Tuesday, July 28, 2009

School's Out Day 35: Guess Who

My six year old sometimes exhibits behaviors that make me think she really needs more one-on-one time....so at some point in her Kindergarten year (last year) we started having "game time" for a few minutes before her bed time. Her little sister goes to bed, and then we make a big production of "faking her out" to think Ava is going to bed too and then we sneak downstairs to pick a board game (which is all for Ava's amusement, Maddy really doesn't care/realize that Ava is staying up!). So tonight I opened a new game called "Guess Who." Now first and foremost, I'd like to say to Milton Bradley, "Are you freakin serious???" I opened the box, and see 48 little yellow doors that have to be poked out of a plastic bracket, 48 face cards that have to be slid into each of those brackets and then the brackets have to be put on two game boards. (see photo of one of the game boards). Not only did this take forever, but the little face cards DO NOT stay in the little yellow doors. I am writing them a letter to tell them they should rename this game and call it: "GUESS WHAT....you can open this now but you won't be ready to play until sometime next week." In any event, I sent Ava to get her PJ's on, brush her teeth, brush her hair, rinse with mouthwash, lay her clothes out for tomorrow, and start her college applications while I assembled this game. OK, I hope I can explain this clearly... each player picks a person to be(see front yellow card...I was Jon)... and the other player has to ask yes or no questions to try and guess who their opponent is (through the process of elimination). So I go first (to model the type of questions for Ava) "Is your person a boy?" She says, "yes," so I flip down all the yellow doors that have a girl card because that can't be her mystery person -she's a boy. First person to guess the other one's mystery person wins. Get it? (I hope so, it's for 6 year olds.)

Our game went something like this.....what Ava said is in bold....

"Does your person have a mustache?"

"Yes and he has glasses" (that's what we call TMI in this game)

"Does your person have brown hair?"

"She has a hat on." (ok, now I know it's a girl and she has a hat, there are only 5 girl cards in the whole game and two have hats, so I am very close to winning after this one question)

"Does your person have dark skin?"

I reply, "Yes."

She doesn't do anything, just sitting there....I say, "So put down all the cards that have light skin because that can't be my person." So she flips down some doors.

Her very next question, "Does your person have light skin?"

Yikes. At this point I'm thinking -- is it too late to play Candy Land, it's already put together.

We start another game, she picks her mystery person card (who I am not supposed to see/know -- the whole point of the game) and says, "OH COOL, I liked this girl, she has pretty blue eyes." (I couldn't let her win if I tried!)

There were so many more examples of her cognitive struggles with this game and I am so mad at myself for not remembering them but I am too exhausted at this point and my wine glass is now empty which is effecting MY cognitive ability to blog! The long story short -- I let her figure out a lot in this game and I could see her "wheels turning". She got it eventually...but it was wayyyyyyy past her bedtime.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

School's Out Day 32&33: Maine and Miss Morbid

Ok....all kidding aside, I need some advice. My six year old is obsessed with death lately! A few weeks ago she was lying in bed (which is when she seems to think about it) and she asked me what heaven was like and can you come back. Then we were driving to the park and she asked me "Mom, when you and daddy die, Maddy and I can still live in our house together!" She was actually pretty upbeat and happy when she said that, I thought maybe she was plotting something. Then a couple other comments here and there. Tonight...she was lying there in bed(we sit at the end of her bed for a few minutes) and she says, "Mom, do your parents die first or do you?" Ugh. How do I answer that one? So I say, "Well, you never know for sure, but most of the time everyone lives to be very old before they die." (which implies that parents will die before their children, but I didn't directly say so). She's quiet for a few minutes and then she's crying, "Everyone I know is going to die and I am going to be all alone. Just my friends will be here but not my family." Then, "Why do you have to stay in heaven?" I just don't know where this is coming from and what's worse....her fears are NOT something I can assure her about (this is not the boogie man under the bed)! She's right, everyone she knows and loves IS going to die and no one knows when. Does this ever happen in your house? Feel free to comment or email me privately! kldmay75@aol.com
On a MUCH lighter note....we went up to a friend's lake house in Maine this weekend (hence combining two days of blogging - you knew I'd slide yesterday in somehow didn't you!?!?) and so we were packing to leave in the morning. I am running around like crazy trying to pack in an organized way and not forget anything (beach stuff in one bag, PJ's and sleep aids together, lists to remember the important things: nebulizer, epi-pen, diapers) and hubs spends 30 minutes worried about ice and fitting everything in the cooler. I tell the kids, "Come upstairs, it's time to go!" Maddy replies, "No thank you Mumma." We hit the road at 9:15.....at 9:23 - you guessed it -- Ava has to pee. So we make a pee stop, mailbox stop, ice-coffee & gas stop... and then we're finally on the road. A few minutes later the questions start "What state are we in?" "What's a state?" "Are we still in America?" "How many minutes left?" The old "Are we there yet?" cliche came to life! Good thing we only have 3 or 4 more out-of-state road trips this summer!

