Monday, February 28, 2011

Professional BedHead

This cracked me up today. He said he could feel it moving when he walked.

Shabby Cheap

I've been on the lookout for cheap, pretty blue and white dishes to hang in my dining room. Found these babies at Marshall's yesterday.

I've also wanted one of these forever. It was on clearance for $5 because there was Christmas ribbon wound through it. Suckers.

And lastly, I paid way above my Marshall's pricepoint at $12.99, but I've been wanting something like this for so long. It's kind of hard to see, but it's one of those fake antiquey test tube holders. How pretty will that be with daffodils in it on my windowsill?

Saturday, February 26, 2011


this is what i figured out today about frosting a cake... i need to pre-frost it before i "pipe" the frosting on. i would have made a pretty cool cake today, had i put a thin layer of frosting under my decorative layer. but i could see the cake layer showing through and i didn't have enough icing. i'm really enjoying this. going to keep practicing and try my hand at making some cakes and frostings from scratch. something i've never done. i'm also going to sign up for a wilton cake decorating class. so fun. here's my finished product. i ended up just frosting over my first try. mmmmm. pink cake.

here's my inspiration: (from another blog)

here's mine. basic, not exactly what i planned, but i'm preparing for a comeback.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My kids don't love playing outside. They require direction, encouragement and often a locked door to stay outside. At our last house we had a playscape. Nothing fancy, but enough to get them out there for an hour at a stretch. We don't have one here. My husband is the King of Mandatory Fun. He rallies the kids for mandatory fun at the playground, on bikes, at the gym, the pool or the treeswing in the front yard. They fight it but often end up having a good time. If it's over 40 degrees you can bet that those kids are going outside and staying outside against their will for hours at a time. They ring the bell, or stand at the glass paneled door and endlessly knock with sad little urchin faces.

His new thing is telling the kids that they should invite all the kids in the neighborhood to come play kickball in my backyard. Kids in 6th grade, kids from around the block, etc. He will not accept that kids are not being raised like that around here. They require drinks and snacks and oftentimes, conversation.. I DO NOT WANT TO ENTERTAIN EVERYONE ELSE'S KIDS.  I want a fence. With a gate that locks. I want my kids to play in the backyard. In the sprinkler. I will make them picnics and popcorn and watermelon and lemonade. And help them build forts out of patio chairs and sheets. Seriously. I don't want to have 11 kids using my bathroom and asking for snacks and drinks and if they can play Wii. Because guess what? That's what's going to happen. This is not our childhood. It's a different ball of wax. I don't need to be responsible for the entire neighborhood. Because that's how it works now. And you know what else, that I don't think is unreasonable? That the adult on duty is at least halfway aware of who and what is on their property at any given time. Seriously. This isn't going to pan out.

Don't get me wrong. I want my kids to be active and want to play outside. I love it when they are content and busy and using their imaginations and healthy little bodies for good old fashioned fun. But seriously.. Come on.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I am not a morning person. I never have been. My children have always been early birds and I fought it, tried to drag them back into bed with me, wrangling and wrestling them in, securely wrapped in my arms. I was able to sometimes force sleep on Erin that way for a while, but by the time Christopher and Meghan came along, it was too much of a juggling act to try and keep everyone in bed until 7 am. My husband didn't help things by getting up with them at 5:00 if they seemed up for the day. A total enabler. But I couldn't really argue since I was getting those extra few minutes in bed. But on the mornings that he was travelling, or golfing or worked overnight shifts with the Coast Guard I was a slave to their early morning habits. I hated it. I can honestly say that those early mornings even more than the sleepless nights is the number one reason that we have three rather than four children.

And I am a complete failure at breakfast. Well, that's not completely true. If breakfast happened at a reasonable hour I would be fantastic. I love breakfast. But banging around the kitchen before daylight has made us huge Eggo waffle consumers.They are wholesome, portable, and delicious. And best of all they can be eaten on the couch. Or a cup of dry Honey Nut Cheerios. I feel guilty sometimes thinking about how my kids will look back and roll their eyes about my morning persona. It makes me feel lazy. I run circles around these kids the other 14 hours a day, but that first hour belongs to Dad.

Erin had her first sleepover last night. I had a tv sitcom vision (or a pre-emtpive sepia moment) picturing this morning. Should I make pancakes? Be that mom? Fortunately her friend slept in until 8 o'clock.. I was off the hook. Waffles it is.

Friday, February 18, 2011


When Christopher was 15 months old he was holding on to the edge of the cast iron tub doing that jumping up and down thing and chipped his tooth. I was freaking out, so afraid he was going to be that kid with the grey tooth. I was beside myself. I called the pediatric dentist and she was able to get us in immediately. I made Tom come home from work to come with us because I was afraid that I would be a total spaz. We got there and the waiting room was a zoo, but it was ok, because they  had climbing toys to sit on and play with and Erin, who was just 3 was keeping herself busy with the toys and climbing on and off the waiting room chairs. When what to my wondering eyes should appear from across the room, a full on naked tush. Ummmm... she had no underwear on. I was horrified that she A. was getting germs all over her privates and B. getting her private germs all over the dentist's office and worst of all C. someone had seen and I was the world's worst mom. As it turns out it was all of the above and none of the above.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Penance

Here's a perfect example of why 7 year olds are too young to make their First Penance. (for those of you non-Catholics, Penance or Reconciliation is when you go to confess your sins to the priest, upon which you are absolved of said sins and your heart is pure)

Nana: (on the phone to Christopher, age 7) Christopher, are you excited for your First Penance? (weird question, acknowledged)
Christopher: Well, not really excited... I don't want to tell my lies, and then the priest will tell everyone during the mass time.

End Scene

Sunday, February 13, 2011


i am a worrier. i worry about everything. i was listening to a country song the other day and the lyrics were about doing a little more living and alot more love or something along those lines. it talked about doing something fun. i cannot remember the last time i did something fun. i.e.,  a hobby or an activity. oh yeah, i have alot of laughs. i laugh all the time. but i can't think of the last thing i did recently that qualified as  fun. last winter i took the kids ice skating. that was super fun. i had to hurdle over my anxiety and all the reasons i had piled up that were getting in the way of doing it, but i did it. i actually was concerned that if one of my kids fell and didn't get up quickly enough, that someone would skate by and slice of their fingers. i kid you not. or that they would be cold. or hungry. or their ankles would hurt. or mine. or they'd be bored. or want to leave. or give me a hard time when it was time to leave. my list is endless.

i don't like situations that i cannot control, or rather, control other people's children. we have a prepaid punchcard to one of those indoor bouncey house places. my kids are dying to go. i worry that someone else's kids are going to do something to get in the way of either my kids' fun, or that maybe one of my kids will get hurt or that one of my kids will get into it with one of those wild ruffians. i recognize that this is irrational, but it's really difficult for me to pummel through it. it's the same reason i don't like to go sledding with my kids. it's not that i really fear that they will get hurt. i'm fine with my husband taking them. i know they'll be fine. if we had a 45 degree hill all to ourselves i'd be all over taking them. the same goes for playgrounds, public pools, and parties where there is not organized activity. it sucks and it's paralyizing.

so today i did something fun. my amazing husband dug out our firepit from under almost 4 feet of snow, and built "snow couches" for the kids to sit on. they were roasting marshmallows and getting too close to the fire from my vantage point in the kitchen. i went out to join them. not because i didn't trust them to not get hurt. i went out because it looked fun, and they reeeeeally wanted me to go out there with them. it was great. i ate about 9 marshmallows, sitting out in the snow around the fire with my family. it was fun.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Two of my three kids are home "sick" from school today. I am a terrible judge of actual sickness if there is no fever or vomitting, and am such a hypochondriac that I tend to give my kids the benefit of the doubt when they say they aren't feeling well in the morning. I am also starting to realize something, that even though my kids get up early, they are not necessarily morning people. I am not a morning person at all. I can say with all honesty that i "don't feel well" every single morning. That is, until I've had my coffee and have had a good half hour to shake my sleep off.

Here's the crappy part. After I give them the go ahead to stay home, I make them regret it, and second guess themselves and threaten to drop them off at school. It's this stupid cycle that I cannot seem to break. It doesn't happen with my son, who only stays home if he's genuinely sick. He does his own thing, quietly and without drama, even with 104 degree fever or vomitting. The girls are my hypochondric clones. Oh my God, I can hear them up there now, during "quiet time".  Blasting Miley Cyrus and giggling and arguing and shouting. We've already done so much schoolwork, that I felt like they needed a break. And I'm frustrated at them and myself.

That said, I am grateful to have these healthy girls home on a sick day. Even though I'm ticked off and feel like I got tricked, I'm so lucky. Today, a friend who's 3 year old is fighting a terrible battle with cancer is having basically a last chance surgery to hopefully save his life. I'm so lucky that the hardest decision I had to make today is whether or not to send them to school. Maybe I should back off a little and just let them be.

Listen More Talk Less

For years now, I've been giving myself the pep talk of listen more, talk less. I don't know why I need to do it, but I am constantly telling people my life story. Shut up woman! I always regret it as I'm walking away from conversations realizing I've said too much and don't know anything about the other person's personal life. And now I'm doing it to my kids. It was one thing when they were babies and everyone was sharing the ins and outs of breastfeeding, solid food and the general digestion systems of their babies. But now I'm bemoaning the educational system and my own kids' struggles all the while trying to get myself to shut the f*ck up already. I recognize that it stems from insecurity and wanting to hear that I'm not the only one, or my kid's not the only one. But it has to stop.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I lived in Texas for a little bit over a year. If you are looking for cultural polar opposites, right here in the good old USA, take a girl from Staten Island and transplant her in Corpus Christi, Texas. I moved down there when I was 24 after rocking a year long long-distance relationship with my now husband, Tom. We met at a wedding, went on one date and then he moved to Texas. We visited each other over the next few months, always romantic dinners and nights on the town in NYC, or super fun extended weekends on the RiverWalk in San Antonio. We drove to Mexico in an open Jeep on one of my visits. We stayed at Bed and Breakfasts in Spring Lake New Jersey. We did all the fun grown up date things that my short stint as an adult had not afforded up to that point. I still lived with my parents and commuted 2 hours a day (each way) to a job that I didn't love and wasn't very good at in Downtown Manhattan. I hung out with high school and college friends at dive bars in the Village at happy hour several nights a week. Tom had mentioned that I should move down there, more than once. I was all, no way, what in the hell will I, a sophisticated city girl from New York do in South Texas? He pointed out that I was working in a job that I didn't like, living in my childhood bedroom, spending my meager paychecks on cheap business suits and plane tickets to see him. I was sold.

One night after running into my ex at the Jersey Shore (I know, I know) for the 11th year in a row of nonsense, I had a moment of clarity. What am I doing? Why not? I decided that night, albeit in a beery haze that I was leaving and was ready to make the jump. Plans ensued immediately.

I made plans to go, put in my notice at work and was ready to go as of  October 1. Literally 2 days before I was supposed to go I got a call that Tom was being deployed for 2 months to Puerto Rico. Huh????? OK.. So now I had to beg my way back into my job for a few more weeks and my life was put on hold. I wasn't able to talk to him but for the occasional phone call from a pay phone over the next few weeks, but I was full speed ahead about going. So on New Year's Day I boarded a plane to Corpus Christi to start my new life. In the land of boob jobs, big hair and rodeos. All of which were definitely not a part of my previous life experience.

Finding a job was a lesson in frustration. I couldn't just find a job. I worked at a temp office as a receptionist and then was placed in a series of jobs that were not for me. Least of which was at an automotive parts company where I was sexually harrassed by my new boss on my first day when he took me out to lunch. I still remember eating a cobb salad, all shy and nervous, wearing a short sleeve cardigan and long skirt from (eeeeeek!) Casual Corner and brown loafer heels with little silver buckles. While we were eating he asked me what my "boyfriend" did. I told him he was in the Coast Guard. He asked me if he carried a gun. I told him that I thought he did. Then he asked me if I'd ever been pistol whipped. Wait.. Whuuuuuuttttt???????? Back at the office I told him that it wasn't a good fit (and the $9 an hour they were paying me wasn't that much motivation to stay) and went back to the temp office to tell them what had happened. Keep in mind, I knew these women fairly well  since I had worked their front desk for 2 months. They were very sympathetic and had me set up with an interview and a job offer in just a few days. The job was a great fit, the money was terrible, but the girls in the office were fun but a little standoffish. Every day almost the entire small office of women would leave together at lunch time and come back an hour and a half to two hours later and have lunch together. Day after day, week after week. They never  once asked me. Three months go by of me keeping a stiff upper lip and eating at my desk over a book or magazine and going home and crying to Tom that noone liked me. My boss was great, everyone was pretty nice, they joked with me about being a yankee and that they were rednecks. But still no offers to join them. It sucked. I hated Texas. I hated the country music. I hated mariachi and 32 ounce Dr. Peppers.  I hated their devotion to Selena. I hated that they had a jar of jalapenos at the McDonalds condiment counter.I wanted to be there with Tom but I was so homesick and felt like my friends at home had completely forgotten me. I spent my nights watching Dawson's Creek and Felicity making chicken potpies. I was lonely and probably beginning my longterm relationship with depression and anxiety.

Finally, after three months of loneliness at the office I was promoted from Temp to Permanent Employee. I was invited to lunch. Weird, right? They told me that the ladies at the temp office told them that I had issues with men, and was hypersensitive and that something must have happened to me, so they should bide their time and see if I worked out or basically freaked out. Can you imagine? Needless to say, things got better after that but I spent the remainder of my time crossing days off my calendar waiting to move to our next venue, Washington, DC, where we would live after our upcoming wedding. I couldn't get out of there fast enough, but am so glad I did it. I think sometimes of where I might be had I not made that jump. Married (and probably divorced) to someone from high school, or still hopelessly single, prowling the upper east side, who knows? I feel like living there has given me a perspective that others lack that never left their hometowns, or took a chance, or followed their hearts or dreams.  So here I am.


My edging tool for painting up by the crown molding is missing and it's putting me over the edge. That and the fact that my kids are home from school yet again. So here is a picture of a Dash and Albert rug that I am drooling over. I've got to focus on the positive.