Tuesday, December 29, 2009

x-mas va kay

Christmas was very nice this year- everyone seemed to get everything they wanted- *for once*.... The piles weren't as big as previous years but then the price tags were bigger per item- hence the lack of quantity. But nevertheless.. all three kiddos seemed pretty pleased with their loot.

My husbands 2nd oldest sister and her hubby came for Christmas and stayed till Sun. they have just moved back to PA from Detroit. It was so nice having them for more than 24 hrs. we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. Now tomorrow his youngest sister and her hubby are flying in tomorrow for New Years- they are both a lot of fun as well so I am very happy they are coming. Then his oldest sister will drive in on Thurs.

I am hoping that we can get out to the movies to see Meryl Streeps new movie with Alec Baldwin & Steve Martin- It's Complicated it looks really cute.

I guess the best part about Christmas/New Years this year is simply having my hubby & kids all home. My house is not as clean as usual with the added people, but for me it is way better with them all home. The added bonus of having off til the 4th is very nice as well...

We aren't going out for New Year's- we haven't gone out on New Year's eve for the past 20+ years... it seems like it is amateur night... people who do not usually drink go out, drink too much then try & drive home...so what we do every year is get frozen shrimp and steam them and I'll have several a few drinks while hubby has a coke (he doesn't drink)... this year with added guests we'll make more food and maybe rent a movie or something... I am sure all three kids will be going out to celebrate with friends. Not quite sure what the weather will bring- they are hinting @ a storm coming through here Thurs/Fri/Sat. but I have been to the grocery store & BJ's and have plenty of food!

What is everyone having for New Year's day? We are making a PA Dutch tradition- roast pork, sauerkraut & mashed potatoes. You have that and supposedly have good luck in the upcoming year. Through the years it has been what we ALWAYS have and the kids have to taste all of it whether they like the sauerkraut or not- so they have good luck...

So what are you having? :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas blues

Yesterday we went to a funeral. My brother in law David's mom passed away, she was 88.

Now I did not really know her, I think I met her two or three times, but we went for David- to support him. As we sat there during the service it brought back memories of my mother in laws funeral two years ago. That was tough...Jeff's mom stayed with us the last 2 mos. of her life as she went to Fox Chase Cancer Center for treatments every day. She beat the cancer, but her resistance was so compromised that she contracted an infection while in the hospital and her system turned septic.

As I sat there I began to think about my own mortality...and for the first time I felt old older...I know I am 50 but mentally I don't FEEL like I'm 50. For the first time I faced the fact that most likely my life is more than half over. Time seems to go by so quickly, it seems like just yesterday that it was my birthday in July.

I look at my children and they aren't really children anymore...they're all young adults now. I love this stage of their lives, but at the same time it makes me sad. I miss little voices, holding hands, believing in Santa, snuggling and their belief that Mommy & Daddy knew "everything".

This week I find myself tearing up for no real reason.. Unfortunately I battle depression (and have my whole adult life)and it seems to be trying to take hold of me again. So I think I need to REALLY take a look around and count my blessings and try and live each day like it could be my last. I need to shake myself out of this blue funk and reflect upon why we celebrate Christmas. I need to find the joy of the holiday season and focus on that. I need to stop obsessing about the things I simply cannot change. I need to take a second look at my list of things I am thankful for (from Thanksgiving).

I am very thankful that:

I have everyone home this Christmas.

God - listens to me whine & bitch on a regular basis- thanks God!

I am married to a wonderful man, he is my rock, my partner, my everything. I cannot imagine my life without him in it.

I have three great kids- Jenny, Stefanie & J.J. bring me such joy even while they sometimes drive me crazy.

My family is all in relatively good health We all take our health for granted because there are many people who are living with debilitating diseases for whom seeing another Christmas is truly a miracle.

For my home, because there are many who do not have homes or who are losing their homes due to the economy.

To have a job- not that I love my job, but I am happy I have a paycheck coming in...

For my two dogs Buffy & Cali.

That our family is economically "ok" we're not rich, but we have enough.

**I am also thankful that I have off until Jan. 4 after today :)**

May all of you have a wonderful Christmas... and remember to keep Christ in Christmas- because isn't that really what it's all about?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Back to reality...

We're home... back from Jamaica.
I can say in all honesty it was BETTER than I had even hoped- an absolutely perfect vacation.
The pictures tell the story...it's better in Jamaica!

the swim up bar... yummy strawberry daquiries & rum punch

Jeff giving the vacation a thumbs up

me relaxing by the pool

Jeff's foot & the hotel

kissing my sweetie poolside
5 Star hotel...$$$$
Rum you bring home ... $22.00
Tips ... $20
Vacations alone with your sweetie.... PRICELESS!

Cheaper Than Therapy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow hubby and I leave for Jamaica for 5 days/4 nights. I am beyond excited...

It's been about a year and a half since the last time we had any *real* time alone. We went to a very nice bed & breakfast in Hershey,PA, stayed 2 nights and went to see Billy Joel in concert *awesome concert by the way*

So this time we decided to go longer *sans kids* and somewhere warm & "all inclusive".  Now for me it's great because I can drink as much & whatever I want and not have to worry about the tab, Jeff how ever will not really take advantage of it because he doesn't drink. If they have coke then he's "good".

We went to Jamaica about four years ago and really enjoyed it- I think the fact that everyone spoke English factored into our enjoyment of our trip but I know high on Jeff's lists of favorite things was the high tea every afternoon around 3:30-4:00 PM. No matter what we were doing we had to drop everything and go to tea. They served these little fruit tarts and pastries that he simply went nuts over. I can only hope that this hotel we are going to does the same or else I am in *deep* doo doo...

The first 15 years we were married we never went anywhere alone like this- our kids were young and we lived about 5-6 hrs. away from the closest family. We took the kids on a couple of trips to the Dominican Republic but this year we decided we wanted/needed alone time. Plus we both turned 50 this year and celebrated our 25th anniversary.

Twenty five years... wow... when you add on the number of years we dated then it is 33... that's a lifetime...unfortunately I don't look the same as I did all those years ago, but I like to think that Jeff loves me more than for just my bod...

