra on tape and play it every morning.

Crying and complaining come from then next room. Then silence and magically two dressed little boys appear before me.

The rumble of the garage door shakes the house. The car engine roars, and off we speed.

At school the noise increases. Temper tantrums and crying all meld into one big mess. "Goodbye," I yell over the din of noise. I think I make out an I love you, but I'm not sure.

Silence in the car. Silence. Golden and fleeting.

I step into the office. The murmur of voices greets me. The ringing phone and click clacking of keyboards. Throughout the day. The same noises.

Click Clack. Ring. Click Clack. Ring.

The day has ended.

The pool is beckoning. I pad across the pool deck and dip my foot in the warm water. I take a deep breath and start my strokes. The water is quiet at first then gets louder as my strokes increase. Splashing and slapping the side of the pool. My breath heavy and deep. My mind clearing and silent.


I step out padding to the locker room. The rush of the shower and the deafening noise of the hairdryer.

My high heels echo in the garage, sounding like a hundred people instead of just one.

Another car ride, a rumbling garage door. The cat mewing at my feet.


Then doors slamming and yelling. "MOM!!!". Music to my ears.

Pots and pans clanking together trying to produce something edible. The sizzling in the pan, and the sloshing of milk into glasses.

"Eh, eh, eh," and pointing from the baby. I have no clue what he wants and the whines get louder and louder until I finally put dinner in front of him.

The clinking of forks on plates the giggles over jokes and the "How was your day?" questions.

Whoosh, goes the dishwasher signaling the finality of dinner and the impending bedtime routine.

The rip of Velcro from a soiled diaper, soon replaced by a fresh one for bedtime. The zip of PJ zippers and the click of the light sending babies into darkness and slumber.

Older ones are watching TV and the toot toot of a train and roar of a dinosaur are the only sounds that can be heard.

Then stories and the sounds of worn pages turning in books and yawns emanating from my mouth.

"Good night mama."

"Good night my wonderful boy."

I make my way downstairs the sounds of the TV drown out the To Do list swirling in my head. My eyes feel heavy and I yawn again.

We make our way upstairs. Doors opening and closing, checking on little ones breathing heavy with sleep.

The cats mew at our feet wanting to be fed.

Click. I set the alarm.

And we cuddle close in bed letting the sounds of the day fade until the only noise that can be heard are two heart beats in the night.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Forgot:Just Write

I forgot.

I forgot until I read her words.

As the memories came flooding back, my breath stopped and the tears flowed.

I forgot.

How does someone forget?

With everything going on and life whirling around me, I forgot.

How could I forget?

I just called the lawyer and I see his truck everyday as it sits quietly outside our house.

What's the statute of limitations on remembering?

When can I just let go and not feel guilty about forgetting.

Remembering hurts. It's like a scab being pulled off and the blood that flows is reminiscent of the tears that stained my cheeks that day.

Each time E tells me to look at the electrical poles and that Grandpa used to work on them or when he accidentally calls Papa Grandpa. And when G's birthday is celebrated I will remember that day.

I don't want to remember that day. I WANT to forget it.

When I forget that day, I forget that he is gone.

Sail on Dad.