Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Free for All- a good rant

Are you one of these people who when in the grocery line grabs that divider to separate your goods from mine like the second mine touch the belt? Regardless of how close or far away they are? I really hope not, because if that’s the case, we can’t be friends anymore.

I got myself all worked up in to a tizzy yesterday, in all the hoopla of birthday cake, and for a while there, it seemed like I was going to crack just any fucking second. I managed to keep it under control, but let me give you a picture of the 2 or so hours between the time I left work yesterday, and the time where we actually sat down to dinner.

I left at 3:30 and spoke to Hub (who was having an awful day because his carpet cleaning machine broke down) who told me he was leaving xx town and was on his way home. Since I had to drive to my parent’s house to get the kids and then drive all the way home, I was sure that he’d be home before me. 45 minutes later, I was home and he wasn’t. This was the point where FIL told me that Aunt G was on her way over with her grand kids who are roughly Bud and Lucy’s age, to play in the yard. My house, you guys, was a shit hole. Hub hasn’t been home all week, and I’ve been exhausted and really just the bare minimum has been done. I wasn’t planning on doing a huge clean-up—I was going to wrap the baby’s gifts, run the vacuum, and leave the rest for Saturday when we don’t have to be anywhere until 4PM. Instead though, I was cleaning the bathroom, cleaning clutter from my counters, sweeping the kitchen floor and…well you get the picture. FIL assured me that they were just coming to play outside, but before I knew it, there were random children running through my house, checking out our bedrooms, having to pee, and asking for drinks and WHERE DOES LUCY KEEP HER SILLY BANDS and AAAAAAH!!! And I tried to be Zen about it, and avoid speaking to Hub through gritted teeth. I really did. I managed to wrap the gifts and I was getting plates out for dinner, and washing kids cups and just waiting for Hub to let me know when I was good to order the pizza. And he let me know when it was time, but also asked me to go to the store to pick up pop to save time, and since I was there could I deposit his checks for him and grab some milk, and BY THE WAY we are out of sugar for coffee!!

SO I grabbed my purse, met Hub in the driveway to grab the checks AND my niece, saw Aunt G and the kids off, told Hub he needed to take the tantruming baby with him to get the pizza, and we both left (leaving the big kids and my niece with FIL). I was starting to calm down. At least it was over, I would grab the few thing and deposit the checks and we’d all be home happily eating pizza in about 20 minutes. There’s no need to be worked up anymore.

And then of course, my math was wrong on the deposit slip so they had to correct and redeposit it. And as I tried to get the Pepsi, this whore of a woman blocked the aisle with her cart and stood on the bottom shelf to get the last 3 bottles from the top. I finally got past her and got my pop from the display up front, grabbed the rest of my crap, and carried my very heavy basket to the express lane. And of course, aisle blocking pop stealing whore was right in front of me. Standing at the very back of the belt taking up all the room although all she had was the pop, some laundry soap and a frozen pot pie. And when she finally moved enough to where I could get my basket up there and get my milk, pop and sugar on the belt, she turned around with a sneer, and faster than I could blink, grabbed the divider to separate our groceries. Which were the only ones on the belt. At least 6 inches apart. And this is when my head exploded in to 2.7 million tiny pieces. SERIOUSLY?? I don’t think our groceries are going to get mixed up. I don’t think the world will end if my milk jug accidentally touches your pot pie. I think we’re both smart enough to say something to the cashier if she doesn’t realize the gap between our items and maniacally tries to charge you for and force you to leave with my groceries. YOU LOON!

I wish I could have or would have said something…ANYTHING! But, it’s not worth it. Right? It’s easier for me to vent about it here. And thankfully the rest of the night, even having my niece sleep over unexpectedly and having to drive her home on my way to work this morning. It was fine. All I cared about was singing “Happy Birthday” to my girl and watching her open gifts. I got to do that; she got the great birthday she deserved, and that’s what matters.

(but damn if that chick in the grocery store didn’t set off my desire to just stab someone!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Hi Banana Berry-

I wonder how long it will be before you stop letting me call you all these crazy names. I know right now, that you like it very much, and when you aren’t thrilled with a particular name on any given day, you stop me and say “No, I Hannah Banana”, or, “No, I Dora.” And I comply, because I love you and I am happy to do anything that makes you happy.

Making you happy isn’t such a big job though. You are difficult at times, because you always know what you want. And I am ok with that, unless what you want is to stay up until 11PM when you have to be up early in the morning. You need your sleep. I’m your mom, I have to say that. But generally, it doesn’t take a lot to keep you happy. Some Dora, some cantaloupe, a graham cracker here and there along with unlimited opportunities to play outside, and you are good.

You amaze me every single day, Han. I kind of thought that after already having 2 babies before you that I was done being amazed. And boy do you prove me wrong. The words, the songs, the comprehension and the desire to be just like your big brother and sister blow me away. I wish that I could behave with reckless abandon like you do, running full speed and diving belly first on to a swing, squealing with joy as you soar in the air. I hope you never lose this zest. It will serve you well in life.

So what have you accomplished this year? SO much. You had tubes put in your ears, and were finally healthy. You survived your first bout of the barfing flu. You finally, at the 20-months old, started sleeping through the night. Thanks for that, by the way. A lot. You mastered running, jumping, singing and dancing. You love to laugh and probably just as much, love to make people laugh. You grew enough hair where we finally got you a haircut last month. You moved in to a big girl bed, and you are potty trained. You have turned in to a big girl right before my eyes.

Happy birthday, my baby girl, and many many more.

I love you to the moon,


Last Belly Shot 7/29/08

Just Born 7/29/08

1st Birthday 7/29/09

1st Birthday 7/29/09
2 Years Old 7/29/10

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is quite possibly my favorite photo of my kids, EVER. It is so them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

...and now I'll talk about my weekend.

Actually, I want to talk about where we went this weekend. If you are ever in my neck of the woods (Western NY, near Buffalo) I’d highly suggest checking it out.

Hub has been mentioning for a while, that he’d like to visit Old Fort Niagara, on the shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River. I always said “Oh sure…we’ll have to do that one of these days” in an eye-rolling OMG sort of way. Like really? A fort? A historical type dealie? Not really my bag, darling. But this past Saturday, we decided to take the 45-minute ride out there. It was something to do, and if we stayed home, I’d surely be cleaning the basement, so I said “YES! Let’s get dressed and go!” And we did.

The ride was easy from our house, easier for me because Hub drove, and the kids napped in the back. When we got there, it was sprinkling a bit, but the kids were energized and ready to go. Leaving the visitor’s center, we walked a cement path for a bit before coming in to the actual fort area. The children were impressed with the draw bridge and wrought iron doors. Bud was especially impressed with the cannons. Surprisingly, I was pretty interested too. These buildings and posts set on the bluffs so strategically, I could just picture soldiers posted and watching the lake, making sure “the bad guys” weren’t coming. Bud has been playing with Hub’s old army men recently, setting them up along with their posts, and staging battles. I could see the wheels turning the whole time we were there.

Entrance to the fort

Bud checks out the cannon

More impressive to me though was the scenery. To say it was gorgeous, even on this somewhat dreary day, would be an understatement. The lake was peppered with sail boats (we found out later that we were right in the middle of one of the nation’s largest regattas), the grass and the hills were ridiculously green. Everything was just beautiful.

Even getting caught in a downpour when we were between buildings didn’t dampen the fun. Plus, with her sneakers and clothes already wet, Liv had permission to jump in the puddles.


Puddle Jumper

When we left, we followed the river in to Historic Lewiston, (Hub’s ulterior motive was checking out the gas station he used to own there) and stopped at a cute restaurant with deck seating over the river. The kids were crabby and worn out by then, but we enjoyed our meal and watched the jet boats speed by below us. It was a really nice impromptu trip. We need to do more of that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Taking Pause

I’m taking a break from my usual weekend recap today, to take a minute and remember my mother-in-law. She died expectedly, but unexpectedly, if you know what I mean, one year ago today. She waited until after I’d visited, til after her mother and her sisters were there, and until after she thought that Ed had gone home until evening visiting hours resumed. She had the nurses disconnect her life support system. She’d had enough of the sickness and the ups and downs. In a matter of hours, she was gone.

For as much of a pain in the ass as she was (and she was the type of person you could tell that she was a pain in the ass), I loved her as a mother. She was often the voice of reason in my teen years when I couldn’t talk to my own mother. Most people meet their mothers-in-law as adults, but I was lucky enough to grow up with mine; to have a second mothering type person. Hell, she was the one who taught me to drive, and picked me up before classes started every morning and let me drive all the way to the university. She took me to vote for the first time.

So today, I want to say thank you to Michele for being a very big part of my life, for raising her son, and for teaching me things that my own parents didn’t. Thank you for teaching me to say “I love you” before hanging up the phone or leaving someone’s side. Thank you for loving my kids more than the world. Thanks for sticking around for as long as you did in spite of all the pain and suffering. I know how hard it was for you, for so many reasons.

And know that I miss you so so much.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Free for All- Vacations, and Birthdays and Gardening (oh my!!)

• I think we finally have this vacation situation figured out. Not that we’ve booked anything, but we’re looking at 2.5 days in Ocean City, MD, a day in Hershey PA and then home. With drive time, we’ll be gone 4 days; the true picture of a whirlwind vacation. But Hub will be able to work some before the holiday weekend, and all will be good.
• He wants to take a weekend at some point, just me and him as well. Maybe in mid-September, for our anniversary. We’ve talked about going to Toronto, Cleveland or The Poconos. The Poconos sound like the best bet to me. Think he’ll let us stay HERE? The champagne hot tub is something of a legend in these parts. Even if we had unlimited money though, I don’t think Hub is ever spending over $400 on a night in a hotel.
• For the first time since I can remember, we have no plans this weekend. None. Maybe I can actually get some sleep. I’ve become something of an insomniac lately. I can fall asleep with no issues, but I can’t stay asleep for the life of me. I am up at all hours of the night and can never fall back to sleep. It sucks.
• As I’ve mentioned, the baby will be 2 next week. TWO! And I am beside myself about it. While she is my baby, she’s not what anyone else would consider a baby. She’s a bona fide toddler. With opinions. And personality. She sleeps in a big girl bed, and pees and poops on the potty exclusively. And well, I just don’t know if I can cope with that. She’ll be off to college before we even know it. And I will be left with nothing.
• I think that maybe I’d like to get my hair cut and colored this weekend. I’ve been putting it off for like, 6 months now. Maybe that’s a good thing to do when we have nothing else going on. Speaking of haircuts, the garden needs one too. Add that to my weekend list.
• And speaking of the garden, I picked 26 green beans the other night! Then I steamed them up, and Liv and I ate them with pasta in a white cheddar sauce. They were delicious!! The big kids wouldn’t go near them, but Liv and I enjoyed them greatly. My eggplant and tomatoes are growing well, and my cucumbers are REALLY multiplying. I even have one ear of corn growing. I never in a million years thought that gardening would be so much fun, but it is! It really is!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Liv Speaks and Sings

Well, despite my valiant efforts, she's not singing "Happy Birthday" in it's entirety. She does however scream for ice cream and yell at her sister, and laugh like a maniac--all in under 2 minutes.

I love this baby girl...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Random Distraction

I’m trying to distract myself because I can’t get past the fact that one week from today is the anniversary of MIL’s death. I want to focus on the baby turning 2 next Thursday, but all I keep thinking is first comes the 26th. Yeesh. No good.

But the baby tells/asks us daily “You sing happy yoorfday to me?? I have Dora plates for my cake??” She is funny, that one. Hub keeps telling me to take some videos of her speaking because the sheer volume of words and sentence structure would blow people away. And I always mean to, but I don’t. I’m going to get her singing Happy Birthday though, that is my promise to you. You will die from the cute.

