Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fantasy Time

I was helping my husband find his High School Yearbook the other day. I came across a box of photos. I am not a scrapbooking person, I can barely find time to get my photos in frames or in an album...thus the box. I looked through the box and before I knew it, an hour had passed. The contents were pretty random (clipping from my friend's wedding announcement, prom picture, pictures of my belly when I was pregnant). It got me thinking:

If you could go back for 1 day (with the knowledge you have now) and not alter the course of your life what would you do? (ex: go back to my wedding day, birth of my baby, high school)

I will post a poll as well


"What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

To schedule or not to schedule that is the question...

It's almost at the end of July and there was a certain crispness in the air as I was driving home from work that made me long for fall. Its rare for July to be anything but muggy this time of year in New England. By the end of the week we will be back in the "dog days" of summer, so the dry air was truly refreshing....

Which brings me to my next problem. Along with the thoughts of fall and back to school is the inevitable over-scheduling of the children. Every year I say I am not going to do it, but I somehow find myself lured by a new gymnastics studio, soccer balls, hot pink hockey gloves and I think "Am I depriving the world of the next (insert sport/activity here) star???


Its not just me. As I was sitting at the hair salon getting my gray's covered, my hairdresser asked the oh so popular question to break the ice "so what are the girls doing in the fall?" I always want to answer "analytical geometry and yours?" So it is truly on everyone's minds at all times. For the first time in a long time I said "well, Cat will be doing soccer and I actually don't have anything lined up for Cal...."

I immediately started back tracking, by saying "well I plan on signing Cal up for gymnastics or, or swimming or both, well and if Cal does swimming, I will sign up Cat as well..."

What am I doing? Am I crazy?

The women sitting next to me immediately piped in about the latest greatest dance academy, kids-gym and music class...(gee I haven't even thought of music). There is a whole new way I can torture the girls and kill our free time (and wallet)...MUSIC, what about ART, what about DRAMA....

We are all guilty is what I have learned.....


I did see the cutest hot pink Lacrosse stick on line? Anyone want the url? Maybe I can coach?


Because I mentioned sports, I will end with a sports quote about one of my favorite places on earth, and if you are ever in Boston, you will have to come and visit....

"We love Fenway Park because we love antiques, be they rocking chairs or ballparks. But we love it even more because the eccentricities of the place mirror our own. It is, like us, difficult and cranky. And this makes it a mighty hard place for a player to play in. Too bad. Players come and go, but Fenway Park may become an American Pyramid." - Boston Red Sox Sportscaster Clark Booth in Fenway by Dan Shaughnessy

Friday, July 20, 2007

Do men really do this?

During certain times of the evening while I am watching TV (usually during the Red Sox-go figure?) I have noticed a commercial that really makes me laugh....Flomax. The product is for men with enlarged prostates. Now I am not saying its a bad product or that I am not sympathetic for men who are experiencing urinary symptoms due to an enlarged prostate....but...

Do older men really hang out together that much? Do they all get together with their enlarged prostate on board and go canoeing or biking with other guys? Is this an attempt to tap into the idea that 60 is the new 40 or the new trend of "mancations" and bonding with fellow guys? Is it hip to have an enlarged prostate?

Or what about the Levitra commercials for "ED" the cool phrase for impotence showing these handsome older men in sweaters with the actractive wife giving her a lascivious gaze.


What if they are taking both medications at once? Do they go spelunking with their 60 somthing friends then pop another pill, rush home to the Mrs. and put on some easy listening and cuddle?

Is this my future? 20 years from now is my darling husband going to be mountain climbing with his "buddies" and enlarged prostate? Will I be hiding in the minivan while he chases me down with his "erection that may last for more than 4 hours."

I guess I will have to check myself in 15-20 years to see if I feel the same way....


"What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy."


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mel's Bracelet

I am a bracelet fiend!!!

My favorite bracelet and one that has such a great story and a worthy cause. Click on the link below:


the beads are very cool, its a great bracelet that matches everything and has a stretchy band that my kids have not found a way to break yet. I bought them as mothers day gifts for my SIL and my MIL and they love them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Flying to close to the sun? AKA trying to recapture my youth....

Being in your late thirties, it is almost second nature or part of a woman's genetics to want to stretch out ones wings and feel cool again...

Following is the story of Icarus Thirtysomething and a night out with her friends...

