Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday traditions

We're packing up and heading to Jersey for Thanksgiving.

North on 95 may be the last place I want to be this week, but it has become a tradition. I think this may be the 34th year that I've done this traffic dance, weighing Wednesday night vs. Thursday morning. Coming home on Saturday vs. coming home on Sunday. Make my food contributions here vs. make my food there. It feels completely normal to drive north to Jersey for turkey day. I'll love it and hate it all at the same time. Just like I do every year.

But what I'll miss are the games that we used to play in the car when I was a kid. Every Thanksgiving day, my parents would get us up early, shove us into the station wagon and head to my grandparents house. The only thing that got me into the car those mornings was the gambling that would take place driving to the feast.

We'd all ante up and play two games on the way to my grandparents. The first was Hear and Name the First Christmas Carol. We would tune into the local public radio station, listen intently and pray that Jingle Bells was the first carol that would come on. Inevitably two hours into the drive some obscure religious hymn would come on that only my father could name and he would win. And also inevitable the next song that would come on would be Jingle Bells.

The second game had much better odds for my sister and me to wine while cruising in the back seat. It was See the First Truck of Christmas Trees. All you had to do was shout out that you saw the truck brimming full of fresh cut Frasier Firs, confirm it with someone else in the car, and the money pot was yours. False alarms of trucks with tires, yard debris, and even livestock were tolerated but eventually one of us would spot a truck full of those tightly wrapped trees heading to some strip mall to be sold for a small fortune, and we ourselves would win a couple of dollars.

I loved these games, I loved how they helped pass the time in the car, and of course I loved making a few extra bucks before the holidays! But these games can no longer exist. Christmas carols have been playing since mid-October. We have satellite radio and can tune into a channel that plays them exclusively 24/7 from Halloween until valentine's day. And on top of that, the title of every song as well as the artist that sings the song runs in ticker-tape style along our radio. In addition, decorations have been out since before daylight savings time and I am sure that the Christmas tree farms have been selling their trees since election day. Seriously???What has happened to the time when we waited until December to decorate? Where is our self-control? Have we forgotten that too much of a good thing eventually loses its appeal?

Maybe that's what I should be reminding myself as we head to Jersey again for Thanksgiving. That too much of a good thing eventually loses its appeal...noooo, that can't be the answer...I like Jersey and christmas decorations too much for that to be the solution!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Have you heard? There's this wacky sickness going around called H1N1.

It has come to my attention not because I watch tv, listen to NPR, or talk to other people, but because I am surrounded by my children or in a school 24/7. My kids go to 3 different schools, take 3 different classes, and I work in a school filled with students who belong to families with similar schedules. Imagine the germ cross contamination that is going on. As a result, each time someone coughs, sneezes, or whistles a little funny everyone takes a deep breath, takes two steps backward, and thinks "OMG they have swine flu!" No one wants to get this flu, and people are taking action.

Never in my life did I think that I would get up wait in line for something at 6am in the morning that didn't involve live music and a night on the town. But no...I got up at 5am to get a number at the health clinic so my kids could get the H1N1 vaccine 5 hours later. Did they thank me? No...those freakin' ingrates.

It really has become crazy. I was actually afraid to say out loud that I had a cold last week because I thought that people would think that I had the flu. I muffled my cough, discreetly blew my nose, and didn't complain at all (that was the hardest part of the whole cold!) And in fact, 5 days later, my husband confessed that for a while he thought I had the swine flu because I was coughing. What? Since when did a cough = flu?? This pandemic has made us crazy.

What really emphasized how crazy we have all become about this was my son. He gets a "treat" each week for good behavior at school, and last week he asked for his treat to be hand sanitizer. Really...you think anti-bacterial wash is something that you have to wait for, to earn...if you aren't good, I'm not going to give it to you and you can get the flu? I don't think so. I talked him off the H1N1 ledge, gave him some hand sanitizer, just because. I'm crazy like that.

I hope we can move on from the great H1N1. I know it is out there, I know people are going to get it. But is it really the plague? Should I really be this worked up about it? I don't know, but I did go to Costco to get the hand sanitizer, so I think we're good for this flu season!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I really want to be here

I SO want to blog again. But you see...I'm a working woman now. I work TWELVE hours a week, and it is exhausting. Oh, lord, you have no idea..my friend who works SIX hours a week at her gym totally understands. The demands of being a mom AND working at the same time are just too much. After working 4 hours each day, for three days in a row...I really have no energy left to write.

And that's my excuse. But...you might also want to believe that all I want to do is write about the crazy kids that I teach, and that would be wrong...wouldn't it??? Or would it?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What to do when it rains for 5 days straight

I recently told my friend that if the weather is bad outside, she should head over to my house. You see, I have this Pavlovian response to dark days, cold weather, and being cooped up inside and MUST cook.

It really isn't that bad of a vice. Cooking is good right? I got to make some carrot muffins for the kids for their lunches to compensate for the gummy "fruit" snacks they also get. I've also made meatballs, lasagna, french toast, steak stuffed with goat cheese and caramelized onions, and cookies.

The down side to all of this is that since the weather has been so nasty, I only worked out once last week. So if I am what I eat. I am fat! (but happy!) And I digress...

So yesterday we had one of our boy's friends over for an extended playdate. And while we usually take the kids outside for scootering, biking, hiking, and climbing...yesterday we were completely stranded in the house. And even 5 year olds have a limit for how much Wii they can play.
So we made Halloween cookies and decorated them.

