Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Week In Review

The Top 5 Lessons I Learned This Week:

5) Apparently, if you share a pretty fantastic margarita recipe with your family, they'll cross state lines with a blender at the ready.

4) As unsettling as Yo Gabba Gabba is for some parents, the reason DJ Lance's catchy tunes may be stuck in your head is because he is a real musician who is best known for his performances with his indie rock band, The Raymakers.

3) It doesn't matter how many mistakes you make in raising your children, if you do as bad a job as Dina Lohan, someone will still include you on their list of great moms in order to sell magazines.

2) You can bring a child to the dinner table, but you cannot make her eat (unless you have an over-priced elephant in which to serve her food).

1) Every day is Mother's Day and every day is a new chance to show your children unconditional love....and that is a lot easier to do while sitting outside on a sunny day on the ultimate dream deck.

It's Probably Cloudy Where You Are

But I am in sunny Florida....and you probably are not.


Quote of the Weekend

"God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers." —Jewish Proverb

Picture of the Weekend

With the first snow, the first snowman, and the first sip of hot chocolate,
every day is Mother's Day.

I chose this picture, not because it went well with a funny caption or illustrated a funny experience, I just know that her hand won't seem so small next to mine forever.

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Stacey's Song

If I want to go with the obvious choices for this segment of Stacey's day, a clear song to post in her honor might be "Stacey's Mom" (shout out to Mrs. Lutman ) or any number of Elvis Presley songs (the girl has actually gone to a virtual concert), but my delusions of grandeur have effectively kicked in and I decided I'd write a song for her myself:

"Stacey's Van"

Stacey is a friend, yeah, I know she's been a good friend of mine,

But lately something's changed that ain't hard to define

Stacey's got herself a van and I want to make it mine
And it's driving her with those wheels

And it's lovin' her with that contour seating, I just know it

Yeah 'n' it's thrillin' her with it's 244-hp, 3.5 liter, 24-valve V6 engine late, late at night


You know, I wish that I had Stacey's van,

I wish that I had Stacey's van,

Where can I find a minivan like that

I play along with the charade,

there doesn't seem to be a reason to change

You know, I feel so jealous of those power sliding doors,

I want to tell her that I love them,

but they're not available in stores,

And it's helping her with that convenient cup holder,

And it's calming her with its forrest green color, I just know it,

Yeah 'n' its keepin' her hip with all the Little Gym moms.....

Okay....maybe I should have just borrowed someone else's song.


Blog Dog Dog....*

I have been having trouble with the blog for a good part of the day and so, most of my posts will appear tonight and in to tomorrow.

Also, expect a special Mother's Day blog if I can get my act together.

* As for the obscure phrase, it would only make sense to a maniacal Chevy Chase fan -- is there such a thing?

Still Cloudy Jimmy Dean should start paying me for all of this....

Still Cloudy Jimmy Dean should start paying me for all of this....

So Ahead of My Time

Well it is now apparent that he execs at Yahoo! are avid readers of my blog. Yahoo's website devoted to women (Shine!) just came up with their own list of gifts never to give to mom.

They are:

1) Kitchen appliances

2) Lotions

3) Pajamas resembling something the cast members of Little House on the Prairie might wear

4) House cleaning electronics (e.g. vaccuums, dust busters, etc.)

5) You being sick and spreading your germs

I just forwarded my resume to Yahoo!.

And, yes, I know most of you could come up with a list far better than mine, is the above selection really the worst they could think of? Annie's desktop wallpaper is so much better (or worse).

Thoughts? Examples of bad gifting (to you or by you)?

In Honor of Stacey

I tried for hours last night to figure out a way to crop Tony's face on this image.

Methinks I overestimated my technological acumen...oh, well.

Here Comes The Sun

This is another Jimmy Dean commercial...because today is as gloomy as yesterday and I can't get enough of this guy.

Ode to Stacey

As promised, today is Stacey day. Since my dear friend answered all but one of the television trivia questions correctly, I will be spending much of the day posting about her....with a few other little things mixed in.

What better way to begin such a sensational day than with a poem?

S to the Tacey

I first met Stacey at Music Together,
She had a little girl and was wearing no leather,
I thought she sure seems normal, she sure seems nice,
And with few mommy friends, she'd thought I'd suffice.

I learned that she taught in a tough Philly school,
I taught in the Bronx, so we both must be fools,
She loves Elvis, her kids, and her man Tony,
And she's doesn't mind that I feed my kids beefaroni.

