mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the category “motherhood”

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

Epic Mom Fail

My work sponsored a bus trip to the Philadelphia Zoo this past weekend for “Boo at the Zoo”. This is an annual event where kids can dress up in their Halloween costumes and trick or treat at various points in the zoo. There are some Halloween displays but mostly it is an excuse for kids to dress up and get multiple sugar highs throughout the day.

I knew Boo would be crowded but I had not anticipated the zoo feeling like Walmart on Black Friday. The insanity was made worse by the strollers AND wagons that accompanied pretty much EVERYONE at the zoo. At one point, after being assaulted by a Joovy sit and stand, the husband turned to me and said where we THIS BAD when we had a stroller?

After walking around for over 4 hours in 45 degree weather (technically it was probably 53 degrees out but it was cloudy and damp) it was finally time for us to all head back to the bus. The husband and I herded the boys and started the trek back to the entrance – only after stopping to see the polar bear for the 3rd time to see if he was finally awake.

It had now started to rain and this mom was D-O-N-E.

The kids stopped throwing leaves at each other long enough to board the bus. The end was near!! We were leaving the zoo!

Everyone found their seats when suddenly I was bombarded with Mom I have to go to the bathroom. Mom, can I get a snack? Mom, I’m hungry! Can I have a snack?

Ugh. I took my seat next to Lucas who was holding a bottle of water. Mommy? I’m thirsty can I have this? Sure, have at it. I said while trying to find my seat belt.

Then, as if in slow motion, I watched the water bottle hit the floor and water spilled all over  like a river.

NO!!!!

Quickly, I asked someone if there were paper towels on the bus. They said no and handed me an unopened roll of 1-ply toilet paper.

There I was on my hands and knees trying to sop up the water (did I mention it was 1-ply?), darting in and out of rows anytime another passenger got on the bus.

Before long the mess was cleaned up and again I tried to sit down when I heard Mommy I have to go to the bathroom NOW.

Seriously?

The husband was sitting in the row behind me and I ask him to take Lucas to the bathroom at the back of the bus. What? Take him now? No way, he can wait until the bus starts moving.

Judging by the look on Lucas’ face I knew this was not an option so I grab his hand and nudged him toward the back of the bus. People were still boarding and others were getting drinks and snacks so this was no easy task.

As I stood wedged in the row with the soda cooler waitinf for a family of 5 to pass, one of the twins spotted me and asked Mom? Can I have a soda? 

I don’t care, do whatever you want. I responded just as someone turned to me with a look and said Are you alright?

Oh good, that wasn’t too embarrassing, now work people will think I am insane.

Me and Lucas make it to the bathroom and are crammed in there, me kneeling on the floor, when I remember he is wearing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume under his coat. Yikes! This means I’ll have to pull the whole thing down so he can pee.

O-M-G. Am I on Candid Camera?

After what feels like an hour, but in reality was only 10 minutes, the bus pulls away. The kids are settled, the husband is sleeping and I am left to sit and reflect on what a horrible mother I am.

This was supposed to be a fun trip to the zoo.  All week I had visions of the boys laughing and frolicking in the zoo. Smiling and getting along with each other while they trick or treated and excitedly pointed to the animals.

A beautiful family day filled with memories and photos that someday the boys would tell their kids about.

Grandma was SO FREAKING AWESOME, she took us to Boo at the Zoo back in 2015 and it was A-MAZING! She was the best mom and we were SO lucky!

Instead it was crowded and cold and I was grumpy. I spent the majority of the day counting heads to make I didn’t lose anyone while yelling at the younger 2 to stop fighting and hitting each other.

I wasted $40 on crap food because the zoo ran out of pretzels (yes, it really happened) and I didn’t let anyone ride the swan boats or pony rides (see above regarding $40 on crap food) and we never made it back to the play area like I promised Jake (secretly I am ok with this because it’s impossible to keep track of 4 boys in an obstacle course you climb with nets and a covered slide).

Crabby mom yelled and told them to stop when they threw rocks in the duck pond (they were encouraged to do this by 2 weird kids dressed up as Thor) and got annoyed when Jake kept lagging behind because he was obsessed with reading the map.

All night I replayed my epic failures and bathed myself in mommy guilt.

Is there something wrong with me?

Maybe I just need to accept that I will never be the “fun mom”. The happy-go-lucky-all-the-kids-want-to-hang-out-with-me-mom. The mom who always comes up with fun, Pinterest-worthy activities to do on rainy days or to celebrate some obscure holiday.

