Friday, November 30, 2007

O Christmas Tree (s)!!

These are our Christmas trees. I LOVE them! I love that we have two trees! The larger one is our regular tree with all of our traditional and sentimental ornaments. We've had this tree since we got married and I love it. Although I wouldn't mind a real one....
The other tree is what I call our Candy Apple tree. It's decorated with real and fake candy canes as well as miniature apples. It's right in our vestibule and I love does the boy!!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas! Seriously. I cleaned the crap out of our house to put out Christmas and now it's a mes again but that's ok because Christmas is everywhere!!
I really needed two trees this's been a rough year and having two trees makes me really happy. I love them!

The Candy Apple Tree

I just wanted to share them, and my happiness because of them, with you guys!!

A Letter to the Ladies At Starbucks

Dear Ladies at Starbucks This Morning,

Thank you for your impact on my morning rush today. I appreciate that you forced me to slow down and reconsider my choice to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a mixed coffee drink. I was doing so well this morning, too. Running a little late but the complete lack of traffic on my main road helped me make up time with no issue. The Dunkin Donuts had cars out the parking lot and on to the main thoroughfare so, of course, my next logical choice would be Starbucks and oh what a choice it was.

Our Starbucks is small, ladies, very small. Just in case you hadn't noticed. There's very little room to sit and chat but there are tables if it is something you'd like to. If you need me to direct you to them, I'd be more than happy to do so the next time we run into one another. Now that I've pointed out just how small the place is, could we try and remember that standing in the middle of where people are lining up is not appreciated. Also, once you've received your beverage of choice, if you need to, feel free to use the "creation station" with sugars and milk, etc to enhance your drink but then move along. This is not the water cooler, ladies, it's Starbucks and I'm not sure about everyone else but I want to get in and get out. If I need to talk, I take a table. I appreciate your need for gossip and to talk about your friend's cousin who is clearly in need of counseling but really, not the best conversation to have when people are standing within inches of you. I understand you have a right to be there and I don't disagree with that but leaning on the "creation station" as you gab away about your friend's cousin and then your morning gym routine is just not polite, ladies. In case you missed it, you blocked about 4 people from enhancing their beverages in the manner that they would like and you also blocked the exit. You turned my morning into a hostage situation without even realizing it. Thank goodness for the gentleman in front of me who practically had to push you out the way or I would have never made it to work. I can see the headlines now, "High school teacher stuck in Starbucks because ladies needed to discuss other people." Ok, not so catchy but you get the idea.

Ladies, I hope you enjoyed your beverages and your day went smoothly. I hope your friend's cousin gets the counseling they need and I hope your morning gym routine went as well as can be expected. Maybe we can work out a schedule for Starbucks where you can give me a signal that it's clear to come inside because you're leaving? Please don't block the "creation station" any longer than necessary and definitely don't block the door, I'm claustrophobic and I need my escape routes. I ended up at work on time but in a clearly frustrated and aggravated manner. Thank goodness I had my white chocolate mocha to calm me down, if only I had some sweet n' low to put in it and a little milk to cool it down, it would have been perfect.

Thank you for my morning experience. I have been taught to recognize others in my path a lot more clearly now and I will never ever block the "creation station" or the door.

That is all.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

There's No Clever Title for This

So, the boy is growing up it appears. Well, duh...but last night it hit home a little bit more. For me, there is a distinction when kids get in trouble. When they are really little and they get reprimanded they don't always understand. They know that they've done something wrong but they don't get the full force of it, all the time. As they get older they come to recognize what the reprimanding really means and that's when they start to get upset. Working with pre-schoolers, I've seen kids start to cry- as a natural response- when they are reprimanded for doing something wrong. They somewhat understand the error of their ways and now they're upset that someone else is upset with them. It's a major milestone in development, this understanding.

Last night, we were at my parents house and I was putting the girlie down for bed and getting things ready for the boy to come up and go to sleep. (They stay with grandma and pop-pop on Wednesday night into Thursday each week.) I heard the boy helping my dad load the dishwasher from dinner and get the kitchen clean and then I heard the dishwasher door slam- one of the boy's favorite things to do and one my least favorite things to have happen. My dad immediately reprimanded him- as he should have. He did not scream and throw a fit just said, "Boy, you can't do that. When I say no you have to listen to me and not slam the dishwasher. You could have gotten hurt." I called boy upstairs so that he would be out of the kitchen and not destroying anything else. My dad brought him upstairs and explained that in slamming the door, the boy broke a wine glass. No big deal and he was sorry. I looked at boy and gently said, "You have to be careful. You could have gotten hurt. We can't slam the dishwasher door like that." Immediately his face crushed into a mess of tears. And of course, so did I. My little boy understood. He had crossed the milestone and was reacting like a big boy to getting in trouble. I wasn't upset or actually I was...I felt terrible that he was crying but not because we had reprimanded him. He deserved that. I'm not quite sure why I felt so terrible but I did. Both my dad and I reassured him that it was ok and it was over with, done. But boy kept crying for a minute or so more.

In a way it was sweet. It was this bittersweet moment where the realization struck me that my little boy was really growing up. There have been other indicators that he's getting older. I mean, he's beginning to understand the concept of Christmas. He's starting to understand his limitations in terms of what he can and cannot do around certain people. He's speaking in these sentences that I often wonder where they came from. He's becoming "a real boy" rather than my little baby. Yet, he still loves to cuddle and he even sat on my lap the other night for the majority of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." He may be acting like a big boy but I have a feeling he will always be my baby boy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I just wanted to clarify something...I am not ungrateful and I did not mean to come off as such. I was venting more about the fact that I feel completely powerless here. These past few months a whole array of things have occurred that have made me feel like other people are making choices for me rather than allowing me make my own choices or have some say. I do not enjoy feeling powerless. I do not enjoy feeling as if I have to meet conditions to please people. I do not enjoy people telling me how things are going to be regarding things that I am involved in. I was more upset about feeling like I was being controlled and losing power than anything else.

