Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NASCAR, this is not.....

I would assume that those who need handicapped plates are unable to get around well on their own and I am happy to have them use the reserved spaces closest to the stores. As a matter of fact, I get quite upset when I see someone who is clearly NOT disabled and doesn't have permission to use the reserved parking blatantly ignore the signs and take the spaces away from those who really do need them.

And I would also assume that if someone is driving a car with handicap plates, the state feels confident that their disability does not effect their ability to drive a car just like anyone else. (Although putting my faith in the state's ability to make a sound and reasoned decision may be a little "iffy"....)

So then why, why, WHY do cars that have handicapped plates go SOOOOoooooo SLOOOOOoooooooow? I mean, the cars aren't disabled, right? The cars are in no way effected by their owners disability, nor is there some rule that says in order to be given these handicapped plates you must NEVER go faster than 45 miles per a 65 mile per hour zone. But I seem to run into this phenomenon quite frequently - usually on the highway in the fast lane, or on a back road when I'm late for school/work. Oh, the irony of it all....

I just don't understand it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Domestic Goddess..... um, Domestic God

My husband is a wonderful man. Have I told you that? He and I have always split the "domestic duties" pretty much down the middle. It's one of the things I love about our marriage. There are no lines. There is no "I'm the woman, so I'll do this. You're the man, so you do that". We make a great team.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I feel like I contribute more. I'm a detail person, a planner. He's a "live life for today" kind of person. It causes some clashes, but for the most part - we're good!

I have always been the cook in the family. I cook, he cleans up. Worked for us and it worked well. All of a sudden, Brian has taken an interest in cooking. Which is great, because, let's face it, I'm not home much with school, work, etc. And I love it! He looks up recipes (on-line and in my many cookbooks), plans out meals, has all four food groups covered. On top of that he puts the girls to bed, has been doing the "house" laundry...

But, I'm having a hard time reconciling myself to this. I LOVE the help, don't get me wrong, but...

I'm the mom.


It's hard for me to let some of this stuff go. I'm NOT trying to be a martyr. But sometimes I feel like he's June Cleaver and I'm...Ward. I love the fact that I can take on this role. He's not a "career" guy, doesn't have the ambition that I do and doesn't want to think about money, retirement, etc.
But I feel a little pushed out. It's stupid, I know.

Help! How do I balance this all? How do I accept that our roles are becoming more and more reversed? How do accept the fact that, even though I'm "the mom" that doesn't mean I play the mom role the way I think it should be?

Saturday, July 26, 2008


For those of you who don't know, my baby brother is a freelance writer who has been living in Paris for the past year and a half. He's an incredible author (although I often find his work WAAAAY over my head as he's very philosophical and I'm......not) and he has been working on a novel for the better part of ten years now (I think? correct me if I'm wrong, B) and on July 25'th, 2008 he FINALLY FINISHED IT!!!

To those of us who know him, and have been asking for several years now "How's the novel coming???" this is an incredible accomplishment and I, for one, am so very, very proud of him.

He has asked that those of us who were given permission to read it not post it anywhere, as it still needs editing - it's, um, rather loooong in its present form. But I can't wait to read it! Whether or not it ever gets published doesn't matter. The fact that he wrote a novel is enough of an achievement and I'm just blown away. Being able to convey and express ideas, thoughts and emotions through words is a talent that few people have and is one of the things that I, personally, admire above all else. Those that do have it, like Brandon, are very, very lucky.

He also writes articles for magazine, screenplays and short stories. Shameless plug, I know.

But the best, best, BEST part about all of this is...

He's coming home!!! He'll be home in a few short days and I will be able to spend some time with him since he'll be here for a few months before he starts on his next great adventure in another exotic location....which is very far away. Paris seems like a hop, skip and a jump away compared to where he's headed next. But rather than focus on when he's leaving and how far away he'll be, I'm going to enjoy the next few months with him.

I've missed him terribly and the girls are ecstatic and can't wait to see their Bunkabee! Not only is he a great brother and a fabulous writer, he's the best Uncle in the world=)

Oh, what a beautiful morning.....

Today I woke up feeling like I had actually slept very well. I could still use a few more good nights sleep, but I feel pretty good!

