Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ph.D. in Pole Dancing

This question to the Ask Amy column in The Chicago Tribune got me thinking.

Now that I’m a mother of two boys, what would I think if my son told me he was dating a stripper?

Like the mother here, I at first thought, of course, I would prefer my son date a Ph.D. candidate than a stripper. But thankfully, I caught myself.

Not only is it sad that I would diss my own past dating self, but it really is absurd that anyone would judge a person by their job. I realized very quickly, hey, wait a minute, I was a stripper!

True, the person I was back then was not a person I would really want my son to be dating, but is it fair to say it had anything to do with me being a stripper?

In my case, I would have to say, yes. My being a stripper definitely stemmed from my acting out in many ways. Although underneath it all I was still the woman I am today, I was in the midst of making some questionable choices.

I will admit, I was not the woman you wanted to bring home to meet mom. Although the mother of my fiancé at the time did handle it well. She joked about my occupation, while at the same time trying to help steer me in a different direction.

Of course, now here I am today—valedictorian of my college class, MFA in Creative Writing. Not too shabby.

Better I get the stripping thing out of my system and end up in a socially “good” place than just be a smarty-pants my whole life.

So my advice to Fretting Mom? Grin and bear (bare) it. Your son’s girlfriend will either turn out to meet all your worst expectations or maybe, just maybe, end up with a Ph.D. of her own and school you in the proper way not to judge a book by its cover.

Dating a stripper is probably something like being a stripper; it seems one way in the abstract and another in reality.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Tired Mommy Blog

Wow. I’ve been tired. I know, I know—not a good excuse for not blogging.

I’ll try to be better, really, I will.

Being a mother of three is nothing to sneeze at though, especially when everyone is sneezing. We’ve all had a run-in with whatever virus seems to be roaming from Jersey to Connecticut.

I’m teaching two sections of Composition at Kaplan University right now and will be going back to teaching at Housatonic Community College in the spring. Although I’m busy, it feels good to be teaching writing again.

I feel like it’s time for a big life reevaluation about now. I need to refocus on what’s important in my life, perhaps explore if I need to move in new directions with things.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Stuff I Say To My Kids

OK, along the lines of, Shit My Dad Says, I give you, Stuff I Say To My Kids.

Lately, the sentences that come out of my mouth are too ridiculous.

The little people in my house don't seem to see the humor, but at least I amuse myself.
Yesterday, for instance, I had to say to Cole: Don't drive the truck on your brother's head!

And I had so much fun saying it, that I decided to say it again with more enthusiam: Cole, DON'T drive a truck on your brother!

If you are a mother of three I'm sure you have said these crazy things, too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Three small children live in my house

I'm surviving motherhood times three so far, but for all those mothers who told me that adding one more kid when you already have two is no big deal, I'd like to speak to you in private.

Seriously, adding one more little human to the family mix is a big deal.

Thomas is two-weeks old and over ten pounds now.  He nurses around the clock.

Cole has been having the most problems.  He's taken to making a fist, pouting, and hitting whatever is nearby.  Thankfully, so far Thomas has only received one sharp rap to the head.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Sweet Thomas

Thomas Jeffrey Terzi is here!

He is one-week old today.  For his first doctor's visit, he has already regained his lost weight; he's back up to 8 ponds 13 ounces.  And it's no surprise; I'm nursing on-demand and his demand is high!  He nurses practically around the clock.

He's already doing well at night; he sleeps in two-three hour spurts, which I am extremely happy with.

I even drove to my kids' school to pick them up.  Not bad for six-days post-partum.

Of course, I've been having my ups and downs, but I'm being kind to myself.  I'm giving myself a break.

But for everyone who said adding one more child to two is no big deal, I do have to say an adamant, what are you KIDDING me?!

It is total pandemonium.  It is heartbreaking to see 21-month old Cole "jealous," although most of the time he is so good with Thomas--petting him and offering him food and toys.  It may just be an act to distract us so he can stick pushpins in him when we turn away.

I'm also happy to say that I've been feeling very creative.  I wrote my first poem in years.  Crazy!

Now I just have to keep up the momentum!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

39 Weeks

Here's my belly at 38-weeks.  Hard to believe I'm even bigger this week.

