Friday, November 30, 2007

Last day of NaBloMo....

Last day that I have to blog every day for a month...sorry for the boredom...I hope I did ok....

See you in December when I have more brain cells left and hopefully feeling more inspired


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Crabbiness Setting in? (not for kids)

And its not even December yet...

How to keep T from being crabby this holiday season?
  1. Don't let children drink her "special" eggnog

  2. Don't mock "It's a Wonderful Life", including George Bailey or Uncle Billy

  3. Compliment her wreaths and timeliness of decorating her home

  4. Send Elves, lots of Elves

  5. Don't say things like "I like snow, I just hate driving in it..." you either like snow or you don't

  6. Don't play Dominic the Donkey or I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas over and over

  7. Let her drink as many pomegranate cosmos as she wants

  8. Don't buy her anything with a handle or that plugs in unless its a sex toy

  9. Don't get offended when she calls the kids in "Charlie Brown Christmas" little f*ckers

  10. Don't ask her if she's been naughty or nice


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

To the Party Bloggers Out There

Yes you Kristine and Alicia...both throwing holiday parties

Here is what Oprah Suggests:

Make your winter event one to remember!
From a holiday movie night -- complete with snack ideas and trivia contests -- to a cookie swap, these gatherings will overflow with holiday cheer!

Holiday movie viewing party
Nothing rings in the season better than sitting by a cozy fire, sipping hot chocolate and enjoying your favorite holiday movie. So, why not make a party out of it! Here are our ideas for how to bring "It's a Wonderful Life" -- to life!
Make your own invitations by jazzing up plain card stock with quotes from the movie. Try, "Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings" or "Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!"
Set the scene! Make your house feel like a theater by ordering replica movie posters from the 1940s online. No snow outside? Make your house feel like Bedford Falls by decorating your windows with paper snowflakes!
As guests arrive have the movie soundtrack playing in the background.
Serve your guests traditional movie theater treats -- like hot buttery popcorn and oversized movie candy.
While George Bailey's drink of choice was bourbon, Clarence the angel preferred mulled wine (with extra cinnamon). Have both on hand in case your guests want to enjoy cocktails inspired by the film.
At the end of the movie, give your guests a holiday movie quiz! Have a copy of the film on DVD as the top prize.
Give each guest their own bell as a party gift -- so they too can help an angel get its wings!

Cookie swap party
Does the idea of making 17 different flavors of holiday cookies get you down?
Fret no more. Invite your friends over for a cookie swapping party! Each person should bring one dozen cookies per guest. So, if you are inviting 10 people, each participant should bring 120 cookies (roughly two to three batches). At the end of the party, each guest walks away with a whole variety of goodies! Here are some ways to make your cookie swap special.
Instead of zipper bags, make sure to have fun containers for people to transport their cookies home in.
Holiday themed disposable containers or cellophane bags will work.
Have appetizers ready! With all the sugary treats, make sure guests have something savory to munch on while they mingle.
Have festive music playing in the background.
Ask your guests to bring copies of their cookie recipe so everyone can recreate them at home.

Gift wrapping party
Take the boredom out of wrapping gifts by having a gift wrapping party! Invite friends over and whip through those packages while gossiping with the girls.
Make sure to have plenty of workspace. You can even rent card tables for the day.
Provide lots of tape and plenty of scissors so all your guests need to bring is their favorite wrapping paper. Use our gift wrapping guide for step-by-step instructions!
Plan a buffet style meal so people can take breaks from wrapping and nibble throughout the night. You could even do a buffet of just appetizers!
Have festive holiday music playing in the background. Or, pop in a classic holiday movie.

Plan an outing
Instead of staying inside, gather a group of friends and head to the great outdoors!
Go ice-skating. You can pack winter friendly snacks like hot chocolate or warm apple cider.
Find a local farm and see if they offer sleigh rides. Don't forget to bring a blanket!
Visit a Christmas tree farm and chop down your own tree!
Grab your favorite holiday CD, load up the car with snacks and explore the holiday lights on the houses in your neighborhood. (There's something to be said for someone who can create an entire reindeer out of blue and white flashing lights).
Have a snowman making contest. You can even hand out challenges, like making an Elvis snowman, a Big Bird snowman or the world's tallest snowman!"

From the Holiday Exclusive
TM & © 2007 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Does Your Favorite Christmas Movie Say About You?

What does your favorite Christmas movie say about you???

