Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Is that? Could it be? A light!?!

I have posted before about our adventures in restauranting.

And that post was at the top of my mind tonight when, on a whim coming back from a Halloween party at the local YMCA with the kids, we decided to stop in at one of our favorite grown-up restaurants to see if we could squeeze in for dinner.

This is definitely not a kid-friendly restaurant. It features live jazz and pretty tables with teeny little tea lights and water served in tippy glass goblets. Plus, it is after all Saturday night, a night when people should reasonably be able to go out for a nice dinner and not worry about being hit by a flying piece of chicken thrown by the toddler sitting at the next table.

But we were feeling brave. Brazen. Strong.

Plus, back in the day when we were child-free, we went there often and the owner still remembers us. And, it was fairly early by Saturday dining standards – just barely 6 p.m.

Mark ran in first to make sure it was OK. The owner welcomed us. “Bring them right in,” he said to Mark. “We’re not busy tonight.”

I’m not sure how he figured the restaurant was “not busy” since within 10 minutes of us sitting down, every other table filled up. But OK. Whatever. We were seated and my kids needed to eat - they were stuck with us.

So there we sat, Peanut in her pink froofy Sleeping Beauty costume and Loaf wearing a bright blue fairy costume complete with fluttery wings. Loaf insisted on drinking water every 39 seconds from on of those tippy goblets and Peanut let out a couple of really loud giggles (the jazz band doesn’t go on until 7 p.m., so don’t worry), but otherwise? They were incredibly, beautifully, fantastically well behaved. If I wasn’t looking right at them, I would have possibly worried we’d snatched up one of the other Auroras or fairies running around the Halloween party (there were dozens of each), but nope a second inspection confirmed that they were definitely my kids.

We ate fast with the goal of getting out of there before they fired up the music and made it just under the wire. All the way out to the car I praised their behavior.

“Mommy, does this mean I can have a treat when we get home?” asked Peanut.

Babydoll, after that? You can have any-freakin-thing you want. Unfortunately, she fell asleep on the way home and failed to collect on her reward, but tomorrow I plan to make good on my promise while I munch the leftovers of a most satisfying meal.


Friday, October 26, 2007

A dog's life

I am an animal lover.

I have always had pets and I treat my pets well.

Most pets in this country receive better medical care, have better homes, and even if they consume the really cheap, generic dog food in the white and black bag from Wal-Mart, eat better than millions of people living in third world countries.

That said? Anyone going out and spending $60 on doggie perfume or $25 on dog shampoo from Juicy Couture has rocks in their fucking head. What the hell? Maybe, just maybe, if you have that much money burning a hole in your pocket you ought to consider putting it to better use.

Like UNICEF or maybe CARE or hell, if you want to spend your money to help animals, how about the ASPCA?

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cell phone etiquette

I'm riding in the car this weekend with Mark.
He is driving; I am gazing out the window at the glorious foliage gracing both sides of I-81.
I sneeze.
I resume gazing out the window.
My cell phone rings.
Me: "Hello?"
Mark (From his phone less than 2 feet away): "Gazunteit."


Thursday, October 18, 2007

A dream I swear, I swear a dream

Last night, Loaf woke up again.

“Bad dream, Mommy! Bad dream!”

And while I initially fought bringing her into bed fearing the horror of her teeth grinding, I eventually acquiesced out of exhaustion and into bed she came. (I know I should stand my ground on this, but when it’s 3:09 a.m. and you’re so tired you can barely stand, it’s a lot more appealing to take the easy road).

So anyway, she’s in bed and not sleeping. She’s rolling and kicking and sitting up and talking to the cat (who, judging by the speed at which her tail was twitching, was just as annoyed about Loaf being there as I was). Every so often I’d hiss at her: Loaf! Go to sleep. Go to sleep now or I will bring you back to your crib!

Finally, she did sleep, but I did not. Laying awake, my brain ran endlessly through the next day’s to-do list: the work I had to do, the playdate Peanut had, the messy state of my house. I earned for sleep, but it did not seem to come.

Then, suddenly it was morning. It was 7 a.m. and Peanut was standing at my bedside. “Get up, Mom! Breakfast!”

And Loaf was equally cheerful: Good morning, Mommy!

I, however, was not. After all, I’d been up since 3 a.m. I was exhausted to the bone. I could barely think. I pulled on my robe and walked, zombie-like, out to the kitchen where Mark, who slept on the couch last night, was cheerfully brewing a pot of coffee (I don’t touch the stuff, this was solely for his own benefit).

He tried being nice, but I was completely sour and not having it.

“You realize I’ve been up since three-fucking-a.m., right?” I said in my most evil tone. And then, I could barely believe what was pouring out of my mouth. A diarrhea of curse words so foul I couldn’t believe my own ears. The children stood there, gape mouthed and dumbstruck. Mark looked at me like I’d been possessed by some f-word using demon.

But I didn’t stop. Couldn’t stop. The swears just kept coming.

Fuck this and this fucking life and its fucking lack of sleep. Fuck you. Fuck it all. I just want to fucking sleep. I want to go back to fucking bed. Fuck you and stupid coffee.

And then I had a sudden, strong urge to pee. And realized I was still in bed and the room was pitch black. I looked at the clock: 4:54 a.m.

I was dreaming. I’d fallen asleep after all, and dreamed the whole thing.

The dream was so real, it took me a few minutes to process that it wasn’t. And after I’d visited the bathroom and slipped back into bed, I fell instantly into a deep, profanity-free sleep, which was a huge relief. I’m not sure what it means? Was it truly frustration over not being able to sleep? Or my mind’s response to the P.C. (parentally correct) language I have to use all the time now. I have no idea, but there is a plus side: so long as I don’t talk in my sleep, I’ve found one more safe place to swear.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The word of the day is . . .

When I came home from work on Friday, Mark was very eager to show me a new game he’d invented with the girls.

He extended his hand, index finger pointed toward Loaf and said, “Give Daddy a dink,” and she reached her little hand out and gently touched her extended index finger to his.

“Dink,” she said in the sweetest, softest voice. He then repeated the process with Peanut.

Now, I must admit, as touching as this little scene was, I was initially taken aback because where I grew up? Dink is a not a nice word. When I was a kid, a “dink” was one of two things:
1. A jerk, an asshole, or a really stupid person, or, even worse,
2. A slang term for penis.

But, I kept my mouth shut, figuring it was perfectly innocent and as long as he only played this little game within the walls of our house there was no harm, no foul.

Then we went out for lunch on Sunday.

The restaurant was crowded and we were forced to wait outside for over half an hour. The weather was nice, but the kids still started getting restless. I held Loaf in my arms while Peanut hovered around my feet holding onto one of my legs.

“Hey? Who wants to give Daddy a dink?” Mark asked, trying to occupy their attention for few minutes. “No one? No one wants to give me a dink? You’re dinkless right now?”

And that was it. Because every time I hear that word, I hear the echo of some kid on my elementary school playground screeching, “Billy, don’t be a dink,” or better yet, an unnamed 10th-grade class delinquent telling the math teacher to “suck my dink” the day he was thrown out of class for the third day running. So hearing my husband talk about getting a dink and being dinkless to our daughters in a moderately crowded place was just too much for me.

“Do you know what that that word means?” I hissed under my breath.

“No,” he said in complete shock. “What?”

“Penis. It’s a slang term for penis.”

“It is not!” he said in utter disbelief. “That has to be some stupid Massachusetts thing. No one else can possibly have ever heard of that before.”

God I love being right.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

The nightly grind

For many months, Loaf slept in our bed. This was a conscious decision on our part at first. I was nursing and I found it infinitely easier to cope with the needs of a newborn and the active 20-month-old that Peanut was if I could stay lying down (and maybe even doze a bit) during nightly feedings.

