Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Kindergarten Funny

Let's lighten the mood a little, shall we?

December is obviously a great time to read Christmas stories in Kindergarten. This is what happened when the teacher introduced this book the other day.

Mrs. B: What does the cover tell us about this story?

Jack: It's a Christmas story.
Lily: It's about an elf.
Lauren: It has reindeer in it.

Mrs. B: This elf looks small, but how do we know that he is older?

Jack: He has a hat.
Lily: He has a beard.
Lauren: He has big bells.

And with that last comment 3 teachers practically fell to the floor laughing.

Obviously, we need some time off.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Back To School

Going back to school Monday was weird. Very eloquent, right? It's not the norm to have the chief of police and 2 other officers at the front door welcoming the teachers and students. It's not the norm to see them around the school all day (although, I enjoyed talking to them). It's not the norm to have a school play dress rehearsal and check out every person who comes in to see if they might be carrying a gun (or was that just me checking everyone out?). It's not normal to walk into a classroom and look around for the best place to hide the kids, if something horrid ever happened. This was how my day went on Monday.

Yet, the blogosphere suggested writing about teacher's this week. To celebrate their very being. I cannot say enough about how teachers' care for their students. It does not surprise me in the least about the heroic things the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School did. It's what we do. We love our students like they are part of our family. Trust me, there are days when you don't have the patience for some students' behaviors, but, bottom line, you do whatever you can do for them.
My elementary school was a warm, loving, caring place where I made friends, learned and loved my teachers. It was a K-6 school with a principal who had a large jar of jelly beans on his desk. My teachers (who all rocked by the way) were as follows:
1st grade: Mrs. Popolizio
2nd grade: Mrs Lund with Mrs Rose as her maternity leave substitute
3rd grade: Mrs. Kostro
4th grade: Mrs. Johnson
5th grade: Mr. Osmond
6th grade: Mr. Byam

I have no doubt that they would have protected us during any horrific event. However, back then, we didn't have lock down drills, we didn't have police officers roaming the halls and all the doors were wide open. I am pretty sure it wasn't all sunshiny like I remember, but I do know that learning about menstrual cycles in sixth grade was the scariest thing that happened while I was there.

Are intercoms on the front doors and locking all the other doors a change in the right direction? I guess it is in the world we live in now. I do miss the "olden days", though.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Let's Find the Good

The past few weeks (and longer if you consider that K still has her headache that started back in October) have, well, pretty much sucked in general. There have been lots of tears shed at home, at school, at church....

However, I feel when things in your world get this bad, that you have 2 choices: let the evil take over your heart or fight back with anything positive. I have always been a fighter, therefore, I will share with you some little things that made me smile in the past few weeks.

The Kindergartners singing their Christmas Jingle Friday morning.

The hugs I got from those beautiful singers.

R putting all her bears, snowmen and Santa to bed at a party last night.

My nephew visiting this weekend.

Counting 5 Santa hats on 3rd and 4th grade boys on the playground on Friday.

Christmas lights.

The smiles I get from those Kindergartners when I see them anywhere other than school. They are constantly surprised to see me out at church or the grocery store, etc...

Christmas cards.

May you find some joy in your neck of the woods this week, no matter how small it is. That is to say, while never forgetting the town of Newtown, CT.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


"Why?" is such a loaded question. 

Yesterday, an extremely smart, kind and funny boy was taken from our lives. 


Did God need help with Apple products? Did He need a young person to round out the older population in Heaven? Did He need another guardian angel to watch over earth?


How do you explain this to his friends? How do I explain this to my daughters? How do I explain this to B who was one of his close friends? 


Everything happens for a reason, I have always believed. It is hard to find a reason when a good solid kid, from a good solid family gets brain cancer a year ago and loses his battle. Do you ever wonder why criminals don't get stricken with brain cancer and not good kids?


When I was in my early 20's, I lost my Grandmother one January and then a 16 year old family friend the next month. I loved my Grandmother to pieces, but I could understand that she was older and that is a natural progression of life. Why my friend MJ died suddenly while skiing with his ski team; that I could not understand. The only thing I could wrap my head around was that I had a special guardian angel and combined with my grandmother, they make quite a team.


I have known people who have gone to their first wake and funeral as full adults. My first funeral was when I was in 6th grade and a 5th grade teacher in our school died. I was on crutches, wore a white denim jumper with a plaid shirt underneath. (Hey, it was the 70's) It's weird the things you remember. I was a seasoned veteran of wakes and funerals by the time MJ died. 


Brad and B were on the same intellectual level. They laughed together, talked together and jump roped together. Their double dutch freestyle (4 person) routine won 10th place at Nationals. The highest place  their team had ever placed in this event. I keep picturing them doing donkey kicks in the middle of the routine. Both, in shape, and totally in sync. This was 5 months before Brad was diagnosed with a brain tumor. 


It's going to take some time to figure out the "reason" that this has happened. Sometimes it takes years to figure out the "reason". Sometimes, when unfair things happen, I have to make up a "reason" just to keep my sanity. My dad is a big believer in "say 3 'Ah-Shits' and move on". When I told him about Brad, I said that 3 Ah-shits were not going to cut it. He said, "Yes, this may need at least 12". 

Or more like 12,000. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

B is 14

Today is B's 14th Birthday. I am not sure how I have a 15 and 14 year old, but somehow it has happened. I do know that I am lucky to have both of them.

Yesterday, I took B (and K) and 5 of her friends up to Boston for a day at Georgetown Cupcakes and Quincy Market. It was so much fun and a pleasure to be amongst them and K all day long. I noticed on the way up in the car that B has matured so much in a year. She is funny, concerned about her looks and thoughtful.

Today, I noticed the character that she brings to the table. Her good friend was taken off life support today. On her Birthday. He couldn't have known and she never would have picked this date for him., but sometimes life has another plan for you. God reminds you that you are not in charge, He is. This fact is hard enough for an adult and brutal for a child. Somehow, though, B has been so brave, so grown-up through it all. I have been asked questions, lots of questions, but have answered them as honestly and truthfully as I can.

It is not going to be a Birthday she soon forgets, but I have promised her that an angel will be watching out for her wherever she goes.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Frag'n Friday

As it gets closer to Christmas, the thoughts get more fragmented. Think it is just me? Nope, go check out the others.....

Mommy's Idea

*Today is the last day of writing every day in November. You could say I failed at that, but I tend to look at the glass half full. I have written 19 days which is more than half of what I usually write in November. Congrats to the people that actually wrote every day. I bow to you.

*Thanksgiving was fun and we had 16 people at our table(s). My cousin came down from Boston and the girls couldn't have been happier! They could all be sisters!

*My aunt sent this onesie for my nephew Fin. Perfect right?

*Chatham Bars Inn always invites the elementary school for Thanksgiving "dinner"/lunch. For some(haha, MOST) of the kids, this is their only experience in a high end establishment. I got to partake this year which was much more delicious than being one of the parent's taking pictures. (Parents do not get to eat). This is the view as the kids get off the bus....

And this is the view heading toward the bus.


Not too shabby, right?

*Update on K's headache that will never quit? Went to Children's Hospital in Boston and they ruled out anything drastic. They are calling it migraines, but my mother's gut is telling me to keep searching for a different answer. Next up, chiropractor and ENT, with potential allergy test.

*I was getting dirty looks writing out my Christmas card envelopes last night at the pool. Then I came home and one of my Facebook friends had spent the night wrapping and posted this picture...

She had better have a lot of family overseas where they need to send things out early!!

*Hopefully some decorating will get done this weekend! Do you have any plans?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Shopping

What's that? You are anxiously awaiting to hear how my Black Friday shopping was?

It was awesome,   thank-you.

I took K and her friend KB. We left town at 5am and drove 50 minutes to our first stop where I bought B's Birthday present in the first 5 minutes. We wandered around the mall from 7-8:30 or so. The girls (rookies) sat and ate Dunkin Donuts. I had smartly brought a piece of chocolate cake with me to eat in the car. No need to waste time SITTING for breakfast!

I managed to grab a picture of them sneaking onto Santa's chair and pretending they were the big guy himself.

We went to a few more stores and were home by 1! I scored a $90 faux Christmas tree for $32. That's right, it was mismarked and I stood my ground and proved it to them.

Today was the day for local stores and I managed to drop some in a little shop downtown. I would like to say I am done with my Christmas shopping, but that would spoil the last minute fun, right?

Did you head out early yesterday?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving (The Thankful Edition)

Ten Things I Am Thankful For (in no particular order)

* M&Ms

* Ogunquit Beach and the Marginal Way

* Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream

* Laughter

* The Internet

* 4 distinct seasons

* My camera

* K and B: Thanks for "picking" me to be your mom. I don't know how I got so lucky.

