Monday, November 29, 2010

I am THAT mom

I never thought I would be THAT mom, you know the ones...they sign their kids up for everything under the sun. Gymnastics on Monday, karate on Tuesday, piano on Wednesday and so on. But lately, the Chicago Park District has turned me into that overly obssesive person about my kids activities. Park District registration classes seem harder to get into than dare I say...a magnet school? They are the hottest ticket in town. Who knew Mom and Tot gymnastics would create such a buzz.

So for those unfamiliar with the process, I will describe:
Step 1: Browse the programs online before the regsitration date
Step 2: Create a log in and password
Step 3: Add the programs you want into your online shopping cart and convince a friend, a spouse or relative to add the programs to their carts as well. This increase the probability of getting into the desired class.
Step 4: log in at the precise moment the registration clock strikes 9:00am and hit submit

I failed to actually mention the step when I start getting nervous about not getting a spot. Or not getting both of my kids into the class.

This may seem easy but it is anything but. Today, my husband and I accomplished an amazing feat...we registred both kids online and GOT IN!!! I feel like I just won the lottery. I tell ya, it's the little things in life!

And if, God forbid you don't succeed online, then it's off to wait in line at 5:45am for the class of your choice. (Which I have done once before). As I said , I have turned into those people that I have mocked all along. Those silly shoppers who stand outside Best Buy at 3am to score a new plasma TV.

The only silver lining to this whole process is that at the end of 45 minute gymnastics class my kids get a hand stamp, which to a 2 and 4 year is the best thing in the whole world. I guess it is all relative, right?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Code Yellow

So raise your hand if you know what Code Yellow is??? Anyone? It is when your child wanders off in Target and the employees issue a CODE YELLOW!!

So yesterday, during the craziness of the holiday shopping my daughter decided to check out the toy section BY HERSELF. It was the kind of panic you never want to feel. It rises so quickly from your stomach into your throat and you go into "flight or fight" mode. Luckily the Target team members were on the scene helped with the search and rescue operation. I wish I had a witty remark right about now...but safe to say it was scary stuff.

Perhaps those little backpacks with an attached leash aren't such a bad idea after all and I take back all the judging I have done in the past about parents who use them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Overwhelmed with Peace and Quiet

So I just got back from NY for work. It was the perfect amount of time to be away...two nights. I had time to have a few nice dinners, go for a run and...oh yeah, attend a few meetings. On the plane and at night, I was a little beside myself with the quiet (even though I was in NY.) In my hotel room last night I found myself debating, should I read a book, watch a girlie movie on TV, go to sleep or go out drinking. Sometimes, in these circumstances, I become so overwhelmed with the choices associated with my ephemeral freedom, that I tend to waste the time cruising facebook. What a waste!

Most things in NY tend to start so much later than in Chicago. Meetings that are called for 9am, don't really start until 9:30. I knew this would be the case and so I found myself in the rare position of being able to sleep until 8ish and only have to get myself ready in the morning. From a distance, I am sure this sounds completely pleasurable to all my mom friends. However, in reality I miss my family and don't sleep as well knowing that they are right down the hall.

So tonight being Friday, I am happy to be home, but know I will probably want to retract this post at 6am, when my youngest calls out for me from his crib.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

That's Disgusting

So tonight after my husband made a nice dinner (thank you to him!) my daughter yells out..."THAT'S DISGUSTING!" And...let the battle of the wills begin. Clash of the Titans anyone?

She refused to eat dinner tonight and insisted that she have something else to eat. We held our ground pretty firmly, by mentioning,no less than 15 times that dinner was what was on her plate.

I am always conflicted in the situations when food is involved. We did the old-"you should be grateful to have any food, let alone this delicious meal." This age-old wisdom did little to comfort her tantrum.

In my role as a Jewish mother, second only to guilt, is putting your child to bed hungry. She has already figured me out and of course prolonged the meltdown and bedtime by insisting that she was now hungry. I felt like whispering, "I told you so." (Even though I know that is pretty immature!) However, in all my parental wisdom, I refrained, knowing that one day in the not so distant future, that phrase will come back to bite me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cleaning Lady Guilt

Does anyone else have this? I love our cleaning lady, but I feel so guilty when she is at my house. I then try to rationalize it in my head..."I am giving someone a job, who might not otherwise have one"..."I am outsourcing this function of my life, just like people outsource their nonprofit questions to me." Either way I slice it, it still exists. Perhaps it is hardwired in my system, after all, I am officially a Jewish mother. However, I thought that I was supposed to be able to dole out the guilt with this title vs. feeling it myself.

Another question out there, how come I need to pick up before she comes? Perhaps I can outsource that service too?

Now if only I could outsource my laundry, cooking dinner every night and sleeping training my 2 year old (again!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Daily Pressure

My good friend recently sent me this article and it really made me think. I do feel the daily pressure of trying to be the best parent, while balancing everything else in my life. I try to be involved, but not too involved. I try to give my kids healthy food, but not deprive them of the occasional Dorrito. It is a delicate tightrope that I often feel like I fall off.

I am keenly aware that I often put these pressures on myself, as many of us Type-A mommies do. I have tried to follow the 80/20 rule. (For those unfamiliar, eighty percent of the time we try to follow the family rules, but twenty percent of the time, they go out the window.) This is one way that I have found internally to relieve some of the "perfect mom" pressure.

The article also talks about how attachment parenting can be isolating and add undue pressure on the mom. I have often thought to myself the difference between the mom role and the dad role in our society, and I guess in our family. Don't get me wrong, my husband is super involved and a great dad, but there is a difference.

Ok enough intellectual for my deep thought of the evening. Wouldn't it be great to be in a polygamist household, where there were multiple moms around all the time helping out with the children related responsibilities? Remember it takes a village.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Everything

So nothing marks the beginning of fall for me like the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. It used to be the Pumpkin scones, until the whole gluten-free thing got in the way. I love all things pumpkin flavored and am always looking for the next best pumpkin dessert.

Tonight my husband and I took a cooking class to get us in the mood for the holidays. It was wonderful except I was a little bummed that I couldn't eat the dessert (pumpkin bread pudding). So, I decided to come home and search through my recipes for one that was both pumpkin flavored and gluten-free. I found this oldie-but-goodie. I also love this one for entertaining as you can make it ahead of time.

Enjoy this amazing Frozen Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut Toffee Crunch.

So if you have a friend, relative or you yourself are gluten free and love pumpkin and desserts this ones for you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Vacation Blues

Going away for the weekend seems so bittersweet when you factor in the sleep deprivation of the first night blues. Does anyone else have trouble putting your kids to bed on vacation? It's the new space, the extra vacation desserts and the fun of sleeping in the same room as their siblings, but whatever the reason, it makes for a long night. Tonight we resorted to the old, take-your-kid-for-a-ride-to-fall-asleep trick. It worked for a few hours and now my husband is sleeping in his clothes with my son fast asleep on top of him and my daughter is sleeping in my bed. Oh yes did I mention it's daylight savings tonight....awesome!

On a different note, we had an intellectual conversation tonight about being a helicopter parent. It made me think, but I have to admit, I was also daydreaming during the conversation about what I was going to make for dinner tomorrow night.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Innagural Post

Every morning by the time I get on the train to get to work, I feel like I have accomplished the world. I have made breakfast, made lunch for my daughter, dropped both kids off at separate schools, oh yes, and gotten myself ready for work. This last step usually involves my son, peeping into the shower, clapping for me as I take my "good morning tinkle" saying "good job mommy", pretending my hair dryer is a gun, and trying to put on enough concealer to cover up the dark circles.

I know many other working women feel this too, on a daily basis. I know I should cherish this time of my life and I do. It is just a bit draining at times. I haven't really kept up with my kids baby books, or their journals or even their photo albums for that matter so this my latest attempt to chronicle these wonderful years.

(BTW-I just put up my first posting all while pretending to participate on a conference call.)