Busy moms, life in general

The glass is half..?

The glass is half..? Full? Nope, I’m too much of a pessimist for that. It’s most likely half spilled on the rug, or half dirty because someone incorrectly loaded the dishwasher again. Does anyone else feel the futility of cleaning the house? Seriously, Anna messes while I clean, following behind me like a little tornado, when I turn around expecting to see cleanliness and serenity, I see…a bigger mess than the one with which I started. Hmm, freshly washed floor? Let’s spill some sticky juice or drop and break a jar of pickles on it. Clean bathroom, Megan decided to paint and clean her brushes in the sink. Nicely vacuumed rug, let’s stomp the goldfish crackers into it! I know I cannot be the only one thoroughly irritated by this. There have to be other households like this out there.

I hate when going to a friends house, hearing them say “Sorry, the house is SUCH a mess!” and you walk in and need sunglasses because everything is s sparkly clean. At my house if I said that, it would be because it looked like WWIII had just occurred and my place was the battlefield. Why can’t kids just put their things away? I keep telling them, if you put it away when you’re done using it, 1. you won’t have a big mess to clean later and 2. you’ll always know where it is. Nope, it falls on deaf ears. Then comes “MOM! Have you seen my..?” “Honey, what did you do with..?” Excuse me, what did I do with..? *sigh*

I keep hearing that one day I’ll miss the mess, the constant hustle and bustle of having kids around. Yes, I will miss them and their need for Mommy, but no, no I don’t think I’ll miss the mess. Or the middle of the night stepping on sharp toys, or tripping over shoes, trucks, dolls or whatever else they brought into the bathroom at 3 am and left in front of the door. I think I’ll be good with that. It will be nice to have my electronics to myself without having to hunt down a Kindle Fire (or futuristic equivalent)
 from under a 4 year old child’s pillow to find that they not once, but twice, downloaded Plants vs. Zombies at $2.99 a pop, and Angry birds Rio for .99 after being explicitly told no. I like knowing my cell phone is safely on the counter where it was left charging and not being pawed by a sticky fingered 18 month old who wants to watch videos of “BeeBee” (baby) and has ripped both phone and cord off the counter and out of the wall.

What are your house cleaning (or cluttering) pet peeves?

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The end of the term…

Here I am, another late night of school work. All the little ones are finally in bed and I am typing away (yes, I am taking a wee break to write this blog!).  Right now I am working on a 20 page paper and UbD template for integrating technology (Understanding by Design by Wiggins and McTighe (2004). It’s a method of creating curriculum.). Oh, and then I need to create about 11 rubrics. My other class project due this Sat. as well is a 15 slide power point presentation with voice narration on my Action Research Project. Doesn’t sound too hard as I already have my proposal in…except that my data isn’t in yet and I probably have strep. Yes, I was apparently exposed twice in the past 2 weeks and this sore throat of almost 5 days isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse. It hurts to talk, so I’m not, which makes my husband happy. *Jay walking by me laughing*  “WOW! It’s so QUIET in here.” Not funny. Seriously. When I can comfortably speak again, I’m going to talk his ear off. Even in my sleep. Hmph!

So, exhausted, in pain and daydreaming of my bed, I type away at a paper that will determine if I get an A or a B+. Tomorrow I have 2 girls coming for a playdate. Saturday we are having a Girl Scout cookie booth and a dance activity after that. My work is due by midnight Sat. I will persevere even if it means a few more late nights. Late work is not accepted, so it has to be done. Then these 2 courses will be done. Phew! Except, my next set starts Sunday. It’s a never-ending process, but it will be so worth it in the end. I keep plugging along, like the Little Engine that Could “I think I can. I think I can.”.  One day, I’ll have reached the top of that mountain, another goal accomplished.

Have you ever struggled to achieve a goal? How did you overcome the obstacles in your way?

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Little things

Kids say some of the funniest, cutest, silliest things. For example, Anna calls me “Bop” or “MmmmBop” for “Mom”. Every time I hear it, that Hanson one-hit wonder “MmmmBop” plays in my mind. Last night at bedtime, Jayson laid his head on my arm (I was wearing fleece pajamas) and said to me “Doesn’t this feel like home, Mom? Doesn’t it?” Other times he’ll say things like “Dad, I’m not impressed.” which cracks me up every time! One of my all time favorites though was when Anna first started using recognizable words. Jayson “Mom! Mom! Nanners said a word! She’s almost like a real human!”

