Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye Bye 2010

I've been known to get sentimental as the new year rolls in, even when I was young and had no idea why I was being sentimental. This year, it feels like any other day to me. With 2 small children and no party to attend or throw, I'm not experiencing any excitement about tonight. Sad, jaded, but true.

However, in honor of 2010, I will post my list of memorable events from the year. These are national/international events, not personal, that made an impact on me this year.

1. The Gulf oil spill
2. The withdrawal of thousands of troops from Iraq
3. The passing of Elizabeth Edwards
4. The trapped Chilean miners
5. The WikiLeaks
6. The conviction of Elizabeth Smart kidnappers
7. The Christmas blizzard of 2010
8. The continual rise of unemployment
9. The smoking Indonesian baby
10. The final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show

Here's my list of personal events from 2010 that have made an impact on me:

1. Baby boy started walking and talking
2. I am making more of an effort to be neighborly
3. The 4 year old really likes his preschool
4. We refinanced on our house
5. I increased my blogging efforts
6. I got rid of a lot of kids' toys
7. My mother is still alive after her 80th birthday
8. We got a Wii for Christmas
9. I am beginning to make a dent in my reading collection
10. I am making better use of the kitchen I am stuck with

Happy and Healthy New Year. Hope to see more of you as we turn the calendar.

Crunch Art Giveaway

This is the first time I've heard of or seen Crunch Art by Little Kids, but it definitely sounds like something my 4 year old would enjoy. He LOVES anything crafty. Every day I'm hunting online for new crafts for us to do. This would be a fantastic addition to our craft box. This is mess-free with no paint, no markers, no glue. The set comes with foam fabric pieces and a tool to punch shapes out of the foam. Fantastic because the tool is re-usable and you can buy those foam sheets at any craft store. LOVE IT! Thanks again to Familylicious for this awesome giveaway.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pillow Pet Giveaway

My 4 year old has been asking for a Pillow Pet since the first time he saw them in the mall. I thought for sure someone (grandma, grandpa, aunt, Santa) would have brought him one for Christmas but no such luck. He says he likes the monkey the best but I think that puppy is pretty darn cute. Needless to say baby brother will be fighting over it with him. Thanks for running this awesome giveaway Familylicious and Pillow Pets.

Where Has All the Patience Gone?

I find I am seriously losing patience with the boys. It's probably cabin fever because I haven't ventured out of the house in . . . 6 days. OMG it's almost a week that I've been in the house with the kids. No wonder I have no patience left. I feel like I'm screaming at them all day long. And, by the way, the baby gets no reprieve from the screaming anymore. He gets yelled at just as much as his big brother. He's 1 1/2 already - he can take it. I just feel like I'm going to at least be nominated for worst mother of the year award if not win the title. I don't know how these women do it - these women with more than 2 children. I cannot do it with 2, obviously, since I'm losing my voice from the yelling. And then there are days when I actually consider having another child. Temporary insanity I believe. We have a friend who just had her 3rd daughter and, I think, she's older than I am. I thought I was over that little tug occurrence but, apparently not. It's the girl thing. I want the daughter. If I seriously attempted to have another child, I know I would be blessed with a 3rd boy, who I would love to death but would leave me with an even worse sore throat.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Golden Opportunity

Blah blah blah, trying out my new golden opportunity

A great euphonious in every box

Apples and Oranges

Why are my boys so different? My 4 year old never plays by himself. He always needs me to do somthing with him - play a game, play Wii, do a puzzle. I just don't understand the clinginess. Now the 1 year old can occupy himself for hours. He plays on the train table, he rolls trains on the floor, looks at books, he explores new toys and figures them out. He checks in every once in a while to make sure I'm still where I was before and to tell me what he's doing. "Thomas!" he'll walk over and exclaim to let me know he's playing with a Thomas train. It's so frustrating that the 4 year old can't seem to occupy himself. If I don't play with him, he'll veg in front of the TV. He needs to learn some lessons from the little guy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holy Snowstorm!

Uhm, we've got ourselves a blizzard here this morning. It snowed all day yesterday and overnight through to this morning and there is something like 3 feet + piled up out there. Here's a pic from my front door:
My 4 year old is dying to go outside but I'm afraid he's going to sink! Add to that the 20 degree temperature and I really don't think he should be going out there. He's under the impression he's going to help hubby shovel us out. It would be nice to make a path to the cars but let's see a pic of hubby's car:Methinks a path to the street is also required. I don't think we'll be going anywhere for a while. I say start a fire and pop in a movie. It's going to be a looooong day.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas Weekend

Well, we made it through Christmas unscathed. I woke up on Christmas Eve worrying one of the kids would be sick. I imagine this is not uncommon for most mothers. Other than the 4 year old still coughing after a month, all were well. We went to my Mom's for Christmas Eve and had a pleasant time until baby boy started to have a melt down at about 7:30pm. It was the excitement of gifts plus being tired plus just being out of his regular routine. Honestly, he just wanted to go home. Once we were all in the car and on our way home, he was completely fine. Meltdown over. Then there was the panic of waking up on Christmas morning with one of the boys, or me, sick. Again, all were well. Family came over for a wonderful afternoon. The cooking was under control and so was everyone and everything else. Today we woke up to blizzard warnings and, sure enough, it's snowing up a storm outside. A beautiful end to a lovely weekend. Hope your holiday weekend was just as special.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh Books, How I Love Thee

I'm starting to get into these giveaways by fellow mom bloggers and am seriously thinking about getting into reviewing products and giving them away myself. Until then, I support my fellow moms out there and blog about their giveaway. I just came across another one this morning by fellow mom blogger Feisty Frugal and Fabulous (see button at left). Today she's giving away a Literati eReader. I have to say, I am soooooo opposed to eReaders and have specifically informed everyone I know that I will NOT give up my books. I just love books. The cover, the feel, the intimacy (that's right, it's intimate holding a book, in bed, at night, under the covers.) But I have to admit I am incredibly curious about these new-fangled technological advances. So, I am willing to give one a try. I still say I won't give up my books, but we'll see . . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stuff This

I'm stumped as far as stocking stuffers go. I've never really done stocking stuffers before. When I was young, my brothers and I just got a chocolate Santa each in our stockings. Hubby's telling me to get a bunch of stuff to put in the boys' stockings, and I'm kind of lost, especially for the 1 year old. What am I going to stuff in there? He doesn't get it yet. His head is going to explode as it is with all the new toys we got for him. Somehow I don't think whatever I stuff in his stocking is going to matter much. The 4 year old's stocking will be overflowing for sure. I went way overboard with him, but he's easy to buy for. Everything I see in stores would be good for him. Little dinosaurs, Toy Story anything, slinky, crayons, puzzles. He's at the perfect age for little stuff that doesn't cost much. Hell, I even bought him a pair of Iron Man gloves and matching hat I found in Target. The little guy - how many trains can you stuff in a stocking? That's about all I have for him, and a Thomas DVD, and some socks. Woo Hoo! Who am I kidding? He'll be playing with big brother's toys anyway. Or at least trying to . . .

Monday, December 20, 2010

Despicable Giveaway

Wow - Feisty Frugal & Fabulous has another great giveaway going on. Lots of cool prizes in the Despicable Me giveaway to be had. If you haven't checked out this site, click on the button to the left and see what all the fuss is about. There's a lot of great stuff out there and I'm here to help you find it. Despicable Me would be a great gift for the whole family. It would make a nice selection for movie night. Thanks Feisty Frugal & Fabulous - you really are fabulous!!

We Love the Backyardigans

Thanks to Feisty Frugal and Fabulous for running this great giveaway. My 2 boys love the Backyardigans, and this Christmas DVD would be a welcome addition to their collection. I love finding out about all the deals and giveaways from my blogger friends. Makes me want to join in the fun and run some giveaways myself.

