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...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ah Friday

The morning was filled with errands. It was a special treat because I did them solo. No little boy in my cart shouting "I want to see everything" at Target. I went to the Target in the mall so I could swing by Macy's and was thrilled to find a pair of jeans that fit...even happier to find out they were on sale plus an extra discount. I didn't ask questions I just paid $30 for $70 jeans.

I stopped at DSW and tried on shoes that made me feel like I should be on a red carpet somewhere and heels so high that I could probably dunk a basketball. I made a stop at the grocery store and then sauntered over the library to pick up the book that I had on hold except I didn't specify which library so my book is somewhere else in the city. Sigh...

I'm home now--and found my house without getting lost--thankyouverymuch. Bug is napping. I just finished my Doritos lunch and think I'll do some laundry (or not) and read a non-library book before Bug and I go out to play. I'm definitely in favor of Fridays.

In other news, Donnie's having dinner with a women he dated a bit in college. They haven't seen each other since junior year...a number of years ago. She's married with three kids. She googled him a couple of years ago and now we exchange holiday cards.

So, Donnie's in Chicago and they're getting together. I asked him what he's wearing--he jokingly told me his favorite sweater from college--and I reminded him that he better look good because I don't want her thinking he fell apart after college.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sad but true

I got lost on my way home from work tonight. There, I said it. This lovely park is what did it to me.Traffic was great and I was moving along with a slightly earlier-than-usual anticipated arrival time, which meant I could actually run to the bathroom before picking up Bug next door. Then IT happened. I made my turn to go through Rock Creek Park and a police car had blocked the road I always take. ACK...I'm a one-road kinda gal.

Okay, so I take the only other option available...another road in Rock Creek Park that I've sometimes been curious about...but never curious enough to see where it goes. Rock Creek Park is beautiful AND HUGE with limited stop lights and few places to turn around. I drove...and drove...and drove. The scenery is gorgeous so it's not a bad drive just an unfamiliar one. Once I thought I might know where I was but I was wrong. I'm still not sure where I ended up but it wasn't recognizable AT ALL. And why couldn't there have been a street sign? When I drove out of the park, I could have been in London for all I knew. Really, I wouldn't have been surprised to see people driving on the left side of the road and yelling obscenities at me with lovely British accents for being in the right lane.

Nothing gave me that "this is your neighborhood" feeling and where did that overpass come from? Had I had more time (that bathroom stop at home was no longer an option), I might have gone exploring but I wanted to see things I recognized and not just Bug, my house and pup...landmarks and such or even a street name...and I didn't want to pay our sitter overtime.

I made a couple of turns to avoid going anywhere near the mysterious overpass and saw a sign directing me to a street I knew and I was home in less than five minutes but it's certainly an odd feeling to know I was close to my house but feeling a million miles away. I swear this is what I was trying to navigate: (Oh, you've been to Rock Creek Park and know that's not the case? Fine. Still, it's what it felt like.)

I think this weekend I'll take the drive again and figure out where I ended up. This incident reminds me of the time I got locked in my apartment and had to climb out the window to go to work...but that's a story for another time.