Thursday, November 19, 2009

News? I think NOT.

Over the past week I have become a little fed up with news. And its not just because of the psychotic lunatics who are engaging in horrific crimes. These are bad, but at least they may qualify as news, as unpleasant as it maybe to hear about.

No, I am talking about the other news. The news about the waffle shortage or that eating movie popcorn is the equivelent to eating 3 quarter pounders with cheese? I mean we do need to know there might be a shortage of Eggo waffles this spring? Could this possible effect anyone's life so much as to make it newsworthy?

And the movie popcorn - really? Do I really need to know just how bad it is. Can't anyone go to the movies any more and enjoy a bag of popcorn without the quilt. Its not like people eat it everyday. For those who do - well they have bigger problems then eating movie popcorn every day - that being the fact they are actually AT the movies everyday.


Sweet Pea is home sick today with some kind of stomach bug. Apparently its the kind of stomach bug where you intermittently complain about how much your tummy hurts and than how hungry you are and proceed to eat toast, two eggs and a bowl of tomatoes all before 10 AM. If she hadn't been awake half the night with stomach pain, I'd really think I'd been had.

All I can say is I hope I don't catch it. It's bad enough to get the stomach bug but at least you can usually look on the bright side by acknowledging at least you'll loose a couple pounds in the process. With this bug, looks like you get the pain and the pounds. Who the hell needs that!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mama's Boy

ME: JJ, do you want to go watch TV in the other room with Sweat Pea? Sweat Pea is watching the same thing you are watching in here."

JJ: No, I want to be with my Mama. That's what boys do - be with their Mamas.

Can't argue with that. No matter how much I'd rather be watching the news.

Also below is an e-mail we received from our financial advisor, who happens to have the same name as JJ. Make sure to scroll all the way down so you can see the e-mail he is referencing:

Sent: Thu 11/12/2009 8:55 AM
To: Jonathan


I think something got lost in the translation in this email.

Can you please resend?

Have a great day.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan
Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:02 PM
Subject: JJ

Hkf gfjf


Xnjxjxjjjjnd. Jxkxjxbxjxb. JJ
Vzhzhxjchhcjxjhxjxjxhjhx. Sweet Pea
Jxjbxbxbxbbcbxbcbcccbx. Daddy
Hzxhzhxbbxbxbzbxbbzbx. Mommy
Hzhxhhxhxhxnhxxhhxbbx. Nanana
Jdjbndxnnxnxncnzncnsnx. Poppy

Sent from my iPhone


Apparently while we were out to dinner JJ was playing with Jonathan's iPhone. Oops.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My two cent tip of the day

For what it's worth...we have discovered how to get our 7 year old daughter to snap out of her funky moods - and when you are home from school for a holiday, it sure does come in handy:

Stick her on the treadmill with her ipod and some headphones. I am amazed how happy this makes her. Works for the rest of us....only makes sense it would work for her too....for a few minutes anyways.


Sweet Pea has recently shared with me her belief that one is supposed to attend the college nearest to their home. I have no intention of correcting her anytime soon. MassBay here she comes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Deep thoughts

As all parents know the bed time hour can get a little hairy. Lots of running around (by the kids), lots of screaming (by the parents), because everyone has had enough, and we'll we're just tired and cranky. Makes for some lovely quality time.

However, my kids are on to something. They have taken to providing Jonathan and I with back and foot massages before they go to bed. Yes - that's right. They are give US massages. Just when you think you might be screwing up the parenting thing, your kids go do something like this and you realize you must be doing something right. After all, this is the way it SHOULD be.

I realize their actions are an effort to prolong going to bed. This is not lost on me. But those are some smart kids. I would NEVER turn down a massage - not at the end of a long day.

Jonathan and I lie side by side on our bed and they take turns - first Sweet Pea gives me a massage, and JJ gives one to Jonathan. Then they switch. Last night Sweet Pea was even helping Jason master the foot massage a bit - sharing with him her technique. And she's good!

It the event your thinking we might be taking advantage of our children, let me assure you how this lends to some serious quality time and discussion. Take last night for example:

Abby had unhooked my bra strap so she could get the full range of motion over my back. A few minutes later Jason says, "Mommy, why do women wear bras."

"So their breasts don't sag." I replied. Nothing like the truth.

"No really." He said. And then as if a light bulb went on over his head, he added, "I know why. They wear them so their breast don't smell. No wait, it must be to keep them warm."

I think amid my uncontrollable laughter I managed to say, "Yes, you might be right."

So you see, we have some very deep conversation from which I am sure our children are benefiting from greatly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lucy went to the vet today. She has conjunctivitis. Not the kind we think of - not contagious, just from allergies, etc. She also has vaginitis. (I'll spare you the details.) We kind of new she had it but there's nothing you can do about it. Apparently it goes away once they are spayed. I asked the vet if all her ailments were a little unusual. The vet assured me, she is quite normal and this is just par for the course with a puppy. All I can say is I can glad we got pet insurance. Although it's really not that helpful unless you mail in the claim forms which I cannot seem to remember to do.

I am so not liking this homework thing, and its not even MY homework. I'm having flash backs to school when I could feel the weight of the homework hanging over my head. Ironically, they seem unfazed by it. I think that's a good think. I think.

I have taken to paying my son to eat dinner. It seems to be working. He could be a very rich man some day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It seems that along with starting kindergarten JJ has also developed a new level of assertiveness, for lack of a better word. The other day we were talking about something (about what I cannot remember) and he was going on, on, and on. I interrupted him to essentially cut to the chase and give him a response. But before I had a chance to complete my thought he said, with a very serious face, "Mommy, I was talking. Let me finish." I apologized, bowed my head in shame, and let him continue, as painful as it was.

Then, last night, he crawled into our bed at some ridiculous hour of the night. Actually, I'm not even sure it was night, it could have been at 5 AM but really, at that time, might as well still be night. As he snuggled up to me he said, "Mommy could you schooch over just a bit, I don't really have much room here." Had I not been SO tired, I would have of course said, "NO! Take your little butt back to YOUR bed where you can have all the space you want." But at the moment that would have required way too much energy, so I did the only other thing I could do which was schooch over.

