Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Picture of the Day

O standing next to the head of a T. Rex at the Museum of Natural History.
While one has nine inch, serrated teeth and an appetite for flesh (O stops at meatballs), I can't say for sure, barring the whole extinction thing, which one I'd consider more dangerous when left to his or her own devices.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Votes Are In....

First, I want to know what two people can walk away from a big bowl of Halloween candy and, second, at what point did they sell their soul to the devil?

Does it even matter what the results are? I start by being very picky with my choices, favoring Reese's and Laffy Taffy as available. Then, as the pile diminishes, I'll eat anything....including those wretched Mary Janes or, gasp, Necco Wafers.

Best to just throw it away and blame Daddy.

On to the next poll....

Picture of the Day

Enjoying a dinosaur roar at the Museum of Natural History.

Question of the Day

I have 3,000 toys in my home.

On any given day you can come to my home and feel as though you are experiencing what it would look like if someone ever blew up a Toys R' Us and dumped the remains in someone's home. Princess everything, trucks, balls, train tables, ball pits, zillions of books and puzzles, and too many freshly vaccinated stuffed animals.

Given this salute to materialism (despite my best efforts to avoid raising entitled children), one question remains:

Why must half my morning be spent referring the proper sharing of one 25 cent rubber ball between two normally loving siblings????

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Southern Hospitality

Just a few days ago I put a call into my mother (aka Bama) for no reason other than to say hello and see about her day. Since Joseph loves to get on the phone these days (though, talking isn't always part of that), he was quick to usurp the reciever from my grip and carry in and intriguing conversation that, from his end, went something like this:

"Hi, Bama.....uh huh.....yea......yea.....bye bye.......where's Papa?"

Since Papa was at work, my mother suggested that we call him at the office. Hoping we weren't interrrupting an important meeting or more important nap, I quickly dialed his office number and handed the phone back to Joseph. Again, the call went something like this:

"Hi Papa....are you at work?.......yea.....yea....playing with O........fire truck.....Mommy's right here....okay ......bye bye."

Thrilled that a substantial back and forth of information had occurred, I scooped up the phone to greet my dad who was chuckling on the end.

"Hi, Dad," I greeted.

"Uh, hello there," he responded.....only it wasn't him. It was a man, it had a strong Southern drawl, and it seemed to have enjoyed the conversation even more than Joseph. It then said:

"Now, I don't know who Papa is, but I'm pretty sure he ain't me."

"Oh, I'm sorry....must have....wrong number," I stumbled, trying to figure out what number I'd actually dialed.

"Ha! That's quite all right. That little guy can give me a call any time. Have a good one."

Still a little startled, I turned to Joseph who was still stationed nearby, playing quietly with his Mater car.

What did I miss?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Had a Dream

I had a dream that I was grocery shopping.

Yep, that's it.

I went up and down aisle after aisle just grocery shopping. There did seem to include a climactic moment when, having discovered a steal of a sale on chicken cutlets, I couldn't decide whether or not to get them because they weren't free range.

That's it.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Looking For Stories

I am starting a new project and am looking for any service man or woman who's been deployed to Iraq, from the Gulf War to present, and who also a very compelling story from their experience there.

My timeline is tight and so, if you know of anyone who has an amazing (and true) story, please direct them to me at: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com. I am looking for all ranks from all of the armed services.

Time is also of the essence.

Other People's Kids

When it comes to the radio, there are few things funnier than a kid dancing and singing to something not exactly intended for their demographic. I recently posted about Olivia and her antics in the school bathroom as she performed "Single Ladies" before the mirror and a wide audience of curious preschoolers.

I also have a nephew that would rather memorably quote the line, "Do the Helen Keller thing and talk with your hips." (shout out to Drew).

But one of my new favorite performances comes care of Colleen McCourt and her too-dorable boys, Aiden and Colin who both like to sing the following:

"ma, ma, ma, ma, ma, ma......face"

I was howling with laughter....every time they did it, which made up most of the morning I spent with them.

Any ideas on the song??

Picture of the Day Meets What the Hell?!

At John's office Halloween party, the balloon artist was amazing. When he asked Joseph what he wanted him to make, Joseph said, "Sumpin' green".
What the hell is it?

Guess Who? A clue, a clue

Pay particular attention to her accessories......

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

People Are Nutty

As the holiday season remains on the not so distant horizon, I have learned that waiting too long to secure holiday outfits for the kids can also mean getting third choices in sizes that are not quite right....on December 1st.

Taking this lesson with me, I began looking early for O's Christmas dress. Ever the Nordstrom fan, I immediately found the dream dress and its irrational price tag (at least, according to my financial advisor) in their children's department and began weighing the pros and cons of such a purchase.

She'll wear it twice.


It will be immortalized in countless pictures and the annual holiday album.

I HAD to have it. Luckily, my friend Jackie is the ultimate fashionista (a standard I measure by how, when wearing an outfit I would consider fashionable, I inevitably feel like a vagabond standing next to her) and she found the dress in a local boutique at half off!

