My photo
Our life is full of wonderful, chaotic, blessed, hysterical, insane, magical, sad, scary, sweet, mind boggling, moments. While balancing life with 3 cherubs, parents, sisters, BIL, In-laws, 1 teaching career, and many good friends; I find that our life is moving far toooo fast. It is important to cherish and record the moments as we consistently try to balance our scale (God forbid I make a photo album)! MB

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amber Alert

We have a hostage situation, big nephew's trophies have been held hostage!

Set the stage for a short story. Big Sis has 3 cherub boys, ages 10,7,4. Big nephew had his own bedroom and middle and baby nephew shared a room. Baby nephew is 4 and coming into his own rapidly. He honestly is hysterical and never ceases to amaze us with his funny antidotes. So, oldest and middle want to take a turn at living together (again) so big sis moves baby into his own room.

Big nephew is taking tv and playstation with him. Baby nephew doesn't like this too much and decides to take action. His reaction, "Fine, I am keeping the trophies then!" Baby nephew has been holding big nephew's trophies hostage. Hysterical! Big sis is going in each day and taking one trophie at a time to big nephew to avoid meltowns from baby. Hopefully he doesn't notice.

*Rec'd story 2nd hand so hopefully the details are on target!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Night Away :o)

Ahhh, breathe. We shopped, dined at a nice restaurant, shared a (really good) bottle of wine, and visited a fun local pub. Mostly, Hubby and I were just happy for the time to bond, laugh, sleep (in a quaint Inn) and celebrate our love. Thank you inlaws for watching the cherubs so we could breathe. We are very appreciative!

Happy Bday FIL! Party was fun...

PS- Of course cherub 2 came home with a fever. He can't seem to experience a change to his routine without paying the price. I just don't get it. Low grade 100.1. Let's hope it is gone in the am.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Doin's

Hubby is digging out of another 8 inches of snow. He just dug my rents out of the 8 inches too. I am so thankful. It is hard for my dad not to be able to do it himself. When hubby helps them (without being asked) it warms my heart.

We are heading off to the inlaws this afternoon for FIL's bday celebration (which is tomorrow). We were practicing our happy bday singing abilities. Cherub 2 is bringing "Mr Magic's" (his new self-proclaimed title) box of tricks. Sure to entertain the troups! Hubby and I might stay in a hotel tonight. A night away? We won't even know what to do with ourselves! I am sure we will think of something! Personally, I can't wait to SLEEP uninterrupted!!!!! ZZZZZzzzzzzz's.

Of course, hubby is swinging me through two house that he wants to look at on the way out of town. Sure, add to my stress. I don't have enough middle age pimples yet! Plus, we haven't moved in 4 years...I was getting bored! :o)

Be Prepared?

The Girl Scouts motto has always been be prepared. Unlike this famous motto, here are a few things that my Master's teacher prep program could not prepare me for:

The first 'report card season'. I am feeling very anxious. I have been reviewing my grade book during vacation to prepare for completing report cards. Somehow, there are small g a p s for a couple of students. Hmmm, do they hoard their work in their desk? Can I trace back those specific assignments to absences? Why didn't I have a better system to track that? Oh, that is right, no one teaches you any of that! Yet, another thing you kind of learn the hard way.

I am also starting to get a pit in my stomach about the parent/teacher conferences. I have a couple of parents that have already proven to be on my case. One in particular wants to ensure I 'follow the curriculum'. The parents are another thing that a teacher prep program cannot prepare you for.

Lack of sleep. Last night, I went out to dinner with my Lesley girls. We voted that we are more overtired as teachers than when in our Master's program. Which, at the time, we thought we could NEVER be more tired. Plan, teach, correct, plan, teach, correct, assess, etc.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cha Ching

Cherub 1 is getting braces tomorrow. It is kinda cute though...she is all excited.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Check it out...

...lunar eclipse! Last one until cool.

The judger is judged.

After visiting our friends and then shopping at Target afterwards, it was rounding towards 6pm and we still hadn't had dinner. Off to the golden arches we head.

As you remember, our hometown McyD's burnt down so we haven't been frequenting that establishment (which has been fabulous). Let me just state, I do not let my children play in the indoor playgrounds. Ever. The last time I did, cherub 1 was two and I was (really) pregnant. She got scared while way up high in the slide maze and I had to shimmy my way up the slides, prego belly and all, to get her.

It smelled like pee, poop and other nasty things. It was also VERY dirty.

We enter the line and a very loud woman with bright pink hair is ahead of us with a little boy with bare feet. Umm, have you never read the signs before? Point taken, dirty boy with really dirty feet was headed over to the play area to dirty up the slide that cherub 2 was already moaning about b/c I won't let him go on it. I am judging her. I admit it.

Worse. Dirty boy comes over and hugs my kids. Off, oboo, off. I am aggravated (yes, me the lover of all children) that this kid is now on my kids. Cherub 2 burst into tears b/c the kid touched him. Great.

You thought I was the only one judging, right? Pink haired mom comes up to me and says, "Did you see that loser (referring to father of a father and son duo that just left)? He let his kid drink soda. What am I the only one that doesn't do that?" I politely tell her that my kids don't drink it yet and all I can think about is how ironic it is that she, the mom toting barefoot kid in McDonald's on a 20 degree, freezing cold night, is actually judging another parent for his follies.

We are all so perfect, we can judge each other? Right?


The cherubs were soooooo good at the eye doctor (yesterday) and my work (today) that I offered to buy them a little treat at Target today. Cherub 2 picked a box filled with magic tricks. He is hysterical. After performing every trick with his fancy abracadabra wand dance, he proceeds to tell everyone how it is done. We tried to tell him to keep his tricks secret but he wants nothing to do with that advice. Cherub 3 tried the tricks and each time he waves the wand he says 'wooooosh'! So darn cute!! Cherub 1 can actually read the manual so she was helping them learn how to do everything. The audience, Nana, Pops, baby Sis and I, were giggling the whole time. They were just tooooo cute!

True Confessions

So, it is still true, night olympics happens generally every night in my house. Someone is either pee'ing their bed, having a nightmare, or simply climbing into bed with me. So, yes, much of my sleep deprivation is caused by my loving cherubs.

But, I must confess. My love for trashy tv, a.k.a. Sex in the City reruns accompanied with a simply titled bad-for-me-snack surrounded by peace and quiet, is the other cause of my droopy eyes (and droopy but). Why is it that I can't force myself to shut the dumb tv off, even though I already know that Carrie is going to cheat on Aiden with Big?

So, it is 12:18am, hubby is traveling, I have already changed one set of wet sheets and watched two reruns. Off to bed. Tired but satisfied.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mom's Tool Belt: plausible excuses, napkins, tylenol, and a videocamera.

A Plausible Excuse
Cherub 1 said to me yesterday, "Mom, how come you didn't take me to church yesterday?" BUSTED. I rattle off excuses, all of which she and I know are lame, why we didn't go. (My real answer should have been b/c I am lazy.) She followed them by asking, "Can you take me next week?" My humbled response, "Sure, honey."

A Napkin
Cherub 2 laughed SOOOOOOO hard at dinner tonight that his drink flew out his mouth and nose!!!! This put us all into hysterics. We made a BIG scene at our local pizza joint!

Some Tylenol
During a 'NICE' game of duck, duck, goose yesterday, cherub 3 pretty much SLAMMED cherub 1's head down to the ground during his duck,duck,duck movements. Icurumba (sp). We can't even play d,d,g normally. All last night and all today, cherub 1 complained of a headache. Ugghhh.

A Videocamera
Today, during cherub 3's nap, cherub's 1 & 2 had a ball in all the mud, puddles and remnants of snow. Both of them went through 2 pairs of snowpants and boots they were so wet and yucky! Man, did they have a ball. Despite the fact that we have many sleds, they were zooming down the snowbanks on large folded boxes. This was pretty funny to watch. I wish I captured them on video. It is so rare that ms. oil and mr. water play in harmony without killing each other that I want to replay their many, many giggles from those 2 1/2 hours. I will have to store them in my memory bank. :o)

Undeck the Halls

The cherubs and I finally took down the Christmas lights and reindeer from the front of the house. Hey, it is only February, what's the rush? I laughed when MIL suggested we put bunny tails on the reindeer, it was overtime they came down. Ahhh, feeling so accomplished!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lost and Found

I have lost my ability to be sane and happy right now. I am feeling overwhelmed with caretaking responsibilities (house, kids, parents, job) and its seemed to all have piled up so high over the last 5 days, the pile has tumbled onto to hubby & I.

I just went to the grocery store with all 3 cherubs (I know, enough said. This feat should never be attempted if you are not in a patient mood). Within seconds of hitting aisle 1, cherub 2 was starting to throw mini-tantrums. By the cereal aisle, he was a maniac. Demanding things, telling me off if I wouldn't let him get things. Ummm, who are you? My mother would have LEVELED me if I spoke to her so harshly and demanded things. Needless to say, at 5 yrs old, he sat in the carriage for the next 6 aisles.

Once home and I told them they couldn't go to their friend's house tonight unless they all napped. So at 4:45pm (that is right, PM) they are all in bed. I don't even care how this will affect me at 10:30pm when they are all wired for sound. At this point, I need them to give me a reprieve so I can visit the lost and found box to find my humor, smile, and sanity. Otherwise, hubby will be putting me in this straightjacket for sure.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The elbows connected to the....

What I am thankful for, uou might ask? Since my last post was a little (fine-alot) negative, I will give you the good stuff too. Mom had her second elbow replacement yesterday. Suffering daily from rheumatoid arthritis, she has had many years filled with pain, drugs and replacements.

So, I am thankful that her surgery went well and she is recovering this morning on some good drugs to mask the pain.

The elbows connected to the... strongest lady I know!

No love.

Ah, the real Valentine's Day. I couldn't post it last night. I was so exhausted from the fall I took off the hamster wheel of life.

Yesterday morning, my regular struggle ensued with cherub 1. She would prefer to loaf around rather than get ready for school. No love from her yet.

The boys,happy as larks were ready and waiting when I went out to the car to warm it up. Turn the key, NOTHING. Car dead. No love from the car.

Borrow dad's car. Back out of driveway. Cherub 1 spills her drink ALL over her jacket and outfit. No love from the fates.

New outfit, daycare dropoff, arrive at school, late. Start teaching. Half hour into a lesson, phone rings. Cherub 2's school nurse calls to say he threw up on the bus. Wha???? Member, he was my happy go lucky, sing through breakfast cherub. No love from the fates. Again.

Beg hubby to go pick him up. He's not happy b/c he just got to work (50 min commute). Cherub 2 throws up all day. Hubby NOT happy. He tries to work from home while taking care of cherub 2. He fixes car after I get home. He is grumpy all night. No valentine love from hubby.

Next morning (today), back to the drawing board. Cherubs 2 & 3 home sick. Cherub 1 makes us late. Miss bus. Go to car to drive her to school. Car dead. Again. Now, I am MAD at the fates.

Here I am, WORST new employee ever. Home (where I should be b/c my cherub's need me) and feeling guilty. Happy Real Valentine's Day. In the spirit of friend W, The love is 'flowin'.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love is...

Gave this to hubby in a shape poem (picture it written in shape of a heart).

Love is cherub 2's sweet songs every morning. Love is cherub 1's emphathetic nature. Love is cherub 3's consistent, cheerful demeanor. Love is hubby's caretaking abilities. Love is parents love. Love is siblings unspoken bond. Love is friends giggles. Love is life filled with many breathtaking moments. Love is sweet kisses, warm hugs and laughter. Love is our 'favorite part of the day' tradition. Love is hubby's good morning song. Love is having you as my best friend. Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Can't Ketchup.

At the dinner table tonight, right after we said grace, cherub 3 exclaimed, "Mum, when you speed up at the end, I can't catch up. Can you go slower?" I was in a goofy mood, handed him the ketchup and said, "Here is the ketchup, now you can catch up." He stopped in his tracks and made a face. He said (patiently), "No, mum, when you do this (makes the sign of the cross) at the end, you go to fast, I can't catch up." "Have some ketchup, that will help you catch up." He made a face. This exchange went on a few more times until hubby and I were chuckling (I know at his expense...we are rotten). His faces were just so cute when he was perplexed. I just wanted him to keep doing it. He knew the difference and somewhat knew what I was doing but he just couldn't put it into words.

Wish Granted

I was soooooo thankful that my wish came true. Moms all over the eastern seaboard were cursing me b/c of my wish for a snow day, but I have to say "thanks" to whoever upstairs granted it. Cherub 3 was sick so the snowday saved me from calling in to work. Let's hope that he is ok in the am!

So the day, despite ill child, was great. We all enjoyed just being lazy in pjs and being together. We played lots of games in the am, playdough, drawing, reading, writing stories, etc. They did their usual fighting but overall...awesome! I feel like we all appreciate each other so much more.

I still have working mom guilt big-time but I think it is good for them to see that I am their mom (first and always) but also more.

Knee Deep in Love

Just finished preparing an adorable writing lesson for tomorrow, but I am literally knee deep in hearts! My students are learning how to use quotation marks properly. I just cut out and labeled tons of paper conversation hearts with 'appropriate' phrases. Yup, left out 'hot stuff' and 'kiss me'. They will write a candy heart story uses the phrases in quotations. FUN!!!!!

Whodes Dis?

We got two calls today. The caller ID said JAMAICA. The woman, speaking broken English kept saying 'I pregnant wid your husband'. So, naturally on the third call, I hand him the phone so he can deal with the crazy person, knowing full well he had never been to Jamaica. The woman says 'whodes dis'. 'Um, you called me, who is this', hubby asks. 'Whodes, dis, is dis extension 116?'. We assume she was trying to scam us for money. Barking up the wrong tree there.

So, we looked up the phone number and this is what we found. Apparantly these people are scammin people in the US. Here is a website with all the 876 area code scams...

TWO Definitions: Rock Star

Definition #1
My BIL is a rock star! Above is the picture of the belt buckle I am going to get him for his bday this year. Here's why...before lazy hubby and I are even out of bed on a really snowy day, BIL is already over at M&D's house digging them out from the snow. With Dad having his recent heart attack, snow removal is not in the job description right now. are a ROCK STAR in our eyes!

Definition #2
Second picture, baby sis and I (after far too many cocktails on a girls nt away) joined the band at Dicks Last Resort, literally. Although this was 2 years ago...when I starting blogging about a rock star I had to share. Fellow girl weekend joiners (big sis and C-cubed), don't ya think I have a future in tamborine shaking and baby sis in vocals?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Please Specify

A non-specific threat. That is police term for someone wants to hurt somebody (or lots of somebodies) but we don't know the important things like who, when or where. My school received one of these threats over the weekend. Burying my uneasiness, and despite the police presence, I went to work today to come together with other staffers to keep our kids safe.

So, on a lighter note. Can we apply the term 'non-specific' to any situation we want? I will complete my report cards with non-specific grades. Do you think that the parents will believe I am doing my job? Probably not.

I am going to cook dinner a non-specified amount of days this week (leaning towards only 4).

I did a non-specified amount of laundry today (that's right, none!).

I will lose a non-specified amount of weight this month.

Not that we want all the details while the police solve the case, but wouldn't minor details like who, what and when the target of this threat is be of some importance?

I suppose that we can't leave an anonomous note, "Dear threat maker, can you be more specific please?"

Don't hang your apron out to dry to soon...

Cherub 1 has dance class on Mondays so unless I crock-pot-it (not), we our out of luck at 5pm when we get out of dance and we have no dinner. Off we go to Boston Chicken. Where else can you go through the drive thru and get a full roasted chicken dinner with sides? We are just finishing our dinner and cherub 1 states:

"This is the best chicken ever! Except for yours of course. (I was just about to hang up my apron for good...then I realized she was being sweet.) Yours is homemade. There is nothing like homemade food, because it comes from the heart!"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

6 Degrees of MB

As my in-real life friend J says, we take people with us in life. We are the type that remember people (although she has to help me with names sometimes) but we take the history, memories and stories with us as we grow older. It is just the way we are. More frequently now, I find the older I get the more my circles of life collide. It is almost as if the world shrinks.

Some of examples of this (some with humor, some boring connections):

Degree 1: Work
I am sitting in an IEP meeting at work and in walks the school psychologist. Totally know her! It is so weird. We graduated from the same high school.

Last fall, I taught preschool. The girl that took over for me was a mom of one of my former students.

Degree 2: Dating
Turns out in college, I was the other woman for one of my boyfriends. Of course I did not know that at first (yup, stellar guy huh). Anyway, my real life friend J takes a photography class now and the 'real' girlfriend of that boyfriend is in her class. This news was probably more horrifying for the real gf, considering she is probably still tramatized from when my roommate B locked her in a room to tell her I was in the picture. Oh the college drama.

My real life friend E used to date my cousin in high school. This makes me laugh b/c he was a dog with the women. They group up in a neighboring town.

Degree 3: Friends
My real life friend D used to work with a friend of mine from high school. That 'good friend of mine' was the one that wrote on my boyfriends' yearbook that she had always wished they had been together. Surely she didn't think I was going to read the yearbook at the time. Oh the high school drama. Point is, this friend knows that friends, knows that friend, etc.

My real life friend J goes on vacation with her family last year and meets this wonderful family. Turns out, the mom is a friend I graduated with in high school. Also, one of J's good friend's through her husband's work was a friend of mine (different one) from high school. Ok, J is now an honerary member of my hs alumni.

Degrees 4 & 5: Family (growing up and kids)
My parents sold their house to a nice couple with 2 kids when they downsized (and moved next door to us). The people that live in that house have a son in cherub 3's class. Playdates at my old house? Oh, I like what you have done with the place. This is the dining room that we used to play drinking game in when M&D went away. That back door was the one D smashed with her feet as she did a handstand in the kitchen on my bday, this is where Mom practically lit the kitchen on fire, etc. Yes, I do have normal family memories, relax. I was just bringing up the funny ones.

Degree 6: Location
Hubby & I bought a cute cape at the top of a quiet street for our first house. The neighbors were nice but we thought it was quirky, everyone stayed to themselves and didn't socialize much. We now live (3 houses later) at the bottom of that same street with some new but mostly the same to themselves, quirky neighbors.

Should I go on (nah, even I am getting bored)? Basically, no matter where you go, someone in that room is either related to you, has dated you, was friends (enemies) with you or your friends/family, worked with you, whatever. There is always a story to go with it.

So, as my dad would say, don't burn any bridges. No matter which slide you take for your ride, your worlds will collide at some point. Trust me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What's the Code for Drool?

Drool in school.
As you know, I teach 3rd grade, and I love it. However, it is funny when you can't pronounce what you are teaching. Interrogative. Polyhedron. Pentagonal. Tetrahedron. Dodecagon. I can pronounce 'tongue tied' though. (Sing to the melody of a famous GREASE song 'Stranded at the Drive In').

Stranded... at the white board
Feeling a fool
What will they say
As I am starting to drool....

Secret Codes
Also, did you ever notice that EVERY business has their own 'code'. Doctors say 'STAT' (at least they do on Grey's Anatomy), accountants are 'in the red'. When I used to work with 401K's, we spoke 5500's and Div's. So, it is not strange for me that today I received two interoffice notices, neither of which I understood. 'The WEA is going to call the MTA...' and Friday's professional day is about 'HSS'. Oh, and don't forget to earn your PDP's. Wha? No, I don't need to take a computer class. I need to take code cracking class. (Try to say that 10 times, really fast. Code Cracking Class. Code Cracking Class...)

(Bring on the) Potty Talk

I realized at 5:15pm tonight that I hadn't gone to the bathroom since 6:45am. I wish my 4 and 5 yr old cherubs were at work with me displaying to world some of their potty talk (ie. "I can see your but!"). Maybe then I would have remembered to go.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Spreading her wings. Not.

Cherub 1 was invited to our local minor league hockey game with a friend's family yesterday. She was all excited. Soon before she was getting picked up for her first real venture out with friends (not at a friends home), I had a casual 'don't talk to strangers, go to the bathroom with an adult and asked her to be be sure she knew the grownups names she would be with' talk. Good enough.

I swallowed my butterflies about letting my butterfly spread her wings and talked with her about how much fun she was going to have. She was looking out the door waiting for her ride. She was a little nervous to go without us but she was happy and excited.

As the parent was pulling up to get her, hubby pulled her into the livingroom. I questioned him and he said he was giving her money (lie). I told him I had it all set. $ in envelope for parent was ready in hand. He proceeded to say 'I don't want you to get lost. I am going to give you a cell phone in case you get separated from them. Don't go ANYWHERE by yourself.' Errrrr. Brakes on. Stop talking! You might be saying he was trying to do the same thing I did.

NO. He scared the living daylights out of her, she BURST into tears and announced to all of us she couldn't go without Daddy going. Nice.

I tried to calm her (and supress my urge to yell at hubby). To no avail. She wasn't going without him. Who could blame her. In his eyes she was going to get lost and he was giving her the tools she needed to contact us. Sigh. What will he do when the first boyfriend comes over someday? Put a GPS in her pocketbook?

Off hubby, FIL and cherub 1 went to the hocky game. She had a ball with all her friends. When they were walking out the door I asked hubby if he wanted me to give him a cell phone in case he got separated from them. His only reply was 'I know, I screwed up'.