Saturday, July 31, 2010

Five for Friday, Saturday style.

Sorry to have missed our Five for Friday date... it's now Saturday.
Unfortunately there weren't five good things to report.  Only one really icky one.... a 14 hour car ride!

That being said, I love our children, they were laughing, singing and joking as we were stopped and mean stopped on the highway for an hour and a half.  The up side of our long ride? We are all a bit more connected from the experience. 
Let the party begin...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

They are Growing Up...

Whew, what a night….
We thought we did a nice, good, happy thing by buying our little guy a new big boy bed….
Um, yeah, not so sure…

My son was so excited, so wound up… between the new bed and his three week vacation he is NUTZO!  He said some crazy things about his new bunk bed….
“I just want to stay up and see the wood”
“I lied earlier, I didn’t need my slippers, I just wanted to go upstairs and see my bed”
Annoyed he said…..“sometimes your brothers and sisters need to go visit their mom” – (and then they can’t see the new bed?)
He ended with “I just don’t think I can sleep, I am going to stay up all night”

My daughter was camped out in his room as a special treat to celebrate the new bed.  She is in the middle of reading Judy Blume’s, BFF.  We have been reading it together and it is half step ahead of her but reading it together has been fun.  As a tween, I devoured every Judy Blume bookMy daughter was also very excited about vacation and couldn’t sleep.  I told her it would be ok to read one more chapter on her own with her book light.  She cracked me up when she got so excited and sat straight up in her bed with a huge smile and and said – “oh my god mom, Stephanie just got her….”  I finished the sentence with big eyes and said “period.”  She followed up a few minutes later “Allison’s mom is pregnant, but it didn’t happen the regular way”  I asked, “what is the regular way?, she replied, I don’t know but that is what the book says”

Oh it was exhausting, hysterical and charming all in one. 
I felt the power of motherhood as I calmed my son down and talked him through like only his mommy could.  As I rubbed his little temples I asked, “is that too hard?”  he whispered "No it’s perfect" and drifted to sleep….

With my daughter…. I felt her grow up before my eyes with just those two little comments.

I need a vacation.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fear of Math -

I have a reoccurring dream, it involves my high school math teacher, Mrs. Kowalchyk and math class.  The dream goes something like…I don’t attend class for a long time, I have daily excuses, then I have to show up to class and have no idea what is going on.  I’ve had this dream several times over the years and amazingly, it makes me anxious when I wake up.  I think this is how my fear of math blossoms -modern day style. 

I am trying hard not to project this on to my kids.  Honestly, I was an anxious learner.  I didn’t want to make a mistake and still don’t.  I was not a perfectionist, my grades proved that one.  I got by with good grades but I wasn’t the Billy Preble of the class (he was top notch).  It was more the “social pressure” of learning.  I didn’t want to “look” foolish and I didn’t want to feel like I didn’t understand something.  I guess I was trying to be cool?  Looking back it is just about the most ridiculous thing….I was a child, I was in school to learn…. It was the one place where I could have hopefully been comfortable making a mistakes. 

BAD NEWS! - I can already see this blooming in my two children and I am making a public commitment to be aware of this as the new school year approaches.  Looking back, looking forward, it is ok to make a mistake.  It is ok to take a risk and not be a people pleaser…..

Interestingly enough, I have to balance this with the World's Greatest Husband’s learning focus for our children.  He was the “Billy Preble” in his class, and from those high school days he just kept on going until he had a DR. in front of his name.  He is academically programmed in a much more scientific way.  I am the more social, “feeler”, outgoing part of our magic.  I am constantly plugging the leadership opportunities, the extra curricular stuff, it’s the stuff that I look back on my educational experience with fondness…

So hopefully we are creating healthy kids while providing the steadiness of two peeps with different learning styles…. He pushes the math (and checks the homework). He promotes an organized study routine.  I push the creative outlets, writing, reading, art and student council.  He pushes athletics, knowing that team work is important.  I say it is ok to be a cheerleader or president of your college class (Yes, and yes for me).

I will keep reminding myself…. Our school routine begins in only 42 more days.. it’s ok to make a mistake, it is ok to take a risk and not try to please everyone around you…. Please yourself… learn all you can…

Parenting is hard work... it truly should come with a course, a test and a license.  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Paper Napkins Make Me Happy. Wait, is that Weird?

Ok, so maybe I am a little obsessed? 
While visiting the circulation desk the librarian asked if they could come to the party.  I looked at her a bit puzzled and asked, “What party?”
It seems as though I am inter-library loaning a rather large load of entertaining, decorating and style books.
So I love, love, love them…. It could be worse….

Here is my style happy tidbit for today ….
Exhibit A - Where I type my blog posts.
Every morning while I sit on the computer and check email, twitter, facebook, foursquare and my blog (boy that’s a lot of social media) I enjoy my morning coffee from my beloved  keurig (which you know I consider the absolute best appliance ever made on this earth! - It has changed my life for the better.) I take an everyday, standard square napkin, package of 250 variety, and place my mug on the napkin as a coaster as to not mark my pretty wood computer station. (See exhibit A)  OK, the tidbit - In the spirit of being paper obsessed, I admit to owning an inordinate amount of pretty paper napkins….the package of 20 variety.  This morning I decided to use a little sassy fuchsia number instead of the bounty napkin in the holder on the microwave.  It has made me very happy and now this morning I’ve made it official, instead of saving the pretty paper na-kins (as my little brother used to say while growing up) for a special party, I will sit in delight as I enjoy my morning coffee and my napkins – every morning…. 

And here is a pathetic, silly secret; the other day I bought a package of napkins that reminded me of “the look” of my blog.  They are black and white swirly dos and I loved them…. I guess there was a reason for that little find after all.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five for Friday

It's Friday and that means.... 
It's Five for Friday....
Five great things about today:
1.  Back to School supplies are out!  I love, love, love office supplies and going to my regular stops like Target, Walmart and Walgreens are now extra special because of that "Back to School" aisle.
2.  It's Pay Day.
3.  My employer is getting some positive press today and that is a good thing.
4.  We have no real commitments this weekend and that feels good. We've been on a roll with hosting lots of swim dates (which we love to do) but... I need to float in peacefully for a Saturday of my own. Yippee!
5.  I can already feel myself becoming a bit anxious over turning the calendar.  August signals the last half of summer and that depresses me.  Love the fall, but hate, hate, hate winter.  I will enjoy today.

Paper Peeps - you guys are the BEST!  Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wedding song - second time around.

I am participating in Mama Kat's Writers Workshop.  A fun exercise in trying to work through my bloggers block.... So the prompt is... write about your wedding song....

Our wedding song was “From this Moment On” by Shania Twain.  Why? Because that was the most romantic song our piano player/singer knew.  I had to go read the lyrics after the song was decided upon.  Not the way I normally handle things that will forever be a memory, but hey if that’s the song the guy had confidence in, I’ll go with it.  Lucky for us, the lyrics were loving.  But when the song comes on the radio, I do have to think for a minute, “Wait, that’s our wedding song, I think, right?”

Although the song wasn’t my wedding day highlight it was the most beautiful evening ceremony and elegant dinner party for 35.  Planning a wedding the second time around is much different than a first wedding.  Mostly because the World’s Greatest Husband and I were funding it and it only included our very best, closest peeps.  We weren’t only creating a union of husband and wife we were merging families.  Our five children made a circle around us holding hands while we said our vows (which we wrote ourselves.)  There wasn’t a dry eye in the place as my husband declared his love for me.  Seriously, my husband said it so perfectly, so lovingly, and the best part?  He meant it.  I felt it.  The super best, best, best part? I still feel it, everyday.

There is one line in the song that rings true in my heart -  You’re the reason I believe in love.

hmmm - I wonder what the wedding song was when I married, Mr. past not so good?....I forgot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordful Wednesday

I am playing along for Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus, check her out.  She is my bloggy idol (a mommy to five!)

So I don't normally post personal photographs of my five amazing children but I simply had to share this one...
My son loves a challenge and this presented quite a challenge....
It's been a slow blogging week, I think I am pouting (with a smile) because the Mommyologist and Life Without Pink didn't select me as a "Not So Mom of the Year contestant"...Oh well, I guess it is a compliment and the vlog was fun to do.  Scroll down if you didn't catch it.

Have a sparkling day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Day at the Beach - now that's entertainment!

Ok, so I do the summer thing and take my two to the beach yesterday.  It was our hope to meet up with our cousins because they were very brave and were camping out.  I am not a camping kind of mom.  I like to camp where fluffy white robes are complimentary and the spa is just downstairs. Unfortunately we never met the cousins, my cell phone wouldn’t work from the sandy dunes.  We walked the beach a few times but no luck…

Trust me, there was no lack of entertainment by the sea.  I was truly amazed at all that we saw and heard. 

