Saturday, August 2, 2008

My 4th Dedication

This song was dedicated to me during the throws of exam week in our Junior year of college.

And now, I'll return the favor.

(Cheesy video accompanying the song is beyond my control).

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Greatest Generation- My 3rd Dedication

When my grandfather got out of the Army, he returned home ready to start his life as a businessman, with little thought to finding a wife any time soon.

His mother and sister had other plans.

Enter Doris, his sister Virginia's best friend who had, up until that point, always been one of his little sister's giggly friends. Flash forward a few years and he came home to find that the girl he never would have given a second thought to, was now a lovely young woman.

Or, "hot tomato" as he prefers to characterize her.

And so the courtship began. It was love almost immediately and the highlights include him pacing outside church while she attended Saturday mass and he eagerly awaited Saturday date night. From the moment she pulled him under the mistletoe, he could think of little else.

Thankfully, he was able to think enough to put himself through school, start a wonderful career, marry the love of his life, and build a beautiful family five children strong.

She has been gone entirely too long now, but I am quite certain his love is as ardent for her as it ever was. I was so young when she passed, my memories are highlights on a luminous reel...and of what little I do recall, their love must have been some kind of epic.

And as we prepare to celebrate our 7th anniversary, my thoughts also go to those before us who showed us how it's done. The song for today may strike most of you (at least those under 60) as an odd choice for Gen Xers, but it is the song we dance to in our living room when no one is around (DJs refuse to play it publicly, for some reason).

Here's to old fashioned love, my love.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Isn't that just the way....

I force myself to take a blogging vacation and, consequently, am flooded with ideas.....

Look for my return date: August 10th (shout out to Megan)

...and, of course, sporadic postings when I just can't resist.

My Second Dedication

Driving up and down the New Jersey Turnpike never felt so long as when I was driving to you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My First Dedication

We listened to this song non-stop the year following our wedding.

We knew we want to get married and we knew we wanted to start our lives together right away, but we had no idea where.

So, we moved into a borrowed shore house for an extended honeymoon in the off-season. Those months were some of the happiest I've known and celebrating our anniversary is as much about how far we've come and all that we've done, as it is remembering those younger times when everything was before us.

I clearly remember listening to this song some late night driving back from somewhere with the windows rolled down and the smell of the ocean air filling the car...and it seemed there was no one else on Earth.

Taking Some Time

I've decided to take some time off from Blogworld.

My interest is waning, my obligations are mounting, and my creativity is at an all time low...

So, at least for the next week or so, my posts will be sporadic until I pick back up again mid-August. The only exception to this will be a daily song dedicated to my one and only as we approach our 7th wedding anniversary.

I guess this amounts to a summer vacation, but when my regular postings return, I'll have that story ready...along with a whole lot more.

Please stay with me....and thanks for reading.

Crib Sheets

Does anyone else work up a sweat when they change them?


Quote of the Day

"The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears." -Francis Bacon

Picture of the Day

Every once in a while, even big boys need a Boo Boo Bunny.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Turn It Up

The Votes Are In...

Summer, though not my favorite season, is as much a state of mind as it is a climate change. It is hot temperatures, backyard fun, margaritas, trips to the beach, long days, and walks after dinner. It is sundresses and sandals, bubbles and barbecues. It is also a great time for music.

Blasting from car radios or live performances at an outdoor concert, the sounds of summer are as catching as the ice cream man's truck intends them to be. Each year a new song vies to be the summer song, with this year's overwhelming choice seeming to be the curious, "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry. However, there are always the standard summer hits, and though I realize a lot were not included on the list, I threw in the obvious ones, as well as my own favorites.

And the results are in.....

Clearly the Philly crowd that overwhelming represents my audience has spoken. The city's native son created an anthem that is ideal for summer, regardless of your respective tastes. "Summertime" came in first with 8 votes. Classic DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, would you believe this song off the Homebase album was released 17 years ago six days ago?! Time flies.....

Second place belongs to anything by Bob Marley. Mr. Rastafarianism is not only a cultural icon, but also the herald of warm climate control. His tunes are sincere, serene, and speak of his own identity, which seems to speak to a lot of people despite its unique form.

Third place is shard by Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville" and anything by the Beach Boys. Interestingly enough, both choices are never not on the radio, but also seem to appeal to a very specific audience. Parrot heads and beach blanket bingo-ers are constant fans.

Finally, "Santeria" bu Sublime came in last, which means my vote only enjoyed the company of one. I don't know why I love this song so much, or why it makes me think of summer, but it does. It does, it does, it does. Unfortunately, since Bradley Nowell died from an overdose days before the song's respective album was released, Sublime's contribution to summertime jams will end there. The band was the perfect blend of ska, reggae, and hip hop, and not many have quite captured such a unique sound since.

On to the next vote......

And Another Thing....

Does anyone other than the parenting magazines consider the Diaper Genie really necessary? Aside from its own unique, unpleasant scent, it also really just adds another step in diaper disposal.

It is the snooze button in poop removal.

And, yes, that should be the "Quote of the Day".

What's Grosser Than Gross?

After a long day of playing, cleaning, and trying to be the best mom I can, I look forward to the time when my husband returns from work so that I may relinquish some of the parental responsibilities and allow myself to let a small of breath of relief escape.

Unfortunately, this evening found me wishing his return would come sooner than later.

It was one of those days that had me exhausted and out of creative ideas by 10 AM. The kids were good, but the day was determined to drag and by the time I was preparing dinner, it felt like I'd aged some.

But, the fun was just beginning.

Since my husband's day turned out to be long as well, I fed the kids early (something to do), and set them up with the final round of toys while I cleaned up the dinner dishes.

As I listened to them play, tummies full and happy, I allowed my mind to drift away to plans for tomorrow and my internal to-do list. Hardly a moment had passed before the familiar sounds of my little man, hard at work on his diaper, found me in the kitchen.

I gave him a minute to himself before heading into to begin the drudgery...only a minute proved to be too long.

As it were, the diaper was no match for the digestion and the evidence was all over my family room floor.

I am having a very large glass of wine as I type this....that, coupled with the lingering smell of carpet cleaner is helping me to finally let go that breath of relief.

Tuesday's Craft

Shout out to Martha for this classic...

Potatoes are wonderful mashed, baked, scalloped, or fried, but they have a less conventional use, too: as decorative stamps for personalized gift cards and tags. The best potato prints have a painterly quality reminiscent of impressionist art.

To make one, cut a potato (any variety will do) in half, and draw a shape onto the flesh with a pencil. Then, using a utility knife or a jackknife with a thin blade, carve around the outline of the pencil design, and cut away the background to a depth of 1/4 inch.

Mix gouache paints (available in tubes at art-supply stores) with a little water, then apply the paint directly onto the design with a brush; or dip the potato into a dish of paint as though using a stamp pad.

Press the potato onto blank cards, reapplying paint when the prints become faint. Each print will look unique and slightly irregular -- a work of art in itself.

To make a tag, punch a small hole in the corner of the card with a needle or an awl, and thread a piece of string or ribbon through.

Quote of the Day

"Changing a diaper is a lot like getting a present from your grandmother- you're not sure what you've got but you're pretty sure you're not going to like it." -Jeff Foxworthy

Picture of the Day

"Consciousness: that annoying time between naps."
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Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday's Meal

As easy as it is yummy....

Quick and Easy Shrimp Primavera

Prep Time: 10 min.
Serves 4

Recipe Provided By:


8 ounces rotini pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup KRAFT LIGHT DONE RIGHT! Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
1 pound medium shrimp, cleaned
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 cup packaged matchstick carrots
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Cooking Directions

1) Cook pasta as directed on package.

2) Meanwhile, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp, vegetables and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 min. or until shrimp are pink and vegetables are crisp-tender.

3)Drain pasta; toss with shrimp mixture.

4) with cheese and lemon peel.

Defending Her Honor

After a crazy weekend, we decided to spend the second half of our Sunday out of the house, despite the fact that it still very much resembled a circus tent long after the animals had moved on to the next venue.

We packed up the kids and headed for Barnes and Noble. As with most, our B&N has endless choices for written entertainment and research, as well as a lively kids section with informative assistants, well-organized aisles, and, most importantly, a train table to provide some additional distraction.

As is our habit, one of us stays with the kids for reading and train play, while the other escapes to the aisles. We give each other some time before swapping roles, and then pack up our choices and head home.

I fulfilled the role of child-guard first, and that's precisely where the story comes in.

Both children were quietly pushing around the beat up trains alongside two other children, who were about the same age as my 3 year old daughter. While the little girl across from my daughter was also playing quietly, the little boy to my daughter's left was a little rambunctious, but in no way out of line or in need of discipline.

My son, however, did not exactly see it that way.

At one point, the little boy, having seen my daughter pick up another train near him, yelled, "Hey, I was about to use that!" and then proceeded to grab it from my daughter's hand.

My 13 month old who was either defending his sister's honor or simply reacting to the boy's hostile body language and tone, released a "Ahhh!" and then smacked him.

Yes, smacked his arm.

The boy shouted out another, "Hey!" and then looked for his exhausted father who was hiding behind the tilt-a-whirl of Berenstein Bear books with eyes perpetually rolling.

Now, at no point do I think what my son did was appropriate behavior. I scooped him up and said, "Joseph, hitting hurts," and then I sat him on my lap for a "break". I took this action because he did need to be told hitting is wrong (even if he did not fully comprehend the whole consequence thing) and also because I had an audience of 3 year olds who were watching me with measured eyes to see if the rules applied to everyone.

However, deep, deep, deep down in my heart of hearts, I may have felt the slightest bit of pride for the mere fact that my little man may have just demonstrated his first act of loyalty for his big sister.

Maybe just a little.

Crowded House

I had a fun-filled weekend...because my home was full of people. 5 adults and 9 children not only make for cramped quarters, but also lots of laughs, lots of sippy cups, and lots of memories.

However, since they have all returned to their respective homesteads, and because I am also hosting TWO playgroups this week, I thought it best to send out a warning to anyone who may want to stop by the old ranch:

Do not expect it to shine like the top of the Chrysler Building.

Question of the Week

You have to raise your children in another country...where do you go?

Quote of the Day

"A family vacation is one where you arrive with five bags, four kids, and seven I-thought-you-packed-its." -Ivern Ball

Picture of the Day

One small step for Sonya, one giant step for Parent-kind.

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