Friday, October 23, 2015

A winger, not a planner

I'm a winger not a planner. Once in awhile I wish I had a tad of my husband's OCD tendencies and less of my own "I'll make it work" qualities. I tend to wing it whenever it comes to, well anything, really. As a working mama of two young boys (almost 3 and 7 months) life gets busy. And tough. And some days I want to fly away to the Great Wall of China and sip Chinese tea; alone. But 98.8% of the time, I'm content with the chaos I've created. I blame my semi easy-goingish personality on making me a poor planner. On a rare occasion though, I do try and plan out our weeks. I even went as far as to spend close to $70 on an Erin Condren planner. Now that thing is pretty! Its set up is immaculate and provides a full-proof way of planning. You really can't do it wrong with all of the colorful stickers and vertically organized days. As soon as it came in the mail I decided to devote my evening to creating my new found life planner.  I meticulously added every date, appointment, task etc into that fancy thing. I even went as far as to color code our Blue Apron nights with a blue oval sticker on Tue/Wed/Thurs so I couldn't forget which nights our dinner delivery came. Meanwhile, on the other side of the bed, I hear David give off a sarcastic chuckle and a bit of an endearing eye roll.
"What?" I asked coyly, knowing exactly why he was laughing.
"Are you serious? You do this every time. You started a budget tracker 2 months ago. We've never discussed it since. You started meal planning for the family, yet our grocery budget nearly doubled when that started."
"Ya but this is different. I have a new job now so I have to plan every single day. It's too hard with multiple kids and working to not make sure everyone is on the same page."  Luckily for me, he plays along with my crazy and doesn't give me a hard time when he knows he's right. And he was right. That pretty planner got stuffed into my itchy bag and I never wrote in it again. It lasted less than a month of planning...Maybe. Actually, 3 weeks...ok ok, only that once! But my heart was truly in it for that night!
 But getting back to the real issue, why I make my life more difficult than it needs to be. In fact, I'm starting to think I'm not cut out to be a working mom while also trying to fit in kid's activities. Again, I'm not a planner, I'm a winger. Part of this is what has made me successful in my career. Not the fact that I don't plan; but more in line with my high energy, get-after-it and the try not to sweat the small stuff. I also think that's what makes me a fun mom. On the flip side, it's also what causes unneeded stress in my life. If my car was clean and more organized I wouldn't have wanted to take the bigger car to the pumpkin patch. Instead, I failed to communicate early enough to make sure David put the infant car seat in the Hylander, which left me and the boys stuck with my dirty work car. In my defense, that breezy is tiny! Plus, 2 car seats side by side leave little room for Nordstrom Rack returns, H&M returns, boxes of pharmaceutical brochures, 3 empty water bottles and more. It's impossible to live in your car AND use it for transporting small children. I should call my car Closet Car. Not to be confused with my ever so popular Closet Bed. That thing will go down in history, but that's for another day. So typically I'm not big on an organized play date. I will most likely have people disagree with me and it probably comes down to the fact I've always worked since being a mama. I think the main reason it isn't in my wheelhouse is because my kids are still too young. They really don't have their own friends yet so it usually entails me playing defensive coordinator making sure Maddox doesn't choke anyone out. There was a rough 8 months where I thought I was raising a mini Chuck Manson, but now that he's over the hitting phase, I know that it was exactly that, a phase. A wise friend once told me the only thing that got her son to stop hitting was time, and she we exactly right. He turned the magic age of 2 1/2, plus or minus a month, and it thankfully stopped as quickly as it started. I will say I love an organized activity with the kids. If it involves making something or taking a trip to the zoo, tree farm, whatever, I'm down! When something fun is set up, I want my kids to join in in oder to make a memory. But why has creating forced memories caused me so much distress? Shouldn't it have the opposite effect? No, because it goes back to the original paragraph. I'm a lousy planner! I'm no good at remembering to bring sack lunches if we're going to be gone somewhere longer than an hour or two. I'm horrible at making sure my baby has socks on, and I despise a goldfish cracker snack.
Pumpkin patch day I even tried planning by making sure we were out of the house and on our way well before we needed to be. The problem was, Maddox refused to wear a shirt and kept saying "no punkin patch!"
"But you love the pumpkin patch, I promise! Remember we went last year and you got to go on the hayride and run around? Yay so much fun!!" Why am I trying to convince a 2 year old that he needs to go to the pumpkin patch when clearly, he has no interest. What I really wanted to say to my darling toddler was..."don't you remember? I was pregnant and chased you around hillcrest for 40 minutes sweating like a pig because I was in a sweater and boots because it was October and  85° and I didn't plan ahead of time and look at the weather app.! All so we could force a memory and I could feel like a good mom for doing something nice for my sweet boy on my lunch hour.
"Alright Maddox," as I wrangled a screaming Reece into his car seat, "You win. We're not going."
"Yay" he cheered and clapped from the back seat. Oy Vey!
Luckily, I am thankful for friends that do the planning and the creating for me so once every third time my little sweet peas can enjoy a day of fun with other children...and for that I am grateful. Yet, it still doesn't mean I won't show up in a tank top and flip flops when it's only a high of 50 degrees.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'll admit something that I probably shouldn't

Week 33 1/2.  Eight months pregnant would you say? Deep into the 3rd trimester? Whatever you want to call it, I'm there. I haven't blogged about pregnancy even though this is my first go around with it.  Heck, haven't even written about it at all.  Despite that fact, it's safe to say I've enjoyed the majority of the last 3 quarters of the year.  I heard wonderful things, and awful things about pregnancy. But mostly awful things.

"You're going to get really fat, but it's ok, because you'll lose it."
"Breastfeeding will be your best friend.  It will be a nightmare at first, so take it day by day. But then all of that extra cellulite you've acquired on the back of your thighs and butt will magically disappear."
"You're going to be so exhausted you'll start excusing yourself to bed at 7pm every night."
"You won't 'feel' cute and pregnant until you're at least 20 weeks along."

The list goes on...

Oddly enough, most of this is true. Yet, it's strange to say that I've sort of, kind of, enjoyed being pregnant.  Maybe even liked it a tad.  Granted, if I make it the full 40 weeks I still have a good month and plus some left to go.  Many experienced preggos will say that is when you really feel like a heffalump and sheer exhuastion sets in.  But, at this point, I'm still a happy camper toting around a large midsection we call Maddox.
Now I have to admit, there have been a few things I've missed most since becoming pregnant.  Champagne, obviously.  A cold Corona Light with a lime, naturally. But more importantly, cute clothes! Yes, I can honestly say that it's not so much the abstinence of booze, the rising number on the scale, or even the complete elimination of my favorite seared ahi dish.  The worst part about this whole thing is the fact that I can't enjoy the latest fashion trends I'd once become accustomed to.  A lacy peplum top, no can do.  A pair of high rise denim skinnies, not a chance.  My "uniform" now consists of Gap Maternity leggings (amazing by the way), and several shift dresses I rotate on a weekly basis.  I know you're probably thinking, geeze lady, go run to Destination Maternity and pick up some maternity clothes if it's that big of a deal.  But, it's not that easy.  Not only are their prices RI-DIC-U-LOUS, but they truly don't fit that great either.  A few purchases I splurged on included slacks for work and a few conservative tops to go along with them.  Other than that, not a whole lot of stylish maternity options unless you want to break the bank.

I will mention that pregnancy has made my once selfish husband extremely doting. When I say selfish, I don't really mean selfish.  He's not like a lot of men in the fact that he doesn't help out around the house.  He is a big chore guy! Mostly because I'm not, so someone's gotta pick up the slack.  He's always preferred to do the laundry himself.  Again, because I would let our clean clothes marinate in the dryer if I had it my way.  Not by choice really, just out of procrastination and laziness.  So, for the last 3 years of our marriage, he's made it his duty to do all of our laundry.  Kind of cool gig I got goin, huh?  But, I enjoy cooking and serving whatever he likes on a daily basis so there's a trade off.  That's what marriage is all about I suppose.  I will point out he is the baby of the family, and the only boy to make matters worse.  So he lived a pretty cush life growing up.  His mom put a wet towel over his eyes to slowly wake him up for school in the morning.  Even warmed his undies on the heater so his buns were nice and toasty during the cold winter months.  I think it's safe to say he lived the life of a young prince.  Luckily for me, he's rarely demanded such outrageous, diva-like requests, so I like to do nice things for him when he leasts expects it. Because of this holy honor he has held, you'd think he'd be a nightmare to deal with since his wife would be posted up on the couch, too tired to make him his favorite meal.  But in fact, the exact opposite is true. I think he's reveled in the fact that I am putting my body through such strain and agony to start our family. (Or so he thinks)  I have yet to clue him in that it is really not the case. It's not like I'll be birthing septuplets or that my dreams and aspirations include mimicking the life of Michelle Duggar from 19 Kids and Counting.  Nope, I keep it completely confidential that I've loved this thing called pregnancy. He reminds me on a daily basis about how grateful he is that I am growing his unborn child, and I treasure his appreciation too much to tamper that.

So from March to October, I can honestly say that not only have I embraced my road to motherhood, but I've truly taken a liking to the twists and turns this little ADHD-inevitable monster performs; even if it is 4:30 in the morning.  I'm sure a lot of you mamas will tell me to come back and write another blog a month from now when I'm literally ready to pop, but until then, most of it feels pretty good. And although I am not super excited about already not sleeping through the night, and feeling sky high body termperatures that could cook a Medium-Rare filet at best; I cannot put into words how thankful I am for a husband who is overjoyed to become a father to a son, and a wild nugget that never seems to sleep.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting Back Into It

It's been awhile since I've blogged. Really, since I've written anything at all. Nowadays, I don't seem to use my English AP skills as frequently as one would have hoped. Texting, posting a facebook comment and filling out my signature sheet for doctors to sign on a daily basis is really all the "writing" I do anymore. But after several hints and nudges from some friends and family recently, I decided to get back to it! I mean honestly, how much time can someone spend checking their facebook: scrolling down the screen on the fb iphone app so that it refreshes or "release to update." Or clicking back to your ongoing game of words with friends to see if your mom has finally taken her turn to post a word. Well, apparently I don't have a lot going on...I just checked my facebook 4 times in a 12 minute span while mindlessly watching HGTV's Divine Design with Candace Olson.

Time has become negligible on the weekends since David finished his 2nd year of law school. We kind of do, nothing. Literally. Unless there's a family bbq to attend, a 1 year-old's birthday, or we've decided to drive around town and look at houses, we're pretty much some darn lazy fools! It's interesting because I wouldn't typically name either of us as lifeless or slacking in our weekly regimen. But once the weekend hits, we can't wait to do NOTHING! Or as David would say, "kicked it this weekend!" or, "we are some lazy mo-fo's," or my personal favorite, "we chin-chilled all day!" And he's right, that's exactly what we d0. It may be in part because during the school year there's such a drive to hustle and bustle during not only the work week, but the weekend as well. We spend so much time, like many other couples and families, attending to our duties and roles that we get wrapped up in hitting deadlines and checking boxes. So once David has finally completed his last final, the summer for us, feels like a deep gasp of air after a long swim underwater. Essential.

Now, I don't want us to sound like complete losers. But, we've recently noticed a direct shift in our social life. No longer are we antsy to figure out weeknight plans at the newest Fresno hotspot. Instead, we oddly enough are perfectly content sitting in our backyard with a Coke Zero, having friends over for a small barbeque or rummaging through our collection of $2.99 used DVD's for a Friday night movie in our PJs. Just a general change in where our focus has gone. Does that mean we're old? I know we've been getting old. My friends have been saying that since my 26th birthday! But, I think we're actually here. I think we've finally managed to BE old. The good news is, when you hit this point and feel contentment and gratification at where you are, you know you're going to be okay.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Distractability: Food for Thought

The power of distraction. It can take a heavy beating on several areas of your life, well, my life really. Work, chores, a nice conversation over the phone with a dear friend. I can get distracted without even realizing I'm being distracted. But, isn't that what distraction is? A momentary pause, a delay in your normal everyday workflow? I was reading an article in the magazine Real Simple and it was titled the Memory Game. One quote I read that really struck my fancy made me stop and think:

"The problem with being distracted is that we inhabit daily experience in an absent-minded mode. Therefore, we have more difficulty forming strong memories, as if the passing moment didn't leave enough of a trace."

Amen, sister! I mean seriously! Amen, Daphne Merkin! Isn't that so true!? I was beginning to think a dose of Aricept, the Alzheimer's medication I pushed for three years, would have to start to become part of my daily regimen. How is it that I have such vivid memories of whining to my mother for letting my little sister rewind and play Winnie-the-Pooh for the upteenth time on a Saturday afternoon, when I was only five years old? Yet, today, I get up from the kitchen and walk into the garage only to become completely bewildered as to why I had gone in there in the first place.

Unfortunately for our generation, our every existence has demanded our attention in so many different areas at once. From phone calls on our mobile phone, to emails, text messages, twitter and FaceBook, etc. The multi-tasking reality that inevitably is, happens to take place within all of us as a daily occurrence. Even those who don't consider themselves as "tech savvy" or are only known as "uni-taskers"are still somewhat involved in this fast-paced, highly digital, place we call world.

Let's take for example, myself. I'm a bright, independent young woman who should have all of her marbles within reach, right? Wrong. It doesn't quite work that way. Due to the nature of my career, social circle, and multi-tasking lifestyle I have become accustomed to, I am ALWAYS distracted. During a conversation on the phone I figured hey, why not clean house while I'm finishing my afternoon chat. Kill two birds with one stone! Within the first eight minutes of the phone call, I not only had to ask the person on the other line to repeat themselves several times because clearly, I wasn't paying attention, but I also proceeded to clean my entire, brand new, mahogany Pottery Barn dining table with Goo-Gone! After a muted residue formed on the surface of the table, I realized I was not using the Murphy's Oil I had intended to use. Yes, both are a sticky orange substance, but with quite different uses. Take the next day, my roommate found 409 cleaner in the refrigerator, that was my doing. How do you accidentally put kitchen cleaner next to the orange juice? It doesn't even look right! Again, distracted. The following weekend, I discovered yet another incidence of moving too quickly through life without allowing my brain to catch up. I walked through the gym parking lot on a sunny Saturday only to discover I was wearing two completely different tennis shoes. They didn't look alike at all. Not even a little bit. I took a picture for proof.

So even though I write this now, feeling a little sorry for myself for what I have become, deep down I know I'm not alone. So many people, probably mostly pre-menopausal women, are struggling with the same thing I am. But my question is, how do we slow down and take in each memory so that it settles into the gray matter of our brain mass? Does it really take stopping to smell the roses in order to make a memory? And if so, is it even possible in the multi-tasking universe we live in? I sure hope so.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Newly renovated Tuscany residence

I forgot to post pictures of all of our tasks!

I'm calling this, "My Husband, the Good Husband"

So, the Litman's have a had a very eventful week. Let's just say neither one of us would be tagged "handy." Well, maybe I would. I mean, for a chick I'm pretty friggin handy. I painted our entire upstairs bathroom which included removing the lighting fixtures and hardware, all in the first two quarters of the Colts/Dolphins game. Yup, that's right, David watched football while I teetered ON a stool IN the bathtub, trying to reach the top corners of the bathroom with my deep mocha almond Behr paint. Safe, real safe, Litman. But my husband, the good husband, was there by my side everytime I yelled down needing a new tool or wet paper towel to remove excess paint on the ceiling. You'd think he'd be concerned of his precious cargo slipping and breaking an arm. Or even worse, knocking out a front tooth, potentially losing the beautiful smile Dr. Stanley created 11 years ago! No, his number one priority that afternoon was whether or not Peyton Manning would make a completed pass to "his boy" Dallas Clark...and luckily he did, twice.

Monday. Oh, Monday. We almost got divorced. Well, I'm totally kidding, but I'm just preparing you for the unfortunate tasks we decided to take on. For those of you who don't know me, I became very ill about 3 months ago. Out of the blue I started making vast amounts of purchases from various "second-hand" department stores. Ross, Marshalls, TJ-Maxx, Tuesday Morning, Home Goods, I mean the works! It really became a sickness and almost a race against myself to get "the perfect lamp" or "the drapes I have been dying for!" Is that what you'd call Man vs. Man? Unfortunately, I have yet to be cured. So, I found the drapes I had been dying for, and the towel bar "I just couldn't live without!" Now that my decor was almost finished I thought, perfect, now I have a husband that can hang everything I've purchased! What an awesome deal this whole marriage thing has become! To my surprise, well not really, David did not own a tool kit, nor had he ever seen a drill in person. Luckily, Bobby Rocco is our neighbor and quite the Tim-the-toolman-Taylor. We borrowed the electric drill and took a stab at our drapery. Not an easy task. Rather that measuring the window, the rod, the curtains, etc. we decided to eyeball it. It would take half the amount of time and would require no mathematical calculations! Ta-da! Turned out like crap. Both David and myself were up on our own chairs holding the rod up taking turns drilling, hammering, yelling at each other, drilling, yelling at each other, hammering and a little more drilling. It was awful! But, I now have "the drapes I have been dying for" hanging beautifully (lopsided) in our kitchen!

I was going to go on about the new towel bar and drilling that went on in the upstairs bathroom but that's for another day. Bottom line, the towel bar is up, and there are only a negligible amount of holes that need to be patched up and re-painted. Oh how I love newly married house tasks!

"Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time." Old School