The doctor has decided my baby is about 8.5 pounds and quite big enough for my body.  So, if I'm not in labor by my due date, September 7th, I'm scheduled to be induced on September 8th.

By next Wednesday the baby will be about 9 pounds!  Yikes.  Cole took four hours of pushing to get out and he was only 8.5 pounds.

Come on, baby!

Come out, come out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hollywood's best-kept secret: Nannies

Hollywood's best-kept secret: Nannies

How do celebrities like Angelina and Julia do it all? With lots (and lots) of help. And they're doing women a huge disservice by hiding these helping hands.

Of course, we moms know this is true, but it is so frustrating knowing that most of the world sees these Super Moms doing it all and so assume we mere mortals should be able to be just as well put-together.

I do admit though, when I see those photos of Angelina floating through an airport clasping some of her brood's hands, that I forget that the nannies are somewhere right behind in the shadows while the paps take their shots.

I applaud Julia Roberts for admitting that it takes a "village" of help when she is filming. 

Now, if only some other celebs could be so honest.

Instead of Angelina just smiling as she donates a check to some foundation and people praise her miraculous ability to balance it all, wouldn't it be great if she had the guts to say, "Sure, I make it look easy, but look behind me.  There are the people who allow me to be able to do it all, or should I say, make it look like I am able to do it all!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Churchgoers reach out to strippers after service, but all is not yet resolved

It seems some church-goers from New Beginnings Ministries in the village of Warsaw, Ohio, aren't too happy about some strippers shaking their stuff at the nearby Foxhole strip club.

The congregants have been protesting outside the strip club, so the strippers tried the same tactic by dancing in bikinis outside the church during services. 

It seems only fair.

But after Sunday's guest speakers, former-strippers-turned-Christians who preach to strippers, it seems like the two groups are trying to find a common ground.  Forgiveness is in the air, but not forgetting.  Both groups still plan the protests.

But the guest preachers did have success at the club, it seems.  They were able to convince two strippers to let Jesus into their hearts, if not leave the strip-world all together.

"Our hearts are with Jesus, but our bodies are at the Foxhole," Gina Hughes said.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Moms mad at model's breastfeeding remarks

It's the same old story.  Moms mad at other moms for telling them how to raise their children.

Model Gisele Bundchen is having to backtrack to explain her words:

"Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?"

She also said that she believed there should be a law that all mothers should have to breastfeed for six months.

I don't see what the big problem is.  Bundchen is just expressing her feelings.  It's a shame that some mothers take this as an insult if they choose not to breastfeed.

Yes, she's extremely wealthy and can afford to take time off of work and breastfeed her baby.  True, she probably wasn't thinking about moms who can't afford that luxury.  But it's just her opinion. 

Why do we have such a hard time letting women speak their minds?

Who cares what Bundchen says?

We as mothers should not care so much what a supermodel expresses.  We should focus on doing what is right for our own families.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Almost 35 weeks pregnant

I normally love the summer; I run outside to soak in the warmth every chance I get.

Not this year.

My enormous belly got a rash on it that has spread and become a red, itchy, blotchy, massive wound.

Just going up a flight of stairs winds me completely.

I was in the hospital the other day because of belly pains and dizziness.

Cole screams for at least an hour whenever he wakes up from his nap.

My daughter hates me—makes nasty faces and comments all the time.

I have zero strength to get any productive writing done on my projects.

I guess you could say I’m a little stressed out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How Do I Know Whom To Listen To?

I was researching other Mommy blogs when I stumbled upon this short interview with the author Betsy Brown Braun on Guru Mommy.

The interviewer happened to ask the question I struggle with...

So how do we get our child to listen? Listening is not the problem. The problem is that your child is not being compliant, not doing what you are asking him to do or not to do. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. You, however, need to grow some credibility, otherwise known as backbone.
What do we do if they ignore this? Position yourself deliberately, right in front of your child and not across the room from your child. State your request clearly, being very specific in your expectations.
And if this isn’t working? Explain the consequence for non-compliance, giving just one warning. Give him a moment to comply, and when he doesn’t, lower the boom (impose the related consequence.) Repeated and hollow threats create children who don’t listen.