We are so lucky to have been given this opportunity from my FIL, really and truly. I am grateful for it and I do not mean to sound like some snob who wants what she wants, etc. I just needed to get it out and my fingers, I guess, went faster than my mind.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Disclaimer to this post: Please do not mistake this as being ungrateful or unappreciative. Please do not mistake my words for something more than they are. I am wholly appreciative of everything that has been offered but I need to get my feelings about this off my chest and out of my head. I am beyond grateful that we have been offered this and I could not be more thankful because it is taking a HUGE load off of us.

Ok, my van is totaled, that we know. I have been driving my mom's car for a few weeks now and I'm pretty sure she'd like it back at some point. The husband went to his dad, my father in law, and asked to borrow his pick up truck because we were driving around my mom's car and my FIL never really uses the truck. Plus, the truck can fit car seats- it's got an extended cab- and we need two cars that fit car seats. My FIL was perfectly fine with us using the truck but did warn that it drank gas like an athlete drinks gatorade. We'd deal with big thing. The next day the husband goes into the family business as normal and his father sits him down and has a chat with him. My FIL offered my husband and I a car. He could not afford a new Toyota like we had or a Honda- completely understandable. But he could do something like a Saturn Vue or Hyudai. Ok. The husband and I discussed. We really need a third row. We need something large enough so that when we want to have more kids we aren't car shopping while I'm 8 months pregnant. We don't want to buy anymore cars anytime soon. We need the room. We discussed some more and decided to see if my FIL would be willing to do a used van or something with a third row- like a Pacifica. We figured if it was around the same price or cheaper than what he was thinking it might not be an issue. The husband explained to his dad that we needed the third row and we'd think about cars, etc.

I test drove the Pacifica and it was nice. Smaller than my van and I think it just made me miss it more and also made me realize that maybe I needed to look at little bit harder for a used van. But still, I wanted the husband and my FIL to see the Pacifica and see if they liked it, etc. So, the husband went into the family business last night for work and told his dad that on Tuesday he'd like to go out and look at cars and would his dad be available to come with him. His dad was/is. He then handed the husband a business card for a local Saturn dealership. Said he had found this used Vue with less than 30,000 miles on it and it was relatively inexpensive. The husband told him that we need a third row and the Vue doesn't have that. My FIL wanted to know why we needed the third row with only 2 kids and the husband explained that at some point we want to have another and we like having the room. My FIL did not seem to totally understand this, which in a way I kind of get. Different generation, etc. Don't know why exactly it makes sense to me that he doesn't get it but it does. Anyway, the conversation gets left that they'll look at Saturn and also at the Pacifica tomorrow.

This is all relayed to me last night when the husband came home from work. I could feel things starting to bubble. I said to the husband, "I am so grateful that your dad is willing to do this for us but we really need the third row." The husband agreed. I sat for a moment- I stewed for a moment. "Wait, your dad already went and looked at this car and talked to salesperson?"
"Yeah, I guess. Why?"
"I don't know...just seems weird. We never really talked about what car we were thinking about or anything, just seems odd to me, that's all." I stewed some more. "Husband, I understand that your dad is paying for this and I don't mean to sound like a total bitch but I don't want an SUV without a third row. It won't work for us."
The husband is exasperated at this point. It's how he gets with his family. I tend to butt heads with his family- never really in a mean way just we tend to disagree a lot and rather than starting arguments with them, I start them with the husband hoping he'll deal with the issue. I immediately get the, "Yes, dear, I know." And he does know. He knows we need that room. He knows that a van really is the only way to go. I know he knows this. But I also know that he has issues with his dad and saying something to him. It's a weird relationship between father and son and it has gotten better over the years but still weird. I'm not helping by adding to it with this third row business but it's important to me and really to our family.

Again, I am so grateful that my FIL has made this offer and is so willing to help us. Really, I cannot express how thankful I am about this. I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth but I feel like we've been given a gift and someone said now here's a mop, enjoy it, but only use it to wash the floor in your downstairs bathroom- no where else. Make sense? Not really...
I guess what is upsetting to me is that we've been given this very generous gift and really it is out of his concern for us and the kids and our financial stability but I feel like we're given conditions along with it. I feel like I am having all of my choices taken away from me again. I'm being rendered powerless and I hate that feeling. I don't want to be a bitch and say "No, we don't want the SUV you're offering because it won't work." I feel horrible even thinking that. But I also feel like the horse with the carrot in front of its face and I can't get to is unless I do what the person controlling me wants me to do. I don't know whether to scream or cry.

Everyone has just been so helpful during this time. My parents, especially have helped us out with whatever we needed- moral support, financial, emotional, whatever- and we are so grateful. Our friends have been wonderful, too. And I really hate to feel this way because it makes me feel like I am so not thankful for any of it and it's not the case at all. I don't want to cause problems and make a stink but I also don't want to drive an SUV that won't fit my family. I understand the monetary constraints and have NO PROBLEM with them AT ALL! I did a little research and found a few places with used vans in around the area of the Saturn dealership...I hope that doesn't make me seem too bitchy or ungrateful. I really am grateful but I hate feeling powerless and cramped.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tag- I'm it

Kami tagged me with this meme! Thanks Kami! I've passed on the fun at the bottom...and please feel free even if you're not there to do it, too!

