Tuesday

How Flying Went from Fun to Fuuuuuuuuuu**


Before Kids:  21 Year Old Good-Time-Fun-While- Flying-Me (thank you, Bridesmaids, for the illustrations)

After Kids:  Flying Alone - Nervous Nelly - 41-year-old Me Hyperventilating & Dropping F-bombs- Me


I should warn you - it's been a very long time since I've used the f bomb and other offensive language - but to better illustrate my point, I indulged for this one.  Please, if you are offended easily by the Lord's name and the use of vulgarity - feel free to pass on this one. Clearly, when in stressful situations, my inner voice has a potty mouth and my inner voices need a valium.  Thanks !

Recently I had to take an emergency flight back to Ohio by myself.   As in - no kids - no husband - no one. Just me.

You'd think after being a flight attendant for so long that wouldn't bother me at all.  The thing is, I was a flight attendant BEFORE I had kids.  If you would have told 21 year old me that 41 year old me would be scared to fly, she would have laughed in your face and called you a liar.  Turns out, it's true.

21 year old me flew sometimes EIGHT flights a day back and forth back and forth in and out of Boston.  21 year old me laughed in the face of turbulence, ate pretzels for lunch and threw back a few sodas a day to stay alert during the tough days.  41 year old me is the woman I joked with during my trips down the aisle because I could see her fingernails leaving imprints in the arms of the seat.  41 year old me is the same woman who could barely breathe when we were taking off, and the same woman who I had breathe into a paper bag to prevent hyperventilating.

Here's the thing, I'd be willing to bet that 21 year old you - and Post-Kids you is also very different.  Our little people NEED us  - we have a semi - legit sense of importance now and that is enough to strike fear into even the most wild and carefree heart. When I got on that flight by myself, as experienced of a flyer as I am/was, I thought for a millisecond to myself what if this is it for me?   Please, please tell me I'm not the only one who has that less-than-a-second horrific thought of what could happen when you step on that plane?  I hate that it even crosses my mind.  I was always the flight attendant that could calm anyone down, I could ease and soothe, help and befriend, talk down and focus on other things.  And here I was..the roles, reversed now.  Luckily, by some miracle, I managed to take off and land twice without incident, and am happy to say I lived to write this blog.  I'm kidding of course, but I am not joking about how different flying really is for me now.

I decided to make a list of how flying has changed for me - some ingredients of it is due to 9/11, some due to kids, some due to getting older - regardless - I'm hoping that by putting this out there, you'll say OMG ME TOOOOO!! So I don't have to feel alone in my shame of getting to be a Nervous Nelly in my old age.  I will say, that  I know enough about flying and evacuation and airplanes that I can talk myself down from almost any noise during a flight - but the simple fact that I can't even hear myself think over the pounding of my heart in my throat from one little bump, one weird smell, or a funny sound, that sometimes thinking it through is impossible.  That brings me to my list - to get through this crazy evolution I've experienced - the easiest thing is to just find the humor in the truth of it.  Enjoy.