It's good advice, I guess.  But I think we've tried this method and it hasn't worked.  And it really brings up the issue of "compliance" in children.  Yes, there are times that our children need to listen to us, but at what costs to our children's future self-esteem?

I want my children to learn independence, too, and not just how to comply with what an "authority" says to do.

Sometimes I think I read too much.  I end up with so many differing opinions on what's right and wrong that it gets confusing to know just what to do at all anymore.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Find Your Peace

I have to go into the OB’s office every week now for a non-stress test. This morning the doctor saw a “decel” of the baby’s heart, so just to be safe, I had to go to St. Vincent’s to be hooked up for an extended non-stress test.

The baby turned out to be fine. The machine was even picking up my early contractions. They better just be Braxton-Hicks; I’ve got seven weeks to go.

That was my entire morning. I managed to stay sane for the whole afternoon with the kids. Cole is so frightened of thunderstorms; he just lay against my body for a half-an-hour during the loud booms.

Speaking of loud booms, Genny did not like it when I said it was time for bed. She freaked out in all her glory.

Screaming. Crying. Throwing books. And her piece de resistance—kicking her mother a few times.

I tried ignoring it. Reasoning with her. Sending her to her room. But nothing worked and she refused to listen to anything I said.

Finally, after holding her door closed while she screamed hysterically, she stopped. I could hear her taking out her dress-up drawer. I managed to get the now freaked-out Cole to bed.

As I came out of his room, she came into the hallway and apologized. She got no books. But I lay down with her.

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’ve read books; I’ve followed my instincts; I’ve been understanding; I’ve been stern.

I always end up back here. Trying to figure this whole parenting thing out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mom on Strike

We went away for the weekend to the Rocking Horse Ranch in the Catskills. And while none of us actually went on a trail ride, Genny did get to go on Pony rides. There were indoor and outdoor water slides, pools, a lake with boating of all kinds, and lots of food.

In between a few intestinal issues for a few members of the family, everybody had a good time.

So, imagine my annoyance when after a fun-filled weekend, Genny started in on her “I hate Mommy” antics at dinner last night.

For some reason, a new part of me snapped and I announced, “I’m on strike! I’m not having this new baby until I feel like I live in a loving family.”

Take that, cranky girl!

“I don’t care.”

Fine. I sat there and seethed in my anger.

“OK, then…well, I’m going to take the new baby and go away somewhere where people love me.”

I got a big pouty look.

After Genny excused herself, Nick looked at me and said, “What was that all about?”

That’s when it hit me. My mood swings have been quite erratic lately. I’m not giving myself enough acknowledgement that being 33-weeks pregnant in the heat of the summer with wild hormones rushing through me is taking its toll.

I can’t control my feelings. When I’m angry—watch out—it’s coming out. When I’m sad—I’m just bawling my eyes out wherever I am. I can’t control it and I just have to accept it right now.

I hope my family can, too.

Genny runs back into the kitchen, beaming.

“Come into the living room everybody!”

Nick carries Cole and I lug my aching body towards the living room. A sign hangs on the doorway: To Mom. Genny.

As I walk in, Genny tosses homemade rainbow confetti on my head. She’s beaming. I sit on the living room table as she sprinkles colors across my face. I push away the thoughts about how when Genny does something nice for me it usually means a big mess for me to clean up.

She did it for me. And I really do feel loved.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ugly Mother

I have something not pretty to say about myself.

I stick my tongue out at my daughter when she’s being a brat and turns away from me.

I call her nasty names in my head when she is being rude and disrespectful.

Tonight I almost slipped and said something very not-nice. I caught myself and my head spun as I stood my 32-week pregnant belly up off her bed, searching for something to say out loud that would shock her into six-year-old recognition of how mean she is to me.

“I…I…I don’t want to be your friend anymore!” I said.
With that, I left her room and shut the door and sat on my bed and buried my face in my extra-large body pillow.

And she does not react. She does not cry or feel bad or care.
And all I can think of is how I would have reacted if my mother had said that to me. I would have sobbed and run to her and begged for forgiveness and told her how much I love her.

But my daughter only says “I love you” to me when she wants something. She does not hug or kiss me. She decided awhile ago that she does not need me.

