Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Brother Abroad

I just finished watching "Taking Chance", the HBO film I posted about a few weeks ago (the trailer appears below), and to say that I'm emotional would be an understatement.

It was tough to get through, it was tough to digest, and now it's tough to get away from.

Having said that, I do think it is something that everyone should see.

Since the war in Iraq began, the casualty count has grown as our sensitivity to that number has waned. As with every day in a year, every man and woman's life cannot be truly be valued unless it is counted.

This movie counts one.

Please, please, please watch it if you can.

This is Day 39.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Go Girl?

I came across the following "product" designed for women on the go when they, quite literally, need to go. I was alarmed, curious, and then definitely bothered.


I mean, I HATE public restrooms to the point where I'll risk a bladder infection before entertaining certain public facilities, and that is a quality I inherited directly from my mother who has made it a personal mission to know every tolerable restroom in the greater DC area (Nordstrom is always a good choice).

Given that, this may be a more sanitary option....but just no.

No way.


To save my children....yes.

But everything, no, no.

Soul Lifter of the Day

Admittedly, this one made me well up a bit....

Click HERE for the story.

Quote of the Day

"Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own." -Aristotle

A Brother Abroad Meets Picture of the Day

Mike, The Maid, and Paul....already in uniform.

This is Day 38.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Brother Abroad

A moment of prayer.....

This is Day 37.

The Mommy Soundtrack

I thought of a new song to add to the Mommy meltdown soundtrack (joining "One Moment in Time", and "Let it Be").

"What's Going On?" by Marvin Gaye.

It came to me this morning when a naked Joseph almost made it into the garage and out into the free air (his mission in life). Now, I won't even bother to explain how such a thing could even potentially transpire (blame rests on the elder sibling and a mother who cannot properly pin down a 19 month old during diaper changes), but I suddenly found myself singing as I wrestled a wriggling, nude toddler before he made it to driveway:

"Mother, mother, there's too many of you cryin'.....Brother, brother. brother there's too many of you whining.....we've got to find a find some lovin' here todayyyeeeeeee."

I realize I tweeked the lyrics, but it worked like a charm.

Three songs down, 9+ to go....

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I picked O up at school today and we carried on our usual dialogue about the day's events. We reviewed who the star student was and how well he or she led the line, evaluated the books read and songs sung, and, most importantly, O dimed out her friends and whatever mischief they chose to involve themselves in....excluding her own, of course.

Today's conversation provided an interesting tidbit that I feel compelled to share.

Maid: That sounds like a great day. Anything else happen?

O: Guiliana went to the doctor.

Maid: She did? Was she sick?

O: She got a shot (worried expression reflected through the rear view mirror).

Maid: Oh, no. Well, I bet it helped her feel a lot better.

O: She got it for picking boogies (eyes now fixed firmly in my direction)

Maid: Oh, I see. Well, that can happen.

O: (Silent rumination)

A teachable moment? I can only hope....

Video of the Day

Confession Time

Sometimes I really wish I had a sister.

Sometimes I'm really glad I don't.

Existentialism and the Stay at Home Mom

As a mother of two and wife of one, a part-time freelancer and full -time cynic, a loyalist, an apologizer, a list maker, a self-proclaimed lover of lexicon, and a complete cornball, I might go so far as to say my cup is pretty full.

I love my kids, cherish my husband, adore my family, and, shocker of all shocks, having a blast in South Jersey.

So what could possibly be problematic?


More specifically, all the fabulous women I went to high school with who also now enjoy unique and very exciting job descriptions. One is saving the rain forests, spending as much time in South America as she does in Nueva York; another used to manage Jay-Z's entourage and is now a VH1 documentarian.

So what are you up to Maid?

I'm up to three hour naps, only one in diapers, and pretty reliable, resftul nights. Oh, and paper dolls....endless paper dolls.

To be clear, I am supremely happy....just insecure about my response to the typical Facebook reunion question: What are you up to these days?

It certainly isn't as bad as a real reunion (shout out to Photoshop), but the same pressures present themselves: validating your accomplishments, even if they amount to your daughter's ability to spell her name or your little man's ability to smack his own head every time another monkey falls off the bed.

I've decided to come up with a really extravagant and accurate description of my day. I love euphemisms, and now it's time to put them to work......

Let the image-shopping begin...

Quote of the Day

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Warning to My Neighbors

Now that Jospeh is a little older and not needing my attention as completely, O and I are back to daily baking.

