Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in review the rear view mirror

Click here to sign up for the One Year to an Organized Life book giveaway.

New Year's Eve has never been a big deal to me. For several years I opted to say good-bye to one year and hello to the next while spending a quiet evening in my apartment with my VCR (dates me, huh?), The Godfather, a bottle of wine and a few good cannoli.

Tonight will be only slightly different...I've got cannoli and wine but this year Donnie and I will watch football (gotta keep up with my bowl picks!).

Not a review but a look in the rear view mirror at 2009 in no particular order:

Another year and Donnie has put up good numbers proving he still has the gold medal in patience when it comes to dealing with me. Thank you, buddy!

I've so enjoyed being with Bug. Hearing his first, "I love you, Mommy" was terrific and experiencing the world through his bright eyes has been a joy. What a wonderful reminder to take it all in--big and small--at a snail's pace or in double time! Just the other day he drew a picture that actually had two eyes and a mouth (on purpose!). It's a small thing but I've always been one to celebrate the little things because it's more fun than waiting for the big things.

On the flipside, he's also perfected the tantrum and sadly, I don't think those are going away when I change the calendar.

There was downsizing at my office and my full-time job went to three days a week but I know I'm lucky to still have a job and am now working four days a week. In many ways it's been a good thing because I get extra time with Bug and my boss is fairly relaxed about my schedule.

While my mom's health has been an issue all year, she's doing pretty well now. We've been told she'll likely be on some form of chemo for the rest of her life but lymphoma is barely on the radar these days. She's had ups and downs and certainly there were scary times but she seems to be settling in at the nursing home and it's been great to get back to visit her during the year.

Blogging has been more fun than I ever imagined and meeting new friends online (why does that sound a little dirty?) has been terrific. I was so apprehensive about blogging but then decided to jump in. In some ways I felt like the new kid at school hoping someone would be my friend or at least let me sit at the same lunch table. So a big thank you to all of you who were/are so welcoming to this new kid in the school world.

There were about two months during 2009 when I was faithfully working out again. It felt great but then I went on vacation and, let's face it, for me cantaloupe ice cream will always trump a run or sit-up or just about anything.

I've yet to come up with any resolutions for 2010 that would last past noon on New Year's Day so I don't expect I'll have any big announcements. Oh sure, I should start exercising, eat better, volunteer more, find my patience, blabbity, blabbity (© Mama-Face). In a nutshell 2009 seems to be ending on a happy and healthy note so that's good news. Having said that I'm ready to say farewell to this year and greet 2010. I'll toast all of you tonight while at home in my jammies and likely much earlier than 12am and look forward to catching up with you in the new year.

a new giveaway for a new year

As we're getting ready to kick off a new year, it seems like the perfect time to do a giveaway for this book: One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for GoodI'll pick a winner (well, will do that for me) on Monday, January 4, 2010 (gulp!). Leave a comment for a chance to win. Here's to a happy (and organized) new year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My plan allowed practically begged for procrastination

Pathetic or brilliant? (Wait, don't answer that...)

Somehow I knew that I wouldn't be organized this year to get cards out before Hanukkah or Christmas so I opted for New Year's cards. It seemed like such a good idea and a simple one.

I could write cards at my leisure anytime in the month (of course that would also mean that I had ordered them early enough, ahem). Unfortunately, I must have placed the order the same day as half of the world because the cards took longer than I expected and I didn't receive them prior to our big snowstorm. That would have been perfect...a nice cup of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, a holiday movie and a stack of cards...instead I helped shovel and shovel and shovel.

All I needed to do was write them and mail them prior to--oh, say--today. Well, most of them made it in the mail but I missed the mailman this morning (since when does he come in the morning?!) so I hope our happy new year greetings reach their destinations by December 31 at midnight. (Just in time for me to come up with a resolution for next holiday season...)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Twas the night before the Eve of Christmas

It was just a typical pre-Christmas kind of day. I didn't work so I planned to spend the day running errands--braving two grocery stores, having lunch with Donnie, possibly a smidge of last minute shopping, delivering holiday cards to neighbors while on a walk with Bug, wrapping gifts to take to the nursing home...all good stuff...

...until Donnie started feeling really tired and went to lie down. His nap lasted about five hours so I think it's more than just being tired. My fingers are crossed that he'll wake up 100% tomorrow (but I think I know better). I fully expect that I'll have to call our guests and cancel both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. Here's hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Bug told me he wanted to make Donnie "MAN COOKIES." It took me a minute but I figured it out so I think we'll be making gingerbread cookies sometime over the next few days.

I was going through some holiday stuff and came across my favorite gift tag of all time today. We received it maybe six years ago when Donnie and I were visiting my mom and brother's family in SD for Christmas. None of the kids call me Mary or Mag...I've been Mooie forever. They go to a catholic school so the only time I hear Mary is if they see a church called St. Mary's and mention that it's my real name. So there was a gift for us under the tree with a glitter-filled sheet of paper that said;

Merry Christmas

To Donnie and Mary [followed by a big black marker that scratched out other words]

I hadn't seen the gift but after a couple of glasses of wine my sister-in-law and brother started talking about it and chuckling. They brought the gift over to show me then told me the scratched out part said;


My brother made my nephew cross it out. Oh, how I wish it were still readable. I'm thinking I may re-gift it and embarrass my nephew at some point.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

White (House) Christmas

My brother had tickets to see the Christmas decorations at the White House and invited us. He sent his photos to me (my pix are still in the camera because I'm not that efficient). Some of the photos are a bit dark but the White House was beautiful, festive and fun. And the smell of Christmas trees was great (our artificial tree doesn't come with that Christmas scent...).

This is dark but it was lovely...the matching trees by the fireplace with Abe Lincoln's portrait in between. Side note: I took a photo of Dolley Madison's portrait in the Red Room. She's always been a favorite of mine for a few reasons: 1) I read a book about her in fourth grade; 2) she took Washington's portrait out of the White House when the White House was burning and 3) those Dolley Madison treats that were advertised during the Peanuts specials that I've NEVER tasted and still long for.

These roses are in a magnolia leaf vase...

The White House made of white chocolate. It's a good thing there was a rope between it and me. That smell was pretty good, too!

A pretty mantle...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

Five o'clock is much too early for you to start your day but I appreciate that you went along with the new game called "let mommy sleep" while you played quietly. I enjoyed it and hope you had fun.

A happy mommy

Dear Sweet Michael,

I can't believe today marks eighteen years since you died. It's so unfair that you were only here for eleven days but you were so loved.

I'll always treasure that I was able to hold you. The nurse scolded me saying that I shouldn't hold you because I was the aunt and only parents were allowed to hold you. She then quickly said, "well, as long as you're holding him--go ahead." A short time later I realized that she waited until you were in my arms before she told me I couldn't hold you. Even though she scared me more than a couple of times, I think she had a big heart and knew we all wanted needed to hold you and feel you in our arms to say both hello and goodbye.