And we have tried everything under the sun (besides any physical punishment)—ignore the bad behavior, use natural consequences, instill time-outs, take away videos, reward for good behavior, etc.
But again and again she disrespects me. And people tell me it’s a phase and I tried to convince myself of that. But I don’t think it is. I think her personality is showing.

If you are not a mother you are probably thinking, “She’s six! Give her a break!”
I have. And I have.

But how much disrespect and apparent hate can a mother take from her child, day-in and day-out?

Where did I sign up for this? Where were the warnings of what being a mother would be? And how did I miss them?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Sick Toddler and a Cranky Six-Year-Old

It is these moments.  Today is the second day in a row.  At about this same time. 

When my daughter will not listen and I am tired and feeling very pregnant.

When Cole has a 103-degree fever and is lying on the floor crying.

Dishes undone.

Toys all around me.

When I sit on this red dining room rug and cry.  And wish I were anywhere but here.  And wish I were anything but a mom.

And I can understand why women would take their own lives when overwhelmed by it all.

When sitting and crying and asking where is the joy that I feel like some 1950's homemaker, trapped.  Wondering how I will go on.

And, of course, I can reassure myself that it is my depression.  Overwhelmed.  Feeling helpless without my own mother to speak with.  To say, to cry, "Mommy, how did you survive?"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I don't wanna!

Today is just one of those days when I ask myself--why?

Why does my six-year-old daughter not listen to me anymore?

It's been going on for some time now, but when I'm frazzled by my 32-week itchy pregnant belly in 90 degree heat, carrying around my twenty-four pound eighteen-month-old, and being completely ignored by someone much smaller than me, I just about want to scream at her in the face and then run away.

I certainly question my sanity as I sit here pregnant again, wondering where I went wrong with my daughter.  Wondering how to handle this whole whining, crying, moaning, laughing phase.

I am teetering.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Europeans on nudity: Just grin and bare it

Genny just looked at this image and said, "Oooh, that's gross!"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you can see his pee-pee."

"So?"  I laughed.

I didn't expect that reaction from her.  That's why I wasn't even hiding my computer screen from her. 

How funny that I was just going to say how glad I am that Genny, at six-years-old, has more of a European attitdue toward nudity.

I'm curious where she learned her reaction from.  We've always been open and comfortable about nudity around our house.  She sees me, her father, and Cole naked all the time, but never reacts or seems bothered by it.

I've always felt it's best to let kids draw their own lines when it comes to their comfort with nudity in the family.

So why the reaction to a statue?

She barely watches television, so she hasn't learned that "Oooh, that's gross!" from there.  Perhaps from her schoolmates?

Come to think of it, I have noticed that she doesn't like it when I wear anything even slightly revealing in public.  So, she seems to be okay with nakedness in our private world, but not the public.

Maybe Americans really are just more prudish and uncomfortable with themselves.

Perhaps if we saw the nude male figure around and about town and women portrayed in more "natural" states of nudity, we might not be so caught up with what lies beneath our neighbors' clothes.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Kendra Wilkinson: How I became Hef’s girlfriend

It is interesting to hear another ex-stripper's take on how she fell into the business.

It is obviously easy to judge others from a distance, but what can we learn from the stories we hear about how young women are lured into the adult business by older men?

What makes this woman a television star while other women who do the same thing (but on a smaller and less "famous" scale) are considered "whores"?

I think perhaps the lesson for all of us ex-stripper-writers is that if you want to get your book published, you'd better get a reality show first.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wonder Woman...the Stripper?

I have to say something about this image. All I really want to say is--are you kidding me?

DC Comics revealed their revamped version of Wonder Woman by graphic artist Don Kramer and it is...something.

I was never big into Wonder Woman, but my sister was, so every once in a while I would browse through the comics in the 1970s. She seemed like a pretty cool woman, good-looking and ready to kick some bad guys' butts.

But this new image is so disturbing. Is this what we want young girls to think a Super Woman looks like? Are we seriously going to move this much backward in progress? Was there a single woman involved in the production of this image change? And if so, did she agree with the boys, Oh, yes, definately needs bigger boobs, lips, and more sex appeal!

Who is DC marketing this comic to today? Is this comic still for girls? Or is it for pre-teen boys?

Help me out here everyone...why does Wonder Woman look like a porn star?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mom Who Wants to be a Stripper

This is another story making the rounds about a stripper mom. Well, in this case, she wasn't a stripper yet, but had aspirations.

