About Me

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A slightly insane mother to three girls ages 11,11, and 5. I live/love to find the humor in being a parent.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Storm Within

Well we survived our little side swipe from Hurricane ( or was is tropical storm) Issac.  Thankfully we can all go off tomorrow to our respective schools and workplace. I think spending another day cooped up in this house would be the equivalent of shaking a soda bottle and opening the cap.

In the beginning, as it always it, it was nice. The girls played together, giggled, made up little games....then it began. The first sign I had was when Shayna wandered into my room with quite the pouting face and explained to me how Hannah was making her "constipated".  Yup, you read that correctly, Constipated. I asked Shayna how this could be, and she proceeded to tell me how Hannah will not play with her.  "oh", I said, you mean frustrated. Constipated is when you can't poop." "No", Shayna said, "She is making me constipated! She is making me angry!"  "Okay, but I think you really mean frustrated." I said.  We went round a bit in circles until I had to convince her that being upset at Hannah may make her frustrated and angry, but probably would, in fact, not make her constipated. I am pretty sure she really did mean frustrated, however, Shayna is a bit stubborn and hates to admit she might be wrong.

After realizing the real impact this storm will have, my darling husband took stock of the situation and decided we needed supplies. He went to the store and came home with three different kinds of chips, assorted cookies, PB and J sandwich stuff, and beer. He will be upset if I fail to mention the few bottles of water and the cans of tuna he brought home. I still do not know what he intended us to do with the  twenty four containers of Easy Mac that clearly require a microwave to cook if we lost power!  This is probably the last ( and note first) year I will let him handle the storm shopping.

So at this point my children, and dogs, are stuffing their faces with junk food and feeling the effects of cabin fever. Now the fight over the TV begins..."I was watching first" "SHE changes the channel" Amazingly the case briefs I was typing did not include "Hannah didn't pause it while I went to pee!"  as a cause of action.

This is when the storm really began. Couch cushions overturned, food scattered across the table,Toys dragged out of rooms and left stranded in hallways...I still do not know how a pink pair of panties ended up on the living room floor.   The good news is that everyone is all right and Shayna now knows the difference between being constipated and frustrated.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good Taste in Universities

So, I have officially started law school and as expected there is some impact on my children. I am hoping that when they see me working hard, it will inspire them to take education seriously and think about their future. Unfortunately, I had not foreseen how my being a full time student would impact their interest and requirements in choosing a higher education.  Take, for instance, the conversation I had in the car with Hannah this morning as I was taking her and her sister to my parents house so I could attend day two of law school orientation. 

Hannah: Do you get to leave for lunch or do you have to stay in school like us?

Me: Well, I can leave, but they also have places on campus to eat, but not like your cafeteria at school. The cafeteria is more like a food court at the mall.

Hannah: Cool! Can I go to your law school?

Me: Hannah, most universities have food courts, University of Florida had a huge one when I was there. If you want to be a lawyer you should go to the best law school that will accept you. This involves hard work and good grades.  If you work hard enough you can even go to Harvard or Yale!

Hannah: So, does Harvard have a big food court?

Me: "sigh."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Never Say Never, Learn as You Go, and Other Cliche`s

This week we broke down and got Hannah a phone. I know, one of my first posts was all about how she would not be getting a phone, that she did not need a phone. This is where I think of that old saying "Never say never." However, circumstances have changed.  I am no longer teaching middle school and she will be going to school without her twin ( Rachel will be at a private school that works closely with kids on the spectrum) as well as taking the bus to and from school on her own. 

I must add that the phone is not fancy, no Internet or downloading capabilities. I have all the parent security stuff on it like being able to limit the time frames and minutes she uses ( unlimited for family). Also it is a basic phone, I refuse to have my child have a more sophisticated phone than her parents!

As a lay study in Tweenragolgy, I have noticed several interesting phenomenons regarding this new device that has been implanted in my daughter's hand ( I do believe it became fused upon first contact). I have recorded a few of my observations for the sake of science.

1) she is quieter.  When Hannah was little she was a  "binky baby", She never went anywhere without her pacifier and it seems a cellphone has much the same effect on a Tweenrager.

2) I can be screaming at her from two feet away and she does not hear me, however, if I send her a text I get an immediate response. Thus I conclude texting is the main form of communication for tweens other than whining and stomping feet.

3)Tweenragers have incredible texterity, the rate of TPM (text per minute) is quite amazing! After only three days, I believe she could have possibly penned a novel.

4) Apparently Tweenragers are also quite adaptable. After loosing the use of one hand ( due to the phone fusion) she is still quite capable of doing everything one handed.

Overall, I feel that with supervision this phone thing might not be too bad. In fact I now have a new weapon to hold over her head. If she does not listen, or fights with her sisters, all I have to say is "Do you want to keep your phone?" and she stops!  I still get the "look", but then I think of the old cliche` "silence is golden" and smile.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Home Security ( Hah!)

Kudos to all you single moms. I really do not know how you manage. This week my husband is out of town on business and I am the sole parent in the house.  It is not that I am unable to care for my family with my husband away, I am fully capable and fearless in this matter. The hardest part of being the only parent around is the invisible weight that rests on your shoulders. 

The weight I refer to is the one that tells you that there is no "break" waiting around dinner time when your spouse comes home. All decisions must be made by you, and all grievances ( and with three children there are lots!) must be heard by you. So even though it is only three days, the absence of a partner is sorely felt.

There are so many little details that when you parent as a team that you take for granted when the other person is not around. This morning I left the house without letting the dog out and forgot to take out the trash. Last night I ran around at midnight because I could not remember if I locked all the doors.  This morning I slept past the alarm (not sure if it even went off) and was running around like a lunatic making sure every child was dressed, groomed, and ready for camp only to realize in the car that I forgot to feed them breakfast (yay for Dunkin' Donuts).

Even the dog is a little "off" with my husband gone for a few days. She is a sweet dog, but can be loud and will bark ferociously at anything that may pass the window or knock at our door. She is a great comfort ( so I thought) to have when you are home alone. I let the girls sleep with me last night for a "slumber party" and at sometime in the middle of the night there was a small storm. We would all have slept through it, except for the darn dog!

Our fearless protector was so scared she climbed up to the top of the bed and tried crash our little slumber party. Mazel is a German Shepard mix, not a tiny dog, and in that moment she was trying to squeeze as close to us as she could. I was sleeping through the storm until I woke to my littlest one crying "mommy! mommy! help!"

"Wha..what..is it?" I say through my haze.

"Mazel..is..sitting on me!"

Huh? I look and there is the dog shaking with fear, and siting smack on top of my 4 year old, tail swishing in her face, trying to get some attention from the other side of the bed.

If it wasn't 1:30 in the morning I might have taken a picture of our big oafish dog smack on top of Shayna freaking out from the thunder. 

I think the weight on my shoulders got a bit heavier when I lifted the dog off of Shayna. So much for canine security....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family Vacation

Wow, it has been quite a bit since I have blogged! I have been experiencing a bit of writers block as well as just hanging out at home this summer and reading all the books I put aside during the school year. I seem to be at a crossroad in my life, leaving behind my old career as a teacher and venturing of to law school in the fall.  However, my role as mom remains the same. In fact I have promised my older children that we can be "study buddies" as they make their way through middle school.

Summer...ah summer, I have fantasized how wonderful it would be with the children in camp during the day. I had plan to catch up on laundry ( hah!), organize the garage, and spend time at the beach(double hah!). Unfortunately, driving to three different camps all over the county and fitting in doctor appointments for the children has left me with about 1.5 hours a day to myself and this time is usually spent trying to read and cool off between scorching hot trips in and out of the car. Reality really is a bitch.

We did manage to make one trip to Disney World this summer.  They loved it, I survived.  I am not a theme park person. I have never understood standing in lines for hours for a 5 minute ride. I do not like the heat, the crowds, and the herd-like atmosphere of people following the pointing mickey hand to find their destination. But for the love of my children, I strapped on the fanny pack, packed the sunscreen, and lugged the stroller.

Our trip was decent until the last day, it had rained a little bit before, but the last day was nonstop rain. The kind that just soaks through your poncho and sloshes in your socks. We had save Hollywood studios for the last knowing they we could probably see all we wanted in half a day and then hit the road.  When we realized that the entire day was to be a deluge, my husband and I tried to convince the girls that we should just head home. Hannah and Shayna did not seem to mind, but Rachel was adamant we go to Hollywood Studio.  After all we had planned the trip, bought the 3 day passes, and this was the third day. We had a schedule and Rachel was firm in us keeping the schedule. Ira and I did not argue, because getting a little bit wet seemed better than listening to her screaming a fighting with her sisters all the way home.

I think we were soaked through, even with ponchos,before we even made it to the ticket gate.  After two shows, Rachel turned to me and said "My socks are wet and squishy!" ( not to mention I had to keep bailing out the stroller for fear of Shayna drowning!)

At this point, I seized on her vulnerability. "how would you like to change into some dry clothes in the van? We could go have lunch at a nice place on the road instead of shivering in our squishy socks?"

It worked! Not only did we get to dry off, but the cost of our meal at Perkin's for a family of five was much nicer than Disney's prices!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Didn't Do It!

My life just flashed before my eyes.  Who would have thought a death trap would involve a phone, some jelly beans, a puddle of water, and of course three children starting at the TV?

It really is my fault. I had the nerve to answer the phone.  I always joke my mother calls at the most inopportune times.  Apparently the jokes on me. I heard the phone ringing from the other room, so I peak into the family room and see that the caller ID is flashing my mother's phone IN BIG PRINT on the television. The same television that my three children are huddled around even though the sound is blasting. I scream for someone to pick up the phone ( they know my mother's number, so no stranger danger here). No answer.

So I run for the phone, which incidentally, is parked right next to the tv!

Bad idea. Someone had spilled water and jellybeans all over the floor ( tile by the way) as I was dashing barefooted for the phone.  Luckily I was able to slide the rest of the way to answer the phone before mom hung up and tried my cell causing me to make a mad dash in the other direction.

Instead of "Hello?" This is what mom heard.

Mom said "Hello, you sound a bit overwhelmed" (understatement of the day)

At this point I hear my smart alecs answer the first question though it was a bit rhetoric.
"Jellybeans and water."


I got three "Not me's". The one of my children sweetly gave me the explanation as to why no one bothered to move a muscle to clean up the sticky/wet death trap (or even warn me).

"Mazel did it."  Mazel is the dog.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

A noisy Morning is A good Thing

I know I must be doing a good job, right now I have an almost eleven year old rampaging through the house and a four year old crying hysterically. Why? Because I am just being "mom"!  It all started when the tween woke up this morning. Almost immediately she wanted to go outside to wash my car ( aka play around with the hose). She was adamant that I had given her permission yesterday. What I really said was" maybe", but what she heard was "as soon as you wake up even if I haven't had my coffee or done any of my household chores." So thus began the whining and stomping around the house, made worse of course, with the suggestion that she actually help with my chores to speed things up.

About five minutes later, the aforementioned tween, decided it was the optimum time to reopen the issue of her getting a cell phone when she goes to middle school.  Really?  She should actually be happy with the recent turn of events regarding this matter. Her father and I have decided that since she will be attending middle school without her twin ( who will be going to a private school more suited for her disability) and will be riding the school bus, we will get her a limited access phone ( no texting) that will be pre-programmed with all the important family numbers. 

"But how will I talk to my friends? ( said in an escalating tone)
"You can still use the house phone to talk to your friends." ( said in a calm even tone)
"But I already told my friends I was getting a real phone!" ( higher pitched with a defiant tone)
"You are getting a real phone." ( I am very proud of how calmly I said this)

"Arrgh..hrumph...ahhhh" :: stomp, stomp, slam!::

At this point all I want is my cup of coffee and to finish this mornings crossword. However, my littlest "tween-in-training" had other ideas. She was walking around the house carrying and eating her bagel with cream cheese so I told her to sit at the table and eat.  She apparently has selective hearing like her older sisters and ignored me. I said it again, this time a little louder and with firmness. She sat down, and about two minutes later (deftly applying the delayed, built-up to hysterical method) she is sobbing because "mommy yelled at me". 

Cue my husband running, not walking, off to the office. ( I am pretty sure there was a lightness to his step as he headed for the door)

Ironically I would be just as worried if it was a peaceful morning, sometimes the quiet can mean a great deal worse. That story I will save for another time, but let's just say I had to give the dog and a child lots of washings to repair that damage.
So, as all good parents should, I know where my children are.  Screaming and crying in the other room while I sip my coffee and finish this impossible crossword.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mom Moments

This Mother's day marks a full decade of motherhood for me. These ten years have gone by in whirlwind, okay more like a tornado, but I still have at least one toe touching the ground so I think I am going to be okay for the next ten years. In honor of mothers everywhere ( and to help them feel better about themselves), I am going to post two of my most memorable "mom moments". 

Wardrobe Malfunction
Back when my twins were around the age of two years old, they were absolutely gaga over The Wiggles ( imagine the Beatles for toddlers). Being the perfect parents ( a.k.a. new parents), we just had to buy tickets to see them in concert. At this time The Wiggles were still playing smallish type venues and we had excellent seats.  Upon my research, I found that if you brought roses to the show,  all of the Wiggles would go out into the audience and collect roses for Dorothy The Dinosaur ( her favorite snack).  While Dorothy was singing and dancing on stage, Jeff the purple Wiggle danced over to our row and began collecting roses. My husband was holding Hannah and I was holding Rachel. As I turned and Rachel saw who was standing in front of us, she got super excited. Rachel was practically jumping out of my arms. She got so excited she was yanking on my shirt and bra, and yes, she yanked them DOWN! To this day, I  am probably the only concertgoer ( over the age of three) who has flashed the Wiggles.  So yes, I have been to some wild concerts in my day!

The Pit
Danger lurks everywhere for parents, we are always careful when crossing the street with our children or walking in the mall.  Unfortunately danger can rear it's ugly head in unexpected places, for me it was the foam pit at the local gymnastics center for children.  I went for the first time upon a recommendation of a fellow mom who raved about the three dollar free play they offered in the afternoons. I took the twins who were about three at the time and everything was great, they were having fun until we encountered the foam pit. 

A foam pit is a pit filled with foam. scraps of thick, bouncy, stinky, dirty, foam (most likely never cleaned after hundreds of tiny children had been wallowing in it). The bottom of the pit is quite deep and springy. It is so springy that there is really no traction to the bottom. Children rarely touch the bottom as they are light enough to bounce around the top, this is not so true for overweight moms.  Hannah had jumped in the pit, but was too scared to work her way out, so I jumped in without a thought to help her out.  Upon rescuing my child and passing her up to another helpful parent I proceeded, or tried to proceed, my way out of the pit. After a few useless attempts to "swim" to the side it became apparent that I was stuck.   My children of course noticed my predicament and started to cry. This of course brought me to the attention of everyone around me! Children were gawking, parents were staring and probably glad it was me and not them, a few nice people tried to give me pointers on what and where to grab onto to get out. This all only prompted my daughters to cry even louder. Finally after willing the strength of God, and fearing the image of the Coral Springs Fire Rescue hauling me out on the 6 O'clock news, I managed to get out with the help of a few strong men. Needless to say, we never went back there again.

Happy Mother's day and if you happen to ever run into Jeff the Purple Wiggle , send him my regards. I am pretty sure he remembers me.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My "Other" Child

Yesterday Hannah told me she sometimes wonders what it is like to be someone else. I was super excited to hear this because it means one of the big lessons I am trying to teach my children is starting to sink in, empathy.  I always try talking to them about "the other persons view", it is important that they learn to think about others besides themselves.  Rachel has a more difficult time with this concept, as someone on the autistic spectrum it is a big leap to jump into another persons shoes when half the time she is still searching for her own pair. My little one, Shayna, is still in preschool.  She is still blissfully enjoying the fact, at least in her mind, the world revolves around her.  So when Hannah shared with us her thoughts on how important it is to think about others, I beamed with pride.

The odd thing is that though she is compassionate and gentle towards other peoples circumstances, I find the exact opposite in the home. I think I have Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde living under my roof!  Maybe it is a "tween" thing, but when we are out she is the poster child of good manners and compassion yet when we enter the privacy of our own home she begins to contort and writhe thus being transformed into what can only be described as "scary"!

Jekyll Hannah is fantastic, she helps with her sisters when we are out, she gets raves from all her teachers, and often is lauded on how well she speaks to adults.  I could not be more proud of Jekyll Hannah. However, when Hyde Hannah comes out, beware. She will antagonize her sisters, and demand immediate tasks from mom and dad. The other day she wanted me to paint her nails, It was seven in the morning and I hadn't even finished my cup of coffee. When I agreed to do it later the Hyde Hannah came out in full force. I am pretty sure there were physical formations, she became more hunched over with eyes bugging out. If it were not for her braces I think her teeth would have gone crooked as well!

I have been sorely tempted to record Hyde Hannah one day to show to Jekyll Hannah, but I am afraid this might actually encourage Hyde Hannah to make her presence known. So, until her two personalities morph into one ( hopefully Jekyll will win this battle) I am constantly on guard for the "transformation".  The first sign of a "change" appears in the eyes (think Incredible Hulk), then she will begin to huff and puff ( it must be hard on the body), and finally there is a full on crazed mode. At this point she is often sent to her room, I don't usually get to witness the change back to Jekyll Hannah. 

Is this a phenomenon among tweens? Do other Tween Jekyll and Hydes exist? We really cannot know how many walk amongst  us.  I propose a support group,  H.E.L.L. (Hyde Epidemic Let Loose).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

That's "Mrs" to You!

 The other day I had to run an errand. It was right after I picked up the kids from school and I was rushing to get to the hardware store. I had forgotten to pick up a sprinkler pump for our sprinkler system and our repairman was already waiting for me at the house.  I was way behind schedule, so I sucked it up and dragged all three girls along with me.

To make it faster I squeezed my 4.5 year old into the child seat of a shopping cart thus making my supervisory role much easier and our trek down the aisles much faster. She was thankfully happy not to have to walk, unlike her sisters who whined the whole way through the store.

Upon locating the plumbing section, I found everything having to do with sprinklers except the pump itself which ironically was located in a different section.  More groans from the unwilling participants ensued.  I was getting frustrated and ended up asking for help from the nice young man who worked at the store. He saw my motley crew and very graciously told me what a blessing my children were. I must have really looked like I needed convincing because he really kept hammering the point about my beautiful children.  It was nice of him to say, but I really just wanted the darn sprinkler pump.

He continued to be very attentive to us and even helped lift the extremely heavy pump into the cart. At this point Shayna, my four year old, must have picked up on how attentive and nice he was being to me ( really he was just doing his job and doing it well) because the next words out of her mouth were "MY MOMMY IS MARRIED!" as she grabbed my arm and yanked it towards her in what could only be interpreted as possessive.

Thankfully the hardware man continued to be very nice and gracious as his reply was, " I am sure your mommy and daddy love each other very much". This prompted lots of "uh huhs" and a rapid affirmative shaking of her head.  She went on to tell him that we go on dates and kiss.  I was trying my best not to loose it it with nervous laughter and slight embarrassment over this odd discussion my four year old was having with the hardware clerk. 

I told my husband later that evening not to ever worry when I am out with the kids, because apparently, I have my very own chaperone!