First World Problems

My friend Michelle one time used the phrase “First World Problem” when we talking about how heated Mommy Blogging discussions can get about parenting methods. Attachment v/s Cry It Out can spark huge debates online. Nursing v/s Breastfeeding can do the same. And don’t get me started on natural childbirth…I still often feel like I’m not much of a woman because I wanted the c-section with AndyZ! Yet, as Michelle so efficiently described it, we live very privileged lives if we have enough already taken care of (food, health, shelter) that we can get emotionally worked up about these topics. Because the rest of our human needs are taken care of, these are our First World Problems.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the earthquake in Haiti. About how ridiculous I feel for bitching and moaning about not getting enough recognition in my house for the work I do. I mean…I have a house to clean. I have food to cook. I have children who need baths and are not dying on the streets of infections that could have easily been treated with a quick stop at the pediatrician one day. I don’t have to worry about staying alive, so I choose to use the time wisely by complaining about the 20lbs I still need to lose. I stressed out this week when I thought my DVR forgot to record House. And then I stayed awake in bed that night thinking about the children who now have no parents, and the parents who now have no children. How they survived the quake but instead of properly grieving for the loved ones they lost, they have to figure out how they’re going to survive. Where are they going to get shelter? Food? Clean Water? Medicine? They can’t even mourn the loss of their loved ones properly because there’s not time, room, facilities for proper burials. But even if there was…what good would it do with so many deaths? And here I am…griping at my husband about our stupid DVR.

Obviously we can’t spend ever waking moment feeling guilty that we just happened to be born into a privileged situation. And just because we’re blessed doesn’t mean we can’t bitch and moan and complain about getting stains on our “Life Is Good” shirt, or losing one of our favorite hiking socks. But with those images still all over the news, and the telethon from Friday playing on my iPod, I can’t stop thinking about the trivial things in my life that I let upset me, and how they are all First World Problems. I am having trouble with my usual trivial whining (which I do A LOT of, in case you were wondering) because that voice in the back of my head keeps saying: Quit Your Bitchin’.

But…what should I do instead? Obviously we can’t donate gobs of money or time to charity, so I can’t do any real good for these people. Yet the guilt…it’s still keeping me awake at night. The desperate need inside my heart to be a better person, appreciate the blessings in my life, these things have become so strong since the earthquake. I keep telling myself it will all fade as time passes and I’ll be able to get back to complaining about my First World Problems: GUILT FREE! But do I want to? Do I want the images from Haiti to fade from my memory just so I can feel better about bitching about things in my life that are really NOT A BIG DEAL. Because I went through the same emotional crisis after Katrina, and the Tsunami. But those images eventually faded allowing me to go back to my trivial problems and treating them like they ARE VERY IMPORTANT. (Which they’re not.) Or do I want to find a way to take those images this time and use them to make me a better person? Is that even possible?

I’m just wondering if any of you find yourself thinking about these things in the wake of big disasters? Do you find yourself looking at your blessed life (because we are all so very blessed) and feeling guilty for bitching about it? My favorite thing about Torrie’s new site is her About Page where she says, “My old blog had the word “HATE” in the title. I complained a lot. I decided it was time for me to be more positive, more grateful, and set a better example for my daughter.” That is where I’m at. I want to be a better example to my kids and show them with my actions how lucky we really are. Do you do like I do and just wait for all of the guilt you feel after these catastrophic events to fade with time? Or have you ever actually made changes in your life to help resolve the guilt? Or, is this one the many problems unique to me and my extreme guilt issues? Because that wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

Focus on important things, Mom, like getting this chalk OFF MY ASS. It’s embarrassing.


Someone is 15 today. He is one of my best friends and he is hero-worshipped by my two youngest kids. He gives fantastic Christmas presents and he needs Diet Coke to wake up in the morning. He loves Converse and Wicked. He knows all of the words to the Wicked cast recording and doesn’t mind when his Mom sings along, even though she has a dreadful voice. He watches Friends and Buffy when he’s bored. He still goes to family dinner ever Sunday and doesn’t ever complain about it. He prefers cheesecake to any other food in the world and would like someone to hurry and make one that has zero calories and fat grams so that he could finally live his dream of eating it for every meal of every day FOREVER. He’s an avid reader, although his affection for cheesy fiction rivals my own. He doesn’t get too embarrassed by his Mom when she is caught squealing at a midnight Harry Potter book release. He actually enjoys chasing his brother and sister around the house. He gets good grades even with crazy rehearsal schedules. He tolerates having a Mom who sometimes can’t be trusted to pick him up after a party because she sometimes falls asleep at 8pm. And kids these days tend to make their parties last longer than that. He knows when his Mom has had a bad day and often offers to watch the kids so she can relax in the bath. He is truly, and amazing teenager who wows the people who love him every day with his humor, his maturity, his kindness, and his love of his brother and sister. He deserves the best birthday ever.



Happy Birthday, LilZ. I love you.

13.1 miles…HERE I COME!

I thought I’d give you an update on my half-marathon training for my Team in Training event in March. I’ve got a few more giveaways to do but I’m SO behind on mailing out thank you cards to those of you who have already donated, that I don’t want to solicit anymore donations until I’m caught up. My hand cramps up after about 5 cards because when training for a marathon? THE HANDS ARE NOT STRENGTHENED. Just an FYI, you know.

I started Jillian’s 30-day shred this week as an attempt to add some cross-training type fitness to my running schedule. Everyone tells you this is important but let me tell YOU something: I skip my runs some days. Actually, I skip my runs many days. So, if I don’t even make it to my training run for my half-marathon, you can rest assured I won’t do my cross-training. I’m just trying to be honest. But, the 30-day shred video? (Which is on my OnDemand box for FREE right now) only takes about 28 minutes. Start to Finish. I promise you, if I don’t have to leave the house? I can find 28 minutes to work out. The tough part of doing my runs is getting out of the house. Do I wait until MrZ is home so I can run without worrying about the kids? Do I try to schedule a time when the daycare at the Y is open? (Which means the chances are much greater the treadmills are full.) Do I go before or after I pick up LilZ from rehearsal? All these factors have me often just skipping the runs. WHICH IS NOT GOOD. Lucky for me, I run slow and have a pretty resilient body so this has not actually set me back too much. I do, however, want to do better. So, I added in Jillian. I’m on day three now and so far? Pretty Good. I really like it and it’s easy to just do when the time is right. I even still ran my five miles last night! Even when I was in Jillian pain! Woo Hoo!

I’m still up 7lbs from the holiday gluttony. I actually put on 9 all together, which is so embarrassing when it took me 8 months to lose 20. But, I’m back on track this week and I’m ready to get those 7lbs back off and maybe even a few more before the race in March. All in all? Not a bad place to be. Not the best place, but I’m running five miles without stopping, I’m doing my 30-day shred workouts, and I’m not eating cake for breakfast. For me? This is awesome.



I take a lot of pictures. Did you know that? I do! And I go through those pictures every day. I take them off the camera, edit, store and upload to flickr. I don’t get too behind on this as it’s my treat. There are few things I like more than sitting down at the computer and reliving moments through the pictures taken off my camera. Often times when I take the pictures, there’s a lot going on and I just snap, without really savoring. I’m too busy trying to make sure my kids aren’t stealing bears at the store, or eating chalk, to really enjoy the pictures as I take them. But later, when it’s quiet and it’s just me and the photos? I can really look back on the moments and think Damn. What did I ever do to deserve this much good fortune in my life? I mean, I bitch and whine a lot (Like about my youngest waking up at 4:45am this morning…WHY DOES HE HATE ME?) but I want to make sure it’s abundantly clear. I love my life. I love my family. I often feel like I couldn’t be any more blessed than I am right now. And with so many people in the world suffering? I felt I’d take a moment to be grateful.

For at least five minutes. Because I really want to whine about this closet renovation that’s going on in my house. Deep down inside. Because it might be killing me.

Bath Time

Playing Along


Family Affair

He looks like he's stuck on the tree


My Assistant

Four Days

I’ve not blogged for four days, let me tell you why. Although, maybe I should warn you that each reason has a shred of truth to it, and possibly a shred of of exaggeration mixed in for entertainment purposes. You may be able to spot the bit of untruth, you may not. Just thought I’d warn you before you panic about the state of my sanity.

  • LilZ turns 15 on Thursday. I have spent the last four days locked up in my bedroom drinking to cope. Hard to blog when you’re drunk.
  • We are about to start the final major home renovation project before selling our house. The master bedroom and closet re-do. For now we have to move everything out of the closet and into the bedroom. The bedroom which is already full of crap. I have spent the last four days locked up in my bedroom drinking to cope.
  • NikkiZ has suddenly adopted a ridiculously bitchy teenage attitude requiring us to start some strict response/discipline to nip this in the bud. Example: When she throws out mean attitude to her brother we make her wear pants which is a fate worse than death to a girl who loves skirts/dresses. This makes her cry a lot. I have spent the last four days locked up in my bedroom drinking to cope.
  • We have an official auction date now for Dad’s house. My Dad bought the house for less than 15K in 1976. It’s in such bad shape now there’s a chance we won’t even get that much for it now. I have spent the last four days locked up in my bedroom drinking to cope.
  • AndyZ has decided he can live on one nap per day, and it only needs to last about an hour. Can you guess how I’ve been coping for the last four days?
You have a little something on your face...