Just Heather

Yesterday, my oldest daughter entered into the world of double digits! We celebrated her birthday with a Webkinz gaming party and sleepover, which were both pretty kick ass if I do say so myself. I did, however, learn that my party planning skills have suddenly morphed from awesome to dorky & lame. I don’t know what happened to me. I used to be so cool.

Yesterday was also the day that my girls and I officially became a story problem. I am 3 times older than Stacia who is twice as old as Brenia and 5 times older than Lorelai. I’m guessing the fact that I figured all that out and found it entertaining has something to do with my dork quotient.

I’m still swimming upstream, but in the interest of full disclosure I’ll work on getting this up-to-date.

  • Being sick sucks. The entire family had a stomach bug last week (which we so lovingly passed onto my hometown via my nephew). This week it’s a cold so bad I honestly thought it might lead to pneumonia. It seems to be clearing a bit, but I have been through about 2 boxes of tissues in as many days.
  • The armadillo my Girl Scout troop adored on our field trip died in a fire this weekend at the zoo. That makes me unbelievably sad.
  • Venatieri can go back to the Patriots now. That is all.
  • Except to say I just don’t see this great clutch kicker everyone talks about. Vanderjagt may be an arrogant smart ass, but I’d take him any day.
  • I’m working on arrangements to do a live segment on Black Friday. They want me much earlier than usual though, and I was planning to be at Target right about then.
  • The pacifier is officially gone. My goal was by age 2, which happened 10 days ago. Two days before her birthday, she went to bed without and hasn’t had it since. She asked about it nightly for awhile, but seems to be over it now. If only potty training were that easy.
  • I’m planning a Charlie & Lola Pink Milk Party for Brenia this year. It was supposed to be a Pirate/Princess Tea, but the stupid Birthday Express catalog came in the mail and she fell in love with the C&L crap.
  • The gluten free diet has been deemed an official success by the girls’ pediatrician. This time last year we were still in the testing stage and Lorelai weighed 14.4, falling in the 1 percentile. At her 2-year checkup she weighed nearly 26 pounds and falls right at the 50th percentile!
  • If anyone has ideas on how to teach organization and responsibility to a 4th grader, I’m all ears. After a month on the Spell Bowl team, winning Power Speller each week, we found out Stacia doesn’t actually get to compete this week. She is an alternate because she did not bother to turn in 3 50-point assignments. Oops.
  • Also, if you have ideas on organization for a busy mom, send them my way! We worked hard all weekend and I’m starting to get control of some things around here. However, I have yet to tackle the 50-gallon tub that holds my paperwork.

I am so overwhelmed with life these days that I barely have time to tie my shoes, much less write about it here. I have 2 kids at 2 different schools, 2 PTOs, 2 Girl Scout troops and a 3rd child who can’t eat the food anywhere we go. On top of the full time mommy gig, I’ve had 4 part-time jobs recently.

I run my business, which takes about 10 hours a week (minimum). I have my Friday news segment, which takes an hour or two of prep time in addition to my 3 minutes on air. Then I got the genius idea to teach a cooking club at my oldest daughter’s school. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work too. I had my final class (and got paid!) last Monday. It’s weird to have a Monday that doesn’t find me rushing around gathering cooking tools and ingredients.

My final “job” turned out to be way more than I bargained for. I had agreed to watch a neighbor’s toddler “a few hours a week” when her work schedule overlapped her mom’s. I thought it would be fun for Lorelai to have a playmate now and then, but it turned into 2-3 full days each week. The extra money was helpful what with all the birthdays coming our way, but I have been utterly exhausted. I finally gave notice last week, along with a list of daycare moms I know in the area.

Today is the first day in months that I haven’t felt like I needed a nap by noon. Maybe I can catch up on some of the housework I’ve been neglecting—like laundry, considering we sort of can’t go to school or work naked. I am also having a small Halloween party here on Wednesday night, my effort to avoid the mayhem of long distance trick-or-treating. I don’t know who, if anyone, is coming but the girls will have a good time with the treats and activities I have been planning either way.

I’m also in the midst of planning my youngest’s 2nd birthday party. She is train crazy so I had fun making tickets for her invitations. Now to get those in the mail, considering the party is less than 2 weeks away. I also have 11 days to get a cake pan, paper products, balloons, wrapping paper and food. Presents are done! This one is family only so it’s a bit more low key than some we have done in the past. The big ones are coming in December and January when my older children feel the need to invite everyone they’ve ever met.

Tea party, anyone?

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog a lot lately, but I have a really good excuse reason. First, I spent 6 months poisoning my child. Then I spent 3 months trying to figure out what exactly I was poisoning her with. I’ve spent the last month trying to figure out how not to poison her now that she’s too old for the simplicity of baby food.

Now that she’s 1, it’s just a bit harder than opening a Gerber jar. The look on her face when her aunt ate pizza right in front of her just broke my heart. One of our holiday meals this year is pizza so I’ll be introducing her to the goodness of rice crust pizza very shortly. At least she can handle dairy now so it won’t have to include soy cheese too. Speaking of holidays, I’m nearly finished shoppping. I haven’t wrapped a thing yet so that will be fun.

The Princess’s birthday is next week. She has requested a Christmas party for her birthday (after years of trying to separate her December birthday from the holiday). That’s on Saturday, which meant decorations had to go up sooner than usual. All that’s left is the tree. I was hoping that would get done tonight, but apparently me saying 4 times “We need to put the tree up tonight.” wasn’t enough of a hint to get him to actually do it while I was at the store buying tape for the aforementioned wrapping.

After that begins the parties, caroling with scouts, choir concerts, and other assorted holiday requirements. The world family tour starts on the 22nd and runs straight through the 26th. It’s back to back, but at least it’s only 1 a day this year which should make it a bit more relaxed. Shortly after that will be our oldest’s 9th birthday.

Posting will be light—if not nonexsistent—for the next month or so.

dressing up so as not to embarrass your brother on his wedding day:


I love Chris’s Love Thursday contribution every week. She always has some adorable sibling love story to share and an eloquent way to do so. I don’t have that (if only…), but I do have a picture of me all dressed up! I was very concerned about looking like the frumpy big sister with “all those kids.” I fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it—enough to pay $62 for the amazing boobie bra that completes the look!

Also, I may or may not have gotten very, very drunk and fallen off my heels. (If I did, it was because someone even drunker than I pushed me down. I would probably have a very sober witness to this fact.)

I wear so many hats: wife, Mommy, chef, maid, Brownie leader, business owner. Why do I feel so guilty if I take them all off for an hour to just be Heather? We have a routine at our house. Every night at 8 p.m. we give each girl a kiss and tuck them into bed. Hubby heads off to the office—which is now a corner of our bedroom. I take a nice, long bubble bath. This has been going on for about 3 years now. Yet every night, I feel like I should spend what little time we have in the evenings as his wife.

We don’t have a lot of alone time as a couple. Stacia came along 4 months after the wedding. Go ahead, do the math. Now that we have 3 kids, there’s rarely a moment’s peace. A part of me feels like our quiet evenings should be spent together. Then I remember why I do it. It rejuvenates me. It restores my soul. I can truly be his wife, instead of sitting next to him on the couch all evening as an exhausted shell of a mom. I spend an hour each evening washing the mom off, and the next two being a woman.

Bathtime isn’t the only time guilt sets in. Last year, I left town all by myself. Spencer played single dad for the first time ever. Oh, I’ve left for an evening or afternoon, but never before had he been in charge for a full 2 days. The girls wanted to go with me, and when they clung and pouted as I walked out the door I had a hard time remembering all the reasons they shouldn’t. Brenia was sick. Three hours in a car would not be fun. Stacia gets so emotional that she did not need to go to a funeral when she didn’t know the person. I needed the time to say goodbye when I wasn’t surrounded by others who needed me. But none of those reminders did anything to quell the guilt.

I think Mommy Guilt multiplies with each child. I worry phenomenally more about being a better mom. It filters into every aspect of our lives. I stress now over splitting my time even further and end up over compensating. Case in point: learning to sew in 3 days so I could make 18 aprons for my daughter’s Baking Birthday Party. I was successful, by the way, but at the expense of added guilt over how little time I spent planning the last birthday—nevermind that she’s only 3—and the feelings of abandonment the wee one suddenly developed while I spent several hours hunched over my new sewing machine.

She has now figured out the bathtime ritual and begins a preemptive tantrum as I start the water to prevent me from leaving her. She is not usually successful, though I do tend to rush out when her screams begin to waft up the stairs. My baths have gone from over an hour to barely 30 minutes, but I still manage to squeeze it in-guilt and all. Plus I get to feel guilty that he no longer gets to spend his alone time because he’s too busy dealing with our spoiled rotten mommy’s girl. I have decided to ignore that pang because I need it more.

Today I walked to the mailbox in my pajamas—greasy, I-haven’t-showered-in-two-days hair and all—just to get a break. I had an extra child yesterday so I have cuddle time to make up for baby. She cries if I set her down for a minute—even in her beloved swing. So off I went to get the mail as if my life depended on while she wailed her teeny head off inside. Now she’s snoring and I feel guilty that I have to put her down so I fix something to eat, but considering that both our bodies depend on that sustenance I’d best get to it.

I tell myself it will get better. One day she’ll outgrow the need for constant reassurance. One day none of them will even remember the things I guiltily stress over. One day I will sleep again. One day I will have the time to devote to my husband. One day I will see my children all grown up and realize I didn’t do so bad afterall—I hope.

We are in the throes of birthday preparations for almost-3-year-old. She couldn’t be more excited—and she has no concept of time—so every day I hear “Am I three yet, Mommy?” I have managed to plan out our party preparations to give her an idea of when it will be. Today we do treat bags, tomorrow we bake cupcakes, Friday we decorate.

Her party is Saturday, but her birthday is not until Monday. I have no idea how I would ever convince her that she is not 3 this weekend. It’s not important, so I won’t bother, but I do want her actual birthday to be special in some way. I think that’s how the “birthday dinner” was created in my family. Every year we get to choose our birthday dinner—we can go anywhere we want (within reason) or pick any menu for Mom to cook.

It has gotten quite predictable. Each year middle sis and I choose a steak house (with our birthdays 6 days apart and our family growing by leaps and bounds we are now forced to choose 1 steak house and share a meal), little sis chooses homemade beef and noodles, and my brother chooses crepes or lasagna. Every year. Without exception.

I mentioned the idea to my little birthday girl and told her she could choose anything she wanted for her birthday dinner and Mommy would cook it special for her. Her selection? Cupcakes. Okay, Mommy will make cupcakes for your birthday, but how about we choose something to eat for dinner too? She has her menu all planned out:

  • grilled cheese
  • peanut butter sandwiches
  • apples
  • hamburgers

“I smile because you’re my sister. I laugh because there’s nothing you can do about it.” ~Unknown

Happy Birthday, sis!