This blog is dedicated to working mothers everywhere.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The wise words of a 3 year old!

Don't listen to me... listen to this little boy and get out and vote!
I just realize I never posted this... oops. Better late then never.

My girls are the best

My girls both insisted on being Elvis this year for Halloween. These tacky plastic get-ups sure beat all the sassy trashy outfits out there for girls. Sexy cheerleaders, Britney Spears tart costumes, I even saw 2 costumes with fishnet stockings! What mom would pu their little girls in these? At least I can recycle these costumes for their little brother if he decides he'd like to be the King some future Halloween eve.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My husband got “friendly” with an ice pack, while I cried in the closet.

VasectomyMy husband spent the weekend with a blue cooler icepack on his crotch. He had a vasectomy on Friday. I was never able to take the pill as it made me nauseous and kooky. So I gave in to my husband’s reasoning. He said, “you’ve done enough, 4 pregnancies, 1 miscarriage, 3 C-sections, breast feeding, and dealing with that diaphragm for years.” AMEN! I’m ready to burn my diaphragm in the fireplace. (For the record I asked my husband if I could write about this and use his picture)

The thing I wasn’t prepared for, were the raging emotions, I cried the entire weekend. I am a mother of three and my last pregnancy wasn’t planned. Don’t get me wrong. He was the best darned mistake I ever made. And my husband would have more kids if I were so inclined. Which is why I didn’t really want him to know about my sadness. And even though three is enough (for me), it is the finality of no more tiny bundles that makes me sad. No more rolling little Burritos in hospital receiving blankets, or delicious newborn scalp smells. No more endless bounds of potential born just to you. I’ll have to hold the babes of others to satisfy my newborn tingles. These Darwinian urges are fierce!

I went to a playgroup birthday over the weekend and one of the moms looked down at my three year old and generously said “you make such beautiful children.” I burst into tears. She asked me what was wrong so I told her. I am discovering, this isn’t a very “talked about” subject, though many couples have taken this route. I wish I had talked to another mom about how this might feel. I wasn’t prepared. It’s funny how they have the man go through a consultation. Asking them all kinds of horrific, yet important questions like, “what if your wife dies, or you get a divorce and remarry.” I think the women should get some consult as well. Like will this feeling of “loss” go away soon?

After the Friday procedure, my husband couldn’t play his usual Saturday soccer game, so he sent out a team email that he had gone in for a little “snip snip.” One by one the guys came forward (4 on his team) and proclaimed they had gone through it and not to worry.

Their advice: pop a couple Advil and make yourself comfortable on the couch.

It’s interesting to hear how it's happening all around you, but many chose to keep it private. In retrospect maybe I should have kept it from my mother. It was like I was telling her someone died. She said, “WHY ON EARTH WOULD HE DO THAT!” I guess since I am her only child, I am the only one capable of giving her grandchildren. Those fierce Darwinian urges again. And yet another reason for some consultation.

Plus I think there is still a little “vasectomy stigma” amongst her generation, like you’re less of a man. Which is interesting, because in my book you couldn’t be more of a man than to take on the responsibility of birth control. In terms of the actual medical procedure, it wasn’t that big of a deal, he was back to work on Monday. But the deeper stuff will need some healing time. My husband’s pretty open about it. He was quite the site at the pool recently as some of my playgroup moms gathered around peppering him with questions. "Did it hurt?", "How do you feel now?" "What comes out of there now?" I kid you not! He gave them all the gritty details while they took note for a later conversation with their respective husbands. I also mentioned my sadness. It may be an easy Laparoscopic snip, but you can’t take a percocet for the emotional stuff.

Too much stuff leaves little respect for any one thing.

