mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the category “kids”

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails

Happy Hump Day!!! Can you believe it is already Wednesday and halfway to the weekend??

Yesterday’s post was a little serious so I thought today I’d lighten it up a little. Sound good? Great!

For those of you who do not know me,  I am a mom to four boys, twins who are 9, a 7yo and my baby who is 5.

Families with 4 children are not the norm anymore so when people find out I have 4 kids AND that they’re all boys, it usually leads to a stunned look and/or a gasp.

Inevitably questions follow so today I thought I’d share and answer some of my favorite questions from the past 9 years  – please note these are in no specific order and I have been asked every single one of them

  • No I am not trying to start my own (insert sport) team
  • Why yes it is always “fun” at my house, you should stop over sometime without calling first
  • OMG yes I know how LUCKY I am to have four boys and not girls. After all, girls are SO much harder to raise than boys and I will be SO happy when they are teenagers
  • Yes, twins run in my family
  • Of course they are all best friends (see #2)
  • No actually they do not ALL play sports but we still love them anyway
  • Yes I know, my food bill will sky-rocket but for now it’s ok since they exist on Elios pizza, Eggo chocolate chip pancakes and chicken nuggets
  • No I am not trying for the girl – you know how old I am right?
  • Yes I am the “queen” of my household  and treated as such (again see #2)
  • Nope, I did not plan on having 4 children, I do not come from a large family and no, before having kids I didn’t really like kids
  • Yes, the blond one is mine and as a matter of fact, his dad DOES have blond hair
  • Yup they are all mine – would I voluntarily take 4 boys out if they were not related to me?
  • Hmmm, it’s hard to say if boys “run in my family” – they do now!
  • No, it’s NEVER quiet
  • Yes, there were (and still are) lots of hand me downs but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to buy something cute and girly
  • I don’t know if I really save a lot on clothes but I do get away with only buying 1 pair of sneakers for them
  • Yes, I know it is very sad that I was never blessed with a girl but I am sure God feels differently (this was said to me in the Carters outlet when the twins were 3 months old)
  • At this point it is hard to imagine any of them taking care of me in my old age but I guess I have a 1 in 4 chance
  • Nope, no drama in my house. I must have dreamed the episode this morning when I was told that I am no fun ever! or when the tears started because I said it was time to take a shower
  • Oh I know I will get to have my own “daughters” when the boys grow up and get married. You know how much women LOVE their mothers-in-law
  • Thank you but I am SOOOOO not managing it or “doing it”, really I am just faking it (wink wink)

Thanks for reading.

1download (2)

This is what at least one of my boys looks like on any given day

Advertisements

My Clone

Earlier today I was texting with Mrs. rambling away, as much as you can ramble in a text without the textee losing interest, about back to school night and how this is my first year having to see 4 classrooms to see in one night.

I am a control freak when it comes to the kids but even I had to admit defeat with getting myself to 4 classrooms in an hour and was forced to enlist the husband to come along tonight.  This is husband’s first back to school night and he has no idea what he is in for.

In years past,  I have tried to describe the classroom packed with parents and grandparents and kids (god forbid we leave some of our extended family home) all vying for a minute alone with the teacher to discuss little Johnny’s snack or Mary’s broken pencil box.

Anyway, Jeter was sympathizing and mentioned parent/teacher conferences before getting back to our discussion on how I was over George Clooney when all of the sudden it hit me

Holy Crap! Parent/ teacher conference sign-ups are tonight! Crap! How the hell am I going to manage FOUR conferences this year???????!!!!!

In years past it was just the twins’ conferences I had to deal with and their teachers worked with me to schedule back-to-back conferences. This year is a whole new ballgame. The teachers are still getting to know me and don’t fully appreciate how witty and lovable I am (wink wink).

I may have texted a UGH or GRRRR to Jeter prompting her to reply that I needed a clone before moving on to another topic.

Later I was drafting an oh-so-important letter for work when my mind started to drift and before long I was dreaming about my clone.

What would she look like? What could she do for me? Would she have my same name something more hip?

While most people would prefer to have their clone look exactly like them, hence the reason for actually having a clone, I have decided that my clone to be a better version of myself.

Please join me in meeting and greeting my clone Nik. I hope you love her as much as I do.

Nik will be 5 inches taller AND 10 pounds thinner making her roughly a size 6 which is PERFECTION. In addition, her weight will always stay the same so she will NEVER EVER be forced to have a latte with skim milk or feel shamed for eating pretzels with the lame sandwich she brought for lunch.

She’ll have curly hair, however, her curls will be the perfect combination of volume and bounce that are never frizzy. Her roots never show and she will not have to worry about plucking random grey hairs in the bathroom at work or before an important event where other moms will be present.

Those permanent dark circles under Nik’s eyes, the “hereditary” ones…adios! And so long adult acne!  Damn, Nik will save a fortune not having to buy concealer.

Nik’s a size 6 so getting dressed is a piece of cake. Heck she can’t wait to get dressed because she will look good in everything she owns.

