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Losing Sleep to a Leprechaun

March 17, 2011 7 comments

St. Patrick’s Day “eve” was crazy.  I worked all day and then went to book club last night.  As we are chatting about everything except the book, we start talking about Leprechaun traps and pranks…

Oh shit!  We didn’t build my son’s Leprechaun Trap!  He has been talking about it for weeks.  My husband is out-of-town, the kids are with a babysitter – I am hosed!

You know that feeling that you would rather chew glass than disappoint your kids?  The guilt of forgetting one of those special moments that only happens in childhood…

My son is 6, he could stop believing at anytime, especially if his mommy screws it up! 

As I sat in book club I asked friends for advice.  I even texted the babysitter to see if my son was still awake so I could give him a plan, an alternative, an excuse, something to keep him from being disappointed. 

Unfortunately, he was asleep.

But the luck of the Irish was with me.  And by luck, I mean my son has growing pains.  (Yes, it’s a loose definition of luck – go with it)  My son woke up with growing pains and my brilliant babysitter explained that leprechauns don’t always come first thing in the morning.  My son was delighted, he asked her to tell me that he would like to go to the store tomorrow to buy materials for a trap.

When I got home at 10:45, I did not go to bed, tired from a long week of having no husband, a stressful work day and a rebellious three-year old daughter.  Instead, I was up searching websites for ideas, concocting a story on why the leprechaun came late and formulating a plan for executing his trickery.  And hell yes, I am taking him to the store for supplies!

Because that’s what we do as moms (and dads):  We perform small miracles and amazing feats of sleep deprivation to make special moments happen.  We stay up late on Christmas Eve to ensure the details of Santa’s visit and then wake up too early to unwrap presents we finished wrapping a few hours before.   We risk certain heart attack and broken hands when trying to exchange lost teeth for money.  We scour the internet to find discontinued Lego toys.   We face our crafting demons to create potato leprechauns.  As parents, we push to ensure that our children can believe in Leprechauns, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, fairies and all of the wonderful parts of being young. 

Because in the blink of an eye, the magic stops; our kids grow up, the joy of fantasies fade.  I, for one, am fighting to preserve  my children’s magical fantasies, their joy and my joy as a witness. 

So last night, I gladly accepted losing sleep to a leprechaun, because the joy it brings to my kids is pure gold.

Tribute to My Corkscrew

February 2, 2011 16 comments
You were a wonderful gift on the day of our wedding.
I opened you and knew where this relationship was heading.
 
A Screwpull Elegance Lever Model design
Made of metal and smarter than that dumb guy Einstein.
 
There wasn’t a bottle of wine or cork that you feared
You had great reviews and were truly revered.
 
We hit it off instantly, due to your skillful ways
I could work you bottle after bottle, without issue, for days.
 
You would never falter, I knew you wouldn’t fail
From Cakebread to Margaux to Merryvale.
 
You impressed the wine snobs and the corkscrew challenged
A replacement was never needed or scavenged.
 
You came with us each time that we moved homes
We brought you on vacation, never left you alone.
 
You were more than a tool, you were a close friend.
I thought are affair would never come to an end.
 
And then one day you stuck and required more force.
As I watched your demise, I become distraught of course.
 
I thought no one could ever fill your utilitarian shoes
I instantly started singing the dying corkscrew blues.
 
I knew not how long our partnership would last
Our days were numbered with every glass.
 
Then came the Syrah that broke you apart
When you jammed for good, it broke my heart.
 
Our substitute opener could not measure up
The time had come for me to act like a grownup-
 
To give up drinking wine, ha, you must be on glue
I jumped on the internet to find one just like you.
 
What? What? This could not be true.
You’re no longer made, well who can I sue?
 
But alas, I found a place that knows you are hailed
If I paid through the nose, your replacement will be mailed.
 
I did what I must, I paid the ransom they required
And in return I will get the Screwpull I desired.
 
It won’t be the same as what you and I had
But it will open the wine that I need so bad.
 
So the next glass we’ll toast you and your skill
I’ll never forget you, um… I probably will.
 
 

I Beat Murphy’s Law… For Now

January 14, 2011 21 comments

Do you ever feel like:

  • Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) is a big mean guy swinging a heavy bat – usually at your face or gut?
  • The moment you get off the rollercoaster of life, you step onto a merry-go-round?
  • Just when you get on a good healthy eating and fitness kick, you get sick, injured or somebody sends you a box of chocolates?
  • You can have a quiet work week and then everything hits on Friday?
  • Nobody drops by unannounced when your home is immaculate and you are put together, but your new neighbor drops by the day you forego getting dressed to re-organize and deep clean your house.
  • The simplest of mistakes can have the biggest impact?
  • You forget the one thing at the grocery store that has no substitute?
  • Your kids only sleep in when you’re already awake?
  • The movie you’ve been dying to see was on TV the previous night?
  • The 50% off Border coupon expired yesterday?

I had a week like this.  But you know what?  That Murphy guy is nothing but a bully.  I turned on him, stole his bat and beat his ironic ass – we say bottom in this house- into the ground.  I have been in pajamas (figuratively and literally) all week, just trying to survive.  But now, the sun is shining, I have taken a full shower (with a razor and everything) and am re-claiming my happy life!

They say that what goes up must come down.  But what comes down and breaks, can be fixed with superglue and a martini!

What are your brushes with Murphy’s Law?  How do you bounce back?

Escalator Gymnastics Saved My Son’s Life

January 7, 2011 26 comments

I have consumed the obligatory glasses of wine to recover from the adrenaline rushes of yesterday.  But I did promise to share the story of my escalator gymnastics…

When my son was three years old and my daughter was three months old, we planned a trip to Disneyworld with another family.  As we headed towards security, my husband went into frequent flier mode.  You put my  best friend and better half in an airport and he’s all business, even on a trip for pleasure.  We had decided he would be in charge of my son and I would take the baby (who was strapped to my chest) and the diaper back pack.  To reach security in our airport, you must go up an escalator.  My husband was two car lengths ahead of me as we approached the escalators.  With potentially crippling fear, I realized that while my husband was stepping onto the escalator, my son, wearing a toy-filled backpack, was about 6 steps behind him.  I screamed to my husband to take our son’s hand, but it was too late.  My sweet boy, in an attempt to keep up with daddy, tried to step onto the escalator, by himself, for the first time. 

I could see him hesitate and waver.  All of my internal alarms went off and time slowed to a crawl.  My husband looked like a statue and I knew he was merely a false sense of help at that moment.  As the steps started to ascend, I could see that my sweet pumpkin’s feet were on the very edge of a step and he was teetering.  All that went through my head was that he was going backwards and his head was going to smack the metal grates.

I sprinted. I dove.  I think God may have picked me up and carried me, it was all a blur.  I threw myself forward with my right hand extended and caught my son’s head two inches above the grates.  But it’s not over yet, remember my baby strapped to my chest?

I knew that my forward momentum would send her face first into the same predicament.  While maintaining the hold on my son’s precious head, I kicked my legs out from under me and threw myself backwards.  I put up my left arm to block my daughter’s head as I slammed against the side of the STILL MOVING ESCALATOR.  As I fell backwards the diaper backpack kept my head from a similar fate that I had just avoided for my son.  My girlfriend rushed up behind me and held my head up as I rode up the escalator on my back, legs in the air, baby strapped to my chest, holding my son’s head above menacing metal spikes.

I am staring at my statue, I mean my husband, and see a flash out of the corner of my eye.  A man behind my girlfriend dropped his bag, sprinted the stairs, ran down the escalator, pushed past my frozen husband and pulled my children and I up. 

The next few seconds are a blur but it seems airport personnel were there in an instant.  They had stopped the escalator (a little late fellas) and had summoned the paramedics.  (Taking a breath because after three years I still choke up when I say or write paramedics.) 

They responded quickly to check me and my children out.  I told them my son was fine, I had caught him, but my daughter was crying and had a small bruise on her forehead.  Although my arm took most of her impact, she did hit the glass.  “Ma’am, we’re going to check you all out, but we have an ambulance waiting downstairs.”  At this point, I am wondering if I did the right thing.  I didn’t see what other choice I had at that moment.  I told the paramedics, “We’re on a way to Disneyworld, but if you have the slightest hesitation, we are getting in that ambulance”.

Fortunately, everyone checked out fine.  My daughter had stopped crying and showed no signs of trauma and my son and I had escaped even a scratch.  We were cleared to fly.  As we walked through the terminal, people were pointing at me and whispering. 

I was whispering too, “Thank you God”.

What I’ll Miss When My Kids Grow Up

January 4, 2011 16 comments

I was exhausted last night.  I did another marathon post-bedtime poop party with my daughter.  I swear she poops at will and her will is AFTER I have put her to bed.  She pulls the poop card to get out of bed and hang out.  She sits on the potty for 30 minutes and somehow pulls poop out of her ass little touchy literally and figuratively.  It doesn’t matter if she has pooped twice already during the day.  Come 8:30 pm, she waltzes in for her poop party.  Did I mention she likes me to hold her hands to help “push the big poop out”. (I know, I am a sucker).  So I sit, on the bathroom floor, holding my daughter’s hands while she talks to me, gets me to sing “There’s a Whole In My Bucket” and pushes out the poop.

Last night nearly killed me.  I was tired, had a horrible headache and today is the first day back to work and school.  As I sat there fuming, she bent over and kissed my forehead.  In that moment, I pulled it together and reminded myself that despite the trials of parenthood, there are some amazing parts too.  

I am writing myself a list of the things I will miss when my kids are all grown up, so that I don’t take these precious moments for granted.   It is my intent to refer to this list when I am tempted to daydream about fast-forwarding to the part where they are grown up and out of the house.

Here’s a start:

  • Falling asleep cuddled up with them
  • Waking up to kisses on my nose
  • Receiving hugs that nearly knock me over
  • Spontaneous and surprise art projects
  • Hearing the giggles from the other room when they are playing well together
  • Hearing them running through the hall to come see me when they get home from school
  • “I love you Mommy”
  • “Mommy, will you snuggle me?”
  • Watching their excitement at Christmas
  • Seeing them accomplish a goal for the first time – waterskiing, a soccer goal, a somersault
  • Seeing their eyes light up when something delights them
  • Cute mispronunciation of words
  • Eskimo kisses
  • Butterfly kisses

Clearly, this list could go on forever.  Just starting this list has put me back in my zen mommy place.  It’s only breakfast, so who knows how long it will last, but I can always work on this list some more if when they dump their cereal on the floor.

What will you miss?

The (Off-Balance) Day Before Christmas

December 24, 2010 4 comments
Twas the day before Christmas when all through the house,
Not a clean spot could be found, not even an ounce.
 
The stockings were hung by the chimney with haste,
In hopes that I’d buy stuff before it’s too late.
 
With me in my flannels and Chris in his boxers,
We were sure not an ad for Gap or Brooks Brothers.
 
When what to my wandering mind should appear?
The realization that Christmas is near!
 
There were presents to wrap and groceries to buy.
Would I be done in time? Not sure.  No lie.
 
Eight people for dinner, do we have enough wine?
I ran out of butter and must stand in line.
 
The children were plotting all smug under their beds.
In hopes of ensuring I would snap, lose my head.
 
They bickered and fought, Santa threats had gone stale.
Should I send their gifts back through priority mail?
 
I must clean, wrap and cook all day and all night.
With enough caffeine and yelling, it’ll be alright.
 
When I pull off Martha Stewart Christmas you’ll know.
Despite all the chaos, I put on a hell of a show!
 
So as you scurry and prep, know you’re not the only one.
Merry Christmas to you and I hope you have fun!

Kids Christmas and Cocktail Pairings

December 10, 2010 17 comments

I had an epiphany tonight – I am a sommelier!  Just as a sommelier pairs the perfect wine with a great meal, I have the talent to match a cocktail to any kid Christmas event, well any event really, but let’s try to keep it seasonal people!

So here you go, the perfect holiday pairing list:

  • Getting a Christmas Tree
    • Straight Vodka (if you’re spouse is a perfectionist like mine)
  • Decorating the Christmas Tree
    • Hot Buttered Rum – you must get the seasonal stomach (aka gut) in training
  • Putting up Christmas Lights
    • Water – this was a test people! Roofs and liquor don’t mix
  • Watching The Polar Express with the kids
    • Bailey’s and Hot Cocoa – “Hot, hot, ooh we got it” (If this doesn’t make sense, you haven’t seen the movie, which means you’re getting coal in your stocking)
  • Kids School Christmas Pageant
    • Coffee and Peppermint Schnapps (people will think it’s coffee and gum)
  • Christmas Date Night with Your Spouse
  • Santa Run – Standing in the freezing a$% cold to watch firetrucks and Santa come through the neighborhood
    • Brandy – in the name of survival
  • Company Christmas Party
    • White wine if you’re smart, Goldschlager if you’re looking for a severance package to bank roll your kids’ gifts
  • Making a Gingerbread House
    • Egg Nog – When else do you make a house out of cookies and candy?  When else do you drink egg nog?
  • Christmas Caroling
    • Can’t help you here, you’d have to give me (or the people who would have to listen) the whole bar to get me to sing in public
  • Kids’ Cookie Decorating Party
    • Cranberry Margaritas – Kids, frosting and sprinkles, you may want just want a shot glass
  • Girl’s Christmas Happy Hour
    • Christmas Cosmos – Out of style? Maybe, but so are Christmas sweaters, and we’re rockin’ them!
  • Neighborhood Cocktail Party – Adult’s Only
    • This whole list.  Times two.
  • Christmas Brunch with Relatives
    • Mimosa – It ony takes a splash of orange juice to look civilized
  • Christmas Brunch with Friends
    • Bellini’s – Fun, sophisticated and unique – just like my friends, well most of them…
  • White Elephant Exchange
    • White Russians – I don’t know why, I just think it sounds like a good idea.  So it is.
  • Christmas Dinner
    • Wine – Prime Rib and Cabernet, yes please!
  • Christmas Dinner with In-Laws
    • Tequila – And that’s just Plan A…
  • After Christmas Sales
    • Bloody Marys – Kills the Christmas dinner hangover and gives you energy to shop

I hope this list gets you through the holidays.  At anytime you may substitute any drink for hot cocoa and Bailey’s. 

Okay, what event did I forget?  What’s your favorite Christmas Cocktail recipe?

I Brushed My Teeth With What?!

October 4, 2010 10 comments

Parenting has highs and lows and sometimes unexpected, and unwanted, surprises… 

We spent an amazing weekend with friends from college and their children.  We all got together at a private camp.  We had a campfire, a hay ride, fishing, swimming, and more.  It was family and friend bonding bliss.     

On Saturday night, my husband graciously put the kids to bed in our cabin, while I sat up at the lodge having cocktails and visiting with our friends.  I strolled into our cabin about 1:30 am and of course had to get ready for bed in the dark.  The cabins were simple and we all slept in one room, which was the same room the sink was in.  So I couldn’t turn on the light to brush my teeth or take out my contacts.    

I was doing pretty good in the dark.  I got my contacts out, found my glasses and prepared to brush my teeth.  I grabbed the tube, slathered it on and shoved the toothbrush in my mouth…  What the %$&#?  This substance was neither foamy nor minty.  It was not meant for my mouth, but rather my daughter’s butt… It was Desitin!    

C’mon, make me feel better, tell me your gross parenting story!    

My toothbrush the next morning...

I Choose

October 1, 2010 1 comment
  • I choose balance
  • I choose to be kind to myself
  • I choose to hold my tongue and not try to “set somebody else straight”
  • I choose to look for the good in a day and the good in a person
  • I choose to smile at strangers and sometimes even help them
  • I choose to give an empathetic smile to a mom with a screaming child
  • I choose to work and be a mom
  • I choose to put my family first, usually
  • I choose to parent like Child Protective Services is watching
  • I choose to love

I don’t make these great choices everyday, but when I don’t, I choose to try again tomorrow.

What do you choose?

10 Reasons Mommy Loves Wine

September 23, 2010 4 comments

Mommy needs a glass...

This post is brought to you by Markham 2005 Petit Verdot 

So some crazy lady posed as me and wrote a post about breaking up with wine a while back!  Do not be alarmed, I have found said crazy person and contained her in a bottle with a good cork.  To cabernet, I mean commemorate my love of wine (proven by the fact that I have drank it 10 times in the last two weeks) I want to share with all of you some of the many reasons why I love wine: 

  1. All I have to do is un-cork a bottle to erase the longest of days.
  2. I don’t have to share it with my kids (unless I want them to sleep better).
  3. I feel sophisticated when I swirl it my glass (and I feel like a dumb-ass when it spills out).
  4. Wine goes good with my one true love: food.  Yes, any food.
  5. Wine and chocolate.  Period.
  6. Wine is complex, temperamental and will spoil if not cared for properly, just like me.
  7. The antioxidants in wine make me a better mom – it’s science people!
  8. Wine gets better with age, just like moms and children.
  9. Having a glass of wine to cope sounds more civilized than drinking rubbing alcohol.
  10. Wine doesn’t talk back, wet the bed or throw temper tantrums!

Cheers!