Saturday, May 31, 2014

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth!

I am so happy that it's the weekend.

I don't know how a short week ended up feeling so long, but even with PJ having Memorial Day off and a "half" day of school yesterday, this week just draaaaaaaaaaaaged. It may have been the rain, or PJ's abysmal behavior this week- I don't know. Thankfully, the weekend is here and she came dressed in her lovely weather clothes!

Yesterday we had the chance to enjoy not one, but two play dates with friends we have not seen nearly enough of lately. There was a lunch play date in the afternoon that involved pizza, stomp rockets, trains and popsicles. When we realized that we would both be husband-free that evening, we made plans to get our boys together for some bike riding. A local playground has a large, fenced-in space that was perfect for such an activity, so we headed over to soak up the gorgeous early evening weather.

Unfortunately, PJ found a two by two puddle amid the huge expanse of cement. {sigh}



His pants quickly became soaked, but that was no problem. PJ found a solution for that...



He kind of looked like he was taking part in a Tough Mudder Race:

{blurry}

We did get a decent amount of bike ridding in. PJ is able to ride his little balance bike with increasing confidence, even without pants. Our plan is to graduate to a small pedal bike this summer to help increase some of his muscle strength and give him more of a motor planning challenge. I am not sure how bike shopping with go over! Still, for this night, his little balance bike provided the perfect mobility as he cruised about with his buddy.



We eventually moved on to blowing bubbles. They had a great system- Ezra would blow the bubbles, and they would both chase them. It seemed to work well.



By the time I took this picture, it was well past the boys usual bedtime, but the night was so spectacular, I was having a hard time calling it quits.

I don't know why, but this picture makes me laugh my head off.
Eventually, we had to wrap it up. The sun was setting and the air was getting chilly, and being that my son was half naked {sigh}, it was time to call it a night. We packed up the bikes and bubbles and snacks and pants. What I didn't pack up was PJ's shoes. I woke up this morning to that realization, causing PJ and I to beat a hasty retreat back to the park where, thankfully, his shoes were waiting.

When we got back home last night, PJ was so filthy that I needed to give him a pre-washing before his washing. He got a good scrubbing before I ran his actual bath lest he float in his own filth. His pants free jaunt left him with dirt in places the sun don't shine. After the pre-scrub, he enjoyed a rare bubble bath.


With PJ's behavior being so challenging and difficult lately, it filled my heart to see him so happy. We are so lucky to have friends that understand his different needs and the extra patience it requires to handle him sometimes. PJ's joy as he splashed in that puddle was amazing, and I just wish I could bottle that up and give him a daily dose of it. For now, I just enjoy every seconds of times that are this precious and wild and happy. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tell 'em step off, I'm doin' the hump.

...and for the first time, I'm linking up with Vodka and Soda for some (kind of late on) Humpday Confessions!

Vodka and Soda



Sadly, I am in a terrible mood, so please excuse the flood of ridiculousness I am about to unleash:

...my upstairs neighbor, bless her heart, weighs approximately 87 pounds, and yet, it sounds like a sumo wrestler pacing over his next match up there. What in the ever loving HELL? Now, my nerves are shot and it is not her fault, but the clunking is annoying as hell. I don't know if I can wait until January to start house hunting. At this point, I would live in a box if it didn't have neighbors.

...I joined Weight Watchers and will undoubtedly fail at it, but I figure I should at least put it out there and shame myself a little. The funny thing is WW really, really works. There's no weird diets or pills or nonsense. It's just portion control and they make it very easy. But, right now, it's easier to be fat then to face what I need to get done.

...I am binge-watching the shit out of Golden Girls right now! That show makes me so, so happy. It reminds me of sleeping at my Mom-Mom's on a Saturday night, all of us tucked into her humongo bed. A friend of mine posted this Golden Girl's Drinking Game to my Facebook page and I will not be happy until a few rounds of this goes down.

...my husband, upon looking at the dishes in the sink, actually said "I just don't know the dishes pile up like that" all incredulously, which leads me to believe he's going for Suicide by Death Glare. Seriously? Has he met the people who live in this apartment? He also wonders how I forget to eat. It's like he doesn't even know me.

...speaking of husbands, the hubs of my oldest/bestest asked me if Pete and I were thinking about having more children. I said "Nope!" with such force his hair blew back, and then I fled the room.

...lately, when PJ acts up in public, my threats usually go something like "Dude, if your behavior causes me to get unsolicited parenting advice from some rando in this Target, I will sell you to a gypsy." What happened to people just thinking their judgmental thoughts?

...Oh! PJ tantrums reminded me: Last week, PJ threw a fit and a half when I refused to give him a piece of candy from my purse. The reason I refused to give him the candy was because it was a tampon. {sigh}

And that's what I have for today!!! Hope you guys are humping along beautifully this week! Be sure to check Kathy out at her blog, Vodka and Soda, and check out hers and some other Humpday Confessions!

Monday, May 26, 2014

She wants to lead the glamorous life...

Linking up with Time for Mom!

There has been much talk lately about what kind of mother one should be. Funnily enough, the voices of dissent are coming from the smallest population of mothers on the planet: celebrity mothers. 

To be fair, there are celebrity mothers I worship (Gwen Stefani), celebrity mothers I roll my eyes at (Jenny McCarthy), and celebrity mothers who make me vomit at the very mention of their name (Gwyneth Paltrow). As a parent, I take what's out there and I pick and choose what I will or will not take with a grain of salt. The majority of the mothering advice that I accept from celebrities revolves around fashion (for PJ, not me, since I usually look like a bag lady), but if Mama Gwen said that she feeds little Kingston an all-quinoa diet that makes his mohawk lustrous and has him reading at college level, I might be tempted to switch out PJ's Zebra Cakes for some fancy grains. 

It's a bit of a weird sell- we have women who aren't really any more or less knowledgeable than the common folk, but have the means and the soapbox to appear as if they do. And just like the advice we get from moms on Facebook, around the sandbox, or from our own family members, some of the advice is perfect for us, some is not, and some is insanity all around. 

The voice of the celeb mom is a powerful one. Jenny McCarthy was able to strike fear in the hearts of thousands of mothers who have children with Autism, and moms who search for a way to prevent it. I am one of those moms now, and I took her words to heart. I sometimes have to think hard to remember that PJ was showing signs of Autism long before he had his MMR vaccine. I think every mother sometimes has to break free of the norm to find the right path of her child, but I take issue with the mother who trumpets her story as one that fits every other child. I admire Jenny McCarthy for setting fire to it all and blazing a path that worked for her gorgeous son, but I want to shake her for allowing her platform of fame to put so many children in danger. There's also a part of me who wants to shake the moms who took her word as gospel...but I know how hard it is to want an answer and have the one you want right in front of you. 

Even though I fall prey to comparisons (we all do, let's not lie), I do my best to avoid them because the fact is, if I compare my life and parenting and self-worth to the affluent, shinny life of Victoria Beckham or Madonna, I. Will. Lose. Every time. It is hard enough to keep from comparing my life to the Facebook selfies and cheery updates of so many of my friends. If I let myself wonder why I don't look like Halle Berry when I wake up in the morning, I'll end up knifing myself in the eyeballs. And that, right there, is what makes the advice of the celebrity mom so heady- how can someone who looks so pretty and seems so perfect be wrong? 

The truth is this- if you are doing parenting right, it's a little bit hard. It will be hard in different ways- let's not pretend that a mom who makes millions making a movie has the same hard as a mom who works 14-hour days at a "regular" job (and thank you, Angelina, for realizing that). But, hard is hard, and it does not do anybody any good to draw comparison. Don't beat yourself up for not looking like Jessica Alba when you drop your kid off at school, and don't fall into the temptation of trying out a textile cleanse or homeade acai berry, gluten-free fruit snacks unless you honestly feel that this is the right choice for your family. What "works" for Gwyneth may not work for you- in fact, I'd wager she would be the first to tell you that. 

Here's the thing. You're doing fine. There's bound to be comparison and Mommy guilt and second guessing, which makes us human, not poor parents. And Heidi Klume is doing it, too. Money and affluence and privileged don't change that. So, please. Be easy on yourself, Mama. 




Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!
Time for  Mom is a place to link up your post related to anything parenting each  week!  We like to make it our Tuesday post, but you can link up another  recent post if you'd like!

Time for Mom is happy to announce some big changes coming soon!  We are adding several new co-hosts over the next few weeks!  I am looking forward to showing off all our new co-hosts with you guys soon!

Please be sure to click around and comment on a few others in the link up!  Don't just link and run!  Let's make this a mom community!

And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!











This week's Featured Blogger is Barb who writes over at A Life in Balance!







Last week Barb shared her post with some great activity ideas using gallon ziploc bags!

Be sure to check out her post and then link up your own post for this week with us!




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Friday, May 16, 2014

Purple rain, purple rain...

I woke up feeling inexplicably cranky, so here's a quick Friday post to help me brighten up my mood on this rainy, spring morning...





Luck Fupus





1. Today is Put On Purple Day to help spread awareness for Lupus! I don't have a picture because I am not dressed yet {shame}, but my purple is all laid out and ready to go! Our local Philadelphia new teams have proudly displayed their purple garb, much to the delight of Marla and I, who are gigantic news nerds. The purple clothes are so much fun and I am so, so glad that it has people talking about Lupus. Lupus is bullshit. It's confusing and difficult and can have such a stigma tied to it's diagnosis. I see firsthand how devastating the effects of Lupus can be, and it's high time for this nonsense to end.

2. Truth? I actually love rainy, open-window weather. I turn out the lights, pour some coffee, and either write or read someone else's writing. I love the smell, the cool air coming through the windows, and the whole well, it's raining so let's just chill inside aura. PJ loves rainy summer weather, when it's warm enough to go outside and play in the rain. He will get home from school today and beg to go outside- "PJ play outside and the rain????" It's not quite warm enough, but soon, kiddo. Soon!

3. Did you know that it's also New Jersey Early Intervention Week? If you are in New Jersey, New York, or the Old West (I'm not exactly sure where that is, but you get my drift...) and you think your child has missed a developmental milestone, pick up the phone and utilize your state early intervention services. It's never too early- trust your instincts. I remember making that call, so scared and sad, but it was one of the few, definitive parental wins I have made. Early Intervention saved us from the fear that PJ might not improve and gave us the tools to help him be happy and successful. I am endlessly grateful to his therapists, many of whom I still talk to nearly two years later!

4. Eva, who was the winner of the Carry On, Warrior book giveaway, is helping to raise money for the National Multiple Scleoris Society by offering these gorgeous prints from her Etsy shop. Proceeds will go directly to the fundraising campaign for the National MS Society Walk in Boston. I ordered a print for my bedroom and can't wait until it gets here!

5. PJ is still obsessed with Wreck It, Ralph and thankfully, so I am! My favorite line:

Calhoun: What's the first rule of "Hero's Duty?"
Ralph: Uhhh...no cuts, no butts, no coconuts?

I also read that the name Vanellope is trending in new births. Geeesh.

Hope you are having a great Friday!


Linking up with Amanda from Meet at the Barre for Friday Favorites! 

Meet @ the Barre

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Follow your arrow wherever it points...

Linking up for Time for Mom Tuesday!

 This past Sunday was my fifth Mother's Day as PJ's mother. As each one has passed I have learned two things, the first being that I know so much more than I did the year before, and the second being that I will never, ever know enough when it comes to being the mama of this smart, silly, handsome, brave being we created. He keeps me on my toes, this sweet boy, and there's never been a sweeter ache in my feet.
 Lately, PJ has been on edge- anxious, angry and unsettled. When Pete asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, I knew that I just wanted to do something, as a family, that would make PJ's happiness spill over it's edges. The weather cooperated, and on a gorgeous Mother's Day morning we piled into the car and headed to the place that, more than any other place on earth, makes my son happy. We headed to the beach.

We hit the boardwalk and made a pit stop, thanks to PJ's new found love for the movie Wreck It, Ralph. At the back of the arcade stood rows of one of PJ's favorite games, ski ball. He's terrible at it, and prefers to walk up the lane and drop the ball directly in a hoop. {cheater}After a few rounds, he made his way through the rest of the arcade, trying out any game that bore a passing resemblance to one of the games in Wreck It, Ralph.

By the time we finished up in the arcade, it was time for lunch, and although he was hungry, the call of the waves was strong. The time it took to munch on some pizza, fries, and chicken was barely tolerated. This kid just wanted to get to the ocean.



Pete and I figured that PJ would play in the sand and stick his toes in the waves. The water was still really stinkin' cold. We would roll up his jeans and get his toesies damp.

Pffft.

PJ could not resist the tide and the water crept higher and higher until his jeans were soaking. Eventually, they got so heavy that we just took them off, the Minion eyes on this underpants peeking out from under his shirt. He jumped, he ran, he dug in the sand. I let him play with his Daddy while I sat back and took pictures, trying to match each smile with a snap of the shutter. I thought about how, for all of the bitching and moaning I do about living in New Jersey, it's hard to argue with living someplace that's one hour from the Atlantic shores.












The only picture I got of all three of us. 




Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!
Time for  Mom is a place to link up your post related to anything parenting each  week!  We like to make it our Tuesday post, but you can link up another  recent post if you'd like!

Time for Mom is happy to announce some big changes coming soon!  We are adding several new co-hosts over the next few weeks!  I am looking forward to showing off all our new co-hosts with you guys soon!

Please be sure to click around and comment on a few others in the link up!  Don't just link and run!  Let's make this a mom community!

And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!











This week's Featured Blogger is Lyndsay who writes Wedding Rings to Teething Rings!







Last week Lyndsay shared her post A Toddler in Connecticut, showcasing a bunch of fun things to do and try for kids in CT!

Be sure to check out her post and then link up your own post for this week with us!




Thanks for linking up and please be sure to take a button to add to your post or blog sidebar!


Time for Mom


Link up your Time for Mom post here, and don't forget to check out some other posts in the hop and leave a comment!





Friday, May 9, 2014

And now, I think I'll get through the end of the world...

We look happy because we were in the same room as Adam Levine. 

Gratitude

Last week, I turned 37.
Last year, when I turned 36,
I had no idea that I was about to begin
One of the more difficult years of my life.
Separation,
Difficulties with PJ's school...
There were, of course, so many beautiful moments but,
 on the whole?
36 was fucking tough.
As May 3rd approached, I started to think about
   all of the things I wanted for this year.
They looked bright and hopeful and happy.
It also looked like a lot of fucking hard work
 but that was okay.
Then, my sister went for some testing and
   it showed a lump in her breast.
A lump.
Lumps, in our family, bring bad news.
Women in our family carry lumps like freckles and
  for five days,
 as we waited for the results of the biopsy
 I carried a lump in my chest.
It sat there as one day I was 36 and the next I was 37
  and as I tried to breathe around it I wondered if a good 37 was even possible.
Without my sister, there's not much good, period.
One of my favorite blogs, Momastery, mentioned the word "sister"
 in terms of carpentry.
It means to add a support to another member, to keep things from falling down.
It's the simplest and truest definition of what our sisterhood looks like.
I waited for the news to come and told myself
 "It has looked bad before. It has looked bad, but it's been okay."
But the lump in my chest laughed at me.
I knew that whatever I was feeling, Marla was feeling it intensified times a million.
We did our usual thing, chatting and joking and quoting "Major League II".
Talking our way around something that seemed to stare us right in the face.
But, finally, finally.
A phone call bearing the magic word:
Benign
Benign. Not cancer.
Not. Cancer.
I felt my brain fuzz out a little bit
 as she talked about a surgical follow up and
 removal of the lump.
There are still things to be done and health issues to address
  but it's not cancer.
I felt a while-hot wave of gratitude flood me, like being lowered into a hot tub.
The heat melted the lump in my chest and filled me up.
Gratitude for this break, this bit of luck on such a hard road for my sister.
Gratitude for the testing that alerted us to this unwanted interloper
   growing in her body.
Gratitude that she will be watched with many eyes,
  and hands ready to battle any foe.
Gratitude that, with so many battles already being fought
  in her body, she could dodge this bullet.
Gratitude for that word.
Benign.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sometimes I hear my voice and it's been here...

21 Things on My Sixteenth 21st Birthday
do you see what I did there?

1. Eva Taylor is the WINNER of the paperback copy of Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Melton! Eva blogs over at EvaMarieTaylor.com, and her site is truly a thing of beauty. Eva is so lovely and creative and I am very, very exited to send her a copy of Carry On, Warrior.

2. I decided to draw a second place winner to receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card to help celebrate my birthday, and that winner is Christine Polkovitch! Hooray!!! Christine is a fantastic person and I am so happy that Rafflecopter plucked her out!

3. And yes, May 3rd was my birthday! I am 37. The day was a mellow one- after a crazy week, we needed a day to just relax and rest. PJ was sick with strep throat and a nasty upper-respiratory bug and is not yet 100%, so it was nice to just chill, get things done around the apartment, and spend some time with my best dude.

4. May 3rd was also Willie Geist's birthday! I have a huge crush on him. I actually have a thing for a number of the Men of NBC- Willie Geist, Lester Holt, Jimmy Fallon, and my super-special-honey Brian Williams. Love 'em all.

5. My beloved Flyers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the New York Rangers. Annoying to say the least, but not surprising. Still, even without my Flyers, playoff hockey is my favorite!

6. The oldest/bestest ran in the Broad Street Run on Sunday! It was Randi's second time running and she clocked a fantastic time! I have fallen off the wagon, mostly due to time, and her run today reminded me that I need to not waste all of the work I did getting ready for the 5k we ran together. I'm very proud of her and want to continue to be inspired by her!

7. I watched the show Playing House on USA and was disturbingly reminded of the relationship that Marla and I have when I saw this scene:



8. You can find me in the May 2014 issue of South Jersey Mom Magazine talking about finding household tips on Pinterest. This is an article that, perhaps, I should try to live up to in my own house instead if using Pinterest to look up funny quotes from Golden Girls. Either way, you can find my piece this month!

9. Oh, speaking of Marla, have you guys seen her blog makeover? Tia from Hands On, Pants Off did an amazing job and the site looks absolutely perfect. You can also stop by to catch up a little on what's been going on with Marla the past two weeks. I can't speak about it yet, but I can ask you to cross your fingers, talk to your God, or even pray to Jobu. All of this bullshit health garbage needs to knock it the fuck off.

10. People who also have the same birthday as me: Flyers great Rom Hextall, Cheryl Burke from Dancing With the Stars, the AMAZING Dule Hill, Bing Crosby, and, you guys. I also have the same birthday as Levi Johnson, also known as Bristol Palin's baby-daddy. Yessssssssssssss.

11. I am watching Louis C.K Chewed Up as I write this. Have I ever told you about my crush on Louis C.K? I have one. It's kind of confounding, but there's something wildly attractive about him. I can only assume it's because he's so funny, but, either way. I have a crush.

12. The top sheet had been missing from our bed for a while. I am pretty sure that it got mixed up in the laundry one night after PJ barfed in our bed. I just found it clean and folded under a pile of laundry on the chair in our room. This is a chaos we live in, folks. I really need to come up with a better system.

13. Here are five fast facts: My favorite season is Fall, my favorite article of clothing is my "Wicked" sweatshirt I bought in 2006 (or so), I drink anywhere from 3-6 cups of coffee per day, my favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King, and I hate shopping for clothes for myself.

14. Thanks to Jimmy Fallon and his latest lip sync off, I am obsessed with this song:



15. Music used to be a huge part of my life. It still is, of course, but I haven't performed in nearly 10 years. I was an ugly, skinny, acne-riddled kid with low self-esteem and a strange personality, and music kept me tethered to the ground. I saw a bit of that in PJ the very first time he performed with his cheer team. His teammates lifted him into a stunt and the audience roared for him and I saw in his face that he knew it. It was better than any applause I ever heard, and I am so happy that there's that little bit of me in him.

16. I was a thumb-sucker as a young child and it jacked up my teeth something awful. I had to wear external headgear (a metal brace that clipped into slots on my back teeth, then sprouted out of my mouth and attached to a band around the back of my head) to correct a wicked overbite before the orthodontist could even think of tackling my crooked teeth. It remains, to this day, the single endeavor funded by my parents that I am the most thankful for!

17. The other day, I was driving in the rain. I rubbed my eye absently and ended up crumpling up my contact lens in my eye. I pulled over to take it out and fix it, but it was a chilly day and I had the heat on. When I took the lens out, it blew off of my finger! I was panicking, trying to figure out what the hell I would do if I couldn't find it because I am blind enough that one contact just won't do it. Thankfully, I found it next to me and popped it back in! It was a little dry around the edges, but I could see well enough to drive home!

18. Women I Have a Girl Crush on: Tina Fey, Mila Kunis, Tamron Hall, Indina Menzel, and Reece Witherspoon.

Women Who Annoy Me: Gwyneth Paltrow, Taylor Swift

19. HGTV is like porn to me, and nothing makes me happier on a Saturday morning then switching on Property Brothers or Rehab Addict. I dream of doing a home renovation! I am one of the few people who love the lots-of-small-rooms layout of an older house vs the open floor plan. I went to an open house, and just off the front door was a small "reading room". Swoon.

20. I am finishing up this blog post watching Kathie Lee and Hoda and the dude that plays Tom on The Blacklist is co-hosting. This guy is adorable. {crushing}

21. I won't lie- this post was kind of a struggle to get out. I came up with a few much better ideas for posts, but felt like I needed to see this one through since 1. I needed to pick some winners for the contest and 2. It took me like, 4 days to write. Maybe it's my OLD BRAIN, but, more likely, it's the fact that I have been in a writing funk. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me!