* My friends: Seriously, where would I be without my friends? Love you guys!!!

* My crazy, wonderful, supportive family. We may not live near each other, or agree on everything, but together we are a force to be reckoned with. I am truly blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rip Who?

I was half listening to the news this morning and heard about a girl who sleeps for crazy amounts of time. Once she slept for 32 days! She gets up and uses the bathroom and eats, but is in sort of a trance and goes straight back to bed.

So I just mention out loud, "Gosh, she's like Rip Van Winkle".

K, "Who is that?"

Me, "You don't know who Rip Van Winkle is?"

K, "No."

Me, "B, do you know who Rip Van Winkle is?"

B, "Some old singer?"

Me, " I am checking the story out of the library for you two today."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy 13th Birthday To My Wonderful Nephew J

OK, J, the moment you have been waiting for....... drum roll please..... a whole post about you!!!

You were an adorable little baby...

 Who was born into a crazy band of gypsies...

Thankfully, you were able to pull yourself together when it counted, like the Chatham Bars Inn lunches....

Is that a devilish glint in your eye?

You are a great kid! And cute too :)

Except when you were in your gangsta phase.

Once I got you out of that saloon, you were able to straighten yourself out.

Pretty soon, this will be you on a street not a track.

So, Happy Birthday J!!  We are so happy to have you in our life! Your present includes your own bag of M&Ms so you can stop cutting into my supply for a day.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Frag'n Friday

Mommy's Idea *Thanksgiving is next week. The crazy thing about that is that Christmas will be here about 24 hours later! Time really seems to pass quickly in November and December and then change to slow motion for January and February. Anyone else feel this way?

*K still has a headache. Poor little girl. MRI next week.

* B's birthday is coming up soon. hollaaaa! Love ~ B ;)

*So funny, I didn't know she wrote that because I left the page open for a few hours, while I did housework and dinner. Here's a pic of her stuck to a bush from earlier today. Of course, I had to take a picture first before I wrestled her free.

*My nephew J's Birthday is tomorrow and I will be writing a post about him tomorrow, per his request.

*I went back in my online pictures and this is a picture I took on this date in 2005. K and her horse, Clint. She was 8 back then, love it!

*And a shout out to a very special girl who I consider my niece even though (technically) she is not; Happy Birthday JR!!! You are a beautiful, smart, lovable girl whom I am so blessed to be able to love and see all the time. (I know you are 12 now, but this is a really cute picture of you when you were 6).

*What are we going to do without Twinkies? I cannot tell you the last time I had one, but just knowing that there will be a big Hostess hole on my shelves in the grocery store, makes me a little sad. 

*Have some Hostess products and have a good weekend!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some People Are Funnier Than Me

Between yesterday and today, I have watched 2 funny videos and read one very funny post. Since I did not come up with anything clever to post yesterday, I am sharing these videos and post with you because everyone needs a good chuckle EVERY DAY! I'll try to come up with my own amusing post later, think of this as a commercial.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You Know, Wheat Eggs

When my girls were younger, I kept a journal of the hysterical things they would say. It was all about learning this crazy language called English and sometimes some of the words had to be tested before the correct meaning was learned. For example, I was turning a corner and said, "Ugh, I didn't get a clean look". The girls asked if I had gotten a "dirty look"? Then there was the time, B called communion at church snack Sunday. As they got older, there were less and less funny words that flew out of their mouths. Now, I don't even want to write down what they say most of the time. Yikes!

Do you remember when Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey had their show together? Jessica had some classic comments that gave truth to "dumb blond". My favorite is this, "Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it's tuna, but it says 'Chicken of the Sea'."

Well, I thought I was done with funny word play, until this afternoon. One of my children suggested I use wheat eggs in foods when I was baking.
"Wheat eggs? What are wheat eggs?"
"They are brown eggs."
"Wherever did you get that idea?"
"Well, you said that brown eggs were better for you than white eggs, so I thought it was like the whole white bread, brown bread thing."
"That would go with the jingle, 'brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh', not brown eggs are WHEAT eggs."

Note to self, don't send her to culinary school and keep my ears open for more word opportunities. Doesn't sound like the priceless gems will end any time soon.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Squash and Chuzy Tots

Since I went to Stonewall Kitchen, my culinary curiosity has gotten the better of me. Don't get carried away, I have not turned into a food blogger quite yet.

Last night I baked a butternut squash. Before last night, my experience with butternut squash was boiling pre cut pieces or ordering butternut bisque at a restaurant. Yesterday,I actually bought a squash, washed it, cut it in half and put on butter, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Yes, it was delicious.

The other night, at our local watering hole, there was a new appetizer on the menu, "chuzy tots". I was confused about what exactly a chuzy tot was, but then found out that the waitress did not write too clearly and it was suppose to say cheesy tots.

B and I tried out our chuzy tot recipe today. Tater tots, bacon and melted cheese. Mmmmm, mmmm good!! We tried them with ketchup and sour cream (at different times) and they were good either way. Not exactly a low fat, high energy food, but a perfect snack for watching a football game on a cold fall day. B wants to introduce them to Thanksgiving dinner, but I am not sure the family is ready for that kind of tradition shake up.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday's In My City

Unknown Mami

As promised, more cuteness pictures. Baby Fin (and his mom!) came and visited this weekend. We all got some snuggle time and in between my schedule and naps (his, not mine), I was able to take a few cute shots. 

Adorbs! I cannot wait until they come back for Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Frag'n Friday

Mommy's Idea *What is better than the Friday of a 3 day weekend?!

*Don't forget to say a little prayer for our Veterans this weekend. Without them, I don't know where we would be. Probably still drinking tea in England.

*I took my car to the shop this week because it was making a weird noise when I pressed on the gas pedal. I listened to it for a good week before I took it in. 4 people drove it at the dealers and no one heard it. That annoys me in so many ways. They looked at me like I was a typical dumb blond.

*I know we are a ways past Halloween, but I have to share the cutest picture of my nephew. My brother is Star Wars (and Lego) obsessed, so I am pretty sure he had a large say in this outfit.

Little Chewy and his Mommy are down for the weekend, so there will probably be a few more pictures of him.

*My niece was a pretty adorable Little Miss Muffet (minus the spider!).

I know, I just saturated my post with cuteness.

*Meanwhile, I am listening to 3 teenagers getting ready to go to the new James Bond movie. Yes, I had to get you out of your cuteness coma and mention teenagers. Your welcome.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

2 Weeks Until Thanksgiving (AKA: Black Friday Eve)

I have written about Black Friday before (here, here) because I love, love, love the idea of a bargain! It is not just a bargain, it is the thrill of the hunt. The Christmas music blaring, people calling each other from different stores comparing deals, the more or less happy store workers and the sales, oh the sales!

So as I have said before, my strategy is to hunker down on Thanksgiving in front of the fireplace and pour through the advertisements. I have pen, paper, glue and scissors at hand. I cut, I frantically write, I may even glue a picture of something to my list, I am at my peak of organization. I strategize on what store opens when and how I will go from one place to the other while making the most out of my time. No, I do not have all day. I go out at 5am and am home by 12. I can't even begin to think of staying later, too many people!!!

This is crazy and unheard of to some, but it works for me. It was even better when the girls were little because toys are on sale, often for less than 50%off!! Last year, I brought K. She is already raring to go again this year.

Now, yes, I could sit home on my computer and order everything online. (Boring) Or I could wait until CyberMonday and order things online (boring). I could just skip (oh the horrors) Black Friday and shop like a normal person. Yet, I like the exhilaration of being out in the crowds.

That said, this year is different. I have already received emails about Black Friday deals. What? 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and they are giving the anticipation away? I am disappointed. What about my traditions?! I need to cut, write, paste, map out a plan on Thanksgiving. Some people take a nap that day, not me, I spend it scheming and planning. I don't know what 2 weeks of scheming and planning will do to my ultimate goal.

What do you think? Should I start the strategizing now, or hold off for 2 weeks?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Little Guilt and Wine Will Get You Bunnies

K's headache has really GOT. TO. GO.

I mean, really, going on 3 weeks just stinks (and for her hurts).

We went to the eye Dr. today only to be told that her eyesight is perfect. Yes, it is good news, but Sherlock, the mystery deepens.

So what do you do to cheer up a headache fraught girl? You find out that the new iphone5 that she ordered(and paid for you, mind you) has come in and you sit in Verizon for an hour and a half while the people figure the payment all out because the computer is saying you do  not have an upgrade even though you do have an upgrade.

Then, you go pick up the bunnies that a friend was giving away and you agreed to take. That's right, I am certifiable, but there was a method to my madness.. First, she wanted a pig (to live in the house= mom takes care of), then she wanted a small dog (to live in the house= mom takes care of) and then I thought, bunnies! (Because they will live at the barn and mom doesn't go there!) Win/win for me. However, I got to thinking (not usually a good idea, especially when guilt and wine are involved) that maybe we should keep the bunnies outside at my house instead of a mile and a half away at the barn. Then, the girls could see them anytime they want.

Meet Jenny and Peter. They will be living in the house for a few days due to the fact that the outdoor hutch is not here yet. Of course I am allergic to them, but they are so damn soft and cute. So there will be a lot of Allegra in my future, too.

And can't you see that headache going away little by little with a snuggly bunny?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Never Ending Headache (No, that's not a political joke)

This writing every day is hard.

I guess I could have written about the election, but I have no desire to open that can of worms. You are welcome.

I took K to the emergency room today. I thought, you know other than making her feel better, that I would have something classic to write about. Hmmm, other than the woman at the snack shop giving me some strange cookie instead of the "holiday" one I asked for, nothing too out of the ordinary happened.

K has had a headache for 2+ weeks and finding out it's source has turned into something of an episode with Angela Lansbury.

We are just chipping away at reasons.

Antibiotics for a potential sinus infection,
Eye Doctor for potential glasses,
Family history for potential migraines,
MRI for potential brain tumor...

Now, some people might find that last one a bit extreme. Unfortunately, it is not extreme here. We know way too many people with cancerous brain tumors and quite honestly, it sucks. When I hear headache instead of thinking "take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning", I think, "Oh no, a brain tumor".

So we waited (and waited and waited) and then she was taken in for the CAT scan. I should have gone with her and taken a picture because she said that they wrapped her up like a taco. Then we waited (and waited) for the Doctor to come tell us the results.

All I could think of was a good friend of mine who was told that her son had a brain tumor after a similar bought of headaches and nausea last November. Her family has been on a journey that has not be very pleasant or expected, but at times filled with wonderful gifts. I wondered how I would react to that news. I wondered if the Doctor would tell us right there with just the curtains separating us from the woman with bronchitis and the woman on the other side with tennis elbow.

Thankfully, the kind Doctor cut straight to the chase and told us that the scan was normal. I am pretty sure K's headache went from severe pain to less severe pain. It was a huge relief and we were very, very grateful for the positive news.

One more thing checked off the list, one more step closer to the solution.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Truth Is

On Facebook, one of the games that people play is Truth Is: That is "like my status and then I will say something about you on your Facebook wall". Typically the truth is something about how nice you look or how pretty your profile picture is or that you and the person should hang out together soon.

I wonder how Truth Is would work in the real world. For instance, my mom always taught me that if I did not have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. I adhere to that rule to a fault, but there are times when I would like to say:

Truth is? I do not like all your political posts on your wall.

Truth is? Could you please use a mint.

Truth is? Pig tails are for the under 10 crowd, not for the over 40 crowd, UNLESS you are going to a rodeo.

Truth is? You totally just hurt my feelings and now I want to kick you.

Truth is? Why are you staying with him/her?

Truth is? You really need to say thank-you once in a while.

Truth is? Your picture is pretty because it seems like you air brushed 20 years off your age.

Truth is? You are not really nice, and I cannot understand why people don't see through you.

I don't think this is a game that I will play on Facebook anytime soon.
However, if you want to rate my status, feel free. Anyone who is reading this is a 10 in my book :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sundays In My City

Unknown Mami

Last night we went out to dinner at the Noble House to celebrate my nephew, Sam, moving to Colorado for the winter to work at the Winter Park Ski Area. The Noble House is a Japanese restaurant where they cook on a hibachi right in front of you. It's the place my nephews pick when they are allowed a "special" restaurant. 

I love when all the cousins are together cracking each other up!

Who knew rice could be so fun to cook?

The chef loves to cook up some eggs and then try to get a piece in everyone's mouth. The first pic is Sam trying to catch it. Carlos, the chef, tried to have a little fun with B and told her to close her eyes while he filled up a spatula of egg. 

The high point of the night is the onion volcano. It may have singed someone's eyebrows. Just kidding.
It will be weird not having Sam around for the winter, but I can pretty much guarantee a return trip to the Noble House when he gets home in April!