Here are some random observations:
There were three young adults participating in a self-made photo shoot that could have appeared in Playboy.  I admire their confidence but wanted to cover my son’s eyes a few times.

Am I only one without a tattoo? And when I say tattoo, it is more like tattoos…..

The bikini police were not in force.  On one side of this coin I say – “God bless you, you are comfortable in your own skin and that is a great thing. “  The other side of this coin is… mirrors people, mirrors.   And since this is my blog and my opinion – I’ll just state it clearly.  Bikinis should only be worn by the sweet, sweet young and those 20 something hard bodies.  I saw many women my age and older wearing two piece suits, and honestly, they had bodies that truly rocked but their whole presentation was mature and the bikini took away from that hard earned life experience

Two mo-hawks.  One on a young boy the other on a woman.

A confused woman with pants, long sleeves, shoes, socks and her purse.  There is always one in the crowd….

Lots of lovers walking the beach, two lesbian couples, one gay couple and many, many others.  I loved seeing all the loving.  It made me miss the World’s Greatest Husband, who was working hard at the office.

And then… there was the young father that let his two boys swim in their underpants.  They proceeded to dig with soda cans, throw them in the water and then throw sand on all of us.  I think they were just driving by the entrance and thought, let’s go.  They were clearly not prepared like the rest of us…. But hey, those kids had fun too.

The most captivating observation:  A group of women sat behind us.  They were long time friends, you could just tell.  They wore old lady suits, brought umbrellas at were camped out… they reminisced, played board games and ate candy bars.  My daughter kept saying… “Mom, they are eating more chocolate bars.”  I think they earned all that chocolate.  I loved listening in.  They were exactly what I want to be someday… talking about my five kids, my grandkids, not understanding technology and still enjoying the company of good friends sea side.

Ok, enough babble.  I think we will go again next week, it was fun to people watch.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Five for Friday

Five great things about today:

  1. Five kids are still sleeping...
  2. I was brave enough to step on the scale (thats all I say)
  3. World's Greatest Husband is not working at the hospital tomorrow...
  4. The kids have a birthday party tomorrow...
  5. that means we have a few hours to ourselves....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Quick Laugh

My kids were camped out in my office while I had a meeting yesterday morning.  Today I arrived to several cute notes posted around my office.  I thought it was sweet and clever.

Sometimes while I am at work I will make a note or two of things I want to blog about or check out on the internet etc... (I write them on my cute Vera Bradley note mousepad)  I had left a little note to self "what makes me a softball mom?"  This note was developed into a post  I wrote a few days ago....   I cracked up today when I saw my daughter had responded to my mousepad scribble with: .... having kids who play softball.

Got to love it!  Simplicity!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And the Not Mom of the Year Award goes to.....

NOT Mom of the Year Award

My Very First Vlog!  I was so nervous I thought I might puke!  Heeee!  So here is my entry for the Not Mom of the Year!  This is a contest over at The Mommyologist and Life without Pink.  Two fun bloggers who are thinking outside of the box. 

So enjoy my entry.  Those of you who know me.... know.....I am constantly securing my place in heaven.  This entry may put me a few steps behind, but really... my kids, and the World's Greatest Husband are my world, my joy and I am proud to love them.

PS -My video doesn't mention that I make the World's Greatest Husband check the math homework and when he is working late I have often "conveniently forgot" to check it.  I have Master's Degree but it isn't in mathematics!! 

Seamstress, I am not

Remember the towel I was bragging about? I thought I would share this photo....See what is missing?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Push Tabs -Did you know about these?

I am so excited.  I downloaded the Oprah app on my iphone and learned that I can listen to Gayle’s pod casts from O radio.  I love, love, LOVE Gayle King and have missed her since we decided not to renew our XM radio.  So last night while walking the track, I was in heaven listening to my girl Gayle.   My first comment to the World’s Greatest Husband, “I want to be like Gayle King” and I mean it… she is positive, clever, stylish, kind genuine and oh ya, Oprah’s BFF.  Because we are both divorced mom’s I feel the connection. I feel the love when she talks about her kids and relationships.  Oh I could go on and on… did I mention that when I was a teenager working at a local hallmark store, Gayle would visit on occasion.  Yeah, we are practically sisters.

I am off track here, let me re-group.

While listening to a segment on Gayle’s show, I learned about the book “The Book of Awesome” by Neil Pasricha.  It is a fun book written to remind us of the little things that make our lives sweet.  It is a total “living in the present” sort of book and guess what it has a blog to accompany it!  Check it out here  I had many favorites…. You will too….  I liked number 774 – Those little tabs on the side of the tin foil box.  Ladies, I will be honest, in my 39 years on this beautiful earth, I had no clue.  I am not too proud to admit it.  I didn’t know there were tiny push in tabs at both ends to secure the roll of foil properly.  Since listening to Gayle and reading the blog…I have now pushed those little puppies in on every box in my home…. Just sayin…. Sometimes it is the little things that make you appreciate life.
Hope your day is full of push tabs that make you smile. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Finding my summer blogging groove has been tough.  With the school year, I had a dedicated way of blogging.  With summer, I am all over the place.  I apologize for being a bit wacky in the timing of my posts.

Wanted to share two cool things…

First, look at my fabulous finds yesterday.  I went shopping by myself for 5 hours.  What a treat! I guess I get to cross that one off of my summer to do list.  I found the monogrammed melamine platter for only 3.99!  Everything you see only cost me $11.  I love a bargain.  But what I love more is paper.  I had butterflies in my gut while shopping the paper aisle at the Christmas Tree Shop last night.  I felt giddy with delight.  Almost light headed.  I know it’s ridiculous.  But if a $1.00 note pad makes me happy, does that make me cheap and easy?

Also, the one item on our birthday girl list last week was a hooded towel for the pool.  They fight over the two that we have.  A crafty friend suggested I make one.  I gagged at the thought, sewing is not the craft I am familiar with but that too is on my summer to do list…. So I went to and found simple directions, bought her favorite color towel and even found  letters to put her name  on the back (when she requested a towel with her name, I almost puked – how the heck do you do that?)  But…. All in all it was easy and fun and I know she is going to LOVE it!  Maybe it will fall apart in the wash, but I think it is all ok!

So in the last 18 hours I have completed two more things on my important summer list.  I’ve even swam 3 times out of 10 already!
Have a good day – and consider leaving a comment, blogging is more fun if you are chatting too!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I am a Softball Mom? Who Knew?

Driving to work I realized somewhere along the way, my dislike for living at the field and carting their little hineys to practice truly isn’t so bad.  I guess it is less about dislike and more about my inner shock.  Simply put, I am amazed that we manage to get 5 kids to and from games, practices and lessons each day.  I guess I just didn’t have the vision that I would be the mom on the bleachers each and every night. 

My top ten reasons why I am officially a softball mom:

1.    1.   I keep a chair in a bag in the back of my car.
2.       Is your uniform clean? Do you have your bat bag, cleats and water? Are two questions I ask on a daily basis whether I need to or not.
3.       I have committed to memory the area league complex addresses and directions to memory or my iPhone.
4.       I’ve subscribed to the notion…. Don’t swim too much today, you have a game later.
5.       8:30 is the new dinner hour.  The World’s Greatest Husband encourages me to pretend we live like Italians.
6.       On occasion, I’ve rearranged work schedules to accommodate games and practices.
7.       I’ve jumped out of my chair to cheer on our team and I’ve been angry with an umpire (silently in my chair, like a reasonable adult.)
8.       I say Hail Mary’s during the game. Often. Mostly when my kids are at bat.
9.       I text my parents in Florida with game updates.
10.   I’ve labeled cheesy fries as a dairy and a veggie.

    Our kids are having the summer of their lives.  The 9-10 softball girlie's are off to a championship game tonight.  The winner advances to the final for our district.  It will be a tough game.  I am convinced that along with talent, it is spirit and attitude that help win the game.  Seeing I was a cheerleader in high school, I’ve got the spirit and attitude covered on the bleachers…. Softball talent? Not so much….

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Sun and Vitamin D - Get some!

    Well most folks return to work today, I have one more day off! Yippee! After a weekend of fun, sun and parties, I am happy to have a day to re-group.  It’s hot, hot, hot here.  So much so the state has identified “cooling centers” I haven’t heard of this in years past but I guess it is a necessary precaution for those at risk.  Stay cool paper peeps.

    So all this fun in the sun has led me to do some vitamin D research.  I’ve been deficient on more than one occasion and am currently on an increased daily dose.  Yesterday and today I floated in the pool with the mindset to soak in some bonus vitamin D.  A vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression, weight gain, some cancers, aches, pains, fibromyalgia, weak bones, muscle weakness and fatigue.  So I am not surprised that my levels are low I am always an achy tired mess.  Have you had your vitamin D level checked?  It is very common so next time you have your check-up be sure to ask for a test to check your vitamin D.   So there is my first blogger health tip.  Just call me Dr. Paper Mom.

    Ladies, softball may end tonight….funny thing is…. I really, really, really, would love to see the girls win and move on in tournament play.  I know I have my bloggy belly aching baseball posts…. So my hope and wish for a win may be surprising…. But it’s true… Let the world take note, I am officially a “softball mom” wishing for a win! And by the way, did I tell you my daughter caught the last out of the game last week? A pop fly and she caught it, we won.  Yes, I was hail marrying it hard at that moment…. But my girl Mary never fails. 
    Try to beat the heat…

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    Two in one, baby

    This weekend we celebrate the Fourth of July and our daughter’s tenth birthday.  Two special reasons to celebrate in one weekend.  We are having a cookout today to mark the occasions.  Although getting this house ready for 25-30 guests is a major undertaking we always seem to manage.  The party is a bit later in the day so at least we won’t be rushed.  Our Easter Brunch several months ago left no time for the slow cooker unless I set my alarm for a crazy hour.

    Do you ever visit OMG (yes, using teenager talk there) it has the most amazing ideas!  I love the site and recently signed up to get the idea of the day.  You can customize for the cookie of the day, the craft of the day, the organizing tip of the day…you get the picture.  When I visit her site I feel like I am immersed in the good life.  Her team makes the tiniest detail mean something special.  Seeing most of her ideas are just about ridiculous for me to even contemplate while living with two teenagers, and three elementary school kids… working and going to the Little League complex every night, the website makes me dream of retirement living, entertaining and time… sweet, sweet time…. I know folks often have varying opinions of dear Martha, I get it…but to sit back and admire the empire she has created is an amazing thing.  When I evaluate how her books, website and idea make me want to create… I think that is…. well to put it like Martha,” a good thing…..”

    My daughter and I made these for the party today. We made 12x12 fortune tellers out of reversible paper and turned them into little party peanut dishes. Martha used them for ice cream toppings (chocolate chips, sprinkles and mini marshmallows) you just have to eat the peanuts evenly from each little pocket, because they will tip over….

    If  your in the neighborhood today, come on over.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Peace Lily

    I am in emergency mode at 5:48 am.  You may think this is silly but I am in a tizzy over my peace Lily.  Yes, the Peace Lily is an easy plant to care for and this one is especially important to me and I just noticed that I have been neglecting the poor girl terribly. 

    In 1998 I was divorcing my husband and my best friend arrived at my new bachelorette pad with a small beautiful peace lily.  She told me that I needed to care for myself and the plant while going through my struggles.  The plant has always made my home warm and inviting.  Oddly enough, I reunited with my husband and didn’t really divorce until a few years later.  I knew then (in 1998) but didn’t have the inner strength to face my failing marriage.  I played along got stronger and smarter.

    The peace lily has been with me for 12 years.  It symbolizes so much to me.  I know, I know, we are talking about a plant here… but seriously it is sort of like my baby.  I’ve seen her through, I’ve potted and re-potted, I’ve watered and fed.  Not only does she have my favorite word, PEACE in her name she has brought me PEACE.  And my friend knew that on my dark days when I didn’t want to even take a shower, watering the plant would mean something….even 12 years later.

    I am going to re-pot her later today and hope for the best.  Maybe God is telling me, I don’t need my peace lily anymore.  Maybe God is reminding me to slow down and take notice of things.  Either way, the lily is still working in my life and serving as a symbol of PEACE.

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Five for Friday

    Five Great things about today!

    1. I don't return to work until Wednesday at 9am.
    2. It is my plan to actually catch up on the blog.  I am so sorry I have been so irregular!
    3. Little girls play an all-star game tonight.
    4. We have a birthday girl this weekend and a July 4th picnic!
    5. I have my husband all to myself today from 12-3! Yippeee!

    Wishing you a good day... check back this weekend because it will be a blog-a-palooza!  

    ZZZZzzzz --- Please!!!

    I find as I get older, my sleeping patterns are changing.  What the heck is that all about?  I keep blaming the onset of menopause.  My husband thinks I am using the menopause statements inappropriately as it is probably years away.  I disagree.  I know my body and it’s changing…. Maybe it is just 40 settling into my bones and my brain.

    Menopause or not, I need a nap.  I am finding that a good night’s sleep is non-existent.  Stress? Maybe?  I am not sure… but I think I will try a glass of wine tonight.  Maybe that will help.


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