We discuss family, philosophy, and American Idol,
The first are profound, and the last is just vital.
But, best of all, she loves Rock of Love,
And, that's how I know she's a great cut above.

She tells the best stories and laughs at my humor,
And "possibly moving" simply must be a rumor,
Because if it's not, I'll just have to tell Tony,
"You'll be moving alone and that ain't no bologna."

So, today is for Stacey, a great friend indeed,
Who is so much more interesting than this poem reads,
But there is more to come on this special blog day,
Though that alone might just make them move away.

Making Mother's Day Memories

Yesterday I posted a list of gifts to avoid for fathers looking to show their love and appreciation for the mother of their children. Not to suggest that I am ungrateful for even the smallest nod, the list was more about the wacky things other people were heralding as "great gift ideas".

In the event that you are still in the dark about what to get that deserving woman, I have brainstormed a few ideas that may make your job a little easier.

Caveat emptor: There is no such thing as the perfect gift for all women; so, please consider these ideas as they relate to your specific recipient...I tried to keep them as neutral as possible.

The Mother of All Mother's Day Gift Lists-

Very Inexpensive:

-Suprise half-day- If your wife is a stay-at-homer, she may spend a lot of time watching the clock for your daily return. One of the best gifts you can give is a the suprise of a half day. Spend Sunday with a nice breakfast and a card, and then cut out of work at lunchtime sometime during the following week to free her up to do anything she might want while you take over the homestead.


-A night out- A fun-filled day with the family is a wonderful reward for a doting mom, and a night out with other moms the night before is a great tradition as well. Consider Mother's Eve the newest holiday and send her and her girls out to dinner (their husbands will thank you--- shout out to Dave Dog and his limo service)

-Canvas Pictures -- Get ahold of her favorite pictures of your family and have them made into classic canvas prints. Though this would not be ready for Sunday, the gesture will go a long way.

Not Necessarily Breaking the Bank:

A cleaning lady- I am not suggesting you hire a live-in housekeeper, but a day off from cleaning goes a long way. Franchises such as Merry Maids offer gift certificates, while independent cleaners will come in for a day and complete a full sweep of your home. The price depends on the size of your home and the time depends on the number of cleaners. If you live in Gloucester and Camden counties and want a reference, take advantage of a great cleaner (and awesome mom) Diana Silva ,who has been cleaning my house since I moved in. She can be reached at: (856) 824-0073....just be sure you wait until after she leaves to take a bath.

Giving Up A Nice Round of Golf and Steak Dinner:

-A day at the Spa- I have never met a woman who does not enjoy one or more aspects of a spa service. Massages, facials, body treatments, nail care, and even make-up and tanning applications are great pampering for the wearied mom. If you are not sure what she might like, almost every spa offers gift certificates.

- Dinner out (because someone else will clean up and there will be no high chairs), theatre tickets or game tickets, an overnight at a hotel so that she can sleep in and enjoy breakfast in bed, and maybe even you can go with her.

Because Money Is No Object To A Strong, Successful, Pimp* of A Guy Like You

-A shopping spree- I don't mean Supermarket Sweep or something that would requjire a loan, but a nice gift certificate to one of her favorite stores (a non-department store) will force her to spend the money on herself instead of cute outfits for the kiddies.

-- A really nice camera...there is no woman who does not want to take a million pictures of her children (or at least have you do it well)

- A custom closet system from California closets. These are those unbelievable spaces that we drool over in magazines, with their built-in shelving, full length mirrors, and accessory islands, but never actually think we could ever have. Dog-eared for the day we win the lottery, having a custom closet is a pipe dream for most of us....and what a lovely gift it would make. Time to buy a lottery ticket....

-A deck (ahem)

-Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds

- A necklace or ring (known as a birthstone band) with your children's birthstones set inside. Some women may like a charm bracelet or pendant, but I would avoid these if they are not into bulkier jewelry. When in doubt, head to Tiffany's.

Best of luck!

***A note on the use of the word "pimp"- My mother hates that I use it because she associates it strictly with prostitution. In no way am I suggesting that any of our fathers out there are involved in sexual commerce for profit, it is just an acceptable slang engendered by Generation Xers who like to pretend they are big mac daddies.

Word to your mother...

