Friday, October 31

Happy Halloween

Hope you're night was Spooktacular!

Wednesday, October 29

Is It Wednesday Already?

Continuing my weekly un-slumping project, I paid my scale a visit this morning. I was expecting disaster because I didn't exactly do as good this week as last. I went on my treadmill 4 times, but hardly stuck to my points. I did lose .6 (that is 0.6, like 1/2 a pound, not 6 which would mean my scale was probably broken) but I'll take it! I am considering it a gift and vow to get back to my points this week. I am a totally out of control portion person. If left to my own devices I would eat about 4 times the recommended amount of any food (except vegetables, I like to eat the exact serving size of those, I do have some control over myself).

On another note, today was a much better day. I didn't throw food at anyone! Yay me.

Tuesday, October 28

What Kind Of Mother Are You?

What kind of mother are you? Apparently today I am the kind of mother that throws jello at her whining, complaining that they are starving son. I am also the kind of mother that will give her children a supper of macaroni and cheese at 4:30, give them a bath at 5:30 and put them to bed at 6:30, just to get the day over with. I am also the kind of mother that will pour herself a glass of wine at 4 pm. That is the kind of mother I am today. Hopefully tomorrow I will be a different kind of mother, perhaps the kind that smiles graciously and bakes cookies, who serves nutritious and delicious meals and reads story after story to her well behaving, shiny, smiling children. We'll see.

Driving Blind

My kids really do expect me to be a superhero. They cannot grasp the concept that I cannot do all of the things for them that they want, WHILE DRIVING. What? I can't fix a sandwich, read a book, play a game involving covering my eyes with both hands while driving? What is wrong with me? Jack now seems to have grasped this concept more, being a wise 6 year old, he can now understand that I actually have to pay attention and keep both hands on the wheel. Abbey on the other hand, cannot understand why I can't just drive with my knees, freeing up my hands to say, color a picture for her. She is also always inventing made-up games for us to play in the car. Games with names like Boobidy Ooogly Hands, or Scarey Tree a' Clap. Most of the time I can hardly hear her. Since we got the mini-van she is situated all the way in the back, and for some reason when she really wants us to hear her, her voice gets super, super quiet like a mouse and keeps getting softer until she is barely whispering. Then she yells "Mommy, do it!" and I am so confused. Do what? Did I miss something? Her games always have rules and instructions that seem to change second by second, making it hard for us to play with her "correctly" since no one can keep track of exactly what we are doing. Or she decides we should have a sing-a-long to a song she is making up on the spot, yelling at us that we ARE NOT doing it right, that we don't know the words. She gets frustrated and upset, "no, not that way", "can't you hear me" (ummm, no), "those aren't the right words", or "that's not what I want!" So it goes, frustrating in the van as we plod along. By this time Jack has usually turned on his Gameboy and I have turned up the radio, happy that she is all the way in the back!

Friday, October 24

I Don't Have To Go!

Why do kids wait SO LONG to go pee? It is so frustrating. I mean, how busy can you possibly be that you can't take the 1 1/2 minutes necessary to go to the bathroom? Are they solving world peace? Finding a cure to cancer? Cleaning the dust bunnies out from under the refrigerator? NO! They are playing, or watching t.v., or playing a video game. For some reason even the mundane act of staring at a dead bug is vastly more important than going to the bathroom. We see them dancing around, fidgeting, skipping, getting that look. You know the look. That anxious, nervous, guilty look. As a parent you can look across a cavernous room the size of a football field and know by your child's movements alone that they have to go. Jack waits until the last possible instant, pulling his pants down and whipping it out before he even gets to the toilet so that the first stream goes directly over the bowl and down the other side, puddling by the base way back where you can't see it. Then you clean your toilet and scrub it and think it is clean but your bathroom still smells like a public restroom at the beach on one of the hottest days of the year. But where is the smell coming from? You clean the toilet again, clean the floor around it, but still the smell lingers. Then you discover it, a puddle of dried urine on the base of the toilet, way back by the pipes. Lovely. At least Abbey is tidier. She waits until just a little dribble comes out, just enough so that she needs a new pair of underwear (averaging about 5 pairs a day). The night before last I actually had a dream and in it all I was doing was cleaning pee off of the floor. Bright yellow pee. Over and over and over again, no matter how much I cleaned there was always more. Come to think of it, we will categorize that as a nightmare!

