Monday, March 1, 2010

that's a gift

it's MARCH!  i've never been so happy to flip the page of my calendar...everyday feels a wee bit longer....we are feeling the longer days.....little by little....o.k., so we've had a few mini-blizzards in the past week.  i'm outside in all weather walking the dogs anyway.......

we still have some more skiing to do....i'm still loving our cozy fires in our fireplace....with our wood that biff chops.  last week, since biff hurt/sprained/broke? his hand/wrist?, he had t.j. outside teaching him how to chop wood.

it seemed like i should be inside doing some "chores" with grace....somehow, having biff teach all there is to know about wielding an axe seemed to feel like pioneers.....hardly!!  we love doing alot outdoors and's just the finishing that gets a little tricky. our heart is in the projects that we get moving on.....and it's the details at the end that get us tripped up!

 the funny thing is, we're happy!  absolutely happy and biff still makes me laugh when we get into bed each night.  i even make our teens a little crazy because he makes me laugh so hard.  he's not trying to be's just that his sense of humor seems to tickle me more than anyone i know....and we both love to make the other laugh....
even in the midst of chaos, we seem to do best with humor.  i still remember when we had no sleep with itty bitty little babies....crying....not sleeping....and biff and i not knowing what to do or how to do it....we would snip and snap at each other!  we would realize it and that would lighten us up!

we're in that same stage right itty bitty bit.....only now we're ion the big leagues...or the bigger leagues....with our teenagers...grace,15 and t.j., 13 1/2!
when our sweet little cherubs do what we ask and cooperate like trained monkeys, everything seems to run smoothly!  only one problem, as great as they are...we haven't trained our monkeys well enough!

we do our best with our 2 little monkeys jumpin on the bed!  only jumping on the bed isn't the problem.....making the bed is!  it's the little things...remember my trickle down theory....dishes not taken out of the dishwasher....they pile up in the sink...when they pile up in the sink, i can't wash the floor because i like to use the sink with my clean water....i can't wash the floor, so something else and something else and something else goes inside out and upside down and somewhere along the line, it all hits the fan!  and don't get me started on when the bathroom toilet backs up.......

if you give a mouse a our case if you give a monkey a banana.  grace and t.j. have always been so good with getting things done...they have always been eager to help biff and i....they have been helpful even to older relatives....they have compassion, empathy, work hard in school, have a way with making friends...and a variety....i love that.  they have so many awesome qualities....

we tell them. we tell them. we tell them how many good  qualities that they have.  we look to parent positively!  we do!

until we don't!  it seems that our wonderful dancing monkeys, who don't always perform for friends and family like other peoples know the ones...the puppet children!! they sing, they dance, they play the harp wearing velvet dresses and petticoats.......the boys always seem to wear bow ties....the trained monkeys and the puppet children..............we have really good kids.  we love them more than pancakes!  and syrup!  we just sometimes don't demand enough as parents.

and that's our kids...good kids.  until they just don't seem us!  it happens.  if my mom was still alive, she'd say,"oh, don't be silly!  look at all they do....and they're so couldn't ask for more!!"

well, it depends on your perspective.  my mom forgets.  and then again, sometimes she didn't demand enough of me!  i tried though.  i was home sick in 5th whole mom was off working at her saks fifth avenue, quite the executive she was!.....and i was home...with nothing to do after a few days....i was so proud...i spent forever cleaning her desk!  i tried to help my busy mom.  i thought i could make her desk pretty....i thought i'd make her so happy!

until she came home from work!  she shrieked! statements, bills, pictures, newspapers, calendars, check books......well, let's just say i still have some issues with paperwork!  oh! don't think for a minute that those are my only issues....i have lots more where those came from!

apparently, biff and i have shared some of our greatest issues with our lovely little sometimes. oh! never mind, i'll tell you the next blog....tomorrow morning with coffee.......oh, never mind i'm trying to change.  still. always. there is hope. maybe. eventually. tomorrow.  what was i saying?  oh yes...we both tend to kind of procrastinate!  and we also get distracted lots of the time.

so, what are we to do.  we sent our little lovin' monkeys to montessori school....shouldn't they have trained our little monkeys?  just kidding.  wouldn't it be great if you could send them away for a quick pre school outing and have them come back perfect little monkeys!

well, instead, these innocent children are victims of 2 third younger twin in the middle of the family and me, the youngest after two older brothers...way older!  they have no hope!  we try.  we are just too fun to be parents!  not that our kids think we're bit!  we do our best!

and they do their best...until they try to slide by under the radar!  that's when we start to not be so fun. especially, as we're beginning these teenage years....i find myself will we be sending these sweet little people born to us....into the great big world!

it's something i'm proud of when i see t.j. make pancakes for the family....or flip burgers on the grill.  i feel like it's my duty to send my little man into the world to take care of himself...but more important than that....i'm creating someone's husband!  he needs to be o.k. with switching a load of laundry...or 5!

grace can be a powerhouse when she's motivated!  she cleans her room after her hurricane like waves of clothing go tumbling to the floor....all we need is a sleepover or company for motivating her and voila'...she's martha stewart! and she's awesome in the kitchen...maybe to cover some of the slack for me....since i've had my highs and low in the kitchen!  once i'm on a roll, there's no stopping me.  biff supports me and enables me!  he cooks too...alot!  biff likes to say (he is so sweet and patient!)'re  good at contruction with really know how to pick some delicious foods....sometimes made in the store....and put a few great dishes together.............and voila'! a feast! it's a gift! a talent.  plus...i make it look pretty...tablecloth, napkins, flowers, pretty dishes....i think i learned that from my saks 5th mother!  make it look pretty and alot will be forgiven!

that's kind of how i feel about lipstick....i may not have it all together..everyday of the week, all day long.....but, wow! if i have lipstick is good!  actually, if it's the right color, life is great!

i seem to have gotten distracted again!  but, then again....i'm writing my blog because i didn't have to cook dinner tonight.  our little monkeys had a friend over today...our old neighbor...jane and i went for a walk in the woods with the dogs and when we got back....the kids were waiting at the front door..laughing and dressed in snuggies and ski helmets and goggles and guitars (i've never used a guitar as an accessory..that's a new look)....waiting for the pizza delivery man!  our little monkey children, looking for a fun time, ordered pizza at 4:30 in the afternoon!  they were dressed like nutcakes to meet the pizza man!  and they had their own money to buy the pizza and tip the pizza man!

so our monkey children get some of their little ways from biff and i!  we know that! they also got some of our better qualities....they like to take road trips, they both like school and do well(although they wouldn't like us to believe that!) they like to meet new people, they adapt pretty well wherever we take them, they enjoy their friends, they have very good friends, they both enjoy a sense of humor! not ours all of the time!  they both are fun....they're funny!  they have style!  they are pretty sporty.  they love the beach!  that's when they perform!

o.k....i'll stop there!  really those are the things that matter to us!  actually, i could probably have dealt with it if they only had one of those ways from biff and i......that would be simple!  they love the beach!

lord knows, that's where we have spent some of our greatest days together as a family!  we love the beach with friends, with family, with just us.....anywhere, anytime.

so, who cares if we're not perfect.....and who cares if our monkeys aren't trained as well as we would lie them to be!  they're not out of the zoo yet.  we're doing the best we can.  we may not be perfect parents, but we love them!

we try to be good zookeepers.  we try to teach them responsibility. i pray that they are learning and learning by example.  i'll be proud even if all they learn and understand is how to treat  others.  how to get along. how to work things out. how to find the solution and not drag on about the problems.  how to enjoy where they are.  how to be proud of who they are.  how to stand up for themselves.  how to help the team!  how to pitch in.  

i know they're smart, do well in school, do the right thing, go by the rules, live well, treat others the way they would like to be treated......but most of all, i hope we're training them them to be good monkeys out in the world.

i'm so grateful that they are so good and loving and kind and talk to us about all of their ups and downs on their teenage rollercoaster....that's all a mom, dad or zookeeper can ask......keep talking to us and have a sense of humor in life....sometimes that's a gift!

Toy Story - Intro Song - "You've Got a Friend in Me"



friday, we woke up to another winter wonderland. it really is pretty....but the buses were running.....although there was no letting up of the snow....”early delay?”, I suggested enthusiastically! no one shared the joy....snow day or de-lay makes a big difference in the sleep of our teenagers.

started the morning with a great cup of coffee and my e-bay selling! now that's fun! i'm having a ball! i've always wanted my own little store.....and now I have it just the way I like it...on my terms! that's been so much fun for me. I forgot how much I love selling.....what I like or have enthusiasm for makes all of the difference! so, i'm only selling what I like! so far, there's been lilly pulitzer with tags still on, a sweet bracelet from a special store with happy blue boxes, a china cup, some lovely vintage prints and lots of my shabby chic collectibles! now we're talking fun....
that's a nice way to start my coffee with my blog that I love writing, my e-bay selling, walking the dogs, doing the usual run I said on my facebook status, “here, there and everywhere...going nowhere fast!” I can't tell you how many friends responded to that.


it seems that it's just a part of life with kids! and i''m not's a little of the old “what do you do all day?” question that stay at home moms get asked.....when I stop to think about that or it comes up in conversation, no matter how I try to account for my whereabouts or answer always seems to be the same after trying to sort out an average day....”i just sit at home and eat bonbons!

days like mine just can't be tallied easily. in some of my conversations last week, here are some of the most sincerely mentioned topics of conversation.....even ones that get cut short and I feel disappointed not to have time to continue..... because life seems rushed...people seem rushed....teachers seem rushed...parents seem rushed...friends and family seem rushed....EVERYONE seems rushed even with the simplest lives. it seems like we have so much to say and do, there's never enough time. I think that's why I love writing my blog....i have to sit down and think about my days and how I spend them! I am accountable to my followers! all 25/ oh! I mean 26 of you! i'm really accountable to me, but it sure is fun imagining that you're hanging on my every word.........about what? oh, let me continue!

so, conversations that got cut short....this week.......

*a friend called to thank me for suggesting some shelves for her closets....i told her the ones I like....they are like a bakers rack in metal.....they're a great look, not dust catchers and they hold a lot of clothing and if you like organizing your clothes by color...they look so pretty! my friend actually called me to thank me!!! hysterical, just like me, my very artsy friend was glad for any suggestion that might make her life simpler.....we had time to catch up......but never enough and it would be hard to make plans to get together....we'll figure that out later.
 *the sweet and enthusiastic friend that I love to bump into.....she told me at stop and shop that she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer....but had to check out....we would talk later.

*my friend, whose husband was travelling, needed butter and was trying to keep life simple while being mrs. mom and dad to her teenage boys. we chatted on the phone and butter came up...i bought some butter at the store while I was out.....grace and I dropped off the butter. she had just been telling me about a recipe that she thought our family would like.......that I can handle making.......healthy.....and...butter.....and oops, I never did find out that recipe.

*talking to a friend who lives in florida, we talked about our kids and when we may plan to get our families together with other friends from college.....we were on our cell phones....we got cut short because her garden club meeting was about to start....we would talk later.

 *my friend, in town, and I wanted to walk the dogs....our timing wouldn't work out between her appointments and my schedule....we'll walk the dogs with each other next week, when life is a little calmer....later.

another old friend called to share some sad news about a friend who is sick.....we were both in shock over the news of her sickness....we talked about our mutual friend and what we could do for her and her family....and she had to pick up her son at hockey.....we would talk again when we weren't so rushed....later.

patti, an old friend from college, and I had been “talking” on facebook a lot lately, trying to plan our time to get together....having lots of laughs about her kids and my kids and life and my blog.....and more life and family and shopping and home and doggies and..............we were making a plan...she would be passing through with her husband at some point over the weekend.......she would let me know and then we had to hurry and hang up.............i realized I had no idea if we had a plan or not.....i had no time to figure it out.....i knew at some point we'd talk.....later.

these are genuine friends and real moments of life where we have time to get together or talk on the phone, we talk often, we may even talk a lot.......but we're always in between and almost somewhere that we have to be or the doorbell rings or the school bus arrives......or someone from before finds this is their later time.... 

so friday was later for patti and I. it was such fun just talking about our little day together. when I asked what she wanted to do while visiting for the day, she said, “oh,I don't care.....i'll pick up the kids from school....i'll go grocery shopping with you, have a cup of coffee.....who cares..we'll just get together!” that was great for me...great for her! time to get together....time! yay...time!  

thankfully, i am accountable to the dogs.....and i make sure they get their walk everyday..... the dogs at the beach.... my day instantly slows down....

here's my other blogswith lots of photos

well, we didn't plan on snow to mix things up. we thought we'd have the day to play and chat and chat and chat and we always do when we're together......and chat and chat......sometimes we chat at the same time and still understand each other. we have great friends from college and we all know each other so well.....we know each others' families and friends....and dogs and cats.......and lives....even long distance! we try to make the time. we definitely get lots of phone time....getting together we usually have to plan for another time...later.
well, that's life...that's what we all do...we just do our best to keep it together with our husbands our kids, our families, our friends, our dogs and cats and so many more. some now, some fall to later.

patti called to say she would be coming....even with the snow and warnings for more to follow....she would stop and spend! we actually worked it out...we're good like that...she and I are very spontaneous! that's probably one of the reasons we've stayed close for so long! spontaneity helps in this busy life we're all living!

patti would be getting here much later than we hoped because of the snow. she was leaving later...driving slow....
I spent some time with the dogs at the beach...beautiful to be there on a snowy day! I had some other errands to run.....i was at the beach with the dogs when the phone rang.
it was patti! she was at my the driveway.....i was at the beach! starting home, I realized the kids were there already....i called to tell grace and t.j. to let patti in.....i'd be there in a few...later.

not too much later. I got home to see talk...have a cup of coffee...grace wanted a ride to a friend's house.....”wait”.i told her.....” i'll take you in a bit....later.” patti and I sat with our coffee like we were in our dorm in college.....only now we were talking about our husbands and our kids....we had both known since they were in our
....graduations.....and even our life....later.

and now we had the time...just to hang and chat about stuff....nothing stuff that we love to hear. about our moms who we all have enjoyed.....patti and I have always talked about color...colors in the house...colors of clothes....just the simple things of between some of the bigger things in life.

biff came home from work! he got a little time with patti. then he had to leave to take grace to her friends.....he got back...and OH! it was time to leave to pick up david at the train station....and then they'd be off to their weekend plans! 

I couldn't believe..we had barely gotten started....we were behind because of the snow! oh she had to go. they had to get moving to their own weekend plans. our plans for the weekend were skiing with friends UNTIL I found out that I had the wrong weekend! so, that allowed patti and I to get together but it was time to go.....david would be waiting......friday night.....everyone is so beat on a friday night.

hugs. griff. hugs. patti. hugs. “wait! i'll show you the way to the train! i'll go with you! then i'll get to see david too! it's been ages! you and david drop me off on your way through after the least we'll have a little time and time with david!” and we were off.

and there was david. waiting at the train...perfect timing. we weren't late! they had to get up toward boston....they had snow and didn't want to get their too late.

we rode in the car...chatting about nothing and some things.....and time to say good bye! I called biff in the house....i asked him to come out to say hi to david! hug/shake....hi! good to see ya doing? better go. we'll all get together later!

10:30 p.m. my cell phone rang. patti. hi. …..hi.....they made it they were at their hotel.....she wanted to tell us that there room was a suite. we should come up.....there's room for the kids to have their own room...bathroom.....we could all spend some of saturday together...and ...i got caught up in the spontaneity! biff. biff! we can go meet them. we can bring our ice skates....oh how fun ….oh, let's go. the dogs. our plans to be home and get things done...grace's babysitting job...1st one in a little while. the dogs. the snow. the snow. the just doesn't stop. we went to sleep....what fun to see our old friends! saturday much snow....grace has her babysitting....doggies...dogsitter....all of the things we had to get done......i called patti. she was excited!

 I was just couldn't work out without a lot of mixups and chaos. we wouldn't be going. maybe patti and david would pass through on their way through on the way down.....later.



maybe, next time!  later...............