Since I've learned from past transgressions, I will be actively packing up all baked goods and sending them out to anyone living within a walk.

And so to: Lori, Joan, the mailman, the migrant workers in the farm....prepare yourselves and plan your dental appointmens respectively.

I Watch American Idol: Feel Free to Hate on Me

General Comment: Apparently, B101 is now in charge of the contestants' song choices.

So here are the three I want to see advance:

Danny Gokey
Anoop Desai
Alexis Grace

Honorable Mention:
Jackie Tohn (I like the wacky)

The Worst:

Ann Marie Bojevich
Stevie Wright
Steven Fowler (He wasn't so bad that people want to try to keep him, but he was so not memorable).
Alex Wagner-Trugman (I have a hard time trusting a man with two last names)

Person Who Haunts My Dreams: Tatiana Del Torro

Quote of the night: "And the trousers like you, my friend."

A Brother Abroad: Joseph Loves Technology

For my brother Paul's first deployment, my sister-in-law Julie went out and got the whole family webcams through which to communicate with my brother.

The effect was amazing.

Though there was quite a bit of time when we could not contact him, every once in a while we were able to catch him and catch up. We could see his "can" and monitor his health. We could evaluate his spirits and send some of our own good ones his way.

Suddenly, Iraq didn't seem so far away.

On one night in particular, John was up with a then newborn Joseph in the late hours of the night, trying to convince him that our family likes to sleep when the sun is down. Accepting defeat, he logged on to the computer and decided to let Joseph's uncle share in the late night party.

From that time on, Joseph has had an interesting relationship with the laptop.

Once again, we are using the webcam to communicate with Paul, but we also use it with other family members, especially my parents. This is a great opportunity for Joseph to chat with one of his favorite people: Papa.

In fact, every time the laptop is open, Joseph starts shouting "Papa! Papa!" As if my father will somehow appear at his beckoning. Much like a guy hiding out in a suitcase, I think Joseph believes Papa lives inside the comuter, waiting to be summoned.

It's funny, and it's great all at the same time.

This is Day 36.

No, no....not slogging.....

Just some evil headaches that have me thinking that either glasses are in my future or a but plate for nightime teeth grinding.

I'm thinking the glasses would be more fashionable.....

FYI" "but plate" was a complete typo....I actually meant bite plate, but the mistake is too funny not to keep. What would a "but plate" even involve?

Quote of the Day

"Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old." --Mary H. Waldrip

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Brother Abroad

When it comes to priorities, my brother's wife and children have come first, the Corps a somewhat close second, and the New York Yankees a not so distant third.

As of this weekend, the first workouts are underway as is the media circus surrounding a certain third baseman.

Let the countdown for the boys of summer begin.

This is Day 35.

A Reliable Test

The following is a "test" designed for women considering the journey that is motherhood.

I found it pretty accurate.....

Mess Test

Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains.
Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Toy Test

Obtain a 55 gallon drum of LEGOs (if LEGOs are not available, you may (substitute roofing tacks). Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).

Grocery Store Test

Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Dressing Test

Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus (they turn bright red when they are unhappy). Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.

Feeding Test

Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug, while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Night Test

Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8-12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 p.m. begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 p.m. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 p.m. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00 a.m. Set alarm for 5:00 a.m. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for five years. Look cheerful.

Physical Test

Obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove ten of the beans.

Final Assignment

Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.

Moms on TV

I think I may have found a new show.....the greater question is, however, will I watch it for humor or co- misery?

Quote of the Day

"In some families, please is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was sorry." ~Margaret Laurence

Picture of the Day

Little Jessica demonstrates which if the following?
A) The effects of a recession on a little girl's wardrobe
B) A concscious decision to forego a plastic costume in favor of a more, "green", cardboard one
C) A father's desperate attempt to provide a Wall-E costume for his daughter that fell in love with the movie.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Brother Abroad

A little known fact about my wedding: my husband's cousin, Michael Manna, also happens to be Stevie Richards of WWE lore and served as the best man at our wedding.

Had he come in character, I imagine his toast would have been among the more memorable; but we were happy to have Michael and his touching tribute.

Having said that, this next little video comes via the WWE, one of many groups who take some time to send some love out to our troops.

This is Day 34.

Picture of the Day

Handpicked by Olivia the Great.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Brother Abroad

"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!" -M Gen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952

This is Day 33.