Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sorrow and Comfort and More Sorrow

Content removed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Time Crunch And More DWTS

Easter is less than 3 weeks away, followed the next weekend by Liam and Ella's birthday party. I'm starting to feel the pressure of having to do everything. The days are just slipping by and I have no idea where the time is going. I was able to bring the kids up to Mom's on Monday, which was nice. I got some things done around the house which I'd been wanting to accomplish for quite a while, but don't let that fool you into thinking that I'm on top of my game.

It'll all get done, of course, just like before Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that my sleep is going to suffer in a rather large way. And, I'm not such a happy camper when I don't get enough rest. I'm clueless about what to serve, too. Not so much for Easter - that'll be the traditional ham dinner blah blah blah. Easter is my sister, M's, birthday, too, so I think I'm going to be wrangled into making a birthday cake or some other dessert to mark the occasion. I'm conflicted about this for a variety of reasons, but that's an entirely different post. It's the birthday party that's stumping me. There'll only be 4 kids here, so I'm not overly worried about making it about super kid-friendly food. I don't know if I should go with something hot (lasagne, maybe?) or go for a cookout. I may just wait it out to see what the weather is going to be like and decide closer to the actual day. I just don't like being undecided for so long. Keep your fingers crossed for nice weather, and I'll just do the cookout mmmmmkay?

OK, onto DWTS. I wasn't sad to see Belinda go last week. She was too stiff and her attitude kind of sucked. The judges should learn by now that to berate someone pretty much guarantees their moving on to the next week. At least The Woz is making a genuine effort and having a good time, to boot. I feel bad for Steve-O, but obviously his fanbase is keeping him in. I actually commented to J while we were watching on Monday night that I'd like to se Holly and Denise go before The Woz...and I got one of my wishes! I think it worked out as it should last night with the chickys in the bottom two.

Holly is painful to watch. I like her partner, and I feel for him that he has to try and turn her into a dancer. Although, you'd think someone who is kind of, sort of all of about sex would have a move or two, wouldn't you? But, then again, she was dating Hef and I bet that that was more about not breaking anything than it was about busting a move in bed (seriously, can he even really have sex anymore?). When it comes right down to it, she's just a bit of a dork who can't move. That said, I was shocked she didn't go home before Denise.

Denise! Oh, Denise. You, my dear, are awful. Again, someone else who's kind of known for her sex appeal and you'd think that'd translate in some way onto the dance floor. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not implying in the least that I could get out there and do what those professionals expect of their partners (it'd be fun, though, and I do have rhythm, but America is so not ready for that!), but she was more wooden than Holly and I couldn't tell in. the. slightest. that her dance-off performance was any better than her original. Poor Maks. I bet he thought Karina'd be the first to go between the two of them (and, given her squeal last night when it was announced that she and The Woz were safe, I think she thought so too).

I'm still in love with Gilles. Oh, how I'm in love with him. Good Lord, that man could Samba for me anytime. Shawn is such a cutie and doing very well. It's fun to see her improve and really take what the judges and Mark have to say to heart. She's a tough little cookie. Melissa is good, but is lacking something. Personality, maybe? David's humourous to watch and he's clearly pushing himself to learn and grow in the dance. Chuck is improving and he an Julianne are just too damn cute for words. Ty! Oh, I'm really starting to like him! He did wonderfully when Chelsie slipped and he's really starting to come out of his shell. I don't know if Steve-O can overcome his injury. Lil' Kim is amusing to watch, but not my favorite. She'll make it far-ish, but not to the end. Hey! Lawrence is shaking off his initial discomfort, too, and learning to have fun! How can you not get into it when super hottie Edyta is your partner?

Double elimination next week! My money's on Holly and The Woz. Then, I think it'll be Steve-O's turn, unless his injury knocks him out next week.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I'm very saddened by the death of Natasha Richardson. I wasn't a huge fan, although I deeply respect the charitable work she did and her efforts to raise money for amfAR. In the spring of '05, I was fortunate enough to see her in a fabulous performance as Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire" in NYC.

I think what's getting to me is that nothing appeared to be wrong with her after her injury. How absolutely terrifying. When it comes right down to it, we are such fragile creatures.

May she rest in peace.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It seems as though my children love me so much that they don't like to nap if they know I'm home. Apparently, I'm such an awesome mother that they just want to be with me all. of. the. time. At least, this is what I'm telling myself.

Last Tuesday, Cait and JP were here and watched the kids while I went to the gym. When I came home...the kidlets were napping! And it was a good, long nap, too. Cait ended coming up again on Wednesday and I half-jokingly said she should get her in time for nap so that she could put the kids down. I "went out" (at first it was supposed to just be a drive around the block, but actually did end up going to Target) in time for the kids' nap and, lo and behold, they took another one! I was starting to get a little bit of a complex. Wah, wah, poor me, my kids won't sleep for me, what am I doing wrong?! Then I adopted the attitude that I'm just so awesome that they never want to be without me (although, bedtime sleeping is not an issue at all...except for when they get up before the asscrack of dawn and refuse to go back to sleep).

On Saturday, I again left the house just around naptime and J was able to get the kids down for a solid couple of hours. They still need the rest, maybe not every day, but clearly they need it (especially Liam). I hate having to actually leave my own home in order to have my kids get rest, but I'm willing to play along a few days a week (as long as there's someone here who's able to put them down...they won't let Nana put them down to nap because she's even more awesome than I am).

Lately I've been having a hard time. As much as I love and adore my children, they were driving me insane and I've been short tempered and not at all the mother I want to be. I was beginning to feel pretty lost in the land of motherhood and ashamed of my feelings of frustration and exasperation. I know that every parent feels this way from time to time, but I tend to add an extra serving of guilt on top of my emotions because motherhood is the only thing I've ever truly wanted and when life gets frustrating or overwhelming I feel like an utter failure. How could I be so terrible at the only dream I've ever had? It only adds to the frustration and sense of defeat that I sometimes feel.

Que last Saturday: when I left the house in order to give J a chance to put the kids down, I had no intention of going anywhere. In fact, the only thing I was doing was trying to avoid getting another Diet Coke from McD's. As I was driving down the street, I came upon the library. A fleeting thought crossed my mind to pop in. I'm not a huge fan of the Concord Public Library. It's too small and a very distracting place. But, I made a quick decision that, if I could find a parking space, I'd go in for a minute or two. There was an open spot nearby, so I pulled in. I didn't really have anything in particular that I was looking for.

It crossed my mind to check out the parenting section for books on potty training since it's a big topic of discussion around here (the toddler half of the discussion usually being: "No, I don't need to go on the potty!"). I have a couple of good resources, and the Internet is chock-full of ideas, so I wasn't really invested in my browsing. I was merely killing time.

Or so I thought.

J called, pretty much as soon as I'd walked through the door, to say that they coast was clear (and I was only gone ~ 10 minutes!), but I thought I'd look around since I was already there. Screw the potty training books, I ended up with a great selection of books. Then I happened across one last book. What got me was the subtitle: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children. OK, I thought, I'll give it a shot. I began reading it that night at the gym (an ironic place to read a book about mindfulness). IT'S FABULOUS and just what I needed to read at this point in my life and in my journey of motherhood. I'm only 30 or so pages into the book, but I already feel so. much. better. Years ago, when I motherhood was a mere dream, I purchased the book Buddha Mom and began to read it in the hopes of approaching parenthood with calm and peacefulness. I never finished the book, though, and it's somewhere up in my bedroom, I'm sure. I may just have to revisit it after I finish Buddhism for Mothers. I can be a little turned off by all of the squishiness that seems to stem from a lot of Buddhist devotees, but I absolutely believe that elements of Buddhism dovetail nicely with Catholicism. I think, for instance, that mindfulness is really just a way of living the golden rule. Being aware of your surroundings, being open to what life has to teach you in any and every instance, just makes sense.

In our insanely busy world, in our lives that can be ruled by schedules and technology, we've learned to not pay full attention to pretty much anything - even when we think we are. I'm not saying that I'm enlightened all of a sudden, but I have been reminded to slow down, to look around, and to remember what's important.

This is exactly what I need right now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So Excited!

Earlier today, Lorraine posted on facebook that she was going to see Thomas the Tank Engine next month so I immediately checked it out to see if tickets were still available.

They are.

We're going and I'm so excited! The coolest part is that it's on Liam and Ella's actual birthday! (And, we ended up getting seats in the row behind Lorraine and her crew, how cool is that?!)

I so hope the kids love it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To Sleep Perchance To...Sleep

Admittedly, I stayed up too late this past Saturday...you know, the night that we lost an hour of sleep. I didn't feel the effects of it, though, and slept wonderfully Sunday night. Monday and Tuesday nights were filled with frustration, tossing and turning and not much sleeping. I decided to take a Tylenol PM last night, in the hopes of getting a solid 8 hours.

Big mistake.

Early this morning, Liam woke up from what I'm assuming was a bad dream. J had gone in to try and settle him, but he wanted me so I went in and snuggled with him. Ella had woken up too but I was confident that they'd go back to sleep after a Mumma cuddle.

Pride goeth before the fall, right?

It was 4:53 AM and neither child went back to sleep. Liam wanted to desperately, but Ella made sure that no one would get anymore sleep.

When Daddy gets home from work, Mumma curls up on the couch to rest and Liam climbs up on Mumma and passes out himself. Ella, for the record, took a 20 minute nap in the car around Noon, but kept going and going and going otherwise...straight on 'til bedtime.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Smorgasboard, But Mostly A DWTS Recap

Lorraine, I'm pretty sure the little flower bullet points are part of the blogger template that I'm using. They haven't come out in any other template and, as I'm writing up a post, they look like normal bullet points. I was surprised to see them come out as flowers the first time, and I really like them so I'm not too keen to change my template any time soon.


Sunday night was the first attempt at wearing real shoes (thanks to the weather, I did mange to get out on both Saturday and Sunday in my sandals, but wore sneaker-type shoes to go grocery shopping on Sunday evening). It went pretty well/felt better than I expected.

I did get back into the gym last night and it felt great to workout and get all sweaty again. I only did my weight and stretching routines, as the toe was a little achy by that point. Surprisingly, the moves I thought would hurt (lunges) didn't, and moves I didn't even think involved much end-of-foot action caused some pain. I felt like a bit of a puss for not getting my cardio in, but when I took my sneakers off and saw a little blood on my sock, I knew I'd made the right choice. Today I'll go in, for cardio only.


Dancing With the Stars recap: I heart my DVR so, so much.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll try to go in order of how they danced, but most likely will mess them up after the first few:

  • I actually caught the first dance at the gym, from a distance. I didn't know who was dancing, and thought the woman must be the professional, until I saw Derek dance onto the floor. It was Lil' Kim. When I got home and watched the episode on DVR, I saw that she was only a little better than alright. I guess she looked better from afar. She'll be OK, I think, and she certainly has the entertainer's background, but I don't think she'll go too far. Mid-season, at most. Who knows, though. Maybe her girls back in prison (hello! nice shout-out) can manage to keep her 'til the end.
  • Lawrence Taylor needs to relax. He's not going to be able to live up to the previous football players, I don't believe. He's too worried about looking like a fool. Why, then, did you agree to do this show? He seems nice enough, but I don't think he'll be able to let go and get into the dance enough. Poor Edyta.
  • Oh, Belinda. You are the Priscilla Presley of this season. Too stiff, but supposed to bring some older-woman class to the show. She made a good effort, but I don't see her going too far. Poor Jonathan. He needs to stop being such a nice guy and maybe they'll pair him with someone who might actually have a shot at winning.
  • Bravo to Steve-O for cleaning up his life. Dude sounds like he eats cigarettes, though. I appreciate that he wants to clean up his image, and it does appear that he was really trying. I think his fanbase will keep him in for a while and that he's really going to make an effort to improve, but he'll be gone towards the end of mid-season, at the latest.
  • I've never even heard of Gilles Marini, but Holy God is he HOT! And, he can dance! My money's on him. Cheryl might just be a three-time champ. Vote for this guy!
  • Oh, how cute was Shawn Johnson?! She did a lovely Waltz and Mark has a competent competitor to work with. I bet the differences between gymnastics and dance are frustrating, but I am pretty confident that she'll overcome them. She and Mark'll go far. Maybe all the way to the finals with Gilles (then I don't know who I'd root for!). Their pairing kind of reminded me of Mark and Sabrina....hmmmm.
  • Poor, poor Ty Murray. J and I were literally balling up in our seats and cringing throughout 99% of his performance. Dude was so nervous! I'm sure that his wife dropping out last week was a bit of a blow for him, but he just couldn't overcome his nerves. He seems like a sweet guy, but his dancing was all Kenny Mayne (and then some!), sans the sense of humor. I felt just awful for him.
  • I thought Julianne wasn't doing this season? Apparently, if your boyfriend is going to be on the show that changes everything. I bet it's none to easy to have to teach your partner when he's also your partner irl. I'd pretty much beat J to death if we were in that situation. I've never heard of Chuck Wicks, but then I'm not a country fan. He did well, though, and Julianne has a history of bringing out the best in her partners. Plus, they have an innate chemistry that no other couple can bring. He'll go far-ish.
  • Holly Madison?! Puh-leaze! She didn't waste any time keeping her name out there, but good on her for going on out there with only 5 days of rehearsal. She's quite the little chicken, though, isn't she? Teeny tiny legs and arms...she looks so breakable. She was definitely concentrating on the moves (who wouldn't be?), but I don't have high hopes for her. Think Hef'll be voting for her?
  • I had ZERO expectations for Steve Wozniak, but he was so endearing! He clearly enjoyed himself and the process. I fear he'll be the first to go, but I have a feeling that won't bother him. He's done a lot of good in his post-Apple career and he has a new fan in me, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure Karina'll be pissed to go early, but she bugs me anyway.
  • I have two words for Denise Richards: media whore. She bugs me; I don't like her; I don't understand her "acting,", she was too stiff and I don't think Maks will be able too pull much out of her. I wonder if Karina is jealous that he got Denise. I think Denise is hoping her sex appeal will get her far, but I don't think it will. Dude, her dress was so bright I think it hurt my TV.
  • Poor Kym...she doesn't get David Allen Grier's sense of humor. He is funny, and I believe he is sincere in trying to do his best in the competition. He seemed smooth at times, so he'll last until mid-season, I think.
  • I don't watch the Bachelor, but I'm no so out of touch that I didn't hear about the craziness of last week. That Melissa can dance! Of course, she has a background in it already, but for only having stepped onto the dance floor on Saturday morning, she was fabulous! I adore Tony and I think this is another couple to watch. She seems likable enough, too. I'm smelling sympathy vote at first, then genuine appreciation of her abilities.
So, that's that. I think Gillies, Shawn, maybe Chuck, and Melissa are the ones to watch. Every season, when they announce the cast, I usually do a double-take. They picked who?! That was most definitely my reaction to this season. Already, I've been surprised and I love it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Time Out

After being cooped up in the house all week, I decided that I needed some away time last night. When he got home from work, I told J that I was going to "take a retreat" upstairs once he had eaten and had some time to decompress. After visiting with him, I headed up to our bedroom and wasn't sure if I was going to read or rest. Ultimately, I decided to read.

I enjoyed a good hour and a half of quiet time, put a little dent in my book, and was glad that I allowed myself the time to relax. I was pleased with how well things seemed to be going downstairs (no major crises from what I couldn't hear), and was happy that J was getting some good alone time with the kids (generally, there are at least two nights a week when I'm at the gym and J gets the bedtime routine all to himself). As bedtime grew closer, I debated whether or not to go downstairs and help. Ultimately, I decided to give myself the night off completely and allow J to handle bedtime.

I felt slightly guilty, as though I was shirking my parental responsibilities, but Liam and Ella are going through a phase (at least I hope it's a phase) where, if I'm around, I have to do everything. It's an unending chorus of "Mumma do it!" and it does get to be a little tiring. If I'm gone, they have no problem letting J take care of them, so I decided that it would be best to let Daddy put them to bed.

I quietly left of the bedroom shortly after J had wrangled the kids into their room with the intention of getting a jumpstart on cleaning up (usually, by the time I'm done singing to the kids and tucking them in, J's got the entire day's mess cleaned up and I wanted to surprise him). I knew that I'd have to be quiet, otherwise the kids would hear me and insist on my going in to sing to them. As I started to clean, I couldn't help but eavesdrop on J's conversation with the kids. Liam and Ella love to have J tell them about the planets and so they asked him to describe the solar system and then they talked all about their birthday (Good Lord are they ever aware that they have a birthday coming up...and it's not even for another month!) and the Imagination Movers (specifially how boring Knit Knots is) and just about everything else under the sun. It was so sweet!

As guilty as I felt about intentionally skipping the bedtime routine, it was such a joy to hear the kids and Daddy share what was important between them. It was a much needed break - and treat - for all of us.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bullet Points From Stir-Crazy Me (Most Of It About My Toe, Because I Know You Care)

  • The toe is slooooowly on the mend. I've been stuck in the house all week, because I haven't been able to tolerate any pressure on it (not even my slippers!), so wearing shoes hasn't been an option and therefore I haven't been able to get out with the kids. Take a wild guess at how cabin-feverish we are! I dare you. I'm meeting my former boss for lunch tomorrow, come hell or high water (even if it means wearing sandals!). I. must. get. out.
  • Shortly after I hurt the damn toe on Monday night, J and I were talking about how I was going to have to modify my workouts for the week. Hah! Just call us naive. If I'm lucky, I'll make it back into the gym on Monday. Fortunately, I'm not experiencing any ill effects of not hitting the gym so far...
  • I've been living in a state of high alert whenever the kids are around (so, pretty much all of the time) because they keep bumping into my toe. Ella got it 5 times in a row last night. She's my little loveable klutz, that one.
  • My mother came down Wednesday and yesterday to visit. She's managed to find two foods that the kids will devour. They love her spaghetti sauce (which, admittedly, is the same recipe I use and they like when I make it...I just haven't made it in a while and there's apparenly something special about "Nana pasta" that just makes it taste better than when Mumma makes it). Yesterday, she brought a baked popcorn chicken recipe for me to try (get that? The partial invalid got to make dinner while the kids soaked up Nana love.). It was fairly easy to whip up, so you don't have to feel too sorry for me (because I know you're all feeling so sad for me...). Oh they were in heaven! That's definitely going to become a weekly staple.
  • Anyone watching The Biggest Loser? This is the first season I've ever paid attention to, but how sucky was it that they had a cliffhanger this week?! I was one unhappy camper, let me tell you.
  • I think the kids are tearing their room apart...so off I go.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This Is My Ass Getting Kicked By Life

  • I've been having some pain in my left shoulder/upper back and it's been radiating up into my neck, resulting in a pretty massive headache everyday for the past 5 days or so. I'm assuming that I've been sleeping in an awkward position. For some reason, I don't have the pain while I'm working out or for a while afterwards. It lessened somewhat today, but has now been replaced...more on that below.
  • J's been dealing with a pretty stressful situation at work that's had him very distracted lately. He came up with an awesome solution to a very huge problem, but it took some convincing to give his solution a try (mainly because the person who created the problem doesn't want to take any responsibility for his actions and it claiming that there's no solution (then there's no real problem, get it?) and by admitting that J's solution might work he'd thereby be admitting that the problem can be solved). His company's been having layoffs, too, but he's been spared. All around, though, it's been stressful.
  • The kids were insane today. INSANE. They didn't nap, although I made a valiant effort. J had a conference call to deal with, so I had timed their nap to coincide with the call. No. such. luck. Much to the kids' dismay, I didn't get them until the call was over, but I didn't stop secretly wishing that they would just give into sleep, if only for half an hour.
  • After "nap," Ella was particularly nutty. She didn't want me to snuggle with Liam on the couch and was just making so much noise. She's a chatterbox anyway, but was just superb today when it came to rattling every fiber of my being.
  • J was trying to concentrate on work and Liam was practicing his latest trick: constantly playing in the fridge. The locks we put on a while back? Useless. The monkey boy figured them out and is tall enough to open the freezer now, too. He loves to play with the light in the fridge, turning it off and on is just the. best. thing. ever. don't you know? Liam's also in love with cheese lately, and I've designated a dish in the fridge just for his cheese. Oh it's his favorite thing to claim that he's getting some cheese, but really to see how long he can get away with playing in the fridge. We're not so subtly losing our minds with this latest activity.
  • The kicker, though? To try and get a sugar rush today, J grabbed a pudding cup and used the end of a can of whipped cream. Ella spied the whipped cream and demanded some, but didn't understand that the can that J had used was empty. He threw it in the trash and, before I could open a new can, she opened the trash and began licking the can. I'm a bit of a germ freak and reacted, uh, strongly to this. I cleaned her up quickly and grabbed a new can of whipped cream, shook it perhaps a little too vigorously and the damn thing slipped out of my hand. It landed square on the big toe on my left foot. All I can say is Thank God it was my foot and not one of the kids. I howled in pain and J came over immediately to see what had happened. Blood was pouring from underneath the toenail. I could barely put two words together and just started bawling in pain. The kids have never seen my cry that hard (and it takes A LOT to make me cry), so they were freaked out and the blood just. wouldn't. stop. Finally, we wrapped paper towels around my foot and secured them with a rubber band and I headed upstairs to wash my foot in the tub. Good freaking Lord it's nasty. J wrapped it up in gauze and about 8 band aids and it bled for hours. Yes, HOURS. It's actually still bleeding a little bit if I walk around too much. I think my workouts for the week are pretty much screwed.
  • I spent the rest of the night trying to avoid collisions with the kids and trying to not focus on the pain in my toe. 8 1/2 years ago I dropped a 20 lb. bucket of cat litter on the big toe of my right foot and lost the nail. This is a trillion times worse than that. I'm definitely going to lose the left nail too, at some point.
  • It's only Monday, damnit.

Here's What's Amusing My Children Today