It has been raining for so long, I think my brain was starting to melt, because I am the WORST cookie decorator. I was once uninvited to a Christmas cookie decorating party because I had to throw more cookies out than keep. But for some reason I thought I would try with the boys. And here is how they turned out:
I bet you can't even tell which ones I decorated. I told you I was bad. And you'll also be relieved to know that it is no longer raining, so I can stop the cooking madness.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Just another lazy Sunday

I don't know about you, but I am SO tired of making lunches already. Seriously, if I have to look at another sandwich ziploc, bag of pretzels, or cheesestick again, I might just start sending my boy in with money to buy "healthy lunches" of fried cheese sticks with marinara sauce (they have the nerve to count the sauce as a vegetable serving...really?). OK...it isn't getting that bad, but each day that passes I have more and more respect for my sister-in-law who makes lunch for her 5 kids...EVERY F-ING DAY...I have no idea how she does it.
So in an effort to make lunch a little more interesting, last weekend I tried to bake a spiced apple bread to put in with the turkey sandwich and the hard boiled egg. Well...spice it up is exactly what I did. Never one for understatement, I decided that not only would we enjoy this bread, but so would two friends who recently had babies. So I made 3 batches, threw them in the oven, and went to my computer to get started on my online grocery order for the week. 45 minutes later I checked on my bread and this is what I found:

Seriously, if I don't have the knack for making the turkey sandwich and egg look good, I don't who does. These were the most disgusting, gooey, burnt, and foul smelling breads I have ever cooked. And the added bonus was that they overflowed out of their pans onto the bottom of my oven.

So I did what any half-assed cook in the middle of a lazy Sunday afternoon would do. I closed the oven and hit the self-clean button. Why else did I pay a million dollars for my awesome oven if it can't clean itself?

So I returned to my computer to finish my shopping, peruse a little people.com, and return some emails when my husband comes running in. I immediately knew something was up since he rarely leaves his chair on football Sundays. He alerted me to the pouring of smoke coming from the ovens, into the kitchen, and throughout the house. Turns out that you are supposed to clean off the bottom of the oven before hitting self-clean. Ooops.

After a minute of smoke inhalation, a stop-drop-and roll exercise, and a quick trip to the garage for the fire extinguisher, we turned off the oven and started to believe that the house was not going to burn down. I then headed out open a few more windows and when I come back, this is what I found.

Turns out he did what any half-assed football fan on a lazy Sunday would do and got back to the task at hand.

We're nothing if we're not lazy and half-assed around here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Don't knock it til you try it

I sit here writing on my blog for the first time since uh...well...a LONG time. It really is boring where I have been...so I won't even go there. But as I FINALLY get back to my blog, I drink my vodka tonic and wonder could this be a better deal?

You see, my husband and I like (read:need) to divy up the children responsibilities 50/50. Neither of us likes to feel that the other is getting a better deal/ easier duties and we all know that in the case of child rearing the poop always stinks less on the other side of the room.

So...we alternate in EVERYTHING. Bath, morning duty, soccer practice, nights out with friends...and it works out fantastic.

Sure it somewhat stinks when it is my night for bath and bedtime and my husband retreats to his craigslist search for something that "is a really great deal" but it all works out on nights like tonight where I get to pour myself a drink after dinner and listen to bath and bedtime from afar. If I were to ever give parenting advice...this would be it.

Because nothing makes me happier than my son yelling to me to help him with his Wii and knowing that I can rightly ignore him.

See why I shouldn't give parenting advice??

Friday, August 21, 2009

Julie, Julia, and me

Last night I had the immense pleasure of seeing Julie & Julia. I think you may have to be living underneath a rock to not know the story so do I really have to give a synopsis? (watch the trailer if you are in fact a Fraggle and don't know what I am talking about)
OMG, this movie was talking directly to me. I think I knew that it was love at first sight when, as Julia Childs was struggling with what her next career/life step would be and her husband asked what she liked to do, her response was, "I like to EAT" Amen Julia. I couldn't have said it better myself.

For two hours I sat on the edge of my seat (no, it is not a thriller unless you consider the success of an aspic suspenseful) trying not to be the ultimate cliche in relating to each and every story line they presented. Super tall girl married to a shorter man. Yup. Mundane career by day, blogger by night. Yup. Love of butter and red wine. Double Yup. Stuck in my thirties not really knowing what direction to go. Yup. Complete satisfaction in cooking and desire to make it a career. Yup to the izo.

When I got home from the movie, I immediately went to amazon.com and found myself buying Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Luckily, they did not serve alcohol at our movie theater or I also would have signed up for a Cordon Bleu class that they were advertising at the bottom of the page along with buy a Le Creseut French Oven for your Boeuf Bourguignon and some fresh, delivered to your doorstep liver pate. Seriously, thank god I was sober or we would be taking out a second mortgage today to finance my early to mid-life crisis.
Instead, today I am going to buy a couple of pounds of butter, tackle a Chocolate Roulade and a Beur Blanc and call it a night.

