Friday, May 25, 2012

Fat Ass Friday: Seven Minutes in Heaven

I have been working really hard to get my ass into the gym. I like to go around 1-1:30, when the lunch crowd has passed and it is just me and a few retirees working out.

I will admit that it makes me feel a little bit better about myself knowing that I am blowing by these old guys on the treadmill. I mean last week I saw a guy on the rowing machine with his eyes closed, for like an extended period of time. I crewed in college (for a semester--it was super early in the morning) and what this guy was doing could barely be considered rowing, but hey he seemed to be multitasking and who am I to judge?

I have been trying to build up my running time. I have experienced a runners high but yesterday was just a sucky run. The last seven minutes was less than heavenly. In fact it was much like the Junior High version of Seven Minutes in Heaven, you know, sweaty, uncomfortable and incredibly unsatisfying.

The one good thing about yesterday's workout was that the TV was showing "Pretty in Pink." I am kicking myself that my husband and I never recreated Andy and Blaine's first kiss. You know when they are embraced in silhouette, back lit by Blaine's BMW? I had an old beemer in college, it could have been beautiful. 

I will say that I am happy that my endurance is building. I am considering taking part in some Navy Seal workout program they are running out of the fitness center, but the only pull-ups I have been exposed to lately were covered in Princesses and worn by the Little Lady. I will keep you updated.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mom Moment of the Day: The Ladies Get Their Hair Did

In her 4.5 years of life, the Lady has never had a haircut. Granted, one time she took a scissor to her head and cut a bit off the top, but that was only once.

Every time I brought it up she would say that she was scared of going. Quite honestly, I didn't want to have to calm a crying child in a car chair or worse yet, leave a salon with half cut hair. If the Lady doesn't want to do something, she really doesn't want to do something.

So I avoided it. Once she finally started to allow me to put her hair up, it really wasn't that big of deal. Did her hair fall so low down her back it touched the top of her butt? Yes. But she didn't care. Besides those little blond wisps at the very end had been on her head since the day she was born and part of me didn't really want to sever that last connection, especially now that I see her growing into such a big girl.
In the chair waiting for the first cut.

The hair in the toilet incident kind of changed my perspective on getting haircuts. That, and the fact that all my children sweat profusely from the head. It is kind of gross. So when I mentioned getting a haircut to the Lady and she said yes without any issue or backlash. I decided we should go for it.

Now, I had thought about bringing her to an actual salon where she could feel like a real Lady and maybe get her nails done too. But I thought that might be a little extreme and probably kind of expensive. I looked into those hair studios for kids, but they too were a bit expensive too and let's be honest it wasn't like I was bringing an 18-month-old in for its first haircut, I didn't need her to sit in a festive chair or get a certificate that would never even see the inside of her baby book and would probably be covered with stickers in a matter of days and I would have to throw out in the cover of darkness to cut down on the clutter in the house.
First cut

So, I took her and the Little Lady to Supercuts. It was anything but "super."

Granted the haircut looked great and even the Little Lady ended up getting a trim so tiny it was barely worth it (but hey---she was happy and still wearing her full on ballet recital costume), but I did kind of second guess my decision not to take them to some "Kids Kuts" or "Silly Snips" or some other equally ridiculous named hair salon that I just made up.

The Little Lady wasn't quite sure what to make of it
Maybe it was the hairdressers lack of enthusiasm that this was the Lady's first haircut. She is 4.5 years old! I mean would it have killed her to try and make it special? OK, OK, I know I was only paying 15 bucks for the haircut but did she have to complain about me taking flash photography? These are memories people! Memories! Gosh, and a lollipop at the end would have been nice. Do they still do lollipops in salons? I have gotten my haircut a grand total of two times since I got pregnant with QT. Once was at a local hairdresser training school for $11 and the other time was at a 5-star hotel spa. Neither place had lollies.

