January 31, 2010

The Curse

Not only does my mom have crazy intuition, but she also wields the freaky ability to put a curse on me. And the funny part is that when I say, "Thanks for the curse mom." She always says, "Oh I didn't put a curse on your for THAT! Which of course always leads me to believe there are many more coming.
The way it works, at least how I've been led to believe is that whatever I did as a child that either frustrated, disgusted, or madened my parents, is going to come back to haunt me through my children's actions.
Of course it's not a perfect science so sometimes I feel like I'm getting a bit of my sister's curses, and she probably gets a few of mine.
This weekend I was blessed with two such curses. I must have been long overdue.
The first being during a grocery store visit. I realized I hadn't been shopping in while, but thought I would just pick up a few things. An hour and a half later, I looked at our cart. It was overflowing with groceries, so much so that I didn't have room for two more limes. I somehow squeezed them in, and was busy making my way to the check out when it happened......."Mommy, I have to go potty!"
You've got to be kidding me????? I can barely push this cart through the store, let alone make my way to the bathrooms located in the polar opposite location of where we were standing.  Of course, I knew exactly where the bathrooms were, because this HAS happened before, but not to the same degree. Luckily carrying Jack around has prepared me for this challenge. I thought about asking Nate to wait until we got home, but knew that wasn't really an option.
"OK, I guess we'll head to the bathrooms."
I managed to push the 50lb cart through the most crowded aisle, past the busy pharmacy line, behind the dairy section into the dark storeroom. (On a side note, the store room creeps me out. It smells like rotten milk, and I just know one day I'm going to see a rat scurry by.) I'll spare you the details of the bathroom, but I know that had to be part of the curse. My mom is always telling me how on every car trip I dragged them into every rundown middle of nowhere disgusting bathroom.. So thank you mom! You can check one off your list.

The second blessing of the weekend, luckily didn't affect me as much as it did Doug.
I walked in the door to hear, "JAAAACK....OH MY GOD. THIS IS REALLY BAD!".
Uh oh. I knew this must be bad if Doug was overreacting with this much enthusiasm. I said, "Everything ok?" Doug's response. "NO, this is the worst case scenario". Hmm I had two options, walk up stairs to see what happened or ask if I could help from a distance?" I knew instinctively it wasn't something I probably wanted to see, so I chose the latter. Doug's response was, "You can either come and dump Jack in the bath, or you can clean the SH**** that is smeared all over Jack's crib." Apparently he took his diaper off while napping. You can picture the rest. There was no way I was choosing the second option. I dumped Jack into the bath. The unfortunate part for Doug, other than the obvious, was this curse was actually aimed at Julie. Let's just say Julie has always been an artist, just with different materials.

I'm not sure how a curse can go so wrong.  It does make me wonder though who is going to get the child who carves their name into the furniture, or denies tapping on the table so much that it drives us to tears. (FYI: Both of which were Julie's actions. If I blog about those you know Julie used her alottment for the month and I was getting the overflow!)

January 30, 2010


A year ago on Jan. 30th the world lost an amazing woman and our dear friend, Alice Rossi.  My blog today is in memory of Alice and her daily courage. Her long battle with breast cancer left us all questiong how life can be so unfair? It's one question I know can never be answered. One thing is for sure though, we can all live life a little more like Alice. She always wore a smile, and never forgot a birthday. She was kind, generous, and knew how to fight her battles with extreme dignity and courage.

Five years ago we were privileged to have Alice speak at our wedding. She appropriately provided us with this blessing. When I'm having a day that seems extraordinarily difficult, I draw from the strength of this poem.

I wish you courage to confront the trials and tribulations in everyday life when it would be easier to live in denial.

I wish you courage to face disappointment when it would be easier to fail.

I wish you courage to take responsibility when it would be easier to place blame.

I wish you courage to face physical, mental or spiritual pain, when it would be easier to complain, seek pity, or isolate.

I wish you courage to laugh, when it would be easier to cry.

I wish you courage to dream when it would be easier to lose hope.

My wish today is that this poem can bring strength to those who are hurting, tired, and disappointed. It takes courage to fight, but everday is worth it!  
We miss you Alice!

January 28, 2010


Every month I receive an email from some parenting website about what my child "should" be doing in regards to development. The emails can really throw a parent into a panic. Most of the time I don't read them because when I've done so in the past I thought my child was either a genius, or should be receiving psychological help. Neither of course were true. Lately however I've been paying closer attention to Jack's development. He doesn't use many words yet, although he clearly understands EVERYTHING we say, so I thought I would give this email a read.

Here are the milestones:
  • At 20 months, your child should be able to run, though not as smoothly as he'll be able too later. - CHECK - He's mastered this, although he's 33lbs, what do you expect when you take a corner too fast and you're a little top heavy.

  • He may also go up stairs by himself
    - CHECK - Does opening the baby gate, walking up the stairs, and opening my bedroom door while I'm on a work conference call count for advanced skills?

  • He can probably kick a ball
    - CHECK - The word probably is a joke. If anybody knows Jack that's "probably" his BEST skill.

  • Small children frequently resort to hitting, pushing, biting, tugging, and other frowned-on actions
    - CHECK - The four little teeth marks on Nate's arm are proof of Jack's mad skills.

  • Takes off own clothes
    -Really??? I can barely get my 4 year old take off his clothes. We'll need to work on this one.

  • Washes and dries own hands with help(An advanced skill)
    - CHECK - He does wash and dry dishes, and of course wants NO help.

  • Dumps an object in imitation, such as garbage
    . - CHECK. Although I wish it would make it into the garbage. Usually it's a bowl of spaghetti on the kitchen floor or a box of dry rice.
I'm tempted to write back to BabyCenter.com and say where do these toddler milestones fit in?
  • Can unlock a baby latch, pull out the liquid soap and proceed to squeeze it all over the kitchen floor.....at 6AM. (Now that's true talent)
  • Can open a complicated tupperware bin with 300 stickers inside and scatter them across the carpet.
  • Can fill a bucket of water and dump it over the side of the bathroom tub in zero to 20 seconds.
  • Can throw dangerous objects like a fork or a hard baseball and hit someone with amazing accuracy, but has a hard time using his spoon.
  • Can smear peanut butter into crevices that you didn't know a solid square table has.
  • Can cry, I mean blood curdling scream at the top of his lungs for 3 straight hours on a 4 hour car trip. (I would imagine this level of persistance must be a predictor for future success.)
  • Can set an alarm on the clock radio for 2:30AM on full volume. (He must be Doug's son with a love for high tech toys.)
Jack is a true joy. His michief is worth everthing we get in return. He's kind to other children and has a silly sense of humor. He loves music and dances with his arms in the air. He's truly gentle to dogs, and hasn't met one he doesn't love. The first thing he does in the morning is stand in Nate's doorway and wave hello, (even though Nate is sleeping). It's not enough to carry around one blanket, Jack needs to carry at least three at a time.

When I write about him, it makes me so happy! I love you Jack. xoxo

January 26, 2010


I had every intention to exercise today. I managed to pack my gym bag, AND put it in the car. I told Doug I would be home around 6pm after heading to the gym. At around 5:15 I sat at work with two choices. Either head to the gym and run for 30 min. or go home and eat dinner. I was WEAK. Not only did I choose dinner, it just so happened Doug ordered pizza. He said it was 50% off night at Round Table.

Great, kick me while I'm down!
So after NOT working out, and eating one too many slices I was feeling incredibly healthy. Just when I was at my lowest, along came a voice of reason.....

"Let's do some yoga Mommy!"

Now that was an idea I could get behind. So out to the car I went to grab my gym clothes. Somehow it felt better to use the clothes I packed then to grab something out of my closet. Maybe it had something to do with my closet being at the top of the stairs. (It was clearly not one of my better nights.)

Nate proceeded to set up two mats in the middle of the playroom. We first tried a few traditional yoga moves, and then Nate showed me a few of "his" yoga moves. Each one was harder than last, and sometimes physically impossible for an adult but somehow doable for a 4 year old.

Each new move brought on extreme pain, but with them came hysterical laughter. We laughed for a good 30 minutes. It was everything I needed in a work out! I finished with more energy than I started with, and a smile on my face.

The motto of the night. It's important to find a reliable work out partner.


January 25, 2010

Out sick-em

It's on! If anybody ever questions whether there is a competitive gene, I'll be a reference. I'll admit I'm a little competitive. I can hear my family saying, "a little????" I'll just say that growing up and playing sports it was never easy to lose, and I'll leave it at that.
As it turns out I'm not the only member of my family who has to be the fastest, smartest, and now the "sickest". That's right. Nate tried to "out sick" Jack today.
Poor little Jackie went to the E.R. at 1AM with a sever case of croup. He was having trouble breathing, had a fever, and was pretty lethargic. When Nate woke up I told him about the night, his response, "Yah, I'm sick too mommy!" (Insert a few overly dramatic attempts at a cough) It continued like that all day. He stayed home from school because he was "too sick" to go. He needed to rest in his p.j.'s for the entire day in order to get his "energy" back. That's a direct quote.

I went to work for a few hours, and when I kissed the kids goodbye I said to Jack, "I hope you feel better". The peanut gallery piped up and said, "Do you hope I feel better too mommy?" (The poor child never gets any attention.)
The final competition came at dinner. Since Thanksgiving Nate has us go around the table and say what we're thankful for every night. He conveniently always starts with the mute member of our family.
"Let's start with Jack!"
The routine continues with me asking Jack what's he thankful for, and then inserting what I think Jack would say. Tonight I said, "Jack is thankful that he's feeling better, and can breathe easier."
Next it's Nate's turn. He is thankful for "the roof we live under, that Jack is feeling better and of course you guessed it, the fact that he is indeed "feeling better too". In case there was ever any doubt.

I'm so glad I have two very healthy boys!

January 24, 2010

Day 2.....Sig-Alert

It was time to tackle Jack Jack's room. I've always had a vision for Jack's room, but somehow never found the time to make it happen. I wanted it to look and feel like a playful circus. It matches his personality so well.

I decided to shop IKEA today. I haven't been to IKEA in over 2 years, and the moment I entered the parking garage I remembered why. I should have guessed when my cell phone lost coverage that this wasn't your ordinary store. I decided they need to dub in the Haunted Mansion's ghost when you enter. "Kindly step all the way in please and make room for everyone. There's no turning back now. This chamber has no windows and no doors, which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out!"

They are not kidding about making room for everyone. Everyone and their 6 kids. Each by the way decided to have a family reunion in the middle of the maze. This caused a massive Sig Alert. (If you aren't from Calfornia, a sig alert is defined by the CHP as "An unplanned event that causes the closing of one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more." EXACTLY accurate!
I have nothing more to say about IKEA other than I made it out, but lost about 2 hours of my life.
By the time I got home I had to bend time in space in order to get the job done. (FYI: Bend time in space is Doug's expression. He uses it when I move obscenely heavy furniture, get the oil changed, makes a 4 course dinner and bathe the kids all in a under 3 hours.)
It was one of those days. Notice the trundle bed in the picture, ie. obscenely heavy furniture. Here are the before and afters.

BEFORE -FYI it actually doesn't usually look this bad.


Jack's new reading corner. (I'm hopeful!)

My day felt like one big Sig Alert, but it's over now, and I'm happy to report the boy's rooms are organized, the playroom is clean, and I'm beat. The sad reality though is that our Hanukkah decorations are still up! Oh well, one more week of looking at the Menorah!

January 23, 2010

Everything Has It's Place...almost everything!

Spring cleaning came early this year. Maybe it was because we've been couped up for a week due to the rainy weather, or maybe just because I couldn't see the floor in the play room. Either way I woke up and pulled the trigger. I decided to rip apart the playroom, Nate's room and Jack's room in order to organize all three.

Then the panic set in. This is one of those projects where half way through you start looking around at the mess YOU'VE created and realize that the only way this is getting cleaned up is if you do it!

We needed a plan. I convinced Nate to go to Target with me to buy "organization stuff".

Nate is all about putting things in there place, so I didn't have to bribe him. Infact on the ride over he asked if he could "sort" with me. The fact that he knows the word sort makes me laugh.

We spent $230.00 on bins, hooks, pegs, labels, baskets, over-the-door organizers, you name it we bought it. We were determined to fix it. I was able to completely re-organize Nate's room, and the playroom. Jack's room will be day 2.
I finally got a little reprieve when Doug took the boys to dinner. I was able to blitz through 350 little people and about the same number of hotwheels, balls and every happy meal toy under the sun. (Which on a side note is concerning that the boys have eaten that many chicken nuggets.)

When I finally finished, I looked around and realized ahhh everything now has a place. Two minutes later Doug came home with the boys. "Guess what Mommy? Daddy bought me a toy!"
Oh joy what is it? I was hoping for something the size of a dime, no such luck.

It was an oversized Star Wars piece of crap spaceship.....which by the way now has NO place! (No picture needed, use your imagination.)

Doug could see and hear my enthusiasm for the spaceship so he ignored the subject for a bit until I asked, "Where are you guys planning to put that?"
In the end we all agreed on a perfect spot.....it will be stored in Doug's closet!

In anycase, here is the final outcome of the very productive day!

January 22, 2010

Writers Block

So it took me about 2 hours of changing font, and adding and deleting "gadgets" on my new blog before I gave up on perfection. At this rate I will be setting up the site longer than actually posting something. I showed Doug each revision, and asked his "professional" opinion every time. I'm pretty sure I didn't take any of his advice, but at least I didn't work in a vacuum. Finally he said, "Just write something". I clicked Save, and here I am. Stuck. Nothing to say on my first blog. There is pressure to say something meaningful. but really all I did tonight is walk to Celia's our favorite Mexican restaurant, drink a margarita, clean beans off Jack from head to toe, and negotiate with Nathan how he'll play Star Wars without shooting somebody. Doug's response, "He can use the light saber". Hmm would I rather have him shoot somebody or kill them with a sword of light. So many decisions on my first day of blogging.