Saturday, May 10, 2008
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.
Friday, May 9, 2008
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.
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?
S to the Tacey
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-
-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...
Thursday, May 8, 2008
2) Also pictured above, a double dry food dispenser (as recommended by mothersdaycentral.com) 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).
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.....
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).
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!
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)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
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.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
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.
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.
Mother of: Jessica who will be 3 years old next month and Danielle who just celebrated being 4 months old!
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.
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 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
"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!
I also posted that Amand decided to start a blog of her own: http://www.amanda-inthetrenches.blogspot.com/
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.
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.
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 addedSource: http://www.ozols.com/