Friday, December 31, 2010

11 in '11

1. Eyebrow maintenance - truly, only Brooke Shields can pull this look off

2. 11 pounds - I figured I would make it thematic, I do that

3. Learn how to use the sewing machine and make something worth wearing for something. I figure I have until October, as Natalie has requested to be a rainbow for Halloween.

4. Stay ahead of the laundry - may this be the only resolution I break

5. Beat my first 5K time, which ultimately means I must run another 5K

6. Run a 10K

7. Work on the Bro's scrapbook - seriously, I posted about this a year ago. He's two; it has one page completed. Natalie's has four years....ooops

8. Stop feeling guilty about taking time out for just me

9. Go on a date with my husband at least once a month

10. Find a way to get Natalie to eat vegetables

11. Follow Through!



Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Binge and Purge

This is post 199 for those of you keeping track. I'm almost at my goal, which in Kristen's world is usually where I start to slack off and lose steam...yes, I do slack off. But not this week, no not so much.

Although we may be in a "down" economy, it was a banner year for gifts in this household. Between Hanuka and Christmas celebrations (not to mention the birthday smack in the middle of the two), I am pretty sure that Natalie received everything (she can remember) that she wanted. My brother, with no children of his own (yet), went nuts. NUTS! Not in a bad way, more of a beloved, child-like, awesome uncle way. Games, barbie, a Home Depot work bench, a gumball machine, two electronic Thomas trains. That isn't even everything he bought and he isn't the only one who bought gifts! This sent me into a tailspin of cleaning and reorganization.

First, the upstairs craft closet (yes, we have more than one). Natalie was a good sport about throwing things out. I must give her credit because she really is a queen of ideas for repurposing materials. She is so convincing that even while I am in my mad woman phase of "everything must go" she makes me stop and think, maybe we should keep those ties that hold toys to the cardboard in order to make whatever clever idea she just told me." But I stayed strong, praised her creativity and resourcefulness and threw them out. OUT! The upstairs craft closet was the easiest, I have to say. Making room for the Crayola music draw thing and the light up Color Wonder paint set was easy.

Next came the game closet. It has been my dream, since before we had kids, that when we had kids we would have one of those game closets that had every game imaginable. Shout out Lyman family. I wanted their game closet. In fact, it is the model in my head as I reorganize every time a new game comes in. This holiday season brought us:

Twister
Scramble (aka Perfection)
Sorry (but not the original, although still on my list, a shuffle board version)
Kerplunk
Operation (which we already had, so we will pick out something new)
Three new puzzles

I'm tempted to list our entire collection, but I will spare you until another day. All I have to say is that it is good. Not finished, but if you wanted to come over and play a game, chances are we have it. And if you do want to come over, well, we're game. hahhahahhaha

There was some after hours purging that had to happen to make this organization possible. We said goodbye the the magnetic Melissa&Doug Calendar which had so many pieces that I was constantly picking up, I was not sad to see it go. Some noisy bug game that none of us knew how to play, and bag full of other stuff that really wasn't that great because I can't even remember what it was.

Since I was on a mission and we were snowed in on Monday, I decided it was high time that we take all the bins down from the attic, go through them, and purge. It feels so good. I organized all of Natalie's baby clothes (just in case), condensed three Christmas bins into one, and went through all of my work clothes from before I had Natalie. We threw so much out, that we were left with six empty bins. The rest we lettered and made a list as to what was in them.

The tree is undecorated and ready to be taken out and I feel that we are well prepared to bring in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Distractions

I am spending too many sleepless hours worrying about my house becoming a vomitorium. I warned you that is consumes my thoughts for the next few months, especially since a small wave actually hit us. I literally lay awake picturing the pie scene from Stand By Me and it is just a domino effect of illness. If you don't understand this reference, shame on you and go rent this fabulous coming of age film. Shame!

I became so entrenched in these worries this morning that I was totally convincing myself that I was feeling ill which of course led to a headache, which immediately concerned me that the brain aneurysm was coming. Seriously, this is the train of thought. After thinking about this for an hour or so, I thought that I would fight off my seasonal OCD with obsessive thoughts of more mundane things including, but not limited to:

1. "The Royal Engagement"
I am not really sure why I am supposed to care about this. People.com thinks that I am and have, therefore, dedicated an entire portion of their site to coverage of: Prince William and Kate Middletons' photographic and genic journey of courtship; Kate Middleton's fashion sense; Tiaras and former royal portraits. One of the Bush girls and Chelsea Clinton were married (not to each other, *gasp* could you imagine - how fabulous would that coverage be) and they did not get their own special sections on this website. Food for thought.

2. Justin Beiber
I have no idea what any of his songs are- they may be very good. I don't know. I find his hair and gummy smile disconcerting and overall he just makes me feel old. I am sure if I were a tweener, I too might be "in love" with him, although even as a "tween" he wasn't really my type. Oh Dylan McKay - now that was hair worth swooning for, right girls...and some male readers ;)

3. The Kardashian Christmas Card
I am an admitted tabloid junkie, so yes, I frequent People, USMagazine, and Eonline.com with regularity. This card is everywhere. It is not the crazy, over the top glamour of the card, I mean, really, they are the Kardashians, I expect nothing less than fabulous. The thing that I can't get over, is that Bruce Jenner has four other children who are not featured in the card. Where are they? At the very least, one would think that Brody would make the card. Yet, the only Jenner children are Kylie and Kendall. Yes, I keep up with the Kardashians, but it is Christmas people extended Kardashians via new marriage should share in the holiday cheer.

Ahhhh, all better.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quarantine

I want to say that I have few rules, but the truth is I have few rules that I impose all the time. And really it is one rule with three categories.

Do not come to my house if:
1. You have head lice
2. You have pink eye
3. If you have recently (within the week) had a stomach bug

These things are all pretty highly contagious and while I am worried and hate to see my children sick, I think the bigger issue I have is if I get them. I truly believe that if I am affected with one of these illnesses/ailments that my house is going to fall apart and crumbled to the ground. I am that important and good at my job, that there is just no possible way they would survive without me for a day or so. Without a doubt, it would be a challenge for Dan, but deep down I know they would survive, barely, but survive they would.

People who know me know that these are my three rules and I am steadfast in them. Especially the stomach bug. Very strict no play for a week after puke. No joke, I won't let Natalie go to their houses for a week, at which point I am still nervous, but have talked myself off the ledge. I know I said it in the last post, but honestly, from November to March, I worry that every cough in the middle of the night, every slight stirring in a bedroom I hear, is someone getting ready to run themselves to the bathroom.

