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Monday, January 31, 2011

Ice, ice, baby!

This past Saturday found us making a return trip to go ice skating.  Ian and I had a date and met up with some good friends, Dana and her daughter, Mary-Edith.  We chose an indoor rink, Fairfax Ice Arena, and Ian's ability to ice skate went beyond any expectations I could have for this being his 2nd time.

I was a little concerned when I found out that the rink does not offer buckets for the little ones to push and use for balance or have skates that offer double blades.  However, these "crutches" were not needed in the least and Ian took off faster than I could say, "Use my hand to hold onto."  From the get go, Ian had this philosophy, 'It's all or nothing' and refused to accept any limitations.  It was quite impressive how Ian took off and was not the least bit scared on how fast he was going. 

This was Ian at the beginning of our skating session:

video

Ian thinking he can now skate backwards:

video

Ian at the end -- look at how fast he moves:


video

We skated for 2 hours!  And Ian still wants to go back for more.  Good thing he had his helmet on, because it saved his head from cracking more than once.  Oh my!  Some of the falls Ian had was insane. But yet, this didn't stop Ian from getting up and continuing on.   Kudos to the guys who work at the ice rink.  As soon as Ian fell, an employee was there lickety-split asking if he was ok and helping him up.  At one point, 3 guys came over and each picked up a limb of Ian's to get him back standing upright.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Is it Monday yet?

Most people don't like Mondays.  I will take a wild guess and say this is probably the least popular day of the week. In fact, there is a very funny movie quote in the film, "Office Space".  "Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays."  And the Carpenters have a famous song, "...Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

However, Mondays could become my most favorite day of the week.  I have discovered something quite fantastic and am in love with this idea.  One of my most favorite restaurants now offers a DATE NIGHT!

Choices by Shawn, which I have written about before, caters to those with food allergies, but has a wonderfully tasty menu for everyone - even those who can tolerate gluten, meat, high calories, etc.  They now advertise the following on their Website:

Join us every Monday Night
for
DATE NIGHT
We will entertain your children while you have some wonderful
quality time with each other.
Price
$5.00 per child (includes dinner)
$30.00 Minimum dinner for Mom and Dad
 Reservations Required

So, this is all I needed to see and the next thing you know, one of my favorite mommy friends (KELLY!!!!!!) and her family joined us this past Monday night.  What a wonderful evening it was!  We dined (don't you love the use of this word - Dined?) from 5:45pm to about 7:10pm. Wowee!  When was the last time I could do that at a restaurant with the kids?!?!  Usually we have to get in and out in 40 to 45 minutes.  And, we were able to have a leisurely meal, not rushed, with all the courses (salad/soup, entree, dessert) in the proper order.  Usually Jeff and I instruct the waiter to bring everything out at once. 

The kids had a great time and we didn't hear one peep out of them (they were in a separate room next to us).  My dream is to become a regular at a restaurant I really like.  A place where I walk in and they automatically know what I may order or suggest something new based on my tastes.  A place where it may be crowded, I don't have a reservation, but they see me coming and always have a table for me.  I am not sure Jeff is a fan of my vision, as it would take many, many visits in order for this to occur. And, then of course, you need to keep up the frequency of visits.

BUT, if I could accomplish this dream, this is the exact kind of place I'd want to be a regular at.   Have I mentioned that this restaurant is only 4 miles down the road from where we live?  Does it get much better? 

I will be back for date night on Mondays.  The amount of money we spent for dinner was totally reasonable and saved us easily $40 in babysitting costs.  That in my opinion was the best of both worlds.  Have your kids with you, but somewhere else.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sleep? What's that!?!?!

I am so in love with my blog right now.  Why, you ask?  Because it gives me the opportunity to realize just how bad a sleeper Sam is.  I really thought this period we are going through right now is isolated and that normally Sam had been a good sleeper, but now I know differently.  Just goes to show you how quickly I can make myself forget the bad stages.

