Are you a mom? Want to talk about mom things? Or talk about anything? Send me an email and lets chat! .

Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeling a bit let down on Halloween

Now don't get me wrong, Halloween isn't a favorite holiday of mine. I hate dressing up, I hate taking the kids trick or treating, and I just hate the whole aspect of it. So you're probably thinking why should I feel let down, right? Well, when you have kids, everything suddenly becomes about the kids and you see things through a whole new set of eyes.

My daughter is old enough this year to really be excited about dressing up, and she's finally old enough to say Trick or Treat and Happy Halloween and Thank You. It's all very cute. So we set off tonight with my 2 sisters, 1 husband, my husband, and 8 kids. We made it approximately 1 house before everyone else decided to run ahead, leaving us slow pokes (my husband, myself, and the 2 toddlers) behind. So we grudgingly made our way up one side of the street, and down the other side of the street, maybe hitting 10 houses total.

Which is fine, because they're toddlers and don't need a lot of candy. I get that. The part that annoyed me is that EVERY year my whole family makes a big deal about how we're going to do the Trick or Treating together, and we never end up doing it together.

Then the next part of the evening was my sister's fabulous Halloween party, which consisted of about 10 more kids (not including nieces and nephews already there), hopped up on sugar running around screaming. I don't drink, so while the adults all hung out in the kitchen drinking and talking, I was delegated to the kiddy room watching "Hocus Pocus" with aforementioned sugar high kids.

I came home and was just done with Halloween. I had a migraine that had been forcing to come out all day and it finally exploded -- I think it was the strobe light that made it appear. My husband was sound asleep when I came home ( he had left the party earlier with the toddlers), the 3 of them were sleeping soundly, and I was all alone with my oldest 2 boys. I just feel very blah.

Next year will be the same thing.. I should just skip it, stay home, give out candy, and avoid all the drama!

Why do men *never* listen?

So this morning, I rush around like usual but I had the added bonus of making sure the kids costumes are in bags to take to the in laws house(where the kids go every other week). My daughter was really looking forward to having Halloween over Nana's house today and showing off her pretty princess dress. So I put both their costumes in seperate bags, gave the bags to the kids and put them in hubby's car.


Fast forward an hour later. I'm talking to him after he gets to work. We're talking about his ride to work, the kids getting to his parents, etc. And inevitably, the question comes up:

ME: "Was Sophie excited to show your mom her costume?"
HIM: "Did she even have her costume with her?"
ME: "What do you MEAN? I gave you both their costumes this morning. Sophie's costume was strapped into the seat belt with her. Peyton's was in his hands and I told you he had it".
HIM: "OH. Was I looking at you when you told me about Peyton's costume?"
ME" "Yes".
HIM" "OH. I don't remember that conversation".


So my 3 1/2 year old, who has been looking forward to Halloween for literally a MONTH, has no costume to show off to her grandmother and her Aunt today. Her little Halloween party they were going to have will still happen, but will happen sans costumes.

I know it's a little issue, but damnit, it freaking bothers me that he NEVER listens to me!! this was important to me!! This was important to the kids!! I wanted my in laws to see them in their costume, since they live 1/2 hr away.

Oh well.. There's always pictures.

Mischief Night

Do I live in the only town that kids still cause trouble on Mischief night? Or does this still happen pretty much everywhere? Our town had a dance for the 7th & 8th graders (I guess they figure these are the prime suspects for the mischief??) but Christopher didn't go last night.

I have this really irrational fear that our house is always going to be the only one egged and/or TP'd, but thankfully we escaped unscathed. The boys have an on again/off again feud with the "Hester" kids -- a group of kids who live on Hesters Ave, which is the 'bad' street in our Development. They were sure the kids were going to come and do something nasty to our house, and I breathed a sigh of relief when I went out to the car this morning and there was nothing done to our house.

But coming out of our neighborhood, however, was a different story. There was a row of about 5 houses with toilet paper ALL over the trees. I can't even imagine how many rolls of TP that must have been! Another house had eggs thrown all over the cars, and newspapers thrown all over the front lawn. I felt so bad for the owners once they woke up and surveyed the damage!

I really think there's a line it crosses between 'playful' and 'vandalism'. I think TP in trees is one thing, but I think eggs on cars is a whole other thing -- that's just mean and spiteful! Not to mention super messy and hard to clean up!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

To the ignorant driver on the highway this morning

Was it REALLY necessary to call me a cunt (excuse my language, as I hate that word, but I needed to use it for purposes of this post) *just* because I had my phone in my hand? I SWEAR I wasn't texting. Due to the current gridlock of traffic we were in, I chose a split second to check the time on my phone, and you chose that minute to begin hurling profanities (including several "F" bombs) out the window. HIGHLY uncalled for. Were you really in that bad of a mood this morning that you couldn't let something like that go?

