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.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Renovation Update - 5 months and Counting

"The road to success is always under construction."  --Lily Tomlin

And the home under construction is a never ending road.  We are now 5 months into construction (and 15 months since we started drafting plans).  Despite the long road, we (meaning our awesome contractor team) are putting our house back together again.  Today was a big day - drywall arrived.  It isn't actually on the walls, but in theory it will be someday.

So goes our home renovation.  Now that there is no rain forecasted for the foreseeable future, we are water tight.  We are complete with windows, doors, and that all important roof.  Yup, all that heavy rain in California last month didn't fall on our house, it fell in our house.  We, now, also have electrical and plumbing.  Unlike the original 1959 electrical and plumbing, all the new stuff will not only work - but work safely and without flood or fire risk - yippee!!!  I never thought I would do a cheer for grounded electrical, but go ahead and "give me a G."

What is on the horizon for our construction project?  By my guess, about 7,438,102 more decisions.  Fun ones, like concrete vs decomposed granite and HVAC registers.  We were brilliant to buy a spec home last time.  If I didn't like something in our last house, I could simply complain about some stranger who made every decision.  If I don't like something in this house, I will have to complain about myself, something I would prefer not to do.

Good news, after living in the pre-construction house and now in our less than fabulous rental, the bar to please me is pretty low.  Our current rental only has heat in half the house and I have to vacuum every 3 days to pick up the large pile of saw dust the termites have dropped into the family room.  Honest to God, no exaggeration.

Outside of construction, life goes on.  The highlight was a visit from Nana last week.  While she spent much of her time being dragged to construction meetings, we did manage to sneak into San Francisco for a day.  She also hung out with kids and spoiled all of us.  Scott is finishing up a 12-day business trip and even had to speand his birthday on the road. We will celebrate with him when he gets home, hoping it is better late than never.  Sarah and Mick are both playing basketball.  Sarah's team is really impressive.  Mick's 5-year old team is hilarious.  It is too much fun to watch this gaggle of kindergartners trying to dribble and shoot.  Jaley just advanced to purple belt in Tae Kwon Do and is now part of the demo team, which is awesome.  Just to round out the busy schedule, Girl Scout cookies sales start in just 48 hours.

That is life in MomZania.