Thursday, November 29, 2007


It's 8:30 a.m. Grace is still asleep. I want to go and make sure that she is still breathing, but I know that this is irrational and will only wake her up. Brad took a crying Sam to school. He doesn't normally cry about going to school, but today, well today the kid is tired. You see he's been up since 5:30 a.m. He came into our room and announced that he was soaking wet. I don't have a problem with that, it's a legitimate reason to get out of bed. After I changed him he wanted to go downstairs. I said no and let him climb in bed with us. Mind you, he had already been in my bed two other times last night...needless to say, he didn't go back to sleep. He tossed and turned and pretended to snore. At 6 o'clock I brought him downstairs and gave him chocolate milk and a granola bar.

So anyways, I thought I'd use this quiet time to write Sam a letter.

Dear Sam,

I love you more than you can imagine. So many things about you are absolutely perfect. Your smile, your sense of humor, the way you sing (yell) songs. Love it. You're kind and thoughtful, smart and inquisitive and extremely strong willed. You also SUCK at sleeping, and that's what this letter is about.

I look forward to the day many years from now when you LOVE sleeping in. There's a good chance that by then, I'll be in menopause and unable to sleep myself. I can't wait to come in your room at 1:00 a.m. and cuddle up next to you. I'll snore for sure and unfortunately, two in your bed will be kind of squishy so I'll probably kick you and elbow you in the head a few times. You'll probably kick me out after about twenty minutes, but don't worry I'll be back at least one more time! You'll hear me jump out of bed and then the pitter patter of my feet as I run to your room, so you'll be prepared! Then at around 5:00 a.m. I'll come in and announce "Sam, I'm having a hot flash. Wanna come downstairs and watch a show with me?"

I just can't wait!
Love, Mom

In case you were concerned, it's 8:42 and Grace is SCREAMING!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Santa, please get it right!

I grew up in a home where we didn't believe in Santa. Never.

I always thought that my kids would grow up the same way. I'm not sure what happened, but we have Santa. I'm pretty sure he snuck in here without us ever inviting him or mentioning his name. Sam believes. He believes with everything in him. That being said, we haven't really talked that much about what he wants for Christmas and we certainly haven't written a letter to Santa. I did however sign up with our towns Parks and Rec department to have Santa call the house. He has been instructed to tell Sam that he cannot deliver presents to three year old who do not poop on the potty. (I swear to God, I put that on the form.)

Tonight he was looking at a toy catalogue. I noticed that he looked a little bit concerned.

"What's wrong buddy?"

"I'm really afraid mommy."

"What are you afraid of?"

"Mommy, what if Santa gets it all wrong and doesn't bring the right stuff? What if he brings things I don't want?"

Hmmmm...what if he does?

Jesse Tree

Although I grew up in a Christian home, using a "Jesse Tree" as a way to celebrate Advent is new to me. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a set of 28 ornaments that each depict a Bible story leading up to the birth of Christ. Each day, you tell the story and display the ornament. It's a wonderful way to share the true meaning of Christmas with your children while counting down the days to Christmas.

Although Advent has not started, I wanted the last ornament on our tree to go up on Christmas day, so we started yesterday. Sam loves it. This morning while eating breakfast he asked, "Mommy can you tell me about God and then we'll hang an ornament on the tree?"

The story was about Adam and Eve and the ornament depicts an apple with a serpent. Sam had lots of questions;

"Mommy, why they disobey God?"

"Did they get a spanking?"

"Why the snake talked to them?"

"Was God really mad when they were bad?"

I answered the best I could but was a little unprepared for the next set of questions.

"Mommy, where did they live?" to which I replied, "The Garden of Eden."

"Mommy, where do the Wiggles live?" and just like that, it was over and we were on to something else.

Stay knock off Pottery Barn, made by me, Jesse Tree is just waiting to be photographed...I am becoming very crafty!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nothing like cousins!

Brad's sister Cathy and her twins Benjamin and Stephen were here from Long Island for Thanksgiving. Sam had so much fun playing with them. Once again, I find myself wishing that we had more family close by...

