Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And I've done poorly on tests ever since...

When I was a child our priest was from Ireland. I wonder now how he felt being sent to a small town in South Dakota. He was a kind man. I grew up with Eucharist Prayer One, Two and Tree. I never knew it was actually “three” until I learned to read.

Before first communion each child had to meet with Father P privately. He wanted to be sure that all second graders had been paying attention at CCD and could answer basic questions about our faith.

Of course I was nervous. It didn’t matter that Father P was a regular visitor at our house. He came for Christmas and Easter dinners and sometimes stopped by to play the accordion. (For years I thought all people in Ireland played the accordian.) But being in a room questioned by a priest was suddenly very, very scary.

My first communion was on Thanksgiving Day but I often think about that meeting with Father P at Easter. We talked about Jesus and communion. He asked me if I knew how Jesus died and expected to hear the answer that I had been taught as a young child.

I panicked. I looked around the room and saw pictures of the Virgin Mary, a crucifix (or twenty) and a painting of the Last Supper. That’s what caught my eye. To me that long white table looked like a hospital bed and I sat up a bit straighter looked the priest in the eye and confidently said, “Jesus died in the hospital…of old age.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Somehow I’m in first place in the basketball pool! I’ve got three teams in the final four. (My strategy bulldogs pick paid off!) It’s very unlikely I’ll end up winning the pool since the one team I’m missing is the one I chose as the winner of the tournament. Damn you, Kansas! Nonetheless, I have bragging rights until a true winner is named.

Bug thinks I drink water and eat snacks all day at work. I’m going to give it a shot because it doesn't sound like a bad way to spend the day.

I’m wearing pants that I couldn’t fit into a few weeks ago. My secret? Allergies to wipe away any trace of appetite.

Our getaway to the sweet spot (aka Hershey PA) is next week. Donnie told his parents we were going and they offered to drive down and watch Bug! That was a big we don't have to pay our sitter. More $$ for chocolate for us AND the in-laws! Guess I can put these pants back in the closet...

I'm off to stock up on water and snacks for the office. Go to The Un Mom for more.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Passover + Easter = Passter/Eastover

We've been reading The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah for a few days at our house. Bug gets a kick out of it and Donnie can give the right inflection to all the Yiddishness in the book. Tomorrow is Passover so we'll have a mini Seder (is there such a thing?) with just Donnie, Bug and me. I'll make the dinner that Donnie requested continuing the tradition of his family holidays growing up. Which reminds me I should really start looking for his mom's recipes...

By the end of the week we'll be getting out the Easter baskets and looking for the fake grass. Donnie's always a good sport and gives up something for lent so we're both looking forward to Sunday morning and having some chocolate and other sweets. (Sadly, Target was out of my favorite Easter candy this weekend...I wanted to stock up.) We also gave up Chinese food and I'm thinking our Easter dinner will be egg rolls, fried wontons and crispy beef! I just hope this Easter isn't a replay of a few years ago when I had so much chocolate that I watched The Sopranos with a heating pad on my stomach. Then again if it happens this year I'll just call it a family tradition.

Friday, March 26, 2010

F-Bomb Friday

It was a million years ago when I was young, single and living in NY. This was a few months before our apartment was broken into and I came home to see my roommate sitting in a chair holding a knife waiting in case the intruders returned (ah, but that's another story).

So…my roommate, Teresa, and I had just returned from happy hour. It was about 9pm and we were in her room chatting about guys when we heard three loud pops. We looked at each other and Teresa said, “those were gunshots.” We were both a bit freaked. The neighborhood wasn’t great but we had never heard shots before.

The next day I found out there was a shooting on our corner but no details were given. That night Teresa was out and I was home alone. I heard a few loud knocks on my landlord’s door on the floor above ours followed by “Police, open up.” I heard a gruff TV cop voice questioning my landlord. Then I heard the knocks on my floor at my neighbor’s door. Same gruff voice followed when my neighbors answered.

I was panicking and my imagination was working overtime. I watched enough TV to think this might not be a cop but knew I would have to open the door (the walls were thin and it was obvious someone was in my apartment with either TV or music going). My plan was to have a lit cigarette and if, when I opened the door with the chain on, he tried to break the door down, I could burn him and run out of the apartment. (Yeah, I know, whatever, but it was my plan. Oh, and I wanted to look tough. Heh.)

BAM, BAM, BAM on my door. I froze, lit a cigarette and cracked the door open while hiding behind the safety of the chain. Sure enough, there was a gruff officer showing me his badge but instead of that scary voice I had been hearing, I heard a very friendly, “Hi, I wanted to ask if you heard anything last night” as if he was asking me to pass the potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner.