So ta ta for now...see ya next week... I'll think of you... ok no I won't- I'll be soaking up sunshine with a drink in hand....

yeah mon.. no problem ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

baby boy

Today my "baby" (all 6'1 of him) turns 16... a momentus age- a learners permit is in his near future...
I looked at the clock a few minutes ago and saw that exactly 16 yrs ago I was in the hospital -sedated due to my c-section and very happy that he had finally arrived.

JJ was by far, my easiest pregnancy- I was sicker than a dog the first 3-4 months with my girls and I looked like shit most of the time... but with JJ I felt great- wasn't sick, my skin, hair & nails looked awesome and I glowed... Another factor that made him easier.. with the girls I put on 36 & 35 lbs respectively.. with JJ only 12.5 lbs. From the back you couldn't tell I was pregnant- it looked like I had a basketball under my shirt I was all rounded belly.

I had gestational diabetes with all three of my kids and my doctors scared the shit out of me told me that unless I wanted to have to do injections every day that I had to follow a very strict food plan to control my glycemic index... I guess by baby #3 they must've really layed it on thick because I did not deviate from my ok'd foods... it was to the point that raisin bran tasted sweet to me by 9 months...

I remember being about 8 mos. pregnant and having to take the girls in for a check up and my pediatrian (who was origionally from Romania and had an accent that sounded like a nazi) asked me how much weight I had gained... I thought she was going to have a coronary when I told her at that point about 9 lbs.... she started getting really agitated and the more agitated she got the heavier her accent got to the point where I have to say she got down right scarey.... she kept saying how I was starving the baby and she liked fat babies etc..... Finally I was like Dr. C- I am taking in 2000-2500 calories a day... just not "bad" foods...

She still was not happy about it, but I guess I redeemed myself when he came out all 9 lbs. 5 oz. of chubby baby...

JJ learned to adapt to a household that up until that point had been dominated by females.. 2 sisters, a mom, and both a female cat & dog. Jeff was so happy to be able to buy something other than barbies or something a shade of  pepto bismal pink. I think the fact that he did grow up surrounded by women is one of the reasons why JJ gets along with girls so well... that and the fact that he is a cutie!

                                                                     with his big sis Stefanie

J was a good baby, easy actually, but that also could've been due to the fact that I had already done this twice and did not worry every time something happened...he was my buddy when the girls went off to school and we would bake cookies, go to the park and watch movies (I think we both knew the entire dialog of Jurassic Park). It just about broke my heart when he finally began 1st grade- I remember driving him to school and him *trying to not cry* say "but Mommy, who will make cookies with you?"

with his sister Stefanie

Jeff & I have watched our son grow up to be a handsome, intelligent, caring young man. He has a strong faith,  excels at academics/athletics and is an awesome football player. And while I get frustrated that he doesn't share as much with me as the girls did, I can only hope that he understands that I nag him out of love.
So Happy 16th Birthday my baby boy... Mommy loves you XOXO


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

*thank God for good Samaritans!*

Yesterday I stopped @ our local A.C. Moore to pick up something to make a Christmas gift. (can't say what 'cuz I have family who read my blog) So I am getting a kind of warm fuzzy feeling inside thinking about how much this gift is going to be appreciated as I headed out to my car *in the rain I might add* The skies were gray, but I was feeling kinda sunshine & roses :)
That is until I got into my car.... and it wouldn't start....

Now I generally LOVE my car, it's a Jeep Laredo and it has NEVER given me a moment of trouble. That is until yesterday.

Now I looked @ the time and it was 3:30- I knew my daughter had to be @ work by 4:00 so I called her quick... and asked her to come help me jump start the car. She was like "but I have to be @ work in a half hour" to which I said... call work & tell them I am sitting in this parking lot with a dead car- I guarantee you they will not get mad....*which they weren't* So there we were... me & Jenny (who is 21) in the rain... trying to jump start my car.... which I have only ever done alone once before my whole life...

I guess I should paint the scene for you... a steady drizzle... the hood of my car would NOT stay up- it does not have one of those bar things it just stays up on it's own, but since I was on a slight grade it kept dropping shut... so I am standing there trying to hold up the hood while at the same time hold the live ends of the jumper cables apart...meanwhile Jenny is standing there watching...*looking cute but just watching*
Did I mention that I accidentally let the black and red touch for a millisecond before dropping them to the ground? They aren't kidding... DO NOT let them touch.....sparks & everything...

Jen: *after seeing the sparks and watching me drop the cables* "Mom be careful"
Me: "Will you just hold up the damned hood for me before I kill myself"?
Jen: "But I thought you wanted me to open up my hood?"
Me: "oh yeah.. do that"
So she tries... & she can't get her hood up... *are ya kidding me?.. God must have a wicked sense of humor*
It was at this point that an older gentleman and his wife stopped and asked if we needed help- I told them I didn't know yet... with that his wife nudged him and he got out of the car and kind of took over... *thank God for good Samaritans!*
Well he couldn't get Jenny's hood up either... so he had Jenny move her car and he pulled his in to try and jump it.
Good Samaritan: "are you sure it's the battery?"
Me: "uh no...I have no idea what's wrong with it"
Good Samaritan: *to Jenny* "you might want to move back"
Jenny- eyes HUGE now...moving away...
Good Samaritan:"Just try it again before I try to jump it."
Me- " ok"... *nothing happens*
Good Samaritan: "it must be your starter"

So with that I thanked  them and they left... Jenny drove me home and I had to call for a tow.
Now I haven't had to have a car towed in over 20 years, holy shit... $65 just to show up and then a dollar a mile after that. I had them tow it to the car place across the street, *too badd I didn't have JJ with me- we could've pushed it and saved the $68*
So I get hold of the towing company and they tell me they can be there in a half hour. So I have to drive back there to give them keys... I had to do something that I am sure drove my hubby crazy. I had to drive his porsche back to the scene of the crime parking lot. So I call hubby...
Me:" Uh hon, I have to drive the porsche over to the Giant because my car is dead."
Him: *silence*     "why can't Jenny drive you?"
Me:" because she had to go to work"
Him: *sigh* "well ok -but BE CAREFUL" *side note, this car is kept in the garage, covered and used only on *nice* days*
So with that I go out to the garage take off the cover etc from the car and try to start *Roxy* (his name for the car)...
It won't start....
are you f*cking kidding me?
I look up and say "is this some kind of test?"
Then try again and Roxy starts *Thanks God*
So I get to the parking lot and the tow guy starts trying to get my car out of the parking space...I was standing there watching & asking do you need help? And with that out of no where two gentlemen come over to help.
They were very nice and really were a help. So the one man says "I guess you get to ride in this fancy tow truck", to which I explain about having to drive Roxy and how she's kept under a cover etc. and since it was an emergency I was allowed to drive it.
Both men look at each other and say "does your husband know it's raining?"

