Saturday, December 12, 2009

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! for real this time

I really want my children to know that Christmas is not all about presents - for them. What I can do is try to show my children about generosity first hand. My girlfriend teaches downtown in a very low income neighborhood. She had mentioned adopting a family in need this holiday season so I asked if we could help.

While I was volunteering at my son's school I happened to mention it to his teacher and she said it sounded like a great idea for the class. So I called my girlfriend and asked her how much help she would like and she said the more the merrier!

So I plastered "Change for Cheer" on an old plastic container and got the class started with all the change from my wallet. The teacher even asked the parents to forgo store bought gifts this year and just donate to the family. The kids counted, estimated, and weighted the jar. They wrote letters to the family and talked about what the family might need or like for the holidays.

Two weeks later the day I have to pick-up the jar and deliver it to my girlfriend was one of those never ending days. I ran errands with the three-year-old for two hours and came home to the carbon monoxide detector blaring. I had to call the gas company blah, blah, blah.

Needless to say I was a little frazzled by the time I got to school to pick up the jar and thank the children for their donations. I was blown away when I got there and could barely lift the jar. It weighted over 10 pounds and there was $300 in it. Every child had written a note to the family wishing them Merry Christmas and hoping they use the money to get a Christmas tree. My son had added that he hoped there was enough money for them to buy a house.

I was in tears by the time I handed over the jar to my girlfriend - who was blown away. She made a call to the family and found out that they in fact did not have a tree or stockings. Together with my children we went to Target and spent half the money. My son had a blast picking out a tree, decorations, garland, and a tree topper. The three-year-old didn't quite get it at first but still had fun helping us fill the cart. They picked out toys, clothes, pajamas, jewelry, and more.

Later we got online and ordered the family Christmas dinner. My six-year-old got it! Everyday since he has asked if he can donate his money to a family that "really needs Christmas". I'm so proud of him and his class. I'm ecstatic that so many parents got behind this and sent in $5, $10, even $20. I'm humbled by the teacher who gave up presents and gift cards for this family.

I'm renewed that maybe the holidays are not all about.... presents, or boxes, or bows maybe Christmas is something a little bit more....and my heart grew ten sizes!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Playing the Santa Card!

I've been pretty cautious about playing the "Santa's watching" you card because my six-year-old is terrified of the idea. Just recently we saw a commercial for the Elf on a Shelf . I think I was saying something about what a great idea it was and the three-year-old thought it looked cool and the six-year-old went into a fit of hysterics.

"Don't get it mom! I don't like elves! They freak me out!"

This is not unusual, I know. I was a little more than freaked out during the holiday season as a child because, "he sees you when your sleeping, he knows when your awake". For goodness sake I went to Catholic school -on top of this! The pressure was too much I tell you!! An omnipotent God and Santa - there was no winning.

Tonight however I am running on little if no sleep because both boys have terrible coughs that keep me up two nights in a row. Normally, I do not run errands in the evening unless it is an emergency. No fruits and vegetables in our house is truly an emergency. So we went to the produce store at 5:00 p.m. and all I heard through the entire store was, "Can I have this! I want that!". By the time we got to the checkout counter I was frazzled so I threw it down.

"You two better watch it I think Santa is in the parking lot."

The three-year-old, who was holding a cow tail in one hand and a Holiday candy kabob in the other - froze. The six-year-old had 42 questions. Where is he? What did you see? Is he still out there? Are you sure it was him... This is a very small store and there was all of five of us in there to begin with and now we are all giggling. As I finish paying I notice the three-year-old has not moved a muscle and the six-year-old's jaw is still flapping.

We head out the door with the other patron, and elderly women who is smiling at the interaction. As soon as we hit the door my kids run to the sidewalk and yell, "Santa where are you?" My three-year-old adds, "I just need to ask you sumfing?"

The other women and I both burst out laughing. There were a million more questions on the way home but all I could think of was what a great story this will be to tell 10 years from now.
Merry Christmas Santa, where ever you are!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Strong genes

First let me say, there is never a dull moment in this house - ever. Even when trying to have a simple family movie night. There are arguments, tantrums, and fighting over where to sit, whose allowed to talk, and of course which movie to watch.

Now much to my own chagrin, I will tell you that my three-year-old is not the best TV watcher. He rarely makes it through a whole movie. When he is done and wants to move on to the next activity he is prone to standing smack dab in front of the TV - and not moving. I happen to know where he got this from - me.

My brothers and sisters, should they read this, will attest to that fact. I was the middle child. That's my excuse! No one wanted to play with me and when all else failed I was always guaranteed a fight, I mean attention, by standing - smack dab in front of the TV.

There are lots of other things my three-year-old inherited from me, like my chin. But it is so crazy to watch your children develop and think, Holy Cow! I do that. My six-year-old son will stand at the table working on yet another very large messy craft project with his right foot resting against his left knee. Kind of like a flamingo. He will also turn on the radio or a favorite CD and stand in front of the sliding glass door and dance - so that he can see himself.
(I promise I haven't looked at myself in a full length mirror since before I had children!)

So many things good, and bad, come to the surface to remind us that they truly are a chip off the old block. That the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. That when they turn 16 - I am in soooo much trouble!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanks, but no thanks...

It's so cliche, but as women don't we all take on certain things around the house because it's just easier. In our house, it is just easier for me to do all the cooking because my husband can't. Really, really can't!

Now that the boys are three and six my husband is really after me to take more time to exercise and do things for myself. He's been trying to free me up on Sunday afternoon, the trouble is dinner still needs to be cooked. It is truly our only afternoon together as a family; since he's always out in the morning mountain biking or running, then there's lunch, then naps, then family time. You see what I'm dealing with here.

So the other day everyone was so grumpy and I was tired of hearing myself scream, "Why can't you say those words with love in your voice!" that I took off - after I prepped dinner. I had pork chops marinating in the fridge in an 8x8 Pyrex dish covered with saran wrap, french fries cut up and soaking, and instructions for my husband on the counter.

With very little confidence but a lot of enthusiasm I left for the gym. The only instructions I left were as follows:

1. Turn on the oven at 5:15 to 425 degrees
2. Make a Greek salad

I tried to enjoy my time at the gym knowing the kids were not in the germ infested child-care center watching that idiotic Sponge Bob Square pants and learning all about God knows what from someone elses kid.

Last week my three-year-old said he wanted to marry me. I remember my sister telling me her son said that at three and she cherished the moment. Mine of course was quickly squashed when he announced we had to get married so that he could sleep in my bed- that's what Molly said.

After 35 minutes on the treadmill I debated going on to the weights. Something inside of me was saying - Go home. I tried to ignore that voice and headed for the weights. I did 50 or so sit-ups and the voice was no longer nagging at me to go home - it was screaming in my ear. Maybe I'll ease into this "alone time" thing.

I called home to say that I was on my way and the first thing my husband said was, "What! Why you not workout longer I got the salad made and dinner started, stay there." Thanks I said, but I think I got all the mental health break I can stand for one day. By the way, what do you mean you got dinner started? All I asked you to do was pre-heat the oven. "I saw the pork in the refrigerator and I put it in the oven already."

"Did you put it on the oven in the marinade with saran wrap over it?" I said trying not to sound too critical. This is what I heard, "Oh Sh!t" - click.

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll do the cooking.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Holidays??

Thanksgiving is over and it is time to bring in Santa and his reindeer. Or in the case of the small town that I grew up in, the reindogs. Our high school mascot is the Bulldog so every year when they bring Santa in to town the marching band comes out, the mascot, and of course the reindogs. There are prizes for the best dresssed dogs, etc...the Fire engines lead the small parade and Santa comes in on a horse drawn carriage. It all takes place on the courthouse lawn and Santa even has a beautiful house to sit in while we take pictures and tell him all the things we want for Christmas.

It's all good - except when grown-ups muck the whole thing up. It's a nice day but still bitey cold so I bundled everyone up, grabbed the camera, and we went up to see the parade. The funny thing about this was we were actually there yesterday - when it was bitter cold. Two days in a row now I've pumped the kids up and then threaten them for the rest of the day if they didn't behave. Today was the day though and we got there about 10:30, the festivities to start at 11:00. The boys ran and played tag with dad in the lawn and looked for dressed up dogs.

By mistake I ended up in line and I was second! Needless to say I was staying put. The boys were getting restless when we finally heard the sirens, then the marching band, the cheerleaders came around with candy canes. Santa made his way to his house and all of a sudden people are pushing, the grandmother in front of me is knocked to the ground and 25 people who've come out of no where are now in front of us in line.

Here's the kicker - One is them is my cousin's wife! Holiday spirit my %($!

