Archive for the ‘Paige’s Favorites’ Category

10 Effects of Shopping with Kids

August 31, 2010 3 comments

While my husband was on his guys trip this weekend, I stayed home with the kids.  I was thrilled to have no schedule to adhere to other than one soccer game.  I had planned to just relax with my kids, until I had the brilliant idea to do some shopping for my upcoming trip to New York.  Here are the effects of my bright idea…

  1. While wearing flip-flops I had my foot run over by my insistent cart drivers SIX times
  2. They opened the dressing room door, exposing my semi-naked body, TWICE
  3. My daughter did “snow angels” on the floor of Ross – hello bath time!
  4. I fed my kids two chocolate milks, two LARGE cookies, hotdogs and popcorn in an undisclosed order…
  5. I had to bribe with a toy submarine, a Dora backpack, and two dollar-bin masks, AFTER say, I would not buy them anything
  6. I ran into someone I knew at the exact moment I was hissing at my kids that they had better behave or else
  7. I “temporarily” lost the car keys
  8. I was impressed by my kids creativity when they devised dressing room games including
    • Different ways to wear a strapless bra and underwear (picture underwear on their heads with sunglasses over it)
    • How to turn plastic hangers into weapons
    • How high can they throw the tags that tell how many items I have in the dressing room
  9. I almost inadvertently shoplifted when I found a bracelet in my purse, as I was pulling out my wallet at the register, that my daughter had decided she wanted
  10. I have come up with a new mommy threat – “Be good or I will take you clothes shopping with me”

I have friends and family who would have watched the kids, but I decided I was supermom and could handle a few errands with the kids.   Isn’t it great how life reminds us that we there is no such thing as supermom?

Wine And I Are Breaking Up

August 23, 2010 12 comments

Dear Wine,

I have loved you since my 21st birthday when we met on a wine tasting trip.  We have had a great relationship, with the occasional quarrels.  During those rough patches you made me crazy, even sick to my stomach because your love was too strong, but I kept coming back.  We have had fun and made many wonderful memories.

But, my beloved, I have changed.  It’s not you, it’s me.  My tolerance for you has changed.  I used to be able to enjoy your whole bottle, without consequence.  But now, I sleep poorly after seeing you.  I find mornings difficult when I spend the evening, or even two glasses with you.   I am also no longer immune to the bad influences of your dangerous friends, like dessert, who you seem to bring along on our dates.   Based on the increasing frequency of regret the morning after we’re together, I must end the relationship.

But hey, we can still be friends.  We can see each other occasionally, even spend an evening together from time to time, like friends with benefits.  But our love affair is over.  I need to see others  that don’t leaving me feeling badly the next day.  I have been spending more time with a pirate, a captain by the name of Morgan and his friend, a sailor named Jerry.  They provide fun and relaxation, without the unpleasant quarrels and feelings of regret the next morning.

I do have some concerns about how limiting our relationship will affect our social circle.  My friends are used to us being a couple, they enjoy you’re company when they spend time with me, but they’ll have to adjust.  My husband is thrilled that I am putting boundaries on our relationship, because it allows him to spend more time (yet less money) with you.

Thank you for a fabulous love affair, I will always appreciate your complexity, variety and the joy you have brought me.  I will eagerly anticipate our occasional encounters and will know that I have benefitted from our relationship.



Taco Bell and a Martini

August 20, 2010 5 comments

That was what one of my friends had for dinner last night, after shuttling hers kids home from activities.

 As parents, almost everything we do is planned around our children’s schedule.  We often inhale meals in between driving carpool, watching practices and helping with school projects.  One of my “dinners” this week was two meat balls before soccer practice and a handful of pasta after practice – yes, I reached into the Tupperware, grabbed a handful of pasta and shoved it in my mouth.  The irony is that my kids sat down at the table and ate a full meal while I raced around getting ready to be their chauffeur.

Not every night is chaos in our house, we try to have dinner as a family at the table most nights, but my kids are young.  I am sure that it will be harder as they get older.  I watch the SUVs and mini-vans drive in and out of the neighborhood all day long; busy parents getting kids to and from events right up until bedtime.  Parents often have to divide and conquer in order to meet their children’s’ obligations.

So what’s more important – a family meal or extra-curricular activities?  I guess it depends on how good the martini is.


August 19, 2010 16 comments

In a recent post, I talked about I feel kids help my marriage.  This may seem unusual to some, but  I truly believe I can choose my perspective and response to life.  Not every day is magic and love.  I break under pressure, I consider sending my kids off to the circus and my husband to Antarctica, but I make choices.  I chose to have kids and I choose to focus on the positive. 

My husband and I did a couples counseling weekend before we got married and they said you will not be in love with your partner through your whole marriage, some days you will have to use your resolve and choose to love.  I choose to love on the tough days.  When I want to unleash my completely unbalanced side on my husband, I make a conscious decision to love him.  I definitely do not feel in love with him at that moment, but I remind myself that our relationship is deeper than that.  My choice to love him is what carries me through until I feel “in love” again.  I know that life is full of ups and downs.  I use the ups to get me through the downs.  I am confident that each chapter in my life will be different.  I also now have a clever way of telling him I am angry with him the kids are present – when he hears me say “I am choosing to love you”, he knows he has set off my crazy side!

I used my “choose to love mantra” with a friend yesterday.  She was having one of those days, she was arguing with her husband in front of her kids.  She was at her wit’s end and didn’t provide the normal explanation to her kids that mommies and daddies fight, but still love each other.  Instead, she had that moment where her head may have been capable of spinning around on her neck and she was driving the anger train!  She needed fresh perspective.  I reminded her that she has the ability to choose to love him. 

– On a side note, imagine how annoying it must be to have a friend like me who interjects positivity and “choose to love” mantras when you’re pissed off and ready to come unglued.  Maybe it’s not my advice that helps, but rather that her husband seems like a better ally then my Little Mary Sunshine personality (reminder: I have several personalities).

Back to the point – I believe that my marriage is strengthened by weathering the rocky periods.  I look back on the ten years of my marriage and they haven’t all been as good as this one and I know there will be rough years in the future, but I’d rather be tested and pass than keep my marriage in a bubble.  It’s a lot of work to choose happiness, positivity and love.  It’s also a lot of work to be friends with me, but I have to hope that there is some goodness in both.

WHOSE Back-To-School Night?

August 18, 2010 3 comments

I attended back to school night this evening for my son’s elementary school.  Most people think the name comes from children returning to school and parents spending the evening learning about their new teachers and programs.  Those people are wrong.  I am here to tell you it is called back-to school-night because you personally feel like you are back in school.  Here is my evidence:

  • You try to carpool so you don’t show up to a large group of people by yourself
  • You’re afraid to be late and make a bad first impression with the teacher
  • If someone walks into the classroom late, they look flustered and quickly spout apologies and excuses
  • In between sessions, you quickly try to find your friends so you’re not standing by yourself
  • You spend this time comparing teachers and even sharing a few urban legends/ gossip about the faculty
  • There is a rebel group that skips the general session where attendance is not noted

If you’re still not convinced that some parents digress to college students themselves.  Here are some direct quotes from the evening:

  • “I knew I should have brought margaritas…”
  • “Don’t tell my husband I left back to school night early to go get a drink with the girls.”
  • “So I was picking up a tequila bottle off my bedroom floor this morning…”

Finally, I attended an “after-party” aka drinks with a few girlfriends where the following statements were made:

  • “So you’re basically drinking straight vodka?” “No, they shake it with ice, so little molecules of water get in there too.”
  • “I won’t look so sophisticated drinking this martini when I hit the second one.”
  • “Shoot, get the check, I promised I would be home by 7:30!”

So you tell me, was I at back to school night as a parent or reliving my days of youth?  Either way, I balanced informative with fun!

What kind of apple should I bring the teacher?

I Have Mold In My Shower and Other Confessions

August 17, 2010 19 comments

I like to quote the Wizard in the “The Wizard of Oz” when he says, “Don’t look behind the curtain”.  For me that means I usually appear to have it together, but it’s typically held together with scotch tape and dental floss. 

I was reminded of my wizard mantra yesterday when my friend and I agreed we were ‘going to pull it together’.  You know, the day where you vow to catch up on everything.  Why do we set such lofty goals?!  So I went for it.  I am 90% caught up on work, filled out my daughter’s preschool paperwork (that was due weeks ago), worked on a birthday present for a friend, blah, blah, blah. 

I am really proud of myself.  I started congratulating myself on being amazing until I looked behind my curtain

  • I picked up my house and cleaned my stove, but there is mold in the shower
  • I fed my kids dinner BEFORE soccer practice, but it was a microwave meal
  • I arranged to take a family with a new baby dinner tomorrow, but I went store-bought instead of homemade
  • I did the grocery shopping, by putting a fake meeting on my work calendar
  • I had to put my friend’s son’s first day of school in my calendar so I wouldn’t forget to ask how it went on the correct day
  • I took my FIRST shower for the “day” at 10:00 pm

I also have a few standing tricks I pull to appear more together than I am:

  • I use dry shampoo so I don’t have to wash and style my hair as often
  • I have big drawers behind cabinet doors where I store all the kids toys at night
  • I keep a stash of cards, presents and wrapping paper so I don’t show up without a gift (because I am not organized enough to mail birthday cards)
  • I have dimmer switches on my lights so you can’t see the dust if you come to my house for dinner

Now, I could easily say that I work smarter, not harder (with the exception of the mold in the shower) but the point is, we all do the best we can.  We can usually make things livable, but rarely perfect.  I did not write this list to put myself down, but rather to keep a firm grip on reality.  I can only do what I can do and it is what it is. (Yes, I am going for a cliché record).  If my shower was mold free (it will be Thursday) and the meals were homemade, I would be even more off-balance than I already am.

Therefore, I am celebrating the chaos behind the curtain!  Please join me in this celebration and share your tricks for keeping it together or giving the appearance that you have it together.

Don't Look Behind The Curtain

10 Reasons My Kids Help My Marriage

August 12, 2010 187 comments

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.  Please send sympathy cards to my husband. 😉  I have discussed how I miss my husband even though we live in the same house as a result of having the chaos of kids.  But today I am reflecting, and appreciating, all of the gifts my children bring to my marriage.  Many of you know I love lists, so here we go:

  1. The kids unite us in a common cause of being great parents.  We both try hard and work at it together.
  2. They keep us young (out of self-preservation) with sports, bike rides and play time.
  3. Our kids provide us endless goals to satisfy our achievement oriented personalities.  Celebrating those milestones as a family brings my husband and I closer together.
  4. They can make our sex life risky and exciting.  In other words the threat of them walking in at any minute.
  5. They keep us from taking life too seriously.  Who can be stoic when your kids are showing you their latest dance moves?!
  6. They provide another reason not to walk out when the going gets tough.
  7. They are constant reminders of unconditional love – both giving and receiving.
  8. When we’re engaged in a battle of wills with our kids and my husband is my only ally, it makes our bond stronger.
  9. I see the best parts of him in them and it reminds me of why I fell in love.
  10. I can fall in love all over again watching my husband be a tender, nurturing father.

My husband and I don’t always agree about the kids.  AKA he is Disney Dad and I am the enforcer, we balance each other out and keep each other sane.  Our kids will always test our patience, conviction and physical endurance.  The rewards of passing those tests are endless love, laughter and joy.

Always Bet on the Crazy Mama Bear

August 9, 2010 8 comments

Wow, I had an amazing weekend house boating with my kids!  I did as I said I would in my last post and ENJOYED them.  There were moments when it was tough and my friend Stacey would remind me that I used to want 4 kids… (yes, I was crazy).  But overall it was a great weekend and both of my kids got up on skis!  There are lots of silly stories I could share, but instead I am going to warn you of the dangers of a mama bear…

No, I don’t mean something as harmless as a female grizzly bear, I am referring to ME, I am much scarier if your actions threaten the safety of my children.  I also have a small tendency to over-react (my husband would argue it’s a major tendency) when it comes to the safety of my kids.  So what would you do in this situation?:

We are sitting on the houseboat Saturday morning, parked in a cove.  We look up and see a man of about 60 with a dirty t-shirt, board shorts and one-flip flop (we nicknamed him the uni-flopper) carrying a leather laptop bag, come out of the forest and start scaling down the hillside towards the water.  As we sip our morning coffee, we watch him leave his bag on the shore and swim towards our boat WHERE OUR KIDS OUR SWIMMING.  The “fur” on the back of my neck stands up and I tell the kids to swim over to the other side of the houseboat and swim next to my ski boat.  The husbands come out.  Papa Bears are deadly, but not as crazy as Mama Bears.  (My friend Marilyn says you should always bet on crazy in a fight.)  I check to make sure the keys to my ski boat are in the ignition and I decide, if need be, I can have the kids out of there in under 10 seconds, 15 if I reverse over the uni-flopper with my spinning prop.  Yes, I would.

Uni-flopper swims up and asks to use a cell phone.  He explained that he had too much tequila the night before, got in a fight with his wife and wandered off.  He’s now somewhat lost and trying to get back to his houseboat.  Let’s pause to give uni-flopper credit for being so drunk he wanders into a forest filled with bears, BUT remembers his laptop bag (We all wonder what was really in that bag…)!  We called the sheriff who came out and picked up uni-flopper, and his laptop bag, to take him off to find his wife.  Imagine that conversation…

The point is the uni-flopper is lucky to be alive.  Getting through a night in the forest is cool, but surviving swimming up to my kids and my friends’ kids is a feat.  I would also like to say congratulations to the jet skiers who had the good sense to give my waterskiing 3-year old a wide berth.  Had you gotten closer, I would have chased you down and sunk your jet ski. 

Other mama bear recognition goes to my three friends who I forced to wear life jackets with me in case we ALL had to dive in if my daughter fell and looked scared.  Finally, thank you to my husband who had the extreme responsibility of towing my three-year old and ‘allegedly’ got yelled out to get there faster when she fell and momentarily got her foot stuck in the ski.  She was calm and fine, I was perched on the side of the boat to dive in while simultaneously calling the national guard!

My theory is that one of the motherly hormones also allows women to change from average female to deadly predator.  I know I have the potential to go from law-abiding citizen to vigilante killer in under a moment.  At 5’5” and a small frame, I may not look menacing, but remember, you should always bet on crazy…

10 Things I’ve Said As A Parent

August 4, 2010 5 comments

I can’t sleep, I thought I had solved my frequent insomnia with an herbal sleeping pill, apparently my body has caught on and it may be time for the big guns.  As I laid in bed trying to sleep, I was thinking about how much my kids make me crazy, the weird things I say as a parent and why I love them so much.  For those of you that know me, you know I love spreadsheets and lists, so here you go, my first parenting list – 10 Things I Have Said As A Parent. 

Warning: more to come…

  1. Get the chair off your head!
  2. How many did you flush?
  3. You went pee where?!
  4. The bathtub is not a water slide!
  5. If you have 6 more bites of chicken, you can try mommy’s wine.
  6. Untie your sister, it’s time for dinner.
  7. We do not put things in our bottoms.
  8. No sweet girl, you will never have a penis, not even if you have a magic wand
  9. If this plane had a parachute…
  10. Please God, keep them safe

I am going to try to get some sleep, what have you said as a parent?

I Miss My Best Friend

July 31, 2010 5 comments

I am a very lucky girl, I have a fantastic circle of friends.  Each of my friends are treasured for different reasons, but I have one best friend.  The person I tell everything to, without fear of judgement.  The one who knows all of my multiple personalities, who understands I am slightly off-balance (sometimes more). 

I miss my best friend.  I miss the long relaxed dinners, the impromptu cocktails, the inside jokes.  I miss the ability to completely focus on each other when we’re together.  That time is now filled with work and kids.  We’re trying to juggle being high performers (because anyone else collects pink slips) and the worlds best parents (because anyone else raises demons).  We try to do the best we can for everyone, everyday and the cost is our friendship.  There isn’t time for long relaxing dinners (unless you count chicken nuggets and Capri Sun over the noise of the kids).  Impromptu cocktails are doable, but kids have a very low appreciation for hangovers.  Inside jokes are replaced by kids humor because we don’t do anything not related to our kids.

What we do get is the bond of being parents, of understanding each others hopes and fears for our children.  Will our kids like Kindergarten, will they be good students, will they look both ways when we eventually let them cross the street by themselves – is 25 the right age? 😉 

We hope that our friendship will still be there when we come out of the other side of the parenting vacuum.  Will we have grown apart?  Will we still enjoy each others’ company?  We don’t know the answer but we talk about it, we squeeze in the rare time for just the two of us, we promise to keep an eye on our friendship.  We know other best friends who haven’t fared as well and we try to learn from them.

My best friend is my husband and we live in the same house.

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