Thursday, July 30, 2009

The highway is alive tonight

and we're going to be on it. Our trip got pushed back a day because Donnie has a meeting this morning. As soon as he gets home, we're outta here.

The extra day gave me more time to think of a gazillion things to take that we won't need or use pack and figure out what books to take. Before long I hope to be as comfy as this little guy except that my photo will also include a bowl of ice cream or wine by my side...or both.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A bad poem, a winner and more giveaways...whew!

‘Twas the night before vacation and all through our place
We’re scrambling around at a hurried pace
The suitcases are packed and next to the door
In hopes that Mag can squeeze in just one thing more

With Bug sleeping soundly--we hope through the night
We’ll be ready for our journey in the morning light
With many states between here and the shore
Driving will--at times--be a chore

But as we press on I can hear Donnie shout
We’ve passed Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey--hi Bruce!
And through it all we're sharing our snacks and some juice
Now to New York, Connecticut and soon to the Cape
We're getting so close I can hardly wait!

So to all a goodnight and happy dreams to each
I’m off to say prayers that I’ll soon hit the beach

(Sorry, but that's what you get when I wake up at 4am and am working on holiday promos at my job.) And now that you've suffered through that...Blueviolet at A Nut in a Nutshell , you won the giveaway! Email me and let me know what size tee you want and where I should send the package. are two more giveaways:

Tanielle at The Polka Dot Daisy is doing a Christmas in July giveaway. Comment, follow and link.

Connie, the birthday girl, at I started out as a child, is also doing a giveaway. Check it out!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bulldozers, Dump Trucks and Dirt...oh my

Have I mentioned there's been construction on our street for eleven months? Wait, I'll repeat that...ELEVEN MONTHS. The street is currently down to one lane--one way, obviously. I've seen school buses, delivery trucks and police cars driving on the street in the wrong direction. (And, nope, the police cars weren't in hot pursuit or even flashing their lights.)

We can't park on our street or use our driveway. Okay, I'm exaggerating...we can get into our driveway but something was ripped from the bottom of our car the last time we did it it's not a smart move these days.

Of course Bug loves it because there are dump trucks, bulldozers, jackhammers and mounds of dirt everywhere. Last week we had to have a pic-i-nic in our front yard to watch the activity.

Today--we have no water. (I'm REALLY hoping that's a short-term thing.)

Okay, onto other things. I wanted to be fancy and share the JK Wedding Entrance Dance that I saw on Learning to Love Life in Tiny Town but after trying 248 a few times I gave up. So if you haven't seen it above, sit back and maybe dance a little bit.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Like a boy scout I'm prepared

Enter the giveaway here through July 27. Winner will be announced on July 28.

Yesterday while running errands I found a Super Why! costume for Bug. I hid it immediately when I got home and will pull it out for him to wear on Halloween or possibly some random rainy day between now and then.

The problem? I hide things all the time in an oh-so-perfect spot only to realize later than I can’t remember what was so perfect about the hiding place except that it’s perfectly hidden—from me! So…this time I think I did something brilliant and actually wrote on my calendar where I hid his Super Why! costume.

Now I just have to make sure I can keep track of my calendar for a few months...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday, Monday

Enter the giveaway here through July 27. Winner will be announced on July 28. Be sure to indicate if you're a follower or mention it on your blog and link back here for another entry.

Random stuff

I'm now reading The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

But I'm not reading the Kindle edition--just noticed that's what the photo shows--I'm reading the library edition. I remember a review shortly after it came out that got my interest but the details are gone. I refuse to read the book jacket because I want everything that happens to be a surprise.

We were in the car with Bug for about an hour this weekend. I gave a nod to Donnie as Bug was chattering nonstop in the backseat and said, "this is what we can expect for 8-plus hours on our trip next week. Well, except for the times when he's crying" His response? "Ah, such an an optimist...I think it's going to be more like ten-PLUS hours." I hope the wine will be chilled on our arrival. Sigh...

At a kid-friendly restaurant this weekend with friends I was still too nervous to get anything off the menu for Bug. The whole cross-contamination thing has me jumpy. I've emailed a few chains to find out what's safe based on Bug's allergies and get limited information (if anything) in return.

This morning Bug was running into the TV room and spun around the doorway to a full stop when he saw me on the couch. He was stunned and announced, "BOYS ONLY on the couch!" Then told me I could sit on the floor. Welcome to Monday.

(I held my ground--so to speak--and stayed on the couch.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vacation...Staycation Giveaway

Our vacation planned for next weekend turned into a staycation. But...we moved up our beach trip to the end of the month (because we're driving and staying with Donnie's parents our dates are flexible). Up until now, Bug's longest road trip has been three hours. I'm hoping for a long nap (either him or me but preferably him), the magic of the portable DVD player, no major traffic or construction delays, a bit of Bruce and a small miracle. Any advice for an 8-plus-hour car trip with a toddler?

So to help me not focus on the long drive in my oh-so-near future, I've decided to do a vacation/staycation giveaway.

Thrill of the chaise tote bag: perfect for the beach, grocery store, library or whatever. It's a big, sturdy and ready to go.

When life gives you lemons, make martinis with a twist tee (slightly fitted, extra comfy tee):

Tote bag and tee are from

I love this Romeo and Julienne cutting clever! Really, if you're going to wear this martini tee, you can use the cutting board for the lemons.

The cutting board is from Fred (but it's discontinued). I just happen to have an extra! Check out the other cool stuff on the site.

Wanna be the winner? Enter by leaving me a comment on this post. You can get an extra entry by mentioning the giveaway on your blog (and linking it here) or by being a follower. I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, July 28.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Read with me us

Hey there, wanna be part of something fun? All the cool kids are doing it and you, YES YOU, can get in on the ground floor of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! This is the first month of book group!!! Cheers to summer reading with friends!

PROS: (Or should I say prose? Sorry, it's early here, folks...)

It's a fun chance to read books you might not otherwise read or even know about. Who doesn't like finding new authors? You get a month to read the book (whew!).

When we "meet" no one has to clean her house, prepare food to go along with the theme of the book, worry about having enough wine on hand or get little ones settled before the guests arrive. AND best of all, you don't have to be presentable! Last night I participated in my can't-even-go-outside-to-get-the-paper-they're-so-old-and-comfy jammies while drinking wine.


Not a single one.


This month's book is The Choice by Nicholas Sparks.

Warning: don't read the review on amazon, it gives TOO much away.

The Time Traveler's Wife is an extra credit book because some were lightning fast readers and wanted to be teachers' favorites. (I *ahem* am not one of them but have read The Time Traveler's Wife and thought it was terrific.)

So raise your glasses--reading or drinking--and wave a library card of thanks to MiMi and Jessica for being smart and coming up with this great idea. Check out Read with Girlfriends, go to the library and start reading!

Super Readers, to the Book Club! (Um, am I the only one who watches Super Why?)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Again with the size thing

The other night the three of us were on the couch before Bug went to bed. Bug was leaning on me watching TV and Donnie was next to us reading the paper. The conversation went like this:

Bug: I have a big cock (as his hand is resting on the front of his diaper).

Me: (slight pause while I picked my jaw up from the floor) What?

Bug: I have a big cock.

Me: Um, Donnie, are you listening to this?? Bug, tell Daddy what you just told me.

Bug: I have a big cock, Daddy. Yeah, I do (still with his hand strategically placed on the front of his diaper).

Donnie: ?????? What's the babysitter teaching him? heh heh

Me: Donnie, you want to handle this?

Somehow the conversation ended--or more likely--something very clever happened on Curious George and Bug stopped talking about his big cock.

A bit later Bug ran to the cable box and pointed to the display showing the time. See, Mommy, a big cock!

Mystery solved...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Conquering my, maybe another time

My fretting was wasted.

My "you'll be fine with whatever happens" mantra was for nothing.

My book choice for the bottom of the mountain isn't needed.

My looking forward to a weekend of fun with my siblings is over.

After this banner was hung on Mt. Rushmore, all hikes/climbs on the mountain have been suspended indefinitely. We won't be going to South Dakota after all. If the hikes resume, I can worry from scratch.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

six weeks and counting

Yay for me! I've been running for six weeks and have run at least three times each week. It's the most consistent I've been since Bug entered the world. I'm thrilled! I'm not yet at the point that I look forward to running but I certainly dislike it less than when I started (that's progress, right?). And it's a good time to just forget about a lot of things and listen to Bruce. For now I want to keep up 3x a week but first I'll lie down. It's nap time at our house and that sounds like a good idea.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Size doesn't matter

Bug: Mommy, you're big.

Me: Okay.

Bug: BIG Mommy.

Me: Big!

Bug: Mommy, BIG…here, r-i-i-i-ght here (lifts my shirt and pats my belly.)

--Donnie is trying his best not to laugh loudly as he walks by snickering--

Bug: And Daddy, you're not strong.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Them Thar Hills are Mountains

So in a couple of weeks Donnie and I are off to South Dakota (Bug is staying at home with Donnie's sister for the weekend). We're meeting up with some family in the Black Hills to climb the back of Mt. Rushmore. Here's a photo my brother took when he did the hike last year:

I remember very few things from the time we studied SD history in grade school but I do recall that the Black Hills are called "hills" because in the Sioux/Lakota language there's no word for mountain.

Now might be a good time to mention I have a problem with heights. I'm trying to be brave and visualize myself on the top of George Washington's head and take in the view that must be truly magnificent but it's a little taxing on my poor brain. However, I've got some history here:

1. Years ago a friend was visiting me in NY and wanted to go to the Statue of Liberty. At that time you could climb into the crown and he felt we HAD to do it because we were already at the statue. I would have been happy getting french fries and watching tourists. Instead I forged ahead to impress him, cursing and shaking most of the way, and once I was up there I could barely look at the view. I just stumbled as quickly as possible to those teeny tiny winding steps that would lead me back to the ground.

2. Donnie and I took a trip to Paris and went to Notre Dame. Of course we climbed to the top. The only thing that kept me going was a little boy a few steps ahead of me. I focused on him (well, focused on his feet moving one step at at time and his cute Tin Tin jacket) and said plenty of Hail Marys. When we got to the top, little Paolo was looking at the city below. He turned and called to me to come and look with him. It seemed he somehow knew we were in it together. I don't think Paolo's family will be in the Black Hills later this month but I could probably use him there.

3. If I'm at a friend's apartment with a balcony and the apartment is higher than the 5th floor, chances are I'll be inside with my glass of wine rather than with the group on the balcony. (Oh, I'm a fun one!)

4. I tend to break out in a sweat if I have to get on one of the BIG escalators at a DC Metro stop. More than once I've avoided the Dupont Circle Metro stop because of the monster escalator. I usually decide it's a nice day for a walk.

5. And there was that really embarrassing time as a five-year-old when a few of us were playing in a garage loft/playroom and I refused to come down. Not because I was having so much fun but that the floor looked too far from me and I was scared to go down the ladder. My mother had to be called over (probably taken away from making dinner) to my friend's garage and get me down. Sigh...

I finally decided I'm not going to beat myself up over this. We'll be spending the weekend with family and friends and that will be fun. The hike is a great opportunity and if I can do it, TERRIFIC! And if not, I'll have a book and snacks with me, plop down on a rock and wait for the others to return. I recently chatted with one of my sisters-in-law who said she's a bit nervous for the hike as well so it's possible I'll have company. Maybe we should start thinking like the Sioux and call that mountain a hill.

Off topic and totally unrelated:

Is anyone else happy there's now cantaloupe yogurt?!

Bug told me that when he wakes up in the morning he sings the ABCs before he comes into our room to wake us up. Somehow that just warms my heart and makes me want to listen at his door early in the morning.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Giveaway winner

The random number generator said the magic number is two so Tammie at Irregular won the tee! Email me and let me know where I should send it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

An award...for me?!

Thanks to J.J. for this:

Rules are that I have tell you ten things that are true, link back to the one who gave me the award and pass it along. Here goes...

1. When I was a little girl I played school and as the teacher dressed up in my fancy purple dress (don't all teachers were fancy purple dresses?). The students in my class were my mom's album covers.

2. I didn't think I could ever be a teacher for two reasons: None of my teachers had skinned knees and I ALWAYS had band-aids on my legs. And my name wasn't funky enough. I thought you had to have an uncommon name to be a teacher. My teachers' first names were: Deliah, Devita and Leatha.

3. We had a Carnegie Library in my hometown and as a little girl I thought the librarian's name was Mrs. Carnegie.

4. I did a cartwheel the other day in my backyard.

5. In junior high and high school I was on the gymnastics team. I usually competed on the floor and beam and sometimes on the bars. I was terrible at the vault but once had to fill in for someone during a meet. My footing was off as I ran to the springboard and instead of going over the vault I slammed into it chest first. OUCH.

6. In college I went on a ski trip. I went down the big, dangerous beginner's slope, took a nasty fall and tore my ACL. To make me feel better the surgeon told me it was a real jock injury. Sometimes I'm like a weathergirl and tell when it's going to rain by my limp. (Sexy, huh?)

7. I'm a bit of a klutz (see 2, 5 and 6 above).

8. When I was 21, I moved to NY to be a nanny and took care of three kids: 5, 2 1/2 and 10 months.

9. If a genie appeard and gave me three wishes right now, my first wish would be for an in-n-out burger. I woke up craving one and can't shake it. (Oh, my second wish might be for an in-n-out shake.)

10. I've had a handful of greeting cards published.

Thanks again, J.J. I'm passing the award to:

Bea at This Wonderful, Crazy Life

Tammie at Irregular Tammie

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Memories...blurry memories

Enter the giveaway here.

Two years ago this week Bug was in the hospital. We were about to go on a trip to see my family and introduce Bug to his cousins when he developed a cold and we noticed his eczema was getting worse. Because I panic am cautious, we took Bug to the doctor to be sure we could take him on the plane. The doctor told us it was an ear infection (his first at 7 months old) and gave him some antibiotics so he would be travel ready.

I called the doctor the next day because his break out was getting worse and was told it takes a bit of time for the medicine to kick in (he probably had 3 doses by then). I explained that the eczema was so bad on his face that his skin was oozing and the fever hadn't broken--I wanted to bring him in. The doctor was calm--I was not--but she assured me everything was fine and said to bring him in the following day if he didn't seem better. She even thought because he has sensitive skin that he might have had a reaction to the baby sunscreen we put on him a few days before. I should have trusted my gut instinct and taken him there or the hospital but didn't.

The next morning Bug looked worse and was lethargic so we went to the pediatrician's office. We saw another doctor in the practice and her face told me that it was indeed serious. She grabbed a colleague to feel Bug's head and told us we needed to get to the ER because she wanted him tested for meningitis. YIKES! She called Children's Hospital to say a very sick baby was on his way in and wanted to be sure the attending physician was aware of our arrival. I felt like my heart stopped hearing her say those words.

Before I could fill out the paperwork in the ER we were called back to a room. Bug's vitals were taken and a doctor saw us almost immediately. Bug was typically a very vibrant little guy but when the doctor called his name and tried repeatedly to get his attention, he didn't respond. The doctor agreed with our pediatrician to test for meningitis, which meant a spinal tap.

Almost immediately after the spinal tap, Bug was somewhat better. That non responsive little baby was now playing with the doctor and grabbing at his stethoscope. We were relieved that meningitis was ruled out but there were other tests to be done. We were also in touch with the adoption agency to fax the paperwork of his birth parents' medical histories in case there were any clues there.

We were moved to a hospital room and they told us to expect to stay for a couple of days. Bug's rash spread to his entire body and they were going to call in the wound specialist to wrap him. At one point while we were waiting for test results, some doctors on rounds were in Bug's room. They tossed out a few ideas of what might be diagnosed but were hesitant to jump ahead. We asked about the pain involved for Bug and the doctor told us it was extremely painful and itchy (Bug had his hands in mittens so he couldn't scratch). Finally, Donnie said, "what's the worst case scenario?" The doctor said in a very calm voice, "Worst case? That his organs shut down one by one and he dies." I think I kind of fell on Donnie because I never expected to hear anything like that. Just thinking back on it gives me chills.

Bug had an IV and soon I felt I knew his meds schedule as well as the nurses. Finally after a couple of days in isolation a number of things were confirmed: staph infection, oral herpes, super infection (infected eczema) and molluscum (an infection that showed much differently on Bug than other people who have it--and came out after we were at the hospital).

Poor little guy. We spent six days in the hospital and at one point he had to get some yellow gunk (clearly a medical term) put in his eyes because there was a fear the infection may have spread and cause damage to his vision. The eye doctor told us he must be getting better based on his strength to fight the drops. Bug quickly caught on that white coats = doctors. One amazing thing to me about those days...Bug NEVER missed a bottle or feeding. The kid was sick, sick, sick but yet he ate and ate and ate.

Here's what Bug looked like in the hospital:

This is Bug a week or so after he left the hospital (he wore mittens for a long time):

While much of that time is a blur, my memory of the nurses at the hospital is quite clear. They were fabulous. One of them even spent her break in Bug's room and we chatted about our families. When she returned after two nights off, we greeted each other with a hug like long-lost friends. I wrote a letter to the hospital praising the nursing staff and how they provided such great care. Each one of nurses made me feel that Bug was his/her only patient on their shift--but clearly that wasn't the case. I've always had a special place in my heart for that hospital and used to volunteer there. Now it's even more important in my life. Two years ago when I saw the fireworks light up the sky on July 4 I felt like it was my heart bursting with gratitude for the staff who took such terrific care of our little guy.