Tuesday, September 30, 2008

....and now I'm disapointed.

So I finished the "Twilight" series.

LOVED the first book...loved, loved, LOVED IT!!!

The second book was good - she started to jump the shark a bit, but entertaining - and I couldn't wait to read the rest.

The third book was good - more of the same, a bit more shark jumping, but intriguing...

The fourth book...was...disappointing. Seriously.

I wish it would have stopped at one.

As I read the fourth book, all I could think was...is this the SAME series? Is this Bella and Edward and Jacob? Because really, it sure as hell didn't seem like it.

It was a good read. But I'd probably only read the first one or two books again. The fourth will make good kindling this winter.

It makes me yearn to find out what's happening over in Harry Potter's neck of the woods.......

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm hooked....

I'm a little under the weather today so I stayed home (I never stay home sick - not for me anyway! Usually my sick leaves goes to care for the kids!)

Anyway, I have been laying around all day, dozing in and out, in a drug induced haze.

But I did accomplish one thing.....

I started the "Twilight" series last night (someone let me borrow the first book).

I finished it today.

I typically DO NOT let myself read ANYTHING other than textbooks during the semester. I am the type of person who starts a book and can't put it down until it's done. I will sink into a different world and nothing interferes...which is why I don't read until the kids are in bed and why I definitely can't read during the semester.

Oh. My. God. I am so happy that I have found a "replacement" for my beloved Harry Potter books (can't even tell you how depressed I was when THAT series ended - ugh). These books are awesome. I am going to go out tomorrow and buy the next book....and maybe the third one....Ok, I'll probably buy all four ;)

What the hell. I'm a little ahead in my schoolwork, it looks to be a rainy weekend, I don't feel well and there's only four books out so far. I can knock those out this weekend - no problem!

And I once again have something to look forward to -

Book Number FIVE!

I am so hooked.....

Was that the dog?.....or daddy?

So I got a Blackberry (I know, I know - Deb LEAPS into the 21'st century). This Blackberry is a constant source of derogatory comments from my husband. My husband thinks it's ridiculous. My kids think all the stuff it does is "cool".

So the other night, Olivia was walking through the breakfast room. We both heard this strange sound and she stopped and listened. It happened again. Then.....nothing. She looked perplexed but went about her business and continued on her way.

A few minutes later we heard it again. She came into the kitchen where I stood.


"Yes baby?"

"What was that sound?"

"Not sure"

"It sounded like Chauncey when he toots."

"I don't think that's what it was, Liv"

"Was it daddy?"

"I don't think so, but it's possible (chuckle, chuckle)"

"Yeah. (rolling eyes) He toots A LOT"

"Yes he does."

And then we heard it again - two short "toot" like sounds....Liv followed the sound until she came to my phone - plugged in and sitting on the top of the wooden jelly cabinet and set to vibrate so that it wouldn't disturb me and my classmates during class - and also so I didn't have to listen to Brian make fun of whatever "dorky" ring I had chosen.

"Mom - its your phone...when it vibrates it makes that sound!"

"So, my phone sounds like a toot when it vibrates?"

A little twinkle appears in her eyes and a slow smile spreads across her face...

"Yeah. Your phone has GAS, mom!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh for crying out loud...

I started a post on Sunday, didn't finish it until today and then posted it tonight. Except - it's showing up as if I posted it on Sunday. Which means you have to scroll down below the pictures of Brandon's birthday and the post wishing him a happy day.......But there's lots of pictures in the "lost post"!!

Four posts in one day. I'm on a freaking roll here people!

Birthday cake and temper tantrums....

We went to mom and dad's for cake and ice cream for B's birthday tonight.

Everyone was in a festive mood! We decided to have drinks at the bar.....

Cute little Liv...

Sydney and Olivia were showing us how flexible they were....

Um - ouch! Glad to see all those dance lessons are paying off.....

Then Olivia took the camera and snapped a picture of mommy and daddy....

And that's when it happened....

Major Sydney meltdown....

Because LIVVIE GOT TO GO FIRST!!!!!!! Oh, the horror of it all...

Here's Poppy trying to coax Sydney back downstairs...

After fifteen minutes of non....stop.....crying....and whining....and screaming at how unfairly she had been treated, we decided to pack it in and call it a night.

Liv was not happy.

And neither were we.

Gee B - aren't you glad you came home? This is probably the most exciting birthday you've EVER had!!

Oh yeah. He's happy. The look says it all (notice how he's hiding behind the bar?)

We trudged up the hill towards home. Sydney's cries quickly changed to....

I - DON'T - WANNA - GO - HOME!!!

Over....and over....and over again. She's persistent, I'll give her that much!

At this point all we could do was laugh - because otherwise we would have really lost our tempers. So, I snapped her picture mid-meltdown. Boy did THAT make her mad! She did NOT want her picture taken.

So I chased her around upstairs snapping her picture...

Evil mommy.


My little bro Brandon!!!

(aka "B", "Uncle B" and "Bunkabee")

Wow - the big 33 today, huh? I still remember you as a wee, tow headed and bratty five year old that I used to use as a punching bag - or sit on - just to convince you to be my slave and get me stuff, so I didn't have to exert myself by walking from one room to another to get my hairbrush, or a snack, or the phone, or whatever.