The main reason for my feeling good is the knowledge that I just finished the biggest transaction of my career. It's something we have been working on for more than four years, it's something very close to my heart and my co-workers hearts and up until two weeks ago the entire project was in jeopardy. When the green light was finally given, we were elated! And then we realized we had only DAYS to pull everything together.

So, my "team" and I have been working very long days and nights, coming in early, staying very late, and working on nothing else. Thursday and Friday were the "D-Days" and everything was completed. I would say that everything went off without a glitch, but PUH-LEAZE! All in all the glitches were minor (in my very pessimistic, expect the worst and be as prepared as possible point of view. They were world ending glitches in some peoples points of view) Although it was nerve wracking, it's done.

I met some amazing people this week and got some really incredible confidence boosters. I know what you're thinking...lack of confidence? HER? Miss Bossypants???? Come ON! But it's true.

And I learned some things....

I realized that I have a lot of information in my head and sometimes a random piece of obscure knowledge about something that happened years ago will pop out at the perfect time, surprising everyone, including me.

I realized that most of the time I actually DO know what I'm talking about, and I shouldn't be afraid that I'll say the wrong thing. (Of course, this actually only relates to work - in all other aspects, I should probably keep my mouth shut so as to avoid shoving my foot in)

I realized that I naturally fall into the role of authority. I know, I know, I'm bossy. But it's not like I walk into a room and, hands on hips, look at everyone and say "OK. I'm in charge. Follow my lead...Sleepy-copy this! Grumpy -Get me a file! Dopey - wipe that stupid look of your face!" It truly just happens. It COULD have something to do with the fact that some people have told me I have teeny tiny control issues, but I'm not ready to accept that point of view yet.

I realized that I truly love, love, love the career I've chosen. On the flip side, I hate, hate, hate the fact that my job and school sometimes take so much time away from my family.

I feel really good right now. Like I could take on the world!

So, in the natural order of things, next week I'll ROYALLY screw something up and kick myself for being such a FREAKING idiot and then the planets will realign and everything will be right with the world once again.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who said I couldn't do it....

Lest you think that I am NOT Martha Stewart with a green thumb, behold....

Cherry Tomatoes for my girls (who eat them like candy)....

Roma Tomatoes (for mommy)....

Red Peppers (for the whole family).....

All are grown in containers on the deck because of the deer. Did I tell you we have a deer problem?

We also have several adorable little chipmunks who LOVE to grab the almost red tomatoes and pull the pepper plants out of the container and leave both of them on the deck for me to step on when I go out in the morning to check my plants-usually in my bare feet and house robe carrying a cup of coffee, which should explain why I don't see them. My eyes are barely open that time of day and my brain not alert yet. But isn't that sweet? Chipmunks are so adorable! Don't you think they are adorable? My boys, Chauncey and Baxter think they are adorable. They go CRAZY every time that cute little chipmunk is on the deck. They even chased the little guy once - right over my foot!! Probably they just want to play and if the chippy continues to get into my plants, perhaps I should let the dogs out and "distract" the little critter away from my plants? Food for thought....or the dogs.

We also have green peppers, yellow peppers and Jalapeno peppers. But (cough, cough) we have no pictures yet. I'm sure they're just a little behind. Certainly it has NOTHING to do with the way I am attempting to grow them....or water them.... or where I have placed them on the deck.....Clearly the plants themselves are defective. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

They're baaaaaaack!!

We weren't gone from their grandparents house for 15 minutes before the bickering in the back seat began.....

Olivia: "Sydney! You can't do that! Mom, Sydney rolled her window ALL THE WAY DOWN!"

Mom: "That's OK Liv, it's hot. You can roll your window down too."

Olivia: "But it MESSES up my HAIR and it BLOWS in my FACE and I can't SEE."

Mom: "Syd, can you roll your window up a little bit please honey?"

Sydney: "" (smug smile thrown at her sister)

Olivia: "Moooom! Can you please DO something?"

Sydney: "Giggle giggle"

Mom: "Liv, I think you can deal with your hair blowing for a bit longer. I promise I'll turn on the A/C once we get on the highway"

Olivia: "Huh! You ALWAYS take her side!"

