Monday, May 31, 2010

Do you smell special?

My youngest says the craziest, cutest things…

Son:  “Mom, my clothes sometimes smell special.  Like when Auntie Rose gives me clothes, they smell special.  My clothes that you buy smell too, but they smell like me, so I really can’t smell them, because it’s just me.  Mom, I hope I don’t stink.

The kids are swimming in the pool and I am typing on the patio, life is good.

Happy Memorial Day, I hope you enjoying the warmth of the sun and family.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Five for Friday

Five great things about Friday
I am off today, and our back yard is begging me to get out there and clean it up.  Instead I plan to grocery shop (I am so poor these days, that the joy of shopping at TJ.Maxx is being fulfilled by Stop and Shop)

“Date Night” at the concession stand, pathetic but I’ll take it!  If we get done early enough… Sex & the City is a possibility (the movie - people – ah heck, maybe in my city too!!!!)

It’s a LOOOONG weekend!

It’s pay day!

The pool is open and no longer green.  Swimming starts Sunday.

A full week of blogging and I feel happy.  Thanks for reading, I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mom and Dad Fund

I love catalogs, I love pretty things.  I’ve studied the recent Vera Bradley catalog and have some many wishes for my wish list, problem is…my birthday is in December, my anniversary is in November, and Mother’s Day just passed.  I will have to invent a holiday to have an excuse to purchase a few new prizes… maybe I deserve a Memorial Day gift?

Funny how I need a reason to treat myself, why do we do that?  I guess it is because each of the three girls needs a new swimsuit, three kids have birthday parties to attend this weekend – which means three presents to buy, our oldest needed $30 this morning for end of the year field trips and there is a stack of bills a mile high on the kitchen counter.  Having a little life sure does cost A LOT!  Having a divorce sure does cost A LOT! And having FIVE children sure does cost A LOT! Oh my goodness – Life is hard and expensive. 

Mommy and the Daddy are often last on the list. I know it is our job to provide for our children but I am beginning to wonder if I will ever have new summer sandals.   I have vowed to make a Mommy and Daddy piggy bank.  A bank that will help “fund our fun”.  My extra change and dollar bills are going into the kitty to help mommy and daddy feel pretty, feel connected, and enjoy each other.  We’ve done this before and I hate to admit it but, when I needed lunch money for the kids or last minute cash, I’ve dipped into it.  I’ve robbed my own marriage of the funds that can make my connection stronger, HOW SAD! 

I think I will skip the cute little Vera Bradley key chain (have you seen them? They are darling) and put the $15 bucks in the Mom and Dad bank – that $15 is almost a bucket of popcorn for our date night movie!  And...we actually have a chance at “Date Night” this Friday.  Get this…. We have no kids but we have to volunteer at the concession stand! Can you believe that?  Our life is busy and chaotic and even when we have a night to ourselves to reconnect…. We need to work for our kids activities at the concession stand!!!!!  What is more romantic than date night at the little league concession stand? The World's Greatest Husband flipping burgers and Paper Mom making change for ring pops and hot dogs.  Maybe I do need that key chain?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

planning a pool party

We are preparing for our first boy-girl, teenage, starting high school next fall, pool party.  I had no idea the negotiation that would come to be because of this bash.  Our big dilemma right now? 
Do we hire a life guard?  The thought of a life guard standing poolside, whipping her whistle in a circular motion around her finger, wearing a red speedo tank suit and holding a long banana floaty thing under her arm is making our 13 year old want to cry.  I guess safety isn’t cool? The thought of fifteen hormone challenged 8th graders jumping off the diving board on top of each other makes me and the World’s Greatest Husband want to cry. 

Then we move on to food, decorations and games…. Yes, I said games.  I asked if we could play a few cool games and she gasped!  I remember playing “The Price is Right” and having a “Mr. Legs” party game at my middle school parties.   Not so sure this will happen, but I may just do it… hmmm, how can I incorporate texting into a game??? Maybe the person who sends me the most kind and creative statements about this par-tay? Wait,where will they put their handheld devices? They will be wearing bathing suits? Oh the thought of this par-tay gets more interesting with each day, and we still have a few weeks to go.  In the meantime I plan to hold it over their heads…. Let’s weed that pretty back yard, let’s sweep that patio, let’s trim those bushes,  so the backyard looks nice for your par-tay and friends! 

I think we are about to enter a whole new era of parenthood.  

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Softball Moms

When I was young and foolish, married to "Mr. Past-Not-So –Good", he was a big beer league softball player.  It made me crazy and I wanted to write an essay about the dynamics of men on a softball field.  This was before my blogging time but I can guarantee you if I blogged twelve years ago… it would have been the topic of many, many posts.  The butt patting, the chants, the drinking after the game, it was a quick study on men (a particular type of man) that I am grateful to forget!

While watching our two nine year olds practice last night, I had a related thought….the essays I wrote in my head years ago reemerged as “The sisterhood of the traveling softball moms”   Yes, as moms, we have a sisterhood of sorts on those cold metal bleachers and it usually is in high gear by about game five… that is just where we are in the season.  Our guard is lowered, we’ve seen each other in the Saturday morning sweat suit, We’ve shared cheesy fries and slushies, we have frozen our little tushies off together, we have cheered for every girl and last night… we began to gossip about our men, our jobs, our kids, our lives.  It was just the therapy I needed. 

All kidding aside the softball moms are a fun loving group, it may be the cold temperatures, the hunger pains, the fear of the homework that lies ahead  - but we always manage to find a laugh and common ground.  

Monday, May 24, 2010

I am back!

Dear Bloggy Friends,

 I am BACK!  I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted.  My special event has come and gone and I am back to being me… Paper Mom!  Yahoo, Yippee!

I promise to blog everyday this week, I’ve missed you! I’ve missed writing.  I could tell you one hundred and one stories from the past week, the event, my family and my life… We have so much to talk about.

Let’s start here.  I met author - Sarah Strohmeyer.  I think if she lived closer to me, we would be friends.  She was a delight.  I was so thrilled to get to know her and spend time with her.  She was our keynote speaker for our Friday night fundraiser, funny, informative, warm and spirited.  The World's Greatest Husband and I both enjoyed visiting with her; I think I will add her to the family Christmas card list.  She knows her stuff… I love how she spoke of writing as a job… commercial fiction.   In addition to enjoying her creative outlet; she is focused on paying college tuition and is not a literary snobby gal who simply writes to write.  Her flair for writing as a business, a job, came out and you know how I love women entrepreneurship!  But beyond that, she was a wonderful story teller.  I loved all her little snippets of life as a woman making her way in our world.  She struggles with mommy stuff and professional stuff, like we all do.  She told a funny story of having a conference call with Mr. Big, a movie executive and having to shuffle bowling with the girl scouts to do so.  If you are a paper mom reader, you know I love when a woman can tell her story so we all can be stronger…. That is how I felt on Saturday morning after she spoke to small group at our library…. I felt a bit stronger knowing as women, if we work hard all of our dreams are possible… that we can be good moms, good wives, and serious professionals making a difference in the lives of others.  Ok, maybe I am getting too deep – the bottom line…. The gal looked fabulous, has a kick ass career, juggled girl scouts, Mr. Big and seems to have a supportive husband and fun loving family too….  I can’t wait to read all of her books.  Check out her website at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crazy Week Continues...

My little guy is crying to call his little friend and talk (at 8:14 am).  Am I supposed to let him call friends on the phone in kindergarten?  hmmm NO is what I keep coming up with.  He is heartbroken.  If I knew the parents I might reconsider as a summertime thing but I've never met them.

Oh dear... mean mommy - live strong.

I warned you posts would be light this week.  Forgive me, I will strive to post everyday next week.  The Big event is Friday and we are working hard. I will breathe after Friday night.... until, work, work.....


Monday, May 17, 2010

Paper Mama needs some help...

Overwhelmed doesn’t seem to cover it.
I am so upside down!  This week is about to push me over the edge and it has hardly begun!  Any advice? Any tidbits to bring me peace?  Because all I really want to do is hop on a plane outta here! 

The World’s Greatest Husband continues to provide sound advice, hand holding, accommodations to make my life a bit easier.  He actually told his boss he has to come home early this afternoon so I can accommodate some responsibilities I have at my job later today….He is so sweet and kind and the funny thing is…. I am so koo-koo all I want him to do is simply stop talking!  I know, crazy mama’s gotta stop!

Children? Children? My kids should just move out for the week.  I am only kidding, but they should at least stay out of my way, do their own laundry and make their own meals… ok, I am kidding they can stay, I'll cook.

Work? I plan to close my door and work like a mad woman. I have my major event on Friday and I expect things will improve after that – please God, help me get to Saturday!
So there you have it – Paper mom is officially nuts but my dear psychologist husband tells me I have nothing on the real crazies he treats in the ER…. Now there is some peace.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Five for Friday (on Sunday)

Seriously?  Did I let Friday come and go with no Five for Friday? Now it is Sunday and you all know how I feel about Sundays!  How will I ever come up with five good things about today?  Hmmmmm – miss a day and the blog gets all wacky! 

The sun is shining.

Our CCD classes ended with an assembly today.  And one more child gets confirmed so next year – only three in CCD. Progress!   A sincere thank you to the men and women who teach our Sunday School, it is a huge commitment and they do a wonderful job.  Our youngest has successfully learned the “Holy Moly” which he proudly stated as a goal last fall.  “Hail Mary, Holy Moly, it is all good if done with a prayerful heart.

We have an unusual Sunday Baseball game at 3pm.

Tomorrow is a mommy’s only night – BLINGO – Bingo for jewels and baubles…. You are welcome to join me.

Watched Elizabeth Gilbert on (in honor of her 10th celebration in NYC – Gilberts entire speech is on the web) and as always, she is amazing.  Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Eat, Pray, Love  I always want to call her Melissa Gilbert but that was from my Little House on the Prairie Days!  If you have 19 minutes, watch it, it is wonderful and really the woman was living inside my head with many of her comments…. We are all more alike than we think….

Ok, so it was late coming but I managed to do it. There is your five for Friday on Sunday -  I hope you are having a good weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My husband is now in charge of the laundry!

Saturday was an exciting day in Paper Mom’s house.  It started like every other day, with a load of laundry.  (I can’t wait for the day that one of those extra big top loaders arrives…) anyway, hi, ho, hi, ho off to the basement I go.  We have a laundry chute so the clothes fly down to the basement from upstairs and often land outside of the basket onto the floor.  It is usually a mess of lights and darks down there, not where I chose to bring our guests.  Well, while picking up a pair of pajama bottoms (my pink polka dot ones) I found an animal.  At that moment, he sort of looked like he was waking up.  I froze, I screamed and then I ran.  The kids ran up with me and we all had to catch our breath in the kitchen.  This was followed by panic and questions… what was it? What do we do? Can it get up here?   I wanted to barricade the door but resisted.  I text my husband – who advised me to call the vet and ask where we could find a trap to capture an animal we haven’t yet identified.  They advised me that it sounded like the description of a opossum and I should call animal control.  My husband replies “quick go pick up the basement” which was quite witty as he knows me so well…. But there was no chance of me returning to that space!

Animal control arrives, a big, big van with big letters, cages, speakers.  The darn thing took up the whole driveway.  Yet this little sweet petite officer emerges.  She is as big as my nine year old.  I actually said, “You’re  going down there by yourself?”  Lucky for me, she really was sweet and wasn’t offended.  She captured the little critter in no time.  It was an opossum!  A baby opossum, which Little Miss Animal Control advises  if I have to have an animal, an opossum is the one I want and oh yeah, when there is one little baby there are probably 4 or 5 little babies.  The World’s Greatest Husband has looked and looked but hasn’t found a thing.  I’ve given up laundry…. No seriously – GIVEN UP!  It is his new job until I feel like a big girl again.

Interestingly enough the Officer educated the kids quite a bit.  She spoke of finding a moose, fischer cats and lots of raccoons in our town.  When I questioned the raccoon and the fear of rabies she proudly stated,  “I am vaccinated”… this puzzled me…. vaccinated or not…. I don’t want the darn thing to take a BITE out of me!!!!!!  I often speak of a career shift, I can absolutely say with complete confidence… it won’t be an animal control officer.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Busy, Busy, Busy.  My 18 hour work week has turned crazy full time as we count down to our major fundraising event on the 21st.  Posts may be slim until then – forgive me.

Last night I spent time at a fundraiser and heard author Lauren Webber speak about her book, In Cheap We Trust.  She was a delight!  I look forward to picking up her book.  She shared stories of her father being frugal (he would only keep the heat at 50 degrees and uses his car brakes creatively to save on having to replace brake pads).  He was present and provided some fun loving comments after Lauren’s presentation.  If you have time, check out her website, grab the book or visit the library.

As always, I love hearing the story of people, especially grown women who have done it all!   I am always amazed by the paths our little lives weave.  I sat next to some amazing women at this event.  I love hearing about their grown children, how they managed careers and how they spend their time now.  What becomes clear each day is…. paths change.  I’ve always prided myself on being open to change, embracing change.  As I get older, I fear change more and more yet I realize it is the one constant in our life.  As I contemplate my entrepreneurial spirit, career changes, the possibility of another degree and continuously balancing our family and five kids, I realize I must find some serious strength to know that change is ok; fear of change is what I should be worrying about.  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Here is what I believe in....

I hope you enjoyed your Mother's Day.  Now it's back to reality, but isn't it nice to be allowed to take an official break for one day? 

So, Happy Monday! I wanted to share some simple things I believe in:

I believe knowledge is power.  When you know better, you do better.

I believe in the power of love. The World’s Greatest Husband and I share a bond that makes me feel like together we can take on anything.  Certainly there are serious things that would be a big challenge, I am not talking like a hot shot here, but I do feel that his love strengthens me and together with an open heart we could get through many things.

I believe in God and going to church.  I like to give myself dedicated time to give thanks, regroup and recharge.    My prayer of choice is Hail Mary.  She usually floats through my head several times a day.  When my brain is full, I am feeling weak or I am a little out of control, I repeat until a peaceful heart wins out.

I believe in telling the truth:  While commuting to work, I used to pass a billboard that said -  Tell the truth – you’ll never have to remember what you said.  The truth is the best option. 

I believe in Karama – What goes around, comes around.  I try to always be a good person.  Our attitude makes the difference in most situations.

I believe in being prepared when entertaining:  I like to have 90% party ready and waiting when guests arrive.  When I was dating my husband he hosted a few events where dishes, floors and bathrooms were being cleaned and prepared as the guests arrived.  This made me lose sleep.  Of course at that point in our relationship, I was a guest.  It confirmed my need to prepare well ahead of time when hosting a gathering.  He tells me he hosted parties with moving boxes in the living room when he first divorced. GASP!  I can’t even think about it….

I believe that when the kids spend the day swimming in the pool I am off the hook for our regular shower routine.

I believe that a little creativity goes a long way in feeding my soul.

I believe in reading good night stories to our kids.  It is a challenge when each kid gets his or her own book!  We read every night… We meet in our bedroom, ½ of us pile on the bed, the other ½ on the couch and everyone listens.  My mom would swear that this little routine is the thing that has made her granddaughter so bright. 

I believe in paper plates, vegging out in front the TV and letting the kids pick up their dirty laundry and towels off the bathroom floor because it builds character.

What do you believe in?

Friday, May 7, 2010

five for Friday

Five great things about today:

  1. I bought a dress!
  2. The dress is my favorite color, royal blue.
  3. The dress was on sale.
  4. I already have shoes that match.
  5. It is size 10!
Ps:  Number five is my favorite part.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day celebration continues!

Wow, yesterday was amazing.  I am so grateful for all of your kind words and comments.  I appreciate the emails, calls and posts.  We are a little sisterhood, aren’t we?  I am tickled that my post made you feel strong, happy, and grateful.

So now that we all love our girl, Kelly Corrigan, here is another video…. Some of you may have looked her up and already watched - but here it is for you to enjoy…   I love the music –“ All we can do is keep breathing” so true….
I’ve been struggling with a letter to my mom,  Then I watched this video and adopted the Kelly Corrigan style and wrote this.  Maybe you should pull out some paper and write one too. 

Dear Mom,

Thank you for being the person I have talked to almost everyday for 39 years.  Your voice always makes me feel right at home even though we are miles apart.  

Thank you for watching all of my synchronized swimming performances in our backyard pool and sitting on the ladder just in case.  Thank you for not making me eat dinner on your famous fish and stewed tomatoes night. Thank you for letting me ride my bike to Nana’s house like a big girl, and making me call the minute I arrived and the minute I left. Thanks for letting me walk to Aresco’s for a treat.  Thanks for carpooling me and my friends to RollerPort every Saturday and not embarrassing me when you caught me kissing Rodney.  Thanks for taking us to Disney, the Cape (remember Pukey the elephant?), Mt. Carmel and Riverside.   Thanks for putting up with all the living room cheerleading, Rick Springfield music and my constant presence on the phone in 7th, 8th and 9th grade. 

I am glad you made me dress up to fly on an airplane.  I am glad you made grandpa ask you if we could have a donut or chocolate.  I am glad we went for family rides on Sundays especially to look at Christmas lights.

Thanks for supporting me through some important decisions like prom dresses, heels or flats, college, graduate school, a husband and divorce.  You didn’t agree with every decision, but helped me through them.

Thanks for turning me on to the Bridges of Madison County, taking me to see my first Rick concert, letting me gush about a guy a million miles away, letting me watch General Hospital and Oprah next to you with some soda and a handful of pretzels. Thanks for coming when the kids were born.

I am sorry for the lunch box incident with Kelly O.,  for the Easter scavenger hunt mess, I really did appreciate your hard work and the Jane Fonda workout album.  I am sorry for visiting the neighbors mail box, and I really wish I listened to you about that field hockey practice, my fear got in the way. 
Mom, you are the best.  I am glad our relationship has grown into a friendship that no one else can even begin understand.  I am glad I am able to count on you, share with you and “read you like a book”.  I hope you know you can count on me, share with me… and honestly you have written my book, you know me better than anybody! 

It’s your day, thanks for being the best mom and most loving grammy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let the Mother's Day Celebration Begin...

With Mother's Day right around the corner, you must watch this video.  Kelly Corrigan, my new BFF (well only in my mind) is the most amazing woman!  I am so happy to have found her work.  I cried at the video below and I only made it to page five of her book "The Middle Place" before tearing up.  By the way, she mentions Rick Springfield on page 78, how could we not be BFF's?  This woman has strength, courage and a simple honesty that makes me proud to be a woman.  Her words remind me to value the relationships we have with one another.  As women, moms, wives, daughters and sisters we often "get it"  but sometimes we don't let ourselves "celebrate it".... let this video touch you.  I wanted to write about Mother's Day a few times this week and this video is the perfect kick off -  Share this post with the women in your lives.  

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tink-a-tude and Sunday Poo Poo Face

I just found my daughters looking at the Tinker Bell wall calendar that has never actually made it up onto the wall this year. I promised them, after school today… while we all took a look at the pictures… we picked out favorites. My fave was Tink-a-tude. It made me think of the tiny attitude I had all day yesterday. Tink-a-tude makes it sound softer, nicer, almost kind. The World’s Greatest Husband and I have this little thing about Sundays… WE HATE THEM! Hmmm, not a normal thing, most families look forward to the day the Lord has made for rest. For us it is anything but rest. All five kids, all day long, parent guilt wrapped up with the pressure of the house and chores. Let’s play and have fun, be a family or should we catch up on the house so that this week isn’t a disaster? Let’s go to the field and run or should we do laundry so we aren’t naked at work this week? Let’s go to the park and fly a kite or should I go grocery shopping so we have dinner Monday thru Friday? Let’s ride bikes and jump on the monstrosity of a trampoline that lives in my backyard or cut the grass? Yes, we struggle each Sunday. Some Sundays we have an actual plan and that makes it better. Some Sundays we are overbooked and need to stay on task, but most Sunday’s we are plain old cranky. My mom and I called this our Sunday night Poo-Poo face when I was younger. It used to arrive around 6pm as the responsibilities of the upcoming work week would start to emerge. My Sunday Poo –Poo face now arrives at 6am and goes strong until the lights go out. 

So yesterday’s struggle was… YARD WORK. The woman who owned our house years ago was a master gardener. We have the framework of a better homes and GARDEN yard. But if you could see it today you would say… What is Paper Mom talking about? With each passing season it gets harder and harder to see that framework because we don’t know what the heck we are doing. We trim at the wrong time of year. We butcher things. We struggle to get the yard mowed never mind weeded and in tip top shape. Yesterday I tackled overgrown shrubs on the side of the house and hubby took down two trees (if you know my husband you may have gasped at that statement… chain saw and husband make for an odd combo. He is a scientist not a lawn guy). We were both nearly dead by 5pm. Only to transport two kids to two different baseball practices and eat dinner outside on the patio because the kids begged us, five showers and 4 bed time books later, we were ready to snore… I think we were so tired we sort of grunted at each other, no real talking. My husband, being the World’s greatest, did manage to rub my footsies….

Today I am going to call landscaping companies, just to see…. This yard is bigger than us…. We need help and wouldn't that make for the ultimate Father's Day gift?


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