Thursday, October 30, 2008

Led ZeppelSmith

So I'm driving home tonight and the DJ's are talking about the new music rumor going around - Led Zeppelin is thinking about touring again. Without Robert Plant.

The hell you say!

But it's a true rumor - which is an oxymoron, but whatever.

I mean, they already lost John Bonham to that big drum set in the sky, so that only leaves Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones left. Without Robert Plant, that's only 2 out of 4. That's only 50% of the original band.

And without Robert Plant?

That's like the Rolling Stones touring without Mick Jagger.

Like U2 without Bono.

Like Aerosmith without Steven Tyler.

Oh, did you say Steven Tyler? Funny you should mention him, because he's the one who's said to be the possible replacement for Robert Plant. Hence the DJs name for the band:

"Led ZeppelSmith"

Now - I should definitely mention here - in the vein of journalistic integrity to you, my faithful readers - that Brian's favorite band of all time is Led Zeppelin. Like, seriously favorite band. It's quite amusing at times. And I feel the same about Aerosmith.

I see a battle of epic proportions brewing.

Brian supports my Aerosmith habit, as I support his Zeppelin habit. When we went to the Aerosmith concert several years ago, we sat on the lawn at the outdoor arena, very near some sort of structure in the middle of the lawn. I said "They're coming out here to play". Nah, Brian said. That's probably for the sound guys since it's a platform maybe 30 feet by 30 feet.

Regardless, I chose a spot for us to sit with our friends that was about 50 feet from the platform.

Halfway through the concert, when Steven yelled "We're coming out!!!" and pointed to the platform, I was on my feet running full steam ahead to get a good spot. I was up and gone before he finished his sentence. I didn't even look to see if anyone from our group was following me.. I didn't care.

No way in HELL was I missing this!

I got right to THE FRONT. About 60 seconds later, Brian made his way through the crowd to me. I was in a frenzy. I didn't even notice that I was about to be smooshed by the crowds pushing in to get closer. I didn't notice all the people pushing and jabbing and shoving. I was in a state of awe. When the first chords of "Dream on" were played, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Steven and Joe Perry were RIGHT THERE. I was like a teenager at a Beatles concert. It's a little embarrassing to think about, actually.

I could have touched them - if I wanted to get swatted by security.

I danced and sang and was generally the happiest person alive being that close - it was indescribable.

I barely noticed that the jostling had stopped, and that I seemed to have a little room to be able jump around and sing and no one was pushing me. It wasn't until the end of those few songs when they went back to the main stage that I came out of my daze and realized that my loving husband had rushed after me and, when he saw the crowd pushing towards me, had made his way to come and stand behind me, put both his arms out in front of him, on either side of me, to hold back the crowd to protect me so I wouldn't get hurt. So I could enjoy it without everyone running into me and crushing me. And he stood like that the whole time they played on the lawn.

Can you see why I love him?

Anyway, as much as I love Steven Tyler, I have a hard time picturing him fronting Led Zeppelin. Aerosmith and Zeppelin both have a very bluesy sound (which is probably why I love both bands).

But, I just can't imagine anyone but Robert Plant's magical voice singing those songs.

(That being said, don't think I won't be the first in line to buy tickets! )

Monday, October 27, 2008

Who's Your Favorite?

So, I left class early tonight. I had a KILLER headache, we were taking a very late break (like 25 minutes left to go in a two hour class), it was raining, I was tired and quite frankly, I was ready to go.

As I packed up my stuff, my professor (a whole different story) looked at me and said...

"Who's your favorite?"

um, excuse me?

"Your favorite. Your favorite band, rock group - who is it?"

Well, that would be Aerosmith, or the Eagles, or - well, I could go on and on...

"Would you leave an Aerosmith concert with 15 minutes to go?" (insert professor with smart ass grin here....)

At which point I laughed and said, "Yup! G'night!". He chuckled and told me to have a safe drive home.

Hey come on! The guy is still in charge of my grade! I didn't want to totally piss him off.

But, what I was THINKING was...

Buddy, (and yes, I can call him Buddy in my head because he's younger then me -not by much- and he's smart - like really freaking smart - and pompous, arrogant, etc., etc. and - he's smarter than me...which really pisses me off...because he's younger than me) .

