Monday, January 2, 2012


I have been considering resolutions like nearly every single person I know for the last week. I felt relieved recently when two of my closest friends said they just don't do them. It was as if I was given a pass to not set myself up for failure. I mean honestly, what would make me think that in my 40th year I am suddenly going to stick to a New Year's resolution? Come on, people, let's be realistic.

While on facebook, a girlfriend posted a link to a blog I never read until this last Saturday and I LOVED the idea. To sum it up, pick one thing for each month to do daily. She had some great ones and I am still developing my list. I decided to do a variation of hers and will do a personal daily goal and a house/organizational daily goal. I am going to keep my personal one to myself because, well it is personal.

My house/organizational goal is to clear my stairs before bed. We have this weird thing in our house where everything just gets moved from place to place and seldom put away. My husband loves the counters completely cleared off so rather than putting any of the stuff (toys, school papers, mail) away, he either puts them in "my" junk drawer, on the kitchen table or dining room table. As a result, I scurry around trying to put things away and they often wind up in "my" junk drawer or on the stairs. The theory on the junk drawer is obvious: out of sight is out of mind.  The stairs theory is that no one should go up the stairs without carrying something up. My mom instilled this in us but we have not done that with our kids. So, that leaves me but at the end of a long day, I often can barely carry myself up there let alone all toys, clothes, and school things that have accumulated and so it piles up.

Day 2 and things are going okay. I am proud to say I made it two days clearing the stairs before bed. I also am finding myself less apt to put things there knowing I have to clean them up.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wow it has been long....

I am not sure why I stopped writing on here. Well, actually I am. I felt very exposed knowing people were reading my thoughts and I felt like it opened me up for ridicule or criticism. Insecure, much? At any rate, I loved coming here and writing, putting my thoughts out there for anyone or no one to read but then I started to worry. I worried about what people would be thinking of my writing, my stories and the whole idea of blogging. I have been encouraged by friends to get back to it and I miss the therapeutic part of it.  So, I just might get back to it. If nothing else, I am going to share funny anecdotes about my kids just so I have it. Maybe I will hit publish but maybe I won't.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


We did it! We did it! We raised lots of money for Evy's trip to camp in March. I am so pleased with how it all turned out but I couldn't have done it without my wonderful volunteers! Thanks for all your help, love and support!!!

The fundraising continues with an online auction at this site:
Now, if you want some info on the other family/child that will benefit from this auction, please take a look here:

Thanks for reading and please start bidding:)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Leaky Sink

This has been a very long two weeks.The Hunk has been working very long hours, staying overnight at work and so I am exhausted and over it.  Anyway, on Tuesday Bear spilled my cup of tea that I made hours before but never got around to drinking. When I went to get a towel to clean it up, I picked up my baskets from under the sink and discovered that they were soaking wet. This is when I discovered the leaky sink. Of course, this was after normal business hours so I couldn't call a plumber. So, I cleaned up the mess made by my tea, and then tried to figure out where the leaking was coming from. When I discovered it, I put a pitcher underneath the sink to catch the water. 
Yesterday was a very stressful day. My girls love preschool but it knocks them out and without naps, they spent the day crying about things that normally would not matter to them. So, I was a bit overwhelmed and not paying all that close attention to what I was doing because I had one or both of my girls crying while clinging to my leg  or laying on the floor crying. Throughout all this fun,  I emptied the container repeatedly  because it was filling up rapidly.  Fast forward to this morning when I pulled out the pitcher to empty  and realized that all day yesterday I was emptying the pitcher into the leaking sink.....

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I learned something amazing recently. On cool days, my children love to play in the car and pretend it is a bus, rocket ship or Star Wars ship. This provides me time to relax, sip coffee and read a good book. Now the amazing part... if one of these imaginative little Jedi puts coins into the cd and tape players of your car while playing in it, they will no longer work. Not only will they no longer work, but when you go over bumps or at any random time, the clock will suddenly change to 12:00 and the radio will switch to AM.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have missed my super soft, well-worn black sweats during the scorching months of summer but today I was able to pull them out of storage and slip them on. I may only be able to wear them for a few hours before the temperature goes back to the 80s but it will be a lovely few hours.They fit like a glove (though they may have fit less like a glove in the 5 years since I bought them...) and are perfect.  I want to wear these babies all day! Come on, cool temps! I have been waiting for you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Family Meeting

The Hunk and I made the decision that we want to start family meetings. We talked it over last night during our date night downtown. We discussed the format of the meeting and when we would do it. Hunk expressed that we needed a conch shell like in Lord of the Flies. I wasn't so sure and had a horrible flashback to pledging when our conch shell, during a heated meeting, was scissors...anyway, we gave it a whirl tonight without the conch:

Me: Are we going to do the Family thing?
Hunk: What?
Buddy: What family thing?
Hunk: Oh yeah a family meeting.
Buddy: I don't want to
Hunk: You can go to your room then
Me: I think the important part of the family meeting is that we are all together as a family (Hunk giving me the, "i don't know why I bother to speak to our children b/c you always think I am wrong" look)
I smiled sweetly and said, "So let's start."

