Tuesday, February 8, 2011

mad men

Do you watch the show Mad Men? If not, you should. Jeff and I are completely hooked! We have watched the first 2 seasons and are starting in on season 3. In real life, season 5 starts airing on AMC this summer.

The show is an AMC original and according to their website: The series revolves around the conflicted world of Don Draper, the biggest ad man (and ladies man) in the business, and his colleagues at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency. As Don makes the plays in the boardroom and the bedroom, he struggles to stay a step ahead of the rapidly changing times and the young executives nipping at his heels. The series also depicts authentically the roles of men and women in this era while exploring the true human nature beneath the guise of 1960s traditional family values.

Ahhh, it's so great! It hasn't been since NYPD Blue was on that Jeff and I have really enjoyed the same show. He has his shows that I either don't mind or I find something else to do. And my shows, well, I just have to watch those when he isn't home. But Mad Men is something we both love.

For him, there is a front row seat to office politics and to watching the power struggles that take place within the office.

For me, there is the fun of seeing all of the glamorous costumes and knowing that my grandparents lived in an era when men wore hats and suits to work and women wore gloves and dresses to the grocery store.

For both of us, there is the marriage of Don and Betty Draper and watching the 1960s roles of the housewife and the business man and seeing the suburban household where their worlds come together.

The fact that the show's setting is in the 1960s makes it all the more interesting. For one thing, the characters smoke constantly. Literally everyone on the show walks into a room and lights up a cigarette. Another funny things is that all of the business men have wet bars in their offices. And, they drink almost as much as they smoke. The men call their secretaries "Sweetheart," and expect them to only be employed only until she gets married.

I'm telling you, it's a great show!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

This week has seriously been one of the worst I can ever remember. Jeff's company is moving to a new office space and so he has been working a ton! He worked late almost every night last week, all last weekend and late every night this week and has plans to work all weekend. We are fortunate that all of this is very unusual for our family, but maybe that is what is making it so hard...

Anyway, we've known that all of this was coming and we had both psyched ourselves up for all of the extra work. I was determined that I could manage the kids and the house and do everything in my power to give him a peaceful environment to come home to. I had a plan and was feeling up to the challenge.

On Saturday, Avery started throwing up. She had a 24 hr stomach bug and was on the mend by Sunday. But, what a looong Saturday.

On Sunday, our 11 year old dog started having nose bleeds. Aside from the obvious mess, I was terrified (still am) that this was somehow indicative of declining health for him.

On Monday, I returned home from my workout to find a huge bloody mess in my bedroom from the dog. I got the girls to school and Ethan and I took Miles straight to the vet. I had a lump in my throat the whole time as I listened to the vet tell me that the nosebleeds were either caused by the cold, dry winter air or a cancerous tumor in his nose. Time (or a CT scan) would be the only way to tell. So, I headed home with some medication and instructions to sleep with a humidifier.

On Tuesday, I called Jeff in the afternoon and discovered he was having a very stressful day. So, I cancelled my Bunko night and stayed home to put the kids to bed so that he would not have anything to worry about when he got home. Earlier in the day, we had some firewood delivered. When Jeff got home, the first thing he wanted to do was start a fire. Only problem was that he forgot to open the damper when he did it and our house very quickly filled with smoke and set off the smoke alarm and terrified Hannah in the process.

On Wednesday, everyone went to school and work as usual. I was excited to try a new pot roast recipe. So, I made that for dinner. I thought it came out pretty well. When Jeff got home after the kids went to bed, I served it to Jeff who proceeded to gag and spit out the two bites of meat he tasted because they had fat on them. So, given that tensions were high, we snapped at eat other a couple of times before going to bed in a huff. And, I am never making pot roast again.

On Thursday, we woke up to find that despite the medication and the humidifier, Miles had had another nose bleed in the night. And, later in the morning, he had a potty accident by the back door. So, I cleaned up the blood in my bedroom and the pee on my kitchen floor and tried to make the best of the day. Jeff wanted me to go and buy a kennel for Miles to sleep in since he didn't want to risk damaging our new bedroom carpet. So, the kids and I went to the pet store that afternoon and then took some dinner to Jeff at his new office. On the way home, I was hit with the one of the worst allergy attacks ever. By the time I got home, I was a hayfever mess. Somehow, I managed to put the kids to bed and assemble the new kennel before Jeff got home. I'm really not sure how though, since both my eyes were practically swollen shut.

On Friday, Hannah and Ethan slept in. Given that she seemed tired the day before and given that I really wasn't in the mood to be in any kind of a hurry. I made the decision to let her stay home from school (something I never do). I envisioned us hanging out in our pajamas, coloring pictures and playing board games. Around 10:30 she started throwing up. To make matters worse, it was a sunny, 70 degrees outside and we were stuck inside.

Hannah is feeling much better today and seems to have had the same 24 hour bug that Avery had last week. I don't know who will be the next victim of the the stomach bug. Although I hope it isn't Ethan because I think I've cleaned up more than my fair share of messes this week. And, I don't know what is going on with the dog but the good news is that aside from the nosebleeds, he seems perfectly fine. I do know that this is Jeff's last weekend to work and then I can have my husband back. Boy, have I missed him!

Monday, January 10, 2011

milestone city

We have been busy marking milestones at our house lately. The kids are all at exciting ages and seem to be moving from one stage to the next at lightening speed. The biggest milestone is that this past weekend we moved Ethan out of his crib and into a "big boy bed." He has done great with the transition and is so proud of his new bed. Yesterday, he even took a 3 hour nap in his big, comfy bed.

The furniture came from my mother in law's house and I think it looks really nice in his room. We didn't paint the walls but I changed out just about everything else. With all of the darker colors, it looks so different than the pale blues and greens that were in his nursery. It's definately a big boy room now!

Another milestone came when we realized that Hannah had grown too tall for her car seat. So, we moved her into a booster seat and are now down to having only one car seat. It will make car shopping a little easier in the next few months now that I no longer have to think about having to accomidate 3 huge seats for the kids.

And last but not least, Ethan has started sitting on the potty. The whole idea just makes me groan inwardly because there are few things in life that I hate more than potty training. If I had my way, we wouldn't even be starting this until around May. But, he is ready. He is forever telling me when he needs a new diaper. And, he was crushed when I wouldn't let him wear the big boy underpants Santa brought for him. So, here we go...Wish me luck, lots of it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

why i liked it better when they were watching tv...

Almost every night I climb the stairs to start our bedtime routine and find something like this...

And, this...

Then I do little bit of yelling and try my best to remember that they are my sweet babies and that the mess means that they have been playing together and using their imaginations. So, we clean up the mess and I kiss them goodnight.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

like it's 1999

I love New Year's. There's something kind of magical about the year changing from one minute to the next. I love the renewed enthusiasm of New Year's Day and the feeling that I can do anything I set out to do.

From the time I was about 16 or so, I had been dreaming of New Years Eve of 1999. Somehow, I just knew that that night would be magic. I knew that I would be 21 years old then and would be able to toast the new year with a glass (or two) of champagne. I knew that I would be on the verge of graduating from college and starting my own life and following my own dreams. I felt sure that the new century would mean nothing but open doors for me.

When I was 20, I met Jeff. He was, simply, my soul mate. He proposed to me on that New Year's Eve I had been dreaming of for so long. And, it was magic. Our engagement meant a new start for us, the beginning of our life together. Every year, I look back on that night and think about how young we were, how much we have changed and how much we have learned. And, I smile with the excitement of what's to come.

I love that each new year brings a new beginning, an opportunity for a clean slate. I don't usually make a grand list of resolutions but can usually come up with a couple of things I would like to improve upon in the new year. This year, I plan to continue to take better care of myself. To work out at least 4 times a week and to eat better. I plan to be more organized with the kids and to play more. I plan to take more time to appreciate the little things.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

bah humbug!

I am severely lacking the Christmas spirit today folks. I am NOT in a good mood. I am tired. My kids are doing a lousy job of sleeping in during their break from school. They are doing a great job of tearing through the house like a giant tornado, leaving toys, clothes and books strewn about everywhere.

Yesterday I got up and went to Jazzercise which was all well and good but then I spent the bulk of yesterday afternoon doing yardwork and bending and squatting and now I am sore. So, this morning I rolled over a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off at 5 am and turned the dang thing off. I stayed in bed a couple more hours, until I could no longer ignore the panting, whining dog next to my ear and could no longer stand the guilt of staying in bed while the hubs was getting ready for work.

I am mad that the gifts I need to mail have not yet been mailed. I am feeling guilty about not sending out a Christmas card. I am not at all interested in baking treats for the neighbors and feeling guilty about that too.

The only light at the end of my tunnel is that the kids are spending the night with my parents tomorrow night and I will have 24 hours all to myself. I will have ample opportunity to clean my filthy house and to finish wrapping all of our unwrapped gifts. But what I really want to do is spend that time curled up on the couch and watching trashy tv like "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

Heaven help me, our plans for today include a trip to see Santa at the mall and a trip to the post office. Good grief!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

just another manic monday

I snapped some shots on my iphone as I went through my day yesterday, so you can get a feel for a typical Monday around here.

At least 3 days a week, I get up at around 5 am and head to Jazzercise. The class starts at 5:40 and lasts for an hour. There's nothing like a little "Turning Japanese" to start the morning.

And, it's cold!

I walk back in the door a few minutes before 7, in time to feed Avery (and Hannah if she's up) breakfast, make lunches, fix hair and send Avery out the door with Jeff no later than 7:30.

7:45 and Ethan has his first meltdown of the day because I gave him the juice he requested instead of the milk that he now wants...

Jeff and Avery are gone and the little kids have been fed so I finally have a chance for a much-needed cup of coffee mixed with a generous amount of creamer.

8:00 am and the first load of laundry goes in. See my new washer and dryer? Aren't they pretty? I surprised myself by not purchasing a front-loader pair. But when the salesman at Home Depot showed the the size of the washtub on this washer, I was sold! It's huge! I can fit all of the kids sheets in one load and all of their towels in another!

Then, I remember to plug in the Christmas tree.

After dropping Hannah at school at 9, I head back home and steal a few minutes for myself at the computer checking email and Facebook. I look over at my dogs laying in the sun and think that it must be pretty nice to be a dog...

After lunch, Ethan lines up his cars before heading off for his nap.

And, I fold some laundry...

Now that Ethan is down for a nap, I finally have time for a shower (just 6 short hours after my workout). I am trying out these Whitestrips in an effort to a) avoid the dentist's office for professional whitening stuff and b) avoid paying an arm and a leg for the aforementioned professional whitening stuff. I actually think they are working!

After I pick up Hannah at 2 and then Avery at 2:45, I head out with my entourage to do some shoe shopping. Avery came out of school on Friday with her sneakers literally falling apart. We had no time to shop over the weekend, so today was the day!

We also stopped in at Target and picked up a hat and some mittens for Ethan who surprised me by wanting to wear them after we got home. Probably won't be able to get them on him again...

5:00 and I am just now getting around to looking through Avery's backpack. There are various things to sign each day and assignments to do. Blah.

The girls amuse themselves by playing dress up and dancing all through the house while I make dinner.

During dinner we burn our Christmas candle. I remember having one on our table as a kid and when I mentioned it to my dad, he was kind enough to track down some for us to have at our table. He had them shipped all the way from England!

Thankfully, tonight is not bath night so after dinner Jeff plays with the little kids while I work with Avery on her research paper for her piano class. Then, it's upstairs for jammies and bedtime stories. After the kids are tucked in, I do a bit of this and that and then head off to bed myself. I have a book on my nightstand that I can usually manage to read about 4 pages of before I fall asleep. It's not the book, it's that I am exhausted! And, I will wake up and do it all again tomorrow (except maybe with less laundry).