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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This week's Wordless Wednesday is in honor of my son, Christopher's, 13th birthday. Happy Birthday, my TEENAGER!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I know it's cliche ....

But I've been thinking a lot about New Years resolutions the past few weeks. Usually I make the same three resolutions every year -- lose weight, become more financially stable, and become more organized. Pretty standard, right? Only I never do anything to accomplish any of those.

However, this year, I have a confession to make. I am desperate to lose weight. I want to make that my resolution, but I'm afraid. I'm afraid of mumbling the words "I want to lose weight", because I know I'm going to fail at it. I have zero will power. I am an emotional eater, and I have a LOT of emotional, stress filled things going on in my life right now. I turn to food for comfort, and that food turns to pounds. *Lots* of pounds.

I haven't always been fat. Quite the contrary. I used to have a body that would turn heads. I used to be super skinny and athletic. It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I started having a problem with my weight. What happened five years ago? It was a combination of things, I guess.. My eating habits starting getting worse, I went through a lot of health issues, I had 2 kids, I had a total hysterectomy, and I went on heavy psych meds, ALL which messed with my weight. Before I realized it, I've gained 60 lbs in the last 5 years! If you divide it by 5 years, that's only 12 lbs a year -- which doesn't sound too bad, right? BUT, most of that weight has been within the past 3 years, which means I've gained a whopping 20 lbs a year!

I'm miserable in my own body. I cringe when I see myself in mirrors, and I avoid pictures at all costs. My 4 year old tells me on a some what regular basis to move my big fat butt, and even though she doesn't know what she's saying, it's just the fact that she *knows* that I have a big fat butt that kills me. I feel like a prisoner in my own body.. No one looks at the fat girl. I avoid people's eyes because I'm ashamed of the way I look....

I opened up the latest issue of US weekly last week, and I saw the article on the winner of the Biggest Loser, and I just wish I could do something like that. I wish I had the dedication and the willpower to totally overhaul my eating habits and get my ass to a gym. I want to be skinny and I want to be healthy. I want to set a good example for my children.

I don't know if I'm actually going to have the strength to go forward with this desire to lose weight, or if it's going to be another year of being miserable in my body while chugging away Code Red Mountain Dew's and throwing back the fast food. I just know that by putting this out there, I'm hoping I can look back on this in the weeks and months to come and (hopefully) draw some inspiration to get moving.

I would LOVE to come back to this post this time next year, at the very end of 2009, and be a skinnier, healthier, happier person... One can hope, right?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas to me!!

This is just reason #1001 why my parents are the best parents in the world. They attempted to purchase me an IPhone for Christmas, but since my plan isn't available for an upgrade until May (bummer!), they ended up giving me the value of the IPhone on a Best Buy Gift card.

My parents told me I could either use it for an IPhone in May, or use it for whatever I wanted at Best Buy... Well..... Since I'm never one to wait for ANYTHING, and because it seems I'm in desperate need of a new digital camera since my crappy camera decided to pick Christmas day to die, off I went to Best Buy to purchase a new one.

After much research and nail biting (and a LOT of second guessing!) I picked this puppy:

It's the Fuji Fine Pix S2000 HD and it's AWESOME!! I'm still working on how to use it - it's a lot harder than it looks!

Check out this You Tube video of Chris doing an 'unboxing' of the camera - he was very excited to film it with his new camera and post it to You Tube with his new Laptop!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our Christmas, in pictures...

Here's some of the highlights of our Christmas celebration. Some of my favorite pictures, of Chris getting his lap top, are on another CD that my brother has to burn for me, since my camera is a P.O.S. Enjoy :-)

Sophie getting ready to sprinkle some reindeer food (oatmeal mixed with glitter) on Grandmom's front lawn. She fell asleep last night before she got a chance to do it! She's holding her new PJ Sparkle's doll, which was a very special gift from Santa!
Sophie, Peyton & Big brother Chris sprinkling the Reindeer food.

Sophie & Peyton, anxiously awaiting the start of the present opening.....

My strange son, Chris, ready to conquer the presents!

Peyton opening up one of his presents. Note the Police helment on his head! He refused to take it off! LOL

Sophie with Holly & Molly (she picked the names, with the help of Grandmom). These twins are so cool - they're interactive and talk with each other! Very cool!

Sophie with her P.J. Sparkles doll. When we went to go see Santa, she had Chris cut out a picture of this doll, and she brought it with her to see Santa and told Santa it was all she wanted for Christmas -- this was 4 days before Christmas and the *first* time I had heard she wanted the doll. Thankfully, Grandmom and Poppop came to the rescue, and saw to it that Sophie received a VERY nice letter from Santa, as well as her very special doll....

Just a random picture of my two favorite cuties in their cozy PJ's :-)

Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night!

Whew! What a Christmas that was! Despite the hectic-ness (is that a word?) of it all, we managed to have a WONDERFUL Christmas.

I don't have any pictures to post as of yet, as my stupid, stupid camera decided to finally up and die on Christmas morning. I've been having problems with it for the past few months with the battery - I would put a battery in and (at first) a week later, it would be dead... And then it would be a couple days until the battery would die. And then within the last week or so, it would be mere hours until the battery would die. UGH!! This morning I made sure to put fresh batteries in my camera, and I managed to take a whopping 10 pictures before it completely shut off on me and refused to work again. I put another set in and it wouldn't even turn on. So thankfully my father was taking pictures with his fancy camera, and my brother will be burning me a disc with those pictures. I'd be lost if I didn't have pictures of Christmas! There were SO many great photo opportunities throughout the day.

One of my favorite moments of today was when my mother and father gave Chris his early birthday present (he's turning 13 on New Years Eve). He got a lap top, a VERY nice lap top, which is what he's wanted for years. He was so touched by it all that he actually cried! This is a kid that usually shows ZERO emotions and is embarrassed by emotions (what almost teenage boy isn't? LOL). He had to go upstairs and compose himself, and kept saying "I can't believe this, this is too awesome" over and over again. He's now currently happily watching his new Grease movie on it!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, filled with memories and special moments..... I spent weeks saying I wish that Christmas would hurry up and come so it would be done already, and now I wish I could get a little piece of that magic back!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, my Princess Sophie

My Princess, Sophie, is FOUR years old today! Happy Birthday, little girl! I was SO, SO estatic when I found out I was having a girl. In a house with two boys already, a girl was such a welcome surprise. You have become my ally, my mini me, my best friend. You are like a ray of sunshine, and you make every day a gift. I love you so mu ch, and you truly are the best little girl out there. I love you, peanut!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

No, there's no snow (which is what everyone thinks of when they hear this snow), but Christmas it a mere days away and my house is in full Christmas mode. Cookies have been baked, final decorations have been put up, and our menorah has been lit (because you know, we *do* celebrate Hanukkah as well!)

NOW, the one thing that has *not* been done is the final wrapping. What can I say, I'm a procrastinator. Actually, that's not entirely true. I attempted to wrap all the presents on Saturday. I sat down with wrapping paper, scissors, and tape, and put on ABC family and watched Christmas movies. A whopping hour into it, I ran out of tape. Fine, I'll just use brown packing tape. Not ten minutes after that, I run out of wrapping paper! With 5 presents left to wrap! damn it!!!!

So I had to put everything away, and run to the dollar store the next day to get more paper (and another pair of scissors, since somehow my scissors mysteriously disappeared overnight). So now, at 8:30 at night, even though I'm utterly exhausted, I have to trudge downstairs and wrap.

Thankfully my very good friend Gina is going to keep me company via text messaging while wrap together. Gotta love the company of good friends :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Random Friday Ramblings....

Is it Christmas yet? I don't know about you, but I can't *wait* for Christmas to be over. It seems like Christmas has been hanging over my head forever and it's slowly barreling towards me. I'm SO not prepared. I'm not even going to bore you with the amount of stuff I have left to do (but trust me -- there's a lot, and I'm quickly running out of time). I need a time machine to take me back a few weeks so I can try to get some of this stuff done!