*Pause* Is this a guy thing? I mean... who the hell cares if it was raining? My damned car was dead.
So end result- it WAS my battery and it is being fixed today and should be ready by the time I am done with work.
By the time I got home I was beat...so I made a drink.. took a hot tub and vegged out in front of the t.v. till I fell asleep.

So when it's all said and done I will probably be about $200 poorer but I guess the real reason I began this blog is that the thing that stuck with me and that even now puts a smile on my face is this...

Now a days in our society people are so busy, and it often seems like it is every man for themselves- ... I had 3 people stop and ask me if I needed help... not just one.. but 3... kinda restores your faith  that people are inherently nice. :)

Hey... I'm getting that sunshine & roses fuzzy feeling again... *smile*

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

being thankful

As Thanksgiving is upon us (like tomorrow) I decided to reflect on what I am thankful for...

Top of my list of course my family & friends. I am very thankful that I have everyone home this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for God - I am also thankful that he does not always answer my prayers in the way I think they should be answered.

I am thankful for my husband Jeff, he is my rock, my partner, my everything. I cannot imagine my life without him in it.

I am thankful for each of my children. Jenny, Stefanie & J.J. bring me such joy even while they sometimes drive me crazy. They are all growing up to be unique interesting individuals who I am very proud of.

I am thankful for my health and the health of my family- We all take our health for granted because there are many people who are living with debilitating diseases for whom seeing another Thanksgiving is truly a miracle.

I am thankful for my home, because there are many who do not have homes or who are losing their homes due to the economy.

I am thankful to have a job- not that I love my job, but I am happy I have a paycheck coming in...

I am thankful for my pets- my two dogs give me such joy- I take them for granted too- Buffy is a gentle soul and even though Cali can be a handful and is still in her "puppy stage" chewing things up & having the occasional "accident".

I am thankful that our family is economically "ok" we're not rich, but we have enough.

Some other stuff which are favorites and I am thankful for:

  • flowers- there is something nice about having fresh flowers in your home
  • chocolate -  needs no explanation.
  • summer = NO SCHOOL!
  • my swimming pool- my favorite place to hang out during the summer
  • when my kids just hug me for no reason
  • my orthopedic pillow
  • massages
  • Christmas morning
  • facebook and the games I play there
  • microwaves
  • for parents who told me “NO” sometimes
  • blogging 
  • sunglasses
  • coming home right after my cleaning lady cleaned and my house looks and smells good
  • wine
  • a good book
  • Starbucks white chocolate lattes
  • ice cream
  • pedicures
  • my cell phone and the ability to text with it - my life is so much easier with it
  • when I can sleep all night without waking up - not a frequent phenomenon
  • remote controls
  • hearing my husband and kids tell me they love me
  • snow days
  • going to the movies
  • that sound you hear when you open a Snapple bottle
  • my laptop- even though my employer actually owns it-

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    Christmas on crack

    This house  is not the guy up the street from me but it might as well be...

    The guy three doors up from me has begun putting out his Christmas display. Now really "display" in reference to his yard is somewhat of an understatement I guess I should say extravaganza.

    This guy has so many Christmas decorations in his yard and on his house that it looks like the North Pole on crack. His decorations can no longer be contained to just his front yard, but also his side and back yard as well. (Thank God I don't live next door to him)

    The light his decorations put off is bright enough to look like a small town, really... It's like when he flips the switch to turn everything on- the rest of the neighborhoods lights probably flicker in and out....due to the power surge.

    So honestly, what is with these people who go so over the top? I don't get it... I decorate every year, but my house looks sad modest by comparison... does this guy believe in the whole bigger is better mentality?

    This house  is also not  up the street from me but it might as well be...

    My daughter said she one overheard one of his kids say that their dads display extravaganza mortified embarrassed them. Duhhhhhhhh......
    Don't get me wrong... I LOVE Christmas... love decorating my home both inside & out, but I guess just not to this extreme. So how much money does one of these extravaganza's (I just love that word don't you?) cost??? Enough to probably feed a third world country for a week at least.... When you figure out the cost of each decoration (and those things aren't cheap) then the wiring necessary, the electricity... holy cow your racking up big bucks!

    I was driving by their house a couple of weeks ago and he happened to have his garage doors up and his Christmas stuff took up half of a two car garage.... he was walking around with a clip board- (maybe he was itemizing his stuff)... I'll give the guy credit, he does spend an inordinate a lot of time and effort on his display extravaganza. Each night I know I will see him outside...adding to...checking his decorations. He usually has it finished by the beginning of December.

    So what is it that drives someone to go so over the top to such lengths? What was is lacking in their lives that they have to make this kind of statement?

    This house  is not the guy up the street from me but it might as well be... 
    Do these people really love Christmas that much or is it a challenge to see just how god awful  nice they can make their home look each year? Do they want to spread the joy of the holiday season or just show everyone else up? Are these guys (and it is usually a guy) like those guys who buy a corvette cuz they have small dicks are lacking and feel the need to compensate? I just don't get it...

    This house  is not the guy up the street from me but it might as well be...
    I am feeling the pressure...*sigh*
    I am afraid my home extravaganza display is going to be inadequate yet again this year...

    *Foot note* These pics were found when I googled "tacky Christmas lights" ( I feel somewhat vindicated by the term "tacky" :)

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    I'm on a need to know basis

    My son JJ is a sophomore in high school and almost 16 (Dec. 3rd) and is "talking to" a very nice girl who is a year younger than him.
    (I guess I should add that the young lady is VERY attractive and could pass for 20- but I digress)

    I was finally able to pin him down as to what he meant by "talking to".... I had asked him if he was "dating" her and he was quick to tell me that NO he was not DATING her.  It seems the term "dating" now means the couple is exclusive- and are not seeing anyone else..... if you are "talking" it means you could be "talking " to any number of people.. 2, 3, 5, ....