It's not a Black Friday sale for goodness sake - there are no $50 TV's or free Wii's. It's Santa Claus and you idiots butt in line. They knocked over a grandmother. Just before we get in to see Santa the little boy in front of us, whose parents line jumped, said, "When do I get to see Santa!" and do you know what his mother had the nerve to say - "You have to wait in line like everyone else." Are you Kidding me??

What is this world coming to? Happy Holidays, I think.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My little manipulator...

We've all become so PC (politically correct) that it's no longer acceptable to call a spade a spade, or a three-year-old manipulative. Three-year-olds are Master Manipulators. From bedtimes to bath, from the potty to pre-school and everything in between.

My three-year-old is no different. Problem is, he's stubborn. Now I know lots of children are stubborn, but, and this is a BIG but, they are distractable. My son will not be deterred. Tonight it was peeing in the diaper NOT in the potty. My husband had a knock down drag out with him over this. My husband (are you seeing this picture a little clearer) could not let it go. He was determined that the child pee in the potty 10 feet away and NOT his diaper. The three-year-old was holding his ground.

Now, had it been a normal Sunday in which my husband takes off before we rise to go mountain biking for 4 hours, then eats, then sleeps for two hours I would have walked away. However, my husband chose to run this a.m. with a client. Then come home to terrorize us all with "quality time" for the rest of the day.

The other reason I could not just walk away was because my husband actually said to our son, "Why do you have to make everything so difficult!" Seriously. This is a man that can turn changing toilet paper into a challenge. A quick trip to the grocery into an afternoon. Home improvement projects into 4-day marathon cursing events. And he is asking his son - Why?

I laughed so hard, I peed a little. Then I had to go point out the irony of what he just said. At least he laughed at me instead of hitting me. He still doesn't think that he makes things all that hard. O.k., but he did spend two weeks painting our 1000 square foot deck with a 3"brush. Not too hard at all.

p.s. the three-year-old did get to pee in his diaper not the potty- gotta give him credit!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Time for Thanks Giving to mom....

I was talking with my mom the other day, which is no surprise we talk at least once a day. I can't imagine not talking to my mom. Our relationship was not always fantastic, like most teenage girls there was a point where I thought she was absolutely idiotic for MANY reasons.

At this point in my life I don't know what I would do without her support, advice, and broad shoulders. She really threw me the other day when she told me that I am a better mother than she ever was.

Says who! She had five children the last a set of unexpected twins. She had a husband who needs more attention than a six month old, she has seven brothers and sisters, and in-laws. She went back to work when the babies got in school and kicked butt selling Real Estate. Along the way there were wrecked cars, drugs, boyfriends, girlfriends, parties, bad grades, bad hair - -You name it we did it.

Who's to say that I'm any better than anyone else. I muddle through just like the rest of us. Fretting over every decision, every action, every punishment. Sobbing after I drop off the crying child at pre-school, cursing after I've lost my temper and yelled for spilled milk, and praying therapy won't cost too much after sending them to bed without a snack for talking back.

Who's to say she wasn't the greatest mom in the world? Not me, because I can't make it through a day without her, she's my best friend. I can only hope 1/2 that much when my boys grow up. I'm praying, anyone know a good therapist?

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Take a little piece of my heart now baby...."

Wasn't it Janis Joplin who sang, "Take it! Take another little piece of heart now baby. Break it! Break another little piece of my heart why don't ya' "....

Children have a way of doing that so quickly. My three-year-old is my most vocal child. He has never hesitated to let the world know how he feels. Just ask our neighbors. He's outgoing, loves to play with (mostly boss around) other kids so I really thought pre-school would be a hit. It's not. He throws a fit, every time.

It's not like he goes everyday. He goes two days a week for maybe 2 1/2 hours and his class is pretty small, there are maybe 10 in the class with two teachers. The teachers always assure me that he is perfectly fine after I leave but he's been ramping up the drama each time I drop him off.

Today was the worst. Last week he was out due to a fever so it has been 10 days since he was there. I thought he was ready to go back, he had even asked to go on Saturday. But today when the time came he through himself down on the floor and had a fit. I ended up dragging him to the car without shoes or a coat on. Held him down to get him buckled and drove all the way there with him screaming, kicking, and thrashing. I was exhausted by the time we got there.

All the way there in the car he was working this hard. I have to hand it to the kid, he's learned the art of mommy manipulation. His line is, "Can we just talk about this?" Of course I say, what is it you don't like about pre-school? "Pull over and let me out of the car and I will tell you." Not happening Jack! I can just see him bolting from the car and belting out a sinister laugh, "You can't caught me now!"

I scoop him up and head into the pre-school. He was not letting go. He had his arms and legs wrapped around me like a spider monkey. His head is buried in my shoulder. He won't look at or talk to the teachers. So I take him over to the corner of the room where they have a puppet stage set up and tried to put on a puppet show. Thinking I am terribly clever I try to play this scene out with puppets but he takes them off my hands and says, "Stop it. Take me home." A little boy in his class was really enjoying my show and keeps trying to open up the curtain to see more. Until my son yelled at him and threw one of the puppets at his head, I intercepted quickly so the teacher wouldn't see, I didn't want to get in trouble!

They finally pulled him off of me and I left, but I got to the car and started to cry. What am I doing? What if he's really not ready? What if he's really scared? What if he cries until he throws up or pees his pants? I finally left the parking lot and went to volunteer at the elementary school checking my cell phone every two minutes.

When I got there to pick him up, he was absolutely fine. I said how was school? "Good. I stopped crying and calmed down. I got a job today. I was flag holder!" I'm glad he was fine but, I just lost another little piece of my heart - I know I did.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh Boy, Boys!

I am one of these people that likes to get my children in bed by 8:oo p.m. It helps when it actually happens because my husband is not usually home until 8:30 p.m. So it gives me time to clean up our dinner mess, and start his.

The dishes are never done after dinner because after we eat we do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to get their willies out before bed. When it is still light out it's easy, now that it is dark at 5:30 p.m. I have to be a little more creative.

Tonight we went for a flashlight walk. It's a beautiful fall evening, the temperature is cool the breeze is crisp and the leaves are still falling. So off we go. The six-year-old is dressed in a black stocking cap, black hoodie, and black pants so he decides to play ninja. He runs off ahead of us with the flashlight off hiding behind bushes and trees and throwing himself to the ground when ever he sees headlights.

The three-year-old is dressed up in a Tigger costume. He's walking beside me holding my hand and shining his flashlight all over; up, down, mostly in my eyes. he wasn't exactly sure he would like this "fwashwight wok" because it would be too scary. Good thing the six-year-old keeps jumping out at us from behind things.

After a couple of houses the six-year-old is in the lead and giving us military hand signals his father taught him. (I'm afraid to ask why.) So when he puts up a fist we stop, when he puts up his hand we ready, and when he signals we go. Tigger is no longer scared and thinks this is fun, until he makes us stop about every three feet and hit the ground 15 times for headlights. Tigger has lost interest and I think I hurt my back.

I can't imagine what the neighbors where thinking. This had to be hysterical to watch from a passing car or a living room window. Tigger wondering along shining the flashlight all over, Ninja falling to the ground every three feet and playing dead. I started to giggle wondering if anyone else I know has these experiences.

As I'm walking, thinking, and giggling Tigger runs into Ninja whose standing in the middle of the sidewalk giving us the stop signal. Ninja rebukes his brother and tells him to watch for the signals. Tigger is no longer playing along. The next time Ninja stops Tigger runs into him on purpose. Then they think they hear a monster so Ninja says, "Stay here I'll do recon." Just what does my husband play with these boys?

Tigger is giggling too hard to follow instructions and just wants to follow. Ninja is getting mad. He is giving hand signals and Tigger just keeps running into him and giggling. Now I'm giggling. Ninja is now really mad and furiously letting hand signals fly - now I do know where he gets that. Ninja hits the ground Tigger trips over him - -one is screaming, one is crying - and I think I just peed my pants. I love my boys.

Monday, November 9, 2009


We go to the Library every week. Friday is our Library day. The kids can play computer games (because half the time our computer isn't working) we read books to decide what to get, we choose movies, look at magazines, get new music; We love the Library.

A couple of weeks ago we came across a book called "Dogfish". It was a beautiful book about a boy who REALLY wants a dog, but has a goldfish. The illustrations are clean and modern and the story is very clever. Ultimately his mother says something like, Instead of wanting what you can't have, why don't you try wanting what you do have. To which the boy replies, "She is always saying things like that." Love that kid.

After a long week with a very sick three-year-old I was looking forward to a little help on Sunday from my husband and some time to read my latest book. My husband obviously had something else on his mind. It seems Rachel Ray was not the only person with Sex on the brain all last week. At 6:00 p.m. while I am cleaning up dinner he says to me, "Do you have plans tonight?"

