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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dear Abby...

Wow!! I am officially the mother of a teenager! You have reached one of the first big milestones in your life, and it's bittersweet for me as I watch you, my firstborn daughter, shift into that space, somewhere between childhood and womanhood. This time in your life is full of choices and changes. Some of these changes are exciting; some will feel uncertain and a little scary. You're going to make some mistakes along the way, but that's all part of growing up. Don't ever be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake, and never regret anything that happens in your life. Your past cannot be changed, forgotten or undone, but you can learn from your mistakes and use every new day as a second chance to do better. You will never have to go through anything alone. I am always right with you, I am here to help you whenever and however I can, and I am always ready to catch you when you fall. I've accepted, though, that the times are coming when you won't always need or want me around anymore, and that's okay. I want you to be independent and live out your own dreams, and I know there will be many moments still that you will need and want me with you. For those times, and every other time in between, I will never be far - always right beside you, every step of the way. Please try to be patient with me when I don't seem to know what I'm doing, and I'll do the same for you, because at the same time you are learning how to be a teenager, I'm learning how to be the mother of one. This is all new for me too, and I'm excited to see how our relationship will change and grow as we enter this new chapter together. I hope we can always keep our lines of communication open and that you know you can talk to me about anything and everything. I may not always agree with you, but I value your opinion and I want to hear what you have to say. I will always listen with open ears, an open mind and an open heart. I will never judge you or make you feel ashamed of your feelings, decisions or mistakes. It wasn't very long ago I was a teenager myself, so I understand the things you are going through more than you may think. Be brave enough to ask for help when you don't know which way to turn. I'm here to guide and support you always. I am certain that you can do anything you set your mind to, because you are filled with endless potential for greatness, no matter which path you choose. I know that sometimes you may feel like you already know everything. You know the important things for sure. You know to be generous and kind; to stand up for others; to hold yourself accountable for what you've done - both right and wrong, and to always be honest, because you've learned the consequence for getting caught in a lie is far worse than telling the truth upfront. You know to try new things; to enjoy good food, to enjoy a good book, and to enjoy a good laugh. You know to say "please" and "thank you"; to offer your help to anyone who needs it. You know the importance of family, and the meaning of a true friend. But there are plenty of things you don't know yet and will learn along the way. The biggest thing to learn is that there will always be more to learn, no matter how old or smart you are. Never stop searching for knowledge. Be wise in knowing what you don't know, and if you don't know the answer, ask. Learn the facts, but never allow other's opinions to take up residence in your mind. Do your own research; form your own opinions. It's the best way to grow. You still have so much to explore, and I am excited to see where it all takes you. The beauty that life has in store for you is beyond anything you can imagine. There is so much to look forward to and you may feel ready to grow up and put your childhood behind you now, but I ask that you don't run away from it just yet. You still have a few good years of being a kid left in you. You will have the rest of your life to be an adult, so until then, take it slow. Don't rush through life always waiting for the good parts to come. They're happening every day! I pray that you see yourself as I see you. Beautiful. Funny. Confident. Gentle. Brilliant. Kind. Generous. Creative. Compassionate. Strong. I pray that you know how much I love you, even when we're fighting and you think that you hate me. I hope that you can remember that I have your best interest at heart, will do anything for you and would never do anything to intentionally hurt you. No one in this world will ever love you the way I love you. Find the good in people and look for the silver lining and humor in every situation. Laughter is the best medicine and a positive attitude is infectious. When things aren't going well, keep reminding yourself "this too shall pass." No matter how mad you are, or how sad you may feel, it will not last forever. Certain losses, though, will impact you for the rest of your life, but time does heal pain. I promise. Whatever you decide to do in life, make sure it makes you happy. Do something every day that you love. Be true to yourself. Go your own way, and walk away from anything, or anyone, who no longer serves you, grows you, respects you or makes you happy. Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten. Have fun, and a lot of it. Be kind and laugh often, but not at the expense of others. Be grateful for your blessings and enjoy them, but don’t forget to help others who are not as fortunate. Don't hold grudges. Life is way too short to constantly be mad at someone. Everyone makes mistakes, so let things go and be forgiving, but distance yourself from negativity. Just because you forgive someone, it doesn't mean they deserve to stay in your life. Don't make time for mean girls, and don't be one. Always remember you have bigger things to worry about than wasting time or energy on people who treat you badly. Ignore them. You can't change the way people treat you, you can only change the way they make you feel. You are in charge of your life and how you feel about yourself. Surround yourself with people who you like and who like you... And always be yourself. It’s better to feel happy and content in a small group - or even alone - than to feel empty and lonely in a big crowd. Be confident enough not to follow the crowd, as tempting as it may be, because most of the time, all those cool kids are simply too afraid or too weak to be more than a just a follower. In my eyes, you are beautifully perfect in every way. Take pride in presenting yourself in the best possible light, through your words, your actions and your appearance. Take care of your appearance and your mental well being. A heathy body and a healthy mind are the key to living a long, happy life. Work hard, and just when you think you’ve worked as hard as you possibly can for something, work a little bit harder. Going the extra mile in everything you do will set you apart from all the rest. Never stop learning. Enjoy everything you've accomplished, big or small. Believe in yourself, because if you don’t believe in you, you will never convince anyone else to. Show the world all that you have to offer! Let them see what I have always seen in you - greatness and love. And please, don’t be envious of others. Someone is always going to have more than you may have or be better than you at certain things. Just worry about doing the best that you can do. It's enough. You're enough. Always put your family first. When it really counts, your family will always love and support you no matter what. It is my hope that you, George and Norah will always be close and take care of each other, even when you’re grown and long after daddy and I are gone. Always set a good example for each other. Be each other’s cheerleaders and raise each other up. Support one another. Talk to each another. Listen. Be there when they need you, and they'll be there for you. It's true what they say - blood is thicker than water. Nurture the bond that you have, and take care of each other, always. When the time comes I pray one day you will find a man, more kind and loving than you could have ever imagined, and that he’ll love you as much as I do. Be selective and careful with whom you entrust your heart. It's your most beautiful gift to give, and anyone you share it with will be a better person for it. You may fall in and out of love several times in life, and each time will be different. When it doesn't work out, don't let heartbreak discourage you, harden you or keep you guarded. Let your guard down, keep your heart open and remember how being in love feels. When your heart is telling you it's right, let yourself fall madly and deeply in love, but don't let love change who you are, or who you want to be. Don't settle for anything less than you deserve or allow yourself to be put last in any relationship. Giving your heart to someone and sharing in their happiness shouldn't take away from your own. I hope that you find a man that will love you for who you are today and tomorrow and forever. You have a beautiful light inside of you that I admire so much. Never allow anyone to extinguish it; find someone who will nourish that fire and make it shine brighter. I see you becoming an amazing mother someday. You have a patient, gentle heart that makes you a natural, and your children will know how lucky they are to have you as their mother. Seeing your baby's face for the first time will take your breath away. Trust me, I know. It will be in that moment you finally understand just how deeply I have loved you and will always love you. Most importantly, remember nothing in life is guaranteed. Tomorrow is promised to no one, so never take anything or anyone for granted. Be thankful for your blessings and tell your loved ones that you love them, every chance you get. Sometimes it seems like yesterday that I was holding you in my arms for the first time, but when I think of all that you and I have been through, it amazes me that it's only been 13 years. Even before you were born, from the moment I knew you existed, I have loved you more than I ever thought possible. You teach me more about my own life and make me want to be a better person. You are a blessing to everyone fortunate enough to have met you, and you make me proud to be your mother every single day. Happy 13th birthday, Abby. I love you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A long sleepless night, staring at the ceiling, wishing I wasn't so powerless against the world's attempts to break my kids' hearts. I miss the old sleepless nights, when I would stay awake, staring into their little faces, rocking my babies to sleep - when their needs were simple and I could solve every problem. When they were still so safe and invulnerable to the world's troubles.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm so happy the weekend is here. This was a short week, but somehow it seemed even longer than usual. We don't have much planned, which is a relief because the past few weekends have been packed with fun. I have some laundry to catch up on, and Christmas really needs to be packed away, but that's about all I plan to do.

Last Friday Natalie came over with the girls, and at the last minute Gary called and asked if we would mind his and Ava's company for dinner as well. Being a family that strongly believes in "the more the merrier," we of course did not mind. It was great seeing them since it has been too long since I've seen Ava. I missed that little bugger like crazy. I invited them all to come back again the next night for New Year's Eve, and told Gary to pack clothes for himself and Ava and plan to stay over, which he did. We had a small crowd on New Year's Eve - Greg, Sue and Sophie; Gary and Ava; Natalie, Carolynn, Grace, Kristen and Chris; a couple of Abby's friends; and my in-laws were all here. After a head count we realized the adults were completely outnumbered by kids. It was a fun night, especially since, for the first year, all the kids managed to stay awake until midnight to celebrate. The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, and straightened up the house to start the party all over again. Jay and Lisa were on their way over with the boys, and since Gary had already been living here for two days, we told him he may as well keep it going and stay for a third! He and Ava stayed and Norah's cousin (also named Ava) came over to hang out. At the end of the day, the adults (which at this point were just George and me) were once again outnumbered when Jayson and Jayme asked to stay over along with Norah's cousin Ava. George was off from work the next day so I didn't mind. Not that it would have mattered if he wasn't off from work since it's not very often that there is not a group of close to a dozen kids here. Despite the gang of kids on this particular Monday, and the continued preparing, serving and cleaning up of constant meals for more than a dozen people for four straight days, I did manage to squeeze in a few moments to sit back and take in the scene of all the happy, laughing kids, that to some may seem chaotic and stressful, but to me was a glimpse of a weekend I hope my kids will remember for many years to come, and I only hope we can recreate the same scene again next year.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Three.

Three years. Wow. I can't believe it's been that long, but I can honestly say I blame Facebook. Any downtime is usually spent reading people's trivial updates and spouting off my own meaningless statuses. I want to get back to blogging so I have a place to come and look back at all the memories that I may have otherwise forgotten. That is my new year's resolution! And we all know how good I am at keeping those.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

While getting Norah dressed for bed...

Me: Hey pretty girl, what's your name?
Norah: My name is Norah Bean!
Me: Nice to meet you, Miss Bean! Do you know my name?
Norah: I do know your name already! It's "Mommy the Best."

May your dreams be full of stars, Norah the Sweetest...

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you?


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Monday, October 20, 2008

"Braking" Up Is Hard To Do


Friday, September 19, 2008

Hard to Swallow

Hey, does anyone know anything about the seven year marriage between chewing gum and your intestines? Norah just swallowed an entire pack. As if she didn't already have enough trouble with constipation...

Update: She passed (the gum) with flying colors!! And when I say colors, you ain't kiddin' sister! Who knew poop could be so... fluorescent?

Norah

I almost forgot... Norah's video is (finally) finished!

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Blowing the Dust Off

I just had to blow about a half-inch of dust off the Sign In button before I could get here to post anything. Really stirred up my allergies. It serves me right for being so neglectful. I have a few new reasons to start blogging again. Sunday, we (my parents, my grandma, George, the kids and I) are leaving for our annual trip to Corolla, NC. This year I vow to blog at least once daily during the trip. I need to keep these memories in print, since my actual memory is so unreliable. Last year I was blessed to have both of my grandparents join us, but my grandfather has since passed away, and I am angry with myself for not remembering so many things from our last trip together. If I had spent the extra time to keep a blog of our trip, I would have recorded some of the final, precious moments between my grandfather and my children. So, lesson learned, this year things will be different. I WILL blog!

Starting Sunday.

Tomorrow I will spend my day feverishly cleaning the house and packing everything we own into our car. This will be the first year that we brave the 8+ hours in the car together with no hotel stops in between. George, being the driver of this trip, will be the lucky one, free from all duties except... well, driving of course. I will spend my trip turned backwards and twisted, reaching for things dropped on the floor of the backseat, mediating fights over movies, ipods and video games (yeah, you'd think with all their crap they'd be so entertained that I might actually enjoy me some scenery), and endlessly tortured be a newly potty-trained 3 year old, who detests sitting in the car for more than 10 minutes before she turns into a fire-breathing demon. We need to rent a limo next year. You know, with the soundproof, see-proof partition? Anyone know where I can get one of those installed into a Ford Explorer?

Hey, in other news:



Thanks so much to everyone who voted!! I feel truly honored!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Does this make up for my lack of blogging?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm thinking my children watch too much Showtime...


Abby: I know you said you're TRYING to be nice, but you're still not allowed around my
children!!

Georgie: But if you let me in, I promise I won't kill them.

Abby: I know, but I still think you're trying to trick me!! GET OUT!!!! Help! Police!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Hey Mom, Miss C. said we can bring a movie into school tomorrow. But, we don't have a DVD player in our classroom, so it has to be one of those really old rectangle movies."

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Ready for her first ballet class.


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Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Sixth Sense

We were running a little early this morning. Georgie, Norah and I had well over a half hour to burn before Georgie had to be in school, so the kids (although oblivious to what a cemetery is, since I never really found the need, or desire, to explain it to them) asked to walk around the "park" behind the church. The church/school was built in the 1700's, and most of the graves are over 200 years old. Most of these have not been visited in decades; these are the ones I love to visit. I try to imagine the people buried there, what their lives were like, and how they died. I tend to steer clear of the newer plots. The graves that are still very new, still just a pile of dirt and freshly cut flowers are too depressing for this early in the day.

As I walked this morning, Georgie was walking his usual 10 feet behind me, happily humming to himself and kicking an acorn down the path. Norah, holding onto my finger, pointed out the birds and squirrels, and the occasional plane flying overhead. When we came closer to the end of the path, Georgie looked up and focused intently on a little bench a few feet away.

"Look, Mom!" He pointed to the bench sitting under a tree. "There's my friend!"

I looked up, thinking I'd find one of his classmates standing around, waiting for school to start, like we were.

"I don't see anybody, buddy. Who do you see?"

"The little girl over there. She's very sad today."

"Oh, ok. I'm sorry she's so sad. Maybe you can make her happy again." I started to blow him off since my children have quite the imagination, and we have had dozens of imaginary friends in and out of our lives over the years.

"No, Mom. That little girl wants to play with me but she can't. She's very sad because she can't breathe." He sighed, looking very sad himself, and then continued, still looking in the direction of the bench. "She wants to come to school with me, but she can't, right Mommy? She has to stay here in the grass. She's very, very sad. I wish she wasn't dead anymore so I can play with her."

He pointed again towards the direction of the bench, and then I remembered something about that little corner of the cemetery. At the very end of the path, a few feet from the little bench, there is a very special grave that I visit on occasion. It is the grave of a three-year-old girl who died almost 20 years ago.

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September, so far.

It's well into the month of September, and the new school year started without (too much of) a hitch. Abby started in her new school last week, and she is loving it. She has the teacher I was hoping for, and Abby adores her. My husband is quite fond of her too, since she is a Penn State grad (as is he), and she is a huge fan of Penn State football (as is he). She gets the kids fired up for any home games, and has them cheering "We are...Penn State!" in the classroom. Abby's workload has not been too unbearable, but it is only the first full week, so I am expecting that to change within the next week or so.

Georgie had a great first day on Monday. He was excited to start school in the same room Abby started in two years ago. He already knew all the teachers from taking Abby to and from school, and from my volunteering during lunch the last couple of years. So when his second day did not go so well, I was a bit surprised. George had come with us that morning to see Georgie off, and I noticed he seemed a little quieter standing next to his cubby than he had the morning before, but I figured he was overwhelmed by the gaggle of anxious kids, and their even-more-anxious parents, stuffed into the very tiny and unventilated hallway. But when it was time to go into his classroom, I expected him to bounce in like he had the day before. But he didn't. He cried for us to stay. I wanted to do just that, or atleast if I had to leave, I wanted to take him with me. But I knew he had to stay, and I had to go, so I figured a little reassurance and a quick hug goodbye was my best exit strategy. I reluctantly headed to the gym with Norah and tried to run out my anxiety on the treadmill, keeping my cell phone close by in case the school called to say they had never seen a child in such despair, and that I should run back and pick him up immediately. The phone never rang, and when I picked him up two hours later, his teachers told me that, no matter what they tried, he just kept insisting on going home. He quietly refused to participate in any of the crafts, games or work from the day (though, somehow, he found the strength to console himself enough to eat his snack). But, they said, when the morning was ending and they were cleaning up for the day, Georgie walked up to them and said, "I'm comin' back tomorrow, and I'm not gonna cry."

