Thursday, April 30, 2009

Search If You Will, But You Won't Find These Things On My Blog

"Hi, My name is Mary, and I've been blogging for six months now." (Hi, Mary!)

During the small time in which I've belonged to the so called blogosphere I've had a chance to visit hundreds of blogs. I have been inspired, entertained, educated, grossed-out, and at times disgusted. But that is all part of the game. Some days I'm truly amazed at what one will write. On other days, I wished they had revealed a little more.

This little bit of wonderment got me thinking the other day. For the handful of you that may have purposely or mistakenly pushed my Follow Me button; you probably already know what to expect from me. However, to make it fair for those who may just be passing by via a blog directory or a misdirection from a friendly search engine; I thought it would only be right to give you a list of things that you will most likely never find on my blog. I use the words most likely to indicate that I am a woman and due to the changes which we experience during our lives we sometimes feel the need to change our minds. So for the purpose of this post, most likely will be legal and binding.

Rule #1- No Bows. Despite being described as "girly girly," you will find no bows, lace, or doilies on this blog. I am the proud mother of 2 growing boys. I get to see them clean once a day (after their baths). Let's face it, they weren't even clean when they came out of me, so why start now. My blog is a reflection of me and my family. A girly blog would just represent me. One day all the testosterone will leave for college, and I will accept a blogging job with AARP. Until then, no bows.

Rule#2- No Potty Mouth. Once upon a time I worked in a male dominated field, and boy could I keep up with the best of them. As I got older, I have realized that Potty Mouth is not always an accepted custom. It does get ones attention, and if attention is what you seek, then by all means curse until you're blue in the face. Just remember, every potty needs to be cleaned once in a while. For best results: swish sweet words daily and flush those Freudian Slips. There will be no WTF'S?, C words, P words, or S words. Now that I've eliminated 5 letters, I have just 21 letters left. I'm sure I can find something to say. If your blog contains any of these words, not to worry, I will still visit. I just won't be reading aloud.

Rule#3- No Pictures of the Kiddies. As I continue the relentless job of trying to convince my children that there are no monsters under the bed, I have yet to convince myself that they don't exist in other places. The world is a scary place sometimes, and while I enjoy sharing daily essays; pictures of my children will stay securely in my wallet and my heart. You will just have to take my word for it...they are adorable!

Rule#4- No Grabbing My Button. Boy have times changed. If I tried to grab anything as a child, my hand was slapped. Now people are advertising Grabbing! What's next? Poking? Maybe prodding? I suppose everything has it's place. It's just not my blog. It's a cute concept, but if you want to know the honest truth, I have no idea how it is done. As you can tell, my blog is very home made. It's crossed my mind a few times to pay for a new design, but I have this fear that once I'm handed back the reigns, I will no longer know what to do. I will need to sign up for Super Blogger classes, and take extensive notes on tags, buttons, headers, blinkies, etc. etc. I'll save that job for you professionals out there.

Rule #5- No Negativity. Like everyone else, I have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. And on those very days I do you all a favor. I keep my computer shut off. I'm for the old saying: "If you can't say something nice, don't type." Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but once a word is spoken out loud, you can't take it back. Be careful what you write, and who you write about. I feel honored to have followers, and for that reason, I will never use this platform to degrade or undermine anyone.

Rule#6- A Word About Awards. Ten years of my childhood were spent as a cheerleader. At the end of every year we were awarded our trophies. The year we went to the championship, I came home with a trophy half the size of my leg. If you were to ask me where all these awards are today, I would honestly answer in the landfill. It was before "going green" was a trend, so unfortunately they were not recycled. I feel the same today as I did back then. Awards take up a lot of space. You have to constantly make room for them, and eventually that room runs out. I share these thoughts with a wonderful friend blogger Kathy B at The World According to Me, who wrote a terrific post on this very subject titled Secret Blogger Code. Please make sure to stop by. I am always excited when someone acknowledges my work, whether they agree or not. I think it's important to make an effort to say thank you. If you enjoy reading my blog, a simple comment is fine. I won't be waiting for an award.

Rule #7- Rambling. I do not, have not, nor do I ever want to consider my blog rambling. The very definition of the word means aimless, and that is hardly what I am about. I like having a point to every post. I try to be organized, concise and honest when I write. The other 22 hours is another story.

One Last Word. Now that you know all the things you won't find on this blog, I hope you found what you came for. Hopefully you'll stick around for a while. Don't forget to leave a comment. I'll drop by soon to see what you're talking about.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ode To "The Landscaper"

My Dearest Landscaper:

You may have noticed me peeking from behind the curtain yesterday. I watched as you maneuvered that mower around the flower beds with ease. You sculpted those hedges in minutes flat with those large tools you carried on your back. The yard could have easily been mistaken for a tourist attraction where families gather during the weekends or vacation. You may have also noticed the tear running down my cheek for you were just a few feet beyond my property line. Sadly, you belong to my neighbor.

See Mr. Landscaper, my husband refuses to hire you. His DIY attitude may have saved us some fat cash, but just look what we've gained: calluses, dehydration, lower back pain, sunburn, just to name a few.

To be honest, I love the outside. Planting flowers really doesn't bother me either. But even with a small property, I find the upkeep is quite a battle. For every weed I pluck from the ground, three more pop through the soil the next day. I can feel them laughing at me.

For once I would love not to worry about sneaking out during the dawn to water the flowers and search for those pesky weeds that emerged overnight. For once I would love to have a manicure that is not being challenged by the mulch found under my fingernails. For once I would like not to worry about scary birds that dive-bomb my head because they have decided to take refuge in my new flower pots.

Today as my dear neighbor left for work I saw exactly what a life with a landscaper looks like. My neighbor brandished a beautiful manicure, as I tried to scrape the black dirt from beneath my nails. Not one hair was out of place on her head. A messy ponytail which resembled a bowl of uncooked spaghetti with a home dye job topped my mound. While the smell of fresh flowers poured from her car, a mixture of sweat and cow manure toppled from my frame.

Since I'm almost positive that coveting your neighbor's landscaper is breaking one of the ten commandments, we will have to go about this a different way. I've come up with plan. Let's call it: Operation Circumference. This is how it will work. Each time you circle around my neighbor's property you'll move five feet closer toward my property. Before anyone notices (except me of course) my yard will be a gorgeous oasis. Payment can be found two feet to the right of the pink rose bush and below the new Mickey Mouse statue in the front garden.

My Dearest Landscaper, may you hear my cries for help or at least acknowledge me as I push my wheelbarrow filled with mulch across my back yard. Until then, please excuse my manners and stares from afar.


Mommy Maestro

Sunday, April 26, 2009

All In A Weekends Work

Nothing says spring like landscaping. And nothing says exhausted like landscaping. I suppose we could have dished out a few hundred dollars to get our yard cleaned up in under an hour, but what fun would that really be? Wouldn't you rather it be 88 degrees with the sun beating on your neck, while running a wheel barrow back and forth and smelling the sweet fumes of baked manure? What's the matter? No sense of adventure?

Honestly, at this point, the idea of selling one's soul to get the best landscaping team here to perform their magic on my lawn sounds pretty tempting. I say this because I too smell like a petting zoo, and my husband has been snoring on the couch for the past half hour and the sun is still up. The kids are gnawing on some left over Easter candy because the thought of firing up the oven does not appeal to this Mommy. I have loaded a Scooby-Doo DVD for now hoping that buys me some extra time with the hunger issues.

The landscaping honestly started yesterday (like everything else). Five yards of mulch were being delivered while the man from Lowe's arrived to install our new screen door. The grandparents arrived to take the kids to Great Grandma's birthday while I took off to the car dealer in hopes of sealing the deal on a new van.....and boy did I ever!

I am the proud owner of a Volkswagon Routan. Love it, Love it! Dual DVD players, power doors, Sirius Radio, a backup camera, and new car smell. What else could a girl ask for?

I do have a send a special shout out to my parents who while visiting yesterday jumped in and helped with the landscaping. It's so nice to have parents who have green thumbs. My Dad took first place in the Philadelphia Flower Show once or twice a few years back. His keen eye and Mom's love for planting helped us complete this project.
Despite our greatest efforts, it looks like the landscaping may not be finished tonight. There is still a small pile left in the driveway to redo the kids play area. We could push ourselves a little harder, but once Hubby said the word "ice cream" out loud, he lost me. So off to Dairy Delight we go. Hope everyone had a great weekend as well and toasted all your efforts with a Hot Fudge Sundae!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Red Roses, Blue Violets, And A Bag of Rocks

Lately the weather in PA has been anything but predictable. Once Spring officially arrives, my internal clock begins to count down the days to summer. I have been stuck in the house way too long by March and I'm ready to get to all those Projects.

By Spring the list of "things to be accomplished" has surpassed the size of the weekly grocery needs. Flowers need to be planted, weeds pulled, beds mulched, porches sanded and repainted, and screen doors replaced (just to name a few things).

My husband and I did our annual walk through the yard today. As usual, we each have our own vision of what we would like our property to look like in a few weeks.

I was hoping we would open the pool Mid March. Hubby thinks that after Memorial Day will be just fine.

My plans to replace our gazebo were scrapped by Hubby today. He says our current Gazebo should last another 5 years. I'll have to remind him later that it's not made out of men's underwear (which is another thing he also likes to hold on to despite shape or appearances).

We discussed adding another bed on the side of the house to accommodate a pom pom tree. After fifteen minutes going back and forth with ideas, we collectively decided that there will be no new beds or pom pom trees....just rocks. Yes, when in doubt, add rocks. If it was up to Hubby, I suppose our property would eventually resemble something from the Flintstones. There is nothing wrong with that, everyone needs a dream.

While at Lowes today I picked up yet another Rhododendron. This will be number four (I think). There are a total of five hanging around the property, yet despite our best efforts one relieves itself from duty every season and steps into the light (apparently a much happier place than our little abode). Say a little prayer friends for our newest addition.

We are expecting sunny skies the next three days, so it's time to get busy. Thanks to all who left comments about our new mini-van shopping adventures. We are closing in on a decision. Hopefully by Monday we will have a new landscape, new wheels, and of rocks!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day: Are Kids Recyclable?

I got your attention with that title didn't I? No, I'm not looking to get rid of the children. They are loved and bring just as much love to me in return. But with all this Earth Day talk, it got me thinking. For those tough days with the children wouldn't it just be sweet if mother's had a switch or remote of some kind that could put their children's whining, complaining, screaming and fighting into an immediate Pause?

All of a sudden...complete silence. The remote would then recycle the noise and turn it into some melodic sound of Moms choosing. I know how funny this sounds, but just think back ten years ago when someone told you that one day your soda cans would be recycled into a purse, or your newspapers into a new shirt?

Hopefully you were lucky to catch some of the Earth Day specials on T.V. today. For instance, Oprah featured ways families could save over $1000. just by being energy conscious. There are no tricks, just very simple steps like replacing light bulbs, using weather strip on windows, and purchasing programmable thermostats. To get the low down make sure to visit

Ellen featured Waste Managements new recyclable kits. This is such a cool idea if you've ever wondered how to dispose of your batteries, fluorescent bulbs, computers, etc. Check it out at

Everywhere we go, people are talking about going green. The truth is that it is taking too much time to catch on. If we simply believe that every cause has an effect we may believe we can actually make a difference. Small steps now can lead to large movements. I learn a little each day, and I'm a far cry from calling myself green. Although I would settle for the title of Jade, Chartreuse, or Emerald.

Hopefully this post got you thinking. We all benefit if we all do our part.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Come on Get Happy

I'm a planner. I just can't help myself. I plan everything. For me, this lifestyle works well. I never seem to miss a date, appointment, birthday, etc. I'm sure some find this a very rigid way to go about their days, but it gives me a sense of calm to have planned things out in advance.

Like every good plan, there comes a time when one must realize that fate sometimes has a way of intercepting all good intentions. Case in point... the last two days.

I will not go on about problems since if you haven't noticed, the name of this post is Come On Get Happy. So in a nutshell, the synopsis goes a bit like this: Sunday 9am Karate Tournament, Potter brings home 2 Gold medals, off to soccer game where everyone is a "winner." Off to the firehouse to visit Potter and Scooters uncle. While running through the firehouse Potter misjudges, and plows head first into the front of a firetruck. Tears, meltdown, Ice, Ice, (Baby).

Dinner, baths, sleep, Desperate Housewives, ZZZZZZ! Next morning (today) wake Potter to find him covered in blood. (Nosebleed from hell). Flashback to yesterday sends me into Mommy panic and I bring Potter to hospital to have his head checked (concussion?). Potter turns out to be fine.

Make appointment for Scooter regarding thick slime that refuses to stay in his nose. Have mini-van appraised due to the promise of an "aggressive offer" letter that arrived a few days before chaos ensued. (SIDE NOTE: Please refer to post titled The Golden Crap Award to understand my true feelings toward that beaut of a car I drive). Take kids to Denny's to satisfy their starvation needs with a Grand Slam. Take Scooter to doctor. Give Nebulizer treatment to scare slime from Scooter's nose.

Scoff when I find out that the one time I have to watch Oprah she decides to do a show on child predators. Where is Tom Cruise when you need him?

And so there you have it, the last 24 hours in a nutshell. Nothing that has taken place remotely resembles what is written in my date book. Turns out when I reference said date book, today's page is blank. How could that be? Every other day has something written on it, yet today I'm free. Looks like fate took over again. Lesson learned: Roll with the punches, and do not leave blank pages in your date book.

As I mentioned earlier, I had the mini-van appraised, and the offer was quite nice. So I am currently in the market for a new car or van. I am looking for some help with this decision. Is there anyone out there carting around kids in something that has enough room for all your needs? Something that drives incredibly well, and requires no maintenance? It doesn't have to be too fancy, but a few bells and whistles are nice when the noise level inside the van continues to rise with the temperature outside. Here are some of my top picks: Chevy Traverse, Volkswagon Routon, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna. I would also like to add to the list anything from Cadillac. (Here's hoping that Powerball ticket in my purse is a winner!)

A sincere thank you to all who commented on my last post. I was kept in stitches all weekend. I am hoping to get around to everyone very soon. By the way, Hubby fixed the faucet. Can I get a whoot?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Sea of Cooties

A few months back I began to notice an echoing of some type coming from our bathroom. It never bothered me nor did I recognize it during the day. Probably because as long as the sunshine is up, the volume in my home is comparable to most city zoos.

So while I laid there late one night listening to the echoing I decided to investigate the issue. I walked into my bathroom trying to sneak up on whatever was stalking the little sleep I managed to get that week. I took a seat on the toilet hoping to catch red-handed whatever was holding my bathroom hostage. happened!

The sound which I thought may somehow be coming from one of those creatures inhabiting the pages of my children's library books actually was coming from my bathtub faucet. "A flipping drip," I thought.

Like the good wife I am, I immediately reported the issue to Hubby. And like the good Hubby he is, he immediately took care of the problem......NOT!

I am in year six of a beautiful marriage. I love and adore my husband. I think my hardest lesson and something that takes constant practice is learning that men and women do not work on the same schedule. I get things done yesterday, while my husband will work up to the deadline. It seems the more chaos that ensues, the happier he is. He loves a challenge.

And so the dripping continued. As the time went on, the period between the drips closed in. It began to sound more like a popcorn machine than a dripping problem. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into into months. Then finally, two days ago, I couldn't turn the darn faucet off at all.

I was innocently cleaning the tub, and obviously I needed some water. When I was done I tried my hardest to turn that faucet off, but it wouldn't budge. After a minute of feeling totally hopeless and cursing the very existence of men that ignore their wives plea for help; I kicked it. That's right, I kicked it. It made a noise that I can even describe, but surprisingly the water had completely stopped dripping. "I fixed it, I fixed it," I yelled.

I knew that was far from the truth. In fact the cold water knob was now lying in the bathtub...CRAP!

A few words to my husband after he came home that night (believe me when I tell you I didn't ask how his day was) and we were finally in business. No he didn't fix it. But he got on the Delta faucet website. I offered to pick up the parts if he promised to fix my bathtub this weekend.

I told my boys I would be using their tub tonight. Potter looked shocked. "Mom, you'll catch boy germs," he said. (Obviously the reason I'm taking a bath in the first place). I calmed down immensely while sitting in their Sea of Cooties. (i.e. bathtub)

It's amazing just how much one can miss their own bathtub. As I sat soaking in Huggies Hypoallergenic bubbles, surrounded by Batman toys and Disney character wash clothes, I longed to be in a place where only Calgon could take me.

Tune in Monday to see: Did Hubby fix the faucet? Is there really popcorn in Mary's bathtub? And finally: will Mary finally find relaxation among scented candles or toy boats and action figures?

Monday, April 13, 2009

What Were You Doing Last October 27th?

It's a strange question I know, but I just had to ask: "What were you doing last October 27th?" I bet you can't remember. The truth is, I had trouble remembering too. Luckily, I was able to search the blog archives and found that October 27th was the day I began this blog.

At the time I was unsure just where the adventure would take me. I really didn't have any expectations. It was never a money adventure, and aside from the 42 cents I have gained through AdSense it still appears to have remained that way.

I write about numerous topics. Although I'm classified as a Mommy blog I have had the opportunity to talk with all types of people from around the country. Whether you agree or not with what I have to say it is always so nice to hear your opinions. Blogging is not for the thin skinned.

The reason I decided to write about my beginnings today is to announce that I have reached a small goal. I have officially received 1000 readers. (Pop the cork, throw the confetti)!

I realize this is truly a very small number for going live 6 months ago. I recently visited one of the most popular personal blogs out there and saw that it received 700 hits for one post. I couldn't believe it. I felt so small. What was this person writing about that drew such a crowd?

Then I thought again for a moment. Although I have a small following, I enjoy the freedom I have to actually be able to read all my comments, and most days I'm able to visit my commentor's own blogs. For now, that suits me just fine.

In my dreams The Adventures of Mommy Maestro is written on billboards and surrounded by lights. My visitors are so plentiful, my counter is a week behind trying desperately to catch up. Due to the carpal tunnel in both hands I had to hire five assistants. They type while I dictate. I ride my corporate jet to book signings and give motivational speeches titled: "Turn 1000 visitors into a Million Overnight."

It's funny what a little wine can do for The Mommy Maestro's mind. Here's to all of you blogger's that stop by everyday just to see what I'm up to. May you all reach your own milestones. And don't forget, when you don't, reach for the wine. Cheers!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

I don't know about you, but holidays always seem to fly by in our home. There's so much preparation, and never enough time to enjoy everything or everyone.

I didn't get to put the Easter decorations up until this week, and sadly I never even had the time to bring the container that held the decorations back to the basement. That's right, it's still in the dining room. I guess that will make it easier when it's time to take the decorations down.

Easter was spent at my parents, and despite having a very nice day, it was quite a whirlwind. The kids participated in their annual egg hunt run by Mom Mom and Pop Pop. I am truly grateful to have my parents play such a special role in my children's lives. When I was their age, the egg hunt was run by my aunt and grandparents on my father's side. The memories they made for us are still part of conversation today. I can only hope my own children will see how lucky they are to be surrounded by people who love them.

As for the rest of the day, relatives stopped by, some stayed, others had to make it home to cook for more relatives. It was a day filled with obligations, fun, love and memories.

I'm sure many of you that read this blog can attest that your day closely mirrored mine. But let's face it, would we have it any other way?

Friday, April 10, 2009

No Such Thing As A Day Off

I was so looking forward to Easter vacation. My son began his yesterday, and it extends to Monday. I had so many things I wanted to do with them: from dyeing eggs to going to the park. Then something so crazy happened. Should I say my children became little monsters?

Maybe it's just the fact that Potter is so use to having a regimen at school that he just needed to let loose for a while. And seriously I may just buy that excuse, but Scooter made sure he had a few surprises for Mommy as well.

Yesterday began with a sinus headache. All right, not the best of beginnings, but I made promises, so off we went to have a great day. Somewhere between mid day and late afternoon, the whining ensued. It finally tornadoed into a full blown meltdown. (You know the type: The one that only other people's children are capable of having. The one you witness at fast food restaurants and promise your children if they ever try that stunt, there will be no tomorrows. Yep, that's the one).

And so it went on and on and on, until finally, Mommies head exploded. I loaded the minivan, children and all, and headed back home. Fifteen minutes into our ride, both children were sleeping. Ah! Sometimes peace and quiet comes in the strangest of places. I could of driven that minivan until the cows came home. If only I had filled up on gas.

So I woke up this morning hoping for a brand new start. Since it's holy week, maybe my children had been visited by God himself last night and he made the proper threats so that Mommies day could be just a bit easier. No such luck.

Off to the grocery store we headed. The trip felt longer than the one to Disney World we took 2 weeks ago. It began outside the store when Scooter realized there were no more car carts (you know those oversized roller coasters that supposedly fit children and a whole week of groceries. Not to mention they weigh 300 pounds and no one else can fit around you in the isles) So I was forced to choose a regular cart (tears, sniffles).

"Ladies and Gentlemen in this corner we have Scooter at 43 lbs. In the other corner Potter at 42lbs." And the fighting began.

From who would weigh the bananas, to who would get to ride on the back of the cart, to who would get to play with the large beach balls on display in isle 10, to who would be the first to knock merchandise off a shelf (Potter won that bet...a bottle of Pledge).

I never prayed so hard for Valium in my life.

I tried every trick in the book. I tried getting them involved, asking them questions, so on and so forth. They had their minds made up when they woke up this morning. They were going to drive Mommy crazy. Mission accomplished at 10:20am Eastern Standard Time.

By the time Hubby arrived home from work I was in a coma curled in fetal position on the couch. Both kids had taken a nap. They didn't wake up much better, and I can't say I was surprised or unhappy about this. See, sometimes I don't mind if my husband gets a taste of the tantrums, the meltdowns, and the somewhat bizarre behavior that the children are capable of dishing out.

Like the optimist I am, I'm sure tomorrow will be better. The plan so far is a trip to the library and another birthday party. I think were expecting a thunderstorm so it looks like a day filled with inside activities. (Dear Lord!)

Ready, Get Set, Go!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To Dye For

Well it's that time of the year again. You know: Easter baskets, bunnies, candy, cavities, and of course dying eggs. So off we headed to Mom-Mom's this morning. Three dozen eggs, two young boys, Martha Stewart glitter, glue, Duddley Star Wars Egg decorating kit, and my computer neatly piled into the minivan.

After much preparation (boiling, cooling, laying down newspaper, laying down more newspaper, mixing dyes, vinegar, etc. etc.) we were finally able to begin.

Let me just begin by saying there should be a warning label on the side of those dying kits. Something like this may suffice: Despite every attempt you make to keep your children clean, there is a good chance that they will have as much or more dye on them then your eggs when finished. Soap and water may not/ will not remove the dye from their skin. Wise parents will reach for the Comet and scour your children to death afterwards. They will also invest in predyed eggs next year. Use at your own risk.

Warnings aside, stepping back and allowing your children to just have fun is the name of this game. For the first time, I was actually able to decorate a few eggs on my own. I sat in awe as I watched my kids need very little supervision. So we lost three eggs total...not too bad. Potter, Scooter and myself all took a turn dropping one on the floor. At least they were hard boiled.

A quick note if you don't mind to the famous Martha Stewart. Dear Ms. Stewart, as a loyal fan, you can bet your behind I watched that egg dying episode of yours. You can also bet that unless your name is Martha Stewart your eggs will never look even close to the ones you so gracefully displayed on your show that day. You can also bet that I will save my money next year by not purchasing fancy glitter any more at Michael's and relying strictly on Dudley Star Wars Egg Dying kits. All My Best, Mommy Maestro

Now that I got that out of my system, may I wish all of you and yours a blessed Easter/Passover or just a darn good weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Teach Your Kids How To Study

As a teacher on hiatus, I like most of you must complete a certain number of hours mandated by the state for continuing education. I try to find classes that pertain to elementary education students, but depending on the schedule with my own children I have often found myself in classes where speakers read directly from power point presentations (something I could easily do myself), or possibly going on and on for hours without ever lifting their head from the book.

Last night was an exception. You'll see in my right side bar a picture of Richard Gallagher. Please take the time to visit his website. Richard is a motivational speaker. He provides a number of programs that are designed for students, parents, and teachers.

If your child is struggling in school, his program How To Study could quite possibly be the answer. Richard offers a number of books, videos and CD's which help supplement his presentations.

Richard believes that that laughing is the key to learning. Wow, if only all teachers taught that way. Could school possibly be fun?

Don't be left in the cold. Go to Richard's website today and I'm sure you'll find something you like.

P.S.- I have been to 3 seminars given by Richard Gallagher. Each were packed with useful information. This is not a paid advertisement, although he did give me a free book after I told him I would mention his program in my blog (Thanks Mr. Gallagher!)

Ooops I Did It Again!

So I arrived home about 9pm last night after sitting with my writer’s critique group. I joined the group just over a year ago now. They are a wonderful group of women who have helped me strengthen my writing skills which will hopefully lead to published work someday.
Since Hubby was still busy with work stuff I decided to head up to the bedroom and watch some television. I was hoping for a comedy or something of the sort. It’s funny how one can get lost in no man’s land with just a few clicks of the remote control. One minute you’re learning a new recipe from Rachel Ray, the next minute you’re traveling Italy with Samantha Brown.

Despite all the wonderful shows my T.V. had to offer, I couldn't help myself. There I was on The Home Shopping Network (again). I usually watch these broadcasting gems after Hubby goes to sleep. Sometimes they even help lull me to sleep. But every now and again the vortex catches me. My inner Jiminey Cricket screams “Don’t do it, Mary!” But I can’t help myself.

A few days before I was flipping through the channels, and of course there I landed on The Home Shopping Network again. They were advertising a Pilate's Machine. I didn’t really need a Pilate's Machine, but there was something about this particular one that kept my interest. So I watched and watched. Something like 200 exercises could be performed on this machine. “How awesome,” I thought. Just then Jiminey knocked me out of my Pilate's trance, and brought me back to reality….just before I dialed the order center.

So, back where I left off…the bedroom watching the Home Shopping Network. And wouldn’t you know it, that darn Pilate's Machine was being sold once again. It was an omen! Jiminey tried to stop me, but I ignored his pleas. Minimize blog window; bring up Home Shopping Network. Shh! There it was on my computer screen in bright color. "Must be mine," I said out loud. And before I could blink an eye the mouse scrolled over the word checkout. "Oops, I did it again!"
My obsession with work-out equipment started at a young age and till this day my basement resembles the likes of Bally's, L.A. Fitness, and Fat Camp all wrapped into one. I would like to brag about how in shape I am. The truth: My addiction to Dunkin Doughnuts coffee and muffins has no doubt unleashed a dragon of cholesterol havoc through my blood stream. We won't even begin to talk about what it has done to my backside.
So, will I use this new machine that I am so excitingly anticipating from Mr. Fed Ex? Well, I guess we're just going to have to wait and see. I have to fit into my bridesmaid dress for my brothers wedding in about a month from now, so I think that will definitely be my inspiration. And before you know it, it will be bathing suit season. (Dear God?!?!)
For now I have decided to watch the Disney Channel with Scooter. It will keep me safe from that Home Shopping Network. If only there was a buffer between me and Dunkin Doughnuts.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oh How times Have Changed

When we arrived home from Disney last week we were bombarded with mail. Inside that neat package which the postman so eagerly handed over were three invitations to birthday parties. Are you serious I thought? How could so many children we know all be born in the same month?

I've noticed a trend since I've graduated from child to adult, and I'm not so sure it's for the best. See, when I was a child and invited to a friends birthday party, we ended up going to the child's house to celebrate. Nowadays it seems the bigger the better.

It began in preschool with my five year old. From Chuckee Cheese's to Bounce Parties. The list goes on and on. No longer are a cake and a few friends acceptable celebrations. Parents must be ready to dish out the cash. Parties generally range from $300-$600. Most do not include cakes. And only some will supply the paper supplies (but absolutely no themes...that's extra).

I had one birthday party at the local roller skating rink when I was 8 years old. I have no idea what my parents paid at the time, but if someone handed them a $300. bill at the end, surely we would have pawned a sibling. I was grateful too. Something that seems to be a forgotten manner.

Don't get me wrong, I know many of us grew up with much less than our children have and we want to give them the best. When and if we can afford to, a birthday somewhere besides our home is a nice jester. But it seems the difference between now and then is the children are running the show. Honestly, how many times have you heard a parent ask their child: "Where do you want your birthday this year honey?"

I remember a time when the parent told the child where their birthday would be. My parents called it the living room. Couldn't get much fancier a place than that. Good Ole Chuckee Cheese was where the rich kids went. And we didn't have these cool bouncy factories. We pulled the mattress off the bottom bunk and jumped off the top. Ta-Da...A homemade bouncy party!

It's only my opinion, but kids have lost their imagination; and parents have lost their balls. (Sorry if that insulted anyone, but the truth is a big pill, and sometimes it's hard to swallow).

My kids have another birthday party this Saturday, and guess what? It's in a living room. I'm looking forward to this one. Maybe they'll let us pull the mattress off the bed?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Blessing of the Bribe

Every other Sunday the kids play indoor soccer. It's their first real team sport they've had the chance to play together. I love the fact that it's indoor so the weather is never an issue. It's also nice that both boys are on the same team. I know just by reading some of your blogs that the day will come when one child needs to be around the corner and the other somewhere in Timbuktu.

So we finally wake up to nice weather here in PA. The high should be around 67. No wind storms. I hate to admit it, but the last place I wanted to be today was indoors. It was just too nice. Apparently that is exactly what some of the other parents were thinking as well, because they didn't even bother to show up (that included the coach, but we'll excuse him since his wife just had a baby).

So there we were with all but six kids ages 4-6 ready to play a game of soccer. It's amazing how much energy one can start with and how quickly it dwindles after you realize you will not be getting a break (since all the subs were too busy enjoying the nice sunny weather).

Right about the 25 minute mark is when we began to notice one child at a time turning into blubber. It was as if we asked them to cross a desert in one hour without food or drink. You could see parent after parent trying to make deals with their little ones. From Happy meals to dollars for each goal scored. They gave it hell. (The kids did too)

I'd like to tell you they won, but the truth of the matter is that they win every week. See, we're in that non-competitive league where everyone wins every game. The idea is to spend this time teaching the children the rules of the game and the importance of teamwork. Next year they get to learn the truth and have their hearts pulled from their chest when they find out there can only be one winner. (I wonder if Happy Meals will still work?)

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Four Year Checkup

Despite any hesitation we may have, every year like clockwork this time arrives. It's time for the Pediatric annual checkup. And if we're lucky enough it will consist of a series of required vaccines that will make your child's eyes pop out of their head, and have that cute little nursing assistant wishing she choose another field in college.

And that's exactly how I spent my Friday morning. There's not much one can do about this day. We just have to say our prayers and hope for the best. Well, I hoped, and I prayed. I can only guess that someone needed the Big Guy a little more than I did today.

I seriously underestimated the strength of Scooter (my four year old). I had decided not to warn him about the vaccines (Good Idea). Unfortunately, I didn't remove his shoes before he was given the vaccines (Bad Idea, who knew?) It took me, my mom and a nurse (who no doubt handed in her resignation after our appointment) to hold onto my little squirmer. As soon as he got wind that there would be shots, he went into flight mode. He even kicked off one of my shoes in the process (I have no idea.)

I can imagine the faces of the poor children in the waiting room listening to the screams that were coming from the other side of the door. We undoubtedly screwed up the profit margin. As I held onto my little one I had but just one thing running through my mind: "The doctor better have lollipops.....or heads are going to roll!"

Seriously, that is what I was thinking. Too old for a pacifier, I needed something to help me/him get through this ordeal.

Before I knew it, it was over. My shoe was on the other side of the office, pieces of hair were pulled from my ponytail, and my deodorant had been unprepared to deal with the enormous amount of perspiration running from my pits down to my wrist (God I hope that new watch I bought in Disney is waterproof).

Like every other child, Scooter pulled out of this experience just fine. Within minutes, he was asleep in the van. And Oh yes....they had lollipops!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vacation Squared

I need to find the guy who has the power to declare holidays. I know the President has some pull, but let's be serious, the man has enough on his plate.

Since Mommy Maestro has a ring of authority to it, let it be me who declares "Vacation Squared."

Oh you haven't heard of it you say? Well, let me take a minute to explain. I recently returned from eight days in Disney World. We had a wonderful time, and need I mention the beautiful weather again? Anyway, I've been home for three days now and let me just say I'm exhausted.

Maybe it's a touch of Murphy's Law, but it literally has been one thing after the other. The bills needed to be attended to Sunday night. The children were invited to three birthdays, one which required an RSVP that day. The dog returned from the kennel smelling like some polluted swamp thing only horror movies can duplicate. The van began to make "that sound" again. There was also the mystery smell that needed attention. (I guess 4 bodies stuffed in a minivan for 18 hours may leave some kind of aroma on the upholstery). It finally dissipated this morning.

Finally, Scooter took the fall of his life yesterday while picking Potter up from school. No sooner did I turn to talk to another Mommy when I heard the worst sound. Scooter had fallen and smacked his face right into the blacktop. He split open his lip and forehead. Luckily no stitches were required.

So I decided when I woke up that I needed a vacation from my vacation. Basically, a little extra time to find my grove before I become overburdened with well, let's just call it what it is...CRAP!

I've put much thought into this holiday over the years. No matter how good or bad the vacation may be, there doesn't seem enough time when you get home to get back to that state of mind you were in when this whole process began.

I think with a little coaxing, many corporations may adopt this holiday. Everyone knows a happy employee is a productive employee.

I don't have a huge following in Bloggy World so I'm depending on the loyal few to spread the word. Everyone for Vacation Squared yell I!