A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How Family Traditions are Born

At my house we have a few family traditions that come to us straight out of pop culture. For instance, putting the star on the Christmas tree we refer to as "Bumbling" the tree, a la the Bumble in Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer. The husband and I often refer to one another as Hunny and Bunny not out of some great outpouring of saccharine affection but rather because of the robbers from Pulp Fiction.
But my FAVORITE pop culture related family tradition is this one.
How wrong do you suppose it is, that the entire reason our family reads GOOD NIGHT MOON every single night is THIS clip from the Simpsons?

And in searching for that clip to share.......how awesome is it that we also ran across this one?

Christopher Walken just says GOOD PARENTING, now doesn't he?

Thanks to the husband for finding the clips!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My List of Five

Remember that episode of FRIENDS where Ross makes his list of freebies, the celebrities that IF HE HAS THE chance, he can have sex with them even if he's in a relationship? My own list was always, in my opinion, somewhat conservative in nature. On it would be (in no particular order)
  • Sting
  • Harrison Ford
  • Liam Neeson
  • Ewan MacGregor
  • Bono

Anyway, you can see, I never really bothered to put any HARD ROCKERS on my list but if YOU decide to, I found a useful resource that will come in handy compiling a list of your own.

And, Art Alexakis........wash your crotch. Geeeez dude.

Totally unrelated........but a MUST SEE. On the ORLEANS cover.......is that guy getting ready to rub the OTHER guys nipple?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Everyone's a Critic........

I have no qualms about telling you I'm a full fledged Star Wars Geek. Yeah, I've got boxed toys (somewhere) and I have a Millenium Falcon, somewhere.

So letting the oldest one watch the movies was somewhat of a rite of passage.

After all, I'm also an uptight parent about TV and let's face it, despite their obviously lack of SEX there is VIOLENCE especially as the films progress. So I held fast with Episode 4 (A NEW HOPE - YEAH I know It's NAME don't TRY ME) for a long time. Then Empire crept in and Lil Satchmo was obsessed with AT-AT walkers and snowspeeders and the like. Then Jedi was added and we held fast there for the past year.

Apparently the other day while I was at work the husband added Phantom Menace to the repertoire. And this post isn't really about that. He decided to let Lil Satchmo watch while Baby Birth of Cool and Baby Birdman were in bed napping. Before it was over, Baby Birth of Cool rolled out of bed and stumbled into the living room. He stood looking the TV sleepy eyed for a few moments then muttered "This is bullshit."

Personally, I didn't think it was that bad. Next he'll be lecturing me about Jar-Jar.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Heavenly Blessed and Worldy Wise

So, my Twenty Year High School reunion is this summer.
I don't care.
I swear to GOD I don't.
I feel a bit bad about it. I was quite anxious to go to the 5, and to the 10. Mostly because it was fun to go and be evil to the people who had screwed up their lives and gotten married the day after graduation or some such thing. The people who walked around at these graduations looking somewhat sad and worn out and were objects of pity to those of us who were unmarried, childless and enjoying our 20s to the fullest with all the drinking and the partying and the carousing.

At the 10, I think it was, we (the evil crew) went to the reunion instead of going to see SPINAL TAP and we were all annoyed that we didn't go to it instead.

I don't care that I'm fatter, that I spent 3 months unemployed this year or that I just relocated from the place I loved to live to this new place that I'm still a stranger in.

I don't care.

I still speak to most of the people I truly loved then, and every once in a while someone pops back in and says hello. Like Diane, recently. I was able to contact her after I mentioned her in a blogpost - Dave shot me the last email address he had for her.

So I guess what I'm saying is.....ummm, it's not that I don't like you or want to see you, it just seems like too muuch effort to spend a whole night going "yes I had twins" or whatever inane piece of info that people would latch onto. Or, worse is this conversation:
"Hi how are you?"
"Great, how are you?"
"Great, so how have you been/what's new?"