    When I was a teenager back in the dark ages of the 1970's "dating" meant that you went out with multiple people on dates. If you were "going together" it meant you were exclusive- you were in a relationship  & monogamous to one person.

    So when did "dating" turn into "talking to"?

    It is interesting that with a teen aged son you have to really pry to get any kind of information when it comes to social relationships with the opposite sex. Boys are sooooooo different from girls! They are not giving away ANY info..... My girls were very different- they would often tell me about boys they liked etc. and would even on occasion ask me for advice.

    You would think when I asked JJ who he was "dating" (yes I know I used the wrong lingo) I had asked for classified information. I have come to realize that I am now on a "need to know basis"and in his opinion I don't need to know.

    So what is a mother to do? Short of having him followed? How are we supposed find find out what's going on unless we ask???

    Trust me -I don't want to know specifics- (unless of course he would like to share that with me) I'd just like to have a general idea of what's going on in his social life. I know that he has been hurt in the past so maybe this is why he is so closed mouthed? Actually no- he was like this before...

    It was so much easier when he was 5 and I was the most important woman in his life - his biggest concern was if we were going to bake cookies and could he lick the spoon?  Now my little J Man is almost a man and is pushing 6'1.... where did the time go?

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    where to go when you don't know where to go?

    My hubby and I have decided to go away on a long weekend- (Thurs. through Monday) in early December.

    If anyone has recently tried to plan a trip to the Carribean you are now feeling my pain. First off I now have probably every travel site known to man sending me "vacation deal" updates every day. Now these can be helpful because sometimes they suggest places I've never really thought about, but mostly they just confuse me more.

    We have previously traveled to Cancun, the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana & La Romana) and Jamaica. We enjoyed all of our get aways. The problem this time is I can't decided where I want to go...

    This past July was our 25th anniversay so we've decided to go away (without the kiddies). Now when you factor in adult only resorts- this cuts the choices way down. I mean why on earth would we want to go somewhere that has kids? The whole idea is to get away from it all- (including kids- I love mine but need time with just Jeff) and have some well deserved alone time.

    So these days I find myself behind my pc with multiple windows up looking at various destinations- but then the cheapskate in me second guesses myself so I have to cross reference and check out the same hotels at various sites... (can you say obsessive compulsive?) 

    The choices in front of me are somewhat intimidating... I don't think I am actually "cool" enough to go to some of these places! The couples pictured are all very attractive, slim, young-ish etc.. and well... we're 50 (enough said).Plus the thought of actually taking my lilly white bod  out in a swim suit in Dec. is not my idea of fun-

    So  all that aside, I guess the main thing(s) I should look at include:
    1. the price
    2. the hotel reviews
    3. is it all inclusive?
    4. how long does it take to get there (yeah I'm not doing over 5 hrs. on a plane)

    If you've been somewhere fabulous recently- drop me a line... I need the help!

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Why is it that most kids think their parents are dumb?

    Jeff & I are both college graduates, and are both professionals- he is CFO for a local company and I am a speech therapist. I thought the natural progression was that as our children(ages 21, 18, and almost 16) got older they would suddenly see the error of their ways (in regards to their perception of said parents) and we would miraculously become wise and worthy of listening to...

    Yeah that isn't happening here...

    So I guess the question is- at what age do our parents seem smart?

    After we got married and I became pregnant I can remember thinking how smart my mom was- Man she knew it all when it came to pregnancy and the symptoms you had... and once the baby came- she was a pro... changing diapers, burping the baby etc... I had such great respect for her...

    ** sidenote**Not that I am proposing that ANY of my kids propagate any time in the near future- (hold off at least five  eight yrs. Jenny)

    But it would be nice if once in a while our kids recognized that their mom & dad are pretty  cool intelligent people.

    I think deep down they do believe this, but are silently taunting us by with holding their awe of how wonderful Jeff & I actually are.

    It is a given that when it comes to anything financial or sports related- their dad is the go to guy- he is very knowledgeable about finance/$$ and has participated in sports his whole life. He is a great guy and an excellent father- and will be there for them no matter what.

    So what is it about me that they secretly think is fabulous?

    *silence with the exception of the sound of crickets*

    OK- I've got nothing...zip... maybe my warped sense of humor????

    So I asked my oldest (Jenny)..."what is it about me that you think is smart or really cool?"

    Her response (after a long pause I might add)
    "I guess your writing...(she just started reading my blog-and she likes it except that she thinks I should write about her and not her sister who is away @ school). (can you say sibling rivalry much?)

    So all of this got me to thinking.... what am I good at? Which led to the conception of:

    Barb's list of things she is good at
    1. I have been told(multiple times) I have a nice singing voice.
    2. I am good with computers, and most electronics.
    3. I am a pretty good cook. (ok, ok yes I do tend to burn things at times but that is because I get involved in other things and forget I have stuff in the oven)
    4. I am good @ gardening- flowers etc.
    5. I am really good at proof-reading my kids school papers.
    6. I am good @ my job.
    7. If motivated... I am very good @ cleaning (I'm just not that motivated anymore).
    8. I am good with animals. (except for snakes.. I don't "do" snakes.. trust me this is non negotiable)
    9. I can hold my liquor pretty well.
    10. I have a decent sense of color and can make a home "homey".
    11. I am a good swimmer.
    12. I have become (over the years) better at saving $$.
    13. I am good @ procrastinating..(what do ya mean that's not a good thing?)
    14. I am usually always on time.
    15. I can be am very organized.
    16. I am a fast reader.
    17. I am good @ Wheel of Fortune and would probably make a ton of $$ if I ever went on the show.
    18. I have a warped sense of humor. (yes this is a good thing)

    So all this self reflection also made me think...

