Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh Time! Where Have Ye Gone?

How is it possible that it is already the end of 2011? I am truly dumbfounded.

The year has certainly been eventful, featuring, among other things:
  • The girls' first plane experience - to Disneyworld of all places
  • Packing! And moving!
  • A much needed vacation.
  • Kindergarten for LP! And a new day care for AK!
  • Playdates with new friends!
  • Everyone sleeping in until 8:45 on the weekends! People said it would happen eventually, and it really could not have come at a better time.
There are still lots of challenges to keep life interesting:
  • A merger. And the resulting ongoing integration and work irritation.
  • The ongoing struggle to understand and manage the crazy, ductless heating system at our new home.
  • Lots and lots of days off and half days thanks to the fabulous, but bizarre public school calendars.
  • Making new friends. Sticking my toe in the water a little more all of the time, but haven't taken the big plunge and gone on a double date in the new 'hood yet.
Thing I am looking forward to in 2012:
  • My 10 year wedding anniversary
  •  Having the girls' birthday party in our backyard 
  • Enjoying our water access in the summer 
  • Weekend excursions (VT? DC? FL? We'll see!) 
  • Summer vacation 
  • LP experiencing camp for the first time
Is life perfect? No. Will it ever be? Probably not. But is life good? Heck yeah. Cheers to you all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

So This is Christmas


The holiday spirit is everywhere and, as in years past, this is not lost on LP and AK.

What is different is that this year we are all more involved in the Jewish community - thanks to AK attending the Jewish Community Center for day care and LP going to Sunday school. I am a bit surprised at how much of an impact this has on their holiday season experience.

AK says stuff like, "Mommy why are they already decorated for Christmas? It isn't Christmas yet!" 

And LP chimes in, "Mom, Christmas is only get one day, right? We get eight!"

LP has started eating latkes and both girls request our CD of Chanukah pop songs. And sing along.

They both keep tally of which of their friends are "Christmas people" and "Chanukah people" and the "really lucky friends that celebrate both!"

They couldn't wait to decorate our home for Chanukah and have a party, In fact, I think LP has been making place-settings for a not-planned Chanukah party for several weeks now.

So, dear readers - Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Happy Chanukah! Blessed Kwanzaa! Happy Holidays!
 






Tuesday, December 6, 2011

But...I'm the Mom

Yesterday my mom totally called me out. I was telling her that AK had a random day off this week for teacher training and I was going to take the day off or work from home to cover it because, "I'm the mom."

"Where do you get that from?" she asked.

"What do you mean? I'm the mom."

As she knows, it was not that the Hoos wouldn't do it. I just hadn't asked...

"You didn't learn that from us. Why do you feel the need to do everything?"

At first, I started getting defensive, "Well, he is the primary income earner...I have more flexibility in my job."

And then I realized, she is right.

The Hoos says the same thing. He can help. He wants to help. But I just do stuff without even asking.

Sometimes it is because I "know" that I can just do something faster without giving instructions. Other times it is because I want it done when I want it done and I don't really want to have to wait.

And sometimes I think it is just because, well, I'm the mom...

It is the job, right? How do you guys overcome this?

Oldies but Goodies

Don't you love when you are cleaning out old files and you come across old photos and videos? These aren't great, or even that interesting, but I like them anyway.

LP is in red with the ponytail.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Love Me to Death


I know AK loves me because she tells me she does. A lot. Maybe like 10 times a day. And because she gives me a lot of kisses. And, no I don't really ever get tired of either of these things. I totally accept them both as sincere, even if they aren't (as in "I-love-you-mommy-smooch-now-can-I-have-candy?").

But honestly, the kid causes me physical pain almost as often as she tells me she loves me. I think she has come close to giving me a concussion at least twice in the last week.

One night, as I was laying in bed with her, she suddenly jumped up, head-butting me, because she wanted to switch pillows. It hurt me so much, I yelled out, "OH MY GOSH!"And she cried. But not because it hurt, because I screamed. It amazes me that I see stars and she feels absolutely no pain from the same impact.

For the record, the Hoos was in the next room with LP and did not come running. Later he said he hadn't even heard anything.

Last night I took the girls to the JCC for open swim after school. They have both gotten more independent in the water and wear bubbles, but I still go in with them as an in-water lifeguard. They were having a grand old time (I was freezing!) floating around, jumping in and splashing like crazy while I observed from a safe, central, in-water, spot. All of a sudden, AK jumped in and body slammed my head.

I was standing about a foot from her and a couple of feet below her. I think I got whiplash. I was concerned that AK had broken her solar plexus on my head. It didn't help that she burst into tears. I looked at LP and told her we were leaving. Not loudly, not yelling, but firmly. She understood and quickly came out of the pool. I wanted to get AK into the locker room so that I could check her out and quiet her down (and avoid the dumbfounded stares of the parents watching their kids have swimming lessons).

I whisked them both into the locker room, sat AK down and asked calmly if she was okay or if she was just scared. She looked directly at me and said, "Momma? Are you mad at me?"

So we are all okay... Until the next time AK decides to smother me with her love or guilt me to death.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Losing It!

Okay, folks, I am officially losing control. Not over my bodily functions (that was only when I was pregnant, thank you very much) but over my children's lives.

I am the mom, dang it! I am supposed to be all-knowing and powerful! (Mom, stop laughing..really, it isn't that funny that you wished this experience on me. Thanks.)

It all started when LP had a playdate with a boy from her class. I survived and it was nice and she still talks about how David is one of her "best friends." Which is making me think that I now have to reciprocate. I mean, I do, right? She needs to have more than just one playdate per school year? The challenge is that 1. I work and 2. I don't know how to "run" a playdate! Was that in the mom handbook? Did I miss it when they gave out "What to Expect - the School Years"?!

The Hoos (shockingly) isn't much help. When I asked him if I should see about bringing David home after Sunday school (he and LP are in the same class), he looked at me like I was nuts. "NO! You have his mom bring him over!" But, why? She knows me. Why should we pick our kids up at 12 separately when I can just pick them both up? Am I doing something wrong?

And in case worrying about LP's playdates wasn't enough - yesterday I got an email from the mom of one of AK's friends requesting a playdate for MY THREE YEAR OLD! She actually offered to take AK home from day care for a few hours (since she picks up earlier than I do, I guess).

WHAT?!

Am I a wimp that I would never consider 1. letting someone I have never met take my child home and 2. bringing home a child that I don't really know?

In case you are wondering, I wrote back and told the mom that since AK has never been to a playdate without me, I would like to try to find a time when I could bring her over. Does this make me a control freak? I don't think I am a constantly hovering helicopter mom, but am I?!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Partners in Crime

Check out one of my most favorite pictures of me and the Hoos. Aren't we cute? And young? Look at our hair! So full, so not gray! I would have put up a more recent photo of just the two of us, but I am realizing that I don't really have any. So this will have to suffice.

This weekend we spent three whole days and nights without children. We love our children. A LOT. But it was really nice to be able to run errands and do projects without having to worry about what we weren't doing - namely entertaining the kids. My parents, on the other hand, had their hands full. But I would like to think they loved every minute of THEIR weekend WITH our lovely daughters.

Needless to say it was a very busy and productive weekend. And full of just the sort of ridiculous stuff we did before kids:
  1. Meeting for dinner at 7:30pm.
  2. Selecting a restaurant based on the type of food I was craving (Indian) and its proximity to another errand (see #3)
  3. Checking out the Swiss Army Warehouse sale - at 8pm, after the crowds had abated. Still crowded but who cared! We had no fear of losing our children in the rush.
  4. Going to Home Depot right before closing, buying what we needed and NOT leaving with a whole bunch of "Mickey's" (Disney paint chips).
  5. Installing a new faucet in our kitchen - together! While smiling and laughing and focused.
  6. Measuring and contemplating purchasing items at IKEA together instead of chasing children through the store.
  7. Fitting several large and heavy boxes from IKEA into the car (impossible with car seats and kids).
  8. Spending two hours putting said furniture together from IKEA - only realizing we had done it totally wrong!
  9. Frantically disassembling furniture so we could rush back to IKEA before it closed and exchange it for one that hadn't been f*&d up by our stupidity. (And shrugging about it instead of fighting and playing the blame game).
  10. Eating dinner at a pizza-only joint at 9pm.
  11. Assembling furniture for a second time - and staying up until 1:30am to do it. (Mostly so we wouldn't have to do it the next day with our little lovies back under foot).
  12. Meeting my friend's beautiful newborn daughter. And getting to hold her for 45 uninterrupted minutes.
All of this crazy affirmed:
  • That I did, indeed, marry my best friend.
  • How nice it is to hold SOMEONE ELSE'S newborn. And it is totally possible to do this without wanting your own.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Just Pretend I'm Not Here

Exchange in the car last night:

"AK, tomorrow when mommy and me pick you up, guess what you are going to do?"

"Go swimming?"

"No."

"Go on the playground?"

"No. You are going to run right to me and give me a hug. Don't run to mommy."

"But I love her so much, LP. When I love you so much, I will run to you."

Me, interjecting, "AK, you love LP very much. She is your sister."

"Okay, LP, tomorrow I will run to you."

"Promise?"

"Okay."

"When you promise it means that you really want to do something. Actually, I don't really know what it means, but that is what I think it means. So remember - you promised to run to me tomorrow, not mommy."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Isn't New?!



It seems like very day brings a new experience.

Yesterday, AK went on her first fierld trip. Not only was it her first field trip ever, it was her first trip with her new day care. And, wowza!, was it different from the old day care! A couple of weeks ago I got a permission slip. It didn't ask for money, or for chaperones, it just asked for my signature so AK could attend the trip.

When the Hoos dropped AK off yesterday morning he confirmed that all of the 3s would be taking a big yellow school bus to the farm. And when I picked her up yesterday she had a package with a pumpkin, an apple and a scarecrow on a stick. She was also full of smiles and stories about the goats, geese, ducks and hayride, "There were bushes with long branches and so we had to keep our hands in so they didn't have to fix up cuts on anyone's hands!"

It was wonderful. Between that and the weekly swimming lessons and music class "with Miss Rhea!" I think AK is in a great place.

As for LP, she is having lots of excitement too. Last night I got a phone call from her friend David's mom asking to set up a playdate. So, this afternoon I will bring her over to his house for a couple of hours. Fortunately, it is one of LP's bus days (as opposed to an after care day). I will likely stick around but if it works out, maybe I won't have to in the future (is that how these things work)? It is really an odd feeling to be setting up a playdate with one of LP's friends as opposed to with my friends whose kids happen to be LP's friends. Regardless, I give David's mom a lot of credit for just looking me up in the directory and calling. Especially after AK picked up the phone the first time and promptly hung up!

And finally, in terms of new experiences, I have started recognizing people around town and making connections. We don't live in a small town, so it is really nice to see repeat faces. Like on Sunday, when we went to a birthday party for one of LP's friends from her old day care, and two of her friends from Hebrew school were also in attendance (talk about a small world). Or when I went to Target and ran into a family from synagogue. Or when people I recognize but can't place wave at me in the grocery store or the school parking lot.

New is normal, and I guess I kind of like it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting Dirty

So, did anyone go outside and get dirty in response to my previous post? If you did - I have good news!

The folks at Clorox 2 have offered up 5 gift certificates, each for a free bottle of Clorox 2! So offer up a comment on what you have been doing to get out and go-go! Five winners will be randomly selected!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Get Out and Play!

The weather was glorious this weekend! Saturday was a bit of a lost day, because it was Yom Kippur, but it was a lot easier to fast and be appreciative of all of the wonderful things in life with bright skies and 75 degree weather.

Sunday was even more spectacular, and I was not going to waste it. While LP was in Sunday school, AK and I drew with chalk on the driveway and played in the yard. After picking LP up, we visited an orchard, picked out pumpkins at Stew Leonard's and went for a walk down to the lake. The girls made sand castles and waded in the water. Of course this meant wet and sandy feet and bottoms - but who cared?! That is what Indian summer days are for, right?

In a stroke of good timing, I was recently contacted by the folks at Clorox to help spread the word in their Play2Day pledge campaign. Basically, you pledge to spend at least 10 hours outside every week with your kids, and they donate money to Action for Healthy Kids, a non-profit organization devoted to helping children learn about staying active and eating well, for this campaign. They will donate $1 for every new pledge participant, on top of their existing $50,000 donation.

So I made the pledge and made good on it this weekend - how about you?

PS: Clorox2 is sending my some samples to see if I can't get rid of those sandy bottom stains (and to thank for for writing about the new campaign).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Update from the Field

In the middle of the night last night, the Hoos sat bolt upright in bed.

"Did you hear that?"

"Maybe."

"There it is again. I'm getting up," he says, grabbing a flashlight (I guess it could be a weapon?)

"Okay."

Running into the hallway, "Who's there?!"

Stops. "Oh. AK. Hi."

So, AK got up to pee and scared the crap out of the Hoos. On the bright side - SHE WOKE UP DRY AND GOT HER FIRST MARSHMALLOW.

For those of you concerned, we do have an alarm system and it was on. And we do know we have two small children who might roam at night, but perhaps we were not thinking straight.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Definition of Precocious

AK has been potty trained for months now. Actually, it looks like it is almost a year!

Unfortunately she still sleeps in PullUps. It was this age and time of year when LP gave up PullUps, so I remain hopeful.

Actually, I am more than hopeful - I am on to bribery. A few weeks ago, I offered AK the reward of a marshmallow with breakfast every morning she stays dry. She was totally stoked.

But it didn't help.

Until Friday.

AK crawled into bed with me and the Hoos and grabbed my hand, "Mommy, feel my PullUp! It's dry! Can I have my marshmallow?"

At first I was very pleased for her, "Good job, baby!" Then I got suspicious, "Hey, AK? Did you change your PullUp?"

Very sincerely she responded, "Yesssssss. The other one was wet - it had pee in it!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All the Bright Side


It is coming up on 2 months since we moved into our new home in Fairfield. Is it all sunshine and light? No. (Yes, occasional dead mouse in the crawl space - I am looking at you).

But there are many, many things to be excited about.

Home: We are making fantastic progress on making the house ours. There is and will always be more to do and more ways to spend money (e.g., paint the family room, remove some trees, re-sod the lawn, get new blinds...), but we have plenty of time to prioritize and make small improvements. For now I am happy with the weeding I do while waiting for the bus and gazing lovingly at the tapestry we finally picked out and hung to cover the electric box in the middle of the living room wall.

Day care: The Hoos and I both remarked this morning that we think AK is happier at her new day care. There was nothing wrong with the old day care, but she just seems chattier and more relaxed at the new place. And I know she loves her weekly swimming class.

School: LP seems to be thriving at kindergarten. Always eager to board the school bus, she sits with her "bus buddies" (although she can't recall their names, or just doesn't want to tell me) and passes on the bus gossip. Shockingly, the big kids that sit in the back of the bus? Are still as raucous as when we were kids. She likes her teacher, enjoys aftercare, and continues to make new friends on a daily basis.

Etc.: We joined our local synagogue and LP is going into her 3rd week of Hebrew School. I am getting used to my commute and new routine and haven't had any complaints about my adjusted hours. The Hoos spent a couple of nights away earlier this week and while we missed him, he learned a lot and made some good contacts.

So really, who can complain?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There's Nothing Wrong with a Little Traffic

This week is the first week of our new routine - no holidays, no randomly early closing times, just "normal."

Well, at least it would have been normal if LP's eyes weren't bright red when I picked her up on Monday, necessitating a trip to the pediatrician, anti-biotic eye drops and a need to keep her out of school for 24 hours. But I digress.

This means is that I am heading to work on my own, without having to drop the ladies off at day care in the morning and with little to no involvement in the morning routine.

Of course, I still wake them up and urge them to come downstairs and eat while the Hoos gets ready; I also heat up LP's lunch and put it in its hot Thermos container and make sure everything is packed up in their backpacks. But, again, I digress.

For the last year I have had the pleasure of driving to work without the involvement of any highways, parkways or main roads. Now I have to go one measly exit on the Merritt Parkway and it takes me 35 minutes. And, because the distance between my exit and my work exit is 5.5 miles, it has the wonderful name of "no man's land." So, if I choose to go on it - there is no getting off or changing my mind.

Like last week, when I got on the Parkway and then realized I had left my laptop at home, but I still had to go the entire 5.5 miles and then 5.5 miles BACK to get it. But I digress AGAIN.

So, I have been experimenting with back roads. And by experimenting, I mean GETTING LOST. And wasting LOTS AND LOTS of time.

So, my lesson for the week - sometimes the tried, true, traditional, traffic-filled path...is the best one. Digressions aside;)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Day Down, 13 Years to Go

LP was so super excited for her first day of school that she jumped out of bed from a dead sleep and began running around her room in a spin to get ready.

As she grabbed her clothes she yelled to me, "Mom! Can you make me a chocolate chip waffle? I will be down in a minute!"

As I warmed up the waffle she put on her new light-up sneakers.

When she finished her breakfast she was ready to hit the porch. I reminded her the bus didn't come for another 55 minutes and recommended that she pee and brush her teeth - which she did in record time.

At 7:35 she was again ready to wait on our (fortunately covered) front porch in the rain.

Finally at 8:20 we all moved to the porch to wait. When the bus came and the Hoos walked with her to the end of our driveway, she would barely slow down to give him a kiss. And then she got on the bus and didn't turn back.

And then I cried.

Okay, not really. Then we jumped in our cars and went over to the school to watch her get off the bus. We were not the only people to do this - and we probably wouldn't have, except our across the street neighbors (who share our bus stop) were going.

At this point, I must note that a lot of parents are crazy. We might be a little wacky, but we were not there to make our kid cry. We were there so we could cry. And see how big she looked getting off the bus (and man, did she ever, hiking her new backpack up as she climbed down the bus stairs). Other parents? They got in their kids' faces to take pictures. LP didn't even know - or care - that we were there.

Of course, she did great. She didn't give me too many details, but she told me that you can buy a bagel for lunch and not just the hot lunch (none of which sounded appealing to her). She also told me that she shares a locker and her teacher is nice and that she needs a water cup for snack time. Oh, and that the classroom has its own bathroom. And you don't even have to ask the teacher if you need to use it, you can just get up and go. And because there is no lock on the door, there is a sign on the doorknob that says "stop" on one side and "go" on the other. And that there are some "really young kids" in her class. And she knows they are young because they are "so little". Then she sat on the couch and ate lots of snacks (because being in kindergarten is hard work).

AK is doing great at her new program too. Today was the first day she cried at drop off, but in general she likes the teachers and the kids. Both of my kids are super-troopers. I definitely lucked out in that department - which, I guess, should make up for not having power for a week. But that's another story.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared

See that picture? It is from August 26, 2006. Almost exactly 5 years ago.
Today she is barely recognizable as my round little baby.

It's not just that she has adorable freckles sprinkled across her nose, or that she has more words than even she can count; LP is so much more of a wonderful, independent person than I could have ever imagined having a hand in creating.

She is sensitive and nurturing. A born caregiver she watches out for her friends, helping to settle disputes and negotiate happy outcomes. She loves and takes care of her little sister. She has an amazing ability to read people and know what they need - almost basking in making other people smile.

LP is so excited to go to kindergarten. When I ask her about riding the bus and making new friends, she has no fear. Just optimism and excitement at the prospect.

I am confident in her ability to interact and build relationships. Scared at the prospect of her building a life I have no control over. Sure I pack her lunch, help her pick out her clothes...but I don't walk her to the classroom door. Or talk to her teacher every day. Or gossip with her friends' parents to figure out exactly what happened in the classroom that day.

I feel like I am entering a whole new phase of motherhood. I feel as unprepared for this as LP says she is prepared.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chugging

Life continues at its hectic pace in my world.

This is the girls' last week at their current day care. For the first time in five years I HAVE NO DAY CARE PAYMENT. Of course this won't last, and it is only thanks to my long-ago made and forgotten about deposits but I will enjoy the extra cash for the moment.

Okay, moment over because, of course, we have a new home. That we need to be buy things for.

Like:
  • Our fabulous new sectional that arrived yesterday! Super, super excited. Our living room, which up until yesterday had a lone rug and no furniture, is now a usable space. With an uber-comfy new couch!
  • Curtains for the girls' rooms! It only took me 5 trips to JC Penney (seriously, the only place you ever need to go for window treatments) but between trip 1 and trip 5 I actually ended up saving $80, thanks to random sale pricing.
  • Wall decals! Because of the tight timeframe between closing on the new house and actually moving in, we did not have time to paint. At this point, we may never have time to paint, but I put wall decals up in both LP's and AK's rooms and they look fantastic. Between the curtains and the decorations? Their rooms look more "theirs" than they ever did in our old house. After 5 years.
  • A wall! Well, we didn't really need a wall. We did need to get rid of the random little "closet" in the middle of the wall in our family room. While storage is cool and all, having a solid wall is way cooler. And now we get to pick out paint and make the family room ours too! We never actually painted any rooms in our old house, so this is also pretty cool.
  • A new TV! We never realized how big and clunky our old tube TVs were until we put them into the new house (well, we put one into the new house, the other one didn't make it in because the movers destroyed it). The Hoos got a great deal at PC Richard and he has already decided that the old TV, which we moved to our bedroom, needs to be replaced ASAP.
  • Artwork! Now that we have covered one hole in the wall, we need to cover another wall hole. This one actually provides access to our electric panel. Of course, the sizing is odd and so we are struggling to find the right tapestry or piece of art, but while searching we found an artist that we both really dug, and so we bought a framed print for a place TBD.
Of course, we do not need to spend money to make our new house a home. This weekend the Hoos took the girls out into our backyard to do some fishing. According to their report, LP caught a "big fish" and AK caught "a little teeny baby fish." They also might say they caught a beluga, but the creek isn't that big - and it is fresh water - so they really mean "a blue gill."

So, to sum it up: Feeling good. Busy, crazy, but good.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Throw in the Towel?

As Wenderina recently (as in about 10 minutes ago) pointed out - my blogging has totally slowed down. It reinforces:
  1. I was totally underutilized at my old job, when I started this blog and apparently had the time to post at least once a day; and
  2. Perhaps I am just not all that interesting.
I really truly am busy. But with monotonous stuff - like trying to find a tapestry to cover the electric box so oddly placed in the living room of my new home and trying to find a replacement screw on mop ahead (apparently only available at hardware stores). Oh, and work.

It doesn't help that because I am dropping the girls off at day care on my way into work I don't even arrive until close to 9. And I still leave at 5 to pick them up, because, well, that is what I do.

Fortunately, I have less than 2 weeks of this crazy morning schedule and then the Hoos is back to being in charge of drop off.

Unfortunately, then I have a week and a half of LP getting out of KINDERGARTEN at 1:10 for early dismissal. And then we start out new routine of her going to aftercare three days a week and taking the bus home - at 3:30 - two days a week. Meaning I start a NEW crazy work schedule where I run out of the office around 3:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays to beat the bus home, meet her and work from home for a bit before having to go and pick up AK.

The good news is - I will no longer have two kids in full-time day care. Yay! Saving money. Or rather, reallocating it to my new mortgage!

See? A totally boring blog post. Do you think I should just give up? I swear I am better at keeping up on Facebook. One sentence I can be witty - a whole post...not so much.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Newbie

We are officially moved into our new home! Yay!

We are loving the house, the neighborhood and even the commute has not been so bad.

So far we have seen deer, bunnies, fish, snails and a coyote all in very close proximity to our house. While we aren't living in the country, we are certainly in a place more woodsy than our previous home.

The girls especially love that we can walk to a life-guarded lake with a small, but lovely, beach. We went both days last weekend and they are both awesome about jumping in with two feet - literally and figuratively.

For instance, the day we moved in, Saturday, happened to be 'Family Fun Day' at the lake for our neighborhood association. That meant that lots of families were hanging out. LP and AK quickly made friends and frolicked as if they had known them their whole lives. On Sunday, when we again visited the beach to take a break from unpacking, LP walked up to some boys about her age and asked if she could play with them, "Sure!" one of them responded, "You are hired to be our snail catcher."

The Hoos and I, on the other hand, are not quite as good about putting ourselves out there. We did meet a few people - and they all seem very nice. It was a little...ummm...uncomfortable?... when one dad at the beach asked what we did and looked shocked when I told him. Not by what I do but by the fact that I work at all.

Then, yesterday, the Hoos' Aunt, who lives nearby, asked if she could stop over around 11am today to drop off a housewarming gift. According to the Hoos she was a bit miffed when he told her that I work and don't get home until later in the day.

The Hoos is concerned we moved to Stepford (never mind that he grew up in this town!), but we both remain hopeful that once school starts we will meet other families with moms that work in offices. It isn't a big deal, but it would be nice to know that I am not the only mom that has to miss mid-day play dates and PTA meetings.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nada. Nyet. Nothing.

Wish I could say that the title of this post was what I have been doing since I last posted. Alas, you all know better. So just what have I been up to?
  • Spending a fabulous 47 or so hours in California to partially assume a national role in my company.
  • Working, working, working.
  • Moving up our closing date to this Friday! YAY!!!!
  • Setting up utilities for said new house.
  • Watching my big girl graduate from pre-school. Where has the time gone?! She and her friends and teachers did a great job. We now request that she sing her formerly "top secret" graduation songs as much as possible because they are freaking adorable.
  • Breathing a HUGE sigh of relief when I learned that a spot had opened up in the after care program for LP's kindergarten. Now I no longer have to stress about 1:10 dismissal on Wednesdays or rushing out of work at 3pm 5 days a week.
  • Furniture shopping. And wishing I had more of a designer's eye!
  • Enjoying a full day alone with the Hoos. Usually when we have a free day (thanks to my parents watching the girls) we split up to run errands. But since we are temporarily unencumbered by a home to clean or grocery shop for, we got to spend time together. We went in and out of at least 8 stores shopping for furniture for our new home and scored a great deal on a wool rug at Macy's for half the price we saw it at a store two stops earlier!
  • Using a Groupon for The Brasserie - a fantastic restaurant in our new home town.
What I am not doing and need to be doing?
  • Working out! Hoping to start tonight with a swim at the JCC thanks to the new membership we were required to get for AK's new day care.
  • Catching up with friends! Sorry, everyone. I want to call you, I mean to call you. I am just flat out busy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Vacation 2011






This is my 1000th post! I can think of no better way to celebrate it than with photos of my beautiful family on vacation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twiddling My Thumbs

For those of you wondering where I have been, wonder no more. I have been living la vida loca.
  • We are moving out of Norwalk tomorrow! Ack! We feel really fortunate to have sold our home in this crazy real estate market and truly believe that the new owners see our house as a special place.
But wait, there is more!
  • We are moving in with the Hoos' parents! It is only temporary - for the month of July until we close on our new home. Meaning:
  • We are packing to put our stuff in storage! Ack! Way more stressful than just packing to move. Everything must be in a box or thrown out. No just carrying a box of perishables and driving over hanging clothes.
But wait, there is more!
  • We are going on vacation! Leaving Monday for parts north where we hope to relax, enjoy the beautiful beaches, and eat lots of ice cream. Plus, it will help break up the 4 weeks living without my own home.
Lest you think I am done:
  • My company just announced a merger. Ack! I am the only marketing/communications person, meaning I was really in the thick of things for planning and now find myself in integration-land.
But back to the move:
  • We bought a new house! The new house is awesome. There are a whole lot of things about it that make it perfect for our family (e.g., you know those canoes and kayaks taking up space in my basement? They will now be located on the built in kayak rack in the backyard - which is 15 feet from a body of water!).
  • AK is switching day care! Well, after I spend the summer driving the girls to their existing day care on my way to work (I really am dreading this change to our routine - the girls are used to leaving the house at 8:30am, now we have to try to leave before 8).
  • LP is graduating preschool and going to KINDERGARTEN! Ack! When did I get so old?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

At a Loss For Words

In our house it is very rare that anyone is at a loss for words.

AK: "I have a new friend in my class."
LP: "What does he look like?"
AK: "He is black..."
LP: "You mean he has brown skin?"
AK: "He is black, he has brown skin, and teeth, and ears, and arms, and hair..."

Not that I am really sure how else AK could have described her friend, but this makes it clears that she doesn't have nearly as many adjectives in her vocabulary as she has body parts.

I was pretty much rendered speechless from the whole conversation.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Togetherness

Yesterday AK started in the preschool room at day care. She looks like such a little peanut next to her classmates - especially since she just turned 3 and most of them are bordering on 4 and preparing to move to the next classroom at the end of the summer.

When they asked if I was okay with transitioning her early, I was thrilled:
  1. I love the teachers
  2. The classroom is much bigger and nicer
  3. Positive reinforcement and peer pressure on potty training
  4. Lower day care bill!
Added bonus - in the mornings and afternoons they typically combine the 3 year old class and the 4 year old class, meaning LP and AK are together for some extra time. Even though they sometimes beat each other up and a lot of the time they make each other crazy, at the end of the day, they love and take good care of each other. The picture is one the Hoos snapped this morning of LP reading AK a book in the classroom. Could you melt?

I would be more apt to melt if I had not woken up suddenly at 6 am for no reason. Apparently it impacted the whole family, because AK showed up at 6:05 and LP at 6:15. At 6:20 the Hoos went to sleep in LP's twin bed - with her. At 6:40 I got up and showered and AK enjoyed having our queen bed all to herself.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Letter of Warning

Dear Preschool Assistant Teacher:

Just a reminder to never think that my child is not listening. Because not only is she always listening? She is actually recording everything you say.

For example, last night she told me to make sure to shake off before going into "Cottage on the Beach" or else you will get sand flea bites. She also told me that "our" beach is not a "real beach" because it does not have a Cottage. "By the way, Mommy, what is 'Cottage on the Beach'?"

Previously she has told me that "black is slimming" and "fashionable" and "it goes with everything."

My daughter is FIVE. She does not need to know about the intimate details of your personal life. She does not need your fashion advice. She does not need to know about colors that are slimming.

Thank you,
AmyBow

PS - It is bad enough that she knows all of the lyrics to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry songs (and is teaching her 3 year old sister the same)> Actually, I don't mind that so much. Today she asked me to download a new song, "Waka Waka". I just had to google to figure out she was talking about a Shakira song and not Fozzy Bear.

Monday, June 6, 2011

When I'm A Dolt

This morning I woke up LP by asking her if she knew what today was.

"Doctor's appointment day!!!" she responded gleefully.

I confirmed she was right and added, "And your cousin Emily's birthday! Maybe if you guys move quickly we can try to call her to wish her a happy birthday if she is home from school."

LP was pensive, "Does she sleep at her school?"

"No, but she lives in Hungary and that is a different time zone. So it is already after lunch for her."

"Mommy, when I'm a dolt, I want to live in Hungary."

"Well, when you are an adult you can visit Hungary. And lots of other places. Where else do you think you would want to visit?"

"Hungary, and California, and China, and Disneyland, and Oliverti."

"LP, what is Oliverti?"

"You know, mom, Oliverti."

I was still confused. "What do they have there?"

"You know! Oliverti!" and then she posed holding one arm over her head.

"Oh! you mean the Statue of Liberty!! That is in New York, LP. We can visit there while you are still a kid."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Three with a Vengeance

Last night as I was trying to get AK to sleep, I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner.

"My fav-or-ite!"

I thought hard, came up blank (she eats everything), and asked for some clarification.

"Chicken!"

Not too helpful. More details required.

"Chicken with polka dots!"

While I have no idea what she was originally speaking of, I can make this happen, "How about dinosaur chicken nuggets with corn and peas to give them spots?"

"YES!!! And Sunny Daes for dessert."

Ice cream for dessert I can do. Especially if it means I get a night off from baking.

I then attempted to slip out with the excuse of needing to wrap her presents. This was around 9.

At 9:30 the Hoos and I heard running and drawers opening. We looked at each other knowingly, "AK..." Sigh."Wonder what she will be wearing when we go up."

At 10:15 there was still noise coming from AK's room. Sigh.

I found her on the floor behind her door - wearing long-sleeved cotton footie pajamas. Sigh.

Lest you think that going to bed after 10 would make for a rough morning...

At 6:20, there was the pitter-patter of little footsteps. Sigh.

"Mommy! I not two anymore! I'm threeee!"

"Happy birthday, AK!"

"Mommy? Daddy not say happy birthday to me."

The Hoos, [sigh], "Happy birthday, AK!"

Happy birthday, indeed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spitfire

Three years ago tomorrow, a beautiful little girl beat the doctor (and the anesthesiologist) to the delivery room. And when the nurse held up the umbilical cord to show the Hoos and me the "true knot" in it, we knew instantly that this little girl was not going to let anything or anyone hold her back.

I would say that she is like the Energizer bunny, except even Energizers eventually run out of steam. Not my AK.

This weekend she ran from bounce house to sprinkler to snack table in a circuitous route at a party. It made my head spin (and my stomach turn) just to watch her. And any thought of her conking out on the ride home would only lead to disappointment. And then after dinner, when we went on a family walk, the Hoos and I each pushing a stroller, LP enjoyed the ride and AK walked the entire 1.5 miles.

A petite powerhouse, AK actually thinks she is turning 5 like her big sister instead of 3. She idolizes LP and wants everything the same as big sister. Tonight we will be making a two-tiered, pink iced cake that looks just like the one LP brought to school last week. And tomorrow AK will get similar if not identical presents. And in a couple of weeks they will have a joint birthday party. Good think LP relishes the role of big sister and care-giver. Not to say they don't find ways to get under each other's skin, but at the end of the day they always give each other a kiss and a hug.

To say our family was not complete until AK arrived would be an understatement. Now if only she had come with some spare batteries for sharing...

The Nurturer

This is LP.

LP is FIVE.

LP is also loving, and smart, and beautiful, and going to be the most amazing woman.

She is nosy inquisitive.

She is observant.

She hears everything, understands most things, and teaches everyone around her.

She is the center of AK's world and a huge bright spot in mine (and the Hoos').

When I went to register LP for kindergarten and the principal asked me to describe her, I was momentarily speechless. How do you capture the spirit that is LP in words?

She may no longer have the chubby cheeks and deliciously pudgy thighs that were her trademark as a baby, but she instantly captured our hearts and that certainly has not let up.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a Crack Up

Last night as I was putting AK to bed, I noticed she had a quilt laid out on the floor, "I sleep here," she told me.

"Fine, as long as you sleep," I said, closing the door.

A few minutes later I heard some banging and went in to check on her. I found her arranging herself and her stuff on the quilt. She had grabbed a mini-pillow and a cuddly friend from her bed and the banging was a result of her grabbing a blanket from her dresser.

She looked at me, didn't say a word and returned to assembling her bed.

When I went back downstairs, I told the Hoos not to be surprised if AK was sleeping on the floor.

"I bet she isn't sleeping," he responded.

Around 9:45 our suspicions were confirmed by some additional banging.

When I went upstairs, I found AK trying to stuff the blankets back into her dresser. Apparently she was ready to return to bed.

I also noticed that she seemed to have more and different clothes on then when I had last left her.

"AK, it is too hot for a sweatshirt." Again, she didn't say a word, just stuck her arms in the air so I could remove it. She then curled up on her pillow and closed her eyes.

When I went in at 10:15 she was sound asleep and I was able to remove the leggings she had also put on.

That kid cracks me up. Simultaneously hard to believe she is only three and almost three.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dealing With It

Last week I took LP for her kindergarten visit.

Everything looked so small.

Except my daughter; she looked so big! How is it even possible that my round-cheeked, chubby-legged little baby is turning five in a few short days?

Another eye-opening thing at the orientation was how many stay-at-home moms there are. I know they exist, and while I don't envy them (to me, being a SAHM is way harder than a "work in the office" mom), I don't necessarily feel like I have a lot in common with them.

For example, there as one woman that was jumping out of her seat to be a Brownie troop leader.

There is also the challenge of after-school care.

The district we are moving into offers full day and extended day kindergarten. Despite the names, full day is school until 3:30 four days a week and extended day is school until 3:30 twice a week and until 1:10 three days a week.

The extended day option boggles my mind. If your kid comes home early do you play with them for an extra two hours? Take them to a music class or something? Are two extra hours of stimulation with other children too much?

LP (and AK) have been going to day care from 8:30 until 5 since they were 3 months old. The idea of having them home at 3:30 seems early.

I have already starting setting the stage at the office for a work schedule where I will be able to meet her at home from the bus. However, there is the sticky wicket of Wednesday. Every single kindergarten class ends at 1:10 on Wednesdays. I think this is a relic of the half day kindergarten days (thank goodness we don't have to worry about THAT) but I am really not sure of the purpose. Other than to make working parents run around like crazy people to get a strategy together.

Of course, my first option, after care at the school for two hours, is full. We are on a waiting list. My second option of having her bussed to the same center AK will be at for day care is cancelling its program for lack of interest. I am starting to think about hiring a babysitter to meet LP at the bus and hand out with her for a few hours. Of course, this is complicated by actually finding a babysitter. Further complicated by the fact that we will not actually live in the community for another 10 weeks.

ACK! It is enough to make my head hurt. A lot.

What sort of crazy machinations do they have in your town? What solutions have you come up with?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

LP: "Mommy? Do you still have those wasps building a nest in your window at work?"
Me: "Yes, but my friend Tim is going to spray them so they go away."
LP: "Mom. Tomorrow you say to him, 'You can't spray them until my kids come in and have a chance to see them.' Okay?"
>>>>>>
AK: "I love you."
Me: "I love you, too."
AK: "No! Mommy! Do not say 'I love you, too!' I love you."
Me: "I love you."
AK: "I love you, too."
Me: "I love you, too."
>>>>>>>
LP (to anyone who will listen): "Wednesday is my kindergarten visit! Friday my grandma and grandpa are picking me up! And we're going to see the inside of our new house. And we are going to Chuck E. Cheese. And we are going to eat ice cream. And candy. And take a bath in the big bath tub with grandpa in his bathing suit. And have waffles with whipped cream. And play with grandma's neighbor Isabella. And AK and I will have a sleepover together. And..."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Twas the Day Before Mother's Day: A Photo Essay

Wearing her "soccer dress" - daddy's jersey.
This is how we glamorous girls play soccer.
Pooped after a long day of fun in the sun with Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hello, Ma?!

How has it possible been two weeks since I blogged?

It is entirely possible that the time flew by because I have nothing exciting that I want to blog about. Not to say life is not exciting, because it is. In fact, life is really crazy in a lot of different ways, but that doesn't mean I want to blog about it.

Mostly it means I just want to talk to my mother about it.

Fortunately, I talk to my mother almost every single day. I realize that for many of you this sounds insane. To others it just makes me really darn lucky.

While I am likely at least a little bit of both, in this case I am actually really lucky.

Are there times when we drive each other nuts? Sure. Will she tell you about what an awful tantrum-throwing toddler I was? You don't have to ask her twice. She may even throw in a bit about the positive sunshine I radiated as a teenager (is the sarcasm thick enough on this one?).

But at the end of the day, we still have a great relationship. And I now have not just one, but two little girls aka payback. The good news is we know we will all make it out just fine.

Thanks, Mom! And Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

First Time For Everything

On Wednesday night, LP crept into our room at 2am...

And went to the Hoos' side of the bed!

"Daddy, I'm scared/tired/lonely.." To be honest, I don't really know what she said because - let me repeat this - SHE WENT TO THE HOOS' SIDE OF THE BED.

And he brought her back to her bed.

And when she returned 10 minutes later...

SHE WENT TO THE HOOS' side of the bed AGAIN.

I love my babies all the time. But I especially love seeing them with their daddy. Especially when it is the middle of the night.

Yee-haw!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spotlight on: Parents

Just wanted to offer up a public service announcement about how much parents rock. At various times on a daily basis - we make hard things seem effortless, appear to have superhuman amounts of patience, unending depths of love and understanding and infinite wells of energy. Sure, a lot of it is smoke and mirrors or a facade to help get through the day, but most people don't know that.

Today, I want to highlight the awesomeness of parenthood by offering up my parents as an example.

For the 15th year in a row (or so) my parents hosted our family's Passover seder last night. Over the years "our family" has grown to include "my family" and my extended family, and my cousins and their kids and extended families...and last night we were about 36 people.

For a sit down dinner.

With:
  • two kinds of kugel,
  • two kinds of potatoes,
  • two kinds of asparagus,
  • homemade matzoh ball soup,
  • chicken,
  • brisket,
  • about a dozen other nibbles, noshes and side dishes,
  • 10 loads of dishes,
  • 10 full trash bags,
  • countless pieces of rearranged furniture,
  • 9 affikomen presents
  • and enough leftovers to feed the entire crew again for a second seder.
Of course my parents have helpful (and sometimes not-so-helpful) help by way of my grandmother (who makes at least a half dozen types of not just edible but actually delicious passover desserts) and aunts and uncles and cousins and children, but they shoulder a large swath of the effort. And pull it off every year.

Thanks mom and dad, for leading by example and reminding us all of the wild and wonderful aspects of being born (or married) into our family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chiming In

AK is on a roll. The kid never stop talking. For serious.

At my in-law's house a few weeks ago:

"Mommy, we are in the church."

"No, baby, this is the PORCH." Close.

Last night as I tried to get her to go to bed.


"Mommy, Max doesn't have a mommy."

Me, trying to figure out which Max she is talking about, "Who? What?"

"Ruby isn't his mommy. Ruby is his sister. Where his Mommy?"

I do recall some sort of Internet Mom Quiz asking this same question. I still don't know the answer, but at least I know who Max and Ruby are.

This weekend at the "haircutter" for her first haircut:

"Mommy, there are four 'S's' up there!" As she pointed to the name of the salon, Scissors, engraved in the window.

And then there is LP.

Who popped right out of bed this morning, exclaiming, "Mommy! I am so excited!"

Did we have a party? An exciting adventure planned? A special snack in her lunch?

No. We were going to the dentist.

Seriously, my kid loves going to the dentist. Hopefully her little sister will love it too since I made the next appointment for both of them.

LP also rocked it at soccer this weekend.

She hasn't played since last spring and at first she was reluctant to go on the field. But once she warmed up? You couldn't stop her. She played the entire second half without a break and is really shaping up to be one of her team's star players (which isn't saying much). It is a HUGE difference from last year when she would stop midfield and hold conversations with her friends or just walk off the field in need of a snack.

Yup, my babies are growing up!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Not Enough Time in the Day

Even with co-showering, apparently there is just not enough mommy-time in AK's day.

Last night at 2:40, an adorable pajama-clad munchkin appeared at my bedside declaring, "Mommy, I wantchu to sleep with me."

As I returned her to her bed, I grabbed a baby blanket for myself and curled up next to her. As I practically fell asleep, she just stared at me.

After 10 minutes I told her I was returning to bed.

At 3:15 she showed up again, "Mommy, you forgotchu blanket," and handed me the abandoned baby blanket. I thanked her and sent her back to bed.

At 3:35 she returned, crying this time. "Mommy! I! WANT! YOU! TO! SLEEP! WITH! ME!"

I tried to get the Hoos to deal with her, but we both knew it wasn't going to work. First, because he wasn't moving very quickly to react and, more importantly, because she was crying Mommy and not Daddy.

Once again, I returned to her bed. With my baby blanket. After 10 minutes of being stared at, I told her I was going back to check on Daddy and asked if I should take my blanket or if she wanted to snuggle with it.

"You take it, Mommy. G'night."

Sigh...long day ahead.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Never Be Lonely Again

When I got pregnant with AK we used to joke that it was because I wanted someone to snuggle with. LP was not quite two and she was temporarily done with cuddling. Babies have no choice but to share the warmth, and who doesn't love the feeling of an adorable, wonderful little munchkin sleeping on your chest and breathing baby breath into your face?

Apparently, my love of togetherness rubbed off on AK. Because she is up my butt - all. the. time.

For example, yesterday.

About 20 seconds after my alarm went off, LP was bright and shiny and at my bedside. I certainly prefer when she gets out of bed on her own with minimal whining and crying, so I will not complain about that. Or the fact that she climbed in bed and spooned with me.

However, when I told her I had to get up and she should stay in bed and cuddle with the Hoos, she indicated she had other plans and followed me into the bathroom. This still wasn't horrible, although it definitely makes me self-conscious to have an audience in the toilet.

The fun began as I stepped into the shower and LP ran out of the bathroom, telling me, "I am going to wake up AK so she can shower with you!" And she was gone.

Next thing I know there is a knock on the shower door and a bleary eyed, naked AK is standing there with her arms outstretched.

So I got to shower with an audience and a friend.

Sweet.

Our next house will totally have a better lock on the bathroom door.

PS - The other day, the Hoos was in the bathroom and LP actually KNOCKED on the door and asked if she could come in. He responded in the negative, she accepted his answer and walked away. How come no one asks me if I want privacy or listens when I talk?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things I Hate About You

Well, not you personally...And while I don't USUALLY like to complain (at least not out loud, in public or on this blog), sometimes you just have to let it out.
  1. Folding undershirts. Man, do I hate folding undershirts. Maybe because there are so many of them (each of my lovely daughters wears one a day and the Hoos wears two!). Whatever the reason - HATE IT.
  2. Cleaning plastic reuseable containers. I like reusing, reducing and recycling. I really do. I think it is important. But my girls go to school with three reuseable containers each per day (that adds up to 30 containers a week!!!). Since I have plenty of plastic containers, but not plenty of the size that fit in their lunch boxes, I am constantly washing them. HATE IT.
  3. McDonald's on the Highway. I drove to Providence the other morning and left my house before 6 am for the two hour drive. Since I wasn't up to eating at 6, I stopped at a drive-thru McDonald's on 95 about an hour into the trip. Instead of the $3.81 I used to pay for a sweet tea and an Egg McMuffin before I started my no sugar, no flour diet, I was floored when the requested $5.83. Apparently 99 cent Sweet Tea costs $1.44 more when it is made on I-95. And in case you were wondering, no, diets do not count when traveling.
  4. My scale. Okay, I am three plus months into the aforementioned diet. I believe I have lost a grand total of 5 pounds. WTF?! And, apparently I have lost all of that weight in my face. Double WTF?!
What are you hating on these days? Aside from the weather. Because Lord knows we can always complain about that!

Cuteness to counteract the negative

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

After My Own Heart

"mommy, i love everyone in the whole world...except, you know who."

i will pause and give everyone a chance to guess. even if you knew names, faces, associations, or even lp personally, i still doubt you would get it.

"litterers. i do not like litterers. people should not just throw their garbage on the floor!"

sorry for the lowercase, blogger doesn't like my berry today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Food is Love

Since December 25th I have seriously reduced the amount of flour and sugar that I consume on a daily basis. For about 3 months I was pretty much cold turkey, but I have started adding one sugar packet to my coffee or tea and I will eat breaded chicken. I also might sneak in the occasional mocha. Also, one a week we have pizza for dinner.

While my weight hasn't decreased dramatically, it has decreased slightly and it certainly has not gone up. Which says a lot considering that I go pretty much dormant in winter, getting little to no exercise and that I usually eat when stressed (see posts re: selling and buying a house).

That being said, just because I don't eat those things doesn't mean that I don't bake or cook with those things. If I cut flour out for the girls - particularly LP - they wouldn't eat much. So I make my weekly batch of homemade "macca" (macaroni and cheese), buy bagels, and pour daily bowls of Honey Nutters (honey Nut Cheerios).

More importantly, if I cut flour and sugar out for the whole family, I wouldn't feel so great. I cook and bake for them because I love them. Because, to me, the effort and time that goes into baking means something to the person that eats the baked goods.

For example, Wednesday night I made chocolate chip cookies for the Realtor open house my agent was holding at our house on Thursday. My feeling was that baking something shows 1. that I actually use the beautiful granite counters in my kitchen and 2. that their help in selling my house was important. Now, I am sure they didn't see it that way, they saw cookies and ate one if they felt like it. It doesn't matter though, I felt good about the process.

And today. The girls are at my parents' house for two nights (thanks mom and dad!). I don't need to bake, especially not as a pass-the-time project for me and my two amigas, but I did.

I made hamantashen. It is Purim and they are a traditional dessert of filled triangle-shaped cookies. They are more labor-intensive than your typical cookie, but, again, I didn't mind. They are going to help our family celebrate (pretty much the only way we will celebrate).

Food is love. Pass it on.

PS - not only do I not even try the baked goods once finished, I don't even lick the bowl, or spoon. Yes, some willpower is required, but I remind myself that it means there is more for my lovies to eat.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slamming Doors

It has been almost two years since the Hoos locked himself and the girls out of the house. I, fortunately, managed to evade this fate by always making sure the door was unlocked if I was just doing something quickly in the yard or making sure I had my keys on my person at all times.

Until yesterday.

Last night the girls decided they wanted steak for dinner. Since I am always on a quest to get LP to eat more protein, I accepted the challenge and we stopped at Stew's between the playground and our house to pick some up.

I lit the grill as we hustled into the house. We discovered that the post office had delivered a box and LP and AK determined to open it while I prepped the steaks and got them on the BBQ. With the meat on a plate, I unlocked the back door and slipped outside.

Shortly thereafter LP joined me to show off the mask that had arrived in the shalach manot gift. I complimented her appropriately and she shut the door and returned into the house to play with AK. Which was cool, until I wanted to get inside. SHE HAD LOCKED THE DOOR.

I know she didn't lock it on purpose. It is a habit of hers to lock the door, since she is usually the last one in the house when we get home from school. I know it is a good thing that she is so security conscious and smart. Except it meant I was LOCKED OUT OF THE HOUSE.

I pounded on the back door and yelled to no avail. Eventually I went around to the front of the house, "LP! Open the door!"

"I can't!" she responded (the front door has a tricky lock).

"GO. TO. THE. BACK. DOOR."

She did and let me it, apologizing profusely that she didn't mean to lock it and that she hadn't heard me pounding. Fair enough.

Later that night I called our neighbor to see if I could borrow two eggs. As I ran out the door to meet her in the middle of the street, I heard the girls yelling from our door that they wanted to come and I insisted I would only be a second.

The lovely Kimmy met me in the middle of the street and quickly pointed behind me.

There was AK, barefoot, running across the street. Without looking. Of course.

Fortunately it was 8pm and there were no cars, but I could have killed her.

Lesson of the day: 1. Always carry keys and 2. lock every door behind you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Manning Up

I have spent my entire adult life working in the marketing and communications fields. I consider myself a good writer, a halfway decent speaker, and a relatively engaging person. And yet, I SUCK AT NETWORKING. I am just not good at walking into a room full of people and making connections without a wingperson.

This morning an opportunity presented itself for me to attend a local small business event. The registration process and fee was waived and the new Governor would be speaking, as well as a nationally recognized entrepreneur. Aside from being interested in hearing these gentleman speak, and the allure of hotel meal without the hotel stay, I was interested in attending to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

It is not that I don't WANT to network or that I am incapable, I am just...shy? I know, I know, hard to believe for those that know me personally.

So, I got up early, left the house before my lovelies were awake and drove down to Greenwich in the pouring rain, prepared to aggressively network.

And then I realized I had a total of ONE business card in my purse.

And then, when I got there, I realized it was a room full of older men in dark suits. I was at least wearing a suit and heels, but being 5' and female, the room was intimidating. Especially considering there were about 500 people jammed into the lobby of the venue.

Apparently my networking strategy revolves around movement. I proceeded to walk back and forth across the lobby for a good half hour. I figured instead of standing still, checking my 'Berry and chugging my coffee, if I was moving at least I had a chance at making eye contact.

And I did.

With the guy dressed as a paint brush promoting a small local painting contractor.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Shoes

As the Hoos and I prepare to move, I think back fondly on the last move that we did ourselves without the help of paid movers. It was also the last time the Hoos' brothers lived in the same state as us (which will change this summer! woo-hoo!). We conned them into helping us move from one end of North Arlington, VA to the other and they were amazed - I mean downright dumbfounded - by the number of shoes I owned. I haven't counted lately, but I figure I must own about 40 pairs - is that a lot?

Anyway, while I don't know where most of my readers live, I do know that most of them love shoes. I mean who doesn't?

Which brings me to an email I received today:

Famous Footwear is opening up a new store in North Haven Pavilion this Saturday, March 19. Shoppers can download an exclusive discount coupon to bring with them to the Grand Opening Event online at www.famousfootweargrandopenings.com. The first 100 shoppers to present this coupon in the store will also receive a handbag that’s stuffed with fun goodies. There will also be tons of fun activities on-site, for moms and kids alike, and multiple chances to win prizes - including FREE SHOES!

North Haven Pavilion – 210 Universal Drive, North Haven, CT 06473, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

If you go, please do not feel the need to buy me shoes. I don't even know how I am going to move the 40 I already own. (Just kidding! A girl can always use more shoes!)

And, let me know how many pairs of shoes you own. I didn't think I had a problem but now I am starting to wonder...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This, That, and the Other





Whoa, boy have things been busy around these parts!

Our Castle
Last Wednesday morning, our Realtor came over and walked us through the exciting process of preparing our house for sale. Knowing we were leaving on vacation for 5 days that very afternoon, we said we would need at least one weekend to work on the house and would plan to put it on the market NEXT week (week of the 14th).

Flash forward to Monday. A call from the Realtor asking about taking pictures TODAY to get it on the market TOMORROW. Then imagine me and the Hoos stressing out, staying up until all hours, and running around like crazy people to clean up, reorganize, hide stuff and prepare.

TOMORROW our home of 5.5 years goes on the market. A very different market than when we purchased. We are hoping for the best, preparing for the worst and exhausted. Wish us luck.

THEIR Castle
Fortunately, our housing stress was broken up by a little trip to the happiest place on earth. Despite the fact that we learned that AK had an ear infection less than 24 hours before her first airplane ride ever (delivering yet another reason for a sleepless night), the girls were FANTASTIC from the time we left for the airport until the time we got home.

I was constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have such great kids - they didn't whine, complain, or beg for overpriced tchotckes the entire trip. They just enjoyed the pants off of Disney: dancing with characters, watching shows with rapt attention, and showering my parents and grandparents with love and appreciation. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Designed to Sell (Out)

We are working on getting our house on the market. This sucks for many reasons. Despite the fact that I think we have an adorable house with lots of lovable, wonderful features, it still needs some shine. So, in addition to taking a huge hit, we also have to make our home even more appealing to prospective buyers (cue the $$$):
  • Yesterday the yellow laminate counters and (actually very nice stainless) sink came out. Today the granite goes in.
  • I spent an hour wandering around Kohl's seeking out the perfect 'bed in a bag' to make my bedroom look more like "a master". The result - my bedroom is still small - but now there are throw pillows on the bed that coordinate with the valances I bought last week! Doesn't it seem more luxurious already?
  • Pan to Bed, Bath and Beyond several hours later. There I am buying a bed in the bag for LP's room. She really only needed a bed skirt to hide mask distract from the fact that she doesn't have a "real bed" - just a frame, but when you are spending $20 for a skirt, why not pitch in a little more to make the room even more girly. And it will save me from buying this stuff once LP moves into her next room. Of course the set included throw pillows.
  • Today I will spend my lunch at TJ Maxx trying to find a bed skirt - or bed in a bag - and throw pillows for the little munchkin. Otherwise she will look like the only one in our house sleeping on just a bed frame. And who would want to buy a house haunted by that?
My shopping raises a question - WHAT IS UP WITH THROW PILLOWS?! From my perspective, they are useless not at all practical. Do people actually lay on them? In my (all be it short) experience, they are thrown to the floor (or for the first few nights gently removed to the dresser) so people can actually sleep in the bed. Am I missing something?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Paging Sleeping Beauty

Waking up the girls on weekday mornings is a chore. I don't want to get out of the bed in the morning - so why should they? And even worse, as I have discussed previously, the Hoos does not want to get out of bed in the morning. About twice a week at least one of the girls is up and moving well before Daddy.

This morning it was AK, "Mommy! Come lay with me and snuggle."

After snuggling for a minute she sat up and said, "I wake up Sleeping Booty. You wait here."

A few seconds later I was her creep into my bedroom calling "Sleeeeeeeeping Boooooooooty," and kissing the Hoos awake. I totally thought she was going to wake up LP, but apparently her daddy has her hoodwinked.

The Hoos, of course, totally plays into it, "I'm only a little bit awake, I need another kiss." and "Oh wait, I fell back asleep, I need another kiss." So, he gets extra loving from an adorable little AK AND he gets to stay in bed for an extra five minutes.

I guess he just needs more beauty sleep.