Breakfast of Champions

Brad and I are tired. Between our two kids, we wake up three to four times each night. So when Sam comes in at 6:15 and announces that he wants to go downstairs and watch his shows, we send him down and come back to bed. If Brad gets up, he usually just opens the safety gate and sends him down. If it's me, I go down with him and get him a drink and a yogurt or granola bar. This morning, Brad got up with him. It's always interesting to see what Sam made himself for breakfast on the mornings that Daddy sends him down. I have found bags of baby carrots on the floor, empty yogurt tubes with the ends gnawed off (because as Sam points out, "They're really hard to open.") and up to four empty juice boxes. This morning I found an open bag of tortilla chips.

I said, "Wow Sam, I see you helped yourself to some chips.....and made quite a mess."

He replied, "Sorry mommy. I tried to take care of it."

Puzzled, I looked closer. He had tried to tape the torn bag with scotch tape. Kudos to you for being able to find the tape buddy. I've been looking for it for days. Oh yeah, I'm glad you didn't think to get the salsa.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How stinkin' cute is this?

Believe it or not, it's hard to shop for a one year old girl! She's still too young for all the girlie toys and she's actually pretty happy playing with a truck or say, an old newspaper. But can't you just picture her tooling around in this? I found it on Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles. It's not cheap so I'm hoping I win it here!

Tutu Hits

I can't believe how many hits my blog gets every day from people who have googled "pretty tutu", "colorful tutu", "girlie tutu", "fabulous tutu" get the point....

So, I thought I'd go ahead and put it out there. If you happened upon my blog because you are in the market for a fabulous, pretty, colorful and very girlie tutu, I would be happy to make one for you. I'll charge much less than any of the online tutu stores and promise to have it to you by Christmas. If you are one of the tens of people who regularly read my blog, let me know if you'd like one....I might just send you one...I'm nice like that.


Last year, Sam loved the idea of Santa but was terrified of the man himself. I remember driving to the mall before Christmas and telling Sam that Santa would be there. His face lit up, "Can I talk to Satan?" (Not a typo...he couldn't say "Santa") I promised that he could. He talked about it nonstop until we got about ten feet away from jolly old Saint Nick. Sam started crying and yelling, "I don't wanna see Satan, I don't wanna talk to Satan....!"

Christmas morning was equally memorable. When I heard Sam up and playing in his room I snuck out of bed to turn the tree lights on. From the bottom of the stairs I called, "Sam, come see! Santa came!" I heard the pitter patter of his little feet as he ran from his room. Then he peaked around the corner and asked in a very worried voice, "Is Satan gone?"

This year I thought it would be different. Sam is after all a very tough almost 3.5 year old! Tonight we went to the mall (Trying to kill time before was that kind of day.) Sam was very excited to talk to Santa...until we got about ten feet away from him. He turned and looked at us and said in a very quiet little voice, "Can we just go right by him?"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday...

We get the Boston Globe on Sundays. Yesterday, there was a complimentary copy at the end of our soon as I picked it, I knew why they were giving them away. It weighed about five pounds and was four inches thick...full of fliers for all of the Black Friday sales.

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love a bargain and am really good at finding them. I must admit, the adds got my blood rushing...Disney movies regularly priced $14-19 for $4. GPS systems for 70% off. Leather jackets 80% off. Toys for almost free. Coupons for 50% off any item... it's a bargain shoppers dream! I thought that I was done shopping for my kids, but at these prices, I can afford to buy them more!

Brad and I both drooled over the adds for flat screen TV's. While we were comparing prices, something see, I have ALWAYS said that I don't want a big TV in our living room. I don't want it to be the focal point of the room or of our lives. However, the adds were soooo enticing, the deals too good to pass up...a huge, flat screen, HDTV regularly $2000 for $ can you NOT buy it? Of course, they only have four per store and the stores open at 4 a.m....but what if you are one of the four lucky ones?

I started to feel a little sad. You see, although I don't want a big TV, if Brad really wanted to get one, I wouldn't tell him he couldn't. I'm sure he'd like one, in fact, I know it. The reason we haven't taken the plunge is that the TV we have is totally adequate. Someday, I'm sure it will die and we will likely replace it with something bigger and more hi-tech, but for now, it's fine. Furthermore, we don't have an extra $2000 or even $700 to spend on something that we don't need. I started wondering how many people would be waiting out in the cold this morning to get a "great deal". How many people will be spending money they don't have on things that they don't need?

