Life as MommyMo

Friday, May 30, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Even when you KNOW your child is completely and totally potty trained, S#*t still happens. Don't be an idiot and go out to places like Relay For Life events in the middle of a football field with no wipes or changes of clothes, even in your car that's parked 15 min. away. Spare stuff takes up so little room in your car. For the love of Pete, just keep it with you. At all times. Sick children often come with no warning. I'm just sayin'.

Oh, and when all else fails, be sure to always have your trusty friend Kim and her perfectly-sized child with you. Because she's probably smarter than you and will be well-equipped.

Announcement over. Don't say I didn't warn you.

A break...

I've been writing for what seems like DAYS for work! I'm not really complaining since I really like to write, but my eyes are starting to bug out. I thought I'd take a quick lunch break and what do I do? Go poke around online! I thought of trying to eat lunch with my eyes closed to give them a break, but that doesn't work well when you're eating salad!

The next best thing? Spending a few minutes daydreaming about vacation... Between the impending adoption of our second sweetie and the construction of a new kitchen (woohoo!) we're not doing much in the way of a formal vacation this year. When I ran across a blog post at The Sweet Shoppe today, though, it gave me a few minutes to daydream about where I *would* go if I could swing it.

The easy answer for me: I want to go heli-hiking in Banff. Not such an easy vacation with a preschooler, but I swear that I will take two trips before I die. I will heli-hike in the Canadian Rockies and we will take a trip to South Korea as a family.

I think our alternative this year will be a short road trip to do something fun with Sam. It may not get much more exotic than New York, Pennsylvania or Massachusetts, but at least we'll get away together.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I realize I'm too old for this

but I was seriously. seriously. excited about this last night. It's clear I don't get out much, since I took almost personal pride in David Cook's American Idol victory last night.

I was thinking about this while getting ready this morning. There was a time not very long ago when I might have been embarrassed to admit that I am a diehard-never-miss-an-episode fan of such a teeny bopper show. You know what?! I think I'm finally getting old enough that I don't care if it makes me look like a dork. Rob and I have a great time hanging out together every Tuesday and Wednesday night watching the show. For the record, he's not as happy as I am this morning. My poor, misguided husband is a huge Archie fan.

So, now that my little confessional for the morning is over...

I'll be taking Sam to school soon. He was home all day yesterday for a non-existent illness, which made getting any work done very difficult. It's not his fault, but the kid had tons of energy but had to be stuck inside with me all day. It's days like yesterday, though, that I count my lucky stars for my job. I get to do something I love from home, which means if Sam is sick, there are usually no worries that he can be home with his mommy until he's better.

Except he wasn't sick yesterday. Did I mention that? I got a call on Tuesday that he'd thrown up during naptime. The story was that he woke up out of a sound sleep, sick as a dog. Well, he was as bouncy as could be 15 min. later when I arrived to take him home. After much conversation about the incident, it would seem that his allergies caused a nagging cough (which has been going on for days now). The tickle finally mad him gag up some of his lunch. I won't go into further detail, but suffice it to say that Sam knew exactly the contents and volume of said sickness.

Thank goodness he wasn't actually sick. It would stink to be sick this week, as he's about to turn four. I think this is the first time he's really looked forward to his birthday for so long. He was excited last year, but he knows exactly when it is this year and can't WAIT for his party at the firehouse this Saturday.

Lost cuteness
I saw a digiscrap the other day about the cute things that this woman's kids don't do any longer. She commented that we capture lots of firsts, but have no way of knowing when something might be happening for last time. That struck me as so true!

Sam no longer comments that "five minutes is A LOT" when warned that a given activity is coming to a close. He no longer says "OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!" while watching a ceiling fan spin above him. He doesn't even call me Mommy all the time anymore! He's started to just say "Mom" about half the time now.

I know there are many more. I think I'll mentally gather them and see if I can do a layout of my own. It seems like an appropriate way to mark his birthday. Maybe it will get my mind off of the slight sadness that I just can't shake every year at this time. I love him to pieces and am still in awe of how lucky we are to have been brought together, but I also just know in my gut that his birthmom must struggle at this time of year. I wish she could see what an amazing little boy our son is.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Ever since I lost my first pregnancy in 2002, I swore I would never get upset about getting older. I'm very happy to say I'm not pretending when I say that I really, genuinely don't mind birthdays or the fact that I'm not getting any younger. I'm still grateful that I had an extremely talented surgeon who gave me what I hope will be many more years with Rob and my family.

After a very long and exhausting few weeks at work, I took my birthday off on Friday with my mom. Other than spending 5 hours in the car for a trip that should have taken about two, we had a great time. We went to a new outlet mall in Pottstown and made out like bandits. I forgot how nice it can be to shop without a 35-year-old man and a 4-year-old boy whining that they're bored and ready to go.

I got the chance to see friends that I hadn't seen in a while that evening and hung out with family on Saturday night. It's been such a nice weekend. Too bad it's almost over!

I always experience my birthday as bittersweet since Andrew quickly declined on my birthday and died on May 18. It's hard to believe that it's been 12 years today since we lost him. I've unfortunately lost most contact with his mother, whom I absolutely adored. I hope she's doing well in Georgia and that she knows that lots of people still love her AND Andrew. Speaking of those people, I finally got to see John for the first time in a long time today, too! I really need to figure out a way for us to hang out or talk more. We have so little in common in our day-to-day routines that it can be difficult, but every time we are together, it's like no time has passed at all. If ever there were a definition of a great friend, I think that's it. We even hugged today. Anyone that knows the two of us knows that's not our usual greeting! I've been missing him so much that it only seemed right.

Sam received his very first trophy this weekend. He completed (sort of) his first soccer season on Saturday. He hasn't really been participating much, so I doubt we'll try again for a while, but it's been really cute to see him tote the trophy around the house. He's been repeating Coach Jeff, who announced that Sam was "last but not least." Sam thinks that phrase is hilarious.

I'll spend this week getting ready for Sam's big birthday party at the firehouse. If any of my crafty friends have ideas for clever favors, I'm all ears!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Relay For Life -- a shameless plug

Relay For Life is not just my job. It's really a big part of our lives. When Rob was diagnosed with cancer over 11 years ago, he didn't want to talk about it. To anyone. But I still had a huge need to do SOMETHING. Volunteering is in my DNA, but Rob didn't want anything to do with anything about cancer.

I'd lost Andrew in May, and less than six months later, Rob was diagnosed. That was a lot for a 22-year-old to process, but the one thing I knew was that I needed to find a way to somehow volunteer for the "cancer cause." I didn't exactly plan for my opportunity to come because I was laid off and needed a job, but such is life.

From the minute I started working for the American Cancer Society, I knew I'd found my calling. Rob still didn't want to admit he'd had cancer, but after he saw his first Survivors Lap at a Relay For Life, he got it. We've been Relaying ever since.

I know that many people we know were there when Rob battled with cancer or have walked alongside someone else who's fought a good fight. So... If you got an email from me today or are reading this now, I am plugging Relay not because it's my job, but because I still feel the importance of doing my little part in our own community to make sure research and family services continue.

Here's my fundraising page I'd love it if you could join us for a lap at Relay on June 7 or if you could make a donation to support the cause. I work every day to make sure your contributions are put to very good use!

Monday, May 05, 2008


For the first time in a very long time, I dreamt about Andrew last night. We were at some house, with lots of people we knew, but the two of us were just hanging out and talking. I think at one point we were having a debate about which kind of hairdryer worked best!

I came out of the dream to Sam screaming that he had to use the potty. Thankfully, Rob jumped up to solve the emergency. I didn't want to wake up. It's hard to believe that it's been 12 years since Andrew died. I still think about him every single day, but in a strange way, having a dream about him made him seem so close.

I suppose I'm thinking of him more because the anniversary of his death is getting closer. It's amazing to me that I'm older now than he was when he died. I'm so glad that we named Sam for him and I wonder sometimes what things would be like if he were still here. I am sure he would have found Sam hysterical and that we would still be close friends, but the reality is that if it weren't for AIDS, Andrew would have made his life in Florida. I wouldn't have met him. Even if I had, he probably wouldn't have lived here in New Jersey where we could see each other often.

I suppose there's no point in wondering what might have been... I'm lucky to have known him no matter what the circumstance. I'm convinced that much of how I live my life is because of the lessons I learned from Andrew.

I miss him.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Our weekend

I do not feel like Mother of the Year this weekend. We miss Rob for sure, but I didn't do a bang-up job of keeping Sam industriously occupied while passing the time.

What I thought were bug bites are most likely shingles, so I've been itchy and cranky. My back is also hurting like crazy. My sympathies to anyone who deals with that regularly. Ouch. Seriously. Now I know why a spinal fusion must seem like a worthwhile option to people.

Anyway, I wish I'd been able to do something constructive with Sam, but I just haven't been able to. He's trying (I think) to cooperate, but the kid is nonstop energy. Combine that with a grouchy mommy and a drizzly, chilly weekend, and you have a recipe for chaos. I swear it's taking everything I have to stay calm... and the antihistamine for itching is supposed to make you totally calm. I can't imagine what condition my nerves would be in without it!

I had a major case of the guilts when I put Sam down for bed last night. He was in one of his spinning-top episodes and I was so frustrated by the time I left his room. I kept kicking myself for not having the patience to lay there with him to help calm him down. Luckily, he did that himself and went to sleep fairly quickly. That was not the case the night before or at naptime. It took him nearly two hours both times to settle down. He made up for it by waking up at 5:15 this morning.

The good news is that we got some good snuggle time in on the couch yesterday and seem to have found a new movie Sam enjoys: Ice Age: Meltdown. It's hilarious to hear Sam giggle when one of the characters gets totally filled up with water and goes buzzing all over the glacier like a balloon that is losing air. We also had a few rousing rounds of Chutes and Ladders throughout the day. Sam kicked my rear each time! He's all ladders... I'm nothing but chutes.

One random story that I'm not sure how to interpret: Sam, as I've previously reported, is quite curious about the whole new baby thing. He seems to be adjusting, but still asks if we're going to keep him. We've dealt with that to some degree by turning that question on him (as well as reassurances every single time he asks). He has asked where our baby is growing and didn't quite buy the response that God was in charge of that part. He gets that there's a belly with a baby in it somewhere, and understandably can't figure out why it's not mine.

He's apparently decided to step in for me. I've seen him on multiple occasions with his blankie stuffed up his shirt. He even woke up that way from nap yesterday. I ask why he's wearing his blanket in such a manner and he tells me simply that "it's my baby." I've decided not to make too much of it at all. It makes me kind of sad to know he's doing that when he's alone and trying to fall asleep. I'm guessing he's laying there thinking about the whole thing. I just hope that all of the discussions about how important he is to our family are starting to stick with him. I like to think that they are since his behavior over all has improved, but there's no doubt that there's a lot going on in that little head.

Friday, May 02, 2008

On to Wave 2

I've had a few people ask what the heck I'm talking about when I say I'm following the Sonoma Diet. Basically, it's a lean protein, vegetable, fruit and whole grains diet. I've heard it compared to South Beach and Sugar Busters. I chose it because one of my bestest buddies has lost a ton of weight on it (that's the best kind of motivation!) and because the recipes ALL sounded great when I perused the book and web site before making up my mind. I also just knew I needed something different.

When Sam was coming home, I did a good job of following a plan. I used his impending arrival as my focal point for getting healthier. I really need to do the same thing again, and so far, Rob and I are loving this.

It's not that interesting to listen to someone else talk about a diet, but I wanted to log my progress for myself so that I stay on my game. I officially begin Wave 2 today (I can't wait to go buy some fruit!) and have lost just over five pounds now. I'm on my own this weekend since Rob is in Ohio for a Relay meeting, but I have already made a shopping list and planned a few of the recipes that I'm going to make. Anyone who knows me well knows how WEIRD this is for me. I don't cook on a good day. And cooking when home by myself? Never. me go! I'm going to make Shrimp Serrano tonight. Doesn't that make me sound fancy?!

My other occupation while Rob is out of town may be spending a bit too much on scrap supplies. It's a holiday tomorrow after all. What?! Most people don't consider National Scrapbooking Day a holiday?! How is that possible?