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.