There will be no sense of panic when trying on shorts from last summer or jeans that haven’t been worn since she went to On the Border and took full advantage of the unlimited chips and salsa even after eating a handful of peanut M&Ms at work earlier in the day.

Her clothes will be classic and of a higher quality of what I normally wear. For example, Nik will not  wear Old Navy boyfriend jeans that don’t cuff quite the same as the Level 99 boyfriend jeans worn by super cool fashion bloggers or the hip moms that live in the next town over.

Nik’s patent leather shoes will not be scuffed and the heels on her pumps won’t be damaged from getting caught in the sidewalk while racing into work.

The minivan will be dent and scratch free because Nik is an expert at parallel parking and can back into a parking space like a pro.

Anytime Nik opens her wallet there will be cash – no more ATM fees – and the chip on her debit card will always work in the new check-out machines at Target.

Nik will be an expert and organization and planning and will never have to worry about missing homework, tests to be signed or field trip permission slips. Her credit card payments will never be late and her teeny, tiny box of a house will always look neat and organized.

She  will have one of those personalities that people are drawn to so she will never have to worry about not being included by a group of women at her kids’ sporting event, PTO meeting or department breakfast at work.  People will not look over her when she is speaking or have their eyes glaze over when she is sharing a weekend anecdote.

Nik will always have something clever to say and will never get that spaced out look on her face when colleagues are discussing topics that are way above her pay grade.

She will be assertive but in a good way so the Child Study Team (regular or “summer”) will not make crap up or talk down to her about a “rule” that didn’t exist until that very meeting.

The boys’ teachers will welcome her emails and thank her for being an involved parent and not respond with tone because she dared to ask what the hell a math fact was and (gasp!) how a third grader can become fluent in math factese.

Nik will always make healthy meals that the boys LOVE and will have the family’s weekly meals planned out on Sunday mornings before getting all 4 boys to church at 10am with a smile.

Nik will have the gift of patience and strength to help her get through those god damn reading logs,  f’d up common core math homework sheets, IEPs, autism challenges, behavior issues and sibling bickering because one brother sat too close to another on the big couch or took the last charger for their iPod.

Lastly, Nik will not yell all the time like when she needs to explain to the 9yo that,  yes a shower is necessary after football practice in the rain or when the 5yo ignores the 10 times his name was called because he is watching a Teen Titans rerun on On Demand.

God I LOVE Nik, don’t you?? I just sent her to Starbucks to grab me a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I hope she brings home a biscotti too.  J

Say Cheese!!

Back in the day when I was a newbie mom,  I always made sure that the boys had professional pictures taken. When the twins were babies, I did the obligatory photos at 3, 6, and 12 months old.

I would spend hours planning the “perfect” outfits making sure everything down to their socks matched. The day of the photos I would give myself a heart attack worrying how the boys would, or more likely would not, behave.

It was always a disaster with someone (usually me) leaving in tears.

The years went on, more kids arrived and soon anytime I had to think about professional pictures was long gone! Besides, I had an iPhone so if there was anything I was NOT lacking in, it was photos of my kids – ask anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram.

Life went on.

Then this past fall I had an idea. The boys are older, they sorta listen and I have no pictures of them all together looking “happy” let’s take them to have pictures taken!!!!!! (no I was not drinking when this idea popped into my head).

I booked the appointment for a Sunday in October and tried to block it out of my head – not a hard thing to do with 4 crazy boys, school, soccer and work. My mom and the husband thought I was totally insane.

Why would you do this to yourself? You know that you will be disappointed when no one listens? Well if you are going to do it…just prepare yourself for the worst.

Those were just a few of the little pick-me-ups that were offered in the days leading up to picture day.

Before I knew it, it was the day before the pictures and I had NOTHING ready. In my mind I assumed it would rain and the pictures would be canceled since we had planned to take them outside at a college campus.

Well what is the saying about assuming???

Yeah, here is was Saturday night and the weather forecast for Sunday was going to be warm and sunny – YIKES!

Off to the mall I went to try to find 4 perfect “look at what I just threw together don’t my sons look amazing like they just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren print-ad” outfits.

Needless to say I struck out at every store I went to. Why can you NEVER find something when you really need it?????

Somehow I was able to buy a white button-down for L and a pair of jeans for J. On the ride home from the mall I crossed my fingers and said a silent prayer that the twins had something decent (and clean) to wear in their closet.

Sunday morning I woke up, saw the sun and listened to the boys downstairs screaming and fighting over nothing. I

Immediately began to panic OMG….am I out of my fn mind taking these kids out in public to have their pictures taken????!!!!!!

I went downstairs to make coffee and the husband was checking his phone. Ya ready for today? he asked with a huge smirk.  Good luck he said laced with sarcasm as the twins started crying because the 3yo was yelling at them and chasing them with a pirate sword.

All morning I prepped bribed and threatened the boys. What? Don’t judge.

Hey, I had a lot riding on this and I didn’t want M crying about his hair or J screaming he wanted to go home to ruin the experience AND I deserved at least 1 nice picture of my boys all together god dammit!

The car ride was good, I played some Kidz Bop cd and kept the kids talking and happy. We pulled up to the college and saw Mr. D waiting for us. I took a deep breath before opening the van doors and letting the monsters out.

Mr. D made the boys line up and handed gave them “the rules” for the day. Everything they listened they would get a blue marble. At the end of the day, each boys could turn in his marbles for a prize bag AND candy!

Never have I seen the boys smile so big for a total stranger as they followed him (walking single file) down the path on campus.

It’s going to be fine, stop worrying he told me as he posed them on the steps of a building.

Here is a small sampling of what the boys said that day (please picture it said in a whiney/annoying voice):

L stop touching me! Mom, L is sitting too close to me! Ewwww J’s leg is touching mine and I don’t like it! Mom..there are people looking at us.  Mommy…can I have a lollipop? NO I WANT A RED LOLLIPOP this is blue!! Hey look over there…it’s a huge pile of leaves!!!!! I don’t want to smile. I am tired, can we go home? Mom, can I play with your phone? Why does J get to play with your phone and I can’t. Why do you hate me? My mouth hurts, I can’t smile anymore. Can I go play in the leaves? Mom? Mom? Mommy?? Can we play in the leaves? Hey J I bet you can’t catch me!!!!!

At the end of the photo shoot, I was completely drained. A few hours trying to get 4 boys to smile, stay clean and look happy will do that to a grown woman.

Mr. D has assured me that we had at least 1 great shot – and that wrangling 4 kids was WAY harder than he had anticipated (lol).

On the car ride home as the boys played with their prize bags – that contained containers of slime that made fart-like noises when they squished it with their fingers – and congratulated myself on surviving.

A couple of days later the proofs arrived in my in-box. I was a nervous wreck opening the attachment. I had no idea how the pictures had come out and if the boys even managed to smile for one.

The minute I saw the pictures my eyes welled up with tears…the pictures were beautiful!! OMG how my babies have grown up.

Mr. D made me a special mosaic picture which I attached below, it’s my favorite! (his work is absolutely AMAZING!).

Thanks for reading 🙂

ps – Thank you Mr. D!!

Me and The Boys

Me and The Boys

The Chickens and the Bees

As some of you know, my twins are in 1st grade. It was a bumpy journey in the beginning, going from 1/2 day kindergarten to full-day, first grade.

Much to the boys’ surprise, they were expected to do school work all day – oh the horror!

Almost daily I hear Mom….do I have to go to school AGAIN?? I just went, WHY do I have to go everyday? It’s the SAME thing everyday…math, math, math!

One of our biggest challenges has been the daily reading requirement. WE are supposed to read together 20 minutes a night and learn roughly 400 sight words.

Piece of cake I thought in September!

I love to read, surely one or both of the twins will also enjoy it. Visions of us browsing Barnes & Noble filled my head. Heck, I even imagined us reading the Harry Potter series together – this would be win-win because we would fulfill the reading requirement AND make a memory.

Sadly, it didn’t take very long for my dream to be squashed by my offspring.  Everynight when I say boys…it’s time to read and I get OH NO AGAIN??!! We just read last night!

This week, through the grace of God, the twins’ advanced to Level 2 books.  This is sort of a Catch-22 for me. On the one hand, I am thrilled that they are progressing and able to read books that do not rhyme every other word.

On the other hand, Level 2 books are longer and it takes FOREVER for them (especially J) to finish.

Did I mention that J reads only 1-word at a time which can cause a tired Mom to maybe fall asleep halfway through “Ruby Bridges goes to School”.

Last night the boys and I arranged ourselves on my bed and I pulled out the book J picked from his blue reading folder.  Tonight we will be reading (drum roll) “The life cycle of a chick”.

WTF? Who the heck wants to read a book about a chick??!!

M looked at the book and immediately asked Can I go wait in my bed for J to finish? (that’s my boy!)

J…did you just pick this off the shelf or did you look at it beforehand? I asked trying to hide my dismay.

No..I looked..can I start now? was his reply.

And so he began to read about hens and roosters, the many breeds of chickens in the world (there are hundreds in case you were curious) and lastly how hens lay eggs that turn into chicks.

Obviously this brought on a discussion about where eggs come from, how come the eggs we eat don’t have chicks in them and do ALL eggs come from chickens or does someone make them?

Somehow I got J back on track and he continued reading about how an egg is fertilized by a rooster and all the different stages of the chick before it is hatched accompanied by pictures.

EWWWWW that is so gross Mom!!! J look at that, yuck I don’t even want to look at that again said M.

M it looks like an alien in this picture look! shouted J.

Finally we got past that chapter and moved on to chicks getting their  yellow “down” and how old they are when they first grow feathers.

Whew…I managed to stay awake, I thought to myself. Ok boys, let’s get ready for bed.

Mommy? I have a question M said before getting up.

M’s question resulted in the following exchange:

Me: Sure, what is it?

M: Well…where do babies come from?

Me: (Jesus Christ is he kidding me??) Ummm in their mommy’s belly, you know that.