Sweet little Michael, know that you're in our prayers, thoughts and forever in our hearts. You'll always be with us even if we only knew you for a short time.


PS. When I visited your mom and dad last week, I saw your baby booties hanging on the Christmas tree where they've been every year.

Dear Donnie,

December is a tough month--Hanukkah, Christmas AND your birthday are all swirling around on the calendar. You really should give me a list of things you would like or you could end up with a lovely gift that's perfect...for me.


Your wife

Dear Holiday Cards,

Address yourselves this year, 'k?


The tired one

Dear Blogger,

Again with the spacing...WTF?



For more letters say hi to Amanda at Family of Shorts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Maybe we should just celebrate Festivus...

You know it's Christmukkah when your three-year-old:

  • wants to light the menorah while wearing his Santa cap
  • tries to blow out all the candles on the menorah each night
  • walks around singing "Let my people go" in a variety of voices
  • tells you "You're not on the same team as Daddy and me"
  • thinks that Santa Claus is called "jingle bells"
  • wants to sit on Jingle Bells' lap
  • thinks that he should get to open a present that's under the tree every night
  • wants to make Christmas cookies for Daddy
  • thinks that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is his brother (I don't even want to know where that came from...)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Warming up and a winner

He's a little bit Jewish and I'm a little bit Catholic so our house is beginning to look a lot like Christmukkah. I'm finally getting out our decorations (other than the new menorah that we've been lighting) and trying to make the house festive. Bug did his part by sporting a Santa cap although as the day goes on and I untangling Christmas lights or trying to remember when I put something from last year I feel like I'm playing Scrooge while trying to be cheerful. Ho ho humbug.

I had a good trip to SD and am still amazed that I didn't get stranded in Minneapolis for a day. Those first few blasts of cold air upon leaving the airport are rough. It was 1 degree when I arrived and the windchill was minus 16 or 20 (does it really make a difference if you have to say "minus" before the number--it's all just cold, right?). I was convinced I wouldn't have feeling in my toes until I returned to DC. It was so cold that we decided my mom shouldn't go outside. Mom wasn't happy but after hearing the temps a few times she agreed she would stay put.

Thursday and Friday mornings I did some holiday shopping for Mom and finished everyone on her list. We spent the afternoons wrapping presents in her room. On Friday there was a heatwave break and the afternoon temp hit 20 so Mom and I went to the mall. We were there for four hours and only hit two stores. She was thrilled. We had dinner at the food court (Taco John's anyone?! Yum!) and by then she was exhausted. It takes us a bit of time to adjust to the wheelchair, getting in/out of the car and I always feel like we're channeling Lucy and Ethel with some of our movements but we manage.

While I was back I got to see several people I knew. I had a lunch with four classmates while Mom had physical therapy. (One of them even visited my mom--how nice is that? Of course, it was Russ and he's pretty much the definition of a good guy.) While we were at lunch, I saw my cousin and his family then ran into other people from my hometown. (Everyone in my hometown goes to the town where my mom now lives to shop because it has the nearest mall [42 miles away] so it's not uncommon to see people you know.)

There's something very comforting being back there. Of course I get to spend time with Mom and see my brother and his family (and drink wine with my sister-in-law!). These trips are so different from past visits now that Mom is in the nursing home but it's great to be there for/with her and nice to see friendly faces and have people ask about Mom or stop by to visit her. Many of them know her from their childhoods. It's true there's no place like home...and no matter how cold it gets the hearts are always warm.

Dee from Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House is the Santa cake pan winner. Happy baking, Dee! Email me and let me know where I should send it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Check out the Santa giveaway here. (If I knew how to make a button I would do that and slap it on the side but this is all I've got.) Now onto randomness...

I have laryngitis. I'm almost sorry that this didn't happen several hundred years ago when I was a little girl and my brothers and I still lived under the same roof. They would love the fact that I can't talk and only a squeak comes out when I try.

My favorite new thing: Curbside Cupcakes! What's not to love about a bright pink vehicle that brings cupcakes to your door?! They've been near my office twice in the past week. Talk about turning a frown upside down...

On the subject of's Bug with his birthday cupcake. It was the first time I tried an egg-free cake recipe. I'm always so nervous with new recipes and we had a few friends over so I made cupcakes rather than a whole cake in case the recipe and I had creative differences. I was fully prepared to run out and get a separate cake for our guests but I was happily surprised that the cupcakes were tasty.
What are the odds that I make it to South Dakota tomorrow? From all the weather reports I've heard I think Mother Nature might have it out for my travel plans.

Visit The UnMom for more.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ho Ho Ho...Cough Cough Cough

If you want to make/win this...

click here for the Santa Cake(pan) giveaway...

Onto other things...

Apparently watching our lovely snow on Saturday gave me a cold/cough. If Hollywood is looking for a new face for a cold medicine commercial or possibly an unknown to play the role of a woman suffering from consumption, here I am. As a bonus the make up crew could take the day off...I'm sick and I look it. This pale shade of blah isn't a really good look for me.

If my coughing kept any of you awake last night, I apologize. Even Bug gave me a pass on telling him a story because I was "coughing too much." I'm now in the fuzzy world of cold medicine and hoping it all kicks in before I get on a plane Wednesday to visit my mom. Keep your fingers crossed that we don't get the "wintry mix" that's in the forecast Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I'm leaving my house at 4:45 am (as in MORNING...yawn) and would prefer to actually get on a plane if I'm going to be up and ready at that hour.

Side note: It's going to be single digits when I'm in South Dakota with the lows below zero! Welcome home!

So because I was lazy under the weather I did NOTHING to get ready for Christmas or Hanukkah this weekend. There's not tree in our house yet (well, it's there but not up or decorated--we're doing a fake, small tree this year because Bug seems to be channeling Curious George these days and I don't want my little monkey climbing a real tree and then me cleaning up the mess when he, the tree and crushed ornaments are on the floor. I never had a real tree until I met Donnie. I still find it funny that it took a Jewish man to get me to buy a real Christmas tree.) On the bright side, I do have a new peace sign menorah this year and can put that out immediately to feel somewhat festive:

The photo makes it look like a hamster wheel but in person I like it. We've yet to get Bug a menorah of his own. We have a few in the house. One that Donnie received when he was younger so that's the one we really use. He gave me one years ago and when Bug was born we got one made by an artist I like. Bug saw one that he wanted because it was a truck. It was also $118, handmade in Israel and is one of a kind. Yeah, that's not in our house.

When I return on Saturday and thaw out, I'll try and get the house ready for the holidays...none too soon since Hanukkah starts on Friday night! I'm thinking this isn't the year to make potato latkes from scratch. One of these years I'll give it a shot but not this year.

AND...I used the random number generator and Bea from This Wonderful, Crazy Life won the infant holiday tee giveaway. Bea, email me and let me know style and size.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Santa Cake(pan) Giveaway

Here's a giveaway for a baker...or a gift for a baker. I gave a couple of these cake pans as Christmas gifts before and found them at the Williams-Sonoma outlet last week so I bought one for a giveaway. The cake pan comes with a recipe (I think it's for a peppermint cake).

