Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Here We Go Again!

Quote from Gwyneth Paltrow: "We have all these aspirations. We want this, and we want that. We take on too many activities, too many commitments. But, really, if you can figure out how to spend time with the people you love, how to laugh and how to take care of yourself, that's the whole thing right there. That's the very best part of life." - Good Housekeeping Feb 2011

I read this article while sitting in the dentist chair waiting to get my root canal redone and it was my light bulb moment of 2011. I need to take a look at everything I'm doing and re-evaluate the benefits ... does it have a positive or negative impact on my family? If negative, then I need to let it go!

There are so many things that I want to do that I'm just not getting to. Keeping up with this blog for one thing! Doing something with the thousands of pictures I have living in my basement and on my computer for another!!

Which brings me to my latest project. I call it the "365 project" - take a picture a day and put it in a digital book. At the end of the year, our family will have a nice memory of 2011 to enjoy! If I'm going to be successful, then I need to take heed of Gwyneth and purge what's not important! I'm hoping this project will help me take stock of each day and what single moment stands out ... big or little.

Another quote I got in a fortune cookie last week: "Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's a Good Mommy Day

Olivia has been struggling with her mixed multiplication facts. She's gotten through all of her single fact tests without much trouble, but she's been stuck on the mixed facts for about a month. Her teacher gives the students 5 minute timed tests and they only get to move on if they score 80% or better.

Lately, Olivia has been very bothered that she hasn't been able to move on. As a mom to 4, it's hard to make time for everyone and with Olivia being the oldest and pretty self-sufficient, she tends to get put at the bottom of the list (oooh, it pains me to say that!).

Well, today I'm giving myself a pat on the back. I went out and got some new twistable crayons ... complete with glitter and rainbow colors and some white index cards. I found a great website that has all sorts of downloadable math worksheets and printed a bunch off.

When she came home from school today, I presented her with my idea. She's going to use her new crayons to make her own flash cards! I could have purchased flash cards from the dollar store, but I figured she would learn better by doing them herself. Initially she didn't look very enthused (with that "Oh Mom, you're NOT serious!" look), but I held stedfast in my excitement and told her that I never really learned my multiplication facts in school and that I was going to study with her (Oh no, what did I just do?!). Then, we could have timed tests against each other to see who wins! Suddenly, she thought that was hilarious and loved the idea!

We kept the TV off all afternoon. She worked on her flash cards, Nicholas worked on a craft project while I cleaned the kitchen with the iPod playing butt-shaking hip hop music (thank you, Lady GaGa!). We were all laughing and having a great time together.

It's a Good Mommy Day!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

These are NOT my kids!

Vito started an exercise regimen about a month ago. He gets up at the crack of dawn every other day and goes outside for a walk. Lately, he's graduated from walking to running. Don't forget, this is February in upstate New York, so you must be impressed! Olivia and Nicholas found out this week that he had been going into the village and they decided that they wanted to go with him. He agreed that this morning would fit best into his schedule.

I think he was hoping they would forget, but they reminded him before bed last night that they were going with him to the village in the morning. They set out their warm clothes so they wouldn't waste any time in the morning getting dressed to go out with Daddy. Olivia set her alarm for 5:30 am and Vito was supposed to wake Nicholas up since he doesn't have an alarm.

I had visions of two very sleepy children not wanting to get up at all in 5:30 in the morning. I figured Olivia's alarm would be ringing right next to her head with her sound asleep leaving Vito or I to turn it off. And Nicholas would most certainly be dead weight. But no ...

We got the SHOCK of our lives when Nicholas came into our room at 5:11 am to wake up Vito!!

"Dad, is it time to go yet??"

"No, go back to bed and don't get up until 5:30."

We hear him walk quietly back to his room and close the door.

Next thing we know, it's Olivia in our room about 5 minutes later with a repeat of the same dialog!!

HOLY CRAP! Where did these children come from??? Surely, they can't be mine! I am seriously allergic to morning ... especially if it's still DARK outside!!

But of course, we're now both wide awake and chuckling to ourselves. I guess they really want to go for that early morning walk with Daddy! Vito gets up (even though it's not yet 5:30) and I roll over for a few more minutes of snooze time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don't Say, "I told you so!"

"You're gonna do WHAT??!"

"I'm going to start a blog!", I said.

"You really think you have time for that??!"

"Oh, yes! I need to make time for the things that are important, and this is important to me!"


"Because I've always loved to journal and I've gotten away from it. I want to remember all the little things in life and give my kids something to look back as the years go by."

Well, that was over 6 months ago! I made such a valiant start too. Brimming with good intentions! But then school let out and I was home for the summer with four kids to entertain. And I guess this blogging thing hadn't become much of a way of life for me yet. So, it got put on the back burner ... they waaaaaaay back burner!! So, that being said, here I am again to make another start!!

Thanks for sticking it out and making this journey with me! Here we go again!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Reading Glasses? Seriously?!?

I have just done the unthinkable. I purchased my first pair of READING GLASSES!! Surely, I am WAAAAY too young to need reading glasses, right??

With summer here and all that goes with it ... swimming, sweating, sunglasses ... I decided to break out my contacts and start wearing them again. One problem ... now I can't see CLOSE-UP! In recent years, with my glasses on, I would just peer around or under them if I need to read something close, like menus, labels, the cell phone or the computer. I can't peer around or under my contacts so this method wasn't working for me. My arms aren't long enough to see these things and I've had to ask my daughter to read my text messages!! My contacts are quite old so I figured it was time for an appointment with the eye doctor to see what kind of new technology was out there. Surely there would be a solution to my problem.

So, what is the first thing this beautiful and YOUNG doctor says to me? "Oh, you're OVER 40 ... and it's just gonna get WORSE." Are you joking???? That's all you have to say?? I wanted to slap her!

I could try mono-vision contacts (my brain can't handle the confusion) or bi-focal contacts (if I want to sacrifice comfort) or ... I could just stay status quo and get myself a pair of READING GLASSES if I want to see something close-up.

So, here I am ... sporting my new pair of fashion blue reading glasses! And you know what? They work!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Snow

It looks like a flock of sheep exploded in our front yard! It "snows" at our house every year from May to July thanks to our neighbor's Cottonwood Tree. And every year my husband's blood BOILS when the cotton fluff starts to fall, flying through the air and landing all over our entire yard. It blows into our noses and makes us sneeze, blows into our mouths when we speak, spreads itself all over our garage making piles of fluff all over the floor, it sticks to our shoes and tracks into our house, it lands in our gutters, sticks to our air conditioner unit ... basically making our lives miserable to 2 to 3 months!

What bothers us the most is that this wonderful giant WEED of a tree is in our neighbor's yard. The wind blows in the direction of our house so we get all the glorious cotton fluff at our house while our neighbor's yard seems to happily miss most of this wonderful white fuzz! The tree is rooted in their yard, but grows over our yard, shading our beautiful pine tree and making it grow crooked toward our house while it looks for the sunshine!

This year my husband has decided that he's had enough!! He's decided that we're going to hire someone to stake our property to determine exactly how much of the wonderful tree is growing over our yard. Then we can break out the chain saw and re-claim our sanity!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First Day of Summer Vacation

School's out! Today is the first day of summer vacation. Home with four children ages 8, 6 and 2 all summer long ... yay!! The weather forecast for the week is awesome ... 80's and sunny all week!! We started our day with a much needed trip to the grocery store ... our cupboards were bare! Hungry kids are not happy kids!

Then, I took the kids to one of our local parks ... the one with the big green alligator! There was something for everyone including shade for me. They all had a great time climbing, sliding, swinging and playing in the sandbox. Thankfully, there were other moms there who were more organized than me who thought to bring sand toys! I made a mental note to pack those for next time ... actually, I should put a bin in my van complete with sand toys, blanket, balls, sunscreen ... all that good park stuff! Moms were even there with picnic stuff ... now that would've been a good idea too! Well, it's only the first day of summer vacation so we have plenty of time to get organized ... as long as I don't over-think the process!

After the park, it was home for lunch then naps for the twins while Olivia and Nicholas played with neighborhood friends while I got busy planting the flowers I purchased 2 weeks ago! I can't believe it's already the end of June! It'll be my mission this week to get all my plants in so we can enjoy them before summer is over!