Category Archives: Melissa

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

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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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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M.I.A.

So where do I even begin? I have been missing in action after a busy few weeks and I apologize as I know everyone has been anxiously awaiting my next post-LOL. I cannot speak for my other fellow “Modern Mom” bloggers (ahem, cough, cough) but I have been a bit crazed to say the least…

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to Newport Beach, California with the family to see my two sisters and do some Disneyland and Lego Land action. Overall the trip was a success. The plane ride out there was not nearly as bad as I had envisioned but as always when the kids are in tow there is bound to be some type of unwanted excitement. We arrived in California a day earlier than our booked timeshare week because the flights were cheaper, used some Marriott points and stayed in a hotel for free. Who wouldn’t want an extra day in Cali, right? Okay, so call me what you will, but I honestly do not know how people stay in a single hotel room with children for a week and call it a vacation. You know what I call it? HELL! I could not get my behind out of that room fast enough once the sun came up. 

Things took a turn for the better once we arrived at our final destination in Newport Beach, and it was amazing. All was right with the world one again. My daughter’s first Disney experience was completely adorable and my son of course loved every minute. Although what literally sent him over the edge was when we agreed to let him get the “Talking Woody” from Toy Story. I thought I was going to have to find an inhaler for the poor kid. After such a busy day at Disney we decided to chill at the resort the next day. We had great weather, and the kids were good too so we decided not to press our luck and go out to eat. Instead we grilled burgers and dogs at the resort while the kids played in the sandbox which was right next to our villa, very convenient. As my husband grilled, I took a sip of an ice cold beer and took it all in with a smile on face while I watched my kids laughing it up. No sooner did I swallow my first sip when the laughter turned into shrieks as my daughter took a spill face-first into the concrete sidewalk. As my husband scooped her up all I could see was a mouthful of blood. “We have a bleeder!” Not knowing if she was missing a tooth or half of her lip I began shoving napkins into her mouth so I could see something, anything. Meanwhile, about ten people were gathered around watching us while my son is standing there screaming, “Is she bleeding? Mommy, is there blood? Are her teeth gone? Is there a lot of blood? Can I see it? I want to see it”. I was sooooo close to yelling at him to shut it up but I was already embarrassed at what a spectacle we had become. Ten napkins later we finally controlled the bleeding only to discover a cut on the inside of her lip about 1 centimeter long. Are you kidding me? Not that I would ever want either of my children to be injured in any way, shape or form, but after all of that drama and only 1 centimeter? Seriously? The next day we decided to do a day at the beach but since my son slept in until 10AM we got a later start. Not quite sure if Logan was just tired or not feeling well we headed over to Balboa Island anyway. No sooner did my husband put the car in park, we heard a whimpered, “My tummy hurts” from the back seat. When I glanced back at Logan everything turned Matrix-like. I pushed my husband to get out of the car to grab Logan while I bent backward to reach for him, at which point Logan began to vomit all over himself and the rental car. Once he was outside of the car it was like nothing ever happened. As my husband was cleaning up the car and I was wiping off my son, Logan glanced over my shoulder and said,”I’m hungry, can I have a piece of pizza?” Needless to say a slice of pie, an ice cream cone, lollipop and two Swedish fish later he was running around on the beach without a care in the world. Ahhh, to be a kid again. Anyhoo, the rest of our visit was amazing and the time that we all got to spend with my family was priceless. Our final Newport night ended perfectly with wine and s’mores by the fire. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

On our way to the airport there was no traffic, the rental car return was flawless and we were at our gate in enough time to sit down and eat some lunch before boarding-SWEET!

Speaking of boarding, when the airline begins to call rows they usually announce that anyone who needs assistance and families with children board first, right? Then why does everyone and their mother get up, rush to the front of the gate and stand there staring at their tickets waiting to board? Really? I mean seriously! Attention All Douche Bags: The plane will not leave without you, I promise. Please allow the people whose rows WERE ACTUALLY CALLED to board when asked to. Thank you for you time.

Okay, I digress. Once in flight it was the usual. My daughter wants to get down and put everything and anything in her mouth while my son asks to go to the bathroom once everyone is settled. Although since my husband Don is a sticker for the rules, it was torture for him to allow my 5 year old to disobey the “seat belt” sign and get up to go to the bathroom…unbelievable. Yet he did not have a problem arguing with the flight attendant over a computer glitch with our credit card. His excuse,”She sucked!” Understood, but I almost lost it when 2 hours into the flight my daughter spiked a fever so high I was sweating holding her. I quickly asked Don to grab the Ibuprofen from the bin overhead and he responded  by saying, “The ‘seat belt’ sign is on.” WTF, are you kidding me? Live a little Don, I don’t think the 120 pound flight attendant is going to wrestle you to the ground to prevent you from getting medicine for your daughter who just might have a fever induced seizure on the plane. Okay, a bit dramatic I know, but honestly, I wanted to rip his testicles off right then and there. After the medicine kicked in, McKenna fell asleep and we made it home to good ‘ole CT with not an ounce of energy to spare.

California was an amazing trip and we are all excited to visit again sooner rather than later, but our trip gave us more than we bargained for…

The next day I took McKenna to the doctor only to discover that my poor baby had an ear infection which did not get 

better until three medications later. During this time we uncovered her penicillin allergy that was evident from the hideous rash that covered her body for two days. The kicker came when I found two huge lumps behind each ear accompanied by a sore throat. Ta-da, introducing…Mononucleosis! Yeah, Mono, the “kissing disease”, un-freakin-beleivable! I swear that’s the last time she will be locking lips with the Disney crew. That damn Minnie!

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Mother’s Day Campaign

So I am starting a movement to make Mother’s Day a weekly occurrence. As a mother, one day out of three hundred and sixty-five just doesn’t cut it. I’m not saying that I need a gift every week or any special treatment for that matter, actually I would like a little less treatment and a bit less attention. Hmmm, how can I say this nicely…LEAVE ME ALONE!

As moms we all know how hard it is to do anything by ourselves. Long gone are the simple tasks of ‘running’ into a store for some gum or a bottled water. Nothing is done quickly anymore. If I can’t find a drive-through coffee shop or someone else doesn’t get it for me then I am S.O.L. I know, I know, we all love our children and are blessed that they are in our lives, yeah, yeah, yeah I get it. But it doesn’t change the fact that a little “me time” is necessary, and for the most part I think it is fair to say that most of us just don’t get enough.

Since I lost my mother nine years ago Mother’s Day has always been difficult for me. But I am at the point now where I can reflect on the good memories and it isn’t as painful, although my little distractions (Logan and McKenna) are always very helpful. This year however, I would have done without the chaos and opted for a quiet walk to Starbucks by myself. Instead I got this…

It began the Friday before Mother’s Day when my husband and I received news of a family emergency. That evening my husband was steadfastly dealing with the situation while I got up around 11PM to tend to our daughter who decided to spike a fever. I quickly gave her some medicine and began calming her down in the rocking chair. Just as I was about to get up to lay her back down in her crib she belched and vomited. I cleaned the both of us and finally got her back to sleep although her cough continued to wake her about every three hours. Five o’clock AM arrived sooner than necessary as did McKenna and my allergies. Shortly after that, my husband had to leave for the day. Exhausted from the previous night’s activities I decided  karate class could wait and I opted to lug both kids to doctors instead. My allergies got worse. McKenna turned out to be fine but teething miserably combined with a bit of a cold so we all went home. For the rest of the day I became “that” Mom, the one who sits their kids in front of the TV for hours at a time although instead of enjoying this quiet moment this Mom was too busy itching my throat raw, sneezing and rubbing my eyes raw. Just when I decided to suck it up and take the kids for a walk around the neighborhood I looked outside and it was raining…back to TV. I took some allergy medicine and managed to get my son some exercise by putting in the Wii Fit for Kids, just before I reheated the previous night’s pizza for dinner. After a bath and numerous bedtime books the kids went to bed and my husband finally made it home. Allergies still kicking my ass.

Mother’s Day morning was good. The day began with great weather, well rested children and beautiful Mother’s Day cards from my family. It was very nice. After everyone got dressed we headed out to an early breakfast and then to church. The kids were well behaved and hey, my allergies weren’t even that bad! Then we were off to T-Ball and my day began to take a steady decline (see “Play Ball?” blog). My daughter fell asleep in the car so I stayed with her and played with my new iPhone 4. Ahhh, alone time, little did I know at that moment but that was probably the best part of the day. McKenna woke up miserable so I tok her out in the stroller to go watch the game only to witness my son ditch practice and disappeared with another Mom and her son to got to the bathroom without telling my husband, who at that time was coaching on the field. Once my husband realized Logan was missing he sprinted across the field to where he was heading and well, shall I say, words were exchanged and well, uh…Don was PIIIISSED! Toward the end of the game Logan had a big hit, and actually ran hard to first base, then McKenna belched and vomited. I sneezed three times and began rubbing my eyes-damn these allergies! After the game we went home and I bathed both kids while my husband began a Mother’s Day dinner…now we’re talking! With a salty rimmed margarita in my hand, two clean kids reeking havoc throughout the house, and a sexy hubby cooking dinner on the grill I felt like the luckiest woman alive and Mother’s Day didn’t seem half bad after all. That was until we realized that Logan had given our dog a shower and soaked our family room with the outdoor hose…AAAAACHOO these freakin allergies!  Happy Mother’s Day…this week:-) 

And thank you for a house full of people I love. Amen.”

– Ward Elliot Hour

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Age is Just a Number…Seriously?

I am turning 37 on May 3rd and I am a bit uneasy about the whole thing. I mean, I don’t feel 37, I don’t think I look 37, and I know I don’t act like I am 37, so what’s the dillio? At this point in my life I am finished growing my family. The husband, two kids and dog are enough to add unwanted years to my life. Therefore I should be happy that I will still be relatively young when both children are in high school and college, but I’m not. I secretly envisioned myself partying at frat parties with my daughter while my son’s friends remark at how they can’t believe that I am actually Logan’s Mom. I want to be able to go out with my husband in years to come and have people think that he hit the jackpot and married a hot younger woman-A LOT younger. Yes, this is vanity at its finest but I am just saying what most of you are already thinking…right?

I never felt as though I was getting old by any stretch until this past winter when I went back for my college alumni basketball game. During halftime of our ‘barn burning’ performance a few of the current players came up to talk with us. I was having a great time, chatting with my girls and reminiscing about the days when we were hot shit. That was until one player asked what year we had all graduated. Not hesitating for a moment I said nonchalantly, “1996,” to which she replied about three octaves higher than necessary “Oh my God, that is sooooooo funny, that was the year I was born!” I looked at my girlfriend Kristen dumbfounded, “Yeah okay, ha,ha, ha…that isn’t possible! Is it?” Unfortunately it is possible and was in fact the truth. For the first time EVER in my life I was actually depressed solely because of my age. I began running my fingers over my face looking for wrinkles while scanning the gym for my walker. I mean seriously, what a downer. 

So because I always try to put a positive spin on things, I decided to make a list of 10 reasons why 37 won’t suck too bad:

  1. No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks…
  2. No more hangovers.
  3. No more condoms (vasectomy’s are AWESOME).
  4. I have accomplished two of my life dreams-becoming a  mother and a wife.
  5. I have acquired so much more patience than I ever thought possible.
  6. I am not quite “middle-aged” just yet.
  7. I can use the kids as an excuse for almost anything.
  8. I only found 3 gray hairs.
  9. On a good day I might find more than $5 in my wallet.
  10. I finally, truly like me!

Okay, so I suppose 37 doesn’t look that bad after all. Therefore I will succumb to the inevitable, stick my tongue out at Mother Nature and yell “Catch me if you can,”  all the way to the finish line. Cheers to never growing up!

Yours in Health,

Melissa 

“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.” – Hervey Allen

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Play Ball!?

Logan at bat under my husband's watchful eye

My 5 year old son began another spring season of tee-ball, yeah me…NOT! I say this not because I don’t love watching my son play sports and have fun, but it’s extremely difficult for me to watch him sit on second base picking dandelions or running around tapping his teammates in the crotch asking them if they had a hard cup on their penis too…okay, that is pretty funny,but you get the picture.

Both my husband and I played collegiate basketball and are VERY competitive, yet at this point we don’t want to pressure our children into activities that they do not enjoy. If they begin an activity they have to finish it but they do not have to do it again next season if they aren’t interested. At this age I believe in exposure, exposure, exposure. Although I still feel at age 5 it might be too soon. Their short attention spans, incessant whining and multiple potty breaks are enough to push any coach into early retirement. I don’t know about your town, but around here it’s easy to become a frustrated parent after you see that your future MLB All-Star is playing with ants instead of fielding ground balls and the 4 year old phenom on his team is catching pop flies. Believe me, it happens. My baby sitter who takes a full load of college classes and teaches dance is amazed how many of her 7 year old students have busier schedules than she does. Within one week some of these kids have dance, a tutoring class, swimming, tennis and school!

But this is how things work today, right? You begin playing Mozart, Bach and Beethoven to your unborn child through headphones attached to your belly, after birth the “Baby Einstein” videos, then you move onto the “My Baby Can Read” series, and after your 2 year old is reading you bedtimes stories you sign them up to master a second language…for some, a third. Once they are walking then come sports. Swim lessons on Mondays, karate or dance on Thursdays, and soccer on Sundays. By Kindergarten the only way you know your kid might be headed in the right direction is if they are reading at a tenth grade level, doing your taxes and able to bend it like Beckham! Okay, so I might be exaggerating with the taxes-that stuff is confusing-but either way you look at it,it’s regoddamndiculous!

My husband and I believe in letting kids be just that…kids! And during every tee-ball, soccer or karate practice I work very hard at reminding myself that he is only 5 and try to enjoy these very few precious moments. But I will admit at last week’s tee-ball practice when my son said, “Daddy I have to poop reeeeeeally bad! We have to go home right now before I get a butt affection”, I was not one bit disappointed! 

Yours In Health,

Melissa 

This song is great! It completely epitomizes my son’s baseball “games”.


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