Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A day without crying....PLEASE!

In my mind's eye I see a day without crying.  My soul pleads for this day and I go so far as to visualize every possible scenario of all the wants that each of my children may have during the day and try to be proactive to satisfy such demands.  I wake up in the morning thinking:

....WESLEY...  needs milk in a sippy cup like an addict needs their morning joe...have it ready even before he asks...   
...LUKE... go fetch him out of his crib as I hear the first coos and don't wait until the escalation of desperation because I'm trying to achieve just one more thing from my proverbial to-do list...
...SOPHIA... wake her up gingerly, upbeat, positive about the wonderful aspects of her day that are ahead, or better yet, take Luke with me to wake her, she's a sucker for his playful disposition and morning smiles...

...Don't let my own weariness from the circus of the preceding nighttime shenanigans interfere or even show, with the cultivating of a beautiful day for my family...

These are the thoughts of despair that race through my mind every morning.  I think...this is IT!  This will be the day without crying and I will rejoice!

Then, Wesley comes racing into my bedroom at the crack--literally-- of dawn and pronounces, Mom, look there's some sun, get up, I want my MILK!  And I respond, just a minute, or five or ten or an hour! (just kidding, rarely do I put him off for a full hour!)  Wesley's exuberance has spooked Luke who immediately jumps into a panic cry...need comfort NOW, Mom! I glance at the alarm clock and it's another day that Sophia must have not hit Snooze, but OFF on her Hello Kitty alarm clock, which is effective 80% of the time and I panic now... Shoot, it's 7:45, the bus comes in  10 minutes!!!  

My rush into Sophia's room startles her out of her latest dream about rainbows and unicorns (probably) and her euphoria quickly turns to resentment for waking her out of such a state, C'mon Mom, I should be able to sleep as long as I want and get up when I'm ready.  (she's so my child!)  In the span of 2 minutes, I can already tell, this ISN'T going to be IT!  I swiftly try to make a truncated version of our morning routine into a race because my kids love competition, but my attempt backfires and causes a cacophony in unison of the opposite desired effect.  Wesley still doesn't have his sippy cup of milk, Luke is still waiting impatiently in his crib and Sophia has been ejected out of her bed unwillingly.  I have been defeated once again.  

Team KIDS  1  
Team MOM 0

Is it because I'm outnumbered?  Is it because that is truly how they prefer to behave?  Or is it Job Security--Obviously I have way more work to accomplish with raising these fine individuals to become the future of our society--productive, happy and eager citizens!  Yes, that's it and I feel more like a MOM than ever, but I still long for the day that the Smith family 5 can live in harmony in our own environs without the distraction of a tropical island oasis and watersports or an artificial amusement park with kitschy characters to keep them bemused and entertained, but just hanging out together with respect and love and NO CRYING of any sort.

Just one day, PLEASE!

***Rather ironically, I must publish this NOW without further edits because LUKE's moans have turned into crying in his crib. I go to retrieve him now.  Foreshadowing of the night to come?

Expand your vocabulary and feed hungry people...it's a Win Win!

Here is a site I found a while back and it's gaining popularity.  Warning: It's addicting.  The funny thing is that Evan went and counted 200 grains of rice the other day to show me that it doesn't amount to much at all(and it's 10 correct answers), so you really have to play for a long time to make a meal of it for someone.  It's fun, it's upbeat and best of all it doesn't tell you you're stupid if you miss one.

Here's to free rice!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Farewell, My FRIEND

The news is out that President Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th President of the Church passed away this evening.  While I am not surprised, I am sad and happy.  Sad that we are losing a wonderful leader who was so fit for this time in history.  I have never known such a fun, hip old person who could handle a crowd of adults just as well as teens.  His cunning humor, his humble demeanor, his sweet twinkling face, his distaste for Manhattan (more on that later), his value of the sanctity of family, his earnest and hard working schedule, his love of people, & his outstanding leadership will all be sorely missed.  I'm happy that he will finally be reunited with the love of his life--what a happy reunion!  My reflections tonight are to the 2 times that I met President Hinckley while living in NYC.  The first was shortly after we moved to Manhattan in 1998, Evan and I were invited to a special fireside where he spoke and on the way out to his car, he stopped to shake Evan and my hands individually.  I have never seen such a vivid color of blue sparkly eyes that spoke to my soul as much as our beloved prophet's.  What an honor to meet him that I will always cherish!  On other occasions while speaking to our congregations with uplifting sermons, he never failed to take a jab at NYC!  He loved to describe her as dirty and grimy!  Just one more reason to love him as a REAL person.  So tonight President Hinckley, I say well done and thank you for all of your tireless service.  I wave a white handkerchief to you...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

All blue AGAIN...

The flames and sandwiches vinyl has been removed, the tv spot has been accomplished, the coupons have all been passed out and the rolling blueberry minivan is back! I nearly forgot what our car looked like underneath all the flames and logos, but I have to admit, it's gorgeous!

My thoughts on doing this project:

It was fun to...
meet and talk to people
be noticed and watch people's expressions at our unconventional minivan
have all the kids at Ward Elementary School look longingly at our car, wishing they had a pimped out car like ours
pass out coupons with my children at the grocery store, I'm so proud of them. They were fierce!
laugh along with all of Westchester as I passed by
receive a crate of BBQ products I was advertising and taste the delicacies
do this
get paid to do what I normally do during the day with a few extracurricular activities along the way

Would I do it again?


And many of you are asking...

The tv shoot was an adventure! We started off at 9am with Chris and Matt (the cameraman and producer) following me throughout my day. We went to volleyball (which turned to basketball due to net technical difficulties), preschool pick up, back home for "the interview" (I really hope I look as glamorous as the ladies on the View!) elementary pick up and passing out coupons at Stop & Shop. They left at 5. I was running on adrenaline all day so I went to bed when the kids went to bed...literally sacked out. I'll link the final cut to my blog when it's all edited.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where in the WORLD have I been?!

This is fun to do with your kids so they can see all the states you've been to in the USA:

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

And here's to going GLOBAL:

create your own visited country map

Wow, I have so many more continents to explore! I better get crackin'!

Monday, January 14, 2008

My TV debut...

One of the conditions for doing the wrapped car campaign was that I would be the poster child for Free Car Media.  The CCO (Chief Creative Officer) of the company approached me about doing some publicity not just for Curly's but for the business of peer-to-peer marketing through them.  On Wednesday, a TV crew will follow me around with my daily routine and capture what peer marketing is all about.  I hope to portray a dedicated mom enjoying life. I'm a little nervous that they will find me boring and dull and a waste of time, but on the other hand I've been known to be playful, provocative and interesting.  I hope that the latter Liz wakes up on Wednesday and nerves don't get the best of me.  Wish me luck! 

**And, if there are any of you that have tried Curly's as a result of me and my sandwich-mobile, they'd love to hear about it, so let me know if you want to come be on camera for a short interview on Wednesday. 

***And, if any of you are interested in doing what I did in your area, you can go here and register yourself.   Who knows, maybe after 9 years, you'll get a chance too!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lukey is CRAWLING!

Our life is over as we know it and we now have a mobile baby in our house chock full of lots of staircases!  Help!  We never had this challenge with the older two as we were always in an apartment.  The next few months should be very interesting and very tiring with Luke finding all the fun things to get into.  Way to go LUKE!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We all need a REST...

Every child seems to have this shot of falling asleep in the high chair.  The picture at the top, I thought, was particularly cute because I caught him smiling in his sleep.  What is it that is so darling about a child falling asleep in his high chair?  

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ready to ROLL!

The morning of our trip, Evan and I chose to sleep in as opposed to getting an early start.  Sophia had different plans and came into our room bright and early to announce it was the day we were going to VERMONT and kept dancing around our room!  I kept trying to brush her off to get another 5 minutes of sleep but I couldn't find her snooze button and she was just so excited to get going so I had the great idea to tell her to go pack. (that should take a good 30 minutes!)  She agreed and came rolling back to our room to alert us that she was ready!  My interest was piqued and so I opened my eyes to see what her version of "being packed for a 5 day trip" was.

Contents of pink fuzzy rolling suitcase:

1 pair of fuzzy slippers
1 pair of Tevas (for the swimming pool, but no swimsuit?!)
1 pair cheetah ski pants
2 books to entertain her brothers, one with stickers
1 large box of princess motif kleenex (took up a good third of the small rollerboard)
5 hair elastics

Oh to be 6 and carefree again!  
Every time we used the Kleenex, Sophia made a point to tell us, "See, aren't you glad I brought that!?"  Yep Sophia, thanks for looking out for us!  You're the best!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tom Tom...so Wrong Wrong!!!

So, one of our comedic adventures happened just before we were to "reach our destination" at our resort in Vermont.  After 5 hours in the car and hungry children, we were so anxious that we were only about 5 miles away from Mountain Green Condos at Killington.  Yay, the sausage leek risotto that we had prepared to have the first night was ready to go as soon as we got there and it was getting so exciting to finally get there and eat our delicious food. 

Anyway, the turn for Hadley Hill Road came up on us too quickly, so I took the next turn to be able to turn around and go back.  Once I got turned around, the TomTom (GPS Navigation) suddenly suggested a different route, but I ignored that since it added time (hahaha) and went back to the original route.  We turned up Hadley Hill Road and it was winding and foresty (as you would expect around a ski resort) and the road was getting smaller and smaller.  I should have really known this wasn't going to get us to our destination when the road turned  from pavement to macadam and got one car width narrow.  Yikes!

Ultimately, the route had us going right up a driveway and through (yes, through!!!) a very charming New England Colonial house with Christmas wreaths and candlesticks lit up in each of the windows.  Surely this couldn't be the right way, but could the road curve around the long driveway at some point?  The answer is NO!  Well, the driveway was snowy and narrow and had a drop off to a creek on one side and a huge bank of snow on the other.  As I gingerly backed the car down the snowy driveway,then suddenly the tires slid toward the bank, I think, because I have this disorder called the giggles and whenever anything is serious or someone is hurt, the disorder kicks in and at that point everything is a blur because we were all laughing so hard.  We were officially stuck.  Evan got out, surveyed the situation and directed me to do a few maneuvers that were fruitless.  I got out and looked and saw the predicament we were in and it really didn't look that bad, but for some reason, the car would just not go and the tires spun and spun. (ICE!)  At this point I am lamenting our minivan and missing the days of our SUV, which not only had 4WD, but also AcuraCare which is like AAA.  We were in trouble. Evan headed up the driveway to ask for a shovel from the people in the house that kept looking out the window. (And this is all happening with Curly's BBQ sandwiches wrapped all over our car, mind you!!!)  Evan came back with a shovel and proceeded to dig. (My job was to keep laughing, because that is what I do best!)  Then he would give me commands to turn the wheel this way and put the van in this gear and we would slide a little more into the bank. Yeesh! The nice man in the house finally came out with a flashlight, another shovel and ready to save the day.  Then after many futile attempts, Mike the man, said, "tow truck time!"  Darnnit, we were defeated! Our whole family headed into their warm, inviting home and spent the next hour with a random couple that thought they were going to have a quiet night at home with an industrial size bottle of Scotch and a warm fire.  Sue the woman, surveyed the situation and swiftly ran upstairs and brought down a board game to keep the children at bay.  She and the kids played an involved game of Mousetrap until the Tow Truck arrived an hour later.  It was an interesting deviation from our course, but it's the journey, not the destination and that's one journey we'll never forget!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ring in the New....

NEW is that our whole family went on a ski trip to Vermont this weekend. While there was much comedy, a good time was had by all and I'm happy to say that four of the five of us were on skis which was thrilling. Sophia did amazing on the slopes and earned the nickname "hotdogger" by a ski buddy. She had no fear of going up on the chair lift even by herself the first day while her mother was panicked watching and waiting at the bottom. She did awesome! I'm so proud of you, Sophia!!! Wesley had the good fortune of no room in the daycare for his age group in the morning, so why not put some skis on him and see what happens? Well, he had a blast and did an hour of up and down on the magic carpet which is like a conveyor belt of skiers up a gentle hill, then he turned to the big lift and said "when are we going on that one?" No time like the present, so off to the big lift we went! When asked what his favorite part was, he exuberantly said "the ride!" He loved the chair lift and careening off the lift like a sandwich with Evan and Liz as the bread. Whoo hoo! We look forward to many more family ski trips in the future!!!