Friday, November 5, 2010
Some of the spoils from our trip were delicious eggplants, apples, cucumbers, green beans and juicy apples. I was really surprised to find so many trees full of ripe juicy apples so late in the season (mid-October).
Eryn was excited to show off her big sister style, climbing trees to pick apples for her little brother. Grant wasn't too bad himself...picking apples from lower branches and from higher places with the help of Dad.
One of our favorite parts of our trips to Barton's are the homemade donuts. We always allow a little indulgence in the the soft, warm, sugary confections. This time we devoured a dozen of the yummy confections on our way through face painting, the petting zoo, imaginary play stations and mingling with all the other families who were there for the day.
As much as I wish and try, the apples were all eaten as healthy snacks rather than becoming part of a delicious apple pie, streusel or some other traditional SAHM baked good. Baby steps ladies....perhaps next year I'll take the big leap and bake a pie....
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thank goodness for my mom. She's been really helpful lately. She watches Grant during the day, picks Eryn up from school until I get home from work, and has been amazing while helping Eryn readjust to my time outside of home and her new school.
Lately, I've felt stretched thinner than ever and as if I have little time for anything beyond our normal routine and work.
Our six year old, Eryn, has been displaying some unusual (yet familiar) behavior. Tantrums, crying, yelling, bullying her brother and most annoying of them all defying my requests and direction. The defiance typically shows up when I'm in a rush, on time, early morning, late at night, when I have lots of energy, when I'm exhausted, at home, or in a crowded public place. You get the drift...during any hour of the day whenever she feels like it.
Thank goodness for Barnes and Nobles and the Internet.
After some searching, I reaffirmed what I knew...I needed to create more time for Eryn and display a bit more empathy towards her. The new school, new friends, parents away from home, new siblings, etc...it's all very overwhelming!
In any case (without running on) here are my public commitments to helping restore Eryn's behavior by creating more time for her:
- Leave work on time to ensure a consistent pick up time each day
- Never bypass our bedtime story
- Take time to listen to what she has to say
- Respect her age and experience
- Create a more consistent system for rewards and discipline that my husband and I agree to - no more middle of the week "guilt surprises".
- Follow through on my verbal commitments to her (I couldn't count the number of times that I've heard "But...you promised!")
- Prioritize time to do things that Eryn loves, i.e. board games, arts & crafts and family movie night.
Has your little one's behavior ever taken a sudden turn? How did you handle it?
Friday, September 24, 2010
This time, we fought over the kids. I learned to appreciate very early in our relationship that we were raised very differently and immediately knew, my husband would be the perfect compliment to everything that I wanted in a family.
He's fun, loving, spontaneous, loves and respects his family, friendly and a little disorganized.
My upbringing was very structured. Tidy home, regular routines, a system of earning and rewards and a relatively consistent mother; although void of anything that resembled nurturing and/or loving behaviors. My sisters and I knew there was an underlying purpose of love and care, but it resembled more of a military boot camp rather than a home with three little girls.
My husband's on the other hand was slightly different, tons of love and respect (albeit tough love and respect) and togetherness.
Neither of our families were rich, or able to provide anything more than we needed.
When I had my children, I decided I would be a little different than my mother. I envisioned I would maintain a home that was clean, full of routine, toghterness, love and nurturing, but my husband on the other hand has decided that we should take another road.
Because we didn't have much growing up, my husband decided that he wanted to give our children everything he never had and that everything would always be done "BIG" as he describes it. Routine structure, order and all of those other things that are high on my list of importance fall to the bottom of his.
Okay, so in the middle of this post...he decides that he has to get up and begin cleaning out of sock drawer and closet at 5:30 in the morning....ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
I need a tall glass of wine....
So, my husband and I have to get back on the same page because our lives are no longer moving with the same deliberation and purpose as they once were.
I want to sleep or have quiet me time and he wants to turn on the light and clean....
I want to clean on a Saturday afternoon and he wants to sleep....
I want to put the kids down for bed and he wants to run through the house with Mouseketeer ears from our Disney vacation.
I put the kids in their beds, he takes them out and puts them in ours.
I say one snack per day and he's say three....
I just don't get it....
This is not what Bill and Claire Huxtable did...
This didn't happen in the Brady's house...
What the hell?!!!!!