The catch: it was last year's version and the difference was so slight that the boutique owner didn't even bother to order this year's version.

So, thrilled over the more reasonable price and praying that her size would still be available, I got to the shop as fast as my materialistic heart could take me.

And she had it!!!

A perfect size four!!

What's more....she also had a little guy outfit that complimented it perfectly.....Merry Christmas!!

And, as it turns out, luck was completely on my side.

According to the shop owner, only an hour before I arrived, a grandmother had stopped in and grabbed the dress as a present to her granddaughter, who was living in Dubai with her mom and diplomat dad (la di da). Fortunately for me, she decided she could not bring herself to purchase it after the shop owner boasted that the very same dress was worn by Sasha Obama the year before.

Apparently, Obama's policies were too unfavorable for her to endorse such a fashion statment.

Nutty, Nut, Nuts!

And completely my gain.

ho, ho, highlarious!!

Christmas Come Early for the Maid

Picture of the Day

He works hard for the money.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Memoriam

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." ~José Narosky

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Confession of the Day

I started to watch the Fort Hood memorial, but had to turn it off.

Video Clip of the Day

A sign you've got a problem with the drink....crazy.

Monday Madness

Now that the house is healthy, Monday proved to be busy with much needed play dates and dental hygiene.

The Highlights:

1) Joseph and his friend Colin running around story time chanting "E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!" while the introverted storyteller (whom I suspects self-medicates for survival) stared off in a glazey haze of Winnie the Pooh and the Apple Orchard.

2) Dr. Andy worked his magic for another stress-free dental visit for both kids. On the downside, however, he also told me I should prepare my financial advisor for the inevitable requirement of orthodontic for the little miss and her much too tiny mouth. My financial advisor is on the phone with Dr. Andy (aka Jeremy's little brother) as I type.

3) Joseph asked ME to tuck him in for bed. I wanted to cry a little bit.

Picture of the Day

Apparently there's a Match.com for kids...bridal wear not required.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Keeping Dreams Alive

Olivia came home from school today and told me she knows what she wants to be when she grows up. She then asked me to guess.

My head began to spin with all the possibilities for my highly gifted and talented daughter...(doctor, nuclear engineer, stay at home mom) and so I just drew on the housewide vaccination she'd recently conducted on all her (and Joseph's) stuffed animals for my guess.


"Nope. I get to wear red and wear a shiny hat."

"A fire fighter?"

"Yes, can you believe it??"

Actually, I can't. Not wanting to dare dash any of my sweet pea's dreams, I decided against mentioning that she's terrified of the fire alarm and freaks out at the sight of smoke. She also refuses to go into her one cousin's bedroom after learning that he'd stuck a coin in the outlet months ago (when she was not there).

"That's a wonderful idea!" I agreed, remembering that at her age I was still undecided as to whether I wanted to be a stunt woman or real estate agent. Neither panned out.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Sal, a boy in Olivia's class, announced the following during a discussion on pets:

"I have two dogs. One is in heaven, and one is just dead."

Picture of the Day

Monday her prince did come.....
and there's no way she's letting him go.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh, Doctor

After battling a horrible cough that he'd shared with his Mommy all weekend, I took Joseph in to see his new doctor, Dr. Bacchus (do you think she'd think it's funny if I asked her for a glass of wine?---probably not), and she determined that he just had a bad cold, nothing more.

Nevertheless, the culture came back negative and we were sent on our way with instructions to rest, drink lots of fluids, and take Tylenol as needed.

Today, THREE DAYS LATER, they called to say that the Quick Test was wrong (as it can be) and that he has Strep.

Ugh....poor baby.

On a lighter side, I also once had a OB/GYN named Dr. Breast.

Have fun with that one.

They can't be all bad

World Series moment: Joba Chamberlain and his dad, Harlan

By 'Duk

The throng of media members around the makeshift stage seemed impenetrable, but Harlan Chamberlain motored his way through all of the cameras and notepads anyways. Reaching a blue barrier, he stopped his scooter, strained to look over a crowd of world champion Yankee ballplayers and tried to get a glimpse of his son. When that proved useless, he simply resorted to his considerable vocal chords.

"Jaaaaaaahba!" he yelled. "Jaaaaaaaaaahba!"

Harlan said his son's name a few more times, then spied A.J. Burnett in the crowd.
"Burnett!" he said. "Can you get my son!"

Burnett could and a few moments later, Joba Chamberlain put down the giant blue Yankee flag he had been waving up on stage. The big Yankees pitcher hopped off the stage, disappeared from the view of the Fox cameras and quickly made a beeline for his father. When they came together, they wrapped each other in a huge rocking bearhug.
It wasn't long before both were crying.

They said the same thing over and over.
"We did it, dad," Joba said.
"We did it," Harlan said.
"We did it," Joba said.
"We did it," Harlan said.