Exhibit A:
July 12, 2010 blog entry

Exhibit B:
November 18, 2010 blog entry

And let me now add the most recent set of trouble we are experiencing.  The below recap is from our strategy to put a gate on Sam's door and not let her out.  Take out anything fun that is in her room and keep her inside at all costs.  The weeks leading up to this new addition to her doorway was many continuous nights when Sam would get up at all hours (usually every 30 to 45 minutes) and start demanding different things (needs her Leapster, needs her iTouch, needs to brush her teeth, needs to wash her hands, needs to change her pajamas, needs to switch blankets, etc).  The girl just wouldn't go to sleep or stay asleep without a major battle.  It is a wonder that either of us were functioning at all during the day.  Although, I do admit to falling asleep at traffic lights. That's when you know something has got to change!


January 20 - January 25, 2010

Operation: Stay asleep (night 1) - a BIG success. 2 or 3 more nights of this and we may actually have a well-rested 2 year old in our home. It's funny that I feel waking up at 11:40pm and 3:36am as a success. How my perspective has changed in the last several weeks.

Operation: Stay asleep (night 2) - an even BIGGER success!! For the first time in at least 2 months, Sam did not fight us on being put down to bed or wake up at all during the night. Wowee!! It is a great feeling waking up this morning knowing we are headed in the right direction.

Operation: Stay asleep (night 3) - not such a good report. It took 3 major screaming episodes and more than 2 hours for Sam to fall asleep. Finally at 9:45pm she went down. Then she woke up at 12:30am and 2:00am. Each time she came to the door, stood by her gate and threw a fit to be let out.

Operation: Stay asleep (night 4) - progress is being made again! Sam went to sleep right at 7:10pm and didn't fight us on it. She woke up only once at 1:00am, came to her door, and in less than one minute was back in her bed for the rest of the night (with no interference from us). She woke up for the day at 6:10am. Yay! We are back in business.

Operation: Stay asleep (night 5) - not fun. Sam went to sleep easily & was out by 7:30pm. Woke up at 11:48pm & started screaming big-time to get out. Jeff caved & went in at 12:10am to put her back to bed. (NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS!!). Then she was out of bed again screaming from 12:30am to 2:00amish. She finally stopped screaming & played on her own until 3:00amish. Woke up for the day by 6:00am. Lovely.

Operation: Stay asleep (night 6) - more of the same. Sam went to sleep by 7:45pm, stayed "quiet" all night long and was up for the day at 5:40am. Not sure what happened during the night, but she had on all of yesterday's clothes over her pajamas. Which means she did this in complete darkness. Not actually sure just how much of last night Sam spent sleeping. Don't care either. I got 7 hours. :)

I'd like to think that the situation is getting better and we are making progress, but that could be the optimistic in me.  I really think that Sam has a sleep disorder and needs more help than Jeff and I can give her.  I am thisclose taking her to the dr for a full blood work-up and a strong request to find out what we can do to have her sleep patterns checked-out. 

The hardest part in all this is Sam has given up her nap.  So she is *waking-up* for the day cranky and just gets crankier as the day wears on.  This major sleep deprivation is wreaking havoc with her temperament.  I know, I don't enjoy being around her when she is like this.  It is not fun.  Not fun at all.

I am frustrated.  Tired.  Stressed.  And more than anything, I want my 2 year old to learn to sleep.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heard and Observed XIX

This is too good not to share with those who aren't FB friends with Jeff.  He had originally posted this on MLK Day and I can't resist also adding it to my blog.

Jeff:  Ian, do you know how Martin Luther King, Jr was?
Ian:  Yes, Martin Luther King's son.

Hahahahah!!  Jeff totally got a taste of his own medicine and received the same exact response he would've given had he been asked when he was a little boy, or even this age for that matter.  Just so you know, after the smarty response, Ian was able to answer the question perfectly.  I guess those 10 minutes spent in kindergarten are proving worthwhile.

****************************************************************************

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Fun Mom

I love the show "Modern Family" on ABC.  One of my most favorite episodes aired right before our November trip.  It was Manny's birthday and the whole family was coming together to celebrate at a local restaurant.  The show to me was hilarious and I enjoyed it all 3 times I saw it.  I don't normally watch the same episode over and over again, but it seemed like every time I turned around, another family member of mine was catching up on recorded shows on the DVR.

