Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm not a Sweat Pant Mom

Rant of the Week
The other day, I was proclaiming to a friend that I am not one of those mom's that spends her entire life in sweat pants. But, then I got to thinking...

Yes, I wear them to the gym, because everyone does in the winter. Yes, I wear them after the gym when I run errands, because the stores are right next to the gym. Yes, I wear them when I'm cleaning, because who wants to scrub the toilets wearing something nice. Yes, I wear them at night, because everyone wants to be comfy at the end of the day. Yes, I am wearing them right now, because I know I'll make a mess when I paint the mailbox this afternoon.

And after all that thinking I realize, "Uh-oh, I am one of those sweat pant moms!!!" I wear sweat pants everyday. Oh yes, I still have some cute clothes tucked in the closet. They make their appearance for date nights and special events, but my modus operandi revolves around what I wear to the gym - sweat pants. I am a sweat pant mom.

And as I think a little more, I start to worry that the crew of "What Not to Wear!" is going to attack me at any moment. I am a poster child for the show. My hair is in a pony tail, there is no make-up on my face, and my clothes are fleece and wrinkled. But, just as I start getting down on myself about my lack style, I am hit with my most brilliant thought yet. So What?

So what, if I wear sweat pants at the gym. I am too old for most of the spandex and Lycra crap anyhow. So what, if I wear sweat pants at the store. The sign at the door says shirt and shoes required, I have both. So what, if I wear sweat pants at the house. The Queen of England isn't coming for a visit. So what if I wear sweat pants!

Life with small kids involves spills and messes, chasing and crawling, cleaning and cooking. It is a life that is immensely easier in machine washable, comfy clothes. No one makes fun of a farmer wearing overalls or a painter in a smock. The uniform should make the job easier and for moms that means sweat pants. Yes, there are a few women that tote the kids while wearing cashmere and heels, but for the rest of us, I say, "Who cares!" I am proud to wear sweat pants.

Life in the Stroller Lane
Since my last post, Sarah turned into a big girl. She is now four years old. The double party for Sarah and Cassie was lots of fun. The weather prevented any outside play, so the kids just took over the house and played inside. Keeping in mind that we were hosting a gaggle of four and five year-olds, the party went surprisingly smooth. Only one Band-Aid (R) was needed.

We also had a great visit with Mimi & Poppa. The threat of snow (which never materialized) canceled our plans to take Mimi out for a special (guess which year) birthday dinner. Instead, we spared no expense and fed her hot dogs and hamburgers. So we are in the owe to Mimi for an evening out.

Scott's birthday is this Friday. He'll probably get hot dogs and hamburgers too, because he already had his splurge. He bought himself a flat-panel TV. We spent the weekend getting everything set up (why are there so many cables), and are ready for the Super Bowl. Though with kick-off at 6:18pm and Jaley's bedtime around 7pm, we won't be doing much partying. So Scott finally has the TV he has always wanted and I didn't have to shop for him for his birthday or Christmas. All is happy here.

So now I am off to paint the mailbox in my sweat pants.

That is life in the Stroller Lane. Lots of Love.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who Grocery Shops on Friday Night?

Rant of the Week
Who Grocery Shops on Friday Night? I decided to get a head start on the chores and knock out the Saturday grocery run on Friday night. I thought I was being clever. I left Jaley with Scott, so I only had Sarah in tow. This was going to be an easy run. The store was supposed to be deserted.

Who Grocery Shops on Friday Night? Apparently half of the families living in the Triangle. I should have known when the parking lot was full like the Friday after Thanksgiving. But, we just parked in Virginia and walked the many miles to the front door. I should have know when the only remaining shopping carts steered constantly to the right. But, I just grabbed the buggy and pushed a little harder. I started to realize when the entire display case of bananas was down to just two empty peels. I figured it out when I looked up and saw wall to wall people in the store. I've been to concerts that were less crowded. So I joined into the shopping melee, cursed my decision for shopping on Friday night, and managed to get about half the things on my list. They were out of stock of a bunch of items and the rest I was too tired to find.

Who Grocery Shops on Friday Night? All the other folks that were too busy during the week to make it to the store. All the folks that looked in their fridge and saw only pickles. All the other folks that didn't want to spend their weekend running errands. All the other folks who are just like me.

Life in the Stroller Lane
When I'm not battling the run on the grocery store, I am conquering the rest of life. This evening I even summited the laundry pile. The view from the top was nothing but dryer sheets and laundry detergent.

With The Holidays over, we are into... the holidays. Mimi and Poppa are joining us for part of the trifecta celebration. The 21st is Sarah's 4th birthday, followed on the 24th by Jan's birthday (she ain't turning 4), followed a few days later by Scott's birthday (he ain't turning 4 either). So the tree and garland by replaced by cupcakes and candles.

With my baby turning into a big kid, I am learning that planning a child's birthday party in the 21st century requires the planning, precision, and budget of launching a spaceship. There is the theme and the goody bags, the decorations and the games, the location and the guest list, the custom invitations and coordinated thank you notes, all supported by the check book and the Visa card. In order to make this entire process manageable and more fun, Sarah is having a joint party with her best girl friend, Cassie. Their birthdays are just two days apart, so we are doing a double party. With lots of four year olds on the loose, I am hoping for double fun instead of double trouble. Either way, I am sure Sarah and Cassie will have a great celebration.

Beyond the birthday party mania, I am have been getting the two rentals ready to sell. One is on the market (and had quite a few showings) and the other will be listed on Thursday. I have been cleaning, painting, primping, staging, replacing, updating, and basically beautifying them both. All of the heavy work is done, so now I just need two buyers.

That is life in the Stroller Lane. Lots of Love.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

Rant of the Week
"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions!" - Joey Adams

With that in mind, I didn't set any New Years resolutions. I needed to, I should have, I still might, but I won't. Plus everyone knows that you can only keep a resolution for 365 days. This year is a leap year; I didn't want to set myself up for failure. I enter 2008 completely free - only limited by my imagination, our finances, and the laws of the great state of North Carolina. How about you?


Life in the Stroller Lane
We had a good Christmas here. It was the first year that Sarah really "got" Santa. So the excitement on Christmas morning was magical. We barely had the coffee brewed before she had torn through most of the packages. And when Sarah ran out of gifts she gladly "helped" Jaley unwrap all of hers.

My mom and Tom joined us for the holiday. We even made time to get family portraits with a professional photographer. However, the girls decided with only two days until Christmas the naughty-nice list was locked and loaded - and they proceeded to to have a full on rebellion against the entire photo process. Not our best round of pictures, but the photographer managed to get a few decent shots (which is a true testament to his talent).

The only downside of the holiday was that Shirley had a cold. And as a final Christmas gift she gave it to Scott. It wasn't what he asked for or wanted, but there was no refund policy. So, he spent the next few days half working half recovering and was pretty much back to normal by New Year Eve. The girls and I doused ourselves in Purell and managed to avoid the germs - lucky us.

And now that the holidays are over and the decoration packed away, we are back to life as usual. Scott, as usual, is off to California on Monday. The girls, as usual, are busy and hilarious. They are enjoying all their new toys - sometimes all at once. And I, as usual, am knee deep in real estate. Did I mention we are putting both of the rentals up for sale next week? It is a long and boring tale, but for several reason (mostly paid rent for several months) it makes sense for us to sell both of them now. So if you are in the market for a 3BR/2.5BA/1-Car Garage in a great neighborhood with fantastic schools, let me know - I have two.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.