Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Packing up our bags

Our trip to visit my mom is this weekend. Every time I talk to her I tell her the day we’ll arrive and how we’re looking forward to seeing her. This morning I called and said, “We’ll see you in TWO days.” She was so excited and throughout our chat I realized the statement of our visit was actually news to her. She had no recollection of our previous conversations. Long ago I decided that I can’t be surprised what she remembers and what’s not retained.

I’ve also learned not to call if the Twins are on TV. It’s pretty difficult to have a conversation with her if she’s watching a baseball game. (I actually love that she’s still so interested in baseball so I don’t mind getting bumped and calling later.)

On this visit most of my time will be spent with my mom. Donnie and Bug will visit with her, too, but (understandably) Bug gets restless at the nursing home and I often fear he’s about one quick step from trying to push people in their wheelchairs. Mom is eager to get out and do some shopping. We'll probably make a drive to my hometown. Bug will see his cousins and get to hang out at a terrific park/play area in town. This is a photo from a previous visit. It always makes me smile. He LOVES Winnie-the-Pooh and he walked right up and planted a kiss on the big bear.

I'm already dreading the flights. We're leaving our house at 6:15am on Friday. (Flights to my mom's town are pretty limited.) I think my only hope of getting the little man dressed before arriving at the airport is to let him wear his "G is for Guitar" shirt. I'm praying that will work--if not he'll likely be in his guitar jammies. See a theme, anyone? We've got two flights before we land in SD and one squirmy little boy. On Bug's last flight we were over the Potomac River, about to land in DC when he shouted, "OH NO, we're gonna land in the water."

So I'm looking forward to the trip, steadying myself for the challenges surprises of traveling with a 3-year-old and gearing up for some emotional times with family...and I'm thinking we may even watch a Twins game or two.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm giving 110%...

unfortunately that's cumulative for the week and not per activity or even per day.

It's a phase...right? RIGHT? Please let this just be a phase...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

Just a gentle reminder that when it’s dark outside you have to put on your sleepy head (thank you Pajanimals). Being awake from 3-6am isn’t a good idea for you or mommy and daddy.

I do appreciate that you still said “please” while begging asking to come and sleep in our bed or to have me lie down in your bed but I would prefer if you must talk nonstop during the night that you do it in your sleep.

Sleepy mommy

Dear Mom,

I know the world is confusing right now. I’m sorry it’s such a tough time. We expected the move would take some adjustment but I’m glad that you’re comfortable in the new nursing home. I also think it's sweet that you call it the hotel and the dining room is the country club. We’ll see you next week…to quote Bug, “we can’t wait!”

Mary Ann

Dear Bug,

Really, you peed on your books? AARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH…

A book loving mommy

Dear R,

You're terrific! When I asked if you could watch Bug for a few hours while we're in SD, I can't tell you how sweet it was that you gave me your available times for EVERY DAY of our visit. We won't be asking you to watch him much but thank you for being so're a good nephew!


Visit Amanda for more.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wrestle Mania

I swear there’s a point repeated over and over and over again in every three-year-old’s life when he/she increases in strength to an Olympic level. For Bug it happened again this morning.

He didn’t want to get dressed and it became a wrestling match to get the job done. I half expected to hear a play-by-play in the background by a cheesy ring announcer. While there were no pile-drivers or chairs tossed around, I did chase him from one room to another and deflect some kicks. It was neither sport nor entertainment.

After a few time outs, letting Bug pick out the perfect pull-up (sigh...) and select his clothes (it’s an outfit that screams, “My son dressed himself and looks like a leprechaun") and a change of shirts for me wrestling makes a girl sweaty and a quick (second) wash of the morning for me, my three-year-old was dressed...and I was ready to start the day.

And then Bug told me he didn't like my shoes...that hurt.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

We went to a party on Saturday afternoon and Bug thought Donnie and I were getting married. Not sure what prompted that thought but he was convinced...and then disappointed. (I think he’s mad he missed our first wedding.) He probably heard they serve cake at weddings.

Yesterday on my drive home from work a fox darted out in front of my car…in DC. Eeeewwwww. Over the weekend there was a horse loose in our neighborhood.

One time a bull got loose from the local vet, walked down the highway and managed to end up in my mom & dad's backyard. He was just standing there as calm as could be looking like Ferdinand.
When I lived in NY some of the conductors on the commuter trains would let me make the announcements of stops, delays, etc. I’m not sure WHY I did it but apparently my fear of public speaking wasn't as great then.

I would like to go to a beach somewhere with a stack of books and read, read, read. I’ve seen so many good reviews lately that my “to read” list is growing faster than Bug.

When I was a kid, I thought people won the Pulit Surprise rather than Pulitzer Prize. "Surprise, you won the Pulit!"

Go to The Un Mom for more.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I'm not really fretting over this but I am curious to hear your thoughts. Here's the deal...

We received a high school graduation invitation from the son of one of my high school classmates. They live halfway across the country so obviously they don't think/expect we would attend. She (graduate’s mom) and I were friends in high school but never really stayed in touch through the years other than occasionally seeing one another if we were both back in our hometown. We have a nice time when we see each other but never make plans beyond that.

She and I saw each other at our reunion four years ago. Since then I've bumped into her once when I was back visiting my mom. She and her family happened to be back at the same time. We saw each other in the mall food court away from our hometown so it wasn’t a planned get together.

There was a time when we exchanged holiday cards but in the last card I received (a few years ago) she said she was going to send cards every other year...and maybe she does but we didn't make the short list. I used to send her birthday cards but now usually email her on her birthday. It's just one of those things I remember so I acknowledge it.

So I was surprised to get the invitation out of the blue. Was the invitation sent as a friendly, “hey look my oldest son is graduating and wanted to share the news!”? The return address label is the graduate's name not my friend’s name.

Here’s my question…do we send a gift? If I kept in touch with the mom or had some connection to the family or even knew this kid's name prior to receiving the invitation, I wouldn't think twice about sending a gift. Donnie thinks we send a card and acknowledge the graduation...the graduate doesn't know us so he wouldn't expect a gift. I feel like I'm hearing my mom's voice telling me we're obligated to send a gift of some sort because we received the invitation (a Target gift card or something since we know NOTHING of this kid or what his post high school plans are). What do you think? Would you send a card, small gift (gift card or something else--if something else--what) or simply pretend the invitation never made it and pull out your inner Sandra Bullock and act shocked at the next reunion that one of her children has graduated high school? (Just kidding...)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Bug saw this...
and asked if it was a picture of me before he was born.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

sometimes you feel like a mom...sometimes you don't

We drove to Boston for a long weekend and to spend Mother’s Day with Donnie’s mom. We packed up the car and were ready to go ahead of schedule (I’ll wait if you want to applaud).

Bug asked that I sit in the backseat with him. Fine with me—and probably easier in the long run than craning my neck around the seat to talk to him throughout the 8-plus hour trip.

About an hour into the trip, Bug told me his “froat” hurt. No surprise, the family we share a sitter with had strep throat during the week and even though the boys hadn’t been together for a couple of days they played together before he was diagnosed and we were hope, hope, hoping that Bug wouldn’t get it. Shortly after that, he announced his tummy hurt and then about two minutes later that he was going to spit out. Oh, and spit out he did. From my vantage point it seemed a bit like a scene from a badly acted/badly written horror movie a scene that I would look away from if I were watching it on the big screen. As Donnie pointed out, it was a gift that I was in the backseat and not in front of Bug.

So, why did I feel like a mom?

Prior to leaving the house a little voice inside my head told me to take Lysol wipes, paper towels, trash bags and a big towel just in case something like this happened.

Why did I not feel like a mom?

Everything I needed was in the trunk except for one itsy bitsy teeny weeny partially dried-out package of wipes that was left in the backseat from another time.

To make a long story short (or maybe just less long), we got the little guy all cleaned up and back on the road again. He was fine—even singing along to Bruce. (Yes, I LOVE it that he requests to hear Bruce on the drive…and he does so all on his own!) Then shortly after lunch he got sick again (I had my goods next to me this time and was more or less ready). We ended up in rush-hour traffic everywhere and got to Boston about three hours later than planned. Bug was terrific despite having to get cleaned up twice, being stuck in traffic, begging for a cookie (yeah, right) and a malfunctioning DVD player.

The weekend was nice. A rainy day in Boston on Saturday then off to the Public Garden on Sunday to see the ducklings and ride a swan boat. We prepped Bug by reading Make Way for Ducklings a few times last week. When we arrived we saw children dressed as ducklings and Officer Michael. Had we been earlier we could have taken part in the annual parade. Who knew?! Apparently everyone else in Boston from the crowd size. Oh well…it was great being there. (The photos below are NOT from Sunday...I'm not that organized.)

The drive home yesterday was uneventful other than a bit of construction on the Jersey Turnpike. We were home in 8.5 hours. As we left my in-laws' house, Bug announced he wasn’t going to spit out and stayed true to his word…I sat in the backseat just to be safe. Luckily, I can hear Bruce just fine from there.
When we were about 10 minutes from our house, Bug announced he wanted to drive for a little bit instead of going home. Sigh...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the glass was half-full

Over the weekend we took Bug to Truck Touch, an event sponsored by a nursery school. It was about 30 minutes away or more than an hour if the directions aren’t clear.

Anyway, the little man was in heaven. We told him he would see trucks and when we walked to the parking lot his eyes got wide as he took in a wide range of vehicles from police cars to semis. (My personal favorite on a hot spring day was the refrigerated semi…there were plenty of parents begging encouraging their kids to go inside and play just to feel the chill.)

It was a nice time. Bug sat in many vehicles, honked horns, spoke on a loud speaker, got a tattoo, carried a RED balloon (apparently red is key) and had lunch. When it was time to go he was a little sad but the police car was our last stop and he had fun turning on the lights and siren.

We got to the car and Bug wailed: “I didn’t get to go on the bulldozer.” This was the conversation:

Me: Oh, I’m not sure you could get on the bulldozer. I didn’t see any other children on it. Side note: Technically this was true I hadn’t seen anyone on the bulldozer of course it was out of the way and I hadn’t looked.
Bug: I want to go on the bulldozer.
Donnie: You didn’t get on the bulldozer but you did get to see lots of other great things. Let’s talk about all the things you DID get to do…
Bug: Okay!
Donnie: You were on the police car, boat, school bus, semi, mini cooper, motorcycle, dump truck, (the list continued). Wasn’t it fun?
Bug: Yes…now let’s talk about the things I DIDN’T get to do.

And with that both the glass and I were drained.