Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hurricane Molly

It's hard to believe that a year ago today my world was turned upside down. It makes me realize how much have to be thankful for this year.  I am thankful for the bad experience that I had, because it made me stronger, it gave me a backbone. And it proved that no matter what life throws at me, I can not only get through it but surpass expectations with greatness.
Where do I even begin with this story…I guess at the beginning.
Here is a Background:  I worked for a lady named “Molly” doing marketing/ sales.  Molly had a wonderful idea to start a women’s magazine for Central Illinois. I, of course, loved this idea.  Anything to get women more involved, more knowledge and working together as one-I’m all on board. Well, I met up with Holly in September of 2010.  The moment I met this woman she immediately started pulling at my heart strings and offered to make me a “Featured artist” in her magazine.  I was ecstatic.  To be thought of a strong empowered woman who was doing what she love-Great right!?!  Who wouldn’t jump on the opportunity?  A few phone calls later and I was asked to work for the magazine.  Again, so honored.
  Everything was great at first –except I was never getting paid regularly.  But I loved what I did and how many people can say that about their job.  The hours were perfect and I got to spend tons of time with my kids.  Plus with every business I met with, I learned new things.  You wouldn’t believe the amazing women around you.  Just sit and talk to them.  A lot of the women I met with were powerful and respected women or people who catered to women.  Just sitting down with them was an honor in itself.  I was not only gaining connections, but I was making friendships as well. People were so excited about this magazine. The greatest thing ever!
We were writing all kinds of articles, doing design work and photo shoots.  Three of us women were doing all the work - Molly, Carol and I.  We were building this wonderful resource.  We were working our tails off and everyone was fully in… well at least we thought.  WE were doing an article about Disney World Vacations and Molly broke the news to us that we were all (families included) going to Disney World!  Carol & I were giving our kids this for Christmas!  What an awesome Present!  There were going to be so shocked!  Little did we know that we would be the ones in shock?
Over a few months the past few months, there had been a wedge strategically placed between Carol & myself.   There was tension in the office.  Deadlines were being missed.  A magazine was never getting printed because of X, Y and Z excuses.  So many things.  So Carol got fired and it was just Molly and I left to pull off this magazine which was supposed to be out November 1st.   November 23,2010 I had no job,  no money, no Christmas presents for my kids, no Disney world, had to find a new place to live and a new daycare.
Needless to say most of what was said previous to this sentence in this blog is a lie. The Promises that Molly gave us. Molly was a fake.  With Fake names and Fake kids and a Fake life she was living.  She had everyone so blinded with her lies.  The magazine was never going to be printed.  She took all the money.  She never paid me.  Carol never got fired and neither was I(Which I later found out from Carol that I supposedly was fired also, for working at a bar in the middle of the day and not making any sales).  Needless to say this is only some of the lies.  I would be writing for months if I told every detail.  I plan to write a book about it!
  It was a crazy experience and a hell of a storm… 
 But the thing that Molly didn’t take into consideration is that no matter how much of a hurricane she creates while she is around me… I am still the type of person who will still dance in the rain during the storm. 

I am thankful!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Building Character... Our experience at Legoland!

Teague and I had a first outing in Chicago last weekend.  We went to the ever amazing Legoland.  If you haven’t been it is defiantly a fun place to go if you are looking for something new. I had to think of something that Miss Tybee would not feel left out on since she was heading to her Mimi's that weekend.  I told Tybee and Teague together that I was taking Teague to Legoland.  Tybee of course says “What! No fair!”  I tell her “Tybee you are going with your Mimi and Lego land is more of a boy thing.”  Her reaction, “No it’s not! Eden at school had her birthday party there.”   I couldn’t argue with that.  I said “Well I could take him to the American Girl doll store.”  She agreed then that Lego Land was fine.
On the way there I realized I didn’t charge up my phone and I was using the GPS on it, so I was sure it was going to be dead.  I, of course, was equipped with my charger just in case I found an outlet not being used. I needed it to find my way back.  J
We went a couple weekends before Halloween, so they had you counting the number of pumpkins as you went through each area. There were so many pumpkins and so many kids!  I can’t even begin to tell you how many kids were having parties there (Obviously, Tybee knew her stuff) Most of them were dressed up in their Halloween gear, which was fun to see.
 Teague and I walk start through the Lego Jungle where there were giant Tigers, a hippo in water and  hanging monkeys, to name a few.  The lighting goes off and Teague begins to get a tiny bit scared.  We are moving at a little faster pace now.  We go through a black light hallway, when all of a sudden I hear a gasp.  Then “O my gosh…”  I look  in the direction Teague was facing and it is a life size Lego Batman.  Of course my son is ecstatic.  He goes to stand next to him … and poses exactly like him. - so cute.
We then stop to make a Lego Frankenstein guy that we got to take home. Then there was a cafe area and that is where the play land is, similar to McDonald's.  I really thought they could have made that a little cooler (like a Castle built out of Legos that you could go through… If you are listening Lego land employees—I will draw this up for you & I do accept more than pennies for my thoughts ;) ) 
 Teague takes off his shoes, puts them in the cubbie, and takes off into the maze of Chaos.  I find a seat where I can see almost every part of the play land to make sure he was okay.  There were some bigger kids in there that day and no matter what he says – My little Batman couldn’t take them on.   Conveniently enough, I pick a seat next to an outlet.  Phone is charging, Teague is playing & I am relaxing.  He plays and plays. Kids are running all around with no shoes on, just having the time of their little lives. 
Teague finally has had enough of all the climbing and is ready to build some more.  There was an area you could build your own race cars and race them down tons of ramps.  We build and build cars, perfecting the next one. I then remember Teague didn’t have shoes on.  We put our cars down for a second and walk over to the shoe cubbies.   Our shoes are gone.  I look at Teague’s sock covered tootsies… nope not there.  I look through all the shoes just laying all about.  Nope not there.  I just bought these shoes for photos about 2 weeks ago and now they were gone.  Who would take someone else’s shoes!    I get the attention of one of the Lego Guys (a real one not the plastic Lego guy). I tell him the story and where the shoes were located, thoroughly going through the crime scene.  His response “Well is it possible that someone took them.” Are you kidding me?  Yes it IS possible since that is exactly what happened. In my head I am thinking, "Well if the shoe fits!!"" I said politely, “Yes I think so.”   Then he turns to the lady next to him and just starts helping her. I was furious.  I then call Christopher in a total panic.  I am sure the thought I was a nut case.  We had more things to do this weekend and this is the only pair of shoes I brought.     ***Note to self: Pack Extra Shoes       
   We leave Legoland to go around to the surrounding shops to find a new pair of shoes.  No place has kid’s shoes in walking distance.  Finally, one lady tells me there is a Target down the street and I KNOW they have shoes there! In the mean time Christopher also sends me the location of a Payless that is close (he is awesome).  I am already at target so I went to purchase the exact same shoes.  They were cheaper this time though and the whole time we are in there Teague keeps saying “isn’t it weird someone took my shoes” or “remember when someone took my shoes”.  J I couldn't help but laugh.
We head back to Legoland and they give us a hard time about coming back.  I explain to them what happened and by this time I am furious since the Lego Loser with the exceptional customer service skills ignored me earlier.  They “fixed” the situation, we finished the lower level of the land and then we shopped. Completed the trip by assembling Lego people that look like us.  All in all, besides the shoe fiasco, it was a fun day. 
Then Monday or Tuesday (I don’t remember they all run together) I read that an 8ft Lego guy (a plastic one this time) washed up on some coast.  It makes me wonder if he is the one who stole the shoes.   It would make sense. Coincidence?  I think not! ;) 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Boys + Marriage = Swimming

I believe boys are wired to have a negative feeling against marriage. I have proof!
A few weeks ago, after I had just picked up my kids from daycare, we are having our usual conversation about how our days went.  Teague is asking this important question that Tybee and I cannot figure out what he is saying.  He repeats himself and raises his voice a little.  I guess he thinks this will help us understand his Dutch speaking language. J   He keeps saying what sounds like “Where is the derangement party at?”   I say the what?  He then repeats a smidge louder this time too (because it helped me SO well the first time!) “Where is the Derangement party at?”  I say the” arrangement party?”  He says “The Derangement Party!”   Tybee takes a shot at it and says “Gage’s party” (a friend from school).  He says “No the DERANGEMENT PARTY”.  Now he is just ticked that neither of us could figure out what in the heck he was saying.  This went on all the way home, which is about 15 minutes.   As I am getting him out of his car seat, he says softly and sounds defeated “The derangement party-where the swimming is?”  Ahhh … I now get it… that was what I needed to figure it out!  I tried one last shot, “The engagement party?”  “Yes”, he says.  “Aunt Ally’s engagement party is at Grandma Nette’s house and yes there will be swimming.”  He beamed and walked straight into the house.  Never heard another peep about the “derangement party” again! J

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Infestation of Bed Bugs.

I have two certain moments in my day that I always look forward to.  They are both bitter sweet moments in my day that can make or break it.  They are the evening where everyone is snuggling and the morning when everyone is waking up.
The evening is by far my favorite.  Everyone is tired and snuggly and just wants to be next to mom.  I love this moment.  It is warm, peaceful and filled with love.  But as fast as this lovely moment comes; it is taken away just as fast!  Darkness slips in. Tiredness sets in. Both of these take away my wonderful children and ruin my amazing glimmer of solitude.  The whining begins in the voice of a high pitch squeal that only dogs can hear and I only make out what they are saying by the extravagant hand gestures that suddenly evolved.  Our boo-boos, which we had forgotten about, now suddenly are making my kids need to go to the hospital and require urgent attention. And if I am out of Band-Aids, look out; it’s going to be a long night.   Their lovely bodies begin to move like slugs as they slowly crawl up the stairs to their beds, leaving a trail of nasty slimy attitude behind.  Meanwhile, they have perfected the puss – in –boots look all the way to the top step.    
I finally get them to bed and then one needs a drink of water.  While I am getting a drink of water down stairs for one, the other child then crawls into my bed and has already fallen asleep.  I drop off the glass of water and then go to MY bed and find handsome locks of Gold just sleeping away on my pillow.  For some strange reason, I now feel bad for those poor bears in that story. I roll him over thinking that it would be nice for someone to snuggle with in bed anyways.  What harm can it do?  I then get into bed after slowly rolling over the tired little monster and I claim my side of the bed.  Let me tell you… This works for only a bit in the night.
Can someone please tell me why children cannot sleep like normal human beings throughout the night?  They come and infest my bed and then insist on showing me that they have learned what letter their name starts with in their sleep.  What I mean by this is that I am sleeping vertically and my son has his feet in my back forming the letter “T”!  Now I am so proud of him for knowing his letters, but not in the middle of the night!  Then he becomes a professional boxer, pulling out moves I have never seen before.  I wake up from a dead sleep by a swinging fist right in the eye.  I have been head butted in the mouth and they always hit your lip just right on your teeth so that it bleeds.  I have been sneezed on in my sleep and I have caught both kids from falling out of the bed in the middle of the night.  Now as the alarm is buzzing at 530, I begin to hate the morning already.  I feel like I haven’t slept a wink and I am dragging. Snooze. But for one second, as my daughter crawls in the bed and my son is still snoring away, there is that moment again.  Only for a second, and then my alarm redeems itself from the snooze I pushed earlier.
Once I get to work, I have my daily coffee which consists of one Mountain Dew (I don’t do coffee but need to stay awake after a night like that).  And here comes the first person who comes by my desk tries to judge me for drinking a soda this early in the morning and says some snooty remark.  I suddenly remember those boxing moves my son taught me in the middle of the night! 
Now I could not let him snuggle in my bed or not let Tybee crawl in my bed in the morning, but honestly I live for those few moments; those precious moments where everyone is at peace.  If I lose a few hours of sleep at night, who cares; I figure I can make those up long after they are gone and it’s no longer cool to snuggle with your mom. J

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Fall Holiday

Everyone who knows me knows that October is my favorite time of year.  It’s not because of the nice brisk air, the smell of the leaves or the beautiful colors that fall brings that makes me partial to October.  It is Halloween.  I am that that big kid who is thinking about what next year’s Halloween costume will be the day after I finish making the costume (notice I said finish making, NOT after I have even worn it yet).  Making costume seems so archival anymore with fewer and fewer people making their costumes. This is by far my favorite part. It comes from my household growing up. Our house was a huge Victorian house; every inch of this home was decorated with cobwebs (Mostly man made cobwebs and probably a few spider made once too) and ever year my mother made my costume.  We had the most thrilling Halloween parties; I still hear about these parties to this day and that was from my grade school days-which I promise you were a long time ago.  I have not carried on the tradition of the parties but I do still make the costumes. 
A couple of years ago when my son was still an infant, my kids went as Carman Miranda topped and a Banana.  Both costumes were home-made.  My daughter had a dress with ruffles that was equipped with sequences galore and topped off with a fruit basket on her head.  My son was a half peeled banana which I sculpted out of foam.  It was our neighborhoods night to trick or treat.  The big homes had pathways with stairs lit up to the lit up porch waiting for all the ghouls and goblins.  My daughter would walk up the stairs ring the door bell and I would be holding my son who, let me remind you, was in giant banana.  Tybee adjusted her basket and we went to the next house.  About the sixteen time of this same scenario, my daughter walks up the stairs, rings the door bell, gets enough candy for both her brother and herself (so she says-even though her brother was 5 months old).  The difference is this time, instead of going gracefully down the steps to the next house lit up on the block, Tybee falls down the stairs.  This wasn’t just a trip this was a head first kind of thing and all because her mother made her a fruit basket hat.  Of course after that the night was then over and when the tears began to flow I began to feel like a big fruit cake myself.
So with that being said, this holiday season I wanted to express the importance of costume safety for you mothers who still have the ambition to make Halloween unique.
·         Make sure your child’s costume are short enough. We wouldn’t want your little ones to tumble like mine did.
·         Make sure Hats and scarves (or fruit baskets) are secure so that they don’t fall off or hide the child’s eyes-which is the alternative way to tumble down (or up) the stairs.
·         If you can get away with it use make up instead of a mask (hypoallergenic and non-toxic, of course).
·         If you chose to use a mask make sure the eye holes fit properly.
·         Make sure that your child’s costume is Colorfast so that it doesn’t ruin their clothes underneath if it rains. What a mess!
·         Child’s shoes should be well fitting and comfortable.  Bring Band-Aids just in case those princesses get blisters!
·         To prevent melt downs, bring a spare candy bag just in case the most awful thing happens and your Goblin’s bag breaks.
·         Incorporate a glow stick or flashlight into your costume somehow. Fun and safe
·         If possible wear brighter clothing, if it just does not go with your outfit try to incorporate reflective materials.
·         Remember to keep those little Fairies warm No matter what, it always seems to be cold on the Halloween that your daughter wants to be Tinker Bell.

Even after our little “fall out” Halloween holds strong as our favorite holiday. The costumes are home-made with love.  We get to be creative and pretend.   Our imaginations get to run wild that one spooky night.  The night my pirate gets to be in full character and to top it off he gets candy, which in my house is as good as gold. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best Batman Birthday Bash!

As Mothers, we read all the books we can get our hands on about being a better parent and how to raise our children to be the “ideal” child. We go to classes to be better prepared for what our child may throw at us as parents, both mentally and physically. ;) We are taught all of these things to be the perfect parent and win that Mother of the Year award. But even with all this training, most of the time you are still skeptical of if you are even in the runnings.
My son’s birthday was right around the corner, he was turning the big 3. His request was a Batman birthday party. I thought, no problem, I figured his party would be the Cape Crusader months ago. I had already started my usual planning and researching. (I’m talking about 5 months in advance) I knew this party was going to be my best birthday bash yet. I was so confident that I had even been preparing my acceptance speech for that Mother of the Year award. This year, not only did I know I was in the running, I knew I was going to win the darn thing! There was no way that Perfect Party Polly and Flawless Festivities Farah were going to beat me with this year with what Remarkably Resourceful Renee had up her sleeve.
I was equipped with:

Home-made retro invites

Holy hole in One Joker putt –putt golf

Super Hero obstacle course to gain your mask

The Bat symbol piñata filled with Candy& Bat-a-rangs
Treat bags created with black envelopes

Topped off Teague’s name made out of comic strips

I was winning Mother of the Year! I had it in the Batman shaped bag.  I had worked countless hours on decorations and had ever last detail thought out. This was one Batman birthday party that even Robin couldn’t keep up with.
To eat, the menu went like this: Home-made cake pops, Batman Cake, Cat woman Claws (Bugles), Joker Juice enriched with Batman and Robin frozen in ice cubes, Penguin “fish” potato chips.
It was almost party time. I was getting everything packed up to my car to take to the water park-which for theme sake we will call Gothem City. I was so busy planning and putting on the finishing touches the day of his party that I did forget one minor detail. HER! How could I over look this mother! She was the one that even with all the planning you just never can win against!! She was the mother you dreaded. She was the one who was going to steal all my glory of the award, neglect me of my speech and my dignity right out of my hands. They call her Mother Nature. As I start setting up in Gothem Ciy (see comes in handy huh), I notice that it is really windy. And it is dark in the northern corner. We keep checking the radar and it looked like it was going to pass us by. Nothing was ruining this day! I was ready for this mother so called “nature” and just to tell you how prepared I was I had ribbon and scissors and clear duct tape to secure everything from the wind. After about an hour of setting up (which should have taken 15), I had everything strapped, taped glued, chased after and tied down again! Everyone started to show up and the party started up. Everyone was enjoying their selves when the whole sky started to turn black. For a second there, I thought batman had actually come to join the party. I soon realized that I was wrong. The park started to clear out, everyone was running for cover. Most of our family stuck it out. Then the down pour comes! Felt like a hail storm from Mr. Freeze himself. I remember thinking; “well at least we’ll all go together” as my family all huddled to one side of the bat cave…okay Gazebo. Finally it lets up a little. The survivors of the Mr. Freeze’s storm quickly help pack up the unopened gifts and all my hard work soaking wet into the nearest bags and tubs and even the trash cans. As I am packing things up, I see my trophy drifting out of sight in the flow of the water. Mother Nature trumped me. I had to forfeit the running for the Next Top Mother.
We get home, unload the gifts, uneaten cake, and games. The kids want to play in the huge puddles by our house. I figure – Why not … we already are soaking wet. We played for a good hour in the puddles and then came in to break the piñata and eat cake. The kids had a ball. No more sad faces about the storm. We opened up the presents and played our hearts out. Myself included. I looked around and smiled. My son was having so much fun. Isn’t that what it is all about anyways? With that thought, I then begin to rehearse my speech again. Very proud of how I handled the rain and the party and how much fun I was having. Maybe I did have a shot at Mother of the Year after all.

Two days later, Mr. Teague informs me, ever so politely might I add, that he wants his birthday party now. I explain to him that we had his party. He then blurts out these words “I don’t like that party.”
I think I am going to start practicing my gracious loser clap. Good luck Perfect Party Polly and Flawless Festivities Farah. You’re going to need it!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Big One!

The car must be where the goofiness of my kids comes out.  This morning on the way to work I hear them bickering in the back seat.   Nothing unusual.  I hear “No I will not” …..”Yes you will”….”I said no!”…. “But I say please” etc.  The volume is getting louder and louder, I know it is my time to break this little quarrel up.  At this point I still have yet to know what this fight is about; I am assuming it is a toy of some sort.  If I was a betting woman I would put my money on the Blue DSi in the back.  Not the Pink “Regular DS” That pretty much does the same thing… But the blue one.  Teague thinks that he is the rightful holder of the blue one since he is a boy and that the pink is Tybee’s.  In all actuality they both are Miss Tybee’s.  Before you all start thinking poor guy, his sister has two and he doesn’t have any.. He has a toddler learning version of the DS but it is not good enough!
I finally break up the squabble in rear with my simple question “What are we arguing about back there as I stare them down in the rear view mirror.  Intimidation is not my thing, so I do the best I can with my stare down.  ;)  Tybee breaks the concentration with this comment “Teague says he wants to marry me.  I am not marrying him!”  I try so hard not to laugh or even crack a smile.  I look over at Teague.  He innocently says “Me ask her please.”  Now let me just give you the visual of what he looked like… (o my goodness it will melt your  heart)  Teague is looking over at Tybee on his right with his Big Blue eyes and his hands in the praying position, begging and pleading for her to marry him.  I don’t even know where he came up with this!  It starts again.
Teague: “I’m going to marry you Tybee.”
Tybee: “No way Teague”
Teague: “Please Tybee I lobe (love) you”
Tybee: “I love you too but I am not marrying you.”
Teague: (looks at me very confidently) “I’m marrying Tybee”
Tybee: “Well are you buying me a big diamond?”  - At this point, I am dying with laughter trying to keep it in!
Teague: Yep
Tybee: “It costs a lot of money”
Teague: “My moneys goes to Disney world.”
(They’ve been saving all their money to go to Disney world.  Teaching them about saving.)
Tybee: “To bad then Sucka” – What?!?!!?
I then chime in.  Bickering is one thing… name calling is a whole other.  “That’s not nice Tybee.  You should try to be more sensitive to his feelings.” I then direct my attention to Teague “Teague I’ll marry you.”
Teague: “Mom you’re Poopy.”
Rejected by a 3 year old… Does wonders for your self esteem…  I had some names of my own to call him at that point (obviously I’m kidding), but felt Tybee’s pain. I couldn’t help but laugh.
With all this, I have to wonder why it isn’t illegal to talk in the car to your children.  It’s much more distracting that a cell phone! ;)