Tuesday, December 27, 2011

cookie disaster

because i truly embrace the definition of "hot mess" in all aspects of my life, i often (and by often i mean always) wait until the last possible second to start major projects, make an inappropriately large mess in the process, mess it up (because let's be honest, i don't usually know what i'm doing), and then complain about what a shit show i've just been the star of. making christmas cookies is no exception to this general rule.

for some reason, i pleasantly agreed to be a part of the first annual neighborhood cookie exchange. with high hopes of creating some intensely creative concoction from Pinterest, i reasonably settled on some no-bake peanut butter balls that i've made every single year. (or maybe i've just made them one other time, i can't really remember now). so i of course waited until way past my bedtime the night before the party to try to dip about 50 thousand crumbly balls of peanut butter into a saucepan of chocolate that wasn't really melting right. so i added some milk. (i thought i remembered reading that somewhere...) and i ended up with an even bigger mess. so i started over. and of course i have zero counter space in my kitchen, so i was balancing the over-sized tray on the 4 inch lip of the sink. and just as i started the last row of actually reasonable looking treats, the entire thing tipped on to the floor. i'm pretty sure i said every single curse word i've ever heard. and then, in true hot-mess fashion, i put them right back on the tray and served them with a smile the following night. just kidding, i made new ones. (no i didn't). yes, yes i did. (ha- you'll never know now, will you??)

the green "grinch" cookies for the preschool christmas party didn't go much smoother. after the first batch came out ready to chip any 4-year-old's tooth with swirls of green mixed in with semi-burnt brown, (ugh! why do they never look like the ones that the ultra-creative mom made and then posted to her ultra-cool blog?!) i once again started over. and yes, the second batch was both all green and edible. so of course, the following morning we were rushing to get out of the house on time and i allowed (demanded?) my preschooler to carry the plate and help his mama. it should be neither shocking nor surprising that the entire plate fell and green cookies went flying. no problem though. we picked them up, ate the broken pieces, dried some tears and- you know it... served 'em with a smile. (whatever. i followed the rule precisely- all cookies were off the floor within 10 seconds. or wait, is it supposed to be a 5-second rule?)

and there's no way christmas can come and go without some cut-outs with frosting, right? i actually DO know how to make these. and frost them. it's amazing. but let's not get too excited. in a moment of panic, i ripped my cupboards apart looking for some appropriate cookie cutters (where did i put them last year???) only to realize that oh yeah, I DON'T OWN ANY!! and not only that, i'm all out of red food coloring. so yes, hot-mess mama strikes again. but i must admit, my kids' jerseys, footballs, and rocket-ships that i so creatively yet not creatively enough tried to turn in to christmas trees turned out great!! never mind that they are frosted in hot pink and decorated with orange and black sprinkles. hey, we're making memories here people, not opening a bakery.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

holiday threats

There are a few things I LOVE about this time of year. the way my decorations hide all of the finger prints and crayon marks on the walls. the way it's perfectly acceptable to overindulge on all things artery clogging. watching my bank account bleed to death. you know, normal things. but the one thing I'm loving most this year is the amount fear that one little statement can instill in a pair of young people.

It's actually phenomenal, and I'll be sad when Christmas is over. It put an instant stop to the running around and grabbing random drinks out of the cooler at the bagel shop last weekend. It gets the toys cleaned up before bed time, it gets the carrots eaten at dinner. It's the ultimate go-to threat, and not one ounce of me is afraid to use it. Telling me you'll never get dressed? That your dinner looks gross? That your brother hit you in the face? Ok. That's fine. Cuz we all know what's about to happen. I'M CALLING SANTA. and wanna knows what he brings boys who do bad listening? nothing but clothes. bwahahahaahaha.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ego boosters

Just the other day, CJ got so mad at me. I can't remember what for, but I have a feeling I did something super irritating like not letting him watch 5 straight hours of the Batman movie I inappropriately and mistakenly bought for him in an attempt to be a cool, fun mom. For the first time in his life, he screamed that he didn't love me, stomped up the stairs and slammed his door. I'm not exactly sure when exactly he turned in to a 13-year-old girl, but I do know that my feelings were hurt ALMOST as much as the day in the mall bathroom stall when he loudly asked why mamas have such big booties, and then kindly suggested that maybe mine was so big because the Hulk stepped on and smooshed it. I'm almost positive that there were other people in the bathroom with us. And they were most likely skinny.

And as I sit here typing this, the boys just brought me a "birthday cake" made of a pile of plastic toys in a bucket. I just opened my gift of a silly band wrapped in a post-it note. They sang and cheered and I exclaimed how excited I was to have such thoughtful boys. And THEN CJ clapped and announced, "yayyyy, Mama. Now you're 67 today!!"