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to see Morrissey (ex singer from the 80's band The Smiths). I went with my husband's best friend Jack (HUGE fan), and his ex-hipster-ish friend Sam. All of us thirty somethings with spouses and children who lovingly allowed us to break free for an evening of fun.

Of course in preparation for my night, I decided to search the attic for my Smiths T-Shirt from my clubbing days (I used to be somewhat of a punk in college)...

Size MEDIUM? Ummm, ok lets give it a shot...ewwww...yeah that didn't quite work. Ok, lets try a funky dress.....ok, no I look a tad like John Travolta in drag from Hairspray... Ok, lets go with jeans and a black T-shirt, leave the crocs at home-that will do...not feeling as "hip" as I would like, but I am off to Boston....

So off we went, after debating bringing my husband's car, we decided to go with Jack's minivan since it had an "easypass" which would allow us to get through the tolls faster....feeling less hip by the minute. We pick up Sam, who is dressed ....how do I say this...like he was trying a bit too hard to fit in with the Morrissey crowd, but ok ok it will work...

The concert was great...interesting crowd. As I peered around the audience I noticed a lot of women in black T-shirts, jeans tapping their feet to the opening band, sipping on German beer nervously as if they would be discovered as suburban moms trying to recapture their youth, their size medium t-shirts tucked safely away in the past.

During the last song Sam and I were somewhat buzzed as we jumped up on our chairs and started playing air guitar (VERY UN-HIP), Jack also participated. I then did something rather daring considering I was with my husband's friends. I pulled out my emergency pack of cigarettes that I usually keep in my desk at work. We all chuckled with glee as if we were doing something truly decadent. So Sam had the suggestion that after the concert (it ended around 10 pm) to go to a hip urban restaurant which features a hookah bar. In my very un-hip form, I asked "is that legal?" (after all, Jack is a police officer). "Sure its legal, Kate Hudson went there when she was here a few years ago." EXCELLENT

So we went to the hookah bar for more cocktails and hookah (never quite figured out what hookah was). Sam mentioned my air guitar skills and invited Jack and I back to his loft to play Guitar Hero on Playstation...EXCELLENT. After struggling through a couple of rounds, Sam and Jack suggested picking a song in which I knew the basic rhythm of the song...ok ok. The pickins were a little slim but I finally found my song which I successfully got through to get to the next round.

My song....Strutter by Kiss, I had the album when I was about 7 (my brother belonged to Columbia record club)....Icarus's wings were now beginning to melt....long with my companions, Jack who was killing himself to keep his eyes open and Sam who was tending to his 6 month old daughter who we woke up while playing Guitar Hero.

We dragged our tired thirtysomething selves home and I plopped myself into bed wearing my XL Morrissey T-Shirt at 3am.

At 8am, I decided no amount of sleep would make me feel better after going to bed at 3am. I was looking at 3 days hard hangover time (why do hangovers last 3 days now?). Mike had a good chuckle at my early morning arrival time and XL t-shirt. He also asked me to check email, Jack sent a picture from his camera phone of the "Strutter" performance.

I look like a Sasquatch

I will end this blog with a Smiths Lyric ("What Difference Does it Make?"~Album~The Smiths)

So what difference does it make?
so what difference does it make?
it makes none, but now you have gone
and you must be looking very old tonight


But no more apologies
no more apologies
I'm too tired, I'm so very tired
and I'm feeling very sick and ill today
but I'm still fond of you


Friday, July 13, 2007

Playdates? Can't we just ...hang out?

2 years ago we moved off of a very busy street from a house that we loved to a "fixer upper" on a small cul-de-sac.

Why?? Well, so the kids could play. We scoped out many neighborhoods, looking for swing sets, minivans, trampolines...classic indicators of "children in the hood."

Our small little cul-de-sac, embedded in a farm area is idyllic. Kids, cookouts, no traffic....

However, the cul-de-sac has become a bit "too cozy." Unfortunately there were only 2 families on the road with children. We all burned each other out about a year ago and the kids, much like siblings can no longer cope with each other.

Which brings the dreaded "play date" into picture again.....

My 6 year old, Cal has always been pretty good about finding things to do and playing with the other kids in "the hood." My 9 year old has had more challenges. This is probably due to the fact for the first 3 or so years of life she got entertained 100% of the time by my mom (who watched her for the first year after I went back to work), myself or my husband. She was my first experience with the concept of a play date.

