Monday, December 28

Hello?

OK people, this is pitiful. 5 comments for my Dunkin Donuts Gift Card contest? I know its only ten bucks, but that is not even the point. The point is that everyone likes to win free stuff! For goodness sakes even Lindy commented and everyone knows she drinks Starbucks pretty exclusively (unless she is mad at them). So listen up, I am waiting until Friday, New Years Day and then I am picking a random winner from my FIVE loyal and wonderful readers. And everyone else you will just be sorry. Sorry sorry sorry. And thirsty I tell you, you know, because you won't have free coffee. So I guess you will also be tired without the caffeine. Yup, just a bunch of sorry, thirsty, tired people.

So if you don't want to be tired and thirsty and sorry, go here and leave your comment.

Friday, December 25

Merry Christmas

It is just before 9 am on Christmas morning and I am the first one up. Yes, my kids are still asleep. They have inherited a bit of Dennis' late sleeper-ness (is this a word?) and they were up until 10:30 last night so by my calculation they will sleep for approximately 9 more minutes. In fact, I am quite confident that I will have to stop typing before very long and finish this post tonight, but for now I am enjoying the quiet. Santa has left his loot under the tree and filled the stockings and the living room looks so nice and peaceful, before the rush of the kids and the wrapping paper and those infernal bits of plastic that keep everything tied into place in their packaging. It is nice to just gaze upon it and take a moment to heave a sigh. Another year done, the shopping and wrapping and scouting for deals. The delving into the kids little minds to figure out which of the "I want that!"'s were important and which would be forgotten by the time the commercial was over. Buying for everyone and feeling that I found things that people would appreciate. More important, actually getting the chance to visit and spend time with everyone and enjoy all the hard work.

So now I have coffee brewing and cinnamon buns to pop into the oven. My brother slept over last night so he would be able to enjoy Christmas morning with us, so I'm sure he will be thrilled in 9 minutes when the kids wake him up. It is quiet and nice and I am looking forward to seeing the kids excitement and spending the day with the family, eating and drinking and being together.


Fast forward 12 hours later and here I am, almost 9 pm. The kids DID wake up right around 9 minutes in and the peace and quiet was gone gone gone. Oh and those delish cinnamon buns? I put them in and then we started unwrapping and I didn't check them and they burnt. I was really quite bummed. Then it was off to my cousin's for a great family day and now we are home. I'm tired but content, everything is unwrapped and it looks like a toy store blew up and we have trash piling up. Cardboard boxes and wires and ties, plastic everywhere. WHY do toys come packaged as if they will make a great escape if not fastened in by 43 pieces of wire? Why?

Ahhhh, big sigh. Merry Christmas everyone, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Monday, December 21

Proud Taekwondo Mama

Jack started Taekwondo almost 1 year ago. Actually, he started at the end of January last year because I thought it would be good for him to (a) learn some discipline and (b) get some exercise. I have to say that I am quite pleased with it on both counts, although while he listens wonderfully to his Taekwondo Instructor, I am still waiting for some of it to rub off on the home front. I am keeping my fingers crossed it will happen in time. Also, in the last 6 months he has actually lost 1 pound and grown 1 1/2 inches, and his doctor was very pleased. She was getting a little worried considering from the ages of 4 - 5 he gained 11 pounds, from 5 - 6 he gained 17 pounds and from 6 - 7 he gained another 10. This seemed to be a pattern that would put Jack at about 200 pounds by the 5th grade, so hopefully the Taekwondo and (slightly) better eating habits will continue to pay off. When we first started I remember thinking that he would never be able to learn all the moves, kicks, blocks, punches, and forms it would take to advance very far. Most of these moves are too difficult for even me to try to attempt, and the forms consist of a series of moves much like a dance that to me all look the same. But learn them he has. After only a couple of months he tested for his Orange Belt and we were quite impressed.

Then Summer came and he achieved his Yellow Belt.

Then he went for his Yellow Stripe.

Just this last Friday night, his achieved his Green. This was an exceptionally difficult test for all the kids (and adults), with the entire test board sitting for it and quite a bit of pressure. But they all did wonderful, although I spent the almost entire 2 1/2 hours sitting on my hands, with my feet icy cold with fear and feeling very, very nervous (you would have thought it was me out there attempting forms and snap front jump kicks).

Five belts in and he has learned so much and grown up so much and stuck with it, and we are truly proud.

Also, in case you missed it, look below or click here to see the details for my first ever contest. Don't forget to leave a comment telling me your favorite Holiday song for your chance to win a Dunkin Donuts card.

Friday, December 18

There When I Need Him

For all the bitching I do about my husband (well, not so much on this blog but plenty in real life) he really was there for me this morning. After I got Jack off to the bus stop I must not have closed the van door all the way because half an hour later when Abbey and I hurried and scurried and ran outside in the 4 degree air it would not start. Dead battery. With mounting aggravation because really, who needs THAT first thing in the morning, I got Abbey out of the 4 degree weather and back into the house. I figured I would have to kick at Dennis because he was dead asleep to the world and DETESTS and HATES and LOATHES getting up, but lo and behold he was already downstairs and on his way out the door. "I heard" he mumbled and went out into the cold to jump start the car. He didn't even give me a sideways look or a disgusted sigh when I admitted that I may have left the door open which could have drained the battery. Within 6 minutes we were on our way and later, when I warmed up, I realized what a disaster it could have been. If he didn't work 2nd shift and wasn't home, what would I have done? Called AAA (which I don't have)? Called a neighbor (who would be at work)? Flagged down the first car that drove by? All of these options were much worse than the reality, which was I stood in the warm house drinking coffee and watched my husband do his car thing. So he gets points for this morning, points that were subtracted when he wouldn't put Christmas lights on the outside of the house. And if you are asking, yes, I am keeping track of these points.

On another note, it is time for Napkin's first ever contest. I tried to think up a clever and extraordinary way to pick a winner, but my brain is tired from Christmas and Holiday paraphanalia so I will have to keep it simple. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your most favorite Holiday song is and I will randomly at random on a random day at a random time pick a winner out of a random hat. In case you were wondering, the kids and my favorite song of the moment is "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas." I'll give everyone about a week to leave their comment, since I am pretty sure that checking on my blog is not on everyone's daily checklist of things to get done!

Tuesday, December 15

A Bit Of A Milestone

Try not to faint at the fact that I am posting 2 days in a row. I just wanted to throw something out there acknowledging a little bit of a milestone. Nothing huge mind you, or life shattering, but I just noticed on my handy dandy little statistical counter that I have now had over 10,000 hits on this site. That is not to say and please don't be confused and think that I have 10,000 READERS (whoa, how cool would that be?) but merely 10,000 hits. Which means after you subtract the 8,345 times I personally have clicked onto my blog, I had quite a few devoted readers following along. So thank you devoted readers. Maybe I will have some sort of contest to commemorate this auspicious occasion. Yes, a contest. Stay tuned for me to come up with one. I can't make any promises but a Dunkin' Donuts gift card may be up for grabs.

Monday, December 14

Ice-iversary

Over the past week and a half there have been so many times that I have thought of a good blog post, but they never made it onto the computer. Like the day I felt like the only thing I ate was the bits and pieces of the kids food. Crusts of toast for breakfast. Crusts of ham and cheese for lunch. Leftover cold french fries and congealed mac and cheese for dinner. Then I almost posted about Abbey getting her five year immunizations. 4 shots, lots of crying and screaming resulting in a 102 degree temp and a day home from school the next day. Then I was going to blog about our Tumpka Timpka elf on a shelf and how already she has "forgotten" to leave our house and come back to a new spot the next day. This was subsequently blamed on the fact that Jack got a little bit too close to her the day before, and a bit of her magic disappeared for about 24 hours. So many times I have sat down at the computer and then been called away to do other things. Christmas things, party things, kid things, house things. Things. We even passed over the 1 year anniversary of the Ice Storm of 2008 without me blogging about it. The anniversary was actually last Thursday night into Friday morning since the storm itself raged through the night. In case you are new to my blog, or maybe you forgot and would love to relive it with me, you can read about our adventures in ice here and also here and here a see some lovely pictures here and also some more here. This Saturday the 19th is the actual anniversary of when the pipes burst rendering us homeless and rootless for a while until we moved into the comfort of that oh so lovely trailer in the yard. Oh brown paneled trailer of fun, how I do NOT miss you. Well hasn't this been a wonderful trip down memory lane! At least I can say that all of that madness from last year did result in new floors, new walls, new cabinets, some new furniture, and a new found appreciation for our HOME. All these many months later, it is still GOOD TO BE HOME!

Thursday, December 3

Tis' The Season

Well, it's here, it's here, it's here! Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! I LOVE Christmas, always have. The whole season. When I was a kid the thought of getting presents, having my whole family together, eating delicious food, well it was almost too much to bear. Now that I am an adult I still look forward to Christmas with as much excitement. There are family get together’s, presents exchanged, and of course delicious food to be eaten. I get so excited when I think of what will become my own kids Christmas memories. Will it be putting up the decorations and the tree? Making cookies? Visiting with Santa? Going to Mass on Christmas Eve? This year we even decorated a gingerbread house, which was kind of messy and a pain so we may not do that again. December 1st marked the beginning of the countdown for us, the countdown to the big guy. The kids have a calendar that they do every night, adding felt ornaments from little numbered pockets to the tree. Then they get to open up their Advent calendar that they get every year from Grammy and eat their little tiny piece of chocolate. Last year after the ice storm when we had to evacuate the house to spend Christmas at my parents I remember running through the dark and the cold, and 2 things I was sure to grab were that felt Christmas tree and their Advent calendars. Last year at my parents we also started a new tradition. Each day we are visited by Timpka Tumpka. This is a little Swedish elf like gnome that is much like the "Elf On A Shelf" that is popular. Timpka visits Santa in the North Pole every night while the kids are asleep to report on their daily behavior. Of course each morning you will find Timpka in a new spot. I have no idea how he does it!

So however you begin your Holiday Season, I am right now wishing it to be merry and warm and bright. You really do have to spend the whole month celebrating, because 1 day? Nope, not nearly enough time to get it all in.

Monday, November 30

A Hunting They Will Go!

I think that some sort of hunting season started today. Or maybe it has been going on for a while and I just noticed it. This morning at the gas station there were about 5 guys sitting around having coffee in their hunting clothes. Camouflage and BRIGHT orange vests. I don't really understand the logic in these ensembles. I get that you wear camo so that you blend into your surroundings, but then you put on bright orange so that you are not accidentally shot by a fellow hunter. So if you are going to wear bright orange, why wear the camo at all? You are not blending in, so what's the point? I have lived in the woods for 8 years now, and since that first winter I started to notice this odd phenomenon of trucks parked randomly on the side of the road. It took me a while to figure out (well, finally Dennis told me) that these vehicles which I previously thought were all broken down are really hunters. That does make more sense, I mean, how could ALL of these trucks and SUV's be broken down at the same time? At first I thought we could be in danger, I mean, some of these cars are parked VERY close to where we live, and I was picturing bullets zinging through our backyard. Luckily this has not happened. I guess they venture deep into the woods to do their killin'? Who knows. All I can tell you is that while I am not necessarily "for" the senseless killing of animals per se, I don't find too much wrong with the hunting in my town. I am pretty sure by the looks of these guys that they don't just hunt for fun. I mean, I think if they ever actually get anything, they are going to be cooking it and stewin' it and eating it up. Luckily for all the wildlife about, I have never, ever, ever in all of these 8 years actually seen a hunter emerge from the woods with a dead animal. I have never seen a dead deer tied to the roof of a truck. So either these hunters are really really bad at it, or the animals are really really lucky.

Thursday, November 26

Thankful

When you have children I fully believe that a piece of your heart leaves your chest and lives outside of you, and it is so hard to have a piece of you outside of your body. It should be inside of you, safe and sound, but instead it is walking around out there, living its own life. On this Thanksgiving I am thankful that the little pieces of my heart are right by my side, snuggling on the couch watching the parade, sleeping in bed with their eyes half open, requiring all items from Thanksgiving dinner be separated and not touching each other on the plate. These little pieces of my heart take all my energy, all my strength, so much of my love, and I am thankful. I know that there are too many parents out there who have pieces of their heart scattered all over the globe, or pieces of their heart gone altogether, and when that happens I don't know how you breathe. So today I will remember even more that I am thankful for my children, and my husband and my entire family and my life. I am thankful for our health, our house, our jobs. I am thankful for that crusty part of the stuffing that hangs out of the turkey's butt. Yum, that's good stuff.

Tuesday, November 24

My Birthday Girl

Abbey turned 5 on Sunday. 5! I can't believe it. It really does feel like it was only yesterday that I checked into the hospital on that dark Sunday night in November, only to be told that although I was sure I was ready to deliver any moment that I was only 2 centimeters dilated and that I should walk around the hospital to get things moving. So that is what Dennis and I did, we walked around the deserted and quiet Medical Center, while I periodically clutched at my stomach and leaned against walls. Eventually of course she was born, at 9:23 am the next day. I spent the night laboring and watching old reruns of Wings on Nick At Nite. Remember that show? I still remember laboring all night with Jack watching C.H.I.P.S. To this day I can't hear that theme song or see Ponch or John without feeling uncomfortable and remembering pain. I also remembered very well that I wasn't able to get an epidural with Jack (too fast, no time) so I made sure I had time with Abbey. Every new nurse that came in I would say "Hi, nice to meet you. I am having an epidural." And then someone else would come in and I would say "Hi, I'm Kirsten, I'm having an epidural." I would even ask if they had it written down on the chart, just be sure.

But that is all far in the past now, and she is 5. She had a fun gymnastics party on Saturday to celebrate, with 12 kids. Then we went out to dinner with my sister & brother in law and their kids. Abbey and her cousin Shannon are only 7 days apart (Shannon being 7 days older which already she doesn't let Abbey forget) and they are best friends. I must say that its nice to have a 7 and a 5 year old. I feel like those ages are completely manageable. Well, most days. Some days. She is so five already though, so grown up. She always had been. Jack asked if that meant she would start kindergarten on Monday. Oh, I wish!


We gave her the Dora Links doll for her birthday, the new "teenage" Dora version for the 5 and older set. She is great, she hooks up to the computer and Abbey can navigate this whole online Dora world and solve mysteries, play games. And she can change her doll Dora too, along with the one on the screen. Make her eyes change color, change the color of her jewelry. And the doll talks. Its a little unnerving because you don't know exactly when she is going to talk. She's just a lifeless doll and then all of a sudden, "Hola!" she says to you. She scared the crap out of me Sunday night while I was spending HOURS downloading the content onto the computer. This is my only complaint about the Dora Links doll. It took FOREVER for the stuff to load onto the computer. I tried Sunday morning and it was taking so long that I thought it was malfunctioning, so I un-installed the program and started again. Then we had to leave to go to my parents for dinner so I stopped it again. Sunday night after the kids went to bed I told Dennis "I'm loading this bitch tonight if its the last thing I do!" and it took over 2 hours to get all installed. 2 hours!! Parents need to know this for Christmas. If they want their darling daughters to wake up Christmas morning, open Dora and start playing right away they need to install her well in advance.

There she is, my little pip. Happy with Dora. Not really sure what "pip" means but I think it's British and I am quite confident that it fits Abigail to a tee.

So I have a 7 and a 5 year old. How cool it that?

Thursday, November 19

7 Foods You Had No Idea About

Here's a tip, when you tell Kai-Lan on t.v. to use the brain in her giant over sized head to answer her own damn questions, that means you need to eat lunch because you are obviously getting cranky. Luckily I heated up a panini mighty quick before I started swearing at the little sprite. Then I was perusing the computer and came across these ominous words: "7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips." Not that you shouldn't even just eat, but that should never even come in contact with your lips! I thought to myself, "it is probably stuff people don't ever eat anyway, like ammonia or peroxide" and decided to check it out. This, ladies and gentlemen, are the 7 foods you should never eat. I mean never, don't even think about it you might as well just throw yourself in front of a bus right now because you are going to die if you eat any of these things list:

1. Canned Tomatoes. Ummm, yup. I'm pretty sure I didn't see this one coming right off the bat. Something about a chemical in them is really bad for you? Good thing I'm not adding these to anything I cook, right?

2. Corn-Fed Beef. I personally have no idea what the beef I buy eats. I get it in the grocery store, in the beef section, and it doesn't say what kind of diet the aforementioned cow had. Upon further reading though the article says that you should get grass-fed beef, which you can find at Farmers Markets. Since I have never bought any meat at a farmers market, and am pretty sure that we don't even have farmers markets around here (especially in the winter!), we are screwed on the beef front, best to just stick with chicken.

3. Microwave Popcorn. Damn. We are in trouble.

4. Non-Organic Potatoes
. Pretty sure this counts that flaky kind that comes in a box or a pouch.

5. Farmed Salmon. Phew, we hardly ever eat fish, unless it is in the form of a stick, so we are all set here.

6. Milk produced with artificial hormones. OK, so maybe I just grab whatever milk is the least expensive and is 1%. Then I read you should buy Walmart's Great Value brand milk, because they don't use something called rBGH. I totally buy Walmart milk. All the time. Phew. I am a good mother.

7. Conventional (meaning non-organic) Apples. Apples. As in an apple a day . . . blah blah blah.

So I have to go now. I'm going to go and munch on an apple while heating up some microwave popcorn for the kids for a snack, to hold them over until their dinner of fish sticks and boxed instant mashed potatoes is cooked. Don't worry, I'll make sure they drink their milk.

Wednesday, November 11

Is It or Isn't It?

Jack came down with a high fever and cough and headache on Saturday and was down for the count for about 24 hours. By Monday morning he was up and about, playing video games and running around outside, but I kept him home anyway due to that whole "24 hour fever-free" rule for school. By mid-afternoon the buzz on Facebook was that SO many kids were out sick at our elementary school and so many more were sent home that they were actually cancelling school for Tuesday. No one knew what everyone had, although their symptoms were similar. Everyone seemed to have flu-like symptoms, but some of the kids were only sick for a day or 2, which seemed to be too short to be considered H1N1. Still, school was cancelled because they had over a 30% absentee rate, so Jack had yet another day off from school. Today is Veteran's Day so he is off also, making him pretty much forget what going to school is like. It felt odd, like our town was that doomed town from the movie "Outbreak" that they want to bomb to stop the spread of the virus. Everyone I knew had someone sick in their house. Our local WalMart ran out of Children's Motrin. It was freaky and crazy. One of my friends had to bring her daughter who is the same age as Abbey to the ER in the middle of the night because her fever was so high and she was having trouble breathing. Now its getting scary and too close for comfort. On Monday afternoon Abbey started feeling icky. Slight temp, no appetite. By Monday night at 3 am she was BURNING UP! 104 temp. It was scary. Tuesday she was the same, high temp, aches, "tummy" ache. Last night her temp rose up up and away again, to almost 104. I was wiping her down with cool washcloths and giving her ice water, sitting up with her listening to her breathe. It was a long night. This morning her fever seemed to break, and she has had a normal temp ever since. Ate bacon and eggs AND a sandwich. So now I am totally and completely confused and filled with uncertainty and questions. If she was sick for about 2 days total I wonder, was that H1N1? It certainly seemed severe enough at 2 am to be it, although then is that what Jack had too? Because he didn't really seem that sick at all, and if he had H1N1 then it must have been a mild version of it. So have they had it? Is it over? Or maybe its not done and they are going to relapse? Should I not get them the vaccine if and when it ever becomes available? Because they already had it? Or did they? Or was it something different? Am I going to get it now? Will we be able to go to this wedding we have scheduled for Friday night? The wedding where we have a hotel room, I bought a new dress and the kids are staying at my cousins? Will we? Will we? Stay tuned, only time will tell.

Friday, November 6

Still Kickin'

Just a little note to let you know that yes, I am still around. I have thought about blogging a lot in the last week. A few times I have even sat down to write out my thoughts, but then something happened/someone needed something from me, or we had somewhere we had to go to immediately and it fell by the wayside. Tomorrow is the last day of soccer for both kids and Sunday is the last day of Jack's CCD classes (for now) so I am hoping to feel less stressed and crazy soon. We'll still have activities but they shouldn't be so, overlapping. I am getting slightly worried about this whole H1N1 thing. My town is dropping hard. Tons of kids out of school and more getting sent home everyday. Our pediatrician did not have any vaccines available so we are pretty much out there blowing in the wind, susceptible to all germs that come our way. My fear is that once one member of the family comes down with it it will just spread through the house like wildfire. And since it seems to last at least 5 days, and then you have to wait 24 hours fever free to go back to school/work, I am thinking it could seem never ending. If the kids get it back to back and then I get it, I could be out of commission, quarantined in the house for by my approximation up to 3 weeks. That's a damn long time. Never mind the fact that from what I hear it just sucks. Fever and aches and pains and all this other stuff that I am in no way wanting to go through, and I sure as hell don't want the kids to have to go through.

Oh well, I can't worry about this right now, because as you know we are very busy.

Wednesday, October 28

Quick, HURRY!

Hurry hurry, rush rush. At times I feel like my life is in a constant state of frantic-ness. (Is this a word? It should be). Between work and the kids schedules I feel like I am always running, running somewhere and always late late late. ALWAYS late. If the kids had ever seen Alice in Wonderland they would surely decide that I was like that rabbit with the hat jumping up and down constantly whining in that weird voice, "come on, we're late, we're late, for a very important date." Jack has taekwondo twice a week and Abbey has dance once and they both are in soccer which involves 1 practice and 1 game each a week, plus appointments and this week Cub Scouts start (slightly overlapping the soccer season which is a pain in the butt). Jack has had CCD every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. all month long which coupled with 9 a.m. soccer games on Saturday mornings pretty much eats up any chance of sleeping in every single weekend of our life. Now it is Halloween which involves oodles of different parties which involve cookies and treats made by moi' and costumes and makeup and, oh. Enough already. Some may ask "where is your husband in all this? Can't he help out?" and the answer unfortunately is no. He works now and has worked forever a 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. shift which gets him home every night at around 8:45 p.m. AFTER all activities. AFTER all appointments. AFTER dinner. AFTER homework. AFTER showers. AFTER reading books. AFTER bedtime. AFTER all this crap which I have run around doing all day long by myself. Although it is not crap. It is mostly fun stuff that I wouldn't deny the kids doing at all. And I don't despise it. I see lots and lots of other people throughout all these travels and we hang out together and many laughs are had. The kids have fun. They make goals and pirouette's and front roundhouse jump kicks like pro's. I like having a schedule and I like that we are busy. I just wish at times that there were just a few more hours in the day to fit it all. But that's not true either, I'm tired enough by the end of the day as it is. Add more hours and I might collapse.

Wednesday, October 21

Listening Ears

How many times have we told our children to put on their listening ears? I bet hundreds. I bet hundreds of thousands. I know I have. Unfortunately most of the time these elusive special ears seem to be M.I.A. Perhaps they are hidden in the toy box, or are collecting dust under their beds? I'm not quite sure, I just know that when they really need them, they are usually hard to find. What I have realized lately is that I have to remind myself to put on my own listening ears. So often I find myself nodding vaguely, mumbling "uh huh, yeah" to whatever the children have just asked me. Is it the persistent "mom, mom, mom, mom, mom" that we hear minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day that causes us to eventually tune it out. I yell at the kids when they ignore me, but I find myself ignoring them just as much.

"Mom, can we tie sheets onto ourselves and jump off the roof" they might be asking, while I peruse Facebook, talk on the phone, balance the checkbook and check the e-mail all at the same time. "Uh huh, OK, sure." I'll answer. "Mom, can we build a sparkly helium balloon and take off in it across the town?" they'll ask and I'll probably answer "uh, huh, just a minute" while I unload the dishwasher, fold laundry and start dinner. One of these days I'm going to get in trouble, if I don't find my damn listening ears.

I can hear it now. "Mom, can we take the car and joyride around town driving way too fast picking up all our friends?"

No, then again, I think THAT is one request I'll most definitely hear.

Monday, October 19

Superior Scribbler

A few days ago I received an award, and not just any award. It is this, the coveted and renowned "Superior Scribbler" Award.

What? You've never heard of it? Well, I assure you that it is a most fancy and prestigious award in the blogging community, and actually, the blogging world. Yes, I said the whole WORLD! My good bloggy friend Lindy over at Future Blackmail bestowed it upon me, with some incredibly complicated rules that I could not follow and/or understand, so I am simply going to post it here so that you can revel in my award-receiving-ness. Also, you should go check out Lindy's blog. Although we have never met in person, she is an extremely talented writer and if we were to live closer to each other I'm sure we would hang out, even though I like Dunkin Donuts Coffee and she is a Starbucks ADDICT. Really, I think she might need a 12-step program. Despite of this obvious difference, our joint love of all things neat and tidy, as well as a compulsive fridge magnet organization disorder, would seal our bond.

Sunday, October 18

Freaky Snow

I know, I know, I haven't posted in FOREVER. I'm sorry. Well, not super duper sorry. I know everyone has been fine without having new posts to read, but still, I'm a little sorry. And today's post is actually going to be pretty lame and short. I just have to share, that IT IS SNOWING. It is October 18th, and it is full on snowing. It's wrong and weird and I think slightly foreboding. If it is snowing now, on October 18th, what will it be like on January 18th? It makes me a little nervous, I mean, I don't want to live in a trailer again! Dennis has been telling me that this is going to be one of the top 10 winters on record (where he gets this information, I have no idea) and I haven't wanted to believe him. Mostly I thought he was just using this as an excuse to stop (1) cutting his hair and (2) shaving. He does this every year, usually starting around Thanksgiving, so that he can "keep warm." I mean really. Does facial hair keep you that much more warm and toasty? Regardless, this year he stopped the whole shaving/cutting thing on October 1st, due to the aforementioned "coldest winter on history" theory. A theory that I guffawed at. A theory that I am now frightened may actually be true. I still wish he would shave though. By Christmas he is going to look like a freakin mountain man of the north.

But back to the point of my post. Snowing. In October. Next year when is it going to start? Are the kids someday soon going to have snow for the first day of school for goodness sakes? Oh well, you know you live in New England when your "Fall" grouping of pictures includes both kids in bathing suits AND in snowsuits.



Thursday, October 8

A Great Privilege

Recently in New Hampshire, in a small quiet town, on a quiet rural road (not at all unlike my own) a mother was brutally killed in her bed. Her 11 year old daughter was critically hurt. Four teenage boys did it, for no other reason it seems than just to kill and rob. Suffice it to say, our door is now locked 24/7, but it still shakes you to the core. It makes you realize how quickly something horrid and awful can happen in a second. Yesterday on Oprah (yes, I do watch Oprah most afternoons, while going through the backpacks and starting dinner - I love my kitchen t.v.) they had mothers who had survived unbeatable odds to remain alive. The resounding message, and one that really resonated with me, is that it is a privilege to raise your children. It is a privilege to make their lunches, give them showers, read them stories and tuck them into bed. It is a privilege to make them dinner and do any of the other countless things you do throughout the day for them. It is a privilege to hold their bodies close to you and smell their scents. It is a privilege to be their mothers. In our day to day lives these chores almost seem to become tedious tasks that can threaten to overwhelm us, and believe me it can be overwhelming, but I want all of the mothers (and fathers if any of you happen to be reading) to realize that we have been given a gift, and gift that can be taken away without a seconds notice. So lets just realize what a real gift it is, and what a privilege we have been granted.

Wednesday, October 7

Everyday Math

Have you every heard about Everyday Math? If you have kids between kindergarten and sixth grade you certainly have. Now when kids get to school they all learn this Everyday Math system. This was created in Chicago by some math people who decided that the old way in which we ourselves learned to do math in our youth was totally wrong and made us all grow up to be idiots that couldn't add 2 and 2 or divide properly. (I am not 100% positive that is why Everyday Math was invented but I think it may be the reason given.) This math is not at all the same as the math I did when I was a kid. I mean, I did math every day, but not Everyday Math. It doesn't seem to be the same at all. Whereas we added 2 of the same numbers, i.e., 2 + 2 = 4, Jack now does "Doubles Facts" which sounds more exciting and like a fun game but is still just adding 2 identical numbers together. They have "units" and "frames-and-arrows" and "number triangles". In this triangle there are 3 numbers and the biggest one is on the top and it has a little dot next to it. What? A little dot? They have "rules" that I am not quite sure of and haven't really investigated properly at all. Last week he had to make up "numbers stories" which was basically a word problem but with a different name. I'm so confused. And this is SECOND GRADE people! S-E-C-O-N-D G-R-A-D-E. The funny part is that Jack gets it. He understands completely what is going on with this math (I hope it stays that way!). He is explaining to me how to do his homework, rather than the other way around. I hear that once he gets past the 6th grade though they just abandon this Everyday Math and go back to regular math. Then he will have to re-learn, and I think I may be as equally useless because I have no recollection of math from that time frame either. Is that when you start geometry? I have a vague recollection of being good at that. Or was that algebra? I would say his father could help, but he is worse at math than I am. His senior year of high school his teacher actually gave him a D rather than an F just so that he would graduate and get the hell out of there.

Sunday, October 4

Contentment Smells Like A Meatloaf

What a nice weekend we had around here. Not busy, just nice. As you may know we have been going and going for what seems like 25 weekends in a row, and although I had a great time away with my cousins and last weekend at Storyland was a blast, it was nice to just do much of nothing. It felt even better after the hectic week we had (aren't they all?) and me not feeling that well for most of it. I still have a hacky cough and a bit of a cold, but just being able to be home, it felt wonderful. Jack ended up having a soccer game yesterday morning, despite the rain, but even that was OK. I am proud to tell you that he was the only one on his team to make a goal. Sure, he may have made it to the wrong goal and inadvertently given a point to the other team, but we didn't focus on that fact. Coming home, wet and cold, to a nice warm house felt so unbelievably cozy. Dennis started a fire. We all put on our sweats and settled in for the day. The best part was that it wasn't even noon yet! I went through clothes, organized stuff (one of my favorite past times), the kids played together for hours, Dennis took a nap on the couch in front of the fire. I watched all FOUR hours of the Lifetime t.v. movie Maneater, in the MIDDLE OF THE DAY. We had egg sandwiches for dinner. Today Jack had his first CCD class for Reconciliation (that's when you learn about forgiveness and confession for us Catholics) and we went to mass together. We met Dennis and Abbey for breakfast out and then came home to put out pumpkins and fall decorations. Dennis fixed the tractor with pieces he pulled out of this old bike we had laying around (yes, he is quite Macgyver-y that way), the kids played around and even put rocks around Max's grave site and added more flowers. For dinner I made the first meatloaf of the season, with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. And now, at a mere 7:13 the kids are bathed and in Jammie's and watching a little t.v. before bed, and I'm just, blogging. It feels good. I don't know, there's just something about the crisp fall air and the smell of meatloaf that makes me feel content.

Thursday, October 1

A Mess

Have you ever heard that Laurie Berkner song? It goes, "I'm a mess, I'm a mess, I'm a big ole' messy mess." Well, that's how I feel today. A mess. I am sneezing, coughing, tired and blah. My throat hurts. My voice is shot. I am an incubus of germs and snot. Just wanted to share that. What? Too much information?

Wednesday, September 30

Storyland, Revisited

Some of you may remember that last year was our first annual trip to Storyland with all of my friends from college. If you feel so inclined you can read all about it here. Well, this last weekend was our second annual trip and the kids loved it just as much as last year, it held all the same magic. The Old Lady In The Shoe, The 3 Little Pigs, hanging out in the pumpkin and watching the dancing elf inside of the magic tree were just as exciting as before. The only downside's of the trip was that it was a 3 1/2 hour drive, and Dennis couldn't make it. My friend Pam and I rode together (due to a work issue she was also husband-less) so that helped. Dennis was sorely missed, but the weekend happened to coincide with his yearly boy's weekend at the trailer (much like my cousin/sister weekend of last). If I had asked he would have skipped it to ride in a whirling turtle and stand in line for 30 minutes to ride in an antique car, but I didn't ask him. After all, I have not 1 but 2 weekends a year away, so he does deserve his 1. All of my other friends were there and we banded together to keep an eye on all of the kids (13 in all!) and we had a great time. I must admit that 13 kids made for seriously not very controlled chaos, and damn! those kids get up E.A.R.L.Y. Sometimes on the weekends my kids will sleep until 9, which I realize is most unusual. But to start getting up at 5:57! 5:57 a.m.! Insanity! Jack said to me "what time is it?" and when I told him it was only about 6:15 in the morning he replied "These kids are crazy! What are they doing up at this hour?" Abbey simply grunted, dug deeper into her blanket and announced that we should all just go back to sleep. Sure, easier said than done. It sounded like a preschool downstairs by 6:30 a.m. and there was no more sleeping to be had (even though the adults had been up until 1 a.m. or so, ummm, talking). In all I ended the weekend exhausted, my face broken out from the foreign water, and fighting a nasty cold. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. Seeing everyone again is like traveling back 15 years in time, except now we look around and say to each other "where the hell did all these kids come from?"

Monday, September 21

Much Needed Me Time

This weekend I went away to the lake for my annual cousin/sister weekend (with me being the sole cousin to the 3 sisters). This year my aunt also drove up with a wonderful friend from Florida to surprise one of my cousin's who turns 40 today. (In reality she doesn't even look remotely near 40. She just did a triathlon and according to Craig, our sexy waiter at Margarita's, she looks 24. I think he was pushing it a little bit with that answer). So,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHY - you don't look a day over 33!

Since my aunt was coming my mother was able to come up for a night too, turning it into the Annual Cousin/Sister/Aunt weekend. Anyhoo, we had a fabulous time getting manicures and pedicures, drinking and eating (and eating and eating and eating - must start diet!) and shopping. I found fabulously comfy gray pants from EMS at a consignment shop for $4 (yes! $4!) and I bought 4 pairs of shoes which pretty much doubled the amount of shoes I now have for winter wear. This weekend away from reality came at a perfect time, since I was still feeling sad after losing Max last week, and we were all worrying about my dear grandmother who took a bad fall and is in the hospital. She is doing good though, and on the mend. So away I went, and the kids were so happy to see me go, which is slightly disheartening. It's not that I want them to cry and scream and cling to my legs, but they don't need to be doing happy dances as I pull out of the driveway either. They LOVE having weekends just with Daddy. On Friday on the way to school I reminded Abbey that I was going away and she said "yay!" and I asked her why she was so happy about that. She answered "I can't tell you, it's a secret." To which I replied "is it that Daddy lets you eat lots of junk, doesn't make you brush your teeth and lets you stay up as late as you want?" to which she answered "awww, who told you?"

Wednesday, September 16

Goodbye Good Dog

12 years, 2 months and 2 days. That is how old our dog Max was when we put him to sleep yesterday. The average life span for a dog his size is 8 - 10 years, so I have to say that the old boy had a good long life. As a family we were prepared for this day, and knew that it would be coming sooner rather than later, but still, when it actually happened, it brought me to my knees. He has been fine, really. Getting older and slower of course, but still running around. I knew something was wrong this weekend when I realized that he didn't seem to be drinking his water very much, but he was still eating good, so I was only mildly concerned. Monday night he came downstairs to greet me and the kids and when he hit the dining room his back legs just seemed to go out. He yelped and cried and laid down, and couldn't move. Couldn't walk. We took him to the vet yesterday and she said he probably had a stroke, or it could be a tumor pushing on his spine. We made the decision that the time had come to put him down. I'm sure we could have tried some medicine or surgery, but come on, he's 12. We knew anything we did would give him only a few extra months, if that. We had told the kids the night before that although the vet would try to fix the dog that it might not be possible. Jack took some extra time saying goodbye to him before school, and when Abbey knelt down to say goodbye before heading off to Oma's she whispered "bye Max, good luck at the vet, I hope you don't have to get a shot to get dead." When we told them yesterday afternoon that he was gone they were upset, although Abbey was quite quick to ask when we were going to get a puppy to play fetch with (ummm, NEVER!). They visited the grave Dennis had dug in the backyard (yes, we buried him in the yard, my husband weeping while digging the hole, me weeping inside vacuuming up all the dog hair). We put flowers on it and then the kids seemed OK. Being older, Jack took it harder than Abbey. She wanted to know when it was time to go to dance class, he said he was very sad and really needed to have a snack and watch some TV. Surprisingly, they actually seemed more upset last year when the fish died (which if you forgot about can read about here). I think they might be in a little bit of shock, and as time wears on they may miss him more. Or maybe not.

I think that Dennis will take losing him the hardest, since Max was primarily "his" dog. When we married almost 10 years ago Max was already a 2 year old, having spent his nights sleeping next to Dennis in a big bed with his head on the adjoining pillow. In comes me and swiftly puts an end to that ridiculousness. So he was delegated to the end of the bed, and then kids came along and after a while he reluctantly gave up trying to get comfortable with so many in the bed and moved to the floor. I used to joke that once the kids were born I thought he needed doggie prozac, since at times he seemed depressed that he had to share his Dennis with us. But he learned to adjust, and I believe he had a good life with us. He actually was quite lucky. Once when he was about 4 or so we were at my parents house for some sort of get together and had brought him along. We put him in my brother's room on the second floor and shut the door, and after a little while someone came to the door. "Should I let Max in" they asked. "What?" we said. "Max isn't outside, he's in Matt's room upstairs." But sure enough, there was Max standing outside, tail wagging, tounge panting. When we went upstairs to check the door was still closed. Going inside we realized that the window (which was at the same level as the bed he was laying on) was opened. We think he probably saw a squirell in the tree outside and jumped. He must have come down through the tree branches to break his fall, because he was FINE. Not hurt at all. Later on my poor grandmother admitted that she saw the dog go by through the window, but thought that perhaps she was having some sort of hallucination and didn't want to tell anyone!

So goodbye good boy. We are going to miss you. 12 years, 2 months and 2 days. Quite a nice long life for a dog. Yes indeed.

Monday, September 14

All Things Are Not Created Equal

Everyone knows that you love your children equally, of course you do. You love them exactly the same amount, but that is not to say that you always "like" them the same amount. I believe that the "liking" part sort of ebbs and flows over time. Sometimes they are pretty cool, other times, your worst nightmare, and still other times they are somewhere in between. Lately Jack has been accusing me of "hating" him. It breaks my heart to write that, hate is such a strong emotion and a strong word and to think my child feels that I feel that way about him is profoundly sad and wrong. But then I have to snap out of it and put his definition of the word "hate" into context. He routinely tells me he hates me, hates his sister, hates his father. He also hates vegetables, hates getting up for school. He hates bedtime, hates when his toys break, hates when he is cold, hates when he is hot. Basically he is a very black and white kid. I've mentioned before, for Jack it is either "the best day of his life" or "the worst day of his life" and there seems to be no middle ground. I have been working on explaining to him that hate is not a good word to use, that I know he doesn't actually hate us, even when he says he does (although some vegetables, like say, peas, yup, he really, really hates them).

So why such does he have such feelings of being disliked by me? Well, to put it simply, his sister is just generally better behaved than him. I'm not sure if this is true for all girls, or if it's just my kids. For example (and this is just 1 example of which there are dozens just like it), last Wednesday night after soccer practice, I let them have about 20 minutes in the playground. I warned them both before and during and over and over again that if they did not leave when I said it was time they would lose t.v. and computer privileges for the rest of that night (which after practice and a shower boils down to about 30 minutes). Although he is getting better, slightly better, Jack still has a tendency of, how shall I put it, not handling activities ending well. When he was younger the end of a play date was treated as if his entire world was crashing down. I've had to drag him kicking and screaming out of friends houses, movie theaters, toy stores, libraries, and of course the biggest culprit of them all, playgrounds. But he's 7 now. It should be getting better, right? Well it's not! This particular night I had to drag him, yes readers, DRAG this not very tiny 7 year old by his arm through the stones on the ground all the way out of the gate. On the other hand, Abbey walked out on her own after I said it was time to go. So do you know what happened? Well, he lost privileges and his sister didn't. This resulted in the never ending accusations that I love Abbey more, while I hate him and am always yelling at him. How can I not YELL at him when he doesn't listen to me? Should I try the "whispering" technique when you lower your voice and your kids miraculously quiet down to hear you? Well I've tried that too and it doesn't work! And how can I not give his sister praise when she does listen to me? Believe you me, he gets plenty praise when he listens too, probably more praise than I give Abbey because I sense he needs it more, but that is not what he focuses on. Nope, all he sees is that he gets in trouble while Abbey does not. What to do readers? What to do?

I suppose it doesn't help that Abbey tends to flit around with an angelic smile on her face, being extra helpful and extra sweet and extra good after Jack gets in trouble. Just in case he didn't realize that she was behaving better than him, she has a serious need to rub his nose in it.

Sunday, September 13

Free Wheelin'

Not even 5 yet, and off she goes. Into the big world on her 2 wheels. My baby, I can't believe it. This girl amazes me on a daily basis.

Friday, September 11

To Remember

Has it really been 8 years? Sometimes it feels like hardly any time has gone by at all, at other times it feels like the tragedy of that day and the days that followed feel like something that happened a lifetime ago, to another me. The one that had no children yet, a full time job, a different house, a much stronger sense of safety in our world.

Friday, September 4

Ahhh, Routine

I love the Fall. I mean I love love love the Fall. The air starts to get crisp and smell great and sweaters are on the way and you can wear more layers without sweating your you know what off. Best of all, with the Fall comes routine, and if there is something I love almost as much as Fall, it is routine. Getting the kids to bed at the same time, getting up at the same time, going to school, to work, to soccer, to taekwondo. Not to mention that all the good shows will be coming back soon, which for me is awesome because I really don't like reality t.v. Sure, we are going to be busy. Today alone we had back to back activities, but it was followed up with some pizza from the pizza place and a Bud Light with Lime. Ahhh, lovely.

In other Fall news, Jack started the second grade on Tuesday. Second grade! I can't believe it. Only one more year and we go into the dreaded . . . gulp . . . MCAS testing years. And he's like an honest to goodness boy now. Not like before he was Pinocchio or anything, but today he's zipping around on his bike and fooling around with his friends at the park, barely acknowledging my existence. Abbey had her very first soccer practice and she was so excited. In her pink shinguard's with her little ponytail swinging, she was A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E. It was so great to watch her practice while Jack was biking around with his friends. Unlike when he practices and she pulls on my arms and jumps on my back like a monkey and begs to be taken to the playground. Oh well, I'm sure that soon enough neither of them will want to be anywhere near me when we go to the fields, so for now I should probably appreciate their attention.

My new second grader (check out his spikey hair)

The Queen of Soccer

Wednesday, September 2

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Still hands down one of the best commercials for back to school.



Happy Back To School Everyone!

Sunday, August 30

So I Never Claimed To Be A Gourmet

For anyone who knows me, they know that cooking isn't really my thing. I would rather scrub my toilet than whip up a batch of something totally complicated, like sugar cookies. I would rather organize my arts & crafts closet than bake a pie. I LOVE those cookies that you just break apart and bake, as far as I'm concerned they are one of the best inventions of all time. I like to make casseroles, things that you cook in one dish. Throw in some ingredients that usually start with chicken (as long as they are not complicated I've never heard of ingredients, like pine nuts), cover, and bake. Voila'! Dinner is served. I like take-out, or better yet, going out. My kids eat a lot of nuggets, grilled cheese and soup, and breakfast for dinner (otherwise known as "brinner"). I knew all this about myself, but I still assumed that I could boil an egg. Well, you know what they say about people that assume. I stayed at my parents last night with my grandmother while they are away at the lake. This morning I wanted to make her favorite breakfast, soft boiled eggs and toast (a dish apparently eaten in abundance during the Great Depression). I mean, it's boiling eggs. How hard could it be. Well let me tell you, it's super hard. First the pan that I used didn't seem to get along with the fancy smancy flat conture of my parents stove top of the future. It kept jumping all around, cracking one of my first egg attempts. Then I lost track of like 2 minutes and the next 2 eggs ended up way too hard boiled. By now Nanny's toast was cooling rapidly and I still had no eggs to show in the cute little chicken shaped egg cups. The next 2 were better, but upon trying to peel them (which by the way is a COMPLETE bitch!) I discovered they were a little too runny. I deemed 1 cooked enough and delivered it to my super appreciate Nanny. "Oh, honey, you didn't have to make me this." This statement is ridiculous in itself, this from the woman who over my lifetime has served me hundreds of meals. Dozen's of Chicken Divan's. Countless butterscotch puddings made from scratch in fancy dishes with whipped cream on top. Endless holiday feasts. Yes Nanny, I think after a lifetime of making me food I can attempt to make you 2 soft boiled eggs. On my last attempt at a good soft boiled egg I smartened up and changed pans. This one sat on the flat stove top just right. The egg was simmered to soft boiled perfection. After it was done I even realized that the shell peeled off super easy. In my hand I had the perfect soft boiled egg.

Then when I was bringing it upstairs to her I tripped a little and the damn egg fell on the floor.

Stupid eggs.

Thursday, August 27

How Did This Happen?

Lately I've been asking myself "how did this happen?" or more like "how did I let this happen?" No, I'm not talking about how I got sucked into starting a Farmville farm on Facebook, but how did I let myself gain all this damn frickin' weight? Last fall I started out needing to lose about 15 pounds. Then over the winter when we had the lovely ice storm and all the repercussions from that horrid mess (living in a trailer, far from my treadmill, buried in snow), I gained another 10. So beginning this summer I had about 25 to lose. Not 25 to lose to get to a "pre-baby what I weighed on the morning of my wedding weight", but a "I feel OK about myself my clothes fit and I'm feeling pretty good" weight. And now I am further away from that than ever. I am feeling out of shape and out of sorts and out of time. Last week I actually wrenched my back shopping. Yes! Shopping! I took the kids back to school shopping and after our trip I could barely walk. I think I hurt it pushing the cart. The cart! I had to lay around on a heating pad, popping ibuprofen like an addict for 3 days. At that point I realized, something must be done. I am 35 years old. I should be able to push a cart around for goodness sakes. I started Weight Watchers at the beginning of the summer, but at the end of the summer all I have to show for it is a loss of $30 bucks and 0.5 pounds. No, that's not 5 pounds. That's 0.5 pounds. As in ONE HALF OF A POUND! Pitiful.

Grrrr. So I will try again. I will jump back onto my point counting dragging my tired fat ass on the treadmill exercising routine, and hope for a positive outcome. I'm thinking that with the kids starting school next week, us getting back into a routine again (which we SO need) and the crisp cool air of fall approaching, I can do it this time. I think. No, I can. I will. Wish me luck, I'm off to harvest my wheat in Farmville now.

Friday, August 21

People Our Age

I read this, and it made me laugh so hard I wrenched my back out (actually, I did that shopping, but laughing sounds better). Of course, I had to share it.

Random Thoughts From People Our Age
  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

  • More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

  • I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

  • Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

  • That's enough, Nickelback.

  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

  • Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

  • Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no Internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

  • There is a great need for sarcasm font.

  • Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.

  • I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

  • How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

  • I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

  • The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

  • A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

  • Was learning cursive really necessary?

  • Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

  • I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

  • Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

  • Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

  • What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

  • While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

  • Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

  • Bad decisions make good stories

  • Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

  • Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

  • If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

  • Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem.

  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

  • There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

  • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

  • "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

  • I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

  • When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light Internet stalking.

  • I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

  • Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles.

  • As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

  • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

  • It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

  • Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

  • Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time.

  • My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

  • It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

  • I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

  • I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

  • I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

  • The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Monday, August 17

Nothing Like Sleeping With Sand In Your Bed

Well, another vacation has come to an end. We had a fabulous and wonderful time at the ocean last week. I couldn't believe my luck actually. My boss has these houses right on the beach in Maine that they usually either rent out, or reserve for family but this year they had an open week. Actually, they had a couple of open weeks. (I am thinking that maybe the rich folk that usually shell out the big bucks for oceanfront vacation homes didn't have the extra cash this year?) Either way, their recession problems equaled a free vacation house for me, and I could not pass it up. Dennis didn't have any vacation time left (due to our aforementioned extravagant vacation taking) so it was just me and the kids. In an ironic twist Dennis ended up coming down with a nasty flu that may or may not have been swine and was home sick for practically the whole week anyway. Oh well, at least we missed the germs and his "I'm so sick I think I'm dying" man-whining. We were lucky that my parents and grandmother were able to come up for half the week and my cousin and her family came up the other half. My brother was there the whole week (the words "free" and "ocean" are right up his alley) and his girlfriend was able to take a day off and be up most of the week as well. It was hard for people to get time off because I was only offered the house about 3 weeks ago, but I was happy to forgo a week's pay and pack it up for yet another vacation, because, hey, vacationing is my life, right?

So we sat on the beach and soaked up the sun (after chasing the kids around spraying sunscreen at them while they screamed like hot wax was being dripped onto them) and even went out and bought boogie boards so that we could ride the waves in the warm ocean water. (Seriously, it was like 70 degrees, and this is MAINE we're talking about!) We walked to the pier and rode the rides and ate fried dough and played games that cost $2 where you win a stuffed animal that cost 31 cents to make. We played a very expensive round of mini-golf where everyone managed to get a hole-in-1 (well, almost everyone . . . sorry Matt). We ate lobsters dipped into melted butter and did sparklers on the beach and watched fireworks, and well, just had a perfect beach vacation. There was still the usual whining and demanding and fighting, but all in all the kids were pretty good. They have been totally spoiled though. Never again will we be going on this many vacations so close together, and I fear that I have set them up for a lifetime of summertime disappointments. Oh well, I guess they'll live.

Me and my cousin Colleen. We have vacationed together every summer for 35 years!

Cameron playing dead (notice the "boob" shells Jack placed on his chest)

Abbey the boogie boarding queen

Abbey and her Uncle Matt

Abbey and Brady riding in style


Jack was so proud to go on all the big rides with his older cousin. Here they are on their 6th ride on the rollercoaster, right in the front as usual.


Is it just us, or does everyone accumulate this many towels and crap?
(Notice the other house in the background - not ONE towel hanging off the deck!)

The whole group waiting for the tide to come in and destroy our day's work of sand castle building

On another blog-worthy note, have you ever heard of ski-ishing? We ran into 2 guys (who were apparently insane) on the beach late one night. Well, it was like 9, but that's late to me. They were wearing full-on wetsuits with flippers and everything, and they had fishing polls with them. They told us they swim out to about 40 feet of water, float there the ENTIRE night, and fish. If they catch one they let it pull them (hence, the ski-ishing part). They said they would float with the current and be at it until dawn. Yup, I thought they were nuts too.

Saturday, August 8

Ocean Bound!

Well, we're off to the ocean in Maine for a week. You might be saying to yourself "wow, they've taken a LOT of vacations this year!" and you know what? You'd be right!

Thursday, August 6

Floating Around In A Giant Swan

Yesterday some friends and I took our kids into Boston to go to the Common. In all of my years of life I had never been to the Boston Common, so it was really fun. Although they predicted sweltering heat and afternoon thunderstorms the weather turned out to be fine. Hot, yes. But no storms. We almost cancelled, but decided that since we live in New England that weather reports really don't matter that much and we should go anyway. So glad we did. We rode the Swan Boats which were great. And cheap! Only $2.75 for adults and $1.50 for kids. Granted it is only a 15 minute ride, but still. The kids loved it. After that we walked over to the other side of the common where they had a playground and places for us to have our picnic lunch. I'm not sure why eating on the ground has such appeal for kids, but mine love it. After that the kids were begging to go in this:
I had no idea that the Common had this Frog Pond spray area. It is a giant shallow wading pool that was filled with kids. No one had brought any bathing suits or towels, but with the intense heat beating down on them there was no stopping the kids. They just threw off their shoes and shirts (well, the girls left their shirts on) and ran in with their clothes on. Even though they have spent countless hours this summer swimming in lakes and jumping into backyard pools, jumping around in this particular body of water fully clothed seemed to give them more thrills than if they were swimming with dolphins in a clear blue Caribbean Sea. Of course, all we mothers could see were parasites and germs floating around in what basically was a giant tub filled with children. Although they put chlorine in it every day and drain it and re-fill it every 10 days (pray we were on day 1!) it still gave us the heebie jeebies. But the kids loved it, and that's all that is important. If they get a sty in their eye, well, don't come crying to me. I told them not to put their heads under the water!

Friday, July 31

Alone

I am alone in my house. When was the last time you were alone in your house for any substantial amount of time? I am all alone, and I LOVE IT! My parents picked the kids up about an hour ago for the weekend at the lake and I am by myself, and thoroughly enjoying it. Dennis will be home in a couple of hours, and tomorrow after sleeping as late as possible, a quick trip to the grocery store, some household chores and a jaunt on the treadmill I am off to spend the night with my grandmother, but tonight I am alone and am doing NOTHING. Right after they left I flicked on HBO and Juno was just starting, which made me happy. Dennis is going to pick up take-out for dinner so I don't have to cook, which makes me happy as well. I am alone, and I am feeling relaxed for the first time all week. We had a super busy week here. Jack had Church Camp (which is CCD all condensed into one week in the summer) and he totally loved it. Abbey went to the YMCA Camp with my mother and she totally loved that. I worked 4 days, and we left super early every morning, all 3 of us slogging out to the minivan so that I could drop them off at all of their respective destinations. Off to work I went only to rush out to pick them each up at their respective places, rush to Taekwondo, throw dinners together and prod them into taking showers. Since I worked every day I was up folding laundry, scrubbing toilets and doing my normal daily day-off activities at like 10:00 at night. We were all exhausted and this morning I could barely drag my ass out of bed, but tonight, I am relaxing. I am alone and I'm loving it. Did I mention that?

Wednesday, July 29

Just Call Me Mrs. Weasley

In recent months I have spent a little bit of time on Facebook, much of the time taking useless and random quizzes. I wondered when all layed out what Facebook quizzes say about me. Let's take a look, shall we?

In the Facts of Life I would be Mrs. Garrett
My Spell of choice is to Stupify
If I were a Death Eater I would be Lucius Malfoy
If I were an Entourage character I would be Vincent Chase
I should marry Ron Weasley
Ironically, my Harry Potter Character is also Ron Weasley
My Hogwarts House is Hufflepuff
My Hippie Name is Freedom Daisy Sunshine
If I were an 80's Toy I would be a Lite Brite
If I were a Star Wars Character I would be Luke Skywalker
If I were a Billy Mays (R.I.P.) product I would be the City Sliders (hamburger makers?)
If I were a 90's sitcom I would be Boy Meets World
If I were a Muppet I would be Scooter
If I were a Random Object I would be a slice of American cheese
My aura is blue
In a past life I was a Jester
In a horror movie I am the besieged protagonist, watching all my family and friends get killed off but surviving
I should live in Maine, but when I go camping I should stay in a travel trailer or 5th wheeler
I would survive 5 minutes in the Ghetto and 5 minutes in an alien invasion
I am 42% crazy, 15% bitchy, and 100% girly
Facebook deems that my life is "Average" and that in a movie about it Debra Messing should play me


Finally, I am 79% addicted to Facebook

Tuesday, July 28

Too Gross To Look At

This morning the kids and I had to get up early and be out of the house so that everyone could get to their respective camp locations and I could get to work. Since we were rushed for time (what? I know, shocking) I grabbed Jack pancakes to eat at my dad's and Abbey ate a delicious looking bagel with cream cheese in the car. At least it was delicious looking when I gave it to her. The entire drive she was licking and biting it, sucking off all the cream cheese, while Jack made gagging noises and exclaimed a million times that he was NEVER going to look at Abbey again. He most definitely WAS NOT going to ever watch her eat anything that is so gross and disgusting again. He sat with one eye covered telling us again and again, and again, that he just couldn't look at her. She was too gross. Abbey responded by waiting until he snuck a peek and then opening her mouth to give him a nice big view of chewed up cream cheese and bagel. Ahhh, sibling love.

Friday, July 24

My Beloved One,

I received this e-mail at work yesterday. I just can't believe my luck! A couple of days ago I was worrying about refinancing so we could consolidate some debt, and now this. Well there is certainly no need for us to re-finance now, thanks to Mrs. Anderson we are now MILLIONAIRES. Alleluia, my prayers have been answered. This is what it said.

My beloved one,

I am Mrs. Rita Anderson from Luxembourg, I am 51 years old; I am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the breast. my late husband was killed during the gulf war, and during the period of our marriage we had a son who was also killed in a cold blood during the War.I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live.wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. I selected you after visiting the website for this purpose and prayed over it, I am willing to donate the sum of ($18.5Million) It is my last wish to see that this money is invested to any organization of your choice and distributed each year among the charity organization, the poor and the motherless babies home where I come from. I want you God fearing, to also use this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows.

Mrs.Rita Anderson.

Well sure Mrs. Anderson. I will take your money and distribute it to who? The motherless babies? From where? Is that even how you spell Luxembourg? Let me guess, I just have to send you a message and then you will tell me to send you, oh, $2,000 or $3,000 for some sort of transaction fee and then boom, just like that, I'll get the $18.5 million. Yup, thanks a lot Mrs. Anderson. You've just made all our wishes come true.

Tuesday, July 21

To Blog Or Not To Blog, That Is The Question

Lately I've been feeling a little bit, well, blah about blogging. In the beginning I felt like I had all these ideas and thoughts running through my head that needed to get out. My kids were doing a lot of things that were either damn funny or damn cute, and so totally blog-worthy. But lately? Although they are still funny and still cute, they haven't done much that is very blog-worthy. We are just busy living our life. Work and house stuff and summer fun. Camps and cookouts and bug spray. Not very blog-worthy stuff in my opinion, so I just haven't been writing. Last year when I went on vacation for a week I could not wait to get home and blog. I missed it. This year? Not so much. It was nice to not even think about it, and it took me a full 3 days after we got home to even write anything at all. It's not that I don't want to write. I would love to be so creative that I could write a hysterical or touching or brilliant post every day, but apparently I am not that creative. Maybe I am having some sort of writers block that will come undone soon. Maybe not. I was starting to stress out a little bit about my lack of good posts when my tell it like it is friend told me to relax. Blog, don't blog. People will get over it. They like to read, but no one is going to die if you don't write an interesting post every day. And you know what? She's right. You'll all be just fine.