Friday, December 31, 2010

I don't do Resolutions

I don't do resolutions because I feel like it sets me up for failure.  Too much performance pressure!  However, I do believe it making a decision to attempt to make lifestyle changes small steps at a time.
My biggest area of opportunity is patience with my family.  I don't have nearly enough of it.  And I think it rubs off on my children because they don't have patience with me or each other. 
Not quite sure how to accomplish this yet. I'm going to try to stop and breath before I open my mouth or react.  I'm going to try to walk away when I can.  I was a much a much calmer level headed person before my youngest was born.  I'm truly unhappy with how I automatically react to stressful situations at home.  My heart races and I automatically get annoyed, like someone is intentionally trying to push my buttons and irritate me.  And who knows, maybe sometimes they are.  But, I am in control of myself and how I choose to react. 
So, change starts slowly, one step at a time tomorrow.  Breathe...1,2,3...  Wish me luck.  I can use all the support I can to help me be a better person and mom!
(Good thing I'm starting tomorrow because the kids are arguing and my 8 yr old is grumpy and overtired...thank goodness midnight is only an hour and 6 minutes away!)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holding my family closer this Christmas

The kids went to bed last night excited for Christmas Day.  Our plans were to go to my parents house and open presents in the morning and then have the kids open ours when my husband got home from work in the afternoon.  Santa is making a special delivery tomorrow (Sunday the 26th) with his gifts.
I awoke a little after 6:15 a.m. to the sound of the town's fire alarm going off constantly like it was stuck.  And then the sounds of sirens for at least 15 minutes straight followed by about a 15 minute break and then another string of sirens.  I just knew it was something horribly bad.  I also knew that it was someone I knew.  I live in a small town and am active in the school/PTO. 
By 9 a.m. I found out it was in fact someone who worked in the school and was a part of my daughter's girl scout troop.  I am thankful that she, her husband and 2 children (7,10) made it out.  They lost everything but the clothes on their back, including pets.  I don't know her too well but she is always nice to me and my daughter.  My heart broke when I heard the news.  I walked around for hours in a daze needing to help in some way.  I always feel things strongly and it was even harder knowing the family effected.  I soon found where they were accepting donations and the sizes of the children.  I sat my daughter down and calmly explained what had happened and that her friend (not a close one, but a friend all the same) was ok but that her family house was gone along with all of her clothes, toys and Christmas presents.  I debated long and hard about if I should tell her and what details I should give her.  It was a given that she would learn in a little over a week what had happened, so I decided to let her know so she wouldn't be surprised at school with it. 
My daughter made me so proud!  It took her a moment to truly grasp the details.  As soon as she did, she offered me lots of her toys some new and some old but in good condition.  I think she would've given away almost everything if I had let her.  My precious baby girl with a heart of gold.  In the end, we had a huge bag filled with at least 8 pairs of pants, a dozen long sleeve shirts, hair accessories, gloves, winter hat and toys.  A friend of ours was heading to the fire department with a donation of her own, so I gave her ours to take too.  She told me that the community had already rallied in a matter of hours and things were pouring in.  Hopefully within the next days we'll get more details concerning shoes, coats, food, etc.  I want to get together another care package and bring it over.  My heart goes out to the family and I just want to sob my eyes out whenever I think about it.  It's been hard to put it to the back of my mind.
Today, I hold my family a little tighter and take more time to appreciate the small things.  Also, going to review our fire plan with the family again and maybe install a smoke detector in our basement.  I never thought of that until a friend of mine mentioned how her dryer almost caught on fire when she was younger and the smoke detector is what saved them from harm.  Never even thought of that.  I hear in this case, the fire started outside, possibly with the lights and came in through the walls.  There was no warning for them.  Thank God that they got out alive.  It truly was a Christmas Miracle.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Ice Show

My kids skated in their ice rinks annual holiday show last night.  I was so nervous for my daughter because it was her first and she tends to be shy about performing in front of people.
She got a nice surprise from my stepdaughter.  She bought her a cute little purse and a wallet and gave her some makeup to wear during the show.  Bless my SD because she is so good with the kids and my heart melted when she presented DD with these gifts.  She helped DD shower and get ready.  DS is an old pro at this so he was dressed and ready hours before hand.  It's easy when you're a hockey player.  They put on their favorite jersey, helmet and skates and their good to go.
DS skated with some of his fellow teammates to the song Shout and Bad to the Bone.  It was great! Some of it was choreographed and the rest was a mini game with Santa.  Too cute.  I loved the part at the end where they were jamming with Santa.  It had the audience laughing!
DD skated two right after the other.  She nailed it!  I was so happy for her.  She overcame her stage fright.  She told me she wasn't really even that nervous.  Now she's looking forward to signing up to do a skating competition.  I figure, if she can get through a holiday show with a bigger audience than what the competition brings in then she's good to go. top the night off DD lost her first tooth while we were out for pizza after the show!  Yippee!!!  That tooth has been loose for at least 6 weeks now.  One of her skating coaches told her not to loose it on the ice or the Zamboni would eat it up and then the tooth fairy would give it the money.  That made me laugh so hard!  I tell you though, it kept DD from playing with it during the show because we were so worried she would actually loose it while she was skating!  The tooth fairy was very generous since it was her first tooth and gave her $10.

Awesome Compliment

I just had to share because I'm bursting with pride!  My son has been playing hockey for about 2 1/2 years.  He started playing goalie about a year and a half ago.  He's honestly a natural.  No bragging on my part, it's just true.  After my son's Mite game on Saturday I had a fellow hockey mom come up to me and ask me about him while we were in the locker room unchanging.  She asked how long he'd been playing and I told her.  She said she was amazed by him and that he was so talented.  She told us that she looks forward to watching him play every week.  Is that amazing or what?!  I told him that his goal is to be play in the NHL and her reply can tell he wants it by how hard he plays.  Wow! I'm so proud of him! 

First Sleepover at our house!

For most little girls one of the most dreamed about thing is sleepovers and slumber parties!  My DD6 had her first sleep over at a friends back in early October and since has 2 more since. However, until this weekend we have yet to have a girlfriend sleep over our house.  There's one little girl we've been planning for (DDs BFF) but it's yet to happen because her daddy is still nervous about her sleeping over at other people's houses.  I totally get that.  So, it was quite unexpected when we had an impromptu sleepover Friday.
DD had a new friend over for a play date after school.  This turned into dinner and a sleepover.  I have to admit, we were both super excited!  Everything went great. 
The girls played baby dolls and did a lot of singing and dancing.  It seems very few girls play with baby dolls anymore.  I was so glad to discover the girl down the street liked them too when I was talking to her mom earlier in the week!  We ate brownies, had hot chocolate and watched bits and pieces of Christmas shows/movies.  The girls could settle on exactly what they wanted to watch.  It was so much fun to watch them enjoying themselves.
Poor DS8 is having a little trouble with everything because DD new friend is a girl his age that he's known since they were in kindergarten together.  Hopefully he'll move past this.  I'm trying to get him to understand that while him and this girl have been friendly, they've never really hung out before and DD is not stealing her. 
The girls were great about going upstairs around 9:30 and playing quietly.  I blew up the twin air mattress and they argued good naturedly about which one would sleep on it.  Funny thing is, they both wanted the bed before I blew up the mattress and then they changed their mind afterwards.  Silly girls!  The lights went out by 10:30 since we had to be up by 7:30 for DS hockey game.  They did great and were asleep by 11. 
What a truly wonderful night.  I'm looking forward to the next one!  I have a feeling it may become a weekly (or bi-weekly) event between the two houses.
Yeah for new friendships!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It could have been very traumantic

