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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Parenthood Experience


Before you become a parent you know that there will be late night feedings when you have an infant, you understand that you are in charge of a little person's life and you sort of know that your life will forever change once your child enters your world. You just don't quite realize how being a parent changes everything about you until your child enters your world.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was elated. Like most women do when they are pregnant, I read up on pregnancy, planned for the birth and either bought or registered for all things baby. I bonded with my little person when he was inside of me. I loved feeling the kicks, would sing to him and did everything I could to take care of that little person.

Then on a warm summer afternoon, my son was born. The feeling of happiness my husband and I had was just indescribable. My son was healthy, beautiful and he was ours. We took the parenting role with hardly any problems once we got home. I am still amazed by my husband's ability of taking care of both my son and I that first week. We got into a semi routine of late night feedings, diaper changes and worked as a team. It was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.

As my son grew from an infant to a toddler, we realized that things were rapidly changing. We still hadn't received a full nights sleep. Going places took a bit of prep work and planning and we had to really organize our schedule on when we would do things. And then even with careful planning and organization, life has gone from scheduled to unpredictable. I am not complaining, just stating the facts. Ear infections would make a content toddler not very tolerable. Naps if they last under two hours told us the outcome for the rest of the day would be less then pleasurable. Teething was another problem. The lack of communication a toddler has when he REALLY wants something was difficult to guess. For my husband and I, it woke us up to realizing a new stage has entered our lives.

My son is what you call all boy. He is an amazing individual with so much personality. He's feisty, stubborn, sweet, cuddly, and full of gusto. His personality traits can be so wonderful in entering into new situations. He takes them on head strong without a care in the world. He is not a shy individual. He dives in head first. With those character traits comes some down fall though in wanting to do things he shouldn't or can't, so therefore he gets quite frustrated. For instance, the other day he thought he could go down two steps with his ride on toy as if he was going down a ramp. Wrong! He cried for a second (I would of cried longer if I was him), but then went right on to playing. I was shocked.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that you can never predict what your experience will be or what little personalities your children will have. Its amazing the things they come up with or the little quirks that they have (good and bad). You can see yourself in your own child and then you can see your spouse in your child as well. Its like they carefully picked traits of you both and ran with it. We are learning new things everyday with handling temper tantrums, communication and connecting as a family. My son is not cutting my husband or I short on the whole parenting experience thats for sure.

All In


Recently my husband and I have started a new trend of playing games with each other every night. Not "couple" games (I know where some of your minds were leading), but actual games like dominoes and poker. With a kid upstairs sleeping, it is obviously hard to leave the house to go have some one on one couple nights, but this way we take a minute away from the computer and away from the television to actually interact with each other. I personally am loving it.

Last night per usual we busted out the dominoes to play another game. We at first started out playing Mexican Train, but the game goes along much better and much quicker with more people playing. So we started just playing the original dominoes game. I believe last night was the first night I won dominoes against my husband. He kept anticipating what I would put down next and if I didn't have a certain numbered side, he would remember it. That got increasingly frustrating. He's such a competitor, but then again aren't all males? Never the less, his strategy sucked and I ended up winning. Feeling a little confident of myself, I asked if he would teach me Texas Hold 'Em. It is his game that he plays frequently on his guys night out and I wanted to learn.

We headed down his "man cave" aka the basement to play on his home made poker table. It was the poker table that I helped make by crouching on top of the table nine months pregnant so my husband could fasten down the middle and it was my first real time playing on it. First my husband made me a cheat sheet of what beat what. I knew the jist of what hands were better then others what but was confused with some of the order like does a full house beat a flush. I also knew that from watching countless poker tournaments on television what cards really sucked (2,7) vs. what cards to sort of go with.

He dealt first (to teach me those separate rules of dealing) and I intently listened. To be honest, I was probably the worst student of all time. I learned the rules fair enough, corrected myself when doing big blinds vs. small blinds and asked a few questions. I just had no poker face and my mind half the time was elsewhere. I looked at my husband and beamed with a silly little girl smile every time I thought I had something. I also would just stare at my husband. Not to stare him down to figure out what he had or contemplate his next move. I stared because my husband looked so darn cute while patiently trying to teach the game to me. His quiet tone, beautiful green eyes and that one strand of curl that fell down across his forehead was just a bit much for me to handle. He was hot and had no idea.

Obviously with my lack of knowledge on the game, my lack of a good poker face and my constant distraction, I lost the game pretty badly. At one point I was confused when I thought I had three pair (which apparently doesn't exist) and my husband had a flush. It would of been obvious (especially with the cheat sheet) on who won that hand, but I was distracted and I blame that on my husband even though he has no clue why.

I guess what I am trying to say in this post is, have a date night. A simple date night in your own home where you actually see each other instead of focused on a screen. Playing board games, card games, etc., is just plain fun and if your spouse can teach you a game then why not learn? TV and computers are fun and all, but I would never trade them for my date nights at home. My focus is much better looking.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bathroom Habits


Okay so this is not a post about my bathroom habits or my kids bathrooms habits. If I had a blog on offices, it would probably be more appropriate to post there, but I don't. So just humor me a bit and listen, perhaps answer some questions and/or give me some insight. I have categorized some women's habits (and I don't believe it is just one) on what I experience at least once a week at the office bathroom

The Bathroom Flusher
This is one that baffles me. A woman (lets hope) comes in and flushes the toilet before she uses it. It isn't the fact that people do not flush toilets after they are done where I work. I actually have NEVER had that problem. I just wonder what does that do exactly? Does that take away some butt germs? Do you just want a clean pot even though the water was clear of bodily functions before? I don't get it.

The Mid Flusher
This REALLY baffles me. A woman will be obviously using the bathroom, flush and then continue to use it. Sometimes it between a number 1 and a number 2. I am hoping the woman lifts her butt just a little off the seat, because I am sure with the power of the commercial toilet flush, water always comes up just a little bit. Gross I know, which is why I need to know the purpose of the mid flush. It isn't like we're all heavy set construction workers using the bathroom after an all you can eat Indian buffet and fear clogging the toilet. What is the deal?

The Procrastinator
This is the woman that just sucks. I think its pretty common (at least in a woman's public bathroom) that if you are going #2, you wait to do the job to refrain from any noisy embarrassments while another woman is in the bathroom. If you know a woman is doing a #2, then you do what you need to do and get out of there. Its common courtesy. Now there are some exceptions to that rule. Sometimes women can not hold it and we all sympathize silently and make a quick exit. Except we have these women that like to dawdle even though you just squeaked out one noisy you know what (sorry to be descriptive here) and they just wait around doing their hair, fixing their make up, and singing Kum Ba Ya. Okay, well maybe they don't sing, but you get the jist of what I am saying. Just do everyone a favor and leave. You don't need to look hot at work and you don't need to redo your hair seven million times.

The Over Compulsive Handwasher
Now this is a tricky one. I fully believe you should wash your hand thoroughly after using the bathroom. We all know the "Happy Birthday Rule". So washing your hands for longer then what it would take Sarah McLaughlin or Pink Floyd to sing one of their songs is insane.

The Bathroom Sprayer
Not to be too gross, but you know when someone has had a gross you know what and when the bathroom smells just fine. Even with the bathroom sprayer you know if it was needed or not. However, some woman or women where I work is in love with this spray regardless of the situational smell going on in the bathroom. The spray smells nasty and just about as good as the scent of Aqua Net. This person or persons always use this can like they went through every inch of the bathroom and used this spray. I am all for masking nasty odors, but use it sparingly and don't use it when the bathroom is odor free. I have actually contemplated about throwing the can away, but my fear is that would be regretted next time I enter the bathroom.

Finally, I don't want you to think that all I do is use a bathroom or stay in there for long periods of time at work. I don't. I do what I need to do and get out. There is no reason to hang out there. I just wonder what the hell is up with some of these women?

