Friday, April 23, 2010

Kids Say the Funniest Things: Confirm or Ignore?

Note: I am following my own advice (and my heart)... taking a few days to focus on my family and my own inner sense of balance. 
Remember: life balance isn't about perfectly managing all the external stuff.  The great juggling act. 

True life balance is internal.  When things get really crazy -- that's when it's more important than ever to stop and take care of you.  Or, me in this case.

In the meantime, I thought y'all might enjoy this oldie but goodie.  My goofy kids have a knack for bringin' on a smile.

Charlene became a fan of Facebook.

Charlene confirmed the Friendship of many Friends from High School, College, Past & Present Employers and Family Members.

Charlene has blocked the following Applications:  Mob Wars, Farmville, Compare People, Scramble, Word Twist, Mafia Wars, Pieces of Flair, Bumper Sticker, Pet Society, Hatchlings, Barn Buddy, Whoopdeedoo and Hoopla.

Charlene ignored requests to take many ridiculous Facebook quizzes including, "Which Facebook Quiz Are You?"

Okay, so while I really do love connecting with friends and family on Facebook, I'm not a fan of the zillions of applications and quizzes which are splattered all over my wall every single flippin' day.  Do I want to know which Harry Potter character I am?  Seriously??? 

Thank goodness for the hide this quiz and block this application buttons.  Otherwise, all that "be nice" preaching I just gave you would be purely theoretical.

That said, I have accepted a few virtual cocktails. A girl has her vices. What can I say?

There are a few other exceptions.  This was one of them which my kids helped me complete:

FACEBOOK QUIZ: Kids Say The Funniest Things
Answered by: Miss M, age 9 and Spiderman, age 4

1. What is something mom always says to you?
     M - Do your homework!
     S -*shrug* *giggle*

2. What makes mom happy?
     M - When I brush my teeth
     S – When I eat dinner

3. What makes mom sad?
     M - When we don’t get to snuggle
     S – When you don’t eat your dinner

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
     M - By tickling me
     S – Poopie pants!  (???)

5. What was your mom like as a child?
    M – I don’t know – she never told me any of those stories (I didn’t want to scare her.)
     S – She wore diapers

6. How old is your mom?
     M - 40
     S - 14

7. How tall is your mom?
     M – 5’9”… oh wait, that’s taller than Dad (LOL)… 5’4”?
     S - (arms stretched wide apart) THIS BIG!

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
     M – Snuggle and have fun with her family!
     S – Go to bed

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
     M – Go to parties, go to work, see Daddy, go to lunch with her friends… lots of stuff!
     S - Cry

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
     M - Singing
     S - Singing

11. What is your mom really good at?
     M - Singing
     S – Silly faces

12. What is your mom not very good at?
     M – Mommy is good at everything
     S – Wiping butts!

13. What does your mom do for a job?
    M – Go to an office and make people happy or else her boss gets mad at her
    S – Wipe butts!!  (Some days that's not too far from the truth!)

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
     M - Spicy stuff
     S -  *BURP*

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
     M – That she’s awesome
     S – Her smile

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
     M – Wonder Woman… or a fairy.
     S – Spiderman!

17. What do you and your mom do together?
     M – Go to museums
     S - Snuggle

18. How are you and your mom the same?
     M – We both like to sing
     S – We both have hair

19. How are you and your mom different?
     M – I want more money than she does
     S – I’m a boy and she’s a girl

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
     M - Because she always tells me and always gives me hugs and kisses. And all mommies love their children.      
     S – Because I do silly things and mom loves it

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
     M – That he’s handsome and smart
     S – Taking a bathtub (DOH!!)

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
     M – Anywhere with her family
     S – Burger King!

Consider yourself tagged... or is it poked?  Well anyway - enjoy!

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

It Will Never Get Easier

I've avoided writing too much here about this awful, surreal experience my family is going through right now.

Not because I am worried about what anyone will think.  That others may judge me for writing about something so personal in such a public forum.  Or, that they will judge the writing itself. 

I already know I am incapable of finding an "eloquent" way to convey what it feels like to be losing not only a father, but a friend, a mentor and my hero.

The reason I have tried to keep the mood here light and not write the words, "my father is dying" is because I was afraid he would read it. 

Always supportive, Dad was one of my first "followers" here.  He didn't say much about it but I knew he was always reading along. It never failed to make me smile when I saw the IP address labeled "Daddy" come up in my StatCounter report.  Sometimes several times on one post or even several times in a day.  Although he was 1500 miles away, I could almost hear him say, "Hey little kid. I'm thinkin' of you."

Even after his "diagnosis," I'd been thinking he might get better enough to get back online.  So, I didn't want him to read anything here that would make him think I had ever lost hope.

