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!



"HEY MOM!  HOW COME BIRDS CAN
LIVE OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN?"


"HEY MOM!  WHY DO CARS NEED GAS
TO GO?"


HEY MOM!  WHAT'S A REFLECTION?"




"HEY MOM!   WHAT'S THE
SQUARE ROOT OF 64??"







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. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Love. No Matter What

so yesterday, I walked into Button's room at daycare to see him sitting next to one of the teachers - and not in a "Teacher's Pet - I'm so good" kind of way, more like, "I'm being punished, pout pout."

And when I shot a questioning look to the teacher, she tells me, "we're having a little bit of 'sad time' right now, because he hit Mya on the head with a book..."

so I squatted down in front of him, of course conscious of trying not to undermine the discipline the teacher was in the midst of administering, and said, "Button - did you tell her you were sorry?"

And he whispered, no, so I said, "ok why don't you go apologize?" and when he hesitated, I offered to go with him - strength in numbers.

But on the stroll to the "library station" (four feet away) he broke down into tears, eventually stuttering out an apology to Mya (who said, "It's ok [Button] - it didn't even hurt!")

And for some reason, I found tears threatening to pool in my eyes at Button's angst, and had to clear my throat before speaking again to him or the teacher. 

Then I realized, and said to one teacher as Button was off getting his coat from his cook, 'I think Button was embarrassed/ashamed that I was witness to him misbehaving!'


And I flashed on those articles I've read over the past few years - stories of teenage sons/daughters out partying, but brave enough to call home for a safe ride when they knew things were getting out of control, secure in their parents' love, no matter what.

And on the drive home, I was all - OMG I CAN'T WAIT TO DO THIS! YES, A PARENTING MOMENT THAT I TOTALLY FEEL PREPARED FOR AND READY TO KNOCK OUT OF THE PARK! (you take 'em where you can get 'em!)


So we got home, unpacked, took the dogs out, etc and once settled in I squatted down to his level and said, "Button - I don't like that you hit Mya with the book, and I'm upset that you didn't apologize sooner, but I still love you.  No matter what you do or say, even if I don't like what you've done or said - I will always love you."

And he said, "Ok, Mom," and gave me a hug. And then when E got home from work, Button decided to tell his dad about what happened, secure in his parents' love that while there may be times he upsets or disappoints us, we will always love him.

No matter what.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

RIGHT NOW: halfway thru November

Reading:  A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart. It was a free download and/or something suggested by BookBub.  It's ok, I just refuse to ever really give up on books. I've only done that once (mmmmmaybe twice). I'm only 40 pages from finishing this one now, then on to better books! (I've also SMASHED my GoodReads 2017 Reading Challenge of 50 books - about to finish book number 77!)

Watching: Outlander (which is about to be next on my Reading list... season three is on Starz now, I've read through book 5 - but I may start to go back and re-read... these are 1,000-page sagas that require re-reading once or twice ;)
Also, when I can get to my DVR : This Is Us (I haven't started on the current season...), Outdaughtered, and Rattled

Listening: soundtrack to La La Land... I also sing The Audition to Ms. Mack at bedtime...

Drinking: Coffee

Eating: (finished my breakfast - dunkin' sandwich - 20/30 minutes ago... snack pack - granola, cheese and apples - in about 30 minutes...)

Wearing: my can't-find-anything-to-wear go-to work uniform: skinny slacks (burgundy), collared shirt (floral) underneath a V-neck sweater (cream) and flats (brown Tory Burch)

Loving: APPLE CIDER. I had three mugs on Sunday...

Anticipating: a slew of deadlines at the end of this month at work...

Following: a first-stranger-now-friend's secondary infertility journey. She is in the midst of her first round of IVF - had 8 eggs retrieved Saturday, embabies (4!) are on day 4 and 'look great' so far!

Wondering: what the next year or so holds - E finally made up his mind (re: expansion vs move) and it looks like we'll be moving. so the search has very sloooowly started.
He'd rather spend weeks/months/years researching every little facet, finding THE PERFECT house in THE PERFECT town with THE PERFECT schools - all for THE PERFECT price. (does that exist?!?!)
and I am feeling in a little bit more of a rush - Ms. Mack and Button still share a room, and Button is very close to needing a twin (he's still in a toddler bed!) and it will get pretty crowded in there, and by the time next summer rolls around - I'd LOVE to have the backyard/land to let the kids go play in the backyard while I watch them from the kitchen and cook dinner...