We started our meeting with loads of praise for each child about things we had witnessed over the last week. Buddy's tune quickly changed about family meeting as he got a shy, yet proud, smile on his sweet little face.
Then we started talking about how well the girls did playing together and what a huge accomplishment it was for the Bear yesterday when she didn't cry at a bday party when the birthday girl wouldn't share a lollypop.
Zaz: Well, L gave me a lollypop but wouldn't give one to Bear. I didn't like my lollypop...
Hunk: During family meetings one person talks at a time (giving me the "I told ya so look" regarding the conch)
So we continued the praise and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
We pointed out that Bear had gone without a tantrum today and part of yesterday which is a huge accomplishment and that Zaz had played nicely with her sister all afternoon. Both of them, we pointed out, hadn't whined about anything for the entire day.
Zaz: I have a booboo right here (holding up her arm).
Hunk and I exchanged glances and smiled knowing that Zaz wasn't really sure about the purpose of this family meeting.  Okay really, she didn't get it....
Then we talked about problem areas:
1. Talking back (mainly Buddy but we talked about it at as a whole group)
2. Yelling  Screaming at siblings
During this discussion I said, "You guys need to stop yelling at each other and speak more kindly. Have you ever heard me yell at Daddy?" All three nodded yes and I realized I needed to quickly switch tactics. I explained that even people who love each other some times have arguments or disagreements but it was important to still be respectful (note to self stop raising voice at Hunk and vise versa). So, I said, "have you ever heard me scream at Daddy?" I held my breath for a minute for fear that I would see my little people shaking their heads yes at me. Thankfully, they were not. All three were saying no. Phew...
So we got the point across about no yelling and screaming about things and I did a few imitations of things I had heard recently. I was yelling and really getting into the part. Hunk suggested I close the window. I ignored him.
3. Toys on floor= chance to clean up= no pick-up equals toys in time out for one full day
4. Tantrums= alone time

Zaz interrupted throughout with stories about her life over the past 3 years and I realized we were starting to lose them. I knew I needed to act fast and get them engaged...

SO the teacher in me kicked in and I decided it was time for role play. I asked for a volunteer and Buddy quickly raised his hand. I had a flash of how eager he must be in his classroom. He got to be Hunk and I was the child. I asked for a popsicle, he said no and I started melting down and yelling, "I want a popsicle". I truly behaved as though I might lose my mind if I did not get a popsicle. Seriously, folks we are talking possible Academy Award nomination for best actress when Hunk ruined the moment and asked me to close the window. I ignored him, continued in my role as Bear and stormed upstairs bawling the entire time. I then came back down still crying and Buddy sent me back up until I could be calm.
We tried a few more scenarios and had them put their hand on their head if the child was behaving appropriately. They were full of  giggles as I played the role of dramatic child and they played the role of stern parent. All the while, Hunk looked totally confused at the direction our meeting had gone and reiterated the need to close the window and I quote, "You can be heard all the way in the cul-de-sac." SO????
We reviewed what we discussed, ate Oreos and ended the meeting on a positive note with everyone taking dinner dishes to the sink and heading upstairs for bath.

I think it was a successful first Family Meeting and really it went better than I imagined with a five year old and 2 three year olds!!

Our goal is to do it once a week BUT consistency is not our strong point...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In Honor of Grandparents' Day!

My heart has been filled with longing lately for my Grandma Bess. I have been missing her terribly for no recognizable reason; I guess I am just feeling that void brought by her death.  And what a void it is.  I know everyone thinks their grandparent is special, but my grandma was more than special. She had a gift as a grandmother to make each of us feel valued and loved. Until I was in my early twenties, I was certain I was her favorite grandchild.  I was at a family party when it hit me; I looked around and saw so much joy and love in the room and realized every single grandchild probably thought they were her favorite*. She was that good. She made us feel loved by listening with respect, love and without judgement, but with opinion (always an opinion).  If she had 2 or 3 of us that would seem an easy task but she didn't; she had 26. Yes, 26 and each of us had a very unique and wonderfully special relationship with her! She showed us how to love each other and somehow kept us all connected.

Each time I saw her or spoke to her, she would give me an update on all my cousins which was one of my favorite parts of our talks. I would sit and listen to her stories of funny things that one did or said, of who had a new girlfriend or boyfriend, who had finished a race in record time or had done something she considered remarkable. She would be filled with such love and pride at the mention of each name.  Being with her filled me with awe and wonder at every meeting.

