Friday, April 28, 2006


If I were an animal these days I'd be a squirrel - Running around frantically, searching for nuts, chasing my tail, climbing trees, diving from bird poop and ducking cars. Just can't seem to find the right branch to lay my home, so I keep hopping from place to place. Anyone else have days like that?

Attempting to put this energy into something productive - hence 63 things up for Ebay, waiting on a few queries (one seemed positive, but then no word yet...), spring cleaning, ironing, bla bla bla. The only thing that could make this week more exciting is an extra load of laundry and some chicken pox.

Here's a shout out for the Mommy Wars - a great new book with 22 essays from the perspective of stay at home and working moms. Personally, this original concept of moms being mean is nothing new to me - it's a never-ending theme in ye old blog. I will say, however, this book is helping me define how I feel about working and motherhood, and here's my opinion for the record: Happy kids have happy moms. If that means working, hiring a nanny ten times cuter than you or an abuela grande from Guatemala that will teach your kids to roll tortillas and read Spanish, do it. If that means staying at home, growing vegetables and weaving your own diapers as your kid co-sleeps in the family hammock, fantastic. If it means working a minimum wage job to pay rent, getting up early and taking the bus, then getting a support group together so you don't go loco on your kids when your boyfriend promises money and then bails, do it. We all have different lots in life and there's no time to judge, cast sidewise glances or be envious.
I am sticking to my goal of working part time by September. I plan on volunteering one day to give single moms a break (and maybe help some moms get an education so they have their own wheels and aren't so deperate). And maybe, just maybe, I might even grow my own sunflowers.

As far as the family bed, I would rather watch a Barney marathon than have two toddlers between my husband and me. It's hard enough having sex with them next door, let alone in the sack with us.

All opinions are welcome. Just don't be judgemental or mean or I'll make fun of you on this blog. (I might not believe in being bitchy to other moms, but I can defend myself like a kick-ass karate instructor on zoloft - ka poooooow!)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Craig's Schtick

This town is so full of crap it’s not even funny. Check out this gig I found on – one of the leading sources of part time work in L.A.

“A filmmaker, I'd like to develop some short film projects with a taletned female screenwriter. I've shot two, have two more I'm tinkering with; now this may grate you, but, ideally, I'd like to date this writer. It's not a requirement, of course, but it would be nice to share my passion with someone. Pic for pic. Please live in LA"

This guy doesn’t have decent grammar and is looking to screw his writer. How much do you want to bet that some girl with stars in her eyes meets this guy, then posts to her site on Myspace “I’m dating a Hollywood producer!”

While it’s hard to be in your mid-30’s, mother and try to write tv in this town, I’d take my qualifications any day of the week.

Speaking of, my first magazine query is out the door. Wish me luck.

If it turns out I’m writing to the guy above, it’s all over.

(Since the time it has taken to post this, I got a positive response from an editor at a major parenting magazine asking me to revise some thoughts and re-send it again... not bad! But no chickens hatching yet. I've been down this path before.)

Final note: is a pretty valuable website if you're looking to sell or buy things (furniture, random jobs). They have listings for every major U.S. city. Of course, it's also an asset for people in the porn biz, the sexy massage seekers and the part-time nanny/maid/actor/macrame artist. Bottom line: It's my version of an online garage sale - you gotta enjoy sifting through the crap to find the treasures.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Random Acts of Blindness

As a mother, sometimes you have to pretend not to see stuff in order to keep your sanity. I’m not talking major issues involving knives, fire and cell phones dangling over bubble baths. But after telling your child 20,000 times in one day “Do not splash the water on the floor” or “Don’t throw clothes down the stairs” or “Don’t feed the dog your lollypop then lick it yourself” it comes down to being a star disciplinarian or maintaining your mental faculties.

Now, in truth, 99% of the time I’m on it. I don’t want spoiled brats. I don’t want my kids not invited for play dates because they spit in the cat dish. But tonite? I just want to bask in the afterglow of a nice in-law dinner. I want to feel the pleasant sugar high of one too many Mothers pink and white animal cookies running their course through my system. (Damn those things are taaaasty…and how can anything so pastel and crunchy and happy be bad for you?) I hear what may be a toilet lid clanging… or puzzle pieces being thrown… or worse case puzzles being thrown in the toilet… but I don’t see Rex jumping up from his “fix the stereo receiver project” to make a show of parental concern.