M: No I mean, how do they grow in the mom’s belly? How do they fit?

Me: Well they start off small and then grow and grow until they are born.

M: How small?

Me: I don’t know, very small.

M: Small like an ant small?

Me (baffled and thinking back to my ultrasound pictures): Sure, that’s about right.

Now J chimes in still holding the chicken book

Look M….this is how tiny he says pointing to the picture of the fertilized egg in the book.

M: Mommy, I am really confused, I just don’t get how the baby gets in the belly. Does it just appear??

Me (not quite sure I am ready to explain a sperm and egg scenario): Hey, look it’s after 8pm and you guys have school tomorrow. You better hurry up and put your jammies on!

M (uttering to himself): This is really confusing, I hope there is a book out there that will explain this to me.

And that is how I survived my first “the birds and the bees” conversation.

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

Not quite ready for this conversation

Not quite ready for this conversation

How can these babies want to know where babies come from?????!!!

How can these babies want to know where babies come from?????!!!

Thursday Ramblings and Mom Guilt

Hello and Happy Thursday-before-the-big-Labor-Day-2013 weekend.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the upcoming holiday and the unofficial “end of summer.”

On one hand, I am THRILLED the kids will be going back to their “normal” schedules. There is no more washing of beach towels and the sun is setting earlier so I will hear less of MOOOOMMMMM I can’t go to sleep now….the sun is still out! at bedtime.

The flip side is that it is the END of summer.

Overall it was a good summer. Some months were better than others – July kicked ass and August no-so-much – but it wasn’t too bad.

The kids got to go to the beach, pool and Dutch Wonderland. Heck, they even stayed at a real farm back in June even though they don’t really remember. They saw some movies and got to hang out in pjs all day once in a while.

Looking back though, I wonder if I did enough with them. Were they really entertained? Will they look on the summer of 2013 with fond memories or tell me Mom, we never did anything when we were little when they are 20???

Yesterday the twins had their well-visit at the pediatrician and when she asked them if they did anything fun this summer M said No, not really so I guess that answers my question (lol).

I was talking to my work neighbor Sam earlier today about kids and the mom-guilt I have felt lately. I blame this almost entirely on Facebook and the posts and pictures of all my “friends” on vacation with their kids. Nothing is more depressing than seeing all the things that you did NOT do with your kids.

Let me tell you, I have some pretty fortunate friends because their kids went to  Disney World, Bermuda, Jersey Shore and a bunch of other places I can’t remember now but do know I saw pictures and even “liked” a few.

I know…I know….I am not supposed to compare myself to others. Kids need love not stuff. The boys will look back and remember that I loved them.

This may be partly true but I happen to know from experience they will also look back and tell me all the things they didn’t have – like maybe every Lego set in the Lego store at Freehold Mall.

Lately I have thought that I am not the best Mommy out there. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t completely suck and I LOVE those boys to death but I am not THE best by any means.

I have accepted that I’m not one of those fun, crafty moms that always has an activity planned making even the littlest things into some great adventure.

Maybe because there are SO many boys in Casa Chaos, I rely on them to entertain each other. After all, the twins are WAY more fun at playing pirate with L than I could ever be right?

This is not to say I lack all good mom qualities. I am VERY good at hugs and kisses. Kissing boo-boos and finding a “favorite” t-shirt or Lego figure.

I can coördinate pick-up and drop-off schedules, camp drop off and bath time. I know who likes homestyle Eggo waffles and who despises Eggo pancakes.

I know L will eat apples (red or green) cut up or whole but J will not touch a green apple if his life depended on it. And don’t even think about passing off anything other than Pepperidge Farm raisin bread to J.

Parenting is just a big life lesson I guess. Kids do not come with any sort of instruction manual to help parents navigate the roller coaster ride of life. A lot of times you just have to go with your gut and pray you made the right choice.

If you don’t, you can’t beat yourself up too long. Mistakes are part of life too and your kids shouldn’t expect you to be perfect – Lord knows our parents weren’t all the time right??

Last Saturday the boys and I had some extra time on our hands after sneaker shopping. It was around 6pm and the husband was trying to get over an upper respiratory infection.

The thought of taking them home and listening to them kill each other over swords, Legos and the iPad was not appealing.

Then as I drove down Route 130 North an idea popped into my head How about ice cream for dinner??!! At first the kids thought I was insane. Ummm… Mom, you don’t eat ice cream for dinner, M said.

Why not? I replied. Come on, let’s go to Dairy Queen and have any kind of ice cream you want! YAY they all yelled in unison over the KidBop 25 cd.

And eat ice cream we did. Over ice cream and milkshakes we laughed as L attempted to eat a sundae and J ate an ice cream cone sans ice cream (don’t ask). We even managed to get a table with an umbrella.

On the way home we stopped at a park and M learned to pump his legs on the swings and they all posed for a picture on the slide (possible xmas card photo???).

As we walked back to the van, the sun was setting and M ran up and gave me a big hug. Thank you Mommy…thank you for everything today. I loved it all!!

Maybe 2013 was not the absolute BEST summer ever for the kids (they are only 7, 5 and 3.5) but hopefully, they were happy and knew they were loved.

Dinner al la Dairy Queen

Dinner al la Dairy Queen

Mommy and some men

Mommy and some men

IMG_0579

Random Monday Thoughts

Wow can you believe today is July 1st??? Wasn’t it just April Fool’s Day??

The beautiful Garden State has been a bit soggy the past week and today is no exception. As if the 100%+ humidity isn’t enough, what’s a monsoon (or 2) while you walk to your car – or fight with your 3yo and attempt to strap him into his car seat?

And now for some Random Monday Thoughts…

1) Thank Goodness for having a Plan B

Last week I blogged about my twins upcoming 7th birthday here and their obvious discontent for the “surprise” outing to a minor league baseball game. The husband and I did not back down, and had all intentions of dragging taking the twins last Thursday night.

Even when the weatherman (is that un-PC to say?) predicted a tornado watch and flash flooding, we were set to make the trek to Bridgewater, NJ AND have fun.

However, the husband and I did not take into consideration M’s sudden “illness” that struck halfway through dinner at the local diner.

Afer complaining about the air conditioning, and his sandwich and his lack of Skylander Giants, M turned to my husband and started complaining of a stomach ache.

Within minutes M had an ear ache, joint pain and a “fever” and J was asking how many minutes we had to stay at the baseball game.

Assuming M was not hit with a case of malaria, I looked to the husband and said should we just take the kids to c-h-u-c-k-ie c-h-e-e-s-e?

The husband, being the husband, looked at me and said Huh? (spelling is not his strong suit).

No lie, I spelled Chuckie Cheese (I know it’s “Chuck E Cheese” but it was easier my way) 4 times before just saying the damn thing out loud – to which the kids yelled YES!!!!!!!!!

The next 2 hours were a blur of music, yelling, video games, ice cream, tickets and excitement as the twins had (and I quote) the best day, birthday, EVER! Thank you MOM!

I guess there is something to be said for a Plan B.

Happy Birthday Boys!!

Happy Birthday Boys!!

2) My Buddha Baby

As most of you know, my now 5yo was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in January 2011. Previously, I have talked about some of the challenges, and successes, we, rather J, has experienced since his diagnosis.

J has come a LONG way since 2011 and I am beyond proud of him and how hard he works. However, having a child with ASD is like riding a roller coaster – there are ups and downs and just as you get used to one thing BAM! you are hit with a new “thing”.

For example, J will be attending Extended School Year (ESY for those of you who are “cool” with the school district lingo) beginning in the middle of July.

ESY is a 5-week school session designed to prevent kids with disabilities from regressing over the summer break. While I am thrilled that J can attend ESY, the draw back is that school was over on 6/24 leaving me (and J) with over 2 weeks of no structure – the kryptonite of ASD kids.

Routine is to ASD as peanut butter is to jelly or ying is to yang. Just mention “change of routine” to an ASD parent and watch them physically cringe at the thought!

I did some brainstorming in the spring and came up with an idea for J. His 3yo brother attends a daycare (a/k/a country club like facility) near my work and maybe they would take J for 2 weeks in July and 2 in August????

I begged talked with the owner and the school was able to find a spot for J. Now for the hard part, preparing him to go to a new school, new kids and completely new routine.

Terrified I talked to his teachers, aides and therapists for weeks. These women are true saints. They not only listened to me, consoled me and offered me advise, Miss Lyn even called the daycare in advance to talk to the teacher J would be getting.

Over and over (and over and over) they told me Nicole it will be fine…this is good for J….don’t underestimate J.

None of it mattered, my stomach was in knots and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. For the past week I dreaded the thought of today’s drop-off.

Would he cry? Scream? Run or freak out? Worse, would he do that new, weird head-hitting thing of his???

Last week J and I took the twins to camp. J was SO excited for them and kept telling me he wanted to go to camp too. It was like a lightbulb went off over my head. That’s it!! I’ll tell J he is going to camp next week with L!!!!!!

All weekend I planted the “camp” seed with J. Even the twins went along with me and told J how much fun camp is and all the great stuff he would do. Yesterday I even got him a new lunchbox to bring with him and he was thrilled.

I slept terrible last night, I was so nervous about drop off today. At 4am I just stared at the ceiling and wished it was September.However, I put on a brave face and made sure to greet J with a huge smile this morning.

Are you ready for camp today???? It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN!! I said even though on the inside all I  wanted to was cry.

The ride to “camp” seemed like it took forever (it’s down the road from where I work). When we pulled into the parking lot my stomach ached and a feeling of dread came over me. I put a big smile on my face and said You ready for camp J?! To which he said YES!

All my worry was for nothing. God bless that boy! He walked into that school with the biggest smile on his face and said hello to everyone. He walked into Miss Danielle’s classroom and looked like he was right at home.

J was all excited when he was asked  to choose puzzles or blocks to play with and gave me a kiss goodbye before he went and sat with the kids.

I walked to my car speechless.

A little while later I emailed someone at daycare to see how J was doing. This was the exact response I got “The sweetest little happiest boy, the best in the class!”

I don’t know what the rest of the summer will bring but there was a lesson learned today – Never underestimate J.

1st day of "camp"

1st day of “camp”

Random Monday Thoughts

Hello friends out there in the great blogosphere!! Have you missed me???

Let me first begin by apologizing for my rather long hiatus. I thought I would be gone just a couple days but days turned into weeks and before I knew it, I was smack in the middle of June!

Of course I could just tell you that life at Casa Chaos got in the way of my blogging.

There were end of school year parties, a family “vacation” to Amish country and the conclusion of the 2013 t-ball season. Combine that with some family drama, health scares, strep throat, daycare, Donuts for Dad (with a special guest appearance by Mommy) and job stress (my newly redone resume looks amazing btw) and that would be just a taste of life at Casa Chaos.

The more I thought about it, however, I decided Screw that!! I will not play the “pity/martyr card”  with you my fabulous readers. No, I will be honest with you and tell you the real reason I have been MIA.  Deep breath…and the reason I have been MIA for so long is because…..

I have been on a holiday with my one true love, my soul mate George (Clooney of course). We have been traveling the Italian coast and it was just breathtaking (Seinfeld reference anyone???).

Lounging  on his boat by day and eating and drinking (LOTS of vino) by night. It was hard work. It is not easy being wined and dined by a handsome movie star. However, the relaxation, romance, and blogging material alone, was well worth the trip.

And not without further adieu I bring you my Random Monday Thoughts….

1) What’s in a name?

Apparently NOTHING if you are Kim Kardashian and her Baby Daddy Kayne West who named their new baby daughter North. Yes, if you hadn’t heard (if say perhaps you were in a coma or living on the moon) their baby’s name is NORTH WEST.

Seriously??

These are 2 grown adults, both in their 30s, and they named their child a direction on a map? For months all I read about was how Kim and Kayne wanted nothing more than to have children. A baby girl was all they ever wanted because as Kim said (I am totally paraphrasing) “What is better than a baby girl?”

So you know you are having a girl (for at least 4 months right?) and this was THE absolute best name 2 well-rounded, well-traveled, ADULTS could come up with – North – Nori for short????!!!

I think it is a safe bet, that in the weeks, months and years that Kimye and North are in our lives, we will forever hear the meaning and reasoning behind their baby’s “unique” moniker. Who knows, maybe we will grow to love it too (not).

Let me just say this, when I was growing up “Nicole” was not a common name. Jennifer, Lisa, Mary and Susan were THE names of the times.

Never did the chick on Romper Room “see” my name in her Magic Mirror and I had a better chance of winning the lottery than finding the name “Nicole” on a cup, key chain or necklace at the mall.  Good luck North!!

2) Mimosas ROCK

Saturday I was VERY lucky (thank you Mom, Aunt and the husband – it takes a village to have 4 kids) to be able to meet 2 of my dearest friends for brunch. I have written about R & H before and how we have known each other since 1986 and been there for almost all of each others’ “firsts.”

No matter how long the span of time in between visits, we can almost always pick right up where we left off and this past Saturday was no exception. As soon as we sat  (and H ran across the street to get some chilled champagne) I knew we would have a good time.

In between catching up on our families, talking about work, pop culture and Candy Crush, R&H were also able to give me a bit of slack about my sudden blogging hiatus (I didn’t tell them about George, I didn’t want them to be jealous).

Thank you R&H. Thank you for being a part of my life, loving me despite my flaws, and “getting” my sarcasm. Most of all, I would like to thank you in advance for NOT making fun of me, or giving me a bad “grade” when it is my turn to plan brunch.

Next stop for us Mall Day!!

3) Milestones galore

When you have 3 kids with June birthdays (well 2 are twins so do they count as 1 or 2???) , it’s a busy month.  Throw in a kindergarten AND a pre-k graduation (a week apart) and you have mayhem!!

First J, my blond-haired, blue-eyed Buddha Baby turned FIVE!! Wtf, I remember J’s birth more clearly than any of the others, how the heck can he be  5?????!!!!!

J had a great day with a paper crown, party at school, dinner at Red Robin and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing. Top that with a brand, spanking new bike and you got yourself a kick ass 5th birthday.

Next came the twins Kindergarten graduation. OMG my babies, the boys who at the age of 3 hid behind the door for 2 hours every Wednesday at YMCA art class were done with kindergarten.

As I sat next to my mom and watched M sing and J stand there frozen, I could not help myself from reliving their lives in my head.

When they were born, I remember crying, begging actually, the nurse to not release me. How can you let me take care of not 1 but 2 babies??? I have no idea what I am doing??? I sobbed.

While I have no been the best parent these past 7 years, I guess I have not been the worst either because the twins made it to 7 (well next week) and completed kindergarten – yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Class of 2025

Class of 2025

M asked me the other day when he will be a man. HA!! Little does he know that he will ALWAYS be my baby.

Lastly, we had J’s pre-k graduation this past Friday. Never have you seen a graduate more excited than J. Look here he is marching in with a grin from ear to ear.