Over the weekend I went on a caffeine induced rampage through the kids playroom. Maybe that third cup of Joe was too much, but the place was a cacophony of junk! Puzzle pieces everywhere, shredded papers pulled out of good books, uncapped magic markers, smashed hand-painted toys, Sharpie pen scribbled on the chalk board, and endless amounts of plastic chotchkies. I could not believe what chaos had transpired within the past year. My working mom status leaves me little time to keep track of those big toy bins. I'm not quite sure how my husband became exempt.
I went into the playroom with the kids and a box of garbage bags. I told the kids I was upset with the total lack of respect for their things. While reflecting on that thought, I instructed them to throw away broken or unwanted toys. I’d figure out punishment later. My only rule was to keep anything made out of wood. I spared my 3 year old from the process simply because he doesn’t understand. But my soon to be 7 and 9 year old certainly do. What was amazing is how easily they threw everything away! Favorite teddy bears, a perfectly good bingo game, they would have tossed the Lego's if I didn’t set them aside for their little brother. Mister Potato head was toast. I just can’t get over their total disrespect for their toys. I tried to explain to my girls that those matryoshka dolls that grandma brought back from Russia were hand painted by a woman who spent weeks on them. There were 2 sets of 12. One for each grand-daughter. What was left of them is shameful. They looked at me like little puppies, heads tilted, when I explained how every single stroke was painted by hand. With very little enthusiasm, my 9 year old tried to salvage what was left and stacked them pathetically one into the other. We ended up throwing away 8 garbage bags full of broken mismatched unwanted toys. I hate to do the “when I was a kid” lecture, but there was no way around it. When I was a kid, I remember getting a big plastic sleeve of magic markers. I kept those markers capped and in their original arrangement of color scheme for years till I used them up. My favorite collectables were Hello Kitty items, which I was afraid to use for fear of “using them up.” I had the same Monopoly game, with all of its pieces for 15 plus years. I also watched a black and white TV, of which we only had one. Which brings me to another point. I don’t feel like we are a household of excess. We don’t allow televisions or computers in the kid’s bedrooms, we don’t even have one in our bedroom. Our kids don’t have video games as I prefer to send them outside. They have bikes and rollerblades and skateboards which get lots of use on the driveway. But “in house” toys? NO RESPECT. So we’ve started a new rule. From now on, for Birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions relatives will donate to a fund for each girl. I realize this won't be possible for birthday's with friends. When the fund reaches a certain amount then can spend it on one item that is special to them. My 9 year old is already saving for a laptop. I'm not sure she realizes this is a $2 thousand dollar item. My 6 year old's only worry was that Santa wouldn’t know what to do. I assured her I would call him and make the same arrangement with Santa. We’ll still put up a stockings for little stuff.

Ursula vonRydingsvard is a mother of 3. She runs a business at

My kids gave me Strep... now the house is a mess.

100_1866 Guess what my kids gave me...? Unfortunately NOT some fabulous popsicle stick art. They brought home strep throat. I hate to complain, its just when mom is sick everything else goes. The house is a mess, there are clothes everywhere, dirty dishes piling up and dog hairs on every surface. It's probably my own fault since I should give my kids more chores. I've been meaning to make a CHORE corkboard for years. My 3 yr old won’t go to bed unless I put him to bed. And why can’t my husband just order pizza for dinner? Lets face it, moms can never get sick!

Back on subject. I’m not sure which kid gave it to me. And the interesting thing is both my school-age girls do NOT have it. However both of them brought home one of those dreaded notes that say it’s going around their class. So it is possible to pass the streptococcal (strep) bacteria to someone else via your hands and body without actually contracting the illness. I had no idea! Did I mentioned my throat hurts? Man, this isn’t your garden variety sore throat. This is throbbing, great big globs of lovely white stuff back there… you can barely swallow type sore throat. Your glands are so swollen you can’t turn your neck.

