Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Letters from T

Love Letter:

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A Little Girl Scorned:

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Monday, September 17, 2007

All Dressed Up...

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Outfit details as follows:

HIM - Gymboree safari-print handsome shirt. Greenish-brown pants at least one - probably two - sizes to small. Work boots because his feet pop out of his other handsome shoes. One of dad's ties because boys wear ties to church. And a watch so he knows when it is time for donuts (community coffee & donuts afterwards). And plenty of "boy spray" - CK One, I think.

HER - Light blue jeans. Under a flowy pink-and-white dress. With yellow crocs. Hat from when she was an infant, currently used on her dolls. Pink watch, because her big brother was wearing one. And a string of faux pearls.

They got ready for church together, so very excited to get dressed up. My heart was warm. We went to Mass exactly as shown, and he got several compliments on the tie.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Then and Now

He bought her an iPod, and plans to spend the time between now and Christmas loading her favorite songs onto it.
An iPod.
She's not yet seven. Why did we buy her an iPod? Is she growing up too fast? Are we making a critical parenting mistake? Or maybe...am I overthinking this?

Then - I listened to cassette tapes in my SONY Walkman - the kind with giant headphones. Tiffany, Madonna and Debbie Gibson.
Now - She will listen to digital music from an iPod. Hannah Montana, some country crossover music and the High School Musical soundtracks.

Then - I carefully tightrolled by jeans and tucked them into two pairs of brightly-colored slouch socks. I pulled my oversize tee through a cinch clip, pouffed my bangs, and headed to school.
Now - She meticulously layers several tee shirts over eachother and adjusts them "just so", slips her feet into Crocs, pulls a tendril out of her ponytail to hang in her face, and heads to school.

Then - I was amused daily by shows such as Webster, Growing Pains and the Cosby Show. Watching TV was not the "hot topic" is has become today.
Now - She watches Zack & Cody, Hannah Montana and Cory in the House. I don't think her brain is warping from it.

Maybe it's not so different after all...
I think I'm going to buy myself an iPod, too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You Just Haven't Lived....

...until you've spent a Saturday morning at a football game where the refs are approximately twice the size of the players!
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Mine is a cheerleader:
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The other team had twice as many, and they even did stunts!!!
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This was our second game out of ten, and I am amazed at how organized and professional it is. There's an announcer who calls the plays and real uniforms and five-year-olds who actually know how to play the game. I guess that's what you get when you live amid the Florida-Florida State football wars. Gotta start 'em young - I think I saw a college scout in the stands!
(It's all in good fun, the Tiny Mites don't even keep score and the cheerleaders from both sides ate snack together.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"I don't know how to handle that!!"

It was a typical two-year-old temper tantrum - rare for our little girl, but totally normal for her age. Complete with kicking, screaming and crocodile tears.
She wanted to watch High School Musical (2, securely preserved on DVR with a "save until 2020 when kids go to college or otherwise manually erased" option).
No dice....it was time to take Big Sister to cheerleading practice.
The brouhaha ensued.
After a few moments, Hubby got her under control. His hand on her shoulders, his face inches from hers.
"I love you very much, but we need to leave for cheerleading."
Her response?
"I don't know how to handle that, I want to watch High School Musical!"

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What have we gotten ourselves into??

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Dance

Twelve - no, thirteen? - weeks of being the only body required to get out of the house each morning has come to an end. School started for two of the kids this past Monday, and we haven't quite readjusted to the earlier wake-up call and amazing juggling act required to get FIVE bodies instead of ONE out the door each morning.
I swear, the coffee cannot brew fast enough!
Over the summer, I was somewhat jealous of my son who was often still asleep when I left, or Hubby and the kids taking a morning dip in the pool, or the extended morning snuggles in the Big Bed without me.
Now, I long for those days again. I long for the peaceful routine of brewing myself a cup of coffee and actually having time to enjoy it, taking a semi-leisurely shower, and styling my hair before work.
Feed the fish.
Feed the cat.
Feed the kids.
Pack one lunch.
Pack two snacks.
Remove two pull-ups.
Change one diaper.
Brush one set of teeth and check two others.
Brush two heads of hair and style the third.
Tie four shoes, if I can find matching pairs.
Find one binder.
Soothe several hurt feelings and fears about school.
Try to discuss important daily tasks with Hubby amid the chaos, usually fragments at a time.
And somewhere in that mix: caffeinate myself, grab a shower, and attempt to make my hair look like I didn't stick my finger in a socket before I leave for work.
[It doesn't look nearly as bad written here as it feels each morning. I swear!]

Somehow I don't think this is what Garth meant....

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

There is no such thing as sweet tea in Minnesota....

....but there IS some good ole Southern/Midwestern hospitality!!!!

The Bad Parts of Today
- The 3:45 AM wake-up call. (Yes, that first number is a three.)
- The US Marshal in Customs with booming drill-sargent voice at 8-something AM, informing me, "This is a federal inspection area. Turn! That! Cell! Phone! OFF!" (Whoops.)
- The bumpy, bumpy, bumpy flights. All three of them. Oh, my belly!
- The L-O-N-G travel day.

The Good Parts of Today
- I was rescued from the Longest Layover Ever by my PIM G and her 3 kids. We had a blast!!
- I am finally home. The thick smack of humid air that hit my body as the airport doors opened tonight was actually welcome.

Now for the details....
Although the "business" part of my business trip was completely worthless (and will be developed into another post once I sort through my thoughts), the time in Minnesota was fun! First we took a quick tour of Mall of America. The only place open was Starbucks....thank goodness! Still, I can now say I've been there. Then we drove back to G's house, went out to lunch at a really yummy wing place (which does not serve sweet tea, but that's OK), and I LEARNED TO SEW! I am very proud of this. We made two purses for my girls and a "boy bag" for my little guy. G took some pictures and promised to post them on her blog tomorrow. If you check them out, please remember the 3:45 wake-up call when you see my hair.....

Monday, August 6, 2007

I need a fakashin

(That's vacation, spelled phonetically by a six-year-old.)
I am currently on the Trip From Hell. Today's series of three flights began at o'dark thirty (6:10 AM) and took me through more airports than I care to see in a day.
The customs lady summed it up pretty well with her incredulous question, "You're here in Canada for less than two days?"
Yes ma'am.
I am finally checked into my hotel, waiting for room service.
And on the way back I leave at o'dark thirty again (this time 6:00 on the nose), yet don't return home until after 10 PM that night. Seven - count them, seven! - lovely hours at the Minneapolis airport. Then two more flights. (On the bright side....I'll be leaving the Airport Without Free Wireless for a few hours to visit with a friend.)
And when I logged into Delta this morning, I saw there are nine more itineraries for me over the coming few months. NINE.
Double ugh.
The last thing I want to be thinking about is planning another trip....but the kids really, really, really, really want to take an "airplane fakashin." So much so that it warranted a note officially requesting such, penned by the eldest but including all three signatures.
Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing snow this winter. I miss the seasons terribly! And I do have oodles of miles saved up.
The schools are giving a full week off for Thanksgiving this year. There's also two solid weeks around Christmas and New Years. Christmas will always be an "at-home" holiday for us....but as of the 26th... New Year's isn't really even a holiday in my book.
Hmmmmm......Jackson Hole, maybe? Rocky Mountains? Dakota?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Laser, Wax or Razor?

I've yet to understand the purpose behind body hair.

Millions - maybe billions! - of dollars are spent each year to remove it. Those who choose not to spend the money on removal, should.

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(No, that is not photoshopped!! I've seen similar expressions of fandom with my own eyes. This is merely one example of NASCAR back-fur that is out there for the world to see.)

I've always been a shaver, and still shave certain parts of my body each morning. Schick, Gillette, Venus, Bic....I've tested them all. I have yet to find a razor that doesn't irritate my skin, and the hair begins visibly returning within hours.

So...enter waxing. I've tried that, too. The self-inflicted hilarity of home waxing kits deserves another post unto itself; definitely a task best left to professionals! Which I have also tried, thanks to the coaxing of friends. For me, its provided a better result than shaving, but all the stories of "months to grow back" and "it grows back finer each time" have proven false. Perhaps my hairy heritage comes into play? I fear I may be the only person on earth with a two-week life span for Brazilians.

I've started to give serious consideration to laser hair removal. It's expensive, but permanent.
Oh, to never see stubble again.....

And you??

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tellin' It Like It Is

Kids really do say the darndest things!

Yesterday morning, as I was leaving for work, the kids were getting ready for a morning dip in the pool. Goodbye kisses and hugs came amid the transition from PJs to bathing suits, and I laughingly asked "Why am I kissing all these naked people???"
My two-year-old's matter-of-fact response was, "Because I took my jammies off and you love me."

Last night, one of my older daughter's friends slept over. She was having trouble falling asleep and missing her favorite stuffed animal. She told us about this special bear and explained that "Santa brought me the blue bear. I told him I wanted a brown one, but Santa said this is as brown as it's gonna get!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Six Beating Hearts

The kids wanted to "fall asleep as a family" last night, in our bed. Together.
In light of recent events, I'm certainly not one to discourage family closeness.
So, together we lay....the baby on my left, then me, then the older girl, then the boy, then Daddy. The cat was curled at my feet.
As I listened to the precious sound of their collective rythmic breathing, I stared at a palm tree dancing in the breeze outside our window. Layers of vibrant orange framed the rooftop across the street, beyond the tree.
My mind wandered, but my eyes never wavered.
One of them was snoring lightly.
The cat started to purr.
I watched the queen palm dance until the orange sunset faded to purple, then gray, and finally black. A streetlight illuminated the dancing fronds as the frogs began their nighttime song.
By now, my husband had left the bed.
I stayed.
There was nowhere else I wanted to be.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Our two-year-old was proudly rattling off the full names of everyone in our family.
First name (head cocked to left).
Middle name (head cocked to right).
Last name (back to the left).
Guess what?
My husband's first name is Daddy.
His middle name is Honey.
I guess we need to change the name on our tax return...

Three cents

My allergy pills cost less than three cents each.
Two packs of 150 pills, at Sam's Club, for under nine bucks total.
Wouldn't you think that I could remember to TAKE THEM each morning? Or, at the very least, remember to bring the companion bottle into my office for those days I forget?
Three cents is the difference between a foggy, painful, unpleasant day and a good day.
Between a happy Mommy and a crabby Mommy.
Three freakin' cents.

Friday, July 13, 2007

TAG I'm It

Thanks Mama Maven!!
(Only problem is, I don't have 7 more...I'm the end of the train!!)


- I am extremely frustrated with my body right now. I need to lose at least 10 pounds - preferably 20 - and exercise more. I just feel unhealthy.

- I purchased a ton of scrapbooking stuff from Creative Memories a few YEARS ago and haven't touched it since. I really wish I had time to devote to this hobby...

- I was born in NY and the three things I miss most about that place are bagels, pizza and Chinese food.

- I am seriously thinking about going back to school to get my MBA.

- After much waffling, I feel more and more like our family is complete with the 3 kids we have.

- My favorite place in the world is on the beach. I feel very close to God there.

- I struggle constantly with striking a balance between work, personal, family and husband time.

2) Tag 7 other bloggers
Like I said, I am the end of the train!! But I reserve the option to come back to 2-4 when I find new friends :)

3) Post Rules & the bloggers I tagged here.

4) Leave tagged bloggers comments on their web sites so that they know they have been tagged.

National News Hits Close To Home

The husband of the president of the company I used to work for passed away earlier this week, in a horrific plane crash that also claimed the lives of another in the plane and three on the ground - two of them young children. Another child and two adults are severely burned.
Apparently the small plane he was flying experienced a fire in the cockpit, and they crashed into a subdivision while trying to make an emergency landing.

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Can you imagine sitting in your kitchen, having a cup of coffee and the next thing you know there is a plane crashing through your roof? "Holy shit" doesn't even begin to describe it!

I passed the crash scene on my way to my office, about 5 minutes before it happened. In fact, one of my co-workers was late that day, saw the smoke en route and casually mentioned there was another brush fire off the interstate. I remember thinking to myself, "You need to pay more attention when you're driving if you miss a huge brush fire!!"

And when I got home that night, my son met me at the door and took my hand. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Mommy, but your friend from work was in an airplane that crashed and he got killed and there was a big fire." And he looked at me with his big, wide, innocent eyes.

There are so may layers of emotion around this!

I knew him (albeit not well). And now he's gone. We had just seen both of them at the races in Daytona last weekend, said hello and made small talk. I've been to parties and gatherings at their home. And now - poof! - he's gone. It just doesn't make sense.

And the other families....in the houses...somehow that seems even more tragic to me. Perhaps it's because I identify with them ? I can't stop thinking about it happening to ME. To MY family. If it was my husband and kids, what would I DO???? In all my thoughts and fears, I'd never yet imagined an airplane hitting my roof....

The funeral is in a couple of hours. I have no idea what to say.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Mommy Unplugged

The best part of the last month was our mid-June trip to Gatlinburg, TN.

There are still places in this country - Gatlinburg is one - where land lines and dial-up internet access are the norm. We stayed in a cabin a few thousand feet up a mountain that neither AT&T (my phone) nor NEXTEL (hubby's phone) had violated with a cell tower. The land line was there in case of 9-1-1 emergency, but we were otherwise cut off from the rest of the world.

No internet for NINE DAYS.

We explored the forests, streams and waterfalls.

We hiked.

We made S'Mores in the fireplace and licked the sticky marshmallows off our fingers.

We relaxed.

We enjoyed being a family.

Our 4-year-old summed it up nicely: "That was some good nature, Mom!"

Some of the nature:
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We tested out the local tourist-trap market as well - Dollywood was amazing, the Dixie Stampede dinner show was not. Ober Gatlinburg was loads of fun, the $40 chair lift ride to the top of the mountain wasn't worth it (except for the view).

And on our last day, we saw a bear!

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Kinda hard to see, but that's two crazy people really close to the baby bear. We never did see the momma...

And we added to our trendy car decal collection. Our first destination decal - GSM for Great Smoky Mountains - is proudly displayed on the side window of the Suburban.

I wonder what's next?

Life is good.

(Maybe I should buy that sticker, too??)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Thirteen Hours

We have been on-the-go for more than thirteen hours today.
If I only had half their energy.....

8:30 AM - Crabbing with Grandpa
After a delicious breakfast of buttery mom-made french toast (one of their favorites!), my dad picked us up and we headed to his "secret spot" near the Inlet. It was low tide, and the fiddler crabs are plentiful this time of year. We spent some time chasing the crabs through the mud, often sinking in the smelly sludge. With a few dozen new pets in our bucket, we turned to head up the path to the shore.
I was quite surprised to see a woman taking photos of us. In fact, I was bordering on angry and about to express myself - until the lady called out a friendly hello to my father. It turns out they are neighbors. Even better, she got some really great shots of us!

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We finished off the morning by washing off the mud in the ocean....clothes and all.
She got a few shots of that, too...

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11:00 - Shower and NAP
Yes, all three kids. The stars don't usually align this nicely. I was blessed with more than an hour to remove several layers of filth from our home.

12:30 - Back to the Beach
My friend from work and her two sons (4 years and 7 months) came over. We loaded all five kids into the Suburban and headed back to the beach for an afternoon of fun in the sand, surf and jumping fountains.

4:15 - Return Home
Friend from work and sons leave. She has a date night tonight with her husband. I am slightly jealous.

4:30 - The neighbors call.
They must have seen us pull into the driveway. I had the kids in the tub to wash off the sand... next thing I know, there's a huge gaggle of little girls in my swimming pool. And one little four-year-old boy with a powerful cannonball, showing off for them.
I guess the bath was for naught.
Neighbor boy, requesting the presence of the cannonball-er for a swordfight in his backyard.
Swoosh.....with that, a huge gaggle of kids (with me in tow) tear off to the neighbor's pool.
Then the trampoline.
Then back in their pool, with a golden retriever added into the mix.
Somewhere in the ruckus I call for a couple of pizzas.

7:15 - Dinner arrives.
For the first time in hours, they are sitting still. All three. And they're hungry....I can't imagine why!

8:00 - Grocery shopping.
Yes, I know. I'm crazy. I almost blew it off until hubby returns tomorrow. Who needs milk and bread, anyway?
But the Swiffer broke - a true crisis in this house. And, I wanted ice cream. And the kids were behaving nicely...
Back into the Suburban and off to Publix. They have these cute little carts with trucks on the front...the baby rode in there, steering the whole time. Oldest was in the back of the cart and the boy crossed things off the list as we went.
Not sure how it took 45 minutes, but it did. I really didn't think I needed that much....the Swiffer...wasp spray....some fruit....etc....and there went another $75!

9:30 - Bedtime.
Baby crashes within two minutes of lying down. The older two wanted to do a sleepover. He's in her trundle bed. She's sleeping and he is moments away (I hope!)

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Now for my ice cream....

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cast Is Off!!!

Hubby had his cast removed today.
Nine weeks - almost four weeks longer than we thought.
The removable splint is such a welcome sight!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Doctor, doctor!

Hubby had the pins removed from his wrist the other day. My dad took him to the hospital while I spent the afternoon with the kids.
First, I was the "patient."
A four-year-old doctor attached a toy blood pressure cuff to my arm and said, squeezing it so the needle rotated in a constant circle, "Mommy, it's 7:30 o'clock in your body."
A six-year-old doctor took my temperature with a toy thermometer and announced, "Your mouth is on fire!".
At which point the two-year-old doctor came running and gave me a shot in my belly. Which actually hurt more than a real shot in my belly would have.
Then it was my turn as the doctor, and all three kids ended up in "casts" just like daddy. Three less Ace Bandages in the medical emergency kit; three happy kids who are "just like daddy" with their arms wrapped up.
Despite the fears of hubby's general anesthesia and the guilt of not being able to join him at the hospital, it was a GREAT afternoon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Guilty pleasures

1. Fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes and a touch of balsamic vinegar
2. Pop Secret cheddar popcorn. (White cheddar is an acceptable substitute)
3. Breyers' mint chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate sprinkles; also Magic Shell if it's been a really stressful day.
4. Warm brie with a touch of butter, using fresh sourdough bread slices as the spoon.
5. Moist homemade banana bread, topped with cinnamon sugar and oats. This is one of the few things I can succesfully make from scratch!

And two more guilty pleasures of days gone by:
1. Breyers' raspberry mocha chunk ice cream (the actual name of this flavor escapes me at the moment, but I haven't seen it in over a year!!)
2. Publix "Santa's White Christmas" ice cream - mocha and chocolate chunks; seasonal flavor that is sorely missed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What If???

Where was I ten years ago? Graduating from Stetson University with a business degree.
I was born and raised on Long Island, and never thought of moving anywhere else. All through high school, I was positive I was heading for a career in medicine. One of my most cherished memories is my time as a volunteer on the maternity floor at a local hospital. I became a volunteer as soon as I turned 14, the minimum age requirement in New York. I worked at this same hospital until I graduated high school - two or three days each week, four hours each day. The nurses quickly became like a second family to me. Once we got to know each other, they bent a lot of the rules and allowed me to do – and observe - much more than the typical volunteer was allowed to. The nursery nurses would grab me and say things like, “We’re doing a spinal tap, would you like to watch?” Eventually, they arranged for me to work one day a week in the labor & delivery area (back then, the units were separate). No volunteer had ever worked there before. I was in heaven, and fully convinced I wanted to work in the medical field – specifically OB/GYN or NICU.
I have a slim gold bracelet the nurses gave me the last Christmas before I graduated, and a goodbye card signed “With much love, All the girls on OB.” I still remember their names….Kay, Kathleen, Sharon…...
After high school, I headed to Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. I had a full scholarship to their nursing school, with a pre-med focus (nursing was a fall-back career option in case I decided not to go to medical school). I was convinced I’d be back at the same hospital in a few years, this time as a physician-in-training.
How, then, did I end up in business school in Florida??
My first love - J.
I met him the summer before my first semester at Adelphi. He was between his freshman and sophomore years at a college in Daytona Beach, and returned to work at the same restaurant I had begun working at during my senior year. There was an instant, powerful connection between us. We dated exclusively all summer, and I was absolutely convinced we would be together for the rest of our lives.
Then the summer ended, and J changed.
He went back to school and broke off the exclusive, romantic part of our relationship. I was devastated.
I am fairly certain it was the pregnancy scare at the end of the summer that caused him to re-evaluate things. (Knowing now what I didn’t know then, I’m pretty sure I was pregnant and suffered an early miscarriage.)
That semester, I visited him a few times - desperate to hold on - and saw him often when he returned home on breaks. I was convinced that, if I followed him south, we’d get back together.
I found a map of Florida and compared it to the Barron’s college book, marking the towns with schools nearest to him.
I painstakingly researched the options, much to my parents’ chagrin.
J returned home for the summer, and our romance rekindled a bit.
I took this as a promising sign and proceeded to defy my parents, forego my full scholarship at Adelphi, and make arrangements to transfer to Florida my sophomore year.
Then the summer ended, and J changed – again.
I still moved to Florida, even though we weren’t romantically involved any longer. We were still good friends, and I needed him. Plus, I remained convinced we were meant to be together and determined to make that happen.
The ending to the story?
J remains one of my closest friends to this day. He’s come out of the closet and now lives with his longtime boyfriend in Atlanta.
I changed my major to “undecided,” since Stetson doesn’t have a nursing school. In exploring other options, I found I had a passion for marketing - a field I had not previously known existed. And I met my husband at Stetson.
The rest is history.
Some days, though, I wonder where my life would be had I made different choices?
What if I didn’t give up the full scholarship? What if I stayed at Adelphi, and fulfilled my longtime dream of becoming a doctor?
What if I met someone else, in NY, and my feelings for J weakened?
What if the “pregnancy scare” with J had grown into a full-term baby, and I had a 13-year-old child today?
It truly amazes me how, looking back, the chain of life-altering decisions were made not by me alone, but through a higher power’s guidance. We do not create our path and lead ourselves down it; we merely follow the path laid out for us by God.
In case you are wondering, two songs usually set off my pensive “what if” mood – “What Might Have Been” and “Unanswered Prayers.”
I heard both on the radio this morning.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Last month in review...

Wow! Has it really been almost a month? Time sure flies!
Much has happened in Mayberry....some good, some bad, some ugly and some just plain funny:

Too Much Information
My father-in-law and his wife are in town, the latest link in the ongoing chain of family helpers while hubby is in a full-arm cast following his surgery. Last night, he was grilling dinner on our deck while hubby and I were discussing the latest statement from our medical flex plan. Despite the recent surgery, this has been a reasonably healthy year for us...which means we have an excess of funds in the account which we will lose at the end of the year.
He suggested I might want to consider Lasik.
After a moment of pondering, my response was, "I wonder if laser hair removal done at the gynecologist would count?"
At that precise instant, my FIL walked in with a plate of steaks. The look on his face was priceless.

Fast Food
We have got to start eating healthier. As evidenced by my two-year-old recently, at the drive-through window of our bank. As soon as the window went down, she hollered "No pickles, no onions, girl toy!" at the teller.

Vacation Countdown
We are taking a weeklong summer vacation as a family, to the Smoky Mountains. I have never been there, and we're all really looking forward to it. We still haven't finalized a place to stay, but have narrowed it down to a few choices. We are definitely doing a little cabin (not a hotel) and we want to be in a quiet place in the mountains, outside Gatlinburg. The trip is less than a month away!

School Countdown
T-minus one week until I am the only person in our house who must rush around to get ready in the mornings. What a relief that will be!!

BMW Fenders cost $1,100 each
I learned this the hard way, by parking my invisible black 325i behind my husband's aunt's minivan in our driveway. It happened one afternoon while I was at work (I carpool), but nobody told me that evening. I noticed the damage to the front bumper the next morning when I left for work, and I immediately called my husband. Who said, "Oh yeah, I meant to tell you...."
Later that day, my four-year-old explained the details of how it all went down:
"I'm sorry I have to tell you this Mommy, but Aunt Judy hit your car. She drove backwards and made a loud noise and bonked your car and then she said, 'Shoot!' and Daddy moved your car to a different spot and we went to Publix."
We both felt awkward asking his Aunt to pay for the repairs, since she stayed with us for 3 weeks to help out. The guy at the BMW dealership referred us to a reputable body shop, who said they could fix it - instead of replace it - for half the price. Better...I guess?
We still haven't gotten it fixed. Although I really like this car, and it's my first NICE car (it replaced a 4-year-old Chevy Venture), I just can't justify spending $500 to fix a cosmetic issue.

We're Portable!
My brother-in-law's cousin got married last weekend. It was a brief ceremony and casual party afterwards. We brought the kids, and had a great time.
We brought the kids...and had a great time.
It used to be that we would never even think about bringing the 3 little ones to a wedding. The stress just wouldn't be worth it. Heck, we wouldn't even think about taking all 3 to Publix at the same time! But now....we can do fun things together as a family, and actually ENJOY them.
Like the wedding.
The kids had an absolute blast dancing, and we got some really great photos. I wish we had brought the video camera, since still shots didn't capture the hilarious essence of the moment very well.
The whole ride home, I thought about what a perfect place our little family is in right now....

Friday, April 20, 2007


Almost forgot my new-product rave!
In my packing haste for this trip, I forgot several important items.
One such item was my comfy "track shoes". All I had with me was a pair of uncomfortable high-heeled boots; clearly not ideal for the miles logged at a race weekend.
A few hours into the event, I was smiling through the pain when I saw the Crocs booth. Aha! I'd heard good things about Crocs, and surely they must be more comfortable that the boots-from-hell.
$29.99 plus tax later, my feet were happily housed in a pair of navy blue Crocs.
Worth every penny and then some!
I think I am going back tomorrow to buy 4 more pairs for the rest of the family.
Two thumbs up for Crocs!


Yes I spelled that correctly.
Remember the FedEx commercial from a while ago, that came out right after they bought Kinko's? A guy walked into the store and said he wanted to ship something to P'hoenix?
Ever since then, I can't think of the city as Phoenix....
And here I am. Arrived Thursday evening, just in time for a dinner reception. Facilitated a big conference on Friday AM (which went very well!), jet-lagged as hell, and then went to the race until 1 AM body-time. And here I am now. Like the Energizer bunny, LOL.
My skin itches. My lips are cracked. My hair is full of static electricity. My body does not like dry air. I am quite accustomed to the humid climate I live in, and as soon as I travel somewhere dry, it rebels.
One more day at the racetrack and then a red-eye back tomorrow evening, with a lovely 3-hour layover starting at 5 AM on Sunday.
Not fun.
I miss my kids. Traveling sucks.
I guess we can consider this a whine post....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

His, Hers and Mine

My old college roomate visited from Michigan a few days ago. She was on vacation at Disney with her two girls (3 and 5) and her boyfriend - she's divorced - and his two boys (6 and 8). His two and her two got along famously with my three, and the group became fast friends. LOUD friends.
It was a very relaxing day - casual playtime at my house while the adults chatted, a walk to the park, hot dogs for a simple dinner and a trip to McDonald's in the rain for ice cream (because the cute local frozen custard place has no indoor seating).
It's really nice to see her. I realize that I don't spend enough time with friends. Most of them live far away; I should really branch out and develop more local relationships, beyond our neighbors...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Did you know that dammit is a noun?

I was drawing shapes with my 4-year-old son yesterday. He's got the circle, square and rectangle down pat, but struggles mightily with the triangle. After multiple frustrating attempts, he drew yet another non-triangular shape.
"Mommy, that's not a triangle! That's a dammit!"
Once I cleaned up the coffee that had spewed from my nose, I corrected his use of that word.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Bunny Disaster

It's been a truly exhausting week. Hubby is laid up in bed post-surgery, and I am struggling to keep up with the house and the kids and him, and occasionally find time to shower and brush my teeth.
The sleep deprivation finally took over. I passed out with the last-to-fall kid last night, around 8:30.
And as they all started to stir around 6 AM, I realized the Easter Bunny hadn't yet arrived.
Hubby is always the bunny!! How could I fall asleep and TOTALLY FORGET????!!!!
Quick fix was a movie in bed with Dad for all three kiddos, while I "got the medicine" for my eldest's snuffy nose.
The baskets weren't in the closet where I left them last year!! (Thanks honey - great job cleaning!) A whirlwind search of the house, and I found two in the attic.
Three kids.
Not perfect, but do-able.
Three dozen plastic eggs rapidly stuffed with Sweet Tarts and quarters, placed into one basket.
Three chocolate bunnies and some other candy lined up in the other basket.
Baskets hidden in bathtub.
Dimetapp for eldest.
Then they asked about the Easter Bunny. "Can we go hunt for our baskets?"
After a short search, the baskets were found. Both of them. "Let's keep looking for the third one!"
"Guys, it looks like this is it. There are three of everything right here in this one..."
"But last year the Easter Bunny left us three. The year before, too."
Three sad faces.
My mommy-brain whirled. What to do?
Solution - a quick distraction to the candy. There's nothing like raw sugar at 6 AM to make them happy.
But then....
"None of these eggs have beans in them. They just have the spicy candy. Why aren't there any beans?"
A pile of rejected "spicy" (translation - tangy) Sweet Tarts lay in front of them.
Strike two against me - I didn't buy jelly beans. Crap, crap, crap!
Like I said, Hubby is always the bunny!!!
My mommy-brain whirled again.
Solution - a note from the Easter Bunny with a ten-dollar bill. The note said he ran out of baskets and jelly beans, but left us money to buy them at the store.
I feel absolutely terrible.
I suck!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two-Week Update

When I started this blog, I promised it wouldn't take control of my life the way my other internet obsession - eBay - did.
So, with lots of other stuff going on over the last few weeks, I've been absent.
Now it's time to unload.

VACATION - we went on a family road trip last week. We left Tuesday afternoon and returned Sunday evening. Stopped in Savannah, then on to Charlotte, then Asheville, and back to Savannah. My husband's cousin is an officer in the military leaving for Iraq soon, so we visited him in Savannah. Asheville was just for fun, and Charlotte was to check out a new job opportunity. Kids were surprisingly great in the car, thanks to the built-in DVD player. I can recite High School Musical word-for-word by memory.

SURGERY - Hubby is having a partial fusion of his right wrist on Monday. I will be home from work for 2 weeks trying to be a nurse, and taking care of the kiddos. I'm equally scared about the surgery and kid responsibility. Hope both will turn out OK....

TENANTS - We bought two houses last year, planning to do the "pre-construction flip" that had gotten so popular in this area. (The market was so strong that by the time the house was finished, it could be resold almost instantly for a sizable profit.) However, the market leveled off about 30 seconds after we signed the contracts and the builder finished 6 months ahead of projection. After nearly 6 months on the market with no buyers, we resorted to renting both houses. Even though we still lost money each month, it stopped the hemmorhage.
Until one tenant went crazy, stopped paying rent, and is now being evicted.
And the other tenant gave notice while we were on vacation.

BOWFLEX - I've used it twice, and the ab-roller more than that. Gotta start somewhere... I've also been trying to eat better, and someone at work today actually commented that I looked like I was losing weight. WOW! (I don't see it, but who cares???)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


$350 = cost of almost-brand-new Bowflex at neighbor's yard sale last weekend.
5 = number of days said Bowflex has been in my extra bedroom, assembled and untouched.
25 = number of pounds I want to lose. Preferably in the belly, hips, and butt.
0 = minutes per day of available "me time" in order to put the $350 towards the 25....

Sunday, March 11, 2007


She can count to twenty.
She can say all her ABC's.
She can sing every song on the Fifty Bestest Kids' Songs CD.
She can pee and poop on the potty.
She can make me smile like no other.
She's my baby....and she's two today.
I love her with all my heart.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Last Night's Dinner...

...was crisp fresh green beans, roasted potatoes, pork loin with mushroom gravy, and whine. Lots of whine.
Having dinner together as a family is very important to me. Problem is, our kids' behavior is largely driven by biological factors. If we let them get too hungry or too tired, the downward spiral starts.
Their bodies want to eat dinner at 5:00-5:15 pm. I, however, don't get out of work until 5:15-5:30, and then have a 45-minute ride home. If they wait for my arrival to eat, the meal is quite unpleasant because we find ourselves an hour into the inevitable meltdown.
Like last night.
We've tried the late-afternoon snack; then they don't eat dinner.
Any other suggestions???

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Bookends to the day...

7 AM: I was caught by our 4-year-old boy during a very awkward moment in the bathroom. I tried to brush it off and make him leave, but he was having none of it.
"Why are you bleeding, mom?" His eyes narrowed. "You need to tell me. I'm your son."
"There's blood in a special place inside mommy's belly, where babies grow. That blood turns into a house if God puts a baby in my belly. If He doesn't, the blood comes out."
He got excited for a moment.
"Are we having another baby?"
"No. That's why the blood is coming out."
He thinks carefully for a long moment. Then, "Oh. That makes sense. Bye, mom."
The door closes. Almost all the way. Then his little head pops back in.
"Do you need me to get you a band-aid?"

7pm: Apparently we've done a really good job teaching our six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son about sharing. Too good.
You aren't supposed to share in Monopoly!
Dad was putting the baby to bed and I was playing Princess Monopoly with the big kids. "Just a quick game, and then it's bedtime."
She landed on his castle. She paid him. He paid her.
He landed on her castle. He paid her. She paid him.
I was almost out of money. He gave me some of his.
Quite the rock and hard place....can't tell them not to share, can't break the promise of "just one game" if that game isn't over...