Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Rewind 6 years ago.

Husband and I were living in Chapel Hill, married for 2 years, still DINKs (dual income no kids) and enjoying ourselves. We had the outrageous luck to be taken to Rome for Christmas and returned back to North Carolina in time for New Years. You can imagine that after having 10 course dinners overlooking the city, New Year's Eve on Franklin Street might have seemed a bit pedestrian to say the least.

So the two of us declared that we were SO over New Years. We didn't need to go out, the hype was too much, it was always a disappointment...yadda yadda get the point. We stayed in. And watch a Cirque Du Soleil marathon on Bravo until the boredom had our eyeballs rolling into the back of our heads.

Little did we know at that time that was the last time we would have New Years to ourselves. The next year I was pregnant and had 3 weddings to go to...yes THREE (we only made it to in Miami and one in Mexico) and after that it was all kids all the time.

So needless to say I am excited to have 3 parties to go to today. One for lunch with the high school girlfriends and their kids, one for dinner with friends and a babysitter...yippee! the best kind of party!, and one late night (after 9pm!) with my sister and her boyfriend.

It may not be earth-shattering, but it isn't a Bravo marathon of contortionists either.

Happy New Year! Here's to a good 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve at my parents' house

Little girl LOVED her nana's duck cassoulet. And Nana didn't even cringe when she spilled it on the couch.
Both kids got a kitchen from Santa.
Daddy was just a wee bit tired from putting together the kitchen the night before.
That didn't dampen the kids' enthusiasm.

It was a tie for favorite present between the hiking outfit and backpack outfitted with a compass, rations, water bottle, and emergency kit...
And the marine outfit...aka bad guy/army man. Way to go Duk Duk!
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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Feeble Attempt at Best

I need to preface this post. I love my husband. But....

Our kids have been sick for nearly two weeks. First the little girl got a nasty cold that has made an otherwise happy-go-lucky kid cranky, snotty, and just a regular pain in the ass. After the 3rd day I was really scraping the bottom of the sympathy barrel. I know she didn't feel well, but really did she need to latch herself onto my leg, scream, cry, and jump to get up all at the same time? Then...this weekend the boy got the stomach bug. Luckily this thing lasted only 24 hours, so I didn't run out of sympathy, but I may have run out of Clorox wipes. Nasty.

So today my husband comes into the kitchen and with all sincerity says,

Honey, if you want to get a little time to yourself today, you can take my car to the DMV and renew the registration...while the kids nap.

Wait, I think I misheard you. Did you say that I should go get a mani/pedi, go read gossip magazines in Starbucks, or just go drive around in the peace and quiet? No...I think what I heard was that in my "time to myself" while the kids are asleep or at the very least quiet in the room, you are going to let me go to the DMV for you?

You are so sweet. But things around here aren't that bad...yet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


A few weeks ago I said to my husband, "I know it isn't right, but it is so cute when she says no."

You see, she would say it in a wispy little voice, she would shake her little head, and the three curls in the back of her head would shake as well. It was so cute.

Not so much anymore.

Now when I try to put her in her booster seat she screams, "NO" and pushes me away. When I try to put her shoes on she hides her feet and screams "NO." When I serve her food, she shoves the plate right back at me and screams, "NO". When I say it is time to go to bed she runs away (and that little bugger is fast!) and screams, "NO".

Let's add to this that she has been sick for five days, so nothing other than sitting on my lap, sneezing in my face, and rubbing her germy hands all over my face makes her happy.

So let's imagine who is shaking her head, with a raspy voice, and screaming "NO!"

Gingerbread houses

I have tried to do a variety of crafts with my kids this holiday season. A couple of months ago, with visions of sugar plums and gingerbread villages dancing in my head, I bought a gingerbread house kit. I have anticipated this activity with my son since we threw the pumpkins away and have been waiting for the right time to bring it out and enjoy the decorating. Last Friday seemed to be the perfect time. You judge for yourself if it was the perfect holiday craft for our family. Personally, it wasn't so much a craft as an internal struggle of my OCD and letting my boy do it his way. Harder that you can imagine!

Little boy started out strong. He's really into crafts right now so fully embraced the concept of decorating the house. Unfortunately, planning and foresight are not his strong points, so he fell into a fit when he realized that after shingling half of the roof, he was out of gumdrops.
I have to admit that I never anticipated that the little girl would be interested in decorating the gingerbread house. This was clearly a lack of foresight and planning on my part (must be genetic). She was practically hyperventilating with distress when left out of this activity.

Enter her father, the truly crafty one in the family. Who, like MacGyver, swooped in and made a gingerbread house out of some stale graham crackers and leftover cream cheese frosting. Martha would be so proud!

We call it her Gingerbread Adobe.

I ended up letting the little boy do the whole house by himself. Not only was I proud of him, but I was really proud of myself. What I wouldn't have done to make that whole house symmetric and color coordinated!

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Holiday Dilemna

Here's my problem.

I love to cook, I love to eat, and I hate to diet. It is really a bad combination.

And it is a REALLY bad combo during the holidays. For as soon as I get a good whiff of the holiday spirit I am baking and making and tasting and basting. I watch the food network all day long. I read all the cooking magazines. I scour the Internet. I try new cookie recipes. I strategize what I am going to serve for Christmas (anyone who knows me knows I have already been talking about this for a few months). I make lists. I go to the store. I bake. I freeze. I head back to the store. And then I bake some more.

It is a great place to be if you are one of those people who just smiles and says, "I'm so lucky, I can eat anything." But that's not me.

But I'm not going to let that stop me.

All that glitters is not gold

I know, I know.

In my last post I professed my love for my blog and then I proceeded to abandon it and leave it without a new post for over a week.

Where have I been? You ask.

Well see, I have been cleaning up all the fu&^%ng glitter in my house. Tis the season for preschool teachers to exact their revenge on the parents. Glitter glitter everywhere, and not a piece of artwork to be found. It's on the floor, on clothes, in diapers, and even in the dog bowl. You can't get away from it here.

You'd think that I'd get the holiday spirit and be more forgiving about the scabs on my knees from crawling around the house trying to peel the individual pieces of glitter out of the grout. But I'm not feeling forgiving right now.

But just you wait, preschool teacher, I'll get you back. I'm going to buy you a mug for the holidays.

Monday, December 01, 2008

My Jamming Blog

So at Thanksgiving my cousin (his b-day today...Happy Birthday Bay Leaves!) took a poll amongst the dinner guests. He wanted to know...who had a blog. I proudly raised my hand (all by myself, no one else had a blog or was willing to admit it!) and stated, "I HAVE TWO!" Hip-hip-hooray for me!

Then he proceeded to tell everyone in the room that having a blog was like having Jams. An interesting analogy. My blog is like the over sized, over-printed shorts of the 80's. Hmmm.

But you know what. I wasn't cool enough to have Jams in the 80s. All I had were homemade knockoffs made by my aunt. And this time around I have not one but TWO authentic blogs. I wear them, share them and care for them with pride.

Hopefully they will have a longer life and be looked back on with greater appreciation than Jams. Because really, if my blogs are like Jams, I'm in trouble.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The basement...a love story

I never grew up with an appreciation for a basement. Well, that isn't entirely true. I appreciated that I could always sneak down to the damp, dark dungeon and steal a bottle of Chardonnay when I was 16...but it was a quick and undetectable maneuver. I never spent a lot of time in our basement.

So when my husband insisted that we have a basement in our house I was indifferent. Sounds good, I said, and never thought much more about it. And honestly, for the first year that we lived here I remained indifferent. Sure it was a great space, but the little boy didn't ever want to be there by what was the point? That was, until this week.

Indifference has morphed into infatuation. I love the basement these days. You see, for the past week I have sent both kids to the basement and turned right back around, walked upstairs, and listened to...silence. Having his sister downstairs provides the right amount of company to make it the fun place my husband always knew it would be. Every day before school I hear, "Come on little girl let's go play army men." And she goes. And every night they run down there to play after dinner.

And quickly and undetectably, I sneak back upstairs to enjoy a bottle of Chardonnay. Old basement habits die hard.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Santa,

Yes, it is that time of year. Halloween decorations have come down, some ( neighbors are those kind of people) have put up their Christmas decorations, and talk of the nightmare that is Thanksgiving travel is all over the news. (Don't pack too much, try to carry it on, don't bring matches to set you shoes on fire, and don't even think of bringing your nail clippers...yadda, yadda, yadda.)

So what does that mean in my household? It means that the endless list of things Santa is going to bring to our house has begun.

Mommy, I want new cars.

Well, maybe you should ask Santa.

Mommy, I want Spiderman figurines.

Well, put it on your list for Santa.

Mommy, I want a sword, a knife, and a pirate's hook.

I pause. I don't know what to respond to this one. Do I look like freakin' Angelina Jolie? Well...even if I do...that's not the you really think Santa is going to bring you a knife?

So on the fly I say...

Hmm...I don't think Santa is allowed to fly with sharp objects. Or with liquids in quantities greater than 4oz for that matter. Sorry kiddo.

And do you know what his response is?

We better make sure his suitcase isn't too heavy either Mommy, or they'll charge him lots of money.

I think it is time to turn off the TV.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Date Night

Friday night I went out on a date with the 4 year old. Dinner and a movie. Sounded like a great theory. But not so much in practice.

You see, this was a group date, kind of like in high school. 4 year olds and their mommies (and one brave daddy!). My nice quiet dinner chatting about school, our favorite friends, and our plans for the weekend while sipping on a Shiraz and an apple juice never really materialized. Because...I wasn't really the date of choice for my 4 year old, his friends were. So the dinner turned out to be a small wrestling match, game of chase, and a race to see if I could shove some food in my mouth in between telling my boy to not jump on the table, knock over the chairs and tickle the people he didn't know. We survived. It wasn't relaxing, but at one point the boy looked at me and said, "Mommy, I LOVE date night."

This oh so relaxing dinner was followed by walking to the movie theater where there were two fire engines parked outside. Have you ever seen what a fire engine does to a four year old? Imagine what it is like giving the Tasmanian Devil speed. That is about what it was like when we saw the flashing lights and men in uniform.

Turns out that these nice men and women in uniform weren't there to add fuel to our date night fire...they were there to put out one. The Pizzeria Uno's next to the theater had a smoke alarm that was going off causing the fire alarms in the restaurant and the theater to go off. and go off. and go off. and go off.

Needless to say, we never made it to the end of the movie. With about 20 minutes left and our third fire alarm we all threw in the towel. Free passes to another movie in hand, I think the mommies and daddy all agreed that next time we'll be taking dates that can pay the bill, read the menu, and go potty by themselves. It's not too much to ask is it? And I promise at the end of that night I'll be saying, "I LOVE date night" too.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

His Response

So my father responded to my blog via my e-mail. This is the father who, when I got my first article published in a newsletter after college sent it back to me with all my grammatical errors circled in red AFTER it was in the mail to the subscribers. I think it went something like, "You need to watch your split infinitives. Love, Daddy."

But his response this time was a much bigger correction. It read:

I'm not as good as you claim...and however close I come to your Mommystar image is a credit to your mother...else I'd still be smoking Lucky's and telling racial jokes! Thanks. Love...DADDY

And as I retype the note, I realize that not only is he correcting my ability to tell a story for dramatic effect, but there is also a grammatical correction embedded in his note. Yes...I like the ellipsis (...) Daddy...and I'm going to keep it that way...Love, me!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Who's the winner here?

In case you are a blind person reading this blog. I am a white woman. I am a white woman who comes from a upper-middle class family and I have never really wanted for anything in my life. Yes I want some new shoes, and I want to lose 10 pounds...but through my lame attempt of humor, you know what I mean. I have lived and continue to live a privileged life. I am extremely lucky.

So you might think that I wouldn't be that overwhelmed by Obama's victory on Tuesday. But I am. I am brought to tears, I feel like dancing in the streets, and I can't watch enough news these days to satiate my thirst for more celebration of this historic event.

Stick with me people, even if you didn't vote for Obama. This is not about him, really, it is about parenting and its everlasting effects.

You see for my entire life I have been listening to stories. You know how it is in families. I have heard these stories so many times, I almost feel like I was there for most of them. But repetition has its effects and these stories have stuck with me.

We have Rose Medallion china throughout my parents' house. We have lamps, we have flower vases, we have a complete set of dinnerware, we have huge serving pieces...we have a lot. And as the story goes, my grandfather, a renowned lawyer in Baltimore in the 30's and 40's represented a Chinese man who wanted to buy a house in a nice neighborhood in Baltimore. This particular neighborhood was, let's say, less than thrilled that a Chinese man would want to move in, so they went to court. My grandfather and the Chinese man won the case and on the doorstep the next day was this entire load of Rose Medallion china...a rather grateful thank you to say the least.

Any time someone comments on the china, it is my father that repeats this story. The youngest son of my grandfather. The son that was only 9 years old when his father died, but also the son that carries the torch of this community organizer/civil rights advocate.

My father, the educator for 40+ years, has shown us day in and day out what it truly means to "do the right thing." Stories of his life run the gamut of sticking up for a minority friend at a diner in the South in the 60's when they couldn't get served to losing his job in the 90's in part for giving out too many minority scholarships. I got to see my father at work almost everyday of my youth since he was the head of my school. He showed compassion and belief for all students. He ingrained in all of us that intolerance was unacceptable and that equality was essential. I know all of this from the bottom of my heart, and I know this without reading, studying, or listening to a lecture. I know it because I saw it...I experienced it.

So today, as we embark on a future with Obama as president, I have to stop and ask. What are my children going to learn from me? What am I doing on a day to day basis that is going to have an ever-lasting effect on them? How are my actions effecting their world-view?

As a feeble response to those questions, we are going to celebrate this momentous occasion till the cows come home. Through all the news watching, newspaper reading, and inauguration attending my kids are going to know that it isn't just important an important day for African-Americans. It is a monumental day for all of us.

And I hope in 20 years when they reflect on this time they will laugh at the idea that we thought it was such a big deal, just like I laugh at the idea of trying to keep someone from buying a house in my neighborhood.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Small Accomplishment

So I may still only be on page 2 of the book I am writing, but Tea has published one of my blogs.

Read it here. And whether you agree with me or my in-laws, vote tomorrow!

Halloween Hangover

Since when did Halloween become such an event?

I guess ever since Target started putting up their decorations in August.

Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween. I love dressing up. I love trick-or-treating. I even love how my neighborhood has embraced decorating their houses in true Griswald fashion. But there are some things about Halloween that I really could do without.

Carving pumpkins. I used to love doing this...create a face, put a candle in it, and call it a day. But these days carving a pumpkin is nothing short of trying to copy a Van Gogh on a misshapen orb that is bumpy and slimy all at the same time. 2 triangles and a bucktooth smile isn't good enough anymore. And you know what else, my father isn't here anymore to clean out that nasty pumpkin mucus. I totally took the easy way out this year and Mr. Pumpkin Headed it. Give me a phillips-head screwdriver and a Mr. Potato Head and there we have it...the slacker's pumpkin.

The candy. Sure, I think a little candy and indulgence for the kids is great. But for me, it is my Achilles heel. About a month ago, I hit Costco and purchased TWO bags of candy. Not two bags from the regular grocery store, but two bags, big enough to feed an army, 300 pieces of chocolate candy...the good kind, none of the cheap stuff. Somehow, in that huge warehouse of bargains, I convinced myself that I needed to a) purchase the candy in September and b) have a lot because Halloween was on a Friday. I spent the whole month sneaking a piece here and a piece there. At the rate I was going through it, I probably did need 2 bags. Eventually I made my husband hide the candy and he did, in a place I NEVER would have looked...with the Nutri-System food.

The hangover. After a celebration that was longer than Ramadan topped off with Daylight Savings Time. We are suffering big time around here. No parties to go to, no excuses to eat candy, and no patience left at all. And after all that candy eating last week, I may actually have to dip in the Nutri-System food...but not for the good stuff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Selective memory

We all know what selective hearing is.

What? Did you say something?

But I hope I have selective memory. You know, the memory that only remembers what you want to remember. My mom has it. I think it is genetic. Hopefully on the maternal side.

Writing this blog is one way to preserve my memory. But it seems these days that I only am remembering the parts that make me want to pull my hair out, scream, and jump off the balcony. But there is so much more to our life together...and I need to document it today.

So last week was my birthday...this is not the happy part ...but what my son did to celebrate is certainly worth documenting.

He had me call my parents so he could speak with them and then proceed to lock himself in the laundry room and plot with them about buying me a present that only they would know how to get.

You see, last year I lost a bracelet that they gave me, and my son remembered this. He told them that he wanted to go to London (where the bracelet was purchased) and get another bracelet. OK...a bit unrealistic, but the thought and idea was there. They talked and plotted some more, I hit my head as I tried to listen through the door, and then he came out and handed me the that point I was told that they were all going shopping for my birthday and I was not invited.

The smile, that devious secretive smile, remained on the boy's face for the next four days and then they went. Again, I was not invited.

When I finally saw the little boy again, I was practically knocked right off my feet. He was running full force right at me, taking out anyone who stood in his way, and his smile was as wide as the grand canyon (again...genetic on the maternal side). I think by the time he got to me, he had already unwrapped half the present and was asking, "do you like it Mommy?

What he didn't know was that even without seeing the present, I loved it already. The forethought, love, and enthusiasm that came wrapped in the package still brings tears to my eyes. And to top the whole experience off, this is what I got
So not only is my boy generous and loving, but he also has good taste. Again...genetic and on the maternal side!


So we've been going to the gym a lot lately. Mostly because I have to compensate for the 2 Costco size bags of Halloween candy that are rapidly disappearing at our house, but also because I enjoy exercising and my gym has great child care.

If you asked my friends, their reactions to the child care would be mixed. But for me, it is perfect. The women are nice, they know my kid's names, they seem to genuinely care, and when we had an emergency this summer, they were 100% on the ball and trained, qualified, and all that other stuff. (Did I mention the rock climbing wall and moon bounce?) But like most activities that include the 4 year old, having a friend around really makes mommy's workouts much more fun.

Today, there was no such friend. And in the car ride home he made the following suggestion:

Mommy, the really should get a GPS for my friends.

What do you mean honey?

I mean, you could put it in your car, we would turn it on, and we could see if my friends were near the gym. That way you would know who to call to see if they could join us. It would be a Gym-P-S.

Seriously, I swear, he is only 4. Where does he come up with this stuff and what kind of TV is he watching with his father?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Arts and Crafts

I have to give credit where credit is due. My friend Boom runs a tight ship. When we used to live close to each other I would steal her parenting techniques without a thought. No concern of cheating or parental plagiarism. All's fair in pleases and thank yous.

So when I went to see Boom, I came with a clear head and a note pad in my pocket and high hopes of making these f-ing fours go away. And wouldn't you know it, she had tricks, and good tricks too.

Aside from the normal duct tape the kids to the trees outside and the start drinking at nap time trick, Boom had tricks that I hadn't actually implemented before. The one that is proving to be most successful is the arts and crafts area in the kitchen. At Boom's house, I barely noticed the kids were up for the first 2 hours each morning because they were just coloring, cutting, and even sharing with smiles on their faces. I drank coffee, read the paper, talked to my friends and all I heard was. "pass the blue crayon please" and "Can I have another piece of paper. thank you."

It was genius. Sure we've had arts and crafts before. But these were at the kids disposal, at their eye level, and needing little to no parental supervision.
So you know what? If you build it, they will come. I built a cabinet (if following wordless instructions counts as "building"), I went to Michael's and spent a part of the boy's college fund, and lord have mercy, we have the best arts and crafts area this side of the Mason Dixon.

I can't say that we are actually creating an artistic genius here. We're actually just putting stickers in different places and calling it "art work" but we're happy, we're quiet, and we're putting all our eggs in the arts and crafts basket.

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an impulse purchase at Michael's, bedazzled at home!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The dreaded phone call

So I got my first ever phone call home from the teacher. Yikes. I was practically crying as I was talking to my boy's pre-school teacher.

You see, the problem is that he isn't so into circle time. While I know this is a necessary part of life, I can't say I blame him. He has perfectly good reasons why he isn't fond of circle time.

I don't get to talk when I want to.
The teacher doesn't always listen to and/or think my answer is right.
I'm not always the one in charge of circle time.

Circle time isn't all about him, so damn it, he doesn't like it. Sounds simple enough.

Now if only I had as many logical reasons for why I cry at any sort of confrontation, we'd be on to something.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The inner voice

Usually listening to the little voice in my head isn't a good idea.

"you need cheese fries" it says.
"wear the heels even if they are uncomfortable" it advises.
"have another glass of wine" it suggests.

You can see how I should be skeptical of the advice my little inner voice gives me.

But when it comes to my children, my inner voice really knows what is going on.
"you should leave now." it hints.
"the kids should go to bed." it recommends.
"you really should avoid all public places" it implores.

How does it know? How does it know that 10 minutes later my child will fall on the floor screaming at the top of his lungs because his chicken finger fell on the ground? (while you are on the ground boy, just pick it up--5 second rule) How does it know that 10 minutes later he will hit his friend in the head with a plastic frying pan because he can't hear his tv show? (his explanation was that he wanted to make his friend be quiet...that's one way, I suppose) How does it know that 10 minutes later he will yell, "you are not my friend Mommy, you are poo poo eyeball forever" in front of a new group of mommy friends. (not terribly effective name calling, but creative to say the least)

I don't know how it knows, but it does.

Maybe I should start listening to it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Food Recession at Robert Oliver Seafood

On Sunday night I had the pleasure of going to listen to David Sedaris speak in Baltimore. I don't know what it is about him, but he can really make me laugh. Something about his whiney voice, his ridiculous stories, and his penchant to make fun of North Carolina...he really gets me going.

On Sunday, though, the humor really started before we even made it to his show. You see, my parents, my sister, my husband and I all were going to go out to dinner. Without the kids. What's so funny about that, you ask? Well nothing. That is unless you "eat" at Robert Oliver's Seafood Restaurant.

I have never, ever, ever, had such an unbelieveable experience at a restaurant. When we first got there, the rather surly host mumbled hindsight it was probably "you don't want to eat here ladies, this place is s*^t." But we rolled our eyes, followed him after he huffed and puffed at us, and we sat down behind a mosquito net away from all the other diners. It wasn't perfect, but trying to keep our spirits up my husband and I kept repeating "it doesn't matter for us, we're so happy to be out we would be happy at chic-fil-a."

But at least at chic-fil-a, there is chicken. The very first thing that our waiter said to us was.
"good evening, I just want you to know that there is no calamari, no cobb salad, no chicken breast, no cesaer salad, and no fish."

My sister, who was STARVING, had already staked her claim in the calamari and cobb can imagine the dissapointment.

We forge ahead and try to order some wine. The waiter's response, "I'll have to check if we have that" Super, you do that.

Good news, they do! But they only have 2 bottles, so as he opens the first bottle, the server slams down the second and last bottle right on to the table. Not that we weren't going to have another, but it seemed a little aggressive to say the least.

If you have gotten attached to out waiter in this story, don't, because that is the last we saw of him.

My family is nothing if not content with a good drink and good company, so it took us a while to realize that the waiter hadn't brought us our hummus platter. When we checked our watches, 45 minutes had passed. Hummus with pita chips...not that hard to prepare, not necessary to cook, and after all, I could have walked to the Whole Foods and prepared it for us in half the time.

Our waiter, at this point, had all but vanished. I saw him fly by our table a few times, wiping his brow from all that non-food serving, non-order taking, and non-responding to his tables he was doing...tough job. Eventually. my father got up to see if he could attract some attention to us, to get some help, from someone, anyone who would acknowledge our presence. Like getting tickets to a U2 concert, he should have gotten there early.

As he stood up and headed to the bar and he all but heard, "back of the line buddy." This was the first time that we looked up from our immaculate, untouched table with not even a crumb from a piece of bread (we asked, they said they were out), and saw that there was a line of about 8 people all wondering/demanding where their drinks/food/waiter were. It was not a good scene. We then pulled back our mosquito netting and saw that none of the other customers had food on their tables, few had drinks, and all had scowls on their faces.

We knew then that we were a little lucky because we had not one, but two bottles of wine. When my father returned to the table, all he had was a corkscrew in hand...something seen as a small victory for our family as we could now get that second bottle of wine open. But he also returned with the knowledge that there was no food in the whole restaurant. Hmmm...something of a predicament when you are trying to go out to eat.

Resigned to not eating, buzzed from drinking on an empty stomach, and a bit giddy from the whole debacle it was time to head out to see David Sedaris.

Not to be outdone by the rest of the restaurant, as we hit the restrooms on our way out we found the ultimate outage...toilet paper.

There wasn't even toilet paper in this piece of s^*t restaurant.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Terrible Two's...My arse

When you have kids, you receive a lot of advice. Some of it you ask for, and well honestly, most of it is unsolicited. My mother, however, has really held back on giving me too much advice in any arena. In fact, she claims she doesn't remember anything about our childhood just so she doesn't have to admit that my 4 year old is WAY more of a handful than my sister and I ever were (if this is the case, I am REALLY in trouble come high school!). But one thing that she did say to me that I keep repeating to myself over and over and over and over again is, "whoever called it the terrible two's just didn't have a 4 year old yet."

She is really on to something here. We have recently entered the stage of "I am SO mad at you", "I don't like you anymore", "You are SO mean", "You are not my friend". This accompanied by a symphony of screaming in frustration, slamming doors, stomping is such a pleasure to be around here. Don't you want to come visit?

So now I am asking for some advice...or at least some sort of psychic reading...when does this end? When does my loveable, polite, even tempered boy make an appearance. When does he stop having the ability to make my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels, when do I stop being embarassed by his actions, when am I sure that he will grow to be a stable adult?

You know what my mom said? "I'll let you know when it happens for me."


Thursday, September 25, 2008

My secret fear

You know how you are always supposed to wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident or something...that's not really a fear I have. I hope I have underwear on at all, but other than that...not really worried about it.

You know what worries me...what if someone who I want to impress got ahold of my tivo list, my itunes, or my pandora stations? It would be like looking into my soul. And people, let me tell you, it would not be a pretty sight.

I fear the day when someone innocently enough scans the list of my recorded shows and sees the new 90210, Gossip Girl, ALL Bravo shows, and much much more that is slowly draining all of my brain cells.

And since I just confessed the TV part of my soul...I'm going to keep my bad music taste to myself.

Bribery or positive reinforcement...your choice

I have a friend of a friend, or maybe this mother is just an urban legend, but the story goes that she doesn't bribe her children...EVER. Not for nothing.

After I roll my eyes, laugh, close my wide open/fly catching mouth, and make sure the other mothers are reacting the same way, I shout, "no freakin' way, it's not possible."

But is it? Is it possible?

After hearing this story for the first time, I really tuned in to the amount of bribery that occurred in my house on a regular basis.

"boy eat your dinner"
"if you eat is I'll give you gummies"

"Boy get dressed for school"
"if you get dressed we can go to the park after school"

"Boy make your bed, clean your room, and pick up your toys"
"if you make your bed, clean your room, and pick up your toys, I'll buy you a firetruck"

"NO!" (Alright, for somethings even bribery doesn't work)

At the end of my highly extensive and reliable survey, I concluded that we bribe A LOT. In fact, I don't think that we could get anything done without a little mob boss bribery.

But last night I figured out that the urban legend mother does exist and it is possible to live a life with children without bribery. You just have to use positive reinforcement.

Today the scenes went like this
"boy eat your dinner"
"if you eat is I'll give you gummies"

"Boy get dressed for school"
"if you get dressed we can go to the park after school"

"Boy make your bed, clean your room, and pick up your toys"
"NO!""if you make your bed, clean your room, and pick up your toys, I'll buy you a firetruck"
"NO!" (Alright, for somethings even positive reinforcement doesn't work)

Ahhh the beauty of semantics.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cover yourself up...or not

So I went to the doctor. No worries people...the dermatologist...there will be no stirrups in this story. And, after 30 some odd years in the sun, many of them equipped with baby oil, a chaise lounge, an extension cord and a tv... I thought it was time I got a full body check. You know, make sure all these freckles really are just that, freckles.

As the nurse brings me into the room, she instructs me to leave my underwear on and then put on the robe. Sounds simple enough.

I picked up the robe, but in actuality is should be called a paper towel. Only that a paper towel is softer, more absorbent, and probably bigger. What the F? This robe had neither a front or a back, it was about 6 inches long, It scratched the bejesus out of my skin and I tried it on 10 different times. Were the holes for my arms, my head, my legs? Did it open in the front or the back? Was it a top or a bottom? Did they forget to leave the robe and I was actually struggling with toilet paper?

When I finally decided on the proper position/alignment of it, I settled down onto the table, looked down, and realized that my "robe" didn't even cover all of my bra, my stomach was completely exposed, and forget it about covering my underwear. (none of this was really an issue because after childbirth, modesty doesn't really exist around here).

At that point the Doctor walked in, smiled, and said, "Sorry about the robes, we're trying to cut back on costs."

Save your $.12 a patient lady. I would have been easier to stay in just my underwear.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm not THAT mom!

Pre-kids I was a teacher. So let me tell you, I have more than my share of opinions of THAT mom. You know...the mom who wants you to change her child's grade, the mom who calls you at home to ask about her child's homework assignment, the mom who hangs around school ALL day watching what you do, the mom who believes her child's version of a story over yours...OMG the list could go on.

I swear to you, I am not nor will I ever be THAT mom. I won't let it happen.

BUT...pre-school started this week. And while my darling 4 year old loves it (in fact he gave me a high-five at dinner last night and when I asked him what it was for he said, "for letting me go to school") I can't help but worry. When I ask him in the car each day what he did he tells me "we played, we painted, we had so much fun." And as he is saying this I feel all the little hairs on my arm stand up straight.

No math, no writing, no reading???? What are they doing over there? Is he going to fall behind?

I follow up with thinking

He's 4, he's bright, he's doing great.

And then I repeat to myself.

Don't be THAT mom. Don't be THAT mom. Don't believe everything he tells you.

I know, I know but I can't help but worry about his academics...did I mention that he is only 4?

Maybe I should also mention that I apparently am totally crazy.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Weight Loss

I'm back on Weight Watchers.

Big freakin' surprise as I seem to ALWAYS be "on" something. On Adtkins, on Jenny Craig, on WW, on the wagon...whatever drastic measures I have to take to lose some weight.

And tonight, I think I deserve some seriously good weight loss karma.

We ordered pizza. Delicious, regular crust, pepperoni and sausage pizza. Hubby and big boy and little girl all devoured more than their share (actually I'm currently listening to hubby compain about his indulgence). And you know what I ate? No...not grilled fish, I'm not that good. But a Lean Cuisine pizza and a salad. I KNOW...I deserve a weight watching medal of some sort.

At the very least I think that calories should be calculated by not how much you ate, but by how much you resisted.

Today would go something like this:
Bagel and cream cheese with kids: -525
hot dog at lunch: -350
milkshake with son after teacher meeting: -425
lots and lots of pizza: -800
vodka with tonic: -1000 (it is Friday people!)

Total weight loss= -3100 calories...which should equal about one WHOLE pound for today.

Damn I'm good.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back handed victory

Rewind about 4 years ago. I head off to London to visit my parents with my then 8 month old. I leave my husband in our home alone for what I figure will be 7 days of beer, pizza, and freedom to sleep in an unmade bed. I expect to come home to a house with the toilet seats up, recycling not taken out and lots of dirty laundry. How wrong I was.

This is what I came home to:

Yes, doesn't every family with a new baby need a 1973 Bronco? One that "is such a good deal honey. We're going to make money on this, I swear."

Fast forward to present time. That great deal has sat in the garage for 4 years and has racked up only 400 miles (one trip from old house to new house)

So imagine my delight when last week my husband ON HIS OWN decided to sell the great deal in exchange for this:

why the little girl is wearing a helmet still remains a mystery!

I really thought that after 7 years I had made an impact. Our third car was going to be one that we both would enjoy, could take to the beach, to yoga, to the store...wherever. He was considering my desires, recognizing the immaturity of the purchase of a 1973 Ford Bronco that doesn't even work and just drips oil in the garage, and putting the safety of the kids before his juvenile joy ride. (again, the helmet is a mystery!)
Can I just say it again...How wrong I was!

Because...within one week, this is what I came home to:

Oh...did I mention that in order to pay for this lovely vessel, he has to sell the Bronco AND his now there is no 3rd vehicle...just his car (see picture above) and mine.

So after seven years, the only thing that has happened is that his impulse purchases have gotten more expensive and he has gotten A LOT better at working things to his advantage. Damn.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What are you watching?

I don't usually proclaim my political beliefs here on my blog...but I have to say:

But regardless of who you will vote for in'll agree with me on this. At least, I think you will.

Tonight, at my in-laws, at the Jersey Shore, sequestered in the basement to watch the Democratic National Convention, I was horrified by what I saw/found. At 9:15, I turned on the TV (all by myself as the conservative members of the family watched the Phillies game) only to find that the 4 major networks on TV were more concerned with Super Nanny, America's Got Talent, Bones, and Whacked Out Videos than with Bill Clinton speaking. You know him right? Former president of the United States, husband to the runner-up, and headline maker for the past 100 days for his contentious relationship with the Obama's. Why can't I find him on TV?

Thank goodness for public television...otherwise I might have voted for Sharon Osbourne or David Hasselhoff for president. And thank goodness for them more for cutting to commercial during John Kerry!

I love me some TV...but this is ridiculous!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Farmer's Market

There is something so peaceful about going to the farmer's market on the weekends. I ususally get to go alone, I usually wander around for about 15 minutes drinking a coffee, and then I usually shell out obscene amounts of money for fresh grown produce, baked goods, and flowers. It is pure heaven.

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Monday, August 18, 2008


Happiness for me:
A day on the boat followed by a crab feast and kids who sleep more than 12 hours

Happiness for husband: Playing skipper and skipping work

Happiness for son: Going super fast on the first boat to play pirate on the 2nd boat

Not so happiness for daughter: Being dragged around for all the activity and being stuffed like a sausage in her life preserver

I miss you summer camp

For the past four weeks the little boy has been going to summer camp. And while he was there the little girl and I have been enjoying our peace and quiet. Hitting the gym, taking naps, and just walking around the house without getting run over by a super spy or a growling dinosaur.

And while we relaxed, took deep breaths, and enjoyed our time together just mother and daughter, the little boy was having the time of his life.

I mean, what's not to love about hiking, songs, crafts, and learning about all sorts of interesting animals? It was a 4 year old boys dream come true. Covered in dirt with a smile as wide as the grand canyon each day, he never wanted to come home and was determined to go to camp even after I told him his counselors wouldn't be there on Saturdays and Sundays.

And camp, apparently, is the gift that keeps giving. Because not only was he out all morning tromping around in the woods and creeks, but he came home exhausted, quiet for quiet time and ready for bed by 7pm. To say we got our money's worth is an understatement.

So today I am a bit sad. Not because the little boy is home (I actually am looking forward to a few days with no need to rush out the door at 8am) but because it signals the end of summer. And next year at camp he'll be a little bit older, a little more jaded and a little less likely to sing his camp songs at full volume every time I ask him. So from now until then we'll be singing the songs and dancing the steps to keep up the feeling that summer camp left with us this year. Thanks Nature Tots!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm back!

I really do wonder what people did before internet. Did they actually call their friends? Write them a little note , print out pictures and hand them out? Go to the grocery store? Or a mall? Call a doctor?

This past month I have a small exercise in what it must be like with out internet OR a home phone. And let me tell wasn't pretty. I had to spend nap time doing things like sweep the floor, fold laundry, make dinner. What the F? I didn't sign up for this antiquated stay-at-home mom crap.

But breathe a huge sigh of relief. Procrastination, late night purchasing, and reading gossip are all back on the agenda.

Oh...and maybe I'll blog a little bit too. We've had a pretty good month since Mommy hasn't been handcuffed to Perez Hilton.

Friday, July 25, 2008

what makes me cranky...and more

You want to know makes me cranky? No internet service.

It isn't that I have had deep, profound things to say to you all. In fact, NOTHING has happened in the five days that I have gone without internet service...but you wouldn't know that would you...becuase I couldn't tell you.

What kills me is that our interent goes out and I think that I am missing the world. Who is emailing me? Who wants to be my facebook friend? What new blog posts are there? What's my bank balance? AND...does Brittany have custody of her kids yet?

But without internet service, I am totally at a loss. I know nothing, yet I think that SO much is happening. And it kills me.

So today, I drive 4 hours to get to my in-laws (not just to get internet, but it did make me drive a bit faster) and I found that I had only 10 e-mails (3 of which mattered AT ALL), there was only 1 new blog post of interest, and NO ONE wanted to be my friend.

So all that anxiety for the past 3 days was for nothing.

But how else am I supposed to pass nap time each day if I don't have service?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thighs and other parts

I recently was able to visit a very good friend of mine and there are 1 million reasons why I love her, but today the reason is that she has made me 100% embrace my girl's thighs. When I saw her, she and her sister couldn't get enough of the thighs and the overall squishiness of my daughter. They were squealing and drooling over her baby fat like I do when I pass Cinnabon in the mall. And after just a few hours I realized that I, too, am in awe of all her rolls, skin, and generous padding.

And I also love this friend because for my daughter's birthday she sent her a string bikini. No, not with any intention that she would wear it in public, but just with the simple request that I try it on, take pictures and send them to her. And when I did, she asked that I resend them in a higher resolution (what she is going to do with these pictures, I don't know) So below are the pictures just to hammer in that last nail when my girl is 13 and has a list of 100 things why she hates me. Don't forget honey that I posted these pictures of you on my blog. I would hate me too.

Please enjoy the only picture of any of my family in a bikini this year (I hold hope that I will strut Heidi Klum style one day!)

If you read closely this tag says,UPF 50+, excellent UV protection. I ask...on what? Her nipples? Good, I would hate her nipples to get sunburned at so early an age. We'll save that for when she goes topless on her summer trip to France a la Duk Duk.
Finally, here she is perfecting her red carpet, over the shoulder, maybe they can't see my belly shot.
I do know that she'll have a point when she brings this up in 10 years...but for now, I am so grateful for my friend and her sense of humor!
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who's looking at my Facebook?

OK..I may be 33, with 2 kids, a bathing suit from Lands End, and a volvo wagon...but does that stop me from social networking? I think not.

I joined Facebook. Really I joined it because my hip, NYC based, cutting edge, MBA student, best friend told me that I should. And let's be honest...when she told me I should wax, I why wouldn't I listen to her this time?

I enjoy facebook. I like reading the little blurbs of what people are up to. Some of these people I haven't laid eyes on in nearly 20 years, but I still like knowing what they doing. I am a voyeur...not doubt about that, so facebook is perfect in that sense. I check out people's photos, read their updates and then move on to

But facebook also kind of wierds me out. On one side of the page, it continually suggests more friends for you. Yes, yes, facebook, I know these people. Enough already. As many times as you float his/her picture out there I am not going to be friends with them (exposing your profile page to them and vice versa). Honestly, we weren't friends when you programmed with Lotus in computer class, so why would be friends now? And after thinking about all the people who are seeing my picture on a daily basis saying the same thing, I updated my profile picture to uber-hot, sexy, skinny photo rather than ski hat and baby bjorn picture.

Old profile picture:

New profile picture

But do you want to know what really gets me? The targeted ads from facebook sponsors. Most recently it keeps flashing, "28-35 and overweight?" Uh....f-you facebook, I'm working on it ok? Two kids, busy life...not as fit as I would like to be...but I'm wokring on it already! And after multiple days of calling me fat today it said, "married and need more sex life?" Damnit facebook...leave me alone. You are maing me cranky and by the way...have you not seen my new profile picture? I'm not fat...and by the looks of it, I'm not hard up either. Keep your opinions to yourself as I voyeur on all my friends.

Friday, July 04, 2008