I can assure you if someone saw this cake on my table the question would be "where did you get that?" because no one would think I made it but I do think it's adorable...

Leave a comment if you want to enter the giveaway. You'll get two chances if you're a follower (leave a second comment) and three chances (three comments) if you mention the giveaway on your blog and link back to this post. I'll pick a winner on Monday, December 14.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot little bit like Christmas

We had snow today! It might melt by Monday but for now WE HAVE SNOW!

One of a few snowy roses left on the rose bush...

Check out Mama-Face at Blog-Ignoramus...she has a giveaway (like you didn't already know...)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dear Someone/Santa Knows...And Remembers

Click here for the oh baby holiday tee giveaway.

Dear Northwest Airline Pilots,

Please don't overshoot the Minneapolis Airport next week. My trip to South Dakota is short enough without getting re-routed.

An infrequent frequent flyer

Dear Snow,

I heard you were falling from the sky last night in South Dakota. Will you still be around next week? I'd love to say hi.

A Midwestern Girl at Heart

Dear Santa,

My list is short this year...I'd like some sleep.


PS...and world peace, of course

For more Dear Someone letters check out Amanda at Family of Shorts.

I saw the 31 days of goodness on JennyMac's blog, Let's Have a Cocktail. (I'm sure you all saw it, too, because who doesn't stalk follow her?) I emailed the list to several friends. It's been fun to get responses from people commenting on the list...what they want to do or what they've already decided to do this holiday season.

One former classmate emailed that he's adopted a local family in the town and will make a trip to Target so there will be gifts under their tree. He's also being Santa again this year and will show up at local daycare centers as well as homes in my hometown and another nearby town. He then added this to his note:

One thing that most people do not think about is that we have time, talent and treasures. A person does not have to give much of any of them to those who need it to get the warm fuzzies.

This ties in with Pseudonymous High School Teacher's blog featuring Travel Tip Thursday. Today I'm taking her advice and traveling to a Christmas in the past.

I wrote back to Russ and reminded him of a Christmas when he was the town Santa and I was back for the holiday. My mom told me for $10 you could have hire Santa to make an appearance at your house on Christmas Eve. You simply left a small gift for each child in your car and Santa would come to the house with gifts. (Side note: I had lived away from my small town long enough that I asked if she gave Russ keys to our car. She smiled and reminded me that people often DON'T lock cars there...right, I had forgotten.) My nephews were young at the time so I couldn't wait to see their faces when Santa walked through the front door (yes, I know he should have used the chimney and, believe me, I would have paid much more than $10 to see Russ pull that one off!).

So...Santa enters our living room and the kids squeal before they're stunned into silence. Russ Santa looks right at me says, "why there's little Mary Ann" (using my REAL name not what everyone calls me!) and says he remembers things I did as a little girl. Then he shares a few stories about me. (I went to first grade through senior year with Russ so he certainly had plenty to tell.) He then gently reminded my nephews that Santa remembers all of the children he's seen over the years and called my mom, brother and sister-in-law by name as well. The boys were thrilled to see Santa but that night--at that moment--they not only believed in Santa but that he truly sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I see London, I see France...I'm glad I wore underpants (and another giveaway)

It was just yesterday that I was longing for colder weather. It’s really not much cooler today but enough that I opted to wear tights and a skirt or maybe I didn’t have any clean pants. Whatever…

Most days Donnie and I drive into work together. We work two blocks apart (weird, huh?). Anyway, he had a doctor’s appointment so he dropped me at the Metro before heading out to his appointment. I like taking the Metro except when I forget to bring a book like this morning…arrrrgggghhh. Again, anyway, I rode downtown, bounced off the train feeling like a real city commuter, made my way up the escalator and started on my short three-block walk to my office.

I’m happily walking down the street when something just seems wrong. It takes me a second to pinpoint it but the very tights that made me smile just a short time earlier are now slowly moving south….then not-so-slowly moving south. I was grateful for the short walk. By time I reached my office the waistband of my tights had somewhat settled on my hips. I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t walk with a normal gait but luckily, the crotch hadn’t dropped to my ankles—just mid-thigh. Oh, I'm a classy one…

I recall last year tossing out several pairs of wayward tights. This stubborn little bitchy pair must have been hiding and decided to resurface on a brisk Wednesday morning after a late Tuesday night. Why a late night? I accidentally got hooked on the season finale of Sons of Anarchy. Accidentally, because I’ve never seen the show and would have preferred to know what was happening instead of coming in not only at the end of the season but after this particular episode had started. No matter…I couldn’t leave the couch. Umm, does anyone watch that show? I get that it’s on cable rather than HBO or some other pay-extra channel but I swear it made The Sopranos look tame. I think I’ll now have to find season one on DVD to know all the players.

And then for some reason Bug woke up and wanted to chat around 3:30am. I don't have a lot to say at 3:30. Answer me this...why is it a baby’s first word is “da da” but the first word out of his mouth in the middle of the night is “MOMMMMY”? Then shortly after 5 he was up for good pretending he wanted to snuggle, which is apparently code for "put Winnie-the-Pooh down Mommy's pajamas." Fun game.

I guess that’s my long-winded way of saying I didn’t notice that the tights fit funny prior to my walk to work because I don't think I was fully awake until I got off the train.

Now onto other matters...

Want to win these vintage diamond and amethyst earrings? Nice holiday gift (for you, maybe?)and you can't beat the price...

Visit Deb at Menopausal New Mom and give it a shot. Tell her I said hi.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

First of all...if you're interested, sign up for the oh, baby (holiday tee) giveaway here.


Springsteen's tour has ended and just yesterday I found a terrific pair of boots that would look great at one of his concerts.

It's December! (Really, December?) I'm ready for the holidays and by ready I only mean in spirit. I love this time of year...people are nicer mostly or the meds are better. Last night we watched the Grinch or as Bug called him...Green Sam. (I'm thinking we read a lot of Green Eggs and Ham at our house.) I hope to catch as many of the holiday shows as I can with Bug...I can't wait for Rudolph. Rumor has it it's on tomorrow night.

I would prefer that our weather feel a little more like winter so I can start drinking hot chocolate.

Two hours in a bookstore last week was a little bit of heaven for me. Sigh... (I bought enough books and giftie things that I had to ship them back...that's a successful trip, huh?)

I think Bug is a leg man (and I'm not talking turkey). Twice in the past two weeks I wore a skirt and both times he said, "ooh, Mommy, nice legs."

Check out more at The Unmom.

