Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Self-Portrait of Somewhat Pathetic

This was the text that I sent to one of my best friends last night as I sat in a Sports bar surrounded by men all drafting their Fantasy Football teams: "Hah! I'm so pathetic...I needed to get out of my house and away from my kids so badly that I am subjecting myself to this....and using up my cousin's goodwill and free babysitting".

I tagged along with my husband last night for his draft.  A few of his friends were there, there was beer and bar food and the Yankees on just about every screen in the place.  Really, it could have been much worse than it was.  And it wasn't bad, at all. Just not what I was hoping for.

I didn't tag along to check up on my husband, as I'm sure some of the "men" there assumed.  I didn't tag along to make sure he didn't spend too much money on trades and drafts.  I didn't tag along for any other reason than I REALLY needed to get out of my house and away from my kids (OH THE HORROR AT ME BEING A TERRIBLE MOTHER AND NEEDING A BREAK FROM MY KIDS!) And I figured it would be a bit know, sports bar, the husband, his friends (whom I like) and beer and terribly bad for you food.

And it was fun, for awhile.  And then the guy next to me gave me one too many disapproving looks and made some backhanded comment about me being there.  And then I knew it was time for me to drown my beer and head across the parking lot to Target.

A win-win, for the most part.

While my jaunt through Target was enjoyable, it didn't produce any fun results.  Normally, my Target runs result in a fun new 'something' for me or the kids to play with.  Last night's Target run resulted in baby wipes, MiO drink mix, diaper rash cream and squeezable baby food.

Wild and Crazy....I know.

My Target run, though, is not the point.  Neither is my experience at the Sports Bar.  I'm not here to whine about the draft and being surrounded by men who, probably, didn't want me (the only woman, save the waitresses, in the entire bar) there.

I'm here because I am the self-portrait of pathetic.  Or I was last night.

Like I said, I needed to get out of my house.  And don't go thinking my husband keeps me under lock and key.  SO NOT THE CASE. Lately though, my days seem to run together.  Saturday is the same as Monday which is the same as Wednesday which is, you guessed it, the SAME AS SATURDAY!!  

And this is not a bad thing.  For the most part.

I know three weeks from now, when soccer is in full swing and gymnastics has taken a hold of our lives and school is the center of some 7 year old boys' universes, I'll long for these days of no difference.  But right now, they are making me a little nuts.  

And forcing me to stoop to somewhat pathetic lows to get out of my house.

And as understanding as my husband is about me needing a break (he really is) I don't think he gets, or got until I unloaded it on him last night, how much I sometimes need a break.  And sometimes, I even want him to come with me on said breaks. But babysitters are not cheap and our regular sitter is a soccer player and soccer is back in season.  And I won't take advantage of family, as I sometimes fear I already have.  And the state frowns upon you locking your children in their rooms with food bowls, adult diapers and maybe a bottle or two.

So, more often than not my breaks consist of runs to Shop Rite or Target.  They are quick blips on the radar where I rush into the local library and grab a book they have on hold for me.  Or a spontaneous run to the local ice cream store to grab a sundae for the husband and some for myself.

And for the most part, those usually suffice. But as of late I'm so pathetically in need of a break and some time away that even I'm willing to subject myself to an inordinate amount of testosterone and disapproving looks from "men" who were clearly using their fantasy football draft as a means to get their own breaks.

Monday, August 27, 2012


When I quit my job back in June it briefly crossed my mind that come September there was a very good chance I wouldn't have to prepare for anything.  I wouldn't be worried about lesson plans or a syllabus or seating charts.  I wouldn't have to think about cleaning my room or organizing all of the beginning of the year bullshit paperwork.  I wouldn't have to do any of that on top of making sure my kids were transitioning into their new school well.

I felt melancholy back in June.  There was a slight sadness that made me take pause and wonder if maybe quitting wasn't the right thing.  That pause was very very brief considering the different events and occurrences that came with the end of the year.

This morning all of my former co-workers began their 2012-2013 orientation.  Tomorrow they start seeing students.  This morning I slept until 8:45 while my husband took care of the kids.  Then I woke up, made a phone call to my local board of ed transportation department and got my kids' bus stop changed to- wait for it- OUR DRIVEWAY. Then I ran to Home Depot because, really, what's a Monday if it doesn't start at Home Depot.  Then I got in 30 minutes on the "new" treadmill in my basement.  And now I'm sitting here, while the twins nap, the older two take these last few days of summer to attempt to finish off one another, and I drink my coffee and there is very little, no there is NO melancholy to be seen.

I'm fairly certain I got more accomplished between 8:45 and 11:45 this morning than I would have in this first week of school, anyway.