Quote of the Day

"If the motto of real estate is: 'Locatio, location, location," the motto of parenting is "Consistency, consistency, consistency,".... The idea is to have very few rules but to enforce them every single time." -Dr. Denis Donovan

Picture of the Day

Clearly, this would be the little finger around which her father would be wrapped.

Send your favorite kid pictures to:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day- A Tip For the Dads

The annual celebration of motherhood is just days away and, as is custom with holidays that have enjoyed mass commercialization, merchants are poised to present you with the best in Mother's Day giving.

If you are a father who is at a loss for the perfect gift for the mother of your children, below is a list of things actually recommended by various sites, and you should by no means listen to them.

They are as follows:

1) The large blue stained glass star pictured above. It costs $150, it is recommended for mothers by, and it is pure awfulness.

2) Also pictured above, a double dry food dispenser (as recommended by because easier access to Smart Start is not really the best way to show your love and appreciation (though it may work for a doting dog or OCD aunt).

3) suggested enrolling your favorite mother in the Cheese of the Month club. Now, please do not mistake me when I say I love, love, love cheese (especially with wine and sleeping children), but this is NOT a good gift. Many of us are counting points, eating boxed lunches, or trying to figure out how the heck not to fall off the Bean....we do not need something like this to work against us.

4) The plug collecting lawn aerator is listed as one of the "Top Gifts for Mother's Day" according to Pictured above, it is a great way to ensure some quiet time for yourself....if you give this to your wife, she may not speak to you until next Mother's Day.

5) And finally (though there are still plenty of mistakes to make out there), I give you the most unbelievable suggestion of all: new wallpaper for her desktop. Annie of, who claims to be "crazy about graphics", believes this is a gift most women would want. I would have to disagree.
If you have already ordered any of the above "gifts", hide them, give them away, or set them on fire. Check back in tomorrow for my top 10 list of the best ideas for moms this Mother's Day (at least according to a certain know it all whose name rhymes with pristine).

Since Today Decided to Be Cloudy

Below is one of my all-time favortie commercials. This actually one of a series run by Jimmy Dean and I completely enjoyed them when I discovered morning televsion as a stay-at-home mom of a newborn.

Not accustomed to waking up early and just hanging out at the house on a weekday, I finally watched the morning's news programs and read the paper at leisure.

These days....not so much. Though my morning television is now strictly for watching the Upside Down show and Caillou, every once in a very rare while I will still catch one of these great commercials.

Again, embracing the inner cornball.....

Excuses, Excuses

I don't know about anyone else, but I always feel the unreasonable need to excuse my child's public behavior when it is less than desirable.

When she was an infant screaming in the middle of the frozen food aisle at the grocery store, I would blush and whisper, "She has reflux."

When she was 11 months and throwing tomatoes wildly from our shopping cart, I would fume, "She skipped her morning nap."

When she was 18 months and managed to repel herself out of the shopping cart and begin running up and down the Canned Vegetable / Canned Seafood aisle like little orphan Annie on amphetimines, I would bluster, "So I guess this is what they mean by too much sugar."

When she was two and things really got interesting, the excuses in the grocery store moved to blaming the molars, growing pains, an ear infection, and any other host of excuses that made her actions seem a little more forgiveable.

Though I can certainly see myself stating, "She has low self-esteem" after she gets a bad progress report for organized crime at the high school level, I am not sure why I feel the need to do this. What do I care what other people think?

I'm not a perfect parent nor do I think I am the worst either (did you hear about the guy who accidentally shot his son when he mistook him for a turkey while hunting?...sheesh....he really makes me look good). But something in me wants to let every one know that she is an awesome kid, despite the occasional outburst or moody blues.

Does anyone else do this?

I am trying really hard not to excuse it, and just stay focused on what is really important: figuring out the best way address the phase of the month and reassuring myself that everyone has their bad days.

Until I master it, however, we will be taking a time out from the Shop Rite in Mullica Hill (shout out to Stefanie and all the other cashiers).

Joke of the Day

This was sent to me by one of may favorite uncles who has the most wonderful sense of humor, if, that is, you embrace your inner cornball....and I always do.

He wrote:

I am sending you all the following with the hope that you will forgive
me for doing so:

A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the
Louvre. After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings
and made it safely to his van. However, he was captured only two
blocks away when his van ran out of gas. When asked how he could
mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he
replied, "Monsieur that is the reason I stole the paintings. I had no
Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh!!!

See if you have De Gaulle to send this on to someone else. I sent it to you because I figured I had nothing Toulouse.

Shout out to Uncle Bobby ....make a canoe out of this!

