Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Vacation, Not A Trip

In 48 hours the hubs and I are going on a vacation. A real vacation. Not a trip. What is the difference? Kids. Our girls are staying home. We are headed to Costa Rica for 5 nights and 6 days without our children.

And I am having a mild panic attack.

I am a planner. We all know this. We have been planning a 15th wedding anniversary trip for almost a year. When we finally decided where to go, we had to decide when to go. Costa Rica has amazing weather and that amazing weather is now which is great timing because our anniversary is now. What is not great timing is my mom's work schedule and her inability to watch our kids.

So.....I did what any normal mom would do. I called my overprotective friends and went on the hunt for a sitter. It was surprisingly easy to find someone to watch our girls. What is even better is our sitter is a child care specialist at a local hospital - jackpot. Background check? Yes. References? Yes. More than capable of watching our girls? Yes.

In the last months, she has babysat for us and gotten to know E1 and E2. She is now not a stranger. She is a fully capable adult who is sweet, caring, and a great person.  As I am typing this, it lowers my stress because I know we have a the best of the best (next to family) staying with the girls.

But there is so much stress in planning a vacation, not a trip.

My kids (mainly E1) are worried about the minutia of our daily lives. And that is an endless list!
E2 really just wants to know how many sleeps until we come home.

I literally have written a book, well it feels like a book for Miss K. Thank the lord she does not mind, well she says that now - wait until she reads it all.

From braiding hair to lunch.
From nightlights to no crusts on sandwiches.
From play dates to the alarm code.
From the dog to dinners in the freezer.
From the back up dinners to the numbers of 15 friends plus family that can help.
From mourning routines to bed time routines.
From arts & crafts projects to softball tryouts.
From texting to FaceTime.
I have written it ALL out.
ANYTHING you can imagine, is written out.
She has notes of where we keep our medicine and how much the girls weigh, notes about screen time, notes about homework, notes about drop off, pick up, speech therapy...notes about EVERYTHING.

You know what I learned from all these notes? I do a SHIT TON! Holy motherhood! I am rocking this bitch.

And now Daddy guilt has come to play in this game of planning our vacation, not a trip. The hubs has been gone all week for work and we are leaving in 48 hours. This is not a good combo. The amount that is in our fucking amazon cart is embarrassing. Beanie boos, books, more arts & crafts all for E1 and E2 if they basically behave for Miss K. Why we are bribing our already behaved children is beyond my understanding. But then again, Daddy guilt is a real disease and I have no cure.

While the girls (again, just E1) are worried sick about my absence, I am planning for worst case scenario.

Here is the number to the pediatrician, here is our car insurance,  here is our health insurance card, here is a medical power of attorney, here is our will, and yes, I sent the teachers emails letting them know we were going to be out of the country and please contact Miss K in an emergency. (And please give my babies extra hugs!!)

I KNOW we will be fine, but all of this writing and prepping gave me an odd sense of peace.
I did not leave a stone unturned.

Lists are completed. Schedules are lined up and completed. Friends know. Family knows. Teachers know. Girls know and are as prepared as possible. I even cleaned out Five Below with fun new projects to complete with Miss K!

I am exhausted from planning this vacation, not a trip. Thank goodness we are going on a vacation! This is going to be great for all of us. Our girls will gain independence and confidence while seeing a positive example of a marriage being celebrated. My husband and I will a get a trip of a lifetime and time together with what I am hoping will be minimal stress.

It is now Wednesday late afternoon. We leave at the ass crack of dawn Saturday and I have not started packing. I am, however,  finished with my "sub plans."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hatchimal Hater


Hi. My name is Mom and I am a Hatchimal Hater.

The issue?

My girls are Hatchimal Lovers. These dumb fucking toys have aggravated me since they were opened. E1's hatchimal hatched within 20 minutes. E2's did not hatch right away. That night, we sent both girls to bed and literally googled "What if my Hatchimal doesn't hatch." E2 slept off and on crying, "Why my hatchimal didn't hatch?" "Maybe tomorrow?"

E2 was brought out of bed (I could not hear her cry anymore) and we worked and worked to get this damn fucking creature to come out of its mother fucking egg. Do you know how to get a Hatchimal to hatch? You must rub the egg. You must play with the egg. I don't know if E2's egg needed some damn Viagra or what, but we stroked and rubbed and caressed that egg like it was a 70 year old penis that needed to get up. After almost 30 minutes of being molested, the damn thing finally hatched. (Mind you we had rubbed the shit out of this thing when she first opened it.)

Now, here we are weeks after Hanukkah and these fuckers are the gifts that keep on giving migraines. They make noises, they move, they repeat things you say, their eyes glow! They are weird, bizarre battery operated toys that my girls turn on If E1 and E2 are awake, Hatchimal is awake. The girls take such good care of these toys that I NOW know they are actually capable of keeping track of their crap.

And the poor dog!!! They like to play with the toy around the dog. The girls think it is funny to see the dog's reaction to the noises they make. I am almost positive the dog will need Xanax if these toys don't get the hell out of our house soon.

Hatchimals have, toddler, and I don't know what else because I threw away the fucking instructions in hopes the girls wouldn't know how to play with them. (That didn't work if you are wondering). In some phase, you can teach your stupid asshat hatchimal how to do things. E1 figured this shit out. E2 cannot get hers to learn. Maybe it cannot learn because it is STUPID!!! E1 tries to help E2 and that is like a cat trying to teach a dog how to aint gonna happen.

Did I mention this happens


And the only toy to top the annoying Hatchimal?
Zoomer Kitty and his best friend Zoomer Chimp.

To my amazing cousin who found the impossible to find Hatchimals - I curse you.
And to my amazing mom who purchased our Zoomer friends - say no to your grandkids.

Cherry on top? Zoomer fucking kitty and chimp charge with a USB cord...there is no "We do not have any batteries, sorry." excuse.

I pray the Hatchimal batteries die soon. Little Live Pet (bird) died the same way.

Funny how the girls never notice we have batteries for everything, BUT their toys.

(E2's hatchimal)             (E1's hatchimal)

Zoomer fucking Kitty

**Zoomer Chimp not pictured. His ass is still in the box**

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

15 years

On January 13th, it will be our 15th wedding anniversary.

15 years is a long time. At 24, we stood before family, friends, and G-d and promised to love one another. We promised to put our marriage first. We made this promise under the premise of love can conquer all. We were young and stupid, or were we?

We have friends that are divorced. We have family that is divorced. Some divorced after a few years and some after more than 10. Marriage is hard as hell. Divorce looms around every corner and I have no idea what causes some marriages to fail and others to survive, but I know we have made it.

Our marriage is no stranger to tough times. Our marriage has withstood financial problems more than once, my cancer diagnosis and treatment and thank G-d - remission, burying our still-born son, adopting both our daughters, the incarceration of my husband's father and all that was and is currently happening due to that, our youngest daughter's delays, our oldest daughter's anxiety, deaths of family members and family members on both sides not liking one of us.

On top of that ridiculous, made for TV drama, we have survived my husband's messy sink and nightstand that sends my organized A-type personality into a tail spin, my constant need to entertain not only my family but friends as well, my husband's inability to to take out the trash daily, my inability to grocery shop for under $300, my husband's inability to call when he is on his way home, my inability to understand that when he is at work he cannot always answer the phone, my inability to share the TV, his inability to communicate when his favorite football team is playing, my horrible PMS, and a slew of every day crap that is damn annoying to each of us.

We are not perfect. We do not have a perfect marriage. We get mad. We argue. We disagree. We have gone to bed angry. We really know how to push each other's buttons. And we are exceptionally good at pushing those buttons.

15 years later I can tell you we love each other. We share the same values and passion for family. We both put our family first and we both understand it looks differently. I put my family first when my annoying entertaining creates memories and traditions for our girls, for us. He puts our family first when he works twelve hour days to ensure our financial safety. My husband travels when he is not working twelve hour days. Those days when he is out of town, I take care of the girls and our home alone. It is not perfect, but it is what it is. This is our marriage. We sacrifice. We compromise. We understand. We each work separately and together to secure our future, together.

We put each other first, then our girls, then everyone else. Sometimes he takes the lead and I lean on him. Sometimes I take the lead and he leans. We need each other. There are times we know how much we need each other and yes, there are times we think we can do it alone.

There is no secret to a happy marriage. There is just work. Work that never ends. Being a wife is harder than teaching 180 at risk students. As a teacher, I ran my own show. As a wife, I have a co-teacher. My husband runs his own company, he is the boss. At home, he has a co-boss. We are both leaders. We are both strong-willed. We are both fighters. While sharing decision making is not easy, we do it. We do it knowing someone typically "loses."

There is no "winning" in marriage either. There are discussions, conversations that take place and two personalities and opinions collide. One of them comes out on top. I have made decisions for our girls that he was not 100% on board with, he has made financial decisions that I am not 100% on board with, but the decisions are made and we are not angry when our opinion/advice is not the "winning" one. Both of us cannot get our way. It doesn't work like that. The solutions are made based on facts and one of us is more knowledgeable about those facts- that opinion has more weight. It just does. We cannot both be the expert on everything.

In 15 years, we have learned that date night is important even when the week leading up to it is so aggravating that when we finally sit down at the table one of us admits to being an ass so we can move on.

In 15 years, we have learned to laugh at everything. Our humor is sick, twisted, and dark. If you cannot laugh, you will cry. We will find the humor in everything thrown our way. We were the only two people laughing in the waiting room when I had cancer. Like I said, we find the humor.

In 15 years, we have learned to be patient. I am patient when he is stressed and over worked (every day) and he is patient when I am obsessive and annoying (every day).

In 15 years, we have learned we are no longer the 24 year old bride and groom standing under the chuppah. We are 40 (and almost 40) years old and have created a family, a life, a marriage that has lasted well beyond the reception.

We are full of life, we seize the moment to be happy, we laugh, we love. We have experienced the depths of profound sadness and relished in the rainbows after the storm.

Fifteen years ago, I could have never predicted all that we would go through. And given the chance, knowing what I know now, I would marry my husband again. His smile, his gorgeous eyes, and his unwavering stubborn, fight for what you believe in personality is what I loved and still love about him.

Our good days, our great days, our bad days, our mediocre days have created 15 years of a marriage that we will not stop fighting for. We will continue to love each other and know that love after all this time does not look like it did on our wedding night, it looks better.