I'm SO excited about the Philadelphia Phantoms game tomorrow. I'm so happy that I won the tickets from work, and Chris is so excited to go! It'll be a good time; a way to relax and unwind from all this crazy holiday stress... Of course, I'll be stressed driving there because I *always* get lost driving to the stadium. I suck driving at nighttime, and because I've only been to the stadium a handful of times, I'm never quite sure of where I'm going. Last time we went, I got so lost and Chris had a mini panic attack in the car because he thought we were going to be late (we ended up making it on time!)

I can't believe my baby girl is going to be 4 on Monday. Where did the time go? I vividly remember going to the hospital at 5 a.m. on Dec 22nd for my scheduled C-section, scared out of my mind because it was the first baby I had in 9 years and I was afraid I had forgotten everything. I was so excited to find out I was having a girl, after having 2 boys (and subsequently having another boy! Sophie and I are outnumbered in the house!). She was my early Christmas present and has been such a complete and total pleasure. She's a wonderful, sweet, calm, loving big girl and I love her more and more every day!

Hanukkah starts on Monday. Yes, I celebrate both. Hanukkah is MUCH less stressful than Christmas. I love Hanukkah because you can enjoy the beauty of the simplicity of the holiday -- lighting the menorah to symbolize the miracle of the oil lasting for 8 days. We're going to an Ice skating party sponsored by the Synagogue. I have NO idea how it's going to turn out -- Peyton does NOT do well around crowds, and I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to keep control of him while on ice skates. I don't even know IF I'm going to brave ice skates. I'm not exactly in the best of shape. If anyone shouldn't be on ice skates, it's me!

By time my next Friday ramblings come around, Christmas will be done! Hooray!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wow! It's my 100th post!

Happy 100th Post to me!!!

I started this blog on Oct 9th, and I never could imagine reaching 100 posts. That just seemed like a huge number to me. But here it is, 2 1/2 months later and here I am! I've learned so much about the wonderful world of Blogging since starting this Blog, and I've even made some new friends, which has been really great. It's great to have a place to come every day, or every few days, and just blog about what's going on in my life. I got to participate in the Mom Dot Christmas Blog Party, which was SO much fun and really introduced me to a lot of great Mommy Bloggers!

Here's to another great 100 posts!

Temper Tantrums a plenty!

Last night was the kid's Holiday show at the Daycare center, and really; I had such high hopes for the show. I was looking forward to seeing Sophie sing (her 3 year old class would be singing 3 songs) and even Peyton's class (the 2 year old class) would be 'singing' (as much as 2 year old's can!), and I was REALLY hoping that Peyton would try to sing. Boy, was I sadly mistaken!

I guess I should remind anyone reading this (or explain to people for the first time), that Peyton has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). It's a neurological condition, and it basically means that the child's brain can't process all the senses at one time and gets overloaded. Peyton has a hard time when he gets over stimulated - like if we go out to dinner, then shopping, he almost always has a meltdown. And his melt downs include him making himself throw up by sticking his fingers down his throat -- soooo not a pretty sight for a 2 year old. He also has a lot of other issues -- he hates to have blankets or anything too 'heavy' on him and will strip down naked to avoid the feel of clothes on him, he throws MANY temper tantrums SEVERAL times a day (for no reason), and hates noisy/crowded places (but then again, so does Mommy and Daddy, so I can't blame the kid for that).

SO, without even thinking about how he always has nervous breakdowns in public places, I tote them off to the daycare center, camera in hand, all ready to see my babies sing. I get there, and as soon as we walk in, he throws his first tantrum. He's on the floor, kicking and screaming and yelling "No, Mommy, no!!!"... So after several minutes of trying to get him to go into the classroom with his friends, I decide I"ll sit in the audience with him and let him wait until he sees his friends walk onto the stage and bring him up there to sing. NOPE. He wants nothing to do with that either. I take him outside, and he's finally happy, pointing out "Mommy school bus, mommy truck, mommy car, mommy light".. LOL. I bring him back inside, kids are singing, and he starts shrieking again, causing everyone to turn and look at us. The Director tries to calm him down by giving him his favorite stickers -- no go. She tries to show him a picture of her mini schanuzer -- nope, he's still freaking out.

OK, apparently Peyton wants nothing to do with this holiday show. I managed to see Sophie mouth the words to her 3 songs (she was apparently too nervous to sing, as were all the other kids...!) and then we left, before Peyton's class even had a chance to go on stage.

Oh well. Maybe next year? I'm hoping that all his work with his O.T. will pay off after a year and I can see him sing for once! I felt so let down and sad for Peyton, thinking this would be his life -- having tantrums once he's around too much noise and chaos! :-(

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Here's Peyton, Chris, and my evil, evil kitten (although he looks innocent here, don't let it fool you!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

To splurge or not to splurge. That is the question!

I don't know if it's because it's coming down to the wire, or because I'm just desperate to feel some kind of joy this holiday season, but I'm seriously considering getting this for Peyton for Christmas:

I mean, HOW freaking awesome would it be for Peyton to have his very own ride on dinosaur? It has realistic sounds, it stomps it's feet, AND it pretends to eat a leaf that you feed it. What 2 year old wouldn't want that? And the best part is the price -- retail price is $299, which turned me off right away as soon as I saw it, even though Peyton went absolutely crazy when he saw it set up in the store. But Target just lowered the price to $99! WAY more affordable.
So now I'm thinking to myself, do I want to splurge and spend $99 on a present for my 2 year old? Am I crazy? I don't know where the hell I'd put it. I can't really stick a 3 foot tall dinosaur in the toy corner of my living room. I see my 12 and 11 year old wanting to ride on it. I can even see Peyton being scared of it at first, probably refusing to get on it. All of these should be warning signs, but DAMN it I feel like I NEED to buy it!!!
Stay tuned. We'll see if my impulsiveness kicks in and I end up buying this bad boy, or the voice of reason comes over me and I save the $.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I have ZERO Christmas spirit this year

Here it is, mere days before Christmas, and I have NO desire for Christmas to come at all. Usually I look forward to all the preparations -- the tree, the lights, the decorations, the Christmas shopping, etc. This year; nothing. I feel like I'm going through the motions. I shop aimlessly, and nothing excites me. I have the tree up, but I think it looks awful. Let me tell you, after the freaking cat knocked the tree down three times, the tree has taken quite a beating. The branches aren't sitting right, and aren't 'fluffed' enough. The lights are all messed up, and somehow all the ornaments have disappeared. How the hell do ornaments disappear from a tree? I think a little blond boy had something to do with it, in cohorts with the damn cat.

Every year I used to look forward to seeing what my husband bought me for Christmas. He always did a good job of listening to little hints I dropped all year, and would buy a big gift bag and load all my presents into it. This year, we won't be exchanging presents and last year might have been our last Christmas together, which makes me sad thinking about. We won't get to share Christmas morning together with the kids. Instead, they'll be waking up with me Christmas morning, and then going out with him for the rest of the day into the next day.

Nothing just seems 'right' this year and it's depressing me. I want things to be happy and magical again. I wish I wasn't wishing Christmas would hurry up and be over with so I can stop being so sad :-(

Random Sunday Ramblings..

I usually try to do this on Friday's, but Friday was my Holiday office party and it completely slipped my mind to do it. SO since I have a lot on my mind today, I figured it'd be a perfect time to shake things up a bit and do it on a Sunday!

I'm so glad Sophie & Peyton got to see Santa today! Our town does a mini Santa parade when Santa and a few fire trucks come around each neighborhood, with Santa standing on the back of the fire truck. They never announce when it's going to be ahead of time, so it's always exciting when you see it coming. Now Sophie wont' stop asking when Santa's coming 'for real'. I keep telling her we only have 11 more days, but to an almost 4 year old, that probably seems like a life time!

