Friday, December 30, 2011

If you did not drink wine!!

So my family by now knows my trademark saying is "I could have been mother of the year if...only if I .." but I was still shocked when the other day I was stating the usual and as soon as I finished my favorite line I was met with a a little voice behind me.."If you didn't drink wine!" I spun around to find my 7 year old son standing there looking at me with a smile! I wanted to be like who brought the funny guy.. Look who is a comedian today! The look on my face must have had him rethink his comment because he started to laugh a little nervous waiting for my response. I wanted to enlighten my young son that on the contrary me drinking my wine makes me a better Mom!:) But I file it in my mental notes looking forward to the day he is an adult with kids and calls to tell me they are driving him crazy and how did I ever do it with the three of them!!(that is where the wine, chocolate, secret escapes to the mommy spa come in.. Survival skills!)I tell my son Mom's and Dad's are allowed to have wine if they want or other adult beverages as as long as it is in a responsible manner and that is part of the rights as an adult. He laughs again and walks away.. He is probably thinking to himself "okay Mom if that helps you sleep at night!" Good lord these kids are getting way to smart now a days. I go back to the encouragement of talking and learning and getting so smart:)What were we thinking? My kids know me so well and I love how they draw pictures of me for Mother's day or other family pictures holding a glass of wine or a margarita on the beach for our family vacations. And gift ideas for me is a new wine glass or margarita glass, a nice martini glass ornament or my favorite which is the sign that says "I cook with wine and sometimes put it in my food!" I knew early on in my motherhood years that I would not break into the inner circles of the stepford moms (nor would I want to)when I would suggest we have mimosas with our mommy and me groups and I would get the looks that the authorities should be called and my poor children! I would laugh and say I was kidding because I was nervous they would really think I was crazy and report me, but 16 years and 3 kids later.. You learn not to care and you learn to be real! Honestly how long can you talk about baby poop, and diapers, which car seats are the best and the best baby snacks.. I became a Mom but I am still human! So I look back at how my wine drinking has kept me off the Mother of the year list..Good times! I think I knew I would be kept of that list after my first run in with my oldest son's t-ball team.. If anyone has gone through t-ball it is torture and this league had games every Friday night in June and some parents thought it would be fun to make it a 2 fold venue (I am sure I encouraged the idea) so it was decided to bring food and some adult beverages and sit on these nice summer Friday nights and watch our kids with little cookouts. Why not? We were not bringing in kegs and starting a rave! Okay I will admit in hindsight sometimes I do not use the best judgement , but seemed fun. Well when I received the mass email that went out to all the parents about how the league had found parents were doing this and it needed to stop immediately and if it were to happen again police would be called. I remember thinking one of the stepford parents tattled on us and I felt like I was back in high school caught at a party and the fun was over! And I probably ruined my son's chances of making the major leagues:) So I continue to drink my wine and stay out of the running for Mother of the Year! And I might not be asked to be on the PTO or help with the school fundraiser but if you need a Margarita Mom's club started or you want to join the dark side...I'm your Mom!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ho Ho Ho... Holy Sh**!!

So I am in a full blown Christmas Hangover today and I don't mean the good kind from Mommy 's little helpers  (Pinot Noir and Merlot). I am talking the total crash and burn from all the hype and magic overload that led up to the Big day! I don't know why I am never prepared for the Day after! I know it sounds like I am talking about a Nuclear attack, but pretty close. So out goes the magic and what is left but over tired kids coming off sugar highs from cookies, fudge, candy, soda, you name it! And a house that could make an episode of the show "Hoarders"! I want to say "Da** you Santa!"  Where did all the magic go? Well I can tell you it is not at my house.
So I wake up today thinking I will start the clean up and the kids will be so busy playing with all of their new toys and all will be good. Yeah that lasted all of 5 minutes! Each time I attempted to break down boxes, load the dishwasher or find a spot to sit down that was not covered in Christmas Chaos I was met with one of my children "Can you open this? How does this work? I need batteries? Will you play this with me?" So I as I try to assist them I am heading farther into hangover mode. It is absolutely ridiculous trying to open kids toys today, you need a tool box handy to make your way through the industrial strength plastic they are now packaged in and then once your in you are then faced with twist ties and screws bolted into the toys. I have paper cuts all over my fingers from the packaging and then to make matters worse you need a degree from Harvard to figure out how they work. Then patience is at an all time low and apparently the Santa card flew away with Santa Christmas Eve so nobody is watching and my kids are like "Bring it on Lady! What do you got? " Well I "got" nothing and I am so tired and I want to throw up the white flag. I decide to make another cup of coffee and try a restart.
One sip into my fresh cup of coffee and all hell breaks lose, my 7 year old comes running in the house in full blown panic that his remote control helicopter went missing. I am trying to process what he is talking about as I follow him out side. He explains that he was trying out his indoor remote control outside (Of course) and he has no idea where it went. Perfect!! I am so irritated by now and I go in the house to put my boots and coat on and head out to start the search party. How far could this thing go? My son is following me and saying how sorry he is and I am losing my MOTY composure and I yell "That was really expensive you know!" And he looks at me confused and said "What do you mean? I thought Santa brought it." I stop for a second and feel bad that he is so upset but I want to explain to him "Well yeah Santa brought it but do you think the elves work for free? And now that they have become unionized last year and don't get me started on all of the workplace injuries in the workshops sending the insurance rates through the roof and the big strike in the Spring of 2011 that forced Santa to bring in agency help at double the cost until they worked everything out, and the rise in health insurance costs...good lord!! " But no I just brush by his comment so I don't have to explain as I frantically search the yard and in the process step in the pie I put outside for the squirrels (don't ask) And my neighbor must have seen me in all my MOTY glory and came out to see what was wrong and decided to help me. (God Bless him) So of course he found it in his yard and all was right in my 7 year olds world and I continued on with my loss of magic hangover!
I just want to tell Santa he is Pain in my A**!!  And I am missing the magic!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What the Elf!! Now I am talking to an Elf!

It is Christmas Eve! Never thought I would survive this Holiday Season and make it to this point. It will be so nice not to hear are you done with all of your shopping and is everything wrapped? We were so far behind and nothing was wrapped so enter the best mother-in-law in the world and best Nana who took my kids last night for a sleepover so we could finish everything and make the magic happen!
Ready Set Go! I pour a glass of wine and start to tackle the wrapping that needs to all be done tonight.. Ugh..I look over at Sam the Elf who is sitting there looking at me from the couch with his same stupid shit eating grin and I want to yell "oh so your gonna just sit there and not help? Big tough guy with all the magic.. Bet you could just
Whip up all this wrapping in one magical blink.." but nothing happened as I figured. He might have the kids fooled but I am not falling for his creepy ways. I better just get to wrapping and knock of this nonsense because if my hubby knows I am talking to the Elf in my head my wine will be taken away for sure and then I really will be in trouble and my magic powers will be lost! I should also mention that I am the worst and my wrapping looks like it was done by the elf who got into Santa's secret stash of egg nog and my husband's wrapping looks like it was done by the top Elf who teaches the art oh wrapping at the North Pole.. Whatever! So as we continue the madness and there is paper and bows and labels and tape all over I get faster and messier by the present but I can see the finish line and my hubby continues to look at my horrible showing.. Son of a Martha Stewart! And What The Elf! I don't care! Who cares if my kids presents are wrapped by the drunk elves! We are almost done and my hubby gets called out with the fire department and I am left alone with Sam the Elf! I am determined to finish before he gets home and just be able to go to bed!! As I continue I feel his creepy stare and so I look over at him sitting there staring in all his creepy glory and I cannot help myself so I begin to talk to him out loud now because I am alone (my poor blind dog thought I was talking to him) So I begin "What is so special about you? The kids go nuts over you and you are not even that cute! You have been all over my house for the last month and what have you done? You could at least run the vacuum once in awhile or throw in a load of laundry or grab some groceries. You could help pick up some presents or bake some cookies. My kids want to do nothing to upset you but I get that I am a mean Mom and I don't play with them enough and I yell at them and I am the overtired stress case making the magic happen and you take all the credit!" By now I am standing with my hand on my hips standing in front of Sam while I go on and on..then I say.."What do you have to say for yourself?" And then I panic because I am alone and I have been drinking my wine and think for a split second .."What if he really answers me?" I would pee my pants.. So I hurry up and grab the last of the gifts and leave the living room. Thank God that creepy thing leaves tonight!
I hope my kids have an amazing Christmas.. But it has been so stressful so I say "What the Elf? And Santa is getting scotch on the rocks and chocolate.. Milk and cookies is so over rated! I am not sure how I am going to survive the New Year without my Christmas cursing and I am sure I will be out of the running for Mother of the Year 12 hours into the New Year!
I think it is more fun to be off the list for MOTY!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Son of a Martha Stewart!!

As if being a Mom is not stressful enough, add in the Holidays and let's just say Son of a Nutracker!! We always manage to get it all done so our kids have the magic of the season and think life is all rainbows and unicorns, even if we lose a bit of sanity during the process. So as if the Season could not get any more insane, enter the school announcements that have come home in my kids backpacks. Let me just say the Holiday cursing was in full swing! I have great respect for teachers, but what possibly could they be thinking when planning the Holiday Season in their classrooms. Obviously not about the fact that one of my kids is in their class and I am not Martha Stewart and cannot even pretend.

So as I am reading through the lists of instructions, projects, dates to remember and supplies that are needed to make all the magic happen I feel the stress rising in my chest. I am all for my kids having fun and enjoying the Holiday Season in school but why does that have to involve me? Whatever happened to some good group sing a long. So first my son's class sends home sign up lists for each parent to choose reading a book to the class or going in and doing a Holiday activity with the class. Are you kidding me? Of course, let me just throw an activity together no problem, get real. So I pick the book because I find it the lesser of two evils, because there really is no option to do nothing and have your kid be the only one whose parents did not want to participate. I already have enough mom guilt to make me lose sleep and I cannot afford to lose anymore sleep.  I am just grateful I had a choice because if I had to do an activity it would have been bringing in my Christmas cards that still are not done and the kids would have been putting on address labels and stamps. Then my daughter's teacher sent home a gingerbread man for the family to decorate together and send back in to be put on display. The instructions were to use anything around the house such as pipe cleaners, glitter, stickers, pom poms...good lord...of course let me just open up my craft closet, grab my hot glue gun and go crazy. Seriously, I know friends of mine that would find this whole process so fun, but my poor kids are stuck with me and my daughter looked at me in horror when I told her to cut one of his legs off and tell her teacher someone tried eating him. Then my son's class sent home instructions to create a party in a box with special snacks, drink and a special note from someone in the family (I hope my blind diabetic dog has been working on his note writing skills) and then wrap it in gift wrap so they can open it up like a present in class. I pray to God I send him in with the right box and he is not opening a box of wine in front of his classmates. I already get strange looks as it is around school functions, that's all I need to explain. This is just scratching the surface because I have not even mentioned Pajama day, and gingerbread festival day and Holiday book swap day. And my Super Hero cape is at the dry cleaners!! Thank God for Christmas cursing and special Mommy egg nog!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Momma Bear Goes to Disney!!

One would think that being in the Happiest Place on Earth, life would be all magic and pixie dust sprinkled all over and people would be dancing in the streets. Okay not so much. There are mean people even in Disney! And apparently they did not get the memo that Momma Bear was also in the land where dreams come true!So we were setting off on a magical adventure and the kids were beyond excited!

I will admit there were some bumps along the candy cane lane and it was not all smooth sailing and meltdowns happen within all the magic. One of those meltdowns was explaining to my four year old daughter that she could not do every ride her brothers could and she was not happy about that at all. So I took her to get some popcorn and have some girl time and talk about how it was much cooler hanging out with her Mom then going on a ride with the boys. You know girls rule and boys drool, but she was not really buying it. Oh well the big tub of popcorn definitely brought a smile to her face and she was glad to have a break and eat some Disney popcorn, but of course just as we get the popcorn we have a code red I need to pee right at this exact moment. Never a dull moment so I race to a bathroom that I see and we put her stroller tucked nicely out of the way, completely out of the way and place her popcorn in the seat. (I did not want to bring the popcorn in bathroom and it was one of those panic situations that do not leave much time for clear thinking) Good thing we made it to the bathroom just in time, and we were in and out in like 3 minutes flat because my daughter was excited to get back to her popcorn. Her excitement was short lived!

As we walk out of the bathroom we are greeted with popcorn all over the ground and all over my daughters stroller and her tub of popcorn is spilled everywhere and her stroller has been moved from the spot we tucked it away. As my brain is trying to piece together what happened my daughter is crying and melting down that her popcorn is ruined. Then I look where the stroller had been because I was trying to figure out if it had rolled or did I forget to put the brake on? And as I look where I put my stroller there is a woman sitting there with her stroller now in place where mine was. As it all becomes crystal clear what happened and I am honestly shocked by the complete rudeness of this woman, I feel my teeth clenching and I am trying to get a grip on Momma Bear from making an appearance. I am so furious that this woman had the nerve to purposely take my stroller out of where I had it and move it completely somewhere else and in the process spill my daughters popcorn everywhere and not even attempt to pick it up or hide it, but just sat down. And she had the nerve to watch my poor daughter so upset about her popcorn being ruined and crying and not even say a word. I totally understand that things happen and if it was a total accident and someone was waiting for us to explain and apologize, then no big deal or I would have had more respect for the woman if she had realized what she did and ran before we came out. But no she sat there with her kids staring at me waiting to see if I dared to say anything to her. I am trying to calm  my daughter down and assure her we will go get more popcorn and all is good, but I am so irritated by this woman and I really want to pounce on her and claw her eyes out. (I know such Christmas cheer!) It takes everything in me not to end up on Moms gone wild! And I really did not want my husbands Christmas present to be me an overnight youtube sensation. So I gather myself together and decide to take the high road and set an example for my daughter. (Are you laughing yet?) As I pick up all the popcorn to throw away and get my daughter settled in her stroller she asks "Mom who would do something like that to my popcorn?" And as I see her sad face, Momma Bear cannot be contained anymore and I decide to answer my daughter in a clear loud voice for the woman to hear as I stare at her while getting my daughter ready to leave.."Unfortunately there are really mean ,rude people in the world who have no class or manners. I have taught you to always say please and Thank you and be nice to everyone, but some people were never taught that. And you should feel sorry for them because they are obviously on Santa's naughty list and will definitely be getting coal for Christmas!!" I know I am so mature! And as we start to leave my daughter says, "Wow being on the naughty list is not good, do you think they know they are on the naughty list?" And I answer "I think they know now!"

As I always mess with my cubs you will be messing with Momma Bear...Even in Disney!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Life is a Walking Talking Birth Control Ad..

I honestly do not understand why there are still high rates of teenage pregnancy in this country and how this world could be over populated? Come visit the O'Neill house when my children are in rare form and I could possibly fix some world problems..:) I know that my oldest who is 16 has already announced he is never having kids due to his younger brother and sister! Fine with me..well for now he is scared straight for sure!! I know some high schools have those programs where you have to take care of a fake baby for a week or an egg. Give me a break! They need to start a program where teenagers need to spend a week with a family that has at least a 2 year old and multiple children and when it is cold season! And then take those children out to a store for errands especially when tired. That is the best full proof birth control ever! (Wish someone made me do that..)

So against my better judgement I decided to go out to the store last night even when I knew it was a bad idea. My kids had been fighting, were in bad moods and were in rare form, but even seasoned Moms make these fateful mistakes from time to time. As soon as we enter the store for a quick trip my children both turn into 2 year olds when they are now 7 and 4. They both start to chase each other and run around like we are at the park. I am so annoyed and grinding my teeth so hard and get my best scary voice and grab both of them and lean down close so they can see the fire in my eyes and tell them they better knock if off! Not even two seconds later they begin again, good lord I am in trouble!! This is more serious then I first thought because my scary voice and red monster eyes did not work. I need to get focused and grab what I need and get out fast. My 4 year old has grabbed an apple when I was not looking and started eating it and now my 7 year old announces he has to go to the bathroom right now and cannot wait or he will pee his pants. As I grab him and direct him toward the bathroom I look and notice my daughter is sitting on the floor refusing to move and as I stop to get her my son has kept going and left. I panic that I have lost sight of my son as I argue with my daughter to get off the floor right now and walk, (should I mention a small crowd has started to watch and look at my daugher like she is a spawn of the devil). I pick her up and head toward the bathrooms and when I arrive I do not see my son so I open the mens room door (yes I did) and I yell in for him and he tells me "Mom get out of the boys room, people are going to think you are crazy!" I relax a little knowing he is okay and as we wait for him, my daughter put her half eaten apple in the water cooler and I tell her we still have not paid for that! My son now is out of the bathroom and I tell them both we are leaving, I give up. A woman appears out of nowhere standing in front of us telling me she knows that look on my face and she understands and tells my kids to be nice to your Mommy..she says "It is the only Mommy you have!" I am surprised my daughter did not have anything to say back to her..Thank God for small miracles.  We make our way to the check out and as we wait our turn I am still getting stares as my daughter pushes our cart into the lady in front us. Good times had by all. Finally our turn to get out of this nightmare and I put my items on the belt and hand the teenage cashier the half eaten wet apple. She looks horrified and disgusted as I explain I need to pay for that. Then out of nowhere my daughter bolts for the door before I am done and I am yelling for her as I try to finish and pay and I yell to my son to chase her and get her..both now are gone. I apologize but need to run and get them because they are now in a parking lot. I run full speed passed everyone in the store and find my kids outside, grab them and go back to my cashier and bagger who are waiting for me to finish and stop holding up the line. They are both teenagers looking at me horrified and now the teenage boy hands me my gross apple. I am so mortified from my screaming and running display but now I just don't care. I look at both teenagers and point at my kids and then back at them and announce "Let this be a lesson to you play and then you will pay!" They continue to look horrified by everything that has just happened and I grab my cart and kids and get the heck out of the there. As I get in my car reality sets in and I cannot believe I just lectured two teenagers about safe sex in the middle of the grocery store..I pray they don't know my teenager! My 16 year old would love that!

So yes I accept the fact that my life is a live walking talking birth control ad! However I can help my community one meltdown at a time!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What the Elf!!!