 We’re feeling a little BLAH because a bad cold has the younger two children and I in it’s grip. Yet, the sayings keep coming, “Anna, did you put your pop on the floor and let it melt?” “No. Dahd.” Apparently my husband likes to secretly leave purple Popsicles on the rug to melt, all the way from work. The things he does to try and get these kids in trouble, he’ll go to any length! “Jayson, what did you do to Anna?” “She started it! I tried to hug her and she wouldn’t so I slapped her on the head!” What an egregious crime! Not returning a hug? Definitely cause for slappage. Sheesh! Where do they learn these things? Or is it just the lack of impulse control for the 4 year old set?

On any given day I can be seen breaking up such fights with the two youngest. Anna will hit Jayson for some reason, such as his taking her toy, and he will do this thing that drives me crazy, he simultaneously slaps both sides of her head in rapid succession. Then there are the fights between Megan and Jayson. Like Monday, she reiterated that Jayson wasn’t supposed to do something, which he considered her to be rude and mean, so he punched her. Each was angry and feeling justified, I played referee, after much shouting (mostly Megan, but some Jayson), 11 minutes later all was fine, until 4 seconds after the truce something was said (I didn’t catch what) and Megan started all over again “That’s it! I hate that little brat!” which she did until he bought her a gumball, then all was forgiven.

Then there are the sweet moments, where Jayson says so very sincerely “I love you Nanners!” to Anna and they hug and kiss and he excitedly exclaims “Mom! Nanners gave me a hug and a kiss! Good girl Nanners!” Times like yesterday where they ran around the school field chasing each other, the best of friends and playmates. Last night hearing Megan reading to Anna, or Kiersten’s nightly call to read Anna a book. The little things…make life so worth it.

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Have you ever h…

Have you ever h….

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Have you ever h…

Have you ever had one of those eye-opening moments where you suddenly REALLY see yourself as others do? Maybe it’s my lack of a full length mirror, or denial (it isn’t just a river in Egypt), but trying on dresses last week I saw just how overweight I have become. It made me mad, how could I let this happen? Then I thought about it, not exercising, eating lots of comfort foods, being under enormous stress almost constantly and driving way more than I’ve ever had to…it is a recipe for disaster. So I’m not going to whine and bemoan my situation, I’m going to get serious and lose the weight! Mind you, I still can’t find my scale (I’ll bet my husband who loves to secretly throw things away had a hand in this) so I don’t know exactly how much I weigh nor will I know how I am doing losing weight. This may be a good thing though because my gauge will be how well my clothes fit and how good I feel. I tend to get a little obsessed with that number on the scale. I think a good start will be to walk places when possible, like the library. The library is right through downtown which is not very far away. The kids love going for walks and it is a great excuse to get out. Why do I need to waste expensive gas to get there? The park; why drive there when I can fill up some water bottles and walk over? Mind you, the park I like best is about a mile away, but as long as I have the carriage for backup for Jayson I think I’ll be fine. Besides, we also have a playground about 3 blocks away.

Who says exercise has to be a chore? I remember being at my thinnest a few years back, my regimen? I was doing Jazzercise 3 days a week and playing at the playground with my kids. That’s right, good old-fashioned play like we did when we were kids. Has anyone heard of these “camps” for adults? They are set up to let you play games that you played in your childhood. Why pay all that money when you can do it for free (and you get to choose who you want on your “team”)?

Do you have any favorite ways to get in shape? Please share!

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You know that song by LMAFO, Party Rock Anthem? Well, for me instead of “Everyday I’m shufflin’.” it’s “Everyday I’m juggling, juggling!”. I feel stuck in this perpetual juggling act of cleaning, caring for children/spouse, work, school, weight loss and job hunting. At any time I could drop a ball and then where would I be? Am I doing any of these well? School must be ok, I have good grades, yet I feel that I am slacking. The kids are always needy, and no matter how much or little time I spend with them, it’s never enough for them or me. They are well fed, dressed, homework completed and tucked in every night. Exercise? Well, read my Excercise Schmexercise post and you’ll see how THAT is going. Husband? Hmmmm, I think that is that stranger that comes here to eat and sleep in my bed, even when I am busy playing musical beds in the children’s rooms. Even my cat is feeling neglected of late. She has taken to attacking my face in the night, either hitting me with her paw, nibbling on me, or head butting me,  to wake me for attention. Who wants to sleep? Besides, she sees the baby and Jayson waking me at all hours and probably thinks that’s what you are supposed to do. You know that old adage “Let sleeping dogs lie.” ? Yeah, I’m going to make a sign “Let sleeping Mom’s lie.”. It’s that bad.