I then slept for the rest of the night (however long that was) with his knees wedged into my back. I can still feel the knots.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight years and 1 day ago today

I was on my way back to Philly from Boston. I was visiting Jonathan who was staying with my parent while he did a rotation in the area. My flight left at 8: 30 AM. I was 7 months pregnant.

The next day I was back at work, sitting at my desk when a friend and colleague came by and said she just heard a plane hit the World Trade Center. We quickly got on the Internet and went right to CNN. It was about 9 AM. The Internet was not yet jammed with traffic. There was a picture - it almost did not look really. Smoke was bellowing out of one of the towers. We assumed a small plane must have lost control and tragically hit the tower. We had no idea what was still to come.

We soon found out another plan hit the other tower. Word of other lost plans soon began to circulate. Our office was gathered for an emergency meeting. I worked for a federal agency, right next door to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. While nobody had details, at this point it was assumed these were acts of terrorism. For our safety, we were sent home.

I went home and sat on my couch alone for the rest of the day watching images one could not even have imagined only hours earlier. With the rest of my family in Boston, there was no where to go. No way to get home. No air travel. All bridges between Boston and Philly, closed. It was a feeling I will never forget.

Friends near by who knew I was alone and pregnant invited me to come for dinner. I didn't really want to go. It felt like too much energy to muster when I felt physically and emotionally exhausted. In the end I went and was glad I did. It was better to not be alone.

It was Sweet Pea I was pregnant with at the time. Frankly, I think if I hadn't been pregnant, I would have been overflowing with anxiety. Not that I wasn't anxious as the events unfolded, but I think, even then, some motherly instincts must have kicked in and allowed me to remain as collected as possible under the circumstances. I do remember thinking how sad to bring a child into such a fucked up world.

She is now 7 1/2. She does not know what 9/11 is. How do you tell them about something that that you cannot explain - knowing that all it will do will case fear within them? Fear every time they get on a plane, or find themselves at the top of a high rise building. Maybe it won't be intense fear but they certainly will longer have the luxury of living in the protected world they now know. None of us do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Five times

This is the number of times I was at the school yesterday. FIVE TIMES. First time to drop them off. Second time for a room parent meeting. (Serves me right - I should have said no when I had the chance.) Third time to pick up JJ at noon. Fourth time to bring JJ back for his assessment with his teacher. And finally, the fifth time, to pick up Sweet Pea. I mean really, what if I were still working? Could they make these schedules any less friendly for working parents?

Which brings me to the next issue....a possible PT job may be on the horizon. I wish I could say I was happy about this but just when I start to get into some kind of routine with the kids....WHAM changes again. I know I should feel grateful - there are many out of working looking for work. But I FINALLY do not HAVE to work so I am having a little trouble motivating. Not to mention I still feel I am looking for that "perfect" career. You know, the one I can do from home when the kids are at school but still make lots of money. Not too much to ask for, right?

At any rate, seems like the job might take some time to materialize so I am trying to enjoy my time while I have it. In fact, I think I've decided we need to move and we should put our house on the market now. We had planned to wait until spring but who knows how long it could take to sell and I hope to able to buy in the spring. Hence the need to sell. The time it may take to get our house into "showing" form will require my full attention so might as well get on it now. Of course every time I look around the house for where to start, I feel so overwhelmed I just sit back down. I guess I'm going to have to get over that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Days 7-14

Well it seems that I lost track of the days while on vacation. I guess that's a sign of a good vacation. Below are a few random pictures from those remaining days. There are few. As time went by we got so lazy we forget to take pictures.

A lazy morning (though they were all lazy mornings):

Newcomb Hollow Beach Olympics

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 6

Flying kites:

Putting together a very complicated Star Wars kite:

Flying the Star Wars kite:

Getting bored after five seconds of flying kites, lounging on tubes in the bay:

Day 5

Floating in the ocean - before the surf of Hurrican Bill arrived.

Day 4 - Swimming at the Pond

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 3

While on my run this morning (actually it was yesterday morning), I snapped a picture of Uncle Tim's Bridge:

Day 2

Ice cream on the beach from the ice cream truck,

and sunset at the harbor:

In other vacation related news, we are creating a list of "new foods" for JJ to try while on vacation since his current diet consists of chicken nuggets, hot dogs and pizza. Oh, and ice cream LOTS of ice cream. On the list so far: grilled cheese (he's crazy I know); strawberry ice cream - not a new food, but a new flavor. In an effort to make this exercise fun we let him throw in a few "junk" items; an egg, yes that's right my sons never had an egg. And its not because we haven't offered it, about a million times.

Yesterday he had the grilled cheese and strawberry ice cream. He liked them both. Of course he ate all of the ice cream, and about three bits of the grilled cheese. I think he might be out smarting us on this one. UPDATE: Tonight he had grilled cheese and bacon! He ate the whole thing. There is hope for him yet. You know what they say, "Bacon makes it better baby!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Vacation - Day 1

I wanted to post a picture each day of our vacation. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the cord to connect the camera to my computer. So the only picture I have to show so far is this:

It's a picture of the bay at Wellfleet Harbor. It technically was our first day since it was taken the day we arrived. But that day hardly felt like a vacation with the all the packing, traveling, traffic and unpacking.

Yesterday, our REAL first day, we spent at the beach. There was not cloud in the sky. A PERFECT beach day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ready or not, here we come....

I cannot wait for vacation. It's even worth (I'm pretty sure) all the SHIT we have to do to get ready. All the laundry, all the shopping, and dealing with the dog. Oh, the dog.

We almost did not get Lucy because we knew we'd have to go away shortly after getting her and unfortunately the people we rented the house from would not allow us to bring her. But we decided we'd figure it out and well, there is no good time to get a dog - things always come up. So we took the leap and just did it. Very uncharacteristic of us.

After the having Lucy for a few weeks, we asked the breeders we got her from if they'd take her for the two weeks we were to be away. Although it would mean schlepping her to CT, we thought it would be worth it since they are GREAT and we'd knew she'd be well taken care of.