Little Bit of Wine Just in Time

Sometimes, you just need a glass of wine. I've come to that realization in the past week. I've been feeling so stressed and overwhelmed and I'm not even sure why. Somewhere around 4pm-5pm, I pour myself a glass of wine and sip it while I'm making dinner. I start to feel better in about 30 minutes. I'm not one to condone drinking to help deal with your problems, but I think it calms me down. Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT big drinker. Never have been, never will be. I never really drank much in college either. It's this whole "out of control" thing that bothers me. I need to be in control. If I drink too much, I have no control over myself. Same thing with anaesthesia - hate it because I have zero control. Anyway, my point is when I'm feeling like I can't take anymore, a few sips of wine seems to slow me down and relax me. Nothing wrong with that, right? Plus I hear a glass of wine is actually good for you so I'm saving myself a trip to the doctor by self-medicating. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

SuperMom Does Not Live Here

Anyone else feeling run down? Towards the end of the day, oh who am I kidding, by midday, I am wiped. I could literally take a nap. Sometimes I think something is wrong with me - seriously wrong. Maybe I should have a physical. It doesn't help that it's freezing here this past week and I'm trying to get everything finished by Christmas and the kids are up my butt all day long. I am not SuperMom. I never thought I'd be this tired. And I still feel like I accomplish nothing. Maybe if I was doing something I truly enjoyed, I wouldn't feel so exhausted. I would be excited to wake up in the morning and thrilled to get things done during the day. I need a goal. I need a focus. I need something to make me feel useful. I need . . . a glass of wine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You Oughta Be In Pictures

Ugh - I'm so busy trying to get ready for Christmas that I keep forgetting to post. Good news is the Christmas cards are finished and mailed out. That was weighing on me for days. Actually writing the cards wasn't that bad but getting a picture taken of the boys was a nightmare. It was easy getting the the big boy posed for a picture but the little terror would not sit still. He was ALL OVER the place. Then one would look at the camera and the other would look at the floor. I finally understand what Moms mean when they say they can't get a good picture of the kids. This is the first time it's happened to me, and I'm sure not the last. Then it was deciding on what kind of background to use. I like a traditional Christmas picture - the tree, the fireplace, trains. Dear hubby is of another ilk. He wants musical instruments or superheroes with Santa hats. Really? Is this what I'm subjected to for the rest of my life because I have sons? It's bad enough every birthday has to be a superhero, does Christmas need to be tainted as well? Anyway, here's the pic we finally decided upon:
I wasn't thrilled with the fact there was a drum set in our Christmas picture, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Both boys look good even though they're not looking at the camera. In essence, I gave in and approved this photo. I wanted to be done and I couldn't bear another photo shoot. So this is the photo that went out to 50 friends and family members this year. And I'm finally finished! Now for the wrapping of the packages . . .

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crafty Projects Every Day

Feeling hectic lately and I'm not sure why. It's probably the kids. They get very restless and excited because the tree and outside decorations are up. Every day, the 4 year old wants to do another crafty project. It's a battle all day long with him. He does not know how to occupy himself. We've been making ornaments for the tree or jingle bell bracelets or something else I need to come up with. Here's a sampling of today's crafty project. We stuck jewels on this clear ball ornament and stuffed it with some cotton:

The problem is he's done in less than 5 minutes and wants to do something else. I have things to do. I'm still trying to finish the Christmas cards. I need to wrap the gifts that I have. I don't have his teachers' gifts yet. And I don't have time to blog. Baby boy is doing his own thing - watching Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs and playing on the train table. It's the bigger boy who's making me crazy! I can't seemingly spend the entire day doing craft projects and playing games. Can I?

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar . . .

Feeling a bit sad about now. My 4 year old is still coughing after 2 weeks. He is prone to bronchitis so I took him to the doctor last Friday to have him checked out. His lungs are clear but he does have this horrible bronchial cough. He's not coughing constantly but he sounds terrible when he does cough. He's not running a fever and he's basically acting normal, but that cough. The doctor has him on antibiotics and a nebulizer in addition to his usual allergy meds and nose spray. I feel so bad for him, although I don't think he's really suffering. In fact, whenever I tell him he needs to take his medicine or use the machine, he starts yelling at me, telling me he's sick of me or he hates me or I'm no fun. I realize that he's 4, but these words cut me to the quick. I'm sick-to-my-stomach worried about him and praying to God that he doesn't develop bronchitis or pneumonia, and he's telling me how much he can't stand me. No mother wants to hear these words and I suppose the exhaustion caused by my constant worry is making me even more sensitive. Am I a bad mother? I'm sure I have my days. But I think I try to do my best, especially what's best for my children. I'm just looking for some sugar to take with that dose of medicine my son gave me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

There's a Word for People Like Me

Been a while since I posted. I've been crazy busy. The tree is done. I waited over a week for that last damn box of ornaments to come out of the attic, but it's finally finished. My village is done and already I have 2 casualties thanks to baby boy. It's inevitable that things are going to break so I guess I'm just stupid for putting it out. I figure he has to learn early on not to touch the village under the tree. Guess it might be a little too early. The nutcrackers are all out - 80 total. Crazy you say? Yes - decidedly so. The only thing left for me to do is the Christmas cards. We don't send out those picture cards so I have to pick out and write each one personally. What was that you said again? Crazy? Agreed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Decorate, Decorate, Decorate

Happy December! Don't know why I feel happy when I've been feeling nothing but stressed with all this decorating. Tree is still not done. There's one more box I'm waiting on hubby to get down from the attic. Still have about 10 more nutcrackers to put somewhere. Not sure I mentioned it earlier, but I collect nutcrackers. I have about 70 out of boxes right now. It's insane because I'm running out of room. I just love the way they look all lined up 3 deep on the hearth. They're like my protective soldiers guarding the house. At least that's my little fantasy. Here's a sampling:

Then there's the Christmas village that goes under the tree. I was postponing putting that out because I had a feeling baby boy would do damage. Sure enough, Destructo got his hands on 1 of the 5 pieces I decided to put out today and broke something. It was unavoidable I guess. It all looks so tempting to touch. So it's been stressful because I can't say I'm done with anything. I'm almost done with a few things. Oh and I still didn't start the Christmas cards yet. Ahhhhhh!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Joy

I feel like I have Thanksgiving weekend hangover. I am exhausted today. Yesterday we went to my Mom's for dinner since my brother, who was unable to attend my Thanksgiving dinner, was coming to visit. It was Thanksgiving all over again. Round 2 of cooking, serving and cleaning up. Then at home, it's all about decorating. Boxes and boxes and more boxes of decorations keep coming out of the attic. It's partly my fault. I collect nutcrackers and storing them is difficult since the boxes tend to get pretty heavy the more you pile in them. So we try to spread them out into numerous boxes. We're not talking just a few boxes. I have close to 80 nutcrackers - some of them rather large. I just spent the past hour trying to organize them on my fireplace hearth only to realize I have another box full of them to put out. Did I mention I'm exhausted?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

O Christmas Tree

After sleeping the day away yesterday, hubby decided to put up the Christmas tree last night. I was thrilled because he did this while I was getting baby boy to bed. By the time I came downstairs, he had only the top 2 rows of the artificial tree left to do. Woo Hoo!!! Dodged that bullet. It's not that I don't like putting up the tree, I do. I just don't like the lights. Hubby came up with a system that makes it less painful. As he puts on each row, he covers that row with lights. Next row goes on and more lights. Definitely makes it easier and the tree actually looks more lit, especially from within since the inside actually has some lights. My job is putting the ornaments on. No small task since I have hundreds upon hundreds of ornaments. I will post a before-ornament and an after-ornament pic so you can see just how many I have. I love a full tree. Each year I try to get a new ornament to add to it. Everyone thinks I'm crazy and I have too many but, really, it makes me happy. And that's what counts!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Photo Friday

This was an annual tradition when I was growing up - putting up the trains on the day after Thanksgiving. Looks like we're carrying on this tradition, or at least trying to.

My Black Friday

Another Thanksgiving over, another holiday to prepare for. Call me crazy but I've already started putting up some of the Christmas decorations at 9am this morning. I changed the dining room tablecloth to red, swapped out my Thanksgiving/Fall decorative plates to Christmas ones, and even put out some Christmas kitchen towels. I figure while I'm in the mood, I might as well get it done. I'm pretty sure we're going to start putting up the tree today. Absolutely NO Black Friday shopping for me. I've never done it before and there's no reason to start now. I know there are probably some great deals out there, but I have no desire to deal with crowds after I dealt with my own crowd of family yesterday. My Black Friday will be full of Christmas decorating - not so black after all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Whew! I made it to turkey day. There were no casualties yesterday, although my lower back was bitching and moaning and my right arm could've used a sling. But other than that, the kids weren't too bad and I was able to get my cooking done. Here we are, 8:30am Thanksgiving Day, and I'm getting ready to prep the turkey. First I have to clean out that cavity again (yuck) and salt the hell out of it to kill any bacteria. Then I'm going to salt, pepper and butter the hell out of it, stuff it full of stuffing, stitch it shut, tie it together and shove it in the oven. Sounds so violating, but I'll be soooooooooo glad once it's actually in the oven. My time with it will be over and, I can move on to getting the house ready. With any luck, a sense of relief and accomplishment will carry me through the rest of family time, which is just as stressful as cooking a turkey.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Wednesday

The dreaded day is here. It's cooking day and I have no idea how I'm going to get it all done with 2 little ones running around. I need to make the stuffing and peel the potatoes. The potatoes are the easy part. It's the stuffing that's a doozy. Cutting the onion (tissues please), cutting the celery, frying the onion and celery, frying the sausage meat, adding the bread (bit by bit by bit by bit), and then trying (and I mean t-r-y-i-n-g) to stir it all together. My arm will be broken by the end of the day. But the tricky part is getting all this done in between "Mom, let's play a game." or "Cracker. Cracker." or "Mom, I want to go to the park." or "Waaaaa!!! Waaaaaa!!!" If I (and they) survive this day, it should be smooth sailing tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Tuesday

