Thursday, April 30, 2009

ANOTHER week later...

Oh my gosh!! It's harder to find the time to sit and write on this blog than I thought! Also, I don't often feel like I have anything of great importance to say, so I just don't write. As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like my life can get pretty boring on an every day basis. Sometimes, I feel like I have NOTHING NEW at all to say to my husband when he calls me during the day. Isn't that just sad??

I guess if I think about it, I do have a lot going on lately.

Megan's First Holy Communion is on Sat, so we're having a party after. Because my niece Brenna is the same age (and also celebrating communion) it's a joint party for both girls. That means I will have more people here than I typically do for family parties. I have to say, my sister Ali's in-laws are like part of the family - it's not like we aren't close or anything, so it won't be awkward. (I do tend to panic and get mighty anxious is social situations, but that's a story for another post).

Of course we're throwing the party together, which is nice - but since it's at my house I am definitely stressing over making sure everything looks nice and put together. That's just me. Tomorrow will be spent cleaning til my back feels like it's on fire.

I can't really pre-clean too much - other than the kids rooms, which I already have under control. Mainly because our house is really open, and the kids are really in and out of the kitchen/family room/bathrooms in the downstairs constantly, so I'd be better off waiting til the last minute. At least Alex took a day off tomorrow, so he'll help some, but I was counting on him to neaten up the yard. I think he really expected 
me to just do everything on my own without his help.

I really do.

I asked him the other day if he was going to be able to give me some time to help get things in order for the party, and he was stammering and blahblahblah about his schedule. I mean, I appreciate that he has a lot of confidence in my abilities managing parties and all, but hello??? There will be about 70 people at my house on Saturday morning. I have three young kids that I have to manage all day long, and half of the time, Alex doesn't roll in til after they're in bed. So. I guess I'd say I don't NEED his help, but I'd sure APPRECIATE his help, you know??!

Saturday is plain out of the picture for cleaning. I have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make a massive Ziti, a massive fruit salad, and just get other party-type stuff in order. THEN, after all of that, I still have to make sure Megan looks great, as well as the other kids - they also have to eat breakfast and in general, try to keep the house looking perfect before church - MAYBE I will have time to get my fat butt into something that doesn't make me look like a horse before we go for an 11:00 am service. My sister did say she'd come over early to help get everything ready, I hope she does. Oh well, our parties always turn out great, and I really am not too worried about it. It's not like it's a bunch of people I don't know.

Do you think I could get a refrigerator in one day? I mean, I'd really like to get a second fridge for the garage, because there is never enough room in my fridge for food when we have a party. Can you just walk into Lowe's and say, "I'll take a fridge?" and you go put it on a thing and bring it home? I'm going to see if we can make that happen for tomorrow. Nothing like waiting til the last minute!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Week Later...

I'm very motivated to keep up this blog, my goal is to post at least a few times a week. This past week though was HARD! I had three little punks home from school for the week with their spring vacation, and it was just BEAUTIFUL out!!!

Couldn't have been any better than if I planned it.

Lots of moms get this particular look on their faces when you say the words "week off of school," and it isn't pretty. It's like we're all panicked at the thought of spending 7 full days with our offspring - no break whatsoever. I tend to feel this way also. But let me tell you, it was a great week at our house. Shockingly, everyone got a long well, even with cousins in town for the week. Because it was so pleasant outside, the kids just played in the neighborhood ALL WEEK LONG!

We live in a pretty small neighborhood, consisting of three streets. On our street there are 11 houses, and 20 kids ranging from 5 months to about 15 years. The majority of the kids are in the 8-12 year-old range, and my kids just fall nicely into that category. Within the past few months, a family moved into the neighborhood that has a little girl Megan's age - they have become the best of friends - spending every day riding bikes, making lemonade stands, going from our house to theirs and back again to ours - just generally happy to have each other.

I truly hate the electronic age we are in (as I sit writing this on my laptop :] ), in the respect that our kids spend so little time interacting with each other face-to-face, spend so much more time on computers and in front of TVs and video games. I say "our kids," but I don't mean my kids. My most often used phrase is "Go play outside," or "Go find someone to play with." In my opinion, the TV is for a movie on a rainy day, it is not supposed to be a playmate. We have all of the typical toys, and we do use them - but definitely as a LAST CHOICE. My son plays Guitar Hero on the wii that he had to have, and chats with friends on aim, but usually after the sun has gone down, homework is done, and the evening is winding down. If it isn't raining or real cold, my kids are definitely outside -building forts in the woods, exploring the neighborhood on their bikes, jumping on the trampoline, throwing together a pick-up game of soccer or baseball, or pushing each other on the swings. We make picnics, do painting and play-do on the back porch... I feel like we are lucky though. One of my sisters lives in the woods - pretty isolated and a few miles from town. She has to arrange play-dates (which I abhor), and her son (the youngest with two older sisters) tends to play alone a lot, with nobody to just track down and hang around with.

I keep trying to get my sister to move back to our town. I am confident that she can RECREATE all of the coolness that she has where they live now, right HERE at home -- in our little town.

My sister feeling guilt about her son missing his cousins may be working in my favor!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people

and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

peace and quiet

Shocking, this house is overwhelmingly quiet and peaceful right now. This is not what I expected of a week's break from school.

Kara headed back to college yesterday - I was sad to see her go, but it's nice to know that she's wrapping up her semester soon. Before we know it, she'll be back again. I always feel so much more comfy when all of the kids are home in their own beds at night. We're going to see her in a few weeks because her play (Sweet Charity) will be opening on the 22nd. I think we'll go on the Friday, because it'll just be easier with getting a sitter for the little kids. I am really looking forward to seeing it because the last musical she was in was in high school! I miss seeing her on stage, she is so talented. She wanted Charity, but she got another decent female role instead - she's loving it regardless. I can't wait to see it!!

Little Alex went with Dad and a few of the other grand kids to Jeepers. I am hoping it will go smoothly - when he gets with some of his cousins, there is always a chance of something going awry! Dad called me this morning while I was at Wal-Mart, annoyed because my house was locked. He was trying to get in to get Alex a pair of sneakers, as he only has his soccer cleats on (he was being picked up from practice on the way). I didn't know he was going right after practice, so I never packed his sneaks - oh well, at least he's wearing his indoor cleats. He'll get over it. Maybe he'll start a new trend.

Megster had a Girl Scout field trip to Build-a-Bear in Albany today. I dropped her off with her leader, and they were heading up as a troop to build some bears! It was their reward for selling so many cookies this year. In other words, Megan is being rewarded for nudging me along to fall SO HARD off of my diet wagon, that I can't even stand myself. How anyone can resist a box of Samoa's is beyond me. And Thin Mints. Ahhhhh...Tag-a-Longs. In all honesty, I have no will power at all against most Girl Scout cookies. Thank God it's only once a year.

And lastly, Miss Brookie is "doing a quiet" in my bed. I try my absolute best to keep kids in a nap schedule for as long as humanly possible. Now that Brooke is approaching 4, she seems to be having a harder time actually napping. Honestly, I don't mind if she plays in her bed for an hour or two, just so long as I get a little quiet time to myself each day. Quiet time for me is catching up on email, going through real mail, cleaning, reading, etc. I think every stay-at-home mom needs a little quiet time! So when Brooke asked ever-so-sweetly if she could do a quiet in my bed with the TV on, I caved and allowed it. I think she may have fallen asleep though, because it is awfully quiet up there.

I think I'd better go check to make sure she is not getting into anything...she is my mischievous kid after all!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

coloring eggs

We all gathered around the table in the kitchen and colored eggs this afternoon. I know I am a grown-up and all, but I actually woke up this morning thinking about coloring eggs, and how I was going to do mine. :) I thought had some good ideas! I remember it being so anticipated when I was little. Of course, my kids were all excited and happy. We started a little earlier than usual, because Kara had to go to work tonight. So I boiled up about two dozen eggs - we had a few crack as they were cooking, so we ate those. Dad got the mugs situated and plopped in the colored tablets and vinegar in the water. The smell of vinegar immediately makes me think of Easter eggs. It's funny that way.

Everyone did 3 or 4 eggs. Brooke finished hers too quickly of course - it's really so hard to be patient when you're three. She just totally loved the whole process. It's actually been so fun with her this year, holidays and all - because she really just gets things now, and she honestly loves to be a part of everything and included. Alex ended up with a few brown eggs because he had to put his in every color - eventually he realized that he was just ending up with dull BROWN. Kara is like me, she took her time and thought it out. She was funny - tried to write something in white, which of course she couldn't see as she was writing. Megan's were thoughtful too. I put some rubber bands around one of mine and made stripes - very cool. Kara thought it was "nautical." I put some stickers on one of the others, so I ended up with a green and yellow (square) polka dotted egg when I removed the stickers after dying it. I also put tape around an egg, both lengthwise and around the middle - that turned out neat too - kind of looked like a cross, so I guess that was fitting for Easter.

It makes me happy because I think the kids really enjoy our traditions - they were definitely looking forward to coloring the eggs all day. When I started boiling the eggs, they were lurking around the kitchen. It's just so hard to wait! They all stuck around pretty closely because nobody wanted to miss anything.

I hope Easter will be as fun as coloring the eggs. Looking forward to getting the everything ready later tonight, and of course - the best part - hiding the baskets and eggs!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Today I took Megan and Brenna to Grammy's to do a "photo shoot" for their First Holy Communion invitations. I love to take pictures of my kids, and they know I mean business when I tell them we're doing a photo shoot. I curled Megan's hair a bit, got her all dressed... she looked so pretty. We went to pick up Brenna and Ali had her looking a little DIRTY, so I made her wash her face and re-do her hair! Brooke stayed at Ali's and played, so I could focus on the communion girls. I was happy that Ali came along with us. I think she liked it. Tonight when she saw how great the pictures turned out, she knew it was worth doing it the way I like to.

Grammy's house was the perfect place. The background is awesome with barns, cobblestone fences, the river... I just wish it was a little nicer out - but the wind didn't hurt - it was actually cool, one of the pictures shows the girls' veils blowing in around their faces and it looks really neat. For the invitations, we're going black and white I think, which I love because it just looks really classic.

I can't wait to do a photo collage, or photo album of these pictures - they just turned out amazingly. I've only posted a few, but I took about 50 shots.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hunting for Eggs

Today was Brooke's pre-school Easter Egg Hunt. I have to admit I was dreading it. I particularly get nervous interacting with the other mothers, and I have a real hard time with the field trips. I'm not sure why...

Anyway, Brooke was beyond excited, giggling all the way to school about how fast she was going to run and how many eggs filled with candy she would find. She was very concerned about my letting her eat candy before lunch, as typically, it is against the rules in our house. I assured her that it was a special occasion, so it would be OK. She also decided it would be wise to leave her Nanny (her very worn, shaggy string of a blankie) in the car so it wouldn't get lost.

So the egg hunt was a success - Brooke found a small pile of eggs and was very happy. They set the hunt up at the local park, so the eggs were hidden all in the play equipment - very cool. The playground is big enough so that kids weren't banging into each other - no serious melt-downs - everyone got a fair amount of eggs. Before the big hunt, the kids sang a few little songs with bunny ears on - totally cute. Then, after all the eggs were found, many of the kids stuck around to play. Since it was such a nice day, I was in total agreement and I actually spent most of the time chatting with another parent! woohoo for me! We actually spent an extra HOUR there, which was definitely not in my original plan.

It did make me happy, really.

I know how much Brooke likes to play outside, and I always feel guilty that I don't bring her out enough. She was all pink-cheeks and smiles. What a little sweetie.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I just read an article that said liquid calories are a bigger diet-buster than food. Well. I can believe that.

As I sit here typing with my ridiculously light and sweet coffee, that piece of news just validates why I actually don't even allow myself to drink coffee during the week - because of how absolutely fattening I have to make it. Once I figured out how many Weight Watchers points were in my coffee the way I like to drink it, and it is 6. SIX.

SIX POINTS for one cup of coffee! That's the equivalent of an ENTIRE MEAL!
Six Weight Watchers points is equal to 2 peanut butter cups! Or a cup of spaghetti with sauce!

Once Wendy suggested that I just make it with fat free cream and equal. I tried and it tasted really cruddy. It occurred to me that I would never bother even making it though, much less drink it if I didn't like the taste. It's pointless. Wendy said I would get used to it that way if I just kept making it like that. I know that is probably true, I never even liked coffee once, I was positive that I would never be a coffee drinker even.

It all started with having to whet my whistle.

Being thirsty driving with a friend to work - a sip lead to a few sips, then to my friend actually making and bringing me my own cup because he was sick of me whetting my whistle with half of his cup of coffee. Back then, the coffee I was drinking was with that gross powdered creamer. I then moved on to Dunkin' Donuts, light and sweet. REAL cream. That lasted a while. But once I had a taste of Hazelnut.... mmmmmmmm.... now that's my downfall.

So these days, I have punished myself. I don't have the coffee maker out anymore, don't even buy the cream (except this week I had a coupon that was doubled and I got it for free because it was also on sale - it would have been a crime if I passed up that opportunity). Most weeks, I only have coffee on Saturday mornings. I head over to Ali and Ty's, have my allotted cup of coffee and sit around chit-chatting for a bit. Some weeks, I will have one on a Sunday too, it all depends on how quickly I can get myself going. I could never have a cup of coffee in the afternoon!

Today is just one of those dreary, rainy days that just needs a warm cup of coffee to get things going in the right direction. I stopped at Griffin's Market on the way home from dropping Brookie at Pre-K, and picked it up black. It smelled so nice in my car... got home, fixed it up just right, now I am enjoying it on a TUESDAY. huh. Makes it almost feel like the weekend...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sorting through

So today, (my sister's) Indi, Ali and I met mom at (my step-father) Steve's mother's house. Mom asked us to come and see if there was anything that we might want before it was sold or given away. There was a lot of glassware - Steve's mom had at least 3 or 4 HUGE sets of gorgeous china. I was LATE because when I went to get in my car this morning, I discovered that the battery was dead. Hmph. Kara came in really early this morning, so she needed to get the house key from my car, and ended up leaving the door slightly open, which yes, killed my battery. What a pain in the butt. Since Alex had already left to go to church with the kids, I had to jump it with the electric charger. Big fat pain, and takes at least ten minutes to charge. So I was the LAST to arrive TO PICK the gosh darn China, and they started without me.

It was weird being in the house... seemed so much more empty and dreary. It's so sad. Just going through everything made me feel so down. Like, why do we accumulate all of this stuff, that someday, may or may not mean anything to anyone really. I mean, I liked the things that I brought home with me, but really, it's someone else's stuff - stuff that was important to Steve's mom at some point, but for the most part, was not really important to me. I came to the thought, "What is the point, really?"

I really do want to minimize the clutter, but I can't help but HOARD. I have such a hard time throwing things away! Someday, my kids are going to be going through all of my things, deciding their fates... deciding what goes in the junk pile, the keeper pile...

The things that I accumulated and saved with such love and care will eventually be reduced to a bunch of people handling my stuff.  I don't even want to think about that.

Mom worries about us having to go through all of her things, too. I told her that she should take a notebook, and write about the different things she would like us to have - what has meaning, the stories behind the things she has saved. Certain things she has of Nan's that maybe we wouldn't know about. She loved showing us these pretty diamond, pearl and platinum pins of Steve's moms that she will let each of us have. She will let us choose at Easter when Jen is here.

I brought home a set of sweet custard bowls, a beautiful painting of a boat on a lake, a barometer. I brought home a christening gown that must be a hundred years old - beautifully hand made, and so obviously stitched with love and care, linens and a Staffordshire dog with orange eyes. Later, we'll take a powder blue couch and chair for the playroom in the basement. It'll be good, to let this stuff live on, with us, in our lives. 

I liked looking at the pictures of Steve when he was little. His eyes are the same. I realized that there weren't nearly enough pictures.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

First day

Happy first day!

I am feeling creative these days... too many years spent focusing on everyone but myself I guess. I grew up journaling, and for some reason just stopped after I got married. We recently had a flood in our basement, and I was devastated to think that my cardboard box of old "stuff" may have been ruined. I am 39 years old, but cannot bear the thought of losing a note from a boy I had a crush on in 10th grade.

Written on the back of a Juicy Fruit wrapper.

Since the big flood we've had to tear up the carpet, haul a ton of wet, soggy stuff to the dumpster, and spend hours rifling through loads of veritable junk - but thankfully - my box survived.

Needless to say, I have been stealing away for some uninterrupted time to the basement to sift through things I haven't looked at in absolutely years.

Why do we save all of these things??

I just found a moldy leather bracelet that Peter, my boyfriend for one week in 6th grade gave me. Hmmm... just reconnected with Peter on facebook. Maybe he'd like his bracelet back?

ANYWAY, to make my long-winded story a little shorter - seeing my neatly lined up journals and diaries after all of these years prompted me to get blogging. I guess it's the new thing to do. Or since I am little behind the times, the old new thing. I just haven't had time to do this, and now I do - so yay! I am blogging! Who knew?