Her eleven-year-old son called the police because she was packing and had told him she was leaving him and his six-year-old brother to become a stripper in California.

The police arrived and she told the police to get take the boys, to do whatever they needed to do with them. When her 11-year-old went to hug her goodbye, she punched him in the stomach.

Of course, the biggest reactions to the story have been of outrage and disgust. Yes, it is horrible how the children were emotionally and physically abused. Yes, it is enraging and frustrating.

But I wonder if we can also look at how sad this story is, too. To hear of a mother so beaten down by life that her greatest dream is to become a stripper and leave her children behind.

What mother has not had the dream of running away to somewhere beautiful like California to start a new life with none of the responsibilities of raising children. If we are honest with ourselves, can we not find some compassion?

This wanna-be Stripper Mom is only 29-years-old with two children. She became a mom at eighteen-years-old--a child herself.

Who knows where I would be today if I had done things the other way around. If I had had a child at eighteen and not pursued a fantasy life, but been faced with the magnitude of raising kids.

And what is this dream that women see in becoming a stripper? Perhaps she wanted to be seen as beautiful and desirable as a woman again. Perhaps she could not find a way to be both mother and woman. For her, the burden became too much.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Opposing Views: Video: Mom Pretends She's a Stripper, Kids Throw Money

Opposing Views: Video: Mom Pretends She's a Stripper, Kids Throw Money

I'm not sure what to say about this video.

It would be very easy to judge in so many ways, but it just makes me feel sad.

Then again, it's not like the mother takes any of her clothes off in front of the children. She could just be playing and having fun. Yes, it would still be strange that the little boys know about stuffing money into dancing women's clothing.

I guess when I think of currently working stripper moms, I tend to hope they don't actually perform in front of their children, but again...I have seen moms bring their kids to strip clubs when they couldn't find a babysitter.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mistresses, Mistresses—Everywhere!

David Boreanaz -- The Marriage is Stable

I feel so bored by all the latest gossip about this and that mistress who slept with this married guy and that married guy and now wants money or fame or whatever.

But, of course, what makes me even crazier is that, again, most of the “blame” seems to be landing on the women instead of the men. Like, what? These women are such evil temptresses that no man can resist? Please. It takes two to tango.

And what makes me even crazier is that these women who have done nothing more than sleep with some well-known personalities will now be able to score themselves some nice book contracts. All it takes is a super-shot of “fame” for some silly reason and you are guaranteed a book publisher will come knocking on your door.

Just being a good writer does not qualify one for a book contract. Perhaps I should do something stupid and flashy to get the publishing industry to take an interest in me.

Alas, I believe those days are behind me.

I am now a mother of two children. Or should I say two-and-a-half?

Stripper Mom will be Mom times three come September.

Now if I could only have sextuplets or something, then I’d surely make a name for myself.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bad Talkin’ Stripper Moms

It’s been a bit since I posted. As usual, life (two young kids, a husband, a house, a job) gets in the way of my writing.

All this Jesse James and Michelle McGee gossip has irritated me to no end. I guess my biggest gripe is that all the reports talk about McGee as a slut and point out how she is a Stripper Mom. Like that’s the problem.

OK, hello, folks! She’s not the one who was cheating on her spouse. Why does the woman always get blamed as being the whore in situations like this? It’s the same with the whole Tiger Woods scandal. The mistresses are made out to be evil and slutty, much more so than the man who did the cheating.

It’s the old double-standard that just doesn’t want to die.

People act all shocked and disgusted that McGee is trying to make a buck off of her affair with Jesse James. But why? She sees an opportunity to make some money without having to take her clothes off! Why wouldn’t she jump on that chance?

Of course, I will admit the whole Nazi photo shoot is ridiculous, but no one would have even cared about it if it hadn't been for this cheating scandal.

I mean, are famous people that stupid? If you’re going to cheat on your spouse and you are a gossip-worthy persona, guess what? When the “relationship” goes sour, which it more than likely will, someone is going to blab to the press for cash. Please don’t be surprised by that fact.

A recommendation to all famous people who want to cheat on their spouses: Get a nondisclosure agreement before you proceed!