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If I were a month, I’d be May (everything is blooming and warm).
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Friday
If I were a time of day, I’d be the moments before dawn when the birds are singing but it’s still dark outside
If I were a planet, I’d be the moon (mysterious and beautiful)
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a whale
If I were a direction, I’d be east
If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a big, comfy chair that my children like to snuggle into
If I were a liquid, I’d be iced cold water
If I were a gemstone, I’d be a diamond so I could sparkle and never break
If I were a tree, I’d be a Magnolia
If I were a tool, I’d be a hammer
If I were a flower, I’d be a Gerbera daisy
If I were a kind of weather, I’d be Chesterfield in the fall
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a guitar
If I were a color, I’d be blue. Blue like the sky on a perfect summer day
If I were an emotion, I’d be the feeling you feel when you kiss the one you love
If I were a fruit, I’d be a strawberry
If I were a sound, I’d be my children’s giggle
If I were an element, I’d be water
If I were a car, I’d be an Astin Martin
If I were a food, I’d be strawberry ice cream
If I were a place, I’d be the ocean
If I were a material, I’d be cotton
If I were a taste, I’d be sweet
If I were a scent, I’d be Viva La Juicy
If I were an object, I’d be a camera
If I were a body part, I’d be the lips
If I were a facial expression, I’d be a big smile
If I were a song, I’d be “Hold You in My Arms” Ray LamOntagne
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be a really sweet pair of Choos

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Unemployment makes Beggars of Proud Men

Unemployment is usurper of life. This morning, I woke up feeling a little nauseous in my stomach. Morning sickness, no not likely. It was that nervous feeling you get right before impending doom. As some of you are aware, it has been a hectic year or so for the Truthful Mommy clan. I was counting on a much smoother 2010, but apparently that’s not very likely.

You see in the August of 2008, the Big Guy lost his job. It was absolutely awful and our life was shattered. Within 2 weeks, the very same company who let him go brought him back…reviving our shocked and on life support livelihoods. All was good in the world or so we thought. Poor little unsuspecting, gullible us.

After a miserable autumn of playing financial catch up after the havoc those 2 weeks created, spring arrived. Birds were singing, flowers were blooming, friend’s babies were being born and we had a pretty wonderful spring until sometime around mid May. I can’t recollect the exact date because to be honest I sorta blacked out from the shock. Once again, the the Big Guy came home in the middle of the day and gave me the news that he no longer was employed. The company that had done this to us last August was now being sold to a competitor and they were closing the facility. That was that. No job…no warning, no problem. I mean come on, we were somewhat of semi professionals at this by now. We knew the routine..call the credit card companies, cut back the cable and phone bills, tighten the belts, blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH!!!

So, fool me once shame on me…fool me twice…. We lived life those days in a haze, a fog of uncertainty, not unlike that of lots of people these days. I was angry, he was angry. I cried, he drank. The kids knew something was wrong but weren’t quite sure what. It was awful..absolutely horrible. What were we going to do about our mortgage? Our health insurance? Car payments? Ballet?Preschool?Food? Oh my, it was totally overwhelming.

After a couple weeks of unemployment, a lot of restless nights, quite a bit of getting on one an others nerves, and a big hole in our savings later, the company who bought my husbands company, like a shining knight, came to our rescue. They wanted to interview him, obviously, he accepted. Then, hallelujah, like a miracle he was employed again. It was a great thing indeed but it was not without costs.

In order to accept this position, we had to leave our friends and family behind and relocate ,literally, half way across the country away from all that we knew. But you know, the Big Guy and I are firm believers that as long as we all have our health, are together and love each other..everything else will work itself out. We will be fine. God will provide and put us just where we need to be. With an open mind and a willing heart, we did it. We packed the girls up and moved to Virginia.

It was completely different than anything we knew and we embraced it all. I threw myself into making friends and making things as normal for my girls as it could be. I made wonderful new friends, joined groups, made play dates, found a ballet school, a wonderful preschool, and even became an active room Mother. I was absolutely loving Virginia. For the first time in a long time, things were feeling normal. I was feeling normal and like I belonged, aside from the fact that our house back home hadn’t sold yet and we were paying two mortgages, essentially, all was well.

Unemployment is a sneaky bitch

After the most amazingly beautiful autumn in Richmond, and a lovely pre-holiday season, we headed home to the Midwest for the holidays. WE were greeted by lots of love and warm wishes but blistering cold and lots of snow. By the time we left, after loading a 16 foot u haul in freezing cold blizzard conditions, driving 14 hours with 2 toddlers have simultaneous meltdowns and car sickness in more blizzard conditions, imagine my happiness to be back to Virginia where it was actually above the single digits.

