Friday, January 30, 2009

My Name is Amy, and I'm a Blogger

When I went to college, I graduated with an accounting degree, got a job, my CPA and have been working ever since. I've done audit, tax and have taken on various roles of management at various companies over the years. I've managed teams of more than 10 people, evaluated and implemented software, hired and fired people, cut costs of more than $500,000 and have done major things with my career. I was always ambitious and wanting to get myself to the top with a major title and corner office. Although it changed when I had Aaron, it really all changed when I had Camryn.

After I had Aaron, I wanted to be home, but I also think I knew that I would at some point have another child and thus another 3 month maternity leave was in my future. But after I had Camryn, I had a desire to do something different. To do something more. I was sure that sitting in an office crunching numbers and fixing links in my spreadsheets was not all that my life was meant to be. Deep down I knew that I was meant to do more.

It was around that time that I had my third child, my business. I've talked about it before here, it's a website that connects parents in my area with the information that they need to make the right decisions for their families and gives businesses a way to connect with parents. Pretty much helps everyone all around, as I knew that it would. But something I never imagined it would do it bring me into a whole new world - a world of compassion, a world of friendship and world of inspiration that I never knew existed.

Over the past year, I have met the most amazing women I have ever known. Women who seem like Superwoman and Wonder Woman and Mary Poppins all rolled into one. Online, it doesn't matter what you look like, how many kids you have, what religion you are, where you live. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, purple or grey. I have been able to form bonds with people that I would have never met and if I had met them, I'we may never have become friends. I've met women who have one kid and women who have seven kids (which sort of makes my overewhelmed-ness with two seem silly).

I've found that online, you get to know the actual person. You hear feelings, you feel compassion, you find comraderie where you never would have known it otherwise. I've been inspired, I've been picked up and I've been boosted by people I've never, ever met in person. I've been asked for my opinion and consulted on issues where my opinion has mattered and made a difference. I've been introduced to the world of blogging, twitter, flickr, friendfeed and so much more. People have come to me to ask me questions about a world that I'm honored to be a part of.

Overall, the blogging community is a huge community that I had no idea existed one year ago and now, I'd be sad to not be involved in.

This post was written in connection with a contest sponsored by Mabel's Labels (

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

Here's a fact: I love Facebook. I'll admit it, I really love it. But right now, I'm cheating. I got something on Facebook that challenged me to write 25 random things about myself, so I did. And now it's my most recently blog post. Talk about time management and multi-tasking!

  1. I never went to sleepaway camp and instead went to a performing arts camp and my husband makes fun of me for that. Alot.
  2. I'm the petrified of sickness and death for anyone in my family.
  3. I think that my kids are the funniest kids I've ever met and that they're less obnoxious than alot of kids I know.
  4. I love movie soundtracks.
  5. I would be in big trouble if I ever lost my Blackberry.
  6. I love most reality tv.
  7. I have a blog but don't tell anyone from my "real life" about it.
  8. I started taking piano lessons when I was three years old and continued for 15 years. I stopped playing in front of people when I was 12 because I had a bad experience with a NYSSMA judge.
  9. One of my favorite movies is Frequency and I've watched it on cable four times in the last week.
  10. This is the first time in 6 years that I will not have full time childcare/household help.
  11. I have two separate sets of in-laws who are not related to each other by blood.
  12. I have known my husband and one set of my in-laws since I'm in 5th grade.
  13. I wish my grandma had been alive to meet even one of my kids but am happy that my son was named after her.
  14. I believe in psychics and that certain people have the ability to communicate with people after they've died.
  15. My son shares a birthday with my mother in law who passed away in 1985.
  16. My very best friend has been my very best friend since kindergarten.
  17. I hate when someone is mad at me or when I think that someone is mad at me.
  18. I love that owning has allowed me to do so many cool things, like being invited to an all expense paid weekend in Disney World last year with 20 amazing moms that I never would have met otherwise.
  19. I love that although it is so huge, the internet makes the world so much smaller.
  20. I think it's amazing that 34 year old women have the same friend problems as 14 year old girls.
  21. I love that although I had to twist Rebecca's arm really hard to get her to join Facebook last year, she has finally reached 500 friends and loves Facebook more than I do.
  22. I love that so many of our real life friends have been our friends since high school or before. There's so much history there.
  23. I think it's adorable to hear my son talk about his "girlfriend" and how they're going to get married. He's only 6 years old.
  24. I don't feel old enough to have a 6 year old child in kindergarten.
  25. In the last year, I've learned alot about who in my life are real friends.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What I Learned This Week...

My Disney Mommy Blogger friend Jo-Lynne over at Musings of a Housewife started a great bloggy carnival - What I learned this week. So here goes for week #1----

What I learned this week is that everyone has their own crap. Seriously, no matter how perfect their life may seem, how put together they look, how great their kids seem to do - everyone has crap.

When I was growing up and didn't get something that I wanted or things didn't go as planned, I remember wishing that I was someone else. It was usually specific - the really pretty and popular girl in school, my friend whose mom didn't care what time she came home on a Friday night, the girl with the seemingly awesome boyfriend. Regardless, if someone had something that I didn't have and that I wanted, I would, at some point, wish I was them.

As time went on, and I grew up, I stopped wishing I was other people and learned to be happy with who I was, mostly because I realized, as stated so eloquently above, everyone has their crap.
  • My friend who I mentioned above, (the one who we loved to sleep at her house during high school because her mom didn't care what time we wandered in at night) well, it turned out that her mom didn't care because, well, to put it bluntly, her mom couldn't stand her. A few years ago, her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer (she's okay now, but fought hard).
  • A friend who seemingly had it all together all of the time and a great life - her dad got sick pretty suddenly and passed away and a few months later she was told she had the gene for breast cancer and underwent an emergency hysterectomy and double mastectomy.
  • A friend from a long time ago who is insanely beautiful and married a gorgeous guy has a son who is severely autistic.
  • A family who lives in a gorgeous house and has a gazillion friends - the husband was just arrested. For MURDER.

Do I need to go on? I did well in school, my parents turned out to be pretty cool, I got married to a great guy, had a great job, was able to buy a house that I wanted and had two amazing and healthy kids. I've got a pretty good life that I really wouldn't trade for anything.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things are SO not getting better...

I apologize in advance for all the vomit talk lately, but seriously, this is my life right now. We last left off with Camryn's puke fest on Saturday afternoon. Sunday all day she was totally fine. Like absolutely herself, healthy and happy kid. Monday morning, same thing, totally fine. I was thrilled, we were out of the woods. Stomach viruses gone. Aaron goes to school, Camryn goes to school and I pick her up after school at 1230. They said she had a great day, ate her pizza for lunch and was very happy. On the way home, she starts getting cranky, but I figured it was because she was tired. We get home, she goes in for a nap and sleeps for about an hour, waking up around 3pm crying and she didn't seem to feel well. After a little while, she vomits. In the sink, which was a huge bonus. But still vomits.. Then she's tired, lays on the couch and watches Dora for awhile and then by dinner time is totally fine. I figured it was a lingering effect of the stomach virus and that it was over. Until the same thing happened again today!

This morning she was fine. Ate breakfast, played. Went to her friend's house with our babysitter and ate lunch, coming home around 2pm. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention was that I woke up with the stomach virus and vomiting this morning. Anyway, Camryn comes home, goes in for a nap and sleeps for about an hour, waking up at around 3pm crying. I sat with her in the rocking chair and she vomits. All over me. Then she was tired again, laid on the couch and watched Dora for awhile and now she seems to be feeling better.

It's all really odd. The doctor thinks its the lingering effects of the stomach virus but my mind is racing and hoping that's all it is.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

You Take The Good, You Take The Bad...

Today was Aaron's birthday party. After two days this week of his having a stomach virus, he was healthy and ready for his party today. For his 6th birthday, he wanted a movie party. Actually, first he wanted a party at one of those places where they have a gazillion inflatables to jump on, but the idea of a bunch of 5 and 6 year old kids running around and jumping on everything just didn't thrill me. When we talked about the idea of a movie party, what could be more perfect for a kid who loves everything about movies? It also didn't hurt that it was the least expensive of any of the party options, by far. After the debacle last year of the bowling party that cost an obscene amount of money and Aaron cried almost the entire party, this movie party was a great option.

The theater where we had the party at was great. It isn't one of these enormous 15 theater corporate owned movie theaters, but instead a privately owned four theater movie theater. They're really smart - 4 parties at 10am each Saturday and Sunday. When we got there, Aaron's name was on the marquee outside with a big "Happy Birthday" which was really cute. We had our own theater and when we walked in, there were two big tables set up down in front with popcorn, drinks and bagels with cream cheese and butter. Kids chose what they wanted to eat and took their seats. Aaron chose to see The Tale of Desperaux which he has been wanting to see since he saw the previews long ago at another movie. Everyone sat, parents stayed and they ate and watched the movie. At the end of the movie, we all sang happy birthday, he blew out the candles and cupcakes were served. Thanks for coming, the end. Truth be told, I can't wait for the day when Aaron wants to take a few friends to a hockey game or some other sporting event for his birthday. But I do have to say that this party ran so smoothly, even Aaron asked if he could have his party there again next year.

After the party we lugged home his loot brought home his presents and I took Camryn to the end of her nursery school friend's birthday party. After that, Craig's brother came over with 3 of his 4 kids and all the kids played and Camryn took a nap. Understand that Camryn is a champion sleeper. She's almost 3 years old and her naps are generally 2 - 3 hours, sometimes longer. Today she was exhausted when she went down, and when she woke up crying after only an hour, I was surprised. I went in, took her out of the crib (yes, she's still in a crib, no comments please), sat down in the rocking chair and she puked all over me. Red icing from the cupcake she ate at Aaron's party was everywhere. Literally everywhere. All over her, all over me. It was not pretty. Of course, Craig had just left so I had to yell for Aaron to help me. Here's some advice - never ask a 6 year old to help you clean up puke - too much "Mom, that's gross" and "Man, that stuff stinks" like he has never puked before! Oh, and I also made him call Craig and make him come home.I'm not a wimp but really and truly , I was covered in puke with a puke covered baby crying in my lap and I couldn't get up without getting it all over the floor and everywhere else. What a mess. Finally we got cleaned up and she was puking on and off until around 8pm tonight. Really gross. Now she's sleeping and I'm hoping there's no middle of the night calling of my name.

So although mostly good, today was a very long day. And exhausting. And long. Not to mention that our plans tonight were canceled because of the snow, so I'm really ready to watch some DVR and go to bed.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Schedule Away!

This weekend, PBN and a new SC Johnson website, Right@Home, posed the question Do you have a schedule or a system to help you clean up, pack up and put away the holidays?

This past Monday, January 5, my kids went back to school. After almost two full weeks at home, it was a great return to the life I know. Hallelujah!

Being that we're Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas, we're one step ahead in the cleanup department because we're not taking down a tree or packing decorations away. At Hanukkah time, we take our menorah down from it's shelf and light the candles on each of the eight nights, but it's not exactly a put-a-giant-blow-up-menorah/dreidel-on-your-lawn type of holiday. We get together with alot of family to celebrate, make potato latkes (very greasy but oh so yummmm) and exchange presents. Once Hanukkah is on it's way out, Aaron's birthday is on it's way in, so our house is pretty much overrun with presents from mid-December through mid-January. The challenge here is going through the old toys to find places for the new toys and throwing out toys in ways that my kids won't notice.

Craig takes an annual holiday from work from Christmas through the New Year which allows us to spend some quality family time together. Our kids are not babies anymore so they are pretty independent in the morning when they wake up - Aaron goes downstairs and watches TV and Camryn plays in her crib, so many a morning over this vacation, we were able to sleep in. 9am or later. Some of you are pretty jealous, but we've paid our dues for sure.

So for almost two weeks at the end of 2008, we were on no schedule at all. We got up when we wanted to. Ate breakfast when we wanted to. Got dressed if we wanted to - and plenty of these days we spent in our pajamas until late in the afternoon. We got together with friends and did things as a family, but we enjoyed this down time immensely.

As of January 5, we're jolted back to a major schedule. Have to get to the bus stop on time, and it's now freezing so it's a bit difficult. Have to be more organized with lunch, playdates and carpools. Back to running Camryn to school, going food shopping (no more take out) and back to the work grind. We don't so much have a schedule to get cleaned up from the holidays, but rather have a schedule to get back on schedule. It's a hard time of year but schedule away - we are trying to start 2009 off on a great foot!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Today was a day that I just didn't want to face.
I didn't want to open my eyes.
I didn't want to get out of bed.
I didn't want to work.
I didn't want to talk to anyone.
I didn't want to do anything.

Maybe it was the weather. Or the headache that I have been waking up with almost every morning for the past week. Or maybe it was just a day that my body and mind were screaming out for rest.

We're all entitled right? Even moms.

As lousy as today was, I made a decision that I will not let this put me into a funk. 2009 is the year of thinking positively. And reaching goals. And succeeding.

Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

One Sad Bachelor

The only thing I could really say about halfway through the first episode of The Bachelor 13 is "really"?
Are these girls really that dumb?
Do they really scream like that all the time?
Could the criteria for being picked for this show really have been (1) looks hot in a bikini and (2) is a total moron?
Is this one girl's name really Treasure? And she's not a porn star?
I could go on. For a really long time.

If you've read the few recaps I wrote of The Bachelorette episodes one and two and my note to DeAnna from after the finale, you would know that I was very excited for Jason to be the next Bachelor and find his one true love. I was really hopeful for him. Because DeAnna broke his heart. In front of a gazillion people. And now, after seeing his choices, I am contemplating boycotting this season. Okay, not really, but these girls are truly awful. And they need to stop screaming. Now.

I think this is going to be a really long season.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's a New Year - Play With Me!

2009 is a brand new year with a few resolutions that I've made. One of the things I want to do in 2009 is to blog with some regularity. Yes, with everything else I've got going on, I did pick this up during 2008, but I love it. Writing is such a release and it soothes me. What a better way to start this writing than with a great meme picked up from my Disney friend Jo-Lynne over at Musings of a Housewife! Leave a comment and a link below if you play along----

1. What did you do in 2008 that you had never done before?

I went on two trips by myself relating to the website I started in 2006. These trips were important to me because as someone who has total anxiety of doing things with no one I know, I took these trips with groups of women I had never met before. Definitely major.

2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't think I made any resolutions last year, other than probably to go to the gym, which I don't think I did once during 2008.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, a bunch of friends had babies this year, and my best friend had her second baby!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately yes. You can read all about Bill here. We really, really miss him.

5. What countries did you visit?

None outside of the USA, unless you count my visit to Epcot where I visited a boatload of countries in a few hours!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

More patience with my kids. And an incredible business year.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 30th when we went away for a night with great friends and saw Billy Joel in concert at Mohegan Sun, and May 31, the night that my father in law passed away.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Being asked to be a part of some great events like the Mommy Blogger Mixer at Disney, the Not In My House launch and the Mommy Blogger Monologues.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not having the patience to keep my cool and not yell at my kids. I'm a huge yeller, something I'm trying really, really hard to work on.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I almost broke my hand in February when I tripped over my husband's foot and went flying into the pole holding up our granite countertop. About a week later, I wound up with the flu and spent 5 days in bed. Probably the longest and most exhausting 2 weeks of my life. Thinking about them now is still horrendous.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

For Mother's Day, my husband had been listening to me and bought me a MacBook, which I exchanged for an iMac which I LOVE LOVE LOVE. Oh, and the Wii, of course!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Not my 6 year old's - he seems to be unlearning the art of listening.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

A few people who I thought were amazing friends disappointed me this year. It's pretty unfortunate.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Seriously, it's almost embarrassing to say but I really have no idea. It seems to go out faster than it comes in. Maybe our mortgage. Or ridiculous real estate taxes. Or income taxes. Or my kids as they SUCK the money right out of our bank account? I could keep going but I'll spare myself that pain.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

(Sorry Jo-Lynne but I had to steal your answer here...) Getting asked to go to Disney World with Maria Bailey! That was SUCH a surprise and a treat.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

This one I will have to think hard about.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) I'm happier. My kids are doing great and enjoying school and I am thrilled with their schools, something that I couldn't say for most of the last three years.

b) Definitely fatter. In fact the lovely Wii Fit told me last night I gained 8.14 pounds since the last time I used it. Definitely not something I was wanting to hear.

c) Hmmm today definitely a little poorer since I walked out of my job. However, we're watching every single penny so it's probably for the best. And, 2009 is going to be a huge year for my website so hopefully the poorer part won't last too much longer. (See, already thinking positively!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spending more quality time with my kids and husband.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Yelling. Yup, definitely yelling.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Day we did what the entire Jewish population in New York did - went to the movies in the morning and Chinese food for dinner.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

With so many ideas. The idea of working for myself. The idea of becoming a huge success. The idea of helping people.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

A much easier question would be my LEAST favorite TV program. Most favorite? Lots to choose from. Grey's Anatomy is sort of jumping the shark, but I do love Private Practice, The Ghost Whisperer and a whole host of reality tv shows including The Biggest Loser and a love/hate relationship with The Bachelorette.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I wouldn't say hate exactly, but there have been some relationship changes during this past year.

25. What was the best book you read?

Twilight, for sure. I didn't get to read that much this year but this one stands out.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Dixie Chicks. I'm generally not a huge fan of country music but I think these chicks are awesome.

27. What did you want and get?

Lots of love and support from my family.

28. What did you want and not get?

To win the lottery. A few million bucks could definitely help us out.

29. What was your favorite film this year?

Unfortunately most of the films I saw this year were for the 5 and under crowd. I did though see Twlight (which totally stunk) and Sex and the City, which I loved, so I'll go with that.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

On my birthday, we went for a sushi dinner (without the kids) and then came home for cake with our family. It was nice and simple and fun, exactly what I wanted.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I would have liked to have been working for myself the whole year and growing my business. I feel like I didn't have enough time to devote this year so certain aspects of the business suffered. 2009 is going to be the big year for that.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Very casual and comfortable. Like I love wearing cute sweatpants & hoodies or leggings and a shirt.

32. What kept you sane?

My husband's understanding of my need for alone time at certain times.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I'll go with Patrick Dempsey. Even though every time I see his face I think of You Can't Buy Me Love, I still think he's totally hot.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

The whole election, of course.

36. Who did you miss?

My grandma. She passed away March 2, 2002 and never got to meet either of my kids. I think she would get such a kick out of them, it makes me sad alot of the time.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

My mommy blogger friends. I never knew any group of women to be so amazing and inspiring. They come from different places with different experiences but are so strong and ridiculously awesome.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

People are not always what they seem. Its' a hard and sad lesson, but absolutely true. I've learned who my friends are and who they aren't and what types of people I want to surround myself with.

Okay, YOUR turn!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Aaron!

6 years ago today at 12:37am, I became a mom. What an amazing 6 years it has been. Full of mostly ups, some downs and getting to know the most amazing little boy I have ever met in my entire life. Experiencing things with him is like experiencing them for the first time.

Happy 6th birthday Aaron, I love you more than you could ever, ever imagine.

January 3, 2003

January 3, 2009

Ringing in 2009

Every year I think about making New Year's resolutions and every year I either come up with too many things to change that it makes me feel like I was a total failure in the prior year or think of goals that are totally unattainable for me, ie I will go to the gym and work out for 2 hours every day. This year though, I think it will be different. I do not want to change every single thing about myself or my life. I am happy with the many things that I have and thankful for everything and everyone. In 2009, my goal is to just make them better.

I will have more good days than bad days. The title of this section was going to be "I will be a better mom." But I think that every mom out there has days where they are the greatest mom ever and then there are days when they feel that they should be on par with Mommy Dearest, without the physical stuff. I am no different. When I used to be a full-time-working-for-someone-else-mom-with-an-office, there were so many days I hated leaving my kids to go to work. On the other hand, there were a good number of days that I was plenty happy to leave them with a babysitter and go to work. I've realized that I will never be perfect. I've realized that I will never not get frustrated with my kids and they will never not get frustrated with me. I've realized that they will never keep their stuff put away or listen to me 100% of the time. But in 2009, I am going to do my best to keep my cool and not lose it on a daily basis. I've realized that my kids are kids and that making mistakes is the best way for them to learn. And I've realized that I will make plenty of mistakes too. I think though that realizing that I will never be perfect and striving to do better than I did last year is the best goal that I can make.

I will be a better friend. Over the past few years, I've kept the same friends I've had almost my whole life, made new friends and reconnected with old friends. I've also learned a lot about what makes up a real friend and in turn, who my real friends are. Real friends are those who are there for you through the good and the bad. They understand that sometimes you act one way and sometimes you act another, but they know who you really are deep down inside. They know when your emotions are talking, they know when to give advice and they know how far to go. They also know that it's always better to say something to you than to tell anyone who will listen. This year, I realized all of this and more and gained a lot of insight into the kind of friends that I want and the kind of friend that I want to be to people.

I will let go of the negative and only think positively. I've posted about The Secret, talked about my desires to leave a job that I hated and be able to live my life the way I want to live it. I've talked and talked and talked about it and it's finally all come true. 2009 is going to be a huge year for this business that I started a little more than two years ago. It's going to be the make it or break it year. It's going to become a huge success or, well, I'm not going to think about the alternative. In the next few weeks I am going to sit down and actually create a vision board and plan how I am going to work towards achieving my goals, all the while thinking that it is definitely going to happen. Because for me, there truly is no other option.
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