I’m heading back home…

to Blogger. Thanks for bearing with me as I tried out WordPress, which is really a great site, but it is not for me. I hope you will follow me back home. I thank you all for your support! But Blogger is really the place for me!

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Parenting with a sense of humor

The only way I can communicate with Don during the day is via email or text messaging. He can not be on the phone while in the OR. Earlier I sent him a text asking if he would be home in time for me to take Becca to skating so that I would not have to drag the boys and risk a 5 or 6pm nap from Alexander. I then went on to tell him that the kids were driving me bonkers. I am overtired and really need more of a break than the two hours a week I get. I went on to explain that I would have driven them to school in this… or in an ice storm just to get them the hell away. Sadly, this is not one of those I-am-so-overjoyed-to-have-the-kids-around-all-over-and-on-top-of-me snow days. It’s one of those I may break-into-school-and-deposit-the-kids-there kind-of days. Don’t gasp. If you haven’t had one you are either The Greatest Mother in The World, or you are inhuman. Or you are lying. A big fat LIAR!

So after whining over a text message this is what Don told me to do!

Under my desk on the right are pre-paid FedEx bar code stickers.

Firmly attach one sticker to each child then dial 1-800-GoFedEx for ground service pickup.

 

My fabulous husband…

was here when my shiny new laptop arrived via FedEx yesterday morning. (I was out battling Alexander every step of the way down every aisle of Super Stop & Shop and as a result my simple shopping took me nearly 2 hours and cost me $238.)

I was a bit surprised that he was still home. These days he is out long before the kids are up. He was greeted by my whining about Alexander the Terrible as all signs indicated that we were going to have a long terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and that I really, really wanted to run from him all the way to Australia. Don helped me with the groceries. And helped himself to the new jar of Planter’s Dry Roasted peanuts that were on sale — and why you should not shop while a) hungry, b) undercaffeinated and c) with 3 year old Troublemaker who insists on pulling everything off the shelves. As I unpacked the pears and bananas and apples (and plastic bottle of cinnamon sugar resembling a little blond boy I know; I never saw that go in to my cart!) Don’s standing by the counter chomping on peanuts by the handful and smiling, rather smirking away. I haven’t asked him why he is still home as I figured he was dealing with paperwork. And he’s still there eating, leaning, smiling, smirking… and then I see IT! My brand new sparkly-shiny gorgeous sexy new stainless and black new laptop! It was not due to arrive for another week but IT came, somehow or other it came just the same! It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages boxes, or bags! (Ok, so that’s not really true!)

And my beautiful wonderful (when he wants to be!) husband spent the morning getting it all ready for me!

noisenoisenoise

Rebecca was grounded this afternoon. Basically because, well, she’s a slob!  I keep finding dirty clothes wadded up in her drawers and have had numerous discussions with her that dirty clothes go in the hamper and clean clothes go in her drawers. Blame it partially on laziness and partially on Tween Distraction. We were meeting the Girl Scouts in town for a private screening of The Kit Kittredge Movie and I was trying to be helpful and pick out a couple of outfits for her that I thought she would like. It’s amazing how difficult getting dressed is these days. So as I was in her drawers I thought I would do a little straightening. But when I found dirty, really dirty clothes in there I started to get annoyed. Had this been th first time I would have dismissed it. Even the second time. Even the third time. You get the idea.

So I called Rebecca up to her room and sent her to the laundry room with all her clothes. I had her place them in the washing machine and add the detergent. After this was done I told her that her friend could not come over this afternoon. Since she added yet another load of laundry to my Everest of Laundry Piles she would spend the afternoon helping me separate the folded laundry and she would put her own away… properly. (I did let her go to the movie this morning.)

She was clearly overwhelmed by all that there was. As was I. She helped me fold and sort and she put hers away. Without complaint. I was impressed and I think that she understands now, how much laundry is genererated by this family and how time consuming it really is.

When Cindeerella was done withher chores she went off to play with her brothers and I crawled into my bed to try to nap. Try. OMG were they loud. But they were not fighting. For the first time in ages they were all playing together and having fun. Yes, making a racket, but getting along! And no noise is so wonderful as the noise of children getting along and having fun.

When they were done playing we all went into the kitchen and did some painting. Rebecca painted some large wooden letters — initials that will hang over her bed, and a heart-shaped mirror for her dresser. Christopher painted a model airplane that he had previously put together and I helped Alexander put together a wooden model truck.  The beauty of the day was that no one even thought about asking for television until recently, after a nice, easy dinner of pb&j!

Apparently the noisenoisenoise was too much for their father who at one point called up to them to be quiet and stop having fun!

show of hands if you think it is OK to wash three year old’s mouth out with soap!

Seriously, this kid has a problem. He might look all cute and preppy but boy oh boy does this kid have a sailor’s mouth! Incessant bickering from older brother and sister does not help matters. I have tried to get to the root of the problem (siblings) and scold them for saying unkind words that younger brother should not be repeating. But I know that the minute I walk out of the room they are hurling insulting words at each other behind my back.  So really, I should not be surprised at what does come out of Alexander’s mouth. And yet, it never ceases to amaze me.

Yesterday we were in the kitchen getting Rebecca’s Birthday dinner ready while she was out at ice skating with Grandma, Grandpa and Dad. Alexander was a bit overtired and giddy and fresh.

Me: Alexander stop doing that, please?

Alex: No.

Me: Please, I wish you would stop. You are going to break it. (Refering to my aerolatte frother.)

Alex: No you big Jerk. You are an idiot! (I know exactly where he picked this up from.)

Me: Alexander, that is a terrible thing to say. We don’t say words like that and you know it.

Alex: But Becca and Griffie do.

Me: But they shouldn’t and neither should you.

Alex: You big Jerk!

Me: I should wash your mouth out with soap, young man.

Alexander is quiet as he is clearly trying to visualize how I would do this.

Me: You want me to?

Alex: Yes!

Me: You had better watch it or I will, Mister!

A few minutes pass and he does something else he shouldn’t have and I reprimand him again. He gets off his stool and gives me a kiss.

Me: I don’t want your kisses, Alexander. I want an appology. You are not being a very nice boy right now.

Alex: But Mommy, kisses make everything better!

I swear, if he wasn’t so darned cute…

toast

My computer died on me yesterday. I knew it was coming. I saw the signs and yet I chose to ignore them. Stupid, I know but I could not bare to be without my laptop. While yes, I have a car and a phone, my computer, to me, is an important tie to my outside world. I can drop a quick email versus spending hours chatting on the phone. I can see what my friends are up to on Facebook –my latest addiction. And I can blog. Without my computer I am toast. A lost soul looking for somewhere to go. I get it now when my kids say they are bored. I hate that term and I get upset every time they use it. No one in this family should be bored. We have more than enough to keep everyone busy. And there are always chores, laundry, vacuuming, etc… But my kids don’t want to do chores and neither do I! Don is watching football and the kids are all packed in for the night. I am not sleepy as somehow I managed to sneak in a two and a half hour nap today! (I went up to watch a little television with Alexander in my room. Five minutes later there were four of us on the bed. Two hours later it was dark out and I was the only one up there!) Right now I would love to just grab my laptop and join Don in the family room. But I can’t. I am bored. So I have snuck on to his because I have this insane urge to be on a computer! I can’t unplug his laptop because he’s been on it unplugged. (Booking a trip to Disney, but shhh! Don’t tell the kids!)

A new laptop has been ordered and I will get mine fixed. Because I never listen. I know I am supposed to save stuff. But I haven’t. Five year’s worth of stuff is on there. Photos of the kids. Stories that Rebecca used to create. Cards they have created, and a bunch of other useful and useless information that means a lot to me. My Dell has served me well. It will be 5 years old on Valentine’s Day. (What a romantic, eh?!) It’ll be restored and the kids will have it. It’s far better than their old Dinosaur that operates on Windows 98 and actually starts off in DOS! Whether they use it for Club Penguin, Webkinz or book reports, biographies and science projects it will serve them well. I’m not so happy that I get a new computer, because really I am fine with my Dell, but I am thrilled that I will no longer have to share mine. With anyone! Ever again!!! (Can you hear my wicked and evil laugh?!)

He tried to fix it for me temporarily. He really tried. I think he saw the color drain from me when the screen went permanently black.  I lost focus of everything else. I just wanted my computer. I mean, how completely freaking lame is that!?

Tomorrow I have to decorate some cupcakes for Rebecca’s class party. And take Christopher to a play date. And, I suppose because I will have limited access to a computer I will also do the following:

Laundry… wash, fold and put away. (We will have about 5 heaping baskets by tomorrow)
Run and empty dishwasher… for some reason I LOATHE this more than any other thing in the house
Buy ingredients for Rebecca’s cupcakes
Bake and decorate cupkaes for 4th grade class
Take Christopher to a play date and pick up a friend along the way
Take down Xmas tree in LR… yes it is still up and I have been ignoring it in hopes that it would somehow magically disrobe itself
Clean up mess from tree
Take Rebecca to skating
and get ready for another school week…

And somehow try to get some wrapping done. Rebecca’s 10th is on Wednesday!

And, of course, I will try to sneak on here a couple of times, I am sure!

Internetiquette?

When Rebecca was born, nearly 10 years ago, none of my local friends had children so I joined a Mommy’s group through the hospital. After the sessions had come to an end a few of us kept in touch. We  together on a regular basis as we found that in addition to our squirmy, fussy newborns we had many things in common. We were in our late 20s and early 30s. Slowly friends dropped out of our little group of friends due to growing family commitments and, as the years passed, fuller and more demanding schedules. We still talk about Madison and Lindsey from time to time though Rebecca, at this point has no idea who they really are. They live in Greenwich and we live about 20 minutes east. While 20 minutes is not a long drive, when you factor in school and after school activities finding the time for these visits is not so easy. And harder yet when you factor in siblings and their schedules. Sadly our means of communications have pretty much dwindled down to Christmas Cards and the odd promise of getting together. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get back in touch with my friends from the past. (The other is to take care of myself and scheduled those dentist and doctors appointments I have neglected for too long.) I am, admittedly, terrible at keeping in touch with my good and now long lost friends.

When Alexander came along Rebecca and Christopher were 6 and 4 years old. Once again I found myself needing to find people who could relate to my new-again situation. This time I did not join a parenting group in Greenwich even though Alexander, too, was born there. I needed to find some more local interests that I would be able to fit in between preschool and school schedules. I also needed to get out of the house with Alexander and let him do something with children his age (as opposed to being dragged around to his siblings activities.)

I joined a babygym group when Alexander was but a wee few months old. There I became friendly with a couple of the mothers. Eventually our friendships also expanded and we and got together sometimes with babies and sometimes without. I learned not too long ago that my friend Liz befriended me because I looked “older” as opposed to the barely Twenty-Somethings. I supposed this was meant to be a compliment and to this day I am still not 100 percent certain! A few of us joined other toddler programs and met other toddler moms and our group grew a little bit larger. I got along fabulously with some mothers and others were merely acquaintances.

Alexander and I were invited to try out other activities and join in on group play dates. We did so and had fun. But as a mother of three I have to prioritize activities and play dates among my three and so, eventually, as all my children grew, my involvement in the group became less and less frequent.

One day I was able to make it to a playgroup and bunch of started talking about Facebook. I had been asked numerous times by many friends to join. It took me about a year to do so, but eventually I did. What a trip! Almost as soon as I joined friends from years gone by found me. I had reconnected with long lost friends from high school and college room mates and dorm mates, even  our former Dean of Students. And, on a really happy note, a long lost cousin on my mother’s side. It’s such a great feeling to get back in touch with so many people who had meant so much to me and played such integral roles in my life. I use Facebook as a means of keeping in touch with current friends too. Some are local, but most live across the country and abroad. This Facebook discussion that day at playgroup led me to “befriend” a couple of the mothers. That was the extent of it. I never really used Facebook to connect with those playgroup moms. Really, not even sure why I befriended a couple in the first place. Perhaps it was the newness of it all.

I do not need to have 500 friends to feel good. In fact I would rather have a manageable number of people so I can keep tabs on them all. I mean I was terrible at keeping in touch in the first place, and Facebook has given me a second chance. I am sure there are a few people on there I could remove from my list but why bother. I would hate to hurt or insult someone who had befriended me in the first place. But breaking up internet style is a hot topic these days it seems. I learned this when I came across this Wall Street Journal article a couple of weeks ago.  De-friending people is as tacky as breaking up via post-it note or voice mail. I have done the latter in my youth, but I was young and immature and dumb. And as you know I am no longer young… and not so dumb! Our world is small and getting smaller minute by minute thanks to the internet. After I read the article I saw that I too had been de-friended!

It was playgroup mom had de-friended me. I thought it was amusing, actually. Until I learned that it was a deliberate means of retaliation… an immature act of jealousy, I suppose.  There is a little story behind it. Here goes…

As many of you know we hosted a New Year’s Day party for our friends and their children. Most of the people invited have been near and dear to us since we were in our 20s, single and without children. I also invited three of the playgroup families because we thought their personalities would mix well with our other friends. I intentionally did not invite one of the mothers. I was not trying to be mean or rude, but rather  trying to prevent a potentially awkward situation. I will call this mom Alexa. I was friendly toward Alexa but we never socialized together outside the group of friends. A week or two prior to our party Alexa had had it out with my good friend Liz. It was a Major pow-wow. Alexa was nasty. She had berated Liz for calling her (Alexa’s) babysitter without permission. And while Alexa had every right to be upset about that, she had no right to go off on my friend’s integrity, character and upbringing. Seriously, Alexa was brutal. I gasped at what I my friend Liz told me on the telephone. I have seen Alexa go off the deep end like this before. And because Alexa and I were not friends I really didn’t even consider inviting her on New Year’s Day. I did not want my friend Liz to be uncomfortable by her former friend’s attendance. (Are you following any of this?!) If I host a party I want to be sure that everyone is having a nice time. I did fill the other two mothers in. No explanation was needed. Nothing else was said. And everyone had a really lovely time.

Well, apparently word got out that I had had party and this person was upset not so much that she was not invited, but that her friends were coming without her! I mean how Junior High is this Forty-Something woman?!

To tell you the truth I didn’t even realize that I had been de-friended until I went to leave a private message on a mutual friend’s Facebook page. I almost did not realize that I was one mutual friend less.

Truth be told, what really saddens me is the loss of all the beautiful little girl clothes I had lent this mother’s child. Thousands of dollars of clothes — Gap, Lily, Hannah Anderson, and Talbots Kids among many, many others. All gorgeous items that remind me so much of Rebecca’s youth that I will never see again. Had I known I would have kept these items for myself or passed them along to someone else. I suppose I could send an email asking for clothes back. But wouldn’t that be tacky and wouldn’t that be equally as rude? And is there such a thing as Internetiquette at all?

(Yes, names have been changed to protect individuals!)

The Lemonade Award

[lemonade_award_.jpg]

KK over at Pink & Green and Southern was given the Lemonade Award. In turn she was to pass it out to 10 of her favorite blogs. Due to lack of time or sheer laziness 😉 she, instead, told her readers to grab the award. Now, thanks, but I am not giving myself an award. However, I am happy to take it and pass it along to those blogs that I enjoy — those blogs of personal friends, and blogoshephere friends. The following blogs I have chosen are ones that make me laugh and smile. The following blogs are great at turning lemons into lemonade. I applaud you all and thanks for putting a smile on my face!

The recipients of the Lemonade Award are:

Chelsea from over at the Mama Bird Diaries.  I happened upon this blog one night while Don was out of town and the kids were asleep. Well, I am not sure whether they were asleep or not, but they were in bed! I love reading this blog. Chelsea grew up in the town over from where I am currently residing with my family and she currently lives and writes about family life in Manhattan (where I grew up.) Now, you do not have to be a New Yorker to appreciate this blog. You should go check it out!

Mandy, from Life’s About a Dream really cracks me up. She is hilarious and I love her little quips about her kids Frick and Frack. She also has a special spot in my heart as we both love bad 80s music. We have disagreed in our polititcal posts and yet there we have so many similarities. I have never met Mandy but think we would get along FABULOUSLY!

My dear friend Marie over at Everyday Matters has, I am not kidding, like the world’s best behaved kids… at least in public… at least when I have met them. I LOVE her stories.

I met JoAnna over 4 years ago on a parent’s messaging board. She is an army wife with more gumption than I could ever have and a fierce sense of humor. Her blog No Expectations usually has me howling. I am pretty sure (though not 100% certain) that it was her blog that got me hooked and inspired me to write my own.)

I recently discovered Beth over at It’s a Mom’s Life.I like her stories and her Miracle Monday segments — talk about making lemonade out of lemons. So Beth’s getting this along with a bottle of Purell for her husband 😉 !

My friend Kim is a Canadian ex-pat temporarily living in Turkey with her English Professor husband. Her blog is funny and creative and eco-minded. And I truly enjoy reading about her life abroad in You Can’t Diaper their Faces .

My final award goes to Allie at No Time for Flashcards. For the toddler and preschool set. I love her crafty ideas!

In turn, please pass this award out to 10 of your favorites Blogging Gals! (And if you can not come up with 10, that is quite all right!)

Thanks and Congratulations!