So I went to the Doctor for a culture… and yep… it’s strep. Now I have to be careful not to give it to my kids or husband and start a vicious cycle. I am totally not a germa-phobe but when I was at CVS for my z-pac, I went on a germ killing shopping spree. Its unbelievable how many products are out there claiming to kill bad microbes. Funky hand sanitizer spray pens, anti-microbial wipes, sanitizer pumps in all shapes, sizes and smells. I bought them all! They know how to play on those mommy germ fears! Maybe I’m buying into the marketing hype – should I care? At least it makes me feel like I have some control. I gave a pen to my colleague at work. He has no kids… so it would be very clear if he got sick that it was from me. I brought some of the gel home, my 3-yr-old thinks it’s for his hair. I gave my husband some wipes for work. He looked at me in that kinda sad way… like I’m pathetic… but took them without commenting. And I put new yummy smelling hand soap pumps next to every sink. The shining moment was when my little boy brought me an “ice-pack” from the freezer. It’s what I give the kids for every little ache and pain. He told me to put it on my neck so I did. It actually made me feel better.

Friday, May 9, 2008

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Monday, March 31, 2008

My six word bio/memoir

"Ursula's children illustrate nature is god"

I don't completely get how to do this. But I think this is sort of a chain blogging mechanism to get traffic to your web site. So here goes... I figure why not? And it's kinda interesting?

I’ve been tagged by Assignment: write a six word memoir. Other rules: post your own memoir. Tag at least five more blogs. Link to them and leave comments. Acknowledge the blog that tagged YOU. Link to that blog as well.

I'm tagging 5 more blogs

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stand by your man … AS IF! Even Tammy Wynette would back off.

*cross posted on*

What’s more disgusting than a lyin’ no good, cheatin, hypocritical, political man? Their wives that stand by looking dumbfounded as their unfaithful husbands apologize to the public. Do these women have no pride? We’ve seen the scene many times before. Eliot Spitzer’s wife joins a long list of deer in the headlight ladies. It’s like a scratched DVD, the same scene plays over and over again with different faces. Why must Silda Spitzer stand there in her pristine suit as he gives the cameras a whopping 60 second of his time? He slept with prostitutes as old as your daughters for the past year! And you stand there like its no big deal? What exactly is the message of “standing by your man.” Well, for me it means you support your husband even though his actions are grotesque. Spitzer got tripped up in the laws he created to bust prostitution rings. The Irony is FIERCE! (as my project runway hero Christian would say)

The list is a mile long… wife Dina McGreevey former wife of NJ Governor James McGreevey. Mr McGreevey slept with men for… well who knows how long before he duped his administration into hiring his lover. Dina McGreevey even stood there with a SMILE on her face. And the interesting thing is how he pointed out at that press conference that he is a “Gay American” like he had something to be proud of at this point? I couldn’t care less that he’s gay. But I do care that he cheated and lied to his wife!

And the guy in the bathroom stall? Remember him? His wife also standing there dumb founded. Suzanne Craig stood by her man - conservative Republican Senator Larry Craig while he denied he had propositioned a man in an airport bathroom stall. Then he denied he was gay. Again I couldn’t care less whether he’s gay or not! Its about lying to your wife!
It would take me all day to list all the women who stood by while their husbands are publicly humiliated.
Come on ladies! I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to make your own decision to work things out on your own. But why must you stand there? These guys have done some truly rotten things. Respect yourself and your family by retreating. Let your husband do the dirty press conference on their own. And let's not forget (though I am a supporter) Hillary Clinton. If my husband did any of the above… I tell ya… he’d be on his own!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dear haters of Hillary Rodham Clinton… please give her a chance.

Dear Haters Of Hillary Rodham Clinton: Please give her a chance. Please take another look and help her succeed. why all the hatred? Why all the disgust? why all the bashing I want to show my girls that a powerful woman can be liked. Not just liked, but admired for being smart and strong. When I tell my girls that they can do anything they set their minds to … I want Hillary to be the illustration of why that cliché is not just an empty statement. My oldest daughter started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons at the age of 5 ... by 9 she was a black-belt. She told me from the start "I want a black belt just like Master Oh"… and she did it! She is smart and strong and can pretty much kick my ^@($@ if she wanted to. She has won many trophies at Tae Kwon Do Tournaments. Some of the prizes I have to admit were given to her by default. Meaning there were no other girls to compete with her in her belt class. I guess they’re all in Ballet? When she was 6 she took Chess as an after-school enrichment class. The teacher passed out forms for a tournament. My girl thought nothing of marching right up to me with the form and saying “mommy I want to do this.” So we drove 2 hours away to Timbuktu New Jersey and she came home with an 8th place trophy! She was the only girl to compete in her age group. Why aren't more moms placing their girls into these more challenging formerly masculine pursuits? (I'll save that for another blog entry) My biggest concern is ... are these all positive attributes? Am I setting her up to be another Hillary? A strong, intelligent independent woman that everyone hates? Why, please tell me why do people hate Hillary so much? And why is Obama doing so well with so little experience? Doesn’t experience count for anything? How will Obama work the political chess game of Washington? Ya ok she has a bit of a creepy smile when she senses a blow to her mojo. But what about foreign policy experience. And what about her background in health-care? Another huge cliché ... I always tell my kids "you can’t possibly learn without making mistakes." So she made some mistakes… but in doing so … I think she is the PERFECT person to tackle universal health-care. And I’m sorry… I’d much rather see someone fess up to doing something wrong… as Hillary has done with her decision on the war in Iraq… than just simply voting “present” on tough issues. Obama voted "present" when it came to allowing sex shops near schools! YUCK! What a serious cop out! And why do the debate moderators seem to give Barack the upper hand? Here’s what Hillary pointed out… "Can I just point out that in the last several debates, I seem to get the first question all the time? I do find it curious, and if anybody saw 'Saturday Night Live,' you know, maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow." I have the same feeling when I watch the debates… its like ok… Mr. Obama… what can we get you to make you more comfortable... would you like another sip of water? So I ask everyone... Are we really ready for the “lipstick Jungle” women and "Cashmere Mafia” ladies? I think we are! Then we need to get beyond the façade of appearances and look to experience. Hillary is clearly more qualified! So again… dear haters of Hillary Rodham Clinton… give her a chance. If not for the women in your life… for your daughters and their daughters. And your sons to realize that strong independent women are not to be feared.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Working from home is not all it’s cracked up to be... or is it?

Have you ever had a conference call in a bathroom? Or hid yourself in the closet while talking to a VIP client? Have you made funky throat noises to mask a toddler’s whining? You must be a mom who works from home. I actually find working from the office easier. Oooohhhhh the sacrilege, dare to admit the office is more pleasant. With technology nowadays not only can I email or call anyone anytime. But I can access my office PC remotely via software called CITRIX. I also have a Blackberry. That hideous device that thrusts the office across all boundaries. I dropped it the other day, my fumbling thumbs lost their grip on the train. Now my "Pearl" has a crack, so I officially have a"Crack-berry." I understand the need to work remotely but why do moms want to work from home so badly? Working mom’s have enough to juggle, why combine cranky kids and cranky clients! Is it some sort of hideous feeling of guilt? If I have the ability I should stay at home right? This is the ultimate mommy dream right? The ultimate balance? I’m not so sure! Where do the lines exist? Should the yoghurt drip on the office threshold? Why don't I ever hear of dad's working from home?

For me the answers lie in the priceless home office perks. Just minutes ago, I walked my girls down the driveway adjusted their backpacks and scarfs and kissed them before they got on the school bus. I waved fanaticly and did my little cooky dance and spilled my coffee. The glorious beauty of the scene is that my girls still think I’m cool… their crazy dancing mom isn’t embarrassing... yet. Now I sit behind my computer… my little boy humming and pushing his fire-truck around my legs. The best part is yet to come … I anticipate giving my girls big sloppy kisses when they get off the bus at 3:30. I will eat lunch with my little boy then I'll put him down for a nap. And most importantly this is all possible because I am VERY blessed to have a brilliant Au Pair to help watch my kids as I work. None of these moments would exist without her. She knows just when to shuffle my 2 year old off to the library... when I start running towards the closet phone to ear.