Category Archives: Totally and completely random

It’s time to grow up

When I was a kid I wanted to be a teacher. Then a doctor. Fast forward to high school and the call of journalism was seductive enough that I spent the first three years in university believing I wanted to live like a college student for the rest of my life.

Then, I lost the passion for writing. It bummed me out so much, I dropped out of college.

A few years working full time in the real world and I finally discovered my calling…advertising. I went back to school, learned some new skills (hello graphic design), and yes, wrote. Reluctantly. My ad copy professor was very complimentary of my work. She would hand back assignments with questions like “Are you sure you don’t want to be a copywriter?” Nope. I wanted to be a designer. It was cooler, sexier, and more fun.

Internship, graduation, and a string of retail and corporate jobs led me to the mid-life crisis crossroads: What do I want to be when I grow up?

I come from a family of small business owners. Entrepreneurship is in my blood. So, own a business, right? Maybe.

Owning a business is the most grown-up of grown-up things you can do outside of retirement planning, drafting a will, and scheduling annual checks for heart disease. I’m almost 40 and sometimes often I don’t feel like a grown-up.

Then something came out of my mouth one afternoon after fist-pumping and high-fiving myself on an awesome presentation to a client. I want to open my own ad agency.

I was actually speaking phrases like, “five-year plan” and “leasing office space”. I knew I had it bad when I took the kids to the dentist and saw this cute, empty office space nearby. I started mentally painting walls and arranging furniture.

The best part of all this (besides having the coolest job in the world!), Ed is totally on board. In fact, he’ll need to quit his job to make this business work (he’s a writer and designer too).

Sicotte Creative is 4-5 years away, but we’re constantly dreaming and planning it. There are a few of you out there (you know who you are) that I want on my team. So get ready. Because we’re coming.

Jenny and terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Yesterday. *sigh* By 4:00 pm I was cooked.

1. The baby decided that a 30 minute nap was enough – thankyouverymuch. What, you’re not happy with 10 minutes in the car on the way to Target and 20 minutes in the high chair after lunch?
2. My budding mini Kat VonD decided to try out her new markers (damn you Target Dollar Spot!) on her legs, arms, face and stomach.
3. ADHD meds wore off too early causing SEVERE homework drama
4. 13-year-olds. Enough said.
5. Dishes and laundry and smelly bathroom, oh my!
6. It was 85 degrees and our AC is broken.

I needed a mommy time out. But where would I go? I really needed two things: wine and silence. I don’t know a single place that offers both. So I ditched the wine idea and walked Joann’s for 45 minutes.

It had me thinking…there are tons of women and moms like me. Women who want to get away for an hour, relax, have a glass of their favorite beverage, then go home refreshed and ready to tackle the next mommy-crisis.

But what place offers you that? Bars or restaurants are great if there’s a group of friends there together. Me going to a bar alone = sad and let’s face it, a little skeevy.

Shopping is OK. It’s not really relaxing…all that walking around and pressure to spend money when all you want to do is browse and use the loo.

So the old “Sot n’ Sew” idea came up again.

For those who don’t remember, Sot n’ Sew is my fictional crafting/bar. Women (I guess *some* men too) come in with their craft gear, order their favorite beverage, make something pretty and relax while doing it all. No pressure. No loud music. No kids, job, significant other. Just the company of other women, wine or beer, and your favorite paper/fabric/yarn project.

Sure, you could drink without doing crafts, but most moms start to twitch and go through withdrawals if they stop multitasking. And me, I think crafting is relaxing.

Most of all, you can go into a bar alone without feeling weird or that some skeevy guy is going to hit on you.

Sot n’ Sew will also have a quiet room. A soundproof room where the only noise are sighs of contentment and the tap of fingertips hitting a smartphone/tablet. It’s like your bathroom but without all the nasty and mess and kids reaching under the door begging for more juice.

So…Sot n’ Sew…I’d love to make it a reality. Anyone have $100k to loan?

Good Grief Charlie Brown

We have the worst track record when it comes to getting out of the house to go ANYWHERE.

We barely make it to Mass on time.