I'm not going to be able to stop thinking about this movie for some time. I have complete admiration of these two women who stuck it out, persevered with what they loved, and found success. I'm not sure the "I like to EAT" declaration is going to get me to my next step...but eventually I'll find mine. And in the meantime, I'm just going to adopt Julia Childs' thoughts:
"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure...you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No more meatballs in the bongo

I'm not really sure how it all started. But usually with me it just takes one small idea to take hold, then fester, next it grows, mutates, and attaches itself to me so that I can no longer function without completing this one small idea. The ideas range from Sleep away camp in Vermont, 1987 to Highlights and Haircut 2006. Some of the ideas are good (camp) while some are questionable (highlights). But innocently enough while spending my summer at the pool I was given the idea that now was the time to potty train my barely 2 year old daughter. And after a gestation period of a few weeks, a couple of google searches, and one illegal forward of "Potty Training in 3 Days," we were off.

Now, when I say we, I really mean the little girl and me. Because let me be the first to tell you that no one else around here was any help AT ALL. When I say he didn't do shit. Well, he didn't do pee or shit. Nothing. OK...maybe I am exaggerating a little bit now. There were the few times when she yelled, "Mommy I need to go potty" and he looked around for me to be sure I would go with her. And there was also the time that he took her upstairs only to put her in a diaper...yeah, that's helping.

But have no fear, I did not let one reluctant parent stand in my way. And after 4 days of mistakes, spending nearly 79 hours on the floor of the potty, 17 rounds of singing wheels on the bus, and one Costco load of Clorox wipes, my little girl got the hang of it. There's no turning back now!

And let's be honest, there's not real point to this post. It is just that I want to scream with joy that we're diaper free and potty trained, that I was right and as she always tells you... "there are no more meatballs in the bongo."


Monday, August 03, 2009

Man Cold

Seriously, if I don't seem my normal chipper sarcastic self this week...I'll tell you why. We're suffering a man cold over here. Oh...funny you should ask...we're also potty training. Coincidence? You do the math.

I was referred to this video to let me see just what I was in for this weekend. A fairly accurate portrayl I must say.

Man cold...well I've got a Woman headache if you know what I mean!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Say what?

So at his 5th birthday well-visit, my little boy failed his hearing test. I didn't think too much of it at the time. I mean seriously...his sister was singing Diego in his other ear, I think the boy next door was getting 45 shots into his eyeball, and I was talking on my cell phone to someone in a tunnel trying to secure a place for him in the summer camp. So when he couldn't hear the four "tones" in his ear, I really thought another try with less distraction would yield the necessary results.

But when we went back before the office opened with no sister, no cell, and no shots and we still failed...I started to freak out.

Google...not my friend in this case.

Degenerative hearing, developmental delays, sign language, surgery...and that was just the first 100 hits...I could go on and on and on (it has been nearly 2 months you see, and I haven't been blogging because I have been googling...it has been UGLY).

My friends tried to convince me that there was no hearing loss, that he was fine, that the test was just administered improperly, but I couldn't quite buy it. You know how when you stare at those pictures long enough and you see unicorns jumping out at you. Well I was seeing deaf unicorns.

When he didn't hear me ask him to make his bed...hearing loss.
When he didn't hear me ask him to take his dishes to the sink...hearing loss.
When he spoke WAY too loud at the pool...hearing loss.

So today we went to the otolaryngologist (it is a word...just google it!) to have him properly tested. I have never been so nervous in my life. I sat outside the room trying not to throw up on the nice 80 year old woman having her hearing aid fitted and resisting the urge to stick my ear up against the door to see if he was saying "beep" enough times. Finally, the audiologist came out and told me he was fine.

What a huge wave of relief. He can hear. I guess we always knew that. So I said my thank yous, paid my $16,000 copay to see a specialist and headed home.

And as I was driving home, I realized I forgot to ask a question, "if he can hear fine, then why can't he hear me when I ask him to make his bed and put his dishes away. And why does he always seem to be yelling at me?"

And then it dawned on me...seems I didn't need to go to a specialist to learn the answer to those questions. They were answered at the first visit...his 5 Year Old well-visit. Should have googled that and I would have saved myself some time and a mortgage payment.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A birthday to remember

I really can't believe my little girl is two. Apparently she is as distraught as I am over the fact that she is getting so old. just wait until 34 girl...that really hurts.

But, again, just like her mom, nothing cheers the birthday girl up like a little Juicy Juice cocktail.

And nothing makes me laugh harder than listening to the scissor wielding father bitch and moan about how "they are going to ruin her hair if they plaster it down like this" while freeing Ariel from her container.
And if you thought she wasn't really my daughter, you are certain she is when she asks for blueberry pancakes and sausage for her birthday dinner. (yes, there are only 4 of us in the family...don't judge!)
With a Duncan Hines cupcake chaser. That's my girl.

Really, sometimes I think I could just eat her up for dinner.
Well, actually both of them when they act like this.

Happy Birthday sweet girl. For as cute as you are, you have 10 times more personality. And that is what makes you so special. We love you.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Looking for a hobby

So my husband has decided that he is going to be a biker. No, not the kind that revs their engine at 7am in your neighborhood and wears all sorts of leather apparel even when it is 100 degrees outside. The kind that wears spandex, whizes past your as you are running your measly 9 minute miles, and tip tap across the floor in Shirley Temple shoes...that kind of biker.

So, being frugal as he is, he has spent the better part of the last month on craigslist looking for the perfect bike. Only to be gazumped by someone else who understands the rules of Internet sales a little better than my husband who only started to use email in 2004. But alas, he got a bike for "a really great deal, hon!" So then he moved on to finding the perfect pair of shoes. Now this venture I can't complain about too much since he took the cranky, whining, needy, highly annoying daughter with him on Sunday morning to go buy his extra wide, purple tap shoes and they were gone for hours. No complaints here...that was money well spent.

