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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Though I am delighted that we managed to get through Sandy without more than a flicker of the lights, I am so saddened by the devastation that other people are experiencing.

Today at my daughter's school, they celebrate "Crazy Hat Day" instead of dressing up for Halloween.  I miss the days of the costume parade, but I'm glad that they still get to do something anyway.

I recently became my daughter's class room parent.  In a weird twist of events, I was given this job late last week and had a whole 5 days (with a hurricane in there) to plan the class party.

One of the parents had very nicely sent in a craft kit for the kids, so they will be doing that.  The other room parent and I organized the snack, which was no small feat since we have a list of allergies a mile long.  I am pretty sure that what they have today for a snack is what they will be having for every party.  I don't think we have too many options.

So it was up to me to come up with an activity or another craft. I attempted to go to a few craft stores, but they were wiped out and what they did have seemed too young for a bunch of savvy second graders.

I looked around my house and saw my kids' bowling set.  I cannot remember who gave it to us, but it's one of the best toys my kids have.  It's made of a dense foam, but has a nice flat plastic bottom on the pins.  My kids always struggled to make the plastic bowling sets stand and work and this set works like a charm.

Anytime we've taken it out, it's been a huge hit.  So I decided to take a white plastic table cloth, cut it up, and cover the pins like ghosts.  My daughter helped me secure the pieces on the pins with rubber bands and then we drew faces on them.

With the ball, I wrapped it up with gauze and added a couple of googly eyes so it looks like a mummy head.

I hope the kids like it.  I am fully aware that it has the potential of becoming a madhouse activity, but I also figure they're going to be nuts anyway, they might as well have fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Halloween this year was supposed to be easy.

My daughter has an Alice in Wonderland costume that she wore for her birthday , so she was all set.

My son, usually comes up with something that doesn't require a whole lot of money.  He likes a good pun , in the past he's been a killer bee and a cereal killer.  Ahh boys and their gross costumes.

This year he could not make up his mind.  He just kept saying that he didn't think he wanted to go trick or treating and we wondered if maybe he was feeling like he was too old.  He is probably getting close to that age, but he will be getting his braces off one week after Halloween and we cannot believe he doesn't want to load up on FREE candy.

After talking to him a bit, he finally confessed that he didn't have a good idea for a costume and that was why he was hesitating.  We decided to jump on the 'ol internet and take a look.

Within minutes, he found what he wanted to be.  He wants to wear football apparel, a long cloak and a long white beard and be ......fantasy football.

This works on every level for him.  He loves the pun and even more so, he's been playing in my husband's fantasy football league for a few years and loves it. (it's free) 

I was delighted, until I realized I had nothing for this costume and Halloween is a week away.

On a whim, I thought maybe I could try a few thrift stores in the area and see what I could piece together before I hit the pricey party stores.

I don't know what I was expecting to find, but I headed in with an open mind.  I was walking by the women's clothes when I noticed a few long black velvet dresses.  I was wondering if I would be able to make them into a cloak for him, after looking at a few, I saw one that would be perfect.  It was $9.99, so I debated whether I could purchase one already made, or if this was a better deal.  My friend then said, "Everything without a green tag is 50%off"  What?  Awesome.  Sold.

I moseyed on over to the men's section and saw what looked like a sporty section.  I was poking though when I saw it.  Quick back story, even though we live in New England, we love New York sports teams.  Yankees, Islanders, Jets and Giants.  So , there in all the Red Sox and Patriots gear was a Jets Jersey.  I couldn't believe it.  It was huge, but it's Halloween , who cares?  I looked at the price, $3.99!!  Oh and the tag was yellow, so basically $2.00....I almost lost my head with excitement.  Things like this don't usually go my way!

A trip to a Savers, which carries new Halloween merchandise, had me finding a giant wizard wand for only $.99 over what I wanted to spend on something that I am sure will end up broken in my basement at some point.  My daughter is so jealous of this thing, it lights up and blinks and she has declared that when her brother goes to college, it is all hers.  ( I doubt it will survive that long)

Anyway, just wanted to thank the universe for aligning and making this happen.  Someday I will use my luck for lottery winnings and great fortune, however a cloak and a Jets Jersey will do for now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lunch with Grandma

My dad has given me the task of researching my family's genealogy.

As part of that, I scanned all of my Grandma's pictures into the computer so that if anyone ever wanted a picture they could have it.

The only problem I came across was that most of her photos were in those old sticky albums that are terrible for photographs.  I wanted to preserve her photos, so I made them into scrapbooks for her.  I didn't change the order of the photos and I simply put them on black pages with gold photo corners, Grandma doesn't like a lot of fuss, and put them into new albums.

