Monday, August 31, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday - 20 Questions


It looks like Amber has taken over Friend Makin Monday (Thank you Connie! I wouldn't have known this if it wasn't for your post last week....). This week's topic is 20 questions themed in a get to know you sense.

If you are interested in participating, just copy the the 20 Questions, replace my answers with your own, and then link back to Amber's original post, over at her blog.

1. Do you cook every night? Just about - I would say at least 5 out of 7 nights. And at least one of the other two we eat at my Mom & Dad's.

2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why? All Free & clear

3. Do you do laundry every day or loads at a time? I try to do at least two loads a day. I am way far behind on laundry...and so have been slowly trying to catch up. It's a never ending battle with no end in sight.

4. How often do you eat out per week? Once a week - maybe - on a night The Hubby is working, I take Madaline out to dinner on my own and then we go to Walmart.

5. Where do you usually eat out? Mr. Chicken (a local place) or the Diner where my husband works.

6. What is your favorite retail store? Wegmans or Target

7. What's your favorite thing to drink? Coffee

8. Do you take vitamins? What kind? No

9. What percentage of the household chores to you do? My husband and I have a pretty good 50/50 split - We both work outside the home.

10. Do your children do chores? {Or will they, did they, etc} Yes/No - Madaline will put her dirty cloths in her laundry basket and she does help pick up her toys and will carry plates, silverwear and napkins to the table for dinner.

11. Do you go to church? NO

12. Do you have a housework schedule? No - Perhaps I would have a cleaner house if I had one?

13. Do you keep a working budget? Yes - but, you wouldn't know it

14. What do you do at night as a family? Dinner, then play time outside (either at our house or my moms, since my mom lives right across the street - How lucky am I?!!!!???!!!), then bath time, jammie time, Max & Ruby time, snack time, story time and bed time. LOL

15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week? I try to get the house all picked up for the week on Saturday and Sunday. It makes the weeks so much easier when all I have to do is pick up the day's clutter and not actually clean.

16. What do your mornings look like? I am up by 5 or 5:30, and get ready for work and am out the door by 7:15 or so. Madaline get's up later with her Dad since he now works afternoons/evenings.

17. What time do you get up in the mornings? anywhere between 5 or 5:30

18. What time do you go to bed at night? Anywhere's between 10pm & midnight

19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household? {bills, school work, magazines, ads, etc} I don't. It is EVERYWHERE....I have about 4 months to make good on my new years resolution to deal with the paper clutter. Any suggestions?

20. How do you keep your household organized? {calendars, charts, etc} It's just the three of us - so I have a dry erase board on the fridge. We update The Husband's schedule each Sunday, but, other that that....we don't keep a calendar or anything.

Happy Monday Everyone!!! Now get going on that list!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Bye, Bye Toe-ey"

Today, was a sad, sad, day.

I had to put my Chloe kitty to sleep.

I returned home from our vacation at the lake, to discover that she had gone blind in the four short days we had been gone. After much agony, suffering, and costly testing, we learned that she was suffering from a neurological disorder, of which there was no treatment options.


My husband, gave me Chloe and her sister Bach (who disappeared last month - we think she wandered too far upback and feel victim to the coyotes), for Christmas of 2001. We had only been dating for about 3 months.

I have always had a passion for classical music. Chloe was short for Tchaikovsky.

When Madaline was infant, Chloe was not tolerant of Madaline at all. Chloe saw her as competition for my time. Those first few months, to get back at me - Chloe took to wandering the upstairs hallway at obscene hours bellowing and yowling to see who she could wake up first - Me or Madaline.

In recent months, she traded her bellowing for swatting me in the nose, if I didn't get up when my alarm went off at 5am

And, this year, as the weather turned from spring to summer, Chloe had had slowly began to tolerate Madaline more and more. It was not uncommon to find them both side by side in the backyard study a flower or a bug.


When I brought Madaline home from Grammie & Grampie's tonight, the first thing she asked me was "Where's Toe-ey (Chloe)?"

The Husband and I told Madaline that Chloe has been chosen for the very distinguished honor of being an "Angel Kitty" in heaven and had gone bye-bye.

"Bye, Bye Toe-ey, Bye, Bye Toe-ey" sang Madaline as she wandered up on the deck

Bye Bye Chloe......May you be at peace as an Angel Kitty...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am a WOHM! And Proud of it!

I don't often participate in the drama that tends to sometimes take place in blog land. I leave a comment here or there on hot button issues posts. But, here in Mayhem Land I tend to only post on about my kid's obsession with Max & Ruby, her adventures with Ollie, and we almost never miss a Wordless Wednesday. This blog is about my daughter - not conversation on health care, product reviews, or snarky-ness. That doesn't mean that I don't think about it, or that I lack passion on current events & hot button topics, it just that I reserve this space for Madaline's Mayhem.

However, this whole debate on the stay at home mom (SAHM) vs. the working outside the home mom (WOHM), presses a whole different set of buttons with me. It really gets the little hairs on the back of my neck to stand up and the adrenaline coursing through my veins. And, when Loukia over at Loulou's Views wrote "Why is it so hard for us to be kind to each other, to support the choices we make as woman? As mothers? Whether you stay home with your children, or whether you leave the house to go to work, you are providing for your family in the way that is best for you. Everyone has a unique situation. No one should be judged. Saying things like "I feel sorry for you" to a mother who goes to work is just ignorant. Or feeling sorry for a mom who is 'stuck' at home with her children all day when it is her choice - stupid. Who are you to judge this mom?" - it ignited a fight in me that I have not sensed in myself since my college adviser's Sex & Power In American Politics class. And, so, as I was typing out my comment to Loukia post regarding this subject, I realized that my comment, was more like a post. So, instead of hiding my thoughts and opinions on the subject matter in her comment section, I brought it home to my blog.

My daughter has spent approx. 10 hours a day, with a sitter since she was 6 weeks old, at least 4 days a week, sometimes 5, so that I could keep my job as a Marketing Specialist. And, trust me, there is no amount of guilt another mom could shoot my way, that would even come close to the guilt that I have and do pour on myself. And, trust me - people did it and still do. I always felt that even if someone was not overtly saying I was a bad mom, I felt that were saying it to me with the way they were looking at me. And, while I came to terms with my choice a long time ago, and made peace within myself, I still heap the guilt on myself. Some days, on our drive to the sitters, I flashback to that first day I droped Madaline off at the sitter. She was so tiny, didn't even weigh 8lbs yet, and needed to have mediciation administed four times a day for her GERD. And, then I remember the anquish I felt all the way to work that September day. I spent the first 1/2 of my commute crying because I left her in someone else's care. And, then for the second 1/2 of my commute I cried because I felt guilty that I was happy to finally be able to go back to work. I figure I do a good enough job at making myself feel guilty, I don't really need anyone else's help or eye rolls in that department.

I need to work just as much as a need coffee in the morning. I want to work. I love my job. I work for a great company and my boss is a good man. I would not be me if I didn't work. I feel that I have found a balance between my desire to be a mom and my desire to have a career. What I do not have a desire to be is a SAHM . I know in my heart that it was never the path for me. I know that I could not handle it. As awful as it sounds, there are times where I can not even handle the 3.5 hours we are home togther in the evening. Does that make me a bad mom? No. I think it makes me an honest mom and a good mom. I am the kind of mom that can admit openly that while I love my daughter to the ends of the earth and beyond, there are times that I don't like her. I admit, I miss the evenings where I would get home from work, soak up the peace & quiet, prop my feet up, and leaisurly drink a glass of wine. Now, my nights are filled from the moment I get home with "Mommy I want to go outside", "Mommy, me hun-gee", "Mommy, kitty scratch me", and much, much more. And, since my promotion from being a working woman to a working mom, my priorities in the evening are different. Now the dinner dishes go unwashed so we can play outside. Laundry goes undone and unfolded to allow more time for Mega Blocks and stories. Do I like it - No. But, I wouldn't have our evenings any other way.

And, perhaps most important reason I work, and why I am so proud of my choice, is that I feel that it is important for my daughter to see me work outside the home. Actually, I think it is goof for her to see that both my husband and I work outside the home. It is important for her to see me as someone other than just a mom. It is important for her to understand that the lifesytle she has is provided by living in a duel income household. I think it is importnat for her to see a unity, and often times a non-tradition division of labor when it comes to household chores. In our home, Madaline has seen that Daddy is capable of making dinner, doing laundry, loading the dishwasher and vacumming the floor. Just as she has seen that Mommy is capable of squishing spiders, taking out the garabage, changing a lightbulb and able to use the power tools.

But, in spite of being proud of my decision, it did take me a while to make peace with it. But, since I have, it was easy for me to stand firm in my beliefs. I know that I made my choice out of love for my daughter. Often times I am asked if I feel like my child is missing out or that I am missing out. I tell them no. I do not feel that my child is lacking in anything because I work full time outside of my home. I actually feel that my child has blossomed because of my choice. I feel that I am more focused on her when we are together. I feel that my daughter is more social, more out going, and less needy. I feel that I am raising a daughter that is more aware and better able to adapt. I think one of the greatest life lessons I have been able to teach her, and am currently teaching her is that it is possible to find balance and happiness in both a career and being a mom.

And, so, at the end of the day, I wear my title of Working Outside of the Home Mom, with pride. I am proud of who I am, the choice I made, and the postions that I hold. I am Heather. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a Marketing Specialist. I am a Work Outside the Home Mom. But, the most important title that I have is, and the one that defines me the most - I am Madaline's mommy - will always be at the top of my business card, regardless of how many other promotions I receive.

Wordless Wednesday - Jump Maddy! Jump!


Just a small preview of what is to come when I get all my pictures together from our 5 days at The Lake on vacation.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On VACATION!


We are headed for our annual trek to the Lake. Seneca Lake that is. Each year my family rents a cottage for a week on the lake. My kitchen has been busy today, cutting up veggies, fruit, making Krispie Treats, Monster Cookies & brownies. We are planning on loading up the car tonight when Hubby gets home from work, since we are leaving in morning, & not returning until sometime on Sunday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Clock-Less Time

Clock-less Time?

Yep.

Telling time, by the time of day - not by the clock. Tracking the space between the moment we are currently experiencing and the next significant time tracking moment of the day. Paying more attention to where the sun is in the sky than where the hands on the clock are. It's NOT 10am, noon, 6pm or 8pm. It is playtime, nap time, dinner time and bath time.

confused yet? I know you know what I am talking about.

I use a clock during the week more than I do on the weekends. Perhaps because my day is structured by the standards of Corporate America. Work day starts at 8am. Lunch is from Noon till 1pm. When the clock hits 3:30 - the daily momentum starts to shift. You feel the downward slide to 4:30. And, then the work day ends at 5:00. When I get home, we eat dinner at 6:15, we play outside till 8pm, are out of the bath by 8:30 and Madaline is in bed by 9pm. The schedule Monday through Firday is driven by the hands on the clock.

That changes each week, Friday night at Midnight. Time is dictated differently in our house on the weekends. It becomes told more by activities than by clock hands.

Weekends are Breakfast time, potty time, playtime, potty time, playtime, snack time, potty time, potty time, Lunch time, potty time, Nap time, quiet time for mommy, (Oh Hell No! Nap time is over?) playtime, potty time, snack time, potty time, playtime, dinner time, (Whew...we are approaching the home stretch) playtime, potty time, playtime, bath time? Whoops - nope - just potty time, play time, bath time, PJ time, snack time, potty time, story time, drink of water time, potty time, drink of water time, and, finally, bed time.

Looking back, I realize that this was only Saturday. We repeated all of the above paragraph again on Sunday.

I prefer clock time myself. How about you?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flashback Friday: Adventures in Snotland...

I thought I would try something different today, as while I am not new to blogging, many, many, are new to my blog. So, there are many tasty treats from last year that people probably have never read. So, I give you....

For more 'flashback fridays', do as the button says and visit SCARYMOMMY.COM


coming attractions:
ADVENTURES IN SNOTLAND

Staring:
Madaline Elizabeth as herself , Heather (Madaline's Mama) as a sleep deprived GERDling mama, Daryl - loving dh and dotting Daddy.


Special Guest Appearances by: Aunt N (resident family RN)

Plot: Over tired snotty nosed GERDling Madaline develops super-baby strength as her Mama makes an attempt to suction the snot out of her nose her, at her first attempt at using a nasal bulb syringe.

Location: Quaint Green two story house, out in the country, surrounded by melting snow & ice, and fallen trees (remnants of recent rain/snow/ice storm).

Rating: GAS - (GERDling, action & snot infused) parental discretion is advised.

And.....action.....

Act 1:
Madaline is sitting in her high chair in the dining room - her mom is making a feeble but well deserving effort at feeding said child dinner - not sure if that is applesauce on her face or snot.

Act 2:

Madaline can be found sitting comfortably splish splashing in the tub - as her mama felt that it would be beneficial for Madaline to soak in a steam filled bathroom. Mama nervous chews on finger nails - in anticipation of impending doom known as - lotion rub down and nightly putting on of PJ's.

Act 3:

Madaline and her mama are sitting on the floor - remnants of alligator tears can be seen streaked on child’s' face, but she is successfully zipped into the her PJ's and her hair has been neatly combed. Mama is frantically reading what little directions exist on the back of nasal syringe package, decides they are worthless, hands empty box to child - who is instantly fascinated. Mama decides to go in for her first attempt a "nasal passage clearing", firmly puts arm around child, and tries to insert syringe into nasal opening. Child wiggles free, and scrambles away from Mama to the other side of the room - banshee like wailing ensues.

Act 3 - Scene 2
Mama crawls over to child - this time, puts child in headlock, and again, "attempts" to use "nasal passage clearing" syringe. This time, using her feet as an anchor, Madaline wretches head free, emits screams that make Mama wonder if she suddenly has two banshee's, and scrambles away to the other side of the room.

Act 4:

Usual over active Madaline is found strapped into bouncy chair, watching Baby E - a treat usually reserved for weekends only, but, the exception was made, considering that Madaline is sick. Living caring husband and dotting Dad has arrived home from work, and it now, sitting next to Maddy in bouncy chair on living room floor. Mama is standing in dining room on the phone -
"Is Aunt N home?"
"Auntie *Nurse* N - are you busy?"
"Can you do me a favor?"
"Do you think you come down here and show me how to suction the snot out of Madaline's nose”?
"ok...see you in a few"

Act 5:
Nurse N successful put child in what looks like a three prong headlock and successfully suctions snot out of super baby strength infused wiggling 8 month old. Mama tortures her further with a dose of Tylenol. Madaline snuggles in on Mama's lap, drinks a bottle, and before long, is la-la land.

The End...

Originally Post March 18, 2008

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Bitter Sweetness


The picture quality sucks - but, I.Don't.Care!

Because I will always think of this moment, each time I hear the words "The wheels on the bus....." or "Ten Little Monkeys jumping on the bed....."

I must have sat for at least 10 minutes, last night, just watching and listening and listening and watching. The hubby took a job cooking in a local restaurant, and is gone most evenings. So, last night was an EXTRA special treat - and a bittersweet treat at that. Madaline got her nightly bedtime story on Daddy's lap, while I got to sit back, with an empty lap and savor the moment.

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The Maddy & Ollie Chronicles

Side Note: for those that are NEW to my blog...My sister, Molly, (or Ollie, as Madaline calls her) has been watching Madaline some afternoons for us, between the time my husband leaves for work and the time I get home at 5:30. Some days are better than others - in that I never get a text message from her. And, then other days, they start promptly at 4:15 and don't stop until I walk in the door at 5:30pm. . And, I think it is important to note, that my sister is ONLY 19 and has no experience with babies what so ever, as she was/is the baby of our family. Then again, it's just her and me, so that would naturally make her the baby - but, I digress. So, yesterday afternoon, was one of those days....


Molly: I like the ruby max puzzles. I can have a headless ruby

Me: Totally agree with u.

Molly: Thought so.

Me: And u don't have to listen to Rubys voice

Molly: Yeah. Your kid is in a mood today. I just rescued your pearls.

Me: THANK YOU!

Molly: Your welcome. She's been getting into everything today.

Me: Welcome to my world.

Molly: We're havin a melt down..

Molly: We're getting frustrated with the {toy} stroller and now we're having a general melt down

Me: I don't know what to tell you. Just remain calm and help will get there soon. Maybe

Molly: Your kid just said she's going to burn her bear

Me: ????? I don't think so. U must b hearing a word wrong.

Molly: Okay.... she's just... she's a freakin hurricane today

Me
: Thats normal. Do u know what level shes at? Is she a category 2 or 6? Or somewhere in between?

Molly
: Eh... she's calmed to a tropical storm

Me
: See if u can have her be a gentle spring rain by the time i get home

Molly
: Dad's workin on it
(Molly had to leave to go play Adult League soccer so my Dad came over to watch her until I got home about 25 minutes later)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Definition of Bedtime - Wikipedia vs. Mom

Bedtime: According to Wikipedia - "Bedtime is a parenting tradition in the West that involves, to a greater or lesser extent, rituals made to help children feel more secure, and become accustomed to a comparatively more rigid schedule of sleep than they would quite often prefer. It may involve stories, songs, nursery rhymes, and/or methods of coaxing the children into changing into their pajamas. Children refusing to go to bed, or unwilling to go to bed, is a common problem"

Bedtime: According to the Mayhem Mama:
"Ok...Max & Ruby is over, time for bed - Let's go" **clock reads 8:50pm**

"Where's bear?" **clock reads 8:53**

"Madaline, where did you hide bear?" *8:55**

"Madaline, if you don't find that bear in 30 seconds, you WILL be going to be without her" **8:56pm**

"Maddy, honey, We need to get upstairs to bed" **clock reads 8:57pm**

"Madaline LETS GO!" **clock reads 9:03pm**

"MADALINE ELIZABETH...NOW!" **exasperated sigh as I am standing by the stairs, clock read 9:04**

"No - Big girls sleep in their own beds, not Mommy and Daddy's bed" **finally up the stairs and Madaline has burrowed under the covers in mommy & daddy's bed**

"No - Daddy not sleeping - Daddy working" **standing in hallway, gently shoving this awful, err, angle child towards bed**

(Madaline's standing on end of crib)
"Put bear in your bed please" **for the love of all that is Holy....**

(Madaline is now standing on box filled with outgrown clothing stored at end of crib)
"Put bear in your bed, or I am going to do it for you" **coffee or wine...coffee or wine....defiantly wine!**

"Did you want hugs and kisses?" **finally in crib**

(Madaline is jumping up and down in crib)
"Did you want night night kisses?" **sigh**

(Madaline is still jumping up and down in crib)
"I am going to ask you one more time - do you want me to tuck you in?" **another sigh**

"Good night Madaline" **as I am walking down the hall - child begging me to come back**

"Good NIGHT Madaline, Mommy love you" **can't ignore the sweet little voice chanting 'tuck me in mommy, tuck me in"**

"GOOD NIGHT MADALINE - Mommy & Daddy love you"
**just before I click hall light off, at the bottom of the stairs, after 7 hug and kiss session, three times tucking her in, and five times telling her that bed bugs don't bite and the**

** clock reads 9:15pm**