However, NOW? I gotta go.

Clink? Fine.

Clank? Fine.

Clink clink clank clank bonk bonk look at the mooooooooonsters go over the stairwell CRAAAAAASH?

That’s trouble.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Best Friends

With the Valley so pleasant in the spring, combined with an attempt to stay healthy, wealthy and wise (we've succeeded on the healthy front, so far) Stink, Pip and I have established evening walks. Sometimes I push them in the double stroller (which always results in a stop at Arcos for a free lollypop from Albert). Sometimes Stink pushes Pip in the umbrella stroller, feeling like a little big man as he points out "the baaaaaad cars on Plumo" (a busy street) and the "agua suicia" (dirty water in the L.A. River that runs through our intersection) or "the yellow ball some little boy lost in the water... he's sad... but his mommy is going to buy him a new one!" (moss infested volleyball that will remain a fixture in the basin until the next big rain finds it a new home).

On this particular adventure, the kids held hands as we traversed up and down our little cul de sac and adjoining block. We moved slow, to say the least, but I was filled with peace (remarkable for me) as I inhaled the jasmine and marveled at my fortune to live in such a 1950's charmer neighborhood. I know all my neighbors. I even like them. I've had dinners dropped off at my door. My regular babysitter is a CPR trained honor student that lives directly across the street. As moms go, I hit the motherload.

Throughout our stroll, Stink reminded Pip that we don't walk in the street. They counted stepping stones (jumped over different neighbors' pebbled walk ways) and talked about the people they love - in Stink's case, his friend Toddler B. When I asked him "Is Toddler B your best friend?" he looked quite shocked and replied "Nooooo... Pipsqueak!"

Then today at the post office, a random man approached me in the parking lot as I was loading up the kids. I dug in my heels for the inevitable insult as he started in. Man: "I saw that pile of pretzels your kid dropped near the stamp machine." Me: "Yeah, I know..." Man: "Making your kid pick them up? Brilliant. It's not easy molding savages into little humans that we can tolerate, and I had to tell you how nicely you're doing."

I am rarely speechless, but between Stink's comment about his love for his sister, and this random geezer giving me props, all I could muster on both fronts was a meek "thank you."

Sometimes it's just all so worth it. (I'll find something tomorrow to bitch about)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Doctor in the House

In my attempt to read the news each day (including using Google News as my home page), I found Reuters to be an interesting source of entertainment. Some wacky dude named Chad Ruble reports off beat stories that happen throughout the world: 9 year old matadors, pig olympics in Moscow, rare pennies worth thousands of dollars released in New York city to drum up collecting interest... but perhaps most interesting (both in a laughable, and freaky, sense) is the article posted below.

I have just one question to pose before you read: If an old dude carrying a black bag came to your door, claiming to be a doctor, would you let him in for a "free breast exam?" Living in a town that boasts, "There's no such thing as a free lunch", my answer would be, "Negatory."

Happy Thursday, people.
MIAMI (Reuters) - A 76-year-old man claiming to be a doctor went door-to-door in a Florida neighborhood offering free breast exams, and was charged with sexually assaulting two women who accepted the offer, police said on Thursday.
One woman became suspicious after the man asked her to remove all her clothes and began conducting a purported genital exam without donning rubber gloves, investigators said.
The woman then phoned the Broward County Sheriff's Office and the suspect fled. He was arrested at another woman's apartment in the same Lauderdale Lakes neighborhood on Wednesday, a sheriff's spokesman said.
The white-haired suspect, Philip Winikoff, carried a black bag and claimed to be visiting on behalf of a local hospital.
"He told the woman that he was in the neighborhood offering free breast exams," sheriff's spokesman Hugh Graf said in a statement.
At least two women, both in their 30s, let him into their homes and he fondled and sexually assaulted them, the investigators said.
Winikoff was not a doctor, Graf said. He worked as a shuttle driver for an auto dealership.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

And the 4th Martini Goes to...

...Topanga T!