Buddy, if you could entertain me half as much as Steven Tyler can, I'd stay all night and pay even more for the privilege.

And now every time I look at him, all I will hear is "Dream On" and "Dude Looks Like a Lady".


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Phone calls

Wednesday night we had some excitement at 2:00 in the morning when a guy running from the cops decided to leave his car in front of Brian's work and then "hide" at motel across the street. Clearly not the brightest bulb in the pack and now in some serious trouble since he caused an accident that resulted in the death of a police officer. The police officer left a wife and three children behind...all because this guy didn't want to get stopped and arrested for an outstanding warrant for not appearing at trial for shoplifting some smokes. The police wanted to review the security tapes from Brian's work and so, the phone calls began...and continued until about 3:30 a.m.

The next day I was talking with a guy from high school about the "incident" which was all over the front page, and we both expressed our fear that one day it would be another friend that we read about, who is a former member of the Army Special Forces and is now a County Sheriff.

We've all been friends since high school and the Sheriff was like a brother to me. When he was in the army, I'd call the barracks to talk to him only to discover that he wasn't there. I'd be a nervous Nellie until I heard back from him - often weeks later - that he was safe. He never said where he was (unless he was allowed or it had been on the news) and we rarely discussed it - unless it was me begging him to be safe and maybe think about a career change.

Then he got out of the army. I thought I wouldn't have to worry anymore. He'd go to college, settle down, get married, have a family, yadda, yadda, yadda, just like the rest of us.


He decided to become a cop.

Friday I got a call. "Deb? I think we jinxed him. He was the cop involved in that shooting about an hour ago."

I barely heard "He's OK"

As the phone calls flew around our group of friends, each of us looking for updates, trying to figure out what was going on, the story came out. He shot a suspect.

An hour later we learned the man he shot had died.

No matter whether you are a cop or a member of the armed forces, killing someone - regardless of the circumstances - must be traumatic. How can it not be?

He's been put on leave, pending the outcome of the investigation and as I read the papers, and the comments left by others, I am both heartened by the support and outraged at the ignorance.

How dare you second guess the decision of a trained officer to pull his weapon and shoot when being attacked. He's trained to protect and serve. And if you break the law, brandish a weapon and attack an officer, you are taking your life into your hands. And the consequences you face are the result of your own actions.

I spoke with him today and he seems.....OK, I guess. As well as can be expected. So, I did the only thing I could do. I told we were all behind him, we all supported him and that we would do whatever he needed us to do to get him through this. I can rally the "troops" pretty well. So if he needs us, we'll be there. I am very lucky to have a group of very close friends from high school and many of us remain in frequent contact. One thing about us - don't think that we won't stand behind one of our own. And fight like hell to help.

And then I told him to stay safe. Just like I've done for the past twenty years.

Friday, October 17, 2008

There's an ass in my pumpkin!

It occurred to me that I didn't post any pictures of Sydney's black eye.

This is from the morning after - you can't see it very well (her right eye) but she's so stinking cute, that I had to post these anyway...

And, as you can see, Miss Liv is NOT a morning person.

A few days later, Sweet Liv deigned to read her sister a sweet..... and the black eye is a bit more prominent in these pictures.

I chased Brian with the camera tonight.

I thought it was funny.
He was not amused. There are several pictures I cannot post.

And this is what happens when we try to take pictures of ourselves...

Brian left too early....

And I look a'scared in this one!

Which bring me to the reason for this post!! HALLOWEEN!!

My mother-in-law (God bless her!) drove more than an hour and a half today to watch my kids (no school today - I should've been a teacher, but whatever).

Since I am a slacker mommy and my mother in law knows this oh-too-well, she BROUGHT pumpkins for the girls to decorate. I pull into the garage this evening and the girls are waiting for me and they can barely contain themselves!

They ran to the car before I even turned it off and told me that they had a surprise for me and that I needed to hurry-hurry-hurry!!!!

What was the surprise I asked??

Olivia said "We can't tell you - you have to see it"

And the same time that Sydney said

At which point Olivia slapped her hand over Sydney's mouth and admonished her for giving away the secret.

I, however, was still trying to decipher what Sydney had said - I was sure something was not right in what she had just told me but I couldn't figure out what.....