How Flying Went from Fun to Fuuuuuuuu*k (How my Inner Voices Changed Over 20 Years)
(black is then, red is now)
1.  I paid little or no attention to the safety announcement, mainly because I had the spiel memorized, but also because I figured - eh, I'll cross that emergency exit when I get to it.  In the meantime, I'm going to look at the InFlight Bar Selection in the InFlight magazine and shop skymall until she's done. Now - I listen to every damn word of that spiel and then panic trying to remember what she said - SHIT - DO I SECURE MY CHILD'S MASK FIRST OR MINE? I CAN'T REMEMBERRRRRRRR! WHO COULD BE SHOPPING SKYMALL DURING AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT LIKE THIS???
 2.  Ohhh the flight is a little bumpy today..must be passing through a little rough weather patch.  WHAT IN THE SAM HELL WAS THAT??? I DON'T WANT TO HOLD THE HAND OF THE WEIRD NERDY GUY DOING SUDOKO NEXT TO ME - PLEASE DON'T LET HIM BE THE LAST PERSON I TOUCH IN THIS WORRRLD! IT'S NOT FAIR  I WANT MY HUSBANNNNNNND AND KIDS! 
3.  Any noise was fine, natural, and a normal - to be expected, noise of a healthy flying plane.  WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT OMG OMG OMG JESUS MARY AND ALL THE SAINTS HELP THE PILOT LAND US SAFELY.  MY HUSBAND WILL NEVER KNOW WHERE I KEEP ANYTHING - HE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT ME....THIS FAMILY WILL NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT ME DO YOU HEAR ME GOD?? NO ONE KNOWS WHERE ANYTHING IS IN OUR HOUSE!!! I WANT TO LIVE!
4.  Upon takeoff, the view was breathtaking, I loved watching the ground get smaller as we ascended to our cruising altitude and oh look, a beautiful flock of birds are flying near the plane.  OH MY SWEET JESUS THERE ARE BIRDS NEAR THE ENGINE OH DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN, NOOOOOOO! THIS IS SOOO BAD!! I KNOW THAT BIRDS CAN CAUSE PLANE CRASHES ! BIRDS ARE BAD, VERY VERY BAD!
5.  Look how stunning the ocean waves look below us! How I love this view when I fly!  I'LL NEVER SURVIVE IN THAT WATER WHAT IF SHARKS EAT ME BEFORE I DIE OF HYPOTHERMIA? OH GOD THE TITANIC, ALL I CAN THINK OF IS THE TITANIC AND I'M LEO INSTEAD OF ROSE.  I NEED TO CLOSE THIS BLIND IMMEDIATELY.  I DON'T WANT TO LOOK!
6.  Aww that poor man is searching for something he can't seem to find in his bag.  Maybe I should help him?  WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT GUY REACHING FOR IN HIS BAG OMG PLEASE DON'T TELL ME THEY LET HIM THROUGH SECURITY WITH MORE THAN 4 OUNCES OF HAIR GEL...I KNEW IT, IT'S FLAMMABLE.  OH DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN HELP ME.  HOW WILL MY HUSBAND KNOW WHAT TO PACK THE BOYS FOR LUNCH, THEY ARE SO PICKY - THEY CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT MEEEEE.
7.  That guy is taking a long time in the bathroom..tee hee..what could he possibly be doing in there?  THAT GUY IS TAKING A LONGGGG TIME IN THE BATHROOM - OH MOTHER MARY NO NO NO - WHAT COULD HE POSSIBLY BE DOING IN THERE???  HE'S TAMPERING WITH THE SMOKE DETECTOR I JUST KNOW IT.  OH GOD WHY DIDN'T I BALANCE THE CHECKBOOK BEFORE I LEFT FOR THIS TRIP- HE'LL NEVER KNOW MY SYSTEM OF ROUNDING UP TO MAKE THE MATH EASIER AND HE'S GOING TO SEE ALL OF MY CHARGES FROM AMAZON PRIME! 
8.  How fun to swipe my credit card in the seat back and make a fancy call from the plane! NOW EVERYONE HAS CELL PHONES SO YOU DON'T NEED THOSE FANCY PHONES ANYMORE.  OMG THEY SAID TO TURN THE CELL PHONES OFF - NOT EVERYONE TURNED THEM OFF - I CAN HEAR PEOPLE ON THEIR PHONES PLEASE LORD DON'T LET US TAXI DOWN THE RUNWAY YET THEY ARE GOING TO INTERFERE WITH THE FLIGHT INSTRUMENTS!!  I HAVEN'T DONE HALF OF THE THINGS ON MY BUCKET LIST YET - OMG I DON'T EVEN HAVE A BUCKET LISSSSSSSSSSSSST!
9.  The co-pilot has to pee...poor guy...when you gotta go, you gotta go.  OH NO, PLEASE NOOO, IS HE SICK? WHAT'S HE DOING? WHAT COULD BE WRONG? HE MUST HAVE HAD SOME BAD AIRPORT FOOD AND NOW HE LEFT THE CAPTAIN UP THERE BY HIMSELF THIS IS SO BAD, THIS IS SOOO VERY VERY BAD.  I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE HAD THAT BOSTON CREME DONUT THIS MORNING AND NOW IT WON'T EVEN MATTER..I'M GOING TO DIE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.  OH PLEASE LET ME LIVE AND I'LL NEVER REFUSE DESSERT OR COMPLAIN ABOUT CALORIES EVER AGAIN!
10.  Awww look at that tall dark and handsome dude sitting in the exit row! Wish I was seated next to him!  OHHH SHIT - LOOK AT THAT TALL DARK AND HANDSOME DUDE IN THE EXIT ROW!!!  WHY DID HE CHOOSE THAT ROW? BECAUSE HE HAS ACCESS TO THE DOOR THAT'S WHY - OH HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO MY FLIGHT OF ALL FLIGHTS - I JUST HAD TO FLY BY MYSELF DIDN'T I, I INSISTED ON DOING THIS AND NOW LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENING!


