mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “kids”

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

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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?????!!!

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

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The Daily Prompt: My Guy

This has probably been one of my longest blogging sabbaticals of my blogging career and I am. not sure why.

I suppose I can use the excuse that I have been “busy” – with family, kids, sickness, work, stress, etc.

Meh.

The truth is when I started this blog – way back in February 2012 – family, kids, sickness, work and stress were just as much a part of my life as they are now.

However, I did not use them as an excuse not to blog. Rather, I used them as inspiration.

This morning I was having a slight pity party for myself over coffee. The kids were killing each other in the other room over Legos and Skylanders and I was taking solace in my iPhone.

Skimming through my Yahoo account, I glanced at summer sale emails and Facebook updates. Then I saw it…..The Daily Prompt …describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.

For the first time in awhile, I was actually inspired to pull out the iPad and write a post.

Looking around the kitchen for the keyboard, I was torn between 2 very special memories. Separately, the memories could not be more different – one involves rain the other my son.

Yet to me, they are very much alike in that they both gave me the “feeling” that somehow, someway everything would be all right.

I am not quite ready to share the rain memory with others, for now it is all mine, where it can remain safe and pure.

So the winner, by default, is my son Jake.

Jake is 5yo and my blue-eyed, blond haired, Buddha baby.

On a daily basis I can be moved to tears by Jake and his ability to melt my heart and drive me completely and utterly insane all in a matter of minutes.

You see, Jake has autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder to be exact). He has been diagnosed for almost 2 years and it has been THE most devastating, eye-opening, inspiring, frustrating roller coaster ride of my life.

Jake attends a school for children with special needs. This past May, the school held it’s annual talent show and Jake’s class was participating.

All I was told about Jake’s performance was that he needed to wear black pants and a white shirt. I had no idea what the heck his teacher had planned, and quite frankly, if it would even be any good.

I remember sitting in the packed gym the day of the show feeling very nervous. I had no idea what to expect. Would Jake even participate or would he freak out in front of the school???

The Jake I know is shy and does not “perform” in front of a gym filled with people. Regardless, he is my son and this is what parents do right? No matter what I knew I would clap for Jake louder than anyone there.

The principal handed out programs and Jake’s class was #6. After their names it simply read “My Girl” and then it hit me, I knew exactly what his teacher had in mind and right then, I knew it would be something special.

After what seemed like an eternity finally I heard the beginning beats of The Temptations “My Girl” My stomach was filled with butterflies as I watched Jake’s class walk on stage wearing top hats and bow ties.

The boys (there are 5 boys and 1 girl) took their places around the little girl who was seated on a pink tulle covered bench and THEY WERE PERFORMING!

They sang and danced the entire song and it was nothing short of PERFECTION.

When the kids took their bow, the gym erupted in applause as the teachers shot confetti in the air and we all stood and cheered.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to describe the emotions I felt that day – the pride, happiness, joy and awe all mixed together.

I just remember thinking, and feeling in my gut, that everything would be alright and Jake would be alright.

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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.

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

Random Monday Thoughts (on Wednesday)

Welcome to another edition of Random Monday Thoughts. Yes, I know today is Wednesday but Monday was my birthday and I never got around to blogging so I figured what the hell, just do it today.

Hey, it’s my blog and I can do what I want right??? (lol). And now on to my Random Thoughts….

1) Yay me!

I am happy to report that yesterday’s post Belated Birthday Thoughts brought in a 2013 record-breaking 115 views!!!!!!!!!!

I know we don’t blog for numbers. We blog because we want to and it’s a  place to share our thoughts and that stats are not important but…..come on 115 is in the three digits!!!!

I have to be honest, my 115 view would not have been possible without the help of  fellow U of D alumni Jeff Pearlman. Thank you Jeff  for allowing me to link to your birthday post here yesterday AND for tagging me on Facebook!!

2) Team Jake

"Team Jake"

“Team Jake”

As I have mentioned before, this past weekend my family and I participated in Children’s Specialized Hospital’s 7th Annual Walk & Roll event.

