Friday, December 22, 2006

Time to relax

Well, the cards went out, the baking stuff is stashed away where I can't see it and be reminded of my Baking Disasters, the house is mostly cleaned and the presents are wrapped. Whew. M gave me an early Christmas present -- since we have to drive both cars down to my parents' house, he's going to let me drive his car (Saab! Turbo!) all by myself while he takes the kids in the MomMobile. Yay! Two hours of grown-up music and talking to myself without being interrupted.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kitchen adventures, part 3

What do you get when you are attempting to make a last-minute batch of Chocolate Biscotti to take to your daughter's playgroup, when said daughter interrupts you in the middle of sifting your dry ingredients with a potty-break problem and, as a result of said interruption, you forget to add baking powder to your dry ingredients? What's that? Did you guess Chocolate Rocks? Good guess!

Looks like our playgroup friends will be getting a hearty, sincere Merry Christmas this year.

Once the holidays are over, I'm running right out and getting Martha Stewart's new book. I love All Things Martha, and this looks like another great addition to my collection. Hey, it may be sorta aspirational with two kids, a small house with no storage space and the world's Most Shedding Dog Ever, but a girl's gotta dream, right?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Busy day

Today I'm very busy trying to not feel bad that I'm letting A roll around on his playmat all by himself, without me hovering nearby wielding burp cloths and rattles. The house is a sty of clutter and germs and I must, need, have to clean it up today.

In other news, I was in a very optimistic mood last night and got all the Christmas cards addressed. I'm thinking I just might be able to take a picture of the kids this afternoon, providing D comes home from school in a decent mood and A doesn't look too puffy and rashy-red from his cold. I might get the cards in the mail tomorrow. If not, I've got a real headstart on next year's cards.

Monday, December 18, 2006

More holiday cheer

Baby A still sick with a middling fever and a terrible, congested cough. Poor baby. I was half-listening for him all night long. We got him some antibiotics of his own on Sunday, hopefully they'll help him get over it sooner and he'll be better before we head to my parents' for Christmas.

In other seasonal news, it's about 80 out today. More like an early summer day than mid-December. I was hanging a new Gator banner out front (if I can't decorate for Christmas, I'll decorate for Important Football Games) and got stung by a bee. Good thing I wasn't up the ladder yet. If we lived somewhere normal that had real seasons, I'm sure the bees would be dead or hibernating, but oh well. So now I have a lovely red welt on my upper back.

Not much going on this week. D is back in school until Wednesday, then they're on break for two weeks. I've officially hung up my holiday baking aspirations, but my wonderful SIL stepped up to the plate and sent us a big package of cookies and peppermint bark and FRUITCAKE! So I get to nibble on goodies all week long anyway. Saturday night is M's office holiday dinner party, then on Sunday we're headed to Naples for a bit. Mom and I are getting massages on Thursday while my Dad watches the kids, so I'm looking forward to that. I still have a bunch of wrapping to do, and I'd like to clean the house really well, and there's always the laundry and packing of course, but other than that I'm looking forward to a happy, relaxing Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sick of it

Good news: D is recovered. No fever, just a bit of a cough. Back to her self, for sure. Bad news: Baby A seems to be heading down the same Miserable Road that D just traveled. Woke up with a 102 fever, flushed cheeks, rattly cough. Darn it. We're headed back to the doctor this morning. I've officially given up baking this year, and I'm about to give up on the Christmas Cards too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What day is it?!

So. Tired. D up many times last night - water, meds, potty. I literally fell asleep in the hallway when she got up to go to the bathroom at around 3 or 4. This morning she's tired, but her cough is so much better. I thought she was going to lose a lung last night. We ended up filling her Rx for Zithromax late yesterday so hopefully it will kick in by the end of the day and we can put this all behind us. Just hope A doesn't come down with it too. Or anyone else.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Somebody? Anybody?

As if things weren't crazy enough around here, Baby A JUST WON'T NAP! (Sorry for yelling.) It's driving me crazy. I mean I put him in his crib and he looks all calm and peaceful and I tiptoe away and then like 15 minutes later he's crying. Argh. So he's overtired and I'm tired out.

Maybe it's that we haven't left the house in 3 days.

I may need to take up drinking wine again. Just a bottle glass at night to relax while we watch TV.

It didn't look like this in the Pottery Barn catalogue

D only has a 100 fever this morning - but we're not celebrating yet as she seems to have developed a nasty chest cold overnight. I'm thinking she has the flu. She'll probably be home at least one more day, but maybe she'll be feeling well enough today to eat or play a game or... sit for a Christmas picture?

Yesterday (in between administering medication, forcing people to eat and playing endless rounds of "where's baby" and "peek-a-boo") I found time to clean, straighten up and finish decorating. We were being overwhelmed by piles of laundry, stacks of mail and bins of Christmas decorations. Even after the most thorough clean-up, within minutes toys will be scattered all over the living room, dog hair tumbleweeds will drift from under the furniture and the dining table will be covered with crumbs -- which appear even if no one has eaten there for days.

Sadly, no matter how hard I try, our house will never look like a Pottery Barn catalogue. For instance, here's Pottery Barn's beautiful Emma bedspread in a real-life setting:

And here's their super cute animal hoodie towel as interpreted by A:

Not quite what I imagined when I bought this stuff.

Monday, December 11, 2006

O Tannenbaum!



Cabin fever

So D is working on her third day of 102 or higher fever (note the pink cheeks!) We took her to the doc this a.m. and thankfully it's not strep, but they don't really know what else it might be. At least if it were strep we could just go straight for the antibiotics and treat it. Anyway, no school for the next two days at least. She's too run down to go out, so I'm homebound too. So much for the remainder of my Christmas prep. Thank goodness for the Internet or I might as well just move on to Valentine's Day! But at any rate, I probably only have two brick-and-mortar stores to go to: Borders and Target. Then I'm done.

Baby A is feeling the effects of being stuck at home with two miserable females as well. He's off his already terrible nap schedule and doesn't seem happy to do anything. I've run through all the options - feed him, hold him, rock him, walk him, the gymini, exersaucer, bouncy seat, repeat. Nothing doing. So he's crying it out in his crib right now, I'll give him five more minutes then go in and start all over again.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bah humbug

You ever get that feeling that you are out of sync with everything? Where you seem to be doing everything in fits and starts and you can't get anything done? Well, that's pretty much how this weekend has worked out. There's nothing like a sick kid to throw a wrench in your plans.

D was sick all day yesterday with a really high fever, so instead of baking and decorating, the day was mostly spent giving her Tylenol every 4 hours. Today she woke up fever-free, but really whiny and fussy. So we spent our whole morning comforting one crying kid or the other. After breakfast -- and by now it was noon - M wanted to get the Christmas tree. He said it had to be a family outing or it would just be another chore, so we all trooped out and found a really beautiful Fraser Fir right away. It's gorgeous. Came home. More whining and crying and presto! D's fever was back up to 102. Poor thing. So I put on Noggin (thank you Lord for TV) and tried to do some baking. Again, nothing worked out right. I burned some lovely pears that I was roasting. Then burned the choc-chip cookie bars. Then I burned my hand when I grabbed the oven rack by mistake. I would give up baking entirely this year except I spent a fortune on dried fruit and chocolate and stuff and don't feel like storing everything til next year. And I doubt the food bank would want 4 lbs. of dried apricots, cherries, craisins, etc. Unless there are a lot of homeless bakers out there.

Oh... there are a bunch of carolers walking by! They'd better not knock on our door or they'll wake up both kids. Plus they're singing Silver Bells and no one knows more than a couple lines of that one.

I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day, except that I imagine D will have to stay home from school so I'll be behind yet another day on my Christmas preparations.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sleeping in.... NOT!

I hate waking up on Saturday feeling like your weekend has already gone to crap. Started yesterday afternoon when my initial attempts at baking went awry. I guess residual prego hormones and the distractions of two kids (one that I still have to carry around 99% of the time) prevent me from being able to follow even the most simple freakin' recipes, like say for the banana- nut bread that I make at least 4-5 times a year. The bread turned out HORRIBLE (shades of last year's cookie disaster) undercooked and gooey in the middle, burned on the bottom and with absolutely no flavor. What did I leave out.. the bananas?! Sugar? I have no idea.

Then, after dinner, I fell asleep on the couch as predicted, but woke up at 11:00 absolutely wide awake. Ended up watching Mission Impossible till about 1:00 then somehow got hooked into watching Real World: Denver until 2:30. I haven't watched the Real World in forever, but it was comforting to see that their casting formula is still in place - the "hot" guy, the gay guy, the enraged black man (men in this case), the quiet girl who spends a lot of time standing around looking alternately amused and judgemental, the drunken slut, and the pretty but clueless chick who routinely falls in loooove with the hot guy in the first 24 hours, hooks up with him and spends the next 6 weeks endlessly rehashing her poor choices. The last time I watched there was a lot of girl-girl kissing, but maybe that's gone out of style.

So anyway, I got to sleep around 2:30. Then D woke up crying at 5, burning up with a 103 fever. A followed at around 6, wanting to eat, needs diaper change, blah, blah, blah. They're all in the living room watching Kipper right now. Since I'm a morning person anyway, I'm ok for now. But I know after a full day of dealing with a sick kid and a baby by 4:00 I'll be a complete mess. Good thing M is around today.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Winter wonderland

Nothing like a cold snap to get that Christmas spirit going. Highs only in the 50s today and there's a wicked wind to boot. We'll definitely be able to stoke up the fireplace tonight and maybe enjoy some of the movies I've got Tivo-ed. I managed to get all of the newer Star Wars (I, II and III), Harry Potter/Goblet, and A History of Violence (starring Aragorn Viggo Mortensen). Movies at night are tricky since most of the time I'm so exhausted I'm dead asleep by 8:30. I didn't even make it through My Name is Earl last night, and since The Office wasn't on, there didn't seem any point to staying awake. (No offense to M.)

In other news, Baby A and I will be out and about today doing errands - stocking up for Christmas baking, buying some final gifts and a special trip to the bakery for my favorite Christmas treat, fruitcake. I love fruitcake. Especially the liquor-soaked variety, loaded with dried fruit. But I'll eat the regular kind with candied fruit too. Light or dark. I store it in the fridge for months and they get denser and chewier and are just awesome lightly toasted with a thin slice of extra sharp white cheddar cheese.

On my holiday baking list this year: PB kisses, snickerdoodles, and peppermint bark. We're having a cookie exchange for D's playgroup next week so I might do one extra type for that - maybe something chocolatey. I'm sticking with tried and true this year after last year's disastrous attempt to make new cookies. I tried this butter cookie recipe that I'd been saving for years from Gourmet magazine and it was awful. The dough was so stiff that I couldn't get it out of the mixing bowl. It sat overnight in my sink with hot soapy water and I still had to chip it out bit by bit. Then the Russian teacake cookies (which my mom makes perfectly every year) turned out just as horribly. They were so crumbly you couldn't even pick them up. Anyway, I spent a fortune on butter and chocolate and I STILL had to do some last minute running around to make substitute cookies and I just won't/don't have the time or inclination this year.

Tomorrow is Decorating Day. I love the smell of a fresh Frasier fir in the house. So Christmas-y. We play Christmas songs and drink cocoa while we decorate and then D and I hide in the hall while M lights up the tree for the first time.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, December 04, 2006


You know where I'll be January 8!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Not that again

I have nothing to wear. Yeah, I'm sure we've all said it, but you know it's desperate when your 4-year-old says "Not THAT t-shirt again" with a perfect blend of pity and disgust in her voice, a tone I'd hoped not to hear for at least another 10 years or so. Anyway, we're one day out from Thanksgiving and I have nothing to wear but THAT t-shirt, again. Part of it is due to my wanting - REALLY - to get back to my pre-preggers size and by that I mean 2001, before we had D. So I haven't been shopping at all for myself. The weight is coming off a lot faster this time around, but what I still have left to lose seems to have re-packaged itself in places where I've never normally carried a lot of weight. In short, Baby's Got Back. And I ain't exactly happy about it. Pants look really odd on me. Jeans look odd. Skirts are out of the question. Anyway. The other part of it is I'm still nursing Baby A so I'm stuck with shirts that can be easily re-arranged. Nothing that tucks in, nothing that's going to show stains or leaks or leave me feeling naked. In other words, THAT t-shirt.

We're off for our Thanksgiving in Georgia tomorrow. We're driving. I think it'll take about 8 hours as I anticipate having to stop at least 3 times to feed A. Luckily, M is taking the day off so at least we're not leaving at 5 like we've had to in previous years. It will either be a nice family outing or the car ride from Hell, depending on A's frame of mind in the morning. I wish we had a minivan since it would be nice to be able to tend to the kids without having to perform a contortionist act from the front seat.

Have a safe and happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

One bad apple...

Our Mac was in the shop for four days. Bad power supply. Or whatever. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post a better update later tonight - sometime between the children wailing, gnashing their teeth and rending their clothes and when Amazing Race starts.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Girls v. boys

D: Sat quietly; showed comprehension and mimicked action in favorite books
A: Tries to eat favorite books; head butts pictures of other babies; grows bored after 4-5 pages

D: Travelled extensively, including internationally, by four months old
A: Going to Target and Publix in one trip is a big deal; has not left the West coast of Florida (yet)

D: Loved to be sung to; would play with whatever was dangling nearby; loved toys
A: Laughs when I sing; likes to try to get away by scooting around on his back; prefers shoes to toys

In the car
D: Would chatter to me; sang along to music
A: Sleeps

However, they both love baths.

Trying harder

I hate when I re-read a post and realize that I sound much harsher, meaner, angrier, unkind-er than I actually feel. That's how I feel this morning about last night's post about D. 99.9% of the time I LOVE listening to her -- she's both funny in a totally innocent way and (although this is probably taking parental license) amazingly astute for her age. She is very verbal and I love her for it and we will always encourage her (both kids!) to speak up and be heard and express themselves. My mom & dad say I was a talkative kid too -- some would say I still am, I'm sure -- call it karma or whatever. So, please forgive me, when sometimes, and especially at bedtime, it all gets to be a Bit. Too. Much. Even for a normally patient Mama like me.

What do I have to complain about anyway? I have a wonderful husband who loves us, intelligent and healthy kids, a 4-month-old who naps and a new recipe for chocolate chip coffee cake which I'm going to make as soon as I sign off here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

House of the rising son

Now that A is napping in his crib pretty reliably, I spend my time dashing -- silently -- around the house taking care of as many chores as I can during those crucial moments of "alone" time. But (and I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way) he has the uncanny knack of waking up the minute I've finished some task, but before I can actually do something enjoyable for myself. For instance, the moment I've finished cleaning the bathroom, but before I can actually sit down for a few minutes with last month's National Geographic, he's awake. Or just as I've put a batch of brownies in the oven, but before I can lick the bowl clean.

In other kid news, I've started sending D to school full day (7:45 - 2:50 - YIPPEE) two or three days a week. It started as just one day a week, but the prospect of having almost a whole day of relative quiet is a slippery slope indeed. D's conversations are sort of like Muzak - always on, sometimes enjoyable, but after a full day of background noise your nerves are worn away. Some of the fascinating subjects we've covered lately include 1) why we have knuckles, 2)why we shouldn't squeak instead of talk, 3)what to do with pink pompoms, 4)how come glue is "like that" and 5)how many popsicle sticks she can fit in a cereal box (my response: I don't know, why don't you count them? her: no mommy, just guess! Guess!! Guess!!!)

So, to sum up, I'm still exhausted, but it's not from lack of sleep.

We did have a wonderful weekend with our families though. The christening went fine, except that A popped the snaps on his waaaay too small outfit just before the ceremony, so M and I quickly did a shoddy swaddling job on him and just prayed he didn't decide to squirm too much. He was pretty good for the rest of Mass, I only had to leave to walk him around for about 10 minutes. On Sunday we had brunch at the Vinoy. Their brunch is too die for - from traditional breakfast goodies, to seafood, carving stations, salads and of course, DESSERT. I think it's great that I can get all my daily calorie needs met in just one meal. Since I'm abstaining from coffee, tomatoes, citrus and chocolate (they make A fussy, natch) I got to go all out on the seafood, pan-roasted lamb and non-chocolate desserts. Yum. Happily, A helps me burn it all off!

We're supposed to have some beautiful fall-like weather by the end of the week, so it will be fun to bundle the kids up for a change. I'm looking forward to sweater weather.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Lots to do today in between conversations about putting away our toys when we're done playing with them and exactly what kind of artwork is OK to display on the couch, which to me would be no artwork and to D would be anything that isn't still dripping wet with paint. She's got stacks and stacks of decorated paper bags, paper scraps, construction paper covered with glued-on beans and glitter and what-not ready for display, but glitter and brushed chenille just don't mix.

I'm making a seven-layer taco dip, salsa and my friend V's yummy pumpkin fluff dip. All that plus cheese and crackers ought to keep the crowd happy tomorrow afternoon before the christening.

M's in charge of grilling tonight - as of 8:14 this morning he has yet to plan what he's cooking or go to get the charcoal, etc. but I've vowed to stay out of it. Even if it gets to 4:00 and there is no sign on action. The kids can eat pb&j if they get too hungry.

A is holding his own - still pretty congested and you can hear the rattle in the back of his throat, but it seems to be a bit looser. He's tolerating the nebulizer, but there isn't a baby in the world that wouldn't get antsy sitting with a steaming mask on their face for 8-10 minutes.

Target, which is becoming a giant black hole where I spend all my money, had some great deals on Christmas stuff so in a frenzy of pre-Christmas shopping I got cute wrapping paper, trimmings and my Christmas cards (something I usually wait until the very last minute to buy). Also the kids Christmas outfits. No last minute rushing around for me -- at least not for that stuff.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Oooh. Uck. The unexplained musty smell in the kids room was coming from their clothes hamper - one of those mesh bag thingys. Must have gotten something icky on it. I can only imagine what.

That's more like it

Okay, I've regained my composure this a.m., despite having had to spend $800 on chimney repairs due to the lightning strike this past summer. Baby A is feeling sooooo much better today (at least as far as I can tell) and isn't a snuffly mess anymore. Now he's just a drooly mess. There was a lot of hair in his crib this a.m., so I wonder if Albuterol has a side effect of sudden hair loss? Must Google that later today and see if it's common.

We had a quiet night. I was in no mood to cook, so M picked up delicious salads and chicken souvlaki from our local Greek restaurant and we watched Friday Night Lights, one of the few new TV shows that we (well, I) like. It's supposed to be about football, but mostly it's about the players. Sure, there's some high school drama there, but nothing too melodramatic except for the crazy cheerleader-sleeping-with-the-best-friend-of-her-star-quarterback-boyfriend-who-was-paralyzed-in-the-first-episode scenario. Come to think of it, for a show that is supposed to be about Texas, football and high school, there is a lot of sex in there. But I just watch it for the football, which, speaking of, how 'bout them Gators?! Still in the top 5, woo-hah.

Baby is napping in his bouncy seat, so I should be rush, rush rushing around cleaning up the house, doing laundry, changing sheets and investigating the slightly musty smell in the kids room, before I have to pick D up from school.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I get up every day

You try this

Baby A has bronchitis. His doc put him on Albuterol breathing treatments, so he is tired & cranky from the bronch AND wired from the drugs. So he's back to napping on my shoulder. I've got cramps in my left arm from carrying all 17lbs. of him around all day, and cramps in my right hand from trying to type one-handed. "Someone" left the kitchen a mess after lunch and the cleaners broke M's treasured milk frother (for his coffee in the morning). I've got 11 people coming in this weekend for A's christening and I don't have a thing to wear that is church-y, yet able to be dismantled quickly to nurse and also won't show any miscellaneous stains. I'm tired of lotioning my feet and pretending it's a pedicure and putting my hair in a ponytail and calling it a style. And to top it all off I;m turning 40 this weekend. At least I have my health.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Is it so wrong to pilfer from your 4-year-old's Halloween stash? I mean, if you sneak out the Milky Way Darks and Take Five bars, but leave the Musketeers, Starbursts, Kit Kats, Hersheys, etc.? Is it really so wrong? I LOVE Take Fives. They're like the crack of the candy aisle. I especially can't pass them up when they're sitting right by the check-out counter at the grocery. Or if they're in my 4-year-old's Halloween bag.

Today we're having the toilet in the kid's bathroom replaced. When the plumber pulled it up there was a HUGE nest of dead roaches underneath. It was horrible. I wish I hadn't seen it, but now the image is seared onto my retinas. Apparently, in Florida, God love us, roaches proliferate in the sewer drains and if the wax seal on your toilet happens to be a piece of shit falling apart then the roachies can crawl up under it and nest. And crawl out at their leisure. For instance, when the family is on a three-day weekend trip or when your mom is visiting. Lovely. Explains the hundreds of dollars we've spent on pest control in the last year.

I planned for a more eloquent return to the blogsphere, but of course, as soon as he heard my fingers on the keyboard Baby A went from peacefully napping to fully alert, DEFCON 4, I need Mommy RIGHT NOW.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

3 Weeks

Baby A. will be three weeks old tomorrow. Having a baby changes everything. Having another changes everything you were just getting used to after your first. I'm in hibernation mode for a few more weeks until A. has his shots and can go out in public or the weather makes a change for the cooler. Whatever comes first.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

100 things about me

Well, here's the start of my "100 Things About Me" list that almost every blogger seems to put up eventually. Unfortunately, mine's going to be cut a bit short (for now) because we found out today that I'm going to be induced on Sunday night. Apparently BabyBoy is getting quite large - 8lb 10oz at today's ultrasound - and the docs don't want him getting much larger. I knew he was big, but wowie zowie. I've only gained 19 lbs. total, so a lot of the weight is HIM. Wish me luck for Monday, I'm still planning on a natural birth (at the moment). See ya!

1) I've been married to M for almost 7 years.
2) We have a wonderful 4-year-old daughter (D) and a BabyBoy on the way.
3) I met my husband in 1995 while interviewing him for a job. It was love at first sight. I knew I was going to marry him within an hour of meeting him.
4) I was born in Milwaukee, spent my early childhood in Kingston, Jamaica and the rest of my life mostly in Florida.
5) I went to The University of Florida.
6) While a freshman at UF, I decided a great way to impress guys would be to learn all about football.
7) Turns out I love football!! I know all about college and pro teams and can provide a pretty decent game analysis.
8) My favorite college team is the Gators. My favorite pro team is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
9) I'm the eldest of five, but my middle brother died in a car accident when I was 24.
10) We named our daughter after a skier from the 2002 Norweigan Olympic team. Her middle name is from my maternal grandmother.
11) I hate gardening and refuse to have anything to do with it.
12) I'm terrified of lizards and frogs, but can handle almost anything else that creeps or crawls.
13) I learned to ride a horse before I could ride a bike.
14) I'm still not that great on a bike, but I took first place in a Walk, Trot, Canter class at a local horse show.
15) I have a teddy bear that my paternal grandfather gave me when I was about 18 months old.
16) I have no sense of rhythm but I love to dance.
17) The first song I knew all the words to was "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
18) I am a voracious reader.
19) I own all the Harry Potter books and was shocked, SHOCKED, by Book 6.
20) I think the best gift in the world is an iTunes gift certificate.
21) I once stayed awake for 48 hours downloading music from the Internet.
22) I know how to code an HTML page.
23) I was on the Varsity swim team for 4 years in high school.
24) My favorite food is a baked potato.
25) I love 80s music and classic rock n' roll.
26) My first concert was Chicago, the opening act was the J.Geils Band ("Freeze Frame!")
27) The last concert I went to was New Order.
28) I once dated a skateboarder named Stoney and a surfer boy named Skip. (Not at the same time!)
29) My all time favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption.
30) I'm a TV junkie.
31) The only magazine I subscribe to is National Geographic.
32) I've never been shy, but sometimes I keep my opinions to myself to avoid conflict.
33) I dislike procrastination and indecisiveness.
34) I'm a Scorpio.
35) I'm a neat freak when it comes to my daughter's toys. But in 4 years, we've only lost 1 toy (the cow from her Fisher-Price farm.)
36) The first "R" movie I saw was Jaws.
37) My favorite place to vacation is the beach, any beach.
38) The most beautiful place I've ever been is Lake Bled, Slovenia.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Why was I up all night?

I went to Sephora today (w/D) but got so tired after looking at 1 or 2 things that I just got a bunch of samples and left. Maybe when D is back in school and BabyBoy is in a stroller I won't feel so frickin' exhausted all the time. Of course, maybe it is because a lizard got into the house last night and hauled a** to the TV cabinet before M could grab it. It was one of those big freaky-deaky albino fat gecko ones too. Gross. So I kept waking up on and off all night because I knew, JUST KNEW, it was going to come looking for me and sure 'nuff about 4:00 a.m. I get up to go to the bathroom and THERE it is right on our bedroom wall. So I yell for M to get it and he's all grumpy because I woke him up and naturally he doesn't get it, and there's some cursing, and then it runs under his nightstand. So I decide to stay up the rest of the night, lights on, staring at the spot it disappeared and I doze off at around 6:15 and I wake up at 6:40 and D comes in at 7:00 and stares at me and says "Mommy, what are you DOING? What are you looking at?" And so I tell her there's a lizard under Daddy's nightstand and I'm watching for it and she says "Are you going to kill it?" and I say OF COURSE. And she replies with "NOOOOOO, let's save it and make it do a lizard show!" She's so kind to animals, but it still must die. So anyway, I tell her she's in charge of watching for it while I take a shower (I wanted to be sure to be out of the bedroom before M goes to work) and when I come out of the bathroom there it is RIGHT under the baby's bassinet - UGH! So I yell, again, for M who comes on the run, but in much better spirits, no cursing, and with better aim because he is awake and has had a cup of coffee and he corners the little slimeball in the bathroom and beats it to death with his Via Spiga (or was it Kenneth Cole?) dress shoe and then flushes it down the toilet. So that's why I'm a bit worn out today and feeling crampy and grumpy. But at least there isn't a lizard in my bedroom to keep me awake all night for the next 3 weeks and I'm going to take a nap to celebrate that little fact.

Why won't anyone believe me when I say that lizards really are out to get me? They don't like me, they never have, and they take every opportunity to get inside the house and stalk me!


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hot and bothered

We're back in town after a fun-filled week with my parents in Naples. D's cousin came over for a few days to play and spend the night at Grandma's and it was so much fun watching the kids together. My brother and I always comment how its weird and wonderful to watch them play - just like we used to when we were kids. We visited the awesome Naples Conservancy with the kids and had a great time in the animal rehab center and the Discovery center. D just loves getting hands-on with little critters. So NOT like her mommy.

Blistering hot here right now. Our house, feeling neglected for a week, decided to go on hiatus too. We came back to: the a/c not working, giant palmetto bug invasion, termite swarms, and about four other service-call related problems to deal with. Our lawn guy is totally AWOL and we look like we're living in a meadow. Not to mention that even after M and I have each vacuumed and mopped twice and the cleaners have been here once, there are STILL ashes all over the place. M even got down on hands and knees to hand clean the firebox and grate and still... what a mess.

I'm off to Mazzaro's this morning to get a Chocolate Decadence for M for Father's Day. Mazzaro's puts the "M" in "mmm, mmm, good."

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I was nesting last night. Washing and drying and folding little baby boy outfits and making myself really nostalgic for when D was a baby and almost every night that it was clean, I'd put her in my favorite little baby nightgown -- soft, soft white cotton with pale pink and blue flowers. She looked like an angel. Of course, almost every night I would have to strip it off of her by around the fourth feeding when her diaper would leak or I would have a leak while nursing or something like that. Anyway, i hope I have the same feeling for one of these little boy outfits -- soft, soft cotton but with trucks or bugs or puppies or fish instead of flowers.

Sometime this week I'll have to ask M to get the rest of our baby stuff down from the attic -- the bassinet, stroller, baby car seat, Diaper Genie, baby bathtub (I need to see if it can be re-used or if I'll have to replace it). Then, in a few months, the next cycle of baby equipment will begin and we'll be hauling out the play-yard, high chair, exersaucer. This time, though, since I know he's going to be our second and last child, I'll be happy to just give away everything as he grows out of it.

I am very worried about the cramped quarters we'll be enduring once the baby arrives. The baby will be sleeping in our room in the bassinet until he can sleep through the night in his crib in The Kids' room (what is now D's room). Fizzy will have to sleep in the living room, because there will be no place for her bed with the bassinet in our room. I worry about M having to sleep on the couch. I worry that between the new baby's stuff and D's stuff there will be NO ROOM anywhere in any closet or on any shelf ever again. I'm totally annoyed that we have been talking and talking and talking about re-modelling the house and it never goes anywhere. We even had a contractor come out and look at it about a month ago - he said that he'd get an estimate to us, but we haven't heard a word since. And now it's crunch time and I really don't want to deal with a newborn and remodelling at the same time. So do we wait some more? Almost more important than dealing with the house is the freakin' yard - something must be done. There's virtually no grass left, and with rainy season here, we're going to be dealing with a sea of mud and sand and weeds and crap every day. We need a fence and sod and some flower beds and I don't know who is going to take care of that.

Alright, enough crazy talk. Such minor worries when you look at the big picture. It's the hormones, right?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

R & R

My peaceful and relaxing week "off" is almost at an end. My family will be home tomorrow evening and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

In one short week I managed to go to a movie, watch the LOTR series (deluxe DVD version), read a book, walk the dog twice a day, make ice cream, buy some blankets and other stuff for the baby, find new pants, make (but not eat!) a peanut butter pie, and listen, uninterrupted, to all the 80s music I wanted. We're talking Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Berlin... stuff that usually makes M cringe. But I loved driving around singing along to "Hungry Like the Wolf." Back to Raffi on Monday. At least I got my fill of great old music and elves -- there's something about that Legolas. Too bad Orlando Bloom looks kinda skeevy in real life. Sigh.

I also spent way too much time online, mostly due to bad summer TV reruns, and as a result I know way too much about Brad & Angelina's baby and the Denise Richards/Heather Locklear/Richie Sambora love triangle. If you ask me, Denise Richards is making some pretty poor choices in men. Charlie Sheen is no catch in my book, but he looks great next to Richie Sambora. Plus everyone knows you DON'T hook up with your best friend's husband/boyfriend/crush. C'mon people - that's stuff you learn in high school!! Tragically, I guess Denise considers herself above the basic rules of best-friendship.

That I even give a crap about any of this just shows I've been alone too long.

Friday, June 02, 2006


OMG. Yesterday afternoon, I had just hung up the phone with my friend J from Pittsburgh and was settling in to re-watch "The Two Towers," this time with the book handy to follow along (yes, I'm that geeked out. What next? Dungeons and Dragons?) when a terrific storm started to brew. I heard some thunder pretty close by, so unplugged the computer and TV and had just settled back down on the couch to read when there was this explosive noise and all the lights went out. When my ears stopped ringing and my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I realized our fireplace screen, a massive heavy copper thing, was flung all the way across the room -- on top of our poor dog. I freed the dog, looked outside expecting to see our big tree blown up, and instead I saw the top of our chimney sitting in the front yard.

A flashlight examination of the living room revealed ash everywhere and the flue for the chimney sitting in the blackened, scorched firebox. The lightning had literally blown the chimney apart. The strike even charcoal-ized some random bits of wood we had left in the grate after our last fire. (Let that be a lesson to everyone that you should really clean your fireplace after every fire.)

An electrician had to come out to re-set our breaker box, a nice man named Dale from A-1 Electric, who reminded me of the Mel Gibson character in Conspiracy Theory, and he helped me to inspect the outlets, walls, etc. for damage. Later my friend B's husband came over to inspect the attic and make sure there was nothing smoldering up there or, as I feared, for gaping holes in our roof. Thank goodness, no damage, other than to the chimney which we really won't be needing anytime soon.

So what else did we lose? The phone, the handset of which was literally blown apart. My cell phone charger. And, sadly, the antique lights in D's bathroom - I'll have to have Dale come out next week to see if they can be repaired. Thank goodness I had unplugged the TV and computer. And let that be a lesson to anyone who thinks it is safe to stay on the phone during a lightning storm!

No lasting damage, except maybe to the dog, who this morning is still a cringing furball of fear. She refuses to leave my side (is under the computer chair right now) and spent the night panting and sighing on her bed. When B's husband came over she practically leaped into his arms -- clearly I am not to be trusted any longer. First the family goes missing and now I've blown up the house.

The good news is I found some comfortable pants yesterday morning at the mall and my s-i-l found another pair on eBay for me.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Time management

Nothing like having a lot of time on your hands! Actually it's been sorta counter-productive for me because instead of being my usual organized, scheduled self, I've not really done anything all week. I should be taking advantage of the free time to get errands done, or chores, or go find some pants that fit, or even take a nap, but instead I've done things like the Lord of the Rings marathon. And read three magazines in one day. Today I made rum & raisin ice cream.

All that punctuated by the fact that we found out my grandfather passed away on Tuesday night (long illness, very expected) and with M away and everyone in Jamaica for the week, it was up to my brother and I to try to track mom & dad down and now he is dealing with the funeral home until everyone gets back on Saturday. So I didn't even really do anything with that, except talk to some relatives.

Tomorrow, though, I mean it, I will make it to the mall. I'm down to 1 pair of shorts and 1 pair of khakis that fit and if they get dirty I'll be wearing my pjs until I do laundry. Plus I'd like to get a cute little homecoming outfit for the baby. Not that we used D's -- I was so exhausted and frazzled when we left the hospital it's a miracle I was dressed, let alone the baby -- but I think I'll be a bit more "together" when BabyBoy is born. I think.

Fizzy is horribly suspicious that I've done something dastardly with the rest of the family. She wanders from room to room, peeks into D's bedroom, then comes over to stare at me. Poor doggy.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sound of silence

It's hard not having anyone to take care of, besides yourself, that is. It's too quiet and I'm way off my routine/schedule. Except for walking the dog. I even sort of miss the constant low-level chit-chat in the background that is the sound of D playing legos, or coloring, or just playing in her room. I don't quite know what to do with myself!

Maybe it's just the horrendous discomfort of being 30 weeks pregnant. I went on a brief expedition for maternity clothes this morning only to come back empty handed and bummed about how ugly everything was. Stuff that I saw on my friends just a year ago that looked amazingly cute on them, look like crap on me. And can I tell you how much I hate this "under-belly," "mid-belly," belly band business?! I just can't deal with that band, it cuts me in all the wrong places. I'd love a huge loose pair of linen pants, but they're not to be found anywhere.

10 more weeks. Tonight is the start of my Lord of the Rings marathon. Whee.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Home alone

M & D left this morning for NC to visit his parents. They'll be gone for not one, not two, but seven whole days. Leaving me with nothing, NOTHING, to do this week except rest, relax, watch movies and occasionally take the dog for a walk. Amazing. Don't know what to do first, although I'm sure I'll end up cleaning, since I can't help myself.

First off, I'm running out to stock up on some good magazines -- you know: InStyle, Vogue, Vanity Fair - nothing remotely "kiddie." Then maybe I'll get some pie.

Monday, May 15, 2006


We had a nice weekend here getting caught up on our sleep and getting back to our regularly scheduled routine after a week of visiting with my in-laws.

After Mass yesterday, M took D over to the little grotto at church where there is a large statue of Mary. She had on her crown of flowers (last Thursday was the official May crowning at school) and her flowing robes and I guess they stood there for a bit silently contemplating. Then they caught up to me and D's first response was "Mom, we saw the Statue of Liberty!" It reminded me of the time we saw Father G out near the car line at school one day, and as we walked by D stage-whispers, "Look Mom, there's God!" I guess a logical leap for a 3-year-old, since we tell her that Church is "God's house."

Only two more weeks of school to go! I'm thankful, since most of D's friends are already out. I decided that, this summer, we are taking it easy. I just don't have the energy to go racing around town to activities and appointments. So, except for one week of nature camp and her Monday swim lessons, we're going to be completely spontaneous. We've got lots of outdoor stuff now - a nice canopy tent in the backyard, a new kid's picnic table and sandbox which our lovely neighbors generously gave us, the sprinkler ball, wading pool and, of course, TONS of play-doh. I also snagged a vintage set of Tupperware popsicle molds on eBay (just like the ones we had when I was a kid!!) so I'm sure we'll have fun thinking of juice combinations to go in them. When I was a kid, we always started out with OJ or some other nutritious juice, but by the end of the summer we were freezing Coca-Cola.

Hard to believe it's been almost one year since I started this blog and we were getting ready to go to Kosovo.

Friday, May 05, 2006

6 down, 3 to go

Tomorrow I will be 6 months along! Whee! August 5 is right around the corner! Last dr. appt. was great - he's very active and pretty big. I'm doubling my efforts to be careful about what I eat. With the exception of this weekend when my Mom, M-I-L and sisters are all coming to take me out for a fancy brunch.

The other day D saw one of those planes pulling an advertising banner - she pointed it out to me, "Look Mommy! A coupon up there." So cute. The last time we saw one we had explained the difference between an ad and a coupon - but I guess some of the finer points got confused.

Three more weeks of school to go. Next year, D will still be at the same school, but going five mornings a week. I think she's ready, most of her friends are returning, and it will really be a nice break for me since I'll have Junior to deal with at that point. I'm hoping my mom can come to help for a few weeks or a month like she did with D, but unfortunately, we're out of rooms here. So we'll have to do some creative juggling.... I'd send D to my parents for a month, but she'll be in school. I hate to put my mom in a hotel.... I wonder if we can renovate in 3 months?

School ends with an event called "Water Day," which I thought was some kind of educational event about conservation, ecology, blah blah blah. Come to find out it's a day of slip n' slides, sprinkler balls, wading pools, etc. for the kids on the last day of school. What was I thinking?! Anyway, I can still help because, after the water fun, they have a make-your-own sundae bar and I'll help do that. I don't know what D is more excited about, the water or the ice cream.

M's parents arrive for a week visit tomorrow so today I'm cleaning house and making muffins and a lasagna and a bunch of other make-ahead stuff. Busy day, but it will be nice to visit with them for a week.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Anxiety prone

Maybe it is just a pregnancy thing, but I'm so much more anxious about stuff these days. Like today - sort of a milestone, D's first school field trip. We're going to a Jack Hartmann concert and I volunteered to be a driver. Starting about 3:00 a.m. I started worrying about it - what if I get lost, what if the other kid I'm driving gets car sick, what if I can't get her car seat in the car (being in a not-so-flexible state, it's a legit concern!), what if it rains and the traffic is bad....sheesh. I ran through about 100 different non-problems, almost e-mailed D's teacher to tell her we weren't coming, then woke up at 6 to tell myself it's all in my head. Crazy prego hormones. Ugh.

I'm really trying to be aware of our time committments though and I've made an extra effort not to over-programme our days. Still, we're supposed to go straight from the concert this a.m. to playgroup to my OB appointment and somehow get to the grocery store and figure out something for lunch -- it's just a bit much, so I suspect something will get skipped. I've found if I overdo it, by the end of the day I'm worn out and I get terrible Braxton-Hicks contractions and literally feel like my bladder is going to fall out of me. Which should be a REAL cause for anxiety, but I don't have time to think about it with all the made-up nonsense going through my head.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday morning surprise

The original title of this post was supposed to be 10.5, which is the average number of hours I've been sleeping at night for the last week. It's been heaven not having to get up early to get D to school and since M has been sleeping in as well, we're all as lazy as can be. BUT, I had to change the title because after my lovely 10.5 last night, I woke up about 8, took a nice hot shower and as I came into our bedroom, I noticed a funny little black thing in the door to the hall. No biggie -- looked like a ponytail holder or maybe yard debris tracked in by the dog. So I got some TP to pick it up and when I grabbed it lo! and behold it was a frickin' baby black SNAKE. It squiggled around at me and I threw the whole thing onto the floor yelling for M to help. Luckily, D was already awake playing Lego in her room and when she heard me yell, had the good sense to yell back "I'm staying in here! Don't let it come in my room Mommy!"

So M got our official Wildlife Trapper Tupperware container (in case you aren't familiar with this style, it's the nice large square one that has trapped field mice, baby rats, lizards, spiders, a baby frog, and now, a black snake) and managed to scoop it up using the official Wildlife Trapper Flexible Cutting Board, and he and D took the whole thing into the front yard to let it go. He's very humane about the animals we trap - the vast majority are let go alive due to a nasty incident he had with a glue trap about 15 years ago. Long story. Tell you later.

Anyway, so the thing is out of the house, thank goodness, but now I'm left wondering how exactly it got in and wound up in our doorway without attracting anyone's attention - especially the dog's, some watchdog she is! - and if there are any others slithering around. Things that make you go hmmmm, indeed.

So that was our Saturday. Later in the morning we went down to the Farmer's Market where I scored some sourdough bread and then we all had smoothies and M got a veggie burger and I bought some chocolate. After lunch, D and I had our ritual Food Network Festival wherein we get caught up on all the eps of Barefoot Contessa, Paula Deen and Everyday Italian that I TiVo during the week. All in all, a nice day, even with the weird start.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Into the ficklemint

So here's what's been occupying my mind for the last week or so. D saw the Tarzan episode of Backyardigans last week and when, at dinner, I asked her for a re-cap she went through the whole show and insisted that part of it was them going "into the ficklemint." "Do you mean peppermint?," we asked. Spearmint? Basement? I think we ran though every possible _mint/ment combination until we all gave up in frustration. Especially me, since I take great pride in being fluent in Three-Year-Old-ese.

Anyway, I finally figured it out today - Into the Thick of It. I can move on now.

I had my 5 month check up last week. Everything looks great with BabyBoy and I'm very pleased to have only gained 10 lbs. so far. One reason it's a lot easier to keep my munching in check is the terrible heartburn I have every time I eat. Ugh.

Next week we get ready for our annual Easter Weekend Family Gathering. This year, in addition to my whole family, we'll be joined by M's brother and his wife and 4 kids. So it ought to be quite a crowd. We decided to rent a tent and some big tables and chairs so that we can all be outside in comfort while we eat and visit. It would be quite difficult to cram 14 adults and 7 kids into our teeny house, so pray for a continuation of the great weather we've had so far this spring.

For Easter Sunday I'm serving pastries/muffins, fruit, baked ham, hashbrown casserole, green bean salad, rolls, hard-boiled eggs and cake and/or lemon meringue pie for dessert. Plus coffee, mimosas, etc. Hope there's enough variety for adults and kids alike.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Big news! We've been hesitant to broadcast it, but we're pregnant again! I'm officially 21 weeks (yay! past the half-way mark) and out of the most dangerous time for miscarriage, so I'm finally feeling comfortable talking about it. The most exciting part is that it's a BOY! Oh boy! I'm so used to girls and girly things and girlishness. This is going to be a huge, but welcome, change for the family. I'm very excited about having a little guy around - maybe with blond curly hair and my brown eyes?

So far, this pregnancy is going very well. I've been eating everything and had only very mild morning sickness. Maybe it's the difference between carrying boys and girls, but it's mostly healthy stuff I crave and I've developed almost an addiction to garlic. I will eat it raw. I smear it on toast. M had some stomach aches at first, because he'd gotten used to my not using it at all for the last 4 years and suddenly it's in everything but the oatmeal.

The due date is August 5, so another long hot pregnant summer to get through. But for now, we're enjoying the beautiful cool spring weather and getting outside all we can. Among the summer "indoor" projects that I've got planned is taking my blog entries from our stay in Kosovo last summer and printing them into some type of book or scrapbook or something. We've got tons of great picures to add, and I think it will be a great keepsake for our family.

D's fourth birthday is just around the corner too and it's amazing and wonderful to watch her change from a pre-schooler to a full-fledged "big girl." I love it.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy New Year!

I almost passed out when I realized it's been almost two months since my last post. I wish I had all kinds of good excuses involving exotic travel or top-secret missions, but really it just boils down to laziness, mixed with holiday-rushing-around-ness with a dash of kid-related craziness. It seems like every time that I did get around to writing I'd end up with D at one elbow and the dog at the other both of them staring at me like I never, ever spend any time with them at all. Well, maybe the dog has an excuse but certainly not the Kid.

Anyway. To summarize. Thanksgiving=Georgia with my sister-in-law's family. Christmas=North Carolina with my in-laws. New Year's=Us in a car returning from NC. Santa was great, D was a doll, we're back to school. The end.

NC was super, D & I had our first White Christmas, which just seemed so much more Christmas-y than the usual green Florida Christmas, where you're wearing shorts to Christmas breakfast and by the time the family gathers for dinner the a/c has kicked on. Something to be said for Jack Frost nipping at your nose after all.

Since we had snow, M was able to ski (no broken bones, whew!) and D went snow-tubing. Snow-tubing looks utterly dangerous, but really all that happens is your kid ends up soaking wet and frozen after a few hours of gliding down the slope. And this is just at the "bunny" slope for pre-schoolers or chicken-hearted older kids. She loved it though, as did Grandpa, who handled the push off duties, and M, who handled towing her back to the top of the slope at the end of each run. I was in charge of taking pictures, stamping my feet, and yelling "Put your hood up!" every 2 minutes. Despite my (groundless) fears of broken bones, both of them really enjoyed their winter adventures. One night at bedtime, D said to me "Mommy, am I a sespert?" Finally I puzzled out that she was saying "expert," as in expert tuber. She had overheard M's tales of going down the Black Diamond slope and my saying that was only for experts. Or the young. All my worrying for nothing though as everyone was just fine. I should remember that the next time I start to work myself up about things. Ooohhh...a resolution? Nah.

Anyway, yes I have missed writing here a lot and I'm glad my little blog hasn't disappeared into the ether. I promise I'll be back soon.