Flying was fun back then - I'll admit it.  Yes, I saw my fair share of scary things, but I experienced so much, and I met and was able to help so many people.  It was a great experience for a curious girl full of wanderlust in her early twenties.  Every city was a new adventure and every flight had something fun in store for me.  Now, I find the joy and adventure in the eyes of my boys, and my husband and I are having fun watching their every experience.  When the boys yell with delight at a plane flying overhead, I laugh at their innocence and revel in their curiosity - but I'm good down here with my feet on the ground.  I'm good.

Until next time my friends...


Blue skies and puffy clouds, safe flights and full pretzel bags,
xo
DG


Friday

If Fitting Room Walls Could Talk....

With the warm weather finally here, it was time to update my tired wardrobe and take myself on a little shopping spree.  I found some really cute tops and long skirts, as well as capris and tshirts, and of course, my fave - maxi-dresses!  I took the maximum items allowed in with me to the fitting room, hung them on the general population hook then took each item, tried them on one by one and made the decision whether they were going on the 'definitely buying' hook or the 'hells no' hook.  This, my friends, is why they have at least 3 hooks (and the back of the door) in fitting rooms. To sort, narrow down, and organize.

I don't know about you, but most of the lies I tell myself happen within these 4 tiny mirror-covered walls in the department store.  I've been telling them to myself  for years and dealing with the buyer's remorse or poor judgement calls post-purchase.  It's all part of the fun process, though, isn't it?  Who doesn't have a few items with the tags still on them hanging woefully in their closet?  Good ideas-at-the-time, gone-wrong, items that weren't quite right that we talked ourselves into buying for different reasons, and even a few items that might deserve a Cher-type Moonstruck slap to SNAP OUT OF IT next time you think you can pull off a halter top like that.

Here is a fun list of follies, funnies, and flops that we tell ourselves when we're in the confines of that poorly illuminated cubicle that brings out the shady salesman in all of us.  We are gifted at telling ourselves exactly what we want to hear in those tiny fitting rooms!!  So have fun, read, and if you laughed, then feel free to share it.  Happy Shopping - Love and Good Fitting Clothing Now and Always, ~DG

Seriously - can you risk not having this great buy in your closet when you need it??

Top 20 Fitting Room Follies by DG


1.  It'll look better on me with different undies.


2.  The lighting in this fitting room is terrible. It'll look better with natural light.

3.  These mirrors aren't right. It'll look better in my mirror at home.


4.  I'm totally wearing the wrong bra for this. It'll look better when I wear my good bra.
I could have majored in Sale Math.
5.  You cannot beat this price.  The price is just too good to pass up. Even if I only wear it once, I'd kick myself if I passed this sale up.