Good times, good times. Oh, how we all did enjoy those years......

Life was much simpler back then, eh? You either did what I said or I tickled you until you couldn't breathe.

Oh, how I long for those days again, since now if I tried to sit on you or smack you around, you could easily kick my butt. Somewhere along the line you got bigger and stronger than me. Not sure when that happened.....

But, a Happy Happy Birthday kiddo - I love ya!

D =)

Busy Busy Busy!!

**I started this post on Sunday, but couldn't get the pictures downloaded. So it's a little out of sequence with the most recent posts - sorry!

Wow! It's been a very busy few days! Let's see, we'll start with Friday...


Well, Friday was Fair Day for the kids so they were off school. Mom and Brandon took them to the Fair with our neighbors because.....



Settlement went very smoothly, although I got a little emotional (I felt like I was abandoning my old, faithful dog - it was sad!) After settlement Brian and I realized we were in downtown Frederick, on Friday at lunchtime and it was a beautiful day! So we took a little stroll and ended up at Quynn's Attic where Michael cooked us some good food and we sat in the window over looking the street and reminisced about our first house. Brian isn't quite as sentimental as I am about it - perhaps because he's been juggling the maintenance of two houses for the past year? Probably. But,every thing's great and I am more and more relieved that the house has been sold every day. I'm amazed it sold in this market...

And - we moved into the new house one year ago on Fair Day, so we have now been here a year! How is that possible???? Time flies!

Liv, B, Serena (our neighbor) and Sydney


Cotton Candy and Candy Apples. Does it get any better than that???

Here they are looking at the animals - Liv's not sure she wants to actually touch it - it's cute but....

No. No, I don't think so.

Sydney just pooped out on the three mile ride home....


Olivia and Sydney went to their first ever Maryland Football game on Saturday! Dad and Brandon came with us and we tailgated for awhile before (and during and after!) game. The girls made little signs with hopes of getting on TV (no such luck). After halftime and ice cream to placate her a bit more, Sydney had enough. So, she and I and Brandon went back to the car to hang out a little more. I am always totally blown away by the stuff people bring to tailgate. It's absolutely amazing....
Brian, me, B and Dad
Here they come!

Sydney cheering on the Terps...

Liv REALLY got into it!

Liv loved the halftime show - the band did some "Guitar Hero" thing.

Sydney and Poppy's "kinoculars". She thought these were pretty cool.

Me and my dad. Just chillin', watchin' a little football...

Brian, Me, Dad and Liv...

Random tailgaters...right before they set up the 8 burner gas grill and the satellite dish - seriously?

The girls hanging out....

Olivia had a blast and didn't want to leave the game until it was over and then didn't want to leave the parking lot and go home! Brian is hoping this means she'll become a huge Maryland fan and want to go to college there.=)
To all of you who thought my husband might be a goofball, here's your proof.

We were gone all day and came home pooped!!


I spent Sunday in Baltimore. This seems to be a recurring theme with this Graduate program......
Another group project which requires a shitload of work in a very small amount of time. And once again, my weekends are filled with trips to the JHU campus, meeting with my team to review homework and do research, along with a healthy amount of goofing off (we get punchy after a few hours!) I had planned on being down there for an hour or two at the most.

I was there for five. Counting the 45 minute drive down and the hour and a half it took to get home (don't ask - I'm still not familiar with all of Baltimore and when they close down a major thoroughfare for a festival of all things, I'm screwed) my entire day was shot. Not. Fun.
Luckily, since Brian didn't have to mow two lawns this weekend (can I get a Hoo-ray?) he cleaned the house for me =) Good hubby.

So, that's what's been happening here. To all my friends out there who have wondered where I am, I'm in Grad School hell. I'll talk to you in December.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stronge words.....

Let this be a message to all you short sellers out there!

As I watched the Leader of our great nation discuss the newest bail out plan (and by newest I mean Friday's plan - not the one that was unveiled on Monday, or Tuesday or Wednesday), I was glad I knew nothing about short selling stocks.

Our leader said - in no uncertain terms - anyone short selling stocks will be caught and persecuted. Persecuted!

Apparently prosecution wasn't an option, so they had to come up with a punishment that fit the crime.

I have no idea if this will work as a deterrent to short sellers, but I think its an interesting strategery.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm a girl who likes her shoes. I have two daughters who are following in my footsteps. Between the three of us we have alot - of - shoes.

Brian constantly makes fun of me for the amount of shoes I have. I keep telling him that you DO need several pair of black shoes, because each pair has a different purpose and he still doesn't get it. And the girls need sneakers, crocs, brown dress shoes, brown play shoes, black dress shoes, black play shoes, a spare set of sneakers, flip flops (numerous pair to match their outfits) and several pair of sandals, along with back and brown dress boots, snow boots...you get my point.

The problem with this is that we each wear a different pair of shoes almost every day. And, my children take off their shoes when they get home and leave them. If they take off their shoes in the middle of the floor, well then that's where they stay. I can't yell at them too much. They get it from me.

This plethora of shoes in the family room, kitchen, dining room, etc., drives Brian crazy. He's constantly complaining about how many shoes we have and how we all leave them wherever we happen to take them off. Whatever - get over it.