I have spent the past two days with Topanga T, perfecting the art of hanging out and chilling - a well needed change. T is single, living the artist's lifestyle, and job searching. We're not sure if she's going to be a teacher, a project manager for an art history museum, or a jewelry entreprenuer who moonlites as a kids story writer. Whatever she decides on will make the world more colorful.

Standing five foot 2 and owning more stilettos than I own Dora the Explorer bandaids, this brassy blond and I couldn't be more different. And yet, this is a girl who I met on the kindergarten steps at 4. We repeated kindergarten together, in fact (could be the source of all my wackiness). Our fathers were best friends. Our moms still walk and do coffee runs. While my father was overweight and rarely left the comfort of his telephone, he would gladly meet her pop at Burger King and enthusiastically listen to his stories about boat engines, RV fix-ups and the grueling job of working for the IRS (while our mothers chatted about soccer, school and Xmas cookies.)

T and I have different mediums, but our processes constantly overlap. If she's perfecting her painting style, I'm working on my writing tone. If she's painting her Topanga cabin light purple, I'm re-doing my office in a similar hue.

She is so great with my kids, giving me a glimpse of a break as she explains to a fascinated Stink the difference between an acrylic and a crayon, how to make a card house, and the fine points of Scooby Doo. I add consistency to her fluctuating life by providing more than a few home cooked dinners, walks to Arco for lollypops and the occasional bath (which I run for her, leaving lemon cake and geraniums on the side).

Friends don't have to be the same. They just need to be supportive. Thanks, T, for that. (T pictured in Princess Leah gear)

And now, an email story that speaks to me. Hope it speaks to you.
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you." Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sweetness Abounds

Thanks to the Easter bunny (who we left carrots for the night before) my chillins woke up to pink and blue basket extravaganzas. Let's just say breakfast consisted of lots of greens... in the form of jelly beans and Starburst.

I'm thinking that once in a while if a kid can't go loco on sugar, then why bother being a kid? Who doesn't remember going trick or treating (before the razor blade scares) with pillow cases? My friend, Topanga T, and I would spend hours on her yellow shag carpet, sweating out the details of the fair chocolate trade (you think the exchange rate for England is rough, try Halloween in the Valley, 1976): 2 Musketeers for 2 Milkey Ways. Almond Joy favored much worse due to coconut content, but for a few good years we were able to scam her younger brother: "Ooooh, Jo Jo, you can get TEN Almond Joys for only 5 of your Snickers".

We got our asses kicked a few seasons later when he realized that crappy Brachs butterscoth suckers were not equivalent to Reeses Pieces, especially during the E.T. years.

Perhaps I'm kidding myself. Maybe my kids will grow up with sugar addictions worse than my battle with Diet Coke. But I'm hanging my hat on the theory that, unlike so many American kids, they won't have food phobias and become anorexic since I'm not attaching emotional responses to either candy or vegetables. Brocalli is not a "good" food while taffy is a "sometimes" food. I won't be feeding them Frosted Flakes for breakfast every morning, but on Saturdays, we get waffles with syrup. Bring on the icecream on rainy days. And at a fancy restaurant, we will clink glasses filled to the brim with Shirley Temples and red cherries.

Worse case I'm wrong, thank God for dental insurance.

* Pictured: my kids during Easter basket coma, and post crashing.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Quick Add On

Pipsqueak's latest thing to do, right after we take off all her clothes for her nightly bath in the sink, is to run around the kitchen shrieking "I'm Naaaaaaked!"

Yesterday, I asked Stinker to put away some blocks. He looked at me and shrugged in true Mommy form "I just don't have the energy."

Conflicting Messages

Today we went to passover dinner where the kids dined on matza and noodle kugel. Earlier today, we had a very un-kosher experience at Chuck E. Cheese where we mixed meat and cheese for a delicious pepperoni pizza. Tomorrow, for Easter, we eat ham, hunt for eggs, give thanks to Jesus and hug rabbits.

Either my kids will grow up very confused or very well-rounded. I'm hoping for the second.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter / Happy Passover

For those of you who celebrate Easter, have a wonderful one, full of new beginnings and new life. For those who pass around the matza, Happy Pesach! For you, God, if you're listening, I'm going to cover my butt in both religions and ask you to help my baby magazine writing career to hatch... may I not be Pass-ed-Over!