While I am uncertain of the future and I am worried about paying bills and making ends meet and finding a job that will give me a nice paycheck along with advancement, I am no longer uncertain about my choice to have picked up and left my teaching career.

I miss my students. I miss less than a handful of co-workers.  But I do not, in any way shape or form, miss my job or my former place of employment.

I have had a few people, since quitting, tell me that they admire my bravery or my choice. They could never walk away from their jobs into the unknown.  I don't think I'm brave.  Actually, I think I'm a little bit stupid at times for having walked away from a steady paycheck in a crap economy.  But I'm beginning to get what they mean.  I'm beginning to see that my walking away wasn't about my job or my co-workers.  It wasn't about being fed up with getting paid crap wages for and excessive amount of work.

My quitting was all about me and what I needed in order to feel good about myself and get back to who I know I can be as a woman, a mom, a wife, a friend and a professional.

For the first time in a pretty long time I don't feel sad about what's ahead.  I'm pretty scared because that's how the unknown works sometimes, but I don't have that feeling of melancholy mixed with, "Holy shit I quit my job and I have no idea what's next!"

I just have this feeling of waiting anxiously and excitedly for what's next. That feeling just before you get on the roller coaster and you know it's going to be an incredible ride but you're nervous because what if you get stuck upside down or your safety harness fails.

And I also have a feeling of pure and utter relief at not having to prepare lesson plans.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Making The Bed

I've been making our bed every morning lately.  If you know me, and know my thoughts on this, you know this is shocking.

I don't make beds, I think it's stupid.  You're going to sleep in the bed again later on that day, why are you making it?!  But as of late, I've been making it regularly.

Like, I literally just made it before I sat down to write this.

I don't know what started this "trend".  I don't know why it's sort of important to me now to make our bed but I'm doing it and I feel good about it.

I get to the end of my day and before the husband and I are about to get into bed I can say, "Well, I may not have done the laundry or sorted all of the baby clothes or gone food shopping or made it to the gym or, you know, anything else, but I did make the that's something."

And it really is something.

I feel like some days the sense of accomplishment and pride and something else that I just can't describe, is enough.  It's just making the bed but knowing that it got done and it makes our bedroom look like it's semi-put together and neat makes me feel better about everything else.  The day may have been today is shaping up to be....but at least the bed got made.

There's a part of me that really wants to delve deeper into why making the bed is so important to me all of a sudden but the other part of me, the part that thinks this importance is a sign of something not so right with me right now, won't let me.  So I don't.

And I just take pleasure in the fact that while my dishes may not be done and my kids may not be bathed and our playroom may look like disaster central, my bed is made and that's enough for

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Now Is Only Temporary

I was going to write this carefully crafted post about talking with a friend about our kids and how refreshing it is to find that I'm finally surrounding myself with people who are honest and sincere.  I was going to talk about how it's so wonderful to finally have people whom I can call and talk frankly about my day and my kids' behavior rather than people who sugarcoat their lives so that they seem like it's so much easier and better for them.  I guess you could say, I was going to blow smoke up all of your asses and be ok with hitting publish.

Then I read Marty's blog. I've been reading Marty since the very beginning of blogging and while we've never met I consider her a friend. And I consider her a very honest and true writer.  Someone I definitely admire. Marty gave some advice to new bloggers today and as I was carefully crafting my above mentioned post I thought of her and what she wrote. And then I hit delete.

And now we're here.

So I had a conversation with a friend of mine who just had a baby and she told me how much she doesn't really like little little babies. Which I get.  I happen to like little little babies.  She likes when they're a bit older and can actually do stuff. I, on the other hand, find that in between stage where they can sort of do stuff and interact but aren't even close to self-sufficient to be one of the most frustrating parts of having little ones.

You know what? I can't freaking stand that stage.  And lucky for me, I have two kids in that stage right at this very moment.

Our twins are a miracle- every child is. I have found myself really enjoying them a lot more than I did my older two kids.  I don't know why.  Maybe because we had to "fight" for them and they had to fight to live those first few weeks.  Maybe because we're older now and I'm not nearly as uptight as I was.  Maybe it's just that I'm finally finding myself in a place- physically and emotionally- that is far healthier than where I was with my older two.  It really doesn't matter, the point is that our girls are a gift (just like our other two) and I cherish and appreciate more moments than I don't.

But holy crap, right now there are some days where I am convinced that if we put my kids and criminals in a room together criminals would confess to every crime an atrocity they've ever committed.  Because by the end of those days I'm ready to go out and commit a few crimes.

The girls can't walk yet but they make up for that by plotting late at night and planning for the next day. "Ok, tomorrow morning you wake up super early and cry no matter what she does. When she gives you that bottle you make sure you scream until she takes that thing and warms up that milk. Don't let her slack and give you that cold ass straight out the bottle shit." Says my skinny little firecracker Baby A.