Sydney: "That's because she likes me Livvie. Look a bear!"

Sydney: "Ha! Made you look."

Hysterical laughing from the backseat as both girls crack up.

That sound you hear is me smacking my forehead.

Ah.....things are back to normal.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Here comes mommy!!

I'm off to pick up my girls. YAY!!!!

This was a great week for them to be gone in many ways.

1. Work was CRAZY this week. But crazy typically means that something good is happening (which is true in this instance) so I'm not going to complain about it too much.

2. My second summer class started Tuesday, but due to number 1 above, I missed the very first class. I did make it there on Thursday, but I have a feeling I may be late getting to school next week as well....My job pays the mortgage though, so what's a girl to do?

3. In addition to numbers 1 and 2 above, we were gone every single night. Wednesday we went out for seafood with my mom and dad. And last night I went out for a business dinner and didn't get home until after 9:30.

It's been such a crazy week that I can't wait to just sit and relax tonight and tomorrow. I got nothing accomplished (I expected this would happen) and tomorrow I'll be cleaning the house, finishing the laundry, etc. etc. But, my babies will be home with me and all will be right with the world!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

There just aren't any words of comfort....

I received a call this evening from someone that I consider my adopted daughter. She miscarried at almost 10 weeks. She has a son, my godson, who will celebrate his first birthday on Saturday. This new baby was a surprise - but not unwanted, and definitely not unloved.

As soon as I heard her crying when Brian handed me the phone, I knew. You see, I've been through this before - not myself - but with a good friend who lost her baby girl at 32 weeks. I was there for the delivery of that precious baby girl - I was her labor coach. I can still recall almost every detail of those three days that I spent at the hospital after receiving that call. It's an experience that I will never - ever - forget. As emotionally devastating as it was, I felt - and still feel - so blessed to have been able to be a part of it and to be able to hold that perfect, beautiful baby in my arms. It's a testament to my friend that she allowed to me see her so emotionally vulnerable and to let me try - in my feeble way - to help her. To be there for her. To share that experience with me. Not just that day, but for the years that followed and the years to come. It's an experience that will stay with me the rest of my life and the bond that developed between my friend and I is unbreakable.

But now, here I am, looking at this other woman - this girl - whom I love so much....and once again, I can't make it better. I can't take away her pain. I have no words that will make it all better. Because quite frankly, there are none. And anything said, with the best intentions of course, are only meaningless letters and quite possibly, would have the opposite effect of being comforting.

You're young, you'll have more babies.

It's was God's plan.

There's nothing you could do.

These words all make sense. But they mean nothing. None of that matters to a mom who just lost the life of a child before it began.

There simply is no comfort.

I know that. And I don't say those words. All I can say is "I'm so sorry honey". And then, God help me - I thank God that I never experienced this myself and I want to squeeze my girls and love them and I think of how lucky I that wrong? To look at how lucky you are in face of someone else's tragedy? I don't know....

I want to make it all better and hold her and whisper words of comfort in her ear and make all the pain go away. But I can't.

And I hate that.


I miss my babies.

They are off having a grand ole' time with their grandparents and I will pick them back up on Saturday. I always have these big plans to get so much done when they are gone. I try to squeeze everything into a week - catching up with old friends, hanging out with the hubby, getting all the laundry done and caught up, completing some long ago forgotten project......

But, I never do. Instead I find myself wandering the house at night, trying to figure out what to get into and ultimately accomplishing nothing. As I walk by the play room or their bedrooms I unconsciously look in to see what they are doing, only to see that the rooms are empty. I miss kissing them good night and trying to beat Olivia in saying "I love you more than the moon and the stars!" (it's a nightly contest between us) and listening to Sydney tell me that she loves me more than the moon and the stars AND the sun AND the clouds. Sisters - always trying to "one up" each other.

