Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's Worse Than I Thought....

This week, I was able to watch WLIW Channel 21's three part series Leaving Long Island, and felt informed, empowered and disturbed all at once. The series (each part is 1/2 hour) set forth questions and answers in a Town Hall format, having taken place at Hofstra University.

Young people ages 24 - 44 are leaving Long Island due to lack of affordable housing, high taxes and high cost of living. Unlike other areas of the United States, Long Island has minimal rental apartments, a fact that greatly contributes to the lack of affordable housing. "If you can't afford to buy a house, you can't live on Long Island," said one of the panelists on the program, and while 62% of houses in Nassau and Suffolk counties were priced less than $200,000 in the year 2000, that number was less than 4% last year. Those figures do not include property taxes.

The decreasing amount of young people will force Long Island companies to relocate because they will not have access to fresh, new talent, thereby increasing the cost of living for those remaining on Long Island because businesses will not be here to absorb a significant amount of the property tax cost. Add to this the fact that the Baby Boomer generation will soon be retiring, and Long Island stands to be in an extreme economic crisis. There are very large companies here that employ significant amounts of people - Cablevision, CA, Arrow Electronics and North Shore LIJ Health Care System, to name a few.

The good news is that this problem is being recognized by Long Island governments and people who matter. The answer can lie in this next statement - right now, the people of Long Island need to come together as a community to find ways to keep the younger generation here to ensure that we can all keep living, working and enjoying living on Long Island.

Leaving Long Island ran May 26 - May 28 at 730pm and 1130pm and will rerun on June 15 at 10am. If you haven't seen it, set your DVRs. If you are not in our programming area, you can watch it on the web. It is most definitely a don't miss. If you don't live here, it will make you appreciate where you do live.

Do you see the same thing happening where you live? Or are young people moving there in droves? I'm interested to hear.

Cross posted on newsletter dated 5/29/2008

The Bachlorette Episode 2 Recap

My timing definitely sucks. Sometimes though, life gets in the way of writing the latest Bachelorette recap. Without further ado, here it is.

My thoughts have not changed from last week. I spent a good part of the two hours of this week's episode thinking, what garbage can did they find these guys under? But, I digress.

The show opens with a very long recap of last week’s episode, which of course includes DeAnna’s debacle from her season on The Bachelor with Brad. I really don’t understand why they keep bringing this up. The poor girl was mortified in front of the entire country, not once, but TWICE by this guy. Why does ABC keep throwing it out there? If I was DeAnna, I’d be plenty pissed off. Moving on. You can read my recap of episode 1 here, I can’t go through that again.

Anyway. All of the guys are standing in front of the beautiful mansion when Chris lets them know that no, they won’t be staying there. Instead they’ll be staying in a dingy guesthouse where they have to shower outside under a shower head with no walls. However, three of the guys will stay in the mansion with DeAnna. This week, these guys are the three that received first impression roses last week – Jeremy, Richard and Jesse. Needless to say, these three guys are totally psyched.

One of the guys from the house brings a date card to the guys in the guest house. The date card tells them who gets to go on a date with DeAnna. The first date goes to Jason, Ryan, Twilley, Sean, Paul, Fred and Richard. For me, nothing has changed since last week. Love Jason. Can’t stand Twilley (he always looks like his eyes are closed for some reason). At this point, I’m pretty ambivalent to the rest. This date brings them to The Magic Castle, which looks pretty cool. It’s a house that just has magic tricks, magicians and other stuff everywhere. For the first trick, DeAnna has to pick an assistant and she picks Jason. He’s SO happy. So am I. They climb into a box, the magician does his thing and what do you know, they disappear. Shocker. The guys are pissed. Jason and DeAnna disappear for what seems like awhile into a room where they sit on a couch and talk. It seemed like Jason was going to tell her about his son, which I was personally hoping that he wouldn’t, but he didn’t. Smart guy. Not that he’s hiding it, but he wants her to get to know him before she prejudges him for having a kid. I though wonder where the kid's mom is – were they never married, are they divorced or did she pass away? My guess is that she’s alive somewhere because if she wasn’t, I’d bet money that ABC would be milking that. After Jason and DeAnna rejoin the group, Sean takes DeAnna away for a little chat on a loveseat next to a piano. This was probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen so far. Sean is the martial arts master (remember last week he decided to kick a lemon off of Jesse’s head?) and he doesn’t really do anything for me in the personality department. Oh, and he has a mullet. Bad haircuts aside, he starts to talk to DeAnna and wants her to know "another side" of him. Every time he starts to talk, the piano starts to play. And as he said, the piano isn’t just interrupting him, it’s mocking him. Seriously. Sorry Sean. He never got to say what he wanted to because of the piano, but it gave viewers a pretty good laugh at him. No way will he be the last one standing, so just end it now, DeAnna. Please don't give Sean a rose this week.

The guys at The Magic Castle all want to know who is going to get the rose that night, so they’re pulling out all the stops. DeAnna asks them to show her a magic trick each and some are okay, but then there’s Twilley. Oh wow, this guy is a total disaster. He gets in front of the group and starts to tell a story. Only it seems to go on F-O-R-E-V-E-R. And ever. And ever. I thought it was going to be the rest of the show, him telling his story. I couldn’t tell you what it was about because I lost interest and it really doesn’t matter. It was dumb. Really, really dumb. Oh, I hope he doesn’t get a rose. He shouldn't have even gotten one last week.

Here’s the first guy-fight. Why, oh why, do these guys act like a bunch of women? The fight is pretty much Twilley versus Paul and Ryan, with Paul and Ryan saying that they think Twilley isn’t there for the right reasons and if he’s going to hurt DeAnna and not open his heart to her, he should leave. Now Paul (the smart guy who stripped last week and jumped into the pool in the freezing cold) and Ryan (who this week revealed to the guys that he's a virgin) know DeAnna pretty well after what, one conversation? Oy vey.

DeAnna then talks to Fred and Paul. No excitement there. None at all. Fred has a major Chicago accent, Paul’s is from Canada. The conversation had no substance to it at all. Poor DeAnna, half the time she really must be bored to tears. Now it’s DeAnna’s turn to give one rose to someone in the group. She chooses Paul. Can’t figure out what she was thinking, but at least it wasn’t Twilley.

In the meantime, a date card gets delivered to the guesthouse for the guy who gets the only one on one date of the week. It goes to Graham. Although Jason is still my front runner, Graham is a close second. He’s so cute and just really sweet and their date seemed to go pretty well. They fly kites, hang out by a fire at the beach and talk. DeAnna seems pretty bothered by the fact that Graham has only had one serious relationship that recently ended and for a minute it seems that she isn’t going to give him the rose, which would mean that we say goodbye to Graham. But, no. He gets the rose. He’s a little hard to read, so I can't predict what's going to happen. I think I need some more time with him ;)

When they come back from their date, Twilley is waiting for DeAnna. Waiting outside, in the bushes. Stalk much? This guy is really creepy. He tells her something like he wants her to know there’s another side to him, blah, blah. The fact does remain though that he's a stalker. And really creepy. DeAnna needs to get rid of him. Now.

The second group date goes to Chris, Robert, Brian, Jesse, Ron, Jeremy, and Eric and their group goes to Dodger Stadium, hangs out on the field and has a home run derby with Tommy LaSorda. Having nothing to do with DeAnna, these guys were totally psyched! Chris sings the national anthem poorly and has no idea of the words. Ummm….really? The winner of the home run derby gets some alone time with DeAnna. It’s Jeremy. He reveals to her that both of his parents have passed away, and DeAnna feels a bond with him. You do feel bad for him, but he’s still a dork. And she gives him the rose. Oy.

Back at the house, Jason decides to tell the rest of the guys about his son at home. They don’t seem to care too much, although I do wonder if one of them will stick this information in their back pocket and tell DeAnna about it before Jason does. If they do, Jason is sunk. I hope this doesn’t happen.

Now the guys are getting girly again and get all mad that Jeremy has two roses and gets to be in the mansion for a second week in a row. They act like he should have refused it to give everyone an equal shot. What the ….? One of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

This is getting really long so I’m going to give you just a few highlights of the weekly cocktail party. Ron asks DeAnna (in front of others) why Jeremy got two roses. DeAnna handled it pretty well and didn’t talk about what Jeremy had told her about his parents, which was really great of her. She then tells Twilley that she thought it was weird that he waited for her after her date with Graham. Go DeAnna! Then Jeremy talks to DeAnna about how the guys are mad at him and then kisses her. I think he’ll stay around for awhile, but won’t be in the finals. Lastly, the guys have a push up contest. Jesse wins, even though Ryan thinks he has it in the bag because he’s a pro football player. Sorry Ryan!

The 9 roses go to Ron, Jesse, Robert, Brian, Jason, Fred, Sean, Richard and Twilley (huh??). And Eric, Chris and Ryan (no surprise there) go home.

Twilley is MUCH worse than any of the guys eliminated, even Ryan. So I think she made a mistake there. Hopefully he’ll be gone next week.

Any predictions on the finals? Right now I am rooting for Jason, but also like Graham, Jesse and Brian, who although pretty quiet, seems extremely genuine. I'd love to hear what you think, leave a comment below!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Theo!

Growing up, I always wanted a dog. My parents always said no. My mom would say "When you are older and you have a house of your own, you can get a dog."

When I got married, we lived in a co-op apartment, with strict rules of "no pets that make noise." We tried to get a cat, but that was a disaster. When we lived in our apartment, we would often talk about what kind of dog we wanted. We knew that we wanted a dog that would be good with kids and gentle. We did some research and found out about Labradoodles. Funny, right? They are a combination of Labrador Retriever and a poodle. Digging more, we found out about Goldendoodles (combo Golden Retreiver and a poodle). Bingo, we hit the jackpot!

A little history on the breed. Someone was researching hybrids and found that if you crossed the poodle with another breed of dog, hypoallergenic traits would come out. Crossing with the golden or the lab to produce a dog that had a great change of being hypoallergenic allowed people with dog allergies to have seeing eye dogs. Extremely popular in Australia, the breeds were slowly making their way into the US. At the time, there were only a few breeders of this kind of dog in the US. People who lived here were having the dogs imported from Australia, paying thousands of dollars to have them sent here.

We found a house in December 2001 and went to contract right away. Once we knew we were moving in in the summer, we started to do some internet research about the breed that we wanted. After alot of research and deliberation (no joke, this was a HUGE project), we put our name on a waiting list with Mueller's Woodville Kennels in Wisconsin, and, after approximately three months, we received a call that our puppy was born on May 23, 2002. Yay for us! Sure. Yay for us that our dog, who was supposed to grow to "60 pounds and medium size" has grown to be 90 pounds and extra large size, often mistaken for a pony. You laugh, but I am so not kidding. We used to take him all over the place and bring him to outside fairs in the summertime. One time, a little boy approached us and asked "Is that a dog or a pony?" His mother heard him and looked over also wanting to know the answer. Yes, our Theo has come a very long way from the 10 pound puppy that we picked up at the airport in July 2002.

Theo turned 6 years old yesterday. He was here before either of our kids, when our house was a disaster. We went through about five different dog trainers and countless numbers of time when we almost rehomed him for various reasons. He's a little hard to manage, still barking at the mailman like he is hungry for his lunch, but he's a good boy, mellowing a little bit in his old age. Our kids love him and love dogs, although our daughter is afraid of cats. Go figure.

Here's Theo yesterday on his 6th birthday with Aaron & Camryn.

Friday, May 23, 2008

No Beach? You Live On An Island!!

Growing up, I loved going to the beach. A bunch of us would go on the weekend, bring food and drinks and hang out at the beach. I live on Long Island - we're surrounded by water. As a kid, I would go with my dad on the weekends. My senior year in high school, we had "Cut Day" and we all wound up at the beach.

So what happened? Why, as a grownup, do I never go to the beach? I'll tell you why. It's too sandy and sand gets everywhere. It's a long walk from the car to the sand, it gets too hot, I don't go in the ocean and it always winds up being too crowded. And then I thought, when, in my 33 years, did I turn into an 80 year old woman??

Two summers ago when my son was 3 and my daughter had just been born, we realized we had never taken our son to the beach. He had only seen sand because of the disgusting sandbox at the park. He had never seen the ocean. Never seen the ocean, can you believe that? Again, we live on an island! I mentioned it to my friend Claudine and she was appalled surprised "You've NEVER taken him to the beach? Isn't he 3" she asked, but even through e-mail, her tone said "What is wrong with you people?"

So one day that summer, we dropped the baby at Grandma & Grandpa's house, packed up our son, a gazillion toys, towels, some lunch, snacks and a book (for me) and went to the beach. It was a great day few hours, watching our son as he enjoyed his first beach experience.

We haven't been back since. This summer, my daughter will be 2 1/2 and I'm wondering if we can take her to the beach or if she'll try and eat the whole beach worth of sand. Maybe we'll go back this year, maybe not. It depends if the 80 year old woman in me chooses to surface, and how long she decides to stay.

This post is part of the Huggies® Little Swimmers® blog blast from Parent Bloggers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The New Bachelorette

I think that I have watched one season of The Bachelor in its entirety. I did though watch the entire season of The Bachelorette with Jen Sheft, all the way through to the disastrous ending, and also the season with Trista and Ryan (awww.....). On the seasons of The Bachelor, I've usually watched the last episode. On the last season, Bachelor Brad Womack cheesed out, couldn't commit and didn't pick anyone. He did though break a heart. DeAnna's. Twice. And guess what? Yup, DeAnna is the newest Bachelorette. She's young, sweet and adorable. And we're going to follow her this season. Yup, I am going to commit to watching The Bachelorette this season! Because, you know, as a mom, wife, business owner, employee, blogger and friend, I don't have enough to do.

So here's our first recap. **Don't read this if you have The Bachelorette on TIVO because there are spoilers**

The first episode was two hours, which is pretty much too long for a TV show (unless it is Grey's Anatomy). This recap is not going to be that long.

The first part of the show reviewed DeAnna's humiliation with Brad. How he didn't choose her. How she was miserable. And how, at the reunion show, he didn't choose her again. So the host (what's his name??) says, "This time, DeAnna will be the one breaking hearts." Does that mean we are going to see these men cry? Oy.

The show moves on to show little clips of some of the guys. They are mostly shirtless, shaving, getting dressed and packing. The do though show Sean breaking wood (get your minds out of the gutter, he's a martial-arts master) and Richard incredibly into teaching his science class in Binghamton (go NY!). Another guy talks about his divorce and then they show Luke picking oysters. Yup, that's his job. He's an oyster picker. They show more guys in the shower and one even demonstrates how he does his hair. Wow, this show is really deep. And there really isn't anything else on TV. Ryan goes on to talk about how he's very religious, doesn't drink, smoke or cuss and is a virgin. And he's wondering how DeAnna will deal with that. My first impression is that some alot of these guys are dorky. And then they introduce Jason. A single dad from Washington state. They show him putting his son to sleep, talking about being separated to his son. As a mom, it's heartbreaking. But this guy is my favorite. He's so my favorite that I already want him to win. He's adorable, so that doesn't hurt.

On to the guys meeting DeAnna. The voice over is all of these guys talking smack about Brad Womack. Oh, and how their moms are happy because now DeAnna could be with them. One of the guys in the limo even warns another one not to throw up on DeAnna. Oy vey.

Oh wait, before they meet Brad, Cris takes DeAnna into another room and talks for another few minutes about Brad. And how he broke her heart. Twice.

Okay, now it's really time for the guys to meet DeAnna. One by one, each guy comes out of the limo and has about thirty seconds with DeAnna. I'm hoping that the editing is just really bad because these meetings are extremely awkward. So much so that it makes me uncomfortable. And embarrased for alot of them. And I'm thinking - where on earth did they find all of these guys?? It must be slim pickings for bachelors these days, because these guys...let's just say that words can not describe them.

Here's each guy in summary:
Brian from Texas - he looks older than his 31 years, but he comes out with some cheesy line about why he's doing the show.
Paul - he's short. That's my first impression. He's from Canada and okay, he twirls her around. Hmmm...
Graham - he's cute, in a very tall and lanky sort of way.
Sean - here's the Martial Arts master. He totally needs a haircut.
Rich - the science teacher who is impressed with the fact that he did not trip on the way to DeAnna. But he wants to talk about campfire stories with her. Huh?
Jason - He's awesome. And he speaks Greek to DeAnna (did I mention that she is Greek??). And he's not even Greek. But he's still adorable.
Spero - sort of Elvis Costello-ish looking. I'm confused because his name sounds Greek, but he doesn't say anything about being Greek. Hmmm..
Jesse - skater dude. Wearing some crazy jacket and jeans and the only thing DeAnna says to him is "You got really dressed up." Uh-oh. Things do not look good for Jesse.
John - this is the guy that did his hair. He does nothing for me.
Chris - he says alot of "awesome" and looks at her dress and says "bling bling". Huh?

Cut to the guys talking inside, like a bunch of girls. This has got to be scripted because guys DO NOT talk like this. Ever.

Second limo:
Brian from Indiana - he's really tall, admits that he's nervous and seems to be okay.
Jeffrey and Don really leave no impression at all.
Ryan - immediately talks about how strong he is in his faith. Is that something you bring up right away?
Blaine, aka Twilley - what?? He looks like Pee Wee Herman. And is amazed that DeAnna hugs him.

There's 10 more left. Have I lost you yet? This is quick. Imagine having to watch this. It's almost painful. Almost painful enough to decide not to watch the rest of the season. But the "coming soon" shows one guy howling like a coyote. I feel like I'm in a twilight zone. Bachelorette induced.

On to the last 10....

Ron - he's not wearing his suit jacket. Why? He left it in the car.
Patrick C. - John Mayer-ish looking guy with the floppy hair. he's cute, in a grungy sort of way.
Luke - here's the oyster farmer. DeAnna says, "Tell me something funny." He says, "Something funny? Okay, you look great." Huh? DeAnna feels the same way. Lots of nervous laughter. Things are not looking good for Luke.
Eric - another Greek speaker. After Jason, he's already my second fave.
Robert - very tall. And he does a little salsa with DeAnna. And he's a chef which is great.
Chandler - he keeps looking off to the site. What is he looking at? DeAnna asks him and he says that he's looking at her. Dude, she's not on the other side of the house.
Greg - he gets bonus points from me because he's from New York City.
Fred - the craziest Chicago accent I've ever heard. I'm also wondering if he brushed his hair. He looks like he's got bed head. Really bad bed head.
Patrick D. and Jeremy - the final two and they are totally blah. I've got nothing to say about either of them.

The next half hour is spent with all of these guys trying to talk to DeAnna. It's long and on the boring side but here are the highlights.
- Jason gets the first alone time with DeAnna. He's still adorable. And he's waiting to tell her about his son. Smart move, Jason!
- DeAnna's friend Jenni comes to interview the guys and help out. Don is wasted and asks Jenni to sit on his lap. Okay, he's totally history. What a pig. She really likes Graham, Jason and Jesse.
- The first impression roses (3 of them!!) got to Jeremy (can't figure that one out), Richard and Jesse. Wow, Jesse rose from the ashes. He's cute!
- Martial arts master sets up and kicks a rose off of Jesse's head. Hmmm.
- Paul jumps in the pool, strips down to his little speedo that says "DeAnna" on the butt. Really odd. But she does notice him. And, by the ending rose ceremony, his clothes are dry. Must be "reality" television.
- DeAnna sits outside with Ryan and a blanket. Or rather, Ryan, under a blanket. And she is freezing. Luckily, Spero saves the day and comes out and gives her his coat and chastises Ryan. Not a great start for the guys.
- Robert throws on an apron and starts cooking an appetizer for DeAnna, which impressed me. Robert is rising in my eyes.
- Eric talks to DeAnna about their Greek families and the Greek wedding they are going to have.
- Chandler whips out a duck caller and Brian from Indiana forces DeAnna to feel his abs. Psycho?

On to the rose ceremony. 10 guys are going home. Thank god. I thought this season was going to go into 2009. However, it's mostly not surprising who gets a rose and who goes home. Here's the breakdown:

Staying - Ron, Graham, Eric, Robert, Twilley, Sean, Ryan, Paul, Fred, Jason, Jesse, Richard, Jeremy, Brian from Texas and Chris.

Going - Don, Chandler, Greg, Brian from Indiana, Luke, Spero, John, Jeffrey, Patrick C. and Patrcik D.

I could make this longer but I'm totally going to stop here. It's going to be a LONG season.

Monday, May 19, 2008

This Is What Happens

My daughter is 2. That means that every conversation includes "I do it."

These are the results of said daughter putting on her own socks after pajama time.

It's a Juggle....

This weekend, I read a quote that I can't get out of my mind. Sara Moss, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and mother of four, said "It's a juggle, not a balance."

Truer words will never be spoken.

Before I had kids, I was very career driven. So career driven that I thought that nothing would ever come between me and my goals. Not even a kid. Especially not a kid.

Then I had my son. This beautiful, amazing little boy who I helped to create. Who I carried around in my belly for 8 months. Who made me vomit every single day in various places including (but not limited to) on the Long Island Railroad, in Penn Station and sometimes on the site of the street during my long commute into NYC. Who made me, on a daily basis, feel sicker than I had ever felt in my life. Who surprised us all by arriving almost one month early. Who was born so early that he shared a birthday with his grandma, a grandma that he would never meet. Who, when I held him for the very first time, made me realize that my life would never again be about only me. Who I loved more than anything from the moment I saw him.

When I went to college, my plan was to study psychology. Halfway through my sophomore year, I realized that when I graduated, I wanted two things - to work and to make money. So one night, doing some homework, I realized, "I'm good at math, I'll major in accounting." And that was it, I became an accounting major. I was admitted to the business school at my university and spent the next two years struggling through two years of hard classes, got a job out of college that sent me traveling all over the country auditing newspapers and sat for the CPA exam more times than I care to remember. When I passed the exam (and got engaged all in the same week), I opted out of the travel and was hired for a more corporate job, which I liked. My career path was changing, I wasn't going to be a partner in a big accounting firm, as I had once imagined. But my goals were constant - I still longed to be a high level executive, making decisions and carrying companies from bad times into better times than they ever imagined. I never thought I would ever want to stay home, I never thought I wouldn't want what I had always imagined I would have.

January 2003, enter this little boy into my life. I wanted to be with him all of the time, raise him to know right from wrong, teach him everything I could possibly pass on to him. But he did need to eat. And have clothes. And in order for him to have these basic necessities, I had to work. And someone else had to care for him. At this point, I came to a major realization. I could either accept the fact that I needed go to work every day in order for my child to have all of the things I wanted him to have. Or, I could allow this job to make me miserable and by extension, make my family miserable. The second choice didn't work for me and I dealt with the fact that I worked. And worked 10 - 12 hours per day, running 3 US offices for an advertising agency in downtown NYC. My son understood my working most of the time, but there were days when he cried. As he got older, there were days when he asked me to stay home with him. And there were days when he asked why his grandma takes him to school when everyone else's mommy takes them to school. And my heart broke. But I told him, "I have to work so we can buy you toys and lollipops." That seemed to make things okay for this little boy.

When I couldn't take the commute for one more second, I took a similar job closer to home. That ended in disaster, but that's a story for another day. And then I was pregnant with another baby, who I prayed and hoped would be as amazing as her brother. And she is, in so many ways, and in so many different ways.

After baby 2, I kept working. But my views and thoughts on working changed. Drastically. I'm not saying that once I had kids, I had no more goals. I still had goals, maybe even loftier than before. But these goals were different. They were no longer only my goals, they were our goals. As a family. A family with the most amazing children parents could ever ask for. My goals were for them to be happy. For them to be successful. For them to be the best people they possibly can. And for them to excel and reach their goals. My goals were now a means to get them there, without losing myself in the process. To keep the balls that I was juggling in the air.

There is always so much talk addressing how do you balance, Sara Moss's thought resonated with me. "It's a juggle, not a balance." There are often so many balls in the air, how could it ever be a balance? The idea is not to drop any of the balls, but if they do drop occasionally, it doesn't mean that I failed to reach what I set out to achieve. It means I have to practice a little bit more.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It Just Makes You Want To Laugh Along

It's been one of those days for me and I just needed to share this....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My first tag...

I've been tagged for the very first time! This is a milestone in my bloggy-ness...

Anyway, my Disney bud Darcie from Such The Spot tagged me with a fun meme. Since I just got to work, this is probably a good way to avoid the pile of papers on my desk and procrastinate the inevitable. So here goes (let me know how I do...)

Favorite person (outside family)? Right now, my cleaning lady. She's a luxury. And she does all of those things that I hate to do, like scrubbing the bathrooms. She comes every other week but every time she comes, she leaves my house with the greatest smell. And she loves my kids. Last time she did my 2 year old daughter's hair. We love her.

Favorite food? Sushi. Especially that from Kumo. Yummmm....

Quirks about you? I sometimes get into moods of OCD. Everything has to be done right at that time, exactly the way I need it to be done. It's not a great attribute.

How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? I'll have to update this later, after I talk to Craig.

Any regrets in life? None. I wouldn't be where I am today without the decisions that I have made.

Favorite Charity/ Cause? So many. I'd say Smiles for Scott and St. Baldrick's right now, because their cause is very near and dear to us.

Favorite Blog recently? All of my Disney mommys. And Self Made Mom.

Something you can’t get enough of? Really bad reality TV. Like Big Brother. And The Hills.

Worst job you’ve ever had? I worked in a supermarket one summer when I was 14 or 15. This was before supermarkets had scanners at the registers. I had to punch all of the prices in by hand. I met a summer boyfriend there and his friend wanted to hang out with my friend. His friend was 25; we were 15. At the time we thought it was cool. Thinking about it now, it's gross and scary.

What job would you pay NOT to have? Anything that is physical. Or dirty. Or maybe the job I have now...

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? Definitely my son's nursery school. It's an enigma right now to me. My mantra - it's almost over.

Favorite Bible verse right now? None? I wouldn't even know where to start with this one.

Guilty Pleasure? Anything chocolate.

Got any confessions? Sure. In contemplating leaving my job, I'm petrified to give up my nanny.

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? New clothes. For sure. There is definitely nothing cool about any article of clothing that I own.

Favorite thing about your house? My kitchen/living room/dining room. We opened the whole thing up, designed it ourselves. I love it, especially when we have company.

Least favorite thing about your house? No landscaping. Our driveway. Our pink-with-black-tile-and-fake-marble-only-room-in-the-house-not-redone bathroom. And the fact that our non-shedding dog actually does shed.

One thing you are bad at? Anything sports related. And suddenly, being organized. Note that this was never a problem for me before.

One thing you’re good at? Loving my kids.

If you could change something about your circumstances, what? I wish we were financially able to do all of the things that we want to do.

Who would you like to meet someday? Billy Joel.

What makes you feel sexy? How I look with a good haircut.

Who is your real life hero? My husband.

What is the hardest part of your job? Job 1 - Having patience with my suddenly separation anxiety ridden children. Job 2 - Taming the paper piles. Job 3 - Keeping organized.

When are you most relaxed? After my husband gets home and kids are sleeping.

What stresses you out? Lots of stuff. The kids whining. The kids crying when I have to go to work. Realizing the expenses we need to pay. Taking my kids to a restaurant and having them misbehave. People not understanding what I am trying to say.

What can you not live without? My computer. It's a problem.

Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? Disagree. I know too many people who blog for themselves and really don't even want pepople to read them.

Why do you blog? Because I'm a wanna be writer and needed to add something else to my jam packed schedule. Seriously because there are things I want to say and no one to listen. My computer always is ready to listen.

Who are you tagging? (Note: I have to think some more about this. I don't know that many bloggers, sadly)
New bloggers - Life As A Supermom
Bloggy Friends - The Ladybug and Her Blogging Mama, Musings of a Housewife
Bloggers I'd Like To Get To Know Better - Suburban Diva

Here are the rules:
1. Answer the questions
2. Link back to whoever tagged you
3. Tag eight bloggers to do the same, 2 from each category.
New/ newer bloggers (since we want to share the love and send them traffic)
Bloggy friends
Bloggers you’d like to get to know better
Bloggers you don’t think will respond, but you hope will

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Honey Do - or Don't?

Here's a fact: All married women have an endless list of tasks that we want our husbands to complete. Mine isn't on paper, it's in my head. It's often communicated via e-mail and text message as I remember things during the day. My poor husband - the onslaught of e-mails that he receives during the day from me is probably unbearable. I tell him about Aaron's baseball game or practice, last minute plans we made, the things he needs to do at home. Once he gets home from work, he has about an hour with the kids and during that time we try and eat dinner, so it's pretty much just him doing things to get them done before the kids go to bed, and then the bedtime routine. He often doesn't sit down until 8 or 9pm.

This morning I read information about a study that was conducted by Mighty Putty (you know, it's on the infomericals and HSN - the stuff that is said to stick ANYTHING together?) - anyway, the results were really not a surprise -while 94% of married women keep a "Honey Do" list, 78% of these wives wait weeks to years for the jobs to get done and 44% wind up doing the task themselves. Does this sound familiar?

Clearly though, women learn. Older married women between ages 56 and 67 tend to have fewer items on their Honey Do list than younger wives (ages 25 - 35). Is that telling? Read all the stats here Honey Doesn't List: Recent Study Shows Married Women Waiting A Long Time For Husbands to Complete Household Jobs.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Have No Time

For the past week or so, I've been trying to remember that I started this blog. I try and remember that it's fun to have interesting things to write about, so I've been bringing my camera around with me and taking pictures. I took a picture of my dog wearing safety goggles, which was pretty funny. I took a picture of the yummm chocolates that Disney World sent me for being a mommy blogger. I took a picture of the great books that Hachette Books sent me to say Happy Mother's Day, as well as my new imac and the piece of cheese my son ate without taking off the wax. So where are these pictures and blog posts, you might be wondering? Still in my camera, and still in my head, respectively.

You see the problem is, I HAVE NO TIME. This is not different from any other mom in America, so I'm not asking for special treatment. But seriously, I have no time. Sometimes I think that if I didn't have to sleep, I'd be able to get everything done that I wanted to. If, on average, I spend 7 hours each night sleeping, theoretically, I would have time to get another full time job, if I didn't need to sleep. How much could I get done in a straight 7 hours when everyone in my house is sleeping? I can't even think about it, the prospect of it is too exciting.

Which leads me to another point. When I was younger and in college, most nights I wouldn't even go out until 11pm. Hmm...why didn't I need to sleep then?

And here's the last point. I never thought I would see the day where getting something organized was one of my biggest dreams. I used to have high aspirations - become a partner in a big accounting firm, earn alot of money, have a great family. Of course the great family part has become a reality, but the most exciting part of my night tonight was putting all of the clean laundry away the same day it was washed!

My headache and I are going to sleep now.....

Mothers' Day

Happy birthday to all of my mommy friends, albeit one day late. Sorry, I was very busy playing on my new mothers' day present - a new imac. Well, it was actually a Mac Book which we exchanged for an imac. Now, if only I knew how to use it....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Anything Other Than NO....

My daughter turned 2 in March. 39 days ago to be exact. Is it possible that only 39 days in she is in the "terrible twos"? Two years ago, I had a brand new, adorable, little baby. Today, I have an adorable 2 year old who whines like there's no tomorrow and seems to only know one word - NO. No to everything. Every. Single. Thing.

Me: We're going to go to Grandma's!
Cam: NO
Me: We're almost there!
Cam: NO
Me: We're here! Yay!
Cam: I stay in car.
Me: Don't you want to see Grandma?
Cam: No. Shy to Ama.
Me: Don't you want to see Papa?
Cam: No: Shy to Papa.
Me: Don't you want to see Ari? We have to bring him home!
Can: No. I stay in car.

About an hour later...
Me: Do you want desert?
Cam: No
Me: Do you want to read Dora?
Cam: No
Me: Do you want to read Bunbun?
Cam: No
Me: Do you want to watch TV?
Cam: No

At that point, it was bed time. No matter how many no's.

Since I've had my kids, I have always worked full time. I mean, I worked full time before that, but continued full time since I had kids. For the past year, I've still been working full time, but two days of that full time are at home. My kids have always had babysitters and nannies who they loved. I might not have loved the babysitters and nannies, but that's a story for another day. Anyway...all of a sudden, this little girl is seriously attached to me and "shy to" everyone!

Maybe it's a phase. Or maybe she just loves her mommy.

Either way, the whining and "no" need to come to and end. Soon.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What do you do when....

- your 5 year old has a meltdown right before bed because he wants Tylenol, but the only Tylenol you have in the house expired in 2007 (don't worry, it's now in the garbage)?
- your daughter wakes up crying an hour after she went to sleep because she only wants to see her brother?
- you are so tired you just want to go to sleep but you can't close your computer for the night?
- you dread the babysitter coming tomorrow morning?
- you realize that after you pay the babysitter every week, she winds up taking home more than you do?
- you want to do so many things but realize you would have to give up sleep for a year to accomplish all the things that you want to?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mommy, I'm Naked

Both kids went to bed at their normal times. Camryn at 7, Aaron at 8. I knew Cam would be up for awhile because she took a late nap and didn't wake up until 5. After about a half hour, Aaron came out of his bed.

"Mommy, I'm having alot of pain."
"What's the matter? What hurts?"
"My pee-pee."
"Do you have to go to the bathroom?"
"No, it just hurts."
"Okay, go back into your bed and I'll check on you in a few minutes."
After a few minutes, he was sleeping. Awesome.

I come back to my computer, playing with the blog while I should be doing work and/or figuring out how I can quit my job, when I hear Camryn yell, "Mommy, I'm naked. Pajamas off." in her two year old voice. Really? No way. It has to be a ploy. A ploy to stay awake.

So I give in and go into her room, and seriously, she is standing there in a diaper, holding her pajamas.

"Camryn, why did you take your pajamas off?"
"Mommy, I naked."
"Yes, I see, let's put your pajamas back on. Why did you take them off?"
"Ummmm....I don't know."

Now she's in her crib. Hopefully not getting naked again. This could be a LONG night.

We Made It Through...

Kindergarten was a success today. Aaron was a little nervous when I dropped him off, but excited at the same time. We checked in, he showed them his name tag and went with the woman. There were about 70 kids, split into groups of what looked like about 10 kids each. Each group had a different color. All of the 5 kids from Aaron's nursery school class were split up. They were there for about 2 hours, then the parents came back, sat through some talks and then we picked up the kids at about noon. They got certificates that they went to kindergarten orientation, met all of the kindergarten teachers, saw the classrooms, lunchroom and gym, and even went on a bus ride on a big school bus. He had fun, got a shirt that said "Class of 2014" and proudly wore it all day.

Excuse me, I am going to go cry now.

Today is a BIG Day!

Today is a big day. My 5 year old has kindergarten orientation. The kind where I have to drop him off at the school for 2 hours this morning. He'll wear his orange name tag that they sent and go into the school like a big boy. A friend asked, "What are you going to do after drop off, other than cry?" Although I'm so happy he's getting big and growing up, is healthy, smart, adorable and totally a 5 year old boy, I'm missing my little baby. (Okay, so this picture isn't him as a baby but it was on his first day of nursery school.)
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