We had a very busy weekend, and I had a migraine for all of it. Bud’s Tae Kwon Do picnic was Saturday morning at gorgeous park on a large creek in the area. I took quite a few photos but haven’t uploaded any of them yet. Here is one from my phone though, of Hub, BIL and Bud. There was a Kan Jam tournament, and Hub and BIL were the champs. Cut to many jokes about polishing Hub’s trophy. (OMG)

Lucy woke up on Saturday morning with a bug ion her ear about getting her ears pierced. We’d been talking about it for a while, and I was going to take her for her 5th birthday in a few weeks, but she asked if she could just get it over with so she didn’t have to think about it anymore. (If she is not my daughter….) So after the picnic, she and I went to the mall together, and we picked out some earrings, gold flowers with a tiny pink stone, and filled out paperwork, and waited our turn. She sat on my lap and cried for a second beforehand, and then she took a deep breath, and said she was ready, and it was done. I think she was surprised at how little it hurt. From then, she couldn’t stop looking at herself in the mirror. We went to the big Starbucks as a reward, and sat in comfy chairs drinking our strawberry frappuccinos. It was all I ever imagined it to be, taking my girl to get her ears pierced. Definitely a moment to remember.

I made quesadillas for dinner, and with everything that had gone on, it was close to 8PM by the time we actually ate. And then BIL dropped my niece off for a sleepover so the kids were up until around 10. I had been popping pills all day for my headache, and I was just done. The throbbing of my head, along with some pretty bad heartburn, woke me up at around midnight. I took some Advil and tried to get comfortable on the couch. It wasn’t a great night of sleep, so when the kids woke up at 7, I needed help. Hub got up and I swore I was just laying back down for 20 minutes, but before I knew it, it was after 9. We had planned on going to 9am mass (we found a great new church that does children’s services at 9 and 10:30) but that was out. I was still moving slow, so we decided to go at noon instead. And what a mistake! It was packed and we had 4 kids and the quiet room was full. Plus there was a renewal of wedding vows and 2 baptisms. We hightailed it out of there right after communion.

Hub had the inside of my car detailed after we came home, and then we went to a party at his cousin’s house for the evening. I barely feel like we had a second to breathe all weekend long. And now we’re back to the mundane of the week, and still no closer to planning our vacation or even sooner, the girls’ birthday party. I don’t think Hub will be as busy this week as he was last week though, so hopefully we can accomplish some of that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I couldn’t place it at first, what was different about our basement yesterday, but when I did, my breath caught in my throat. The bassinette was gone. It’s not as if I didn’t know we were getting rid of it; Hub and I had discussed it at length. It was one of the Graco recalled models, so although we were fine with using it because the defect was easy for us to fix, and we were aware of exactly what it was, we weren’t comfortable giving it away or donating it. We discussed that in the unlikely event of having more children, we’d buy a new smaller model. We talked about it several times, and though I always sounded wishy-washy about it, I did tell Hub to go ahead and get rid of it. It was taking up space and there was no reason to keep it. Still, when I realized it was gone, I found myself bawling in the middle of the basement, having to put the cans of vegetables I’d got from the pantry down so that I could wipe my eyes. It was just so final, like though the door is open a teensy crack, the safe bet is that I will never ever have another child. We are done saving baby items for what might someday be. It was as if in that moment all of my eggs shriveled up, and the door slammed closed. I don’t know, I guess I just wasn’t prepared. I composed myself quickly, and went upstairs to finish dinner, and took a minute to take in my babies, all absorbed in what they were doing, all so much older than I ever imagine them. My babies, who all slept cozily in the same bassinette and then crib for the first years of their lives. It just all goes so fast. I’m not prepared for it to be over.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Normally when I take vacation time where I don’t have a trip planned, we label it a working vacation, and accomplish projects around the house. This past week though, we hyped it up for the kids, and even though we didn’t like, go stay in a hotel, we made it a real vacation-loose bedtimes, junk food, and day trips. It was a really good time, and I was sorry to see it come to an end last night.

We spent the 4th at home, played a big game of kickball in the yard and cooked out before we went to the park for fireworks.

On Monday, Hub did have to work a bit and I took Liv to daycare so I could spend some time just with the big kids. I made triple decker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and the kids played with the hose and sprinkler while I lounged in the sun. It was so hot that I didn’t even care when they sprayed me.

Tuesday was report card day at the local amusement park, so we took that on despite the 90+ degree weather. It never gets that hot here, and when coupled with humidity, it was kind of hard to deal with. We made the best of it though, and spent a few hours in the water park cooling off, and the kids had a fabulous time. The downside was that Liv wanted to ride EVERYTHING that the big kids rode, and well, she couldn’t. She did ride a lot though and had a grand time.

Wednesday was lazy day and was hotter than Tuesday was. We didn’t leave the house all day and played games and did crafts in the house. Ok, there was some TV watching too.

I had an appointment on Thursday morning, and afterward I came home and sunscreened the kiddos and we headed to the community pool. It was 95 degrees that day as well, and the water in the kiddie pool was like bath water. The kids didn’t mind though, and had a great time splashing around. The fountains were much cooler. Everyone was tired and hungry by the time we were done there.

Friday was Rock City, which is about 90 minutes from us. It is a walk through type deal in the mountains where rocks were deposited as a result of glaciers. It’s pretty cool. And aside from making sure Liv didn’t fall in to any crevices or just plain walk off a cliff, it was a good time. We packed a picnic lunch and ate under a shelter when we were done.

Top it off with another yard day and then The Taste of Buffalo yesterday, and it was a pretty eventful staycation. And though it was fun, I can’t wait to plan our REAL vacation the week of 8/30. We just need to decide once and for all what we are doing.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Sometimes I swear that childcare is going to be the death of me. Like seriously, one day you will find me dead on the street and it will be because the stress of managing child care for my 3 children will have given me a coronary. We’ve had a decent system with Bud going to school this year. FIL put him on the bus in the morning and got him in the afternoon, and kept him until Hub or I came home. The girls went to daycare/preschool 2 days a week, to my mother’s 2 days a week, and then stayed home with Hub on Thursdays. Easy right?

Generally speaking it was, until you threw in the wrench of half days for Bud, or my mother being dangerously ill with pneumonia for weeks on end. We always seem to manage with some juggling—it’s nice that Hub is self-employed, but it is always hard.

Cut to summer vacation. Bud finished kindergarten last week and as we have for the past 2 years, we skipped the first 2 weeks of summer camp in favor of keeping them home and saving some money. Great idea, right? Not so much. Hub’s schedule has been increasingly busy so he hasn’t been able to be home with the kiddos. That being said, this week has left one or more of the children at home with FIL every day. Now, his cancer treatment ended weeks ago, but he is still very tired, so the week has been hard on him. Normally only 2 kids at a time go to my mom’s on her days, and one stays home for a special grandpa day. Yesterday though, he asked me whether I could take all 3 of them to my mother’s. It would have been Lucy’s day to stay home, and he said that she is hard to entertain (she is a bit….um….high maintenance). So that left me to call my mother and beg her to take all 3.

It doesn’t sound like it would be a big deal, but her house is small and the kids get on each other’s nerves. The baby requires constant attention and it’s a lot easier for her to deal with one other kid than it is for 2—I get that, they are my kids, I do it every day. But then there’s the guilt trip! “This can’t be a weekly occurrence, Sara…” (because she kept all 3 for me last Friday—but I only worked half a day) GAH! I know! I KNOW! But what is my choice here? Quit my job and live in poverty? No. Sell off one of the children? Probably not. As Swistle grandly put it last week—this situation could have been avoided if I just never had kids. Right.

But guess what: I did have them. They’re here and they require care. And while I don’t feel a sense of entitlement as in “you must take care of these children!!”, I do feel like it’s obvious that I am sometimes caught between a rock and a hard place. And sometimes people could give me the benefit of the doubt and help me out a little bit instead of making me feel guilty. Let’s not forget that I watched my baby brother daily while you worked from the time I was 12 until I moved out when I was 19. And I’m sure that I made my mother feel guilty about it, because that’s what teenagers do, but honestly it seriously cramped my style. I’m not cramping her style—my dad is at work and she doesn’t drive so what does she have going on anyway. And…AND…

Well now this has turned in to a rant about my mother and that wasn’t my intent today. I am off next week and the kids start summer camp the following week. It won’t be a big deal going forward. We’ll be good. I may even get to work from home a few days to mitigate the chaos. It will be fine.

And then it will be Autumn and both big kids will get on the bus and go to school every day. And Liv will be the only one we have to worry about coordinating. She told me yesterday “No Mommy go work. Mommy stay IN today.” I wish I could, baby doll. And maybe I will be able to spend a bit more time with just her as the kids go off to Kindergarten and first grade.

We’ll balance. We’ll manage. It is what we do.