Trying: to find/maintain balance... I have so many balls up in the air (plates spinning? insert your favorite euphemism here...) and I keep adding more... my book I've been writing (gave myself a 12/31/17 deadline!) and the clothes I've bought patterns for to sew (kids' christmas PJs, dress and cardigan for myself) and crochet projects (like LittleHatsBigHearts - if you crochet or knit, check it out!) and the singing mom group, and the online clothing boutique, and Thanksgiving is coming - my sister is coming down with her girls - can I get off work? And then the week after is her 30th birthday and so my mom is flying up and we'll drive to Massachusetts for the weekend...
And the week AFTER that is Ms. Mack's 2nd birthday party, must buy Minnie Mouse theme things...
yea, so.
balance...

Worrying:  about the violence and hatred in the world, and hearing of another shooting, and being out in public places and worrying at every one of them (movie theaters, places of worship, restaurants, elementary schools) about how I would escape or hide, how I would grab my kids, which way I would go, and evaluating people, judging their 'dangerousness' based on their looks...

Planning:  the Social  part of my balancing - I need this weight on my scales: a play date this Saturday, a Friendsgiving next Wednesday night, a visit from my sister and nieces, a visit and birthday celebration with my mom and sister

Contemplating: a job change... the solvency of my current job is a scary prospect, and has been for some time... I'm pretty 'high up' and would (theoretically) be one of the last ones out the door if the shit hit the fan, but it's getting cumbersome and tiring to be constantly worrying about if the next payroll or mortgage payment is covered.
2018 may hold a LOT of change for me!



Monday, November 6, 2017

As I Say, Not As I Do...

quickly, before I launch a fun "Right Now" episode - apparently now E is more set on moving than expanding our current house.

(looooong story shorter: we moved into town knowing the high school was NOT GREAT, but figured it was down the road / the town would succeed in pulling out of the NotGreatRegional high school / we weren't even PG yet, we'd worry about it later! 
But then we fell more in love with our street - a dead-end off of a dead-end! - and the neighbors, and the town, and the daycare (which is so conveniently in town!)
So then it was, ok if we can solve the high school issue - private? hope to send out of district? - then let's just expand these levels in this way, it'll add 2 bedrooms and a larger kitchen! DONE!)

But now, apparently E is leaning back solidly toward just moving... we're so envious of our friends with a huge FLAT backyard (I know, we redid part of our backyard a few years ago... but still...) and that's probably the only thing we can't really change about our house - the back is only walk-out-accessible from the basement... 

(oh wow, this is totally not quick.... anyways)
so I pulled up a house on Zillow yesterday, joking, "Hunnie I FOUND THE ONE!" for comparable price, given the area. (but it was pretty nice!)
and the first two things E says when I show him:
   1. "man, look - this kitchen has even less counter space than we do now..." (but it had an island!)
   2. "pretty small backyard" (not really, it's bigger than the section of yard we're using now!)

ANYWAYS - not that they may not have been true, but I simply said - "well how come the first things you say to a house have to be negative?"

and then he DRAMATICALLY shut my phone off (where he was looking at pictures of the house) and said, "oh god - no, we will NOT BE ABLE TO DO THIS (house hunt) if you're like THAT!"



like what?! DAFUQ?! I asked simply why he had all negative things to say, and then he flipped out - AND THEN CALLED ME IRRATIONAL/EMOTIONAL.

yea, no - eff that.   And what bugged me most about it - if the situation were reverse (if E had found a  house, and I picked it apart first thing) he would have said the same thing/had the same reaction... but I AM 'THE EMOTIONAL ONE.'


(so yesterday I skipped Button's hockey sesh and went to Joann Fabrics, got fabric to make myself a cardigan, the kids Xmas PJs, and some slouchy beanies. oh yea, I started sewing! LOL)



ANYWAYS. (Maybe I'll post the RightNow tomorrow..... this got out of hand.... lol)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Getting loaded

and not the good-at-the-time-SO-BAD-IN-THE-MORNING kind of Saturday-night-loaded.