I HAVE to get to the post office this week. Somehow going to the post office has become one of my most hated tasks, and I hardly ever go there. I think it's because the closest post office to my work is kind of hard to get to - it's too far to walk, but it's really hard to park at, so I never go during my lunch hour. And I keep saying I'll go on a Saturday morning, but I never end up getting there. I have to ship ONE box, and I finally found a box that everything will fit into, so all I have to do is get my lazy butt to the post office!

Peyton squeezed a whole bottle of red Crayola craft paint today ALL over my one couch cushion. I was so angry! I was washing dishes and Sophie kept telling me Peyton was doing something, but I couldn't understand what she was saying. So after the 2nd time, I went to investigate, and I found the huge puddle of paint on my black and white cushion. All I can say is thankfully it was washable paint, so I was able to wash the cushion in the sink and put it outside to dry. It's on my back porch so hopefully an animal doesn't come in the middle of the night and mess with it.

I never baked Christmas cookies with Sophie today, and I was secretly relieved that she forgot all about it. I need to get a cookie pan. I usually buy those disposable ones, but I ran out of them baking cookies for Thanksgiving. Hopefully I remember to pick one up so we can bake our cookies. The girl has a mind like a steel trap and I'm surprised she forgot!

Only 11 days to Christmas, and I have SO much to do still! I don't know how I'm going to get it all done.

Sophie's birthday is a week from tomorrow -- she'll be 4. Where did my baby go? I looked at her today and realized what a big girl she's turning into. *sniff*. We're going Ice skating for her birthday, since it also falls on the first day of Hanukkah. Our Synagogue is having a free ice skating party, so I figure it's the perfect excuse to turn it into a birthday celebration as well!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Seriously... I *AM* going to strangle my kitten

I seriously think this cat has it out for me. I treat him nice. I clean his liter box on a twice daily basis, I make sure he has enough food and water, and I stroke behind his ears when he sits on my lap. But WHY oh why does he insist in taunting me the way he does???

My Christmas tree has been leaning up against my living room wall for the past few days, since the last time the shithead knocked it down. Tonight I got tired of looking at it sitting there, so I struggled, by myself, to get the tree back in the base, screw the bolts in, and get all the ornaments on it.

I go into the bathroom to clean up and get ready to go upstairs, and not FIVE minutes later, I hear the same CRASH that I heard just mere days ago. I knew what had happened -- the freaking cat got to the tree AGAIN.

Sure enough, I walk out in the living room and the tree is toppled over on its side again. *Sigh*. Why does he do this to me? I'm really starting to wonder if I should just skip a tree this year, but that seems highly unfair to the kids. Or maybe get one of those little table top trees and put it on top of a table. OR I can just do what I've wanted to do all along, and secretly let my kitten escape out the front door.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kittens + Christmas tree = nothing but trouble

I swear, I am going to STRANGLE my kitten. He's not cute; he's a trouble maker. We found this cat as a stray, and my kids begged me to bring him home. Here we are, three months later, and I'm ready to secretly leave the door open and let him wander outside, hopefully never to come back.

We put the tree up a few weeks ago, and it's been torture with him ever since. He is constantly trying to bat the lights down or the ornaments off. OR he's jumping with all his might straight into the middle of the tree, and I'm always afraid he's going to knock it over.

Well, tonight it happened. I'm sitting upstairs working on the computer and I hear a horrendous crash. I run downstairs and there's the tree, on it's side, with half the ornaments on the floor. Kitty is sitting right there, taking it all in. You would THINK he'd have the sense to at least hide if he knew he was in trouble. But cat's don't realize they're in trouble, because they're stupid. And it wasn't like he cared that he just knocked over a 7 1/2 foot Christmas tree. He sat there and batted an ornament around while I yelled at him.

So now I can't get the tree back into it's base. It's in this old base that my father gave me, where there's screws that tighten up and hold the base of the tree into the metal base. I'm going to have to find a way to rig it up tomorrow, and pray that stupid ass doesn't knock it over again. It's going to be a long 2 weeks until Christmas know that he knows how to knock over the tree.

Anyone want him? I'll ship him for free and I promise I'll poke big enough holes in the box.....

When will the bad luck end??

So today was another banner day for me. I'll just start out by saying I'm not having ANY luck with cars this week, and I'm soooo ready for all this bad luck to blow away and for some good luck to start coming my way.

I dropped the kids off at my in-laws house today, 35 minutes away from home.... I went back out to my dad's truck, which I've been driving since my car broke down. It was then I realized that even though I still had ALL the keys in my hand, the damn key for the truck *and* the remote had fallen off somehow and were sitting right in Peyton's car seat. Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn!!!!

So my Father In Law drives me back to my parents, which would normally take 30 minutes if he was normal and took the highway, took almost 45 minutes because he took every back road known to man. If anyone knows me, they'll know that I HATE being stuck in a car with someone and having to make small talk. It was a torturous ride.

We get all the way back to my FIL's house, and I'm all excited because I have the keys in my hand. I put it into the lock, turn it, and nothing -- the doors won't open. FIL tries it -- still won't open. Say it with me -- "Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn".

So I do what I've avoided doing all morning, and called the Lock Smith. UGH. I HATE waiting for lock smiths. An hour and $95 later, I was into my dad's truck. Talk about disasters.

Tonight I picked up my van from my parents -- it apparently needed a new battery and serpentine belt, which I have NO idea what that does. All I know is that it cost me $350. Ouch!!!

Needless to say, I'm afraid to drive my car, or any car, anymore. I'm afraid the bad luck is going to continue and something else is going to break in my van!

Wordless Wednesday

This is Sophie after her dance recital on Saturday. We came out of the theater and look who we found waiting for the kids?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How do you explain death to an (almost) 4 year old?

I know this sets a somber mood to my Blog for today, but it's been on my mind since yesterday and I wanted to get it out there. My Sister in Law is very sick, and they are basically only giving her months to live. My daughter, who will be 4 in a couple of week, is VERY close to her. She idolizes her aunt.

Yesterday when she came home from my IL's (my MIL watches them every other week), she started crying as soon as she walked in the door when I asked about my SIL. She looked at me and said "Mommy, she's going to die and I don't want her to die". My poor heart broke. Today, she brought one of her flowers that she got from her dance recital to Aunt PJ and told my MIL that she wanted to give it to her to remember her by when she dies! She was SO upset and I had no words to say to her. I'm awful when it comes to death; I've been fortunate that not many people close to me have passed away. But she's 4, so I don't know what to tell her.

I talked to my MIL today briefly about it, and she told me she's been telling Sophie that Aunt PJ is going to be a Princess Angel when she passes, and that made me cry as soon as I got into the car. I don't want Sophie to have to go through the hurt of losing someone so close to her....

My MIL did give me a pamphlet called "Discussing Death with Children", but I feel like it's going to be too depressing to read.... That might be something my husband and I have to band together to do together with her, to kind of get her prepared for what's going to happen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How much is too much?

This might seem petty to some, but this has been something that has been bothering me lately, and today it kind of came to a head. Currently, I'm a single mom (at least until my husband decides what he wants to do!) and things are tight around here. With Christmas coming up, I've been stressing over how I'm going to stretch the dollars and buy enough stuff for the kids. Now, this is part of the pettiness -- I *know* Christmas isn't about how many gifts a child gets, but c'mon -- how many children wouldn't be upset if they just saw 2 or 3 presents under the tree?

So anyway, I've purchased presents for the youngest 2 kids, and my oldest 2 are only getting one big present each, and that's it. Their big presents are expensive enough. I find out today that my one sister is buying her 3 kids 13 presents each (!) and my other sister (who is also a single mother and makes less than I do), is buying her daughter (an only child) 10 presents, including a lap top AND an Ipod touch.

This just makes me feel instantly crappy. I know that on Christmas day, all the cousins are going to get together and talk about what 'Santa' brought them, and I already feel bad for my kids, knowing they're going to say "I only got one present". They *do* get spoiled over my parents house, but shouldn't they be spoiled at home, too?