So I can't always count on them to pick up their toys when it's bedtime, to wash their hands after they use the bathroom, or to eat their dinner, but there is one thing I CAN always count on. Brutal honesty. And you better believe that I'm headed to the gym now. And then on to make an appointment for some Botox.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

R.I.P Dorothy

i spent $17 on medicine for the goldfish. yes, the 89 cent goldfish from walmart. the fish we didn't ask for, the fish we usually forgot to feed, and the fish who got cleaned only when we actually remembered we owned a fish. his (her?) belly got so fat that swimming around upside down was the only option. swimming vigorously to the front of the bowl whenever someone turned on the kitchen light became more and more delayed. there was no shot i was letting this little goldfish die.

why was the notion of this fate so sad to me? watching this little fish float slowly around, sinking every once in a while to the bottom was painful. i started googling how to save a goldfish. giving her daily salt baths and treats of cucumber. dorothy came to us before Ty could even talk. when throwing balls and cheerios in her bowl was funny. when dorothy and elmo were cool.when we had to put her bowl in the center of the kitchen table as a way to keep the boys sitting in their seats long enough to finish eating dinner. yes indeed, we were about to say goodbye to so much more than an 89 cent fish from walmart.

and the boys had never experienced any sort of death before. what did we say? do fish go to heaven? do we just say nothing and hope they don't ask? do we all flush her together? sad sad sad.

well, we didn't flush her together. in fact, i couldn't even look at her. i made jerry give her a private farewell flush, and promptly hide the bowl. my eyes may have welled up with tears. the next morning, he woke me up to tell me that we needed to break the news together. after all, there was no telling how they would react.

"hey guys, we have some sad news. dorothy got very sick and isn't here with us anymore. she died and went to heaven". (so apparently, fish do go to heaven.)

"oh. can we get some turtles now?"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Soccer mom? Not so much.

Every mom likes to think that their toddler is talented, but the difference between them and me is that mine actually are. seriously. they can run for days, kick the heck out of a ball, and bench press their own weight. (ok, so i've never actually tried the last one. but i'm willing to bet i'm right.) so naturally, we decided to sign our naturally talented kids up for soccer.

well, one of our kids will literally try every single activity that is ever offered to him. he'll say "sure" to everything, and will most definitely have fun doing it. he loves his life, is way too young to even think about being self-conscious, and has not a care in the world about what people around him are doing. he loved every second of soccer.

our other one (the whole reason we even considered soccer in the first place) also loves all sports. little did we know that this only applies to those sports played in the confines of our yard with people whom he knows he can beat. he's older, more introspective, and more cautious than his brother. when he first walked in to the sports arena, he took one look around and said, "wow. i never wanna leave this place". here we go, i thought with an eye roll. i am officially an SUV-driving, (soon-to-be) suburban-living soccer mom. you have got to be kidding me.

not so fast. as these soccer-whiz-kids dribbled the balls up and down the field, my kid stood on the turf and wildly kicked the ball toward the goal. it didn't go in, and he got pissed. he left the first class saying he was never going back. but he did. the running games were fine. the obstacle course was fine. picking a snack out of the vending machine at the end was fine. but anything involving a ball was a problem. finally, by the end of the session he had had enough.(well, who are we kidding? he was done half way through the first week.)he spent more time on the sideline watching and not listening to us try to talk him in to trying it again than he did running around. but when he ran out on to the turf, we thought maybe we had turned a corner. and he did run for a minute.and then he kicked the ball and missed the goal again. this time he stood still in the middle of the field and yelled at the top of his lungs, "I HAAATTTTE SOCCCCCER!!!"

ok, so maybe my kid isn't the little athletic prodigy we thought he was. (or maybe he legitimately just hates soccer.) and as for me- well, i may drive an SUV, and i may be moving to the burbs. but it looks like i'll have to wait to call myself a soccer mom. trust me- i'm ok with that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Potty training is AWESOME!!

would anyone like to go toe to toe with me in a potty finding competition? i now know where to find every single public bathroom in the entire city of Rochester. I love my life.

ok, so maybe "awesome" is a bit aggressive. but as my summer weeks are slipping away, i'm reminding myself to focus on the little victories because the all-too-familiar days of working, rushing around, and dealing with the never ending snow are just around the corner. and so in comparison to what is ahead, potty training is indeed awesome.

i'm choosing to ignore the small incident when I was interviewing a nanny candidate the other day, and Ty, in an effort to ensure that ALL attention remain on him at all times, decided to just pee on the floor just because.

i'll also ignore the fact that he is now insistent on dumping his little potty into the big toilet every single time he uses it. i think he's dumped pee on the floor at least 157 times.