And on and on. They held tight for almost a minute. Their eyes were red when they let go.

You see the Yankees' $200+ million payroll and it's easy to get cynical. Same goes for their $1.5 billion new stadium, the seats that cost more than the average mortgage payment, the steroid controversies involving some of their team members and all the endless hype and hooey about mystique, aura and all the Yankee legends and ghosts.

But then you see this very simple and very real scene of a 24-year-old pitcher sharing the hug of a lifetime with his dad and you remember that those father-son relationships — one of the only things that really matter — are at the very heart of this great game that we love.

The same dynamic was on display everywhere at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. Way up in the upper deck, a dad tossed his little son into the air whenever Hideki Matsui came through (which was often). A mid-20s hipster sitting next to them made sure to ask one of my co-workers to snap a photo of he and his pops with his grainy cell phone camera. CC Sabathia did his postgame interviews with his little son on his shoulders the whole time.

And while all of those tiny little snapshots meant the world to those pictured in them, none of them seemed quite as remarkable to outsiders as the one taken by the Chamberlains.
Their story has been told often since Joba became a pitcher with the Yankees. Harlan was stricken with polio as a child and his health problems have confined him to the trademark scooter that gets him recognized by Yankee fans everywhere. Despite his limitations, he raised both Joba and his sister in Nebraska and provided for them while working in a prison. The sad story of Joba's mother is sadly well-known —
she's facing 20 years in jail for a drug charge — but he's always had the love and support from an extraordinary father. They call each other their best friends. It's impossible for them to be any closer.

I caught up with Harlan later on Wednesday night and asked him what it was like to see his son pitch a scoreless inning in a World Series clincher. Then I asked him what it was like to have the hug on the field with him afterward. His eyes were still teary as he talked.
"I told my son for years that he would do this, we would talk about getting to the World Series all the time" said Harlan while stopped near home plate of Yankee Stadium. "We just shared that moment while realizing that he did it. I pinched myself a few times. It's pretty awesome.

"We love each very much. This whole adventure in life is about family and in our case, it's about father and son."

In the days ahead, we're sure to see a lot of scenes from the Yankees 27th championship. Some we'll be bound to remember. Some we'll be bound to forget.
It's not hard to tell which category the Chamberlains' special moment will fall under, because it rarely gets much better than that.

Picture of the Day

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Votes Are In

Since more than half of you are in support of the Phils winning this year's World Series, I must draw one of two conclusions:

1) The Delaware Valley really appreciates them some good bloggging and, therefore, makes up most of my hits.

2) That many people truly hate the Yankees and would root for John Gosselin as a one man team before offering any support for the Bronx Bombers.

On to the next vote!!

How to Know When You're Taking Yourself WAAAAY Too Seriously

I was doing some work on the website where I pick up writing jobs from time to time and I came across a FANTASTIC job opportunity.

A person was looking to employ a professional writer to edit and even rewrite his family Christmas letter. And, yes, he was prepared to pay a hansome sum for it!!!!

Now, I love Christmas cards that come with pictures or even a short family update, though I have never done the latter for my own (we're not that interesting); however, I also take delight in the annual arrival of one of my mother's friend's holiday cards, which always includes a booklet outlining every possible event that has taken place in her family's life over the last year---- from the exact amount of college scholarship monies received to her husband's angry gall bladder.

Too much fun!!!

Anyway, I guess I shouldn't be shocked that someone out there puts a lot of effort into their annual letter, though I can't imagine what that letter may entail.

I am really tempted to take the job and have some fun with .....should I?

Guess Who?

Congratulations to Margaret for her correct identification of Mackenzie Rosman from Seventh Heaven.

In honor of her win, I will divulge a secret about one of my bestest friends.

Drum roll, please.......

Her father is the best Beer Pong player there ever was....and he bears a startling resemblance to Kenny Rogers.

Vaccination Fascination

The inevitable effect of experiencing two, separate flu vaccinations and a viewing of a Syd the Science Kid episode devoted entirely to vaccinations has made itself apparent.

Yesterday, Olivia spent 40 minutes administering shots to every stuffed animal she could find in our home.

Her instrument of torture?

Not the pretend shot that comes in her toy Fisher Price Doctor's Kit; but rather, a pair of toothpicks she absconded from the pantry.


Video of the Day Meets Question of the Day

What did you think of this famous Canadian's rendition of the anthem???

Picture of the Day: They've Made Their Choice

Olivia, deciding it is much more fun to annoy her father than root for the Phillies, has sided with her mother and is a vocal Yankees fan (is there any other kind?).

Joseph, ever his father's clone, has never wavered in his support for the Phils, even going so far as to risk a time out by taking swats at his sister every time she shouts, "Go Yankees!"

The walls are closing in.......

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona." ~George F. Will, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball, 1990

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eye Candy of the Day

Since I haven't been feeling all that well, I thought I'd cheer myself up....
Ah, Edward.