I don't want the true meaning of Christmas to ever be lost on my kids. I never want them to think of Christmas in terms of all the things that they get. I want them to know first and foremost that it is Jesus birthday and yes, they get presents but the presents from us are nothing compared to the gift that was given that day, so long ago in Bethlehem.

I'll always love a bargain, but I draw the line at Black Friday. I will not participate. There is nothing that I or anyone I know needs so badly that I will brave the cold and the crowds to purchase. If I can't afford it at the regular price, wouldn't have thought to buy it at full price, or wouldn't want it if I had to pay full price, than we won't be seeing it under our tree or ever. Boston waisted that free copy on me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

As predicted....

Gracie's walking!

Shortly after dinner Grace started walking. She got up and tool a few steps. We all went nuts!She got up again and walked around the room and then turned and came back. The best part is that she was holding the telephone up to her ear and "talking". She wouldn't walk without it....such a girl.

Other highlights from our Thanksgiving...stomach bug. Sam took a nap at 10:30 this morning....strange...but I didn't think much of it. He woke up crying that his stomach hurt. He ate a carrot. On the way to my in laws he threw that carrot up all over the back of the car.

I hate throw up....I hate it so much that I almost didn't have any children for fear of having to clean up throw up...but this wasn't bad! Looked just like carrot that had gone threw the food processor, and it didn't smell.

We talked about going home but decided to go and drop off the carrot casserole. Sam wanted to go so badly that he offered to "hide so no one gets sick". Nobody cared that he was sick so we stayed....Sam had some grape juice...and 30 seconds later threw it up all over grandmas's been a few hours and he seems okay....crossing my fingers, cause I can't deal with puke in the middle of the night!

Happy Thanksgiving

It looks like pea soup here...really grey and dreary, but not as cold as it's been. I just hung up with my mom...I really wish I could be in CT right now....most of the time, two hours doesn't seem too far, but today, I feel a little homesick. I'm thankful for my wonderful family, more specifically, I'm thankful that I have a family that I love to spend time with.

We're heading over to Brad's parents in a little while...Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

P.S. Mom, will you stick some pecan pie in the freezer for me? Please...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Almost walking!

Tonight Grace started standing up without using something to pull up on and took a few steps. She was so proud! Unfortunately, the moment was much too fast and even with my new camera, I missed it. I have a feeling that she will be walking when she wakes up in the morning.

A week of Thankgiving...Day 3 (Thanksgiving Recipe)

When I was a junior in college, I went on a short term missions trip to Honduras. It was the first (and only) time that I visited a third world country. We stayed in a small village. We slept in a building made out of cinder blocks with a cement floor...grand accommodations compared to the mud and grass huts that the villagers lived in. While we were there, we worked with the local people to build a church/community center.

The thing that I remember most about the trip is how generous the people were. The same people who watched us eat our dinner with hunger in their eyes, would bring us fruit and bread all day long. The children played with things like old bicycle tires and sticks with string tied to them as if they were the most wonderful toys in the world.

We weren't supposed to share our food or give the people anything because in the past when this happened, hundred and hundreds of people had come from miles away hoping to get food and medical attention. When they learned that there were not provisions like this available, the atmosphere had become dangerous and there had nearly been a riot. Several of us washed our clothes and left them in trees to dry hoping that the people would take them. They hung for days and nobody touched them. We were so this country people who have plenty steal and yet these people who were wearing nothing but rags and desperately needed things, did not.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and as I look through my recipe box for the recipe for a very indulgent carrot casserole, I find myself thinking about that place that I visited over 13 years ago....and I am thankful.

I am thankful that I live in the United States, a land of plenty. A land where most of the poor have much more than the people I met in Honduras (I understand that there are many homeless in this country...I have worked as an advocate for the homeless...I am not making light of the many social problems that exist in this country). A land where there is medical care and it is accessible. IA land where grocery stores never have empty shelves. A land where most children only go to bed hungry because they chose to not eat their dinner.

