Monday, December 29


Dear Little Blog,

I am sorry little blog. I have ignored you, neglected you and you may have thought forgotten all about you. I'm sorry. So much has been going on in my life that I just haven't had the time or the energy to write in you. Sometimes I think I will write in you, but then I have so many other tedious things to do that you get pushed aside. I promise that I will be better in 2009. I will write in you much more, and make time for you again. 2009 will be a good year. I will have practically a new house. New carpeting, new cabinets, new floors, new countertops. New attitude. I am already planning a little nook in my kitchen where I can put my computer and write on you little blog. For now we will be moving into a trailer in the yard, and I'm not sure if I will be able to hook up my computer and write in you little blog, but I will find a way. I promise. So don't be mad at me little blog, I still love you.

Tuesday, December 23

Just Keep Swimming

Hello out there in blogger land, sorry for the short posts lately. I can't believe Christmas is only 2 days away! With all that has been going on with the storm and the pipes bursting it just hasn't seemed very Christmasy. So many holiday parties and events were cancelled around here, and there has been so much displacement and uncertainty, but alas Christmas does arrive and no matter where you live and what you are doing it is important to remember the true meaning of CHRISTmas, enjoy your families and have some fun. And so we will. We may be homeless temporarily, but we have our family and each other and so we really have everything we need. I have been extra busy, Dennis is still working 12 hour days and since he has been sleeping at home in the basement while I stay at my parents with the kids we have barely seen him. I really am a single mother now! My parents have been so much help to us, more than you can imagine. We are so thankful and grateful for them, I am sure I couldn't do it without them. ALL of our friends and family have offered to help, and been so kind. It's overwhelming to realize how many friends you have when something like this happens, it brings a little tear to my eye, and everyone knows I never cry (except when water is pouring out from my ceilings!)

But life goes on, I still have to work, and meet with insurance adjustor's, and cleaning crews, and contractors. I feel like I am rushing all around, while still trying to find time for the kids and keep their lives as "normal" as possible. They are doing great though, and have been so good through all of this turmoil. Kids are resilient, although after this experience I think there will be an entire generation of children who will have anxiety every time the power at their house goes off! At dinner the other night Abbey gave a blessing. She said she was thankful for her family, for life and lights, and her friends. Oh, and food of course. I think that pretty much says it all.

So, we are doing fine. I am tired, I miss my husband, but I just keep thinking like Dory.

Saturday, December 20

Yada Yada Yada

So, our power was finally restored after 8 days of cold and dark. I was so excited, I called home and my answering machine picked up and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. I rushed to the grocery store to stock up (because my fridge was emptied) and rushed home ~ home! Joy! I opened the kitchen door and. . . yada yada yada . . . pipes burst, house flooded, back to my parents house.

Thursday, December 18


I never realized how much I love my house. I never thought I would long to be home doing laundry of all things, or vacuuming, or cleaning the toilet. The dishwasher has now been full of dirty dishes for 7 days. I had an actual load of laundry running 7 days ago that is still sitting there half filled up with water. 7 days ago we had all kinds of plans for the upcoming week. A romantic night with my husband at a hotel, a great party with all of my college friends and their families, a field trip with the cub scouts, Jack's first grade conference, Abbey's holiday concert . . . . instead I have spent the week shuttling our luggage from place to place, relative to relative, sleeping on couches, floors, strange beds. The children have had NO semblance of any kind of schedule, bedtime, or vegetable in 7 days. They are cranky and fresh and acting up, and I am quickly losing my patience. I know I shouldn't complain. There are thousands of families in the exact same situation, and unless my house is the absolute last house to be re-connected, I can't bitch. There is always someone worse off. I hear my sister-in-law with 8 kids is staying with her sister in New Hampshire. A sister who also has many kids. I heard the youngest 2 have chicken pox. I'm not sure if this is true, and since Amy is a dedicated reader perhaps she will be able to read this and set the record straight. Good Lord Amy, is this true? Are you really still without power as well, not in your own home and now chicken pox has been added to the mix? I pray this is just an ugly rumor making its way through my family and is not based in facts.

So we are now staying at my parents house who have a generator. I heard from my father a little while ago, they have power! I guess the generator can now come to our house, but the question of whether this will give us actual heat is still up in the air. I don't know about generators, electrical wires, grids or the such. I don't care about generators, electrical wire, grids or the such. I want to flip my switch, turn on the lights on my tree, watch t.v. and I don't want to think about where it comes from. Good grief, I even miss going on my treadmill! I must be delirious.

Monday, December 15

We Survived The Ice!

Well, we are still alive. We survived the horrendous ice storm of the century in one piece, although the same can't be said for our cars. Yes, my precious new mini-van, dented. But not totalled, everything can be fixed. Unfortunately we have been out of power (so no heat, no running water, no flushing toilet) since 9:45 pm Thursday night. I am hearing various reports of when we will be up and running, everything from 2 days to 2 weeks. I am praying hard for the 2 days. I actually wrote a post on my laptop this weekend, but of course it is still trapped there in my laptop so I will post it as soon as I can. Just know that we are warm with relatives, carting our possessions around in our dented van, and wishing we were home in our own beds. Dennis is working 12+ hour days and sleeping at home in the basement with the dog and an old coal stove. I'll post again soon, hopefully from the comfort of home. And wait until you see the pictures!

Monday, December 8

Oh Christmas Tree

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Saturday we went out and got our tree, and now that it is up I am really starting to get into the spirit. Now I can start wrapping presents and unlike in years past when the kids were more of a menace, I can actually put them under the tree without the fear of them unwrapping them. Some families may look for quite a while for the "perfect" tree, even going to different places, but not us. We drove up the road to a tree farm, got out and almost the first tree the kids walked by "fell" on them. It didn't really fall as much as lean over onto them as they brushed by. They decided that it was a sign, the tree wanted to come home with us and be our tree. Dennis held it up and while I was still saying "hmmmm, maybe we should look over there" he had already picked it up and was starting to tie it to the top of the car. "Um, OK, I'll just go pay and we'll be on our way." When I was a little girl getting our tree was a big event that I looked forward to as one of the best parts of Christmas. I remember that we would bring it home, all wrapped up in twine and my father would set it up in the basement for the branches to "fall". It would have to stay down there, "falling" until the next day when we would be allowed to bring it upstairs and decorate it. That was torture to me, waiting. I would visit the tree in the basement, pushing on the branches, willing them to "fall." This may be why we decorate ours almost as soon as we get it home, no waiting, no falling required. Of course, our trees have never been wrapped up in twine, so that may be helpful. I used to play for hours under the tree. I would set my barbies up all under it, and they would "live" in the tree. I would lay under it and stare up at the lights, the way my kids do now and it is just such a wonder. A piece of nature that up until that point has been growing in the forest is now wrapped in lights, with ornaments hanging from it's branches, in our living room. It's kind of amazing when you think about it. Now that the kids are older they actually remember the ornaments from years past. We have quite a bit of "Baby's First Christmas" ones, or that have their names on them, and everyone has to hang up their own special ones. I love that we have special ornaments, just for us. I love that the kids get excited to see the little ornaments with their names on them, or that they have made in years past. You take them out of the box and although you had forgotten all about them for the past year, there they are again. They look the same as they did before, from a different time, on a different tree.

Our tree fell down that first night of course, spilling water all over the rug and sending ornaments flying this way and that. It crashed down as 65% of the trees in our married life have. I'm not sure why they always fall over, maybe it has something to do with the stand? Or perhaps it could be user error? I'm not blaming anyone, I'm just saying.

Sunday, December 7

Photo Tag - I'm It!

My bloggy friend Jen tagged me weeks ago and I am finally responding. The rules say: Players look into their photo files, choose the sixth folder and then the sixth photo in that folder. Post that picture, and tell the story behind it.

OK, here it is.

I am not surprised it is a picture of one of the kids, considering they make up about 82% of our photos! This was in the folder titled "Christmas 2007." Not too exciting, Jack sitting in the snow by the side of the driveway. Abbey's little purple head peeking in the side. On another note, they are outside in the snow right now (although there is about 1/3 of an inch on the ground) and Jack is wearing the same snow pants. They still fit from last year, although the coat did not. They just fit, they barely fit, but they fit. It's a miracle!

Saturday, December 6

A Great Week

This week I got to experience how the other half lives, or maybe it is closer to the other 1/3? This week I had my husband HOME at normal times. His usual shift is 12-8 (pm, not am) which has him leaving home around 11:15 am and returning about 8:45 at night. This is a very convenient time for him to get home, considering that by this point I have entertained the children, cleaned up messes, served dinner, helped with homework, refereed squabbles, given tubs, read bedtime stories, delivered water, chased monsters out from under beds and yelled "nothing more to eat, it's time for bed now get back in there!" about a dozen times. Most nights he comes home to a quiet peaceful house, two sleeping quiet peaceful children, and a wife who is not peaceful, sometimes quiet but always TIRED. This has been his shift for most of our married existence and for the entire time we have had children, so I should be used to it, but I never will, never I tell you! But this week, ahhhh, this week he had Fios school. 8 am - 4 pm. He left in the morning like a normal person. Returned home before 5! 5! Played with the children, we had dinners together. He helped clean up, gave tubs, took Jack to Cub Scouts, and I even got to go out 2 nights of the week amidst the world of adults. I was still primarily in charge of bedtime because he kind of stinks at it, but I wasn't so spent from doing everything else that bedtime seemed like a chore. Happy mommy, happy children, but tired husband. A man that is used to having a quiet empty house each morning and being able to sleep until 10 had to actually rise with the sun and schlump out into the world with the rest of the nine to fivers. But he survived. Next week we go back to our normal routine, back to the single mother routine. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted, I just wish it could have lasted a little bit longer.

Thursday, December 4

What's For Dinner?

Sometimes I dread 4:30 pm. This is the time when I am forced to think about dinner, what I am going to cook and how I can get out of it. Invariably I cannot get out of it, because I have these 2 little faces that look up at me and ask every single damn day "what's for dinner?" Sometimes my response is met with cheers (taco's) or jeers (meatloaf) but more often than not I respond with "I don't know, what do you want?" This is a ridiculous question to ask a 6 and a 4 year old. Jack ALWAYS answers "mashed potatoes!" while Abbey thinks long and hard and replies "I don't know, how about chocolate and strawberries?" She is much easier to please and sometimes she answers "I don't know, whatever you want me to eat would be good." Jack, on the other hand, is 100 times more difficult. He is such a fan of eating in general that a bad dinner to him equals the end of the world as we know it (hmmm, could he take after his mother??). He wails, he cries, he screams. "Cheeseburgers . . . NOOOOOO, I wanted tacos tonight. This is the worst day ever of my whole life, waaa waaa waaa." He likes things that are yellow, filled with carbs and stick to his ribs (which is why we can no longer see his ribs). I struggle to get him to try new things, eat a vegetable, not sneak over to the pan and scrape the remaining rice out with the giant serving spoon. Then once dinner is served I spend the meal alternating between the two of them. For Abbey to "take one more bite please" and to "stop fooling around and eat your dinner" and "for goodness sakes just sit still on your bum!" and "Jack, slow down this is not a race" and "no there are no more mashed potatoes" and then "no Jack, you may not finish Abbey's potatoes, she is going to eat them . . . eventually"

This morning when I woke Jack up for school the first thing out of his mouth, I kid you not, was "what's for dinner tonight?" Please let's get through breakfast first! By the way, I have NO IDEA what is for dinner tonight. Do you?

Wednesday, December 3


Excuse number 1,043 of why I didn't step on the scale this morning for this week's installment of un-frump a slump. First off, in these uncertain and hard economic times, I find I get the best feeling from giving to others. So, in that respect I have donated my scale to the needy. Yes, that's it. The needy. I mean, they like to keep in shape too, just the daily struggle for food and shelter doesn't burn half as many calories as it used to, and the needy must keep on top of their weight as well. I know, I know, it was a sacrifice, but one I'm willing to make for humankind. Second excuse . . . I mean reason . . . there was this little holiday cookie swap thing I went to last night with about 20 of the other mother's here in town. No big deal, I mean, I only sampled like 14 cookies or so, washed down by 2 or 3 (or 4 or 5) glasses of wine. I'm sure that I actually lost weight while there, due to the fact that I was laughing quite a good deal and ate most of those cookies and consumed a good portion of that wine while standing up, and everybody knows that if you eat while standing the calories don't stick to your body. They go straight to your feet.