Category Archives: sunbeams and lollipops

The Beach -Take 2

One of the first posts I wrote for this blog in September of 2011 was called “The Beach”

Have a quick read and you’ll understand why I have omitted our sandy coasts from the list of possible family outing locations. But these past 17 months have done wonders to heal the emotional trauma created on that fateful day, and I agreed to return this afternoon.

I now must announce that due to the two extra set of hands profound growth and maturation of my now three and two year old, from steadfast and strict parenting techniques that began from that day forward, resulting in consistent, dutiful adherence to my rules, astute listening skills, desire and need to please their guardians and therefore quickly follow our every direction, I can officially claim that my love and appreciation for the rolling tides and tranquil magic of the ocean, Pacific or Atlantic, has been restored

See for yourself.

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Please feel free to contact me for expert parenting advice.

(Or…just bring a couple of extra adults along with you when you decide to take small children to the beach.)

Fact Check – all statements are true and correct, except for those insinuating I have any idea what the hell I am doing.

Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future…

We decorated our Christmas tree last night. The sweetness of the ritual actually matched with the expectations of such highly anticipated events.

Every year, it seems that we suffocate these precious moments with whimsical visions of what they should be, and quite often they don’t measure up to the glorious recollections of decades past.

Each December, as the holidays have rolled around, there has most often been a distraction or at times, a heaviness, drawing me to an agitated distance from the moment.  Decorating trees, for example has felt like a chore,  either because of a busy schedule or just an absence of good old holiday spirit.

“Let’s just put it up fast and keep the ornaments to a minimum so we’ll have less to put away. We’ll do this right next year”

Why is that?  Lets go back.

2006– My Dad Passed away in April of that year.  The first holiday without a dear loved one sucks no matter how much spiked eggnog you drink or how zany-fun your family members are.

2006

2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007 -Exactly one year prior, we had moved to Los Angeles with Wicked.   Doing a show on Christmas Eve is not a terrible way to spend the holiday, but you can’t bring your family on stage with you…especially if they live on the opposite coast.  But, I was about 12 weeks pregnant, so that was exciting, and we were only contracted to stay in LA for another six months.  After that, it was back to our families in the East!

2007

2007

 

 

 

*Spoiler Alert – We stayed in Los Angeles for five years.

 

 

2008– we were supposed to be enjoying our new baby girl who would have been 5 months old. Instead, we were in the thick of fertility treatments. Thanks to dear friends who became family, we were able to distract for brief moments with some Hanukkah  joy.  We became honorary Jews for the five years we were in LA and we miss it and them dearly.

2008

2008

 

 

 

 

 

*Spoiler Alert – We found out on January 2nd that aforementioned  fertility treatments were a success!

 

 

2009– Zachary Nicholas was born! A very special Christmas indeed. But, there was something bittersweet about having our first Christmas with our new baby, 3000 miles away from our families.  But, I must repeat, an amazing, blessed year.  One of the best of my lifetime.

2009

2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2010 – Decorating the tree with a 16-month-old in a cast, (broken leg number one) while 33 weeks pregnant with and eager fetus causing contractions two minutes apart for hours and days on end is slightly less than fun, just in case you were wondering.

2010

Don’t let the smile fool you. I have formal acting training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said contractions sent us to the hospital for preterm labor to ring in the New Year with apple juice in the maternal fetal care unit.

New Year's Eve 2011

New Year’s Eve – 2011

 

 

*spoiler alert-Isabelle Anne hung on for three more weeks and was born at 36 weeks, a perfect and healthy 6 lbs, 1 oz. The other best year of my life.

 

2011– we threw up an artificial pre-lit tree and let it shine ornament-less in a sea of empty boxes while we packed for our cross-country move from LA to NJ, scheduled for December 26th.

2011

2011

 

 

 

*Spoiler Alert – The trip across the country was a complete debacle.  More on that here.

 

 

2012 – No move is planned…for at least for another year.  And, employment is on the horizon. Not just any employment. Employment that excites (and terrifies) me beyond anything I have ever imagined. Huge life change.

More on that later. Back to last night’s long-awaited tree decorating evening of utter, priceless, memory making, delicious, please freeze this moment in time, perfection.

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2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need I say more?

He was a duck?

When I was five, friends and family members would often brace themselves for a lovable, yet piercingly resounding greeting. My Aunt Kath tells it best when she recounts numerous tales of her hyper-active and boisterous niece running up to her, placing her nose centimeters from her own and screaming at decibels that could knock the wind out of you,

“HI AUNT KATH!”

So, as fun and entertaining as this little quirk was, my parents simply had to tend to the blatant hearing problem in daughter number four.

Like many children, I hit the operating table for the tubes that would put an end to this endearing trait forever. As far as I know, I do not greet people by yelling in their faces, but it’s hard to say. Do close talkers know they are close talkers? Hmmm.

Leading up to this miraculous life-altering surgery, were many visits to the ENT. Although Dr. King has long since passed, I will never forget him or his office.

There was a book that my mother read to me at every visit. It was about a man who tries to get an ant out of his kitchen with a hammer and destroys his whole house in the process. I remember the last page had a picture of the ant crawling out from the rubble unharmed.

I’ve thought of this book umpteen times throughout my life. The concept, even at five, stuck with me as being an important lesson.

Every project I’ve poured hours into, in an effort to craft each minuscule detail into perfection until I hammer out any recollection of what the project actually was in the first place, has come with a warning bell to the tune if this old story.

“Stop now, before you ruin the whole thing!”

So naturally, I have been searching for this book for about 20 years. No exaggeration. The problem was that neither my mother or I remembered the name of the book.

I googled possible names:

“Crack the Ant”

“Mr. Fix it and the Ant”

“The Ant lives”

“Let the Ant Be”

“Put the hammer down”

Nothing.

My Mother even went into Dr. king’s office for the sole purpose of asking the staff if they still had it.

Just FYI, and I know this is shocking news, but most medical offices replace their waiting room reading material more often than every 20 years.

Each time I’ve gone to a children’s library or book store, it’s become a habit to scan the bindings across the shelves just to see if something jumps out.

Nope.

Yesterday, I was at the library to use their coveted internet to pay bills. (no one can figure out how to fix the damage done to the cable/internet lines on our block during ‘Sandy’) On a whim I walked over to the librarian to have the conversation I’ve had a dozen times with others like her.

“I know this is a long shot, but I’ve been looking for years for a book. If I describe it, would you maybe know what it is?”

“You can give it a shot!”

“Its about a man who destroys his house trying to get rid of an ant.”

After 30 seconds of typing into a database, she said

Henry’s Awful Mistake? By Richard Quackenbush? It’s about a duck.”

“A duck? I don’t remember a duck. Can I see the cover online?”

“Oh my gosh! I think that’s it! The man is a duck?! Do you have the book here?”

“We sure do!”

She walked me back to the aisle and I immediately recognized the first illustration after the title page.

Astounded, I thanked her profusely and told her 17 times that she was my hero and had ended a 20 year search. I checked out the book and read it to the kids in the car on the way home. Zachary has asked for it at least six times since then.

This can only mean one thing. My son is a perfectionist with a freshly implanted warning bell.

Remind me in 30 years to ask him if he remembers the guy being a duck?

Yours Truly,
Relieved that I can now move on with my life…and so can my mother.

Wordless (ish) Wednesday

Overheard this conversation while the kids were coloring in Zachary’s room:

Z -“Ellie! Did you draw that?”

I- “Yep!”

Z -“Wow! That’s really good! Really good green lines, and brown lines and yellow lines!”

I- “thank you, Zacky!”

Z- “those lines are hilarious!”

Loving Sibling Moments…brought to you (in between screaming, biting and hitting) by the Motherfog Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Wednesday

P.S.

I’m not sure my son understands the definition of hilarious.  

Or, maybe he finds much humor in green, yellow and brown.

Too soon to tell, but I assure you the conversation was oozing love and support for baby sister’s creative efforts.

#perfectchildren

Wordless Wednesday

Results Are In

Things I learned today….

with a smattering of things I already knew, but had forgotten:

1.) Children are much more enjoyable when their body temperatures are below 104°

2.)When blessed with the rare “both children napping at the same time” scenario, using the sacred silent hour to steam, purée, chop and prep veggies and other recipe items providing easy access for the week’s mealtimes is much more invigorating than taking a nap yourself.  No matter how loudly your bed screams for you after only three hours of sleep the night prior.

3.) Scooping out the yolks of hard-boiled eggs is much easier with a spoon than a knife.

4.) Removing the side from your two and a half year old’s crib, converting it into a Daybed before there are ANY signs of the child physically outgrowing it or putting himself in danger by attempting to climb out is STUPID.  Thank heavens for the simplicity of the Allen Wrench.  Without it, rewinding time and pretending this stupidity never occurred would not have been so quick and painless.

5.) Blood tests on both children show that lead levels are as low as they can be. (For those of you who have lost sleep since last Thursday’s post over my children’s possible lead poisoning)

All is well here in the Motherfog household…

for today.

The Secret Drawer

Salvador Dalí, The Anthropomorphic Cabinet, 1936, oil on panel. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

Have you ever had that dream where you discover an extra room or perhaps even an entire wing in your house that you never knew existed?  I don’t know if this is a common dream for many, or if this strange sleepy quirk is mine alone, but none the less this fantastical whimsy of undiscovered space was not a mere illusion this morning, to be extinguished by the sweet dawn cries of “Mommy?!”

I awoke early to shoot a “Charmin Sit or Squat” app commercial (stay tuned for more on that as clearly I won’t let that one go without more details) and while splashing away the sands of sleep, I noticed that the cord of my hair dryer was caught on the base of the cabinet. I tugged at it and astoundingly, an empty drawer opened in its wake.

Now, I’m not speaking of a drawer that can merely hold a few make-up brushes and flat-lying, Q-tip sized items. Oh, no siree Bob!  It’s an enormous ten inch deep and five foot wide drawer that I suppose has been draped with an invisibility cloak until this day, May 27th, 2012.

It’s not as if we didn’t find it due to an overabundance of cabinet space, making it obsolete. In fact, I breathe profanities on a daily basis while trying to place mish-moshed, uncategorized items in the small cabinet above it, only to have said items spill out onto the floor if I fail to trap them inside with a brisk and forceful shove.

And yet, for nearly five months, the answer to our toiletry madness lay in vain before us, smack dab in plain view.
So of course, as I often do, I must find some sort of linked metaphor in my magical finding this morning. A deeper meaning, if you will. A lesson of symbolism, perhaps.

I foresee a bright and shining future for this drawer. Not only will it be gifted with my hair dryer, curlers, baby bath toys, hand soap, and all overflow that previously found its displaced home in the hall linen closet, but I believe upon opening it today, I set free a glowing light of prosperity and healing for all mankind; Freeing us from poisonous foods, toys and cosmetics, ending starvation and unemployment, eradicating bigotry, and creating peace among nations!

Or….maybe we’ll just buy more towels.

What big dreams do you have for your secret drawer?

Blogger’s Note:

See that new little “Vote for Me” Banner at the top right of my screen? After nine months of writing this blog, I have finally decided to post it on a “Mommy Blog” site.  In my efforts to reach beyond my fabulous facebook readers, might you help me by clicking on that link?  Nothing has to be done after that.   I believe a click is all it takes to get a vote.   Just experimenting to see what happens 🙂  Thanks!!!!