Life - It's What You Make It

Last weekend I saw Julie & Julia. I wasn't expecting much to be honest. In fact, I'll say that I just went because everyone in my house was driving me crazy and the movie allowed me to get away from everyone.

Especially my husband.
Who 'might' or 'might not' have been driving me crazy.

Julie & Julia - it could be one of my favorite movies of all times. Why? Because I could relate to Julie. I could relate to being tired of my life, ready for 'life' to begin. "Is this all there is?" I often think. This? Working each day, coming home, dealing with my children, putting them to bed, going to bed, and doing it all over again tomorrow? THAT is life? What about all those 'cool' people, you know, the ones who seem to have fabulous lives - plenty of money, time, and abilities? What happened here? I remember the girl who wanted to work on a political campaign, live in Europe, and lets be frank here, marry someone with plenty of money.

Of all the things above I didn't do - I certainly didn't do the last one.

It's taken a long time for me to realize it but you know what? THIS is life. Sure it's messy sometimes, and it absolutely isn't 'exciting' all the time but you know - it's my life. It's the life I have and it's the life I've made for myself. I have a lot to be grateful for and that's what Julie learned during her year of "Cooking With Julia" - she learned that SHE was enough, that her life DID matter and that it WAS important. Sure, maybe it wasn't glamorous but it was real.

Julie realized that YOU make your life - life doesn't make you.
Easy to say, hard to believe sometimes.
Believe me, I know.

Did any of you out there see the movie?
Did you like it?
Did you come away feeling the same way that I did?

Is anyone out there?
xoxo, sober mommy

The Door - It's Always Open

It started last week.

Last Friday I got an email asking if I would be interested in participating in an article about the end of the "Cocktail Mom". At first I was a little afraid to put myself out there. I mean, sure, I have the blog, and sure, I openly discuss my recovery I still thought....maybe not?


Because although many people in recovery will tell you that it’s not a good sign not to able to discuss your recovery freely I’ve found that for me, admitting or discussing that I am in recovery is very difficult. In fact, it’s down right excruciating. Think I’ve overreacting? Try telling someone that you are/were an alcoholic and then look at their face.

This is especially true for women. When I was first sober I looked around for blogs that discussed women and their sobriety yet dealt with it in a family centered fashion allowing me to see that it could be done, that it was being done, and gave me *something* to hold onto that eventually life would become ‘normal’ again (whatever that means).

Thus, the purpose of this blog.

In answering the questions this weekend it dawned on me that I'm not sure how much of myself I've ever's sort of like I just started so I thought I would take a step back.

But to tell you ‘About Me’ in four easy sentences:

I am a wife.

I am a mom.

I am a professional working in a VERY conservative industry.

And…I am a very grateful recovering alcoholic.

If you think this is an isolated problem the think again. Below are excerpts that show just how deep the problem permeates into society and how drinking changes due to age and time of life:

It is estimated that of the 15.1 million alcohol-abusing or alcohol-dependent individuals in the United States, approximately 4.6 million (nearly one-third) are women (1).

(1) WILLIAMS, G.D.; Grant, B.F.; Harford, T.C.; and Noble, B.A. Population projections using DSM-III criteria: Alcohol abuse and dependence, 1990-2000. Alcohol Health & Research World 13(4):366-370, 1989.

Drinking behavior differs with the age, life role, and marital status of women. In general, a woman’s drinking resembles that of her husband, siblings, or close friends (3). Whereas younger women (aged 18-34) report higher rates of drinking-related problems than do older women (3,4), the incidence of alcohol dependence is greater among middle-aged women (aged 35-49) (5)

(2) WILSNACK, R.W.; Wilsnack, S.C.; and Klassen, A.D., Jr. Women’s drinking and drinking problems: Patterns from a 1981 national survey. American Journal of Public Health 74(11):1231-1238, 1984. (4) HILTON, M.E. Drinking patterns and drinking problems in 1984: Results from a general population survey. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 11(2):167-175, 1987. (5) WILLIAMS, G.D.; Stinson, F.S.; Parker, D.A.; Harford; T.C.; and Noble, J. Demographic trends, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, 1985-1995. Alcohol Health & Research World 11(3):80-83, 91, 1987.