But as he was gone, I spent the better part of the time imagining all the time that he was going to spend on his bike, alone, on the weekends, enjoying the fresh air, being by himself, getting exercise, did I mention his solitary status? By the time he got home, I was a bit worked up, and the first thing I said was, "I need a hobby too."

Sure I run, I go to the gym, I blog, I write, I cook, I eat...but I was thinking more like a hobby that would get me some well deserved solitary time outside, get me skinny with super svelte legs, and let me prance around in tap shoes like I always wanted.

And you know what he says?

Please hold onto your seats ladies and gentlemen...

"I thought manicures and pedicures were your hobby."

Uhhh...that is maintenance buddy...like getting an oil change. You don't consider getting an oil change a hobby do you?

Then he said,

"I thought facebook was your hobby."

As I slammed the door when I left the room he asked innocently, "Did I say something wrong?"

So I'll just tell you, that as he strapped on his purple tap shoes to go on his inaugural bike ride and he threw out his back and has not been able to ride his bike since.

I'll tell you what is definitely not my future hobby...sympathy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just so we don't forget about her

I feel like I talk about the big boy all the time with little reference to his little sister. With the boy, we took videos of him all the time and made movies, birthday tributes, and valentine's day songs...but with her...she's lucky if I light the candle for her birthday cake! Thankfully, my father got a new camera for his birthday and can now share his videos.

So without further ado...here is the little girl singing happy birthday to her brother.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Birthday Hangover

It finally happened. The big boy turned 5.

You know what happens when a boy turns 5? Nothing. Well...ok...maybe not nothing.

But did he start making his bed? no. Did he start doing the dishes? no. Did he start folding the laundry? no. But then again, it was HIS birthday, not mine.

But I swear, for an event that supposedly only lasts 24 hours this thing started about 3 months ago (when he turned "four and three-quarters) and I think it may have finally ended yesterday (5 days later). And I have no one to blame but myself.

I love birthdays, I really do. And there is no doubt that I love my kids. So put those two things together and it comes as not surprise that I tend to overdo it. Cupcakes at school. Special dinner and watching The Empire Strikes Back at night. Party two days later, followed by dinner with the whole family. And did I mention the presents? And the Star Wars theme to the whole week? Good God Darth Vader, stab me with a light saber and make the whole thing over. What was I thinking?

It was actually all good until Monday. That's when the hungover hit be over the head like 2 bottles of Merlot. In the car, on the way to the gym to work off all that naturally colored orange icing, the big boy asked me when he was going to get to see his friends that couldn't come to his party. I thought...that is so sweet, he misses them, let's invite them over. But no, that's not what he meant. He continued on to say...because I am sure they have a present for me, and I want to to get them before we go away to the beach.

Awesome...I'm so proud of that statement.

And then on Tuesday, with a straight face, he asked me how many days until Christmas.

And so you see, I thought I had a birthday hangover, but today I have a real one. Because instead of saying, "Are you fu^%*ng kidding me?" I downed a bottle of vodka.

Yes, it's true, I am in the running for mother of the year, but I haven't called them back yet because my head hurts too much!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Itsy bitsy etsy

Do you know about this site?


I am 100% addicted

Did you know that you can get Star Wars Lego shirts there? You can...just look (you can also get Star Wars Lego earrings for that matter, but I thought maybe that was too much for the 5th birthday party!)

Did you know that you can get embroidered/ monogrammed diaper covers there. You can...just look

Now I know, my examples are slightly limited to a 2 year old girl and a 5 year old boy...but there is more...so much more. And it is all made by people, in their homes (mostly) and sold directly from them. I LOVE it. In fact, a good friend has her artwork up here and I admire her for creating her work and selling it.

But seriously, if you need something unique, you can probably find it here. At least I can, because I have an itsy etsy problem.

And don't even DARE coming to the 5th birthday party in a Chewy Lego t-shirt. That would be SO wrong!

Pool Update

It is still there.

The county has been there.

The HOA has been there.

And the landscapers have been there. No, I'm not kidding. People that have that pool in their front yard also have landscapers that come and mow their grass. AND weed whack around the pool. We wouldn't want any weeds to grow up the sides, would we. That would make it look bad.

But it is still there.

I've been offered a pellet gun with a silencer, a hunting knife, and a bow and arrow (I live in Virginia remember, these are normal household items!) but really, I'm a pacifist and wish that thing would just go away on its own. Maybe if I throw a dead raccoon in it??

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Culinary Skills, what?

I really try to be a good cook for my family. I really enjoy making meals, serving them, and I REALLY love when everyone tells me how good my food is.

So tonight we're sitting down to eat roast chicken with smashed potatoes and a garlic gravy when the doorbell rings.

What does my daughter (22 months old) say?

"Pii-ha" "Pii-ha"

That's pizza for those of you who don't speak 22 month-ese.

WTF? Thanks girl, glad you like the food.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Where have I been you ask?

I've gone MIA, I admit it. (I also think that I have started my last 10 entries the same way)

It might be because I'm starting a small business (bilingual Spanish/English preschool). I've been hosting open houses, going to conferences, and brushing up on my arts and crafts skills. So writing this blog has fallen by the wayside. After working, feeding the kids, getting them to bed, and slugging down a bottle of wine, I just can't seem to find the time to blog.
It might be because my neighbors got a swimming pool and we've been spending all of our time over there relaxing, playing, and perfecting our butterfly. I know...how awesome is that? Right next door. Can't you just picture it?