I have sat with her on a few occasions to get names of those in the photos and she's seen the progress along the way, but yesterday I was finally delivering them to her for keeps.

She was so excited and I know she will spend the rest of the week if not longer, going through the books and showing them to anyone who comes over. 

My dad and I went to see her together and took her out to lunch, by that I mean we physically took her since Grandma will not hear of anyone paying for her lunch, try as we might.

She was telling us some cute stories.  One was about how her doctor told her some of her numbers were a little high and she told him it was because of the Coffee Crisps.  For those of you who don't know, this is a candy bar that you can only get in Canada.  My Grandma LOVES them.  Her doctor had never heard of them and I guess decided to quickly "google" what they were.  Nothing could have impressed her more.  She could not believe that within seconds he was able to show her a picture of her candy bar on the computer.  I love how she's so innocent regarding technology. 

At one point she was kidding and said , "Oh, my computer doesn't get The Facebook", which is especially cute because she doesn't have a computer, but still kind of gets what Facebook is.

She then told us about a mystery.  I retold this to my kids and they are fascinated with it.

One night, she went to bed and took her watch off and set it on her nightstand.  In the middle of the night, she woke up because she had a dream that burglars were coming in and they were going to steal her watch.  So she is pretty sure that she got up, emptied some sort of container, put her watch in the bottom of it , refilled it and went to bed.  As she was falling asleep , she thought, "I am never going to remember that I put that there."

Sure enough, it's over a month later and she has no idea where it is! 

My dad, my aunt, and even I have tried our hand at finding it, with no luck.  My kids are now convinced that they need to go to Great Grandma's house and solve this mystery.  Something tells me she won't mind a visit in the least.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fathers, Sons And Sports

Over the weekend, my daughter and I went to a baby shower, leaving the "boys" home.  They went to my son's soccer game and after my son even took my husband out to lunch.  While I was gone, I received an email from my husband about the game.  I was really touched by how he wrote about our son and I thought I would share it with you.  I can assure you that this game bonded my husband and son in a really special way and as a mom, I'm almost glad I wasn't there, I am not a fan of watching my kid hurling himself at every one's cleat covered feet! 

J had a soccer game this morning.  He started the game in goal (he is the team's starting goalie) and played the entire match at this position.  The opening face off lead to a goal for J's team within the first 30 seconds.  From that point on, I believe his team may have had two or three more shots on goal the rest of the day.  our town lost, and J had seven goals scored against him.

In all my years of watching J play soccer, I have never seen a goalie try and carry a team on his back in such a way.  Never have I seen a goalie give up his body, time after time, shot after shot.  Getting knocked down, kicked in the hand and the arm, stopping shots with his body at point blank range, attacking opposing forwards head on as they came in on breakaway after breakaway.  Beaten and bloodied, but not a drop of surrender in him.  Having his arm iced up during half time, and then going back in net knowing it was a suicide mission.  I am not lying when I tell you he must of had 30 to 40 saves, the majority of these coming within his own goalie box or on breakaways. 

Never have I seen a goalie give up seven goals, and after the game the opposing team telling him "great game keeper', knowing that if it was not for him, they would of had scored even more,  The pictures I attached do not do justice to how much of his body he left on the field.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Inspector Clouseau=Funny

Last weekend was a cold, rainy mess.

It was the perfect time for us to get in our comfy clothes, grab pillows and beanbags and watch some movies.

Friday night, we knew we wanted to kids to get to be a little early since early Saturday morning, we had a travel soccer game for my son.

We spent some time looking through Netflix instant movies and my husband and I stumbled across Pink Panther movies.  We both remembered loving those movies when we were young.  After some quick plot summary checking on IMDB, we picked two to put in our queue and started the first one.

There are some movies you see as a kid, that don't always hold up when you watch them again as an adult.  I remember my dad coming home from Video Galaxy (remember that place?) with a movie he saw as a kid that he loved.  It was "Darby O'Gill and The Little People".  Let's just say, it didn't impress my sister and I and even my dad said, "I guess that wasn't as good as I remember."  However, it did star a very young Sean Connery.

We were so delighted that the kids (and us) LOVED "The Pink Panther".  There were parts that my kids were laughing so hard we had to rewind the movie because we missed something.  There was one part that my son made us rewind 5 times, he thought it was so funny.

Once the movie was over they begged us to watch the other one, but we made them go to bed and told them since the weather was supposed to be crummy, we would surely get to watch the other one at some point over the weekend.

Luckily we were able to watch it the next night and it was another great night of laughs for us.