I am disinclined to encapsulate the last 20 years. Especially to people who I haven't kept up with.

So here is the deal.

It's been 20 years. If we were friends, and you read this........feel free to tell others who were also our friends during those times of flipped up collars and Aqua Net how to get ahold of me. I will be glad to actually hear from people who were friends. And I will be glad to reconnect with anyone who says hello.

Unless you were a douche in high school.

You know who you are.

as a postscript, I told you my friend Greg was cool.

Monday, May 21, 2007


John changed the rules, they used to be the Weekend Words Challenge and now it's the Weekly Words Challenge.

Seriously, I'm exactly inattentive enough to have had it wrong all along.

Regardless.........you know I have to play.

This weeks words are..........




Fun In Dixie

We also saw this while we were in Kennesaw.

Two questions come to mind.
Did they CALL it the Civil War at the time and even if they did, why do I need such supplies as this time?

And.....HERB SHOP?

Up north we call that a bodega......
who's with me?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I Hear the Train A Comin, It's Rollin Round the Bend

My husband is uber good at finding fun festivals and things to do no matter where we live. My friend Jody in Kentucky used to hit me up every Friday "What's going on this weekend?" because he knew that if there was a festival or outdoor fun thing to do, we'd be going.

This weekend the Kennesaw Railroad and Civil War museum held their ALL ABOARD DAYS wingding, which featured cool trains to ride, bounce houses to play in and other stuff all designed to make little kids and big kids who like trains giddy.

One of the best parts of the trip though was the MUSEUM. They had a really great set of exhibits, specifically THE GENERAL, the famous engine from THE GREAT TRAIN CHASE. The museum was really fantastic and while I half expected a museum dedicated to artifacts of the WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION it was very balanced, very well done without the bias I expected. Completely impressive.

I also learned that trucks crossing railroad tracks in Kennesaw will be electrocuted.
I also got the best souvenir ever!

Be sure to check out my other gig, PROPS AND PANS where we give you the real scoop on products and services real people use.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Affiliate Marketing Genius Available

I know a lot of people who have weird jobs. After all, I know someone who is an exotic lizard breeder, please - do YOU know anyone who does that? Did you know he also raises superworms by the bazillion in a special barn?
Yeah, that's right. Some of my friends are hella cool, I could write whole posts about them.
Maybe I will.
But let's just start with one.
My friend Greg Hoffman is not only an interesting guy, he's apparently getting creative in his job hunting techniques. Greg is into affiliate marketing and is currently looking for a job. I would seriously hire the guy after THIS caper.
I knew a guy once who sent a fish shaped cake after an interview, and had "Don't Let The Big One Get Away" written on it in icing. While it was funny, I think maybe the sexual overtones were more than he intended.
I also interviewed a candidate once who was supposed to "teach" us something in his interview and he spent 20 minutes extolling his virtues at foreplay. He went on and on, and apparently even felt it was necessary to tell us about how he was even great at teaching others foreplay. He meant to say 4pay which was a payment option offered by the company. The way he said it was funnier, though.
We didn't hire him, alas.

Greg however, gets huge props from me on this one.
Marketing Affiliate genius anyone? I know one who brings more to the table than professional experience.

He brings Donuts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Of Chicken Patties and Bad Cooking

So tonight I'm cooking. Which is a very LOOSE version of the term. Now that Alton Brown is practically my neighbor, you'd think some of his Chi might rub off on me, waft it's way over here and inspire me to cook - actually COOK rather than just heat food for my family.
I heat food. I don't cook it.
I suppose that it's a step in the right direction to know the difference.
Tonight I am heating sweet potatoes and tyson chicken patties, and I am NOT heating but am serving COLD as God intended, mixed fruit.
The chicken patties made me think of someone I hadn't really given much more than a passing thought to in a while, Diane Hollinden.
I know some of you out there know where she is or where she went, but in the sea of life she was swept away from me. (Nik and Scott this doesn't mean she is dead despite the CURSE you insist exists). We just both went on with our lives and they went in different ways.

