Friday, April 27, 2007

Product Review Numero Dos: Pampers Diapers

I have been doing this "Mommy" thing for nearly six years now, with diapers of some sort a constant item on my shopping list pretty much the whole time since Harrison came along three years after Jake. (By the way, I'm counting pull ups in this too since they are basically a diaper they can "pull up" on their own and they are even MORE expensive than regular diapers. Pull ups = fancy diaper.)

With Jake, my diaper of choice was Luvs. They held up well and were less expensive than the other brand names. I tried Luvs with Harrison, but he was always such a tank that the paper tabs on Luvs just didn't stretch enough around Harrison's "booda belly", so we splurged and bought Huggies. Yes, they were pretty stinking expensive for something my kid was going to crap in and get thrown away, but we received them as a shower gift and I really liked the stretchy tab that appropriately, well, stretched around Harrison's middle. So with Harrison, Huggies it was until my most recent Target visit, when I did the head calculator cost comparison on Huggies vs. Pampers. Pampers was significantly cheaper - shocking! So, without hesitation, I dumped the Huggies and grabbed two packages of Pampers. Hey, I'm not working anymore. I have to budget in certain else can I afford my Starbucks runs if I don't watch my per diaper spending allowance?

Immediately I regretted my cheap decision - the Pampers just didn't seem to hold up as well as the Huggies. A couple of #1s in the diaper and it sagged off Harrison's rear like he'd taken a massive #2 instead. This quickly lead to a need to change his diaper MORE OFTEN, which does not equate to cheapness and made me initiate a scavenger hunt of desperate proportions to find any remaining Huggies diapers that might have been stuffed in a diaper bag, the car or in the back of a closet somewhere. No luck. I can either dump the Pampers (before Harrison dumps in them) and buy my trusted Huggies again or suck it up, learn from my terrible lapse in Mommy judgment in the baby aisle at Target and finish out the Pampers. I chose to finish out the Pampers. We almost finished the stack - I think there are like five left - when this morning, I was greeted with a whiny good morning from my toddler who's diaper literally EXPLODED all over him!

He had little pieces of that weird diaper gel all over him - his belly, his legs, his hands, his forehead and hair and after washing him up in the bathtub, the sight in the bed was much worse. I found a huge pee circle and an even BIGGER pile of that super GROSS diaper gel on his sheets. Did I say gross, because it was SOOOOOO gross.

I HATE PAMPERS! Please learn your lesson here. Seriously, they suck! Gotta go, I have to make an emergency HUGGIES run.

(I'm tempted to tell Pampers what I think of their diapers, but they'll probably send me a coupon for a free package or some crap like that. That doesn't fix the fact that they SUCK!)

A Smashing Good Time!

Jason and me at a bar (March 2007). Wish I could tell you what bar we were at or where in Dallas it was, but if you couldn't tell, we're pretty smashed here. Can you tell? Good times were had by everyone (Jason, me, KrisTEN & "J" Worley, Neighbor Luke and Jason's Friend Taylor)!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Forbidden Fruit

Why is it when something is "off limits" is it suddenly torture to avoid? This is evidenced in so many examples, I don't know where to start. Hey, how about what brought on this post? Well, because my dental insurance from my former employer terminates at the end of this month (April 30), I had to put a rush job on filling the three cavities that I've had for more than a year. Initially had it scheduled for September, but hmmmm, I could pay like $100 under insurance or like $800 without.

I could buy a lot of fun clothes and cute shoes with $800.

When I made the appointment I thought the receptionist would laugh at me for the short notice, but to my dismay she had plenty of appointments. Dammit. Its harder to get a stinking haircut than it is to have my teeth drilled. Maybe its the free wine they offer at the salon.....another topic for another day.

So, here I sit, numb and hungry. Its 1:37 and I have eaten, um, nothing. I had my morning cup of coffee at 8am, some water with my workout and unless you count the paste and grit that inadvertently slid down my throat during the procedure, I've eaten nothing. The feeling is starting to come back, but I still can't eat. I want food SOOOOOOOO BAD!!!!!