I'm not going to bullshit you.

Recovery is hard.

Sometimes it's quite a little bitch.

But to answer why would I do this?

Questioning yourself?

The door is always open.

xoxo, sober mommy

Senator Ted Kennedy, RIP

Photo Credit:

The Hope Still Lives

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."

--Democratic National Convention, August 1980.

Taken From: BeliefNet

xoxo, sober mommy

How I learned that Ben Has Game

Edited to add: This is actually a series of really awful commercials. As my thrilling afternoon as moved on towards complete boredom I've learned that Ben is doing this for a chance to be on a TEAM of somewhat cooler but still kinda nerdy frisbee football (or golf or whatever...) players. Yea BEN!

Yeah, this is how I planned to spend my Saturday afternoon.

I had this totally awesome post thought through for today and you know what?
I've totally ditched it for the following review of the commercial I just saw for USA Network.

It's about some nerd named Ben who wants to play what is guess is frisbee football (or maybe it was golf - I don't know what you call it) and how he gets his game on. It's got to be a scripted commercial because honestly? Who WANTS to play frisbee golf or football anyway? Anywoo, Ben and gets a very pretty girl to show him how to play. Cause you know? Ben's got GAME! I have no idea how this ties into USA Network but though.

Is it because he's gotta, you know, 'get into' the character? No idea.
You know, USA Network, Characters Welcome.

Anyway, Ben is apparently so nerdy (if his choice of outfit didn't give it away his VOICE certainly did) that he needs assistance in learning how to hold the frisbee, how to change his holds to allow for different spins/distances, and finally, how to 'block' cause you know what? Frisbee football or golf or whatever it is has offense.....AND defense. I also learned that there were specific ways to hold the frisbee to allow for a better aerodynamic glide through the air. WTH???

Seriously, I thought when you wanted to play frisbee you did the following:
  • Find frisbee
  • Make sure frisbee wasn't dented or warped
  • Find someone to play with
  • Go outside
  • Throw frisbee back and forth

Apparently not.

This was the point of the commercial - wasn't it?
No? I guess I didn't get it.

But I did get this. Ben is a nerd but he sure did have some game.
xoxo, sober mommy

Drama Mama???

Every once in a while I like to take a step back and take stock of my life.

Do you?

Usually when I do I find that I’ve gotten way too caught up in things that don’t matter and way too little caught up in those that do. This holds true for my professional as well as my private life. Sometimes taking a step back and looking at the ‘big picture’ (I hate that phrase by the way) yields surprising results.

For example:

There truly are those that thrive on drama. Life just cannot be run of the mill for them. Give them a problem and it becomes a catastrophe. Use whatever analogy you want but it’s the same – drama. Do you have friends like that? I know that I do. Or, on second thought are they truly friends? I mean, why would someone want to suck someone else into their drama? It sure isn’t because it behooves me – no, it really behooves them. They, get to offload some of their stuff onto me and I….

Get to fret about it.

Talk about it.

And then fret about it some more.

And the owner of the drama?

Moved on.

To parts unknown.

I took this step back because this week? Yep you guessed it – I stepped into not 1, not 2, but 3 quagmires of drama. The first two were work related and somewhat unavoidable but still – I had the ability to walk away. The third occurred in my personal life. I have no desire to ‘rehash’ it out AGAIN but it was one of those same tired arguments which basically in the end boils down to: I think I’m better than you because….and then the resulting aftermath.

Thus I’ve refocused. School has just gotten back in session and I have work to do.

And honestly, I don’t think that anyone will even notice that I’ve elected to forgo the drama.

xoxo, sober mommy

Confessions Of An Firefox Add-On Aficionado

Before I start can I just say???

