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cindieblog@yahoo.com

LAUGHTER MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

Top 5 Mom Items I Wish Someone Would Invent

I’ve always wanted to invent a new product.  I’ve had a couple of good ideas, but then I usually discover it’s already been invented.  Or I see someone on “Shark Tank” with it!  That always sucks –  I think “Oh man, I was this close”.

This portable potty seat, for example.  Out of pure necessity, I came up with this brilliant idea.032005

One day, I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, when my 3-year-old suddenly yelled – “I HAVE TO POOP!”  I have not experienced such terror as I did in that moment.  Oh, the many joys of potty training.  While searching for the next gas station, Mickey D’s, or diner…  a lightbulb turned on in my head.

I thought – right now I need a car potty with disposable bags!  I soon discovered though, that someone else had also thought of it.  And probably many other moms too.  And you know what?  It really is an amazing invention.  Vital to every family with small kids.  We used it too many times to count.  Really.  If you are potty training and don’t have one, run to Babies R Us and get one!

Besides the potty, throughout my years with children, I’ve come up with some other ideas.  Like the potty seat, most already exist though.

I do have a couple of ideas that I haven’t seen yet.  Maybe because they seem slightly more complicated to construct, than the car potty.  But oh boy, would they make my life so much easier.

 

MY TOP 5 INVENTION IDEAS FOR MOMS:

1).  A washer/dryer that FOLDS the clothes and PUTS THEM AWAY in the drawers.  (This would seriously be the best invention – ever).

2). A mommy robot/clone that would wake up with the kids whenever needed, anytime before 7am.  (I’m okay after 7am.  But before, not so much). Oh, and let’s not forget, that robot would entertain them until I get up!

3). An automatic dog poop cleaner-upper thingy majingy for my yard. (I don’t need to explain this, do I?)

4). An electric zapper that activates when someone misses the toilet. (I am convinced it would only take one zap to correct the situation.  And yes, it’s for my husband too).

5). A sound proof “MOM POD”. ( It would be like having a mini-vacation in my backyard.  And let me repeat, sound proof!  Ahhhhh…)  It would look like this –

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Can someone please invent at least one of these for me?  Pretty please?  I guarantee that MANY, MANY other moms will thank you.  And so will I!

 

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MISCELLANEOUS

The Art of Juggling Daily Life: A Mom’s Multi-Tasking Dilemma

I’ve always been a multi-tasker. I think most women are naturally good at juggling. Most of my “pre-mommy life” jobs required I oversee several projects at once. And I was great at it.

When my babies were born, I think I truly mastered the art of it. Breast-feeding a baby, while doing laundry, for instance. Not an easy task, but I did it like a pro. As my kids got older, I added more balls to my juggling act. With my second baby strapped to me, papoose style, I colored with my toddler, fed the dog, all while paying bills on-line. Pretty impressive.

My juggling hasn’t slowed down a bit. By 10am this morning, I realized I had already done more things than most people motherjugglingprobably get done in an entire day. Two loads of laundry, folded and put away. I emptied the dishwasher. Wiped down one of the bathrooms (I had no choice about this chore – I have a 5-year-old son.  I’m sure I don’t have to say more!).  I fed the kids, the three dogs, the cat, and the two fish (I just realized I forgot to eat my own breakfast. I did have my morning cup of tea… that’s a non-negotiable for me). Okay, back to my morning…  after everyone, with the exception of me, ate breakfast, I then went to the bank, Stop & Shop, the vitamin store, and the pet store. Typical Saturday morning errands.

I should add that I did all of this while refereeing my kids’ constant bickering, helping my daughter with her “URGENT” need to make a candle craft she just learned, and listening to my son point out every Thomas train he wants for his upcoming birthday.  Did I mention, it’s only 10am????  And we still have a full day ahead.

I know I am not alone. Juggling is just what most moms need to do, or things don’t get done.

But lately I have have had a couple of problems with my juggling…

1.  The more balls I add, the more I worry that one will drop.

2.  The more balls I add, the less attention I give to each ball.

While “dropping a ball” could cause a problem, I actually worry more about the attention I am now not giving to each of my balls. Lately I half-listen to everyone. I am half-there. Half-present.

So my multi-tasking dilemma is to figure out how I can step back and juggle fewer balls.  I need to try harder to be more present.  Mastering the art of multi-tasking may have seemed easy.  But this part is going to be harder. But important. As my kids get older, they need me more present. They need less of my “doing” and more of my “listening”.

So today, this master juggler is going to try to put down a few balls!

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LIFE MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

To-Do Lists: The Ultimate Challenge – Kids vs. Adults

71bd708a744067b7f838e4cad4be68e4Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working mom, a dad, a freelancer, or a corporate executive, to-do lists can help keep your life organized.

How each person keeps track of their “to-do’s” varies.  Some people keep their to-do lists in their head (not a tip I’d recommend, since I regularly forget everything!).  Others, like me, meticulously write it all down, crossing off each item as it’s completed.  Some people use chalkboards.  Others use notebooks.  Some just put post-it notes everywhere.iPhone_5s_iOS7-hd-wallpapers-1080p

And now that we live in a high-tech world, many people keep their to-do lists digitally on their smartphones or tablets.  There are several great apps for that, such as Wunderlist, Todoist, Pocket Lists, etc.  Linked to your calendar, these apps can be very helpful.  You can even set alerts to remind you of important tasks.

Personally, I still like the old-fashioned, hand-written to-do list.  Someday I’ll get it all linked to my iPad, but for now, pen and paper work best for me.  Since I work from home, I keep my list on my desk all day.  And I feel a giant sense of relief when I get to cross an item off.

Here is one of my to-do lists.  You get the picture.  Monotonous duties, chores, tasks.  All pretty BORING.

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Now, here is a kid’s TO DO list… (my daughter wrote this when she was 5).todolist4

Do you see the difference?  It’s all Fun, Fun, and more Fun.  With a capital “F”!

So it’s official, kids win this challenge, hands-down!

I do understand the reason we adults have boring, monotonous duties on our to-do lists.  It’s because we are grown-ups.  With responsibilities.  We need to do “important stuff” everyday.  Like pay bills, grocery shop, make dentist appointments…  I could go on and on.  But shouldn’t we have some fun too?  And shouldn’t we make the fun things a priority?

I say YES.

This kids vs. adults to-do list comparison has inspired me to try and add something “Fun” on my list each day.  And then more importantly, make time for it and do it.

For instance, “stop and smell the flowers”, “eat some snow”, or “go outside and twirl around under the sunshine” (that one many need to wait until spring!)…  but you get the idea.  Do something fun everyday, and feel like a kid again.  Even if it’s just for a moment every day.  I hope it inspires you too.

 

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MISCELLANEOUS

It’s Official – 30 Days Until Springs Arrives – WHOOO-HOO!

It’s been a ROUGH winter in New England this year.  We’ve had had so much snow and unusually frigid temps.

I woke up to this lovely forecast this morning…

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While all the snow can be pretty…

Beautiful snow covered Main Street

Beautiful snow covered Main Street

Snow covered country road

 

And we’ve all had a lot of fun playing in the snow… skiing, sled riding, building snow-dudes…

Snow Fun

Snow Fun

 

Most people (and by “most”, I mean me and EVERYONE I know)…  are ready for this winter to be OVER.

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“Calgon, take me away”

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We’re even willing to give our snow away!

 

Well, Mr. Snowman…

I have the happiest news ever –  ONLY 30 DAYS UNTIL SPRING ARRIVES!

Did I say “WHOOO HOO!”?  Ok, I’ll say it again – “WHOOO HOO!”

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PARENTHOOD

The Pursuit of Mommy Perfection, and Why It Doesn’t Exist

I love my kids.  A lot.  And I try my hardest to be a great mom.  I started off trying to be perfect, but I learned early on that it’s impossible to be perfect.  So… these days I strive to be a really good mom.  “Really Good”.  That’s my goal.  Not perfection.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I tried hard at first.  Being a perfect mom, was very important to me when my kids were babies.  I had such a strong need to make their lives perfect.  SIGNThey were so completely dependent on me… as all new moms know, that’s scary.  You love this baby in a primal, mama bear way.  And it’s just as scary to realize that not only do they need you, but YOU need them.  I think that’s where the desire to be perfect for them, takes over.

But it’s impossible to be perfect.  Truly impossible.  Most moms realize this.  But some refuse to acknowledge it and never “give in” to just being the best they can be.  I still encounter other moms who have kept up that pretense of mommy perfect2perfection.  And honestly, those are the moms I steer clear of.  They are simply pretending.  And making the rest of us feel bad.  Between being exhausted, under-appreciated, overworked, tired (did I say that one already?), and even more tired!…  there is simply not enough time in a day to be a perfect mom.  I love honest moms, who admit they are just doing the best they can.

Like a lot of other moms, in my early pursuit of the unattainable mommy perfection, I ended up with some pretty funny “perfection failures”.  I could probably write a list of my Top 100 actually.  Because as we all know, life has a funny way of laughing at us when we least expect it. But what I’ve realized from each of my failures, is that it’s important to look back and laugh at them.  For now, I’ll share 2 of my MOMMY PERFECTION FAILURES with you… (maybe the other 98 another time)…

 

MY PERFECTION FAILURE #1:  The Smelly Pumpkin 

One fall, we went pumpkin picking with our baby.  Which all moms know is just a photo op.  Who can resist a baby/toddler, sitting in a pumpkin patch?  So that year, I charged my camera, packed the car, dressed my daughter as cute as could be in a pumpkin outfit.  Complete with the hat that looked like a stem.  And we drove 1 & 1/2 hours to the “best” pumpkin patch.  Ooh, I just couldn’t wait for the “perfect” pumpkin pictures of my pumpkin.  But of course, that was the one day I forgot extra clothes.  And my little pumpkin threw up all over her cute pumpkin outfit (oh yes, before we even got there).  So we drove home with a very naked, smelly child, and no pictures.  If I had treated it as any other day, I would have had a million extra clothes in her bag.  But I was way too worried about getting that perfect pumpkin patch photo!  Mommy Fail!

Re-enactment after laundry day!

Re-enactment after laundry day!

MY PERFECTION FAILURE #2:  Pajama Day

A few years ago when my daughter was in kindergarten, her school had a “Pajama Day” to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  I marked it on my super-organized mom calendar, and hung the flyer on the fridge.  So the day came, and she dressed in a very cute snowman covered nightgown and slippers.  And off she went on the bus.  I thought about her a lot throughout the day, wishing I was a kid again and could wear my pjs to school.

But at the end of the day, she got off the bus (in that adorable nightgown), and yelled… “MOMMY!  No one else had on pajamas because TOMORROW IS PAJAMA DAY!  Yes, I sent my daughter to school in her pajamas – THE DAY BEFORE pajama day!  I had hung the flyer on the fridge, circled the date…  yet somehow, I had mixed up the date.

All I could picture was this adorable little girl at school all day in her nightgown, while everyone else had on regular clothes.  At lunch, recess, gym, ALL DAY!   Thankfully she was only 5 and not completely humiliated.  She was just slightly embarrassed.  I felt terrible I did that to her.  And I couldn’t imagine what the other moms & teachers thought.  But then my daughter and I started laughing so hard we were crying.  Mommy failed, but hey, it was pretty funny.  Now every year when pajama day comes around again, she reminds me that I better get the day right!   Ah, the guilt.

So just know that you are not alone when your desire for mommy perfection, gets the better of you, and then you fail.  At the  very least, try to always see the humor in it.

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#pursuitofperfection  #parentingfails  #oops  #pajamaday  #mommyfail

 

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MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

The Top 5 House Chores You Can’t Skip

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I am neat.  I am clean.  I like order.  But… I’m a mom.  So my house is NEVER neat, clean or in any sort of order!

I can spend all day cleaning up messes the other (little and big) people, and animals, living in my house make.  Don’t get me started on what our playroom looks like!  After every weekend, my house looks like a tornado hit it.  For a long time, I spent way too much time cleaning.  And worrying about how neat it was.  Each night, as soon as I got the kids in bed, I’d clean more.  And then when I’d wake up in the morning, I’d clean up more.  I felt like all I did was clean up everyone else’s messes.

But recently, I’ve had a “chore awakening” and I decided I am tired of cleaning up after EVERYONE, when I am the neat one!  So I thought long and hard about it and realized I really only need to clean 5 things in the house to keep it in “pretty good” shape.  And you know what?  “Pretty good”, is awesome these days!  So I’m sticking to these 5!  They are…

1.  The bathrooms.  The little people in my house..  And yes, even the big one (my husband), they all think it’s easier to pee, and just walk out of the bathroom.  No flushing whatsoever.  Ok, if I must admit it… even my little one poops and doesn’t flush.  Of course, I remind them all to flush.  ALL THE TIME.  But I am mom, and all they hear is mom nagging.  So the toilet is often left unflushed until I go in and FLUSH!  Such an easy thing to do.  But so hard for some!  So I make sure I clean the bathrooms regularly.  Otherwise, just YUK!

2. The kitchen.  I make so many snacks/meals each day, sometimes I feel like I’m running a diner.  And I always cleaned the kitchen up after each meal.  But I have made things much easier by waiting until after dinner, and then giving the whole kitchen a good wipe-down.  Just once at the end of the day.  And I run the dishwasher each evening.  So I wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen.  All ready for me to make breakfast!

3.  Windows.  Just the insides!  I have 3 dogs, and 2 kids… so my windows are always covered with schmootz!  Dog noses, drool, kid’s fingerprints… ok, kid’s drool sometimes too!  They need a regular wiping down.  I’ve discovered a mixture of vinegar and water, does a fabulous job.

4.  Vacuuming.  I do need to vacuum every few days because of my zoo.  Well, and the kids too.  But it’s amazing how much cleaner the house feels when I run a quick vacuum over the floors.

5.  Laundry.  Sometimes the idea of skipping laundry, is just too appealing.  But then I think that I can’t let my kid be the smelly one in his/her class.  So I do laundry.  Someday I will invent an automatic folding/putting away machine too.  But until then, it’s a chore I can’t skip.

The rest of the chores…  well, I’ve decided they can wait until my kids go to college!

#cleanhouse #momschores  #laundry  #vacuum

 

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MISCELLANEOUS

Happy Heart Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hearts come in all shapes and sizes…

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And so does love.  I hope you found some love somewhere today, whatever shape it happened to be in.

#love #hearts #valentinesday

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MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

Why “Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup” Recipe Will Last For Generations

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When I was a little girl, my mom cooked every meal, and I loved helping her.  My jobs were peeling, mixing and stirring.  Cooking was always a fun activity.  My mom was a divorced, working mom, so she had to  plan her menus ahead of time each week.  She had a few favorites that were always in regular rotation.  Occasionally I got tired of eating the same things each week, but as I grew older, I began to realize that my mom’s “regulars”… well, they were our comfort foods.  They made us feel good.

When I was in college, whatever tough stuff I was going through, I’d look forward to coming home for a visit, when my mom would have something “familiar” to eat.  Even just a plate of freshly fried chicken cutlets in the fridge.  Or a lasagna casserole.  The foods I grew up with always made me truly feel like I was home.

lasagna-1024x1024 I remember when I graduated college and moved into my own apartment, each time I would go back home, I would walk into the house filled with the aroma of my mom’s cooking.  When I realized how awesome my mom’s cooking always made me feel, I began to collect all her recipes.  I now have an awesome recipe book!

So, fast forward 15 years… a few weeks ago when my kids and I went to my mom’s house and she had a huge pot of homemade chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove, I was instantly brought back to my childhood.  Helping my mom chop the veggies, and smelling the aroma on a cold winter day.  YUM.  My 8 year old daughter tried grandma’s soup that day for the very first time and she just loved it.

So today, a cold and very snowy, New England day, I decided to revisit my childhood, and make a giant pot of “Mom’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup”.  My mom’s recipe, which I followed step-by-step.  And I now know by-heart.  It’s a pretty simple recipe, but a delicious one.  And when my daughter walked in the house after school… I was rewarded when she yelled – “YUM, IT SMELLS LIKE GRANDMA’S HOUSE”.  And that was the moment I realized the true meaning of the word “tradition” and “family”.

Passed on down the generations.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  All that matters is that it reminds us of our childhood.  And our family.  And it makes us feel good.

I hope my daughter collects my recipes one day, just like I collected my mom’s…. and she passes the tradition on to her kids.  And then my mom’s chicken noodle soup will last for generations.

For anyone who wants to share our tradition… here’s my mom’s DELICIOUS chicken noodle soup recipe.

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#familytraditions  #chickennoodlesoup  #yum

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PARENTHOOD

Why Persistence Isn’t Always a Good Thing

I was woken up this morning at 5:47 am by my 5 year old, repeatedly tapping me and reciting the time from the digital clock…

“Mommy, it’s 5 4 7….  now it’s 5 4 8… now it’s 5 4 9… now it’s 5 5 0…”

I put a pillow over my head and successfully ignored him for a half an hour.

But by 6:25, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I yelled.  Yes, yelled.  It’s always a bad feeling as a mom.  And you know what he said to me???   “But mommy, my teacher told me to always be ‘persistent’.  To try hard all the time.  So I’m not giving up, I’m getting you out of bed”.

And for one brief moment, I was proud of him.  But that feeling of pride was fleeting.  Then I was mad at his teacher!  And then I got up.  And this is the “moment” that started my day.

This was the face that was learning persistence…

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And he recruited the dog to help wake me up.

Both were hard to resist!

 

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MISCELLANEOUS

My First Blog Post

Hello and welcome to my blog.  I’m excited to chronicle my family’s “moments” happening here in the `burbs.  Some moments are big ones – milestones.  Others may be simple or fleeting.  Some, just plain silly.  The silly ones will hopefully make you laugh as hard as I sometimes do.  But what I’ve come to realize is that each moment, big or small, matters.

Next time, I’ll introduce you to our family…  as you’ll learn, I’m the zookeeper!

Until then, make each moment matter…

xx Cindie

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THE ZOOKEEPER AND HER ZOO

 

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