Why, yes. Thanks for asking! First I'm heading to dinner with Linda, then we'll pick up Julie for a night of drinking, clubbing, and girl talk. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!

What ensued after I finally got the boys to bed was a lengthy discussion about how I'm never in the mood, I never hug and kiss him, he does all the work - I'll just stop there because 90% of the women I know are all rolling their eyes and sighing right now.

While he was talking, all I could think of was Dogfish. I don't know that he would have made the connection because he's very literal. I can just hear him, "What do you mean Tree'sha? I did not ask you for a dog!"

Needless to say we had a long talk last night about wanting what you want, and wanting what you got - and this is all I got baby!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happily ever after...After What?

So after two nights of sleeping with a sick kid I was once again laying on the couch watching Rachel Ray and saw a woman blissfully happy, which was bad enough. But she wasn't happy because she has more money than Oprah, she was just happy being a wife and a mother. Really?

I had to call my girlfriend Amy, "Did you see that!?"
Amy -"No. I went to a MOPS meeting." (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers)
Me - "Nice."
Amy - "But we where discussing who thought marriage lived up to all their expectations, who really had happily ever after."
Me - "Heavy topic for a 2-year-old's playdate isn't it?"
Amy - "Why-"
Me - "Don't answer that. Is this mom's group any better than the other one? Or are you still calling people by their potluck dishes?"
Amy - "It was just that one lady, Black bean and corn salsa! Oh yeah, and tofu hot dogs, and chocolate cake lady! Stop it I'm starting to feel bad."
Me - "So what's your take on Leave it to Beaver lady? I think she's on drugs, good ones. I want some."
Amy - "I think that when I got married I really felt so in love with Mathew that I thought we could conquer anything together."
Me - "Stop it now I'm starting to feel bad. She said she's never grumpy."
Amy - "She definitely has drugs."
Me - "She said she gives her husband sex whenever he wants it."
Amy - "Oh, yeah, she has the good ones."

Why is it some women have all the luck - Names have not been changed for anonymity. Sorry Amy I was just too tired.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Balance this!

Rachel Ray has changed time slots in this area and she is now on at 2:00 p.m. Which is nap time - for me usually. At least I sit down on the couch and begin to moan and groan about figuring out what to make for dinner. Anywho...

Yesterday she had Riki Lake and other moms on her show dishing about motherhood. The general sentiment all around was that we all have the same gripes and so do our husbands. Sex. They talked about not feeling sexy, being too tired, doing it anyway, blah, blah, blah. And then one woman piped up and said, "After some of the things that come out of my husbands mouth I don't want his tongue anywhere near me!" THANK YOU!

I have been saying this to my husband for 6 years now - Watch your mouth. You can not come home spewing (no pun intended) nastiness because you had a "bad day" and then ask for sex. You've ruined it for like a week. I am a woman, stewing is in my DNA. I'll have to complain about you to at least two friends and my sister before I can let it go and by that time you've done it again, twice! Now your looking at next month pal, wanna go for two?

Then someone mentioned finding balance, that it was all about balance this same woman (I really liked her) said, "Balance is BS!" YES! How do you have balance when you stay at home with your kids because you are never without your kids? Not in bed, not in the bathroom, not in closet where you've stashed all their Halloween candy.

I was in a Mom's group when my first son was born and a woman whose husband traveled a lot said she would hire a babysitter on Sunday morning, take the paper, and go out to breakfast by herself. O.k. if I had the money - I'd send the kids to a babysitter, send my husband to a hooker, and curl up in bed by 7:30 p.m.!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween is here and Gone, but the candy lingers on...

Ah, All Hallows eve is behind us for another year. It was a beautiful night for Trick or Treating - if you were Trick or Treating. There are parts of the country that celebrate the week before, only on a Wednesday, etc... To me that's silly - isn't Halloween October 31st?

There was a fantastic full moon, the temperature was cold but not freezing so you needed your long johns, I love that! The chili was hot, the air was cold, and the kids were dressed without incident. My three-year-old had changed his mind about 14 times regarding the costume so I was just waiting for a last minute melt down like needing the six-year-old's costume that is 5 sizes too big.

We ended up in a rather large troop of parents and children trekking through the neighborhood and with various ages and abilities we sort of took up half a city block. The older and faster kids were in the lead with my husband (when he wasn't talking). A majority of the kids were in between us with two separate parents - in two separate groups. Now I am not going to make any judgements (cat fight) but I do suspect that there was a reason for the gap between them. Then myself and a friend were at the rear with her daughter who has challenges keeping up - but that might be her only challenge. She has more moxy and personality in her little finger than most adults I meet.

I think it was a very successful Halloween - especially since there are lots of little orange packages for mommy. My children know anything that says Reece's is mine! There is a lot of candy left over, even for me. My three-year-old can't have chocolate so that goes straight into a batch of cookies. I can only make so many cookies, we only need so much for a Christmas stocking - so what do you do with the rest? Dentists are buying it up to send to the troops which seems wonderful, but I've heard that it is almost impossible to get a package through military customs. Do they really want my kids miscellaneous Halloween candy?

My husband is a Kids Fitness Director/Personal Trainer so this Holiday really is a nightmare for him. Every year he campaigns for giving out pencils, toys, or fruit. Thank God no one pays attention to him. Thank God he never reads this! But he does stress out of the candy and starts nagging me to throw it all away on Halloween night. He nags about a lot of things - not to worry, I have lots of hiding places.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Baaacckkk!

It is exactly one month since the last time that we were able to turn the computer on and it worked. Meanwhile, I have spent countless hours on this silly machine. I have tried tech support at Microsoft, drug it to a "Geek" shop, and threatened it with replacement. My husband was finally on board to buy a new one and then the appointment happened.

The appointment that I dread more than a yearly visit to the Down Under Dr. - the Dentist. Dentist's hold particular angst for me due to an experience when I was three with thirteen cavities and a Dentist I referred to as Dr. Bombay. (Yes, I am a huge Bewitched fan.) I had almost gotten over my dental fear when we ran out of dental insurance. THE FEAR IS BACK.

Children need to see the Dentist starting at age three. So my son that turned three in March - was due for a first visit and my six-year-old and I haven't been back in over a year. ALL three of us went to the Dentist last Friday. If I could rate the dental experience on a scale of one to ten I guess I'd say it was a 7. The overall experience was a 2!

First of all I took the earliest appointment against my better judgement so that the six-year-old wouldn't miss too much school. We actually got there by 8:30 - a.m.!! I prepped the three-year-old who was looking forward to prizes and had asked, "How much will this cost?" so that I thought I was totally prepared. To use the words of that silver tongue sage my father, "Wrong Buzzard Breath".

We were there for two hours, they made the six-year-old go first and get X-rays. They found two cavities and want to seal all four of his six-year molars and I have a cracked tooth. $407 later I stood in the lobby in tears telling them I'd call when I was ready to schedule the rest.

Why, you ask, was a grown woman crying over cracked teeth? They told me that it would only take an hour. They told me that I would go first so the boys could watch. They told me no one needed X-rays. They told me it would cost $199. I feel sooo violated.

So you see, I gave up on the new computer that day. My husband came home for lunch and found me still sobbing at the kitchen table. He called a friend and asked him if he knew anything about computers and he said, "Enough to be dangerous, why?" Three days later our computer which they said was toast is fixed with a CD/DVD burner installed! Efharisto and Sagapo Lee!
Don't worry, it's all Greek to me too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

boys that bellow

It used to be really funny, when my passionate, boisterous, very Greek husband would bellow from wherever, "Trisha!". OK - NOT so much anymore. Perhaps because we have two children who have acquired this gene. Now do I not only have a obnoxious, loud Greek husband who bellows - I have two boys who do it also.

Let me illustrate. This morning it is raining and the kids seem to need a break. OK frankly I need a break so we watched cartoons until 10:00 a.m. Some of us. My three-year old is not the biggest TV watcher. 30 minutes tops and then he's ready to move on. My six-year old and I are perfectly content to lye on the couch and not move, however Loudstrom has other plans. Like throwing a screaming fit for 45 minutes because I won't let him swing on the curtains. When he wasn't screaming about curtains, he was just screaming at us for not getting up.

Later the boys went out on the porch while I threw lunch together. 15 times - I counted! - they sat on the porch screaming for me. When I finally walked out there the six-year-old is standing on the bench and the three-year old is crying. There was a Daddy Long leg spider on the bench and they wanted me to get it. I tried to tell them it was gone but as I got close to the bench they both leapt off clinging to me like spider monkeys. We all peed our pants but for several different reasons.

