Archive for about me

Three Weeks…

Three weeks is the amount of time it takes me to get used to any change in my schedule. Kids going back to school or starting summer vacation, my going back to work or quitting a job, getting accustomed to my husband being home all the time when he was first laid off…you get the idea. It takes me three weeks to go from total bewilderment to a new happy groove.

My latest situation has been no exception. A little over three weeks ago we had some good news/bad news around here. The good news: my husband went back to work for a construction company that has numerous jobs lined up that will give him enough work for at least a year. The bad news: those local jobs don’t start until June or July. Until then he’ll be working in Georgia. We live in Michigan.  He was given a few days to pack, drive down to Georgia, and report for work.

I know this is a great opportunity. I know we’re lucky he has a job. I know this is our choice. I also know this separation sucks. I’ve never had a greater respect for military wives, and I’m not even going through a tenth of what they do.

Back to talking about adapting to my current situation. Today marks the end of the third week since my husband left. It’s been… interesting.

Week 1: A frenzy. Two outings with girlfriends that were planned ages before the new job came up. Recovering from not just my husband’s departure, but also hosting Easter dinner for 20+ of our family and friends. And a realization of exactly how much my husband does around here.

Week 2: Acceptance. Started to get the hang of what slack I need to pick up, and what I could delegate to the teenagers. Cancelling some appointments, rearranging others. A false sense of calm descended.

Week 3: The Glitches. Where to start? How about with the toe I stubbed, and looked like I had broken. My beloved hairstylist quitting  without letting me know. My toddler getting sick. The stove dying. The bank confusing me with someone else, and bouncing my payments. And, just to make things a little more interesting, let’s toss in a couple of emotional whammies: receiving my toddler’s preschool enrollment packet for next fall, and my oldest turning 20. Those two events happened within two days of each other.

Now we’re entering week 4, and the new groove is starting to show its self.  This morning I woke up with a clear game plan for the weeks ahead. All glitches from last week have been resolved. I got through the emotional stuff without getting a tatoo, or at the very least curling up in a fetal position with a bottle of vodka. I’m ready to embrace this  “happily married single parent” phase of my life.  But I can’t wait for my next three-week adjustment when my husband comes home.

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Just Another Valium Monday…

I love new starts.  Give me a new week, or a new month, and watch me purr.

This morning was no exception. I made a mental list of things I wanted to do. My new yoga dvd. Get the house all shiny and ready for the  week. Look around for spring decorations. Cull some clothes that no longer fit me. Maybe play with my hair to figure out what my stylist did to make it look great.  Just little things to make me happy, you know?

And then I got out of bed. Oh. My.

My new yoga dvd gave way to wrestling with a toddler. Getting her dressed, getting her to eat, minor things were all a major battle this morning. On the upside, I probably burned more calories than I would have than if I had done the video. On the downside, I did not achieve the tranquil peace of mind that the dvd would have given me.

I then tried to give my house the sparkly look that makes me smile. After cleaning up five toddler spills and tearing apart the vacuum to fish out a sock, I settled for keeping making sure the house wouldn’t be sticky. For the most part.

And then it got better. My darling husband reminded me that his brother was going to stop by today. “But don’t worry, honey. He’s going to call before he comes over.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than my brother-in-law pulled up, along with his girlfriend and her nephew. I barely had time to dive into a bra, let alone style my hair. I let them endure my dragon breath as a reminder to phone first.

I would love to give you a blow-by-blow of the rest of my morning, but it’s all just a blur now. After laying shoe rubber from going full throttle this morning, it all abruptly came to a halt. Naptime. Whew! A chance to get my bearings.

Taking a quick survey of the main living areas in my home, I came to the realization that it took me the entire morning (and all my patience and energy) to keep everything as it was when I got out of bed.

I don’t have a pithy observation or a brilliant epiphany to go along with this post. Just a growing hope that I can salvage my earlier optimism, and enjoy the first afternoon of a brand new month. It could happen!

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The “Wow” Factor

I love my hair stylist. She understands when I drag myself into the salon after letting my hair go for months on end, sporting hag hair and Walter Matthau eyebrows. There’s no chastising or guilt trips from her for letting myself go for so long. She smiles, reassures me, and pampers me.  In short, she’s a saint.

Today while she was performing yet another miracle on my head, my stylist went above and beyond. She turned into a combination therapist/priest/doting mom while I lamented yet again about how badly I’ve neglected myself.

Me: I can’t believe I’ve been walking around looking like this!

Stylist: You’ve been busy. It happens to the best of us.

Me: But there’s no excuse!

Stylist: You’ve been broke. You’ve been making sure bills are paid and the kids have what they need.

Me: But it’s not like you charge me what you’re worth! I mean, c’mon! Can you believe….OH MY GOD! I LOVE this style! It’s incredible! WOW!

…and that’s when it hit me. The reason I’ve habitually put off getting my hair styled on a regular basis. I’m addicted to the “Wow” factor.

I’ve been aware of my addiction for years. It was the biggest reason I had issues with keeping my house decluttered. See, the house would look messy. My husband would go to work. I’d go on a cleaning spree. He’d come home, look around in amazement, and say, “Wow! Everything looks fantastic!” and gaze at me like I was a goddess for the rest of the day.

Then came the day I got tired of the cleaning sprees. I started keeping the house in order on a regular basis. There were no more looks of amazement when my husband came home, but that was offset by no longer tripping on things, or searching for clean socks. Maintenance isn’t sexy, but it sure makes things look good.