Yesterday my daughter had a bad experience at school.  It could have been very traumatic.  However, it was handled just the right way by her para, teachers and principal.  I'm so thankful.
Here's what happened....
I'm attempting a small nap before I have to be at the school for parent buddy reading for my son's class.  It's a little after 1:30 and my phone rings.  I almost ignored it but a quick glance told me it was the school calling.  My first thought was that it was the nurse calling...I seem to here from her a few times a month.  So upon picking it up and readied to hear about something that happened in gym class or recess and wondering which child it happened to this time.  Boy was I wrong.  It took me a moment to realize I was not speaking to the nurse but to the principal.  That cleared the cobwebs really quick.  Sad, isn't it that I don't worry so much about the nurse's calls.  It's always a minor bump, tummy or ear ache that can be handled rather easily and as I've said, those calls have become almost common place.  But no, it was the principal and I was instantly alert and assuming it had to do with my son.  Not because he's a bad boy but because he's older and more likely to get in some kind of minor trouble, not that he's ever been to the Principal's office before.  He knows that would be the end of his life as he knows it.  No the call was about my daughter....feisty, sweet, delicate DD. 
This information made me even more alert, if possible.  She told me that she wanted to let me know about a situation that happened during lunch.  One of her male classmates crawled under the table and grabbed her private area.  The child was dealt with by the principal.  She said she spoke with my DD and she is okay.  She had the para bring her into her office and sit with her while she talked with her.  She wanted to make sure she was alright and not traumatized.  Her feeling was that she was initially traumatized by the fact that she had to go to the Principal's office to speak with her.  She was so scared that she was in trouble.  The principal did a good job in letting her know that she didn't do anything wrong and that she was concerned about what happened.  We both agreed she should stay in school so that she could go about her normal routine, especially since she seemed okay.
I picked her up less than 2 hours later and she seemed fine.  We waited to talk about it until my son was up in his room doing his homework.  I felt it would be more comfortable for her to talk about it with me in private.  So, we snuggled up on the couch and had a chat.  She told me she didn't know why he went under the table and did it.  She said he squeezed her hard and it hurt so she started crying.  She said he also did it to the boy next to her but not so hard and he didn't say anything.  Her para came over to find out what was wrong when she saw her crying.  She handled it so good.  I think what hurt her most is that it was one of her friends that did it.  This boy has had a crush on her since at least January and for a while she had a crush on him too.  They still make each other cute pictures and play together while we wait for my son to get out of class (they release the kg kids first at a different door).  I think she's confused on why he would do that to her and I have a feeling she's going to ask him why point blank today.  She's that kind of girl.  I think it would've been a lot more traumatic if it had been someone who wasn't a friend and if the para and principal had handled it differently.  I'm so thankful.
I waited until after the kids had gone to bed to tell my husband about it.  I was so worried he'd freak out.  I'm still amazed at how calm he was.  He put it in perspective and understood it was an immature 5 year old that was dealt with afterwards.  So, hopefully this is the end of that and life moves on easily.  I'm glad we've had the no touching talk with our children and they understand that no one can touch them their and they need to tell someone. It was all handled well.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Savy Shopper

I have to say that my little 5 year is becoming a very discriminte and savy shopper.  Take today's shopping trip for sneakers.  She knew right away that she did not want go to just one store and did not want to buy the first pair of shoes she liked.  Whoa!  Good for her.  Most kids want instant gratification and pick the first thing they like without thinking too much about their choices. 
She knew that these sneakers were replacing her everyday ones.  She commented to me that she needed to pick the right one.  I was amazed when she told me they had to hold up to her playing in them all day and running around during gym and recess.  She wanted them to look good even if they were a few months old. 
We looked in two stores and at least 2 dozen sneakers before deciding.  She chose the first store we went to and told me she was not getting white ones even though some were so cute because she knew they would look dirty and old within a few days.  Good thought.  I was more than happy to support that decision.  I was also proud that she made her choice based on look, durability and comfort.  She liked a pair of Wizards ones but decided against them because one of her girlfriends had it.  At first, she was like, I want the same ones but after careful thought she went for something different.  She wanted to be unique.  I love it!
That's my girl!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

So, I finally filed...

Well, I finally did it. I didn't want to do it but I did. I filed. I hate having to do it. What, did I file do you ask? I finally filed for unemployment. Being out on worker's comp, I didn't know I was even eligible for unemployment. That is a definite plus about having a lawyer finally. He told me a few weeks ago I could file but I had some problems understanding it on the computer. I was going to go down to the local office but that's the day I had to take my car in for the tire issue and ended up spending all morning and most of the afternoon there. The hard thing about calling the unemployment line is that you can only call on certain days of the week, depending on the first letter of your last name. i missed it last week due to PT and a few other things. But, I'm on track now. I filled it all out to the best of my ability through the automated portion and then verified a few things with the nice lady who reviewed it with me. She was so helpful. She gave me their fax number and told me the paperwork I should send over concerning my comp claim. They need a doctors note releasing me to work with restrictions and a C-8 form from worker's comp. At first I didn't think I had a C-8 form but the lady told me what it looked like and sure enough I did have one. Yippee!

I hate being considered "unemployed" but my bank account is now under $300 and I'm only getting a check for $152/week which is nothing.

I'm starting to worry about the money issue. I mean, it's always been in the back of my mind but I've tried not to think about it. Any money I have goes towards....groceries (I buy the majority of whatever we need), electric, gas for my car and whatever the kids needs are (clothes, shoes, presents, etc). Sigh. It's going to start getting really tight! I thank God every day that I saved most of the tax money I got back last year. I had wanted to spend it on bunk beds (among other things) for the girls since my daughter is outgrowing her toddler bed (she's tiny but definitely in need of a twin bed now) but something had me holding off over the summer and early fall. I told myself it was because I hadn't found the right bed. But I guess it was because I had an eerie feeling I'd need it for something else.

To make matters worse, my husband may be in jeopardy of losing his job. I pray it doesn't happen. He may be a poor husband at times but he's a really good manager. I know because he's won numerous awards for various companies over the years plus I worked for the same company years back. I think his company is trying to cut costs and they think the way to do it is to get rid of those making larger salaries. I hope this doesn't happen.

Monday, May 03, 2010

A new day

Today was better than yesterday but not great.  I had a new therapist today at PT who doesn't know my routine.  I really didn't feel a sense of accomplishment after leaving.  My shoulder area is tender where he rubbed some knots out and also the lower part of my shoulder blade.  Ugh.
Husband had to take a drive with his boss and a fellow store manager so they could be reprimanded for shrink results.  If his next inventory is bad he goes on a 45 day action plan and can be terminated.  Extra scary since I'm stop out of work.
Praying tomorrow's a better day.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Need to vent...warning cursing.

Warning...I'm upset and I'm gonig to curse. I need to vent. I rarely do it and since it's my journal I'm going to just let it out....I'm going to ramble and probably make no sense. I'm so bone tired of all the weight I feel is on my shoulders...real or imagined. I hope I'm not alone in feeling this way sometimes. Some days I just crack and today's that day.


I'm so tired of feeling like I'm doing it all at home. I know hubby works a lot outside the house and I do appreciate it. But damn it when do I get help and support at home? I'm so tired of it! I know some moms out there are going to think I'm ungrateful but I'm not! I'm just warn out and exhausted. Yes, I'm not currently working. But I do have a bad neck and shoulder and that's why I'm not working. I'm pissed off at the situation because it hasn't changed whether I'm working or not. Even when i was busting my ass working 50-70 hours a week my husband did little at home. He figured my parents were living with us and not paying anything so they should be helping out around the house. So he did little to nothing. Thing is, I would come home after a long day of 7a-5 p (or 7-7) and still have to do all the cleaning and take care of my kids. I'm not complaining about having to do this but a little support would be nice. My mom is just not good at housekeeping, though she thinks she is. I did appreciate her because she did try to help. However, when she would do a load of the kids laundry she would never pretreat and all my daughters clothes had permanent spit up stains and such. My husband didn't like her cooking so I would be expected to cook dinner for everyone when I got home. I did all the laundry, cleaned the rooms, swept/mopped, vacuumed, dusted and everything. Granted, hubby was working crazy hours too but heaven forbid I asked for help. I did it all and was bitched at if I complained. Hubby would have a beer, and put up his feet to watch whatever game happened to be on tv at the time. Or he wanted to go out and do whatever. If I said a word about staying home to do work in the house I was made to feel like I didn't want us to spend time as a family.

Well, it hasn't changed one bit. I was hooping he would pickup some slack onece we all moved and bought our own places. Nope. His excuse always was that my parents had taken over our place and it was like it wasn't ours anymore. Wait! So that makes it ok not to do anything to help out your wife and family?! Before when I was working he said, he'd help out more if I'd stop complaining and bitching about it. I made him not want to help. What the hell?! This is your house too, why wouldn't you want to help keep it clean? If I get upset with the kids for not picking up their rooms he says I expect too much and I'm a raving bitch. Why? Because I ask our kids to pick up after themselves? I do get upset after I've asked 3 or 4 times. I shouldn't have to ask more than two times TOPS! I don't expect that much of a 5 and 7 (almost 6 & 8) year old. Here's my rules...make your bed in the morning, clean up after you eat, put your toys back where you got them from. How hard is it to do those few things? And I'm not expecting spick and span rooms where everything is neat and organized. I'm expecting that they place their stuff back in their bins...not even neatly. And if they make a mess they pick it up. My son's not too bad about most of this and never was. My daughter is the consumate slob. I hate to go into her room. But she shoves her books in her book cases and shoves things under her bed (there is an under the bed bin she could put it in) and just drops things where ever they lands and leaves them there. Today I asked them to please help me out. And he got pissed at me because i wanted to do some cleaning and it was his day off. He felt I should be doing all the cleaning during the week when no one's home. That's not fair. Everyone helps dirty the house, why should I be the only one cleaning it. On top of that it pisses me off that my husband continues to walk through the house with his shoes on and gives me heck if I ask him to take them off. And if I make the big deal about it with the kids he tells me to chill out, it's one time. It's rude and disrespecful to say that to me in front of them on top of the fact that he's not the one that has to clean up whatever is tracked in. I'm so tired of all of it.

The kicker was him telling me that the kids felt I was being to hard on them when I asked them to help me outside and wash up some of their toys that had been left out all winter and were filthy. How was I being too hard or unreasonable? Here I was sweeping the top and bottom deck off of all the old leaves from the fall and the "helicopters" the tree was dropping now that it's spring and hosing it off. My shoulder/neck are still killing me from that. I'm not going to clean up the whole deck area and backyard myself. it's not fair. All I asked was them to take sponges and clean off their toys. What the hell?! He could've been understanding and supporting and told them that if they had put them into the basement they wouldn't be filthy and needed cleaning. Sigh....I'm just so tired of it all.

He very rarely helps out around the house. Sometimes he'll do laundry....either just his or some of mine too. Never the kids. But, this is him doing the laundry...bring it down to the washer, put it in the washer, put it in the dryer and possibly bring it up to lving room. He doesn't fold it or put it away. I fold it and lug it upstairs to our room. I put mine away right away. I don't touch his anymore. It stays in the laundry basket because his drawers are a mess and I can't fit it anywhere. We have to go without a dirty clothes basket/hamper until he either puts it away or puts it on top of his dresser or on the floor by his side of the bed. It's pathetic. It rarely makes it into a drawer or the closet. He also, shoves clothes under the bed. This is something he started after my parents moved in with us before and he still hasn't broken this nasty habit. Besides laundry he'll occassionally do the dishes. We have a non-working dishwasher that he refuses to replace. I'd rather have a dishwasher than a car. Haha! When he does do them he washes them half ass in lukewarm water. I have to go back and rewash him when he's not around. He sometimes will take the garbage out but it's mostly myself or my son. My son gives me hell but will do it because of my shoulder/neck. I've tried to get him to at least clean the bathroom once a week. Is that unrealistic or too much to ask? One room...not a big one. He's done it maybe 6 times since we moved and by doing it I mean maybe the floor and toilet. I want him to scrub the tub, sweep and mop the floor, clean the toilet, counter and mirror. That's a half hour tops. Geez Louise! And nope, he just ignores me. Hmmmm....and he wonders why I get upset and act bitchy sometimes.

It doesn't help that everything's a fight to get anything done, as far as fixing, in this house. It took him close to 3 months to fix the downstaris toilet. All it needed was a new chain but on inside the tank. I refussed to fix it because he told me he'd do it. What made it bad was he turned off the water to the toilet so no one could use it (because it would run) and then he'd go take a shower and lock the door so no one could come in and use the bathroom. Not cool. One time my daughter almost wet her pants. Thing is, he never tells anyone he's going to shower so they should use the bathroom before he goes in and then he's in their for at least a half hour to 45 minutes. He finally fixed it after we had a huge arguement when my daughter stood outside the bathroom door in tears at 10 o'clock at night because she had to go so bad. Our pipes for our tub has been bad since we moved in. At one point (after a year!) my dad helped him replace the one curved part. It seemed to help for awhile. But now the tub water doesn't want to go down, it drains very slow as if we're taking baths instead of showers and it leaks onto the basement stairs. He tells me he'll get to it but it's been almost another year and it's still the same. Last spring he got mad and put a hole in my daughter's bedroom wall because he was angry with me. It took him almost a month to patch the hole and I think he only did it because my poor daughter was having nightmares. I had tried to put a poster over it but she knew it was there. He still hasn't sanded it down and painted over it...still procrastinating. I'll go months without mentioning it but when I do he tells me to get off his ass. How am I on his ass?! I haven't said anything about it in a while. Thing is, I'll either have to piss him off to do it or do it myself. What kind of relationship is this? No one should have to be guilted or angered into doing something and I don't want to be that way. it always becomes my fault. Take the van he got me. It was truly a wonderful, thoughtful gift. I appreciate it so much. But, he even said, I'm sorry I'm never home and when I am I don't help out. I'd rather take his help any day than the van. I'd rather he be home, supporting and helping me. I don't think he gets that. Today he even said that he gets me the van and why can't I back off. So, I guess he expects that buying the van gives him a free pass to do nothing. I want to cry. I just need him here as my husband, my friend and my partner. Screw the damn van.

I was hopoing venting would help me feel better but it's not. I'm all the more upset and wound up. I feel like I'm a bitch because I expect and want helpl. He makes me feel like I'm not doing my "job" if I need/want his help around the house. I want this to be our home, not our house. He doesn't get it. I guess I need to come to the realization he never will. Sigh...I feel so defeated and lost. Am I a bad wife to want, need and expect help around the house from my husband and kids?


I just feel done, done, done right now. I feel helpless and lost. I'm sure I'll feel better later. I just wish my family would open their eyes and appreciate all I do for them. I guess that sounds ungrateful and self indulgent on my part. I expect too much sometimes. This sucks! I love my family so very much and just want to enjoy them. I want to throw adult responsibilities to the air and just love life. Deep breathes....

I hope those of you reading this will be non-judgemental and just try to understand where I'm coming from. I also hope their are kindred spirits out there that understand how I feel and why I feel this way. I know I'm not all right nor all wrong. I just need a shoulder and some support. I wish I could get it from my husband now. He may say sorry later, i don't know. Sometimes he does, as this is not a new problem between us. But, when does it stop being I'm sorry and become supportive? Good question and I have no answer.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend round-up

My daughter had a fantastic time at the girl scout Father/Daughter dance.  My hubby said that at first she didn't want to stay but once she found a friend she was out on the dance floor and didn't want to leave!  I'm so glad she ended up having a great time.  She always has a hard tme at first in new situations but give her 10-15 minutes and she's a whole different child.  They even took a picture of each father/daughter so I'll be putting ours in a scrapbook.
I don't know where Saturday went.  I was able to relax in bed for a bit while the kids played (mostly) nicely and quietly.  Then we had yummy cinnamon rolls for breakfast before heading out to pick up my stepdaughter.  She entertainted the kids most of the afternoon.  I apprecated that so much.  At 4pm  my daughter and I headed out with a friend and her daughter to her first ice skating clinic.  She had a great time and even got to skate with the older girls since she was in one of the higher level classes.  She learned her first jump and landed it.  Yipee!  I'm so proud of her.
Sunday brought rain all day.  We spent the morning at the rink.  It was my son's turn this time.  We watched him play goalie and he did good.  Then it was off to Target for new sneakers for my son and I.  We splurged and had lunch out before heading home for a nice relaxing afternoon/evening.  We vegged in front of the tv watching the movie Blindside and eating popcorn.  It was a fantastic movie.  I totally understand why it got rave reviews. 
Now it's Monday night.  My day has been once again non-stop.  I got the kids up and ready for school.  I even squeezed in a quick shower, trusting the kids not to kill each other.  After dropping the kids at school I had time for a quick cup of tea before heading off to my primary care doctor.  She reviewed what's been going on with my neck and left shoulder the last few weeks.  I filled her in on what my lawyer needed and she easily agreed.  It's nice having such a wonderful and understanding doctor who just has your best interests at heart.  I had just enough time after that to run to the grocery store and home to put stuff away before physical therapy.  I'm hoping it will help strengthen my neck muscles.  I'm running out of hope.  I think it'll get better but never be fully better.  Sigh.  The day is now closing to an end.  The kids are tucked into bed sleeping and hubby is in the shower.  Bed is calling.  Night!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Busy, busy mommy!

I have to tell you, yesterday just flew right by without even a, "How do you do?".  Wow!  I was busy from sun up to sun down.  I had my normal routine of getting the kids up and ready for school, made sure my son was ready for his class field trip.  Then I was off to PT for an hour of torture on my neck.  After that I ran to the store for dinner ideas before heading home to start it.  I decided on BBQ pork so I got the pork ready and into the oven before relaxing for a whole hour.  I got the kids from school, came home, shredded the beef and added bbq sauce to it and set it to simmer on the stove.  Then I was off again to pick up my daughter's girl scout cookie orders and distribute a few to close friends and family.  We had a yummy dinner, that my husband actually made it home for since he didn't have to go to a work function.  Yippee!  It's the first time we've had dinner together during the week in a long time!  Thank you God!!  It was a nice change of pace. 
Yesterday was a fun filled day for my second grader because not only did he have a field trip but last night he had a special event called Camp Read A Lot and it was only for his grade.  He hurried through a quick shower.  That was quite an accomplishment for him!  He had a few minutes to relax until we were off once again to pick up his friend and head to the school.  They had 5 fun stations that the kids got to go to...all in different parts of the school.  We did campfire sing along (they had some great fake campfires!),  storytime, scavenger hunt, fishing (for words) and the grand finale for our group...sequencing a story about how to make S'mores.  Yum!  Each child got their own S'mores.  The perfect end to a perfect night.  After that we dropped his friend off and then I had to convince him to unwind and get ready for bed.  It took a bit but once his head hit the pillow he was out like a light!  The house by that time was so quiet!  Everyone was asleep, so I just sat for a bit, relaxing and enjoying the silence.
I did have some trouble sleeping because my neck and shoulder got really tight from all the day's activities.  I was up early.  My mom came to watch the kids and get them off to school so I could go to PT.  Unfortunately, I had to go get gas because the car was on empty.  Once I filled it up a nice customer pointed out that one of my tires was flat!  Ugh!  So, I go to turn the car on to move it to the air pump and what should I discover?!  The car won't start!  Grrrr!  Thank God for a nice employee who actually approached me and offered to jump it.  After a few tries it started.  I moved it to the air pump, put some air in the tire and left it to run while I went and got myself a much deserved coffee!  I called PT to tell them I was on my way and would be there shortly.  The great news is...the air held in the tire and the car started.  So far now, all is well and I pray it stays that way.  I'm off to get my son from school and take him to the ENT and then out to lunch.  Tonight is the Father/daughter dance for girl scouts.  I hope my husband will make it home in time and stay awake for it.  Poor man.  I love him so much.  Personally, I can't wait until we can fall into bed together tonight.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

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My daughter has been counting down the days until Earth Day for at least a week. Her kindergarten teachers have talked up the importance of it and treating everyday as If it's Earth Day. She has gotten in the habit of seeing things around the house that we would normally toss out or recycle and is coming up with innovative ways to reuse it. We were at the ice cream stand yesterday and she started picking up napkins and stuff on the grass. It was so thoughtful of her. I just wish she has been wearing gloves. Ick! But it was the thought that counted and she put action behind the thought. Thank goodness I had a package of Handi wipes in my purse! Her teachers asked for us to send in a 2 liter soda bottle and the kids are going to be making either bird feeders or planters out of them today. She was bouncing off the wall this morning she was so excited! On top of that, she has another "reuse" project planned for tonight with my mom. I'll be heading out taking my son to a special event for second graders at the school called Camp Read-A-Lot. She's going to be making a Cat house for her webkin, Kitty. I'm glad she's come up with this idea all on her own, so she'll be doing something fun and creative while my son and I are gone. I never want her to feel left out. I'm glad my mom is willing to take her since my husband will be stuck filling in for his boss at some big dinner 2 hours away and won't be home until after 11:30. Ugh! We definitely have a full plate today!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Here we go again

Well my physical therapy for my neck has finally be authorized.  I have been out of pt since early February. That was for my shoulder.  I guess I had meant the number of what comp terms as allowable visits.  Then the nurse in charge of my comp case wanted me to go to another specialist to have my neck checked.  After she reviewed my case file she decided that maybe the herniated disc in my neck is causing the pain in my neck and left shoulder.
It's now been over a month since we started down this route.  Finally everyone agrees, including the IME doctor.
Let's see how I'm feeling later tonight and tomorrow after my first PT session in months.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Too much to do, so little time!

Stop the Earth...I want to get off!  Is it just me or is today's life getting busier and busier?  I know it's not just me.  The American culture today just seems to go at a break neck speed and if you can't keep up then your trampled on.  By that I think you feel used up, stressed out and ready for a breakdown.  Let's be honest here...most of us feel this exact way.  If we don't hang on for dear life our life will run away out of contol, leaving us on the floor. 

I can honestly say that I'm right at that point most days.  And that is sad, considering that I was working a full time job up until 6 months ago.  Before that, 3 1/2 years ago, I had a fast paced salaried job where I was rarely home for my two small children (newborn and 2 yrs old).  Looking back, I wonder how I made it through any of that time.  I'm going insane what's on my plate right now.  I guess, when push comes to shove you do what you got to do.  The question is, why has it come to this?  It's no wonder that heart disease is a serious issue in the U.S. When "we" (corporate america?) decided that people needed to start becoming more time efficient everything went out the window.
There is a limit to how efficient we can be.  The constant strain on our minds and bodies to push further is effectively deteriorating our body and slowly killing us.  The stress alone is tremendous!  I stepped down from my salary position because I couldn't keep up mentally, physically or emotional with the constant needs of my job.  On top of that  I had all the demands of my young children at home. 
I love working, don't get me wrong, but our children need a constant, stable parenting model at home.  I don't care if it's mom, dad or another adult living within the household.  I don't think that homemakers are given enough positive credit.  They work hard and I wish they could collect a govenment stippen.  I think children in these homes with responsible role models have more going for them where both their parents are under tremendous pressure at work and rarely home during daylight hours.  Yes, I know there are many people sitting at home right now collecting government money, not willing to work and could care less about their children running wild and getting into trouble.  These are not the people I am talking about.  I think have a parent at home is such a positive thing for our children.  They learn their limits and are accountable for their actions.  Also, the rules are the rules and they aren't getting told different rules by different people (babysitters, etc). It helps create consistancy which is badly lacking in today's families.
I'm heading back to work shortly.  I'm assuming it will be within the next 6-8 weeks.  My mother and father will be the ones that will help my children get ready for school in the morning once again.  I am lucky to have their help.  I can only hope and pray that they will willingly stick to the rules and routines I have set up for school days. 
I am going to have fun readjusting back to the old juggling act.  I didn't miss it and to be honest, I am juggling a lot right now without work.  I have doctor's visits, physical therapy and a whole bunch of other things to keep me running.
I am so happy I've had this time with my children.  I hope I will remember to take the time and slow down so I can enjoy it.  I can honestly say that I am a person that stresses under pressure.  I wasn't like this before I had children.  It wasn't so hard for me to juggle my personal and professional life, such as it was.  Children change everything.  It is so much better now but it's hard to say no to anything.  I am trying to breathe easier and stick to my mantra that family comes first.  If I can do that and not let the little things get to me, then I think I'll be ok.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Food Revolution

I am a big believe and supporter of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  America is the most obese country in the world.  The Associated Press  stated that Huntington, WV was the unhealthiest city in the U.S. after the CDC report in 2008, This is based on data from 2006.  This report is what made Jamie decide to come to the U.S. and see if he could help positively impact the way Americans eat.  A lot of details I will be citing can be found on Jamie Oliver's website:  Check it out.
Jamie states: "I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It's time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food!" 
I totally agree with this statement.  Slowly but surely Americans have stopped cooking real food.  I can tell you from my own experience that this is true.  My husband hates to wait to eat.  He has complained on numerous occasions that there isn't enough "quick and easy" meal choices for him in our house.  He is right about that.  I do a good job when it comes to more "adult" type meal choices. I try not to buy quick, microwaveable food.  However, I fail overall, because I do have frozen chicken nuggets, french fries and breaded fish fillets in the freezer.  The good news is that I'm trying really hard to stop purchasing those items.  My daughter is a fruit and veggie lover by nature and I'm thankful every day for that.  My son on the other hand won't touch a veggie unless it's a potato.  In my opinion (and Jamie Oliver's) a potato is not a vegetable but a starch.  I've told my son this and he has agreed to try and work with me on eating other veggies.  Once a week we go to the store and he picks a veggie to try.  He knows he doesn't have to like it but he does need to try it.  Weird as he is, he doesn't want to eat carrots or corn.  So far he's tried a variety of green veggies...artichoke, asparagus and celery.  Today we're going to shop again.  I'm wondering what his choice will be this time.  I am lucky that he will eat chicken and he actually likes "real" chicken a lot.  I've made homemade chicken nuggets/tenders and these have been a huge hit. 

I want to share Jamie's Platform with you:


“This Food Revolution is about changing the way we eat. We need to start cooking again, to make sure our children don’t grow up on a diet of processed food, at school or at home, and so they won’t have to battle obesity and diet-related illnesses when they grow up. Cooking is one of the most important skills a person can have and it has been proven that families who cook together eat better. A small change in your kitchen in could save the life of someone you love. America needs to do something now, before it’s too late.”

Do you know that obesity and diabetes are the only health problems getting worse in the U.S.?  Here's some states.  68% of adults are overweight.  1 in 3 Americans is obese.  If the rate of obesity continues at its current rate 43% of americans will be obese in 10 years.  People who are obese are likely to die 10 years earlier than a healthy person.  32% of american children are obese!  Here's a sad, eye catching fact Today's generation of children are predicted to be the first to die at a younger age than their parents due to obesity-related bad health.  Do you want this for your child(ren)?  I know I don't.  These facts scare me.  I (like most parents) want my children to live a better life than I have. If we continue to feed our children the way we have than these things will come to pass for them.  We need to make changes at home, at school, in our communities and in our nation as a whole.  We need to by pass the processed food and go back to the basics of cooking with fresh food.  Real food, as I'd like to call it.  Food without additives and perservatives.

We can set our mind to changing what happens at home.  But to change things at school we need to be aware of what's going on there and take steps to change it.  Most days I pack my children's lunches so I can control what they eat.  Yes, many days they have sandwiches with lunch meat but I am becoming more conscience of what I am buying.  I am trying to purchase lower sodium and healthier cuts of meat.  I make sure they always have fruit.  And I very rarely give them what I call a "sweet treat".  I try to steer away from cookies, brownies, candy or cupcakes.  Let me share a fact that floored me.  The National Dairy Council says flavored milk (8 ounces) has about 4 teaspoons (60 calories) of added sugar in it.  The Institute of Medicine estimates that kids are eating 19 (children) to 29 (teens) teaspoons of added sugar a day.  That is higher than even the recommended 5-9 teaspoons for adults.  It comes from sweetened drinks, candy, breakfast cereal and ice cream.  So, 4 teaspoons of added sugar to one 8oz flavored milk is way too much!  This was an eye opener.  My children like milk.  My son normally buys regular but my daughter loves chocolate milk.  So, I've made a pact with them to make healthier choices, especially when they're not with me.  She knows that she needs to pass on the flavored milk.  I hope she will make the right choice when I'm not there to remind her.
Another issue is that many people (especially the younger generation) does not know how to cook.  So, they find it easier to purchase cheap, prepackaged, processed food.  We need to teach them basic cooking skills and nutritional information so they can feed their families healthier.
Jamie states:  My Food Revolution is about bringing people together who care about the future of their children, about their right to good health and a proper diet. I know there are millions of people across America who care about these things and I’ve seen how, with a little confidence and basic knowledge, people quickly change the way they eat. This can happen all over America. We just need the support of your government, and your food and healthcare industries to do it.

Here's what changes he thinks our government can make to help school and our children.

1. Put meals cooked from fresh food at the heart of the school lunch program. Through the federal meal program, taxpayer dollars are being used to give 30.5 million kids in America a diet of processed food. Cheap nuggets, fries and snacks have no place in the school system. Kids need real food, not additives. Government regulations should ensure that the only food available in school is healthy food and balanced meals, cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients. Raw food is only a health risk with bad ingredients and poor kitchen hygiene.

2. Find more money for better food. Across America, just $1 per child is spent on the food in a school lunch. It costs more to buy a cup of coffee. That’s not enough to put a good meal on the plate. The school meals sector cannot improve the quality of school food without more money. The £4.5 billion over 10 years proposed for the new child nutrition bill is half what President Obama has asked for. The promise of just six cents more per meal will not empower schools to make the changes that are so badly needed.

3. Make radical improvements to school nutrition standards. How can a portion of fries be classed as a vegetable when kids aren’t eating enough salad and greens? People are ticking nutrition boxes. No one is looking at the actual meal on the plate. School meal standards need to restrict processed foods and make freshly cooked meals the backbone of the service.

4. Love your lunch ladies. School cooks feed the nation’s children. They need recognition for the important work they are doing. Opening packets and reheating processed food has taken the skill and pride out of the kitchen. Funding is needed for training and equipment to help them start cooking from scratch again.

5. Put professional cooks in charge. Nutritionists and accountants aren’t professional cooks. Bean counters don’t know how to put good food on the plate. School nutrition teams need experienced caterers to run the kitchens.

6. Teach every child in America to cook. The food pyramid and nutrition lessons don’t teach kids the food skills they need for life. Every child should learn how to cook at school, and when they graduate, every child should have a basic knowledge of where food comes from, and know how to make 10 simple meals from scratch. Farm to School should be part of every child’s education.

I believe he is right.  He is also looking for our communities to support one another in helping to educate those that need it.  I think his community kitchen idea is right on target.  This is a great hands on way to bring people in and teach them the skills they need to cook healthy for their family.  He also states that corporate america must change.  The need to stop with their misleading food packaging.  All additives that add no nutritional value should be cut.  And the list goes on.
It takes one passionate person to start a revolution.  Jamie Oliver has done that.  Here's what we can do to make sure it continues.
1. Sign the petition on Jamie's campaign website Show government and industry how many of you care about the health of your children and what they get fed at school.

2. If you can cook, teach others. If you can’t cook, learn how. Pass on your food knowledge to your kids, your family, your friends. Pledge to make a meal from scratch with your family once a week. Don’t let cooking become a thing of the past.

3. Ask your child’s school these questions: - What’s the food like? Would I want to eat it? - How often are the meals cooked from fresh ingredients? - Exactly what is in the processed food on the menu?

- When will you stop serving junk food for school lunches? - When will my child be taught how to cook at school?

4. Complain. Start a letter campaign to supermarkets, food retailers, manufacturers, and fast food chains. I believe that the people of America are much more powerful than big business. Together you can challenge the food industry and demand better for your families, employees, and customers.

5. Know what’s in your food. Look at the label. If the ingredients list is full of things you don’t recognise, don’t buy it. If it has things you could find in your grandma's pantry, then do. You can make all the food in the world without these extra additives. Burgers, pizza, ribs, and pasta – the real versions don’t have all of that stuff in them.

I am a firm believer and supporter of Jamie's Food Revolution.  Please take a minute to check it out.  I hope you can become a believer and supporter to.  This is for the health of our children and future generations.  How can we turn our backs on them.  We've helped create them problem.  Now, let's help become part of the solution.  Our future depends on it!

Check out Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution every Friday

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trip to NYC

Our family got a chance to spend a day in NYC.  It was so much fun!  This was our first real visit there as a family and we can't wait to plan a trip back!
We started our day in Grand Central Station.  It's amazing to see so many people hustling and bustling around.  We made sure to take a moment to let the kids know that they needed to hold our hands and stay close by.  We did not want to take any chances with them getting lost or stolen.  The atmosphere was contained chaos, to say the least.  I was very proud of us though.  We went down to the subway and a very nice MTA employee helped us figure out what we needed to do to get where we wanted to go.  She was helping everyone who had questions.  I was very thankful that she was their because without her we would've been lost.

We walked decided to walk from Grand Central to a nearby subway stop that would take us directly to the American Museum of Natural History which is located at Central Park West and 79th street.   On the way we saw the Empire State Building and Madision Square Garden.  How excited and awe inspiring they both are (remember, we're a hockey family)!  The subway line we took arrived right at the museum.  We couldn't ask for it to have been better.  The train was a little overcrowded when we got on because people were smashed up together close to the doors rather than spreading out in the car, but after a stop it cleared up.
At the musuem the lady at the desk was most helpful.  She gave us a map of the four floor museum and circled all the halls/exhibits that are popular wiht children.  We also chose to add on one special exhibit.  That was the "Journey to the Stars Space Show."   We started our museum trip there.  The kids loved hearing all about the sun and how stars are made.  It was one of the highlights. 
After that we went to the children's Discovery room on the first floor.  There was a dinosaur dig there and a dinosaur skeloton that the kids could help put together.  This was a hit because it was hands on.  I loved watching them take "bones" and with the help of the museum employee find where it.  Truly, a learning experience.
The best part of the museum for my kids were visiting the various fossil halls.  That is where we spent the better part of our day.  My son just finished learning about fossils in his science curriculum and couldn't wait to check out the dinosaur displays.  The kids were fascinated by the massive size of many fossils and the tininess of others.  They spent the day running from one fossil to another asking numerous questions about each.
After the museum we took the subway to Time Square.  Of course it was crowded.  The kids were amazed at the giant televisions plastered to the sides of buildings and huge billboards advertising various producs.  We played tourist and took pictures before heading off to locate the NHL store not far away.  The guys enjoyed going there.  Our final stop of the day was at the HUGE Toys R Us in Times Square.  The kids never wanted to leave...well that's a lie, they were getting tired around 8:30 and were willing to pack it in for the day.  But before we left they got to experience the gigantic T-Rex from the movie Jurassic Park and Barbie's lifesize doll house.
This trip created many memories that we will cherish.  We are already talking about planning another trip with friends soon.  Can't wait!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

What a beautiful day

Today is simply gorgeous out.  It feel like a mid July day.  It would be too much if it wasn't for the light breeze rustling through the trees.  The temperatures here have been at or near record breaking the last few days.  Today it's over 80 degrees.  That's unheard of for an early April day in New York!  Later tonight we're supposed to get some thunderstorms and that will cool things back to normal.  This weekend the average temps will be in the low to mid 60's.  Right where they're supposed to be. 

I find as I get older I am not the sun worshiper of my youth.  I love days that warm (70's) with a light breeze.  Gone are the days of basking under the sun's baking glow and praying for a dark tan.    The humidity is what seems to kill me and I can't hide from it where we live.  It sucks the life right out of you.
The highlight of my day was taking a nice walk in the late morning/early afternoon with my mom.  My only regret is that we didn't start out sooner so it was getting nasty as we heading back for home.  I'm quite proud of my mom.  She is in her early 60's and not in the best physical condition.  She has arthritis in her knees and her back hurts sometimes.  Today she spent an hour and 15 minutes walking with me.  There is a walking trail nearby that is partially shaded so we went there.  My only regret is that her foot (which she twisted last month) started acting up and was throbbing by time we finished.  However, she is willing to add walking into her weekly routine.  As of now, she really doesn't exercise so this decision of her's makes me both proud and excited.  She is going to tackle it head on.  We both know that we need to make some healthier decisions in our lives.  Mine is to get a workout in (whether it's walking or whatever) at least 3 or 4 times a week.  I'm at a healthy weight but I find myself tired all the time and my stress level is always through the roof.  And that's with me not currently working!  I'm also trying to get more veggies onto our plates during dinnertime.  I find that we don't eat as many during the colder months, plus my 7 yr old is a true veggie hater.  If you read my earlier post about that than you'll remember that we're working on that too.  I hope my mom and I are both able to integrate this into our families daily lives.
The day's been beautiful so far.  The kids homework is done and they are playing out back with their uncle and grandpa.  I'm going to get ready for dinner out with my girlfriends.  I'm so exited!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Children at play

Hug o’ War

By: Shel Silverstein

I will not play at tug o'war
I'd rather play at hug o'war
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug
Where everyone kisses
And everyone grins
And everyone cuddles
And everyone wins.

I have to start by stating today was a beautiful day.  Perfect.  A little sun, a little cloudy and a light breeze.  Not too hot and not cold.  Amazing conidering the morning started out drizzly and a bit cool.  By afternoon it was perfect.  I love this weather.  On top of that I save money because I don't have to turn on the heat or the airconditioning.  Yipee!
The kids couldn't wait to come home and play.  It was hard to keep their focus on homework.  It's one rule in our house....we work before we play.  It was a definite struggle and I ached that I had to keep them on task.  Especially my son because he is at that age where he is not a lover of school and hates, hates, HATES homework.  But, somehow he buckled down and completed his math worksheet and his spelling stairs.  Tomorrow is spelling sentences...oh no!  It will be war in our house.
The kids made the most of their 2 1/2 hours outside.  I'm so glad that my kids love to go out and play.  So many kids are cooped up in their houses sitting in front of the tv or computers vegging, snacking and being stationary.  My kids are the exact opposite.  Once I give them the ok that they can play outside they are out the door before I can say anything more!
They rode their bikes and scooters.  They had a nascar like son drew the race track with chalk.  He LOVES NASCAR.  He also had his hockey net out and played a shoot out with my brother.My daughter made drew all over with chalk and made up her own hop scotch type game.

The night just flew by and they did not want to come in!  I'm glad they were able to make the most of it.  I actually heard other kids out in the neighborhood playing!  That in itself is amazing.  There are at least 7 other kids on our block (ages 3-9) and I rarely hear them outside.  I've been given various reasons on why by their's too dirty, their too loud when their outside, allergies, too much sun and on and on.  LET THEM PLAY OUTSIDE!  It's good for them.  Get them active.  They can't be that active sitting inside or even running around inside.   My kids actually get along better when they are outside.  I won't lie, they still argue, full and fight  but no where near as bad.  They let their imagination flow and blow off a lot of energy.  I think running around all cuts down on their aggitation of one another!     
The poem I highlighted at the beginning of this blog entry says it all.  I want my children to hug and play not tug and fight.  All this fresh air and outdoor play really keeps everyone sane, happy and smiling.  Yeah!  I'll be sad to see this warm spell end.

Monday, April 05, 2010


My brother surprised the family with a visit today.  I'm the only one he told about it and I had to keep the secret.  Man, it's been so hard.  I told him that he better not tell anyone I knew or they'll be heck to pay. 
I was very happy to see him stroll in the door.  The nice thing is that he seems to always seems to feel at home here when he comes to visit.  The bad thing is....he feels too at home sometimes.    Does that make sense? 
He came in and walked aimlessly looking here and there.  I could tell he was tired from the long 6  hour drive and waking up at 4 am.  I was surprised he hadn't gone to see my parents first and surprise them.  It's weird, but as much as we love my parents it's one of those distance makes the relationship better.  Honestly, I think my whole family works on this theory.  I love them all tons and tons but when we're close I feel we are in each other's pocket.  I think this comes from my parents living with us for 5 years!  It was extemely tough emotionally and financially.  I will share more of that story one day.  Now, they are next door.  Close by without living in our house.  A bit more space would be nice but I know we have it good with them so close.  I can't imagine them being hours away.  Anyway, when we all get together we tend to get too comfortable and grate on one another.  My brother has no problems walking through our house with his shoes on, even though he knows that the house rule is shoes off at the door.  He plops himself on the loveseat and sprawls out with his feet hanging over one of the arms.  Grrrrr!  I bite my tongue because I'm truly glad he is here for a visit.
Finally, afrter chilling for almost an hour he goes next door to let my mom know he is here for a visit.  He definitely surprised her!  She was shaking so hard I'm surprised she didn't pass out or hyperventilate.  I'm glad he came to visit but I think it's better to notify someone that you are coming into town to see them, especially if you're expecting them to put you up while you visit.  We had a quiet lunch before he went up to nap in my daughters room and I took a mini nap on the couch.
My kids were at school when he drove into town.  We had planned for him to walk to the school with me so he could surprise them there.  However, my dad had other plans.  My dad's the type that he expects everyone to drop what they're doing and do what he says, when he says it.  He decided that my brother was going for a walk with him.  It put my brother in a awkward position.  I told him to go ahead and go but it wasn't right.  The kids were very excited when they did get to see him.  I'm glad he could make their day.
Now it's late, the kiddies and the hubby is in bed asleep.  My brother is over at my parents house doing whatever he's doing.  I never know.  He is like the invisitble man, flitting here and there.  He was here for a bit before disappearing next door.  I thought he was coming back but that didn't happen.  Oh well tomorrow's another day....

