Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Brother Abroad

This is Day 80.

Headline of the Day

The Eagle-o-meter is down in the Deli household after hearing about the following story:

Brian Dawkins sent a gift to a former Eagles employee who got fired when the team let Dawkins go. The part-time employee who expressed his anger with the team's decision on Facebook, was promptly fired by the Eagles organization. In true Brian Dawkin's fashion, the class act sent a thoughtful gesture to the former employee.

Read the full story HERE.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Brother Abroad

The following picture, entitled "Take off" was one among many sent out by Drew Colligan, which I will post periodically.

This is Day 79.

Celebrity Baby Names

Jamie Oliver, more commonly known as "The Naked Chef", and his wife Jools (yes, that's the correct spelling) have welcomed their third baby girl into the world.

Now, I love to talk babies....but I think you know where this is going. Ahhh....the name.

What might these two Londoners have named their precious flower???

Why, they named her Petal Blossom Rainbow....of course!

Petal has not only been blessed with a super swell name, but she also joins her two sisters: Poppy Honey and Daisy Boo.

This is not a joke.

And since my creative juices aren't exactly bubbling today (the rain, my God, the rain!), I will just share the comments of another blogger who congratulated the happy parents- not on the birth of thier third baby- but their 3rd My Little Pony.


Guess Who: THE PREGNANCY Edition

Someone I know personally is pregnant!!!

And, NO, it is not me.

Who could it be?????

That's one thing I'll never tell.

You know you love me,


(And, yes, I know Liz Schmidt is about seven weeks from her due date.....I'm not THAT out of the loop!)

Confesison Time

I HATE starting the morning off with a time out.

I mean, I rarely give them because I'm not entirely convinced they consistently work. However, since the alternative would mean singing the entire score of Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits or locking myself in the laundry room for a good, primal scream, I'll occasionally opt for a time out for the parenting version of "taking your corners".

I don't get rattled by tantrums, it's usually just the whining that leads up to them that drives me to the crazies, but nothing beats beginning your morning, pre-coffee, with a Thunderdome sized tantrum.


More Creepiness....

To be clear, these series of posts are not about the dangers of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. I have no problem with the most of them, even if they do portray unrealistic expectations about love, good vs. bad, and the dangers of fruit....that's what fantasy is all about. These are stories of fantasy and imagination, one of the best parts of childhood. Am I going to show O the original Little Mermaid where Ariel considers killing the prince before she dies, becoming one with the foam of the sea....umm, not yet. But I have no problem with happily ever after, the traditional gender roles, yadda yadda yadda.

Instead, these posts are just about the stuff that creeps me out. The nursery rhyme "Clementine" is a perfect example of that. One of the songs on one of our kids CDs, I was happily singing along until I realized Clementine was drowing....and then he kissed the dead girl's sister.


All together now: "I don't remember that....."


In a cavern, in a canyon
Excavating for a mine
Lived a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter, Clementine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Light she was and like a fairy
And her shoes were number nine
Herring boxes without topses
Sandals were for Clementine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Drove she ducklings to the water
Every morning just at nine
Hit her foot against a splinter
Fell into the foaming brine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Ruby lips above the water
Blowing bubbles soft and fine
But alas, I was no swimmer
So I lost my Clementine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Then the miner, forty-niner
Soon began to peak and pine
Thought he oughta join his daughter
Now he's with his Clementine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

There's a churchyard on the hillside
Where the flowers grow and twine
There grow roses, 'mongst the posies
Fertilized by Clementine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

In my dreams she still doth haunt me
Robed in garlands soaked in brine
Though in life I used to hug her
Now she's dead, I draw the line

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Now you scouts may learn the moral
Of this little tale of mine
Artificial respiration
Would have saved my Clementine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

How I missed her, how I missed her
How I missed my Clementine
Till I kissed her little sister
And forgot my Clementine

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

With New Eyes

The monster conglomerate that is Disney has always employed a tricky marketing practice that involves releasing their classic movies in short stints of time so we all rush out and buy them, needing to own a copy of our childhood to pass on to our own children.

