Monday, May 31, 2010

hay truck

Do you all wish on hay trucks?
For as long as I can remember, making a wish on a hay truck is the norm around here.  Maybe it's just a New York thing.  If you look back before the hay truck disappears, you negate your wish.

On our ride home from a long weekend in CT tonight, my husband and I were chatting, the car unusually quiet because all three kids fell asleep in the back.  All of a sudden I spotted a hay truck coming down the highway going the other direction.

"Hay truck!"  I hooted.

Yes!  I could use a good wish about now...

So it fell silent while we wished, and we drove on for a few miles - neither of us looked back or at the mirrors because we didn't want to lose our wish.  It's a rule.  I'm not gambling with it.

So after a couple of minutes in silence, my husband asks, "Do you think it is OK to have a string of wishes in one fell swoop, or is it only ONE wish allowed?"

I responded, "Well, I usually do one wish per hay truck, but rotate my favorites."

"Hm, I have four typical ones that I string together."

"Tell me yours and I will tell you mine."  I bargained.

1) That we come into money
2) That he does a good job at work
3) That he does a good job with the town (he is our Town's Supervisor)
4) That I will hook up with him

So I laughed out loud.  He is such a guy.  I said, "THAT is what you choose to use your wishes on??!"

1) That our family is safe
2) That our family is healthy
3) That our family is happy

He laughed out loud and says,  "Well, at least we have everything covered between the two of us!"

Good point.

Friday, May 28, 2010


There used to be this guy in our neighborhood that for all intents and purposes thought he was jogging, but I am pretty sure he was walking briskly while moving his arms in a joggish way.  Don't get me wrong, I give anyone who gets out there and exercises regularly major props, and he sure worked up a sweat doing it.

I commonly refer to this type of exercise as wogging.  Some might call it "walk-jogging."  This was, to my dismay, confirmed and defined right here in, definition number 2. 

(if you are a new reader, I will fill you in on the fact that I am feverishly trying to get a first definition original word in, as previously blogged about here and here)

Oh I thought I had it this time.  When I looked, I started with wog.  All of the definitions seemed to refer to a derogatory term that I was unaware of, so I thought I could REDEFINE it.  Then I found it under wogging. Wah.  Not fair.

An interesting tidbit that sort of relates: In Anchorman, which could possibly be one of the funniest movies of all time, Ron Burgundy discusses YOGGING -- as he says, "jogging or yogging, it might be with a soft J."  Obviously, this closely resembles my word, and one might argue that I just stole the idea and modified it.  I don't have actual proof, but we referred to the guy in our neighborhood as a wogger way before Anchorman came out.  So I claim it as mine.  My word.  Mine.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

air conditioning means a lot to me

Kind of took for granted how very wonderful air conditioned rides can be. 

I was reminded how much I enjoy air conditioning while traveling two and a half hours to a convention this week in a stifling car with my husband.

We had j u s t hopped on the thruway (about a full 7 minutes into the trip) when the air conditioner conked out.   I would like to point out that it was about 85 degrees OUTSIDE the car when this happened.

All of a sudden I was brought back to the nights spent tossing and turning, sweat pouring off of me and my poor sisters, wearing only undies as PJ's, in our ohsoveryHOT upstairs bedroom.  Horrible, sticky, endless nights in the sweltering heat.  And those rides from h. e. double hockey sticks in our old clunker, where we would hold our hands out the open window to try to fan ourselves.  Actually, I have to admit some of the car rides with our arms out the windows are fond memories.

But ANYWAY, our dumb air conditioning didn't work, til we were CONVENIENTLY getting off the exit to our destination.  Oh my Cod, I was so sweaty.  I may very well have stripped to my undies in the car if I could  have figured out a way to keep my husband's eyes on the road.

We are so spoiled with air conditioning in the house, the car.  My kids have never known a sweaty night spent tossing and turning with your hair stuck to the back of your neck, a sweaty car ride where your poor little legs stick to the seat, and make that sound every time you move.  I'm not sure if that is actually a good thing or a bad thing.  Maybe it built character in me and my sisters. 

All I know is, even though it was ridiculously hot, and our hair (well, my hair) was a crazy mess from blowing around with the windows down and the sunroof open, it was kind of fun.  Well, not really.   But it DID give us something to laugh about when we got to our hotel room and FINALLY cooled off.  AND a new-found appreciation for functioning air conditioners.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

wordless wednesday -- iris


It's 2:19 am and I am wide awake.  Every time I close my eyes I think of things that bother me.
So I toss and turn and shift my legs to the cold spots and look out the window and imagine stuff and I wish I could just shut my brain off.

It's dark, and peaceful and cool in here
and I should be able to sleep.

I just want to be comfortable again.

I hate that am never comfortable, in my skin.

I know that is bad.

I just wish I knew how to fix it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the price of a little ride

My Mom's house is on the river. She has several acres of land though, and her cottage is far up on the hill. Over the years, they've gradually cleared land for the view, and also because they are planning on building a big barn beside the river.

They just started laying the rock for a real road that will lead down to the river.  Previously, it was like a wider, steep dirt path.

Guess who attempted to drive down it in a dumb mini van?

Oh yes. That would be us.

The whole way down, with the big rocks bonking all of the guts under the van, Alex was saying, "We shouldn't be doing this, we shouldn't be doing this." But he kept going.

Then it turned to, "We are never going to get out of here."

So at the bottom, we got out and walked a bit.

The girls waded in the water and skipped rocks.

I found some pretty flowers growing wild and some cool driftwood.

Alex stood there and quietly freaked out that we were going to be stuck down there forever.

The story ends with us having to get towed out.
Luckily, we didn't have to pay for the towing, because it was a friend of the family.

Unluckily, he backed into a tree in the process of towing us up the hill and we have to pay for the damages to his truck.

Well.  That stinks.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

my birthday girl

Twenty-One years ago today...
my beautiful girl Kara Elizabeth was born.

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kara!!  I love you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

remember fanny packs?

I am currently on winter break with the kids, so I will be posting previous entries for the week. Since readership was a little on the light side back then, most of you probably haven't seen these.

Fanny packs.  I'm going there.

I just happened to see a guy wearing one the other day (not naming any names, Unc), and it made me think and also chuckle a little at his expense.  Hey!!  It was a MANNY PACK!  I think I just made that up!

(pause for a quick check on

Damn.  THREE People thought of it before I did.  Oh well, they were pretty funny definitions, I particularly liked the third one.

Anyway, back to fanny packs.  I did have one.  Way back in the nineties.  I admit it.  For a fanny pack, it was pretty cool, if I do say so myself.  It was black leather and I wore it with pride (along with some awfully high-waisted jean shorts, I might add).   Please note that my fanny pack also doubled as a camera carrier.  Please also note that my legs look like toothpicks, and I might be swayed to give up one of my children if someone could just guarantee me my old toothpicks back again.

Disney in 1993

Here are two elusive photos of me wearing my fanny pack (in the 90's) for your viewing pleasure.  Sometimes, we have to share embarrassing pictures of ourselves to prove a point.  However, I am not exactly sure what point it is that I am making here.  Maybe the point is, that although fanny packs are admittedly functional and helpful in some travel-type situations or a yard sale, wearing one may cause you to be the butt (or "fanny" - ahahhahahaha - I "crack" myself up) of unmerciful teasing, taunting and the like. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

million dollar smile

straight teeth at last

I may have previously mentioned that my son Alex is an airhead.

He continues to confirm that belief of mine. 

Way back in March, my son lost his first set of retainers, after having them for a whopping two weeks.  That was also after 2 1/2 years of braces and other contraptions were removed.  The two pieces came to $274 to replace them, which we did -- agreeing to pay half, the other half was at his expense. 

Wouldn't you know, he has lost his upper retainer again. 

Another $134 for replacement (that I have to front, of course).  At first I told him I wasn't paying for it up front, I told him I would bring him back when he earned enough to cover it, but I discovered that not only is he an airhead,  he is also a master guilt-tripper!

He came into my room very early the other morning, telling me he couldn't sleep worrying that his teeth were going to get crooked again without the retainer.  He was willing to give up his cellphone (yes, I said that right) as an offering until he paid off the retainer if I would just please make the appointment and take him to the orthodontist.

What the heck was I supposed to say to that??  "Um no, Alex -- after spending upwards of $5000 on your beautiful teeth, and dragging your butt up to the orthodontist regularly for almost three years, I am going to teach you a lesson, and let them get good and crooked again."

UGH.  So now of course I have made the appointment, and of course will be bucking up for the THIRD retainer in three months.

What would you have done??

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

yellow car

My family has unwittingly started the wave of the future in car games.  This new game is all the rage in our area, and I feel the need to take some credit for it, as I fully expect it to travel far and wide and become as well known as Punch Buggy.  So far, it is played in two states that I know of at this time, NY and CT.  If you are aware of it being played elsewhere, please be sure to let me know -- and of course, make sure the players know where it allllll started.

We all know about the VW Punch Buggy revolution. VW must have held the title for longest running car game of all times. In my extensive research, I have discovered that it is thought to be that this game originated over 50 years ago!  Who knew? 

Our new game is called YELLOW CAR.  The rules are as follows:
1. A new game starts with each new car ride.
2.  When you spot a yellow car, you have to clap your hands and yell "Yellow Car!" before anyone else. (Sorry for you if you get a little over zealous and happen to be holding a cup of coffee - I learned this the hard way.  Thus I have perfected the one handed leg clap, which also counts.)
3.  Tie goes to the runner.  Wait, that's not right.  A legit tie is a point for each yeller. 
4.  You get one point per yellow car.
5.  The winner is the person with the most yellow car sitings in a trip.
6.  Yellow cars cannot be "work trucks," taxi's or school buses.  Our rule of thumb is no vehicles with writing on the sides.  If you call a yellow car on a vehicle that doesn't count, you lose a point.
7. There is a bonus.  If you see a rare and elusive PINK car, you call out "Pink, poke you owe me a coke!" and you get 5 bonus points.  So far, I am the only one lucky enough to have seen such a rarity.

You may think this game is a little juvenile.  But lets be real, you still look for someone to punch in the arm when you see a VW bug, admit it.  I think it's high time we go with a new car game.  And on the plus side, nobody gets a black eye while playing it.  Yellow Car comes on the heels of a few other failed attempts at car games made up by the winners in my own little family: "Cop Chop!" (karate chop your neighbor when you see a cop car), "Mini Van Toe Jam!" (stomp on said neighbors foot when you see a mini van - bad, bad game for the car pool area), also nixed "Church Van, Amen!" (just noisy yelling when one sees a cargo-styled van).

So lets hear it!  Try this game out and let me know if it flies on your rides. 

do you want fries with that?


Brooke and I were taking a walk/ride through the neighborhood the other day and she says, "I'm going to have a blue flat car when I grow up." 

"You mean a convertible?"  I ask.  

"Yes but mine is going to have a back seat in case I have one or two kids." 

"Oh, you're not going to have four kids like I had?" 

Brooke answers, matter-of-factly, "Nope.  I'm not going to order that many."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Birthday Party Giveaway!!

I follow these two blogs: Birthday Girl and Kate Landers Events, and I just have to tell you about this awesome opportunity to win a FREE custom birthday party from Kate Landers Events, llc  It is a fabulous opportunity to win a $250 Custom Couture Party Package, full of all the inspirational ideas and suggestions helping you create a truly fabulous child's birthday party!

Take a moment to check out their sites and see for yourselves!  I'm dying for the opportunity to win this giveaway!

Good luck!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a crying shame

This is a picture of my dining room table, which in its current state, somewhat resembles a table on an episode of Hoarders:

Remember this post, way back on February 28??!!  You know, over TWO MONTHS AGO?   That post where I said I have a hard time eliminating piles??  Where I mentioned my distress over the shifting of my piles by a nameless man?  The post where I suggested it might be difficult to put all of the respective things in their respective places in a timely manner?? (maybe I didn't mention that out loud, but I was thinking it)  Well I am STILL LOOKING AT THE PILES!  And that, my friend, is the crying shame.

You might ask what the heck we have been eating our meals on every day.  You might wonder what in God's name is taking me so long in getting things organized.  You might even suggest that a purple Frisbee has no business taking up space in ANY of those piles.  And I really have no good answer for those insensitive comments at this time.

Thankfully, we eat all of our meals at the kitchen table (which is exactly why I think dining rooms are wastes of space, but that is definitely something we could expand on with another post).  BUT, if I wanted the dining room table to look presentable to the outside world, I should probably get moving on it.  In my spare time.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

third person

I'm going to go ahead and admit it, because the story just won't work without this embarrassing revelation.

I watch The Bachelor.  And The Bachelorette.  There were a few seasons missed because I wasn't particularly "feeling" the characters.  You know what I mean.  Right?


In one of the seasons, there was that finalist, (to clarify, she was a finalist to marry a guy)  Melissa Rycroft.  She was cute and nice and perky and stuff.  She had good teeth.  She had everything going for her in my opinion.  But there was an episode where she referred to herself in the third person that just drove me up the wall.  Like she said something like, "What would Melissa like to say about that?  Well Melissa wouldn't like it!" 

There aren't too many things that bug me on such a level.  I wanted to reach through the TV and slap her.  Or at the very least, pull her hair.  And to make matters even more offensive, it was not a slip up!  Apparently, she talks like that often, because I heard it with  my own two ears on more than one occasion!  Yes, I know, that was a few seasons ago.  I've been hanging on to it for a while now though, and clearly need to just get it off my chest.

Who does that??!   Do people really refer to themselves in the third person in real life??  (You get a pass if you are patiently trying to explain something to a toddler.  For example: "Because Mommy said sticking the fork in the outlet is dangerous, that's why." )

So.  Just thought I would say that I think referring to one's self in the third person in conversation with peers or other adults is... well... highly UNCOOL, and could potentially call for your new fiance to dump you on national TV for the other sucker finalist girl.  You  know, the girl that probably does not refer to herself in the third person.

Monday, May 10, 2010

sneaky imbalance

It just occurred to me that there is a tiny bit of a kid imbalance on my blog.  Kinda like if you came down on Christmas morning to find you had two presents while your sister had 21.  Or if you counted framed photos of your siblings around the house (as one of my kids once did.  I won't mention any names Kara.) and found that your brother had 88 pictures to your measly 11 (slight exaggeration).

I was going back looking for something I wrote on an old post, and it seemed to me that I talk about and post more pictures of Brooke than the other kids.  In my defense, I DO spend a lot more time with her on a daily basis.  And also she likes me and pays a lot of attention to me. :)

This is a typical exchange with me and Meg after school:
MEG: "Hey Mom!!  I am going to ride bikes with Gracie!"
ME: Did you have a good day?"
MEG: "Yup!"
ME: "Do you have any homework?"
MEG: "No!  I did it all at school!  Bye!"

This is a typical exchange with me and Alex after school:
ME:  Hey hon, how was your day?"
ALEX: "Good.  Do we have any snacks?"
ME: "Just the same old stuff."
ALEX: "OK, I am going to meet Chris and Andrew and -- (insert one of the following:  [play soccer at the field]  [ride up and get a Slurpie] [go to the park]  [hang out].
ME: "OK - have fun and behave!  Bring your phone!"
ALEX: I know Mom! 

This is a typical exchange with me and Kara mid week, mid day:
ME: "Hey Hon!  What up?"
KAR: sleepy, gravelly voice "Oh hey Mommy."
ME:  "Are you still  sleeping, you lazy bum??"
KAR: "No!  OK, maybe."
ME:  "OK then, call me back when you wake up."
KAR: "OK Ma.  Love you."

This is a typical exchange between me and Brooke in a 45 second span:
BROOKE: "Mom will you play Trouble with me?"
ME: "OK, you go set up."
BROOKE: "Thanks MOM!!  You're the best Mom EVER!"
ME:"Thanks Brookie." smile.
BROOKE: "I love you Mom."
ME: "I love you Brooke."
BROOKE: "I love you to the moon and then back again and to the moon and then back again to INFINITY."
ME: "Well I love you PAST infinity."
BROOKE:  "Nothing is past infinity."
ME: "Well I love you a LOT."
BROOKE: "Can I be blue?  You can be yellow."
ME: "OK."
BROOKE: "I go first because I'm the youngest!"
ME: "OK."
BROOKE: "I won last time!  Remember Mom.  Remember I WON?!"
ME: "I remember, you were quite a sore winner.  I am gonna get you this time though!"
BROOKE: "But I won FIRST, right Mom?"
ME:  "Yup, you won the last game we played.  You can't be mad if I win this game though, right?"
BROOKE: "Right.  But I won FIRST."
ME: "Right."

I'm not sure if you get the general theme here -- being that the other kids give me a 10 second exchange, where they basically say "Hi, can I have food?  Bye."  And the little energetic Princess (who clearly is a touch obsessed with winning and being first) actually wants to hang around with me.

Obviously that won't last forever, but I'll take what I can get!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

my day

Mine was a great, busy Mother's Day. 

I woke up to the sound of the kids whispering.  Alex was hustling them all out for their traditional yearly trek to the local Nursery, where they would each pick out their own flower to give me.

I stayed in bed, flipping through magazines and reading the news on the Internet, waiting for them to get back because they get so excited to come in and surprise me.

When they came home, I heard a lot of noise in the kitchen, banging and pots and pans and the oven beeping, the smell of coffee and warm cinnamon buns was winding its way up to my bedroom.  Before long, I heard them shuffling up the stairs.  I had to quick jump back into bed and pull up the covers, because I was up brushing my teeth, and it's more fun when they all pile in the bed with me to show me their treasures.

I got beautiful flowers from the kids and home made gifts and cards, and of course the cinnamon buns and coffee delivered to my bed.  My hon gave me a gorgeous Mother's birthstone bracelet from this awesome site, and also a "guilt-free hair cut and color,"  which is absolutely necessary.

I got a call from my girl in college, who wrote this, that made me cry.

We went to meet my sisters and Mom at a nearby diner for brunch.  I brought Mom a framed photo that I took of the river, which she really liked.  Brunch was noisy and chaotic and fun, we got lucky with a waitress who was able to handle our crazy group.  I was missing my sister Jen and her family though.

After the diner, we went to Alex's grandparents to deliver some flowers and a card.  We ended up going back for dinner (Pop's pulled pork -- yummmmm), which was really nice.  Alex's grandmother took out a photo album of her five boys and we went through all of the old pictures and heard great stories about them growing up.  Kind of a neat way to share Mother's Day with her.

By the time we got home, it was time for kid showers and bed.  I took a bath, actually.  It was so windy and cold outside, and it was nice to warm up and read in the tub for a bit.

When I came down, Alex and I snuggled up on the couch and watched The Amazing Race and flipped channels til we were sleepy and went up to bed. 

I loved today. :)