but my favorite PT moment to date happened a couple of weeks ago at Target. i of course did the mandatory "does anyone have to use the bathroom?" check as soon as we walked in, and when everyone assured me that no they didn't, and yes they would keep their pants dry the whole time, we proceeded with our shopping. literally the second we got to the farthest aisle away from the bathroom, Ty announced (to everyone within a half mile radius), "I haffa doe peeee!" and so with no other option, the two boys and i (plus our red cart of course) broke in to a full-on sprint. and Ty, (who refuses to sit in the cart for longer than 10 minutes now)was running alongside of CJ and me while gripping his little wiener. it was an amazing sight i'm sure. but i'll ignore that, and focus instead on the fact that he made it!! just in time and barely, but he made it. and that, in the land of victorious potty training moments, is a win.

so he waits until it's just about too late every single time, calls his brother in to "see how big my poo-poo is" and fights me at nap time every day when it's time for a diaper. (i'm all about the independence, but only to a point.) but i'll ignore all of that. this guy is almost done potty training, and that is awesome.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dear Casey Anthony,

Let me start by introducing myself. I am the mother of a two-year-old. And I get frustrated. Like when he refuses to pee on the potty, when he pretends he's a snake on the floor at the grocery store, and when he cries and whines for days on end for no reason. I get frustrated when I'm running late and he insists on buckling his seat belt by himself. I get frustrated when I have to watch the same episodes of Max and Ruby or The Wiggles 55 times in a row. And I get frustrated when he spills his cereal on the floor every single morning and refuses to clean it up. You know what I do? I send him to the Time Out chair for a couple of minutes. I walk away for a little while. I tell him he can buckle it himself next time, and I dance and cheer when he uses the potty. You know what I DON'T do? Google things like "breaking necks", "how to make chloroform" and "death".

What was your two-year-old like, Casey?

Did she mispronounce words in such a way that made you never want to correct her? Mine does. Did she throw a fit because she couldn't eat "chocolate tookies" for breakfast? Mine does. Did she ever crawl up on to your lap for no reason and say things like, "oooh, bee-u-tee-ful dress, Mama" or "I wuv you, Mama"? (Isn't that the best?!) My two-year-old sings the ABC's to me every night before bed, and always messes up in the same spot. He practices his back float in the tub. He says very funny things every single day. He insists that I "watch dis" all the time, and then always shows me the exact same "tricks". Was Caylee's favorite blanket that Winnie-the-Pooh one? My two-year-old has a favorite blanket, too. His is green. It's dirty and smelly and he calls it Meh. That was nice of you to give it to her when she died. She was probably less scared.

Guess what, Casey? They get even better as they get older. They become even smarter, less clingy, and more imaginative. They get themselves dressed, and write their own names. And they become even funnier. But you'll never get to see that.

Caylee's in a better place now. Away from you and your twisted imaginary life. A place where she can eat as many "chocolate tookies" as she wants, and sing the ABC's all day long. She has no duct tape on her face now, Casey.

Enjoy the rest of your guilt-ridden life, Casey Anthony. May you never bear children again.


A proud Mama who would NEVER hurt her babies

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Goals for the Summer

I sat with the boys the other night at dinner and the conversation went a little like this:
Me: what did you guys do today?
CJ: played with Julia. Her brothers were there.
Me: Oh yeah? How old are her brothers?
CJ: Old. Like, I think 52. They're in kindergarten.

Later that night, I went to my school's graduation. My role there allowed me not only to help get the graduates ready backstage, but also to sit with them during the ceremony. As I helped pin flowers on the gowns, I'm pretty sure I got a contact high from one kid. "I hate you right now for smoking before your graduation," I told him. His response? "I know, my mom told me the same thing." And in that single moment, my mind instantly launched ahead about 14 years. Is that a conversation I might have with my son someday??

We walked down the long aisle at the theater and I watched in admiration as these young adults paraded proudly to their seats. Here it was: the moment they had been waiting for. And again, I looked around and reflected. I was seated amongst KIDS who had been forced to act like adults well before their time. KIDS who were parents, who were caretakers for their own caretakers, who left midterm exams early in order to get to a full-time job on time. KIDS living with life threatening illnesses, and KIDS wondering where they were sleeping that night. KIDS. Robbed of their childhoods. And in that moment, I couldn't have been prouder of them.

So we hugged, cheered, cried, and parted ways. Them: in to the rest of their lives, and Me: to start preparing my own kids for the rest of theirs. We've got two months together to reach some very serious goals. Yay for summer!

Goal number four- potty train Ty. Goal number three- find something to do with the mass amount of toys in this house that does not include apologizing to visitors for possibly sitting on, stepping on, or tripping over them. Goal number two- Go to the gym. A lot.