Capitals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Now I would not be a true fan if I didn't talk about the AMAZING Caps win last night against the New York Rangers. Hubby and I were a little concerned with Varlamov (the rookie goalie) having his 21st birthday the night before. However, he did not disappoint. In fact he was freaking amazing!!!!!!! What was disappointing was the Caps 1st and 2nd period play, which was sluggish at best. Thankfully Fedorov scored an amazing goal in the last five minutes of the third period which won the came 2 to 1.

Next we are to play the Pens. Not looking too forward to that as the team is pretty good and although I typically love when my team plays rival teams, I just don't like the Pens. I'd rather not see Crosby boo hoo for the tenth millionth time about some damn injustice he felt was done to him. Come on man you play hockey, not freaking golf. He certainly doesn't take hits or stand his ground like Ovie. My hope is for a quick second round of the playoffs and the Caps just move forward to the third round. If that happens this entire area is going to go nuts. FINALLY hockey is getting some recognition in this town. Its about DAMN time!

Go CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dads Are Parents


I think the talk of Dads being involved comes up at least once (probably more) in discussions Moms have with their girlfriends, sisters and other fellow Moms. We complain about us as Moms taking the role as more of the caregiver and that we sacrifice countless things for our kids. I had an epiphany if you will Dads are parents, but just have different parenting techniques.

As Moms, we typically are the ones that take off work a bit more or stay at home all for the sake of our kids. We forget that sometimes Dads often have higher paying jobs despite that we shouldn’t have gender bias in the work place and should be paid equally, but it is a reality. It isn’t that my husband doesn’t make career sacrifices as well. My husband sacrifices time in the office to be home with the family at a decent hour so we can all eat dinner together even though everyone else at the office works until my son’s bed time. He still takes off for school events in the middle of the day. We just know that logically if one of us has to take leave because our kid is sick, then it should be me. I get paid less. It is just fact.

We as Moms also pride ourselves in getting fantastic Valentine’s Day cards for our kids Valentine’s Day parties, pick the cutest outfits for special events and organize fantastic birthday parties. Kids would still survive if everything wasn’t planned to the tee. Valentine’s Day cards may be done last minute. Clothes would be bought but be kept simplistic. There would be no 15 million shirts or 10 million pants in the drawers to choose from. Birthday parties would be kept simple with a BBQ, a few games and alcohol for the parents. There would be no pony rides, moon bounces and over expensive goody bags. Dads would have needs met, not over done or over planned.

And when Moms say they have sacrificed, this and that, Dads have sacrificed too. They sacrificed living in a logical and sane world when our pregnant selves were over emotional and made absolutely no sense (like when we needed everything cleaned this instant and it was 8 o’clock at night and no one was coming over the next day). They quietly and patiently listen to over emotional phone calls from us when they should be in a work meeting, but instead hear about poop on the walls or what HIS child just did. My husband and I play things 50/50. We take turns on who gets to sleep in on weekend mornings. He gives his last bit of food because his son wants it. He also gets no concept of privacy as our son has to be in every room he is in, including the bathroom. He makes sure that before he goes out to play poker that our son is quietly nestled away in his crib, that I (the Mom) has a drink, the phone and a movie to watch. I’m just saying, Dads do sacrifice. They just sacrifice sometimes in a different way.

I also think Moms stereotype themselves and get mad over it when we in fact do it to ourselves. Yes I said it. We say things like “he’s babysitting the kids”. No he isn’t babysitting. It is his kids. Does it dare call it babysitting? If he does…then God help him. We feel guilty for asking our husbands to do this or that when they should do this or that. Moms tend to have “Mommy Wars” on who is better, the stay at home Mom or the working Mom. Would men ever argue about that crap? We tend to push our husbands out of the way with doing things “our way” because we feel it is the correct way to do it. I am sure that sibling fights would be refereed, cuts would be mended and school projects would be finished. It would just be done differently.

I am not saying that Moms don’t sacrifice, because we do. We just can’t act like martyrs or that Dads don’t know what they are doing. Give them a little credit. They do know what they are doing just give them that chance or they will figure it out. It just won’t be always YOUR way. Remember this, they do listen to you boss your kids around and them around usually without a word. Would you stay so quiet as to have that be done to you? We are event planners, organizers, shoppers and referees because we choose to be. Dads can do that too. They just rather not listen to you tell them what they are or are not doing right, when to do it, why they didn’t do it correctly and what they should have done.

So in the end if Dads ruled the roost (I mean really ruled the house) and Moms listened and did what they were told to do, it would be a bit different of a world and perhaps a simpler world and less over planned. Moms and Dads are both needed in each family. Both balance each other out. Each help each other through their own parenting techniques on how to manage a household. It doesn’t have to be a one woman show, because if you remember Dads are parents just with different techniques.

My Childhood


The journal post got me reflecting of the little memories and thoughts I had of the world when I was a kid. What I wanted to be. What I thought life was going to be like when I was older. What type of money I wanted to make. What type of man I was going to marry. I wish I could rewind back to my childhood and listen to my thoughts and see my own little experiences that have been long forgotten.

When I was a kid, my dreams of what I wanted to be when I grew up was to be a Mom and a author. My first baby doll was named "baby" and then when I got a little older his name was "John". He had green eyes and brown hair. Although my baby's name isn't John, he does have green eyes and brown hair. I remember "taking care" of my baby and he would go with me everywhere; to the speech therapist, day care (tucked away in my cubby) and the doctors office. It didn't matter where I went, John in the early years was always with me. Then as I got a little older I had more "babies". I had favorites called Kori (named after a crush) and a few others. I remember playing house with my friends and while they would have just one baby that they wanted to take care of, I remember having at least three to five babies that I would play Mommy too. I always wanted kids and always wanted more then just one or two.

While I haven't fulfilled my dream of becoming a published author, I have fulfilled it somewhat with this blog. Here there are no rejection letters, editors or deadlines. I write what I want and when I want to. I still would love to write a childrens book of some sort someday. Put that on my bucket list if you will. As a kid I would write tons and tons of stories. My biggest story (which I have to get from my parents old computer) was called Stars and Stripes Forever. The story took place during the Victorian era and told a tale about a woman named Geraldine who was married to the Captain of a ship. During the voyage, the ship was overrun with pirates and the Captain died bravely defending his crew. Geraldine was obviously distraught but on the voyage home, she became comforted by a sailor and they fell in love with each other before reaching port. I was seven when I wrote the book and I remember my Nagymama (Grandmother in Hungarian) reading it thoughtfully and telling me what a wonderful writer I was. I'll always be thankful for that memory. It is one of my fondest with my Nagymama.

I thought life for everyone was easy. I remember thinking that everyone lived like middle class families and had single family homes. There weren't a lot of town homes/apartments where I was from or at least I can remember. You either lived in a house or a trailer. Everyone had a Mom and a Dad. Everyone had a sibling to fight with. Everyone went to church on Sundays. I guess my parents can pat themselves on the back as their kid had such a good outlook on everyone's life. Things like poverty, hunger and abuse were things that I never heard of and I am glad for that. As a child you should be educated in things to an extent, but being a bit naive is good too.

I also remember during an episode of The Cosby Show where Cliff Huxtable's salary was made to light. He made around $50,000 a year. I remember thinking that was a TON of money and how I wish I would make $50,000 a year some day. I laugh at that now because where I live and what people do around here, $50,000 these days just is not a "ton" of money.

As for marrying someone. I didn't have an ideal man really. I mean who does when they are a kid? My childhood dream men were Crocodile Dundee and Indiana Jones. Not really the marrying type or the settling down type. But I believed that once you got married that you could immediately move into a sprawling single family home. I remember I had picked out a home close to my church that was in a neighborhood where "rich people lived". I had no idea what things cost or what people could afford. I just figured I was going to live there and drive my kids around in my little tikes yellow top car.

Would I ever dream of marrying the man I am married to now? Not at all and to a Russian no less. When I was a kid, there was a fear of Russians. I had no idea why but they were the bad guy back then. I remember a neighborhood kid and I building a "bomb shelter" (aka a a 4x4 foot hole in the ground three foot deep). The bomb shelter was for when the Russians came and we would hide out there waiting for them (we waited a lot). I guess we were to protect the neighborhood? We collected all sorts of sticks, rocks, and pine cones to defend ourselves. Now I am married to "the enemy" I would of thrown sticks, rock and pine cones at as a kid. He really is the love of my life and I couldn't of dreamed of a better husband or Father for my son. I actually love his culture, love his language and love the little quirks that make him Russian. For instance, I love that he has made me sit down for a minute before we leave the house on a trip because Russians believe it is good luck. We have survived vacations together and come back in tact, so I guess it is working!

So while I viewed my adult years as a kid in much different way, it has also gave me wonderful memories to look back on. I am proud of the things that my youth has taught me and glad I overcame the whole "defend myself against the Russians" thing. Sometimes your childhood dreams do come true. I have my baby and will hopefully have more someday. I make more then Cliff Huxtable. Although I don't live in a rich neighborhood, I have a beautiful home and drive a car a bit better then the little tikes little yellow roof top car. I have a husband who treats me with the love and respect. He may not be Crocodile Dundee or Indiana Jones, but he is much cuter and a lot more down to Earth then those guys. And if he ever gets out of line, I just may throw a pine cone at him for good measure.

Journal for My Son


My husband's Mom came up with a nice idea of writing a journal for my son. Sure I have a blog dedicated to my son's milestones, achievements and funny little stories, but as my other Mom put it "writing a personal journal by hand is just a tad bit better. It has your handwriting." I couldn't agree more.

While visiting my other Mom one day at her house, she came over with a well worn, thick and bound book. She said "this is a journal that my Mom gave me when I became an adult". It was a journal filled with pages of thoughts and stories written by her mother about my Moms growing up years. To my other Mom, this was a true treasure for her. I couldn't but help wish my own Mom had done something like that for me. Know what she was thinking when I was growing up. What her dreams were of mine at the time and the little every day stories that she had forgotten about. What was she feeling when I was 2, 7 or when I hit those tedious teenage years? My other Mom had it all written out for her by her own Mom.

So although my son's personal blog will still be maintained, I am going to start a journal just for him. My son's blog is for him and for the world. This journal will be just for him. He may appreciate it someday or maybe not, but at least it will be filled with thoughts and stories of his childhood.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today Was A Hard Day


This morning was a hard morning for Mommy. It was not because of a family crisis, an illness or even an injury (THANK GOD). It was a hard day because this Mom did not want to drop off her little munchkin at day care.

My little man who is always busy, on the go and just loves to go to school, wanted his Mom today. Typically each morning, Dad does the drop offs while Mom does the pick ups at day care. However, there was no getting out the house with a toddler scrambling up your leg to be held (that tugged on my heart strings) and held onto me so tightly in fear of being put down. He wanted me and he needed me. He wasn't sick or hurt, he just wanted his Mom.

So off to day care I went with my little man in tow. My husband had a morning to himself and I had the hard task of the drop off. My little man and I entered the day care just fine. He was up looking around until we entered his classroom. He didn't cry or whine, but just simply put his head on my shoulder trying to melt into my arms. I loved that but at the same time my heart hurt because I needed to go to work. I could of stayed there forever with my little toddler all nestled on my shoulder absorbing the rare times that he just wants to stay still and cuddle. I had to go though (I was already almost an hour late) and had to watch as my son cradled into another woman's arms.

It was hard for me to say goodbye for a few short hours. I wanted more then anything to just take him back home and be with him all day. If it hadn't been for a severe ear infection that he had last week, which took me out of work for two days, I would of turned right around and stayed with him. I miss my little man, but I am sure he's having fun as he always does. I'll just be thinking of him today as I do each day, but with a heavier heart and missing my morning cuddles. Mommy misses you little man.

Week/Weekend Events!



With the nice weather it is time to get out of the house and have some fun! Check out this week's events at the NOVA Parenting Activities website. There are a lot of fantastic events in our area! Lots to choose from!

Friday, April 24, 2009

17 again? Would you really?


A movie came out recently called 17 Again. The story is about a boy name Mike O’Donnell (played by Zac Efron) who goes back twenty years to relive his past. It got me thinking, would I really want to go back to when I was 17? Would I do anything different?

When I was 17, I was a senior in high school. I was dating a nice guy and had a lot of good friends. I suppose if I had to pick the best year of high school in where I actually was more me then putting on a fake facade, it would be when I was 17. However dealing with stupid high school rules, silly high school drama and taking my parents seriously as authority figures once again would just suck. Although it was a fun year of dances, parties, and just being a kid (even though I thought I was grown up), it was also a hard year. One of my closest friends Mom had died a little over a year ago (I thought she was an amazing woman) and her absence was still a constant reminder. Other then my Mom she made the most amazing brownies. I also did not know what I wanted to do with my life let alone where to go to college. I really believed that everyone else knew exactly what to do and I was the only one who didn’t. I was naive in thinking the world revolved around me and selfishly lashed out at people because I was jealous, insecure or just plain rude. I didn’t have it all together. Then again, what 17 year old does?

So would I do anything different if I went back in time? Probably. If I were to go back then, I would care less what other people thought, eat like a pig (because I never gained a damn ounce) and do more school activities. I would also probably tell some of my friends back then to take a hike, as a few were really pompous jerks and I have no idea why I hung out with them. I would remind myself that I was beautiful (because I was) and the girls that looked like they had it all together will be later serving you dinner at a local restaurant with tired eyes and are no longer as “hot”. I would save money for the future. I would find my now husband and watch him from afar just to remember what he was like in high school.

Then again, I wouldn’t really care to change most of it (except for the crappy friends and seeing my husband). I think the life lessons that I learned back then really helped me form the person I am today. I am stronger, wiser, and more aware of the world. My 17 year old self was ignorant of the world and to me that was okay. A 17 year old shouldn’t know what the world is really made of. Being 17 is that last stage of your childhood when you don’t have to figure out what the world really means. Those things like mortgages, screaming babies, and working as a cubicle rat 8-9 hours a day does not exist. To be 17 again? Maybe, but only as a short vacation. Long term though, I’ll take the world on as my old ass self.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Seven Years


Seven years ago I made the decision to be with my husband forever. Yup you heard me, it was roughly three years before he proposed and four years before we actually got married. Pretty intense stuff for a nineteen year old, but I knew and I had a plan on when I would ask my then boyfriend (referring to him as that sounds so silly to me) to be with just plain old me and no body else.

Our relationship started out a bit cumbersome. I was dating my high school sweetheart and he had recently graduated from high school (let it be known we both met each other while we were both in high school). In any case, September 11, 2001 occurred. The nation was in shock, mourning and devastated. My then boyfriend and I were hanging out at my house (my parents house) and taking in everything that happened that day. It was dark out (not sure of the time period exactly) when I got a phone call. It was my boyfriend's twin brother asking for his brother. He basically wanted his brother to ditch me to go out with the guys, which was really uncool in my book. I hung up on him and the phone rang a second later. I recognized the number and without really asking who it was, I just told off the person on the other end of the line thinking it was this brother badgering me again. But it wasn't the twin, it was a friend of theirs, a guy that I met on a few occasions called James.

Now James to me was an okay guy back then. He was known to the group as the ladies man. He never had a problem talking to girls or asking them for their phone number. His guy friends couldn't believe his frankness with the girls or his easy going/non nervous style of approaching the opposite sex. I thought of him as a womanizer. An okay guy in general, but a womanizer. Guys that do that (in my mind) usually thought of girls as notches on their bed post and I kept my distance.

So when this James guy answered back after I told him off , he calmly letting me know that he was put up to it and I felt guilty. He then told me that they were outside of my house anyways and to come out, which consisted of himself, the twin brother and two other friends. I honestly felt about an inch tall, so instead of being mad that they were not listening to me, I went outside to apologize. It was dark, chilly Fall night. I remember looking up at this James character and saying to him how sorry I was and that I thought it was so and so. He opened up his arms to hug me and I accepted. He pulled me in and I could feel the tightness of his black and yellow motorcycle jacket, the strength of his arms and the smell of his cologne. I tried pulling away after a millisecond, but nope James went right on hugging me. The guys laughed (as it was typical James style to do something like that). Once I felt him loosen his grip, I pulled away quickly only to see a smirk on his face and a shine in his eye. I decided to play nice (after the rather embarrassing episode with James) and I let my boyfriend go off with the guys and I stayed behind because I had school the following morning. Then as I watched the news, not five minutes after the boys had left, I saw that my classes were canceled for next day. I called up the phone number on my caller id and James answered again. He told me where they were and I drove off to meet with them.

I remember pulling up in my '95 oxidizing red Ford Probe while the boys waited patiently outside next to James's and Josh's motorcycles at the Sheetz gas station on route 50. Where to next was the question and the twins decided to go a pool hall their Dad used to take them to. We all headed to Shooters in Leesburg. As I drove into the night, I figured out how fun this was and realized my boyfriend and I really had never hung out with his friends together and that it would be nice to know some of these guys. The pool hall was less then packed and a few other girls met the group of guys and me at the pool hall. I never met them before but was happy to meet new people, but soon found that these girls really wanted nothing to do with me and for no real particular reason. I remember at one point one of the girls looking at this sad faced James and asking him what was wrong. He shrugged her off. For some reason, I figured I'd be a bit of a you know what and ask James the same question wondering if I would get a different response. He took the bait (or maybe it was the other way around) and he told me how he wanted a girlfriend. He wanted someone like me. I told him perhaps someday he would get one and to just be patient. Now if that isn't the damn truth.

Later that night I called my boyfriend from my house phone to let him know I got home okay when I got a ring on my cell phone, it was James. My boyfriend at the time wondered why the hell he was calling, but all James wondered was what my screen name was for IM and he would meet talk to me in a little bit. I complied because as a nineteen year old I was obviously curious and nosy on what he wanted. We talked well into the night.

Over the days and weeks. James and my relationship blossomed. It was a secret relationship as I was still dating my high school boyfriend. I didn't mean for a relationship to start and me to be deemed an emotional cheater, but there I was. I was cheating and although I felt pretty rotten for it, I also loved the exhilarating feeling that James gave me that my long term boyfriend just didn't give me anymore. My boyfriend at the time was a honest to God good guy and my one regret was the secrecy I kept from him and wasn't forthright and honest. I was young and had no idea what I was doing anyways. So with the relationship blooming came secret kisses, secret meetings and secret phone calls. My alias was Emily as James proudly talked about how he met this awesome Emily to the rest of his boys and my boyfriend with me sitting there and probably getting quite red. He was brazen all right and I liked it.

Eventually James wanted me for himself. Maybe he knew from the first night, I am not sure. So he started pressuring me on telling my then boyfriend to come forward about his and my relationship. To be honest, I didn't know how to approach it. My boyfriend and I were close and I did not want to break his heart. So James grew inpatient, told his twin brother and then that is when I had to come clean about what was going on. Let me tell you, that went over REAL well.

At first I did not know what I wanted nor did my boyfriend at that time know what he wanted. Did I want the guy that I knew well, was fond of and secure with? Or, did I want the guy that was charming, handsome and mysterious? I flip flopped for a bit to be honest. Then I decided I would stay put and decided to keep the boyfriend. James would call a million times and I would say and do ruthless and mean things to him. I told him to leave me alone, but I honestly wanted nothing more to go back to the secret ways where I did not have to make a decision. My boyfriend and my relationship was very rocky and very awkward. Then when my boyfriend let a friend of his call me a "ho", that was it for me. We broke up and I called James that night.

Surprisingly James came out with me that night. It was Halloween and we took a friend's little sister trick or treating. It was a casual night of just tad bit of awkwardness, but we survived. I then later, I flip flopped again and broke up with James right before Christmas. He had even bought a Christmas present stashed it under my parents Christmas tree. I decided then that I wanted to be alone. To explore my options. To casually date and not be held down. I wanted to live the single life. If James was up for dating then I would let him date me but not exclusively. I told James that he could take back his Christmas present but he declined. Instead he came over and opened it for me. Inside was a pair of sapphire earrings, sapphire necklace and ring. I remember how violently he was shaking while putting all the jewelry on me. He was hurting and wanted so much just to be with me. I felt bad (he'll probably say differently), but I had made up my mind and I am a stubborn girl. I was going to be single for a while.

Now the single part did not go as planned. James frequently made sure that most date nights were filled with him coming over or him hanging out with my friends and I. He was damned determined for me to not meet any guys. I believe during that time I only met two. One was shorter then me (I am only 5'1" people) and thought he was God's gift because he had an M3. I was less then impressed and never saw this guy again. The other guy #2 was ten years older then me, a foot and a half taller then me and my guy friends did not like him one bit. So he was out.

Eventually James with his persistent attitude and charm made his way back into my life. I stopped thinking about being single and started really falling for the guy that I met on that September 11th night. He never gave up on me. He was always there. So I gave in. I wanted him for myself. I did not want to hurt him anymore and decided that if our relationship was to ever end, then he would be the one breaking up with me. Therefore on April 23rd, I asked him at the stroke of midnight on my parents step if he would be with just me.

The rest is history. Seven years later we are married. I gush over that man like a teenager and love him deeply like a wife loves her husband. He is forever my rock, my best friend, my confidant. He has given me the most wonderous and glorious gift, my son. My world wakes up with him being here and I go to sleep hearing the quiet whispers of his breath. He's my world. I love you babies. Here is to seven years and may there be seventy years of joy after this.

Dr. Laura


Dr. Laura has released a new book called In Praise of Stay-at-Home-Moms and I am outraged! Her book basically talks about how stay at home Mom is the best answer for everyone all around and that if you don't, her heart aches for you.

In a article on Baby Center, it discusses how Dr. Laura thinks that no mother should never return to work after her first is born until he/she is of school age. She talks about even in the economic hard times that parents should prioritize things so that one parent can stay home. If we don't then we are abandoning our child to the quote "day orphanages". Then while we go to our jobs, at least one parent is selfishly working to buy extra materialistic items or inflate their own ego. Excuse me?

Apparently this woman does not know we are in a recession. That perhaps some parents have to work to put food on the table and a roof over their child's head. Maybe those things are "material" to her. There are also Moms that LOVE to be Moms but would absolutely go bonkers if they did not have an outside job and are better Moms for it. I can say that there are Moms that belong to stay at home with their kids and there are Moms that should go to work for either their sanity or really suck at being home all day and aren't doing their kids justice.

I also am kind of (well lets be frank) pissed off that she indicates Moms should stay at home. What about Dads? What about stay at home Dads? This is gender bias where you think the woman should stay home and attend to her flock and husbands needs. I for one knew a family where the Dad stayed home and it was fantastic. The kids thrived and Mom pulled in the money the family needed. For that family, it made financial sense.

I just think that Dr. Laura is going overboard here. Heck, she only stayed at home until her own son was three, which is obviously before elementary school age. Pot calling the kettle black are we? What I find more baffling is that people agree with her on this stance. Are you nuts?

The key thing to learn from here is that we as Moms need to not judge another family or another situation because you don't know a family's situation. You don't know their finances, their background or their needs. As I have said before and will say again, as long as the parents are doing things in the best interest of their child then just leave them alone and let them be and stop judging!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Week and Weekend Events


I probably should of posted this on Tuesday but my son was sick. Please check out the NOVA Parenting Activities link (as linked or on the side bar) for events in the area happening this week and this coming up weekend. As I find more activities, I will post those as well so keep checking back because there may be something new listed!

Raindrops and Roses



So me being a bit sentimental today, I decided to write about a few favorite things that don't cost a thing that I like, what my husband likes (we'll keep it G rated) and what my son likes.

My Favs
1. Spending time with my family and just being around each other alone in the house on a rainy day or during the evening after dinner.
2. Going to a new place to explore with the family or returning back to favorite places.
3. I love it when both my guys (toddler and husband) kiss me or hug me for no reason at all.
4. Taking bubble baths....alone.
5. Hanging out with my family and my sister and her family.
6. Even though it is silly, I like when my Mom answers the phone and says "Hi Pumpkin Pumpkin". It makes me feel like a kid again and I always smile.
7. When my husband tells me "stories". He can pick any story he likes from his memory rather it be about his childhood, our dating days or recent memories. I love hearing things from his perspective.
8. I love the fact that every time I sit in "indian position" and for the more PC term "legs crossed" that my son thinks that is where he should plop his butt down.
9. I guess this could go with hugging/kissing but it is different for me. I love it when my husband hugs me from behind while I am doing something like cleaning dishes in the sink.
10. The bond between my son and husband is beautiful. My son asked all day yesterday for his Dada.

Husband Favs
1. Hearing his son say "Dada". It always makes him smile, especially when he comes home from work.
2. Loving that his wife actually cleaned a room or area without him having to do it. He is far cleaner then I am, I'll admit that.
3. Sunday morning football
4. Friday night poker
5. Its a love/hate thing but he likes to be pestered sometimes by his wife in a flirty way.
6. Making food for anyone.
7. Me making dinner for once.
8. Teaching me something new that I probably should know how to do (html, etc.,)
9. Date nights with his wife
10. His son wanting kisses and hugs from his Dada without him asking for one.

Son's Favs
1. Seeing Mama and Dada when they get off work.
2. Being a little mooch in eating both of his parents desserts.
3. Getting picked up whenever he asks for it (for the most part I draw the line when I am using the bathroom).
4. Story time
5. Watching the "goal show" aka hockey.
6. When his Mom and Dad are silly with him
7. Sitting next to his Mom on her part of the couch and putting her favorite blanket on him too. What a snuggler!
8. Baths with the exception of getting his head washed.
9. Going outside. It doesn't matter where but going anywhere is fine to him
10. Music rather it be singing songs or listening to it. He loves to dance to it and hear it!

It Comes In Threes


Have you ever heard the expression "things come in threes"? In my home, it certainly has done just that and in a way that I hope the expression is right because honestly I don't want another damn thing to happen. It is not that I am complaining but just stating the obvious fact that when one person is down in the house, the entire house feels it. The juggling act that was going so well flopped and then you need to scurry ahead to reclaim that position of being ahead of everything.

My husband (God love him), goes out each Sunday morning to play football. I honestly love that he gets out there and exercises as well as have some guy time. Every person needs time to just be for a while. I totally get that. Plus he comes home at a decent time (after my son's nap) so we can do what we need to do. However, on Sunday my poor guy comes home with a swollen ankle, turned black and blue and is hurting. I felt and still feel (he is still recovering) so badly for him. He also feels bad because its the obvious note that although he bust his butt to do lots of things for the family in the house he just isn't can't do everything 120 thousand percent like he does every day. Its okay though because I (aka The Mom) has got this and he can obviously rest up and help out as he can. I would expect him to do that for me (which he has on like a million occasions).

Then next my son has a all night cry fest (more then usual) that lands him in the doc office the very next morning. I felt guilty having the doc tell me he had a severe ear infection. He was fussy during the week, but I figure he was just being a cranky toddler because we had in fact missed some naps and he can't communicate well on the things he wants. Plus the kid wasn't pulling on his ear one bit. So two down...

Next comes Mom. Now when two parents are down, there goes the house. I was trying to be fantastic for my son and my husband. I wanted to give them a break even though my husband was doing more then he should on a busted ankle. So last night rolls around and as I am steaming the delicious crab legs (that my husband bought for the family). I lift the pot lid up and WHOOSH comes the steam burning my wrist. I was still damn determined to eat my crab, so I sat in pain as I iced my wrist between each cracking and pulling out fresh crab meat. I still was in quite a bit of pain that night and honestly had enough. I called in my reinforcements (aka my parents) and asked what I could do for the pain. I don't have time to be sitting in pain with one good arm. Thankfully they came over with some nice aloe and cloths for my wrist, then my husband graciously gave up the wrap that the doctor put around his ankle to hold everything in place. How cool is my family!

So when I say things come in threes, it better damn well happen, at least in this instance. I don't want another thing to happen. My house can take a beating for a while (that is fine). I just need to be able to do what I do and get what I need to get done for my son even if its just with one good arm. So no more burns, no more ear infections (lets hope) and no more sprained ankles for a while and if it could be forever...that is better yet.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dani's Duds is a DUD



I wanted to make a comment to all the readers in this blog about an event I posted in the NOVA Parenting Activities blog. I listed an event called Dani's Duds that occurred from Thursday to Sunday at the Dulles Expo show. I like any other savvy shopping Mama in today's world am always looking for a great deal, so even though Saturday was beautiful, my husband and I decided to make a short stop to the show. Like I said, I love finding a good buy.

I should have known from the almost empty parking lot that this show was a bust or maybe I just arrived too late for any good pickings. I figured because the weather was so nice that perhaps there was less people there, but my husband and I continued on.

I went first to the boys section in search of a extra outfit for the day care bin for accidents days and for clothing for the fall. I figured there must be some nice shirts, maybe a pants, and finding a snowsuit OR winter coat would be fantastic. I would take any of those picks. However, what I found was terribly worn clothing that if I were the vendor would be embarrassed to even put out. The clothing was paper thin worn and resembled clothing that far exceeded items that I wore in my childhood. I am no second hand snob either,as I have bought my share of second hand clothing, but it was pretty bad. They had one outfit that as a friend and I once put "if I wore that I would kick my own butt". I moved on though still in hopes for some seasonal wear. There were no jackets his size (well one but it was neon) and no snowsuits. I half expected the snow suits, but I thought perhaps a coat would be on the rack? I am hoping that perhaps these donators chose to donate their coats to a charity and perhaps that is why there was simply nothing to choose from. They did have lots of shoes for sell, but many of them were very worn. On pair of sandals, it priced for $5, which I later bought from Target brand new in the same style for $12.99. At least the Velcro stayed on, so it was well worth the extra $7.

They did have some toys for sell. Not great but they had some more popular items like Little People Sets, stationary play sets, etc., I did not get why they sold car seats. Shouldn't you NOT buy used cars seats? To each their own though.

To sum up, I will not be posting in the next go around on my NOVA Parenting Activities website when the next Dani's Duds will be at the Dulles Expo. I know they come around twice a year (spring and fall), but to me the price of admission just was not at all worth it. If you want to find great deals then I say go to Kid 2 Kid in Centreville, Lords and Ladies in South Riding or visit The Children's Place at Potomac Mills Mall where I found a brand new and cute shirt for merely a $1.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend Events


If you can get tickets to the Caps game this Saturday, which is probably sold out, this is the top event of the weekend. Period.

For other ideas please visit the new NOVA Parenting Activities website for weekly and weekend events. There are some cool events taking place all around our area.

Caps


This weekend marks game two of the Caps vs. Rangers game in the playoffs. I am really excited and hope that the Caps won't disappoint like they did last game. I am probably with most of the Caps fan when I say that the calls were a little unfair last game, but it is not an excuse. Theodore needed to pick up his game and the team needed to keep up the same level of energy in the first period in the 2nd and 3rd period. I just hope that the last game was a wake up call because the playoffs is a whole new playing field.

To make a few side notes about my favorite team, I loved that Elliott in the Morning from DC 101 figured out where the Rangers were staying and started making prank phone calls to their hotel rooms starting around 7am. Lindquist was smart and had pre-blocked any incoming phone calls to his room. However the brute of the Rangers, Sean Avery was not so intelligent (go figure). The first phone call he picked up and hung up. The second phone call he answered. Diane (of DC 101)started dialoging like she was some welcome committee and wanted to ask some questions while Elliott made lude comments in the background. Avery did not respond and promptly hung up. Not an hour later, all phone calls to the Rangers hotel rooms were blocked. I loved it!

Another side note is, I need to remember to record this upcoming game as my son now has officially shown his true love of hockey. On Wednesday around 5pm, my son sat on the couch next to me, pointed to the TV and in the few little words he knew said "goal". He knows that hockey equals the "goal show". I had to try and explain to my not yet two year old that the "goal show" will not be on until 7 o'clock. He was disappointed, but took it rather well. My husband and I looked at one and my husband exclaimed, "What are we going to do when the season is over?". Note to self, this Mom needs to record a game.

My final note of the day in regards to my favorite sport/team EVER, is that I really hope Brashear returns soon. I know he is slow and not all people like him, but he really is my favorite. I can't believe that his last fight injured his knee so badly and has knocked such a brute on his rear for such a long time! I miss my brute and can't wait to see him on the ice again.

LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not So Great Find ~ Tadoodle Crayons


Rating – D

Maybe it is just my kid, but my son really does not get these crayons. I bought them thinking that it may be easier for his little hands to color with and he just did not take to them at all. It actually made it even harder, so we went back to the regular crayons and that is fine with me. Free (well sort of) restaurant crayons can keep on a coming!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easy Snacks for Kids



This is not a post about how to pretty up snacks. My toddler could care less at this point, maybe that will be another post down the road. What I wanted to talk about were just snack ideas. Snacks are a constant at our household and I am sure I am not alone when stating that. There is a morning snack, afternoon snack, after dinner snack (sometimes) and of course you need those snacks to pop into your bag for when you go out. I will on occasion buy the bit over priced toddler snacks of Gerber puffs and Gerber wheels that my son absolutely loves. He can literally eat an entire container on what snack sitting. However, to save money, especially in this economy, I needed other snack ideas. Maybe my snack ideas are nothing new to you, but if they are then perhaps this post will be useful to you. So here are a list of my own snack ideas:

~ Bananas
This is a must in my house. My toddler goes through a entire bunch in just one week.

~Pretzel Sticks
Any size. I prefer the pretzel sticks vs the ordinary pretzel shapes because it is easier to hold and just a fraction of a percent less messy. I love these for on the go snacks. It takes a while for them to get stale in case you forget them in your glove box.

~Goldfish
We used to buy a small container of these and between the poodles getting some of the remnants and my son’s power snacks, these would disappear all to quickly. I love these for on the go as well.

~Rice Cakes
The average size rice cake about the size of a waffle is not really my favorite. I much prefer the ones that come in the chips aisle that are the size of half dollars. My son LOVES them and it’s a good snack for when your kid wants to eat something NOW and you are sitting down for a meal. They don’t fill you up too quickly.

~ Granola Bars/Cereal Bars
This is for the toddler that has some teeth and can chew well. My husband accidentally bought me the wrong brand, but my toddler loves them. I also like the fact that they are individually wrapped so its easy to pop into a bag when going out.

~ Cheez-It
I love these like I love the goldfish snacks. It is easy, you can buy a big box and they are easy to throw into a bag.

~Fruit/Mixed Fruit
If you are tired and don’t feel like cutting up fruit then you can just by the stuff in the jars. I do try to get lite syrup, but my toddler eats this up like no mans business. He also LOVES fresh honeydew. I know my nephew would not mind a fruit skewer...he loves sticks and eating with it is even more fun for him.

~Vanilla Wafers
More for a dessert item then a snack item. I have to get these for my son b/c for one it is a snack I used to eat as a kid and LOVED it and also because they think they are getting something great. They are pretty damn good.

~Yogurt
I honestly HATE this stuff, but every so often I buy it for my son. He likes it okay, but its messy and I don’t like the smell. I just don’t want him to say he was denied yogurt as a child.

~Muffins
Obviously a messy snack, but a good snack, especially if you make muffins the night before for dinner and they need to be eaten up before they go stale. Ragamuffins (blueberry kind) are da bomb. Yes I said “da bomb”.

~Dried Cereal
Easy snack that also can be bought in large quantities. Healthier the better, but I’ll admit my son loves Fruit Loops.

~Cheese
My son loves cheese of any type. It doesn’t matter if it is cheese cut up in cubes, single slices of American cheese or string cheese. Any cheese is a hit.

~Jello
This is also a snack of my childhood. My husband loves it, as it is his dessert for his Atkins diet (that and can whip cream), which is zero carbs. Plus its fun to eat and makes for a great dessert or snack.

That just about wraps it up. If you have any great snack ideas then feel free to share!

Great Finds



Rating - B

I recently came across a new site (I guess websites are today's theme) called organize.com. I gave it a rating of a B, because there are many things on there that I already see in stores (even if I have to go multiple places), BUT they also have some cool ideas and new things that I don't see in stores. I also love how clean the site is. It really represents them well. I am all for making my life more organized.

Men, Mothers Day is May 10th (mark that on your calendars), so there could be some great ideas on there to get something special for your Mom or your children's Mother! Just don't get her something to clean with (if you value your life) unless she specifically asks for it.

So check it out!

Craigslist

I don’t have time (nor does my poor husband want to go out) to mosey around antique shops, yard sales and thrift stores. Heck I do the majority of my shopping online for Christmas presents and a lot of pre-browsing before I go to some stores. Yes I still like to look, but I basically know what I want to get. Although it is nothing new, I have found a new love for a website, Craigslist.

I have found many a people have used this site and have been happy with it. A friend of mine bought a rocking chair at a largely discounted price for her nursery. Another person I knew bought an entire bedroom set for a needy family. We even used it once as a means to get people to help us move when no one we knew would help us and I was six months pregnant. But above all I just like to look and mainly at the furniture section (at least for now).

I really love antiques. I have found some really cool looking pieces like Hitchcock mirrors, cobblers table, intricate hope chests, etc., Some are priced pretty well and other prices I see for things like a very worn 1970s laminate dining room set for $1200 is just hilarious to me. Who would pay that? I guess they just want to keep it and aren't serious about selling? I have also thought about buying a new dresser for our spare bedroom, but decided that we will do that once God blesses us with a another child and we find out the sex. There are just too many awesome looking pieces of furniture on that site for both boy and girl rooms. It seriously is a smorgasbord of great deals to be had.

So while I click away at the different links (pictures should be almost a requirement), I am fulfilling that love of the hunt for a new fantastic find. My husband is happy as he is just feet away and watching a Caps game and my toddler is fast asleep in his crib. The family is happy. I am happy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome To Another NOVA Parenting Site!

I am sorry to say that Super NOVA Mom will be taking a long break from her blog to prioritize other things in her life. I really loved going to her site each week to see if what there was to do with either my husband or my kids. Although I am sorry to see her leave, I understand the circumstances. Honestly I was really bummed, because I personally know a lot of people that visit her site regularly.

That being said, she inspired me to create a sister site off my parenting blog called NOVA Parenting Activities. I could of had posted weekly activities, but with the work that I soon found to be much more then I thought, it would probably get lost in this blog. Therefore I created a new one.

Please provide feedback. If you hear of area events that I have not listed please let me know. I always am looking to improve on this website and now NOVA Parenting Activities.

I wish you well Super NOVA Mom!

Rain, Rain Go Away


I am all for rain when we need it, but seriously this rain cloud that has literally been over Northern Virginia for the past two days and was here the majority of last Saturday has got to stop! Not only does it dampen my plans on wanting to do fun activities outside, but it just makes me that much more tired and that much more moody.

Perhaps its the work load at home and at my paying job, but I am just exhausted. I am not complaining about the work. I really like to be busy. At my paying job, my manager has been out so playing catch up has been a bit of a strain. A good strain, but still there is a lot to do. Once I finally get home (and would like to collapse)there is no time for the tired, because my toddler (as expected) wants to play, get feed and read countless books on numbers, shapes and colors. There is just no rest for the weary. I have to blame it on one thing and I am blaming it on the weather.

I know that I complain now about the rain and hating it. Soon enough I'll be complaining that I am staying indoors for the majority of my day while I want to be outside when its warm and sunny. At least the sun would make me feel at least a fraction of a percent that much more awake, which this Mama really needs.

New Find!


I will be the first to admit that I am a true cupcake lover. I honestly would devour an entire dozen had I the room in my stomach and no one was there to watch me. I really appreciate a good cupcake. Until recently, I would either have to make them or I would have to tromp down to Georgetown to go to their cupcake store. I am a wuss when it comes to driving towards D.C., so usually it was a family affair and my husband drove. Giant cupcakes for me just don't cut it very well. They are second class cupcakes, but I still would eat them if offered. On special occasions, I would also get cupcakes when I went to my Moms house for a dinner celebration rather it be for a birthdays, Christmas, etc., Thanks Mom!

It turns out now that Fairfax Corner has a new store to add to their directory. It is called Cupcakes Actually. I did a quietly little happy dance in my cube when I found out aboutt his. Its close, not in the city and it is a entire store dedicated to CUPCAKES!

I encourage anyone to go to this store. The cupcakes are a little pricy as they aren't Giant quality, but so worth it. Just reading their menu makes my mouth water. I for one will be a valued customer to the cupcake store. Recession or not, I am going for it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Loving Bed Time


Okay bed time is a love of mine. Not my bed time (though some nights it is beyond fantastic), but little man's bed time. This isn't a new thought that just suddenly occurred to me. I have been loving it for quite some time. I just had a thought I wanted to put out there and just wanted a penny for your thoughts.

I am not judging (okay maybe a little) when I say I don't get the whole kids sleeping in bed with you past the nursing age. Obviously when your child is a new born I see them sleeping in the same room for the purpose of having to get up multiple times a night. I did not nurse as I bottle feed, nor is my town home that big, so walking down the hall to feed the little guy was no big deal. Honestly it allowed (depending on the shifts) for either my husband or I to sleep while the other did the feeding. I also could not take another noisy thing in my room to go sleep to. I admit that I am a deep sleeper once I am asleep, but I can not go to sleep with a bunch of noise. Little man always gurgled, snored and cooed in his sleep. I love him but I also love my sleep. So when my neighbor told me that both of her kids slept with her (two kids to be exact) that range was 5 and 2 years old, I just did not get it. How can she possibly sleep.

So enlighten me if you are a co-sleeper with your children. How do you sleep? I can't take the constant noise, the constant tossing and turning and not having that alone time with my husband at night. I love having a few hours of "me time" before I go to bed for the evening to sit unwind, clean, take a shower or read a book. I am not trying to judge (honest), but maybe your kids don't make noise, don't toss and maybe they do and you don't mind those things. I just wonder how you get down time for yourself? Do you get to just be for a minute? Make love to your spouse?

To Share Or Not To Share...Okay Not Share



Over the weekend, we celebrated Easter with my entire family at my parents house. I really had a great time even though it was quite exhausting running around with a toddler. My son and nephew (who is three weeks older then my son)played pretty well with the exception of one thing...sharing the "toy of the week".

My Mom and Dad are fantastic about having everything imaginable thing at their household for the boys. They stock up on diapers, wipes, toddler snacks, sippy cups and toys my sister and I played with as children. The only thing they don't have is spare boy clothing, which is fine because it would be a little silly having those with how fast these kids grow. It really makes the "opps I forgot this at home" pretty easy because it is already there. Even if spare clothing was forgotten, I am sure we could scrounge up some awesome 70's/80's girl attire and the boys wouldn't be scarred too heavily (at least at this age). What they don't have is the same sort of toys times two. Can I blame my parents on that? Heck no. I wouldn't have that at my own house unless it was truly apparent that my children would benefit with two toys like a doll or something. We had two of a few toys times two when I was young...hello Rainbow Brite. I admit I was a thief when it came to my sister's Rainbow Brite doll. There was just too much temptation with a popular colorful little doll, so my Mom just got two. I Dolls are just a hard thing to share. However, having two of something in my parents house even though the grand kids frequent there quite a bit would just be silly.

So the hot toy on Easter Sunday was a tiny lawn mower. In fact it was used and graciously given to us by a neighbor last week. Why it became so important after the Tikes Car a few weeks prior was once "the toy", I don't know. In either case, the boy...err I mean my son did not want to share and tried adamantly to take the lawn mower away from my nephew every time he had it. Thankfully my sister was "whatever" with the situation. Not that I let my son take something away (that is a no no) but because there was a bit of a referring back and forth. With referring came small temper tantrums that would be fizzled out with a distraction of another toy or going to a different room. It worked out okay. It was just mind boggling why one toy would look so fantastic in its rather old and tired looking state versus some of the "cooler" stuff my parents had for them to play with.

Again, this just reminds me the life of having a toddler. Small fires need to be extinguished. Temper tantrums happen. They have an exuberant amount of energy that I wish they would share. However sharing is just not one of their greatest fortes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter



Today and this weekend marks the commemoration of the crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection of Christ. To Christians alike, this is yet a solemn day in the liturgical year and then a celebration three days (Easter Sunday)later the celebration of Christ's resurrection to Heaven. Culturally this Sunday is also the day the Easter bunny comes to visit thousands of households around the world and leaves various sorts of presents and candy in childrens Easter baskets.

I was raised in a Catholic household where we celebrated the resurrection and the Easter bunny would also pay us a visit. On Easter morning my sister and I would pop out of bed, grab my parents and run to see what the Easter bunny had brought us. Generally we would get small but nice token items of crayons, coloring books, bubbles, candy, etc., Afterward, my parents would take us into the living room where my sister and I would "hunt" for eggs that we dyed a few days before. We each had a dozen eggs (to make it a fair hunt) in which we had to find. After a nice breakfast we got ready for church. My sis and I as children always had new dresses complete with a hat and white gloves. I really loathed the hat as the elastic band that kept the hat on my head always seemed to strangle me. My Dad also made it tradition where each of his girls (including his wife) would get fresh little corsages to pin to our dresses. Then we would head off to church and return home for the Easter feast. Each portion of our meal had symbolism. It is broken down as such:

~Easter Bread (Pascha)-symbolized our Lord Jesus Christ, the "living Bread," (Jn. 6:51)

~Meat products (ham, kolbasa)-symbolized the sacrificial animals of the Old Testament, foreshadowing the true sacrifice of our Savior, who became for us "a Lamb of God"

~Dairy products (cheese, butter)-symbolized the "prosperity and peace" of the Messianic times which had been foretold by the Prophets (e.g., Is. 7:22; Joel 3:18, etc.)

~Eggs (deviled)-symbolized the resurrection of a new life.

The tradition will carry on today and on Sunday in our new little family. Today will mark a solemn occasion in which we will fast from meat products. On Easter there will be much celebration with the resurrection by going to church and eating the traditional meal with my entire family. The Easter bunny will also come to visit. I believe this year I will start the tradition (now that my son is older) in hiding a few plastic eggs around a small perimeter for my son to find. I don't dare try to dye the eggs or hide them around the house with a toddler just yet. I honestly can't wait to share this religious celebration with my beautiful little boy.

Although it is premature, I will say for Sunday's event, Christ has risen! Христос воскресе!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Interview


Over the weekend, during a quick bite out at a local fast food place with the family, I found myself talking with a fellow Mom. She started the conversation after hearing me tell my husband how I needed bib for our son because he can be a bit messy and she in turn told me about a great stain detergent that would help any mess. She had a few kids so she would know, so I thanked her kindly not caring that she was eavesdropping. It was in no way pushy “I know it all” advice.

We continued talking and she asked how old my son was and told me how old her son was. Both boys were just a few months apart in age. She talked to me about how Chick-Fil-A has Family nights and I replied enthusiastically as she really was a kind and sincere Mom. We were in the same club after all, or so I thought.

It was not that she was annoying, but I found it almost remarkable that she continued to just talk and talk to me. I honestly talked to her more during that meal then to my son or husband. She filled me in area kid events as if she was one of my Mommy friends. I thought that perhaps she was from the South. She did not have an accent, but typically Southerners are traditionally a bit friendlier then us Yankees in conversation. I am from the South, I should know. Nope, she came from upstate New York. Hmmm....

Then I was asked the question, “Are you a stay at home Mom” and that is when I realized what was happening. I was on an interview. She briefly mentioned play date groups in one of our many passing conversation subjects and I didn’t bite like she wanted me too. I politely replied “No” and that basically ended her talking to me. Sure she was polite and warm, but the intense nature of her questioning and feeding me cool things to do around Northern Virginia had ended rather abruptly.

I obviously did not take offense to it. She was not rude. It is what is is. I am a full time working Mom. I work to pay the mortgage and take care of the family. I don’t have the luxury of morning or afternoon play dates. I just find it amusing that even though I am a Mom, I don’t belong in that Mommy club.

Motherhood/Oprah


So yesterday I played my DVR recording of the Oprah show on Moms. Although I could agree with some of what the Moms on the show had to say, I found some of their stories just baffled me.

To begin with the things I didn't get is that Moms complained or rather confessed that they didn't have time for showers. Some talked about how they could not shower for days. Really? I understand not shaving your legs for a week (maybe more) or not having those long candle light bubble baths, but not getting a quick shower in? The kids have to go to bed at some point and even if they don't, shower with them in the bathroom. I confess that I as a Mom take showers when my son is asleep instead of the nice morning showers or if I want a bath then sometimes my son loves to pop in and take one with me. I call that a two for one deal. I just don't get not having the time for a shower...it only takes minutes to wash your hair and throw some soap on your body.

I also did not get one Mom who confessed that during a long drive she did not want to wake up her sleeping kids to go and use a restroom, so she peed in a diaper. I know that Mom is not of the norm, but seriously, act like you are camping and find a quiet spot where no one is and just go in nature next to the car. I also wondered how a diaper for a child could withhold all the urination of an adult, but I am not going to test that one out.

What I did agree with is some of the things that people did not tell me or inform me of the less then glamorous side of motherhood. I did not know how messy the aftermath of birth was. Sure I figured that labor/delivery was nothing pretty, but you received a beautiful child for those more then gruesome efforts. I just didn't know the clean up (if you will) would last so long in your nether regions. I also agreed with the sleep issue and never getting a full nights sleep again. I knew once I had a child that when I had a newborn there would be late night feedings and when they got older there would be the occasional nightmares that would wake them up. I did not know that you would NEVER sleep again...at least a full night of uninterrupted sleep. In my house, my toddler wakes up a few times a night because he is uncomfortable (squished up again a corner) or he lost his pacifier. On occasion there is a full nights rest, well at least until 6 am, but that is a rare occurrence.

I also sort of have to agree with the battle of stay at home Moms (SAHM) and full time working Moms. Although I don't really feel it from my friends (thank God), I have found that there are judgments on both sides within the community. If you are a SAHM then people think you have all the time in the world to get things done, have an immaculate household and have dinner on the table every day at five. I don't have experience with this, but I know with vacation days off, weekends, etc., that doing those things every day just does not happen. There is also a criticism with full time working Moms. Man have I felt the backlash of that! Play dates groups are non existent. Classes for Moms or Moms with babies are typically scheduled between the hours of 9 am to 3 pm. I also hate the looks of pity when I tell people that I work and my child is in day care. He is fine people. Yes his Mom is not around him all day and every day, but he is well cared for, has probably better prepared meals then I would give him throughout the day and he is being socialized with kids his own age all day. We don't need the pity looks.

I also had to agree with the episode that judgments start from day one and honestly why? If you are doing things in the best interest of the child then why judge another Mom until you walk in her shoes. Judgment comes rather you have kids naturally or with fertility help. If you have natural labor or receive an epidural. If you you breastfeed or choose not to breastfeed. Seriously, stop the judgments. As long as a Mom is doing things that she feels is best for her kid then just let her be.

To conclude my thoughts on this show was that I also agree that there is a battle (maybe it is internal) of being super Moms. Those Moms DO NOT EXIST! They are as fake as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. It is make believe. We as Moms set the bar so high on expectations that we often have days where we feel like complete failures. Having coordinated crafts everyday, wholesome snack/meals every day and having the picture perfect life of juggling everything gracefully does not happen. Life is what happen. Temper tantrums are what happens. Being exhausted physically and emotionally is what happens. Its all in the life of being a Mom. I just say do your best at it and if not, tomorrow is another day and you can begin again.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mom Wear


Yes I am dedicating this post to Moms and what they wear. I figure that all of us from time to time has been there on some of the issues I am going to talk about or consider this an intervention of sorts.

First off, "Mom pants" are a no. It is wrong, wrong, wrong. Not only does it make you look like your waist is a mile high, but it is in no way appealing. Sure a lot of us don't care about being sexy from time to time, but this is one fashion statement that should never be done no matter how lazy you are. Wearing sweat pants would be a FAR better choice. If it didn't work for Jessica Simpson, then it sure isn't going to work for you. If you don't know what I am talking about then please observe the example below.

I also have to ask, is anyone between a size? For me a size eight is a bit too tight and a size ten is literally falling off my butt. I really had a time period in which I wanted to not wear my maternity pants but seriously it is harder then just going out and buying a pair of pants. I have found one pair of pants in all the stores I have shopped in that truly fit perfectly. I thought I would buy more pants in that same size in different colors, but oh no...it was just those pair of pants because only ONE was cut to fit my body. The rest did not agree with me.

Third issue. Can't shirts be longer? Maybe I am modest but I do not like my stomach to show when I wear clothes. Add a toddler on my hip and you probably have seen my stomach on a few unnecessary and completely embarrassing times. I beg you dear clothing designers to help me hide my belly fat. Also if you could please stop making elastic necklines where toddlers will inadvertently try to make you flash people like it is Mardi Gra on Bourbon Street, that would be nice too.

Sizing in stores baffles me. I don't consider myself to be a big person. At one time you would describe me as petite. Sure I have a little belly to go with my five foot one frame, but I am in no way large. However, in 99% of clothing store that I go in, I fit a large in blouses and t-shirts. I honestly wonder where the hell other women shop that are larger then me?

So there is my little clothing rant. I just had to say my little two cents on the matter. What are your two cents?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Updated



Just a heads up for anyone needing idea on where to take the kiddos. I have updated my side bar of great kid places with a new location. It is called the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. I have not yet been there but after touring the floor, it looks like a great place to explore.

If you have any comments about this place or any other suggestions to add to Oh The Places to Go, please leave a comment!

Sing, Sing A Song, Sing Out Loud


One of my most cherished childhood memories was that of my Mom and I singing songs. She had a song for everything, such as a waking up song, a casual day song (It’s A Lovely Day From the Broadway Musical Call Me Madam), to a just be silly song (Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)). I honestly thought my Mom was one of the most fantastic singers in the world as a kid. As I grew up I knew she wasn’t, but still she sang mostly on key and her singing voice is still as soothing as it always has been. Without a doubt or really an unconscious thought of doing it, I wanted my son to experience the sound of music in our house (literally and not literally...you’ll get what I mean in a minute).

I sing to my little man every day. I am glad my husband has not yet made fun of me because I do sing off key, off beat and I know some of the songs I sing must sound ridiculous to a man that didn’t grow up in this country and therefore don’t know some of the more silly but popular kid songs or the Broadway musicals I grew up on. How silly can the rendition of Maria from West Side Story sound when replacing the name with your kid’s name sound to someone that has yet to know where it is from? I give credit to my Mom on that one. She was the one that changed out names first on that song. For years I thought she actually made that song up just for me until I saw West Side Story in my ninth grade English class. Needless to say I was shocked sitting there listening to Richard Beymer singing about a chick name Maria. Maria is not my name.

Lately I have been on a kick singing songs from The Sound of Music. Nothing is happier then singing My Favorite Things, Edelweiss or The Sound of Music. I can’t help but love singing them as he gets all excited with a little scrunched up grin upon hearing them. We also love to dash around the dining room table, playing a form of toddler tag, while singing The Teddy’s Bears Picnic. My husband has to think we’re both nut balls and it is okay because we sort of are. Being silly is my middle name and doing it in song makes it all the more better.

I hope he too through my singing (such as it is) will also have a love of music and singing. My other hope is he may some day sing the same songs to his children and look back fondly to the days his Mom used to sing to him. I will end this post with a link to my Mom and my song, Petula Clarks - Downtown. I love you Mom. Thanks for the music.