But now, the sad reality is that he will never get back here.  He won't be reading this.

He won't be doing so many things that he used to enjoy.  Even something as simple as the taste of his mother's meatball recipe has already become a tarnished memory. 

The hospice nurse told us that this diseased distortion of taste is a "normal part of the process."  Knowing that doesn't help.

Since my father got sick just a few short weeks ago, the list of things cancer has stolen from him has rapidly gotten longer.   It's been like torture, especially knowing how keenly aware he has been throughout this entire process.
There isn't much worse than having someone you love so much -  your hero - look at you and say, "I'm scared." 

And there is nothing you can say back to make it better.   It's a pain which will never be cured but is sure to end in the saddest way possible.

Tonight, my sister and I finally decided to give in to the hospice nurses' advice and give him some liquid morphine. Watching him doze in and out of reality, finally "comfortable" in the borrowed hospital bed in his own room, I sit here wondering what else is left?

What else can cancer take away from him in the process of taking his life?  In the process of ripping him from my life.

This will never be okay with me.

- Charlene

Update:  Dad lost his battle on April 24, 2010; exactly one week after I wrote this.  The support and sense of community shared with me has been absolutely amazing.  Thank you so much.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Answers to Your Questions

Thanks again to everyone who visited my blog this week.  You love me.  You really love me.  Good thing too.  I needed some extra lovin's this week. 

Eventually I'll get around to thanking you all personally.  In the meantime, I thought I'd start by posting answers to the fun questions y'all left for me in your comments. 

About my SITS Day...

Angelica : Am I really the first one?  You asked the first question I am answering in this post (and linking to your blog.) So, yes.  Holla!

Everyday Kathy : Looks like the gals have turned me on to another great blog! How am I ever going to read all of them???  Well, you could just read mine.  (J/K!)  What I do is set aside Saturday mornings as my "blog reading time."  Cuppa-joe and my bloggy friends -- what a great way to start a weekend.  Friday night with a glass-o-vino works just fine too but that would make it sound like I'm a total loser sitting home alone while my hubby is out having fun playing poker.  Which would be true but, ya know.

Jenny: I wonder how people survive life without humor?    Beats the heck out of me.  They probably sit at home alone on Friday nights.

Cheryl D: Hey, can I have a swig of the champagne?  I'm just impressed by the use of "swig" and "champagne" in the same sentence.  Cheryl - you're my kind of gal!   And, yes. 

About being overwhelmed...

Louise | Italy:  Hey, Charlene, do you think if I went on laundry strike my husband might start buying ME some new clothes???  Oh my dear Louise, did you start drinking before we all got here?   Someone check the trash for empties!  Yeah, so um...good luck with that.  (LOL!)

Webb: Would I prefer that he did the shopping - absolutely. But does the vacuuming help? You betcha!  Well alrighty then.  Glad I was here to help.

Eat Smart, Age Smart: Have you become controlled by endless to-do lists? This is an excellent question!  Yes.  Yes it is.  That's why I asked it.  (Cheeky, I know.  I can't help myself.)

Christa TerryI see a mess, I clean it up. Shouldn't everyone do the same?   Well, I'm pretty sure the problem in my house is that we have magic messes which NO ONE else can see, except me.  I could place dirty dishes in the middle of the floor (never mind hidden far away in the kitchen sink) and everyone would just walk right past them.  Invisible, I tell you.  It's the best explanation I've come up with so far.

Kim:  Can you be my "adoptive" sister and let me call you when I am having those moments?  Yes, but only because you didn't say "adoptive mother." 

About P90X...

Elisa : So you are a P90X graduate?  Sure am.  No more blumpy butt!

Tiffany: I'm almost done too...did you follow the eating plan too?  Not really.  I was conscious about my diet but didn't follow the book persay.  Honestly, fitting in the 60+ min a day to exercise was consuming enough that I just couldn't wrap my mind around all those pages of eating instructions too.   On the plus side, I managed to keep the feed bag off my face, despite having started P90X in the thick of the holidays.

Kelly Daneen: So what do you do to maintain that new look?  I'm still exercising 3 - 4 times per week and keeping variety in the workouts: P90X, Tae Bo, treadmill, light weights, cardio cleaning of invisible dirt. With the exception of the last week or so, I've probably been more strict about the food than I was during the 90 days. Something about mental bandwidth.  I'm always more focused on either mega-fitness routine or eating super healthy.  Rarely can I get both of those completely in sync.  Personally, I'm okay with that.

Baby Sweetness: So what do you do after day 90 to keep the shape?   Just ask Kelly Daneen.  She knows all my secrets now.

About my life not making your butt look big...

