Saturday, June 16, 2018

yet another one titled - "I'm Alive!"

For a girl who used to obsessively keep hand-written journals, who then diary'd (is that a verb?? just made it one!) at least every couple of days for the past 5+ years on the anonymous interwebz - it has been a LONG TIME.

Part of the reason is because work (where I used to take breaks to read-comment-and-blog) has been insane. The previous owner (yup PREVIOUS) handed the company over to new management on May 1st and I have been working my ass off since then....

In the weeks preceding the hand-off, all of us managers had a bit of a panic and assumed the new company would be centralizing a number of jobs we all currently did, so I applied - to, at the end of the of the day, really only one job.  

A few weeks later, they got back to me and I interviewed - two full rounds, the first with local managers and the second via video conference with the corporate office.  Each round was more successful than the last, and it felt like stars had aligned for the timing of this move.

Except by then I had worked for the new management team for a number of weeks - and liked them, a lot.  Queue the can't-focus-stare-vacantly-at-the-floor distractions and contemplation of what I wanted - part-time so I could be around when Button gets dismissed from kindergarten each day? (because yea - that happened, he starts K this fall!!!!)

Or do I continue in the path of a 'career' mom, working 40+ hours a week with goals of climbing the ladder?

I accepted the job offer from the new company, with great trepidation... only to try and tell new management/give them my notice the very next day, and I say try because then the two big managers took me out to a very exorbitant lunch to discuss things.  The things were - why did I truly want to leave? what did the new company have that they didn't?

I mean - I had been with the old owner for over NINE YEARS. 

So long story mostly just a little less long, negotiations were made with my current company's new management and I decided to stay.  I literally just sent the e-mail to the recruiter announcing that I had to rescind my acceptance of their offer. 

Regardless of if I stayed or went, I think I had decided I was happy working full-time... Button started attending our daycare at 10 months, Ms. Mack at 12-13 weeks... they love it, love the teachers who love them back, love their friends, love the social interactions - and I truly feel like a better mother because I'm able to keep autonomy and have an identity as a working woman.  (All that to copy a quote from a blog I was just catching up on - the author was mentioning a German book she read that compared European versus American ways of raising children, and how Americans are almost apologetic that they sent their children to daycares: Zaske concludes, "If you can find a quality childcare center with a caring, educated staff, your child will have more advantages than a child raised solely at ome does, including new experiences and relationships. You will have partners in raising her, and more time and space to become a better parent yourself. Your child will also be taking a big step toward developing more independence."

Yet I had always felt torn/undecided when, for instance, a co-worker teared up and claimed that "being there to meet her kids as they disembarked from the school bus was the best decision of [her] life" and she basically recommended working PART-TIME so one could be home with their children.

But then my inner pre-children self would pipe up and argue, But what about time to do what you LOVE? to read, to play piano, to write! and I'd doubt that freeing up half of my week by working part-time would truly be because I was picking my kids up at 2pm instead of 5pm and still not doing the things I loved to do...

So the negotiations I made with new management at current company were this: the biggest thing I wanted that I had previously agreed upon with old owner in lieu of a raise (because really, this was worth more than money for me) - by this fall, I will be working twice a week only until 2pm.  Most likely, only on ONE of those days I will go pick up Button from kindergarten and we'll spend time - grocery shopping, doing laundry, cleaning, whatever.  The second day I will most likely leave him with the after-care program (being run by his current daycare, I'm so thrilled!) and I will be able to decide what I'd like to do: write, play piano, or fold laundry while watching TV.

I know - after such a dry spell and now this novella.  Well, it's after midnight on a day that included dentist appointments for both children and hours spent at the local science center (which included snafu after snafu with transportation). We were gone from 9:45am until after 7:30pm, the silver lining to that being both kids crashed hard at bedtime.

Then I had to run to Kmart for the last part of a Father's Day gift (hubby will have to go to Walgreens for a giftcard for his dad tomorrow - most likely as we drive over for a BBQ....) and then finally finished up editing and publishing photos I took on a side job over a month ago.... and so, it's Saturday night, I'm slightly drunk and I still have to wrap gifts - so instead I'm breaking the blog dry spell.

You should hear from me at least once a week now on my self-sanity-preservation day! =)

Monday, April 23, 2018

THAT Medical Question

You know the one - and it usually sneaks out when you least expect it:

"How many pregnancies?"

Most recently, it was during pre-screening checks to donate platelets/plasma/whole blood.  I remembered a different nurse asking me the same question last time I donated, and last time I simply said, "three."  The nurse had written it down and carried on taking vitals, pumping up the blood pressure cuff with two fingers pressed to the inside of my wrist.