I had come to accept that though I missed family and friends terribly, this was my new life and it was pretty sweet. I was looking forward to my new life in Virginia and a new home, etc. Then 8 days passed and the Big Guy was told he needed to make a appointment with the HR lady. Are you frigging kidding me!! Talk about blindsided. WTF was this nonsense? Were they giving him a special “you are so awesome award’? Because, in my mind, that better had be the only effing reason they would have the audacity to call my husband into the HR. Have I mentioned this was the third time in a little over a year this had happened..essentially at the same company!! My mind was thoroughly blown! So, he scheduled a meeting. The HR lady ran late. He waited an hour and a half, not to mention that he was about to vomit no less,and she never showed..running late. You know busy firing and laying off poor unsuspecting, thinking their lives were great, sons of a bitches:(

Finally this morning, he got his meeting. Guess what? My dear husband has been laid off…again! Seriously, WTF!!!!! I know this economy is hard, for everybody, but seriously does life just want to see how far it can push us until we break? My sanity may truly be in question. Who does this? To be fair, the company is very remorseful but hard facts are that they have too many employees and need to cut heads..its that time of the year.They are putting together a severance, reimbursing us for the Uhaul, paying to break the lease, paying to send us back home with our tails between our legs but what I want to know is who the hell is going to give me back the last 6 months of my life?

Honestly, I kept saying I felt like I was on some bizarro extended vacation..I chalked it up to living in corporate housing and living a pseudo existence but now I think I knew, in my heart, all along that this wasn’t going to last. To recap, I have cut ties with those at home because I had moved, now the friends I made here will slowly distance themselves from me( it is the nature of the beast..nobody likes to be too vested in someone leaving..its hard, I understand..I’ve been here before and once again I am left to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life. It just happens to be that I am rebuilding in a pile of rubble that I am familiar with.Fantastic!

The icing on the cake, this all happens on shark week of the month that you could imagine!Wow! Life is sweet! Thanks life for metaphorically kicking the crap outta me, yet, once again!Life, I don’t know what exactly it was I did to piss you off but I think we’ve been punished enough for awhile. Can you please lay off a bit? My backside is sore from the unemployment induced, stress ass kicking that you’ve been giving me over the past few months. Sincerely, Debi

