Sunday, November 30, 2014

The One

I've probably started this post about 1000 times in one way or another. And then it emotionally drains me to the point where I have to back away slowly and try to put it out of my mind for my own good, and the good of my kids who deserve to have their Mom at least somewhat focused on them and not immersed in the past from which there really are no stones left unturned or lessons to be learned.

But like that Genie's bottle or Pandora's Box, this proverbial can of worms refuses to be closed. The words must come out.

My mother was an alcoholic who died from her disease by way of cirrhosis of the liver.
She was also my Mother and the person I automatically think of when I'm faced with my own questions, trials, and tribulations as I parent my own children.

If I ever do get around to writing a novel, it will likely be centered around a tragically flawed person who despite her brilliance, beauty, charm, and children's desperate need of her, succumbs to her demons and thus becomes a footnote in the life that should have been. Because that's really how I feel. I feel like her story never got told, never even really started, before she died, and now her story is simply the background to my own life. Everything I do, I do either to remove myself from her legacy or try to emulate her in every way possible.

It's a complex thing to explain, let alone, live. There were truly two of her, the drunk, and the mother who so wanted to be perfect for her daughters that she completely came unhinged in her attempts to be.

Anyone who knew her would testify that she was the most fun, lovely, compassionate and wickedly  whip-smart and witty person they'd ever met. She could converse for hours on pretty much any topic, but civil rights and the plight of the downtrodden were her passion. Anything which involved helping the under-dog. From a baby squirrel who fell from a tree, to a client whose kids had never been to the Zoo, my mother was going to help them.

She played the piano and to this day, the memory of her sitting at the upright Wurlitzer and Sons makes me smile.

She ensured that we knew how fortunate we were. We sponsored a child in Africa through the Christian Relief Fund because she felt strongly that to really know our fortune, we must see reality for most of the rest of the World.

She threw us Birthday parties and everyone dressed up and she led the games of Operator and Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

She curled our hair for portraits at JC Penny.

She spent long nights working in her office to spare one client an inkling of misery.

She was always buying blankets to give to the homeless she drove past on her way to work, both in Hartford, and later on, in Pacifica CA.

She taught us that no matter the color of someone's skin, we all had the same blood inside.

She drove through snowstorms to pick up a single Mom and her kids in the  midst of a domestic situation, not out of a sense of duty as their lawyer, but because she couldn't stand the thought that they didn't have a warm place to sleep.

She would nurture the most forgotten among us.

But , because of her disease, the nurturing of her own kids became inconsistent.  Sometimes, there was fear, hatred, and shame that muddled the waters. The older I got the more embarrassing and pickled with anger our relationship became. I was realizing just how wrong things were, that I shouldn't have to drag my passed-out Mom up two flights of stairs to bed, or on the other hand, pour water on her the next morning so she would wake up and go to work. And God, did she play the victim. Everything that was crumbling in her life could be pinned on someone else.

 By 14 I just wanted to be as far away from her as possible. I was done covering for and enabling her. I was angry and wanted the Mom that other kids had. She moved to California and I stayed in CT with my father.

She died in California when I was 23. November 30th, 2000. She was 53, the same age her own alcoholic father had been when he died.

And just like that, the seismic shift from childhood demon to memory's saint happened.

I don't know if it's exclusive to kids of alcoholics and addicts, or maybe kids of the mentally ill can attest to it also, but once your parent is gone.....well, what are you to do with the memories? Are you to allow yourself to remain the harsh judge of their frailties, to stay angry and hurt and utterly powerless, or do you, for your own hearts' sake, allow yourself to look gently on those transgressions so you can have something nice to hold onto in your soul?

I was 23 and she was dead and I never got to fully unleash my anger towards her. I never got the apology. It was all just so sad and pathetic and such a lame ending to what could and should have been an amazing life. I couldn't reconcile the two legacies she left.

And now, I have my own children, and I'm left wondering,  should I?
Do I "get to" honor her? Or were her life choices so selfish that I should still hold her in contempt? Must I recall the brutal details of her failures, or has the act of having lived through them penance enough?