My husband gets home from work and sits down to eat something. I'm going up and down the stairs trying to look really busy finishing the cleaning. (and burning off calories from the pizza I polished off because the kids where too scared to eat it) So I mention that the lady from the bank was going to call regarding our refinancing questions. We are considering refinancing a home equity loan (finally) since rates are down and the woman from the bank calls back. My husband walks around the house with the ringing phone screaming - you guessed it - "TRISHA!"

So when they come to take me away He He!! I'll be ready.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm not listening....

We have all done it. Say yes, you know you have. Your husband tells you he is in the mood and you pretend to be asleep. One of the kids is screaming at you from upstairs to wipe their bum and you say under your breath, "I can't hear a thing over the washer." Better yet, you stand there with their PB&J in your hand while they scream, "Give it to me!!" and your reply is, "I can't hear you until you say please."

So why does it absolutely infuriate us when they pull that stunt on us? I can stand in front of my child who's watching television and say their name 5 times with increasing decibels and they do not flinch.

Why I am saying it 5 times? Why do I think they are going to answer me? WHY HAVE I BECOME MY PARENTS!

My father I guess was the biggest offender. He would be the one scolding us for cussing by saying, "You can't @%$&*# cuss God $(#&$! it." If we hit one another he would whack us and say, "Don't @%#& hit your sister!" This isn't really about his lack of parenting skills, he's a product of his environment - but it does drive home the point that hypocrisy is in my genes.

I try to remember what it was like to be six or three, I try to think about what I always dreamed my parents should be- yet here I am. Still calling the child's name 5 times to put his shoes aways after I told him he could have TV time - just what was I thinking? Maybe I should try please.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

technical difficulties

Please excuse the delay in posting - our computer an modem blew-up and of course I am not savvy enough or wealthy enough to fix it........

Please stand by!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's taking so long!

I really want to thank all of you who read my rants regularly - especially those of you who keep me on my toes but giving me comments like "Are you still alive!" Yes I am, I just seem to be buried in the minutia.

Right now I am trying to dig out of the mound of paperwork sent home with my Findergartener. I can not believe the number of papers that come home everyday and 80% of them are for me. There has been a paper for everything you can imagine. From new school policies to changes in school policies, H1N1 to up coming events, t-shirt sales to volunteer opportunities, newsletters to Save the Dates.

I want to volunteer but I don't know if being in his classroom is the best place. I was thinking more like recess duty. Maybe the library - where it is climate controlled and QUIET. Or even the cafeteria. You can really tell where I excelled in school, A? Maybe being the crazy lunch lady wouldn't be that fun, better than the gym teacher though. Most of my gym teachers left much to be desired, they couldn't demonstrate anything or they would hyperventilate and that was the end of class. We played a lot of Dodge ball. Oh how I hated that game!

Some of what comes home is actually work he did. I am sure glad he's practising his colors I was afraid he was lose so much during that long summer break. He is also practising writing, that I can get behind 100%. I wish someone would have cracked the whip on me because my handwriting is barely legible. So much of what he brings home looks like Kindergarten work. I was hoping they would ease the kids in, but come on! Maybe I should be in the classroom. On second thought, maybe I should bite my tongue.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Star Wars Mania

When my son started school last year he was introduced to Star Wars. Such has been our focus for the last year. Our three-year-old has caught on of course and so there is no escaping it. That is why we gave in and watched all three of the old movies on our summer trip. Now -they are Star Wars experts.

At least they think they are and compared to me they rock. But now that the three-year-old has to play Star Wars with me while his brother is at school he has to explain a lot. That's o.k. truly because he likes to talk and does so without a reason so at least there is sometimes a point to the conversation.

Not being a Star Wars person myself it is difficult learning from a three-year-old. I'm not always sure I have it 100% correct. Let me give you a few examples, anyone who knows what I am suppose to be talking about will probably laugh.

He swings a "Yite saber" at me while making a whooshing noise. Then because I am "Pincess Yeaha" I have to shot back because she had a gun not a "Yite saber". We fight off "Geferal Greaveyous" who I do know was not in the movies they watched, he's in the movies they are not allowed to watch yet. But that's o.k. because "he's tool mom".

Sometimes we fight together as "Yuke Skywalker" and "Pincess Yeaha". They fought "togever wif Sowo and Chewy and the Ewoks". That's when we have to "bawast the storm twoopers". Some things I do remember from the movies, Chewy is one of them, he was my favorite and my impression is dead on! But I'm stuck being "Pincess Yeaha" because I am a "gawril". (girl)

Honestly, I don't have to do much but take orders. He does most all of the talking, directing, screaming, whacking (those "yite sabers" HURT I tell you!) I'm just glad to be invited.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The First Day of School

I think my husband and I were just as nervous as our son on the first day of school. We were both up before the alarm. Wanting the morning to be special I made his favorite breakfast, sausage patties and blueberry pancakes. Then I made the lunch he had ordered a week ago; PB&J, apples, carrots with dip, and chocolate milk. He was not sure that he wanted to buy milk on the first day.

Our three-year-old who was up with me at 6:30 a.m. was impossible to keep quiet and content by 7:00 a.m. He wanted the pancakes, he wanted a lunchbox, mostly he wanted to wake up his brother. Being too nervous and emotional to use a real parenting technique I gave in quickly. He was happy with Chocolate soy milk in a thermos and cinnamon Goldfish crackers in Tupperware, Thank God.

My son had decided that he wanted to wear khaki shorts and a golf shirt to school. I was so impressed! and unprepared - I was still scrambling to get them clean and dry before 9:00 a.m. As well as getting myself semi-presentable, find our camera and two AA batteries so that I might get a picture or two.

The morning really seemed to be cruising along which should have been a warning for me because normal mornings do not go that smoothly in our house. The Findergartner woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. We all ate and talked then the three-year-old threw a fit. My husband wasn't buying my parenting style and tried to enforce discipline. The 6 year-old and I left.

My big man is scared of going anywhere in our house by himself right now. I am just hoping this phase passes quickly. So we went upstairs together to get dressed. As I sat on his bed while he changed he asked me about college. I can't remember the question I wasn't paying attention really, he's starting first grade not college. But my answer was wrong, all wrong!

"Well you move away for college, you live there and go to school." I said nonchalantly.
"I have to go away? I can't live with you? I have to get myself up and make my own breakfast?" he cried, tears rolling down his face. What did I say? I'm suppose to be crying not him!

I quickly scooped him up and reassured him that he had a long time before he needed to worry about college and when that time came he would gladly move out. I told him that he was only going to first grade and I promised the day would be over before he knew it and I would be there waiting at the door.

He pulled it together quite nicely. Joyfully he gathered his supply bag, backpack, and lunchbox and made silly faces while I tried to get a picture. He hopped in the car and off they went. I stood waving, crying, and thinking how fast they grow-up. I held my baby now three years old and was thankful that he doesn't start pre-school for two weeks.

Someone told me when I was pregnant with him to cherish the time they were inside of you, you always know where they are and what they are doing. Wise words wasted on a first time mom.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This year I have a Findergartner. What is that you might ask? That is what I have been calling my son - whose in the 1st grade. I can't quite get kindergarten out of my head nor can I wrap my hands around 1st grade.

He has been a little nervous the past two weeks. He'll ask a question out of the blue about where he'll eat lunch, how he'll get to school, who his teacher will be and then tell us what he'll be doing. For example; the first thing was lunch, we talked about the cafeteria, getting a tray and eating lunch with his friends. That's when he announced that he would need to pack EVERYDAY. His food Nazis father was more than OK with that but I fought hard for one meal a week - they can get pizza everyday for goodness sake! We were lucky to get it twice a month even during Lent.

I went to a Catholic School where several very old looking ladies came in at 5:00 a.m. and starting cooking lunch. Most of what we were served was homemade by these ladies which is why of course all we wanted was the government issued straight from the freezer pizza.

Then the bus ride came up and he was adamant that he was not riding that bus. Daddy had to take him everyday and I had to pick him up. I have trouble fighting him on the bus ride I hated it myself. When I was in school they didn't assign seats like they do now. Where you sat determined how cool you were and how picked on you would get. Jerry Bertke was relentless and even wrote in my 4th grade year book "To the ugliest little ----" Took me six years and several dates with him to get revenge, I mean get over that.

At his elementary school you are not suppose to find out your teacher until Packet pick-up day. I personally do not understand it because having gone to that very small Catholic school you unfortunately knew exactly who you would have the next year. So not knowing who his teacher would be was the only hurdle left. Until someone left the cat out of the bag. One neighbor saw a class list and the other got the 1st grade teacher that sent out a Welcome letter a month before school.

