Wednesday, December 1, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of the year...

and I'm already feeling pooped. It's December 1. I need to get some energy going...

I'm trying to make the house look festive for HONKA (as Bug says) and Christmas. I go to SD this weekend to visit my mom and I would love to return to a home that looks and feels like the holidays. Not sure that will happen (see missing energy above).

Do you have a real or fake tree? We've usually had real trees but had a small fake tree for a couple of years. Now I'm feeling the need for a full-size tree. I'm leaning toward a fake one just because the real ones can be so expensive year after year and getting a pre-lit artificial tree sounds pretty easy. I figure if I have some greens in the house I'll still get that real tree smell.

My mom fell and broke her pelvic bone a few weeks ago. The other day on the phone she said she was just sitting on the floor of her room and didn't know how she got there. Obviously, she fell. Nothing broken but she did have some bruises. She doesn't understand--or more accurately--doesn't remember that she can't walk on her own. My heart goes out to her. I know it's frustrating for her because she wants to do more and her body is betraying her. I don't expect this to be an easy trip. When I'm visiting her, I'll pick up gifts for the family so we can have a little wrapping party in her room to bring a bit of the Christmas season to her. After all, it's the most wonderful time of the year...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

National Adoption Day

and Bug's birthday are one in the same this year. That puts a smile on my face...and a bit of smeared frosting on Bug's face.

Friday, November 19, 2010

F-Bomb Friday...the ski incident

On the drive to work this morning I heard an ad for a ski resort, which reminded me of this...

In college I went on a ski trip with some girlfriends. I had never been skiing before and thought maybe I should take some sort of a lesson when we arrived. My friends assured me I didn't need a lesson and it would be the same if they showed me what I needed to do (hey, we were in college why spend waste money on lessons).

We start out the day and everyone is eager to get on the slopes...I'm a bit hesitant but ready to give it a shot. I go down maybe once or twice then I fall BIG...and I fall near the ski lift.

My right knee was somehow twisted and I remember seeing it and thinking my knee was a bit too close to my head. A few of the workers rushed over to me. I was embarrassed--not only because I fell but I fell on the beginner slope--and near people who were getting off the lift--so I had an audience. The workers told me they would send a stretcher for me. I was horrified and assured them I could ski down the mountain hill.

Going down was frightening. I tried to balance on my good leg, which didn't work and just made me fall more often. I tried to ignore the 3-year-olds who were whizzing by me at record speed and dusting me with snow while I lay flat on my back trying to get up. I tried to keep my painful shrieks as quiet as possible, which didn't work at all because my friend who was high above me on a lift to the big boy slopes later told me she could hear me screaming.

Long story short, I eventually made it down the hill and spent the day in the lodge drinking hot chocolate while I waited for my friends to come in. Of course, my fall happened early in the day so I had a long time to wait. My knee was getting bigger and bigger and walking was difficult. After the 7-hour drive home the following day I could barely stand it was so swollen.

My parents were traveling so I called my mom's friend who was a nurse. She looked at it and said it was fine...just a sprain...give it time.

From then on I would often feel a pain in my knee and it would sometimes buckle. Finally when I had trouble with my knee locking (on a regular basis) I went to a doctor. Found out all those years earlier on the snow I tore my ACL. My orthopedist winked when he told me I had a real "jock" injury. If only he could have seen me when it happened...I can assure you when I fell not one person said, "Wow, SHE's a jock."

Monday, November 15, 2010

I had a dream I overslept

Woke up, checked the clock and was relieved that I still had another two hours of snoozing left. Then I did oversleep because I learned the hard way found out this morning my alarm clock is broken. On a Monday, no less.

Hmmm, sometimes dreams really do come true.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I like football but will never EVER understand how a fantasy football league works. It hurts just trying to figure it so I've given up.

Bug likes to help me when I make dinner. Yes, this makes it longer and sometimes I get more gray hair before dinner is actually on the table but last night after Bug helped stir various ingredients, he was excited to eat what "he made." After dinner, he told me he wants to make it again because dinner was yummy. "Deal, Mommy?" Deal...and then we shook on it.

Big day today: I'm making my reservations to go to visit my mom and another mini trip to Cleveland to see the Bruce exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!!!

Ugh, for years I had bangs because I didn't have the patience to grow them out. Now for years I haven't had bangs and am kind of getting the itch for something different. Bangs or no?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Celebrating Families

The weekend is over. Two days like all other weekends except this was a biggie. Eleven months ago I agreed to co-chair an adoption gala to celebrate the anniversary of our adoption agency (it's the oldest in the area) and the benefit was Saturday night. In many ways it's hard to believe the event has come and gone and in others it's a relief.

We passed the targeted goal of attendees and the night was truly wonderful. with a fun silent auction. The volunteer mom who designed the centerpieces had such great vision and detail that the room was stunning.

Donnie's parents came down to attend the gala and friends came as well. Our table was filled with people close to our hearts and most of us were in tears at one part or another during the program (particularly the video showing 65 years of families created through adoption). As a co-chair I actually had to stand on stage (ugh). Thankfully, I didn't have to speak because public speaking is such a fear that my nervousness would have ruined the night for me.

The preparations for the event were moving along well when it occurred to me--a couple of weeks ago--that my biggest issue was: what to wear. I don't have cocktail dresses in my closet. I finally decided to look through the clothes I have that my mother wore in the 1960s. She had some beautiful things that I call her "Jackie Kennedy collection." Most are spring outfits but there was a long black dress with a black/gold top and funky bow that I decided would be nice. I had the formal cut to a cocktail length and a few other minor adjustments and my outfit was done. I told my mom I was having the dress altered and she said that was fine because 1.) she couldn't remember the dress and 2.) she didn't think she would be wearing it anytime soon. I found her response adorable considering she gave me these dresses years ago and Mom is now in a nursing home.

When I wore it, older women said it was timeless. Younger women said it was "Mad Men." And a waiter stopped me to tell me it was beautiful. To me it was like having a piece of my mom with me on a special night about family.

Monday, November 1, 2010

things I heard last week...

at the courthouse:

woman in the security line to enter the building: I wish this line would move faster. I have to be in divorce court at 9:30 and I DON'T want to be married to that man for another year.

my number called for the jury pool.

the judge speaking to me during the voie dire process when asked if I had any attorneys in my family: You're surrounded by lawyers.

the judge: We have our jury. (I was #9.)

the prosecuting attorney: The defendant is a drug dealer.

the defense attorney: The defendant is NOT a drug dealer.

the judge: go back and deliberate some more.

standing at the bus stop:

woman: I went trick-or-treating as a child and a woman put the witchcraft on me. I wanted to slap her but I knew I couldn't 'cause she was old. But now if I do something weird in a dream I know it's the witchcraft.

same woman: I think my boyfriend slept with his mother.

on Halloween:

Bug (as Woody right before we went trick-or-treating): I don't wanna wear the cowboy hat. I'm gonna wear the pirate hat and be Pirate Woody.

Bug's pal (as a T-Rex): Do police arrest dinosaurs?

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm late but there's a winner

Yes, I was going to post a winner yesterday but that didn't get done.--skip to the bottom for that late breaking news. I'm back from my trip. On the last day as we were waiting to get on a shuttle golf cart to get our rental car, I decided I should at least look at the water since I was in the area. I walked to the balcony outside the lobby and got a view of the Caribbean. It was lovely but I was done and ready to go back home.

I arrived home around 11 so Bug was sleeping. I not-so-secretly hoped he would wake up during the night a pretty safe bet these days so I could say hi. He didn't disappoint. I heard him about 1:30 and he wandered into our room as I was getting up to see him. He saw me and hugged/fell into was sweet. I decided that he should come and snuggle in our bed. That morning this is what I awoke to:

Bug: Mommy, do you know how much I love you? I'm gonna show you...but first I have to get this pookie out of my nose."

(Pause while I wait for the nosepicking to end and find a tissue...sigh)

Bug: THIS much (with arms spread out as far as possible).