School? Saved by the Bell (and not the Slater kind).

Zoo? Museum? Beach? Park? It takes us longer to get ready than the actual time we spend there.

Roadtrips? It takes us 2 extra hours.

The real kicker is that Ed and I HATE being late for anything. Yet…

The most comical of all get-the-family-out-of-the-house events happened this weekend. I say comical because NOW we can laugh about it. But in the actual moment, it was the most unfunny thing.

This weekend our friend’s son celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and invited us to his shindig/open mike night party. Invite deets: Be there at 8:00; wear something sparkly.

We started getting dressed at 6:00, planning one and a half hours for getting everyone cleaned, dressed and packed in the car.

Ed owns suits. I have a few dressy Ross bargains. Maeve has some great hand-me-downs. The rest…let’s just say this weekend was a eye opener to how badly these kids need clothes other than jeans, leggings and tshirts. I started ransacking closets at 5:00. Luckily, I was able to cobble together some decent looking dressy clothes. Sure, Max’s button down *might* have been a little short and Violet’s shoes a little tight, but they looked nice.

Oh dear baby Grey…She’s only been on this planet for 8 months so she doesn’t have seasons of clothes packed in corners. She has what she has (spoiler alert: about 15 onesies and 3 pairs of leggings). I did purchase a really nice dress at Target on clearance. I was saving it for Christmas, but this was a dress clothes emergency.

I’m really proud of us. We got out of the house at 7:30, leaving us 30 minutes to get a card at Walgreens (yes we are THOSE kind of people) and get to the party.

(Driveway back out #1)

At Walgreens, I walked the aisles looking for anything remotely Bar Mitzvah related. I can’t even believe I would entertain the thought that a Walgreens on the Westside has that type of card. I must be delusional.

Back in the car, it’s a melee and Ed’s fed up. He starts the car and rounds the parking lot when I hear the baby gagging. He stops, I jump out and finger-sweep a huge wad of soggy paper out of her mouth (for the non-moms who think this is gross, believe me you WILL do this one day without hesitation). Then she proceeds to puke up 8 ounces of formula all over the Christmas dress.

Ed’s immediately pissed that the kids were having a paper fight in the car and now the baby’s choking and OMG, now she’s soaked and reeks and we have to go back home and change her.

*sigh*

Back home we go to change the baby into I-don’t-know-what.

I run in with the baby, ditch my heels at the door and peel the nasty dress off her. I just happened to find a summery dress that will work so I put that on her. I slip on my crocs because now *I’m* driving and I can’t drive in heels. Grab the baby, lock the door and get in the car.

(Driveway backout #2)

We get about half a mile down the road when I start laughing. I freakin left my heels at the door. Back home we go. Ed grabs my heels and we’re off to the races…er…party.

(Driveway backout #3)

We get to the hotel at 8:10 (damnit!), but we have to drive by it to get a card (still?!). Two stores and 20 minutes later and we have a card in hand.

So we ended up getting there at 8:35, right as he was entering the ballroom and right before dinner (perfect timing if you ask me).

My point in all this rambly story goodness…we will NEVER be on time. Something unforeseen will always happen. So roll with it. Embrace our fashionably lateness. Goodness knows, we will.

I love the 80s…but only when it’s PG

We ditched cable over a year ago.

It wasn’t without complaint; believe me, it wasn’t easy getting these junkies off their daily fix of Spongebob and Wizards of Waverly Place. It was touch-and-go at first, but we survived.

We DO have basic cable: All the local channels plus some additional ones like eleventybillion shopping channels (really?? I don’t have fancy cable so I really don’t have money to shop all hours of the night), all the extra PBS channels and a couple of movie channels. OK, so they are more like B movie channels, but whatever. There is one – Movieplex – that plays some decent movies from time-to-time.

This weekend, we caught a trifecta of classic 80s movies:

 

My oldest daughter (12 years old) had never seen any of these classic movies. Being the hip and cool mom I am, I let her stay up an watch.

Wow…I did not remember some of the inappropriate parts to those movies, mostly Teen Wolf.

Did you remember this?

Yeah, me neither.

There were other parts that I forgot about, but overall it was OK for her to see.

Then there was the sequel.

1. I think Jason Bateman made a deal with the devil. That dude has not aged in almost 30 years!

Proof:

80s JB…

2012 JB:

OK…he’s got a few smile lines, but come on!

2. That movie is BAAAAD. Really, really bad. I almost didn’t watch it all.

3. It’s totally PG and appropriate for younger audiences (Yay!!).

Then…One Crazy Summer. I LOVE that movie.

This is probably my favorite part (among many):

The whole movie is a quotable, mad-cap, cheese-tastic film. And I love it. Best thing, my daughter loved it too.

With a few exceptions, 80s movie night was a success. But it made me pine for this:

I need to take a trip to the local used bookstore and see if they have a copy.

Sliding Door Sneakers

Fate. Serendipity. God’s hand. Whatever you call it, I truly believe in it.

One of the things I obsess about is my decision making. Being a religious person I attempt to listen to God and hope that I make the decision that falls into ‘The Great Plan’ he’s laid out for me and my family. And sometimes those heavenly nudges aren’t very clear cut at all. In fact some of them are down right frustrating.

Enough of the righteous gobbledy-gook, let me illustrate my point…

We awoke Monday morning to wet streets, soggy grass and grumpy attitudes. It all came to a head when I asked my son to find his shoes, five minutes before we needed to leave for school. A thorough topsy-turnover of the house produced no sneakers (his ONLY school shoes).

Five minutes later, he had the brilliant idea that his sneakers were somewhere outside. Sure enough, seconds later he produced two of the wettest shoes on the planet. With no time to dry them we had to go with plan B, which were his ratty sneakers from this summer that barely fit.

I was fuming. It was late, raining and traffic was going to be a monster. As I approached the base of the bridge/overpass to make the left turn to his school’s neighborhood there was a six car accident with rescue squad and police just arriving on the scene.

An accident that in all likelyhood could have happened five minutes before. An accident that we could have been in, if it weren’t for the missing shoes.

I apologized* to my son for being upset about the shoes and promised to go shoe shopping that afternoon so that he would always have 2 pairs of shoes for school.

The whole way home I thought about the shoe incident over and over. It wasn’t as simple as my son forgetting his shoes outside. It was definitely more than that. Fate/God’s Hand definitely played a part.

For those of you not overly religious, this is one of those Sliding Doors moments:

  • Missing shoes = no car accident = us going on with our everyday lives.
  • IF the shoes were nice and dry in the house = car accident = no car = possible injuries = money problems.

So next time something gets you frustrated and you’re running late or things aren’t going your way, be thankful. This is God’s/Fate’s way of preventing something terrible down the line.

Oh…and my son is now the proud owner of the current wet/dry sneakers as well as two other pairs!

*Any time we have a disagreement or the kids get lectured in the mornings, I ALWAYS apologize before they get out of the car. It’s a good way to restart the morning and hopefully allows them to have a good day.

Wanna peek at my junk?

Everyone has at least one: The catch-all spot where stray puzzle pieces, bits of school supplies, takeout soy sauce packets and book matches hibernate until needed.

It’s the home junk drawer; the one space in your home where clutter is completely permissible.

Let’s face it, nothing conjures more household mysticism than the junk drawer.  Missing die for Yahtzee? Pink packet of sweetener for Auntie June? Extra key to that diary you had when you were 6? Some random bit to keep your day flowing? It’s all guaranteed to be in this designated spot.

While my home junk drawer is definitely magical, I’m not going to talk about its contents in this blog. Not only would that be dreadfully boring, but I would probably run out of things to talk about in a couple of months.

‘Junk Drawer’ is the concept for my random, tangential writing style with the plan to focus on a myriad of topics. Food? Yep. Kids/parenting? Sure. Photography? Probably. Music?  You got it. Books? Hell yeah! Celebrities? Eh, maybe.

So stick around and keep checking back. I have a little something for everyone.

And just so I live up to the promise of this blog post title, here’s a peek at my junk. Enjoy!