The first night they were away, they called us and we were at dinner with Judi and Ted. I walked outside to call them back and spoke to Sydney. She asked me why I didn't answer when they called and I told her we were at a restaurant with Gamma Judi and Mister and that I had to excuse myself and step outside to call them back. Now, every night when we talk to her she asks: "Are you at a restaurant?". My in-laws probably think we go out to eat every night! =)

We talk to them every day and the first thing they both say is "I miss you Mommy" and "I love you". Sydney's a little sad, but she's easily distracted. But Olivia - it breaks my heart when Olivia's little voice quavers as she tells me she misses me. Homesickness....I remember it well. Liv is not one for grand displays of emotion (unless it's a temper tantrum or "attitude"). For some reason, my girl is very reserved for the most part. She keeps her emotions to herself and I don't neccessarily think that's a good thing. But when she gets that look on her face and gets really quiet and tries to stop herself from crying or showing anyone that she's sad, I can see her heart breaking and it makes me want to bawl. And when I hear her voice on the phone, all of that emotion she's trying to hold back rings through loud and clear in just a few words - "Mommy, are you coming to get us soon?"

Anyway, I was just feeling a little blue about not having my babies with me this week. It's good for them to spend time with Brian's parents, and it's a nice break for us. And oh, how it makes me appreciate them and love them even more than I already do. I didn't think it was possible, but when we aren't together, the love I have for my daughters and the longing to be with them bubbles to the surface so quick - it's almost a physical reaction.

I can't wait to see them on Saturday and kiss them and hug them and hold them and kiss them and hug them and then hug them even harder. I'm sure I miss them more than they miss me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When I grow up I want to be......

The weekend started out great - good news at work and an A in my class. Could it POSSIBLY get better??

Why yes, yes it could.

We dropped the girls off at my in-laws Saturday afternoon for a week with Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop. Liv had a hard time with it and the only thing I can think of is that she's feeling a little disconnected from me because of all the time I'm spending at school.
After we left, we drove to Philadelphia to stay with Judi and Ted for the weekend. They moved to a wonderful golf course Country Club community (we now live in their old house) and I hadn't seen them in almost a YEAR (far too long for that, my friend!) Just pulling in and seeing Judi absolutely made my weekend. They are two of the loveliest people I know and I absolutely adore them.

Anyway, we went out to a very nice restaurant (although I think Ted and Brian found it difficult to separate the two of us for as long as it took us to get dressed and ready to go! But we had a lot to talk about, you know?) and we had a fabulous dinner (scallops- YUM!)

When we got back, they had a surprise celebration for me!

The cake and ice cream was for my birthday earlier this month and the champagne and chocolate covered strawberries were in celebration of my "A". Sigh. They spoiled me rotten.

What a lovely evening...
The next day, Ted and Brian played golf.

Brian on the deck overlooking the third green.

Brian and Ted on the third green.

And out the front door - the fourth, fairway?... where they hit the ball REALLY hard and try to get it to the hole. ...something like that....I'm not sure....But isn't it pretty? Focus on that instead....

...And Brian teeing off. He and Teddy asked me if I had a "Press Pass" as I stood and snapped pictures. Funny guys, I tell you.

Judi and I had every intention of going out SHOPPING! But, we started chatting and then we started looking at her old family pictures, which she's trying to organize for future generations of her family. Let me just say I love, love,LOVE looking at photographs. And I love the old photos. Being a history buff, I want to know the story behind each one. I'm quite sure I drove Judi crazy asking questions like "Who is this?" "Where was this?" "Please tell me your mom kept that dress all these years because it is to DIE for..." "So what time of day did you get married?" "Where did you go on your honeymoon" And on and on and on I went....I'm sure she was ready to pour several drinks down my throat so that I'd shut up. But, I'm like a kid in a candy store with that stuff. Anyway, then we sat down and started chatting and the next thing we knew it was 3:00 and the guys were done playing golf! Whoops! (Where did the time go?)
The four of us sat around talking and then got ready and went to the Club for dinner - really nice place they live, let me tell you! I ate and drank so many good things this weekend that I need to start my diet again ......ASAP!

Then we had to leave on Monday. But not before we went out to lunch and had another wonderful meal! (Do you see why I need to start dieting again? and Judi and Ted stay slim with all the golf he plays and golf and tennis she plays). Pictures before we left....

