mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “motherhood”

Throw Back Post…2013

Wow the things that you find in your blog “drafts”. Since I am ever-so-slowly working my way back into blogging, I thought it would be fun to peruse the 74 “drafts” I had sitting in my draft folder.

Holy Crap – 74???!!

Some of the drafts were just titles, back when I was a regular blogger, I would always start a post with the title. Once I had the title, the rest just fell into place. Now, 4 years later, I am lucky to even come up with a thought, let alone a title.

At the bottom of my drafts there were some posts with no titles and that is where I found this. I can remember this day like it was yesterday and the emotions are all still fresh. I can’t believe I never posted it.

Well better late than never. Ladies and gentlemen I bring you Nic’s TB post circa 2013….

Sometimes being a mom isn’t so bad

My son Jake was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder about 21/2 years ago. Since is diagnosis in January 2011, the  has been a roller coaster ride of emotions and “stuff” .

Jake has really good days, really bad days and everything in between. However, through it all, he has put on a brave face and is almost always smiling (unless he is angry). When he is truly happy there is nothing more beautiful than his big, blue eyes looking back at you.

The last couple weeks I have been in an “ASD SUCKS” kinda mood. I know… it can be so much worse; I should be thankful Jake is doing so well;  there are so many others that are worse off yada yada yada. Still, when it is your kid and you have to watch him/her struggle daily it doesn’t matter  – it just sucks.

This past weekend, however, was A-Mazing with J. It started last Friday when J’s school hosted a talent show. J attends a school for kids with special needs so I was really not expecting much from a talent show.

Jake’s teacher, the beloved Miss Heidi, had mentioned that she had worked with the class for weeks on a routine but kept it a secret. All we were told was that the kids should wear black pants and a white shirt.

The morning of the show, I asked J what he was performing in school. He gave me a shy smile and did some hand motions that made no sense to me at all. Ok, whatever I thought as I got him ready for the bus.

I arrived at his school to a packed parking lot and I panicked a little that I was late.  Quickly, I was able to grab 2 seats, my husband was meeting me there, and anxiously waited for the show to start.

The principal handed out programs and under Jake’s class it said  ”My Girl”. Now it all made sense!! Jake is in a class with 5 boys and 1 girl. OMG this is going to be awesome….but will J do it or freak out????

J was act #6 and it felt like FOREVER until his class got on “stage.” Finally I heard the music and in walked Jake and his class.  The boys were wearing top hats and bow ties and the little girl sat in the middle on a bench covered in pink tulle.

This kids took their places and did the entire routine to perfection! I could not believe my baby was doing this in front of a room packed with people – students, teachers and parents!  Never would that happened 2 years ago. To me it was simply a miracle.

After the song was over, the kids took their bow and the room erupted in applause as the teachers shot confetti into the air. They did it – Jake did it!

I don’t think I will ever be able to describe the feelings I had when Jake walked off the stage. It was a combination of so many emotions and feelings all mixed together. I just remember thinking “everything will be ok…. Jake will be alright” as tears ran down my face.

Daily Prompt: Naked with Black Socks

Today’s Daily Prompt is are you comfortable in front of other people, or does the idea of  public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?

Hide!

However, I will on occasion, step outside my comfort zone and speak in front of a group as long as it’s for something I am passionate about.

I have a son who is on the autism spectrum  and soon after his diagnosis I felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at me.

I promised myself that, if given the opportunity, I would “pay it forward” and help other parents going through the diagnosis process.

Soon I began participating in parent panels and support groups for parents of newly diagnosed kids on the autism spectrum. I’ve been doing this for over 4 years and it’s still not easy.

The funny thing is that in my head I think I am an AWESOME public speaker. Someone who can improvise and exchange witty banter with the audience.

A day or so before the panel I’ll jot down some notes but won’t rehearse or practice. It’ll be fine, I tell myself as I toss my notes into my purse and watch some mindless show on TV.

The day of the panel I wake up with a small knot in my stomach but can usually brush it off, or push it out of my head – 4 crazy boys can do that do you.

On the car ride over I start to feel nervous but it’s not until I walk into the room that I’m overcome with panic.

Crap! Why do I do this to myself? I think as I walk into the room and take a seat up front.

Look at all those people staring at me. Ugh, I don’t want to do this anymore, maybe I can sneak out. 

Before I can escape, the other speakers start, and I can feel my palms start to sweat as I go over my “speech” in my head – silently cursing myself for not practicing in the car.

As the person ahead of me wraps up, my heart starts to beat faster dreading the time when my name is called. As I am introduced, my face starts to turn a lovely shade of pink as I squeak out my name and start to tell my story.