The mom who takes her kids to a water park or Great Adventure AND goes on all the rides (the exception being the lazy river). The mom who dresses up in a really spooky costume on Halloween (not  cat ears with whiskers drawn on with eyeliner).

No matter how hard I try, I will never be the mom who knows the most current songs on the radio or that brightly colored crew socks ARE back in style for boys.

Sigh…

I started this blog this morning and never got a chance to finish it. A little while ago, a friend told me about a young mom of 2 small kids who died last week and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The uncertainty of it all. How short life really is and how you really do need to live in the moment and enjoy the little things like Boo at the Zoo and Jake’s map obsession.

I could sit here for hours writing about my many mom faults, but why? How will that help me be a better mom?

In the end I guess all of us moms are the same. Living each day, doing our best to raise kids who are healthy, happy, and kind to others.

Some days will be really good and others not so much – like when you spend 2 hours doing 3rd grade common core math problems after dinner.

Hopefully we succeed and years from now we’ll be lucky enough to look back and laugh about all the things we thought were SO important.

Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading.

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?????!!!

Snow Painting

The weather in Central New Jersey the past couple of weeks has made me think about packing up and running away to a warmer climate.  I am a much happier person when it is in the high 70s with little to no humidity.

2014 has brought us snow and frigid temps (sometimes dipping below zero) all the result of some “polar vortex”.

Combine that with the dreariness of January and 4 housebound kids and I for one will be cheering on Punxsutawney Phil come February 2nd.

Last Saturday the boys and I were trapped at home (the battery died in the mini-van) and the “natives were getting restless”. Everyone was sick of each other, “bored” with their new toys from Santa and DID NOT WANT TO WATCH TV.

With 5 more hours until bedtime and a war brewing over a game of Candyland I knew what I had to do.

It was time for…..SNOW.

Hey…do you guys want to go play outside in the snow? I asked with mock enthusiasm.

What snow…you mean the real snow? said the 4yo.

Yes the real snow outside…won’t it be fun??

I guess…can you give me a couple of minutes? one of the twins asked I really want to finish my game.

I HATE the snow.

Yes, it looks pretty when it is freshly fallen (not when it is piled up and black on the side of the road) and nothing is cuter than a newly built snowman.

However, it is also cold and wet AND I have to dress FOUR boys in snow clothes before we can even make our way down the stairs to find boots and gloves.

Dressing 4 kids to go play in the snow is probably the equivalent to getting a tooth pulled sans Novocaine.

First I have to gather them in one room. Next comes adding layers of warm clothing amid the complaints of I don’t wanna wear this sweatshirt, it’s too small. Can’t we just go outside already, I don’t want to wait for (insert brother’s name)! MOM…where are my snowpants?

After what seemed like an eternity, me and my crew began to head downstairs for boots and gloves.

Damn Lands End for only having black boots on sale last season! All 8 boots look exactly the same size!!!

Finally we’re ready! I line the kids up and tell them to wait on the porch. I turned around and saw J sitting on the step. Our conversation went like this:

Me: What’s the matter? 
J: I don’t know.
Me (beginning to sweat from the layers) Ummmm..well something must be wrong if you are sitting here and not outside with your brothers. Do you feel ok?
J: I guess so.
Me (void of all patience): Then what is the matter??!
J: These mittens don’t fit.
Me: What do you mean they don’t fit? M is wearing the same ones. Let me see! 

J holds his hand up and there is this HUGE mitten hanging off. Oh crap! They are too big I think as I dump out the baskets filled with miscellaneous mittens and gloves. Crap!! There are no more matching pairs AND no more waterproof ones. I HATE SNOW!!

Ok J, we are going to have to improvise I tell him and hand him mis-matched mittens. Here, put this on first.

J takes the mitten and just stares at it like it was something he has never seen before.

J…PUT THE MITTEN ON YOUR BROTHERS ARE WAITING!!!

J is fumbling with the mitten now not sure how to put it on.

OMG, what is wrong, how can he not put on a mitten??!!!  I think to myself.

He is 7 AND there are only 2 holes to put your hand in! I hate snow, I hate winter and I hate my life!!

After grabbing J’s hands and shoving the mittens on we make our way out into the snow and I carefully get my phone ready for pictures – need to create everlasting memories after all!

After “accidentally” opening Facebook (to see all the FUN stuff all my “friends” were doing with their kids, therefore, making me look like Bad Mommy of the Year) I hear MOOOMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!

Oh crap…that sounds like L.

I look over and there is L sitting waist-deep in the snow yelling and crying.

What’s the matter???!

My hands are all wet and I have snow on me! he wails.

Seriously??

I am not sure how much time has passed but I do know that I have run back into the house probably 20 times for water, tissues, new mittens, a shovel, a Lego man and carrots.