Monday, November 30, 2009

oh, baby...a giveaway

So I'm lining up a few giveaways for the holiday season and I'm starting with this one because it's easy. I'm giving away an infant/toddler holiday tee. The real reason this is so convenient...I designed them and they're on my website for my little (as in teeny tiny) side business.
Before Bug was born I created a few women's tees (it was a nice outlet/distraction from the wait...). After Bug arrived, I started making tees for him then decided to put them online. The first tee for babies was inspired by my little bald Bug: Hair is Overrated. I haven't done much with Charming Maeve in the past year although in 2008 four of my infant/toddler tees were carried on (Yes, that Target! Crazy, huh?). These tees are currently sold on a couple of sites.

Anyway, I did a giveaway over the summer for one of my women's tees so I decided to now have a giveaway for the infant tees. Sizes start at 3 months and go to 18 months. (Note: all tees are currently available but there's a chance that I might sell some between now and the end of the contest so I hope the winner will be flexible if the style/size is unavailable.) Here are the options (sorry the photos aren't too clear...I'm not sure what's up with that). All are long-sleeve tees and 100% cotton.

Silent Night (I don't think so)
Available for Holiday Parties
Boy to the World
You get one chance for one comment. A second chance (with a second comment) if you're a follower. A third chance if you post about the giveaway on your site. I'll draw a winner on Monday, December 7. I'll post other giveaways later this week or early next week assuming I can get my act together.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh, Boston, you're my (wannabe) home

We'll be spending Thanksgiving in Boston with Donnie's family, which has become our tradition. We'll see some of Donnie's--and now my--friends and please oh please oh pretty please we'll get to spend a chunk of time at my favorite bookstore, too.

On the list of things to be thankful should add this:

Be thankful you aren't on our flight. Bug told me several times that he wants to "drive" the plane. I expect to hear screams when he learns he's not really a pilot.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I can read him like a cookbook

I decided that Bug and I should make cookies today. I've got the "Bakin' Without Eggs" cookbook and figured I would make cookies before I try egg-free cupcakes tomorrow for Bug's little birthday gathering. (Fingers crossed...the kitchen and I are often at odds with one another.)

I was so happy to find chocolate chips that are made in a facility that's peanut-free that I decided to make something chocolatey. So...Bug tried his first chocolate chips today and it was love at first bite as I'm sure it was for me so many years ago. Shortly after that we had the following conversation:

Bug: Mommy, you're skinny.
Me: Hmmmmm.
Bug: Mommy, you're funny, too.
Me: Bug, do you want something?
Bug: Of course...[verrrrrrrry long pause] I want more chocolate chips.

Friday, November 20, 2009

from 0 - 3 in no time

Happy Birthday to my little lovebug! Somehow Bug is turning 3 today. I now believe time flies.

(Side note: this was the only item I bought while we were on the adoption waiting list. The "I was worth the wait" hat and onesie were in a funky container tucked behind a photo on my dresser for more than two years...)

Yesterday I was thinking I would write a post about Bug's second year and how he much he grew as a little guy and how my patience shrunk and how much he learned and how he taught me so many things.

Instead Bug woke up in a mood similar to a troll that quickly escalated to screaming, crying, flailing and hitting and I thought...hmmm, if this is THREE I'm glad it's not a leap year. I'm not sure I could take 366 days of that mood. He calmed down (and so did I) and now we're ready for new adventures as we kick off a new year.

Poor kid...when I asked him how old he was he said, "three...but I want to be five or seven or thirteen."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

As your mom, I need to give you some general life tips:

I know you’re excited that you’re going to be three but when you're out in the world it’s generally considered impolite to ask a woman her age. And it’s definitely not nice to guess that Mommy’s her age is “five-zero.”

The one who's looking out for you who's not yet 50

Dear Work,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Oh, how I love getting the memo that says I have vacation days to use or lose by the end of the calendar year. After I’m off ALL next week for Thanksgiving, I still have eight days to use up! I can’t wait to sit down with my calendar and decide which days I’ll be doing anything other than sitting at my desk…

Worker Bee

Dear Boss,

I understand that your ego was bruised when you asked about something in a meeting that was already resolved. What I don’t understand is that later you attacked me by saying I needed to inform you of such things prior to the meeting--particularly when I had done just that the day before.

The first time I mentioned it was in a staff meeting (I have witnesses, heh). The second time was later that same day when we discussed a future marketing promo. I think your words to me were, “good idea.”

So, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays I’m going to pretend that your reply of “Oh, I guess I wasn’t listening” was really intended as “I’m sorry.”

Worker Bee Again

Dear Little Miss Clara,

All we wanted to do was watch a little TV last night but with your snoring, it wasn't very pleasant. Remember that time when we had to move you to another room so we could hear people getting whacked on the Sopranos? How can someone so little make so much noise? And I won't even start in about the smells you were producing from the other end. Here's to a better night ahead...

Your ear-plugging, nose-plugging #1 fan

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a benefit, winners and a little bug

Ah, the benefit is over and it was a fun night! The one downside (although not really a downside)...the theatre lobby was on the small side, which meant it was packed because we sold more tickets than expected (see--all in all a good problem). The performer was terrific! She was adopted through our local agency but grew up in London. She started off in her fabulous British accent announcing that she's American and followed that by saying she's a redneck. She shared her story through words and songs. I laughed (a lot), I cried (often) and I had a great time. I even won a silent auction item (the place was crowded but I fought my way through to outbid others). The night ended with a champagne reception that was bubbly and wonderful!

Bonus: I'm referred to as a young mother at the adoption agency. I'm far from young but I'll do just about anything for them if they keep saying that...

The warm fuzzies continued through the night...Bug woke up around 4am and we heard him leave his room and patter through the hallway to our bedroom. He stood in the doorway, opened the door a little, shut it again and went back to his room to sleep until nearly 8am. Bravo, little man, bravo!

I loved your comments both about height (mine and yours) and babysitters. Katy of Bird on the Street and I have the same problem both think we're the same height as everyone else. When I first started dating Donnie, I asked a friend to see if he was taller than me. When she met him, she got a good laugh...Donnie is 6' so I guess there's a bit of difference. Also, I need to hire some of your babysitters. Last night's outing was nearly $70 in babysitting!

Okay, onto the winners...

I wish I had one of those bubble things used for picking lottery numbers but I used the random number generator site instead. The two winners are: #30 Jen of For Immediate Release Reviews Kids (check out her book reviews of recently released children's books...there are some great holiday gift ideas for little readers!). The second winner is #18: Mama-Face of Blog Ignoramus (you know and love her already). Go visit them both and say hi from me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

The "Win one, bake, some (and send a few to me) giveaway ends today...enter here.

I'm not as tall as I thought I was. Several years ago I thought I was about 5'6". A friend burst out laughing when she saw that height listed on my driver's license. Apparently, that was funnier than the weight I had put down. Fine, so I'm not 5'6" like I thought hoped.

As we were approaching the Cessna for the photo op at the Air & Space Museum, the volunteer told Donnie to watch his head as he ducked to get under the wing. The volunteer looked at me and said, "you're probably fine--the wing is 5'3". I chuckled at his comment then found I could stand perfectly UNDER the wing. In fact, it was such a good fit that I could easily wear the wing as a fancy hat if I ever attend the Kentucky Derby.