That tops a view of the water any day. There's no place like home.

So, No Whey, Mama, you won the PB&J cake mold. I'm going to look for your address because I know I have it from last year but I'm becoming increasingly disorganized (or unorganized...I can never remember which is correct) so please email it to me. Happy baking! (P.S. Have you heard of/tried The Divvies Bakery Cookbook: No Eggs, No Nuts, No Dairy...Just Delicious! thought you might be interested if you don't have it.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

PB&J Cake Giveaway

I think this is adorable...a PB&J (or any other kind of sandwich) cake mold. I got it thinking I would be creative but who am I's still in the box so I'm giving it away to someone who might actually use it and make something terrific. If you want a chance to win it, leave a comment. Leave a second comment if you're a follower. I'll pick a winner when I return from my trip next Thursday. Sadly, I'll have very little chance to check blogs while I'm traveling so save all the good stuff until late next week, 'kay?

On another note I'm convinced Bug is becoming one with Dennis the Menace. Even his hair has that little cowlick these days. If he didn't already have a Halloween costume, I would get some overalls, a striped shirt, a slingshot for one back pocket and maybe a frog for the other and call it a day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

random tuesday thoughts

You know it's time to color your hair when your three-year-old sees your driver's license and says, "Oh, Mommy, this is when you had yellow hair. Now you're growing gray hair."

I returned from my work trip on my birthday and was greeted at the airport by Bug running to me with a bouquet of flowers. (There was a cake with EXTRA frosting for me at home from the crabby bakery!) Bug was having cookies and milk while waiting for the plane so we sat down to let him finish eating. That's when I noticed at the table next to me there was a woman dressed as Sylvester (the cat, not Stallone).

I will always love watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

There are 14 bags of candy in our home and they aren't for Halloween and I swear I haven't opened any. I'm traveling this week for work ( crazy that I rarely travel for business and now have back-to-back trips) and need the candy for the meeting. Likely, I'll have to pick up a few more bags before I leave. At this point I'll need an extra suitcase...I wonder what security will think.

Go to The Un Mom for more.

Monday, October 11, 2010

the slow creepy fox walked through the nice park

The other day we decided to pack a picnic and head off to the National Arboretum. It's beautiful and we rarely go there but it seemed a perfect day to be outside so off we went. As we settled in for our picnic, I noticed something about 30 feet from me walking toward a tree.

He was slinking forward, low to the ground. Enough so that I didn't realize it was a fox at first. His front half looked in tact but the back of his body was mangy. There were other people having picnics and some waiting for shuttle buses--all staring at the animal--and taking photos. Mangy Fox found something to eat on the ground but was skittish and looking around, very protective of his snack.

After he nibbled for a bit, he walked closer to the arboretum grounds (hello, tourists!), which also meant he was closer to us...about 20 feet and seemed to look me in the eyes curious to know what we had to eat--or more accurately--what he could eat. My mind was racing how to protect Bug if Mangy Fox came after us. Luckily, the creature (as Bug called him) kept walking but taunting all of us by turning around and glaring every few feet.

After our lunch, we toured a bit of the arboretum with one eye on the lookout for the creature. Before we left, Bug saw a couple making out in the park. I don't know which captured his attention more: the creature or the couple. No matter's always a good day when you don't get rabies.

Monday, October 4, 2010

sibling wanted...

The other night we watched our friends' three-month-old baby. (I LOVE babies!) The parents dropped off Baby Clark (or Quark as Bug says) and as soon as they were out the door I scooped Clark into my arms. Bug stood next to me as we both cooed and giggled with Baby Clark.

Then Bug looked at me and said, "He's my brother, right?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Okay, just to be clear I did NOT put Whalesharkfish down the disposal. I disposed of him elsewhere THEN used the garbage disposal for something else. Yesterday Bug saw his babysitter on the way home from preschool and he told her that his fish died and she offered to buy him another one. Nooooooooo...

It was a rainy day yesterday (and looks like another one today) so Bug and I made a booger cake. I found it at Making Memories...One Fun Thing After Another. Easy and perfect for an inside afternoon.

I lost my first library book EVER. What's's a book I checked out and not Bug. Somehow I can keep track of his 4,397 books that he gets every two weeks but the ONE book that I have had is now MIA. Worst part of all...I was more than halfway through it AND enjoying it. Off to check amazon to purchase a replacement copy.
Check out The Un Mom for more randomness.

Monday, September 27, 2010

RIP Whalesharkfish

We said our good-byes to Whalesharkfish on Saturday. Luckily, (maybe that's not the best word) a fish died at Bug's school earlier in the week so there wasn't a lot of explanation involved when Whalesharkfish bought the farm.

However...when your fish, who has been in your home a little more than one week, dies and yet sets a new "fish record" for longevity and you tell your three-year-old that he can watch TV and you will take care of Whalesharkfish...DO NOT dispose of the fish and quickly move onto another task that involves the garbage disposal. Just sayin'...

Friday, September 24, 2010

F-Bomb Friday--the dog edition

So it's 97 degrees on September 24...where is that lovely crisp fall weather?? Anyway, our air conditioner finally stopped working altogether so we were in the process of getting bids for a new one when this heat kicked in. (Read: the house is REALLY hot.)

We open windows when we're home but I refuse to keep ground floor windows open if we're away for the day because there's a new round of neighborhood break-ins and most are through open windows. (Read: the house is REALLY hot.)

Bug and I got home from school today and entered our hot house and immediately knew something was wrong. VeraClaraCora (the little girl)

pooped in the kitchen. (Read: the house is REALLY hot and REALLY stinky.)

Visit MiMi at Family of Shorts for more.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Mother Nature,

I hope you get through this phase soon. These hot flashes of 95 degrees in late September aren't fun for us as we wait for a new air conditioner to be installed.

another hot mama (and I don't mean that in a good way)

Dear Birth Mother,

It's time to put together our photo album for you of Bug's year. It's hard to know which photos or how many to send but I hope you like the ones we selected and that they give you a sense of what a great little guy he is.

In addition to writing on the back of each photo, I think I'll include a letter. So much has changed in Bug's world over the past 12 months...he's in preschool, potty-trained (woo hoo!) and just this morning he got the DVD player to work when I had given up (it's a guy thing, right?).

I wonder if the things he says--like the time he bumped his head and announced "I'm not happy anymore" or when he put on shorts for this first time this year knowing they were for warm weather and declared them his "hot pants" with a twist of his hips--and other sweet, funny, charming, or observational comments--will come through on paper without hearing his voice or seeing his facial and (often) full-body expressions. If you do want to hear his voice or see him, just let us know.

the eternally grateful woman who--because of you--became a mommy

Dear Bruce,

Happy Birthday! Can you believe it was just 18 years ago that I was one of many who sang happy birthday to you after the Unplugged concert? Oh wait...I'm sure it stands out in my memory more than yours but I remember what each of us was wearing!.

The one who's waiting for the next concert and a slice of birthday cake

Go to Amanda at Family of Shorts for more Dear Someone letters.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Bug's babysitter gave him a fish over the weekend. I have a bad history with fish. Even though I haven't had a fish since high school, the poor little things didn't last longer than a week or so. I'm thankful Bug's fish is still swimming on day four. Bug named him: Whalesharkfish. Catchy, no? When Whalesharkfish swims and Bug is near the fishbowl, Bug's convinced WSF is waving to him.
I swear I've purchased more ketchup since Bug came into the world that all my other years on earth combined. I get the gigantic 3-pack at Costco (12,000 ounces or something like that) and we finish the bottles before I make it back to Costco. Until Bug came along it never would have occurred to me to put ketchup on broccoli or rice or anything else that isn't considered dessert however, I there was a time when I loved ketchup sandwiches.
Ah, Costco. I just found out a new Costco is being built by the mall with a Target, Macy's and most important Mrs. Field's Cookies that's fairly close to me. The sign said Coming Soon and I really hope it's sooner than later.
Go to The Un Mom for more.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Irish Eyes Aren't Always Smiling

Last night I had a dream about a guy I dated several years ago (obviously). He not only broke my heart but he ripped it out, stomped on it and made it hard for awhile. He was a widower with two children, two jobs and--I later found out--two other girlfriends. That news really threw me considering we saw each other about four times a week and he worked at least two other nights. How he juggled the three of us is still something I can't figure out.