In the blink of an eye it’s over and I survived!! No one laughed AND some even asked me a question or 2.

All that worry for nothing.

Sure, some days I tell a better story or engage with the parents more but no matter what I can still say that I did it and hope that I helped someone.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Thursday – it’s almost Friday 🙂

 

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.

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

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.

My Clone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Say Cheese!!

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

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

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

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

Life went on.

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

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

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

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

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

Well what is the saying about assuming???

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

ps – Thank you Mr. D!!

Me and The Boys

Me and The Boys

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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Random “Monday” Thoughts

Hello and Happy sorta Monday friends. I know it’s really Tuesday but let’s be honest, the Tuesday after a long weekend actually feels worse than any regular Monday doesn’t it?

Was I the only one who woke up today totally stunned, thinking it was Sunday with a slight knot in my stomach when I realized I had to actually go to work today?????

The family and I had a pretty busy Memorial Day weekend this year. Sadly, we were not able to visit the Jersey Shore (in-laws live in Long Beach Island) but we did get invited to a couple of bbqs and the twins marched in their first ever parade with some tball teamates (and daddy).

The weekend was filled with lots of children fighting and many margaritas which could be why my pants are feeling a bit snug today.

And now without further ado, I bring you my random thoughts….

1) Horay for the long, open front cardigan

I could literally hug the person (HAS to be a female) who invented the long, open front cardigan. It is by far my absolute favorite fashion go-to item. If I had to guess, I would say I wear one at least 2 times a week.

I own them in a bunch of colors and fabrics. Some have pockets, some have dolman sleeves (for when I want to look like I am a bat) and some are strictly for winter months and others, like the new one I am wearing today, just scream summer!!

Today’s is white, 3/4 sleeves AND the back is a little longer so it covers by butt. Seriously, does it get any better than that?? I was able to find this beauty at the Loft this weekend AND it was on sale for $44.00 with an extra 50% off.

SOLD!!

2) I suck at Candy Crush

A few weeks ago, I talked about my new app obsession Candy Crush. I play it all the time on my iPhone and even got the husband hooked.

I hooked up my Facebook account and now I am able to see how many “friends” also play and what levels they are on (their FB profile pic appears on the cute Candy Crush map).

However, as much as I love this game, I think it is time I come to terms with the fact that I absolutely SUCK at the game.

I have played Crush for at least 3 weeks and I am only on Level 38. This is not “normal” and I am beginning to think I should just give up.

First, I thought it was just a fluke that it was taking me a few days to pass a few levels. I would waste all my lives in a 10-minute setting and was constantly Googling tips to cheat beat the level I was on.

A couple of weeks ago, after being stuck on Level 33 for almost a week, I actually asked someone in work if they would clear the level for me and keep it our little secret. (in my defense this guy is on Level 216).

Well I never had the work guy beat my level, I was able to do it myself but I have been on Level 38 for a week and I don’t think I will ever clear it.

The husband has well surpassed me and I see FB friends whizzing past me daily. I’m torn, do I give up or stick with it? Thoughts anyone???

3) Sometimes being a mom isn’t so bad

As most of you know, my son J was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder about 21/2 years ago. The journey with J has been a roller coaster ride of emotions and “stuff” .

J has really good days, really bad days and everything in between. Through it all J has put on a brave face and is almost always smiling (unless he is angry). When he is happy there is nothing more beautiful than his big, blue eyes looking back at you.

The last couple weeks I have been in an “ASD SUCKS” kinda mood. I know… it can be so much worse; I should be thankful J is doing so well; there are so many others that are worse off yada yada yada. Still, when it is your kid and you have to watch him/her struggle daily it doesn’t matter it just sucks.

This past weekend, however, was A-Mazing with J. It started last Friday when J’s school hosted a talent show. J attends a school for kids with special needs so I was really not expecting much from the talent show.

J’s teacher had mentioned that she had worked with his class for weeks on a routine but kept it a secret. All we were told was that the kids should wear black pants and a white shirt.

The morning of the show, I asked J what he was performing in school. He gave me a shy smile and did some hand motions that made no sense to me at all. Ok, whatever I thought as I got him ready for the bus.

When I arrived at his school, the parking lot was packed. I quickly grabbed 2 seats, the husband was meeting me there, and anxiously waited for the show to start. I grabbed a program, and quickly became annoyed at THE most annoying special-needs- mom in the row ahead of me. She had saved the entire front row and there was no way I could see over her huge ponytail (and big mouth).

The principal handed out programs and under Jake’s class it said “My Girl”. It all made sense, J is in a class with 5 boys and 1 girl. OMG this is going to be awesome….but will J do it or freak out????