My oldest son knows there is no such thing as Santa, and he's okay with the present I'm buying him . I've told my middle son, who is 11, several times that Santa at our house is just going to bring him 1 or 2 things because of what he asked for and he seems okay with it.

I just want them to have a good Christmas and feel like they're loved..... I don't want them to be disappointed, and I think I'm stressing out extra this year because I'm alone, and I want them to have a 'normal' Christmas.

*THE* crappiest day ever! (at least in a while!)

So today started out pretty good, for all of about 2 hours. Sophie had Hebrew school, which she absolutely loves. She missed last month (the 3&4 year olds only go once a month), so she was anxious to go this month. Plus, she was learning about Hanukkah this time, which she was really excited about!

I drop her off, and the rest of us make a run for McDonald's. Since the Temple is about 20 miles from our house, and she's only there for 2 hours, it doesn't make sense for us to go back and forth to home. We eat breakfast, and then go back to the Temple for the Hanukkah fair they were having (all kinds of vendors set up). I found a really pretty necklace for $10, I pick up Sophie from her class, and we get ready to leave.

And this, folks, is when the disaster strikes. My car won't start. I keep turning it over, and it just goes, "click, click, click". NOTHING is going to make it start. It's about 30 degrees outside, and windy as all hell, and I have 3 kids in the car and I'm starting to panic.

Thankfully, my father is a GOD and through several frantic cell phone calls (on my part), he was able to set up a tow truck to drive the 20 miles (eek -- I don't even want to SEE that bill!) tomorrow morning to pick up my van. So my husband has to drive up to pick us up and drop us off at my brother's house, so my brother can take us to my parents for dinner.

Why does the bad crap always happen to me? For once, I'd LOVE to have a month (or even a week!) where something bad doesn't happen. It always seems like I'm bouncing from one disaster to another, and believe me -- it's not fun.

So hopefully the van will be fixed soon. We're riding around in my father's pick up truck and it's a tight fit. I'm just thankful I have a way to get the kids to daycare tomorrow and get to work!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Random Friday Ramblings....

Friday's always seem like a good day to do Random Ramblings... I always have a lot on my mind by the end of the week and with the approaching weekend. I don't think there's ever a time when my head is quiet and not filled with random thoughts!

I'm dreading going out Christmas shopping tomorrow. I KNOW it needs to be done, but I'm still dreading it. Thankfully my 12 year old (who has since stopped believing in Santa) is going to be my helper. So at least I'll have a buddy. Crowds scare me. I'm not facing Toys R Us -- I think that store will drive me nuts! I'm going to hit Target and get most of the stuff I wanted for the younger kids.

I'm annoyed that work isn't giving us our Holiday bonuses until the 19th. There's much debate in my office over this. YES, I know that bonuses aren't a mandatory thing, and YES, I appreciate that we're getting them, period. I know a lot of companies don't give them out. BUT, a lot of people (myself included) were banking on getting them with this pay so we can get a start on Christmas shopping. But waiting until 5 days before Christmas to give bonuses? That's just crappy, IMO.

Sophie's first dance recital is tomorrow - her holiday one. I'm so nervous for her! she's already starting to get nervous and is telling me she's afraid. I hope she doesn't panic on the stage.

I have no life. I've been SO excited all day because tonight is the premier of the Drake & Josh Christmas movie on Nickelodeon. Is it sad that I'm really excited to watch the movie with the kids? I should be watching grown up shows, not tween shows. *sigh*

I have to get blood work done tomorrow morning. Yuck. I HATE getting blood work done. I have to do it every 3 months or so, and I have crappy veins, so they always have a hard time finding my vein. I put it off until the absolute last minute and now tomorrow is the last day I can get it done.

OK... enough rambling for now :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas music, 24/7

My daughter, in her almost 4 year old wisdom, has become obsessed with Christmas music. As in, she can't have enough of it. God forbid I'm in the car and I try to change it to my favorite morning show. I hear "Nooooo, Mommy -- CHRISTMAS music".!!

We get home, and the first thing she does is turn on the little radio we keep near the Christmas tree, which is always set to Christmas music. She loves to dance around and sing to the songs. It's so cute to see! Even her little brother gets into it, dancing like a little fool in the middle of the living room.

I asked her the other day why she likes Christmas music so much. In her most serious, grown up voice, she looks me straight in the eye and said "because it makes my heart happy" !! Where does she gets this stuff??!

So it looks like I"ll be sentenced to the torture of listening to Christmas music (at least while they're in the car and while we're at home!) for the next 3 weeks. Fun!!

Now what should be interesting is when she goes to Hebrew school on Sunday and tells her teacher how much she loves Christmas music! LOL....

I've had "Santa Claus is coming to town" stuck in my head for weeks now...... blah!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Product Review: Allergy Labels by Label Daddy

When I was asked to review Allergy Label products by Label Daddy, I was excited. I had seen Label Daddy's site before, and I thought the Allergy Label's would be a great way to permanently remind both my mother and my In-laws exactly what my children's food allergies were. It seems like they're always giving my kids peanut butter and saying "But I forgot they were allergic to Peanut Butter". With allergy labels, now there's no more guessing.

So, just who is Label Daddy? Label Daddy is the brain child of two friends of over 20 years, Scott and Greg. With backgrounds in the Financial field and the Garment industry, respectfully, they had spent many years thinking of ideas that would bring them financial success. As they grew and had families of their own, it only seemed natural to provide a product that would help families with children.

Label Daddy went live on January 14, 2008 and currently has a support team consisting of an in house designer, website programmer, and agent coordinator who makes sure all of their agents throughout the USA have everything they need to promote their products.

While the easiest way to purchase Label Daddy products is through their website,, Label Daddy products are also available at shows and boutiques that the company participates in. One awesome thing I learned from Scott is that the company has just rolled out affiliate marketing program and currently have 500+ affiliates displaying Label Daddy banners on their websites.

When I asked Scott what Momdot readers would be surprised to find out about the company, he answered that "we are 2 Daddies who truly care! We handle all customer service inquiries personally and promptly. We are 100% involved in the production and operations throughout the organization and take so much pride in this venture."

Now.... onto the review! I have to say it -- this product is AWESOME. I got the labels the day after Thanksgiving and I couldn't wait to apply them. The first thing I noticed is how easy the labels were to apply. I was worried about making a mistake, and the first time I put one on Peyton's sippy cup, I did get a few bubbles underneath the label. It was so easy just to lift the label up and realign it. I was a little worried that because of how easy it was to unstick it, it wouldn't be permanent as the website said. I let it sit over night and tried taking the label off the next day -- it was stuck on there and I couldn't get it off, no matter how hard I tried!

Another thing I like is how noticeable the labels are. They are a bright red color with a giant exclalmation mark on them, and it's easy to pay attention to. I had the cup sitting on my counter and my son's Occupational Therapist saw it from across the room and commented on how great of a product it was! I've put one on his cup for daycare, and it really stands out from all the other sippy cups, so there's no mistaking his cup and the fact that he has food allergies.

And one last great thing is that the product REALLY does what it says it does -- it's a permanent, dishwasher, microwaveable safe product. I've washed it several times to test it out, and the label is still there. I put the cup in the microwave, and it still stays put. This product really is everything it says it is.

Overall, I couldn't find anything wrong with this product. It's a great product at a great price, and if you're like me and have a child with food allergies, it could really be a life saver. I've had the pleasure of talking with some of the folks over at Label Daddy, and they are all super nice and helpful. They even have a Blog you can check out --

Peyton definitly gives this products two thumbs up! In fact, my daughter was so jealous that she didn't get her own set of allergy labels that I'll be ordering a set for her to label all her belongings since they both have the same food allergies!

Label Daddy offers labels that are washable for all kids clothes, toys, belongings, etc…. The labels are washer and dryer safe, dishwasher safe and microwavable. Label Daddy offers customers the opportunity to customize their label by choosing from a variety of colors, fonts and icons. They also offer a laminated option as well, which is one of a kind and not offered anywhere else. Laminating your labels allows them to withstand extreme conditions (lots of rubbing, heat, etc) and last a long long time.

Label Daddy has new products rolling out all the time. The website is constantly being updated to reflect this. Check out the site!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's like chinese water torture!

I had the joy of experiencing, for the last 4 days, a slow form of torture, not unlike what I'd imagine Chinese water torture to be like. Saturday early afternoon, my 11 year old and I are sitting in the Living room, and I hear a buzzing start. I have no idea where it's coming from, and go searching high and low.

Find out it's from the timer on the stove! So I try to be Mrs. Fix It and turn all the dials - still buzzing. I hit it a few times -- still buzzing. Then I REALLY pound on it. Nothing, still buzzing. So we go about our day, and run some errands, and I pray while we're out that I'll come home and it'll be magically off. Nope.

Sunday - same thing. The madness is slowly starting to build.
Monday - same thing. I'm starting to pull my hair out. All I hear is the buzzing. I can't sit in my dining room because we can't talk over it. It's that freaking annoying.

So I finally decide to call a service repair guy, which is the FIRST time in my life I've ever had to call someone to come fix something. I felt like such a grown up!

He came out this morning, looked at the stove and said "Hmm, that's very annoying". No shit, sherlock.

Not five minutes later, the problem is fixed!! turns out our 25 year old stove's clock finally decided it's had enough and it had a 'bad gear mechanism' that was trying to turn but couldn't go anywhere. So he disabled the clock and the self cleaning mechanism (he looked kind of worried when I told him that was okay, because I never used the self cleaning mechanism anyway. LOL), and before you knew it -- NO MORE BUZZING!

It was like a miracle. I felt like I could finally hear again. I could hear birds chirping. I could hear neighbors outside.

$75 for piece of mind? Not too shabby. LOL.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Christmas Tree drama..

Those who know me in real life know that I *always* have some sort of drama or another in my life. Drama just flows in my life.

So for weeks, I've been telling my kids 'The day after Thanksgiving, we're going to wake up, we're going to eat breakfast, we're going to get all the Christmas tree stuff up from the basement and start getting the tree up".

So I set out with good intentions. Only it didn't end up that way.

I get to the basement and there's ONE box, containing half my Christmas tree. Where is the other half? I have NO freaking clue. How does a whole damn box of Christmas tree parts go missing? I'm talking one of those big ass red 20 gallon containers with a green lid on top.. just vanished.

So in my smart brain, I decide I'm going to take the kids (I only have my 3 1/2 and 2 year old with me at this point b/c my oldest 2 slept over at their cousins last night) to Target to get a new tree. On Black Friday. Am I freaking insane??? So before I go, I decide to check my decoration box to make sure they're all there.

Guess what? My decoration box is missing. It's at this point that I feel someone is playing a cruel, cruel joke on me. Because now not only is half my Christmas Tree missing, all my decorations are missing.

So off we go to Target to get a new tree, new lights, and new decorations. We score a prime parking spot, and are in and out of Target in 35 minutes. Whew. One disaster out of the way.

Get home and set it up. Get all 600 lights (I get obsessive with lights) on, all 100+ decorations on, and just as we move the tree to where we want it, one of the pieces of the base breaks off and the whole freaking tree topples over, knocking off a bunch of the 100 ornaments we just put on it. Damn it!

So then the kids decide that putting bricks around the base will reinforce the tree and hold it up right. Lesson to self: Bricks will *not* support a 7 foot tree. The tree topples over again.

By this time, we were all done with it. I propped it up in the living room against one of the walls. My father has an extra base that we're *hoping* will fit our tree. I'm hoping tomorrow we can conquer the tree and get all those damn ornaments back on the tree.

So yeah... It was a very eventful day in our house today! Gotta love the holiday season!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope it's filled with yummy food and good times with your family.

We have the Macy's parade on and I'm hanging out with my kids, waiting to make some yummy chocolate chip/Andie's mint cookies... Yum..... Dinner isn't until 3 over my sister's so I have lots of time just to relax (one of my favorite past times!)

We're going to drag up the Christmas tree stuff from the basement and get ready to put that up tomorrow, which I'm DREADING. I hate putting the tree up, I suck at it, and now that I'm doing it by myself this year, I have a feeling the tree will be put up the wrong way!! Pray for me, people!
Anyway, have a good one :-)

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day 12

And, here it is... the very last day of the Blog party :-( I'm going to be sad to see it end. I've gotten to see so many fun, cool blogs over the course of the party, and I've even made some new friends which is even cooler. But, without further ado, here is the Day 12 question.........

I'm Thankful this Year because....
There is SO much I'm thankful for this year, even though this has probably been the worst year I've had in a very long time. I've had personal health issues that have almost landed me in the hospital several times, but because of the support of my friends (and serious medication!) , I've managed to pull myself out of the funk I was in and start to feel better day by day. So I'm thankful for them.
I have THE most wonderful family on the face of the earth. Sure, they can be a bit abrasive sometimes, but through thick and thin, no matter what, they've always been there for me. They've seen me through a divorce, financial troubles, and the relationship troubles of my current marriage. Their love and support of me has never wavered, and I am beyond thankful for them.
Words cannot express how thankful I am for my children. They are my lifeline and have saved me more than they can ever know. No matter how low I feel on any given day, they can smile or laugh, or just talk to me, and I instantly feel lifted. Every day I am thankful that I have 4 wonderful, healthy, adorable, loving children. Yes, I might have problems with my oldest two, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.
And I'm thankful for all the little things in life. Of waking up every day and knowing that I have a job to go to and a family to come home to. Of knowing I have a great place to hang out online and network with other cool moms. Of knowing that I have wonderful friends, whom I've never met in real life, but still check on me when they haven't heard from me in a few days......
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone... I hope you all have a lot to be Thankful for as well!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day 11

If you could only eat ONE food on Thanksgiving Day, what would it be? Do you have a home cooked meal for Thanksgiving or do you go out to eat? Does your family dress up?

Aw, man. I *love* food. This question is so unfair. How can you make me choose just ONE Thanksgiving food that I love the most? It'd be seriously unfair, because everyone in my family makes such wonderful foods, and I feel like I'd be dissing someone in my family by not picking their food.

BUT, I guess if I had to choose just one Thanksgiving food to eat, I would pick my brother's home made sweet potato's. I have one word to say -- YUM.

This year he's apparently making them with marshmallows in them. Can we say double yum?

As a family, we don't really get dressed up. Although I'm getting worried, my brother apparently has some kind of nice outfit picked out to wear with some kind of vest or something? I wasn't 100% listening when he was describing but it sounded like a nice little outfit and I'll probably show up in cords and a cute top. Oh well!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Green gooky eyes -- the Finale

Well, the Green Gooky Eyes that I *thought* was just a sinus infection turned out to be the dreaded Pink Eye. Drats! I really thought my Mommy Sense was right, and I schlepped him off to the Pedi's Monday morning, sure that they'd tell me it was an infection, there was nothing they can do, and send me on my way. Nope, how wrong I was.

AND, not only does he have Pink Eye, but he has a double ear infection as well. Whee! Could life be any more fun??! So now he's loaded up on prescription eye drops -- which he absolutely *hates*, and antibiotics, we he absolutely *hates* even more! I have to pin him down and wrestle with him and practically shove the eye drops into his eyeball because he squinches his eyes shut so tight. The boy is smart! LOL... And the Augmentin he just spits completely out. We figured out tonight that the pharmacist gave him the unflavored type -- duh. So of course he'd spit it out -- I would do!

Luckily, after just a day on the meds, his eyes look better. I sent him off to school (with a note saying he could go back!) and prayed that I wouldn't get a call from the school saying that his eyes had started to ooze again.

So now it's just a few more days on the fun, fun meds and then hopefully we can put all this behind us!