Olivia's pumpkin. It has SIX eyes.

And then I noticed what the eyes were made of: beer bottle caps.
That's my girl - very imaginative and resourceful. And hey - that pumpkin ROCKS!
It is a testament to how much my teetotalling, God-fearing Mother-in-law loves me and my children that she let Olivia use beer bottle caps for eyes.

And then Sydney showed me hers.

"Look at mine Mommy!! It has blood dripping down from the ass in it's head!"

Sydney pointed to the green drawing on the pumpkin above.

At which point Olivia heaved a big sigh, rolled her eyes and said...

"It's an AXE, Sydney. An AXE!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I had parent teacher conferences last night. I was a little nervous because Olivia's teacher is....TOUGH... and Sydney, well, she's Sydney =)

I needn't have worried. I am so unbelievably proud of the girls, that I just can't stand it!


Sydney is in Kindergarten this year and has a lovely, very young, teacher - she's not jaded yet and thinks the kids are cute. She's cute =)

Sydney is doing so well! She's testing above where she should be and has been put in the beginning reader group. The teacher was impressed with her writing, said she tended to be a "perfectionist" (something I don't want to encourage, but don't want to discourage either... I'm in a quandary there) She already got her alphabet down, her colors, numbers, beginning sounds and - other than being a little chatty in class - is doing wonderfully. Her teacher said she was very well behaved, very compassionate, very attentive and very cute. Which, of course, I knew.

All in all, I was bursting with pride when I left the room.


Then I went to Olivia's conference. Olivia's teacher is very discipline oriented and seems to use punishment rather than positive reinforcement to encourage the kids. Olivia, on numerous occasions, has been in FULL BLOWN PANIC ATTACK fearing that she may have forgotten homework or that I didn't sign her planner. This concerns me a lot because Olivia loves school and tends to really stress if she gets a 98% rather than 100%. She beats herself up for an hour over one missed question. Adding even more anxiety and stress seems counterproductive -especially since she hasn't gotten a grade below a very high "B" on anything and typically gets 100% on anything she does.

So, in I go - to sit on the little, teeny, tiny chair which makes my ass seem ten times bigger than it really is, at which point I immediately swear to go on a diet.

Her teacher looked at me and told me "This will be the easiest conference I have ever done. Olivia is an absolute delight. Could you clone her for me?"

I was stunned. When I found my voice I was actually able to talk about Liv and her grades. Here's the rundown, almost word for word from her teacher...

Liv is over the top in math.
She takes a leadership role in the class room, but isn't condescending - she actually helps the kids that need help.
Liv "gets" it. She only has to be told once.
She's able to grasp concepts that a lot of kids can't - and then she explains it to them.
She stands up for herself with the others when she thinks she' right - even if she's outnumbered (that's my girl!)
Her writing is amazing - she's tells a great story and is very full of details and descriptions and has fantastic ideas (she must take after her Uncle B!)
She's a little fashion plate and always looks so put together and cute (I told her Olivia and I liked to shop and she was very particular about what she wore)
She's reading well above her grade level.

Basically, her teacher LOVES her. Which makes me so very happy.

Makes me wonder what I ever did to deserve two such amazing kids. And I find myself thinking about how far they'll go in life and how they really do have a good foundation.

And that makes me even prouder........

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Morning Hormonal!!

Once every few weeks I receive a "visit".

This is not a welcome visit, as it turns me into a moody, cantankerous, bitchy shadow of my former self. Know what I mean?

Over the years I have had a number of wide ranging feelings about this visit.

As a young girl:

"FINALLY! I got it!!"

As an older teenaged girl, with a steady, long term boyfriend:

"Thank GOD! I got it!!"

As a single young lady with NO boyfriend:

"Oh right. THAT. Great. Bring on the Advil and pass me a drink."

As a young wife trying to start a family:

"Damn. It's here."

And now, as a woman who is older and already has two gorgeous children:


You get the point.

It used to be that I only received one visitor. As I get older, this visitor gets more comfortable, stopping by more often and staying longer...and she has decided to bring her friends.