It was such a great time, it is very rare that we all find a movie we like, my kids are 6 years apart and have very different tastes in movies.  I love that these were truly family movies.  Any other suggestions for us?  We are really loving the idea of movie night.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For Super Ty

I am so overwhelmed with sadness. 

My friend J, brought this little boy's story to my attention.  Over 2 years ago he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer.

Yesterday, this sweet little boy passed away.

I had gone to their website a while ago and learned about Ty's journey, but as life goes, I hadn't read it in awhile.

Even then , I was amazed at the raw honesty his mother wrote with.

When I went to the website yesterday, I was overwhelmed with how she was able to write about losing Ty.  

I want to honor Ty by sharing his story with you, if you choose. 


 It's very real, very honest and so heartbreaking, but there's something about the way his mom writes that taps into every fiber of what being a mom is. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Real Housewives of Anywhere

As you may know, my guilty pleasure is watching "The Real Housewives" series.

I think at some point I have seen them all, though I am not a big fan of Miami or Atlanta.

Lately, there's been a run of reunion shows that have been explosive and it got me to thinking about how my ACTUAL Housewife friends and I would behave under these circumstances.

So first of all, you have to think about the fact that there are cameras, in your house, filming what you do.  My house would be immaculate.  I would be so freaked out that some yahoo who was recording the show would pause it and say, "Did you see that sock sticking out from under her kid's bed?  Slob!"

Then, I think about how they follow them to different events.  So for example, today my friend K and I ran a few errands today.  So if the cameras were following us, they would have seen me exchange some jeans for my daughter at Old Navy.  It would have been quite the cliff hanger when I realized that they didn't have the royal blue jeans in her size and I had to (gasp!) pick another color.  I can imagine the comments as to whether the magenta polka dot jeans were the best choice. 

We then popped into Cold Water Creek since K had a coupon, but we didn't buy anything.  You would have heard the riveting conversation we had about my daughter's birthday party and her recent trip to the Bahamas.

All in all , it would probably not make very good TV. 

I can't really think of any "feuds" I would have with the other women.  I like to think that I get along with all of them.  I guess I would find out though when the cameras were rolling.  How terrifying.  Maybe that's why these women go crazy, maybe they think everything is great and then they see their friends on camera and hear, " I cannot believe Jenn bought her daughter the magenta polka dot jeans, I bought those for my daughter, she knew that.  I hate her."

Had cameras been rolling yesterday, you would have seen me in full lunatic mode.  I sent my kids outside to play in the gorgeous weather and my daughter was so awful to her brother, I completely lost my mind.  It was a RHONJ worthy performance, Teresa would have loved it, I said lots of things that didn't make sense.  I may or may not have flipped a table.  Okay, I didn't, but had there been a table in my backyard, I might have.  I can only imagine that yahoo pausing my face is some horrid position as I said, "Someday he's going to go to college and you're going to miss the fact that he's willing to throw on giant hockey gloves and play crazy soccer with you."

Sadly, that's the most exciting thing that happens around here, to a real REAL housewife.  I think that's why they cast such wealthy and glamorous (and crazy bananas) women for these shows. Even though I wouldn't want to watch what I do on TV, I would certainly pick the way I live and the people that surround me over reality TV fame.


Am I the only one who thinks Teresa (RHONJ)is absolutely insane?  Throughout 3 reunion specials all I could see was someone who was lying about everything she is.  Her voice goes up about 10 octaves when she acts like something is SOOO outrageous (but true) and she throws ANYONE under the bus when she is attacked.  I know she makes good TV, but I really can't stand her.  I follow the Manzo kids (and Greg , my god , how much do I LOOOOVE Greg?) and Albie had an excellent point.  He tweeted,
"I'll say it again, attention is the most dangerous drug on the planet."  Agreed.  She is so desperate to stay relevant, she will do anything.  

Ok, that's all, just my two cents ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

She Should Run For Office

My daughter knows how to work it.

She has this uncanny knack for saying the most heart melting phrases when I am at my wits end.

We sometimes call her "The Mayor" because of her willingness to chat with anyone.  I am starting to think she would make an excellent politician.

She tries her best to work the angle so that she doesn't have to go to bed, finish vegetables, or clean her room.  

Since she was a little girl, my daughter has always been right there.  What I mean by this, is that where ever I am, no matter what I am doing, she's right there, by my side, touching me, leaning on me, laying on me, on me.

I have often joked that if she could climb back into my womb she would. 

For the most part, I love it.  It kind of goes against my norm.  I am not a snuggler, my husband and daughter are.  It kind of forces me out of my own cranky ways.