I thought we were in the clear when the bro got sick, but it was not devastating. We were not up all night with a tiny little man who really had no idea what was happening. But wouldn't it be just my luck, with the rules I have and rules that everyone knows about, that my Natalie would throw up all over my neighbors bathroom. Oh the horror and humiliation! I really thought we were in the clear. But at least I now know that I have these crazy rules for a reason and much to everyone's dismay and mental stability I have quarantined the three of us for the week...and it is awful. But in the end, when everyone is healthy with strong tummies to withstand Christmas Eve dinner of fish and Christmas cookies, my little people will thank me (someday) for my insane rules, which really, as I learned the hard way, are not so insane.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sick Days


My little bud bud is sick. :( I hate when the kids are sick. It is in my top three worst aspects of parenting, preceded by bath time and followed by whining. Which, sidebar, when I became preggers and my mother was all, "Oh, I hope that child is just like you" in a weird evil stepmother vindictive, retribution way, I am pretty sure it was the whining about EVERYTHING that she was wishing upon me. But Natalie isn't the sick one.

It seems that when the bro gets sick he likes to make it really count. I, knock on wood - loudly, have relatively healthy children. Which is good, since I spend most days and nights of November through March worrying about stomach viruses. Colds, we get, but we are pretty lucky in terms of the flu, strep, croup, bronchitis, etc. But the bro, he's been housing something for the past two weeks or so. It started with a runny nose and a rough cough, which ran its course. But Wednesday, his birth day no less, the little man was in rare form. I mean, don't get me wrong...the kid doesn't sit still, but this day nothing occupied his attention, not even Fran Flynn the magician at dinner. If a magician can't do it, neither can I!

So, Wednesday he was all wiggly jiggly and out of sorts. Thursday, this is not for the weak of heart, he had a diaper that required all clothes to be stripped in the tub and an immediate wash down. I knew, in my mommy heart, that this was the preface to the dreaded vomit. But I will give the kid credit...he held it together at the dance studio, at Trader Joe's, Willow Books, and the car ride home. We walked in the door, up the stairs and WHAM - puke all over. Just the one time.
He went to bed at seven, awoke at ten (UNHEARD of), took a nap at twelve and puked all over at 4:30. But again held it together for the day. I hate the puke, but he kept rubbing his tummy telling me he didn't feel well (because he doesn't yet have those words) and then when it was done he was fine. But he still wanted to snuggle. And while I hate, hate, hate, the sickness it is the only time that he really wants to stay still and cuddle up next to me and be all snuggle puppy. So while I wish he felt himself, I am not so secretly happy for those few and far between (thank goodness) moments when he just needs his mommy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cute Always Cuts It


He's so cute, isn't he?

What you don't know about this picture, is that we had to be at Natalie's school for her Thanksgiving feast. I thought I was supposed to be there at 1:30, but really had to be there at 2:30. Because of this misunderstanding, this little guy had a not so great forty/forty-five minute nap in the car. When we went into Natalie's classroom, he was so overwhelmed by all the sensorial learning tools, he just kept shouting, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" You can imagine how disruptive this can be in a classroom of 3, 4, 5, and 6 year olds. Then, a tray of cheese and crackers were brought into the room for the feast and his yelling went from "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" to "CHEESH! CHEESH! CHEESH!"

I'm pretty sure we won't be invited back into the classroom anytime soon, but he sure is cute, isn't he?

Happy Birthday, JoeJoe!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas, Love Kristen

There are things, that I remember as a little girl, I thought would make me the "grown up" I would want to be. I knew that I wanted a refrigerator that had the freezer and the fridge door side-by-side. I thought this was some sort of class statement. I wanted a refrigerator with water built into it. Again, I thought this said something about the lifestyle I would be living. And I wanted to send out Christmas cards. Specifically, the kind that came with a photo of my beautiful, photogenic family. Of course, saying something about the life I had carved out for myself.

My mother used to have cards ordered with our names engraved into them. I remember finding them in my father's den closet. I found them because they were never mailed. I would venture to guess, that to this day, my mother has intentions every year of sending out cards. She probably buys them, misplaces them, and doesn't send them too. That is not a dig-- it is a truth. But regardless, I remember finding these cards that I thought so fancy just sitting in the closet. I wanted to have these cards with my name, my husband's name, my imaginary children's names engraved in gold.

Once I was old enough to buy my own cards, I would painstakingly choose them from Staples, Barnes&Noble, The Hallmark Store, the day after Thanksgiving, write a "Merry Christmas! Love, Kristen" in all of them, address them and send them on their way to arrive as early as acceptably possible. I thought I was so classy. Then I became engaged and was able to sign them "Dan and Kristen" THEN I became a mother and no longer had to write anything because I was finally able to send that picture card, which with the advances of modern technology was not an add it, but the card itself!

I find myself, now, getting a glass of water from the spout in my dual door fridge basking in the mantel full of photo cards, thinking I have indeed arrived.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Hello everybody!

I was intending to right a blog about how burnt I've been feeling, as some half-assed excuse for why I haven't written in a while. But then I thought, boo-hoo for me, who the hell cares?

So, instead, I started to think about how my baby boy is approaching two and my little blog here is also approaching two. (this is really about the blog, and not at all about the boy - come back next week at this time if you are hoping to hear about him). Also, when I logged in to start this post, I noticed that I have written 191 entries, not including this one. Which then led my tired, fried, yet fired up mind to think about how when television series hit 200 episodes it is a big deal...well, at least they make it out to be a big deal.

So first, I have set my own goal to hit 200 posts before January 1 - oh the pressure! But this is 192 and I know for sure that there will be a birthday blog in my future which will be 193, so I am already making great progress.

But what about these ch-ch-ch-changes I speak of. Well, I am thinking about updating the look of my blog. But there is this voice in the back of my head, it belongs to an Italian man with a handlebarish mustache and a martini in hand, "Continuity, Kristen..." and that's when I'm not hearing "You can always order a pizza." Which, was said no less than three times last night.

So, I thought I'd throw it out there and let you know that the face of K.Rabs Blabs will be changing in the near future. I know there are some readers who would like me to change the name to What Would Kristen Do, but I feel like that might be a different blog...oooooo, like a Dear Abby blog...sorry, focus.

Heads up my dear readers, if you come back and I look different, slimmer, taller, whatevs, it's still me, just two. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fashion Lady


It all started with this outfit:


And the best part, which you can't see is that she has heart patterned socks underneath her tights. This was the beginning of Natalie dressing herself and I didn't stop her because I had a new infant in the house and her crazy outfits made me smile. So she and I made a deal, that she could put on whatever she wanted as long as it was weather appropriate. This often meant that, in the dead of winter, Natalie would come out with a sundress layered over a sweater and a pair of jeans...and I never stopped her. I allow her to go to school in these crazy outfits for two reasons. The first, it is one of very few things she continues to do that reminds me that she is still only five years old. Second, someday she is going to put on one of these ensembles and some other kid is going to make fun of her and that will be the day that her reckless abandon with coordination will most likely end. So for now, I sit back and enjoy the purity of her choices.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eat

Tonight, while I was making a very labor intensive risotto and thinking quite highly of my culinary skills, I was also thinking about people who often comment on my food statuses that I post on Facebook. I don't get many accolades for impressive meals at home, but when I put them out there for the public to see, I am often amazed how people are often amazed. So, yeah, I brag to make myself feel better. The truth is, it is all trial and error. There are a lot of dishes I want to make, but ultimately know they aren't worth the "just try it battle." or the guilt I have to feel as I watch Dan silently suffer through the meal-- the stoic father showing his young children the proper dinner behavior.

