Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Liz, who is officially into her fabulous thirties!

And I thought Christmas was over...

So the paragon of professional journalism, People magazine, as well as some unfortunate manager, have confirmed the names of JLo and Marc Anthony’s new babies: Max and Emme.

Now, some of you may like those names (one of my favorite kids in the world bears the first name), but the obvious needs to be pointed out to show what a knucklehead J to the L-O is.

Two words: Dragon Tales

In other J Lo news, reports are coming out that the new parents have enlisted the help of additional bodyguards, as well as two handlers to rock the babies around the clock, as needed. Apparently, hundreds of surgical masks have also been ordered to ensure the health and well-being of the children... (audible sigh).

Quote of the Weekend

"I love to play hide and seek with my kid, but some days my goal is to find a hiding place where he can't find me until after high school." ~Author Unknown

Picture of the Weekend

Nothing is quite so comfortable as Poppy's chair.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Joke of the Day

"One summer evening, during a violent thunderstorm, a mother was tucking her small boy into bed.
She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?"
The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't dear," she said "I have to sleep in daddy's room."
A long silence was broken at last by his shaking little voice, "The big sissy.""


Week in Review

This week I learned:

1) Birthday cake with extra sprinkles and a few random M&Ms = 10 pm bedtime
2) Forget Vegas, what happens on Allegheny Avenue, should stay on Allegheny Avenue
3) Bribing your kids always works, unless they are getting their haircut on a mechanical frog
4) Though I detest Jenny from the Block, a small part of me is a little jealous she gets a $1250 diaper bag.
5) If you write about Fergie’s personal anthem “My Humps”, it will be in your head for a week (and counting)

The Student Becomes the Teacher

If I ever want to examine my own behavior, I need not look any further than my own daughter, who mimics everything that I do. Months ago I enjoyed watching her pretend to read one of my magazines, and though I’m fairly certain she was just looking at the pictures, she did recommend that I try a warmer shade of blush the following morning (kidding).

I decided to capitalize on her wanting to read magazines like Mommy, and so I ordered a subscription to National Geographic for Kids.

Well, the first issue arrived today and you might have thought I gave her a bathtub full of water ice, M&Ms, and play-doh (a few of her favorite things). She “read” through it countless times, asking me questions and then using the new information to teach her father all that she’d learned. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, I was surprised to find that I learned more than a few things myself. Quite a surprise for the woman who thinks she knows everything (at least everything about celebrity gossip, green tea, and flat irons—you know, the important stuff).

So, I thought I’d share…

1) Gorillas burp when they’re happy (shout out to McQuade and every other guy I went to college with)

2) Some snails have 15,000 teeth (but, unfortunately, no hands for brushing)

3) Animals that lay eggs don’t have belly buttons (I have nothing to say about that)

4) The average family opens the fridge 22 times a day (the kids can’t reach, the husband is at work all day, which means I eat….yikes).

5) Strawberries contain more Vitamin C than oranges (who knew?)

6) Chewing gum burns about 11 calories an hour (you see, I have been working out)

Quote of the Day

"If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent." ~Bette Davis

Picture of the Day

Mothers... lock up your daughters.

The boys are back in town.
Please send your best pictures to

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Random Statistic

According to a poll in Parenting magazine, 78% of moms admit their children eat a more balanced diet than they do.

So, I guess that means it's okay that I eat everything on my kids' plates after they're done.

Thought so.

Colic Cocktail

Since today’s theme seems to be food, I thought it would be such a missed opportunity to neglect potent potables. Below you will find the recipe for one of my favorite cocktails, the Bellini, which is sure to alleviate stress, improve meditation, and prevent insanity (your children may actually benefit with the last one too).


Gourmet Version: (2 servings in flutes)

2 ounces of peach nectar
3 ounces of chilled, dry fake champagne (the actual tends to be too rich)
1 ounce of peach schnapps
1 tsp of lemon juice
Crushed ice

1) Mix together all of the ingredients together, except the champagne (otherwise, hello bubbles)
2) Add the ice for a quick chill
3) Finally, add champagne

Quickee version: (To be used in an emergency- colic, teething, double ear infections)

1 part peach schnapps
3 parts champagne

Mix, guzzle, repeat.

** Drinking while pregnant or nursing is not recommended.
*** Shout out to Tara for inspiring me to write about alcohol at 10:45 in the morning.

Fun in the Kitchen

Believe it or not, my daughter and I bake some food (usually a dessert) every day. She loves to pour ingredients, stir batter, and decorate the final product (see the birthday cake below). Unfortunately, her love of baking seems to collide with my love of eating and, ten pounds later, I’m trying to convince her that granola is fun to make while I’m on hold with Jenny Craig.

Jenny Craig did help me lose that last ten pounds of baby weight, and I did get into a good habit of packaging up any desserts we made for our dearest neighbors, but I still wanted to look for some healthier alternatives to keep us both healthy, happy, and avoiding sugar highs that somehow always managed to peak around bedtime.

Here is one of the many healthy, fun, and easy snacks I came upon:

Bagel Faces


Whole wheat bagels
¼ cup Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing- Lite
4 oz. cream cheese- Lite
Every vegetable in your fridge (especially cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (cut in half circles), baby carrots (sliced in half), broccoli)
Shredded cheese

1) Mix the dressing and cream cheese and spread on sliced bagel (cheese spreaders are best if your child is in charge of spreading)
2) Use shredded cheese for the hair
3) Use vegetables for eyes, mouth, nose, ears, etc.

This is a cute snack to make with your child and the farthest thing from Rocket Science.

Quote of the Day

"As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it, or leave it." ~Buddy Hackett

Picture of the Day

Mistaking his mother’s negligee for an apron, the little boy declares, “I’m a chef!”

Proving once more, the kitchen isn’t the only place where things might be cooking.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mama Fashionista

There I was, floating down Walnut Street in Center City, Philadelphia. The throngs of shoppers seemed to part in my path, and stop and stare in my wake.

It was one of those days that the planets seem to align in my fashion galaxy. The top was Chloe and the jeans, Miss Sixty. The shoes were Dior and the bag, Balenciaga. The gold hoops were Argento Vivo, and the sunglasses, Gucci. I was feeling fierce and Rittenhouse was my runway.

I felt in control. I tasted personal satisfaction. And I paused for a moment, as I smelled…I smelled….what was that? A bit sour…a bit repulsive…

J.Lo’s newest fragrance? No…

It was vomit.

I awoke with a start with the realization that (1) I had been dreaming, and (2)the mystery spit up I was unable to find earlier in the day had been found….on my pillow.

As I stumbled out of my bed, my groggy eyes tried to focus on the contents of my closet. Each morning I stared at a collection of apparel that was comprised of pieces that were either dated, ill fitting, or simply a terrible error in judgment. And each morning, I stare at these clothes hoping to discover that perfect sweater I forgot I had, which might catapult me back to the woman I was when I had time to think about style, instead of spit up.

What has happened? Am I starting to (gasp) let myself go?

So, I have decided to fight the fug. For the new spring season, I am going to make a conscious effort to dress better. This is not about high end clothes, just clothes that are current, that compliment my life post-partum, and that are ideally free of any expectorants.

As for this particular segment on the blog…I’ll be sharing my findings and my frustrations and, with hope, feeling fabulous by summer.
Special thanks to Shirley Magilton Photography for providing the image above and her encouragement. Though her site is under construction at present time, feel free to contact her at Her work is timeless and, thanks to her talent, my home is a museum of my children.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

After the morning was spent baking the birthday cake, the little girl went to bed knowing the best was yet to come: decorating it. She awoke as if never having slept, hurried down the stairs, and gasped as she caught sight of the cake, raised high on a platter in all its glory. Unable to contain her excitement, she exclaimed,

“Hi cake, it’s me… Olivia. You are so beautiful.”

Quote of the Day

“In bringing up children, spend on them half as much money and twice as much time.” ~Author Unknown

Picture of the Day

The national search for the new face of Gerber has come to a resolution.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Me, me, and more me

My favorite song (and entire CD, for that matter) is "Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne. It's just one of those songs you'd wish someone was singing about you (confession time: I make my husband call me Delilah) and it so reminds me of my college days. I picture me, Danielle, Margaret, the Amys, Wylie, Jackie...everybody, just sitting outside the townhouse on that first warm day of spring, wasting the day away in careless oblivion.

The video is blurry, but, by all means, turn up the sound.

Also check out...

Another year of glamour

So, today is my birthday and, though I wasn’t going to mention it at first, the most monumental birthday gift has arrived in my lap and I felt I needed to share.

The day began like any other: wiping bottoms, cleaning spit up, and reading Horton Hatches an Egg three thousand times (it’s the book of the moment). Though I did have a little excitement when I had my dental check-up, all in all, a pretty normal day (and no I’m not complaining). I do believe my life as a mommy is most certainly, to borrow from Fergilicious,


And you thought I was going to talk about my lovely lady lumps….shame on you.

Needless to say, my family spoiled me with well wishes, wonderful gifts, and everything I would hope to have on this special day. Since it isn’t a national holiday (the US government apparently didn’t get my memo), it has been calm, nice, and, well, a happy birthday.

But then I got the gift. That’s right…I put the kiddies to bed, settled down in front of my laptop, and there it was: what I’ve been waiting for.

Apparently, someone got a hold of J. Lo’s baby registry and posted it on the net. Now, you all know how much I love Jenny girl, especially given her affinity for altruism, but this just took the literal birthday cake.

How will she spend that $6 million deal with People magazine? Probably on something very modest. Check out an excerpt:

Cashmere cardigan, hat and booties - $279 each

A box of onesies - $169 each
Chelsea sleigh cribs - $1390 each
Glam Gliders - $1420 each
Changing table - $1780
Italian leather and snake skin diaper bag - $1250

I wonder how the block feels about this one???

Happy Birthday to me…..

**** And one side note on Fergie: if my husband ever refers to a part of my body as a "lump", you can be certain he'll soon be getting one of his own.

I Couldn't Make This Up

The following story was told to me by my dear mother-in-law, about my lovely sister-in-law, who gave me complete poetic license to recount this memorable episode in a young child’s life. The city of Philadelphia has never been the same…

Young “Jeannie” as she was to be called, lived with her family in a beautiful three story walk-up on busy Allegheny Avenue, in a neighborhood of Philadelphia known as Port Richmond. The family had taken great care in remodeling the home, and one of its most attractive features was a striking bay window that bedecked the third floor, overlooking the avenue below. As for the family themselves, her father worked hard to provide for his family, her mother took great care in raising happy, healthy, well adjusted children, and her younger brother, Johnny, had already learned at the tender age of nine months to steer clear of little Jeannie’s “inventiveness”.

You see, in Jeannie’s first two years of life, she had already garnered a bit of a reputation as a mischief maker. Examples of this included terrorizing her little brother, hiding from her mother, and a remarkable incident involving bleach, the stairs, and an unsuspecting pile of clothes waiting at the basement floor. All of these, however, would pale in comparison to what would happen next.

The morning had begun like most, with breakfast being tenderly prepared for the children. When they had finished, the doting mother placed her infant son in his playpen and allowed Jeannie to watch a morning cartoon while she straightened up the kitchen. A matter of minutes had passed when the mother was stirred from her cleaning by the feeling that this quiet morning was, well, too quiet. She decided to peek in on the children to ensure all was as it should be. It wasn’t.

Though Johnny was still happily enjoying his playpen, Jeannie was gone, leaving behind only a small, rumpled pile of clothes. Sighing over what appeared to be another bout of mischief and another collection of clothes that would require ironing, the mother began to search for her in the usual places: in closets, under beds, behind doors. But after a thorough search of all three floors, the mother was both out of breath and out of patience. Her irritation, however, quickly turned to panic as frightening thoughts began to creep into her mind. She began to search anew and was hurrying down the stairs for a second time when her own mother, later to be known as “Granny”, entered through the front door…smirking.

“Go outside,” Granny instructed.
“Mom, I can’t. I have to find Jeannie. I can’t find her anywhere.”
“Go outside,” Granny repeated again, barely stifling her amusement. Throwing up her hands, the mother stepped out of the door and stared out across Allegheny Avenue. Granny then added, “Now go across the street and look at your house.”

The mother walked onto the busy street, bustling with people going to work, selling their wares, and, yes, staring up at her house. As if in slow motion, she turned to face her home, examining the first floor, second floor, and then…the third floor. She froze.

Her eyes rested on a startling image framed in the third floor bay window. Could it be a gymnast in flesh toned leotard? Oh, not exactly.

The lost girl was found and the pile of clothes explained.
There in the window, as if upon a stage, was little Jeannie, in all her naked glory. But what was she doing? Some may call it dancing, but really it bore a closer resemblance to calisthenics, or even “voguing”.

The throngs collecting on Allegheny watched as she stretched.

She limbered.

She even laid down on her side to conduct leg lifts...for all the world to see.

The mother was speechless. In her frozen state, she couldn’t decide what troubled her most about the episode: her daughter’s questionable future in the performing arts, her husband’s now reasonable argument that they move to Jersey, or how she would apologize to the neighbors across the street.

The neighbors, you see, were a very loving, hopefully forgiving, convent of nuns.

Amen, sister.

My Favorite Quote

Again, more of an indulgence... shown to me by one of my favorite people in the whole wide world: Mrs. Danielle McLarnon (nee Voss).

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels." ~Faith Whittlesey

All About Me

Today is kind of a special day and so I am going to do something comletely indulgent (something very English teacher of me...).

My favorite poem:

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

-WB Yeats

*** A little background on this poem if you're interested. Yeats is one of Ireland's greatest poets and this particular poem is one of many he wrote for his great, unrequited love, Maude Gonne. Maud was an Irish revolutionary who defied the belief that women were meant to be beautiful and submissive, and stand steadfastly behind their husbands. Though she never returned his love (he proposed to her on more than one occasion), she did influence Yeats' political endeavors, while forever leaving him pining away for her. The above poem is dedicated to her, essentially contending that, when she is old and there are no more men courting her, he'll still love her.

Sweet. Sad. Again, self-indulgent.

Quote of the Day

"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out." ~Erma Bombeck

Picture of the Day

Even in a peaceful sleep, the brother lets his sisters have their way.

Keep sending in your favorite pictures to:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Joke of the Day

A young man agreed to baby-sit one night so a single mother could have an evening out. At bedtime he sent the youngsters upstairs to bed and settled down to watch football.

One child kept creeping down the stairs, but the young man kept sending him back to bed.

At 9pm the doorbell rang, it was the next-door neighbor, Mrs. Brown, asking whether her son was there. The young man brusquely replied, "No."

Just then a little head appeared over the banister and shouted, "I'm here, Mom, but he won't let me go home!"

"ToothWatch- 2008"

A whole lot of far.

Snip, Snip

Had I known what I was in store for, I may have rethought how my family and I were to spend our Sunday…and done something other than have my toddler receive her first haircut.

There were a few tears, lots of bribing, and, in the end, a lovely certificate that crystallized the entire experience: “First Haircut, Survived by Olivia and her parents.”

For others, however, survival came at a greater price. Though most of the kids at Kids Kuts (a hair salon devoted to all things children), were well mannered, there was one little boy whose reaction to having his hair trimmed mirrored someone experiencing an amputation, or worse (and more accurately) disembowelment.

He cried, he thrashed, he turned five different shades of crimson, and nothing, not even a fuzzy lollipop, could assuage the little malcontent. But here’s the rub: with all this drama, his mother was the one who actually seemed more pained. She uttered threats, stared anxiously at us, the other parents, and glared at him with absolute disgust.

So, to that mother, let me just say this: let him have his fit, it’s only a moment amid so many others. No one is judging you, deploring him, or doing anything other than secretly sighing with relief that their child is not the one making a scene (this time).

Jersey Couture

If you are a fan of Gymboree clothing, but have to spend as much time thinking of how you’re going to explain the bill to your husband as you do putting together an adorable outfit that effectively combines urban safari and this year’s color of spring (blue), then I have the answer for you…

Thanks to Vida the ever fabulous Friel for alerting me to a fantastic and more reasonable alternative to Gymboree: Crazy 8. Great clothes, greater prices, and the convenience of a nicely laid out website for those of us who love online shopping…

To check out the clothes, visit the Crazy 8 site at:

Quote of the Day

"It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't." ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Picture of the Day

Daddy's Personal Assistant

My family now runs every time I whip out a camera….please send your funniest pictures in for the picture of the day (names will be withheld upon request)!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Votes Are In...

Clearly a testament to her "everywoman" demeanor, as well as the natural, loving care she shows for daughter, Violet, Jennifer Garner was chosen by half of voters as the mother they'd most like to befriend. Paparrazzi have captured countless images of mother and child at play on the swings, enjoying a stroll through the farmer's market, and always, it seems, happy and smiling. How much do you have to pay to see this two year old throw a good old fashioned temper tantrum!? At least it would help to confirm their appearance of being a normal family. I do suspect, however, that a few mother's desire to capitalize on the chance to hang out with Ben may have also weighed heavy on their choice.....hmmmmm.

Following far behind was Reese Witherspoon who also seems pseudo-normal and may have garnered support from the yoga crowd.

Also far behind, Heidi Klum came in third as another mom whose devotion to her children does not seem so staged, as revealed through her constant face painting and trips to the local parks.

My own choice, Jenny McCarthy, who'd would probably be a ton of laughs (especially if accompanied by her man, Jim Carrey) barely edged out Brittney Spears by one vote...something I am having a very hard time digesting.

AND who is the knucklehead who picked Ms. Spears?? Of the wiseacres I know who voted, those whose name rhymes with Smeckee and Sleannie are the likely suspects.

So...on to next week's vote!

What's Wrong With Us

In the latest issue of US Weekly, 68% of readers polled said that, if another Jessica Simpson reality show was aired, they would not watch it. In contrast, when asked if they would let Brittney Spears teach their children in a dance class, 55% said yes.

So, let me get this straight. A large majority are so offended by whatever it is Jessica Simpson has become, they would not view a show about her even though there's a good chance we'd get to see a lot more of Tony Romo (yum). BUT, it is acceptable for a known, and chronic substance abuser to instruct young children.

In the words of my disgusted husband, "This is what's wrong with America."