Me: Um, you mean like gunshots?
Officer: Well, yes…
Me: Yeah, we heard shots. Was anyone hurt?
Officer: No, just a girl talking on the payphone. She got hit on the arm.

Nice…just a girl.
For more visit MiMi at Living in France.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Criminal Minds,

Why am I obsessed with watching repeats of your show? Sure, I’m finding plenty of episodes that I missed during their original airing but there are PLENTY of productive other things I should be doing instead of plopping myself on the couch. Oh, wait, now I remember why I’m glued to the TV…
Oh my...

Dear Self,

It’s been a long week: allergies, bronchitis and a yucky reaction to medication. Fun times! Here’s hoping for a quiet couple of days...

Cough Sniffle Cough

Dear Laundry,

I’m bored with you these days.


Dear Bug,

I don’t know why but I’m enjoying that you want to call me Tin Tin lately.


Mommy Tin Tin

Visit Shortmama for more.

Monday, March 22, 2010

things that make me smile today

Having a grilled cheese sandwich on a rainy Monday.

Thinking about Bug and Donnie going to the forest (the park that’s a few blocks from our house) over the weekend to look for pandas.

Wearing my funky necklace that no one seems to like other than me.

Playing with my Control A Boss remote.

Remembering to bring my umbrella!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

i need a little help from my friends

We're going away for one night in a couple of weeks (woo hoo!). Our sitter has agreed to an overnight but we haven't talked about payment yet. If you've gone away overnight how do you pay your the hour or flat fee?

We're going away on a Thursday so we're already covered for Friday babysitting. Technically, we'll owe her from 5:30pm (Thursday) until 8:30am (Friday). I'm inclined to pay a flat fee but not sure what it should be. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

top of the mornin' from the bottom of my couch heart

I woke up when my alarm clock named Bug called me at 5:30. (Shouldn't he be sleeping later with the time change?!) I felt like a construction crew was jackhammering in my throat and a percussion solo was playing in my head. I love spring!

After Bug went to preschool, I decided orange juice would be the best thing...but when I checked the fridge I found out the OJ expired last month--not yesterday or last week but last month. Good grief, how could I not have noticed that for three weeks? Off to check for cough syrup or allergy meds so I don't scare the neighbors or make them think a barking seal has moved into our house. There's nothing ladylike about my monster cough. I've got nothing--must have used it up on my last go 'round with allergies.

Seems Murphy's Law has kicked in on St. Patrick's Day.

On the bright side, since sleeping is a bit difficult I hope to get some quality time with my book.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I’m fashionably late to this party but still sneaking in before last call. Wanna be part of the spring swap? Check out Amanda at Family of Shorts for all the details.

A big thank you to Chef Aly for posting Bug-friendly recipes on her blog Living the Dream. She's my cousin and clearly got the creative genes that skipped right over my side of the family. Check out her blog with cooking tips and recipes and tell her I said hi.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and today while walking to work I saw two men with green ties and a few women wearing green. Not that I’m a stickler for St. Paddy’s day attire but thought if you’ve got green why not wear it tomorrow? Then I realized I’m wearing a top with green all over it today.

Bug wanted to 'fix' my lips this weekend. He grabbed my makeup bag and pulled out a lipstick. He put it on my lips with a bit spreading to my cheek and chin and did the same with another color. Then put some blush all over my face and when he grabbed some eye shadow he said, “Mommy, you’re very patient.”

Last night Bug told me when he grows up he wants to wear big socks. It's so important to have goals, don't you agree?

I don’t follow college basketball but absolutely LOVE March Madness. I’m in two pools this year after having seen zero games during the season. I'll pick a few top seeds and often choose a Midwest team to go far. Sometimes my picks are made by which city I would rather live in or if a school's mascot is a bulldog (I'm a sucker for bulldogs). I never win...but I've come in second in college football pools using the same logic and taken home some cash.

I'm done. For more randomness go to The Un Mom.

Monday, March 15, 2010

you know it's a Monday when...

The day starts before 5:30 because Bug wants to see his TV friends AND wants Mommy to sit with him.

Our pooch pooped in the kitchen (in her defense she was very close to the back door so it seems she had every intention of wanting to get outside and had she been taller with opposable thumbs she could have done it).

I gave in and let Bug have a chocolate chip cookie as part of his breakfast because he said, "Mommy, I don't want brefast, I wanna cookie you made" [insert sweet three-year-old's smile here].

It was an Olympic event just trying to get the little guy dressed this morning.

Our sitter called about the time she usually arrives saying the bus is late so can we pick her up at the bus stop.

The only pair of hose I could find have holes from my knees to my thighs so I'm wearing them. Luckily my skirt is long.

Donnie leaves for a trip tomorrow.

My thank you note for dinner at our friends' house has to include an apology for Bug throwing up after dinner. (Or as he says, "my mouth is gonna spill." I've caught on quick to that one.)

"Toot, toot, chug, chug, big red car" is on a continuous loop through my head.

It could be a lot worse but just the same I'm looking forward to Tuesday...

Friday, March 12, 2010

F-Bomb Friday

This morning Bug and I were watching The Wiggles during breakfast (Bug loves those Aussies). They were singing a song that was familiar to me. It took me a second then I realized I knew the song because it's on a Springsteen CD. Granted, it's from his Seeger Sessions recording... but still...The Wiggles and Bruce singing the same song? It had my head spinning.

Just to be clear...I like Bruce's version better. Visit MiMi at Living in France for more (hers is a doozy!).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

Oh, I'm going to be sad when the day comes and you can pronounce "exclamation point" correctly. I love it when you point out letters in the words from Snuggle Puppy and complete a line by saying "excamation" Thank you for making reading time even better.


Dear Seasonal Allergies,

Oh, hello again--I noticed you arrived earlier this year. Ah-choo again...

the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, oh, it's another headache gal

Dear Jamaica,

I was thinking about you today and how we had such a nice time together a few years ago. I miss you. Signed,

Wish I could see you soon

Dear Blogger,

Again, what's up with the spacing?!?!??!?! It shouldn't be this difficult...why all the blank spaces?!?!?!


a frustrated Mag

Visit Amanda at Family of Shorts for more letters.

Things that make me smile today

1. Bug picked out his clothes for preschool this morning and left the house wearing a shirt, bulldog necktie (clip-on, of course) and Notre Dame sweatpants.

2. At Whole Foods I asked the price of the roasted garlic salsa. The man asked if I had ever tried it. he gave it to me FREE! Something Whole Foods?! Crazy, huh?

3. Our sitter said yes to working an overnight! I think we're Hershey bound in April...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Big shopping score while out with my mom this weekend: a pair of purple suede Mary Jane pumps for $8 (love the “take 80% off the sale price” out-of-season rack but I also wonder how come no one else bought these?) and a pair of funky leopard print shoes that were $150 off the regular price so I snagged them for $20!

Last night Bug and I were playing and he turned to tell Donnie something but bumped his head on the wall. He looked at me and said, “I’m not happy anymore.”

I hate that right now the only thing that connects me to my youth is the outbreak of pimples on my face. Really? Shouldn’t zits be in my rearview mirror by now? I mean, it’s not as though I’m getting ready for the school dance or freaked about an algebra test.

Oh, algebra = math that reminds me...I just read a book I loved: The Housekeeper and the Professor. It's charming even with some math tossed in.

So…I think Donnie and I are going to sneak away for an overnight. As I’ve mentioned a million times since Ash Wednesday, I gave up sweets for lent. Donnie also did, which I think is impressive because his sweet tooth is worse than mine and he’s Jewish. We’re thinking of going to Hershey PA the weekend after lent so we can indulge in chocolate—and quite possibly a chocolate massage. I checked availability this morning. The fancy Hershey Hotel is booked but I think there’s a room with our name on it at the Hershey Lodge. I don’t need fancy…just a night out with my fella. We’ve been once before and opted to order room service: one entrée and three desserts for us to share. Now we just need to beg ask our babysitter if she'll do an overnight.

Go to The UnMom for more.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dairy Queen and Lipstick

My father died more than twelve years ago. He had cancer and Alzheimer’s. I remember having a hard time understanding Alzheimer’s because he seemed to function quite well most of the time. Dad spent some time in the nursing home and later hospice care and I went back to SD to visit him. He used a cane but could still get around on his own so my mom and I often took him out. Once he asked, “Mary Ann, what are we doing for dinner tonight?” I said, “We’re going to the Dairy Queen!”

Five minutes later Dad asked, “What are we doing for dinner tonight, Mary Ann?” I responded with the same answer I had given him moments before. It was a turning point for me, which sounds stupid but because I LOVE the Dairy Queen and still consider it a treat it seemed impossible that Dad could forget we were going there (we always went there when I visited). Somehow I'll forever think of that conversation as my acceptance/confirmation of Dad having Alzheimer’s.

So…fast forward to this weekend with my mom.

As I mentioned she looked better than she has in the past year. She’s put some of her weight back on and her hair had grown back enough that I took her for a haircut. On Friday she had a doctor’s appointment. She couldn’t find her lipstick but after looking in her purse and her room we decided to go to the appointment and look for it later. Lipstick--or lack of--was the topic of conversation on the way to the appointment, in the waiting room and when we left the doctor’s office. After the appointment we were going to go for a short drive and she asked if we could stop somewhere to buy a lipstick.

I parked the car at a store, discussed what color she would like and off I went to the store (she wanted to stay in the store). I was back in about five minutes. As I opened the door I said, “It’s tricky to pick out lipstick for someone else’s lips…” when I noticed my mom holding a ten-dollar bill. She interrupted me and said, “I hate to ask you to do this but could you go get me a lipstick somewhere.”

It broke my heart and then I felt terrible because I wondered if she felt abandoned in the car while I was in the store. If she had no memory of why I was in the store, had she also forgotten where she was or who she was with? She wouldn’t have wandered away because she needs a wheelchair to move but what if she had tried to walk on her own and fallen? Needless to say, I didn’t leave the car again unless she was with me.

The next morning I called to let her know when I would pick her up and she said, “Oh, and when are you arriving in town?” She had no idea that we had spent the past two days together.

Oh, and for the record, when I put Mom’s new lipstick in her purse, the lipstick she had been looking for was there in plain view practically taunting me. It must have been in her pocket because we both looked through her purse a few times.

Friday, March 5, 2010

it's a small world

I traveled to South Dakota yesterday and it was a pretty good day. First good thing: I didn't sleep through my alarm and actually woke up at 3:30 to get ready for my trip. The rest of the day was gravy...and good gravy at that.

I boarded my plane and saw one of my brothers on the same flight. I had just cracked open a new book so I didn't pay attention to people who boarded prior to me. We parted ways after the first flight but it was fun to see him.

On my second flight the woman across the aisle told me I looked familiar to her. Again, I had my nose in my book at the gate area and other than noticing her terrific boots when she walked by I didn't really look at people who were on my flight. As soon as she said something and I saw her face she was familiar as well...we went to high school together.

Finished my book. What a treat...enough reading time to start and finish a book in the same day.

My mom is doing pretty well. She looks better than she's looked in a year! Much to my surprise the nurse even had her walking with a walker. I haven't seen that in a very long time. When I take her out she uses a wheelchair (and we still look a bit like Lucy and Ethel when we maneuver it).

Saw another high school friend when I took my mom for a manicure yesterday as well as the younger sister of a classmate.

My brother (who lives in South Dakota) works at a school. We all went to the high school basketball game last night (district finals--his team won!) and I saw one of my good friend's sisters.

Funny thing about all of these familiar faces...I'm not visiting the town where I grew up. If that were the case I would expect to bump into people I know because it's a small town but yesterday was filled with nice surprises.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

da naked butt

When I was getting Bug ready for bed, he asked me to sing "Da Naked Butt." I wasn't sure what he was talking about and started to wonder what goes on when I'm at work. He repeated it many, many times in a whiny tone insisting that I knew the song. I silently prayed that the Toddler UN would intervene and give me a set of headphones to instantly translate from Bug language to the English I know.

Then it hit me...he wanted to sing "Dr. Knickerbocker" that we had heard on Sprout's Wiggly Waffle that morning. Score one for Ambassador Mommy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Last week I had a sick child and this week started off with a sick husband. We’re running out of humans in our house…and I’m not in the mood to get sick since I’m traveling on Thursday.

Apparently in addition to sweets I’ve also given up exercising for lent. Sigh…

The Olympics needed to end. By Sunday I was starting to tear up at the Tide commercials. And Bug was starting to hum along to "O Canada."

I have a fear of leaving a restroom with my skirt tucked in my tights. Last week I was thiiiiisssssss close to having it work...on my way to a meeting. I need to buy more pants.

My high school boyfriend was in my dream last night. He was dating a former co-worker of mine (not clear if he was divorced…but even he would probably tell you that’s not a big deal to him…sigh). Anyway, the three of us were in a restaurant (they were at one booth and I was at another). It was my birthday and THEY celebrated with THREE different desserts on a big platter that had a Happy Birthday message to me written in chocolate. They put two number candles (4 and 2) on the desserts but that's not my age. I fumed in the other booth wanting the desserts. (Did I mention I gave up sweets for lent?) Now that I think about it 42 was HIS high school basketball number--there are some things a girl can't forget. Don’t you love detailed dreams? Anyway, I waited until the coast was clear and I crawled from my booth to theirs and took the crème brulee from their table…hey, it was my birthday.

The UnMom is taking a break...go to The Bitchin' Wives Club for more.