Friday, March 23, 2007

I Surrender

After a week of feeling not quite well, I have declared myself Officially Sick, and am home for the day. Even yesterday, I had the perspective that I wasn't really sick, even though I could barely even speak. Well, after some serious coughing, some disturbing wheezing, and losing what was left of my voice I give up. I need to rest. Work will need to wait. (Well, sorta since my boss did call me this morning.) The housework will need to wait. (Except for getting the kitchen cleared a bit...and a load of laundry.) The kids will be fine with their usual Friday at my mother in law's house. I even declined to drive them over there this morning when Fillip woke late. Didn't even get out of bed. I am home getting my fix of the Food Network, and residing in my natural state of being unkempt and inert on the couch.

The white flag has been raised.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"The sum of all piles must equal the ceiling."

Possibly my all time favorite quote by Fillip.

You would never guess I had a cleaning crew come to the house on Saturday. I had finally reduced the dirty laundry pile to less than one full basket and had the maid service fold all the clean clothes. They did and put it all in random baskets in the closet. They also hung up the designated shirts, then put them in the closet sideways, with every couple hangers facing a different direction. I have not been able to get to any of my clothes, and I couldn't just grab the pile and hang it up correctly. Last night I finally got to that, standing on the piles of clean laundry to hang stuff on the higher racks. Since I've had absolutely no time to spare, the dirty clothes have bred like rabbits, and is now approximately four feet high. I can't tell you how much I wish I were exaggerating here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Circus time- Hayden's 3rd Birthday Party

We didn't need a clown to make a circus. Hosting a party for 45 adults and 15-20 preschoolers is enough of a circus as it is.

Hayden seemed to really enjoy his birthday party. The first thing he asked when he woke up was if we could make his birthday cake. I said I had baked it last night, fearing he would be disappointed at not getting to help. Instead, he said "Oh thank you!" What a sweetheart. Because of our hectic week and complete lack spare time, the cake didn't get decorated until yesterday morning, but it was cute.

We kept things simple with hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, salad and fruit. Everything seemed to go over well, especially the fruit juice punch. The kids just piled into the back yard with activity reminiscent of a hive of bees. We had circus music playing and it was just fun to look out into the yard at all that fun. I think I heard calliope music in my dreams last night, as we had it playing for hours. Of course, as people were arriving I was just starting to inflate balloons, no makeup, and hadn't yet convinced the birthday boy to put on shoes. No worries, it all works out in the end, despite my elevated stress level. People are always happy to pitch in, and I think most people relate to that mad dash to party perfection. The only glitch was the delayed arrival of our clown. She was an hour late having mixed up when to switch her clock for Daylight Savings time. It threw our timing off and some people had to leave before we served cake, but like everything else worked out well. It was very cute to see all those little kids totally engrossed in the activities she was doing. Talk about a magic show!! Anyone who can happily engage 3 year olds for an hour must be casting some sort of spell. Hayden lost interest halfway through the "show," complaining his feet were hot and he needed shoes (duh! We had record breaking temps!) and seemed kind of out of it. I plied him and Logan with fruit punch suspecting they were getting dehydrated. Sure enough, they perked up in about 10 minutes. I mentioned it to the other parents since the kids don't think to stop playing to get a drink.

We didn't open presents until most people had left. Hayden doesn't associate birthdays with presents, and although he did pick out a couple toys to play with (like his new trainset from Grandma!) he was so tired that he was happy to play nearby while I opened his gifts. Poor Logan was just grateful to get to take a nap finally and slept for 2 1/2 hours! The kids all seemed to have a great time, and I know Hayden did. He graciously thanked people for coming and played nicely the whole afternoon. He crashed late for a nap, and was up until 11pm, but I'm so glad we gave him such a fun party.

As the hosts, we were madly rushing from one thing to the next and I almost feel like I missed the party. I kept trying to be mindful to stop and see how Hayden was enjoying things, or chat with one person or another, but something would pull me away in just a minute. It just seems like one of those days I didn't really get to experience, and need to attempt to be more "present" at future parties. Overall, everyone seemed happy, entertained and full. That spells birthday party success to me.

Happy birthday, Sweet Pea. After bringing cupcakes to your class, going to dinner with servers singing, having a cake the previous week at Grandma's house, and a big crazy party, I think your 3rd birthday has now been sufficiently celebrated!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday, Hayden!

How do I accurately describe my sweet Hayden?

This is a rambunctious child. He is constantly in motion, constantly chattering, either laughing or crying. He is fairly easy to read as his body language and facial expression make it clear what mood is his experiencing. His emotions are intense and can change rapidly. Generally though, we can see it coming, and anticipate challenges.

Hayden is very popular with his classmates. He plays with different people each day, and when we arrive at birthday parties, everyone starts calling his name to come play with them. As social as he is, he tends to hang back in hectic situations, either waiting until he is comfortable until he jumps into the fray, or more commonly choosing to play in smaller groups or on his own. The prescribed Birthday Party Jumper is not his thing as he will only go in if he is alone or with about 2 other kids, bailing at the first sign of commotion. Strangely, he tends to create his own commotion. He is loud! He loves to sing, run, jump and we now frequently see neat "tricks" with amazed shouts of "Did you see that?!" In the car he asks for his Kindermusik songs and very politely to have it louder. I hear him picking up words and phrases from the people in his life whether they are sophisticated sayings such as "The fact of the matter is.." or a more casual "Guys! Let's all sit here!" He is experimenting with words and sounds making up his own gibberish and baby talk. He has a fabulous memory and can relay complicated situations to others or recite lengthy storybooks, sometimes inserting his own variations. He absolutely loves silliness of any kind. He is extremely ticklish all over and gives as good as he gets. People seem surprised that he is only turning 3 when they hear him speak. Of course, as his Mom, I would say he is a genius.. But it is true that his speech is very advanced and he is able to articulate things that many 3 year olds may not. Physically and verbally he is way ahead of the game. Emotionally I would say he is right on, with all the volatility that comes from a little boy transitioning from the dependency of toddlerhood to the independence of childhood.

At mealtimes, Hayden is generally very good. Sitting still in his seat is not his greatest skill, as there seems to be extra energy flowing from him. He doesn't want to go do something else, it is just so hard to sit in one place! He wiggles, he gets up and down, he turns around, he looks over and under the table. This is rewarded by giggles from his biggest fan, Logan. Hayden isn't a picky eater, but he is starting to decline things based on appearance. We have a rule that you must taste everything on the table and we usually don't have too much problem with that. If we put a bite on his fork and explain he only needs to take that one bite, he generally will and tell us he likes it. Then he will go back to wiggling and tending to distraction rather than the meal. Gum is the great motivator, a VERY rare treat used for very important stuff…like haircuts. He has fantastic manners always requesting things with "May I please have.." and thanking people. It is very charming to us and surprising to strangers when he is in a restaurants places his order.

Naptime at home or at Grandma's goes very well most of the time, with a very groggy boy emerging to report "I had a good nap." At school naps remain elusive and we have basically given up. He now gets to learn Spanish during naptime since his teachers have given up on naps as well. Bedtime has become a bit of a challenge. He loves his bath and ask each night "Are we baffing tonight?" Storytime now involves both boys and is so sweet with the three of us snuggled up in Hayden's big racecar bed. Hayden often recites his story to us, but is happy to listen as well. It's once the time comes to tuck him in that the black cloud comes over him and he challenges us. We've been working on a more peaceful goodnight, but unfortunately, he often challenges us until we leave the room, a sad way to end the day. This phase will pass, I'm sure.

Overall he is such a sweet boy. He is quick to give hugs and kisses, says "Sorry!" if he accidentally hurts someone, and will spontaneously give Logan hugs, kisses and include him in play. In a heartbeat he will be grabbing things from his brother, but that works both ways and we try to fairly referee them. He adores his family and is so excited when he gets to play with his cousins, especially Kennedy who is only 4 months older than him. They are so cute together these days "playing school."

Each day Hayden says things that amaze us. He as an ability to make connections that we just wouldn't expect. Because of that, we have treaded lightly in the last few days in trying to gauge his comprehension of losing his Nana, his great grandmother. I'm sure he fully understands the loss, but seems to have absorbed that something significant has happened and been on his very best behavior.

He is so excited about his birthday. When we have asked how old he is turning, the answer is always "Three in March!" We'll need to work on that, but I simply can't believe three years have flown by. My little boy is everything a mom could dream of and then some. He is absolutely beautiful inside and out. I suppose some day he will be too old for me to go in after he is sleeping, tuck in a little more snugly, and rest my face against that soft little cheek. For now I will continue since three years is not nearly enough time for me to accept the fact that he is growing up.

Happy Birthday my Sweet Pea.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I am feeling rather overwhelmed. No, this isn't unusual, but I'm hoping by writing it down, I can wrap my mind around it. There are the usual things- making sure I take care of my family, do my job well, keep in touch with my friends, and find some time for me.

In addition, we have the added stress of Fillip's grandmother being gravely ill. This could be a whole other post, but I'll just simply say that although her situation is not demanding of our time right now, it is emotionally draining. Being that she isn't expected to make it through the weekend, next week promises to be busy with a funeral and nightly shiva services. In the meantime, we feel like we are emotionally "on call," ready to run to various family homes if necessary, with alternate plans for the kids at all times.

Thursday also happens to be Hayden's birthday, which we will want to ensure is a special day for him. I'll want to bring a treat to his class, requiring more time away from the office. Next Sunday is Hayden's party at our house. We really need to get the house in order as being uber-busy, that is usually at the bottom of our priority list, if it even makes it on the list. Sometimes, we are just too freakin' busy to care. So, we decided to hire someone to clean the place, except it takes time to interview and hire people, and with so little time, it might just be more prudent to clean it ourselves, or at least stash away the extraneous junk so nobody sees it unless they open a closet they shouldn't. Then we can shift the focus to their lack of consideration in poking around in our closets, rather than the fact that we live like slobs. Over the weekend, we also need to shop for the party, meaning we really need to nail down what we need. The day before the party we will need to set everything up, get the food, make and decorate the cake (which, anyone who knows me will tell you is no small task), and somewhere in there get a little bit of sleep. All this in the next seven days.

You'd think if I could get through this week, it would be free sailing for awhile, but that's not actually the case. Sometime "soon" I am supposed to be taking on a new position here at work. It promises to be very challenging, time consuming, and hopefully lucrative. It will require me to be nearly perfect in execution, and learn things that currently seem alien to my non-financial brain.

The first half of this year is jam packed with events, and there are still things I think we will need to pass on,like a weekend trip to the mountains. Fillip is talking about another motorhome trip in June, but fortunately, he will do the majority of planning for that adventure. As of now I am either planning, or helping organize the following things:

April 1- girlfriend's bridal shower
April 3- hosting Passover seder
April 27-29- girlfriend's bachelorette party
May 11- girlfriend's rehearsal dinner
May 12- girlfriend's wedding- she planned it, I'm in it
May 12- Revlon Run/Walk for Women- I'm team captain for my office again this year
May 20- niece's bridal shower
June 2?- niece's bachelorette party
June 7-10- group camping trip
June 22- niece's rehearsal dinner
June 24- niece's wedding- again- she did the planning, I'm the Matron (cringe) of Honor

There- that's a manageable list, right?