Other forbidden fruit real life stories:
  • When I was pregnant, a strawberry wine cooler that sat in the back of the fridge for more than a year was the oasis in the desert. Every time I opened the door, it was as though the fridge light only shined like a spotlight on that damn red bottle.
  • When you tell a toddler NOT to do something, it suddenly becomes the only thing he can focus on through screams, fits and repeated attempts.
  • When we were little at Christmas time, every year Mom would tell my brother and me NOT to go into her closets. We ruined Christmas every year with our ransack missions while Mom and Dad attended parties.
  • See the Chipotle Challenge for another example. When told they CAN'T do something, men will stand up, grunt and beat their chest through guarantees of success, even if failure is likely. Jon and Kenny want another attempt to whip that burrito into submission and I will recant all of my naysaying sayings in a follow up post if they ever find victory at the bottom of that foil wrapper.
Why did I end on a food note? My tongue and lips are tingly.......I'm sooooooooo hungry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When I Grow Up

I'm nearly 30 years old and I still can't finish the sentence, "when I grow up....". I don't know what I want to be when I'm done being a "domestic relations manager." I don't suppose I will ever be able to quit that job, but for a paycheck, I simply can't focus on any ONE thing. Looking back on childhood, I don't recall ever knowing what I wanted to be or even having any dreams of what childhood hero I wanted to impersonate. I know throughout high school and college I bounced from nursing (until I realized I can't stand the sight of my own blood or bodily fluids, let alone anyone else's), then being an accountant (but all of those numbers just bored me) to a lawyer (I still have that passion, but no money). I suppose I have plenty of time to figure it out, but Jake seems to have it all figured out......this maybe he can guide me toward making a decision.

Jake likes to build lego buildings and skyscrapers, so when I suggested he should be an architect, he thought that was pretty cool. An architect it was.....for a little while.

Jake likes to dress up in costumes representing heroes of all types: superman, batman, powerrangers, wonder pets, fire men and police men. He understands which is real, so he went through a blink of an eye fireman phase, than the police man phase lasted a day.

Most recently we watched the Masters golf tournament played annually in Augusta, Georgia, which got Jason itching to play golf before the weather gets too hot. He and Jake made an appointment to play with Jason's Dad (PawPaw) last Sunday morning.

Saturday night as I tucked Jake into bed and we talked about his golf outing with Daddy, he asked me, "mama, will you be watching me play golf on tv?"

Jake's latest occupational dream: to be a professional golfer his mama can watch on tv.

(I think Jason started to cry.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Product Sucker or Product Genius: Proactiv Skin Care System

I am six months away from my second marketing degree, so I'm pretty cynical when it comes to trying new products or buying into magical claims that any one product will solve all of your cleaning, cosmetic, entertainment or dietary needs. I am never first in line to buy the latest technology gadget and I never take dietary supplements that claim I will be bikini ready miraculously in two weeks. I tend to catch the train as its leaving town or wait by the tracks hoping another one will arrive with the same destination or cargo.

This is not to say I have never bought something that was a total disappointment, which made me feel like a product sucker lead astray by marketing geniuses who successfully convinced me that their product would fullfill all of my needs and desires and wipe my rear end too. This has happened with floor cleaners, the collection of cameras I have tried and rejected, 7up plus which is really plus nothing except bad taste, but I bought it once while on the South Beach diet 15 months ago and for some reason Jason STILL thinks I like it. Those damn pink cans keep popping up in my kitchen from the deepest darkest holes and no matter how many times I tell Jason I don't like it, he kept coming home with a new 12 pack. Jason doesn't go to the store anymore.

So, ramble shmamble, here's my first product review as a "domestic relations manager". Fahhncy term for "housewife". I hate that word.