I started out with the phrase Confessions Of A Firefox Add-On Whore but, that seemed a little overzealous so I decided Aficionado instead but I had to check the spelling of it because you know what? Aficionado doesn't look like it's spelled right. I'm pretty sure that it is but, if it's not please excuse and just know that I tried a couple of different words and those didn't look or sound right either. Whore, while it seemed like the best word, also isn't a PG13 word - except maybe in this case. So, in the end I went with Aficionado even though it doesn't seem like it's the right spelling. Sue me. No, don't. Because honestly, I don't have anything except my house and it's mortgaged to the hilt - so really, it wouldn't be worth your time. Honestly.

Moving On...

There have been confessions abounding around the blogosphere lately.
In the light of full transparency, here is mine.

I am a Firefox Add-On Aficionado.
(Stop here if you are using any browser other than Firefox - the rest of this post won't make any sense and honestly, you need to do some serious considering of why you *aren't* using Firefox. This is true unless you are a totally cool MAC user which means that you CAN'T use Firefox because Steve Jobs doesn't allow you to use any other product than ones Apple makes. For anything (except maybe Office but I think that's just because Apple knows it's a totally superior product and the application development costs associated with it would never quite produce the offset to the cost). I'm not quite sure though that I'm right about this because the only Apple product that I own is my iPhone and I can't download Firefox onto it so thus my conclusion this holds true for all Apple products. But then again, I'm no MAC expert because I use a *PC*.)

I love them.

How much? Every week (okay, maybe it's every few days) I find myself wandering out to the Firefox site and pursing through the latest add-ons. Usually I find myself reading through the summaries and wondering one of two things:

  • How is this different than any of the other bazillion add-ons that do exactly the same thing? OR
  • DAYMN, I want to try that out.

It's like new car fever. Only different. Why? Because when you have new car fever and succumb you are left with a payment you can't afford which totally sucks unless you are Donald Trump - which, I guess if you were, you wouldn't have a payment and thus the suck would be not really be an issue. With add-ons there is no cost and, if you don't like them or think they suck you just delete them and restart Firefox. Add-ons provide instant gratification or disappointment - important for someone with my personality considerations. I have a kind of like example but this is a PG site I'll let you just 'go there' on your own.

So, without further ado here is my list of my FAVORITE add-ons of all time:

Feedly. Ever tried it? Ever wanted a TOTALLY cool blog reader? Do you like Google Reader but desire that pretty interface? Well, Feedly is the answer. Totally customizable and totally totally cool. In fact, I love it so much that I regularly Twitter @feedly and tell them how much I love them. Yes, I'm geek like that. Apparently you can twitter them now at @ilovefeedly. I'm pretty sure it's because I kept Twittering how much I loved them but I can't verify that for sure. I'm going with it though because it makes me feel all loved inside. (If you doubt that they created the @ilovefeedly twitter ID just because of me go and search - you'll find my latest twitter to them half way down the page.)

Feedly is really my only true favorite but I feel obligated to have more than one given the bazillions that are out there. I'm pretty sure these others have NO IDEA that I use them (unlike Feedly) so my love them is somewhat diminished but here goes:

Wisestamp. Allows you to create a cool email signature. I really want to figure out how to use the template that lets you also add a picture to your signature but I haven't figured it out quite yet. I admit though that I've not spent that much time - it probably isn't that hard.

AdBlock. I probably should have this above Wisestamp in favorites but I'm too lazy to rearrange my post but it does do the job of allowing you to ignore ads. Or at least I think it does because I don't remember seeing many ads.

Personas. Well, just because I like to make things pretty and it allows you to change the look of your browser.