But as time went on, I was feeling stressed about the schlep and the time it was going to take. So I set out to find someone local. And we did. I was thrilled. Until yesterday. Lucy had a vet appointment to get a shot, and turns out she has some parasite that can be contagious to other dogs so the person who was supposed to take her will not since she also runs a pet day care. UGH! I was already feeling pre-vacation anxiety with all we have to do. (I realized this is all for VACATION and really need not be stressful but that is not how my mind works, unfortunately for me!) So I spent most of the night freaking out about how this was our vacation, and how we have to have our vacation, blah blah blah. Jonathan wanted to kill me, and my kids may now need therapy.

We made several calls to potential people who could take her, and I sent an e-mail to the breeders to see if they'd still be willing to take her. But as of the time I went to bed, which was early because I felt the need to put myself out of my pitty state, nobody had called back.

I am happy to report, this morning Jonathan found someone from work to take her. And because I think now feel like the other shoe is going to drop, I also have the breeders lined up as back up, which they were more than willing to do. Thank the lord!

So now, all I have to do is mounds of laundry and packing and count the minutes until I can sip on my cocktail while sitting on the beach. Ahhhhhhh, I can practically smell the salt air!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You know its time to do laundry....

When your son comes downstairs wearing these:

I looked at him and said, "You cannot wear those."

He looked down, and then back up at me. "Why not?" He asked.

Thinking it was quite obvious I looked back at him somewhat speechless.

I realized this was one those moments I had to capture and grabbed my camera.

"Stay there for a minute buddy."

"Why are you taking a picture?" He asked, "Because it looks so cool?"

"Yeah, buddy, that's exactly right."

He had every intention of wearing them to camp today until I told him they were not even his socks. One is my black sock and one is Sweet Peas. Not quite sure how they ended up in his drawer. To him, this was the funny part.

Monday, July 27, 2009

It was a LONG weekend.

And not the kind of long as in, three days of no work. Rather I mean, the days seemed to last forever. Jonathan was at work most the weekend so it was just the kids, the pup and I. In our effort to keep busy without really having a plan, here is a round up of some of what we did, in no particular order:

• Walked the puppy, again and again, and again……
• Went for a hike with the kids. They complained. I got lost. Kept lying by telling them the car was right around the corner. Lots of fun!
• Made yogurt popsicles.
• Went to the bookstore to buy the book I had to return to the library because they wouldn’t let me renew it and I was not even halfway done. Realized I was too cheap to buy the book and bought my kids books instead. (Which is how I bribed them to go to the bookstore with me.)
• Tried to bribe my kids to take a nap. When that failed, I taught them how to massage my feet.
• Ran on the treadmill while Sweet Pea played DJ for me. Rockin’ out to Hannah Montana! WhoHooo! All the while listening to JJ scream from the other room, “IT’S TOO LOUD. I CAN’T HEAR THE TV!”
• Let Sweet Pea blow-dry my hair until she burned me with the hair dryer. Note to self: Don’t do that again until she is at least 10.
• Ignored ALL the laundry piling up on the floor.
• Arranged play dates for the kids so I could run to the AT&T store to exchange my dead and useless phone. Realized I spent my whole 2 hours of freedom dealing with the stupid phone and thought, “this was a waste!”
• Played scrabble games with the kids and realized JJ may be 10 before he learns to read. Not a lot of motivation there!
• Talked a lot about giving the puppy a bath. Never gave the puppy a bath.
• Called Jonathan a hundred times and asked him when he was coming home. (Okay, it wasn’t a hundred times. In fact it was probably only once or twice, but I wanted to call about a hundred times.)
• Taught the kids to act like statues when Lucy jumps and nips at them so she stops. Jason now behaves like a statue when I ask him to do something. No good deed goes unpunished.

I think there must have been more….but I don’t think it’s worth recalling since I can’t seem to remember it. It wasn’t a bad weekend, just random and kind of uneventful. We did have three lovely dinners out: One with just Jonathan and I. Another with friends. And one with family and friends.

If I didn’t have to go to work, I’d be psyched it's Monday.

Monday, July 20, 2009


So as to avoid further upsetting some people (and you know who you are) about my life as a secret blogger, I am disclosing that I started blogging over at this site.

And in other news....Lucy pooped on the carpet this morning when we left her alone downstairs with the kids. Apparently dogs don't just bark to get attention. Oops...

And for the laugh of the day....the kids were arguing yesterday about something, I tuned them out until I head them talking about some girl (a counselor) from camp, and JJ said, "You mean the one with the nipples all over her face." Now tell me that is not laugh-out-loud funny! (Though clearly not for the counselor.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sign of the times

I know the economy has taken a downward spiral over the past year and all but there have been a few recent announcements that are kind of freaking me out:

First, there is talk of closing the Franklin Park Zoo. For those non-local people who may actually read this, this is basically the only zoo in Boston. Can you imagine not having a zoo to take your kids too, especially given that this is a major metropolitan area? It's not that I frequent the zoo all that often, maybe once a year, but with kids and all, you'd like to at least think its an option. There other zoos, in RI and another in Western MA, but this is the zoo most Bostonians think about when they think, ZOO.

Second, one of the local major radio stations is call it quits. Not a station I listen to, but still.......

Third, a local bridal shop that has been an institution of sorts for the past 40 years is also closing its doors. In fact, I went to this bridal shop 12 years ago, after getting engaged. I didn't buy anything but it sure was an experience. Almost a right of passage.

This is getting a little scary. It's not as if these are major, life altering changes that will impact my everyday, but they are staples that have existed around me and if they could go, who knows what might be next. D00DuDooDuDooDu.....(That was supposed to be the Jaws theme....not sure if came through in print.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

The good news is that Lucy slept all night without a peep. The bad news is that the WE woke HER up at 5:30 AM. Yep, ah uh, 5 freakin' 30. Jonathan got up around then to bike and Sweet Pea and JJ were already downstairs before he left at 6.

What is wrong with my family?? Jonathan nor I had to work today. In fact, it was the last day for awhile where we were both kind of in vacation mode. (If vacation mode is possible with a puppy.) Could we not just sleep in and enjoy a leisurely morning? Oh no, we had to be up at the crack of dawn (literally) starting our day. And it wasn't pretty either. The whining (by the kids, not the puppy) was at an all time high. We went to walk Lucy at 6:45. I was happy to go alone but no suck luck. Both kids insisted on coming with me, probably so I would not miss any of their racket. JJ whined the whole time that he needed a band aid for something....I have no idea what. He thinks anything that hurts can be cured with a band aid. Abby was complaining she was cold and hungry, despite the fact I had already made her pancakes. A lovely walk.

