Friday, September 23, 2011


A friend of mine from high school writes a great blog about the joy of raising her twins and recently included a weekly post of "Mamas and their babies". I liked it SO much, that I asked her if I could steal it and tweak it for my own. How wonderful to have something definite to blog about each week, and even better it is about moms and their kids, and I spend a lot of time with those types of peeps. If ever there was a "snapshot" of my world it would be all the great mom friends I have. Much like the alleged snowflake, I find that no two mothers are a like. We all parent differently, have different strengths and weaknesses, but all the one's who I hang with and know are pretty impressive. So I thought I would start with myself and outline my momminess, as if this blog all about me and my kids weren't enough...

Q: How old were you when you became a mother?
A: 27

Q: How old are your children?
A: Six and almost three

Q: What is your favorite part of being a mom?
A: The best part of being a mom is having two little people who are learning to be whole people, loving and accepting everyone around them, and watching them grow to love things that I love.

Q:What is your least favorite part of being a mom?
A: The constant worrying and wondering and unknown of it all. And bath time.

Q: Stay at home or working out of home?
A: I'm a professional mom and that works for me and my family. I would consider part time work, but I don't think that I will ever return to something full time.

Q: What was the hardest part of becoming a mom?
A: I wasn't ready emotionally or mentally to be pregnant the first time around. It wasn't the plan I had set out for myself, so losing that time was hard for me to wrap my head around for nine months. But that all changed the minute Natalie was born.

Q: How did you chose your kids names?
A: Natalie was really supposed to be Naomi. That was the name Dan and I both liked from start to end, but Dan had liked Natalie. I fought him on it declaring that people would call her "Fatalie" or "Fat Nat", occupational hazard of a middle school teacher. But about two weeks before she was born, I just felt that her name should be Natalie. Her middle name is Gabrielle, like me. I wanted us to always have something in common. Joey is named after my dad and his middle name is Daniel because I thought Dan should have a piece of him attached to Joey.

Q: What is the best parenting advice you can give?
A: Find one and only one book you like, that suits your frame of mind. If you read too many, you will go nuts with all the different, contradicting ideas. But at the end, you know in your gut and will feel the "mommy alarm" going off. Trust yourself.

Q: Who are your mom role models?
A: June Cleaver, Lorelei Gilmore, and my friend, Elana. She makes raising three kids look pretty seamless. I am sure it isn't, but she makes it look that way.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Boy Friends

In July, my dear, sweet Steven got married. It was an important wedding for me, made even more important when Steve and Scott asked me if I would do a reading, making me a part of their celebration. After the rehearsal dinner, on the ride home, I went on and on and on about how I really felt that we (Dan and I) were part of something. As a friend, as an educator, and as a mother trying to raise two children to be open minded and accepting of everyone-- this wedding meant something to me. He mocked me for my sentimentality, which doesn't happen often (being sentimental that is), but when all was said and done and the wedding was over, Dan felt the same way.

If I tell you that Steve was a fresh faced twenty-three year old when I met him, whatever you imagine, it was fresher than that. He has an energy and charisma about him can sometimes seem like he has ADHD and is on speed, and I mean that in a positive way. His spirit is highly contagious and to know him is to love him...and I do. So when he asked little, 'ole me to be a part of the most important day of his life, I was beside my self with emotion and gratitude. For real, I sent him a thank you card.

But my friendship with Steve is a threesome that includes neither my husband nor his. The trifecta or the "A Team" as our friend Tracy so "kindly" dubbed us includes the dear, sweet Jason. For an high energy as Steve is, Jason is as equally introspective. These two boys are truly foils of each other and somehow I was lucky enough to get brought along for the ride. Before Steve's wedding, it had been over a year that Jason and I had seen each other, and as I told him at the wedding, I knew I missed seeing him and talking with him, but until I did for TWO nights in a row I didn't realize just how much I really missed him. Jason has always likened his friendship to being in the mafia and once your in, your in for life and that is true.

Our times together are sporadic, but we certainly make them count; memories that make us laugh until we cry when we are lucky enough to all three of us be together. So here we were, brought together again for this wedding. This very important wedding that was about love, and life, and the journey that we all choose to take together. Dan will mock me for this sentimentality, but that is how I feel about these boys.

Jason's mom took this picture and then she looked at the three of us and smiled and said, "You three are going to be friends for life." And I'd like to believe that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Off She Goes

It was a very long summer. I mean, really looooong. We end school early and start late, so we have a full three month of summer vacay. We were doing really well until the the second and third weeks of August, when we just ran out of things to do and I ran out of steam to make things fun. Those weeks, I couldn't wait for school to start. FULL DAYS! Full days where Natalie would be off learning and being with kids and not wondering, like me, what on earth are we going to do today. I love the school year and it's busy routine. LOVE IT!

Today is Natalie's first day of school-- 8:30-3:30 full day. Backpack, lunch box, pink yoga mat (a first grade essential), and she was ready to go. Up before seven, she was dressed and ready for her special first day of school breakfast. She told me she had butterflies in her stomach as we approached our beloved Oak Meadow, but when we pulled up at the drop off, out she went. That was it. All I had time to do was yell, "I love you!" and then she was gone to school.

I am both excited and a little sad...but I think I will be more excited than sad as the week goes on. ;)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Jersey Shore and So Much More

Last week we went on our second annual Jersey Shore vacation. Irene be damned, we headed down on Monday to Lavalette to a house that was in no way, shape, or form impacted by the hurricane. With us, we brought perfect beach weather. It was cloudless and sunny and breezy and perfect. Did I say that already? The house is also pretty great. It sits right on the bay, which is perfect for our little ones and only two blocks down from the ocean. The house comes equipped with bikes for all sizes, tandem and trailer - We parked the car on Monday night when we arrived and didn't get back in until Saturday when we left (almost, we did have to drive to beautiful, scenic Seaside for the boardwalk). When we weren't biking, we could use kayaks for one and two. Natalie and I went out on the bay for what felt like hours, just paddling along through the little marina by the house, watching while others were tubing, jet skiing, and paddle boarding. It was great fun.

But you don't really want to hear about how very perfect it all was. No, no you don't. What you want to hear about is the house. I could move into this house. I wish I owned this house, because the owners rent the main house and there is an apartment upstairs that they occupy when they come down. So no matter what, whomever that have in the house, they still get to go to the shore whenever they want and use their bikes and kayaks, too. Last year and this, we passed them at the doorstep, although their entrance in separate from ours. I am not sure when exactly they arrived, but I know it was some time on Friday. While they have a separate entrance and all, the room in which Natalie sleeps shares a wall with it. I happened to be in the second bed in her room that last night, and I could hear them unpacking and flip flopping around. Whatever. Until, at 3am, I heard a creaking and banging that startled me out of sleep. I am a very light sleeper to begin with, but this was loud, and at first I thought someone was in the room with Natalie and me. Creaking, banging, and heavy breathing....they were having S-E-X! There was no way for me not to hear them, so I laid, wide eyed in my bed hoping and praying that it would stop. For the love of ears and mind, I hoped it would stop. This is something that I only thought happened in movies. Dan scoffed at me, "It's like sleeping in a motel." To which I responded, "I have never slept in that kind of motel."

The next morning we saw them on the doorstep. Ugh.

Did I mention how perfect the weather was?