I'd seen celebrities from Vanessa Williams to Kelly Clarkson to Jessica Simpson push this stuff for years and if I've learned anything over the years its that celebrity endorsements only serve to push me further away from ever trying the product. I know no matter how much of their cream I slather on my face, I will never be a black woman with blue eyes, a ditzy blonde singer with big boobies or an overnight pop sensation from Burleson, TX. Once I accepted that and after seeing Proactiv advertised for years on everything from TV infomercials to irritating magazine inserts to the local valuepak coupons I get in the mail, I decided to give into the product hype and try the stuff.

30 day supply....$19.95. Not bad considering the pledge to Origins for my third born child I'd placed several months ago for the promise of clear and healthy, glowing skin, which seemed to work more in my head than in reality.

It might be important to note here too that since I was 12 I have tried, Cetaphil face soap, tetracycline, accutane, clearasil, alcohol, mud masks of all brands and colors, eating differently and Origins products of all colors, smells and fancy shmancy bottles that now take up most of my under cabinet real estate in my bathroom.

I wasn't really keen on the three step process. I hated washing my face twice a day with a one step process, so I was skeptical I could keep up the routine. A week into using the stuff, I noticed a difference, but the true test came when my monthly "visitor" would arrive, which was when I felt 14 again and wished baseball hats were acceptable "business attire" at the office. First month in, it passed the test! Close ups in my bathroom mirror were easier to take and my face was consistently soft rather than overly dry or oily.

I quickly told my mother and brother as they were the only ones I could openly suggest this to without hurting their feelings. Every day I see people at the gym or the grocery store and I want to HELP by suggesting the stuff, but I guess its like giving a fat lady a lean cuisine coupon. Too bad.

My only problem with the stuff is that I focused only on my face because that's where the problems were, but I neglected my neck. So, while my face is good to go, my neck is needing special attention. Dammit, I thought by rinsing the stuff off it would hit my neck by default.....kind of like "washing your feet in the shower." :) Guess not. (Maybe my feet aren't as clean as I think either.)

Mom said she ordered her first Proactiv supply this weekend for brother and Dad. We'll see what they think.

Proactiv gets the Product Genius designation. I'm glad I found it - my boys might need it later (poor things).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Jake vs. Harrison Round 2

Yes, I'm comparing my children. Get over it! If you have more than one child, you have compared them, so don't be a hypocrite. I just have the nerve to document it, possibly for posterity. (What does that mean anyway....posterity? I felt the need to use the word because it seemed a natural way to finish the sentence.) Anyhoo, sorting through those 165 pictures, I discovered two pictures that seem to visually depict the boys' personalities I described yesterday.

This is Jake, my patient artist, concentrating on drawing cars at Christmas in Pennsylvania. He's very serious about his art and will whine in frustration if Harrison messes with his masterpiece or it doesn't quite turn out the way he visualized it.

Luckily this is an etchisketch type thing and can't be taped to my walls.

This is Harrison at his happiest, being tickled, in this instance, by Daddy in his bedroom before bedtime. We had a fabulous time calming him down to go to sleep. This kid is ticklish ALL OVER his body - even just poking him in the back will cause him to writhe in giggles.

Interesting to note as different as they are, both of these pictures show the boys in their jammies. They love to be in their jammies and would wear them to breakfast, lunch and dinner if we'd let them.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

(re)Introducing "Da Boyz"

These are da boyz. Jake (left) is 5 1/2 here. Harrison is almost 2 1/2. Harrison doesn't look much smaller than Jake since this picture accentuates his rather large head. Believe me, from birth, I've known he has a LARGE head.

Although I've talked about them in previous posts, I thought I should reintroduce them with this lovely picture I just downloaded with 165 other pictures stuck in my camera's brain. These kids clearly have the same daddy, although occasionally Jason will witness something Harrison does and say, "are you sure your ex-boyfriend wasn't around three years ago." And while they have the same mommy and daddy and my doo doo brown eyes (why couldn't just one of them get Jason's blues?), they couldn't be more different.

  • Sweet
  • Smart
  • Even-tempered and sort of "go with the flow". I have always been able to take him ANYWHERE without fear that he would ruin the journey or the destination.
  • A cuddler
  • Patient. From day one, he would occupy himself and sit still longer than I could in some instances.
  • No health, skin, or developmental delays.
  • Creative and loves to draw (and tape his drawings to my walls, doors, cabinets and windows. Its just super to peel month old tape off of everything.)
  • Very well coordinated
  • Obedient
  • Prefers classical / jazz music
  • Loves to golf with Daddy
  • Makes friends wherever he goes
  • Huge
  • Aggressive
  • Loud
  • Emotional roller coaster. When he's laughing, it comes from his belly. When he's crying, its more of a scream that could break your grandmother's china.
  • Would rather wrestle than cuddle
  • Emotionally sensitive, but physically tough
  • Naughty. Harrison does things just to get your attention - good or bad.
  • Can be manipulated into obedience by the mere mention of food. Many times, he'll eat all of his breakfast and then wait patiently to pounce on Jake's breakfast left overs.
  • Has had some health concerns, such as a heart murmur, multiple ear infections, speech delay, eczema and other skin rashes and bloody noses are common when the air is dry. Yeah, that's always fun.
  • Prefers R&B and rap music and loves to dance
  • Great sleeper
  • Loves to make a running tackle to knock me or Jason down
  • Must have his monster, Babo, with him at all bedtimes
Now don't get all touchy and say that I "prefer" Jake based on these descriptions. Yes, Jake is a GREAT kid, but Harrison is too, just in a more lively and mischieviously naughty way. He loves to follow his big brother around and do everything Jake does, which is great because that means he's not following me around anymore, pulling on my pant legs and begging for me to carry him all day. The kid is not even 2 1/2 and he weighs 35 pounds so I'm entitled to rejoice that he's past the "carry me" phase. Plus, our plan worked to give Jake a playmate and although they fight as brothers will from time to time, they are buddies as well as family.

For those of you who are nosily wondering if we're having anymore, the answer is NO! Jason has been fixed, which oddly enough did not have the same effect as it did on the dog. Go figure.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Great Chipotle Challenge

Perhaps inspired by the ESPN hot dog eating challenge, Jason offered a bet of a 4-pack of Murphy's Stout to Kenny if he could eat a full size Chipotle Burrito in 2 minutes! Jon, never to be left on the sidelines with his pink panties on, eagerly jumped into the challenge.

The date: Thursday, April 19th. The time: 6:30pm. The place: Kenny's kitchen.

I set the timer on the microwave for two minutes. Jon (pictured in the foreground) and Kenny (background) unwrapped their edible bricks and secured water without ice within reach. Jason grinned from ear to ear as he unwrapped his burrito and prepared the troops for their mission. "Ready, set, go!"

First bite, Jon digs in from the top and quickly realizes that was not the best place to start. He gets a long strand of tortilla stuck down his throat and has to cough it up in the bathroom. He returns, chewed food in hand, stuffs it into his mouth and joins Kenny, who attacked his burrito from the middle (less tortilla to slow him down) and has half of it devoured. Meanwhile Jason is nibbling on his burrito and announcing time...."one minute."

Jon recovers nicely as Kenny is slowing down. Jason says, "thirty seconds." It looks like they both could do it when with twenty seconds left, Jon drops what's left and says he's done. A couple of seconds later, Kenny throws in the towel. The timer beeps and Jason wins the first ever, Great Chipotle Challenge!

So close, but Jason wins eight cans of Murphy's Stout. Jon and Kenny want a rematch after some practice. Yeah, that will help.

So this is suburban a man's twenties, bragging rights go to sexual conquests. In his thirties (although Kenny is not quite 30 yet), its how much food he can stuff in his face in a short period of time. Jason loved it, but he's rarely one to make a bet he isn't sure to win. I think all of Jason's panties are pink.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Like My Coffee Like Sludge, Thank You Very Much

Monday morning, my first weekday as a housewife. God, I HATE that term! Oh and now that I'm home all day, every day is like Saturday, so forgive me as I get deeper into my mommy fog and lose my identity if I also lose my sense of what day of the week it is!

So I get up normal time knowing my neighbor is going to bring her daughter over so the kids can play and we can have coffee in our jammies. That is very exciting to me - jammies until I decide I'm done with them. Now, we're going to have coffee, which means coffee needs to be made. I am so tired of sounding like a spoiled brat when I say I don't know how to make coffee, so I decide that I'm going to make the coffee myself. Its brewing and smells great. Jason comes down, I pour myself a cup with my sugar and cream, take a drink and uh, well it appears that no matter how much CREAMER I try to put into it, the coffee will not get that lovely blonde color that signals readiness. Jason pours himself a cup, looks at me for approval to pour it down the drain and proceeds to make another pot. Failure in the kitchen numero uno!

With the coffee secured (by Jason, dammit), I focus on getting the boys their breakfast. Oatmeal and cantaloupe (not together). The oatmeal is instant - foolproof and I've made it before - a confidence builder. I empty two packets into each bowl as one packet is not enough for my linebacker toddlers and proceed to pour water from the tap into the bowls. Jason says, "I always put milk in their oatmeal." Well, I'm putting water in it because there is a milk shortage in the fridge and I was concerned the boys would overdo it on their calcium intake, so we're just going to moderate that. Dammit, who CARES if I put water in instead of milk? Geez! According to Jason, failure number two in the kitchen.

Boys have their oatmeal and don't seem to notice a difference between water and milk, so I move on to cutting up the cantaloupe. Knife down the middle, it splits in half on the cutting board and lo and behold, there are seeds in it! Shocking! When Jason cuts it I never saw seeds before, so I cut, scrape, cut, scrape and pick off the seeds as I go along. This is clearly torturing Jason so he says, "let me show you a trick." He grabs the other half of the melon, scoops out all of the seeds in one fluid motion and sets the perfect portion back on the cutting board next to my mutilated piece. I DID NOT watch and I am NOT IMPRESSED! Dammit, Jason, this is less than 15 minutes and I've accomplished failure number three in the kitchen!

The day passes and after a shower around 1:00 I feel rejuvenated to decide on the evening's dinner menu. Taco salad with (boxed) mexican rice (rice a roni, of course). Easy enough - I did that in college. Another foolproof plan, ah, ha ha! The water is boiling for the rice, the veggies are all cut, the cheese grated, things are going pret-ty stinking well without Jason's nosey nose in my way. Phone rings, its Jason. We chat while I stir the ground meat and he's on his way home. The rice water is boiling and is ready for the cheese/seasonings mix packet. I open the packet and pour in.......the ground meat taco seasoning mix! Dammit, Jason, I was on the phone with you - its all your fault! Got off the phone with him and clearly rounding the final lap toward a fourth failure in the kitchen (in one day) when I decide to go with it on the rice and hold my breath that a "from scratch" taco seasoning mix can be created from a Joy of Cooking recipe. SAVED! Mixed up some spices, tomato sauce and voila - once combined with the rice, the chips and all of the veggies, dinner is saved, uh, I mean served! (Oh, yeah, maybe I should have drained the 30% fat off of the meat before I mixed in the seasonings. Maybe Jason won't notice if I seat him and serve - keeping him AWAY from the stove.)

I hate the damn kitchen! Dammit.