This time, just when I was ready to sigh in relief that the response wasn't being expanded upon, the nurse said, "I have three, too - and aren't they a handful?"

 And I guess I could have just smiled and nodded in agreement.  I didn't want to make her feel bad or anything - but who knows, maybe she was a member of The Secret Club too and she would totally understand and we would briefly connect, two strangers with a common bond.

During the millisecond debate going on in my head, she then asked how old they were.

So I said, "Well actually I have two children - they're four-and-a-half and two years old..."

And the nurse immediately understood, and graciously apologized, and then said "I shouldn't have assumed, I'm so sorry..."

And I said, and truly meant, "it's ok... two are still a handful, and yet I'm trying to decide whether to convince my husband that we want a third!"

She laughed, still sorry, but took my lead that it was ok; and three children are WHOA, but aren't they also the funnest ever?

And we were two strangers who connected anyways.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


So it's Lent, and I could totally claim that I gave up blogging for lent and this absence has been totally purposeful.

But I'd be full of shit.

In reality, life right now is:
- arriving at daycare drop off with jelly still smeared ear to ear on Ms. Mack (and the teachers love to play the game Guess What Was For Breakfast!)

- wondering how the house looks like a TORNADO TORE THROUGH literally 15 hours (10 of which the kids spent sleeping!) after the cleaning lady did her thang.  (And by cleaning lady, I am totally not referring to myself.)

- finally figuring out a good schedule for Peapod (we dropped HelloFresh - portions were getting to be NotEnough) and every Thursday/Friday night seems about right for us; I'm (so far) organized with keep (a google app) for meal planning and such.  So far.

- Pinning outfits which is also totally helping when I can barely open my eyes in the morning and have 30 minutes to get dressed and made up before shlepping the kids out the door.

- snowing. Nor'Easter after Nor'Easter, and I think I heard another one coming this Tuesday... -_- spring and summer seem very far off...

and life upcoming is:
- planning to redecorate our master bedroom (currently a dark sage green, which we just left from the previous owners because - "It's ok." as hubby put it. -_-)  I got a king comforter+shams set from a friend, and I plan on painting when he's in Montreal for three days at a bachelor party.  This involves moving away from walls: a king-size bed, a tall armoir, two nightstands, and a large dresser.  I'm still debating who to enlist as child care and who to enlist as painting/moving helpers.  I am insistent on doing this all RealityTVDesignShow style and have it all done and pretty with accent pillows and all when hubby arrives home from the airport Sunday evening.   I may also be heavily drinking.

- writing novels.  I started one last April, 'finished' (draft one) by December 31st as per a personal deadline.  Then four chapters into a revision, decided to start a different project.  And then another project.  I'm more passionate about the second two projects.  But there it is, three different novels, all in progress.

But all of this is fine - we're fine, getting ready for school pictures in a few weeks for which Button will be donning a cap and gown (preschool grad? and kindergarten grad? seems a bit overkill to me... the kid will have graduated like ten times in the next fifteen years)

And each time I think our social calendar has calmed down, boom - we receive three invitations in the mail for birthday parties, bridal showers, and photo-shoot requests - two on the same day.

Some days I want to disappear for a week and see how hubby would handle (he'd totally just take a week's vacation from work cuz there no WAY he could handle all that plus 40-hr work week.) and then, like I text my mom the other night, there's times I wanna be all "LET ME GET MY CAPE! I CAN DO IT AND BE PROUD!"

most times, I land somewhere in between - shrugging when we miss Show'N'Tell for the fourth week in a row (Button assured me it's ok, when kids forget their Show'N'Tell they can just grab something from the classroom) and making sure there's always a frozen lasagna (Stauffers makes the best!) ready to pop in the oven for dinner...

our cleaning lady is moving (back to OH) at the end of the month, Monday is her last day and I have a feeling (without a new one lined up yet) that I won't fully recognize all she did until we don't have her for two weeks.  We'll see...

Right now, the laundry is sitting in a basket in the hallway, but hey - it's clean and folded!  and we're THIS close to getting Button to put his own clothes away.


that's all.  Just an update before this becomes too tedious to publish and it sits in my draft folder for months...

Friday, January 5, 2018

Ms. Maddie Mack Turns Two

A two year old is so many things. 

A tiny discoverer of butterfly wings.

A hugger of teddies, a sweet sleepy head. 

And someone to dream for in bright years ahead.

A lover of snap chat, Minnie, crayon art - 

a little mouse I love with all of my heart.