I'm a sucker for it every time.

So, when Pinocchio was recently re-released with all sorts of new features no one really cares about, my mother-in-law purchased it for the grandkids.

I have a vague remembrances of Pinocchio, but I don't think I've ever actually watched the movie straight through. I know the premise from books, and the images are familiar, but the full story is completely new to me....especially the whole subplot of the lost boys who are kidnapped, allowed to smoke cigars, drink beer, play pool, and call each other jackasses.

What the?

As I'm sitting there watching the movie with O, I keep catching myself say, "I don't remember this being in the movie..." and wondering if I'm turning into one of those old, brittle killjoys on Footloose, months away from forbidding dinner time dance parties and red cowboy boots.

In contrast, I love the movie Dumbo, even with the whole drunken elephants scene. So what if Dumbo and the mouse fall into a vat of champagne and get a mean case of the hiccups? It's a teachable moment for the reason why we don't ingest unknown substances....and Dumbo's so cute.

But Pinocchio is just creepy. I've attached a clip to give you a taste of what I'm talking about, though I have to promise myself not get all PC about every nursery rhyme and fairy tale....we could really have a field day deconstructing some of the classics.


FYI: The following scene shows the kidnapped kids turned into donkeys and then inspected for any signs of human behavior before being "approved" and sent off. The man in charge explains that, since they've had their fun (smoking, drinking, eating junk, playing on amusements), they now have to pay their due. A clear morality play that NO little kid would understand....they'll just have the bejesus scared out of them,

Headline of the Day: You Have GOT to Be Kidding

"CDC: Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Baby Formula"

Click HERE for the full article.

Quote of the Day

"Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born." -Erma Bombeck

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm Having Amanda-intheTrenches Reserve My Tickets Now

It's just been announced that the next Sex and the City movie will be hitting theatres on May 10th, 2010.

One year and counting....and I cannot wait!!!

One real question: What could they possibly come up with to match the first movie? Pregnancy? A Death? Mr. Big turns out to be a woman??

American Idol Results

Megan is OUT....and I am now 4 for 6!!!

Seriously, I should go to Vegas.

Here's the best part, all her snarkiness finally got its just desserts....they didn't even consider saving her.

Good riddance....

A Brother Abroad

The following is a Behind the Scenes clip from the Sesame Street "Coming Home" series, devoted to helping military families cope with the after-effects of war and the transition into home life.

This particular clip gives a little more insight into the people involved, while also providing a much greater appreciation for Queen Latifah.

For more information on this program, check out:

This is Day 78.

The Curious Incident of the Poop in the Slipper

Yesterday presented another great example of O's infamous tagline, "Mama, I've gotta tell the truth..." and, yes, it was a doozy. It involved a cast of characters (the least of which was poop) and a very aggravated mother who was prepared to call the CDC for a complete sterilization of the home until the truth presented itself and all was well.

So why not give you the details?

Well, I was all set to. I was typing away while watching American Idol, relaying each hysterical detail to our tales in excrement, when I watched one of the AI contestants, Megan Joy, make a complete fool out of herself.

Now, I get it, she's young and thinks it's better to pretend she doesn't care about the possibility of being voted off than confront the obvious rejection by viewers. However, I just kept thinking what her son would say when he is older and watches his mother behave like a moron.

Then I stopped typing.

Yes, I share a lot of family experiences on the blog, for good or for bad, but maybe I shouldn't share every one of them...especially the ones that may come back to them.

Everyone has that one jerk in her life who makes it his job to detract from his own miserable existence by constantly making fun of others. That person who never lets you forget that time you were running for the bus and tripped and fell in dog poop.

I know a lot of people who read this blog and I know that they are not the type of people to hammer my kids about something silly they did in the little years....but I also know not everyone is so nice.

So, when it comes to the stuff that might be really emabarassing (and isn't my embarassment...I'm happy to share), I think I'll keep some of that to myself.
No sense in lending material to the jerks who will use it against my precious ones when they're older.

But, boy oh boy, it was a doozy.

Quote of the Day

"My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint." -Erma Bombeck

Picture of the Day

Absurdity Meets Ridiculousness

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Brother Abroad

This morning Sesame Street aired a segment devoted specifically to military families coping with change as their loved ones return home. From physical injuries to PTSD, the show introduces a variety of families and a variety of struggles in an attempt to create some understanding and relatability to little ones who are grappling with similar realities.

Though the segment cannot be embedded, you can view the short clip by clicking HERE and watching it on YouTube.

A is very heartbreaking.

This is Day 77.

An April Fool

And, no, I don't mean the octuplets.....

Though I don't have time for the complicated post today, please tune in tomorrow for what I will call:

The Curious Incident of the Poop in the Slipper

Mama Fashionista: I'm Out

Just when I mastered the "winged eye liner look", I have been informed by fashion magazines that it is officially "out" with the spring season. In its place is the smudged, metallic bronze liner that always makes me look like I'm either heavily medicated or in a relationship that has Oprah telling me "Love doesn't hurt."

Needless to say....I just can't pull it off. In addition, I am still refusing to wear the gladiator sandals that stubbornly remain on the "In" list, as well as the maxi dresses that show no love for short people.

What I am excited about are the flowy tops, flattering wedge sandals, and the cute shorts that can be dressy.

FYI: Since it applies to so many of you, feathers are officially OUT.

Checking Myself

So I have been whining more than a little bit about my sleepless wonder and perhaps it's time to step away from what is really just a little discomfort and put myself in check a bit.

He woke up this morning at 5:45....and it's all good.

His nap yesterday was only 2.5 hours, he stayed up until 8, and he was well fed and unburdened by burgeoning teeth. Despite that, he still decided to start his day nice and early and that is perfectly okay with me.

Here's why:

Yesterday, I spent a whole morning with a friend who has inarguably had the most difficult year of her life. She's had to cope with a terrible loss, the kind of loss that completely and unfairly alters the course of your life and your perspective on it. It is one of the worst things imaginable.

And I'm complaining about not getting an extra hour of sleep.

Needless to say, this friend of mine still manages to smile every time I see her, she laughs easily and often, and she consistently and completely showers her little boys with the best kind of love: a mother's love.

She does what I don't think I ever could, and she makes it look effortless.

Consider my perspective checked.

I Watch American Idol: Feel Free to Hate on Me

Just a mention, I always write my comments as the contestants are performing so I won't be influenced by the judgery......

Anoop: Underwhelming

Megan Joy: She looked as uncomfortable as I felt...

Danny Gokey: Great song choice....and pretty emotional, all things considered. Sweet.

Allison Iraheta: AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have NEVER said this (and I'm a No Doubt fan): It was better than the original. Who cares what she was wearing???

Scott McIntyre: Looked great, sounded okay, and made me want to take a nap.

Matt Giraud: Great song...tricky delivery. I really, really liked it, but I'm not sure everyone will.

Lil Rounds: Someone needs to pick her songs for her. It felt like Star Search.

Adam Lambert: He is unbelievably talented...and I just don't love him. I can't get passed people who are so apparently in love with themselves.

Kris Allen: After that fantastic rendition, I may, just may take his calls. FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!

My Top Three:

Kris Allen
Allison Iraheta
Danny Gokey

Who is Headed for See Ya: Megan Joy

Best Moment of the Night: Randy's hug from Lil Rounds' baby. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

Over / Under: How many shows until Abdul's breasts actually fall out in her attempt to compete with Kara?

Kerfluffle of the Night: Kara referring to Adam's performance as Studio 57.

AND one more thing.....Am I the only one watching this season???? Comments????

Great News

I'm pregnant with octuplets.

Quote of the Day

"A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday." ---Erma Bombeck

Picture of the Day

Only one of them completed the project sans profanity.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Brother Abroad

With the help of my little guy, Uncle Paul's April care package is complete. We picked some of the usual suspects, along with some choice holiday selections.