Over the years we discovered that these play dates needed to be scheduled and structured....what are we going to do? what are we going to eat? who is picking up who? Quite the challenge for a casual friend to come over for a visit.

Where are they days of just hanging out? Why all the parental involvement (lets do a craft, lets cook something, lets go to the zoo, lets all play a game)? Now I understand for safety reasons we can't just let the kids run around the streets unsupervised, I mean, I am casual but not that casual. And I certainly do not have a problem with setting up the slip and slide or taking out some lemonade and cookies....

Classic example. My 9 year old was moping around the house one afternoon while I was busy doing laundry etc... I gave her a suggestion. "Hey Angelina lives right around the corner, why don't you ride your bike over (I am talking RIGHT around the corner), and ask her to play." That sent a wave of panic down Cat's body. "What do you mean? just go over?" "Yes Cat, don't just invite yourself in, just ask Angelina to play or ride bikes on our street"....eeessh..."Can I call her first?" (getting play datish already...) "Sure if that makes you more comfortable".....

5 minutes later "Angelina's mom wants to talk to you"
"Hi, Cat wants to have a play date with Angelina?"
"Well, we were just hanging around here doing nothing and I thought maybe the girls could hang out?"
"And do what?".......
"ummmm, maybe ride bikes"
"Angelina's bike is in the shop"
"well, it doesn't have to be that...they can just ..you know hang out together, climb a tree or something"
"climb a tree?"
"well umm, maybe...some crafts"
"Angelina is pretty busy today, she just came home from swimming lessons and has gymnastics early in the morning"
"well (sheepishly) perhaps another time"
"yes lets schedule something"

Now I work full time so I know how tightly I need to schedule something to find balance... but what is happening here? Are we so over scheduled that we have lost our imaginations, don't kids just know how to play? By the end of this summer the kids in the hood (mine included) will ask me a dozen times during the next 8 Saturdays and Sundays what to do. Where is the fun in just hanging out, climbing trees, riding bikes. Now in the fear of sounding like my dad...but...when we were young, we would leave and play in the morning with our friends, come home for lunch, play again (outside) and then after flashlight tag my dad would whistle us home.....

Is it me?


"Sometimes the laughter in mothering is the recognition of the ironies and absurdities. Sometime, though, it's just pure, unthinking delight. "

Barbara Schapiro, O Magazine, May 2003

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Notes from the Minivan

This is my first post...bear with me.

About me:
I am a mom and a wife, barely hanging on to my thirties (as my husband Mike of 11 years often likes to remind me). I have 2 daughters Cat (9) and Cal (6).

I can't believe I have 2 girls who are so different than one another...I thought I did everything the same....they crack me up. I am very far from perfect...so be careful of emulating anything you may see on this blog. I drive a minivan that I have grown to hate while listening to alternative rock in an attempt to regain my youth (today it was The Smiths-a common thread you will see in my blogs). I sneak out at work and smoke the occassional Parliament as some sort of rebellion. I enjoy the occassional dirty martini and the more than occassional Amstel light. I am in love with Tom Brady and recently had a "dream" about Derek Jeter AND Alex Rodriguez which is strange since I am a staunch Red Sox fan....(I admit, I was smiling in my dream, I think....).

I would like to think of myself as a good parent. Anyone who says parenting is fun or rewarding 100% of the time is lying through their teeth...sorry, but its true. I sometimes say the dreaded "because I said so," use what is called "the goon hand" to remove my girls from different situations (I will explain the goon hand in a different blog) and have on occassion given them bowls of cereal for dinner in front of the TV when no one in the household can remotely deal with each other at a "formal sitdown." Oh well, I do try...sometimes too hard.

The hubby:
From my perspective, we have a healthy marriage....I will define "healthy" in a later blog I am sure. He seems happy...I guess :)

Here's the thing:
I work outside the home. I hope that does not seem controversial to anyone reading this blog. If this offends you in any way....stop reading...this might not be the place for you....

Why the blog:
Perhaps I am trying to compete with the teenage girls in the "hood" with their myspace pages. It's possible that I have subconcioius guilt over the fact that I spent my parents hard earned money on an English degree, that I really don't use. Sometimes when I am making the trek into work I think how funny my life is, mostly due to parenting, marriage, my hysterical friends....and I want to write it down. I think of myself as an aging Carrie Bradshaw wannabe....yeah...that works.

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.
Dave Barry (1947 - )