Archive for category being crazy

Dodging playgroups and hugging my calling card

I had somewhat of an epiphany yesterday…after watching the latest episode of Desperate Housewives.

Yeah, I really just said that.

I’ve always said that I don’t refer to myself as a “housewife” or as they say, SAHM.  We don’t go to playgroups or hangout at Starbucks or Panera like some of my mom friends in town are known to do.  Not that anything’s wrong with that—aside from the work that is being a mother, I consider myself a mom who works at home.

jack and his computerAnd I do…every day while trying to raise a toddler practically by myself during the week, while spearheading a website, making industry connections, attending meetings with toy executives, wiping a resistant booty, while fielding emails and ignoring laundry.

I work.  Just like so many other mamas, my daily struggle is trying to find that balance.  Yup, I’m still going at it.  Boohoo, right?

Nah…but as of late, I feel so completely overwhelmed by this existentialist crisis I have going on.

WHAT am I doing and where am I going with all of this?  Was dropping out of the conventional “rat race” worth it?  If I’m home most of the time caring for my own kid, then why do assholes look at me as if I’m the pariah?   If I went back to work in an office to work for the man again, just to feel worthless and constricted creatively, who wins then?  The kid who goes to daycare from 7am to 7pm everyday?

I’m over a year into this now, but as I get deeper into this path I’m on, I hear/feel/see more flack than you’d ever believe.

Is it really 2010?

This mommy wars stuff is bullshit.  And it’s hitting me hard.

I’ll save the rest of my dialogue for another day, the one where I’ve created this website that fuels my passion and creative desires.  The one where companies fill my mailbox with their new products, just to have a chance to be mentioned on my little site.  I’m only a year in, and I’ve barely scraped the surface.  Again, I’m not moving mountains here, I’m just doing what I’ve always wanted to do…

It’s exciting to experience the progress of this new direction and watch my vision grow.

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I want more Uncle

At the grocery store last weekend, I found my way to the potato chip aisle—looking for ricecakes of course.

Behind me, I could hear a little voice coming from the shopping cart.

“I want Uncle.”

Trying so hard to ignore ridiculous toddler requests, I didn’t respond.

“Uncle!! Mama, I want UNCLE!”

I turn around to see Jack pointing at the broad spectrum of Lay’s potato chips.

He continued to chant, “UNCLE, uncle, mama, I want UNCLE! PLEEEEEEEEEEAASE!”

I got the hell out of that aisle faster than you could say ricecake.

So, yes.  Our 2 year old adores his crazy uncle so much that anything he associates with my quirky brother, he thinks they’re called “uncle.”  Potato chips, you see, are the frequent sidedish to ALL of my brothers meals next to the vegetables, rice and whatever else might be served.  Every meal.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Potato Chips.

And when we visit, guess what Jack also gets unbeknownst to me?  Yeah, handfuls of “uncles.”


Pretzels, by the way, are also uncles.  As are Pirate’s Booty and popcorn too.  I guess we can assume that until further notice any snacky kind of food, especially the kind we don’t have in our house, will be referred to as “uncles.”

All that driving and picking up our lives and living out of suitcases for days at a time over the holidays?  Yeah, it’s little nuances like this, that make it so worth it.  If there’s anything–ANYTHING–we want to give Jack in this big, big world, it’s to provide the warmth and closeness of family, no matter how far we are.

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been home, and though I’m STILL trying to get my life back in order and get caught up, Jack still can’t stop talking about “going to the Beach” and “going to Yoyo’s house.”  It might make my heart ache when he pouts about missing Uncle and everyone else, but it makes me realize, that even at 2, just how much he appreciates our sacrifices along the way.

And the uncle/potato chip misnomer? ha.  He’ll never live that down. And if I have it my way, maybe uncle John can switch up his eating “routine” and switch the chips for something less gross.  How about it, John?

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The holidays in rewind

**hello**  (((((((echo)))))

I know, it’s been way too long since I’ve updated over here.  Once again, I’ve been neglectful.  Alas, it’s a new year, which basically means I’m going to reshift my priorities again and TRY AGAIN to do what’s important to me, too.
All this mothering and pleasing other people crap is weighing me down, and quite honestly, has me in a funk.  Then again, so is the whole getting dark at 4pm stuff…

My new favorite ornament

So, yes, since I left you, we were gearing up for the holidays.  Oh, I had so many stories I wanted to share…if there was only more time in the day and less tantrums to extinguish—mine, not the kid’s!

I know all of you have had your decorations and trees put away for weeks, so bear with me on sharing a few of these stories so late. It’s almost Easter and all…and I’m just now getting around to talking about Christmas. haha. Story of my life.

Christmas, my most favorite time of year, flashed before our eyes and was done just like *that.*  But what a magical Christmas it was.

At this stage in the game, actually, within the past 2 months Jack has become so imaginative and verbal.  And when I say verbal, it’s beyond the one word sentences and repitition.  He caught on to all the holiday buzz words, like Sansa (Santa), Chrimmas (Christmas) and anything resembling a Christmas Tree was, of course, a Sansa Tree.  He’d see a wreath and say, “oooh a Sansa Tree!”  And in NYC, every where we went, there was some kind of Sansa Tree or Sansa himself.  It was glorious!

This year’s trip to Macy’s was amazing.  As usual, we went the first thing in the morning in mid-December and braved the crowds.  Thankfully, we were in and out of there in less than an hour!  We enjoyed Santaland and the trains and the beautiful decorations while we waited in line.
Seriously, the line moved so fast and efficiently this year, we almost didn’t have time to stop and gawk at the billion different things to see in Santaland.  Jack adored the massive train displays as much as Sansa himself.  Seeing Santa at the Macy’s in Herald Square is one of my most favorite family Christmas traditions, and I’m so glad we’re able to “give” Jack such fun experiences.

The rest of the days and short weeks leading up to the holidays were spent working on NKT and attending various events.  By the end, I was so braindead and Jack, poor Jack, he was bored and ready to play as always!

The day before we left for Va. for the holidays, I insisted on taking Jack to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.  Because it’s easier to go during the day rather than at night, we didn’t get the full effect, but we did enjoy the massive tree and breathtaking sights around us.  The celebration on TV for the treelighting really doesn’t do it enough justice.  Christmas in the City is pretty awesome and Rockefeller Center is the epicenter of it all.

And then the next day, we packed our bags into the car, amidst the snow piles and headed south…

I’ll have to do a photo essay thing on Christmas with the folks, so more on that crazy fun later.


I think I tweeted something about having so many emotions about this past trip home for Christmas, which is probably an understatement.  With our families so firmly planted in Va., I realized that if Jack is ever going to have strong relationships with them, then it’s mostly on us.

It’s our choice to live here to expand our horizons, but unfortunately, the visits will be scarce.  What will that mean?  It could mean, not as many trips to Va so we can maybe focus on OUR family for a change?  The same amount of visits so we can continue spending money that we could be saving for a house, so we can move out before we kill each other in this tiny space?  Or how about just wallow in guilt because we can’t make everyone happy, including Jack?

We’ve stopped asking people to visit because well, everyone has work, life and everything else going on.  Besides, I hear it’s expensive to visit NYC and small spaces are undesirable ;)

I couldn’t get out of Va. fast enough after I finished college, so it’s kind of ironic that our kid constantly asks to go to Yoyo’s house.  and Papa’s house.  and to see Uncle John.  All the live-long day this kid rips my heart out with this cadence of asking to go to Va.

My life’s conflict is like a shapeshifter—like, now it’s in a stranglehold by a toddler who knows just what he wants.

And right now, it’s 350 miles away at Yoyo’s house.


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Rocking out in between the tantrums

It’s kind of crazy how Christmas completely snuck up on me this year.  I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this, but this year, I’m so not ready.

No, really, I just put away our light-up pumpkins yesterday.  Per usual, I’m always on the ball.

You’d think with the lack of blogging and no updates over here, I’d get some of that stuff accomplished!

So, what HAVE I been doing?  Let’s see…besides negotiating my sanity while prying a sometimes-tempermental two-year old off of the ground and catching Evil Kneivel before he leaps off of the couch HEAD FIRST, I haven’t been doing much.

Who has the time or energy to do anything after all of that?

Certainly not me.

So, there you have it.  I’ve been in a slump.  Now that we’re knee-deep with being Two, things have been tricky.

I know I’m not the first or last to endure the “Terrible Twos,” but it’s tough.  (By the way, I freaking hate the term as much as the phase itself.)

Thank goodness the good moments outnumber all the temper tantrums and mischief.  It’s really not ALL that bad, but Mondays are so much more difficult, especially since we’re still reeling from being spoiled after being in Va. for two weeks. (Thank you, Lola!!)  After being together non-stop all weekend and then going back to just the two of us, Jack acts out at times, perhaps because he misses his dad.

In reality, things COULD be worse, but man, I’m exhausted both physically and mentally.  Two is kicking my ass.

Thank goodness for quiet time with ice cream and my computer.

*little rocker wanna be

When he isn’t busy driving me to the crazy house, Jack is so much fun.  As usual, we spend our days singing, dancing and playing music.  Remember how I mentioned he was spoiled while in Va?  Well, Uncle John caved into Jack’s current obsession with guitars and gave him his Christmas present early.  Since John works in the warehouse at Guitar Center, he took advantage of his discount and got Jack a real guitar, the Laguna Little Brat.

So, yes, when we watch our shows now, we’ve added his acoustic guitar accompaniment.  It’s hysterical!

I know he’s only two, but this kid really has a penchant for music.  Yeah, he loves trains and cars, but nothing quite compares to music.  Of all of his toys, his keyboard, bongos and guitar get the most wear and tear.  As we’re learning our alphabets and numbers, I’m compelled to start teaching him music theory, too.  (So I say…)

It was funny, over Thanksgiving, a few relatives came over to mom’s house and noticed Jack rocking out on one of his guitars there. My mom was explaining Jack’s love for music, and how she remembered him dancing crazily to Tchaikovsky‘s Waltz of the Flowers on HBO’s Classical Baby before he could even crawl.  Mom went on to tell our relatives that she thinks Jack’s love for music has grown even more after attending various live shows.

I’m so excited to see his love for music flourish.  I have a lot of friends that are all into putting their kids into sports as soon as they can, but me, I’ll take the kid to as many kiddie rock shows as I possibly can.

I guess this is when I start brushing up on my piano playing and You Tube a few guitar tutorials for myself?

Of course, as soon as we grow out of the uncontrollable tantrums, provided I don’t go crazy before then :)

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Ooooh Scarrrry!

“Oooh scarrrry, mama!” and “punkins!” were just some of the fun phrases and words Jack loved to yell as we walked down the Halloween-decorated streets of Hoboken. Almost every brownstone on every block had a “punkin” or ghost or scary creature, perhaps influenced by the enthusiastic kids that live there.

We, of course, don’t own our building so we don’t decorate the outside. But I tell ya, we’ve enjoyed the Halloween fun all around us. This past Saturday was no exception!

I was so excited that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, particularly because I knew Jeff would be able to participate in all the festivities. On a normal day, he doesn’t get home until 8, or thereafter. So, a full day of parades, costumes and trick or treating was a perfect way to enjoy Halloween.


At only 2 years old, our kid has not only begun flaunting his hysterical little (or should I say very big) personality! But beyond that, he has become so opinionated as well. He has has favorite shows, toys and books, but only a few of which that I can totally endorse. Most shows are annoying to me, given he loves the music/dancing aspects the best. But Yo Gabba Gabba, hands down, is a show that the 3 of us have grown to love.


We bought the soundtrack last spring from iTunes and practically have it on repeat for all of our drives to Va.–it’s that awesome. No, really, it is. The Roots, Ting Tings and Biz Markie have a new found appreciation from me.

It was no question really what Jack was going to be for Halloween. When we first got some catalogs that had costumes, I let him flip through them. He’d name the animals, but just didn’t seem interest. But when I found some YGG costumes online, it was love…

And so, our boy was Plex the Magic Robot from YGG for Halloween. As much as I would’ve loved to make his costume myself, a homemade costume of a robot is a bit too complex for a toddler. I’m sooo glad we opted to buy his costume. It’s been such a hit!

Since Halloween fell on Saturday, I wanted to do a little something for Jeff and me. People go ALL OUT around here, but knowing how much Jeff hates Halloween, I knew I could only coerce him to do so much. So, I made some sweatshirts to look like other characters from YGG. I was Foofa, the pink blob or whatever she is and Jeff was Muno, the one-eyed monster.

We all suited up on Saturday morning and hit the streets to line up for the parade. It’s always so much fun to see the whole town—parents, grandparents, kids—to get so excited about costumes and dressing up. We saw so many fun costumes, including a few DJ Lances, more Foofas and a Plex or two.

Jack rode in his tricycle and loved laughing and giggling at all the cool kiddie costumes we saw along the way. He absolutely loved seeing the dogs dressed up in costumes as well. Oh, it was just so much fun! I personally think all towns should have Halloween parades!

The parade ended at the baseball field where there was a costume contest. Jack had no interest in the costume contest (which was so out of our league) but he did feel the need to run across the field that was blocked off. Oy!

We didn’t stay for the costume contest and so, we went to Washington St. (the main drag) to trick or treat at all the store fronts with all the other kids. Wow! It was the most crowded I’ve seen in a long time. I’m assuming people from neighboring towns came down to enjoy the festivities as well. We hit a few blocks of stores and then decided it was nappy nap time and headed home.

Once we were all refreshed from our naps, it was time for round 2! After the sun went down, we hit a few neighboring streets of private brownstone homes (read: the awesome houses). These streets, just a few blocks away from us, go all out and hand out candy to all the kids. It’s always fun to see the older couples and young professionals hand out candy, and to interact with our neighbors in general.

I was most surprised when a few houses handed out whole candy bars to the kids. Full size Nestle bars…to hundreds of kids! It’s all in good fun, but I was so amazed! Jack did a wonderful job and held his bag himself, and even said “Treeeeaat!” a few times. Guess he couldn’t be bothered with the “Trick” part.


He loved going house to house, admiring all the pumpkins and scarrrrry decorations. Though, if there was a scary person all dressed up, oh no, all bets were off. He was brave for the most part and would laugh after he realized the costumes were fake, but that was after daddy would have to pick him up :) We came to one house that had a scary cat and strobe light that he wanted nothing to do with…but it was the house that had a man dressed up as Batman that did it in for him.

It was such a fun day and a perfect age for us to enjoy. I’m so going to miss the fun traditions we’ve made here, but truly hope that whatever town we move to exceeds our fun standards. Actually, our fun standard should be the deciding factor! It would only make sense.

I’m so looking forward to the next holiday’s “punkins” and “ooh scarrrry, mama!” But for now, I’m totally enjoying Jack dressing up in his Plex costume every day…what a great investment!

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Terrific twos: I can see why some choose to have a litter or none at all

This morning, while holding his butt, Jack looked at me square in the face and said, “Aw mannnnnn. I pooped.”

Motherhood rocks.

I really, truly mean that.

While doing laundry a few days ago at my parents house a few weeks ago, I vividly remembered the days leading up to Jack’s arrival. That sweet “new baby” smell of Dreft, the detergent that my mom keeps stocked specifically for the little guy, made me all nostalgic for when I was hugely pregnant and dutifully washed every little baby item and sat in my big blue chair to fold one-by-one afterward.

Now, randomly, when I find one of those teeny tiny socks, small enough to fit a doll, lingering in the sock basket, it’s so hard to believe that he was once that small.

Today, he’s able to call beer, “mama and dada juice” and say even more awesome phrases like, “oops, poo poo.”

Nothing makes me beam with pride other than my 2-year old passing gas in public and announcing to everyone within ear shot “oops, poo poo.” hahaha.

Seriously, how did all of ——this—— happen so quickly? One minute I’m arranging tiny baby socks, the next minute he’s telling me where to find the socks.


I haven’t done a full-on update since 18 months, so before I forget, I thought it’d be a good time to share what’s going on with our big boy.

At Jack’s 2 year well baby visit, he weighed in at 29 lbs, putting him in the 75th percentile; measured at 35 in., which is the 95th percentile and his head circumference measured at 51 cm, the 90th percentile. Because he’s grown taller and not really wider, he’s still in 24m and 2T. For some shirts, he’s wearing 3T already and a few of the very cool shirts that Auntie Kris has bought for birthdays.

Our tall, big-headed healthy boy continues to grow like a weed. On some days, he eats like a wild animal, begging for food every hour on the hour, there are days where he’d subsist on cereal alone. For the most part, he’s a decent eater, but there are times where he protests new foods, and even food that he loves. He’s a typical toddler in that sense. He loves carrots and snacky sort of foods like Kashi crackers and Earth’s Best Letter cookies. He still loves condiments and demands “dip” with almost every meal. Apple slices dipped in ranch probably won’t be the weirdest combination I’ll see this kid eat!

Jack is very much a little boy in every sense of the word. He runs, jumps and dives head first into everything. He can turn anything into a trampoline or jungle gym, especially my back and daddy’s shoulders. He really has no fear. He’s so friendly and lovey, he has no problem making friends, especially if the kids are much older like his cousins. He calls any teenage girl “Ashley,” and tween blonde boy “Michael” or “Brandon” and any girl is “Britney.” He looooves his big cousins. In fact, over the weekend, when we attended Jeff’s coworker’s wedding, Jeff’s boss’ sister in law watched Jack. The sister in law has a 12 year old blonde son who, we think, saved the day! He was pure entertainment for Jack and was most certainly a good sport for entertaining a 2 year old all day. As for the little kids, I really wish we had more little friends that we could hang out with daily. Jack has one little buddy who is 2 months younger than him that he adores, but we only see him at the park. With my busy schedule and intermittent events and activities, it’s hard to keep up with the stay at home moms and kids in the area. We do, however, make it a point to try and hang out at the park twice a day. It’s our social life, physical outlet and our backyard.

Jack’s vocabulary continues to surge. Starting around the time we went to Hawaii, we noticed Jack becoming so much more verbal and expressive. He loved saying hello and goodbye to all the fellow tourists. He’s still at the phase where it’s somewhat hard for others to understand, so I’m usually translating everything he’s saying. He sometimes gets frustrated when others don’t understand him, but we’re all getting there. He still uses some signs to get his point across; for instance, he doesn’t verbally say thank you, only signs it. My favorite things he says now are when he says “oh mannnn!” when something doesn’t work out the way it’s supposed to; or when he says “ooooooooh” with the inflection like a light bulb went off, after I explain something to him. “Uh oh poo poo” is, undoubtedly, the funniest thing he’s said to date!

As outgoing and friendly as Jack is, for the past month or so, he’s been having the worst time with separation anxiety. I’ve talked about it candidly before, but it really is so heartbreaking and troublesome. I love that he loves me so much, but it’s so tough to work through the tears and uncontrollable fits of rage when I leave or a babysitter comes around. Based on his latest babysitter experience, I think he’s finally starting to come around.

Sleep habits that were once so golden and wonderful are officially gone. He no longer signs to go to bed and falls asleep on his own, instead he wages a war when we mention bed or crib. We’ve yet to convert his crib to the toddler bed simply because we know our kid. I know he’ll roam around the house and find every last crumb from his last snack, instead of sleep. I think that we’ll convert soon though. For now, every night is a battle and there’s no regularity like there used to be. He sleeps well until 8am every day, but getting him to actually sleep in the spot that’s meant for him? Yeah, we haven’t found the tactic that works yet.

My buddy is 2
Just as there are good days, there are the really, really shitty days. That same day of the luncheon where I spent most of the time in the childcare room, the rest of the evening went from bad to worse. Jack kept melting down, I kept getting frustrated and things just never looked up. I remember crying and telling Jeff that it was days like those that I don’t think I could physically or emotionally handle another kid. Like when Jack was having a really tough time w/ his molars and the time in change, at least my entire family was there to somewhat help. It’s so much harder when it’s just us two It’s not that Jack is a bad kid, I just don’t have a handle on things enough to balance it all on my own AND to add another one just yet. For those who have no family or friends nearby, I’m sure you know what I mean. Not every day is a cake walk and that lack of support makes me go crazier every day.

Although, the unsolicited hugs, kisses and endless “mama!!??” just to hear me respond, those never get old. Thankfully, we have more good days to overshadow those shitty days. Because, as imperfect but as lovable that our little guy is, I can’t WAIT to see what he’ll be like as a big brother…when that day finally comes around.

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Blissful craziness and growing pains

On the way back to NJ from a week-long trip to Virginia, I had 6.5 hours to think—to think about the reasons why I chose to move to NYC, the reasons that kept us from moving back to Va. and ultimately, how parenthood has changed everything about all of the above.  My feelings that are lingering from our trip parallel a memorable dialogue between Bob and Charlotte from Lost in Translation.

Bob: It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids.

Charlotte: It’s scary.

Bob: The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born.

Charlotte: Nobody ever tells you that.

Bob: Your life, as you know it… is gone, never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.

I’ll be honest, I could’ve done 2 or 3 days in Va. and would’ve been done.  I say it all the time, but packing our lives up and putting things on hold isn’t always favorable, especially when it involves leaving Jeff behind.  But, as always, I thought “doing the right thing” was the right thing for us too, when in fact, I know better for next time.

It’s complicated, you know?

Jack enjoyed his time with my parents, my younger brother, his cousins, Jeff’s family and a few friends.  (a much lighter picture post to follow) But truly, the every month trips back and forth has worn on us—on our family.  The time, effort and expense it takes for every trip has become such a hurdle, especially when we come back feeling so emotionally and physically drained.

When are you supposed to put your own family’s needs first when you’ve always been expected to appease others?

Like our parents did before they started their own families, they set off to find their way.  In search of a “better” life, more opportunities and a place to settle: we’re doing, in essence, what they’ve done. But along the way, somehow gestures and words create complication; things that we cannot change, but instead, learn how to accept.  Language barriers, cultural barriers, generational gaps and difference in opinion all come to mind right about now.  Some call them growing pains, others simply write off as negativity.

It goes without saying that I couldn’t pack my bags fast enough in anticipation of returning back to our “normal” life.

Greeted by the flickering NYC skyline, the clammor of trash trucks and the coziness of our tiny apartment, I was so glad to leave one kind of chaos behind to replace with our own blissful craziness.  Just Jeff, Jack, me and our teeny tiny apartment filled with lots of love.

A few years ago, we’d visit back home and we never wanted to leave.  Life is predictable, safe and comfortable there.  Of course we’d like to be closer to family, but we’ll continue to pave our path with our little family in mind—it’s a brand new ballgame now.

Without risk, there will never be progress, and we’re going places, baby.

And just like that, a kid changed everything.


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Restaurants are no place for your outside voice

It’s Friday already?  Where has the week gone?  All in all, my birthday week, just like the day itself, was quiet (far from peaceful) and super-productive.  Even though it’s mainly the boys and me everyday, I am so glad I was wrong about friends and family “forgetting” me.

My entire family called me on Tuesday.  My brothers, most certainly coerced by my parents, BOTH called me before noon.  Not text, not FB message, but physically called me—like on the phone!

That, my friends, was huge.

Even though I’m sure they were reminded by my parents and by Facebook, I have to say, I was quite touched by that.  My phone’s caller id rarely sees their numbers as “incoming.”  So, a big thank you to the family for helping me divert the whole woe-is-me-everyone-forgot-me drama a la Molly Ringwald.

Birthdays, though not as spectacular anymore, are wonderful reminders of how much you’re truly loved, no matter how busy you’ve been or how far you live.

Thank you for loving me so much, family and friends.


The boys and I had dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants—the kind where you bring your own booze and they happily swirl and swish your cheapish wine to make Sangria.  It was just as divine as the guacamole they made at the table.  (My guac is never as good as theirs! I need to get one of their 10-lb. mortar and pestles just to recreate that deliciousness!)

Jack was well behaved, which was a treat in of itself.  He chowed on tortillas and close to a pound of sour cream—no lie.  And that right there, is proof that our child, as of late, is on a strict condiment and fruit binge. Only. Not necessarily together, though he’s known to experiment with apples in ranch.  (barf)

As for us, our dinners were nice, but we were completely annoyed by the very loud outside talker who sat next to us.  Mind you, the local restaurants are quaint and tables literally have 1.5 inches in between them to maximize space.  So basically, we sit ON TOP of each other, like butt-to-butt with the next table.  Well, almost.  So, when this 6-top of babyfaced 20-somethings sat next to us, from my peripheral vision, I could see the horror from Jeff’s face, complete with his signature subtle headshake.

And the girl, (who graduated from Penn and who was apparently in advertising, but was interviewing for a new job and her aunt works at Wegman’s and who hung out at this bar downtown last Friday…) did NOT stop talking.  AT ALL.  She laced her one-sided conversation to the 5 other kids with a lot of Ohmigawds and F-bombs, just loud enough so our sponge of a toddler could pad his vocabulary with obscenities, in between shoveling the sour cream of course.

I looked at Jeff and asked, “Were we ever that annoying?”

He reinforced the unfortunate truth:  “Oh, completely.  Probably even more obnoxious and annoying.”

But, all I could think was, “God, these kids suck for being so damn loud.”

If I had one, I’m sure I’d be screaming for them to get off my lawn, too.

And that is the day I became a grumpy old lady.  And to think, the Sangria took the edge off!?

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On Friday night, in a mad dash to prepare for a much-needed outing with friends, my goal was to tackle the bedtime shuffle and then focus on the other stuff, i.e., getting myself dressed, picking up a little, doing some dishes and some cleaning.

As luck would have it, the kid protested bedtime. For 35 minutes.

Of course he did.

And so, I needed help.

“What can I do?” Jeff asked.

Pointing to the parade of plastic cars, random bowls and chewed-up board books I begged, “Can you help me pick up all these toys?”

“Oh, and would you mind cleaning the toilet super-quick, too?”

Clean toilets are a must—even for the babysitter.

After I tidied up the kitchen, it was finally time to dress myself. Only 20 minutes to spare.

On my hands and knees, searching for that brown flip flop that Jack hid, I heard, “Tchhhhhhhhhhh. Tcchhhhhhhhhh. TCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

And then I smelled exactly what I heard: Lysol Crisp Linen.

And then I tasted it.


In our tiny closet-sized bathroom, Jeff commandeered a mushroom cloud of Lysol to tackle the task at hand. Because three small sprays just was not enough.
Oh, yes he did.

Ostensibly, I was grateful for his help (I always am!!) As usual, there’s a but…

“BUT, that’s not how I usually do it,” I told him.

I showed him the Seventh Generation bathroom spray right next to the Lysol.

“I just spray things down with this, but no biggie. It’s cool.”

*hack* I gagged and coughed for good measure. My God, it stunk.

“Oh, yeah, I guess I did go a little overboard,” he admitted.

Unable to wait for the cloud to clear, I held my breath and excused myself to use the newly Super-Sanitized toilet.

YUCK. *hack* YUCK

I opened the door, scowled and quietly confessed, “You see, the problem with using that much Lysol is that my ass now smells like Crisp Linen.”

And without hesitation he explains, “If it’s any consolation, I think it’s extremely sexy.


He laughed at me, I laughed at him. We laughed at each other.

We have our moments that stink, but this wasn’t one of them. haha!

This, my friends, is the father of my child. He lifts me up daily, makes sure we’re on the straight and narrow, keeps me sane and yes, he makes me laugh endlessly. Lysol-ass included.

The way our little boy looks at him with such admiration and intrigue, it gets me every time. To hear the two of them laugh and giggle like they’re the best of friends is an instant anti-depressant. Oh, and the family days…I just can’t get enough. Everything in life comes so easily to him, and fatherhood suits him just as well.

There isn’t much more to add to my many diatribes about how wonderful he is, but to sum it up, yeah, he kicks ass.



Happy Father’s Day, babe. You rock!


To my incredible dad, thank you for all you do! You continue to inspire me daily.

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When push comes to shove

With her golden tendrils and perfect pink bow, she exuded such innocence and sweetness.  Like most little girls that frequent our park, she wears perfectly-paired outfits from Gymboree, maybe Janie and Jack.  Necklace to match.  Accessories to the playground…heh.  I personally consider it a good day if I can find matching socks for the kid.

Yesterday, a few minutes after we arrived at the park, Jack noticed the well outfitted 4-year old little girl and the other little children that were following her around.  As usual, he follows the joy, the laughter and more often than not, the bigger kids.

Oblivious to the “personal boundary” rule, Jack desperate to win the little girl’s attention and fit in like the other kids following her around like little ducklings, got in her face and giggled to let her know that he was having a good time .

Surprised by my 1.5 year old’s bubbly demeanor and abruptness, the little girl stopped in her tracks and positioned herself squarely and scowled.

Not getting the hint, Jack proceeded to laugh and play, believing that he fitted in with the older kids–the same ones he always wants to follow around.

Determined to get her message across to my little guy, the little girl then screamed, “GET AWAY. I DON’T WANT YOU NEAR ME,” loud enough for everyone in a 3 block radius to hear.

And then, she went over the top.

*smack* then SHOVE and another “GO AWAY” to get her point across.


She smacked and then shoved a smaller kid to the ground—MY KID.

Even worse, this wasn’t the first time she’s done this.
playing in the parkCompletely unaffected by what just happened, Jack laughed, brushed it off and ran off in a different direction.  Me, on the otherhand?  I had nothing to laugh about.  Especially since that bratty kid’s mom was huddled in the opposite corner talking or texting or whatever.

We see the same faces, day in and day out, and this little girl is just one of the many familiar faces.  I’ve tried to make small talk with her mother, Jack has tried sharing his toys with the little girl, but nothing.  Not a single ounce of warmth has ever been reciprocated—quite asshole-ish not very neighborly, if you ask me.

At first, I was pissed at the kid, but then looked at her mother and re-shifted my angst.  The girl is doing what she knows.  Clearly she doesn’t like my boy.  And that’s fine, we’re entitled to like and dislike whomever we please.  But when your bigger kid is being outright nasty and bullying a toddler who wants to befriend you, I feel that it’s the parent’s place to intervene.

Like I said, this wasn’t the first time.  This was like the tenth time something like this has happened with this same girl.  However, this was the first time she actually pushed him down.  The first few times were hard to swallow, but this time, I just could not do it.  How do you tell your toddler that a bratty kid doesn’t like him?

You don’t.

I let Jack play for a few more minutes and then told him we had to go home.  I wanted to go home; I needed to diffuse this situation that had me fumed.  I packed him in the stroller, said goodbye to our friends and made our way home.

I wanted so badly to tell that other mom that she was an asshole.  I mean, who lets their kid push smaller kids and repeatedly say mean things like that?  Oh yeah, moms who are preoccupied with social hour or texting on their phones.  But really, I’m sure that mom is a nice person, it’s just how she handled that specific scenario—or lack thereof—left much to be desired.

Let’s be clear here:  I am hardly the barometer for ideal parenting.  But if there’s anything I try to be in tune with, it’s how my spinningchild interacts with others.  Who would want their kid to be that kid.  Jack is weathering the hitting stage, he’s in the MINE phase and I’m sure there will be even more…but since our playground is also part of our social scene, we have to do what we can to ensure that everyone has fun. That’s how the playground works, folks!

Kids will be kids.  They’re going to roughhouse and get excited.  In fact, Jack’s been pushed and tousled by other kids so much over the past few months. Because he’s such a friendly and sociable boy, he has no problem attempting to befriend others, especially big kids.  Big kids usually want nothing to do with him, but Jack keeps trying.  I intervene when my in-your-face kid pushes or hits, just as I expect parents to do the same if their kid says and does offensive things.  For the most part, other parents, sometimes nannies too, will do the right thing and correct their kid.

But not this kid or her mom.  Nope, not them.

There are so many unwritten rules regarding our playground etiquette–you must dress accordingly (semi-fashionable i.e., my “I Vote for Happy Hour” t-shirt would be frowned upon); if you bring toys, your kid must share them with the other kids’ excessive cell phone usage while you’re supposed to be spending quality time with your kid isn’t well received; and if your bratty kid is acting up, you need to step in!

We all just “know” the rules–it’s common sense when you spend so much time in the same area with the same families.

It’s obviously not my place to tell other parents how to discipline their kids, but I promise you, the next time that kid pushes my kid, you bet your ass I’m saying something to the mom, even if it means that we’re ostracized from our playground.  Intervening isn’t the same as helicopter-parenting.  There’s no mistake about that.  Especially when your kid doesn’t know right from wrong yet!

And to think, the playground was once an outlet of fun and feeling carefree.  Or to go even further, a few years ago, I’d consider someone like myself who gets worked up over something like this, well, an asshole.

Funny how life works.

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