It has been nearly 6 years since she passed away and while the ache for her day to day gets less and less, it seems to arise most frequently now when I am struggling through something as a parent or wife or when I am experiencing a joy with my children that I want to share with her.  There have been countless times when I have wished she was still just a phone call away: when my kids met milestones, when Buddy started kindergarten this week,  when my sweet Bear, who is named for her, lets out a snort when laughing or when being silly (as she used to), and when I could just use a pick me up.  I miss the example she would have been for me as a mother and someday as a grandmother. I miss how she ended every phone conversation with "I love you" then followed with "God Bless". For now I keep her alive through memories and by sharing stories about her with friends,  my kids and now you.

The first time I brought Hunk to meet her, after the formalities of the introduction, the conversation went something like  this:
Grandma: Do you have a grandpa that looks anything like you and is with it?
Hunk (totally caught of guard and laughing): I do!
Grandma: Oh good!

Happy Grandparents Day, All!!!


* Cousins and siblings, if you don't agree with me on this, maybe I really WAS her favorite:)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Houston, We've had COMMUNICATION!!!

I know it is only day 3 of kindergarten but I am sitting here dying for some sort of feedback from the teacher. I mean no news is good news, right? BUT the control freak in me must know how he is doing... but I promised myself I could wait....okay not really....
So, I sent an email to the principal and Mrs. W about a grant Target is doing for field trips.  I didn't really do it so I could open the lines of communication but thought, I got a thank you back to which I replied to Mrs. W about how much Buddy likes kindergarten so far....DRUM ROLL PLEASE....

I got an email back that said:

Buddy is a GREAT kid!!!!

That's right! I am a happy and proud Mama!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Importance of the Teacher

Yesterday as I sent my son off to kindergarten, I had so many mixed emotions but the most profound was the value of teachers. I was a teacher for years before staying home with my children and I loved every moment of it. I  thought it was a pretty important job but never considered it from the point of view of the parent because I wasn't one. As Buddy boarded the school bus with his backpack, embarrassment from my kisses and  a nervous glint in his eye, I realized the true importance of  a teacher from the perspective of the parent.

I know the insides of being a teacher because I did it for so many years. On so many levels it is a thankless job because a room full of 5 year olds doesn't think to tell you, "Great Job, Mrs. M! You are doing an excellent job teaching me to control myself, how to cope with missing my mommy, how to order lunch, where to put my belongings, how to stand in line, how to listen when others are speaking, how to be kind to my classmates, how to share my toys, and of course teaching me to read, do math, respect others, how to sit at story time, how to read a clock, a calendar and a watch and oh great job covering those standards." Instead, the students challenge teachers, bring joy, frustration and exhaustion to them  And then the parents  challenge the teachers, bring joy, frustration and exhaustion. And still the teachers come back day after day and year after year for more (in case you are wondering it isn't for the money).

So, as I put Aidan on that bus, I realized that Mrs. W will be taking over all the things that I am normally responsible for on a given day with my boy. It is her job to teach him, to make him feel loved, to help him get along with others, to inspire him, to make sure he is fed, makes it to the bathroom, washes his hands and learns.

I would love to write a letter to her that says:

Dear Mrs. W:
I feel so thankful that you have taken this enormous responsibility this year. I know we have only met once, but I am putting all my faith in you as you take my boy under your wing and help shape him into the person he will become. Let's make a deal. I may have to bite my tongue but I swear I won't nitpick or make you feel like you are not doing a good job. I am only here to help if you need it and I will consider you the expert about my child's academic progress, I will send things in for parties, help him get his homework done and, of course, advocate for him when necessary. And all I ask is that you not nitpick or make him feel like he is not doing a good job, be there to help when he needs it and help shape him into the amazing person he has the potential to be. Also, give him a little extra loving because he might miss me a bit since he has never been away from me for this long.

Thank you for taking this on. You are doing the most important job out there. And Buddy, Hunk and I truly appreciate your willingness to do this thankless job. You are appreciated.


The greatest gift you can give a teacher is be their partner through support and recognition of all that the job entails.

(After I discovered this poem, I sent it home the first day of school each year...)
I dreamed I saw a studio and watched two sculptors there.
The clay they used was a child's mind
and they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher- the tools she used
were books, music, and art.
The other, a parent, worked with a guiding hand,
and a gentle, loving heart.
Day after day, the teacher toiled with a touch
that was careful, deft, and sure.
While the parent labored by her side
and polished and smoothed it o'er
And when at last, their task was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought
for the things they molded into the child
could neither be sold nor bought.
And each agreed they would have failed
if either had worked alone.
For behind the parent stood the school
and behind the teacher, the home.


Enjoy your school year:)