This is old…

August 5, 2013

…and everyone who visits here has likely read it elsewhere, already.  But its too good to lose and as of yet I haven’t a ‘quotes by my mom’ book…although, come to think of it – why don’t I??


Ring Ring!
Me: Hello?
My mom: Hello! Is this the Chicken Place?
Me: Why yes, it *is* the Chicken Place! What can I get you?
My mom: I’d like two roasted turkey breasts please.
Me: Why yes, it *is* the Chicken Place!
My mom: !@#$% You know what I meant! Give me two roasted chickens!!
Me: Got it! Two roasted chickens. Pick up or delivery?
My mom: Pick up is fine. When can I get it?
Me: About two years.

Reflecting or Being Thankful

December 31, 2012

I always see the somanydays of Thankfulness posts and I want to join in…and I never do…The first few days I think ‘nah’, then I think ‘I’ll just make a bog post’, then I think ‘I’ll never catch up’, then I think ‘I’m behind and now I feel corny’….and so on.

But on my path to helping myself I think counting my blessings is right up near the top of the GoodForMe list.  And what appeals to me most about the Thankfulness days posts is that they are usually tiny little overlooked things that really make life special.  Even on my lowest days I’m thankful for my childrens’ health and my hard working husband (not to be sneezed at, mind you, and on my list)  – but those little things are harder to call to mind and so sweet to think on.  With a head like mine it could be the difference between a stellar day and going back to bed.  What’s more the cold weather/Winter/Holidays/New Year is usually a time of reflection for me – I think it’s part of the whole Sadness and thinking back, shaking it off and then looking forward was my way of coping with something that I didn’t have a name for yet. 


  •  Here it is – my children’s health.  Moms – I marvel at your strength.  And I’m thankful that with all the challenges this world will offer – daily health is not an issue for us, as yet.
  • My husband’s hard work.  This man works a full time job with overtime, works for a client on Sundays and busts his ass doing household chores (like chopping wood or fixing his car) on his ‘day off’.  I bitch because sometimes he’s a little grumpy- but really – I’m amazed that he can drag himself out of bed at all.
  • Good friends.  Holy cow am I blessed with some wonderful friends!  People I’ve met from ‘back in the day’, people I’ve met during my short time in my new state…and all just as wonderful.  To the people who have stuck by me through all those years:  WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU GUYS??   I don’t know WHY you stuck around but BOY am I glad you did!  And the new friends I’ve made?  I love you guys – you’re all so good to me!
  • Kindness of strangers – without whom our monthly bills would be IMPOSSIBLE to meet.
  • Chickens.  BOK!  BOK!  Seriously!  I’m thankful I live in a place where we can have chickens.  And that my husband built me this BEAUTIFUL (and SAFE!) coop for them to live.  My chickens make me very, very happy!  : )


  • My kitty cat!  This actually has much less to do with the cat.   I’m thankful for my husband who finally gave in to having a cat even though, to him – cats are evil (he’s allergic) and to my cousins who had a kitten and knew I couldn’t get her myself – so they not only dragged their asses all the way up here to give me the kitten – but brought a sweet baby and a dear friend to visit, too!  Her purring and little kitty cries lowers my blood pressure but it also reminds me of how much my family (and chosen family) loves me!  Thanks, you guys!  (also – they brought cupcakes!)


  • I’m thankful that my kids are so close in age. It’s a silly thing to be thankful for – I know – but I love it.  Even though it’s so hard now while they are littles – I just love that they are learning things ‘at the same time’ now and having ‘conversations’ that are on similar levels.  I once got the greatest advice ever – paraphrasing it amounted to ‘don’t complain about your children – celebrate every stage’.  And in that spirit – this is such a great age.  Hard.  But a great age!
  • My husband.  I know I was already thankful for him so what gives?  This time I’m thankful that we are partners when it comes to raising our kids.  We don’t always agree with each other about so many little or not so little things – but with our kids we’re a united front.  Even for the few times that we disagree about a child raising issue – we’re united.  And I love that about us.  Now can you please tell me why the kids still try to ask the second parent after the first one says no??
  • Facebook.  I know, I know – cliché.  And also my biggest time suck.  But in between there’s the point where I’ve reconnected with my oldest friends and – even though some of us haven’t spoken in 30 years or more – I feel like I’ve found a little piece of ‘back home’.
  • Good, old friends who I see all too seldom but never make me feel bad about it and always pick up right where we left off.  Love you guys!
  • Friends that just ‘pop in’!  I love that!  Coming by just to drop something off – pick something up – or my favorite:  just to say hello!  It really makes me feel good – thank you, Friend!
  • My husband’s health.  There were a few scares this year and I’m so so relieved to come out of them with little worry.  We’re far from ‘fit’ and we have some issues that need to be dealt with by changing diets and routines but we’re not sick!  Whew!


  • Friends that are good role models.  I’m thankful for friends with sweet children that remind me to be patient, have children that my own can look up to, model for me how to be kind and loving…Thank you!
  • Related to the last:  friends with sweet children.   I’m so glad that my friends have these sweet, dear children that my kids can be friends with.  They run the gamut from rough and tumble to gentle and shy but they are all wonderful role models for my children and they are all fun to be around! 
  •  Gadgets.  Can’t help it.  I love ‘em.  And they make me very happy!
  • My 3 yo went out with his snow boots on…and came back in his bare feet….so for that I’m thankful that it was *his* boots that were lost and not the 5 yo’s whose boots we would hope to get another life out of by passing them down.  :/
  • I’m thankful that I’m learning enough about myself that when I’m not on my game I can usually figure out how to fix that.
  • I’m thankful that we have health insurance coverage to keep us healthy, to pay for the testing when something’s not right and to pay for the hospital visits we’ve had recently.
  • Facebook.  Again.  Or email.  But without Facebook the emails for some people would never have been found.  Thanks to Facebook I can chat with my best friend *and* my one of my oldest friends – two people who it turns out – knew each other independent of me and at different times – about our many, common interests.  I love my hobbies but I get so much more out of them when I can share it with them.  Especially since they have been doing them so much longer and are very talented.   I love getting advice from them!
  • I’m thankful that my husband doesn’t work far away.  Especially now that we are down to one car.  On the days that I need the car it’s a drag to get everyone up and out of the house to drive him to work – but thankfully he’s only a few minutes away.
  • My kids’ sense of humor.  They really are a funny pair.  Just now the 5 year old is starting to understand joking and laughing at himself and others playfully.  I hope he keeps it up.  And the little one is still at the age where everything he says is adorable and hysterical.  *snif*  My baby!


  • Foxes that are bad at hunting!  Whew!  I shoulda ran out and played lotto the day that the fox came sniffing around my chickens, where I eventually found 5 scattered, terrified chickens and a pile of feathers…and then later a 6th beat up but alive chicken came waddling out of the woods!  Lucky us!
  • Happy adults.  People think it’s not only their right but their JOB to bitch.  I’m glad I’m learning not to be one of them.  They’re unpleasant to be around.

I couldn’t possibly ever *finish* this list.  That’s silly!  But I will post it with the reminder to myself to be thankful for things every day.  Even the crummy ones have happy moments.


Years of Preparation

March 5, 2012

I’ve owned cats my whole life. My bff and I always joked that cat ownership would/has prepared us for child-rearing.

See if I’m not wrong.


Cats like boxes.

Cats wait till you change the litter box before they use it.

Cats don’t like baths.

Cats will do almost anything for a treat…that they were going to do anyway.

Cats will automatically be drawn to the one person in the room who doesn’t like cats.

Cats are afraid of vacuums.

Cats will seek the highest place in the room to perch.

Cats will spend hours chasing a laser light.

Cats will gnaw through the side of a bag of cat food if you leave it out to taunt them.

How Do You Scold A Playdoh Fish During the Holidays

December 17, 2011

“Now you stay right there or there won’t be any swimming for Christmas!”

Dude. That’s harsh.

I Think I’ve Got It

December 4, 2011

Do you know why parents label their kids?

To be sure  – its because humans like lists.  Its because it makes it easier for parents to brag.  Its definitely because we like to categorize things, including our children.

But I think in some small part its also because we want to appear as though we know our children.

I joke that one child is the artist and the other child is the musician.   And its true, in part.

But recently someone asked me what my kids were ‘into’ and for a moment I just gave her a blank stare.  What are my kids ‘into’?  Nothing!  They’re not ‘into’ anything!  Nothing stands out any more than anything else.

And a moment after that I thought my head was going to explode.  They’re ‘into’ EVERYTHING!  Name something they don’t like!  If its completely new to them they’ll be ‘into’ that, too!  What they were ‘into’ yesterday – what they were ‘into’ last week – what they were ‘into’ last month, declared their boredom with, and are now ‘into’ again…

A few weeks ago a relative noticed how much one of them really likes to draw…and now we have a ridiculous amount of things to draw with…ridiculous…really…but I think I just changed the subject…

It occurred to me, when that woman asked what my kids were ‘into’ – and I couldn’t answer right away – that maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention to my kids.  That maybe I was a bad mom for not knowing my kid was the artist, or that he liked Blue’s Clues, or that he dug the movie Cars, or that he loved to play with bugs, or that he liked to play in water, or that he likes to build with blocks, or that he loves to dress up, or that he….