It's the mental load, and it's more precarious than


I read this article recently, titled The Mental Workload of a Mother and I can't help but think of it nearly every morning as I go through the load:

Ok, this project at work is due next Tuesday, which is also when the tax returns need to be filed with the State and Federal agencies.  
And the big annual cost report needs to be turned in pretty soon, crap - gotta ask coworker for the bad debt log...

Oh, and this Thursday is the first meeting of that singing group (of moms that miss music and singing) that I created, so I need to print sheet music, probably get it to them before Thursday, and get some wine and snacks....

And this Saturday is that Trunk-or-Treat with cousins, and then afterwards - was E doing his (like 4th) annual Gore-Fest with the guys? (and I wonder what movie(s) will top last year's choice - The Human Centipede... blech) And are we (me and kids) sleeping at cousin's house? 

I still need to go through all of the photos from the baby shower I photographed last Sunday... I already pared 985 pictures down to 181, but now it's time to cut more and lay out the book the customer wants...

And shit, speaking of the Trunk-or-Treat on Saturday, I need to finish the kids' costumes... Amazon prime is the key, but it's getting close to even the 2-day shipping cutoff! and I still need to actually ASSEMBLE / sew Button's costume....

and I have to remember I booked a mini-photo-session for family pictures on November 5th... after Button's ice hockey clinic that morning at 9:45, we'll have to be sure to get home and get Ms. Mack down for a nap so everyone's smiling later for the camera.... and outfits?!?!?

and I just went through those bins of 2T girl clothes, must remember there were 2 or 3 GREAT christmas dresses, so DO NOT BUY ANY MORE! 

and I need to figure out holiday pictures of the kids since I'll be doing them myself, and GOOD GOD it's November next Wednesday, so I need to GET ON THAT before I can order christmas cards and get them mailed out before New Year's Day, because I will blink and it will be 2018...

oh and my sister's 30th birthday! Mom is flying in from TX and we were going to drive up (to MA) and surprise her the first weekend in December! Except now she's kicked out her boyfriend (good news) but he was our contact for the surprise, so now what do I do??





All of that in my brain, but if I ask E when his next hockey game is, I get a blank stare, and a response of "I'm not sure, I'll have to check the schedule..."



Friday, October 20, 2017

recharging? or depleting?

an extroverted introvert?

or an introverted extrovert?


(whuck!?)



There are some nights I want to just cuddle up on the couch with the latest episode of Rattled, my most recent crochet project and a glass of Rose (or honey whiskey, as fall is supposedly around the corner...)

And then there are some nights that I just want to put on a pair of heels and go out with the girls and hold slender-stemmed martini glasses.

And usually those days and feelings don't cross - like, if I have dinner plans that night I don't feel pulled to sweats and messy hair. 


Tonight I have dinner plans with the girls, and I've spent the last three work days catching up (still not done) after a nice stretch in Texas (lakeside! drankin' berrrr and hanging with my family!) and this morning, the second morning in a row I felt the sore throat and aches, I wasn't sure I was up to a girls' night.


But sometimes I need charging - and while occasionally that charging is being alone (LOVE the nights E goes to play hockey. ha!) doing whatever I want (ok, mixed in with some laundry and organizing) sometimes I need a social charge.

You'd think I got enough of that with family in Texas - and maybe I did.

But I know this - I've never gone to a girls' night and then regretted it afterwards! (Only regretted the next morning how much we drank!)



Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I'm Learning "I'm Sorry..."

I'm learning (veeeeeh-ry slowly...) to say I'm sorry - and because it's easier (than with my husband - maybe I'll grow to that in a few MORE YEARS), I've started with my four-year-old.

I mean, how many times a week do I try to instill manners and kindness?

"What do you say?? (thank you)"

"I just WATCHED you smack your sister on the head! Tell her you're sorry!"

"I know it was an accident you spilled your entire cup of milk... just say, sorry mom and help me clean it up..."



Yet yesterday morning, when it was one of those days - you know, the kind where at daycare drop off the kids possibly still have puffy eyes from their crying jags because they didn't want that jacket, and you might have puffy eyes because you couldn't find your car keys (or the spare car keys...) and you just roll your eyes at the other moms and say, "we're having a rough morning..." and the other moms chuckle because they've been there, we've all been there - the kids can be assholes.



