Monday, August 31, 2009

Mums the Word

Yesterday, after omelets, Dan asked if I wanted to take a ride to IKEA. This idea excited me, because we are not a spontaneous people (with two kids and all). So we packed 'em up and drove down to the superstore. On the way there, Dan asked me what I wanted to look at. I was of course ready to redecorate the entire house in inexpensive Danish modern, but alas, I knew that was unrealistic. So, I settled for the following list: new kitchen chairs, some sort of kitchen hutch/sidebar type thing, and new storage for our overflowing playroom. I foolishly believed that I would leave with all of these things, too.

As it turns out, we were really at IKEA for Dan, who with a very clear purpose, led us to the home office section of the store where he picked up the items that he knew he wasn't leaving without.

Sure, we strolled through the kitchen department, and he feigned patience as I sat in a few different styles of chairs. There was, however, no looking at hutch/sidebars. We did spend quite some time considering storage options for the playroom, and Dan took a booklet with measurements and options. But I was empty handed. My little piece of paper and miniature golf pencil was not put to use at all. At this point Dan was, and I quote, "All set."

But what about me? Where are my kitchen chairs? I was disappointed to say the least and determined not to leave this store without something. I mean, I came all the way here under the guise that I was going to leave with something Dan would have to assemble when we returned home.

The IKEA people have specifically designed their store for people like me. We made our exit through the marketplace where I was overwhelmed by glasses I don't need, but want, kitchen utensils I still don't have, and would buy if I had, say, a sidebar with drawers where I could store them, scented candles that I would never light, and a variety of plants that I would inevitably neglect and kill. Then, we hit the carpets and against the wall I saw a full sized carpet of crimson with gold mums. It was like a beacon calling out to me, "Put me in your house, please." Ideas were racing in my head, where would I put this area rug. We need a new one in the bedroom, but the colors are really right. I just replaced the one in the living room, so that doesn't make practical, logical self couldn't find a way to make this work. IKEA heard me.

There in the corner of the store was the same pattern in a hallway runner. For a mere $40, I left IKEA without kitchen chairs, but smiling nonetheless.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Today I realized that I can't do it all. Maybe I can do it all and today I am realizing that I don't want to do it all or that I am choosing to not work hard enough to get it all done. Whichever, the bottom line is that I can't do it all.

I can't keep my house clean, write (paraphrase) 10 350 word articles each day, take care of two children, a dog, a husband, exercise, do laundry, shower, read important novels of the non Twilight variety, and have a well balanced meal on the table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I think this sucks. I don't know if there are any people who can do all of this, but I feel that I should be able to and am failing. I don't like to fail. I don't like not to be able to do it all.

This afternoon, Natalie had a serious four-year-old tantrum which I dealt with my carrying her to her bedroom, closing the door and letting her cry it out until she fell asleep on her floor. I then headed downstairs with the bro to put him in front of the television, because I have found he is mesmerized by the colors and music, so that I could punch out my ten articles. And what am I doing with my time? Blogging.

No wonder I can't do it all.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I am currently suffering from the following addictions:

Gum chewing
The Twilight Saga...still

I am currently suffering from the following conditions:
General Anxiety*

*these are diagnosed by me and I belive a direct result of the coffee addiction

I am currently suffering from the following bad habits:
Pore examination and unclogging

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Moment of Silence

The kids and I have been in New Jersey for five days. The key to survival here is to be busy, busy, busy-- and on this trip we have been. Not only are our days full, but they are mostly taking place outside, and it is hot! So hot that even I have to get into the pool, and I am a sun LOVER!

Today, after a morning of vigorous manicures (girlicures, as my four year old is quite literal) and pedicures, we headed to mi prima favorita's casa to check out the percolating baby's bedroom. In an amazing twist of fate, BOTH children fell asleep on the ride from Bergenfield to Woodcliff Lake. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I knew if I stopped the car, at the very least, the bro would wake up, and since I knew they both needed a nap, I just took the time and drove around.

I went past my parent's old house, my childhood home, (which I do at least once every time I am here) and shuddered at the fact that it has been painted white (as I do at least once every time I am here). And then I just kept driving, getting lost in the back roads of WCL. First, I scanned the houses wondering if the parent's of "kids" I went to school with still lived there. Then I started to question if those were even the right houses. The houses have changed so much in, er, fourteen years, that I wasn't even sure if I was questioning the right houses. I am not talking insane, Woodcliff Lake style, additions. I mean houses have been leveled and the quaint streets of Rose Ave. and Winding Way have taken on a completely different look and feel. IN FACT, I took a little spin up Carnot Ave, a dead end on which I would roller skate, not roller blade, to find that my cousins, FAMILY, have a new driveway entrance to their house. How much easier my life would have been if I had had a driveway entrance and didn't have to walk, in skates, through the thicket.

I so want everything to be exactly the way I remember it when I actually lived here. But even the houses of the friends I still keep in touch with have changed dramatically. My own natural brown shingled, childhood house, nestled against a brook has been painted white! I feel like there is a larger life metaphor here that I just can't or won't wrap my head around. So, in traditional Kristen fashion, I wrapped my head around things that remain the same no matter where I live.

DPW was repainting the white lines in preparation for the new school year that is just a couple of weeks away.

Some things never change.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Karma's a Bitch

Yesterday, after hours of driving to New Jersey, I took Natalie to play at Wood Dale Park. (where parties of ten or more need a permit, FYI) There were three other children there, roughly her age-- two boys and another little girl. Natalie feels that it is very important to immediately introduce herself to all children in the hopes that they will befriend her. Therefore, we met, Paul and his twin sister Mariel and a rather unpleasant little boy, Noah.

Paul and Mariel were very happy to play with Natalie. Noah on the other hand decided that the entire playground belonged to him and the plastic superheroes he brought with him. They (the superheroes) took over the one slide that was not in direct sunlight, which consequently was the only slide that the children could go down without suffering third degree playground burns. The three children with manners, Paul, Mariel and my Natalie, waited patiently, albeit confused, as Noah screamed in their faced, "MINE!" I believe his mother reacted only because the twins' mother and myself were ready to step in. "Noah," she said somehow condescending to us rather than him, "this is a playground for everyone, not just you." At which point Noah launched himself on the ground and began screaming, then picked up two fistfuls of mulch and threw them (redeeminingly) at no one in particular. Following this show, he ran over to the tire swing, pushed it with vigor only to have it swing back and knock him in the head. I took a deep breath, bit my lip, and although I knew he was only three or so, thought soundly to myself... karma.

Tonight, as I pretended to do work (in between scanning online tabloids and Facebook) I remembered seeing some TastyCake cupcakes in my mother's pantry. Now, I would NEVER dare to buy such a box of devil cakes, but I knew they were in there AND they were already open. And although the hour was really too late to eat them, I could see the picture of the weird, trans fat infested, high fructose corn syrup laden creamy filling and needed to have them. So I went to the pantry, took a package of cupcakes ready for the white sugar filling, only to bite into them to find solid chocolate. Normally, I wouldn't complain about this, but I was soooooooo in the mood for that artifical creme.

I ate both cupcakes to spite Karma for punishing me for finding a small amount of pleasure in Noah from the playground's punishment. I have a distinct feeling that this battle is going to end badly, for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pack It Up, Pack It In

I find packing, for any length of time, to be a serious source of stress. Loads of laundry rise from loads of laundry on both ends of the trip. I know it shouldn't be as hard as I make it, but I panic over the idea of not having everything I MIGHT possibly need readily available to me. Even with my father's voice murmuring in the back of my head, "You can always buy it." But I already have it! I don't want to buy another one.

Perhaps it would not be quite as bad if I were only packing for myself. But, usually, I am packing for at least three of us, if not four. And Dan is really the least of my concerns, because he doesn't really care what he wears or if it matches, so literally, I can throw anything into a bag as long as I remember underwear and deodorant. I, on the other hand, agonize over what I should bring for myself. Which is odd, because any one who sees me on a regular basis can tell you I am usually wearing some variation of the same outfit. I have, in my possession, enough black t-shirts to take me through at least two weeks, and now with the addition of my new colored ones, well, I am good for three more days. Yet, every time I prepare to pack I morph into a snappy, curt bitch. More so than usual for those of you reading and wondering how it is any different from any other day. ;)

If it were just my black t-shirts that needed to be organized, again, I might be able to get over myself. But add two kids into the mix, and that it a whole other story! Diapers, bibs, pajamas, bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, baby Tylenol, Children's Tylenol, binkies, Natalie's collection of important "aminals", her two princess pillows, sleep sacks, kid toothpaste, the correct number of pullups and extras just in case, a diaper bag, a beach bag, raincoats, a survival kit in case the bird flu finally infects us all...there is so much more than just t-shirts to think about.

Natalie suggested I make a list for N. Jersey so that I don't forget anything. I entertained this idea and asked for her help because she often thinks outside the box. The following is the list she provided me and I believe it is in her order of importance.

Ah, to be four.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's the Little Things

Today Dan sent me out on a mission to purchase a fan. I packed the kids in the car and headed off to, where else, Target. Of course when I began the journey to the superstore, I knew that I would be leaving with more than a simple desk fan and I am sure that Dan knew that as well. What I didn't expect was to find t-shirts on sale for $2.50! How exciting for me AND for Dan. I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, so this is a big deal. More impressive was the fact that I did not just stick with my uniform of black and white. Oh no, I ventured into the color spectrum and left with yellow, red, and a purplish color.

Before entering the store, I had bribed Natalie's good behavior. After yesterday's grocery store debacle, I wasn't taking any chances. If she behaved as her normal well behaved self (yesterday was the exception) I would stop and get her some Munchkins to eat after lunch. Carrot dangled, bait taken, and on the way home we stopped for the treat. When I arrived at the window to pay, the cashier handed me a tiny, little munchkin sized bag. "OH!" I commented and turned to Natalie, "Look at this neat little bag they have now!" I was much more excited than any grown woman should be about either donuts or the bag they come in. The cashier laughed at me and my four-year-old daughter rolled her eyes and told me she has already seen it.

Hmmm...well, it made me happy...even the eye rolling put a little smirk on my face.

I hope you find your happy today.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Food Coma