6.  This will look so much better with my heels.  It will look so much better when I'm wearing my high heels.

7.  This will look so much better when I actually do my hair and makeup.        I'm just not doing this outfit justice with yesterday's eyeliner and a sloppy ponytail.

8.  If they only had the next size up - but they don't - so I'll just lose a few         pounds before I wear it.  It won't be that hard to just watch what I eat for a few days, right?



9.  I'd better pick up a pair of Spanx while I'm here.


10.  I better get the sweater, those pumps AND the tank top that goes with this skirt or I won't be able to find them when I need them.  I'll get so much wear out of that outfit it'll pay for itself ten times over.

11.  The damn security tab is 4 inches long and makes my thighs look so much bigger than they really are. It'll look so much better when it's off.

12.  A really cute necklace and this shirt will look like it fits perfectly on me!

13. I totally need to color my hair. Everything looks better when my hair is nicely colored.

14.  I'm bloated from PMS, my belly will be much less puffy if I try this on at home in a few days.


15.  The lighting at the restaurant/club/event will be dark so you won't be able to see how tight this is.

16.  This is a must-have for every closet.  I'm making an investment in myself by having this if I need it one day.


17.  It's hard to find this name brand at this price! 


18.  With a pair of really great shoes and a big purse, no one will notice my ass looks huge.

19.  You deserve this.


20.  SCREW IT - I'LL BUY ALL THE THINGS! I CAN ALWAYS RETURN THEM.


Thursday

I'm Starting with the Gargoyle in the Mirror


My birthday recently passed.  One of the lovely gifts I received was a generous gift card to Athleta from my in laws. Athleta catalogs already come to my house for some unknown reason - I'm neither a Yogi, nor a Pro-Volleyball player, I'm not over 6 feet tall, and I don't competitively Paddle board around the lakes here where I live.  The catalog, however, IS inviting.  It's intriguing to a 5'5" (on a volumized hair day) Greek girl like me.  By the time I'm done scouring the inner pages, they almost have me believing that I too could look like a bronzed seafaring goddess this summer.  And then my inner voice starts in on me.

HEY GIRL - REMEMBER THAT 20 DAYS TO TONED ARMS PLAN YOU FOUND ON PINTEREST THAT YOU SWORE YOU WOULD COMPLETE BEFORE MAY 1ST? JUDGING BY THE JIGGLE WHEN YOU WAVE GOOD BYE TO THE KIDS IN THE MORNING, YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT PAST DAY 3.

HEY GIRL - SEE THAT SIX PACK ON THE MODEL ON PAGE 2? YOU HAVE MORE OF A 40 OZ GOING ON AROUND YOUR WAIST.

HEY GIRL - NOTICE HOW THERE IS A RAY OF SUNSHINE BEAMING THROUGH THE THIGHS OF THE GIRL WITH THE SURFBOARD?  DO YOU NOT REALIZE THAT LIGHT HAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER SHINE THROUGH YOUR UPPER LEG AREA?

HEY GIRL - SEE HOW LONG AND LEAN THE YOGA MODEL'S ARMS ARE IN THAT TANK TOP? HER ARMS ARE SIX TIMES AS LONG AS YOURS AND YOUR BONES AREN'T EVEN THAT SMALL. 



As I continued to flip through the Athleta pages, I noted their 0% body fat, their perfect ponytails, and their never-before-breastfed-a-baby perfectly upright boobs and I thought - good for them! They look amazing, they are paid to look amazing and they can either afford to work out 4 hours a day or they were blessed with the metabolism of a cheetah.  Even their barely-there-wedgies are adorable on them.  The last time I looked adorable sporting a bathing suit wedgie, I was 2 years old.  Regardless, I'm not a hater.  I don't hate the playa - I hate the game.



