Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Song

Okay, so I'm sure the purists will argue that this is far from a Christmas song but I don't care.


I love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!!


And I listen to is all year long.....thank you, Joni Mitchell!!




Sniff, Cough, Sniff

Though I am beginning a new day with no signs of the cold (yet), our family is officially reduced to three sick members, leaving me as the lone beacon of health and care.

Olivia, 3; Joseph, 1; and John, 32 are all a' sniffle and cough, and let's just say their actual ages have very little to do with how well they're handling their current weakened states.

Which one do you think is whining the most??

Tracking Santa

If you have older children who can appreciate navigational technology (or you just like to have fun relaying his annual trip to the kids), NORAD is once again tracking Santa's movements across the globe.

As of posting, Santa has only four minutes left in Austrailia.

Click HERE for the NORAD Tracks Santa Link.

Overreaction of the Year

The overreaction of the year goes to the NFL for fining Shaun Ellis for throwing into the stands after the Jets loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

The fans were pelting the players with snow as they exited the field, and so, in fun, Ellis picked up a pile of snow and gingerly tossed it upward, into the stands where many of the throwers were poised. As a result of this horrible, dangerous response to poor, innocent fans, the NFL is fining him $10,000.

I happen to think it was pretty damn funny.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Headline of the Day

"Rare Disease Causes People to Pull out Their Own Hair"

I've actually heard of this. I think it's called "parenting".

For the full article, click HERE.

Holiday Song of the Day

Today's choice is a more recent favorite....

And if we're making a Top 10 list of my favorite things in any given year, Christmas morning has officially returned to the list.....



Underrated Moments in Film

To take a break from all the holiday madness, I recently took comfort in TNT, one of many cable stations that decides to run a mainstream movie and replay it 3,000 times in one weekend. Examples of movies run into oblivion include The American President, Shawshank Redemption, and, most recently, Jerry Maguire.

As much as I'll be the first to acknowledge how far the strong have fallen a la Tom Cruise, watching movies like Born on the Fourth of July and Jerry Maguire compel me to give credit where credit is due: his performance in both movies is masterful and do not rely on his looks alone, the very thing that carried his early movies.

In fact, Cuba Gooding Jr. as Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire also showed some acting acumen, but the Oscar really should have gone elsewhere, but not to Tom Cruise either.

Below is a clip from the show that might not readily come to mind when you consider the film's most memorable moments. Clearly, Jonathan Lipnicki as the adorable little son, the "You had me at hello" line, and "show me the money" are all easy quotables. However, at least to me, the scene below, played by one of the most underrated actresses around, Regina King, was one of my favorites. Why?

The message is simple, though not everyone gets it: Nothing is more important than family.

What's Worser Than Worsest?

Both my kiddies have been sick with runny, hacking, snotty colds, which means they are like everyone else's kids this time of year.

Just in time for Christmas.

Anyway, my littlest one not only has a horrible cold/cough/cling-syndrome, but he's also sporting some pretty robust molars just below the gums and so, just when I thought normal sleep was right around the corner, I was wrong.

The hight point?

Yesterday, he coughed right in my mouth, meaning I'll have a lovely cold just in time for Christmas.

Quote of the Day

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." -Dr. Seuss

Picture of the Day


Preschool Christmas Concert: 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Done, Done, DONE!!

So that little project I mentioned a few weeks back turned out to be not so little (shout out to all 382 pages of it!) and now it is DONE!!!!

What does that really mean?

1) The burns on my thighs caused by excessive laptop temperatures may finally begin to heal.

2) I can discover that the seasons have changed....I heard the Northeast got walloped, but I haven't left my house in a month.

3) Although needed, I now have a chance to get myself together before Extreme Makeover shows up at my door.

4) Is that a Christmas tree in my living room?

5) I can begin to have conversations with people that do not require typing....something that the people at the grocery store found very annoying and not at all funny when I explained myself.

AND most importantly......


I can once again return to my beautiful blog and wax quixotic about a mother of two and a wife of one....

Cheers!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still Behind With Blogging But....

Consider this my holiday song of the day....every time this commercial comes on, I can't help but watch.

Pure sweetness...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Day Off

One of my kiddies is not feeling so hot today.....in the meantime, enjoy this great clip.....


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Song of the Day

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be?



When considering this favorite question of dinner party small talk, my potential choices would certainly include William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, and my very own role model, Miss Piggy. To me, they would make a perfect party, but none of them would be my true first choice.

That honor would absolutely go to my grandmother, Doris Mahony, who demonstrated what it looks like when you take class, spunk, and style, and rolled them all together into one unbelievable woman.