So, there you have it. My current favorites. Do you have favorites? What are they?


xoxo, sober mommy

Wordless Wednesday

xoxo, sober mommy

The Reunion

I watched as the car pulled up onto the gravel drive and waited for him to get out. Here he is I thought as he got out of the car and walked towards me. I was anxious about the evening but the afternoon had been so anti-anxiety producing (THANK YOU Sonja & Andy!) that I had almost convinced myself that I was being ridiculous. I was anxious most of all about all the things that would be thought but left unsaid.

I was anxious for both myself and my husband but for very different reasons.

For me, I was anxious because I was going to be in a place where I knew very few people and most of them would be drinking. Don't misunderstand - I wasn't worried about *wanting* to drink, but rather I was anxious about what I would do with my hands. Much like an ex-smoker, those in recovery have a lot of issues with what do with the hands. (Maybe it's a universal recovery thing - I don't know.) What do I do with them? I can't grab a cocktail glass for dear life like I use to. Maybe I'll put them on the table. No, that will look freakish. Maybe I'll just keep them next to my side? Yes, that sounds better.

For my husband, I was anxious about the pink elephant that was standing front and center in the room. Although I'm not going into detail suffice it to say that it's a pretty damn big elephant. And, although my husband will tell you that he's over it, that it doesn't matter anymore, that he's moved on, I know that isn't totally the truth. He might have moved past the event but he's not over the aftermath.

And it makes me FURIOUS.

It makes me furious that people who profess to be friends can be so far from it. It makes me furious that he now feels alone in a place that use to feel the most secure. It makes me furious that he's forced to live a life that is so different than the one that he had planned.

It shouldn't matter but it does.
It shouldn't be a big deal but yet it is.
And, if the situation was reversed, it would matter and be a big deal to you too.

Don't get me wrong, if it weren't for you I would be with him today.

But here is what I want to say, to YOU:
It makes me furious that he feels lost when he should be feeling found.
And maybe this isn't nice but someday, someway you will feel the same.
xoxo, sober mommy

Funny - I never said you had to happy be about it

Back in the olden times, AKA the 70’s and 80’s, I remember being thrilled about going back to school after summer break. Maybe it was because I was (read: my parents didn’t entertain me 24/7) and was looking forward to having something to do. I remember being thrilled going to the store and buying all the ‘new’ school supplies. Ah, the lure of fresh crayons, never used, the tips still nice and ‘right’. I *adored* new markers that weren’t dried out and picking out that ‘special’ binder that I could house all my new stuff in.

Now days? Not so much.

I remember being giddy with excitement over finding out who my teacher was – who else was in my class – looking to see who the ‘new’ boys were and what they looked like (okay, so maybe that didn’t happen until middle school but still).

Now days? Not so much.

How did my children respond to the idea of going to school today?

  • BUT WHY do they make it so EARLY?
  • I’m NOT in the mood to go – can’t I just stay home – just one more day?
  • This sure is a lot of stuff that I have to drag around …grumble…grumble…

And finally…

  • I’ll go but I won’t be happy about it.

Funny…I never said you had to be happy about it. I just said you had to go.

Flash forward an hour or so: my middle schooler, (you know – AKA grumble, grumble daughter) did what she calls ‘butt calling’ today after she arrived at school but before the final bell rang (I’ve just given up arguing with her about taking the phone – I figure if she gets it taken away she’ll just have to handle the consequence).

Overheard from said ‘butt call’:

“OMG (yes, the LETTERS) you look so awesome! I love your hair! Who did you get for GA Studies? What did you do this summer? Do you like my highlights? Yep – those are black and silver bands around my braces – LOVE THEM.”

All giddy with excitement.

Silly me thought – oh good, she’ll be in a good mood when she comes home.

Alas, I have grossly underestimated the power of the hormones.

“How was your day”, I said.

“Fine” was the reply.

Funny…I never said you had to be happy about it. I just said you had to go.
xoxo, sober mommy

Project 40 Update


Project 40 (or in my case is it 42? Heck it could be 43 for all I know. I stopped counting birthdays years ago.). I bet you thought I had forgotten all about it.