As for me time? You’re looking at it. I steal away for a few moments of blogging, checking email or checking my school account. I have been working on my Action Research Proposal and have decided to call it quits for tonight. I can finish it tomorrow when it is due, I have almost everything I need, I just need to finish putting it together.

So tell me, how do you juggle all the different hats you wear? How do you carve out time for yourself? Inquiring moms want to know!

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Seasons (read it through, it starts slow, but picks up steam!)

It all started with the Halloween snowstorm. Trick or treating in the snow with an actual accumulation! I thought that meant we would have an awesome winter with tons of snow. Nope. We had 63 days with above normal temperatures according to The snow was very sparse and many of the storms we did have were mixed precipitation or snow turning to rain. Jayson never even used his sled until earlier this month! We had a rare snow event giving us 6″ or so.  Winter was very springish.

Now it is March, generally a windy, rainy/snowy month as we switch over to spring. We have had 80 degree weather 3-4 times already. Seriously?! I should not be outside in a tank top feeling hot in March. Just saying. It has been good for me physically though. I have been able to ride my bike and run and play with the kids, something I didn’t care to do in the dreary, brown winter we had. We have already gone for ice cream and stayed out late, not realizing the time due to the brilliance of the sun. Little bodies freed from their cocoons of snowsuits, hats and gloves frolic and play in shorts and t-shirts, their milky white skin finally feeling the warm kiss of the sun. They are happy and they wear themselves out, making Mom and Dad happy that we can get them to sleep easier. Now I worry…if it is this hot now, what will summer be like? Why are we skipping seasons? Is global warming more than a scary story that John Kerry tells around the campfire?

Other news, my daughter, Kiersten, is being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society tonight! Megan and I will be making the 2 hour drive up to see this event. I couldn’t be more proud of her! She is really coming out of her shell, no longer the painfully shy girl, she does dance, tried out for a school play and now the NJHS.

Today I have also been reflecting. It is my mother’s birthday, I won’t say her age as I do value my life, but let’s suffice it to say she is younger than most of my friend’s parents. A friend’s father died the other day, he was closer to my Nana’s age, but it made me start thinking, how long until I lose more people that I hold dear? Gram is getting long in the tooth as has become painfully obvious over the past 3 years. She has dementia and forgets things, a lot of things. She has always been like a mother to me, and often joked that I was “the daughter (she) never had”. To see this once vivacious, effervescent woman now moving slowly, rarely going out, her once chock full social calendar empty save for a few family visits and Dr.’s appointments makes me immeasurably sad. What of my parents? Dad had major medical issues less than a year ago and doesn’t take very good care of himself. Mom does well enough, but as I age, they age and this friend’s parents death got me thinking about the mortality of my own kin. Typically I fret endlessly over the health and well-being of my children figuring the older generations know how to care for themselves, but as they age I wonder, can they? For how long? Life and time march on like the seasons. Summer’s bloom giving way to fall’s decay.

Okay, out of the depressing and into the exciting! It is Spring! A time to be joyful and refreshed! Go out and enjoy the day, be thankful for all that you have. Oh, and go call your mother! 🙂

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New Beginnings

The plague has exited the building! I am hoping it doesn’t visit the younger children, or my husband, Jay. I spent the weekend with a pounding head and a sick stomach. Not a fun way in which to spend one’s weekend.

Spring has sprung! It has ranged from 65-80 degrees the past several days. This is the Northeast, things do not bode well for us. As my husband said this morning, all the flowers will begin to bud and bloom and a frost will come. Despite my love of winter,  a decidedly weak, mild and disappointing one from my POV, I am enjoying this gorgeous weather. I think exercise will be easier now that we can be outdoors. I played outside with Anna and Jayson yesterday and will be able to ride my bike again. Maybe I can firm up these jiggly parts at last!

More news, my van, RIP, is being replaced. Jay just returned and informed me that I have a new 2011      8 passenger SUV that will be here shortly. It happens to be the same vehicle that my ex has, by a strange series of coincidences. I don’t care, I just need a reliable vehicle that will get me and mine from point A to point B. I’m not a real material person. Not to say that I don’t like nice things, just that I don’t need the newest and best of everything.

I’m hoping for another exciting change, I am applying for a teaching job! I found one about 45 minutes away and heard rumors a local school will be hiring. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one will pan out. I sit here flipping through catalogues dreaming of the items I would purchase for my students. It is going to be expensive with so many supplies needing to be paid for by the teacher. My own kids are great and all, but being challenged by a class full of children not related to me would be a welcome change! Speaking of change, Anna needs one!