I had no idea that I had transferred my “Wow” factor addiction from my home to my head until today. To break the cycle, I made an appointment with her before I left the salon, and marked my calendar. I also revelled in the look of amazement from my husband, and basked in the compliments I received from him and my teens.  Maintenance may not be sexy, but neither is sporting Walter Matthau eyebrows. 

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“We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes”

I’m writing this post in January long before my March Madness hits so I don’t forget to apologize to you wonderful people.

You see, in March I tend to become…not myself. I don’t know if it’s because by March I am stir crazy from cabin fever, dealing with the seemingly never ending winter. I don’t know if I’m just breaking down my midlife crisis into a month at a time chunks. Whatever it is, when it hits I just go with it.

I do know when I first “snapped”. St. Patrick’s Day, 2007. My husband was assistant coach for my son’s hockey team. He and the coach arranged for free ice time at an arena downtown. I was pregnant with our third child, dodging St Paddy’s Day revellers that were going from strip club to strip club in an area that, shall we say, isn’t the most desirable. Or safe, for that matter. My two door car was loaded with teenage boys and hockey equipment. When we got to the arena, we discovered it was “double booked”, and the boys refused to get on the ice with players they didn’t know. Where, you may ask, was the assistant coach–aka my darling husband? On a weekend trip with his buddies. I snapped.

Last year’s March Madness was a lulu. I became obsessed with William Shatner and a pair of shoes. I’m not even sure how it all happened. It started with my passing on stalking George Clooney when he was filming ten minutes from my home. I may as well confess all. I didn’t go watch the filming because I didn’t want to shave my legs. Don’t ask me about my reasoning–it’s all beyond my comprehension. Anyway, it some how went from George Clooney to William Shatner (I honestly don’t know how I made the jump. At the time it was perfectly reasonable.) I read William Shatner’s autobiography, reporting each new fact breathlessly to my bewildered but patient friends.

And the shoes…oh, those shoes. I believe I described them to the same friends as “sexy, snake skin sling backs”, costing about the same as what I pay a month for my cable and internet service. When I wasn’t telling my friends more than they ever wanted to know about William Shatner, I was talking about the shoes. Why I wanted them, why I needed them, what I’d wear them with, where I’d where them, and on and on and on. My poor friends.

By the end of March, I start coming back to my senses. Last year at the end of March I found myself friends with William Shatner of Facebook, and wailing to my friends that “someone else was walking around in my shoes!” (By the time I had talked myself into them, they were sold out).

So please bear with me. I plead temporary insanity. We’ll be back to our regular programming in April.

The “madness” seems to be starting a bit early this year. Heaven help me–I have a hair appointment on Monday!

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Reinventing Yourself…

I remember my plans for college. I was 18, and things were going to be different from high school. I was going to be “one of Those girls” who wore cute outfits and just seemed to have it all together. It was going to make for a huge change from my “jeans-and-a-sweatshirt wearing, homework losing” former high school self! I couldn’t wait for the first day of classes.

It didn’t go as I’d planned from start (when I confidently sat in a classroom with my notebook ready, only to discover I wasn’t due in that particular classroom for another day), to finish (when a very put-together looking girl pulled me aside after my last class to tell me–privately, thank God–that I had my skirt on backwards). The next day I was back to my jeans and sweatshirt.

The first time I had ever heard it put that someone had “reinvented” themselves was used to describe Madonna. It totally captured my imagination. I became giddy at the thought of becoming someone completely different. And I knew just who I wanted to be–Lara Croft: Tomb Raider! Exploring exotic locations, fighting off danger at every turn with a sassy swish of my long braided hair, discovering ancient treasures. How cool would that be?

I discovered very quickly that turning myself into Lara Croft wasn’t practical in my life. Exploring exotic locations didn’t fit into my schedule of PTO meetings and parent/teacher conferences. I didn’t have the energy to fight off danger after spending my day teaching kids how to read at the school I worked for. I couldn’t sassily swish a long braid because I could never get my hair to stay in one for longer than five minutes. I found myself making do with discovering dinner from the depths of my freezer instead of  unearthing ancient treasure.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life, and am pretty pleased with what I’ve been able to do with it. It’s just  that the power to “reinvent” myself seemed so elusive to me.  If the Material Girl could do it, again and again, why couldn’t I? I found myself looking for a book, an article, a person…something or someone to explain to me how the average person would go about reinventing herself.

Enter LL Cool J, rapper, actor, co-star of the NCIS: Los Angeles. I love LL Cool J. He is the only reason I will watch Deep Blue Sea whenever it’s on. Going Back to Cali? I’m there! And he has one of the greatest smiles in the world.

So when I saw him on the cover of January 17th’s Parade magazine, of course I had to read the article. And then I re-read it. And read it again. All for one comment of LL Cool J’s:

Reinvention isn’t only for celebrities or actors or musicians or athletes–reinvention is for all humanity. All of us should strive for a newer and better self. Just constantly take our lives to the next level.

After reading that, the idea of  reinventing myself seems not only do-able, but easy. Something I have done every year of my life. Even if at times my skirt is on backwards, and my treasure hunting is limitted to digging in the freezer.

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About Me

I’m Wendy, a SAHM of a toddler and two teens. I’m lucky enough to have married my best friend.
I am owned by two cats.
I am also a Gemini, but I don’t see how that’s relevant.

Fun fact: The title of this blog came from the first two items on one of my shopping lists.

My darling husband works in construction. We’re currently dealing with his first ever long-term layoff. It’s challenging on many levels, to say the least!

My attitude towards life is pretty simple: Enjoy it! Rosalind Russell summed it up best for me in Auntie Mame. “Life is a buffet, and most poor suckers are starving!”  Don’t go hungry, dolls!

You can contact me at demurr2001 at yahoo dot com.

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