Well at least I'm not lonely at this moment...and I guess I should take whatever he's willing to do and whenever he is willing to do it...because it may be a long time before he decides to pick anything up again....
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Eryn has moved on to a new Gifted and Talented school (which I am soooooo proud about). Grant began attending daycare (although only for a short while....he's now with my mom because I was completely freaked out after week 4), Eric has taken an additional ad hoc temp assignment, Sasha our Papillon, has decided that she's on her own and has to walk and feed herself because I am too busy to care for her lately and me who is working to get the rhythm of working again...
Anyway, lately it seems that my husband and I can't stop fighting. The strain of my return to work has definitely created a ton of tension between the two of us, not to mention that we are both too exhausted for any kind of regular intimacy, or that we're lucky if we are awake and at home for more than 2 hours together, during which we are both working to prepare our kids for the next day. I did anticipate a bit of struggle while we each readjusted to a schedule with me outside of the house, but I never thought that it would be this challenging. We fight about pick and drop off of the kids, dinner, groceries, clean-up, weekends, shoes, socks, cereal, shirts, dust, crumbs...you name and we've argued about it lately.
I feel that we are struggling because we need to solidify our schedule, but my husband thinks that I am selfish....
Could I be?
I mean, is it wrong that I am looking for a bit of support while readjusting to working outside of the house?
Is it wrong, that I am trying to make a good impression with my boss and direct reports?
Is it wrong, that I wonder why my husband would completely adjust his schedule and take on an additional assignment separate from his normal 9-5 while I am transitioning back to work??????
Eric and I always see things differently...
How did your family manage when you or your partner returned to work after being at home?
Well...I've returned to work again, but this time doing something that I really enjoy, but miss my fellow moms in the blogosphere a great deal...
I once believed (and still do) that SAHMhood is a very lonely place, but after returning to work post two years at home and one of two women in my work group with children, I've realized that being a WAHM is also a pretty lonely place. While there are tons of things to relate to with the other young woman at work, the one thing that is most of who I am is a mommy...light years away from their trendy, expensive shoes, night club hopping, cocktail having selves. I definitely relate to that place in time where they exist, but feel much more comfortable in my mommy skin and with other mommys.
How have you all been?
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Me: Honey, you don't need a rabies shot. You only need a rabies shot if you've been bitten by a dog with rabies.
Eryn: (Thinking) What's rabies?
Me: It's a disease that you get from a dog that attacks your brain and makes you go crazy.
Eryn: (Thinking) Well, maybe that's what's wrong with you. Maybe that's why your eye balls pop out and why you can't stop screaming...
Eryn: Yea, maybe that's why you get angry and start yelling at everyone in the house. Maybe you need to get a rabies shot!
Me: (Blank stare) What?
I can't believe some of the stuff that my six year old says sometimes...but I guess that's how she sees it. What's a mother to do?
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Over the last few months, I made a commitment to spend more time in the moment to get the most out of life. So lately, I've been listening, tasting, touching, smelling, reflecting and engaging ME in everything that I do. I've also spent some time organizing so that I can live in the moment and boy has that made life easier!
I've often spent time frustrated or feeling disappointed about some "thing" that I wasn't able to complete off of my Daily or Life To-Do lists. A few weeks ago, I realized that I spent so much time thinking about the "what I would've done differently" and "what I will do in the future" that I was missing everything that was going on around me.
What was the turning point you ask? Well...after multiple pleas for a game of dolls from my six year old, I realized that one day she may not be as eager to spend time with me, and could possibly want nothing to with me, and only everything to do with her friends as most teens do. So, I decided to take advantage of "now" because I may never get another opportunity to do "now" later.
How do you live in the "now"?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Husband: "You don't make me feel loved anymore..."
Husband: "You don't do anything special for me like you used to."
Wife: (Thinking) "Are you kidding me? I go out of my way to do things just for you ALL THE TIME!" (But she says) "What do you mean?"
Husband: "You don't dress up anymore."
Wife: "Well..I'm always with the baby and it makes it some what difficult, but I'll try."
Husband: "And you don't wear heels like you used to."
(So at this point, I'm thinking to myself...this is normal. My husband and I went through this for a bit after the birth of our first child.)
Wife: "Well I'll try but it's kind of difficult with the baby here...you know I don't want to wake him up."
(So at this point, I'm completely confused until...)
Husband: "Well...that makes me feel special."
Wife: "Okay, I'll go buy some new stuff this week."
Can anyone guess what I'll be doing tomorrow?
LINGERIE SHOPPING with my cousin! She's buying some stuff to make her hubby feel special again! (I added this one to the tip box)
I will certainly consider picking something up too (wink, wink) but this is what I did for mine tonight.
What will you do for your hubby?
As I were straightening up one side of my bedroom and my son played on the other, I heard a sudden cry and what sounded like my son's normal frustration about a toy he couldn't reach. After walking around my bed, I found my son's head and neck caught in the shoulder strap of one of my handbags hanging from the door! I'm sure you could imagine the panic and rush of adrenaline that took control of what I normally call my body! Rushing to detangle him...in typical mother fashion...blamed myself for not considering the strangulation risk a handbag that previously hung from the door by both straps would cause. Then I thought "What if I were not there?" With the associated risks of window blind and electric cords...how did I not think of my handbag?
I am sharing this because if you are anything like me you may never think that something like this could threaten your child's safety. You likely run your typical safety audits with some checklist that you found in a book or other source and never in a million years consider your favorite handbag a culprit for harming your child.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I'm sure that we can all relate to feeling taken for granted or overlooked, but how often do we prioritize our husbands and do something to make them feel special?
Shouldn't we treat them the way that we want to be treated? (I know...you do things all day for everyone in the house.) But is there one thing that you do specifically for your husband on a regular basis to make him feel special? If so, I'd love some ideas.
In general, my husband is a pretty simple guy. He works really hard to take care of our family, doesn't ask for much and rarely complains.
Today, I publicly commit to doing at least 1 thing a week to make him feel special and most important, appreciated and promise to journal my efforts via this blog.
Today, I will let him sleep in (as long as he needs) to recuperate from his long work week.
What will you do for your hubby to make him feel special?
I mean really built up enough courage to set your pride aside, open your mind, your heart, and your spirit...set aside your own perspective to look for deeper meaning in what someone else did or said to truly understand his/her point of view?
I ran into my mother at the supermarket the other day after a 5 month relationship hiatus.
Most of you will likely cringe (as most people usually do) when you read and process that I haven't spoken with my mother in over 5 months, but if you knew all there is to know you might...just might...sympathize.
My mother and I have always had a very strained relationship. Partially for lack of understanding...
Understanding each other's perspectives.
As a child, I could not understand her guarded, stoic, strict and impersonal demeanor and conversely I never felt she understood my basic needs to be loved, nurtured and respected.
As I grew older and learned more and more about her life, I worked very hard each day, to forgive her and help her find deeper meaning in her life and experiences, hoping that together we could heal her broken spirit, which proved a lot more difficult than I thought.
At the onset of our most recent disagreement, I accepted that I may never speak to her again because I couldn't deal with anymore of her outbursts, her lack of respect for me as a daughter, mother and wife and to shield my children from her inconsistent personality.
Day after day, I worked to put my mother behind me and focus on my family and self. But each day that I look at my children, and come up with diversions to my daughter's requests to "go see grandma," it grows harder and harder to release my relationship with my mother.
Deep down inside I know she's been through a lot...but it feels so unfair that I've always been the one to understand and constantly forgive. When does she take any responsibility for our relationship? I guess part of my frustration is around the fact that she never wanted to take true accountability for anything she's done. Not to me, not to my sisters, not to friends...I mean NO ONE.
I can admit that I am angry with my mother, but love her dearly.
I also love my children and make my own mistakes. How big or small, hurtful or not are all relative to them, as my mother's are relative to me. I could never imagine dealing with the emptiness of being without my children. But can I forgive her? How do I do it? When is the right time? Am I doing it for her? For me? For my children? I guess it's a combination of all three. The reality is that my mother may never be able to take accountability for her actions, but I need to release those feelings to become a complete woman and mother. My children need an example of forgiveness. It is my responsibility to help them learn to release what may hold them back due to an inability to forgive. They need an example for healing and moving forward...
Perhaps if I release my mother...I can overcome my constant self-examinations of how good or bad I am as a mother and can truly live, learn and forgive myself and my daily mistakes so that I can really be in the moment with my children.
But how do I do it?
Do you ever feel like a failure because you can't manage all of the competing priorities that come along with being a mother?
Do your children ever miss homework assignments, dance or soccer practice, eat pizza more than twice in one week, or comment on how "neat Grandma's house is" and how they wish theirs looked the same?
I get lucky some days and can get my daughter to and from school on time, are able to get dinner prepared and can get some other minor things done, but I'm looking around the house as I write and the piles of laundry I were folding over 8 hours ago are still not folded, there are still dishes in the sink, my desk is still a mess and the list goes on...
I felt "okay" earlier in the day knowing that I walked the dog, remembered to feed the kids and made an attempt to take my daughter to the park (she threw a terrible tantrum so we never made it), but I was okay knowing that I tried.
So as I cruise the "Mom Blogosphere" I realize that I may need to step my game up a notch!
How do these women manage to do it all while remaining sane?
Or, are they only sane as they write and go completely nuts when they get up from their computers?
Could anyone share their tips for getting things done each day because God knows that some of us (at least I) can certainly use them.
How do you organize your life?
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you could taste and feel it with every inch of your being? Fifteen minutes for yourself? A bubble bath? A new pair of shoes? Or, a guilt free purchase for YOU and only YOU during a recent shopping trip?
Well I did...I thought I wanted my old Working Mom/Cosmopolitan Woman lifestyle back.
Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to return to work outside of home. It didn't exactly work out in the end the way I hoped, but it gave me an opportunity to re-experience the life of a working mom...at least for a day.
Over a 10 hour period, it became frighteningly clear that it wasn't my old life that I missed...
It's very simple.
I just need time for myself and a little personal mental space.
I love my children and couldn't think of any better way to spend my time than nurturing, teaching and loving them.
Nowhere, can I find as genuine, loving and caring connections than at home with my kids...which is where I think I'll stay...at least for now...
Thank you universe for reminding me of what's most important.
When was the last time you realized something wasn't what you thought or hoped it would be (in a good way)?
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I love to write, but through my writing have realized there is more to me than my daily chronicles while staying home with the kids which I initially forgot when I started writing shortly after the birth of my second child.
I'm probably the most random...non-mom...non kid-focused woman you'll meet. Don't get me wrong...I do a lot to enrich my children through lots of shared time and activity but I lack the attention span to maintain more than one art project every 2 weeks or so (I know...I'll get better...) but we spend lots of time outdoors exploring the city, meeting new people, etc. Okay...there goes that justification again, right?
I love my children and family and wouldn't change anything about the role as mom or wife but as I've said in earlier entries...there's so much more to me...which I would love to write about as well....
I wonder what I should call the new blog...
The Daily Random Chronicles of an Introspective Mother of 2? What if that number turns to 3?
I need to give it some thought.
There are so many things that I enjoy at any given time...that I want to be careful to not want label or box my blog in.
Perhaps, I could call it Out of The Box (a daily chronicle of one woman's random thoughts while taking care of her husband and kids...
What do you think?
Monday, March 1, 2010
After baking my first batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies this evening (I know....it warms my cheeks and makes me giggle to say this and admit that I had so much fun), I coincidentally came across a blog entry that a friend of mine had written titled: "Indulging Our Passion" at http://www.inspiremama.com/
I read this entry and reflected on my last post about there being more to SAHMhood...
She hit the nail right on the head.
That post was all about taking care of ourselves as mothers and wives...
Not indulging so much in SAHM/motherhood that we overlook ourselves as woman...
Indulging in the things that we hold near and dear...
Filling up our tanks so that we can continue to take care of the ones we love...
Nurturing our inner and outer selves....
Sacrificing who we are and what makes us happy...
She posed a couple of really good questions on her page about discovering our passions which made me think...
What are my true passions?
I think part of my SAHMhood resistance is centered around my upbringing...
A bunch of woman who cooked, cleaned, took care of children, and served their husbands but did little else...
While I appreciate their efforts and how well they've taken care of me...
I always knew that I wanted to do more...
But there is a bit of a woman in me who is passionate about taking care of and nurturing her family's needs...and most important...whose passionate about taking care of herself while forging strong bonds with her children.
(I just want to do it wearing black lace, red lipstick, a fresh manicure and high heels...)
But seriously, tonight I rediscovered my passion for baking that honors a family tradition, shares time with my daughter incorporates my growing passion for photography (I'll take pictures of everything we make) while also creating delicious treats that my entire family will enjoy!
I didn't have on any lace while doing it but...it was a great time!
What's your passion?
Thursday, February 18, 2010
OMG...I can't take it!
Are these mothers this happy staying home, cooking, cleaning, volunteering, baking, visiting, planning, chaperoning, hosting, coloring, painting, and doing endless things for their children without thought or mention of themselves?
How long does this degree of selflessness last?
Perhaps I'm just selfish...
But it just all seems pretty dull after a while...
What do they talk about with their husbands?
What do their husbands think?
Do they find this SAHM thing interesting, or is the honor and responsibility of fatherhood the only thing that keeps them engaged? Would they rather plan their next date night or talk about a new sexy dress and shoe combo their wife plans to wear on their next night out with friends? Or, would they rather have their wife do a quiet, sexy striptease, void of any child related banter, while the kids are stuffed in and strapped to their beds to prevent any interruptions...
OMG...I'm so immature...
Nah...this is just hella boring...
I mean...how many art & craft projects, pictures and posts, classes, parent groups, books can you read and playdates can you attend before they all become the same?
This mother next to me giving the tutorial on how to discipline kids and the 3 partially engaged woman are driving me nuts...
Don't get me wrong...I love my children....but there is so much more....
Forget it...no more justification...
I'm going down to the cafe for a latte.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Considering that I started this blog as a way to sort out or vent about all of my SAHM feelings/thoughts, does that mean that everything has been okay?
Nah...just haven't had much time to write...
Still trying to live up to the SAHM ideals and quell my guilty conscience that makes me feel terrible that my husband works so hard to take care of the family while, I would (in between my freelance jobs) much rather watch The Doctors, Oprah, or any other talk show that has some juicy gossip or self improvement message than cook and clean or handle some other household chore...
Anyway, a few weeks ago, I had a very interesting conversation with my husband about my ongoing struggle with SAHMhood...
While driving home from the mall after a slight vent session he said, "You know what the problem is...you haven't accepted that you're home with the kids...that's why it's so hard for you..."
And you know...being the super introspective person that I am, I thought about it and came to...he's right...that's exactly why it's so hard!
I can never totally accept it...
I like...no LOVE...
Manicures/ Pedicures, time with friends, late night girl chat, emailing, texting, facebooking from my Blackberry, wearing non-mom clothing, black lace, red nail polish, high heels and doing anything that is unconventional...
Yea...SAHMhood is for the birds...where's my Cosmopolitan and New York Magazine...I'm sure there's an article in there about balancing the life as a SAHM and the trendy ultra-sexy urban life!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
60 seconds...select three pair of comfy undies that you will replace with three sexy pairs.
3 minutes...call your husband/partner and tell him you love him.
5 minutes...clean out and restock your diaper bag.
10 minutes...clean out and restock your purse too.
15 minutes...add your kids' backpack also.
20 minutes...plan this week's dinner menu.
30 minutes...clean out the car.
60 minutes...catch up on the latest episode of Oprah or any other favorite show that you've been saving on TiVo or DVR, while giving yourself a manicure, and having mindless chat with someone who is completely uninterested in talking about kids...yours, theirs or anyone else's, while reading your favorite gossip mag and enjoying your favorite glass of wine....we're master multi-taskers...and it is perfectly okay to selfishly use this skill on ourselves once in a while!
A few days ago, I found (on sale) at Duane Reade a new (or newly discovered by me) Speed Shine 10 Day Top Coat by Sally Hansen that promised to preserve my manicure for 10 days...no chips, dents, scratches, etc. It also promised to dry my nail polish within 30 seconds...sounded too good to be true but I'm a sucker for stuff like this and infomercials, so I'm on 5 days and no chips, dents or scratches!
It did however, take a little longer than 30 seconds to dry completely but it definitely dried faster than any other top coat I've used before; especially considering that it dried solid versus just on top.
I'll give you all an update when I hit day 10! But if you want to try it it's now on sale for $3.62 (in NY) which is a great price!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
That's right folks...all of this for TODAY ONLY...FOR $1!!!!!!!