Tuesday, April 29, 2008


"Are you my baby?"
"No, Mommy. I'm not a baby, I'm a big boy"
"Oh, that's right. Are you my sweetie?"
"Yes, Mommy. I'm your sweetie-pie."

RC is the "yes" to every second-time mother's question. Yes, it is absolutely possible to love another child as much as you love the first. In fact, I think it may be impossible not to.

I once read that even when their children are in their forties, mothers still remember their due dates. RC's was May 7th. RC turned three on April 25th.

At 23 months, RC got the memo; it was time to be two. And RC has done so tenaciously, adamantly, with vengeance and purpose. I spend a lot of time calling my son names. A few that come to mind are maniac, relentless, and exhausting. Here are some others:


To quote my friend JCK, I love him with a fierceness that is primal. Even after the most trying day, I still want to hold him. I revel in being his mommy, even at 3:00 am. I am supremely confident that there is not another person on the planet that will ever love him more than I do. And I know that without a doubt, there is nothing that could ever change how I feel about him.

I am so proud of him; of his three-year-old wit, humor, and intelligence. I admire his drive, his tenacity, albeit sometimes reluctantly. I know that Andy and I have been charged with with feeding his mind and his soul so that he can be someone he, himself can be proud of. He is the best part of each of us. We do not take this responsibility lightly, yet we relish it.

Happy Birthday, my wonderful three-year-old big boy. You make our life richer.

Mommy loves you. Up to the sky.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

You Know You Want Some

Louisa’s* Sangria Recipe

7 Liters** of red wine (nothing too fancy)
1 L- apple brandy
1 L- orange juice (best with pulp)
0.5 L- lemon juice (concentrate is fine)
1 L- apple juice
3 lbs. of oranges (optional: 1 lb. Lemons)
3 cups of sugar

11 liters total volume + fruit = need about a 15 liter container

Dissolve sugar in 2 cups of very hot water
Chop fruit and squeeze out juice
Add parts to Sangria

Chill overnight

* Louisa is my neighbor. She makes the best Sangria I've ever tasted.
** 1 Liter = 0.264 gallons. This recipe makes approximately 3 (2.904) gallons of Sangria.
*** Now updated to include picture of finished product!

Yes, it's in a bucket. I don't have a five gallon punch bowl - do you? Can I borrow it?
Yes, I bought the bucket new and scrubbed it before using it.
Yes, it takes up practically all of my fridge.
Yes, I taste-tested it - and it. is. yummy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Past Life Regression

Two things have occurred recently that have converged to make me think about the lives I've lead.

I went to a funeral yesterday of my brother's boss. He's a perpetual student/bar manager. His boss owned a local bar/music club for the past forty years and happens to be our second cousin by marriage. Before we were married and had kids, Andy and I used to spend A LOT of time at the bar and knew a lot of people there. Since our time at the bar, a good friend from high school has picked up a second job there, working the door.

I was also solicited to join LinkedIn. If you haven't heard of it, it's a kind of professional, online network, where you sort of post your resume and can network with people you've previously worked with or others from their connections. There's very much a six degrees of separation quality to it. For example, I found my old boyfriend from high school is a contact of a former collegue of mine.

I was at the wake with my husband (my present and future), [avoiding] catching up with distant relatives (my childhood), seeing a good friend from high school (youth/teen/college years), and friends from the recent past (pre-marriage/pre-parenthood).

As a result of LinkedIn, I've heard from other old friends that I've known in my working life. I was mentioning one, my mentor when I first became what I consider a professional, to Andy and saying how nice it would be to go out to dinner with Bob and his wife, Ellen. Yeah, right. We can't make time to see family and 'best friends.'

I suppose I am living my third life.


Now we are close with our neighbors. Eventually these people will move to the backseat, too. I still have a Christmas card of a former neighbor out because I 'really will drop them a quick line to tell them how we're doing.' They live all of 45 minutes away and we've seen them once since they moved.

How quick it is that we become Christmas card friends. How infrequently we see the people we were once closest to. How often we become friends with people through circumstance or convenience. How sad to lose these close connections. How fortunate we are to be able to make new ones.

So many lives we lead and live.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Reason I Write a Blog

I may have just purchased THE cutest flats in the history of shoes - Tommy Hilfiger, madras plaid, size 7 1/2. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. And then I remembered, "I have a blog".

So here I am. Screaming.

** Polls are still open. Vote today on a possible Blog Title Change. Results to be announced this week!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'll Show You Mine if You'll Show Me Yours

I was over at June Cleaver Nirvana's place this morning, drinking a cup of tea when I noticed her very impressive Blog Reading Level widget sitting there on her sidebar, which graded her blog as not just college level but postgrad.

(It should be noted that in order to even get this graphic on my site, I had to save the .jpg from Holly's site.)

So being the super-duper competitive mommy blogger-cum-writer that I am, I clicked right over to this site to [validate myself] have some harmless fun. Or not. The site graded my blog as this:
blog readability test

Clearly there was something horribly flawed with this test. And I set out to prove it by plugging in the URLs of some of my best, brightest, and most erudite bloggy friends. Here's a sampling:

My friend, Jenn at Juggling Life, who in reality is a full-time (college) student, achieved this grade level:
blog readability test

Hmm. Starting to feel a little better about myself but let's continue with the test. Next, I plugged in the always eloquent JCK at Motherscribe. Her results?
blog readability test

Where are we in the land of No Child Left Behind?
Is George Bush administering this test?

One final chance to disprove my hypothesis. I'm pulling out the big guns, the queen, The Boss(y) :

blog readability test
Results: Flawed test. Bell curve blown all to hell by overachievers (must be the animation).

Still don't believe me? How 'bout this one boys and girls? http://www.hawking.org.uk/home/hindex.html. Yeah. Him. His score:

blog readability test

At least we're in good company...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Where the Child Things Are

Inspiration strikes you in strange places at strange times.

I've had a day. RC is definitely moving toward a schedule that does not involve naps and as a result, was pretty much Horrific (yes, Capital H) today.

He trashed the entire hair products aisle at Target, ran away from me at HRH's school, causing the panic that Merlot Mom knows only too well, hit another kid in a dispute over the steering wheel-thing on the play structure at the playground, and finally left the playground in search of greener pastures.

It was at this point that I summarily threw the boys into the SUV and took them home (with promises of making brownies with HRH for having to be removed from the playground despite no real wrong-doing on his part).

At home, things did not improve. RC is still in his crib because there is no younger sibling for whom I need him to abandon his crib and up until now, he's liked it. Um, not any more. We will be pulling the toddler bed out of the attic this weekend.

Anyway, today he decided that the crib is too small for him and besides, he was NOT taking a nap. We tried having him read books in his bed, we tried lying down on my bed, we tried lying on the couch, we tried, we tried, we tried. Then he had the nerve to get all overtired and bitchy for the remainder of the afternoon.

God bless Andy who arrived home like my knight in shining Saab to deal with the heathens. Despite his offers, I did do my part and read HRH a goodnight story and tuck him in. The book was Where the Wild Thing Are.

This has never been a particular favorite of HRH's or mine but tonight for some reason the imagination and the illustration spoke to me. And I loved it. Snuggling after the reading in HRH's little twin bed and ending the day on a positive note. God works in mysterious ways.

So back to the inspiration: What do we think of the title of this post as the new title of my blog? When I started blogging back in July, I really wasn't plugged into the society of it all. As a result, when I tried to name my blog Manic Mommy and discovered it had already been taken, I assumed it was like email and just came up with a slightly different take on it. Don't worry, the other Manic Mom and I are buds and laugh over any confusion. None the less, I think I might like a change.

So what do you guys think? Imagine this for a minute. My blog:

Where the Child Things Are.

I already Googled it and it's not taken. I could post as Wild Child.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Evolution of the Giraffe by HRH

These were drawn just a few weeks apart. The second was done using a "How to Draw Animals" book. But still, behold the artistry of my son.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Everyone's Got An Opinion

A week or so ago, Kevin Cullen wrote this column in the Boston Globe regarding a movement to rename Causeway Street, on which the [Boston] TD Bank North Garden resides, to Red Auerbach Way in honor of The Boston Celtics' most famous and influential coach and president.

The column extolled Red's virtues as a dynasty builder and a coach who focused on the team above the individual, and most notably, being the first coach to start an all black starting line in 1964. As Cullen writes; "Red made the issue of race relevant by treating people's race as irrelevant when judging them." I am not a basketball fan but the column stuck with me.

And it came back to me today when I read this Opinion in this morning's Globe. In it, Tripp Jones, using the most faulty of logic, tells Hillary Clinton supporters (such as himself) that it's time to back Barack Obama. His reasoning is that the race between the two Democratic contenders has become so racially contentious (in large part as a result of the words of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr.) that the only way to right the course is to give the nomination to Obama.

So, what we're saying is that because a racial divide still exists in the country, we should nominate a black man largely because he is black? Huh? Jones posits that "Our support would send a powerful message that the United States is headed in a new direction - on race relations, certainly, but perhaps most importantly, on what it means to be an American." I disagree. This isn't a new direction or a new idea. It's called reparations and it repairs none of the racial divide.

I am a Clinton supporter. I'm not in love with her and I've previously voiced my opinion that I do think she has an agenda. The reason I'm voting for her is not in whole because she's a woman. It's because I think she is the smartest, savviest, most-experienced contender in the race, whose opinions concerning the issues important to me align most closely with my own.

I like Obama. He's also smart and savvy but with less experience on the world stage and lacks the connections that will serve Hillary so well. If he wins the nomination, I'll vote for him in the general election. I think he would do a good job as president. But I do not think he's the strongest candidate. I would very much like to see him as Hillary's running mate. But make no mistake; my preference is for Clinton at the top of the ballot.

I think we all need to take a page from Red Auerbach's playbook: treat individuals as individuals and make the question of race irrelevant when judging. Mr. Jones, I'm not concerned with "sending a message", I'm concerned with making our country the best it can be by electing the person most capable to the office of The President of the United States.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ask Me If I Give A...

For some reason, I have thus far escaped the humor that is all things scatalogical with HRH. With RC, really not surprisingly, he immediately got the joke. And finds it hysterical. So now, we're listening to the golden oldies of poop humor:

Old McDonald had farm.
And on his farm, he had a POOP!

and also this one:

There was a farmer had a POOP!

We also have new (super-creative) nicknames,

And his answer to everything? You guessed it:

MM: Guess what we're having for dinner, RC.

The thing is, when he does it (probably because it's a somewhat new phenomenon), we tend to laugh. I laugh because it's so funny watching RC find humor in something. Andy laughs because he's a guy. And all guys find poop jokes funny.

Can I interpret this as a sign that he's ready to potty train?

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