RUN BABY RUN!

Last week my 6 year old son Logan and 2 1/2 year old daughter McKenna ran a 1 mile foot race at one of the local races and it was a total blast! Although I was blown away by the amount of young kids that ran this distance and killed it, which began me thinking about how much of their talent is genetics or are their parents having them run 5K’s every other day?

I do know that by the time kids are 5 or 6 years old running can be a healthy activity and in the process helps to build bone mass. But if you are thinking of having your child run, begin with short distances and do it with them. Lead by example! There is going to come a point if you are not active your child is going to realize it and follow in your footsteps. So lace up the sneakers and jog along with them. Make sure to keep each run fun too. If they want to stop and take a rest, then let them. As Moms you know what it is like if you force your kids to do something, they won’t do it. So encourage some fun runs this season and don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

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Yours in Health,

Melissa

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The Little Things

The Little Things

Glad to see that basic nourishment makes him so happy!

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by | May 10, 2012 · 2:46 PM

My Mother’s Day Portrait artist 6 year old Logan

My Mother’s Day Portrait artist 6 year old Logan

Melissa O’Neill Mother’s Day 2012

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by | May 10, 2012 · 2:44 PM

Fun Morning….

Let me begin by saying I do not start my day with coffee, never have and never will.  So maybe there are some days where my head is a little foggy, but I manage.  Do you ever feel like you’re life is on cruise control?  Where you do the same things all the time, over and over, so much so that you’re not even thinking about it.  This is a great talent for us mom’s to have as we are very skilled at multi-tasking and can’t be held up with mental clutter.   Well, there are some days when all runs like clock work and other days that you don’t know how you managed to get through.  I recently started working part-time which is 3 days a week so now our routines have changed a bit.  Some days are just non-stop.  Get up, get breakfast, prep dinner for later, feed cats, pack lunches and homework folder, head out to school drop off, go to work, come home, make dinner, feed cats, feed family, bath, bed.  It various some days, there may be an errand squeezed in or a meeting for volunteer work etc, on those days things can sometimes get confusing…..This is just one of those days….
 
It’s a day that begins with me trying to motivate Jason to drag himself out of bed and down to breakfast.  As I’m getting his breakfast I’m watching the clock.  I begin to make/pack his lunch at the same time breaking away to once again, call him for breakfast.  Back to the lunch….then while packing snacks for my day I look over to find an empty dining room table.  At this point I’m getting really pissed and once again, hustle to the stairs to yell ‘if you don’t get down here right now – you’re going to school in your pajamas’!!!  At which point I hear “allriiiiiiiiight”!!!  (Now I’m thinking…”oh I’m sorry, was I bothering YOU?”).  ARGGGHHH!!!!  So now he’s eating….I’ve finished the lunchbox and now am packing the backpack.  Homework folder, check!  Lunchbox, check!  Zip, zip….done!  Jason is now talking to the cat, playing with a toy that was left on the table…blah, blah, blah.  He finishes and I help him get dressed, send him to brush teeth while run off to feed my cats.  I’m practically tripping over them, since their internal tummy clock has had them pacing the kitchen this entire time to get my attention.  I have four cats – two of which have ‘issues’.  LOL  One is diabetic and I have to give him an insulin shot everyday, the other is a very, very old gal (18 years) who has only three legs (due to an injury 2 years ago that didn’t heal – hence amputation), she also has hyper-thyroid and needs a pill everyday.  So, while Jason is polishing up his pearly whites I draw insulin in the syringe and take out the thyroid pill.  Next my daughter Kristen walks in and starts getting her stuff together for her day.  She and I are crossing each other’s paths back and forth, trying not to trip over a cat, in and out of the refrigerator etc.  I put down the pill and syringe and get Jason’s jacket for him so he’ll be ready and waiting.  I go back to the kitchen and see Kristen packing her lunch. I go to grab my cats’ meds and panic because, wait…wait…somethings wrong….the thyroid pill is missing.  HOLY CRAP!!  So I quickly ask Kristen if she saw the little white pill and she said “no that white pill was my birth control pill that was on the counter…..”  AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!  OH MY GOD!!!  I almost peed myself!!  I could barely get the words out…OMG – “please tell me you didn’t just swallow the cats’ thyroid pill”?  Of course her eyes almost bug out of her head!!!!  We quickly realized that my cat pill had fallen on the floor. I picked it up we compared the two, and boy oh boy, they were almost identical.  LMAO!!!  Can you even imagine, my daughter taking a thyroid pill and my antique kitty taking birth control!!!  I think I’d have a bit of trouble explaining that to both the primary care doctor and our vet. 
 
Going forward, this gal is no longer flying on cruise control….
 
Peace….judy

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He Loves Me, He Loves me Not…

I am not quite sure if this is just “the age” of my son or if he just an emotional masochist. Almost every day after school he comes home with yet another story about a kid in class that told him they weren’t going to be best friends anymore or how he got kicked or hurt in some way. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s not a safety problem at his school. His teachers are more than capable and very attentive. When I say kicked or hurt it usually consists of the boys in the classroom horse-playing and enjoying every minute that is until Logan gets hit hard enough to make it someone else’s fault “on purpose”. The problem is not the actual injury (since there never is one) the problem is the fact that as soon as I tell Logan not to hang out with whomever had been “mean” to him he throws an all out tantrum!

“But he is my best friend, my brother! You mean I can never hang out with him again?” Followed by tears and the most pitiful face you’ve ever witnessed. 

What becomes even more perplexing is the fact that these instances usually only occur with his best buddies. I never quite understood those love/hate relationships at any age let alone at the ripe old age of six!  Other Moms I have talked to about this say how “normal” it is, yet have no explanation as to “why” it is. I mean, think about it, if we were discussing this same thing about an adult we would be trying to get them away from their abusive relationship. But if I tried to take Logan away from his “friends” for a 5 minute time-out it’s as if the world is about to come to an end and he rushes back to them for some more verbal and physical abuse. Why you say? It beats me! All I can figure is that they are all bipolar until the age of…well I haven’t quite figured that one out yet since I have only made it through six years. Although I am hoping that by age ten at least he figures out that friends should actually be nice to one another and that you don’t have to shed blood to have fun. 

If you have any crazy stories about your little ones and their drama filled friendships I would love to hear them. Send me your comments.

Yours in Health,

Melissa

“The Pout"

Even though the photo is a year or so dated, the pout never changes...

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Are We There Yet?

Are we done?  Is it over?

You guys have no idea what the hell happened sooo…..

Of course I’ve been working like a madman, but managed to order Christmas cards, order Massimo’s Christmas gifts, niece and nephews Christmas gifts and order my assigned dish for Christmas Eve at my bro’s (chicken franchaise, thank you Pasta Vera!!) …AND make cookies with Melissa to hand out to teachers, karate instructors and even my neighbor Renee got a mixed bucket o’cookies…

But as the week started last Monday and went on to Tues, Wed…I was wondering where my Christmas were, and the gifts for Massimo I ordered off Amazon should have been funneling in, after all I did kick in the extra $20 per order to get in time for Christmas….

So I check w/my tracking numbers for UPS, Fedex USPS…all confirming that they left them at my door… AND I know our UPS guy, so there’s no reason he would get confused because I hung a wreath that covers the unit # on our door, so I did tape a printout on the door “UNIT #401”….so what’s the prob?..maybe they have temp help for Christmas b/c of the increase in deliveries…so I check w/the neighbors – nothing…

Well, ladies, as it turns out – they were all stolen!!  Yes, vagrants entering the complex perusing the residences for unattended boxes, fat envelopes, and I guess even unattended buckets of COOKIES!!!

Renee never got her cookies….I felt so violated, so wronged….i can only hope that all the gifts I purchased for my 5 year old boy get to a 5 year old boy somewhere….Otherwise, a curse on the thieves!!…

So no Christmas cards yet – I am still on the fence if I will send out this week…I haven’t missed one Christmas since I was 18 years old…so I might just turn that out just because….

So on Saturday……

I was up at our local flower vendor in Wilton at 8am buying stuff for some last minute clients

Then down to Toys R Us to buy whatever I could find that was left for Massimo…not a crazy crowd that early, but there was close to NOTHING left of interest…

Then over to REI to get him some stuff, some of whatever….

Then to work (its coming on 10:30 now) to make about 8 arrangements and get them delivered by noon (between 2 houses, so only 2 stops – one house had 5 arrangements, one house had 3..) AND make a centerpiece for my bro’s b/c he hosting xmas even dinner – and make one for his family room, formal living room, kitchen table and kitchen island, why do I offer to do this???? 

Then to Pasta Vera to pick up my tray of chicken franchaise ($150 bucks, enough for 30+ people, and as far as I am concerned, a bargain – I can’t imagine frying up 30-35 cutlets, and when you price it out, it’s only about a $25-30 difference to have it made, and remember ladies–time is money!! Right?!)  – I promptly dropped that off at my bro’s…..

Then to a 1pm appt to get my hair blown out (a brief respite, but still I’m on a tiiiiiiiight schedule!!) – looks awesome!, so shiny, healthy… Ok – moving on…

Then I head over to  – – gasp!! – – –  the mall!!!!!  And that’s when I started to lose my shit…but I took a moment and carried on…after all I had awesome hair…and just when I wanted to cry, I would catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window, or a random mirror or some other reflective surface and see my perfectly blown hair and it somehow calmed me down for a bit….

So yes – I was at the mall from about 2pm-4pm, REPURCHASING all the gifts for my nieces and nephews I had ordered off Amazon, so painful I cannot even tell you…

Then to Grade A – because I was asked last minute (why did I check my voicemail??!!) to make a salad (2 containers of baby spinach, 3 of crumbled goat cheese, sliced almonds, cranberries, vinaigrette. DONE!)

Then home to WRAP EVERYTHING and change (forget showering, because my hair looked awesome!!)…and look presentable (after all, my sister-in-law’s parents are up from Florida this year and they consider themselves quite the fancy people – even though they aren’t – but still…) – pack pj’s for Massimo his Dad will be dropping him off at my bro’s at 5:30ish, pack up all needed to execute salad…

Then back to the shop to pick up arrangements for my bro’s….and sit on the phone with Massimo’s Dad because he’s in the driveway of my brother’s house, telling me that Massimo is asleep and it doesn’t look like anyone is there yet, and he doesn’t want to wake up Massimo and he thinks no one is there and did I get the time wrong, and maybe I should call my bro’s and ask someone to come outside and oh – wait I see your cousin pulling in, ok – so where are you? Why aren’t you here yet?…and what happened with the gifts?  Did you file complaints with the couriers? The vendors? …when will you be here?…..

I get the flowers and s l o w l y drive over to my bro’s so I spill any flowers or crush them or anything….

Then I walk in the door, Massimo comes running up, gives me a huge hug and kiss and says that mommy looks so pretty….

(and my bro hands me a glass of wine)….

Becky

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Today’s Youth…What the?!*!?

I just finished reading an AMAZING book called “The Law of Happiness” by Dr. Henry Cloud and I have been recommending it to everyone I come in contact with. Dr. Cloud is a clinical psychologist and the premise of the book is a “how spiritual wisdom and modern science can change your life” and make you a happier person. I can go on talking about  it forever, but all-in-all it is a must read. So, trailing right on the coat tails of this book I had a pretty disturbing experience…

Last Tuesday morning I was leaving the drugstore with my 5 1/2 year old son Logan. I was parked in a parking spot with cars on both sides of me. Oddly enough everyone was parked within their own white lines. I walked Logan to his door and opened it for him to avoid any unnecessary damage to the car next to us since he thinks that all of our dings, scratches and dents are normal, and well everyones car looks like that (Ahh, youthful innocence). So after I led Logan carefully into our car I opened my door and got into the drivers seat. As I began to rummage through my purse for some chapstick I noticed a young girl about 16 years old, inspecting her car door right outside of my window. Since my window was open there were only about two feet between us. I continued to stare at her while she inspected her car as if she were about to dust it for fingerprints. After about 30 seconds she looked at me and said, “Umm, you know you like, just slammed like, your car door right into mine, right?” NOTE: All “like” quotes were actually used and are not a typo. Reflecting on what I had just read about being a happier, healthier individual I decided to take a deep breath and try not to treat her like the spoiled little princess that I am sure she is, so I responded by saying, “No, that wasn’t me, I made especially sure that my son and I were careful when getting into the car. I’m sorry about your car but it wasn’t me.” With that Miss Fairfield County says, “It was like totally you! I was sitting in the car and like my whole car shook when your door hit my car!” And then she proceeds to say, “I mean I don’t care, I just think you should like be a little considerate! God, some people are so rude!” Keep in mind that Logan was watching this whole thing go down from the seat behind me. When I looked in the rear view mirror at him he was starring at her in horror wondering if Mommy was going to either give her a time out or a much deserved spanking. This girl was maybe 5 feet 1 inch and no older than 16 years of age so what I wanted to do and what I wanted to say where far from what actually took place…fortunately for her. Oddly enough, I actually began to shake with anger while nervously smiling the entire time. With my teeth clenched together I managed to mutter, “I am sorry you think I damaged your car, but it wasn’t me. Is there something you want me to do?” She rolled her eyes as she began to get into the car, of course “like” cursing under her breath the entire time. But to my surprise she was getting into the passengers seat. With a silly smile on my face all I could managed to say was,”I am sorry you feel that way,” while I watched her mother, YES, you heard me, HER MOTHER get into the drivers seat, buckle up and pull away as if she was either deaf, dumb, or just plain ignorant to the fact that her daughter was speaking to another adult with such profanity and disrespect. It was beyond amazing to me that her mother did not say one word to either of us, what is this world coming too?! Is this normal? Am I the crazy one? While they were pulling away, Logan asked me why she was yelling at me. He also asked if she was going to chase us down in her car and crash into us (too many Cars movies). I assured him that was not going to happen but decided to use this as a unique teaching moment, on what else but happiness. So I said to him “There are lots of people in this world who are just not happy and because they are unhappy they want other people to be unhappy too even if that means lying, cheating or saying mean things to others. This is one of the reasons why Mommy and Daddy tell you to treat us and others with respect so that you can be happy, not a ‘meany shmeany’.” Hopefully he got it, because it took everything in my will power to sit their and listen to a pretentious, bitchy little girl talk to me as if I was the hired help at her parents country club!

Please write back with any comments and/or similar experiences that you my have encountered with your children. How did you handle the situation?  I would love to hear from you!

Enjoy the read!

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Law-of-Happiness/Henry-Cloud/The-Secret-Things-of-God/9781439176993

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Dear Logan,

I woke up today like any other day, running through a laundry list of tasks in my mind while I got dressed, and sipped coffee. But today was not like any other day, it was your first day of kindergarten, one of your first huge milestones. I didn’t think much about how I might react once you where gone for the day. I had been too focused on what to make you for breakfast, what food to pack for your first ‘big boy’ day, and of course what special sticker to surprise you with when you opened your lunchbox. No, I wasn’t prepared at all for the rush of emotions that were about to empty onto the bottom of our driveway after your bus pulled away.

You were your normal sweet, talkative self all morning even while the rain accompanied us at the bus stop. You carried on without a care in the world as if it was like any other day, not knowing that my stomach dropped every time I heard a school bus in the distance. To pass the time I took some pictures which seemed to help until we

began looking at them together and then a lump formed in my throat. How did you get so big so fast? Where did the time go? How did I get so lucky?  Then the moment arrived, the school bus was here. Without any hesitation
you turned to me, gave me a big hug and kiss and said, “I love you Mommy, have a good day”, and you scurried onto that bus quicker than I ever would have liked. The door shut, the stop sign on the bus retracted and you began to pull away. You waved from the window and I stood in a daze watching with my camera and umbrella as the bus turned the corner out of site. I cried. I cried until it hurt to cry and then all at once I felt helplessness, sorrow and pride. I was helpless to prevent you from growing up, saddened that our time together was being taken away, but proud that you were that brave, confident little boy that couldn’t wait to go out and introduce yourself to the world.

I know that this is just one of many special moments in your journey through life and I hope that while making this journey you “Live like it’s Heaven on Earth, love like you will never get hurt, sing like no one’s listening, and dance like nobody’s watching”, and I promise I will try to do a little less crying each time.

I Love You,

Mommy XOXO

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The Big Yellow Bus is on it’s Way!!!

Let me start by saying I adore my 8 yr old son Luke AND also my half angel/half devil 5 yr old daughter Valentina.  Luke is a rule follower and a child that uses indoor voices while in the house or in public , and avoids embarrassing himself while his little sister seems to think rules don’t apply to her, doesn’t mind making a scene and having strangers look at her, and must think that everyone in CVS today enjoyed her screeching through the store, “PLLLLLLEAAAAAASEEEEEEEEEE Mommy, but I’ve never had a push pop before, but PPPPLEASEEEEEEEEEEEE,” until I do what every parent knows is the worst thing you can do, give in and get it for her since I just couldn’t hear that whiney voice for another minute.  It’s been a wonderful, but long summer and the counselor, a.k.a. yours truly, is getting exhausted.   While my Son was in school until the 3rd week of June, my daughter has been home already 3 months, since her preschool ended in early May, that’s right, May.  There have been some really great times we have had this summer with some fun trips and sharing great times with friends and family.  The children have also been a lot of fun generally speaking, but this Mommy is starting to feel like a rag doll!   Some positive things are that Luke keeps coming up to me and asking me for a hug (and I know there may only be a few more years that he’ll initiate that) so I’m loving every minute of it and Valentina will look into my eyes and tell me I’m the best Mommy in the whole world, so what Mom won’t take that compliment.  On the negative side the kids and I are together 24/7 and every day is family day with me and the kids so by the end of the day the kids have had enough of each other and are fighting in the car or in a store or at the house and I’m on my last nerve and reaching for a glass of wine when my husband walks in the door from work.  And then when he says something like “I was thinking we can take a day trip or overnight trip this weekend as a family,”  I want to say,” every day for me is family day so maybe you can go away with the kids for some bonding time because the kids and I are like superglue right now so tightly bonded!”  And then I have to take a deep breath, chug a few sips of wine and remember that the days are numbered, the days until school starts and this year will take both kids away on the big yellow bus, the days until they are teenagers and don’t want to be with their family but would rather hang out with friends, and then days until they leave the house, so I might as well take all the weekend trips together that come our way, and besides… I can always find a wine store on the way. 😉 

ciao for now…Alicia

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Is it Over Yet?

I feel like this summer I have been twisting in the wind, haven’t had any kind of weekly schedule, plans keep getting trashed and recycled and I am soooo overdue to get my hair colored

Don’t get me wrong, it started off great, right through the 4th of July, I just started to lose steam around the last week of July…

Event though September marks the end of summer, it signifies the beginning of something I love, SCHEDULES!!  Fixed weekly karate classes, playdates and soccer practice….all in a specific time slot that allows me to organize my life.

I have already gotten school clothes, new lunchbox, backpack, labels for everything and marked all the school vacations through June 2012….ahh, I feel better already…If the schoolyear is the pinnacle of an organized life, then these last few weeks of summer are the equivalent of anarchy.  Looking forward to seeing everyone at dropoff!!

(PS – great website for labels www.stuckonyou.biz )

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