It's a rainy day today. Rex is making eggs. The kids are negotiating who gets the blue blocks for the big castle being erected in the tv room. As for me... I'm happily sipping my morning Yuban, as well as enjoying the prospect of quite a few Ebay sales from my deluge of posts yesterday.

It's amazing what can get done when you don't have the blues. Any of you mamas out there with very low ambition or will to get anything done... it doesn't have to be like that. Go talk to someone. If you had a bad back, you'd go to a chiropractor. Same for your brain. Not saying to go pop pills any time you have a small cry... but if it's consistent... it wouldn't hurt to get a little something something to get you through. Some of us are blessed with high brain happy cells... some of us low... For the ones with the low, there's no shame in getting a little help. Like Brittny Spears and Kevin Federline... think of how much happier she'd be if she'd look at someone squarely in the eye and get some advice. (Though depression is a bit easier... no pill can erase that dumb man from the planet)

Looking over my posts, it's clear to me I have no political references or anything brilliant to say about our culture in general. I live in a mama bubble and it's time to change that.

Give me a week or so and let me dwell in my caffeine induced, zoloft high before I turn on the news and get depressed again.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ave Maria

For those of you who live in the San Fernando Valley, let it be known that Maria's Italian Pizza Kitchen has Kids Eat Free night. While Stink and Pipsqueak were very good rugrats, neither of them ate their huge portion of corkscrew noodles, chicken and "little trees" (brocalli). Score for me because that's lunch tomorrow.

Got a ton of Ebaying done today, as well as finished the bookshelves, including hauling them upstairs myself (not advised with two toddlers underfoot. About as dumb as giving up caffeine, but alas, they're upstairs). I like the dressers, but they aren't a perfect match with the white ones I already have. I guess you can't have it all (but I'm sure going to try and make it better by repainting the walls and re-doing the borders... I'm on a kick)

The air was balmy and breezy - so much so that Rex and I, in addition to dinner (followed by fruit from Vons) took the kids for an extended walk. Everyone was so chipper and happy and full of good food. I almost felt like the cover of those Morman booklets where families skip and scream "gee, whiz, ain't life grand". Except I tend to use the F word. And Stink kept asking, courtesy of extended Scooby Doo viewings, if "we were going to Pompei to fight gladiators."

Off to put Pipsqueak to sleep in the dining room pack n' play. Who says that just because my kids technically share a room that she doesn't get her own space?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blue Woman Group

So I did my first query yesterday. I need to tweak it and have a few pros review it (thanks Toni and Mama P Light), but it's done. Of course the rethinking and editing go on and on. I suppose I'm a bit hesitant on this because you only get one shot to make a good impression. TV? Done that. Magazines? Argggi grewooeooww oooooyh. Don't know what the hell I'm doing. I suppose if in 21 months Pipsqueak can go from helpless blobby thing to walking, talking and shrieking "No kisses, Mommy! Push... OVER!" I can learn a new skill.

Speaking of new skills, I finally bought shelving and a toy chest for the kids' room. Since I couldn't find exactly what I wanted already painted (well, I found it, but I wasn't willing to shell out $1500.00 to the Pottery Barn), I optioned for the natural wood and painting it myself - a bright, royal, maritime blue. Thanks to Stink's help (who did the back) I not only ran out of paint, but it appears as if a smurf did a suicide bomb in my garage. For the $625.00 I spent, fingers crossed my project turns out more shabby chic and less tacky wacky.

10 days and still no Diet Coke. I'm considering putting an Osha-like sign on my front lawn, right next to our ADT warnning. You could drive to my house and see "This home is armed" and "10 Days Without a Diet Coke". As the days tick on, I will slash out the # with a black marker and add another.

It's not all gloom and doom without the soda. I've managed to enjoy to 3 cups of coffee a day. In fact, three seems to be the magic number for me. As in my religion (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). As in I wrote 3 shows my first season as a staff writer. As in I'm in the third phase of my writing career (two partners, now on my own). As in I've always wanted 3 kids. As in this furniture is going to need 3 coats of paint.

