Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Run Baby, Run!

Three years ago I set out on a mission.
I wanted to lose 35 pounds for my wedding. I had never lost the entire 57 pounds I had gained while pregnant with R, and then I put on what my bestie and I lovingly refer to as the "happy fat" after I met Jay. The "happy fat" had made me very unhappy.
It took five months and a lot of hard work. I wouldn't have been able to do it without the support I got from Jay, my best friend/exercise partner, & my family.
I literally worked my butt off, but the hardest part was changing my mindset, and making the conscious effort to make time for MYSELF.

Top left = July 2008, Bottom left = Dec 2009,Right = July 2010 (Our Wedding)
After M was born, I think it was a little easier for me to get the 60 pounds I gained off quickly, because I had already made this a lifestyle change when I lost the weight for the wedding. I knew what had to be done, so I did it.
I joined Weight Watchers on-line and got all the apps for my phone. For me, diet needs to go along with exercise or it doesn't work. Plus, let's be honest... I've got five kids to chase around.
I need my stamina!
So I walked, and did cardio classes a few times a week. It took 11 months for me to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and I've been on maintenance for about 6 months now. At first I lost an extra 4 pounds, and now I fluctuate within a pound or two of that.
I feel good about myself, and I feel healthy. I can walk up and down the basement steps to do laundry without feeling winded! I can bounce on the trampoline with the boys and not be afraid I'm going to break it!

Top = Nov 2011 (Baby M, 10 days new), Bottom left = March 2012 (M's first Easter), Bottom right = Dec 2012 (Precinct Christmas Party)

So what's next?  I need a new hobby, a new goal... I thought about taking up crafting for a while about a nano-second, but let's get real. I couldn't craft my way out of a paper bag... so, where does that leave me?

I want to take up running.
I'm not sure I could run, even if my life depended on it.
I have NEVER run a mile in my life.
As a child, I was always the last one to finish the mile test in gym class because I always walked the entire thing (insert sad face here). I don't want to be like that chubby little girl that I was in elementary school anymore.
I am fit. I am strong. 
I can lift weights, and do an hour of hard core step aerobics four times a week.
I pushed a 9 pound 7 ounce baby out of my who-ha, for goodness sake - and then went back and did it again.
I can run!
There is no reason why I can't do this.  I just need to teach myself how.
I bought new sneakers, and some new workout clothes. I even downloaded the RunKeeper app for my phone.

Now I just have to take the plunge.

I haven't had a new year's resolution since I quit smoking five years ago, but this is my resolution for 2013.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is Two Days Enough?

There are many times I wonder if two days a week is enough to teach my step-kids so many things -manners, good hygiene, respect, the value of a dollar, what a normal relationship looks like... Are we doing enough in those two days to drive it home?

Today I need a little insight. A conversation that Jay and I had with B over the weekend is really weighing heavily on my mind. I try to avoid Jay's ex as a topic here, because my mother always said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"; and I need to choose my words wisely in case my wonderful step-sons should ever come across this blog. However, I need to give you a little background on the situation in order for you to understand where I am coming from on this.

Jay and his ex-wife split 6 years ago next month. She was cheating on him with a colleague, and asked him to leave. He suspects the affair was going on for about 6 months before she finally told him. They lived separate lives under the same roof for about 4 months after that, until Jay finally moved out that June. The same weekend he moved out, the new boyfriend moved in. It's been a revolving door for much of the last 6 years. About 3 1/2 months after we told the boys we were pregnant with M, we got a phone call from B's teacher asking us if we were aware that his mom was also expecting. She and the current boyfriend had a baby boy a few months after M was born. This past December they finally got engaged.

This brings us to the conversation in question. The boys have yet to mention the engagement to us. We only know about it because she happened to mention it to Jay when he dropped the kids off one day last month. She said, "I don't know if the boys told you but...". This really got us thinking... They didn't tell us, but why not?