Unfortunately, I have no video of her singing a holiday song to post on YouTube (though, she probably would have rocked that too) and so Miss Piggy will have to suffice for today, as well as some of other favorite muppets.

Merry Christmas....



Quote of the Day

"As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same." - Donald E. Westlake

Picture of the Day


Jingle Bells are the new GPS.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Songs: Only 10 Days Left!

The thing about this song is that I have never liked it. I can appreciate the appeal, especially Eartha Kitt's original version, but I'm just not that girl.

My friend, Christine, however is that girl. On cold nights when I reach for a pair of fluffy socks to warm my toes, my friend Christine would opt for high heeled, bedazzled slippers with a feather plume on the toe. She is that girl and she has always loved this song.

Having said that, something has changed in me this year that has nothing to do with a softening of the heart or a holiday thaw thanks to human love and kindness. The change in me is that I actually look forward to listening to this song now because a certain little red headed girl likes to shimmy around the kitchen every time it comes on the readio.

This means a few things for our little family:


1) John needs to put bars on her bedroom windows sooner than we thought.
2) O has hips?
3) I need to quit showing her how to groove so that she may shake what I gave her.

Anyway....here's the original:



Quote of the Day

'They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart." ~ Mrs. Paul M. Ell.

Picture of the Day


Apparently, all she didn't want for Christmas was another awful bow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Man and his House


We also made a gigantic Gingerbread Man who doesn't exactly fit in his house. Actually, his toe doesn't even fit in the house, which leaves us with only one option.


Eat or be eaten.


Progress in the Land of Gingerbread


Last year marked our first attempt at a gingerbread house and the only surprise to come from it is that no one showed up from the Housing Authority to condemn it. It was lopsided, partially frosted, and inadequate for even the least discerning gingerbread man.

This year proved much more successful....another year older and another year wiser. There were icicles, an actual door, and a solid foundation that might help its resale value even in this tough market. Thankfully, the life of gingerbread people (at least in my house) sees an unfortunately high turnover rate. Them being good to eat and all.


SO here it is in all its glory....and it's glory may have something to do with the fact that a certain wildly artistic friend happened to drop by at the exact moment we were planning our exterior decorations.

Holiday Song of the Day

The fact that I LOVE this song used to be a secret. It's one of those songs that always comes on that soft rock radio station your parents always listened to, the one you always complained about. I can still vividly remember sitting squished between my brothers in the backseat, trying not to get car sick from the long ride, the limited room, or the sound of Gloria Estefan crooning, "Here we are.....once again....". I'm surprised my eyes never rolled right out of my head.

But off the record, this song is a standard for those stations during the holidays, and I wait for it and all its corny sentimentality.

Feel free to make fun of me at length...I refuse to offer up any apologies.


Quick Question


Does anyone know a man by the name of Ollie Folly?


I do not know him, but my daughter keeps insisting that we deck the halls with him.
....and the above image is O doing "angry".

Quote of the Day

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall." ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

Picture of the Day


The gift that keeps on giving...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Song of the Day

When done right, this one always gives me chills....


Quote of the Day

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." ~Burton Hillis

Picture of the Day


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Idiots

While driving home from an awesome day at the mall (I'm not kidding....there must be a full moon, but we had a blast and we were meltdown free....no blarma, no blarma, no blarma), I was stopped at a light behind a Back to the Future van that did not contain Lybian terrorists but did contain an overabundance of bumper stickers.

The most absurd??

"Unless you're a hemorrhoid, Stay Off My Ass!"

Umm....what? So, if I were a hemorrhoid, you'd welcome me with open cheeks?

Sorry, I guess that was gross, but clearly not as gross as the complete idiocy of the sticker.

Headline of the Day: And I'm Totally Okay With It

"Study Finds Men Overspend to Attract Mates"

And I'd like to see the practice continued in what I would consider married life maintenance....

It's the least we can do to help the economy.


For the whoe article click HERE.

Lesson in Futility #643: The Christmas Edition

In an attempt to fulfill the day's craft quota by having the kids help me wrap presents I realized two things:

1) Ripping paper is much more fun than wrapping it.
2) Kids are not great secret keepers.

When my husband returned home from work, he was told by one of the redheads that we wrapped up his shirt, but not to tell because it's a secret.

I Missed My Moment

The following hysterical Christmas commercial came out a few years back, but only now brings with it a new appreciation.

Had this only been released for Mother's Day......


Quote of the Day

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph." -Shirley Temple

Picture of the Day: Santa Baby


Truly a gift...
Special thanks to Lydia for the forward..

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Song of the Day

Quote of the Day

"The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin." ~Jay Leno

Picture of the Day


Because watching Daddy take a tumble down the stairs
while Mommy tries to get the all important
Christmas card photo is pretty funny.
(True Story)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Songs

I love this song (and the entire Harry Connick Jr. Christmas album for that matter), and when I listen to it I fantasize about actually having some real New Year's Eve plans that involve a lavish party with fancy, sparkly dresses that you can only get away with on New Years or a Wednesday in Vegas.

This year, John and I are hoping to make it to eleven.

Anyway, there is no available video featuring Harry's rendition, so we'll have to settle for good ol' Johnny Mathis on this one.....


The Understatement of the Year

It's cold outside.

The Over / Under: Santa Claus Came to Town


As promised, we headed to the Deptford Mall on Friday with lots of snacks, distractions, and the always obliging Grammy. Believing that my daughter would run away at the last minute and my little guy would erupt into a torrent of tears as soon as he laid eyes on the jolly fellow, I strategized for the entire ride and even did a little reconnaissance as we circled the point of pictures.


Since we arrived a little early, we all headed over to a kids store for holiday outfits. On our way, however, the Claus himself happened to saunter by on his way to his velour thrown and my daughter, like a groupie with a backstage pass, turned wide eyed and hypnotized as she took in all of his splendor. This was more than amusing for some of the vendors, especially since she walked right into Foot Locker and almost toppled into a sneaker display in all her consternation.


By the time we joined the line a few minutes and one poopy diaper later, we were surrounded by crying children who were simultaneously being bribed and groomed by their already ruffled parents.


I decided the element of surprise would have to be our approach for the little guy (Grammy's job...she pointed out everything around us without every letting him see big SC). As for my little miss, the once excited gift recipient was expressing some doubts about the whole lap and talking thing and so I was forced to offer my appeals. They included:


1) If you don't tell him, how will he know you want a table top ski ball machine?

2) I heard a rumor he's giving out candy canes to all the kids who do a good job.

3) I think I may have a ring pop in my purse.

4) You did it last year.


And finally...


5) Joseph can't talk, and so as the big sister you must tell Santa WHAT YOU THINK HE SHOULD HAVE on his behalf.


Ho Ho Ho.


She got on his lap like a champ, but refused to look at him or acknowledge him, and I'm pretty sure she was relying on some pretty tricky visualization techniques to pretend she was somewhere else.


As for the little guy, Grammy started swinging and swirling him around and he giggled in reciprocation. Then, she grandly swept him up and plopped him down on Santa's lap, thinking we'd get a picture in before he even knew what the heck just happened.


He looked at us. He looked at Santa. And then he looked back at us with a smile, as if to say, "Who the hell is this guy?"


Click.


Merry Christmas.

Quote of the Day

"If you ever have to steal money from your kid, and later on he discovers it's gone, I think a good thing to do is to blame it on Santa Claus." -Jack Handey

Picture of the Day


The real reason we decided to have children.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Guess Who?


Not a lap I'd be anxious to sit on....

Christmas Songs

Since there really aren't twenty Christmas songs that I absolutely love, I am going to forego the process of ranking them and, instead, simply share them as they come to mind.

The next one reflects one of my first girlhood crushes (next to Rob Lowe) and a pop holiday classic.

It also reflects THE BEST CHRISTMAS VIDEO of all time (yes, the caps were necessary). From the fabulous outfits, the stunning broach, and the "Merry Christmas" whisper that conjures Gilda Radner's "Hey You", I can't stop watching it. More than anything, however, I totally have my new holiday hair picked out....thanks George.



Fun With Santa: Ho Ho No

Despite whether or not you believe my children will be able to hang with Santa (sans tears), check out THIS LINK to see some remarkable pictures...



The entire site is devoted to children who have a "bad reaction" to meeting the Claus.

Who'll Take the Over/Under?

My husband loFont sizeves joining his family on trips to the grocery store. He spends more than a few minutes making up stories about the lobsters, he pretends each aisle provides a new opportunity to race unsuspecting shoppers, and he loves to play over/under with the cashiers.

For the gamblers among us, you would already know that over/under refers to a type of betting that prompts you to bet on whether or not a score will be either above or below the amount established by a bookie. Will Manning throw for more than 350 yards in Sunday's game? Will the combined score of the Sixers/Lakers game amount to 150 points? Something, something, something about bowling.

Anyway, if you're on the lookout for fun ways to pass your time at the supermarket, Over/Under applies here as well. When you arrive at the checkout line, ask the cashier how much he or she thinks the bill will cost and you can each decided if it's over or under. If it's just you and you are bold enough to play solo, you determine the price and challenge the cashier to pick.

It's fun and I know what you're thinking....you guys are crazy fun. Wow.

Anyway, what does this have to do with a blog usually devoted to parenting?

Today I will be taking the kids to our local mall for their pictures with Santa. I do it every year at the same place because it's the same Santa (provides credibility when they look back at pictures over the years) and he's great, real beard and all.

SO, here's the over under. Of the three of us, how many will cry.

The number we're projecting is two (Mommy and Joseph).

Do you take the over or under?

Quote of the Day

"There's nothing wrong with the younger generation that becoming taxpayers won't cure." ~Dan Bennett

Picture of the Day

In case you forgot what middle school looks like...

Send your favorite kid pics to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sliggity Slogging.....

Not because I am being lazy; quite the opposite. Just like everyone else, I am too busy for words and when I finally get a chance to sit down, I am devoid of all creative juices.

BUT tomorrow.....mucho posts!!

I prominse (and one even involves the always appealing subject of vomit).

Headline of the Day

"Man uses candy cane to subdue attacker with knife"


Click HERE for the brave story.....

Quote of the Day

"More than Santa Claus, your sister knows when you've been bad and good." ~Linda Sunshine

Picture of the Day

In the true spirit of sisterhood,
the elder gave the gift of curls to the younger,
who had yet to inherit them on her own.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Belated Happy Halloween


Despite only receiving this a few days ago, I had to post this somewhat belated Boo pic of the most adorable Miss Julia, who decided a chicken would make a lovely debut costume.

Utter sweetness....and she totally came before the egg.

Yes, that last part was awful....but nevermind me.....look how cute she is!!!!

Christmas Song of the Day

Number 19 is a special dedication to my dear mother, who went to see the Beach Boys as her first concert back in her crazy teenage years. The young skip who took her drove a powder blue Mustang and, after my mother rejected him, never married.

Heartbreaker.

This one's for you, Babs.....

Quote of the Day

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Picture of the Day

Because stringing Christmas tree lights is such a calming, enjoyable experience,
why not share it with your kids?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

Though I cannot believe it is already December, this post marks the beginning of my Christmas blog countdown. Much like my years as a little kid when we'd make a long chain of construction paper links to mark the passing of each day closer to Christmas, I'll be taking the following days to share my traditions, memories, and favorite songs.

Last year, my husband stuffed my stocking with a burned CD of my favorite holiday songs and so, consider the following song my #20 of my Top 20 Favorites.......



Quote of the Day

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree." ~Roy L. Smith

Picture of the Day

Three Things You Never Want to Find Yourself Alone With in a Dark Alley:
1) A man in a trench coat
2) A foamy mouthed dog
3) And a three year old whose just been told he's lost Poppa's Pizza Pie Pile-up

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dance Party '08







Effectively working off 20 of the 20,000 calories I consumed.






I think I hear Susan calling.....

Engorgement









I'd have to say stuffing and dark meat top my favorite foods on Thanksgiving, but I've also never been one to shy away from apple pie or the legendary Grandpa Mahony Whiskey Sour (which is honsetly responsible for most of the children in my extended family).
Throwing down the proverbial gauntlet, however, was my neighbor Joan who somehow managed to ring the doorbell just as we were about to begin the engorgement.
What did she decide to drop off??
Essentially, a bathtub sized bowl of Pumpkin Mousse topped with ginger snaps. It was absolutely delicious.....just ask my husband, who I caught rolling around in it that night while he thought everyone was in a tryptophan coma.

Turkey Bowl '08












The Highlights:



1) The teams were divided by the redheads and the non-reds, which, at least in our family, means pretty balanced teams even when a certain nurse defers to the cooking as her ready excuse for not participating....this year.


2) O and her cousin Drew learned how to tackle. Which is exactly what they did to each other during the entire game, regardless of team or period of play.


3) Some of us were showing our age....



4) My neighbor, who also happens to be a volunteer ambulance driver, never kept us out of his sights, certain he would eventually be needed.



5) Aunt, shmant, Mad Max is a capital pass interferer.....which is exactly why I HAD to trip him....often.

Turkey Decorating Contest


Since my gifts lie outside the realm of the kitchen, I left the heavy cooking to the pros, and designated myself as MC for the evening. In addition to providing my adult guests with plenty of late night trivia pursuit competitions and alcohol, I made sure the little ones never had a dull moment....or, at least I tried.


The results of the 2008 Turkey Decorating Conest:

Most Turkey-ish: Olivia
Most Gobble Gobble: Drew
Most Disturbing: Max (who made interesting use of some electrical tape)
Most Glamorous: Abigail (and a vat of glitter glue)
Most Colorful: Ellie (and every paint color I had, plus some I am not sure was actually paint)
Most Creative: Grace and her rendition of the turkey-pilgrim hybrid
Funniest: Paul and his labeled turkey, "Farty McFart".....oh, to be in middle school again.