If three's the charm, then my dinners (being the third meal of the day) should be tasting fabulous any day now. Or night.

I have nothing else to say, except that my fixings are ready for Taco Tuesday. Hopefully the rugrats will still eat, since currently they are supposed to be making Easter crafts (thanks to Crafty K) and instead are ingesting Spree candy like a white bunny on speed.

Happy spring to you.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Cup Half Full...

...Of caffeine.

I fought the caffeine battle and the caffeine won. It was a valiant attempt by Mama P against the largest free narcotic in the land. But alas, like a gnat going full force against a New York City taxi cab, I didn't last long. After 8 days of no Diet Coke and 5 days sans coffee, the result was a gooey, blobby, and utterly defeated me.

As I type this, I happily sip my Yuban and will rationalize my losses, which go something like this: I have learned that I can go caffeine free, but I can also walk head first into a bus -- it's just not something I want to do.

On the flip side, it is possible to use some moderation and not drink a pool size version of java per day. As much as my husband likes the bodily aromas that occur from such excess, I have limited myself to one cup of coffee in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night. No Diet Coke.

Now that I'm not going through depression, anxiety, hopelessness (and running myself into Kaiser Urgent Care thinking I am going through menopause), my life is feeling normal again. Which means the 'ol ambition is coming back. Which means time to start querying... (How many times have you heard that? But... like my caffeine addiction, I think I can beat my self-defeat on that, too, and score me a magazine article. What else am I going to do with all my free time away from running out for Diet Coke?)

On a home note, our TV room is almost done! Tonite we hang some curtains. Next week we Chem Dry. It's going to be about as shiny and happy around here as I feel right now thanks to my coffee.

It's so sad to say that I am addicted to how content a few little things make me feel. But perhaps in this crazy life, a cup of joe ain't so bad.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Cheesy Bread

When you're caffeine deprived and your kids need lunch, it's time to break out into song. Here's a sampling of what happened in our household today. Don't expect the Pantages to run this production any time soon.

Me: (gesticulating wildly) Everyone sing "I want some cheesy bread!"

Stink: "I want some cheesy bread!"

Me: "I want my cheesy bread!"

Stink: "I want my cheesy bread!"

Me: "Cause if I don't get my cheesy bread I'm gonna get the cheesy bread bluuuuuuuuues...."

Repeat for toddler stimulation and goofy reminder to self that you are, indeed, not being paid for such artisitic endeavors...

Big bridge...

Me: "Slap the cheese on sour dough....

Shut the microwave door hard...

Wait for it to beep....

And do not worry about the carbs because...

You need the cheesy bread..."

Stink: "I need the cheesy bread"

Me: "You need the cheesy bread"

Stink: "I need the cheesy bread"

Me: "And if you don't get that hot-pipin'-gooey-I-likey-likey-doughy-morsel-calories-can kiss my mama's-bootie-you're gonna get the cheesy bread bluuuuuuuueeees"

Nothing but nutrition and mayhem in the Mama P establishment.

Did I mention it's time I start looking for part-time work?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

7 Days

...Without a Diet Coke.

4 days without coffee.

After dealing with withdrawl, nasuea, achniness, headaches and more fatigue than a sleep center, I liken going off caffeine cold turkey to having a baby without an epidural.

Except at least after you push out the kid you can drink a cappucino.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Some Weekend Highlites