Friday, July 24, 2009

School's Out Day 31: Friendly's

Welllll... I'm happy to say that the 2009 birthday hoo-plah is officially over. The 14th was Maddy's real b-day we had dinner and cupcakes, then the joint family pool party/BBQ Sunday, Wednesday was Canobie Lake on Ava's real b-day, yesterday was the Ava's "friend" party at Monkey Joe's, and today her gift cards (Justice and Friendly's) must have been burning a hole in her new pink purse because she wanted to use them TODAY. So after we hit the mall and I argued with Ava about what clothes she could buy and hubs chased Maddy all around the store telling me to hurry-up; the four of us went to Friendly's for dinner. We sat down and I said, "Wow, I think this is first time the four of us have gone out to eat!" And about five minutes later I knew why. We sat at a table for four and Maddy was on my right in her high chair trying to unbuckle herself saying, "Me out, me out." And to that I say in my most alarming voice, "No, NO....the lady's coming, the lady's coming, stay in your chair." (works like a charm). Ava was on my left asking me when her grilled cheese was coming and we hadn't even seen our waitress yet. Both of them were talking SO LOUD, it was insane. I have never heard Maddy talk so loud, everything she said - she was screaming! Rolly's across from me shaking the table with his leg because he was so antsy to get out of there! We're both saying, "SHHHHH!!!! SHHHHH!!!!" over and over. Then a pierced tattooed punk rocker type rebellious teenager (please God, spare me this experience, I beg of you) comes in and sits right in Ava's field of vision. Ava is STARING. Rolly tells her to color her place mat. No dice. She's STARING, mesmerized. We try to distract her again....not working. Finally I say, "AVA! Stop staring it's not nice!" And so she extends her arm and points in the girl's direction and yells at the top of her lungs, "I'M NOT STARING AT THAT GIRL I'M LOOKING AT THAT PICTURE ON THE WALL." We reply, "Well stop looking at it." "I'm JUST LOOKING AT THE PICTURE!!" as she points over there again. This go-around happens two more times. Then I feel the demons coming on....my eyebrows turning down, my voice getting low and raspy and I lean over to her and say something along the lines of, "So help me God -- look over there ONNNNNNEEEEE MORRRREEE TIMMMMEEE and I am going to put you in the car and we're leaving and this will be YOUR LAST TRIP OUT TO EAT EVER!!!!!!!!" Then (after what seemed like 6 months) the waitress came and took our order (she's two steps away from our table and Ava said, "Is my grilled cheese coming now?"). Maddy's playing with her straw spraying me with apple juice, then she figures out how to make a whistle sound with it. Rolly's cursing me under his breath, I can see it in his eyes. We give Maddy her toy cell phone and I tell her to call Papa, "Tell Papa where you are." (Meaning Friendly's) She says into the wrong end of the phone, "I'm right here Papa!" Which makes us all laugh -- which makes her completely crack-up with that awesome belly laugh. And then, once again, it's all good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

School's Out Day 30: Threes about me....

Three names I go by (besides given name)
1. moooooooooooooom (nice and long and whiney)
2. Mrs. D
3. Dear (hubs calls me this....sarcastically. The other day I yelled down to him, "What do you want for supper?" and he replied, "Whatever you want..." And Ava quickly added, "DEEEEEAAR" just like he would have said it.

Three Jobs I have had in my life:
1. sub-maker
2. Gun toting United States Special Agent/Criminal Investigator
3. elementary school teacher
(in that order.....clearly you see the natural career progression there)

Three TV Shows that I watch
1. Deadliest Catch
2. Ice Road Truckers
3. Sports
(and by "watch" -- I mean sit in the same room and blog while hubs watches these "presumably boring-but-yet-you-can't-stop-watching them" shows.)

Three of my favorite foods
1. anything besides the left-over crust from my children's sandwiches will "do" these days

Three friends I think will respond
1. Who the hell made up this question? and.........
2. Why is it included in every one of these gosh-darn foolish surveys?
3. What does this imply about the friends you write here...and what about the ones you don't?

Three Things I am looking forward to
1. Finishing this survey
2. going to Stacy's camp....York Beach....NH Lake house and Storyland..... all in the next few weeks! Heck - I still have a whole summer's worth of activities left!
3. Finishing this survey.

Three Things that are always by your side
1. my children (I swear they would crawl back into my uterus if they could)
2. my arms
3. my friends (awwww, that was nice)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

School's Out Day 29: Ava's B-day/Canobie lake

6 years ago today I was lying in a hospital bed feeling like I had been hit by a truck (thanks to a c-section)...but I was holding my precious little firstborn baby in my arms and it was a moment I had waited for my whole life. Today I brought that precious firstborn baby to Canobie Lake for her 6th birthday and nearly left her there until she was seven. With all the junk food she had, she still wanted more. Wouldn't go to the bathroom when we were AT the restroom..wanted to wait until we were 100 miles from it and then say she was going to pee her pants. (Does this happen when you take your kids out somewhere?) And then she whined all day to go to the Waterpark they have right there inside the park, so we finally went there. Changed everyone into their bathing suits (which is a project), walk over to the water and you would have thought it was liquid kryptonite and she was Superman's daughter because she was afraid to get wet/splashed, etc. Wouldn't stand next to the little baby water slides, never mind go on one. Drove my husband crazy. All of this aside, we really did have a FANTASTIC day....it was 70's and overcast (perfect! I want the sun shining on me at the beach, not when I'm walking around an amusement park!), there were hardly any lines for any rides (such a pleasant surprise!), Maddy was so patient --never cried once, never ran off, napped in her carriage for an hour, loooooved the kiddie rides...it was like a dream. But today was bittersweet as well. I have always wondered at what age do kids lose interest in the "kiddie land" type rides....and today I saw that this was definitely Ava's "last hurrah" in kiddie land. She was a good sport and went on many of them with her little sister (and had more fun then she'll admit - I think!), but she was definitely more interested in the "big kid" rides this time. How did that little baby girl I once held in my arms grow-up so quickly? Happy Birthday Ava! I love you, you stinkin lil' brat. ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