When I finally threw the copy of Athleta down, put my feet up, and opened up a fresh bag of SkinnyPop (what do you mean you're not supposed to eat the entire bag?) for my afternoon snack, I cracked open one of my favorite books and found this gem - it was like I was meant to read this today - she won my heart at the word 'gargoyle':
It's a good thing we don't know how attractive we are...When pressed, we will confess to having a few agreeable anatomical features, such as nice shoulders, strong legs, or slender ankles, but most of us grossly underestimate our physical appeal.  We are never fully aware of our real charms - the way we sip our tea, the way we sing off-key, the way we dance til' three.
Let's be frank: We all are shy. In private, most of us have unflattering opinions of our physiques.  With reason. We are constantly reminded that our bodies don't measure up to the stringent contemporary standards of perfection. So much so that on bad days our inner micros would have us believe that we are pigeon-breasted and hunchbacked - like the gargoyles of Notre Dame...
Today, catching a glimpse of one's reflected image is a common enough occurrence, yet we still hesitate before recognizing the person in the mirror as our alter ego.  Fixing our likeness in the eyes, we see someone who looks as surprised as we do...Just a few feet away stands a perfect stranger - an identical twin we didn't know existed.  ~Veronique Vienne, The Art of Imperfection

So - I'm starting with the gargoyle in the mirror.  I'm asking her to change her ways.  And no message could be any clearer - if you want to make the world, a better place take a look at yourself and make the change. (Michael Jackson)

So I will go to the beach in my favorite maxi dress this year instead of an Athleta strappy ensemble? So what. Maxi dresses are hip, hot and happy - all at the same time.  They cover a whole hell of a lot and look amazing on everyone.

Thank the fashion gods.  Now if they'd only make a maxi-bathing suit?  

So my flabby arms shimmy back and forth when I wave to someone - at least I have someone to wave to.

So my 60 days to get fit before the dog days of summer turned into the $60 I'd spend on a Miracle Bikini online - so what?  I'm healthy, I'm happy and doggonit people like me.

I might sweat profusely this summer, but I'm not sweatin' the small stuff.

As far as my Athleta gift card? I'm going for a killer hat that will distract people from looking at my ass at the beach.  So there.

Screw you swimsuit season.  You don't get to tell me what to do and how to feel anymore.  I'm 41, and I have enough meat on my bones to cushion my falls.  It's all good. As far as the gargoyle in the mirror?  She's one cute gargoyle.

Cheers to brilliant-fitting, comfy fabrics and slimming patterns during the warm months..
xo
~DG

Friday

Swap a Smile...



Hello friends..sorry it's been a while!

I haven't been around much -mainly because life is busy, but also because there are so many negative stories swirling around the internet that you can get sucked in to a hurricane of negativity so easy it'll make your head spin.  I try to avoid the internet when I start feeling bombarded with the ugly.

Lately, I've been reading some pretty awful stuff in my news feed - so much of it is about kids and bullying and how rotten they are.  I hate bullying with every fiber of my being.  I do.  But instead of going on a rant about mean people - I'm going to tell you a story about one of my causes that I volunteer for in hopes that I can tell a feel good story, instead.

The idea came from the school Nurse that I work with at the middle school.  We had been getting so many clothing donations that the Care Closet was getting a little cramped in the supply closet.  Her idea was to have a 'New to You' type of clothing swap.  She asked that any student who wanted to participate bring up to 5 items of gently used clothing - in exchange for 5 tickets.  If they didn't have anything to bring, that's okay too - the clothes at the swap could be purchased for 25 cents each.  (If they didn't have 25 cents, we would have an envelope of 5 tix for them anyways).  We also advertised on the school website and the local paper and got even more bags of clothes from the community.

We arranged the tables and tables and TABLES of clothing by size and gender.  We hung dresses and tops from a few rolling racks we had.  The gymnasium was converted into a temporary shop, complete with the locker rooms as dressing rooms and the corner was even a shoe shop with benches!  I couldn't believe the clothes that were there - the colors - the sizes - the selection!