1. We don't yet have shelving for toys, but we have a life sized painting light that could double as #5's stand-in for Short Circuit 3
2. Pipsqueak has taken to wearing hats. And phones. She can now be officially referred to as 'Yo, Peep squeak'
3. Stinker is officially over his week long cold. I am sad to see the whining, midnight wake-ups and snot fiesta go away, but I'll live with it
4. Our tv room is tipping toward less construction zone, more toward livable area. The dust is dissipating. Rumor has it that it ran away to Mexico with Stinker's phlem and is very happy in a one room hut.
5. Perhaps most shocking: I am 3 days Diet Coke free. At some point I expect to see the Virgin Mary appear in my coffee. If she's drinking a Diet Coke, I'm switching to Pepsi. And becoming a Hindu.
6. I have been successful at not only cooking healthy meals, but not causing harm to my intestines in the process. Turns out my corner Arco is closing for "upgrades" but personally, I think they've experienced a profits slump due to my abstinence from caffeinated beverages.
7. I found out that my old boss's new pilot was picked up, starring Wayne Brady. I am once again plagued with feelings of wanting to write TV again, but not wanting to leave my kids for 70 hour weeks... but wanting to be fulfilled... but not wanting a nanny running my home... I am determined to find my niche with writing... one that works for my life, not my ego. (I think I even believe this. I'll let you know when I run into other moms at my preschool that are going to the best doctors thanks to their Sag and WGA insurance and I'm picking prescriptions at Kaiser... which is a great place... so why do I even care? Ego. Like Tim said "I guess that's just the cowboy in me")
8. I have found relaxing not as difficult as I thought it would be. I can actually sit still without redecorating, reorganizing or re-anythinging. But after 2 minutes, I gotta get up and stretch.
9. I have discovered that having a maid is not a cure-all for any persisting neruosis that are flipping through my whacked out brain. Still, like an issue of Real Simple, it makes the clutter look so much prettier thanks to the neat packaging. Note to self: Pitch story idea to home decorating magazines: Panic attacks are so much cuter in polka dots!
10. I am realizing, through silence, that I really love my life. That all my pushing and striving and over thinking might get me some perks, but if I just had what I have this very moment, it's just fine with me.

Well almost.

If it were perfect there'd be nothing to write about, now would there?

Rex, if you're reading... I love you! Thanks for this life you help me build. Now stop reading and finish the damn living room.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Cowboy In Me

I have decided to take Fridays for myself and my kids. Here's the rules: no cleaning. No errands. No fulfilling any guilt ridden obligations to friends' friends' cousins' uncle's step kids I met once in a park last Tuesday who invited me to their shaker style condo to play Yahtzee. I am staying in my pajamas all day and being a couch potato.

And let me add: not only will I be a couch potato, but I will be one with low fat melted cheese, brocalli, and a dollop of protein on top. Yes, Mom, it turns out that Rex, too, is of your opinion that 'noodles' don't constitute dinner. And yes, Stella, I heard you loud and clear when you raised your martini glass and said "Here's to Mama P! A fabulous mother but a shitty shitty cook." While I'm huge on filling the heart, I'm low on filling the belly and it's got to change. So...

I've also decided to start dinner each night at 5:00. I suppose there's something to that "well balanced meal". The way I understand it, veggies and fruit are in, super sizing is out. Maybe the pre-dinner hour doesn't have to be as traumatic as an underwriting job at a mortuary. Perhaps I can put on my happy hat, roll up my sleeves, put on some music and attempt not to kill my kids with raw chicken juice drippings.

As I prepared my veggie meatloaf with side salad yesterday (yes, Call me "Rachel Ray-on" - as in "Mom, you'll need sunglasses because you won't believe your eyes") I played an old Tim McGraw CD. And what do I hear, but a song that has my inner soul written into its very fiber. (Parts transposed below)

Maybe some of you feel this way, too. Maybe some of you are so scared of country music that you'll want to vomit more than you would after eating my food. But, like my mom's advice about my diet, it speaks to me. I'm so busy running I miss the sites. I'm so busy talking I miss the listening. My kids are only young once. And so am I. Thanks, Tim, for helping me to remember it.

I don't know why I act the way I do
Like I ain't got a single thing to lose
Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy
I guess that's just the cowboy in me

I got a life that most would love to have
But sometimes I still wake up fighting mad
'Bout where this road I'm heading down might lead
I guess that's just the cowboy in me

The urge to run, the emptiness
The heart of stone I sometimes get
The things I've done for foolish pride
The me that's never satisfied
The face that's in the mirror when I don't like what I see....

I guess that's just the cowboy in me.

Being a mom and a career girl is kind of like being a cowboy. You're constantly saddling up, saddling down. Exploring new territory. Fighting off enemies. Worrying about food. Looking for signs of danger. Reeling in the herd. And yet with all that...

You gotta get off the horse and enjoy the campfire sometimes.

Happy trails to you, my friends.