I am reminded of her, because I remembered the first time I ever saw her cook dinner when we were in high school. She pulled out of the freezer a box of tyson chicken patties and from the cabinet a box of au gratin potatoes. I had never had anything like it before, because my mom didn't buy pre-packaged food. She made food. You want a chicken pattie? Here's your floured and fried chicken breast. Have a nice day. Yuppie moms today will tout that "they don't buy pre-packaged food" but at my house it wasn't fashion it was necessity. When your dad is a school teacher there isn't a lot of style that goes into parenting.

I thought Diane's family was so rich, with their prepackaged food. I really did. Her dad worked for Eli Lilly and her mom was a nurse, if I remember correctly. They could afford food I hadn't even ever LOOKED at in the store.

What a difference 20 years makes, when I feel guilty, like I'm the BAD parent for serving food I once coveted as rare and lofty.

The last bastion of the overworked and under culinary educated parent.

And if anyone knows where Diane Hollinden. is or talks to her, tell her I miss drinking RC cola and eating chips and dip with her on our depressed girl days moaning about boys. And tell her, I remember SPIDERS.

She'll get it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Because I Said So....

We have a guest posting today. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Gidge's husband, Scott AKA Frank. Yeah!!!!!!!!

My mother, your mother. My grandmothers. Yours. My wife, your wife. Sisters, aunts. The women who made you who you are. The strong women. The beautiful women. Some are parents, some are not. All are mothers. Because mothers nurture and mothers give life. Because they care and they love without reservation. Because they are what I will never be. I honor you every day. But today know my special thanks, Happy Mother's Day and thank you from my heart.

I want to talk about the special mother in my life. No, not you, Mom. Sorry. You'll always be my mom and I could never replace what you mean to me but "mother" has gained a new definition for me in the last four and a half years. You folks know her as Gidge or maybe Bridgette. To me, she is Bunny, Bidgy, Princess, and My Little Flower. She's the mother of my children and the love of my life. My mother is June Cleaver with a cigarette. Bridgette is her antithesis. She doesn't smoke and she certainly is no June Cleaver. Cooking and cleaning? Nope, not Gidge. Those things are wonderful but that's not what mom should mean to you anyway. This is motherhood:

No, it's not always pretty. But it is always beautiful. It's half a slice of pie when you really wanted the whole thing. It's another story when you're too exhausted to think. It's taking care of someone when you've just puked for the fourth time. It's watching that stupid kid's show again when you hated it the first 117 times that you saw it. It's saying, "I love you so much" when all you really want to do is scream.

In 1802, Sir William Herschel defined a binary star as "a real double star, the union of two stars that are formed together in one system by the laws of attraction".

Two stars, locked together in love for all eternity. Sometimes stars support planets. This is our solar system:

Notice a common theme? It ain't gravity that holds this particular system together folks - it's Bidgy. And maybe, if we're lucky, our little system might just keep growing.

Happy Mother's Day Bunny. I love you dearly and you'll always be My Little Flower. Now you people get out there and tell the ladies in your life that you love them and be sure to wish them a Happy Mother's Day for me. Because I said so....

Addendum: Scientists have discovered a new dwarf planet in our solar system. Ladies and gentlemen: Julia

Friday, May 11, 2007

National Diaper Day April 7th

So I'm not sure how CLEAR I have made this in the past, but I'm a bit forgetful.
Ummm, pathologically so, sometimes.
I can remember details about the Lucent G3r Switch that I haven't worked with since 1999 but I can't remember how to access my own voice mail or remember basic stuff around the house.
As you can imagine, this causes a lot of problems in life.
I also have a secondary affliction.
I put things places.
I put them there, intending to REMEMBER I put them there, only forgetting in the course of talking about the various influences Dvorak's work (or some other equally inane topic - such as oohhhh, maybe which ship is sexier - Millenium Falcon or Enterprise).......and then, chaos can sometimes ensue. My mom does it too. She's forever giving me things in July that she had hidden away for Christmas, or giving me Easter presents in November, because she JUST FOUND THEM.