Quote of the Day

"I don't care how long you've been around, you'll never see it all." ~Bob Lemon, 1977

Picture of the Day

The Monarch and the Mater

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sacrifice Fly

Having spent the weeks following the Phillies' clinch of the Nation League division awaiting the promised playoff tickets and possible World Series tickets, it was only inevitable that one obsession collided into another: my determination to keep a healthy home.

Though O is almost completely recovered, I awoke on Halloween morning sounding a lot like Kathleen Turner circa Romancing the Stone and Joseph awoke that night with a fever and his best Sylvester Stallone impersonation.

What does that mean?

My ticket to Game 4 was given to one of John's cronies while I stayed home curled up with a little man and a cool mist vaporizer.

There's always next year.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Guess Who?

My Friday favorite is back.....guess who the much changed person of interest is and get a poem. As for the previous contest of providing fun phrases care of the letters, "AL JA", the obvious winner is the ever creative and cerebral Chris Fernandez, whose poem will come with a Monday morning post.

Until then.....Guess who?????


We did it.

Actually, my kids did it. They got the H1N1 vaccine in mist form, despite their mother's hyperventilating.

The result:

Olivia. writhing and crying at the sight of anything that might enter an orifice, said she would have preferred the shot.

Joseph, who is all boy, giggled at the unusual sensation of fluid shooting up his nose and tapped it the whole way home.

As of press time (11:00 pm), Mommy is on her second glass of wine.

Quote of the Day

"Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again." ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Picture of the Day

Quote of the Day

"What is both surprising and delightful is that spectators are allowed, and even expected, to join in the vocal part of the game.... There is no reason why the field should not try to put the batsman off his stroke at the critical moment by neatly timed disparagements of his wife's fidelity and his mother's respectability." ~George Bernard Shaw

I chose this particular quote because effectively characters both New York and Philadelphia fans.

Trying Not to Hyperventilate

We are off to get the H1N1 vaccination today (mist form) and I am almost as terrified as I am certain this is the right thing to do.


Game 1: The Aftermath

The house was strangely quiet this morning as a reading of Clifford, The Big Red Dog took on new meaning.

Go Yanks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apparently Chazz Palminteri Has Taken Up Residence in My Home

Yesterday morning, as my daughter called to me from her room in a hoarse voice made coarser by a restless night and a stubborn cold, I hurried to her room before she might also rouse her still sleeping brother.

As I was about to open the door, her voice, resembling something straight out of Goodfellas, remarked:

"And you.....all that hummin' for nuthin'!"

As confused as I was curious, I slowly opened the door to find the object of her scorn: the cool mist vaporizer, which had done little to alleviate her sore throat and relentless cough.

Picture of the Day

Even Elephants Get the Blues.

"Thank You, Captain Obvious" Headline of the Day

"Bay Bridge Closed After Rod Snaps;
Tough Commute Likely"

Likely? I guess if you're not such a proficient swimmer....

The Votes Aren't In Yet.....

Only five days left in this week's poll and the Phils have a 2/3 lead on the Yanks.

Make your choice.

Quote of the Day

"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~Earl Weaver

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Picture of the Day

What could this young man be thinking????
1) Backpacks are for chicks.
2) I don't do circle time.
3) Smocks are for the weak.
4) I should be teaching this class.

More things to eat up your time....

There's a new youtube channel devoted specifically for mothers......I'll post it as soon as I can find it.

Book Worm

Though my status bar to the left has listed my current reading as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the truth is that, up until three nights ago, the quirky bestseller had remained untouched on my night table, awaiting the completion of the book I was actually reading: Her Fearful Symmetry.

The follow-up to Audrey Niffenegger's unbelievable first book, The Time Traveller's Wife, I grabbed Her Fearful Symmetry with the hopes that Niffenegger might offer a repeat performance and successfully distract me from the Twilight books, which enjoyed a month long obsession.

Unfortunately, it was not to be the case.

I wouldn't so much as call it a sophomore slump as the premise of the book and the central conflict were fantastic and very original. I also love history, which made for potentially great subplots given the primary setting of a Victorian cemetery and all the creepy stories that come with it. That unfulfilled potential, however, along with underdeveloped characters (save for Martin) and flimsy follow through left me not caring all that much about the outcome.

I wouldn't at all say it was a bad book; just a flat follow-up to an amazing one.


On to the Zombies......

Contest of the Day

Here's a little challenge to help a poor blogger out. To whomever can come up with the most clever phrase using the letters below, a poem!!!

That's write....an ode to you and even, potentially immortality (but I'll explain that later).

Here's what you do:

Using the letters "AL JA" as the beginnings of two separate and consecutive words, come up with a comprehensible phrase that will either prove funny, or clever, or both.

Example: All Janitors are loved.

Always Jam when you can.

Clearly, these are not clever, nor are they smart (which is why I am holding this little contest). The examples do, however, reflect the rules.

Good luck....contest ends at midnight tonight!!!

Quote of the Day

"I'm convinced that every boy, in his heart, would rather steal second base than an automobile." ~Tom Clark

Monday, October 26, 2009

A World of a Decision and a new Vote!!!

It's always been easy fan management. The Yankees have been my team since I went to my first game in 1980 at the impressionable age of four (a bad season for the pinstripes, which is why you can never accuse me of being a fair-weather fan) and I have rooted for them ever since.

My mother was born and raised in the Bronx and I taught, lived, and was proposed to in that mighty borough as well (shout out to Van Cortland park!) and so my loyalty is as long as it is heartfelt. My brothers, father, and very vocal uncles will be happy to expound on baseball's most successful team and their legacy of the most esteemed (and revered) boys of summer...and they will also be happy to poke fun at my very passionate husband's team, which resides just two bridges and one little ride down the turnpike away.

And about that husband.....

My husband has never worn anything that isn't Phillies red (except, of course, the occasional Eagles green). He was raised on baseball, fed a full diet of Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn, Steve Carlton,Curt Schilling (whom he continued to root for even when he went rogue), and the charmer of all charmers, the mighty Tugger. He was trained to throw a change-up before he could hold a pencil and I even had to step in when he attempted to duct tape our own son's right hand behind his back in hopes of making him a lefty pitcher. He has also taught his children to cheer, "Go Phillies!", "Bomb!". and "Rauuuuul!"

And about our family.....

We have such great memories involving the Phanatic, their first game (that was full of huge homeruns), and tons of cute apparrel that never looks so cute on an adult as it does a three-footer in pig-tails.

What's a girl to do????

And who are you rooting for??????

Picture of the Day Meets Question of the Day

Question: Where do you go when the hayride drops you off in the middle of a pumpkin patch, with bathroom facilities far, far away and a boy with a bladder the size of a pea?
Answer: Corn stalks

Making the Call

Despite gallons of yogurt, blueberries, orange juice, and kid-sized probiotics; despite chronic hand-washing and Purell baths; and despite almost no trips to the grocery store, in-door play places, and other obvious germ factories, Olivia woke up with one of those coughs that make you to wonder who let a dog in the house and how on earth you are going to soothe your poor baby girl's sore throat.

The call to keep her home from school was an easy one: she needed the rest as much as everyone at school didn't need the exposure.

The next step was to call the doctor (beginning at 8:30, when they open the phone lines) to try to get an appointment before Joseph's nap, lunchtime, and high people traffic in the highly contagious waiting room (And, by the way, why the HELL do they put toys out??? Are they banking on repeat customers???).

Unfortunately, an hour and a half of failed phone calls led me to a new dilemma: if there are that many sick kids clogging the lines to get an appointment, do I want to expose my little miss to something worse?

As I weighed my options, I watched as she danced around the family rooom to a Fresh Beats video, fever free and devoid of the scary cough since the early morning wake-up. She was acting fine (and, in this case, "fine" includes pelvic gyrations to the beat that send her father into fits of hyperventilation) and her only complaint was that her throat is "scratchy".


Tough call. I tried the doctor again.

Again the busy signal conjured up images of green faced children sending mucus through the air and doctors dressed in hazmat gear. Shudder.

I decided to sit tight and watch her. I could always try for a late day appointment and rely on hot soups, tea, and tender loving care until a more obvious answer presents itself, especially if that dog comes back to visit.

An October Conundrum

I never thought it would actually happen,
But, damn October, it seems to be true.
With torn loyalties and tickets to Game 4,
Will I be red, or will I be blue?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Case You're Local

So, this woman in our Music Together class passed around some business cards in a marketing effort to promote her new website, DelValKids.com. According to her, their site takes all the family fun events and kid opportunities in the Delaware Valley and puts it all on one site, organized by date and proximity to you.

And I love it!!!

From kids cooking classes to every possible place to pick a pumpkin, the site is very easy, informative, and the answer to what you should do with the kids at any given time.

Check it out at: www.delvalkids.com

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quote of the Day (though I've posted this one before)

"If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base." ~Dave Barry

Welcome Home

Even early, THIS is long overdue.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Picture of the Day

What it looks like when you agree to make your daughter chocolate chip pancakes at 6 am.


Three small princess figurines, a little green bouncy ball, and one pacifier have all been freed from the subwoofer they'd apparently been stashed in some time ago.

Authorities (i.e. Mommy) have recent to believe it was an inside job as both of the primary suspects are currently in hiding....in a kitchen cabinet.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sadness All Around

Three viewings/funerals in one week are entirely too many. I'm not sure what else to say, other than my prayer list has never been so long and my heart has rarely been this heavy.

So here it is:

Remembering my friend Lori's father, Donald Krasko (60), and my husband's two unlces, Henry D'Alessandro (68) and Kenny Graham (45), who tragically died on the very same day.

I'll be back next week.

Be well.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Special Thanks to my Nephew

Having conquered the great potty training milestone, I was happily pretending that no further bathroom obstacles would find themselves in my near future. The problem with poop was resolved in the middle of a wedding (a story I keep forgetting to post) and my fastidious little fellow has even declared that he will no longer be wearing diapers at any time...including naps or bedtime.

This is all well and good, with one little exception.

Unless my Joseph develops the thickest of skins on the planet, his reliance on a little potty that sings to him as he sits on it and hums along will surely warrant some serious taunting come middle school.

So, my next hurdle would be to take homo habilis from the sitting down position to the standing shot.

Enter cousin Nick.

While babysitting my 3 year old nephew, an impromptu trip to the boys room provided a much needed tutorial in what big boys do for Joseph, who idolizes his much older relative. Here's how it went down:

Joseph: (Staring in disbelief at a standing Nicholas in relief) Mama, what he doin?
Me: He's going to the bathroom like big boys do....standing up.
Nick: Is it time for lunch?

A brief moment of male bonding quickly transcended into monumental progress. Within minutes of returning home...

Joseph: Mama! Pee pees!
Me: Okay, let's go.
Joseph: (Pointing to the big potty) Mama, like Nicky do?
Me: Okay, buddy, let's see.

I grab the conveniently located stool by the sink and prop the ingenue up. More than a little eager, Joseph takes aim and proudly emulates his nephew....with hands on hips and confidence in his gaze.

A mother couldn't be prouder, or more amazed that such a small boy could produce such a ricochet.

Quote of the Day

"Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits." ~Samuel Butler

Picture of the Day

It doesn't matter their age, men just love a good set of wheels.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Given her past choices in Halloween costumes (flamingo, panda), you can imagine my excitement when Olivia declared that this year she would be a beautiful butterfly.

If you had any idea how tricky it is to track down a flamingo costume, you'd also known that I was as thrilled about the conventional nature of the choice as I was the convenient ease of finding said butterfly.

Unfortunately, it only lasted a week.

Now she wants to be a hot dog.

In other Halloween news, Joseph is happy to announce he'll be Mater, complete with a flannel shirt and red paint on his neck.

Picture of the Day

Daddy's suit jacket helps out on a crisp fall day
(or any given August afternoon in Upstate NY)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Love Transparency

Following the timely termination of his role on the show, Jon and Kate Plus 8 father, Jon Gosselin has issued the following opportune statement:

“Even though we were heading for a divorce, it appeared that Kate had been suffering from this divorce as much as I had. That’s why I asked my attorney to put the brakes on this divorce so I could try to regain control over the future of our family. So Kate and I could join on a cooperative course that would benefit our family — not destroy it. I regret my conduct since Kate and I separated [on June 22]. I used poor judgment in publicly socializing with other women so soon.”
It's amazing how time and consideration can make even the most unscrupulous to reassess their direction....and the direction of their bank account.

Kate Plus Eight, Minus One

Due to his un-fatherly like public behavior, everyone's favorite father of 8 has been fired by TLC. Whether it was the significant drop in the ratings or the burning effect felt by our pupils every time this moron decides to prance around in his best Ed Hardy gear, the show has decided to focus on Kate's plight as a single (albeit fame-hound) mother of eight.

I guess it's a start.....is anyone watching the show?

Of Course

Despite my best efforts, both of my children have contracted a lovely cough.

As for yesterday's post on the Swine Flu, I think my greatest fear isn't the probability of contracting this nebulous thing, but of our lack of information and, even worse, my lack of having any control over the matter.

I will continue to fly solo to the grocery store when I can, and I will continue to be a maniacal hand washer to boot.

And I will not pretend I am still not wrought with worry.

OH...and of course the molars Dr.Andy had predicted will come in this fall (how did he know the timing so accurately?) have decided to push their way through, making an already cranky boy downright miserable.

Picture of the Day

Dancing with the Maids

Monday, September 28, 2009

Signs Point to NO

I got my first rejection letter.


I'm sure they just had a problem with my choice in font...damn that Garamond!

Paranoia Has Officially Set In....

Is anyone else freaking out about Swine Flu?

First---thank the good earth we have well water, because I don't think the current economy could support the water bill we'd get from all the hand washing I've been requiring.

Second--- I have decided to get both kids immunized when the H1N1 vaccine becomes available (thankfully, with a little help from a sweet marshmallow/M&M combo reward I put together, the flu shots went tolerably well) but every time I think about the new vaccine and all the great unknowns that comes with it a little vomit creeps up my throat.

Third--- I've stopped bringing the kids to public playplaces, the grocery store, and other high frequency breeding grounds to try to reduce the unavoidable exposures. Of course, school and dance class provide more opportunity than anywhere else, but I just feel like the fewer exposures to other germy kids the better. Their schedules are in tact, but I just avoid the high hazards and grocery shop on weekends.

So, all of this leads me to the big question: Am I officially paranoid? Is anyone else behaving this way???

Picture of the Day

After our weekend Upstate, a golf cart is now high on the list for Santa.


Also, now that I've exhausted most of the wedding pictures, feel free to send along images of your own...especially ones from the first day of school!!!

Send them to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Speaking of Taylor...

I LOVE this song in all its sugary sweetness.....and it just makes me all that more determined to bring both parents to NJ......though the outlook is gloomy.

Single Ladies No More

After months of working her groove out to "Single Ladies", my budding Beyonce has moved on to greener pastures. This transition is a great source of relief for me, especially since her preschool teacher pulled me aside to inform me that every day during bathroom break, Olivia spends a good minute singing and dancing to her favorite song before the mirrors.

Oh, boy.

Needless to say, my little O has discovered Taylor Swift.


Now, if only I could freeze her in time so when O enters the tween stage she has such an inspiring, young female figure.

And so I dedicate this to her:

Joseph's New Favorite Game

As I prep my home for the sprinkling of showings that fill our week, my routine typically amounts to: putting away any clutter, ensuring that the countertops and floors sparkle, and working up a sweat to keep the vacuum lines in the carpet perfect and footprint free.

Unfortunately, Joseph thinks it's hysterical to play tag with the vacuum, running back and forth over my neat rows.

Funny for him, fretful for me.

I Am Not Excited About Today

Two kids, one mommy, and flu shots.


Picture of the Day

Still Fabulous---even when fishing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Amazing Video Clip of the Day

Quote of the Day

"When I was a kid my favorite relative was Unlce Caveman. After school we'd all goplay in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear." -Jack Handey

Picture of the Day

Fishing in the Finger Lakes with Unlce Mike

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Next Great Invention

As much as I love my Pandora radio stations, I wish there was another site that did the same comparative analysis with literature. If you love Return of the Native, you will also like..example 1, example 2, and example 3, based on plot, style, and genre.

Good idea, or just selfish and lazy reader?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poop Chronicles: The Wedding Edition

If you caught my earlier post, you are well aware of my little guy's anxiety over letting go and though each day seems to bring some more progress (and by "progress" I mean taking under an hour), our recent trip to Upstate NY kind of threw a wrench in the steps toward routine.

As it were, the wedding day arrived, which also represented Day 4 of nothing.

Now, my previous wedding blog would lead you to believe that a certain flower girl stole the show, but that's really on half-true.

They're a package deal.

Unfortunately, my great wish to have my little man expel what needed expelling kind of came at a bad time.......

Usual Suspects

As quoted by Baudelaire, and later by Jim Carroll, and then even later and probably most famously by the yet revealed Keyser Soze, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Well, my friends, I have that elusive proof of his existence and it exists on the television sets of porr, unsuspected children who know not what they are being exposed to.

I give you: The Prince of Darkness (otherwise known as Hip Hop Harry):

Picture of the Day

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Wedding in Review

My little O did not fail to rise to the occasion of fulfilling her all important flower girl duties.....and now we're just trying to figure out how to bring her back down to earth.

The Highlights:

1) Giving her the option of sitting with me or the maids proved ridiculous....she always opted for the maids.

2) Having run out of flowers halfway down the aisle at the rehearsal, I made sure I really stuffed her basket on the big day as well as whispered a gentle reminder that she need not throw them in such big bunches. All too eager to get it perfect (she took her job very seriously), she adeptly sprinkled them along as she walked, only to find that she had extra when she took her spot on the alter alongside the maids. By the time the ravishing bride arrived and assembled her train, Olivia decided to keep throwing them at her unbeknownst to the priest who went ahead with the ceremony.

3) She last through the hour long ceremony like a champ, finding all sorts of things to entertain herself with as the vows were exchanged. Chief among them: peeking out to see who was in attendance, calling to relatives she recognized and waving, and playing with the always fun kneeler, which she managed to drop on the unsuspecting bridesmaids' toes to their pain and surprise.

4) There was a quick break for some much needed fruit snacks.

5) She tried to get communion, though the now quick thinking bridesmaids quickly put a stop to that one.

In conclusion, she was fabulous....and she thoroughly enjoyed the reception following. She danced, and sang, and even got her cousin (the groom) to pilfer one of the cake flowers for her to eat. She was in heaven and has been replaying the events over and over again with her barbies (though, apparently this wedding is a little more exhibitionist since we can't seem to find Barbie's dress).

It was a great day, making for even greater memories.

And, of course, could you guess who caught the bouquet????


Quote of the Day

"A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he's finished." ~Zsa Zsa Gabor

Picture of the Day

The serious business of being a flowergirl.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Outlook Good

No, I don't mean the weather (though I've always believed rain on your wedding day being characterized as "good luck" is just a way to make anxious brides feel better), but I do mean the flower girl outlook.

As it were, it is beautiful here and I do believe late summer/fall in Upstate NY and New England provides the most beautiful scenery (sorry tropical islanders). However, the outlook I'm referring to is O's chances of braving the aisle with confident, happy smiles. Why so?

Our flower girl is napping!

Fingers crossed, fingers crossed.

Oh, and the pre-emptive rest will also do wonders for her favorite dance routine at the reception: Beyonce's "Single Ladies" is about to get a redux.


The Big Day

So yesterday proved to be blog-free thanks to a very long trip to upstate New York (hello Auburn!), a wedding rehearsal with an all too eager flowergirl opting to sit with the maids instead of his mother, and the ever-challenging process of getting your kids to bed in a hotel.

I'm a little tired today....but also very excited for the much anticipated wedding of Brenden and Nicole.

As I mentioned in a long ago post, Brenden and Nicole both suffered traumatic brain injuries in separate car accidents that not only derailed their post-graduation plans of college and travel, caused them to lose most of their friendships due to young adults heading off in their own directions, and the physically and mental capability to do pretty much anything without the help of others....it also nearly cost both of them their lives.

But depsite your own belief systems, two separate miracles occurred.

Years of therapy, endless determination, and a chance meeting at a social program that enlists the help of brain injury sufferers to participate in a school program bringing exotic wildlife to the public schools, Nicole and Brenden found each other and another reason to embrace life.

So today is their perfect day, surrounded by family and friends, fall-like NY weather, and complete happiness.

What could be better?

A prediction, of course.

There's no doubt they'll be happy, or that the reception will be a blast. The question is pretty simple:

Will the flower girl make it down the aisle?

By all accounts, she's acting like a pro. She prefers the maids to me, practices constantly, and worked it out well during the rehearsal.

However, when all those people and their wide eyes fill the church....there's no way to know.

dum, dum, da, dum....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Video of the Day

I don't know who did this....but it's genius!

I also can't believe I used to be a fan of Kanye.....I hate when an artist lets themself get in the way of his or her talent. RIP Oasis.


How to Be Mother of the Century

Lose power for 15 consecutive hours.

Last Friday a terrible storm brought extreme winds, blinding rain, and more than a few downed powerlines. Needless to say, we spent the day at home, waiting for the electric company's promise of "one more hour" to actually be realized.

They were off by fourteen hours.

Sure it may be a less than desirable situatuion for your refrigerator and general water supply (we have a well....no power, no water), but it is truly amazing to see what happens when any access to a television or computer is denied.

Puzzles, games, 3,000 books, chasing, play-doh, dress-up.....all things we are likely to do at some point on any given day; just not one after the other.

I became the 100% mom.....and then I need a nice big glass of wine and some brain-deadening television come bedtime.

Quote of the Day

"Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." ~Robert Fulghum

Picture of the Day

Monday, September 14, 2009

Other People's Kids

Though I love to talk about the wonderments that are my own children (I dare any parent who feels otherwise), there are some pretty great kids out there that aren't exactly sharing my DNA....just my adoration for their own unique adorableness.

Take for example my lovely neighbor Lori and her middle son, Maximus.

Maximus is a tough little guy with unending energy, cat-like reflexes, and a perfect smile.

He's just a great kid (all three of her kids are, actually).

But here's the thing I love most about the mighty Maximus: As tough as he is, as athletic and energetic as he is, every time he gets so much as a bump or cut....no matter how little, he doesn't cry or scream....he just swiftly walks over to his mommy and waits for the obligatory feel better kiss. He doesn't say anything, he just extends the injuried appendage and waits.

It's the cutest thing.

He's not really hurt, or in need of medical attention. He just loves the comforts of his mom and her ready love. It takes just a second and a smile, and he's off again to take care of his kid business until the next wound sends him back.

Love it.

The Potty Chronicles

Since my experience in potty training my O was relatively easy, I fully expected that Joseph would be a licensed driver before he abandoned his dependence on diapers- that just seems to be the way parenting works.

Needless to say, my common mistake of underestimating my little guy once again revealed itself.

He was easier to train than O.....kind of.

After one morning, he knew exactly what to do and when to do it. After two days (and one accident at the always distracting park....where the poor slide will never be the same), he had mastered not only getting himself to a potty, but the always elusive art of "holding it". I couldn't have been prouder....even bragging a bit to anyone who hadn't seen the witnessed crime at the park.

Of course, bragging is always the kiss of death.

What my eagerness to believe and my mommy euphoria kept me from foreseeing was the all important passing of the poop. That has been, shall we say, not so easy.

He doesn't have accidents. He doesn't scream and cry. He doesn't do anything.....which is exactly the problem.

My little ray of sunshine has what we might call poop anxiety.

I know, I know.... who doesn't these days?

Nevertheless, my little keeper holds it as long as he can, hand over tush and full of squirmy dancing, before he finally gives in....an ordeal that takes entirely too long and too much pleading. Not only that, he'll maintain days of resistance before he cannot hold it anymore. Points for resilience, but horrible on all other counts.

So why share these trials in output? I'm looking for advice. The problem isn't about diet (he lives on blueberries, grapes, and water) and it isn't about accidents (he doesn't want to go anywhere).

The problem is simply about letting go.

Help, please.