I’m back!!

May 13, 2015

It’s clearly been awhile since I’ve blogged, but I’m back and committed to keep writing. I even have a few posts ready in the pipeline to post, but haven’t done so yet. I’m hoping my musings about motherhood are relatable, funny, and will maybe even brighten your day.

After a long brutal winter, spring has finally arrived. In fact, some of these past few days have actually felt quite a lot more like summer. I’m in my glory. I enjoy hot, steamy weather. I’ll take that any day over the snow and cold. Since the nice weather is here, the kids and I have been soaking it up at local playgrounds and I’m getting some extra exercise jogging with them around the lake.

As I gear up for some new posts, I’d love to hear about what you’d like to see me write about. For an upcoming post, I talk about my new favorite exercise regime and how it’s changed my perspective on my body image. Send me an email, or comment below and I’ll put it on my list of topics.

I’m also going to be writing parenting articles for Care.com, so be sure to check out my work. I’ll link to it through here, but also follow me on twitter @bostonwriterrsr.
Until next post….

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The naptime pitfalls

September 9, 2013

Editor’s Note:

I’ve been MIA due to a severe case of procrastination and writer’s block. But a lovely friend motivated me today to get back at it. So here’s a short little piece this tired momma whipped up, which I’m sure some mommies of multiple children can relate. Enjoy! More to follow!  

I used to love naptime. It was this perfect little piece of heaven, smack dab right in the middle of the day. A guaranteed 2 (sometimes 3) hours of peaceful time to myself that I could spend however I pleased;  My favorite guilty pleasure:  Watch Days of Our Lives sprawled out on the couch.

Now, there are many days where I just LOATHE those two (sometimes three) hours. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the fact that my toddler is a good napper (just the opposite actually because it helps keep her pleasant and well), but my little infant is an on the go machine.

He is the ultimate cat napper – 15 mins here, 20 mins there (Heck, as I type this, my cat naps much better than he does, so I can’t even classify him as a cat napper!). During the two hour naptime for my daughter, I feel as if I spend most of it trying to get my son to sleep.  It’s exhausting! I wish I could strap him in a stroller and take him for a walk, but no can do.

Usually by the end of naptime, I’m just dying to get out of my house for some time where I don’t feel as though I have to constantly entertain my son. But, when 4 p.m . rolls around and my daughter has gone potty, had a snack, and is finally ready to leave, I’m usually too darn tired to lug the troops out the door and to the playground.

So when my two little darlings actually do nap at the same time, well that’s just a little slice of heaven right here on earth!


Beach bummin’

June 24, 2013

Sister suggested we take our little ones to Rockport for day 1 of the scorching heat wave settling upon the Boston area.  Now, I love summer, I love hot weather, and more importantly, I love the beach, but when she suggested this idea Sunday evening, I talked her out of it.

Two toddlers, two babies and only two adults on a hot, humid day, plus beach toys, chairs, coolers, and everything else that you need to lug to and from your car – Are you kidding me? It sounded just about as bad as being stuck in traffic with a screaming infant.

“Let’s wait to do this for a day mom isn’t working,” I suggested. “I really think it will be easier with at least one person who doesn’t have a baby with them. And I know she’ll want to come with us.”

You see, we both have two kids: a toddler girl and a baby boy. (Freaky deaky to be twins and have our children even be the same order and ages).

She agreed with me, until 7 the next morning, when she called me with a new twist to convince me her beach excursion was the way to beat the heat.

“How about we head to Rockport, put the kids in the double strollers and just let Gianna and Ella splash in the water for a little bit and then we’ll walk to get an ice cream?”

She called it “not a full-out beach day” (whatever that is!) and I was convinced. Just a little splashing and a trip to the ice cream parlor sounded manageable. Now, keep in mind she did spend her pre-mommy years in advertising, so it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that she’s able to spin her ideas into something that sounds enticing.

I hung up the phone and proceeded to round up the troops. But even “not a full-out beach day” required work. I still packed a cooler with waters, my beach chair, beach umbrella, and sand toys. And ya know what? It wasn’t that difficult! In less than an hour’s time, we were out the door and on our way.

We arrived in Rockport and I said my little prayer to St. Anthony that I learned from my elementary school music teacher (I attended parochial school): “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please look around, for two parking spots to be found (and make them next to each other too).”

St. Anthony came to the rescue, as he always does, and we scored two spots side by side, right in front of the beach.

And then fumbles began: Between the two of us, we each had enough quarters to give us about 30 minutes of beach time.  And aside from those quarters, I had no cash. Sister had about $3 in cash.

OK, we’ll secure a spot on the beach then head to a store for change.

By the time we got to the water, Vinny was in full-out panic mode. I set up the umbrella and chair to nurse, but umbrellas and wind just don’t go together. So the umbrella was put away, lest the end of it poke someone out as it tumbles down the shoreline.

Once settled, Vinny was placed in the double stroller with Nathan and Sister took the two boys to find more change for the meters.

I watched the girls splash and play in the water, while continuously moving our beach paraphernalia away from the incoming tide. Next time, I will check the tides and if it’s on its way to high tide, we’ll park most of our belongings farther up the beach.

What seemed like eons passed before Sister came back with the quarters for the meters. She settled in and I was able to capture these two gems before Vinny entered panic mode once again:

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Now, maybe it’s because I’m nursing or maybe it’s because he’s only 2-months-old, but when my son enters panic mode, the hormones in my body do so as well. Wouldn’t it make sense, though, if the opposite happened? If, when your infant is really upset, rather than causing the mother fear and anxiety, she was able to relax and approach the situation calmly? Well, that’s not how I felt.  Once this happened, I had a one track mind – get Vinny to the car and turn on the AC. Thank God I wasn’t at the beach alone.

With a screaming baby in my arms and my toddler trailing after me, I hightailed it to the car. I know I must have looked panic-stricken, because a nice mom with two older kids asked me if I needed help. Fortunately, my car was close.  With the cold air blowing on his face, Vinny relaxed and my nerves also subsided.

Sister arrived with most of the beach stuff, and with the kids safely in the car and my sister standing next to it, I retrieved my double stroller from its spot in the sand.

When it feels like you spent most of your time at the beach unloading your car and then packing it back up, you might think the day’s trip was an epic failure. But I am going to suggest otherwise. I’d actually do it again. But next time, we’ll bring lots of quarters, I’ll check the tide schedule, and maybe go on a day when it’s not quite so humid!

 


The Glory Days

June 22, 2013

I grew teary-eyed as we drove home from our morning beach trip today – teary-eyed for a good reason. I couldn’t help but think these are the best days of my life. These are my Glory Days. These are the days that will appear on the timelines of my kids’ Facebook pages when they post pictures on Throwback Thursdays.

Moments like this morning make me wish I could put them in a box to revisit later. Oh how I wish Dumbledore’s Pensieve was real: To place a wand on my head, extract a memory, put it inside a magic bowl and fall inside to relive that moment… if only magic really did exist. Oh to relive every dimply smile, baby coo, imaginative play experience, and kiss and hug!

It is in the ordinary experiences of everyday life where fulfillment exists. It is in my daughter’s happiness as we drove to the beach – she LOVES to sing, especially when excited about something. This morning’s soundtrack did not disappoint.  She sang every little kid song she could pull from her amazing almost 3-year-old memory: ABCs, London Bridge, Itsy Bitsy Spider (the list goes on and on); It is even in my 2-month-old son’s fussy moments, when I pause to sit in a chair and nurse him in a shady spot on a sandy beach as I listen to the waves crest and fall along the shore line. These are the days. The Glory Days.

I’ve thought a lot about how happy I feel to be able to have these moments with my children. I’m putting my teaching career on hold for a year at least to be able to become (a self-described) professional lake walker, playground hopper, supermom to my beautiful children. To be sure, not every moment is one I want to remember, but the good outweighs the bad (even those feisty, temper tantrum, stubborn toddler moments).

These are the days.

In some ways, it’s almost like reliving the Glory Days of my own childhood. My favorite memories live in the summer moments with family – trips to the beach, heading north for a weekend in North Conway, swimming in my cousin’s in-ground swimming pool, staying up late to read books, heat waves, barbeques, fireworks, road trips and being crammed in the backseat of my parents’ Sable (there were three of us kids!).

Now my Glory Days include stolen smiles from my toddler and the balancing act of eating an ice cream cone while holding a baby.

These are the days. The Glory Days. The ordinary, pack up the car, head to the beach with mommy and daddy, eat fried seafood, and end the day slurping melting ice cream while gazing at cows.

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Cleaning is overrated

June 14, 2013

Well I did my Thing and now it’s time to continue doing it.  So here goes: (Oh, and Huffington Post, feel free to help me go viral!)

Vinny’s christening is this weekend, Sunday to be exact – Sorry, family. Didn’t realize this coincides with Father’s Day until after that fact then figured, hey, we’d probably be doing something together anyway— therefore, I must go into full-fledged cleaning mode. As I’ve blogged about before, I LOATHE cleaning. I love a clean house; just don’t make me be the one to produce it! In fact, I think a good housecleaner is probably more important that good childcare (I kid, I kid), but really, the housecleaner helps me keep my sanity. Well, unfortunately, my housecleaner is on maternity leave (what nerve!), so I’ve been forced to clean my house myself.

OK, now that I just typed those words, I realize what a lie that is. My house is not clean. And if and when I do attempt a thorough cleaning, it’s a mess about an hour later, so why bother? Instead, I pick up what I have to and pray my housecleaner decides to cut her maternity leave short.

But the Christening is this weekend. Thank God the Lord doesn’t judge us by the cleanliness of our house (or does He?).  Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be nice, so my husband’s going prep our yard (think less real cleaning for me). And I get to decorate. Woo hoo! I love decorating. Really, I do!

So the moral of this story: The bathrooms may be yucky, but our yard will be pretty. Maybe I should rent a port-a-potty.

*Editor’s note: The house will be spick and span for my guests (heck I bought Spick & Span at the Dollar Tree today just for this purpose), so you don’t have to fear the bathrooms!  


Wishing time away

March 20, 2013

Lately,I feel as though I’m wishing time away. And I hate that I’m doing that. I hate it for so many reasons, but mostly because time is fleeting and every moment is so precious. I don’t think anyone fully realizes this until they have kids, and then, maybe there are some with kids who never really fully understand this precious commodity.

Yet, even though I fully realize how quickly time goes by, here I am wishing it away. Perhaps it’s because today is the first day of spring, yet the 12 inches of snow dumped upon us yesterday makes it feel much more like the dead of winter. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the third trimester of my pregnancy, and I just can’t wait to meet my new little one growing in my belly. Perhaps it’s because I fear going into early labor and I really want to have this baby on or as close to my due date as possible – April 17 – but everyone who looks at me keeps telling me there’s no way I’ll ever make it that far.

Which leads me to another topic, since when is it ok to comment on the size of a pregnant woman? Two complete strangers in church on Sunday didn’t have any problems sharing their two cents. One told me I looked like I could “go” at any minute; the other asked if I was having twins.

Yes, my stomach is huge. But haven’t people seen a pregnant woman before? There’s a full sized baby inside there during the third trimester. Where do they expect it to go? And ladies and gentlemen, I’m rather petite. I stand only 5’3” tall. And that’s on a good day (think cute shoe with a little heel).  But this constant discussion about the size of my tummy has me paranoid. I still have quite a few things to do before number two arrives. And, ladies and gentlemen, I was eight days late with my daughter. Eight LONG days.  Going early is just unfathomable.

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So for these reasons, I keep wishing away time. I just want it to be April so badly: nice weather (one can hope) and the month I meet my new baby. But I’ve really got to stop all this wishing away of time because I know I’ll regret it. Despite the winter doldrums and the exhausting nature of the third trimester, I need to remember to stop and appreciate all that is in front of me, messy house and all! Before I know it, my life is going to be turned upside down once again when the newest love of my life makes his or her grand entrance, reminding me again of God’s greatness and fulfilling my childhood dreams – motherhood. 


Adventures in cooking

April 6, 2012

Today, for some masochistic reason, I decided to try my hand at a couple new recipes. I say this for two reasons: 1. It’s Good Friday; therefore, I was attempting to fast and cooking two new recipes when I haven’t had much to eat all day… well, I think that’s enough said;  And 2. It’s Good Friday. Have you ever been to Market Basket right before a major holiday? Need I say more? The place was the epitome of chaos. But I remained optimistic and persevered. Oddly enough, I retained a valuable lesson about mothering (is that even a word?): Babies (or in my case a toddler) feed off their parents’ mood. Although I could hardly maneuver through the hordes of shoppers and shopping carts as I made my way through the produce section looking for zucchini, peppers and avocados, I didn’t let Gianna sense my frustration. Actually, I hardly felt frustrated. Instead, I chattered on and on to Gianna as we searched for our items.

“Where’s the polenta?” I sang as she mimicked me, repeating the phrase until we found our treasure. Oddly enough, the experience was quite pleasing: Definitely the opposite experience most customers were having as they left the store with scowls on their faces and proceeded to walk to the parking lot next door for their car(I too parked far from the entrance because I didn’t feel like even bothering searching for a spot close to the front. So not worth it!).

The two new recipes I tried today both come from the blog, Two Peas and their Pod. This husband and wife duo are a wealth of foodspiration (I’d be a whiz at creating words for the game Balderdash!)

The first recipe I tried was Baked Polenta Pie. This dish is filled with veggies, which accomplished two of my goals: cooking and adding more veggies to my diet. My plan was to make and freeze this dish for dinner one night next week.

The meal wasn’t hard to make at all. It’s slightly time consuming because it takes a while to dice up the veggies and roast them in the oven, but if you plan accordingly, it’s doable to start and finish during naptime. (Heck, I finished two meals during the span of Gia’s 2 ½ hour nap.)

The second recipe I tried was Stacked Roasted Vegetables Enchiladas. Again, it was filled with veggies.  I think my favorite part of this dish is the fresh cilantro. It gives it just the Mexican kick needed. My intention for this meal had been to freeze and save for dinner next week, but hunger (on fasting days, you are allowed to eat one meal and two small snacks) won over. This dish is sensational. My husband adores it; Gianna, well, I couldn’t get her to try it, but I will try again because it’s definitely going to become a staple meal in my home. She did enjoy the polenta (I froze all, but a small portion because I had a sneaking suspicion polenta was going to be a hit with the little one.).

I love avocadoes and so do Two Peas and a Pod, or so it seems. I found many avocado inspired dishes as I skimmed their blog and I picked up ingredients for a few other dishes I intend to try over the next couple of days: Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Sandwich, Creamy Avocado Pasta, and Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

OK, I’m thoroughly starving yet again!

I had quite a busy day off. I jumpstarted the day with a 5:45 a.m. spin class and I think it really gave me the motivation I needed to cook this afternoon. Unfortunately, a sink full of pots and pans awaits, but I don’t even mind. In fact, I may not even get to them until the morning.

Gym, sing-a-long, cooking, egg coloring, snuggling with my baby, Mass, and (once I finish writing this blog) snuggling with hubby. Not a bad Good Friday off from work. Thank you, Jesus, yet again!