School's Out Day 28: hubs vacation day 2- rainy day

Today's rain came at a perfect time.....we hung out all morning with the kids in the playroom, set-up the toys, played with the toys (I think Ava beat Rolly in every sports game on Wii and he was not too happy about that) and cleaned up from the party mess. THEN, (here comes the best part), MOMMY got her vacation day....a few hours without the kids. While Daddy was at Chuck E. Cheese (hanging with all my "mommy friends" that happened to be there too!) I hit the mall, finally got to see the inside of the new Nordstrom's, perused Target - which is DANGEROUS -- not only because of how many things I buy, but also it looked like some of the letters from "Greatland" (which is being added to our local Target) fell off the building. I'm thinking "Why couldn't I have been here a little earlier to be gently grazed by the big 'G' as it fell", then I'd have some big G's. I also used my "vacation time" to take a class at the gym - I have to say it was nice to go to the gym when it wasn't 5 in the morning for once! Then tonight my friends came over and one of my friends just got back from a two week long Royal Caribbean cruise of Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. I tuned-out right around the tour of Mt. Vesivius part, but then tuned right back in when she told me that men in Egypt try to trade their camels for the women tourists. One man offered 5 million camels for this other girl on their tour. SO I wanted to use this blog to put the word out there.....if you ever see camels in my backyard and you haven't seen me blog in awhile....alert the authorities ASAP because an international crime has occurred. Rolly's eyes lit-up when I told him this new fun fact I learned.

Monday, July 20, 2009

School's Out Day 27: Roll's vacay day 1 - beach day

Hubs is on vacation this week...I told him to pick what he wanted to do with the kids, because I get to do everything with them all summer. He decided he wanted to go to the beach today - which surprised me because he's not a "beach person"...but I guess he wanted to make today his annual trip to the beach. I even let him pick the beach he wanted to make his appearance at(because I didn't want to be responsible for all the belly-aching and complaining if I picked the wrong one). So we jumped on 128 and headed to Gloucester....pulled in Wingaersheek lot and saw the $20 parking sign, to which he said, "WHAT????? TWENTY DOLLARS!! are you kidding me? That's ridiculous. Nahant is $3." I thought to myself, "Here we go. Let the fun begin." I left Maddy buckled in her seat (aka: restrained and safe) while I sunblocked Ava in the parking lot (so much easier before they even get near the sand....but preferably done at home -for future reference) and Maddy was twisting and writhing and yelling, "sprinkle ME, sprinkle ME Mumma," as she wanted her sunblock on like Ava. As we lug everything down to the beach...Rolly is walking in front of me and I see him swatting frantically at the greenheads who have taken a liking to him. He turns to me and says, "If we don't have big spray, we might as well leave now, did you pack bug spray?" I replied, "Did YOU pack bug spray???" (Why is it always up to me to remember everything?) In any event, of course I packed bug spray....I am a three-time nominee for Mother-of-the-Year, how could I forget bug spray. (Actually, I keep a bottle in the car just in case). We set up the chairs, the umbrella, the towels, the cooler, throw all the sand toys down and five minutes later Ava says, "I'm boring (meaning bored) can we go home?" To which I reply, "Are you crazy? $20 to park, we'll be here till midnight. FIVE HOURS later (this is record breaking beach time for hubs) we packed the sandy, exhausted kids back in the car and headed home after a fantastic day at the best beach! Wingaersheek is so great for little kids! As the tide goes out, there are little pools of water left-over near the big rocks - we sat right by one of them, Maddy sat playing in that (questionably warm) over-sized puddle for like 2 hours. At low-tide you can walk out for miles and miles in the shallow water on various sandbars. There are crabs and hermit crabs, slush carts all over the beach, a snack bar, restrooms, and outdoor showers. If it weren't for the steep parking prices and greenies biting your ankles it would be THE PERFECT beach!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

School's Out Day 26: B-day party bliss

Today's the kind of day that really makes me count my blessings. I have two happy healthy kids who are spoiled rotten (got bikes, nintendo wii, american girl doll, train table, table and chair set clothes, money, gift cards and looooots of other stuff) but don't act spoiled (I don't think!?!?). I was surrounded by my closest friends and family and the weather was spectacular. Did I spend all day yesterday getting ready? Yes. Did I sit down once today? No. Will I do it all again next year? Of course.
There's no need to write anymore about today because a picture speaks a thousand words. This is Ava meeting her long-awaited American Girl doll.....and in the background is her dad who just got the American Girl bill. ;)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

School's Out Day 25: professional party planner

It was only moments ago, and I was lying in bed drifting asleep thinking how a day WAS going to go by without a blog and I was finally willing to accept it. And because I was so tired I didn't feel like getting up to take my allergy pill, but I was feeling like I really needed it. I heard hubs in the hallway and asked him to get me my pill and gave very specific instructions: "It's in the cabinet next to the sink, green cover, says 'Zyrtec', just one pill and bring me a splash of water please." He comes back a minute later, not only empty-handed, but BULL-SH*T....because instead of grabbing MY bottle of Zyrtec, he grabbed Maddy's....which, of course, is liquid. He tipped it over to pour the pill into his hand and instead poured out half the liquid Zyrtec all over the counter. And it's MY fault HOW you ask? Because, according to him, my bottle is not in there, and I have misguided him. SO, I get up and go to the same cabinet....and, are you ready for this...I hope you're sitting down, I MOVED SOMETHING, and shucky-darn there it was, just as I had suspected. (see "inner voice/outer voice" blog for more on this "hubby can't find things" topic).
Since I'm up, I might as well tell you about my day. It was exhausting craziness.....getting ready for girls' family b-day party at the house tomorrow. Hosting parties is SO MUCH work! The house is spic and span until the first 5 people arrive and then everything is a mess again and you have to clean it all up again after the party! And every year, when a) it's raining and we're all stuck in my house or b) I'm knee-deep in the after-mess - I say "NEVER AGAIN! Next year we're going to Chuck E Cheese!" Yet I always swore I'd never go the "Chuck E. Cheese" route either -- but let me state for the record: there is SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR THAT! Places like that set-up, they clean up, and the kids have a BALL! And I also think it ends up being less money too! This year we're doing both....pool party at home (and the weather is finally going to cooperate!) and a kid party later in the week at Monkey Joe's.....so we'll see if I can finally make up my mind about this once and for all. You're sitting on the edge of your seat, I know. Sorry to leave you with this cliffhanger.