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day 10

Do you decorate for the Holidays? Do you have a themed Christmas tree? Share pics! Do you think there is such a thing as OVER decorating?
I decorate, but not as much as my neighbors. Some of my neighbors go ALL out decorating. We don't do a lot of outdoor decorating. It used to be because my husband doesn't like heights and didn't want to put the lights around the outside of the house (neither do I!), and this year I can't put the light up outside myself, so I doubt we'll have lights up outside, which makes me kind of sad.
I do tend to decorate a lot inside. We have a big picture window that I put blue & silver Hanukkah garland around, and I'll put my Hanukkah lights in that window. That's the window that I put my plug-in menorah decoration that I got a few years ago. I call that my 'Hanukkah window'.
I have the 6 foot tree that I have decorated that stands near the big picture window, which is kind of funny because you can look in and see the Hanukkah decorations AND the Christmas tree -- people get a kick out of that.
On the doorway walking from the living room to the dining room, I put up Christmas colored garland, and that's where I hang up all my Christmas/Holiday cards I receive, as well as a strand of white lights.
That's really all the decorating I do. I love to sit in the living room at night with just the Tree lights and the doorway lights on and watch the twinkling of the lights. It's so calming!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day 9

Most unusual gift you have received? Best gift? Do you re-gift?
Thankfully, I've hardly ever been on the receiving end of unusual gifts. Most of my family and friends know me well enough to know me well enough to know what I'd truly want. And, if they're unsure they do the next best thing and give gift cards (which I truly love!)
BUT, the weirdest gift I've gotten by far was from a guy I had been dating for about 3 months at the time. I had a streak of dating 'shady' guys for a while, and I had met this guy from the Unemployment office where I was working at the time (that should've been my first warning!). Christmas morning rolls around and I drive over to his house (he was living in a half way house at the time, I should mention that, for recovering alcoholics. Yeah. This guy was a REAL winner). I had a bag of general Christmas presents for him -- like cologne, some candy, a sweater; you know, good girlfriend stuff, but stuff that didn't scream 'committed' girlfriend.
What did he give me?
A gift bag full of sex toys!!!!!! (and I'm really embarrassed to type this, as I know my 12 year old son reads this and he's going to be horrified!)
There were some video's, some 'personal toys', and some edible undies. O.M.G. I was mortified. What do you SAY to someone who gives you a gift like that???? I remember kinda mumbling some sort of dignified thank you, and threw that bad boy bag away as soon as I hit the first dumpster. I broke up with him shortly after Christmas!
The best gift I've received would probably be any gift from my parents. They give AWESOME gifts, and I'm always thankful for the gifts I receive from them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Green gooky eyes -- yuck

When it rains, it pours. Isn't that what they always say? Things haven't been going the best around here. We've all been sick, and I've JUST gotten over a nasty sinus infection, my Mother in Law is undergoing radiation for Breast Cancer, my Sister in Law is always near death with her serious heart conditions, and there's just always a ton going on. And now my poor Peyton wakes up with nasty green, gooky eyes this morning, and the poor little man can't shut his eye. I feel so awful for him.

He keeps poking at his eye and trying to rub the gook out. He keeps stumbling over to me and looking up at me with his pathetic little eyes and telling me "eye boo boo, mommy". It's so sad! I've been putting warm compresses on it and trying to rub the tear duct (which I remember the Pedi telling me the last time this happened), but he's still miserable.

SO, his green gooky eye has earned me a get out of work free day card tomorrow. Looks like we'll be heading to the Pedi, just for them to tell us there's nothing they can do (since it's not pink eye, it's just a sinus thing).

Ahhhh, the joys of motherhood!

Friday, November 21, 2008

An easy way to say Thanks to our Troops.. especially during the Holiday's

Even though I don't personally have anyone in my family or know anyone in the military, I still feel for them during this time of the year, being away from their family during the Holiday's. I get teary eyed during the holiday's when I see the commercials where local soldiers stationed oversees give holiday messages to their families, and I realize how hard it must be for them.

I came across this site, and I thought it was a wonderful idea and that I'd pass it along. It's such a simple, easy thing to do. And think of the joy the soldiers will get when they receive the messages!

Here's what you do!

- All you do is go to this site:
- They ask you to pick a card, and provide your name and hometown.
- Select from the pre-written "Thank You" responses and hit submit.
- This will send a printed post card to a soldier oversees – and I’m sure they’d love the extra support.

Spread the word on!

5 Random Thoughts...

It felt like a 5 random thoughts kind of day. I always have a lot of thoughts floating around in my brilliant brain of mine, so I figured why not stick them out here in the blogosphere? I'd love if you'd post some of the random thoughts you've had recently!

1) I can't wait to make cookies with the kids this weekend. I bought really cool play-dough like cookie dough from a fundraiser, and it comes in red, blue, green, and yellow (I think those are the colors). I'm going to go look for cookie cutters tomorrow.

2) I really wonder when we're getting our Christmas bonuses. The rumors are running rampant at work. Last year we got them the week after Thanksgiving, so I'm hoping it's the same thing year. I'm counting on that money!

3) I can't wait to get my labels in from Label Daddy to review them from Mom Dot. One of my Blogging goals for the upcoming year is to get into review blogging, so I'm excited about doing my first review. From everything I've read, it seems like it's going to be a really cool project. I'm going to be reviewing the Allergy pack.

4) I'm determined to make the best prsent for my parents this year. The funds just aren't there for me to buy them a really nice present, so I'm going to take my mother's suggestion that she makes every year and just make them something. The Mom Dot girls gave me some good suggestions, and so far photo magnets are at the top of my list, but I'm going to go to the craft store tomorrow to see if anything else jumps out at me. I want to do something with pictures of the grandkids, because that always scores bonus points.

5) I need to get my Eyebrows waxed. My last waxing was Election day, right before I voted.. so that was what, over 2 weeks ago? My eyebrows grow fast, and they're just at the point of starting to look like they need to be done again. I'm hoping I can push it out until Friday when I'll have the day off and only have 1 kid, as opposed to all 4..

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day 8

Do you shop on Black Friday? What time do you start? Do you complete your shopping this day? What's the best deal you have ever found? What's your shopping strategy?
My answer is going to be a big, fat, HELL NO. There is no way in hell I shop on black Friday. I hate crowds. I hate the pushing, the lines, the stress of trying to catch that bargain by a certain hour. I hate that all the sales circulars advertise *the* hottest items, and tell you that you have to be in line by like 4 a.m. to get a ticket to buy the item. Who finds that fun? Certainly not me. You know what I want to be doing at 4 a.m. on Black Friday? SLEEPING. In my nice, warm bed.
This year is the first year in a while that I actually have Black Friday off, so I might *try* to hit the stores a little later in the day if they're not looking too busy, just to see if I can still catch some bargains. But nothing that's on my kid's list is really a big ticket item (except the lap top that I think my son has finally decided he can do without, thankfully!), so I'm not really sweating looking for bargains.
I know there's going to be some crazy mommas out there who have a whole Black Friday shopping scheme planned out, so I can't wait to read all about them!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day 7

Who's on your Naughty List? Who's on your Nice List?

Hm. Well, the easy answer to who's on my Naughty List would be my husband, but I don't know if he really deserves a place there. Sure, he's gone for the 2nd time in 8 months, and I'm having a hard time being a single mom again, but I DO love him more than anything, and I know we're just going through a rough patch. So I'm going to stay on neutral ground here and keep him off my naughty list! Because WHEN things work out between us, I'll feel guilty for having him on my naughty list.

Really, though, I'm not one for having anyone on my naughty list. I'm pretty easy going, and don't really make enemies, so I can't think of anyone I would have on my list. Except maybe Internet haters and drama queens. They would *definitly* be on my naughty list!

For my nice list? Probably my friends and family. They've been there a tremendous amount for me this past year, as well as whenever I've needed it. I have 3 really close friends I know I can turn to when I need someone to talk to, and I can talk to my family whenever I need to and I know they won't judge me for whatever I say/do. They are definitely on my nice list!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My irrational fears...

Since I've been sleeping alone the past 3 weeks, I've re-developed these totally irrational fears, but they keep me up, tossing and turning all night, and it's driving me nuts.

My biggest fear is that the house is going to catch on fire while we're all sleeping upstairs and we're not going to be able to get out. I know we'd have to jump out the windows up here, but we don't even have a working smoke detector in the house. I guess I should replace the battery, huh?

Then I'm afraid of someone breaking into the house. I guess this is a normal fear. I lay in bed and I swear I hear noises coming from downstairs that sound like people trying to get into the house. I lay in bed and hold my breath and wait for the sound of foot steps coming up the steps, but of course no one ever comes.

I'll walk down stairs at random times in the middle of the night just to make sure the doors are still locked, even though I checked them 10 times already (that's my OCD, though).

I check on my youngest 2 kids constantly to make sure they are still breathing.

I hope all this anxiety goes away once I get back into the routine of being alone in the house. I guess since it's new to me all over again, I just have to readjust. I guess it's a good thing I'm taking anti-anxiety medications! hahaha....

Sorry if this was a morbid post! :-)

Wordless Wednesday

They drive me crazy, but I love them!

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day 6

Can you believe it's Day 6 already? That means we're 1/2 way through! boo-hoo! I've been having so much fun visiting everyone else's sites and finding out about their holiday traditions. Today's question is:
Favorite holiday memory from YOUR childhood

I have several favorite memories from my childhood, how can I pick just one? I'll pick two! My first favorite holiday memory is waking up on Christmas morning. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother, and when everyone was living at home we would all wake up super early and gather in someone's central room and talk until we heard my parents walk down the steps. They would go downstairs and set up the trains around the tree, turn on the Christmas music, and break out the Dunkin Donuts.

We'd all sit at the top of the steps and yell down "Can we come down yet??" over and over until they tortured us enough and would yell up "come down!" and we would all run shrieking down the stairs, amazed at the massive amount of presents under and around the tree.

My other favorite memory is my grandfather's house. He passed away when I was little -- I think around 9 years old, so my memories of him are sketchy. But he had this totally retro Christmas tree, with this rickety light wheel that had a thin plastic multi-colored film over a light and it threw different colored lights on the tree every time it rotated. It was VERY cool and that's the only thing I remember about his tree, but I remember always being mesmerized with it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So Peyton has been in O.T. for a few weeks now

And I guess it's going okay. I'm definitely more comfortable with his therapist, Niki, than I was the first week. The first week I was really disappointed, and thought that he wasn't going to get anything out of therapy other than playing with some really cool toys.

Now it's been 3 weeks, and I can see a pattern starting to develop. She's figured out that Peyton's sensory issues stem from having an under response to stimuli -- basically meaning that he needs to 'feel and experience' things more -- bumping and crashing into furniture, headbutting, pinching, touching everything, etc.; anything that stimulates his sense of touch. And he also really likes heavy work activities, which is one of the reasons he LOVES pushing heavy toys and boxes around the house.

So she purposely brings over toys that need extra force to put together, or that have special textures that will appeal to Peyton. So it's kind of neat. And she's SUPER patient. I also really like that she lets Sophie play along too. The first session I was worried about what I was going to do with Sophie for 90 minutes, but she lets her sit and play right along with Peyton, which I think is great.

She does think that his taking his clothes off is a behavioral issue, though, and not a sensory one. I'm not sure how I feel about my 2 year old having 'behavioral issues', but I guess there's not much I can do about that one.

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day Five

Day Five Question:

Do you volunteer during the holidays? How do you teach your children the true meaning of Christmas?

Every year I say I'd like to start volunteering at a Soup kitchen for the holiday's, but every year I never do. I don't know why; I always blame it on being too busy. Too busy with work, too busy with kids, too busy with real life.
But I wish I could get out there and show my children people who have it worse off than we do, and try to show them the *real* meaning of Christmas.

To me, Christmas is about family, and friends, and the joy you get in spending time with them on the special day. It's not about the amount of the presents under the tree, or whether Santa bought what you wanted. I think kids are so hard pressed to see that, and are stuck with the "I want this" mentality and can't see the bigger picture.

I would love to be able to show my children the true meaning of Christmas. I think my 11 year old gets it, but my 12 year old soooo does not get it. Anyone want to give me ideas how to teach them the true meaning? I've heard of parents donating one of each of their children's toys to a Children's Hospital or something like that, and I've always thought that was a good idea. Maybe I should implement that this year!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mom Dot Blog Party: Day Four


What is your favorite holiday recipe? Describe your holiday table, biggest holiday cooking disaster.

It's *well* known throughout my family that I don't cook, so I'm usually the one delegated to bring something cheesy, like juice boxes or soda. It makes me feel like I'm 10 years old, but it's the way it's always been. My one sister has Mac & Cheese that she makes every year, my other sister can make all kinds of dishes, and my mother is an awesome cook, and even my 'little brother' gets picked to bring something better than juices boxes or soda! And then there's me! LOL.

Our holiday table is always filled with all sorts of yummy food -- Turkey, Stuffing (my mother makes really good sausage stuffing), glazed carrots, home made mac & cheese, cheesy green beans, home made mashed sweet potatoes, and lots of delicious desserts -- pumpkin pie being my favorite, of course.

The biggest holiday disaster would definitly be the Thanksgiving my father caught the Turkey on fire and singed off some of his eyebrows. We have pictures (I wish I had them on this computer!) of a smoke filled kitchen and my father left standing there holding the flaming turkey. That was a very memorable Thanksgiving!

I can't wait to read about all the yummy foods I know you girls can cook!

Starting to feel the Holiday pressure

And it's only November 15th! I blame visiting all the wonderful Mom Dot Blog's and seeing how organized people are -- moms with spread sheets, moms who are almost done shopping, or moms who at least have some sort of shopping plan under way. I, on the other hand, have nothing.

I'm panicking this year, wondering how I'm going to get everything done. I'm alone this year with 4 kids. One of those kids wants a lap top and nothing else -- that takes up a chunk of a paycheck. My other older son (thankfully) is SO sweet and says he doesn't want anything big for Christmas because he doesn't want to abuse the Christmas power, and he'll be happy with some little toys to play with and maybe some comfy sweaters. That still leaves me with 2 other kids to buy for.

And portraits! We need to get Christmas portraits done! I was at Target today and there were tons of happy families getting their holiday portraits done, and I didn't even think about holiday portraits until today. But we have NO family pictures with my youngest son in them, and he's 2!

Several months ago, I had the brief, fleeting thought that I was going to put money from each paycheck away until it got closer to Christmas so I can use that money to shop. But here we are, just mere weeks to Christmas, and I haven't saved a penny. Last year we got sweet Christmas bonuses with our check right around Thanksgiving, so I'm hoping against hope that it's the case this year as well.

I just feel like Christmas is going to be a disaster this year. With having to provide for everyone on just one salary (and no credit cards!), I just don't know how I'm going to get it all done. I'm afraid of the kids waking up on Christmas morning and there being, like, 2 presents each under the tree -- I'm going to have major mom guilt.

What do Jewish people look like?

First off, let me start this post by saying that I absolutely DESPISE people who pretend to know what they're talking about, when in fact they don't know anything about the subject. I think they just talk to hear themselves talk. I'd like to share the incident I had the pleasure (note the sarcasm) of experiencing today at Target.

I went in to get: A special toy for Peyton (the Occupational Therapist suggested a special day that he only gets to play with when he follows his routine in the morning), a White turtleneck for Sophie (for her holiday dance show), and cold medicine as I'm battling a serious sinus thing.

Of course, in my sick haze I walk up and down every aisle, ending up at the TINY end cap Hanukkah section. That's it for Hanukkah, just a tiny little section. It has the usual -- some Menorah's, candle's, little driedels to play with, etc. I had just picked up a really pretty Menorah when the following conversation happened:

Little girl (L.G) Mommy, what's that word mean?
Mom: That means Hanukkah.
L.G.: What's hammakah?
Mom: It's the Jewish Christmas, just like our Christmas but they get it for 7 days. They don't get as many presents thought, just one a day. Let's go, we have a birthday party to get to.

(Now, I have to interject here. I HATE, HATE, HATE when people refer to Hanukkah as the Jewish Christmas. IT.IS.NOT)

So anyway.....

So at this point I turn around, and because I'm sick and feeling bitchy I say (which I thought was coming out in a nice way):

ME: Actually, Hanukkah has nothing to do with Christmas. They're two separate holiday's. They just fall in the same month.
Mom: Well, how do you know?
ME: Because I'm Jewish and I celebrate Hanukkah
Mom: Well, that's funny because you don't look Jewish, how was I supposed to know?

At this point, the mom and her little girl (who had since lost interest in the conversation) started to walk away, leaving me more than mildly annoyed in the end cap Hanukkah section.

I get that all the time -- "You don't look Jewish". I always feel like I have to explain my whole background to people - that I wasn't born Jewish, but later converted when I felt the time was right in my life.

So now there's this little girl walking around thinking that Jewish kids get visited by Santa Claus as well, and damn it -- that's just wrong!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Momdot Blog Party: Day Three


Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Do you budget for the holidays? Do you always stick to your budget? Share with us any budgeting tips you may have!

I, in typical procrastinator mode, have not started my holiday shopping yet. I'm usually the one that realizes it's December 15th and I haven't purchased a single present yet and then I panic for the next 10 days until everything is purchased!

Every year I say I'm going to have a Budget, and every year that budget goes out the door. I just have a hard time with budget. I'll say to myself that I'm only going to pick up a few toys for each of the kids, as they get so spoiled from all my other family and their dads families and everything, but every year I feel like I buy more and more toys. I would love to be able to come up with a budget and stick with it!

This year my 12 year old wants a Lap top -- it's the *only* thing he wants, and I have no idea how I'm going to have money in the budget for that. He turns 13 on New Years Eve, so he's begging for it for a joint Christmas/big 13th birthday present. I really want to buy one for him, but in light of current circumstances, I just don't know how I'm going to be able to do that and buy presents for 3 other children. It's going to be tight Christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can I have Fairy God Parents? Please?

While watching TV last night with the kiddos, I had an epiphany, and the answer to all my life's problems was right in front of my face -- I needed Fairy God parents! Duh! I figured, if Timmy Turner, a slightly unhappy 10 year old kid could have god parents, why couldn't Michelle, an happy 29 year old? I mean, it's the same principle right? AND, if he's so unhappy, why can't he just wish for more attentive parents, and then all his life's miseries would be solved? I guess that wouldn't be much of a show then, right?

I wouldn't abuse ' Da Rules' of Fairy God parents, I swear. I would use them just as needed. Like in to get me a new car. Surely that counts. My car, quite honestly, is a piece of junk. It needs new brakes, to the point where the brakes shake when you apply pressure and the 'brake' light is constantly on. The heat is always stuck slightly on, so you always have to crack the windows so you don't overheat. One windshield wiper is broken and completely rusted, so I can only see out of half the windshield when it rains -- should be fun when it snows. Although I guess that's an easy fix, and it's probably just me being lazy...

And I would ask for a husband. Or rather, for my husband to come home. We're currently in our 'off again' status of our 'on again/off again' relationship. We had some problems earlier this year and he left for 4 months, came home so we could work it out for just over 4 months, and is gone again. This second time with him being gone is rough. Our daughter is a little older now, and I think she understands a little more. She cries for him almost every night and it's sad... I love him more than anything and I hope we can work it out, but I guess only time and some real hard work will tell. Surely Fairy God Parents can speed up the process?

And clothes. I would definitely ask for some new clothes! Because let's be honest, people -- my current wardrobe is NOT cutting it. I'm a Paralegal, and my clothes do NOT scream paralegal. They scream "I just threw together what fits and/or looked okay and got dressed in less than 10 minutes". I would love to have nice clothes and nice shoes, but since my weight keeps going up and down, nothing fits me right, and I just don't have the money to buy nice clothes. *sigh* Such is life, I guess...

So that's it. Mr. Jordan Von Strangle, Head of Fairies, can you please grant me some of my wishes??? Pretty please? you would make me very happy!

Momdot Blog Party: Day Two

Traditions, what are some of your favorite family traditions?
What are some that you want to begin?

With having a big family, we always have a jam packed Holiday season!

Our Christmas Eve is spent with my father's Cousin's, which has been a family tradition for about 25 years. We have a seafood dinner (which I can't stand! I'm one of the only people in my family that doesn't eat seafood!!) and catch up with family that we really only see once a year.
The highlight of evening is a visit from none other than Santa Claus, who hands out presents to all the 20+ children in attendance. It always gets a bit crazy during that time! We cap the evening off with a reading of "T'was the Night Before Christmas". Then it's a mad dash home to make sure we make it home before Santa comes!

Christmas morning we wake up and open up presents at our house. We all take turns so we can see what everyone has received from Santa Claus.
We then get dressed and go over to my parent's house, for Round Two of Christmas morning!

My parents house is always pure chaos. There's 8 Grandkids ages 12 - 2, and they're always in super excited Christmas mode, so it's loud, crazy, and chaotic! Santa sure spoils the kids over Grand mom's & Pop-pop's. We usually spend the afternoon there, and either have a nice Christmas dinner there or at my Sister's house, who lives in the same town.

We get home late with all our new toys and the kids just can't wait to dig into everything and start playing with their new toys!
One tradition I'd like to start with my kids is them getting a new pair of PJ's every Christmas Eve so that when they wake up on Christmas morning they have comfy new cute PJ's to wear for pictures!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Top Five 80's Movies


On my morning drive, my favorite radio station (Preston & Steve of 93.3 WMMR out of Philadelphia!) were playing a game where they played the closing credit songs of 80's movies, and it got me thinking about my favorite 80's movies. I am a TOTAL 80's movies nut, and there are so many of them that I love, I could've probably done a top 100 list of 80's movies, but I didn't want to get that involved - haha!

So, in no particular order, here are my Top Five 8o's movies that I HAVE to watch every time they come on!

1) MANEQUIN: I love, love, love this movie. I think it's such a cute, cheesy love story. Andrew McCarthy is super cute in this movie! and I love the character of Hollywood! A bit of an unbeliveable love story, but still a cute movie to watch. I love the ending, and I'm a total cheeseball that tears up at the very end when he saves her from the big trash machine!

2) PRINCESS BRIDE: Another great love story! I love the meaning of the movie -- that if you believe in true love, you will find your true love no matter what and that true love will always prevail. The movie has a great sound track, and is just a totally romantic movie all around.

3) DIRTY DANCING: "Nobody puts baby in the corner". I used to watch this movie over and over again the summer I was 13 -- it was like the 'forbidden' movie to watch, LOL. I borrowed my mother's VHS copy and her soundtrack and would sit in my basement and just watch it and listen to the music and imagine that I was 'Baby' and that Johnny was my dance partner. I used to make up dances to the music! I was a total dork!

4) FOOTLOOSE: I had a thing with dancing movies, can you tell? lol... I loved this movie for the music and the moves, and this movie had a pivotal start in my obsession with one Kevin Bacon!

5) PRETTY IN PINK: Oh boy... Andrew McCarthy again.. He sure was a cutie in the 80's, wasn't he?? This movie is one of my favorites of favorites. I loved every minute of this movie. I tear up almost every time at the end scene in the parking lot after the prom, when he runs out and they kiss in the parking lot! LOVE IT!

Wordless Wednesday

A picture of the sky on a bright crisp fall morning over Salem, Mass (an actual picture my brother took last year, taken from his archives! -- Thanks Drew!)