Unemployment Sucks Balls, Big Sweaty ones

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but some days I feel like I don’t know who I am. Not the familiar, my worlds turned upside down and inside out because I am so busy shuttling kiddies to and fro, and planning and prepping their lives but honest to goodness,”Who the hell is this person in the mirror? Who have I become?” Somewhere between not knowing what I wanted to be but anxious to take on the world with no fear of failure and now, I have evolved into some lesser form of myself. Definitely not who I hoped I would be or who I even thought I might be. I feel like I’ve gotten wrapped up in the day to day minutia of being a Mommy and wife and have sincerely forgotten how to be or even who “Debi’ is? Oh yeah, that’s me! I don’t look like I used to, who has time? My children always look impeccable, but sometimes ,I’m embarrassed to say, I look like I just don’t care. I do in fact care, but there is always so much to do and so little time, I end up at the end of my own list. And so I have decided that I am tired of being at the end of my own list, and I give you permission to do the same! Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I am blessed with a wonderfully loving, caring husband and two beautiful, if sometimes a big whopping handful of craziness, daughters. Everyone is healthy and happy except for me. I am happy with what I have, but I started taking inventory and I am not happy with who I am and I can certainly stand to be in better shape. More importantly, I am not happy with the role model I am for my girls. They say a daughter’s father is her role model of what a man should be and how men should treat women, and we have discussed this and my husband is fully aware of his behavior and how it affects what our daughters will look for and expect from the men in their lives. He is a great model of what they should demand from their partners. Now, they ( by they I mean studies have shown:) also say that a daughter’s mother is her role model of how she should treat herself. That is huge and it has hit me like a ton of bricks. Do I want my daughters to grow up thinking that they should be at the bottom of their own list? Certainly not. I want them to have it all. I want them to have the wonderfully loving and caring husband, the awesomely loved and healthy children, and I want them to know its OK to take time for themselves because they are as important as everybody else in their lives. I want them to know that they can be and do anything that they have the desire to do. I have been so caught up in being the perfect Mommy that I have forgotten to be the perfectly strong woman, to be happy with who I truly am, to be my best me. This has been the catalyst to my new quest. I am going to take time for me. I am going to take the time to workout and put on make up. I’m going to make time to fix my hair and read a book. I find myself going through the motions when it comes to myself. I mean, come on, in what world is it acceptable for grown women to use a ponytail as an excuse for a hair style? None, I am pretty sure that if it were up to my husband, he’d cut it off while I slept except for the fear that my hair would look even worse with a chunk missing. I suppose its the same world where we occasionally think there is an acceptable reason that we can allow ourselves to wear our pajamas when we drop our kids off to school. I personally have never done this one but have seen it done many times and ,God knows, I am guilty of trying to rock the ponytail at the age of 36. And aren’t those “yoga pants” just a clever marketing ploy to allow us to wear our pajamas in public without wearing our pajamas in public? The scary thing is that this is all acceptable to us Mommies until we spend a little time with our single or non Mommy friends. Then it hits us, “Wow, look at her hair, with the great style, and the highlights that don’t start 2 inches from the crown!” This is usually accompanied by a wonderful manicure and pedicure, remember those? I used to love those. And of course she is wearing something that fits appropriately, is actually in style “this” year, and doesn’t have food, smudge, spit up or any other sticky baby residue on it. And of course, her face is flawless and rested ,with no signs of circles under her eyes, because she actually slept the night before. Those are the times when I am left feeling a little short. Which is crazy because I used to have and do all those things and I have a masters and can speak 4 languages but ,yet, I feel embarrassed. I feel like I snuck into the party and am waiting to be found out. Any minute, all the people in the real world are going to be like “Hey, aren’t you suppose to be at that ‘other’ party over there? The one with all the ponytails and pajamas!” Really, I am lucky because the party with the ponytails is where all the fun is.That’s where my kids are at, but sometimes I want to be able to go to the grown up party and I want the transition to be seamless. The whole appearance thing is just a part of it. It is symbolic of the rest of the package that is me. I’d occasional like to be able to have a conversation with an adult about something other than what our children are doing. Maybe do something that utilizes some of that education that I have acquired. I need to create a solution and only I can do it, because it’s my problem. I’m the one who has let myself become a second class citizen in my own world. Remember the good old days when you had the time and energy to actually figure things out or put the effort in to fix those things in your life you were wanting to be better? That’s why I have decided that I have to make time to take care of me, or I am not as good as I could be for everyone else. I am going to pursue my dreams with all the passion that I have pursued acquiring perfection as a Mommy. I know that being a Mommy is the most important thing that I will ever do, because to me, there is nothing more important than raising great human beings that are an asset to the world but part of that is raising strong women who have a strong sense of self. So, in order not to fail them and myself, I have given myself permission to make myself a priority in my own life…at least one of the top 3:) Here’s to being who we really are, and being a priority in our own lives! Now, go forward and take the time to find yourself again; permission granted!

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Every morning, I wake up and I see my daughters, usually one or both have ended up in our bed at some point throughout the night, and I am in awe of them. I truly am overwhelmed with a feeling of pride and blessedness that I have the honor of calling these perfect human beings mine. The sheer fact that I had anything to do with assisting them to enter into this world, it makes my life worth living. And every night before I go to bed, I pray to God to watch over my daughters and to let them live long, happy, and healthy lives. Above all else, this is all I ask. It is all that really matters to me. I think this is how all mothers feel. But some time in between the morning awe and the bedtime kisses and prayers, we get sidetracked by life. I’ve caught myself yelling at my girls to ” please be quiet,” or even the occassional full on “Please shut up,” at which I immediatley feel horrible and like I should be awarded the worst mom ever trophy. I know that I want and have every intention and capability of being a great Mommy to my girls but sometimes I feel that it is about as effective as having every intention and capability of working out. Where is that fine line that we cross where we go from thinking our kids’ behaviour is endearing to it is unacceptable? Its not them who is changing the rules, it is us and these sliding scale rules to fit our own moods, that is the real problem. That is the true culprit to our frustration. I am making a concerted effort to look at my children , even in the most trying times, no matter the behaviour and stay in control. Who makes the rules? We do. So my new rules are these 1) Love my children above all else, no matter what they do 2) Never let them see you sweat.Stay in control. 3)Let the small things go. They are only small( the children ,not the “things’lol) for a short time.4)Turn the frowns upside down. Life is too short to be unhappy.5) It’s more important to have a healthy and happy realtionship with your children than to have lots of money, a clean house, a quiet house, or a social life.By trying to have all of the above, you ( or at least I do) will find yourself frustrated and unfulfilled. So, my new mantra is “Enjoy my children and forget the rest”, it is the only way that I can accept the chaos that fills my everyday. It is not a bad chaos, it is merely a deviation from my plan and sometimes thats enough to throw the most organized of us all into a complete parental tailspin. But what a wonderful, exciting tailspin it is and I am blessed to be able to share this journey with my two free-spirited, adorable daughters.

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