When it finally came to be 2:30 there was a line outside the gymnasium door.  Everyone in the school was invited to shop the swap.  The only way I can describe what happened next was if you remember years ago when Filene's Basement used to have their big wedding gown sale and the 'running of the brides' and their bridesmaids to try on anything and everything they possibly could as soon as the doors opened.  The only difference is, there was no stampede to hurt each other or grab - the giggles were all you could hear throughout the entire school.
(from cbsnews.com)


The girls were giddy as they searched for treasures in the tables marked by their size.  I worked the checkout counter where they would come and plop down their 5 items ranging from Aeropostale hoodies, to Hollister tshirts, to Gap shorts and Express sundresses.  It was unreal.  The boys found Nike shorts, UnderArmour cleats, football jerseys, and even ties for semi-formal! Regardless of the name brand or no name brand, these kids found what made their heart happy, and were beaming with pride when they checked out.

I could hardly keep up with bagging their stuff but I was fueled by the energy that filled the room.  Most of the students never knew what it was like to feel the power of shopping with their own 'money' and picking out whatever they wanted.  Those 5 items (and sometimes kids picked out more than 5!) were their treasures and they were bursting with excitement when they left.

The best parts of the day were seeing how the kids shared and helped others.  In several instances, some only chose 3 or 4 items and gave their extra ticket(s) to someone else who needed them.  In other instances, I just happened to 'find' a quarter or a ticket to help someone who I knew needed a little help.  It was like playing Santa.  We gave extras the entire afternoon and anyone and everyone who wanted or needed went home with a bagful.  At the end of the swap, one of the kids brought his mom and she asked if she could buy some things.  We still had so much left that she bought a huge box full of clothes to send back to her village in the Dominican Republic, where her family there would be able to distribute the clothes to even more kids in need.  She was so happy to be able to do that for them at a price she could afford.

Seeing the kids lift each other up and tell each other how great things looked on them and how excited they were to find stuff was so rewarding.  They smiled and laughed and even helped others find their sizes and what they might like. There were hugs and high fives and some even danced together to the music we had playing in the background.

There are so many really good kids out there that really do make their school a better place.  It's easy to forget when we are constantly reading about the bad stuff.  If we can let them experience how good it feels to help their peers, they will become addicted to the joy it brings.  That's the hope, anyway.

Cheers, love and smiles,
DG

Wednesday

Mother's Day Fails, Follies and Funnies

I'll wait to go golfing until after you open your card.


You're not my mom.


Aren't our kids the best gift? How do I top that?


Oh..I thought it was NEXT Sunday.


The kids have a double header today but maybe we can hit McDonald's after.


Mother's Day is boring.



You mean we needed reservations to eat here today?


We cleared a hard level on Candy Crush for you for Mother's Day.


Here's your breakfast in bed! So sorry about the flour all over the kitchen floor.



Hope you like the chocolate foil rose - it's all that was left at the gas station this morning.
Cheers and Giggles,
xo DG

Monday

Motherhood is Snot Easy...You Need a Disney Cruise or at least an iPad Mini!!!

Motherhood is Snot Easy

But it sure is rewarding!

We know being a mom is hard work and things don't always go as planned. So for Mother's Day, we're teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer you a chance to win an iPad Mini and a Boogie Wipes prize pack! Motherhood's Snot Easy, but it sure is rewarding. Enter to win an iPad Mini from Boogie Wipes

Enter Now!

Complete the form below to enter to win an iPad Mini and Boogie Wipes prize pack. Contest is open to US and Canada. Winner will be chosen at random on midnight, May 11, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to Win More?

Head on over to Boogie Wipes and enter to win a grand prize. One family will win a Disney Cruise and 10 monthly winners will receive Boogie Wipes for a year! Click here to enter.Enter the Contest Grand Prize The Underachiever's Guide to being a Domestic Goddess received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sold responsibility of Boogie Wipes. One winner will be drawn randomly and notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond in order to claim their prize. If they do not respond within the 48 hours, they will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen.