Friday, November 30, 2007

A Clown of a Different Color

My sister and I were discussing not liking having the scary clown pictures front and center when you opened my blog - rather off-putting. In its place, I give you RC on the merry-go-round:

Told you he had a slightly different slant on things.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Should I be afraid yet?

HRH: It's a mad clown. I made it at school today.

I can just see the letter home now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things I Never Thought I'd Say - An Ongoing Post

Not things like "because I'm the mommy, that's why" or "you worry about you, I'll worry about (insert other child's name here)" although I'm saying those, too. It's more the totally non-sensical no-one-has-ever-said-these-words-together-before bon mots.

Like yesterday's

"No, RC. Don't wash your hands in the doggie's water."

or today's
"Don't lick that. There are germs on the Clinique counter at Macy's."

or how 'bout

"No, honey. You can't wear the blue and white sneakers today; you filled them with yogurt."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Overrated Pleasures

Now if I could just get Matt Damon to star in my sequel.

Really Expensive Purses
I am one of the most pretentious people I know so how the need for a fantastic bag has eluded me, eludes me. I just can't see the point in spending $600.00 for a Coach bag. Now if I got it on a great sale, that'd be different. That being said, when my MIL brought back my Longchamp purse from her trip to Paris, I loooved showing it off.

When our TV dies, I know what we're getting but for the most part, I'm not impressed. My brother's got a nice one and the best thing he could say was that you could really see how good-looking the waitresses are at the Rogers Center, when the Red Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays.

Black Friday Sales
I actually saw and ad for a store that was opening at 4:00 am the day after Thanksgiving. My sister was one of those lunatics out there. She was showing me a new winter coat she bought for my niece for 60% off. I bought HRH a winter jacket at the same store for 50% off a few weeks ago - in the middle of the afternoon.

Eh. I can take 'em or leave 'em. Having a stranger squeeze invisible blackheads until my eyes water is not my idea of pampering. Also, when they blow that steam in your face, I get claustrphobic. I'd take a massage or a pedicure over one any day of the week.

Food Network
I come from a long line of chefs. I never thought much of Italian restaurants growing up because my dad's cooking surpassed the stuff they served. My brother actually cooks to relax. I appreciate good food but I cook because we have to eat. I don't enjoy it. And I certainly don't feel the need to watch someone else make it.

BBC Britcoms
Just because you don't get the joke doesn't make it clever. Sometimes they are, sometimes they're not.

Matthew McConaughey
I'll say it: I bought People's Sexiest Man Alive issue and read it cover to cover. Some I agree with completely (George Clooney). Some I don't agree with at all (Benicio Del Toro) but some just don't do it for me. Matthew McConaughey is one of them. He was so hot in A Time to Kill but I think that had more to do with his brainy-family-man-trying-to-do-the-right-thing character. And yeah, he's got an amazing body. But boy does he come across like a dufus.

Shout out to bubandpie who provided the inspiration for both Underrated and Overrated Pleasures.

Monday, November 26, 2007


11.17.07 - Andy's sister visits for HRH's birthday. I decide it would be fun to go with MIL, SIL, Andy, and Boys to lunch at TGI Fridays (where they don't so much mind the screaming) so the waitstaff can sing Happy Birthday to HRH. It becomes apparent that it would be best if we left the restaurant prior to dessert. Cake at Casa Contenta (our house) instead.

11.18.07 - HRH's actual birthday. Dinner with my mother, dessert with my sister, her boyfriend, and my brother. Leftover cake and ice cream. More singing ensues.

11.19.07 - Teacher asks me if I'll be having cupcakes for the class. Seemed a little gratuituous since we've invited the entire class to the party but what the hell? In for a penny, in for a pound. Run to bakery and buy a dozen Thanksgiving colored cupcakes.

11.22.07 - Thanksgiving at our house. Eight for dinner. Thirteen for dessert. No cake but pie!

11.24.07 - HRH's "real" birthday party at "The Jumpy Place" - one of those converted warehouses filled up with inflated slides, bouncy houses, tunnels, and mazes. Featuring his entire class of nine, seven neighborhood kids, ten cousins, at least one parent for each kid, and a partridge in a pear tree. Diego cake, Hoodsies (are Hoodsies only a MA thing?), Diego balloons, Diego-colored decorations, huge 5 pinata, pinata-appropriate candy, pizza, soda, water, and juice boxes.

Not having to deal with this shit again until RC turns 3 in April: Priceless.

Oh. Right. Christmas.

Cake anyone?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

One of my favorite bloggers/entrepreneurs, Mommy Needs a Cocktail had a little contest to pick a caption for a new maternity shirt she's designing. I submitted the following:

  • I’m gestating. What’s your excuse?
  • My body was a temple, now it’s a factory.
  • My eyes are up there ^.
  • Nothing says I love you like an epidural.
Guess which of my submissions won? Go here to find out. Okay, no suspense. It was the last one.

I'm surprised and thrilled that I won because, honestly, it's an honor just to be nominated. If you don't believe me, or if you just need a really good laugh, go to and check out the other submissions. Hysterical.

So now my big decision is what should I select for my prize? Help me decide at

Thanks again for this honor, Kristen. Hope the linky-love properly expresses my gratitude.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Underrated Pleasures

An unexpected meme created by Bub and Pie, propagated by The New Girl, and further purloined by Rose, and now me:

Clean Sheets
Slipping into bed at night after changing the sheets that day. No wrinkles, hospital corners still intact. Bounce smell still fresh.

A New Box of Crayons
We've been doing a lot more coloring lately. It's fantastic stress relief. I prefer coloring books, myself as they are even further down on the stress-meter; you don't even have to think about what to draw. And the best part is having a fresh box of Crayolas with nice sharp tips.

Hot Cocoa Tea Parties
During RC's naps, HRH and I will often sit at the table with mugs of hot chocolate and a little cup of mini-marshmallows between us to share. He eats them; I put them in the cocoa. I buy the cocoa without the marshmallows already in. It's better that way.

Clean Boys After a Bath Smell
Especially in feety pajamas. You've got to sniff their hair while you give them a hug.

Foot Rubs
Especially unsolicited. Best of all over a glass of wine, while we're having a nice, uninterrupted conversation. Also good while sitting on the couch watching TV.

The First Sip of Tea in the Morning
The caffeine travels so fast to my never endings and makes me sigh in pleasure.

Having Someone Else Wash your Hair at the Salon
It's decadent. If they do it right, it gives me chills.

Cleared, Clean, Countertops
'Nuff said.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Five Year Old

HRH turned five yesterday. I consider this a Milestone Birthday. It's not poetry; it's just what I've been thinking about as we reach the big O-5.

  • You were such an easy pregnancy.
  • You were born a month to the day early.
  • You had this amazing head of dark hair and stunning blue eyes. I knew they'd stay blue and they have.
  • You were so tiny; from head to bum, you were the length of my forearm from elbow to wrist.
  • When you and I were finally alone in the hospital room together, I looked at you and you looked familiar. Not in a 'gee, he looks like his dad' kind of way but in an 'I know you' kind of way.
  • You took to nursing like a duck to water.
  • Daddy had never been around babies before. In the hospital, he looked at me and said, 'show me how to change a diaper' so I did.
  • Uncle John bought you a preemie outfit with a little doggie and a pocket because "it didn't look girly and besides, all four day olds need pockets, you know, for stuff."
  • You moved your hands with an unnatural grace. We all said 'he's going to be a surgeon like his grandpa or a conductor.' Nana said 'or one of those guys at the airports with the flashlights that direct the planes.'
Now you're five.
  • You're learning to read and do math.
  • You dress yourself.
  • You use the computer like a high schooler.
  • You love preschool and gymnastics.
  • You want to know how everything works.
  • You never forget a thing.
  • Most of the time you're a really good big brother.
  • You still love to give me hugs and kisses.
  • You have an amazing imagination and an odd sense of humor.
  • You love to help me cook.
  • When we kiss goodnight, we tell each other 'I love you up to the sky' only now we say up to the sun or Pluto, or Jupiter or another heavenly body.
  • You're learning Spanish from Dora. Today, you asked me about Latin.
  • You ask me about death and heaven and tell me you don't want to die because you'll miss me.
You're smart and complex, and becoming a man. But always my baby.

Seasons Change

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Son, the Doctor

RC: Mommy, put your foot in here.
MM and OB/GYN: Ha Ha Ha Ha!

During a waist-up visit to the gynocologist. RC has never been present for any other type, thank you very much.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Helena's Meme

My friend, Helena over at Eleni received a tag that she passed on to me back in the middle of September. It’s harder than you’d think – especially with a long name – so I’m just getting to it now. Yeah, that's the reason.

The rules are that I must spell my first name and give a little juicy tidbit about me.

Curls – What’s the opposite of poker straight hair? Is it prostitute kinky? If so, that’s me. My mom tells stories of trying in vain to get a brush through my hair as a child. During my pregnancy with RC, my hair went oddly straight in strange areas. After he was born, I relied on a straightening iron that fried my hair to the point of severe damage. After over a year of significant therapy (my hair, not me) and expensive products, I’m back to curly and more grateful this time around.

Hats – I have a good head for hats. I loves me a good straw hat in the summer and have several warm bucket hats for winter where the brim curls up all the way around.

Rugs – We buy disposable ones. It started off accidentally. I couldn’t find a pattern to go with my tapestry patterned living room furniture, so we bought an off-white Berber bound remnant for about $100.00 at Building 19. Add two kids and one incontinent dog and we figure we go through about two to three a year. Multiplied over 7 years, we could have a cheap Oriental by now. But what would we do with the mud, and the pee, and the chocolate milk, and the jelly? File this under“we’ll have nice things when we get old.”

Insecure – I am. Big time. Always have been. Next?

Street – I have the best neighborhood in the world. Think the Backyardigans only with everyone in the front. We live on a tiny cul-de-sac of ten houses (the 1930s version of a subdivision). There are seven kids under 5 and four more tween/teens (aka budding babysitters). We sit on porch steps and have a beer on summer evenings, order pizza for the street, and watch each other’s kids. Whenever Andy and I talk about moving to a bigger house, the first thing I think about is how much I’d hate leaving this place.

Tea – Whenever we’d go over to my Gram’s house (my mother’s mother), we’d always head straight for the kitchen and cup of tea with something sweet; usually a chocolate roll from the day old bakery. The last of the lace curtain Irish. Back then it was Red Rose. Now it’s got to be Twinnings English Breakfast. Prepared according to my specific OCD method: Tea water must be piping hot from the kettle, never microwaved (it fizzes), it is then poured into an oversized ceramic mug, where the string from the tea bag is wrapped around the handle so as to prevent the bag from falling in. Steeping time varies but should be around 5 minutes. Once the tea bag is removed, two teaspoons of sugar are added (according to size of oversized mug). Once the sugar has fully dissolved, milk may be added. Sip while hot, not scalding. Reheated microwaved tea has become a necessary evil but is far from preferred.

India – While working at a Catholic hospital managing employee health, my mom struck up a friendship with a young Indian priest, who lost his own mother at the age of 8. They are extremely close with Mathew calling my mom “Amma”, the Malayalam (Indian dialect) name for Mother. My mom is returning to India for the fourth time on the day after Thanksgiving. Mathew is now the director of an English school there and when my mom arrives, she is treated like a visiting dignitary. It’s not too much of a stretch to picture my mom spending part of her retirement volunteering at a hospice six months a year in Kerala, India.

New – As in you learn something new everyday. I was at Stop and Shop this afternoon WITHOUT CHILDREN. So of course I noticed everybody else’s little angels. There was a mom with a daughter around the same age as RC in the cart discussing why they didn’t need to buy three jars of peanut butter, which certainly familiar enough. Then the mom began reading the label to her daughter; “hmm, low sodium, high protein, fat’s okay, too. Okay, Sweetie, lets get just one.” How great was that? I’m really good at “No. That’s not healthy.” But to introduce them to that level of nutrition as part of the normal babble of daily chores was something I hadn’t considered. Now I will.

Empty – Nothing like going out on a low note but that’s my brain right now.

But check out Helena's site - she's a bag designer and her stuff is *to die for*
Hey! I've made another wardrobe change. You know you're thinking it; "Ugh white after Labor Day! And with her coloring? What was she thinking?" But I really liked the masthead. I know; it's like buying shoes that don't match anything. We'll see what I can do to accessorize.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday, after we put the kids to bed, I lay on my bed in my pink plaid flannel pajamas and told Andy that today had felt like failure. The score was:

Kids: 1 (or 1,000 if I felt like being melodramatic)

Both kids have had a cough for the better part of a month. That's it; a dry, croup-y, wakes them and us up all night, oh-by-the-way, we-don't-give-cough-medicine-to-kids-under-age-40-anymore cough. They're irritable, I'm irritable. We're having listening issues, and respect issues, and sleep deficit issues.

Oh, and RC continues his antics in spades. Yesterday, it involved him attacking this Erector set/drinking straw/scaffolding-looking thing that HRH's whole class had worked together to build and was being displayed in the hallway for all the parents to admire. Uh, not anymore. It's funny, it's exasperating, it's two-year-old behavior - and it's happening far too frequently to be amusing anymore.

It basically came down to me not being the kind of mom I wanted to be. I yelled when I should have reasoned, I reacted when I should have ignored, I relented when I said no too quickly, and I resented being that way.

Fast forward 24 hours: I was reasonably sure that the primary topic for tonight's Parent-Teacher conference would be my allowing HRH to attend preschool when he clearly has tuberculosis.

Instead, Andy and I sat and beamed while the obviously skilled and insightful educator explained that in all her years, she has NEVER had a student so advanced for his age - academically and socially. That my boy is "a joy to have in the classroom," that he eagerly helps others, expresses his emotions positively, blah, blah, blah: superlatives, compliments, accolades.

I'm modest, so I won't bore you with the praise she heaped on us for the work we've done with him.

Clearly, I am the best mother in the world. Until tomorrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Death of Me



Uh oh...

Personally, I would have skipped the Special K and gone for the Lucky Charms.
But that's me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Does this template make my butt look smaller?

October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is over and although this is one of my most heartfelt causes, I really did hate the pink, so it (not my support) is gone. I'm thinkin' it's just about time to buy me one of those cool boutique mastheads for the holidays. In the meantime, I'll be trying out different templates for a little wardrobe update. I'm getting tired of buying off the Blogger rack. Mommy Blog Couture. What an oxymoron.

There are two ways to ask the question in my subject line:

1. Does this make my ass look big? - Indicating denial that you do in fact, have a big ass and are making sure that the clearly inferior article of clothing you've placed over it does not inadvertently advertise that you've got some junk in the trunk.

2. Does this make my butt look smaller? - Baby got back - and knows it. You can see the difference. This statement indicates more magical thinking and less denial. Like there's some amazing bit of seamstress artistry (most likely involving smoke and mirrors) that suddenly makes one's size 10 jeans look like the size 6's she keeps in the way back of the drawer because "some day...".

Anyway, feel free to answer the question. And don't you think the darker color is more slimming?

Misty Water Colored Memories

Back in April, about a week before RC's 2nd birthday, we had our first Emergency Room visit. I didn't have a blog back then but I'm not letting that stop me from telling a pretty good boys-will-be-boys story. Here's the email I sent out to friends and family:

So yesterday afternoon, HRH undid the gate at the bottom of our stairs and headed up. He did not relatch the gate, so naturally, RC followed. I'm in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher when I hear the thump-thump-thump. I arrive at the bottom of the stairs just as RC does, face first. He got a half inch gash just below his right eyebrow and it's bleeding like a sieve!

I call my mother in law, who lives around the corner and she comes over to watch HRH. Next call is to Andy. I leave him a voicemail with RC screaming in background. I thought I got the "he's okay but I want it checked out" across but who knows?

End result is that he now has three stitches above his eye. The hospital was fantastic. We only waited about ten minutes then were brought into a room where we were given bubbles, a pinwheel, a toy train, lollypop and our choice of kids' videos.

Poor Andy arrived just before they had to wrap RC in a blanket (like a cat when you cut his nails) while two doctors, two nurses, and I pin him down to stitch him up. I'm there right next to his face saying "mommy's here, it's okay”, etc. while he screamed. I think it was definitely the pinned thing rather than the stitches that had him so upset. The thing that finally calmed him down was when I said we'd go home soon and see HRH. Right after they let him loose, he sat up and said "sink you" (thank you) to everyone. Of course they all melted.

He lost the bandaid first thing as it was bugging him and he kept pulling at it. Now he's got the stitches exposed (which they said is okay) and every once in a while, I catch him pulling on the actual threads. My sister suggested we may need to get a cone. :-)

Somehow, I think this is pretty much how the next 15 years are going to go with these boys...

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