So far this summer (and it's only been two days) we've picked strawberries, finger painted with shaving cream, played with hoses, colored on the driveway, and visited with friends we haven't seen in a while. Ty's worn diapers both days, I'm pretty sure that Lightening McQueen is shoved between my couch cushions right now, and I'm waiting till tomorrow to start the whole gym routine. Why? Because Goal number one is most important to me- PRESERVE INNOCENCE. (And pray that they'll remember what a glorious childhood I gave them, and decide NOT to show up at graduation high).

Happy Summer!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Plodding Along

when i first got challenged to run a 5K back in january, i pretty much laughed out loud. let's be real: running in my world is for special occasions. like being chased by something mean and ferocious. and that is it. yet after some thought and serious consideration, i thought to myself, "why the heck can't i run a 5K? stop making friggin' excuses, and get moving". and so the journey began.

with my ipod in and my laces tied tight, i set out very early one icy morning with my fingers crossed that this insanity would be my one-way-ticket out of Chubby Land. i returned approximately 17 minutes later, red, sweaty, and thankful that i hadn't broken an ankle on the 15 thousand patches of ice that were lining the winter streets. plus, my lungs literally felt as though they were icing over. i hated running.

a week (and 3 runs later) i got a little smarter and decided to take my trek indoors, only to discover that running on a treadmill sucks equally as bad (if not worse). now, not only could the entire gym see just how slowly i was moving, but i also had the added bonus of being able to witness first hand exactly how much my chubbiness jiggles when in motion. plus, i literally looked as if i was having a heart attack. and i hadn't lost a single pound. i still hated running.

fast forward about 2 months now, and give me some credit for not only sticking with a running routine, but also increasing my stamina to be able to make it about 2 and a half miles non-stop. Ok, so maybe the word "running" is a bit aggressive. i mean, speed walkers can move faster than i can. but the point is that i was doing it. something i absolutely have never done once in my life, and guess what? i still haven't lost a pound, but... i no longer hated running!!

more time goes by, and i'm now 2 weeks away from Race Day! i'm registered, i've admitted to people (and therefore to myself) that i'm committed to doing this, and i've even got a team of people who are doing this with me. i've ordered a team shirt with the name "winner" on the back. (cuz when you hate running as much as i do, then commit to it and actually make it through an entire 3 miles, i'm pretty sure that's what you are...) and then the health problems set in.

without getting in to drawn out and pretty boring details, i'll just jump ahead to the results of a bunch of tests: i was put on freaking exercise restriction!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!! i started crying right then and there in the doctor's office, not because of the possibility of some looming illness, but because, "you don't understand. this is seriously the worst thing you can be telling me. i have a 5K coming up in 2 weeks!!!!!) whoa. NEVER did i think i'd hear those words come out of my mouth.

so i didn't get to run. (even though it turns out a lot of my issue was anxiety related, so not exercising was probably the worst thing i could have done.) there are about 500 more 5Ks that i could be signing up for this summer. think i've picked even one yet? nope. (c'mon. i said i no longer hated running. that doesn't mean i exactly LIKE it.) but before the summer is over, i will. and for now, i'll keep running (or jogging, or plodding) along.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

total insanity

so i'm fairly certain that time-out has lost it's effectiveness in our house. last week, after coming to get the two-year-old out of the chair, i said in my very best supernanny voice, "do you know why you're in time out?" he looked at me and said, "no. can i pote your face?" and then proceeded to tap his chubby little finger on my cheek and say, "haha. pote.pote." "why are you poking my face?" "beee-tuz... it's funny."

i suppose my first warning sign the other night during their bath should have come when i stopped hearing talking, and heard instead only laughing. like, gut-busting- almost-crying type of laughing. thinking to myself how lucky i was to have two kids who get along so well, i kept taking advantage of the good moods and stayed in the room across the hall putting away the laundry. i suppose my first mistake was to ever leave the room in the first place. and i suppose my children never want to hear their father yell at them like that again. but O.M.G. seriously. i heard the yell and went running in, only to find that the two of them (now yanked out of the tub and in tears) had taken cupfuls of water and thrown them over the edge of the tub, leaving a good inch or two of water ALL over the bathroom floor. the three-year-old couldn't even keep a straight face for the two minutes it took for me to dry him off and dress him. "mama is very upset. i cannot believe you did this" i said, trying to be stern and serious. trying to be serious with me, he said, "ok. i know". and then burst out laughing. great. that was effective.