Mama Fashionista- The SATC Edition

If I am being truthful, I may not have ever been properly introduced to Manolos had it not been for Carrie Bradshaw. What would life have been like?

Probably a lot more affordable..

Needless to say, if you are a fan of fashion and Sex and the City (are they not one in the same), try to test your knowledge of the show and their style at:

And if you happen to be a man embarassed by your knowledge of Jimmy Choos and Birkin bags (shout out to Chris Fernandez), please do not be. I watched almost every episode with my college friend Skeeter, as my husband rolled his eyes in disgust (even though he knows all the character names).

Good luck! ( I only missed one....which means I really know too much useless information)

Quote of the Day

"Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them." -PJ O'Rourke

Picture of the Day

The latest upgrade in custom kitchen cabinetry: under cabinet baby warmer
Send your favorite kid pictures to:
***Shout out to my husband who came up with today's caption.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mommy Cravings

While doing some research (okay, I was procrastinating writing about Cuff Links for my employer-- shout out to Rotimi), I discovered a site that lists all the pregnancy cravings experienced by Hollywood's leading women.

The results were:

Angelina Jolie - Reese's Pieces (yum)

Julia Roberts - Pasta (the thought of sauce made me sick for a while)

Posh Beckham - Smoked Salmon (way too healthy)

Christina Aguelera - Baked Goods (cupcakes, cookies, muffins....yep, really a problem for me all the time)

Katie Holmes - Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream (way too picky...I'd

be happy eating batter at most times)

Halle Berry - Hot peppers (Holy heartburn)

Sara Jessica Parker - Fast food (amen)

J Lo - Salsa, M&Ms, and orange soda (I don't care...she is evil)

Gwyneth Paltrow - Grilled cheese, tacos, and fries (not

exactly microbiotic ...but yu-to-the-ummy)

Jenny McCarthy - Brownies (There's a party in my tummy....)

Heidi Klum - Ice Cream (my weakness)

Though I found the list very interesting, more interesting was the fact that almost all of these were cravings of mine at some point. With my daughter, I ate a ton of smoothies and ice cream at the end of my pregnancy. So much so that as I walked down Walnut after my and my husband's nightly fix, the guys who owned the restaurant below our apartment would just laugh at me (shout out to the former Pompeii).

With my son, I ate everything under the sun, with cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes topping the list.

I really did eat everything, but if I am being honest, the worst of it came at the beginning of my first pregnancy when most people are either nauseous or too tired to eat.

I craved cheese dogs.

Yes, disgusting, I know. And I just didn't crave ballpark franks, I craved the repugnant hot dogs sold by the greasy vendors on the corner of Walnut and 11th....what was wrong with me????

Now, with allof this talk over my horrible cravings, I am beginning to make some sense out of my own daughter's food fickleness and my son's love of all things meat (he's a big grunter).

Hmmmm.....could there be a correlation?

Share your carvings in the comments if you have a chance....and please make me feel better.

Capricious Kids

My daughter loves to change her mind.

The first battlefield where this is most evident is the dinner table. Getting her to eat anything other than breakfast is a daily battle that usually ends with either threats, deal making, or one or both of us crying.

When she first started out, she ate everything. From guacamole to tuna casserole, the kid could put it away.

But now....not so much. Though she does have her favorites, those favorites are determined by whatever way the wind happens to be blowing. Chicken nuggets, oatmeal, and spaghetti are usually digestable by her standards, but on any given day she may utter one of her favorite phrases, "No thanks", and thus begins the battle.

A reliable standard is a popular dish for most kids: good ol' Mac & Cheese.

But today....not so much. Why?

Because the wind is blowing from the East. Because she doesn't particularly like the color yellow today. Or because the cheese is too gooey, slippery, or not her favorite shade of yellow.

Even though I've been one for 32 years, I am just now beginning to understand women.

How did I resolve today's altercation?

I took the Mac & Cheese and put it in the big elephant cup she got from the Circus. That's right, the same one I questioned her father about when he admitted he forked over $11 for a plastic elephant filled with water ice.

And she ate it.

All of it.

Another example of her caprice would be today's Music Together class. She has always loved going to music class. So much was her love for it that I could usually hold it over her head as a consequence for misbehaving.

But today....not so much. According to her, she no longer likes it and does not wish to go back. Now, I am actually fine with this. We only have one class left in the session and I'd rather avoid another unpleasant class (today was filled with snottiness, lying on the floor, and some pretty risky tricks with an instrument).