Friday, July 17, 2009

School's Out Day 24: the AC monster

Nothing to blog about yesterday? HA!! I should have waited a little longer -- there would have been plenty to blog. Forget the midget on the uni-cycle, bed time is like having a circus right here at home. You know Maddy -- the kid who squashes ants and spiders with her bare hands, climbs UP a 5 foot slide like she's scaling the side of a mountain, jumps off the side of the pool when you're not even ready to catch her, goes down the flight of stairs in one straight shot on her belly...yeah, that kid -- afraid of the air conditioner in her bedroom. Screaming crying, "NO LIKE IT, take out, NO LIKE IT, take out MUMMA!!" I shut it off...NO, she wanted it OUT of the room. She was pointing her finger out the door, "take out, take out." Now, obviously I'm strong enough to lift that thing out of the second story window with one finger and throw it around like a rag doll.....but I can't let Hubby realize that I am capable of lifting/moving that sort of stuff. I have him carrying laundry baskets up and down the stairs for me and I'm just not willing to give that up. If he were to catch wind of my strength, he may even want me to bring the trash barrels to the curb and back. Anyway, I wasn't about to remove the air conditioner from the window...which made for a rough night.
On another note, Ava finished her week of "Let's Play Sports" camp today. We're trying to introduce our hip-hop, gyrating girly-girl to sports. Just when I thought we'd made some progress with sports camp, she informed me that today they taste-tested cereal.... and she liked "serious toast crunch" and "raisin bread" (meaning raisin bran) the best. I'm not sure what that had to do with sports camp....so then I asked her, "SO what was your favorite sport this week?" She said, "Ahhhh, I think 'across" and "air hockey'" (and by that she meant lacrosse and floor hockey). oh man. Why do I bother. Our last hope for sports will have to be Maddy...Rolly was thinking of "learn to skate" as a prep for hockey, but now we have the zamboni and the air conditioners to worry about.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

School's Out Day 23: circus act

22 straight days was a great streak, but let's face it, this day was bound to come. (Notice I couldn't let it come and go, I HAD to write something even if that meant writing about how I had nothing to write about). One random thing did happen to me today. I was leaving a home visit in a near-by town - I got in my car, looked up and saw a midget riding a 10 foot uni-cycle down the street. (Is "little person" the correct term? If so, I apologize) Does anyone know if the circus is in town? Cause if so, I should grab some tickets for the kids. (I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried). Anyway....if you are feeling bleak and blogless, I apologize and I promise to egg the children on tomorrow to get some good material. In the meantime, check out my friend's blog.....www.sweetwhispersphotography.com.

7/17/09 -- you know what's WEIRD??.....without seeing this post I wrote yesterday.....today my friend Keri wrote about me in HER blog....http://sweetwhispersphotography.com/blog/
and she posted this pic of Ava from last summer. If you're looking for a photographer - here's your girl - TRUST ME!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

School's Out Day 22: Party til the break of dawn

OK, party's over - let's get past the touchy-feely stuff (yesterday's blog) and get back to the grind. Apparently Maddy thought it was her 22nd b-day instead of her 2nd because she partied pretty hardy in her crib last night. I felt like calling the bakery to see what sort of crack-like sugar concoction was in that brown pile-of-crap-looking turtle shell frosting (see yesterday's picture). That kid was on speed last night! She was in her crib GROWLING, counting to ten at the top of her lungs, yelling "STOP IT RIGHT NOW AVA!" over and over, to the point where I actually got up to check if Ava was really doing anything up there! Meanwhile, Ava was sound asleep in her room...mouth wide open, out cold. She yelled, "MUMMA come here right now, " then counted again (like I count to 3 when I'm waiting for her or Ava to do/not do something!). I was trying to do the old active ignoring trick, but when I heard "diaper off" I went charging in there (she had her PJ bottoms off and was working on the diaper) and said, "That's IT Maddy - go to sleep." She immediately yelled "OK" (which is one of her new favorite sayings) and did a flying nose-dive into the opposite corner of the crib (like she was sliding into first) - just missing her head on the slats. I think she would have knocked herself unconscious had she hit the crib.
I did hear her a few more times before she was finally quiet. Then it dawned on me.....had I just gotten the video camera out to catch her on film I could have put an end to all the madness immediately. She always stops whatever it was she was doing that made me grab the camera in the first place.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

School's Out Day 21: Happy Birthday Baby!