and tonight was the best yet. every single night, they get served their dinner at the table and begin eating while i go back in to the kitchen to make my own plate so i can sit and eat with them. this is nothing new. so why then tonight did they absolutely lose their minds? this time i knew better, though. instead of reveling in the moment when i heard nothing but gut-busting laughter, i dropped everything and ran in to see what was going on. little chopped up pieces of saucy spaghetti were EVERYWHERE. the table, the floor, the baseboards over by the window, the cushion of the chair in the corner, their hair, bellies, and faces. not knowing what to do, i sent one to the living room "go sit in time out. no, not there. on the floor. don't get sauce everywhere". the other one got sent to his room. during clean up i said to each one individually, "that was a terrible decision. throwing food everywhere makes mama's house very dirty. do you want to live in a dirty house?" the three-year-old's response: "yes. hahaha. i will put toothpaste on the floor too so you will slip in it". the two-year-old's response: "i say ooh ooh ah ah ooh".

i have a friend who just found out she's pregnant with her second baby. she told me she's completely freaked out and asked me if i have any pointers. ha. yeah right, my life is total insanity.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

no pets allowed

Some people are self-proclaimed pet people, and others are not. i am not. i'm actually way too selfish to enjoy the thought of owning a pet. walk it in the rain? no thanks. potty training accidents make me gag enough, so i can't even imagine what bodily fluids from an animal would do to my stomach. letting something that licks it's own booty turn around and then lick your face? are you serious?? and that whole sharing-a-bed-with-a-dog-thing? no way, never happening.

now don't get me wrong- i'm not an animal hater by any means. (well, except for my sister's cat. i have no love in my heart for that mean cat. and my sister will never admit it, but i'm betting that she wishes that lemon laws applied to more than just cars). i'm not completely heartless. i DO in fact, think they're cute. i grew up with pets, and i know how to take care of them. and yes, at some point (and i cannot believe i'm actually saying this, i'm sure we'll get one for the boys that they'll be excited about for about 3 days and then i'll end up taking care of for the rest of it's life). but until that day comes, we will just enjoy taking care of our friends' pets while they go on vacation. and we got our first shot at that last week.

so the first day the cat got here it went straight in to hiding. our babysitter, who thought she had officially lost the cat, resorted to walking around the house using some catfinder app on her iphone. yeah, it didn't work. when the cat finally emerged two days later, ty instantly began chasing the poor cat around calling, "here kitty kitty" followed by a few kissy sounds. the only problem is that ty is unable to make the "k" sound, and instead uses the "t" sound. so the poor "kitty" is now unsure whether or not his name has been changed to a crass nickname for a female body part. the cat couldn't figure out whether he hated the boys or loved them, switching between hiding from them and following them around the house. the boys had no confusion when it came to their emotions, however. they knew it was love at first sight. they spent the week searching for him (and irritating him i'm sure), laughing at him, laying on him, and telling their father they wanted a cat. OMG... are my kids pet people???

so this week we're trying again. my sister in law dropped off her super-cute, totally well behaved little 5-pound lap dog a couple of hours ago. (yes, i like the dog. and no, it will not be licking my face). ty has already adopted a new high-pitched voice to be used while patting her with his chubby hand. cj has already had a partial meltdown when i said that no, she cannot sleep with him in his room; and no, he cannot sleep downstairs with her. they have already argued over who is going to walk her on the leash. OMG... my kids are pet people.

i on the other hand, have already successfully managed to completely forget to tell the babysitter that the dog is here for a week. i forgot to fill her water bowl until about 5 minutes ago. i forgot to take her outside (thankfully i noticed her sniffing around so i got to avoid bodily fluids on the ground). i forgot the plastic bag when i went out there. i did, however, get elected to be the one to take her for a walk. and good news- it's raining!

i am so NOT a pet person.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Fish in the Big Apple

As a surprise to my wonderful, caring, hardworking and (way) older-than-me husband, i planned a surprise trip to NYC to celebrate his birthday. we would fly down after work, spend the whole next day and night walking aimlessly around the city with cameras in hand, and fly home the next afternoon. easy and fun right? well, let's remember who we're dealing with here. nothing i ever do can be both easy and fun. that would be just way too, well, predictable. and i'm a hot mess at all times, so let's not let a little getaway sans children be any exception.

the last time we took a little weekend to ourselves was this summer when we went camping ("Not- Quite Campers"). remember that whole little bit about paranoid husband making me carry around a pocket knife just in case, i don't know, some bear jumped out at me or something? well, i'm lazy, and that knife was sitting in my weekend bag this whole time under my bed. that is, up until a couple of nights ago. that knife is now sitting at the security checkpoint at the airport. just a reminder, everyone: knives are not allowed on planes. they get kinda freaked out when you claim to have no idea what they are talking about as they pull you aside to dump your whole bag. (and, um, yeah... here's how our weekend began).

