Thursday, October 27, 2011

We've Added To the Family!

No, not another kid.  We've adopted a cat.  We had been fostering her, but Maria the WonderCat is now officially a full time member of the family. 
I have to say she is a pretty damn cool cat.  She harrasses poor Nibbles the Amazing Guinea Pig (we have very special pets in this house) by sleeping on his cage.  She talks back to us constantly, earning the nick name Senorita Sassy Pants and has recently discovered the kitchen counters.
And she was born without eyes.  Yup. She is totally and completely 100% blind.  Which means she occasionally bumps into walls, and while she has discovered the counters, she doesn't quite understand what happens once she gets up there and can't figure out how to get down. 
Eyes or no eyes, she is the cutest thing on earth and about the most social, friendly cat I have ever known.  You can follow her adventures with our nutty family on Twitter at Mariatwondercat.  She tells me she would like to usurp that damn Bronx Zoo Cobra as the coolest non-human on Twitter.  You gotta like a girl with goals...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

There's 104 Days of Summer Vacation...

Sorry Phineas & Ferb for borrowing your theme song, but tomorrow is our last day of school.  Jake finished his freshman year of high school, relatively unscathed.  Abby will be entering her last year of Junior High.  Aidan is headed into the fourth grade.  And our Harry, the baby, will be off to kindergarten.  Finally, as he says.
The kids plans are varied.  Jake plans to skateboard all summer and along with a pal, declared this "the Summer of Hawaiian Shirts".  Luckily, we found a bunch at our local thrift store on half price day.  Where they came up with this idea, I don't know, but at least it isn't the Summer of Sticking Safety Pins In Our Faces.
Abby, in the grand tradition of teen girls, thinks she is spending a lot of time at the mall.  Unfortunately for her, our budget has other plans. 
Aidan is attending summer camp, compliments of a scholarship offered from his school.  He thinks it sounds pretty awesome.
And Harry is having his last summer of babyhood.  Our Movie theater has special kids movies on Wednesday mornings that he and daddy are going to.  I am sure my husband has many other adventures planned as well.  Come September, there will be all big kids in this house....

Monday, May 30, 2011

The joy of doing nothing

It's Memorial Day, and many of you are having barbeques, or parties with friends.  We are enjoying a rare unscheduled day.  No one in our house had an appointments at all today.  Well, Jake had a call back, but he's 15 and could get there on his own and didn't need me to get him there.
There weren't any baseball games, or birthday parties, or classes or work commitments.  I slept in, all the way till 7 (seeing as I am usually already at work at 7, this is what constitutes sleeping late for me).  Aidan, Harry and I walked to Starbucks for an iced latte and some carbonated juice drink things.  Mike got the house to himself for about 12 seconds before Abby came home from her friends house. 
We lounged, played Wii, read and ate.  Abby took Harry to the beach for a little while and Aidan got to be an only child for a little while.  All in all, we were a family of slugs. 
I realize this to some seems like a waste of a day, since it's been raining so much here the past few weeks we practically need an ark, but we almost never do this.  We run like maniacs 8 days a week around here. 
The day is coming to a close, and for once, we are all fairly well rested.  It's a nice change of pace...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baby boom

I am surrounded by babies!  And it is a wonderful joyful thing.  A dear friend gave birth to twins, my brother and sister in law welcomed a baby girl through adoption, a cousin is expecting twins.  All these babies are leaving me a bit misty eyed. 
For all I complain about my four kids, given my druthers, I would have four more.  In a heartbeat.  And five or ten years ago, that was (almost) an option.  But I'm not 25 anymore.  Never mind how old I actually am, just older than 25, OK?  My youngest is about to start kindergarten this fall, and for the first time in 15 years, we will not be on the hunt for a babysitter.  My husband has one last year of school until he gets his degree.  Our finances, while slightly improving, are not where I would be able to stay home with a baby.
But two weeks ago, I got to hold my niece for the first time.  She was 4 weeks old and perfect.  As my Poppy would declare, a perfect little pot roast.  When her Gramma handed her to me, I immediately fell into the baby sway.  You know, how moms immediately start to rock back and forth when handed a baby.  I kissed her perfect, little, sweet smelling head more times than I can count.  I cooed at her, and promised we would go to the American Girl store when she is big enough.  I stood and rocked until she fell asleep, and then sat and rocked until I was finally persuaded to put her perfect little self into her bassinet.
See, I made the mistake of hurrying my first two babies along.  I couldn't wait for Jake and Abby to meet those milestones.  While Aidan was content to be a baby for a very long time, Harry had no interest in being little.  Harry is a 5 year old with a 15 teen year old attitude.  But I miss the babyhood. 
I miss diaper changes, and being up during the night with a newborn.  I know, some of you who are in the weeds there must think I am nuts, but I do.  I miss their warm little bodies, melting into my chest when I picked them up.  I miss being able to make their world perfect with just a clean diaper, warm bottle and cozy jammies.  No one has needed me to sway them to sleep for almost 5 years now. 
In all likelihood, the baby chapter of my life is coming to a close, whether I like it or not.  And just when I really feel like I have finally hit my stride as a mom.  For now, no decisions are being made.  The de facto decision is there are no babes other than the borrowed ones for the foreseeable future.  My husband isn't crazy about the notion of starting over, and the finances just aren't there.  But if you happen to need a professional baby rocker, give me a call.  Ok?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


It's no secret that despite the fact that only 4 children live in this house, there is almost always an extra one or three around this joint.  It's not a secret, because I complain about it regularly.  On one hand, I am glad that my kids are excited to have their pals over and that we are able to do it.  On the other hand, feeding extra teenagers is not cheap.
Apparently, feeding the children is unusual around here.  At our house, if it's time to eat, and your kids are here, they are going to eat.  I even keep a couple of "safe" options on hand for my daughter's friend who keeps kosher, in case she is over and we are having ham and bacon sandwiches (OK we've never had that, but it does sound good, doesn't it?).
Why then do MY kids come home from their friends houses famished?  (for the record, Abby has never come home hungry from her kosher friend's house.)  Every time I have to pull something together because my kid was at someone's house at dinner, but didn't eat, I SWEAR I am going to stop feeding the neighborhood.  But I don't.  Cause I am a weenie. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Slave driver

Can someone please explain how I managed to raise 4 children who think they are exempt from doing chores?  Mind you, these are not unreasonable chores.  No one has been asked to scrub grout with their toothbrush, or build me a rec room.  I am talking loading the dishwasher, cleaning their own rooms, feeding their guinea pig and taking out the trash.  Without me screaming at them to do it.
Oh, my kids have the allowance thing DOWN.  And I know the "experts" say not to tie chores to allowance.  But at 15 and 13, finance is about the last thing I have over my kids.  If they expect to get money without having to ask for it, I expect to be able to put the trash in the can without it spilling over all over the place.
Apparently, that is a lot to ask for in this house...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's not me, it's you

Dear Refined Sugar,
It really hurts me to do this, but I think we need to spend some time apart.  It's just that I have grown in ways I haven't expected...  Sideways.
When I really think about it, you are pretty awful.  You seem all sweet and nice, but you just want to hang around in places I would rather you stay away from. 
I know, we've had some good times over the years, but really, it's time.  Perhaps you and your pal High Fructose Corn Syrup can go and hang out with some teenagers with better metabolism.  You're right, I will probably be back.  Several times over.  But it's going to be just a short term thing, until I get my head back on straight.