I had to laugh.  Today is my birthday and I have been overwhelmed by the love and wishes I have received on Facebook.  I expected my usual friends that typically post to my wall to chime in, but there were lots.  It was great that they took a little time to type a little bday wish.  Awesome!

The laughing was sparked by one wish in particular.  It was from a fellow mommy who hoped that I had a happy birthday and got to sleep in, got a good nap, and at least one hot meal.  It hit me that my wishes for my birthday have completely changed since becoming a parent.  Yes those are perfectly acceptable birthday wishes this year.  And while the first two really didn’t pan out, the last one sure did.  And it was a great birthday gift!

Here I am, at the close of another birthday and this year I have been reflecting just a tad bit more.  I remember lots of birthdays.  Like my 16th, where I failed my driving test and had a nervous breakdown.  My 21st, where I never thought I would use the words “stripper” and “milk” in the same sentence.  My 30th, the first one as a mom, which I couldn’t really relax and enjoy, because my head was at home with my 9 month old. 

At 33, REALLY 33???  I’m really happy.  I can actually say that.  It’s amazing and true.  I feel blessed and educated at the same time.   Happy that I’m no longer worried about the extra weight or bags under my eyes.  Happy that I’m no longer waiting for him to call, because we’re married.  Over the moon because I made it, through my turbulent 20’s.  Made it through that first horrifying yet gratifying year of motherhood, and was even blessed with the opportunity to have another child.

I’m happy that I didn’t freak when I hit 30.  It wasn’t a big deal, since I had hit many of my major markers.  I was married (finally!) and I had a baby.  I had made good time and was ready to embrace 30.  I have embraced my 30s.  I’m way more confident than I was in my teens and even my 20s.  I have a more realistic sense of self.   

I mean let’s be honest; I leave the house freely without makeup, something I would never do in my 20s.  I have “nice clothes” that are only worn on special occasions, because you really can’t wear jeans, flip flops and American Eagle sweatshirts to everything.  And doesn’t it really take guts to throw caution to the wind and go one more day without washing your hair?  You have to truly believe in yourself to roll with the punches of motherhood.

Yes, I’m happy and healthy at 33, but by no means am I aging gracefully.  While looking in the mirror it has been decided that I need night cream.  This has been quite devastating.  I mean, grey hair at 21 was tough, but Clairol has hooked me up.  NIGHT CREAM?  Eye cream, exfoliator, vanishing cream?  Is this really in my vocabulary?  Yes, yes it is.  And now I’m not so self assured.  Are those laugh lines, are those crow’s feet?  Is it time to host a Botox party???

Ok I’m getting ahead of myself here.  I saw a bikini clad Jenny McCarthy in US Weekly today and she is 38.  She looks amazing and so I’m convinced it’s possible to continue to look great well into my 30s.  Of course I’m sure I’ll be minus the gym time and cosmetics but I’ll make it work right?  We, a collective group of mothers, aging faster than the speed of light; we will make it work…. RIGHT???

So it begins.  The slow curve to 35, then the downhill free fall to 40.   There is hope.  No literally there is hope, it’s “Hope in a Jar” cream by Benefit.  I’m going take my birthday money and buy some.  Hoping it will ensure that my 30s are unforgettable and are blessed as they have been thus far.  The hope of being carded, which isn’t something that has happened recently. 

With hope that my 40s will look just like Jules Cobb’s 40s.  With my own cul-de-sac crew, with my own “Big Joe” and a rocking body.  Yes, I wish to move to Cougar Town for my 40th birthday.  This is my current birthday wish, and I’m going to keep on wishing it until it comes true.  Well at least partly true.  I’d like her wardrobe, and I think I’d rather be Ellie.  She’s more my style.

Another birthday, come and gone.  Plenty blessed, and lots of wishes granted. 

Happy Birthday to me… And many more….

Happy blogging,

Hamster Wheel

I’m running and running and running.  Once in awhile I jump off the track drink and eat and then jump back on… I’ve taken to calling it “Hamster Wheel”.  Sadly, it’s my life.