    Barb's list of things she is not so good at or needs to improve:
    1. Losing weight- I know what to do but don't do it. (didn't I say in a previous blog that menopause was the excuse reason for this?)
    2. I forget things a lot.(it's that whole hitting 50/menopause thing)
    3. I am not always the most patient person...(especially if service is bad)
    4. I am not a bad driver, but am not a great driver either.
    5. I don't do snakes... EVER.
    6. I am not very good at putting up Christmas lights on our tree- (luckily Jeff is awesome at this)!
    7. I am the wrong person to take to an amusement park because I don't like most rides .
    8. If I am wrong I always usually say I'm sorry.
    9. I worry & over analyze stuff too much.
    10. I get too emotional sometimes (I cry @ Hallmark commercials).
    11. I am not good @ sewing.
    12. I look stuff up on the internet when someone is sick and usually think the worst.
    13. I tend to let things get cluttered around the house.
    14. I don't clean out my refrig as often as I should.
    15. I don't exercise regularly. (refer to #1)

    I could probably come up with another 15 things I SUCK at but I don't think my ego could take it...

    I think I need to concentrate on my good list and have some wine...

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Road trip!!!!!!

    This weekend I am traveling to James Madison University to see #2 child Stefanie.
    My oldest (Jenny) is coming along as well and is bringing a friend. The best part of this trip however is my sister in law Suzanne who we're picking up on the way from Dulles airport in D.C. (Suzanne is flying in from Atlanta).

    This is going to be girls only weekend and we are going to have a BLAST!!! Suzanne is so much fun and has been loosely termed "mom's drinking buddy". OK... so we like our wine, and Cosmo's... we're both over 21 (obviously) we will be @ a college so we will fit in fine!

    Originally we were going to go for the parents weekend- but I couldn't get tickets for the football game- Stefanie made the all girls cheer squad @ JMU so going to the game is a priority. Lucky for us that Stef is cheering b/c she will get two parent tickets... Suz and I will just have to pretend we are Stefanie's two really cool lesbian mom's! Stef is trying to get two student tickets for Jen and her friend... I figure if they can't- they can tailgate *shrug*

    We will be nomads to a certain extent because I was unable to get a room for two consecutive nights so we will stay @ one place Fri. night and another Sat. Hopefully the beds are comfortable!

    Each day I am receiving countdown from Stefanie.. "3 more days"!!! Which excites me, but at the same time makes me realize I have ALOT to do before we leave Fri. morning.

    My mom is going to come and stay @ our house and take care of my pups Buffy & Cali. They are both yellow labs- Buffy is 5 and very laid back and Cali is 6 months and a pistol! Not quite Marley & Me caliber but a handful just the same. My mom is a good sport and I know she will really enjoy her time with them.

    I have the maps all printed out for our route... have the confirmations for the rooms etc... so what else do I need?

    Let's see... short list of necessary road trip items & Things To Do :
    CLEAN OUT THE CAR (not something I particularly want to do but necessary just the same unless we all want to arrive @ JMU covered in yellow lab fur)
    Get Drinks, Munchies (what is a road trip without munchies?)
    Bring wine + opener (learned that lesson long ago- have to actually bring the wine opener to drink the wine)
    Pack clothes/shoes/toiletries
    Go to bank and get $$$
    Bring Camera- charge battery ahead of time so I can actually take pictures)
    Bake Peanut butter cookies...(have to make them they are Stef's favorite)
    Bring MAP!!!!(Yes I have a GPS but with my luck it would break mid trip)

    The route looks pretty easy to get there except for having to drive around D.C. which on a Fri. morning could be a mad house. We are scheduled to pick Suz up @ around 11:30. One thing I KNOW I will not do is let Suz be our navigator- she and her sisters ALWAYS get lost when they take road trips! Thank God I have GPS...

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Hot flashes suck.....

    I've started menopause and I'm hear to tell ya it can be a royal pain in the ass.

    For one thing- how are you supposed to know how to dress in the morning? I mean the temperatures outside are dropping so you need to begin wearing warmer clothes but once I am inside.. I range from either being cold to sweating like there is no tomorrow. I know they say you should layer, but honestly...I can't layer everything.

    I work full time as a speech therapist in a public high school. In my office it is either meat locker cold, or pushing 75+ degrees- depending upon the day and the weather outside. Don't tell me to talk to the custodian because he is not a particularly nice person who would just as soon tell me to fuck off as he would say hello.

    I am increasingly having night sweats as well.. last night... I had just a sheet on... and was still hot...

    Another thing.. when I CAN sleep... I generally wake up by about 2AM (after about 3 hrs. of decent sleep) and then keep waking up till the alarm goes off @ 6:00 AM.

    About 3 wks ago I began waking up each morning feeling nauseous... so I thought oh shit I'm getting sick...uh no, according to a friend, this is another stupid symptom of menopause!! After complaining that I was nauseous every morning, a friend told me that some women feel this way because of the hormones like when we were pregnant way back when.

    Well shit, then I am really screwed because with both girls I was so nauseated that they almost slapped me in the hospital because I couldn't eat and was nauseous 24/7 for the first 4 months.

    So I Googled "menopause symptoms" and this is the list that came up and the ones I am experiencing:
    The number of stars 1-5 indicate the severity for me- the more stars the worse my perception of them.

    Common Symptoms of Menopause
    1. Hot Flashes ** (they are a PAIN!)
    2. Night Sweats **(and yes I have had to shower & change nighties at times)GROSS!
    3. Irregular Periods *** (so either stop already or continue... my periods indecisiveness is annoying)
    4. Loss of Libido ***** (and this sucks for my poor hubby )
    5. Vaginal Dryness ***
    6. Mood Swings ** (WTF is your problem?)

    7. Fatigue ************Can you say off the charts?
    8. Hair Loss (thank God- but for now at least- NO!)
    9. Sleep Disorders ******* refer to #7
    10. Difficult Concentrating *** (ummm what did you say?)
    11. Memory Lapses *** (again... ummm what did you say?)
    12. Dizziness *
    13. Weight Gain ** (ok, ok so I cannot completely blame that on menopause!)
    14. Incontinence ** (I freaking feel like I have to pee ALL THE TIME)
    15. Bloating * (like for the past 20 yrs.)
    16. Allergies *
    17. Brittle Nails *(although this could be from having artificial nails for 15 yrs.)
    18. Changes in Odor (ewww, but no)
    19. Irregular Heartbeat ?
    20. Depression * (Who wouldn't with all this shit?)
    21. Anxiety * (somewhat)
    22. Irritability ** (my family would probably add more stars)
    23. Panic Disorder ?

