Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spoon Full of Sugar

Petra is my last baby. I don't plan on having any more and it makes everything she does somehow a little more special and I'm trying my best to implant all of her sweetness in my memory forever. With Beckett, I was frantic to calm him, feed him, change him, figure out how to satisfy him and I feel like I missed so much of his baby-ness. Being back at work has made this effort a little tougher, so I'm left with bed and bath time during the week and weekends are golden. I'm sure this story sounds familiar to many. But not to my mom or my mother-in-law. If you think of the past generation of moms that stayed home until their kids were in Kindergarten and didn't have texting and cell phones as distractions, those moms really knew their kids. I want to make a better effort to be present when I'm with my kids, put the cell phone away at the playground and play more. Pretty soon I'll be packing away all of these baby spoons and sippy cups and I hope I feel full enough of baby sweetness.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Family

Last Thanksgiving we held a costume party. A week prior to that day, we each received a character to come dressed as and were told to keep it secret until we came downstairs to breakfast that Thanksgiving morning. It was so much fun and everyone took it very seriously. We came with our outfits secretly packed in our suitcases all the way to Martha's Vineyard. Strange thing was, as we each came downstairs to reveal our character, none of the kids said a peep. It was breakfast as usual for them as the adults paraded around as these characters. Quite surreal as we stuffed the turkey and prepared for the day as a biker chick, a burned-out hippie, and chainsaw massacre dude. Can't wait for Christmas!

Good Bye Summer- For Real

Packed up all the summer stuff: picnic blanket, beach towels, cooler, swim trunks and sea shells we had scattered on the table. All that stuff wasn't scattered on the table, just the shells. You know me better than that! I took a snapshot of the shells for one last image of our beach days. Busted out the Halloween decorations the other day and it is finally beginning to feel like fall. Fall is my favorite season.  In the movie You've Got Mail, either Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks says something about a bouquet of pencils reminds them of fall...something like that and I totally agree. Back to school feels like a fresh start and I really needed that this year. New personal goals and new challenges mixed in with old friends. We're going apple picking next weekend with old friends and I can't wait. I may buy a pumpkin pie on site and eat it on the hay ride just to engulf the full sense of fall all at once since I don't have a bouquet of pencils near by.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Scout, Sally, Jack, Jill, Reggie, Casey, Sassy, Jasmine, Mercy, Ring, Sugar, Topsy...

I've complained endlessly about how having a dog is a huge pain in the butt. In the city with a dog, the simple things get complicated somehow. Walking the dog, finding dog sitters, no room to let it run, can't just open the door and let it out, etc. But I have to remember all the good things a dog can give you. Scout has been the most loving soul in my life. I mean that. Scout has been with me for 12 years. I found her on the street in the East Village on a freezing January day. I fought Josh to keep her and it was not to his liking that she ended up staying. It was made clear she would be my dog.

From the first night she slept in our bathtub she has been completely loyal and grateful. It's as though she knew her fate if I hadn't taken her home with me and she knew I rescued her. She is quiet and ladylike, she prances down the street. She has never been picky, eats whatever dry food I find on sale and sleeps under my side of the bed. When she hears me get up, that's when she gets up - even if it's just to open the window. Before she goes to bed, she stands next to me, I reach down from my bed and pet her goodnight. Scout has loved my children from the first day I brought them home. She has never once shown jealousy and has taken tumbles from Beckett and whisker pulls from Petra. And when I escape the chaos to have a good long cry sitting on the edge of the bathtub, she'll come find me and press her head against me. She's always known when I'm upset or happy and she adjusts her mood to mine so I have her to lean on. As I write this, my sister Theresa's dog Sally is not doing so well. She's 12 too and her age has just caught up with her. Sally is a true best friend, always with you, and we love her so much. I guess all we can do is curl up next to her, pet her and kiss her and press your head against her.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mac Mama

I'm going to pat myself on the back a little here: I've allowed Beckett to play some video games this summer. Not something to be proud of you say? Well, I set a time limit, only allowed certain games from Nick Jr. & PBS Kids, and tried to steer him towards the educational ones and away from silly baby ones that would truly waste his time. Ha! Seriously, with a 6 month old demanding a lot of my attention while I was home alone with the kids this summer, it could have been much worse. One good thing did come out of it and I must say I'm a proud mac mama: Beckett is pretty good at his computer skills and knows his way around a laptop. Now we just have to put it all to good use.

Free Me

Can you guess which silverware drawer is mine?
Yes, it is the bottom one. My sister Theresa's is on top. I've been thinking of this entry for awhile and finally realize I have to let go. It's totally obvious what's going on here. How Theresa keeps her silverware drawer reflects on her priorities. She's not a sloppy person at all, she just makes time for more important things and takes a more laid-back approach. I think that's why after leaving her house I always wonder how she manages to make everyone feel at home, no worries. The kids could be racing around, dogs at your feet, meals being prepared, beach bags unpacked everywhere, and Theresa just walks through the house at ease. I always feel comfortable there, she just tosses everything together and it always works out fine.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Motherly Advice

Ok- maybe this should be a Tweet on Twitter or an entry on Facebook. I'm not sure where to go when. Anyway: for those of you who like to save some cash and buy store brand baby wipes: I have found the best:Target Brand Baby Wipes. I have tried Shop Rite, Walmart, B.J.s, CVS and Duane Reade. Target's are the softest and have a nice texture, least irritating and provide just enough grip to grab the goo off the bum.

If it Ain't Broken

Beckett's first X-Ray.
We spent the entire day getting Beckett's collar bone x-rayed and checked out. It's not broken. He did a sick wipe out on a scooter flying down a hill in Lake George. He was a trooper and has complained little since last weekend when it happened. Reminds me of last summer when he broke his collar bone...yes, same one. He didn't complain much, we thought maybe a sore muscle, waited a week and checked it out. We felt so guilty to have waited, but he survived and there's nothing you can even do about it to help it heal- aside from avoid lots of movement - not too sure about that.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The List Begins

My good friend Whitney recently reminded me I have everything I need to be happy right in front to me. He is completely right. Beautiful, happy children, hardworking husband, loving family, endless material items, my health. Why has counting my blessings become so difficult? I remember Oprah's 'Gratitude Journal' (I ran out an bought a journal, but never got around to it). It's basically a daily run-down of what you are thankful for - even the smallest of things - like a 1/2 gallon of milk in the fridge so no need to run out to the store after work. Which - by the way - is HUGE to me. The thing is, if I attempt to keep a written journal, it starts to feel like homework and I will quit doing it. So, from this point forward, I am going to keep a 'Mental Gratitude Journal'. I'll put it up in my mind right next to my 'Happy Place' I created when I went to Biofeedback sessions for migraines.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Petra is now 6 months and looking at the calendar, I have to pick a weekend for her. We did a 'Welcome Ceremony' for Beckett when he was born. Josh and I were both on the same page feeling like hypocrites if we did a formal baptism linked with a specific religion that we have no affiliation with. I'm certain some family members were not quite sure of this and were perhaps disappointed with our choice- but we do feel strongly about teaching our kids about all religions, exposing them to different ways of thinking and living. So to those of you still questioning our decision, here it is in a nut shell: We wanted to welcome our new baby surrounded by family sharing their feelings and prayers in an intimate way. Everyone read a poem or something they wrote themselves. We designated Godparents and vowed to teach, protect, and guide Beckett throughout his life to the best of our abilities and to always love him for who he is and who he will become. That's it- no church needed, thank you. God loves all- correct?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time for School

Another school year is about to begin. Beckett is headed to Pre-K. He's such a little man now. Josh was just saying how hard it is to pick him up and isn't sure if he can carry him on his shoulders much longer. As long as I can, I'll still squeeze his cheeks, kiss his forehead and smell his hair when I say goodnight. I no longer try and put his little feet in my mouth.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tom is my Hero

We had enough of Disney's grip on our product choices and refused to buy Dora the Explorer Watermelon Toothpaste. Adult toothpaste for Beckett from now on was our decision. Naturally, fighting pursued. Along came Tom. This toothpaste has changed my life. No more cries from Beckett that the Crest, Aim, and Colgate are "too spicey"!!!! No more lingering in the bathroom trying all sorts of brain manipulation, reverse psychology, bribery and man-handling. This was the answer. Topped off with a Kid's Bubble Gum Flavored mouth rinse as a "reward".

Friday, August 14, 2009

Coyote the 29 cent Fish

I can't believe this fish is still alive. Beckett picked him out last summer from Pet Co.'s feeder fish tank. It was filled with hundreds of lousy looking half dead "goldfish". He was tiny and sad, but had a lot of pep. The teen that snagged him from the death tank for us said he probably wouldn't live long without a proper tank and filtered water system. I set out to prove the little pot-head wrong. Today Coyote has flourished- in a bowl with no pump mind you. He has since moved from Beckett's bedroom dresser to our living room mantle. Still no one knows he's there but me. Beckett lost interest in him after he changed his name from Wall-e to Coyote. For some reason, he brings me loads of good vibes. I love him. He's the best 29 cents I've ever spent. He's beautiful, simple and quiet.

Holding out for the House

Feeling claustrophobic yet again. Living in this one-room-catch-all is driving me to the edge. The bedrooms are a pass-thru to the bathroom- so it is basically a one-room apartment in my mind. Making matters worse are these lovely home decor mags I subscribe to for inspiration. They are now sources of torment. I used to tear out photos of rooms & furniture & file them away under their proper category. Now I'm lucky if I get through an issue in a week as it sits on my kitchen counter. I dread opening them. Soon I tell myself. Soon...

Undies from Shop Rite

   Ok. I'm now ashamed at what I've done. I have stooped to a new level and bought under ware at the most convenient of places- the grocery store. Of course, I have to defend myself: I am the product of the Walmart & Target Super Stop and Shop mentality. It was not my intention to buy under ware when I went in for milk and peanut butter. I'm not going to beat myself up over it, and I pride myself on being aware of the situation. I vow not to let it get out of hand as I ponder the bra selection at King Kullen.