Two years ago today....I was standing in my kitchen when my water broke. It was a Saturday morning, and I was supposed to have a scheduled c-section on Monday morning. Rolly was at work and Ava (just shy of her 4th b-day) was sitting at the kitchen counter waiting patiently for her breakfast. I won't get into the gory details...but when my water broke, I could see that there was a problem and I ran into the bathroom with my phone to hide from Ava. As I frantically called Rolly, my neighbor (to watch Ava), my mother-in-law, my parents (who were in Maine for my cousin's wedding: Happy Anniversary George and Julie!), my ob-gyn and then eventually 911 -- Ava was out in the kitchen waiting for her breakfast - yelling every few minutes, "MOOOOOOOM, I'm hungry!!! I'm waiting for my breakfast!!!!!" I'd open the bathroom door and yell calmly, "Ok honey, I'll be right there!" Meanwhile I was hysterical and shaking in the bathroom. I couldn't remember the last time I had felt the baby move, but I knew I hadn't felt anything all morning. I remember the panic that set in. When Ava was two I lost a baby at 18 weeks (and they never knew why) and then 6 months later I had an ectopic pregnancy where my fallopian tube was 5 times the normal size before it was detected - my OB-GYN told me I had a guardian angel was lucky to be walking around. Now I was convinced that this baby was gone too. I gently jostled my belly the whole ambulance ride (not even able to answer the EMT's questions) waiting to feel something. The ride to the hospital seemed to take forever. Then as they transferred me from the ambulance gurney to the hospital bed, I felt a big swift kick and burst into tears, I knew that the baby was still alive. I had an emergency c-section and at 11:11 AM out came my baby, "It's a GIRL!" they said. A healthy little girl. It was a feeling of relief and joy that I can still feel in my heart as I type this. I sobbed my heart out. We had no camera with us (forgot the bag in all the panic!!!) but the scene is still vivid in my mind. So today, I celebrate the life of my quirky little monkey...who has made me smile every single day of her two years of life. (see her bathing suit photo, that's when she just turned one -she kept putting my sunglasses on her neck and screaming and my awesome photographer friend Keri captured the moment!)
We have a tradition at our house....we hang streamers on the bedroom doorway of the birthday girl, so all day they go in and out of the streamers. (see pictures). Maddy was so surprised to see them when she woke up this morning (of course she wouldn't remember last year!) and she ran gleefully through the streamers -- giggling, laughing, running back and forth in and out of her room......she kept at it... until I started the video camera rolling. As always, that brought the activities to a screeching halt. Isn't that always the way? That's what is so important about cherishing every moment in life.....because you can never get those moments back. Happy Birthday to my littlest girl -- Madelyn Gail, I love you!

(OK....no more of my soft side)

PS: I'm having a family b-day pool party for the kids this weekend, so mark your calendars for a monsoon, tidal wave, tornado - some sort of natural disaster. If I am involved in the planning of any outdoor activity: b-day party, pool party, block party, day trip (York Beach - remember?) -- it is SURE to at least rain.

PSS: you see what looks like a pile of s*** on her cupcake...that's a turtle shell. Didn't want you wondering about that one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

School's Out Day 20: Kodak Moments

The clock was ticking - I only had a few minutes before I had to go pick-up Ava from her first day of camp (how come 5 hours at home with her go by at a snail's pace and 5 hours of camp go by in a flash?) Anyway, Maddy had undressed (old news) and was in her diaper finishing her yogurt. She was strapped in her high-chair, with the tray all the way on -- right up against her. I had to run down to the basement and throw the sheets in the wash, how long could that take? Less than five minutes. How much trouble could she possibly get in? I should have known by how quiet she was up there, that's always a tell-tale sign. Came up to find her rubbing yogurt up and down her arms and all over her belly like it were lotion....yogurt dumped and smeared all over her high chair tray...and best of all she had shampooed her hair with it. She was a pink, sticky, mess. My first instinct (after my inner voice was finished) was to grab my camera...but I really was pressed for time, so you'll have to just use your imagination. Not to worry, I'm sure she'll do something similar again soon. I should really just carry my camera around my neck permanently....this morning in the store, she grabbed a bottle of nail polish, plopped herself down in the aisle, took her shoes off and attempted to paint her own toe nails. Another Kodak moment lost forever.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

School's Out Day 19: Inner Voice/Outer Voice

Had a great day out on my dad's boat today. Weather was perfect, tall ships were beautiful, and hubby and the kids were on their best behavior. Huh. Nothing good to blog about there. (Is it bad that now I'm kind of hoping for something to go wrong every day for the sake of my dedicated blog readers?) Anyway, in lieu of the fact that the boat didn't capsize, no one took a fish hook in the eye, and the coast guard didn't arrest my father (which is actually surprising because they were having a field-day out there and my father is not exactly a rule-follower)....anyway, with nothing bloggable from our day I wanted to share with you some of the daily turmoil I experience with my inner voice. Please note, that my inner voice speaks rapidly, so read it as fast as you can. Also, my inner voice has a bad mouth which I will try to contain on here - but please feel free to add expletives as you see fit.

Scenario #1
I'm in line at Target and the cashier opens a new register and says, "I can help THE NEXT person over here." The person BEHIND me (who obviously was not next) immediately bolts to the new register." Then they turn once they get their stuff on the conveyor belt and say, "Oh, sorry...I'm in a rush."
My outer voice says: "Oh, yeah, that's OK, fine."
My inner voice says: "YEAH don't mind me, just standing here for my health. I got nowhere to go -nothing to do. You stupid S.O.B.. I hope your sale stuff rings up full price, your check bounces and that ugly lamp you bought cracks on the way home."

Scenario #2
Friends come over for a play-date and a few minutes in to the play-date it's obvious to me that these kids (siblings) should have been quarantined at home, because clearly, they are ill. Their Mom says, "Oh my goodness.....look at them, their noses just started running this morning. I hope they're not coming down with something."
My outer voice says: "Yeah, tis the season, everyone has runny noses lately. Probably allergies. Not to worry, I just got tissues in massive quantities at BJ's Wholesale."
My inner Voice says: STARTED RUNNING THIS MORNING!!! -- what a bunch of BS that is. You've probably been home with them all week and you were just sick of those snotty-nosed little swine-flu buggers running around YOUR house, touching all YOUR stuff, so you brought them over here to touch my kids and my stuff and our doorknobs and toys and stick their little infected hands into MY box of Goldfish and let them get my kids sick so I can frickin sit home miserable like you were before you came over here. You selfish S.O.B.

