Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Somethings gotta give!

Today I was talking with a good friend about perception vs. reality. We all know women who seem to have it all.. clean homes, fulfilling jobs, loving marriages, smart kids. My younger friend was puzzled, scratching her head wondering how some women can seem to do it all with only 24 hours in the day.

To me, the answer is simple - they don't. It is all an illusion. Of course we put our best foot forward to our friends and neighbors, but behind the scenes... yikes!

Think about it.. there is 100% of you. That piece of pie has to be divied up in percentages. 25% job, 25% kids, 25% hubby, 25% house....or however you want to slice it. I used to think that each entity was entitled to 100% of me. That must have been the same year my ob/gyn suggested Lexapro.

Thankfully, I sensed that numbing myself was not the answer. Every woman has to understand her priorities. Do you want an amazingly clean and organized home, or do you want to help your kids with their homework? Do you want a few extra dollars in the bank, or do you want to serve your family delicious, healthy meals prepared at home 5 nights a week. It is simply impossible to do it all.

When we were in the process of the international adoption of our daughter, our social worker came to our house to do the home-study. I already had a little one at home, and hadn't really mastered the multi-tasking of butts and bottles yet. I repeatedly apologized for the messes as she walked through the house, until she uttered words that were music to my ears. "Diane, I worry more about the Moms whose homes are perfect than I do the ones that are messy". She knew the secret. Somethings gotta give. If you choose your family or your job over a perfectly maintained home, car and coiffe... there's nothing wrong with that.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake insurance on your home?

My first thought upon waking to the shake rattle and roll of this mornings earthquake was, "That is soooo cool"! My second thought was "Dang! What did we ever decide about that earthquake option on our home owners policy?"

Fully realizing this would not be a unique idea, I phoned my insurance man, Jeff Burtis of State Farm. We hadn't sustained any damage, but my enquiring mind just felt the need to know how screwed we would have been had the 'ol richter registered a point or two higher.

Mr. Burtis's office informed me that in fact, we did not have the optional earthquake rider. After explaining it, I realized why we turned it down. The way it works (at least at State Farm) is that there is a 5 to 10% of the value of the home deductible before the insurance coverage would even kick in. Therefore, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay the first $10,000 - 20,000 of sustained damage before they would see one nickel from their insurance provider. Additionally, the person I talked to stated that in her entire career she had never seen a claim paid on an earthquake rider. The annual premium for earthquake coverage is an additional approximately $50 - $100 per year.

So I guess I'll just continue to live life on the edge and waive the earthquake coverage. Pardon me while I go find some wood to knock on!

Spring has sprung!


...as evidenced by my first Hibiscus bloom of the year. Apparently if you stick a Hibiscus plant in a dark corner of your home throughout the winter and dump a cup of water, Gatorade, or anything left in a sippy cup in it once a month or so it will survive. Always wondered about that...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Be careful what you wish for...

Had to chuckle at this story as told by my brother, a tough Chicago area cop. Sometimes he forgets at home that he's not on duty. Their family was having dinner along with a neighborhood friend (about 12 years old). My brother has always been quite the health nut and he insisted that the friend eat some of the broccoli offered along with the main course. The friend objected but my persuasive brother insisted. "Just try a little bit".

My bro must have appeared as quite the imposing figure to the little guy as he dutifully complied. Shortly thereafter he started shifting nervously in his seat and turned a few shades of green. Yes you guessed it. He gave a mighty heave ho, and up came the broccoli and the rest of his dinner all over the kitchen floor. If you are reading this, Stevey boy, I hope you learned your lesson!

Political correctness - Kindergarten style.

Being a Super-Mom, I took the kids to Culver's for dinner tonight. While there, we ran into an old friend we hadn't seen in years. In fact, our daughters were babies last time we were together, and today she was there with her daughter, now five years old.

We visited a moment, said our farewells and sat down to some scrumptious butter burgers. I could tell my son, Jim, had something on his mind. Knowing that comments about weight and the personal characteristics of others are usually off limits, he struggled to find the right words to describe the rather healthy sized little girl. Finally, his light-bulb moment...

"Mommy, if Jenniffer and that little girl were on a see-saw at the same time, Jenniffer would be on the bottom".

You know, as adults, we could all learn a lesson in diplomacy from our children!