Monday, April 25, 2011

Memo From Mom Monday

TO: My 1998 Nissan Sentra
FROM: Your Mom
RE: So Long, Sentra!

This memo is in reference to your soon-to-be departure from our lives. Sentra, you joined us in June 1999, just 3 months before our matrimony. Hubby needed a new car while I drove a brand-new Honda Civic lease. With the option of getting a brand-new car every 3 years, which I took part in about 5 times. It was a beautiful time.

You drove us many places, Sentra. My fondest memory was our ride to and from Acadia National Park in Maine. We didn’t want to go over our mileage on the lease, so we took you, our totally paid for car and headed out into the wilderness. Well, I WAS on that trip so we headed to a hotel then hiked in the wilderness.

About 3 years ago, our lives changed drastically when I found myself commuting a whole 1 mile and Hubby had to go about 70 miles round trip. Since you were the older car with more miles, I had the great fortune of inheriting you as “my” car. You chugged along, never really giving us many problems, but just looking rather worn and past your prime. Sure, for the past few years I haven’t been able to adjust the volume on the radio off “LOUD” for fear of completely losing the radio, and yes, the heat and A/C only blast on “HIGH” therefore forcing me to continually turn the heat or A/C off and on to get the car somewhat comfortable. Add in some chipped paint on the front bumper and an overall worn-paint look, and you were the car I prayed I’d never drive. But, alas, life is funny. But you were mine, so I kept you clean and neat and looking as pretty on the inside as I could.

And now the time has come, as you push 169,000 miles and my commute is going up to about 55 miles round trip, that I must bid you a fond adieu. As much as I really hated driving you, I know you were a good little car with a lot of spunk and life in you. You saw us get married, buy houses, get a dog, and have a baby. You drove that baby around for 6 years. So I am a little sad to see you go.

Thank you for being so good to us. I can only hope that your next owner totally pimps you out and you get the makeover of your dreams. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my brand-spanking new Elantra while I talk ON THE PHONE THROUGH THE SPEAKERS! I will adjust the volume like a girl with Radio Volume Tourettes, and I will enjoy this summer in a cool, comfortable 70 degree car. Sure, I might think of you from time to time and mention your name, “Aww, remember that Sentra with the TAPE player? It used to make the cutest noise on the right rear side that no mechanic could figure out. Wasn’t that adorable?” But I think I’m going to get over it pretty damn quickly.

Good-bye, Dear Sentra. You will make some 17 or 77 year-old quite happy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

While doing our Easter Bunny duties last night, Hubby and I discovered an egg from last year still filled with some jelly beans. Oops and yuck! Those things were stuck together and looking a little pale, kind of like they were sitting in an attic for a year. Which they were. But then we opened another egg, and found $5. So we totally scored and saved ourselves 5 bucks this year. Which is good because Monkey Man’s Easter basket really started to add up with the Wii Donkey Kong game, Spongebob Invisible Marker Pad, Spongebob sticker activity book, money in the eggs, the chocolate bunny, the chocolate sports game, the ball toss game…So yeah, we needed that extra 5 bucks.

He’s a kid once and he is totally into the Bunny – so much that he was up at 5:10 a.m. and wanted to see what treats he had. Monkey Man is 6 years-old, and we don’t know how much longer we’ll have of him believing so each Christmas and Easter and lost tooth is absolutely precious and priceless. Of course, at 5:10, I wanted to scream, “Seriously?? Do you really think a BUNNY came INTO our house and left a basket? In what world does that make any SENSE?”

However, since I’m barely able to move at 5:10 let alone scream and ruin my child’s sense of wonder, I barely grunted, “Go back to bed. Wait until 7.” Hubby was a bit more coherent and explained that the Bunny might not have come yet and we needed to be quiet. Then at about 6:45, Hubby told Monkey Man that he heard something downstairs and we really needed to wait to make sure the coast was clear. So at 7, we all popped up ready for a day of candy and family and new beginnings and found some nice loot waiting for us. Loot that I’ll be doing double time at kickboxing for in the next few weeks.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Single Most Worst Thing to Do on a Saturday Afternoon

Hubby and I are going car shopping today which means by the end of the day, Hubby and I will not be on speaking terms because...