And the response of my food and bottle loving Baby B, "Ok, but you make sure when she puts you on the floor with me you watch where I go and then you go the opposite way as fast as possible. Make sure you find that one random juice box straw wrapper left on the floor and put that in your mouth. She really jumps when you do crap like that. We got this...she'll be drinking by 11am, no doubt!"

They are cute, to be sure, but they are some of the biggest troublemakers around and when there are two of them it's insanity.  Factor in a 7 year old who loves school so much that he begged me to go to summer school and cried when he found out that school was really over for the summer and has since decided to whine his way through June, July and August.  And, of course, our 5 year old pre-menopausal daughter who has perfected the art of the temper tantrum and pout session.  And some days it seems like solitary with a dose of the prison laundry wouldn't be so bad.

But to be fair, there are the days when I lay my head down around 1 in the morning and think to myself, "Today was a good one. The screaming was minimal. The girls napped together, ate together, played together and really it was fun. The older two played outside and read their library books and ate exactly what was put in front of them. It was good. I win at today."  And those are the days that outweigh others even though they seem to be few and far between right now.

But see, that's the thing, now is only temporary.  My friend's baby will not be little little forever and she knows that and cherishes the time she does have while looking forward to the months ahead when the baby will be a bit bigger and more interactive.  I can't stand this stage where I feel like the girls have me held prisoner in a lot of ways but I know it's fleeting and there's more about this stage to love than there isn't.   So, I cherish this time and remember the good parts and laugh about the harder parts...usually over a shared glass of wine with a friend.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Time Styling for the Holidays

I'm heading out in a little bit to do some shopping.  My kids, you see, are going to public school in a few weeks and what's interesting about that is the fact that my kids have NEVER been to a public school before.  While I could easily be concerned about the adjustment for them from private school to public school, I'm trying to keep that at bay.  So, I'm using this time to focus on something a bit more fun....BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHES SHOPPING!

I shop at a small variety of stores for my kids- especially my girls.  I've found that finding clothes that are cute, stylish and not, well, trashy, can be difficult for little girls.  And then when you throw in affordable...forget about it!

Since my son was born of the stores that I've frequented the most was The Chidlren's Place.  Their variety, their ease of shopping, their prices and their sales have made for one very happy mommy and a usually pretty stylish, and comfortable, kid.  When my girls came along I naturally turned to the Children's Place and was not disappointed- especially in their baby items and dressy clothes.  I was beginning to feel, though, as my oldest daughter moved out of toddler sizes and into big girl sizes that we were going to need to put her in garbage bags in order to keep her covered up.  And that was not always a function of The Children's Place, but it was EVERYWHERE I went to get her clothes!

Well, it appears the tides are changing and the trash is going out with the undertow because The Children's Place and their newer design team has been hard at work and putting out clothes that are, well, AWESOME. (And secretly things I'd like to wear on a regular basis- especially the sequin boots!!)  Last night I went into NYC for an event with The Children's Place and MomTrends to preview the new Holiday line from the Children's Place.  LET ME TELL YOU OH MY WORD!  If I could have taken all of the clothes and put them in my purse for my kids to put on I would have because, you guys, I can't wait for this line to hit the stores!

I'm already imaging what pictures I'm going to take and where my twin girls are going to wear the hot pink and pale pink rosette dresses with faux fur boots!  And I cannot wait to show my 5 year old daughter the different sequined sparkle boots and skirts and winter hats!  The girl can rock sequins like you wouldn't believe!  Oh, and my son...let's not forget about the child who adores wearing a tie and a button down shirt to any and every event and outing!  The vests and the hats and PLAID!  OH MY GOODNESS!

 Without a doubt, at least one of my twins will be in the above outfit this holiday season!

The holidays are a crazy crazy time for us and we spend the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Valentine's day with family and friends all over the place and coming up with things for my kids to wear is sometimes, well, a pain in the ass.  With the clothes that I saw last night not only will my kids be some of the best dressed little divas out there but I'm going to have tons of fun dressing them!
 I ADORE this dress and it's coming in more than just Navy!
 Snow Day or EVERYDAY worthy outfits!

THESE will be on my 5 year old's feet!

So, now I head out to pick up and almost brand new wardrobe for my soon to be public school kids and their 10 month old twin sisters!  And, like every good parent, I am eagerly awaiting back to school and then the holidays because I cannot wait to get my kids all dressed up and out!
 This outfit ALMOST makes me want another baby boy...almost...

I have a 7 year old that will be sporting this outfit...most likely for a New Years' Eve party!

*I was not monetarily compensated for this post. I received a delicious night out in NYC, a Children's Place coupon and a goodie bag but my opinions are ALL MY OWN!*

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