Classic: You are an old soul and appreciate the classic Christmas Stories. You have a romantic streak and like to sit in front of the fireplace with a mug of mulled wine with a blanket and reminisce about Christmas past. You have white lights and red bows on your Christmas tree. You make eggnog from scratch and your Christmas cards usually have a black and white of your kids, a cardinal in the snow or a Victorian house.

It's a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Story

Cartoon: You are fun loving and a kid at heart. You enjoy making snowman, making a big bowl of popcorn, eating half and stringing have for your tree and listening to Dominic the Donkey. You have been seen making snow angels and you use colored lights on your Christmas tree. You make Christmas cookies with Hershey kisses or Reese's peanut butter cups. Your Christmas cards have colored pictures of kids on the beach from the summer, or some kind of silly cartoon Santa or Reindeer doing something naughty.

Charlie Brown Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
The Grinch

Modern/Comedy: You are a hip, trendsetter. You have a wild streak and throw fun cocktail parties and drink pomegranate cosmopolitans to celebrate the season. You have been known to make snow angels in the nude. Your Christmas tree has a funky mix of modern glass ornaments and glitter. You entertain more than cook. Your Christmas cards are sleek and chic, the recipients of these cards usually say "ooh, now THAT is clever."
Christmas Vacation
Love Actually
The Grinch with Jim Carey

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Party

I am hosting a "grown up" Holiday party featuring drinks & appetizers.
I need some tips!!!!
If you have any advice on what to do and what NOT to do, I'd love to hear it.
It will be a Saturday night and it will be a large crowd.
The ideas I need......
-types of appetizers (good & bad)
-how to stock my bar traditional holiday or regular music
...basically, any advice is welcome!

Baby It's Cold Outside

So I am overdoing it with the Christmas Cheer and listening to my CD's

You know what song cracks me up?

Baby It's Cold Outside, below are the lyrics....a bit creepy don't you think? Some high pressure tactics from this girl's date huh?

The song was written in 1944. I guess guys were just as horny back then.

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside

I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside

This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in

So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry

My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar

So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry well

Maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour

The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there

Say, what's in this drink - No cabs to be had out there

I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now

To break this spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell

I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move a little closer

At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride

I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out Ahh, but it's cold outside C'mon baby

I simply must go - Baby, it's cold outside The answer is no - Ooh baby, it's cold outside

This welcome has been - I'm lucky that you dropped in

So nice and warm -- Look out the window at that storm

My sister will be suspicious - Man, your lips look so delicious

My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore

My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh your lips look delicious

ell maybe just a half a drink more - Never such a blizzard before

I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there

Say, lend me your comb - It's up to your knees out there

You've really been grand - Your eyes are like starlight now

But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me

There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Making my life long sorrow

At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died

I really can't stay - Get over that old out Ahh, but it's cold outside

Baby it's cold outside

Brr its cold….It's cold out there

Cant you stay awhile longer baby

Well…..I really shouldn't...alright

Make it worth your while baby

Ahh, do that again


Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Dad has a Theory That I Just Witnessed in Person

My dad always said that my brothers and I always displayed odd behavior at Christmas time. We would pull out old toys that we ignored all year and suddenly had renewed interest.

Today, Cal is playing with her leap pad computer that she has IGNORED for 2 years. Cat is now playing with a science kit that has been sitting in the playroom shelves all year.

So what has happened?

2 Theories:

  1. My kids have been observing me eyeing toys to clear out of the playroom and closets in preparation for the next group of toys they will start ignoring 2 days after Christmas and suddenly want to demonstrate how much they love these misfit, ignored, toys.

  2. I have been asking them to look at the flyers for gift ideas from the grandparents that I need to send them so they can get going on their shopping. They are looking at these flyers and realizing that they already have a lot of these toys, but are merely ignoring them.

Any of this going on in your house?


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tis the Season

I can't imagine what an alien would think of what transpired in my house from 2 days ago right up until this afternoon...

I think it would go something like this:

Alien to Alien leader:

I have been observing some crazy behavior from the life form below....she bought a huge birdlike creature cooked it, shared it with some people that she hardly ever sees then has been making crazy sandwitches and eating them morning, noon and night...

Next, she dragged out all of these boxes full of lights and made her husband get on a ladder and put them all over the house. The husband looked distressed the entire time as he was muttering under his breath as he climbed the ladder. There is a huge spotlight on her house and the neighbor was muttering under his breath when he saw her wreaths were up before his.

