Doggy Paddling

It’s pool day.

I grab my towel, sunblock and other essentials.  Then I head to the closet.

The cute pink bikini hangs there forlornly.  I stare at it longingly, and realize how little it’s been actually worn since I bought it.  As I do so often these days, I opt for the plain, sensible one-piece instead.

At the pool, I stand at the water’s edge.  I dip my toe in to test the temperature.  Some days it’s well heated.  Today, as it has been lately, the water is frigid.

I’m resolved, though.  I try to be brave as I jump in.  I envision myself doing a graceful swan dive into the waters.  Instead, I belly flop.  Big time.

I come up for air, water dripping from my nose in a very un-Bo Derek like way.  A 10 I am not… today.  My makeup’s already running down my face.  The chlorine has made my eyes sting.

As I try to make my way to the other side of the pool, I realize I’ve forgotten how to swim.  Some weeks I rock the backstroke and the butterfly.  Lately, all I can manage is a simple doggy paddle.

As I flounder around in the cold water, I try to navigate around all the things that seem to be floating in the pool.

The mounds of laundry piling up.  And the matching socks that I know are in there somewhere.

The pizza delivery boxes.  I haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store in weeks.  We’ve been eating a lot of pizza lately.

The diaper pail that positively reeks.  I’ve been meaning to empty it before it spontaneously combusts.  I never seem to get around to it.

The posts in my Google reader that are multiplying like horny little rabbits.

The emails that have gone unanswered and unread for far too long.  I fear the bottom of my email inbox got lost in the deep end of the pool.

The car that needs an oil change.  The bills that need to be paid.  The garbage that needs to go out.  And that diaper pail that absolutely needs to be emptied.

Someone’s kid has peed in the water.  I suspect it’s probably one of mine.

I tread water for a minute more, before I start to cramp up.  I let my feet sink to the bottom of the pool.  And that’s when I realize I’m standing in the shallow end.

All this time, I’ve been doggy paddling.  And all I really had to do was stand up.

I decide I’ve had enough for the day.  I get out, towel off, and slip on my sensible terrycloth cover-up.  Bless those cover-ups.  They hide all sorts of flaws.

I leave the pool wondering if it was a bad idea to even come in the first place.  Which is silly, really.  Because I come to the pool every day.

As I leave, though, I wonder what it will be like tomorrow.

Will the water be murky?  Will it be cold?  Will I sink, swim or doggy paddle?

Will tomorrow be the day I get to break out that little pink bikini?

The daily commute

I love my commute.  The only problem is that I have to drive through my home to get to work.

I work from home, so I don’t have to travel very far.  My office is at the end of the hall upstairs.  Exactly 10 paces and 18 steps from my front door.  So, once I drop the kids off at daycare, you’d think it would take all of 5 seconds to commute up to my office.  Right?


One of the downsides to working from home is that the line between work and home becomes very easily blurred.  And so, even with the kids out of the house, my working environment (as well as my path to work) is filled with detours.  My typical commute actually looks like this:

Take two steps in the door, and realize I haven’t had my coffee.  Turn right into the kitchen, where the full, unsipped cup of coffee I poured this morning now sits, cold.  Pop it in the microwave.  While I’m waiting, I put a Pop Tart in the toaster and unload the dishes.

Pop Tart is done.  I head upstairs with my drive-through breakfast, but don’t get more than 10 feet before I run into a traffic jam underfoot.  Literally.   Chip has decided to create a parking lot out of matchbox cars on the hardwood floors.  It’s a disaster waiting to happen.  I know if I don’t clean them up now, something bad will happen later on.  Like this:

And you know Ginormica makes it look a lot more fun than that actually would be.  So I eat my breakfast while cleaning up the traffic jam.

Halfway up the stairs, I realize I forgot the stupid coffee.  Again.  Make a u-turn back to the kitchen, and rezap the once-again frigid cup of coffee.

While the coffee’s reheating again, I notice the cat needs clean food and water.  Detour to the laundry room to fetch Booyah’s food and refill her water.  While I’m in the laundry room, I switch over the laundry and throw in a new load of whites.

I head upstairs again.  This time, I do remember the coffee, but I realize I can’t carry it upstairs along with the basket full of clean clothes.  So I take the laundry basked upstairs and deposit it in our room.  While I’m there, I notice that Bobo has spilled goldfish crackers in our bed, and that Dora is still on.  I switch off the TV, clean up the goldfish crackers, and am finally ready to start working.

I do a 180 back down the hall to my office.  Finally.  But, dammit… I still haven’t had my coffee!  Make yet another u-turn down to the kitchen.

By now, the detours have taken me to work in a very roundabout way.  What should have been a 5 second hop into my office has now taken me about 20 minutes.  Just 10 minutes shy of what it used to take me to drive into my downtown office.

This time, I get smart.  I pour my coffee into a travel mug, where it’s guaranteed to stay warm through even the longest commutes.

You never know what kind of traffic conditions you’ll run into on the way to work.

I’m SO getting a motorcycle when I grow up

When I was little, I wanted to be a motorcycle police officer, like on CHiPs.

I thought Erik Estrada was simply the coolest, and I aspired to be like him.  Cruisin’ down the freeway and chasing the bad guys.  And in the end, he always got the girl.

Also?  Those shades… so dreamy.

By the time I got to college, I had come to the sad realization that maybe CHiPs wasn’t my calling.  But I still didn’t know what I wanted to be. I think I changed my major practically every semester. 

I work in computers now, which is a far cry from a motorcycle policeman… or any of the things I studied in school.  And some days, I wonder if this is really what I want to be when I grow up.

And every once in awhile…

… I think about Ponch and what my life would have been like as a motorcycle police officer.   A small part of me would like to think that Ponch and I aren’t that different after all.

I chase away the bad guys, at least the ones that crop up in nightmares.

I clean up accidents on the highway in the pool.

Some days, I think my entire life is in the fast lane.

I don’t have a motorcycle, but we do own a few shares of Harley Davidson.  And if we ever win the lottery, I told Jay he could buy a motorcycle of his own… as long as he gets a sidecar for me to cruise with him.

And in the end, I got the girl.

A sweet, spunky little four year-old who, at least for the time being, looks at me as her own personal hero.  I dread the day she wakes up as a teenager, where I’ve turned into the bad guy.

But for now… until I figure out what I want to be when I grow up… that’s good enough for me.

I’m linking this puppy up to a couple of different memes this week:

#2. When I grow up
Mama's Losin' It
#4. It happened on a motorcycle.

Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend

Wow.  It’s been a long week.  Going back to work after a two week hiatus really beaten me up this week.  Needless to say, since Monday, I have had a hard time getting back into the groove.

I was ready for Friday.  And two things started my Friday off on the right foot.

The first was when I went into Chip’s room to get him up.  This was the sight that greeted me when I walked in:

How can your day possibly start off badly when you’re greeted with this cheery little face?  I don’t know how long he’d been waiting there for me, posed like that, but he looked pretty comfortable.  I guess he takes after his dad, who spends a lot of time waiting for mom to get ready to go.

I found my second pleasant surprise in my email inbox.  Diane over at The Perfectly Imperfect Life was sweet enough to award me my first blogger award.  I’m tickled!

Diane is also a working mom, with two kids and a cute tabby cat named Mr. Harry.  Ironically, she refers to her kids as Thing 1 and Thing 2 (sound familiar?), so I guess great minds think alike.  I’ve also been trying to do a little matchmaking for Mr. Harry and Booyah, but so far, she’s been on the fence about that.

When you get this award, you’re supposed to share 7 things about yourself, and then pass the award on to 15 other blogs you’ve recently discovered that you think are fantastic.  However, since I’m a rule breaker, and I talk about myself too much anyway, I’m going to do this a little differently and pass on something cool Diane has done in one of her many DIY projects.   If you want to read more about her inspiration room, please head on over to Bobo’s Room and check it out.

Happy Friday!

Work? Check. Family? Check. Me? On my to-do list.

I am obsessed with making lists. 

I have Post-It notepads scattered around the house so I can jot down things that I have to do, want to do, and don’t want to do, but need to do.  I should own stock in the Post-It company.

The problem with making lists is that I feel like if I don’t get everything crossed off it in one day, I’ve somehow failed.  The list becomes a nagging splinter in the back of my mind.  And between working full time, taking care of the household stuff, raising the kids, and trying to eke out some time for J (not to mention myself), I’ve felt for quite some time like there’s always something on the list that wasn’t getting done. 

The worst part about it is lately I have felt my family has been an item on the list.   I confess there are some days I go through the routine of work, getting the kids home, making dinner, and taking baths. But my mind isn’t all there.  It’s thinking about the work or list of things I have to do once the kids go down for bed. 

I’m not even sure where my personal needs fall onto the list.  I’m pretty sure dead last.

This realization appalls me. 

My family should not be something I “check off” doing every day.  Spending quality time with the kids and J should be my priority, and something I want to do.  And I should probably be on the list somewhere as well.

I realized I desperately needed some time to decompress, recharge and get caught up.  So this week, I’m using a couple of my precious vacation days for me, to get things crossed off my list. 

Yesterday, I got some of the had-to’s, need-to’s and yes, even some of the want-to’s done:

  • Took the car into the shop for a service appointment
  • While the car was being fixed, I walked over to the mall and bought a birthday present for J.  We’re both turning 29 (again) this year.
  • Washed the car.  I forgot it was actually black under there.
  • Monkeyed around on Facebook.
  • Went to the grocery store
  • Recycled the cans and bottles.  Man, I drink a lot of Bud Light.
  • Hunted down all of the baby Tylenol in our house and filled out the recall forms.
  • Went to Mattress World to look pick out a new bed.  Our current mattress has two huge valleys in it where J and I sleep.  It seriously looks like Dolly Parton did a face plant on our bed and got stuck there. 
  • Did my time and expense report. I told myself I wasn’t going to do any work yesterday, but hey, getting paid is good.
  • Washed and folded 3 loads of laundry.
  • Put the laundry away.  I only listed this as a separate item because typically, I do the laundry, then it remains by the side of our bed for a week before I get around to putting it away.
  • Blog hopped at my first blog party over at the D-List.  There are some fantastic parenting blogs over there!  Finally tore myself away from the computer and…
  • Did the dishes.
  • Blogged.
  • Mindlessly surfed the internet.  Google rocks.
  • Paid bills.  After which, I felt a little depressed, so I…
  • Dinked around on Twitter for a bit.  That made me feel better.  Somewhat.
  • Went to the nursery and picked up some geraniums and petunias.  Hopefully I’ll remember to water them.  (Oh, crap.  Another item for my list)
  • Made a home-cooked dinner that did not consist of minute rice or frozen tater tots.  I’d never made sausage stromboli before, but it was pretty tasty.  I cheated a bit and used frozen bread dough.  Who has time to watch yeast rise?

I know there are probably a lot of moms out there who do all of the above and more on a daily basis.  I am not one of them.  On good days, I may get to two or three, max.  OK, four, counting Facebook.

The best part about yesterday? 

When we gathered in the family room after dinner, my kids had my undivided attention.  We took Princess Tiana for a ride in the dumptruck.  We read books.  Bobo chased Booyah around the house and tried to pull her tail.  Chip chased Bobo.  Dad and I took turns chasing Chip. 

I did not have a to-do list on the back of my mind.  It felt good.

I’m going back to work tomorrow, but I’m hoping the new and improved me can stay around a while longer. 

I’ll make sure it goes on the list.