Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunny Day

Something amazing just happened.

I had a working lunch planned, and headed to the restaurant to meet my colleague.  At the last minute he had to cancel.  I was already at the restaurant, and mildly annoyed...but then I realized is about 85 degrees and sunny today...the restaurant has outdoor seating...and I do not have my kids with me nor anyone else who needs anything from me...and I have this time slotted off on my calendar.

So I asked for a table outside.  And I looked at the menu, ordered, and ate.  Solo.  I even made a conscious effort to not spend the whole time staring at my phone (fully admitting I did sneak a peak or two to be sure the world hadn't announced any upcoming explosions.  It hadn't.).

 I am pretty good company.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The answers, my friend,...

Are blowing in the wind...

Or maybe they're buried in the cotton candy.

Either way, we'll find them.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Times they are a'changing'''

So many changes...
Long story short.  I am a single mom.  Done.

My kiddos and I moved last week to our new fantastically wonderful home and we are all super excited! The house needed some work...starting with the foundation and moving all the way to the roof, and stopping at several points in between.
The foundation work...I drank wine
But it's (mostly) done and the kids have rooms they love as do I.  It's a great, cozy, warm home which we are filling with love and happiness.
Johns outer space/Lego room
Annie's princess/tomboy room
So, with all of the changes, what better thing to do than to get a dog?  Yep.  We adopted a 2 year old Lab-mix named Oreo.
Oreo -- the trouble maker!
John is super excited to have another boy in the house (he is overrun by Annie, Auntie, Eugenia, Gobi, our baby sitters, family, me...).  And we are all learning about each other and adjusting accordingly.

Our newest rule -- DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!

Last night, John was missing his Moose. I needed to find Moosey before bedtime, and John thought he was in the car.  I went out to check, closing the door behind me.  John found Moosey in the house, opened the door to tell me, and out shot Oreo.  Full speed.  And he's not slow.  Luckily our lovely new home is on a quite dead end street.  There I was, chasing Oreo.  Through sprinklers.  Calling him.  Trying to sound authoritative.  Oreo was busy running away from me, playing chase.  He managed to run in front of the only car driving within 1000 feet our of street.  Luckily the driver noticed him...or me screaming NO!  OREO!! and stopped.  The chase continued.  Then I heard John running behind me.  In his jammies and bare feet.  Trying to help.  So upset he'd opened the door.  And Annie was standing in the driveway calling "MOM??!!!!?  What's happening??" Yes!  Welcome to the neighborhood!  We are the new family on the block!  Awesome.

Well, all's well that ends well...I caught Oreo.  Or he stopped.  I got the kids back inside.  I had a long talk with John and told him it was just a mistake and we've all now learned we do not open the door even a tiny bit.  

And through it all, we've keep our sense of humor...mostly...we are for sure a strong little group.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Shit happens.
Things suck. 
Life is hard. I mean crazy hard. 

And then...

John says, "I think the thing is whoever you got born from their belly you love them the most."

Lil man.  Rock on. My heart and soul. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Time Warp

As anyone who has traveled with young kids can attest to, it's all in the planning.  You need to be sure you thought through and predicted all possible outcomes, and planned accordingly.  If you did not pack medicine, it is guaranteed your child will get sick at 2am.  If you packed for winter in Chicago, I promise you will come across the only heated pool complete with built-in slides and a slushy bar and you will need a swim suit.  And if your plan was to order room service for dinner, there is a 85% chance the hotel's kitchen will be closed at that hour.

This weekend, my kiddos and I headed to Michigan for a family wedding.  The ceremony was at 4pm MI time, which is 1 hour later than Chicago time (I was prepared for this hour change).  I decided we were going to drive out the day of the wedding to enable naps to take place...if we drove out the day before, there is no way my kids would nap which would result in them turning into sloppy puddles around 7pm.

Here was the plan:
- 7:30am: Auntie was sleeping over, so she was going to take the kids to Dunkin' Donuts.  I would shower and get myself ready.
- 8:00am: Eat breakfast.
- 8:30am: Pack the car.
- 9:00am: Get the kids ready.
- 9:30am: Leave for MI.
- 11:30am: Get lunch.
- 12pm (which would be 1pm MI time): Arrive at hotel.
- 1pm-2pm: Relax in room, unpack, etc.
- 2pm: Get ready for the wedding.
- 3pm: Leave for the ceremony which was about 30 minutes away.

Here's the reality:
- 7:30am: Auntie has the kids buckled in the car, and calls me to tell me the car dashboard is lighting up like a slot machine and the car has locked itself in "park" and will not budge.  We are not mechanics, so we press buttons and start and stop and car, turn it on and off (like a phone, right?).  Crap.
- 7:45am: New plan.  Auntie is going to get breakfast sans kids while mama just says "CRAPCRAPCRAPCRAP" silently to herself and makes coffee.
- 8am: Auntie texts that she can't park at Dunkin' Donuts (apparently everyone in the area decided it was donut day.  Bastards.)
- 8:30am: Auntie is back with food.  Coffee is ready.  Breakfast is consumed.
- 9am: Auntie takes the kiddos for a walk while mama starts the process of moving the car seats to her Camry.  Now, being a very safety-minded mother, I of course bought the super-safe seats that lock into place in multiple places.  Straps.  Clips.  Belts.  Needless to say 1 hour later with Auntie's help both car seats were finally secured.  Car is packed.
10am: Mama showers.  Gets ready.
10:30am: Kids are ready.
10:45am: Off we go.  As we head toward the freeway, I explain to John and Annie what it means to be "rolling with the punches" which they think is just the best thing ever!  OK, so at least I am still in an happy-ish mindset...

We stopped for a very fast lunch at some point...but this is where the time-warp happens.  We find the hotel, and have to bring in all of our bags (kids + bags + parking lot + no "check in" parking = insanity).  We check in and get to our floor and see another wedding guest...dressed and heading out to the's 3pm.  WTF?????

We get in the room and I announce "TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES AND GET DRESSED!"  Everyone's confused.  OK.  That made no sense.  (1) Take off your clothes.  (2) Put on your wedding clothes.  FAST.  FAST.  FAST!!!!!!!!!!  And then of course my dress was cut too low and I had a plan to safety pin it.  However, attaching a safety pin to your own clothes when you are stressed and rushed does not work well.  For eff sake.

Took 1 picture of the kids to prove they were quaffed:

We raced to the ceremony in full NASCAR style, parked in the chapel's driveway (completely illegally) and walked down the aisle 3 minutes before the procession.  I've heard it's all about your entrance ;)

The kids were all wound up, and were having a hard time sitting still.  I was too.  At one point, the priest said if anyone couldn't hear him to raise their hand.  If you could hear him but didn't want to, raise 2 hands.  Well, I'll let you guess what John did.  Twice.

So much for thinking and planning.  Rolling with the punches.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Recycling is good. Trash is bad. Got it.  Not too hard to grasp.  However, the implementation is a challenge...

I make coffee in the morning.  Don't need a whole pot, but just a cup or 3.  Don't want to waste I use k-cups.  Which create a whole lot of trash.  I wear disposable contact lenses.  Trash.  I have a lot of poop in my life and do not want to deal with it more than I need to which led to disposable diapers.  Trash trash trash.  And pull ups.  Trash.

I tried to rectify this a bit by not using paper plates or cups, and using washable silly straws for the kids.  However, those damn silly straws can't be washed well (can't go in the dishwasher, and the water stays sitting in the loops when you wash them by hand).  I blame them for my kids' lingering cold.  Gross.

So I boiled them.

They looked pretty while the germs were being tortured into oblivion.
They looked basically destroyed after the torture.

And guess what I made?


Monday, January 21, 2013


I am so proud of myself.  My toilet has been running for days.  (insert joke here...)  I diagnosed the problem was the flapper thing in the tank wasn't aligned right to close correctly.  My initial solution was to open the tank and re-align it with each flush.  This solution was not ideal, but it worked.

However, yesterday the flapper stopped allowing the realignment.  My next solution was to turn off the water to the toilet and place a hand towel on my closed toilet seat to remind myself and warn all others not to use the toilet.  That solution worked for a night, and caused John some anxiety (what if he just forget and moved the towel?  what would happen?)

This morning I was determined to figure out how to fix this silly problem myself.  Here's the culprit:

I assessed.  I examined.  I jiggled and analyzed.  And then I found the by myself.  I fixed the toilet.  

I am taking the estimated $100 I just saved by not calling a plumber and getting a massage.  I need a bit of realignment as well.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bunny Time

John has my eyes and my hair and my sensitive skin.  Annie has my love of lounging in the morning and my need to do everything solo (don't offer her help...she DOES NOT need it and will show you my/her temper if you try to help her...).  Neither of them inherited my love of sleep.

So, I took advantage of the holidays as a time to "gift" my kids with clocks that "helps" them know when it's ok to get out of bed.  The sleeping bunny lights up at bedtime and stays lit up as a night light all through the night.  Then, at 7am, the awake bunny lights up showing it's ok to get out of bed.  Brilliant.
Kid'sleep Classic
It's been unbelievably helpful with John -- he used to come in to talk to me at any hour...if his blanket moved, if he woke up and thought maybe it was time to get up, if he needed water.  Now, he comes in after 7am and tells me proudly that he woke up, looked at the clock, and waited for the bunny to wake up...I am SO proud :)  And more rested!  

Of course, my little Annie is now entering the phase of joining me at all hours and she isn't too sold on this whole bunny concept yet.  We'll get there. 

There is one watch out: there is a setting on the clock to make the light change and also turn it into an alarm clock.  I learned this today when at 7am there was a rooster cockadoodle-dooing in Annie's room.  Do bunnies cockadoole-do?