Monday, March 26, 2007

Family Jewels

You didn't really think I'd take/post pictures of That....get your mind out of the gutter. Anyway, This is my first MOM jewelry. I always thought it would be painted macaroni but alas, the plastic jewels are just as treasured. My oldest made it for me, shared the story of the "pattern" AND he took the picture on one of our afternoon book store dates. I love it!

Check out other BSM at Picture This

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bad to the Bone

Best Shot Monday - I'm not usually drawn to the "messy face toddler" picture but this struck me as a Flinstone moment. I kept hearing their son, "Bam Bam" in my head as my youngest took a liking to licking, nibbling and discovering a lamb chop bone. Although not mechanically perfect, fun none-the-less. Now if I could just figure out how to pick up my car and run...I'd be really ecstatic. **Check out other Best Shot Mondays at Picture This.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Blogging Material, if for Nothing Else

I had to en dour the task of buying bras the other day. Having not purchased a new one since my younger son was born (a year & a half ago) I was more than overdue for replenishing such intimate apparel. This time frame is a perfect example of how I loathe such an errand. However, I'm really working at being better to "ME" so I sucked it up and made room in my schedule.

I went to the same family run business that I've been going to since I received that first training bra...even before I needed it. It's the perfect place to go if you are in need of any undergarment or bathing suit. They seriously have EVERY size color, clasp and solution you might ever need, want or wish for. They even have two options of dainty little heels with feather boas on the toes but I assure you that this is not that kind of place. This is also not the perfect place to go to if you are thin skinned regarding your body image. Having the selection they have for such items....everyone goes there and I assume many grin & bear it as I do.

Although they probably haven't placed one in many years, I would have to assume that this store's help wanted ad would read something like this:

Mature, very Mature, female wanted for intimate apparel sales associate. Applicant should have acrylic nails - well kept and painted with trendy color. Will also have beige or black orthopedic shoes and the ease to play at least 4 rounds of Jewish Geography with at least 2 generations. An uncanny ability to deviously insult customers while smiling and making customer second guess the insult is a must. Simultaneously handwriting sale while swiping credit card and manipulating cash register at a painful snails pace is a plus. We don't train...most likely, you are just this way. *Cold plastic tape measure will be supplied to the correct applicant.

I really don't mean any disrespect. I know that sounds silly, but that is JUST the way this store is. They have what we need and unfortunately, there is a bit of hazing to get it. I suppose, if my self esteem were stronger I would look to these visits as a rite of passage but alas, I'm just not that well adjusted.

Did I fail to mention that I'm an impossible fit? Oh yea, I walk all the way to the back of the store. Passing all the pretty rosebud colored panties. All the beautiful bikinis, all the feminine spaghetti strapped everythings and take a number, as if I were at a deli, so that one of the lovely aforementioned sales associates can go to the back room and fetch me some options.

I tried something new this visit. I made an appointment. Now, c'mon, have you ever made an appointment to buy a bra? My number was up, so to speak. I had the luck in that my associate was swift and basically non judgmental. So far so good. This impression was after she had hugged me while meeting her hands behind my back in order to pass the tape measure around both my girls and then again below them. I closed my eyes in horror and hope the moment passes quickly.

Without nearly a word or grumble, she left to go and fetch me some "options" and I sat in my 4x4 cubicle half dressed and listen to the other customers battle and survive their shopping experience. Across the hall, in the next cubicle, is a a customer who is also more mature. She is accompanied by her nurse/assistant. I hear her sales associate bicker with her regarding the green of the Chicago River this weekend. People will do ANYTHING to avoid discussing the fit of these items for sale. The conversation gets a bit huffy until the nurse/assistant puts a stop to all the crankiness and bursts both their bubbles. "The river is turned green by the use of orange dye", she informs the, and then changes the subject to requesting another size from the sales associate.

I sit and continue to wait for my sales person to return from the "booby back room" and my attention is now diverted to the mother daughter duo in the next fitting room. They are discussing how tight and short the mothers bathing suit should be and not in the good giggly kind of way. I quickly get bored by them and am surprised when I'm actually thankful my sales person has returned.

I always forget about the excessive "manhandling" that goes "hand in hand" (great pun if I do say so myself) with this experience. It's sort of like giving instantly forget all the icky stuff from labor. Anyway, I'm in the thick of it while I am told why this bra isn't right or how the seamstress, another character all together, could "make" it right. Saleslady shakes me while "adjusting" the garment to the point that I almost lose my balance. By golly she has done good. I'm almost impressed with her but not before I backpedal and try on 3 more choices. She leaves to take a phone call and I get a reprieve - my cell rings. I whisper, "Hi Mom, I'm in booby hell" Just by chance she is a few blocks away and with laughter in my voice I ask her if she wants to witness this brutality. Thankfully she obliges and I'm so thrilled to have backup enroute.

I sit longer than expected for Saleslady. I'm listening to the proud customer, 3 dressing rooms down from me, talk to her Saleslady. She uses a voice just loud enough for all to hear. She has the conversation I've dreamed of having for decades. And not just at this establishment. Y'know the...I've just lost so much weight and I need a whole new set of everything. Both salesperson and customer discuss the means by which the customer took to lose this weight. Saleslady gives the token job description jab "deviously insult customers while smiling and making customer second guess the insult". I'm secretly happy that customer has to deal with the same discomfort as the rest of us but also feel the angst that her discomfort would be more comfortable than my current situation. I'm elated to hear Mom call my name. "In here" I say, and in an instant I catch her up on all that has taken place.

Mom has been through this ordeal more decades than me and I tell her that for the first time I'm thrilled I don't have a daughter. To spare another human from this experience is such a gift. She gives me the tilted head, eyes closed, half nod. We both know she's right and that having a daughter to share all that she and I have shared would be a gift beyond belief but I can't let myself have that discussion with myself nor her at this particular juncture.

My Saleslady returns and I actually leave with 3 items. Two of which are for working out. The others are on backorder and I save myself the aggravation and the possibility of having to return to the store. My frugal self smartens up and decides to pay to have them shipped. Plus, I always like to see peoples facial expressions at work when they deliver a box that has SoANDSos Intimate Apparel written on it.

All in all it was a pretty good visit. Not the worst I've had. A few good laughs and then a nice lunch with Mom. If nothing else...It was an excellent experience for blogging material.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Best Shot Monday (but on Tues)

This was such a simple concept but it was refreshing and fun. It is so rare that my husband and I have alone time with our youngest son. We were all giggles as he discovered the facinations of shadows.

Check out other Best Shot Mondays at Picture This

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wisdom of an ALMOST 5 year old

While driving home from school yesterday my son and I watched the biggest snowflakes flit and fall to the ground. We were mesmerized and silent. He broke this moment of quiet with the most fascinating theory.

Boy: Mom, could you please press the button that takes us up to the top of the trees.

Me: What button honey?

Boy: Y'know, the button that makes the car go up to the tippy top of the trees. So that I can talk to G-d.

Me: (thoroughly eager to see where this goes) Sure, I think that button is right (I hesitate and wonder if the hazard or the defrost are more the more appropriate button then I ask what he will do when he talks to G-d)

Boy: I want to ask him to ask Mother Nature to turn off the snow so we can see a little better.

Me: Ahh, gotcha. (totally amazed that I've helped to create such a wonderful sense of imagination and intrigue)

That is one powerful button. This must be an upgrade on the minivan I wasn't aware of...It certainly makes it seem well worth the pricetag we paid.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Courage to Comment

If you've read this blog you know that I'm not a skilled techy in the coolest sense of the word. Rather a nerd with aspirations. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I've looked, studied and searched all the other blogs out there...really. For about a year I compiled my mental list of what I liked and things I'd do differently while I lurked around other peoples courage to write some of their honest innermost thoughts...and some funny stuff too. I'm not sure I had the courage to comment in that year of collection. However, a month ago I took the plunge. I plodded and planned. I attempted to write creatively. I do it successfully some days and not so successfully others. I'm keeping at it though.

I've realized that my nerdy side enjoys seeing the stat counter. I actually get an adrenaline rush when it shows me the many hits I've had. I get even more excited when I drill down and see that they cam from all over the world too. China, London, Omaha. Y'know all the great places people travel. (or at least get their band connection from) Anyway, I'm then perplexed as to why so few or NO people leave comments. What is it about commenting that was so tough for me and is currently so difficult for my visitors? I see this type of post on many other blogs. It can't be the "shy" card. I believe there is an anonymous option on all posting software. Ease - c'mon it can't be that...the commenting field all but writes itself. Perhaps its just time. I do understand that. I guess I'll never really know.

What I'd like to know is this. Why do I let absolute strangers effect my Psyche so? I can't seem to let it go. The feeling of reasurance and "you matter" is another post all together. Probably many posts. Strange thing is, I can't even blame this feeling of being left out on my weight which is where I always place this discomfort. This blogging is very mysterious. I can't believe I'm being so absolutely honest....I hope you will be too.

A special thanks to Slouching Towards for her encouragement to write this.

**Now, I'm laughing because in the time it took me to build this post I've received two comments. Thank you "Your Blogginess"...I suppose some wishes were meant to be answered. Even if I didn't win $375 million in the Lotto.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Perfect Shade

I was getting ready to go out last night. While doing so, my older son was sitting on the counter in the bathroom. He loves to hold the hairdryer. I love when he doesn't burn my scalp. Anyway, I was at work all day and hadn't seen him and was happy to have this time together.

What I loved the most was that when he came into my room the TV was on. I told him that I'd love for him to hang out with me while I got ready so that we could spend some time together before I left. His baby blues popped open and said, "We can play", which initially broke my heart and then it quickly mended as I said, "OK, TV on or off?" He, without hesitation said, "off". We are not a huge TV family...especially the kids. (15-20 minutes here and there)

We had such a nice time just chatting about our days and getting caught up. He has always wanted to put on my makeup...I've always said no. I don't know if it is because I was nervous he might like it too much...which sounds totally ridiculous, he's 4...or if I was being so cranky and didn't want to clean up the mess. Or both. This time I was way more relaxed...perhaps from all of my recent working out. He was so careful to not only be gentle with the angle of each lipstick but in picking the correct shade. Times like these just make me want to give him more space to be a kid.

This kid thing is a short run and I was too quick to grow up. I think I actually avoided being a kid as much as possible. Sometimes I think I'm experiencing being a kid with my kids. It's fun and I find that when I give them the courage, trust and safety to be carefree...there is no friction when we have to change gears and transition to something else. THAT is a beautiful thing!

What have you learned from your kids?

Sammy, where's your TUSH?

Sammy is so enamoured by finding all his body parts...just not in the most conventional way.

Isto - The Banana Song

This song is infections...I warn will be singing "Banana" all day" but I think you'll be smiling while you do it.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Best Shot Monday

Purim time is here...Meet the KING!

AND ... his nemesis!

Check out other Best Shots at Picture This

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Just a TEST

**UPDATE** I DID IT...thank you LISA over at Midwestern Mommy
AAarrrrgghhhh, I can't seem to get the TV version of the You Tube video here...any suggestions?

This is just a test to see if I can actually get a video to post here.

I hope it works.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Support as it SHOULD be

I had the recent opportunity to join someone at their "anonymous" meeting. It really doesn't matter which version of the 12-steps they follow just that they have found a way to commit to themselves. Tonight they earned recognition from their 12-step peers for keeping that commitment going for 12 years. 12 years of following their program. 12 years of turning around an unhealthy lifestyle they actually enjoyed, but couldn't justify any longer. 12 years of living a fresh & clean, day in and day out existence.

I didn't know any of the other 50+ members at this meeting. They were from all walks of life. Big, tall, heavy, thin, black, white, Asian, men & women. The destruction and battle they all shared was the same. They all understood each others pains, struggles and doubts. They all deeply cared about one another and knew where how those doubts manifested themselves. Some expressed being able to follow their program successfully for just this one day....others for 30, 60 and 90 days. The someone I accompanied had 12 years of magical growth, stamina and perseverance. I am so proud of them. I am so proud of every one of the people in that room who made a clear commitment to take steps to be the best person they could be.

It made me think...I should clearly re-commit my lifestyle changes to me. The support system that this group provided to each other was genuine. They didn't shake hands...they hugged. They didn't want to fix each other, they only wanted to make support available to each member as this was their grounding element to keep them on the right path. I'm so honored to have been able to feel and witness the support that fellow humans can give and receive. On one hand it's sad that I had to be reminded that that was a missing element in today's rushed world. On the other hand...What a wonderful concept support is. Trust me, whether it's hosiery, peers or family. We all need to be believed in and caught every now and again...supported!

This all reminds me of the idea that it takes a village to raise a family. This group of 12-steppers went one step further....they turned their battle around and continued to commit to "keep coming back".

Thursday, March 1, 2007 a good way

I knew being the kind of mother I wanted to be would take every cell in my being. I signed on the dotted line knowing full well that I didn't know what I was fully getting into. Including realizing that by being the mother of two, it would feel like I needed extra cells to cover every ones neurosis and insecurities, including my own.

My older son has been waking up around 4am lately. I've stopped the struggle with walking him back to his own room and getting him comfy in his bed because I have come to the realization that he needs this connection. I'm not fooling myself into thinking that it will be difficult to change this cycle...instead I'm praying for a morning when he will wake up, go to the potty and return himself back to HIS bed. I know I'm dreaming. I secretly LOVE this snuggling. However, yesterday, at 6:15am, my 1.5 year old woke up and I went to get him out of his crib, change him and then brought him into our, now, family bed. (I think I just won for longest runon sentence) The older guy climbed on top of me and made sure he took up ALL of me. If you know me, that's a Lotta momma. My younger guy sat as close to my head screaming until his brother moved an arm or hand so that he could get his piece of me. In the best sense of the word. Although I loved them fighting over being soothed by me I can't deny that my older son needs more of me. I'm trying to carve out time for he and I but he is making it clear that he needs more of me. Doesn't he know that I'm working on having less of me? If only it were that easy.

My mother has a perfect visual descriptions of this dilemma. It is a small statue of an egg with a bird on top. The bird is stretching its arms, legs, beak and all trying to cover and protect this too big egg. I always thought this was a cute statue. However, now I know exactly why it means so much to her....and now me.