Thursday, October 23

Un-Frump A Slump Wednesday

I know, technically it is Thursday, but I meant to post this yesterday, I really did. So, I'm sure you are on pins & needles wondering how my first week went at "un-slumping" myself. What? You weren't? You didn't think about it at all? Hmmmm, OK. Actually the week went alright. I am happy to report that I stuck to my points about 70% of the time, went on the treadmill 4 times (I know not the 5 I vowed, but whatever) and drank my water, took my vitamins, blah blah blah. I lost 3.2 lbs, which is good but I suspect it may have been mostly due to my body's shock that I was actually attempting to control my eating. My complexion has not gotten on-board with the new plan though, and my chin still looks like the chin of a 15 year old. All in time. What do they say, Rome wasn't built in a day? This is a dumb saying that implies that other cities, like say Boston, were in fact built in a day.

Remember, if anyone wants to share with me their triumphs or setbacks this week, feel free. The more the merrier. If we get enough of us joined in I can make a chart (I LOVE to make charts!).

So I was feeling good today until an old man yelled at me on the road. I was driving (alright, maybe a little bit fast but no more than 5 miles over the speed limit) and this old man was walking his dogs on the side of the road. This is a narrow, winding country road. I came around a bend and there he was with 2 golden retrievers. I had to slow down and tried to swerve into the other lane but there was oncoming traffic so I couldn't swerve too much and when I went by him he shook his fist at me and yelled "slow down." I felt horrible. I'm so glad I didn't hit him or one of those dogs, but I DO NOT like to be yelled at. I don't. I just don't. OK, I feel better now. I've blogged it out.

Tuesday, October 21

Mother Mortality

The kids got a new movie from Netflix this weekend. "Ariel's Beginning" or something like that. Its about Ariel when she was born and was a little girl growing up, before she met Prince Eric and decided to throw her entire ultra cool mermaid life away on a stupid man. But I digress. In this movie Ariel's mother shockingly . . . you won't believe this. . . its so unexpected . . . dies! What is it with Disney and mothers? I'm sorry, but they totally hate us! We are ALWAYS getting killed off, leaving them to be raised by their fathers who usually screw it up by losing them or marrying someone evil. I'm surprised kids don't have more nightmares about this situation. Bambi, Snow White, Chicken Little, Cinderella, Finding Nemo, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin (he actually doesn't have any parents at all). You get my point. Maybe the mothers of the world should start a protest.

The Lion King is one great exception and in my opinion one of the top greatest movies ever made. . . of course the dad gets killed off instead.

Sunday, October 19

Fire Safety

I don't know about the rest of you, but for us October (as well as being Breast Cancer Awareness month) is also some sort of fire safety month in our towns. Both the kids had fire safety at school, and in Abbey's preschool the fire truck came to visit and they all got fire hats, did fire projects, yada yada yada. Today they were playing "fire rescue." This involved Jack (wearing the fireman's hat) "rescuing" Abbey from the fire in our house. They wanted me to also evacuate but since I had just gotten out of the shower, had soaking wet hair and was wrapped in a towel I refused. But I noticed something kind of funny about them. First, why did Jack have to be the fireman while Abbey was the damsel in distress? Who teaches them this? Then I saw that as Jack was rescuing her that she had something in her hands. She was "saving" her plastic container filled with her jewelry. Not her babies, or her dogs or bears or stuffed whatevers, her jewels! Cracked me up.

