Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yup, SuperMoms

First Concert with Miranda Cosgrove via @boxofchocolates

Bowl for Kids' Sake

Thursday we took part in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake. Thanks to the generosity of others my kiddos raised $130 EACH and beat me by thirty bucks!

They did a great job hitting up the grandparents, the neighbors, and their friends' parents for $10 pledges.

I was proud to introduce them to the HR peeps at the event and brag about how much they had raised. It's always a good feeling to brag about your kiddos. When it involves doing for others, too, even better!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Am I Too Picky?

I had dinner tonight at a local restaurant. One I have frequented before so I obviously like it or at least don’t terribly mind it.
I was seated at a dirty table; next to three clean tables and behind two more clean tables. The Hostess used what would have been my rolled silverware to wipe it off.
The waitress came along and asked “drink?” I responded that I would have a diet soda. She walked away.
She returned momentarily with a diet (no lemon, but who’s counting) and said “ready?” I asked politely if it were possible to have the Chef Salad that they sometimes have as a lunch special. This particular sports bar type restaurant has four salads on their menu but the Chef isn’t one of them. Just as a Special; a common, sometimes twice a week Special.
She begins “well…” I stare at her hoping she is about to crack a smile and attempt some type of mild humor or banter because it really isn’t a huge request.
They have salads on the menu. They have sandwiches, including ham and turkey, on the menu. Hell, they even have a Ham AND Turkey Club on the menu. It really isn’t a huge request (woops, said that already).
She continues “the Chefs are quite backed up and since it isn’t the special and they are slammed and we are busy out here I’m going to have to say no since I would have to go back and ask them if they have the ingredients and then return to you and then you may have to choose something else anyway. So I have to say No.”
I ordered a different salad.
After a few minutes, she appears at my table in her TMI self yet again. She tells me, “the Chef that makes the salads also makes the pizzas and we just got four orders for pizzas. I didn’t forget about you but it’s going to be a few minutes until they can get to your salads. I assure you, they’re coming.” She walked away.
The salads arrive and I realize why it was so difficult (that’s sarcasm there). There was the bag o’ lettuce mix, two tomato slices and the chicken fingers on top. Oh, and the least amount of dressing as required by law.
I bit my tongue and ate my dinner. And nursed my diet soda knowing it was the only one I was getting.
When she brings the check, I catch her before she walks away and ask her to please split the check and bring a pen. She walks away reciting “split the check, bring a pen. Split the check, bring a pen.”
She does this using some kind of drive by technique where she didn’t even slow down as she passes the table. She finally returns for the bill, sees the debit cards and says, “oh, this is going to take a while.”
You know what doesn’t take a while? Decent Customer Service. It’s like that saying about frowns and how they take more muscles to make.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Can't

I can't write. 

I got nothing.

I feel like a loser.

That I don't measure up.

I feel misunderstood.

And under appreciated.

And disrespected.

And insulted.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I burnt my tongue on soup tonight

This morning I was too tired for breakfast.

But, I baked s’mores today.

And chatted with my neighbor.

I did a load or two of laundry. Maybe it was three.

I watched the kiddos play outside with a friend.

And play teacher and sit and have snack.

I would have loved a nap.

I wrote my shopping list.

And will bake more tomorrow.

A sent a hug to a friend in Boston.

I missed my Hubs while he was at work.

I missed my Hubs while I was at work.

I looked at that clock too often.

And yawned too often.

I wrote this list. And that list. And another.

I told the kiddos goodnight over the phone.

I burnt my tongue on soup tonight.

I Promise, Forever

I read about the local incident at Sam’s and the one at BK last week.
I talked to my kiddos about their Private Parts today.

When I read about these local perverts, I was appalled. Of course, why shouldn’t I be? These old, nasty men are preying on boys that are young enough to be their grandkids. I have to believe they have no conscience, they have no respect, no caring bone in their body. They just turned these boys’ and their families’ lives upside down. In one quick, thoughtless swoop they damaged these boys and the lives they knew.

One of them 15, probably on the verge of manhood and girlfriends and sports and high school and all the fun and getting into his own trouble that comes with that age. And now what? Will he wonder if girls in school will know? Will he be ashamed, shy, and reclusive? Will he have to face his attacker in court, in the papers, in the grocery store? Will he realize this is not the norm?

The other a THREE year old little boy, that for all we know threw a temper tantrum about wanting to go in the little boys’ bathroom because Mommy is a girl. That’s what my JP does. Tells me because he’s a boy he should go in Daddy’s bathroom. And now, this Mom has to salvage a little boy’s, and her own memory of this one moment in time where some sick bastard got his kicks looking at and touching a three year olds penis.

These are two local boys separated by a few miles and 12 years, yet linked through the headlines, forever. Two boys that will need to relearn how to trust, forever. Two boys with Moms that will have to live with what ifs, forever.  Two boys with Moms and the guilt that they couldn’t save their boys from everything, forever.

I watched the Jaycee story this past weekend.
I talked to my kiddos about strangers today.

When I watched the Jaycee story, as a Mom, my thoughts kept turning towards her Mom. I cannot imagine how she survived those 18 years. To not know if her daughter was alive; if she remembers her; if she is healthy; if she is learning; if she is scared; if she is far away; if she is hurt; if she is in need of a doctor; if she is being fed; if she is suffering; to not know. Is that worse than knowing?

And to know that she has another, younger daughter that needs her attention; that is hurting too; that will now, herself, not have a normal childhood. What kind of a childhood could the sister of an abducted girl have? Would she grow up wondering if this girl, or that girl, could be her sister? Would she be allowed to be out of her mother’s sight at school, at sports, at friends’ houses? Should she? Could she? Would she grow up feeling guilty, or jealous, or lonely, or scared? Would she be forced to grow up fast just as Jaycee ended up growing up fast?

I decided to buy one of Jaycee’s necklaces. It was a symbol to her of her last taste of freedom that fateful day in 1991.

To me, it’s a symbol of the little things I will not take for granted with my children. I promise, with all my heart.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kid Staples

As a Mom, so many spring cleanings (you know that's year round for me) end in pitching so many lost, extra, or oddball items. This got me to thinking. Not that this will make me popular with the grandparents buuut.. these are things, as a Mom, you will never see the end of (also known as- never buy these as presents for someone else's kiddos if you want to stay on their goodside). Whether they are stocking stuffers, party goody bags, parade treats, fair handouts, or behavior rewards; these items are never ending.

Kids Toothbrushes & Paste
Coloring Books
Construction Paper
Tootsie Rolls
Sidewalk Chalk
Stuffed Animals
Hair Accessories
Happy Meal Toys
Nail Polish 
Restaurant Menus
Bubble Gum Jewelry
Card Games
Easter Eggs
Bubble Bath
Travel Tissues

Did I forget anything?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cape Cod Vacation

Wednesday we left for Cape Cod. After not too much convincing, our Daddy Driver was kind enough to make a pit stop at Liberty Harbor Park. We spent almost an hour in the park with the view of Lady Liberty’s hiney, as the kiddos put it. We ran, we talked, we took pictures, we people watched, and we admired.

Thursday we officially arrived. We got in around 1am and went straight to bed. Gram wasn’t up yet when we got up so we hit Centerville Pie Co. at the crack of dawn. We headed over to Gram’s house when we got back only to find her doing chores as if she was young again. After a quick hug she carried on tending to the chickens. Admittedly, I was a bit taken aback when she reached out from the coop to hand me two warm eggs. Not ashamed to say, that is not my cup of tea scrambled eggs. 

Friday we saw the whales. Our group of ten, including my awesome friend from Virginia that arrived a few hours after we did, had pre-ordered tickets (toot toot) so waiting in line was no issue. We were the first ones on the boat in the morning and enjoyed relaxing at the bow (you’re impressed, I know) watching the fishing boats coming and going. I had a proud moment watching Madi point out a horseshoe crab floating in the water below us. Nice to know at some point taking her to Bowers Beach and Bombay Hook she was paying attention. We set out past Sandy Neck and Provincetown in search of the Hump Backs. Within minutes we had found our pot of gold. By the time the watch was over, 18 unique whales had been identified and over 350 photos taken between the Hubs and I on our spiffy new camera.

Saturday we hosted a little pool day for two wonderful friends. I was honored that these two very special ladies that now live in Boston were kind enough to pay us a visit during our vacation on the Cape. All through breakfast at CPC, I was excited waiting for them and felt like a little girl on Christmas morning once they arrived. I introduced them to my Gram and showed them around. Then we spent the day sitting poolside enjoying the weather, the kiddos, and the stories. Gram made my friends feel quite at home and I was proud to share, her if only for a little while. We even enjoyed some pies from CPC.
Sunday we shopped the flea market and then the 6A shops. Dick & Ellies was on the agenda for Sunday. I remember time after time shopping the Flea Market with my Mom and Aunts and searching and sifting through the junk for the bargain of the day. It hasn’t changed a bit. What was new though, was the Inflatable Park next door. What fun the kiddos had running and jumping and bouncing and sliding through over 25 bouncy houses. From dogs and fire trucks to sharks and octopuses to monsters and dinosaurs, they had them all.

Monday we celebrated Gram’s 80th Birthday, oh and America’s too. Gram turned 80. Gram turned EIGHTY! I couldn’t get this to sink in my head the entire day. Even as she blew out the candles I was in awe; in tears and in awe. This woman that had her family cry through their goodbyes to her only 650 some odd days earlier, she turned 80! Gram loved the American Flag I ordered her. She was amazed it had flown over the Capitol in Washington, DC and giggled over the mistake on the Flag’s Certificate (it said my 80th birthday instead of hers). I offered to mail it back and have it fixed and she insisted it made the Flag even more special. She plans to hang it on a flag pole attached to her new porch. Have I mentioned before we once gave up on her!?

Tuesday we went to Boston. The seven of us from little ole Delaware travelled OFF CAPE on July 5th to Boston! What were we thinking?! After the trip took double the time it should we arrived to find that the Duck tour the kiddos wanted had been sold out. Well, not to worry. We jumped on a Harbor Cruise and then an Old Towne Trolley for the last tour of the day. We even got the extended tour when the men in our group insisted that our tour guide knew we were going back to the beginning when in fact (as the girls had said over and over) he did not. What great Customer Service by our guide though,  jumping right into off the map tour guiding telling us whatever he could to make our ride enjoyable. We ended the day with a run through the park’s jumping fountains. I'll tell you more about that momentarily.

Wednesday we (finally) rode a Duck Boat. The seven of us hit a different restaurant for breakfast (boo hoo, no CPC) and then ventured on to the Duck Mobile in Hyannis. The tour guide turned out to be a former high school student of one of my cousins. Although his tour speech was a little too rehearsed we all did have some giggles as we rode through town on land and through the harbor by boat. The kiddos thought that was pretty cool. We spent most of the rest of the day poolside as we waited for the work day to end for the Family members we were visiting. Too bad we all can’t have the week off.

Thursday we were home. And just like that, vacation was over.