Posts Tagged ‘big families’

What Do You Call It When…

April 28, 2014 1 comment

Marwari_horse_show_jumping_Jodhpur_polo_ground“…you ride a horse with no legs?”

I looked at Adam, totally caught off guard as I cleaned up from dinner. “What?” Read more…

Monday Minute: Why was B afraid of D?

February 25, 2014 Leave a comment
I'm going to try "Why did the chicken cross the road?" on them next.

I’m going to try “Why did the chicken cross the road?” on them next.

Nope, that’s not some clever trick title. It’s the beginning of a variety of jokes told around the house, ever since nobody got my “Why was 6 afraid of 7” joke. Here’s the dinner conversation this evening:

Brigid (my sister): Hey Adam, why was B afraid of C?

Adam: I can’t do a joke right now.

Brigid: Oh, well….

Adam (finishes chewing): Okay, I’m ready now. Why was B afraid of D? Read more…

Monday Minute: Can I email Fresh Direct about this?

January 13, 2014 Leave a comment


One of the things I love about Fresh Direct is their awesome customer service. Bad produce? Smushed bread? Broken eggs? All it takes is a quick email to customer service and within minutes you receive an earnest reply with an apology and a credit for the unacceptable items. The groceries are delivered in cardboard boxes, and I often leave putting away the produce for last since I just line it along the counter anyway. Well apparently I forgot an entire box of fruit this afternoon. My mistake. Upon opening it, I found this. 

Read more…

Monday Minute: Multitasking (The Orange Rhino Project)

December 3, 2013 1 comment

showerDespite being a professional multitasker (self-proclaimed), I’ve been falling woefully short on my To-Do list lately, as evidenced by the lack of Monday Minutes. It seems as though the more “minutes” I come up with to write about, the less time I have to write them. 

A few weeks ago I found a fabulous website about The Orange Rhino challengeI was inspired by a fellow mommy-blogger who resolved to stop yelling at her four children – reading her story was reading about my own life, and in that moment I decided to take the challenge. I made it through 7 days of not yelling at my kids – it wasn’t easy but it was a good, satisfying week. Of course, I blew it on day 8, then on days 2, 2, 4 and 2 since (what is it with the second day?), not in a monumental way but in a snappy comment after long days and one-too-many spills or accidents.

The reason I’m telling you about Orange Rhino is not because I love public humiliation, but because otherwise you’ll be completely lost in what follows. See, part of the Orange Rhino process is telling people about your mission so that you have support, witnesses and scorekeepers while you struggle – I mean, commit. And some of those people you must tell are your children. So one night I sat down at dinner and told them of my plan, which was basically to keep control when they lost it and to quietly punish them without yelling (and to respect them as human beings, cherish this time in our lives, etc. etc.). I told them they could remind me about not yelling by telling me “Orange Rhino,” and that if I yelled I would lose my gold star at the end of the day. They really took my crusade to heart. In a gleeful, persistent way.

It’s moments like this one that really challenge me. Mark my words, one day I’m going to hit the big time with this Monday Minute. In just a minute, it has laughter, tears, love, angst, fear, stunts, injury and redemption. It’s even got a frightened-woman-in-the-shower scene (cue screechy music here). Read more…

Monday Minute: Have You Ever Felt Like This At The Beginning Of The Week?

June 17, 2013 2 comments

photo (33)Poop, poop and more poop. And an ant invasion. After a 4-hour dance recital. Ryan’s been working round the clock for the last several weeks, including all of Father’s Day weekend. There is still no soy or dairy in my life. After a couple of quiet months, Adam’s tantrums are baaaaa-aaaaack. The house is an unfathomable mess, despite the weekly housekeeper. Look up “dire” in the dictionary and you will see the massive heap of laundry that was sorted out in Ian’s room to be put away. Two weeks ago.

Then there was the slight medication snafu that resulted in James not sleeping a wink last night. Not. one. wink. Despite caving in around 1:00am and handing him a gameboy, granola bar and glass of water, he continued to weep that he was bored and scared of the room he sleeps in every night and came upstairs to find me every 10-15 minutes through 5 o’clock. Ryan got up at 5:30 for work. Good morning, Monday!

You might be judging me on that gameboy maneuver. You might be thinking, of course he didn’t go to sleep, because he had the gameboy. Just to illuminate the level of desperation, despite his history of sleep issues I have given James an ipod or gameboy in the middle of the night exactly once in the last 4 years, and it was last night. And surprisingly ineffective. But when there’s no break from the kids for weeks on end, I get a little more protective of those wee morning hours.

You might also be sick of hearing about poop. You might be thinking, why does she have to include the word “poop” in every other post? Hi, have we met? It’s not my favorite word either, but my life at this moment revolves around butts. And today I just don’t think there’s a better way to capture the full extent of why our upcoming beach vacation is looking so darn good. It’s absolutely necessary. Not the poop, the beach.

So after the above weekend, this is a glimpse at Monday: Read more…

*NEW SERIES* Sanity Saver #1: Put a freeze on the after-dinner meltdown period

I got off the subway last week with my usual entourage – Margaret in the stroller, Adam in the ergo on my back and Ian in the bjorn on the front – when a man grabbed my elbow. “I want whatever it is that you have,” he said, smiling. “Pardon?” I asked, taking a step back (a big one). “Sorry,” he apologized, recognizing my alarm. “I just see you on the train all the time and wish I could show you to my wife. We only have two kids and bringing them on the subway is usually a nightmare. You’re always singing and playing games with your kids – it’s amazing. You should be very proud.” Smiling (and feeling relieved that I wasn’t being mugged), I thanked him and hurried on my way, not bothering to tell him that I had just threatened Adam with the ‘police officer taking his granola bar if he put his mouth on the subway window one more time.’

Some mornings I do feel proud – on my best days even clever. But my husband works long hours, only predictable in that he usually misses dinner and often bedtime on weekdays, and regularly puts in additional time on the weekends. Add 4 children and a sprinkle of sleep deprivation and what you have is a recipe for Mommy-threatening-her-whining-ungrateful-children-with-the-breakfast-snatching-police-by-nine-in-the-morning. I’ll be the first to admit that during the first few months of  Ryan’s job, life in the city with just 2 kids was a bit bumpy. But 5 years and 2 more kids later I have collected quite the assortment of tricks up my sleeve, songs in my head and snacks in my bag. So really, Sanity Savers is just the catchy title for “how I stop whining and make the most out of the life I’ve chosen.” Because at the bottom of it all, my crazy, chaotic, noisy, jam-packed life is completely made of my choices – even the choices that are lying on the sidewalk in front of my house, crying that they can’t walk another step.

Sanity Savers is pretty much the opposite of the Monday Minute (though the direct result of some of them). This new series is basically recommendations – products, places, recipes, habits, tricks – on how to not lose your cool in front of everyone in line at Dunkin Donuts when your 4 year old keeps lifting her shirt up, shrieking “these pants are too smallllll!” because they don’t quite pull up to her chest. No? Don’t worry, the series will address other issues too.

Sanity Savers promises to be as random as the Monday Minute, and what it lacks in entertainment value will (hopefully) be made up for in usefulness. So without further adieu, Sanity Saver #1: Read more…

Top Ten: Careers Motherhood Has Prepared Me For

1. Chef: Living in NYC, ordering out 6 times a week just wouldn’t fit the bill, literally and figuratively. You know when my kids are asking me to make sushi and when I say “no,” their response is “okay, lasagna,” that I’ve cooked myself into a corner. I could shame even the busiest chef with my mad skills in the kitchen – how many of them can cook for a party of 5 with a baby on one hip and another baby “helping out?”

2. Nurse: I clean up bodily fluids of all kinds, bandage injuries, ice bumps and bruises, and dole out medications twice daily. Oh, and I give magical kisses that cure scrapes big and small.

3. Cinderella I started this one off as “Maid” but quickly changed it to Cinderella as the vision of the young girl scurrying around the house balancing food in one arm and laundry in the other while people shouted her name from various rooms shot into my mind. I don’t know too many maids around here that would be serving breakfast while tackling long lists of chores each morning (if you do send me their number). And, maybe I’m still secretly hoping for a fairy godmother.

4. Secretary: Those of you who have had the pleasure of seeing my calendar, or worse yet my email inbox know that this is no joke. Scheduling appointments, sending out correspondence, calling back teachers, doctors and delivery men are all part of the daily grind – and don’t forget the baby on the hip part.

5. Plumber: When I mentioned this jobs post I was going to do, my sister and I got a little giggly at this one. Armed with 4 Stop&Shop bags and my bare hands I can fix almost any plumbing issue, enough said (see my past post on mega-colon if you really need more info).

6. Travel Agent: It’s not just vacations anymore. When discussing my husband’s future trip to his brother’s graduation, he asked, “Did you book me some kind of way to get there?” I did, and not only saved us some cash in the process, but found the fastest trip available and worked it around his work schedule.

7. Financial Planner: Managing monthly bills, investing in IRAs, paying down student loans, taking vacations, budgeting in classes for the kids, date nights for us, medical bills, and don’t forget cash for the fruit stands – all while living in NYC. And still saving money. I would hire me.

8. Psychologist (though it doesn’t mean I couldn’t use one at the end of the day!): the day to day behavioral management of a disabled child with severe sensory issues, ASD and ADD versus two willful toddlers who compete with each other for everything and agree with me on nothing. Take your pick. Or take all 3 at once and get through the day in one piece. Do my kids count as references?

9. Event Planner: Just since we’ve moved here I’ve orchestrated and executed 2 baptisms, a first communion, a confirmation, 2 dozen meetings of  The Foorce, 7 birthday parties, 3 summers worth of special needs social group activities and half a dozen dinner parties. All with a baby on the hip, of course.

10. Storyteller: Every night I read the kids a story or two before bed. With inflection. And for the last 3 months without fail my 3 year old daughter then requests that I make up a spooky story about her and her brother and a witch and a ghost on Halloween. Every night. And even if just to save my own sanity, I come up with a slightly different spooky Halloween story about a witch, ghost, two toddlers and Halloween night each and every time. With inflection.


What kind of jobs has motherhood prepared you for? I know I haven’t even scratched the surface – feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section.

Monday Minute: Morning Manners

Sorry, my kids are not the only ones on Spring break (hence the Monday Minute on Tuesday). With no school this week, I thought the children and I could all sit down for a nice late (7:30am) breakfast together.


J = James, M = Margaret, A = Adam

(I walk into the room with two cups of juice)

Okay, I think that’s everything. 

M: May I please have more milk?

Only because you asked so nicely!

(I return with milk and paper towels)

M: Can I please have some cereal too, like James?

A: More cereal too please!

I love to hear all of these good manners!

(return with two bowls of cereal)

J: May I please have another waffle?

A: More waffles please!

M: can I have your toast?

(sighing) Guys, this is my last trip, anything else?

(making waffles)

J: (calling from dining room) May I have some more cereal?

M: Please!

J: Please!

(bring out box to table)

There, now everyone has as much cereal as they want.

M: (crying) my nail hurts! Look I have a boo-boo!

That’s a hangnail. Do you want a bandaid?

M: No I don’t want a hangnail!

J: May I please have more milk for my cereal?

Can you please go get it?

M: Can I have a bandaid?


M: Please!

(finally sitting, with A eating my soggy, leftover cereal and M crying over her hangnail)

James, where are you? the milk is in the fridge on the top shelf.

J: (calls from his room) I’m done, mom!

M: Adam pooped!

(Change A, come back to table – J is sitting back at the table)

J: Mom, are you going to eat that toast?

A: Waffles please!

J: Oh yeah, you forgot the waffles!


Ahhh, vacation.

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