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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Off the Deep End


We spend a lot of time at the beach in the summer.  Up until last year I never sat down once when I was there.  I would lug chairs, towels, lotions, toys, swim diapers, etc. and then I would run around, covered in sand and sweat, chasing two little boys all day.  I would dig holes, take rocks and sand out of mouths, and most importantly prevent drowning.  It’s exhausting.  I’m tired.

These kids need to learn how to fend for themselves, and SWIM – so I can sit in a chair and read US Weekly, and look up occasionally……Is that too much to ask?

We sent both kids to about 5 or 6 costly sessions of lessons in hopes that they would learn to swim at an early age.  My husband and I did “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” to see who would get in a bathing suit and splash around during the “Parent and Me” lessons, and we were out about $500 before we realized we were getting nowhere fast.  If they both got tossed in a pool they would sink like a bag of rocks.

Last summer, Michael finally could stay afloat and do the doggy paddle.  When we went away this spring, he jumped right into the pool, no problem.   I was busy putting SPF on Sam with my back to the pool and Sam started laughing and said nonchalantly, “Look at Michael….he’s drowning.”

What do you know – he was fully drowning.

Into the pool I went to save him with my clothes on.

“This is bullshit!” I screamed at my husband shortly after I saved our child’s life, as he leisurely arrived at the pool, while I stood drenched in my clothes.  While I was putting sunscreen on the kids, blowing up inflatables until I passed out, saving people’s lives and getting the beginning of a sunburn because I spent a half hour taking care of the kids instead of protecting myself from the sun, my husband “had to go to the bathroom.” Please note all that occurred during the time that he spent on one trip to the bathroom.

“Why? What happened?” he said incredulously holding a beer and a copy of Men’s Health.

“Michael drowned!” I screamed.

“Really? I thought he could swim…”

“Well apparently he forgot.” I said with disgust.

Michael was listening to the conversation – floating on a tube in the pool, completely recovered from the traumatic event.  He said casually, “Mom, you should be a lifeguard.”

“I don’t want to be a lifeguard! You guys have to swim!!” I yelled hysterically.

So fast-forward to May, time to pull out the big guns.  There is a swimming school 20 minutes from us that operates a very intense and expensive program.  For over $400 for 2 kids, every night for 2 weeks, they promise you 2 swimming children. 

I signed up for lessons that started at 6:30 for Sam and 7:30 for Michael.  Insane? YES!!!!

I thought – “OK – it will be a rough 2 weeks and it will be worth it.”

First off – this place is in a huge glass building and parents are not allowed inside during lessons.  We are allowed to watch from outside through patches of condensation on the glass to see if we are getting our money’s worth.  Well of course, lessons started 2 weeks ago when it literally RAINED EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  So there I am each night drenched, miserable, with one child hanging on me telling me they are cold, staring at the clock waiting for the lessons to be over.  One night it was thundering and lightening, and my husband tried to come in the building and they made him go wait in his car!! SWIMMING NAZIS!

Also, because its 20 minutes away, by the time we took showers and got home each night, it was a little before 9.  To say the kids were tired is a huge understatement.  We haven’t been to the bus stop in 2 weeks, and everyone was on edge, and could very easily be reduced to tears at any moment.

Oh – and wait, don’t let me forget the best part! Sam started each morning when he woke up by opening his eyes and bursting into tears, saying “I don’t want to go to swimming tonight!”  He actually cried throughout 7 out of 10 lessons.  I would peek in and see him with his hands on the edge of the pool practicing his kicking just hysterically crying.  There I am, out $450, plus hundreds more on gas, exhausted and this kid is inconsolable.

More than once I thought I had made a huge mistake all in the name of sitting down on the beach, but we trudged along.

One morning I was at the end of my rope, and Sam was doing his morning routine. 

“I hate swimming!” he screamed, “I am never going to swim! NEVER!!” he yelled through tears.

I lost it.

“You ARE going to swim!!!” I yelled, “And not only that you had better be Michael Phelps when this is over!” I screamed in his face.

He just looked at me blankly for a couple of seconds and then started crying again. 

Friday was our last night – thank you Jesus.  Parents were actually invited in!  Do you know that both kids calmly walked down this long diving board, waved to me, jumped into 9 feet of water, popped up and swam to their teacher!!

It was a MIRACLE!!!!   It’s not Olympic worthy – but if I can even read the “Stars – they are just like Us” page of US Weekly I’m going to be one happy girl.

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Reposted for Adventures in Mommyhood

Baby mama (not)

Baby mama (not)

Even though I have been waiting almost 6 years for this…now that I am not going to have any children in the 3 and under category,  I feel a little bit like a slacker. 

I know – you think I am crazy – but I feel like maybe my life isn’t as torturous as it once was, and maybe I am not allowed to complain anymore.  I mean when I see Moms lugging strollers and diaper bags into the library or the store, with bags under the eyes, it seems like a million years ago that I was in their position.  But what I would like to know is – can I still say I’m tired? Because I really am!!   I truly don’t remember the last time I wasn’t tired. 

When I am out and about in town, I wear my sunglasses at all times to not make eye contact with people I don’t like, to hide the fact that I look like a bag of shit and have had chronic dark circles for 5 years. My sunglasses of choice have been an old pair of black Pradas that are the perfect shape to cover a good portion of my face and are really dark – so nobody can see my eyeballs.  They have been sat on, dropped, thrown in the sandbox, etc.  I can barely see out of them because of all the scratches.  It’s borderline insane that I wear them, if you look at me when I’m wearing them – you will just see crazy scratch marks all over both lenses.  When people ask about the situation I just say – “I know its horrible – I just haven’t had a minute to get new glasses.”  Which is true – but what now – do I have to throw them out?  What’s my excuse why I can’t do something so simple as get a new pair of sunglasses?

"Oh hi - I'm just here to pick up my son from preschool."

Even this past Christmas – I was arguing with my brother, who just had a baby, about where we would meet in the morning to open gifts. 

“I’m not lugging my kids – taking them in and out of all of their seats and straps and carrying them into your house in the freezing cold – only to get back in the car to go to NY like an hour later.” I argued.

“What are you talking about? They are grown men! The get in and out of their booster seats by themselves and walk to the door!” he replied.

“Oh right…..Damn it!!”

Also – can I still look like shit? Or do I need to start getting my act together?  For a long time after I had S – people would ask me how old he was and I would say the wrong age.  For example, if he was 7 months I would say 3 months – so people would think I looked good for having a 3 month old.  Or my favorite was when S was 6 MONTHS OLD!  and someone asked me when I was due.  I said “Next week!” And they were like – “Oh you look so good!”

How long can I call this “baby weight?”  I think when the last child is age 4, we have officially left the “baby-weight” stage and moved into the category of “Fat person.” 

Aside from the fact that I am morbidly obese – I also think that I have to try to look a little more presentable in the wardrobe department.  When I grab a shirt (from the pile of clothes in my room that I never seem to have time to put away) if there’s something on it, I don’t think I can say “Oh….the baby must have spit up on me!” when someone notices anymore. 

In general, I have pretty much let myself go.  I used to do weekly waxing appointments for lip,chin, brows, etc. color my hair every 2 weeks, cut every 8, manicure every week.  Now the best way I can describe my maintenance schedule is by showing you the picture below of my facial hair as of last week before I finally couldn’t take it anymore and waxed it.

If I don’t have babies keeping me up all night, who am I to have this kind of moustache? Or gray roots showing?  What’s my excuse to have my feet and toenails look like my grandfather’s?

For a long time having two baby boys 18 months apart, was something that got me off the hook.  I wore my weathered, ragged look like a badge of honor.   I was such a good mother – that I only could put all my energy towards raising these babies and had no time for frivolous matters like waxing my beard or putting together a matching outfit.   I mean how does Betty Draper do it?

I guess having these kids grow up has some disadvantages.  What’s next?  I’m expected to have a clean house?

10 things I love about you…


This post is written for a writing prompt from Mama Kat at Mama’s Losin It; in honor of my son S turning 4 next week! I cannot believe how fast this went!

So here goes – 10 thing I love about you…..

1 – Your infectious laugh – It started when you were just 10 months old, you laughed in a restaurant and the whole restaurant stopped talking and started laughing with you!

2 – Your “Jersey Shore –like” tendencies – like your affinity to wearing wife-beaters and the perfect tan that you were magically born with. The fact that when you were 2 years old you requested “sausage and coffee” for your birthday breakfast and that you pretty much refused to wear anything besides velour Puma track suits for a solid year.

Here you are at age 2 - Sauce stain and all.....

 3 – Your dance moves – Your fist pumping (see #2) and booty shaking brings a smile to my face every time.

4 – Your love for your mama – That you would rather be home with me all day doing nothing, than pretty much any other activity I bring to the table, secretly warms my heart.

5 – Your charm – Everywhere you go – you manage to have a following – (usually females!)

6 – Your ability to know every lyric of every song that you have ever heard – (Even if it’s S&M by Rihanna – and thank God those are your initials and I could tell you that it was a song about you……)

7 – Your love for music by all artists – that you know all the lyrics to the Beastie Boys songs  and also have a Bruce Springsteen poster up in your room.  That when people ask you who your favorite singer is you say “The Boss.”

This is "The Boss" Halloween costume I had to make on the fly when you were 2 - because you refused to wear your $50 Lightening McQueen costume

 8 – Your adoration for your big brother. That you ask me all day when he is going to be home and that your face lights up when you see him every time.

9 – Your inability to say  the right words.   Like when you tell me you are only going into the water up to your “nickels,” and that only “goyls” like Justin “Beaver.”

10 – Your honesty – When I told you that I would probably cry when you turned 4 because you aren’t my baby anymore – You said “OK – but not at the party because people will think that’s annoying.”

Happy Birthday to my baby boy!!

Go to Work


So my son apparently has hit it off with someone in his kindergarten class.  I don’t know this because he told me.   I know it because this kid’s “stay-at-home dad” accessed my info through the handy school directory, and told me via email.  He suggested getting the kids together for a play-date and mentioned also that his child has a twin brother that will be “tagging along.”

Great!! These are always the kind of messages I enjoy finding in my inbox.  So, I invite both children to be dropped off for a little while one day after school.  Stay-at-home Dad says “Great, but I don’t usually drop the kids off, do you mind if I hang out for a while?”

I ran upstairs to my husband to consult on how to respond.  Always the one to save the day, he says, “Well just let him hang out for a while.” 

“No!! I have things to do! I thought they would play and I could clean and do stuff around the house. I don’t have time for these stay-at-home dad games, I’m busy and I’m not interested in hanging around in the yard with some creepy weirdo.”

“So just say that.”

“Seriously?  Say I don’t like to hang out in the yard with creepy weirdos?  Thanks for your help.”

UGGHHH.  Now I had to email that I understand and that we would be happy to meet in a park for an hour.  Now my afternoon will be spent awkwardly with some man I’ve never met.  These are the little episodes my mother never had to deal with.  In the old days all Dads went to work, but even if they worked nights or something allowed them to be home during the days, then they would get another job or build decks around the house and maintain their lawn to perfection.  They wouldn’t sip a latte at the park with my mother (and by “park” I mean the backyard with a metal swing-set and a ball for my brother.)

So off I go to waste almost 2 hours at a park with this guy making small talk.  Thank Jesus I have a sparkling personality and get along with almost anyone!!! (NOT)  And the guy is perfectly fine and nice – but I don’t care.  I don’t care if he was Brad Pitt, I am not interested in hanging out with him.  I have THINGS TO DO!!  Just because you are the only man I know that has NOTHING TO DO but go on play “dates” with women that you don’t know…..

“Well I don’t think I will make that meeting I have to run home for my playgroup, and then I have Kindermusik at 3.”

So of course, he promptly emails me for another “date” and I keep blowing him off until he finally gives up.  Then everywhere I went all winter– I would see him!! It became a joke, my husband would say “Your friend is here.” And there he would be, ice skating randomly one random morning, at a hockey game, in the hallway waiting for our teacher conferences!   The other day I was picking up my kindergartner from school in a huge rush and practically ran by him and said “Hello,” as I passed.  He called after me,

“So could Michael have a play-date with us soon?”

I said “Sure,” and kept running.  Can this guy take a hint?

Look dude – there are a few issues here:

A – You and I have both made some poor choices regarding our careers resulting in our spouses making significantly more money than us.  So much so that we have been designated of more worth home with the children.  It sucks sometimes, you’re bored, …I get it.  However, I have my own husband’s ego to stroke.  I’m not on this earth to entertain you and your kids…I sometimes wonder if I’m even qualified to entertain my own 2 kids, and my husband will vouch in that I rarely entertain him.

B – Join a “Stay-at-home Dads” group – and hang out with them if you need to be with your kids all the time.  But in case you haven’t noticed you have 2 six-year-olds that are in full-day kindergarten. They are self-reliant and almost in first grade.  Don’t you think they can go on a play date without you?

C – Having already established that the kids are in school all day, this leads me to my third point.  Tony Danza called, he wants his apron back.  Get a fucking job and stop bothering me.

I linked this post to Adventures in Mommyhood:

Top ten ways this is not my mother’s motherhood….


#1 – On weekends my children would go outside after breakfast and not come back until dinner.  They would never bother me to tell me how hungry, thirsty, bored they are.  And during this playtime, I wouldn’t really know where they were, I might have a vague idea of the vicinity, but that’s about it. This would be fine and I wouldn’t worry about sexual predators or the guy across the street that waters his telephone pole every morning.

#2 –In the afternoon/evening my kids could watch Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Electric Company, back-to-back every day (that’s 2  ½ hours people!!) and I would have zero guilt or worry that they were going to be stupid or violent or fat.  I would just make dinner and talk on the phone the whole time.

#3 – I would never have to attend or host a playdate.  My kids would play with whoever lived on their street.  Even if it was someone they would never ordinarily be friends with, or someone weird or annoying like Fran Drescher’s kids, too bad. They would just play with who was available and make it work.

#4 – Plus even if someone asked me for a playdate, I wouldn’t be available because I would have lunch and then from 1-3 I would have to watch Days of Our Lives and Another World.  Then I would have to take a nap.  Also – my husband wouldn’t be available because he and all the husbands I know would be at work (out of the house.) There would be no chance that a Dad would show up for a playdate or birthday party.

#5 – I could put all of the cereal in the lowest cabinet in the kitchen and teach my kids how to fend for themselves, so I could sleep in the morning while they get themselves dressed, get breakfast, MAKE THEIR OWN LUNCH! and get ready for school.  And if they aren’t disciplined enough to do this and miss the bus, they
could walk or ride their bike to school to learn a lesson.

#6 –I wouldn’t spend 5 minutes every time I got into a vehicle, strapping people into various boosters and car seats like they were preparing for a space shuttle mission.  They would sit (or stand) in the backseat with no seatbelt.  For a special treat, (if we weren’t in the Blue Ford Hornet that had doors that blew open when you turned a corner) I would even let them sit in the front passenger seat.

#7– While in this vehicle I could smoke cigarettes with the windows closed using my built-in ash-tray and listen to whatever I wanted to on the radio. It might be the oldies station, Imus in the Morning, or Howard Stern but the thought would never cross my mind to drive around town listening to the Imagination Movers or Big Time Rush.

#8 – Also, if I needed to stop for my daily milk and cigarettes, I would just park the car and run into the store and leave my kids in the second-hand smoke bomb car.  Or if it was my mother-in-law’s motherhood, I wouldn’t even leave my house.  I would just give my kid $5 and send him on foot to the nearest convenience store with a note that said “Please give my son a gallon of milk and a pack of Marlboro 100’s.”

#9 – When I needed a babysitter, I could just leave my children
with their 85-year-old great-grandmother who was A – off the boat from Italy and doesn’t speak a lick of English and B- could only walk with a walker.  I would just keep my fingers crossed that nothing bad happened that would require an adult to contact the authorities( requiring use of the English language.)  Also, hope that if the kids did something wrong like run baths for their Cabbage Patch Dolls and leave the water running for so long that it’s pouring through the downstairs ceiling, she will stop watching church and doing the rosary long enough to notice.

#10 – I would have given birth at an appropriate age so that when I had a child in kindergarten, instead of being a fat , weathered  35 year-old, I would be a young, skinny and vibrant 27-year-old with my whole life ahead of me. I wouldn’t have gray hair yet, or saggy boobs or fat stomach, so I think I would be in a much better mood!

Oh well, that was motherhood in the 1970’s.  Can you think of a way that your motherhood is different from your moms’? Let’s hear it – Leave me a comment!!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

x0x0x

Lady Goo Goo Gaga

I linked up with Adventures in Mommyhood for

Reposted for MAMA KAT!

Riches to Rags


I recently did what I call my seasonal “rag rotation.” It’s when I put away my winter “rags” and take out my summer “rags.” I don’t know quite how I got to this point…..

It began obviously enough, when I first got pregnant in 2005, my maternity clothes moved into my closet. I gently nudged my “real” clothes to the side, knowing that I would be wearing them again in 9 months. YEAH RIGHT!!

Little did I know that most of my tops would be “half-shirts” when I ever got around to trying them on. Oh – well great news – half-shirts are back in style!!

Picture this but where J LO has a nice smooth belly, imagine a huge muffin top hanging over the sides….not good.

Sometimes I found a shirt that fit, but it would immediately be destroyed by formula, spit up, etc. So I started shopping at the OLD NAVY for disposable clothing, figuring I would go back to my stylish self when I was done being fat.

Except I got pregnant again, and seasons kept coming and going and I never threw out my “disposable clothing.” What I actually did throw out was my designer half-shirts, and settled into my “mommy uniform.” (long-sleeve t-shirt, jeans and UGGS in winter, wife beater, capri, and flip-flop in summer)

I pretty much just checked out. Even my “rags” starting getting ratty. Apparently when you get on your knees to zip jackets, tie shoes and change diapers 500 times a day the knees of your jeans can actually get worn away. But when you pay up to $200 for said jeans you just wear them anyway.

“Oh, um Bon Jovi called….he wants his jeans back.” my husband greeted me one day.
“That’s the style!” I protested weakly.
(See below…See this is exactly how I look when I leave my pedicure and go to pick up my preschooler….what’s so bad about that??)

One time I even cut them into shorts in an attempt to salvage my favorite pair of jeans.

“Nice jorts.” was my husband’s comment that day.
“What’s a jort?” I asked.
“A jean short.” he answered matter-of-factly.
Ok – when my husband, who currently wears sunglasses that he got at the gas station, makes fun of me, things are very bad.

But now the problem is that I am so far gone, I don’t even know where to begin!! Apparently if you are wearing “jorts” and a “Who Farted” t-shirt its pretty hard to navigate your way back into fashion.

“I think we have to start shopping at Ann Taylor.” my best friend said to me recently.
“What? Why? What are we going to get there? Slacks and a blouse?”
“I don’t know, but any mom I know that looks put-together shops at Ann Taylor or Ann Taylor Loft.” she answered.
UGH.

How did I get here? When I worked in NYC I was always pining away for a new bag, shoe, or pair of jeans. Any spare pennies I had were applied towards clothes, make-up, shoes, expensive hair-cuts, skin-care, waxing, etc., etc….the list was endless. I used to love going to Brasserie 8 1/2 because you could eat an egg off the bar for dinner, and spend your only $15 on a cosmo, and not worry about starving to death. This was around the time I bought my first pair of Chanel shoes. They were gorgeous and worth every rumble of my stomach.

Now look at me. My Chanel shoes are in a box in my husband’s closet,(my closet is filled with UGGS and flip-flops) along with all the other relics from my past. There are some shoes and clothes I just can’t give up, and keep hope alive that they might fit someday.

In the meantime, if you are looking for me, I will be at Ann Taylor Loft.

I linked up with Adventures in Mommyhood for

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