I didn't always cook there are a couple of people out there, namely my husband who can share with you a story about how I killed chocolate covered strawberries (back in the day) and an awful, awful, awful attempt at lemon chicken. But a long time ago, in a small apartment in Brighton, MA a young unemployed girl was bored and needed a hobby. And even now that I do cook, they aren't always good. But I have a philosophy that if we don't try the recipe, we'll never know.

And don't think that I just whip up these fantastic dinners. There is a lot of thought that goes into a weekly menu and I assure you, there is a weekly menu that is posted on the fridge every Sunday. I sit and look through countless cookbooks and favorite websites (website, really) to find new and interesting things that I think my family will eat. I stay away from things that I don't like and for the most part I stay away from things I know, for a fact, that no one else will like, but I do sprinkle new dishes into each weekly menu.

I actually know a lot of people who cook and make great things, but tonight as I was making a new dish that I thought for sure was going to be a COMPLETE failure, I thought, maybe I should post some easy, go to, I know everyone in my house will eat recipes. And, so I will. Conveniently, four of the five recipes come from the same site, so I will just give you the link, but last, one of Natalie's (my pickiest eater) favorite, is from Real Simple, and it is really simple.

So for those of you who read and cook or read this and want to cook, I challenge you to make at least one of these recipes which my family enjoys. And please, please, please, if you do make something, leave a comment and let me know how it goes and if you like it and you want something else, a specific ingredient (I rarely do beef), comment, or email, or Facebook me and I will see what I can do. Let's spice things up. hahahhaha pun totally intended.

Monday:
Chinese Chicken and Noodle Salad
**Notes
This recipe tells you to find a special Ramen Noodle. I can't so I go with the regular package.
I have made this with red cabbage and it is just as good.
Dare I say, use bought orange juice-- the dressing isn't as good if you squeeze an orange yourself.
Good left over - although I have found there isn't much!

Tuesday:
Creamy Avocado and White Bean Wrap
**Notes
If you don't like avocado, I don't know that I can help you with this one.
Chipotle in Adobo can be found with the GOYA stuff in your store. The recipe doesn't use much, it adds a little heat so if you don't like spicy cut the amount. You can freeze the rest of the chipotle for up to six months.
I like to make this recipe and the Monday recipe back to back because together they use up the entire head of cabbage.

Wednesday:
Apple Turkey Picadillo
**Notes
I use the entire package of ground turkey
If you don't like green olives, leave them out, but it won't taste as good.

Thursday:
Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad
**Notes
I've only made this with chick peas. Both Dan and I agreed it needed a little flat bread or something to go with it, but overall, GREAT dinner salad. Even my mother-in-law raved, so there.

Friday - Natalie's Fave
Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs with Edamame and Snow Peas
**Notes
I always make this with brown rice because that is all we have. I also cut the rice recipe in half because we aren't huge rice people.
I have made it without the edamame and it was just as good.
This one of my top five go to meals.


So there you have it. These are all things that my 36 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old will eat. They aren't hard and I have more if you want um.


Enjoy!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks


Today I ran my first official 5K and I am thankful that I was physically able to it. But more importantly, as I jogged out of a wooded road towards the last half mile or so, I felt compelled to look back. And there, standing in the road I saw Natalie and Dan. I don't know what made me turn my head-- I told Natalie it was the force of their love that made me look, which I actually believe, but whatever the reason, I looked back and there they were.

And in the last half mile, my heart swelled, and I found a new drive to keep going. Because my little family came out early and stood in the cold to keep me going, as they do everyday. And for this, I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Volunteerism

This is the latest condition from which I am suffering. I sometimes feel that part of taking on the whole stay at home mom thing means that I must always be busy with something related to my children. If I am not doing and going and planning and baking and picking up or dropping off, then what is my time worth? I feel that all hours should be "billable" which is really a larger plot for Dan to constantly see that I am too busy to ever go back to a full time, full paid job outside of my home.

So I find that in that time that we don't have anything planned I offer to volunteer to do things. I am a class parent, I do library duty, I make library crafts each week, I am a Cookie Mom for Natalie's Dasiy troop (yes, if you want Girl Scout cookies, please buy them from us), and most recently I am the "Volunteer Coordinator" for the book fair at Nat's school. If it wasn't bad enough that I feel the compulsion to volunteer for everything, I now have an official title to project this illness on other people.

I have achieved volunteer cult leader status.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Skinny

Today I fit into a new pair of jeans...well, and old pair of jeans, but new to me to be able to fit into them. Did ya get that?

I am not a naturally slim girl--I have to work very hard to maintain whatever weight I am and as you can imagine the lower the weight the harder the work. What I would give for just one day - ok one week- to have one of those crazy skinny-girl metabolisms. But alas, that was not the genetic gift I was given. I have lips, which are good, too, but they don't have to fit into clothes, so...you get the point.

But yesterday I found myself constantly pulling my pants up, which is quite possibly one of the most unattractive things a person can do. I mean seriously, who wants to see that? So this morning when I got dressed for an early meeting, I went ahead and took out those jeans that for a while now have just been a tiny, little bit too tight. Enough tight that I was self conscious wearing them. However, this morning they were just enough a little less tight that I wouldn't tuck a shirt into them, but enough less tight that I don't have to hike them up all day either.

In my world this is more that a small victory. This is the product of classic hard work, eating right and all good things in moderation. Which ultimately will mean that I will give myself a break this weekend and not fit into these jeans on Monday...but today, today I do.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week End

I look forward to the weekend. I spend all week keeping busy, running from playdate to play group to school to dance to dinner to whatever. I'm like a shark and if I stop during the day, I will die. I try not to sit down until 8pm except for those minutes spent driving, but let's face it, I can't really relax while I'm driving because, well, I'm driving.

But on the weekend, there is another set of hands. Someone who can watch the kids while I shower or make dinner or throw some laundry in or vacuum, ok I don't do that, but I do all that other stuff. I can manage two kids, I don't necessarily need another set of hands, a financial backer yes, but hands not so much. However, it is so wonderful to have them handy. And I am pretty sure that there are two tiny humans who are happy to have a yes man in the house.

But every so often, and there is focus on the often (which I assure you Dan will read the wrong way) he takes off...for a day or two to the mountains. And I don't fault him, he works hard for this little family and deserves to go to his happy place. But man, do I miss that weekend help when he is gone.

Today was an especially long day without him. We had nothing to do. I had no play dates or play groups to go to. In fact, all of our closest friends were otherwise occupied. And after five days of going, going, going, I kind of ran out of steam and just didn't want to go anymore. We managed to make it through the day. We did some swinging, some sliding, some markering...we went out of pizza and ice cream. I even let Natalie sleep in my bed and if the Bro weren't the cutest, most adorable pain in my ass, I would enjoy having him snuggle up in there with us too...but he's just not there yet.