He's an Irish guy who I met while in an Irish bar. My friends loved him and I did, too. In hindsight there were things I should have questioned. Once I was home with his daughter while he and his son were at a baseball game. His ex-girlfriend who I found out wasn't really a former girlfriend at all called. When I asked Boyfriend why she would call, he said that she got close to the kids while they dated and sometimes she watched the children (mind you, she never watched them when we went out). One night another woman unexpectedly stopped by and seemed very shocked to see Boyfriend, two children and me eating dinner together and nervously mumbled something about his son's school. Later I asked Boyfriend why she stopped by and he said that their children attended school together and that she's a little over-protective. Okay, so maybe I was just blind or stupid but it didn't occur to me that he was having relationships with these twowomen.

He broke up with me while we were away on a short trip together. It's fun to fly home with someone you're no longer seeing (where's that sarcasm font?). When I arrived home, I called a friend and she asked if we got engaged while we were away and I had to tell her a few times that we broke up. She didn't believe me so I finally said, "Listen, I was in the room, I know what happened--he dumped me." I was devastated. For a time I was upset about all things Irish: my last name, U2, Van Morrison, good beer, Notre Dame, etc. my dream I'm in an Irish bar and Boyfriend came up the steps behind me. Someone bought two rounds for the bar so I had two glasses of wine in front of me (but I guess because it's an Irish bar I had two pint glasses filled with wine! Yowza...). We chatted. I asked about his kids. Oddly enough, even in dreamland I did the math correctly and realized his son is now 22 and daughter is 20. He told me his son has four daughters and the whole gang is now living in the states (he had moved back to Ireland). It was a rather long conversation (for dreamtime) and I think I met a new girlfriend/wife but he never introduced us (even in my sleep he doesn't mention women in his life!) and shushed her when she tried to join in the conversation. While we were talking I was thinking he hasn't inquired at all about my life and it's been more than 13 years since we've seen each other...but then it occurred to me he never really was interested in me, was he?

As I reached for my pint o'wine, I noticed there was a snake in the glass and woke up as the snake was hissing at me. My first thought this morning was "yes, Boyfriend was a snake" and was very happy to see Donnie at my side.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Timing is everything

Yesterday I picked Bug up at school and because rain was in the forecast and there were a few sprinkles (or raindroppings as Bug says) we decided it was a good day to bake cookies.

When we got home, Bug ran to get his rocket apron. I love that he must wear this apron (to be read using a robotic voice) while cooking or baking. So we set off to mix up our egg-free/peanut-free cookies.

A short time later while Bug was planted in his Elmo chair, eating a cookie and watching TV, there was a knock at the door with a just dropped off UPS package waiting for us. A girlfriend of mine sent this:The Divvies Bakery Cookbook: No Nuts. No Eggs. No Dairy. Just Delicious. I don't think we'll wait for a rainy day to bake again...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I'm taking the bus home from work these days and that means reading time also a little bit of wobbly tummy from motion reading but I'm working on that!

Bug has a love/hate relationship with his bathtime. He's overly dramatic not too eager to get in the tub but then refuses to get out (I imagine this is the way with many kids--as a child I wanted to take a bath IF I could wear my swimsuit--I specifically remember being allowed to wear it once). The only way I can get him out of the tub is to tell him he's used up all the hot water and then sneakily shut off the tap. When he feels the cold water, he's ready to get out.

Yesterday for the first time I heard "Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light." It was sung to me with Bug playing the accordian and J (best buddy) playing a guitar. Then, in true Springsteen form, Bug thanked me for "coming out tonight."

I rarely travel for work but next month I've got two trips...Boston and Puerto Rico. And when I'm in Puerto Rico I'm also supposed to be at jury duty.

Still patiently waiting for fall to arrive. I can't wait to feel the crisp air!

Blogger and I seem to be having some bumps in our relationship. Like so many couples, it's a communication issue. Here's an example: I keep hitting "enter" and the spacing is a surpise. Blogger doesn't listen or respond. Who knows how this will actually end up looking...either one big paragraph or 8 blank lines between sentences (but for the record I have spaces between paragraphs RIGHT NOW) and spell check is apparently on strike so apologies for any glaring mistakes that I'm too lazy to actually look for and correct.

Head over to The Un Mom for more randomness.

Friday, September 10, 2010

F-Bomb Friday: the Stayfree, Carefree Edition

The other day I had to go to the grocery store and decided to take Bug after school. He LOVES grocery shopping and is surprisingly helpful in the store. He likes to eat so I think he takes the shopping role seriously when food is involved. As usual, I had my cart and he had his mini-cart and all was going well until...
Bug crashed his cart into a free-standing display. Stayfree mini-pads, maxi-pads and Carefree panty shields went flying into the aisle.
We moved pretty fast to clean up the area. I really didn't want to hear "Clean Up Aisle 6" over the loudspeaker. And then we moved even faster to get outta the store.
Amanda is hosting F-Bomb today so check it out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

cooking oil = oil spill

Bug was helping me cook this weekend. I had a measuring cup with oil and asked him to pour the oil in the bowl. He made sure all the oil got in the bowl and said:

"Oil...just like the oil spill in the water."

So that explained why he was so careful while pouring.

He heard about the oil spill at preschool. Hmmmm, guess we should start talking about current events at home instead of watching Curious George.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

I can't be sure but I'm fairly certain that you didn't see Oprah at Target this weekend.


Dear World,

Any chance we could get a few more hours in a day every once in awhile? I wouldn't mind using the extra time to be productive (there's always something on my to do list that isn't done) and I REALLY wouldn't mind using it to get more sleep.


Dear Bug,

I'm glad you're excited for your busy day: school, dentist appointment and a visit to Mommy's office. My fingers are crossed for the dentist appointment and just a gentle reminder that he's my dentist, too, and I have an appointment coming up.


Dear Fall,

Are you coming soon?

Autumn lover

Visit Amanda at Family of Shorts for more letters.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A winner and a deal you're gonna love

Okay, number 46 was the lucky winner and that means it's....


Laura, you won! Order away!

And if you didn't already love you will is offering 10% off to everyone who commented here. an order on between now and September 5 and enter code SOMS10 to get the discount.

Congratulations, Laura, and happy shopping to all. Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah...why not purchase a gift early...or--even better--have one purchased for you. I'm thinking of what I want next and may have to do drop some hints to Donnie tonight...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy hour ...minus a few minutes

I was on my way to happy hour tonight (I think Monday happy hours are a nice way to start off the week!) and was delayed by a motorcade. I didn't care what the motorcade was for (or who it was) but it was a long one and I just wanted to get across the street where there was a glass of wine with my name on it and some friends I hadn't seen in awhile.

Hey, last chance to check out the you're gonna love me for this giveaway. Apparently I have trouble reading a calendar because I said the contest would end on Monday, August 31, which doesn't exist this year so I'll pick a winner tomorrow on Tuesday, August 31.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

a real man

A freind emailed this to me yesterday and I thought I would share it...

What A Real Man Does

A real man is a woman's best friend. He will never stand her up and never let her down. He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day.

He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do; to live without fear and forget regret. He will enable her to express her deepest emotions and give in to her most intimate desires. He will make sure she always feels as though she's the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to be the most confident, sexy, seductive, and invincible……..

No wait... sorry... I'm thinking of wine. That's what wine does...

Never mind....

Friday, August 27, 2010

F-Bomb Friday...they're baaaack

Migraines...'nuff said.

Check out my giveaway here (you'll like it!) and then check out more F-Bombs at MiMi's here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

thinking outside the box (and packing everything inside)

First off, check out the You're Gonna Love Me for This giveaway. Seriously, you'll love me.