Added Note: Jason DID notice and suffered grease pains the next day. I told him to shut up - it'll put hair on his chest.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Half Ass Class

I blame my parents for this. It'll be part of my mid life therapy discussions I'm certain, but I have a problem that stems from childhood - if I participate in something I do it 110%. No, that's not my "cliche" phrase I'm using to prove I'm a fantastic team player and always go the extra mile. It's unfortunately, true. Here are some examples:

  • When spending a night drinking with friends, I usually spend the following morning with my head over the toilet. See 110% participation.
  • When cleaning my house, it takes me 3 hours just to clean one room. 110% attention to detail.
  • When pregnant with my children, I gained 55 pounds each time. Should have been 30 pounds - again 110%. (If you're a previous boyfriend and you're reading this - I have lost every stinking pound!)
  • After volunteering with an organization for three months, suddenly they want to make me VP, where I have to turn in budgets, reports and coach and lead others. WHAT? It is really this issue that nurtured this post.....
I got involved through a professor and was excited to help (seriously, excited - not looking for creative ways to get an A), so I did. What efforts I did that seemed small were met with celebration, cheerleading, streamers, balloons, the whole works. That encouraged me to keep going (and made me wonder where these cheerleaders were in my company, because the pep rally there consisted of jealous fat girls and the chess club). Now, somehow I'm receiving "formal invitations" to be VP of Programs. Again, what?!!!

I have this little issue about leading people who know more than me. I only want dummies here, people. I have strategically placed myself in situations where I will only look GOOD. I'm starting to think, really, that its just that no one else wants this job. What do they know that I don't? Am I being suckered with a big congratulatory slap on the back only to find out at the end of the day there is a big "kick me" sign on my back?

I know I will give (say it with me) 110% and that they'll give me more and more to do. Can you teach someone to do things half ass? I need that class. Sign me up. This is flattering really, but again, I don't feel qualified and I can't leave my children in the car while I mingle with fascinating people over lunch.

A classmate tells me to go with it and fake it (she probably took the half ass class). Can you fake 110%?

Its a Lunch, Its a Party, Its....Really Awkward

My going away luncheon was a nice gesture, but um, forced. A couple of people shared a memory of me over the past eight years, so that's two memories over eight years. Apparently I'm not very memorable...sniff sniff. I imagine others there were secretly doing the Arsenio Hall circular arm pump "woowoowoo" about my departure. Those are the people who made this decision easy.

One asked if I was going to have more kids to try for a girl and he couldn't understand why I kept saying I'd be getting a divorce if I was having more kids....until I finally put all of my cards on the table and said "Jason is fixed." Those who know me knew that already. He turned red from the dam that broke and filled the room with too much information, but geez, apparently I have to spell it out. My husband is recreation only. (He loves that phrase - "use me, baby, use me").

Ran into a coworker in the bano afterward and we had a good laugh over the whole silly affair. (Then I stunk her out while she brushed her teeth. Sorry, woman.) Had we been at a restaurant I would have considered grabbing my favorite coworkers and escaping to the bar. Check, please!

Came away with a nice parting gift - a willow tree figure of a mother and son. I'll tell the boys it represents my favorite child.

Suddenly I'm in the mood to pack up my crap and leave. Its beautiful outside and I'd really like to go hit some golf balls. I don't play golf, but it looks like the kind of day that requires a cute golf skirt, pink polo shirt and long tanned legs, none of which I possess.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Love This Blog

Ok, people, you have to, HAVE TO check out this blog I found last night on This woman is hilarious while she describes her findings from testing she does on women's products. I laughed so hard I cried last night...."YOU CAN SMELL YOUR OWN FACE!"

Funny stuff, really. Now stop with the "I'll check it out later" thoughts and GO NOW to:

Oh, yeah, she also has a website about other stuff at Irony of ironies is that her toddler is named Noah and in the same post I found that out, she uses the word "goddamned." Hmmm.....

Then tell me what you think.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Good Night Mama

Harrison said "Good night, mama" tonight. Usually, its been "ni ni, mama".

Just when I really start to worry about his speech, he makes a breakthrough. He surprises me in so many ways. I thought he'd never like reading books because he didn't show the interest that Jake did early on. I was wrong. I thought he didn't have the patience for puzzles. I was wrong. I thought he'd get frustrated doing matching games and searching for objects in a toddler "search and find". I was wrong.

Harrison is a tough guy. He can stand up for himself and be aggressive. He loves to laugh, roughhouse and be active.