I am so thrilled to report that “Team Jake” raised a whopping (insert drum roll) $1030!!!!!!

Thank you to all the friends and family that supported us we really appreciate it!

3) Everyone needs a little vampire love

I am SOOOOO happy that I listened to Mrs. Jeter and stuck with The Vampire Diaries.

I am LOVING the oh-so-hot vampire brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore who have come back to Mystic Falls (after 145 years) and really shaken things up.

At first, I didn’t think it was possible to love another vampire the way I loved Edward Cullen. However, Stefan and Damon (more Damon) have proved me wrong.

Their love and devotion to the slightly annoying Elena is nothing short of “breathtaking” (Can you name the Seinfeld reference???).

4) Black & White Day

I was very excited to wear my new white skirt to work today. It was a recent Loft purchase (on sale with an additional 60% off) and I thought it would perk me up on this cloudy, über humid day.

I paired the skirt with a black, lace trimmed cami and black, open cardigan and black peep toe wedges. Not wanting to go too overboard, I accessorized with simple silver bangles and hoops. Voila outfit accomplished.

This morning I was reading People.com working, when I got an IM from my friend Nicole asking if I wanted to go for a belated birthday lunch.

YES!!  I immediately responded. Now I would not be stuck eating my boring ham and swiss sandwich at my desk again.

Imagine my surprise when I ran into Nicole in the lady’s room a little while later saw that she too was wearing a white skirt, black, lace trimmed cami and black cardigan!

WTF???!!!!

Aside from the fact that Nicole is about 5 inches shorter than me and 30 pounds lighter, we looked like twins – in a dorky way.

We laughed and muttered something about “great minds” but ultimately decided to postpone lunch for a day when we did not look like a sorority scheme gone bad (lol).

5) Kids are annoying sometimes

PLEASE don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children. I may not always like them but I love them with all of my being.

However, these 4 children that I carried, gained a total of 180 pounds with and gave birth to (by C-section) are really starting to drive me CRAZY!!

WHY is EVERYTHING with my kids a fight???!! Everything. I am not talking about the usual things either like home work and sibling rivalry. I am talking about stupid, mundane things. Why?? Please help me understand.

For example, to celebrate the last 26 days of school, the twins’ school has assigned each day a letter of the alphabet with an activity associated with this letter. Today’s letter is “G” and it was “green day.”

Sounds easy right? NO.

Instead I spend a half hour arguing with M that his brother’s blue shorts were not  green and that the 3 green t-shirts I held in my hand were the only green clothes that we owned.

Really??!!

What is the big deal? It’s Green Day, just put on a green shirt and be done with it. WHY do we have to argue???!!

AND M is a boy, I thought boys were easy-going and didn’t care what they wore?? Have moms been lying to me all these years???

I won’t even mention the fight over Taco Tuesday with the twins last night and how L kicked the crap out of me today because I dared to tell him it was time to change his diaper, get dressed and go to school (he told me school was closed today).

Well there you have it, some very random thoughts on a Wednesday afternoon. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of your Hump Day!!

Random Monday Thoughts

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to another edition of Random Monday Thoughts (in my head this is said like the “Wheel of Fortune” opening followed by applause).

It’s sunny but a little chilly in the Garden State today and all the women in my office seem to still be on a Mother’s Day high from yesterday (gee, I wonder what they got as gifts??).

Mother’s Day at Casa Chaos was actually quite nice. I was treated to many homemade cards and gifts from all my men, fresh bagels for breakfast AND an afternoon spent with my mom at the mall with NO KIDS!! I bought myself a new Bobbi Brown lip gloss (High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Naked Plum) and ate a cupcake for desert while watching The Vampire Diaries – it was a “perfect” day.

and now onto my random thoughts:

1) Black Pants are a girl’s best friend:

Well it’s Monday and I am feeling a little fat today (probably from all the margaritas on the rocks with salt that I consumed from Friday night until Sunday) so you know what that means….it’s a black pants kinda day. Ask any woman what their one wardrobe staple is and 9 times out of ten you will hear black pants.

