Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spectating the Boston Marathon and Witnessing #BostonStrong in Action

Many, many moons ago in the year 2000 when we were young, wild and free, Hubby and I watched the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton at the starting line.  It was amazing.  Back then, I wasn't even a runner. (Not that I'm a superstah runner now.  I mean, I run.  Occasionally.)

And then babies came along.  Three.  And then full-time work again.  So I never had the chance to spectate another marathon until now.

This year was so important.  So meaningful.  So inspiring.  We all wanted to be there to experience it.

It just so happens that my Sis now lives directly on Mile 14 of the marathon route.


So we ventured to Wellesley to spectate.

We had watched a few news specials with the boyz beforehand, so they grasped the significance.


Once the road was closed, my Sis set out with the boys to create some sidewalk chalk inspiration for the runners.


Members of the National Guard were on the course ahead of the runners.  There were uniformed military police, dogs, motorcycle police, bike police and undercover security everywhere you looked on every single corner.  It felt VERY safe and calm.

Helicopters patrolled the skies throughout the entire event.


And once the race began, boy, it was NONSTOP marathoners for hours.  Literally, HOURS.  We cheered, we clapped, we gave out waters.


Well, some of us gave out waters.

 (My parents.)

 Marathoning is NO JOKE.  We saw more than a few bleeding nipples, you guys.  (On MEN, that is.)  But more importantly, we saw smiles.  We saw courage.  We saw BOSTON STRONG.

And it was absolutely amazing.

My life goal is to run a marathon.  And someday I shall.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Golden Egg

A big tradition in our Trenches is the annual Easter egg hunt.  Although it's nothing fancy, there is definitely some healthy competition to find plastic Easter eggs filled with candy.  And candy is fun, sure, but the most important egg to find is the Golden Egg containing a coveted $20 bill.

I think we adults have more fun than the kids.  Trying to find the best places to hide the eggs.  Watching them search.  Laughing when someone always cries. And of course, finding the toughest spot to hide the special Golden Egg.

This Easter was no different.  Although the cousins participating may change from year to year, the spirit of competition was alive and cutthroat well.

2008

2012

This year we hosted my parents and my nephew Luis, who just turned 7 and at times seems a bit overwhelmed by the chaos that is my household and my boyz.  But he's learning pretty quick.  (Sink or swim, kiddo!)

Lining up for the start of the hunt...

Anyway, we managed to hide 36 eggs all over the place.  And the Golden Egg?  Well, that was super-hidden in the plastic bin where the boys store all their sporting equipment on the side of the garage.  I swear, Eldest and Baby must have lifted the lid on that thing at least 2 times each, in search of the elusive special egg.  

Finally, after numerous vague hints and clues, all 4 of them honed in on the bin.

And look who found it!

Yay Luis!  The 2014 winner!


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Girls' Night in New Hampshire 2014

Then:  October 2008

Back in 2008, none of us had children who were double-digit aged.  Our girls' getaway discussions about our children were primarily focused on potty-training, their eating and sleeping habits, and their behavior.  Along with, of course, the usual complaining talk about our husbands, our careers and our extended families.

Well.  The years have flown by and as we friends have aged (fabulously) and our hairstyles and colors have changed (for the better), our children have grown as well.  

 All of our children - July 2011

This past Saturday was another one of our much-needed Girls' Getaways.  I can't properly call it a Girls' Weekend because we all arrived at the cottage in NH around Saturday lunchtime and then hugged goodbye before lunch on Sunday.  It certainly wasn't long enough in any of our minds, but at the same time, it was wonderful just all being together and catching up on each others' lives.  As we do seamlessly.

Sadly, gone are the days of intense talks about potty-training and naptime.  Now, it's the whole NEW and UNCHARTERED territory of peer pressure, sex, puberty, cell phone usage, and any other frightening topic that the 6 of us friends are navigating together.  Along with, of course, the usual complaining talk about our husbands, our careers and our extended families.  Heh.

The stories shared were a hard dose of reality for what's happening in our tween and teen children's lives today.  Completely eye-opening.  And certainly a sign of what's to come as my boys keep growing older, no matter how many times I tell them to STOP.

We're starting to see it in Eldest, who will turn *sob* thirteen *sob* in the fall.  The sullenness.  The backtalk.  The fighting with his little brothers.  The nose in the phone.  The girlfriend.   (But!  There's also good things:  The wicked sense of humor.  The witty sarcasm.  The appreciation for Saturday Night Live and other PG-13-ish comedy.  The increased responsibility around the house.  Being able to be left home alone.)

*****

It's hard to put into words (but I'll try!) how appreciative I am of this support system that I have in these 5 other women.  Women who knew my husband in college, way before I ever came along, and despite that welcomed me with open arms into their friendships.

While we may not talk everyday, or every week, or even every month, there's just something so refreshing about being able to pick up right where we left off.  And for me to know that these girls have my back, in any way I would EVER need them.

And I also love that we have these friendships separate from our normal, everyday lives in our towns.  Because we all have town drama, and school drama, and neighborhood drama.  It is so nice to get away from that and just be ourselves

Spilling our struggles and our successes.  Learning from each other.  Helping each other.  Sympathizing with each other.  

But most of all, supporting each other.

I am stronger because of these five women.

Here's to our next get together!  May it be warmer and longer.  That's what she said.











Friday, March 28, 2014

When the Hubby is Away...

Things I DIDN'T Do While Hubby Was Out of Town For a Week:

1.  Watch any sports whatsoever.

2.  Watch any weather whatsoever.

3.  Cook a sit-down meal.

4.  Enforce the "shower every night" rule.

5.  Make it to work on time.

6.  Shave my legs.



Things I DID Do While Hubby Was Out of Town For a Week:

1.  Watched all my Real Housewives Episodes of NYC/Atlanta/Beverly Hills without being harrassed.

2.  Let Middle and Baby sleep in the same bed.

3.  Forced the boys to read without the distraction of sports on TV.

4.  Had a mother/son(s) date night that included chicken wings (and a margarita for meeeee!)

5.  Started watching True Detective.

6.  Fell asleep every night with my glasses on.

7.  Stole his pillow.

8.  Missed him.  But not his snoring.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top 12 Reasons Why I Love Being a Mom to All Boys

1.  I'm by no means a fashionista, but I *do* enjoy shopping.  Boy clothes are pretty boring, actually.  Especially athletic apparel (which is all my sons wear nowadays).  So I save money by not having to buy frilly exquisite cute clothing.


2.  While boys are definitely physical creatures, they are also kinda simple.  They hit and then forget.  There's no grudge-holding.  They're mad, and then 2 second later, they're all best buds again.


3.  Boy footwear is easy.  Sneakers, sneakers, more sneakers and a pair of flip-flops.

4.  Grooming products are virtually nonexistent for boys.  They require a bar of soap and some cheap shampoo.  Granted, I have to do the Mother Sniff Test to actually tell whether they've cleansed with soap or not, but so be it.


5.  And personal grooming habits?  There are no manis/pedis/facials being purchased for anyone else but ME!  In my trenches, "beauty treatments" are the 3 of them lining up for their fingernails and toenails to be clipped and their ears to be cleaned.  Done!

6.  I was never the dancer/cheerleader type.  I grew up in a family that constantly played and watched physical team sports.  (Not that cheerleading and dancing aren't sports!  They are!) This has certainly been carried over to my own family.  We are involved in football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse.  (Yes, girls play all these sports too!)  Which I love.  PLUS, the boys are constantly playing together, outside or inside.  Hide and seek is a favorite.  See?


7.  Boy hair.  There's not a lot to it.  Boy hair requirements = barber shop for a buzz cut once a month. 

8.  Boy movies  = dumb slapstick comedy....which, how can you not like?!  Napoleon Dynamite is definitely a favorite.  As is anything with Adam Sandler/Will Farrell/Jim Carrey.


9.  Something we're just on the cusp of with Eldest:  teenage boy hormones (he will turn 13 in October.  Boys are fairly easy to manage though.  They're emotional, yes, but their moods quickly change all the time.  And they can be easily swayed. But the best part?  *I'm* the only one in the trenches who gets PMS.  Whew.  That's a good thing.

10.   Bathroom outings.  Ever since the boys were young, my mantra has been, "boys go with boys and girls go with girls."  Hence, my husband makes NUMEROUS trips to public restrooms when we are all out together.  While I sit there smugly.

11.  Speaking of the potty, I have to say that road trips with boys are nice.  Boys can pee anywhere.  And mine certainly have.

12.  All 3 of my boys love love love their father.  They are Daddy's boys, there's no denying it.  But you know what?  There's just something so special about the Mother-Son relationship.  I'm their soft place to land and their shoulder to cry on.  I wouldn't have it any other way.




Monday, March 17, 2014

Are You Victoria's Secret Bathing Suit Ready? The 2014 Edition!

It's that special time of year, ladies!  Time to slough off the dry winter white skin.  Time to shave down all those areas that get neglected during the cold winter months.  Yes, that area especially.  Time to emerge from your cozy cocoon and become the beautiful butterfly that you are!  And Victoria's Secret is here to help.  With their new collection of swimwear for all body types, you are sure to find something that's PERFECT for you as you navigate changing poopy swim diapers, holding sand-strewn toddlers and chasing after wandering preschoolers at the beach!

First, we have the Weird Tanline Collection

  For when you want to sexily "hide" your belly button...

 You may want to re-think wearing a v-neck tee with these tan lines...

 Argyle!  On your skin!

 Is that a belt buckle on the side?

 Ummm, but what if your boobs hang low?  Methinks they'd come out the bottom of that suit...

 Why yes, I DO have gumdrop shaped tanlines on my boobs.

 Next, we have the Crafty Collection:

 A lace doily! 

 Macrame!  Fashion this yourself using your child's rainbow loom!

 Crochet!  Grandma would be so proud!

 And finally, we have the WTF Collection:

 Ball gag and handcuffs not included.

 It doubles as a bib!  For when you chow down that messy sub sammich on the beach.

 1986 called.  They want their cheesy floral off-the-shoulder halter top back.



I like to think this is what I look like when I'm yelling at my kids on the beach. 


Obviously inspired by JLo's famous dress.  Crotch sand optional.

I told you there was something for everyone:  
Here's Vicky's cute bikini for all you one-armed ladies out there.

Enjoy!

This is my favorite post to write every year!  Here are my previous Victoria's Secret bathing suit posts--please share!

2013
2012
2011
2010
2009

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Breaking Our Own Parenting Rule

In our Trenches, we've abided by a hard and fast rule when it comes to our 3 boyz playing sports:

One sport per child per season.

We instilled this rule for self preservation.  With 3, there's a LOT of schlepping and running around to practices and games and tournaments.  And nevermind the gear that's required each season.

Thankfully, this has always worked in our favor.  All three of the boyz play football in the fall and basketball in the winter.  Sometimes we are even lucky enough to have the boyz play on the same team.

Last spring, Eldest and Middle played baseball while Baby chose to play lacrosse for the first time.  It was actually exciting to watch one of our children play a new sport.  And even better that it's a sport that Hubby has absolutely no experience with, so he can't really coach it.  Bonus!


So THIS spring, we figured it would be the status quo:  that Eldest and Middle would play baseball and Baby would play lacrosse (a sport, by the way, that is MUCH more suited to his personality.  There's constant action and running and hello, HITTING WITH STICKS.  What more could an 8 year old boy ask for?)

But no.  Baby asked to play baseball.  This year he was eligible to try out as an 8 year old to move up from the lower league AA (where they each run one base at a time and every player bats every inning...zzzzzzzzzz...ever watch paint dry?) to the "exciting" AAA which is kid-pitch and REAL BASEBALL.  Plus, Hubby helps coach Middle's AAA team.  So both Middle and Baby are on the same team.

Except what about lacrosse?  The sport that Baby loves.  (And that his parents love watching him play.)  (And a sport that we've spent a fair amount of money on equipment and gear and hideously loud and cheesy lacrosse shorts.) He was willing to give it all up to play baseball on his brother's team and be coached by his father.  How cute and innocent is that?

So we broke our own parenting rule.  We are letting him play BOTH lacrosse AND baseball.  Just this once.  Just for this spring.  And after that?  He has to choose.

We realize, of course, that this will probably come back to bite us in the ass.  What if Baby ends up making All-Stars, as both his brothers have consistently done?  That would (most likely) mean three boys, on three separate teams (9U, 10U and 12U All-Stars), with three separate schedules, while Hubby is (most likely) coaching Eldest's team for the 4th consecutive year.  Allllllllll summer long.

Imma gonna need a clone.  Or a sister wife.


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