Friday, June 29, 2012

Just Be

If you want to be happy, be.
-Leo Tolstoy

I whisper in their ears before they fall asleep nightly that they are smart, strong, and beautiful and that they can do anything in the whole wide world. 

From how they behave, I do believe it's working. 

The fear that often creeps into my mind. That fear of failure that prevents me from trying, that keeps me up at night wondering what if? That emotion has yet to overtake them. 

Instead, when they come to me for guidance, 

I reassure. 

I remind them of their strength, 

And their beauty, 

And their intelligence. 

And then they surprise themselves and just do it. 

Be it a first trip down the wooden slide alone, 

Or overcoming the fear of the swings at Sesame Place. 

They find their happiness in those accomplishments. 

Now if only I could take those words of wisdom and follow my own guidance to find that place of happy. 

Because aren't we all smart, strong, and beautiful? 

Little White Whale

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Me versus the sticks

I do believe to truly enjoy reading this one must start....

Great news, right?

However, the action of getting to this happy little place has been quite the roller coaster. After my miscarriage in December, my body and my mind were messed up. 

With support and love from friends, both in real life and through my virtual one, I was able to get my head back into a good place. However, my body would not cooperate. After years of being "regular" with my time of the month, things were off. 

Reassurance from a new OB-GYN group gave me the news I needed to hear. 

Everything was okay, and there was no reason to forgo baby three. 

And the incident with the pregnancy tests happened. 

Yes, tests, as is plural tests. 

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I have my Master's degree from a fairly reputable university. I pride myself in my knowledge of the goings on in the world, and I consider reading to be a hobby. 

I think I'm smart. 

However, I met my match in the bathroom with this:

Leave it to me to mess up peeing on a stick...


It was a Friday evening when I realize my period never really came as it should have on Wednesday. Like I mentioned prior, I have been quite regular prior to my miscarriage. These months after it is a bit different, yet still around the same time. 

Calling Bryan at work, I relay my suspicions. 

"Well, I gotta pick up some stuff at CVS" he says, "I'll pick up a pregnancy test. I mean, really? I don't think there's any way you could be pregnant again. You're all messed up right now, right?"

I agree.

I wasn't yet feeling one hundred percent back to normal and figure it is my body attempting to regulate itself. My body needs to find it's own homeostasis* so to speak. 
*GRE word I do believe

Arriving home, he tosses me the bag.

"I say do it while I put the girls to bed" he says "This way we'll know and we can go on with our life". 

"Sounds like a plan." I respond.

After kissing their heads and whispering sweet dreams into their ears, back down stairs to the powder room I head. 

Reading the side panel on the box, I do my business, and place the stick on the counter.

Waltzing around the living room, I slowly count down the three minutes.

Returning to find the test, negative.

Deflated, I toss the test into the garbage can. Ascending up the stairs, taking a deep breath in, I open the door to the bedroom. Standing in the doorway, I share my news with Bry.

"Nope". I mutter between gritted teeth. "Negative".

The girls look up. Their eyes glistening and smiles appearing on their face, as they chorus, "Night Mommy".

Blowing them kisses again, I return back downstairs for the night. A new baby not in the cards at this moment.

The next morning, still no period.

Since there were two tests in the box, I decide to try yet again.

My supportive message board friends are always insistent on using first morning urine for pregnancy tests, so this time I oblige. Following what I believe to be the accurate protocol, the pee hits the stick, the protective tab is returned to cover and I wait.

The girls sit mesmorized by their morning television dose, as I count down the three minutes yet again.

"Mommy, I come with you" Maeve asks, as I head back to the bathroom.

"Nope, babes. Mama needs to do this by herself." I say, closing the bathroom door again.

Lifting up the stick, I discover another negative sign in the window.

However, upon further review, my eyes focus on the empty control window.

Picking up the little box, I read,
"If no line appears in the little square box within ten minutes consider the test failed".


Leave it to me to fail a pregnancy test.

Being the ever intellegient and wise woman, into the garbage can I dive, looking for the pregnancy test from the night before. Not surprisingly I discover, no line in the little square box.

I failed this pregnancy test...twice.

Only I manage to screw up peeing on a stick. I find a way to have an error... twice... with the EPT test.

You know, the Error Proof Test?!?

Of course, I refrain from sharing what I believe to be my inadquency with Bryan and instead search for solace and support from my message board community. It is there I am instructed to avoid the high priced pregnancy test for the cheap versions, the one from the Dollar store appear to be the universally approved version.

Luckily, a trip to Wegmans is in the near future and it is there I pick up the cheapest store brand tests I can find.

Again, the girls sit glued to the tube while I excuse myself to the bathroom.

Carefully I unwrap the test, read the directions twice, and do my business.

It's not first morning urine.

It's not an "Error Proof Test".

It's not even a test with words like pregnant or not pregnant.

However, this time in the minute it takes for me to pull up my pants, flush and wash my hands the clear positive sign appears.

I think I'm pregnant, or at least the stick in front of me leads me to this conclusion. Based off my earlier track record, I share my news with Bry and we both decide that redoing the test the following morning is probably the best thing.

Again, first morning urine replicates the results from the afternoon before, another positive pregnancy test.

Yippee! I think?

My excitement is hesitant as I can't help but think about my issues with the first two tests. Thus, only with confirmation from my OB-GYN a few weeks later do I allow my mind to grasp the idea of a third baby.

A third baby due on December 26, 2012. Good planning for tax purposes, poor planning for Christmas!

In conclusion, here's a little math to recap this event:

(2 trips to stores + 4 Pregnancy tests x lots of urine) - confusion of 2 mistaken pregnancy tests + confirmation of 2 positive tests / hesitation and anticipation = 
Baby #3 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Daddy's Girl

I'm back!

Did you miss me?

Life has been crazy here in the land o' Zilla. It's been a while since I've posted, leaving my video of our pending Christmas gift, and then dropping off of the Blogosphere for a bit.

It's all good.

Between visits to Sesame Place, the beach, a Bachelorette party, planning and executing a bridal shower for my little sister, and attempting to spend some quality time with the kiddos, writing time was non existent.

But here I am again, excited to share in this week's Listicles with Stasha.

Kim from G is Silent chose for us to write a list about 10 memories of a special man in our life. Father’s day 2012 was very important in Pugliano family. Kim wrote all about. I recommend heading over and to share some love with Kim. 

Since I most recently dedicated a list to my "Baby Daddy" Bry, I decided today, I'd share:

Ten Things About My Dad

1. He is the biggest kid I know. 
My dad was the second oldest of eight, living in a small three bedroom one bath duplex in my hometown. He grew up fast, and never really had too much of what one would characterize as a "childhood". He made up for it though, with us. My own childhood is peppered with memories of amusement parks, visits to museums, trips to the beach, driving to Disney World, and so much more. Be it a roller coaster where he'd wait in line for the front row, to a line for a signature of a baseball player, my dad was always smack dab in the middle of chaos. 

2. the Phillies
My dad and the Phillies, go together like peanut butter and jelly. He's on top of the score, and the stats. His heart bleeds Phillies red, and I swear the majority of his wardrobe is red and white. He has shared his love of the Phils with both Mo & Maeve, as they know their players probably better than most adults. 
Who else but a true Phillies Phanatic would bring a Phanatic doll for his newborn granddaughter in the hospital...twice? 
Notice how the doll is bigger than Maeve? 

3. He cannot swim, yet he knows a helluva lot about swimming
Funny, when to think that this man would drown if he fell into water deeper than his height.
However give him a stopwatch during my 500 yd freestyle race, and upon my finish, he'll be able to give a full replay of what I did right, wrong, and my splits in between. 

4. He has a mild obsession with TV. 
At any given moment in my parents home, the DVR is most likely recording some episode of an obscure show on TBS, while the VCR (yes, they still have one) is recording some replay of an old movie in their bedroom, while my dad sits and watches a previously recorded episode of something else. 
Their house should be one of those Nielsen homes. 

5. Jimmy Fallon makes his way into his conversation at least once every phone call. 
My dad (and mom) love Jimmy Fallon. They tape it nightly, and watch it together every morning. My dad loves to rehash some interview, or share his Friday "Thank you list" with me. There have been numerous moments where I'll be coerced to watch a bit of an episode, where my dad will fast forward and rewind the bit to ensure I "got it".
 I should mention they've seen a taping in person and are hoping to do it again. 

6. His musical tastes are quite eclectic. 
Growing up, we affectionately referred to the selection of rock my dad would play in the car as "Daddy's Druggie Music", and I mean, how could one blame us for that? 
Creedence Clearwater Revival?
Eric Clapton?
Weren't most of the artists of the '60's and '70's high anyway?
Today, while my dad still loves his classic rock, current artists as well as up and coming groups often make their way onto his phone or computer. He will search itunes for groups after hearing their songs on shows on the CW or Fox, and often discovers new groups before they hit radio fame. 

7. Ketchup, anyone?
Anyone who knows my dad, knows of his brand loyalty to Heinz ketchup. Steak, hamburgers, mashed potatoes, eggs, he adds ketchup to them all. 
It appears Maeve has inherited her grandfather's appreciation for condiments, as she's loves ketchup.

8. He can eat or drink anything, and then precede to fall asleep. 
Perhaps it was from his time working the night shift? Maybe it's just genetics. However this man can eat a full dinner, drink a cup or two of coffee and no sooner put down his napkin, head to bed and sleep for the night. Lucky for me, he passed this trait on. 

9. He is mildly obsessed with this price of gasoline. 
Gas is expensive. 
Not sure about it? Ask my dad!
With every visit, not soon after entering the door, I will hear what he paid for the gas he just purchased as he crossed over the bridge into New Jersey, because gas in New Jersey is always cheaper than Pennsylvania. In direct corrleation to this, my father instilled a neuorsis in my siblings and I regarding the gas gauge. 
As per Joe, if the tank is below a half, one must fill with fuel immediately. 
If the gas gauge makes it to one quarter filled, one will receive a strict verbal . 
If the empty gas light turns on, it must be broken because a child of Joe would never let it go below one quarter tank. 

10. There was always time for us
Many of my memories growing up, my dad was there. Sporting events, trips, and such, my dad always found a way to be there. Often working nights, he'd forgo sleep to drive to swim meets or soccer games. I can only assume he'd come home exhausted, but would always make time to talk, to check in with us. 
We were important. 
I see it now, with my own children. As a grandfather, he always makes time for my girls. (My mom too) Making trips, an hour away on Saturday mornings to watch swim lessons or soccer clinics, or using a half day of vacation time to plan a trip to Sesame Place. 
There always is time for the girls. 

Popsie, Mo, & Maeve riding the bouncy frogs on the boardwalk

I realize now, how very lucky I was to have grown up with my father. 
Thanks Dad!

Is there someone worth a list in your life? Your dad? Grandfather? Link up with Stasha & her famous listicles. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Christmas Wishes

It's June.
Summer has officially started, yet in our house, recently winter has come to mind, or more specifically Christmas time.

Monday, June 11, 2012


As is Monday, I'm back with the fabulous Stasha and her Listicles. 

This week, she has the ever clever and smart, funny and honest, to be quite frank, my mommy role models: Erin & Ellen  of the Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms picking the topic. The banter they share week in and week out, coupled with their frank discussion of parenthood make them a must read. 

Their topic de jour, 
Things That Make You Go Hmmm? 
Since today brings the beginning of summer, I find it only fitting that my list find it's inspiration within this topic and so I present: 

Things That Make You Go Hmmm....Jersey Shore Edition

1. Why is it the people best built for string bikinis cover themselves up like it's the middle of winter, while those with, how shall I say it nicely, more body mass squeeze themselves into teeny tiny suits?
Regardless, I must commend their confidence. 

2. Why are shoes required for entering Wawa but pants optional?
If you a regular reader, you already know of my love for Wawa, which is a local convenience store who totally should run sponsored ads on my site as their name gets mentioned her often. 

3. How does the Fudgie Wudgie man know the exact moment my child is whining for ice cream? 
How ever he does know this, I am thankful!
Moira after her summer treat

4. How do people NOT KNOW feeding the sea gulls is unacceptable?  
Disease? Filth? Flying rats? 
Anyone? Anyone? 

5. Why come to the beach if sitting under an umbrella, on a chair, while listening to your ipod, and doing paperwork is your plan for the day?

6. What motivates one to plaster make up and complete their entire hair ritual prior to a day in the sand? There are natural elements to contend with, such as wind, water, and humidity. 

7. How is THIS comfortable? 
Buy it HERE
8. Furthermore, how the hell is this comfortable?

9. Why did anyone let them onto the beaches of New Jersey?

10. Finally, why does the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day seem to fly by so quickly?
There nothing is quite like those moments on the beach. The slight sea breeze, the warm sand between the toes, and that feeling of relaxation that only comes during a shore day. 
Summer goes by much too quickly!
My own beach bunny at her first beach day of 2012.

What makes you go "Hmm?"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It Gets Better

I pull out the plastic chair and comfortably ease my weight into the seat.

"Mommy, here. " Maeve says, handing me a fork and knife. Taking the maroon cloth napkin, she attempts to cover her plate.

"No babe, " I start. "It's a napkin. We put it on our lap. Look at mommy and Aunt Lynsay. Our napkins are on our laps too".

In just over two years of life, she has never been to a restaurant with cloth napkins. Their addition to the dining table causes a bit of confusion. Furrowing her brow, she focuses her attention from my lap to Lynsay's.

"Oh, Okay, mommy. I put it on my lap." she says, nodding in agreement.

"Mo, " I say. "Take the napkin from under your plate. It's not a place mat, it's actually a napkin. Put it on your lap like this."

"How about I do it like this?" she asks, placing the napkin on the arm of the plastic chair.

"Fine." Bry chimes in. "I think that's a great idea Mo".

Once upon a time, dinners out were leisurely affairs. We'd stroll out on a Friday or Saturday evening. Over glasses of wine, we'd sample some appetizers, savor entrees, and share desserts. Over a few hours, our night would be spent sharing stories, laughs, and each others company. Back then, it was the four of us: Lynsay, Steve, Bryan, & I at our favorite Italian restaurant, seafood joint, or just enjoying pizza and beer at the bar.

It was simple.
It was lazy.
It was fun.

And then Moira was born, and it all changed.

Yes, we did do a few dinners out with her in the infant car seat. Sitting at the outdoor table, they dined like normal while I hovered nearby. Instead of a leisurely pace, I shoveled food in frantically, anticipating the newborn cry all too familiar with a two month old. I couldn't really relax, as the thought of her crying bothering other diners made me jump with every moan and coo. I prayed she'd sleep, stay out cold in the seat while I feigned normal, and I hope she wouldn't need to nurse as I had yet to lose that modesty of nursing in public.

Things changed that summer of 2008 as we became first time parents. Not too soon later, Steve and Lynsay changed too. Leaving the confines of suburbia, they became real New Yorkers. Living in the City, in a small apartment, forgoing cars and grass for taxis, subways, and the crowds on the sidewalks.

Our paths diverged that year, and for the next few, it remained that way.

But today, we came full circle sitting outside, dining at a new Italian restaurant near our* new hometown.
Yes the collective "Our" as Steve and Lynsay could not keep away from the lure of suburbia, and moved into a home of their own only two blocks away from us. 

Instead of a late night dinner, we're out at six. Once our party consistently was for four, but now it has grown with the addition of Moira, Maeve, and most recently Patrick, their ten week old. Our seven top around the table, glasses of wine interspersed with sippy cups of milk, an infant car seat situated between Steve and Lynsay, as Patrick quietly sucks on his pacifier, blissfully asleep.

"Can I see PJ?" Mo asks, focusing her gaze on the black car seat in the chair. "Him asleep?"

Lynsay responds, "Sure come on over. He's still sleeping and hopefully he will for some time."

Mo glances into the car seat, and Patrick offers a bit of pirate eye, looking up. Lynsay finds the pacifier, placing it in his mouth.

"You want to go to sleep Buddy" she coos.

That feeling, trying to coax my baby back to sleep, comes rushing back. Trying to sustain nap time, trying to find normalcy while everyone around goes on with their lives.

He falls back asleep as our table examine our menus. Placing our order, conversation flows easily, comfortably.  Not soon later Patrick begins to squirm and cry.

Up she goes, the familiar bounce in her pace as she waltzes back and forth.

The appetizers come to the table.

Placing a mozzarella stick on their plates, I say, "Dig in".

But Mo and Maeve are both concerned, asking for Aunt Lynsay.

"She gonna miss eatin'.  When she gonna come back?" Mo asks, while Maeve raises her arms in the universal sign for where are they?

"I promise Aunt Lyns will get some food." I say, "just after PJ gets his food, Aunt Lyns will get hers".

"Oh, okay mommy. She'll be back soon?" Mo asks, peeling off a bit of the breadcrumb out layer and placing it in her mouth.

"Yup, she'll be back soon". I promise.

Appetizers are finished, and a plate sits waiting.

Dinner is served, as her place remains empty.

"Don't wait" Steve says, "We don't know how long it's going to be".

We finish.
Thunder and lightning begin, and we hurry to beat the impending rainstorm, just as Lynsay returns with a sleeping PJ in her arms. The steady cadence of rain hits the canvas rooftop, as now Maeve cries in my arms.

"The rain, mom. I no like the rain. It scary." she cries.

Pecking Lynsay on the cheek, I spit out my apology, and race to the car just before the downpour.

And with that, dinner is over.

Riding home in the rain, my heart goes out to Lynsay, as I can only imagine how she has categorized this evening.

A failure, I bet.

But Lyns, and every other new mom out there,  you need  know even with the impromptu feedings and then the abrupt endings, it is a little victory! Getting out of the house with a new baby is overwhelming and frankly each time sucks a little less.

I get it.
I lived it,
and Lynsay, and all other first time mamas,
it will get better.
I promise.

But on the days like this, where you are out, and the baby starts fussing a bit. That moment where you think you have to do it all yourself, stop.
The next time, my advice is simple:

Pass the kid off to your husband to bounce first for a bit. When he can't calm the kid anymore, then it can be your turn. Until then, let him deal and enjoy your wine & appetizers.

It will get better.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Time Snapshots

I must apologize, I've been a bit exhausted recently. My usual writing respite of nap time, has been replaced by actual napping on my part, and thus, my bloggity blog has suffered. But, I'm back! I promise, just in time for:
Stasha's wonderful world of Monday Listicles. This week, as summer slowly begins to creep into our daily lives as the air conditioner gets turned on, the bathing suits are dusted off, and flip flops become standard wear, we are encouraged to write:

10 Favorite Summer Memories 

1. My own Backyard, early 1980's. 
My dad would purchase a pool like this: 
And after setting up a sand bottom, he'd set this puppy up and all summer, my mom, sister, and I would wade. We'd make whirlpools, throw toys at the bottom, and play, with the rare occasion of near drowning tossed in for good measure. 
I remember it the only near drowning occurred when  our neighbor Mary Susan tried to hold Jeanna's head under. 
I can feel the sun, I can hear the radio playing it's steady stream of early '80's pop, and there was no place better to be as a preschooler than your own backyard. 

2. Finding our Hotel: Wildwood NJ, early 1980's. 
We were rebels growing up. 
While most families planned extensive vacations to various points of the Jersey shore, we would pile into the station wagon early morning mid-week. Our suitcases filled with our beachwear in the back, Dunkin Donuts on our lap, as we'd head to Wildwood without any formal plans. We'd drive around the streets looking for motels without the "No Vacancy" sign illuminated. When we'd find a few, it would be up to my sister or I to decide which retro motel we'd spend our vacation? 
Will it be Pink Champagne, with the pink doors & slide? 
What about the Acropolis with it's Greek coffee house and blue & white decor?
The Larkspur? Lollipop Inn? Birds of Paradise? 
We'd never know until we got there where we'd be staying.

3. The Dogwood Parade, mid May yearly 

My hometown has a festival related to a tree. 
For one week, a local downtown park is transformed. Rides, games, vendors, and food take over the park, bringing out some of the most unique individuals around. 
The culminating activity is the parade which occurs the Saturday of the festival, with its queen atop a float at the end. Sitting on the curb, collecting candy, watching the bands and firetrucks, waving to the queen and her court. Nothing says summer is around the corner than Dogwood time. 

4. Sesame Place 
In our matching shirts, the day after Labor Day, we'd stand in the mouth of Big Bird, preparing to enter the world of Sesame. It was the same event for a few years. Riding the rides, seeing the shows, hugging the gigantically large version of our favorite characters. 
I've come full circle now. As a parent, I'm the one manning the camera, snapping the shots of my girls in their matching t-shirts hugging the overstuffed characters. 

5. The Pool, late 1980's- early 1990's
Between 6 and 14, every lazy summer day was spent at our local YMCA outdoor pool. We'd play games, have diving contests, beg our parents for money to buy cheese fries from the snack bar, and then, pretend we were sleeping on our beach towels just as swim practice was to begin. 

6. The Outer Banks NC, late 1980's-1990's

It almost felt like our second home. The unit c-6 that we would rent yearly in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The ocean only parking lot away, we'd spend the afternoon lounging on the beach, reading our books, and occasionally wading in the water. Groups of friends would rent the same week, thus taking over the complex.  Dinner in each unit, then over to the pool, where we'd have pool wide games of tag as our parents sipped wine coolers and beer in the adjacent hot tub. Our last trip, Bry and I dating, in college, drove down ourselves meeting my family a day into the week. Bryan's first real summer vacation. 

7. Cape May, NJ 1990's-early 2000's
Before babies and mortgage payments, before the responsibilities of adulthood, in that time during and just after college, while my peers were doing their own version of "Jersey Shore" Bry and I were enjoy all the best Cape May had to offer. The now defunct Pelican Club & Water's Edge for dinners out. The Washington Inn & the Ebbitt Room for dinner in our early 20's, the youngest diners by at least twenty years. Cape May was our dining playground and in turn, the perfect location for our wedding those years later.  

8. St. Barth's, August 2007
I have only written about this vacation a few, here and here.
I mean seriously, I'll just stop and show the pictures and leave you jealous. 

 Someday....Someday we'll make it back. 

9. North Wildwood NJ, September 2008
I had just gotten over the hump of first time motherhood, when Bry surprised me with a week long rental in North Wildwood NJ. That vacation I felt like I finally got my mommy groove on, and more so, we celebrated as Mo finally slept continuously through the night! I attribute that to the ocean air. 

10. Summer 2012
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I have a feeling this summer is going to be a memorable one. Between day trips to the beach, Sesame Place, the zoo, the playground, and the pool, I do believe we're going to make some fabulous memories. Finally, we're looking forward to the end of August, when it's wedding time in the Land of 'Zilla as my sister Jeanna marries her fiance Ian. I can only imagine the inspiration to come for posts with a bachelorette, bridal shower, and wedding all in the next few months! 
We've started early here, already attending our first festival and had our first beach day. 
Summer is sure to be quite sweet!

What are your plans for the summer? Has your fun already started? 
Linking up as always with Stasha & her Listicles.