Monday, January 30, 2012

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

After a week of fun in the sun, we have returned home; back to reality. Now that I've finally dug my way out from under the pile of vacation laundry, I'm happy to be back to blogging.

Here are some highlights of our trip to the Dominican Republic:

1. The 3 hour flight there-"A" slept for 2 out of the 3 hours! Wahoo! When the plane landed, the man across the aisle smiled at us and told my son that he had been a very good boy. Of course, my perfect angel of a son told the nice man, "Thank you". 

2. The 3 hour and 15 minute flight back- 'A' slept ZERO hours on the flight back. He kicked the chair in front of him several times, had a few tantrums, had to go potty 3 times, and whined a lot. This time, NO one complimented him at the end or told him what a good boy he was. Luckily, he's pretty cute so a few people smiled at him in the airport. 

3. Drinking Mama Juana-For those of you who don't know, this is a Dominican rum drink. It is rumored to be an aphrodisiac. The Dominicans we met referred to it either as "liquid Viagra" or "Dominican baby making juice". 'Nuff said.
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4. Latino MEN-Tight pants and hot men that can dance, not to mention those accents....- yes please! OH MY GOD can these men dance! They must know it too because most of their little dances are pretty provocative. I started to get excited because my hubby is like 1/4 Portuguese, but I guess that's not enough Latino-ness (as demonstrated one night in the resort Disco club).
Notice the hot Latino man singing in the back!!!!!!!!!

5. All inclusive-The last time I went to an all inclusive resort, I was 6 months pregnant so this time I was determined to take advantage of the all inclusiveness. I think I drank more alcohol then water or coffee this trip. Obviously, since our almost 3 year old was with us, no one in our party got out of control or anything. Sometimes it's just nice to lay on the beach with a Pina Colada though! 

6. Wasted people- I cannot believe how drunk some grown people at this resort got. I'm not judging, just surprised. People were slurring and stumbling left and right. At night, some were even jumping into fountains with all their clothes on. The highlight was this particularly wild couple in their early 50's. The man looked a lot like Eugene Levy (the actor) and the woman, who was much taller than him, had huge (obviously fake) boobs. The first night, we saw them dancing outside. At first we thought they were pretty good. Then we realized that she was smashed. Her dress straps kept falling down and she was stumbling all over the place. I kept waiting to see if her nipple would pop out. Seriously. 
         Believe it or not, we ended up seeing them again the next night at the Disco Club's grownup pajama party. I decided to wear my sundress and not put my pjs on until we went to the club and saw if anyone else was doing it. When we arrived, I noticed that almost no one was in pajamas. Unfortunately, Eugene Levy Lookalike and his lady friend were there, in their night-wear. She was wearing a see-through black lacy one piece with a garter and a THONG. Yes, a THONG. Her entire dimpled ass was hanging out.
 I did a double take because I just could not believe this. I think they noticed that people were laughing at them because they left shortly after we got there. I've got to give that lady credit though. I hope I'm that bold at her age! Or maybe I don't.....

5. Falling in love all over again-FINALLY- hubby and I were able to get some time alone. A year ago, we moved away from both of our families and tons of free babysitters. We haven't been out together very much since. Even when we are both at home, we rarely spend quality time together. Since my parents went on this trip with us, we were back to having free babysitting. WOOHOO! Boy, did we take advantage of that! Every time A took his nap, we left him with my mom and went to lay on the beach. At night, after we made sure our son was asleep, we'd go out for a drink, or a walk, or some dancing. One night we were really lucky and actually got to go out to dinner together. Mom and dad took A to the buffet and hubby and I went to the French restaurant. The alone time really did us some good. Hubby was complimenting me left and right! He even went so far as to tell me he was "falling in love with me all over again." Hope he can keep up the good work now that we're home. 

6. The yellow polka dot bikini- I saved the best highlight for last. You see, I have a bad track record with yellow polka dot bikinis. When I was in elementary school, I was in a dance recital. One of the dance numbers required that I wear a yellow polka dot bikini. Since we couldn't find one, someone (I think my aunt?) made me one. Halfway through the dance, the bikini suddenly untied and came off, right in front of everyone. Me and my exposed "mosquito" bite boobies were so embarrassed! I guess I forgot that history has a way of repeating itself because last summer I bought a black bikini with yellow polka dots. Man, did I look hot in it! Of course, even though I've gained a few pounds since last summer, I just had to pack this bikini for my trip to Punta Cana. And I just HAD to wear it on the morning hubby and my dad were playing golf.
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Me and "the girls" in my yellow polka dot bikini. 

        After I put that yellow polka dot bikini on, I decided to take A to the baby pool so I could show it off. Oddly enough, the baby pool was right next to both the bar and the swim up bar. That meant there were plenty of people, even some cute guys, around. While 'A' played and splashed in the pool, I tried to be as sexy as I could. (Hey, just because I'm married doesn't mean I can't enjoy getting some attention at the baby pool!!) I pranced and strutted around the pool. Suddenly, out of nowhere, my bathing suit top FLEW off of me! The crappy plastic hook that held it together in the back just BROKE! Cheap piece of shit! I covered myself up as quickly as I could. I think only a few people got a good look at "the girls" but I was still so embarrassed. I was so lucky my mom was reading nearby. She came to watch A while I ran to the room and changed as fast as I could. Guess I really do have a bad track record with yellow polka dot bikinis. Maybe me and "Eugene Levy's" lady friend have more in common than I thought. 

All in all, it was a wonderful and eventful vacation. Not sure whether or not I'm glad to home, but I will tell you one thing. That freaking polka dot bikini is already in the garbage. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The damn ham sandwich! (again!)

With the help of my hubby, we are FINALLY packed and ready for our big trip! We're heading to an all-inclusive resort for a week of relaxation. Not sure how much relaxation we will get with a 2 1/2 year old around, but still looking forward to the trip. 

Vacations are so different after you have children. Before- we used to spend hours laying on the beach, reading and listening to music. Now, vacations are all about living through my son's eyes. Not relaxing, but still amazing. 

What's not amazing is the packing process. And I only have one kid! I can't imagine with it's like to pack for 3 or 4 kids. It's not just the packing, it's the getting the house ready that stresses me out. I always try to get the dishes done, take out the trash, finish the laundry, and clean out the fridge before we leave. After all, who wants to come home from a relaxing vacation to a house full of rotting food and piles of laundry??

Ever have one of those moments where you have so much to do, you don't know where to start so you just kind of walk around in circles for a while? That was totally me this afternoon. I'd just put A down for his nap and hubby got out the suitcases. I literally just stood there for about 5 minutes. I couldn't help it, I was just so overwhelmed. The whole time, I kept going over my list of things to do in my head and trying to figure out where to start.

 Of course, somehow in that 5 minute time span, hubby managed to finish packing his tiny suitcase. As he started to walk out of the room, he smiled and said, "Well, I'M packed!" 

Oh man. At this point, I blew up! "YOU'RE done???" I shouted. "I didn't realize YOU were the only one going on this trip!" With that, I began frantically listing all the things I still had left to do. Poor hubby. I'm sure his little comment wasn't meant to bring on an ambush. But how is it that the women always end up doing 99% of the packing for the kids while the men finish their little suitcases in 5 minutes and then think they're done? 

Apparently tired of hearing my nagging, hubby agreed to help with some of the things on my to-do list. Or at least I thought. When I came downstairs to get some things, I noticed him sitting in his favorite chair eating, YES, a HAM sandwich. That damn ham sandwich! (This seems even funnier because I'm Jewish. Ha) Image Detail

Being a woman who likes to get things done immediately and then relax, I'll never understand why my husband will always choose to relax first. But there is a happy ending to this riveting tale. After my second blowup of the afternoon, hubby was wonderful. Not only did he clean out the fridge, stop the mail, and check us in online, but he also helped with the laundry and trash. 

Now the only thing standing between me and the beautiful beaches of the DR is a 3.5 hour plane ride with a 2 year old. Not sure how that will go, but I can guarantee it'll be interesting.  (Let's just hope they don't serve ham sandwiches on the flight.) Image Detail

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

UN-real Life

Anyone else starting to get a little annoyed about how unrealistic television shows and movies are about marriage and family life? I know, I know, these are are supposed to be unrealistic so that when we sit down on the couch at end of a rough day, we can escape into tv world. Tv world-where children never get in the way of adults' social lives. Movie world-where men are perfect, romantic creatures who understand and appreciate women.

Of course, before I was a mother, I never realized how unrealistic certain shows are. Now that I have a toddler,  I find myself constantly asking, "where the *&#$ are the kids?!?!" Desperate Housewives is a perfect example of this. The women of Wisteria Lane are always getting together and playing poker, drinking coffee, or gossiping over a glass of wine. Where are the children? Especially the babies?!?

When I moved into my new neighborhood (about a year ago), I was psyched to be living in a real live "Wisteria Lane". No joke, the first time I took my son for a walk around the neighborhood, I thought I was in a time warp. Dads and sons were playing basketball in their driveways or grilling, kids were riding their bikes, and adults were walking their dogs while simultaneously waving and smiling at us. The first time we went to the park, a group of young kids walked up to the field next to the playground and started playing a game of softball. "Where am I???" I thought. It got even better when my neighbors started coming over with gifts and baked goods. I really thought those things only happened in the movies! One neighbor even invited me to a girl's night out where, yes, the moms get together, drink wine, and gossip. I also came to realize that many of the women on my block are around my age with little boys my son's age.

My Wisteria Lane bubble burst when I started getting together with my mommy neighbor friends for playdates and get-togethers outside of girl's night out. Unlike Lynette, Bree, Gabrielle, and Susan, my friends and I cannot seem to get through a sentence, let alone a whole conversation, without being interrupted by our kids. Someone hit someone, one of them has to pee, someone isn't sharing...he wants a snack, she wants some chocolate milk...and so on and so on! WTF? How do the TV women do it? And where are the kids???? 

Parenthood is another show guilty of this. (Although I admit, it's a lot better). I LOVE Parenthood and actually think it's pretty realistic especially when the family is all talking at the same time or fighting. They have even shown the children having actual tantrums which I applaud. But I must say, they make family get togethers look so fun and again, half the time- where are the f*&#ing children? The men are playing poker, the women are having girl chat, and the children are nowhere to be found. I don't know about you, but my husband and I can almost NEVER both go out at the same time. I have my twice monthly girl's night outs, and he has his weekly tennis match on a seperate night. One of us always has to stay home to watch our kid. It is true, kids can sure put a damper on your social life. At least in real life. And by the way, my husband comes from a big family like the Bravermans (on Parenthood) and family get togethers are a little more chaotic. Fun, but choatic...because we have toddlers and children and teenagers that actually exist. 

Finally, I come to the romantic comedy/romantic movies. I told my husband about the topic of the blog I was writing tonight and he called me, "the master of the obvious". Okay, in theory it is obvious to us women that real men just don't act like the men in these romantic movies. But we all know that deep down we are dreaming of the day that our husbands will say ONE thing like the men in these movies say. I saw this funny e-card on Facebook last week referring to the Notebook. It said, "Noah wrote Allie 365 letters so I think you can answer my text message." That really spoke to me! What the hell? These men in these movies pine away and wait for these women and sweep them off their feet with romance when half the time, I can't even get my husband to call and tell me he'll be late for dinner? Don't get me wrong, hubby definitely has his sweet and loving side, but it sure as hell doesn't look anything like these guys in the movies. We poor women continue to pay to see the movies and dream of the day our men will magically change into Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosseling in a Nicholas Sparks movie. And our poor men! This is what they have to live up to? No wonder they quit trying! (We'll just blame it on the movies for now...mmmkay?)

Hubby and I were watching tv tonight when a preview for this new movie, The Vow, came on. It seems that the premise of this movie is that this very much in love newlywed couple gets into a car accident and the wife loses her memory.So the husband, Channing Tatum, has to get her to remember him and fall in love with him again. As soon as I saw this preview, I shouted, " WE. ARE. SEEING. THIS!" That made hubby look up from his laptop to see what the hell movie I was dragging him to now. The more I watched, the more annoyed I got. I finally said, "Honey, if I lost my memory in an accident, you'd probably pretend you didn't know me and run like hell!" To which he laughed and added, "Who am I? Uhhh....The mailman. No...that's not my kid. Well, bye, time to deliver the mail." (I know, we make an unstoppable comedy team.) 

Now that people is real love and real life! Uh-oh guys, gotta go. Our son is yelling that he has to go pee. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Joys of having a boy

When I first found out I was pregnant with "A", I was sure it was a girl. My mom and I went to a little boutique and I bought the sweetest pink and purple little rocking chair. I figured that we could always paint it if I ended up having a boy. (That rocking chair still sits in my closet, pink as can be!) 

The week before I was going to find out the gender of my baby, I went on a trip to Poland with a close friend from high school. Sitting on the flight back to the US, I suddenly realized I was surrounded by babies. As I looked closer, I realized every single one of the babies were boys. "It's a sign!" I thought, "I'm going to have a baby boy!"                        
 I still remember the day we saw that little penis on the monitor. I'd begged the doctor to do an impromptu ultrasound at 17 weeks. When the baby appeared on the ultrasound monitor, the doctor pointed out the legs. "What's that between the legs doc????" I asked. "It's a boy!" he smiled. Immediately, tears sprung to my eyes. Tears of joy! Once I knew the sex of the baby, it all became so real to me. A little boy. Wow!

Now I admit, I am a real girly girl. I love pink, I always wear makeup, and try to dress cute (even though I'm a stay at home mom now). I hate sports and up until recently, I even hated exercise of any kind. Not to mention that in the 5 years of teaching experience I had before my son was born, most of my more umm...energetic children were boys. BUT for those of you who know me, or who read my blog "Acceptance", you know I have a mentally challenged older brother. For that reason alone, the most important thing to me was having a healthy child. 

In the three years since my son was born, I've noticed some key differences between boys and girls. 

Number one- the inequality of the clothing selection for boys versus girls. I get pissed off every time I go clothes shopping for my son. In department stores, there are always racks and racks of beautiful or adorable outfits and dresses for little girls. There are usually one or two racks for boys. Even in stores that specifically make clothing for children, the girl selection is waaaaay better. All the boys clothes look the same. In fact, since most of my close friends have little boys, I almost ALWAYS see one of my friends' sons wearing something that my son also owns. This especially annoys me at Easter and Christmas. I see tons of beautiful dresses for girls and for boys, I see sweater vests and khakis. Let's get more creative people! 

Number two-toddler girls tend to be MUCH calmer than toddler boys. It's insane. I have heard this from several of my friends with boys. I will never ever forget the music class I took with my son when he was 20 months old. I was so embarrassed and frustrated because my son would not sit on my lap and listen to the teacher. I watched in horror as my son ran circles around the room while all the little girls (the same age!) sat in their mommies laps and participated. My breaking point was the day my wild child was running his normal circle laps and he ran smack into a little girl. They bumped heads and were both hysterical. The mother of the little girl shot me a look that could kill. I, of course, did the mature thing and proceeded to scoop up my child and run out of there as fast as I could. (I later asked for a refund for the remainder of the class and never went back, ha!). 

As soon as I got into the car, I called my mom. I have her on speed dial for these types of situations. I sobbed into the phone all the way home. "I'm so embarrassed!!!" I cried, "I can never show my face in that class again!" 

"Calm down, he's not even two yet!" she assured me.

 "But mom", I sobbed, "I don't want him to be the bad kid in the class!" She just continued to tell me how ridiculous I was being. Of course, I was being ridiculous. Nowadays, I tend to think it's more normal for a two year old to run around in circles than to sit quietly on his mother's lap. After sharing this story with other moms, I realized that most of my friends who have little boys have similar "humiliating" stories. The more I heard, the sillier I felt for overreacting. A, who is almost 3, now goes to a music class at preschool twice a week and does GREAT! I actually cried the first time I watched one of his classes. I couldn't believe it was the same child from a year ago. 

Who could forget about the end of the year preschool picnic? The day before the picnic, it rained a lot. The whole playground was wet but there was one particularly large mud puddle near the water fountain. I spend the first part of the picnic trying to keep my son away from the puddle. Another boy's momma finally told me,  "give up, he's a boy!" So, give up I did. My son ended up covered in mud from head to toe. When it was time to leave, I had to take off everything he was wearing. He rode home in nothing but a diaper. And you know what? It was OK! Nothing a bath and a load of laundry couldn't fix. Plus he had a blast.                       

I have realized that there are some really awesome things about having a boy. Besides looking forward to smoother (hopefully) teenager years than some of my friends with girls, I must say, potty training a boy was a lot of fun. I potty trained him in the summer when he was able to pee outside and practice his aim. Unfortunately, I probably should have explained that it was okay for him only to pee outside, not poop. But that's a story for another blog. A few weeks ago, we were at the park with some friends. One friend's little girl said she had to go potty and my friend had to hurry and find a bathroom. Another friend's little boy had to pee a few minutes later. My friend proceeded to take her son into a shaded corner of the park, where no one could see, and pull down his pants. "I love having a boy!" she shouted. Obviously, my friends and I will have to stop doing this as our boys get a little older. After all, I'd hate for my son to be arrested for public indecency because of me. 

Another great thing about having a little boy is that he loves his momma. Not only do I get to be his favorite person at home, but a few weeks ago, he also told me I was his best friend. Hubby constantly tells me that I'm my son's "person", meaning that I am the one he always wants. Again, I should probably discourage this when he is a little older. Otherwise, I might end up with one pissed off future daughter-in-law. 

I'm not sure what we will end up having the next time around. Either way, I'm okay. Being the mother of a healthy happy little boy is the best thing I could ever ask for. Besides, my son continually gives me material to blog about. I vow to use that rocking chair somehow though! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Last week, my mom called to tell me that she found a poem of mine. This was a poem I'd written in high school about my brother. When she read the poem to me over the phone, I felt myself tearing up. It was a sweet, beautiful poem and it brought back many memories. (Note: just added the poem at the end of this entry)

For those of you who don't know, my older brother B was born mentally handicapped. I think the term now is developmentally delayed. But in 1978 when he was born, the term was severe and profoundly mentally retarded. He can't talk or understand very much. A lot of his behaviors are similar to those of someone with severe autism. B lived with us until he was 20 (I was 17), at which time he moved to a group home, where he now resides.

 For many years, B attended the same school as my sister and me. Sadly, you probably won't be shocked to hear about how cruel many of the other students were about my brother. It's true that he couldn't really understand what the other kids were saying or doing. But I could understand. At least, I could understand what people were saying, not why they were saying it.

Now that I am an adult, it seems like every day I am reading or hearing a story about a young person that is a victim of bullying. Bullying seems to be on the rise and is becoming a serious problem in this country. My question is, how do these bullies get like that? Where does this hatred come from? As a mother and a former first grade teacher, I have RARELY seen young children spouting hateful things.

When I was a first grade teacher, I put a strong emphasis on building a classroom community. Bullying and nasty comments were not tolerated. I spent a lot of time reading books to them about kids who were "different"- kids from different countries, different races, different religions, and students with disabilities. Every time I read about Martin Luther King Jr., I proudly watched as my multicultural class joined hands. A lot of the pairs of best friends in my class were different races. They told me they couldn't imagine a world where they wouldn't be allowed to be friends. 

Some years, I was able to work together with the teachers of the special ed class. We would get our students together to do fun projects on holidays. As a reward for good behavior, some of my students were allowed to sit at the table with students from the special ed class. Believe it or not, my students really saw this as a reward, not a punishment. Actually, some of the kids who usually gave me the most trouble in class were the one who really loved this reward. It made me proud to hear my children begging me for a chance to sit at that table. A far cry from the things I heard from the other students when I went to school. 

Sometimes it seems like I am hearing hateful things everywhere. Grown people making anti-Semitic comments, anti-gay or racial slurs. Even presidential hopefuls. Why is this still acceptable?!?!? I didn't accept this from 6 year olds so why do I hear it from adults? I guess I answered my own question from earlier: where does this hatred come from?  

In honor of tomorrow's holiday, Martin Luther King Jr day, I ask that each of you mommas work hard this year to teach your children acceptance. Let's teach our children that it's okay to be different. In fact, let's teach them to embrace these differences and stick up for others who are being bullied. Personally, I know I will be forever grateful to the friends who always stood up for my brother.

Maybe if we all work together, we can stamp out hatred forever. Wouldn't the world be a beautiful place?

The poem:

He doesn't speak.
He doesn't seem to hear
Or to understand
But he is a person.

It's not his fault
That he was born this way.
People taunt and make fun of him anyway
But he is a person.

He cannot read or write,
Or have a conversation .
Yet he seems to have emotions.
That is how we know that he is a person.

He can smile and laugh.
He can scream and cry.
He is capable of loving,
Just like any person.

He likes to be kissed and cuddled,
And I love him with all my heart.
He deserves all the love he can get,
Because he is a Special Person. 

Facebook page!

I now have a Facebook page! Wahoo! Hubby is working on putting a "Like" button on my blog. In the here and "Like"

Now the question is, to Twitter or not to Twitter??

Saturday, January 14, 2012

If men breastfed

Yesterday, as I struggled with my son's pants in a public restroom so that he could sit on the toilet, I couldn't help but wonder; if men were the main caretakers of children, would the world be more accommodating? 

I've actually been thinking about this a lot since my son was born. When I was a new and breastfeeding mama, I started to realize just how unaccommodating public places were for me. I was not comfortable nursing in public, so whenever A was hungry, I often went into a restroom at a store or restaurant. Unfortunately, most of these places didn't have have the courtesy to have a chair out for nursing moms. Guess where I ended up nursing my child? That's right, on a toilet! Looking back, I probably should have just nursed my son in front of everyone. After all, there is nothing shameful or embarrassing about a mother nursing her child. Especially since everywhere I look, I am seeing some woman's boobs, whether it be on TV, in a movie, or in the ads in magazines. 

I grew tired of feeding my child on a toilet so I began going out to my car instead. Hubby was so sweet, he even had the windows of my car tinted for me. I still had to wonder, what if men were the ones who breastfed their babies? There would probably be a private nursing room in every store and restaurant. I imagine this room would be filled with massage lounge chairs, magazines, snacks, big screen televisions, and video games. Actually, scratch the massage chairs- they'd probably have their own personal masseuses in the bathroom!

Would nursing be easier for men who went back to work? Personally, I had a very difficult time being a working, breastfeeding mother. Especially because I was a teacher and didn't have much time to pump. I do have to say, I have female friends who work for big companies and they do have nice nursing rooms with soft chairs and refrigerators. I, on the other hand, had a somewhat different experience. Although my principal was extremely supportive and accommodating about my need to pump at work, the logistics were still complicated. I had to ask a friend if I could borrow her teacher's aide every day at 10:30 to cover my class while I pumped. When the aide came to my room, I had to have work prepared  for her to do with my students. After that, I either went to a small supply room in the school office or into the library bathroom to pump. When the kids left at 2:30, I locked and covered the windows of my classroom door and pumped at my desk. Surprisingly, I kept this up for over 7 months. 

My last gripe is again about public restrooms. After potty training my son, I've come to the conclusion that every women's bathroom needs a small toilet AND  especially a urinal!!!!!!!!!! It makes sense to me. Mothers are usually the ones who take their kids to the bathroom. This can prove to be a difficult task, especially for mothers of little boys. My son is too short to reach the toilet to pee standing up and he doesn't feel comfortable peeing while I lift him up. Oh no, that would be too easy! Instead, I need to take his shoe, pants, and underwear off one of his legs and sit him on the toilet. This is a really fun struggle in a teeny, nasty bathroom stall. What if men were the ones who typically took their kids to the restroom? Would every men's bathroom have a little urinal for preschoolers? Perhaps a small sink or stepstool in each bathroom? 

In any case, until men are the ones who breastfeed and are the main caretakers of the babies, we women are stuck adapting. Motherhood is worth it after all. Although....I DO think we can start a movement for those tiny urinals in the bathrooms....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is That A Coin Roll In Your Pocket...

Hubby was in such trouble last night, he didn't even get the pillow barricade. Instead, he was banished straight to the couch. 

Now, before I write this blog entry, I must state that I love my husband with all my heart and soul. He is a wonderful husband and father. He is very successful at work and because of his success and hard work ethic, I am able to stay home with our son. Thank you babe!

With that said, I find that somehow the success, time management, and brainpower that goes into his job at the office does not always transfer to his job at home. Which brings me to last night's incident! 

Last night, I had plans to attend a neighborhood girl's night out. Yes, my neighborhood is so awesome that we have our own monthly get together. I'd been looking forward to this for days. Unfortunately, (as usual when I have a girl's night out planned), A decided not to nap. That usually makes for a looooong day for Mama and an easy night for Daddy when he gets home. No fair, right? 

I love going out with girlfriends once or twice a month and I know it's healthy for me, a stay at home mom, to get out of the house and just have fun. Yet, as my 9 faithful readers know, I tend to feel a little guilty about taking time for myself. To make up for the mommy guilt I was feeling, I decided to make it easier on my husband and do as much as I possibly could before he got home. I gave A a bath, fed him dinner, and had a meal in the crock-pot for us. As usual on my planned nights out, hubby was running late. To pass the time while A was eating, I went ahead and laid out his pajamas and bedtime diaper on his dresser. After hubby finally got home and was eating, I instructed him to please put the leftovers from the crock-pot in the Tupperware container that I placed on the counter-top. People, I literally could not have made things any easier for him!!!

Apparently, I made things too easy. When I got home around 11pm, the first thing hubby said was, "Oh crap, I forgot to put A's pjs and diaper on!" A is potty trained during the day, but still wears a diaper at night and usually fills it up. This meant hubby had to wake our son up at 11pm and put a diaper on him. Of course, A was not thrilled about this and began crying inconsolably. He was so hysterical, even my husband couldn't calm him down. Of course, this was a task for mommy. So, there I was, at 11pm, exhausted and 3/4 of the way through a bottle of Riesling, trying to console my son. Needless to say, I was pissed! 

When I finally got A calmed down and went downstairs to relax, I noticed the crock-pot was sitting on the counter with the food still in it. Next to the crock-pot sat the empty Tupperware container! I asked hubby why he didn't put the food away. At this point, I was starting to get ticked. His response: he forgot. Not only that, but he refused to apologize. I can't help but wonder how a man who is so successful at work cannot manage to remember to put a diaper on his son or clean up the leftovers from dinner. 

Somehow our argument escalated and he ended up on the couch. Of course, he apologized this morning and so did I-for all the screaming I did. But that is not the end of the story. I'll bet you're wondering where the coin rolls come in. 

This afternoon, while I was making lunch, I noticed that my recently absent-minded husband had left his wallet on the kitchen counter! Immediately, I knew I had to call him to inform him of this, especially because I knew he was planning to go out after work. His response: "Oh, I know. I'll just pay for everything with rolls of coins today." 

Yes, you read that correctly. Rolls of coins. You see, a few weekends ago, hubby went through all of our loose change and ended up wrapping about $60 worth. He hasn't had time to go to the bank so he's been carrying these coin rolls around in his jacket pocket for weeks! In fact, last night when I was pissed at him and noticed he also hadn't hung up his jacket (on top of everything else he forgot to do), I tried to jerk it off the kitchen chair. It was so heavy, I couldn't even lift it! I have no clue how he managed to walk around for days with these coin rolls in his pocket. 
Coin Roll...

In any case, my husband later informed me that due to the fact that he left his wallet at home he paid his waiter at the restaurant tonight with these coin rolls. Man, I'll bet that waiter was PISSED! I would have paid money (real money, not coins rolls) to see the waiter's face when hubby handed him those coins. Ha! 

