The Shopping Chronicles

I don’t even know where to begin! I have been so busy, but to say busy, sounds like I have been doing important things. That word is kind of confusing in the life as a stay at home mom…Taking care of my children, yes, important, of course… But everything else we fill our time with can arguably be considered silly and maybe a bit frivolous…the treats, Dunkin Donuts, the play dates, the activities, the crafts, the kid outings, the baking, the trinkets… The daily story of my life, and keeping us happy and busy YES, but groundbreaking science- not exactly! Oh well, chromosomes and plasma were never really my thing!

All of a sudden, the warm weather was upon us and I didn’t have “anything to wear!” Oh, woe is me…the damsel in distress… Well, perhaps I had something to wear but last summer, I didn’t buy anything except for statement necklaces…oh boy…last summer was the summer of obsessing about jewelry…I used to think I was insanely crazy with my quarterly obsessions… Make your own cleaners, researching about sunscreen, scrap booking, cooking everything from scratch, non stop baking, positive thinking, exercising, yoga, running, millions of challenges I make for self, and on and on.








But, recently I have come to a peace with my craziness…I mean, look at Madonna – she has gone through lots of stages…material girl, like a virgin, glam cowboy phase, blond ambition, old Hollywood glamour, wearing tea length dresses and writing a children’s book, the Sex stage when she was a dominatrix, YogaDonna, where she embraced her spiritual side,
Ray of light and Kabbalhaism, and many more…and she is a cultural icon.

I was thinking of this quote by a psychologist, “When your stressed, you obsess.”
This is very true of me! I always start feeling a bit uneasy about the ending of things, like the end of classes and school years, etc.. Not to mention that we have a family vacation planned to the shore in a few weeks, and I don’t know about you, but I am such a worrier about making sure we have everything we need! So does my friend who’s family we are going with… talk about a couple of neurotics, you should hear our conversations!

So, this past month has been a marathon of buying, online and in stores, and returning and returning and returning… Shopping with kids is awful, it’s like you have such a loss of control with them running around, touching everything, fighting with each other, whining, ugh! I have needed some sort of “refreshing beverage” almost every night after these torturous trips to the mall…

I am still at it and it’s been like five weeks since I stopped writing… I simply haven’t had the energy or a clear mind lately…the good news is tomorrow, I have my “last trip to the mall” for the summer and it is a big bag of returns…oh um, actually I am waiting for one last package to arrive so that may be only 98% true.

Ahh…shopping with kids is like being on another planet…


Miss Jocelyn
This was the name given to the pet balloon dog I bought for Gia at the mall. The girls love their gymnastics teacher so much that they name stuffed animals and other random pets with her name…

You know those balloons they sell at the mall that your child can drag around. I decided to buy the girls these balloons and Gia wanted the dog and Arianna wanted the tiger. Well, sure enough, five minutes after dragging the tiger around, he starts losing air…so I went back to the lady who sold us the balloon and she said that Arianna put a hole in it…she said, “Last one, next replacement you have to buy!”

We got a second tiger and were on our way…and then, the Tiger lost air again… I knew she couldn’t have possibly put a hole in it, so I marched back to the balloon kiosk and was ready to put up a fight – and no one was there!

We waited and waited and waited and finally the man working at the neighboring kiosk, came over and said he would try and help us. I told him our “tiger situation” and he gave us another balloon. I looked around in fear, crossing my fingers that the woman who ran the balloon store wouldn’t see us getting another balloon and yell at us… I could just see her face, red as a beet, scolding us, “I said no more balloons!”

Arianna wanted the Tiger -again! And I said, “No way!” Pick something else, she kept picking up the Tiger saying that all she wanted was the Tiger and I said, “Oh forget this- give me another dog please…” Never again with these balloons!



And after all that drama, we had an incident on the way home… Gia opened her window and out went Miss Jocelyn #1… And let me tell you, that was not a fun ride home… I saw Miss Jocelyn fly down the side of the highway, never to be seen again.

The Disney Store
Love the Disney store! It’s like free babysitting…they have this princess castle that the girls enjoy playing in and in the center of the store, there’s a large flat screen with a touch screen menu that children can pick a song that they want to listen to. One time, more like every time we’re in there, Arianna always picks Let it Go, and my daughter has a set of lungs on her and her voice is very deep…while I was browsing the princess bathing suits, I hear her belting out the words and I was on the complete other end of the store!

I went to go check out the concert and all of these moms were like “Wow, is she yours? The singer …She’s quite the entertainer!” Not to mention the dance moves and the modified worm she decided to show us! Never a dull moment!


These are pictures of Arianna “doing her moves” at the Disney Store.

The White House Black Market
Yikes, this store has been present in our lives for the past couple of months…it all started two months ago when I mistakenly stopped in there, asking for directions to a different store, I can’t even remember where I was trying to go…it seems sooo long ago…I was looking for something to wear to my twenty year high school reunion and I stumbled in there and started looking around, loving everything that I saw… Three hours later, I left with a lot less money in the bank, and a ton of clothes that were beautiful…but had to go back…well, not all of them, but a lot of them… it’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment, forget about the fact that I am a stay at home mom, not pulling in an income, and certainly, not needing all of these going out type of tops or work attire.
So, about a week later, I went back and returned many of the shirts, but bought a few more, and then started ordering clothes online, returning what didn’t fit, buying more, sneaking in quick outings to stores whenever I could…We were in the WHBM so many times, the associates got out markers and paper for the kids when they saw us coming… The girls immediately go to hug the dog statue, and then assume their position on the round bench by the shoes… (I haven’t been to the mall at all this past week, thank goodness!)


The obsessive shopping adventure has come to a screeching halt…and that screech was my husband’s angry phone call – darn, I should have pulled an Andrea from The Devil Wears Prada, and threw my phone in the woods when I saw his number!

Filling my closet with everything I need, or rather want, for the summer became a major project, and I can’t say that it wasn’t completely unfulfilling, I have been getting compliments wherever I go about a cute shirt or great earrings… Such the dilemma – looking good and spending money verses wearing the old stuff and being thrifty…everything fun comes with negative consequences… Cookies and brownies= weight gain, too much wine=major headache, too much couch and potato = flabby body and soul, too much relaxing=poor grades, low performance at work, and not being successful.

But, I spent way too much money, and I just need to be a bit more careful in the future!

Last thoughts about the past five weeks…Wetzel’s Pretzels, chicken nuggets and fries, milkshakes, car snacks, throwing coins in the fountain, fingering all the toys and jewelry on display on the kiosks, getting home late with cranky children, not having dinner made, telling the people asking to sign my kids up for modeling because they are so, so adorable that WE ARE NOT INTERESTED every time we walk by them, the girls begging to buy toys, meltdowns in the middle of the mall, fighting and not listening, and stealing odd pieces of medal (part of displays in Macy’s) …

Oy Vey! It has certainly been an exciting and exhausting adventure of a crazy shopping mom and her curious, lively girls.


Day three- Make it, Love it, Do it – Positive thoughts

Day three of Make it, Love it, Do it – Positive thoughts is great!

The nonstop, pouring rain is not bringing us down! We had a fun morning in Rolling Rascals! Arianna was excited to go this morning and was a ball of energy!


Always love seeing other moms, even just looking at each other and smiling, don’t even need to say anything, you feel a connection that we are all in this together and feeling the same thing, whether it be exhaustion, confusion, or laughter, we have each other’s backs!

And this goes for “non class” friends too, especially Jessica, Erin, and Michelle, who have listened to me endlessly through the rough patches!
AND OF COURSE… My therapist from the sunny state and number one commenter, aka, Mommy in Florida! And a soon to be “non class” friend, Joy- really going to miss you!

The rest of the day was productive – finally returned the jar of sauce that has been rolling around in my car for weeks! Yup, I’m a certified obsessive returner! I return everything and we didn’t like this sauce.


The brand RAO’S is so delicious and 100% approved by my Italian husband who likes to make his own home-made sauce, but only the regular Marinara Sauce and the Vodka Sauce, not the mushroom, sausage one! The sauce isn’t cheap so I got my $8.23 back!

Got a present for a birthday party this weekend and of course had to get something for the girls. They are attracted to the strangest items!

Well, the puzzle isn’t odd but Gia put together this other puzzle we already have so fast, I wanted to get her something more challenging! Perfect for tomorrow, another rainy day- third in a row:( OH WAIT! I actually love rainy days-so calming!

Good eats
Made beer batter fish for dinner. It was a total winner all around, Gia gobbled up a huge piece! Tom says, ” delicious , crispy, way better than I can make!”


That’s it for tonight! I’m sure some of my readers are rolling their eyes at these lighthearted posts, missing the wine drinking, complaining gal… And I am just going to have to say oh well! A huge problem I have is people pleasing and worrying what others think so this is PROGRESS!

This is an old Jill worrier face!
p.s I still love wine!!! And the frowny Jill is just shoved the bottom of a hamper….for now

All or nothing parenting

So I haven’t blogged in a while. I was thinking of stopping all together.  I’ve been struggling with the girl’s behavior, struggling with getting Arianna to sleep. It has been a nightmare- I don’t know what is going on with her lately. I lay with her for an hour, we read stories, tell stories, and when it’s time for bed, she screams and has the most horrific tantrums.

She wants the light on now, the big light, not the nightlight.  Last night, she was angry that I switched the big light off.  I went downstairs, closed the door and tried to ignore the screaming and kicking on the door.  Then I heard a crash.  She threw the nightlight and the glass bulb shattered all about.  The tantrums have been getting worse and worse lately and my oldest is getting sassier and more and more defiant.

I am home alone for most of the day, have a husband who works late, and lately this blog is one more headache.  So I was just going to stop.  I don’t have much too write about, how many times do my readers want to hear about the girls’ temper tantrums and trips to Target.   

Yesterday, I was almost out the door at CVS without a bruise, and then Ari spotted these rubber ducks that she wanted at the counter…

The store checkout is the most stressful place for me, it’s all smiles and fun,  walking through the store… and then we arrive at the counter…I hold my breath, feel my shoulders tense up.  ‘Can we just pay? Can we just pay? Hurry up slow salesclerk!’ I think to myself.

Too late – the shiny wrappers of every kind of treat imaginable beckon my girls to touch and beg for treats…yesterday it was ducks- after calmly trying to rationalize with Ari to put the ducks back, we had a meltdown on the floor, and I had to pick up a thrashing Arianna, my bags, and get out of there, and then for some reason, Gia refused to walk out the door of CVS.

No idea why and I still don’t know. I left her there.  This random lady walked her to my car (How embarrassing!) Also super fun trying to get them back in the car and buckled.  I had to use my entire body to force crazy Ari into her car seat and try to buckle her.

I finally got them in, breathed a sigh of relief, and realized a man was patiently watching and waiting for me so he could get into his car.  He’s like, “it’s ok, I have three boys at home,” but that didn’t make it any better.

The girls are a handful and a half, so I concluded that I simply have no time to write and I’ll just keep my life to myself. But, in the past week, a few people said to me, I miss the posts, and I liked reading because I don’t feel so alone, and today, my friend brought me a cantaloupe for our playdate! She read the post about me trying to get better about the sweets- that meant so much to me.    

I kept wondering, what is the real reason I want to stop?  Perhaps I had been writing too much, thinking too much about this blog, reading other mom blogs and not giving my girls the attention that they need. That, and the fact that I am burned out and drop dead exhausted after battling to get them to bed.

I know in my heart that the bed thing is just another stage and “this too shall pass.” So what was the problem?  I was just being Jill- typical Jill, all or nothing Jill, I’ve always been this way, as long as I can remember, if I didn’t get 100 on a test, I was pissed. If I couldn’t figure out a math problem, I remember stressing for hours in my bedroom instead of just closing the book and asking the teacher the next day. Those are like the smallest examples of my all or nothing-ness. I could write a novel about my crazy head.

I am obsessive and I was going to do it again with parenting.  I was going to shut down the blog and give the girls all my attention, and be “better” and only focus on them.  As much as that sounds like a good mom thing to do, I realized today that a mom needs more than just their children.  A friend came over this morning, my house was a disaster, I hadn’t brushed my teeth, Arianna just peed on the potty so she was naked, I had no make-up on, and hadn’t even brushed my hair (did take a shower though!) I had nothing baked and the bathroom was probably dirty….my friend and her girls came in. The girls played, and I talked and talked to an adult. It was great.  It made me realize that being “a better mom” and only focusing on the kids is not a good solution.  That was just all or nothing parenting.

That’s it for now, I have much more to write on this all or nothing disease later and the amazing power of friends.