…my kids like a lot of stuff.  And that’s real neat.

But its still easy to label them – it sure sounds good, don’t it?

Dear Adults-

December 4, 2011

This has to be in list form – my children are revolting.  Well – you know what I mean…

1. While I don’t believe that my children should be shielded from every germ – I don’t think I want to expose them to typhoid every time we go out.  Is that what whooping cough sounds like?  At least cough into your shoulder.  Sheesh.

2.  See the sign that says this section is only for children under 3 years old?  See the other sign that says that?  Now see the five paper signs that were put up because people weren’t reading the other signs?  How about the sign that says ‘take off your shoes’?  Or ‘socks only’?  Or the children who are really short and shoeless?  Now look at your 9 year old, extraordinarily big boned, shoed children and figure out why everyone is giving you the stink eye The only thing that’s saving you is your children are not overly annoying – just normal children – which is bad enough, I’d say.

3.  Is this your older kid that pushed my little Little out of the way of the exhibit…again?  No, no – don’t let me interrupt your conversation.  We’ll handle it….again.

4.  You’re standing in our way.  Unless we’re invisible today.  Do you have children of your own?  Mine only get noisier.

5.  Seriously.  Move.

To be continued, I’m sure…

Education and Unwanted Fat

March 28, 2011

Just recently I tried to explain school budgets to someone.

“It’s like gaining weight,” I told them. “When you gain it – its all in your ass and your thighs. But when you lose it – its in your face and your boobs”.

“Schools,” I went on “are similar in that when they get money they spend it on an extra administrator or a redundant curriculum. But when they lose the money – they fire teachers”.

Potty Recollection

November 30, 2010

***I just found this in my drafts folder.  Its hard for me to imagine a time when my chiacchierone-just-turned-three year old didn’t speak***

>Two year old grabs diaper and mutters something that may or may not have an equivalent in English Adult Speak<

Me:  Do you want to sit on the potty?

G4: >runs out of room and into bathroom<  Pah-yee!

Me:  Okay!  Let’s sit on the potty!  Take off your pj’s!

G4: >makes like he’s going to unzip pj’s….gets distracted by bathroom mirror<

Me:  Do you want to sit on the potty?  Let me help you take off your pj’s.

G4: >wiggles away and starts telling me about the bath tub<

Me:  Do you still want to sit on the potty?  You have to let me take off your clothes.

G4:  >throws himself into my lap giggling<

Me:  C’mon George, let’s sit on the potty!

G4:  >with head in lap< “awwwwww”  (the I’m Being Cute sound)




A Fresh Start (Part I ?)

January 7, 2010

Today was a really good day. Its a good day to reflect on the past year. A good time to think about whats ahead. A New Year. A fresh start.

For years my Year always began with some drunken version of ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. On a large scale I’ve always been able to keep things in perspective. On a small scale, my world comes to an end every time my shoe lace breaks. Go figure.

When The Boy was born we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. We had few people to turn to for advice and even fewer to turn to for a bona-fide break. I remember there were plenty of times I wanted to make deals with the gypsies. Yet we marveled at everything he did. I tried my best to enjoy every moment – knowing how fleeting those days were.

Now The Boy is a Raging Toddler and Boy 2 has come into our lives. We still don’t know what the hell we are doing. I notice a marked difference in the way that I interact with The Boy and Boy 2. At 3 ½ months everything Boy 2 (henceforth known as The Baby) does is adorable and brilliant. Everything The Boy does? Loud, offensive, annoying and impossible. Why? Why do I short-change The Boy so easily? Why don’t I enjoy him the way that I enjoy the antics of The Baby? “Because The Baby doesn’t know any better” I might say. But does my toddler know any better? The baby is experimenting, he doesn’t cry to be annoying – he cries to communicate. Why do I forget so easily that my toddler is doing the same? I have patience with the baby that I don’t have with my toddler. One reason, I know, is that I view the toddler’s behavior as deliberate. And bear with me, here – he means to do something naughty – but not with a naughty intent. He might be experimenting or need my guidance or trying to get my attention or truly trying to get my goat. But he’s not being malicious. And that’s what I struggle to keep in mind. My baby is someone to cuddle, enjoy and love. My toddler has been an adversary.

One wish for the New Year – for the Rest of Our Lives: more patience with my children. Enjoying them more. Teaching them every moment and loving them instead of just trying to survive until naptime/bedtime. Its my responsibility to guide them. Its my privilege to love them and adore them. And, it was said to me, if I’m not doing any of those things its not their fault. Its mine.

I’m just getting the hang of it and I realize that as my children grow I will always be “just” getting the hang of it. And I’m okay with that for now.

I have plenty of other stuff I want to work on but I think that’s it for tonight….off to crochet/read a book/vegetate in the 10 minutes before the baby wakes up!


September 29, 2009

It’s Tuesday and my surgery is scheduled for Friday morning. I’m so uncomfortable – sciatica, carpal tunnel, general hip pain, heartburn, frequent trips to the bathroom…but I’m so thrilled that I was able to make it this far. I recognize that I am blessed to even be able to complain. In hindsight – my “suffering” was nothing compared to others. I had to lie in bed and be bored. I was hospitalized and was hungry for a few days. I got little to no sleep for the week plus I was there. I’m not trivializing it. I didn’t forget. But I have perspective. Even so I think if the same thing happened – even with 20/20 hindsight I would still react the same way. It’s hard to be so helpless for so long. And the worry that we experienced was real – if not comparatively trivial to some. But who thinks in those terms when faced with the prospect of an unfavorable outcome? And really, the triviality is a direct product of that 20/20 hindsight- when faced with statistics and percentages that carry a threatening outcome – who cannot at least prepare themselves for the worst? We were worried about our baby and just a teeny tiny bit worried about my life, too.

For a short, VERY SHORT, time afterwards I thought my son would be an only child. That it wouldn’t be safe for us to have any more children and that has given me the empathy to look on to all of my friends who cannot – for one reason or another – have children of their own.

When we *did* decide to try and when we *did* find out that we were expecting Baby Number Two I was certain that we would be traveling a similar road. So certain that I packed bags and wrote lists in case I would have to be whisked away to the hospital again in the wee hours of the night. So certain that it makes these last few days even more (bitter)sweet.

Its for all the above reasons that I embrace sciatica and carpal tunnel and swollen feet. I embrace the waddling and welcome the attention it gets from family members and strangers alike. It means that I am heavy with a healthy, growing child who made it to term. Every night that I go to sleep and toss uncomfortably is another day that my child is given a chance to grow where he needs to and not in some isolette. (The babe that *did* grow in the isolette, by the way, grew in leaps and bounds and is now a 23 month old genius, in my humble O-pinion).

I cannot say that I will miss the hip pain but I will miss the sweet things about pregnancy – some I didn’t get to experience the first time – some I got a small taste of – that will fall away from me and behind before I would like. The baby moving is at the top of the list. Even when it takes my breath away – literally! – when I can watch him move from one side to the other, rolling or turning or doing whatever it is that they do. The hiccups and the tiny little jumps my tummy makes that I can see and feel. Something that I can share with others but also a little secret between me and baby that we can experience at any time.

I’ll miss the attention and the smiles. There’s something about a pregnant lady that makes other people happy – and I’m not too embarrassed to admit that there’s something about being smiled at that makes *me* happy.

Having things lifted for me.

Baby brain.

I’ll miss life with just We Three. Even as I look forward to life with the Four of Us I briefly grieve the life we had – G4 being the center of our attention, only juggling one schedule, proudly learning Everything Baby from him…just as I lamented the end of Me and G3 and as lovely as the transition was.

The shape of my body and the weight that I’ve put on. Yep – believe it or not. It means I’m growing a person and I’m overjoyed to experience it.

Baby brain. (that’s a joke, folks)

My maternity clothes. I didn’t get to wear the few blouses I bought the first time and for a long time they hung on my door as a reminder of what might not be possible. This time I had a small cache of cute little blouses and some jeans that showed off my growing tummy. I’ll miss them. Because of what they symbolize but, also, because I really liked them, too! Oh! And don’t forget my cute maternity bathing suit that I only got to wear one season. So sad!

In a few days we’ll meet Baby Number Two, whose name we’ve pretty much decided on but could still be up for debate. He’ll be closer to 7 pounds (compared to his 3 pound older brother), he’ll come home with us right away (God willing), and perhaps he’ll nurse instead of being bottle fed pumped milk for his first year. We hope he’ll be smart and a good baby (he better be or we won’t love him as much…KIDDING! I KID!) but most of all we want him to be a happy baby/person and we hope just a little of that will come from something we’ve taught to him. We hope that he and G4 learn to grow up together loving each other, playing together and enjoying each other’s company the way siblings should. We look forward to all of these things – but I look behind and nod to all of the things I will miss, because, as I’ve said, I’ll never get these days back.