Friday, October 17

Flu Shmoo

Each and every fall I find myself pondering the same dilemma. Should we get flu shots? Dennis is easy, there is no way he will ever subject himself to any kind of shot on purpose. Seriously, I've never seen a grown man with such a little girl attitude about needles. He has to close his eyes and look away, and when he has dental work he has to get prescribed Valium. You should have seen him when we got our blood tests to get married. I almost thought he was going to call the whole marriage off just to avoid it. Sometimes I just want to hit him and yell "toughen up you wuss!" but I don't (well, OK, I have). But the rest of us, should we get flu shots? The problem is that the kids never have. They didn't get them when they were babies because, well I don't know why but they never did. I think it has something to do with the timing that they have their well-child visits in the year. Jack is in April so way too early to be thinking about the flu shot and they are not available then, and Abbey is at the very end of November, really to late to worry about getting one and probably all gone by then. So I would have had to make separate appointments just for this. And why I never did? Hmmmm, not too sure. Another factor is that the first year kids get one they have to have 2, like 6 weeks apart. So now it wouldn't just be 1 shot I was subjecting them to, but 2. Of course, now they are older and know about shots and can scream and fight and kick and try to run away. Two years ago I actually had appointments for the kids but Jack had gotten himself into such a state about getting the shot that at the last minute I just cancelled. I could have still taken Abbey but that would have seemed wrong, like I loved only her enough to get the shot. That didn't seem right. That same year my mother-in-law "treated" me to a flu shot at Walmart which might have been my first flu shot ever in my whole life, and three days later I came down with some illness that had me flat on my back sicker than I've ever been for a week. I know, I know, it was just a coincidence I'm sure and had nothing to do with the shot, but still. I'm apprehensive. Maybe it was the location? Perhaps you shouldn't be getting a shot 6 feet away from where you can pick up your dog food?

I guess its not really a dilemma. We haven't gotten flu shots in the past and won't this year, but I will continue to have this nagging thought of "should I be doing this?" The American Academy of Pediatrics sure as hell thinks I should, but lets be honest, they think I should be doing a lot of stuff I'm probably not. About December when people start getting sick and my in-laws who watch CNN constantly start hearing about all these kids that have DIED from the flu and start questioning me just like they do every year "Did you get flu shots for the kids? You did, right? Because they could die so I hope you did" and I have to say that no, yet again I slacked off in the fall and didn't get them so now we'll just cross our fingers and hope we don't get too sick.

Maybe its because I was never raised getting a flu shot every year. My mother (who works in a PRESCHOOL) still does not get a flu shot. (At least I don't think she does but maybe she's been getting one for years and not telling me, wouldn't that be a kicker). My father always DOES but he's a little bit of a hypocondriach anyway. My 86 year old grandmother who SHOULD won't because she's sick of getting shots and lets face it, you don't argue with an 86 year old. My brother barely goes to the doctor for regular visits so I don't see him jumping on this one. So we won't and maybe we will get the flu, but maybe we won't. Probably in 2 months I will have another post entitled "Flu Shmoo" in which I am typing in ALL CAPS about how we are all sick and why oh why didn't I get us those damn flu shots.

So I have a little poll for you all. Do you readers out there get flu shots? What are your thoughts? Could it be construed as child abuse that I don't?

Wednesday, October 15

A Slump

I think I am in a slump. Have you ever felt that way? Lately I feel like I have let myself go. My treadmill has dust on it, and I have been eating anything and everything I feel like. I finally forced myself to step on the scale yesterday morning after 2 months of neglect, and it showed. 7 pounds. At the beginning of the summer I had lost 5 with grand plans to lose the final 15. But now I've backtracked up 7. I did quit smoking this summer, so I guess some weight gain should be expected and is a small price to pay, but it doesn't seem so small now. I have always been an "all or nothing" type. I'm exercising, I'm drinking my water and eating right, taking my vitamins and flossing my teeth. But since summer I've been in the "nothing"category. And it shows. Even my skin has turned against me, with moutainish eruptions all over my chin. My hair is weird, and most of my pants are too tight, even my blog posts has become pretty b.o.r.i.n.g. Something MUST be done, or else I will just keep on getting frumpier and more zitty! And I will have NOTHING to wear, ever. It doesn't help matters that I was banned from straightening my hair by my hairdresser. I bought a straightener (see above) in 1997 and was amazed. Finally, straight hair was mine. Straight smooth hair. But over the last 11 years the poor thing got a little bit tired, so that by the end it wouldn't heat up enough and I would have to pull it over the same parts of my head again and again. In this process I apparently "burnt" the top part of my hair and was instructed to throw away my dear straightener and refrain from straightening for at least a month. Woe is me. Now the month is up but I have no straightener and the "good" ones are like $100, so . . . I stay curly for now. But not good curly, it is curling in weird new places and giving me an odd look, when I pull it back it is like the do Alice wore on the Brady Bunch. So in admitting that I am in a slump I vow to "un-slump" myself from this point forward.