I didn't get teary until I got in the car. I miss them a lot.
It was an absolutely incredible weekend. I was so relaxed and content, it was amazing. I miss them already and even though we had a whole weekend together, she and I are sure to get on the phone soon and have another marathon talk.
So, Brian and I were talking on the way home and we have decided that when we grow up we want to be Judi and Ted. Brian really liked the whole "golf course community" idea. I liked sitting outside and watching the golfers (go figure!). They are having a wonderful time and I am so happy for them. When you work as hard as they have, you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Just being able to have them in my life makes me a very lucky girl.

Friday, July 11, 2008


So I was reading Sarah's blog and it reminded me of an experience I had recently at Mickey D's when I ran in for a quick Diet Coke because the drive through was just....too....long......

Deb (to the 16 year old boy behind the counter): "I'll have a medium Diet Coke."

Boy (as he hands me my cup and lid, so that I can fill up my own drink at the soda fountain): "That'll be $1.25. Is that for here or to go?"

One second....

Two seconds....

Three seconds...

Deb: "Seriously??"

Boy (getting impatient): "For here or to go?"

Deb: "Does it MATTER?"

Boy (rolling his eyes because apparently it DOES matter whether or not you are going to fill up your own cup and drink it within the restaurant or take it with you): "For HERE or to GO?"

Deb (now trying to contain the uncontrollable giggles which are leaping into my throat as I imagine Ronald McDonald tackling me for trying to leave with a Diet Coke I CLEARLY told them I was drinking WITHIN the establishment): "Um, (cough) for here?"

I calmly took my cup with the plastic lid, filled it up, and made a mad dash for the door, looking over my shoulder the entire time, just waiting for Ronald to come out and try to stop me from making it to the door.

I'm such a rebel.....


We have a lot of deer and bunnies that go through our yard on an hourly basis. I knew it was risky to plant flowers....but I did. Brian and I have been discussing the slow nibbling of the flowers and how they are slowly disappearing. Tonight:

Brian: "Well, all the impatiens flowers you planted are gone. They've just disappeared. "

Liv: "Well, that's why they're called "impatience". They got impatient and left!"

My chuckle turned into a belly laugh......


I have no idea how or when they did this since the presentation was less than 24 hours ago, but grades are posted and my grade is......(drumroll please).......


WOO HOO!!!!!!


We presented our team project last night and I have to say.....


Our group presented first (which can be very, very good or very, very bad) In our case, I think it made them take it easy on us, because they really didn't have too many bad things to say. The comments got worse as the "jury" got crankier as it got later and later. I amazed myself by being completely comfortable standing up and talking in front of a group of people that were judging me and I was so nervous about how nervous I was going to be that I wasn't nervous at all! Crazy, huh? I actually got a few laughs - always good to get the crowd on your side =)

I'm still concerned about my grade because, quite frankly, I have no idea how this will be graded. Apparently our grade is made up of:

1. Evaluations by your other teammates on your performance through the project (not worried there)
2. Evaluations by the two professors
3. Evaluations by a jury of 5 people, including someone from the city planning department, two architects who have been working on the project for years and the two developers who own the site.

I have no idea where I stand. Luckily, I had enough knowledge to be able to intelligently answer their questions and comments to me about why we did this or why we did that. My team interacted with the audience and I think we really did the nicest job of presenting, although I don't know that we had the best design. But, I'm comfortable with what we did, I feel we did really well, and most of all...


Monday, July 7, 2008


Four more days and this class will finally be over......

I meet with my team tonight (in Baltimore), have class Tuesday (in Baltimore), meet with my team for the last time Wednesday to prepare (in Baltimore) and then the final presentation Thursday (in Baltimore).

I'm thinking of moving to Baltimore =)

On Saturday, Brian and I are taking the girls to my in-laws for the week and then heading up to Philadelphia to see Judi and Ted for the weekend. I am SOOO looking forward to that. YAY!!

Wish me luck! I am definitely going to need it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Tension Breaker - had to be done.

School is


Today is July 1. I have 8 days to complete my portion of the team project. Thank God for alcohol, a VERY patient family, friends that don't mind when I drop off the radar for a few weeks, teammates who are going as insane as I am (while at the same time trying to keep me from totally losing it) and...for such an ambitious project to pull together in 4 weeks that I will feel like Superwoman when this is all over next Thursday.

It involves a lot of drawing.

Ignore my previous post.

I now hate drawing.