With that, here is my carrot recipe. If it's too late to make it for Thanksgiving, than you MUST try it for Christmas. It is amazing!

Carrot Casserole
1 lb sliced, cooked carrots
2T flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t Cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 c butter
1 c milk
3/4 c sugar
Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree'. Put in baking dish, bake at 350 for one hour or until firm.
I usually double the recipe....make two separate batches and bake it in the same large pie plate.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A week of Thankgiving...Day 2

Last night my friend Kathy called and asked if I could watch her kids while she went to the dentist this afternoon. Without hesitation I said yes. I'm really thankful that I have friends who know that they can call me at the last minute when they need help. I know I can call them too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A week of Thankgiving...Day 1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1)

At the end of the day, when my kids are in bed and my house is quiet I can look at my life and feel incredibly blessed. I have two beautiful and healthy children. They are sweet and curious and funny. Sometimes I find being their mommy hard, but I can't imagine my life without them. They bring me so much joy.

I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend. I trust him completely. I never doubt his love or commitment to me or our family. He is a good provider and a man of faith. He makes me laugh, he encourages me, he's my rock.

We live in a part of the state where housing prices are ridiculous....1/2 million gets you a nice starter home...and yet, we are lucky enough to have our own home. It's by no means a dream house, but it's ours and I think it's beautiful.

I don't have to worry about how I will pay for groceries or put gas in my car. I can turn the heat up if it feels chilly. We have plenty of clothes. My kids have lots of toys. I can buy Christmas presents without worrying about how I will pay other bills.

Compared to many people in this country and certainly is this world, my life is so good. But like I said, I tend to only be able to see this at the end of the day. During the day, in the midst of all the chaos, poopy diapers, laundry and talking back I rarely feel thankful. If I'm honest, I have to admit that the way I feel is exactly the opposite of thankfulness...I feel discontent. I throw my arms in the air and scream (in my head, not out loud) "IS THIS REALLY MY LIFE?" Can it be that the smart, funny and pretty girl that I once was has become this crabby, tired woman wearing sweats?

I don't want to be like that. So small and so selfish. How come it's so hard to see the big picture in the light of day?

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Merry Christmas to me!

Guess what Momma got yesterday? This!!! Now I just have to learn how to use it...which is a little more complicated than I thought it would be...


Sam ran into the kitchen while we were having breakfast yelling, "Come quick, you gotta see my boy!" Sam often talks about "His boy". I think that the boy is some sort of an imaginary friend, so I was anxious to finally meet him...This is what he showed us...His first drawing that actually looks like something more than scribbles! He was so proud of himself and we were so proud of him. He explained that it is Arthur and pointed out his arms, legs and glasses. Not bad, is it?
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Baby it's cold outside.....

Sam saw his first lighthouse was very exciting, and very cold. We stayed for less than ten minutes. The thermometer in the car said 42 degrees, but on the water with the wind it couldn't have been much more than 30! Home we went for hot chocolate and Dunkin Donuts...

Over his head....

Brad was holding Grace a little while ago. He started laughing and when I asked what was so funny he said that he's just read Gracie's shirt. Sam asked what it said and we told him. His response? "A surprise like this?" as he pulled down his pants and showed us his little wanker.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007


Most of you know that in addition to being an attorney, my husband buys and flips properties to support our family. It's been a while since he's done this. The real estate market is slower than it was last year and the year before that and we've had a project or two that didn't go as well as we'd hoped.

At the end of the summer Brad found a two family house that was part of an estate sale. We were able to buy it at a very low price. The margins were so good that it seemed that it would be impossible not to make money. Without boring you with too many of the details, there was an issue with the properties title that was discovered just before the closing. We weren't sure if we should still buy it. As an attorney, my husband knew that it wasn't that big of a deal. However, a potential buyer might not see it that way.

For the first time since we've been doing this, Brad and I sat down and prayed together about the property. We prayed for wisdom and that God would bring the right buyer and that we would be able to sell it quickly. I prayed and have been praying that we would sell it on the first day. We bought the property.

We converted the building into condos and put the first unit on the market in October. At the first open house, Brad received a near full price offer on the unit that was not even renovated. The unit did not have walls and someone bought it! A week later, the completed unit went under agreement.

