Stories from November 2009

All is Forgiven


There’s considerable pressure these days to be a “perfect” mom, in all its guises: the crunchy granola mom who makes everything from scratch and never allows a processed food to pass her child’s lips, the career mom who juggles a demanding job, running the PTO, and training for triathlons, and – my personal favorite – the beatific mom who claims that every day with her kids is a little slice of heaven, and who never seems to lose patience or admit that childrearing isn’t all that.

One of the things I love about writing for Momicillin is reading the other moms’ columns, and seeing just how far short of perfection we all fall. And the comments on the Facebook page are just as entertaining and reassuring. But I notice that we – all of us – often seem to be confessing, as if we’re laying claim to some sin.

“Forgive me, for I have once again let my child eat leftover pie for breakfast. I consider my kitchen floor to be clean if the dog has licked-up after dinner. I have not exercised in four months, except for sprinting to my car, the bus, or the train every day because I’m perpetually late; (Read more…)

Sensitivity Issues


If you’ve read my little Momicillin Bio you know that Spicy Girl is Chinese by birth and that the hubby and I adopted her when she was not quite a year old.  We are coming up on our 2nd anniversary of this life-changing day, and like any other activity in life, as time goes by and you get more comfortable with it you become less and less aware.  Until you get smacked it the face with a moment that brings you right back to reality.  

When going through an adoption process—especially when you are adopting a child who is of a different race or ethnicity—you are barraged with the realities of being “different” from your child, and the concerns about helping them connect with their culture.  You read books and go to group support sessions to grapple with the issue, and, consequently, your skin becomes a little thin when it comes to comments of questionable taste and sensitivity. 

Recently, the hubby, Spicy Girl and I were in a restaurant (side note:  we DO eat at home every once in a while, it’s just that many of our public moments are more memorable).  She was being fabulously behaved and had a darn cute outfit on.  So, of course she was a magnet for folks to ooh and ahh over. (Read more…)

Taking a Piece of Me(at) with You


I don’t go away too often for business, but occasionally, I leave the family for a few days to attend a conference. I never look forward to going away. In the few days leading up to my departure, I’ll whine and pout a little. Sometimes, I’ll say very dramatically to The Husband, DON’T MAKE ME GO and throw myself onto the bed, Lipton Ice Tea-style (am I dating myself with that commercial reference)?

The main reason for my dramatics? I like my routines. I like resting. Conferences take ENERGY.

It’s not that I don’t get a lot out of those conferences, intellectually-wise. It’s probably the only thing standing between me and early-onset Alzheimer’s.  You know, learning something new besides “How to remove drool stains from stuffed child chairs.” (That was just an example. I wish I actually knew that.)

But, when I walked into my conference hotel room last week, eyeing my King-sized bed to be shared with NO ONE ELSE, BIG OR SMALL, I squealed a little bit. And then did a happy dance. Before falling on to the bed, Lipton Ice Tea-style. I relished the alone time in my hotel room, being one with self and my thoughts. (I can hear my own thoughts! No one is whining! Hey, I have thoughts!)

I called home around bedtime to have the usual long-distance phone conversation that I have with 2 kids under 5. Lots of unintelligible words. About 10 Hi Mama’s.  Was that a grunt from Luke? What did you say, Honey? And then someone hanging up on me by mistake.

I missed them already. (Read more…)

Classroom Volunteering-Do I Hafta?


We, around here, are a public school family. Milo goes to an adorable elementary just up the road and we love it. But, because it is public, it is broke(ish) and requires the time of many parent volunteers for things like reading groups and art projects to run smoothly (ie, run without too many kids getting papier mache up their noses.)

As a stay-at-home mom-slash-freelance-writer, I have a lot of flexibility. So I try to give as much to Milo’s class as I reasonably can. I am a room mother, class photographer, book club coordinator and sometimes, when I can’t get out of it, I actually trek up to the school and help teach the kids.

Last Tuesday happened to be my day. I arrived in the classroom to 25 squirrelly, post-lunch kids who really wanted to be out on the monkey bars or, possibly, scaling Mount Rainier with all their extra energy. Instead they were stuck inside with me trying to thinking of words that ended in –en and –ug. 


Out of the class’s three reading groups, the one I led was, by far, the rowdiest. At our lowest point, two of my girls were doing the hula while the boys played air ukelele. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

Ever been afraid to look inside your microwave for fear that they layers of caked-on mess might just jump out and grab you? Try this: Mix 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda with one cup of water in a microwave-safe cup or bowl. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Then wipe down with a paper towel. Now you can make your popcorn in peace.