The finished project

Much healthier and much shorter
I guess at the end of the day the Lady was happy. Her hair looks much healthier and even the Little Lady's had some extra bounce. I probably won't wait another 4.5 years to get it cut again but I pretty sure we won't be going back to "Supercuts." "Silly Snips" here we come. . .

Monday, May 21, 2012

Toddlers and Tutus

Sunday was photo day at the Ladies ballet studio. They are gearing up for their big performance and not only got their pictures taken, but got their new outfits for the recital as well.

Here is the pic my hubby sent of the Little Lady in her puffy, pink poof of a dress. I immediately texted him back to make sure he addressed the hair situation and then waited patiently for them to return so that we could repeat the process two hours later with the Lady.
The Little Lady in her frilliest finest.
The Little Lady returned in full regalia and the Lady was so excited that they brought home her outfit as well.
The Lady was super psyched to have so many sequins. I made her take off the tattoo because I didn't think that it was appropriate for an "official" dance portrait, but when I got to the studio I noticed that two other girls in her class had tattoos, both in a state worse off than the Lady's.
The thing I love about their dance studio is that it is super laid back. The teacher is amazing and is able to control and choreograph these girls without having to go the more "disciplined" route of other dance studios. Having said that, sometimes things don't always run super smoothly and in the words of another mom who was having her girls photographed at the same time as the Little Lady things were pretty much a "shit show."

So when I walked into a packed entry way with the Ladies and there were girls everywhere in tulle and lace, I started to itch.

The Lady basically stripped down in a doorway and put on her outfit. As I started to fix her hair, I looked into the studio and saw girls in full on makeup wearing tiaras. Then a little girl in the Lady's class asked her mom for makeup.

Her mother replied with a resounding "No." Which is the same sentiment I echoed to the Lady when she asked me. Now, I barely own makeup let along carry it around with me, but in a moment of panic that I wasn't presenting my daughter as the best she could be, I ignored myself and started rummaging around in my bag until I came up with a tube of lip gloss that I am pretty sure I used at my cousin's wedding last year, six days before QT was born, and I am 100% belongs to my sister.

I then slapped some gloss on the Lady and herded her into the studio to wait her turn. Within three minutes she was complaining about wanting the lip gloss off, but I couldn't even find a napkin in my bag to remove it and it was so thick and old that I wasn't going to use my shirt. The Little Lady, however, found the gloss much to her liking and reapplied it about three times before I had to take it out of her hands. 

So we are standing around waiting to take the group shot and the Lady is insisting that she be able to swing from my arms like some rag doll in a prom dress and there is paperwork to be signed and a lot of anticipation and one of the other mothers comments to me that she is glad that she isn't a pageant mom because it is a lot of prep work.

The Lady takes the photo shoot into her own hands.
And then I started to think that there was a real possibility that I could morph into one of those "Toddler and Tiara" moms. I mean how quick was I to whip out the gloss? Had there been mascara in that bag the Lady might have been sporting Kardashian-style lashes and a glossy pout. There is a fine line between debating whether or not I should use my saliva and fingers to pat down errant hairs and pumping my kids full of pixie sticks and energy drinks as I mime their dance routines as they perform, and get a contact high after spraying layer upon layer of hair spray in their jewel-encrusted-tiara-topped hair, in order to make sure that everything in their lives just goes perfectly, and by no means try to make up for any inadequacies in my own. 

Finally it was the Lady's turn to get photographed and I will admit I hovered a little bit and put on a weird giant grin so she could tell that I wanted her to smile more. The Little Lady decided that she did indeed want to have her picture taken with her big sis and we stepped back into the pink poof and the two of them put on some fake smiles (and in the Little Lady's case her "cheese face") and contorted their bodies in what they believed were model-like-poses.
The "Cheese Face"
Sorry for the lack of photos of the Ladies in their various poses. There would have been some had the photographer not scolded myself and the other moms for using a flash. Oops.

Only a few more weeks until the recital, which can only be better than last year when I showed up three days postpartum with people asking if I had had the baby yet.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Much Momma Love

I just want to thank all of you for all the positive responses I got about the "Mom Enough" post. All of your comments were totally appreciated.

I think this was my most read post and I want to thank those of you who reposted the link. I am happy to say I got many new "likes" and hopefully some new readers.

I even had people tweet about it! Still working out how that whole Twitter thing works.

I started this blog in an attempt to not only chronicle the lives of my children, but as a tool for me to try and navigate motherhood. I mean who knew that QT would basically choose to attachment child himself to me? I was an attachment parent by default because that is what worked for him. I will say it was a glorious day once he found his way into his own crib and started sleeping through the night though!

I know that each of us does things differently. And I am all for doing what gets you through the day. I am just glad that there are other moms out there who recognize that supporting one another is better than trying to tear each other down.

After that post went up, I started thinking about more moms that I know and that I didn't include on my list, moms with kids with special needs or medical issues, moms who work two jobs, and those who are so crafty it pains me to compare my paltry Pinterest projects to theirs.

I hope all my readers can recognize a little bit of themselves in this blog and know that they are not alone out there.

Having said that, I will still use this as a forum to call out any crazy celebrity parenting choices from baby name choice to infant mohawks. I know we shouldn't judge, but they have personal trainers and put their kids in like $45 onesies, and I am just grateful for ten minutes of me time and a 40% off sale at Carters.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mom Enough

I have to chime in here with my opinion of the Time magazine cover.

I am not going to comment on the article though, since I can't access it online and because I have yet to see it on the newsstands.

What I really want to discuss is not attachment parenting, which is what the Time article focuses on and which is only one way to raise a child. I don't want to debate the breastfeeding vs. non-breastfeeding or the pros/cons of extended breastfeeding.

I don't even want to talk about the "shocking" cover image that was designed to be so and has clearly hit a nerve with a lot of people.

What I want to focus on is the headline: "Are You Mom Enough?"

Look, I understand that Time wants to sell magazines, and putting an image of a woman breastfeeding her three-year-old on the cover is one way to do it. But why the title "Are You Mom Enough?" Without even opening up the magazine it already asks the question that if I am not doing what the mothers in this article are doing than somehow I am not good enough.

Why is it that there seems to be this need to pit mothers against each other? Isn't it hard enough to create, birth, and raise a human being without feeling like you are doing it "wrong"?

I know mothers who do attachment parent, who are breastfeeding beyond the first year. I know mothers who never even considered breastfeeding. I know moms who let their kids sleep in their bed and who have had their kids in a crib since their first day home from the hospital. I know mothers who have had c-sections, drug-free births, hours of labor, no labor pains at all, and one mother who gave birth on the side of the road. I know moms who had big babies and some so small it makes your heart hurt. I know a mother who spent weeks in the hospital on bed rest and a mother who battled cancer during her pregnancy. I know moms of twins, moms with three or more kids and those who were "one and done." I know single moms, stay-at-home moms, mothers who work part-time and mothers who work full-time. I know mothers who dealt with infertility and those who were "surprised" by a pregnancy (OK that last one was me!). I know mothers who make their own baby food and those who don't. I know moms that home school and those that can't wait to get their kid on the bus.

I also know that each one of these women do their best to make sure that their children are happy, healthy, and most importantly know they are loved.

There are so many other issues that we should be focusing on as mothers. Instead of battling each other on the "right" way to mother our children, we should be directing our efforts towards finding a way to help all mothers navigate the work/home balance (maternity leave, career stability, affordable day care) and make sure there is support out there for those who are struggling.

Could you imagine what we could accomplish if we just had more energy?

So Time Magazine, bravo on creating controversy. You showed a woman on the cover of a magazine with her boob out. You tried to get me to believe that one way of parenting style is the only way.

I think about what I do every day and how I try to navigate my own children through this crazy world. You want to ask me if I am mom enough?

You bet your ass I am.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fat Ass Friday

Oh Entenmann's. . .you decided to have a BOGO sale this week? You know I can't resist your sweet confections. Did I buy the mini glazed donuts for the Ladies? Yes, but we both know they were a little bit for me too. And the Black and White cookies? I am pretty sure I ate the entire box (hey, it wasn't in one sitting).

The best part is that my hubby came home with my two favorite offerings of yours, the original coffee cake and the chocolate covered donuts. So we had four boxes of blue and white adorning our counter top.

Good thing I made it to the gym a couple of times this week. I started training for a 5k that I am hoping to run at the end of June. It is nice to get back into the routine of running, even though I couldn't make it to the gym as much as I wanted to this week. When your hour lunch is slotted for either the gym or every other errand you have to get done, sometimes the errands win.

Here is to hoping the beautiful weather we have had for the last couple days lasts and I can get out and get moving.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mom Moment of the Day: Love my Lady

Just got back from Mother's Day Tea with the Lady at her school. Can't believe she is "graduating" in a few weeks. Tears to follow.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mom Moment of the Day

Here are a few things I have done lately that I think define what it means to be a mother.

1. I was at Walmart at 7:15 this morning picking up foam stickers and graham crackers for the Little Lady's snack/craft at school. (Should this have been pre-planned? Yes. But it isn't as easy as you might think to find appropriate crafts for 2-year-olds that aren't incredibly complicated or choking hazards. BTW. . . Michael's in Stamford, it wouldn't kill you to stay open later than 8 p.m., some of us can't craft shop by day)

2. QT has terribly dry skin and once his diaper comes off he goes for his manhood with gusto. In an effort to stop him from scratching himself so badly that he sometimes bleeds (I know, it is terrible) sometimes I scratch him myself (not his balls OK? that would just be weird, but the dry area above his, as the Ladies used to say, "peanut").

3. One of my children, who will remain nameless, recently asked me to remove some leftover toilet paper from her moon. (I know--an image of those god-awful Charmin commercials that make me cringe come to mind for me as well. The whole bear-in-the-woods thing is slightly terrifying to me.) As she was bending over for said removal, her hair fell over the side of the toilet and into the unflushed bowl (it was just pee). For about ten seconds I contemplated not giving her a bath because it was 8:30 at night and I was tired. Personal hygiene eventually won out. Note to self: schedule haircuts.

These are the things that the books don't tell you. They don't say that after being woken up in the middle of the night (again) by one of your children that two hours later you would find yourself dodging puddles in a Walmart parking lot buying glitter foam stickers and Scooby-Doo graham crackers. They don't tell you that you will go through so much "moonie cream" that the smell of A&D will haunt your dreams. They don't say that after a long day at work or at home with the kids that you don't have the option of not doing for your children. Baths at 8:30 p.m. to avoid pee in the hair? Check. Making star-shaped jelly sandwiches at 10 p.m. for Lunch Bunch? Check. Having to listen to some terrible kid show for the 800th time so that you can get dinner on the table? Check. Explaining the art of movie magic to a two-year-old? Check.

And on it goes. . .

Would love to share a few of your most memorable mom moments. Email, fb , tweet them or leave in the comments section and I will post them this month. Always looking for confirmation that I am not alone out there in the crazy that occurs in my house!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mom Moment: The Original Mommy Mind Melt

Mom Moment of the Day:

It amazes me how difficult I thought things were when I just had the Lady. . .

Granted, getting locked out of the house with any amount of kids isn't pleasant, but I would like to think that now I would just throw a DVD on in Minnie-Ru and wait it out, happy that I had a few moments where everyone was contained and I could possibly finish last week's issue of US Weekly that has been sitting in my bag, unread, for days on end.

Mom Moments: As Overheard. . .

Sometimes kids say weird things. I often wonder what goes on inside their little heads.

I am defining this a "mom moment" because I am pretty sure you wouldn't be hearing a conversation like this outside the realm of parenthood.

As overheard, Friday night:

Little Lady: I'm scared
Exasperated Husband: What are you scared of?
LL: incoherent whining
EH: Don't say Johnny Depp. Don't say Johnny Depp.

(Thank you movie marketers who decided to erect a billboard for Johnny Depp's new movie "Dark Shadows" right near our house. You have penetrated the dreams and thoughts of a very sensitive two-and-a-half year old, who will just randomly come up to you in the middle of the day and say: "Why did Johnny Depp eat someone?" Thank you also television advertising, clearly we are not quick enough with the remote)

LL: more incoherent whining
EH: Johnny Depp is a nice man, he is a very nice man, he is just wearing makeup for pretend. We like Johnny Depp (Momma sure does!) Please go to sleep. . .

In the last week and a half, I have googled Johnny Depp numerous times to show the Little Lady "normal" looking photos of him (actually a lot harder than you think--Edward Scissorhands? Mad Hatter? Captain Jack? Tonto? these are things nightmares are made of) and every time I do, she just asks to once again see the photo of him in full vampire regalia.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fat Ass Friday

I finally went from a contractor to a permanent employee at work. With this change, I am able to take advantage of some of the perks of working for a large company.

In this case, using the on-site gym.

But like a lot of things in corporate America it wasn't going to be easy. There was paperwork and the Medical Center and assessments and appointments and orientations.

I guess I was thinking that it would be an easy start, I would meet with a trainer and they would ask me some questions about my fitness goals and maybe weigh me and then we would be set.

Not so much.

First there was a physical assessment, which included  getting weighed and getting a BMI measurement, push-ups, the wall sit and 20 minutes on a stationary bike while getting periodic blood pressure and heart rate tests.
Can I just say one thing? I hate stationary bikes. I know that spin bikes are technically stationary, but at least a spin class is kick-ass and quick-paced.

I would rather tread water for two hours in my green hoochie-mama/boob display of a bathing suit, while watching Alicia Silverstone pre-masticate her food and feed it to her baby, than ride a stationary bike for twenty minutes.

But alas, that was the price I would have to pay to workout.

Note to self: Don't stop working out, because if you do you will just have to start all over again and once you step off that stationary bike you will feel like puking.

Anyway, after all was said and done I was given the results. Not super pretty, but not totally terrible either. I had to make another appointment (I know, really? Come on, can't you just point me in the direction of the treadmill and give me a list of the cable channels for the TV?) to get an orientation and tour of the gym.

Finally. I got a tour of the gym and of the locker room. Can I just say one thing? They do your laundry here. Laundry. That means that I don't have to lug home dirty undies and it also means that there is really no excuse for me not to workout.

So, I am reinstating my weekly fitness post. It will be called Fat Ass Friday and I will try to keep you updated on my progress as I try to meet my fitness goals.

Mom Moment of the Day

Mom Moment of the Day

The Little Lady discovers munchkins. . .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Things we Do for Our Kids: Or Is that a Bathing Suit or a Dress from Forever 21?

I went to a shower a couple of weeks ago for my cousin's fiancee. It was in Massachusetts, about two hours from my house. (It was a lovely shower and I am super psyched for the wedding and very grateful my in-laws are taking the kids!)

My husband happened to be out of town that week and all my moms sisters were going to be there so a plan was hatched to have a girls weekend with my sisters, my mom and my aunts, the Ladies and the Wild Woman (the Wild Man stayed home with his dad) and of course, QT.

This involved getting all of my kids ready and in Minnie-Ru for an 8 a.m. departure time. We threw the extra captain's chair in and my sister and the Wild Woman (who serenaded us with songs in a singing voice that rivals mine in lack of tone) rode along with us.

Next stop: College.

We rolled up on Springfield College around 10 a.m. and unloaded four kids, four bags, and four strollers with my little sister and three of her friends. 

I must say I was pretty impressed with my sister and her friends, it was a super nice day and they clearly could have been drinking beers and hanging out on the field in front of their place, but instead they were helping us out.

Two things I miss the most about college are napping and just hanging out with my friends on a nice day. One thing I don't miss? How gross the toilets are in co-ed townhouses, where the boys are not taking their cleaning at all seriously.

The Wild Woman and the Little Lady enjoying college
Anyway, after the shower we had to go pick up the kids and bring them back to the hotel. There was a pool there, but in my rush to get everything organized, I didn't pack my "all-black mom bathing suit with skirt" to not only cover my fat ass but to eliminate the need for shaving. I also didn't pack a suit for the Ladies because all of their summer stuff is in some Rubbermaid bucket in the attic of our garage. Luckily, the Wild Woman is a swimmer and her mom had packed two suits so at least the Little Lady was covered.

So my mom and my aunt ran to Marshall's to pick up a suit for the Lady and me. My only requirement was something with a skirt. (Clearly, I didn't bring a razor.)

This is the photo of the suit I got.

Now, mind you, I quickly looked at this photo on my phone and thought "looks like a halter, the ruching might help my tummy" and then agreed to wear it.

So we got to the hotel and the only thing any of the girls want to do was go swimming.

I must say that the difference between the photo and the physical reality of the bathing suit that I was holding in my hands was quite large.

You know what wasn't large? The surface area to cover my boobs. I know, looking at the pic you would think "well that top looks like it has ample space to house, post-pregnancy, still breastfeeding (on one side) breasts," but I assure you it was not.

I didn't realize that the neckline was so J-Lo-in-that-green-dress plunging. I didn't realize that I would look like I was trying to squeeze into some hoochie-mama's prom dress that she picked up at Forever 21.

So there wasn't enough fabric to cover my boobs, but there was plenty of fabric to cover everywhere else. It was hoochie-mama on top, woman in the late 1800s/Hasidic Jewish woman on the bottom.

The skirt on this thing was long enough that had I not shaved my legs, it wouldn't have mattered. I started to think that if I just flipped the skirt and tucked it into my cleavage, I might have the makings of a practical bathing suit.

So here I was, in an ill fitting bathing suit, on constant vigil for a nip slip, in a hotel pool in the middle of Massachusetts, and despite the initial wave of crushing embarrassment and low self esteem, none of that really mattered.

The Ladies were having a great time in the pool. They were jumping and playing and trying to swim, and they were just so excited to be in the water and to have me with them. After a few minutes the fear of exposing everyone subsided and I too, was able to enjoy it.

I would also like to think that I did a little public service that day. I am hoping that the sight of me, with my mom mammaries on full view, prompted the high school couple in the deep end who were deep mouth kissing and grinding to throw on an extra condom when they made their way up to their room as to prevent any unwanted teen pregnancies.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May is for Moms

I am sure all of you are gearing up for your Mother's Day celebrations. And celebrate we should. I think that one day isn't really enough to devote to the role of mother. And since a lot of Mother's Days end up being jam-packed with everyone trying to run around and get together, sometimes there isn't enough time to just snuggle in your bed while your husband takes the kids out of the house for a few hours and you watch hours of uninterrupted TV, or read a book, while drinking coffee and not having to cater to anyone else. . . hint, hint.

This year, I will actually be spending my Mother's Day watching my little sister graduate from college, which isn't a bad way to spend a Sunday, plus I am super proud of her.

So because I won't actually be partaking in the "traditional" Mother's Day, I have decided to devote the entire month of May to mommy moments, mommy mind melts, and some mommy memories from this blog.

Each day, I will (try) to post something related to the joy, and crazy of being a mother.

I might post a few pics, a couple links to some "oldie but goodie" blog posts, or just share what is going on in the day.

I invite you all to tweet, fb or email any of your own funny, crazy, unbelievable, poignant, heartwarming or vomit-inducing moments of motherhood and I will share as I go.

Happy Mother's Month (and may a spa day be in your future)!