He also sleeps with about 10 stuffed "friends" at night, gets very sensitive when scolded and when he's hysterical, only singing "you are my sunshine" will settle him down (after a few defiant "NOs").

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

Procrastination is a horrible trait of mine. I'd like to say I do better under pressure, but why do I place that added stress on myself?

Like right now, for instance. I should be studying, but I'd rather be here, blogging about how I should be studying. I've sent some emails, wrapped a birthday present, done a load of laundry.

Why is it when I'd rather play, housework looks highly unattractive? But when I have to study, housework suddenly is very important. How did studying get to be at the bottom of my priority food chain, especially since I volunteered for it?

I have a final exam on Friday. Today is Tuesday. I'm behind in my reading. After I take the test I'll say to myself, "I coulda studied more. I woulda studied more. I shoulda studied more." I have a 99.7% in the class. I wonder how badly I can scrape by and still get an A?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Childhood Memories

As I mentally prepare for what awaits me at home with my children all day in two weeks, I am reminded of memories from when I was little. Memories of special times with both of my parents and I wonder what bold memories will stand out for Jake and Harrison.

I remember....
  • My dad helping me (or was it me helping him?) build a schoolhouse as a class project when I was eight. It had trees and a bell and received the most attention of all of the schoolhouses. I was so proud of it.
  • My mom walking my brother and me to the beach during our summers when we lived in California. I was about ten and we'd go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf.
  • Dad taking me to get my first military ID card when I was ten. We had lunch and talked a little bit. It was special because we rarely did anything alone, but I also remember it feeling somewhat awkward too. (Note to self: keep relationships with the boys strong even this young, because as early as ten the uncomfortableness begins to seep in if the relationship isn't well established.)
  • Dad bringing home my 5th birthday present: a teddy bear named "potbelly bear". I don't know where he got his name, but it stuck longer than his little plastic black nose. Harrison has added him to his nighttime collection of stuffed friends who watch over him at night.
  • Getting a rubber band flicked at my bare arm by a bully when I was eight. Ran home to mom crying in hysterics. When the bully came to the door to "defend his position" mom didn't do much to defend me. That hurt more than the rubberband sting.
  • Going to a strawberry patch to pick fresh strawberries with a friend, Krista, when I was seven. I realize now how special that was. There isn't anything like that around here.
  • Going to a neighbor's baton recital when I was five. I wanted a baton for Christmas after that, but that girl would never play with me. She liked boys better so preferred to play with my brother.
  • Making Christmas cookies every year with my mom. Mom was always so patient with my brother and me, especially when we were fighting. When she lost her patience, we went to our room and usually "made up" by playing in our adjacent doorways.
  • My brother climbing into bed with me when I was seven and I tried to cover him up like he wasn't there when mom came to put him back to bed.
  • Riding my first upsidedown roller coaster with Dad when I was seven. I was so scared, but I didn't want to let Dad down, so I went. It was the beginning of a new love.

Gosh, I could go on and one, but I realize now that a lot of my early memories are between the ages of 5 and 8, so Jake is right where memories really begin. I'm thrilled to be going home to begin participating in the creation of those memories.

Jason says he's jealous of my option to be home with the boys. I'm starting to think he should be.

Gonna Slow Things Down a Bit

Ok, so work knows my days are numbered....8 after today, but who's counting? Management took it well, my peers probably feel abandoned, although they are happy for me as friends should be.

So, over the course of two weeks, I'll go from mother to two little boys, wife to Jason, full time employee, MBA student, AMA volunteer and job seeker to:

Mother. Wife. Student. Volunteer.

We'll see how that slows things down a bit for our family. Time to enjoy each other more, cherish the little things, absorb the moments of childlike discovery and innocence that engulf us every day but we fail to realize.

I'm not naturally programmed to make full-time motherhood my number one priority, but we'll see how I adapt and enable my children to teach me patience, restraint and guidance instead of rushed demands that are prevalent now.