This leads to a very intriguing question:

Do Marines like Peeps???

Let's hope so....

This is Day 76.

Dear Resident of Both Arizona and Evil,

I hope you enjoyed your extravagant purchases at the always necessary merchandisers, Game Stop and The Sunglass Hut. I am sure you were just trying to stimulate the economy with the help of my credit card number and I'm so happy I could be of assistance.

May you trip while playing DDR and accidentally impale yourself on those overpriced and probably tacky sunglasses.

Love and Venom,

The Maid

Excitement All Around

I don't know who's more excited about the latest news: the bride and groom, me, or Olivia the flower girl.


My little miss has been asked to sprinkle flowers down the aisle as I excite over the dress possibilities.

Not only that, the bride and groom may just have the most unique if not circuitous love story I've ever heard.

For the full story, click HERE.

For the Love of Sleep: The Results Are In

So I cut his nap short by almost an hour, I put him down at regular time, and I made certain that any other factors that may result in an early rising were averted (e.g. leaky diaper, hungry tummy, etc.) Barring an extra tooth or a tractor actually entering the house, there would be nothing other than his little clock that could lead to an early morning.

What I didn't expect was his sister's early rising. She who had no nap, went down with a full tummy and empty bladder, and by all accounts should have slept to at least 6:30, decided to begin her morning at 5:30.

She was quiet, she crept into our room, and she cozied up to wait for the mandatory 6:00 to appear on the clock before she's allowed to even think about going downstairs.

At 5:35 the tell-tale sound came from yonder crib on the other side of the house:

"Mama, Dada."

Now what?

Other than an entire pot of coffee and the momentary nervous breakdown?

The Quest For Sleep

True to my promise, I woke my son up from his nap right before it hit the three hour mark (which meant he lost almost a whole hour of sleep), and he was not happy.

A grumpy afternoon ensued, followed by a big dinner (no need to have hunger pains stirring him early from sleep), and a usual bedtime of 7:30.

Will it work? Could it be the trick? Will it require many days of new sleep training?

I'll let you know...

Quote of the Day

"As soon as you have your baby, nobody cares about you anymore. They just want to make sure you don't sit next to them on the plane." -Amy Poehler

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Brother Abroad

Keeping it light.....

This is Day 75.

It Would Be Very Hard For Me Not To Punch Her in the Face

As most of you know, New England Patriots Quarterback and Stetson spokesman (hehehe), Tom Brady, left his pregnant girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan to go frolick with supermodel and overall annoying bikini girl, Gisele Bundchen.

As you might imagine, there have been reports that Moynahan is not a big fan of Gisele and still feels some serious resentment toward the philandering father of her little son. Completely understandable.

BUT, to make matters worse, moron model had this to say about the son Moynahan shares with Brady in a recent interview with Vanity Fair:

"I understand that he has a mom, and I respect that. But to me, it's not like because somebody else delivered him, that's not my child – I feel it is, 100 percent. I want him to have a great relationship with his mom, because that's important, but I love him the same way as if he were mine. I already feel like he's my son, from the first day. He's a little angel – the sweetest, most cuddly, loving baby. I feel blessed to have him in my life."

Now, I don't know Bridget or her own credentials as far as integrity goes (she may be a horrible person who did evil things to Brady, giving him good reason to flee). Regardless, if a woman came along and stole the affections of my child's father, and then had the bravado to sit around in lingerie and publically claim some ownership to my child as well....well, I may not be responsible for my reaction.

Is Gisele crazy? Narcissistic? Both???


I never watch Jimmy Kimmel (did I mention what time my children wake up???), but these segments are pretty funny.....

The Truth Hurts

As my daughter advances in age, so too do her advances in other things: comprehension (I seriously have to watch what I say on the phone), independence (She can do everything BY HERSELF), and deceit.

That's little sweetness is gradually becoming an astute little liar. Now, I realize I am going to set myself up for more than a few comments (especially from family members), but there's a good chance the trickery chip came right from my DNA contribution. Nevertheless, we are aware of it and have been consistently conversing with her about the importance of truth telling.

And it's really working.....sort of.

It seems her interest in the truth is not only passionate, but also completely removed from her own self-awareness.

For example, this morning, while I was scrambling to make beds and get dressed while the two hooligans played quietly in her room, I heard Olivia's little feet pitter pat to my attention with the following news:

"Mommy, Mommy, I have to tell the truth."

"Okay," I respond, bracing myself for any host of revelations, "What is it?"

"Joseph's in the sink!"

And he was. Having moved her stool to the bathroom sink, my little guy managed to pull himself up on the vanity and hang out in the sink while brushing his teeth with the Joseph-forbidden, flouride infused Diego toothpaste.

I was glad she alerted me....he's very sneaky. But still, the truth telling really amounts to the confessions on behalf of others, not herself.

I've learned about all the terrible things her classmates do all because, as she says in all her grand martyrdom, "Mommy, I have to tell the truth... guess what Lucas did?"

My usual reaction to this is, "And what about you? Anything you want to tell me?"

"I dunno know," she replies with a shoulder shrug, before darting off to check on her brother.

There is no way she'll ever be left home alone as a teenager.


On Saturday night we attended a fabulous party, hosted by fabulous people, and, as a result, put our kids to be at the fabulous time of 8:30 PM.

Now, like most parents, we foolishly assume that by putting the little ones to bed later, they'll sleep later.

Joseph woke up Sunday morning at 4:50.

And that's just not crying, wimpering, he'll put himself back to sleep stuff.

He laughed as he called out "Mama, Dada!"

Best to call out both names to increase the likelihood of one or both of us coming to get him, which we do because, let's face it, we certainly don't want to kids wide awake before 5 AM.

It worked. O "slept in" until 5:30.

What is going on here???????

I think I finally have to do what I've been dreading with my little sugar bear: the naptime hibernations might need to be interrupted.

He's been averaging 3.5-4 hour naps....and since you never wake a baby, I haven't.

But now, I think I have to.

Any thoughts from anyone with a similar experience?

Seriously, it's awful.

My Dad is a Genius of the Day

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,3 21
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Q.. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?A. Obsession
Q. If you were to spell out numbers,
how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?

A.. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?A. All were invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

Quote of the Day

"Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. "Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?" Don't you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?" Wasn't there any change?""Erma Bombeck

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Brother Abroad

The first time I was ever scared for my brother (aside from a few instances when our father had discovered some misbehavior) was when he decided to take up wrestling for the high school team.

Vision Quest was in the movies and, much like the Top Gun effect, so many young guys wanted to be Matthew Modine, replete with unhealthy weight management, boiler room sweats and cool hair.

My brother couldn't wait to try out and, fortunately, had my dad's own experience on the mat to instruct him in a few pointers.

Needless to say, my brother picked up on it quickly (both my brothers are absurdly athletic and seem to be good at everything) and he was wrestling varsity right away.

My mother was less than thrilled.

Anyway, as the season got underway, my mother and I headed to the high school for one of his first matches. I can still remember the rancid smell of the gym, the penetrating echo of the whistles, and the shocking images of men in tights.

I also remember feeling a little nervous for Paul as the match before his got underway. Knowing he would follow, I paid close attention to what was happening, wondering how it could potentially hurt and hoping with all hope that Paul's opponent would prove inferior.

It never got to that point.

As the match before Paul's neared its end, one of the wrestlers threw the other over his hip, causing him to fall flat on his extended arm. The crowd gasped, the wrestler's face blanched, and then we all felt sick as we watched the now crumpled arm unfold.

To get the most accurate idea of what happened: extend your arms so that they form a "T" with your body. Now, slowly try to move one arm against your back without bending.

You can't. And you shouldn't.

The young wrestler was rushed to the hospital with a severe dislocation, as well as a break.

And Paul was next to go.

I'll never forget how scared I was for him at that moment.

This is Day 75.