God's hand in this is so clear to me. Our prayers were so specific and they have been specifically answered. The real estate market is still slow. There are a lot of condos for sale in the area. One of our buyers looked at 11 units in one afternoon and chose ours. That's God. Nobody can convince me otherwise.

I'm thankful and I'm humbled. Far to often I try to do it all on my own. I don't ask for wisdom or guidance. I don't ask for strength and I fail. Over and over, I fail. More than the money that we will make, I needed this reminder that God is BIG. He's watching, he's paying attention, he's in control and he wants to give us good things. I'm not just talking about money... rest and joy, patience and contentment are all there for the asking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I wonder where he gets it?

Sam has been really hard this week. Constantly testing and pushing the limits to see what he can get away with. I think that I've been pretty good about following through with consequences and such, but lately he just doesn't seem to care. He acts like he doesn't hear me. I feel like Charlie Brown's teacher, "Mwa, mwa, wa, wa, wa...." You get the idea, right?

Lat night he found himself in bed at 6:20. He was taking a bath with Grace and splashing water everywhere. I asked him to stop. He kept splashing. I told him to stop or he would have to get out. He kept splashing. He was removed from the tub. He had a FIT!!!! Stamping his feet, screaming, shrieking....he was told to stop or he would go to bed. He didn't stop and to top it off, he hit me....

Tonight after he ate dinner he was bouncing around the kitchen with a balloon. Brad told him to stop. He didn't. So I leaped out of my chair, grabbed the balloon and a steak knife....Sam was stunned. I don't think he could wrap his little brain around what had just happened...I think Brad was stunned too....Not my finest parenting moment but it felt soooooo good!

Later on Sam was playing with another balloon. I walked into the room and Sam ran in the corner and yelled, "Mommy, I'm being good. Please don't stab this balloon!" I felt like mommy dearest...."No more wire hangers!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas is coming....Lead free gift ideas!

Today was 34 degrees. The sky was grey and it looked like it could snow....As I drove to the grocery store with my kids this morning, random thoughts crossed my mind....where the heck did the last year go? Was it really 80 degrees six weeks ago? Holy cow, Christmas is six weeks away!

A few years ago, we stopped buying gifts for our siblings....if just felt too stressful. Nobody is rolling in extra cash, and quite frankly nobody really needs anything. We all have closets full of clothes and homes full of, as we get older, I've found that it's harder and harder to buy the right thing...every one's size and style has changed....

We do buy for the kids though. This year, I'm finding that to be a bit stressful too...okay, maybe not stressful, but certainly confusing and thought provoking. Every time you turn on the news there's a new toy on the recall list. Lead paint and other toxic chemicals seem to be on (in?) just about everything. If you walk down any toy aisle in Target you will see a minimum of three recall notices....what's a mom to do?

This year, I will either be making or buying handmade and lead free gifts. The little girls in my life are getting custom made tutu's. Although they are a bit labor intensive, they are inexpensive to make and they look adorable on...I can't wait to get pictures of all my nieces together in colorful tutu's!

I love Etsy. If you've never checked it out, you should. It's completely addictive....I for one, can spend hours browsing. Some of my favorites sellers for kids items are:

Joyce makes the most adorable Waldorf Dolls

Tiddlywinks the cutest dolls and animals...she's having a sale right now!

Grandpa's Woodshop sells beautiful handmade puzzles with a non toxic finish (what little boy wouldn't love this fire truck?). Nature's Enchantment sells wonderful Waldorf inspired toys. The miniature fairies and fairy houses are so sweet. I wish Grace was old enough to play with them! You must check out the Chenille Chef. She makes the yummiest looking play food. I want it all...but alas, Grace is just one years old and if I buy it for Sam....well Grace will never have anything but hand me down toys.

For the grownups on your list Dragonflies sells beautiful marble magnets, coasters and aprons. She is wonderful to work with and the quality of her products will not disappoint. Brag Bags is another great shop. She makes very reasonably priced photo jewelry. I had a bracelet made for my mom and for myself for Mother's Day. There isn't much listed right now, but check out the items that she's sold.