Which reminds me of something similar to the show "Sex and the City". I never watched that show.  Ever.  But the one episode I saw at a friend's house (because they faithfully watched it each week), was "Plus One".  Then get this, years ago, Jeff and I went to NYC for a weekend trip and went to visit the "Museum of Television and Radio".  We had gotten tickets for some kind of exhibit and arrived early.  We ducked into the theatre showing a "Sex and the City" marathon and you guessed it, they were showing the same exact episode, "Plus One."  And, another time I was at a different friend's house who was watching a rerun of a "Sex and the City" espisode and the same exact "Plus One" came on.  OMG!  I am sure that "Sex and the City" made other shows besides this one, but you wouldn't know it by me.

Whoa, please forgive my tangent. I just had this memory pop into my head and felt the need to share. I mean, what are the odds for a show I never saw, that I would see the same exact episode 3 times!?!? 

Anyway, back to Modern Family, which I do love and will watch each week.  Claire, Phil and the family are about to leave their house and head to the restaurant.  Words are exchanged between Claire and Phil and a bet is placed on who can get to the restaurant first based on their favorite route to get there.  During the drive Claire comes to the realization that she is not the fun parent, Phil is.  All the crazy, zany ideas come from Phil, not Claire. 

This got me thinking.  I want to be the fun parent!  I want to surprise the kids and do something out of character for once.  I feel like for weeks we were getting into a boring routine of picking Ian up from school, heading home, having a snack and then making sure Ian did his homework, have me make dinner and then get the kids ready for bed.  Not a whole lot of fun.  And looking back years from now, are the kids going to think I was the fun parent?  Probably not.  It was bumming me out.

So I went for it.  One afternoon, before our big trip, Sam and I picked Ian up from school.  I told Ian we had a stop to make on the way home.  It was to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream.  Now that was fun and unexpected, right?  Ian got very excited when he realized where we were going.  As we were getting out of the car Ian came clean and said to me, "Is it okay if I have ice cream again since we had an ice cream party in class today?"  WHAT!?!?!!  Who knew that the kids were having an ice cream party at school?  And since Ian's kindergarten is all of 3 hours long, it was probably within the last hour.  Oh my!

I couldn't go back on my word now.  The fun mom was out and was not going back!  "Sure Ian.  You can have ice cream twice today."  Because that is what the fun parent would say.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keeping up with Current Events

Samantha has picked up a new habit.  This is actually a good one that we can all endorse and stand behind.  She likes to read the newspaper.  We'll be having breakfast at the table in the morning and Sam will grab a section of the paper and look at it like she is reading it.  It is really cute. 
If she is done eating her cereal or pancakes and not done with the newspaper, she'll take it to the ottoman or couch and finish "reading" it. 

So far she doesn't have a preference with which section she reads.  One morning after about 10 minutes of staring at the paper, she put it down on the table and said with a heavy, exasperated sigh, "I can't read" and gave a very big pouty face.  She truly looked sad at her revelation.

We always thought that Ian was going to be "the smart one", but signs are now pointing to Sam giving him some stiff competition.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You know, you can go more than once

One morning, Ian wakes up and I follow him downstairs.  Our routine is that we get him a big straw-cup of milk to drink first thing in the morning and then approx. an hour later, he has breakfast.

Ian on his way to the bathroom (for that first of the day pee after sleeping for 11.5 hours straight) sees me bringing him his milk.

Ian:  "Oh, I'll just wait to go after I have my milk."

Me:  "It's okay Ian, you should always go right when you wake-up."

Ian:  "Why?  I'll just have to go again later after the milk is gone."

I have no idea if for the past year and a half (since Ian has been trained at night, wearing underwear) if he never went to the bathroom first thing.  I can't believe this is something I hadn't picked up on before.

Wow, I am impressed with the size of his bladder.  However, I did encourage him to always go right away and not to hold it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Scotty Hamilton in the making


Ian has been dying to try ice skating.  He wanted to go last Winter, but for one reason or another, we never made it to the rink.  As soon as the weather got cold this year, Ian started asking again if we could go.  Always up for a challenge, I put a date on the calendar for me to take Ian ice skating.