On one of these trips I remembered something a co-worker had told me about “painting the snow” and frantically start searching the kitchen for a spray bottle and the food coloring I bought for L’s bday cupcakes.

The kids will be SO happy when they see this, I think as I fill the bottle. OMG I am like one of those Pinterest Moms I make fun of and secretly want to be!!

The first kid I see is M.

M..look what I got we can PAINT THE SNOW! Look how cool it is I say as I start spraying the snow blue.

M looks up from building his snow man, looks at me and the blue snow and says Why would we want to make the snow blue?

Welcome to my life!

Luckily the others loved the “paint” and before long I got daring and mixed food coloring to make new colors. I even promised to buy more spray bottles so we could make rainbows next time it snowed (this also guaranteed that it will NOT snow anymore in 2014).

A few days later I was suffering from some serious Mommy Guilt. I sat on my bed browsing Netflix hoping that one day I would finally get the hang of this whole mom-thing.

I glanced at my phone (which is attached to me at all times) and noticed a new email from J’s teacher. Oh no.

Mrs. B. was telling me how great J was doing in class, how proud she was AND how he told the whole class about how much fun he had painting the snow!!

I sat stunned on the bed. Had I really done it? Did I actually create a happy memory???!!!!

Maybe the kids won’t hate me after all!

green "paint"

green “paint”

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

Crash & Burn

Mommy and the Soon-to-be Unhappy Birthday Boys

Mommy and the Soon-to-be Unhappy Birthday Boys

Tomorrow (Thursday if I don’t post this today) is the twins’ 7th birthday.

Surprisingly, I am not too overly emotional about this birthday of theirs. I guess J turning 5 and the recent graduations drained me of emotion (lol).

Regardless, I still remember the day they were born like it was yesterday. The excitement, nerves, fear, panic, joy, happiness and nauseousness (thank you magnesium sulfate drip) will forever be ingrained in my memory.

Even now I can still hear the doctors say Baby A is a BOY….Baby B is a BOY and me thinking ummm, NO Baby B is supposed  to be a girl, what am I going to do with TWO BOYS??!!

OMG this will be SO fun! The boys will love this, I can’t wait to tell them all about it. No, better yet, I will keep it a secret!! I told myself as I hit “purchase” online.

Go me…go me…I am the best mom ever!

Fast forward to last night around 8:15pm. M&J are tired and annoyed that I made them take a bath – BAD MOMMY making them take a bath after being at camp all day in 90+ degree weather.

In between whining, M asked me how many more days until his birthday. This is it, I thought. I will tell them now about the baseball game. God, they are going to love me….

Me: M&J? M? J? M&J!

M&J: What, what do you want Mommy?

Me: So guess what? I have a surprise for your birthday on Thursday. Do you wanna know what it is??

M: Is it the Jabba the Hut Lego set I saw in Target with Terri? Is it? Mommy…if I don’t get that for my birthday it will be the worst birthday ever!

Me: (looking completely dumbstruck) What are you talking about…what Jabba Lego? No, I don’t know if anyone got you that. Do you want to know where me and Daddy are going to take you Thursday after camp?

J: OK, what?

Me:  (very excited) WE GOT TICKETS TO TAKE YOU TO A BASEBALL GAME AT NIGHT!! AREN”T YOU EXCITED?? WON”T IT BE FUN?????!!!!

M&J: (looking at me with complete and total blank stares)

Me: J…J….J! Aren’t you excited?

J: Huh? What? What kind of baseball game? Is it outside?

Me: What? of course it’s outside.

J: I don’t know.

Me: Ok…M? What do you think? Won’t the game be fun?

M: Are L&J coming with us?

Me: NO, they are staying with Terri. Just you and J and me and Daddy!

M: I don’t know Mom, can I think about it at camp and let you know?

Me: What did you just say?? You don’t want to go to a baseball game??! Why?

M: Moooommmmmm, I said I don’t know. I have to think about it! Besides, you said it was a surprise and how can it be a surprise if you told us before our birthday.

Me: (with tone) Fine…be that way. Me and Daddy will just go alone (how this was a threat is beyond me since I don’t even like baseball)

M: Mom? Mommy? Don’t be mad…I’m sorry I just don’t want to go but it is MY birthday. Can’t we go out to dinner and get fried shrimp?

Me: What? We were at a seafood restaurant Sunday and you said you didn’t want shrimp. Now you tell me you would rather go eat shrimp than go to a baseball game??!!

M: Yes….are you mad? Don’t be mad mom, it’s not your fault I don’t want to go. Hey, I don’t want to wear that shirt to camp tomorrow, can I pick out another one?

And that was it. The BIG surprise I had planned was a complete and utter disaster and I was crushed.

It wasn’t the money, I could care less about that (besides, it was only $30). It’s that I thought the boys would be SO excited and they almost looked sick when I told them. How could I have gotten it so wrong?

Weren’t these the same kids I carried for 38 weeks?

As of now, the husband and I both plan on taking the kids to the game tomorrow night. I even called the stadium to see if the announcer would announce their birthday over the loudspeakers at the game.

I thought we could take them to dinner first before the game. Then maybe, just maybe,  they will have fun. I guess this won’t be their best birthday ever, but hopefully it won’t land them in therapy either (lol).

Wish me luck!! I will keep you posted on the outcome.

Thanks for reading.

My Summertime Woes

School is officially over for all the kids – except L who goes to “school” (a/k/a daycare) all year. I have read on Facebook, the past couple weeks, posts and comments from friends who are happy summer is here.

Some of these friends are teachers so that’s understandable – 2 months off. However, for those who are parents, especially working parents, how can they be THAT that happy?

Summer stresses me out completely with the kids. School is my rock, my 9 month, 180-day guaranteed place for the kids  M-F, 9-3.

Sure there are breaks, in-service days, holidays and snow days but for the most part, school is a constant. I don’t have to worry about who is going to watch the twins while I am at work. I don’t have to come up with activities to keep them occupied once the tv, Ipod Touch, Legos, toys, dvds, etc. become boring after an hour.

When school is in session, I also don’t have to use up all my vacation/sick time because camp is over and there are still three weeks until school starts back up.

I guess my complaining is moot, after all, there will always be a summer break. Don’t get me wrong, I like summer – longer days (except when trying to get the kids to bed while the sun is still out), beach trips and afternoons at the pool.

Summer break just stresses me out a little and, more importantly,  makes me have to adapt to yet another morning/evening routine with the kids. Seriously, you have no idea how much time is added to mornings when you have to apply sunscreen to 4 squirming boys (lol!).

That being said, I guess I need to focus more on the positive and appreciate that the boys are still kids, kids who get excited to play in the sprinkler at camp and will still let me apply the sunscreen.

I’ll leave you with this. When the twins and I pulled into camp this morning, M was commenting to me about the awesome playground (I must admit, the playground at this school is 110x better than the one at the twins’ school – in the same town). Our conversation went something like this:

M: Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy?? Do you see the playground? You see it?

Me: Yeah, that’s a pretty cool playground. Did you guys go outside yesterday?

M&J (in unison): YEESSSS

Me: Did you have fun?

M: Yes. Mom, mommy, mom…do you see that circle thing over there? (pointing out the window in the 3rd row of the van as I am driving).

Me: What? That thing? Yeah I see it. That looks cool (hoping I am looking at the right piece of equipment)

M: Yeah..it’s the boys’ secret playhouse. No girls allowed. We sit underneath and pretend it is our spaceship and we have lockers for our space suits.

Me: Do you? Wow!! No girls allowed at all? Not even 1?

M: No, no girls!

Ahhhh to be almost 7 years old again!

Happy Tuesday everyone, thanks for reading.

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 🙂

I quit

Yes friends out there in the great blogosphere, I am quitting. What you may ask? Have you finally found a new career, one that will take me away from the tidias daily grind of being a paralegal extraordinaire??

Sadly no – though I am open to suggestions (keep it clean though, this is a family friendly blog lol).

I think it’s time that I quit my other full-time job. The job that has me working 24/7, no overtime or holiday pay and did I mention NO SALARY!

Give up?

Why it’s mommyhood of course.

Wait, before you go getting all über judgmental about how great being a mom is and how it is THE most important job in the universe, please let me defend myself.

First, I love my kids all four boys ages 6, 6, 4 and 3. I would do anything for them and would probably stand in front of a moving vehicle for them (unless maybe it was a huge tractor-trailer – JUST KIDDING).

My boys are my pride and joy and it amazes me each day that they are all mine and that I didn’t break them in infanthood.

I was able to withstand, colicky babies, reflux as the doctors like to call it, 2 bouts of pyloric stenosis (which require surgery and a hospital stay), jaundice, anemia, RSV and 4 ear infections at the SAME time and let’s not forget J with his Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Through it all I have tried to maintain a positive outlook (well as positive as I could be) and was always able to find humor (no matter how small) in any given situation.

Each time we survive one crisis I think to myself ok, we got through this, I did it! We can do it again…God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle right??

After this morning though, I feel like I am done. I have done all there is to do and now it is up the husband, or the boys or my mom (JK), to take over.

There wasn’t one little thing that set me off really, rather, a compilation of all the things I met this weekend that has sent me seeking new employment.

Blame it on the weather, PMS or my back being out (yes, I have hurt my back AGAIN) but the kids really did me in this past weekend.

I don’t think it was one thing in particular, it was pretty much the same old Saturday and Sunday.

The little kids fought all weekend, L made J cry more times than I could count. The twins complained when they had to get dressed and leave for baseball practice and pictures.

The house looked like a disaster each time I cleaned it up and no matter who I asked to help me straighten the living room, the response was always the same but I didn’t do it…whhhyyyyy do I always have to heeelllpp??!

M told me he wanted to change his name – this happens a lot and I have actually gotten used to it. So far he has been Geo, Michael and now Roger. To think, I spent months agonizing over what to name this kid and he is happy with the name Geo.

Let’s see what else? Oh, 3 kids have colds which is always fun. J (ASD boy) has taken to waking up at 5am on weekends and weekdays. Twin J thinks he is sick but refuses to speak so it’s like playing 20 questions to guess what his ailment is.

M decided he hated his entire family, especially me, because there were no bagels for his breakfast on Sunday and he was bored all day AND he was sick of sharing the Wii Star Wars Lego game!

L thought it was great to play hide and seek in my just made bed and to play with the switch on my heating pad.

After I had taken a muscle relaxer the 2 little kids thought it would be good to sit on my bed and kill each other over the iPad and Mommy’s phone that was charging and M declared that he was NOT going to bed because he was going to play Star Wars. After I threatened to take away his toy laser gun if he wouldn’t go to bed he looked at me and said (completely serious) Here, just take it I am going to play downstairs.

This morning I thought we would start fresh, but the weekend behind me. The back was still hurting but at least I could stand straight and it was a new week.

I was almost done making lunches when M came downstairs. This is what followed.

M –  Mom, what are you doing with that bagel? 

Me –  Oh, I am making it for your lunch today.

M – Umm no thanks. I don’t like it.

Me – Yes, you so, since when? If you don’t take this for lunch what do you want?

M – I don’t know, maybe Goldfish?

Me – Goldfish is not lunch M, pick something? Do you want cereal, a sandwich, the bagel what? what do you want?

M – Nothing , I only want Goldfish why do you always tell me no, I wannnnnnt Goldfish. That’s not fair.

Me – Fine, don’t eat then, I don’t care (as I threw the buttered bagel into his lunch bag and zipped up his back pack.

After this exchange I got to fight with L over getting dressed and going to school (L thought he would stay in “his house” today). I also argued with J that cookies were not a breakfast item and that he had to clean up the crayons that covered my kitchen floor.

The last straw came when I very nicely, told the twins it was super cold out and perhaps it would be better if they wore sweatshirts to school and not the shirts they had picked out last night.

M was NOT happy. He told me (again) how is wasn’t fair and he was NOT wearing a sweatshirt!

I lost it. Instead of taking the high road and walking away, I heard myself say something like

Fine, wear the dirty Angry Birds Star Wars t-shirt and freeze, I don’t care. While you are at it, why don’t you get a new Mommy since I do nothing right for you. You know what, you seem to know so much, why don’t you just go out and get your own apartment while you are at it!

As if that response wasn’t good enough, I ended it with a dramatic slam of my bedroom door (yes, I know I am 40 and the adult but whatever).

After I was dressed and ready to warm up the van, I spotted M sitting all by himself in his room. He was looking out the window wearing the gray sweatshirt I had picked out.

I felt like crap! M looked so innocent sitting there, playing with the nightlight – we have told him a million times NOT to play with.

I went over and hugged him and told him I loved him. We decided he could keep me for a mom since we would both miss each other if he got a new one.

Together we walked downstairs and proceeded to put on coats, hats, gloves and mittens. Everyone was dressed, teeth brushed and ready to go.

You know what, maybe this mom stuff isn’t so bad I thought, as I pulled on my pink gloves and reached for my keys.

Let’s go, everyone to the car I said and at that moment, M spilled his entire cup of orange juice all over the floor.

Oh My F’n God, I must be on candid camera! I yelled to no one (the kids were in the car) as I cleaned up the orange juice. How can this be my life?? I said as I slammed the front door shut and drove to the bus stop.

The spilled oj was it. I am done, I quit.

Don’t worry, I will resume my mom duties today again at 5pm when I get the twins from after care and go home and start dinner. It is not a glamorous life but it’s my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Lol, who knows, maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: