Category Archives: Crazy Mama

On The Move

welcome

I suck at sharing big news. I blurt it out awkwardly, say nothing at all, or make a bigger deal than I should. A few years ago, I told you I had a big announcement, and then I teased you for a several weeks prior to revealing that I bought the domain name for The Runaway Mama and switched from a Blogspot to a WordPress blog. Voila!

The process of transitioning my blog platform and buying the rights to the URL were big leaps in my writing journey, but you thought I was pregnant, so when I finally let the cat out of the bag, you were like, “Um…okay.” The ordeal left all of us disappointed because (1) you hoped I was having a third baby, and (2) I felt fat.

I have big news again, and while some of my friends know about it, I’ve yet to write about it. Frankly, it scares the crap out of me, and every time I say it out loud, it feels more and more real and I get more and more anxious. I’m a nervous Nellie on an average day, so now I’m basically a raving lunatic.

Some of you might still dare to believe I’m having a baby, even though I’m on the doorstep of forty and geriatric in the obstetrics and gynecology community. Just like my BFF, Jen Garner, I do have a baby bump, but I’m not pregnant. Some of you might be wondering if I have some kind of cancer. It’s a sad reality for many, but that’s not the news either (thankfully), which reminds me that I need to make an appointment with my dermatologist. Still, some of you might be wondering if I’ve finally written a book. If only.

Here it is.

I’m moving. Out of state. Back to the New York City area. Soon. Like, in a month or so, or several weeks, or a big bunch of days. Holy crap. (See “raving lunatic” reference in paragraph three.)

I know what you’re thinking. No biggie. Whatevs. “Um…okay.” I could live in Maine or Miami and still be the same Anxious Crazy Shopaholic Mama you’ve come to know and follow (thanks, by the way). But it is a big deal, and it’s not just because I have to pack up a house full of hoarders. It’s because I’ve lived in Florida longer than I’ve lived anywhere since I left home for college. The Sunshine State has been the backdrop of more than a decade of my life and marriage and nearly all of my 30s. I have permanent flip-flop tan lines on my feet to prove it!

It’s also where I became a mother.

If this period of my life had a theme, it would definitely be motherhood (or poop). As I throw out, give away, pack up, and prepare to embark on a new journey with my brood, I’m caught between the adventures and opportunities that await in our new locale and the sadness I feel for the friendships and support (and babysitters!) we’re leaving behind. We’re starting anew, but we’re also starting over, and that’s all kinds of scary.

I’m not ready (at all!) to deal with the emotional toll of moving away from friends and family, but I’ve started a mental list of things I’ll miss about living in Florida, including 72 degree winter days, Publix (where shopping is a pleasure), flips flops as an eternal fashion “Do,” and witnessing rain in the front yard but not in the back yard. (That never gets old.) There are things I’m looking forward to in our new locale, too, like the first crisp fall day, shopping for a winter wardrobe (boots, Baby!), and watching in awe as my boys see snow for the first time in their lives.

Of course, I’ve thought about future blog ideas, including “How to Get Your Boys to Wear Pants in 53 Simple Steps” and “Shopaholic Mama Presents: Sweaters That Flatter Every Dog.” Since moving is number three and sandwiched just below divorce and right above major illness on the list of life’s most stressful situations (revisit “raving lunatic” reference in paragraph three), there’s plenty of inspiration for blog posts right now, like “Top Ten Ways to Distract Your Kids While You Throw Out Plastic Easter Eggs, Inflatable Carnival Prizes, Deflated Balloon Animals, Happy Meal Toys, and Other Crap That Will Go on the Moving Truck OVER MY DEAD BODY.” (That title might need some work.)

Stay tuned, my faithful readers, because The Runaway Mama is on the move. But not preggers. Seriously. Not knocked up. No bun in the oven. Are we clear?

Have you done (i.e. survived) a long distance move with your kids? Tell me about it.

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Filed under anxiety, Anxious Mama, Crazy Mama, moving, Shopaholic Mama

Rough Around The Edges

rougharoundedges

I’m nineteen days into my latest bout of temporary insanity single parenting, and I’m starting to get a little rough around the edges. I haven’t quite crumbled, except I did order three pairs of shoes from Nordstrom.com last Friday evening (day 14), and I may or may not have bought an item (or two) from Anthropologie, because nothing says Crazy Anxious Shopaholic Mama spring like a soft, cotton maxi dress…or two.

Anyway, the rough edges: One of the toilets is hissing, the pool filter is clogged, and the dog is on a hunger strike. Around day seven or eight, the kids began sleeping in different beds, including mine. There’s a mild but annoying tummy ache making its way through our family, and – hooray! – it’s my turn. Dylan has a cold, which is probably headed in my direction next since he’s been my most frequent bedmate. The flu is going around school, and Riley’s classroom appears to be ground zero. We haven’t contracted said flu yet, but the possibility alone is giving me aches and chills.

I almost went through a red light with the kids in the car on Saturday because I got distracted counting how many more days we had left. It was 11 at that point, I think, but I got sidetracked when I had to slam on the breaks. I scrambled eggs past their expiration date for dinner on Sunday night (insert sad trombone sound), I have writer’s block, and there’s a book fair at school this week, at which my boys will buy toys disguised as books and we will probably catch the flu. Oh, and Daylight Saving Time. (Why do we do this again? So my kids can have more daylight to play Plants vs. Zombies on the Xbox?)