I don't see why I can't do both. Yes, she had a disease and it made her do and be horrible things.

But she was my Mom. She was my Mommy, which my boys now call me. She was a person who did amazing things which changed the course of other peoples' histories. She mattered, to a lot of people, but also, very much so, to me. What I know of "mothering" came from her. When I sing songs to my boys at bedtime, I think of her voice, which, towards the end of my time living with her, used to send my shoulders into tight balls of disdain; but which now I miss so very much. I  remember the kissing of boo-boos, the coloring of eggs, the fanatical Christmas tree decorating, the hugs and the warmth of her, and the love.

She wasn't the best Mom, but, she was mine. At the very least, she showed me what it is to be vulnerable, complex, messy, and ultimately, very, very, human.

Rest in Peace, Mom.
I forgive you, and love you, and think of you all the time. I hope to continue your story and make you proud.
And to do what you always wanted, but never could, do. To write my story with the Happy Ever After you wanted.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Welfare, explained through memes.

GAH! So it's not even halfway through my first cup of coffee when I see it. You know, one of the many memes floating around that says something like "Government Assistance: You may think it comes from rich people, but it comes from people who work 70 hours a week and still can't afford to buy what you can. You're welcome." I'm gonna just let that sit there, while I try and figure out just who this is aimed at. Who is being "your welcomed"? Those on government assistance? Oh, well I guess that includes everyone, because everyone pays taxes so everyone can enjoy the services a government provides. Who works 70 hours a week? Those lucky to have a job. People on government assistance, meanwhile, either just lost a job where they worked 70 hours a week, or are desperately seeking employment so they too can work 70 hours a week. (I won't even get into how ludicrous it is that anyone should have to work 70 hours a week to make ends meet, but that's a whole other blog) And the rich, who the meme says isn't paying their share to those on government assistance? Well, actually, that is damned straight the truth. That's the whole point, I guess, that those with immense amounts of disposable income aren't required to give a fair proportion of it to those with NO disposable income.  

The reason people have to work 70 hours a week has very little to do with paying for those on government assistance. Maybe if those who were so certain that they were being cheated out of their hard earned money looked a little closer, they would see that the percentage of their pay that went towards "welfare" is sickeningly little, when compared to what goes towards the defense budget or tax subsidies for the super rich. If you consider TARP (if you don't know what TARP is, google is your friend) being considered a form of welfare, and most do, then only 9 cents out of every tax dollar goes toward providing welfare services to those who can't provide for themselves. If you don't, the figure increases all the way up to ... 12 cents. The other $ .88 or 88% of your taxes go support the operations of the government or defense. You ultimately get the Social Security and Medicare back. What should be obvious to all, and I mean all, even those who complain the loudest, is that the amount of your taxes paid each year that go toward helping the temporarily helpless is pathetically small! To listen to the Conservative rhetoric regarding this issue however, you would think that if we could somehow cut this portion of expenditures out of the budget, you could cut the tax rate in half; not.

Another thing that really irritates me is that those who complain the loudest about their tax pennies going towards welfare are most likely also the same ones who proclaim to be God-fearing good Christians. I want to implore you to stop. Just stop. You actually suck at Christianity if you flinch at your taxes going to the poor. Period. You have completely missed the whole entire boat of what Christianity is if you feel that way, and should immediately turn in your Jesus card. Right now. I'll wait.

Here's the thing: these memes are posted by people who are my friends. That's why I see them. And I know these are good people, which is why I can't just "un-friend" them and only be "friends" with people who see things exactly the same way I do. But I can't for the life of me just sit idly by and not try to educate them to the reality. The reality is, if the super rich weren't given (by our legislators who are coincidentally bought and paid for by the super rich) every loop hole and tax haven known to man, they WOULD be the ones funding welfare, which, in my honest opinion, is AS IT SHOULD BE. Believe me when I say, it really isn't you or me or my 70+ hours a week working husband who is paying for welfare, the fact is, social welfare programs have been, and will continue to be, the most slashed and underfunded programs out there, followed closely by education. Isn't that something? But Wall St bailouts abound, Banks are rescued because they are "too big to fail", the defense budget is bloated beyond three times what any other nation's is, and we still have children in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA who are starving. Those lazy, grubbing little welfare scum.