So, we won't be going back to the last class....unless, that is, she changes her mind.

Is it to early to have a margarita?

Something Different

Though many of you may not have the opportunity to experience something like this in its traditional venue (or you may not have the interest), but the Mann Center is offering free lawn tickets for the Philadelphia Orchestra throughout the month of May.

I can't imagine a more perfect night than sitting outside with a bottle of wine (or milk, if you choose to bring the kiddies) and a picnic dinner, while enjoying the warmer weather and music I might not normally listen to.

If you are interested, check out the website for more details at:

***Special thanks to Debbie for sending this great info my way.

Sadness All Around

I waited a bit before writing up the following post. When I really have strong emotions about something, I usually need some time to wrap my head and heart around it before being able to write or even talk about it. So here it is:

If you live in the Greater Philadelphia area, you most certainly heard the news over the weekend of a Philly cop who was shot and killed in Port Richmond as he approached a band of thieves attempting to rob a grocery store bank. As 12 year police veteran Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski happened upon the masked gang of three armed robbers, he was gunned down with what is believed to be an AK-47 assault rifle.

An AK-47 assault rifle.

As people rushed to help him, Sgt, Liczbinski stumbled to the floor and, realizing the gravity of his injury, whispered, "Tell my wife I'll miss her."

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sgt. Liczbinski, who "leaves behind a wife and three children", would have turned 40 yesterday.

In an attempt to apprehend the gang as they fled the scene, one suspect was shot and killed, another was captured and taken into custody, and a third is still at large. A reward of $150,000 has been set for any information leading to the capture of the third suspect, and the Philadelphia police force is said to be determined to apprehend this man before the burial of their fallen commrade, which will take place this Friday.

As with any tragedy, every political pundit is using this as an opportunity to condemn gun violence and herald the need for stricter enforcement of gun laws. Community leaders are decrying the lack of support in preventing violent crime, and virtually everyone is pointing a finger at someone.

The unprecedented gun violence that is a veritable epidemic in our area has been in the news, both locally and nationally, for some time now. The rising toll of violent death among the city's children is especially disturbing, and now, with the third Philadelphia police officer killed this year, the recent attention given to our great city has not exactly been positive.

So why blog about this particular story?

Of course the story is horrible, tragic, and affecting.

Of course the officer's reported last words are more than heart wrenching.

Of course we need to finally get behind something or someone that might actually do something proactive for our struggling city (I am hoping Mayor Nutter is that catalyst, but the cynic in me is doubtful).

And of course the mention of his three children, Matt, Steven, and Amber, has every parent holding their own children tighter than usual.

But I think beyond all the sadness, I feel pretty enraged. And it has everything to do with the hackneyed expression so often used by the media when referring to the deceased: "The officer left behind a wife and three children..."

No, he didn't. He didn't do the leaving.

He was taken.

He was taken by three people who, for whatever reason, do not value life.

He was taken from a family who loved him.

He was taken before he had the chance to ever meet his future grandchildren.

And he was taken from a city forever grateful for his service.

I am beyond saddened. I am pretty outraged.

If you are interested in lending your support to the grieveing family:

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

Tomorrow, Geno's Steaks, Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue, will begin earmarking
proceeds to help the Liczbinski family. For 24 hours, starting at 10 a.m., money
will be donated from all sales.
Donations can also be sent to: Stephen
Liczbinski Family Memorial Trust Fund, Police & Fire Federal Credit Union,
901 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19107

The Picture Party: A Follow-Up

As I had previously posted, our Picture Party went surpisingly well. Given the obvious fact that any gathering that places nine children (all 3 years of age and under) in a confined space ( house!), you would just have to expect some major meltdowns and the occasional time out.
Since none of that really happened, I will say that the party was definitely a success. What made it even more of a success?
The pictures.

Though the full proofs will not be ready for a few weeks, our obliging (and gifted) photographer has let a few of the pictures leak so that we can have something to see while we anxiously await the results.

The one above is among the leaked pictures, but if you are curious to see more, check out the follwing link to Shirley Magilton's blog site, where she posted a bunch:

Quote of the Day

"I've learned that you can tell how good a parent you were by observing your children with their children." -Anonymous

Picture of the Day

Even as the weather warms and the April showers dry up,

leave it to a little boy to find the last remaining puddle of mud,

ensuring hours of fun and a necessary bath.
Send your favorite kid pictures to:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How To Ensure High Therapy Bills

Dark Roasted Blend just featured a piece about scary and downright disturbing playgrounds that can largely be found in places normally equated with sunshine and rainbows: Eastern Europe.