Did I mention we also had a babysitter watching A tonight because both my husband and I had plans? Hubby got home first so guess how he had to pay the sitter? Half cash, half coin rolls. I wonder if she'll ever sit for us again? 

Hopefully my husband will make it to the bank tomorrow and cash in what's left of the wrapped coins. I also hope the incidents of the past few days have taught him some valuable lessons! Lesson #1- Always put a diaper on a toddler before bed. Lesson #2- Never forget your wallet. Lesson #3-Always apologize to your wife. (had to throw that one in)

Thankfully, my husband has a good sense of humor. Also, for those of you who read, The Pillow Barricade, you know that he doesn't even read my blog so it doesn't matter anyway. 

Just a warning; if you see a handsome black haired man trying to pay someone with rolls of coins, RUN! It's definitely my hubby- who I now like to refer to as the Coin Roll Bandit.


Monday, January 9, 2012

SMS (Sappy Mom Syndrome)

Do any of you mom readers also suffer from the condition 'sappy mom syndrome'? Before I was a mom, I was pretty sensitive and sappy but this is just ridiculous! It seems like I can no longer get through my daily activities without at least once tearing up over the craziest things.

Once I became a mother, I started seeing the world in a whole new way. I remember all those people trying to talk to me about this when I was pregnant. "You have no idea what the love of your child will feel like," they'd say. "It's indescribable! You'll see when the baby is here!"

"Yeah, yeah." I'd say to myself while smiling and nodding. I knew what it was like to love parents, siblings, friends, my husband, and even my students, so loving my child couldn't feel much different, could it?

When we first brought A home from the hospital, I cried the ENTIRE ride. It was a 45 minute drive too. We have the video footage to prove it. There I am, dropping the baby carrier on the couch, weeping, and running away from the camera so my sobs wouldn't be captured on video. At that point, it was less about the intense love for my child and more about, "Holy shit! I can't believe they let me take this baby out of the hospital. Don't they know I have no clue what I am doing??"

The truth is, when A was first born, I did feel that love, but not as intensely as I do now. I believe it's because I didn't really know him yet. He was a cute, sweet little baby boy, but also at that age, a blob. All he did was eat, sleep, and poop. Of course, I vividly remember my husband and I taking turns holding him, looking at each other and saying, "I love him! I just love him!" several times a day. At his first mommy and me class (he was 7 weeks old), I couldn't even finish singing the song, "You are my sunshine" with the group because I knew I'd lose it if I opened my mouth. I also remember tearing up at his first smile, his bris, first shots at the doctor, and every single milestone. What a sap, right?

Now that A is close to three years old, I'm not any better. In fact, I'd say I'm WORSE! Because now I know him, like really know him. I know the kind of sweet, gentle, loving, funny, wacky kid he is and I love love love him for it. Oh yes, my SMS has taken a turn for the worse. Little things set me off now. Like last night, when A grabbed hubby and me and forced us into a game of ring around the rosie. I had a pile of dishes to wash but I figured it would only take a minute so I'd humor him. The second or third time around the rosie, I suddenly felt myself tearing up. Oh no! I didn't want hubby to see because he does NOT suffer from SMS and would think I was a weirdo. I just couldn't help it. The moment was so sweet and I thought, "This is what life is about. The three of us laughing and dancing in the living room together. Everyone should be this lucky."  Oh crap, I'm tearing up writing this. SMS.

Anyone else cry hysterically at the movie Dumbo? It's my son's favorite movie and I cry each time he watches it. The part where Dumbo goes to see his imprisoned mom and she rocks him with her trunk and the song, "Baby Mine" comes on. Gets me every single time. SMS. 

Or how about the book, I'll Love You Forever. Oh. My. God. In almost three years, I have yet to read that book without crying. The part at the end where the boy/man stands on the stairs for a long time (after rocking and singing to his sick mother) and then goes and rocks his new baby girl.....always a tearjerker! SMS. 

This past weekend was a little emotional for me because we transitioned A from his crib into his toddler bed. I was nervous but also excited for A to make this big step. Imagine my delight when the very first naptime, he begged to go in his bed and slept soundly in it for two hours! But the sight of that little body sleeping in that bed and that little head on that pillow brought tears (of joy, pride, and a little nostalgia) to my eyes. Because my little boy is growing up and that was another visual reminder. Of course, I'm not sad he's growing up, but you know what I mean. SMS. 

To be honest, I don't think I really mind "suffering" from Sappy Mom Syndrome. I think it's just part of being a proud, loving mom. I'm sure there are many more SMS moments to come. Guess I better start buying stock in Kleenex. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All the things I said I'd never do ...

As my son's third birthday nears, I can't help but think back to the person I was 3 years ago. I was a first grade teacher, so naturally I was a child rearing expert (yea right!). I had all these expectations of what kind of mother I would be and what kind of "perfect" son I would raise. Anyone reading this who has kids probably just laughed hysterically at that last sentence. After all, despite what we all think before we have children, it's just not as easy as it looks, is it? Being a mother is the most rewarding, fulfilling job I've ever had but it's also the kind of job where I feel like I am judged constantly, not only by others, but by myself too. 

Here is a list of all the things I insisted I would never do (before I had kids).... 

1.  Let my baby sleep in my bed- This is something I was convinced I would never do. Whenever I heard of someone else doing that, I was appalled! Naturally, when we brought our son home from the hospital, we would lay him in his bassinet and he would sleep peacefully for at least a few hours. After a month or two, we would smoothly transition him to his crib in his own room. HAHAHAHA! Yea right! I was a breastfeeding mama so letting A into our bed at night was unintentional at first. I would bring him in the bed to nurse him and accidentally fall asleep. I had good intentions of returning him to his bassinet, it just didn't always happen because of exhaustion. After I went back to work full time, this was no longer an unintentional move. I was still nursing, pumping 4 times a day, getting up for work at 5:30 every morning, getting home about 4 in the afternoon, and on my own til hubby came home around 7pm. I WAS SO TIRED! After a few days of this schedule, I began putting A in our bed whenever he woke up at night just so I could nurse him and go back to sleep. Despite everyone's warnings, we smoothly transitioned him to his crib in his own room by about 8 months. After he became a toddler, he never slept with us again. For those of you who are skeptical, let me just say one word. Survival. 

2. "Allow" my kid to scream or tantrum in a public place-I am laughing about the word, "allow". I was one of those women who rolled her eyes and couldn't believe how some toddlers and preschoolers were permitted to behave in public. Apparently I knew very little about the thought process and actions of actual two year olds. Don't get me wrong, I do still think parents need to be consistent and follow through with discipline and threats. Also, I think parents should remove children from public places like restaurants when they are tantruming. But I also have a new appreciation for what little control we have over a two year old's actions. The phrase terrible twos most have come from somewhere, right? 

3. Discuss breastfeeding or potty training on Facebook-Before I was a mom, this kind of shit grossed me out (no pun intended). Why would anyone want to put that kind of private information on Facebook. And by the way, I'm the queen of TMI. Once I was the one breastfeeding or potty training my child, it suddenly dawned on me why people do this-to get support and advice from other moms. It's been extremely helpful for me to have a social network to bounce ideas off of or sometimes just get a "way to go!" comment. Apologies to my friends and families without kids though. That stuff probably still seems gross to you. 

4. Bring gaming systems and/or travel DVD players to restaurants-Another thing I used to turn my nose up at. "Gosh, why don't they teach that child how to behave in a restaurant instead of sticking that game in his face?" Ha. Well, I do still believe a child needs to learn the right way to behave in a restaurant. Unfortunately, I think a lot of these lessons are better taught to children ages 4 and up. My pediatrician once told me that a parent who took a child under the age of 4 to a restaurant was insane. When my sis visited last weekend, we wanted to go out to eat with her. (A family friendly restaurant of course). I watched her eyes roll as I packed A's bag of tricks for the restaurant. I packed: coloring book and crayons, snacks, drinks, his new Mobi-go, my I-pod touch loaded with kid apps, a fully charged travel DVD player, and some animals. Sounds like overkill right? Probably was. But can you blame me for wanting to keep my two year old son entertained while I enjoyed a (hot) meal with my sis and hubby? It turned out, we didn't need most of that stuff this time. He sat and colored and ate most of the meal! I'm convinced if I hadn't packed all that stuff, he would have acted like  a wild animal. Can't win I guess. 

5. Give my kid dessert or let him leave the table if he didn't eat all his food-My son doesn't like to eat, especially in public. Sometimes it's easier to let him leave the table. Occasionally later if we are having some junk food or dessert, we let him have a bite. Get over it. He's two. 

6.Become a stay at home mom-Before I was a mom, I was a teacher with a Master's Degree. Part of the reason I chose teaching as a career was because I've always wanted a family and I felt like teaching would be the best of both worlds. Plus I love kids and loved teaching. I'd work from 7-3 and be home with plenty of time and energy to spend with my son when I got home. My teacher friends can insert laugh here. I went back to work when A was 5 months old. With budget cuts and more demands than ever on teachers, I found myself at work or bringing stuff (like papers to grade or crazy report cards) home all the time. Even when I was home, I was stressed about work. After a year of work and LOTS of indecision, hubby paid off our car and reworked the budget so that I'd be able to stay home with our son. I've never been happier! On the other hand, I know not everyone can or wants to stay home and that's okay too. 

To me, part of being a good mom (and person) is realizing that what's best for one person may not be best for another. It also means coming to terms with the fact that other people may not do things the way you think is the best way. We're not perfect, we're parents. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The ham sandwich...oy!

The holidays are all over and it's time for things to get back to normal. A and I resumed our regular schedule today and hubby went on to work. I've got to admit, the house seems quiet without him and I definitely miss having him here. But....a teeny part of me is glad he's back at work. 

It seems like whenever hubby is off work for extended periods of time, we bicker more. This makes sense since we normally see each other for about an hour in the morning and about 3-4 hours every evening. When he is on vacation, we are together about 12-15 hours straight! Also, A and I have a pretty structured and balanced schedule normally, but on vacations, that all goes out the window. 

The other problem with hubby being home is my mindset. I tend to think, "Yay, he is home from work! I will have a lot more help around the house and with A!". Of course, hubby is thinking, "Yay! I'm off of work! Time to get projects around the house done and then relax!".  Whoops! To give my husband credit ( where credit is due) he always is a HUGE help with our son, even when he does go to work. He pretty much does bath time and PJ time every night, helps do dishes, and picks up toys. Did I mention he makes the bed each morning before work too? 

Of course, a huge reason my husband is such a helpful man is because of his parents. Now, I promise I'm not just saying this because I know my mother-in-law reads my blog. I am fortunate to have married a man whose mother taught him how to do laundry and clean. GASP! These men do exist! The problem is, now that I am a stay at home mom, there aren't many opportunities for him to show this side of himself. The other problem is, he LOVES to use this cleaning knowledge to criticize me.

 Yes- me, the person actually doing the cleaning and laundry now. OY! 

I remember an incident that happened when we first started dating. I was only 22 years old and living in my first apartment. While I was a pretty tidy person, I wasn't really into cleaning and scrubbing things yet. (Is anyone really into that?) We had been seeing each other for a few months and were just starting to get serious. I had been waiting for him to say the "L" word. One day, during one of his visits to my place, he sat me down on the bed and told me he needed to talk to me about something. I thought, "This is it! He's going to tell me he loves me!!!!". Instead, he pointed to the fan in my bedroom. He said, "You see that fan? Look how dusty the blades are. It's disgusting. You really should clean that!" 

Folks, this is a true story. You can't make this shit up. 

Which brings me to yesterday's incident with the ham sandwich.

 A was down for his afternoon nap and I was prepared to tackle my daily to do list. Meanwhile, hubby screwed around on the computer and started making his lunch. First thing on the list, vacuum. I like to get that one done first before A falls asleep. As I pulled out the Dyson, hubby had the nerve to sit himself down on the recliner with a HAM SANDWICH! In the only room I needed to vacuum! I guess he was waiting for me to finish so he could watch TV or something.

 Anyway, I had just started to vacuum the living room when I saw him motioning to me and heard him scream, "Turn it off! Turn it off!" 

Okaaaaay....Once it was off, he informed me that it was making a weird noise and the way to remedy that was to turn it off and turn it back on.


 I started up again only to hear him yelling at me to stop again! This time, I pretended not to hear him and turned around so I couldn't see him either. He continued yelling until I could ignore him no longer. "WHAT NOW?!" I screamed. He told me that it sounded like the filter needed to be emptied. Keep in mind people, I had been vacuuming less than 3 minutes.

 "Are you seriously sitting in the recliner, eating a ham sandwich, and instructing me on how to vacuum?!?!?!" I exploded. That made him laugh hysterically and say, "Hmm, I guess I am."

With that, I gladly handed over the vacuum. After all, he is the cleaning expert, isn't he? 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The grocery store

I HATE going to the grocery store lately. I'm not sure what it is that bothers me. Maybe I don't like shopping with a two year old. Or maybe it's because I have been trying to use coupons recently and I find that very stressful for some reason. But I think one of the biggest reasons I don't like grocery shopping is because of the other shoppers.

Now before I write this blog entry I will confess that I'm not perfect. I am usually that weird mom that walks around Harris Teeter chatting away to my toddler and fake smiling at everyone. I try to engage my son by letting him "help" put things in the cart and on the checkout lane. Occasionally if I only have a few things to buy, he gets his own little cart (or 'buggy' if you're southern). I think it's adorable but I'm sure people (especially people without kids) find it a little annoying. OK, the little shopping cart stunt actually is pretty cute and I've caught many shoppers smiling down at him, but you get my point.

In any case, I've recently started using Harris Teeter Express Lane To Go. For those of you that aren't familiar with this service, for the small fee of $4.95 you can do your grocery online. At your pre-selected pickup time, you drive to the store, press a button, and they bring your groceries right out to your car! To me, it's totally worth it! Especially since there are often promotions/coupons they offer in which you can get this service for free. When I heard about this, I was thrilled. WAHOO!! No more shopping with my two year and no more having to pack my bag of toys and 'tricks' to keep him from screaming in the store. Never again will I have to zoom past the toys and junk strategically placed around the store to set toddlers and preschoolers into tantrums (so frazzled and exhausted moms will give in and buy junk to shut up their kids). NO more being the weird mom! Well...not so sure about that last one....ha.

I love this service and I have been using it for a few months now. The only downside is that I've become spoiled. I realized this yesterday afternoon. My sister came to town for the weekend. She is an awesome cook and offered to make us brunch on New Year's Day. Hubby offered to watch our son 'A' so that we could go the grocery store and pick up ingredients. I figured it wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have A with us. The only thing is, I forgot about the OTHER thing I hate about grocery shopping; the other shoppers!!!!!

It started with the annoying people standing by the meat. I patiently waited for my chance to pick up a package of chicken breasts while two or three women stood right in front of the meat shelves for what felt like 10 minutes. I swear, they acted like it was a life or death decision. I know one woman saw me quietly standing behind her waiting for my turn. She didn't even have the courtesy to move her cart out of the way so I could get in. UGH! Then, further down the aisle, I was grabbing something off a shelf only to look up and see an old woman with a mean look on her face staring right at me. I guess I was in her way because as soon as I moved, she zoomed past. Did she ever hear of using the words, 'excuse me'? 

Perhaps the worst offender was the woman with two kids in the dairy aisle. She really pissed me off. First of all, her kids were wild. These were not toddlers, they looked to be about 5 and 8. She had no control over them. Now, keep in mind, I am a mom so I do have sympathy for other moms in the grocery store. But this was just ridiculous. They were all over the place, which was annoying. The more annoying thing was her. She was screaming at them and of course they were ignoring her. I could hear her all the way down the aisle. Then she turned to the man stocking the milk shelves and started loudly complaining about her kids! I'm not sure if she knew this man or not. All I heard was her saying things like, "this is why I don't grocery shop" and "I haven't used coupons in forever" (as she nodded at her wild children). They continued to run around like maniacs. As my sis and I turned into the next aisle, we heard her loudly exclaim, "Just SHOOT me!". 

Okay. Deep breaths. Remember, I'm by no means a perfect mother. BUT when did it become cool to act like you hate being a mom? Of 
course, I hang around with other moms and we swap stories and occasionally complain. Deep down though, we love our children and we love being moms. This woman was loudly bashing her kids in a public grocery store to complete strangers. No wonder they acted like cavemen. 

As my sister and I left the store, I couldn't help but roll my eyes and mutter, "perhaps someone should inform her about Express Lane To Go....." Lord knows, that's how I'll be shopping next week!