Well, that would be nice, but this is really what cropped up next door. Right in their front yard. Right in our direct line of sight. Right where my kids can skip over and drown their little bodies.

Do you see now why I need to down a bottle of wine every night? And you thought your property value went down? Just be glad you don't live next to this!
And for the record, I had to sneak out at 6am to take these pictures because they are ALWAYS in the pool. 5 of them, just hanging out, trying to swim, but constantly stepping on each other's toes, screaming and laughing and oblivious to the eyesore they have left us with. AND...we haven't gotten an invitation to swim in that germ infested, pee-bowl.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Is it just me or...

When Paul from the Fraternal Order of Police calls do you tend to be nicer to him than any other telemarketer that would have the nerve to call at 6:30pm? The other suspects would barely even get through the mispronunciation of my name before I stated my distaste for calls during the dinner hour (but really I have a distaste for them at ALL hours), but when Paul calls, I feel like I need to be polite.

It went something like this...

Mrs. Kanoo?

Uh, I guess

This is Paul from the Fraternal Order of Police (aka Telemarketing City, I get paid $5/hour to make these calls) and first we would like to remind you and your family to never drink and drive. (Especially after you have spent a night with friends from your pre-kids days, and you think that one last glass of red wine isn't going to matter and we have that road block set up right on the corner of you neighborhood.)

OK...now he has my attention.

So Mrs. Kanoo, it is in these difficult time that we really need your help.

Oh Paul, you had me and then lost me again SO quickly. We don't have any money and if we did...well, I just won't go there. But I can't just hang up on him...can I? He's from THE Fraternal Order of Police.

Paul...I interrupt...I really appreciate you calling but...I am home alone with two kids trying to wrangle them in the bath, so it is a really bad time. (a really bad time because see, really I'm downstairs enjoying a glass of wine while my husband does all the heavy lifting in the bath tonight)

Sure thing ma'am, have a nice night. (I know your address, your phone, your family statistics...don't even bother trying to call 911...we know what a freak you are when it comes to emergencies.)

Am I right, or am I right?

Friday, April 17, 2009

A follow up

My husband is wonderful. Really. I mean that. But that doesn't mean a girl can't poke some fun every once in a while. And while he doesn't exactly read my blog, enough of our family reads it and heckled him on his last feeble attempt to give me some free time that you think he might have learned his lesson.

Or not.

Last weekend, at my in-laws house at the beach, I was given two options and allowed to choose which one I wanted:

Honey, he said with a giant smile on his face how about I give the kids a bath and you can just deal with the cable guy.

And in case you are someone like say...my mom...who always gives the person the benefit of the doubt (in this case, assuming that he is trying to strike a deal to his advantage). It was QUITE clear that he thought he was doing me a HUGE favor by giving the kids a bath while allowing me to follow the cable guy around the house trying to figure out why none of the TV's worked only to figure out that the power cords on ALL the cable boxes weren't working (only in New Jersey and only with Comcast!). So you know what I said?

Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather give the kids a bath. Wait...did I really just say that? Must be the Jersey sea air that is making me a bit crazy...and him too for that matter!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Urghh ER

We've been to the ER a fair amount of times with our boy. And let me tell you, I don't do very well when looking crisis right in the eye. I cry, I hyperventilate, then I find my husband and hope he can deal.

First, there was the time that a piggy bank mysterious feel from the sky and donked him in the head. ** He had a cut on his head, it bled...it was his head...but in hindsight I should have known that it wasn't life threatening (in fact I should have known that a good old band aid would probably have done the job). So what do I do? Yup...I called 911. And as I was talking to the nice lady on the other end of the line and getting frustrated that all she wanted to know was if I needed an ambulance while I only wanted her to tell me if the pediatrician gave stitches, I took a few breaths, stopped bawling my eyes out, and realized I was over reacting just a wee-bit.

And then there was the time that he fell at the pool and we thought he broke his leg. That was...of course...until the nurse on the phone was asking me if he could put pressure on his foot as my boy was hopping on one foot (the injured foot) around the kitchen. So, you guessed it, no broken leg either.

So this weekend, our reaction to our little girl taking a tumble should come as no surprise. Don't get me wrong, the tumble she took was no joke. Head over heals, head bumping along the way, 15 steps down, and to add insult to injury, it was on yellow shag carpeting from 1980. I can't even accurately tell you what happened from there, I just know she had a bump the size of a large egg on her head and before I could say Natasha Richardson, we were in the car to the ER. But also in typical fashion, by the time we got to the ER we recognized that we were over-reacting a bit. And as we looked a the full waiting room, we wondered just how much we were over-reacting. And by they time the got us back to a "room" to see the Doctor, I think it is safe to say we knew she wasn't really hurt. Otherwise, I can't imagine we would have been taking pictures.

Long story short, she's fine and I'm getting better.

As we were driving home, my husband applauded me for not crying. I think he just didn't see the tears streaming down my face once the whole ordeal was over.

**maybe, just maybe, the true story is that I placed the piggy bank on top of the changing table and it rolled off and smacked the poor boy right in his big fat noggin.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One more thing

I also promise to NEVER have an egg hunt for 80+ kids and not have enough eggs. And if I ever did that, I might acknowledge that something went wrong and apologize to the 40 or so parents who were trying to console their crying children because they didn't find any eggs.

What a cluster f*&^.

The first of my promises

When I have my own preschool I promise:

To NEVER make your child take home a stuffed animal, pretend he is real, brush his teeth, take him to birthday parties, and make a photo album about the experience.

Why? you ask.

Because it is a MAJOR pain in the rear-end for all involved. And embarrassing to boot.

Even the little boy was over it by the end of the first afternoon...see?

I mean seriously. My almost 5 year old carried around this mangy monkey the whole weekend and I carried around the camera in order to document everything they did together. And this weekend...lordy...what didn't we do? Birthday parties, t-ball, egg hunts, grandparents visit...and the whole time I had to pretend like it was normal for my boy to carry around a stuffed animal and for me to talk about him like he was a member of the family...it was weird. But I did it. All in the name of not being the lamest parent in preschool.

Of course, I'm probably still the lamest parent in preschool because it seems like everyone else likes to have the monkey. Me...not so much. I couldn't wait to give him back this morning. Unfortunately, I left the dirty, ant-ridden (we had a bit of an outbreak and I was once found trying to pick the ants out of his "hair"...who says I didn't care for him?) toy at home and had to make an extra trip back to school so that Max didn't miss snack.

As my son pointed out at one point this weekend (I think it was somewhere between brushing his teeth and having him rinse and spit), "it is just a stuffed animal after all."

Buh-bye Max.

It's Official

I'm going back to work. The perfect opportunity has fallen into my lap and so we have:

A bilingual preschool (Spanish and English) for children aged 18 months to 3 years. Learning and exploring the world through language and play.

I'm SUPER excited about all of this, so excuse the shameless self-promotion. And think of all the crazy stories I'll be able to share next year!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He wasn't the only one who learned something

This weekend we headed to the beach. A change of scenery was in order and nothing says heaven like a beach house with orange shag carpeting. It was perfect. No need to do yard work, no tball practices to go to, and no birthday parties. It was calm, it was quiet, and it was relaxing.

That is until, of course, the little boy decided NOW was the time he would learn to ride his bike without training wheels. He is four and three quarters, after all.

My husband tried for about 3.2 seconds to help the boy. A little bit of yelling, a little bit of tears, and a lot of stubborn personalities crashing in the fresh Jersey beach air, and he was out. So I stepped up to the plate.

I'm the calmer one. The more patient parent. The one who yells, "stop being such a wuss!" Uh...what...bet you didn't see that one coming, did you? It just came out of my mouth. Somewhere between "pedal faster!", "stop leaning damn it!", and "are you trying to kill me?" I swear, something jumped in my body, took over, and made me the nasty stage mom I never thought I would be. Sing louder Louise.

But a couple of deep breaths, a swig of a very strong drink, and my husband with the video camera recording every minute of the experience WITH THE VOLUME ON, I pulled myself together. And so did the little boy. And next thing I know he was off to the boardwalk to get a hoagie and a tatoo (we were in Jersey after all!)

Mission accomplished.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Obama Arms

A friend of mine from college today put on her facebook status update, "I'm working on my Obama arms."

I knew instantly what she meant. Those sculpted, toned, always in a sleeveless dress arms that make me drool and lift 10 more reps when I'm at the gym. I want those arms too.

Earlier this week I read an article by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times that brought up the idea that people thought that Michelle Obama should cover up her arms. Enough already, they said. We've seen "thunder and lightening," she should cover up already. (if you have been living under a rock for the past 3 years, her arms are quite the toned arms, the envy of many!)

Uhhh...what???? Are we not in 2009?

Michelle Obama is a mom, a Harvard graduate, a multi-tasker, the first lady, and the inspiration to millions of women around the world. Why should she cover up her arms? They are just one more reason why I love her. Many people think that her husband Barack is an inspiration to all because he allows many people believe that they too can be president one day. Well...you know what???...I'm not one of those people. I never thought or will think that I can be president.

But I look at Michelle Obama and I think...I can be that mom. A good example, a volunteer, a compassionate and supportive partner, and a hot mama...I can be her.

Michelle...you hear me...don't you dare fall prey to the critics. Don't cover up those arms. Just like the education and degrees you have worked so hard for and show with pride. Flash those puppies, wear those sleeveless dresses, and give me inspiration each time I go to the gym.

I'm off in the morning to work on my Obama arms. Are you going to join me?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Watching the World Go By

I've been doing a lot of staring out the window lately. Mostly because, until lately, it has been too damn cold to go outside and I have been dreaming about warm spring days where we all can play outside. I see visions of kids on bicycles, kites flying, scooter riding, soccer playing, dog ball throwing...and of course, me with a seasonal margarita in hand. A week ago when we had six inches of snow, an injured back, and a puking kid...the dream seemed out of reach. But you know what?? This weekend my dream came true, well at least most of it.

This weekend it was finally nice out. We opened up the doors, windows, dusted off the kids Crocs, and headed outside to get some fresh air. I got the bikes out of the garage, pumped up the soccer balls, scraped the leaves and dirt out of the swing. threw the ball to the dog, and whipped up a batch of margaritas, followed up with a martini chaser. You know what was missing? The kids.

Well...OK...the little girl was game to swing, roll in the dirt, and eat the dog's tennis ball...but we couldn't find the boy ANYWHERE. Where was he?