Enjoy the spring, a time of renewal and new beginnings, I know I will!

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The Plague…

I knew something bad was going to happen as soon as I woke up. Three thoughts went running through my head…”Man am I tired!”,  “Migraines suck!” and “I feel  nauseous, I hope I don’t get what Megan had!”

Last night my daughter was up ALL night getting sick. Pale as a bedsheet, she came to me repeatedly begging for assistance. I went to bed at 2 AM, and still, she came to me in the night like a weary soldier treading exhaustedly upon the field “Mom, I was sick again, can you change my trash bag?” The poor thing felt terrible. She had a friend come to stay the night, by 11:30PM her mom was here to pick her up. Luckily, this morning Megan is well again, her usual peppy self. “I feel fine!”

Me, not so much. It’s like waiting for something you know is going to happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. Like that moment you realize that car is going to hit you and you are trapped with nowhere to go. You just wait for the impact. I feel sick to my stomach, keep getting this hot, prickly sensation, then…nothing. Yet. So, like so many of us New Englanders do before a storm hits, I make sure I have supplies. Ginger ale? Check. Crackers? Check. Popsicles? Check. Enough of everything else to get us through in case I am immobilized for a week? Check. The kids are tip-toeing around me, “Mom, are you ok? Did you get sick yet?” Like little barometers they know me and know when I am unwell. Megan is apologetic “Sorry I got you sick, Mom.” “It’s ok Megs, it’s not your fault.” “Ok, but I’m really SORRY.”

I guess it’s no surprise to you all then that I will not be attempting any kind of workout today other than a triathlon of schoolwork. I only wish there was someone I could pass the baton to, some kind of schoolwork relay race, okay, my leg is done, here’s the baton, meet you at the end!


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I have been thinking a lot about schedules lately. We have a crazy schedule most days due to appointments, extra-curricular activities and the long drives to pick up and drop off kids from/to my ex. It is a daily struggle trying to juggle homework and activities, as it is for most families. We can’t say “Every day at 4 you will do your homework” because 2-3 days a week, Megan isn’t here at 4. Wouldn’t it be great if more things were scheduled though? Here are a few problems that I have that would be made simpler if they were scheduled:

The Car: Last night, we left our Girl Scout meeting, drove about a block and then it began to shake. The low fuel and low engine oil lights came on and it just died right in the middle of the road. I coasted into a bank parking lot, put it into park and restarted it. I made it halfway across the parking lot before the same thing happened. I inched into a parking spot out of the way, but the brakes seemed to have locked up. I stopped just short of a fence. Phew! Called the husband who asked “Did you put gas in it?” Me”Um, no, you used the car, I assumed you didn’t leave it empty.” You know what they say about people who make assumptions. We had to wait for him to get the 2 little ones dried off from their bath to get us. Mind you, Megan chose to wear a t-shirt and no coat. Guess who gave up their coat so their daughter wouldn’t freeze? I was still trying to thaw out at 11pm.

 Now imagine the same scenario with a SCHEDULE…*car starts to sputter*, “I’m sorry car, your next scheduled breakdown isn’t for another 36 days.” *car resumes normal driving.

Sleep: We have a queen size bed. Most nights there is a bit of shuffling around to get comfortable and share the space. Here’s what things look like by no later than 2 am; husband pushed to edge of his side of the bed, me half hanging off my side of the bed and either Jayson, Anna or both sprawled in the middle. (Well, sprawled only if one of them is there.) When both are there, I imagine we look like a can of sardines all squished up together.

Schedule scenario: Me: “Excuse me, do you have a reservation this evening?” Child “No.” Me: “I thought not, you may schedule a reservation for this bed on your way out. Thank you for thinking of us!” and they would toddle back to their own bed, letting us sleep uninterrupted.

Yes, it is a dream and I am awake now. 🙂

It would be great if we could schedule getting fat. I would save all mine up for my death bed. Everyone would say how unnatural I looked “It must be bloating, I hear some people bloat before they die.”. They might start to have conspiracy theories about whether I actually died or faked it and went into hiding. Either way, I wouldn’t care that I needed 9 pall bearers to carry my coffin, I’d be dead!

On to my daily exercise portion of my blog. As I write I am getting ready to do some exercise with the Wii. Now that my car is getting checked, I will also have to walk today to cash my check and pick up a few items. Maybe the car dying was a blessing in disguise? Or not, it’s rainy today. 😦

Check back in this weekend for more of the ongoing saga!

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