This weekend we were trying to iron out some scheduling conflicts. The happy couple is planning an engagement party, outside of her regular weekend of course, and that month we are jammed packed with things to do. Luckily, for once she is trying to be flexible, but it's still annoying. Anywho... Jay and I were discussing the plans, so we asked B if he knew about the engagement. He said yes, so I told him we were curious as to why they hadn't mentioned and he said "because we aren't too thrilled about it" :(
"It's more like a business relationship", he said. So, my response to him was - "I bet when daddy and I got engaged you weren't too thrilled, but now you're stuck with me & it's not so bad (chuckle, chuckle)". His response, "yeah, but I knew you were in love".

This breaks my heart! Don't get me wrong, I don't give a hot damn about her relationship in terms of her happiness, but I care about how it affects my boys.  How insightful is this 13 year old boy to know that something is amiss here? It bothers me that he can see through the BS and see that the decisions made there are mostly based on what is financially beneficial. It bothers me that they will be permanently linked to this man that they don't view as a parental figure in any way. From what they tell us, he does very little in the way of supporting them in their daily lives. It bothers me that they may grow up thinking it's better to be wealthy with riches than wealthy with love;  that they will think this is what normal looks like.

So this leads me to my question: Is 2 days enough time to teach them what a healthy, loving relationship looks like?  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Long Weekend Fun

This weekend was much needed for our family. After not seeing the boys for almost 3 weeks thanks to the snow, we couldn't wait to get our hands on them! Jay was still on vacation through the weekend, so we had 3 solid days together all 7 of us.
It really was a great weekend, in spite of the wicked cold I contracted from some nasty germs at school.

M & I spent most of the day time on Saturday resting (she's teething & I was Sneezy McSneeze),
while Jay had some much needed daddy/boy bonding time.
They did a lot of work cleaning out our playroom, and the boys helped out a little with our basement construction.

I am a real stickler for family meal time. On the weekends we always eat all 3 meals together as a family.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Since we don't have this time with Jay's boys during the week, I feel like it is even more important to make it happen on the weekends. Between second helpings and drink refills, I very rarely get to sit down and enjoy a meal,
but I wouldn't have it any other way.

So... much of Saturday was spent in the kitchen. Jay had already prepped the Crock Pot pot roast for Saturday night's dinner, and that was cooking away and filling the house with glorious smells. We had lunch together and then Jay, B and I started work on Sunday's dinner. We had Jay's parents over for dinner on Sunday, and Jay likes to show off when we cook for them, so baked stuffed shells were on the menu. Very delicious, but this involves a lot of "potschke-ing", as my bestie would say,
so we needed an extra set of hands in the kitchen. B was very happy to be our Sou Chef.  
He's actually very good. Maybe he'll go into culinary arts... who knows?
In the meantime we'll just enjoy having his talents in our kitchen.

We had a delicious and wonderful dinner with Jay's parents on Sunday. The kids LOVE seeing their grandparents! It doesn't matter if they come to us or we go to them, they just LOVE seeing them! There was lots of snuggling with grandma and horseplay with grandpa. It really warms my heart to watch them together. Some of my greatest childhood memories involve my grandparents,
so it really thrills me to know my children have the same opportunity to make wonderful memories with theirs.

We watched a couple of movies and played lots of Kinect Sports & Rock Band. We charged a lot of iPods. Monday the men went for haircuts. We did a little shopping. It really was uneventful in every sense of the word, but SO fulfilling at the same time.
I know I am about to sound very sappy and cliche,
but there is truly nothing better than good quality time spent with those you love.

The only down side to our weekend...
This is what Baby M looks like when it's time to take her brothers back to their mom's house :(

Anyone do anything exciting with their extra day off?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Valentine's Day Edition

Today I am thankful for all of the LOVE I have in my life,
and more importantly, the people who are responsible for that love...

  • My husband. He is my true love, my soul mate, my "lobster". He loves me unconditionally. He always knows the right things to say to lift my spirits no matter what my mood. Jay is never shy about complimenting me. With him I always feel beautiful and sexy, even when I first wake up in the morning. When he looks into my eyes, I know I am the only woman he sees. He is a hard worker, a great provider, & and an amazing father. Plus, he puts up with my crap. What more can a girl ask for???        
  • My sons. I love my boys. Each one of them brings a special and unique energy to our family dynamic. I could give you a list of things I love about each one of them, but then we would be here all day because there are just so gosh darn many of them!  I love each one of them for many different reasons, and I am so grateful to have them in my life. They brighten up each and every one of my days and fill up my heart with more love than I ever imagined possible.
  • My baby girl. I've always dreamed of having a little girl. Having M in my life has more than exceeded any expectations I had before she was born. She is so sweet, and silly and loving, she is just a pleasure to be around all the time. She always makes me smile. When my mom passed away I didn't think anything could ever fill the void she left behind, but having a little girl of my own has definitely helped to close that gap. I know the odds of having a girl were not in our favor, and I am so thankful that God blessed us with this amazing gift.
  • Dear old dad. There is a saying about silver linings... my relationship with my father is the silver lining in the cloud of my mother's passing. We have always had a good relationship, but we have grown so much closer in the fifteen years since my mom has been gone. My dad is my rock. He is always there for my husband and I, and he is a wonderful grandfather to our children. We are all so lucky to have him in our lives. He will be spending a large portion of time out of state when he retires, and I am really not sure how we are going to get by without him. For now I will just be grateful for the time we spend together.
  • My one and only big sister. Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be like my sister. She has taught me everything I know about fashion, hair & make-up. When I was a teenager she took me drinking, and showed me how to dance. She has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. She has done her best to step in and offer the guidance she feels my mom would've given. When my ex bailed on me, it was my sister who held my hand and wiped my tears as I brought R into this world. We have been through many things together, some good and some bad. We are both stronger because of those things, and because we have each other. 
  • Last but certainly not least, my very best friend. I met her when I was just 5 years old. We were in the same first grade class, and have been friends ever since. For thirty years she has been there for me. Together we have celebrated countless milestones and shared many heartaches. She has picked me up when I was at my lowest, and flown with me at my highest points. Sometimes I think she knows me better than I know myself - we often joke that we share a brain. Most people search a lifetime for their soul mate. I consider myself very lucky, because I have two.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

She said YES!!!

Four years ago today my love left me speechless for the first time since we'd met. He took me totally by surprise when he asked me to marry him. It's still hard for me to believe that it was four years ago, so many wonderful things have happened for us in such a short period of time.
Tonight we will go back to the place where he asked me the most important question he would ever ask... 
and we will celebrate Valentine's day, each other, and the wonderful life we share together.

Since Valentine's day was a Saturday that year, we knew we would never get a sitter. Jay's parents are still head over heals in love, so they were going on a date, and my dad was taking his girlfriend out to celebrate. Since we haven't found a babysitter yet who candle all 4 boys, we decided to make plans for Thursday, when my dad could watch R and the boys would be with their mom.

Jay made reservations for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. We had made a deal that we wouldn't exchange gifts since we were about to go to contract on the house, and we were going out for this fancy dinner. All I asked for was a small box of Godiva chocolates (Yum-O!!!). I wasn't feeling well at all that day, I was so miserable. I tried to make the best of it at dinner, but my tummy was no good. Poor Jay, all I could think of the whole time at dinner was that I had only seen a card in his hand. I was furious because I thought for sure he had bought me a gift card, and now I didn't have a gift for him -
and where were my Godiva chocolates??? 

After dinner he gave me the card. I was feeling a little less guilty when I realized that there was no gift card inside. As I started to read the card I realized, this was my gift. You see, Jay isn't so good with words, and his handwriting is atrocious! He painstakingly typed multiple paragraphs about how much I meant to him and his boys. He even made it fancy by cutting out the paragraphs with his mom's scrap booking sheers! Tears came to my eyes as I read his touching sentiments. By the time I got to the end I was shaking. I had no idea when we sat down at that table, but now I knew what was happening... When I looked up Jay was down on one knee, right there in the middle of the restaurant, 
and he asked me to be his wife!  

Of course I said YES!!!

When we got out to the car after dinner Jay told me to pop open the glove compartment. What was in there??? You guessed it, MY GODIVA CHOCOLATES!!! Who's better than this guy???

We made a few stops on the way home... my best friend's house, my sister's, my dad's...
 It really was an amazing and surreal night. Sometimes I still can't believe it happened. 
I'm so lucky to have found my soul mate.

Since Jay and I met there have been a few days that I would classify as the best days of my life, and this day was definitely one of them. Truth be told, every day I spend with Jay is the best day. 
There is great comfort in knowing that you will wake up every day next to your best friend, 
and that no matter what that day brings, you won't be facing it alone.
Marriage really is a compromise, a give and take. You must make an investment in each other and keeping your relationship fresh and exciting. For me, the returns on my investment are well worth the effort. 

So tonight I am going to put on my little black dress and go out with my man. Tonight we will celebrate our love and toast to our future, and I can't think of any place else I would rather be.

"To love and be loved is the greatest gift of all" - Henri Toulouse

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Love Story - Part 2

Our first official date was on a Wednesday night. I called my sister over to stay with R, and Jay took me to a local restaurant for dinner. I can't remember the last time I had butterflies in my stomach like that. The atmosphere was nice, the food was great, and there was no lull in the conversation at all. I was on cloud nine after that. I could not stop thinking about him, or talking about him. 
I couldn't wait to see him again.

We started seeing each other a couple of times a week. A few weeks passed and he asked me to be his girlfriend... Did grown-ups do that? I don't know, but I thought it was the cutest & sweetest thing ever! About a week after he asked me to "go steady", we were out at the movies. We went to see Transformers, and I will remember this date forever. We were sitting there in the dark, holding hands, and I was leaned up against his chest. I don't think I've ever felt so safe. I remembering closing my eyes and thinking "I could see myself still sitting here 30 years from now", and that's how I knew I had fallen in love with him. The only thing left was for me to meet his boys.

The following week I met B for the first time. Since he was the oldest (7 at the time), we knew he was going to have the hardest time. We took him to a Yankee game with some of Jay's friends, this way we would have a buffer. I think it went as well as could be expected. He was shy, nervous, a little stand-offish... and rightfully so. Rome wasn't built in a day, so we knew it would take some time.  I'm telling you about this night, because this was also the night we said I love you to each other for the first time.
It was July 18, 2007.
Little did I know that on this date, exactly 3 years later, I would marry this amazing man. 

Eventually I met Jay's other two boys, and we started spending time together on the weekends. Incorporating our families took a little work, but aside from that I think our relationship progressed like any other. We started house-hunting at the end of 2008. I knew I wanted to be with Jay for the rest of my life, so I wasn't at all nervous about buying a house together. I knew my father was less than thrilled with us living together before we were married, or even engaged, but I was going to do it anyway. By the first week in February of 2009, we had an accepted offer on our home.

What comes next is one of my favorite parts of the story... but I will save that for tomorrow :)

Snowed In

It was a little hairy here this weekend. In the post-Sandy world we live in here on the east coast, tensions were high with all the talk of winter storm Nemo. As usual, weather reports gave conflicting accounts of how much of the white stuff would actually fall, and the media hyped up the power company's incompetence - escalating fear of living without power for extended periods of time, again. People were in a panic, gas lines returned... Friday was not a fun day here, at all.
Hope all of you in the Northeast fared well with Nemo.

When all was said and done, we only ended up with 10 inches where I live. It was an inconvenience, and definitely dangerous. I was a nervous wreck knowing Jay was out driving in it for work. Our friends to the east of us got almost 3 feet of snow!!! They are still snowed in ... no plows in sight! 

The biggest bummer of the weekend was that we didn't get to see the boys because of the snow. They also got almost 3 feet by their house, and the roads in their county were almost impassable... so Jay wasn't able to pick them up. Poor R was crying all weekend over it.
He had to build his snowman all by himself :(

Luckily we were able to get out for a bit yesterday. We finally bought tile for our basement! Almost four months after Hurricane Sandy, and repairs will finally begin this week. Better late than never I guess. Jay is on vacation, so this will be his only opportunity to get it done.
Taking care of a 15 month old is not conducive to construction!

I am super excited that Jay will be home all week with us. Valentine's week is a big week for us (stayed tuned for Our Love Story- Part 2), so I'm looking forward to spending a lot of quality time together, especially having the entire family together for the weekend.

I would love to hear your plans for Valentine's day. Anyone doing anything creative or super romantic?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bed Time Blues

Baby M has been a great sleeper since the early days... she was sleeping through the night by 8 weeks. Aside from teething, she has really been a dream in the sleep department.   
My son, on the other hand, is a completely different story.

R has given me problems with bedtime since day 1. As a newborn, he needed to be rocked to sleep. He was a bruiser, born at 9 lbs 7 oz, so he would wake for feedings every two hours. Since his dad had hit the road, we co-slept. He needed to be close to me, I needed to be close to him - we both actually got some sleep this way... it worked for us at the time. Right around the time I met Jay, I was in the process of moving R into his own room. We let him pick the paint, the decor, super cool firetruck big boy bed - the whole nine yards. Needless to say, the transition did not go well. Getting him down was a nightmare. I tried every routine in the book. I would have to lay down with him in his tiny little bed until he fell asleep. Then I would have to slither out, and pray he didn't wake up upon my exist, otherwise we'd have to start the whole process all over again! He woke up at least 2 times per night, Every. Single. Night. Eventually he caught on to the fact that if he woke me up, he would be sent right back to his room. So, instead he started just sneaking into my bed and going right back to sleep.
Sneaky, but he was just so darn adorable as a toddler...

When we moved into our house, R loved the idea of having a bunk bed and sharing a room with D. Luckily, he started sleeping through the night right off the bat. Weekends are the best, because the four boys love going to sleep and having that time together before bed to tell scary stories and whisper secrets. Getting R to sleep during the week, however, has been a challenge we have yet to overcome.

R still hates bed time. He does not like going to sleep, regardless of day or time. He fights us every night of the school week. It's very frustrating to have a one year old who lays right down without a peep, and then have to engage in a power struggle with my 7 year old. I have tried putting him to bed earlier, thinking he is acting up because he isn't getting enough sleep. I have tried putting him to bed a little later, because he is getting older - and lets face it, it's easier than arguing. The typical routine could take up to an hour. There is whining, flopping around on the floor like a fish, running around naked - I'm getting exhausted just thinking about it! I think we need a bed-time routine make over. Something has got to give here. There has to be a way to make bed time a more pleasant experience.

Any suggestions? What works for you? Do you find differences between boy habits and girl habits? Any sure fire tips to help us shake these bed-time blues?

This momma needs some help, STAT!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Love Story - Part 1

I've seen this a lot lately, with Valentine's Day coming, and I love the idea. I could tell our story over and over again, because sometimes I still can't believe it finally happened to me. I also think this is a great way to document our meeting in my own words for Baby M. So here goes....

This is the story of how I met my "Lobster"...

I got a phone call from a friend of mine. She was out with her husband at a retirement party, and there was another cop from his precinct there who they were talking to - "He's cute!" she says, "and he's divorced... can I give him your number"? In spite of the fact that the last time she had tried to fix me up with someone it was a total disaster, I thought to myself, "what do I have to lose?"
So I told her to give him my number, and kinda forgot about it.

*This would be a good time for some brief background on my relationship with R's dad. I will try to keep it brief. I met him in 8th grade. We dated until my senior year of high school. He was my first love, and I really thought we would be together forever. Of course, we weren't. Skip ahead five years - now I'm done with college, working full time, loving my life. We ran in to each other at a party, and the rest was history... or not. Five years after we got back together, I got pregnant with R. It was not planned, but I was under the impression that we would get married eventually, so I was happy. I had always wanted to be a mom, so I was on board. He, on the other hand, couldn't handle it. I came to find out later that he had been cheating on since before R was conceived. After denying it for a while, he left me for the other woman for good when I was 5 months preggo with R.                            
He was gone, and R & I were on our own. *

Anyway, back to my "Lobster"...
I hadn't been feeling well for a few days, but decided to take R out for a walk, hoping the fresh air would do me some good. While we were out walking, my phone rang. It was the guy my friend gave my number to! I couldn't believe he actually called! Come to find out, his name is Jay. At this point, he is in the middle of getting divorced, and has 3 boys, ages 7, 3 and 1. We had a really nice chat and I agreed to meet him at a local diner that Saturday night. Little did I know, the man upstairs had other plans.

I still wasn't feeling well, and I had started to swell in my hands, feet and legs. It was getting worse by the minute. Long story short, I ended up in the hospital! I had to cancel our date :(
I was there for a week and it was the longest week of my life. I was literally having panic attacks daily from being away from R, who was only 20 months old at the time. They never did figure out what was wrong with me - they called it virus of unknown origin. I was unable to work for a month after, and was on breathing treatments for quite some time. Needless to say, dating was the last thing on my mind.

A couple of months went by and I was finally starting to feel like myself again.  I was getting together with a bunch of friends at a local bar, and the couple who had given Jay my number were also going to be there, so I decided to send Jay a text and see if he could make it. I admit, I took the easy way out. I was too nervous to call him after all that time had passed, so I sent him a text message instead. I couldn't believe it when he answered! He was going to come!!! I literally invited every person I knew.
I was SO nervous!

It must have taken me 3 days to pick out an outfit. Then I changed my clothes at least 5 times before I left the house. Thank goodness my sister agreed to babysit, because I definitely needed her fashion advice and brutally honest critique before I left the house. I remember walking in to that bar that night so vividly in my mind. That night changed my life forever. Now, I need to preface my next statement by saying I am not a shallow person, looks are definitely not at the top of my list of important qualities. However, for some reason, I was picturing Jay a certain way based on the sound of his voice, and for whatever reason, the picture wasn't pretty. Maybe my subconscious was trying to keep my expectations low so I wouldn't be disappointed. Who knows?! Anyway, I remember thinking as I walked in
"Oh thank goodness, he's SO CUTE!!!"

His personality definitely matched his good looks. He was so sweet, polite and chivalrous. Of course we started talking about our children right away, and we really hit it off. At the end of the night, he offered to drive me home. I know my bestie was nervous about me leaving with him, but I just had this feeling... like I had known him forever. He drove me home in what has been lovingly referred to since that night as his "little blue spaceship", or Toyota Prius, lol. I was so fascinated by the workings of the hybrid, plus he was concerned about the environment! That definitely scored him some points! When we got to my house, he told me he wanted to kiss me, but he was too nervous... so I kissed him instead. I'm usually not like that, but something in my gut was telling me this was right. 
We made plans to see each other later that week, and said good night. 

... and just like that, my world came alive again. After almost 3 years of depression, fear of being alone forever, and living my life only for my son - my world was filled with so much color and hope. I don't really believe in love at first sight per say,
but something was definitely going on here... and I couldn't wait to see him again. 

To be continued....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Snack Bowl!

For those of you who don't know, my handsome hubby has many titles - husband, daddy,
& step-daddy just to name a few, but one of the most important, is "Officer".
He is an amazing family man by day, and dedicated police officer by night.

Luckily, his latest assignment has landed him steady Sundays off, and an amazing group of co-workers. It was a nice treat that he was guaranteed to be off for Super Bowl Sunday. Since our beloved New York Giants were not in the running this year, the hubs and I were a little on the fence about what to do for the big game. Jay's partner and his wife hosted their entire unit at their place, and we decided to hire the babysitter and hang out sans kids. I'm so glad we did! We had a great time!

Of course, all of us ladies were there for the commercials and half-time show, & to keep track of the boxes, but my favorite part was.... the FOOD! I spent the better part of last year on Weight Watchers trying to shed the extra pounds from baby M. I can proudly say that I am currently entering month 5 of maintenance. It's been hard work, but it's worth it to feel good and be able to keep up with my kiddos. With that being said, Super Bowl Sunday most definitely = cheat day! We had amazing Buffalo wings from a local place, and of course, pizza. Jay and I made a delicious 6 layer Mexican dip, that was my favorite! This was all followed by a delicious slice of cannoli cake and a brownie :) I had a few beers, but I only drink Michelob Ultra, because it's very low in points. I hate to drink my calories ;) ;)

I did catch a few commercials and some of Beyonce's half time show. I think the Taco Bell commercial was my favorite, but I also really enjoyed the Budweiser Clydesdale's:

Oprah's Jeep commercial:

and the Dodge Farmers

I missed both of the Doritos commercials, which I heard were pretty funny - I was apparently too busy stuffing my face! Which commercials did you like best?

I saw Beyonce's opening and closing songs, which I thought were both fantastic. She is a really great entertainer, and Damn, can that girl sing!!! I was dying to see what she would do after the whole Inauguration controversy.  I missed Destiny's Child, but honestly I wasn't too broken up over it, I'm not much of a half-time show junkie. Usually I'm busy in the kitchen during that time.

So, only two minor down-sides to our fun evening out... Thanks to the safety, which quite frankly, I'm still trying to understand... we lost out on ninety bucks. Bummer. Also, that baby M decided to take a nap at 8:00. We knew she was going to fall asleep early, because she did not nap well during the day. Unfortunately, when big brother R came home from his dad's, he made a lot of noise - shocker! - and woke her up... at 9:30!!! An hour and a half nap at 8 pm!!! NG!!! (This is short for NOT GOOD! - you should memorize this, I use it, A LOT.) Anywho, she was up until past midnight after her late evening siesta! Needless to say, I was one sleepy momma yesterday. This is what I get folks, for trying to enjoy a night out with Jay. This is the Mommy Karma! I was dragging all day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Step-mother's Guilt

Once a month my step-sons spend the weekend with their mother. I dread this weekend and love this weekend all at the same time.

I dread it because I miss them so much, and I feel terrible for my husband that he has to spend a weekend away from them. Poor R is miserable on the weekends that his brothers don't come to our house. He misses his best friends, and it's heartbreaking.

At the same time I love it, because it keeps me from being chained to my house for three days. The simple fact is, it's almost impossible to go out by myself with five kids in tow. B is old enough to stay home by himself, or even with one of his brothers, but definitely not with all three. Then I get "why does B get to stay home???" or "why can't I stay home with B???" Can we say MAJOR HEADACHE?!?! It's not even worth it to make the attempt....

So, instead I stay home every weekend and hang with all five of my loves. I use the time to clean up and do the 12 loads of laundry we have every week. Most weekends I'm able to get out alone to do the grocery shopping on Sundays, because Jay's off - oh joy! Sometimes I can squeeze in a manicure first :) We watch a lot of movies together. Mostly of the Superhero variety. Ask me about the latest love story, and I couldn't tell you... but I can recite lines from The Avengers or tell you anything you want to know about Transformers. We play board games, boy do they love UNO... and I love playing it with them.... but sometimes you just want to get out of the house! So, on the last weekend of every month, I schedule appointments and plan to do all the things I can't do easily with five little people trailing behind. I try to jam a bunch of things into one weekend, because it's easier to leave Jay with just one or two kids as opposed to all five, or to travel with just M & R. Have you every tried to find a babysitter for five kids on a Saturday? I can tell you from experience, it's almost impossible... much easier to find a sitter for one or two.

This weekend we actually hired the sitter twice!

That's right, it's the last weekend of the month... it's their mom's weekend... so, at 3:30 today, I begin the marathon of things I have scheduled for this month's weekend "off".

Tonight I'm headed out to celebrate my big sister's birthday at a club that she likes. I haven't been to a club in years... should be interesting.

Tomorrow we scheduled baby M's 15 month/Valentine's Day pictures during the day and then we are headed to my bestie's house for dinner and a play date for baby M.

Sunday I'm dragging Jay with me to do the grocery shopping, and then we are headed out to a Superbowl party sans kiddos. We actually get to act like a newlyweds for a while! Who knew???

I am getting excited just thinking about it! The more excited I get, the more guilty I feel :(

It's quite the conundrum really... I love being with them. For all the stress of refereeing five kids all
weekend long, the love that fills my house Friday - Sunday makes it all worth it. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of love Monday - Thursday, but the weekends take it to another level. I love the way the boys interact with their sister; and even though they spend 85% of their time bickering, I love watching the boys together. I love that they have each other to play with, so much different than my own childhood. So much more hustle & bustle in our house.... but I also love the quiet that comes with their mom's weekend, when R sleeps in because there is no one for him to play with at the crack of dawn. When R will actually spend a whole weekend day with his dad because his brothers aren't there, and I can throw M in the car and go where ever I want. When I can get dressed in something other than sweats because there is actually time for me to take a shower! Oh, the little things!

So, for now I'll just enjoy this jam-packed weekend, and live with my step-mother's guilt while doing it... On Monday I start looking forward to next weekend, which will surely be filled with lots of love, laughter & sweat pants :)