As if the Holiday Season is not stressful enough for everyone, especially Parents trying to make all their kids Christmas dreams and magic come true..Enter the ELF!! Who would think such a small cute little thing could cause so much stress and insanity in a household! Don't let those things fool you. I am not going to lie, I jumped right on the whole Elf on a Shelf train and was all caught up in the magic and cuteness until I forgot about the reality of life and the stress of the Holidays and the stress of keeping up the whole Elf story with kids!! Not so cute anymore. And I really find it hard to believe a Mom created this whole Elf cult thing? Really? Just want to say Thanks, that falls in the category with giving a noisy annoying toy as a gift for a kids birthday. To make matters worse and more stressful someone thought it would be a great idea to make a kids movie about this Elf on a Shelf and I was stupid enough to let my kids watch it so I could get a half hour of peace and quiet. (The idea of a glass of wine in peace ruled over my better judgement) My kids already believed and followed the story and Elf rules but to see it just made it that much REAL! And when they saw that Elf go to the Elf Hospital after he was touched...good lord..that sent the seriousness to a code red level. And so it begins...

I am up making my morning coffee still half asleep when I hear the dreaded words from my kids mouths "Sam did not move! He is in the same spot!" Panic Mode has set in. I wake up really fast and my heart stops for a second as I scream inside my head to myself "I forgot to move the friggin Elf!!!" I had every intention but in between laundry and dishes and school lunches...oh it doesn't matter. I am so irritated that I have to start my morning like this and I have to think quick to make my kids feel better so in true MOTY fashion I say "What did you guys do?" They stop with wide eyes and mouths open looking at each other. The guilt creeps in that I turned it on them but it will build character I tell myself, no it is mean I know, but I am tired and cannot keep up with this whole Elf Bull S***..I continue "Are you sure you guys weren't fighting? Can you think of anything at all?" They start to blame each other and they start talking really fast and then I tell them to calm down and I continue my web of lies.."Sam loves you guys and he couldn't go back to the North Pole and have to tell Santa a bad report so he let that be a lesson to you have a second chance now!!" They seem better and seem to believe my story and move on with their morning routine. I start to sip my coffee and think I am not going to survive this Holiday season with this Elf and maybe I can make sure this Elf has an unfortunate sleigh accident or run in with a reindeer on his way back this year and will not be able to return next Christmas! What a pain! So I decide to launch into my Christmas cursing to make myself feel better and it is a great stress reliever also, so my tantrum goes something like this " What the Elf!..Son of an Elf!..Elf Me!..Son of a Nutracker!! Elf my Life! Jingle Balls!" I know I am so mature but Christmas cursing makes you feel better and still keeps you in the Christams spirit! I do realize that I cannot do this around my children because I would be getting calls from my daughter's  preschool teacher asking why my daughter has all the 4 year olds saying "What the Elf?"

I can already predict on December 1st that life with Sam the Elf will probably mean Santa can expect a glass of scotch on the rocks Christmas Eve instead of milk!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mom! Mommy! Ma! Ma! Mom! Mommy! Mom! Mom!

Again we go back to the memory of the first time we heard our children say the glorious, sweetest sound a Mom could hear!!..."Ma Ma..Mom" and at the time we squeal with delight and ask anyone who cares to listen.."Did you hear that!! They said "Mom!!" And you run to gather any equipment that will record this precious cameras..computers..laptops...and then you call everyone in the family and friends to announce this monumentous moment! Then we lose all sense of reality and encourage the repeating of this word over and over and over. So we have nobody to blame but ourselves to be in this current position! Fast forward to present time.

"Mom! Ma! Ma! Mommy! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom I am hungry! Mom I am thirsty! Mom where are my sneakers? Mom the dog is sitting on my toy! Mom can I go outside? Mom I need to be wiped! Mom play with us! Mom I am still hungry! Mom can I have a yogurt? Mom the swings are wet! Mom it is cold outside! Mom I need my hat! Mom I need my gloves! Mom where are my boots? Mom the dog pooped! Mom she hit me! Mom he hit me back! Mom I fell off the swings! Mom she won't play what I want! Mom he won't play what I want! Mom did you hear me? Mom where is my juice box? Mom can I have another yogurt? Mom how many days until Christmas? Mom what time is it? Mom can we go back outside? Mom can you come out with us!!" This all took place before I even was able to finish my morning coffee. If I hear Mom one more time today I think I am going to scream! And it is not even 9:00am! Again in what world did I ever think the sweet voices of my children would become like tiny needles stabbing my ears until they bleed! So I told my children in true Mature Mom fashion thay they were not allowed to say "Mom, Ma, Mommy or Mother" again the rest of the day! They look at me very confused and ask "What do we call you then?" And I respond, again losing MOTY points by the minute, "I don't care if you call me Frank, I just don't want to hear the other word, got it!" My daughter looks at me half confused and half scared like I have lost my mind.  I feel a twinge of Mom guilt creeping in, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I don't actually think this will work but if it buys me ten minutes of peace I will take it! So the kids go off to play still confused and I hear my daughter ask my 7 year old son "Is Mom really mad at us? Her voice scared me!" And my son answers in true veteran kid fashion "No, she is having a crabby Mom moment, just leave her alone she will get over it!" So funny! And so true! So I walk away laughing, getting ready to make another cup of coffee and enjoy my crabby Mom moment alone for a bit.

 Not for long, my daughter runs to find me and the words start to fall out of her mouth in slow motion "M....O...." She barely finishes and covers her mouth with her hand and with wide eyes as she had almost said the forbidden word of the day! And she stops for a second to think and says "Marshmallow can we make brownies today?" I almost choke on my coffee laughing, but man she is a smart little one. I gotta give the girl credit and I say "Of course" I think I am on to something! "Marshmallow is so less annoying and funny!" Not sure how long I will keep this up, but it is a nice break..maybe I will keep it up at least until lunch!!

So you can call me Frank or Marshmallow but don't you dare call me "Ma! Mom! Mommy! or Mother!" until my Mom crabbiness goes away...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Where is the Mother??

I love the moments when your child does something that has people looking around wondering where the mother is? And believe me they are not looking for the Mother of the Year, just the negligent mother who has not kept an eye on her child. And usually that mother is me!

So yesterday was no different as my sister and I decide to take the kids on a road trip and visit the Berkshire Museum for the Festival of Trees! So exciting! These things always seem like a great idea when you plan them but then when you actually are doing them reality sets in. So we enter the Museum and the kids are so excited and full of energy after the long ride to be set free in a place where most things are breakable. Great! Did I mention my 4 year old daughter was with me? Good times about to be had by all, but I gather the Christmas spirit and set off on this adventure. I give the speech that we are going to have a blast but we need to stay together and no running and no touching..just looking! Yeah right. As we navigate our way through and look at all the beautiful Christmas trees and the kids are so excited I lose myself in the Christmas spirit and make the number one Mom mistake! I forget for a moment that I am a Mom and have children with me that I should be watching. I have wandered a little farther then my daughter and was caught up in the pretty trees and the Norman Rockwell moment when I realize my daughter is not with me. Oh No!

As reality sets in and I am just turning around to look for her I notice a little crowd forming and a bit of a commotion. My heart stops as my eye catches a glimpse of a little girl with crazy curly hair leaning head first in the Museum wishing fountain and taking fistfuls of change out and putting them in her pockets. I am horrified and frozen. There are two older women shaking their heads in disgust, and there is a young couple laughing finding the whole thing very funny (note:they do not have kids), and then there is a young family with kids asking why she is doing that and the Mom explains really loud to her children that she should not be doing that! As I watch, I almost for a split second want to join the crowd that has gathered and not claim the child as mine but agree that this is horrible behavior and where is the Mother? But as I try to pretend the wild child stealing money and peoples wishes is not mine she catches a glimpse of me and yells "Mom look at all the money I found!" and in an instant everyone turns to look at me and I have the all too familiar pit in my stomach as I feel my face turn bright red and I have the frozen smile and teeth clenched as I approach her. To make matters worse a Museum security guard has made his way over and is watching to make sure all coins are returned to the fountain. As I explain to my daughter what she is doing is wrong and we need to put all the coins back in the fountain I notice the crowd still watching. It takes all my strength not to launch into a speech to defend myself and I think it would go something like this "Just keep staring people, you think it is easy, you think I wanted this to happen, should I mention I have not slept in like three nights from a kid coughing all  night, what are you perfect parents with your kids all dressed for a GAP ad and walking all nice holding your hands and listening to you..and blah..blah...blah.." But no I just keep smiling and do my nervous laugh as I help my daughter return all the coins back to the fountain with her still not understanding why and the security guard watching to make sure every coin is removed from her pockets! The crowd moves on and we continue our Christmas cheer. (Hope Santa wasn't watching because we thought he was PIS*** before!)

So needless to say we were followed the rest of the day by security to remind me that I am a mother and need to keep an eye on my children!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to town and he is Pis*** off!

I love this time of year with all the festive music and lights and sugar plumbs dancing.....wait a minute...back it up...let's get real!! We Mom's love this time of year for the mother of all cards we get to play in this lovely game of motherhood. The SANTA CARD!!! Like I have said before I would start using it at the 4th of July if I could. And I feel the santa card is coming out earlier and earlier..the minute Halloween candy is out of the house it seems pretty reasonable and like I care if it is or not. This is a game of survival folks and whatever can give us any help or an edge over our kids..we will take it! So yes the Santa card was pulled out for the first time of the season last night and it was wonderful to utter those words and stop my kids dead in their tracks. As they are fighting with each other and not listening to me for the 10th time to get upstairs and get ready for bed it happened.."You guys do realize that Santa is watching and he is always watching and he is not going to be happy that you are fighting and not listening to your mother!" They stop and with wide eyes look around as if to see hidden cameras and then start to make every excuse in the book as to why they had not been listening and blaming each other as they run upstairs to get their pajamas on in record fast time. As they are in the bathroom brushing their teeth I listen to their conversation outside the door. My 7year old son tells his little sister "This is no joke we have to stop fighting or Santa will not bring presents!" And my 4 year old daughter's response is "Yeah Santa is going to be Pis*** at us!" At this point I am aware there is still work to be done on her truck driver language but I cannot stop laughing that I have turned poor Santa into a mean, scary figure holding a candy cane waiting for them to mess up. From November 1st to December 25th I must use the Santa card at least 5 times a day to help get kids to eat, get dressed timely, not miss the bus, do homework, not fight with each other, take baths, and go to sleep with no fights. It is a wonderful and powerful card that goes something like this.."Santa is watching, he is not going to be happy, he is looking for good boys and girls,,on and on.." I realize I am probably raising paranoid kids being told they are being watched 24-7 by a jolly fat guy in a red suit and they are future candidates for prozac but right now if it helps me..I will take it!! And the saddest day ever is when that annoying kid in school ruins it for all Mom's and drops the bomb that Santa is not real!!! NO!!!! And we try to repair that statement as long as we can...I am still trying to use the Santa card on my 16 year old.

So as I still have time to use the Santa card I am proposing some other cards that can help us throughout the year..why not? Like a great pumpkin King for the fall and a magical Tom the Turkey to get through Thanksgiving and cupid through Valentines Day and then move onto some scary leprechauns to carry us to St. Patricks Day. Again whatever helps us navigate our days! So enjoy this Holiday Season and the magic of the Santa Card!

But watch out Santa is coming to town and according to my daughter he is PIS***!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's all fun and games until the Pea Soup Moment!!

 I say that motherhood should come with a warning label and it should be part of your discharge paperwork at the Hospital that states "Enter at your Own Risk! And Mommy Meltdowns are a given! So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride!!" As I have said before, once you get pass the HallMark Ad part of life with kids, enter reality and you know what they say about reality?? "It is a B**CH!" And I feel like Mom's are afraid to admit that life is not a Norman Rockwell painting everyday and we need to go to the secret society and walk down a dark alley to a hidden door and enter and then you can admit in a whisper to whoever will listen and it always starts with a disclaimer.."You know I love my kids....but right now...I cannot stand them and I am not going to survive..they are driving me crazy!!" The guilt that we feel admitting we cannot stand our kids at certain moments and how could a Mom say that? Ummm...With Ease!!!!

So My kids track my meltdowns and never let me forget them and every so often they list them in order of top 10. I feel like my house is a manfacturing floor where they have that sign stating how many days since last accident but my sign is how many days have passed since my last meltdown! So I am sure yesterday will make the top 10!

It goes something like this.. I am trying to get everyone out the house and as I am running around collecting coats and shoes and ask them to start getting dressed as I let the dog out and switch the laundry to the dryer and I start the dishwasher shut of some lights and pick up a few toys along the way I come back to the kids who still have not moved a muscle and I ask again for them to get started we need to go soon. I run out to start the car because it has been cold and I come back in and pack some snacks for the ride and continue again on my whirlwind through the house and make sure I have everything and at this point I notice my kids still have not done one thing I asked to get ready and it happens!! I freeze for a second and whatever inside me snaps it rushes up through my body and everytime the scene from the exorcist comes to my mind where the girls head spins around and she is possessed and then she spits out pea soup and I lose all sense of reality and the Mommy Meltdown begins and then all of a sudden whenever my kids see the pea soup exorcist look they know it is serious and begin to run and get dressed as fast as they can!! But too late! We are at a point of no return people! I throw down whatever I had in my hands and I start "Do you think I am kidding? Why do you never listen to me? I am sick and tired of doing everything for everyone in this house and nobody listens to me! I run myself ragged! All I ask is that you get dressed and ready for me. I don't ask much from you guys..It is not fair! I do not know why I try so hard! Nobody cares! Nobody understands everything I do and how hard I work........" And on and on and on...I won't bore you with all of the details. And as I come back to reality and my breathing gets back to normal and the exorcist look is gone and I am no longer spitting up pea soup my kids are standing there dressed and ready to go. My 4 year old daughter ask me " Are you done?" And I take a second and then respond "Yes I am" And she says "Okay Let's go" 

I am not proud of my Mommy Meltdowns but let's be with kids will lead all Mom's to land on the top 10 List at some point!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't Mess with Momma Bear!

It would not be a day in my life without some kind of mommy drama, but it keeps things interesting for sure! So the weather continues to be unseasonably warm and my kids keep asking to go to the park quick at the end of the day. I know what you are thinking? Why would I put myself though that because we all know I do not have the best of luck at the park, but it is like returning to the scene of the crime. And I do not want to listen to my daughter wine and complain the whole night that we did not go to the park. So we go and I make it clear that it will not be long at all. it gets dark early now. As we enter it is total mayhem because everyone has the same idea. I take a deep breath and tell myself it will all be okay, I can do this! I had no idea what I was in for! And I thought OPK was bad, not even close.

So as I am helping my daughter on the monkey bars my 7 year old son walks around, climbs on some things and goes down the slide a few times. All is good in park land, or so I thought. I happen to notice a little boy maybe 2 or so talking to my son. It looks like he is asking my son to help him get on the spin around thing and being the sweetie my son is and always helping his little sister I see him say yes. I look to see if this boy's Mom is anywhere around, but I do not see anyone close by. I have my hands full with my daughter but I keep watching and as I watch my son gently help this little boy I am so proud of my him. My son starts to slowly spin the little boy and the little boy is laughing and then it happens! The little boy loses his grip and falls off, and my son goes to help him when finally out of nowhere his mother appears. She scoops up her son who is crying and then begins to point her finger at my son and starts to scold and yell at him. I could not believe this was happening and I was actually seeing this. I tell my daughter I have to get her down off the monkey bars and now my son is heading towards me and the look on his face made something inside of me snap. By this point he was shaking and started to sob and he wanted to leave immediately. I asked him what she said to him but he could not answer me because he was crying so hard and was scared. All he said was "Mom I was just trying to help him."

 At this point I am grinding my teeth so hard and trying to keep it together for my kids but my eyes must have been glowing red and fangs must have been starting to show by now because the primal mom has been unleashed and it is not pretty. There is something inside a Mom that when her child is threatened in any way it turns to the code of the wild and nobody messes with Momma Bear's cubs and it will be a fight to the death and I will claw her eyes out (I realize this seems extreme over a park incident but I snapped watching my sweet little boy crying) Also if this had happened to my daughter she would have probably told the lady to go "Bleep" herself. I am not proud of that, but she can handle herself. My son is very sweet and follows the rules and never would have talked back to an adult. I calm my son down and bring him to the car and tell him I will be right back. I shut the car door and look over towards the woman and I swear I did a head snap and was like "Oh no she didn't!" With a double finger snap! We might be in the suburbs but I was ready to get "Ghetto" on her "A**" I head towards the woman and try to remind myself I do not want to end up on the 11 o'clock news. I approach her and say "I hope your proud of yourself making a sweet little boy cry! He was trying to help your son because you were nowhere in sight and to busy drinking your ice coffee chatting with your friends. And how dare you yell at him and point your finger in his face!" And she says, "He is older and should know better, my son could have been really hurt." And I say "Then you should have been watching your son!" By this time I think there were parents gathering around and trying to see what was happening and I give one last mature glaring look and walk back to my car. I get in and tell my kids all is good and change the mood with some light chatter, but all I can think is I pray to God nobody got that on a camera phone and puts it on youtube and I become an overnight sensation "Mom's gone wild at the Park!" and please God let it snow soon so I do not have to return to the park until Spring!

I am not saying that I never yell at my kids and I am not proud of my mommy meltdowns, but nobody else will dare yell at my kids..that is my job! And the saying "It's a jungle out there!" So true!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

When did Hot? Become a Hot Mess!

Tonight was one of those nights where I needed to run to the grocery store and had no energy, but I had no choice there was nothing for the kids school lunches tomorrow, so off I go. As I stand in line at the deli counter and wait my turn an elderly gentlemen walked by and gave me a strange look, not sure what that was about but at this point, like I care. Then it is my turn and the guy behind the counter was like "Can I help you?", and I give my order and he says "You sure that is all you need?" I start to think to myself "What does he mean by that, yes I am sure that is all I need." but I smile and nod yes. As he begins to put my order together I think back to the elderly gentlemen and this deli guy and their strange behavior towards me and as I ponder I look down and start to laugh at myself. No wonder!! I am a hot mess! I have on my husbands sweats that are covered in my dog's hair, my hair is pulled back in a not so glamorous pony tail with my daughter's Hello Kitty hair band, my teenagers football sweatshirt that does not match the sweats and my shoes that look like slippers. No wonder I am getting stares..I look like a crack addict let out on a 24 hour pass from rehab. As I take my deli order and walk away, I wonder what is worse, my appearance or that I really don't care. This is sad I know.

I remember growing up and being absolutely horrified by my mother and would want to die when she came outside the house with curlers in her hair. I would pray none of the neighborhood kids would see her and think she was nuts! And now my poor kids are probably thinking the same thing about me. It is amazing how times have changed and it is a good day if I manage to put on chapstick and style my hair. If I get a shower in everyday that does not mean I get a chance to shave my legs, it might mean I get one leg done and the other has to wait until the next shower. If I get a chance to iron an outfit for work that probably means no time to blow dry my hair that day. And if things get totally crazy and I mean fly by the seat of your pants crazy there could be an accessory thrown in!

So if you see me out and I look like a hot mess! I am well aware and yes I have turned into my mother and now I am the crazy Mom! No wonder my son wants me to pull over and park instead of dropping him off in front of the high school.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Cough heard around the World!

As if being a Mom is not hard enough..enter cold and flu season. That first cough and exclamation by one of your children.."I don't feel good!" It strikes the fear of God into any Mom. And I will never understand why I always respond with, "What do you mean you don't feel good?" as if I am trying to make sure I might have heard them wrong. A girl can dream you know! And my kids always look back at me like I am crazy and respond again with "I don't feel so good, my head hurts, my throat hurts.." blah..blah..blah..Okay I get it. Why I am never prepared for it is beyond me, but here we go again.

So as a Mom when you get in bed at night and need a good night sleep more then anything what of course happens? The dreaded cough that I will never get used to even after three kids and multiple sick nights. The reason you never get used it is because for some reason kids have this amazing ability to go to bed as healthy as a marathon runner in trainging and wake a few hours later as if they contracted malaria in their sleep. If we could have some warning and be prepared and ready for battle that would be great! But no it goes something like this..I am deep in sleep, cozy in my warm bed, then it strikes. The cough!! I sit up in my bed with my heart racing and eyes trying to adjust to the dark. I try to focus and listen again and there it is the cough!! Yes it is a code red and I jump out of bed as fast as I can but get caught in the sheets and blankets everytime and kind of fall out of bed. Or even better I stub my toe on the bed frame corner as I am still trying to get my legs beneath me. I go hobbling down the hall following the cough to what room it is coming from. And as I arrive at the doorway of my daughter's room the cough is just at that point every Mom dreads and it turns into slow motion and my voice is like "Nooooooooooo.....wait..........." and just as I grab her it happens...she coughs and pukes all over everything...and I mean everything..the rug, the bedding, herself, me, the teddy bears in her bed and pillows and on and on. Yes kids are so talented and manage to hit everything! And everytime I ask out loud , not sure who I am talking to at that point but "Why?? Why can't they ever get up and run to the bathroom? Or at least just make it to the hallway with wood floors? Why" And then as always my daughter will say "Sorry Mommy" and I say "It's okay, you couldn't help it sweetie" But even as I say it I am not sure I believe it.

So as my hopes of any kind of sleep drift in the distance the clean up begins, I run a warm bath and put my daughter in to soak as I go in and strip the bed completely, grab the teddy bears, change my clothes and bring everything to the basement to be washed. I attempt to start removing the smell of puke. And that is a smell that will take some super industrial strength cleaner to get rid of..takes days. So I bring my daughter downstairs in preparation of an all nighter on the couch (how the meaning of all nighters has changed!). It is one of those nights where they lay on you as you are sitting up and everytime they fall asleep they wake back up within minutes coughing and I am holding a puke bucket now all ready. The glamorous life continues. And as I sit and watch TV waiting for the next round a commerical comes on for soothing/ calming baby wash. And I say to myself "Bulls***" The commercial portrays a couple up together walking a fussy baby around and then wait, they forgot to try the calming baby wash, and with the mixture of lavendar and honey once you wash the baby he amazingly goes into a deep peaceful sleep for the night. I start to yell at the TV in my overtired middle of the night delerium. That is the type of crap that makes people all excited to be parents and think life with kids is a walking talking Candy Land game and everyday is like landing on gum drop lane. Makes me want to puke. If that baby wash really worked just like that I would buy it by the case and bath everyone in my house including my freaking dog so he didn't wake me either having to go out in the middle of the night!

Okay, what we do wrong is set parents up along the way to think that rainbows and unicorns is where it is at with these marketing strategies, and with cute baby clothes and shoes, and with cute baby showers and baby books and kits to make baby handprints and footprints. I am going to start a Mommy boot camp. Let's get real. You need to be able to wake up without warning and instantly, you need to be able to get no sleep but still go to work, be able to sleep in the tiniest square footage with random little feet and elbows jammed in your face or ribs, learn to sleep upright in a chair, and take care of multiple sick children while you are sick as a dog yourself. So as I plan my boot camp the sun starts to peak up and a new day is here and that is when my daughter decides to go to sleep..perfect! Always happens this way..

So as I know that will not be the last time I am woken by a cough in the middle of the night..I dare to dream that from my mommy fear factor and survivor training I will make it one of these times the bathroom!

Friday, November 4, 2011

OPK Factor..Other Peoples Kids!

I realize that most people think that when you become a Mom you instantly develop this love for all children and life becomes an instant Johnson and Johnson ad...not so much. It takes all my energy to deal with the three I have why do I want to deal with other peoples kids that I don't even know. Give me a break! And just like when someone cannot stand cats the cats will always be all over them, I am a kid magnet and they love me. I will never undertsand why! I do not feel I present myself all warm and inviting, I actually try to go with the crabby overtired look most times.

So I bring the kids to the park last night against my better judgement, I had a lapse in sanity, but it has been unusually warm the last few days. So I go in attempts to sit and relax for a few and for my kids to run around and exhaust themselves. Perfect plan until the dreaded..OPK arrival in front of my face. I try to avoid eye contact and hope he will move on and that he really wasn't looking at me, but I could not be so lucky! And so it began.."Hi my name is Bobby (I always change the names to protect the innocent) and I am 6 years old and I just lost a tooth and I can climb that jungle gym all by myself and I have a little sister and blah blah blah.." Oh my God is this really happening to me, I look around as if to see someone secretly filming me and I am on hidden camera or better yet I always wonder if I am on the Dateline show "What would you do?" So I try to keep it together and as I stand up and say "That is great Bobby! I have to go check on my kids, see ya later." and I try a quick escape, but to no avail, he is latched on and following me. He continues without any interruption "And I am allergic to milk, so I have soy and I like apples do you like apples?"  I want to say to the kid " Don't your parents tell you not to talk to strangers?" I continue to walk toward my kids on the swings and pray he will lose interest. I start to canvas the park and try to see where his parents are or who he belongs to. It continues..make it stop.."I take Karate and I am the best in my class in math and I can ride my bike without training wheels.." I have to get away so I tell my kids let's take a walk around the pond and I tell little Bobby that it was so nice to meet him but we are going to take a walk now. Of course it could not be that easy! He says "I will come, let me go tell my Mom!" I want to scream but I wait to be polite, no Mom is gonna let her kid take a walk with a stranger. I watch him make his way to a woman on a cell phone and he tells her something and points in my direction and she nods and waves. What is happening? He runs back and says "My Mom said okay!"  And it takes all my strength to not say "Your Mom is on crack!" So we all start walking and I am horrified that this woman I have never met just sent her kid with me, does she not watch the news!! I need to make this walk quick and get the heck out of the park! And the whole walk it continues "My Mom says that I can take swimming lessons this year and I love apples did I tell you that? and I like riding the school bus and my grandmother picks me up on Tuesdays from school and my favorite class is gym and recess is alot of fun..." All I can think of is getting home and getting a glass of wine! So the walk ends and I finally say to Bobby.."We are leaving have a good night! Go see your Mommy." And I watch him head towards another Mom sitting on a bench reading a book and I want to yell and warn her..too late he is there and she is trapped with a plastered smile on her face. I laugh to myself..good luck to her!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So when did the bathroom become the new spa?

It is one of those days that has turned into one of those nights where bedtime cannot come soon enough and your Mom patience level is at the limit and the breaking point is coming! And coming fast! I need a break..I want a break...I want to have a mommy tantrum...but wait...there is an answer...the bathroom!! oh little retreat. I grab a glass of wine and a magazine and run into the bathroom..lock the door behind me and finally I am alone! I start to relax and take a couple of deep breaths..sit on the floor with my wine and then I hear it in the distance.."Where's Mom?"..oh no they have noticed I am gone. It is so annoying that kids have this sense when Mom has disappeared. They will never realize they are the reason Mom's disappear but yes they notice. Now the house is on high alert and everyone including the dog must find Mom! So annoying! The voices become louder and closer as they check every room.."Mom! Mom! Mom where are you?' I do not answer..I am in my hideout and I am very mature I know, but I will not give in until I absolutely have to. Finally I hear them approach and I see the doorknob turn and then when the door does not open I hear it "Mom are you in there? The door is locked" ..I really want to say.."No shit Sherlock because I locked it to keep you gremlins out!" but I am trying to meet Mother of the Year status so I take the mature road..wait for it..I respond "I am pooping! Give me a is bad I wouldn't come in here if I were you." I hear them as they retreat saying "Let's get out of gross!" and I am alone! Yes I have won! I continue to sip my wine and read my magazine..I am in the Mom spa!

Okay so as I sit in my spa I do realize that life has taken a very funny turn, as I have said before the life of a Mom is very glamorous. I remember the days before kids where the talk of poop would never happen and to actually freely admit that you had to poop was never going to happen. It was all a mystery and our signifcant others probably thought we were freaks of nature and just happened to be the only girls that did not poop. Yeah right. I think my husband is now wishing and longing for those days instead of the current days were poop talk is frequent and common conversation. I learned  pretty quick as a Mom the only topic that keeps your family at a safe distance is the talk of gross bathroom habits and the talk of #2!! The more time you need the grosser it has to be! It does not matter if you are exhausted and going on no sleep they will be all over you, it does not matter if you have the worse head cold and want to die..again they will be right next to you asking for a juice when desperate times call for desperate measures you need to go to the talk of stomach cramps and I am going to be in the bathroom awhile. I am sure my family thinks I need to see a specialist at this point but I do not care. I have even brought a pillow in and laid on the floor for a quick nap. These moments of peace do not come without a price of course, you need to develop a thick skin from the embarassment of your family sharing your bathroom habits with anyone who will listen, but so worth it!

So ladies..grab a glass of wine, a pillow, a good book or magazine and head to the one place nobody wants to follow you...the Mom Spa!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Has it been 6 weeks already!!

I have friends that recently have had babies and friends that are having babies soon so I have been strolling down memory lane. Oh what memories they are!! But one of my all time favorites is the reaction the men in our lives have to a certain date..a certain appointment..a monumentous 6 week marker!! Can I get a woot woot!! Ugh...And we women are like no way..has it been 6 weeks already!!

It took me a little while to pick up on the signs that the 6 weeks was coming up but once you have had a couple of kids or more, it all becomes so clear. I always laughed at how attentive they become, flowers for no reason, favorite candy, some wine or random chores completed without even asking. Very odd behavior all of a sudden. And I love how the morning of the appointment they are like you all set? Do you need a ride? And I am like "Why are you so concerned?" "You were never this concerned when I went to all my other appointments!" I use to be like remember I have an appointment today and my husband was like "Okay..and then a pause...for what again?" We go for so many appointments for 9 months..sugar tests, blood work, ultrasounds, stress tests and more, but no other appointment is as important as the 6 week follow up!! I laugh so hard thinking of their concern, and it is real concern. What do they think the doctor is going to say? I know what the women wish they would say, but we couldn't be so lucky! So the appointment is pretty uneventful and the standard.."all looks you have any questions or concerns?" And I am like "are you serious? I have many concerns!! Where do you want me to start?" But actually I say nothing and just smile..and I always feel like the doctor is like okay that a girl now you go back out there and get em' like we have just been removed from the injured list of the team. Good lord!

So we make our way home and go about our business as usual hoping we are not asked how the appointment went and try to avoid eye contact but it is only a matter of time before the question comes "So what did the doctor say?" And I want to say "Oh it was not good..not looking good at all!! Doctor has never seen anything like it before, not sure it will ever be the same again..but no I just say..everything is fine." I keep laughing to myself, I give men alot of credit..nothing will deter them. And I mean nothing. Were they not in the same delivery room as us? Did they not see what came out of us and how it came out? Was it the sexy mesh hospital underwear and extra large maxi pads with tucks cooling pad combo? Or was it all the talk of uterus shrinking back to normal? Or maybe it is the Victorias Secret style nursing bras and milk soaked breast pads? Or the way you become a sprinkler system the minute you get to take a shower? Not sure but it is all so sexy and glamorous! Kind of funny what becomes fore play post kids!!

So girls enjoy....those 6 weeks fly by.....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

No it is suppose to look like that!!

Okay so let's go back to the beginning where this all began. Where I headed on the path of realizing that I could have been Mother of the Year if...only if I had not...So 16 years ago my first son was born and I had no clue what I was in for. As most new Mom's I read the famous book "What to Expect When you are expecting.." and don't get me wrong it is obviously successful selling millions of copies. but I need to say that I could never have expected this. Let me also preface that I was the youngest of 4 girls in a strict Irish Catholic household, so that alone had me even more unprepared for having a boy.

So I have my boy and we are heading home to start our journey together and the nurse at the hospital walks us to the car and her parting words to me were "Just remember you are not only raising a child but a future adult". I will never forget that, no pressure or anything. It was as if she knew something I did not at the time, but good lord lady I am already scared to death. I kept repeating that in my head on the ride home."Future adults" I was like I never thought of that! Now I am a wreck and praying at the time I don't end up on the Jerry Springer show thinking it is a surprise your Mom with a spa day but wham it is a confront your Mom with a you ruined my life!!

Okay we are home and getting settled in that first week and I felt I was really on top of things and loved that little boy so much, all would be good. But not so fast, I was changing his diaper one morning and was horrified, something was wrong. I could not imagine what happened, was it an infection? I was scared, not sure what to do and waited for the doctors office to open. I thought to myself , how do I explain this? I need to be strong for my son and I will have to be direct and to the point! I will just have to say it "I think there is something wrong with my son's p****" I am horrified, as I had mention my household was all girls and strict Irish Catholic so at best we talked in terms of wee wee's, whoo whoo's, thingies and down there. So now I am faced with talking about my son's p****. Good Lord!! Okay so the office opens and I explain what the problem is and they tell me to come right in to see the doctor.

As I sit and wait in the office for the doctor I am cuddling my baby telling him everything would be fine and Mommy was there. I was a nervous wreck! Okay moment of truth the doctor comes in and I lay him down on the table and as I explain my concerns, the doctor says "Let's take a look and see." As the doctor looks and then looks at me, I know something is wrong. The doctor looks confused and finally says "That is what a penis is suppose to look like. Nothing is wrong." My face turns bright red, my heart starts to race. I am mortified! The doctor makes a little small talk but the whole time he is looking at me and the look clearly says! "I would think by this time you would know what one looked like to be standing here with a baby?" I just want to crawl under a rock and get the heck out of there as soon as possible. I Thank him and gather my things and exit as fast as possible. As I get my son in his car seat I think, are they going to call DSS on me and report me? They must think that poor baby.. that mother has no clue!!

Needless to say I switched doctors that day and never returned to that embarassing! And my son has survived 16 years so far with me as his mother...not gonna lie..there have been some bumps in the road..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hello! Who is this? Click..

I remember the first time I heard the sweet sound of my childrens voices and how cute it was when they started to babble and when they started to say "ma ma" or "da da". And how excited I would get and keep encouraging them to talk and clap and cheer when they repeated a word I was saying. What was I thinking? Good lord. Now I am like I cannot believe I encouraged this and make it stop! Not so cute anymore.

Okay so they have mastered talking and they want to share this gift with everyone which is why it is only natural for kids to want to talk on the phone. Again this is my fault and something I encouraged when it was cute. When I would have them say hello and there would be a grandparent or aunt on the other end thrilled to be a part of this momentous occasion.(oh so cute) Then we progressed into everytime I was on the phone I had a child trying to grab the phone from me because it was their turn. (not so cute)

So the talking thing is no problem, and now my 4 year old daughter has become a master in answering the phone and not because we want her to but because now she insists it is her job! Okay great, but as we try to explain to her that there are some guidelines to answering the phone, she does not care, she will answer the phone! It has become a competition at this point as to who can get to the phone first and she has pushed me, tripped me and basically done a double tuck roll to beat me to the phone. When she gets to the phone it goes something like this "Hello, who is this?" As I am there trying to get the phone from her grip and telling her not to hang up, most times too late. She thinks this game is so fun! Now in recent days she has graduated to answering and telling people she is home alone or that I am asleep and cannot come to the phone or I am busy drinking wine (which are not true). So I have tried to make sure when I am upstairs and she is downstairs and I will not have any chance of beating her to the phone I have moved phones out of her reach. I do not always remember to do this!

So as usual my mornings are insane with trying to make sure kids get ready for school, lunches are made, dog fed and on and on and on..Yesterday morning I am in the bathroom brushing my teeth and did not hear the phone ring with the water running and my daughter comes in with the phone and I hear her say "Okay bye." I ask her "Who were you talking to?" and she says "some lady" And I am like what where you talking about?  My daughter says "She was looking for you and I told her you were in the bathroom Pooping!" My heart stops and my brain is trying to process what she just said. I grab the phone to look at the caller ID praying it was one of my sisters but of course not. It was my doctors office calling to confirm an appointment. I am mortified! I ask Shae " Why would you tell her I was pooping! I was brushing my teeth!" She responds usual..typical Shae.."I thought it would be funny!"  And she runs away laughing. And I think to myself I cannot wait until she is a teenager and a boy calls for her and I tell him she cannot talk becuase she is pooping!(I know so mature)

So if you call my house and Shae answers...just hang up! and fast!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Margaret What the "Bleep" is wrong with you??!!

Everyday as a Mom is an adventure and some days are more adventurous then others but never a dull moment for sure. I often think that after having three kids and going through every stage possible that most things by this point in my Mom life would not shock me, but I was wrong! Of course I was wrong! Have I not met my youngest? Not only is everyday an adventure as a Mom but everyday and everytime I take my four year old out is an extreme adventure. So this fateful night was no different.

I should preface just a bit that as of recent one of my kids' favorite topics is what is a "bad" word and what isn't and constantly telling on each other and telling on their older brother and telling on my husband and I and who is falling on the bad word list! As we drive from activity to activity I usually hear fighting in the back seat and I get "Mom, Mikey said a bad word! He said the "S" word!" or "Mom, Shae said a bad word, she said the "D" word!" Usually in true MOTY fashion I try to tune them out and every so often just yell back "Both of you stop saying bad words!" But once in a while my interest peaks and I am like "What is the "S" word anyways?" Usually my 7 year old will tell me he cannot say it becuase it is on the bad word list and I say it is okay if you are telling your Mom..okay so go...wait for it...he musters up the courage and finally he says "Stupid". And I am like really that's all you got..and he is like Mom that is a bad word and I remember that I am a role model and say "of course it is and your sister should not be saying it!" Then I continue to ask and make sure I know what words are on the list becuase clearly we are talking about two different lists! So I get the "s" and "d" and "p" and "F" words galore..."Stupid..Stupid Head..Dumb Head..Poop head..and mother of all words "Friggin!" I think well that list isn't what I thought but maybe I am a better Mom then I thought if this is the bad word list for my I just remind my kids that yes no bad words will be spoken from that list, they are not nice. Okay maybe I am moving up on the Mother of the Year list..I rock....okay not so fast!

So typical crazy night of life, homework, laundry, clean up, let the dog out and ugh...need to run to the grocery store quick. I am about to run out quick, let my oldest know I will be right back but no that shadow otherwise known as my four year old daughter decides it will be so exciting to come for this quick adventure. Fine, let's go but it is going to be quick and you are not getting anything! So we get to the store and I opt to not grab a basket or I said quick..need two things..okay we run in grab the items and then of course grab two more and then two my arms are full and at this point I am forced to head back to the front and grab a cart. With my daughter behind me I am about to place all of the items in the cart when I miss the cart and items go flying and crashing to the ground! Everyone around me stops from the sudden noise to look and see what the comotion is and before I can even comprehend what I did and how this happened and before I can even react..the voice behind me clear as day for the whole store to hear says "Margaret! What the F*** is wrong with you!!" My heart starts to race and my face is now bright red and hot and my head starts to pound and I am frozen for what seems like forever. My brain is trying to process what just happened and tell my body to react. I look up from where I had been starting to pick up items off the floor to see the stares of strangers..some older people with looks of disgust..some younger with smiles and snickers and one man came up close as to see what would happen and like there was going to be a show starting. And some were looking and waiting for a response almost saying "Yeah Margaret what the Bleep is wrong with you?" I swear time stood still..but really was like 20 seconds..and I turn to look at my daughter and I must have looked like the Exorcist because she was clearly frightened and stepped back confused and continued to talk loudly still "What's wrong Mom? F*** is not a bad word? What's wrong with F***?"  The stares continued and I tried to compose myself and be careful with my reaction. As a Mom these days we are all aware that everyone has a cell phone with camera capabilities and I was not looking to become a youtube sensation overnight. And then I wanted to address the crowd that still seemed to linger, waiting for my reaction and say "What are looking at? You never heard the F*** word before?" and then I thought better because they probably had not from a sweet looking 4 year old girl.

I took Shae by the hand and moved her behind a display of Oreos with her still confused and insisting she did not know why I was mad! I calmly explained to her that F*** was a very bad word and it was definitely on the bad word list and she was to never say it again no matter what! I then grabbed my items and went to the express checkout and moved quickly to the exit looking at the cameras over my shoulder wondering who really watches those tapes and how many am I on!! :)

I will now pay attention very closely when the review of the bad word list comes up and make sure my children are aware of the correct list! And I do realize that one of the criteria for Mother of the Year will not be having a four year old that swears like a truck driver coming off a 14 day road trip across the country!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Are you doing your son's homework?

I will never understand the teacher's that think it is a great idea to send projects home for the weekend. Really? So as I open my 1st graders backpack Friday afternoon to unload the left over lunch and stacks of paperwork that is always coming home (by the way if we want to know how to save our environment we should start with the elementary schools, good lord the amount of paperwork!) and I find a brightly colored sheet that looks different. I stop to read this sheet before I toss in the recycle bin with the rest of my son's prize work and I need to read twice to comprehend, it goes something like this.."Your son has been chosen to be star of the week, so you need to make a poster board with photos and ...blah...blah...blah..." Oh and the best part is it is due Monday. I am still standing in shock when my son sees me reading his project sheet and starts to talk all excited about how great it is that it is his turn and all I can think of is how am I suppose to get this all done. And then he continues to tell me what Johnny, Bobby and Susie have done so far when they were "Star of the Week!" and it takes everything inside me not to respond with "Well Johnny, Bobby and Susie's parents are on crack okay!", but no I just keep listening with my plastered smile trying not to add more reasons why I will not be in the running for Mother of the Year. So when he is done I respond with "That is great!! This will be so fun!!"  I start to think of everything I have to do..that's right I said it..what I have to do for my project..I love how teachers' think these really will be a 7 year olds project. Are they going to the store to get more ink for the printer, and photo paper and poster board and stickers..don't get me started.  Homework and me do not have a good history together.

I do not know how parents have time for homework. I understand that the kids are suppose to be doing their homework but in the chaos of life and trying to get dinner, give rides back and forth to sports and activities, feed the dog, throw in some laundry there is always a kid sitting at the table in the middle of this chaos doing homework. So I am the one who helps with homework like this..As I pass back and forth and check on them, I see if they are stuck or just sitting there looking confused and see what has them confused. So if they are filling in a word and the answer is "The" I am the one who goes like it starts with "T" and could have an "h" in the middle and then possibly end with an "e". Then my kid goes "The" and I am like yes you are so smart! And if they are stuck on Math again it could be 7-5 and I am like if you had the number "7" and then took the number "5" away you could possibly be left with "2" and my kid goes then the answer is 2..why yes it is..again you are brilliant! (I see Harvard in the future!) And then the next morning when you are putting their backpacks together and looking at their homework and it is not finished and you did not notice the night before and you finish it for them because you know there will be no time (and believe me it is not easy trying to make it look like they did it and match their writing). So this is how it all began..and probably why I was left off the Mother of the year nominees list..(well one of the reasons)

I will never forget opening my email and seeing the subject line "Re Michael's homework" and as I read it my heart stopped for a second, it went something like this "Mrs O'Neill I was wondering if you could call me regarding Michael's homework. I have noticed that someone else has been doing his homework and did not know if there was a problem....." I was mortified, did not know what to do. I had been caught! What am I going to do? I am so embarassed! There is only one thing I can do at this point...Lie!! So I write back to the teacher and tell her I am so sorry and had no idea that when Michael's older brother was helping him with his homework he was doing some of it for him and it will never happen again...yikes that was a close one! (I am sure she did not believe me and thinks I am crazy!)

So when I woke this morning and the "Star of the Week" was not complete yet and I grabbed the crayons to add some touches I stopped myself...not going down that raod again...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Living the pocket full of poop at a time!!

When you live the glamorous life of a Mom..the topic of poop is so common (unfortunately) that I don't even raise an eyebrow..(until..but we will get to that!). Who would have known as a little girl dreaming of her prince charming and her happily ever after that the Chapter on Poop...Crap..and more poop would not have made it into the fairytale. Oh well, we Moms learn real quick that our lives will be surrounded by poop!  From all the years of diaper changing, to explosions that have you and the baby both in the tub, to picking up babies and toddlers to do the snif the bum check which seems like a millions times to the potty trainers and older who sit on the potty and then yell at the top of their lungs when they are ready to be wiped and then to passing the poor dog who has been patiently waiting by the door ready to poop right there on the floor because he is ignored half the time post kids. I would love to know how many times a day the word "Poop" is brought up in my house? From, What smells like poop? Who Pooped? Watch out for the dog poop! Do you have poop on the bottom of your shoes? Did you flush the poop? Like I said it is very glamorous!

Okay so when the Chapter of Poop in my life continued it did not shock me that my 4 year old daughter became obsessed with dog poop! For whatever reason she wanted to take over being in charge of letting our dog outside and watching him do his business and then excitedly announce when he did and run over to inspect. As a Mom you know they all go through their phases..okay so this one was a little weird but I go with it. But when she started to get so excited when she ran over and was ready to pick up the poop with bare hands, I had to intervene and explain that "We never pick up dog poop or any poop with our bare hands ever!" She looked confused by my horrified reaction but listened to me explain how to use the amazing "Pooper Scooper". So she was so proud to be in charge of the back yard clean up and announced to her brothers that was her job and nobody else better touch the dog poop. Maybe I should have been more concerned by her interest but if she was happy and not bothering me..all is good!

So I think I have given enough background on our family situation with poop that I can move onto that fateful day where I did raise an eyebrow! Both eyebrows!! It was a normal crazy morning running around making lunches, getting kids on buses and trying to quickly throw myself together and get to work. I never claim to look like a supermodel but it was raining again this morning for work and it makes it even harder when you are trying not to get soaked! I grab my rain coat that had been hanging by the front door still from the last rainy day which was just a day or so ago. And off I go on my normal crazy routine. I arrive at my corporate offices, late from the crazy rain driving and head into the office to check in with my coworker and see what is going on and we talk about how bad the rain is. I am trying to get my bearings and dry off a bit and I am about to take off my rain coat to hang it when I go to put my car keys in my pocket first and my hand hits something and Iam confused. I don't remember putting napkins in my pocket but maybe it was from my trip to the coffee shop. As I continue to pull out what is in my pocket I still have not even had time to process the possibility of what I am about to see. I pull out a napkin in the middle of my place of work full of my dog's morning business that my daughter decided to pick up with a napkin and place in my coat pocket! I am shocked and my heart is racing out of my chest from panic and my cheeks are bright red by this time and finally my brain kicks in and I race out of the office as my coworker is still talking and I fly to the nearest bathroom to flush the dog poop and scrub my hands and wash out my coat pocket. All the time I am still trying to figure out how this happened? How did I not notice? And how did I not smell it my whole drive to work?

As I pull myself together I head back to my office to very concerned looks and I have to explain myself and watch horrified looks by my coworkers and know I will never live this one down! If I hear one more time "How did you not smell it?" After things calm down a bit I call home and tell my husband what happened and asak to speak to my daughter! She gets on the phone and says "Did you get my surprise Mommy?" And I tell her, "Yes I did! Why would you do that?" she laughs and says "I thought it would be funny!" Great this is 4, I cannot imagine 16!!

Let's just say I am now known at work for bringing dog poop in my pocket!! And I check my pockets everyday before I leave the house!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I see Dead People...and can you get me a juice box!

I have been a Mom for the last 16 years and I will never get used to the late night, wake me out of a sound sleep from a child lurking in the darkness next to your bed. I will never understand why my children cannot come in normal and just say"Mom!". I would still probably jump a bit at the sudden noice, but that would be so much better then the slither in, make their way next to my side of the bed and then just put their face right in front of mine and wait for me to finally wake to the feeling that someone is watching me. Then I jump everytime and my heart is racing out of my chest and my eyes are trying to adjust to the darkness of the room and there stands a little creature that finally announces themselves as one of my children. So annoying!

So last night was no different and as I am so tired and so comfortable in my bed, fast alseep, I am woken in true scare the crap out of me fashion by my 4 year old daughter. I awake to the same horrible feeling that someone is standing over me in the darkness watching me and try to focus my eyes and then comes a creepy raspy voice "Mom I need a juice box.." I am still focusing and I all I can think I heard is the voice of the boy from the sixth sense saying " I see dead people". I swear I am dreaming for a minute and the voice comes again out of the darkness "Mom I need a juice box.." I finally can focus and see my daughters face an inch from my face staring at me. My heart starts to slow down from thumping out of my chest and I tell her to...wait for it.."Get your own juice box" (I know..MOTHY..sending a 4 year old downstairs in the darkness by herself in the middle of the night..but at that moment..I meant it..) She looks confused and I say "Just get in the bed next to me and give me a minute." I pray the stalling tactic works tonight and she is half sleep walking and just passes out and goes back to sleep. I am not getting out of bed tonight..I am so is cold and I just don't want to!! (mommy tantrum in my head)

Then I drift back to sleep thinking this is getting ridiculous..I don't wake my kids once they are so comfy tucked in bed asking them to get me a glass of wine..:) and I don't wake them to let them know I have to get up and pee in the middle of the night, or that I heard a noice or to just talk middle of the night jibberish that makes no sense at all. I make a mental note to myself to start calling them in the middle of the night once they are adults to wake them and tell them when I get up to go the bathroom or if I am thirsty..I know I am so mature when I am exhausted.

In the midst of my mental meltdown in my head, I never noticed that my daughter was in my bed still waiting for her juice box and in her waiting she began to sing a song and kick her father on the other side and I guess I had been saying "Just a minute for the last ten minutes" He caved got up and went down to retrieve the juice box..came back and I say "I would have gone" I get the same look I would have given at that moment in the middle of the night. So I roll over in relief that for once I did not have to get out of my comfy bed, but drifted back to my sound sleep knowing that it was only a matter of time before I was woken again by the "I see dead people voice!!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mother of the Year!!

So I am driving on a nice fall day and as I am stopped at a light I look over and see a sign posted in front of a town hall..."Congratulations Mother of the Year! Andrea Smith". I could not stop laughing and could not believe such an award actually existed. My favorite saying is "Well I am not going to win Mother of the Year this year!" So in this cute town near me they have a Mother of the Year contest and children submit essays as to why their Mom should win. Then it is published in the local paper. So the winning essay went something like this "Her smile is like a rainbow after a fresh spring rain and her eyes sparkle like rays of sunshine and her laughter is like birds singing out side my window....blah blah blah" For real? Okay maybe I am jealous perhaps? If my kids write anything about me it is all lies. Everytime they make me a card in school for Mother's Day it is always about how they love me for my cooking (I cannot cook) and how I spend time in my garden (I do not garden) and how I do arts and crafts with them (not so much!). I kept thinking about what my kids would write for my Mother of the Year essay. Would it start something like.."I love how my mom's reflection bounces of her wine glass in the kitchen lighting as she puts chicken nuggets in the oven and the way her head spins around just so when she is in the middle of a mommy meltdown....". So sweet..could actually bring a tear to my eye.

Okay for real. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves as moms? And do we think there is this secret checklist of mistakes and do we really aspire to be Mother of the Year? I actually think it is more fun to almost get so close..within reach..and then say oh well maybe next year! I laugh everytime I hear women say "Well I'm not gonna get Mother of the Year this year!" Let's talk instead about what kept us out of the running for MOTY! Was it the day you cut mold off the last piece of bread in the house to complete your kids school lunch, or was it when you got the call from the school that your daughter had no underwear on under her skirt at school (preschool), or when you lost it and threatened to leave your kids in a Wendy's parking lot, or when you told your kid that the tooth fairy was sick and could not make it that night, or when you told your kids french fries were one of the major food groups, or when you start using Santa Claus as a bargaining tool as of 4th of July, or when you really pretend to be all torn up about not being picked again to chaperone a field trip (that you never signed up for, and you do not understand why you are not picked? bummer),or when you get the note in your kids backpack that maybe a warm coat should come to school with them now. The memories could go on and on!

So I am starting an annual award for the best reason a Mom was kept out of the running for Mother of the Year! Details to come...:)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Your Mom o' Meter is on empty right now!

I am driving like a maniac through suburbia..white knuckled and heart racing..sweat starting to develop on my forehead. Probably not the safest of driving especially with my four year old in the back seat but I am still focused at the task at hand. You would think I just got news of an emergent situation possibly and am racing to the Hospital? No this would just be the normal race against the clock to pick up one of my kids and not be that parent who is last and branded with the scarlet letter L and have to face the looks of the teachers and their smiles that it is okay once again but you know they are like how hard is it to get here. (do you really want to know how hard? Don't go there right now!)

Okay I have arrived and turn into the parking lot only to have my heart sink and that pit in my stomach return..the last few cars are pulling out as I fly into a spot and run to the door to find my 7 year old standing there as the last kid. He instantly starts in with the "Mom I have been standing here forever (should I mention I am 3 minutes late) and right now your Mom o' Meter is on empty!" The words hit my ears and I feel like I have been slapped in the face. I start my rant of how I went as fast I could and I am doing the best I can..and then I stop myself and think "what am I doing? I don't need to explain..he was safe and I was 3 minutes late!!" So I then tell him to add it to his future therapy bill and he looks at me confused, "Forget it..get in the car"

As I start to make my way through the parking lot there a few straggle Moms left standing next to there mini vans chatting with their lattes in hand..I smile and wave, but I really want to stop and be like really?? Do you always have to be on time! Can we all help each other out a bit..can there be a Mom code? But no they will continue to get there not only on time but ten minutes early with latte in hand and their I just love being a Mom smile, so when someone like me is only 3 minutes late it is a ghost town.  So I smile and wave..just smile and wave.

I start to think will my kids remember all the good when they look back at their childhood, or will the moments of being the last kid at pickup stick with them instead? I do realize my fear is that they will remember those times just as I remember being left at the park by my mother when I was 4. I still remind her to this day ..that I watched as she drove away while I was on the swings and I was so scared and I started to walk. I remember clear as day being so scared and thinking she must be so scared also and when she finds me she will hug me so tight and feel so bad and promise to never leave me behind again! Boy was I wrong!! She pulled up in her car and rolled down the window and yelled at me to get in the car and I had to listen to her rant the whole way home that she had 4 kids to look after and I needed to keep up and it was my fault that I did not see her leaving and jump off the swings and run after her. I was shocked, no hugs were coming that day.

So on my way home that day I started to laugh out loud with the thought of my Mom o'Meter on empty and the memory of my own Mom becuase I now know where she was coming from that day. My kids asked me what I was laughing at and I said "Mom's need to laugh for no reason sometimes or we will lose our minds!" They look at each other confused and continue on with their kid chatter.

So this won't be the last time my meter will be on empty for sure!