However, while I have nothing against those who choose to co-sleep with their children for the long haul, I’ve always known it’s not for me. I am a light sleeper who likes her personal space while sleeping. I also do not enjoy being kicked in the head by small feet during the night. So once Loaf was night-weaned, we began the difficult process of trying to get her to sleep in her crib.

It took well over a year to finally get her to the point where she slept all night, every night, in her own bed. It was frustrating for all of us. It has only been in the last few months that Loaf has started consistently sleeping through the night, and it’s been amazing. I feel like a new woman.

Last night however, Loaf had a nightmare.

“Mommy!” came a terrified shriek followed by panicked crying. “Mommy, please!”

I jumped out of bed, heart in my throat, ran to the next room, scooped her up and without giving it a second thought, took her into my bed. I lay her down next to me and rubbed her tiny back and head.

“It’s OK,” I murmured in her ear. “You’re OK. I’m here, Mama is here and it’s all OK.”

Within a few minutes, her breathing slowed, telling me she was again sleeping peacefully. I lay back and closed my eyes. After a few minutes, I too was nearly back to sleep when suddenly I was stirred awake by a horrible, sickening sound.


What? The?

And that was when I discovered Loaf’s newest nighttime trick.

She is a teeth grinder. A very, very loud teeth grinder. It sounds like she is eating a glass sandwich with a side of nails.

I lay there, half the night, listening to this awful sound and half expecting her teeth to come flying out of her mouth from the force she was exerting on them. I have never in my life heard anything quite like it. Disturbing doesn’t really even cover it. It’s one of those “nails on chalkboard” sounds that sends chills up my back.

I turned on my side and tried to stuff the entire corner of my goose down comforter in my ear canal, but it was no use. Loaf, almost as if she knew what I was doing, rolled over and laid her face against the back of my head.



Holy mother of GOD, please make it stop!

But it did not stop. Not all night. And when the alarm went off it was just a formality since I was already very much wide-awake.

I’ve already Googled it, and it’s very common and often subsides on its own by age 6 or 7, but hello?? That’s four or five years away. I’m concerned that if she keeps going at this rate, she’s not going to have any teeth left to leave for the tooth fairy someday. Plus, we’ve got lots of nightmare-filled, I-need-to-sleep-in-Mommy’s-bed nights ahead of us. I think I better invest in a pair of earplugs ASAP.

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Ghost of winter past

(but hopefully not future).

It's Photo Friday again over at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas and this week's theme is Storms.

Last night we had some humdinger thunder storms, but I was too tired to get my ass out of bed (that and the fact that I had a teeth-grinding toddler sharing it with me last night--more on that later), so these will have to do.

I took these during the President's Day blizzard in February 2003. We got more than two feet of snow that day. The drifts buried the barn doors halfway up and and the stone wall in front of our house completely disappeared. I was pregnant, so I got out of shoveling for the most part. Heh. Yes, there are a few advantages to being pregnant and I wallowed in every last one. :-)

And yes, I know it sucks to think that this type of weather is probably right around the corner, unless we have another winter like last year where we got all of12 inches of snow all season. God bless global warming! (Kidding!)

We have a stone wall in front of our house, but it disappeared that day

Drifts covered the barn doors halfway up

President's Day Blizzard 2003


Friday, October 05, 2007

Fall spruce up

Have you ever painted a room in your house and roughly 35 seconds after you fnish decide you really, really, really hate the color? Well that pretty much describes how I felt about that last template. WTF was I thinking? Thankfully, changing the look of my blog is a lot easier than repainting a room in my house. That said, it still took me months to get around to actually doing it. Oy.

Anyway, I've decided to participate in NaBloPoMo again (that's National Blog Posting Month where you vow to post everyday for the entire month of November). I did it last year, and kind of liked it, so I'm giving it another whirl. I promise fun reads about Thanksgiving at my house with 28 people, my 20th high school class reunion and, of course, the adventures of my sweet and darling children. In preparation for that, I decided it was time to spruce this place up a little.

Nothing like guests to motivate me to clean!

NaBloPoMo Big


Clouds and Sky and a little Loaf

The stars are in alignment! I actually have the time and the right photo to participate in this week's Photo Friday over at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas. And appropriately, since the stars are in alignment for me, this week's theme is Clouds & Sky.

These are from our trip to the Jersey Shore last September. Hurricane Florence was bubbling out in the Atlantic, so while the sun was out, the wind was wild and and the clouds? Awesome.


Loafie Toss


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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Principles I have abandoned since becoming a parent

As parents, there are a number core values that we would like to instill in our children. Be truthful. Work hard. Be fair. And we all know modeling is very important in child rearing. They follow our example. Which is why it’s important to exhibit the values we wish to transfer.

That, however, is much easier said than done and I have had to compromise my values and principles quite a bit in the last four years. Here are just a few examples:

Innocent until proven guilty? Not in my house.
The girls are playing together in the next room. Suddenly, I hear Loaf crying and screeching “NOOO!” Without even bothering to investigate I scream, “Peanut! Knock it off.”

In this house, you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Examples:
“She got more raisins than me! I can tell!”
“If you think for even one second that I’m going to stand here and individually count out raisins, you are sadly mistaken.”
“I’m sorry that your piece of the sandwich is .124 inches larger than hers. Stop crying and eat.”

I’m sitting on the toilet when the bathroom door bursts open.
“Hi Mommy? Whatcha doin’?”
This is so normal to me that I launch into a conversation as if I have been talking to people while sitting on the toilet all my life.

I’m getting dressed in the morning. Loaf comes right up – face inches from my naked body.
“What’s that?”
Being the good mom, I make no effort to cover up and launch into a straightforward discussion of women’s body parts.

“If you keep eating stuff off the ground, your teeth will turn black and fall out.”
‘Nuff said on that one.

I realize halfway through my aerobics class that Loaf’s poopy diaper leaked a bit onto my t-shirt when I carried her inside. Decide at this point, it really doesn’t matter and finish class.
Contort self, with butt in air, to crawl under the car in the school parking lot in front of all the other moms to retrieve a dropped sippy cup.

“Did I last shower yesterday? Or was it the day before?”

Freedom of choice
“While your swimsuit looks really great with your tutu, tights and rainboots, there is no way you can wear that outfit to school. Even if it raining outside.”

Freedom of speech
“Young lady, I don’t know where you heard that, but we do NOT use that word in this house.”

I have to set the buzzer to ensure I don’t “forget” to pick up the kids from school. Some days, one could argue, there may be a little subconscious at work there, but really I think it’s just that I’ve gotten a lot stupider since giving birth.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Scenes from my life

Scene 1: My home on an ordinary morning, just after breakfast. The children are playing in the living room while I clean up the breakfast mess. Suddenly, the peace is broken by Peanut's hysterical cries. She comes into the kitchen red-faced, hyperventilating and with tears streaming down her face.
ME: What happened?
PEANUT: L . . . Lo . . . Loaf. Loaf bit me! On the back!
ME: Attempt to soothe her, rub her back, etc.
ME: Turning my attention to Loaf, I begin walking toward the living room to put Loaf into Time Out. I walk into the dining room to see Loaf already sitting in the Time Out chair.
LOAF: Time out, Momma! Time out.
ME: Quickly turn back into kitchen to ensure Loaf does not see me giggling.

Scene 2: The car, parked in the Trader Joe's parking lot. We've just finished our shopping and are climbing back into the car. Loaf begins tossing her books, one by one, out of the car and onto the blacktop.
ME: Hey! Stop throwing your books out.
LOAF: Tosses out another book.
ME: LOAF! If you keep doing that I'm going to take all of your books out of the car. Do you really want to sit back here all the time with nothing to do?
LOAF: very enthusiastically YES!

Oh, and on a completely unrelated matter, how sad is it that compared to Britney, K-Fed looks like a really great parent? Ugh.

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