Friday, June 29, 2012

And Here's What You May Have Missed. . .With the Beans

My evenings have been hijacked by three kids. My blogging and my TV time has suffered for it. I am still trying to catch up on some shows from last season, including the season finale of Glee that is just hanging out on the DVR.

In the spirit of the Glee intro, that breathy, fast-paced recap that starts the show, here's what you may have missed with the Beans. . .

The Little Lady putting on her own recital in the back of the theater. Yes, she was dancing with her eyes closed.
The Ladies had their dance recital in 100 degree heat in the auditorium of an elementary school, where the Little Lady had a breakdown when she realized that she was going to have to wait in a "holding pen" pre-performance. Luckily, she rallied, performed amazingly, and then put on her own private recital with the Wild Woman in the back of the theater.
A mini Mia Michaels contemporary routine?
QT has moved from the roll and scoot to full-on crawling, but only when he isn't being walked around with someone holding his hands. An intricate dance that includes both back pain and baby breakdowns when you try to release him from your grasp.

We just had to say goodbye to our longtime Tues/Thursday sitter, which has left me once again in a panic over daycare and forced me to once again empty my own dishwasher.

The Lady is finished with camp, bored at home, and looking for trouble.

All of which has made me realize that working in the summer is no fun, especially when you can be at the beach trying to explain to the Little Lady that it might be okay to pee in the Sound, which would avoid me having to drag two kids into a public bathroom and try to remove wet bathing suits. It is, however, not ok to pee in the sand or on your mother's coverup and towel, forcing her to have to wrap herself in said pee-soaked towel as she tries to gather you up for the long, hot, walk through the sand to the car.

And that's what you've missed with the Beans!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

 Happy Father's Day to my husband!

With the Lady

Thank you for my babies and for all you do for them.

The Little Lady
I could list the reasons why before we even had kids, I knew you would be a good father. I could talk about how our lives have changed so dramatically in the last five years, or I can simply thank you.

For they way you brush the Ladies hair

For driving us everywhere

For doing all the baths, even though it kills your back

For assembling toys and dollhouses and bikes

For getting your nails painted at the Lady's salon

For carrying three sleeping kids in from the car

For dancing with your girls, even though you don't dance

For being the good cop

For being the bad cop

For middle-of-the-night wake ups

For nursery school pick-up

For reading that huge, pink book about Princesses that I would like to burn

For patting QT's back until he falls asleep

For that moment when you walk in the door after a day at work or a few days on the road, for that split second when they are unaware that you are there and they continue about what they are doing, for the change that comes over them when they realize you are home, when they hear the door, your feet heavy on the stairs, when they see you come around the corner or pop your head into their room, for that moment, that moment when their face becomes nothing but joy, for that small moment, the one that matters most.

Thank you.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy First Birthday QT!

My Little Boy Bean is one!

Happy! Happy! QT!

 Waiting for his cupcakes . . .

 Not 100% sure about this whole singing and candle thing. . . it could also be the bib. . .

The big-eyed guy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fat Ass Friday: Run. Run. Run.

Just mailed in my application for the Sailfest 5k. This will be my second time running it and I am hoping that a few of my cousins join me for the run.

I got to the gym this week and have increased my time on the treadmill. Hoping to get a long run in tomorrow at some point before or after QT's 1st b-day party. Then I will counterbalance it with cupcakes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hello Bean. It's Me, the Universe

I think the universe is speaking to me.

I know that sounds bat-shit cray cray, but what if it is even more bat-shit cray cray to ignore it?

I think it is abundantly clear that this whole working 9-5 thing and trying to raise my kids has been a difficult transition. I took a full-time job because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Not working wasn’t working; working part-time wasn’t really working, so naturally a full-time position at a reputable company with good benefits and name recognition should have been the answer.

My life, however, didn’t get any better, it got worse. Yes, I am making money, but ¾ of that goes to pay someone else to raise my kids. Yes, anything extra helps out, but at what cost? In five years it will be profitable for me to be working full-time. QT will be in school and I won’t have to worry about full-time daycare or nursery school tuition, but I am not sure trying to live for what might happen down the road is beneficial to me or to my children.

Oh, and the universe is speaking to me.

How can I explain this without sounding like some Oprahfied, best-life, new-age crazy, who in the words of my good friend Kerry, “is coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs”?

Have you ever met a stranger on a plane and had a life-changing conversation? No? Me either, because things like that don’t happen to me, and because I don’t like to talk to people.

As I was flying home from my cousin’s wedding a couple of weekends ago though, I did.

Now, I am not sure if the guy I was sitting next to was a prophet or a snake-oil salesman. There really is a fine line.

He did say three things to me that totally resonated:
1. Quit your job.
2. What will you regret more in five years, not taking your job or not spending time with your kids?
3. Don’t be afraid.