Whew, I'm back home. I flew with my brother and sister-in-law to the Black Hills on Friday and on Saturday my sister-in-law and I drove six hours to pick up things at her mom's place and then another four hours to my mom's condo. After more than 10 hours in the car, we stayed up chatting another three hours.

The moving gods had to be perfectly aligned for things to fall into place and somehow it worked. It may not have been pretty at times but it's finished.

My mother has lots of things dating back to my grandmother's childhood and it was nice to see items that I hadn't seen before. I found diplomas from the 1920s and a few certificates of honor and merit for perfect attendance and no tardiness during the 1914 school year. There's a lovely spoon with books on it from my hometown library dated 1909 and many other things that warmed my heart. Another treat was seeing my grandmother's travel journal of her of men with chin whiskers and gypsies. I can't wait to read more of it.

My mom also looked better than she's looked in months. Her memory is failing and we often have conversations that are repeated moments later but we had a nice time and I was able to take her out shopping for a few hours yesterday.

She's still--at times--confused about where she's living but knew we were packing up her condo and putting her boxes in storage. When I picked her up at the nursing home yesterday for our outing she apologized that we had to pack up her home and she couldn't help. Then she quickly added that she hoped I saved boxes for her because she's planning on moving soon and will need them. I didn't even ask where she thinks she's moving. That's a conversation to be repeated another day.

Now I'm off to catch up on what you've been doing...

Monday, August 23, 2010

The "You're Gonna Love Me For This" Giveaway

I know many of you are getting things lined up for your kids to go back to school so here's a little something for you that has nothing to do with pencils, crayons or school lunches. A few months ago I posted about things that make me smile and this necklace was high on my list.

It still makes me smile...I love, love, LOVE it and always get compliments when I wear it. Whenever I have it on it's an instant mood booster. What could be better?

I'll tell you what...ripegoods is doing a giveaway on my little blog!!
ripegoods is beautiful hand-crafted new and vintage jewelry. It's a place to find hip, original designs for body and soul. Founded by mom and daughter to express their creative spirit, all products are by Kathie and Lindsey Fieldman. Every ripegoods product embodies a sense of simplicity, freshness and elegance. All jewelry is hand-crafted using selected gemstones, metals and vintage elements. They are committed to using locally sourced, recycled and sustainable materials.

Here's the scoop:
  • Check out ripegoods and pick out what you would like to win (up to $65). Look at all their stuff because it's not going to be an easy choice. (Winner must be in US or Canada.)
  • If you're a follower of my blog, leave another comment for a second chance to win.
  • Like ripegoods on facebook or follow them on twitter and leave a comment.
  • Post on your blog about the giveaway for another chance to win.

I'm already trying to decide what my second piece is going to be. I love the simplicity of the mama necklace but I'm now thinking this mama needs some earrings...

Go to ripegoods and tell me what you want to win! I'll pick a winner on Monday, August 31. Isn't this so much better than shopping for new school supplies??

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Summer,

For as much as I’ve complained about the high heat both outside AND inside (damn A/C), I can’t believe we’ll be saying good-bye to you soon.

Okay, I realize just because kids are returning to school doesn’t mean fall’s arrival with crisp football-watching weather is here but it is around the calendar corner. Just knowing that school supply shopping is being done makes me long for a new box of crayons, pencils with full erasers and unmarked notebooks. There’s no list for supplies for Bug yet so this year I’ll settle for a new pair of sneakers for the little man who’s currently wearing sneakers with a summer sweaty smell that might linger from here to New Hampshire.

Not yet a kindergarten mommy

PS. Now that I think of it Mommy could use a new pair of shoes, too.

Dear Bug,

You’re going back to preschool next week. I’m excited for you--and excited for me--because I get to spend more time with you this year! I’m sorry I’ll miss your (second) first day of school but I’ll be helping move Grandma’s belongings to storage and think I’ll be shedding tears of another sort at the same time.


Dear Bookshelf,

Let’s work together to find something fabulous to read during my flight time tomorrow. (Any suggestions?)


Dear Dairy Queen,

Here I come!

Forever yours,

Check out Amanda for more Dear Someone letters.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

After a call with my mom where she repeated everything multiple times and was confused about many things, this was the conversation I had with Bug:

Me: Bug, when Mommy and Daddy are older, will you take care of us?

Bug: (staring intently into my eyes) But you're old already, right?


Last week Bug grabbed his crotch and when I asked for the 18th time "Do you need to go potty?" He replied with "No, I'm just tickling myself."

Go to The Un Mom for more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

The other night I had a dream that you could view your past dreams on youtube. The dream was so clear I could actually see my computer screen with a "video" clip of a past dream. I would love visit my dreams in the daylight (well, maybe not all of them--this one still creeps me out).

This weekend I’m heading out for a quick 25-hour getaway. I’m meeting a girlfriend in Philly to celebrate one of her big “ends in a zero” birthdays. It’s just girl time…all the fellas are staying put…mine in DC and hers in NY.

My mom’s condo sold. I was a bit surprised how this news hit me over the weekend. I know that Mom will never live on her own again but I think it’s just another chapter of her life that’s now ending. I’m going back to SD in a couple of weeks to help move her things to storage.

My world is changing. I was able to revise my work schedule and instead of working four full days a week I’ll now work five shorter days each week. This will allow me to pick up Bug at preschool and we won't need a full-time nanny/sitter. He’s going to go to school a bit longer this year and then we’ll hang out in the afternoons. Of course, if he had his way we would go to the grocery store every day. He LOVES the child-sized carts and can maneuver them with the speed and skill of a racecar driver.

Go to The Un Mom for more.

Friday, August 6, 2010

F-Bomb Friday...the Bruce edition

Bug was watching the new Bruce DVD and at one point Bruce says, "Get me an elevator, I'm f^ckin' 60." I didn't realize what the love of my life Bruce said until I noticed Bug laughing and then pushing buttons on the DVD player to hear it again. That's when I heard Bug say:

"Get me an alligator, I'm f^ckin' 60."

Check out MiMi for more F-Bombs.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Check it out

Bug got his first library card last night and he signed it. Then he spent a bit of time selecting which books he would take home with him. I hope he enjoys his library as much as I enjoyed mine growing up. I loved everything about our small town library. The children's section was in the basement. It had a picture book room with the tiny chairs (and a special bathroom with a teeny toilet for tots) and the larger open area for bigger kids. I couldn't wait until I was big enough to sit in the full-size chairs. As a little girl I envied the older kids who would pick out a book or two, sit at a table, flip through the books and try to write a report for school. I practiced making their scrunched-up/thinking faces. It looked so grown-up and smart and I couldn't wait to do it.

I made my own library at home out of the books on my bookshelf with signs for anyone who wanted to borrow them along with fees if they were returned late. It was as profitable as the time my brother and I tried to dig a swimming pool in our backyard. Oh, how I wanted a date stamp like the librarian had. For years I thought her name was Mrs. Carnegie because that was the name of the library.

The library near us isn't as glamorous as the one I grew up with. Sure, you get that "library" smell when you walk in but it doesn't have the charm of a building from 1902. I'm hesitant to visit "my" library again. I want to keep my memories just as they are. Who wants to see that the entry way by the librarian's desk isn't as grand as it was as a child or that the section just to the right of the door where people read newspapers isn't as exclusive as once thought? I'm happy to keep the memories I have and ready to build some with Bug at his library. Who knows when he grows up he may look back and think that his library was beautiful, too.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

to friend or not to friend

I recently became facebook friends with an old friend from college. There was hesitation but I did it. I hadn't seen him in years. He's doing great...he's married with a son and a daughter and three dogs.

In college I was on a drunk intramural volleyball league with a lot of his friends and met him through that group and became friends. There was an unfortunate kiss one night but that was a one-time OOPS and it was quickly forgotten on both sides.

I transferred to another college and would sometimes bump into him at parties when I visited my old school but there were never plans to get together prior to my visit. We were friends but not best friends.

Then when he graduated he asked me (along with several other friends) if I would write to him because he was joining the service and would like to get mail. This was pre-email (obviously, because I'm ancient) and I knew how I loved getting mail so I said sure. We corresponded...not a big thing...he sent detailed letters about his new life and I replied. Once in a great while he would call to say hi...that's about it.

Then a year or so later when he was on leave, he told me he was going to be in Minneapolis (where I was living) and could he stay with me. big is always fun. We could hang out.

Imagine my surprise when he showed up with a bouquet of roses and proposed to me. He gave me a diamond ring and told me he had planned everything out. He would convert to Catholicism and we would get married the following April.

Talk about awkward. We literally had one kiss maybe three years earlier and had exchanged friendly letters...there was no dating, no romance...or even talk of a relationship. Anyway, we're friends again.

Monday, August 2, 2010


This weekend I was going through some things in Bug’s room and noticed that his changing pad was still on the top of his dresser. We bought the dresser/changing table combination thinking his room is small enough that we didn’t want a dresser AND a changing table squeezed in there. It’s worked out well but somehow I was so accustomed to seeing the changing pad with the recently added Spiderman stickers that it hadn’t occurred to me that WE DON’T NEED IT ANYMORE! Don't ask how I couldn't have figured this out earlier...

I removed the changing pad (the straps were screwed into the dresser and rather than deal with those pesky screws, I just grabbed the scissors and cut the straps--hey, it's on the back no one will see it...right?), tidied up the top of the dresser and added a few things to make it look like it belonged in a little boy's room and not a nursery.

Then I took a step back--in the room and in time--and thought about some of the memories in that little room. I realized that our little baby boy somehow became three years old faster than fast and in a few months he’ll no longer hold up his thumb and two fingers when asked "how old are you?" but he'll show four fingers. I’m going to miss many things about these days and there are a few things that I'll happily say good-bye to and look forward to what’s ahead.

Right now, I like the little boy in him that can't say helicopter correctly because "hept-a-collar" sounds perfect to my ears.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'll never get those hours back...

Hmmm, why did I stay up to watch the One Hit Wonders of the 80s last night? I was flipping channels, heard a familiar song and the next thing I know I'm getting cozy on my couch and settling in to watch the countdown.

Worst of all...the #1 "One Hit Wonder" of the 1980s was Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners. Had I known that, I would have gotten my zzzzzzzzs earlier.

(It was kind of fun to see videos that I hadn't seen in ages from the early years of MTV: the hair, the makeup, the costumes...mostly, the hair!)

On a high note, I did find forgotten Easter candy and that tastes just as sweet in July...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

grumble, grumble

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this one hundred times before. Our power was out last night. That’s not the focus of my complaint here just the beginning of the story although it was annoying because it’s happened at least five times this summer and so far none of those times has been storm related.

Back on point…

The power was out so Bug was driving his little car around the neighborhood and Donnie and I were walking with him. We chatted with various neighbors during our outing.

One woman was telling me about her sister who’s moving out of the country. She said that her sister needs a clean break (this is where my pet peeve comes into play…you knew I would get there at some point, right?) because “her 21-year-old adopted son is into drugs and has some petty crime issues.”

I know that she’s simply telling the story but is “adopted” necessary? Can’t he just simply be referred to as her son with no qualifier? It was as though she was making it clear that her family’s blood wasn’t flowing through the veins of the young man with problems.

Again, I acknowledge that I’m sensitive to this issue and realize there are times when being adopted is part of a story--or even central to a story--but I've noticed it's often used when the story is unflattering. I couldn’t help thinking that my neighbor’s tale might have been told differently if it were good news as in: “my sister’s 21-year-old son just graduated college and is headed to Harvard for med school.” Ah, no need to mention adoption then.

Okay, I'm done complaining and am off to eat a raspberry lemonade cupcake.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Grocery shopping with Bug can be kind of fun. Sure, it takes longer and I typically go to a store that’s a bit farther down the road because they have child-size carts but he really loves it. Last night after day one back at work, he and I spent more than an hour in the store. It was relaxing in an odd sort of way. Then as we were walking to the check out a store worker passed us who had a patch over his eye and Bug announced he just saw a pirate.

I’m co-chairing our adoption agency’s gala this year and am looking for silent auction items. Any ideas on some interesting/unique things you’ve seen at silent auctions?

When I was on the Cape, Bug and I went for a walk. Someone asked me for directions. (I’m terrible with directions…don't know north from south and a friend once said I have a negative sense of direction.) BUT…this time…the woman asked me for directions to the beach and those, my friend, I could give in detail. As she was leaving, I thanked her for asking me because it’s the only location I could have directed her to.

Check out The Un Mom for more.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hey, there's no beach here

We’re back from vacation. Sigh… The trip was good and we learned that Bug can go nonstop…not just the typical three-year-old gottabemovingallthetime energy but his mouth as well. He can talk ALL day. The chatter is more apparent in the car or maybe it’s just harder to tune out in that closed environment.

A few comments on the trip:

Donnie and I got away for an overnight when my in-laws offered to watch Bug. Funny how quickly we could get out the door when that offer was made!

Beach time.

Bug took swimming lessons in the ocean. He seemed to be less interested in the water after the lessons. What did he learn? Every so often he’ll put his hands together over his head and say “I’m a rocket.” (Well worth the money, don't you think?) Best part for him…he got to wear goggles while in the water and got a lifesaver after the lesson. He thought they were tiny Oreos obviously, the boy needs to be introduced to more candy.

Great seafood dinners but spaced out enough that I have a hive-free body.

Great steak dinners.

Two trips for cantaloupe ice cream and a pint in the freezer at the house.

Wine, wine, wine…

(Umm, too many food references here, maybe?)

Reading time never enough but always grateful for what I can sneak in.

A Cape Cod Baseball League game.

Dancing with Bug in the dining room to the new Bruce DVD before dinner.

Uneventful drives to and from the Cape with extra stops each way when Bug announced he had to use the potty. Now if we can just get him to stop taking off his shoes when he pees...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Greetings from Cape Cod

The weather is great. Wish you were here.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

pillow talk--parent style

A conversation that, no doubt, has played in many of your homes in one form or another.

Here's our recent pillow talk...

Donnie: What did Bug want at dinner?
Me: I gave him the apple juice in a yellow box but he wanted orange juice in a cup.
Donnie: We have orange juice?
Me: Yeah, who knew? Bug said he saw it in the fridge and he was right. (AND it wasn't expired!)
Donnie: I thought he liked the green boxes of apple juice.
Me: He does like the green boxes but they're bigger and if he takes them to camp he doesn't drink all of it and it ends up spilling/leaking in his lunchbox. Plus, he announced he hadn't had orange juice ALL DAY. (this last portion included a heavy sigh and hand gestures to re-enact the overacting by Bug at dinner)
Donnie: Why do we buy the green boxes?
Me: He likes them but drinks them at home.
Donnie: No, I mean why do we have the smaller green boxes?
Me: I bought them for him to take to camp in his lunch box but he doesn't like those.
Donnie: So why do we have the yellow boxes?
Me: J has those and Bug drinks them at his house. And they're great for his lunchbox because they're smaller than the big green boxes.
Donnie: (silent but I could almost see the cartoon bubble filled with question marks above his head)
Me: The ever-changing moods of a three-year-old's preferences, huh?
Donnie: I'm still surprised we have orange juice.

Clearly, this should have ended with...Say good-night, Gracie.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

We’ve begun calling Bug Shadow because he’s with me everywhere I go. I tripped over him the other day because I didn’t realize he was SO close behind me when I turned around. Sigh... (I know, I'll long for these days when he's a teen and doesn't want me on the same planet, right?)

Now that he’s almost potty trained, he tells me he needs privacy in the bathroom. I use the same line when he follows me into the bathroom but it usually doesn’t work. Instead he thinks hiding behind the towel rack is enough privacy for me. I can’t wait for the day when I can pee without a play-by-play commentary from my bath towel.
This morning our neighbor gave our sons a ride to camp. This is the email I received later: Driving the boys to camp, J says:" Let's listen to Thomas the Tank." Bug says: "Let's listen to Bruce." That’s my boy!
My nighttime snack of choice these days: wine and M&Ms…a lovely combination!
Beg begged to go to church with me (see Shadow section above...) so prior to going we had a big conversation about being quiet. We sat in the back and he was fine until he announced in the stagiest stage whisper of all that he had to go potty. I didn’t know if there was a bathroom available so I quietly told him he was wearing a pull-up and it was okay to just pee. Then…a bit louder he demanded announced: “I want to put on underwear NOW.” I quickly found the occupied bathroom (sigh) and stayed in the back of the church for the duration while Bug played with his cars. When we left church, Bug told me he didn’t want to go to church with me again.
I’d really like a donut right now.
Go to The Un Mom for more.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Almost Vacation time

‘Twas the week of vacation and all through the house
I’m running around and so is my spouse
Finding swimsuits and coverups and charging my iPod
All in advance of our trip to Cape Cod

I’ll choose Bug's and my clothes to be packed
Along with food that will need to be snacked
The biggest challenge is the drive to and fro
And hope that we have everything before we say “GO”

The DVD player--this time--should work
She said with great hope and just a slight smirk
We'll settle in the backseat with popcorn...and some juice
We’ve got the first Toy Story and the just-released Bruuuuuuce
It should be fun because Bug loves Springsteen
He's heard him, of course, but never viewed him on the screen

There are new toys safely hidden away
For Bug on the drive when he’s ready to play
Donnie's in the driver's seat and with some luck I can read
I’ll have plenty of books to get me up to speed

There are things to be done before we hit the road
Laundry tops the list--and more than just one load
We'll get the car checked and we’ll find our sun lotion
Because I don’t plan to stop until we’ve hit the ocean.

(For some reason going on vacation in the summer prompts 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to go through my head. Same thing happened last year so there was a bad poem then as well.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

F-Bomb Friday

Years ago my nephew RP was in the car with me. He was quite a chatterbox so the car was never quiet. This is how the conversation went on this particular day:
RP: Mooie, you know how men have moustaches but women don't?
Me: Yes...
RP: Well, you have one.

I'm sure our outing ending quickly because if a 4-year-old tells you you've got that much facial hair and you're not on tour with a circus, it's best to take care of it immediately.

Check out MiMi for more.

PS. Happy 20th Birthday, RP! (Good did he get to be 20?)

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Last night was one of those not-so-typical nights at our house. I had a meeting and Donnie and Bug were going to hang out at home. Before the meeting started Donnie called to say our power was out (again) and they were heading out. (Lucky me, they stopped at the bookstore and picked up a book I wanted--yay!!) By time I arrived home at 9:30, the power was scheduled to be back at 11. Of course, 11pm became 5am, 5am became 7am, 7am became 9am and then we just stopped checking. When we left the house the power still wasn't on.

Bottom line: the three humans in our house slept together on the futon in our basement and our little girl was curled up on the floor in her bed. I'm not sure when Bug has slept better. Not a peep from him during the night. Donnie and I, of course, were tossing all night and dodging flying arms and feet that come from the ninja moves toddlers make in their sleep. Apparently, Bug should have been called for a low blow after one particularly hard kick to Donnie.

The biggest surprise: our sweet little girl, MissClaraVeraCora (call her any of these names and she'll respond in some manner), is the noisiest thing in our house. She farts, she snores, she licks, she paces, she yawns (loudly--like an old man) ALL. NIGHT. LONG.
But she's cute.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

PMS air conditioning and other burning issues

Now that summer is officially here our AC is PMS (Pretty Much Sucks). If only the temps could hover in the upper 80s, our house would be oh-so-comfortable. Once the outside numbers hit the top 90s and tip into three-digit territory, I feel like it's a sauna in our house (shouldn’t I be dropping a pound or two at the Mood Swing Spa?). I actually love having an older house nearly all the time but right now I would kill for a home built with AC in mind.

We've got fans in each bedroom so sleeping hasn't actually been bad. The other night Donnie and I were watching TV. We were settled in the warm living room but we’ve found having M&Ms can make any situation a little more tolerable. (Hey, they won't melt in your hands...)

All of a sudden I smelled something burning…a smell like overcooked microwave popcorn or a pot left on the stove…but the smell seemed to come from our living room wall near the stairs. I first fly upstairs to Bug's room to make sure he’s okay and that the smell isn’t on the second floor or coming from the fan in his room (the most recent "new" electrical thing in the house). He's fine, room is fine, upstairs is fine. Donnie checks the first floor while I run to the basement. We go back to the living room and realize the smell is isolated to that room and one area of the room. I unplugged the lamp and the outlet and wall were cool. The smell lingered but at times was stronger.

We figured it must be the lamp but wanted to rule out electrical stuff because, ummmm, who can sleep if you think there's something burning in your walls? Long story short, we called 911. The firefighters were great and after several minutes of checking various things, decided there was no electrical problem so the consensus was that the lamp was about to blow.

Last night we took pies and fruit to the fire station to thank them for their help . They were appreciative and then showed Bug the firetrucks (he was also appreciative but more awestruck--especially when they asked him to sit in the driver's seat!). They also gave us a free smoke detector, which was very nice but prompted jokes between Donnie and me (in the car) that they don’t want us calling again. (We do have smoke detectors but because there was only a burning smell and no actual smoke, the detector did nothing the night before. See, I learned something from the firefighters' visit.)

We got home and as I was making dinner the power went out in the neighborhood. With our PMS AC, hot flashes have taken on a new meaning.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

be my Shortmama's guest

Look, Ma, I'm over here today! I'm guest posting for Amanda at Family of Shorts. She's got a busy week and I don't and she asked me to write a post for her blog...what pressure fun! I'm sure you follow her already--why wouldn't you?!--so check out her guests this week!

Off topic: we've been watching a lot of Curious George lately and I gotta tell ya...every time they're at their country house I'm jealous I get a kick out of Bill (the neighbor kid) calling George a city kid. It's not like a laugh until I cry but I do smile and find that I watch for it in every episode. Also, it's weird that George doesn't need clothes but wears a swimsuit to the beach...but it's a cute suit so I don't blame him.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Camp: Day 1

Bug’s off to camp today. Poor little guy is convinced he’ll take a bus to camp and sleep in a tent and there’s no convincing him that it’s really a four block walk to a four-hour camp. So this morning as I was packing up his required items:

Lunch: Check
EpiPen, Benadryl and instructions: Check
One change of clothes: Check
Sunscreen: Check
Bug spray (for insects not for my son): Check
T-shirt to tie-dye: Check

Bug packed his own bag: six pairs of new underwear. I guess a camper can never be too prepared.

Friday, June 25, 2010

F-Bomb Friday...the high school edition

I was on the gymnastics team in high school and we had meets nearly every weekend. I was always on the beam, sometimes on the floor, occasionally on the bars and NEVER on the vault. I practiced the vault but hated didn't feel comfortable and I always seemed to juuuuuuust not quite have the skill for it. But my coach wanted me to compete in all events for future meets so she always made me practice the vault.

You know where this is going, don't you? this particular meet, one of our vaulters wasn't there. I don't recall if she was sick or hurt herself in warm-ups but at the last minute my coach asked me to fill in. I panicked am a team player so I said yes. If it had been the floor or bars, I would have been fine...I always had those routines ready but the vault...say it ain't so.

Coach told me into doing the easiest vault to get points...nothing risky...basically just get over the vault. This was pre-Kerri Strug so I had no Olympic moment to use as motivation just the oh-so-powerful fear of high school humiliation.

I did the first vault without embarrassing myself and was feeling pretty good about the second one. I started my run, picked up speed, lost my footing as I neared the springboard and went chest first into the vault. I didn't go over it...I went into it and I stood there dazed a bit. After remembering that I needed to acknowledge the judges, I looked at my coach who was doubled over laughing. From then on I stuck to the comfort of the 4"-wide beam.

Check out MiMi for more.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the little things

Last night I felt like...take your pick ------> a couple of crazy kids, newlyweds, a carefree couple.

Why? We went out on an unexpected date! We were driving home from work (we commute together because our jobs are two blocks apart) and I said, "Remember the pre-dog and pre-Bug days when we would go out for dinner right after work if we felt like it? Wouldn't it be great if we could do that tonight?" I was craving a burrito and a margarita. (Okay, I craving a margarita and a burrito didn't sound bad at all.)

We talked about asking the sitter to stay but then realized the babysitting fee would be more than our dinner because we would have to pay overtime since she had already watched Bug all day. We decided the next time we knew our neighbors were working late, we would make plans for an early date (we have a nanny share so we split babysitting fees...and this way we split overtime as well.) The thought of being as spontaneous as parents can be when it comes to going out almost having a date was fun while it lasted and I could practically see the margarita being delivered to our table. Sigh...

Donnie went next door to get Bug but Bug wanted to stay and play with his pal. The sitter said that the other parents were working late and she didn't mind keeping Bug, too. Donnie ran came home and said, "Let's go!"

All of a sudden, we were at the restaurant and I didn't have to imagine that was there ON MY TABLE and it was all mine! It may sound like a simple little thing but it was terrific and just what I wanted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June is the new August

so to keep cool I'm thinking back to February...

Friday, June 18, 2010


It's quiet in my house. Bug's at school (with gifts for teachers--thanks for all your suggestions--and cookies for the class) and Donnie's at work.

Soon, or at least in the three-hour window I was given, the cable guy will show up and then a few short hours later our TV stand should be delivered. In the meantime the silence is beautiful and I'm forced to be here. Sure, I could do laundry--but the pile isn't overwhelming--or clean my closet--unlikely--or get on the treadmill--actually, that's not an option because I wouldn't hear the "We're on our way" phone call from the cable company...and if I don't answer they don't show up. It's looking like the best option is grabbing a book and enjoying the morning--SCORE!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


In the category of what I didn't need or want today...trying to figure out the best way to get poop out of an off-white upholstered dining room chair would be at the top of the list. For the record, I wanted a different fabric on the chairs seven years ago when we bought them but the only option was to have them redone, which seemed silly because they were new. Of course, at the time I was worried about red wine or some fabulous sauce staining the fabric not, y'know, #2.

While our sitter said it can't be poop and then explained the bathroom activities of the boys for the past couple of days, I was scratching my head trying to figure this out. (She watches Bug and our neighbors' son so there are two stinky suspects here.)

Then, in a true Nancy Drew moment, I think I solved The Mystery of the Poopy Chair. I had forgotten that when we arrived home from work yesterday we saw that the little girl had pooped in the house, which is pretty rare. So, all I can come up with is that one of the 3-year-olds may have touched the poop out of curiosity (I know, eeeewwwww, but they're THREE and BOYS) and then wiped their paws clean on the dining room chair.

So, long story short, when you come to my house for dinner: don't be surprised if we have five matching dining room chairs and one funky folding chair.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts (and a call for help)

Bug wore big boy underwear for the first time yesterday. I was so happy to find out that there were no accidents during the day and that he was still wearing the same dry undies when I returned from work. Of course, after my arrival he was playing with his buddy in our backyard and had an accident…but all in all a good first day. (Today he specifically requested “Cowboy and Rope” pull-ups…)

Vacation is one month from today!

Last week a neighbor sent an email to the neighborhood offering a free 42” TV (her sister is moving and not taking it with her)…and we got it! I’m so excited because we’ve been talking about getting a TV for our living room but were procrastinating--and it somehow paid off this time. We rearranged the furniture and bought a TV stand over the weekend. Both the cable guy and the TV stand are coming on Friday so we should be able to become couch potatoes in a new room soon!

Why does spellcheck in blogger think that contractions are wrong? I'm I am not as formal as blogger thinks I should be.

Since this is Bug’s first year at preschool, I’m new to teacher gifts. What is the price range? What do you usually give? There’s one aide in his class and an administrative assistant for the school that I think should also receive gifts. I’m guessing the head of the school doesn’t receive a gift…or am I wrong about that? Any tips or ideas are very welcome/needed. Thanks!

Check out The Un Mom for more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes Bug

This weekend Bug said to me in that sweet three-year-old voice:

"Mommy, you're in the middle of my heart."

It almost makes up for the 289 occasions he was in time out on Saturday and Sunday. Sigh...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

Most of the time I appreciate that you’re a child with an opinion. I know you don't understand this but the Pull-Ups package isn’t filled with the “Cowboy and Rope” Pull-Ups--there are other designs as well. I know Cowboy and Rope is your preference (because you demand it every single time) but you need to wear the other ones, too. See, lookie here: Woody and Buzz TOGETHER...isn't that great?!Yeah, I know, it’s not what you want. I hear it every day. You know what I want? (Do you care?) How about you use the potty MORE and we can toss all of the Pull-Ups (including Cowboy and Rope) and you can wear big boy underwear? Sound good? I'll buy Cowboy underwear, I swear...


Dear Huggies,

Any chance I can special order packages of Pull-Ups with one design? It would make my mornings, afternoon and evenings life easier and my little boy a lot happier.

I’m begging you Sincerely,

Dear Summertime,

It looks like this is a good season for books. My long list of must reads is growing by the day. If Bug and I could figure a few things out, I wouldn’t need to spend time reading 1-2-3 Magic read the toddler books and could focus on all those novels calling out to me.

Now I just need a long vacation to go with that list so I can find the time to absorb every word (and maybe a few rays, too).

Check out Amanda at Family of Shorts for more.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Giving this relationship another try

I feel like we need to ease into things this time. It was a harsh breakup last year with no warning. No "I need a break" or "It's not you, it's me" although once when I passed by I thought I heard, "If you loved me, you'd do it." (I didn't fall for that--my mom would be so proud.)

It was good for a few months and I felt we really connected. Then one day it was over--I was just done--and the ending wasn't pretty (neither was the weight gain that often comes after a break up).

So, now I'm going to take things a little slower. I'm not rushing out to buy new clothes for our time together like I've done in the past (although I want could always use a new pair of shoes). I'll wear the same outfits that are now snug that I've worn plenty of times before...I'm not trying to impress anyone.

Aren't we always a bit more cautious on the second or thirty-ninth or eighty-seventh time around? It's never been about love at first sight (AT ALL) but I'm hoping this time to reach a point where I'm comfortable with more commitment on my part. Maybe even being a bit more forgiving on this go 'round--we don't need to see each other on a daily basis but a few times a week would be good--or at least a good start.

I recognize that relationships have their share of pain and this one is no different. For me, it's always most noticeable in the beginning when I'm trying to figure things out. Oh, and there is real pain now. But once the damn treadmill and I get through this stage of getting reacquainted(again...sigh) and are on friendly terms, I'd welcome a bit of a honeymoon phase.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

cap & gown in another town

I went to my nephew's high school graduation this weekend. It meant a solo flight (hello reading time!), a short getaway (less than 48 hours) and lots of fun. I hadn't seen my nephew Jackson in more than a year and when I arrived at the house his big hug nearly lifted me off the welcome I've had anywhere in a very long time!

Friday night my brother and I went to his cabin on a nearby lake. (The graduate had plans with surprise...and my sister-in-law's son was arriving that night.) I hadn't seen the cabin before. It was great...a bit of time to chat about all kinds of things and generally get caught up while going on a boat ride and later grilling steaks.

Back at the house, I slept in my nephew's old room...with his pet snake much too close for comfort (eewwwww). The snake is named for Sid Vicious. 'Nuff said (says the woman who named a puppy after Sid Vicious many, many years ago). I only woke up three times to make sure Sid was still safe and sound on the other side of the glass from me.

I'm such a sucker for graduations...I would cry if I didn't know anyone getting a diploma and turning his/her tassel. After a nice dinner out with the family, Jack announced he was meeting up with friends. I quickly said, "that sounds like fun, I'll join you!" The look on his face that his aunt would even think of going out with him on graduation night was worth the whole trip! He was SO relieved when he found out I was kidding but for a moment I could see him using those smarts that earned him the diploma to come up with a kind, respectable reason why I should stay home with the rest of the old timers.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Home again

Highlights of our trip:

Spending time with my mom
Seeing Bug give kisses to Grandma T
Being fast enough--often enough--to stop and/or guide Bug while steering Grandma T’s wheelchair
Spending time with family
Hearing Bug sing “Let My People Go” in a catholic nursing home
Having a date night with Donnie
Getting two (good!) steak dinners, wine and dessert for $45
Watching Bug play with his cousins and mixing up their names so often that he started referring to one of them as “that guy”
Eating at Taco John’s (more than once but who’s counting)
Eating at the Dairy Queen (more than once but who’s counting)
Taking Mom to see some of her friends in my hometown
Hearing Bug tell stories to the ladies in the nursing home
Watching Twins games on TV
Running into high school friends
Hearing my 16-year-old nephew tell me he loves me
Realizing that Bug listened to me and didn't kick the seat in front of him on the plane (thankyouverymuch!)

Of course there were some challenging moments as well but we survived and while I’m happy to be sleeping in my own bed again I’m so (SO) glad we made the trip.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Packing up our bags

Our trip to visit my mom is this weekend. Every time I talk to her I tell her the day we’ll arrive and how we’re looking forward to seeing her. This morning I called and said, “We’ll see you in TWO days.” She was so excited and throughout our chat I realized the statement of our visit was actually news to her. She had no recollection of our previous conversations. Long ago I decided that I can’t be surprised what she remembers and what’s not retained.

I’ve also learned not to call if the Twins are on TV. It’s pretty difficult to have a conversation with her if she’s watching a baseball game. (I actually love that she’s still so interested in baseball so I don’t mind getting bumped and calling later.)

On this visit most of my time will be spent with my mom. Donnie and Bug will visit with her, too, but (understandably) Bug gets restless at the nursing home and I often fear he’s about one quick step from trying to push people in their wheelchairs. Mom is eager to get out and do some shopping. We'll probably make a drive to my hometown. Bug will see his cousins and get to hang out at a terrific park/play area in town. This is a photo from a previous visit. It always makes me smile. He LOVES Winnie-the-Pooh and he walked right up and planted a kiss on the big bear.

I'm already dreading the flights. We're leaving our house at 6:15am on Friday. (Flights to my mom's town are pretty limited.) I think my only hope of getting the little man dressed before arriving at the airport is to let him wear his "G is for Guitar" shirt. I'm praying that will work--if not he'll likely be in his guitar jammies. See a theme, anyone? We've got two flights before we land in SD and one squirmy little boy. On Bug's last flight we were over the Potomac River, about to land in DC when he shouted, "OH NO, we're gonna land in the water."

So I'm looking forward to the trip, steadying myself for the challenges surprises of traveling with a 3-year-old and gearing up for some emotional times with family...and I'm thinking we may even watch a Twins game or two.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm giving 110%...

unfortunately that's cumulative for the week and not per activity or even per day.

It's a phase...right? RIGHT? Please let this just be a phase...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

Just a gentle reminder that when it’s dark outside you have to put on your sleepy head (thank you Pajanimals). Being awake from 3-6am isn’t a good idea for you or mommy and daddy.

I do appreciate that you still said “please” while begging asking to come and sleep in our bed or to have me lie down in your bed but I would prefer if you must talk nonstop during the night that you do it in your sleep.

Sleepy mommy

Dear Mom,

I know the world is confusing right now. I’m sorry it’s such a tough time. We expected the move would take some adjustment but I’m glad that you’re comfortable in the new nursing home. I also think it's sweet that you call it the hotel and the dining room is the country club. We’ll see you next week…to quote Bug, “we can’t wait!”

Mary Ann

Dear Bug,

Really, you peed on your books? AARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH…

A book loving mommy

Dear R,

You're terrific! When I asked if you could watch Bug for a few hours while we're in SD, I can't tell you how sweet it was that you gave me your available times for EVERY DAY of our visit. We won't be asking you to watch him much but thank you for being so're a good nephew!


Visit Amanda for more.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wrestle Mania

I swear there’s a point repeated over and over and over again in every three-year-old’s life when he/she increases in strength to an Olympic level. For Bug it happened again this morning.

He didn’t want to get dressed and it became a wrestling match to get the job done. I half expected to hear a play-by-play in the background by a cheesy ring announcer. While there were no pile-drivers or chairs tossed around, I did chase him from one room to another and deflect some kicks. It was neither sport nor entertainment.

After a few time outs, letting Bug pick out the perfect pull-up (sigh...) and select his clothes (it’s an outfit that screams, “My son dressed himself and looks like a leprechaun") and a change of shirts for me wrestling makes a girl sweaty and a quick (second) wash of the morning for me, my three-year-old was dressed...and I was ready to start the day.

And then Bug told me he didn't like my shoes...that hurt.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

We went to a party on Saturday afternoon and Bug thought Donnie and I were getting married. Not sure what prompted that thought but he was convinced...and then disappointed. (I think he’s mad he missed our first wedding.) He probably heard they serve cake at weddings.

Yesterday on my drive home from work a fox darted out in front of my car…in DC. Eeeewwwww. Over the weekend there was a horse loose in our neighborhood.

One time a bull got loose from the local vet, walked down the highway and managed to end up in my mom & dad's backyard. He was just standing there as calm as could be looking like Ferdinand.
When I lived in NY some of the conductors on the commuter trains would let me make the announcements of stops, delays, etc. I’m not sure WHY I did it but apparently my fear of public speaking wasn't as great then.

I would like to go to a beach somewhere with a stack of books and read, read, read. I’ve seen so many good reviews lately that my “to read” list is growing faster than Bug.

When I was a kid, I thought people won the Pulit Surprise rather than Pulitzer Prize. "Surprise, you won the Pulit!"

Go to The Un Mom for more.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I'm not really fretting over this but I am curious to hear your thoughts. Here's the deal...

We received a high school graduation invitation from the son of one of my high school classmates. They live halfway across the country so obviously they don't think/expect we would attend. She (graduate’s mom) and I were friends in high school but never really stayed in touch through the years other than occasionally seeing one another if we were both back in our hometown. We have a nice time when we see each other but never make plans beyond that.

She and I saw each other at our reunion four years ago. Since then I've bumped into her once when I was back visiting my mom. She and her family happened to be back at the same time. We saw each other in the mall food court away from our hometown so it wasn’t a planned get together.

There was a time when we exchanged holiday cards but in the last card I received (a few years ago) she said she was going to send cards every other year...and maybe she does but we didn't make the short list. I used to send her birthday cards but now usually email her on her birthday. It's just one of those things I remember so I acknowledge it.

So I was surprised to get the invitation out of the blue. Was the invitation sent as a friendly, “hey look my oldest son is graduating and wanted to share the news!”? The return address label is the graduate's name not my friend’s name.

Here’s my question…do we send a gift? If I kept in touch with the mom or had some connection to the family or even knew this kid's name prior to receiving the invitation, I wouldn't think twice about sending a gift. Donnie thinks we send a card and acknowledge the graduation...the graduate doesn't know us so he wouldn't expect a gift. I feel like I'm hearing my mom's voice telling me we're obligated to send a gift of some sort because we received the invitation (a Target gift card or something since we know NOTHING of this kid or what his post high school plans are). What do you think? Would you send a card, small gift (gift card or something else--if something else--what) or simply pretend the invitation never made it and pull out your inner Sandra Bullock and act shocked at the next reunion that one of her children has graduated high school? (Just kidding...)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Bug saw this...
and asked if it was a picture of me before he was born.