So now the house is quiet, the fire is still going from the insane amount of wood I hauled and tended to; I have cleaned and reorganized the spice cabinet and the toys, watched a movie that Dan wouldn't want to see, drank some wine, did some laundry, and am ready to go to bed so we can all wake up and find the extra set of hands, we so very much missed, here tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Love

Natalie has her very first crush, and it is so, so sweet. It was brought to my attention a few weeks ago as she was getting dressed for the day. She stood in front of her closet, staring at her clothes, saying, "I wonder what Michael is going to wear today?"

I heard it in passing and stopped in the hallway. "What did you just say?"

Very frankly, she look at me and repeated, "I wonder what Michael is going to wear today."

"Why?"

"So we can match," she says as though I should have realized it already.

Wouldn't you know that she and this little boy also take "Theuter Games" together, where they sit next to each other, and when we leave they say good bye back and forth until someone finally reaches the car.

She has been a little distraught this week since her "good buddy" as she put it yesterday, has been out sick.

"Can we send him a message, Mommy? Asking if he is feeling better and when he is coming back to school and if we can have a playdate?"

And so I did, because who am I to stand in the way of young, adorable, five year old love.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Party Attire

Weeks ago, Dan and I received an invitation in the mail requesting our attendance at a function, gala if you will, at Natalie's school. At the bottom of the invite, which was for an evening cocktail party, it said, "Party Attire." We RSVPed yes and immediately I started asking people, "What do you think 'party attire' means? Need I remind you that I find showering overrated and wear a staple wardrobe of black leggings, sports bras, and sneakers? I don't think I do, I have beaten that horse many times. But, just in case...I don't really do party attire.

So I asked people who attended the function last year and didn't really glean too much information. What is came down to was some people were really dressed up and some people weren't. Those were vague guideline for me to work with. This led me to hem and haw and stare at the lack of party clothes in my closet. I asked my neighbor if she had anything, but she is at least two sizes smaller than me and so many inches, so borrowing something from her was really a shot in the dark. However, she kindly let me take four dresses to try on, but nothing that I felt was what I was really looking for. I wanted to look like I was going to a party, but I still wanted to be the me I have become. And so, I went shopping.

Now, I hate shopping for clothing about as much as I hate packing, but it needed to be done. Much to my dismay not only were most of the things I found flat out ugly, it would seem that in my hiatus from buying proper clothes, the current style is straight cut and pencil skirts. There is nothing about me that is straight or pencil shaped. Even if I lost fifty pounds, not only would I be severely unhealthy, but I would still be curvy. I picked a few pieces really just for the sake of trying on since I had managed to get out of the house and to the mall with no little humans along for the ride. Wouldn't you know, that just as I was getting ready to head into the fitting room, my neighbor sent me a message about a dress in Ann Taylor and she was there at that moment. Shopping without children and with another female - WHAT? I returned my pieces to their fixture homes and headed to the next store.

What she had found was a black cocktail dress, and it really wasn't what I was looking for. I did, however, find a great fitting pair of black dress pants and a shiny, flowy, red top. I am neither shiny nor flowy, but the top said party and it was comfy. Through the dressing room wall, my neighbor was not convinced, but once she saw it, she assured me that it was indeed "party attire."

Fast forward to last night - or rewind if you will - and as I was prepping my perfect party attire I burnt a hole in my brand new shiny red top. That's right - melted it right under my iron. Fortunately, the iron is in the basement and I was all alone, because some choice expletives that rarely escape my mouth came flowing like a river. BRAND NEW! THE TAGS ARE STILL ON IT! ARGH! You can imagine that I am not a person to have a back up party shirt, seeing how I had to go out and specifically purchase something in the first place. Lucky for me, I had acquired some clothing this summer from a friend who has a whole closet full of "party attire." It would have to do. I wore an out of black, which I found very comforting, did some crazy thing with hair gel, painted on some red lips, put on some sparkly, dangling earrings, and headed out the door.

I photo of this would have been nice. But Dan will tell you, I was doing that thing that women (me and his mother) do when we have to be somewhere and things aren't really going along with the plan in our head - his words were, "crazy and I don't like it." So you will just have to imagine how partyish I looked.

And let me tell you, there was a man in a rugby shirt and a woman in a full length ball gown at the affair. So if you receive an invitation that says party attire it means that some people get dressed up and some people don't. But overall, it probably would have been slightly less stressful to just stay home in some black leggings and sneakers.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bucket List

This summer I started running. I'm not really supposed to run - having an artificial joint and all, but for the first time in my life I am actually enjoying it. I love the way it feels when I actually feel the rhythm, hit my stride, and the endorphines totally kick in. I'm an endorphine junkie and have been for quite some time. I feel super good after a run, too, in a way I haven't felt since I was doing psycho double spinning sessions with Jonathan the Bike Nazi at Mike's Shcwa Gym. I miss those days...but I am finding that joy again in my running.

Now, you need to understand, that I lock my laptop into a treadmill and run for a solid forty minutes while watching shows I missed the night before. It's win-win, really. Exercise - check, caught up on the latest pop culture - check.

Tonight I registered for my first 5K because it is one of those things in the back of my head that I have always wanted to do. But then I was told that I shouldn't and I couldn't and blah blah blah, and now I am finding, although my orthopedist might not agree, that I can and it feels good, so I will. I'm a little scared to do it, seeing as I just mentioned I watch tv while I run and the 5K isn't going to be in my basement, but actually outdoors, on a road. But I am also super pumped that I can actually cross something off this mental bucket list.

Side note, I have requested a knife skills class for my birthday this year, so if that happens, perhaps there will be two things I can cross of my list. Now, if I could actually write a book, publish a poem, take a bike tour of Ireland, and eat whatever I want without a care in the world, and find at least five more usable hours in every day, I would be making some serious dents in this list.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This Week in Review


accomplished
not so much
but wait, I'll tell you a story

Monday
:
  • pick up Dan's shirts from the dry cleaner (they were ready last Wednesday)
  • food shop
  • prepare snacks for Natalie's class (cheese and crackers per Natalie's request) We were all set to purchase our Triskets and cheese, when overwhelmed by the choices in cracker and cookie aisle (one which we rarely go down) Natalie changed her mind to cheese flavored rice cakes and red grapes
  • drive Natalie to school
  • transfer the bro from car to crib for nap
  • laundry a load when into the machine, but that's as far as I got with it/tidy/exercise the exercising would have happened if it hadn't been for the previous night's sleep or lack thereof. But since I didn't exercise, I used the time to...I don't really know how I used that time
  • shower - this happened, but not until 7:30 pm
  • wake bro up :( and pick Natalie up from school
  • prepare dinner of Acorn Squash with Spiced Couscous
  • Gymboree from 6:30-9:30 for no good reason other than to get out of the house without any children I am not saving the world here people, I found someone to cover the shift who needs the work more than I need to get out of the house and did I mention my poor sleep?
Tuesday:
  • watch neighbor's child in the morning
  • pack Natalie snack for after care
  • drive Natalie to school
  • transfer the bro from the car to the crib for his nap
  • tidy/exercise and bonus laundry
  • shower I had hoped, since I didn't have to wake the Bro to get the Sis, that I would dry and straighten my hair, but it would figure that on the one day of the week that I don't need to wake him, he wakes from his nap at 2pm. So he and I went to storytime
  • prepare dinner of Turkey Poblano Chili made by 11am and I made a batch of pumpkin muffins
  • Pick Natalie up from "Theuter" Sports
  • Attend parent meeting for Natalie's Daisy troop
  • Meet friends for late night (8pm) adult beverage, which has had to be rescheduled three times the first place we went to as brown Lisa put it, "smelled as though the floor should be sticky." Although there were people older than us there, I felt old and out of place. So we headed to Chloe's, and while my cider-tini was tasty, it literally took a half hour to get it to the table and we were sitting in the bar section. But fun nonetheless
  • Glee on DVR
Wednesday:
  • stay n' play group
  • bagel lunch because that is what we do on Wednesdays
  • drive Natalie to school
  • transfer the bro from car to crib for nap
  • laundry/exercise
  • shower
  • wake up bro :( and pick Natalie up from school
  • await Nannie's arrival she told me she was going to leave "late morning"
  • prepare dinner of Zucchini and Potato Latkes and Mini Greek Pizza Muffins I just didn't have it in me with the realization that we needed to carve a pumpkin, finish up the butterfly wings, and I would have had to go to the supermarket for tomato paste - we ordered Chinese Food
  • prepare craft for library by "prepare" I mean Google "pumpkin craft"
  • finish butterfly wings for the first of five Halloweens
  • carve at least one pumpkin and roast seeds par for the course - rescheduled for Friday evening
Thursday:
  • use Nannie's presence and exercise in the am Nannie's presence was used to buy us breakfast at the diner. I opted for a spinach omelet rather than the banana nut pancakes I really wanted. We hit the library for a quick pumpkin book search, but were derailed on our timeline when we walked right into "Sing-a-long with Debbie". We left we a new activity for Thursday mornings and signed up for storytimes for both the Bro and Natalie on Tuesdays
  • shower AND I dried my hair AND straightened it AND put some lipstick on...WHAT?
  • leave the bro with the Nannie and take Natalie to school
  • conference with Natalie's teacher
  • volunteer for library duty at Nat's school
  • release Natalie from school early
  • Change into costumes for Downtown trick or treat
  • Meet up with Suzy and Aurora to trick or treat at local storefronts
  • Pick up dinner of Chinese food since we moved Chinese to Wednesday night, this left us without a plan. We went to a very crowded (with downtown trick or treaters) Horseshoe Pub, where the people sitting next to us, told us we had the best behaved children in the entire restaurant and told me I was doing a great job - it's nice to hear that from strangers every once and a while AND it made me love my kids even more than I already do.
  • wrangle sugar high children to bed they were actually super tired and only ate two pieces of candy. Natalie opted for Whoppers and a pixie stick - which did have some sugar backlash, but she was only able to eat half since she stuck the stick in her mouth, it got wet, and I had to rip it off. The Bro had a dumdum lolly and a bag of pretzels.
  • stay up too late watching Thursday night television
Friday:
  • bye bye Nannie
  • take Natalie to school we then stayed to watch Natalie and her classmates parade around the playground in their costumes.
  • transfer the bro from car to crib for nap
  • exercise
  • shower
  • wake up bro :( and pick up Natalie from school Dan was working from home, so I was able to leave the Bro with him.
  • play on school playground I had forgotten that the Middle School students were hosting a Halloween Fair at school, so we stayed for that and won a pumpkin cake in the cake walk.
  • prepare dinner of Oaxacan Chicken I was going to make the latkes for dinner, but we didn't get home until 5:30. Mini quiches for the kids and Dan and I ate leftovers in an effort to both clean the fridge and not waste food.
  • breathe Carved a pumpkin (Swiper) then fell asleep on the couch
Saturday:
  • suggest to Dan we should prepare and can chicken stock leaving him to do most of the work :) Dan was more than happy to do this, and he did it all on Friday
  • Natalie to birthday party
  • prepare (Dan) dinner using new homemade stock - Chicken Noodle? Since I was going to make the latkes yesterday, that put the Chicken here, but again we were derailed with last minute errands, luckily our neighbor asked if we wanted to leave Natalie at her house to play, so Dan, the Bro and I headed off and ordered a pizza on the way home.
  • exercise...maybe 2.5 miles, 200 situps, and 65 pushups - good enough
  • laundry
Sunday:
  • drive to Manch, NH for Halloween party hosted by the college roomie/bestie (suggest to family to fill up on food, because there will be no time to eat at home) Natalie did try to fill up on white chocolate covered kettle corn
  • return home and prepare for Hudson, MA trick or treat
  • hand candy out to small, cute children who actually say, "Trick or Treat"; hassle kids who are not in costume, too old and rude I actually stood at the door and waited for kids to say, "Trick or Treat" You can ask my neighbor, she watched it happen
  • put children to bed
  • steal pieces of Natalie's loot in lieu of eating a proper dinner 100 Grand, Mini Milkyway Midnight, Mini Reese's Dark, plus some wine at the neighbors while waiting for children to actually say, "Trick or Treat" Dinner of champs!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Dreamed a Dream

Last night was one of the worst nights of sleep I have ever had. In total, I think I had about five hours, which would have been find had they been consecutive. But I tossed and turned, read, watched some tv, answered some texts until about 12:30. Then at about 2am, I was wide awake with a screaming sore throat and thinking about all the things I didn't add to this week's list. The fact that Natalie and I need to finish decorating her butterfly wings for Halloween, which starts Thursday, continues on Friday with her school parade, Saturday for a costume birthday party, and Sunday for the actual Halloween. The duct tape needed to be covered with some black felt, elastic straps added so that they stay on, and she needs some antennae. So at 2am, I got out of bed, rummaged in the craft closet for the hot glue gun and black felt and got to work on that. I would have made the antenna, but can you believe that I don't have black pipe cleaners...what? Blue, yellow, red, green... add to lists - purchase black pipe cleaners. I also need to work in some Jack o' Lantern carving on Wednesday after school, and when I thought I would be breathing on Friday, I will actually be chaperoning Natalie and the Bro at Natalie's school Halloween Carnival. Breathing is overrated anyway.

Sleep would probably not have been so evasive had I not agreed to a cup of espresso at 4 o'clock. But when I picked Natalie up from Aurora's birthday party yesterday, Suzy was standing there with the coffee thingamajiggy already filled with the ground espresso. "You want coffee?" "Um, no," I say. "Are you sure?" "Well, no I'm not sure, but I am not going to have any." But she just stood there with it, like a caffeine drug dealer, handing out coffee to all the other parents standing in her kitchen. What was I to do? Like a caffeine junkie, I caved under the pressure. Alone, this espresso would not have kept me up quite the way I was, but we were then taken out to dinner where I consumed no less than three cups of green tea, which is caffeinated.

Hello, my name is Kristen, and I am an addict. It started when I was 17 and has gotten progressively worse for the past fifteen years.

I finished the wings and felt a little more at ease, so I attempted to sleep. No such luck. 3am, 3:30, 4...that was the last time I remember looking at the clock. And the sleep I found was so wonderful. It was deep and dream filled. I dreamt that I was at Natalie's school which was located on an apple orchard/pumpkin patch (which it is not) in a waiting room (which they don't have) and her teacher asked me to entertain the children as they came in from hay rides. She wanted me to sing a song about the joys of October. So I sang of apples and pumpkins and cider. I was so into this dream song that I yelled "CIDER!" out in my sleep and woke myself up. No joke! I woke Dan up too. I then had a case of the church giggles at 6:30ish in the morning. And sleep was gone again.

Now it is off to tackle the list, because tonight I need some sleep.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Week

Monday:
  • pick up Dan's shirts from the dry cleaner (they were ready last Wednesday)
  • food shop
  • prepare snacks for Natalie's class (cheese and crackers per Natalie's request)
  • drive Natalie to school
  • transfer the bro from car to crib for nap
  • laundry/tidy/exercise
  • shower
  • wake bro up :( and pick Natalie up from school
  • preapre dinner of Acorn Squash with Spiced Couscous
  • Gymboree from 6:30-9:30 for no good reason other than to get out of the house without any children
Tuesday:
  • watch neighbor's child in the morning
  • pack Natalie snack for after care
  • drive Natalie to school
  • transfer the bro from the car to the crib for his nap
  • tidy/exercise
  • shower
  • prepare dinner of Turkey Poblano Chili
  • Pick Natalie up from "Theuter" Sports
  • Attend parent meeting for Natalie's Daisy troop
  • Meet friends for late night (8pm) adult beverage, which has had to be rescheduled three times
  • Glee on DVR
Wednesday:
  • stay n' play group
  • bagel lunch because that is what we do on Wednesdays
  • drive Natalie to school
  • transfer the bro from car to crib for nap
  • laundry/exercise
  • shower
  • wake up bro :( and pick Natalie up from school
  • await Nannie's arrival
  • prepare dinner of Zucchini and Potato Latkes and Mini Greek Pizza Muffins
  • prepare craft for library
Thursday:
  • use Nannie's presence and exercise in the am
  • shower
  • leave the bro with the Nannie and take Natalie to school
  • conference with Natalie's teacher
  • volunteer for library duty at Nat's school
  • release Natalie from school early
  • Change into costumes for Downtown trick or treat
  • Meet up with Suzy and Aurora to trick or treat at local storefronts
  • Pick up dinner of Chinese food
  • wrangle sugar high children to bed
  • stay up too late watching Thursday night television
Friday:
  • bye bye Nannie
  • take Natalie to school
  • transfer the bro from car to crib for nap
  • exercise
  • shower
  • wake up bro :( and pick up Natalie from school
  • play on school playground
  • prepare dinner of Oaxacan Chicken
  • breathe
Saturday:
  • suggest to Dan we should prepare and can chicken stock leaving him to do most of the work :)
  • Natalie to birthday party
  • prepare (Dan) dinner using new homemade stock - Chicken Noodle?
  • exercise...maybe
  • laundry
Sunday:
  • drive to Manch, NH for Halloween party hosted by the college roomie/bestie (suggest to family to fill up on food, because there will be no time to eat at home)
  • return home and prepare for Hudson, MA trick or treat
  • hand candy out to small, cute children who actually say, "Trick or Treat"; hassle kids who are not in costume, too old and rude
  • put children to bed
  • steal pieces of Natalie's loot in lieu of eating a proper dinner

Friday, October 22, 2010

Melmo

When I was preggers with Natalie, I put a ban on Elmo. There was something about this furry red monster that annoyed the hell out of me. And while Elmo books made their way into our house and even an extreme Tickle Me Elmo who literally falls over and convulses with laughter- Natalie never really got into him. I think he was below her intelligence - for serious. She was a Dora girl through and through only to be replaced by her older cousin Diego and ultimately The Little Einsteins. So my worries of having to hear Elmo's annoying little baby voice were unwarranted.

That is until the Bro Bro started to walk to his book basket and say, "Melmo." Or point to the TV and say, "Melmo." Honestly, of all the words this child has decided to learn how to say, he says, "Melmo." Seriously, the kid can only say like fifteen things and with my luck, "Melmo" is one of them. He's obsessed. I now travel with Elmo books; books that have been collecting dust for the past four years because Natalie couldn't be bothered with such age appropriate reading at the time. Tickle Me Elmo rides along in the care going everywhere we do. Although we can't turn him on, because his laughter scares my sweet, sensitive little hurricane. I go out of my way to find episodes of Sesame Street and Play with me Sesame that feature Elmo.

I still find Elmo annoying and his damn song will be stuck in my head for days, but I've decided it is better than him running around the house saying, "Yo Gabba Gabba." Because that show is just messed up.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Uh-Oh

Today, as we were heading out to the car to take Natalie to school, she looked at our chimney, blowing smoke from the small fire I had started to heat the house, and said, "Mommy, how does Santa even get in the chimney?"

I told her it was magic. My answer for just about anything that I am not really wanting to get in depth with or because she just isn't happy with any of my other explanations. "Santa is magic." Usually this works, but I think she is on to me.

She then looked at me, point blank and said, "Mommy, is Santa real?" Sue Sylvester's "HORROR!" rang in the back of my head. I mean, we all know about my Santa issues. But she was looking to me for an answer, an answer that I decided six years ago, before she was born. I gave her a non-committal bobble head and a forced "mmm hmmm." Then I walked away from her to get into the car, thinking that this conversation was done. I kind of said yes, and while I totally didn't feel good about lying to her, but this is a kid who blew the lid off the Easter Bunny for her two best friends last year...and they were kind of bent about it. If her friends are upset about facing the reality that a giant bunny doesn't come to their houses, take their pastel dyed eggs, and hide them, imagine their reactions when Natalie tells them the truth about Jolly Old St. Nick.

In true form, she wasn't done talking about it. So I went to my second standard method of answering questions that I don't want or can't answer. "Natalie, do you think he is real?"

She thought about this for a while and then very rationally said, "No. I think that you and Daddy go out and buy the toys without me knowing and then you wrap them up so I don't know what they are."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

360

I have been called out on my weekly (if that) blog post. I couldn't do anything but agree, when my best friend told me my last entry was a total cop out. We have been friends since we were fourteen, how does one disagree with that? Even when I posted the pictures, I knew that it was nothing of substance, but something to buy me time until my next witty blog entered my mind. And that just hasn't been happening. Those seemingly mundane things strike me, and while I am driving in the car I work it out in my mind how I can twist this to make it seem funny, but even my thoughts are half-assed these days. So when I was confronted with this, I realized that I just feel that my life has come full circle.

I started this blog when I first started staying home and continued through Natalie's first full year of school. All of which gave me great fodder. And then, truthfully, we were so busy this summer that I just didn't have time or want to be in front of a computer. Now, we are back at the start of last year-- we wake up, run errands, eat lunch, drive Nat to school...only I know deep down there is more to this SAHM than that.

And I suppose that is why I have been the very best of friends with Karyn since we met. Because from day one, there was no pretense..it is what it is and while her husband may think he needs an "app" of my voice to tell her how it is some times, the fact of the matter is that it works both ways, and if she hadn't called out my slackerness ( is that even a word) I probably would have let another blog entry slip by.

Next on KRabs Blabs...what one might do with 65 pounds of apples, the truths about living with a concrete sequential mini-me, and how to recover from a human hurricane.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October

Brisk weather walks under happy little trees of crimson and ochre...



Fresh picked apples to be turned into apple pie, apple butter, and apple sauce...





Celebrating eight years of marriage...




Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Dinner

As I have mentioned, my father used to be a blogger, long before it was the "in" thing to do. I remember him blogging something about "Growing Up Italian." To be honest, I don't really remember much about the content other than it sounded a lot like growing up in my house. My father, being the oldest son of Italian parents had some very specific rules about living under his roof, and not just the 10:30 means 10:29, not 10:31 and if you are going to stay out past 10:31 you might as well stay out all night because the punishment will be the same, but most importantly was Sunday Dinners. We could have plans on Sunday with whomever, but we had to be home for dinner. He didn't care if we came alone or brought an entourage of people, in fact, I think he preferred the latter, but we had to be home.

My mother, who is not at all Italian but as long as I have known her quickly assimilated and cooks like one, would spend hours in our tiny kitchen making full course Sunday meals. Pasta, meat, salad, wine... my mother is a lot things, but other than a semi recent fish debacle a poor cook is not one of them. The woman can cook.

Dan, marrying into this family of Sunday tradition, has been waiting for ten years for me to carry on this tradition. I talked about it a lot-- promising each fall that this was going to be the year...well, here we are 2010, with two kids who need to learn that Sunday is for family, tradition, and Italian dinners.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pickle


Dan and I have recently revisted the idea of me going back to work next year. I feel like we have this conversation every six months or so. But the truth is, Natalie will be in first grade next year (crazy), which means that she will be in a school for a full day whether it be private or public. And the bro, well, he needs to go somewhere other than my hip for a few hours every day. At the very least, a couple days a week for socialization so he stops yelling "Baby!" in every body's face when they want to play with him or near him. When he isn't yelling, he is trying to be a five year old girl. Dan says that this is just the beginning of these conversations, but really, it is one very long one that we can resolve. "Just to start thinking about our options," he says.

However, I can't stop obsessing. Truly it is all I can think about...hiking in the woods, running on the treadmill, doing laundry, making dinner, driving Natalie to school, as I lay in bed re-reading the same sentence of my current book...I wrote this entry in the car (as a passenger) because I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Most of the time I am making mental pro and con lists, and honestly the pros are outweighing the cons in quantity but as for quality they just don't meet up. The only true con I have is that my kids will no longer be my first priority. I mean of course they will, they always will, but for eight hours in this middle of the day I will be with other people's children, focusing on their educations. And when we do all get to be home we will have a couple of short hours before everyone needs to go to bed so I can continue to work, grading and planning. And our weekends will be shortened because I will need to grade and plan, and they will take a backseat to 70 other kid's projects because I am obligated to them, and their parents, and my principal, and school district, and board of education. Whether I like it or not, that is just the plain old truth.

I have been a working mother and I know working mothers, and we delegate because we have to. We delegate the care of the kids to a day care or nanny, the "home cooked" meals to Trader Joe's and WholeFoods, the cleaning to a team of professionals (ok, I have already delegated that one) but you get the point.

Being a SAHM is a full time job, for serious. It is thankless, and long, and doesn't pay the bills, but it is a twelve hour day minimum. And for anyone who has every worked two jobs, you have to know that you just can't really do them both as well as you intend to or want to. One of them must suffer.

It is a pickle that Dan and I keep getting into. We want to have it all and we just can't. I can't make a pound cake and homemade whipped cream for dessert and work a "real" job. I just can't do it. Super Mom, perhaps...but Super Woman, definitely not.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tower Hill

Saturday we were all supposed to head to Carver, MA for King Richard's Faire. But due to some poor listening, those plans were cancelled on Friday evening, at which point Dan very quickly made new plans that did not include us. I was kind of pissed. Ok, I was totally pissed and the fact that I have been coffee and food free for the previous five days didn't really help. He left early Saturday morning to head out on a hike, and I had no intentions of just staying home waiting for his return. So I thought of things I could do on an amazingly beautiful Saturday with one parent and two children. Truthfully, I can do just about anything, except, I decided, apple picking. Although thinking about it now, if I just put the bro in the back pack then I would probably be able to carry an insane amount of fresh picked apples and managed him and his sister. However, that is not what we did, because clearly that revelation just happened now.

I thought, and thought, and thought some more. I wanted to make sure that what we did was fun and was something that Dan would feel he missed out on. Yes, I am full of spite. Did I mention that I have recently given up both caffeine and food? But that is for another day. My thoughts led me to Tower Hill Botanical Gardens, literally up the road from me. Just the thought of going there made me giddy with excitement. Natalie will be quick to tell you that she was not as excited as me.

We lucked out when we arrived, because although we are not members, the gate attendant let us in for free because there was a plant show. From the moment we got out of the car, I knew I was going to like this place. This is the view from the outdoor cafe, where I could not eat this time (sniffle), but have a plan to go back just so I can eat a fancy sandwich and look at this. I'm thinking when the leaves start to change.


The kids and I had our own little hike through a sculpture trail, ending at a wood gazebo over looking a pond full of bull frogs and cat tails. There was an awesome tree swing, which I think made the whole trip worth it for Natalie.



A systematic garden which a whole lot of different colored, deliciously smelling basils, beautiful peppers, and the largest lime I have ever seen.



As it turned out, Dan wasn't nearly has disappointed as I had imagined in my head, but the beauty of the gardens almost made me forget that I was mad at him in the first place.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Second Coming

I was all set to come back to this blog and put summer to sleep with a collage of pictures from our last and most recent trip to the shore. But that will have to wait, as will the blog entry that I wrote while we were on the way to the shore. In preparation for our week away, I packed, bought new sunblock, made lists, and filled the newly revived hermit crab's dish with water and food. And then I took it one step further to make sure that he stayed alive while we were gone, I placed the other food dish, that which belonged tot he long dead "Crawlie" and put it on the "Hermie" side. This thing was NOT going to die again, not on my watch anyway.

We returned from our final vacation on Sunday afternoon. We unpacked the car, turned the A/C back down, and I checked to see if in fact Hermie had survived. HE DID! The food dishes still had a little food in them, but were shifted around the tank. I daringly reached my hand in there to clean them out in order to refill them, and WHAT? what is that, Crawlie had resurrected from his sandy grave! This thing buried itself udder the sand three days after we brought him to our house, that would be June 13th! I was astounded to say the least. I couldn't stop talking about to the point that Dan was like, "Enough already, I get it"

The bro was super excited to have not one but two to point at. With his half gum half tooth smile, he points, "ISH!" I told Dan that the bro was going to be the only one sad to see them leave. Dan suggested we buy him one. I suggested we don't.

And now they have been safely delivered back to Natalie's classroom. And when I shared the story with her teacher.. "Oh Kristen, I'm so sorry...I should have told you that they like to bury themselves."

Yeah, thanks for that!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Never Ending Summer

Today is August 30th and in a teacher's world that means that there is one more sleep 'til Christmas, er, the start of the school year. The classroom gets set up, there are reorientation meetings, catching up, greetings from the higher ups. Since I am one third teacher and three parts mother, my mind and body still goes into back to school mode at this point of the summer. The cool mornings and evening truly have some mental/chemical effect on me. But this summer, on August 30th, I am not thinking of the first day of school outfit, oh no friends, I'm packing. That's right, packing because we aren't yet done vacationing because this wondering, amazingly sunny and warm summer just won't end. And the school year doesn't start the day after Labor Day, no-no, we have all next week too. Next week when everyone we know is back at school. Well, not everyone, there are those people with whom Natalie goes to school--they will be home, too.

But my mind and my body, they are prepared to go back to school, because it is August 30th.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back from the Dead

Today, the bro and I were enjoying some silly one-on-one time while Natalie was swept away on a playdate. He and I were tickling each other, and I was enjoying the best little baby boy laugh I know. It doesn't take much with him, and when he really gets going you can't help but laugh with him. And imagine my surprise, when through our laughter, I caught a glimpse of the hermit crab tank and noticed that a shell had a emerged on the left hand side. A shell that had not been there for at least a month. A shell that was buried far under the sand for so long, that the water had evaporated from the dish and assuming Hermie was dead, I never bothered to refill it. Yes, PETA folks, I neglected my hermit crabs...but they made their own graves and I assured myself it was not my fault, their lifespans must be short, and I should have been warned at the start of this very long summer.

(Sidebar: I have these shelled roaches for three more weeks since Natalie doesn't start school until September 13 - that's right 13th!!!!)

I literally gasped at the sight of this shell and all laughter stopped as the Bro and I carefully examined it from our side of the tank. I dared to take the lid off and actually picked up the shell to see if anything was in it. I mean there had to be, how else would the shell have gotten out of the sand, right? So I steeled my will and picked the shell up only to truly understand the term "heebeejeebees." Ew. One might have thought I was in a pit a snake or patch of spiders the way I dropped the shell, shook my entire body, and felt an immediate need to shower. Even the bro shook it off a little, and he eats ants. But I dare to say, I did in fact see a crab. One which I think struggled to dig it's way out of the sand to die, because it was weak and movement was limited.

Three weeks and counting and these heinous, half dead insect/crustaceans will be out of my life for good.

Bleh!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Down the Shore


Highlights:

  • the perfect place to wear bright pink toes, made brighter by my ever deepening shade of brown skin
  • beautiful weather six out of the seven days we were there
  • the perfect backdrop for beautiful pictures of my children
  • plenty of adults around so that I was able to go to the bathroom and shower whenever I wanted
  • an early morning jog along the ocean's edge
  • delicious egg breakfasts that someone else made for me
  • butterfly potatoes
  • a fresh caught fish dinner making the boys 9 hour absence well worth it
  • watching the pure joy and excitement on Natalie's face while riding boardwalk rides
  • mini golf

Lowlights:
  • Seaside (except for the butterfly potatoes, cheese steak, and orange cream cone)
  • Horseflies
  • splinters on the deck
  • breaking my tooth on a piece of peppermint salt water taffy
  • it only lasted a week


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Free to Be


I've been getting a hard time from some of my family members about the fact that I "allow" the Bro to wear tutus, shiny purple beads, tiaras, Snow White costumes...but many of these same people applauded me when I allowed Natalie to wear "little boy" underwear. I don't get it. Why is it ok for her, but not for him? The way I see it, Natalie and I are teaching him very important lessons about accessorizing so that one day, should he fall madly in love with a girl, he will appreciate her femininity - truly valuable. Between Nat and myself, he may end up being the perfect boy, perhaps with a love of the ballet.
When I showed my brother the picture posted above, he immediately responded that he was going to Toys R Us to buy the Bro a GI Joe "action figure."
" Um...is that like a doll?"
"No! NO!" he says. "It's an action figure."
"You know Natalie is going to want to play with it."
"Yah, I know. That's ok," he says.
Harumpf.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rundown

Hi, remember me? Friend, wife, mother of two, used to be an avid blogger...there are a few things contributing to my absence.

1. The discovery of Dexter. This disturbing, yet highly addictive show easily ate up three hours of my life each night. I had to keep watching. But we caught up on Season 3 and now have to wait until mid-August to get Season 4. So in the meantime, we have started watching Weeds, which is much easier to walk away from to do other things.

2. Camp, swim lessons, painting rainbows, playgrounds, playdates, barbecues, birthday parties, trips to NJ...Last week, I tried to make a date with my dear friend Steve and informed him that I wasn't available until August 9th. AUGUST 9th! And I am pretty sure I went and booked some stuff since then that makes me less available.





3. The destructive force better known as Hurricane Joe. I can't take my eyes off of him for one minute. Not one! Because in that minute, that blue eyed little cherub as dropped no less than five toys in the toilet bowl, plus all the toilet paper and his happy splashing around in there, eaten at least a handful of dog food, dropped no less than three things in the dog's water bowl (including my phone) and is happily splashing around or dumping the water all over the kitchen floor, had at least fifteen cents in his mouth, and is precariously perched on a chair that he will fall off of and ultimately cry about. Not one minute!

Now we are packing up to leave the Bay State for the next two weeks. Poof! Two weeks, gone! Luckily, one of those will be spent fist pumping on the Jersey Shore. Maybe we could record ourselves and sell it to MTV since we are real Italians...I'm just sayin'

So that's the rundown, and I am a little run down.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Natalie No. 5


My baby girl is five. Her aging process seems to be which similar to how a dog ages, becuase one might believe, regardless of her height and lack of permanant teeth, that she is in fact thirteen. But she's not, even though she would like to be. But still, she is one whole hand and that is a super big deal. I have kindly asked her to stop growing, but she gives me a dimpled smile, shrugs her shoulders and says, "Mommy, I can't help it. I have to grow."

Five things everyone should know about Natalie:

1. Her favorite colors are pink, purple, and blue. She likes all the other colors, but those are her most favorite and she tries to incorporate them into all of her outfits.

2. Her favorite princess is Ariel. And she likes to dance around the house singing, "I am the beautful princess, Ariel."

3. She likes a majority of processed breakfast meats - sausage, bacon, taylor ham

4. Cheese is her favorite food, she likes them all, including blue and feta. She refuses to eat melted cheese (ie grilled cheese sandwhich) unless it is in the form of a quesadilla. In this case, she will deepen her voice, and repeat the word quesadilla with five year old enthusiasm.

5. She can complete 300 piece puzzles by herself and is quite the talented builder of blocks and legos.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summertime

and the livin' is easy...mostly because it is full of hot dogs, hamburgers, sprinklers, a sandy beach, and plenty of ice cream.




Have I mentioned that it is good to be me? 'cause it is :)