Except I was the asshole yesterday.

 Probably thanks to a weekend that burned too much of a battery that didn't get enough of a recharge Sunday night - I was RAGEY.

Didn't care that Button didn't want that red jacket hanging on the rack, he wanted the other red jacket (WHICH WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND).

Didn't care that Ms. Mack can't physically put her own socks on yet, still got pissed that I had to do it for them both.

Didn't care that it wasn't anyone's fault but MINE that I couldn't find my car keys, still let out a banshee wail while upstairs... came down the stairs to two silent kids just staring at me...

I was a bit hoarse by the time I told Button to just PUT ON THAT JACKET and if the RIGHT red jacket was in my car, we'd switch before getting to daycare. (Also my allergies were making me sneeze ten times a minute and my eyes itch, and I was trying so hard not to rub off/smear eye makeup before work... so I was also hoarse from that.   But also. because I yelled.)


And we rode silently to daycare (for all of the 90 seconds it takes).

And as I was unstrapping Button from his car seat, I slowed down from my MondayMorningHustle leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on his head, told him I loved him, and then gulped.


"I'm sorry I yelled today..."



He nodded and said, "ok, Mom."


And that was it.

I held his hand and carried Ms. Mack and we made our way into daycare, where I didn't roll my eyes at the latest toddler hysterics or little kid antics.





Yesterday was also mine and hubby's 7th wedding anniversary... Maybe there'll be growth for me and I'll learn the I'm Sorry with him in the next seven years.........

Friday, September 29, 2017

I'll just do it all....

So when I have work, and hubby has work, I bring the kids to daycare.
(When I have work, I need to leave the house by 8:35 to drop kids at daycare and be at work by 9am. Hubby has to leave house by approx 7:12am to get to work by 9:30...)
Hubby catches a train (thanks to a recent move to Jersey City for his job. UGH) so he is more tied to a time table than I am.
(sign one that his 'on-time-ness' is more important than me being on time for MY job... -_- )



So when I am off of work (whether a very rare sick day, or playing hookie, or scheduled for xyz appointment) and hubby has work, I bring the kids to daycare.

Which entails getting myself up and presentably dressed even if I didn't have any obligations until later in the day...




So, on days like today - when I have work, and hubby is off (or 'working from home' which means he sits around and has coffee and breakfast and finally signs onto his computer a little after 9:30...) I still bring the kids to daycare.



In the past I've thought, Am I just crazy for not attempting to ask if he would mind bringing the kids - especially on days when we're running late and him bringing the kids means I can get to work ON TIME?!

Well I tried that this morning... hubby works from home today, didn't set an alarm. I must have missed mine, because I wake to hubby telling me, "It's eight-o-clock...." 
SHIT!

So then I mentioned, would he be able to bring Ms. Mack to daycare? (Button spent last night at Nana's house).

he hesitated before finally saying, I guess.

You guess?



I said, "well either that or get her ready and fed in the next TEN MINUTES that I need to leave!






He apparently would rather get her dressed (except he sat so long staring at little girl clothes, apparently befuddled. I mean - PANTS! SHIRT! SHOES AND SOCKS! that I finally had to step in and grab stuff.....) and then pack a breakfast (which I still had to adjust...) and then I was still walking out of the house five minutes late.....






SIGH.


TGIF

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I'm OLD SCHOOL?!

I went to play Spotify in the car yesterday on the way home from work...

like, I wanted the soundtracks to Little Mermaid, and Lion King, and Aladdin... going Nostalgic on Monday!



But then I searched for "Old School Disney" and do you know what I found?

playlists with HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and CAMP ROCK...


but.

I just looked up when HSM came out.... ELEVEN YEARS AGO, you guys...

I guess if I wanted the soundtracks to movies that came out over twenty years ago, I should just accept it and look for:

ANCIENT DISNEY....

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Reasons why I "Selfie"

Yes, I just made "Selfie" a verb...


I was recently pouring through the gazillion pictures I have of Ms. Mack and I (from snapchat, mostly... I mean, when she sees my SIL - the QUEEN of shapchat - Ms. Mack says, "Titi - sno-Chot!")