Beauty Woome: Isn't it strange that our desire to change our behaviour in their respective heads becomes a statement we're making about them?  Strange but true my friend.  Strange but true.

About my blog...

Betsy Zen Mama:  By the way, where do get all the icons you have at the end of your blog post?   This one is easy.   (Click the word "SHARE" below.)
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Breakin' Out the Bubbly!

I'm a Veuve Clicquot gal on a Korbel budget but it's all good -- it's my SITS Day!!  **SPIRIT FINGERS**  
~~ WELCOME!!! ~~

You have no idea how happy Heather from SITS made me when she emailed me about being a SITS Featured Blogger.   Well, maybe you do.  ;-)  Good news is a precious thing indeed these days.

Like so many of you, my life is one big balancing act.  Some days it's really just an act... but I always try to make the best of it, learn something, then come back here and share it with y'all. 

For example, check out this helpful tip I posted about what to do if you're also feeling overwhelmed with all of life's "to do's."  As we say here in Bahstin Boston, it's wicked good advice. (If I do say so myself... but then again, I have been drinking cham-pag-nee.)

Let's see.... I'm proud mom to five-year old Spiderman (see pic) and ten-year old Miss M.   Also stepmom to 20-year old Army Dude who was recently deployed to Afghanistan.   

I met their dad, Big D, thirteen years ago.  We tied the knot in a spur-of-the moment beach wedding.  Wicked romantic.

I wanted to kill myself fell in love with Big D all over again at his recent 20th high school reunion.  Wicked funny.

So please pour a glass, have a look around, stay awhile.   Clickety click my links above (and/or in my archives and/or the label cloud on my sidebar).  I'm so grateful you're here!  Thanks!!!

I should also mention that I am working on a book about a personal assessment and life balance methodology I created called, "Personal Strategic Management."  If you ever need a speaker at a meeting or event, just let me know!

Also, if anyone has been living under a rock and doesn't know about the great SITStahood at The Secret is in the Sauce, be sure to check them out too!  Joining SITS has truly been the very best thing I have ever done in terms of building my own blog readership and finding many other great blogs to follow and read.

Thanks again and cheers!
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Laughing at Myself

My friend Caroline Bender reminded me that we recently hit the 20th anniversary of the movie, Heathers 

This caught my attention for two reasons:

One, because it feels like only yesterday that I first watched the dark comedy which some consider a cult classic.  Heathers is known for such memorable lines as, "If you were happy every day of your life, you wouldn't be a human being; you'd be a game show host."   And you know... the line about the chainsaw.

The second reason falls under the header category, "random overshare."  See, I actually auditioned for a part in this movie. Seriously. I worked with a real casting agent, got professional photos done and read from the script in front of a test camera. 

It's true, I actually believed I had a shot at being on the big screen.  I thought it could have been me asking Winona Ryder, "Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?"

I coulda been a contendah.

Okay, so I never even had a shot.  I'm at peace with that now.  Life lesson learned.  Hollywood was not on my path.  Clearly.

The second life lesson from this experience didn't come until much more recently. 

I was sitting in my office one morning.  I had been out for a few days so I was being held hostage by a backlog of emails and other work.
Mid-morning someone came in and asked if I had been around the rest of the office at all yet.  Her cheshire grin made me suspicious.  I stepped outside my office aware that my "friend" was stifling the urge to explode into laughter before the joke was even told.

As I turned the corner of the hallway next to my office, I saw that one of my more embarrassing and very `80's photos had been converted into huge Flashdance posters. They were everywhere.  Dozens of them.  Posters of me in all my circa-Heathers, big-haired, windblown glory.  On every cubicle, office, bathroom and mailroom wall.
Mortified does not even come close to describing how I felt as I raced around the office hunting and killing every last copy of that poster.  I may as well have been on a game show, racing a clock and being paid cash for each poster I found and tore to shreds.  I was red-faced and frantic. 

Naturally, everyone else was hysterical with laughter as I eventually stalked back to my office.

As I sat alone and stared at my waste bin overflowing with crumpled pieces of myself staring back from oversized glossy paper, something just sort of clicked. (Maybe snapped?)  A smile turned into a giggle which turned into a laugh.  I became utterly engulfed in amusement at both the clever prank and my ridiculous reaction.  What the heck was I mad about?  It was really funny. 
It's still funny; amazing how much comic relief those silly posters are still able to spark in a flash. (Or rather, in a "flashdance."  *bahdoom-pah*)

Today's life lesson sponsored by the 20th anniversary of Heathers
Don't take yourself too seriously. 

The next time you find yourself getting your panties in a bunch... look in the mirror at your twisted face (or twisted knickers as the case may be) and crack a smile.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you.  Sometimes also at you.  But that's okay too.

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