Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Never Underestimate the Power of a Mom and Her Glue Gun

There are things that every mom needs in her tool box.  Things like super glue and duct tape.  Above them all is the mighty glue gun.  It is a tool that can fix just about everything at the house and for the family.  The glue gun can repair Hot Wheels Car faster than a pit stop in NASCAR, "hem" a pair of pants while a child is walking out the door to school, and "patch" a stripped screw with just a little drop.  Every mom needs a glue gun at the ready, because you just never know when an emergency will strike.

Boy, did the emergency strike recently.  It has been a while since I mentioned the trials and tribulations of our temporary accommodations, but they continue. For the recent weeks, it has been termites.  Saying this house has a termite problem is a significant understatement.  That isn't really news, so do most houses in California.  The termites weren't really a big deal; I just vacuumed up the piles of sawdust they left all over the house each week and pretended they weren't really there.  That was until Spring arrived.  Then, our termite nuisance turned into a termite crisis.  Apparently Spring is the season of termite love and each afternoon thousands of baby termites hatch in a swarm.  The problem was they were hatching right into our kitchen - every night - thousands of them.  Yuck.

So what does a mom do? First, I had to figure out where they were coming from.  It took me a while to figure it out.  After a multi-day search and a couple of false leads, I found ground zero behind the refrigerator.  They had chewed a bunch of tiny holes all the way through the wall and were rapidly building a new nest. Yes, they ate all the way through the wall!!!  Then, I had to figure what to do.  It was time for the mom tool box.  My first thought was caulk, but I didn't have any caulk.  Then, I looked at what I did have.  There it was, glowing up at me with the glint of the afternoon sun shining off its metal trigger, the amazing, solve every problem, glue gun.  I glued up those holes in 5 minutes flat.  We haven't seen a termite since.  Never underestimate the power of a mom and her glue gun.

With the termite issue at bay (at least temporarily), we are busy with all the regular stuff.  The kids are counting down until Spring Break and I am counting down until the house renovation is complete.  Note:  The kids countdown is significantly shorter.  The weather is warm and winter (which we never really had) is long gone.  After driving a Chevy Tahoe for most of a week, I am happy to have my "little" minivan back as good as new (it had suffered a little boo-boo in a parking lot).

That is life in MomZania.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When Did I Forget the Word No?

Business people know it, world leaders know it, heck it is a toddler's favorite word.  No, no, no.  Why is it that I and so many women often struggle to say no?  When does it happen?  Why does it happen?

Some experts will tell you women are wired to say yes; it has to do with our XX chromosome combo.  Other experts will tell you it is about socialization and how women learn to play nice, while men learn to play to win.  They are probably both right.  Women are doomed by both nature and nurture to inevitably say yes.

Saying yes, in isolation, is a great thing.  If folks didn't say yes, volunteer committees would never get filled and special projects at the office would never get started.  The problem comes when we say yes to too many things.  As Oprah Winfrey said, "you can have it all, just not all at once."

Saying no is hard.  I am not alone in this struggle.  I found articles about the yes epidemic.  Thousands of website are dedicated to teaching folks how to utter that simple two letter-word your toddler screams at the top of his lungs. My personal favorite - 25 Badass Ways To Say No.   Maybe the next time I am asked to coordinate something, I will respond with #15, "I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be stupid." Will I be enough of a Badass to say that? Probably not.  But I am Italian, so you never know.

Until I perfect my no-saying skills, I am super busy - like every other woman I know.  Basketball is winding down, swim lessons are starting, and we are making the final counts for another Girl Scout cookie season.  Girls on the Run is underway and I am coaching, though I'm not quite sure what I'm doing.  The house renovation is in crunch mode as we race to the finish.  School projects are back in full swing and I am reminded once that I am not smarter than a 5th grader.  It is time to think about moving again and summer camp plans.  Scott is traveling.  I started doing volunteering with Hospice, which I have been planning to do for a long time.  Yes,  I have definitely said Yes to too many things.  Maybe one of these days, I will say yes to saying no.  Being that I am a woman that is highly unlikely.

That is life in MomZania.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Darling, Moms are a Daydream, Dressed Like a Nightmare

I was driving carpool the other afternoon, surprise, surprise.  A Taylor Swift song came on the radio, surprise, surprise.  As I was listening, there was one line that struck me.  I (and many moms) are the exact opposite.

Darling, moms aren't a nightmare dressed up like a daydream. No, moms are a daydream dressed up like a nightmare.

Moms volunteer and bring treats for Valentine's; we schedule the kids and help with the homework; we cook the dinners and do the shopping.  While we are doing all those daydreamy things for our families we often look, quite honestly, like a nightmare.

A friend showed me a picture of the shoes she wore all day yesterday - they didn't match!  Another friend just finished a home renovation, she said she needed to stop wearing "her construction clothes" since her home was finally free of drywall dust.  They reminded me of the time I walked around for half day with my pants inside out.   I find myself getting ready for bed still wearing the workout clothes I had put on for a quick morning jog.  I never did get around to putting on proper clothes and, often, didn't even get around to the run.  I have one pair of sexy, skinny jeans.  The rest of my jeans come right from the mom jeans hall of fame.

That is simply the wardrobe, don't even get me started about make-up and hair.  I am claiming my uncoiffed hair and bare skin is part of the natural California lifestyle.  I'm not sure if anyone believes me or not.  I know I really don't care.

The more I think of it, being "dressed like a nightmare" is something to be proud of - it's all part of the mom job. Throw-up and bloody noses are not meant to be dealt with in your Sunday finest. Yes, I have dealt with both of those this week.  It turns out my yoga pants (that have never been to a yoga class) are amazingly stain resistant.

This week, my kids are off school for winter break and the temperatures are hitting record highs.  I recognize the tremendous irony as the rest of the country tries to go to school fighting actual winter blizzards.  Sorry to all my friends freezing their backsides in the East.

We were hanging out around town and enjoying the weather until flu entered the picture.  We are hoping it sticks to just one of us - bring on the Purell.  It has been a tough winter.  First, whooping whooping cough and, now, influenza - for a family who immunize we aren't getting lucky.  Hopefully, everyone will be feeling well soon.

That is life in MomZania.