    24. Breast Pain (does phantom pain around when I am supposed to get my period count?)
    5. Headaches *****************ALWAYS
    26. Joint Pain **
    27. Burning Tongue(for real? - NO Thank God)
    28. Electric Shocks (for real? - NO Thank God)
    29. Digestive Problems *****(can you say irritable bowel & acid reflux?)
    30. Gum Problems (N/A- but something to look forward too- NOT!)
    31. Muscle Tension (a good excuse to get massages more often!)
    32. Itchy Skin (N/A- but something to look forward too- NOT!)
    33. Tingling Extremities (N/A- but something to look forward too- NOT!)

    Gee.... no where on that list is feeling nauseous every morning like I did when I was pregnant!? WTF????

    Don't tell me to try the medicinal route...aka hormone replacement therapy - tried some "natural hormones" last year as prescribed by my dr. they didn't help.

    So, in light of all of this I think my only option at this point is to drink more...
    1. It will make me happy
    2. It will help me sleep
    3. Wine is healthy for you- doesn't it have antioxidants in it or something?
    4. If I am feeling "good" after a few glasses of wine I won't care about my symptoms!
    5. It will make me happy- worth restating! :)

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    Tonight my Stefanie comes home for the weekend from college with 2 or 3 friends.. # 3 is possibly going home to her own parents this weekend not that I care how many kids she brings- the more the merrier.... As soon as she comes thru the door I will no doubt start crying as I put a killer death grip hug on her.

    Tonight life will be good.....

    Tomorrow she is taking her friends to our local mall in King of Prussia (we are outside of Philly)... these girls are all from small towns in Virginia where malls are only one floor *gasp* they are so excited to go to KOP it is unreal. For those of you who have never heard of King of Prussia- it used to be one of the largest malls in the US prior to Mall of America. It really is a nice mall and I take it for granted....

    I have the requisite items already purchased as per her request "food mom, we need food" for her to take back to school... and am making her favorites for dinner Sat. night.

    My cleaning lady comes today (please Rosalba do not cancel today) so the house should look pretty good... ok... yes I have a cleaning lady- I work full time and she comes 2x month- and I do clean in between her visits....not that I have to justify that to anyone- best $ I spend 2x a month!

    Stefanie went home with her roommate last weekend and met her family and said her home was absolutely gorgeous... she told me their house looked like a model home for a new development... no clutter anywhere, etc... she said her roommates parents were very nice, stricter (OMG how is that possible) that we are and seemed a little...hmmmm uptight...aka prim & proper. She told me she prepared her friends for coming home to our house.

    At first I was like.. umm what do you mean by that??? She said she told her roomie that our house & family were NOTHING like hers...
    First- the house will be (relatively) clean, but there will be areas of clutter... Second- her mother has been know to swear (gasp) on occasion...
    Third- her mother does on occasion drink (holy mother of God).
    Fourth- they can all expect to be given a nickname- we nickname all of the kids good friends... some previous nicknames include: bubblebutt, piglet #2, diva... you get the idea.

    Evidently her roomies father did not whole heartedly approve of my daughter (wtf is your problem buddy?)
    It seems that he took exception to a poster Stefanie had in their dorm room.. it is titled "Big Shots on Campus.. what I really learned in college" the pictures below are of various kinds of shots and includes the recipe to make each.

    He found the poster highly inappropriate. Stefanie told her (in private) ummmm my parents have that poster matted/framed and behind our bar in our basement. Luckily Natalie thought that was "cool".

    So I guess the girls will be "slumming it" this weekend... :)

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Life as an empty nester

    My daughter (number 2 child) left for college August 18th... It was very difficult for me leaving her @ college, but I sucked it up, shed my tears and off we went. Luckily for us some good friends allowed us to borrow their pick up truck to transport all of Stefanie's "absolutely necessary" items. Suffice it to say that the truck bed was filled to the gills...

    So we got her here and unpacked everything to an enormous heap which several "frogs" (freshman orientation group leaders) helped haul up to her 2nd floor room. The heap appeared to be the never ending pile of stuff... and I was relegated to standing watch over it and apologetically telling people who looked (in awe) at it that "we live 5 hrs. away from the school". So we finally got all her shit up to her room and began the assembly of her "loft" on which her bed mattress sits. Luckily there were other dad's there who graciously allowed us to borrow hammers/screw drivers etc. to get things set up. After about an hour and a half of "helping" get her settled it was time to finally leave.....

    OMG...talk about hard... she walked us back down to the car and then she got teary when the "time" had finally come. Up until that point I have to say I was holding it together pretty well. But again.. I tried my best not to latch onto her with a death grip and just quietly let a few tears roll...

    So we got back on the road... Jeff driving and me crying... My poor husband... he kept trying to reassure me... "she'll be fine" all that kind of stuff... but it was like I was transfixed and missing a huge part of my heart. After about an hour I was able to (for the most part) stop crying...we made it home in about 5 hrs.

    Luckily she and her roommate have hit it off and are like 2 peas in a pod. The are bff's and seem to be having a blast @ school.

    This weekend they are traveling to the roommates house for the weekend.. and next weekend. they are coming home to our house....

    It's taken me over a month to finally be able to write about this without losing it. I am now finally able to actually go into her room again. Now I am just looking forward to next weekend! It will only be a short visit, but at least I will be able to see her... in person...Then again the weekend of Oct. 16th... when I travel to her college for the weekend to visit.

    I guess the real question is... will it ever get easier to let her leave?

    I think not...

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    dancing my happy dance!!!!!

    God has heard my prayers......

    I absolutely LOVE Ebay..... I found 2 bottles of my perfume!!!!

    They are en route as we speak from a vendor in Georgia & once I receive them if they are what they say they are (and they better be or I will be uber pissed...) then I will order the other 4 bottles they have (God willing that they are still there).

    I have temporarily been reduced to my fallback perfumes (Channel No. 5 & Celine Dion) but I am just not feeling them... *shrug* what can I say- my Fendi is distinctive on me.

    So at least this has bought me some time to find a "new" perfume....