He has taken to piling them on the stairs in a feeble attempt to get his girls (which includes me) to return them to their rightful place in the closet. This works for him because they are no longer strewn about the floor and have at least made it halfway to where they belong.

The problem with this is that there is now a pile of about 10 pair on the stairs. This doesn't present a problem though, because I can dodge them as I go up.

Unless it's dark.

Like it was last night.

As I climbed the stairs after we had locked up and turned the lights off, I stepped on a cute little pink Croc. And proceeded to fall on my face. On the stairs. And then slide down.

I lay there completely silent, hoping, that my hubby didn't see anything (it was dark after all and he was a room away) and trying to catch my breath. And then I heard him, trying desperately not to guffaw and asking me if I was OK. I grunted, but still didn't move. To which he responded "I'm sorry, baby, but that was funny! I told you pick up your shoes"

And he was right. But, whatever.

I stifled my giggles (it was funny) and limped up the stairs nursing a bruised shin, swearing to myself that I would get those shoes off the stairs first thing in the morning.

But they're still there. I think I'll just wait until the girls and I have emptied our closets of shoes before I put them all away.

I just won't go up the stairs in the dark anymore. Problem solved!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Politics and Fire Sales

The world has gone crazy.

Have you noticed?

Under normal circumstances, an election year is craziness at it's worst. But add in an economy that seems headed straight for the toilet, ages old banks filing bankruptcy and prices rising faster than flood waters and it makes one stop and think......

What the hell is going on?? What should we do??

I'm completely flummoxed this election. I typically have very strong views on politics and am opinionated in my beliefs (my husband is nodding his head and saying "that's an understatement" as he's reading this, I'm sure. Whatever.) But this year, I'm truly up in the air. Obama's a nice enough guy, I'm sure. He's charismatic and seems to inspire hope in many people. That's great, because hope is something we seem to be lacking right now. I think he should be applauded for winning the Democratic nomination and trying to steer the country in a new direction. But, I just get a very uneasy feeling about him. The country is in trouble and we need a strong leader. I'm not saying he can't do an awesome job as President. I'm saying I'm not sure he's the right person for the job under the present circumstances. I wish I knew who he planned for his Cabinet, because maybe knowing who would be there to counsel and advise him would make me feel more comfortable. Or not.

I can't vote for John McCain. His entire political belief system is so different from mine (and seemingly very different from his platform when he ran last time - when I might have voted for him had he gotten that far). He was never really an option for me. And choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate did not capture this woman's vote. Quite frankly, I'm offended that someone assumes I'll like her and vote for her simply because of her gender. There is not one issue on which Mrs. Palin and I share similar views. We are polar opposites and if I am slightly uneasy with Obama, I'm scared to death of this woman. Many people in Alaska seemed happy with her as Governor and they are welcome to have her back.

{I did watch the SNL skit with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (and it ranks right up there with Alec Baldwin's SNL "Schwetty Balls" skit about 9 years ago) I watched it five times and each time was in hysterics...}

So now you see my problem. I don't know what to do this election. It really bothers me. Not that it keeps me awake at night or anything, but I do think about my quandary often.

I have decided that I will not make any judgements or decisions until I watch the debates. I don't watch the conventions, because to me, they are just one big advertisement for whichever party is convening at that time and it's easy to sound confident and strong when you have a convention center filled with hundreds of people cheering for you and putting you on a pedestal. The debates, while not ideal, at least give me a better sense of the candidates (although there's no Tim Russert moderating this time, which is so sad....) The best case scenario would be if each of the candidates came to my house and sat down on my back deck with me and answered all of the questions I have about their stance on the issues. I'd throw out little "what if..." scenarios to see how they'd handle certain situations. And if they didn't answer they way I wanted, then I'd push a button and off they'd go through a trap door and the next candidate would come in and we'd start all over again.

And Wall Street! Good Googamooga! I hope my generation doesn't experience what our grandparents and great parents generation experienced during the depression years. My Gram always hoarded everything - cases and cases of food, soda, toilet paper, etc. (it was unbelievable - truly it was). She saved tinfoil and Ziploc bags and would wash them and use them again. Gross, I know. When I went out on my own, I swore I would never hoard things as she did and although I don't waste things - I certainly am not saving tinfoil to use again.

I am, however, thinking about the future and planning. Not that I have a lot to "plan" with, but what I have, I want to protect. These are scary times, and I for one will be tightening our family belt, be as conservative as I can with our finances and try to weather the storm.

So, I'm off to continue thinking about what I'm going to do come election time and to start tweaking my budget and cutting unnecessary items....like...um....oh, who knows - maybe I'll just start saving tinfoil. But if you see me fashion a hat from it and start talking to aliens, you might want to call someone.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The story of Stephanie and Christian Nielson has really touched me. If you don't know about them, they are a young couple with four children who were in an airplane crash in August. Both Stephanie and her husband are in a burn unit in Arizona and have been in medically induced comas since the accident. Stephanie was burned over 80% of her body and Christian over 30%. They have a very long, very tough road to recovery ahead of them. If you want to know more about their story, click the "I read Nie-Nie" button on the left. Her sister C-Jane is taking care of three of her children and providing updates on her sister and brother-in-law's condition almost daily. This family is amazing and truly inspiring.