Scenario #3
Husband is in the fridge looking for the left-overs. He says, "I can't find the left-overs in here."
My outer voice says: MOVE SOMETHING!!!-- seriously....what the &*#^ (add your own word here) -- if it doesn't jump out and bite you, it's not in there. Give me a break. LOOK AROUND -- it's IN there for Chrissakes.
My inner Voice says: see outer voice for this one, it's the same

I'm traveling... and everywhere I go people are stopping me to hear me say something-- to hear my Boston accent, like I'm some sort of freak show from the circus.
My outer voice says: "Ha, ha, ha, yeah, yeah, I'm from Boston.....obviously, as if you couldn't tell....(LOL). Ok, here goes: I'm gonna PAHK my CAH in HAVAHD YAHD. Hehehehehehe"
(laughter ensues)
My inner voice says: YOU piece of %%#% hill-billy losers, I don't have an accent, YOU have the accent. I'll PAHK MY CAH where the sun don't shine if you don't shut your trap and get away from me already.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

School's Out Day 18: Guess who won the great nap debate...

There are many a night recently where Maddy will be in her crib from 7:30 to 10:30 pm or later....talking to herself, laughing, singing, crying off and on, yelling "poo-poo, poo-poo" which always gets us to go in there and then we go in there and she's faking us out -there's no poo-poo!(note to self: cancel neurology appt. - there's nothing wrong with this kid's brainwaves... see yesterday's blog). Anyway, just yesterday morning (after her late night Thurs. night) my husband said, "You shouldn't let her nap in the afternoon, that's why she can't fall asleep at night." I don't know about you other Moms out there, but I would rather cut off my left arm then cut out her nap. It is THE ONLY time I can get ANYTHING done and I'm pretty sure my sanity depends on it. Coincidentally, we were at the beach all afternoon yesterday and she did miss her nap....and she PASSED OUT at 7 PM until 8:30 this morning. Hmmm, could hub be onto something? WELL, WELL, WELL... GUESS who was home today with her, and not only let her nap, but let her nap for 3 hours. Because he had to cut the grass, trim the hedges, pay the bills etc. AND GUESS who is on hour two in her crib right now singing twinkle twinkle little star to herself? And guess who is going to bed now to ignore all the madness? You guessed it! Goodnight!

Friday, July 10, 2009

School's Out Day 17: One of a Kind

You know that song, "One of these kids, is doing his own thing..." (from Sesame Street maybe?)

Well, there were times when I was in my classroom and all of my students would be totally engaged in an activity, and then I'd look up and see onnnnnnnnnne kid off on the other side of the room singing to themselves and spinning in circles. And I'd sing that little line to myself.

Well, apparently God has punished me again (see blog day 15) because I have given birth to one of those "always doing their own thing" kinda kids. We were at the beach again today (which you should know, was MUCH better than our beach experience on blog day 4). If all the kids ran down to the water, Maddy ran up to the beach chairs. If the kids came back to play in the sand, she ran down for a dip in the water. She took her bathing suit off (of course she did -- see every blog for more info on that) and I couldn't get it back on her (unless I was willing to cause a scene and/or break her arms and legs in the process). At lunch time, she wanted the chips one of the Moms had -- they were salt and vinegar flavor, none of the other kids liked them. Not only did she like them, she DIPPED THEM IN THE BUCKET OF OCEAN WATER we had brought up to the chairs to rinse our hands! NOT ONLY did she dip them, but then she winced at the flavor, said "YUCK" and then continued to dip them in there. Then she dipped her portable yogurt (go-gurt) in the bucket too! And then cried when I dumped the bucket of water out. She laid face-down in the sand and put her FACE -down in the sand. Thrashed her tongue in and out trying to spit out the sand...then dove back in for another mouthful. I'm just not sure there are enough neurons firing in that little head of hers. But she definitely balances her quirkiness with the cutest little things. We were in the water and out of nowhere a big wave came and almost bowled her over -- splashed her face and all -- and she laughed and said "again mumma," like I could control the ocean. (boy would I like that). When we returned to our chairs and found the seagulls eating from our trash, she yelled at them "NO, NO beeerdies, dat's MY bagel." And when we were outside the bathhouse and all the kids were rinsing in the showers - she was standing on the bench looking down at the passers-by yelling and waving with her little chubby hand, "HI EVERYBUDDY, HI EVERYBUDDY, HI EVERYBUDDY!" like the Mayor of the beach. She may be one-of-a-kind, but I'm so glad she's mine.

PS: Know any good neurologists?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

School's Out Day 16: Hubby's Blog Boycott

My husband informed me last night that he does not want to be the subject of my blogs every day...as he threatened, "Or I won't be telling you stuff that's going on around here." HA!!! That gave me quite a chuckle. Like there's anything going on around this house that I don't know about. PUH-LEASE. Anyhow, the ironic part about him saying that is that for years and years he has been telling me, "Why don't you write something! When are you going to write a book or something....DO something with yourself and your passion for writing. The WORST thing in life is wasted talent!!!" And I have always told him that I have no ideas to write about! If someone else tells me a story idea -- I can write the story, but I have always felt that I lacked material. NOW that I finally have something to write about, he wants me to squash it...just because he's the subject (some of the time!). Now he's over my shoulder reading this telling me I make him out to be an a-hole. Is that true? If so, I apologize...he really is a great guy, a hard worker and an excellent father. "Oh yeah....write that in now that I'm standing here," he says, "you'll probably delete it once I leave." (that boy knows me so well, but I'll leave it in case he checks tomorrow).
(oh crap....did I just write another blog about him?)
PS: Got any story ideas????