Even so, rough edges be damned! I refuse to be a pessimist. The world is ripe with problems way bigger than my solo parenting gig, I haven’t seen a single dead rat inside the house, the Wi-Fi is still working, and I only have three trashes to go.  That, and deep breaths (and my shoes have shipped).

Do you or your significant other travel for long periods of time for work?

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Filed under anxiety, business travel, Crazy Mama, parenting, Shopaholic Mama, temporary single parenting

How Does It Feel To Want?

So, the house was tented.

tent2

tent1

(Hoot.)

Been there.  Done that.

Except for the fact that I haven’t stopped moving for three weeks (pre-tent prep and packing, tent survival at the Residence Inn, and post-tent unpacking), it was no biggie.  In fact, on the morning we handed the keys to Armando from Terminix, I spotted a few ants in the kitchen and was like, See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!

If there was a silver lining at all to the Great Tenting of 2104 (besides that my house is termite-free…for now), it was that I got to Clean Shit Out (CSO).  I tackled three bathrooms, five medicine cabinets, the entire kitchen and pantry, and the laundry room.  As nutty as it was, it was epic stress relief for a Mama who, on occasion, calms her inner Crazy by organizing the cabinet under the kitchen sink (I did that, too, by the way).

Filling a dozen garbage bags with unnecessary “stuff” in the course of a weekend was like a giant Ommmmmm from deep inside my core.  The most satisfying moment of Operation CSO, though, had to be when I emptied the refrigerator the night before the tent went up.  During the week prior, we ate what we could, salvaged what still had a manufacturer’s seal, which wasn’t much, and tossed the rest.  The morning we relinquished our keys, she was nearly empty.  Gloriously empty.

I hadn’t seen her like that since we first bought her.  I wiped clean the shelves and drawers.  I scrubbed the dried up drips and dribbles that had collected over the years.  I even found a knife stuck in an unidentified sticky brown substance underneath the cheese drawer.  I had no idea we were missing a knife!   I marveled at the bright, empty space inside the refrigerator and freezer, which had also been hiding a vast amount of long-forgotten and expired treasures.  The bare space soothed me.

Editor’s note: During Operation CSO, I defrosted and ate my matzo ball soup from Rosh Hashana.  It was like saving family pictures from a fire.

When I pack for a trip and put exactly what I need in my toiletry bag and exactly what I need in my jewelry case and exactly what I need in my suitcase (plus a few extra things because a Mama needs choices!), and exactly what I need in my carry-on bag, I almost always think to myself, Why do I have so much other stuff?  THIS is all I need.  THIS is enough.

When the tent came off and we moved back in, we first unpacked all of the exactly-what-we-needed items we brought to the hotel.  Then, we unpacked the shopping bags filled with miscellaneous items we hauled with us, like the last few rolls of paper towels, hand soap, vitamins, Kefir, snacks, juice boxes, and other supplies for school lunches.  The cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator began to fill up again.  Next, I went to Publix and then I went to Publix and Whole Foods and then I went to Publix again, and the house filled up even more.  Finally, we picked up the dozen boxes and plastic bins (and our pet fish) we stored at a friend’s house, and I don’t know where to put any of it!  All the more, we seem to be managing just fine without any of it!

Saturday night at dinner (we had a babysitter, a necessary expense after the Great Tenting of 2014), I told Mike I wanted to spend less money on stuff we didn’t need so we could buy window treatments.  Wine was consumed, so it seemed like an odd rant, but I what I meant was:  (1) We spend too much money on stuff for our kids and ourselves and on food for our monster refrigerator that we lose sight of, which inevitably expires and/or grows mold and is thrown out before we have a chance to eat it, (2) I do want new window treatments.  Woven shades would be lovely, and (3) I want new window treatments because investing in our home – the center of our family – matters.  Party in the Tub doesn’t (although Riley might disagree).

God help me, I want to start my (financial) diet tomorrow.  I do.  I want to stop rushing.  I want to stop packing and unpacking.  I want to unplug.  I want to sit down more.  I want to marvel at my bright, empty refrigerator (and woven window shades).  I want to throw out more and bring in less.  I want to run out of hangers.  I want to stop going to Publix and Whole Foods and Publix all over again.  I so badly want to live with less and I want my kids to want the same, which doesn’t seem humanly possible, and, yes, I’m aware that wanting less is still wanting.

When I was a little girl and I would whine and groan and plead and cry for stuff, my dad would say, “How does it feel to want?”  For a long while, I didn’t understand his question because I thought wanting felt fantastic.  Perhaps it was because a lot of the time I got what I wanted.  (This, by the way, is not a judgment on my parents.  They did a darn good job raising my sister and me, and they should pat themselves on the back.  And they should move to Florida so I can drop the kids off at their house every Saturday night, but I digress.)

Where was I?  Right.  “How does it feel to want?”  Eventually, I figured it out.  I know now that wanting feels empty, or bad, not to be confused with an empty refrigerator, which feels really good.

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Filed under anxiety, cleaning, Crazy Mama, food