Back to school today

I feel bad that I haven't blogged in days.  I wanted to blog a few blurbs from my phone but it doesn't seem to be liking me right now.  :(    I had to take the kids out and keep them busy or they would have driven me nuts before killing each other.  I some of my hair turned grey and some fell out, but I survived! 
This morning is actually quite peaceful for a school day.  Hope I'm not jinxing myself.  Oops..maybe I did.  My daughter just yelled at my son.  Please...shhhhh, I want to enjoy the tranquility of it all.  lol
We did Easter on a budget this year since I'm out on workman's comp.  I'm barely getting anything from them.  It's definitely getting tight.  I think the kids still enjoyed the holiday.  The only thing they missed was getting a plush animal on their bed or on their basket.  They'll live, plus I wouldn't mind weaning them off the dust collectors.   The kids will sleep with them and then as they get another the new one gets delegated to the bottom of the bed with the rest of the discarded animals (except for that one special one that will always have an honored place at the top of the bed).
Their Easter basket had two spring/suummer outfits (that was the "big" ticket items), a little chocolate, pencils, a journal, activity pad, sidewalk chalk and a few dollar toys.  At our house the Easter Bunny hides not only the plastic eggs, but also the decorate hard boiled eggs, big chocolate bunnies and the Easter baskets!  Next year I think I might write out clues to the where abouts of the bunnies and baskets since my youngest will be able to read simple clues next year.  Yeah!
The kids did 6 Easter egg hunts ovefr 2 days.  We went out to a farm on Saturday where they did 4 egg hunts throughout the day.  The kids participated in two and had a wonderful time.  We met up with a friend and her daughter.  They got to run around and burn off lots of energy, look at the farm animals (such cute bunnies and chickies!), sand art, gem mining and more.
Saturday and Easter Sunday beat me up!  We colored eggs on Saturday night with Daddy .  The kids really needed that quality time with him.  He had to work Saturday which made it extra hard on all of us, but we made it through.  While he entertained the kids I spent from 7:30-8:30 making the Easter baskets and filling some of the eggs.  He tried to stay up to help me later but he had been awake since 2 am since his store had a food inventory that morning.
I finally got the kids down at 9:30 and asleep by 10 or so.  My son had so much trouble falling asleep.  Poor kid.  I finished filling the eggs and hiding them by 1:00.  I don't hide all of them in the house so I left the outside ones for later.  I really missed having my stepdaughter this year...she's such a help and we have lots of fun hiding everything.  I crawled into bed about 1:30 only to be awoken at 3 by my son.  He saw an egg and wanted to go looking.  I told him he had to wait.  Poor boy.  I don't think he fell back asleep until close to 4.  I know because I was wide awake and achy until after 4:30. 
My daughter amazingly enough was up by 7:30 so she crawled in bed with us until 8.  I'm proud of her because I know she wanted to get started but I told her that she had to wait because her brother was still sleeping.  He's normally up first but I think him waking in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep really hit him hard.
Once the kids were up they hunted all the eggs in the house.  Those were filled with chocolate and stickers.  I don't like to hide the candy ones outside because of the animals and the weather (don't want it to meilt!).  The outside ones get filled with coins, stickers and sometimes small toys.  They also found their big bunnies.  I'll have to post a picture of my daughter's's a good laugh.  After all that hunting they ate, dressed in their Sunday best and then headed off to church with grandpa.  Too bad hubby had to drive up to work for a few hours because the manager that orders on Sunday was out of the town for the holidays.  Good thing he remembered, I'll be it at 8 am.   So, while the house was quiet I ran around like a mad woman doing last minute things I normally would've done a day or two before the holiday.  I started the ham.  I vacuumed, swept and mopped the WHOLE house...except the bedrooms.  Then I made the fruit salad and strawberry shortcake.  Then I did all the dishes leftover from dinner the night before (hubby told me to leave them or else!).  Then I made the glaze for the ham, appetizers, and the sweet potatoes.  Then I got the call that grandpa and the kids where heading home from church and the Easter egg hunt there.  I panicked, realizing that I still had to get the eggs hidden outside.  So, I ran around doing that while hubby vegged out on the couch watching a hockey game.  I was stressed to the max but he did deserve to have some down time, especially since he had gotten home only 30 minutes before that.  Thank God I also realized that I had forgotten to hide the baskets.  I accomplished that about 10 minutes before they walked in the door. 
The kids were hyped up from egg hunting and so excited to show us everything they got.  As they wound down, I glazed the ham and jumped in for a quick (10 minutes) shower.
It was a fantastic day that flew by.  The kids hunted eggs at Grandma's and Grandpa's and outside our house.  The day was packed. I'm sad it's over but glad at the same time.  We wound down in front of the tv, watching the movie High School Musical 3 on Disney.  The kilds were in bed by 9, asleep before 9:30.  I finally put my feet up and chilled while watching the end of Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
This morning came way too quick.  I was awake by 6.  Ugh!  I'm still amazed at how well the kids woke up this morning.  I truly thought it would be a huge fight.  They barely even all!!!
Now, its 10:15 and the kids are in school.  I'm finishing up this post, grabbing a bite to eat and excitedly waiting for my brother to show up.  He's visiting from out of town.  He only shared this with's a huge secret.  I know my parents will love it.  I just hope that no one feels put out that they weren't told.  I know it would annoy me a bit because I'm a planner. lol
I'm off..more coffee, some fruit and a blueberry scone.  YUM!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Great day out and about...

The air was still a bit brisk and the sky overcast, but all and all the kids and I spent a wonderful day out yesterday.  First off, the kids were awake before I was coherent and ready to move from my bed.  Rather than wake me up fully they tipped downstairs.  My son first and then my daughter.  They spoke quietly, watched tv and ate breakfast together.  All the while making an effort to get along and play nice.  It warmed my heart to listen to them.  I don't think they even knew I was awake, snuggled in my warm bed, listening with a smile on my face.  I knew part of the reason for the truce fire was the deal we had made the day before.  The agreement was that they treated each other and me with respect for that day and the next so they would earn a fun day out.  They held up their part of the deal (well, as much as a 5 and 7 year old can).  I am very proud of them.  They proved to me and themselves that they can do it if they try hard and put their mind to it.
We went to the Chinese buffet by the movie theater.  My daughter ate real well.  I was so proud of the new things she tried.  My son, didn't fare as well, but that's ok.
We saw the movie, "How to Train Your Dragon".  I have to say we all loved it!  I think the story line was thought provoking, well written and child friendly.  The animation was wonderful too...pulled you right in.  We saw it in 3-D.  A definite treat.  Once we got past the whole glasses thing not fitting comfortably, that is.  But, it was worth the discomfort.
The story line was typical in many was as the main character, Hiccup, didn't seem to fit in with those around him.  I like this story line however as I think it's important for kids to identify that it's ok to be different and to accept those that are not the same as themselves.  The themes in it were great.  Defeinitely a must see. 
After the movie, we took a trip to the grocery store.  That was an interesting trip.  My veggie hating son and I made a pact....we go shopping together and he picks out one new veggie he will help cook and then try.  Since they were being so good, I also agreed to let them use the scan gun the store has to scan and bag your groceries as you go.  They loved that!  Plus, the store finally enables you to weigh and label your fruits and veggies.  This made the task of picking out a veggie fun for my son.  He ended up picking Artichokes and Asparagus to my surprise.  He reason when I asked was that his favorite color was green!  lol 
I've never cooked artichokes and attempted asparagus once.  We made artichoke last night.  We steamed it with butter and slivers of garlic.  It was ok.  Not something we would probably have too often.  But he did try it and actually ate it.  I'm so very proud!  Tonight we made the asparagus.  I think they went over better.  I'm going to try them again next month.  Yeah!  I'm so thrillled!!
The rest of the day seemed to fly by for the most part.  I'm amazed that Easter is in three days and that school starts back the following day.  I'm happy and sad at the same time.  My dad took them for a walk in the late morning.  They spent the rest of the day drawing dragons and playing in the backyard.
Tomorrow, I will boil the eggs so we can decorate them tomorrow afternoon.  They are always so excited for that.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Enjoyed Spring Break Day 2

Good day overall.  The kids slept "late today" and woke up between 8-8:30.  Yeah me!    It was a nice experience.  My son came in to snuggle for about a half hour and tell me about his fantastic dream where we all when for an amazing trip to a dinosaur museum.  I'm so glad he remembered having a good dream.  It's very rare for him.
The afternoon was filled with playdates for both kids.  I dropped my son off at his hockey friend's house before taking my daughter to her's.  It was so nice.  She hasn't seen her preschool friend since last June when they graduated prek.  I'm so glad that they were able to reconnect.  They've known each other since the boys started prek together (they were a year old!).  The hard thing for them has been that they live in different areas of the school district and therefor go to different elementary schools.  To make matters worse her mommy lost her cell phone where she kept all her phone numbers and changed her home number.  Since we don't have a land line it was hard for us to get in touch with each other.  It was nice to run into each other last Saturday during the town's Easter Egg Hunt.
The girls had a fantastic time together and so did us mommies!  The girls played so nicely together that we were able to sit back, relax and catch up on what's been going on these last 9 months.  As soon as the weather stabilizes we plan to meet up at the park so the kids can run around and tire themselves out.
The day ended on the perfect note of yummy Strawberry Shortcake topped with Whipped Cream.  Yum!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kate on DWTS

I just wanted to take a quick moment to address Kate Gosselin on DWTS.  I know she has a lot of haters out there.  But serisously, cut her a break.  Get past the Kate you may have seen on the TLC show "Jon and Kate Plus 8".  When watching a show like DWTS free yourself of previous misconceptions and give yourself permission to let your mind take a different path.
In Kate's case remember what the judges have pointed out...she has no dance training what so ever, she is not an athlete, singer or actress.  She is not a performer.  She is who she is and you can't say she's ever tried to protray it any other way.  I'm sure this is why she is disliked (and liked) by many.  This is a lot to overcome for anyone.  I don't think many of us out there (with zero background in any of these areas) would not struggle themselves to pull it off.  I give her credit for putting herself out there, trying to reinvent herself and put a smile on her face and dance.  Honestly, I know I could NOT do it!  No way, no how.  So I say, "GO KATE!".  You have to have a very strong backbone to put yourself center stage and I applaude you.  Raise your head high and be proud.  I like your DWTS partner very much but I totally got what you were saying when you tried to tell him that you were struggling to follow how he was trying to teach you.  Everyone learns different.  So I feel for the pair of you.  I really hope you (as a dance couple) can overcome this trial. 
Even though it was headline catching, I don't like how DWTS promoted the struggle and communication issue they had.  All the couples go through ups and downs and I don't remember the show ever using such a negative issue throughout the two hour show to keep viewers watching.  It's a shame in my opinion. 
These are my personal thoughts and feelings on Kate.  Good luck to her!  I really hope she can continue with DWTS and that her and Tony grow as a team.  Show all your haters that you are more than they believed.  I have 2 children and struggle with keeping it all together.  It's hard to juggle it all.  Bless you for all you do.