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

School's Out Day 15: Repent

My husband's grandmother (God rest her soul) was an old-fashioned catholic (aka: totally guilt ridden), and one of her favorite sayings was, "God is punishing you." You could stub your toe in the living room and she'd call from the other room, "That's God punishing you." I never really believed it, until today. When clearly God was sending me a message that I should not have been rejoicing in my husband's struggles last night with the children (see day 14 post). Today Maddy took her poopy diaper off and got her hands in it not once, but twice. And it happened right under my nose. The third time she got her diaper off she peed on the rug. I am not sure if she just likes to be naked, wants to mark her territory around here, or if she's ready to be potty-trained; the problem is that Mommy is not ready for child to be potty trained. I was hoping to at least get through our vacation next month. At her age ( 2) I can expect about a 5 second (if that) warning that she has to pee, which poses a challenge while waiting in lines at Story Land. When I am done pondering this toilet training issue (and saying my 10 Hail Mary's) I will move on to solve bigger world problems, like Global Warming. Yet, after putting coats on my children on July 8th, I'm not sure I have to.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

School's Out Day 14: A Trip to Toys R' Us

Let's face it, everyone needs a break from their kids once in awhile. I am with my kids from the minute they wake up until the minute they go to bed for days and days on end. Tonight around 6PM I was starting to get antsy and said to my husband, "I need to get out for a little while." He rolls his eyes...."OK DEEEAAAAR".....(his endearing -- yet patronizing -- word for me). He just doesn't get it! He has no clue how much quicker and easier it is to food shop, go to the mall, run an errand, do ANYTHING at all -- you-name-it, without toting the two kids around. And, although he wouldn't admit it, I know he thinks it's easier being home with them than working. So....I leave -- and I only have one hour (because HE has hockey to go to- his guaranteed weekly recluse)....and where do I go? NOT for a mani/pedi, NOT to the mall, NOT to the Barnes and Noble to peruse, NOT for a drink with friends.....I go to TOYS R' US!!!!! Why? Because when else will I shop for both their b-day presents without them with me? So I shop around, still a bit disgruntled, but even that break made me feel a bit more human. Ok, so I come back 60 minutes later...open the door (to a mess in the kitchen from dinner and bath toys, towels etc all over the bathroom) and here he comes charging down the hall, "THESE KIDS!!!!!" He's talking a mile a minute - "Right after you left Maddy was in the play room, she took her diaper off and came walking out saying 'poo-poo tucka, poo-poo tucka' and she had her diaper in her hand and poop all over her and poop got on me and my shirt..."blah blah blah. He's all flustered....as he's talking, I can see Maddy...she slides off our bed where she was watching TV and walks into Ava's room...he finishes his rampage and walks into our room to give Maddy her milk...only she's not there. He throws his hands-up in disgust "NOW WHERE IS SHE!?!?!? MADDDDDDDDDDY!!!!!" he yells loud and long - down the hall as if she were lost in the woods. I'm a big fan of getting my point across, so I let him look around frantically for a few minutes (come on, you know you would have too) and then I got Maddy (while grinning to myself of course). So, as it turns out, my trip to Toys R' Us was totally worthwhile. As a matter of fact, I think I would have my eyeballs poked with needles for 60 minutes every week if it meant he could get just a glimpse of my daily life. ;)

Monday, July 6, 2009

School's Out Day 13: Speechless

Whew. That was a close one. 11:38 PM and blogging on Day 13 almost escaped me. I was lying in bed telling myself, "It will be OK" and "just let it go." "No one will notice, really... truly," but it was totally irking me. This is exactly what I was afraid of. What have I gotten myself into.
Today Ava had two of her Kindergarten friends over for a pool play-date....so I got to hang out with their Moms. (It's SUCH a bonus when your kid has friends with great Moms!). The weather was freakin fantastic - definitely making up for lost time. If only I hadn't had to come in and ask the kids to come outside and play umpteen times. How quickly they forgot about all that rain.
They were inside....hip-hop dancing....my daughter's idea no doubt. And I realized while I was lying in bed that it was exactly her hip-hop dancing that was leaving me speechless. (in terms of today's blog). To quote the movie My Best Friend's Wedding..."She's got moooooooves you've never seen" and would never want to see either. To the point where she'll be "dancing" and my husband looks at ME with this look of accusation....like she got her moves from watching me dance around the house (in his dreams) or that I've been sneaking her out of her Kindermusic session and taking her to the Cabaret for amateur night. It's just as baffling to me, I assure him. Does this sort of hip gyrating happen in your house? We are in so much trouble.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

School's Out Day 12: Why Watch Me?

My kids are the best. I bring their breakfast outside on the back deck and call it a picnic, and they're as happy as a pig in you-know-what. I thought to myself, "This day is off to a good start." Maddy went in for her nap after lunch and it was time to bask in the glorious sun and play with Ava in the pool. We had races across the pool (I gave her a head start AND let her win), tossed a tennis ball back and forth, even let her push me around the pool while I lounged on a raft. Then it was time for me to relax....or so I hoped. I opened my magazine and was carefully analyzing the transformation of Michael Jackson's face (and color) from 1972 to 2009 only to be interrupted by this loud voice yelling "MOM!! WATCH ME!! LOOK AT ME MOM!! WATCH ME DO THIS MOM!! WATCH THIS! MOM WATCH ME NOW!!" for a solid 40 minutes. I can't decide what's more enjoyable, this "Watch me" phase or Maddy asking "WHY? WHY? WHY?" after everything we say. It's a toss-up. I wouldn't mind...but every time I look-up she's doing the same thing - swimming around and around with her noodle. I hate to be mean, but it's not that impressive. My inner voice (who I struggle with daily) is saying, "Why don't you actually DO SOMETHING and I'll watch you already!!!!!" That's terrible, I know. But really, I want to know: does this happen in your house? Do your kids say "Look at me," multiple times a minute?
(and let it be stated for the record....I do play with her and give her plenty of attention, and she WAS supervised while swimming....my husband was sitting there too...as a matter of fact I should have said, "DADDY wants to see how you can "swim" around and around and around slowly and aimlessly over and over with the aid of multiple floatation devices, so show HIM!")
Great day -- ended with some awesome fireworks in town....then, "Time to go Maddy, fireworks are over"...."WHY?" -- hence went the conversation the whole way home.