He also said things like “educated mind” and “giving things up to God” and maybe my educated mind is a little cynical and my spiritual life is probably lacking, but when terms like that get batted around, I start getting uncomfortable and I start to over-think.

And maybe that is my problem. Maybe I over-think everything. Maybe the answer is simple. Quit your job. No regrets. Don’t be afraid.

I am plagued with the then what?  But I also found myself opening up to possibility.

The following Tuesday morning was chaos in my house.  My husband was on his way home from a work event, our sitter had to come in early for her, but late for me, so I was already behind on my day. The Little Lady wasn’t having any of me walking out the door.  She was hanging on my leg. As I dragged her around the living room trying to collect my things and walk out the door, I heard myself saying “mommy has to go, she doesn’t have time to play,” and “I will read you that later, I have to go,” and “Little Lady, you have to let go of my leg,” and all of it just tasted terrible coming out of my mouth.

When I finally pried her off my leg she was begging to be held. I picked her up, her big brown-eyes were full of even bigger tears, and I had to pull her hands from around my neck—and have I told you how she is the best hugger in the house? Her tiny frame just hangs on tight. Then I passed her off to the sitter and walked out to my car.

It wouldn’t start.

The Little Lady was telling me not to go and the car was telling me I couldn’t go.

Did I get it jumped? Yes. Did I go to work? Yes. Did it make me stop and think about the Celestine Prophecy, and Ah-ha moments, and Oprah, and drum circles, and finding a life coach, and taking up meditation, and my encounter on the plane? It did.

Signs, bitches. Signs.

I told my husband that night that I thought the universe was speaking to me. He scoffed, I started sobbing.

The next day, I got a call from my Tuesday/Thursday sitter. She has been with us for over two years. She gets down on the floor with my kids and gives them huge kisses, she does the laundry, she cleans up their puke and their poop. She empties the dishwasher. She comforts them when I walk out the door. She loves my kids. She is sick. She is leaving.

I emailed my husband that I thought that I would make a wonderful Tuesday/Thursday sitter. I have exceptional qualifications--have I told you the story about my kids and the light up horse?

To my surprise he emailed me back saying that I should quit my job if it would make me happy.

It would, but only because I would be with the kids, it wouldn't make the mortgage payment, or the nursery school payment, or my "educated mind" stop worrying.

So universe, I hear you loud and clear. And I am taking a step forward. Am I quitting my job? Not right now. But I am going to start to try to live my life with fewer regrets, with less fear, and with possibly more meditation and yoga. Although, one time in a yoga class my leg fell asleep and then when I tried to stand up I fell straight to the floor, so maybe that was the universe telling me I should explore a few other options as well.  

I will let you know if we chat again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dear Stamford Downtown: Or Please Light Up That Solar Horse

Dear Stamford Downtown,

The Three Beans and I were very excited to see that the annual Art in Public Places exhibition was up and running. And while I am no friend of real horses, I don't mind giant, decorated, metal ones that are up all over town and that the Lady, in particular, is super excited about.

The Lady and I have seen every exhibit since she was not quite 2 (although I will say last year's sculptures were too abstract-y for us and since QT was just born, we only drove past them a couple of times). We do still talk about the It's Reigning Cats and Dogs exhibit and are always glad to drive by the dog in front of the Library. 
The Lady at the It's Reigning Cats and Dogs Exhibit, 2010
Since we were up super early on Saturday morning we decided to head towards Lucky's for some breakfast and then walk around and see the horses around Bedford Street. We got to see quite a few horses before the rain started and we had to head towards the car. The rain, however, did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the Ladies about these horses. We drove around a little bit and saw a few more before we made our way home.
QT on "The Freedom Horse"

The Lady and I then booted up the computer and checked out the Exhibit Booklet and Map. This little booklet was a godsend. We got to find out the names of the horses we did see. Are you sure that one by the Library with the Stamford skyline on it, that had the movie theater that was playing--I kid you not--"Dark Shadows" with Johnny Depp painted on it, and the sparkle wings is NOT called Princess Sparkle? Oh, it's Soaring Over Stamford? That is a super good name too.

"Princess Sparkle," the Ladies, the Wild Woman and QT

We also got to see photos of horses we didn't see. A mermaid horse? A seahorse horse? A horse that is lit by solar energy? This is the stuff of little girl's dreams. We were hooked.

So at 7:15 pm, I strapped the Ladies in Minnie-Ru and headed out. First stop: gas. We had to fuel up if we were going to drive around the streets of Stamford for our equine evening. By the time I was done filling up the van the Little Lady was passed out in her car seat. This did not deter the Lady and I one bit.

Seahorse Horse? Saw it. Mermaid Horse? After figuring out that you actually have to drive into the Marriott entrance we saw that too. Solar Energy Horse? Well, we drove by it at 7:45 and it wasn't lit up.

What is a mom with a very interested and engaged 4.5 year old to do? That is right Stamford Downtown, we drove around some more. We went back by Polka dot Pegasus, we found the ones we were calling "Knight Horse" and Fire horse" on Spring Street. We drove by the Mermaid Horse again, and then headed down towards the train station.

"Polka dot Pegasus"

It was after 8 pm, well into what I would consider past-dusk. There was a low gray haze in the air and with the windows open we could smell the Sound. There was a pulse about the city at night, people moving towards their individual destinations, the clank of plates at the outdoor cafes, the frenzied rush of the trains, a smatter of conversation, a woman's laugh, an energy that we were a part of.

Know where there wasn't any energy? In the solar-powered horse that was supposed to light up at night.

Seriously, what time were these Christmas lights-slapped-on-black-horse going to start to glow? I am not an expert in solar power, but the solar-powered lights my parents have on their walkway start to give off a little glow as the sun starts to set, and don't solar powered houses still heat up even in the dead of night?

Where then was this magic glow? When we consulted the booklet there was a clear photo of that horse alight. What the eff time do these lights come on? I contemplated just parking the car and waiting. We even got out and stood next to it for a few minutes and I was hoping beyond hope that it would magically just turn on. Could you imagine the pure joy that would have brought the Lady? I could have been mother of the year! By now it was 8:45. No, it wasn't pitch black, but really, you would have to agree that it is considered nighttime.

So I ask you again Stamford Downtown, what the eff time do these lights go on? I had both Ladies last night try to convince me to leave QT sleeping so that we could go out and see this light-up horse. What were they doing up well past 9 pm last night? Well they had both fallen asleep in the car on the way home from--yes, you guessed it--looking at the horses again with the Wild Woman. We spent another 2+ hours roaming the streets of Stamford, frequenting your shops and running in your parks.
The Little Lady dancing in front of "Mechanical Horse Power"

I wrangled four kids around the streets of Stamford all in the name of art. All the Lady wants to see is that one horse aglow in the summer night. I guess if I was a late night reviler returning to the Hilton in the wee hours of the morn, then perhaps I would see "Solar Horse Power" (very clever name) in its full glory, but alas, I am just a hardworking mom trying to introduce art into the lives of my children without having to disregard not-so-strict bedtimes or wait for a full-on solar eclipse.

Yours in all things horses (except pony play--google it--it is way weird) and solar-powered,


Friday, June 8, 2012

Fat Ass Friday: Olympic Dreams

I haven't done a bit of exercise this week, unless you count the five city blocks I walked yesterday after my meetings were over in NYC to meet my uncle who was in town to watch one of his friend's kids wrestle for a spot on the Olympic team.
There are two things that can consistently make me cry: Videos of servicemen and women returning home (excessive crying if they are surprising a family member or their kids at school) and the Olympics.

I don't know if it is those emotion-inducing background stories or if I am just so jacked up on patriotism, but there is always an Olympic story or two that never fails to make me shed a tear.

Yesterday, I got to witness someone fulfill his dream to make it to the Olympics.

And by make it to the Olympics, I mean wrestle his way in, outside, in the middle of Times Square, in an event they were calling "The Grapple in the Big Apple."

It was crazy and incredibly cool.

Right in front of me I watched someone succeed at something they loved and meet a goal they had worked a lifetime for.

So when I started my walk back to the hotel (ooh--another 5 blocks--that makes 10 total) I left there not feeling bad that this guy wrestled in a weight-class that just so happens to be a few lbs. shy of where I usually weigh-in, but abuzz with possibility, a little teary-eyed, and inspired to try to follow through on a few of my own goals.

So, congratulations Scott Coleman! The Three Bean's will be rooting for you in London!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fat Ass Friday: Is it Really Friday?

Is it really Friday? I haven't done a bit of exercise since Tuesday.

This week killed me. While it was great to have off on Monday and we enjoyed our weekend at the beach, between running a couple of errands, the Lady's graduation, and work I didn't find myself in the gym much.

I am planning on packing up my sneaks for my trip to Pittsburgh to see my cousin get married and to experience my first weekend sans kids in a very long time.

My plan is to hit the hotel gym at some point on Saturday morning, however, I can see myself getting easily swayed by a big bed, uninterrupted TV time and the most recent US Weekly.

Oohhh. . . I might even read a book.

Really the possibilities are endless.

I will say that in order to avoid the unnecessary heartache that goes along with trying on dresses for weddings, I should probably be in that gym a bit more.

I am looking forward to the day that I can open my closet, pull out a dress and put it on without the sighs of disgust and frantic rummaging through my undies drawer for a pair of Spanx.

I will keep you posted.

The Lady Graduates

Yesterday was the Lady's graduation from nursery school.

Insert tears here.

It was a very sweet ceremony with lots of singing and an especially robust version of a song about the power of Jesus.

I loved every minute of it.

Congrats Lady! I am so proud of you.

By the way, can you tell she is a little shy?