Update on Day 4 of Summer Vacation: Sigh...

So, on the Fourth Day of Summer Vacation (but who's counting?) I decide that we are going to go strawberry picking because it is supposed to be a glorious day here in The Nutmeg State and the rain has stopped and my need to get my children out of my house and hair has reached epic proportions.

My kids need to get reacquainted with nature. Strawberries are the perfect means. Strawberries, my children, grow on small plants that come from the earth. Our beautiful mother earth. Strawberries are not to be confused with those red, rubbery sticks found at the movie theaters next to the Milk Duds. Sigh...

Of course my children moan and groan that they don't want to go. Of course they do. They are my children and this is what my children do these days. Sigh...

But I make them anyhow. I force them to get up and showered and dressed. You're wearing that? I scream to my boys who come downstairs in grubby T-shirts and track pants. I make them change. Twice. Yeah, I am a mean mother. The meanest there could be. But when my children are with me I want them to dress appropriately. God, I sound like my own mother... Sigh...

Boys eventually emerge looking handsome as ever and I praise their efforts and shower them with kisses. My four year old asks if he can have candy today as he sees my sudden good mood. Know how to make him cry real quick? Say NO! Sigh...

We're ready to go. I have the car packed with a cooler filled with water, juices and snacks for the ride home. I don't want to stop off at some junk food joint because they are starving. And after spending nearly $300 at the grocery store this week they'd better eat my food.

I send the kids to the car as I set the alarm and everyone's fighting, well only the older two are, but "everyone" sounds so much more dramatic, no? The older two are vying for the front seat. (Children can sit up front in Connecticut from age 10 and up.) OK, Christopher is 9 and I let him ride up front to school, 3 miles away. Don't judge unless you have been in my house and heard my children bicker. I can't take the fighting. I need a Valium stiff drink  time out. No one is allowed up front today. I like it best that way anyhow. I get to control the radio and the volume! (I like it louder than the children do!)

Finally a sense of calm is restored, but Lexus' stupididioticfrigging navigation system does not recognize the address of Jones Family Farms in Shelton, CT. According to my nav this place doesn't exist. I say a few choice words to it and go back inside after yelling at the kids that this is all their fault! (Yes, remember I am also the Cursing Mommy, or Prep with The Truck Driver Mouth if you prefer. And yes, La Jolie Grandmere would totally frown upon this.) According to the address on the farm's website I wrote the address down wrong. Sigh...

We get to the farm and some friends are there and waiting for us. Others are not. We wait for the rest of our crew for about 10 minutes and then decide to make our way over to the strawberries fields. They'll find us when we get there.

The strawberries are divine this year. Could not be more perfect. My children, are quite the opposite, however. Christopher is bored the minute we get out there. Rebecca won't smile for any picture I want to take of her and Alexander refuses to listen to me. At all. I am tempted to run like hell and leave them all out in the fields. Thankfully Rebecca's best friend's older sister is there. Alexander adores Jennee. He idolizes her and will do anything for her, including listen. So I entrusted him in her care.

as close to a smile I'll get from Rebecca

Jennee... isn't she adorable? No wonder Alexander hangs on her every word!

I'm not so sure what he's doing here... not so sure I want to know!
Yes, I know this looks innocent enough, but remember this is Alexander we are talking about!

After our berries have been picked my kids are invited over to a friend's house. Christopher can go but Rebecca cannot. She has soccer practice in the afternoon and I cannot let her miss another. All of a sudden two children scream at me about how life is so unfair and I am mean and they never get to play or do this that or the other. Yep, that's me... Mean Old Mommy. I remind Rebecca that she has already had a play date and a sleep over this week and that this weekend she has a slumber party. I think I should let Christopher go off on the play date. Another mother can bring him home to me. Alexander has a class party at the beach in the evening so he'll have some time with his friends too. 

I pay for my goodies which somehow total $40 dollars! These purchases include my 10 pounds of strawberries, a head of fresh lettuce, some garlic scape -- long greens that resemble scallions -- and a bottle of Strawberry Serenade, a pink sparkling wine that has just a hint of sweetness. I'll let you know how it is when I try it!

I bid farewell to oldest son and get the older two situated in the truck. 

As I reach back to grab my bag in search of sun glasses my  hand touches something stick. Pardon my French, but oh Fuck me Now! Gum is on the rug. The vents on the floor in the second row are releasing hot air for some reason -- I've been meaning to take car in to get this fixed -- The gum is soft and gooey and all over the carpet. I scream, and yes I do mean scream at Alexander as I am driving. It was his gum and there is no denying it. This, in addition to the tar (I think) that somehow magically appeared on the leather seats a couple of weeks ago, sends me into a screaming fit about my kids having no respect for my things and my new car. (Well, she's 13 months old.) 
Alexander is in deep doo doo and he knows it.

Once home I Google "How to remove gum from carpeting."
Someone suggests pouring a ton of vinegar on it and letting the acids eat away at the gum. I try this. Great, now the Lexus smells like a friggin' French Fry factory. I try the ice cube trick. It works a little bit. Eventually I scrape most of it away using a sharp metal object. While I am in the depths of my car I realize how disgusting it is. I really need to have it detailed but am not dumb enough to do this as we head into the summer months. I pull out the shop vac, leather cleaner and Windex. I do a decent job. I am relatively pleased.

Later that evening we are all at the beach with Alexander's classmates and parents. A glass or two of Chardonnay at the beach at sunset does much to erase the day's troubles. The kids are all playing well and having a wonderful time. The adults are all playing well and having a wonderful time. The troubles of the day are literally melting away... Sigh...

Summer Vacation Day 3: Another Rainy Day

I used to be fun. I used to like the rain. And then I had kids...

As a child I remember running around in the rain on Shelter Island with my friend Vanessa. We donned our bathing suits and had the best time and were positively giddy. We weren't even that little. When we were done we would put on dry clothes and enjoy a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa.

I remember setting a lemonade stand in front of my building, 1136 Fifth Avenue, with my friend Zoe. And then it rained. And then it poured. Monsoon-like! We stayed out in the rain and we made so much money that day!

In college, it was not uncommon to cut classes in a severe rainstorm. We'd watch Oprah and brew coffee in our coffee-makers that we weren't allowed to have in our dorm rooms! (Naturally, we would brave the wet weather for busy social calendars!)

I started to dislike rain after college. It's no fun walking to the train in the rain. And waiting for the train in the rain. And stepping out of Grand Central Station and getting splashed by taxis and cars and buses. Or misjudging what ended up to be a puddle a mile deep. And then walking a half of a mile to a mile to your offices uptown. And then sitting around all day in wet clothes. And then repeating the same old song and dance to get home. This is when I started to hate the rain.

Unless it was a weekend and I had no place to go. Then the rain was most welcoming. I would make my coffee or tea, bake some cookies or a loaf of bread, crawl under the covers and read for hours. Rain on the weekends was delightful and peaceful and relaxing.

And then I had kids.
(Why did I have kids?)
And I started to really hate the rain.

Dragging around babies in carriers while running errands in the rain is positively painful. More so than getting sprayed by a cab on 50th and Fifth... Dragging around toddlers and preschoolers in the rain is positively painful. And with children there is no such thing as hunkering down to watch a movie, read a book, enjoy a warm cup of tea. Children do not want to relax. In fact, I am positive, the rain -- even the mere thought of it -- drives children to want to run around the house like mad creatures... makes them want to drive you batty. Young children do not understand the concept of relaxing. They do not want to sit quietly with books or a good movie. No, they want to drive you crazy. Insane. To the Nut House. To drink!

It's harder when they are young. For sure.

When they get older you can take them to the movies or create a home theater with popcorn and candy. Even better because you can hunker down with blankets. And cuddle. I'm hoping my youngest will want to do this today. He has been the biggest bear of the group over the past couple of days.

Today I vow to try to like the rain again. We will run out and play and get soaking wet. We will come inside and dry off and have some Baileys hot cocoa. We will bake cookies. And eat the batter before it goes into the oven. And pour ourselves a glass or two of wine. We will then cuddle up on the couch and watch some movies together. And if they won't stay settled I have a whole spool rope and a case of Benadryl.

What would Karen Walker do?

So, hidden behind the Lilly that was worn yesterday, was a day of fiascoes and frustrations.

Yesterday was the last day of school. I arrived in plenty of time to take some shots of children going through the front door. I was asked to this for a possible add to go into local papers. When that was done I had to scramble around to locate the children who had yet to sign the thank you cards for the preschool teachers. The PreK-4 Graduation Ceremony was at 9:00. The final assembly and closing ceremonies were at 10:30. I gave Alexander the option to sit with me or with his class. Naturally he wanted to stay with me. He was a BEAST and I do mean BEAST. He would not sit still and would not be quiet. I did my best to follow the awards that were being handed out and listen to what was being said. But Alexander was misbehaving and distracting and I was mortified. Finally the assembly was over and the kids were left in my care. Ack! Now what?

We got home and I had not one but three beasts all arguing and whining. I hopped onto the computer and changed my FB satus to:

Kids Are Out For The Summer... Now What The @^#% Do I Do With Them? (Should this be a fan page? LOL)

We were supposed to go to a third grade class party at the beach after school but since no one really wanted to go and we would only be able to stay for a limited time and then rush home and change as I had to rush out the door to see my orthopedic doctor. I had no sitters lined up or available. I had no idea what to do with the kids beasts brats. I offered $10 to Rebecca to watch the boys for an hour and a half. At first she was agreeable and then she came storming down from the playroom telling me that she was not going to, not going to, NOT GOING to stay home with her brothers. Great. And no way on earth I was dragging these three beasts to a doctor's office. Luckily I got a phone call telling me that their father would be home in time to watch The Beasts.

I left the house at 3:15 sharp. How pathetic is it that I am happy to go to the doctor's, any place for that matter, so I can be away from the kids. Seriously pathetic since I had only had them in my care for 3 hours and I couldn't even manage that. Man oh man it's gonna be a long summer!

I brought some of La Jolie Grandmere's writings with me to read while I waited. She had a rough draft for a cookbook filled with incomplete recipes, wonderful illustrations and two possible titles, Cabbages and Things and Cabbages and Kings. I lost all concept of time, as I was engrossed in my reading, until I was finally called in... nearly an hour and a half later... shit!

I called home to tell Becca and husband picked up the phone all annoyed saying it was inexcusable and such. I had to look at the other side. What if I was a patient that needed a little extra time? I would hope the doctor would not rush me out the door, right? So I was annoyed that he was annoyed and in a foul mood.

I left the room, located a nurse and told her hat I was going to have to reschedule. The doctor was standing right there with her, filling out some sort of report on the computer. Of course I was like, fill out the report later dude... but I didn't say that. They both apologized profusely for delay and so I got my appointment rescheduled for today, 4pm which is pushing it since I have a 6pm therapy appointment a couple of towns away. Already betting that one of those appointments is going to have to get rescheduled.

I raced home to get Becca so that we could attend the 8th Grade Graduation at school. I had no time to change, as I would have liked to have done -- at least freshened up some -- but we got there on time.

This morning hasn't been much better. We left to pick up Rebecca's friend Grace and ran a couple of errands. I ran quickly into the bank then to the bakery to get some fresh, sliced challah bread for the banana Nutella paninis I was going to make the kids as a lunchtime treat. Next thing I know Alexander decides to get out of his car seat and  walks into the store. He was under strict orders to stay in the car with the older kids.

From there I had one more stop. To Trader Joe's to get some bananas for the banana Nutella paninis. The entire way Rebecca kept asking if we needed Nutella. I kept telling her that we didn't, I bought a new jar not too long ago. Again in the store she asked if I should pick up some Nutella. Once again I told her no, we had plenty at home. The youngest boy, meanwhile, is acting like a terror and I am horrified. I keep pulling him over to discipline him but it is not working. Why are children no longer fearful of their parents anymore? Fear is a good thing, I tell you! Ugh...

Back to the car and back to the house. I put the groceries away and leave out what I need for the sandwiches. I reach in to the cabinet and the entire container of Nutella is empty. Empty! Gone! I used it once! A Certain Someone must have been sneaking some... otherwise why would the Certain Someone have asked me over and over and over again if we had enough Nutella? AND had I been the one to have used it up I would have tossed the empty container. Only children leave empty containers in cabinets and shelves. I am not going back out... I am thoroughly annoyed.

My kids have been on vacation for 24 hours. It's going to be a verrry long summer... verrry long indeed.

So, what do you think Karen Walker would do if she was in my situation?

What would Karen Walker do?

I had my MRI and my consult with my orthopedic surgeon last week. We went over the films together. What to do? I was not pressured into a decision. I was told that after 3 dislocations that chances are great that it will dislocate again. There is no telling when. Could be within the year or within 10. What to do? The dislocations themselves are horrendous. 10 out of 10 for pain. Up there with labor and natural birth. I just can't go through that again. And I've spent my winter in fear. Terrified of every little and large patch of ice. Watching my every step, fearful that one trip of slip will send me toppling down and out will go my arm to catch me, to brace my fall. And out will pop my shoulder. Sure it's easy enough to say I'll use my other hand to brace my fall. But it won't happen. I am left handed, very dominantly left handed. I'm screwed. I haven't gone sledding or ice skating this winter. I don't want to be limited over the summer.

Obviously I will be after the surgery, to some degree, but I won't have to worry about my shoulder popping out while I'm at my parents in Newport and they're out leaving no one to watch my kids... Ok, my aunt and uncle are there and my cousin is there all summer too, but what if I can't reach them? Or worse what if we're in Maine (lots of family there too) but it just seems worse for it to happen there... on vacation... at the beach...

So my decision was made as I stood in front of my doctor and panicked about all the possible what ifs. And if the shoulder did dislocate again then the damage could possibly be worse than it already is and surgery would be inevitable at that point. So on with the Big Girl Panties. Surgery it is. We discussed what the surgery would entail and recovery time. We discussed limitations and what to expect.

I came home and discussed this with my husband. He thought I should put the surgery off until September. But that's such an incredibly crazy month. And I'll be in Nantucket the last weekend with Gabi, Mama Henley, Bevy and KK. No way no how I am going in a sling and only partially mobile! (After all, since I'll be in a sling I won't be able to hold my cocktail properly. We must look at all the important issues girls!)
And my husband has never dislocated his shoulder, or birthed a child for that matter. He's never had to experience this pain. So he's not going to chose when the surgery will be. Besides, there really is no good time. So might as well get it over and done with.

So as of yesterday I have pre-op date scheduled for  April 2nd for a mini physical to make sure I can handle the surgery and anesthesia and answer any final questions. My operation will be on Monday, April 10th. Egads. No eating or drinking from Midnight forward. Ack! Hope the surgery is early!!!

Much of my day yesterday was spent in fear. I shed a few tears when I learned that I will have to be in a sling for 3 weeks and unable to drive for that amount of time as well. I immediately called my doctor back. How long would I be miserable? How long would I be in pain? Apparently anesthesia in shoulder surgery has a higher nausea rate... don't know why... I hate throwing up and I hate pain, I told him, on the verge of tears. I was told I would be given anti-nausea meds if needed and some Percodan. I can't take Percodan! I told him. It makes me throw up... I was teetering closer to a full-out cry.

I was assured that I could have something else. Vicodin is good. Good, I like good meds. Some people, I was told, are really only uncomfortable for a few days. Others a little longer. Great, I think I know which group I'll fall into. I'll get my stitches out in 10 days. I'll start physical therapy in 14 days. While still in a sling? Won't it... hurt? Yes, it will, I was told. And I can and should pop some more pills when that happens. Great, doesn't he know I live for my daily glass of wine? I thought I had a reputation! What'll I do? I can't have (I'm pretty certain) wine and Vicodin?

Who is going to take my kids to school? Who is going to take me to physical therapy? Who will cook and clean and take care of my family? Who will keep the house from falling down? How will my family survive?

As I panicked aloud on Twitter last night Shopaholic In Alabama and Caroline Grace told me that I reminded them of Karen Walker! (The greatest compliment e-ver!) And so I wondered, and now ask you... What would Karen Walker do?

(For those of you waiting with baited breath, more stories of my youth will follow in the days to come!)

i guess that's why they call them the blues...

Rebecca's Pink & Green party was cancelled. Well, postponed until Friday. I got a call from a friend telling me that her daughter had strep as did another one of their friends who was also invited to the party. That, coupled with the fact that my husband's back was so bad he was unable to move, and suddenly his throat felt like he had swallowed "shards of glass" I thought the only thing to do was cancel. As devastatingly disappointed as she was, I knew that a) the party would not be the same without these two little girls and b) with daddy as sick as he was calling it off was most likely a good thing. I was actually wondering how I was going to manage the girls and keep the boys out of their hair at the same time!

I made all the necessary calls and asked if we could reschedule to Friday. (Christopher's party is on Saturday and his Birthday is on Sunday.) Happily, everyone will be able to join us. Most of the work has been done and all that will be left to do will be to cook and re-bake all the cupcakes... a few have disappeared these past 24 hours!

Rebecca is not one to sit home. The boys are happy to hang out and play together, watch television and play on the computer. Rebecca is my social butterfly, happier out of the house and with her friends. She was hard to keep happy yesterday... whining every few minutes ... everything is so unfair... why me ... woe is me... I would be so much better off without brothers... (Sounding a lot like her mother!)

I had to take daddy back to the doctor's yesterday to look at his throat. Sure enough it was strep. We returned home (I left Becca in charge of the troops) to find Alexander complaining of a stomach ache. Shortly later he got sick. Could the day get any more stressful? I had to run out to pick up the antibiotics that had been filled. But my son was sick and needed me. But my husband was in no shape to get behind the wheel. So off I went. I had to. And I picked up some ginger-ale while I was out.

Needless to say there is no rest for the weary. One must tend to sick and injured spouse, 2 healthy children and one sick child... one must keep on top of the laundry and feed well children while holding sick child's head... Purell, Purell, Purell... my hands are rougher than sandpaper. Valentines are still in the car. Can't possibly bring out the chocolates. Webkinz are indeed stomach-flu safe, but I don't want sick child on well-children's computer... Perhaps we should just celebrate happy heart's day tomorrow. But this seems cruel to do to a child who had to temporarily forgo her party too.

So far, 2010, I'm not much liking you.

In between endless trips to the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom I get a moment to sit. And contemplate. And complain that this sucks. That after many sleepless nights on the couch. I am beyond tired. I saved the bed for the husband who seems to need it more than I do. When I am beyond tired I am cranky and irritable. And a whiny and a baby. And miserable.

Last night was no exception. The Big Girl Panties were off and nowhere to be found. I yelled at everyone. I yelled at sick husband for being cranky and obnoxious as he complained I was driving over ever bump and pothole on purpose -- as I made countless trips to the store for him. And took him to the doctors. I yelled at my daughter, who was sad enough as it was, for her whining because I was equally as frustrated and 100 times more tired. I yelled at my middle child. For no reason, I am sure, other than the fact that he was there. And I yelled at my sick baby last night. As he was getting sick. I kept telling him not to drink too much water. Every time he did so he got sick. I had used an entire roll of paper towels and just as much Windex to clean the floors because he couldn't make it to the bathroom. We had gone through all his pajamas. My hands were red and raw from chemical and soap and Purell. Every time I closed my eyes to doze off Alexander got sick. At one point, at around Midnight, I actually yelled at him. "Stop drinking water!" I shouted. I cleaned him up and told him he had to go find some clothes in his room. Terrible. Mean. I know. I'm not a good person on too little sleep.

I felt horribly when it happened and still do. I have made it up to him many times over, even digging out my old floral Ralph Lauren pillow cases because he loves them and he loves flowers. If only flowered pillowcases could make all of our troubles melt away.

a christmas to remember...

(excuse any typos, please!)

we had a lovely time with two christmases on friday. we had an intimate morning at our house where we spent all morning opening gifts. santa delivered the kids wishes. a few tears were shed when alexander opened not one but two broken toys! i promised we would return them for new ones as soon as possible. there was still plenty to keep him occupied! i got some martini glasses from vixen and santa even gave me my very own elph! we had a much needed relaxing morning before heading off to celebrate with my husband's family. another lovely christmas followed. we didn't arrive home until sometime after 10pm and didn't get to bed until nearly 11:00!

getting up to have the house prepared for our third christmas, was proving difficult! my parents were coming from newport to spend the day with us. there was much rushing and tidying to do. i got dressed (would wash hair and soak in the jaccuzzi in the afternoon.) meantime there was a dishwasher to empty, floors to vacuum and clutter to put away.

as i was getting dressed i heard a yell, a crash and another yell. alexander was at the top of the stairs. daddy was on the floor, nutcrackers scattered and broken, coffee mug scattered and broken -- coffee all over the place. i wasn't sure what had happened but somehow figured that alexander might have been to blame.

daddy then shouted out for a towel as he was lying on the ground. he had somehow hit his head on something... and well, we know how head wounds are... as i ran down the stairs i skidded on some of the coffee and went down in such a way that i managed to dislocate my shoulder i knew immediately and ran off to find a phone before i knew i wouldn't be able to move. rebecca got the towel. what a scary sight for the kids to have to witness... she amazed me despite her daily drama when it mattered she was stoic, calm and helpful. she really did amaze me.

i called 411 and said i would need an ambulance. the moment i hung up i called back per daddy's request. after he had cleaned himself up he knew that he too would need to go and get stitched up. timing couldn't have been more perfect. parents were on their way and were already in new haven, about 30 minutes away. meantime the police came. hoards of them. because really there is never much for them to do in this bucolic town landscaped by farms and horses. they initially were concerned about the "head injury" but when they saw he was ok they tended to me, the one with the less serious injury, but in more pain. we were a sight!

we live but a 10 minute drive from the hospital and amazingly we got there before the mayhem and crowds appeared. i was checked in and seen first so they could get an iv in me to administer my drugs. the nurses who were on duty were wonderful, compassionate and speedy. after my vitals were taken they administered something to take the edge off. made me sleepy and loopy but really didn't diminish the pain. after my xrays they found me a bed and topped me off with some more. meanwhile daddy was already getting stitched up. he was finished long before i was and eventually met me in my room with my father who had accompanied us so that we could have a ride home. i had to be put under for them to be able to place my arm back in place. i had them try without knocking me out but then came to my senses!

once my arm was back in place i was immediately better... of course my cocktail of medicines were helping!

we were in and out in just 3 hours. i was so grateful to have had my parents nearby... i was glad that my father was able to keep me company... i was glad that moo was able to be with the children... so it could have been worse on so many levels... now i just have a messy house to try to clean. i am grateful to roomba! the laundry can wait and perhaps i will use this time to actually slow down due to the fact that my good arm and hand are out of commission for a while.

turns out what happened was this... daddy told alexander not to dangle his leapster over the stairs at that moment alexander let go. daddy reached up to try to prevent the toy from falling and smashing on, and breaking all the wooden nutcrackers directly below. he slipped and brought the nutcrackers with him, and since he had a cup of coffee in his hand he had nothing to brace his fall with. the mug broke into pieces and coffee went everywhere. he is still unsure as to where and how he hit his head. i fell as i was trying to help him. slipped on the coffee. used my left arm to brace my fall. (i am left-handed) and that's when my shoulder dislocated. all this over a stupid toy!

of course i maintained my sense of humor (it would be ungraceful and unpreppy of me not to!) and, when in the hospital, the volunteer came by to see if we needed anything my request for a glass of champagne was met with laughter all around! they thought i was kidding, but i wasn't!

the final sad news of the day was that we had to flush Comet late last night.

but the leapster survived the flight down and works as well as ever. go figure.

i need to break open my new christmas present from vixen. i need a gimlet. this one hand typing stuff is for the birds!

Oh Shoot Me Now!

I did the dumbest thing. The dumbest thing. EVER!

As Alexander was falling asleep at the table struggling to keep his eyes open while eating his salad and olive and rosemary focaccia bread I suggested we go upstairs after dinner and I would give him a little cold medicine. It's been 3 long nights (for both of us) with his struggling to breathe in his sleep. I figured a little of the long-lasting purple liquid would help us out for the night. He's very agreeable to taking his medicine. I explained that I wanted him well rested so that we could go to his field trip to the farm tomorrow. (Because even though we are an hour outside of NYC we don't live near enough horses and cows... but that is besides the point!)

He felt cool to the touch as he had all day. But still I wanted to take his temperature to be sure. I recently bought this fancy little thermometer (oral) that reads your temperature in 30 seconds flat. It also lights up and turns green if your temperature is within the normal range, and red if it is high. Well, it turned red. Dammit. 100.3. Not alarmingly high by any stretch of the imagination. And frankly I was surprised. This kid was bouncing off of the walls and driving me bananas all day long! I mean this kid is well and he is fine. But he still had a fever. Which means he can't go to school again tomorrow. Which means he'll drive me bonkers and bananas another day. Which means we'll be stranded here again. Why oh why oh why oh why?

And if he has a fever again tomorrow it means he'll miss out on his Halloween party on Thursday... and if he has a fever again tomorrow it means I will miss out on my hair appointment (that I had to reschedule from today)... and my husband was out again this evening...

So I told Alexander that he could not go to school tomorrow. (Really wishing I had never taken his temperature and believing that everything was AOK.) And Alexander got up, stood on my head and did the Touchdown Dance thrusting his little hips and derriere like a 400 pound Quarter Backer. Seriously, he is NOT sick!

So I'm thinking... I'm thinking that maybe I'll take him. We'll be driving in my car with no other children. And we'll be outside the whole time. And I'll keep him away from others... I'm thinking that (unless it rains) the fresh air will do us both good...


Kiss My White (After Labor Day) Ass!

Because I like white pants all year round. I don't think they should be worn with white shoes (which are icky any way unless they are ballet blats) after labor day (or ever, for that matter!) but white can be winterized and looks great in the cooler months. Of course I am not suggesting white capris and sandals in the middle of December (unless you live in Palm Beach or Bermuda) but I love long white jeans and long black cashmere sweaters and boots... I love white jeans with chocolate colored and charcoal colored sweaters. I just love white jeans... and I refuse to pack them away!

I'm still home nursing sick children. There has been some member of this family home sick since September the 6th. I succumbed over the weekend and Rebecca woke up feverish yesterday morning after complaining all day on Sunday. (Truth be told, I am never sure as to whether to believe her dramatics or not. The proof was in the fever.) My Monday took a turn for the worst on that note. But seriously, I am coming to accept that this will most likely be a long winter with lots of missed school days and missed freedom. (Mine!) There's always next year, right?!

It amazes me just how much we have to suck up as Mothers. But I think I have to suck up more than my mother did. Not trying to start the whole Working Mother Versus Staying at Home Mother Debate. Not at all because each family is unique. I'm talking from what I know and what I have experienced.

I grew up with a working and very successful mother (who always put her whites away after Labor Day and still does and is appalled by the fact that I do not!) who did not have to worry about day care. We had live-in Nannies from France. I attended a French school and so it seemed fitting that I had French in the home. My Nannies were wonderful and I adored them all and feel very lucky to have had these wonderful people in my life. We still, in fact, keep in touch with a couple of them who now have grown children of their own. I'm getting a bit off track here...

Because my mother never had to worry about my care, for the most part her life could go on as needed, no matter whether I was ill or not. I had care in my own home. Of course she would take me to Doctors appointments and all that jazz, but she never had to stay home with me. I was in excellent care and she knew it.

I do not have full time care. I have part time (evenings when available) wonderful care. I love my sitter dearly, but I cannot rely on her around the clock. She has a job and a life and I would never dream of exposing a sitter, who was not full time, to a house filled with sick children. So here is just one of my many sacrifices. I'm complaining, but only minimally! Of course I want to be the one who is with my children when they need me, but it does not diminish the fact that I also want to be out and about and enjoying a little bit of my freedom. Some mothers are all about their kids. Some mothers lose sight of themselves by simply being all about their kids. But I have many other interests and they are all about me. I don't think it makes me a worse mother. Sometimes it makes me a better mother. I need to get out of the house. I don't think it makes me a worse mother. In fact, getting out of the house definitely makes me a better mother.

I have been denied much of my much-needed freedom. Perhaps it stems from my being an only child, perhaps it stems from being a wee bit of a free spirit, but I need my freedom to thrive and be a better person none the less. It was a long and un-free summer. Which has turned into a longer un-freer summer. So excuse me if as of late my posts seem bitchy or whiny or spoiled or bratty. But so much of what makes me, me, has been denied.

I spent all of my Twenties worrying and caring about Me. And as soon as I hit Thirty that all changed. And now I have given wholly of myself to my children for over 10 years without getting much back. I'm not saying parenting is not rewarding by any means, but again the parent side is just one side of me. As a parent I am fulfilled completely. As a person I need and desire so much more.

I had a hard weekend. This is not meant for anyone to take pity on me. After taking care of sick children and getting back into the grind of life with well children for a week I finally succumbed to this nasty bug. Though, because I am a mother, could not surrender myself wholly. I lied down when I could and napped and rested when I could. But I had children who would not leave me alone. And a husband who, well, just doesn't get it. As so many fathers don't. So as I fought the fevers and shakes and chills I had to smile and pretend that all was not as bad as it seemed. I had to muddle through and entertain and play and discipline. And now a bit of a whine. It really is totally unfair that Mothers are just not allowed to be sick. It sucks. It bites and yes, woe is me.

But I am over that now. I must move on. On Sunday night Rebecca claimed she was not feeling well. It's hard with her to tell what is and what is not. I live with The Little Girl That Cries Wolf. I gave her some Tylenol and said a prayer before bed. But deep down I knew. And so I was not in the least bit surprised when I woke up on Monday morning, and she told me all glassy eyes that she didn't feel well. Fuck, fuck, fuck and double fuck.

I gave her some Motrin and felt her burning head. Here we go again. I got her what she needed and then proceeded to get the boys ready for school. Race-rush-race-rush and out the door. On the way to school my "Old Swampy" took a tumble. I must have turned too hard. Crap. I got out of the car and tried to remedy my gator. I knew what he had been through, but most likely no one else would. We got to school, deposited the kids and, finally with no more damage, the gator. I had a quick meeting. Then rushed out to find and return home with a box of Saltines and let Rebecca eat them in my bed with some gingerale. I had a half an hour to catch my breath, then went to get Alexander from school and played with him all afternoon. (Couldn't go anywhere because I do not like to leave Rebecca home for more than a short while.)

Then it was pick up time again. I went back to school to get Christopher at the end of the day. The boys wanted to stay at the playground, but Christopher's back hurt. I could tell by looking at him. Something didn't seem right. We got home at 4:30 and I was not comfortable with Christopher's situation. When his back hurts like that there are usually underlying respiratory issues. I put a call into the pediatrician and was asked if I could be there in an hour's time. So off we went. No visible signs of respiratory distress. He looked under the weather. His nodes were swollen. Diagnosis; virus. We're waiting to see if he is still fighting the other one, or if a new one is underway. HALLELUJAH!!! Fuck Fuck double triple FUCK.

At 8:00 last night I had everyone ready for bed. The downstairs was all tidy and I was ready to settle on to my bed myself. But Rebecca had been there, and where she had been was a sleeve of Saltine crumbs. Not just a crumb or two. But enough to feed an army of ants. And on the floor as well. I nearly cried. I nearly screamed. Ok, I yelled at her a little bit. Maybe a little bit more than a little bit. I stripped my bed and tossed the sheets in to the washing machine. I had no back-up set. We upgraded our Queen to a King. New bed, new mattress one set of new sheets.... and there were miles to go before I sleep...

So While the sheets washed I poured myself a glass of Chardonnay and propped the pillows against the back of the bed... because I had to... I simply had to... and then I fell asleep in my unmade bed. I was too tuckered out.

I still have Rebecca home with me. But she is fever free. I'd like to hope for all three in school tomorrow. But I won't hold my breath. And even if they are all in school, I have the parents' association meeting and our Ways and Means meeting. And when those are over I will have to pick up Alexander.

Beggars can't be choosers. And I ought to be grateful for every second I get out of the house... and I am... but because of all of this I definitely think that my ass is entitled to wear white after labor day!

Now... Rebecca's driving me insane... so I have this crazy little idea... I'm thinking of taking her with me to see Julie & Julia. There's a showing in an hour and a half... but maybe... just maybe this is what the doctor would order... I'll bring my cell phone in case there is a call from school.

the worst night of my life... ever... SERIOUSLY!

Many of you know I had not been looking forward to taking Rebecca and Grace to The American Idols concert. At all. Not in the least. Not even the teensy eensiest bit. I was not quiet about it. At all. In the least. I even tried to talk my daughter out of going. Seriously! I tried to pawn my ticket off on one of her friends. They already had tickets... or had plans... or couldn't go. So, it was time, yet again to reach deep into my underwear drawer and put my Big Girl Panties on. I was seriously acting like a baby. But I didn't give a hoot. Or a shit, frankly. I was exhausted trying to nurse sick boys back to health for 5 days and nights as well as deal with all the back to school stuff as well as a first homework assignment which proved I, clearly, am not smarter than a 5th grader. Oh me oh my...

I was bone tired on Thursday. Like first trimester pregnancy tired where you can hardly stand up or see straight.

But, in the end, I rallied. And joined the troops with very minimal complaining.

Below, Rebecca and one of her bff, Grace. Rebecca found her pink sweater at Tarjay and has been looking forward to wearing it to this Grand Event. Cute, isn't it? (T shirt, Justice; Jeans and Shoes Gap Kids)

Our ticket... we had good seats... maybe I would have enjoyed it better had we not been so damed close to the stage, lights (blinding) and music (so loud you could feel the thumping and pulsing in your veins and heart) I would have enjoyed the show...

We paid WHAT for these damned seats that were still not the greatest seats???? Sheesh, I wanna refund NOW and for the shirt we bought Rebecca AND for the additional $85 I had to pay my sitter.... Oh my head... my aching head!

Ritas! I had never seen one before. Never heard of them until Tamara mentioned them. The girls and I had lemon ices... YUM! Best part of the concert for sure!

Grace and Becca enjoying their ices too...

Bright Lights Small City... blinding as well as deafening...

Here's Meagan... we quite enjoyed her during the auditions and the show. She was unique. Not sure what they have done to her here giving her a hairstyle to compete with Sanjaya's and an outfit so Hookerish she looks like she's just come from the red light district... ugh, ugh, and ugh...

My man Anoop-Dog! My business school prepster. I rooted for him all the way! Loved him. The concert folk made him too rock and rolley... totally took away from his personality. I didn't love it, Dawg...

My cell phone in hand... for Facebook updates, texts to friends and for checking the clock like every 30 seconds to see how much time was left!

Below, blinded by the light... my man Danny did not disappoint...

As Adam takes the stage the crowd goes wild... (ick!)

Below Adam... the freakish part of the show... at this point the music and noise and lights had taken on an all new meaning... The guy is a freak show, seriously! He's like a cross between Elvis and Liberace in looks, and all he does is scream... I just don't get the lure of Adam... at all!

He did sing one ballad... I really wonder what Paula, Simon and Randy would have thought about this concert... because it just ... well... it SUCKED!

Facebook update from the concert, below!
Daddy My lovely wife is officially over the hill. Complaining that the american idol concert is too loud. Adam has yet to begin his reign of terror on her ear drums.

Thu at 8:29pm · Comment · / ·

It is mostly the screaming teenagers next to me. I need my wine, bath, bifocals and now hearing aid!!!
Thu at 8:35pm · Delete

There is no way she is over the hill!!! It takes a very brave person to endure an American Idol concert!!!
Thu at 8:45pm

I think that concert would be painful with the screaming. You need to take R to a GreenDay concert!
Thu at 10:26pm

@Susan the look on her face was as if there was a very bad smell. And yes, I bathed.@Amy would be much more my speed but I think Jonas or Demi Lovato is closer in my future. If we"re going to have any tween angst I would prefer the sugar coated type anyway.
Thu at 11:28pm

LMAO!!! there was a bad smell... lots.. BO, fried food, grease, menthol cough drops... gack!
Thu at 11:40pm · Delete

Teens have BO? LOL
Yesterday at 11:56am

Sunshine, teens have TERRIBLE BO!
2 seconds ago · Deletebook update from the concert:

My First bitter Facebook Status on Thursday! (LOL!!!)
Jessica is hoping that the entire American Idol cast will fall ill and show is cancelled... too exhausted after nursing sick kids through day and night for 5 days and nights... listening to Alexander's screams as I left him this morning was almost the straw that broke this camel's back... breaks my heart to have to leave him again tonight, just hours after he gets home. Shows for kids should be on weekends only.
and the comments that followed:

Can't Don go in your place?
Thu at 2:04pm · Delete

Oh no...you poor thing...it's been a rough week (to say the least). Can someone else go in your place?
Thu at 2:05pm · Delete

Don is going... I would never go alone! LOL We are bringing one of R's friends.
Thu at 2:09pm · Delete

Well see if one of the parents of R's friend can go in your place.
Thu at 2:17pm · Delete

There ya go, maybe the other girl's dad?? The dads would just looooove a night of AI with their girls, right? ;)
Thu at 2:26pm · Delete

nope... the dad is out of town on business and mom has a meeting 2night.
Thu at 2:32pm · Delete

Sell the ticket on craigslist. Is it sold out?
Thu at 2:35pm · Delete

Last time I took 3 girls and we had a blast. This year someone said they wanted to go ; )
Thu at 3:14pm · Delete

Uh oh....grab a beer at the show, and make the most of it! ;) Then, sleep all day tomorrow, until you venture out to get your first PSL of the year...that will be your saving grace, I'm sure! ;)
Thu at 6:03pm · Delete

can't sleep. must have the kids up at 7 am latest. i have an 8:30 meeting at school that should last most of the morning. Alexander screamed bloody murder when I left him at school this morning and when I left him with the sitter this evening... he has NEVER done that before... it has been a long week... no rest for the weary. would love to but kids don't let you do that!!!! YES, PSL is coming my way in the am!!!
Yesterday at 12:00am · Delete
and then more whining from me!
Jessica is american idol bound and hoping that adam has laryngitis!
Thu at 5:16pm · Comment · / ·

lol! who is your daughter's favorite?
Thu at 5:19pm · Delete

You know you love him!
Thu at 5:23pm · Delete

oh god Karen... I have NEVER liked him. I do like Adam... wish I was more in the mood.
Thu at 5:27pm · Delete

They say that Adam steals the show. Can't wait to hear your review.
Thu at 5:37pm · Delete

Thu at 5:42pm · Delete

If I was closer I'd take your place Jess! I would LOVE to hear Adam!!
Thu at 6:03pm · Delete

Thu at 6:12pm · Delete

Have a beer or two! Suck it up my friend.
Thu at 10:27pm · Delete
Write a comment...

and another Facebook whine!!!
Jessica is back from the loudest, longest most terrible evening of my life... this tour was so not like the others... it was full of loud rock and roll wannabes that didn't pass the grade... My man Anoop-Dog disappointed... Chris was sick and didn't sing... Danny rocked... Adam was like a screaming Liberace-Elviswannabe-Kiss impersonator... seriously... the concert SUCKED! I hope to get my hearing back within the week!

sounds fabulous Jess. What did Rebecca think of it?
Thu at 11:38pm · Delete

Did you take your flask?
Thu at 11:42pm · Delete

Sarah... Rebecca liked it, but even she thought it was loud. Angela... Wish I had... I had a Rita's italian ice... would have been perfecto with a shot of vodka. Must buy a few of those airplane sized Absolut bottles!
Thu at 11:51pm · Delete

Oh yeah, i just read your 9-9-9 e-mail. Does somebody have too much time on their hands now that she has all 3 children in school?!!! lol
Yesterday at 12:12am · Delete

Peggy... I did that when C was home... I had sick children on my hands 5 days in a row... hopefully this will be my first day of freedom since June! (It was not!)
Yesterday at 6:09am · Delete

You should have been with me at the Cheetah Girls concert a few years back--I still have nightmares about that one!
Yesterday at 7:30am · Delete

Ugh! So sorry you had to endure....sleep, sleep, sleep today....
Yesterday at 9:07am · Delete

no sleep... I had a meeting at school... yes, all three were there today! Wahoooooo!!!! I have 45 minutes of freedom... not leaving my couch til then tho! Did have a PSL!!
Yesterday at 11:14am · Delete
And then the best comment by far (in response to all my whining) was this post to my wall!!!

Hi Jess, The Wiggles are coming to town in November- maybe that would be a little more your speed these days. Let me know if you want to come ... :)


First Day Back and Other Tales of Woe

Well, it wasn't exactly the day I envisioned a week or so ago. So much for the freedom I have yearned for since June 6th. Christopher seemed fine this morning. With the exception of his fever you'd never have known he was ill. I let him into my bed where he's been ever since. He was quite cute this morning. Telling me how happy he was to not be at school and to have me to himself. He wished he was an only child. For about an hour. And then he started to really feel like crud. I left him briefly (with his OK) to pick Alexander up from preschool. He wanted no part of getting out of the bed or into the car. I left him with the phone, remote control, gingerale and the comfort of my own bed.

When I came home he was as I had hoped he would be. Sound asleep. He woke up shortly thereafter no better off than when I had left him. I gave him some more Motrin. It seemed not to help at all. I spent the next couple of hours juggling a sick little boy and a very needy little boy. Alexander made a playhouse from a moving box. It's a work in progress. We watched TV and had a snack. I also ran upstairs several times to check on Christopher, refresh his ice packs and comfort him.

Luckily Dad came home early and I escaped long enough to run out to grab more Motrin, milk, bread and cold cuts from the bakery. Last stop before getting Rebecca was Starbucks. Our supply had run out and I would not be caught without my morning coffee, as overtired and drained as I am. There I ran into my friend Julie who had just ordered herself a grande PSL. How maginificent it looked! But I refrained. I did not order one. I do not want my PSL on the run. I do not want it in haste. I want to savor it. Every single drop of it. Every single drop of it. And so I will wait. And this is not something I do readily at all. Waiting is not me. But this time I will. Maybe I will have my PSL on Friday. Perhaps I will have to wait until Monday. Regardless I intend to enjoy every single solitary minute of it. There will be no rushing. There will be no interuptions. There will be no children whining, tugging or screaming at me. There will be nothing but calm and time...

Then I came home.

And the madness ensued. And a sick child still needed me. And a four year old who was particularly needy and loud tonight. And a daughter who could not figure out what her teacher meant in the question "Where does Money Come From?" I thought trees was a good answer. She did not. After a phone call to a class mate we figured out that the answer might have been the Mint. We'll know tomorrow. That was a harrowing experience. And then I had to make dinner. Just sandwiches tonight.

And then my head started to pound. I worried and panicked and gobbled down three Motrin and a Diet Coke. I can't get sick. Not me! What will I do? I panicked some more as I heard my 8 year old whimpering from pain and discomfort. So then I do what any sane person who might very well be incapacitated might do. I brought out the vacuum. Seriously!

The downstairs and upstairs -- save for my bedroom (and bathroom ) where my little boy lies -- is now clean. I have some food in the house. And ginger ale. I am free to get sick now! But first I'll have myself a glass of wine!

Cheers... and wish me luck by the way!


Getting ready for obligatory Back to School pictures...

and then there were two...

and our poor little sick boy (before he started feeling really really terrible) doesn't want to miss out on the action!

early signs of fall...

hand in hand...

Alexander was slightly nervous this morning...

almost there...

We send Rebecca off to her classroom and they get right down to business. There's no messing around in 5th grade!

Alexander settles in well...

right to work with the Lego's...

As we leave our Welcome Coffee we pass through the gym and catch the pre-k 4 in gym class!
Someone caught me taking this picture!

At Noon they come out to greet us!

Tomorrow he has a full day with a 3:30 dismissal. Can you imagine what I would have done with all that time on my hands? Yeah... me neither ;)

Has anyone seen my Big Girl Panties? I really need my Big Girl Panties!

I'm tired. Exhausted. Wiped. Spent. I was looking forward to tomorrow. I have been looking forward to tomorrow since June. It was one of those unattainable dates. One of those moments I'd be waiting forever for. But tomorrow's not going to come. Not for me. Well, not the way I wanted it to.

Alexander was sick this weekend. He was sick yesterday on his Birthday. It was terrible and I felt so badly for him. A four year old should not be sick on his or her Birthday. It's not right and it's not fair. You're only four once, after all. There's nothing more hopeless than to watch your baby scream in agony because his headaches are so bad that not even the upper limit of Motrin can relieve. There is nothing worse than to feel your baby's body give off such heat from his entire body due to high fevers. There is nothing worse than a sick baby, except for a sick baby on his Birthday.

Late afternoon yesterday I called the pediatrician. I never call the pediatrician after hours. I have only done so twice before in all my 10+ years of parenting. The first time I called my call landed Rebecca in the hospital for 3 days. She had pneumonia when she was three. The second time was on Christmas morning and Alexander who was just over a year was inconsolable. I'd never heard a child cry quite like that. As the children should have been opening their gifts I was racing across the county to meet a pediatrician who was on-call. Alexander had a raging double ear infection that required 2 penicillin shots. Ok, so maybe a sick child on Christmas is just as bad as a sick child on his Birthday. But at that age he was really too young to really know better.

The raging fever and nagging headache gave us cause for concern. So we called. We were in contact with the on call nurse for several hours last night trying to determine whether we should bring Alexander in to the ER or keep him home. Eventually at 9:30 or so he told us his head was feeling better. So we decided he would see the doctor in the morning and I would sleep with him and monitor him closely throughout the night. At around 2:00 am I woke up and looked over at Alexander who was slumbering peacefully. I leaned over and kissed his forehead. The fever was back and with a vengeance. I got up poured the Motrin and woke him up to give it to him. He fell back asleep until 8:00 this morning when he bolted up in bed and proclaimed that he was all better!

I was so happy for him (and for me!) and we had a lovely morning playing with Birthday presents and painting and playing with Play Doh. I made the kids a light lunch and then we headed off to see Ponyo, a delightful movie about a little fish who wants to be a little girl and falls in love with a little boy. It's a lovely and charming tale with artwork so exquisite it almost pains the eye! The children loved it and laughed loudly. I shed a tear, or few! If you are looking for a truly wonderful movie for children of all ages, Ponyo is the one to see!

Christopher was awfully quiet today. He kept telling me that his side hurt. He looked pale but I chalked it up to back to school jitters. Then at dinnertime I heard the dreaded words "I have a headache." I took his temperature and sure enough he has what Alexander had. He'll be home for a good day or two. It'd be wishful thinking to say perhaps I will have all three in school by Friday. I just don't see it happening.

Of course I feel terribly that Christopher is not well. But truth be told I am sad and disappointed. I had big dreams for my first (half) day of freedom. I was going to get a few things accomplished. I was going to go to Starbucks. I was going to treat myself. Very nicely. I was going to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte. They're back you know and despite my on again off again affair, I cannot keep my hands away... I cannot keep my hands to myself. I was waiting for a special day. Back to school seemed the perfect celebration. But I will have to wait a bit longer. And truth be told I am sad and disappointed. It's been a long summer. Guess it's going to have to be a bit longer.

Thank you all for the kind Birthday wishes and comments!

The longest two hours of my life!

For those of you who do not know where I am, I am in Newport for one final time this summer. I was kind of dreading the car ride to begin with because it seems, that as of late, we've been spending a lot of time in our car. But our reason for coming will have made the drive all worthwhile. (I can say this today, but not so sure I could have yesterday!) I'll be meeting PreppySue and Gabi (Tickled Pink & Green) and their Little Ones at the beach in a couple of hours. We are very excited!

But yesterday was a different story. The day started off badly to begin with. Then as soon as we got into the car Tantrum #1 started. Alexander was annoyed that I could not find the video game that he wanted to play because he didn't put it away. (We can plug video games in to the monitors in front of them.) And when he stopped screaming about that he moved on to a few other things. I had a few minutes of crying before he thought it would be fun to start shrieking at the top of his lungs. And of course I tell him not to which makes him want to shriek louder and longer. And then all three are bickering and asking how long we've been in the car and it hasn't been 5 minutes yet because we have not stopped off at the Mobil station. As soon as I pull in I load up on the junk to keep them all quiet for a few moments. When I come out with bags, of cheese filled pretzels, Combos and corn stick thingamagigs I am suddenly the best Momma in the world. I divvy up the loot into 3 Ziplock bags. And the sound of quiet is so blissful that I contemplate stopping at each and every Mobil station along the way!

Then we approach New Haven and the Howlonghavewebeeninthecar? and the Arewethereyet? questions begin. Then Alexander starts pitching a fit because he dropped his toy computer and cannot reach it and neither can I and with the truck next to me unable to keep to his own lane I sure as hell am not going to try. And he shrieks louder. I know at this point Daddy would have blown a gasket and I feel that I could explode at any minute but cannot. Then there is a large black SUV on my butt but I am not getting out of his way because I am a good 5 cars distance from the car in front of me and I will be a good driver and not give in to this jerk's bullying. Then the truck who can't keep to his lane approaches again. Rebecca looks for the "How's my Driving?" sign and thinks we should call his boss. But there is none. I manage to pull ahead, way ahead and pass a guy resembling ZZTop with his long grey beard flowing out the window of his orange Hummer 2 or 3 or whatever it is. The sight makes me chuckle. The noises and bickering in the background are a constant. I turn up the music in attempt to drown them out. "Life is a highway, I want to drive it all night long" plays on the radio. Clearly whoever wrote this tune did not have children. Because no one in his or her right mind would ever want to drive all night long with children. The bickering ensues. The biting, poking and hair pulling continue and I continue to sing along. Until I can no longer the children. Until their pillow fight nearly knocks me in the head. I shout some more. My throat is raw and sore. We are just past New Haven with hours to go before I sleep. I clearly should have taken the road less travelled.

I threaten to step on the breaks and toss them out the window. They don't believe me.

Alexander asks for his water and then proceeds to have another tantrum when it accidentally drops it causing it to roll under my seat. Arewethereyet? No way. Not close. Not by a long shot. I start questioning the wisdom of this last trip. Eventually they manage to stop bickering and actually get along. I can hear laughter and giggling and ohmygod the shrieks! Only 2 more minutes have passed according to my car's navigation. I'm looking forward to a nice glass of wine when we get to Newport. I don't care what time it will be.

There are no good songs on the radio. I keep changing the station. At one point it actually gets quiet and I turn my head around in hopes that all three are napping. Nope. Not this trip. I shouldn't get so lucky. Then come a series of really stupid Why Did The Chicken Cross the road jokes? I mean really stupid, but the kids are laughing. Cracking up. Hysterically. Ohmygod the shrieking. The clock is moving much too slowly. It's like the car is on a treadmill going nowhere.

After the jokes stop the kids think they have not done enough whining. Then I convince Alexander to watch a movie. Sometimes I should not ever open my mouth. Christopher turns on his screen. Alexander turns on his. They each have different movies on. Whoops! Alexander is angry that Christopher gets to watch Home Alone and he has Madeline. "I hate Madeline! Madeline's stoopid!" he shouts. I remind him that he loves Pepito. But I am wrong. Because Pepito is stupid too. Somehow Christopher convinces him to watch and a few minutes of peace and quiet ensues. Until Alexander drops his headset. Over and over and over again. Oy!

I'm still not liking what the clock on the car is telling me. It seems as though the faster I drive the slower the clock ticks.

Finally a large green sign welcomes us to Rhode Island! Yay!!!! There's still an hour left of our journey.... ugh!

I try a new route this time. I usually cut through the bucolic country side and take the back roads by the University of Rhode Island which is lovely and lined with pristine country side, cows, corn fields and farm stands galore. This time I stay on the highway a little longer. I get off of I-95 and am supposed to turn onto some route but the kids are screaming once again and I miss the directions. I look at the map and see that I need to get into another lane. I manage to do so in the nick of time and make the necessary turn.

At this time it's not the kids asking Arewethereyet? but me. The journey can not get any longer and any more miserable. Eventually we find our way to the Jamestown and Newport bridges and know that the end of the trip is in sight. I breathe a huge sigh as I sail over the Newport Bridge only to see that our ramp is closed and we have a long detour behind many, many cars. And Alexander has to pee. Really badly. Right now. Ugh. And we are sitting in traffic and the ground next to us is being dug up for new plumbing. During the height of tourist season. Yep, that's Rhode Island for ya! Oy.

Eventually we are released from the traffic jam and cruise along America's Cup, Thames, Wellington and Ocean Avenues... we pull in to my parents home and I run out of the car and head straight for the wine. Well, not really. But I wanted to!

Much Ado About Nothing

Jennifer, creator of one of my favorite blogs, Prep School 101: Recipes for a Life Well Lived tagged me in a post about my favorite summer things. But truth be told I am not in the mood. We haven't had much of a summer but it's been a long summer. Most of it rainy and the past week so oppressively humid that we haven't been outside much. Not that the kids want to be outside anymore. They're bored and I am bored. I'm bored with trying to think of fun things to see and do. Why can't kids just play anymore. Why do they have to be entertained 24/7?

I wished we lived in the South. The kids would be in school by now. I would be able to get my life together. Sort of. I need a break from the kids. I need a baby sitter, but with prices as high as they are here I save my sitters for when I really need them. To spend $60 just to drive around and run away from my offspring is a bit silly.

We've spent the past couple of days doing our Back to School Shopping. Oh. My. Gawd. I'd rather give birth again without pain meds as it is less painful, less traumatic and less exhausting. Really. My kids have been unruly the past couple of days. Rebecca loves to shop. The boys hate it, especially Christopher. And he can be a really big baby when he has to do something he doesn't want to do. We made it in and out of the outlets the other day relatively unscathed. (It helped that I found a couple of cute things for myself!)

But yesterday was terrible. So bad so that I had to overbuy. I started tossing stuff left and right into my shopping bags just so we could get in and out of the stores. I overbought by about $2oo and now have the lovely task of returning $200 worth of clothes... well, $100 really as I quickly ran to Old Navy and The Gap this morning without children. I left them at home for 45 minutes. My intent was to be an hour but when I forgot my receipt to The Rugged Bear my journey ended early. I was so depressed! It was lovely having those 45 minutes to myself! I blasted the stereo, sang as loudly and as off key as I could with my windows down and the wind blowing through my dirty hair! "Don't you want me baybee.... Don't you want meeeee bay-beeee!" I made my three stops and desperately started looking for a 4th... something, anything to keep me out of he house 15 more minutes. When I got home the kids seemed as disappointed as I was that I was home. I was met by two "Boy that was fast. You were gone for an hour?" I lied and told them I was. Had I been gone for three hours would I have been able to lie and say I was away for just one? In 6 months Rebecca will be old enough to take a babysitting course and earn a safety badge. At that point I suppose I will have to pay her. I'd better take advantage of this free child care while I can! My kids all behave when I am gone. TV is allowed. They know if they misbehave I will never leave them again. As I said, they want me gone as much as I want them gone.

They are now all upstairs. I am in the kitchen. I have baked 2 loaves of Peach Almond Bread and I have 24 Peach & Blueberry Muffins in the oven. I bake when I am bored and when I am stressed. Luckily I don't eat it all. I have other family members to do that for me. And I give my goodies out as gifts as well...

The boys are playing with the trains. Rebecca is cleaning her room. She has been at it for days. Days! And I haven't seen a damned difference! I told her she wasn't getting any of her new clothes until all her other clothes are put away, properly! And neatly! All our new wardrobe purchases are on the love seat in my bedroom. She can look and drool but she can't touch!

And I still have more shopping to do. But it won't be happening this week. It just can't!

I'm wondering what we'll do when the boys stop playing and get bored. I'm not in the mood to play with them. Is that terrible? I would rather clean and fold and put my laundry away than play with my kids. I just don't have it in me anymore. It's been a very long summer. And we still have a lot of summer left. And I have a mess in the kitchen sink. And a dishwasher to empty.

And I am just not motivated to do it... any of it. Bah-hum and bah!

Anyone else wishing summer was a little bit shorter?

Keep leaving me Blogging suggestions... love your ideas!

Bitch in the Big Badass White Car, Part 2

(or, Everything's Coming up Roses!)

If you haven't read my last post, Beware of the Bitch in the Big Badass White Car, please do or this post will have no relevance whatsoever. You'll just scroll down and think, so what? Whoop-dee-do... Big Whoop! Well, it was indeed a big whoop!

As I dressed for lunch -- we were surprising a good friend at one of my favorite restaurants for lunch -- I thought long and hard as to how I should wear my hair. Up. Down. Bun. Ponytail. Sloppy tossback. Barette. Headband... And then I decided that I would toss it back in a tidy pony tail with a pink pony tail holder to match my sweater of course.

L is pregnant with her third child, third boy and about to pop out the littlest one any day now. My friend Christine took care of everything... the reservations, details, and in the end, even the check. She was truly generous to host us all and we all had a lovely day. Especially L who was completely surprised!

I had on a black sleeveless dress with a ruffled collar, pink cardigan around my shoulders, pearl earrings and my black TB sandals. Perfect for a Ladies Lunch at my favorite haunt, Splash at the Inn at Longshore in Westport.

It was a perfect day for dining outdoors and enjoying the magnificent view of the Long Island Sound. The menu at Splash is absolutely to die for mouth-wateringly delicious. I didn't eat breakfast on purpose (and ate so much at lunch that I was not even hungry for dinner.)
Look at the clouds in the picture below... they are so perfect they don't even look real!

Some of the things we had to eat were shrimp salad on a croissant, lobster salad on a croissant, tuna steak burger with a hoisin glaze and wasabi mayonnaise, crackling calamari salad, Oriental chicken and cabbage salad, and of course the obligatory glass of Chardonnay ;)

I just love these two pictures below where Line (pronounced Leena -- she is Norwegian!) is about to kiss her husband, Gamaliel (he is Mexican!)

and here she is with her boys, K and N

I haven't had much time away from the kids this summer. So when I do get away it is all that much more special, especially when that means getting to spend an afternoon with with great friends, many of whom I have known for over a dozen years, having great food, great conversation and great fun. Since we were outside we could be loud and have fun without disturbing everyone else (which has happened in the past!) and just be ourselves.

It must have been Women Who Lunch Day because I saw very few men. Mostly there were tables of women, tables of women who looked very much alike with long blonde hair (all frequent the same salon I wondered) and tanned, toned and tight bodies with designer tops and white jeans, or cool sundresses all from Mitchell's, the chi-chi-est store around, no doubt... in Hermes sandals with Prada satchels.

I like to people watch, I always have. I am a big observer. When I was a child I would oven walk over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a few blocks from my home, and sit on the steps of the grand museum and watch all the varied sorts of people passing by. I still love to do this.

At Splash, these other women might have had all the right stuff in terms of material goods, but what they did not have was the life, laughter and sparkle in their eyes that we had. They weren't... well... they weren't real. And they were not enjoying themselves and their day nearly as much as we were.

We all parted the restaurant and headed in our separate directions. As I was sitting at a red light waiting for it to turn so that I could make a left to run a quick errand, Christine pulled up in her grey Bimmer SUV. She honked her horn and I looked over, rolled down my window. "Hey Jess!" She shouted. Your new car goes well with your blonde hair! You look good in a white car!" The light turned green and with that she took off.

I headed off to my final errand. I was in and out in less than five minutes, including a quick visit to the loo.

And look what I got, the icing on my cake!

And how lucky am I that my sweater matches my driver's license! (I would have totally clashed yesterday!)

And how lucky am I that I won't have to renew until 2015!

Beware of the Bitch in the Big Bad White Ass Car

I had to go to the DMV today. The dreaded DMV. My license expired. A month ago. So now it's really expired. And since I am due to drive to Maine in a few days I need a legitimate license.

I dropped Rebecca off at tennis camp and took off to Bridgeport with the boys. I was prepared with snacks, snacks, more snacks, notebooks, pens and a Nintendo DS. I had the address, 95 Sylvan Avenue, programmed into my Nav. I was about 6 miles or 8 minutes away according to the screen. I was braced for some lines and an ugly picture. But I had to do what I had to do. But what the hell do you do when your navigation device brings you to what it says is 95 Sylvan Avenue, but is not 95 Sylvan Avenue? I found myself in the parking lot of a deserted and desolate building across from Home Depot. I scratched my head and wondered whether Bridgeport had lost financing for its DMV. I had seen a sign a while back and decided to try to follow it. And I did. And got lost again. My father once deemed Bridgeport as "the armpit of America." He wasn't far off. With no disrespect if you live there, and I have friends that do in lovely antique Colonials of yesteryear, but the belly of Bridgeport ain't pretty.

I passed the Happy Family Garage that completely ripped us off when they repaired my old Acura. So I knew I was close. And then I felt funny. I felt naked, raw, vulnerable and lost. I felt like a very white girl in a pink and white gingham dress with two towheads in the back in an expensive white SUV. (Don't think a potential car-jacker would give a shit that my cute little dress actually came from Target.) My stomach was starting to do flip flops. And then the red light went on. My gas tank was nearing empty. In the hood. Amidst gunfire and drug busts and gang bangs... Ok, not really... I have a flair for drama. But I was a bit nervous nonetheless. I had about $6.52 to my name. And a credit card. And my checkbook. (Was going to write a check out to the DMV since they won't take "a card.")

I texted Daddy who was in the OR texting me back with directions. Useless directions. I kept driving and stopping at red lights. At one red light I noticed a building with barbed wire. School? I looked again. Big barbed wire. And I thought Attica. And I thought Fuck. That's a prison. I have no gas in my enormous white Lexus. I'm going to get shot. A prisoner is about to escape. He'll see my car. He won't have a gun but I would be too panic-stricken to figure out that he is really holding his hand under his shirt in the shape of a gun. I text Daddy again. I think I said I am lost near a fucking prison. I can text bad language. Kids can't hear it.

As I drive searching in vain for safety I get a text back. I shouldn't worry. Prison is near Park and Madison Avenues. What? I shouldn't worry??? Glad he can be so cool and nonchalant in cool dark chamber. And then I find it, Park Avenue. And just like the avenue of the same name in Manhattan, I feel safe here. I know where I am. I find a spot to pull into. I see Temple Shalom. it seems appropriate. It seems perfect. I bow my head down for a moment and thank God for my safety. (Really, I did do this.)

And proceed to bug my husband some more. I need gas. I need to pee. He gives me instructions. I read them carefully. I find my way to a Mobil station I know well and fill 'er up. I'm pleased that gas is only $2.71 here. It's easily been twenty cents more everywhere else. I run inside and get myself a Diet Coke with Lime. And the boys get to share a Cherry Dr. Pepper. It's a celebration. Of life! Of course what I really need is a stiff drink, but I can't buy Stoli at the gas station... not in Connecticut, anyhow.

$60 later and I am once again on my way. I still have to pee. But I am determined to get there and do what I need to do. I have been in the car over an hour already. I'm ruining our environment, and the crappy navigation system hasn't helped. I retrace my steps and see the old deserted lot and decide to take the right that Daddy has instructed me too. And I do and I keep going and I see the Happy Family Garage... and once again nothing. And once again I am headed deep into the bowels of Bridgeport. And the prison is once again approaching on my left. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. And then I see a Yale New Haven (arguably best hospital in the state) courier. The driver is pulled over and eating a sandwich. I roll my window down and think, well, if I'm going to get shot I'll get taken to the best hospital. (See, I can keep my sense of humor in any situation!) I ask the driver if he knows where the DMV is. He tells me he does and instructs me to follow. And I turn around and do. Past the Happy Family Garage??? and directly across the BMW dealership I turn, past the Ford dealership to find a poorly marked DMV. Boo on you Bridgeport. Now, really. All anyone had to tell me was that the DMV was across the Bimmer Dealership! I could have sniffed that out faster than a pig sniffs out truffles for Godsake!

So I pull in. Amazed at all the cars there. And then I see the people. The tons and tons and tons of people. I wonder, momentarily, if the DMV is a temporary home to the Michael Jackson tribute. I mean, there are that many people! And then I see the line... the long line that loops around the building. Fuck. Fuck. and More Fuck. I can't do this. I can't get out. I can't expect my boys to stand on line for I have no idea how many hours. So I turn away and hightail outta there. We have been in the car, at this point, almost 2 hours. I could have gone to the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, for crying out loud!

I am tempted to go home. It would be the easy thing to do, but I still need my driver's licence and I don't have that many free days left. I head to Norwalk. In the past I have been in and out in no time. I have gas, plenty of it now, but I also have to pee. Badly. As I drive down the Merritt Parkway I try to work out the logistics in my head... get a number and then go pee, but then risk not hearing my name a la Sharon Stone at the Academy Awards... or was it The Golden Globes? As if that matters... Or do I hold it? I don't think I can.

I decide to call my friend Andrea. I owe her a call. I have explained my situation and she tells me to go to AAA. (Duh!!!) and she tells me it's on Saugatuck Avenue. I'm headed that way as it is. I call 411 and get the street number and their phone number. I make a mental note to remember 20 Saugatuck Avenue. Glad it's a short and easy number. I have a hard time remembering numbers. I am numerically challenged. I call AAA and tell them I am on my way. They tell me they are open and there is no line.

At this point Alexander joins me in the Pee Pee Song. He has to go. Badly. He's starting to cry. I pull up to the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Saugatuck Avenue. And guess what? Saugatuck Avenue is closed? For real! Now we have two people who have to pee really badly. And I am not sure either one of us is going to make it. I circle around. Once, twice. The policeman redirects me to the other end of Saugatuck. I sit in traffic with Alexander near tears behind me. Christopher is magnificently quiet. I am glad Rebecca is in camp. She would have been dreadful. Ok, unbearable. I see the carnies setting up for the big Westport carnival. And the construction trucks ahead. And we sit. And we sit. And we sit. Some more.

Finally we go and just as I am about to pull in to 20 Saugatuck Avenue I get redirected! Around the block. And there is no back entrance. Fuck it Fuck it Fuck it some damn. More.

Once again I am forced to put on my Big Girl Panties. I am no more Suburban Blonde Housewife of Fairfield County Mamma in Luxury SUV but Bitch in a Big Bad White Ass Car. I round the corner and Alexander is "leaking" he is trying really hard to hold it. Squeezing really hard he tells me. I pull into Caldwell Banker's (real estate) Office, towhead with one missing flip flop in tow. "We need a bathroom, we need it now!" I declare. The lady at the front desk looks at Alexander with empathy and directs us upstairs. We pass by a broker trying to set up a blog. I want to stop, put Alexander down and offer my services, for a nominal fee. But now's not the time to be re-establishing careers and I carry my bundle of blondness to the bathroom. His pants could be wetter. And they could be dryer.

Meantime I get a text from Daddy. He says I cannot text him 19 times over the course of two hours. He is sorry I am having a bad day but I have to leave him alone. I will. I have my Big Girl Panties on now.

Christopher is next. I feel awkward using the loo as well so I don't and thank the broker who has navigated away from the blog page he was trying to set up. I thank the receptionist and head back to the car with two happier children, one in flip flop and one bare foot. I myself am doing my best to keep my Big Girl Panties dry.

We hop back into the car and circle the block again, this time I roll down the window and tell the workers that I am going to AAA dammit, and they can't refuse. They stop the construction trucks in their paths and let this Badass Mamma through.

I'm excited to finally get my licence and use the loo. We've been in the car over 3 hours.

But first there is one more thing I must do. I must text Daddy one more time. Yes, that will be 20 times in 2 hours. But whether wearing Big Girl Panties, Granny Panties or Thong... I must send him a picture this, what greets me at AAA.

We Made it Over the Hump Day!

Add whipped cream and instant fun! I mean how can a day be bad when it starts off like this? Trying to think of inventive ways to use our 5 pounds of strawberries I decided it would be another strawberries and pancakes day. No one could refuse when topped off with a beautiful squirt of Reddi Whip!

I had resigned myself to a day of cleaning and laundry as the weather forecast was gloomy. The kids were OK with hanging out at home since we'd had a couple of fun-filled days. As long as there is rain TV is permitted during the day. Kids had their faces glued to the windows anticipating rain!

I tossed a load in the machine and a load in the dryer. Emptied the dishwasher, wiped down counters and sinks. (Kept checking email every now and then.) Got a call from a friend asking to take my boys to the playground. Since there was no rain I was more than happy to send them packing. I told her that I would follow behind with lunches for my boys. Made the lunches, switched some laundry around then headed over to the playground with Rebecca and her scooter. And the thunder rolls. And the skies darken. And we wait it out as long as we can. (We actually were there for 45 minutes.) And then down it poured. The skies opened up and an ocean of water poured down on us. Luckily we made it to the car in the nick of time. My friend offered to watch the boys for a couple of hours so Rebecca and I headed home. She headed to the television and I to the laundry, er, computer! But I was productive nonetheless. I did all the laundry. (Put none away.) And scrubbed all the bathrooms, toilets, sinks, showers. And vacuumed the kitchen. But none of the other rooms. And cleaned the playroom. But didn't vacuum it.

Did you know that grass grows indoors? Seriously, it must. I have more inside my home than on either the front or back yards. Were my floors fertilized instead of waxed? It's insane. I'm going to get myself a Holstein and let her graze among my floors. And then I'll have sweet organic milk (we use no pesticides on our grass) and can make sweet organic ice cream!

Eventually I (had to) pick up the boys and squish all three in the second row. OH.... MY... GOD... Seriously folks, you think alcohol and driving don't mix? Kids in cars are a far more lethal combination. I swear my life almost came to an end the minute I pulled on to I-95. As I was pulling over to my left from the ramp onto the fast lane, I mean that very exact second, Christopher pinched Rebecca and she screamed such a blood curdling scream that startled (scared the SHIT out of) me that I swerved nearly missing a big rig by inches. Boy did they get a scolding. My throat still hurts.

We made it home alive. I know you are relieved, you'd miss my blog :)

Once we got home I lost my interest for all things vacuum related. I snuck up to my room and turned on Oprah. Kids meanwhile were fending for themselves without television privileges.

Soon it was time for dinner (wine) and I made everyone a fabulous salad for dinner and another sweet treat (with the strawberries of course) for dessert. And called it a day. Happy to be alive. And in one piece. And have wine!

Today we are headed off to the Eric Carle Museum in Springfield, MA. It's less than 2 hours away. I'm sure it won't be a cheap day. I'm a sucker for all things Eric Carle, books and gift shops. But I've been very $$ savvy so far this week. We're bringing one of Rebecca's friends with us as both her parents were called out of town on business. She'll be spending the night as well. And tomorrow Daddy has the day off and I'll leave him with the kids and I will head off to get my highlights... and maybe never come back... at least not until evening as we have a party to attend. With great food, great fun and the most fabulous fireworks.

Because you have all been so wonderfully supportive while I have been whiny and spoiled and terribly ungrateful, I am tossing you all your very own pair of Big Girl Panties!

The storm was in the air... you could see it and feel it!

Sweet Endings! (Recipes are on food blog)

My Own Little Pitty Party...

I was so excited to have some time off this week. The boys were supposed to be in camp and I was going to have some time with Rebecca and some time to myself. I was actually looking forward to getting some things done around the house... finding and wiping all the little fingerprints and marks off the walls and doors that have been driving me bonkers, organizing and making lists for our trip to Maine, stuff like that. Now that it is summertime I don't have much time to myself. If I hire a sitter it's so I can get to appointments -- hair, doctors, etc...

On Sunday night Christopher came in to my bedroom and said that he really didn't want to go to camp. He didn't give me a good explanation, but since it hadn't been paid for, I didn't argue too much. And because he didn't want to go Alexander didn't want to go. Suddenly I was back to having three kids at home with me this week. No break in the horizon whatsoever. And I started feeling sorry for myself. Christopher then said that he would agree to go to tennis camp next week (where Rebecca will be) and I saw that there was a program for little ones too. I could technically have next week to myself. So I told Daddy. He asked how much. It was a lot. Not much more than the other camp, but a lot none the less.

We've had to tighten our purse strings a good bit this year. Yes, the children had their five star Disney vacation but we all knew that there would be sacrifices down the road so that we could do this. Everyone was on board. Well, today I am writing the children's tuition check. Private school in the Northeast rivals private college tuition. It's pricey and it stings. This is our decision for the moment. To allow our kids a top notch education we have to sacrifice some other things. That's what life is about, right? It's about making decisions and making the right ones. And learning along the way. It's good for the kids too. Unfortunately most of Rebecca's friends don't have to make such financial decisions, but I think it is important for her to learn that everyone needs to learn to make choices. More importantly it is a lesson in the value of not having everything.

And we also have our property taxes due in a couple of weeks. Also the price of a college tuition. So I decided that I could go without spending $600 on camp for the week for the boys. I would put my big girl panties on and suck it up. But I didn't. I couldn't. I could only focus on the fact that I would not have any time to myself. That I would have to entertain the kids and find creative ways to do so so that the children would not be chanting to the Boredom Gods every hour of every day. It just seemed like such an arduous task. And the boys were bickering all morning. Christopher wanted to play Monopoly. Alexander is too young. Alexander wanted to play Snail's Race. Christopher hates it. It's for babies. I couldn't just pack up and go to the beach because we were waiting to hear from Rebecca and when I would need to get her. So I sat and sulked. And sulked some more. (My liquor cabinet is somehow devoid of both rum and vodka too, and that didn't help matters. So, no It's 5:00 Somewhere Happy Cocktails for me to look forward to.)

Shortly after Noon we got Rebecca and brought her home. I told the kids they could not go back in the house until 6pm! They had to make their own fun. And they did. And slowly I grew out of my funk. They ate lunch on the deck, blew up the pool (that they played with for all of 10 minutes) played with bikes and scooters and baseballs and tennis rackets and went exploring in the woods (not terribly deep) in the woods behind the house and we had dinner outside and before I knew it it was 7:00pm and I was inside and they were still outside!

Instead of focusing on what I didn't have (downtime with no children) I looked around and saw all that we do have and how lucky we indeed are... I suddenly felt so incredibly stupid and spoiled.

So I made a game plan. We'll have a planned activity every day this week. Later on we'll go pick strawberries. When we return we'll make something with them. And we'll play outside. Perhaps I will create an obstacle course. Later this evening or tomorrow evening we'll meet some friends at the beach. On Friday we have a big party to go to. Next week I am meeting friends at the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI. And we'll take the ferry over to Port Jefferson (Long Island) to meet up with a friend from college and her littles... we'll survive... and we may actually have some fun along the way!

But it was my friend Lorraine who really put the smile on my face yesterday. She lives in the Midwest and we talk via Facebook. She saw my status... a comment about wanting summer to be over already... she was having a similar day, and then she told me that there were indeed people having worse days than we were, Bernie Madoff The Sociopath, was one of those people. Oh did that ever make me laugh!

So today I have put on my big girl panties... and today I decided to start the day with a smile... and today the sun is out... and I think that's a pretty good start. And a little trip to the liquor store is planned so that my day ends on a positive note as well!
(If you want to order the above sticker click on it and it will take you to the link!)

Shaken, Not Stirred!

Another rainy day in Paradise... There are currently 4 crazy boys at home. (I am so glad that Rebecca went off to her friend's house. She would have been miserable!) I am proud to say that my two are the more mellow of the four, and yet slightly appalled that this is the case. But the play date is almost over -- in 5 minutes, no 4 minutes!

I made spaghetti and meatballs for lunch. Only our two visitors picked up a few items at Wal*Mart (hatethatstore!) and I guess filled up on chips and candy and whatnot in the car on the way over. So glad I put a nice lunch together... next time PB&J... So, while at lunch the other two boys were rude and disruptive, up and down every five minutes and at one point they both got up to tickle Christopher while he was still eating! I told them to knock it off. Nicely. Christopher mentioned something as a joke about Diet Cherry Soda in the fridge. (Diet Hansen's) The older boy got up and started acting like a lunatic and actually proceeded to go to and open my fridge in search of this cherry soda. He couldn't find it and shut the door. Christopher told him it was on the top shelf and when he tried to open the door again he couldn't! (Heh-heh... gotta love Sub-Zero!) I shot Christopher a hairy eyeball which meant knock-it-off...

Ok, it's 3:31 and their Au-pair is late dammit!

Things were fine after that. For a while. Until the boys (not mine) started running through the house. I had to tell them to slow down as I worried someone was going to get hurt. Eventually I told them we don't run through the house. (OK, my boys are human and they do run... they know they are not supposed to.) I am sure those boys are thinking "Boy, what a Bitch that EntertainingMom is!" But I have rules and I will enforce them. The boys are allowed to play in their rooms or in the playroom. Toys are not to go back and forth (risk of putting more mysterious dents and scratches in the walls.) Playroom is ideal. It is on the other side of the house over the garage. It's huge and they can play any way they wish in there. Family room is off limits when friends are over, well, they have to walk through it to get to the kitchen! And no child is allowed to enter the Living or Dining Rooms. The older two eventually play wii and calm has resumed. I am a bit surprised because I know their mother and I know their mother would not tolerate this behavior.

It is now 3:36 and she is still not here!

I broke out the ice cream ball we got from LLBean. We love it. Not only does it make great ice cream but it's fun for the kids to do. All you have to do is toss in the required ingredients, then roll or shake the ice cream ball. It's a lot of fun!

It is now 3:47 and they are gone!!

Only after 10 minutes they were bored. Which meant I had to roll/shake it... for 30 minutes!
And so I did. I kept checking the clock hoping it was nearing 3:30. It was and it wasn't. I needed to feed the boys the ice cream and I knew it wouldn't be ready on time. It was ready to come out of the ball, but the ice cream was still very soft and needed to go in the freezer a bit.

So I did a terrible thing.
I cheated.
I lied.
I swapped out some cheap vanilla stuff we had lying around!
But I had to! They boys were expecting the ice cream that they, I mean I made!
So I put the home made ice cream in a Tupperware in the freezer and I gave them the other stuff. They went on and on about how good it was too!
(Top picture store brand. Bottom picture home made!)

So I had a taste* of both ours and theirs and I have to say that without a moment's hesitation ours was far superior!

I will give the boys their ice cream for dessert. I will have to fess up I guess. I might even make Mama Henley's Ice Cream Balls... they sound absolutely to die for! I'm thinking I will roll them in crushed Thin Mints? How does that sound? We can make little ice cream Bon Bons** together and we can talk about play dates from Hell! Do you have any you care to share with us?

* Just a small taste as I am still technically on the South Beach Diet

** Or we can use the Ice Cream Ball to freeze fresh fruit juice ... can you see where I am going with this? And perhaps instead of cream you could add some, oh I don't know, Grey Goose?!!!

(And Lord knows I could use a (n extra) Strong Something right about now!)


4:45 I have just fessed up... my boys are eating their home made ice cream and both declare that is is much better!

How was my Birthday? Well, some of you asked...

My Champagne Mojito was absolutely out of this world good... I want to write a cocktail book... that's beautiful to look and and filled with fun and easy recipes and some cute stories to boot... but where would I find the time? And how much more can I possibly drink? ;)

My Birthday was OK. I should have made the Mojitos early and distributed them throughout the day. I have no problem with hosting my own party you know... I never told anyone it was My Special Day and so no one knew and I felt fairly invisible. But I went out and bought the cute Tory Burch sandals I had been coveting... and then the day was well... rather ordinary. I still had to entertain a 3 year old and pick kids up from school and take one to soccer and pick him up from soccer... and that was the ordinary part. So I made my Champagne Mojito because I needed to celebrate. And it was even better than I had imagined. But then I didn't put the Tommy Bahama rum away properly and it slipped and fell off the shelf and shattered into pieces on the floor. I still smell like alcohol and I haven't had a lick to drink (yet), I swear! And then just as we are getting ready for dinner the door bell rings. The mail man had a certified letter for us. From Lexus. Wondered what that was about. Letter stated that we were behind on car payments. On the sedan and the van. But we no longer have the sedan. Nor the van. The LX was in danger of being repo'd. Not over my dead body! Not over my dead body in my new TB sandals!

So Daddy calls Lexus and is ready to pay off two cars... ??? WTF??? You are not paying off two cars on a credit card when I spied with my two eyes the paper work that was signed by both of us at Lexus of Westport just two short weeks ago. But we didn't want the car repo'd either...

And so on the evening on my Birthday Daddy was on the phone back and forth back and forth back and forth with Lexus trying to sort out this monstrosity of a mess... on my Birthday no less... I think I am seeking damages punitive and mental! I hope they figured out where the paperwork and payments went. And why the finance guy is no longer there. My car has to go into the shop tomorrow. The power window is not working on the front passenger's side. Lexus is meeting me at school in the morning with a loaner. They will take my car and fix my window. I'm having second thoughts.... what if they never give it back to me?

I need another Mojito!

So my Birthday came and went and it was not terribly spectacular. And today's another day. It was spent painting buckets for the PreK-3 class party. And listening to 3 year old conversation in the back of the car. (Alexander had a play date and I was bringing the boys home from school.)

And this is what I heard:
Me: Blake, how’s your new Nanny?

Blake: She’s nice… did you know that girls don’t have winkies?

(Me: Cracking up…)

Alexander: No, Blake, they have Chinas!

Blake: Your Mommy doesn’t have a Winkie. My Dad does.

Alexander: My daddy has a penis. And it is very big!
Oh, I am still howling over this one!