At two years old, you weight approximately twenty-five pounds (you danced around a bit while standing on the scale, silly girl) and are 33.75" long!
Both of those measurements put you exactly at the 50th percentile!
And according to this nifty little thing on BabyCenter, you'll be like the girls on Daddy's side of the family - Italian and petite!

We're working on potty training (i.e. we have just recently started randomly putting you on the potty - you're more than willing to sit and 'grunt' and pretend to pee, but a few days ago - YOU ACTUALLY PEE-PEED ON THE POTTY!!! and nothing since.)

We had a Minnie-Mouse Bounce-Mouse party, and while you were the ONLY GIRL amongst your boy cousins and brother, you had so much fun!

Speaking of your brother - you two MOSTLY get along (even when he 'hugs' you a.k.a tries to squeeze your head off) and you love to watch him play hockey!

enjoying a bowl of ice/snow together
of course.

You have 16 teeth (been to the dentist already!) and next up are your two-year molars!

You climb - all over me, Daddy, our kitchen chairs, the stair banisters, you name it - you're our feerless little mountain goat
(you actually usually go higher than this...
on the top stair outer stair... 

And just when I think I've learned all the things - 
what it is to have a daughter and the joy that she brings, 
a hug or a grin comes with such sweet surprise - 
that love finds me smiling with tears in my eyes.

You're a splashing spitfire sprite of a thing -
 I can't wait to watch and see you take wing!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jolliest Bunch of Assholes...

It has definitely been a nuthouse this December.

This holiday season is kicking my ass, and I can't help but every day or so, scream - YES! YES, THE MENTAL LOAD!!!!! IT'S TOO MUCH!!!

And then I go drink four glasses of wine and pass out in my clothes.

Not really.

Well, really on the four glasses of wine....

This December has been a trip to Foxwoods to surprise my sister for her 30th birthday, kids birthday parties (4 parties in two weekends), a family going-away party, hockey games, dentist appointments, Button's hockey clinics, work holiday parties (3), Christmas shopping (as if I don't have enough between 19 people in our families, I have THREE secret santas for work), and running to the post office to get packages mailed to Seattle and TX. (Oh yea, and our Christmas cards - which have been sitting addressed and stamped for almost a week - finally got put out in the mail today.)

And let's not forget - Ms. Mack's SECOND BIRTHDAY is tomorrow!  She had her kids party on the 10th, her party with family on the 17th, and her party at daycare today (had to remember the cupcakes!) 

There's the kids' holiday party at daycare on Friday - for which I signed up to bring fruit.  (Store run last night for pre-cut fruit bowl.)

E's work party is tomorrow night, so after work (which I will hopefully leave a little early) I'll haul ass home and we'll celebrate Ms. Mack's actual birthday with the four of us (E will have to stop at the store for a cupcake) and then I'll need to start glamming up to leave when the Uber arrives around 7pm (yes, the company pays for ubers for everyone.. nice perk!)

Let's add on now - during the family party on Sunday, the IL's fed the dogs all kinds of crap table food.  So both dogs shit (TWICE EACH) during the day, so I walk in Monday evening and have to clean that up.
Zoey continues to have diarrhea for the next 36 hours.

This morning E reports it as slightly bloody, and warrants this calls for a vet visit. 

Of course, who is being left to shoulder all that? 


It's no wonder that I've forgotten to try and get a molar extraction done before our main dental insurance expires on 12/31/17.  But guess what - that office is closed on Wednesdays. 

So I'll try to remember to call tomorrow and hope I can beg for an appointment and - YAY - get a tooth pulled before New Year's Eve.

But for now - gotta run, the dog's appointment is in 45 minutes and I need to wrap up stuff at work, because I am so totally taking the rest of the day "to stay home and monitor Zoey and make sure she stays hydrated" (aka finish Christmas shopping for Secret Santas and for stocking stuffers from Santa for the kids, and for E's gift.)

Aren't you jealous?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On the Precipice

Benjamin Button.

A nickname that - I can't even remember when it first emerged - but it fits you.  You're only 4 (and a half!) but we've been told that you speak like a little adult, holding conversations about matters above and beyond (like the flight patterns when we flew to California in July, explaining to Gigi that we were "over HERE (NJ) on the map, we flew to HERE (CA), and you live  HERE (TX)!"  It's because we speak to you like an adult.  When you ask (the millionth question of the day) why, say - plants need good dirt and sunshine to grow, we give you an elementary explanation of photosynthesis.

I mean - the other night at dinner, you asked what the difference was between an illustrator and an author, both words perfectly pronounced!





You're tenacious in your pursuit of knowledge, and some days I can see your future so clearly.

As you build and create with blocks and legos, telling me at daycare pickup that "this is a crane, and it carries this car over here, and when the car is released (yes, "RELEASED") it will roll over this bridge, here," and I just know that you're going to be an engineer.

Sometimes your affinity for "cutting" makes me think you'll be a surgeon.  (And by cutting - I mean scissors. and ANY PAPER you can get your hands on.... We have to watch where we leave important mail around the house!)
THRILLED being able to wield a (little) pumpkin saw!

But then I think you're going to be a rockstar or musician, when you jam and rock out in the car (EVERY TIME requesting "Jon Jovi" and Creedance) and singing into the late hour while in bed - anything from Justin Timberlake's Trolls hit to that catchy tune that Dwayne Johnson, demi god from Moana, belts out. (Oh yea? It's stuck in your head now? You're welcome  ;) )

Or then I know for sure, you're going to be a scientist who travels the world researching the earth's crust and all its volcanoes (because that's one of your favorite themes for questions lately.... "Is there a volcano that just ALWAYS keeps blowing up?"   .... "What happens if every volcano blows up at the same time?"   ....   "Did you know Mommy that way way way down, there's LAVA and it comes up and blows out of volcanoes?!")

Maybe - maybe one day, we'll be going to one of your NHL hockey games at Madison Square Garden!  
Because let's be honest - this will be the LAST TIME you wear a NJ Devils Jersey...
Let's Go Rangers!!!

But really, you're going to be in politics.  You've been dubbed The Mayor ever since pre-school last year at daycare, and everyone knows your name, loves you and thinks you're the funniest and funnest kid ever.

They must not have seen your tantrum this morning.... which then leads me to believe you're going to be a lawyer.  You like to rebuttal when Daddy or I give you deals or negotiations - what pants you have to wear to daycare (not sleep-pajama pants) or how much more dinner you need to eat before dessert. Your solution? "Mommy - how about I eat just one bite of THIS BREAD, and then I can have a GOOD dessert, like a yogurt pop."
just one more mango, mooooom!!

You are definitely a funny kid, and I do my best to jot down the things that make your Daddy and I just double over in laughter.  Last week when Grandma was visiting, she came downstairs after checking on you and Ms. Mack (who was crying) at bedtime.  You said to her, rolling her eyes at your sister, "Grandma. Can you imagine having to listen to this all night??"

Holy hell, child, you can test my patience as well.  But if you didn't, then you wouldn't be your mother's son - stubborn AS ALL HECK!  That stubbornness will be both detrimental and beneficial for you in life (trust me, I can attest) - as long as you know when to curb it and when to let loose, it should serve you well.

Same for those mischievous grins, you little devil - they'll probably get you out of so much future trouble.

This is your last year before kindergarten, before "Big Kid School." (During one recent ride as we took a friend, 'Tommy,' along with us to daycare, your enthusiasm for beginning your academic career was, well:
Tommy: "There's the big school!"
Button: "no. no - that's the school for big KIDS. And after that school, we go to HI-EEE SCHOOOL! and after that, we go to college! and THEN we go to work, and we make a lot of money, and we can buy whatever we want!"

(But first. You still need a few more naps!)

Next September won't be as drastic a change as for some kids (and parents), since you've been going to all-day daycare for almost four years, but it feels to me like a precipice - the real beginning of who you will become.

And I cannot wait to see!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What's In My Bag??

Yea, just like your favorite magazine's peek into celebrity purses...

What's in MY bag right now?!

(I mean, I laughed a few years ago that you could tell my purse belonged to a woman pregnant with number TWO: kid toys and cars along with extra clean underwear! lol)

I spy..... a rogue diaper and wipes
You know... in case you ever get stuck out somewhere and the littlest one shits herself??

I also spy.... 
a random tupperware bowl (no top!) and a crab bath squeezer.
pretty self-explanatory, no??

I spy...wipes sponsored by Saturday's grocery-store-food-sample-givers. 
mmmm..... sausage wipes...
We also want to apologize to Premio, we basically negated any profit you may have made by eating or spilling every single one of your sample cups of sweet&spicy and fetaMushroom sausage...

I spy.... 
breakfast (and raisins which stay in the purse as emergency stash against low-blood-sugar and oops-we were out shopping too long and now it's lunchtime and everyone's starving...)
and the free samples we get from the pediatrician's office that I now use as hand cream...

Mix in some half-used crumpled tissues, a random lip gloss (that I've never used), an old check stub or three... and of course my electronic extensions - cell phone and nook... 

and that's what's in my bag.