The Graduate

The Graduate

J deserved every bit of that excitement too. He has worked harder than anyone I know to battle his ASD and come so far in such a short time. I am proud to be his Mommy. Congratulations J!! I can’t wait to see what else you will accomplish in the years to come.

Congratulations J!!!!

Congratulations J!!!!

Thanks for reading, have a great week!
ps – H I dedicate this post to you, xoxox

My pseudo long, lost daughter

This past Tuesday I was given the honor of chaperoning the annual PLD Kindergarten Class Trip 2013. Please…hold your applause (for now at least). It really wasn’t that big a deal. Pretty much everyone asked to  chaperone picked but still, for me it’s the little things in life (LOL).

So at 8:50am me and some hot mama chaperones (Mrs. Mayor and Hot T-ball Mom) boarded the big, yellow school bus for our destination Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Pt. Pleasant, NJ (Yay Jersey Shore!!).

Oh, I jumped ahead of myself, before boarding the bus, we were each assigned a list of “monkeys” (the kids we would be chaperoning). Mrs. Mayor and HTM were each given 4 kids while I hit the jack pot with just my kid J (the quiet twin) and his friend L.

YES!! Only 2 kids how great is that??!!  I thought. You see, I was just a tad bit nervous about this whole chaperone thing….because….well….I am not really good with kids.

Yes, I know, I have 4 but they are mine. I carried them for 9 months and gained 80lb, 50lb and 50lb respectively. They belong to me and I am obligated to love and care for them – JUST KIDDING – I love my kids but they are MINE.

And being mine they “get me” and know what they can/can not get away with. My boys know all my “looks” and that when I call their name using a certain tone that they are in BIG TROUBLE.

I shared my concerns about chaperoning with the husband and he said not to worry and  stay close to HTM (she’s a teacher in real life) and everything would be fine.

Finally the 2 school buses were loaded with 73 kindergarten kids and off we went.

Have you even been on a school bus with 40-something 5-6 year olds on a class trip??? If you have not been lucky enough to experience it, I really don’t know how to accurately describe the noise level.

I guess it was equivalent to when Mrs. Jeter and I had floor seats to Bon Jovi back in 2001 and could barely hear ourselves for the 2 plus hours we were there.

Holy crap can those kids yell!!! OMG it never stopped. Between that, the annoying dad chaperone who thought it was “fun” to do knock-knock jokes the ENTIRE ride and L and S who could not stop hitting/kicking/touching it was a long ride and this mama was missing her coffee.

Finally we arrived at the aquarium and the teacher Mrs. P told us we had to break up into groups of 17 (wtf??). I had just started gathering my stuff to get off the bus when I heard Mrs. P call my name. Uh oh…

Mrs. L?? One of our mommies did NOT show up to chaperone so I am giving you 2 kids from the am class in addition to the 2 you have. That’s ok right? Oh, by the way, they are 2 girls – Sam and Karis.

WHAT????!!!

Mrs. Mayor and HTM laughed (a lot) as we tried to get our 17 kids to stand in a line. It was like herding cats getting these kids to not only stand but form a line. Here are some highlights:

L stand on the white line, no the white line in front of you…it’s right there. No, S you can not sit on the ground, you need to stand up, stop crab-walking. J get back in line, no the white line. S stop touching L. Boys and girls can we all stand in a straight line??? Please??? and finally Hey! whoever does not stand on the white line has to go back on the bus!

Mrs. P then told us that we had some time to kill and that we could either take our groups on the beach or walk the board walk. We unanimously picked beach.

O-M-G was I really on the beach???? Us moms were trying to take it all in. The beach, the salt air and the sun while also looking around for any visible damage leftover from Hurricane Sandy.

Just as I was trying to take a picture of myself with the ocean in the background (to post on FB of course) Mrs. P walked Sam and Karis over to me. Girls, this is Mrs. L you make sure you stay with her today ok? Yes they chanted in unison.

When I looked down at them to say hi, I was drawn to Karis. She was THE cutest little thing!! Long, brown hair with the sides pinned up wearing cute pants. Her smile was huge and she had big brown eyes and was always smiling. You could just tell she was a sweet girl and would be a pleasure to chaperone – unlike L who was throwing sand.

I was commenting to Mrs. Mayor how cute she was when Mrs. Mayor said ha, she could be like the daughter you never had.

OMG that was it….Karis was the epitome of what I always thought my little Ava/Hanna/Grace/Abby/Bryn would look like and grow up to be. I was smitten ❤

Throughout the field trip I watched all my “kids” but always kept my eye on J (because he was mine) and Karis (because she was supposed to be mine). I watched her interact with the other kids, touch the starfish and squeal with delight when Lucy the Seal came out to say “Hi.”

During lunch I had to help her open her water and she was telling me all about her new little brother and her little sister and how her aunts and cousins and grandparents are staying with her in her house – but they don’t live there all the time. SOOOOO freakin’ cute.