Today is a big day for Stephanie and her family as she undergoes major surgery. So, even though I am not the most religious person, I will be sending as many prayers and good thoughts her way as I possible can today.

Read her story. And send your prayers too. Stephanie and her family need all the prayers they can get.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our weekend....

The weekend was BUSY...but the girls found some time for fun.

Playing "Spa" ...

Brian cooked tuna steaks on the grill for us...They were fabulous! I sat outside and enjoyed the breeze (Oh, how I love the wind....)and a cocktail. When I looked one way I saw this...

Gorgeous sky.....

The other direction was this....

Hubba Hubba!! =)

And when I went upstairs, there was this....

They're at each others throats all day, but manage to work their way from oppsite sides of my king size bed toward each other and end up intertwined when sleeping....

I don't have a sister, so raising two girls is difficult for me. I don't understand - nor have I experienced - the dynamic. But, as much as they argue and fight and yell at each other, they truly love and need each other - whether they realize it or not =)
That's pretty cool.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ten Years Later.....

Ten years ago today I married my one true love. I meant every word when I said my vows, and so did he.

It just took us a few years to really understand what those vows meant.

You can't understand "for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, in good times and in bad..." until you experience them. Only then can you truly comprehend what those vows mean.

The first few years of marriage were rough. We learned a lot - about each other, ourselves, and what it means to truly be married. At one point, our marriage was in trouble. It took a few days apart, wondering if we could make it work and doing a lot of soul searching for both of us to realize that we were soul mates - even with all our differences. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to others, but it helped us. And I can honestly say that we haven't had any major marital crises since then. Oh, we've had our fights, our arguments, and disagreements - our marriage is by no means perfect.

But now, we realize that marriage is full of ups and downs, there are good times and bad and not every argument, every disaster, every harsh word spoken in frustration or in anger is a reason to wonder if we'll make it or not. We are both committed to this marriage, to the family we have created and to each other - there is no doubt about that. And somehow, that makes it easier to roll my eyes and walk away when I think Brian's being unreasonable. It makes it easier for him to say "Yes, dear" and know that I'm wrong, but not push the issue so far that it turns into a major battle. Compromise baby, sometimes its all about compromise.

Right now, the world revolves around our kids. We are most definitely a united front where they are concerned and it's probably where we are the strongest and most like-minded. We have the same ideals and the same goals and hopes and dreams for our kids and very rarely disagree on anything relating to them.

Our children are our life....but, let's face it, eventually they will leave and start their own families and careers. And Brian and I will be left alone to spend the rest of our lives together. So the most important thing to us is to make sure that we keep that "husband and wife" connection. We can't forget that we need time as a couple to nurture our relationship as partners, lovers and friends. We don't always get that time, but it's something we strive for.

I feel secure. I feel loved. I know that he will be with me and stand by me and support me, come rain or come shine. I am the luckiest woman in the world. I have a husband that loves me unconditionally.

And one day, when our girls are older, I hope they look back on their childhood and remember mom and dad hugging each other, kissing each other, saying "I love you" and, rather than the "Ew! Stop kissing mommy all the time!" they say now, I hope they say "My mom and dad were in love with each other, were devoted to each other and that's the kind of marriage I want too."

Because my baby girls - you deserve the kind of man I married. There is no one better.

I started this story on a whim, because the girls are always asking me about how daddy and I met and what was it like when we got married. So I thought I'd write it all down as a "Fairy Tale" for them - and also to give to Brian to make him chuckle on our ten year anniversary =). But the story became more than a fairytale once I started and the past ten years just kind of spilled out.

So, now you know much more about my marriage than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure. Sorry about that!!

But I hope that someday my girls can read this and realize that life, marriage and family are not always perfect - in fact they almost never are. But I hope they also realize that sometimes you have to work hard for what you love and you shouldn't give up easily. The good things in life are worth working for...and I'm so glad Brian and I didn't give up on each other.

Happy tenth anniversary honey. I love you more now than I did ten years ago and I look forward to the rest of our lives together. We make an excellent team =)

All my love,


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chapter 10
On May 7, 2003, Princess Nee-Nee was born. A bald, blue-eyed, gorgeous little thing that delighted her parents.
They fell in love with their second child, as much as they had with their first. How could Princess ever have worried about that? Nee-Nee was a delight. and with two gorgeous girls, they felt their family was complete.
Because really, what else is there besides understanding, patience, respect, passion (oh, yes, that too!) family.....
and everlasting love.
Chapter 9

They stood there staring at one another and Princess’s heart fell to the pit of her stomach and began to flutter……

Punk looked at her and she could see the love he felt for her. She saw the anguish in his eyes. She saw that he DID love her.

She saw that he wasn’t willing to give up either.

They talked. They cried. They pledged that they loved each other. They promised to work harder on their relationship. They promised to respect each other. They promised that together, they would create a wonderful life together.

And they promised that they would never give up.

Something changed that night. It was as if they said their marriage vows all over again. Only this time, they both truly knew what those vows meant. The good, the bad and the ugly. The ups and downs. It was time to move on to a new chapter.

And for the first time Princess realized that she had been holding back in her marriage. She finally realized that he did love her.

He overwhelmingly, heart-stoppingly, never want to be without you, life cannot go on without you, love you so much it hurts, LOVED HER!

And she felt at peace. In a way she'd never felt before.

She loved this man.

And he loved her.

A year later, they were blessed again…….
Chapter 8

Princess was distraught. How could her love, her marriage, her family have come to this? What was she to do? How would Lou-Lou fare with a set of parents who couldn’t get their act together? Two people who in some ways were so mature and responsible and in other ways so….not.

Princess pondered and cried and fretted and yearned for Punk. The Punk she loved. The father of her child. The man who loved her. How did they drift so far apart? Would they ever find their way back?? Did Punk even love her? She knew he loved Lou-Lou – that was never in doubt. But did her love her? Did he overwhelmingly, heart-stoppingly, never want to be without you, life cannot go on without you, love you so much it hurts, LOVE HER?

Because their time apart made her realize that she felt that way about him.

She would look to the future and see them together – old and gray, surrounded by the family they had created, holding hands and smiling at each other.

That’s when she knew. There was no future without him. Her heart was broken, but she wasn’t ready to give up. She needed some time to think and regroup and plan what to say, what to do.

After they had been apart for several days, the doorbell rang.

And it was him……
Chapter 7

Princess and Punk tried…and tried…..and TRIED to have another baby. But, as fun as it was practicing all the time, it soon began to wear on them. It had been almost a year and it just wasn’t happening. They didn’t know why.

Princess began to think that maybe they were only meant to have Lou-Lou. And as Lou-Lou got older and began to grow from a baby to a toddler, Princess reflected back on having an infant and thought “Do I really want to go back to diapers and bottles and sleepless nights and being house bound with a baby?”

Don’t get me wrong – she LOVED being a mom. She always wanted three children. But it seemed that it wasn’t meant to be. And time was quickly passing and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to try it again, or simply devote herself to Lou-Lou.

And this is what caused a crisis in her marriage to Punk.

Punk didn’t want Lou-Lou to be an only child. He was an only child and he knew the loneliness. He wanted another, and he made that clear to Princess. The stress of not being able to have another baby, the constant doubts, the worry, each of them privately worrying “What’s WRONG with me?” began to take its toll. They began fighting. They were big fights. Lots of yelling and screaming and lots of accusations.

And then they were quiet. Not speaking to each other at all. And that was worse.

Soon it felt as if there was nothing there. That they could never forgive each other for the things said in anger. The hurt they imflicted on each other.

And so, the Princess took Lou-Lou and moved to the King and Queen’s house. She didn’t know how to fix what was so broken…..

Chapter 6

And so, Princess and Punk became Husband and Wife.

It was a glorious wedding. They were surrounded by those who loved them and took their vows in an intimate ceremony at twilight, with only the twinkle lights and the candles in the pool for light. Their friends and family didn't sit and watch, they stood around them and surrounded them with love and good wishes while they promised to love one another forever.

They quickly realized that marriage was hard work, but hey – they could do it, right? Nothing to it….

They set about making their castle their own, with a few castle improvement projects like knocking down walls, putting in a party room for entertaining and having a party for all their friends and family to enjoy!

Almost a year after they were married, Princess got quite a surprise – she and Punk were going to have a little prince or princess of their own! They set about making a nursery and anxiously looked forward to the arrival of their new bundle of joy.

On February 14, 2000, their lives were forever changed by the arrival of little Princess Lou-Lou. With her head of dark wavy hair, her peaches and cream skin and deep red lips, she looked like Snow White.

Princess and Punk quickly fell in love with Lou-Lou and settled into the role of parents.

But, as happy as they were with their little baby girl, life was difficult. Money was tight. They had trouble adjusting. There were battles about child care, diaper duty, the care of the baby. It was rough. Having a baby soon made Princess realize that life now revolved around Lou-Lou and, in her zeal to be a good mommy, she sometimes forgot that Punk needed her too. And Punk, he had a hard time adjusting to this new little life that had to take precedence over everything else. Gone were the days when he could get up in the morning and decide to play golf on a whim. Or go run errands. He took for granted that Princess would be taking care of Lou-Lou. And she resented the fact that he took that for granted.

Things got even rougher. They decided they needed help, so they went to talk to someone.

And it helped. Little by little, things got better. They began talking more. They were becoming a Family.

And they wanted another little Prince or Princess.

Note to Readers....

I haven't gotten the next chapters ready for publication yet. I'll be posting chapters over the next two days.

As an aside, my car got towed yesterday because I had a flat tire (see earlier post). The girls asked me last night what happened. I told them that I ran into the median strip and my tire went "pow!" so daddy had to fix it.

Sydney asked (as she was walking up the stairs in front of me) as casual as could be, "Oh. And when the tire broke did you say "SHIT" mommy?"

Why yes, yes I did.

And don't say that word again, OK Munchkin?

You gotta love it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The story continues.....

Chapter 5

Punk decided that it was time to have their own castle, where they could live together happily, and he could be King.

And so, they bought a castle. They had only been together for about a year and a half. And they hadn’t even talked about getting married. But neither of them cared. Because they were committed to each other – even with their differences – and knew they wanted to be together for the rest of their lives.