Her friends make me moodier (if that's possible). They keep me up all night (hello insomnia!). And, they stress me out because they bring with them all the unreasonable worries that I manage to suppress when they aren't here (Am I doing right by my kids? What if something happens to them? What if something happens to me? Did I remember to let the dogs in? Did I answer that question on my exam as well as I could have? Oh jeez, remember how I was mean to that kid who spit milk on me in third grade? I should have apologized to him - I probably scarred him for life.....What would happen if the banks fail tomorrow and all of our money is lost and I need to buy milk for the kids - I need to keep cash in the house - I better talk to Brian about this - should I wake him? Will I ever get to sleep? I need to start taking care of myself better. Maybe I should start a list of the things I need to do around the house this weekend.)

And on....and on....and on.....

I get dark circles under my eyes due to the anemia I'm surely suffering, along with a lack of sleep. I get headaches. I have no energy. My clothes don't fit due to the three or four pounds I gain and I feel gross. My face breaks out much like that of a 16 year old girl the night before prom. My mouth permanently turns down at the corners. My forehead creases in the middle as I frown with worry. My patience level - not very good to begin with - becomes non-existent and God help the person in front of me in the grocery store who has 16 items in the 15 item express lane, while I only have 1. My mind won't focus on anything for than 60 seconds before it wanders off. My sarcastic tongue becomes deadly as I viciously bark out whatever nasty comment comes to mind when someone looks at me the wrong way. Or, I cry - I never can predict which will happen.

As I get older, it gets worse. I'm gettin' a little tired of it to tell you the truth. I'm thinking of having these impostors evicted - never to return. At the very least, they need to go before my daughters start getting visits. And poor Brian. He's going to have to get an apartment as a safe haven once the girls are older. That man will never survive in a house with three women who are all hormonal at the same time. He should probably take the dogs too, since any male will probably be in danger during those times - human or canine.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to pop some Advil.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I miss my Brian....

Not that he's gone anywhere. We've just been "off" lately.

Between the kids, the kids's activities, work (for both of us), school (for me), colds (for him and the girls) and life in general, it feels like we're living two separate existences.

Does that make any sense?

Our timing is off. In a big way.

Usually, when this happens (and it does - life intervenes and the next thing you know, it's three weeks since you've had a meaningful conversation with the one you love) I plan a night that we can get some alone time. Where we can go out (which typically turns into - let's just stay home and enjoy the quiet - the no obligations - the alone time) and are able to talk and cuddle and....

You get the picture.

But, between mid-term exams, projects for school, our work schedules, him feeling "yucky" and everything else, I simply don't have the energy to plan anything.

Anyway, it's been a long time since we've had 24 uninterrupted hours together with no work, no kids, no...nothing.

Our tenth anniversary came and went with no fanfare, no celebration, and not even a night alone. And actually, that was fine for us. I didn't need to go out and have dinner somewhere. I didn't need anything but him. And I have him. For the rest of my life. Lucky girl =)

We had always said we would go away for our tenth anniversary. We even tossed around a few ideas. But we're trying to save money and tighten our belts, so we didn't do it. Maybe part of this is, we didn't even get a vacation this summer. That and a weekend away somewhere through the year usually recharges us.

Our batteries are low people. Low.

When we were younger, had no money, were struggling to make ends meet and were new parents, we couldn't afford to do anything - and I mean ANYTHING. A night out would blow the monthly budget.

So, we'd pack Olivia off to the grandparents, come home, lay blankets on the floor of the family room, turn out the lights, light some candles, turn on some music (usually Led Zeppelin - Brian's a huge fan and I love the bluesy, slower stuff), grab a bottle of wine or whatever and just lay on the family room floor and talk and giggle and enjoy each other, all while lamenting the fact that we were too poor to go out to dinner - or anywhere else.

Now, we can afford to go out, even (as money conscious as we are) go away for a weekend alone.

But all I want to do is to pull out the blankets, the pillows and Led Zeppelin and lay on the floor, listen to music and hang out with my man.

Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Saturday night, my very good friend Cye and her girlfriend Tara and Tara's two kids came over for dinner.

The lovely Cye and her lady, Tara

Tara brought her two kids (gorgeous - A little girl the same age as Liv and a little boy the same age as Sydney) so we fed the kids, and after they were full we made dinner for us adults:

Filet Mignon with horseradish sauce
Grilled squash, zucchini, mushrooms and red and yellow peppers
Roasted potatoes

And of course, lots of wine and corona.....

Brian and Cye - the picture is fuzzy and Brian's eyes are half closed, because this was toward the end of the night......after all the wine (Cye needed coffee - notice the red coffee mug?)

One of my favorite things about Cye is how ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL she is with such an infectious laugh. She is truly one of the funniest people I know and we always have a good time. But she's also the most kind hearted, loving person you will ever meet and boy can we talk politics! She's very well informed and a really smart cookie.

Cye - goofing around!!

Mom and dad stopped by to see her on their way home from dinner and we sat around and talked for awhile.

Good food, good friends and good conversation - what more could a girl want?????


Occasionally, I'll crank up the music and the girls and I will dance around the family room. Saturday happened to be 80's "hair band" day....

Liv - rockin' the air guitar

Doing some hip hop to heavy metal.....

Now they're really into it

Liv - Head Banging!!! (Sydney's not so sure.....)

So, she does her own thing!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I don't have the energy to think of a title....

I'm a little tired and cranky.

Wanna know why?

My girls have been fighting a little stomach bug for about a week. It kind of put a damper on our weekend, but not too much and I'll post pictures and an update on that later.

Sunday night, I was SO TIRED. I even went to bed at 10:00 (something I haven't done since 1998 I believe). I was catching up on some much needed ZZZZZ's.

Sydney came in at about midnight. Her tummy hurt. She climbed in bed with us and I promptly fell back into a very restless sleep.

It wasn't until about 1 a.m. that she started throwing up. And didn't stop. Every hour, on the hour until 7 a.m. - which happens to be when I get up for work - not that I slept much.

Brian stayed home with her on Monday. I went to work because I also had school that night. At about 11:00 a.m., I realized there was no way I would make it until 11 p.m. without falling asleep in class or falling asleep while driving home from Baltimore. So I skipped class. I e-mailed my profs and they were both very understanding.

Sydney was fine by Monday night and I got some much needed sleep.


My bro came over to show me how to make this fabulous chicken dish he's famous for. I gave the kids a bath. After they climbed out of the tub, I told them to get thier jammies on and get up stairs to get their hair dried. I ran back to the kitchen to stir the chicken.

I heard a scream. Then, I heard yelling. Then, I heard crying.

I ran to the bathroom to see what had happened...

The girls were standing on either side of the room glaring at each other. Well..... Liv was glaring at Syd. Syd was in hysterics. I asked what happened and both girls began talking LOUDLY at top speed.

Turns out, Liv said something to Syd which, as it often does, pissed Sydney off.

Her response was to hit Liv on her ribs. Pretty sure that being wet and naked and slapped on her bare skin in a sensitive spot didn't tickle.

Liv's response? (which she apparently feels is the appropriate response for an 8 year old who is having MAJOR issues lately with sibling rivalry and feels that her father and I "never listen to her" and "always take Sydney's side)

Well, her response was to slap the shit out of her sister, thereby knocking her face into the counter, whereupon Sydney saw stars...and little birds flying around her head.

Once I realized what happened, I pulled Sydney's hand away from her face to see what her cheek and eye looked like.

Yeah, it wasn't pretty. She already had a huge lump and big ugly purple bruise under her eye.

The bruise may have been purple, but I saw RED. I was LIVID.

In all fairness, they were both wrong, and they have both been punished - the whole "go sit on OPPOSITE couches until your father and I decide what punishment you each deserve". When we did go in to talk to them (and I had on my best "mommy is serious and VERY mad" voice and so did Brian) Olivia bawled like a baby the whole time and accepted her punishment and realized that she shouldn't push her luck - and that she was WRONG.

Sydney....Oh, Sydney giggled. The entire time.

And then threw a fit when we tried to enforce the punishment (no, we didn't spank her). BUT - she is now in even more trouble.

So, Sydney will certainly have a black eye and nasty bump tomorrow, even after we held ice to her face for thirty minutes.

Oh, yeah. And tomorrow is picture day at school.

Say it with me now....


Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm so fancy!

I saw that Beth and Sarah had signatures on their blogs - and I've seen them on other blogs - so of course I wanted one too!!!

I should be doing homework and here I am, stalking my blog friends and making fancy signatures...

But isn't it cute?

Ha! Love it!