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Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Life as Phoebe

I have two wonderful girlfriends.

If you have ever watched a FRIENDS episode you will understand the reference. I have spent many years being the “Phoebe”; that is until recently.

Both are amazing women; my best friends… I love them dearly. However, they had a bond; an unspoken bond that connected the two of them in a way that excluded me. I was never jealous; I saw it and always accepted it.

I was busy building my relationship and marriage with my husband; he was my focus.

They too both love/ loved their husbands dearly but they always had each other.

Monica & Rachel were roommates and Phoebe always "hung" around. The three of us (like them) were always a part of the big occasions. We celebrated three engagements, three bridal showers, three bachelorette parties, three marriages, graduations from high school and college, birthday parties, holidays, baby showers, we laughed and cried together and were there for loss, divorce and celebrated new life. (After all one of them ended up in the delivery room, holding my leg as I gave birth to my first baby).

Yes, in many ways our lives together can compare quite literally to a FRIENDS episode (without the writers).

Monica and Rachel spent more time together therefore they knew about any “Big News” the other had long before Phoebe. At times I felt a little hurt but tried not to read into the reasons- everyone one has their own reasons for not sharing or for withholding news, good or bad.

It was often withheld from me and sometimes I cried but I would mostly try to understand… I like Phoebe can make the best out of most circumstances. I have embraced Phoebe, I like her and she makes me laugh.

It was not until recently, that I finally felt a connection to one of my best friends. She and I finally had our own special unspoken bond that connected us; motherhood.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Bittersweet Goodbye

All women have that special connection with another. That one friend that you know will always be there no matter the amount of time that passes or the distance that separates you. I have that friend…

There was a time just after high school we lost touch. A disagreement led to a distance and we did not talk- for several months. I had forgotten that and the reason. I have forgotten until now. But you see none of that matters and never will.

We have seen the good, the not so good, the bad and the plan-out ugly in one another. We have been friends since our sophomore year in high school (I wish I knew her sooner).

My friend moved to Ocala, Florida shortly after her wedding. It was difficult; I felt as though I was losing a part of me. This is the person I could tell anything to. I spent countless number of nights at her house and I could go and visit her whenever I wanted. She was leaving…I would manage. (My husband added unlimited long distance to our phone plan. A phone conversation was never under two hours!)

We did the long distance travel (approximately 232 miles separates us or 3.3 hours doing 70mph) and the long phone conversations. Now something has changed.

I have two children; A daughter 2 ½ years and a son 9 ½ months. She surprised me the day after my daughter was born. It was that moment I realized just how much I truly valued our friendship. I always knew how important she was to me but that moment made me realize just how much I loved her. She traveled down Thanksgiving Day to see me and my first baby; how truly wonderful.

She now has a son (her first) and I drove with another girlfriend the 232 miles to surprise her (the day after Easter)… I couldn't imagine not being there; what a special moment.

Well, she spent two days here this week. Two wonderful days our children spent together. We caught up, watched our babies play, held them, took 80 pictures and just talked. On day two, after another 3 ½ hours, we had to say goodbye.

My daughter did not want them leave. We walked her and her baby boy to the car, gave our hugs and kisses and said our goodbyes. I did not want to let them go.

I walked into the house and suddenly it was the three of us again; I realized how much I missed her already. How I wish she were here so we could watch our children grow and play together.

Even though 232 miles separates us (or now 3.9 hours doing 60mph) we will never be far a part. We share a special connection, a secret bond called motherhood. And each time we see each other we will appreciate that time spent together even more. That is why our goodbyes are bittersweet…

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Sweet Unexpected Blessing

As I walk past the master bathroom I stop and take a long look…(it is almost impossible not to, being that my bathroom is floor to ceiling mirrors on both sides. Yes ladies, it is as hideous as it sounds!) As I look at myself I think: who is this person, when did I turn 30 and have two kids?

My life has suddenly shifted and I do not manage change well. I have become a stay at home mom.

At one point in my life, I helped manage a prestigious private lunch club. Now having traded my gorgeous suit jackets & stilettos for house dresses & slippers...often wearing vomit or pee on me for hours; until my husband is home and I can pretend to muster up enough energy to actually shower.

That is after having made dinner, cleaned-up the kitchen, bathed the kids, put the nursery back together and tucked everyone cozily into their beds(most nights mine).

I lost my job while seven months pregnant with my son. My daughter was 18 months. I never planned on being a stay at home mom. I enjoyed working. Enjoyed my job. Enjoyed engaging in conversations with adults. I went back to work when my daughter was three months and planned on doing the same after I had my son.

Life had other plans… I see it as a blessing in disguise. I love my children and believe being a stay at home mommy is what I was meant to do.

The joy & rewards they bring are unlike anything I have ever experienced. Addison and Jackson are my two perfect accomplishments in life.

I was standing in front of the mirror and it was that moment I thought Holy shit I am a mommy!

As I type this with one hand because my 10 month old son is sleeping soundly on my lap…

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The good, the bad & the ugly

Here we go...

1. There is no fear like the one you feel when your child is badly injured or seriously ill

2. How terrible teething would be for all of us…

3. No one ever told me how excited I would get at the first poop- "yeah she did it- everything is working correctly" or how messy the diapers would be & by the time they are 20 months they just are not exciting or cute anymore.

4. The first time Addison said “mama” what an amazing moment- just a moment because everything became “dada”- even me.

5. The moment Addison figured out how to remove her diaper- what a mess and yes, the dogs had to help out also!

6. It is truly amazing how you can go from being SO upset with them one minute, to loving them so much you could cry the next.

7. Never knew how much Addison would want to use the computer...or how easily she would UNDERSTAND how to use it!!

8. How difficult it is to break the bottle or “bobble” habit.

9. I never knew that such a sweet baby could have such a temper- I mean head banging really?

10. I never thought I'd be able to have one child, let alone pregnant with the second.

11. No one ever told me that my feet would be bigger after giving birth! My feet went up an entire shoe size! All my pretty shoes- just sitting in my closet on display…

12. Nobody can make you feel better than your children! I love when Addison climbs up onto my lap and wraps her arms around my neck for me to whisper in her ear or to watch a movie and curl up for a nap.

13. I never knew how difficult colic could be- those were trying nights testing every part of you as a new parent- there were moments I thought I would not make it through the night.

14. I never knew I would have to wrestle a toddler to get her to bed at night- she would keep going and going and going…

15. Never knew how difficult it would be to get a toddler to eat. And the mess that comes with eating- oh my!

16. The things we have to "no- don’t put that in your mouth or don't lick the dog" before being a mother I would have thought something like that would come out of my mouth!

17. I never imagined that going to the bathroom or taking a shower alone will become a goal.

18. I never knew that my plate would be this full with just one child. We have some challenges - but we face them day by day. How will I ever manage two?!

19. I never realized people would look at me weird in the supermarket when talking to my 20 month old about what we are having for dinner that night or what we need to buy.

20. How excited you get the first time you child speaks and how frustrating it is when they don’t!

21. It is pretty amazing how much they learn and how quickly the mimic you.

22. You can't win an argument with a 20 month old even if you’re right and she is not. The baby doll is a boy even if he is dressed in a pink dress and has a matching pink hair bow.

23. I never knew that a 20 month old would become so independent already-

24. Addison is a shoe lover already- she brings her shoes up to me to put on her, she would sleep in them if I let her. The best part is how excited she gets when she sees mine stacked in the closet- she carefully selects the pair she wants and trys to put them on! That is definitely my daughter!

25. Potty Training- AHHHHH!

26. Terrible Two's- need I say more...they really began around 15 months.

27. It really is pretty awesome being a mom!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Surviving Motherhood

100 ways you know you are a mom...

#1: you look in the mirror and no longer recoginze the person staring back at you. Really hit me after my second was born... My thought: "Holy Shit, I am a mother to two little beings!"

#2: you can read Dinosaur vs. Bedtime or The Very Hungry Caterpillar without having to open the book.

#3: you are always prepared. If someone needs a bandage, you have one. If someone needs crayons or a pen, you’ve got one. If someone needs a snack or juice, you’ve have both. Mainly because you leave your house with everything but the furniture.

#4: you can't find your cell phone, so you ask a friend to call you, and you run around the house madly, following the sound until you locate the phone inside your toddler's ride on Tonka truck.

#5: you say at least once a day, "I'm not cut out for this job", but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything.

#6: you have a difficult time giving away newborn clothes because it is so final.

#7: when looking for the restroom you ask "where is the potty?"

#8: when cleaning, doing the dishes, doing the laundry and vacuuming are considered “breaks”...”here honey the kids are all yours."

#9: when you can’t remember the last time you thought “hmmm- I am really bored today- there is nothing to do”!

#10: when you have baby photos where your money used to be.

#11: when the children have left the room or are sleeping and an hour or two later you realize you are still watching Nick Jr.!

#12: you have truly embraced motherhood when you are up before everyone else & go to bed after everyone else- simply for glimpses of PEACE & QUIET….

#13: when going to the bathroom or taking a shower alone gets you excited.

#14: Fantasies: Mothers of one: Some quiet time with the hubby. Mothers of two: a nice hotel- ALONE- so we can enjoy a meal ALONE, sitting down & WITHOUT sharing, enjoy some quiet and sleep-ALONE.
Mothers of three+: well I would only imagine, somedays, you have yourselves lost in the Bermuda Triangle somewhere.

#15: you reach out with cupped hands to catch whatever is about to come up rather than having to clean the carpet.

#16: you go to the store and $200 later you have nothing for yourself. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

#17: those triple digit priced shoes and handbags have been replaced by size 8 girls and 5 boys shoes and princess handbags.

#18: you get just as excited or more when shopping at Toys R Us “Yea, a new toy to play with”!

#19: you know you are a parent when things are quiet in the house and you HAVE to go check the children because you just know they are getting into trouble.

#20: This is for all you stay at home moms- you know you are a stay at home mom when TGIF no longer excites you… that’s for people who work or don’t have kids.

#21: the word “NO!” has lost all meaning.

#22: you get excited for the new episode of Backyardaigns, Wonder Pets, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sesame Street & etc.

#23: your children are dressed better than you.

#24: receiving a compliment about your children brings you more joy than any you have ever received about yourself.

#25: most of the artwork in the house is the result of your toddler finding a crayon or marker!

#26: your grocery lists are written on construction paper with crayons! “Yes, I see you looking at my list and laughing.”

#27: You know you have TRULY embraced motherhood when during naptimes you tip-toe around, go to the other side of the house to use the bathroom, turn off ALL the lights & TV's, sit quietly on the sofa in the dark to not make any noise- GOD knows you do not want to wake the beasts!

#28: You find yourself wiping a booger out of another baby’s nose. Must be impulse… Brody, Aunt Melissa loves you that much.

#29: you have no problem sharing your drink with your toddler or 11 month old. Knowing that by the time you get to the bottom a combination of both of their meals with be floating around- EWWW!

#30: you have accepted the fact that everyday by 10am your house will look as though it was the battle grounds to which a massive war was held.

#31: you come up with brilliant creative ideas that will help make your life easier, you wonder why has no one thought of this and only wished you had enough energy & time to market your idea!…for instance- we need swimsuits for toddlers with snap buttons because having to pull down a swimsuit for a potty training 2 ½ year old every 15-20 minutes is just not that fun.

#32: You hear yourself say: “What? Germs help build their immune systems!”

#33: the five second rule no longer applies- in our house it is the five minute rule… nothing makes it longer than that with the dogs around! Sorry kiddies your loss…

#34: You can spot a mommy when you see her doing “the mommy shuffle” even without a baby in her arms! (you know that side to side motion you do when holding your baby)

#35: you have paid for all of your groceries, heading back to the car and have everyone settled in their carseats when you finally realize your daughter has lost her lovey or your son his shoe where in the store.

#36: you curse people if they call during nap or bedtime.

#37: you look through family pictures, and realize there aren’t very many of you, because you are always behind the camera yourself.

#38: you walk into another room in your house to get something and by the time you get there you forget what you were going after.

#39: you consider things like macaroni & cheese, peanut butter & jelly and grilled cheese sandwiches to be their own food group.

#40: you have mastered what I like to call “the mommy growl" that low voice you use to scold your children when out in public or when one of them is sleeping- the voice that says “I am serious” without having to yell.

#41: you understand what “because I said so” means.

#42: you know you are a mommy by your multi-tasking skills-you have the baby propped on your hip while on the phone and making a baby bottle ,talking to your toddler, making a sippy cup & lunch for her and taking bites of whatever meal you have missed… how do you like that daddies?!

#43: everything ends in “ie”…Tootsies, Tookies, Feeties, Hammies (the chubby part of the thigh that just needs to be pinched!), Sleepies, Poopies, Duckie, Froggie, Binkie…

#44: you have no problem jamming out in the car to toddler sing-a-longs just to make the ride smoother.

#45: you make a bee-line for that certain something to keep your child from turning into a monster in the store…Target M&M’s and the supermarket straight to the bakery for a sugar cookie…do not stop, do not detour- straight for that coveted magic quiet goodie. It will always be opened first without paying until the end- a slight smile is given as I pass other mommies and see their quiet children contently chopping on or playing with that magic goodie.

#46: you find yourself making the hubby those Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes on the weekends.

#47: you make sure each child has the same snack and the same amount because trust me a 2 ½ year old does care if her 9 month old brother has more than her.

#48: you can convert a single stroller into a double. Carrying around a toddler who thinks she wants to walk for three hours- I don’t think so.

#49: you would rather spend your free evening trashing the nursery by dragging out every toy, spilling juice & snacks all over the floor, coloring the balcony with chalk-then walking in it-only to come inside and see how many chalk footprints you can make, coloring on the wall & floor, smashing cereal into the carpet and pulling all the pillows off of the sofa and beds- just so your kids can take it easy tomorrow.

#50: that time-out you are about to give your toddler you would LOVE to give to yourself! I mean I could certainly use 10 minutes by myself, sitting in a corner with no TV or noise.

#51: you have accepted your children were born with that “naughty-chip” already inserted and there is nothing that can be done about that.

#52: your idea of spacing children apart is keeping them 10 feet from one another.

#53: you spend time during the week googling ideas to keep the kids busy on the weekends.

#54: you can no longer find your refrigerator because it is covered with every masterpiece your toddler has made.

#55: you find you function better around complete chaos.

#56: your back aches more from carrying around two 25 pound kids than it did from wearing 3 1/2-inch stilettos for four hours while running around a restaurant serving guests.

#57: you have traded those cute little designer handbags for a giant diaper bag filled with the following…a change of clothes for her, him and you (you for obvious reasons), extra diapers for him and pull-ups for her, 2 sippy juice cups, a bottle, wipes, toys, snacks, sanitizer, band-aides, Neosporin, tissues, book, crayons, sunscreen, toy receipts, whatever may be bunched up in that napkin and the three mommy essentials (sunglasses, wallet & cell phone).

#58: shaving your legs is reserved for your anniversary only.

#59: it comes to date night- you make the plans, get all dressed up and drop the kids off at Pop-pop & Gradd'a house just to call and check in on the kids every 20-30 minutes!

#60: life with toddlers- every day is like a new mysterious treasure hunt… one morning I wake up with a sticker attached to my leg, the following night a marker in the bed and someimes will find the remote in the diaper bag… and I can’t help but smile.

#61: you have accepted that yelling, being that you do it most of the day, has become your preferred method of conversation.

#62: in the supermarket you ask your nine month old “what should we have for dinner?” and “what else do we need?

#63: you cuddle with your children even when they are sick with runny noises, fevers and a yucky cough and you could care less if you catch it.

#64: you use your children as an excuse get out of or leave somewhere early….”I am sorry the kids are really sick- we won’t be able to make it” or “The sitter can only stay until 9pm”…

#65: you realize your gag- reflex is gone. afterall, by this point you have been pooped, peed and thrown-up on sometimes all three simultaneously.

#66: you understand the sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so they know when they are really in trouble. Addison Jean!

#67: someone asks “what happened to your hair” and you explain that your six month old is teething or your three month old has colic.

#68: play-dates are mostly for the mommies.

#69: realize that Daddy will ALWAYS be able to get the kids to sleep faster than you!

#70: you finally understand that MOM= My Own Maid!

#71: you realize your children get their energy by sucking it out of their parents- one tired mama here.

#72: you know when to surrender, when to wave your white flag and accept that they have you out numbered, exhausted and defeated- they are not children they are monsters.

#73: the kids are running around the house chasing the dogs while screaming with that something sticky all over their little hands and you just stop and think “wow, I really do have an amazing life”.

#74: that two door car transformed to a four door crossover and you finally decided that you really do need that mini-van… yup, that’s it you are a mommy now! Mini-van here I come.

#75: you call your mom and apologize for everything you ever broke or destroyed and for any temper-tantrums or meltdowns you had as a child! I can only imagine how long I will be apologizing when Addison is a teenager- ouch!

#76: you start negotiating with & bribing your toddler to avoid that pint sized temper-tantrum.

#77: you allow your toddler to dip everything in condiments just so they will eat. “Yes Addison you may have ketchup with your peas and pork chop” what tomatoes are a vegetable right?!

#78: you hear your mother’s voice coming out of your mouth. Oh, my! but I have no better role model than mine.

#79: you use your own saliva to wipe your child’s face.

#80: you don’t give that half eaten pizza, bagel or chicken nugget on you toddler’s plate a second thought before popping into your mouth.

#81: you understand the title comes with the responsibilities of cook, teacher, nurse, janitor, maid, chauffeur, entertainer (including singer, dancer, comedian & narrator), referee, disciplinarian, supporter, Easter Bunny, Santa Clause & Tooth Fairy, party planner, personal shopper and waiter. Am I missing any?

#82: you have accepted that your sofa and carpets will be forever covered in the following…crayons, markers, food, milk, juice, formula, play-doh, spit-up and diaper leakage… so who is coming over and who would like to have a seat?

#83: telling white lies has become a specialty… "We will come back later" or “No Addison, I am sorry the batteries are broken” that one is my favorite because I just can not listen to that toy for another minute.

#84: you really don't sweat the small stuff... because you know the small stuff is only leading up to the BIG stuff.

#85: you truly understand the meaning of unconditional love.

#86: you no longer not only wish the world for your children but the entire UNIVERSE.

#87: you wake up with an aching back thinking “Wow, these two little things really do take up a lot of space”…my bed dips down on both sides-it’s like a hill from the kids sleeping in the middle and the hubby and I hanging off the sides- but I would not trade it for the world.

#88: you are learning a second language by watching Dora, Diego and Ki-Lan.

#89: you find yourself saying… “No Addison Barbie’s do not go swimming in the potty”, “Uggh, Jackson why did you eat that bug?” as I am pulling it out of his mouth, “Addison please stop letting Petunia (dog) lick your tongue”, “Jackson you can not drink out of the dog’s water bowl- you are not a dog!” Realyy... I have to say this.

#90: you appreciate all the little things in life.

#91: you have accepted the fact that your sanity is now gone- probably forever- you don’t fight it… you just wave as you watch it walk right out the door.

#92: you reach into your diaper bag only to pull out a hand full of crumbs. Mine is a total duping ground.

#93: you have embraced the fact that you are not perfect, you will make mistakes, you learn something new each day- but the moment you look into your child’s eyes you realize you did do something PERFECT.

#94: you wish you could fix EVERYTHING with a cool Toy Story band-aid or the boo-boo bear in the freezer.

#93: you realize to get your children’s attention all you have to do is call someone on the phone, have a conversation or sit down to eat.

#94: you realized you had to pee only because you laughed or sneezed.

#95: you try to teach your toddler a new take on Hide-go-Seek… today we are playing “who can hide the longest”

#96: taking a shower becomes a chore. Perfect example: talking to a girlfriend while our girls are playing- Jackson spits juice all down my shirt- "You know I just took a shower this morning. This is why I usually don't bother because within two minutes of being dressed someone spits-up, gets sick, spills food, formula or juice or any number of other things on mommy. But hey, I made it four hours so I guess it was worth it today."

#97: even a hiccup becomes a wonderful milestone.

#98: you have a new found love of photography.

#99: You know you are a NEW Mommy when your babies first poopie diaper excites you “yea, everything is working correctly!”

and finally...

#100: because the moment your kids do something adorable, you take a picture to upload to facebook or your blog.

Am I forgetting anything?