8 Things I Am Passionate About

My Family
Breast Cancer Awareness
Domestic Violence Awareness
My friendships
Cooking and Baking
Being a good person

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die
Travel across the country
Have at least one more child
Finish my Masters degree
Get my PhD
Love my body regardless of my size
Be ok with people maybe not liking me
Travel through most of Europe
See my children's children's children

8 Things I Say Often
Shut Up- not telling people to shut up but in a shock way!
Good job!
I love you
Stop talking- to my wonderful students
Do you want to sit in time out?

8 Books I Have Read Recently
Ten Apples Up on Top
Shopaholic and Baby
Goodnight Moon
Intentional Interviewing and Counseling
Counseling and Psychotherapy
Elmo Loves You
Something Borrowed
Baby Proof

8 Songs I Could Listen To Over And Over
Round Here - Counting Crows
I'll be home for Christmas- Garland or Carpenters
Rosalita- Springsteen
Jersey Girl-Springsteen
If I Fall- BNL
Anything my son sings- even though they can sometimes drive me NUTS
Wide Open Spaces- Dixie Chicks
You're My Home- Billy Joel

8 Things That Attract Me To My Best Friends
Sense of Humor
Down to Earthiness (a touch of high-maintenance is okay as long as it doesn't rival my own)

There you have it...a whole meme about me...I'm curious to hear what these people might say....
Crazy Working Mom
Oh Mommy
Binky Bitch

I know, I know it's now 8 but that's ok....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday

So, yesterday was black Friday. I used to LOVE black Friday. Seriously. I was one of those people who was up at 5 am to be at the store at 6am. That was when stores opened at 6am, not 4am. I really did love black Friday. I did my research. I had my coupons. I knew where the deals were and I was ready to get them! I felt like I was cheating the system a bit. First, I know that Macy's marks their stuff up like 9 million percent so on black Friday when everything is 90% off, I'm finally paying fair price and with my coupon I'm maybe getting a deal. It was worth it to me. Totally and completely worth it. Everyone around me thought I was nuts. Like completely and totally nuts. But they all gave me instructions, "well, if you happen to see x,y or z do you think you could pick it up for me and I'll pay you back?" WAIT! I'm nuts but not so nuts that you'll let me do your shopping for you...uh ok. And me being who I am, what did I do? I picked up the gift for them and then I probably got them something extra nice because it was "on sale".

I did not participate in black Friday yesterday. I think it's ridiculous now. 4am!?!? COME ON!??! Why not just open at midnight after everyone has emerged from their turkey coma? Honestly, my shopping, in bits and pieces, will get done eventually. The bulk of it, which will be for the kids, will probably get done in the last few days before the actual holiday. I'll probably do a lot of shopping online, as I did last year. It is worth it to me to pay that little extra for shipping so that my gifts arrive at my door and ready to go. Plus, if you google certain deals or online stores you can find coupons to use for some major discounts! TOTALLY WORTH IT!

While I did not shop yesterday- well not really, I looked for a new car but that's not really shopping- I did shop briefly today. I bought another Christmas tree. Shhhhh....the husband can't know until it's up and lit. It was $30 bucks! It's 6.5 feet and it has multicolored lights on it. Does it look completely realistic? No, not really but it's pretty and it will look so nice in our front hallway all lit up through the front glass door with our big tree in the background. I am super excited to set it set both of them up. But first, I must clean. I hate cleaning except for the fact that at the end my house looks great and smells soooo good...I use lots of pine and vanilla around this time of year. So, I'm off to clean and hopefully tomorrow while the husband is at work I'll be setting up one of our two Christmas trees. I'm really proud of the deal I got on this tree....really proud! I sold a few things on Ebay and I used that money to buy the tree and I don't think I can convey to you how super freaking excited I am about this!! Christmas is here and I think this may be the best one yet!! I hope

Friday, November 23, 2007

Heaven and Hell

So I made this cake for Thanksgiving and I had to share it...the mousse was delicious...apparently the cake was good, too, just heavy! Not sure how to make it lighter but I'm really proud of myself that it came out looking so fabulous! Thanks, Girl, for the recipe!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just Peachy in my new Cart Cover

A few weeks ago, Jane Maynard, over at This Week For Dinner held a contest for a shopping cart and high chair cover from Just Peachy Baby. I decided to enter with a comment and as luck would have it, I won! I was very excited because it was quite the bright spot after a rough week- it was the same week as the accident.

I emailed with the owner of Just Peachy Baby, Bonnie, and she had me choose which cover I would like and within days I had a beautifully colorful and really well made shopping cart cover! The girlie and I tested it out the other night and she really likes it. We've had her in the shopping cart a few times before this but never with a cover because the boy destroyed his!! This cover fits so snugly over the entire seat and handle of the cart, it's perfect. There's no way that the girl can put anything gross or dirty in her little mouth or hands! The cover has little pockets for toys and bottles as well as a couple of hooks to hook some toys on to. It's just perfect! Compared to what we had when the boy was a baby, this is SO MUCH BETTER! The cover is clearly well made and soft and cushiony. It hooks on to the cart seat so that the baby is strapped into the seat safely and securely. The fabric is soft and comfortable and the design is so colorful and fun! JPB has a bunch of other designs and all are fashionable and fun any baby! Definitely check them out, it is well worth it!!

Turkey Eve

Thank you H for the new term of Turkey gave me quite the chuckle on my way into work this morning! I had wanted to do a few days of things that I am thankful for leading up to the big day on Thursday but just kept getting wrapped up in rice donations and Starbucks Oracles. So, here it is my thankful post.

A little background before I begin. Thanksgiving each year has always been at my parents' house and more often than not my uncle and aunt come with my two cousins. Occasionally, we'll throw in some other guests, in laws, college friends, grad school friends, for either the whole dinner or just dessert. It's always a fun time, the conversation and the food are both excellent. It really is one of my favorite holidays. But we all dread when my dad stops everyone at the table and does the traditional "what are you thankful for this year" speech. My cousins and I spend weeks discussing this. Not because we're not able to come up with things we're thankful for but because it's just so corny. (It's not corny to be thankful for things and people, etc. but the whole clicheness of the idea is corny.) Last year, I was thankful that an ultrasound had revealed that our baby had one head, two arms, and two legs, nothing extra. (I had been exposed to radiation in the early weeks of my pregnancy and was convinced I'd have the multiple limb baby.) This year I'm thankful that a very tumultous pregnancy, birth experience and almost first year of life have gone through successfully for my daughter and family. I'm thankful for other things but I have a feeling that's what I'll be mentioning at the table. So, that's the background. My cousin and I have been discussing how to make my dad forget about the whole tradition but I doubt that will happen and while I'm sure I'll grumble my way through it, it is important because I do have so very much to be thankful for!

I am thankful for:

1. My children
2. My family
3. My husband
4. My friends
5. My faith
6. The fact that my recent car accident totaled only my car and not my children and not completely me.
7. My home and that it is still there- a few of those payments have been late...not fun!
8. Excellent doctors
9. Family dinners
10. My job because I really do love it as much as I bitch about it
11. My freedom
12. The cold weather
13. The recent seemingly unpleasant experiences of the past few months and weeks that have taught me a lot about myself and the people around me.
14. My phone- it keeps me connected constantly- I am a slight slave to technology
15. My students for reminding me what it is like to be in their shoes
16. My graduate school opportunities
17. the fact that as many health problems and issues as I've had lately, I'm still together and able to function and work and be with my family.
18. For the fact that tomorrow I will sit at a table with my family and eat a delicious meal and enjoy conversation and time well spent.
19. For my daughter's smile and my son's laugh
20. The fact that my son can hear and has a vocabulary larger than mine some days

I am thankful for so much more that is in my heart and my head that would take forever to get out. I am thankful for each of you and for your friendship since starting this and your comments. I am thankful for the traditions of tomorrow and every holiday and family event. I am thankful tomorrow I will wake up and head to my parents and sit around with my family and tell each of them what I am thankful for...maybe I'll just print this out! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Free Rice

Pilgrim Parent introduced me to this site, Free Rice. For every word you get correct the UN will donate 10 grains of rice to help end world hunger.

Check it out!

My First Ever....

Girl from over at Fertile Mertile gave me this:

and I am super grateful and excited about it! It's my first blog "award" ever! Thanks Girl! Thanks for liking me! :)

Who shall I pass it on to?
Lunanik over at Secrets of a Black Heart deserves a little shout out as does OhMommy at Buttermom...Classic Chaos.
Thank you ladies for reading and always being so friendly and fun!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cars, Trucks, Vans...No Longer Friends

It snowed here, again. This time it is a real snow...inches, maybe even a half a foot! I LOVE it! I was SUPER excited when I woke up to the fluffy white stuff this morning...really! I was not so excited when I ventured outside before drying my hair so that I could warm up the car.

As of late, I have been driving my mom's car. A very nice sedan, which I like and I feel very safe in. It's a fairly new car, no more than 2 or 3 years old. It runs great, gives the kids plenty of room, is really good on gas, just an all around nice car. Not my car but still nice! Well, I went out to start this very nice car at 5:20 this morning and it would not start. Now, last night around 10 the husband and I went outside to do the driveway shuffle. We moved "my" car so that it could get out first and then put his car close to the garage. We do this so that I'm not shuffling cars at 5 in the morning. "My" car worked fine, started right up, ran beautifully as I pulled out of the driveway and then back in, no issues at all! This morning, not so much the case. The car just would not turn over all the way. I was convinced that it was the 5 inches of snow on top of it so I cleaned it off. Yes, now it should start. No. Such. Luck. I had to wake the husband up and he was surprisingly ok with being awoken that early and very willingly went to try and "fix" the car. (I think he secretly wanted to show how manly he is.) He couldn't get it to work either. I made a phone to my parents, since it's there car, because maybe there is a secret to getting the car to start in the snow. I don't know...I'm well aware that I sound nuts! Nope, no secrets. I then arranged for a ride to work...which I should not have had to go into because the weather was/is horrendous!

So, now "my" car is sitting in the driveway at home awaiting either a tow or a miraculous start. I hate cars. I am jinxed. I am going to look at car on Friday. I am nervous about buying another car. For monetary reasons. For accident reasons. For fear that we'll buy it and hate it. We're going to check out a Pacifica and see if we like it. If anyone has experience with share! I've never been in one but they look roomy and they have a 3rd row and they're not a "cursed" minivan. Again, well aware that I'm NUTS!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I figured this would be an apropos post to put the kids' pictures up with. It's snowing here, just started about 45 minutes really is quite pretty. I love the snow. Always have, hopefully always will. I've tried to instill that in the boy. Just as I've tried to instill my undying devotion to Christmas in him, as well. Well, the husband got up and went to work today and the boy came in and laid in bed with me- he's sick...sounds like a 78 year old man who has been smoking for 60 of those years! (The combination of the snow and our sick boy changes all of our plans for today and rules out a party with friends!) ANYWAY, the boy got out of bed and was looking out the window and said, "Mommy, it's snowing."
In my half asleep state, I sort of just yessed him. Then he said it again and added more emphasis, "Mommy, it's REALLY snowing!"
I rolled over to peek out the window and there they were, already starting to coat the mix of weeds and dead plants on the rock wall in our backyard, the tiny little white flakes that signal the beginning of real winter. "Yes, sweetie it's snowing. Isn't it nice?"
The boy looked at me with tons of wonderment and excitement in his eyes, "It's Christmastime now, isn't it mommy?" What a great association!
"Well, it's not Christmas yet, we have to have Thanksgiving still. But it's coming."
"No, mommy, it's Christmas. We have to put up the Christmas tree now, ok?"
"Weeeeellllll, you'll get no argument here but maybe we should discuss it with Daddy since he's the one who has to pull everything out of the hole under the steps."
"Ok, Mommy, let's call Daddy. It's Christmastime."
How can you resist that!?! I only wish I had videotaped it so that the husband could see the cuteness and excitement and really get the urge to take all the Christmas stuff out!