The image above is a picture of one of the more frightening playgrounds, though many more can be seen on their website. The reason for their creepiness seems to have a lot to do with scupltures and design gone wrong. Though we all love to think outside the box (especially when thinking of imaginative children), these parks seem to come from someone thinking outside the prison bars.

So, if you want to make sure all that money you've been putting away for future therapy bills gets put to good use, consider your vacation plans settled.

Before clicking on the link, please know that, though some of these are good for a laugh, others may trouble your sleep.

You've been warned:

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

I actually asked my finicky daughter what she might like to eat for breakfast this morning. Her response?

"Eggs, bacon, and yogurt. But, Mama, NOOOOO paint."

Glad we cleared that up.

And either my cooking has really gotten bad, or I am devoting more time than I thought in trying to keep things out of her little brother's mouth.

Best Margaritas EVER

So multiple emails (with more than a few typos...hmmmmm) confirmed what I boasted about yesterday.

The margarita recipe I posted in celebration of Cinco de Mayo is the best recipe ever. Plan to make yourself a blender full this weekend and then plan to write me a thank you note (which I'll forward to the person responsible for it).



So what could be more exciting than the upcoming Sex and the City movie?

More anticipated than the revising of Beverly Hills, 90210?

More wonderful than the news that J Lo may be retiring from singing, acting, and polluting the Internet?

Barney's is coming to Philadelphia.

Be still my beating wallet.

Tuesday's Craft

Fingerpaint Flower Vase

Empty glass jar
Enamel paint (purple, pink, yellow)


1) Carefully read the instrution on the paint bottle and also make sure the glass jar is clean, dry, and clear.

2) Have children dip their fingertips into the paint and dot onto the glass to form the petals of the flowers.

3) Repeat this process to dot on the flower centers--alternate the colors (purple flower, yellow center, pink flower, purple center, etc).

4) Let paint dry and cure according to directions on enamel paint bottle. This may require baking in the oven, or a longer alternative is air drying for up to three weeks before using.


  • Hold jar by the mouth to avoid bumping or grabbing any wet paint.

  • Acrylic paints can be used; however they will wash off if jar is washed. To protect it better you can spray entire surface with acrylic sealer, however this can diminish the shiny surface of the glass.


Quote of the Day

"We've had bad luck with our kids - they've all grown up." ~Christopher Morley

Picture of the Day

6 months old and 95 years young :
The best ages to appreciate a beautiful day and an even more beautiful family.
Send your favorite kid pictures to:

Profile of a Parent

Name: Stacey, mommy, and Ursula, Ms. Wendy, Prince Phillip, Toto or whatever part my daughter Jessica gives me in the “play of the day”.

Mother of: Jessica who will be 3 years old next month and Danielle who just celebrated being 4 months old!

What You Did Before You Were Someone’s Mommy: Taught sixth grade, enjoyed late afternoon naps and a great one every Saturday. Friday nights were reserved for a movie and a few bottles of wine(hence the reason for the Saturday afternoon nap), got a manicure and pedicure whenever I felt like it, and was the best at keeping in touch with extended family and girlfriends.

What You Do For Yourself Now: None of the above, but I do find time to indulge in some not so great tv. What is your favorite thing about being a mother? I may be biased, but my girls have the most amazing smiles in the whole wide world. The greatest part is that it doesn’t take much for either of them to smile at me, with me, or for me. Saying good morning, playing peekaboo, kissing toes, giving a fishy kiss, dancing with Teddy, singing “you are my sunshine”, pretending to be Ursula the sea witch, sharing a spaghetti noodle, or getting the shark bites off of Jessica’s teeth before bed gives me the chance to see the two most glorious, marvelous grins this world has ever seen!

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you had children? I truly love to sleep in and miss it a lot!

What would you do with an extra free hour in your day? In the event that this hour does not occur in the morning when I would definitely sleep for an extra hour, I would still lay down, but I would probably talk with an old friend or read something inspirational.

Who are your go-to people when you have a parenting questions? I have always been blessed with the greatest people in my life. Each brings something wonderful to my table and, depending on the situation, I am fortunate enough to have fabulous people to help me through.

What is the one thing your child(ren) do that always makes you smile? Jessica is my little actress and has an amazing memory. It always makes me smile when she pretends to be someone and proceeds to act out something they did or said weeks before! Danielle has given me several reasons to smile in the last 4 and a half months, but my favorite is when she giggles uncontrollably while watching Jessica run in circles.

Who is your favorite fictional mother? This is tough, too many to pick from.
If you could be someone you know for a day, who would it be? I would be my friend Stacey who has always been, according to me, a very beautiful and very complete person.

If you could ban people from doing something, what would it be? Making judgements and decisions too soon or without all the facts. It causes chaos and a ton of unnecessary hurt.

If you could make one mixed CD that would be the only music you could listen to for the rest of your life, what songs would you put on it?
"Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne, “American Trilogy” by Elvis Presley, “She’s Got A Way” by Billy Joel, “When I See You Smile” by Bad English, “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty, “Amanda” by Boston, “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” the Elvis Presley Version, “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” by Brooks and Dunn, “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw, “Stay” by Sugarland, “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi, and “Baby I Love You” by Aretha Franklin

Monday, May 5, 2008

Celebrity Mommies

A Pulitzer Prize winning publication out of Long Island, Mingling Moms, has named Dina Lohan (mother of Lindsay and her "yet to be corrupted but almost there" sister, Allie) as one of the Island's top 20 moms in honor of Mother's Day. Other mothers who are on the list (and certainly embarrassed over their inclusion) are the mothers of the Baldwins, Billy Joel, and Natalie Portman.

When questioned about the magazine's "interesting" choice in Dina Lohan, a representative for the publication defended:

"We’re just honoring celebrity moms on Long Island.
It’s something for Mother’s Day. It’s a list of mothers from Long Island who
have raised superstar children."

In the event that you live on Long Island, yet failed to make the list despite
your amazing mothering ability (shout out to Mama Cruickshank), aim to do the
following in time for next year's list:

1) Strip your child of all trappings of reality by forcing them to go to auditions at the tender age of 3 and endure the harsh criticism of casting agents.

2) Enable your children's drug and alcohol abuse.

3) Fake tan...a lot (think oompa loompa)

4) Take every media opportunity to exploit your child and exchange insults with your ex-husband, who deserves a list of his own (oh, and make sure the children are aware of it).

5) Start your own reality television show to systematically, really exploit your children's fame, while also riding their coattails.

Happy Mother's Day!

In Defense of Daddies

Last week I shared a log from my friend Amanda, who is currently making her way through the trenches. This log not only illustrated the daily grind of raising the very young, it also provided a chance for others who are struggling with the trials of parenting to identify with a shared experience.

I also posted that Amand decided to start a blog of her own:

And now there is one thing more I'd like to share....

As a part of the log, Amanda not only vented about the hardships of struggling to help a sick baby, the challenges of juggling baby and toddler, but also the the difficulty we sometimes have communicating our frustrations to our willing partners.

Unfortunatley, the last element may have not done proper justice to her husband, who is so much more than perhaps the log illustrated. So, in his defense, it must be said that he is a pretty awesome dad.

Boundless energy for the toddler, sweet attention for the little man, and a calming port in the choppy seas of parenting for his wife. From my own experience, I can tell you that Mike and Amanda are a great couple whose interaction at the annual Newlywed Game is legendary. Really, if there's a chance they can't make it....we all look to reschedule.

As a casual acquaintance of Mike's, I couldn't even say anything more that would really do his fathering justice. If you are interested to learn more what a great dad he happens to be, stop by Amanda's site where she has compiled a pretty endearing list.

And in another related note, I am a firm believer in a dad's right to spend some time on the golf course, or at the batting cage, or even just watching a game with his cronies. I actually have to encourage my husband to take some time for himself once in awhile (homeboy is a homebody). Just as much as I appreciate some time with the girls, a solo shopping excursion, or even a drive to anywhere without having to listen to Lori Brukner sing "Victor Vito", it is important to enjoy some down time away from the masses.

Finally, if you have figured out a formula for effectively rationing your time with children, spouse, friends, extended family, and even yourself....feel free to let us all in on it.

Just To Torture You....

If you are unfamiliar with the crazy new kid show Yo Gabba Gabba, (or, you are a closet fan), then you must turn up your volume and enjoy the clip below.

Common reactions include:

1) And in what decade was this cartoon filmed?
2) Is this a foreign film?
3) Is this intended for adults, or simply to frighten small children?
4) I always wondered what happened to the guy from Police Academy who made cool sounds with his mouth.

****Warning: This will be stuck in you head for the entire day.....yummy yummy.

The Television Turnout

After some serious begging and pleading on my part, I finally managed to convince a ton of you to submit your guesses for the TV Trivia Contest (and subsequently force you to acknowledge the fact that we all know a little too much in this department).

Needless to say, the final results were extremely close and, in the end, the winner was the only one who managed to get 90% of the answers correct.

Congratulations to the winner: Stunning Stacey of South Jersey (who also happens to be today's Profile of a Parent)

As promised, I will devote an entire day to all things Stacey (she may not consider it a reward, but I do) and that will all go down this Friday.

Until then, the answers were as follows:

1) When someone calls your home, does your family erupt into a chorus of, “The phone, the phone is ringing”? THE WONDER PETS

2) When your child is introduced to a Spanish speaker, can they carry on a conversation so long as it involves using a map, a backpack, and climbing a mountain? DORA THE EXPLORER

3) When you head to the beach this summer, will your family’s only means of traveling from the dunes to the water involve rolling? THE WIGGLES

4) If someone were to introduce you to their new friend, would Caillou seem like a perfectly reasonable name for them? CAILLOU

5) When visiting a farm, do you expect to hear the voice of Mel Brooks coming from any or all of the sheep? JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLY WINKS (A lot of you chose Back at the Barnyard -which I had never heard of - and so I did some research. Mel Brooks does not offer any voice overs, but Wanda Sykes apparently serves as the voice of Bessy the Cow)

6) Have you ever been at the deli line and, after finding that your ticket number was number 9, remarked, “Hey, that’s the number of the day”. SESAME STREET

7) Have you ever accused your car (or any other mode of transportation) of being cheeky? THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE (many of you went for Charlie & Lola, but that doesn't have to do with transportation)

8) Do you find yourself spending more than a little time wondering how two engaging, brother and sister rabbits can lead such fulfilled lives while never ever producing any evidence of parents? MAX AND RUBY

9) Even though you’d publicly denigrate the show for its nonsensical contribution to childrens television, does a laughing baby framed in the sun make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? TELETUBBIES

10) Would a check of your iTunes file unearth the song “There’s a Party in my Tummy (So Yummy, So Yummy)? YO GABBA GABBA

The Latest Poll

Last Friday I admitted to a bit of slogging (slacking on my blogging), which had more to do with overscheduling myself than any real slothfulness.

A fallout victim of my negligence was the weekly vote, which is a close sister to last week's vote.

If you are a parent who is infamiliar with the movies of the 80s, one of the following is probably the case:

1) You are a very, very young mother.

2) You are a mother of many, many children and the 80s were really just a blur.

3) You were a little too carefree with the Aquanet, or you delighted too much in the tasty treats of the Easy Bake oven: both of which surely left you with a sizeable brain cloud.

4) "Safety Dance" or "Papa Don't Preach" is blaring from your under-the-cabinet kitchen radio and you really can't think clearly.

5) Given your refusal to give up leg warmers, jellies, banan clips, and flourescent clothing, you believe we are all still living in the 80s.

Monday's Meal- It's Cinco de Mayo

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I descided it might be more appropriate to provide a potent potable in lieu of an actual meal.

I am in no way suggesting that this is all you consume today....

Chips, salsa, and a little guacomole make nice side dishes.

The Best Margarita Ever:


1 1/2 cup Good Tequila (Cuervo Gold, 1800, etc. are all fine)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/3 bottle of beer (Coors, Bud, Miller High Life--- shout out to JD and the ghetto beer)
1 can frozen lemonade from concentrate (try to get one that has little or no pulp); if it is too sour

just add some sugar
1 substantial squirt from a real lemon (or, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice)
1 substantial squirt from a real lime (or, 1 Tbsp of lime juice)


1) Fill the blender with half ice, half water to the top (this creates a very chilled margarita, instead of a frozen one)

2) Throw in all the ingredients and blend until the ice is shredded...a couple of good pulses.

3) Sugar to taste and pour in margarita, rocks, or martini glasses with no additional ice added


Quote of the Day

"What's done to children, they will do to society." ~Karl Menninger

Picture of the Day

A plate full of tater tots, PB &J, and diced fruit,

coupled with a refreshing sippy cup filled with milk

...His mama had clearly made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Send your favorite kid pictures to: