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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Top ten reasons why going “back to school” sucks

This week has really sucked.  I mentioned last week how I have been enjoying myself and I was forced into reality this week.  My last week of summer and the kids and myself were sick all week and then we had a hurricane.

Can you say quick spiral into depression?

I am so not into back to school mode – and not to be “Debbie Downer”- but the following is my top ten reasons why going back to school sucks:

1 – No Sleep: Lord help me – I have to wake up. My kids don’t sleep late – so I have been spending the whole summer letting them stay up watching inappropriate television, playing outside, going to the movies on the beach, in an effort to have them wake up late.  It worked perfectly.  We are now on a great schedule where we wake up between 8 and 8:30 and squeal into 9:00 camp on two wheels, the kids in ratty t-shirts and shorts, a pop-tart in one hand and a towel in the other.  When school starts the kids need a healthy breakfast, a packed snack and healthy lunch, matching clothing, brushed teeth and clean faces.  Michael’s bus comes at 8:05 am.  I’m screwed.

During the school year – I try to make something fun and healthy for breakfast like this!
During the summer – late nights coupled with lots of wine drinking often resulted in the kids eating a
breakfast on the go – usually whatever I could grab and hand to them…..See below:


2 –Rag Rotation: Just when I had gotten completely used to my summer “rags” –
I am going to soon have to face another season of not having all of the appropriate clothing items I need to be trendy and fabulous.  These items would include anything that hides my muffin top and is not from the Old Navy. 

3 – Sickness: Like the little weather game – a bunch of illnesses were thrown our way this week to remind us not to get too comfortable with all the fresh air and good health.  Soon my children will be surrounded by bird flu and head lice and filthy snot-nosed children that don’t comb their hair.

This week we were all sick and it is the first of probably 30 illnesses before next spring.

4 – Hurricanes and Nor’easters and Earthquakes: Apparently – in an effort to throw me right back into the reality that is the school year – the universe threw a whole bunch of weather our way this week.  This way I could feel the effects of staying in the house
for long periods of time, cooking, cleaning and playing UNO.

The winter is soooo long and soooo torturous.  On top of the obvious unpleasantness of being stuck in the house with children – I notice all of the chores I have neglected and am forced to clean and organize and cook.   I have mentioned before I lounge around during the summer, see below:

This isn't me - but we are thinking the same thing - I don't know where my kids are - and I don't care.

This isn't me - but we are thinking the same thing - I don't know where my kids are - and I don't care.

And while I am doing this -this is what my sink looks like:

This is what my sink looks like while I am at the beach- but guess what cannot be happy or achieve a beautiful bronze skin tone by sitting around scrubbing pots and pans.....

You can’t notice the dishwasher needs to be emptied if you are reading US Weekly on the beach!

5 – A return to the bus stop: The last time we were there was after Michael punched some asshole in the face on the last day of school. 

Oh how I hate these people, and oh how I hate that they are the very first faces I see besides my own and my kids each day….Please read about my bus stop adventures if you missed it the first go-round – You will not be disappointed.

6- Playdates: When does this actually end? My phone was blowing up this week from Moms that had children “just dying to see Michael!” or who’s son is “devastated that Sam isn’t in his class!!” – so “we have to do a playdate!” 


It’s called they will see you on the first day of school – and by the way – Sam isn’t in his class because your kid is a monster and I requested that they be separated.  Just sayin….

7 – Birthday Parties: I am not kidding that we already got two birthday invitations this week.  Thank Jesus – one was for today and was postponed due to the hurricane.  Otherwise – we spend at least one day of every weekend participating in some birthday festivities for
children we barely know. (you know because you have to invite all 22 children from your class to your birthday) 

The last one we went to during this summer was quite the fiasco…

8 – No Camp:  Have I mentioned that I love the “beach camp” that the kids go to that is from 9 – 12 (break for lunch) and then 1-2:30?  Um – that is the most free-time I have had since college. 

See - this is me with some of my "mommy friends" enjoying a pool party while our kids are atcamp.....I'm just not going to have time for these kind of things during the school year.....

Now we are back to dumb-ass preschool which goes from about 9:00 am to 9:20 am and then on Fridays they do a shortened session so pick up is at 9:14 am.  I can maybe go
home and take a shower and then I have to go back and pick up.  It’s a joke. 

9 – Room Mothers: Have you met these people? They are insane! They have endless amounts of energy and take interest in all things related to their child and his or her class.  They inadvertently make me feel bad with their endless email updates and requests for volunteers that are “much-needed” and “so- appreciated!” 

This is the kind of heartwarming experience the room mother expects from their parent volunteers.

One time I volunteered to help with a “Kindergarten regatta.” When I got there my job was to turn on the hose to fill the pool for the boats.  Really? You really need a volunteer for this?? 

This is me waiting at the arts and crafts table for someone to get me the hose....this kid kept asking for help with his letters annoying.

These room mothers are also the people who request that we each send in $20 for the holiday gift for the teacher.  I mentioned the class was 22 children right??

10 – My babies are old:  Despite all my bitching about nonsense – the truth of the matter is that this is my last year with my son in preschool and next year he will be in full-day kindergarten and I will be left home with my dishwasher and my US Weekly that I have been coveting so much.  I have a feeling when I can finally read the dang thing – it’s not going to be nearly as fun or entertaining as my kids…

Thank god I have you guys – My loyal fans!! 

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“pouring my heart out” with



My camper is cuter than your camper

Everyone (including me) has been talking about getting through the end of the summer without going insane, and counting down the days until the kids are back to school.  I feel this way sometimes – but honestly it is fleeting.   I am enjoying my laid-back summer mode.  We are in a groove here at the beach where we have been staying for most of the summer.  This lifestyle is so laid-back that even on our very worst day, everyone is still pretty happy.

It could be the daily ice creams from the ice cream man, or the sunshine and fresh air, or maybe because we are all tan (that always puts me in a good mood)….but everyone is friendly and pleasant here. 

Every kid that rides by on their bike will say “Hi Michael!” “Hi Sam!”  My kids say hello to everyone they see too…no matter who they are.   Meanwhile, at home, if we walk into the libarary or park and my kids see a child that they know and say hello, there is a very good chance that said child will either not respond at all or hide behind his or her’s mother’s leg until they are forced to say hello.  It’s annoying and weird and all too common. 

When did children become rude and socially inept?  Because by nature – children will play and interact and be friendly.  Wouldn’t it be so wonderful if I could transfer this energy where children play harmoniously and don’t bully each other and act like whiney brats back to my hometown (specifically my bus-stop) for the fall?

Aside from the endless “Toasted Almonds” and my very dark skin-tone, a major contributing factor to our summer happiness is  a little something called “beach camp.” 

The kids go to camp everyday.  This camp is a far cry from anything fancy that kids might be experiencing in other stuffy Connecticut towns.  It is not horseback riding camp, or rock-climbing and ROPES course camp, or UCONN Huskies camp….it’s not hanging out at a camp in Martha’s Vineyard while the Obamas are in town.

It is old-school, make a potholder, play Wonderball, hang from the monkey bars by your ankles, camp….and in my eyes it is absolute perfection.  Kids come and go each week from all over, and within minutes on Monday morning they are part of the camp.  Anytime I go by when I am on my way to the beach or going for a run(do you see why I love camp?) – the kids are always running around, having a blast, engaged in whatever the activity is.  There is no bullying, no tears, no drama. 

Why can’t it be like this at home?

Last week was the last camp session and they ended the year with a huge party and passed out awards.  Mind you –  all summer long I saw people post on their facebook pages the awards that their kids got at camp.  I kid you not – grown-ass adults would actually post something like this:

“So proud of Johnny! He got camper of the day for the second time!! He is so precious and such a perfect reflection of my perfect parenting!! Thanks Johnny for being the best little camper in the whole world!”

Alright – maybe I made up the last part….but definitely saw several posts about people’s children getting “Camper of the Day” and “Camper of the Week” (all people from my hometown of course.)

How about “Camper of the who gives a shit?” 

What makes anyone think that we care about this eart-shattering news?  What does it even mean? Did Johnny not have any time-outs at camp all day?  Did he do a super good job sharing the beads during necklace making? Did he do really good rowing of his kayak?  Did the horse he was riding do an awesome jump?  Did he hold the door for the Obamas when they were leaving the book store?

Even if he did any of those things…guess what?  NOBODY CARES.

This is why I love our beach camp.   There is no pretense.  There is no worry of hurt feelings if one kid gets an award that another kid might have wanted.  Nobody worries that insecure creepy weird kids need a badge that says they are super awesome to bring home to show their mommy.

So that’s why – only at beach camp would they announce Sam’s name and call him up to award him this:

Nobody felt slighted – everyone cheered and laughed.

And then they really outdid themselves and called up Michael to award him this:

And instead of crying because his brother was the “cutest” and he wasn’t – he fist-pumped and laughed like a nice Italian boy.

I am going to cherish and savor these last days of freedom and joy before heading back to the wretched bus stop and the land of whining children.




Mommy Tip #2 – Tantrums are not just for Toddlers

This has been a good summer.  Michael and Sam are very independent, they love camp, love swimming lessons, love the beach, and have lots of friends.  They don’t even like to sit with me on the beach and constantly ask to go hang out by the boardwalk – where they “play superheroes” and make friends. 

I haven’t had days like these at the beach since I was in my early twenties.  I’ve been reading books and magazines, talking uninterrupted with friends, and sitting on my fat (and growing as we speak) ass more than I have in 6 years.

On top of this luxury, now that I don’t have babies or toddlers to give naps or dinner to – I can essentially stay at the beach as long as I want.  I can pull my chair down to the edge of the water – so the waves are licking at my feet and enjoy my book in the late afternoon, the best part of the day. 

The sun burns a little less, the air is crisp, the water is gorgeous and the kids play in the waves while the sun starts its descent.  It was recently such an afternoon, on one of the most gorgeous days of the summer, when I got caught off guard.  I inadvertently was happy – and I should have known that was not possible.  

My 5-year-old dropped his hermit crab at the edge of the water and before he could bend down to scoop it up – a wave came in and swept it away, and he went ballistic.  This wasn’t a complete sneak attack – I should have seen the signs:

Clue #1 – Red Cheeks =Perhaps a little too much in the sun department

Clue #2 – A day of whining = Perhaps one too many late nights – and a little tired

Clue #3 – I mentioned that I was momentarily happy right?

He burst into tears.

I peered at him over the top of my book. 

“Michael this is nothing to cry about – go by the jetty and find a new one.” I said and went back to reading.

“No!!!” he screamed unreasonably, “I want that one!!!”

I tried to ignore him, but the whining and crying was getting worse. I read the same page 5 times.

“If you don’t stop crying and leave me alone right now – then we are leaving.” I threatened.

“NO!!! I’m not leaving!!” he screamed hysterically in my face.

Now at this point – any good mother with a head on her shoulders would pack up and leave, but not Lady Goo Goo Gaga.  I tried to read again. He wouldn’t shut up.

I gave one more ultimatum – which he failed miserably and I had no choice.  I threw my book down.

“That’s it….we’re leaving.” I started folding my chair. 

This is when things really took a frightening turn.  I told him to start picking up his toys, and quickly realized this would never happen.  The devil doesn’t pick up sand toys. 

Resigned I went to pick up buckets and towels and every step of the way I was body blocked by my possessed child.

I tried to remain calm.  I called out to poor innocent Sam who was floating on a tube catching some rays.

“Come on – we have to leave now!! Your brother is out of control!” I called out.

He graciously hopped off his tube and said “OK – Mama!”  I looked at him with joy and happiness for a quick moment and then turned back to Godzilla. 

A toy boat was thrown and narrowly missed my ear, he took his brother’s tube and slammed it down as hard as he could and it bounced off the sand and rolled away.

I frantically filled up my beach cart and was almost ready to go.   The only thing left on the beach was the huge bucket of crabs leftover from crabbing earlier in the day.  Considering this all started from a lost crab – emptying the bucket was going to be dicey. 

While he was momentarily distracted by two strangers, I was able to grab my flip-flops and book.

“Dump out the bucket, Michael, it’s time to go.” I said calmly.

“NO!” he screamed hovering over the bucket with snot and tears running down his sunburned cheeks.  I quickly made a move to grab the bucket – at the same time as he did.   I tried to loosen his grip to no avail, and a tug of war ensued.

Anytime I got into position to dump the bucket – he would get in front of it so that I would have to throw a bucket of crabs directly at him (which surprisingly – I wasn’t comfortable with.) 

I almost threw a bucket of crabs at him -but decided against it.

At this point – Sam hopped out of the water.

“Sam! Run for your life!!” I yelled while pulling furiously on the bucket, “I’ll meet you at the boardwalk!”

He scampered away – and I ripped the bucket out of Michael’s hands and dumped out mud and crabs like a maniac. 

At one point he headed towards the water and mass chaos ensued....

I was dripping with sweat and my back and arms were killing me from the struggle.  Michael collapsed in a heap of tears and I threw the bucket in my cart and turned around to go… which point I thought I heard cheering. 


Witnesses to this debacle were cheering for me.  I looked up and saw a sea of horrified faces. 

The beach was silent.

 A seagull flew by. 

The crabs made their way back to sea. 

I stood there sandy and sweaty, staring back at all of the faces judging me.

I was mortified.  I headed up to the boardwalk.  Some kind woman called out – “Don’t worry – we have all been there!!”

Someone else shouted – “You have a lot of patience!!”

I was dying  and on the verge of tears myself.  Michael followed me all the way to the car crying and threatening not to come and of course it didn’t end until long after we were home. 

Thank God I had just read a blog called Things I Can’t Say, in which the mom blogger, Shell, suggested getting Mike’s Hard Strawberry Lemonade, and I had some chilled waiting for me.  The promise of malt liquor was the only thing pushing me through the motions of showers, dinner and bedtime routines.

I think I have neglected the schedules and good parenting for long enough – and it’s biting me in the ass.  This little brush with the devil was enough for me.



Linking to Sunday Funday with Carri Ann and Pour You Heart Out


Last Friday Night

My friend ( I will call her Martha) hosted a backyard birthday party for her daughter Friday night.  This particular friend is very good at party-planning and menu-planning, but also thinks that she is Martha Stewart and tends to take things too far.  For example, if the kids say they feel like having mac and cheese, instead of making it from the box like the rest of America, she whips up a four-cheese gourmet dish.  If the kids want chicken nuggets, then she cuts up chicken, breads it and fries it up while the rest of us take frozen nuggets and heat them up.  If the kids want ice cream – in the fall she has been known to puree pumpkin and mix it with cream and sugar for a homemade gelato!!!!! Ok – do you see how exhausting this is? 

I was actually a little jealous of the party at home, that I would never be able to pull off and that my kids never seem interested in.  They always want to go somewhere that is filled with the stomach bug and inflatable devices that costs $500.00.

“You can totally do a costume party for Michael in October in the yard!! It would be so fun  – you can do games! And you can have a fog machine! And you can do a scavenger hunt and hide bloody hands in the bushes!!”  (Sidenote: – This sentence is word-for-word what she said. She is always super positive and optimistic and thinks everything is always going to be super awesome and fun!!  She is very convincing.)

I was totally excited – I had learned a lot about children’s birthday parties since Michael got invited to 45 parties since the start of kindergarten and I would be thrilled if I could manage to do one at home. 

When we arrived the yard basically looked like Candyland. Martha thought it would be cute and nice to set up a long table for 26 children filled with decorative gumball machines and huge glass vases filled with lollipops and pixie sticks.  That’s right – you heard correctly – the APPETIZERS for 26 kids – were gumballs, lollipops and PIXIE STICKS.  It looked gorgeous – but possibly problematic. 

This is my friend greeting us in her backyard at the start of the party!

Martha seemed to have things under control, organizing potato sack races and some game involving foam noodles, so my husband stayed with the kids at the party while I ran some errands and came back about a half hour later.  Apparently, during this time the raw sugar consumption coupled with the fact that this generation of children doesn’t know how to play in a yard, ended up as a recipe for disaster.  When I came back, the children had the noodles and were running around hitting each other in the face with them.  Buckets of sand that were set up for another game were being tipped over and kids were taking shovels filled with sand and throwing them into the air and at each other.  Potato sacks and the “tug of war” rope were thrown in the bushes along with eggs that had been set aside for a “spoon races.”  

This was how the table looked at the start of the party before I left to run errands.

Pink sugar was everywhere on the previously beautiful tablescape – and my son ran up to me when I got there with what seemed to be a large baseball in his mouth. 

“Spit that out.” I said with my hand under his chin.

A humongous blue gumball came out of his mouth.  Apparently the gumball machine as centerpiece had backfired.

This was what the party looked like when I got back from running my errands.


Martha was in the center of the madness with a look of exasperation – I stared at her in horror.

“Well I’m glad I was here to witness this – so I don’t make the same mistake with Michael’s party.” I said.

“They just chewed me up and spit me out,” she said. “I guess we should serve the food.”

Ah – the food. Off we went to serve sliders and tater tots with an olive and pickle antipasti.  (That’s normal – right?) We actually went up and down the table with little ramekins of mustard and ketchup asking the wretched beasts if they wanted a condiment with their slider, instead of the crazy idea of putting condiments in squeeze bottles where they belong and letting the 7 year olds!!! fend for themselves.

Up and down the table this is what could be heard….

“I hate burgers.”

“I hate buns, I don’t eat bread – I want mine with no bread.”

“I hate pickles.”

“I need more pickles.”

and my personal favorite….”I am not eating that I am a vegetarian.”

To which Martha responded – “Ok I will make you a grilled cheese.”

To which the little vegetarian responded, “I hate grilled cheese.”

To which Martha responded – “Ok I will make some pizza on the grill.”

When Martha did this – the vegetarian refused to eat it!!!!  Instead she dipped her PIXIE STICK in her KETCHUP and ate that instead.

After dinner – and another failed attempt at a yard game, Martha decided to move on to the Barbie cake.  After singing and elbowing obnoxious children out-of-the-way that were trying to blow out the candles – Martha tried to cut the cake on the table.  A swarm of crack-addicted pixie-stick eaters hovered around – requesting pieces of Barbie’s anatomy that they wanted to eat.

“We have to cut this cake away from the table – these kids are animals,” I said.  At that moment my son came over and plopped his entire elbow right into the cake.

We were in the home stretch – 20 minutes more of insane running around the yard and beating each other with noodles and Martha passed out the party favors which included more CANDY and the hit of the party….Whoopie Cushions.

At this point in the event all 26 children literally – went and sat down to test out this newfangled device.  Squeals of laughter ensued and lots of hideous noises –  it was the highlight of the night!!!

For all of her efforts – all these insane children wanted was a really loud “fart” noise!!!!  I am not going forward with the “Bloody Hand in the Bush” party – I am thinking more of inviting a bunch of kids over and we will just eat pixie sticks and sit on whoopie cushions for 2 hours.  It should be a hit!!



A visit with the Caffeine Coquette

Fans of Lady Goo Goo Gaga will be happy to know you get an extra post this week – because I am the guest blogger at the Caffeine Coquette today!  Kenda is the funny, multi-tasking, amazing blog host of the Caffeine Coquette- and I am so thrilled to be able to be her guest!

Check it out and hear my latest tale of humiliation as an old weathered mother of two……

Till Sunday ……Lady Goo Goo Gaga

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