1) We cannot agree on the kind of car we want. We both want an economical and gas-friendly car, but I want something that looks nice (I like the Honda Civic, Civic Hybrid, Nissan Sentra, Hyndai Elantra/Sonata), and he wants one that looks like it should have a wind-up key in the back of it (Honda Fit AHHHH! Nissan Versa NOOOOO!).

2) We both CANNOT STAND the process of car shopping and I give the car salespeople a really hard time - I don't trust them, and I let them know it. Hubby wants to crawl in a corner when we go car shopping.

3) I want the car TODAY. Hubby thinks we're just looking today. Yep, sure to be good times.

4) It is pouring rain and I plan on wearing my Mickey Mouse poncho from Disney World. Another reason for Hubby to crawl into that corner. Hope he has a comfy pillow - I think he'll be in there for a while.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ding, Dong - It's Jesus!

"Mom, when is Jesus coming?" Monkey Man inquired tonight from the backseat.

"Who told you Jesus is coming?" I asked, knowing what the answer would be, but also wondering if he had been perusing the websites about May 21, 2011 when the world is going to *POOF* disappear.

"I read about it with Grandma," he answered the most obvious answer. Hubby's dad is a pastor. "So, when is he coming?"

"I have no idea," and I thought, I know I'm not too up on my Bible, but I'm pretty sure the day that Jesus comes is the end of the world.

"Is he coming on Monday?"

Just in case, I'll be sure to vacuum, dust and fold the laundry on Sunday night. Oh, and I'll save him some of my chocolate Easter Bunny. Yeah, I'll totally score points with chocolate.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Major League Payback

Monkey Man starts baseball today. For a fee of $125 we received:
a t-shirt
a hat
baseball socks
a size EXTRA LARGE baseball pants (this child is tall and thin - we tried the pants on this morning and two of his friends could jump in with him and have a sack race.

We also needed to purchase on our own: a mitt ($8.99), batting helmet with face guard ($39.99), cleats ($20.00) and the bat is optional, which means screw the bat. The kid is borrowing one that is sitting around.

In addition, either Hubby or I (read: I) has to sit at the concession stand (because we don't already have an obesity problem in this country we have to buy snacks at Little League baseball games) on a DAY THAT MONKEY MAN ISN'T EVEN PLAYING. Yes, you read that correctly. If I don't give of myself on this day, I will forfeit my $50 "worker's bond." I totally get that the concession stand is a fundraiser for the town's baseball program. But really, harassing me out of my $50 if I can't/won't come to my assigned day and time? The concession stand is still going to be there whether I decide to feed the masses hot dogs or not. And the baseball program's bonus in addition to the concession payola is my extra 50 if I want to spend that 90 minutes on a June Saturday with my family. Yes, town of mine - you are not only contributing to the diabetes epidemic, but also to the families not spending time with one another epidemic. Homerun for you!

Hopefully I will be laughing about all this when Monkey Man is winning the World Series with the Yankees in 15 years.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nibbles & Bits

While getting ready for the shower the other night, Monkey Man pointed to his chest and asked me, "Mom, what are these called? Nibbles?"

I tried not to laugh, because it was so freakin' cute, but I didn't want him to feel embarrassed especially because of the impending body part talk that was coming. "They are called nipples," I replied, in my best Serious Health Teacher Anatomy Lesson voice.

"Why are they long on ladies?" he inquired, having obviously viewed cows walking around on their hind legs because certainly he was confusing breasts with udders? Here is when composure went flying out the window. I'm sorry, but I pictured some tubular-like objects projecting from a woman's chest. Sort of like early-90s Madonna, but not as pointy. "Like when I go to the gym with you, they bounce up and down on the girls." Oh. Lord. Help. Me.

Deep breath, regain composure, and delve into the body part speech. Monkey Man has known the "proper" words for penis and vagina for years now, and they are no biggie. However, we just never went into the breast realm.

"Boys and girls both have chests and both have nipples," I said, trying not to let on that I was in disbelief I had to have this conversation with my 6 year-old boy. "When girls grow up, their chests grow (blah, blah, blah - I don't think you readers out there need this lesson. You were probably taught it via film strip circa 1985).

The lesson we have learned from all of this? In the male division of "Boob Man" Vs. "Butt Man," I think we see which side my son is on. Once again, Oh. Lord. Help. Me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You're Getting Sleeeeepy...

This weekend, my sleeping schedule looked like this:
Friday night - 12:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Saturday night - 11:30 p.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Dare I say this? I, who loves sleep possibly more than Holiday Pop 'Ems, think that I might have slept TOO MUCH this weekend.

Monkey Man spent the weekend at my parents' house and Hubby was away for work all weekend. So this meant completely uninterrupted sleep for me. The poor dog got up at around 7:30 on both mornings, probably had to go out really badly since he usually goes out by 6:30, but I think he knew better. Unless the smoke detector is going off, mama ain't budging.

But I've had a headache all day and have felt sore and achy. Yes, I did hours of yard work and went for a run yesterday, but I think my body was horizontal and motionless for too long.

Good thing it's back to work and school tomorrow. Back to structure, sleeping 7 hours and longing for the weekend. To sleep in!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Word of the Day: Meandering

I went to the mall today. Hubby is away for work and Monkey Man is spending the weekend at my parents’ house. This means that I had unlimited time to spend doing whatever I wanted to do. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

While at the mall, I meandered. Normally when I’m at the mall without Monkey Man, I feel like I have to rush. Even if Hubby says, “Don’t rush,” I feel like I have to get in and out as quickly as possible. But tonight? I meandered. Store to store I went, trying on things, buying nothing, but taking as long as I wanted. I did buy clothes for Monkey Man, but for me? Nada. I see lots of cute clothes I like on other people, but I am deficient in buying my own clothes. I wasn’t always like this. I think once I hit my thirties, I feel like things are either too “teeny bopper” or “too old” and I cannot find something in between. It’s frustrating and annoying and I waste too much time trying.

But, at least for tonight, I wandered with no deadlines, no one waiting for me at home. Lord & Taylor, JCPenney, Eddie Bauer, J Crew, Children’s Place, Gap, NY & Company…they all saw a more peaceful, meandering mom tonight. Then I went home and had a healthy dinner of pita chips.

Home Alone

What does a mom eat for dinner when hubby is away for work and Monkey Man is spending the weekend at the grandparents? Pita chips. And wine. I would make such an awesome bachelor. The only difference is I accomplished things today. I took the dog for a run, did lots o’ yard work, then followed that yard work up with a grueling pedicure. After the pedicure, I went shopping for an Easter outfit and some new summer clothes for Monkey Man. A bachelor would’ve just sat on the couch all day and watched baseball, napped, and scratched himself.

Today was Day 2 of hubby gone all day and night for work, and this is Night #2 of Monkey Man spending the night at my parents’ house. I L.O.V.E. my alone time, but I have to say, I think I’m a little lonely. I kind of miss Monkey Man screaming for me to get him his 14th snack or letting me know he has to pee. I also kind of miss kicking hubby out of my favorite corner of the couch. But, nonetheless, I will enjoy the quiet. And then, possibly, I’ll enjoy a brownie.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just Like MTV's Spring Break!

Monkey Man and I went outside earlier this afternoon to catch the 15 minutes of sunshine that was bestowed upon us. While he jumped on the trampoline, I started the horrible, daunting, never-ending task of cleaning up the backyard of all the leaves, sticks and various junk that has either been left over from the fall cleaning or has made its way to our yard via wind storms. I don’t know why I bother cleaning up in the fall – no one is going to be in the yard all winter and I just have to do it all over again in the spring. Oh well. I was just happy that at least this time, I had summer to look forward to instead of a dreary, cold winter ahead.

While Monkey Man jumped, he announced, “This is the Best Spring Break EVER!” Obviously, it does NOT take a lot to get this kid pumped. Let me now review the most thrilling, exciting Spring Break itinerary ever:

Saturday: Monkey Man stayed over my parents’ house Friday night, so he spent the day there on Saturday.

Sunday: We finally had a sunny, kind of warm day, so we went outside in the yard and played soccer and jumped on the trampoline. Later, we had a belated birthday dinner for Monkey Man with Hubby’s family. This included yet another birthday gift. Score!

Monday: Dentist check-up for Monkey Man. We went to see Hop with friends (absolutely hilarious, I highly recommend it!) then had lunch with our friends. After lunch, we shopped for new Converse (Monkey Man only wears his Converse, so he was in major need of some new kicks. Even with occasional washings, they were looking a little worn).

Tuesday: Annual check-up for Monkey Man which included blood work. After the doc’s office, we continued the par-tay at the Toyota dealer for an oil change. WOO HOO! Spring Break ROCKS! Later that night, I had to teach kickboxing, so Monkey Man’s big cousin and his girlfriend took him for pizza then to an indoor amusement place nearby with go-karts and bumper cars and Laser Tag and foam shooting things and arcade games – a 6 year-old’s dream. Okay, now I see the equivalent of a college spring break starting to take shape here.

Wednesday: I brought Monkey Man to the gym where he sat like a good little boy and played his DS while mommy got her butt kicked. Monkey Man had a friend over (which was a last minute welcome surprise and what prompted the whole Best Spring Break EVER comment).

Thursday: We are going to visit some friends. Monkey Man is excited to play with my friend’s kids.

Friday: Monkey Man is staying with my parents while I go to a doctor’s appointment.

Okay, so without boring you further to tears about the mundane-ness of our week home, I think you see my point. This week doesn’t exactly rival that of MTV’s Spring Break. Not once did someone ask me to join their wet t-shirt contest. My drink of choice over the past few days was Green Tea and an occasional Diet Pepsi. The only dancing I did was because the other day I had to pee really bad and could not get in the house fast enough.

If Monkey Man really thinks this is the best week ever, I am never, ever, ever, EVER letting him go away with his friends when he goes to college. Oh no. Mama’s been there, done that, and if this kid thinks Spring Break can’t get much better than this past week, there are some things better left a secret.

Friday, April 1, 2011

SPRINGfield in the Summer

Guess who has 7th row tickets to see Rick Springfield in July - WOO HOO! In celebration of the awesomeness that will take place in New Brunswick on what I know will be a HOT night in July, I give you a photo recap of some wonderful moments with Rick:

Although highly unflattering, this photo was taken in March 2008 when Rick came out into the audience and gave his fan, who was standing on the armrest of her chair, a hug.

I went to the Virgin Megastore in NYC in July 2008 for Rick's CD signing. This was the first time I actually met him. I was quite eloquent, too, in our first meeting. "You're awesome!" Whatever, just take a picture with me, Rick.

This was perhaps one of the greatest nights of my life, apart from my wedding, of course. Not only did I take lots of pics with Rick, I actually engaged in CONVERSATION with him. Virginia Beach, September 2008

I met a new friend at a Rick concert last year (the friend who I'll be going to the July show with!) and she gave me the tip on where Rick was staying so we could get some pictures! I love this picture - it kind of looks like we are totally meant to be, right? Thanks to Doug for taking the photo of me and my man! Pennsylvania, February 2010

My One and Only

As you know from reading my blog, I have one wonderful, charming, funny, sarcastic, intelligent, exhausting and simply delightful child. However, as absolutely fantastic as he is, people seem to think there should be more of him. Or more of my husband and me, since we made him. Wow, people really like us that much that they want MORE of us!

Monkey Man turned 6 in March and for the past 6 years, I have been asked by many people:

“When are you having #2?” – Hmmm, none of your damn business unless you’re my husband and I need your sperm.

“So, when are you going to GIVE Monkey Man a brother or sister? - Shall I just run out to Target, grab a child off the shelf and hand over my Target credit card which gives me 5% off said child? Then I’ll wrap him or her up in some pretty tissue paper and give baby to Monkey Man?

“Do you think you’re JUST going to have ONE?” – JUST ONE drips out of their mouths like, “I really should have considered that option. She’s a freakin’ genius – gets to be a mom, love her child unconditionally, but only has to worry about one little rugrat instead of 3!”

“He should have a sibling.” Really? And I should smack you. Then you should give me money to raise the village and send them off to college. What Monkey Man SHOULD have is two loving parents who will give him their world and make sure he feels safe, happy and like he is our number one priority always. He should have food, shelter and an education. A sibling will not add or detract from his life. Monkey Man is a friendly, socially adept kid and has friends, and many people know, sometimes friends are better friends than a sibling. I know lots of people who do not get along with their brothers or sisters. I also know lots of people who are best friends with their brothers or sisters. You just never know what you’re going to get.

“C’mon, have another!” - Yes, because having another child is like taking a shot at the bar. Oh, but wait! We all know what that ONE MORE shot at the bar can do to a person! One time (in college, I was young and stupid. And totally of age) it had me sitting under a sink in the bathroom, with my head between my knees. And, hell, sometimes it produces Baby #2 or #3!

If I am out with one of my closest friends, or my mom, or my sister, and one of them says to me, “So, do you think you would like to have another child?” I would be open and candid with them if they didn’t already know the answer and reasons behind the answer. But when Nosy Nancy from the gym asks me, it’s a little annoying. Take a moment and really think about these questions and statements – there are many reasons that a woman or couple might not have another child:

1. They WANT one child. (Oh, the horror! Just one? How could they?)
2. They have been trying to having another child for years and it’s just not happening.
3. Medical reasons would put the woman or child at risk.
4. The woman has actually been pregnant once, twice, several times and miscarried.
5. The couple has adopted (and I’m talking opposite sex and same sex couples) and are either quite happy with one child or cannot afford the cost of multiple adoptions.

Maybe there are more reasons, but I think the ones I listed are enough to get someone to stop and think before opening their insensitive, rude mouth. This post has been swirling around in my head for a few years now, but a comment the other day by a woman really lit the fire under me. So that night, I wrote as my status on Facebook: “Would it be rude for me to ask people why they had more than one child? Maybe look at them with shock like, "WHY did you decide to have TWO? or THREE?" Because it's pretty rude when people ask me when I'm having another or why I don't have another child.”

Everyone who commented on Facebook was very supportive and seemed aghast that people would actually ask these kinds of questions. People had different things to say:

“It’s very rude and none of anyone’s business. I did not have another until my son was 8 and people would say that to me all of the time. Of course my circumstances were a little different but I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with my son and if I didn't have another so be it. Sometimes people are just jealous because they have 2, 3, maybe even 4 kids and they can't give the attention and time that they would like to.” Amen, sista.

"I used to hear this ALL the time! I finally did decide that another hard pregnancy would be worth it, but that was my decision to make. I've even had people say since, "see, we knew you'd come around." and things like that. I just don't get it - having only one isn't some crazy idea! And to be honest, I love daughter #2, but I do miss it just being daughter #1 sometimes. It was much easier to work when I could devote my free time to her. Now my time is so split that I feel like I'm torn in too many directions at once." Love the honesty, and I'll give it another, Amen!

“The second child is the son or daughter of the social pressure. For almost 6 years I was annoyed with the same bs and I'll just tell them if you'll support him/her and off course babysit whenever I want to go out, I'll go for it.” And again, let me add, if you would like to foot the bill for college, then in the words of Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On!

“I just tell it like it is: I'd love to have had another, but she's my miracle baby and I'm just glad she's healthy and happy!” Let’s get another Hallelujah! “Another good comeback- no need, I got it right the first time!” yes. Yes. YES.

Monkey Man was in our plans to be a part of our life. I am thankful everyday that my plans played out and that whatever forces that needed to work with us, did. He gives me (us!) as much joy, laughter, anxiety, delight, sleeplessness, and sheer love as 10 children could. I might be a mom to only one child, but I couldn’t be happier with or prouder of my one-of-a-kind, one and only Monkey Man.