I guess I just want my friends to understand, or at least humor the thought, that no one is immune to poverty and it's awful consequences. Everyone is just one instance of bad luck away from needing government assistance in America. And why is that? It's because in America, so much emphasis, so much celebration and glory is attributed to wealth. It's indisputably the main goal for the majority of Americans: wealth. And when that is the ultimate goal, the ones who fail to partake in the cut-throat climb are going to be left behind, and either we, as a society, take care of them, or they die. What kind of civilized nation are we? Would we actually so belittle and dehumanize the poor for their situation in life that we would let them die? Is this 1500's feudal Europe?  Aren't we better than that?  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Many Mothers.

Aware of Mother's Day this coming weekend, I've been reflecting on the many women in my life who have acted as mother-figures. I'm sure we all have several of those women who in some way took on the role of adviser, mentor, nurturer, supporter, throughout our lives. Any childhood has the capacity to have been fractured in some way, and in my own childhood, that came from the combination of divorce and my mother's alcoholism. I've spent close to 33 years formulating my vision of my mother as a whole, and still, I feel as if I've only scratched the surface. Maybe we all feel that way. But whatever the whole picture is, she was flawed, and her mothering style left gaping holes which others, thank God, stepped in to fill, either because I sought them out to do so, or they saw the need and did so anonymously and without being asked.

I think my first "surrogate Mom" that I can recall was my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Horowitz. If memory serves me correctly, (another thing I've realized lately, coming from an alcoholic childhood, is that some swaths of memory seem almost made-up, they're so fuzzy and soft that perhaps the reality was too hard, and so I created some nicer memories out of necessity) even her first name was the same as my actual mother's, Nancy. Nancy Horowitz, in my memory, was the first woman besides my Mom who singled me out as someone special, and talented. She made me feel like I was special in a good way, like I had something inside that was unique and good, maybe even great. She showed me how to fall in love with words, how words could create whatever lovely existence or reality I wanted. Through her guidance, I could make my life better by simply imagining it to be, and putting the words in my mind down on paper. She made me feel loved, and good.

Other friends' Moms also stepped in to make me feel mothered in ways I just couldn't find at home. I remember a particular set of two girlfriends, Tina and Sam, whose Mom's seemed to sense that I needed some extra acceptance and nurturing. Sam's Mom especially seemed to make it a point to invite me along on their family trips and vacations. To me, she was a vision of glowing golden warmth and vitality. In her I saw what I decided was what an ideal Mom should be; she projected joy and love for her own kids in a way that was different from my own Mom, and it felt safer and less likely to shift suddenly. I think I felt a measure of awe that her kids didn't seem to have to earn her love, it was just always there, heaped upon them for the simple reason that she felt it and she gave it because they were her children. That was one of the first times I witnessed real, unconditional, motherly love.

One substitute Mom seemed to have been rather reluctantly, and innocently ill-prepared, nudged into their role. That person was, of course, my step-mom. Obviously, the only more complicated relationship with a woman that I had was with my "real" Mom, and I could probably write a whole book on the difficulty, felt from both sides, of what accepting a new reality, a new mother-force in my life, was like. I can only say what it was like for me, it was confusing and hard, there was no instruction book or how-to guide on what to feel or how to know what I meant to her. All I knew was that this was who my father had fallen in love with and chosen to spend his life with. I wasn't sure what that meant for me. We had gone to the requisite divorce therapist, but knowing that it was "not my fault" didn't translate to what I was supposed to feel or how I was going to be inserted, already with personality formed, into this other woman's life. Or, if that insertion was going to be welcomed. I didn't know if I was an added bonus, or an added burden. After all, all she knew was that this was the man she had fallen in love with, and he had two daughters with a broken Mom. As I sit here sifting through the memories of that time, I have to say, I am only now seeing what a leap of faith she must have felt that she was making. What a risk that was, to knowingly choose to become the dreaded "step-mom".  To say our relationship had its ups and downs is a laughable understatement. She would have had to have a PhD in child psychology to have been ready for the new life she suddenly found herself in. But she stayed, she made a life of her own with my father, and with me.