I'm all for Jonathan's early morning bike rides. Heck, I am even a self-proclaimed morning person. But that does not mean I want to be up with two kids and a dog who are all ready for a nap by 8:00 AM.

All I can say is thank heavens for coffee....and camp!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

So far so good.

This is Lucy, most of the time:

No, she's not playing dead. Just very mellow. Similar to newborns, she seems to get a little punchy around dinner time, but that generally consists of a little nipping and whimpering as she tries to find the most suitable place to lounge. And unlike a newborn who always wants to be held, I think Lucy gets a little put off if she is resting and you come over to be with her. She like her space - and I respect that!

I am waiting for the other foot to drop. You know how babies seem to change just as soon as you thought you figured them out. I'm wondering if puppies do that too??

I am also hoping my house does not start to smell like wet dog. That might upset me. But I'm afraid to wash her stuff for fear it will wash the scent of the things that have become familiar to her. I'm thinking she's got a few more days before I have to fumigate.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lucy has arrived!

We picked her up on Friday and I am pleasantly surprised by how well it's going. She is a very gentle, smart pup with just the right amount of far. Only one accident in the house in the two days we've been home. And aside from some whimpering in the crate every few hours at night, she seems to be getting used to it. The kids have been great with her. Sweat Pea is very involved in taking care of her - loves to walk and feed her. JJ is very fond of her but not as interested in her every move and is happy enough just saying hello to her every so often and then going back to whatever it is he doing. Here are some comments they have expressed over the past two days about getting Lucy:

"I feel like I'm dreaming."

"I have waited my whole life for this."

"This is like a good dream."

"Thank you so much for getting Lucy. I guess it will be a while before we get any other presents, right?"

"Do we have any money left after buying Lucy."

"She licked me. She LOVES me."

So even if we have our moments of "what the fuck have we done?" it's clearly worth it. (But just for the record, I haven't really thought that. Really.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

First day of Camp

My babies went to camp today. For JJ, his first camp experience! He was very excited and hopped right on the bus, almost forgetting to even say good-bye.

Here is a picture with him with his backpack on. It's almost bigger than he is....

It's amazing the things they can do when they put their minds to it. Just this past weekend he could barely walk up the street without complaining that his feet hurt if he walks too much. Selective exertion, I guess.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day

For father's day we had a homemade Chinese food extravaganza, prepared mostly by my very own father, with a few additions from other family members. You know being father's day and all we didn't want him to have to do EVERYTHING. I know, you're thinking, "It's father's day. He shouldn't have been cooking his own dinner." But really he loves to cook, and eat, so really, it was the least we could do.

Below are the various dishes he prepared. I tried to get a photo of each dish before the vultures swept in, but they're quick, so as you will see, in some cases, I got a picture just in the nick of time.

We started with Scallion Pancakes (which was the only thing not homemade), and wings, prepared my by brother-in-law.

Next up....dumplings.

Followed by ground turkey and lettuce wraps...

Followed by spare ribs...and those suckers went fast!

And some beef chow fun,

And then, to finish us off, some shrimp fried rice and peanut butter noodles (prepared by my aunt).

I wish I could say we had no room left for dessert, but of course we did. I am embarrassed to admit it was not homemade - but it was tasty!

Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 22, 2009

An entry for "Kids Say the Darndest Things"

We were driving somewhere this weekend, all of us in the car and Sweet Pea said, "Will I go to X Middle School?"

"Probably," we replied, "Assuming we still live in X. Unless of course Daddy makes us move to Iowa or Nebraska before then," I added. Jonathan likes to joke he's going to get a job somewhere where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is here and make us all move. Not bloody likely.

"Maybe we'll move to Iowa and have a farm. Grow our own corn and live off the earth." He joked.

There was silence in the back seat and then Sweet Pea said, "You mean we wouldn't live on earth anymore?"

Precious, I know. And probably as close to living off the earth (under either interpretation) as we will ever get!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Freedom for the small people!

Finally some common sense! I love this article. It beats all the other ones that tell us how we are ruining our kids lives by letting them watch TV and eat candy. Now some evidence we can let them run free and it might even be GOOD for them.

And very timely. We have just been having this discussion about whether or not JJ should be allowed to go into a bathroom at a restaurant, etc. by himself. He no longer wants to go in to the women's room with me. So when its just the the two of us, it presents a bit of a dilemma. I've started to let him go alone, depending on where we are, and how well we know the place. I mean I wouldn't let him do it at the airport. But in a small local establishment, I think its good for him.

Just last week we were at the hospital Jonathan works at and JJ wanted to go into the bathroom by himself. I paused for a moment but ultimately decided to let him go alone. I wish I could say it was because in those few seconds I had weighed all the pros and cons and decided it was okay. In reality, I could not bear the idea of the tantrum that might ensue if I dragged him into the women's room. I waited outside while he went in. I do have to admit that after what I thought was a reasonable amount of time for him to do his business, I started to get a little nervous. Just then this man comes out. I asked him if my son was still in there. He said, "Yes. But you might not want to let him go in alone next time, he had trouble reaching the sink. But I helped him."

"Thanks, I appreciate it." I responsed. What I really wanted to say was, "Thanks for helping my son, and for your two cents, but you can leave the parenting to me." I know - a little defensive.

Then out comes JJ, happy (and proud)!

That same night we were in a restaurant with family. JJ had to go to the bathroom, and again, wanted to go alone. Again, I wish I could say we weighed the pros and cons and decided he could go alone but in this case it was pure laziness. We did not want to get up. Not to mention our table was right next to the bathroom so we could see the door and anyone coming in and going out. Off he went. Then someone at the table, (I will not say who), looked at Jonathan and I and said, "I would never do that." Really? So now, feeling like we might have made the wrong decision, Jonathan went into the bathroom after him. Apparently, JJ looked at Jonathan and said, "I want to be alone." They all (the men in the bathroom apparently) laughed and Jonathan made a quick exit. He was fine.

So reading this article was reassuring for me and very refreshing! So what if we'll need even more medication to ease all the anxiety this new found freedom might create.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When you have children of both genders, there are those who say to you "Aren't girls so much easier!" And then there are those who say, "Aren't boys so much easier!" Generally, my opinion is that on the whole, neither gender is easier or harder, though certainly individual children tend to be more challenging than others. And we each know which of our children is that more challenging one for us. For some its a our daughter, for other's a son.

But last week I lived the inherent challenges in raising a daughter AND a son - but for very completely, different reasons.

Sweet Pea sent a blast e-mail telling half of the people in her address book (which is limited to a select few) that I hated her, yelled at her, shut the TV off, and did I mention, hated her. Had it gone just to perhaps just one or two people on her list I probably would have laughed it off as Sweet Pea once again expressing herself with all the drama we have come to expect from her. But there were some, one, on the list who I knew would not see this for what it on-line temper tantrum. And I was right. I spent the rest of the night explaining to Sweet Pea about on-line etiquette, as well the very important lesson of the permanency of typing something on-line, or e-mail for everyone to see (even if they think they are not sending it to everyone) and the possible consequences of that, especially when you have said something you know not to be true. And then I spent time explaining to others that my daughter is really not hostile or pathologically angry, just expressive and very dramatic. Could be worse, right?

I think to myself, "Thanks goodness for JJ. I'll never have to deal with this with him."

The following day, JJ went next door to ask his buddy if he wanted to play outside. Off they went riding bikes between our houses. About 15 minutes later he came back. As he was taking off his shoes I asked him what happened. It was clearly odd he just decided to come home without being summons after such a short time. He looked up at me and said, You're gonna be mad."

"What did you do?" I asked, already knowing this was not good.

"I don't want to tell you." He said.

"Well then I am just going to go next door and will find out so you might as well tell me."

"Buddy (not his really name of course) got hurt."

"What did you do?" I repeated.

"I didn't do anything." He said as he hung his head and slumped his shoulders.

"Tell me." I demanded.

"Well, buddy climbed on top of the car and so I climbed on top of the car. And then we jumped off and Buddy got hurt.

And this car, was an SUV - not low to ground like one might hope if they were to find out their kid was parachuting off a car, without a parachute that is.

I told JJ to get his shoes on. I wanted to go next door and make sure Buddy was okay. Turns out Buddy did a nose dive into the pavement. I know, painful to even think about. He was fine, but for a lump and scratch on his forehead. But the mere thought of the possibilities of what could have happened was truly beyond comprehension.

JJ and I had a discussion about how we don't need to do EVERYTHING our friends do and perhaps we need to give more though to our actions, before we act, taking our safety into account.

So there you have it, two truly trying events, each gender appropriate for the respective child, yet nevertheless equally as challenging for me to have to deal with. I guess at least I have variety!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fan F&%$#tastic!

The problem with looking for a new job, is that you may actually get a new job. And they will want you to start said job, pretty much, NOW.

There goes my nice leisurely summer.

And now I have go hire a dog walker for the puppy I don't even have yet!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Opposite Day

Thursday was apparently opposite day. Though I must have missed the memo.

When JJ woke up, as per usually he asked if it was a school day. (He still cannot seem to master the days of the week.....) After telling him it was, and him breaking out into hysterics, he calmed down and asked if I could walk to pick him up at school today. I thought that was a great idea and said I would.

After picking Sweet Pea up from school that afternoon, I told her we'd head home for a snack and then go walk to pick up JJ. She was less than thrilled.

"WHAT? WE'RE WALKING THERE? I DON'T WANT TO WALK THERE." WAAAAA WAAAAA WAAAAA. (Yes this is all in caps because she was screaming at me.)

She often comes home from school famished. (She tends to starve herself at school. I'm pretty sure she's too busy socializing to eat. ) I thought after a nice snack she might feel differently. One could only hope. Unfortunately, when it was time to go, she was still not into the idea. I suggested she ride her bike. "But where will I put it?" she said.

"Put what?"

"My bike?"

"What are you talking about?"


I'm still not quite sure why she was worried about this. It's not like we live in the hood. (Though there was a recent bank robbery.) But I was pretty sure the bike would be okay for the 2 minutes we'd be inside getting JJ.

"You can just leave it outside. It will be fine."

"No. It won't."

Okayyyyy. I asked her no less than what seemed like a hundred more times if she wanted to ride her bike. Her response was, "No. And stop asking me!"

We set out on our 3/1oths of a mile walk to the school. There was a lot of huffing and puffing and pouting. Then about 2 minutes into the trip she says, "I wish I rode my bike."

Freakin' unbelievable.

She managed to make it all the way to the school all the while whining and complaining. My daughter has the uncanny ability to take anything that is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and make it COMPLETE torture. Sad, but true.

We passed through one of the near by playgrounds on the way. I suggested that perhaps after we get JJ we play at the playground for awhile. Wouldn't that be fun?

"NO." She said. "I do not want to go to the playground."


So we got JJ. Who incidentally had completely forgot that he asked me to walk to get him. Lucky for him he did not have any objection to walking home. That very well may have put me over the edge.

As we were walking out of the building, and started off back home, Sweet Pea said to JJ, "Want to go the playground?"

Of course he did. What kid wouldn't? What caused the change of heart, I have no idea. Nor did I care. Off we went.

After about a 1/2 hour at the playground JJ said he was hungry and thirsty and of course I did not bring a thing with me. He asked if we could go to the pizza place on the way home. Frankly, it solved the dinner problem for me so I was happy to do it. I asked Abby if she wanted pizza. And of course she said, "No." However she can not possibly go on another step without water. "We'll get water at the pizza place." I said.

"But I can't wait that long." You know the whole 2 minutes it will take us to get there. The longest two minutes EVER.

When we got to the pizza place, I asked Sweet Pea a couple times if I should get her a slice. Of course she answered again, "No."

When the pizza was ready, I took it out of the bag and there were two pieces. I'm not sure why. Maybe they were small for "slices" so they gave us too. But they were plenty big for kids. And this was good but because you know where this is going. As soon as I gave JJ his slice, Sweet Pea said, with attitude, "Fine. I'll have a piece." As if she was doing me some favor.

When we were just about home, Sweet Pea finally came out with what I now know to be the source of her mood. Apparently she had gotten in trouble at school and clearly it was bothering her. I wouldn't say she got in trouble, those were her word. The teacher saw her rolling her eyes when one of the boys sat in the seat next her -the seat she was saving for her best friend. The teacher responded with, "Sweet Pea, I don't like what I am seeing." She is very much a rule follower so getting called out on this was probably very traumatic for her. Franky, I was simply relieved that there was an explanation for her pitiful behavior. Maybe that was her plan....act like at totally brat so that when she tells me she got in trouble, what she did will seem like nothing in comparison to her more recent bad behavior. VERY CLEVER!!!! Too bad I'm on to her now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They are weighing me down

I was putting in some laundry the other day and decided to throw in the fleece that I was wearing. I emptied out the pockets and here is a sampling of what I found:

At least now we'll know where to look for all of our long lost toys. And I'll know what to do when I want to shed a couple pounds!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quote of the Week

"You are doing a great job at being the WORST MOMMY EVER!"

This, from my son, as I tried to give him his medicine to treat his strep throat. Because you know the medicine is really just a another way we torture our kids. The ironic part is, I think, their reaction to taking the medicine is really just another way THEY torture ME! How do you think he would have felt if I yelled, "You are doing a great job at being THE WORST CHILD EVER!"? Just so he could see how it feels. If I didn't think it would have scarred him for life I might have considered trying it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I am just now getting around to writing about my mother's day. (I know the date above says Monday, but I didn't post this until today, Thursday. I can't seem to figure out how to fix that??) Any how, Unlike last year, this was the kind of mother's day I was hoping for.

It started out with some coffee delivered to me in bed. Followed by a very delicious (yet not so healthy breakfast) at our favorite breakfast spot. We had to wait a bit longer then usually to get in but it was worth it. Think chocolate chip pancakes, eggs benedict, and bacon. I didn't eat all of the above but I had my share of some of all the above, because it was mother's day and I deserved it!

Our not-so-light-breakfast was followed by a (mostly) fun-filled family bike ride. We figured after stuffing our faces silly, we'd need the exercise. We biked for a hour or so on a great local bike trail. Well, most of us did. JJ rode on the back of Jonathan's bike. Not because he is too little to ride on his own but because he is too lazy. Do you think those baby seats are meant for a 5 year old? I think not. Nevertheless it did afford us more riding time so I was not inclined to fight it.

We rode by horses and farms, and even a family of ducklings. It was fun until Sweet Pea decided she could not possible go any further and had to be done. We managed to get back to the car, but not before stopping ever two feet and me falling off my bike as I tried to abruptly stop before crashing into her after her abrupt stop. Fortunately, there were no seriously injuries. Though I did almost kill Jonathan who decided to ride on up ahead and totally missed our near death collision. I mean I could have been seriously injured with nobody around to help me, except Sweet Pea who was very alarmed by my fall and screamed, "Mommy, Mommy! Are you okay." Nothing worse than seeing your own mom fall on her face. But because it was mother's day and I was intent on having a lovely time, I sucked it up, got back on my bike and didn't say anything to Jonathan. Of course I didn't have to because Sweet Pea, our town crier, gave him the play by play. I did show him my minor injuries and he did appear sufficiently sympathetic so that was enough for me.

We spent most the afternoon doing nothing - which was exactly what I wanted to do. Other than baking Brownie Pudding (read for more details of this), I sat on my butt for quite an extended period of time.

And then we embarked upon what I think may be the best mother's day dinner yet. I know my family wants me to document this infamous meal so here was the menu:

Our starters:
  • Cheese platter
  • Cape Cod potato chips (this was put out for the kids, but lets face, it - we all love the potato chip. And as my mom tells my children, its a health food, being a vegetable and all.
  • Homemade rollizonies (one with artichoke and pancetta and the other one with Italian meats).
Our main course:
  • Homemade grilled pizzas. We had one with tuna sashimi and a wasabi sauce. The other with smoked salmon and creme fraiche. Delicious!
  • Avocado salad - light and refreshing.
  • Juniors Cheesecake
  • Homemade Brownie Pudding which was TO DIE FOR. I had not made this before and it is now my new favorite dessert. If you like fudgy brownies and the inside of a molten chocolate cake, this is the perfect dessert for you. And very easy to make. I highly recommend it, especially if you don't mind eating a bazillion calories in one sitting. But that's what mother's day is for!
  • Ice Cream (because the brownie pudding wasn't fattening enough on it own.)
It was perfect. Excellent cuisine that left us more than satisfied but not a big heavy meal leaving you overly full with no room left for dessert. As if that were possible.

When we got home, the kids were exhausted and passed out in record time, which in and of itself makes for a great mother's day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Transition Update

For the most part I am transitioning rather nicely into my new "stay at home" routine. I love waking up without the anxiety of having to rush out the door every morning. I no longer sound like a drill sargent to my kids, repeating over and over again, "Get your shoes on, WE HAVE TO GO, WE HAVE TO GO, WE HAVE TO GO......) It's a relief for me, and I know for them too.

There are however, a few things I am struggling with. I no longer have a good excuse for leaving the unfolded laundry on the dinning room table, other than I just don't feel like folding it. I feel less entitled to be tired ALL the time. And I feel much more guilty when I don't manage to pull together a home cooked meal (that my kids won't eat anyways).

I'm trying to remind myself, what I have always said, and truly believe: In many ways, it is harder to be home full-time than working outside the home. There are an endless number of things that need to get done. And now that the kids are home with me more of the time, its not as if there's more time to really do these other things. They still get pushed to the wayside, only for different reasons.

I was looking forward to being able to attend all the spring/end of the year school festivities without having to feel like I needed to jump through hoops to get there. Unfortunately, and rather annoyingly, now that I have the flexibility to be there, Sweet Pea doesn't want me there. There was an all school assembly last week where each grade performs. I told her I was planning to go and she very politely asked me not to come. Apparently its too embarrassing with me there. Had there not be a very good gym class at that time, I would have insisted on going, but heck if she didn't want me there, I thought I might as well go to my class. And so I did. But you know, before this, she made me pay for not attending EVERY event. While I went to as much as I could, I couldn't get to everything. When I couldn't get there, I would hear, "You NEVER come to our things." It was like a knife in the heart. Hopefully this 180 she's doing now is just a phase. I'd hate to have lurk in the back of the school auditorium in some disguise.

The other problem with being laid off (or not working for whatever reason), is that it is kind of hard to really enjoy all the benefits of not working, unless money is not an issue for you. Its not like you can go out everyday to meet a friend or two for lunch. Or go shopping for the those few extra things you might like but don't really need. (Though I have become pretty good at defining "need.") Even though I have some severance and I'm sure eventually the unemployment benefits will kick in, it just doesn't feel right to be spending money when in this situation. And going ANYWHERE generally requires spending some money. So I am trying to approach this like a I do food: Everything in moderation. We'll see how long that works!

On a totally unrelated note, here was my conversation of the week:

JJ said to me as we were getting in the car. "Mama, you are hot. Will you be my big big girl friend."

If it weren't for the big big part, I might have been flattered.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kindergarten blues

My baby had his kindergarten screening yesterday. He got himself all dress-up for his "meeting." It was very cute. Unlike with Sweet Pea, I had no worries about him not wanting to go with the teacher for his "meeting." I think because of her, he is pretty comfortable with the school and the whole idea of going there. For Sweet Pea, it was so new for all of us.

I was however, slightly concerned he might act a bit like a nut ball and am getting increasingly more concerned he will be something of a class clown.

As we were getting ready to go, I made a few comments about how he needed to act like a big boy, not be too silly and listen to their words. I didn't want to stress him out about it so that's pretty much all I said.

He insisted on bringing with him a small toy gorilla. I have no idea why. This toy is of no significance to him. As we were walking into the school he was playing with the gorilla and I asked, "What does a gorilla say?" Thinking this may be a question they ask him if he walks in there with that. And he said, "I"m going to kick your butt." Great. I'm sure the teachers will LOVE that response. Luck for me, he managed to leave his gorilla with me while he met with the teacher.

All went well. Of course they tell you nothing from these "meetings" but my theory, in this case, is no news is good news!

Ironically, the most difficult part of the whole event was returning him to his pre-K school after his screening. He stood in the corner of the hallway screaming and crying (no joke), refusing to go into the classroom. The very same classroom he has been in for nearly a year now. He said he was scared and did not want to go in. I really wanted to be sympathetic, knowing this was clearly some sort of delayed anxiety about the morning and kindergarten in general, but in the moment all I could think was WTF!

I finally managed to peel him off me and made a quick run for the door shouting out how much I love him and would see him later. I am told he made a very quick recovery after I left - which I new he would.

I'm starting to think the stress of starting at a new school, not to mention starting at a new camp before then, could make for a very LONG summer.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Twitter or not to twitter

I am tempted to join Twitter, primarily because, well, everyone seems to be doing it. (Good reason, don't ya think?) But I have not yet been able to bring myself to join. Does anyone care what I am doing minute to minute? Why would anyone follow me?

I had this same concern with Facebook which I eventually gave into. It took me a while to make use of the status updates, for the same reason: Does anyone really care what I am doing? Then I realized, I don't really care what others are doing but is still fun to read about what they're doing. UPDATE: Ironically, just after I posted this, I read this article which is exactly what I'm trying to say.

The other concern is that it's just another thing to get caught up with and addicted to. I'm already guilty of spending too much time on my computer.

On the flip side, it could be a very good networking tool and many people seem to be using it for that purpose.

What do you think? Do you use Twitter?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The women behind the men (or in front of them)

Interesting article in this Sunday's Globe about women in business. Finally some evidence to suggest what most of us women have known all along: Putting a women in charge of making the decisions will lead to more success. Or, at the very least, having a woman behind the leader making the decision, i.e. telling him what to do, can lead to more a profitable business.

When you think about it, its really very obvious. If men were better decisions makers and leaders, wouldn't they be more likely to be the one "running" the home and family? The REALLY important work.

Conversation of the Week

I picked JJ up from preschool on Tuesday and as we got in the car he said to me, "It was a tough day!"

"Really", I said. This was not a phrase he had used before.

"Yeah, a tough day." "Mommy?" he said.


"What does tough mean?"

On a totally unrelated note, I'm a huge fan of Friday Night Lights. It kind of makes me want to move to Texas. Well, not really, but I would love to be able to start talking with a southern drawl without having people look at me funny. Any how, I was reading an article in People Magazine about the guy who plays Tim Riggins. (I forget his real name.) I was so happy to find out he is really 28 years old. First of all, high school boys did not look like that when I was in high school. Second of all, he's hot. And I don't think I could say that about a 17 year old high school boy without creeping myself out. So that's a relief.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's starting already. I barely remember how I did it all. I've been so busy doing "stuff" that I'm not sure how I would have gotten it all done if I were working. I guess you do what you have to do. It all got done - most of the time.

The other thing is that people have NEVER been so interest in what I have be doing with my day. EVERYONE either wants to know what I plan to do with the day, or after the fact, what I have done. Even Sweet Pea came home and said, "Mom, what did you do all day?" Do you people really think I do not know how to fill the time? Do you think I am home eating Bon Bon's and watching soap operas? Or perhaps you are just so jealous of my uncommitted life. And hell, I don't blame you. But I'll tell you, I've been busy people. Take today as an example: Took the kids to school, came home, went for a run, ate breakfast, took a shower, when to Marshall's to find clothes for kids but actually only founds a few things for myself, went to Game Stop to buy the Nintendo DS games that I promised the kids I would buy if they tolerated being shleped around on Sunday to open houses, went to BJ's, came home, unloaded car, had lunch, drove to a near by town we are considering moving to to see if I could really live there, and then, time to pick up kids. And since its like 90 flippin' degrees out, what else was there to do after school besides take the kids out for ice cream. I'm telling you, we are busy!

I did manage to send a few e-mails out about possible job leads and some networking opportunities, just so I can say I really am trying to find a job. Really I am.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Some very good reasons NOT to have a family dinner:

1) Your kids will whine and complain to such a degree you will ask yourself is it worth it.

2) In the event you answer "yes," to number 1 above, consider this: Your husband may choke on his food when your daughter turns to him and makes a very specific comment about her female anatomy. (I'd really love to be more specific because it was SO funny but I am trying very hard to maintain some boundaries here....)

3) Then, when you've finally recovered from that really enlightening comment, she will ask, "Who and where is god? Is it like where dead people are?"

4) And all the while, your four year old (going on two) will be curled up in your lap insisting you have to feed him because he cannot possibly feed himself.

You know what, the family dinner is so overrated!

I think this sums up the weekend......

The water was painfully cold, but it's April in New England so I guess what would you expect. Not that it stopped some....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Still on vacation, I think??

It's hard to know. Maybe this is just my life now. Being school vacation week and all, it's a little screwy. We're all home doing things like, working out, riding bikes, shopping, going to the movies. I could definitely get used to this.

But I do think I might be having somewhat of an identity crisis. Yesterday Jonathan and I were in the kitchen and the View was on the TV (another reason to think I may be still be on vacation - can't get suck into this stuff!) and there was this women promoting her book about how to make decisions that are right for your life. She has this 10-10-10 theory. I wasn't listening all that closely but it went something like this: When making a decision think about how you want your life to be in the next 10 minutes, and in 10 months, and then in 10 years. When one of the interviewers asked her how she came up with the theory she said it happened when she it rock bottom. For her, rock bottom apparently was being asked to do a lecture in Hawaii and not knowing what to do with her four kids so she took two with her on the trip. During her lecture she signed them up for some hula class. I guess the kids were less than thrilled because they escaped and, as she put it, "hunted her down," and showed up at her lecture. She was horrified. But this was what she described as "hitting bottom."

Jonathan looked at me and said, "Hitting bottom is lying in ditch somewhere all doped up. Not giving a lecture in Hawaii." Okay - I agree. It was a poor choice of words. But I understood what she was saying. As a working mom, she felt overwhelmed, out of control and that as a result of trying to do everything, nothing was getting done right. As a working mom, I know how she felt.

So I said to Jonathan, "You're not a working Mom. You can't understand. " And then he said to me, and brace yourself people, "Neither are you." I was speechless. I am rarely speechless. And he was right. I am not (at least at the moment) a working mother. Not that that's a bad thing. It's just part of how I have identified myself for a very long.

I did manage to at least comeback with, "Well you're not a mother and so you could never understand." So there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Four must be the new two

At least for my son.

He skipped over the terrible twos but now, at four, seems to be regressing into terrible two behavior. I had to carry him out of a toy store this weekend when I refused to buy him a toy he wanted. I have NEVER had to do that before. He cried for 30 minutes there after. UGH!

On the flip side, he seems to be coming up with some "lines" that are just too funny. Several times over the past couple weeks, he'll seek me out around the house as I'm doing something like folding laundry (I feel like we are always folding laundry) and will start talking about something random. He talks ALOT. Just chatter all the time, so to be honest, I'm not always tuned in to what he's saying. But when he's done with me, he turns to walk away, looks back and says, "Good talk. Good talk." I'm not quite sure if he's serious, or if he's slamming me for not giving him my undivided attention??

And then yesterday, I saw him checking himself out in the mirror. He had just changed into shorts - not because its warm out, but because, I think, it better suited his light saber that he had hooked on to his shorts. So he's checking himself out in the mirror, and then before walking off he says, to himself, "Lookin' good!" I guess we don't have any self-esteem problems there.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Butt Freckle

Our neighbors, who have two boys about the same age as Sweet Pea and JJ came for dinner one night this week. Below is an e-mail Sweet Pea sent to my mom about what transpired:

To: Nana
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 6:29:06 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: from sweet pea

dear Nana and poppy A.J. and M came over tonight and JJ revealed something i did not want him to it was that do you really want to hear well okay he said i have i butt freckle yes it is true i do have a butt freckle write back and i will tell you more Sweet Pea

Of course she was very embarrassed her brother made this revelation at the dinner table with two boys. She ran off mortified. And who could blame her really. I knew she was e-mailing my mom (it was from my e-mail account), but I didn't read it before she sent it. It was too funny not to share. And of course I do so with her permission.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Life is like a box of chocolate.....

You never know what you're gonna get."

Monday will mark my first real day of unemployment in a little over 10 years. Just when I finally find myself on the verge of having the choice to work or not work, the choice is take from me. Yes, I have the choice to look for other opportunities and go back to work, which I likely will, just a little ironic, don't you think? (Particularly in light of this.....)

In the meantime, I'm thinking I may either have to have another baby or get a dog!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I was just reading this article about the decision is Massachusetts to start screening the body mass index of elementary school students. I am disgusted by this decision on so many levels. First, is school not stressful enough for kids these days that they have to worry about being paraded down to the nurses office and have their bodies measured and compared. Are kids, girls in particular, not already self conscious enough? And for those who aren't, either because they are too young to have that emotion yet, or just aren't by nature, aren't we creating a environment for those emotions? Second, do we really need a number to tell us whether a kid is "over weight" or not. It seems to me, you can look at most kids and know they are either slim, average or, perhaps overweight. Do we really need to label kids with a number? What purpose will that serve? Teaching kids about living healthy should happen regardless of their BMI. Third, isn't it really the parents who need the education around this? I can't see this testing as the best way to do that. Many kids who are over weigh have over weight parents - and likewise, many under weight kids have under weight parents. Maybe we should line parents up to have their BMI determined. That might be more effective.

I'm all for nutrition and teaching kids (and everyone for that matter) about making healthy choices. But really, to have kids' bodies measured and compared while in school, a place where they are supposed to feel safe and not judged, just does not sit right with me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hello - I'm back

Just in case anyone noticed I was gone. For the past 6 months I have been immersed in the daunting task of starting a new job while balance they ever-lasting demands of life with small kids. Turns out, I am now just another causality of this economy and will now have more time then I know what to do with. So stay tuned.....maybe things will get interesting.