Category Archives: Panicking

Trying my Damnedest to Be a Part of It, New York, New York.

leavetonyc
Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today.

That’s right, the day has come. Morningside Mom is finally heading to the City. My parents have flown in to help take over all of that stay at home, groundhog day, going around in circles, cat corralling that I do on a daily basis. Today I fly away from the “oh so predictable” kid schedule of my life and drop into the land of fabulousness, cosmos, culture, no bedtime routines… hell, I’m about to go spend 4 days at the center of the universe.

Bring it on.

And I am going all for the sake of the Vivienne Tam HP Mini Netbook. See mine sitting there? All ready to go?  And the new uncomfortable looking but actually very comfortable shoes I bought for the trip? (Target, by the way. Don’t tell anyone.)

And check out that bag. My mom brought it back for me from Vietnam. The fabulous part is that the silk lining of that bag almost exactly matches the silk handbag that comes with the Vivienne Tam Netbook. Cool, huh?

Well. I think so.

So. Ok. Here I go then. I am going to try and blog as regularly as I can. I’ll be twittering it all too and uploading pics and video when I have something cool to share. And of course, I’ll be doing everything from my VT Netbook.

So here I go, leaving the mommy gig at the door. Off to be… um… fabulous.

I hope I don’t look as clueless as I feel. See you on the flip side.

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Filed under Bloggers, Packing, Panicking, Parenting, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff, Travel, Vietnam

The Rants and Raves of a Potty Trainer

potty

“Baby. When you feel like your body is telling you there is a pee pee about to come out, you make sure you LISTEN TO YOU BODY. Ok? Ok, honey? Ok? …Ok??”

“C.! Where does pee pee go? Huh??? Where does it go?! You know, you’re so smart. IN THE POTTY, right? Right, C.?? IN THE POTTY!!! YAAAY FOR POTTIES!!! THEY”RE SO COOL!!! …what?”

“Hey hon, remember, you don’t have a Pull Up on. If you feel like a pee pee needs to come out, you need to go put it IN THE POTTY. Ok, baby? That’s all. So easy.”

“Whats your body telling you??? Any pee pee in there?”

“I GOT AN IDEA!!!! How about if you put a pee pee in the potty, I’ll give you a sticker! You can put it on the potty if you want!! What do you think? WHAT DO YOU THINK?”

“Or how about a cookie?”

“….Or one of Mommy’s South Beach bars….?”

“AAHHHHHOHMYGODYOUDIDITYOUPEEPEEDYOUDIDITAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”

“Ok, um…. careful, CAREFUL!!!! Don’t spill it… yes you’re a big boy, ok, carefulCAREFULCAREFUL!!!!”

“Its ok baby. Yup, mommy will pick it up.”

“Ok you can help….. um…. yup, into the potty. Ok LETS WASH HANDS!!! YAY!!!!! …hey… GET BACK HERE!”

“So. Baby? If you have poops, they go in the potty too. Ok?”

“Here, lets put the potty on the PORCH. Fun! And heres a book! Fun!! Just hang out and read your book and if you feel that poop just **PUUUUUSH**…mmmkay? Kay, baby?”

“What? Wheres the poop? Did you put it in…? ….OH! Ok. Well. It was very close, hon. So close. Not too far away at all. Yes, thank you for showing me where it is, now back up.”

“ACKDON’TTOUCHITDON’TTOUCHIT!!!!! …Oh, I didn’t mean to scare you. MOMMY just needs to pick it up, ok?”

“Ok, let’s put it IN your little potty right where it belongs, ok? And now we’ll go back to the bathroom and flush it. OK? OK? Because poops go *IN* the pottty. Right??? Right baby?”

“Um… Alright. You can carry the potty. …just… careful? ok?”

“BLAOHHAHHWATCHOUTFOR…. oh baby you tripped. Are you ok? Just stand up! Careful now. Back up, ok? You need your boo-boo bear? Um, ok. Wait here. NO DON’T TOUCH THE MESS.”

“DON’T TOUCH, Mommy cleans up, you sit with your boo boo bear, I got this. …Oh.  …You want to help?

“You get the clorox wipes, *I* get the spray. No baby, I get the spray.”

“Ok, NOW the poop goes in the potty. Bye bye poops! Bye bye! Go ahead and flush… ok… AND DON’T MOVE A MUSCLE ITS TIME TO WASH HANDS SO HELP ME GOD!!! …Yes. You can do it.”

“OK!!!! GOOD JOB BABY!!! …So… how about lets put on your Pull Up for now, ok?”

“And here’s your sticker… and Mommy’s South Beach bar.”

8 Comments

Filed under Children, Growing up, Panicking, Parenting, Potty Training, Teaching kids

Just Thought I’d Ask

8ball_0

As much as I try to deny it, my children are growing up. (Damn.) My sweet little two year old C.  is going to be three this summer. I have even begun the process of enrolling him in school part time this fall. Its hard to believe that in a mere nine months, I won’t have a child home with me full time.

How did that happen?

And where does that leave me?

In 2003, I quit my full time job to be home with my children. And soon, over five years later with two kids in school and a huge gap in my resume, I have to figure out how I am going to help earn more for this family. Times are tough everywhere. We are lucky my husband is even employed. I am an able bodied person, so back to work with me. If this all sounds familiar, it should because I have been stressed about this issue before. Its one I go round in circles about. I think we all do.

But here’s the thing. This past year, some amazing things have happened for me. I am beginning to feel that I need to pay careful attention to whats going on around me. The signs are there.  It seems that something real may waiting for me in my future. I know this sounds like I am buying into some new age hocus pocus… *Shrug* Well. I don’t know. Maybe I am. Because I almost feel like the universe – and all that is beyond me – is quietly trying to tell me something. You might remember I have noticed this before. And all of those crazy signs I was talking about then still just keep popping up everywhere.

This way, this way. Over here. Come this way…

So, if we are going to go there, and get all spiritual up on this blog, I think I am going to go ahead and practice a tried and true lesson from the heavens. I have heard that in order to get what you want, you must ask for it. So that’s what I am going to do. I am going push aside those feelings of “I shouldn’t ask for anything, I don’t deserve anything more, I have enough” and just simply ask the powers that be for a little favor.

To all that are listening, whether they be up at the pearly gates or right here next to me as I type this post (cue the inspirational Enya music, switch on the hallowed lights from the heavens) – this is what I hope I can do to earn my keep around here:

I want to write.

(Shocking, I know.)

But I want to be paid to write. And I adore blogging, really I do, and I plan to keep doing it. But am I the next Dooce? I don’t think so. My life is really not interesting enough to have a well paying blog about… err… little ol’ me.

But I would love to write articles, be paid to post on other blogs, write reviews, write editorials in magazines or online… shoot, whatever it is, I just want to write and make some extra scratch for groceries or (eeks, this seems like a lot to ask) maybe even a car payment.

Now if you are a parent blogger, writing from home like I am, I am betting you are having a good laugh right about now. Because this is probably exactly what you want too. You know how great writing is. You can work from home and then be there for your children when they get home from school. You set your own hours and you take on as much work as you can handle. Its kind of ideal, right? Yeah, that’s what I think too.

Well, even if every other parent blogger wants to do what I hope to do, so what. It still can’t hurt to ask, right?

So. To the powers that be. Whoever is out there, up there, over there, right here pushing mystical buttons and pulling heavenly levers… could you just make a note? Maybe tag me and set me aside for something that seems to fit my needs down the road a bit? I’m not asking to be Editor in Chief of Redbook or the next Jen Weiner, I just want to love what I do… and write. Then maybe I can help pay some bills around here and make sure T. is getting his homework done before he turns on the Wii. It’s not too much to ask, right? I hope not.

Anyway. Back I go to stumbling down this path, with no clue where it will take me, uncovering the tiny little signs that are pointing me this way.  I know I keep checking myself, questioning my faith in it all, saying “Well, I don’t know, I’ll try it for now but lets not get our hopes up.” But then, right at my feet, another sign will appear. And if I look very, very closely it says the same thing that they all do. It simply says “write, write, write”. So I am.

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Filed under Blog love, Deep thoughts, Destinies, Guilt and motherhood, Identity crisis, Panicking, Reality check, Self-analysis, Signs, Spirituality, Working moms

Flight 1549 Represents Hope for our Country

flight-1549

Last night curled under a blanket, my husband and I sat and watched the stunning footage of flight 1549 bob in the Hudson. While watching smiling passengers step off the ferries that rescued each and every one of them, my husband said something to me.

“Its a strange karma, symbolic thing, don’t you think?”

“How do you mean?”

“In Bush’s first year as President, we witnessed the worst plane catastrophe in history. And now… we are witnessing the most miraculous plane catastrophe in history, happening only hours before Bush says his final farewells to the public.”

I looked at him. “Wow. You’re right.” He absolutely had a point.

I don’t cry at the drop of a hat usually but everytime I see yesterday’s plane footage, I feel tears threaten. And I know that this entire country has been awed by this miracle, we are all equally emotional. But it seems to represent some level of hope for me also. It seems as if a message is being sent. It seems the impossible can happen. We can survive this mess.

And as for Bush’s farewell, seeing him go is simply anti-climactic. I thought I would cheer the day. I thought I would be over the moon. But I’m not. I am left puzzeled by his rationalizing, heroic “I made the tough choices, even if they weren’t the popular choices” sense of self. Honestly, he seems sadly delusional. If he really believes he did right by us, well, there is nothing left to say. Except, “Goodbye”.

Tuesday will represent the beginning of a new era for this country. But do I expect Obama to stand in front of the nation, tap his magic wand on day one and make everything all better? Hell no. I am worried for him. Really worried. And I am concerned about all the hope we have inside us. I know that he is an amazing leader, but this situation our country finds itself in could be an impossibility for any leader.

And yet, yesterday, everyone got out of that plane. Everyone, including one infant, is alive today. The impossible happened.

So this morning, I am taking a deep breath, I am watching out the window of my television as our nation dips and bobs over its troubles. I am holding my family close. And I will brace myself. But flight 1549 has inspired me. Just as our President elect has. It seems the impossible can happen and perhaps there will be a way out. So here I sit, clinging desperately onto a concept which has kept this country afloat before. That perplexing and amazing concept called: hope.

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Filed under Bush, Deep thoughts, Economy, Karma, Miracles, Obama, One of those moments, Panicking, Presidency, Reality check, Signs

Minding My Mammaries

self-exam

Breasts are strange things. As the ultimate feminine accessory, they make outfits fit better, give us fabulous curves and restore wavering confidence. They can be worn to be oggled or stuffed away in a t-shirt and overlooked. Miraculously, after our bodies mix some crazy internal hormonal cocktail, these “accessories” can become endless kegs of milk at the ready for an infant looking to party into the wee hours. And then of course, they can be objects of intense and sobering concern.

I had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, fun, children and food. Even my breasts got a piece of the action. My mother took me to buy two new bras from Victoria Secret. Now you must understand. My underwear is the least of my concerns. I have two boys – I am focused on them and dinner and bills and keeping gas in the car. Fancy bras just seem silly and frivolous. And I hadn’t bought a new bra since before my two year old was born. I mean, get real. My other ones seemed just fine – they kept the girls in check and who needs all the lace, the fra-la-la and the frippery anyway. 

But into Victoria’s Secret we stepped. And I found the BEST. BRA. EVER. I am now the proud owner of two Angel Airbras. Putting one on does not *poof* turn me into Heidi Klum. (Snorting my morning tea as I write this…) Yeah, not at all. But you know what? They have truly given me a little pep in my step. What an unexpected and welcome surprise to be sure. For so long, I have overlooked the shape of my chest thinking there is really nothing more I can do to give the girls any more “oomph” at this point. But whadda ya know. I have got myself a little “oomph” afterall. Again, there is no miracle involved. And similar to my wee but rallying chest size, the change is so subtle it may not be even apparent to the naked eye. But *I* notice a change and *I* feel better about myself. And that is worth its weight in gold. So here I write, smugly puffing out my somewhat puffy – but better shaped – chest.

However, in the midst of this little breast ego trip, I have been quietly concerned. You see, something seems a little …off… with one of my breasts. It’s probably no big deal. No lumps (phew, phew, phew, phew) but one is sore and just feels a bit different. I don’t understand why there would be any pain in one and not the other. I had convinced myself over the past couple weeks that maybe I had pulled a muscle from coughing or from running. But its still there. One boob. And I’m “aware” of it.

Honestly, I am fairly sure this is an over-reaction. But my over-reaction is comparable with a knee jerk reaction whenever “irregularity” and my breasts are concerned. With my family’s breast cancer history, I am am perpetually on watch – wondering when my turn is up. I almost don’t consider breast cancer an “if”, I consider it a “when”. So if something now seems awry – well, it’s time to ready the girls. Even as they are tucked peacefully in their padded lace, we need to prepare for anything. We’ll see what the doctor says in a few days but, in the meantime, here’s to hoping I am making a mountain out of a molehill… so to speak.

So, if I were to turn this post into a public service announcement, what would it be? Um, how about: “Don’t ignore your breasts”. Breast cancer is a real possibility for every woman. And ignoring something “not quite right” is never the answer. If you’re worried, just call your doctor. Rather walk back to your car after your appointment, hugely embarrassed, but with healthy mole hills than find out too late that your molehills are actually mountains.

And certainly don’t ignore your girls and forget to give them a fancy, fabulously supportive bra once in awhile. It’s good for them, it’s good for you, things fit better, you look better, it’s just a good idea all around.

Be well, my friends. I’ll keep you posted.

**Update**

No lumps. Phew. Next stop? I get to have a  mammogram next week. And I am even kind of looking forward to it. Once again, I’d rather over-react than not react. Plus… I’m gonna blog the whole experience anyway. In an effort to promote further boob health to all my readers, stay tuned for a breast by breast walk through of what a mammogram is really like. Don’t expect any pictures though…

10 Comments

Filed under Breast cancer, Educating myself, Family, Health, Holidays, Panicking, Raising Awareness, Reality check, Women

What Do I Get My Kids for Christmas?

christmasstory

So, I was standing there in the toy section of Target today, with my two year old tantruming at my feet (same ol’, same ol’), and my Christmas budget numbers swimming in my head… when I hit a wall.

Not a real wall, although, that is certainly possible these days. My tantruming child and bad eyes can keep me from walking in a straight line a LOT of the time. However, the wall I hit was a mental one. I had to stop. The colorful boxes and stacks of hasbro toys piled to the ceiling just seemed to blur together…

What am I going to get my kids for Christmas?

I really have NO idea.

Ok, the BIG gift is taken care of. It’s really a huge splurge for us. But we couldn’t help it. My husband calls it the “Red Ryder bb gun of today’s generation”. What is it? Drumroll… a Wii. Yeah, none of you folks are shocked as your own fingers itch to try your own hidden Wii out too… maybe if I just tested it, maybe if I just sliiiid it out of it’s box ever so carefully… Um. I digress.

So we have the “Red Ryder” gift for the big day. And in some ways, that’s pretty good and everything else should be knick knacks off the dollar store shleves, right? Well, yeah, the two $1.00 Snoopy coloring books I wound up buying at Target (after hitting said wall) certainly count for that. But if I *DID* happen to want to pick up a few more things, and make those carefully earned and budgeted dollar bills really count… what should I get? I am really at a loss this year.

And I have been happy to give out advice about what to give other people’s pre-schoolers but that’s stuff I already know about – or have. But standing there in Target, with beautifully, exciting and fun packaged stuff all around me… well, I didn’t know what to do. What should I get?

By the way – YES – I have asked T. what he wants for Christmas. His response? An etch-a-sketch… and a Wii. Ok, so maybe I should just leave it at that. But, c’mon, a couple more things can’t hurt, right?

Now, I know there are plenty of you out there with a wealth of knowledge about cool toys. So I am asking for your help. Here are my parameters, I have the following:

  • One shy five year old boy who loves Star Wars, techie stuff, board games and most sports.
  • One loud, tantrumy out-going two year old who loves Mickey Mouse, pirates, cars and trucks and things that go.
  • One limited budget, but still – there is money to be spent on a few key items.

And not to sound picky, but if I’m gonna spend our money on Christmas presents for my kids, I want them to be really fun, interesting, and even educational. Not just more brightly colored, plasticky STUFF that will break, get piled in a corner and left. (And then finally heaped into boxes for Salvation Army, you should SEE the pile I’ve got going in my garage right now.)

So, yeah, I’m still stuck.

What ARE those one or two brilliant, “must have” gifts? YOU TELL ME. I welcome all suggestions. Even from toy peddlers or PR people or what have you. Bring it on. Come one, come all. I am open to anything. Post links, assuming they are appropriate, I’ll make sure they won’t get spammed out. I value your opinion and will consider each suggestion.

(And posting your ideas here mean other moms will get ideas too. So please share your wealth of knowledge!)

It’s the holidays – help a mother out!

Thanks folks.

13 Comments

Filed under Boys, Gifts, Holidays, Money, Panicking, Thinking outside the box, Toys, Unnecessary stuff

Kindergarten Mom or Crazy Lady: You Decide

When it comes to my son and any accessment about his education or development, I seriously lose my mind. No I mean it. I’d like to think that with most things in my life, I can keep a fair, rational, logical perspective on things. I don’t cry too much. I am realistic. Whatever, I can be cool. But for some reason, when it comes to my son and school or anything to do with how he’s growing up, I completely and utterly lose my frigging tree. A crazy lady, frothed and pleading, takes over my brain and there seems that nothing can be done. Are you relating to this? Or are you fanicated by another parenting train wreck post from me? Well, go ahead. Read on. I’m warning you though. I’m a nut job and I’m going to prove it.

When my wonderful Aunt S. was raising her son, she used to tell me about this insanity thing that happens to moms. My Aunt S. is a speech pathologist. And apart from being super smart about children’s development, she just kind of “gets it”. She is surrounded by amazing resources and she has been blessed with a very level head about raising children. But she used to tell me all the time that when it came to her discussing own child, all reasoning went out the window and some crazy lady took over. She would just kind of… loose it.

Oh. Seriously. You would not BELIEVE how I get what she was saying now.

Ever since the day my son was born, I have hung on every word any “specialist” might share with me. As I’ve mentioned before, my son had a pretty rough start. So if I am talking to ANY variation of child expert (and I mean ANY kind), I kind of loose it. Friends or family that happen to be teachers, substitute teachers, doctors, nurses, speech pathologists (I’ve got two in my family), or even just moms… or even people that have maybe even seen a kid before… once, I babble endlessly to them about my son. And I can’t stop. When they ask “How is school going”, I know they are expecting a quick “fine” back. Huh. Well, not me. My mind simply sees a green light, social norms fall away and I just… go for it. I launch into a detailed account about his social and educational development. What this teacher said, what friends I think and hope he is playing with, what test score he got, what I think is REALLY going on, after all I know best, I’m his mom. Right? RIGHT?!?!?!!! And as they quickly try to change the subject, I corner them into telling me that T. is doing “Great. Just GREAT. Really. He is.” And I calm my panting, wipe my brow and scramble to get a grip.

The irony? T. is a pretty smart kid. He really IS doing great.

(I’m holding back here. Really. I am. Don’t go on about Caroline. Don’t do it, girl!!!)

So yeah, he’s a smart kid. But that doesn’t satisfy me. And it’s not *HIM* that I am pushing (I don’t think?) it’s everything around him. If he is acing his reading, I wonder if the school is challenging him enough. If he is struggling with subtraction, I gasp and shake my head and fold my arms and ask my husband outright “Who the hell thinks subtraction is a good idea in Kindergarten? I mean, Come on!!!”

And what did me and my crazy lady within get to experience last week? The first parent-teacher meeting of the year of course. (Bum, bum BUM!!!) So there we were, early for our appointment. I paced out front, the children tackled each other on the sidewalk, and my husband stood there with his hands in his pockets, kind of breaking out into hives about being anywhere NEAR a classroom. (A brilliant man, but clearly he’s never been a fan of sitting still for class. Did I tell you he’s a college coach?)

When they called us in, all I could think was “Be calm. Be normal. Be NICE. And most of all. DON’T BE THAT PARENT.” We sat down, them across from us, record books cracked open, guarded smiles on their faces. And I know exactly why they were guarded too. Because they have dealt with freak after FREAK of parents marching in and demanding and flipping out and gushing about how THEIR kid is so uber amazing. Poor teachers. How annoying. Not me, not this parent, I GET it.

“So yes. Mr and Mrs. Morngsidemom, T. is doing very well. Very quiet. Pays attention….” And on it goes. But the more they talk, the more I butt in “Yes, did I tell you about his birth trauma? Oh, she knows but you didn’t hear about it? Maybe its just good you know, just to give you some context.” or “Hes very quiet because he is a ‘LISTENER’, thats how he PROCESSES the world (Heh, like I’m some expert.). He may not respond right away because he is LISTENING and is taking every bit in, I promise you.” “Mmmm, hmmmmm….” they say. 

But c’mon. Even *I* know better. I know he’s off thinking about light sabers and speeders and which Star Wars episode is his favorite. But its like I can’t help it. There is some strange urge within to justify everything he says or does. To explain it. To tell them he is BRILLIANT DAMMIT, BRILLIANT. And by the time I have jumped into hyper-speed talking and gesticulating and demanding and flipping out and gushing about how MY kid really IS uber amazing… I realize, the teachers are just sitting there. Blink. Blink. With guarded smiles plastered to their wonderfully patient faces. Oops. I did it YET again.

So then, when we got back home from the meeting, per the Math teachers suggestion, I calmly (nervous laughing as I type this) sat down with T. and his subtraction homework. “Hon, maybe a number line is a good idea. You think? Here’s how it works! Stop coloring. Pay attention. Hey. Think dammit! A number line. Ok. Count forward or backward… ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION??!!?!! YOU’RE SUCH A SMART BOY YOU CAN DO THIS!”

Ok, I swear, I am not like that. Ask my husband, he sees “homework time” go down. But thats what the freak show, crazy lady, jumping around in my head is saying. Fer real.

Anyway, so I showed him the number line. And we worked on it together. And he got it and sailed through his homework. And that was that.

However. Have I wanted to harass his lovely (really, shes so wonderful) math teacher with a little follow up email??? Oh ho, yes. I wanna so bad. I bet it would go something like: “I printed a number line for him, it really works for him, if you’d just make sure he has one when he’s doing his work, that would really help, because he really understands the concepts, he’s such a smart kid, really, I swear, its just the WAY he PROCESSES things, a LISTENER, remember? I’m his mom, I know, so could ya get him a number line? MMM, thanks. That would be greeeaaaat.”

But nope. I haven’t done that yet. (Restraint being my middle name and all…) Although, I asked T. in the car yesterday, “So!” (-all calm and relaxed like-) “Did you tell your teacher that you would like to use a number line with your subtraction?”

“No.”

“Oh! Oh that’s ok. So.” (Clearing my throat. Totally chilled out about the WHOLE topic.) “How was your quiz then?”

“Gottahundred”

“OH!!!!! OHBABY!!!!!”

(SCREEEEEEECH, my car swerved all over the road, I was filled with utter glee.)

“I am SOOOO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!” (beaming at that point, cars honking everywhere, but I. Am. BEAMING.) “But, uh, how did you do it without a number line?”

“I just used the one in my head. Mom? C. is picking his nose again. And wiping it on me….”

Yeah, well. THAT about sums it up, right?

Anyhow, for those of you who have made it all the way through this rambling post, this is only one small chapter in my epic novel of parenting madness. Someone needs to just tell me to frigging quit it. Someone needs to smack the crazy lady OUTA me. Someone needs to make sure I am not completely screwing him up at school. I don’t want EITHER of my kids to feel like they need to be perfect. I just want them to try to do their best.

And me. As a mom. Wondering (desperately, wildly, dramatically) how my kids will turn out, I guess they can’t expect me to be perfect either. I just am going to try to do my best.

(As for all you “experts” who I corner on a regular basis? My most humble, insanity riddled apologies. At least I am aware of the problem. Oh and by the way? C. hasn’t even started school yet… bum, bum, BUUUUUUM!)

7 Comments

Filed under Education, Guilt and motherhood, Mothers, Panicking, parental fear, Parenting, Self-analysis, Teaching kids