Then I looked out the front door again and there he was. Sitting on the steps watching the boys next door (ages 8 and 11). I asked him,

Do you want to bike? play soccer? fly a kite? walk the dog? drink my margarita?

No, no, and no thank you, was his response. (we have been reading Miss Manners around here after all)

So what do you want to do? I asked.

I just want to sit here and watch the boys next door. Maybe they'll ask me to play today.

Now, I didn't want to run the risk of watering down my drink, but I swear there were tears in my eyes. His desperation to be older, to play with the big kids, to wish time away. It made me so sad and made me swear to never wish away time again....it is already going too fast.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Need some wine to whine

I've been really struggling to blog lately. It's not that I don't have things to say...lord no...that is hardly the case. But I get in front of the computer, log in, and then I just don't really feel up to story telling. OH...I SO want to tell you about selling the damn Bronco and how my lovely husband forgot to come home from work in time to settle up with the 6'5" burly mountain man that bought the truck. How he handed my thousands of dollars in cash and then couldn't get the car to start. My husband's other car was blocking the Bronco in, and when I went to move it, its battery was dead. So I had to put it in neutral and let it coast down the driveway. Did I mention the 6'5" mountain man, beard down to his chest, gentleman in my kitchen with my two young kids? Eventually the Bronco started, the very sweet and gentle mountain man (he played star wars with the boy as I hunted for the title of the car) drove away and I threw the kids into the car and sped my way to happy hour.

On my way home from happy hour, after telling the Bronco story to all my friends...including how he arrived in a Toyota Matrix Zip car...I formed the perfect blog. Short, sweet, humorous, and memorable. But when I actually go to write it...it doesn't come out that way. I've lost my blog mojo.

My only logical conclusion is that I need wine to blog. And see...I've given it up during the week. In an attempt to lose weight, I'm trying to cut out the alcohol from Sunday-Thursday. Sure, I might be losing weight, but I'm also losing any readers out there because I have been SO BORING. So have faith people, like all great writers before me, I'm going back to the juice. It is a new beginning, a rebirth, and the day after a snow day...I'm off to Costco in the morning for a case of wine and I should be back on track by the time the kids are in bed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One of these is not like the other

I try really hard to cook and eat well. Don't get me wrong...I have my vices, weaknesses, and secret stashes...but for the most part, we eat healthy and try to keep the junk out of the pantry. So imagine my surprise when I was in the pantry this afternoon and tucked in, all flirty and cozy with the old-fashioned oats, was a can of Spam.

I don't care that Anthony Bourdain AND Barack Obama have both been popularizing spam sushi, this item has no place in MY pantry. The nerve of it to put its moves on my whole grain and organic food, and end up spooning with the oats.

So when I confronted the Spam pimp, aka my husband, and informed him that I found his nasty Spam, his response was, "you only found one?"

Uh, what? You brought a posse?
I don't care if you are "Crazy Zesty", let me assure you, this will be a one night stand only.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm alive

There are so many reasons that I have disappeared for nearly 2 weeks and here they are in no particular order:

1. I have been studying the dictionary to learn the definitions of starblaster, annihilated, destroy, implode, droid, robot (specifically the difference between droid and robot)...the list could go on forever. We are EXTREMELY focused on all things Star Wars around here and I am trying to keep up and answer all questions. R2D2 I can do, but it turns out I have no idea who the hell Padme Amidala is.

2. I have been stressing about Kindergarten applications. We found out that we got into our 2nd choice, and won't hear from our first choice until May. It may seem simple, but it is enough to keep me up every night. I have called 3 times since our acceptance to make sure I am doing all the right things so they don't give my space away...they haven't yet, but if I call once more, they just might.

3. I've been trying to find a job. Not really trying that hard, but I have sent out my resume to a couple of places. And you know what? People just aren't calling me back. 5 years ago, I could have had any of these jobs...but now...not so much. Damn economy...oh and the 3 typos I found in my resume yesterday. Ooops.

4. Speaking of the economy, I have been struggling with what the right way to address our impending financial doom. Do I buckle down, save every penny, and horde until this passes? Or do I do my best to put some life into this economy. I mean, seriously, some of these sales are too good to pass up. I've been doing a bit of both. I spent a total of 3 hours trying to buy clothes for the kids at Crew Cuts so that they'll look cute when we're poor...but also have switched to all generic brands for housekeeping. I know, I know, the sacrifices I make.

5. I've been reading a new book recommended in the New York Times. Miss Manners' Guide to Rearing Perfect Children. I'm on page 57 (the font is WAY small), but I'll let you know how it goes. Or better yet, feel free to let me know how perfect my children are!

6. I've been doing 2 a day work outs. Why? I don't know. Perhaps my jeans have recently been restricting the oxygen to my brain. But I bought this AWESOME DVD that is literally kicking my ass. I still go to the gym and make sure that I do this once a day. Just staring at my new friend Jillian's stomach is enough to keep me motivated!

I could go on and on...but you get the point. In fact, you are probably so bored right now you wish I had never reappeared. Hopefully we'll get a bit more interesting in the near future. If not, I'll have to resort to fiction.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are you sick of my kids yet?

I'm not. Well at least not now while they are both in their rooms asleep. But there is an odd love fest going on over here. Don't worry, it is sure to end soon!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Little Help for a Friend AND Free Money!

Just a little public service announcement here...

My dear friend from college had and "AH-HA" moment after having her adorable little boy. Her idea amazingly combines all of her prior work experience with all the consumerism that we call parenthood. This brilliant idea is the Parents Insight Network.


Just click here

What happens is she contracts with companies that want to target products to parents of young children. She conducts surveys, trials, and whatnot.

True story...she sent 40 of us to Target, had us fill out a survey based on some questions they were looking to answer, and we all got $50. Not divided equally, but a piece. It's like free money is falling from the skies. Imagine...getting paid to go to Target...or to use a baby carrier for a few months...or to just spout off your opinions on the millions of products we are convinced we need.

Pay it forward to a mom who is trying to make her good idea work. Join her network, it won't cost you a thing, and you just may make a few bucks for having an opinion.

Oh...and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day!

We haven't had any snow up here this year and I have been VERY excited about the prospect of snow this week. I haven't felt this way since I was in grad school and hated my internship SO much that every night I would pray (not that it would do me much good) that it would snow. When I would wake up in the morning, I would rush check to see if the parking lot in our back yard (yes, it was a classy condo) was covered with snow. Unfortunately, the bright flourescent lights that lit up the parking lot (and our bedroom for that matter) always faked me out and for a brief moment I would think that it had snowed...when it hadn't. In fact, I did this check the back yard routine every morning I had work from November to March...did I mention that I was in North Carolina and it NEVER snowed that year. Damn South and making me go to that blasted internship. I'm still bitter.

So last night I went to bed dreaming of white flakes, rosey cheeks, and chocolate chip cookies (I have to make cookies when it snows!). I woke in the middle of the night, looked out the window and there it was, the magical white glowing ground, lit up from the sky and my neighbor's christmas decorations (which they have yet to take down...might I mention that they have been up since November 5?). I rolled over, went back to sleep, and smiled that I didn't have to go back to that darn internship.

Needless to say, we've enjoyed today...and by the way it is looking we'll enjoy tomorrow too.

Happy, happy snow day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

When Little Boys Play with Dollhouses

First of all...how awesome is this dollhouse? My cousin gave it to me because her boys didn't have interest in it...but mine on the other hand...

Imagine how creative our dioramas in elementary school are going to be!
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hit the Road Jack

This is from Madame Tussuad's in Amsterdam. After unveiling the new Obama wax statue, they packed up Bush's bags and put him on the sidewalk.

I understand your smile Mr. President-Elect...I too feel the same.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OK, so not only do I have to admit to you all that I was sore from playing Wii, but now I have to tell you that I can't type because my left hand is sore.

Sore from what you ask? get your mind out of the gutter people this is a PG kind of place!

From the piano.

Yes, you read correctly. In the same Christmas in which our house was invaded with video games, we also obtained a piano. Seems that my husband has visions of us sitting by the fire, playing songs for one another, perhaps even singing along, in some fantasy land of musical talent.

So far I am the most talented (not saying a lot for the rest of them) because I can play TWO songs with TWO hands. I don't even know what the first song is called, my fingers just magically play it. This particular song is the only remaining piece of evidence that I took piano lessons for three years in the early 80's. Stuck way back in the depths of my brain alongside the phone numbers of my friends from elementary school is this song. It has been there for nearly 30 years and it has held up well. Quite pretty, if I do say myself, even if it only last 15 seconds.

The second song I learned this week. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Have you heard of it? I'm reading the notes, playing with both hands and my son claims that he can recognize the tune. It sounds quite funereal because I am not playing up to tempo quite yet. I figure at this rate I should start working on We Wish You a Merry Christmas for next year.

As bad as I may be, I am really enjoying the piano, wishing that I kept up with my lessons, and hoping that my family stops puking sometime soon so I can resume my trips to the gym and can report that I am sore from activities like kickboxing and pilates. Not necessarily newsworthy, but a lot less embarrassing.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Wii bit hypocritical

If I have said it once, I have said it a million times. We are not going to get video games. My kids can go to their neighbors like I did to play Space Invaders, Frogger, and all those other cutting age games they have these days. I talk about it incessantly, shout it out loud from the rooftops, and roll my eyes at everyone who has given in to the temptation of nintendos, playstations, or anything of that sort. I hate the idea of video games so much that I have a violent physical reaction to the vision of my kids vegging out in front of the TV playing Grand Theft Auto or anything that involves guns, crashing, or violence of any sort. So what, you ask, am I doing with a Wii in my basement?

Well, you see, I asked for it. I asked for it when I made all of these declarations professing myself holier than thou for never allowing a video game in my house, and I also asked for it when I mentioned that I would want a Wii Fit for Christmas. And my parents, you know, the ones who didn't let us have video games, didn't have cable, and only TIVO public television, bought me a Wii and Wii Fit for Christmas.

And you know what? It is SO cool and I can't stop. I'm the one who is in the basement by herself playing golf, doing her exercises, and figuring out how the hell to hit a backhand in tennis.

And you know what? I'm sore. I'm sore from the lunges, the yoga, and the laughing because I can't ski jump AT ALL. My son keeps saying, "I hope you don't make a big snowball again Mommy."

I'm also sore from the boxing match that I had with my 4 year old. I'm not sure it is a healthy way for us to be interacting right before dinner, but it sure was fun. He was was jumping up and down each time he knocked me to the ground, and I was secretly smiling each time I gave him a good blow to the head.

I'm a hypocrite, I know. I just have to hope that pretend boxing your mom is less scarring than blowing up cars. It certainly was more fun than what I should have been doing, making dinner.