I could see if I were blatantly texting, looking up and down at my phone and the road, or even if I was gabbing away on my phone. But c'mon -- I glanced at my phone for TWO freaking seconds. Cut a girl a break??? You're lucky I restrained myself enough before I decided not to veer into your lane and rear end your profanity hurling ass.

Soliciting parenting advice..

Because honestly, I'm at my wits end with my oldest two boys. I could see if it's the two youngest kids we're talking about, but we're talking about a 12 and an 11 year old!! But they're BAD. VERY BAD. They fight all the time. They argue all the time. They 'curse' (their idea of cursing") all the time, and it's just horrible. I can't get a handle on them. I punish them; it doesn't phase them. I take things away from them (TV, video games, things important to them); doesn't phase them. I talk to their dads -- has no impact.

So what the hell am I doing wrong? It's turning into an EVERY night thing. It's at the point where they run after each other and smack each other. They call each other crack addicts. Where do they learn these things?? school?? It's affecting my marriage. My marriage is actually crumbling because the boys can't behave.

I'm hoping SOMEONE out there can give me some advice. Please? tell me how to be a better parent. Tell me they'll outgrow this? Give me any advice? I'm seriously, seriously at my wit's end and desperate......

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We did it! Phillies won the World Series!!!


We won our FIRST World Series in 25 years, and won it in the 5th game.

We had to deal with game 5 being delayed due to inclement weather and being postponed until today, but you pulled it out and you kicked ASS!!!!!!!

The whole city of Philadelphia, and all of Southern NJ, is completely psyched for you! We cant wait for your parade. Thanks for bringing some joy back to the city of Brotherly love!!

Favorite Halloween movie?

This morning on the way to work, I had a completely random flashback to one of my all time favorite Halloween movies, one which I haven't seen in SO long, but now has me itching to go rent it on VHS (or borrow it from my brother, since he apparently seems to have it)..

The summary of the movie, from
When a normal American family moves into a beautiful old English house in a wooded area, strange, paranormal appearances befall them in this interesting twist to the well-known haunted-house tale. Their daughter Jan sees, and daughter Ellie hears, the voice of a young teenage girl who mysteriously disappeared during a total solar eclipse decades before.....

I *LOVE* this movie. It's a total classic cheesy 80's 'horror' movie, but it's not really horror -- more suspenseful than anything. My favorite part, for some reason that befalls me, is that the little girl keeps writing the name "Karen" backwards in car windows or any window with condensation, but no one can figure out where she knows the name Karen from. OH, and she names a Puppy 'Nerak' (the name Karen backwards). TOTAL CORNY MOMENT!
you have to go out and rent it if you haven't seen it!
What's your favorite Halloween movie?

Should mommies feel guilty for buying themselves things?

I know the answer probably is NO, but then why do I?

I think I just have a guilty conscience and I need someone to tell me it's "OKAY".

I went to Target tonight, to pick up a mini video camera for my oldest son. He's been saving up his money (it was a toy -- only $30), but he's wanted it for a while. So while I was walking to the toy section, I walked past the clothing section.

And I thought to myself, "OH, I could *really* use jeans". Which is true. I have NO jeans that fit me, as I'm currently a fat ass and my 2 pairs of jeans from last year are too small. So I picked up jeans. And then I thought "OH, I could *really* use new shirts". SO I picked up 2 long sleeve shirts, because for some inexplicable reason, all my long sleeve shirts have disappeared into the void of my house, and my office gets damn cold during the day! And then a new pair of sneakers followed, because my sneakers are beat up and holy, and yes; I wear beat up and holy sneakers to work. My mother would have a a heart attack if she saw how I dressed to work. She has this whole "But you're supposed to be a Paralegal, you're supposed to be professional looking" idea of me.

So after all was said and done, I bought myself some clothes and stuff and felt very, very guilty. So guilty that I came home and told my husband, and offered to return all of it and put the cash back into my checking account.

But you know what? I think I'm keeping everything. I NEED new jeans. And I NEED new shoes. and new socks.. and new shirts.. I didn't buy anything frivolous. But I still feel guilty.

Rock Bama vs John Cane

Ahhh -- the political views of a 5 year old! It seems that the whole gang of my nieces and nephews -- ranging in age from 5 to my son who is the oldest at 12, ALL have an opinion on this years Presidential election, all with a favorite (Barack Obama). My niece, Tabitha, SWEARS his name is Rock Bama and doesn't want to hear otherwise, and wants him to win solely based on the fact that his name sounds cool.

The other night found the lot of them in a heated political debate about raising taxes, bringing the soldiers home, and what the Presidential nominees are going to do for the economy. Do they really learn these things at school???!

My son's school had a mock election the other day and Obama was by far the front runner. In his school, McCain had 73 votes, and Obama had 293 votes! I'd say that was a land slide! In one of the other schools, McCain only had 11 votes.