Have I told you I volunteered for our adoption agency's benefit that's happening tonight? I wanted to get involved and then ended up being a co-chair. Yikes! In any event the cocktail party, silent auction, performance and reception is now just a few short hours away. It's been a mostly fun experience. The true highlight for me was meeting more adoptive parents. The event should be's a one-woman performance. The author/actor is a woman who was adopted through our agency and I've heard she's a riot! Oh, and I have a really great pair of shoes to wear.

I found my missing black bra. It was in with the towels. Go figure.

Question for you...what's the going rate for babysitters where you live? Typical rate here ranges from $12 to $15/hour, which is why we stay home a lot. A far cry from the money I made a gazillion years ago. Biggest payday for me was to watch the little boy the neighbors called Dennis the Menace. I made $1.50/hour. The family I babysat for once...four kids under five and I made .25/hour.

For more randomness check out The Unmom.

Monday, November 16, 2009

a little help from little friends

Enter the "Win one, bake, some (and send a few to me) giveaway here.

So yesterday Donnie, Bug and I went to the (new-ish) Air & Space Museum near Dulles Airport. We thought it would be fun for Bug to see all the hairplanes (© Bug) and the interactive stuff. (We quickly learned there's only ONE interactive thing at the museum so we were able to get a photo of Bug in a Cessna--although the real photo might have been Donnie trying to get out of the little plane!) Nonetheless, we had a good time and had a little picnic when we were done at the museum.

We were all sitting on a bench outside the windows of the gift shop and McDonald's. A group of little kids were waving to us from inside McDonald's. We smiled and waved back. One girl was pointing to my jeans. I immediately thought that my shirt wasn't reaching my jeans in the back and they saw skin or (gasp!) underwear. I reached around but my shirt was okay so I went back to my sandwich.

They knocked on the window and pointed again to my lower back with a more frantic motion. I thought they were playing so I smiled then turned back to my sandwich. More knocking with more kids motioning to me (seriously, they seemed to be multiplying--it couldn't be a school trip it was a Sunday--and why can't I finish my sandwich!)...this time the leader was holding her fingers about two inches apart, holding her nose and pointing to my back with a little urgency. I chuckled to Donnie and said, "I can't figure it out but there's no way there's a two-inch gap between my jeans and shirt and I'm not going to try to figure out the plugged nose sign." Now Donnie looked at my back and said, "oh, it's not your pants there's a big bug on your back." He shooed a HUGE bug away and the kids gave a cheer through the glass.

Thanks, friends...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Win one, bake some (and send a few to me)

First of all...a big thank you for all your kind comments on my post yesterday. I know several of us are dealing with similar things with parents and other loved ones. I appreciate your thoughts, kind words and hugs.

I have a giveaway for two of you to win. I've got two signed copies of Cookie Sensations by Meaghan Mountford. This is a beautiful cookie cookbook with spectacularly decorated cookies and clever (oh-so-clever) ideas. So, if you're gearing up for a big bakefest this holiday season, this would be perfect...or a terrific gift.

I couldn't find any links to images in the book, but here are a couple of photos from the bakery where Meaghan used to work. We were sent a cookie bouquet when Bug was born. It was adorable and the cookies were yummy!

To see some of her more recent cookies and other creative ideas, check out her blog, the decorated cookie. I'll pick two winners on Wednesday, November 18. No big rules...just leave a comment. You get two chances to win if you're a follower (but leave two comments). Oh and maybe send some cookies my way if you're one of the winners.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Anyone,

It's a dreary day here and I would rather be doing this:

The Lady

Dear Mom,

I wish I could make things easier for you. I know it's difficult. Even when the physical pain is gone, the emotional pain is always there. It breaks my heart when we talk and you know you're confused and forgetting things. It's not the little things. We all do that (I've been looking for my black bra for three days...and I know I wore it home from work last week!). It's that you forget that Dad is no longer alive and you miss him so much.

There are times when I'll remind you that Dad died twelve years ago and that's why he hasn't been by to visit but other times I know you don't want to can't hear the truth at that moment and that's fine with me so we just talk. What's equally amazing is that you've never forgotten about Bug. Just a few months ago you were mad because you thought I got married without telling you (like that would ever happen!) but you still asked about Bug.

You're in my thoughts all the time and I'll see you very soon.

Mary Ann

Dear Thanksgiving,

I hear that you're two weeks away.

The one who forgets dates on the calendar are closer than they appear

Dear Bug,
You were a star at the allergist's office this week! All our practicing paid off and when the doctor asked to listen to your heart, you lifted your shirt without missing a beat (oh, bad pun, sorry). I know Dr. S was as surprised as I was when you decided to lift my shirt as well.

PS. We have to go back tomorrow so you can get the second half of your flu shot. Be brave, little guy.

Dear Brother #3,

I can't wait to give you your Christmas gift. You're the one who made me a Bruce fan. As a junior high student I always heard you playing his albums and then all of a sudden I was singing along and playing them myself.

You don't know I have a blog so I can comfortably say this...I have a signed Clarence Clemons book for you. Yeah, I doubt you'll read it but isn't it cool...the Big Man signed his book and it's yours or will be in about six weeks. (Good grief, Christmas is right on the heels of Thanksgiving--I better get moving).

Leave it to me to find books for sale at a Springsteen concert.

Your favorite and only sister

For more Dear Someone letters, stop by and visit Amanda at Family of Shorts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

As a child Snow White was my favorite story. I think the biggest hook was that she was a brunette and I globbed onto her. I've never been a big fan of apples and now I'm betting it has to do with her story. In any event I feel like I'm relating more to the dwarfs these days than Snow White:

Bashful: How I felt when I sent emails to the mayor and two council members about the road construction on our street and the lack of communication about the progress.

Doc: When I gave Bug Benadryl after mistakenly buying (and serving) him ice cream that had egg in it. Note to self: there are multiple kinds of vanilla ice cream in the store. Don't buy French vanilla.

Dopey: There are many things I could include for this one but we'll just stick with not noticing I put French vanilla ice cream rather than real vanilla ice cream in the shopping cart and call it a day.

Grumpy: Hi Ho, Hi stuff. Not worth details. Also, that I couldn't get the Random Tuesday Thoughts picture to work but yet Snow White is here--ugh. I'm so not a computer gal.
Happy: Hanging out with Bruce last week (along with 20,000 others). Spending the weekend with Donnie and Bug. And...are you ready for this...having the road barriers removed from our street--it's now back to a two-way street AND we can park in front of our house. (Just a short 15 months after construction began.)

Sleepy: An almost every day occurrence. However, last night Bug slept ALL. NIGHT. LONG. so I slept well, too. (Maybe I should add that to Happy.)

