Sunday, February 28, 2010


She was an amazing cook.  Would read cookbooks like novels.  Made hundreds of dozens of cookies at Christmas for all of our family friends, teachers, school bus drivers - anyone who was lucky enough to be on the list.  One time she made a "salt encrusted"  beef dish (I think it was beef.)  After it cooked, you were supposed to rap the crust and it would "break easily away."  My Dad ended up taking a hammer and chisel to it in order to break that stuff.  She could see the humor in the whole situation. 

She also loved to read novels.  Romance novels to be precise.  She would sit, so engrossed, somehow able to tune out my whines of "Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy"  for at least a few minutes.

She was a teacher.  What was then called a "Resource Teacher."  She didn't deal with severe special needs, more learning disabled kids.  They all loved her.

She grew up on a farm in New Jersey.  She could ride and jump horses, although I never saw her do that as an adult.  She would talk about the hardness of being a kid on a farm, the pain in the ass jobs.  I've always thought it would be wonderful.

She was barely 5'1''.  Just scraped it.  I was a head taller then she was when she died.  At 11 I looked down at her.  But she had the spirit of a woman who was 6' tall.  She didn't let people intimidate her because she was small.

She had a great imagination.  When we would go out on the sailboat for the weekend, she would spin yarns for my brother and me.  I try to make up stories for my kids sometimes - and wonder at how she was able to create things so easily.  She would read aloud to us as well.  We have a picture somewhere of my brother and I on either side of her, sitting on the boat, with her reading Pippi Longstocking to us.  I love that picture.

She was creative in other ways too.  I guess I would call her "crafty" nowadays.  She sewed, did needlepoint, could figure out ways to keep us occupied on rainy days without turning to the TV.  (Another trait I don't seem to have!)

She was taken from us twenty-seven years ago this past week.  Suddenly. Her heart failed, and subsequently ripped ours' out.  Over the years, I have gone through many ups and downs remembering her, as anyone would losing their Mom at such an early age.  The shock, the terrible grief and pain, the anger.  Mostly now I get sad about the fact that I never knew her as an adult.  I never got to hang out with her and have a couple of glasses of wine and just talk. But I can remember her, and all that made her such a wonderful woman.  And I can share those things.

My Mom, at the helm.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not the gifted program

We own an Australian Cattle Dog.  Dogs that are known for their IQ's, if you will. This dog, is an Australian Cattle Dog.  Impressive. Smart.  Trained.

Our dog?  Well, let me put it to you this way.  Our back sliding door went off it's track today, and since it's miserable weather I didn't feel like going outside to try to fix it.  So I let the dog out the front door.  He pees, then goes off for a few minutes to do his thing.  I wait.  Then I call him.  Nothing. Whistle.  No dog. I know he hasn't gone off because there's no exit from the back yard, I would have seen him had he tried to take a walk about the neighborhood.  So I'm calling and calling.  Until something finally occurs to me.  I go back inside, upstairs to the sliding door, move the curtain, turn on the deck light, and see - the dog.  Looking at me as if I'm the moron.

I had to put my boots and coat on and walk all the way around the house to the back yard, where he's looking down at me from the deck all like, "Hey! are you coming to play with me?"  I finally get him to come down the stairs and then he runs ahead, tail all the front door. 

Let's just say, he's not going to be winning the grand prize on "Pet Star" anytime soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010, you say? Hmmm. Sounds vaguely familiar...

Something about posting one's thoughts and experiences?  Checking in on other blogs and leaving comments?  It's starting to come back to me....

I don't even have any real excuses, just the usual work, hanging with the kids, watching the Olympics.  Really, staying up waaaay too late every night and watching the Olympics.  No offense to the lovely Canadians, but your "prime time" is my midnight.  I can't keep this up!  Also?  (And this has nothing to do with Canada) I am seriously over the eight million BMW commercials.  That's great that you "sell joy" and all - but apparently I will never be able to afford your "joy," and I'm starting to get an inferiority complex.

Wonderboy is on vacation this week and we were trying to decide what to do since I had the beginning of the week off.  We thought about museums or aquariums and figured out that the cost to even get in was going to kill us, nevermind the parking fees, food, gift shops, etc.  And then I had the best idea! (If I do say so myself.  And I do.)  Just two towns over from us are several inexpensive hotel chains on a strip with casual restaurants.  Did I mention most of these hotels have a pools?  Well, they do.  So we went "away" overnight.  Kids got to spend tons of time in the pool, we heard about a magic show that was going on in the next town over and went to that.  Can I just say - I totally love magic shows.  I know it's all sleight of hand, I get it, but I don't care.  I'm still completely amazed. Yeah, we still spent more money then we should have.  It was worth it.  It was something totally different and very fun.

Now, however, I am back at work and facing a big weekend of events.  So even though I'm here, I'm probably still not really here yet.  I'm going to have to post this and force myself to get back to work as opposed to checking out all of you that I am long overdue in reading.  I'm thinking of you though! If that can count just a little bit?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Really.  How else would I want to spend Valentine's night?  What could be better then a parental and 6yr old and 3yr old all out dance party to this?

Nothing, that's what.  Hope yours was just as awesome!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What was that line about "the things that kids say?"

You know the way kids can be interested in their s.e.x.u.a.l. organs without any knowledge that there is anything inappropriate about it?  Because, at this age - there really isn't anything inappropriate about it - they're just kids, figuring themselves out.
So yeah, my 3.5 year old daughter is kind of obsessed with nip.ples.  (I don't want to spell out that whole word, for fear of creepy people.)

After her bath several months ago, she pointed to her own and said, "What're these?"  I like being honest with the kids about What Things Are Called, so I told her those were her nip.ples.  Now, whenever she gets out of the tub and we put her lotion on, she asks me, "Can I put some on my nip.ples?"
"Uuuuh, sure honey."  *Please let her outgrow this phase before she hits grade-school.*

Then one morning she was in the bathroom brushing her teeth when I got out of the shower.  She looked at me and said, "Wow, Mama.  You have biiiiig nip.ples."
I decided not to get into semantics and just said, "Mm-hmm."

To which she replied, "They're humongous!"

Gee honey, that is really quite a vocabulary you are developing. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's in the blood. Just not my blood.

Tonight for his bedtime story, Wonderboy requested that we "read" his new Lego catalog.  No Napping House, no Giving Tree, no Cut-Ups Carry On, not even any Magic Tree House. Nope.  We read the Lego catalog. Which, I have to admit, was pretty damn cool. 

I have been around Legos for as long as I can remember.  My brother (who goes by Octopunk around here) is a Lego fiend.  He was the kid that would get a new Lego set for Christmas and immediately open it up and take the time to put it together while I ripped through my pile of presents.  Then, an hour later, I would have no more presents and he would have fifteen.  Totally.Not.Fair.

But I would be lying if I said I was not hoping, once I found out I was having a boy, that he would develop his own love of Legos.  It's one of those cool things about my brother, his talent with those little plastic pieces, that has always amazed me.  I just don't have it.  Sure, I can build some random thing.  But this?  And this?  And good lord, THIS?  That's the kind of shit my brother does.

So, yes, we have Lego pieces scattered throughout our house. And yes, those things are a bitch to step on in the middle of the night.  But the fact that my six year old can talk on the phone with his 42 (whoops!) 41 year old uncle for twenty solid minutes about a new Bionicle he just got? Well, that's alright by me. 

This is not a paid endorsement by Lego.  I only WISH they did stuff like that!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

That's what I get

After I posted last night the Mr. comes in to the bedroom and says, "So? Where are they?"
"Where are what?" I ask.
"The Cadbury Creme Eggs?"
"Oh.  Ummm."
"You ate them ALL?"
"No, I did not eat them ALL.  They are in my purse."
"You're hoarding them?!"
"Well...I didn't think you liked them!  You can get them.... But there are two left and I want one!"

I really missed that extra Cadbury Creme Egg this afternoon about 2pm.  But I'm a giver.  When I'm forced into a corner, anyway.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

There must be another way!

Part of my big plan for this year was to work on eating healthier and doing something more active with my body then going up and down the stairs carrying a laundry basket.  At some point last year I had purchased a book - The Best Life Diet - by Oprah's guy.  I picked it up the other night and started reading.  It's interesting, he really wants you to take a more thorough examination of why you eat what you eat, yada, yada, yada and really makes the point that the idea of this is for the rest of your life. All very good things.

Phase One has you not cutting your diet by a great deal, but you do have to give up six foods, soda, eating before bed...and some other stuff.  I haven't finished that chapter.  But they sounded reasonable.  Generally eating better, but not going crazy on the restrictions.  Again, sounded like something I could achieve.

I realized the next day as I was grocery shopping with Pixie, I am really going to need to figure out something else.  Because when that four pack of Cadbury Creme Eggs called my name.  Oh, and they did call to me, I was powerless to resist them.  (Total unofficial poll here - yea or nay on the CC Eggs?  I feel people either love them or hate them.)  Not only was I not able to resist their sweetly sugared call, I surreptitiously ate one on the way home!  Managing to maneuver it out of it's cardboard packaging and it's loud crinkly foil with Pixie being none the wiser.  (I really wasn't kidding about that Do As I Say thing.)

So what is my something else?  Well clearly it's got to be getting off my arse and exercising.  If I'm not going to be able to curb the sweet tooth, and let's face it, I don't want to!  Then physical labor is where it's at.  Of course I have lots of excuses for not doing that to...gym is too expensive, TV is broken (yes, still), it's like the frozen tundra outside.  But something has got to give.  And I really don't want it to be the button on my pants.

Taking any and all suggestions on what forms of exercise might have worked for people in the past.  I know what my dear Serena at Zip-n-Tizzy will say, (she of the yoga-firmed abs) but I'm curious to hear if anyone else has had success with one thing or another.

And now, I'm seriously off to go sit in my bed and watch The Biggest Loser.  Does anyone else think that chick on the red team is a total beyotch?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Moments with the Pixie

(Ms. Picket threw down the gauntlet last week to do 5 posts in 5 days.  Just mentioning that because a)She's awesome and you should check her out if you don't know her and b) explaining why I'm posting so damn much this week!)

You know time goes by so fast with the kiddos.  You think you are going to remember everything adorable or funny they said, and then a month later you can't recall what you had for breakfast yesterday,  nevermind what cute things your kids have been babbling. And that, my friends, was quite a sentence!

So I wanted to record here some of the things the Pixie - in all her 3 and a half-ness - has been saying of late.  One of my favorites is "Lellow."  As in, "I see a lellow bus!"  She doesn't seem to have trouble with other "y" words.  But lellow has remained a staple.

Also, there is a street near us that is named "Mount Hope."  This has morphed into "Hount Mope."  Which I ask her to say about five times in a row because it cracks me up so much.

Then there are the ways in which she suddenly seems so much bigger.  Tonight we went to the grocery store.  As we were waiting at the light to turn into the parking lot I said, "I like the grocery store."  Pixie responded, "I like the grocery store too, Mom."  It just sounded like such a big kid sentence.

Also tonight as I was putting her to bed, I had to retrieve her "princess blanket" from downstairs.  I turned off the light and said I'd be right back with the blanket.  As I'm walking out of the room she says, "Hey, what's the big idea?"  And she really stretches out that "ideeeeeeee-uh."

Okay, one more.  To the Pixie, everything happened "yesterday."  Whether it was her birthday last year or the 4th of July parade or Christmas.  All of it happened yesterday.  No sense of time whatsoever.

She's a hoot.  Her three's have not been nearly the nightmare we experienced with her brother.  I really don't want her to grow up.  I know that's silly, but she's SO sweet (mostly) right now and all huggy and into Mommy.  I want to keep that.  So I'm keeping a bit here.  So when she's a raging teenage brat I can look back and remember, just like it was yesterday.