So, hear me now. I am committed to going on my treadmill 5 times a week. I will stick to my Weight Watchers points of 22 and check in with my scale at least once a week. Giving me further motivation is the fact that we are going to Disney World in May. In 7 months I DO NOT want to be huffing and puffing across the Magic Kingdom with my thighs rubbing together in such a way that I may start a small fire. I don't want all our vacation memories to have me red-faced and sweating. Wish me luck . . . I will of course need it. And if anyone out there wants to "un-slump" themselves with me, let me know. There is strength in numbers!

Monday, October 13

The Happy Cow

OK, this is perfect because I LOVE cheese. Always have. Always will. Even my kids love cheese. It must be hereditary. So go and vote for Kirsten. Let's make her a winner!

Vote for Kirsten

Friday, October 10

A Lifetime Ago

9 years ago I got a restful nights sleep at my parents house, uninterrupted and blissful. Last night I was awoken at 1 am by that feeling of someone breathing in my face, and awoke with a start to find Jack standing there, complaining of an earache.

9 years ago I started the day having my hair done by a very tiny Russian girl who spent 2 hours putting it up on the crown of my head in gorgeous curls. Today I started the day calling the school to let them know that Jack was sick and would not be in, followed by a call to the doctor.

9 years ago my bridesmaids helped me into my beautiful white princessy wedding dress, and then a limo picked me up to bring me to the church. Today I pulled on my one pair of jeans that aren't tight, a top with a stain on it and ugly shoes for a trip in my mini-van to the pediatrician.

9 years ago I was the center of attention. All eyes were on me and people waited on me. Today I was not the center of attention and 2 pairs of little eyes were on me a lot, and they kept asking me to do stuff for them and get them food and drinks.

9 years ago I had a choice of Prime Rib or Stuffed Chicken for dinner, with a champagne toast. Tonight I had pizza and wine.

9 years ago I danced with my new husband with a sparkle in my eye and a spring in my step. Today I haven't done any dancing with my husband. Actually, it is now 8:29 and he's not even home from work and come to think of it I really haven't seen him at all today.

9 years ago I looked forward to leaving on my honeymoon the next day. 10 straight days soaking up the sun with my husband in Florida, just the 2 of us. Tomorrow I am not looking forward to getting up early to bring Jack to a 9 am soccer game.

There really isn't much that is the same as it was 9 years ago. I did spend the afternoon with Suzy and the kids today, and I did spend that afternoon 9 years ago with Suzy too . . . . . . although luckily she didn't have 3 children with her at my wedding reception. Hmmmmm. Not exactly the same but close. I do love my husband the same today as I did the day I married him, even though he acts like a child much of the time and does many, many, many things to annoy me. We are older and wiser (well, I am) now, but I know as much today as I did that day 9 years ago that he loves me more than the world, and for that I am grateful.

(Not as grateful as I would be for a full nights sleep and to fit into that wedding dress again, but still . . . )

Wednesday, October 8

This Is A Test, This Is Only A Test

1. in
2. it
3. did
4. sit
5. six
6. fix
7. lip
8. mix
9. pin
10. wig

These are the ten words that appeared on Jack's FIRST spelling test ever in his whole life and I am happy to report that he got all ten right. He didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal though, except I kept gushing things like "your first spelling test" and "I am so proud" and "this is going right on the fridge." Then he was actually quite impressed with his little spelling self. Let's hope that this enthusiasm in test taking continues on for a very, very, very long time.