So much for keeping it secret. All that is left is the first day jitters. I'm just not sure who is more nervous, him or me?

Monday, August 17, 2009

What's with Facebook?

O.k. so if one more person tells me that I have to get on Facebook I am going to scream.

Was it not enough that I was not popular in high school? That I didn't have many friends? That I was just on the outside of the it crowd? That I didn't get invited to parties and had five people at my "sweet sixteen" party because that's all my mom could come up with!

Now you want me to be unpopular in Cyberspace too! Please, give me one place where I can play in the illusion that I have friends. Facebook would be like being nominated for Prom Queen and getting beat- all over again. No thank you!!

My high school experience made the ABC After School Specials look like a joke. If ever there was someone who had good reason to home school their children - considering their school experiences - it's me.

My Kindergarten teacher didn't even like me. Gee wonder if she is still alive maybe she could look me up and harass me about not being able to tell time some more. Or maybe the dance teacher I had for ten years could tease me about not knowing my right from my left. Then there is the School nurse that I saw everyday for seven years of Catholic school. She could ask if I am finally over my "faking it" and getting a life. Let's not forget the High School Guidance Counselor who laughed his butt off when I told him I was going to college. He told me to find a rich old man, get married, and take the money because I would never make it. I am sure he'd like a little confirmation.

Nope! Facebook is not for me. I like being only semi-cyber savvy and totally incognito.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Driving at 15?

So in several of our great states someone had the brilliant idea to let teenagers get their driving permit at 15 1/2. I am not sure who in their right mind thought that would be a good idea, but they are dumb.

Teenagers are dumb. I know this first hand because I was one. A teenager - and a dumb one. We have a friend who is going through this now with her son who will turn 16 in December. He is so upset because she won't pay out all the money necessary for him to take the test, get the lessons and insurance immediately. Now she has never refused to let him get a Drivers License, just that she is not going to shell out the money at 15 1/2.

Just this morning, as I turned out of our neighborhood I was almost struck twice as two teenagers, each driving an SUV, pulling out of the park across the street both thought that they had the right of way. They were making a left hand turn! I know it's been 25 years since my Drivers Education but when do you ever have the right of way making a left hand turn? NEVER!

Without getting into a lot of detail about just HOW dumb I was - that would surely prompt a call from my parents (YOU DID WHAT!) and possibly indict me on several counts of vehicular stupidity. I think that letting a teenager loose in a car is like letting a three year-old loose in a Toys R Us. It's raging hormones behind the wheel of a one ton assault weapon. Wait that's a pregnant mom in a mini-van.

Suffice it to say, I am really against letting children get behind the wheel of a car any sooner then they already do and if I knew who the idiot was that proposed the legislation I'd put out an APD on him - All Pregnant Drivers Alert!

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're Baaacck!

We all survived vacation, mostly intact. The plan was to start out by 6 a.m. on a Friday morning. So we put the kids to bed and hurried to finish packing the car, and put the kids back to bed, and finish cleaning the house, and put the kids back to bed, and you get the picture. It was after midnight when we finally laid down and set the alarm clock. Little did we know we wouldn't need it. At 2:30 a.m. my three year-old climbed in bed with me - he was on fire! Perfect we knew someone had to get sick right?

After some Motrin and a message for the Dr.'s office we went back to sleep for a few more hours before we headed out for vacation via the Doctor's office, the pharmacy, and the bank. Instead of 6 a.m. it was more like 10 a.m.. But we are on vacation, we are not in a hurry, we don't need to be in Colorado until Sunday because that's when we are expected, at some one elses house where we will be staying.

All I heard for the first four hours of the trip - "We are four hours behind schedule!"
"No" I kept trying to say lovingly, "We are a day ahead of schedule. She is not expecting us until Sunday. If you showed up at my house an entire day early, I'd have to kill you." This did not get through that thick Greek skull. The other thing he had trouble hearing, which I knew would be a problem was, "Please stop we have to Pee!" We made it to Kansas City, Kansas on the first day tired, hungry, and eyes balls floating.

The three-year-old has acquired the knick-name Little Pooper. There are several reasons, his disposition, his tantrums, and his lack of appropriate potty skills. The first leg of the trip went well because he was too doped up on Motrin and dehydrated from the fever to be a problem. Day two however, a different story. After the third pair of underwear and pants by 10 a.m. I tried to convince him to wear a diaper just for the car ride. NO WAY! Maybe I could?

I just tried to keep my voice from shrieking at this point as I no longer gently persuaded my husband to stop more frequently or perhaps all together because - "We are not expected to show up today!!!!!!!" We were in Colorado by 6 p.m. Imagine how well the rest of the vacation went with my level of input.

I think what the boys will remember the most is Star Wars, Hotel pools, and room service. Thanks to a very generous friend the boys watched the Star Wars trilogy on the way out to Colorado and the way back. I have just two words for our friend - THANK YOU!!

Actually the biggest hit of the car ride was the Car Bingo game which everyone got into even my husband who at times had to be reminded to keep his eyes on the road. He also really got into finding a licence plate from every state and since he did all the driving (once again demonstrating my lack of control here) we only had nine states left to find. We also had plenty of Library books to read and listen to on CD. Those came in very handy when I had to crawl into the front seat to fix Mrs. Tomtom (the GPS) because my husband was convinced she did not know where she was going.

Several people have asked why in the world we would drive for two days, don't ask me quite yet, I'm still trying to figure that out. Will I ever do it again - well if I ever want to take a vacation I can afford I guess that I will have to. At least we have Car Bingo!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The count down....vacation part 3

So Friday is the big day. We will head out on vacation should we all still be alive. My husband is really pushing my buttons to the enth degree. If he keeps this up he may be riding on top of the car like the grandma in National Lampoons Vacation. (Yes, I know she was dead!)

Besides my husband losing is ever loving mind I have a 6-year-old with an ear infection and possible strep throat and a three year-old that has stopped using the potty. Do you see now why I don't look forward to vacation!

To top this all off, TMI ALERT (this subject matter may not be suitable for the male audience - especially my father) I forgot to finish half a pack of birth control pills. I never forget my birth control pills - all hope may be gone.

I'm about to have a period which I haven't done in three years, that can't be good. Imagine if you will Mount St. Helen's. My body is already starting to morph into something out of a science fiction movie. I'm so bloated everything from my earlobes to my ankles looks like it's about to pop open. Nothing sounds good to me but chocolate covered chocolate and fast food grease. Anytime my children say, "Mom" I start seething and snarl back "WHAT NOW!" then immediately start crying.

My neighbor stopped her car in the middle of the street as the boys and I were walking yesterday. She rolled down the window and asked if I was good.
"Yes", I replied.
"Are you sure?" she said.
"Yes" I said again starting to feel the snarl coming on, "Don't I look good?"
"I was outside yesterday on my deck, it sounded a little chaotic at your house." She said with hesitation, then let the car start to roll away ever so slightly. I have a feeling the snarl that I was trying to conceal was working it's way to my face because she suddenly got a rather terrified look on her face. Almost like she didn't know whether to floor it or grab the boys. She chose to run.
"Glad you are good, have a nice walk! See you after vacation."
Scaredy cat! My bark is worse than my bite, I hope....this is going to be a loooonnnggg trip.

Stay tuned!

Friday, July 17, 2009

twrip or tweet - and it's not even Halloween!

I do try to get a workout in twice a week. I don't always get that done but I am committed to trying. Yesterday at the gym I was on the treadmill and plugged in, literally. I said I went to the gym, I didn't say I enjoy it. Since I don't own and ipod or an iphone or any other high tech gadget, I settle for what the gym has to offer. Which is a device on the treadmill for your headphones that gives you the option of 10 plasma TV's all with a different show in progress. I tend to flip around considering I have the attention span of a monkey and I since I rarely turn the TV on at home I like to absorb as much as I can.

Every show that I flipped to was talking about the teenage girl that fell into an open manhole while texting. At first you giggle, then ask if she is ok. But after hearing the while story, I just got angry. She was on Twitter sending a tweet when she fell into the sewer and now her parents are suing the city. WHAT?

This isn't a cartoon. She wasn't twicked but Wly E. Coyote. Was the manhole was cleverly covered with urban camouflage like cement and garbage? She was stupidly absorbed in sending a text while walking and missed a massive hole in the ground. Some cities are padding lampposts because so many people are walking into them. ARE WE NUTS?

I may be the only voice out there but may I say, Let's get a grip. Suing the city? Padding lampposts? I can not believe that technology has come this far, without us. The more devices you have the less you need a brain? Come on scarecrow - put down the phone while on the yellow brick road.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vacation part 2 - Planning

As the big trip creeps closer it is time to think about the details. My husband of course mentions this everyday. "Let's sit down and plan the trip! We have to do that tonight, can we do that tonight?"

We could do that anytime, however, my husbands idea of planning is more like a brain storming session. I get paper and pencil and sit down ready to make a plan. Laying this out like a Franklin Planner I have days broken down by hours, lists of local activities, maps, etc. My husband just sits down and starts talking about all the fun we'll have and all the things we are going to do and places we are going to go and and and.....

Needless to say, our ideas of planning are very different. Planning to me means getting the house, the trip, myself, and ALL the boys packed. It means thinking, thank goodness for the Girl Scouts, through every one's wants and needs before hand according to my husband's insane agenda and being prepared.

This year's trip is a new one. That may sound funny but normally the only trip we took as a couple or a family was to my husbands homeland. After five trips overseas, two with children I have that plan down pat. Taking a family road trip is throwing me for a loop. Where do I start, what do I pack, how much rum is in rum punch?

The trip is approximately two weeks away and yesterday he told me in the car, "We need to start packing!" I gently told him I do not think any of us have enough underwear for me to pack now and stay decently dressed for two weeks. But I can't put this off much longer, I will need to sit down with him soon and let him "plan the trip".

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You know your a parent when...

I recently had one of those moments when it became very clear that I have fully arrived into motherhood.

It was 11:30 p.m. and after a very long day I was heading up to bed. As usual, I stopped in the boys room to make sure everyone was in a bed, semi-covered, and kiss them goodnight. I leaned over my littlest who is still wearing diapers to bed and smelled poop. Being exhausted and hoping I was just smelling myself I started to sniff. Armpits? Feet? Shirt? Wastebasket? Laundry basket? Nope! It is the kid.

Now maybe some of you have had this dilemma before and because you are a stellar example of what a mother should be you scoop up your toddler and change the diaper with loving care. I chose to duck out of the room and deal with it in the morning, or so I thought.

When my husband arrived upstairs a little later I quickly said from my cozy corner of the bed, "I've already checked on the boys." I was hoping to avoid him going anywhere near the bedroom. You see, my husband has the nose of a bloodhound. He can smell everything except himself from 200 yards. I knew that if he stepped foot in that room the jig was up. He would never change the sleeping child's diaper, but he would also never let me rest until I did. He went in anyway.

Like a possum, I tried to play dead. He called my name three times and huffed around the room. Finally, standing over me he said, "Are you really going to let your baby sleep in a poopy diaper?" Yes. I've never claimed to be Mother Theresa. Wait she wasn't really a mother mother, was she? "FINE!" I grumbled and got out of bed this was not going to be easy.

With my husband looking over my shoulder with a flashlight (Goodness knows why?) I carefully enter the boys room. I grab a diaper and three wipes. I am armed and dangerous. A mother on a mission - change a diaper without waking the child. Dare I say, it went down with the stealth precision of a Navy Seals operation. I was so pumped when the child simply rolled over and went back to sleep that I had to go downstairs to celebrate with a glass of wine - I have arrived!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Parenting styles

I was raised by a Baby Boomer. Was there a parenting style of the 50's generation? After discussing this at length with girlfriends my age we decided the parenting philosophy was simple: Send the children outside and they'll come back hungry and tired.

This was very true being raised in a small rural community two hours from any large city. Perhaps children of my generation that grew up near a thriving metropolis had trips to the zoo, museums, or a baseball game. I did not. We did however for most of my childhood have trips to another rural community with a lake. We stayed at the cottage for a better part of the summer. Eating all our meals at the picnic table in our swimsuits. We swam, water skied, and hiked in the nearby woods.

None of us went to camp, or summer enrichment. We did not take swim lessons or lessons of any kind for that matter. No one played baseball or was on the swim team. By today's standards, we were lazy, and so God forbid - was our mother.

After calling several of my son's Kindergarten pals for a play date we finally met someone at the park. Everyone I called said how crazy the summer was getting with lessons, camps, and other activities. Nothings really that crazy at our house. So far the summer has been really fun and easy, but dare I say it - lazy!

Perhaps it's my upbringing? My lazy mother who didn't organize play dates, activities, camps, or field trips has left me with a legacy of laziness. She taught me that summer was meant to be a time to relax. For a child, summer is lounging by a lake, setting up a lemonade stand, riding bikes, playing in the woods, hanging out with neighbors, and maybe reading lots of books.

So we are lazy, and my children deprived of camps and lessons and craziness. I just haven't decided if my parenting style is old school or if I am simply a Renaissance mother. For now I will claim the latter.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vacation - Part 1 Preparation

It is time to get ready for our family vacation. I know that I should be grateful that we can take this trip, at least that's what I keep telling myself.

We are looking at a 22hour car ride to get to our destination. I am really dreading having to fill 22 hours of time in a vehicle with my beloved family. When I think back to the few family vacations we took as children I think about laying in the back of a station wagon trying not to throw up and asking "Are we there yet?"

On one particularly long drive we borrowed another family's conversion van. We were so pumped. This was before seat belt laws so we were looking forward to playing football in the back while my parents drove. It didn't quite go as planned. Mom kept yelling to keep it down and sit still then half way to the destination the air conditioning broke. Have you ridden in the back of any van without air conditioning? You might as well be seating in the waiting area at the Dry Cleaners.

There was the time that we traveled to the top of a giant hill in South Carolina, someplace called Fontana Dam I think? We took Grandma because the only reason we were going was to visit our Uncle who moved there. The road up the mountain went around and around and around and around. We stopped three times because everyone felt so sick - but nobody was throwing up - until Grandma had the bright idea to shove Dramamine down our throats. Then we stopped about 14 times so that we could all hurl.

Coming home from Florida my brother had turned sixteen so they had the bright idea to drive all night since they could switch drivers. Myself and younger brother and sister who are twins thought this would be so cool. We made beds fell asleep at 6:30 p.m. and woke up at midnight ready to party. We drove everyone nuts until about 3:00 a.m. when we were finally 1/2 hour from home. By the way, have any of you stopped at an I-75 rest stop at 2:oo a.m.? Those places are hoppin'!

My memories may be traumatic to say the least. I have never gone near Dramamine or South Carolina again I can promise. But there are also some side splitting, pee your pants laughing stories and that's what I hope my children can walk away with after this trip. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Put those kids Away!

In the past few weeks I have found myself using a disturbing phrase. O.k. well it's not that disturbing, I have worse phrases in my vocabulary, but I digress.

I will be telling someone a story regarding the kids and I use the phrase, "put the kids away." My mom was the first to hear it and commented, "Honey did you just say you were putting the kids away? Where may I ask did you put them?"

Am I that stressed out? Is life as a stay-at-home mom finally made me snap? Instead of putting the kids to bed, now I put them away. I started to wonder though how great an option that might be....think of it!

Before you leave for vacation: Things to do - Stop the mail, buy sunscreen, put the kids away.
The husband comes home from work with free tickets to a show, can you be ready in 20 minutes? Sure, 10 minutes for hair and make-up and 5 minutes to put the kids away.
Your girlfriend calls and says that the Elementary school carnival committee would like to meet for lunch at Applebee's next Tuesday can you get a sitter for the baby? No problem, I'll just put the kid away!

Please, do not send me hate mail as I am completely joking. I love my children and care for them 24/7, which is precisely why I have this sick sense of humor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time to regroup

We recently got a night to ourselves, after only 6 years and two kids. My children decided at the last minute to jump in the car with my parents and stay at Nanna and Papa's for an extra day. It was totally weird.

When you hear other people say, "Oh we went downtown, spent the night in a hotel, ate a fabulous dinner, and just had a romantic evening together while the kids were at the grandparents." It sounds like something out of a movie - who really does that! Everyone but us it seems. We do not live near family and do not have any expendable friendships. This was a whole new experience for us.

So the first thing I did was go to the gym and workout. I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical - GUILT FREE. No one was wasting away in the child care center watching Sponge Bob and getting lessons from the eight year old bully on words that will get you ousted from pre-school. I also spent 30 minutes with a personal trainer, which happens to be my husband. I got a great workout - he really kicked my behind. Which we then realized was not a good idea should we decide to get frisky later.

We went to lunch together, then I went home and took a nap - uninterrupted. I took a shower that lasted 25 minutes! 25 minutes with no one screaming, fighting, or pooping in unwanted places. I felt like a new woman. I gathered my To Do List and I was ready to tackle errands that have been sitting around for over a month with the joy of a kid on the last day of school. Then my husband calls. He tells me that he can't stop thinking about me and he wants the night to be special - see you in two hours.

I am a mess. I walk out of the house in such a panic that I had to turn around twice and go back to the house to retrieve items to return. I was as flustered as a Nun in a house of ill repute - as my father would say. Racing down residential streets, honking at children on their bikes, cutting in front of old ladies in the store, I was a mad woman.

I won't give you any unnecessary details of the evening, but I will tell you this. My husband and I made it home at the same time, I still had one thing to do before I surrendered (I wanted to blog in peace!) And he stood pacing outside the room. When I finished he pounced, we still had plenty of time to make dinner, take a walk, play a round of Rumicube and still be in bed by 10:00 p.m..

The next time my neighbors brag about getting rid of the kids I can chuckle inside knowing they can't stay up past ten either.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blonde and codeless

Numbers are not my forte'. I was OK in the beginning. Learning numbers, memorizing my telephone number and street number. I was even OK when they started to mix it up with Grandparents, cousins, Aunts and Uncles. Ask me anyone's phone number from my childhood - I still have them stored up there in the old file cabinet we call a brain.

But it all got a little tricky when I went to college. Suddenly I had a new and growing group of people to add to the telephone number list. On top of that college requires you to identify yourself by your social security number and in certain cases a random group of numbers known as your student ID. Being on your own means that you acquire a bank account with an ATM card - for convenience - which is another set of entirely random numbers. Add to that security codes to get into certain buildings on campus including the five apartments I lived in while attending said college. Don't ask me any of those numbers - don't even ask me any of those addresses, that file cabinet was lost in a tragic fire.

After college (and I realize that I am sooo dating myself with this admission) was the boom of the cell phones and consequently I not only had to remember everyone's home phone but add to that their cell phone number. Also after college came marriage which by the way requires you to memorize another group of random numbers. Your husbands social security number, a new bank account number, credit cards, insurance cards, and several new telephone, cell and street addresses before it is all through.

Then come the children. I have given up trying to remember every random set of numbers I have ever met. It haunts me and quite often bites me in the rear. Like trying to register a child for Kindergarten, check out books at the library, or buy groceries. Everyone, everywhere, everything now a days requires a "code". I am happy to say, I am blonde and codeless!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Other people's children

I love to hear other people's stories about their children, it makes me feel less freakish. Here is oneof my favorites.

My girlfriend's son who is 7 years-old is now taking showers by himself. Recently he came out of the shower and said, "Why do I only have one ball?" My girlfriend of course launched into, "Well if you would put your things away where they belong you would be able to find them!" Her husband gently stopped her rant and explained to their son that those are called testicles. Their son explained that he was squeezing them after he got out of the shower and one popped up there and did not come back out.

After a quick examination she made a call to the Pediatrician for an appointment. With his pants down around his ankles lying on the table with two Doctors examining his groin her son looked up at her and said, "Mom, this is the weirdest thing I've ever done." She told me she wanted to reply but they were all laughing to hard. The Dr. said that there is an opening like a button hole that allows the little fellows to pop in and out. Her son's opening would have to be enlarged so that they did not get stuck again.

Consequently she started to supervise the boys showers again, just until after the surgery. One night as she was toweling him off, she said let's get your - Kibbles and bits - her husbands name for the boys privates. Her 7 year-old looked at her and said, "Mom, their just Kibbles and bit."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sibling stories....

We spent the weekend with my parents and my mom was telling a story about my sister.  Unfortunately she started telling this as she and I were walking into Wal-Mart.  We were laughing so hard by the time we got to the first aisle people were staring and/or dodging us.  Most places, that's not a big deal because the chances of someone seeing you know are slim.  When you are in Podunkville where everyone is related it is a lot harder to be discreet.  The story was totally worth it though.

When my older sister was three and I was "on-my-way" mom took her and went to church.  She was of course behaving very typically of a three-year-old at mass and making a scene.  So our mom finally decided to ignore her.  Being three, she occupied herself with something for a whole three minutes and then started poking my mom saying look at this, look at this!  Frustrated at the lack of attention she was getting from our mother, my sister hauled off and hit her.  This not only got mom's attention but others trying to ignore the squirming child.  Mom said when she looked down, seething, ready to read her the riot act, all she saw was a bare butt.  My sister had pulled her sun dress up, her panties down, and had her bare butt sticking straight up in the air saying, "Look at this, it hurts right here!"

Needless to say, she did not get scolded nor did she have to go to church for a long time after that.  I always said that sister of mine had it all figured out.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I am playing Webkinz World again. I just received the sweetest email from a friend we call Grandma saying, "What's new Ted I am waiting! Are you still writing?"

I paralyzes me. It seems too daunting this thing that I have started, writing. Telling people was the mistake, maybe I should have keep it a secret. Thinking, writing, being funny, it's too hard! Life is crazy and messy and "I don't have time" often we say this.

I am reminded of an interview I went to in college for a nanny position. The woman interviewing me was amazing. She started hiring nannies for people after her granddaughter was born and her daughter needed someone. She had been a nurse for 20+ years at University hospital and I just remember her telling me this story.

"Darling, try not to say "I don't have time", and this is why. I do not need to work. I have never needed to work. My husband does very well, we live in a very upscale neighborhood, I work because I want to. My job as a nurse is not easy. I see people who are dying everyday. When my friends call and say, "Let's play tennis, let's have tea, we're going shopping in NY." That's when I say, I am so sorry- I do not have time. Life is to short to waste, make your mark not regrets.

It paralyzes me. It is easier to stop, quit, throw in the towel and say I DON'T HAVE TIME! What am I doing? Cleaning, watching TV, cooking, sleeping, chatting away to a girlfriend about my husband.

I am making regrets and life is too short. I've dreamed of being a writer since before I could write - ask my sister! So this may not be the most hysterically funny, moving and clever piece of work, but I'm still here Grandma....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I don't know how many of you have played Bunko. Hell, I don't know how many people are actually reading this blog. Could just be my mother and even that is iffy because she doesn't know how to use a computer. (What is with that generation?)

The third Thursday of every month is my night out. My only night out all month. I am alone, I am usually dressed to resemble a woman, I have adult conversations, and wine. It is bliss. This month I hosted Bunko. The night before the "Bunko girls" came (which is what my two boys call them) I was hoping to get some preparations done while my husband took over the boys. Things didn't quite work out that way. We ended up screaming the boys into bed and then screaming at each other like idiots. My husband yelling, "You get so stressed out over people coming!"

As I was huffing around in the basement trying to cool off a little I realized why that statement made me go ballistic. I wasn't all stressed out, I was excited. I love these women. Bunko is more than a dice game you can still play with Baby Brain and three Margaritas. Bunko is a life line. It is the quilting bee, the knitting club, it's the Red Tent of our generation!

I look forward to Bunko because of all the differences we bring to the table. (no pun in tended) Some of the women are now empty nesters, some are rounding the corner with kids in high school, others are still in the thick of things with Elementary and Junior High schoolers, and there is me with little ones still underfoot. We have some commonalities, but many of us are as different as night and day. Some outgoing, some reserved, some can keep score others should not, some can hold their liquor and others - well let's just be honest, I can't be trusted with either!!

There's the storyteller, she takes command of the room and weaves a tale that leaves us all in stitches. There's the sex addict that can turn the most simple comment into a sexual innuendo. She doesn't work alone though, she has a partner that helps fuel the fire. Some nights are serious because life and kids and husbands are serious business. Most nights we just eat, talk, drink, play, and laugh... a lot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A day in the life.......

Someone I love dearly who works Full-time has asked me, "What do you do all day? I bet you play?" Well my dear, I hope this answers some of your question....

6:30 a.m. kids wake-up, find TV and an hour or so later find mom still in bed
8:00 a.m. we eat, we dress, we go outside to find bugs-bikes-balls of any sorts
11:00 a.m. we eat, we dress, we get #1 son on bus and #2 son down for a nap
1:00 p.m. mom falls asleep on the couch after 3 minutes of Y&R and 20 minutes of cleaning
2:30 p.m. #2 son is up, finds mom, finds remote, finds PBS
3:00 p.m. mom attempts to drag herself off the couch
3:30 p.m. mom jumps off couch, flies out the front door to caught bus, false alarm - wrong bus
4:00 p.m. #1 son is home from school, we eat, we dress, we go outside
6:00 p.m. moms in the kitchen frantic to find more to feed monsters
6:15 p.m. mom stop sons from killing each other over Lego's
6:30 p.m. mom drinks the wine, skips the sauce feeds them dry chicken with butter noodles
7:00 p.m. everyone gets a bath, some in the tub, some not
7:30 p.m. mom reads 7 books, yawns 77 times, kisses two heads, three knees, and one elbow, sings four songs, changes a diaper, changes beds, fixes pillows, blankets, and fan-3 times
8:15 p.m. sons in bed with books, water, blankets and paci's, husband in kitchen looking for food
8:30 p.m. we eat, we dress, we get in bed
10:00 p.m. someone is coughing, go in and turn off fan
10:30 p.m. a thump - someone fell out of bed because it's too hot, turn on fan
12:00 a.m. a finger up moms nose, a foot to the head, #2 son in our bed
2:30 a.m. #2 son is kicking, and coughing, husband growls and leaves the bed
3:30 a.m. #1 son get in our bed, dad's snoring in his bed
5:00 a.m. husbands alarm goes off, wakes mom-no one else
5:30 a.m. mom wakes dad, rearranges children, gets 10" of mattress to myself
6:30 a.m. kids wake-up, find TV and an hour or so later find mom still in bed

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer is upon us...

Oh the joys of summer. Longer Days, swimming pools, grill-outs, lounging at my parents house on the lake all of these things bring about wonderful thoughts of summer. But now that I've had a slight taste of freedom; i.e. several hours without children - I am dreading summer.

The most dreaded of all are the two words that sent my mother in a rage and likewise now myself - "I'm Bored!" I should be ready for this. There are thousands of websites out there devoted to things you can do with your children this summer. I need to arm myself. Be at the ready for those dreaded words with easy science experiments, math pages, and reading material. The problem with me is, that takes a lot of time, energy, and organization. I am too darn lazy.

Yes, I admit it, I will shout it. I am Lazy!! That is the kind of time commitment women make who home school their children. I am not that kind of woman. Did I mention that I have a degree in Elementary Education? My Education professors often described me as "a day late and a dollar short". That sums it up, except now it is WAY more than a dollar. Some professors where nice enough to call it "flying by the seat of my pants" whatever that means.

I know that we will make it through the summer, unfortunately there be quite a few days where the dreaded words are uttered. My plan, go to the pool and order a pizza for dinner. Pizza fixes everything.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Welcome to Kinderverse

We are going through a difficult time with our six-year old. I'm not sure what is going on in that little head of his but I can only give the full moon so much credit.

He started by telling us that all the kids where picking on him on the way to school. It was a little worrisome considering that on the way to school it is just Kindergartner's on the bus. He also mentioned the playground, but mostly it was us. "It's all your fault! All you do is yell at me and you never yell at him (being the little brother) and you call me stupid idiot."

This is where my husband and I both stopped. We looked at each other like we had been accused of waterboarding. We have NEVER called our children stupid or idiot. But we are also new to the game, this is our first six year-old. We were sucked right in. It was like a black hole opened up in the bedroom and we were transported to an alternate universe.

Welcome to Kinderverse.

As first-timers to Kinderverse we had no idea that our sweet loving child could so easily manipulate two grown adults into this world. A place where everything is dark, tragic, and someonelses fault. Where one time friends become arch enemies because they don't play the game right. Where little brothers can ruin an entire day because they ate a grape off your plate. Perhaps the worst, the most horrifying, the absolute end is the dreaded - NO. This word uttered by a parent can send the child hurtling through Kinderverse, spinning our of control, wildly off course, blindly flailing into The Fit.

This is where we have been for several weeks now. Stuck in The Fit with the six year-old who blames his every bad choice on something we did. Why was he caught walking on the roof by the neighbor? Because I put him in his room in time out. Why was he caught using a hacksaw to cut down part of a tree? Because I bump it when backing up the car. Why was he caught in a friends back yard playing without telling anyone where he was? Because we are so rude to him.

This all came to a head last night and he once again threatened us that he had a plan to run away. Taking the advice of a friend who got through Kiderverse and well as Pubertyville and Ahellescence, when he said "I'm going to run away to Africa! I have a map." I said, "I will miss you very much, don't forget the bug spray. Here is a bag, Can I help you pack it?"

Before I could get the underwear drawer open he was sobbing. He told us both he was very sorry, he loved us, and he didn't want to go to Africa until he was much older. Then he would run away and not forget the bug spray. We've had a much better day so far.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Parenthood - Pass/Fail

I love my children and my choice to stay at home with them - 85% of the time. Days like this I wish I could take the F and drop out. I'll admit failure! I suck at being a parent right now the Super Nanny would need a two-hour special.

"This week on the Super Nanny, meet a Mum whose totally lost it and children running amok."

My son is calling himself dumb, stupid, idiot, and brat. Nothing pushes a parents buttons like trying to disciple a child whose beating on his younger brother and hearing, "you love him more than you love me, all you do is yell at me, I'm going to run away."

My overly sarcastic nature makes my first reaction, "If anyone here gets to run away it's me! And don't worry about favorites neither of you are at the top of my list today." That does not come out of my mouth, but it is hanging off the end of my tongue like slobber on a bulldog.

He's got me right where he wants me, now I'm torn between punishing him and hugging him. Do I stand firm and send him to his room? Do I pull him close and tell him how sorry I am for being the worst mother in the world? The Super Nanny would be so disappointed. What about neutral corners - I'll take the one with the wine in it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Mayhem

Silly me!!

As a Mother of two boys and the wife of an only child I should know better than to down play Mother's Day. Subtlety does not work. I said, "Let's do some yard work." Thinking that since it was going to be a nice day, we could all work together, enjoy being outside, and get some work done.

After making everyone breakfast and lunch, then cleaning that up and getting pasta salad ready for our friends cookout I finally sat down. What the heck is going on here! It's Mother's Day and I've spent all morning cooking, cleaning, and wiping two very runny noses because it is allergy season. Anger started boiling from a places I did not know I had. Self - I said - wait. Do not ruin the day.

So off I went to Lowes to get the top soil and flowers. By the time I left Lowes I was feeling absolutely Zen like. My mind was a glow with the beautiful colors and scents of roses in every form. The staff was more helpful than anyone in my house had been so far today and the two young men that loaded my car even said Happy Mother's Day. Floating home through a sea of sunshine in a cool breeze I felt I had recaptured the day.

Silly me!

The images from Hallmark, American Greetings, FTD, and all the others that stand to make a buck off this holiday show Mother's being showered with love. I was being showered with top soil. After hauling, dumping, spreading, and planting I didn't even shower before we went to the cookout. The kids chased the friends dog while I sipped a glass of wine. Looking in the sky I remembered a co-worker who wanted children but would never have them - Silly Me!

Mother's Day isn't about a card or a rose, it's just about being a mom. For that, I am most grateful.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Out of the mouths of Babes

One thing people always tell you, but it really doesn't register right away is that children see and hear EVERYTHING you do. Absolutely everything. And you realize it only as it is slapping you in the face - at church, in front of the neighbor, or to the pre-school teacher. Some of you moms are right now laughing so hard you've wet your pants, it's o.k. run to the bathroom, I can wait.

Getting out of the door each morning is a challenge for two of us. My oldest child and I would lay in bed for hours if given the opportunity. My youngest child has a lot more energy always ready to roll right out of bed and go for the gusto. However, please let him do it in his dirty diaper and PJ's with breakfast in his hand.

Recently I was trying to corral the boys into clothes, shoes, and clean underwear to go to the Library. This is not new, we do it every Friday morning. No one was cooperating, I was screaming, naked children kept dashing in every direction - and needless to say -I lost it. I stomped over to the garage door and said in my mommy-dearest voice, "Fine, stay here by yourselves, I am leaving." My naked 2 1/2 year-old looked at me with his hands on his hips and said, "Sewiouswly!"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Webkinz HMO - Please!

The things that people do not tell you when you become a full-time mom is that it can be as boring as watching paint dry. We have recently acquired two Webkinz though and I have to say - what a guilty pleasure. It is just so nice to have a break from things like laundry, cleaning, and cooking to do something with your brain, even if it's just the very addictive Smoothie Moves. (if anyone can make it past level 6, I do not want to know!) What can it hurt right, you earn your child the all important and essential Kinzcash so that they can take care of their animals with out letting them spend 775 hours a week playing on the computer.

I was actually playing in Webkinz World the other day while my children were outside playing in the real world and saw that it was Hedgie's birthday. I thought this significant enough to call my son inside so that we could feed him cake and sing to him. I failed to notice that the animal was an awful shade of green, had a thermometer in his mouth, and an ice pack on his head. So when my son came in he shrieked, "Hedgie is sick!". We quickly sprung into action and took him to see Dr. Quack. Thank God they could get us in right away!

After the examination Dr. Quack informed us that it was NOT in fact the swine flu just a simple cold that needed medication, if we were willing to buy it, for 30 Kinzcash. I was so relieved that the poor animal was not going to die not to mention that we would not have to quarantine the computer for 7-10 days due to H1N1 exposure, that we bought the medicine. However it got me to thinking, 30 Kinzcash is a lot for a prescription, surely Webkinz supplies these animals with better Health care than that!