We ended up going earlier than planned.  We had plans last weekend to meet up with some friends for lunch at Pentagon Row. Of course there is a small outdoor rink and it was hard not to pass up this opportunity.  However, the other family we were with backed out of going ice skating due to the cold and windy weather.  We told Ian we couldn't go either and at the very last minute (on the way to car to go home), I changed my mind and went for it.

The bucket became Ian's best friend
It was fun, funny and silly all at the same time. Ian's skates had the double blades and he was pushing the big bucket to help with balance.  You would think this was his first time learning how to walk and banana peels were all over the floor with how much slipping and falling he did.  No matter how many times Ian hit the ground, he got right back up and kept trying to master skating.  It's a good thing Ian is flexible, because his legs went in every direction possible while going down on the ice.  I didn't realize how good Ian is at doing splits.

After 30 minutes, he had enough.  He got very brave more than few times and tried to leave the bucket behind and take-off solo making his way around.  Got to give the little guy credit, he showed no fear.

Funniest line was at the end of our skating session when Ian said, "I'm going to have dinner standing up tonight." 

Not to be deterred, Ian had a great time and wants to go back for more.  We are going to keep our original date on the calendar and build on our success, no broken bones.

Here is some video of Ian in action. 

video

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Miss Independent

Here was the scene at our house the other afternoon: 

Ian (age 5.5 years old):  I'm hungry.  Can I have some goldfish?
Me:  Sure, I'll get you some.

I get Ian's wash from his room and take it downstairs to the washing machine. 

Ian: Hey, where's my goldfish? 
Me:  I will get it for you now.

Meanwhile, Sam (age 2.5 years old) comes into the kitchen, gets her step stool and brings it over to the junk drawer.  Finds her pair of child-friendly scissors (right next to the really sharp pair of scissors) and takes her step stool over to the pantry.  Opens the pantry, gets out a 2 pt Weight Watchers caramel flavored bar, closes the pantry door, and moves her operation over to the kitchen counter.  Gets back up on the step stool, takes the scissors and opens the wrapper to the caramel bar.  Gets back down, puts the scissors back in the drawer, takes her opened bar and joins Ian on the couch.

She didn't ask me for a snack or tell me she was hungry.  She went about her business and helped herself to what she wanted.  She put a plan in place to make it happen and went on her way.  It was pretty impressive.  I wonder if she can teach Ian how to get his own snacks.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My little buddy

I am ready to admit this now.  I am still a little bitter over Ian not having full day kindergarten, but I am really enjoying my time with him on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  After we've dropped Sam off at preschool, it is just the two of us until 11:40am.  That's a little more than 2 hours of some quality time together.  I try to book all my dr appts, run errands, go to my weekly weight watchers weigh-in/meeting, get eyebrows waxed during these mornings when I don't have Sam with me.  It's better for all concerned.  Ian has become my little buddy and regularly rises to the challenge of being dragged all about town.

After one trip to Costco:

I am in the midst of unloading the car;

Ian:  Here let me help you, it will make it easier.
Me:  Wow, thanks Ian. That is awesome.  Take this.  (I give him the lightest item - 3 cereal holder Tupperware containers.  They are empty! ). 
Ian:  I need some help!  This is heavy.

*************************************************
After my last Weight Watchers meeting:

Ian:  Wow, that was a quick half hour. 

***********************************************

Don't get me wrong, for most of the places we go, I bring the iTouch and Ian does a wonderful job of sitting next to me, happily being entertained either with his games or videos.  And I am enjoying the company and someone to chat to about everything that is occurring.  I love Ian's view on what is going on.  He is definitely my little buddy and I am enjoying the half day kindergarten that allows us to spend time together.  There.  I said it.  Oh my.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Plan.

I've thought long and hard about what I want to do to commemorate this year turning 40.  I now have a plan to put in action. 

1. Run (walk or crawl if I have to) the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20, 2011. Yes, that's right.  I am going for it. 26.2.  Oy!  I still can't believe I am considering this, but wow, what a feeling it would be to cross that finish line.  And, if you don't try, you'll never know if you can succeed.

2. Go Skydiving, ONLY after getting to my goal weight.  This could be the reward I need to keep me on track.  Jeff made me laugh pretty hard when he commented that I will fall to the ground just as fast with or without the extra 35 lbs.  But it will be so much sweeter doing it at my goal weight.  And as one friend has joked with me, the chalk outline of my body will be smaller. 

I am hoping that neither of the above items result in my death.  Because that would really suck.  I am also hoping that both will be achieved during the year 2011. 

I am excited, scared and nervous all at the same time.  I go back and forth between thinking I am crazy & insane and heck, why the hell not do this?!??!?!?  Registration for the marathon opens on April 1st.  I want to confirm that there is no cut-off time (meaning, however long it takes me, there will still be someone there handing out water and clocking my time) and then I'll register.  My fabulous husband is behind me 100% and ask that I only put the training schedule on the calendar so that he knows when to expect me getting in an 18 mile or longer (eegaads!) run.  And in a wonderful show of support he already added the registration fee into the budget. 

OH.  MY. G-D.  I am going to do this.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's time for Shabbat

Usually by the time Friday evening comes, I am spent.  It's undoubtedly been a long week and I am ready for the swing shift (Jeff) to come in and help out during Saturday and Sunday.  Now that Sam is no longer napping in the afternoons, Friday evenings find me even more exhausted than usual.

Once a month, my Friday evenings have become fun again!  Amy, a fabulous mommy friend came up with a great idea.  She sent an email asking 4 other families if we would like to rotate to each of our houses and host a Shabbat dinner.  What an awesome idea!  I replied my Toppall team is in and I'll volunteer for us to go first.  I wanted to get it over with and not have anxiety waiting months and months for our turn.  However, any anxiety I was forgoing, became fraught with other worries --

1. How in the world would I fit 10 adults and 12 kids in my house for dinner?

2. What in the world could I make us all to eat?

3. Where is everyone going to sit?

4. Was I overscheduling myself because I also volunteered to bring dinner to a friend & her family for that same evening?

One by one, I tackled all the challenges and everything turned out great.  Fantastic, if I do say so myself.  It helped that I literally wrote out my Thursday and Friday schedule in one hour increments, starting at 6:00am and ending at 7:45pm.  I needed to make sure I could fit everything in and make the most of the time I had.   Many thanks are given to Kelly (does she come to my rescue weekly or what!?!?) for letting me borrow not one, but two kids-sized tables with chairs.  This gave all the kids a place to sit.  And, because one family ended up cancelling, I had enough spots for all 8 adults to sit at my dining room table. In the end we had a total of 8 adults and 9 kids.  I was very nervous when I got a text from one of the moms asking if they could bring anything.  And when the phone rang at 5:00pm with a similar question from another family, I thought both times that someone else was cancelling.  Fortunately this was not the case.

More thanks can also be given to Let's Dish.  It was this brilliant idea to get the Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Rice and not need to order the pizzas I originally thought might be a good idea. (hahaha, just kidding).  The dish took 35 minutes to make and I think was a crowd pleaser.  I put a salad and of course, challah with the dinner and I felt pretty good about it all coming together.  I made the kids steamed broccoli, chicken nuggets and noodles with parmesan and butter.  Ding, ding, ding we had a winner.

I am in love with this tradition we've started.  Jeff and I aren't overly religious, but we want the kids to know they are Jewish and to celebrate the various holidays.  We did the prayer over the bread and candles.  All the kids chanted along.  It was a great way to end the crazy, busy week I call my life.  Be among good friends and have the kids learn a little more about what it is to be Jewish.  Every tradition has to start somewhere.  And I am glad we got this one going.

Jeff and I earlier in the day were trying to guess what time we thought everyone would leave.  He said 7:30pm and I said, "No way, 7:00pm.  All the kids go to bed in the 7:00pm hour and everyone still has to drive home."  To our delight, no one left before 8:30pm.  Wowee!  I'd say that alone showed the evening was a success.

So now I can breathe easy for the next 4 months until it is our turn again.  I feel like a full-fledged grown-up. I even had a tablecloth on the table!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Weight Watchers - Month 1 (frustrated)

As mentioned earlier, I joined WW again and more determined than ever to make this work and finally achieve my dream of hitting my goal weight.  I will give a recap each month on how I am doing. So, how am I doing?  I am more frustrated than ever!

# of lbs looking to lose:  36.4

Week 1 - lost 5 lbs
Week 2 - lost .2 lbs
Week 3 - didn't weigh in because it was New Year's and a crazy week for me
Week 4 - gained 1.8 lbs

TOTAL Weight loss to date:  3.4 lbs

Total left to lose:  33 lbs

Being the optimistic that I am, I will first focus on the positive and be thankful that I did not gain 3.4 lbs over the holiday season.  I am also thankful that I am back on track and living a very healthy and active lifestyle.

However, this is where I am ridiculously frustrated.  This past week has been stellar in terms of tracking, making healthy eating choices and getting the exercise in.  In addition to following the training program to build up to 10 miles running (this week I had 3 runs at 2 miles each), I am also meeting a few of the Burke Moms to walk 3 miles each evening, and I am alternating days between a kettle bell workout at the gym and the EA Active 2 Wii workout at home.  So basically on any given day, I am doing 3 complete workouts. 

I am not eating the exercise points I am getting.  I don't believe in this.  But, I am also dipping into the 49 weekly flex points so maybe you could look at as if I am eating some of the exercise points.

If someone came to me with this exact problem, I'd tell them they are not eating enough and their body is in starvation mode.  I am just having a hard time believing this is the case with me.  Maybe if I was at a plateau or barely losing anything each week, but to be gaining 1.8 lbs?  Really?  I don't get it.  Each morning the scale is going up, up, up.  How is that possible when I have burned at least 1/2 if not 2/3rds of the calories I am eating? 

Honestly I can't do more than I am doing.  I leave the gym with no regrets.  I am religiously tracking and measuring everything I eat. 

I refuse to give up.   I will give this another week at the same intensity before I figure out what changes to make. 

Back to the optimism - Yay!!  3.4 lbs in a month is pretty good.  I shouldn't complain.  And since this is a marathon, not a sprint, I'll happily take a 3.4 lb loss each month.  That would mean I could hit my goal weight in 10.5 months (October 2011).  Now, I just have to stop the scale moving in the wrong direction.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

26.2

I am reading a book right now called, "The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get off your butt and on with your training.

In a million years I never thought I could do a marathon.  Heck, I am not sure I even want to do a marathon.  The amount of training involved is very time-intensive.  Not to mention, that race day is spent pretty much all day long running.  I am almost certain it would take me at least 6 hours (if not more) to cross the finish line.  It really doesn't sound like my idea of a good time.  Do you know how many meals you would miss in 6+ hours?

However, I've been looking for something a bit over-the-top and spectacular to do to commemorate the year I turn 40.  I've been spending a lot of time, usually at night when I should be sleeping and not spending time listening to Samantha scream/cry in her sleep, trying to come up with ideas.  I want something that is going beyond my comfort zone and is a once-in-a-lifetime type activity.  Something that when its over, I will have felt it was worthy to wait 40 years to accomplish. 

I've got a few contenders I am considering, but nothing that requires the discipline and training a marathon involves.  And other than skydiving, I am not sure the finish would be as exhilarating either.

Anyway, this book I am reading is pretty damn inspiring.  As I am reading it, I can envision myself actually running a marathon.  And I am not a runner!!  Yes, I know I've dabbled in running some 5ks, 10ks, and did the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler twice, but when I tell you, that every single step is a struggle, it is.  Running does not come easy to me.  It takes all my effort and will power to keep one foot in front of another and then repeat, repeat and oh yeah, repeat again.  It is a sport that I do solely based on the feeling I get when it is over.  That rush of adrenaline that I just did something I never thought possible.  Something that a large part of the population wishes they could get off the couch and do. 

I may not run the fastest or farthest, but I am pushing myself every time I am out there.  I am competing only against me, no one else.  I strive to do better than my last run. A lot of the time this is not the case, but I never give up trying.  It's all mental with me, and the mind games I play go a long way to helping me achieve my goal.  Simply to finish.

I am really enjoying the book.  It is very funny and written by someone that I think I could be good friends with.  She breaks it down and is incredibly relatable.  She is not an athlete or some kind of fitness super-hero.  When she started her training, she wasn't even a runner either. 

I am so intrigued.  Very, very intrigued.  But is it enough to commit?  Is this going to my icing on the cake?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Heard and Observed XVIII

Ian:  I just want to go to my room for some alone time.  I want to be lonely.

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We were eating lunch at Chick-fil-a near the Dulles Expo Center.  Right outside the window, Ian could see the neighboring restaurant. He quickly read and identified the "Pizza Hut" sign, but had trouble sounding out the sign right next to it.  He sees the first letter and wants so hard to guess the word without sounding it out.

"Taco Barn"?

"Taco Butt"?

Um no Ian, it's "Taco Bell".

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We had to leave Sam and Ian with someone new to watch them for New Year's Eve, as our regular sitter was not available.  Sam was not happy about the switch and when she saw Jeff & me put on our coats, she said to me "Go with you Mommy, go with you."  I replied back, "No Sam, you are staying here with the babysitter."

Sam:  "And I don't want a baby sister either."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Getting by with a little help from my friends

Earlier this week I experienced a period of complete and utter turmoil, stress and frustration trying to parent Sam.  My recent blog "Going crazy", detailed a little of what I am going through and what a handful my 2.5 year old is. 

That morning, I received one of the greatest delights in my 'Winter break from Hell' and it turned not only my day around, but gave me the strength to continue on & survive.  One of the best friends any woman could have (with or without children) is named Jennifer W.  We had on the calendar a scheduled drop-off playdate for Ian, at 10:00am at her house.  After getting in a quick work-out at the gym (more to escape actual parenting than anything else), I drove to Jen's house and walked Ian to the door.  Jen inquired about Sam and asked if I was dropping her off too.  WHAT!?!?!  Didn't Jen get the memo, or watch the news or hear the screaming from our house to hers on what I am going thru daily?  Was she really serious that she wanted Sam too?  I thought I was hearing things.  After I confirmed that Sam was invited too, I started tearing up.  This was exactly the break that was needed.  In a very big way. 

I believe that Sam was incredibly happy to be getting a break from me too, because when I went to get her out of the car, she ran to Jen's front door and didn't look back.  I think I may have heard a "bye-bye Mommy" come out of her mouth as she passed me by.

I am not sure if Jen realized just how necessary this drop-off playdate was to my mental well-being.  But, she literally saved me that day.  I am sure at some point I would've had to call Jeff to come home early and let me go somewhere by myself to escape.  Yes, I hit my breaking point.

When I went to go pick the kids up (at 3:00pm!!!!!!!), of course the reports come back that Sam was an angel.  I would much rather her be troublesome with me and no one else, especially a friend I am very fond of.  But still, I feel like I am doing something wrong.  Yes, I know this is just a stage and she will eventually grow out of it.  Jen has been kind enough to offer to have her over anytime I feel like I am about to lose it.  Um, that would mean Sam moves in with you for the next 6 months or so.  :)  And while you are it, can you tackle potty training too? 

Later that afternoon, my other amazing friend Kelly, called and said, "I just read your blog.  I know this is really late notice, but would you like to go the movies tonight?"  My reply?  "Yes!  I could sit in a dark theatre right now and have nothing play on the screen and it would be time well spent."   We saw the movie, "How do you know". Very cute movie and my fantastic, well-relaxed, non-stressed mood continued a little longer.

I owe so much to my mommy friends.  I really think it takes a village to be a stay-at-home-mom.  I feel so fortunate to have an incredible support group that keeps me going.  These friendships I have formed go beyond us having kids in common.  They aren't getting rid of me anytime soon no matter how old our kids get.  I honestly don't know if I'd be able do this job solo.  Nor do I ever want to find out.  Thank you Jen and Kelly -- I love you guys!