Tuesday, October 7

Jon & Kate Plus 8 Equals Abuse?

I was. . . am. . . used to be . . . .still are. . . (obviously so confused), a big Jon & Kate Plus 8 fan. I have quite religiously watched the show for the past 2 years, and seen their "specials" and checked them out on Oprah. I've watched them potty train, have meltdowns on planes, give time-outs by the dozens. I've watched Kate yell at Jon and most enjoyed that, although there are many times I would perhaps like to be married to Jon, just for a little while (he seems so damn helpful to me). Most Monday nights at 9 you will find me curled up on my couch with some salty crunchy snack watching a new episode on TLC. I always enjoyed peeking into their lives, and especially coveted Kate's great organizational skills. Lately though I am becoming disenchanted, and I think the love affair is ending.

There has been A LOT of hoopla lately regarding this show. There are many, many people who are starting to question the children's actual safety and if this many hours in front of the camera can be construed as abuse. Paul Petersen of some actors children's advocacy group is all involved now, as is supposedly Pennsylvania's Department of Children and Family Services. In the episode I watched last night they were having a 2-day photo shoot with Good Housekeeping. 2 days in 90 degree weather posing for a Thanksgiving November issue wearing sweaters and turtlenecks. And the kids were, well, kind of miserable. The older twins, Cara and Mady were especially upset, and barely smiled. I kept thinking, "wow, this does seem like a lot" and a small part of my brain kept thinking that maybe these opponents of the show have a point. Perhaps it is time to pull the plug.

When the show started I enjoyed it because it was interesting to see how a family managed with that many small children. Jon would go off to work and Kate would take care of the kids. You saw her doing a lot of cooking, a lot of laundry (although she always has had some help which I never begrudged because hell, the woman has 8 kids!), playing with the kids, taking them outside. But now it is different. Jon no longer has to go to work, I assume because they are now making like a gazillion dollars or so from the show. And the people who were around before, their friend Beth and Aunt Jodi and Kate's brother, they seem to be gone. The last few episodes have had things like Jon and Kate get their teeth whitened. Jon gets hair plugs. They go to Idaho. They go to Disneyworld. They go look at a GIANT house they might buy. They go to the beach and stay in a gorgeous location. I have not seen her cooking much lately, or cleaning, or going to the grocery store. Now it is no longer at all realistic. I've heard that there is now a chef, someone who grocery shops and someone who cleans the house. Kate works out 1 hour and 15 minutes every morning on her treadmill. Hmmmm, I suppose I could do that too - if I got up at 5 am every day. But then I think, maybe she does get up to work out at 5 am. I don't know. It is just a t.v. show, there is a lot we don't see. But we sure do see a lot . . . and maybe that is becoming the problem.

Friday, October 3

The Great Escape

Twice a year I escape my family and spend the weekend away. I am ecstatic to report that THIS WEEKEND is one of those weekends! You see, every January I have an annual "Girls Weekend" with my college friends, a tradition that is going on it's twelfth year. But about three years ago we began a sister/cousin weekend in New Hampshire at the lake. This consists of me and my three cousins, and this year we have added Caitlen, my brothers girlfriend, to the group. (Welcome Caitlen). Last weekend the boys had their turn, and they spent two straight days having fires, drinking beer and eating red meat. Dennis came home in exactly the same clothes he left in on Friday afternoon, his bag unopened, smelling like fire, meat and B.O. Lovely! Our girls weekend is a little different. We will eat of course, there will be wine and other delicious alcoholic beverages consumed, and some shopping. We will attempt a fire, although in years past we have had varying degrees of success in this endeavor. Unlike the men who rarely if ever left the campground, we will go out to eat, where others will wait on us and there will not be crayons anywhere on the table. We will shop with no one tugging on our arm to leave. We will be making no mad dashes to the nearest restroom or stooping down to tie anyone's shoe. In fact, there will be no stooping the entire weekend. Oh joy, I am excited. Off to pack!