My husband has made fun of me before, and voices his disgust (yes, it's that strong) that his daughter already has a "selfie complex."   ...  -_-

But - the funny thing is, I don't really post them anywhere!! They're not plastered all over FBook, or even Insta - I maybe post stuff like, once every 8-9 days!

So why take all those photos and selfies (pictures AND videos) if not to SHOW OFF TO THE WORLD?!  (/endSarcasm)


There's some scientific thing going on with our brains that prevents us from remembering every.thing.
According to this site, 'memory is a "lossy" form (think jpeg) where certain features we believe are key are noted, and details are filled in as needed...'

In other words, a certain event (say, the pediatric orthopedic appointment when Ms. Mack got her permanent cast put on after BREAKING HER ARM FRIDAY NIGHT) gets logged with the most important details: the fact that we picked a pink cast with purple glitter, and the fact that yes, both the radius and the ulna were broken, and despite that - the fact that the cast only needed to stay on for 2.5 weeks (was he sure?! can we leave it on for an extra week just to be safe?!)

The rest of the details, upon trying to recall the day in five or ten years, would be just filled in at the moment - maybe we'd 'remember' that E played with a MinnieMouse doll to keep Ms. Mack entertained (when it was in fact an Elmo doll) or we'd 'remember' that we had to wait 30 minutes in the waiting room (when really it was over 45 minutes... partly our fault because we showed up 20 minutes early to the appointment....)

So that's Reason #1 for the pictures (selfies, or otherwise)
I mean, without these important photos, we might have eventually 'remembered' that we got a PURPLE cast with PINK glitter...
(good thing we got that straightened out for memory's sake...)



The scientific community also believes it's just basically damn near IMPOSSIBLE for a brain to remember evertyhing... the Quora site again states: If we did remember everything, we would likely drown in a sea of detail and be less effective.
Also (and Reason #2) sometimes the videos or pictures from a certain moment bring you so fully back to the emotions of that second...
hello, sweet napping baby-even-though-you're-starting-toddler-room-at-daycare-WAAAAAAH!

or the feelings you had during those few minutes:
fun park day, Button learned the game of TAG!

And this way with these memories recorded, you don't need your brain to remember on its own the small details that would overflow and overwhelm your system - you just gaze at those pictures, or watch that video (over and over and over and over....)

(well, maybe not that video you made with Mom and Grandma while in the backseat of a van, where - ahem - there may have been mobile-drinking, which definitely led to crazy cranking of volume to rock out to Jimmy Buffet's Fruitcakes in preparation for a talent show at the family reunion in Southern California... AHEM)




In other words, I take too many pictures to ever catch up and post here, so you're welcome for not inundating you with them; and in other news - Ms. Mack broke her arm Friday night, which E actually photographically documented because, alas - I was at home with Button while E and MIL took Ms. Mack to the urgent care clinic where they splinted her arm until her pediatric orthopedist appointment that we had Monday where the pink glitter cast made its debut (THAT appointment has absolutely zero pictures. IRONY!)



 (also. in more absolutely random news, I just noticed my work computer tower still had the protective plastic layer... love when that happens, you peel it off and it's BRAND NEW AGAIN!)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Kate&Coterie

so.... I've done it again....

Another idea, another project, but a new business!!!



It all started with LuLa(roe!) and eventually, it just got overpriced - $35 for a plain tunic top??


So - a new boutique was created:



Business page HERE: https://www.facebook.com/KateAndCoterie/

Facebook group HERE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KateAndCoterie/



I would love if you joined our group and shared with your friends!!


(giveaway going on!)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Here it comes.... VOMIT OF THE BRAIN!

Monday was my birthday...

I took Tuesday off, got my hair cut (first in 9 months) and colored (first in 5+ years...) I really appreciate that I don't have any grays (YET) to worry about, but sometimes a gal just needs some freshening up... I'm now a california bleach-blond surfer-girl.

Also.

I've gone "over to the dark side," as my co-worker puts it: I got Botox.

Those damn 11's...

another day or two until the effects will be visible, and meanwhile I'm just scrunching up and frowning into the mirror to check for results...



The summer's been busy, and I'm usually glad I just work year-round because then I don't have any back-to-work-panic come now (August); and I had two week-long vacations, but I could have used some more days off!

I did get an overnight trip in with some mom friends - we went down the shore on a gorgeous Saturday, got to beach it (uninterrupted - no "you need more sunblock, come here! Hey, STOP eating sand! Don't go running off to the water!!! DON'T EAT THAT CIGARETTE BUTT!!!")
Just nice calm beach reading and chatting.  And then we were basically too tired to party - a late dinner out on the boardwalk, a noble attempt at barhopping (one bar. one drink each.) and we headed back to the house for some mom-fun: vaping and coloring (LMAO)


We spent a Saturday with the family at a college graduation party up in Connecticut (kids did great on the 2-hour carride!)

We BBQ'd at the in-laws for Father's Day:


Ms. Mack had her 18-month appointment (is it awful? I don't remember her measurements... this is what I get for blogging about it so late....maybe 28lbs? maybe? but 50th for weight, and 50th for height! perfect girl!)


My (adopted) SIL graduated high-school (we only found out she'd be walking like, two days before ceremonies!! ugh)
(bee-tee-dubs: that jumper? was spotted with sweat so bad.... it was so warm that day... ugh)


We made it down the shore (finally!) as a family for the first time this summer:



I grew basil - quite successfully, in fact. (and from seed! ok - I'll admit, E did the in-doors germinating...)
My goal for my basil (and spearmint!) was to make delicious watermelon-basil and strawberry drinks like I've seen and tried from fancy drink menus.
My watermlon-basil aperitif was definitely refreshing and delish!



We spent a day at a lake, watching dark clouds get closer and closer until they broken open right over us, then quickly blew back out leaving sun for 10-15 minutes before returning with a vengeance, driving us to the movie theaters for the rest of the day...



which is when Button had his FIRST EVER MOVIE THEATER EXPERIENCE! (I mean, by default, Ms. Mack had hers too, but it's more exciting for Button - he was all, "I want to buy the ticket! I want to hand the ticket to the guy! I want to get popcorn!")
We saw Despicable Me 3 - he loved it, she only moved into my lap with 30 minutes left where she played with toys and ate graham crackers.
SUCCESS!



We rounded out the first half of July with watermelon and waterplay on warm sunny days:

Second Session:




And of course, let's not forget the day I had work, E was off, and the daycare was closed. So I get home, we're doing dinner (grilling burgers) and while Ms. is in my lap, I start noticing SHIT (figuratively) IN HER HAIR... I ask E - "what do you guys do today?!" and he's all, shrug - "McDonald's, the play place, a store..."


of course I'm all, "It's LICE!! WHAT DO WE DO?! WE HAVE TO FLEA-BOMB THE ENTIRE HOUSE!! BLEACH EVERYTHING!!!!!" and even started making rounds, stripping both kids' beds of sheets and their million stuffed animals, grabbing hats they'd worn that day, ANY AND ALL CLOTHING that was sitting out in their room!

And then E says - "OH! I forgot!! We went to the lake today.... and Button was throwing dirt at Ms. Mack...."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Family

so this Mother's Day, after hearing me speak about finding this awesome FamilySearch.org website and tracking back GENERATIONS upon GENERATIONS to finally a birth (in the 1700's!) in somewhere other than the United States (Britain!)

Well - he thought he'd do a great gift-giving job and spend close to $70 on a kit from 23AndMe (can you hear my sarcasm?) because the "DNA testing" revealed basically what I found for free on this FamilySearch website: that I'm 58.8% British/Irish, 10% Scandanavian, and the rest a general mix of European....


ANYWAYS.

So I've been working more on entering family tree information onto FamilySearch.org (after our great family reunion in California - 340+ people on the tree, more than HALF who showed up for the three-day get-together!)



I've been working off of a .pdf format of that GIANT family tree for entering information, and a little more than halfway through, wondered/realized - I hadn't seen any stillbirths or miscarriages marked - did family members just brush them aside and ignore them for the family tree?

As I wondered, I came across the first one:
             [JOHN JACOB JINGLEHEIM.] was born on 13 Oct 2001 in San Antonio, TX. He died on 13 Oct 2001 in San Antonio, TX.

That family's next baby? A little girl named [FirstName] FAITH [LastName], and was born 27 Aug 2002 - barely 10 months after their first baby boy...



