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Archive for the ‘SAHM’ Category

Well, I haven’t been blogging as much as I have in the past.  If you want to know why…it’s because I joined my best friend from law school, Julie, and started blogging with her.  We’ve got this great blog/website:

mommyesquire.com

“We’re Moms.  We’re Lawyers.  We’re Your In-house Counsel.”

Check us out and see what the fuss is all about.  It’s fun and informative.  We’re taking your issues and offering free advice.  We’re reviewing everything from lip balm to overnight diapers.

Why?  Because we can.

What makes us think we are experts?  We don’t know.  Does having six kids between us count?  How about two undergraduate degrees, two law degrees, and one pageant title?

Who are we?

Julie - Creator of mommyesquire.com

Julie - Creator of mommyesquire.com

This is Julie:

Creator of mommyesquire.com
Working mom
Mother of three
Likes: reading, jogging, cooking, traveling, hiding from her children
Dislikes: cleaning, incorrect grammar, people who dress their little girls like skanks
Dreamed of being a Court TV anchor after law school
Voted “Most Likely to Achieve”…or should have been

Likes…no, loves…wine

Kim: Co-creator of mommyesquire.com

Kim: Co-creator of mommyesquire.com

This is Kim:

Co-creator of mommyesquire.com
Stay at home mom
Mother of three boys
Likes: reading, sewing, shopping, making her kids push her on the tire swing
Dislikes: people who don’t write thank you notes, sassy children, the smell of Polo cologne
Dreamed of being a non-profit lawyer and “helping people”….(yeah, now I’m in-house counsel to three very indigent clients).
Voted most likely to wear pink to court.
Has a raging case of ADHD…and a vegetarian.

So, come visit us at mommyesquire.com and have a laugh…all at our expense.  Enjoy!

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This week has been particularly trying with my boys.  Summer is here.  School is out.  We have more time on our hands.  Which means….

I’m saying even more crazy stuff.

For example:

I like to listen to a radio station that plays “oldies.”  I really like their “Disco Lunch Hour.”  The other day, we listened to “You Dropped the Bomb On Me” and my boys loved the bomb sound effects, etc.  Later in the lunch hour, we  heard K.C. and the Sunshine Band sing, “Shake Your Booty.”  I thought it was fun to sing while I reminisced about weekends spent at the roller skating rink as a child.  What I didn’t think about was that my boys would latch on to the whole “Shake Your Booty” thing.  The boys loved the lyrics, mostly because K.C. said the word, “Booty.”  For the rest of the day, my boys ran around saying the word “Booty” and laughing like wild hyenas.

Ah, to have three little boys….

Herein starts a new list of crazy stuff I’ve said to my kids this past week.  Enjoy the insanity that is my life:

#1 – “Stop saying the word, “Booty”!  It isn’t funny.  And, No, you may not sing “Shake Your Booty” at church!  I mean it!”

#2 – “Do not try to go down the slip n’ slide naked…..especially before it gets wet.”  (He didn’t listen to me and had to “recover” inside for an hour after the incident)

#3 – “Just because Daddy lets you pee outside in the backyard does not mean that you can just pee outside at the park.”

#4 – “I don’t care that the Hulk runs around without shoes and no shirt.  You must be fully clothed when we go to the grocery store.”  (said to the child who went down the slip n’ slide naked)

#5 – “Farting in the bathtub does not make the tub into a bubble bath.”

#6 – “A rattlesnake would not make a good pet.  I don’t care if they have them at the zoo.  In fact, no snake would be a good pet for us.  Think of something else…please.”

#7 –  “Why do I make up the bed every morning when we just mess the bed up again at night? hmmmm.  Good question.”

#8 – “You may not have a popcicle for breakfast.  I don’t care if it is made with “real fruit juice” like it says on the box.”

#9 – “Please go to sleep.  One day when you are an adult, you will wish you had a nap time.  Seriously.”

#10 – “Why do Mommies wear makeup?  Well….your Mommy wears  it so I don’t scare anyone when I go out in public.”

Thanks, K.C. for the lyrics Shake Your Booty (not really)

Thanks, K.C. for the lyrics "Shake Your Booty" (not really)

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Now, that's what I'm talking about...

Now, that's what I'm talking about...

Sometimes the best things in life are free.  I’m not sure who said that or if it is the lyric in some Beattles song…but, it’s true.  My husband asked me what I would like for Mother’s Day.  I could think of a few things that are totally unrealistic right now:

A cream colored Volvo C70, a diamond Tag Hauer watch with a platinum band, a trip to London,  decent looking shoes to fit my ginormous narrow feet,  world peace and an end to famine

….you get the drift.

However, these are all things that I won’t be given any time soon (at least not with private school tuition looming in the future for three kids)…and the shoes are a lost cause.

I honestly couldn’t think of anything that I couldn’t live without.  I could think of some really cheap (or totally free) gifts that I would adore:

1.  A nap:

Seriously.  I would love to take a nap…by myself….for any length of time that I should need to get recouperative sleep.  Of course, if I were to really get this much-needed REM sleep, I may not wake up for several days.

2.  The laundry done:

I would love to walk into my laundry room, for once, and not see piles of clothes on the floor.  With a husband and three small boys, I feel like I am constantly doing laundry.  In fact, my dryer has begun to squeak.  I think it’s probably time for a new dryer.  UGH.  The thought makes me shudder.

3.  The house cleaned:

So, I’ve gotten Maid Brigade from time to time…maybe twice a year.  It’s not often enough for me.  I’m the one who cleans our house.  I’d love it if I could just go take a nap and awaken to a house that is clean and smelling like lemon Lysol.  However, I think this a fairytale complete with little mice that sew ballgowns and a fairy Godmother that turns pumpkins into stagecoaches.

4.  An hour long uninterrupted phone conversation:

My best friend lives over 500 miles away.  We talk on the phone 3 or 4 times a week.  Unfortunately, our conversations are often interrupted by someone needing to go “potty,”  children fighting, or someone needing “Mommy” for some reason or another.  I’d really like to curl up on my sofa and just catch up with my best friend  for an hour.  This seems to be impossible.  My children aren’t even interested in talking to me…until I pick up that phone receiver, then I am the most popular person in the world.

5.  An afternoon with NOTHING to do:

Is this even possible?  I’m the kind of person that constantly keeps “to do” lists.  For one day, I’d like to take my list and throw it in the trash.  I’d like to spend an afternoon at an antique mall or at Sephora, trying some new lipsticks.  Maybe a pedicure would be nice?  This is definitely something that I could do for myself.   It’s all about scheduling, right?

See?  Somethings in life are free.  My son drew a picture for me for Mother’s Day.  He drew me with big round eyes and a brown nose.  My hair looks like two antennae on top of my head.  My son is 5 years old.  I think he did a fantastic job and I love my picture….even if I look like a big blonde bug.  I’m thinking about framing it.  He worked so hard on it.  I love it.

My husband is still wondering what to get me.  I think I’ll tell him about this list….and start with #1.   A nap would be nice….

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Mary Cassatt is the best artist to capture motherhood.

Mary Cassatt is the best artist to capture motherhood.

The exchange went something like this:

“Come here, baby, and let me help you with your shoes.”

“I’m not a baby.  I’m Jack.”

I watch him struggle to put on his socks and shoes.  For the first time, Jack doesn’t need my help.  He succeeds in putting on his own clothes. This is a real milestone.

He knows it.  I know it.

A lump forms in my throat.

I say, “You’ll always be my baby.”

He says, “Mommy, don’t call me that.”

I say, “O.K.”

I take him to school.  I realize that next year I will be sending my third (and youngest) son off to a Mother’s Day Out program two days a week.  He turns two years old next month.  The “terrible two’s”  have arrived a bit early.  George is saying “MINE!”  George likes to say “No!”  He is no longer a baby.  He is a toddler.  He still likes to put both of his little chubby hands on each of my cheeks and say, “Mommy,”  then we rub noses.  I know all too well…this, too, will soon stop.

By the third child, you see all of the tell tell signs of diminishing babyhood.  The dwindling of baby fat…and the loss of that precious fatty crease between the wrist and hand are seen.  Their vocabulary expands by leaps and bounds.  They stop (or start, as in the case with my youngest) playing with Thomas the Train.  Their interests mature. They may not want to be affectionate in the same ways or need you to pick them up….or help to dress or do a litany of things.

My oldest son is already at that age, at five (soon to be six) where he doesn’t want me to kiss him in front of his friends.  I respect that and we now are “cool” and do our own secret handshake…which is really a fist bump followed by an “explosion sound” and open hand.  We then say to each other, “You’re the bomb.”  He likes it.  It is fun.  It belongs to us.  He also likes it when I recite this poem:

When I was one
I had just begun
When I was two
I was nearly new
When I was three
I was hardly me
When I was four
I was not much more
When I was five
I was just alive
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever;
so I think I’ll be six now
forever and ever.

– Now We are Six by A.A. Milne, creator of Winne the Pooh

Sometimes I wish he’d stay six forever and ever.

I am rather nostalgic as of late because I realize that my sons are growing up.  It’s just that I feel like time is speeding by.  Don’t they realize how much I treasure every single moment with them?  I don’t think they do and I think that is perfectly fine.  They are busy with “growing up.”  All three of them are involved in what it takes to develop and move on.  I never want to “clip their wings.”  Plus, I’m enjoying the whole ride through their childhood…each and every moment.

I love looking at the artwork of Mary Cassatt.  To me, Cassatt captures the essence of motherhood.  I like every piece of her work.  It conjures up all of these feelings.  I’ve been thinking about buying a print of hers because I reminds me of this time in my sons’ lives.   I truly thank God for allowing me to have them.

So, when my sons tell me, “I’m not a baby.”  I know that deep in my heart…they’ll always be my baby.

No matter how old they get.

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My husband and I have had a very full social calendar lately.   Don’t immediately think that we are really into the “social scene.”  I mean that we’ve had soccer games, practices, church activities….and a few events that have NOT involved our children.

We’ve enjoyed our “adult outings” to various activities.  It requires me to get dressed in something other than gym shorts and yoga pants.  I have to wear makeup, etc.  We get a babysitter and generally have a good time.  However, I’ve noticed that the last three years as a stay-at-home mom have done a real number on my vocabulary and conversation skills.

For instance, this weekend I found myself involved in a conversation with another adult about art.  The artist was a very interesting person and great conversationalist.  I couldn’t believe it when asking him about his art, I actually asked him, “So where do you hang your… stuff?”  What I meant to ask was, “Where is your art on display?”  Definitely not… “Where do you hang your stuff?”

“Stuff?”  My goodness!  Could I not have said the word, “art”?  Or “paintings”?

Sunday evening at an Easter Egg Hunt, I found myself talking with a very interesting woman whose business is in finance and we were conversing about the state of Wall Street.  She said, “The state of our economy is really a concern for most people.  I think most people are really freaked out and don’t want to invest….blah, blah, blah.”  Suddenly, the woman’s voice sounded like the teacher in A Charlie Brown Christmas (you know…”mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah”).   Frankly, I was so busy watching my three boys out of the corner of my eye that I only heard the word, “freaked.”   I replied, “Yeah, I know what you mean about being freaked out.  The Yo Gabba Gabba guy really freaks me out.”

She walked away.

I couldn’t help it.  All I could concentrate on was the sight of  all three of my rowdy sons clinging to the  poor guy whose job it was to dress up like the Easter Bunny.  By the time I got Will and Jack off the Easter Bunny’s back and George off his leg, I realized that I had not responded very appropriately to the conversation that I was just “involved” in.  If that’s what you call it.

I certainly don’t have this “problem” with my friends.  Or maybe I’m not so self conscious while  in their company.  Actually, we talk about all kinds of interesting things.  I don’t censor myself when I’m with them or my family.  However, put me in a room with people who actually go to jobs every day and have a variety of hobbies and activities that don’t require schlepping kids in a minivan all day….and I’m utterly brain dead.

I think I’m suffering from “Mommy speak.”  Mommy speak is when you know all the words to “The Wheels on the Bus,”  but couldn’t carry on a conversation about the local music scene.  It is when you can tell someone about non-staining finger paints, but can’t remember who painted the The Last Supper (It’s Di Vinci, right?).   Mommy speak also enables you to translate on behalf of any toddler or baby.  I can tell you what my one year old is saying.  When he says, “Fyes!”  I know he is saying “Fries,”  as in french fries (this usually happens when we pass a McDonald’s).  I can tell you what any toddler is saying when they say “Poo,”  “Doo,” or “Wee Wee.” Because of this thing, Mommy speak, I am now in the habit of referring to the restroom as the “Potty.”  You know what I’m talking about….surely?  If you don’t have this problem….well, more power to you.

I mean it.

Really.

Mommy speak can sneak up on you.  It can impair your ability to carry on a full conversation.  It impairs your memory and comprehension skills.  I am definitely sure of this.  Some of this is due, in part, to “Momnesia”…or also known as “Mommy Brain.”  I do believe that when you have children, most of us lose precious brain cells…by the butt load.  Don’t even get me started on what happens to your attention span.  Since having children, I am convinced that my three year old has a longer attention span than I do.

I know this won’t last forever.  One day, I will be able to carry on a brilliant conversation.

I’m just scared it will only be after my children leave for college.

Yo gabba gabba

I said to her, "Yeah, the Yo Gabba Gabba guy really freaks me out."

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I invited my mother to the zoo with me and my three boys this week.  We went to the zoo on Wednesday.

It’s almost Friday…and I still haven’t heard from her.

I think she is avoiding me.

It’s really understandable.  I totally get it.  My mother took a “walk on the wild side.”  She just needs time to “recover.”  I may hear from her next week.  Who knows?

If you’ve got three kids, taking a trip to the zoo ( or any “cultural” outing…oh, heck…any outing, for that matter) is truly an adventure.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  It’s like traveling to some far off locale…just not with the experience of getting your passport stamped.  At least that’s how it is for us.

Our zoo day went something like this:

6:45 a.m. – Mommy gets four bags packed before boys wake up.

Bag #1 Diaper Bag – Must have diapers, wipes, “baby snacks,”  3 juice sippy cups, change of clothes, extra shoes (trust me on this) and baby Tylenol (just in case)….PLUS must carry extra change of clothes for older two children (just in case…been there – done that – know it’s necessary), AND one gallon size ziplock bag (for soiled clothing…and/or vomit bag)

Bag #2  Mommy’s backpack “purse” –  Thank, goodness that Vera Bradley makes a half-way decent looking bag!  Contains: Wallet, lip balm, sanitizing hand stuff (that Mommy loses and would have come in handy after all three boys spend 45 minutes petting goats at the zoo’s farm), cell phone (that Mommy still doesn’t know how to work properly since Daddy gave her his old Blackjack), zoo map, and hand lotion.

Bags #3 & #4  Camera bag and cooler containing more snacks/juice pouches

Bag #5 is later added to our haul at 8:45 a.m. after we have dressed and picked Grandma up in our minivan.  Bag #5 is Grandma’s purse (which could double as a lethal weapon from it’s mere size and weight)

9:45 a.m. – We arrive at the zoo.  Finally.  It takes us another half hour to start our walk around the zoo because we realize that we need to rent a double stroller to carry all of our crap. After loading it with all of our bags, we estimate that George must walk for most of the zoo outing…totally defeating the purpose of renting the stroller in the first place.

10:15 a.m. – We are looking at animals…giraffes, zebras, polar bears, black bears, panda bears, elephants…then on the the baboons and orangutans.  This is when we spot the herpetarium, or better known as the “Reptile center.”  My boys go nuts!  They begin to chant…”Snakes! Snakes! Snakes!”  So, here we go…inside the dark cave-like building with a huge stroller hauling our stuff…and all three boys running toward the snakes… behind one inch plate glass windows.  My boys have no fear.  They press their little hands up to the glass.  My youngest tries to lick the glass.   With my “quick Mommy reflexes,”  I grab him and manage to get the other two under control.  My mother can’t believe how much they love the reticulated python or the deadly black adder.  My oldest son, Will, wanted his picture taken beside the rattlesnake.  My mother looked like she could faint any minute.

12:00 (High Noon) – It’s lunchtime at the zoo.  We venture off to the main restaurant located in the center of the zoo.  It’s a burger/hot dog kind of eatery, but the line is a mile long.  One whole wall of the restaurant overlooks the monkey arena. Grandma stays with the boys at a table while I order and pick up our food.  She doesn’t realize that it is impossible to expect all three of them to sit quietly while there are monkeys doing a variety of funny things only three feet away.   I tell her to “just keep an eye on them.”  She mouths to me, “Are you crazy?”  I mouth back to her, “Yes, I am.  Just do it.”  By this time, my mother looks as frazzeled as I do at the end of a long day…and it’s only noon.  She’s fading fast.  Once I get our food and distribute it to all three boys and my mother, I noticed that I forgot to order anything for myself.  I’m left to share fries with my youngest child and I eat a bag of Teddy Grahams.  UGH.

12:45 p.m. – We take a train ride around the Zoo Farm.  This little lap around the zoo costs us a whopping $5.00.  At least the kids love it and the “conductor” blows the horn a couple of times.

1:00 p.m. –  We tour the farm.  Of all the boys, my youngest, George is getting really cranky.  Jack and Will don’t want to leave the billy goats.  We spend almost 45 minutes petting the goats (try getting that smell out of your kids clothes…whew!).

Jack suddenly spots a kid with a Snow Cone.   It’s all over.  All three boys want a Snow Cone.

2:15 p.m. – I motion to my mother not to say anything about a Snow Cone.  I motion for her to “zip it and throw away the key.”  She doesn’t get the hint.  Grandma promises to buy each boy a Snow Cone.  I tell her, amongst much objection and whining, that we have a 45 minute ride back home.  Green Snow Cones are not advisable.  Grandma does not understand and buys green Snow Cones.

3:45 p.m. – We have had green Snow Cones.  We are driving home.  Guess what happens next?

Someone gets car sick.

4:15 p.m. – Grandma is dropped off at her house.  She looks shell-shocked.

4:30 p.m. – We are back home.  Mommy runs each boy through the shower in “car wash mode.”  Can’t get green ring from around the mouths.  Kids look like they’ve been sucking lollipops made of antifreeze.  Alas, all three boys are showered and changed.  Fun has had by all. We have pictures to prove it.

I think we had a great time.  Seriously.  Despite the herpetarium, the long lines at the restaurant, and the Green Snow Cones.  It’s just every day stuff for me.  I’m used to it.  Grandma is not.  I do think she was a real trooper today.  She rolled with the punches.  She took a “walk on the wild side.”  I’ve got to give her props for that.  I mean…I was an only child..and a girl.  A girly girl.  I have three wild (and I mean that in the best way possible) boys.  Every day is an adventure for us.

I say let’s have more outings like this. They’re only children once.

Like my oldest says, “LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!!!!”

My boys

My boys

Grandma and grandsons get close to a black bear.

Grandma and grandsons get close to a black bear.

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I hate change.  When Facebook changed the look of my “wall,”  I despised it.  When a well-meaning friend moved my sofa to the other side of my living room, I freaked.  Don’t even get me started on the whole controversy when they “changed” Coca Cola.  I am a creature of habit and I’m not afraid to admit it.  However, some change is good.

Very good, indeed.

I am referring to the weather.  I live in the south, where it is supposed to be balmy, even at Christmas.  This year is the exception.  It has been a very cold (and bleak) winter.  We’ve had a couple of good snows…which translates into some snow days for the kids (except mine who go to private school…I guess they want paying parents to know that they’ll make sure you get your money’s worth when it comes to education…keep ’em open…come hell or high water).  My kids have managed to use the plastic saucers and sleds to slide down our steep driveway through the snow.  We even made a snowman complete with carrot nose.  Our winter has been unseasonably cold and I say….

ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!

Where’s this “global warming” everyone was talking about?  I’m tired of the cold…and wet…and overcast days.  It’s enough to make you think you’ve got seasonal affective disorder…even if you don’t.  I find myself watching infomercials and am overwhelmed with the idea of  buying things I’ve never bought before – like snuggies (those blankets you wear), ice scrapers, omelet makers, ShamWow towels and those lamps you plug in that mimic sunlight.  It seems like the colder it gets….t.v. gets even worse.

I miss the sunlight.  I actually miss spring!  I’m ready to shed these sweaters and enjoy sandals.  Frankly, I’m worried that it will be too cold to enjoy linen and seersucker at Easter.   I’ve never thought white shoes looked particularly good on anyone other than little girls at Easter, but I’d at least like the option of saying that white shoes were permissible.  (You know, you can’t wear white shoes after Labor Day…only on and after Easter?)  It’s just too cold to even consider the color white.  Goodness, gracious!!!!

I’m getting rather desperate over here.  I even feel the need to apologize to my mother-in-law, a woman who is chronically cold-natured.  Every time she visits, she complains that my house is too cold.  At seventy-two degrees in my living room, I’ll find her wrapped in a thick sweater, which she reserves for her visits to my house.  I jokingly tell her it’s because she lives in Florida, which is basically, like living in a third world country.

Up until now, I’ve always thought I’d love to live somewhere it’s cold and snowy with a long winter.  I imagined myself curled up on some sofa, feet tucked underneath me, sipping a big mug of hot cider while reading some thrilling novel while the falling snow softly blankets the ground outside my cabin…somewhere in the Adirondacks.  What a dream.  Yeah, it’s a dream…not reality.  It’s pretty difficult being cramped inside all day with three kids with a severe case of cabin fever…in southwest Tennessee.

I say bring on SPRING!!!!!!  I’m ready for a long, warm day…watching the kids swing on the tire swing.  My boys are ready to run through the freshly mowed grass in their bare feet.  Enough of hot apple cider.  It’s time for lemonade with big chunks of ice.  Ahhhhhh.   Change can be nice.

Change of seasons...and scenery would be nice.

Change of seasons...and scenery would be nice.

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