Hey everyone! It has been a crazy week here….I can’t believe we are one week away from Christmas. My schedule has been chock full of concerts, shopping, parties etc. I don’t know about you guys, but this Christmas I have really had to minimize the Christmas shopping. We are really feeling the pinch of the economy here…are you guys?
So what has been happening here at The Naked Mom?
I have my daughter’s Christmas concert this morning, so I will try to wrap this up quickly…ha!
I am all done with Christmas stuff, which is a huge PLUS since today I begin my STRIKE…yep you heard me…STRIKE! No dinners, no lunches, no chauffeur service…have fun kids and hubby! I await your humble-grovel-like apologies with bated breath!!
I was on a mad-man like hunt for this dang huge nylon frisbee thing that I could not find anywhere…posted a pleading cry for help to FB and now I have FIVE….hehe!! Guess what every little person is getting from me this year as a bonus feature gift…HA!! I love FB…thanks again Stacy!!
So how did I end up with FIVE, you inquire??
I bought three online as a result of the ingenious goggle searching of my dear friend Stacy.
Because what if one doesn’t get here in time….and you know one will definitely get lost in the transit AND ONE will be confiscated by the UPS guy, who has been on the same mind-killing frantic search as me…DUH!!
The last TWO I picked up from the VERY SWEET assistant manager at 5 Below, where I initially saw the DANG HUGE FLYING DISC THINGY, he spent 3 DAYS scouring his back room for old summer stock, after I animatedly revealed my heart-wrenching story about THIS DUMB FLYING THING (the ONE thing Talia kept telling the man in red that she wanted)…yes she wants an embellished DOG TOY…HEEELLLLOOOO TAL…ever hear of AMERICAN GIRL DOLL…sheesh!?
In any case, back to my sweet assistant manager, he spent days rummaging through their stock room and called me….oh about TWO SECONDS AFTER I purchased THREE ONLINE….. and exclaimed with breathy EXCITEMENT that he had UNEARTHED TWO….yep TWO.…now how could I NOT go and buy them from the man, the man who SAVED my ass from having to reveal to my LAST AND YOUNGEST child that Santa DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST, that he is , in fact, merely your SCHMUCKY mom and dad, who STINK at finding HUGE NYLONY FLYING DISC THINGYS!!??
Thank you Mr. 5 Below…..your Karma is good and clean now, for sure!!
I also, desperately wanted to take the girls into NYC to see the tree and the decorated windows, but funds were tight, but with perseverance, I discovered, with my wonderful friend Nicole, that you CAN do the city on a budget. Here’s how….
Drive in with a friend (I did gas and tolls, she did parking and we split a 6 dollar cab ride).
We each spent about 30 dollars…not bad, considering that if I had taken the train…you know the way the higher-ups are ENCOURAGING everyone to go…mass transportation…it would have cost me 80 dollars just for train fare….WHAT!! Dear Powers That Be, if you want the general population to use mass transportation….MAKE IT AFFORDABLE!!!! Jus’ Sayin!
Our Adventure in pics…..
On our way to get Nicole and Liam….
We’re HERE!! (did someone say DIAMONDS!!??)
Attempting to get a group shot, but Talia wouldn’t STOP walking…sigh.
The tree and the skaters….pretty, pretty.
The GRINCH, who in true Grinch-like fashion DEMANDED a TIP for a picture taken with OUR OWN camera….sheesh!!
The windows were gorgeous, sorry no pictures!
And last, but not least a quick stop at….
The day ended with lots of smiles…..
We found our parking garage EASILY and hopped right into the tunnel. There were NO MAJOR meltdowns and the day went off without a hitch, except for missing our EXIT and DRIVING 30 MINUTES OUT OF OUR WAY on the ride home, BUT thanks to….
GINORMOUS lollipops and a small ration of sweets for the older girls….ALL WAS WELL!!!
NYC on a budget!! Thanks Nicole for coming with me….do you think our hubbies will get the Cartier hint….HA!!
Off to a concert!!
Ironic how this is the season of peace, joy, hope and love and so many of us find ourselves stressed, sad, in despair and angry.
Stressed over money and purchasing the exact perfect gift for the weirdo family member we hardly care for or ever see!!
Sad over loved ones not here with us to celebrate the dysfunction of the holiday season.
In despair over life’s, often times, cruel reality.
Angry that little-granny-silver hair just STOLE OUR parking spot…I mean who the heck does she think she is…..just cuz she’s all senior citizeny doesn’t mean she gets DIBS on all the spots…does it???!! Now I have to walk…RRRRRRR!
The irony of this season, whether you believe in God or not, is that we celebrate the birth of a man who renounced worldly possessions BY BUYING worldly posesssions….HA!!
This is not a post about NOT giving gifts etc. I am an all-american gift-buying, tree-cutting, believer in Jesus Christmas celebrator….sigh!
I am here to offer a CHALLENGE…it is Monday, after all and perhaps a tip to shift your attitude from Mr. Grinch to Mr. Cratchit.
I believe that we set our expectations too high, which sets us up for bitterness and resentment, keeping us from joy, peace, love and hope. We do this everyday in regard to almost every aspect of our lives. Since it is Christmas, I will give you an example of how my MOST dreaded family activity has transformed itself to my one of my favorite family events by simply lowering my bar of expectation, in fact, in this instance I REMOVED the bar COMPLETELY….five kids people, five kids….there can be NO bar , if I want joy, peace, love and hope….jus’ sayin!!
Christmas Tree shopping…..sigh….oh and please don’t write me some holier than thou email about how UN-GREEN I am…I have checked into the whole singing and dancing elves that deliver your potted tree and then remove it and plant it afterward…and guess what…..this service is ONLY available on the WEST COAST….so ZIP IT!!
In any case, this yearly event quickly became a horrific nightmare that I dreaded each year.
My expectation list:
All of my children would share in my excitement and enthusiasm of venturing into the forest of piney trees.
All of my children AND MY HUSBAND would have IDENTICAL taste and ideas of what “the perfect tree” looked like….ha!
They would all share and welcome the christmas spirit and desire to assist in the cutting and securing of the tree.
They would decorate like well-behaved-polite-politically-correct debutants instead of like a bunch of uncouth-nasty-club-bearing-neanderthals….ugh!
Needless to say, I returned home angry and appalled by the shallow, selfish, disgruntled children I was raising, I mean for Pete’s Sake…..did they NOT UNDERSTAND how very FORTUNATE they were to even have the means to AFFORD a dang Christmas Tree??!! HOW DARE THEY??!!
Around the time I turned 35 and added yet ONE more BUNDLE OF UNENDING JOY (not at all said in dripping sarcasm) to the clan, I transformed my attitude and expectations…..I think 35 is the age where most of us begin to mellow out, maybe not…if you are beyond the age of 35 and are still the same ball of stress you have always been…might I suggest the book Zen Heart….really, it’s time to chill…life really is very short, why not enjoy yours?!
So….how did me changing my outlook CHANGE the whole event….if you are wondering if my shift miraculously altered the very nature of my children (nature of all children)…
NOPE! NO DICE! BIG FAT NADA!!
There is usually still a spat between some of them.
One is ALWAYS ticked about the tree that has been selected…usuually OLIVIA…sorry to sell you out like that Liv, but perhaps your embarrassment will lead to a TRANSFORMATION in YOUR ATTITUDE….jus’ sayin…LUV YA!!
And for PETE’s SAKE it is still difficult to get a dang picture by the tree with everyone looking (they were all….the sun’s too bright…blah, blah, blah), BUT…..and here comes the transformation….
I DON’T CARE!!
I know who my children are.
I know the kind, caring adults they will EVENTUALLY transform into…..fingers crossed..hehe.
There are MORE moments of my family playing, laughing, partaking in a oh-so-friendly-not-seeking-revenge-for-the-year’s-wrongdoing snowball fight (that is if there is snow) than there are sulking and arguing. It all depends on where your focus is…truly. If I am seeking out, standing in alert, ready for battle….then you can be damn sure you will discover one!
This principle is the same for merriment of the season….if you stand expectantly….
PEACEfully (dropping your expectations for the perfect day) in the….
HOPE to witness…..
JOY of your HEALTHY, VIBRANT family which you created together in
LOVE….you WILL experience it!
There is beauty in each moment, yes even the chaotic ones, we just need to acquisition them….truly.
And one more tip: Let Go Of The Guilt….just let it go…it serves NO PURPOSE…
We are human.
So what if you go all verbally ninja on your child here and there…..APOLOGIZE and move on…maybe save for therapy instead of college…KIDDING!!
Really….stop creating failure.
Tune into those precious-not-so-perfect moments….they are where perfection resides.
They are where hope, joy, love and peace reside.
Enjoy the season….the sentiment of the season….
And breathe again.
Create your peace.
Create your joy.
Create your hope.
Create your love.
Enjoy your day!
Some more quotes from Talia, who now speaks with some strange un-identifiable accent…..
This morning we were running for the bus, which came EIGHT MINUTES TOO EARLY….sheesh….pick your time peeps!! We ran out the door to the end of the driveway….me, desperately attempting to jam her lunch and water bottle into her bag and zip it back up….a line of cars forming behind the bus (we live on a county road that serves as a short cut from route 31 traffic)…I am sure those people were ever SO PLEASED with me…ha! We reach the bus…I try to kiss her goodbye…she brushes me away and says….
“Mom, there is no time for super-dee-dup-dup-duper day kisses and I think my nose is going to bleed from all of this rushing”….HUH!!??
I get the no time for super stuff….I say it to her each morning before she gets on the bus, BUT what the heck is she talking about with the nose-bleed….sigh.
Two other quotes of hers lately are:
When you tell her you love her…she replies with a higher pitched voice donning a mix between a british and chinese accent…..
“Why thank you very much.”
The other comes out of the blue…say when you’re watching a show with her or other completely RANDOM times….she pats your head or rubs your shoulder, looks you in the eye and says (again with that same weird dialect)….
“You’re a good one….uh huh, yep, you’re a good one.”
Have a great weekend everyone! And remember…..
“You’re a good one….uh huh, yep, you’re a good one.”
I often wonder if God has those days of...if I had onlies…..I think He must…how about you? Here is a list of what I think He might do differently, if given the chance…..oh and if he had a female, such as myself nagging, uh, I mean whispering in His ear…..
1. Infants would all speak in a polite English accent….excuse me mummy, might I get a spot of warm milk…that is…when you get a wee second.
2. Toddlers would be MUTE!!!
3. Puberty would hit in the TWENTIES…when they leave the nest….by the way…this would COMPLETELY resolve teen pregnancy AND the oh-so-awkward moment when a mother discovers her son…you know….doing that guy thing….sigh…EMBARRASSING!!
SIDENOTE: Seriously…why would you equip socially. physically and mentally immature boys with TESTOSTERONE…hello…no disrespect God, but come on…poorly thought out….just wait until they are married or at least out of the house and then go all Emeril on them and BAM ’em with testosterone…..jus’ sayin.’ As for the female side of things…puberty when they leave would remedy HUGE amounts…if not ALL family discord….I realize God that you wouldn’t know this first hand, as you have NEVER LIVED with a premenstrual girl, but trust me…..the threat of HELL is surely NOTHING compared to living with teenaged girls!!
4. MUTE teenagers? I mean, a silent toddler…serenity…silent teens…well…. I am just guessing here, but I imagine it might be something like oh, I don’t know…..HEAVEN!! Unresaonable…okay, I can negotiate…give them speaking privileges M-F 7a.m.- 4p.m…..you know…WHILE THEY’RE IN SCHOOL!!!
5. Menopause…really? Have we not been punished enough for tempting dumbass to eat the apple??!! Why can’t we just wake up one morning and be all…man I feel great…relaxed, serene and hey what do you know…no more period for me….woot woot!!! I don’t understand your logic….the sweating, the mood swings….I’m thinking violence against men might decrease if you cut us some slack….trust me…living with men is plenty punishment enough for asking him to try the apple….I mean HE ATE IT…NOT US!!
Of course, I don’t mean to imply that you are inadequate in any way…. I am just suggesting that perhaps….just maybe you rushed into things a tad….7 days…..clearly 7 days is not enough time to get all the details sorted out. I know how you feel….a list a mile long hanging over your head like a gullitine….you just want to get through it….cross off the heavy burdensome weight of THE LIST….and You sure did have a BIG one…I mean…create the heavens, the seas, the land, animals, night and day…I get it…not a small task,slightly OVERWHELMING….but there a some things you just can’t RUSH….like creating MEN and KIDS….I forgive You, though…I am sure you have a nice shiny mansion with built-in bay windows overlooking the sunrise and sunset, a wrap-around porch with endless amounts of wine delivered by a not-hard-to-look-at-drink delivery boy, who also happens to give a killer foot and shoulder massage! Perhaps, You have taken the liberty to install a huge jacuzzi tub with a little keypad equipped to supply me with all of my whims and fancies with a push of a button and OH I can picture the massage chair vividly…Thank You God…you’re the best!!! I am glad we had this chat!!
Now don’t go getting all offended….I wrote this in jest…a way to giggle on a dreary day!
Enjoy your day!! 🙂
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving! it was a busy week here! We delivered food for Starfish, our local food pantry, which is always a humbling experience and one that leaves you feeling truly thankful for your job, home, etc.
We spent this year at my in-laws, we switch every other year between our families…we stuffed ourselves into triptafen comas….FUN!!
I was thankful to have all of my brood under one roof…..this gets more and more difficult as they all grow up….snif snif…
We dressed Talia up like a turkey using a fireplace broom, a hat she made in school and two potholder gloves….we then made her gobble around the kitchen like a turkey…..good times, people, good times!!
How did you spend your Holiday?
Challenge for the Week…get back to eating healthy in healthy PROPORTIONS….sheesh…. and get MOVING!!!
Enjoy your day!!
Well, it certainly has been a whirlwind of a week for everyone!
Hopefully MOST everyone has had power restored.
Today I am thankful for those simply divine moments…the unexpected moments that you remember forever…..slightly odd, but all the sweeter!
Here is a short recap of Halloween and the moments I am referring too….
Below is a picture of our trick or treat group….
This was one of those sweet unexpected moments, as the french fries in the middle is a dear friend of my daughter Olivia, who has been battling a rare and aggressive brain tumor for the last year. She joined us unexpectedly for trick or treat! Love you Hay!!
The other moment…the bizarre, sweet one was this…
Saturday, the day of the infamous October Snow Storm that left NJ, PA and Conn reeling in its wake was my SIL(sister in law’s) birthday. As a result of the storm her children were unable to come home, as planned, from visiting their dad.
Pathetically Becky, my SIL, spent her birthday curled up on her couch...ALONE, WITHOUT POWER….IN COMPLETE DARKNESS listening to the breaking branches fall outside! HOW AWFUL!!
The next day, I threw an impromptu birthday celebration. Dan and I had a clambake….ha…try that on for size…an indoor clambake in the wake of a weird snowstorm in October….so the celebration consisted of CAKE! A quick birthday serenade, blowing out of the candles and a hunk of chocolate on chocolate cake before the kids had to hit bed….it was a school night after all…or at least we thought it was a school night!
Sidenote: I did bake the cake and the frosting from scratch….jus’ sayin.’
As a result of the storm, Olivia was babysitting my friend Lori’s two little guys at our house AND my friend Michele was over for showers and homework for her family, she has triplet boys and a 6-year-old boy.
In any case, all of these worlds collided and the picture captures Becky’s guests at her celebration! All people she knows, however are more my friends…lol! We were all laughing at the peculiar and perplexing mix of guests, but somehow it made it all the sweeter!
I love these moments….the ones that you could not have imagined! The ones where you are faced with a choice of making the best of it or moping around about it!
Often if we choose to make the best of it….the very peculiarity of the experience transforms itself into one of our most cherished memories and every now and then are the moments that teach us our greatest lessons.
Lesson learned: Where there is empathy, kindness and love….only joy can rise!
We were a motley crew…..most in need of showers..some from the absence of power and some from wreaking like a clambake….others were cranky as a result of school assignments needing finishing and spirits for some were a little downtrodden. Upon leaving however…..all wore smiles and were robustly laughing.
We carved a slice of joy for ourselves in the oddest of circumstances!
Be aware and cognizant of opportunities in your life seemingly undesirable for they may, if you allow it, metamorphose into a delicious morsel of joy to savour for a lifetime.
Remember….FALL BACK….daylight savings this weekend!!
Enjoy you day!
If any of my male readers clicked on this post to investigate whether or not it was truly about dry skin or just a clever title…it is in fact about dry skin, BUT before you click the X button….know this…women like a man with nice skin….however, we DO NOT wish to WITNESS or be INFORMED about your skin-care regimen. Knowing ruins the fantasy-like illusion of your glowing dew-like complexion of angelic proportions if the realization or image of our very manly man scrubbing his face and applying product comes into our brains! Much like your desire to not be privy to the reality that we just had our bff remove a foot long hair from our cheek….jus’ sayin.’
In any case….the skin-care market is booming…..is it not? I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me the overwhelming amounts of information and product choices in this area left me paralyzed to do ANYTHING!! I mean…. how is a girl to choose between Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty, which by using would most definitely leave you sprouting long luscious legs and a mole beautifully placed on your face and…. say…. Heidi Klum’s In An Instant leaving you blond, chocolate-eyed and sun-kissed??
So I did what most women do….NOTHING!!! For ten years….my ENTIRE 30’s….. I did nothing to try to preserve what good my skin still ascertained and NOTHING to aid in the prevention my epidermis’ deterioration….sigh!
Two years ago, 6 of my girlfriends and I went on a spa weekend to the Hershey Spa….I highly recommend girls’ get-aways, by the way…good for your soul!! In any case, I signed up for my first facial and was MORTIFIED at the amount of BLACKHEADS my poor, unsuspecting esthetitician was POP…POP…POPPING on my face…..EWWWW…GAROOSSSS!!! They eloquently refer to this as…. extractions.
My sweet, soft-spoken esthetician cajoled me…“it’s not so bad.” UGH!! I rambled in my in-your-face-italian-way about how I don’t know what to do…so…I do nothing!! She delicately suggested that I simply use a warm washcloth on my face before I go to bed each night. And for one year I did as she suggested.
Now don’t get my wrong…I washed my face each morning in the shower with your ordinary soap and the same at night, however, I didn’t do much else…I applied over-the-counter body lotion on my face after each shower the same way I do to my body, as I had done since I was a teen, but I didn’t use any product geared specifically toward the face.
The following year, on the same weekend, the girls and I ventured again to Hershey and again I booked a facial. To my great joy….ONLY FOUR EXTRACTIONS…FOUR…the year before it was something like FIFTY-TWO…NO LIE!!
Progress….I was making progress…yay me!!
This esthetician informed me that the women who seem to have the healthiest skin used Avon and Oil of Olay!!
And so I set out on a search for a manageable skin-care regimen for myself.
I also need to squeeze in here that last November, I encountered DRY SKIN!!
All-over-want-to-remove-all-layers-of-epidermis-on-every-square-inch-of-your-body-with-your-bare-hands DRY SKIN!!
I will spare you the gory details of the torture I endured and the amount of cash I laid down on products that offered ZERO relief. I will also spare you the knowledge that I used my hubby’s “secret weapon” to itch his back…. which I have spent countless hours teasing him about….well…. no…. I won’t spare you….introducing…..the best scratcher on the market….
BEHOLD….BEA…as my hubby so lovingly named her!
Yep…an ordinary household scrub brush on a long handle…and YES IT WAS NEW!!! Secretly, I would spend hours scrubbing my skin raw to experience a moment of satisfaction as only the way that scratching an itch can deliver.
Finally, I discovered relief and a skin-care regimen. It varies slightly with the season, but here it is…
My morning routine…..
~I use Lever 2000 everyday in the shower year round on my stinky parts….my feet, my pits and my privates…let’s face it you need to keep these clean peeps!!
~I use Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Scrub on my face everyday year round. I love this product…it has a nice mentholated feeling. It is an exfoliator, so if your skin is sensitive use it a couple of times a week instead of everyday.
~I use Ambi Foaming Cleanser on my face to remove all of the crap the exfoliator just loosened up….IMPORTANT STEP!!
~For my body I mix a little of the Neutrogena Calming Body Wash with Cetaphil Restoring Body Wash on a mesh pouf sponge. The Neutrogena really calms and moisturizes, however it doesn’t suds up, which is why I add the Cetaphil which also moisturizes AND creates a sudsy, foamy wash!!
~ When I am all finished and before I get dressed I apply Cetaphil Lotion (not pictured) in the Spring and Summer months and Eucirin Calming Cream in the Fall and Winter or whenever my skin is dry.
~For my face I apply Oil of Olay Definity Eye Illuminator (don’t think it really does anything, but it feels really nice around my eyes) and Oil of Olay Regenerist UV Defense SPF 15.
Phew…done. I chose Oil of Olay because you can get it anywhere, however I heard super feedback on the Avon line, as well. Oil of Olay has a website where you can answer questions about your skin and it will come up with a gazillion products to use…I just chose a cleanser and moisturizers from the large group.
Here is my night-time regimen….
I included a picture of the Cetaphil lotion just so you would know what you were looking for if you were interested. I only use lotion at night if my skin is crazy dry…I hate feeling slimy when I go to bed…yep…I have issues!!
~So…anywho…if I am really tired I use a really warm washcloth…I hold it on my face to let the heat loosen the dirt and then I gently scrub my face with it….HA…me gentle…yea right, but that’s how you’re SUPPOSED to do it!! My poor self is going to awaken one morning with my facial skin GONE from the harsh scouring and discover a mere skeleton terrifyingly staring at itself! Sigh. Then I slather on some facial moisturizer and call it a night.
~When I am not exhausted I use the washcloth, primarily because it feels really, really luxuriously good…truly! Then I use Oil of Olay Total Effects Revitalizing Foam Cleanser.
~During the mild months, I then apply the same eye cream as in the morning and either Olay Definity Restorative Night Cream OR Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream.
~ In the Fall and Winter I use Clarins HydroQuench Moisturizer-small blue one on the right (this one is pricey…Fifty bucks and can be found at Sephora, BUT it does last me the whole two seasons and really helps!!)
~ The Reddish bottle in the picture is Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir….I just thought I would try it…you wear it before your night-time moisturizer….feels good, but not worth the money in terms of results!
So there you have it. Remember, I began with just a washcloth and some warm water!
I have given up on the notion or hope that I will be miraculously transformed into a model beauty, besides…they are mostly AIRBRUSHED anyway and have decided to care for what I was given in a way that makes me feel good, healthy and proactive without breaking the bank!
Enjoy your weekend….rumors of snow are fluttering about for the NorthEast….I am not keen on the thought of a white Halloween!
I actually am wondering if we have ever had a white Halloween….GOOGLE….be right back!
I am back….according to Google…no snow on Halloween in the NorthEast….however Middle Eastern states have had snow on Halloween….
Enjoy your weekend and have a safe and spooky Halloween!!!
Confession….I strongly dislike doing crafts!
Don’t like it one little bit!
Of course, being that God has a sense of humor, He made my last and final child…..A CHILD WHO LOVES CRAFTS!! Ugh! I can’t get this kid to play with Barbies, Lil Pet Shops….she loves crafts!!
Because I love my child WHO loves crafts, I sucked it up and constructed a Haunted House from Foamies….sheesh!
Who designs these things…clearly someone who DOES NOT sit down and build them with a child…that’s who!! There was NO instructions…ZERO, ZILCH, NADA…simply follow the picture...huh!!??
Follow the NON-3D picture to construct a 3D Haunted House….GREAT!!
Have I ever mentioned how much I not only dislike crafts, but maps, as well, I also have ZERO capacity to decipher a map!! It’s true…so looking at a FLAT photograph of a CRAFT is like…..well….you might as well have someone instruct me how to build it while speaking in Japanese….good times, people, good times!
After much frustration, which I desperately tried to keep hidden from Tal….we completed The Haunted House….
And this photo below shows why I do things that I despise!!!
Enjoy your day!