If you are not making a commitment to give hand made this year (the more I think about it, I know that I probably will have to buy some store bought gift...they will be lead free though!), I have one fail proof gift idea. Season three of The Office. If you don't have seasons one or two than those would be just as good! If you are not a fan, you will be! There's something Seinfeldish about can just pop in an episode and no matter how many times you've seen it, it's still hilarious.

For's what I'm hoping to find under the tree.....I really don't expect my husband (or want him to) to make me a gift!
For more great gift ideas, check out The Christmas Shopping Carnival at Don't Try This at Home.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

He's an old soul

The other day I was talking to a friend and they said that they thought that Sam was "an old soul." I've never thought of him as such. Funny, yes. Incredibly cute, yes. Curious and adventurous, yes. A royal pain in my times...yes. But an old I've never thought of him that way.

Last night we (Brad and Sam) were watching a little ESPN before bed. There was a story about Theo Epstein's "next move" with lots of footage of the Sox. Although we live about forty minutes from Fenway, deep in Red Sox nation, my husband is a New Yorker and a Red Sox hater. Me, I could really give a flying leap...if there was never another baseball game played, I wouldn't be sad, I wouldn't miss it, in fact I might not even notice. Sam, well apparently Sam "loves the Red Sox".

"Daddy, I love the Red Sox. Do you?"


"Oh, you like the Ankees?"

"Yeah buddy, I like the Yankees."

"Oh, I see. I don't like the Ankees. I like Red Sox. The Red Sox play in Boston. Yeah, Boston, now that's a beautiful city! Boston, it's got trains and drugstores (I had no idea that he shared his passion for trains with drugstores...) and all kinds of great stuff. It's really beautiful there."

He sounded so serious. So like my grandpa..."Boston, now that's a beautiful city..." I guess maybe he is an old soul.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Blowing Kisses...

Today while we were having lunch, I started blowing kisses to Grace, hoping she might catch cute would that be? I blew one is Sam's direction. He caught it and then with his clenched fist held high said, "Now I'm going to throw it in the trash!". I acted hurt. He said, "Blow me another one mommy!' So I did. Again, he caught it and then marched right over to the trash can...."I'm throwing this one away too!" Oh how I love having a little boy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mom's night out...AKA....Multitasking

I was one of the last in my group of friends to get married and have children. In fact, three short years ago I was just about the only one in our group who didn't have kids....We refer to that era as the good old days....Brad and I lived in an ocean front condo. We had a boat and kayaks thirty yards from our front door. We went on vacations and slept in on the weekends. We could have sex whenever we wanted and for as long as we wanted because there was no fear that someone would wake up crying or turn up at the side of the bed looking to cuddle. Back then, I cooked wonderful meals and if I didn't feel like cooking we ordered takeout or ate at one of the many restaurants in the seaside town that we lived in.

I'm pretty sure if one of my "mommy" friends had told me that they were getting together with other mommies to make meals that they could take home and freeze, I would have rolled my eyes and thought, "Wow, how can you possibly control your excitement...that sounds about as much fun as a root canal..."

Fast forward three years....can you guess who organized a cooking gathering and has been looking forward to it for weeks? Yup, that would be Moi! You know why I did it? Another friend organized one a few weeks ago and I didn't register in time to get food. Even though I couldn't make anything, I STILL WENT just to get out of my house. I watched ten women make meals....just for fun. The food looked so amazing that I went home and reserved a night for my friends and I had no trouble getting eight women together to join me for a night of cooking bliss.

I know that there are chains that are similar to what I did last night...but this isn't a chain and I'm not sure that there is anything out there that can rival the quality and variety that is offered. The owner Karen, is a chef and a mom who understands how difficult it can be to make healthy and delicious meals for your family. All of the ingredients are organic. When possible, vegetables and fruits are purchased from local organic farms. All of the meat and poultry are grain fed and hormone free. She does not use farm raised fish. Best of all, all the prep work is done and the menu is gourmet! Last night I "made"