I had.
Sort of.

As a reminder of what my goals were for Project 40 they were:

1. Find three people 'in real life' that I count as friends.
2. Take a trip with only my husband and myself - even if it's just a weekend.
3. Create and decorate my daughters nursery.
4. Work with a nutritionist to develop healthy eating habits and then DO IT.
5. Volunteer at the rehab center that finally helped me face my demons.
6. Help someone face their demons.
7. Work towards having my daughters a week on and a week off rather than Wednesday through Sunday.
8. Educate myself on current political/current events and be able to discuss.
9. Learn to knit more than just a scarf - a sweater perhaps.
10. Host two dinner parties for new friends.

Looking back on this list a month later I'm surprised to find that I do have a few updates.
So, without further ado...

Work continues on decorating my daughters nursery. I *have* discussed in depth the need to move the children into other rooms and my husband did not stop and ask what planet I was on. He's agreed to move two of the four - and that will have to do. One daughter won't be happy but sometimes, well, you don't get what you want. She will be getting however...what she needs....ahhaahaha baby... (Be happy you aren't actually here while I am typing and singing this - it's not pretty).

So, step 1 gain consensus on moving children around. Check.
Moving on to step 2 - choosing new room decorations for teenager.

Houston? We have a problem.

Why? Well, lets start with paint color. She wants orange. I say no. She wants bright pink. Again, I say no.
We have however agreed on aqua. And Brown. Very trendy - I hope it stays that way for a while.
So, where does that leave us again? Color - Check. Bedding - Check. Wanna see what I've found that I'm going to be talking her into getting?

Yes, Pottery Barn Teen I *might* be borrowing your photo but it's for a good cause, really!

We'll see.

Oh! And I did make progress on #4 although it I did it completely unintentionally. I have been complaining for months now about my weight and finally had the 'big physical' where I talked at length with the doctor about how I felt, my weight, my weight, and then again, my weight. I was sort of hoping that she would magically pull some sort of pill or something out of her rear and *poof* I could take it and magically get skinny (you know, kinda like Alli ((which, as an aside I always want to call ALL LEE rather than AL I..but I digress)) but without the anal leakage ((oh, and another aside - don't you know that the makers of Alli are **thrilled** that the biggest claim to fame that they have is that the product can cause you to need depends??)) or something like that).

But getting back to my accidental movement on #4....
Let's just cut to the chase here - discussion on my weight (and more about my weight and then yet more) generated me a referral to the nutritionist which is currently scheduled for mid September.

I'm hoping that I've given her enough time to come up with some sort of magical pill or something like that because you know what?
Giving up those Dunkin Donuts is gonna be in a pain in the ass.
AND, it's gonna put me in a really bad mood.

So, I've made movement on two.
So far, so good.

xoxo, sober mommy

Viruses Abound Around Here..

Recently viruses have taken over the house.

We've had computer viruses.
Please don't get me started, I've only marginally moved past it.

We've had appliance viruses.
You know the kind, where magically all appliances die at one time for no unknown reason? What, that doesn't happen to you? Oh, it must just be here.


We've had kid viruses.

Specifically we've had some offshoot variant of the lovely hand/foot/mouth virus. Let me tell you - if you haven't had the joy of having your child not eat, not sleep, and not be able to swallow for four of five days, well, you're missing out on one of the most nightmarish little viruses that go around the under 5 year old set.

When we had this lovely virus earlier this year THE ONLY silver lining was...oh well, at least THAT is over.

But apparently there are variants you can get.

And because we are lucky like that we, unfortnately, get to enjoy the virus - AGAIN.

Yea Us!

So, where does that leave us? Oh yeah, exhausted and with a baby who now weighs 3 pounds less than she did a week ago. Dudes...3 pounds. That's three pounds she didn't *have* to lose. Three pounds when you are hanging out at a non robust 17 pounds leaves you at 14 pounds. (See, although I am sleep deprived I can still do basic math - just don't ask me to determine what the probability would be of someone else coming down with this within the next week. My brain would explode.)

At 19 months.

At this point we are adding whipping cream to all milk, cutting out fruit juices and water and adding back in our daily avacado. I've also added whole milk to everything I can find and boosted up the calorie content of everything else.

Someone is going to gain some weight around here.

And it better not be me.
xoxo, sober mommy

Really - I'm Humble. Aren't I?


I was stumped.

In fact, I had to look it up because honestly, I didn’t know what it meant.

Further, to clarify how jacked up my perception of reality was at this point: My first thought when I heard the word: Humble? Isn’t that something from that stupid Charlotte’s Web Book?? Why in the heck are we talking about humility? I want to claw out the eyes of everyone here – WHY IN THE HECK did my husband leave me here – UGHGHGHGHGH.

Definition via wikipedia (because EVERYTHING on wikipedia is accurate & correct):

Humility, or being humble, is the defining characteristic of an unpretentious and modest person, someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others.

Wasn’t part of being in recovery to tell the truth – all the time? Why are you stupid people telling me one thing and telling me another? WHY AM I HERE? (Repeat nonsense such as this in your head for a couple of weeks until you acknowledge that you are ARE there and that you have no choice than to STAY so why not shut up and listen – it’s just easier that way.)

Here is the reality of Humility: If you have to look up the definition of the word in the dictionary then there is a pretty good probability that you aren’t smarter than anyone.

As a wife and as a mother I will admit readily that I struggle with this every day.

Sometimes my husband and is passive aggressive to the point of making me want to rip my hair out.

Sometimes my employer just walks right over the line of insanity and I have to start to question my own.

But here’s the deal: I’m not perfect. I can’t claim to be and I never will be.

Maybe, just maybe, the sentence above is my start of my understanding of the definition of humble.

xoxo, sober mommy

Sunday At Our House

A smattering of conversational topics at our house today:

From The Birthday Girl
S2: I know the rules about riding the electric scooter.
M: You do?
S2: Yes.
M: Name them.
S2: .......I don't know.

Probably should go without saying the scooter was not purchased today.

From The 13 Year Old
S1: Is the hair salon nice? (Aside from mom: Did I CARE at that age?)
M: Yes. Get in the car.
S1: Okay, I'll go - but I'm not cutting much off.
M: Get in the car.

S1: Have you gone to Universal?
M: No.
S1: Well, you should go.

Does it sound mundane? Good. Because it was..

And I like it that way.
xoxo, sober mommy

Happy Birthday 10 Year Old!!

Dear Sydney -

As you *finally* become your double digits I wanted to tell you how much I love you and how happy and blessed I am that you are my daughter.

Your smile is infectious and your laughter contagious. You always amaze me with the way you can stop and see the best of any situation. Your positive energy is one of your best traits.

You are a good friend. You take your time to help people and your compassion for others is beautiful. I envy your ability to go into any situation and find a friend. Always the social butterfly I know that as you get older this will only serve you well.

I have lots of memories of you - one of them will always be your love of chocolate and your length you will go to get it. I've never seen a child who could smell chocolate from a room away. You make me laugh with your sneaking into the kitchen, climbing up the chair, and shuffling through the pantry to find the cookies. Of course, because you are you it's easy to catch you. I'm thinking that particular attribute might be something your stepdad and I will relish during your teenage years.

I remember like it was yesterday the day you were born. When I first saw you I remember thinking that you were so small. Never liking to be wrapped up you were always on the go, ready to move around. You never EVER liked to go to sleep and still, to this day, sleep is not your friend. Please know when you get to be a teenage and wish to sleep all the time I will be waking you up earlier than you wish as payback.

Sydney, you are a beautiful person, inside and out. I'm so happy and proud to be your mommy.
Enjoy your birthday and remember:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be.

Taken From I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Love Always -
xoxo, sober mommy