That night, Georgie and I talked alot. He told me that he didn't want to live at school, and he was afraid that I would forget to come back for him. After spending over an hour reassuring him that school was not his new place to live, just a place to visit, he seemed ready to try again. The last few days since have been great, and when I drop him off in the morning, he once again walks into his classroom with a little bounce in his step.

As for me, the morning scramble has been an adjustment - getting Abby to school by 7:30 and then wasting a bit of time running a few quick errands until Georgie has to be in around 8:45. Afterwards, Norah and I usually head over to the gym where she plays with her friends in the daycare while I slog away on the treadmill or stationary bike for an hour. I usually have just enough time to run home and get changed before it's time to pick up Georgie (and this week Abby's school is running on half days, so by the time Georgie is in the car, we're heading across the street to wait for Abby). Homework is next, which I was right to dread. It's a bit more complicated with two backpacks to sort out, but as we get organized, it will get easier.

Tonight Abby starts ballet, and Tuesdays Georgie has soccer. Wednesday nights are set aside for swimming, but I'm not sure if three nights of activities will be too much to keep up with. I think our plate is already quite full.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

First day of first grade (almost)...


She doesn't start until tomorrow, but we tried everything on one last time to make sure everything still fit, and I figured I'd post a pre-first-day picture today in case I run out of time tomorrow.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Summer, summer, summertime...

...Time to sit back and unwind




Saturday, May 26, 2007

Screaming match...

Norah and Georgie competing for "Most Obnoxiously Loud Dinner Guest." (I'm not sure why it turned out so blurry, but it doesn't really matter because the main focus of this video is not what you see, but what you hear...)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mrs. R: Hey Georgie, your pants are on backwards!

Georgie: No, my pants are not backwards... my BODY is backwards.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saucy girl

Norah has invented different expressions to go along with certain words. This is her face when she says "applesauce." (Sorry about the loud music. I can only clean while blasting top 40 radio!)

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Is it wrong that while sitting on the couch watching a movie, I finished off the half empty bags of jelly beans, malted eggs, and Butterfinger eggs that would not fit into the kids' Easter baskets? It's not that I really WANTED to eat all that candy... Really, I was just trying to do the right thing. I mean, I had to do away with the evidence of wrappers and bags before the kids woke up tomorrow, and it would have been wrong to let it all go to waste. Right??

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

There was snow on the ground yesterday, but no snow day. The weatherman over-dramatized again. But we had the day off today instead, due to another migraine. The kids were certainly happy to have the day off, and were especially happy to be able to choose and make their own lunches. Georgie decided on a granola bar, a juice box, and a Little Debbie Nutty Bar. Abby played copycat and ate the same. Probably not the healthiest choice for them, but it definitely sped the process of my recovery to be able to stay on the couch with the pillows over my head and pretend not to notice.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just wishing and hoping...

...and thinking and praying, planning and dreaming for a snow day tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

When I was your age, television was called books.

I found a copy of The Princess Bride on clearance over the weekend. For the record, it was the best $5 I've ever spent. I'm so bored with the kids' other movies that we've all seen dozens of times. And today, when we were all down for the day with fevers and coughs, a movie with "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles" were just what the doctor ordered. TPB kept even Georgie glued to the couch for the full 98 minutes. Miracles? I'll say.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

My First Valentine's Day

With February 14th just gone by, the ghost of Valentine's past has been lurking in my head, and I started mulling over my first boyfriend and our first Valentine's Day together. Mike and I were in 8th grade, and officially "dating" for almost 6 weeks. That's practically an engagement at that age.

So, for our first Valentine's Day together (my first Valentine's Day with a boyfriend), there were no reservations at a fancy restaurant, just dinner at his parents house. His mom made a chicken and Stove-top stuffing with all the fixings. After dinner, Mike and I kicked back in his room where we listened to Pearl Jam's Ten on Mike's stereo, and he showed off some of the art work he had been working on. He was, and remained, quite a talented artist. Actually, part of my gift that year was an amazing drawing he'd created for me.

His bedroom was very artistically designed, as well. He had burlap covered walls on one side of his room, his art was hanging everywhere. He collected and created unique sculptures and displayed them on shelves. His room always smelled of incense. Another hobby of his was to gather large branches, skillfully carving and shaving the bark of these branches to create unique designs in the wood. As a fourteen year old girl with not a creative bone in her body, I was impressed by his artistry.

About halfway through Pearl Jam's debut album, I started feeling the aura of a migraine about to come on. I ignored it, trying to be cool and not look like a complete loser in front of my boyfriend, hoping the feeling would pass. But no matter how much I tried to push the feeling aside, there was no doubt that a fireball migraine was on its way. By the end of the CD, there was no denying my pain. The music seemed louder, the lights were that much brighter. I was almost in tears and asked Mike to turn down the blaring radio. He turned around to walk across the room, and that's when it hit me. A wave of nausea ran through my entire body. There was nothing I could do, nowhere to run. I turned around, frantically searching for a trash can, or anything else to contain what was about to happen, but it was too late. The closest target - his bed. By the time Mike turned around, I don't know if he quite understood what just happened, but there I stood, my hands over my face, and my dinner all over his comforter. Mortified at what just happened, I ran out of his room and down the hall. I slammed the bathroom door behind me and started to cry. He was never going to talk to me again. I knew it. I just threw up all over his bed, for God's sake. Girls don't burp in front of boys, so they certainly DO NOT throw up in front of them.

A few minutes passed, as I contemplated how I was going to jump out the second floor window without killing myself. Maybe killing myself wouldn't be so bad, though, since I never wanted to have to face Mike ever again. Before I could crack open the window, there was a knock at the door. It was Mike's mom, who said she had just called my mom to come pick me up, and asked if there was anything she could do. I just wanted to go home. And thankfully, ten minutes later, I did.

The next day, Mike called me on the phone to see how I was feeling. My migraine was gone, but I was still far too embarrassed to talk to him, so my mom relayed the message that I was feeling better and was taking it easy, but was too exhausted to come to the phone.

Mike and I wound up dating for another year and a half, and after that night, I learned that, no matter how much you wish you could melt into the floor, somehow you do not die from extreme mortification. Instead, that night gave Mike and me our own private inside joke.

And how was our next Valentine's Day, you ask? Well, once again we spent the night at his parents house, where his mom made us dinner. We wound up in the same spot, listening to the radio and playing video games, and no joke, I got another migraine. But, you'll be happy to know that this time, I made it to the bathroom in time.

Mike and I broke up a few months after our second Valentine's Day, but we continued to be friends. And every once in a while when we get the chance to talk, he'll ask me if I'm still allergic to Valentine's Day.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Pink Nightmare

Over the weekend George and I took Abby and Georgie to see Go, Diego, Go Live! The Great Jaguar Rescue. My review of the show is neither the point of this post, or even important, but let me just say, intermission was, by far, the best part of the 90 minute puppet show. But my kids were happy and entertained without much effort on my part, so I guess that's really all that's important.

Before the show, I stopped at the store to stock up on some treats to hide in my purse, as to avoid paying $10 for one bag of popcorn at the show. I grabbed two coffees for George and myself, and some candy and Strawberry Yoo-hoo for the kids. After drinking my 24 oz. coffee, I was thirsty, so I took a quick swig or two of Abby's drink. It hit me that quick. I instantly became dizzy and nauseous - flashbacks to a college graduation party I attended five years earlier.

The party was at a hall, with mostly family. It had an open bar, stocked with beer, wine and bottom shelf liquor. There were no professional bartenders, just a few retired firemen from the town were running the bar on this particular evening. Since the hall was located in the same town in which I grew up, I knew a few of these firemen well. As the night wore on, I became bored with the generic beer, and the jug wine was leaving an odd, metallic taste in my mouth. One of the impostor bartenders insisted I give his new favorite drink concoction a try. A bit leery, I agreed. He handed me a glass that looked as if it were filled with Pepto Bismal. I inquired as to what I was about to drink. "Strawberry Yoo-hoo and vodka," he replied. I closed my eyes and took a sip. Kind of odd, but not entirely bad. To be polite, I took another sip, and another, until I was on my fourth or tenth drink of this stuff. The high sugar content (and, sure, maybe it had a little to do with the high vodka content) started making me a bit queasy and towards the end of the night I was quite a sight to see. I wound up sick, hiding out in the bathroom stall the remainder of the evening. Fortunately, I don't remember the part where I insisted on telling people, over and over, how much I loved them, or crying into my sleeve about the people who did not love me back. Like I said, I was quite a mess. I still don't understand why he kept pushing those baneful drinks at me. This man was a former fire fighter. Was his job not to help people? He certainly did not help me the next morning, when I couldn't see out of my left eye and my stomach was ineludibly stuck on the spin cycle.

Somehow, to this day, vodka I'm fine with. It's still only Strawberry Yoo-hoo that sends me spinning every time.

Moral of the story: When in doubt, stick to the boring generic beer.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Trying to get the kids to bed early tonight so I can spend some alone time with my Valentine, and this is what I hear:

"Mom!! Georgie put his head in the toilet!"

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The long awaited snow day!


It took almost an hour to gather all necessary clothing, and dress them up, but alas, they were ready! Norah was not so thrilled with all the layers.


Georgie wasted no time before he dove right in and started eating the snow from the ground.


Norah immediately turned right around and begged to go back inside. She spent the rest of the afternoon looking out from the inside, watching her big brother and sister frolic in the repulsive white stuff on the ground.


Abby was so happy, she hugged all the trees in the yard. I have no explanation for this.




Later, some friends came to play!


After we spent hours outside, we all came in to drink hot chocolate and eat valentine cakes. To get even warmer, we gathered together in the family room around the fireplace where we watched movies the rest of the afternoon. It was a good day...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

For some people, Valentine's Day is the most unsurpassable of days for romance. For others, it's not that big of a deal; it's just another day. I tend to fall into the latter category. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those anti-Valentine ralliers. Not at all. I think the attached sentiment is sweet, with its flowers and mushy cards, and I certainly sop up the extra attention my husband dishes out on this particular day, but aren't relationships stressful enough without all the extra pressure to meet the certain, sometimes unreasonable, expectations for one over-the-top fabulous day? Love runs so much deeper than flowers and chocolates. If you love someone, don't rely on the calendar to tell you when to show love and thoughtfulness to your special someone. It's what happens the other 364 days that counts.

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Monday, February 5, 2007

Abby's new do.










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WARNING: Venting post ahead.

Does anyone remember this post? Or this one? Well, the days of spring-like winter weather here on the east coast have left us for good. And I miss them terribly. It is 16° today. When the wind blows, the temperatures drop into the negatives and my skin cracks and my eyes and lungs burn. How I wish it would snow to make this bitterness seem worthwhile.

Sorry for the temporary blackout. Things have been hectic for me lately. I have been busy job hunting, training the best new puppy ever, adjudicating my own children's seasonal belligerence, and looking after other people's children day and night. The in-house responsibility is weighing down, since I never seem to have a moment to myself.

I'm not complaining, since being busy keeps me from becoming bored, although being bored doesn't sound so bad at this point. A little rest for myself is in order, and I will catch up on my down time soon enough. Before I can do that, I need to start planning Abby's birthday party. This year she wants a sleepover with about eight or so of her girlfriends. I pretty much have everything in order at this point, which is pretty good considering her birthday is still a month away.

Sorry for such a whiny post. I think I'll stop before you all start charging me therapy fees. I can almost promise a better mood tomorrow, it's my one "day off."

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'd like to introduce to you...


...the newest member of our family, Catcher. Yes, I know. He's not the cat that I said I had to have a few posts back, but the lack of space for a litter box was a bit of a setback. So instead, I brought home a four-month-old yellow lab. He's a big clumsy blockhead, but he's also as sweet as could be. Anyone up for a little house-training and puppy chew-proofing?

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

I've been busy today, cleaning and laundering (clothes, not money). When I finally finished changing the sheets on all six beds (including the top bunk in Abby's room, which should count for at least four beds in itself), I sat myself down to watch a little Dirty Jobs.Oh, how I love that show. Once I had learned more than I needed to know about owl vomit, I proceeded upstairs to complete my own dirty job - cleaning the guinea pig's cage. Armed with bags of hay and wood shavings, I knocked on the door to Abby's room. No one answered. I knocked again, and put my ear to the door. I heard shuffling and hushed commotion.

"What are you guys doing?" I called through the door.

"Uh! Nothing! Be right there!!" Abby and Georgie yelled back.

I slowly opened the door, and I found them both trying desperately to put all of the pillowcases back on their pillows.

"What did you guys do? I just made your beds. Alright, I guess it's really no big deal. Please start putting the pillows back together so I can clean Eliza's cage."

Georgie points to his sister. "Abby did it. You're in VERY big trouble Ab! Mom is MAD at you!"

His brow was all scrunched, and I could see the wheels turning in his little head.

"Do you know how much trouble you're in, Abby? Seventeen! SEVENteen troubles." he finally blurted out.

I did my best to keep a straight face. "Seventeen? Why seventeen?"

"Because seventeen is a very big number," he said. "And Abby... is in very big trouble."

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm a bad wife...

Is it wrong that I kicked my husband out of our bed tonight so that I could watch my favorite shows companionless? Before you start to catechize me, I just want to add that I did give him the alternative option to go out with his buddies tonight to do whatever he and his buddies do when they get together (I don't ask), but he decided, instead, to come home and sleep in the family room. So here's the part where I should explain my reason for banishing my dear husband from his own resting place.

Ok, now did that just sound like I was kicking George out of his place of internment? Maybe I should rephrase that...

I should explain my reason for banishing my dear husband from his own resting place bed. Since it's likely that you've never been in bed with him while he's been sleeping, then you have probably never heard his combination snoring/humming habit. My only way I can think to describe this follows:

He starts out his sleep with a low hum. It's a very low, rhythmic hum.

(breathe in)

Hummm

(breathe in)

Hummm

(repeat for about 5 minutes)

It's a little irritating, but easily drowned out by upping the volume on the television, or wrapping a pillow around my head. But it's only a matter of minutes before the snoring begins and the humming becomes much more excessive, and much less easy to tune out. It kind of goes like this:

Snooooooorrre!

(pause)

Huuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

(pause)

Snooooooooooorrrrrrrrre!

(pause)

HUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

(repeat for about 8 hours)

And let me explain, without exaggeration, that the humming bears a close resemblance to Henry Limpet's best sonar bellowing. You know, when he becomes the fish, and tries to trick the enemy submarines... Yes, it's that bad. And it's all night. Every night.

So tonight, I asked for a recess, and now George is asleep (snoring and humming) in his favorite chair. He doesn't seem to mind. I ask you, what else was a girl to do when she just wanted to veg out and watch a little mindless television without interruption? I guess I could have watched The Incredible Mr. Limpet and George would have just enhanced the surround sound experience. Maybe I'll keep that in mind for tomorrow night. Or maybe I could buy a set of earphones for watching TV in bed, and a pair of earplugs for sleeping. Or maybe I could just repeat a little prayer in my head. "God, grant me the serenity to not smother my husband with his pillow..."

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Googled

Just today, two different people (I assume women) have googled pregnancy related issues, and somehow these searches led them to my blog. Here are the search keywords:

"38 weeks pregnant 2 cm 60% effaced."

"70% effacement how much longer?"

Well, in case they find themselves back here again to this blog, I would like to tell the poor women that may possibly be "38 weeks pregnant 2 cm 60% effaced," or "70% effaced and wondering how much longer," I must inform you that at my 37-week check-up I was told I was "2 cm dilated and 70% effaced." The baby, Norah, was finally born 5 weeks later, two weeks PAST my due date. So hang in there, moms. It could be a while still! But hopefully, for your sake, not!! Best of luck!!

Monday, January 8, 2007

randomness...

1. NAME? margo
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I don't think so, but I don't quite know.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? saturday.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? sometimes...
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? corned beef.
6. KIDS? 3!
7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? yes, I would.
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I have a blog... I haven't kept a written journal in quite some time.
9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? probably too much.
10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? yes.
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? sure, if you pay for it.
12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? raisin nut bran.
13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? no, and it's how I ruin my sneakers by not untying them to put them back on.
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? freakishly.
15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? black cherry.
16. SHOE SIZE? 9
17. RED OR PINK? pink
18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? my forgetfulness.
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? the fun and fancy free Margo.
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? blue sweats and no shoes.
22. LAST THING YOU ATE? special k (cereal, not the drug...)
23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the news.
24. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? purple.
25. FAVORITE SMELL? laundry (clean, of course).
26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? natalie
27. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? eyes.
28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? yep! she rocks!
29. FAVORITE DRINK? lemonade.
30. FAVORITE SPORT? basketball to play, soccer to watch.
31. EYE COLOR? green.
32. HAT SIZE? I have no idea....
33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no.
34. FAVORITE FOOD? sushi.
35. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? scary movies with a happy ending.
36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED AT THE MOVIE THEATRE? the holiday.
37. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? white shirt with Elmhurst Condors logo (who?)
38. SUMMER OR WINTER? summer
39. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs
40. FAVORITE DESSERT? strawberry shortcake
41. WHAT TIME DID YOU WAKE UP THIS MORNING? 5:30 am
42. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? a rubbermaid box full of norah's mega blocks
43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? the pact
44. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't use a mouse pad. I have a laptop.
45. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? tsunami, the aftermath
46. FAVORITE SOUNDS? crickets
47. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? both

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Saturday, January 6, 2007

Spring time in winter.

OK, so it's January. Right? Well, get this. My windows are wide open, with a breeze gently blowing in, and my kids are running around outside, jacket-free, in this gorgeous 72° weather. Trust me when I say, I'm not complaining. It's absolutely beautiful, and I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Dear Readers,

Please excuse Margo from blogging today. After being carefully examined, she has been diagnosed with a severe case of denseness with the creativity all clogged up in her head. After ample doses of hot toddies, along with the proper amount of dilatoriness, she should be fully able to resume blogging, without restrictions, in a day or so.

Sincerely,
Dr. Sicknote

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Do you hear that? Me neither!

I'm not really here to blog about anything special. I'm actually taking a few seconds out of my evening to brag to you about how quiet my house is tonight. There are no TVs blaring, no children screaming, and there is no husband snoring/humming in his sleep! It's so serene that I almost can't stand the stillness of it all, but do you know what? I'm going to let my mind tussle with the silence, and do something that's usually a foreign concept. Let's see. I could read an entire chapter (possibly two) of my new book without repeating any of the same sentences over and over, and actually process the words I have read. I could even watch a movie straight through, in the actual amount of time in which it was meant to be watched, having full control over the remote for the entire show. A hot soak in the tub would be paradisaical, since tonight I can guarantee that no one will be screaming and banging for me from the other side of the door, and I might actually have enough time to shave, get this, both legs.

What would you do? I can tell you one thing. You would NOT still be sitting here on this computer, wasting the precious solitude of this quiescent house. So I say to you, "Goodnight!"

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This is the chaos that laziness will evoke.

It was Abby's first day back to school from her winter break, and I could hardly pull my feckless body out of bed. Well, technically, it was the couch, because that's where I fell asleep last night, but I guess that's not really that important, now is it? Getting ready, it seemed like months since we had run through this fevered early morning routine, but veritably it had been only two weeks. As I draggled through the house, I realized that my impassive efforts were not getting us to school on time. I still had to pack a lunch, find appropriate clothing for the chilly forecast, dress myself and Abby in these clothes, and then aimlessly try to remember where I had stashed Abby's lunchbox and backpack sometime before Christmas came and disorganized me. And I had all of six minutes to get us into the car if we were going to make it on time. I kept thinking that I was forgetting an important part of our usual morning routine, but I couldn't get my finger on what it could be. OH MY GOD! BREAKFAST!!! #@&%! Well, after that realization, I felt defeated. I contemplated skipping the day altogether, and instead spend it huddled in my bed, but the glower I received from my kindergartner, who has been athirst for days to see her school friends again, sent me right back into my steeplechase of getting to school before the bells clamored in disapproval of my do-nothingness. Needless to say, after a shot of caffeine and epinephrine, we made it to school. And, somehow, on time.

My point of this seemingly pointless rambling? I have a new resolution - plug in and dust off my alarm clock. I might even try using it every once in a while. I think I'm back to bed, or I guess technically the couch. This morning was way more excitement than I can handle in just one day.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Finding, and keeping, the resolution willpower.

Turn out the lights,
The party's over.
They say that all good things must end.
Call it a night,
The party's over,
And tomorrow starts the same old thing again.


Happy New Year to all. It seems that everyone is creating their usual new years resolutions list, and I am no exception. But resolutions are made to be broken, and I'm tired of setting myself up for failure. I could bore myself, yet again, with how many pounds I resolve to lose, the closets I plan to organize, or the extra time I would like to put aside for family and friends, but it would be a bit cliche for me to claim these asseverations once again. I need something a bit fresher and more updated this year, so I have come up with a few feasible ideas and jotted them down:

1. Go back to school. A very important, and workable one. My goal is to be enrolled by the spring semester.

2. Volunteer my time one night a week to a shorthanded charity organization. Something that would bring myself a little self-satisfaction at the end of the day. Maybe a nursing home, or the children's hospital.

3. Go to more shows. Theater, ballet, movies, concerts, etc...

4. Take an interest in creative photography. Not just endlessly snapping photos of my children. I'd like to try still life and maybe some candid shots of unsuspecting strangers...

So these are my resolutions for 2007. Check back in February to see if I've kept or broken them.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The day after.

After the many weeks spent carefully maneuvering through the stores, chockablock with overwrought shoppers; the days of meticulously wrapping dozens of asymmetrical boxes; and the hours of cleaning, organizing and decorating, Christmas came and went in, well... a day.

At about 7:15 on Christmas morning, I heard four little feet come bounding down the stairs, letting out squeals of excitement when Santa's stopover was confirmed by the many packages under the tree. The kids headed for their stockings hanging from the mantel, making sure Santa remembered to fill them with candies and other goodies, then quickly returned to the tree to check out the tags on the boxes, trying to sort out whose present were whose. Next came the forethought of waking George and me, who felt as if we had just closed our eyes only moments ago. I could hear them whispering from the other room:

Abby: Ok, first we have to tiptoe into Mom and Dad's room. And then... HEY! LOOK GEORGIE! THIS ONE'S MINE!!! SEE IT HAS MY NAME ON IT, AND IT'S THE BIGGEST ONE!

Georgie: Yeah, Ab. I see... HEY! THIS ONE SAYS NORAH! WOW! I CAN READ THAT, SEE?!

A: Ok, alright. So when we get to their room, you wake Dad... No. Wait. I'll wake Dad, and you wake Mom, Ok?

G: Ok!

A: Remember. Tiptoe! And you wake Mommy! Ok?

G: Ok, Ab.

A: SHHHHH!

G: O-kay AB!!

(I don't know why she insisted on tiptoeing. Wasn't the point of coming in to wake us?)

After being pounced on repeatedly, I did my best to hold back the wired masses for 30 tortuous minutes, until pulling a groggy Norah out of her crib. And then the ravenous attack on the presents began!

***************

When every last gift was opened and admired, Abby said, "I got everything I wanted in my WHOLE life!" (Whew!)

Georgie was too busy playing with Norah's new toys to care about his shiny new playthings - which worked out well, because...

Norah, the 18 month old baby, kept throwing all of her toys back into the bags. She had no interest in her new puzzles, books, dolls, or other extravagant toys. Instead, she spent the morning clutching her new shirts and dresses. She tried on her new shoes, and admired her new embellished jeans. She ripped open the packs of socks and onsies, and tried on the new clips for her hair. I think Santa may need to rethink (and re-budget) his gifts for next year for this little fashion diva.

Today, I am spending my day collecting shreds of crumpled paper, cursing wire twist ties, and sorting micro-sized pieces and parts from god-knows what toy sets. As I work, I hear my children hard at play - figuring out their new games, breaking in new dolls and action figures, and laughing at each other while garbed in their new dress-up clothes! It is a reward to know that what I have been working for the last few tiresome weeks, has finally paid off tremendously. We should do this again. Maybe this time next year?

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas, friends!

Abby's school held their annual Christmas pageant on Wednesday, and there was one song that was rather touching. After the show, and referring to this particular song, Abby asked me, "Hey Mom! Did you cry your eyes out when we sang that slow song?" I guess the teachers were going for this effect, and explained to the kids their motive. So when she asked, I had to laugh sentimentally, and of course tell her that I did cry my eyes out.

"In fact," I said to her, "There wasn't a dry eye in the house." I knew this was especially true for George, who did actually get a bit choked up during the performance.

She was quite pleased with herself, and with the rest of her class. They worked really hard on their show for weeks, and in the end, their efforts and many practices paid off. The show was a hit!

The pageant at school got my spirit jumping, and now the excitement of the next few days is staring to creep up on me. I figure by tonight, when the tree is finally standing and decorated, I will be acting like a 9 year old again, as I tend to regress every year at this time. The kids, of course, couldn't be more charged, and are getting a tad impatient with the wait.

I keep reminding them, "Only two (and a half) more days until Christmas. It really is almost here!" I remember the anticipation, and when I think back to the years when I was an exuberant child - tearing frantically into my gifts on that one magical morning of the year, hoping and praying for the perfect toy. The feelings of jubliance come right back again when I watch my own children's faces light up with curiosity and wonder to see the many packages under the tree, these packages that were absent when they headed up to bed the night before. I relate to their utter elation when they realize that Santa has visited their home to grant their every wish.

Since becoming a mother, Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It's not about life on the receiving end anymore; the meaning has, by far, surpassed that. It's more rewarding than I could ever imagined, to give these memories to my children and live these precious moments with them.

The holidays always add warmth during the coldest winter days. May you have everything and everyone you need to make this year the warmest Christmas and happiest New Year, and I hope this holiday season brings you health, happiness and great memories to cherish.

Merry Christmas!

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A little less likely to panic.

So with only three more days, I have gotten a few things checked off my last-minute list.

1. Buy gifts for a "few" more people.
My naughty or nice list is checked off, finally. All gifts bought and tagged.

2. Find a Christmas tree.
My Christmas tree has been found. It is across the street in my in-laws' attic. (We are borrowing their artificial tree, since they are not using it this year.)

3. Stand and decorate this aforementioned tree we are still lacking.
Well, the tree is not standing, and is obviously not decorated, but I have located the decorations for the tree in the garage, and they are ready to be displayed. You would know, that in itself is an accomplishment, if you have ever seen my garage!

4. Wrap EVERY gift.
Every last one of gifts still needs to be wrapped. All 197 of them.

5. Oh, that reminds me. Buy wrapping paper, since I have none.
But atleast I now have wrapping paper.

6. Buy Christmas dresses for the girls.
I found an adorable dress for Norah. Still nothing for Abby. Maybe Georgie will open something appropriate on Christmas morning from his grandparents to change into, since I seem to have excluded him entirely from my wardrobe concerns.

7. Send Christmas cards. I think it will be a modest - not so modish - email greeting this year.
The holiday greetings have been emailed.


All in all, I'm in pretty good shape. I can totally do this!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Panicked? Nah, not yet anyway.

Christmas is upon me, and you too I suppose. Only 4 more days. Am I ready? Let's see. Off the top of my head, I still have to:

1. Buy gifts for a "few" more people. (That may be a little under-exaggerated.)

2. Find a Christmas tree.

3. Stand and decorate this aforementioned tree we are still lacking.

4. Wrap EVERY gift.

5. Oh, that reminds me. Buy wrapping paper, since I have none.

6. Buy Christmas dresses for the girls. (I think they may be celebrating the day "dress-casual.")

7. Send Christmas cards. I think it will be a modest - not so modish - email greeting this year.

Can I do it in 4 days? Hey, I'm early this year. I don't usually start my shopping until Christmas Eve, so I am way ahead of the game.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Love Thursday

It was five years ago today that George and I traveled to Maryland, early on a Friday morning, to get married. After getting engaged on Christmas Eve, the year before, we decided on this date, and a little chapel in Maryland to marry. We were joined by our parents and 9 month old Abby. The chapel was decorated for Christmas, and I remember being a nervously optimistic bride. It was a small, but beautiful ceremony (lasting only 15 minutes), during which we tried sitting Abby with her grandparents in front of the altar. But she cried, and squirmed, and put her hands to us pleadingly. Abby got her way as George held her through the entire ceremony. She became a part of our vows and a symbolic gesture as to the future of our growing family.

After lunch with our parents, we spent the rest of the weekend alone, a little further south in Annapolis. For our honeymoon, we shopped for Christmas gifts, admired the beautiful boats all decked-out with their Christmas lights, and were treated to a memorable reception, on the night of our wedding, at a little local bar full of strangers, who bought us drinks and toasted our new life together.

After everything George and I have been through and accomplished together, sometimes it seems as if we've known each other for more than a lifetime, although we met only a little over eight years ago. Through every up and down, and all the crazy loops, we have learned and grown. We understand, more than ever, what our love is and how to keep it growing. Happy anniversary to us!

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Good Vibrations

Last night George and I went out together, ahem, ALONE for the first time in months! Our evening started with a dynamic performance by The Beach Boys. The night was a pre-anniversary celebration, (though the tickets were actually George's birthday present from the kids and me). The show was amazing and we had so much fun, fun, fun! (I know. That was corny.) For close to two hours, we danced around and sang along to the chart-toppers of yesteryear like two caffeinated whirling dervishes. Our perfect end to a perfect evening included an abundance of badinage and sushi at a local Japanese restaurant.

It was refreshing to reconjoin, and once Christmas comes and goes, I hope we continue to familiarize ourselves more with this newly re-adopted concept of quality time.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

There's Something About Mary Norah


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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Merry Christmas, mischief makers.

I used up an entire day's worth of sunlight last week climbing ladders, banging nails and cursing out tangled strings of icicle lights. But, when the last of the lights were hung, I was quite proud to show off my work, even to passing strangers. After all, it was my first time hanging Christmas lights outside, and I think I did a rather fine job. In addition to the lights on the house, I also bought and assembled a 3-foot Animated Skiing Polar Bear. Every night the kids and I would get a kick out of him "cross country skiing" on the front lawn. Apparantly some other hooligans got a kick out of him too - when they kicked him apart all over my yard. He was in quite a few dented up pieces this morning and his lights were not in working order, but with the help of my FIL, he is, again, standing proud - even if he is still a bit lop-sided. This is just the thing to get me in the Christmas spirit. Just. The. Thing.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Stress

1. How do you deal with stress? When I'm stressed I become an insomniac and usually a little snappy.
2. Do you have a favorite "comfort food" and what is it? Buttered white toast w/ cinnamon and lots of sugar.
3. Do you have a "comfort activity" and what is it? I like to take a hot shower and then curl up in bed w/ my favorite book or movie and my cinnamon toast.
4. What days depress you and why? Any day when more of me is expected than I can handle.
5. What days excite you and why? Easy, fun & relaxing days alone with the kids.

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Sunday, December 3, 2006

The tooth fairy is coming tonight!

My baby lost her first tooth today during her sleepover at Grandma's house! I haven't seen it for myself yet, but here's the picture they sent me! Her new saccharine smile makes me gushy and proud!


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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm not very much in the spirit.

How am I supposed to get in the mood to decorate for Christmas when Mother Nature has misplaced her seasons schedule? We have completely skipped over Winter, and have gone straight to Spring. I'm not really complaining because I certainly enjoy these beautiful days in the yard. I'm just saying - it's not beginning to look (or feel) a lot like Christmas at all.

Edited to add: Yes, I understand the consequences of such a wish. I know I will regret this wretched hex I have just put upon myself and the good people in my part of the country. When the temperatures drop below freezing and the snow has fallen up to our necks, I will mourn for this day.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I hate bad news.

I especially regret hearing bad news around the holidays. I was awake all last night with Abby because she was running a fever and coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker. I kept her out of school today so we both slept in a bit this morning. I heard wailing sirens pass my house around 8 A.M., but I paid them no mind. With the fire house right down the street, I hear alarms and sirens hourly, and have learned to tune them out. When I got myself together later in the morning, I called my mother-in-law, who lives right across the street (cue the Everybody Loves Raymond theme). She told me that the sirens I heard were for the neighbor a few doors down. Apparently the man, who is close in age to my own husband, with children of his own, died in his sleep with no indication that there was anything wrong the night before. I imagine it was his wife who must have found him this morning, and I can't begin to conceptualize the grief that she and the rest of the family must be dealing with today.

It's going to be a sad Christmas for them this year, and this reminds me that - as much as I gripe and groan about sharing my king-sized bed with George, who snores like a chainsaw and kicks all the blankets off the bed on the coldest nights - to be thankful for such agaitation. I know it's such an old song, but I guess it really is true, that you never should go to bed angry. Not any one of us, no matter how young, are given the promise of the morning.

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My proud hunter.


Apparently we will be mounting the head of this poor creature in our home once it has been properly preserved. Because my husband must feel that nothing is more comforting than lounging around on a Sunday morning being stared at by the glassy, lifeless eyes of a deer carcass.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Into the garbage chute, flyboy.

Well, today the kids and I were so productive. We each claimed our spot in the family room and played LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy on our new Xbox. Once we succeeded in each developing carpal tunnel syndrome, we put down the controllers and, continuing with our theme, watched the Original Star Wars Trilogy on DVD. It was true bliss.

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Frozen pits of hell.

So this morning... my deodorant was nowhere to be found. I dug through the closet in the bathroom, desperately hoping that I had a spare tube somewhere. I did not find exactly what I was looking for, but I found deodorant nonetheless. The aerosol spray kind. I hesitated. Lifted the first arm. Cringed. Sprayed. And screamed! I think this type of torture was invented by the Nazis. It was like applying liquid nitrogen directly to my pits. Anyone who sees me today should thank me. I sprayed my second arm, solely for the innocent bystanders that I may come in close contact with today.

You're welcome.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

It's my potty and I'll cry if I want to.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate potty-training? Well I do. I detest it. I am angry with myself because in December, when Georgie was dry and accident free for four days, I did not throw away all his diapers. I had him exactly where I wanted him, but then Christmas came along with all its chaos. I strapped a diaper back on him to get us through the holidays, and thus the days of the potty have become a distant memory.

We're working on it again, but it's hard for me to be enthusiastic this time. I find myself counting from one to ninety-two in order to keep my cool when accidents arise. I am trying to stay on top of him to make sure he makes a trip to the bathroom at least once per hour, but if anyone knows me, I lose track of time like a doped rat. But I'd say the worst part of training a boy is - misfire.

Where is that nanny I've been relentlessly praying for? Now would be a fabulous time for her to magically appear. Any volunteers?

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Wednesday, May 3, 2006

I'm having an affair

So it's Wednesday. And have I lived up to my resolutions? Well..... not exactly. But I will start walking tomorrow. I swear. And as far as my attitude, I really am trying. There is one thing I am excited to report. The husband and I are really working on incorporating at least a few of the 25 bliss factors into our daily encounters with one another. It has made a gargantuan difference in the way that we interact and behave together. He has become the caring, considerate and romantic man I fell in love with seven years ago, and I have been trying to be more kind and patient with him in return. It's amazing that with a few simple changes, he and I are reshaping our once uninspired marriage into a blazing love affair.

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved bring a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring." ~Oscar Wilde

"I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you."

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul." ~Judy Garland

"Just so you know, there's a space that only you can fill. Just so you know, I loved you then, I guess I always will."

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Friday, April 28, 2006

The Silver Screen

1. What is your favorite movie? The Station Agent

2. What is the worst movie you have ever watched? Home on the Range

3. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre? Friends With Money

4. Sugared or salted popcorn? Or maybe butter? Extra butter & salt. I love Smartfood too. And as far as sweet, I make batches of caramel corn that you would lust over.

5. Movie theatre or DVD? Theatre

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Resolution Number Two

Walking to school on clear days is my second spring resolution. For starters, not only would it help get me back into shape, but walking my daughter the six blocks to school really entails less aggravation than driving. Sure, walking takes a little longer, but it rescues me from the neverending in-and-out of the car, running around from door to door buckling and unbuckling three carseats. Over. And over. Again. And by the time I actually find the clearance to back my car out of the parking lot, with all of the other cars coming and going to pick up and drop off their kids, and the hundreds of feral jackanapes that are racing and playing tag behind the bumpers, I could have already walked two - maybe three - of the six blocks. So there. Resolution number two has been made, and publicly announced.

Here's hoping for many rainy days over the next month.

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New Spring Resolution

I've decided I've become too cynical, irascible, bitter and hypercritical over the years. My new spring resolution is to become the serene, benevolent and sprightly lass I was - long before the straits of family life. Is there anyone who dares deride my determination? Because I'll kick your ass!

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

I am officially broke, but my sanity was worth every penny!

Ahhhhhhhhh! (That was a sigh of relief and contentment.) I just got home from my night out - which I needed so much more than I realized. It's only been two weeks since I was out last, but the past two weeks have been extremely stressful. I was actually going to cancel tonight due to the massive headache I was fighting all day, but I drugged myself (with Imitrex. Relax!). I rode it out, and wound up feeling 120% better in every sense - mentally, physically and emotionally. This entry is here to remind myself that the next time I want to bail on my plans because I'm not feeling high-spirited and social, I need to get my ass out the door anyway to eat, drink and be merry until I can't take it anymore!!

When I came home, I really missed the kids, so I peeked in on them all just to watch them sleep.

With Abby, it is almost always the same: I pulled her covers back over her, and swept the hair from her face. She woke for less than a moment, just long enough to smile sleepily at me and tell me that she missed me. "I'm happy you're home," she said in a dozy voice before rolling over and snuggling back into her pillow. She sighed contentedly, and instantly returned to a light snore. I kissed her on her cheek, and whispered that I was happy to be home with her too.

I didn't have to go very far to check on Georgie; he was asleep in Abby's room, in the bottom bunk. As usual he had flipped himself upside down in the bed - his feet on the pillow, and his head on the blankets at the foot of the bed that he had kicked and churned into a tangled mess. He didn't stir when I turned him around, careful not to bang both of our heads on the bunk above. I straightened his blankets, pulling them back over his shoulders. When I tucked his Spiderman figure back into his palm, I kissed his forehead, cool and damp with sweat, and I smiled to myself at how fond he is of his Spidey, and how he was probably dreaming of climbing walls, shooting webs, and defeating the bad guys as he slumbered, just like his favorite superhero.

When I looked in on Norah, I was surprised to see that she was still awake in her crib, and I was excited to pull her out and play with her a while. We stacked a few blocks and played a few songs on her piano, but when she started to rub her eyes and look drowsy, I changed her and made her some warm milk. I laid her in my bed and talked quietly with her while she drank her bottle and daintily patted my face with her pudgy little hands. After a while, I started to feel a little sleepy myself, so I placed her back in her own bed. I couldn't help but laugh when she wildly waved "bye-bye" to me with an immense grin on her face as I was closing her door.

I missed them all so much while I was out tonight, but I think I need to miss my kids every now and then to fully appreciate them and recharge. I think my foul mood streak is officially over (for now). I am now rejuvenated, relaxed, and more than ready to start fresh in the morning with my newly recharged batteries.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Returning from so far away...

I'm not sure where this blog will take me tonight. I'm not really in the mood to write anything, but since it has been more than two weeks since I've written a "real" entry, I felt obligated.

Lately, my world has felt like it's been flipped upside down. I can't pinpoint the moment of the turn or even what factors played into the flash point, and because of this, I haven't been quite sure how to make it right again. I've been moody and on edge. I can't catch a breath. I'm tired. Easily antagonized. I've been stuck in reverse and I'm sorry to all who have felt my misery.

I have tried to conceal my low spirits, but there are certain people in my life who cannot be fooled.

My children, especially, have a way of sensing my moods, even if I am three rooms away and my back is turned towards them. They put their feelers out and know when not to argue together. And when not to jump on one another. They know, without my asking, whether or not I need their company or if I'd rather be left alone. And, if needed, they walk away and do something that they hope will please me. Sometimes simply by cleaning up their toys, or other times, gently catering to their baby sister to keep her from fussing.

Tonight, after figuring out that I was low-spirited, Georgie held my ruthful face in his hands. The same hands that I usually know to be ruinous, heavy and grimy; tonight were slow-moving, warm and gentle. He seemed to be surveying my mood, reading my face. He pulled our foreheads together and sighed. Our eyes met and he smiled. A sympathetic, and sad smile that said, "I know where you are, and I desperately want to bring you back to me." He kissed me softly on my nose, and climbed into my lap. We stayed this way, quiet and motionless, for quite some time. I could feel his chest rise and fall against mine; I heard his breath, calm and steady; I felt his fingers running slowly over the back of my neck. Within minutes, my breathing pace matched his and I could feel my heart rate and blood pressure fall to a less threatening level. I was suddenly sedated and sleepy.

I wrapped my arms tight around him, closed my eyes, and thanked my lucky stars for all that I have been blessed with in life. My feelings of hopelessness quickly faded, and I felt foolish that I sometimes get myself so down when I have so much to be grateful for.

My children show me everything that is good in this world. They have an incontestable gift to put a smile on my heavy lips. They take away my heartache. They are the lights that guide me home.

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Sunday, April 9, 2006

Parents: shave your heads!

I have had a touch of blogger's block lately. Is it because my life has become dull? No, that's definitely not the case. Could it be that I have not had any time for the computer? Actually, no. I have logged in at least twice a day and stared at the blank entry form only to find that, still, nothing will come through from my brain to my fingertips.

But today, my friends, you are in luck; I will treat you all to a tale called The Strangled Toe

Friday morning I was prepping Norah for her bath. As I was inspecting her nails for length, I came across a very swollen and red middle toe on her right foot. When I looked closer, I saw that it was sliced completely open so that when she curled her toes, this particular toe would split apart, whereas the top of the digit would appear to be totally separated from the bottom. I called Dr. Bob right away, and he told us to come in at 11 o'clock for an appointment.

After carefully examining her wound, he gave it a name: hair tourniquet syndrome. I had never heard of such a thing before and was amazed and nauseous at the same time. He spread the two sections of her toe apart, searching for whatever had cut off her circulation, but whatever it was had either worked it's way out, dissolved, or was still in there, but not visible. He said I needed to keep close watch on the color of her toe. If it turned blue or purple, she needed to be rushed to the ER immediately to prevent autoamputation. Eek!! And here's where it gets gross: if the swelling does not go down by tomorrow, I am to apply Nair® into the wound to dissolve the thread or hair that was causing the lack of blood flow. Okay, so has anyone ever used Nair®? Have you ever felt the burning sensation from the product on healthy skin? The directions on the bottle clearly read: "DO NOT USE ON IRRITATED, SUNBURNED, INFLAMED, OR BROKEN SKIN." Exactly. So keep your fingers and toes crossed that the swelling goes down, or else I will be swabbing depilatories into her perferated toe in the morning. (*shudder*) I guess it's better than amputation, which is our only other option at that point.

So please, as a public service message to all parents: shave your heads, and dispose of all hair immdeiately!!!

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Saturday, April 1, 2006

A Full Moon in the Morning.

I was cleaning the house this morning, my regular Saturday routine, and the kids were in the living room 'taking pictures' with Georgie's View-Master®. Every now and then, they would command me to turn around and say "Cheese!" They'd snap my 'picture,' look into the camera to see if the shot 'came out okay,' and run away to take more photos. I smiled as I wiped down the countertops, listening to them giggle because, I thought at least, that they were enjoying taking pictures of each other's silly grins with their new camera. Well, I was half right. They were indeed hysterical over the photos that they were each posing for, but it was not silly faces they found amusing. Georgie was the acting photographer, and Abby was the stand-in model. Apparently she is working on her future career as a butt-double for movies, because when I went in the living room to check on them, there was Georgie yelling, "Say cheese!" and Abby was turned around, pulling down her underwear so that her brother could capture her full moon on film.

Needless to say, I am extremely proud.

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Bad Mother, You Say?

We're skipping school again today. Eesh. "Bad mother," some would say. "Lazy" would be the word many others might choose. Irresponsible, even. But I don't care. I'm enjoying what little time I have left with my daughter before she starts kindergarten next year. Then she will be in school all day, every day, for thirteen years. And then college. And then she will be gone, moved away to live her own life, but I will have precious memories from days like this, when we "played hooky" for no other reason but to enjoy the beautiful day outside together. So call me whatever you'd like, but I tend to think of myself as a great mother. One who realizes the importance of an education, but who also sees the crucial need to slow down and enjoy the simple moments with my children before they are children no longer.

It's amazing outside; I hope you all can get out and enjoy it too!

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Friday

It's gorgeous outside today. I think I'll clean up the house a bit and then take the kids outside to blow off steam. I am starting something new today... The Friday Five (this one's old, I know, but they haven't posted a new one this week yet):


  1. Do you wear perfume or cologne? Yes. My favorite is Lovely by SJ Parker

  2. What brand or kind of soap do you use? Dove

  3. Do you use anything to scent your home (candles, potpourri, scented oils, etc.)? All of the above. I love cinnamon (or any spicy) scented fragrance.

  4. What's your favorite scent on a member of the gender to which you're attracted? No scent in particular. I love a man fresh out of the shower; all of the products he has just used blend together into one very clean scent.

  5. Have you ever tried aromatherapy? If so, describe your experience; if not, do you think it works? I've used aromatherapy bath salts and candles... I guess they work. When I am in the bath, the whole experience works together to relax me, so I'm not sure if I can give credit soley to the scents.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

What I Really Think

List ten things you want to say to people you know but you never will, for whatever reason. Don’t say who they are. Use each person only once.

  1. I hate your husband.
  2. I ignore every one of your phone calls. I cringe when your number shows up on the caller ID. I plan to never call you back.
  3. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you, I love you still and I always will.
  4. I've given you so much advice about your problem and still, you do nothing. I don't want to hear about it anymore. Figure it out for yourself. I'm done listening to you complain.
  5. I hate who you've become because of him.
  6. You are beautiful, absolutely brilliant and astonishingly articulate. I'd like to be more like you and less like me sometimes.
  7. I love you to pieces but your children are exceptionally rude little brats, and I find it torturesome to be around them.
  8. You are a narrow-minded arrogant fuck.
  9. I am sick of your opinions. You are an isolant know-it-all and that is the reason no one wants to be around you.
  10. I miss you.

Okay, I need to do this at least once a week; that was invigorating. Now, if only I had the backbone to say these things out loud, then I would truly be liberated.

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Sleep Quest

My mood has been despicable since awaking this morning. My children have been in trouble for truly contemptible behavior, such as: laughing and playing nicely together (can you believe the nerve of them?).

Ok, so just to be clear, it is not typical for me to be so foul-mannered with my kids, but given that my sleep pattern the last few nights has been erratic and incomplete, I cannot tolerate even the most ordinary of situations. Last night Norah, for some reason, was awake screaming all night long. No matter what I tried she would not settle down unless I walked with her. Finally around seven-o-clock this morning, I laid with her in my bed, and she finally started to doze. So did I. At the exact moment that Norah's and my eyes began to close, two wide-eyed and animated children came bounding down the stairs and pounced onto my pillows, screaming "Good morning, Mom!! Good morning, Norah!!"

Now I knew that their behavior was justified since they had, you know, slept 10 hours at this point already, but my behavior was justified too, I believe, since I was critically lacking rest. I barked at them, "Be quiet, put your heads down and watch cartoons while I take a quick nap with Norah! Do NOT make a sound! Got it?!"

My cowed children slowly eased themselves under the covers, watching each other with astoundment. I comforted Norah until she fell back to sleep, and then I too closed my eyes... for four minutes. Apparently, it took less than five minutes for their fear of my conniption to be appeased, and then Abby and Georgie were back onto their feet, jumping all over my bed. And me.

Norah started wailing and my jaw immediately clenched. Abby and Georgie were banished to 'the step' until I could calm down. I was so tired at this point that my whole body was in shut-down mode. My brain was foggy and off-course. My muscles ached. I walked over to where my bewildered children awaited their release from time-out, and I asked them if we could try again. I explained to them that Norah had kept me awake the night before, and that we were both in need of a quick nap. I promised them both large-scale rewards if they would let me sleep for an hour. They seemed eager to please, so the four of us snuggled contentedly back into my bed. Norah was sacked out in less than three minutes. I was snoring in less than five. Abby and Georgie were whispering to each other and giggling quietly in less than seven. My eyes flew open and I could feel my blood pressure rising. When I look back on it, I know that they were just bored, and they were truly trying to be respectful of Norah and me as best as a five and two-year-old could, but at that moment I was too exhausted to be reasonable. They were immediately transported back to the step where I irately lectured them. I short-sightedly scolded them on topics such as courtesy and respect, obedience and good behavior, and a considerable amount of material that had no relation to the situation at hand. When I stopped for a breath and saw the frightened looks in my children's eyes, I saw that I was unrestrained and out of line. I quickly apologized to them for my impetuous behavior and excused myself to the bathroom. After washing my face and counting backwards from sixty, I took the walk of shame to apologize (again).

I am still on edge, but now, at least, I have stopped slamming doors and tantrumming. I am more aware of my short-fuse and can control it better when it begins to rise up. Norah just went down for a nap (finally) in her crib, and I think that if I keep Abby home from school today so that I have a better chance of uninterrupted sleep while Georgie naps, this evil quintessence will die out, and Abby and Georgie will have their mom back. Here's hoping.

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