Sneezy: My allergies kicked in when we went to a farm over the weekend. It was a great place...animals, hayrides, live music, a gazillion slides (one so big it required burlap for sitting) and pumpkin smashing.

I think there might be a couple of others to add as well:

Bloaty: Being a girl is fun.

Bitchy: Almost always present when Bloaty arrives.

Grateful: For many things.

Go to The Unmom for more randomness.

Monday, November 9, 2009


A big thank you to Deb at Menopausal New Mom and Mama-Face at Blog Ignoramus for giving me awards. (Can you see me blushing?) I’m forwarding all of these to:

MiMi at Living in France
Katy at Bird on the Street
Mrs. Montoya at One Foot in Front of the Other
Tammie at Irregular Tammie
Rose at Desert Rose Moments
Bea at This Wonderful, Crazy Life

As far as I can tell only one of the awards comes with rules. The Honest Scrap award says I have to share ten honest things about myself. Here goes:

1. I’m somewhat shy and quiet until I’m comfortable in the environment and then people probably wish I were shy and quiet again.

2. I despise public speaking. Several years ago I had to describe my job to a staff of 100 people. I took my contacts out so I couldn’t see far and made my friends sit in the front row while I spoke panicked for ten minutes.

3. I had a crush on Donnie for about a year before he noticed me.

4. My first conversation with Donnie was a bit of an argument about copyright law. (A friend who knew about my crush passed by my office and said “you were bitching but you were blushing.”)

5. We got married at the Audubon Society and the officiant was a woman from the Ethical Society. Donnie’s Jewish and I’m Catholic and it just seemed the easiest way to go.

6. I never wanted to get married until I met Donnie.

7. I was proposed to when I was 23 but said, “no thank you.” It was awkward.

8. I love (LOVE) Christmas—no matter where I spend it or what I do. I love that people seem friendlier at that time of year.

9. I took fencing classes about five years ago. I wasn’t particularly good but had a blast. (Side note: the class was for adults--13 years old and above (really, 13 is an adult?). There was a nine-year-old who started in the adult class and his first question was: “When will we learn to fly through the air with swords?”)

10. I’m a procrastinator. Case in point: I was going to post about the awards on Friday…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Fall,

I'm glad you've arrived. I'm ready to unpack sweaters and tights.

A seasonal kind of gal

Dear Work,

Help me figure this out. More than six months ago my position was reduced to part-time for budget reasons/slowing sales/bad economy yet I was still expected to do a full-time job in fewer hours. Recently, I was given responsibilities that were taken from a full-time co-worker to lighten his load. Do you find that odd? Oh, and the extra travel...didn't really want need that.

The one who will keep her mouth shut because it helps pay the bills and buy the occasional shoes
Dear Lovely New Shoes,

I hope you're enjoying my closet your new home. When I saw you, it was love at first sight and when I tried you on and felt that smooth leather, I was yours. I look forward to a long and happy life together.

Happy Feet

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

Thank you for making me smile, making me laugh so hard I snort or sometimes spit whatever I happened to be drinking while reading, making my cry and making me realize that it's possible to make new friends I may never meet. I may not know your real names or where you live but I enjoy our friendship.

A grateful new friend

For more letters visit Amanda at Family of Shorts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Thoughts Tuesday

Three years ago today Donnie and I were on our way to work talking about the paperwork we needed to complete for year three of the adoption waiting list. I was having a hard time with the rejection waiting and needed to figure out how to handle the upcoming year differently.

That afternoon at work I got THE CALL from the agency that a birth mother had selected us! The call is both clear and fuzzy in my memory. The agency woman told me the birth mother was going to be induced in two weeks and it was a boy. I remember thinking...that's so silly...she's a girl...birth mothers are always female. Thank goodness I kept my mouth shut because I quickly realized she meant the baby is a boy not the birth mother (kinds of tells you how shocked I was to receive the call, doesn't it?). I remember stamping my feet in excitement and trying to be quiet (only a couple of people at work knew we were hoping to adopt) while I heard the news. I also remember turning to look out my window thinking that Donnie would be there. This, of course, is stupid in hindsight for a variety of reasons. For one, I work on the 8th floor and so far Donnie has never done a fly by at my office. The next two weeks are a blur as we tried to purchase baby things but at the same time still keeping the news fairly quiet in case the birth parents changed their minds.

Bruce was last night. The concert was great! Lots of my favorite songs were sung (by Bruce and everyone else and in the audience). I have the ticket to prove I was there but like most of my Bruce concerts I'll forget where I put it. After all, Bruce and I don't need a piece of paper to show our commitment.

It took Bug a bit to understand Halloween. Prior to going out trick-or-treating, some friends gave him candy for his Thomas the Train candy container/Halloween bag. At the first house, Bug gave the greeters a piece of candy. The people at the door practically had to beg him to take something from the bowl. He caught on quickly though and after saying "trick-or-treat," he started announcing, "I like chocolate" at each house. He also asked repeatedly to go to Bruce's house to trick-or-treat.

Why is it on the day I have a dentist appointment I want chocolate for breakfast?

I've been in a reading slump but I think I'm now ready to dive back in with Everything Must Go by Elizabeth Flock, the new Read With Girlfriends pick.

Go to the unmom for more randomness.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Ah, Halloween...

I remember as a kid thinking that night would never come so we could trick-or-treat.

I remember trick-or-treating and no one could see my costume because it was so cold we had to bundle up with parkas and mittens.

I remember one of my favorite Halloween costumes. I was a gypsy. Why a favorite? I wore a wig (in hindsight it was hideous but lovely at the time) and earrings. I felt so grownup.

I remember a neighbor telling me to come early because she only made so many popcorn balls.

I remember another neighbor giving me a candy bar each year before Halloween and telling me that they would be gone on Halloween night. (They were never gone...they just watched TV with the lights out.)

I remember meeting up with my brother to evaluate our loot and make trades.

I remember one year my mom was gone on Halloween. I went along with my brother's plan to make a trick-or-treater come into the living room for his candy so my brother could throw a sheet over the trick-or-treater from the second floor in an effort to be like a haunted house. It worked but the kid screamed and my dad heard him. My dad gave the trick-or-treater TWO full-size Hershey bars and then we got in trouble.

I remember years ago going to a bar for Halloween. I was dressed as a bee (think Killer Bees/John Belushi from Saturday Night Live) while another woman was dressed as a bee (think Playboy).

I remember two years ago taking Bug and his best buddy out for Halloween. Both about a year old in a stroller and both were monkeys. My friend gave them each a holiday stocking to hold because neither one of us thought about a container to hold candy.

I wonder what I'll remember about this year...other than Bug refers to Halloween as Happyween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Self,

It almost happened--the intention was true. The clothes were laid out, the sneakers were ready and the iPod was charged but somehow you forgot to set the alarm for 5:30 to get on the treadmill. There's always tomorrow but today I enjoyed sleeping until 6:35 when the other alarm--the one with two legs, blondish hair and cries Mommy--woke me.

One who's not giving up (yet...)

Dear Donnie,

I'm looking forward to our date tomorrow night!


Dear Trick-or-Treaters,

I can't wait to see you on Saturday night. As for the teenagers who are trying to score free candy, can you at least do something to make it look like you're wearing a costume?

One of many with candy

Dear Bug,

I've been a Bruce fan longer than you. I appreciate that you've jumped on the E Street Band(wagon) and love it that you want to know if Bruce sings at church, that you want to play Bruce when company comes over and that you always ask to hear him the minute you get in your car seat BUT stop telling me not to sing. To paraphrase lyrics before both of our times, It's my car and I'll sing if I want to...yes, sometimes loud and off-key but I'll do it.

When you sing along to "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" I don't correct you on the words, I simply take it all in. There's a lesson in all of this, little man, and if I weren't tired I'd come up with a great line from a Springsteen song to sum it up.


Dear Bruce,

I've got my Bruce boots ready for our date Monday night. When the lights go up, look to your left and down about halfway in the arena. I'll be the one dancing!

You know who

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Waist Not

Amanda at Family of Shorts asked this: What have you said goodbye to?

Here's my short story...

I've said farewell to my waistline. I miss it and hope it returns soon.

What's that? I'll see it again when I give up the Snickers, Nuggets and wine and start working out again? Well that certainly sounds easy enough. Bwahahahhahahaha...

Check out Amanda's story and more links at Family of Shorts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

'Tis the season to be scared

I love a lot of things about Halloween and not just the candy. One thing I don’t love…haunted houses. I’m a big baby—always have been—always will be.

The last time I went to a haunted house I was in college. My roommate and I went to a carnival that was passing through town. This was years ago…body piercings were fairly uncommon (see, long time ago). So…when one carnie (now there’s a word I don’t use often) asked, “have you ever seen anyone with pierced titties?” we shook our heads. He lifted his shirt and our mouths dropped when we saw two hoops through his nipples. I’m sure we yelped a bit as well. He said, “it’s like having a 24-hour turn on all day.” (I remember thinking that’s redundant but I didn’t mention it.)

We quickly got away from him and moved onto other areas of the fair. Maureen (my roommate) wanted to go to the haunted house. I said no, no, a thousand times NO! as bad memories came spilling into my head from previous haunted houses but I lost the battle. We went through the haunted house and it was horrible. Gruesome monsters were reaching for us--never quite touching us—just close enough that I still get the shakes thinking about it. Creepy things dropped from the ceiling at the perfect moment to nearly make us wet our pants. Spooky sounds, music and moans from the undead were constantly heard.

Maureen and I held hands the whole way because we were scared to death in that creepy trailer(yes, a high-class haunted house). I saw the exit sign but it was hard to get to the door because the floor became uneven and it was a struggle to walk. When I finally got outside, I turned to say something to Maureen but instead saw that I was no longer holding her hand--I was holding the carnie's hand with the pierced nipples and Maureen was holding another worker's hand! I still have no idea how/when that happened but we screamed even louder outside the haunted house and probably gave the carnies a great laugh as they packed up and left town.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Circling Childhood

A friend gave Bug It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown DVD. If you’re interested it’s usually running every 25 minutes or so from 7am until 8:30am and again from 6:45pm until 8:15pm at our house with various demand performances throughout the day. Meals and/or snacks along with free diaper changes are available. Stop by.

Obviously, Bug’s taken with it. What surprised me is how quickly I was taken back to my childhood. I feel as though my present self is hovering above the scene from long ago with my much younger self, mom and brother watching the Great Pumpkin in the kitchen, which meant my father was watching something else in the den. As a little sister I always related to Sally. I can remember dancing along with Snoopy as Schroeder is playing the piano. I wanted Charlie Brown to come to our house for tricks-or-treat so my mom could put something other than a rock in his bag. Oh, and I can clearly picture the Dolly Madison commercials that always ran during a Peanuts program and how desperately I wanted to try one but they weren’t sold in my town so that made them even more exotic.

I feel like this has been a full circle week from being a mother myself, to going back to a very vivid moment in my childhood to trying to be a long-distance caregiver to my mother who’s back in the hospital. Thanks Snoopy for bringing it all together.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What does a gal have to do to get a nap around here?

I'm feeling a bit rotten (or maybe more than a bit)...mood and physical. I decided to skip the mall in my search for green clothes for Bug's Halloween costume and take a nap when he was sleeping. Good plan, right? I tucked him in, Donnie settled in to watch some football and I headed straight for bed.

About 10 minutes into my *almost* nap, the phone rang. Fine, Donnie's on it--one ring and no more. Great, back to trying to fall asleep. A few minutes later our house alarm goes off warning of a low battery. It won't stop beeping. ARRRRGGGH. After punching about 38 random buttons it stops and Bug stays asleep. Whew, back to the bed. Twenty minutes later the damn house alarm goes off again. Forget it I'm up...apparently I wasn't meant to nap and I still don't have Bug's green clothes for his costume. I am however in my jammies in the middle of a rainy afternoon and that doesn't seem bad at all. picked number 10 for the book, Marrying George Clooney (I do love that title). Desert Rose from Desert Rose Moments is the winner. Please email me and let me know where I should send it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Word Rules vs Words Rule

Click here for the Marrying George Clooney book giveaway.

Maybe it's just my mood today but this tee made me laugh...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Someone and a giveaway...

Dear Motivation,

Where are you? Honestly, I've been waiting somewhat patiently for you to show up and enroll me in a boot camp or something. By now you must realize I need you I can't do it on my own...I'm weak.

The one who is about to reach for a Snickers

Dear Hair Follicles,

Gray, really? All of you? C'mon, give the girl a break...

Signed, sad

Dear Anyone who wants to leave a comment,

I have a book to give away. If you want to win Marrying George Clooney, just leave a comment below. I'll pick a winner on Saturday. Really, how great is that title?


For more letters, check out Short Mama at Family of Shorts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Short Mama at Family of Shorts came up with this…what if the shoe didn’t fit Cinderella and you (or me in this case) finish the story.

What if the shoe didn't fit Cinderella...

Or maybe it did. Cinderella never tried it on. The prince showed up at her house the day after the ball with a “glass slipper” as the story goes but after all the yelling that Cinderella endured from her step-bitchers as well as the loud music the night before and having a bit of a hangover, her hearing was iffy. Cinderella thought he said “sipper” so she graciously thanked him, closed the door, opened a bottle of wine (the hair of the dog, and all that) and used her new glass sipper as a lovely wine glass.

She then told everyone she would scrub the floors but instead went to the computer, shopped at zappos and found a beautiful pair of shoes in a gorgeous shade of pumpkin that would be sent directly to her home. At exactly twelve o'clock, the delivery man showed up, he said, "I hope you enjoy your new shoes." Cinderella was taken aback...a man who brings shoes to a woman, she thought, how wonderful! She grabbed the box, squealed with delight and put on her new, fabulous, comfy, non-glass shoes.

Cinderella soon moved out on her own after launching the glass sipper line of wine glasses and lived happily ever after selling glasses and buying shoes.

Link up with Short Mama for more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This sums up Tuesday:

My dentist appointment has been the highlight of the day.

Here's to Wednesday (or at least a better Tuesday night ahead)!

the great pumpkin--good grief

Bug and I went to a farm/pumpkin patch with our neighbors on Sunday. A few observations:

  • Ketchup doesn't come off a camera lens very easily. See foggy photos as proof. Also, when an almost-three-year-old finds your camera mysterious things seem to happen (in addition to a ketchup covered lens). Note the black spot in the upper right-hand corner of the photos.

  • I'm raising a city boy. As soon as we paid our entrance fee, Bug screamed, "I wanna see the horsey." It took a few shouts on his part before I stopped trying to find the horse and realized this was the horse Bug was talking about. Sigh...

  • I still like a hayride. The last hayride I was on was in junior high on a Catholic church outing and it included several parents to make sure our seventh and eighth grade selves behaved.

  • Without prompting, Bug thanked the man driving the tractor that led our hayride.

  • Bug can maneuver a wheelbarrow filled with five pumpkins.

  • Pumpkins make me smile.

  • Bug checked the pumpkins that were on display at the front of the farm. He didn't want them because they were dirty. Who knew the ones in the patch were clean?

  • I felt sorry for the other people at the farm. When Bug found his pumpkin, he announced it was perfect.

  • Apple cider is good for coats.

  • Stopping at a church fair on the way home--BAD idea. Although it did provide an opportunity for Bug to throw a holy tantrum in public. That's always fun. It's been awhile...I had almost forgotten how long they can seem are.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I wanna be like this guy

He's so patient.

He can explain things so that even a monkey can understand him.

He's always supportive.

He goes on fun and educational trips.

He appreciates a nice dinner.

He has a place in the city and the country (and the country place is near the beach and mountains!).

I just don't want to have a curious little monkey...a curious little boy is enough for me. Oh, and I would prefer a wardrobe with more variety.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Twelve People Who Are Coming To Dinner Tonight,

Feel free to grab a glass of wine as you step in our house, quickly down it and get a second. I'm praying hoping after two glasses you might ignore our lived-in look and there's a good chance the food will taste better as well.

Also, please don't comment worry about the paint that's peeling on our living room ceiling. We're aware of it and we'll fix it eventually.


Your not-so-engrossed hostess who will probably have a glass or two of wine before your arrival

Dear Bug,

Yay for you, little man! Thanks for staying in your room ALL NIGHT. And...thanks for telling me this morning that when you woke up and it was still dark--you told Winnie-the-Pooh about your day rather than calling for me.

Big kisses,

Your happy, rested mom

Dear Bruce,

It's less than three weeks until our date...exciting, isn't it?!


More letters at Amanda at Family of Shorts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pray with me

Now I lay Bug down to sleep
I pray through the night I don't hear a peep

When Bug wakes before morning light
I pray it doesn't repeat tonight.

Can I get an amen?

I'm really tired (sooo tired) of getting up and convincing Bug that his bed is cozy and that he doesn't need to sleep in Mommy & Daddy's room. Or explaining that his friends are NOT eating dinner at 2am, or that it's not time for breakfast or even chocolate milk, or that he doesn't need TEN blankets on his bed and even Curious George is sleeping. I'm just plain tired.

PLEASE tell me this is a phase. It doesn't matter if it's true...I just need to hear it. Poor Donnie, when he goes in to Bug's room he's greeted with a monster-like "go away, I want Mommy." So lately every night I do the zombie walk through the hall to Bug's room and take on the role of chief negotiator.

The score since my return: Mommy 3, Bug 0. I already warned Donnie that I'm not up for another round tonight and possibly, VERY possibly, at Bug's first request to sleep in our bed, I'm likely to cave. I never expected to go undefeated.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A rose by any other name would still make me cry

So I'm back and after six days of waking up between 3:30 and 4am, I'm glad to be home. In no particular order here are some tidbits from my trip:
  • I woke up no later than 4am every morning (yes, I know I just wrote that...I'm still shocked that the time zone never clicked with me...maybe that will be good now that I'm back on East Coast time)
  • Longest work day = 16 hours including a dinner with one of our vendors. I'm still impressed I stayed awake even if I wasn't intelligent talkative at the restaurant.
  • Each morning I walked to our staff room by the light of the stars. On the plus side the sky looked like black velvet with a few sparkles.
  • On my birthday Donnie had the hotel deliver a cake with a candle to our onsite bookstore where I was working!
  • A Marilyn Monroe impersonator sang a shortened version of "Happy Birthday" (think Mr. President) to me...a bit odd creepy.
  • Had my In N Out burger on the last day of the meeting
  • The tub in my bathroom was the size of a Toyota. The bug inside it was the size of a motorcycle so I didn't take a bubble bath.
  • I had great reading time on the planes.
  • I saw the Twins clinch the Central Division title (yay!) and then saw them lose two games to the Yankees in the playoffs (sniff sniff)
  • Now I'm going to try and catch up on the stuff I missed in your lives.

When I landed, Donnie and Bug were waiting for me and Bug had a bouquet of roses. I felt like Dorothy...there's no place like home.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Trip #1: Bug's going to the doctor

Bug's going to be tested to see if he can get the flu vaccine. With his egg allergy, the doctor wants to do testing first. The only available appointment this month is while I'm traveling. Not that Donnie can't handle it...just that I would like to be there. Think good thoughts for both the little guy and the big guy that there isn't a repeat of Bug's last appointment.

Trip #2: I'm going to Palm Springs

I leave tomorrow and return on Sunday. Other than work my big plan is to go to In N Out--I'm overly excited about it!

I won't have much reading time once I'm there, but I've got cross-country flights that should give me plenty of opportunity to put my nose in a book--provided I don't sleep much on my 6 (yawn) am flight tomorrow. My first flight is 4 hours and 56 minutes so I'm thinking there's enough time for both reading and napping. I'm trying to figure out what books to take and here are the top contenders:

Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle
Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

I've got time to stop at the store or library if you have other suggestions of must-reads...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ghosts of Halloweens past and future

I'm not crafty or creative so Bug's Halloween costumes have come from the store. The first year he was a monkey and I was an organ grinder.
Last year he was a dragon, or as I like to say, a fire-breathing toddler. (Notice the port-a-potty in the background. Road construction started in August of last year. They hadn't done much by the end of October.) But I digress... This year the plan is for Bug to be Super Why. It should be easy...I bought the cape set this summer complete with mask and Whywriter. I need to find green sweats or thermal underwear/jammies. Who knew that would be difficult? I think I'm going to stop short of making Bug wear a blue Speedo over his pants. I'll put the book image on his chest and be prepared to explain at each door who he is...