They moved into their castle and began to build a life together. They fought, they made up, they had a good time enjoying each other and enjoying life. Looking back on that first year of living together, they realize that they were still trying to find a balance that worked for them. It was hard for two very independent minded people, to suddenly have to take another person into consideration every day. They had to learn to split the household chores. They had to learn to balance their money together. They had to learn to be "us" instead of "me" and "you".

After a year of living in their castle together, they decided to take a trip somewhere warm. They planned a trip to Mexico - just the two of them - a week all by themselves to lay on the beach, drink cocktails and enjoy life.

Punk and Princess decided that they should get married before they went - so they turned their vacation into a honeymoon.

The Princess and the Punk - Continued....Again

Chapter 3

The ride home from the seashore was a blur. The next few days were a blur. A mix of grieving, being strong for the family and, for Princess, trying to be there for the Punk.

You see, at this point, all of their friends had figured them out. And all of them wanted to make sure that Princess was taking care of Punk. He was devastated at the death of his friend.

Princess still hadn’t told Punk how she felt.

A few days after things had calmed down, Punk called Princess. And he’d been drowning his sorrows.

He confronted her about his declaration and the fact that she didn’t seem to feel the same way.

“I’m afraid”, said Princess.

“Of what?” said Punk, “I laid it all out there for you and you didn’t say it back.”

“But, if I had said it – right then – would you have believed it? Or would you always have wondered if I said it because of what happened? Would you have thought I said it because I didn’t know how to handle your grief and wanted to make you feel better? For me to say those words, you need to know that I mean them. And with everything else going on, I was afraid you’d doubt me.”

Punk came over to see Princess later that night.

And she told him.

I love you too.

Chapter 4

After that, Punk and Princess began a real relationship. It was tough for both of them. Princess was independent, had a FIERY temper and had some control issues. But she was also a compassionate person, who lived life in the gray.

Punk was stubborn – beyond belief – opinionated and lived life as though it was black or white. But he was a giving, loving man, who adored Princess.

Two more opposite people you couldn’t find.


They loved each other.

They needed each other.

They completed each other.

They made each other whole.

They fought – oh my! – did they fight! But sometimes passion gets the best of you. Fighting isn’t bad. Fighting isn’t the end of something worth hanging on to. Sometimes you just don’t realize that. Sometimes it takes something drastic to realize that.

But they were young, they had no real responsibility. So they ignored it and counted on love to get them through.

The Princess and the Punk - Continued....

Chapter 2

A few weeks later, Princess went out with her lady-in-waiting again. It was close to Thanksgiving and Princess was feeling the holiday spirit. She walked into the pub for Happy Hour to meet her lady-in-waiting.

And there he was.
Closer now.
Would he remember her?
They had all gathered for Happy Hour.
Princess couldn’t believe it.

She hadn’t felt this way – EVER – about someone she didn’t know. She told her lady-in-waiting “That’s Him!” Her lady in waiting was dumbstruck – it turned out that the friend the lady-in-waiting was meeting for Happy Hour knew this man.

His name was Punk.

They connected in the pub – flirting, shooting glances at each other, talking briefly, until they ended up passionately kissing at the end of the night.


Quietly, over the next few weeks and months, Princess and Punk got to know each other. It turned out they had several mutual friends. They decided – without talking about it – that it was best not to let anyone in on their secret love affair. The Princess felt this way because, well, after the Dark Years, she’d never get burned again. If no one knew, then no one would know when they eventually went their separate ways. She wouldn’t be made a fool of again. She enjoyed her time with Punk and began to have feelings for him – feelings that she would neither admit to her ladies-in-waiting, nor to Punk himself.

But the feelings were there. And at that point, as much as Punk and Princess tried not to show their feelings for each other in front of their friends, their friends quickly caught on. And respected their wishes and didn’t make a big deal out of it.

And then one day, while they were mercifully alone at the seashore, having made excuses to their friends for not leaving with them, Punk uttered three little words….

I love you

And Princess’s world was turned upside down.

She felt dizzy. She opened her mouth to reply.

The phone rang.

It was bad news.

A friend of Punk’s had passed away.

She couldn’t say it now! He’d think it was in pity and he needed her to help him through his grief.

So she held him.

And didn’t say a word.

The Princess and the Punk

The "G" version.

There once was girl. We’ll call her “Princess”. Princess was in her mid-20’s and was living the single life. She had her own apartment in a castle on the mountain, a job she enjoyed and was going to school to get educated. Princess was fine being single, because she enjoyed the independence she had - no one to answer to, no one to offer their opinions, no one to tell her she shouldn’t buy those shoes…She was surrounded by a wonderful group of ladies-in-waiting and an incredible family. Life was GOOD.

Princess was in a phase she called the “Other Side of the Dark Years”. The Dark Years made her realize that she was responsible for her own success and her own happiness, and Dammit, she was going to take care of herself and have a great time! She dated – but not often. Too much headache. She never wanted to depend on anyone else – ever – for anything. She would forge her own path in life. It’s a hard lesson to learn. But once Princess realized that she alone was responsible for her own happiness, she felt freed. And motivated. She could do anything. She would do everything. She didn’t like to rule out true love, but she’d been burned – the Dark Years – and realized that true love was not always what it seemed. She enjoyed the opposite sex. She just wouldn’t put too much faith in them.

One cold November night, the Princess was out with one of her ladies-in-waiting. She was having an OK time, but was thinking about going home. And then –

The world stopped.
The room melted away.
Electricity seemed to fill the room.
She saw the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
They made eye contact.
Her heart skipped several beats.
He smiled and she smiled back.
She was done.

She looked at her lady-in-waiting and pointing to him said “THAT’S what I want for Christmas. WAITER!! I’ll take one of those to go, please.”

He got lost in the crowd - she lost sight of him - it was time to go. She never thought she’d see him again.

Little did she know….

Today I....

Ran into a median strip trying to avoid another car and blew out a tire.


WHY does it have to be issues with my car??? I had to call Brian who had to send the rollback for me. Another two months of me hearing grief about my driving abilities.

I'm working on something now and will post later tonight......

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

As I said, Saturday was a really rainy, yucky day and moving during the storm was not.fun.

Yesterday was spent moving furniture, doing the girls laundry, cleaning the house, and trying to cook a few meals to get us through the week.

This morning I woke up and it was a gorgeous day. The girls were already up and moving and it was before 7:00 a.m. and I was ready for my coffee. Downstairs I go, grab my coffee, feed the girls and then try to hurry them along because it is now 7:20, I have to shower, help the girls pick out their clothes for the day, get Liv's dance stuff ready for her first class tonight, get my school stuff together because I have my first class tonight, and get the girls to brush their teeth and wash their faces without screaming or smacking each other in their shared bathroom (they each have their own sink - why is this so hard???) and get them dressed.

I hop in the shower and get ready (make-up, hair, clothes, hair for the girls) and then run to the girls bedrooms to close their windows and take the window fans out since Brian told me this morning that it's supposed to be hot and humid today and we should turn on the air. (Notice he said "we", but he was already walking out the door) Anyway, I go to Liv's room, take the fan out of the window and quickly lose my grip on it and it crashes. Onto the top of my foot. Which REALLY hurt.

And so, the day began to go downhill....

I hobbled around, profanity flying from my mouth (the girls were downstairs, they heard the crash and the scream, but they did not hear the "Mother %*(&#^%!! That really #()&(&$#@ hurt!! DAMN!"

I went downstairs, grabbed my computer, looked at the clock and realized we had five minutes to get to the bus stop. The girls ran to get in the car, I ran around closing the downstairs windows and turning on the AC and then went back into the kitchen. I poured my "to go" cup of coffee and reached over to turn of the TV in the kitchen that's mounted under the counter. The TV then promptly fell onto the counter. And knocked over my coffee cup. Which spilled all over the counter. And all over my pants. Lovely.

More expletives, more screaming.

I ran to clean up the floor and the counter, checked the TV (which still works - it only fell a few inches thank God) and ran upstairs to put on another pair of pants, realizing that I only had 60 seconds to change or we'd risk missing the buss. I found one more clean pair of pants and rushed downstairs, grabbed the computer that was still sitting on the counter and ran to the car. Where I noticed that my computer had coffee all over the underneath of it .......which had now dripped all over my second pair of pants this morning.

Even more expletives and more screaming. You probably heard me - wherever you live.

Now I'm out of time. I'll have to take the kids to the bus stop and come back and find something to wear...

I run downstairs to the car, jump in and go warp speed to get to the end of the street to the bus stop with the girls.

We get there just in time..... to see the bus pulling away.

I am now beyond all reason. It was ugly. I will be paying for therapy for the girls for years after this.

We go back to the house and I change ONCE AGAIN (remember how I said I had spent the weekend doing the girls laundry? Yeah, well, mine didn't get done. I had to DIG for a pair of halfway clean pants in the back of the closet). The girls stand quietly in the kitchen - afraid to get in the way, afraid to talk - I think they were afraid to breathe - it was awful. As we are leaving to go back to the car, Sydney runs up to me and gives me a kiss and tells me she's not mad at me and that she loves me. Olivia gives me a big hug and says "Poor mommy". It was the only time this morning that I smiled. =)

So off we went to drop them off at school and I made my way to work. After all that, I was still only 5 minutes late!

Bring on Tuesday! I'm ready for it.....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Moving - Ugh...

We moved into the new house almost a year ago to the day. When we left, we kept some furniture at the old house so that it would "show well" and not look deserted. That worked well for us clearly, since it took longer than a YEAR to sell it. Oh, if I could do things over, I would have priced it to the point that I would have sold it immediately, not worried about the money I was losing, and clear everything out all at once. But, I didn't. I was stupid.

We went back this weekend to clean out what was remaining.

I now have so much CRAP I don't know what to do with it. Where did all of this come from????? I swear we didn't leave that much at the old house, but as we loaded up truck after truck after truck full of stuff (in a torrential downpour and some wicked wind - thanks Hanna!), I wondered where the hell I was going to put it all! The basement is now full - and there are still boxes down there that have sat untouched since last year when we moved in. The rooms have been rearranged - and in some cases, switched entirely - to accommodate all of this extra "stuff". I must create an EBay account.

I could have a yard sale, but - ew. No. Never. Did it once - won't do it again. I'd rather donate the stuff than have to deal with that.

And to top it off, I start school tomorrow night. I believe that was the quickest two weeks of my life. And, once again, I didn't accomplish anything I planned on doing.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. It's a good thing I love this new house. My kids are burying me in the back yard because I am NEVER moving again.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Big News!!

Well, I have been holding off on posting anything because I wanted to be a little more comfortable, but we have a Contract on our old house and as of today the appraisal came in fine, the home inspection came in with some minor repairs (which are done) and it looks like we are going to settlement on September 19'th.

This is bittersweet, because as much as I am so relieved that the house won't be a burden on us anymore, it was our first house, and it was the longest I lived ANYWHERE in my life - almost 12 years. We put our heart and soul into making that house our own by knocking down walls and opening up some rooms, putting in a beautiful wet bar for entertaining and generally making the house our home. Unfortunately, it was a small house and with two kids, we outgrew it. I'm sure I'll cry when I take the last item out of the house knowing that I'll never set foot in it again, but it's on to bigger and better things.

I love our new house and it feels like home to us. We have all become accustomed to its nuances and I look forward to the memories we will make over the next 30 years. They say that home is where your family is and I believe it. As much as I feel nostalgic for our old house (where we lived when we got married, where we brought our two babies home from the hospital, and where we had so many good - and some bad - times) and as much as I look forward to making memories in our new house (and we've already made a few) I could live anywhere so long as I had Brian and the girls with me.

It's time to pass the old house onto a new young family, so they can make memories there like we did. It makes me happy to know that someone else will love the house as we did.

This cracks me up!

Judi e-mailed me the following helpful hints, that I will be sure to follow this evening at Back to School Night:

So you won't be embarrassed this year, I have researched some facts for you in preparation for back to school night. No thanks necessary; it's what friends do for their friends.

Kindergarten Students

Wear the highest heels and lowest neckline that you own.
Wear your bustiere and fish net stockings
Wear all your most expensive jewelry and your dangliest earrings
Make up your face. Don't forget eyeliner and mascara.
Dye your hair blond
Smile brightly at the men
Ignore the women
Wink at the men
Scowl at the women
Look confident
Stick out your boobs AND your ass (it's a nice ass)
Carry your Coach bag and make sure everyone knows it's a Coach
If your phone rings, scowl at it and mutter, "I wish Oprah would leave me alone. I told her it was back to school night."
Optional: chew gum and crack it!
Now get out there and make us proud, Mommy

It has begun....

Only one week into the school year and already the girls are giving me a hard time every day about going. They don't want to get up, they don't want to wear that, they don't want ham sandwiches in their lunchbox and they don't want to get ready, brush their teeth, wash their faces, eat breakfast (because I never have anything for them to eat except for grapes, bananas, apples, watermelon, three kinds of cereal, french toast, pancakes and waffles! Why don't I get something that's GOOD to eat? Good grief.) It's a battle every morning.

The thing that really gets me though is that they seem to really like school. They tell me all about their day when they get home and show me all the cool things they did. Tonight is "Back to School" night and they are both so excited that I will be seeing their classrooms and meeting their teachers.

I, however, am having panic attacks about Back to School night. Why? I had a bad experience last year with one of their teachers and I have since tried to stay under the radar. There are lots of mommmies who apparently feel it's thier job to volunteer at least four days a week, which means that they are familiar with the routine, the rules etc. They have thier own little "mommy" group.

And then, there's moi.....

Apparently, I don't know the correct way for children to paste foam hearts on a piece of paper (they should NEVER overlap or touch because HOW will you count them that way?????) and it was suggested that perhaps I should move to a different activity table and supervise....which I also did incorrectly (when reading a story and asking the children what they think will happen next, it is inappropriate to allow them to shout out thier answers in excitement and they should be whipped with a wet noodle if that happens). But the kicker was snack time. Oh boy did I screw up!

What did I do you may ask???

I allowed my child to get up from the table, wash her hands, and throw away her paper plate ALL BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE WAS DONE AND BEFORE HER TABLE WAS DISMISSED TO LINE UP, THROW AWAY THE TRASH AND WASH THEIR HANDS. As my daughter got up from the table - at my instruction - to wash her very sticky hands, heads turned and you could hear a pin drop.

Then came the announcement which made me realize I failed Pre-K:

Teacher: "Class - Mrs. Henry doesn't know the rules. Are you supposed to get up before you are dismissed from your table to wash your hands?"

20 four year olds and five parent volunteers: "Noooooo."

Teacher: "That's right. I don't want anyone else getting up until you are dismissed. Do we follow the rules in our class?"


Teacher: "Good. Make sure you remember that just because Sydney got up from the table today, doesn't mean that you are allowed to get up anytime you want."

I stood there - all by myself on one side of the room with Sydney, while the other parent volunteers and the teacher stood together on the other side of the room - and felt my face, neck and ears turn red. Chastise me all you want lady, but leave my kid out of it and is this how you enforce the rules? By embarrassing someone? And I'm 38 - how does a four year old feel when they are called out and made to feel like an idiot because they ate paste or put the red crayon in the green crayon slot?

Really. I could have punched the witch. I swore I'd never go back to that classroom and I haven't. But it's a new school year, so I'll make another effort - it's a fresh start! And hopefully I won't fail Kindergarten this time.