Herb Rubbed Steak with Olive Provencal, served with Orzo
Curried Potato, Spinach and Lentil Stew, served with pitas and cucumber raita
Glazed Stuffed Roast Loin of Pork (stuffed with apples, cranberries herbs and spices)
Athenian Orzo with Shrimp, served with Foccacia
Maple Thyme Roasted Chicken
and for comfort, Chicken Pot Pie
Three years ago, I wouldn't have been interested in this and wouldn't have believed that it could be fun....but it was. It was great to spend time with the girls and without our kids. I can't remember the last time that I cooked without someone yanking on my leg. I can't remember the last time that I enjoyed a glass of wine while cooking (let me be clear, I drink all of the time while I cook....emphasis was meant to be on the word enjoy....) Best of all, there are twelve meals in my freezer just waiting for me to put in the oven. After we eat them, all I'll have to do is put our dishes in the dishwasher, 'cause Karen already cleaned up the mess.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I've got to get it together...

It's 8:28 a.m.

Brad left fifteen minutes ago to take Sam to school. Grace is still sleeping...I want to go check and make sure she is still breathing, but I know this is irrational and will just wake her up...I want her to sleep. I've taken a shower and am dressed in something other than yoga pants and a long sleeved T shirt. I'm getting ready to blow dry my hair and put a little make up on. Not bad for 8:28, right? I thought it was pretty good until the phone rang.

It was Brad. "There's no school today."

"What? Why? Is is Veteran's Day? NO, that's next week I there no power?

"Nope, teacher workshop day."


"Yeah, so we went in and fed the guinea pigs and said hello to everyone."

"The teachers saw you....they know we were there?"

Now I'm the mom that sends her kid to school when there is none and forgets to bring lunch to Lunch Bunch....I've got to start writing things down on a calendar, it's obvious that my ability to keep it all straight in my head is GONE...

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Bloggy Giveaway Blues are OVER!!!

Two minutes after posting my last post I received an email that said I had won a blog makeover!!!!! I jumped out of my chair and started dancing around the dining room and then ran to the living room to inform Brad...who was happy for me, but not nearly as excited.

This is something that I have really, really wanted to do. However, there hasn't been a ton of extra money at Casa Twinkle lately and I just haven't been able to justify doing it. Sooo....Amy from In Pursuit of Proverbs 31....will be giving my blog, "The Works" which has a retail value of $75! I can't wait to work with Amy. She does great work and she's a Christian. Hopefully the two of us will be able to come up with something that represents my blog title and verse as well as the fact that my blog is about me and my family and well, let's face it, we don't always shine!

If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bloggy Giveaway Blues

I was a bad mom this week. I spent HOURS entering giveaways from the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway...hours. My kids took care of themselves and each other....I said things like, "No you can't go outside and play, go watch more TV.", "Yes, you can eat chicken nuggets with ketchup in the living room." and after Halloween...."Sure, have more candy!" all to keep my kids busy so that I could hunt for free treasures!

The giveaways ended Friday...I have anxiously checked my e mail several times a day, fully expecting to find that I had won lots of cool stuff. Unfortunately, there have been no such emails...I was starting to feel sorry for myself....and then it happened....! I won something, I won something!

Kristen at Mommy Needs a Cocktail will be sending me this shirt from her web site Baby Brewing! How perfect is that for me? It's perfect, absolutely perfect! Thank you Kristen! I no longer feels disappointed and time in front of the computer was well spent!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Toddler songs

At this very moment, Sam is in the kitchen singing with Brad. They're singing "Head and shoulders, knees and toes" when suddenly I hear, "Head and shoulders, penis and toes..." followed byBrad telling him to knock it off.

The next song is "He's got the whole world in His hands"....two verses in I hear, "He's got my whole penis in His hands, in His hands, He's got my whole penis in his hands..." I started giggling (I'm in the dining room so Sam can't hear.). Again, Brad tells Sam to stop the potty talk.

Brad went to get the Halloween candy. He came back singing, "I've got all the candy in my hands..." Sam said, "Daddy, that doesn't make any sense!" Okay buddy...

And the winner is....

Number 62....Bethany! I wish that I had saved the result from the random number generator as proof that this was not fixed! 178 people entered this contest and all but two of those were strangers...God is my witness, my dear friend, college roommate and wedding photagrapher Bethany won! I guess sweet Adelee was meant to have a tutu!