Lately I feel like I’m on a wheel like a hamster.  Running and running and never going anywhere. 

Get up.  Make up, hair, pack lunch, go to work, work, work, work, come home, kiss kids, make dinner, eat dinner, bath, bed, sleep, get up…. Hamster wheel.

Does anyone else feel like this?  After one very stressful return to work day and night my hubby asked why I was so stressed.  I told him as nicely as I could (or not so nicely) that I haven’t had a chance to stop, not to pee, eat, or breathe.  The good news was that the kids were fed, BUT I still needed to do the dishes, shower, bathe said kids; put them to bed and possible throw in a load of laundry.  The laundry was a must since I was pretty sure that Caitlin was going to have to wear clothes to bed and this was most certainly going to cause a riot of Beiber proportions.  Oh and did you notice that its 6:45 and the kids are going into the tub between 7 and 7:30.

Who wouldn’t be stressed, right?  A husband apparently since by the look on his face I had lost him at “time to pee”.  He never understands why I pour on the pressure and guilt in situations like this.  And of course my response is simply “hamster wheel”

We have all had those days or nights.  It really is laughable that I actually thought that I could get it all done before 7:30 bath time.  Reality is that it NEEDED to be done, and that is what was so stressful.

Is it just me or are we on a timer as well? An old fashioned kitchen timer ticking away on the counter, as you try in vain to finish 101 tasks before the ding.  In other words running full steam and sadly going nowhere or accomplishing anything.

Saturdays are always a good day for hamster wheel.  I swear every Saturday morning I look at the clock and it says 9am.  I have the day at my disposal, then before I know it the second time I glance at the clock it says 4pm.  Seriously?  Where did the day go?  Oh yeah, pancakes, naps for the baby, Target trip, a couple loads of laundry…Do I seriously have to make dinner?  Crap, Hamster Wheel.

My favorite hamster wheel story is from way back before I started calling it hamster wheel.  It’s when Caitlin at a little over a year old started smashing pop tarts into the carpet.   My Husband came home, walked into the living room, saw smashed pop tart, and asked “Why is there pop tart in the carpet?”  Me: Oh I forgot to clean it. Husband: Why didn’t you just clean it when it happened?  Me: Well, when I realized there was pop tart in the carpet I was finishing breakfast. I went to get her and clean it up and realized she pooped.  As I was changing a poop diaper the phone rang, I took a diaper less but clean Caitlin to get the phone.  It was my mom she wanted a phone number I had to look up on my cell, which was in my purse, which I couldn’t find.  Got number, diapered child who then began to scream as it was nap time.  Gave her bottle and she fell asleep in my lap and since she would wake up if I laid her down, she slept soundly there for 2 hours.  She woke up at 3 I changed her, and then put on real clothes since I was still in pajamas, and then realized that I should probably figure something out for dinner.  Dinner is cooking and I’m doing dishes.  I’ll get it right after the dishes….

My husband gladly cleaned the pop tart in the carpet and cleans most floor messes to date.  His eyes glazed over at poop diaper and he had totally tuned me out and was cleaning the mess himself at cell phone.  Did I mention that I’m easily distracted? 

Since my return to work I’ve started to whisper “Hamster Wheel” when I feel like I’m running and going nowhere.  It forces me to smile and refocus.  Re evaluate.  Why are you running?  I frequently ask myself.

Today as I wrote this post, on paper first, during a very boring 3 hour meeting, I received a phone call.  My mother, tearful, telling me my Grandpa had passed out on my front porch and the ambulance was there to take him to the hospital.  Of course I was instantly in panic mode.  Looking for keys, phone, my manager.  Hamster wheel.
On the drive home road work forced me to double back and try a short cut, which turned into a long cut. Hamster wheel!  I made it home; Grandpa made it to the hospital, and so far is undergoing tests and observation. 

No matter the situation I guess there is always a chance for Hamster wheel.

So next time you are running and going nowhere, getting nothing accomplished.  Take a moment, and whisper “Hamster Wheel”.  It will make you smile and refocus.  

Happy Blogging,