It was such a change from the Lego, Ninjago, poop and Skylander talk me and my men have.  I love my boys and would never trade them n in but I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to have had just 1 girl.

Someone to dress up in pink and take for manicures and to the mall. Someone who would never “leave” me the way all boys eventually do when they get married and start their own lives.

I am often asked if I will ever “try for the girl” and my answer is NO! that shop is closed tight!! God has a plan for me and it did not involve girls – although I did give it my all (lol).

73 kids waiting patiently in line

73 kids waiting patiently in line

My Quiet Twin

My Quiet Twin

Summer is almost here!

Summer is almost here!

I am THE MEANEST mommy ever

This has been a crazy week at Casa Chaos with me going back to work and the kids settling into another new routine. I thought we were all adapting and told myself by next week it should be good – well as good as it can ever be with 4 young boys.

I will admit that I may not always be the most patient mother, especially in the mornings before (and during) coffee, but my children (2 in particular) could really test the patience of a saint at times.

Whenever I tell someone  I have 4 boys, within seconds this response follows

“4 boys really?? You going to try for the girl?? oh….well… you are lucky boys are SO much easier than girls.”

I laugh and change the subject thinking about how nuts my house is 24/7.

Lately my “older” twin M has been a little moody. Not sure if it is the terrible 6s, a mid-life crisis or maybe his room isn’t zen enough. Ever since the womb, M has been either hot or cold.  There is no in between with him.

One minute he will tell me he loves me SOOO much and the next he’ll tell us he wants to live alone.

I remember the first time M yelled I hate you!!! It was like a kick to the stomach.

How could my M, my little Bugman, say such a thing to me HIS OWN MOTHER???!!!! I carried him AND his brother for 37 1/2 weeks and gained 80 pounds! I have done everything for him and he has the nerve to hate me?????

I remember telling Mrs. Jeter and she laughed and said her son tells her that all the time. Other friends told me the same thing and after a while I got over the hurt.

Now M says it to me almost daily so the words don’t sting or even phase me – mostly. Once in a while it gets to me and instead of ignoring it,  I  tell him to go find a new mommy. I have even offered to help him pick one out from the
“New Mommy Catalog.”

A week or so ago, M and I were arguing over something “important” (probably chicken nuggets or juice) when he got really upset and yelled YOU ARE THE MEANEST MOMMY EVER!!!!

Gasp – say what????!!

I can’t remember what set M off that day but I gave him some time to cool off. I didn’t bother him or try to talk to him until he had calmed down. A little while later he came over, sniffling and wiping tears, and told me he was sorry and he loved me and I was the best mommy.

So sweet right??

Well since then M has told me at least 5 or so more times that I am a “mean mommy” so I thought I would make a list of all the mean things I do and share it with my friends in blogosphere.

In no particular order, here are M’s reasons why I am THE meanest Mommy ever:

1) I always make him take a shower/bath when he is playing Legos

2) All I ever make is chicken and chicken is dumb

3) He is never allowed to have soda and Mommy and Daddy drink it and it’s just NOT FAIR

4) I refused to buy him the $400 Death Star Lego and some other random $50 Star Wars ship at a recent trip to Target

5) How dare I pick him up from after care and not bring snacks with me

6) When M is in time out, I don’t  allow him to have a cookie or watch tv

7) I always make him get dressed for school when he is watching tvf

8) We never have any good snacks, he is sick and tired of Cheez Its, Goldfish, cookies and crackers they are SO BORING

9) M wants to live alone because our house is too loud and messy

10) OMG how could I not have jean shorts for him to wear to school today???!

This list is just from the past week or so, and as you can see, I am THE meanest mom alive! Poor M, he has no idea what he is in for in the years to come (lol).

Enjoy your Thursday!!

ps – This list is just from the past 2 weeks, I am sure I will update it soon 🙂

Happy Monday

Hey there it’s Monday and it’s actually sunny here in the beautiful Garden State.

I had to look at the calendar twice to make sure it is really the last week in February – where did that month go???

My weekend was good, not too busy which is always a plus. The husband was off Friday, Saturday and Sunday (a rarity) and we were able to squeeze in breakfast at the diner sans kids one day. The twins had basketball on Saturday (God when is this season over?) and J has a bday party that afternoon. The party was a little traumatic for us since M, who is in a different K class, was not invited to this particular bday party.

After some tears, a tantrum, more tears and a hug, I was able to satisfy M with an alone trip to Barnes and Noble just him and me. We browsed the kid’s section for just the right book and even bought J a book about Ninjago. Our “date” ended with a sugar cookie at Starbucks before heading out to pick up the little kids at Wawa’s house.

Later that night as I tucked M into bed, he gave me a hug and thanked me for taking him to the book store. I hugged him tight and thought to myself how lucky I am to have my little Bugman and that maybe I don’t suck at this whole motherhood thing as much as I think I do.

Before I left his room I asked M if he had a good day, assuming he would say YES Mommy, the BEST ever!

Instead M took a minute to think and then replied ummmm…I guess so but I KNOW J had more fun than I did good night.

And there you have it. Have a good week.My Bugman

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: