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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Punishment fits the crime

When shouts ring out from one of my children, the other one is usually responsible. Whether it was grabbing a toy, teasing or playing too rough, I try to make the culprit right their wrong. But when chaos ensues and both kids are up in arms, I don't care what happened or who did it...I just want it to stop. So I send them to their respective rooms for a break. They are free to play or read books but it gives them space from one another. It's also a bit of reverse psychology.

My mom used to send my sister and I to our rooms when the going got tough. Our rooms were across the hall from one another and once we both calmed down, we would open our door and wait for the other to do the same. While my mom was downstairs thinking we were quietly playing by ourselves, we would roll marbles to each other, play Simon says or create our own version of sign language. And it worked...being punished for not playing well together and forced to play alone only made us want to play together more.

So as I stood in the hallway outside their doors, I listened for what I knew would come. Dylan coaxed Camryn over to the shared air vent. They could talk and see each other through it. Before long, they were planning their escape, passing things back and forth and having a grand old time. Best of friends again, the unpleasant incident a thing of the past.

Their laughter made me smile to myself and realize just what a smart lady my mom is!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The other half

Last night we got to see how the other half live.

Our friends let us tag along to a charity event and it was the most extravagant Christmas party I have ever seen in my life!!!

We pulled into the 18 acre estate on the water to see 3 huge tents decorated with lights. Life size Nutcrackers guarded the entrance as the smells and sounds of the holiday season enveloped you as you entered the heated tents.

The main tent was more elegantly decorated than any wedding I have ever been to. Lanterns hung from the ceiling, tables were draped with silver silk linens and real trees donned lights. The shrimp cocktail was served in a sleigh shaped ice sculpture, there was a made to order sushi bar and a fabulous spread of any type of food you could imagine.

The second tent was for the kids. Tables were lined with lollipops, Christmas trees were decorated with candy and stars twinkled on the ceiling. Santa was giving out presents, each child could make a Build-a-Bear and there were photographers that could make you into a flip book. There was a popcorn machine, hot dog stand and enough mac and cheese to sink a ship.

The band stopped playing to send everyone outside for the tree lighting. On the way out each guest was handed a green or red fleece blanket and flashlight. We snuggled up while waiting for the tree to be lit. OH and then....it started to snow!!!! They made snow just for extra ambiance. Once the tree was on, carolers got us into the Christmas spirit.

Back in the kids tent, a magician entertained us while we stayed wrapped in our new blankets. Dessert was a dream. Flowing hot cocoa and spiced cider. From gingerbread men, cupcakes, rice crispy treats and chocolate covered strawberries to chocolate dipped marshmallows and whoppie pies!

The band played on as the kids sugar rush wore off and we headed home. Golf carts escorted us back to our cars and then kids were asleep within minutes. It was a magical night and one we won't soon forget!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Time to go to work

Honestly, I probably "work" less than 10 hours a week. And that is a busy week. But the kids are still not used to me going to work.

Dylan is enjoying his holiday weekend off from school and soaking up all the play time he can. So this morning when I announced I needed to go into the office, I put a wrench in his plans of staying home and playing together all day!

Mom: "Dylan, I only have to go in for 2 hours"

Dylan: "Well how many minutes is that?"

Mom: "120 minutes. And daddy is home to play with you so you won't even notice I'm gone!"

Dylan: "But if you think about how many seconds that is....it's a long time!"

I feel loved!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mommy and Me Time

Since the start of kindergarten, my time with Dylan has significantly decreased. I miss him when he is at school and by the time he gets home, there is only a little time to play before dinner and bedtime routine.

A few weeks ago while reading together before bedtime, he asked me if we could have some special time alone together. He pointed out that I'm always alone with Camryn but never with him. My heart melted on the spot. I didn't realize that he noticed and felt horrible. But at the same time I was glad he missed our time together. We headed down to the calendar to schedule a date immediately.

Our date was Saturday to the new Science Center. We headed out first thing in the morning. I pulled out all the stops to make sure he knew he had 110% of my attention. No music, just car games on the way up there. I left my cell phone in the car when we arrived at the museum, so there would be no distractions or interruption. These were our only plans for the day, so there was no time limit and I never once rushed him through an exhibit.

What kids doesn't love to play in the water

The more we danced the more the colors moved

A new kind of basketball

Space exploration....by far Dylan's favorite of the day

His best fastball....16 mph....MLB here we come!

A sweet treat to end a sweet day!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I decided to revitalize myself and go visit my girlfriend in the city! Just one night away from the kids, construction and household responsibilities. Dylan laid on the guilt bright and early yesterday morning.

"Now I know you are really leaving...because you even packed your bag!" The kid can lay it on thick but I wasn't falling for it. I held back the urge to tell him if I was REALLY leaving, my bag would be a lot bigger, and comforted him by explaining I would pick him up from school the next day.

There is something about having 90 minutes of nothing to do but sit on a train that only a mother can appreciate it. Although I was anxious to get there, I enjoyed the flashes of scenery and rhythmic sounds of the train on the track.

Upon arrival the chatting began and didn't cease until well into the night. We went to dinner, grabbed some drinks and laughed with old friends. It was so good to catch up with her and I had a blast.

But I also had a hidden agenda. Bon Jovi just happened to be in the city performing on the Today Show. And I was NOT about to miss an opportunity to see him, especially for free. My girlfriend couldn't be convinced to do anything that resembled tourism...so I was on my own.

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and hailed a cab to Rockefeller Center, where I stood in line for 2 hours and made some new friends. Then we were herded into the viewing section where I was stuck behind a wall of women standing on a barricade. When he came out to warm up, I couldn't see a thing. I was disappointed that I waited so long to not even catch a glimpse of him. I debated leaving, but had come so far I wanted to stick it out.

After another 2 hours of waiting in the crowd, the boys finally appeared on stage. The crowd went wild and all eyes were on them. So I squeezed my body through the barricades and ended up in the VIP section, much closer to the stage I rocked out to "You Give Love a Bad Name" and even had a cameo on TV.

My adrenaline was pumping after the show as I walked back to her apartment. Luckily, she was heading home to her parents house for the weekend so I got 2 bonus hours of quality time with her in the car. We hopped into her Mercedes convertible and her 3 month old Bernese Mountain dog cuddled on my lap.

Fifteen minutes into our drive, that cute little puppy threw up all over me. With no where to pull over, I had to stomach the sight, stench and feel of it for 15 more minutes. I passed the dog into the backseat in case it happened again. Which it did, this time all over my bag. We pulled off an exit into a parking lot of a country club. I got out, grabbed my nasty bag and squatted between two cars. As I was changing my pants, she was flinging dog vomit out of her car onto the pavement with a rag. Of course, 10 old men came driving by in their golf carts, right at that very moment. Their expressions were priceless and the incident was forgotten.

I had a fabulous time and am definitely revitalized. But seeing how excited the kids were to see me, solitified the expression: "There is no place like home!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reason # 28

why I hate hunting!

John went rabbit hunting the other morning and brought one home to make stew with. Fine...at least he eats what he kills.

But could you dispose of the remains a little better. Dylan called up to me this morning: "Mom, there is a dead animal in our playroom!"

My initial thought was how is that possible. Well it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out once I went downstairs. Our new french doors were blown wide open. (That should really help our heating bill!!!) So our dog was able to go in and out at her leisure throughout the night. She sniffed out her father's catch and brought it in to have her go with it.

A furry, bloody rabbit carcase on my new rug, is not my idea of a good start to my day. My kids stood frozen, bug eyes glued to me as I disposed of it. I used some Resolve on the carpet but I'm pretty sure it doesn't list those kinds of stains on the back of the bottle!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It's amazing what routines can do for you. Since Dylan was born, I've had him on a routine. Feeding routines, bedtime routines and that translated well into his school routines. He thrives on them and is at his best when they are followed. Camryn too!

I never know what I'm going to get when I pick him up from school. I would say the majority of the time, he is his happy go lucky, energetic self. But there have been occasions when he appears to be fine and can only hold himself together long enough to get into the car. Once safe inside our comfortable and contained environment, he falls apart. Most likely the meltdown is caused by over stimulation or just plain old tiredness.

But yesterday it was because he had a substitute teacher. When I asked him how school was, tears welled up in his puppy dog eyes as he said: "I didn't get to see my teacher." A little more probing, got me information about the substitute teacher and that she doesn't know how to do things right in class. The worst part about the scenario was that Dylan was uninformed about this change in his daily routine. He needs advanced notice if the schedule will be interrupted, with time to process it.

Once we got home and started to play, all was forgotten. But at bedtime when I told him to have sweet dreams, he said:

"I hope I do, because I had a rough day!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Festivities

Halloween is by far my least favorite holiday. I despise dressing in costume and find it awkward ringing random people's doorbells and taking candy from them. However, I do enjoy seeing my kids in their adorable costumes and have no qualms about raiding their candy bags late at night!

My Air Force Pilot and Pink Butterfly

Dylan's decorated pumpkin for the Monster Mash at his school

Cleaning the pumpkin

Carving the pumpkin

The trick-or-treating crew

Now Camryn wakes up asking for candy for breakfast every morning. And Dylan thinks he is all set with trick-or-treating and said he would rather hand out the candy next year!!

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