Then she took pictures of her children. The children did not look the least bit happy about getting their pictures taken. Apparently she is advertising for new parents for the children. She sent the pictures to at least 50 people.

Then she drank a concoction callled eggnog. Her eggnog had extra ingredients which made her wince when she drank it, but after a while she looked happy with rosey cheeks.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Some turkey and shameless posing with local pop star

So folks, Thansgiving went well. We had our annual football game with the neighbors. I admit that I am the worst quarterback ever as I threw an interception, fumbled the ball and also fell down and basically sacked myself. My hip is sore this morning and I played for about 20 minutes before officially starting cocktail hour.......

So to the shameless posing. My neighbors are aunt and uncle to a bass player in a very hot band who is rising on the charts quickly. The band is called Boys Like Girls and are a punk/pop/emo type band. They are very good and have toured with All American Rejects and are going to start a new tour with Avril Lavigne. They have been on MTV TRL and Jimmy Kimmel. Very exciting for my preteen Cat. So of course I had Cat take my picture with him so some day I can tell my grandchildren that I was once kinda cool or was in the vicinity of cool people. He's actually a very nice guy and I hope he and the band do well..

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I drink to your health when I'm with you. I drink to your health when I'm alone. I drink to your health so often, I'm starting to worry about my own!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods.....

... to T's house we go! Here are some photos of us preparing Thanksgiving dinner. We also have live footage of the girls cooking and the smoke alarm going off (my pie overfloweth).

Kids Cooking!!

Also, we watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving last night. Can I just make a statement??? Charlie's friends are little "sh!ts." Imagine inviting yourselves over to your friend's house for Thanksgiving and then complaining about the food? Its bad enough they abused the crap out of him on Halloween and I don't want to even think about the grief (pun intended) they lay on Christmas.

Smoke Alarm


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yet Another Book Recommendation...but this is a really good one

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner (who wrote "In her Shoes)

What I like about this book compared to the prior book club selection I read?

The book is VERY relatable on a lot of levels. The premise of the book is 4 women who come together through their experiences with childbirth. Becky is a plus sized mom to be, who is a laid back chef and extremely down to earth and takes a lighthearted humorous view on life and pending motherhood. Kelly is a wanna be ubermom, she could be any volvoescalademuranomobile upwardly mobile mom in my town. Ayinde is married to a famous basketball player trying to balance her new baby and on the road husband. Lia has come home (book takes place in Philadelphia) from Hollywood after a tragedy to try to build her life again.

I am about 1/2 way through the book. Its a very easy book to put down and pick up again (which is sort of the way I read being a mom and all). The childbirth experience of Becky is so relatable to me, it was like the author was in the room with me. Spoiler alert..... Becky labors all night and gets to the hospital to find out she is only 3cm and crumbles into tears. Been there.

What I also like is the relationships between the women. All 4 come from completely different backgrounds and come together as friends to support one another in these trying times. There is a great scene where ubermom Kelly is trying to breastfeed the first day home from the hospital and realizes nothing is working to get the baby to latch on (why does everything work perfectly in the hospital and never when you get home).

So far, I love this book, I love the way Jennifer Weiner writes and I highly recommend it. It would be fun book to buy for other mommy friends for the holidays.


Monday, November 19, 2007

I Don't Know How to Play Anymore

My older daughter had a friend over on Friday night for dinner and to keep little sister Cal off of her back, I said "lets play Sorry or Uno." "No mumma, lets play Barbies," which I agreed to since my favorite thing to play as a little girl was Barbies. "Ok, lets go."

So after picking out the doll and fabulous outfit she'd be wearing we sat down to play. I asked Cal, "what are the Barbies doing today?' "Well, her name isn't Barbie, mom (she calls me mom when I am being annoying) , its Emma and we can do whatever you want." "Ok, lets take the van out of a drive." "No mom, its not a van, its a camper and Emma can't drive it."

"Ok, do you want to cook dinner in the dream house"


So Emma was cooking and Cal's Barbie was dancing around and I realized I don't know how to use my imagination anymore, what is my Barbie (ahem I mean Emma) going to do with herself today? I had to take most of the direction from my 6 year old to be able to play Barbies for a half hour. I realized I STINK AT THIS. Cal was patient and eventually Emma and her friend Lizzie (Cal's doll) went for a hike and made popcorn and tended to horses, but again, I had to take most of my direction from my poor daughter. I truly have no imagination left in me. When I was a kid, I could play Barbies for hours and hours and hours.

What happened?


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Amazing New Mini-Series

The Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel. I had heard some commercials and thought it looked interesting. Its on Sunday nights so I am usually in full blown "get ready for the week mean mommy mode." Last night the family and I watched the first episode "On Demand" and it was truly incredible and cheaper than a trip to the zoo. Warning for your little ones, it does show the true circle of life so there are adorable seals being gobbled in one bite by great white sharks in one scene. They do warn you subtly when there is a preditor situation so just cover any sensitive ones eyes. My 9 year old had a bit of a tough time, my 6 year old was routing for the shark "Cat, calm down, the shark has to eat too ya know!"

I think it is worth watching, and much more interesting than a lot of the shows on TV right now.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Family Traditions

I celebrate 2 Thanksgivings. One with the hubster's side of the family and one with my side of the family.

I announced tonight that I was going to need to make sweet potatoes for our first Thanksgiving tomorrow. Cat asked if she could help. I immediately thought noooo I just want to finish this and relax. But I remembered my mom, who normally wouldn't allow anyone in her castle the kitchen, would open it up to us on Thanksgiving and Christmas to help. Usually she would take the trimmings off the pie crusts and let us roll them out and put cinnamon and sugar on them and we would roll them into pinwheels.

My dad always made cranberry bread and my Nana made truffles. My older brother played in the high school Thanksgiving game. My little brother and I loved watching the Macy's day parade. It was nice.

It makes me hope that we are starting nice traditions for my kids. I have a friend whose parents used to send them outside to make a homemade centerpeice on Thanksgiving (basically getting the kids out of the house for an hour). I have friends who do yankee swaps at Christmas time. I have a friend who on Christmas Eve does the "ugly gift awards," everyone picks a name on Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve gets the most creative, ugly gift they can find. My mother in law used to start a puzzle on Thankgiving with the kids with the hopes of finishing by Christmas Eve. My father in law used to read his kids Dickens "A Christmas Carol."

What are your traditions?


Friday, November 16, 2007

Scary times

I went to the girls' Elementary School yesterday to drop off an inhaler (my little one is asthmatic). The nurse spotted me and said "come in quick" frantically. So I quickly skipped into her office and asked "what's going on?" She replied, "we are practicing a lockdown drill of the school, if you don't get out of here in 5 minutes, you will be locked in with us."

Needless to say, I got out before the lockdown drill began.

Last night at dinner, Cal said "we had a lockdown drill today."

me "what was that like?"

Cal "it gave me butterflies"

me "what was it like?"

Cal "the principal said on the speaker, 'teachers lock down the school'"

me "so what happened next"

Cal "the teachers locked the door and pulled the shades down and we went to the cubby area"

me "did your teacher explain why you are practicing this"

Cal "in case a dog comes in the school we need to stay safe"

me "ok, well that sounds like a good reason to keep your class safe"

Cal "right, or if a man comes in and tries to shoot through the door" (I am sure another child told her that scenario)


I understand the need to keep the school secure and ready for that type of emergency. And I am thankful that it only gave Cal a mild case of the butterflies. My older daughter was completely unphased by the event. Its just a sad thing that we live in a world that has to take these precautions in an elementary school.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Turkey Day 1 Week Away

This will be my 5th Thanksgiving that I am hosting. I always feel suprised when I am a week away and don't have so much as a stalk of celery in the house to prepare for the big day.
It made me start thinking of the Thanksgivings of years past and some of the huge mistakes and small triumphs I have had over the years.

: Year 1 I decided to do EVERYTHING myself. I delegated nothing. Not only that, I had a fresh turkey for the first time (those are bloody little suckers!) which proved to be very disturbing to my 3 year old who screamed everytime she came into the kitchen. So there I was the mother of 2 children (3 year old and 6 month old baby) cooking everything from appetizers to desserts for the big day. Result: I was so stressed out by the time dinner was served I couldn't do anything but drink wine and yell at my husband.

: My first year in my neighborhood I challenged by bigger and much (much much more) athletic neighbors to a "friendly" football game after dinner. Result: Embarrassment and a lot of pain. At one point I remember one of the teenage boys on the other team (I think his name was Rodney Harrison-ha ha) looking down at me on the ground like I had just fallen out of my walker saying "are you ok, ma'am?" Perhaps trash talking them since September didn't help our cause either.

: This year, taking on a new job at my company which will require me to work right up until Thursday. I have NO idea when I am going to get anything done. However, I have delegated a lot of the work to my dad who is a fabulous cook and retired.

I have no tips...well maybe one.... My mother in law is in charge of mashed potatoes and she always brings them in a crock pot to keep them warm. I have a small crock that I put my gravy in as well. I do make my own gravy still.
Oh and tip #2, don't start drinking heavily until after dinner.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Useless, yet interesting facts for a Wednesday

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand .. And "lollipop" is the longest word typed with your right hand.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt". ?

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years.

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner, QE 2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Good Cry for a Tuesday

I watch (or listen to) the Today show while getting ready for work and schoolbus. They had the most tragic and touching story this morning, that I was in a puddle on the floor after listening to the interview. The full article is here.

Below is an excerpt
"On May 4, Lori Coble, 30, was driving home from lunch on Interstate 5 with her mother, Cynthia Maestri, 60, in the front seat of the family’s minivan. Behind them were Kyle, 5, who was playing a video game, Emma, 4, who was watching TV, and Katie, 2, who had fallen asleep.
Traffic was moving rapidly in the center and left lanes, but the right lane was stop-and-go with cars backed up on the Mission Viejo exit ramp Lori Coble intended to take. She remembers looking back while the car was stopped to check on her children, and squeezing Katie’s toe to wake her up so she would be able to nap when they got home.

What happened next she knows only from what others have told her.
A tractor-trailer loaded with 20 tons of electronics and traveling an estimated 70 mph slammed into the back of the minivan, killing all three children and seriously injuring Lori Coble and her mother...."

Lori and her husband are now expecting triplets, 2 girls and a boy. They are also advocates for Truck Safety Coalition, a citizen’s lobby working for stricter regulation of the trucking industry. According to the coalition, some 5,000 lives are taken in accidents with big rigs.

It just amazes me how after a tragedy like they had that they could go on with their lives and it makes me think about the many blessings I take for granted every day.


Monday, November 12, 2007

While watching the Ellen show today

She recommended a website today that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE

MomLogic. The site features The Jeannie Tate show (hysterical), a suburban soccer mom who conducts interviews from her minivan. Check out her Rashida Jones will not be sorry.

The site also includes news, pop culture, fashion, of course parenting articles.

I am officially adding this site to the top of my favorites list.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Morning Ramblings

Hell don't read the paper...I am ready to ramble.

Thought 1 of the day: How about those Celtics? 5 and 0. I haven't been this excited about a Celtics team since the ML Carr and Larry Bird days. I feel truly lucky that all of the New England sports teams are doing so well. The hard thing is the fact the Patriots are so disliked and there is a growing dislike for the Red Sox as well.

Thought 2 of the day (as I skip church today) I am an Episcopal. My family and I joined the Episcopal Church 2 years ago after a not so nice experience with the local Catholic church in my town (ccd, working mom...just not good). No judgement, just switched churches and we couldn't be happier with the transition. HOWEVER, my church is now splitting in half. To put it in very basic terms, over homosexuality. Half the parishoners are leaving to form a new church which will have more conservative values. I am staying with the current church as I have always had a more liberal point of view. The whole situation is very sad to see this church break up in such an ugly way.

Thought 3 of the day: Speaking of homosexual. The girls and I were playing Sorry on a lazy Saturday afternoon and I put on the TV, and the movie Pillow Talk was on with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. I used to watch old movies with my mom and she was a huge fan of Doris Day and Rock Hudson. We would make popcorn and grab blankets and watch these bubbly, harmless movies and it was so fun. My dad, unfortunately, would walk by and make some negative comment about Rock Hudson to get under mom's skin. But after watching him yesterday and googling him, it must have been a bit WAS GORGEOUS!!!! Check out this You Tube Video I found. HYSTERICAL, cute wasn't he? But not much of a dancer.

Thought 4 of the day: Thanksgiving. I host every year. We are going to have a smallish group this year 8-10 people at the most. I was thinking about doing something different. I will do the basics, turkey, stuffing, potatoes. But since it is a smaller crowd, I was thinking about squash soup or some other funky stuff. Thoughts? Ideas?
Thought 5 of the day: Mr Krabs from Spongebob. I never realized that Mr Krabs is a single father of a teenage daughter (Pearl). Must be challenging. Pearl is a betch. No wonder he is so frugal.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

One Season Ends and Another Begins....

Congratulations to my girl Cat for a great Soccer Season. You were incredible to watch and showed mum and dad what a nice influence you are on your teamates, pulling them together and having fun. Great goal today and way to stay warm on a 40 degree day at 8am on a Saturday.

Now we start basketball. Mum and Dad know how well you did last year and are looking forward to another great season.

We love you

And to our little one Cal, please don't let your friend Ben put anymore Aquadots in your juice boxes on your playdates.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My fellow blogger has challenged me....

Thank you Kristine for a fabulous idea for a fun Friday Blog:

Favorite Martinis

I make good Martinis but I do have to give props to a company who makes fantastic mixers called Stirrings. They carry these mixers at most local liquor stores in my area and I have to confess, my famous blueberry martini is part Stirrings mix. They have come out with some holiday mixes this year including, Egg Nog Martini, Chocolate Peppermintini and Sugar Plum Martini. You know there used to be a time where I would anxiously await the coming of a new Yankee candle each holiday season....sadly I now wait for the new Martini mixers....

But if you want to go from scratch, here are a couple of my favorites:

White Cosmopolitan

1 cup white-cranberry juice
4 ounces vodka 2 ounces Cointreau
1 cup white-cranberry juice 4 ounces vodka 2 ounces Cointreau 1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add cranberry juice, vodka, and Cointreau. Shake to combine well. Strain into two large martini glasses. Serve immediately.

Fudge Swirl Martini

1 Part Chocolate Vodka 1 Part White Chocolate Liqueur 1 Part Vanilla Vodka

Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled martini glass rimmed with cocoa powder.

My personal favorite

Dirty Martini

6 parts gin 2 parts dry vermouth 1 part olive brine Cocktail olives
Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with one or two olives


I think Martinis have become the modern day "shots" that I used to drink in the bars when I had big hair and listened to Bel Biv Devoe.

Give us some of your favorites....I get my best cocktail recipes from friends


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Home Disasters-Guilty as Charged

Yes I have committed to blogging every day for the month of November. It is now day 8 and I am running out of things to chat about. Please forgive me for surfing the net for inspiration. I will try to wax philosophical soon...I promise. So while surfing the net, I did find a really fun article by Josh Garskof of This Old House, called Critter in your House? What to do. The article is really clever and funny and brings back reminders of some of the goofy things the hubster and I have been through over the years since we were first handed the keys to a home.

Story highlights

  • Household disasters range from critters to floods to frat boys

  • Basement full of water? Be careful of electrical feed

  • Didn't open fireplace damper? Use fire extinguisher, not water

Lets hear it, what goofy things have you done?

I have left the damper closed when I lit a wood stove in my finished basement. I also had my fireplace going upstairs and kept thinking "wow, it really smells smoky.." I went down stairs and the basement was filled with smoke, which I had to clear out of there before the hubster got home. It looked like an I Love Lucy sketch, as I cried and tried to fan the smoke out windows with my daughters snow sled.

However, the hubster is guilty too. In our first house, he realized he had to stain the deck. Instead of using deck stain, he used Minwax. Minwax is used to polyurethane furniture. He basically shellacked the deck. It looked like a shiny bureau.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Gas Prices

With gas prices soaring and the thoughts of bringing my minivan to the pump this morning, I decided to look up ways to save $ on gas. I found an interesting article on on what really saves money and what doesn't. The full tests results are in the article (from 2005), Test #6 kills me. I am an idler. There is frost on the windows on my van this morning....I will be idling.

Here are the hightlights:

Test #1 Aggressive Driving vs. Moderate
Driving Result: Major savings potential
The Cold Hard Facts: Up to 37 percent savings, average savings of 31 percent
Recommendation: Stop driving like a maniac.
Aggressive vs. Moderate Driving: read the entire test

Test #2 Lower Speeds Saves
GasResult: Substantial savings on a long trip
Cold Hard Facts: Up to 14 percent savings, average savings of 12 percent
Recommendation: Drive the speed limit.
Lower Speeds Saves Gas: Read the entire test

Test #3 Use Cruise ControlResult: Surprisingly effective way to save gas
Cold Hard Facts: Up to 14-percent savings, average savings of 7 percent
Recommendation: If you've got it, use it.
Cruise Control: Read the entire test

Test #4 A/C On, Windows Up vs. A/C Off, Windows Down
Result: Nice in theory; not true in practice
Cold Hard Facts: No measurable difference (unless you open the sunroof, too!)Recommendation: Please, make yourself comfortable.
Air Conditioner: Read the entire test

Test #5 Check Your Tire Pressure Result: Important for safety and to reduce tire wear
Cold Hard Facts: No measurable effect on the vehicles we tested
Recommendation: Check your tire pressure often but don't expect a big savings.
Tire pressure: Read the entire test

Test #6 Avoid Excessive Idling
Result: More important than we assumed
Cold Hard Facts: Avoiding excessive idling can save up to 19 percent
Recommendation: Stopping longer than a minute? Shut 'er down.
Excessive idling: Read the entire test

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Increasing Instructional Time

In Massachusetts and across the country there is a growing movement to increase the amount of instructional time students receive by lengthening the school day or school year. While this is not a mainstream practice yet, "The Expanded Learning Time Initiative" is starting to gain some serious traction. Approximately 15 schools in Massachusetts received multiple year grants to cover the cost associated with longer school days and years. This is still a relatively new experiment but early data seems to suggest positive results such as better attendance and less tardiness in schools with increased instructional time.

What do you think?


Monday, November 5, 2007

To expose oneself to pleasant warmth....definition of BASK

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!" Shelley, Percy Bysshe

Feeling a little blue as I was putting my kids on the bus this morning after a wonderful weekend of leaves and football. I will ignore the onslaught of Christmas ads and decorations that are making my children crazy. I will ignore the thought of squeezing way too many people into my small house on Thanksgiving. I will ignore the thoughts of basketball season as soccer season will soon be over for Cat.
I will bask in the memory of playing in the leaves with my girls, their hysterical laughter as the hubster and I played soccer against each other, leaving me in a heap in the backyard. I will bask at my older daugher who is growing too old to hang out with me, as she hangs upside down in our favorite tree in the yard. I will bask in the memory of my little one who still likes to snuggle and tell me "I love you tooo much muma." I will bask in the crunchy leaves falling out of the back of my shirt after the girls showered me in their glory.
So, do me a favor today....bask...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mama told me there would be days like this.

I know I shouldn't be angry on a Sunday morning, particularly one where I got an extra hour of sleep. But....

I got an email from someone who is running for Town Council in my town. The only possible way he would have gotten my email address is by the class list from my daughters' classrooms. The room parent collects phone numbers, email addresses and mailing addresses for birthday parties, early dismissal etc.... Because I work full time, email is essential to communicate with me. But, not for town elections. I am annoyed.

And another thing. I went out for dinner last night with 4 other couples... no kids. It was lovely. However, the waitress pointed out one of my girlfriends who finished her dinner quickly (she is the mother of twin toddlers and a 3 year old who probably hadn't eaten all day), "wow, you finished quickly and cleaned your plate too, you were HUNGRY." I think that was rude. Since when does everyone have be a comedian at the expense of propriety.

Lastly. Went out walking this morning. For those of you who read my blog, you know how sensitive I am when you mess with me while I am walking.... I was almost home. Had a great walk, beautiful fall day. Everyone I passed behaved themselves "good morning" "hi" etc.... I was almost home, and this guy who worked for the utility company decided to imitate me walking and said "you should be running." I just smiled and kept on my way. I really wanted to smash him over the head with my neighbor's trash barrel. Perhaps I am feeling overly sensitive these days.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Book Club-Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I belong to a book club. This month's book is called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

From Publishers Weekly "Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights--the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners--Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. "I came to Italy pinched and thin," she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise "betwixt and between" realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry--conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor--as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression." Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The reason we picked this book was one of the members of our book club saw Julia Roberts (who I love), gave it rave reviews on Oprah Winfrey. She loved the book so much, she said she bought it for all of her friends for Christmas last year. Julia is now slated to star in the movie.
As usual, I am not going to finish the book in time. Book club is Weds, its now Saturday and I am only 1/3 of the way through the book.
What do I think so far?
If a book didn't capture me right from the beginning, I had a hard time. My first thoughts on the book was "boy, I wish I could take a year out of my life and go to Italy, India and Indonesia and do some soul searching, how could a middle class working mom relate?" And that the main character was a bit "self absorbed." But after giving it another chance, I am really enjoying it, so much so, I am hoping to convince book club to postpone until I finish it (the Red Sox really took a bit into my reading time over the past 2 weeks). So far, I have finished the "eat" portion which takes place in Italy. Warning to anyone who is trying to diet and likes Italian food, the descriptions (particularly when she goes to Naples and eats pizza) are unbelievable. I almost sent the hubster out to get me pizza at 9pm just to satisfy my craving, which I haven't done since my first pregnancy.
I can't imagine what I will be craving when I get to the "love" section of the book. The hubster may go into hiding.
Anyone out there read the book? If so, share your thoughts...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Rambling Friday Morning

Since I committed to blogging every day , I thought now, being a quiet Friday morning to bring up some things that are on my sleepy, sometimes random brain.

1) Yahoo picked up on an article from The Boston Herald where Bill Cowher (former Pittsburgh Steeler coach) implied that someone is going to hurt Tom Brady if the Patriots insist on continuing to run up scores on other football teams. I take issue with that statement. First of all after reading the Yahoo blurb on the article, I noticed 18729 comments regarding this article such as: "Deserves it! Cheap classless boston scum!""good will teach them a lesson," "break his legs." Yikes? There were plenty of posters supporting the Patriots, but again Yikes? I am not going to pretend I am not biased, being from New England, so take this with a HUGE grain of salt....Aren't we supposed to be scoring touchdowns in professional football? Isn't that what they are getting paid to do. When Vrabel recovers a fumble and runs it in for a touchdown, should he be giving it back to the other team for a "do over?" Is it the Patriots job to keep themselves from scoring touchdowns? Or isn't that the opponents job? Wouldn't it be more insulting to the opposition for the winning team to run down the clock so they won't feel badly about the score? Who knows?

2) I read an article on birth order on CNN taken from Parenting Magazine.

Story Highlights

  • Birth order's role debated; recent study suggested higher IQs for firstborns

  • Middle kids are said to be great negotiators and peacemakers,
  • Youngest kids may suffer from assumptions that they're spoiled, stubborn
Since I only have 2 kids, its hard to say at this point if birth order has a role in their lives. I can't imagine that it does bear some weight. From my own personal experience being the middle child of 3.
P-oldest brother, smart and a leader.

Me (~T) -middle child, very very very much the peacemaker

C-younger brother, spoiled, spoiled, spoiled.

3) I have a recipe you need to try... do this, you will be a hero at your fall parties......

Apple dip

16 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup water
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, or in the microwave, melt caramels with water, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in caramel mixture. Serve immediately.

4) Fabulous news on the homefront. The hubster has given me permission or as I call it a get out of jail free card to accost, grab, grope or whatever to my latest crush

Mike Lowell

5) "Betch"
I am a You Tube addict at times. I found a really funny video from a local MA person who now has a cult following. Warning, the video has the "f" word. But I think its really really funny.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Janga Fett hugs Barbie cheerleader.....

This was our first year with my daughter in a Hoochie Mama outfit and my 4th year with my son in an outrageously expensive Star Wars themed costume (equipped with a weapon of some kind).

I spent more money on the underclothes to keep my daughter warm from her skimpy outfit that I did on the actual costume! complaining......I like Halloween and had a fun time. My kids had fun, brushed their teeth really well and went to bed without and argument.


Here comes the stressful part of year. Who is cooking for what holidays and when can we fit in time to see them all. Not to mention the expense of it all.

I am going to try to salvage the year by adding in some family time for just the four of us. Believe me, we REALLY need it.


Yeah I said it, any of your bloggers out there up for the challenge?

Posting every day for the month of November.

I always have something to say...not always funny or interesting, but I will give it a shot


Bloody Scream

Hannah Montana

What candy did you give out? (white chocolate reeses, nerds, butterfingers)
What is the favorite candy that you "snuck" out of your kid's bag? (almond joy)
What did your cuties dress up like? (feel free to link back to your blog so we can see pictures)
What was your favorite costume as a child? (Jacob Marley from Christmas Carol)
What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path, amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy night! With what wistful look did he eye every trembling ray of light streaming across the waste fields from some distant window! How often was he appalled by some shrub covered with snow, which, like a sheeted spectre, beset his very path! How often did he shrink with curdling awe at the sound of his own steps on the frosty crust beneath his feet; and dread to look over his shoulder, lest he should behold some uncouth being tramping close behind him! and how often was he thrown into complete dismay by some rushing blast, howling among the trees, in the idea that it was the Galloping Hessian on one of his nightly scourings!~Washington Irving (a quote from “The Legend of Sleep Hollow”)