Really, what is there not to love? Black pants match everything, they are slimming, forgiving and can be worn multiple times before laundering (not that I would EVER do such a thing but just sayin’). This morning when I checked the weather on my iPhone and saw it would be a high of 57 degrees, I quickly pulled my black pants off the pile on my bedroom floor, shook them out, ironed them, paired them with my super cute leopard open cardi from The Loft and VOILA – a happy monday outfit was born.

2) It’s margarita weather!

Last week, I talked about flip-flop weather here and now I am proclaiming it Margarita Weather!!! I am usually a big red wine drinker, that is my drink of choice when out to dinner or at home. However, once the weather turns a little warm and the daylight lingers a little longer red wine just does not cut it in Casa Chaos.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE red wine but  it’s just not refreshing in warm weather. So what is a mom of 4 to drink in the summer months????? Jose Cuervo Margaritas – the alcohol is in the bottle!!

Yummy

Yummy

Just pour over ice, add a piece of lime and some salt and it’s heaven in a glass.

3) I had forgotten how much I LOVE vampires

Some time back, I did a post on my deep, heartfelt love of Edward Cullen here. Seriously, I LOVED Edward, he was/is just THE perfect male species – aside from the fact that he’s a vampire that subsides on blood and a work of fiction.

Before I read the Twilight series, I feared vampires and thought they were all ugly with slicked back black hair and a cape. However, Twilight introduced me to the “sparkly”, hot, world of vampires and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Last week I mentioned that the husband and I had started the CW series The Vampire Diaries on dvd and after 2 episodes we were only feeling “Meh” about the show. Mrs. Jeter told me to stick with it and now, 2 disks in, we LOVE it!!

The Salvatore brothers Damon (bad boy) and Stefan (very good boy) are just dreamy and make for THE best vampire eye candy on tv. Throw in Alaric the handsome vampire hunter and this girl is in!! I can’t wait to start the next dvd.

Oh and btw, me and the husband find the character Elena (the super skinny, gorgeous with great hair love interest) to be rather annoying. In fact, I think she is equal parts Katniss and Bella Swan in her back and forth feelings for Stefan thus far.

4) Channeling my inner-Mrs. Brady

My son M has recently become obsessed with death. I know this is a phase all kids go though, and watching his father fight zombies on his PSP surely does not help the obsession.

Still, I taken aback the other night as I was tucking M into bed and he started crying. Startled, I asked what was wrong and through the tears he told me his brain could not stop thinking about dying and being buried.

Super!! I thought to myself.

With a little coaxing I was able to convince M to come into my bed with me to talk about what was bothering him. As we walked into my bedroom I was freaking out!

 What the hell am I going to tell him about death? I can’t tell him it’s just for old people. What if I drop dead tomorrow, he will forever think I lied to him. He will be scarred for life and wind up in a miserable marriage to some shrew all because his mom couldn’t tell him about death when he was 6.

Immediately, I began thinking about every sitcom I had ever watched and what all those super sitcom moms used to tell their “kids” about death. My mind was a blur of tv moms ranging from June Cleaver, Carole Brady and Claire Huxtable.

Finally, I took a deep breath and calmly tried to quell M’s fears. I told him that he had nothing to worry about, that when people die they go to Heaven to be with the angels and Pop Pop and Bella. I told him it’s a happy place where they have all your favorite foods and that there was nothing to be afraid of.

M seemed ok with that explanation but started crying again telling me that he would miss me when I died. Crap, now what???! I thought??

I don’t know if it was all those years of watching tv or what,  but suddenly a thought hit me.  I told M that Mommy would always be with him forever and ever in his heart and that he had nothing to worry about.

Then I hugged him tight and let him sleep in my bed as we talked about all the happy places we have gone his “whole life” and all the places he still wants to see.

I don’t know if those were the right answers for M but I guess they will have to do for now.

Have a good week everyone, thanks for reading 🙂

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