No cooking today. Just cleaning. Which seems completely futile since the house will be a wreck 5 minutes after it's clean. Having 2 boys and a husband = mess, mess, and more mess. But I try anyway. So far I've mopped the floors, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned some windows and tried to get rid of some junk in the kitchen and dining room. Organization is near impossible in this house. There are piles here and there and some more over there. The dining room table is ALMOST completely clear. I just need to swap out the tablecloth for a clean one on Thursday and it should be good to go. I have a bottle of Fantastik out on the counter at all times. Whenever I see dirt, I give it a spritz and a wipe. It's amazing where dirt ends up. I have no idea how or when it gets there, but it finds its way to the strangest of places. It's almost 4pm. I think a quick dusting is in order to get that out of the way. Then it's time to think about dinner. I've been so focused on Thanksgiving dinner that I almost forgot we need to eat on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Cooking and cleaning, so not glamorous but so my life right now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Monday

Okay, so I'm starting to prep for Thanksgiving since I am hosting. Fortunately, I'm not hosting a huge crowd this year. We sometimes have the pleasure of hubby's aunts, uncles, cousins and grandfather along with the immediate families joining us for the holidays. At least for Thanksgiving this year, we are only hosting the a portion of the immediate family, which is my parents, my brother, and hubby's Dad and wife. Wherein we could be having 20 guests, we're only having 5 so I shouldn't complain. I purchased a turkey this morning, which is now starting to defrost in the refrigerator. I make my mom's homemade stuffing so the slices of bread are out to dry. That's about all the tasks required for Monday. Tuesday is kind of an off day so maybe I'll do a little more straigtening up around the house. Wednesday is the big cooking day. I need to cut the potatoes and have them soak in a pot of water overnight. I need to fry the sausage meat, cut the celery and onion and actually make the stuffing. I also need to open up that damn turkey and clean it and remove the gizzards. GROSS! This is what I hate most about the Thanksgiving meal - dealing with the damn turkey. It seems so unnatural to me to be sticking my hands inside that bird. I gag through the entire process. I honestly cannot believe that I do this every year. The younger me would be laughing her ass off at the present-day me. Strange what time will do to a girl.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oh Heavenly Brunch

When I was organizing a moms group, I used to schedule a monthly brunch. Hardly anyone ever showed except one woman, who I am still friends with and, go figure, still see over brunch. We went this morning, first time in a few months, just the two of us, and it was sublime. I can't say enough about brunch. I think it should be a mandatory weekly event. It's just so fantastic - the different foods, the endless coffee/tea, and the ability to get up and fill your plate as many times as you like. What a treat!! I don't have to cook and I can eat as much as I want. I went through 2 personal pots of tea and about 3 plates of breakfast/lunch/dessert. This may sound cruel, but the best part for me was having a couple of hours sans children. That's what I call heaven on a Sunday morning.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Babe in the Woods

I've been cruising around the mom blogosphere lately and am incredibly impressed by what I see. I am 100% amateur when it comes to blogging, which explains why no one is reading my stuff. These women have awesome sites full of links and giveaways and reviews and buttons to other mom sites. What the hell? I had no idea any of this stuff existed. I just wanted to babble on about my boring life. Time to spruce things up I think. Once I have the time to figure this all out, this No Filter Mom crap just might make feel good about myself.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love this site for their 2010 Holiday Giveaways. Definitely check them out!!


Such an Ugly Word

I'm so tired of feeling stupid. Whatever I do seems to lie on the incompetent side of the spectrum as far as my hubby is concerned. I hung new valances in the boys' bedroom the other day. Hubby comes home, looks at it and says "It's not straight." Today I wanted to order firewood but thought the quote I got for 1/2 cord from a local tree service listed in the phone book might be high so I checked with hubby. He looked in the classified section of the newspaper and found firewood for significantly less. I am halfway through replacing the drawer pulls in the boys' bedroom in my attempt to make it look more like a boys' room rather than the guest room. I couldn't find all of the pulls to finish but hubby came home and pulled out a bag from another drawer. See what I mean? And these are just 3 examples that I can actually recall. There are plenty more I'm sure. I must be stupid because I can't do anything right, not even remember all the things I'm doing wrong.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sleeping Beauties

I love nothing more than going for a drive, with the boys in the backseat, and they fall asleep. Seeing their beautiful, sleeping little boy faces in the rearview mirror makes me full of pride and joy. They're safe, they're warm, they're loved, they're peaceful. Plus knowing that I have a few minutes to myself, with just the radio and road, is one of my favorite parts of the day. It's a moment of selfishness and selflessness all at once.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oh No, Another Nice Day

Who would've thought that in mid-November I'd still be scrambling for things to do with the kids. It's going to be in the 60s today, and it seems ridiculous to stay indoors. Living in the Northeast, you don't get to enjoy the warm weather too long so taking advantage of beautiful days is important - at least to me it is. I've always felt that whatever I was or wasn't doing, there was something better I should be doing. All my life I've felt this way, and, quite honestly, it really messes everything up. Should we go to a craft fair, a park, the zoo, something, anything but staying in the house. God forbid the kids spend a day in the house when the temperature reads 60 degrees outside. I find out what others are doing, and they seem perfectly content just staying in or going to Lowe's to do a little shopping or maybe visiting a family member. Not me. Hurry, put your coats on. Let's go. I have no idea where I'm taking you, but let's just go.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Men Won't Ask for Directions, Or Something Like That

I am always surprised at how stupid men can be. I pray to God dear hubby doesn't read this, but here goes. He came home this afternoon with a HUGE piece of styrofoam insulation for the attic. He insisted on trying to shove it up the attic stairs and through the small passageway into the attic. Of course, any reasonable person could see this was not going to happen. Yet, dear hubby shoved one side, then the other, back and forth and back and forth in his feeble attempt to get this entire piece of insulation in the attic. You see, he didn't want to cut it, for it would defeat the purpose of insulation I guess. After about 10 minutes of shoving, he decided to pull it down and cut it. I thought, finally, he's come to his senses. No. He proceeded to cut about an inch or so off of either side and tried to shove it back up there. Not only was this not working, clearly because those 2 inches just wasn't enough to get it in there, it was getting wedged and pieces of insulation were now falling all over the upstairs hall underneath the attic ladder. After about half an hour and massive amounts of insulation pieces everywhere, along with a quart of sweat, he gave in and cut the insulation so it would fit. Why, why, why are men so stupid? And he damn well better pick up every last piece of insulation off that floor!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Savings?

The kids just don't understand daylight savings time. Honestly, my body doesn't understand it either. I could force myself to stay in bed for an extra hour if I had the opportunity, but my body knows when it's had enough rest and it's time to get up. I think I was awake before the kids today. I'll probably be falling asleep before them tonight as well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo Friday

It was a Super Hero Halloween at our house. Yes, that's me as BatGirl.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Moment of Silence

I was in church on Saturday evening and found myself completely distracted throughout the entire Mass. There was a teenage girl and her mother 2 rows in front of me. The girl clearly had a cold because she was sniffling and coughing. For a semi-germaphone like me, that was enough distraction. Then she put her feet up on the pew in front of her. She proceeded to take out a drink and a snack. Like she was at a soccer game or something. Next she placed a folder in her lap and began writing down what her mother told her as "thought"s or "general lessons" from the sermon. Are you kidding me? The girl must be taking a CCD class and had some homework to do. Uhm, it's called homework for a reason!!! And why is the mother telling her what to write down? Maybe because the girl's clearly not listening to the sermon herself what with all the drinking, eating and coughing. I literally spent the hour praying for God to give me strength to keep my mouth shut. I wanted to smack the girl in the back of the head and tell the mother a thing or two about respect. Do you see anyone else eating or putting their feet up?? Other children doing their homework? I blame the mother but still wanted to smack the daughter. I couldn't think of a tactful way to tell them what I thought of this behavior. No matter what I would have said or how I would have said it, one or both of them would have had some snippy remark and that would have been the end of that. I don't respond well to snippy remarks. Thankfully the Lord provided me with a mouth full of silence. But my weekly precious hour of reflection and prayer with no misbehaving children of my own was lost on this girl.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Hits Keep Coming

Yes, it's another sinus infection. I took the 4 year old to the pediatrician this morning and, thankfully, it's nothing more than that. As soon as I hear him cough, I break out in a sweat and start panicking about bronchitis and chest x-rays. I don't know how I'm going to survive raising 2 boys. You would think by now I'd be used to the sickness -hell he's sick every month! But I'm like Pavlov's dog I guess. One cough and the heart races with perspiration right on its tail. I worry about him since he is prone to bronchitis. I just hope we can keep pneumonia at bey until he grows out of this. The pediatrician was happy to inform me that kids average about 1 - 1.5 colds per month. Guess my guy's right on schedule then! As we're waiting much too long in the pediatrician's waiting room, I'm watching baby boy play with the toys while sitting on the floor amidst all the coughing and fever-stricken children. I'm sure 48 hours from now, I'll be in a sweat yet again as he progresses into some form of the germs he was surrounded by this morning. It's going to be a long winter.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Put On A Happy Face

So the 4 year old definitely has something by way of illness going on again. Not sure if it's just a cold or a sinus infection or what. How long has it been since the last episode? Two weeks? So this morning I'm struggling with whether or not I should send him to school. It's an easy day for him - gymnastics. It would be the first time at gymnastics and I would drive him there. I really want him to go but I'm not sure he's up for it. I'm sure he would be once he got there, but, for some reason, he really plays sick with me. With the hubby, he sounds and acts much better than when I come in the room. I love my little guy, and I only want what's best for him. I'm just not sure who the act is for - me or the hubby. . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stepford Mom?

So we went to another child's birthday party yesterday. Ugh - the dreaded birthday parties. This was a family party for a 4 year old girl. This party boasted pony rides for the kids. Seriously - how many of these who-can-outdo-who parties do I have to attend??? There have been jungle gyms, magicians, face painters, petting zoos - all for children who will come to expect bigger and better next year. To date, we have not had a children's party for either of our boys yet. I figure when the oldest turns 5 (uh-oh, this coming May), we'll probably do our first friends party. I'm dreading it. What am I going to have to pull out of my butt to put on a show for these already-spoiled 5 year olds? I swore I would never try to keep up with the Jones' for my children's parties, and yet somehow I'm feeling like I need to do something. I thought he would invite 5 friends over for some play time in the yard, some pizza and cake, and a treat bag to take home. Now I'm actually contemplating a face painter. Or something bigger. See what living in the suburbs does to you? I'm turning into one of those moms - scary!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Snapshot

I just love their expressions here, especially the 4 year old. We all went to a pumpkin farm near my in-laws' house on a beautiful fall day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Case of The Missing Sock

My kids lose everything. I have no idea where everything goes, but it's not anywhere I can find it. Crayons, puzzle pieces, game pieces, books, dvd cases, craft project pieces . . . you name it, they've lost it. I doubt I have 1 complete game in my house. I can probably open a crayon store based on what's underneath the sofa. Some days I just don't care and chalk it up to another day in my life. But then other days I get so frustrated. Why are the children so careless? Can't they keep track of anything? The most troublesome part of all this is that they don't seem to care they've lost something. The 4 year old might say, "Oh, the last piece of the puzzle is missing? Oh well. That's ok, mom." No, it's not!! It makes me crazy. Isn't this part of learning responsibility? Clearly, we're going to have a problem in that department.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Scared Safe

I watched The Lovely Bones last night on HBO and found it hard to get the movie out of my mind. I wonder why bad things happen to some people and not others. For instance, I grew up in Jersey City in the 70s and didn't leave until 1990. My parents let me out in the morning and I was typically out on the streets all day until it was time for lunch or dinner. Nothing ever happened. No one ever tried to abduct me. And this goes for everyone else I knew and went to school with at that time. This was the city, not the suburbs. Nowadays, all I hear about is abductions or attempted abductions or missing children or molested children found dead. I can't understand why some children are chosen and some are not. Why didn't anything ever happen to me? I'm thankful it didn't, but why didn't it. Timing? Street smarts? Neighborhood? I'm not sure. This movie scared me since I have a 12 year old niece and 2 little boys of my own. I don't think they have the wits about them that I did growing up in the city. I wasn't afraid or intimidated by anyone or anything. I want to raise my family the same way. Perhaps that makes a difference. It sickens me to think that acquaintances or neighbors can be responsible for these vile crimes against children. I'm not sure how to approach instructing my children to act around others. I don't want to raise scared children and I don't want to raise rude children. I want to have safe children.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What's With the Names?

I think it's time to revisit the child-naming situation. Yet another celebrity has decided to name her child something odd: Egypt. Really? Egypt? Are you seriously going to take your child to the park and yell "Bad Egypt. Don't touch that, Egypt." Come on with these names already. It's not even just crazy celebrities choosing these names anymore. The general population, sheep that we are, have decided to hop on the ridiculous naming bandwagon. Apple. Rumor. Brooklyn. Truly. Blanket!! These aren't even names. Can't we stick with real names when we name our children, Joe, Steve, Mary, instead of where and how and why they were conceived. These children will have this name for the rest of their lives. What 40-year old man wants to be called Blanket?????

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reflections of a Blog

I'm flabbergasted. I have so much running through my head right now, I'm not sure what to write about. Let's start with this blog. I hear/read about bloggers having so much success with their blogs, and I get annoyed. I thought I'd be much more coherent in my blogging, much more interesting. I'm 1 of a gazillion mom bloggers out there who write about the same stuff. What their kids are doing. How tired they are. How frustrating it is being a mom. Blah Blah Blah. My blog is crap, and no one is reading it. No filter, my ass. I must be filtering something because I'm so uninteresting. I think I need to turn this up a notch. I know I bitch about time - I have no time. The kids keep me going all day. I'm too tired when they're in bed. At least when I do write something it should be worth someone else's time to read it. Tomorrow - another day - a more interesting entry.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another Day

And the 4 year old is coughing . . . again . . . Oh Autumn, how I love thee . . .

Monday, October 11, 2010

How I Love Thee . . .

When the family is healthy, there is no better time of year than the fall. I absolutely love this time of year. Everything looks and feels so much clearer, crisper. The colors are simply stunning. The air is actually breathable. And there is so much to do. It still gets warm enough during the day for a trip to the park or beach. There is apple picking and pumpkin picking. There are fall festivals galore. There are yard sales and flea markets. There's a road trip to see the leaves changing colors. There's decorating for Halloween. There a costume parties and parades. There's a simple walk in the neighborhood while pulling the kids in a wagon. I love the feeling of a cool day and a warm sweater. For me, there's nothing better.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here

Keeping up with this blog has proven to be difficult, but I am determined. The past few weeks have been hectic. Both kids were sick as was I, I started selling some items on ebay again, I'm driving back and forth to preschool, I'm enjoying the beautiful fall weather, and I'm trying to keep the little one busy so I have time to blog. That last one is a near impossible task. He feels the need to be near me at all times. If he can't climb up on my lap, I must be in view. I had a mini-breakdown the other day because I couldn't get anything done around the house without him hanging on my leg. My house is a disaster area, and some days I just can't stand looking at it. There are toys everywhere, folded clothes on the sofa and now holiday stuff is starting to pile up with Halloween approaching. Underneath that is a layer of dust and dirt that MUST be cleaned up. I really need to get a good cleaning in before the Christmas decorations come out otherwise I won't get to that layer of filth until January. I wonder if anyone would even notice. Unfortunately I would, and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Joys of Fall

It's been a while since my last post. I've been wiping booger noses and going to doctors and hospitals. The 4 year old has bronchitis, which they wanted to make sure wasn't pneumonia, so we had to make a trip to the hospital for a chest x-ray. It wasn't pneumonia, but we're on a nebulizer to clear his wheezing. Woo Hoo! Good times! Of course, when one gets sick, so goes the other. Baby boy has something, but I'm not sure it's as bad. He's got a runny booger nose and started coughing the past few days but so far it's nowhere near as terrible as what his big brother has. I just don't remember being this sick when I was younger. Who ever heard of a nebulizer?? We were sick for a couple of days and then right back to school and playing outside. I'm not sure what the difference is these days. Maybe less time out in the fresh air? Too much antibiotic use? I don't really know. I'm just glad there are drugs to treat what these poor kids have because they seem to get really sick.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New York State of Mind

I often wonder what it would be like to raise children in the city. I grew up in Jersey City, a stones throw from NYC, and fantasize about living there now. I picture us visiting museums and parks, riding the subway, Central Park trips, and it just sounds so fantastic. My husband would NEVER live in or near NYC, especially since 9/11. He wants to be as far away from the major urban areas as possible, mostly for safety reasons. That and his need for space - lots of space - between him and his neighbors. Definitely not a city-dweller. I understand, but there's that innate part of me that longs for the city, that needs it to survive.

The suburbs are, well, the suburbs. Honestly they are what you see made fun of in movies with moms lined up in their SUVs dropping off their kids at school dressed in their tennis outfits. Seriously, this is what happens when I bring my 4 year old to preschool in the morning. And I can't stand it. It's just not me. I don't play tennis or drive an SUV. I hate SUVs as a matter of fact. Hubby has one and I hate driving it. Only if absolutely necessary will I get behind that wheel. Then there's all that space between me and my neighbors. Give me a brownstone where I know who lives next door, and that means I know their first names and actually speak with them more than once a month. Space - who needs all that space. To me, it just means more to maintain and keep clean. We presently live in a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath with a finished basement and a sizeable yard with an inground pool. Who wants to keep that clean on a daily basis? Yes, the kids need room to play, but they prefer the beach or the park anyway. This is a fundamental difference (one anyway) between me and my husband. He wants a bigger house with more space, inside and out. More space means more stuff. I'd like to go smaller and have less stuff. At 41 years of age, I doubt I'll change. I think the saying is true: You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl. Maybe someday I'll get back there. But for now, it's SUV central.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Makes You Happy?

Here's what I want to know - how many people are really happy? Happy, in general, with their lives, their day to day existence. I want to know because I'm not happy. I know I should be, but I'm not. This has been a problem of mine (I think it's a problem) since I was young. I never knew what I wanted to do. I was never satisfied with what I was doing or who I was dating. I always wanted to do something else or be somewhere else. Now, one husband and two children later, I have those same feelings. I don't know where it came from or why I feel it, but here it is. If you ask me at any point during the course of a day if I was happy at that minute, undoubtedly the answer would be "no." It's a constant battle with the kids, it's hard work to make a marriage work and then there's nothing that I feel proud of that I'm accomplishing . . . probably because I'm not accomplishing anything.

I saw Wynonna Judd on Oprah this afternoon and she wanted some validation or recognition that she was able to clean out a closet while her sister was off saving people from genital mutilation in the Congo. This is how I feel. There are moms out there working, doing meaningful volunteer work, or just contributing to society in some way. Here I am saying "I made it to the consignment store today and dropped off a bag full of clothes. Can I hear a woot-woot?" Seriously. That's what I've accomplished today. That and a load of laundry. Am I happy? No.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Photo Friday

I call him Destructo. My Dad calls him The Tornado. My Mom calls him Terminator. You get the point, right?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Run, Baby, Run

It's gotten to the point where I need to run 15-month old baby boy into the ground to ensure a good night's sleep. He's always been a pretty good sleeper since he was born, especially in comparison to the ever-awake 4 year old. That child just recently started sleeping through night. Did I mention he's four? That's a long time with not a lot of sleep . . . and I mean for me as the parent, never mind him as the child. Anyway, the little one appears to be going through some phase of waking up and just wanting me to hold him. Yes, it's cute and sweet and I should treasure every minute because he won't want anything to do with me soon enough. But I'm tired. Did I mention the 4-year old just started sleeping through the night recently? It gets exhausting after the third hour of trying to put the baby down and he just pops right back up. I'm not a young momma with endless energy. This mature momma needs her sleep. So I've taken to wearing that baby out, which in turn wears me out. We hit the beach or the park or the yard, or all three, every day. That child runs and runs and runs wherever he goes. He's constantly on the move. You'd figure with all the running and fresh air, he'd be wiped out and sleep "like a baby." Well, sometimes yes. He'll sleep a full 12 hours - pure bliss as far as I'm concerned. And then there are those nights when he just wants a little more momma.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Joy of Family

Does anyone else ever get tired of feeling guilty? I'm not sure how to discipline my children without feeling guilt. I'm not sure how to be angry at my husband without feeling guilt. Can't we just say and do what we're feeling when we're feeling it? Wouldn't that be living in the moment? Being authentic? I realize that somewhere along the way something criminal could occur. I could stab my husband because that's what I happened to feel like doing at the time. I see the danger there, for him and for me. But that would be considered an extreme example, right?

For whatever millionth thing your husband has done to bring you to the brink, what's wrong with simply saying, "I really don't feel like being married to you right now because I'm so pissed off." Or how about giving your child a whack on the behind for that wise-ass comment he just made while in line at the supermarket. Or letting your toddler cry his eyes out while you attempt to write this blog. Why must the guilt immediately ensue? I know we're supposed to control ourselves and think before we speak and think before we act. I love my family, but I'm just so tired of taking it all. Maybe I'm just tired, period. It's hard enough being married. Being married with children is a whole other ball of wax.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Parenting: No Check

Ever feel like a complete failure as a mother? I don't even recognize this person that I've become. I have no patience. I'm cranky all the time. I'm yelling and making threats all day. I'm carrying screaming children to time out. I'm exhausted. All of this can't be good for the kids. I never thought I'd be one of "those" moms who can't keep it together and yell at her kids all the time. Why does it seem like they figure out exactly which buttons to push to get you going? Aren't their brains too little to be that smart? I know I'm the adult and I should know better but, damn, they're good at getting me angry. My parents like to say "You majored in psychology. Use reverse psychology on them." Really? Is it just that simple? You come deal with my children 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and you use reverse psychology on them when you're trying to get out the door and they're refusing to put on their shoes. Whoever said being a parent wasn't easy knew exactly what they were talking about.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Boobs: Check!

I'm proud to say I went for my baseline mammogram last night. Yay me! I'm 41 years old and have several specialists I need to see this year. I need a mammo, skin cancer screening, and colonoscopy. I started with the boobs. Most men start there anyway, so why shouldn't I?

It was quick and virtually painless. I wasn't nervous going in. I was actually indifferent. I figure it's not root canal or child birth, how bad can it really be?? I imagine it's probably a lot easier for bigger breasted women as well. It's kind of uncomfortable trying to smoosh what little boob I have between 2 plates. Just when I thought it wouldn't get any tighter, the tech tightened her up just a bit more. There were a total of 4 compressions and I was done. It was literally minutes. I'll take a few minutes of uncomfortable to detect something that could potentially end my life.

Since I went in the evening, the doctor was already gone for the day. I was told the doctor would read the results in the morning. This office operates under the "no new is good news" theory. If I didn't hear anything from them today, everything was fine. It's about 5pm and I haven't had a phone call yet so I'm assuming all's well in the boob department. I even walked away with a parting gift: the cutest pen with a little pink ribbon on it for breast cancer awareness. One unpleasant visit down, 2 more to go . . .

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

To Sprayground or Not To Sprayground

Baby boy #2 is at the age now (15 months) where he's walking/running all over and not really listening to mommy anymore. In other words, I've kind of lost control of him. So when it comes to doing things with the boys, aka going to the park or the beach, it's a matter of chasing after him and then having him scream bloody murder when it's time to go. I'm sure there are moms out there who can completely relate to this, but it just makes me hesitant to go anywhere. For this reason, I've been putting off going to the local free sprayground with the boys all summer. But here we are, August 31, and I've been invited by a friend to go to the sprayground this morning. Ninety-five percent of me is going, but there's that 5% that is waffling. I just don't see this ending well. I see a wet, screaming toddler doing that thing when they turn into jello as you're trying to pick them up making it nearly impossible to hold onto them as we're trying to leave. I see it impossible to change him out of his wet clothes before he gets in the car for the ride home. I see a ride home with a screaming child in the back. But maybe I'm just pessimistic . . . or is it realistic?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Power Play

My 4 year old is getting quite mouthy lately. He never just does what he is asked to do. He always says "no" or "no way." And he's usually yelling "no" come to think of it. There's always a battle going on in this house and the 4 year old is 99% of the time my opponent. Even things that the normal 4 year old would enjoy turn into a struggle.

"Let's go to the park."

"No. I just want to stay home."

"Come on. Go put on your shoes and we'll go play for a while."

"No thanks. I want to stay here and play SuperWhy video games."

"It's a beautiful day and we could use some fresh air."

"No way."

Seriously, what 4 year old doesn't want to go to the park? Of course, when we get there, then it's a battle trying to get him to leave the park. This powerplay is continuous and it's all day long and it's exhausting. After about 15 minutes of arguing, I wind up reminding him that I am the adult and he is the child and what I say goes. And I'm usually yelling come to think of it . . .

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo Friday

Ready . . . Set . . . Go!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Dreaded Summer Cold

The boys are pushing through a summer cold, and I'm the one feeling run down and exhausted. It started with baby boy's ever-running nose on Sunday. He sneezed the day away while I wiped his nose incessantly and then he seemed to be fine. It never really progressed into much of anything. He's got a stuffy nose know that requires some wiping here and there but he's a tough cookie.

The 4 year old just started sneezing with a runny nose today. Oh the drama. This child gets sick a lot and it's always a production:

"Blow your nose."

"I can't."

"What do you mean you can't? Just blow."

"I don't know how."

"You've been blowing your nose for over 2 years. Now blow."

"I can't. I can't. Waaa! Waaa!"

Inevitably, the non-nose-blowing child winds up with a sinus infection which then requires antibiotics. And it's only August . . .

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Makes You So Special?

I need to comment about every blog I see out there - they're all written by moms about their babies or children. I'm in the same friggin' boat as everyone else who's blogging, and they have a lot more followers than I do. Every mom out there is bragging about their little one doing this and doing that, posting pictures and sharing family trips. I'm just like Ida in Iowa who's frustrated with her life and needs to express herself in some way so she's taken to the blogosphere to test the waters. Only difference is she's got a lot more interesting things to say and prettier pictures. That's just too depressing. Think I'll go eat some chocolate . . .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Party Party Party

We went to a 2 year old's birthday party yesterday. This party was for the son of a co-worker of dear hubby. We're not one of those families who attend a birthday party every week. The reason is simple - we don't have a party for our children every year and invite every other child we know. Before we had children, hubby and I decided we wouldn't have a big blow-out birthday party for our kids every year to try to keep up with the Joneses. We didn't grow up like that and we didn't want our children to feel spoiled with a big bash and tons of unnecessary gifts every year. We simply invite close family over each year and enjoy the children and each other's company. That doesn't mean every once in a while we don't get sucked in to a party - like yesterday's or the one a few weeks ago at a local indoor jungle gym. I have to admit, these parties get a little out of control. Let's start with yesterday's.

This is not the first time we've been to a party at this particular household. They have 3 boys and we tend to get invited to at least one per year. Since it is a co-worker of dear hubby, it's only right that we attend. This go around, there weren't as many people as usual, maybe 20-25. There are 2 things that stand out when it comes to parties at this home: the mom makes the birthday cake and cupcakes and she personalizes the treat bags. I think when we first started attending these parties, the cakes were just your basic square or round cake with filling. She's since moved on to character cakes with fondit. Yesterday was a monkey. Before that was Wall-E. The next one will be Toy Story. Puts a mom like me with no baking skills to shame. Then there's the issue of the personalized treat bags. I don't just mean she handwrites each child's name on a bag. She buys a gift that is personal for each child. Really? Yes, really! For example, the 4 year old got some colored pencils, glue sticks, and a craft project. Baby boy got a bag full of animal crackers. Is this what I have to worry about now? Personalizing the gift bags for each child? Like just having a party isn't stress enough! Then again, we could go the easy route and host a party at the jungle gym . . . for about $300+. Then there are the parties we attend with a face painter on hand for the kids. Or how about a petting zoo? Pony rides?

Where does it stop? Where, exactly, do you draw the line? What happened to clowns and balloon animals? This is the reason hubby and I decided not to have a big party every year. Maybe every 5 years. Which, unfortunately for us, means we should be hosting a big party for our soon-to-be 5 year old in May. Do I book the face painter now or spend my money on baking classes?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photo Friday

Four year olds are so sweet . . . when they sleep.

Baby boy provides a little sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesdays at the Library

Every Wednesday I take the 4 year old to storytime at the small public library in our town. I used to take him to the bigger county library a few towns away but was convinced by a local mom to take him to the local library. The first time we went, I swore I wouldn't go back. I have to bring baby boy with us and, despite the fact that there are toys and puzzles there for him to play with, he wanted to pull every book off the shelf and every DVD off the rack while his big brother sat with the librarian and listened to stories and did a craft. I spent the full half hour chasing the baby around re-shelfing all the books and DVDs. This just wasn't going to work for me. But, I reluctantly went back the following week and, surprisingly, it wasn't as bad. Week after week I've been bringing the boys and it's been much smoother each time. Baby boy is familiar with the library now and isn't as interested in pulling every book off the shelf. He still likes to lift the DVDs and show me which ones he pulled, but it's definitely a lot easier to clean up. I spend the half hour looking for books to check out for the 4 year old to read while the baby touches this and touches that. I've also become friendly with one of the librarians there so she keeps an eye on baby boy if he manages to sneak away while I'm searching for books. I must admit, going to the library on Wednesdays has become one of my favorite things to do.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reality . . . Check!

I've come to the realization that I am a reality tv junkie, and I'm not proud of it. It all started so simply several years ago when I happened to put on the finale of season 1 of American Idol. It's been downhill eversince. To defend myself, I enjoyed watching people in talent competitions. First Idol, then Dancing With the Stars, and wrapping up with Project Runway. As far as I'm concerned, all legitimate singing, dancing, designing competitions (at least that's what I tell myself). After baby boy #2 was born, I found some extra time to surf through the tv channels while breastfeeding and happened upon the Real Housewives of NJ. Check, please! I was hooked and there was no turning back. Fast forward a year later and here is my list of reality tv that I watch religiously or just watch when there's absolutely nothing else to watch (wink, wink):

American Idol
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
Real Housewives of NJ
Real Housewives of DC
Say Yes to the Dress
Jersey Couture
DC Cupcakes (Why? I have absolutely no idea!)
Jersey Shore (I know, I know. Snooki this!)

I'm pretty sure I've seen an episode or 2 of a few others, but I just don't remember them right now. I will say I am completely Bachelor/Bachelorette-free, I've never seen one episode of Survivor, I've never seen those shows where contestants eat disgusting things that make them throw up, and I've never been a fan of the make-over show a la The Swan (which my husband absolutely LOVED). If there's any consolation for me, it is there that I draw the line. I just read today that a new show, Sister Wives, is coming out in September. This show follows a polygamist family in Utah with 4 sister wives in the same vein as Big Love. I'm fessing up now - add it to my list.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wasting Life Away Worrying

As I was sitting on the couch tonight holding the 4 year old on my lap as he fell asleep, I realized how much I worry about my kids. I'm a worrier in general - I can worry about anything that pops into my head this second. I'm worried about taking the kids to the eye doctor tomorrow - see what I mean? It just popped into my head. I was thinking that my little boy is already 4, and a big 4 at that, and I wonder how fast time will really go. I thought of school and high school and then moving out on his own - all in a matter of seconds. It turned my stomach. I want my boys to be strong, independent and capable. At the same time, I'm terrified of what the world can and will do to them. I have these horrible thoughts of them being harmed by random gunfire or barfights gone bad or a mandatory draft for some god forsaken war - all that stuff you hear about on the news that you never think will touch your life personally, until it does. I suppose any parent can worry about these things, but what good does worrying do? I don't want to shelter them and keep them too close, but I'm terrified of what could happen when I let them go. It's a frightening thought to let your children make their way in the world, in today's world, but I'm sure my parents felt the same way as I was growing up. So far I'm okay. I can only hope and pray tragedy doesn't fall upon my family. But why shouldn't it? See - I'm worried.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Like Mother . . .

Sometimes I feel like I'm messing up my kids. I have a feeling this is common with mothers, but for some reason I feel I surpass other moms here. Whether it's screaming at the 4 year old because he just won't listen or dragging him to time out because he just won't listen or sending him to his room because he just won't listen - you see what I'm getting at? Not only do I think this is creating angst in him, I feel it's creating angst in baby boy as well. All this yelling and dragging and threatening - it can't be good for the psyche. I don't know if I just don't have any patience left or I never had it to begin with. I often wonder if it would be this difficult if I had girls instead of boys. For some reason I picture girls just sitting and playing nicely for hours on end. My boys can sit and play with something for approximately 5.3 minutes before moving on to something else. Now I find the 4 year old does a lot of yelling and screaming at me. He gets angry VERY easily and yells and jumps up and down. Even the baby screams at me with his fist in the air. Wonder where they got that from?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

No Peace

Ever feel like you're here for something more? Ever feel restless but don't know how to feel fulfilled? This is my life on a daily basis. I CONSTANTLY feel like I should be doing something else or be somewhere else. I drive down streets in ritzy zip codes and wonder what I did wrong not to live in a house like that. I see other people creating art and writing novels and think I should be doing something like that. I am never at peace. I thought children would bring me some peace but instead I feel more frustration. I feel trapped. I feel conflicted. I feel . . . empty. That's cruel because I love my children to pieces and would trade them for nothing but I feel lost in their lives. Their lives of details steal from my life. Horrible - I know. I wanted so much to be a mother and now I am. But I haven't yet figured out who I am. I can't be just a mother. There has to be more. That's partly why I started blogging but I don't appear to be successful at that either. Maybe I need to post pictures with my blog. People are visual - maybe that would draw them in to read. I'm still at a loss but hope to find myself. If not here, then somewhere and I'll write about it here.

What To Do, What To Do?

I find the hardest thing for me on a daily basis is finding something for us to do. Here in NJ, the weather has been unbearably hot and humid this summer making it impossible to have the kids outside for extended periods of time, or any time at all for that matter. I am fortunate enough to have a big yard with shade and a pool but the 4 year old gets bored quickly and I really can't handle the 2 of them alone in the pool. Turns out baby boy is WILD in the water so he needs my full attention. Keeping busy in the house starts to wear on everyone, especially me. "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." How many times can I hear that through the course of the day? There's only so much mall-walking we can do, especially with a bored 4 year old. Everything is either expensive or outdoors. It literally gets to the point where the baby comes at me with his sandals in his hand looking to get out of the house. Whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, what do I do with the kids today?