Here they are but for those of you who know me in "real life" don't'll get one or a few in your Christmas card! ;)

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's 10:56pm do you know why my diaper bag isn't packed?!?!

First, I promise I will post the kids' Christmas pictures on here. They are just too cute to pass up...maybe I'll even do it after I finish this post...we'll see....

It's Friday night I've been up since 4:45 this morning, I didn't get home tonight until 7:55pm and I was greeted by two very awake children who should not have been awake. I felt like today was the longest day ever at school, every single period seemed to take 4 times as long as it should have and then I had PT to round out my day. Oh no, I'm sorry, my shopping trip rounded out my day. I ended up making a few stops on my way home, after 25 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic up the mountain and then back down. My final stop? Shop-Rite hell. What crazy freaking people do their major shopping on the Friday night before Thanksgiving? HAH! ME....that's who. And then how lucky do I get?? I'll tell you how lucky...I get the checkout guy from the 9th layer of hell. He doesn't want to be here, he doesn't want to be ringing up my 5 bottles of formula, 6 lunchables, 22 containers of baby food and 19 pounds of ground beef. He wants to be out with his punk friends probably setting off the freaking fireworks that kept my kids awake on labor day. So how does he take out his frustration?? He packs my bags so damned heavy that me, the one armed wonder, can barely lift them...thanks jerky. And the best part?? He puts everything that has the ability to be crushed on the bottom of each bag so that something heavier can be put on top and actually crush said crushable item. Thanks again, jerky and I'm pretty sure you didn't check my baby bucks right because my credits are way too high to not have been able to redeem any!GRrrrr.....

So now I sit here, just having finished my 2nd glass of Pinot and 4 dozen peanut butter cookies and I am now contemplating preparing an apple crisp because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it all needs to get done. Wait, you say, tomorrow isn't Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is Saturday. Yes, you're right tomorrow is Saturday but in my extended family tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Allow me.....
My dad comes from what could only be termed an enormous family. There are, I believe, 10 of them. 8 of the children, my dad and aunts and uncles, are still alive. IF you've done the math correctly, 2 have passed on. (They were twins, they passed about a week after birth. My grandmother went into labor after a fall down the steps. I know little else about it. It's sad to think we could have had so many more family members.) So, yes...8 children my grandparents produced and raised- in addition to a myriad of foster children. But because there are so very many children and just about each of those children has produced at least two offspring and a spouse the holidays can be "difficult". Rather than worry about seeing each other on the actual date, next Thursday or Christmas Day, etc., we all get together the weekend before the day and celebrate then. It's fun. I have always looked forward to it. I used to bring my friends home with me, or to wherever it was going be, during college. It's just so nice to be able to see everyone and spend time with them outside of websites, email and telephones. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Truly, I had considered not going. The husband has to work as does my mom so it would be me and the kids and my dad. This year the celebration is out on Long Island, roughly 2 hours from my parents which is about an hour from us- so, yup if you did the math right, 3 hours. 3 hours in a car with two children, one of which is just getting over an ear infection and cold and the other can just be a beast from beyond when he doesn't get his way- you know the typical 2 year old. But, I really would like to see my family and other than the fact that tomorrow will be somewhat stressful and I know it will be a long day and I'll probably end up telling the car accident story about 60 times and being in pain most of the day, I want to go. I want to see everyone, I want to take pictures with everyone, I want the kids to see everyone, I just want to spend time with them and take a break from here- even if it does mean a trip over the Verrazzano and along the belt of joys!

In planning to go I also had to plan what to bring. My staple is always a cheesecake. Not the case this time. Due to the accident everyone pretty much thought I would not be making an appearance- a very valid assumption, I had planned not to make an appearance for just about that reason. Because I wasn't coming, a cheesecake was ordered- fine by me! It's a pain in the ass sometimes to bake a cheesecake and I HATE when they crack. It really pisses me off and makes me want to chuck the whole thing. (Thank God for sour cream topping!) So instead of the staple cheesecake I was going to make my tuxedo chocolate covered strawberries. Unfortunately, no white chocolate to be found! Ok, next crisp. PERFECT! I hate peeling apples. And final idea...peanut butter cookies with kisses in the middle- 4 dozen done and done! So what will I be doing tomorrow before we load up my mom's car and head to pick up my dad and then out to LI? I'll be prepping an apple crisp to put in my aunt's oven as soon as we walk through the door. I bought 12 apples...I've got to do something with them! I can't keep the doctors away at this point so I better make apple crisp!

What does all of this have to do with my title?? Well, my diaper bag- my savior on trips like this- is not packed. It is not ready to go. I think it still has newborn sized diapers in it and wipes that are roughly the same age as the boy- 2.5 years old. I'm fairly certain that the canned peaches in there, meant to calm the boy in times of need, are from WWII and the raisins have reconstituted and become grapes again. I never use my diaper bag. I throw a few things in my purse and I go. Hence the airbag warning for the purse! I need to pack the bag. I need the 42 extra outfits so that when my kids spill all over themselves or drool until they look like they've been swimming in their clothes I can swoop in and make them fabulously perfect again. I need the new formula mixture I'm using for the girl so that I can finally wean her off the expensive stuff and onto regular old formula and finally on to milk. I need the portable DVD player because if I have to listen to Laurie Berkner or NOW that's What I Call Shrek music all the way to LI someone will be sleeping with the fishes by the end of the trip- I can only hope it would be me. (I could use a good nap.) And of course I need the diapers that fit along with enough wipes to not only satisfy my needs by also the needs of all those around me tomorrow. Wipes are incredible! They take stains out of anything, they wipe the crustiest food off of any child or adult's face and clean up everything in their path with such magic that I almost want to be one. A wipe that is...they've so multifaceted. Although I do toss them in the garbage quite easily!

Anyway, my diaper bag is not packed. The clothes are not laid out. The apple crisp is not ready and the apples are definitely not peeled. The peanut butter cookies are done but the kisses are too soft so everywhere you look in my kitchen is a cookie with a chocolate kiss in it- or at least that was the case a little while ago. The husband got to the kitchen and I'm missing cookies now. I may not be ready now but I'll be ready tomorrow morning at 8am to get everyone in the car, diaper bag and all, and down to my parents and then off to LI for the day. I can only hope that we don't hit traffic because then the GPS takes us off roading and I'm not in the mood to experience the inner workings of Brooklyn with two kids and an apple crisp!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


They're done. The Christmas pictures are taken and printed and now what will happen is I'll end up taking a picture of the kids that I love even more than I love their fabulous professional pictures....happens every year!!

Allow me to relay the picture experience. I wish I had videotaped it because the photographer was wonderful and the boy was a crazy typical two year old loving having his picture taken, and the girlie peanut was a total B. I cannot convey to you the looks that my daughter gave this very hardworking photographer with words.

The girlie peanut aka the girl, is almost 8 months old- the 20th is her birthday. She has this unbelieveable personality that is just to die for! The past few days she's been miserably sick- very first cold and ear infection. Not a fun combo! We stayed home today and then headed down to grandma's for pictures and a haircut for the boy. So, her personality has been priceless. Think about how you are when you don't feel well and how you can express your feelings in words and now think about an almost 8 month old who can't. The looks that this child has been giving me and just about everyone around her have been PRICELESS! The faces she makes are unbelieveable!! Yesterday, we hit Target after taking her to the doctor and I swear to you she sat in the cart and would shoot daggers at people who came too close to her. These sideways glances were just too much for me! It was a repeat, even better performance today.

We took the kids to Kiddie Kandids in Babies R Us. I have used the Picture People in the past and to be quite frank, the pictures were good but I did most of the work. I was the one making the kids smile and laugh. I was the one running around entertaining, etc. I would walk out of there sweating my ass off and I still had to wait over an hour before the prints were done and there was little to no retooling. Kiddie Kandids is GREAT! The photographers do all of the entertaining, they make the kids smile, the do all the work! And you walk out of there within 15 minutes with perfect photos. You can do effects to them, black and white, zoom in and out, take out any real imperfections. They're great, really I can't say enough good things about my experiences with them. That being said, today was no different. Our photographer was the manager of this particular store. She was so nice and accommodating. She worked so hard and with my kids that's double!

The boy went first. Quite the little model. Smiling, posing, laughing, it was like a freaking photo shoot...the kid should be on the cover of the next Parents or Child magazine. Seriously! Then we did both kids together and it was still ok. Boy- prize winning smile, Girl- happy, smiley, cute, drooling all over her red stain dress but thats ok because she had fabulous patent leather shoes on and great shoes make all ok! Now it's time for the girl alone and little did our photographer know but she was about to earn her paycheck for the next 2 years in about 15 minutes. The girl got up there without the boy and repositioned and turned into this pint sized attitude. This poor photographer is dancing around, playing with ducks and dusters and anything everything and nothing will make my child smile. The look on her leprechaun-esque face reads, "You a-hole what the hell are you doing? I'm not going to freaking smile for you. I met you like 2 minutes ago and I barely smile for those I know, you want me to perk up for you. You try being on amoxicillin and motrin with all of your teeth poking through the flesh in your mouth and see how much you smile!" I shit you not, this is what was read on my tiny little daughter's face. This look continued for the rest of the session. Everyone got involved in trying to make the girl, grandma, Nicholas, even a few of the babies r us employees came over. It was nuts. By the end I was on the floor not knowing whether to laugh or shed a tear and our wonderful photographer was sweating bullets but still super nice and accommodating!

What are the results of all of this...FABULOUS pictures! Seriously great pictures that I love. I only wish we had the ones in between the smiley ones...the ones that could have the hysterical captions! The kicker of this whole experience? The girl gets changed back into her "civilian" clothes, aka onesie and overalls, and laughs her freaking head off and can't stop smiling!! What a little nut job!??! I love it! I love the attitude...I won't love it when she's 14 or 17 or 29 but right now I think it's hysterical. It's like she's taken that little piece of me that I didn't think would be passed on and run with it. She may not have my hair or eyes or skin but she's got my attitude and "people skills"....she's my little girl and I LOVE her!

Monday, November 12, 2007

You Know It's a Problem When

Your purse causes the airbag sensor on the passenger side of your car to go off. Well, not really my car but the car I'm driving. I've been driving my mom's car and it has airbags on the driver and passenger side of the car. When someone, or something in this case, sits in either seat and does not put on a seat belt a little reminder light comes on to say that the airbag is not on because the seat belt is not on. It's a protection essentially, for the person who might be sitting there. Those airbags, while being a safety measure that can save your life, can be dangerous if you're not properly secured! So, yes, my purse is so heavy that is set off the airbag sensor in the car this morning. I think, maybe, I should do something about that but I am too afraid to find out what is at the bottom of my bag!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

This week's theme

Here is my immediate thought

I love this gravy. Turkey is my favorite but I'll used just about all of them- beef, pork, etc!
LOVE gravy!

What the Hell was I thinking?!?!

We've already covered that the holidays are FAST approaching. What are we down to now? 41 days? Something like that...40ish days until Christmas. I'm in the midst of planning Christmas parties and trying to figure out when I'll clean the house for Christmas parties to occur and also trying to figure out how to get everything done for Thanksgiving and make a smooth transition into the Advent season.

Of course one of the quintessential events of this time of year is Christmas cards and Christmas Photos. Ok, well maybe not this early in the game, I mean season- or so I thought. The Christmas cards have been purchased-think I covered that one, too. Now it's time to take the photo. I found a cute turtleneck/sweater vest ensemble for the boy and of course the girlie peanut has two, yes two, dresses. Why two you ask? Well, it's quite simple-I fell in love with both of them. How did I justify these two purchases? The first one was generously bought by grandma. The second one, I just could not resist and it was on sale- 40% off! I told the husband that the peanut can wear one dress to my dad's side of the family Christmas and Christmas Eve at the in laws and the other dress for Christmas Day. (My dad comes from a very large family and we celebrate all of the major holidays a week or two before the actual holiday.) BUT with two dresses, the girlie peanut must have her picture taken in both- alone and with the boy.

So, today grandma and I an the kids headed out for some fun and shopping and pictures. I really do love having the kids pictures done. My kids are posers- not the loser type of poser from the early 90s- they love to show off when the camera comes out. It's really quite cute. So, we went to our local baby store and I knew it was going to be problematic when I saw how full the parking lot was but I kept it to myself- maybe everyone was there to start a registry. HAH! The line for the picture studio was halfway through the store. So there we were armed with two dresses, a snappy little sweater ensemble and two very willing children and it was NOT going to happen. I was not standing around for 2 hours until they could get us in. Apparently, everyone had the same idea as we did for today....Christmas photos...or Holiday Photos. To say the very least, I was disappointed. I really wanted to see the kids' pictures today. I wanted to see them all dressed up and smiling. I wanted to see the girlie peanut in her pretty dresses and black patent leather shows. I was excited. Plus, I was ready and armed! I had the outfits, I had all I was today or never. Now it's Wednesday or never.

My mom put it best, "I guess the holiday rush has started before the holidays this year." Yup, it has and part of me- as much as I want the holidays- is a little sad about that. I hope we don't forget about the special part of this time of year. The reason behind the season. (yeah I went for the rhyme) The husband and I both agree that we're very excited for Christmas this year. We have NO money and that's ok. We have not had a great past few months/weeks and I think Christmas and the season really offer both of us this ray of hope that things are getting better or will get better. Christmas is such a promising time, a time of new life and light, it's just so rejuvenating- except for all the greed and rude people (who were experienced today at the mall, briefly).

The holidays are here whether we like it or not. I am DETERMINED to get these Christmas pictures taken this week so that I can write my cards and have them ready to go out by the beginning of December and I'm going to keep planning these Christmas parties regardless of the money factor. Christmas is about life, sharing, friends, happiness. We don't need money for that. We're creative- we have a full freezer, our friends will eat anything and our kids smile for any camera out there. Life is good...Christmas is coming...I'm excited! What the hell was I thinking trying to put off the good feelings of the holidays?

Saturday, November 10, 2007


My husband is at work until 10pm.

My car is totaled and I gave my mom back her car for the weekend so I have no car right now.

My almost 8 month old daughter appears to be cutting all of her teeth at once and battling a bad cold. She has not stopped crying since she woke up from her nap almost 4 hours ago.

I am going NUTS.

That is all.


There are things in life that are amazing to me for a number of reasons. When you sit back and think about things there are things that are amazing because they are great and then the things that are amazing because they're bad. Sometimes it's amazing to me the way people act- both good and bad. It's amazing to me that in 40 weeks, roughly and ideally, a woman is able to grow another human being inside of her own body. It's amazing to me that within the first two years of life a child learns to do things that people who are 80 years old are sometimes forgetting. Last night, and over the past week or so, I witnessed something amazing from my own child.

My son is 33 months old today. He's two years and 9 months old. He's not potty trained- whatever. He knows his ABCs- yay! And he can count to 10 in English and Spanish- Gracias, Dora. Lately, his favorite movie has been Shrek and really the only thing we let him watch is Shrek. We've immensely cut back on his TV viewing. We bought him a basketball hoop and we're playing football with him. We're moving him away from TV but he has been in love with Shrek. He likes all the music. In the bonus features there is a section on the music from Shrek and if any of you have seen the movie you know it's pretty musical. The music selection includes Sly and the Family Stone, Sir-Mix-A-Lot and a few others that are sung by Donkey. It's cute. Well, the boy decides to display his musical talents last night while we were at grandma and pop-pop's. Keep in mind over a 4 hours period of time, this child has ingested more sugar than I think I've eaten in the past two days. He had a giant turkey shaped cookie, yogurt-which can be loaded with sugar, juice-mostly water but still, and of course dinner then carrot cake. The boy is ready to marry carrot cake, that's how much he loves it. So, he's in his pjs and we're getting ready to go when he starts to sing, "Shake your booty" and what does he do while he's singing? He shakes his booty. At this point I've just about wet my pants I'm laughing so hard. He follows booty with "I like big butts..." we are dying at this point. The whole thing ends with him enlisting all of us to sing along.

I'm sure it was funnier for those of us actually present at this impromptu concert but the whole thing was hysterical. And I was amazed. I was amazed by the boy who really didn't speak until after he was about 15 months old due to his deafness. I was amazed because this boy had memorized just about every word to this musical montage and he was well aware that he was entertaining all of us. My kids amaze me everyday whether it's in a good way or bad way is sometimes questionable but they absolutely amaze me. The boy's memorization skills are incredible. He can recite lines to movies- mainly Shrek- and he knows words to songs that I listen to frequently on the radio. He even mimics my most frequently said phrases. He's amazing. I'm continually and hopefully always amazed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

47 days

Yup, that's right it's 47 days until Christmas. Is it too early to put up decorations? I'm going to go with yes but only because I know my husband won't go under the stairs to take out the 12 boxes of decorations that we've-I've- accumulated over the years. I can't go under the stairs..that would be a great premise for a horror movie, "The 'one armed' woman from under the stairs". I, yes 47 days. As of tomorrow, two weeks until Thanksgiving. I LOVE Thanksgiving. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the holidays. I hate the greed, I hate the mall, I hate the pettiness, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the holidays. I love their true spirit. I love that Thanksgiving is what it is. It is about family. It is about sharing. It is about giving and being thankful. I love that we have an entire holiday that is supposed to be dedicated to being thankful. I have so much to be thankful for this year but that's another post.

I love that Christmas is the day that we celebrate Jesus' birth. That is uber important to me. I can remember being a child and waking up on Christmas morning, and yes of course I was thrilled by the mound o gift underneath the tree but I was also excited that the baby Jesus had made his way into the stable with his family because he was finally born. (We "hide" the baby Jesus figurine for all of advent and then on Christmas morning he appears as if he was really born the night before.) I love the intended meaning behind Christmas. I still believe in Santa Claus. Do I think there is a big fat man who comes into my house in the wee hours of December 25th and leaves presents for me and my family? Uh, no...I have the circles under my eyes from last year's Christmas to prove that. But I believe in the spirit of giving that Santa embodies. I believe in the story of Santa Claus. I believe in the importance of teaching my kids about Jesus and Santa. And yes, I believe in taking my kids to the mall and "forcing" them to sit on Santa's lap and talk to him and have their picture taken. (That's not what Christmas is supposed to be about, but it is a little bit.) Christmas is partially about tradition and that's a tradition that I hold near and dear to my heart. I still have photos of my sister and I with our cousins on the many different laps of the Macy's on 34th Street Santa. My "goal" this year is to maybe get my kids into that Santa just once...just for the experience...the feeling of it all.

So, yes, Christmas is 47 days away. But according to the mall we went to last night Christmas is already here. Actually it's been here for awhile. My dad's birthday was the week before Halloween so I went to the mall to attempt to find a gift for the man who wants nothing- Seriously, nothing, well except for the occasional shirt! I walked into Macy's and I was immediately sucked into the Christmas vortex. It was everywhere! I love Christmas- I've made that abundantly clear but COME ON! It was October for goodness sake! Christmas trees everywhere, ornaments, cards, it was like Santa and his elves threw up in the ground floor of Macy's and no one bothered to clean it up. But I was hooked. I didn't buy anything...I barely even touched...but it did lift my spirits a bit. I so enjoy this time of year...this preparation and waiting for anything and everything. The prospect that everything is new and fresh it's just wonderful. I try to keep that spirit with me this whole season. I want my kids to love Christmas for the same reasons I do. I want them to love for the reasons that all kids love Christmas, too, but I want them to understand what it is about.

That being said last night when we went to the mall and there was Santa in all his glory- yes that's right, Santa in the mall 48 days before Christmas- I wanted Nicholas to talk to him. I wanted him to meet him. I wanted him to sit on his lap and just get a feeling. I wasn't looking for a photo op- goodness, he didn't have the right outfit on! ;) I just wanted him to get used to him. He knows that Santa brings toys and comes on Christmas and we're working on teaching him that Jesus comes then, too. But I want him to talk with Santa before the craziness really begins. Did Nicholas honor this desire of mine? Of course not. He was scared shitless of Santa. Wouldn't go near him. I could barely get him to wave. Could I blame him? No. Santa is this giant man with red and white all over and a huge beard- there's a little bit of fear that I think every kid has. Am I going to have Nicholas get a picture with him? You betcha! We left the mall, after begging Nicholas to wave to Santa and him finally obliging. (He was really waving to the girls who were Santa's helpers but whatever, in my mind he waved to Santa!) Wouldn't you know as soon as we got in the car my son started crying and saying, "I want Santa!" You have got to be freaking kidding me!

So, Christmas is 47 days away and I'm moving closer to full obsession mode. Last year we put the tree up moments after Thanksgiving. This year we might wait a bit, but I'm not sure. I've already perused the aisles of stuff at Target for adorning our home both inside and out. And yes, I've purchased my Christmas cards. Writing will commence shortly. I don't do photo Christmas cards. I get cards, usually pertaining to the nativity, and I stick a wallet or two in of the kids. I like to be able to write a personal message to our friends and family. It's important to me and I think it really is part of what the season is about.

Christmas is 47 days away, have you seen Santa yet?

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