Just two families later (out of 100's) - again a first born son:
        [JackSprat] was born on 11 Apr 2003 in Washington, D.C. He died on 04 May 2003.
Less than a month old... But another boy, and a girl that followed in 2 year increments..


AGAIN - just two or three families later:
      [JohnSmith] was born on 04 Aug 2002 in Reno, Nevada. He died on 04 Aug 2002.
And the parents - married in 2000, baby born - and died - in 2002, divorced by 2004...



Just numbers, dates and names - yet so much story in the facts....

I still am moved every time I read the little blurb anchored on the left side of this page, and the last family (I still have 3 more pages of the family tree....) made me think of it...
         Married: April 2000
         Baby Born, and Died: Aug 2002
         Love Story Ends:  Dec 2004


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Learning to Give...

tomorrow is E's birthday...

I've fallen down on gift-buying, what with traveling to California (what, I forgot to tell you went there for a week?!) and then Button's birthday party (go Amazon prime and photoshop at 11pm the night before the party...and wait - HE'S FOUR YEARS OLD?!) and all of a sudden it's the day before E's birthday, but he already opened gifts from his family the night after Button's party, so it'll just be us and the kids tonight - low-key dinner at the house and some gift opening.


So while I've horribly slacked (I only have one cool gadget thingy I happened to see while in Staples last week buying a computer monitor for work...) Button is on top of it all (with influence/help from Mom).


We went to the $1 store this past weekend with some money and a mission:

5 items.

5 dollars.

Button gets to pick whatever he wants to get for Daddy's birthday.


So we start down the first aisle - and the excitement drove him to grab one of the first things he saw -
"Oooooo how about soap for Daddy?"

(Soap = V05 conditioner. LMAO)

"Oh, look - VANILLA soap for Daddy!"

I said, "Are you sure that's what you want to get Daddy?" while trying not to crack up.

He confirmed it, and I tried to keep him from grabbing four more things, rapid-fire - pushing him through to the next aisles. (You're welcome E - you won't be getting a dish sponge or a stack of paper plates!)

So in addition to the cool gadget thingy I got him, E will be opening tonight:

  1. a bottle of V05 coconut hair conditioner
  2. a plastic dart board game
  3. a DOG BRUSH ("so he can brush his Rocco-dog!")
  4. a giant plastic magnet (but it really works!)
  5. and a glow TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle necklace.

With that loot, I'm not even sure we need a cake!

Monday, June 26, 2017

a Peek of Poconos...

snazzy cute alliterate titles, right? I spent all morning on it.

not really...

Our weekend in the Poconos:

Friday morning (after the crazy trip back from the British Virgin Islands) we packed up and headed to the Poconos for our vrbo/home-away-from-home...

We spent the first evening "playing pool" and trying to break the window air units in each of their rooms; we also had a heck of a time trying to keep Ms. Mack off the stairs... (she also bonked her head - HARD - no less than four times.......)
((Also. Remember, at this point E and I are running on whatever sleep we grabbed while at WestPalmBeach airport... so he let Button sucker him into telling like, a bunch of stories at bedtime. Well guess who fell asleep for two hours on the other twin bed in the room.... LOL - man was that house quiet!))

A slow start to Saturday, but we eventually headed twenty minutes away to a cute petting zoo (slash "Country's largest General Store" - interesting market place with EVERYTHING you might want to buy, including feeder mice for your pet snake.... eek!)

We renamed the "playground" the Land of Lost Toys (after deciding "Broke-Down-Toys" wasn't quite as appealing) - but really, there was a bunch of broken toys (slides without stairs, play houses with no doors or handles or roofs... the kids still loved it! LOL)

Button kept trying to stick his fingers through the metal fence... Mr. "CackCack" was NOT so friendly...

We got back to the house in time for Ms. Mack's nap, a little bit of hottub time, and then we headed out to a little nearby indoor water park at a local hotel. Button HAD SO MUCH FUN and I wish I got pictures, but decided it was safest to leave my phone with everything else in the lockers...

We ducked into a restaurant for dinner - where the wait for a table took about fifteen minutes (the adults were kept quiet with drinks from the bar), then it took another fifteen minutes (plus a word to the manager!) before we got a waitress (who ended up being fabulous), and THEN the wait for the food...

But seriously - best behaved kids ever...

The next day, we spent a few minutes at the "neighborhood park" (it was a bit too chilly for any lake/beach time), stopped for pizza on the way out of town, and then (FINALLY) headed back to our own home...

HOME.

Sweet.

HOME.

(also. lots of laundry...)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hashtag Totally Turks!

photo dump (with some stories) from our Turks & Caicos trip!
(stories for fond re-living of memories while seated at work in the middle of winter! lol)

After a van ride from the airport (with a young Canadian couple and their two children (both under 2yo!) which reminded us, yes we missed our kids - but also YES, we were glad we came alone!!! The parents were all, did we leave Bopster on the airplane?? oh my gosh, Nicki will never go to sleep without him!) we arrived at the resort (Beaches in Turks & Caicos) and were greeted with cold wash clothes and drinks!
Checked out our fabulous suite (FULLY stocked bar, all included!) and hit the pool!

(Dinner that night was sushi appetizers at Soy followed by seafood at Schooners.
I think this was the night we changed into our suits and checked out the "adults only" hottub (not that scandalous. except there were two YOUNG (i.e. early college?!) couples there (the girls were pretty wasted) and E said I was c*ckblocking when I insisted we should be able to get in hottub too, but then the two couples got out, sat on lounge chairs nearby where the girls literally preceded to fall asleep covered in towels... they probably thanked me later/in the morning for putting a pause on things before they did something they regretted! (LOL


The second day (first morning) we made fresh coffee right in our room, grabbed breakfast (and mimosas) at Schooner's and enjoyed the beautiful beach.

We enjoyed a snorkeling excursion (just a minute or two boat ride from the beach to some reefs) ((I sunburned my tush, it being up in the air as I was face down in the water. lmao)) and relaxed a bit afterwards before dinner that night: Hibachi (and lots of sake) at Kimono's

After dinner, we went to Cricketer's- an "English pub" to watch their 'Cabaret show' (a few men and women lip-syncing and dancing to tunes like All That Jazz from the musical Chicago and "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi" in the style of Lil Kim, Pink, Missy Elliot (I think?) and Maya (or some similar posse of 2000's power girls!)
The next day, after breakfast (at the buffet Reflections) we parked ourselves poolside for the long haul. At one point, we paused and went to Barefoot on the Beach literally right next to the pool for some lunch before E went snorkeling, and I continued to read poolside. (After he snorkeled, he had to return to the resort doc because he'd had a weird rash we thought was poison ivy running in a single streak down his face, but then we weren't sure if it was shingles, and the resort doc couldn't tell either so just put E on an anti-viral anyways as well as hydro-cortisone cream...) 
Then E went back to the room and I snorkeled (found some cool little shells to bring back to the kids) and then we returned to the room to get ready for our last night on the island...

(earlier in the day, while in that pool pictured in the middle directly above, we'd met a family from Manchester (literally one day after the recent attack at the concert there))
We enjoyed our third and last night, starting with sushi (and saki) at Soy, dinner at the rooftop Skye and dessert (tiramisu, which we got ONE MINUTE before the restaurant closed) from Mario's which we got to go and ate poolside under one of the pergolas/cabanas.

The fourth day, and third morning, we got breakfast at a little "Parisian cafe" before cramming in a bit more sun-time.  The resort had a great 'departure lounge' where we were able to shower up and hang out before catching the shuttle back to the airport (since we'd already checked out of our room at 11am)

A three-hour layover in Ft. Lauderdale nearly doubled when we learned (before even deplaning after our first leg) that our connecting flight into Newark had been delayed... only to be later cancelled 45 minutes before scheduled departure...
40-50 minutes in line, we kept hearing from other passengers that next flights to Newark were SATURDAY - 36 HOURS FROM THEN! so E got on the phone with another airline, booked a flight at 6am from a nearby airport - West Palm Beach - which was 45 minutes away.
We got to the ticket desk finally and only asked for a refund (which they did! for that one leg, anyways!)
Then we booked an uber to West Palm Beach, then dozed for a few hours until security/ticketing opened and waited for our 6am flight.

As the last post said, we weren't home for more than barely an hour when we hit the road again and headed to the Poconos... (pictures up next!)