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm Back

I've been thinking about this blog for quite a while now and realize I need to commit to it more. The best laid plans, blah, blah, blah, but I'm really going to try to continue more consistently. I find myself having questions or needing to write things down now that the boys are getting bigger so I'm going to remind myself that a place already exists for me to pen my thoughts. Just an update to refresh where we are: the boys are now 4 and 14 months. They each had a birthday in May and we kept it simple with just family in attendance. These kid birthday parties are a topic for another day. Baby boy is walking up a storm. He started walking at about 12 months and there's just no stopping him. He's a very different baby than the little guy. Baby boy likes to sleep for about 11 or 12 hours per night and seems a bit more independent at this age than the first. Time is FLYING with the second - a comfort and a drawback. I'm definitely not chronicling baby boy's life as much as the first one. I just mentioned to dear hubby this morning that we need to take more video of baby boy since his life is just cruising along. I once heard in a movie that people want someone to witness their life, that's why they want a spouse or significant other. I feel the same is true for children. As parents, we witness their life every day - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and take it for granted. But actually keeping record of it is another story. We get caught up in the daily details that we sometimes forget this is a life worth witnessing. Each day is a new discovery to them and it needs to be noticed. I need to remind myself of that and capture the daily happenings in some way before they're off to college.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realize the unconditional love of a child and how precious that is. I'm not sure how long this unconditional love will last, because I know as children grow they tend to think for themselves and realize your decisions for them are not always what they want - and then they resent you . . . for a long time. But for now, no matter how irrational you are or how selfish you can be, your children love you. If the decisions you make cause them tears, they forgive you 5 seconds later. It's really special, a child's love. We must all remember not to take that for granted, especially me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Mother's Guilt

I'm slowly beginning to realize how difficult it is to have more than 1 child. I'm ridden with guilt these days and I'm not sure what to do about it. Ever since baby boy #2 came along, I am constantly yelling at his big brother. He always seems to be doing something wrong or just plain old not listening. I have to ask him to do something or stop doing something about 5 times before he actually does it. I have to threaten him with time-outs and turning off the TV. I never thought I'd be one of those moms that you see on TV and read about who yells at their child and says things you can't believe they say to their child - but I think I am. I hate to admit it, and it's killing me, but I have no patience for my first-born. The strange thing is I hear from friends that the opposite is true - they think their first-born can do no wrong and resent the baby. That would make sense, but that's not what's going on in my house. I LOVE my first-born but fear I'm favoring the baby because, well, he's a baby . . . and probably my last baby. I did so much with my first-born before the baby arrived - took him parks and classes, did crafty projects, played. Now it seems like I'm yelling at him all day long, and I hate it. I just don't know how to stop doing it. When I put the baby down for a nap, I want to get stuff done around the house that needs to get done. It's the only time I have to do it. Believe me, I've put things off for a long time. I don't think I can't afford to put them off much longer. So instead of doing a project together or playing for a while, I plop him in front of the television or a computer game. Horrible - I know!! Then I feel massive amounts of guilt at the end of the day for treating him as I did. I think I'm messing him up and he's going to need tons of therapy to get over this. My father insists he won't remember, but I have an inkling he will. And he'll resent me for the rest of my life. This is yet something else no one tells you about before you have children. This parenting gig is just way too hard!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Who's Drawing the Line?

I missed the 20/20 report on the John Edwards scandal, but I hear it's better than reading a juicy novel. I'm not too sure how I feel about the aide, Andrew Young, who wrote the book about Edwards though. I have mixed feelings I suppose. I imagine most, if not all, of what he contends is true since he was the aide throughout the whole ordeal. I just have a problem with his motivation. He was basically an accomplice in the entire scandal, pretending to be the father of the mistress' baby, housing her, going along with the scheme. Now he's revealing all for what? Money I suppose. If Edwards had kept him on in some capacity as an "employee" than he wouldn't have written the book? Money is the motivation behind everything these days, and I think it's setting a poor example for our children. How about doing what's right because it's the right thing to do? Not because you can make millions. Why didn't Young do what was right at the time? He knew the difference between right and wrong. Are we supposed to overlook his part in the wrongdoing because NOW he's coming clean? I don't think he should get a pass in the name of a tell-all book. I think he should be condemned for his participation in a web of lies. He is just as responsible for the situation as Edwards and the mistress because he knew about it and did nothing. Isn't that the lesson we teach our children? If you see or know something that's bad or wrong, you should do the right thing and tell an adult. At what age does this rule no longer apply? When you're old enough to write a book and get published, making money for yourself and the publishing company? While I would normally be tuned in watching this train wreck unfold, I still take issue with the reason it's unfolding. I probably shouldn't support it in any way, even watching it seems to make me an accomplice of sort, but at least I'm not profiting from it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Playing Fair

I organize a playgroup for moms over the age of 35 with young children. I didn't create this group but it sounded good to me so I took over organizing when the previous organizer stepped down. I realized early on why she stepped down. It's very difficult getting members to attend events. Even when they say they will attend something, they change their mind at the last minute or they just don't show up. Infuriating!! Here's the rub: there's another playgroup in the area for moms of any age and they are super active. They have about 5 different events going on every day. I attribute this to the fact that there are about 200 members and they are younger women. When you're young, you have the energy to do just about anything and everything while dragging your little one along with you. When you reach a certain age, you're just more comfortable sitting at home with the little one playing on your carpet in the living room. Needless to say, I don't plan 5 events per day. I have on average 2 events per week. For me, that's plenty. I have 2 little ones to tote around and quite frankly, it's exhausting. Add the cold weather into the mix, and I'm fine not going out every day. My frustration comes from the fact that most of my members are also members of the 200+ moms group. I find my members attending the other group's events instead of mine, or worse, cancelling on mine when something better pops up on the other group's calendar. I know I shouldn't care, but I do. I find my attempt to make friends for me and my children futile. It's hard staying at home with the kids. It's hard to find women in your situation that you actually have something in common with other than the children. Uh oh, I hear those January blues singing again. Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I need to let it go and let it be what it is. Or leave the group and let someone else deal with the aggrevation. Or go back to bed and hope I wake up in May.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh What A Beautiful Morning

I'm feeling a bit better today, but I must admit it's only 8am. Way too much time for things to drastically change course. In any event, I am taking the boys on a scavenger hunt this morning. These things all sound good on paper when I'm planning them, but when the time comes to actually get out and do them, it doesn't sound so good anymore. It's 30 degrees outside - what am I thinking? I organize a playgroup for moms who had babies when they were 35 or older, and I borrowed this idea from an organizer forum. A winter nature walk/scavenger hunt - sounds lovely. I can predict the baby will be fast asleep in the car by the time we get to the park, and the 3-year old will either be whining or sleeping as well. I'm not waking up the baby to take him out in the cold for 15-20 minutes. If he's awake, I'll put him in his carriage for a few minutes for some fresh air but that's it. So what do I do with the 3-year old? See what I mean - sounds good on paper but poses a dilemma when the time actually comes. I suppose he should breathe in some nice cold air for a few minutes. I'm just afraid he'll run off somewhere, and I won't be able to chase after him because I need to stay near the car if the baby's sleeping in it. This is what's running through my mind as I prepare to take the children out on this beautiful morning: disaster!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January Blahs?

I'm in a funk and can't find my way out. I know it's January and sometimes being inside all the time brings people down, but that's not it. I don't know exactly what it is, but whatever it is should just leave already. I go to sleep every night hoping my dreams will make me feel better and I'll wake up anew in the morning. No such luck. It's that sense of another day and what am I going to do. Don't get me wrong - I have a TON to do. It's just actually doing it and enjoying it. I know you're not supposed to really enjoy cleaning and housework, though I think there are some women who do. That's their calling. That's what makes them happy. This does not make me happy. I don't wake up in the morning thinking, "Yeah - I'm going to mop the floors today!" I want to be one of those people who get excited about what the day is going to bring. Pleased with what I'm going to accomplish today. I don't feel that way . . . at all. I don't look forward to what the day will bring and I don't feel that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. I straighten up, feed the kids, do some laundry, maybe vacuum and dust, cook some dinner, and call it a day. I feel no accomplishment here. That's just every day of my life. I know raising children is the most important job - and the hardest - but I don't feel pleased with my work when the day is done. Especially if it's been a bad day behavior-wise. You know those days - the kids are just bad. They don't listen, they don't eat, they don't care about time-out. I dread those days. But then I feel like I dread every day. I have nothing to look forward to - nothing to make me want to get out of bed and get going. Sure I exercise and project declutter is slowly creeping through the house. I'm still not feeling success when I turn out my bedroom light. I suppose I need to change my outlook. Maybe tomorrow . . .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Digression

Another week gone by and there are still remnants of Christmas in my house. Considering I have 80+ nutcrackers that I display, is it really any surprise there are about 10 that still need putting away? I will finish it up today, fingers crossed, and hopefully be done with the holidays for another 10 months or so. Then I could possibly get on to clearing out some stuff. I did get rid of a couple of items this week despite the Christmas clutter. The baby's bouncer chair has been retired. I wasn't even sad to see it go. I put it out on the curb and it was gone within 2 hours. Don't know who took it and don't care. Just glad there's a little less mess in my incredibly shrinking house. What else? I need to get out and purchase another basket for the living room. The baby's toys are splayed all over the living room floor, and it would be so nice to be able to put them in a basket at the end of each day so I'm not tripping on them at night, setting off that damn music that every single toy makes. Why does everything have to make noise. I don't remember every toy I had when I was a kid playing music. We made our own noises as we played. But I digress. A little organization goes a long way. The trick is getting out to shop for the basket. It's impossible to shop with a 3 year old, at least with my 3 year old. I fear digression again. Better change topic altogether.

