Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to me....

It's official - I'm now what could be considered middle-aged. 35 years old used to seem so old to me, back in my early to mid 20's. Women in their 30's seemed to have it all together and be so organized in their lives. So why is that I still feel 20-ish, and completely disorganized???

I remember my parents saying at various times that they still felt much like they did as a teenager, and couldn't believe how old they were getting. At the time, I thought that was a big crock. They were OLD and had no idea how it felt to be YOUNG. Hhhhmmmmm, I'm beginning to reconsider that point of view.

Driving home a teenage babysitter a few months back, I looked over at her and had this weird flashback in time, as I thought to myself "Wait a minute, I'm supposed to be the teenage babysitter. How did I get to be the mom of 3 kids picking up a babysitter to go to dinner with my husband?" So weird.

So, what did I do to commemorate my 35th birthday? In a momentary loss of sanity, I decided to push my training and run 12 miles. My best running buddy ever, Kristi, showed up at my house at 0-dark-thirty (6am) with flowers & chocolate cheesecake. We took off in the pitch dark and ran for the next 2 hours and 45 minutes. What was supposed to be 12 miles, turned into just about 13, which confirms that: 1. I'm crazy and 2. I can indeed complete the 1/2 marathon for which I'm training.

My aches are starting to sink in, and I'm ready for bed. But instead, I get to take Olivia to soccer practice, then go to PF Chang's for dinner!!! I'll come home and enjoy my chocolate cheesecake while I watch the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. And I'll be thankful to be a middle-aged 35-year-old mom of 3 who can run 13 miles...Life doesn't get any better than this.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Help Wanted...

Steve's mom sent this to me in an email, and it seemed like the perfect post for today. I don't know any of us would have signed on for this position if we had the description ahead of time!

POSITION :Mom, Mommy, Mama, MaDad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because Of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and No stock options are offered; This job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

So when Steve asks again when I'm going back to work...I think I'll just show him this and tell him I never stopped.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What's a Pig in a Blanket?

This was my reaction when Olivia's teacher asked if I'd bring them in for snack on Friday, concluding their "Pig Unit" in Language Arts. I set about polling friends, and had mixed responses. Either breakfast sausages, wrapped in a pancake and dipped in syrup, OR a cocktail weenie wrapped and baked in a crescent roll. I'm not a big fan of sausages or hot dogs, so these were not menu items I was familiar with!

Seeing as I had to make enough for 19 kids, plus teacher, I opted for the crescent roll variety. Early Friday morning, I was up and in the kitchen, wrapping 40 little weenies in their blankets. Not exactly my number one idea of what to do when I first wake up...but that's another story!

I baked them and delivered them hot from the oven to school, just in time for snack recess. They smelled okay, but I was pleasantly surprised to bite into one and find it was actually quite tasty!

Payoff came after school, when Olivia brought home a note signed by all her classmates and her teacher, which read: "Mrs. Whitaker- Thanks for the delicious Pigs (picture of pigs) in a blanket. We made Pigs (again, a graphic) of ourselves!"

I was the cool mom of the day, which can go a long way in the eyes of an 8-year old...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


September 11 is a date that is hard to forget. It is the anniversary of the most awful event of my lifetime, when two airplanes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, and two others were deliberately taken over and crashed as acts of terrorism. Six years ago today, the world as we knew it ended, and a new one began. One filled with increased security, a bit more fear, a bit more "racial profiling". It is a day that left many children motherless or fatherless, many parents with one less child.

I was thinking today how sad it is that my children don't know any other world. They don't really know what they're missing, but I do.

Even as I remember this awful day, I am thankful for all the good in the world, and in my life. And even though it might not always appear to be so, I know that good can, and will, triumph over evil.

Meet my two best friends...May & Tag

With 3 kids and a hubby, our household generates quite a bit of laundry. It's fair to assume that Grant will need to have at least one outfit change per day - due to food spillage, diaper leaks or just plain dirt. Jack & Olivia each go through 1 outfit per day. Add 1 pair of jammies per child per day (they usually can't get more than one night without smelling of something gross), "after work attire" for Steve, which ends up crumpled on the floor. I go through at least one shirt (I can usually get a couple of days out of my pants), plus workout clothes. Then add sheets, towels, dish towels, wash cloths, etc., and you've got a truckload of laundry!

We have a laundry chute, which in theory, is a great idea. We all drop our clothes from upstairs into this cabinet, which drops down into an enclosed cupboard in the laundry room. Out of sight...out of mind, right? That is, until I open the cupboard and can't see the top of the clothes. Then it's time to throw in a load.

I've tried different methods of staying on top of the laundry: once a week, all-day laundry sessions (I hated Tuesdays), one-load-a-day (the folded laundry seemed to stay on the laundry room counter all week), loads between my favorite TV shows. I haven't yet discovered the fool-proof way to keep it under control, but I'm convinced there is one.

I don't know how women did it in the old days...wash boards, buckets, lye soap, bloody thank you. I'm a fair-weather housewife...I like my conveniences. It's nice to put in a load before I go to the gym, then change it when I get home. Plus, it doesn't ruin my nails!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back to School

Well, it's official - summer's over. While the weather may still be warm, school has started and I have a few hours to myself (almost...) each day.

Olivia is in Mrs. Owen's 3rd grade class. She's a wonderfully strict, no-nonsense teacher, exactly what my social butterfly daughter needs. I have high hopes for Olivia's academic and personal development this year. There are lessons she needs to learn that I can't teach, and I'm not talking algebra here.

Jack began his 2nd and final year at Little Lamb Preschool. He's in Ms. Kathy's class again this year, and is slowly emerging from his shy shell. He doesn't say much at school, or play with other kids too much. But he did coyly admit to the fact that he has a girlfriend this year...Peyton, the same one who sat on his imaginary friend Megan last year! Seems he's forgiven her for that thoughtless act!

Now, for at least 3 hours, 3 days a week, I am down to just one child at home. Sometimes I can't wait for the day when Grant is also in school, and I actually have some time to myself. But then, I realize that I have the rest of my life to have time to myself, but just a few short years with little ones around me. And so, I'll savor every moment of carpooling, diapers, homework and laundry...

Our family disaster plan

Jack had his 4-year physical last week. While we were there, Dr. Klint asked me if our family had a disaster plan in place. Jack, who was quietly sitting on the exam table, spoke up and said "Do you mean for Grant?". Both Dr. Klint and I looked at Jack, wondering what he meant. He then spoke up and said "Because at our house, Grant is the one making disasters!" How true that is....