Monday, December 31, 2012

QT Gets a Haircut!

It has finally happened. In order to end this year on some sort of up note, I present to you the newly shorn QT.

In full disclosure we went to get the haircut on Christmas Eve. I took him to Snip-Its and we got the whole certificate/hair in a dime-bag sized bag and paid more than a few dollars more than SuperCuts.

The Ladies weren't too happy that their first haircut didn't end with a certificate and a toy, although they both left there with a tattoo, a handful of dum-dum lollipops, and the promise that haircut number two will be there too.

QT was pretty good. He didn't like the spray bottle to the head, but it was hard to concentrate on what was going on with him because the Ladies were running around that place and climbing into empty chairs with such frequency that I found myself threatening them with no Christmas on Christmas Eve.

Here are a few pics.

The before. The tail is a bit extreme.

The first cut.

In the chair.

The after.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

There are a lot of things that I have said in the last five years that I never expected to come out of my mouth.

Things like:

Please stop drumming on your vagina.

Of course it tastes disgusting that is why we don't eat ear wax.

It's Chuck E. Cheese's not Chucky Jesus.

QT, please take my phone off your penis.

No, you can't go to Polish school because we aren't Polish and you don't understand Polish.

I have HER2+ breast cancer that has metastasized to my hip bone. It is aggressive and advanced.


Oh wait, I say that all the time.

So there it is.

My life has so quickly been altered and I don't know how this is going to turn out. I do know that I have no option but to move forward and to fight as hard as I can.

When there are big moments in your life, it is hard not to think of something you saw on Oprah. So in an attempt to get some clarity, I tried my own "Eat, Pray. Love." moment where I asked the universe what I should do. I was hoping for something like "Eat, Sleep, Take a Hawaiian Vacation" but instead it just answered Fight and Write, which I will do, but not just on The Three Bean.

Here, you will still find me blogging about my beautiful babies and although there will obviously be some crossover this will still be the place where my focus is motherhood and parenting and all the crazy that goes along with it.

If you are at all interested in reading posts about cancer that are titled things like "Getting Wiggy With It" or "Betrayed by Your Boobs" you can find me over at (surprise, surprise) I will start posting in the New Year.

And while I am on the subject of things I never thought I'd say, I have to admit to you that I like that One Direction song "Little Things" even though I don't understand what they are trying to say about fitting into jeans. Are they ok with fat asses? I am unsure. However the song is hauntingly melodic and you can't deny the power of a boy band.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The "Hugging Incident"

I published this photo on my personal fb page of all the cousins on my side of the family. I got more than one comment on why the Little Lady looks so pissed. Watch as the hugging incident unfolds below. . .

and finally. . .

I feel like this whole sequence needs special care and attention. QT's antics are priceless, The Lady is a consummate model (please ignore her lack of arm support on Little Shooter's neck), the Wild Man is trying to check out the scene and the Wild Woman clearly has her own face on.

They were good sports and I am glad we actually got a photo of them together. Here is one final one where the Little Lady is actually smiling.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh Boy!

I am so excited to welcome my new nephew to the Three Bean family.

Congratulations to my little brother and his very patient and amazing wife. We couldn't be happier for you both.

Here is a pic of the little guy.

Little Shooter

The Three Beans meeting their new cousin. Notice how QT has adopted the "cheese face" in photos!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frankenstorm: Part II

Well, I have two-day old iced coffee, three kids who haven't been outside since Sunday, and no power, but clearly it could have been worse.

Many thanks to our neighbors for the wine and distraction for the kids last night and thanks to all of you who have offered to take us in, not sure what will be worse for you--riding out Hurricane Sandy or the fury that is the Ladies and QT unchained after suffering from cabin fever.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm: Part I

Not sure if you have heard but there is a storm coming. . .

We are almost ready.

I spent yesterday trying to assess the situation and make a couple of last minute trips to the store, which wasn't necessarily the best idea.

I took the Ladies to Stop&Shop, and while it was busy, it wasn't crazy. The Lady, fresh off watching Annie sang "Tomorrow" at high volume throughout the store, we had the typical bathroom run mid-trip and then the Little Lady decided she wanted some turkey, so we hit the deli counter.

There was a ticket already in the machine and the Little Lady grabbed it. The Lady also felt it was necessary to have her own. So we stood there with two tickets in hand. The screen showed that it should be our turn, but there was a guy standing to our left who held the number before ours. There was one lady working the counter. She asked us what our number was. I told her and she said that there was someone else ahead of us. The man next to me flashed his ticket and I was fine with that but the man standing next to him didn't have a number but he had the balls to say:

"Um. . . where is ticket machine? This is my first time here?"

Really dude? This is America. You f'ing take a number. Ugh.

Later, I realized that we might need a few extra batteries, I also forgot one ingredient for a potato leek soup recipe I pinned. I headed out on my own to the grocery store around the corner from my house.

There is a reason that I don't shop there.

I know that I use the term "shit show" pretty liberally, but this was a spot-on physical manifestation of that term. People were just roaming the aisles, or just standing still in the middle of the store with no real sense of direction or any idea of what they may or may not need.

When I finally got out of there, I hit the liquor store. I stopped at Dunkies for the second time that day and got a medium iced coffee, black with no ice, so if the power went out or if we couldn't get out then at least I would have some caffeine.

Then I tried to get gas. Four gas stations later, I headed home, handed my husband (who had been pretty much lounging on the couch all day, with zero sense of urgency) the keys and told him to have at it.

I packed an emergency grab-and-run bag, got clothes ready for an extended evacuation because we are on the edge of a possible mandatory evacuation route, made a pretty kick ass potato leek soup, a batch of brownies and tried to keep the kids from playing with all the flashlights.

We decided that since the forecast called for heavy winds to start last night that the kids would sleep downstairs with us. I thought that would mean them in the living room and us in our bedroom. It turned out to be the five of us sleeping in one room. All went well until about 6:45 this morning when the Lady started crying that her Hello Kitty band-aid was stuck to her Dora the Explorer blanket and then we all got up.

We will see how the rest of the day pans out. QT is in rare form this morning and the Ladies are roaming around in their undies.

It isn't raining yet but it is getting a bit breezy.

I will be blogging until the power goes out. . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Party: Cousins, Cousins, Everywhere. . .

We headed up to the beach house this past weekend for our Annual Halloween Bash.

The weather was amazing, much better than the Snowtober storm we all drove home in last year.

I am hoping the the kids costumes stay relatively unscathed, we still have a Halloween Party and two Halloween parades before they will actually trick-or-treat this year.

Here are a couple of pics of all the cousins. Be prepared for Princesses and a half-dressed "dog-dog."

Two pretty little princesses

The Little Lady (with a ton of eye makup)

The Lady

QT as a "dog-dog." This is the only photo I have of him with the hat actually on.

Seriously, kids I am trying to take a photo, would it kill you to look in my general direction Wild Man?

All the cousins, minus two (and two more in-utero)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Say Cheese! It's Photo Day

It's school photo time at our house.

Today, it is picture day for the Lady and tomorrow the Little Lady will have her time in front of the camera.

I am both excited to have an official photo of them from their schools and at the same time incredibly frightened by what the end result may be.

Both the Ladies are known for hamming it up in front of the camera. The Lady has perfected the over the shoulder pose and the Little Lady is nothing if not creative when it comes to posing with her hand on her hip. I am envisioning at least one head tilt in one of their photos.

We will see how it goes. This morning didn't go so smoothly. Everyone slept entirely too late because they went to bed entirely too late. The outfit that the Lady agreed to wear for pictures was apparently not to her liking this morning and I found myself ironing--yes ironing, something I never, ever do--a blue cotton shirt. On any other day that shirt would have gone on, wrinkles and all.

The Little Lady had some sort of meltdown and even though it was 50 degrees out this morning she went in the stroller to the bus stop wearing the purple dress with the stripes in the photo above (the one she was trying to describe to me by saying things like "like the Wild Woman has, and the Lady has, and I have and its purple" but I didn't know what she was talking about, so I had to find a photo of it on my phone because she mentioned wearing it apple picking) and a pair of Crocs. To be fair, she also had a baby blanket. Let's hope the sitter got her to put on some leggings before they headed to school.

The Lady also insisted on not putting her hair back. Usually her hair looks nice when she wears it down, but only after it is brushed, and only for about five minutes. I threw a small brush in her backpack with the hopes that her teacher will find it and take pity on me.

Do they still hand out those little black combs on picture day? I am a little out of the loop.

At least I was organized enough to have picked out the photo package in advance. At first I thought that there might be a reason for me to have three 8x10 photos of the Lady with a laser background and her name and grade stamped on the front. Cooler heads, however, did prevail and I stuck with the basic package.

I do have to appreciate the way they do photos at the Little Lady's school, where they take the pictures and then just send home the package and ask you to write a check. Like anyone is going to return the already printed photos and say "no thanks, I am not interested in writing a check for $26, for photos of my three-year-old making a cheese face with her hands on her hips." Kudos to them.

We will see how the final products comes out. As much as I do want the "official" photo to be something I might want to display in my home, I am well aware that some photos won't ever make it to the frame on the mantle.

I debated posting my fifth grade school photo here with the caption "Insert female golfer joke here," but I thought better of it.

Even though I have a sheet of those wallet size photos in the top drawer of my dresser and my husband and I like to take them out every once in a while for a good laugh, I am seriously concerned that it has the possibility of turning into some sort of Internet meme and I have enough going on that I don't need to be the next "Bad Luck Brian."

Friday, October 12, 2012

He Said/She Said: QT Needs a Haircut

Here is another He Said/She Said for your reading pleasure. Access our first "conversation" here.

As usual, I go first.

The mullet
She Said:

QT needs a haircut. He is almost 16 months old and he has what can only be described as a mullet. Granted, the mullet is comprised of fine, wispy baby curls, but the fact remains that the look is essentially a cross between Bowser from Sha-Na-Na and a hockey haircut.

Look, I love Grease and if QT wants to suit up and take the ice so be it (I just won’t be driving him to those super early morning practices) but it is time for a haircut.

The problem is my husband doesn’t want him to get one.
I know that I waited 4.5 years to cut the Lady’s hair, but she is a girl and her hair is long and straight. QT is now beginning to resemble those early 90’s kids who used to hang out on the patio behind our high school with their tight black jeans and white high-tops, while smoking nic-sticks and wearing leather jackets.

My husband wants to wait for all his hair to grown in on top before we cut it. This is, of course, ridiculous.

By the time the rest of his hair grows in the tail on the back of his head will be down to his mid back. I know that QT is the baby and maybe this first haircut will make him look too much like a “big boy,” but the truth of the matter is that even though he is the baby of our family we have to stop always treating him like he is still a newborn.

Trust me; I have shed tears over the fact that he will be my last child. My atrophied, uterus will never again grow another human being. I cherish the small moments I still have with my precious baby boy, but that kid needs to grow up a little.

By fifteen months both the Ladies were walking, talking, and drinking out of a cup.

QT is pointing at things and growling like he is E.T. before he finds the Speak&Spell, still drinking out of a bottle, still only walks when I am behind him--hunched over like Quasimodo--or if he receives a round of applause for his efforts, and just making as much noise as possible. The kid opens the doors to the laundry and just bangs on the washing machine like he is part of a Native American drum circle and he is on the lookout for his spirit guide.

I just think it wouldn’t hurt to have his hair reflect the fact that he is growing up. I mean, I can tie his hair back with a ribbon, send him off with a fife and have him join some local Minuteman reenactment group (what? we live in New England), or we can suck it up, send him off to Snip Snaps and get the kid a proper haircut.


He Said

So what if QT has what can, in some circles, be described as a "rat's tail," a hockey haircut or a mullet. These would be appropriate descriptions of his hairstyle if he was living in the 80's, Canada or if he wasn't a one year-old.  He's one and he's adorable.

I've never had one person tell me he needs a haircut; besides my wife of course. It's not like he looks like the kid from the Little Lady's 3rd birthday party, who could have been trying out for the role of Tarzan's son. He's just now getting a full head of hair up top, and genetically speaking, he might want to hold onto all he's got now. Because it doesn't look like he'll have much later in life. And, I guarantee you he's not going to want anything to do with that barber's chair.

Maybe it's because he's our baby, and I'm not quite ready to admit that he is in fact not a baby anymore. Lord knows I want him to start doing other "big boy" things, like walk and talk instead of grunting at everything he wants. But, I also don't want to start thinking about the fact that when he does walk or talk, it will be our last set of "first steps" or our last "first word."  I'm holding onto our "baby" as long as I can, and if that means he goes a little longer than usual before his first trip to the barber, so be it.

The minute somebody mistakenly thinks he's a girl, I'll give him a haircut myself, but until then, he's business in the front, party in the back.


Me Again

"Business in the front, party in the back?" Really? Really? You're better than that.

I don't want a Ryder Robinson on my hands here or even worse what Celine Dion's kid looked like for years. When I give QT a tub his hair is at mid-back. Even the Ladies have commented on its length.

There is a possibility that when you come home tonight his hair will be in a ponytail. We have already seen him in barrettes courtesy of his sisters, and although I am pretty sure it might be awhile before he is mistaken for a girl, it doesn't change the fact that he still needs a haircut.

Oh, and by the way, you are bringing him. There is no way I am going to try and control that kid while he gets his haircut.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Boy, That Escalated Quickly

Yesterday, I was reading an article about how you shouldn't yell at your kids. Apparently, it might not be beneficial to them in the long run.

I get it. I do. I have been trying to curb the amount of yelling that goes on in my house because I recognize that sometimes it is more about me than about what my kids may or may not have actually done.

But to paraphrase the great Ron Burgundy, things sometimes escalate quickly, and boy can they get out of hand fast.

Tuesday night my husband's flight was delayed getting home. Instead of arriving home at around the same time I would from work, he didn't make it in the door until about 11:30.

But the nighttime routine had to go on.

QT isn't much of a talker. I say things like "use your words" to him a lot. He likes to point at things and direct me to his intended target. After getting yet another update that the hubby would be delayed, QT heard me tell my husband on the phone that I had to give tubs. His little ears perked up, his pointer finger extended and I followed his directions to bring him to the bathroom. It is much easier to bathe him separately from his sisters who slide their bodies around the tub and think it is funny when he splashes the shit out of whomever is bathing him. Also, since I bathe him in $29 eczema relief bath and body shampoo, I want to make sure that his sisters aren't in there using it to clean the tiles above the tub or wash their Barbie's hair.

The problem with only having one kid in the tub is that the other two are out there unsupervised. Well, partially unsupervised. The Little Lady was curled up on the couch with the iPad watching the Electric Company and the Lady was in my room trying on my heels and whatever lingerie she could find that is still stuffed in my bottom drawer, a sad reminder of what once was.

So, QT is in the tub, splashing, smiling at his reflection in the fixtures, throwing a wet football at me and generally enjoying his evening soak. The Little Lady is watching the Electric Company at a volume so loud in the other room that she might as well be standing next to me, and the Lady walks in the bathroom wearing some costume jewelry, a white, silky nightgown, and a pair of heels. In her hand is a gold claddagh ring and on her finger is a toe ring that I think I wore in 2002. We talk about the rings, she does some modeling poses and leaves the room. All is under control.

In the middle of rinsing off QT, I hear the Lady say that my ring holder fell. Now this is a Waterford ring stand, which has both my wedding ring and engagement ring on it. I tell her to put it back. She then informs me that the second drawer to my jewelry box is not closing. I can only assume that this is because she has tried to jam everything back in at once. I tell her to clean up and get ready for her bath. 

I take QT out of the tub and attempt to lube this kid up with Aquaphor to offset the eczema. That is when I look over and see the Little Lady playing with a small ceramic heart that has come from my jewelery box. I start to get a little heated. Again, I tell them to start cleaning up because they both need a bath. Both Ladies go into my room and put on more heels. I attempt to wrangle on QT's pajamas over his cream covered body. It is a process that couldn't possibly take more time.

I finally put a pj'd QT on the floor and address the situation in my bedroom. My Waterford ring holder was teetering on top of an old college t-shirt and the edge of my dresser. I put it back in its rightful place when I realize that my engagement ring was no longer on it.

This is where things turn from heated to freak out. I start yelling. I am not proud of it, but WTF? it is my engagement ring. WHERE IS IT?

The Lady can't remember where the ring might have fallen, the Little Lady is still trying to put on three-inch boots, I am losing my mind.

In that moment, I should have stopped to take a breath. I should have realized that the ring had to be somewhere in the house, and that I would find it in either the top drawer or under the bed. I should have realized that the three kids standing before me, one in a negligee, one in undies and three-inch boots, and one so covered with skin ointment that his clothes were clinging to his body, were much better proof of the "love and fidelity" my husband and I committed to on that gorgeous June day than that ring.

Instead, I blew up. The kids scurried about and I lashed out at them over something that wasn't that big of a deal. Clearly, I had given the Lady permission to play with my stuff, ultimately the blame was on me.

The situation had escalated.

That is when I saw QT crawling on the floor out of my room. When I went to scoop him up, I realized that he was wearing my engagement ring on one of his fingers, while his hand was clasped around a dime and a wooden domino. I had to pry that ring off his finger and he wasn't happy about it. I returned everything to its sort of proper place and ordered the girls to the tub.

As I put QT in the living room to play with his trucks, I noticed the glint of gold peeking out from between the couch cushions. That gold claddagh ring the Lady had earlier had somehow made its way out to the couch. No one knew how this had happened.


The Ladies doth protested. Both of the girls have had a few minor scrapes lately. They are very concerned about not putting these "injuries" in water. I am pretty sure a 4-day-old scab is going to be fine in the bath, but they insist that I do not get water on the afflicted area. This actually works out OK for me. Instead of filling the tub and having them play in it for entirely too long, the Ladies will stand in the tub and I will basically shower them off with a Mickey Mouse cup and a washcloth, careful the whole time not to get anything near or around whatever minor injury they used 14 Disney Fairy band-aids to help heal.

The process is fairly quick. Not quick enough though. When I finally got the Little Lady out of the tub and went back into the living room to check on QT, this is what I found.

That is QT clapping. Those are dirty dishes. When I found him he was holding a steak knife. He was certainly proud.  

I will admit to letting out a bit of a roar before I removed anything dangerous and took a photo, but I tried to reign it in and remember that they are just kids. They don't care about schedules or getting the lunches packed in time. They just want to play and imagine and have fun and they want to do those things with a mother who isn't crazy. Since they are stuck with me, there might still be a few moments where I lose my mind, but I am making an effort to make sure those times are reserved for moments that warrant it, like when not yelling might mean a trip to the emergency room because someone thinks the changing table is a diving board and their bed is an Olympic pool.   

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Lady Turns 5!

The Lady, who normally shows up at my bedside by 6:45 a.m. every morning, slept in this morning. When I finally went upstairs to get her brother and try to wake her, I found her sleeping inside her pink pillowcase. Did I mention she sleeps with at least six blankets of varying sizes?

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Lady, who keeps me guessing, never fails to challenge or amaze me, and who's presence in my life has been nothing but a blessing. I love you.



Almost 5. She got up late this morning and I didn't get a pic!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The One Where I Tried to Volunteer

"I volunteer, I volunteer as tribute"

Well not tribute, but elementary school volunteer and really isn't that pretty much the same thing?

You are out there in the unknown, challenges at every turn, bake sale, book fair, something called "Family Fun Night," which I definitely signed up for in that fog of first day excitement, but was smart enough not to reply to the email from the PTO member about taking on the challenge of co-chair.

I am walking blind into these event, I don't know where anything is at the school and I don't know who anyone is. However, I am ever grateful that the one sponsor who always shows up at these events is Dunkin Donuts and that he is always offering me something from his Box O'Joe.

Last week, after I dropped the Little Lady off for her first day, I got in Minnie-Ru and headed over to the book fair at the Lady's school to volunteer. Could I have been home spending time with QT or doing something around the house? Yes. Was I? No, but I was able to listen to my own songs in the car.

After I finally was able to figure out how to buzz into the school (when the office buzzes back--you better be opening that door), and found the gym, my job at the book fair was to walk aimlessly around watching kids write down the names of the books that they wanted their parents to buy for them on Back to School Night. My role was to help anyone who needed it, which weren't too many considering that most of the classes that came in were 4th and 5th grade. I was also forced to tell a very sweet 5th grade boy, after a fairly exhaustive search on my part that I did not think that there were any Judy Blume books. Not quite a Katniss/Rue moment, but close.

Are you there God? It's me, Bean, and this is torture. 

I did meet one very nice woman who was also volunteering. Both of her children were in school, so not only was she covering the same 9-11 shift that I was, she was also going to be coming back in the afternoon to cover more hours. What? More hours of watching kids write down books about Justin Beiber and wrestling while bypassing actual books that were worth reading, didn't seem like how I would want to pass my afternoon, but then I started to feel guilty about not volunteering enough. Should I do more hours? Should I come back the next day? I am trying to join a community here, maybe I should just quit my job, chair the PTO and become the queen of book fairs. What is more important than kids and books? That's right. Nothing, except the new fall TV line up and free iced coffee days at Dunkies. 

But then reigned it in. I showed up. I helped a few kids spell some things and check prices. I did take some time to write down the names of books that I wanted to get for my kids, knowing full well that "Barbie, The Princess and the Popstar" would be high on the Lady's list.

Finally, it was over. I had survived. The other woman gave me her email and told me that she would be more than happy to unload all of her Curious George books off on me and QT, I smiled politely and made a beeline for the door. As I was leaving, I passed the Lady on her way to the cafeteria and in that one little moment, I realized it was totally worth it to have shown up.

Fast forward to last night where I got stuck at work, had to pick up my husband and the kids and head over to the Back to School Family Picnic, where I was supposed to man the bake sale from 5:30-6.

After winning some tickets

The Lady got her face painted and a few tickets
We showed up at 5:45. I rushed over to the table where the other volunteer told me not to worry about it, that she "hadn't given anything back to the school yet this year" and to go "find your people and enjoy." For a moment I felt guilty, like I should run behind that table and sell sweets to elementary school kids, but then I let it go. I made it there. The Ladies and QT were more than happy to participate in some of the events and I was just as happy to participate with them.

There will be more volunteer opportunities coming up. I know, I keep on getting emails reminding me that I signed up. I will say one thing though to all the volunteers who's hard work and planning really did make for a great event last night, do not, I repeat, do not buy whistles for prizes. I don't care what sale you found at Party City, those whistles were a relentless assault on my evening. A scary foreshadowing of what I can only imagine a 4th grade recorder concert might sound like. My ears are still ringing. What kind of mother would think that giving 100+ elementary school kids whistles is a good idea?

Maybe I should get on this PTO. I have ideas. . .

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Literary Mama

Check out my short story "The Drop Off" over at Literary Mama.

It was a response piece to the Cassie Premo Steele column "Birthing the Mother Writer"

I guess all that angst and anxiety about the Lady starting school was put to good use.

And you all thought I just wrote about my boobs and my crazy kids. . .

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear FaceTime, Please Filter Me

Dear FaceTime,

I want to start off by thanking you for how easy you are to use. Since my hubby has started traveling again we have been able to use you to help the kids keep in touch.

The Ladies are considered pretty adept at iPad usage and can now FaceTime with ease. Both Ladies have FaceTimed me at the office to tell me about their school day and they are often asking about when they can use you again. QT gets so excited when he sees his dad's face on the screen that he can't keep his hands off the thing. He just points to the screen and repeats "dada" over and over again. Sometimes he hangs up on him, but mostly he just puts his little face on that filthy screen and gives him big, big kisses.

It is incredibly heartwarming and has made the sometimes difficult aspects of my husband traveling easier on both him and the kids.

Can I just ask one thing of you FaceTime?

Would it be at all possible to put some sort of filter on the screen? I mean Instagram does it to phenomenal success.

When my face pops up on that screen, I want to look away, but I cannot. I am so transfixed on how I appear on that screen that I find myself moving it in minute detail to get the best angle. It is bad enough that I look tired, a bit worn and worried in my everyday life, do you have to magnify it?

Look, I get it, we aren't using super high tech cameras here, and I realize that the one person who I am FaceTiming the most with is the one person who has seen me at my very worst. This man has seen me birth human beings, and I know that wasn't too pretty, but would it kill you to just add some sort of layering device? Perhaps something subtle, something that just takes out a few of the wrinkles, makes my skin tone look somewhat even, gives me hope that this guy might actually want to get back on the plane home to see me.

I guess I could try makeup or maybe brushing my hair, but at this point I think that I would prefer my image to be projected in one of those "photo booth" options that makes me look like a circus sideshow act rather then what you are offering now.

"Kaleidoscope" effect from the photo booth app.

Let me know. I would be more than willing to test out any new filters as my husband will be out of town again soon.

Yours wearied and wrinkled,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Little Lady's First Day

Here are some pics of the Little Lady's first day(s) at nursery school.

Meet the Teacher Day. Here's to hoping that the water she spilled down the front of her dress while brushing her teeth dried in time. Also, not sure if any of you watch the Glee Project but she is doing that same weird self-hug thing that the choreographer always does when he is happy about something. See below.

Thought it was necessary to make a "funny face"

The official first day shot!

We were all set to start in the afternoons and I even made an effort with some moms in the class to meet up and get together, however at the last minute (Thursday) she was switched to the morning class. I was a little disappointed because the other moms actually seemed really nice and I had prepped her for the afternoon class.

However, yesterday the nursery school director told me that the "stars must have been aligned for you." I guess the a.m. is when all the cool kids hit the scene.

So, Monday morning my mom took her to meet the teachers and get acclimated (for a full 45 minutes) and then yesterday I took the morning off and brought her to school.

I am so used to the Little Lady just going with the flow of things. She is definitely my more adventurous child and is used to keeping up with the bigger kids. I will say I was a little taken aback when she got upset when I was leaving. I was surprised at how upset I got to leave her. I guess that since we have gone through separations before that this I thought this time it would be easier.

It wasn't.

This isn't the Little Lady's first "school" experience but it is a new experience for her and I hope she has a great year.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Kindergarten Kicks Your Ass


Ugh, I say.

So that beautiful smiling face that gladly rode the bus with her parents last Monday has now resorted to trying to fake stomach aches and woke up proclaiming "I hate school."

It really isn't school. The Lady seems to love her teacher and although she told me that she was sitting on the bench at recess instead of playing, she seems to be making it through the day engaged and interested in her classroom.

The problem is the bus. More specifically, the bus ride to school.

Last week at this time I was being told about how the kindergartners sit at the front of the bus, how they get on first and very careful care is taken to make sure they are well tended to.

However, that is only on the ride home.

On the way to school the Lady is on a bus with 56 other kids ranging in age from 4-to however old  5th graders are, with no monitor, no seatbelts, and no assigned seating.

For the past five years I have been strapping the Lady into every type of carseat imaginable. I have been telling her that the car does not move unless seatbelts are on and that cops can give me a ticket if she isn't strapped in, and then I just throw her on a moving vehicle with a ton of other kids and only one adult and am expected to just accept it.

I know that the Lady has to get used to riding the bus. I know that in a few weeks this (hopefully) will be a non-issue. But for now it is.

I called the transportation office. They didn't call me back. Her father drove her to school for two days last week. We have resorted to having the sitter get her on the bus. I feel badly for the sitter because she has to deal with the drama, but at least with her there are no excuses.

This morning the Lady cried while getting on the bus. I am calling the transportation office again.

I don't want the Lady to dread going to school each morning. Selfishly, I don't want to have to worry about it. I want her to be excited for school, for all the opportunity she will have there. I don't want fake stomach aches and manipulative behavior. I don't want to have to watch my phone every morning at 8:30 and every afternoon at 4.

I had to bribe her last week. This should not be my parenting default. This is kindergarten right? A time where they are meeting new friends, becoming accustomed to the school day, going to art, going to gym, reading stories, playing games, being kids. Why then is it kicking my ass?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Lady Starts Kindergarten

If any of you follow me on Twitter, are friends with me on my personal fb page, or if you saw the photo of the Lady on the Three Bean fb page yesterday, you know that the Lady has started kindergarten.

Deep breaths Bean. Deep breaths.

On the bus for kindergarten orientation
Yesterday was kindergarten orientation. My husband and I rode with the Lady on the bus, we were able to bring her to her classroom, we met the teacher, we had a Q&A, we sized up the other students, checked out where the bathrooms were and tried to get the Lady and ourselves acclimated to elementary school.

It was a great day. We left there feeling positive and not at all echoing the sentiments of one of the Lady's new classmates, who blurted out when they were all sitting down for circle time "This is the worst class ever."
With the school mascot

Fast forward to this morning.

Waiting for the bus on the official first day
We weren't riding the bus.

There wasn't going to be two kindergartners and three parents on the bus.

There were at least 10 kids at the bus stop.

The Lady was nervous.
Looking kind of nervous

I was nervous.

The bus pulled up. It was pretty full.

The Lady got on. There were no seats until the back of the bus.

The bus started to move before she was seated.

I started crying.

The babysitter started crying.

I got in Minnie-Ru and headed towards the school.

After sitting in a bit of back-to-school traffic and driving behind an incredibly slow blue Nissan Altima, I finally pulled into the Lady's school. The place was packed. I inched my way down the long line of cars and as I pulled into a packed parking lot, I saw the Lady getting off the bus and running through the rain.

I had a moment of panic because I wasn't sure if she would know where to go and I was too far away to get to her.

I finally found a parking spot. I grabbed the raincoat she "forgot" and headed into the school.

There were people and backpacks everywhere.

I found her classroom.

She was sitting in her seat, coloring a rainbow.

I kissed her once. I hung her raincoat. I kissed her again.

I walked away.

I then bought one of those car magnets that says her school's name. I also perused page after page of sign-up sheets that lined the table outside of the entrance. I was surprised how many times I found my name. Yesterday, in my quest to be as involved as I could be in the Lady's school, I pretty much signed up for any event that said it was ideal for working parents. I have no idea what these events are or when they may occur, but I will be there, for the Lady.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When the Odds are Never in Your Favor

Here is a bit of advice. Don't watch the Hunger Games and then go and sleep in a room with five kids under 5.

Not only will you have Hunger Game-inspired dreams, you will awaken every 15 minutes to the sounds of those tributes, kids in their various state of slumber.

I am pretty sure Katniss got more sleep strapped into that tree branch then I did on Saturday night.

The Lady went full on Peeta Mellark and camouflaged herself beneath so many blankets, I wasn't sure if she was even in the bed.

The Wild Ones, The Big Guy, and the Little Lady moved so often that they were barely on their beds. I found each one of them in various states of slumber with legs and arms off of mattresses, wedged between Aero beds and walls, in a constant state of motion that not only kept me up, but kept me guessing.

There is nothing like rolling over and seeing your 3-year old niece sleeping peacefully on a mattress on the floor and then opening your eyes ten minutes later and not seeing her at all until you finally make out her little body wedged at the bottom of her brother's bed, covered in blankets. It is peace followed by sheer panic.

I kept waiting for an ambush.

Those tributes, kids know how to keep you on your toes, or in my case, wide-awake in a half-dream state battling teenage killers and tired toddlers until the sun shone brightly through the windows and the only cannon that sounded was for the death of sleep.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy! Happy! Little Lady!

The Little Lady is 3!

Little Lady we love your spirit and your sense of humor. You bring joy to our lives everyday and I am very proud to be your mom. 

Blowing out the candles on her Barbie cake. Many thanks to my husband who not only decorated the cake, but didn't drive like a maniac on the way to the party so that I didn't end up with Barbie on my lap.(Gotta love the Lady "helping" in the background. She also "helped" open all the presents.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Thank You from the Little Lady

Had to share the thank you from the Little Lady's Splash Zone Party at Chelsea Piers CT. She had a great time and I didn't have to clean anything up! More pics to follow!

3x5 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, August 10, 2012

On the Ba-Lympics and Bribery

The Little Lady: I want to watch Mrs. Franklin in the Balympics.
Hubby: Do you mean Missy Franklin in the Olympics? 

We have been on an Olympic high in our house for the past two-weeks. The Ladies are way into the gymnastics and the swimming. Not only are they doing more flips over the couch and pretending to race in every kiddie pool imaginable, they are also asking for gymnastics lessons and pretending they are Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin.

Reminds me of when my cousin and I did hours of cartwheels on the beach in '86 trying to convince anyone who would listen that we were Mary Lou Retton’s cousins.

While the Olympics is a great opportunity to teach kids about winning and losing, meeting goals and having dreams, parents need to seize this short window of opportunity for bribery purposes.

I have started bribing my children to behave with a promise of “medaling.”

Whoever finishes cleaning, eating, or brushing their teeth first gets the gold...

This is working wonders.

The Lady is nothing if not competitive. And while I will admit to having a wee bit of a competitive bone in my body, it is nothing like the competitive nature that her father possesses. It is impossible to play against him in anything. Not only does he always win, he is kind a jerk about it (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). After the Scrabble screamfest of 2005 we have decided that it is probably best that we try to be on the same team.

The Lady, besides being competitive, is also relentless when it comes to getting what she wants. She will wear you down. I will admit that I respect her tenacity and I think it is a good trait to have in life, but her dogged pursuit of the win is making me wonder if any local YMCAs offer Mock Trial classes to an almost 5-year-old.

So, when all forms of pleading, screaming, communication fail, if you make the suggestion that the Lady might get a gold star attached to a piece of paper or that she may win a hypothetical gold medal that girl will respond. She is clearly capable of listening to direction, picking up after herself and attending to her personal hygiene.

I don't even have to bribe her with an actual object. Just the mention of a medal is enough. Oh the possibilities. . . we might have knot-free hair, sparkling teeth--do I dare hope for a gold medal in good listening? I do. This is the Olympics after all and I dare to dream.

Just try it. Mention to your kids that they are in danger of not medaling in bedtime or clean-up. Tell them there is a chance they might miss the podium and you will see some kids called into action--children who deserve to carry the flag for your household.

I am thinking of building a podium in the living room. I am pretty sure I can find directions on Pinterest. We can have daily medal ceremonies complete with the Lady's own anthem, which I am pretty sure will be “Call Me Maybe.”
Source: via Israel on Pinterest

But move fast. .  .the closing ceremonies are approaching, and unless you DVR'd the Women's Gymnastics All-Around like we did, you may miss your opportunity to take advantage of the spirit and the wonder of the Games and harness it all for your benefit.