Day One of Spring Break

Rainy day here on the east coast.  Flood watches and warnings in effect.  So far, not bad.  More to come tomorrow, so we shall see.
The husband has decided to supress his "jerk" dual personality, so all is well for now.  I just don't get him.  He starts to stress about money and is overtired from work and just snaps.  It's so tiring.  I'm hoping the hollidays will go smoothly and "jerk" will stay in a dark closet somewhere.  I put my b^tch side away and hope she stays gone forever when it comes to my home life.  I hate it, hate it, hate it!  Pray for us that we can ride this rough patch and continue to move forward in our love for ourselves and our family.
My day flew by and was overall a very nice one.  The kids were up early as it seems to happen in our household on days off of school.  (chuckling here)  It never fails. I have trouble getting them up each Monday to Friday at 7:30.  However, it doesn't seem to matter what time they go to bed at night during an off school day, they are always up before 8.  Today, my son crawled into my bed with me for a short 30 minute snuggle before making his way downstairs to watch NHL on the fly and see which of his teams won last night.  My daughter was down there by 8 and they didn't kill each other though they did bicker viciously at times.  I crawled out of bed at 9 and was going to head down to make them breakfast when my son yelled up, "Don't worry mom, I'm making us breakfast.".  Yeah!  He popped a couple frozen waffles into the toaster, pulled out the syrup and butter and Viola..breakfast!  Yippee!!  He likes to help that way and at almost 8, I think he is ready for it.  I was able to take a quick uninterrupted shower, which was a treat unto itself.
My mom offered to take the kids for the afternoon so I was free to enjoy myself.  One of my girlfriends picked me up and after a stop at DD we headed shopping.  For you moms out know how freeing it is to head out shopping sans kids!  And the extra treat was not having to rush home to get the kids from school.  FREEDOM!  Oh and I got the cutest pair of shoes that I can't wait to wear!  Yeah me!!
I feel rejuventated after having some me time.  It was real nice. My son is going to a friend's house tomorrow  afternoon.  I was going to take them to see the movie "How to Train Your Dragon".  Now I'm not sure what to do for mommy/daughter time.  I'm sure I'll come up with something fun.  Maybe we'll see the movie on Wednesday.  I'm looking forward to enjoying the afternoon with her.  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Emotional Weekend

Friday night my husband told me that he had unintentionally obligated to a work function on Saturday forgetting that it was my son's end of the season party for hockey.  I was so upset since this is not the first time something like this has happened.  Why oh why can't he remember that he has important family events planned.  He realized this some time after his bosses third call that day to verify he was coming.  To make it worse the function was a trip to casino 90 minutes away.  It was supposed to strengthen the teams bond.  They gambled for a few hours and then had dinner.  It was ridiculous.  But, I accepted it even if I was disappointed for our son.  I did know that my husband truly wanted to be there and was upset he couldn't be.  He actually had the balls to ask me to go with him and have my father or a teammates father bring our son to the party...which includes the handing out of  trophies and certificates after skating and pizza.  I can't believe he would seriously ask me to comtemplate that.  Any other time I would have gone.  Even if it meant missing a game.  But not a special event such as this.  So, he went to his function and I took the kids (including my stepdaughter) to the party.  We all had lots of fun and I have no regrets of the choice I made.
Today was another matter.  First off, I put my foot in my mouth this morning.  I got upset that my stepdaughter was leaving even earlier than originally planned.  We normally drop her off at her mom's around 7:30/8:00.  Today however, she had plans for her mom's boyfriend's sister (are you following this?) to pick her up at 3:00 so they could meet boyfriend's mom and go to a hotel overnight. This is something kind of traditional for them,,,,to kick the end of winter blues, so to say.  I don't begrudge her this in the least.  She deserves it.  What breaks my heart is that they can't wait until later in the day to pick her up.  It cuts into our family time with her.  It hurts.  The worst of it is that these things don't even faze my husband any more.  He's on an emotional disconnect when it comes to thses things with his oldest child.  So sad.  I feel that I care more and hurt more about this for me and the kids.  Why?  Is it wrong for it to hurt me this much?   The foot in mouth thing happened because I didn't "filter my words" (to quote stepdaughter).  She told me that she was actually leaving earlier than originally planned and she hadn't had a chance to tell me.  I unthoughtfully replied, why does it have to cut into our time with you?  We only get to see you once every other weekend and we're (meaning daddy and the kids) blood.  I still can't believe I was so insensitive!  I have a habit (that I am trying hard to work on) of speaking how I feel without waiting to find the right words.  I don't mean to hurt anyone, but sometimes I do.  I need to stop and find the right words for it.  She didn't come out and say I hurt her, just calmly got up and washed off her breakfast disher before retreating upstairs.  Oh my God!  What was I thinking?!  That was not only hurtful but rude, thoughtless and so many other things.  I waited for a good 10 minutes because I wanted to say the "right" words.  Thank goodness, she let me come in when I knocked and she listened to my heartfelt apology.. In the end, she said she knew I ddin't mean it that way and we talked about "filtering" what we thought before it came out wrong.  It was a great talk and I know it was heartfel on both sides.  I even cried.  I told her that I want her to always know that she is my first child and I love her very much.  I definately feel like we had a real bonding momennt.  It was as nice as the one we had last weekend when she was over...she told me about some intimate details about her life (and a close friendship gone wrong).  She told me that while she can talk to her mom about these things she likes to come to me for advice.  It made me feel good.  I love her so much it hurts that we don't have her more.  I try to get whatever time we can with her.  Our talk went well this morning and branched into other things.  Daddy was gone doing errands at thsi time.  When all was said and done, we went out to Dunkin donuts for coffee/hot cocoa and bagels.  It was nice and I really feel were are more than good because she understands I don't bemoan her time with her "aunt" and "grandma" I just miss her and wish we had her more.
The day ebbed and flowed from there.  My husband wasn't around for most of it.  First he went to have his rental care vacuumed, then slept on the couch for a while and then upstars in our room (saying he wasn't feeling well).  He finally made an ppearance a half hour before my stepdaughter left.
I love my husband, unfortunately we have an up and down relationship.  There are many highs and lows.  This weekend his was absent in many ways.  To make matters worse, he decided to bring up the tax money not long after my stepdaughter left.  We typically split it.  I spend my money on things for the kids over the year, leaving it my checking account.  I get them school clothes, birthday gifrts, christmas gifts, things for school and home as needed.  I rarely spend much on myself...some seasonal clothes here or there totallying my $200 over a year.  I'm not quite certain what he spends his on.  What's disheartening is we got a new homebuyers credit last year for the purchase of our house.  We have to pay this back.  We got back $7000 for it plus another $4500.  We both took $2500 for ourselves and put the remaining $6500 in our savings account so we could spend it on the house.  In August we took out about $2000 for vacation.  We should have had $4500 left.  It's all gone...somewhere.  Bills my husband tells me now.  He never had the decency to tell me he was dipping in to it.  I understand it if he needed it but why not be upfront and tell me.  I just found this out not long ago.  So, he "asks" me if he can have more of the tax money because our cell phone bill is over $1000!  What the heck?!  On top of that he has another $500 deductible to pay for car repairs (2nd "no fault" accident in 4 months!).  I told him take it all if he really needed it and I meant it.  I was being mean, though I was floored.  Well, he took that to be bitchy and we got into it big time.  It's so unfair that my 5 year old daughter is STILL waiting for a bunk bed to rerplace the toddler bed she is getting too bigh for.  It's ridiculous!  But I held my tongue.  He has money management problems and anger management issues.  Everything ends up my fault and if we argue it's because of what I said.  He jumped down my throat.  I thnk he was looking for a fight to cover the fact that he wanted the tax money and hated asking for it.  He needs to grow up!  He's almost 40.  Everything does not need to be a fight.  To top it off he refuses to shut up when the kids are home.  Why can't we be civil about it?  It's not fair to be hollering with them their to hear it.  In the same room!  It was bad and it's not the first time.  We need help and he refuses it, doesn't see the need.  It hurts me because I know not only can I continue to go through this but neither can our children.  I'm lost and don't know what to do.  His answer to the end of the arguement was....I'm now going to take all the money, I'm not going to pay your car insurance, I hope your car breaks down...etc.  What the heck?  Are you a child?  Yes, he pays the whole mortgage.  He also makes $65000 to my $23,000.  I buy all the food, pay the electric, pay for my car needs (gas and such) and everything for the kids...clothes, school supplies,etc.  I pull the weight I can.  I don't splurge on myself ever.  I don't get it.  He refuses to cut down on our satellite bill, our cell phone service, etc.  I'm down to the bare bones and don't know what to do.  I'm worried we'll lose the house before he gets it.  I don't know where this leaves the two of us once again (as this is a reoccuring issue).  He's upstairs in our bed and I'm down on the couch.  I might go up into my daughter's room and sleep in stepdaughter's bed.  I hate this.   I don't want to fight.  Why can't we love each other, talk to one another as equals, compromise and put our family first.  I just don't know what's going to happen.
Keep our family in your prayers.  I want us to become strong, not weak.