The exercising is going well. Every day there is a little aerobic routine accomplished, and the hubby and I have scheduled 3 days per week for weight training. So far it seems to be working out fine. I wish I could do more than 15 or 20 minutes of rushed aerobics, but it's just not feasible now. The baby's still little and will only give me so much time. He'll laugh at first when I start to exercise. I suppose seeing mom bouncing around is funny for a while. Then he just wants me to pick him up. When he's napping I try to get other stuff done - like shower and straighten up my bedroom - so I don't have a lot of time then either. It's a juggling act to get almost anything done these days. I know it's temporary and he is growing up fast, but when you're living it 24 hours a day it just doesn't feel that temporary. It feels like I can't move, like I can't get anything done. It feels very frustrating. More digression. Better call it a day and go declutter something.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weights and Clutter

Since my husband again expressed his willingness to whip my flabby post-baby body back into shape, I finally took him up on his offer to work out together. Yikes!! He has this weight-training routine all laid out for me, and he took me through it for the first time yesterday. He's working my whole body - arms, shoulders, chest, back, abs, legs, calves. He's starting me slowly with only 2 sets on each area with light weights, sometimes no weight but for the bar, and it was about an hour long workout. It was too stressful on the body, or the relationship, but I did feel VERY tired last night and my body hurt in a non-specific area as well. I think that's a good thing. I'm not sure how many times each week we're going to do this together, but I hope it does some good. Especially that arm-flapping problem that women of a certain age develop. I'd really like to get rid of that since I can't reverse my age.

Project declutter isn't really going that well. I'm still in Christmas central around here and think I need to work through that stuff before decluttering the rest of this mess. Our basement is Christmas-free so I suppose that can count as yesterday's decluttering event. Today, can't really say I accomplished much of anything. I'm still working on taking down the tree in the living room. I say working on it because I COVER the entire tree with ornaments and it takes quite a while to get them off and put away. I love ornaments and feel the need to purchase at least one new one each year. Makes it a bit difficult for storage purposes but I can't help myself. My mother insists one year the tree is going to fall over from the weight of the ornaments pulling it down. But I digress. Once Christmas is gone from the house, I think it will be a bit easier to clean up and clear out. At least that's my excuse for not accomplishing anything today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Project Overwhelmed?

I'm really at a standstill when it comes to this decluttering situation. My plan is very well thought out and clear . . . in my mind. Take a section of a room and clear it out. Throw out what's not being used, put away what needs to be and clean while there. Problem is I don't know where to start. Yesterday I put away some toys that were laying around the family room for about 2 weeks now. Whoo hoo!! I do that on a daily basis. These just happened to be new toys the boys got for Christmas. When I feel overwhelmed, I tend to shut down and not do anything. I was feeling that way all morning. Where do I start? What should I tackle? Then I took a nap while baby boy #2 was napping and got up feeling rejuvenated. Okay, partly rejuvenated. I saw this corner of my kitchen countertop that always has papers on it. You know that corner, you have one, too. Instruction manuals go there. Missing toy pieces get put there. Mail you're not sure about keeping or throwing away winds up there. I just couldn't stand looking at it anymore. So, I did it. I decluttered. I put things away. I threw things away. I cleaned the countertop. That felt great!! I'm not sure if I should keep going or be pleased with my baby step for the day.

Exercising is going well. Not great, but well. Five days in and I have been doing some for of exercise every day. Aerobics, crunches, calf machine, and even some buns of steel moves. That's right - I'm exercising my buttocks, too. I can't say that I feel better yet. I can say some muscles are a little achy though. My biggest weight-lifting endeavor is carrying around baby boy #2 these days. He's almost 20 lbs. of loving, and he's killing me. My arms hurt like crazy and I think I'm throwing out my back. You know the move - carry the baby on your left hip so you can do things with your right hand. The entire left side of my body should be replaced. That little meatball needs to start crawling soon so I can realign my spine.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Project Declutter

I've decided I can't stand the clutter in my house anymore. Since it is a new year, I feel a wee bit inspired to tackle something else other than my exercise regimen. I am on a mission to declutter my home. This is a HUGE undertaking. We have a lot of . . . clutter. I will go room by room and slowly begin to put things away, throw things away and just make things go away. This is not simple either - I have 2 boys and a husband. The boys come with a lot of stuff and that stuff is usually all over the floor on a daily basis. I'm not too sure how to handle that one other than with one word every mother has come to love - basket. I have baskets all over the house and I think I'm going to have to invest in a few more to tackle this project. They are lifesavers when you have children. Just dump everything in a nice-looking basket, stick it in the corner and voila, organized room. That's a little trick moms love. As for everything else that's taking up precious space in my house, well, I'll cross that blocked bridge when I get to it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Good and The Bad

So far, so good on the exercise front. I'm not doing as much as I would like, but I am getting in about 15-20 minutes of aerobic activity in the morning. The kids really don't allow for much more - this one is waking up from a nap, the other is trying to trip me while I'm doing a little salsa routine. It's just not easy, but I am committed to doing something each day so I do.

I'm in the midst of trying to take down all of the Christmas decorations and am failing miserably. There is not one room in the house that is Christmas-free yet. OK, maybe the master bedroom is, but that's easy because I only had a candle in the window up there. The clean-up is yet another thing on my list of "stuff that makes me feel like crap." What? You don't have one of those lists? You're lucky!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Off To a Good Start

I am pleased with my first day of exercise. I did 15 minutes of aerobic activity and 50 crunches. I thought that was an excellent start. I figure I can get some exercise in while baby boy #2 naps in the morning before I take a shower. Only problem is the 3-year old likes to try to join in on my exercise routine. He kind of gets in the way and throws me off a bit, but at least I'm moving! So I think I've got a schedule started when at some point in the afternoon, dear hubby asks if I would like to start working out with him. Is he reading my blog? Anyway, I don't want to say no so I agree. He's putting me on some weight training schedule. Scary!!! I only managed to do a couple sets of leg presses and some minor work on the calf machine before baby boy #2 started yelping for me. I can't imagine what dear hubby has in store for me. I'm sure I'll be complaining about it in no time.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My 30 Day Exercise Challenge

I've been thinking for the past 3 days about something I can do to challenge myself and give myself a goal to work towards. After seeing the movie Julie & Julie, I understand that goals are something that provide purpose to a somewhat mundane life. Having children puts you on the backburner, and I thought I could really use something to put me on a front burner for a while. I'm NOT going to cook every recipe in a cookbook - that would just be silly since I barely have time to get dinner on the table now. As I was laying in bed last night thinking about this, I realized I don't feel great. Why don't I feel great? I haven't exercised in . . . a long time . . . probably since before I got pregnant with baby boy #2. He's 7 months old. You do the math. So, how about this? For the next 30 days I will do some form of exercise every day. Whether it's a 30-minute aerobic routine, a walk in the mall, or 20 crunches, I will do SOMETHING that constitutes exercise. I will start today and post tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Yes, it's been a while since I posted here. I don't know what happened really. I suppose having 2 boys has been a bit time-consuming. However, inspired by the movie Julie & Julia, which I received as a Christmas gift, I've decided to start blogging again. Without too much detail, I'll just give you an overview of where we are.

Baby boy #2 is now 7 months old and all in all a good boy. He's very pleasant and smiles and laughs quite a bit. Most of the time he sleeps through the night, and I mean from 8pm - 7am. No complaints there. When he does wake up overnight now, it's mostly due to teething. Ugh - teething is terrible. Another little secret most moms forget to tell you. I hear stories of how in the old days, parents/grandparents would put a little whiskey over the gum area where the tooth was coming in. Since I'm opting out of that time-honored soother, I'm dealing with a miserable baby who just wants to be held by mom. And I specifically mean mom. Dad just won't do in these situations and I'm not exactly sure why. It's mom or screaming. Most nights it's mom. Some nights when mom is just too tired, it's screaming.

The 3 year old is adjusting well to life with another one in the house. He's come to realize he's no longer the center of attention, albeit he doesn't care for it much, but he gets it. He's a little wise guy who doesn't really listen and puts up a good fight, but I still love him to death. What can I do, he's mine.

I'm ok, I guess. It's been an adjustment for me. There have been days where I swore I just would NOT be able to make it through with 2 of them in the house and zero time for me. But I somehow muddled through and have come to the conclusion it gets easier. I think it gets easier because I learn how to handle things better. The baby is becoming more independent and can play for a little while by himself (I stress little while) so I can squeeze some things in that I need or want to get done. It's a true juggling act and it's compromise for everyone, even the baby. He needs to realize I have a life too that miraculously does not involve him. Ok, so maybe he doesn't realize that yet, but someday he will. Maybe in about 20 years.