J was act #6 and it felt like FOREVER until his class got on “stage.” Finally I heard the music and in walked J’s class. The boys were wearing top hats and bow ties and the little girl sat in the middle on a bench covered in pink tulle.

They all took their places and did the entire routine to perfection! I could not believe my baby was doing that in front of a room full of people. No way that could have happened 2 years ago. To me it was a miracle.

When they took their bow, the room erupted in applause as the teachers shot confetti into the air. They did it – J did it!

I don’t think I will ever be able to describe the feelings I had when J walked off the stage. It was a combination of so many emotions and feelings all mixed together. I just remember thinking that everything would be ok and J will be alright.

My Guy

My Guy

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading.

Tuesday

Today is Tuesday, May 7, 2013. This morning I was woken up by the heinous sound of the ironing board being opened by the husband (yes he irons his own clothes), I immediately reached for my iPhone.

I have a sickness or rather an obsession with my phone. It needs to be near me at all times and if it isn’t, or god forbid the battery is dead, I start to go through withdrawal.

I quickly scanned my messages, mail and FB before heading over to the weather app. There was a picture of a sun and the number 70 next to it.
Yay!!! It’s Skirt Weather I thought to myself as I hurriedly got into the shower.

I painstakingly put in the extra time to shave my legs as I mentally picked out THE perfect skirt/sweater combo.

I continued getting ready, making breakfast, fighting with L over why he needs to get dressed AND go to school AND put shoes on AND (my personal favorite) why he CAN NOT HAVE A BOWL OF JUST THE MARSHMELLOWS FROM THE LUCKY CHARMS BOX.

After I waved bye to L (and smiled to myself as I quickly slammed closed the front door) I ran upstairs to finish getting ready.

I turned on the radio and was humming along to Taylor Swift and making the bed when I glanced at the clock that read “7:34”.

Crap, I have to start making the kids get dressed I thought to myself. I went over to the top of the stairs, took a deep breath and braced myself for what was coming.

Me: Boys???!!

Boys: What??

Me: Come upstairs…it’s time to get dressed for school.

Boys: Huh? What did you say?

Me: I said COME UPSTAIRS AND GET DRESSED NOW

Boys: OOHHHH Why??

Me: Because you have to get dressed and we have this discussion EVERYDAY. Now come upstairs.

Next came the distinct  bang of a Lego creation being thrown on the floor followed by the stomping of feet coming up the stairs.

Today I was also given the added bonus of M, jumping on my bed (yes, the one I just made) and asking me to have a conversation with Bear.

In the meantime, J had come upstairs to show me the “Ship” he had just built. WOW, you made that?! That is AWESOME J I said ushering him into his bedroom. Hey, let’s get dressed why you are up here, come on.

NO I don’t wanna get dressed! he said and stomped back  down the stairs into the living room.

Ok, I’ll deal with that after I dry my hair, I thought and went to check the twins’ pregress.

Instead of seeing 2 boys all dressed, I was met with J on the bed in his pj top and underwear and M on the floor, with Bear, looking at Star Wars cards.

Ummm…what are you doing? I told you to get dressed I said with just a little bit of tone.

Mommy? Mommy look, said J. I can hold the toy chainsaw with one hand!

I almost pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. How can this be my life

After yelling at the twins to get dressed, I went back downstairs to check on the other J. The living room was eerily quiet and at first glance, I did not see J.

Hmmm, that’s weird. He isn’t upstairs, where can he be??

I was just about to head back upstairs when I saw it – the large lump on the couch covered in a blanket.

I smiled, and started calling out J’s name pretending I couldn’t find him. Each time I did this, the blanket shook from his laughter.

Finally I pulled the blanket off and yelled THERE HE IS!! and he rolled over laughing.

I quickly dressed him and ran upstairs to iron when I heard the weather forecast on the radio. It went something like this ….cloudy and little sun today, slight chance of showers.

What??!! I thought it was going to be sunny. I am not going to wear a skirt if it’s cold and raining. Now what the hell am I going to wear????!!

I pulled out my black pants and a black cardigan and quickly tried to find a cami to wear underneath. I was not happy, this is so NOT what I had planned. The iron was sticking to the sweater (a new Loft buy btw) and none of the 5 camis I had put on looked right.

Damn it!

Some how we all made it out the door and to our respective buses and work on time.

I am sure my morning is not much different from any other mom. Maybe there are slight differences, but basically the rushing, arguing and struggle for power is the same in any house right?

Oh no, please tell me it isn’t just me (lol)!

It’s now mid-afternoon and I just leaned back in my chair saw a streak of blue out the window across the hall from me. Guess I could have worn that skirt after all.

Hope you are enjoying your Tuesday, just think, we are one stop closer to the weekend!!

 

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 🙂

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