 It took me many years to truly accept her, and what she gave of herself. My mother got the credit of being the Mom, the kisser goodnighter, the tucker inner, the Mommy memory I created through both intentional, and subconscious, deletion and addition of qualities and memories desirable, and not. When your own Mom is the best and worst thing about your childhood, the one who took her place, in your other parents life, is shouldered with the task of holding the broken pieces later and attempting to make whole the shattered mess. Out of choice. Out of love. Imperfect, and perhaps unexpected and ill-fitting, as it may be at times.
And for that, I am so grateful that she stayed, when for so long I only wanted her to leave. That is love.

So, as it was, I staggered into young adulthood with few skills or tools for living a purposeful or goal driven life. I guess I sort of just felt as though I barely survived my childhood, with my awkward and furious grabs at motherly love. The combination of feeling motherless and the desire to be mothered led me to become reckless, but desperate for approval.

I myself showered love and care on anyone. I would "take care" of whatever wayward friends needed a couch to sleep on, laundered their days lived-in clothes, made them meals, drove them wherever their ill-considered plans took them. But through all of this, it was me who needed care. As much as I told myself I was independent, strong, a survivor, I was really just a child who needed guidance. I self-medicated, and ran with the absolute wrong crowd, but through it all, I kept reading, devouring books, and kept imagining and writing a better life for myself. The guidance that Mrs. Horowitz had given me in 7th grade had carried through, and still, deep inside me, I knew and believed that I was special. Somewhere, in my heart, I knew that I was smart, I knew I had purpose, I knew I was meant for something. I just had to keep going.

Enter "Mama Joyce". I think it was an immediate connection, and I actually think that I immediately started calling her Mama Joyce. Joyce was (and is) that kind of person who just exudes competency and safety; I felt, always felt, that Joyce was a beacon in the storm. She had been through more than her fair share of tragedies, but she just kept keeping on. She was still able to see the good in the World, the beauty in music and friends, the humor in circumstances. She taught me so much, where do I even begin? She foremost taught me personal responsibility. That my life is just that....mine. No one elses decisions or actions have any effect whatsoever if I don't allow it. The past is the past, I don't live there anymore. It's my job to be a good human being. It's no one elses' responsibility, it's mine and mine alone. If I continued to look back at all of life's transgressions against me, I was missing the chance to have a good one now. I was raised with empathy and compassion, but sometimes those qualities turned to inward self-pity. Mama Joyce picked me up, shook me off, and said "Okay, you've had a good cry. Now move along." And for that I can never express enough gratitude.
From all these Moms, and my own, I blended together the lessons and gifts they taught and gave. I try to leave out the things that still hurt, but if there's one thing I've learned, mothering means making mistakes. Making mistakes, but owning them and trying to make them right. 
Oh, Moms of the world, whether you have children or not, Thank You. Thank you for giving love, however you express it. Thank you for spotting those kids who need you. Thank you for nurturing dreams and bestowing self-esteem on those who might not see it at first. Thank you for picking up fragments and providing the glue to make something strong and useful. Thank you teachers and friends, parents who choose to love children they didn't bear, stalwart models of survival and joy. Thank you thank you all my many "moms", Happy Mothers Day.You made me the Mother I am.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Be a Love Ninja. On Sandy Hook, The Brutal World, and Love.

SO, last night, I said good-bye to a friend who had died too young, leaving behind a young son, and then went to hear Scarlet Lewis, Mom of Sandy hook victim Jesse Lewis, give a talk at a local church. So, needless to say, it was an emotionally draining, yet renewing, night.

And Scarlet's words got me looking within, as they were intended. Part of who I am is this super-sensitive feeling person who absorbs the feelings and auras around me. Put in the right group of people, and this is a good thing. Like last night, listening to this woman, who lost the most unfathomable thing a person could, her own child, yet still be completely inspiring and love promoting, it was sad of course but it also gave my soul a serious lift.

But put me in front of the news, with it's 24-hour cycle of tragedy, evil, despair...and I absorb all that too. It presents such a conflict in me. I can't ignore the ugly side of life, that doesn't make it less real. But learning what to do with those feelings, does make them less powerful.

Take what Scarlet said about "following the angry thought". The Sandy Hook shooter, she surmised, was once just a child with an angry thought. But for whatever reasons, he was incapable of not following it. So he followed it throughout his life, this thought, whether it be loneliness, betrayal, a feeling of being a victim. If you feel like a victim for long enough, it turns to rage. And he keep following that thought until it became so big and strong that he was not in control any more. And then what happened, well, happened.

Well all have a choice to follow those angry thoughts. We can follow them, or we can choose love. We can choose to turn the angry thought to one of love. We, alone, as our own person, have that choice. Of course there are always circumstances which make that choice more or less easy. But hearing this woman explain how she did, and then again how she heard stories from Rwanda genocide victims doing the same....well, it's more possible than you think. It takes an amazing amount of strength, but it can be done.

Another thing Scarlet talked about was forgiveness. And what it looks like. Now, since Sandy Hook, I have thought, probably too much about, how one could even go on after losing a child in that horrible, senseless way. As I'm sure many of you did, I just became so ANGRY that this could happen in our World, to the most innocent of all. I still can't help crying, as I write this, thinking, My God, if that had been one of my babies? How could I not succumb to the rage of a heart broken so violently, for no reason? And this is what Scarlet said.

Forgiveness looks like cutting off the tube that attaches you to the transgression. The person, or circumstance, that wronged you, until your forgive, will always be attached to you, siphoning YOUR power, until you forgive, and cut the cord. Forgiving doesn't mean condoning, it just means taking back YOUR power, for survival. Because if you can't forgive, you will never, ever, live a life with joy.

So, as I look about the World around me, and become so immersed in the terrible things that happen...I can choose to forgive, and choose love. I can stop following the angry thoughts. That doesn't mean I'm condoning the brutal, evil things that happen. It means I choose to attack them with love.

Now, another story I just recently was reminded of is from another blogger Mom, Glennon Doyle Melton. It regards her sons fifth grade teacher, a math teacher, who found an actual mathematical formula for love. Here's the link:

Can you believe that? Can you even believe how utterly graceful, compassionate, and easy it is to foster love in this World?

So while I had prepared myself to have my soul torn down and my heart ripped out by hearing Scarlet Lewis' story, nothing could be further from the truth. Guys, we all have the power to choose love. We all have the opportunity to be "Love Ninjas". We can simply UN-follow the angry thoughts. We can seek out those who are suffering and change the course of their life.

Are you with me? 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Blues

We all have them. They sneak up on you, or they crash in unexpectedly, or they come and just won't leave. I'm going to be honest, folks, my blues seem to have come to me when I was 14 and since then, they have just ebbed and flowed throughout my whole life. There was a time when I self-medicated them, but shit got real when I had my first child and I knew actual medication was needed.

Blues can take many forms, too. They can be anxiety, anger, or, as seems to be the case this winter, they can simply be the complete lack of ability to DO things. I have forgotten more important things this winter than I think I have in my entire life. I find writing about them helps, though. It's therapeutic for me to formulate a description of how I feel...sometimes when I read back, I see a solution, or remedy.

Mostly, I try to just keep going through the motions. Having 3 kids doesn't allow for a day wallowing in bed. I just robotically "do" the things which need to be done. The chores, the caring of the kids. The planning and making of dinner. Sometimes I feel real joy at a beautifully made dinner, other times I just put things together with no feeling, and it's okay. They still have food in their bellies.

It's part of my life, who I am. I need to remind myself I'm doing the best I can and that everyone has bad days. But when the days stretch into weeks or even months, I know it's something more. It's organic. And it sucks.

So, I'm thinking, here we go, another part about being a grown-up that I hate. I'm going to have to find a Primary Care doctor covered by my insurance and get a referral to an actual Psychiatrist. I've been getting my basic health care for the past 7 years from my OBGYN. But she is not a "head doctor" like I feel I need. 
I had hoped that being able to fake it until I make it was going to be able to get me through this slump, but I've reached the point where I feel bad enough that I'm going to ask for help.

So, how about you? What's your breaking point look like? Do you think you even have one? There are times where I feel this intense need to be "Super Mom" and do all the things with a happy disposition. But I can't do that when I'm immersed in the blues.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Things I never thought I'd say or do. (Today edition)

1. Yes, I'll make you a mayonnaise and cheese sandwich at 10am.
 2. Yes, you can eat it lying down on the floor.

3. Cake is okay for breakfast.
4. So is ice cream.

5. Ninja costume is okay for school.
6. Yes I'll make candy apples if it means you'll SHUT UP ALREADY.
7. No you can't bring blanky in the tub.
8. No you can't bring the cat in the tub. (or maybe you can....)
9. Fine. You can watch Power Rangers. One time can't hurt.

10. Dear God, I need to campaign Netflix to remove Power Rangers from its line up.
11. I'll buy you guys McDonald's if you're good at the dentist.

12. The lobster tank is where they put naughty boys.
13. Every restaurant has a dungeon also where they put naughty boys.

14.  "No monsters or zombies come near this house because they are afraid of Mommy."
15. Sugar makes you shrink.
16. Yes, I'll put 10 more spoonfulls of brown sugar on your oatmeal.

17. Yes, I'll be the evil Lord Garmadon while you guys are the PowerPuff girls and defeat me.

18. Fine, I'll log off my computer so you can go on
19. Yes, I'll buy you Ninjago books at the Book fair. A book is a book, right?

20. Yes, you can eat in my bed.
21. Sure, go ahead and jump on the bed, even though your brother broke his arm doing just that.

22. Yes, you can bring your candied apple into your bed for your nap.
23. How hard can candy-apple red be to wash?

24. Yes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is an excellent dinner choice.
25. Nah, you don't need a tubby tonight. I'll write a note explaining your red face tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Facebook...Time Suck or Lifeline?

Okay, so, I've read and heard a lot of people say that Facebook is full of drama, that it's stupid, that they're barely on it (or, in some cases, they claim to be "barly" on it) that they're going to deactivate their account because it's such a time-suck, that people should keep their negativity to themselves, that they should get off Facebook and spend more time with their kids, etc etc etc....and I just want to say what Facebook means to me, as a Stay-at-Home Mom to three boys under the age of seven. But first, I want to give you a look inside my typical day.

I get up, I get kids up, I made breakfast and pack lunches. I get the kids dressed and change a diaper. I get one kid on the bus and break up a marathon long squabble between the other two. I put away dishes and start a load of laundry. I maybe remember to brush my teeth and I make a cup of coffee. If I forgot to brush my teeth, the first sip of coffee reminds me to. I take out whatever ingredients I need for dinner to thaw in the sink, and then I log into Facebook. It's true! From almost the very moment I wake up, I am on Facebook! The shame! The horror! My poor, neglected children!

I check in with my friends and family on Facebook, post some news or tidbits I find interesting, comment or "like" friends pics or posts, then I get up and go to the bathroom. While I'm there I realize I need to clean the toilet, so I do that, and while I'm doing that I figure I might as well clean the sink and counter too. One or both of the boys now declares they need more juice or a snack, so I pour or make them their requests. In between, I remind them to use their manners and break up another fight. Maybe a Time-Out happens. I finish my's cold.

As I walk back in the kitchen to make another cup of coffee (coffee and life goes hand in hand for the Stay-at-Home Mom) I see all the crap under the boys bed and holler at one of them to come clean it up. I make my coffee and realize it's probably just easier for me to do it. After that I straighten up their beds and fold blankets. I said, I FOLD MOTHER FUCKING BLANKETS, PEOPLE!! See? I DO shit.

Then I take my coffee back to my computer and see that a dear friend just lost her Mom to Cancer. My heart stops and I quickly send her a personal message telling her how much her Mom meant to me, how I had so many good memories of her, and if she could, would she let me know when the service will be, because I definitely want to be there. I finish my's cold.

I sit there slumped in my chair for a few minutes, tears stinging my eyes, stunned. I'm so sad for my friend and her family, and I start thinking back to when my own Mom died. One of the boys suddenly hurts himself and I pick him up and bring him to the bathroom where I administer the appropriate band-aid and kisses. And I'm off on another task, because man, this medicine cabinet is a disaster, and shouldn't I have already locked away all dangerous meds by now? Bad Mom!!

I switch the laundry over when I'm done with that and get the two boys to eat some lunch, anything but Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which seems to have taken over their palates as of late. I start a bread dough, and set it by the pellet stove to rise. I hop back on Facebook and express my sadness over my friend on my page. I share some memories of her, and others share theirs. It's sweet and sad, but it's genuine feelings being felt, and it's cathartic. I clean up lunch and get #2 son ready for his van to Pre-School. I realize he had an accident yesterday at school and I throw the wet clothes in the washer to wait for the next load and pack him a new dry change of clothes. He starts acting up and whining that he doesn't want to go to school, he says last minute he wants to bring a toy, his driver is already beeping in the driveway. We scramble about for a small enough toy, and I drag him out the door and buckle him in to the van. Bye, Fireball!

By now it's noon, and time for #3's nap. I get him some water in a sippy cup, grab his blankly, put him up on the top bunk, take down the ladder, turn on the sound machine, and blow him kisses as I shut the door. He either cries or he doesn't. It doesn't matter, he needs a nap.

I walk back through the laundry room and realize the dryer is done. I heave out the mammoth pile of clothes, consider just leaving them, realize how hangry I am (you know what hangry is, right? It's being suddenly irritable because you're hungry, so it makes you angry, hence, "hangry") so I go finish off the remnants of the boys sandwiches or mac n cheese from lunch. I'm preventing waste, cleaning, AND self-caring all at the same time. Talk about multitasking!

 I go back to the laundry, knowing if I leave it for later I'll just be pissed that I did, so I fold it and put it away. I go back to Facebook, read a few more articles, read a book review that makes me add another book to my Kindle, post a couple more pics or whatever, message a friend about a possible play-date later, and log out. It's my naptime too.

An hour goes by too quick and I hear Stealth Ninja calling from his room. I go get him, change his wet diaper and clothes...and blankets and sheets. I throw the added laundry in the washer and start the load. I set Ninja up with some books in the family room and do a quick toy pick-up and vacuum. Holy crap, it's only been a day, how the fuck did all this crap get on the floor? I see a sticky spill and grab some wipes and clean it up. While I have the wipes in my hands I decide I might as well dust the whole family room and give the TV a good wipe while I'm at it. I wonder how on Earth my kids got all those finger and hand prints all over it...were they playing Patty-Cake with it or something? Jeez. I finish up and sit down with Ninja. He hands me "Little Blue Truck" and I read it for the 538th time.

I look at my calender and see that I've written something down on the 26th, put a star around it, and I have NO IDEA what it says. My hurried handwriting is indecipherable. I take a pic and post it on Facebook, asking for help in reading it. Yes. It's come to that. I can't read my own handwriting because I was probably holding the baby or blocking a Nerf football or something while I wrote it. I'm slightly panicked because I know that if I put a star around it, I know it's something important, and with my Mom-Brain lately, I've been forgetting really important appointments and I feel like a fool when I do.

I go start dinner and Fireball and Lucky both get home from school at 3:30. I make them afternoon snacks and it's their allotted TV time. .............................. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah RIGHT! LMAO that TV has been on CPTV all damned day long. I'm sorry. I know it's not good for them. I'm a bad Mom, remember? I'm on Facebook all day and my kids are parked in front of the TV, and if they bother me in the middle of Words With Friends I'm gonna decapitate them.

The washer beeps and I put the wet stuff in the dryer. I field a phone call from Lucky's teacher, who's calling to say Lucky won a school-wide writing award! All that TV must have really worked! I'm so proud I have a lump in my throat, but I have to keep it a secret because he'll be getting the award at the next days' assembly. I go in my bedroom, close the door, and call Klondike to let him know we're raising the next Ernest Hemingway. He's equally proud, but regrets to tell me he's working late, past the boys bedtime. I nix my previous dinner plans and decide to ask Lucky what his favorite dinner would be, just because. He asks for Chicken nuggets. I decide to make a special dessert too, so I mix up a chocolate Lava Cake in my Pampered Chef deep baker. In between all this, yes, I admit, I'm back on Facebook to brag about Lucky and gloat over my suddenly super lazy and easy dinner plans.

I check back on my calender pic and my friend realized what I wrote down was "Scarlett Lewis, 7pm". Scarlett Lewis is a Sandy Hook Mom, and she's speaking at a nearby Church on the 26th. I had written it down because even though I know it's going to be a terribly hard thing to hear, my soul tells me I have to be there. I just can't even...the thought of what happened, happening again. I have to hear from her how she continues going on. I have to know because if it ever happened to me, I don't know if I could. I knew about this event because of FACEBOOK events! Thank you Facebook!

Dinner's ready when "Wild Kratz" is over, 6pm. Yep, I schedule meals around CPTV's line up. Dinner is for once heartily enjoyed by the boys and dessert is a hit. But the chocolate is everywhere so I realize I guess it's gonna be a bath night. I go start the tubby and see the bath toys are still in the tub from a couple days ago. Because the Good Lord knows, putting them away is pointless when I know there's a much greater likelihood of the boys getting bathed than me getting showered. Sorry, is that TMI? When it comes to showering, I'm on a "only if I really really have to" basis. Because, at this point in my motherhood journey, it's more of a chore than a necessity. It is what it is. Anyway, leaving the toys in the tub is less work for me, so it's win-win!

As the tub is filling I clean up the dinner dishes and start the dishwasher. Wipe down my sink and give the boys a bath. I get them out, in their pajamas, teeth brushed. I sing the songs, I kiss the mouths and foreheads. I put on a Harry Potter book-on-tape (because it's Daddy's job to read books, and if he's not home for bedtime, sorry, this Mama's beat) and close the door. Grab the wine, get back on Facebook. Read up on some more memories of my dear friend who passed. Decide I'm going to enter a chili in her honor at this weekend's Chili Cook Off at Bethany Lutheran Church. I putter around the family room, putting more toys away, straighten the couch cushions, sit back down, share some more mindless stuff on Facebook, check my events, rsvp to a couple of friends' upcoming Stella and Dot and Lia Sophia parties, and log off.

So, that's just a typical day here. Yes, I am "on" Facebook all day. Are my kids ignored? Only so much as an army of pee-soaked, grape-jelly covered, hungry, emotional, needy, loud, interactive, wild, funny, and loved clown gorillas could be ignored. So what. I love Facebook. It keeps me connected to my life beyond this house. I get ideas for recipes, activities for my boys, invitations to things I wouldn't otherwise know about. I share and am shared with. I laugh and cry through Facebook. I find out what's going on with family and Friends. I can't for the life of me understand why some people have to begrudge me that.

"Get off Facebook and spend time with your kids". That's the comment that started this blog today. Can't they see that that's exactly what I do, all day, every day? I am home with my kids. I am playing with them, I am reading to and with them, I am feeding, cleaning, and caring for them all day, every day. And when I want to? I'm on Facebook. Because Facebook is a part of my life that I truly do cherish. Excuse me for that. Or don't. If you are "barly" on Facebook, why does it bother you if someone else is?