It's getting pretty exciting as it's getting down to the wire and I think it's wonderful that the kids are getting involved and learning about this monumental right. I'm taking my 12 year old to the voting station with me on Tuesday just so he can get a feel of what is' like. B/c there *is* a good chance that if whoever wins makes it 2 terms in office, the next time the election rolls around he'll be old enough to vote!

Wordless Wednsday

From our Sandart experience this past weekend. Notice Sophie's 'boho, artsy' piece on the left, and Peyton's 'angry, menacing' looking pumpkin on the right.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can you ever truly be happy in your life?

This is something I think about a lot. Are you truly happy in your life? Or is there something you'd change?

I would change sooo much. I'd be thinner. I'd have more money and be more financially responsible. I'd make better choices in life. I'd go back to school and do something that I was really passionate about -- like maybe law school? Or be an English teacher. I'd be a better parent to my children. I'd be more patient and yell less.

I'd dress nicer and care more about what I looked like. I wouldn't wear my ratty sneakers to work. I'd wear jewelry sometimes (but only sometimes, because I think wearing jewelry everyday is over doing it).

I'd take the babies to Tot Shabbat every other Friday like I set out to, instead of when the mood strikes me. I'd work on teaching them more about the Jewish holidays at home so they have some idea of what's going on.

I'd teach my children there's more to life than what they currenly believe, and to reach for every dream they've ever imagined...

I bet even the happiest person in the world can think of something they could change if they had the power to. what would you change? Or would you stay exactly the same you were?

Freaking crappy, rainy weather

Last night was *supposed* to be OUR night. It was supposed to be the night the Phillies won the World Series. The stage was set -- the boys were in their Phillies gear, Matt had his foam Phillies finger ready to wave, and they were excited to be able to stay up for the whole game (ending at least around midnight).

But alas, in true Philly fashion. Something has to go horribly wrong. An hour into it, it starts raining lightly. And then a little harder. And then much harder. And then before you know it, Jimmy Rollins can't catch the ball because the wind is too strong. Damn, Damn, Damn.

So the only thing to do -- the RIGHT thing to do, is call the game. So now we have to wait until this stupid rain stops until they decide when the next game is going to be played.

And if it doesn't stop before the series moves back to FL, we're screwed. Philly people do NOT bode well in the FL weather. I keep looking out my window, praying for the rain to stop so that tonight will be the night that we win it all!!

Tasty Tuesday!

Here's a new feature I'll be doing right here on Don't Lick The Walls ; "Tasty Tuesday". Every Tuesday I will post a new recipe, something that's easy enough for a busy mom to make, something that doesn't take a gazillion different ingredients and 3 hours of your time.

For this week's installment, and in honor of Halloween:


These quantities should serve 6, but could easily be consumed by 4 coming back for seconds!

  • 3 - 4 lbs of pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 pints of chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup of cream

  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter or olive oil in a large pot and fry the onion until soft.
Add the broth and pumpkin to the pan and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Check that the pumpkin is well cooked and blend until smooth (a hand-held, stick blender is easiest as the liquidizing can be done in the pot).
Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
Stir in the cream and serve. Alternatively the cream can be added to individual plates when served

This can be enjoyed by the family served with warm crusty bread, or more elegantly at a dinner party with a garnish of chopped parsley. In France it is often brought to the table and served in a hollowed-out pumpkin - just the thing for Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Used to be a gun slinging mama

Tonight on my way to pick up the babies, I drove past the old shooting range that I fondly like to think as my old 'stomping grounds' and had a flashback to the days where I was a pistol drawing mom, going to the range with my ex husband to fire off some rounds to release some tension (where did the tension come from?? hmmm.... i wonder..... LOL).

Yes, it's true. I used to LOVE shooting guns. And I was good at it too! I even considered a career as a NJ State Trooper, just so I could go to the Academy and go through the weapons training. My gun of choice was a .22 pistol or a 9mm pistol -- nothing anything bigger, even though my ex tried getting me to shoot 45 caliber revolvers and they were NOT for me. They were way too powerful.

I don't know if I necessarily miss shooting, or if I'm sad that it's not a part of my life anymore.. I'm a different person than I was then. I can't imagine walking into a shooting range now and shooting guns just for the hell of it. I'm more calm, more focused, less pent up. I was going through some bad shit during that time, and I guess that's how I chose to release my anger and frustration. I bet I would still be good, though!

One more game to go!

A few posts back, I made the comment that I'm not really a sports girl. But c'mon -- our baseball team is ONE freaking game away from winning the World Series, a feat that hasn't been done since the 1980's, and Phillies Phever (as everyone is calling it!) is reaching an all time high! The whole city is in a frenzy, waiting for tonight's game. This could be it -- a little piece of history that we'll all be here to see. My boys are *s0* excited (maybe more so because I let them stay up for the whole game tonight!) to watch the Phillies (hopefully) win it all tonight!!

We all have our Phillies red on today and we're praying hard! Let's go Phillies!!!

You know what freaking annoys me?

Stupid ass drivers!! and you know what annoys me more than stupid ass drivers? Drivers who cause traffic jams, for NO apparent reason, just to gawk at whatever is going on over on the side of the road.

It wasn't even an accident this morning, people. Just because there's flashing lights and a police vehicle does NOT give you an automatic pass to stop and stare. It could've been just some one getting pulled over. Which, oddly enough in this instance, it was.

So now I'm running late to work, going a teensy bit above the speed limit, JUST because y'all are so fascinated by flashing lights that you have to slow down to 2 miles an hour to see what's going on.

Get a freaking life! Drive past the flashing lights! Get on with your morning!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Skinny jeans for 4-6 year olds??

OK... I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most hip mom out there. My kids don't dress in designer clothes; nor do I. I dress pretty casual to work, and really don't focus much on clothes.

So tonight, as I'm walking through Target, my eyes are drawn to a rack of jeans that are my daughters size (she's currently in a size 4-6x, as she's only 3.5 years, but tall and stocky like her mommy). So I pull a pair of pants off the rack, and it's only then do I realize that they're SKINNY jeans. As in the really tight, pencil thin jeans.

Now WHY in the world would a parent buy their young child skinny jeans?? What's wrong with keeping them looking like what they are -- little kids -- just a little bit longer? My daughter usually wears cotton leggings and a t shirt, or jeans and a t shirt -- nothing fancy at all. She plays in dirt, she runs around, she gets sweaty. She acts like a 3.5 year old. I can't even imagine her in a pair of skinny jeans. I would think she would look ridiculous! They certainly wouldn't match with her beat up Dora sneakers.

I just don't get it. Maybe it's just me being a fuddy duddy?? I *am* almost 30 and getting old!

Rolling pumpkins

It seems lately, we've been trying to find toys and games Peyton would like, toys that provide him with enough tactile stimulation -- bumpy toys, nubby toys, vibrating toys, etc. He needs a lot of stimulation, and we're really working hard on trying to give it to him in any way we can.

Tonight at the dinner table, instead of eating his chicken and rice, Peyton found his *own* tactically (is that even a word??) pleasing toy -- a nubby pumpkin that we had picked up from the farm market a few weeks ago. He spent a good 1/2 hr just rubbing his fingers up and down the bumps and rolling it back and forth, back and forth. He was highly amused! He has been calling things that he likes 'Funny -- ', such as 'funny kitty', or 'funny fifi' (his big sister). He was happily rolling the pumpkin repeating 'funny apple, funny apple'.

He loved it so much he took it to bed with him and was falling asleep rubbing the pumpkin last time I checked on him!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Matthew

11 years ago, Matthew, you were born. I was 18 years old and a for all intents and purposes, was a single mother. I already had an almost 2 year old and I had NO idea how I was going to handle 2 kids on my own. Times were tough, but I was determined to make things work.

You were a happy baby; always giggling and wanting to be held and loved. You smiled when I walked into the room, and cried when I left. You would sit in your little bouncy seat on the dining room table while I did my college homework, and would be content to just sit there and watch me.

You grew up and become a bit more rambunctious, but I never stopped loving you. When you were diagnosed with ADHD at 5, I cried, unsure of what it would mean for your life. I only wanted, and still want, the best for you and I felt like the diagnosis would only hold you back.

But we've made it through. We've weathered the past 11 years together, through good times and bad times, through good memories and some bad, through trips and holidays, through pets, and adventures.

I love you more than words can say, even though sometimes I don't say the right words. You are my shining star, my best bud, my friend through it all....

I hope you have a wonderful 11Th birthday and hope that the Rip Stick your little heart has been desiring is in your near future :-)

My 12 year old has turned into a full on tech nerd

And I don't know how it happened! I really think it happened gradually, overnight, and all of a sudden -- bam! It's right in front of my face. All of a sudden he's talking about html and green screens and how to create web pages. He wants to teach himself Html and even has a web page that he's started on his own, that he's stumbling along trying to work on himself. He carries around notebooks with movie ideas, and has ideas of doing a weekly webshow, kind of like Icarly.

This is a kid that up until last year was a huge sports nut. He played football, soccer, and loved everything sports related. Now he's into tech stuff and drama. Friends say it's because he's in Jr high now, and he's around a larger variety of friends, but it's so weird to me! He's my oldest, and it's so weird to watch him develop his own personality and likes.

I don't know HOW I'm going to handle it when he starts to get interested in girls!

My own little product review -- McDonalds Pumpkin Pie


These pies are a little piece of heaven!