Thanksgiving: The Afterglow


So the tornado that is my family effectively swept through my house in celebration of Thanksgiving, and the only things left in their wake are a few mysterious carpet stains and loads of laundry I made no attempt to do.


Needless to say, it was one of the best holidays yet as the occasions for us all to get together (or for both my brothers to be on the same continent at the same time) is extremely rare. In honor of our festivities, the rest of the day will be a veritable highlight reel of our weekend.


Starting tomorrow, the Christmas countdown begins......

Quote of the Day

"The thing I'm most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands." ~Author Unknown

Picture of the Day


What does driving eight hours in a car amidst Thanksgiving traffic with four children, one dog, and one lovely wife mean?


Even a randomly placed balance beam in the middle of a playroom will provide a welcome opportunity to nap.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Question

Does anyone know a good way to remove cookies from a dryer vent?


Oh, and quickly....my Thanksgiving guests will be arriving in a few hours.

That's right....16 people, one house, three days.

I love it.

Help.

Shout out to Joseph.

A Perfect Pair

I would never have thought it possible, but two of my favorite musicians in the galaxy performed "To Love Somebody" together.

Damien Rice + Ray LaMontagne = Perfection


The Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For

10) Portable DVD players. I swore I'd never let my children watch more than a few minutes of television a day, but desperate times often demand desperate measures.

9) Messy, low buns are in style. Blessed be to the hair gods....I can occasionally convince myself that I am not the incarnation of the "Wreck of the Hesperus".

8) Diana. My cleaning lady. She came early this week to help get the house ready for my Thanksgiving week blowout. Did I mention I was having 16 overnight guests for three days? Oh, and NINE of them are humans who have not lived 14 years (and many substantially less).

7) Steamable vegetables. Nothing provides a better combination of fast, healthy, and yummy than these little forzen bags of wonder.

6) The lines created by a good vacuum. Aside from a tubful of wine, nothing soothes me more. Okay, maybe circus peanuts. Or, the news that grandparents are coming to babysit. Or my new Target credit card. Okay, so maybe I need a new list.

5) I am thankful for Facebook, which allows me to stalk people from my past who have aged in such a way that I am okay with my own progress. Even more, I have reconnected with people I'd swore I'd never see again (and, for the most part, that is definitely a good thing).

4) Webcams....and nobody else knows why better than Paul.

3) My friends, especially those who got me through one of my hardest years to date. My only wish is that O will have such gifts as these girlfriends of mine.

2) My family. If the stock market decides zero is a good number, if I learn that my writing only merits a job at Hallmark, and if my children don't win the Pulitzers they will clearly one day deserve, it's all good thanks to my family.

1) These three red heads I know....I may have mentioned them. For them, there are no words.

Question

Is it really a heinous offense if the picture I use for my Facebook profile picture was taken three years ago at my friend Amy Cruickshank's wedding?

I haven't taken a good one since.

A Way With Words

Among the many blessings Bama's weeklong stay provided, making curtains for my eternally unfinished kitchen was atop the list. I took my time finding the perfect color, I took everyone's time debating the perfect fabric, and then I took my mother's time so that she may sew them.

And they are fabulous!!!

I know, I know, everyone has different tastes, and there is no such thing as good or bad taste, blah, blah, blah.

I don't buy a word of that. These curtains are perfection!!!!

So, after my mother and I sat back after hanging them and took a moment to congratulate ourselves on their fabulousness, I made a VERY unforunate comment:

Mom: I just love them. They came out better than I'd hope.
Christine: I know, and I was so worried about the color. But look, the details in the fabric, it just makes the walls pop.

Horrible, HORRIBLE choice of words.

For the remainder of the day, my little O refused to go in the kitchen unless we removed the curtains. She was terrified of popping walls.

Quote of the Day

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer

Picture of the Day


Happy Thanksgiving!
(and, no, that actually isn't O....but an apparent, older twin)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Enabling

In order to soften the withdrawal effects of Bama's return to New Ginger, we are spending the day at Grammy's.

Yes, it's cowardly; and no, I don't care.

Be back tomorrow for my list of 10 Things I'm Thankful For (and, yes, Bama and circus peanuts may have made the list.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Interrupt This Blog-cation for a Very Special Announcement

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz welcomed their brand new baby boy into the world by giving him a name that will later provide remarkable fodder for those inevitable therapy sessions.

What did they name him?

