Anyone seen Queen Frostine?

'Does your person have on glasses?'
Her turn, my turn again.
'Does your person have red hair?'
Her turn, my turn again.
'Is your person Shirley?'
'Uh, nope.'
'Wait, well Shirley is the only one I have left, who was it?'
'It's Mary.'
'Mary? But you said that your person didn't have a hat on, and Mary has a hat on!'
'Well that turn it didn't because I first picked Frank, but then I decided to pick a different person, and I picked Mary.'

MmmHmmm...oh. 25 minutes of your life playing Guess Who, only to find out that she decided midway that she just wanted to pick someone else. It's game time. And you know you feel like a terrible Mom when they ask...'Hey Mommy, want to play Uno Moo,' and you would just really rather have them all sit around in a circle and scream at your while you trim their nails.

And you really try and have the best intentions. Games sound like fun, it's quality time, and not only that, it's a learning experience. So you set out to have just that with your joyful children. But I would just like to say to Milton Bradley, thanks a freakin lot. Because who decides to put together a game for preschoolers and just when they are about to win, about to be victorious, they pick up a card that sends them all the way back to the beginning? Destined to lose, destined for all h-e double hockey sticks to break loose in our playroom. This is a trigger Milton. Clearly, he was not a hands on father, never played games that were intended for preschoolers, if he even was a father, aren't they two last names? Who cares, I just want to meet their testing children. The ones that sit in the circle and think it is fun to lose. They are clearly slipping something into their juice boxes and they haven't a clue what they are doing just that there is pretty colors in front of them.

And I begin with Candy Land. And I want to play games with them, I really will it to be a great time. But how can I with Queen Frostine being involved? 'I promise Mommy, I promise I will not be upset if E picks Queen Frostine, I will keep on playing.'

I hate Queen Frostine.

Who decides to put one character in the game that is royal and beautiful? No, I'm serious. The rest are some comical plump blueberry grandmother types and a lanky lollipop man and things of that nature. If there was one caped gumball super hero involved, the game would easily become Ethan's demise. Because every little girl wants to be associated with Queen Frostine. As if picking her card, and getting to move to her spot makes her your BFF, almost royal-like yourself. So you know what I went and did? If I must subject myself to Candy Land, we are going to play in peace, and I took away the Queen Frostine card and tossed it in the trash while no one was looking. And now, at the end of each game Kendall has the same remark,'I can't believe it Mommy, no one picked Queen Frostine, again! That's crazy!' Nope, just your mother is crazy. But it is for the most part, peaceful since I sent her away. They might even get another round on the rainbow trail with me now and again.

You might say that I am a terrible mother. Shielding them and protecting them from disappointment. You say games are teachable moments about life; winning and losing is important to learn. I say, get a grip.

My daughter, like me, sometimes lives in some fantasy land. And like I said, when she gets the card with the princess ball gown for the wedding dress when playing The Bride Game, that is just the dress she is really going to wear on her wedding day. So she better have picked up the right card, no one wants the too casual Semi-Formal Gown.

You know, if you loved the Game of  Life, you get what I am saying. You know that if that little spinner led you through college and then you landed on being a doctor, then having twin girls, and living on a country estate, that that was just what was going to happen to you when you grew up. Similar was the game, M.A.S.H., you played in junior high school when you were supposed to be doing 'group study.' As the choices you picked were narrowed down, it was as if you were actually creating your destiny.  'Oh! I am going to be a vet! And I am going to drive a Fiero! (that's right, remember those hot little numbers?) And I am going to have 8 children, live in a mansion and be married to Steve!!!!!!!!' It was too much to handle, and if the choices that were made by your chosen number led you to be left with living in a shack, it was just plain embarrassing, and you begged to start all over again. Even though the next day would be a whole new game with a whole different future.

This is my son with the game of Memory. We have the Super Hero Edition, and with each match he gets its like he becomes that Super Hero that he matches. If he makes a mistake he tries to fix it because he really wants that Wolverine match, 'wait, wait, let me pick again, I didn't mean to flip that one over.'

'That's cheating E, please stop cheating.'
'I not cheating, my hand slipped and I flipped the wrong one.'
'Now you are cheating and lying. If you cheat one more time, I am not playing.'
'Ok Mommy, but is this one the other Wolverine card? Just tell me.' (as his little hand hovers over top of the card)

And games can be fun, and bring back a lot of memories from your childhood. But it's funny that you forget the bad experiences as you grow older. I used to love the game, Old Maid. And it is clear now, why I loved it, because I loved laughing at the person who was left with the Old Maid. It was just plain mean. But, what I didn't remember was the break down when I was left with this card. Yet, it came right back to me as we played Old Maid with Kendall. Back and forth, in and out of hands went the Old Maid, Kendall giggling incessantly when it would leave her hand and go to the doomed game player who would live a life alone with her 27 cats. However, when she would pick it, her face would fall, she would panic, threaten to quit, she hasn't quite mastered the poker face. We pushed her to keep playing and a few times other people were left with the Old Maid, and we would point and laugh, and say, 'you're the Old Maid,' and play again. But it was quickly over and done with once Kendall was left with the Old Maid. Emotional breakdown, 'but I don't want to be an Old Maid, she's ugly and alone.' Memories flood over me. I tell her, 'hey Kendall, look at Mommy, sometimes when I played Old Maid when I was your age, I too was the Old Maid, but look at me now, I'm not an Old Maid. I am a crazy woman who thought it was a good idea to play games with my children so I could hear them whine and cry all afternoon.'

But now I get all envious of that Old Maid. I am sure she is curled up somewhere with a bowl of ice cream and reading a good book, laughing at me, who thought that having10 children and building hotels on Boardwalk would be a piece of cake.


The Sack-a-Rice Jesus Made

Today was Easter Sunday.
aw...so sweet & innocent...see that's exactly how the disney princesses got their kiss, they look so angelic, the prince must kiss her...and then BAM! their awake...and they want you to run through the forest talking & singing all day long.

Don't you just love trying to get a photo of your children on holidays? It's even more awesome when you have a son named Jacob Michael and he hates to sit still at all.

We have just decided amongst ourselves that we are simply just attempting to document the event, and that frills, smiles, and eyes and heads looking the correct way is just plain stupid to expect. Apparently so are shoes.

We do get the two oldest in a shot, and so there you can see the outfits because I am that matchy matchy mom...see the gingham theme? The blues, whites, khakis, greys? I'm that mom.But beyond that, we set our expectations pretty low. We now have Jake, and he's really just a doll, as you can see.

We did better with the whole reason for the season this year in regards to Kendall to some extent. Last year if you remember, in great theatrics...I tell you, I am sending her to the auditions at Sight & Sound to play Mary Magdalene, 'but that is terrible, why would they have my Jesus hang on a cross and laugh at him, and make him wear a sticker bush on his head, that's terrible!' I mean there was heaving sobs. And its sweet, right? She felt it. She felt the anger and the emotion of the entire event at 4 years old. Yet, I could not speak of Easter without her getting extremely emotional and theatrical for weeks before and after.

So this year, you know, I prepare for it. My kids ask tons of questions they want to know what we are doing and why. Kendall is now in preschool at a church. And I sat with the phone at my side for the past 2 weeks she was in school waiting for the phone call from the master of the preschool, to come and pick her up because she is hysterical while they are learning about the true meaning behind Easter. It was really that bad, I had to sit with her and rock her and hold her in my arms last year. 'My poor Jesus!'

And she was right. How do you sugar coat that story and make sense of the entire thing to a four year old? I believe I just rolled with the punches when I was that young, until I could truly conceptualize the great sacrifice that Jesus has made for us. But I knew the end, I knew that he rose, I knew that he returned, I knew that he was alive. I think it was fast forward learning in Sunday School when you were that young, ' and we wave the palms, Jesus eats with his disciples for one last time, Jesus died on the cross,' and then press the pause button and big emphasis on...he rose from the dead, the stone has rolled away, he is alive ! Kendall, could not get past the horrific events that led to this to even hear what a miracle had occurred, that he was ok, that he loves us so much. So I prepared myself, made sure I had the tissues.

I sign her up for the Lunch Bunch, this is staying for lunch afterschool for a few hours, that is about Easter. She thinks that she is going to see the Easter Bunny and is going on and on about how she is just going to wave to him and not sit with him. I tell her that Easter is not really about the Easter Bunny, and that the Bunny is fun and all, but that Easter was more then that. I told her to listen real closely at Lunch Bunch and then to tell me what Easter was really about, and that the Easter Bunny would not be joining her for lunch.

I prepared, like I said for the worst. She gets in the van at pick up, she has a wooden cross that she painted, and she hands it to me with specific instructions, 'uh Mommy, we must hang this in a place where we will see it often and are reminded of the great sack-a-rice Jesus made for us.' MmmHmm, that's right, she said sack a rice, like sack of rice. This entire thing took on another complex twist to it. It's never easy right?

I ask her if she had learned what Easter really was all about and she says to me, 'Jesus, Mommy, it's about Jesus,  (and she huffs, like I am stupid), but Mrs. K (her teacher) says that it is still alright for us to have an Easter Egg Hunt, so please make sure of that.' I just love the age where what your teacher says to you is law.

So at bath time we are talking about Easter again, and I am asking Kendall some questions about Easter and having Ethan join in the conversation. And I am saying how Jesus gave his life for us, and because of that when we ask God for forgiveness for that we did that was wrong, he forgives us. And Kendall looks at me and says, 'uh, Mommy, no Jesus made us all a sack a rice.' Ethan asks, ' Jesus gave us rice Kendall?' 'Yes a sack of it.'

This may actually be worse then the emotional breakdown the previous year because now there is the hard headed stubborn 5 year old correcting me and my theology. And really, does she even know what a sack of rice is anyway? Where is the Cadbury Egg Bunny?

So I nicely explain that it actually was a 'sacrifice,' and explain what the word means and I go into the story explaining it to Ethan and Kendall. And she is not saying 'sack a rice' anymore, which is encouraging. And as I am explaining the crucifixion to them Kendall interjects for her brother, 'now don't worry Ethan, Jesus is ok in the end. He has risen, he came back and was alive again.'

Ethan looks at me and asks, 'so can our fish come back alive again too?'


A Pug and a Bullseye

You know sometimes having a dog is really helpful. He cleans up the scraps quite well. He is like a snorting food censor. He sniffs it out and zeroes in on it. 'BEEP! BEEP!BEEP!'  But in Stanley's case its 'SNORT,SNORT,SNORT!' He loves it when Jake eats. He just knows that this little rugrat will throw food all over the place, a little afternoon food sprinkle, if you may. So when Jake plops into the highchair in all his thunder thigh glory, Stanley mans himself at the base.

Having Stanley around is also very fun for the children. He is their dog. A member of our family. He keeps them warm at night, whomever he chooses to snuggle with and snore all over. And you know, he plays some pretty sweet catch. He sometimes runs around the house at top speed, tail straight out, bottom almost to the ground enabling him to propel himself forward at an even greater speed. Which is quite entertaining to watch. He is a good companion, and always seeks us out. Always happy to see us return home. Always worried about us as he sits perched in Kendall's window sill barking incessantly at us as we play outside, the anxiety over us perhaps putting ourselves in danger is too much for him to bear.

We live in a neighborhood where your dog must be leashed while outside. And this is handy. I mean who wants dogs just running the sidewalks? However, Stanley and my children didn't get this memo from the association, and they find it necessary to open the door to a world of free play. I will readily admit there are times that I don't even chase after Stanley. I just leave the front door open and call his name like 764 times when I think of him. Because I cannot leave a house full of children unattended. Its the dog or the kids. A decision must be made quickly, I mean after all, its my job. However, he is getting better. Most especially if I threaten to send him to a country where dogs are a delicacy. And sometimes he goes and checks on his homies and comes home after he gets them all agitated and pawing at their crates, windows, or doors.

Stanley is also obsessed with our neighbor Beck. Its just really annoying is what it is when it comes down to it. Beck has thought that it might be a fabulous idea to give Stanley treats on the regular which has now in turn, trained Stanley to expect this. I don't know, maybe he felt as though Stan was being neglected in a house crawling with needy children and a fat cat. I mean, Stanley always has some dog biscuits readily available. But perhaps Beck is a snob about his dog biscuits, and our dog biscuits weren't as good as his dog treats. Whatever the case may be, Stanley now recognizes Beck's vehicle. And when Beck arrives home from a really long day at work, because he seriously is the hardest working man I know, Stanley seriously cries like a 5 month old whimpering puppy. He lays it on real thick...'all day Beck, all day, they smeared snot all over me, yelled at me for eating the diaper again, chased me around, dressed me up, please come take me home to your house.' Because I will tell you that Beck and his wife have some serious malfunctioning attachments to their dogs. If I were to let him, Beck would seriously talk about his dogs all day long. I don't even talk about my kids on a day that they mastered pooping on the toilet as much as he talks about his dogs on just a regular day. I know, it is a little disturbing.

And before meeting them,  I knew that there were people out there who have this attachment to their dogs. You know where you actually think of the dogs while you are away from home all day and miss them, and want to bring them home something special because they are just so good to be in their crates all day patiently waiting for you? So you go to the specialty pet store and you spend an unreasonable amount of money on a treat that tastes just like a filet mignon. When really they would have been just as happy licking their crotches, which cannot be done in a tight space like a crate to its greatest potential. I'm just sayin. But Beck and his wife are the first of this special population that we are friends with. And I love me an animal, I love having pets...but you know what I mean.

And then they wonder why their dogs are high maintenance. Beck and his lady love do not have kids yet. And you know they say that once people who are obsessed with their dogs in this matter have children, the dogs take the back burner. I can tell you whole heartedly, that this will not be the case with them. And that they will read books on transitioning the baby home to make it easier on your dogs. People write these books, and they write them for Beck, who will have anxiety over this matter. He won't think they are too cute when they eat the baby's crappy diaper.

And you know Beck, this is all written as a special thank you for getting my dog all rawled up with your presence and in turn waking up my napping baby.

Oh but today was one of those days, where having a dog is no laughing matter, and as Stanley cowers in the corner, I still send him daggers from my eyes. I mean this was worse them him being on top of the Thanksgiving table searching for leftovers. Yup, just walking right across it like he was asked to lick the plates.

So today, I decided that we needed to go to Target to pick up a few household items. It was me and the boys since Kendall was at school. Stanley had decided to come with us in typical fashion and he is typically a very good listener. So la, la, la. I am getting the boys out and Ethan is trying to decide which 3 Super Heroes he should take into the store like not choosing Elektro or Robin might really hurt their feelings and put them in such a deep sadness that they cannot save the world today. So I say to him, 'Come on, let's go,' and as it is coming out of my mouth I realize as you did too, if you follow Stanley stories, that I have just given him a command. And it is all in slow motion now, like some action movie and I am Jackie Chan and spin around and shout in that monster slow mo voice, 'NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO STTTTTTTTTTTAANNNNLLLLLLEEEEEEY STTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

Too late.

I, in complete Mommy Super Hero, action press the remote to shut and lock the doors and as I am doing it I am yelling to Ethan that this is an emergency, and I am throwing my stow away in case of emergency and I need to entertain boys quickly, balls and superheroes from my purse and into the closing doors. 'Play with these Ethan, and don't move from this vehicle and watch your brother.' That's right. I am saying this to a four year old. Where is my five year old when I need her? There was no time to grab a cart, secure the boys and get to Stanley before he was smashed on the parking lot asphalt or worse...


Oh we have been here before. But in a place where pets were welcome. But today he ran towards the bullseye like there was a whole pound of ground beef in the center for him. I turn quickly and one of Kendall's friends mom is right next to me. I swear she was sent right down from heaven. And we turn and laugh at each other, and then she says, ' I will stay with Jake and E.' As I am rounding the corner, I see the automatic doors to the store open, and no person going in, and my gaze furthers to see Stanley slip sliding all over the linoleum floors at top speed.

I run in, and it was like a movie, people darting, dashing, and diving, ok maybe not diving, after Stanley. An employee turns to me, and I say, 'that's my dog,' and she actually says to me, 'we don't allow animals in the store.' And I just about stop and smack her. Really? Are you sure that Target doesn't allow dogs without leashes just roam the store? I mean what if I had sent him in to pick out his dog food while I waited for him in the van, but he forgot his wallet and that is why I am running after him.


I say, 'Uh yeah, I know that.' Deciding that today would not be the day for assault charges, most especially not at Target since I would be banned from it, and I love that store.

And she goes on her merry way. Could I live in that brain for 5 minutes?

So then another lady says to me, as I am racing after Stanley through the women's department, 'I am really good with dogs,' and I tell her, 'uh, not with this dog.' Now Stanley knows he has really done it and is avoiding me at all costs because he knows I am irate. Ever made your master irate? It's not pretty. And then as Stanley is racing in the other direction, the woman crouches down, and I kid you not, throws herself on top of Stanley. It was one of those moments where I wish that my phone took videos because the entire thing would have went viral in 10 seconds. She is lying now, on top of Stanley, petting him, and whispering to him, 'good boy Stanley, good boy.' I turn my head a little to the side, you know, the position you take when you are trying to see things a little more clearly, to make sure what you are seeing is really happening? Yeah, she is comforting my dog. I grab Stanley, and thank her profusely, and she says, 'oh I love dogs, I have 4, so anything to help a doggy who is lost in a store and frightened.'

Apparently she and Beck have a lot in common.


Our Day, with Rachael Ray

First off, 'Hello Harry,' he will never be able to not be Harry Potter. And 'Wicked,' goodness I would love to see this. And so would my friend Cherie who went with me, and she is going to see a show with her hubby  for her 30th Birthday. I think I may just have to be a tour guide, or promise them dinner or something and convince them that spending the money on 'Wicked,' is just a fabulous idea...who needs to feed the kids for 2 weeks anyway?

I tell you what. I know that there are people that read this blog that live in New York City, ( Holla!), but I feel as though everyday would be an event in NYC.  From what to wear to what to eat, from where to eat, to where to go. From how to get there, to when to get there. It's constant movement, constant things to stare at, constant trend changing. I seriously would not be able to keep up. We would head out with our stroller daily and get lost in things to stare at, not making it home until after 8 p.m., looking a bit flustered, starry eyed, and exhausted. A constant caffeine buzz and ability to achieve one if you are lacking every single block. I am a people watcher. Some people are bird watchers, safari watcher, tv watchers, I am a people watcher. I am amused by people's ways, nuances, and things that make them tick, and just how they tick. To make you really uncomfortable, you can pretty much be rest assured that before I have talked to you, I have sized you up. And not in a snotty pants kind of way, making sure that you are good enough to associate with me, that would be just ridiculous because I am by no means that mean girl who doesn't let you sit with her at the lunch table.And seriously 9 times out of 10 we have something in common, I promise you. I am sizing you up to see really if you would be receptive to even talking to me, if you have the moment, and or if you need the moment. And that is just the way I tick. I like to silently observe people, how they interact. So New York City sends my weird character trait into overdrive.

So we get there (we is: Me, my lovely neighbor and friend Sue, my darling friend and super knitter, Cherie, and my fabulous friend Bonnie who is my son's BFF's mother), we find the parking, we begin to walk, a light mist in the air, because it would never be 70 degrees and sunny with a light breeze when I plan to go somewhere. I think that happened once. It was on Ethan's 2nd Birthday and it was a trip to the zoo at the end of March and all that we needed were light jackets. That NEVER happened again.

So we stand in line, and we wait. See when you sign up for the Rachael Ray show she has a list of things when you are chosen to be a recipient of her tickets that you are required to follow. And one of those things is that even though you were chosen to be in a selected audience, you are not guaranteed a placement in the audience. I know.  Seriously, four people behind us, they stop the tickets. No joke. And these people were given the same confirmation that we have. You also have a dress code. Which I tell you really isn't followed or adhered to all that much by the staff. I mean, I wouldn't go in there in your sweat pants and Bon Jovi tee from his tour in 1994, but this girl in the front row was wearing wellies, and I am not quite sure why, I mean it was misting, but why on earth would you want to walk the streets of New York City in rain boots? The puddles seriously are not all that deep honey, and there ain't no grass to be frolicking through.

So as you wait in line you do the typical 'standing in line chit chat,' with others. What shows have you been to, when are we going to be let in, what did you get at other shoe tapings, what is Rachael like? And there is a lot of speculation as to what she is like. There is a mixed review. Some people say that she is not very friendly. That she does the show and is pretty impersonal. I say that everyone is entitled to their bad days. I mean ok, she is in show business, and there is no business like show business, but day in and day out? You are bound to have a bad moment, bound to get in a fight with your hubby, have pms, have to fart and no one will leave you alone, the dog crap on the floor and you step in it. I will be the judge, we will see, you know me the people watcher.

And she was cute. She was hungover from a night out with Bobby Flay because you know she's super important like that and has famous chefs invite her over for dinner. She wore her leggings, boots, a blazer, and a tank, and she looks just like she does on t.v. She was joking and she was engaging, but she also had a job to do. She has to remember how to prepare every single meal she prepares people and side bits of information about meat, veggies, seasoning, I mean I can't blame her if her mind is in another place. She ad libs, although lines are prepared for her, and she knows exactly where to look, when to look, and how to look. I don't know how people can go through stuff like that and not make a million mistakes. She did not fumble over her words once. I would be,'...and like, stir this, and then like, add some of this, and then like, pour in some of this, what is this called again...oh yes, broth.' And that is why Rachael Ray is the host of her own television show, and not me.

We sat in auditorium style seats that were on a large circle floor that rotated to all the different sets. The guests were Katie Lee and Elizabeth Berkley. Katie Lee made some fish tacos, talked about her new book, her new line of Stila Cosmetics, and surfed on this surfboard that was attached to an inflatable ocean, like a giant moon bounce. It resembled the bull that you get on in hole in the wall bars, and for whatever reason, people feel compelled to sit upon to just be thrown off in such a manner that something in the back is bound to be thrown out. However, back to Katie Lee, most importantly we all got her make up that she was promoting by Stila. Not too shabby, I enjoy the color of the blush.

Bonnie, in the taxi, and for some reason feeling compelled to apply her new make up that Katie Lee gave her.

Yet,I just couldn't help thinking the entire time that she was talking that she had been married to Billy Joel, and sorry Bill, but he is like super old, and she is like my age, in fact a few years younger, and you know what married people do, and it just kind of baffled my mind. She is a super cute southern girl with some great legs, and she can cook, what in the world is she doing with a man that is most likely older than her father? But I heard nothing she said because here I am thinking, 'well she didn't really need the money, and well he does sing really well, and I mean he is uberly famous, but look at her, she could have married any singer. I wonder if she felt weird around his daughter because technically they are separated by as many years as siblings are. And, I have never had a fish taco, I wonder if they taste good, they certainly smell good. She is just wearing khakis and a tank, that's weird, she is going to be on tv, nationally. I wonder why they ended their marriage.' Seriously, I need a life.

And Elizabeth Berkley talked about her book that she wrote surrounding giving advice to teenage girls. I don't know. I don't think I would want Jesse Spano from the Saved by the Bell and the girl who starred in 'Showgirls,' giving my daughter advice. That's all. I mean Jesse Spano really made some bad decisions. She actually told Rachael that Showgirls was meant to be funny. Like, mocking showgirls in general. Like the movie, 'Best in Show,' or 'Napoleon Dynamite,' or I don't know, 'Anchor Man.' I don't think so Jesse Spano.

Then Rachael made some other dish.  I forget what it was, but a crucial question was answered for me at the completion of the meal. No. The audience does not get any. So totally unfair. It's a cooking show. I think that Rachael could take a slight decrease in her salary in order to let her guest taste some samples. Oprah gives away samples if she is talkin food or drink. I'm just sayin. You want the following, you have got to give up the pasta. But in actuality, they have a list of the staff and go down it, and if your name is up, you get to take all the food home from that show. I mean I guess the staff is cool enough. The warm up comedian was entertaining and all. I don't know, I just think that comedians in general have this weird personality that leaves them with the inability to turn off the joking and sarcasm, and in reality at some point you are like, 'ok shut up.' We got out just in time.

Overall, it was better then 'The View', but I haven't been there since Whoppi took over, so that isn't really fair. I also went to Regis and Kelly, and the dynamics are a bit different because it was live. And they are very real, and very engaging with the crowd. Since I will never be able to see Oprah, I will be a bit sad, I can only imagine that unless you are in the audience when they are talking about slaughter houses, it might be a good show to see. Could you imagine? 'Oh what was she taping, you are so lucky to have gotten tickets to Oprah.' And you can only reply, 'Oh we got to see a video of Lisa Ling in a slaughter house telling us all about dinner...moo...' I hope they got a free ipad or something.

My favorite part of the day, was literally the drive. My friend Bonnie, you know Tinkerbell? Yeah. More on that in a bit...let's just say that for one she states that the movie 'Titanic,' changed her life. Lordy, I love her.

So New York City. It's a bit of a concrete jungle in every sense of the word. If you suffer from claustrophobia, this is not the place for you to visit. If loud noises and people scare you, stay away. But for me, there is something about it. I think that pre child, if I could do it again I might want to live there for a year. Not that there is anything wrong with raising your child in New York City. Just to me, living in the city and having a baby would prove to be way too much for me, another odd quirk that would produce overload. However, I highly suggest it as a day away with your lady friends like mine, if you know, you can get there and back in a day. If not, maybe a weekend? Just remember to bring me with you and don't honk.


Lincoln was a Good President, Not a Tunnel

So as it turns out someone recieved some tickets to the Rachael Ray Show, ahem, that would be me, and um, well you know, I rallyed in some lady loves, and we decided to make a day of it. And I am aware that it is not Oprah, but that's cool, Oprah founded her, and so interconnection is welcome as well.

No, let me just tell you how excited I was to make this day trip, we all had our sitters within 24 hours of me obtaining the tickets, one month in advance.

I am a big fan of New York City, and I am all about being and looking like the tourist and I take absolutely no shame in that. I have been there many many many times but for some reason am still all googly eyed staring at it all. My favorite is the ultimate touristy thing to do and that is to go to a Broadway show. Love them. When we went to see 42nd St, I wished that I had been a tap dancer and stuck with the tap dance lessons instead of moving to jazz. No, like, I really got a bit sad about it, because tap wasn't cool at the time, but look where it could have taken me. No, the thought did not enter my mind that perhaps you actually need to be good at the actual tap dancing. Nope, just sadness for myself, because I wanted to wear the gold glittery unitards and be all fancy up on stage.

I am a very theatrical person, I mean some wonder where Kendall gets it from, but let me just tell you, I will randomly break out in broadway vebrato song and dance, you know, whenever inappropriate. Ethan begs of me to stop. Yesterday I was just singing about how much he has grown and that his pants are too short, and for my finale took a flying leap off of his bed. I seriously think I injured something somewhere in my hip, its quite sore today. So in the weeks leading to this day trip, not week trip, not even overnight trip, I would break out in song and dance to 'Annie's N.Y.C.' My kids were ready to send me to my room with no snack.

'You crowd, You cramp, You're still, The Champ, Amen for N.Y.C.'

I kept hoping that our husbands would grace us with some reward; tickets to a show, hotel rooms with a view of Central Park, reservations to the yummiest restauarants with brunch on Sunday,  and unlimited amounts to spend in the stores. And then I woke up. Seriously? It would cost as much as a 2 week stay in Hawaii for one long weekend in N.Y.C. God love it, but I don't know how people sleep at night charging $3.00 for a glass of Diet Pepsi. You that I can get 3, 2 liters bottles of this at Target. Next time I am stuffing that in my purse as well.

So we decided to drive into the city. I have always taken the train. But for some reason we agreed that it might be easier, and it was, until we hit the Lincoln Tunnel. I had never been through the Lincoln Tunnel. It's a bit like survivial of the fittest. What it is is this giant u-turn into this open area with no lines, no signs, no one directing traffic, no limit of the amount of people permitted into this open area. And we are all trying to get into one of three tubes. It is similar to a funnel. It makes no sense to me. And the closer you get to the tunnel it all of a sudden starts to move, almost like you are smushed, smushed, smushed and POP, you go through the hole. And cars get so so close to each other. We had a tourist van almost slowly glide itself right into the passenger door, like it was nothing, just wanted to attach itself right onto us and have some of my coffee.

We decided that this might be the job for me. Standing between the openings of the tunnel up high on some pedastool, and everyone who is to enter the tunnel as to tune to a set radio station. They will then hear me and know when it is their turn to move, where to position themselves, and when it is their turn to go through the tunnel.  'Red Hyundai Sonata, with the female driver, please move into the left line.' And, 'White Prius, with the sunroof open, please proceed into the tunnel.' I don't know, but I think I might have a job idea there, alert the city council. Another thing that would make me quite nervous is being in stand still traffic in the actual tunnel. I tell you if it lasted more then 20 minutes, you are fairly warned that I will be abandoning my vehicle, and walking out. And it was pointed out by one of my savvy friends with me that day, what happens to the tiles that fall off of the ceiling in that tunnel? No joke, look up next time you are in a tunnel, there are missing tiles, and I have never thought of this. Who's car do they hit, I want to meet this person. What happens?

Another job that I found for myself on our drive in was the Honking Patrol. Did you know that there are signs in the city that actually say, 'No Honking, $350 citation.' Seriously? There were people honking all over the place in these areas. We were well over $3000 in fines within the first 5 minutes of our arrival. I want to be the person who bangs on their hood and slaps a big fat ticket onto their windshield. I mean seriously, this economy needs jobs, and needs money flowing, it's time to fine those Wall St big wigs and stop the honking!

And this was all getting into the city, what about Rachael Ray, my first ever, I said it, first ever taxi drive? Did you know that they have t.v.'s and touch screen maps? It's outrageous. More to come.


The Future Wing Bowl Champ is 11 Months

11 months.

He eats more than anyone in this house combined.
No joke. I make more trips to the grocery store for this monster's this and that, because, quite frankly he is eating us out if house and home.

Presently he has a diaper rash that is the size of the state of Ohio because he loves him some oranges. Seems like the citric acid doesn't feel the same way.

I toy back and forth with starting the whole milk now.
'YOU TERRIBLE MOTHER!!!' You scream.
I will have you know that I started all 2 of my other children whole milk just around this time. One continues to love her some milk, the other took the bottle from me at 15 months and went on and all out revolt against milk by throwing it across the room and refusing to let it touch his lips from that moment on. To this day I still beg of him to eat his dairy daily. It's a real great time.

So the jury is still out on the milk issue, as he just downed 12 ounces of formula for his nap.

He will eat just about anything so long as it isn't baby food because it isn't cool to eat pureed turkey with vegetables.

This child has 3 teeth, and he downs anything that crosses his path.

Practicing for the next month at his brother's birthday party.

Helping his sister and brother with their chores of feeding Stanley and Lillian, and taking a taking some nibblets for himself, because yes, he enjoys himself a little snickety snack of dog or cat food.

I am hoping that one day he becomes The Wing Bowl Champion or will go in the Guiness Book of World Records for eating the most hot dogs or something. Right now he would surely be in it and win it for the most goldfish crackers.

You know my aspirations are pretty high.
But beyond all the eating he does, he does not sleep through the night yet either. Ok, I take it back. He sleeps until 5 a.m., but who is jumping out of bed to start the day at 5 a.m. in this house? Unless it involves going to the airport to catch a plane to a vacation, we will stick to our beds at this hour, thank you.

But some quality traits that are positive and not wearing his mother straight into exhaustion are:

He likes to cuddle and give hugs. Most especially to those who don't deserve one like a growling cat or a sibling who doesn't like him touching his super heroes or her barbies.

And he loves to make you laugh. Loves it. Presently he enjoys blowing air our of his nose and sucking it right back up where it came from. And this is fun? Most especially fun when you attempt to do it back to him and snot comes flying out of your nose.

He is obsessed with balls, all balls. Yes, those balls too, but aren't all males? He screams and points at the giant red concrete balls at Target every day, since we are there every day. This morning we let him stand by it, and he tried so hard to push it so he could play with a giant ball of concrete. And was he ever mad that it wouldn't budge.

Kendall asks me all the time, 'Mommy is it hard having 3 kids?'

Some days it is like a marathon. And you just keep going and going and going. But there is a finish line. I have them several times a day with a snuggle, a smile, a thank you, and imitation of something I said or did, a small moment where they help each other.

Because quite frankly 3 is a bit hard. An 11 month old that is never still, even in his sleep, is hard. Putting on 3 sets of clothing, shoes, hair-do's and coats just to get out the door, late, is hard. Feeding a belly that is never ever full is hard.

But I would never ever change it.

Presently hooked up to the coffee IV, and would still never change it.


The Fourth Year & The BFF

This growing of children is ridiculous to me. It must be stopped. Time must start standing still.

I cannot believe he is 4. That is seriously impossible. I tell you I just want to march downstairs right now and swaddle him in his blankie and sing him songs that sound like lullabies but are really things I need to get done. You say he is too big, mind you, I have an almost 11 month old who is just the same size that I still swaddle and sing to, although he swats at my mouth when I sing. Listen, I never promised you a voice like freakin Celene Dion, but boy I can baby you like no other.

So on his actual birthday we went to The Crayola Factory. Ethan loves him an arts and craft time and this is like the mecca of preschool arts and crafts. He asked if he could take his BFF with him, and so that is what we did. We hit up the factory, made us some sweet crafts, got paint, chalk, marker and glue all over our clothes, had some ice cream that got all over our faces,  hit up our favorite pizza joint because they have a gumball machine, and called it a celebration .

And as evidenced in this pic, apparently we party hard...these two look like they were rolled over by that giant red crayon!
But let me just tell you something about my little man and his BFF, they are literally BFF's. I mean like up late at a sleepover chit chatting back and forth, playing for hours on end with not one squabble, not one. Leaving their mama and opting to spend immense amount of time at the others home without even a second thought. And this is all things that you do with your BFF, but at 3 and 4 years old? They talk about the other when the other isn't around. Just today E asked me, 'so do you think that Ryan would want to come over and hang out and play with my new toys from my birthday?' Come hang out?

It is not surprising that they are friends. They have the same personality, the same interest in toys, and think the other is just hysterical and just about the coolest person in the world. But their tightness, the BFF status is what blows my mind.

And you know, you hope for that for your kids. You hope for friendships that are strong, that are comforting, that are memory making, that are loyal and seek each others best interests. I had this growing up. A tight, almost crazy glued together tight, group of girlfriends that weaved me through childhood and teenage hell, and enabled me to be the person that I am today because they let me be me. We sought out the best in each other, accepted each other's faults, and man we made some memories.

In that group I had a super BFF that I thought for sure Kendall would have first, but like all things with parenting, I am always pleasantly surprised, and it looks as though Ethan took that.Kendall has a wide range of friends, is extremely social, and the life of the party, but hasn't zeroed in on a BFF quite yet, it changes daily. But Ethan has that someone that is your numero uno sidekick, someone who always has your back, even when they know you are wrong, and someone you can completely be yourself around.

 Each time I watch the Local News I am reminded of this friend because sometimes in the middle of the night you would find us laughing hysterically at each other as we attempted to name every reporter on the Action News Team. I kid you not. Many kids were sneaking out of houses, rolling their manual cars down the streets and then starting them within a safe distance from parents ears, and we were naming New Jersey Correspondents. Ok, ok, truth be told, perhaps we were doing both, not of course naming the accuweather team on the same night as the joy ride, that's just not safe, but in either situation we were definitely in it together.

I am incredibly thankful that my little buddy has a buddy of his own, when I really sit and think about it, and am not extremely jealous over the fact that he pays me absolutely no mind when his BFF is around. At home he is definitely outspoken by his darling older sister and his little brother requires a bit of attention, and so to have a buddy that you can simply just be with is just what he needs. They are both ironically middle children. And as my husband attests to over and over again, being the middler is rough sometimes. Yeah, well try being the oldest.

On the night the BFF slept over  for the first time, I could hear the two of them talking back and forth for over an hour just lying there in sleeping bags. Giggling, making superhero impersonations. But, what in the world could they possibly find to talk about at 3 years old for an hour? I have no idea what grown men even talk about when they are together, because they still manage to remain clueless when you ask what is new with the person they just spent an entire day golfing with. However,  I am sure that my parents thought the same of me and my friends as I did of E and his BFF. 'What could they possibly talk about until 3 am? Do they not spend every single day together?' But I was 15.

The two of them conference quietly together as activity rages on around them, and then they run off like tag team superheroes to conqueor whatever is that they have decided to counqueor, together. It is endearing, it is in some ways very enviable, because some search and search and never find a friend like that. And at now, 4 years old.

I was in New York yesterday with some of my lady friends and saw an interview with Elizabeth Berkley, you know Jesse Spano? More on that in another post. But she was talking about friendships and described them as, some sticking around for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And isn't that for real?

And the reason that E and his BFF are so tight is quite evident but I can't help but hope that it lasts a lifetime...cause beyond that...I think his mama is a pretty awesome friend as well.

So to my four year old man. I can't help but be in awe of you. Your spirit, your enthusiasm, and your sensitivity for others is honorable. I love being your mama. You are sweet and determined, and the best big brother. Your imagination reaches beyond the clouds and the way you love me melts my heart.

And from what it looks like...you are a pretty awesome friend.