If you contacted me about having a tutu made for your little girl and don't hear from me, please try again. I'd love to make one for you. I was so overwhelmed by the positive response that I kind of lost track....I'm used to getting one or two comments a day....not fifty!

Friday, November 2, 2007


There seems to be some interest in our tick here's the saga...

Yesterday morning was bad. Sam came into our room at 7:32 to let us know that he was "soakin wet". 7:32 I was so tired that when I looked at the clock, it didn't even register...7:32. In fact, it didn't register for a full five minutes...7:37...Holy crap!!!

I was supposed to be at the church by 8:15 to start setting up for MOPS and Sam has to be dropped off at school before that! Making matters worse, is the fact that because I had MOPS, I needed to shower, do my hair, and put makeup and a cute outfit on (things that I don't normally do....).

I jumped out of bed and dragged Sam down to the shower with me. He was SOAKED and he STUNK...too bad you can't use Lysol wipes on your kids....anyways, while I was washing his hair he said, "Don't scratch my head like that, it hurts." Honestly, I thought he was just being a brat and I ignored him and kept right on scrubbing his scalp.

We hopped out of the shower and I ran up stairs to get's 7:45. I left Sam naked on the couch watching TV. Quick blow dry, threw some make up on, put on something cute (okay, maybe not cute, but it was clean...). I got Grace dressed while screaming for Sam to come upstairs. Brad got Sam dressed and I started to comb his hair (while brushing my teeth).

I was trying to figure out his crazy part when I see a big scab hanging on his scalp. "What did you do to your head buddy?" He didn't know. I start picking at it and discover that the scab has's a tick and it's full of my sons blood. I wanted to scream but I didn't want to scare Sam. I vaguely remembered reading that you're supposed to flip them over and then grab their head with a pair of tweezers. I tried, but the thing wouldn't budge....However, while it was flipped over I could see its little legs moving....disgusting!

I was afraid that I might break the head off and leave it buried in Sam's scalp (something else I've read) midway through the procedure I stopped and Googled "remove a tick". The stuff I found was unhelpful, it basically said to do what I was doing (FYI: in case your child ever has a tick and you are considering BURNING it off of them with a match, don't. The literature suggests that you may hurt someone...). I went back to work at it and finally got it out. It was alive, but I quickly put an end to that. I stuck it in a swab of alcohol in case the doctor wanted to see it....Sam handled it like a champ...much better than I would have had I been the one with a blood sucking bug burrowed in my head.

After MOPS I called the doctors office. The conversation went something like this:

"When was Sam last outside rolling around on the ground or playing in the leaves?"

"Um, yesterday. Everyday, he does that everyday."

"So you found it while you were washing his hair? When did you last wash his hair?"

"Hmm...three days ago...but he usually takes a bath every night....I just don't always wash his hair....(Please don't think I'm neglectful...) Oh, and I didn't find it when I was washing his hair, I was combing it."

"Oh, so if it had been there yesterday, you would have seen it when you combed his hair yesterday?"

"Um, no. I didn't comb his hair yesterday. We usually only comb it on the days he has school...., so Tuesday was probably the last time he had his hair combed, but maybe not..It's short..."(please don't call DSS on me)...

The doctor apparently came to the conclusion that this thing could have been on my kids head for a long time without me he tried to determine whether it was a deer tick or not....

"How big was the tick?"
"Well, it's pretty two freckles maybe, small freckles..."

"Freckles? Is is the size of a ball point pen?
"Hold on, let me get a ball point pen (I honestly couldn't picture the size of a ball point pen tip and I already had the dead tick in my hand). "Hmmm...I'd say it's about two ball point pen tips....maybe less, bigger than one less than two...maybe."

"Is it bigger than a match head?"
"No. Well not a wooden match stick but maybe the same as a paper match...."

"Okay, well I'm having a hard time getting a sense of the size of the tick. Why don't we go ahead and treat him, that's probably the safest bet."

Later I went on line and found the picture I've posted at the's a deer tick, just like the one I found on my sweet boy....DISGUSTING!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Have you ever removed a tick from your childs head? I did this morning. It was disgusting.