Bronx Mowgli Wentz

I'm not sure who should be more offended by the name: the residents of the aformentioned borough (a place I also once called home), or the wolves that raised the little boy in the jungle book, whose parenting skills will mostly certainly exceed those of the famed emo couple.

Hmmm.....I'll get back to you on that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Attention Everyone Who Lives Close to ME (OR THOSE WILLING TO TRAVEL)

Sprout is looking for parents with or without their tots to appear on some promotional pieces for the channel. If you are interested, email me ASAP at dalessandrochristine@gmail.com and I will forward your name onto Chris F, who happens to be the most amazing television editor on the face of the planet (and also does work for Sprout). In other words, he's the man with the connection.

Here's the info:

Hello Sprout Fans!

We are looking for parents, caregivers and kids ages 2-6 who want to share with us what they love about Sprout. Is it seeing her face light up when Chica squeaks? Or the time you spend together perfecting his paper plate fishbowl masterpiece? Or just that feeling you have when you are snuggled up together winding down after a busy day. We would love for you to join us so we can showcase to our various audiences how important Sprout is in your lives.

The shoot will take place in the homes of two viewers over the course of two days. We are targeting the first or second week in December to shoot and hope to secure between 10 and 15 parents or caregivers. Please let me know if you would like to participate (with or without your preschooler) and if you wish to offer your home as a location for which we may shoot.

As Sprout grows it is of utmost importance to us to hear from YOU, the parents, caregivers and preschoolers who are dedicated to Sprout, so that we can continue to make an impact in the lives of our young viewers.

Thank you and look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blogturnal: Headline of the Night

"Undercover Officers Use Taser on Pallbearer"

For the whole story, click HERE.


And, yes, I am totally procrastinating.

Too Much Fun

Blogging is for the Bama-less!

Since my mother is visiting for the week, I am enjoying the fact that I have a shopping buddy with a Kohl's senior citizen discount (even though she doesn't look a day over 40), and a lot of time to get some work done at her insistence.


My children are also overjoyed as Olivia and my mother have conversations that go on for hours while they bake, and Joseph has a new person with whom he can discuss tractors (single worded conversations, but an interested audience nonetheless).

Her visit has also revived my campaign to move my parents from the state my daughter calls "New Ginger" to the Garden State, ridiculous taxes and all.

I am in heaven!

So happy in fact, that I am handling well the fact that O has begun every morning this week at 5:05 AM on the dot. Not 5:04, not 5:06....5:05 exactly, regardless of the previous day's nap or bedtime.

If anyone has any idea how to reset a kid clock, feel free to pass that one on as next week will certainly find me less capable of handling the early starts.

Have a great week!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Swore I'd Never Post This.....

But since there was a question about my reference to Justin Timberlake's LEGENDARY skit on SNL involving "something in a box", I figured I had to post the clip of it. I had also figured that half the world had already seen it by now....

It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen (especially since I was once a Color Me Badd fan).

Please do not watch this if you are easily or moderately offended.

For the rest of you hooligans.....prepare yourselves.


God Bless the Beltway!!!

Bama's here!!

Because It's Paul Rudd

...And Justin Timberlake in high heels. Though not as funny as something else in a box, you must check out this video to start your week off right.



Hilarious.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PjrOEHyM1I

Guess Who?

No winners....perhaps a clue?

"She got a speeding ticket, another speeding ticket, and I lost the Vermont deal because of her!"

Quote of the Day

"I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example." -- Mario Cuomo

Picture of the Day


Happiness is coming home.
Please send your favorite kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ahhhhh!!!

I am officially overwhelmed!!

Which is why I took the time to blog.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Black Friday

If you are among the millions who like to take advantage of the Black Friday deals in preparation for holiday shopping, consider THIS my gift to you.

ho ho ho

Shout out to the lovely Linda for passing this along!

Guess Who?


Quote of the Day (Not at all about parenting...just an old favorite)

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx

Picture of the Day

If cute was a country, we'd have our next president.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Respect

Rolling Stone just released its list of the top 100 singers of all time. Topping the list was none other than the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin.

Odd, I thought.

I have come across some recent stories about Ms. Franklin's criticisms of other female vocalists such as Tina Turner and Beyonce, and despite my respect for her phenomenal vocals, she's just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Plus, acknowledging that she is a music icon, I'm not sure I'd declare her the best ever.

So, weigh in on this week's poll that asks for your imput and is comprised of Rolling Stone's top 10. Also, click here for the full list.

Finally, because it is just too entertaining not to share, the video below is of Aretha covering Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body".

I'm not kidding.



Rain, Rain.....

Now that the construction (and its resulting muddy mess) has passed my driveway, I finally took my car for a much needed car wash yesterday.

Shout out to Mother Nature. Your timing is fantastic.

More Awfulness

THIS is such a crazy story.

For My Parents

This song came on the radio as I was sitting in my car at the gas station. I hadn' t heard it in a while, probably because I no longer live south of the Mason Dixon, but I remember my father telling me how much he liked it, and knowing that meant how much it made him think of my mom.



A rare admission from a salty dog.



So this little dedication is not in honor of any special anniversary, but just because.



Just because so many marriages struggle, you always make it seem so seamless.



Please listen to the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y4NTXT96EM

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up


Always a fountain of fantastic anecdotes, the sensational Stacey has given me permission to retell this classic kid tale.


The always honest Jessica and her mother were enjoying a trip to the grocery store and, though Jessica had recently taken to making her observations of others very vocal, her mother was working hard to explain the virtues of not verbalizing every thought that popped into her precocious daughter's little head.


She was working on it.


As they meandered down this aisle and that, their paths kept crossing a woman shopping in the alternative direction. In the spirit of euphemisms, the woman would most accurately be described as full in figure and dour in expression. The woman was also wearing shorts that would require the benefits of Nair.


As the mother and daughter passed the woman at each new aisle, little Jessica's eyes took in the impressive folds of the woman's physique and her mind processed what she was seeing. To be clear, the grocery store was filled with all different people of varying shapes and sizes, and so the woman's particular shape was not responsible for the little girl's captivation. It was the lack of fabric used in her choice of outfits.


After the fourth or fifth passing, little Jessica's curiosity could be quieted no more. Right as the woman pushed by their cart, Jessica turned to her mother, pointed at the shopper, and loudly questioned,


"Mommy, why are her legs so fat?" Her Mommy took a moment to grip the cart as she said a silent prayer that the woman had not heard the question. Unfortunately, the prayer was the only think that reaped the benefits of silence.


The woman slowly turned to Stacey with a look of complete disgust and anger.


"Uh, you need to teach your daughter some manners," she spat, as she spun around on her heel and stalked off. Stacey called out an apology after her, but the damage was done. She felt awful.


To make matters worse, they continued to pass the object of the offense at each new aisle. Feeling like she needed to do something, Stacey explained to Jessica why she had hurt the woman's feelings and also told her that she needed to apologize. Jessica agreed and they awaited the next aisle's opportunity.


As the woman slowly approached the pair, determined not to make eye contact, Jessica slowly walked over to her to make ammends. Stacey watched as her daughter tried to make things better.


Jessica tapped the woman's purse and, with eyes full of innocence and wonderment, said to her:


"Excuse me, big lady, I'm sorry I said you have fat legs."


The woman stared down at her, realizing how brutally honest kids can be, and whispered, "It's okay, sweetie, really."


As always, special thanks to Shirley Magilton Photography for effectively capturing the charm of our little truth teller.

Quote of the Day

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?" - Elbert Hubbard

Picture of the Day


This Thanksgiving brings new meaning to the term "kids table".


Or, if not, he sure makes one heck of a centerpiece.
Send your favorite kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Great Debate

In light of all the construction going on outside my home, one pressing question reveals itself:

Are the hours of visual and auditory entertainment provided for my son worth the significantly abberviated naps resulting from the very same source?

And by very "abbreviated", I mean he used to hibernate for three naps and now only snoozes for one and a half.

Kind of Funny

At least he's honest.


Awfulness

A few months ago, I put up a post bemoaning the existance of a woman whom I saw driving a top-down convertible while talking on her cell phone. The thing that bothered me was the fact that she had an occupied car seat in the back of the car. The idea of the harsh, outside elements buffeting a little baby as she carelessly sped along seemed to warrant a ticket more than a cell phone conversation would.

And then there was yesterday.

Once again, I was driving home from our preschool pick up when I stopped at a light. Within moments, a minivan pulled up beside me and revealed a young mother with what appeared to be an infant carrier, correctly facing back, in the front passenger seat.

What the?

As I squinted my eyes to get a better look, hoping that a baby was actually absent from the seat, the mother slowly lowered her window.

She glanced at me.

Looked up at the light.

And lit a cigarette.

Her baby slept contentedly in the carrier.

As the light turned green, she flew off leaving me, dumbstruck, only to stare at the "Logan Soccer" stickers all over the rear window of her car.

Awful.

I will say this. I rarely make comments (unless you count the comments in my head....of which there are many), but some situations warrant it, whether they'll produce results or not. Now, I do not know if this woman is a mother with a child at O's school (my shock never afforded me the time to examine the backseat....where the carrier should have been), but you can be sure I'll be on the lookout for her and her stickers. And you can also be sure I'll seriously consider saying something.

I've actually only ever done that once. I was in the parking lot of our grocery store and, as I left the store, I noticed that the minivan next to my car had a baby inside. The baby was awake, looking around, and seemingly content. I had no idea how long she'd been in there, but she was definitely alone.

I waited by the car for ten minutes, making sure the baby was okay and disbelieving that anyone would actually leave their child unattended. As each minute passed, my anger grew. Finally, a police car happened to do a drive through of the parking lot and I hailed him down.

He told me that he'd "take it from here" and got out to wait for the idiot shopper. Not being able to just leave, I pulled my car out of its spot, and parked on the other side of the lot.

Moments later, the apparent knucklehead emerged, meandering to her car with what seemed to be little concern for her baby. Upon seeing the cop, she rushed over to the car. I don't know what was said, or even why she rushed (fear of being caught or fear that something had happened to the child), but I will never forget how unconcerned she seemed until she spotted the cop.

Though I never knew the outcome, I did feel good about alerting the cop.

This recent scenario, however, is a little different. Let's pretend I do run into her again. Let's pretend I scout out her and her stickers in the parking lot.

Do I say something? Should I just keep my mouth shut on this one?

Comments will be appreciated on this one for sure.

Quote of the Day

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." -Jane Howard

Picture of the Day


Play Doh: One of many things to be thankful for
Send your favorite kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Disney

Sometimes I feel like I am the only parent in the whole entire world not planning a trip to Disney for my family. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't go near that place with my children until everyone was potty trained, off naps, and maybe even without the need for a stroller.

I know that will delay the vacation by at least two years, but I know myself and that's just the only way I'll manage with sanity in tact. I also want to wait until they are a little older so that they may really enjoy and remember the trillion dollar vacation we treated them to.

That being said, I was standing amidst the preschool moms, awaiting the release of the hounds, when the group was treated to a lengthy description of one family's recent trip. This was provided by the cool mom who never lets anything bother her, manages to keep her hair and clothes current, and really annoys the crap out of me. (I'm kidding about the last part....she seems nice, but I'd just like to see a wrinkly shirt every once in a while).

Anyway, in her lengthy retelling of all that they did, I can only remember one thing, as it shoocked me so much. If you are planning to rent a Disney double stroller for the day, expect to pony up.

For ONE DAY, the cost of renting a stroller (a necessity for many families who travel by plane) at Disney is: Thirty-one ridiculous dollars.

Crazy?

4 years of dating, 7 years of marriage....

You'd think I knew the guy.

As a couple who has been together for well over a decade, there are few things left to know about my husband other than the things I'd rather not (BC= Before Christine), so aside from the occasional childhood tale that resurfaces from our distant memory, there is little left to know that can be characterized as "new".

And then there's this.

Last night, while enjoying a lovely dinner, my husband unearthed a revelation that completely caught me off guard: He's never been on a roller coaster.

How could I not know that? And then I started thinking, surely we'd been on a ride before? But, no, aside from the rinky dink wooden one in Ocean City's wonderland pier, we had never been to an amusement park as a couple.

This Division 1 baseball player had never hurled a ball at milk bottles so that I may win an egregiously large, stuffed something.

Craziness....or an unconventional idea for our next anniversary.

Trailer Talk



As I had previously posted, a rather significant construction project has been going on outside our home for the last few weeks and, as a result, my little man rarely leaves the front window.
In addition to this fascination, he has taken a real interest in books. This should come as no surprise since most toddlers begin to explore books at his age, with everything from lift-the-flaps to the old classics. What is interesting about this new fascination, however, is that he's only interested in reading three books:
Things That Go
Slide and Find: Trucks
Tractor: A John Deere book
And when I say that he is "interested" in these similarly themed books, I mean obsessed. He follows me around the house insisting, "Trucks, trucks, trucks."
It's gotten to the point that I cannot tie my own shoes (yes, I occasionally wear sneakers) without him shoving one of those books at me, and he is relentless.
Even more alarming, is his latest language burst. Up until now, he's been the typical boy in that, aside from "mama", "dada", and "woof woof", he does little else than grunt. He does not say ball, or baby, or even a full "bye bye" like many of his girlfriends do.
Instead he just says "truck", "tractor", "oh tractor", and "Uh eh cu ter", which we're pretty sure translates to "heliocopter".
Taking all of this into consideration, I can conclude two things:
1) I know exactly what Santa will be bringing my little guy.
2) For all the months I've spent caring for my little guy, I am now enjoying getting to know him.