    So in looking around through Ebay I was struck by the diversity of things people are selling on there. It made me stop and think... and look around my house.... hmmm is there anything I could sell here. What is the old saying one man's junk is another man's treasure or something dumb like that?

    I mean my girls clothing alone.. could rack up big bucks...I need to really take a look at stuff we have laying around here... :)

    I am a woman on a mission! Nothing is gonna be safe :)

    Friday, May 29, 2009


    They have discontinued making my favorite perfume...


    I have worn this perfume (ONLY this perfume) for over 8 years... and now I cannot find it anywhere- even online- I am so Upset!!! :(

    This perfume (Fendi) was totally awesome and smelled amazing on me.. I constantly had people telling me how good it smelled and asking what it was...

    I only have a tiny little bit left now.... and I don't know what to do...

    I thought I had found a website that still had some in stock and ordered 8 bottles...I just got an email today from them saying... sorry we thought we had some but didn't and are refunding your credit card *sigh*

    You have no idea how upsetting this is... this scent was my signature scent... I'd go up behind people and sometimes they would say they knew it was me because they remembered my perfume....

    So now I have to go out perfume shopping *bigger sigh* almost as bad as bra shopping (not fun) and I'm going to have to try and find something that smells as close to Fendi as I can and just hope it mixes with my body chemistry to smell as good as the Fendi did.....it's either that or just be smelly... :( which would be socially unacceptable.

    DAMN! This pisses me off... I mean Fendi is a big company.... could they REALLY have lost that much $ on their perfume? Damn frenchies! :(

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    summer VAY- KAY

    I can hardly wait for summer.... I teach so I am counting the days down...14 days... Now in regular time that is just under 2 weeks... but in school time this is probably going to be a VERY LONG two weeks/14 days. The kids have mentally checked out- and with the weather becoming nicer it is hard to keep them focused.

    Who am I kidding? It's hard for ME to stay focused! Plus there is so much to do at the end of the school year!

    I have begun to make my annual "Summer Work Out & Get Back into Shape" plan. The plan while well thought out and effective (when followed) generally does not see results. Which leads me to ponder why? I am a fairly intelligent person, I understand that to lose weight I need to:

    1. Eat better- (meaning stay away from ice cream/cookies/bread etc...)OMG- does that mean I have to curtail what I drink... as in wine, etc?????

    2. Exercise- (actually walk/swim/lift weights/do cardio etc.)

    The whole plan only has 2 steps to it....easy right? so why is this a problem?

    The answer is that while in theory #2 is easy-

    I hate to exercise.

    I have had periods in my life when I have lost weight and have exercised but I'm sorry to say for me... the whole "follow it for 6 wks and it becomes a habit", or "once you do it you feel better" (thereby tricking yourself into liking exercise) is just not happening.


    I keep reading that once your over 40 it is even more important to focus on weight lifting.... so does hefting a heavy purse while shopping count????

    Probably not....

    It is really even more important than before for me to get on the band wagon because I have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes..... I knew it would probably happen at some point...I mean you don't have gestational diabetes with all 3 kids and pop them out @ 8lbs. (2 wks early), 9 lbs 15 oz., and 9 lbs 3 oz on their due dates and not have a clue....

    So unfortunately now I ACTUALLY HAVE to do something about it.... I have to do what I tell my kids... and "have to suck it up" ....and exercise. SHIT!

    On the upside... I just found out that drinking Bloody Mary's is better than wine.... V8, is like having a vegetable right???

    I knew if I really tried I could find a silver lining somewhere!

    Sunday, May 10, 2009

    happy mommy's day

    Happy mother's day to all of the mom's out there. Unfortunately for my younger daughter, today was also her 18th birthday... talk about stealing someone's thunder. The first time both days coincided was on her first birthday. Then again on her 7th birthday, and now her 18th..... she hates it! Not so much this year, but when she was 7- yikes!

    This year my husband made me (us) a delicious dinner- it was really awesome.... all the more appreciated because I know it has been a difficult day for him. He is missing his parents, his mom passed away 2 years ago, his dad 11 years ago. Then we just found out that one of Stefanie's friends father passed away yesterday- very suddenly of a massive heart attack. It got me to thinking about how I often take my own mom for granted. I mean she's always going to be there for me right? Wrong... my mom turns 70 this summer, and while I'd like to think she will always be there for me, the reality is that soon she will not. Soon is a relative term... anywhere from one to fifteen-to- twenty years is soon....

    My mom is actually lucky enough to be leaving on a two week vacation to England with her sister this evening. It will be a long two weeks without being able to pick up the phone and call her, but I'll get through it because I know she'll only be gone two weeks. My hubby does not have that luxury any more. I am trying to be very aware of that and give him extra TLC.

    I didn't mean for this blog to get so depressing, but I believe we need to cherish our moms no matter how old we are, because the alternative is too sad to even think about :(

    So if you haven't thanked, kissed, hugged your mom today, I urge you to do so... even if you're late... just do it A.S.A.P. You never now if it will be the last time you'll be able to.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009


    Ok.... I admit it I am hooked.. no make that obsessed with the Twilight series...

    Over spring break we rented the movie and I really enjoyed it.. I like anything otherworldly, sci fi etc... and I figured the book HAD to be better... so I went out the next day and bought books 1 & 2...

    I finished book 1 in less than 24 hrs.......

    Like the vampires in the story I was hungry for more..... 24 hrs. later- book 2... read, savored and hungry for more...

    Luckily I had to go back to work so I was busy and didn't have time to read, but I had to find books 3 & 4. THANK GOD my friend had bought the complete set for her daughter, and said daughter was nice enough to lend them to me.....Got them Thurs. night... both done and returned to her by Monday morning.

    Now my problem.... they have ruined me for my trash books.... *sigh*

    The author better start cranking more books out before her fans become completely demented.... I found her website and read the first chapter from another book she began... from Edward's perspective... TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!

    I feel like an addict.. I want more..........

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Why can't mom's have a Facebook?

    Why is it that some of my kids feel threatened that I have a Facebook?

    My oldest & youngest had no problem "friending " me when I sent the request, but #2 child was a holdout for over 3 weeks.

    So to me this appears to open the question of why? What could there be on your Facebook that I can't see? Bad language? Please- I have heard it and probably said much of it myself at one time or another. Pictures? Again- been there- done that... well not on the internet, but they seem to forget that I too was young once and sowed a few wild oats of my own.