In an effort to both save some money and enhance our true sense of adventure, i pulled out the directions i had scribbled off the internet. google said that it was soooooo easy to get from the airport to our midtown hotel, and if google says it, it must be true, right? to make a very long, irritating story short, let's just say that google lied. after approximately 3 conversations with strangers and 3 different sets of directions, 4 unnecessary train transfers, 100 utterances of "are you serious, jen?", five long manhattan blocks in the rain, and one very lost walk through an empty grand central station in the middle of the night, we finally arrived at our final destination. note to self: subways are for natives, not suburban-like mothers who drive SUVs. us on a subway at night = fail.

We woke up the following morning looking forward to a fresh start. the concierge told us that if we stood in front of the hotel, times square was a couple blocks in front of us, central park was a 5 minute walk to the right, and soho was a quick subway (here we go...) ride to the left. no problem, we thought. we can totally do this. and we won't even look like tourists (cuz, uggghhh, who wants to look like a tourist?!?) so we started walking. stopped to eat, and continued walking. and walking and walking and walking. and nothing looked like anything we had seen in previous trips to the city, and the park (where we were headed) was no where in sight. and oh yeah, it was the only cold and rainy day the city had seen in over a week. 40 minutes later we smartened up, swallowed our pride, and asked some random person where we were. imagine the level of delight we experienced when we found out we had been walking in the WRONG DIRECTION for the entire time. the only thing that was better than the news was the weather- it was now pouring/sleeting, and of course neither one of us had a winter coat on.

but true adventurers don't let a little weather get them down, and we were determined to make the best of this little mishap. we ducked in to the nearest starbucks so i could let my slicked-back wig-like coif frizz out a little, and devise a plan. after a quick trip to soho (so i could get my picture taken in front of Dash of course- and no, much to husband's dismay, kim wasn't there.) we decided to do what any other smart couples without their children would do- start eating and drinking heavily. and i think husband ended up having a pretty decent birthday.

and then it was time to go. the sun was shining brightly, people were all over the streets loving their lives, fake purses were being sold at the street corners, and we, of course, had to say farewell to this crazy city. don't worry ny- we'll be back for round two. and we'll probably get insanely lost again. but we'll still love it, as always.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

missing princesses

i walked in to the bathroom the other day to find my two-year-old scrubbing the floor with my toothbrush. as i sit here and type, the two of them are in the tub together and i'm pretending not to notice that they're spitting water in eachother's faces. (as long as they keep laughing about it, I'll keep ignoring). as we looked out the window the other day longing for summer, i said, "ugh, don't you miss swimming in the pool?" and one of them replied, "Yeah. and don't YOU miss digging for worms?" now, i may be way off here, but i gotta imagine that little girls don't do this stuff.

when my sister and i were growing up, we scrubbed our TEETH with our toothbrushes, played with My Little Ponies in the bathtub, and were completely grossed out by worms. we were normal.

we have tried to be as gender neutral as possible in our house, never shying away from certain toys or colors because "they are for girls". in fact, i let them play with my makeup when they are curious, paint their nails (well, a couple of random fingers) when they tell me mine are fancy, and laugh when they try on my heels and parade clumisly around the living room.

and yet, when perusing through a toy catalog the other day, my three-year-old insisted that we turn the pink pages immediately if not sooner because "that's all the girl stuff". in a room full of all kinds of toys, neither one has ever picked up a baby doll, or something pink to play with for that matter. instead, they are instantly attracted to all things moving, making noise, and destructive. they enjoy superheroes, trucks, and robots. they build towers with the intent to knock them down, and let their race cars go at the top of the railing to see how fast they will crash in to the wall at the bottom of the stairs.

i always pictured myself as a mother who took her little girl to ballet on saturday mornings, painted her nails on sunday nights, and did her hair before school. i always thought that at this point in my life i would be picking out sparkly party shoes and dresses with matching headbands. i NEVER imagined myself wondering what in the world was just stuffed down the toilet (again), or asking who wants to go watch the diggers at the construction site down the street. and yet, now, i absolutely cannot imagine it any other way.

i could launch into a diatribe about society's subliminal pressures and gender stereotypes here (and trust me, as a high school teacher for 10 years, i could go on and on), but i won't. instead, i'll just leave it plain and simple: every single day, these boys fascinate, puzzle, amuse, amaze, and educate me. and yes, i'd be lying if i said that i never wonder what i'm missing out on by not having any princesses. but then i snap back to reality: no other girls to mess with my stuff= mama stays the princess of the house. and that i can live with. happily. And GOD, I love my boys!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February Staycation

so here it is- february break in gloomy, snowy upstate new york. the highly anticipated week off chuck full of sledding, playdates, and otherwise fun outings. and all we have done is watch tv. a lot of tv. yo gabba gabba, handy manny, mickey mouse clubhouse, and of course the new favorite- jake and the neverland pirates. ah yes... february break and my kids are sick. not just runny nose and sneezy kind of sick. no way- my kids like to do it big. we're talkin' 103 degree fevers and breathing treatment kind of sick. so instead of sitting here typing furiously away with vents about our plans that went awry, i will instead focus on how big a fan i am of children's tv.

cj (a well-rounded, smart, social kid btw) watched his first baby einstein video when he was 4 months old. his dad came home with the entire collection as a surprise for him a month later. i know, i know, there are parents everywhere gasping right now- "but kids aren't supposed to watch tv till they're two!!" well, i think that is the sole piece of "expert" advice I didn't pay attention to. and guess what happened? NOTHING!! except that he learned what a "wombat" was before he was two years old, and began pointing to the parrot on his nursery wall and saying "tropical bird". thank you, baby einstein.

ty, as anyone who knows from either firsthand experience or from reading this blog, knows that he was unlike any kind of baby we ever could have prepared for. when he first came home from the hospital, there were nights when literally the only thing that would stop him from crying was sportscenter. not kidding. and not just any show would do. the only other show he would/will stop dead in his tracks for (which again, everyone knows doesn't happen often with him) is mickey mouse clubhouse. a show full of colors, counting, opposites, shapes, and call-and-response- what's not to love?

i could seriously go on and on, but neither disney nor nick jr. is paying me nearly enough. let's just say that i owe it to handy manny for teaching my kids spanish, the friends in gabbaland for teaching them life lessons (seriously- do you think they're gonna listen to me when i tell them "keep trying, keep trying, don't give up, never give up" or "don't bite your friends"? yeah right. but if it comes from muno and brobie, it must be truth). oh yeah, and a special thanks to jake and the neverland pirates for babysitting for me while i went upstairs to take a shower by myself. (oh c'mon- don't act like you've never had the tv be your babysitter. you know you'd take the bridge just like the rest of us if it wasn't there to act as your salvation once in a while...)

i literally almost died the other day when i sat down to do playdoh with them, and cut out a bunch of different shapes. (note: see? i do other things with my kids besides watch tv. we actually read a lot and stuff, too...) "oh cool pattern, mama," cj said. excuse me? cool what? where did you learn that? "blue's clues". so thank you also to blue's clues.

so we may not be out sledding or catching up with friends this week, but we are still enjoying our QT together on the couch. it's like one long pajama party. well, minus the party part and with the addition of some horrible virus and periodic doctor visits. we may just come back from this illness a little bit smarter.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Life Stinks

I have come to the realization that my kids will be in diapers until they are ten. Possibly longer. One of them was potty trained at two, only having "accidents" when he was just too busy to be bothered with going to the bathroom. By the time he was two and a half, he was no longer even wetting the bed at night. We were such proud parents and enjoyed bragging about our *obviously* advanced child.

A couple weeks ago, this same child prodigy did Number Two in his pants at the dinner table just because. I, genius mother that I am, had no idea what happened. I thought nothing of it when he announced out of the blue that he wanted to be "maked" and jumped out of his seat to take his clothes off. (After all, the kid is ALWAYS wanting to be maked). When I followed him in to the bathroom with the intention to get him re-dressed, they were nowhere in sight. He nonchalantly mentioned while climbing back up to finish his dinner that he threw them in the garbage because "they were getting old". He failed to tell me that they were filled with a mess of brown nastiness.

Meanwhile, the little one waits until he gets in the tub to do his thing. The first time he did it, he was less than a year old, and had been in the water less than 5 minutes. I may or may not have scooped it out and continued bathing him. I'll admit that was probably not my hit moment as Mother. When it happened again about 2 weeks ago, I didn't do that. I actually got him out and cleaned the tub. The following night, I didn't have to do anything. And that's because his older brother took care of it for me. I put them in the tub and went in to the room across the hall to put away laundry. (They have about 6 inches of water in the tub and the door stayed open, so don't panic here people). Anyway, when I heard a little voice say, "Mah-ahmmm, Ty poo-pooed in the tub again", I returned to the bathroom to find a little brown log sitting on the edge of the bathtub. Yes, CJ had picked up his brother's "accident" and removed it from the water.

I felt compelled to share these stories after my entire household was plagued with the stomach bug this week. So, ummmm, yeah. (SO GROSS.) And I've realized now that my one kid is fully back in diapers at bedtime since he has gone back to wetting his bed every single night, and my other kid won't even look at the potty without saying, "No way. Later", that maybe they aren't the prodigies I once thought them to be. (Well, when it comes to bodily functions at least...)

I love my life. Most of the time. And other times, it... well, just plain stinks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dear Ty,

As is customary in my family, each person on his or her birthday has to (gets to?) hear from Mom what it was like the day they entered this world. Although all of us (now 31, 28, and 25) could tell our stories in our sleep, our birthday doesn't seem complete until we've heard it one more time. So in keeping with Greeno tradition, I have a little story for my littlest (I mean, youngest) boy:

Dear Ty,
I couldn't have asked for a more planned, textbook pregnancy. We decided when CJ was a baby that we wanted him to be a big brother right away, and our wish was granted. (so easily granted, in fact, that I knew for about 3 weeks that you were in there, even though the pregnancy tests and nurses were trying to convince me otherwise). I'm not even gonna mince any words with you- from the very beginning, you were huge. People started asking me if I was pregnant (I hate people) when I was only 8 and a half weeks along. (Just to keep this in perspective, I didn't have to tell anyone with CJ until about 14 weeks.) My favorite comment came from someone at the gym who, after I told her I was about 12 weeks, thought to say, "Damn, girl, whaddya have- 5 in there???" yeah, 5. good one. So anyway, I kept telling the doctors that I thought you were going to be huge, and they kept insisting that i was measuring "right on", that you'd probably be about 7 pounds or so.

time went on and your dada decided that he wanted to know whether you were a boy or a girl. even though i dreamed of being a mama to little girls, once i had your brother, i was hoping and praying that you were a boy. how great would it be to be able to give my boy a brother?! well, for some reason, i was convinced during my entire pregnancy (up until about the last month for some reason) that you were a girl. i wanted to stay surprised, but dada found out. he kept a secret for 4 whole months!!! (well, from me at least- just about every other person got told!) but regardless, he couldn't keep a birthday present a secret from me, and i cannot to this day believe that he never told me what you were. he even prepared your nursery all by himself without me finding out!!

everything kept progressing as normal, and when i went in to get checked out at 37 weeks, you had moved in to position and i had dilated. you were due on december 30 and we were all hoping you'd be the first baby of the new year. (i mean, c'mon, who wouldn't want a year's supply of diapers plus the added bonus of your face plastered all over the news just seconds after going through labor?!? sign me up!) so our plan was working out nicely, until our appointment the following week. the doctor, at 38 weeks, couldn't find your heartbeat!!! come to find out, she was looking for it in the completely wrong place- you had completely flipped around! your heart was actually way up by my ribcage. not good, ty, not good. little did i know, you were actually doing me a huge favor for which i will forever be grateful.

so because of all of the complications i had with CJ, they couldn't risk me going in to labor and possibly having to give me another emergency c-section. instead, they told me to "pick a day", and panicking, all i could think to say was "not Christmas".

And so somewhere around 9 in the morning of the 26th, i hopped up (well, kinda heaved my gigantic belly up) on the operating table, and started talking to my doctor about our Christmases through a blue sheet as she pulled and pried you out. (and destroyed every ounce of ab muscle that i had, after saying they were the strongest ones she'd ever felt. they'll never be the same. so thank you for that, too.) now, i promise to never tell you a lie, and i'll start now: when you came out, yes, i was elated to hear that you were a boy, BUT, your dad and i looked at each other and kinda wanted to put you back in. you just weren't cute, Baby. (But dont' worry- you've since made up for it!) you were nothing but fat (reeeaaaallllyyyy fat) cheeks, a loud cry, and pointed head from where my ribs were squeezing the heck out of you. i almost died yet wasn't really surprised when they told me that you were 8 pounds and 14 ounces. (I'll choose not pushing out a 9-pound load of child over some free diapers any day.) we expected you to look like another little CJ, and i guess we were just surprised when you didn't. In fact, you two looked and still look nothing alike. weird. your dada said he wanted a paternity test. i told him to go ahead and call maury.

starting that night in the nursery, you were a crybaby. i stayed by myself so that dada could take care of cj at home. even though they tell you not to, i let you lay in the hospital bed with me during the day and let the nurses take you with them at night. they never had to wake me up when you wanted to eat because i could hear your cry as they pushed you down the hall. i wonder when you're going to stop crying...

from that day on, besides the whole crying all the time thing, well... and the non-sleeping thing, oh yeah, and the acid reflux thing that happened when we got home, you were a good baby. you and your brother have extremely similar personalities, except that you are a little more carefree. you are very funny and love making people laugh. you finally started walking when you were 14 months old and still spend a lot of your time walking like you're drunk. (why can we so easily picture you as a frat boy smashing beer cans on your forehead?!) you love sports. in fact, watching sportscenter with your dad was literally the only thing that would calm you down in the middle of the night for a while. you are SO smart, and LOVE to be held. you are very in tune with people's feelings. we are so blessed to have such happy, healthy boys who are already best friends.

i can't believe that you are two years old already, ty jonathan. i love your laugh, your crazy curly hair, your big blue eyes, and your fatter-than-fat cheeks. thank you for completing our family. you'll always be my baby.