There are moments though when I think "Can I not just get some space!?"  Last week in the throws of exhaustion and sickness, I had one of these moments.

In a moment of frustration, I asked her, "Why do you always have to be right on top of me?"

Her reply, in true heart-melting fashion, was, "Because when I lean against you, it recharges my heart."

I was immediately remorseful for snapping and I am trying my hardest to enjoy every single second of her "recharging time".  Sooner than I can imagine, she will no longer need as much recharging and I think I'll feel a pang when I realize she's not right there.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I am slowly emerging out of the worst cold ever.

I am not exaggerating.  I have been sick for over a week , with a cold.

A cold with a vengeance.  This thing has knocked me out for days at a time. 

I don't know how I would have survived it if my husband hadn't taken some time off.

He had already planned to take the time off, my cold just sort of ruined it.

There were days I think I slept 17 out of 24 hours.

Some highlights were when he told me to absolutely sleep in.  He would make sure that the kids would get on the bus in weather appropriate outfits (seriously, coaxing my 13 year old out of shorts has been a battle) with lunches in hand.

Cut to, "Psst, hey hon, totally keep sleeping, but what time do they go to the bus?  Okay, great, go back to sleep"

"Psst, hey, what should the daughter wear?  There's too many choices."

"I have no idea how to do her hair"

I got up and did the mom thing.  I can't blame him.  My daughter dresses according to her mood and she can be overwhelmed by the possibilities.  Her and I have a nice routine where I give her freedom until it's just time to pick something already and then I make some strong suggestions.  Her hair is the same story.  Oh, and she also has the most sensitive scalp in the universe so I am just used to being the one to deal with it.

He took her to the bus stop and I crawled back into bed for 1, 876 hours or so.

I did manage to come downstairs at some point , to then just lay on the couch.  It was a lovely change of scenery.

Towards the end of the week, I was feeling well enough to leave the house.  We even ventured out to Ikea one day and had a really nice lunch together.

The only downfall is my house is in shambles.  I was able to reign some of the mess in today, but will no doubt be playing catch-up for a few days.  I am happy to do it.  The kids were happy and taken care of , I got much needed rest and I am hopefully on the mend (my cough is making a rare re-appearance) and I even got to spend some time alone with my husband. 

Thanks hubby!  You are the best!! 

All of this sickness made me wish that this really existed....also, I miss Chris Farley and Phil Hartman, sigh.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Kids On The Bus

Everyday when I go to the bus stop to wait for my daughter, a bus from another town pulls into my neighborhood to turn around.

One day, early on in the school year, I saw a girl sitting towards the back of the bus and her face lit up and she waved.

I am 99% sure that I know this girl.  I think that she dances where my daughter dances, but she's older and I think I've only seen her in passing.

I thought it was so cute how her face lit up and she waved.

Since then, I look forward to seeing this bus in the afternoons. 

You see, even if this girl is not on the bus, someone waves to me.  Sometimes it's a girl who I think of as a shy and quiet kid, who gives me a little wave and a smile.  Sometimes it's a few boys in the back of the bus who wave with crazy enthusiasm.

Whoever waves to me, it's such a sweet part of the day and I love that no matter what, I can count on a wave and a smile to brighten my day. 

I hope these kids remain this sweet forever.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Going Mad!

After a wonderful weekend celebrating my daughter's birthday with family, it is time for the annual madness of the kid party.

I go a little nuts for my kids birthday parties.  I really really like having their parties at the house.  I love locking into a theme and going crazy with it. 

For my daughter, we've done a purple party, princess party, Hello Kitty Carnival and a panda bowling party.

This year, we have decided to do a Mad Hatter Tea Party.  What I love is that everyone in our family gets excited about the themes.  My mother in law ran to The Disney Store and got my daughter the Alice costume.  It's awesome because she can wear it for the party, for Halloween and our super secret trip to Disney that's coming up. 

My parents (my dad actually found it, let the record show) found an Alice in Wonderland tea pot at a store and gave it to her for her birthday.

I have been collecting odds and ends to decorate the crazy table with.  I could craft FOREVER when it comes to these parties.  I have to tell myself its for one day and my husband will frown upon me celebrating "Unbirthdays" until the new millennium.

My other plans include writing names on tea cups for the girls to take home as favors.  Sharpie paint markers and the oven are supposed to make these last a long time.  I also want to make soldiers out of a deck of cards, it seems easy enough, but I'll have to see how much time I have.

I also managed to get a croquet set at the local flea market, so I'm going to set it up like a little obstacle course for the kids.  I don't know that they'll want to play croquet the real way, so I think this will be fun.

Can't wait to get started!!!  Wish me luck!