    I held out for a long time before I made my own Facebook page. I knew that it would not be a popular decision with at least one of my kids. The thing I found really funny however was that once some of their friends found out that I had a Facebook- they friend requested me... I mind my own business (for the most part)- ok sure sometimes I look at theirs... like when I get a email notice that they have put up pictures, or that they have commented on something I have up on mine, but honestly for the most part I use mine to share pictures etc. with family & friends. The whole setup makes it very easy to share photos with family. Sending pictures via email is really a pain and so time consuming...

    The first day I had mine up and sent out friend requests I found a message from #1 child... "OMG you even have a status"... now first of all, I didn't know what a status was at first (and for those of you who don't know it is the statement at the top where you put what you are thinking/doing) but she thought it was hysterical that I said I was ready for summer vacation. You should see some of the things kids put up as their status... example- "study, shower, bed" or "going to mall"... they seem to have no qualms about putting personal stuff up on their pages... I fully expect that at some point someone will put up... "taking a shit".

    I've also added "flair" to my page- Flair are little buttons that have sayings on them which are funny/cute etc. I just like them, kind of like bumper stickers... I don't understand why my kids seem to think this is all beyond me.... they have no idea just how computer savy their mom really is... I mean I maintain the department web page for work.

    Anyway... bottom line... I have one....and now I've signed up MY mom for one....

    Hmm wonder if I could make one for my dog Buffy (a.k.a. #4 child who never talks back and is perfect!)She'd probably end up with more friends than I have....

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Let's hear it for trash books!

    I like trash books.

    For anyone who doesn't know what I am referring to- trash books are paperback romances, the kind that don't require a lot of thought- they entertain and are mindless- you can put them down and pick them up whenever you need to. Don't get me wrong, I love a good book, something meatier, the kind that you can't put down, but those kind of books I have to reserve for summertime when I am off and/or on vacation.

    I was once asked if I wanted join a book club... *sigh* ok- in theory, book clubs are a nice idea, but the whole concept makes me feel pressured. I mean first of all the books chosen are usually heavy... then there is the whole time frame.. you HAVE to have the whole thing read by a specific time- I'm sorry but I finished college over 25 years ago and the idea of being given an "assignment to be read" is too much pressure for my life-I am a working mom - plus it takes the fun out of reading for me. Reading for me is relaxation- a release from my everyday life- something to be enjoyed.

    My mom reads trash books too, so between the ones I buy and the steady supply she gives me I have plenty to pass along to friends & family. I used to be a little embarrassed by my trash books (like they were some little dirty secret) but then after a while I had accumulated a whole carton full and needed to get rid of them.

    I found a used book store and took a grocery bag full along with me. I walked in and began speaking with the owner. She informed me in no uncertain terms that she did not carry paperback "romance books"-like they were for lepers or something. You would've thought the woman who waited on me was selling freaking gold covered books for crying out loud. Her nose was stuck up her butt so far i decided that was her problem.

    So then I took some into work. I put a bag of about 12-15 in the teachers lounge with a sign saying "help yourself"- and by the end of the school day they were
    ALL gone. I thought maybe a few might be taken... but not all of them... The next week I did it again, and again, within 24 hrs. all were gone again.

    In a small way I felt redeemed... but honestly it doesn't matter... I know what I like and what I have time for. I mean if high school teachers are scarfing them up like hotcakes they can't be that bad. Plus the people who write these books are making A LOT of money! Hmm... I've read these books for 25 years... think of all the money I have spent through the years. I wonder if I could write one? Nah..... then it would feel like work. Maybe someday when I retire and have more time... who knows?

    But for now- it's a rainy Saturday and unbelievably I am the only one home... so I need to get back and see what Jack & Janine are going to do next! Bring on the trash! :)

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    and so it begins.....

    I'm not quite sure why I decided to begin a blog... but maybe this will be a way for me to voice my thoughts and make sense of things.

    I am a mom...and a wife... Not the greatest of either but I do the best I can.

    I have been married to my husband for almost 25 years-

    God that seems like a REALLY long time... and that means I am getting *dare I say it?* ...OLD... holy shit!

    You know the funny thing about getting older is that while you know in your head how old you really are, you don't necessarily FEEL that old in your mind, I mean physically yes I am beginning to find some things I used to do without thinking more difficult- and it pisses me off, but it is what it is...I mean I am going to be 50 this summer-

    There I said it- 50- HOLY SHIT! But back to what I was saying... the funny thing about getting older is that while you are looking & feeling older... in your mind you are the same ...

    I'd like to think at least that I am smarter than I was when I was in my 20's but I attribute that mainly to life experience. Whoever said life is wasted on the young was right. The older I get the more true that becomes.

    I have three kids two girls & a boy. My oldest is turning 21 in 2 weeks- God I remember 21... I was thin, no wrinkles and did not really have any stress in my life. I could wear a bikini & looked damn good in it! I wish I knew then what I know now- I would've done a few things differently- like for instance ... exercised more, gotten my Masters degree, saved more money. I know my kids think I don't have a clue, but they are so wrong...God was I as naive as they are? They have no idea...

    Our oldest went off to college and decided after a year and a half it wasn't for her. So she moved back home, went to beauty school, graduated and got her license. I am so proud of her for following her heart. She's worked hard and is paying her dues at the hair salon she works at. They won't put her on a chair yet and have her working as an assistant- enough - let her do hair already!

    My younger daughter is a senior in high school and soon graduates. She goes off to college in August and I am going to miss her terribly... I have to be like Scarlett O Hara and just not think about it, be in denial... otherwise I'll start crying...

    Our youngest is 15, and he just switched from public school to a private all boys catholic school. The transition has been hard for him- he misses public school & how easy it was...academically. He misses girls... he misses wearing sweats /jeans everyday. I have to keep telling myself that he will get through this... it is an excellent school and in the long term is the BEST choice for him.

    All I know is that I remember when the kids were little and all I wanted was some time to myself... well time to myself I now have... and while it can be nice... I find myself missing those days filled with dirty hands, boo boo knees, dress up & kisses & hugs... where did the time go?

    Be careful for what you wish for...
    you just might get it!