Friday, August 29, 2008

A True Jen Adventure

I'm a MORON.

I really am.

This is why I named my blog The Adventures of Jen. Only I should have named it The Adventures of an Idiot or This chick must really have guardian angels watching her ass or The Adventures of a complete klutz or maybe What the hell was I thinking?

I was driving home from my Mom's club meeting - with a detour to Starbucks, of course. Just got off the phone with my Mom a few minutes earlier, so I can't even blame cell phone use on this one.

Anyways, I was heading down the road, approaching some railroad tracks. I notice the blinking lights in front of the tracks and think "shit, a train is coming. I have to stop" so I slam on the brakes. Then I'm sitting there for a few milliseconds thinking "I shouldn't have stopped, I had a minute, and I'm a little too close to the tracks, look the person behind me is way back there. " That's when it happens. I'm watching the little striped barrier coming down. "oh crap, I'm too close" Coming down on my car. My windshield to be exact. "Shit" Said very loudly. D1 starts crying "what is that, what is that" I'm freaking out. I put it in reverse, only to have it hit my front hood. Which if you are wondering, those barriers don't have one of those things like your garage door where it goes back up if it senses something too close below. But, the good news is that it does not come down forcefully. It didn't damage my car at all. Damaged my self-esteem, but not the car. (Had to add that in case hubby reads this - yes, car is fine)

The woman behind me followed me for about a mile, through several turns even. I wonder if it was to make sure she had my tag #, to have the proper info to provide the authorities. "that woman should not be allowed to drive with children in a car!"

So there it is. A Jen Adventure.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Flood

I almost lost it today. Seriously. D1 is REALLY pushing me. I really thought I was going to lose it on her. Had to make her leave the room, had to walk out of the room myself, before I :

A. Left the house and drove straight to Vegas, never to be seen from again.

B. Let loose a verbal assault that would lead to a good 5 years of therapy for us both.

Maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe it's hormones ( I really, really hate it when people say that, though). Perhaps I just need a better sense of humor. Or maybe it's just as I've outlined in previous posts: I'm sick of cleaning up the freakin' messes.

This morning I put D2 down for her nap. Then stayed upstairs for 5-10 minutes picking up some things and mentally organizing my day. My parents were coming up in about an hour, in the evening my Mother's helper was coming over. Not having cleaned(what's new?), I was trying to mentally prioritize - "ok, who cares about mopping the floor and the handprints on the windows, I'll just clean the powder room, wash some dishes and maybe vacuum the family room."

As I'm upstairs I can hear D1 playing at the sink. Not something I like, but whatever, not worth running downstairs immediately for, I can stop her as soon as I get down there. WRONG.

I walk downstairs. She's on the couch in the family room, leaning through the cut out window that looks into the kitchen - and is directly at the sink. She has the rinsing hose in her hand. The kitchen is a lake. IT IS SOAKED. I'm not talking a few streaks of water. I'm talking serious water. HOMES comes to mind. Lake Huron is on the floor in front of the sink. Ontario is on the other side of the island, Michigan is under the table, Erie is on top of the table and Lake Superior is on the stove. I had the god forsaken Great Lakes in my kitchen. Water was dripping from the ceiling, running down the cherry cabinets. My toaster oven no longer lit up and smelled like it was burning - obviously now fried. The paper work on the desk was a big ink slurred mess.

I was pissed.

"D1 go upstairs. NOW" I had to walk out of the room myself. Call my Mom and freak out on her. Call my husband and freak out on him.

It took 5 jumbo beach towels, 3 large bath towels and 8 dish cloths to soak up the mess. And all of the towels were drenched. I still haven't gone down to the basement to see if any water damage hit the ceiling above the kitchen. I just don't want to know.

As I was cleaning up the mess, D1 came downstairs, her head held low.
"Mommy, I want to tell you somethin"
"Yes, D1"
"I sorry"
"Ok, D1, but can you tell me why you are sorry"
"Yes, Mommy. I sorry cause I want to come downstairs now"

Preschool starts in 12 days. Not that I'm counting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mommy Tantrum

So yesterday's post was not a healthy one for me. I kept going back to it, and re-reading the list of things D1 did. It got me all riled up. It served up a good ol' dose of self righteousness. No wonder I can't get anything done! That's why my house is always a mess! I can't even paint my foyer in an acceptable time frame! I can't even take a few minutes for myself! Ever! I can't put makeup on because she ruined it all! You get the idea.

Then in the late evening it turned into guilt. I must not spend enough time with her. How did she have all this time to do these things, anyways? I don't engage her in enough interesting activities. I let her watch too much tv. She's not eating healthy enough. She's jealous of her sister. I must not be giving her enough one on one time. It's obviously all my fault, and I even posted it for the world to see, and they will all plainly see it's my fault. I must be a bad Mom.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

fluids, fluids everywhere, and I need a drink

I'm amazed when I visit other Mom's houses and see so much not baby proofed. Or rather pre-schooler proofed. Lotions out in plain sight, dish liquid next to the sink, hand soap actually left out in the powder room. Craft supplies left in an accessible place. I stand in awe of such things. Why? Well, let's just use the last month as an example.

In the last month, D1 has:

- poured laundry detergent all over our luggage for vacation
- sprayed sunblock on the grill
- sprayed sunblock on friend's grill (what's up with that, btw? why grills?)
- smeared chapstick on back of computer desk chair
- rubbed hand soap onto self,bathroom vanity and floor (twice, two different bathrooms)
- colored my bathroom walls with lipgloss
- gobbed butter onto kitchen cabinets
- colored on family room, dining room and kitchen walls
- applied entire tube of favorite lipstick onto self, lovey, sister, sister's lovey, washing machine and laundry room floor (my personal favorite)
- poured coveted half n half into hubby's used scotch glass
- emptied entire contents of jasmine scented baby powder all over her room
- opened a large herbal sachet over toddler bed

I'm not making this up, and I know there have been more, I'm just blocking them out for sanity reasons. And these have occurred with zealous baby proofing methods. Of course, the methods have gotten stricter as more infractions have occurred. So yes, if you happen to use the powder room in my home, you will have to ask for the hand soap. And yes, I no longer carry my favorite lipstick in my purse(for many reasons, but the main being that I have to buy a new tube). How do I stop this? D1 has supervised craft times almost every day. We paint, color with crayons, markers and chalk. We use glue and stickers. We have a water table where she can pour and dump water to her heart's content. It's obviously not enough. Please, readers, I will try any suggestions!

I try to think how this will translate into her adult self. How can she funnel this obsession with fluids and semi-solids into a profession that she will find rewarding? A chemical engineer that comes up with new paint colors for Sherwin-Williams? Product development for Maybelline? I'm most convinced that it will be mixed media artist. I can see the reviews now " the latest installment from artist D1 is a statement on anti-domesticity. She masterfully mixes detergent, soap, and cosmetics with acrylic paints to bring the wall sized canvases to life. They scream "no" to the perils of suburban living!"

Or maybe this is a gift to me. Perhaps she is training me for my next career. Am I meant to become the next guru of stain removal? The goddess of stain-free carpeting?

Only time will tell, but for now, I'm thankful gin & tonics are clear in color.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My weekend

My college friend did not come this weekend. She called on Wednesday to give me the news. A close friend of hers daughter passed away. She was born with a genetic disorder that claimed her life after 10 short years. The funeral would be on Saturday, so my friend would not be able to come for the weekend.
There is just something about Motherhood. The moment you give birth, or perhaps the moment you hold your little one in your arms, immediately initiates you into a lifetime membership of caring. As someone once said, of wearing your heart on your sleeve. My heart broke for the Mother who just lost her daughter, tears came streaming down my face as my friend told me how she was unable to let her go, rocking her for more than an hour after her death. How she would not allow her to be carried out on the gurney, carrying her instead. I'm crying now, as I type this.
My brother and his wife just had their first baby last week. I was discussing with my sister how he has now become initiated. How you can not explain to someone without a child the instant, fierce love. The falling in love. And the forever caring. The un-initiated could never understand.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Old Friends

As I've been saying, I've really been missing my girlfriends lately. So you can certainly understand how excited I am for this weekend. An old college friend is coming for a visit all the way from Pittsburgh, Pa. She is bringing her husband, 11 yr old daughter and 4 year old son. It really hit home last week just how lonely I was getting when I realized that in my free time I've been fantasizing over the conversations we would have. Yes, I could fantasize about the hotty at the farmers market, but instead, I'm dreaming of juicy gossip. She is just one of my very favorite people in the whole world; sarcastic, self deprecating and intelligent. Her house may always be clean, and she may always wear a size four, but I just adore her. In order to maximize our conversation potential, and make sure it is a true (much needed!) gab fest, I've decided to make an agenda for conversations to be covered:

- amount of wrinkles and other ageing signs that are kicking us in the arse.
- our inability to lose weight (she doesn't need to, but I still like to hear how she thinks she does)
- food, and how much we love it. specifically chocolate.
- compare and contrast our husbands annoying habits
- our mutual friends love lives and children
- college days and the amount of beer we drank
- the amount of coffee we now drink
- how long it's been since we went out without our kids
- the sad thing that has happened to our breasts since nursing our children (this will probably result in an actual comparison if we manage to drink too much)
- latest embarrassing events - my intoxicated christmas, and her whatever, and what I really love is if she doesn't have one, once she drinks too much, she may just make one up
- the bad tv shows we secretly watch
- family politics

I can't wait!

Sex in the City, Part II

I'm so excited. A member of the Mom's club I've joined called me last night. Her parents have her kids, and she wanted a night out. She found out that Sex in the City is playing in a theater in Emmaus. Would I like to join her? (hmmm.... did she read my blog??) Of course I would!
The theater is one of those small, old fashioned, Main st type theaters. The kind that only plays second runs - you know, when the movie has gone out of most theaters, they pick it up. So I'm sure Carrie would liken it to buying last season's couture in a consignment shop, but I don't care. I'm actually going to see it before it hits Netflix. Plus, admission is only $3 - I'll have enough left over to even buy a box of Goobers!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Divine Intervention Needed to get my house Semi-Clean

I haven't told you about the day The Great Divine rang my doorbell. Instead of the usual ding dong, I heard a glorious orchestra and a beam of light came shining through my door.

It was my neighbor. The mother of an 11 yr old girl. She came to ask if I would be interested in having a little help this summer. Hmmm..... there goes that music again... aaaahhhh ahhhhhh.... "Would I be interested in having her daughter come over once a week as a Mother's Helper" aaaaahhhhhh ahhhhhhhh........ squinting through the tears and the ray of sunshine at her back, I replied "yes, that would be great" then this gift from up above adds " and I don't want you to pay her, I would like it to simply be a lesson in responsibility" aaaaaahhhhh ahhhhhhh. I think she thought I was a little creepy when I started kissing her feet, but still she kept to her word, and her daughter has been coming over every Tuesday morning for 3 hours. 3 amazing, soul feeding hours. Ok, not that soul feeding, I usually just end up folding laundry and cleaning my own bedroom. But still, I fold and clean with out a child undoing everything do, and I usually get to watch a talk show or other mindless dribble that isn't a cartoon. Very exciting in this little world of mine.

Here's the kind of funny part, though. I think my dear little helper is a bit of a germ phobe. That, or the filth of my house has propelled an otherwise normal 11 year old into an obsessive hand washer. So each Tuesday morning, I wake up a little earlier than usual to clean the downstairs (oh, please, you didn't think I would do the entire house, did you?). All the toys get put away, the floors get vacuumed, and if I don't have time to mop, I at least try to get some of the dried food off the kitchen floor. I even wipe off the table. But she's still constantly washing her hands. And I'm deeply effected by the fact that an 11 year olds opinion of my cleaning abilities actually matter. I wonder what she goes home to tell her Mom. Perhaps next year she'll volunteer her son to come over and clean my house once a week, you know, to teach him some responsibility.

Soon the summer will end, Tuesdays will return to simply being the second day of the work week and my house will once again be dirty on this day. Summer is such a fleeting time......

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Adjusting to our move

Most days I look on our move as a fun adventure. It's been interesting getting to know the area, and finding ways to meet people. But lately I've just been missing my girlfriends. I want an evening out with a little too much wine, and way too much gossip. Some giggles, cattiness and letting loose. I just miss my girls.

So I had a sudden great idea. I'll come up with a girls night. I REALLY wanted to see Sex in the City when it came out. But I didn't want to go by myself, and I didn' t know of anyone who also wanted to see it. Anyone that lived within a 20 mile radius, that is. My friends in NJ all went to see it. So I thought I'd send out an email to the Mom's Club I've joined, and see if I could arrange for a MOM's night out. Maybe afterwards we could even go out for a drink. How exciting does that sound? Hee hee!

But now I feel like a total loser. Sex in the City is no longer in theaters. How long has it been? Somehow missing the loop on that makes me feel so lame. The show that made hipness accessible to all and I missed out on it.

I'm going downstairs and eating too much chocolate.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Back Again and Potty Training

We spent a week away on vacation. Every year we go to Rehoboth Beach with my family. I've always enjoyed it, but since having kids, I really appreciate it since everyone helps out with the kids. It gives hubby and I a little more of a break. But then our first week back was challenging because D1 was used to being amused 24/7 by Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. So last week she was up my you know what most of the time. I wasn't able to sneeze, let alone find some time for myself. This week is much better, though. I've been able to sneeze twice today.

We've been working on Potty Training big time. So far not much success. On Friday I took D1 to the Dollar Store and let her pick out a bunch of crap for prizes. We put stickers on her potty chart - 1 sticker for a pee, and 2 for a poop. Three stickers equal a prize. Today she peed on the potty twice. But no poo. In fact, very funny, she was so determined to poop today that she actually fell asleep on her potty. Bent over, leaning on her pink super ball. I kept thinking of myself, in labor, holding on to my birthing ball.

We have a time line for this potty training. The first month's tuition is due for her Preschool by the 15th - even though she won't start till Sept 15th. Kind of annoying, actually. I'm starting to think that it just isn't going to happen. Trying to come up with alternate plans to keep the girls occupied. But God, I really wanted the time to myself! D2 still naps in the morning, so I would have had at least a good hour two days a week to myself. The things I can do with that time!