I stumbled upon these tonight on accident. By the luck of fate, I got out of work half an hour early today, which gave me just enough time to get to Walmart to pick up the stuff for Matt's birthday tomorrow, as well as the rest of the stuff we needed for the Halloween weekend we're going to this weekend. There's a McDonald's across the street, and since my tummy was rumbling, I figured I'd stop and get a pie and a Sweet Tea -- yum.

So even though I *asked* for an apple pie, what I bit into was apparently a pumpkin pie. And it was delish! It was all warm and toasty and spiced with just enough cinnamon. The outer shell was really crispy as well and complimented the whole freaking thing. I was confused at first -- I thought "Is this apple? I ordered apple!!" until I realized what was going on.. LOL..

Now I want more Pumpkin Pies. Good thing they'll be around until at least until Thanksgiving, so I still have time to get my pie grove on.

5 Years ago today...

Five years ago today, I was a newly divorced woman. I was skinny, I was hot, and I had the world at my finger tips. I was living alone with my 2 boys in my first house I bought all my by myself. I was living the life.

And then one fateful night, October 24th to be exact, my friend Becky and I decided to go out and celebrate our recent divorces.

By the end of the night, I had a potential boyfriend. 2 days later, I was sure he was a boyfriends. 2 weeks later, he started slowly moving in, and 4 mths later we were engaged. A wedding followed, and then our daughter. Another baby (our son) followed not too long after.

And here we are, 5 years later. It hasn't always been the best of times, but it hasn't always been the worst of times. I truly think we compliment each other and make each other laugh. Our current state of relationship is kind of tricky, but we're getting through it the best we can. Throughout it all, he'll always be my best friend, the one I know I can turn to when I need to....

Besides -- he puts up with a LOT of my shit -- who else would do that? LOL.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Memories of Halloween of past...

At work today, we stumbled on the subject of bad Halloween costumes. Some of them were funny -- dressing up as a table at a party and having drinks served on you, or dressing up as the 'Leg' lamp from "The Christmas Story". There was a guy who dressed up (at age 22) as Donatello from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". So you can see, there's been a wide variety of Halloween costumes throughout the years.

However, I had them beat. HELL YEAH did I have them beat. For I believe, no matter what costume you've worn, I've had *THE* worst costume ever.

Picture this. You're 16 years old and you're 7 months pregnant. Embarrassing enough, right? It's Halloween 1995 and you just want to lay low and not deal with the holiday. Does your mother want to allow that to happen? NOPE. Want to know why? because she doesn't want your last Halloween as a 'child' to slip by the wayside. She wants you to go trick or treating.

But you don't have a costume, right? Leave it up to Mom to find something. Out comes a smelly, old CLOWN costume that was made several years earlier for my older sisters. It was plaid fabric and huge, with a hula hoop in the middle for added effect (which would also hide by belly, my mother was quick to point out).

So there I was, ladies and gentleman. Dressed up in full clown gear, make up and all, waddling around my neighborhood on Halloween night, just to I could get some candy. The only redeeming quality to that night is that my father told me, "Just think -- one day you'll be able to look back and laugh". And, here I am 12 years later, able to do just that.

Happy (almost!) Halloween everyone!

Feeling like a less than stellar mother these days..

The fact of the matter is, I have 3 baby daddy's... 4 kids and 3 baby daddy's.. yes, I know it's not the most ideal circumstances, but it's my life. For the past 12 years, it's worked out well. My oldest 2 son's dads are very involved in their lives and I've always been very grateful for that.

However, recently, my 11 year old's father has become a little *t00* involved involved in his life, making me feel like a shitty mom. I know I should feel thankful that he's taking such interest in his life, and in a way I am thankful. I mean, I AM overwhelmed, with 3 other kids, a full time job, and a slew of other personal issues going on. But his dad takes him just with the sole purpose of him getting his homework done. HELLO??! *I* can get his homework done. I'm more than capable of helping a 5Th grader with his homework. By him picking him up every day from school, I feel like he's slamming it in my face that I'm incapable of helping my own son do his homework.

Case in point -- this week, my son had a diorama project of the dessert due. He's been going to his dad's house every day to work on it. They finally finished it last night. I've never seen it, have no idea what it looks like. I'm sure it looks great, because my son's grandmother is a teacher and I'm sure she had a lot of input in it. I would've liked to see the project. But his dad wouldn't even let him bring it home, saying it'll be easier if he just drives Matt to school to drop it off so we 'won't have to worry about it'. Which I took to mean 'so all your other children won't have to accidentally step/touch/break it in any way'.

*Sigh* Again, I might be petty, but it's been weighing on my mind. I KNOW Matt would rather be with his Dad than be with me. His dad has lax rules, and he's an only child over there. He doesn't' have 3 other children vying for his attention, it's not chaotic, it's not loud, it's not stressful. I feel like I'm losing my son and I don't know how to bring him back......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A *huge* shout out to my designer!

So when I started this venture into Blogging, one of the first things I was convinced of was that I needed a designer. So I looked around on a few blog sites, at a few different blog designers websites and the first thing that crossed my mind was "wow, that's costly". I'll be the first to admit, I'm cheap. I will scrimp and save any way I can. I mean, I have to -- I have 4 kids. Spending $50 - 180 on a 'hobby' such as a blog to me just seemed like something I couldn't justify. Now this is NO way slamming those who *do* spend that much money for super pretty web sites from designers, it's just not for me.

So then I got to thinking, I have NO design skills whatsoever -- how am I going to get a cute website will still saving money? And then it hit me. I have *THE* most awesome brother in the world. He has been my ally for my most of my life, and he is the single most creative person I know. He has cool bug collections, and cool paper mache collections, and I once sat and watched for a good 40 minutes while my sister made a latex mold of his face, just so he can paint and design it.

So I asked him to help me, and folks; what you see is the product of his help. He has completely stepped up and designed (if I might say) a completely kick ass blog site. AND it gets even better -- he's even going to be changing it with each passing season, so be sure to check back often to see what background will be up.

Drew, I can never say thanks enough for everything you do. We've had our differences, and I might've thrown a garden hoe and other assorted heavy objects at you in the past, but you know I love ya!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ugh.. This no caffeine stuff is HARD!!

Apparently I have NO willpower, as I'm sitting here sipping a Mt. Dew at lunchtime. But in all fairness, I HAVE to. I'm falling asleep at my desk! And it only took me two days to figure out why I'm so tired all of a sudden -- because I stopped drinking soda cold turkey!

Yesterday I had to fight off the sleepys all morning and I could barely keep my eyes closed. I keep drinking water (which was good!) hoping it would keep me awake. I felt sluggish all day.

Today, no Code Red Mountain Dew for breakfast again for the second day in a row, and what do you know -- heavy eyes all morning again. I think I actually took a 2 minute nap at my desk until I felt my neck snap down and woke up.


PLEASE tell me it gets easier?? How do people not drink soda? there must be some secret out there I'm missing out on!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Officially Off the sauce!

Today is my first official day off soda! Normally I would've had 2 soda's by now (it's 12:30 p.m.), but so far I've been drinking water all day (and feeling quite like a fish!). I *did* have about 1/2 a Mt. Dew this morning, but it was by far the nastiest thing I've ever tasted. I picked it up yesterday because I'm a sucker for trying new colored sodas. This was a purplish colored Mt. Dew, so I thought 'Hey, cool'. It was Mt. Dew Super Nova, which had Strawberry Melon and ginseng flavors in it. Now, I am a total Mt. Dew addict, but even I couldn't stomach this concoction. YUCK. So I figured it was an appropriate send off to my love affair with soda....

I have to admit I'm nervous. This is probably the 15Th time in the last year I've tried to stop drinking soda -- obviously you can see I have no willpower. Will this time be any different? I sure hope so. SOMETHING has to change. I can't be fat and unhealthy for the rest of my life. Hopefully this time around I'll develop a complete love for water. Let's hope!

Sadly, I've come to the realization...

That I'm fat. Really, Really fat. And the sad thing is, I haven't always been fat. I remember the days when I used to be 135 lbs (I'm 5'9) and people used to be envious of my body. But through the years, and through the kids, the weight just started creeping up. It didn't get bad until about 5 years ago and then I got hit with a a mess of bad things -- a divorce, which led to a lot of emotional eating, then I got remarried and had 2 kids in quick succession which packed on the pounds which i never quite lost. I had a complete Hysterectomy a year and a half ago, which messed with my weight a lot, and then if THAT wasn't bad enough, right after my hysterectomy, I started a dose of heavy psych meds which are known to pack on the pounds, which I'm still taking today. So this all hodgepodge of misfortune has caused me to be, quite literally, a big fat mess. My 3 1/2 year old tells me (on a regular basis) that I'm too fat too do thing. The pants that I bought last year, when I was feeling the fattest I could be, are too tight. I avoid mirrors and cry when I see myself in them. I hide when people try to take pictures of me, and when they do insist on taking a picture of me, I hide behind something or someone.

Now, I'm not stupid. I KNOW what I'm doing wrong. My eating habits are shit. I drink too much soda, I eat too much junk food, and veggies and fruits are hardly a word in my vocab. But not anymore. I've vowed to myself, and for my children, to really get serious about losing weight. Not just for myself, but for them as well. I don't WANT my daughter to tell me I'm too fat to run around with her, and I don't want my boys to say "No offense Mom, but you're too fat to.......". I know it's going to be hard, but I'm going to try my damn hardest to cut out the soda and the junk food and see where that takes me. I figure that *has* to jump start my body into losing weight, right??

I know I'll never be as skinny as I once was, but I just want to be healthy. I want to be healthy and happy with myself....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A week and a Half to Halloween...

And we finally got our costumes. Boy, talk about slim pickings!! Sophie had her heart set on being a Snow Princess -- a costume consisting of a really pretty white dress (not the chintzy kind of fabric that you see on all the other costumes) and a tiara. We had seen one at Target the last time we were there, but in a moment of Mommy stupidity (0r maybe it wasn't having enough cash on me), I didn't pick it up then. So we all went today, praying it was still there -- no such luck. My beloved husband, in his infinite wisdom, swore it was Walmart that we saw the costume in and not Target, so we loaded all the kids back in the car again to drove cross town to Walmart. A quick dash to the ever shrinking costume aisle and we discovered no snow princess costumes there either. Damn.

We finally found a compromise -- a Barbie princess costume, which Sophie still calls a Snow Princess. Works for me! And for Peyton, I had found this adorable puppy dog costume that had a little hood with a puppy face on it, but hubby thought it was too babyish. Peyton ended up with a Knight costume, which I DO admit he looks adorable in.

I guess it's been a while since I've really paid attention to Halloween costumes, but some of the outfits for girls are REALLY skimpy! Like the Tinkerbell costume that Sophie picked up which was nothing more that really, really think fabric, a really short skirt and a tank top. And this was a toddler costume! Never mind all the Hannah Montana costumes I saw that looked a bit too skimpy for kids to be wearing. God, I feel so old!!

A letter to those eating at the restaurant with us tonight..

Dear Fellow diners at Pizzeria Uno,

Thank you for making my family's dinner so pleasant tonight. I really enjoyed the stares and the shaking of the heads, and especially the "oh my goodness, what is wrong with that child" remark I overheard. It truly made our dining experience *so* much better.

Yes, I know my son can be a bit overwhelming in restaurants. Yes, I know his crying/whining/screaming at the top of his lungs can be a bit much. Really, I do. But you know what? A lot of times he can't help it. Obviously you can't look at him and think "Oh, that child has sensory issues and might be overwhelmed, therefore he exhibits sensory seeking behavior". You just look at him and think "brat".

Granted, it might our fault for taking him out to dinner in the first place. We must've been crazy, taking him to 2 different stores and then out to dinner. We know now this causes him to get overloaded and start freaking out, but we wanted to be a normal family and do normal things. He wasn't hitting me repeatedly in the arm because he's violent, he was doing it because he needs to touch and feel things to calm himself down. He didn't throw his food across the booth because he was bored, he did it because he didn't like the texture of the chicken nugget.

So yes, he finally calmed down once he felt more comfortable there. I sincerely apologize for the screaming and throwing and whatnot. If the chicken nugget landed anywhere near you -- I'm sorry. But maybe next time instead of automatically shaking your head disapprovingly, why don't you stop and think that maybe there's a reason for the child acting like that, and not automatically label him a brat.

Thank you so much,
Peyton's Mom

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Peyton's Service Plan meeting

Today was Peyton's Service plan meeting. Really, not a big deal, but because of my anxiety, I stressed and worried about it up until the minute it started. It helped that hubby's Aunt is our Service Coordinator, so she was there to help us every step of the way.

My little man is going to be getting his own Occupational Therapist for 75 minutes every week, and then at school (which he only goes to every other week), the O.T. is going to come out and help him in a larger group setting, so he'll get used to the other kids and learn how to deal with them. Right now, he shys away from other kids and when we pick him up, we can usually find him hiding underneath the table or sitting in a chair by himself -- kind of breaks your heart.

He had 6 Service goals that we made for him -- things as simple as keeping his clothes on when required (a BIG problem in our house!) to reducing the frequency/duration of his temper tantrums. We have 6 mths to see how he does before he's evaluated again, and I really hope that he can hit some of those goals in the six months. He's such a sweet, special, funny, loving child; only with a few extra quirks that normal children don't have. All I want for him is to succeed and be happy with who he is....

A shoutout to the Phillies!

Now, I'm not a sports person AT ALL. Meaning, I hate sports. When my boys talk to me about football, my eyes kind of glaze over. I've never willingly sat and watched a sports game before. sports just do *NOT* interest me.

But..... something exciting has been going on over the past few weeks, and I can't fail to mention it. Our baseball team, the Phillies, have made it to the World Series!! Philly is a HUGE sports city -- we have the Eagles, the Sixers, the Flyers, and the Phillies, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the Philly/Southern NJ area that didn't get excited when one of those teams kick ass like the Phillies have been doing. This is the first time in 15 years we've been in the World Series, and the whole city is going nuts!! It's kinda fun to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all, and you can just feel the energy palpitating from all the excitement.

Of course, now my kids want official Phillies National League champion T-shirts which are $24.99 each. Yes, I'm cheap.........


Monday, October 13, 2008

Working on Columbus Day..

I know that Columbus day *technically* isn't a holiday, but damn it; when my husband works for the State and has off, and all my kids have off from school, it doesn't seem fair to have to come in and work today!

Everyone was super snuggly this morning and didn't want to wake up. Why should they? It was a cool, dark morning, perfect for sleeping in. Hell, all *I* wanted to do was sleep in (hence the reason I was almost late for work, b/c I dallied all morning thinking I had more time then I really did before having to leave for work).

At least the day is going fast. I'm waiting for my McDonald's (a somewhat nice co-worker volunteered to go out and get lunch for some people), and my tummy's rumbling. I keep trying to figure out a sickness I can fake so I can leave early and hang out with my favorite people -- my family!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our Adventure with Early Intervention

For the last month or so, my husband and I have been dealing with the paperwork and meetings involved with Early Intervention. Turns out that at our son's 2 year old well check up, the pediatrician had some concerns about his development. Some of his behaviors led her to suggest us getting him evaluated for Autism, which scared the shit out of me. I jumped online and read everything I could about autism in toddlers, and I had myself convinced that he was autistic. Have you ever noticed that once you get online and start looking up a condition, you start trying to convince yourself that you have the symptoms? Self diagnosing is a dangerous thing!!

Anyway, the day of the Evaluation came, and I felt like I was going to vomit all day. I prayed that it would go well. Of course, Peyton had a MONSTER temper tantrum for a good 25 minutes, up until about 15 minutes before the Speech therapist got there. I'm talking full on tantrum. Rolling on the floor, screaming at the top of his lungs, yelling if you got near him.

After a loooong evaluation, it was determined that Peyton has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). You can find out more about SPD here, at a really great website that has helped me out some already --
Basically, it 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 now we're waiting to find out how often he'll have to see an Occupational Therapist, who *should* be able to help him cope with his 'issues'. We have a long road ahead of us, but throughout it all, he'll always be my sweet, funny, lovable little toddler.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bad Jew?

So, today is Yom Kippur, one of *the* Holiest days in the Jewish religion. It's the day of Atonement, a day where you're supposed to repent for your sins, reflect on what you've done over the past year, and make plans for the future year. It's about making yourself better, and trying to make plans to allow yourself to be a better person in the upcoming year. To help you atone, good Jews fast for the whole day of the holiday. Am I fasting? Nope. Did I even attempt to fast? Hell no. Why? because I"m a bad Jew. And because I'm fat.

Seriously -- how are fat people supposed to fast? I can't go 3 hours without eating, let alone a whole damn day. I get cranky if I don't eat breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, a mid afternoon snack, and dinner. And when I get cranky, I get bitchy, and I KNOW those around me don't want to see me get bitchy.

You're also not supposed to work on the holiday. Yet, I still found myself at 8 a.m. this morning at my desk, stressing like any other day, when I was supposed to be at home celebrating a sacred holiday with my family.

So does this make me a bad Jew? Or does it just make me realistic? I have a hard time with this issue. I wasn't born Jewish; I converted about 3 years ago. I know this makes me as much of a Jew as anyone else, but I still feel like the outsider whenever I'm at Synagogue or whenever I attend a Jewish function. I feel like people are going to point to me and say "She doesn't look Jewish -- how did she get in here??"... I find myself trying even harder at every holiday to prove myself, and I get frustrated when I feel like I don't fit in with the Jewish crowd. My daughter started a Pre-school Hebrew school program this September, and it seems like *everyone* knows each other. I just stand there in the hallway, waiting for Sophie to get out of class, feeling like an outsider.

I know all of it is probably in my head, but I still think I'm always going to feel like a bad Jew when I don't follow the religion to a "T".

Hanukkah is coming up, which is one of my favorite Jewish holidays, so I'm determined to make this a great Hanukkah for the kids!

I think G-d can forgive me for not fasting and for putting in 8 hours of work. What do you think?

Jumping right in...

So, I tried this blogging this before last year -- I made it a couple posts, and then kind of got tired of it. I'm hoping this foray into blogging is a bigger success. I generally have a lot to say, and no where to say it! My husband can only take so much of my rambling, my kids aren't interested, and my co-workers could give a shit about whether my sewage is backing up into my wash basin, or the newest words my 2 year old says. So, I figure I'll post it all on this blog and get it out there. Some of it might be boring, some might be mildly amusing, and hopefully some will get a chuckle out of whomever stumbles across my page.

So who am I? I'm a mom to 4 wonderful, crazy kids... I'm a wife. I'm a sister and an Aunt (and a pretty cool Aunt at that). I'm a Paralegal who dreams one day of being an Attorney, but am realistic to know that it'll never happen. I'm a proud Bipolar, and I'm not ashamed of my mental condition -- it's just one little piece of who I am. I battle horrible anxiety and panic attacks, which makes like sucky sometimes, but I deal with it the best I can. I love to write, and once upon a time I used to love photography, but that hobby has kind of fallen by the wayside.

That's me in a nutshell...