School's Out Day 11: July 4th

So I conked out last night and left the whole "tooth fairy" thing to Rolly. GOOD THING he has a day job cause he really blew the whole creeping-up in the night thing -- got caught red-handed with the tooth fairy pillow in his hand "Hi Daddy." Luckily she rolled over and went right back to sleep and doesn't remember a thing. At first she seemed pleased with her $5.00.... but then she said, "I think you get five for your first tooth, then ten for the next, then 20, and for your last tooth you get one hundred." Clearly there's been some talk on the playground.
Had a great holiday today-- sun in the sky, man at the grill, frozen sangria in my cup, friends and family by my side, and kids freezing their butts off in the 65 degree pool water. Does it get any better than that?

Friday, July 3, 2009

School's Out Day 10: Missing Tooth

Just shy of her 6th b-day -- Ava lost her first tooth today! We were in the kitchen and she asked for an apple....I said "OK, but it might make your tooth fall out (she had a VERY LOOSE ONE), be careful not to swallow it" (just in case it's like the whole watermelon seed thing, I didn't want her growing a set of dentures in there)...anyway, a few bites in and one of her bottom teeth fell out! At first she was alarmed, but after spitting her blood, saliva and chewed apple into my hand, she was relieved to see her tooth in there with the apple chunks. It was hard to get too emotional while holding her regurgitated apple in my hand, but I did get a little teary-eyed! That little bottom tooth was the first tooth she ever cut -- at 7.5 months. I personally think it is THE CUTEST THING when babies have those two little bottom teeth in their mouth full of gums! How did my sweet little baby (the one who screamed her head off every night from 10 PM to 2 AM, to the point where I almost gave the little colicky nightmare up for adoption) how did THAT little miracle get so big already? Anyway, we cleaned-up the blood, took a few pics with the apple and then Ava said with enthusiasm, "Let's go outside and SHOW THE WORLD." It must be nice to be the center of your own universe.
My question to all of you is: What's the tooth fairy "good-for" these days anyway? (I would like to hear what she's been leaving under those pillows lately). We are in tough economic times after all. Wait a minute, does she even work today, it's technically a holiday!?!?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

School's Out Day 9: Good News & Bad News

The good news: the repair man came and fixed the fridge.
The bad news: I stayed home all day for him to come between 8 and 12, he came at 3 and it cost $251.99

The good news: it poured all day so I didn't miss a great July beach day by sitting here waiting for him.
The bad news: it poured all day, AGAIN.

The good news: I think I lost about 15 lbs this week because all the food (and ice cream!) was in the basement and I was too lazy to walk down to get anything to eat.
The bad news: I think I have already made up for that in the 1.5 hours my fridge has been fixed and the food is back upstairs.

The good news: I finally made good use of those environmentally friendly re-usable shopping bags -- to carry the food back upstairs.
The bad news: there's not a chance in hell I will remember to bring them with me when I go food shopping tomorrow.

(hey, this good news/bad news thing is kinda fun!)

The good news: Madelyn has a huge vocabulary, and speaks in full sentences (and she's not even two!)

The bad news: Today she started asking the dreaded "Why?" We all know how that goes. "Maddy, sit down on the chair." "WHY?" "Because you're going to fall down and get a boo-boo." "WHY?" Do you see where I'm going with this? As I type....I hear my husband upstairs in her room "Maddy, it's time to go to sleep." "WHY?" "Because it's night-night time, everyone is sleeping."......."WHY". This could be another one of those nights that leaves me asking "Why ME!?!?!???"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

School's Out Day 8: Princess Play-date

July 1st.....needed the heat on in the car at 5:30 this morning. And it's POURING BUCKETS, again. Guess what....more rain tomorrow, fantastic. Anyway, Ava had a friend over to play and things weren't going so well. I tried not to intervene (I'm a big fan of letting kids try and work things out on their own), but my kid was so darn bossy (don't know WHERE she got that from)...and the other girl was only 4....so I couldn't hold back any longer. Ava scoffed at everything her poor little friend wanted to play, "That's BORING", etc etc. I wouldn't mind but our playroom looks like mini-Toys R' Us...I wonder how interested she'd be in the toys if I loaded them in boxes to be donated!??! Anyway, I digress. SO, I took it upon myself to show Ava's friend a good time. I whipped out the princess figurines (you know the ones Ava HAD TO HAVE or she would just DIE cause EVERYONE has them)...yeah, those boring things. So I set everything up....I'm lining-up princesses with their matching princes....Snow White was surrounded by all the little dwarfs, all the evil villains were aligned with their corresponding protagonists...I'm on a roll, having a ball, putting on a big show so Ava can see how a real play-date is done....the whole time this kid is looking at me like I have 5 heads. So I say, "Hey Em, which princess do you want to be?" Her reply: "ACTUALLY, I would rather play with Ava." (who was sulking near-by). Shot-down by a four-year-old, I'm scorned for life.
After that ungrateful little sour-puss went home (joking!) we were all climbing the walls....so I decided since we can't get physical outside we should exercise our minds. Me and the offspring headed to the local library. We enter the children's room and my kids bolt over to the movie section (we were there to get BOOKS!!) where Maddy immediately sits down and takes her shoes and socks off and proceeds to run up and down the aisles barefoot. The GOOD NEWS: Ava picked out a book called "Just Go To Bed." I think she's finally starting to catch-on.