So I get it honest.

Anyway, we moved here to the land of cotton or whatever the hell it is and into our new place on April 7. You can imagine the chaos. Three little guys, two in diapers. Movers holding the front door OPEN for hours while we try to corral the little ones, feed them change diapers etc etc etc etc.

Very hard on someone prone to forget even those most BASIC of things, like where you put stuff, on this chaotic day.

About a week after we moved in, my husband said "GEEEEZ, I think the person who lived here before us had cats or was really dirty or something, have you SMELLED under the sink in the bathroom?"

Looking under the sink, I saw the usual, bag of maxipads, make up bag, hair dryer, flat iron, curling brush, random lotion products that I keep because I JUST MIGHT USE THEM AGAIN SOMEDAY and........yeah, it kind of smelled.

Kinda GROSS.

So this week, a full month after the big relocation, my husband decides to pull everything out and wipe it all out with alcohol and spray it down with Lysol and really make sure it's disinfected because clearly MY LAZY ASS WASN'T GOING TO DO IT (oh I'm forgetful AND Lazy......did I mention lazy?) when I hear a cry of HORROR from the BATHROOM!!


Hidden under the sink.

Like a little present.

So in honor of my lack of memory and apparent INSANITY we're declaring April 7 DIAPER DAY!

I encourage all of you to hide a bag of diapers around your house as a lovely surprise for your spouse next year.

Mine seemed REALLY excited to find it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Lapsed Shoe Addict

I know that there are lapsed Catholics, and they say that the Unitarians are the feather bed for fallen Catholics (yeah this is probably a wicked thing to say but whatever, sorry Catholics and Unitarians, but this isn't about you.)
The question then becomes........

Where is the feather bed for fallen shoe addicts?

When I was in high school, I fed a full on shoe addiction with my wages from Rax, the Tshirt shop and Little Caesars. I had shoes in all shapes and sizes, flats, jellies, heels, sandals etc etc etc.

I had them all.

And most of them hurt.

But dammit I was cute.

I paired down the inventory when my bills became my own but still, I owned a mighty collection of cute stuff.

And now.

Here I am.

I do have some cute shoes, I don't know how many. Some. A dozen pair?

But I wear the same pair of serviceable, loafer shoes with a block heel every day.

They fall somewhere into the category of the shoes that Ross's monkey Marcel on FRIENDS pooped in, the ones that belonged to Monica. Rachel described them as "those pilgrim shoes that you think go with everything."

I now own those shoes.

I think that they go with everything.

They might not.

But I can't even care.

I remember when I bought them, it was the weekend before I returned to work after the twins were born. I had been wearing some huge horrible clown shoes right before they were born and my feet had finally gone back to normal. Having been off of work for 5 weeks I was not made of cash so I picked them out because they were, to choose a word......SERVICEABLE.


I haven't really worn them much since those first days back at work until now. But I discovered them since I've had this foot thing going on.

They don't look particularly cute but they are black and they do sort of work with whatever. Not in a fashion way, but I don't look particularly matronly either.

And every morning, after I pull on some hose..........I slip them on. And I remember that feeling, of going back to work. I feel it every morning.

Back to work.

And I am so happy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

All Ya'll Got Issues.........

Every once in a while (like, ummm 3 times a day), I like to check the old Site Meter.
Not only to see which of you is reading me (yeah I'm watching those states with friends in them who haven't hit in a few days - I SEE YOU NOT READING ME!), I'm also checking out how you got here - which you know if you read this blog.

Man, people google some bizarre stuff. What is up with that?
First of all you should be using blingo and if you aren't let me know and I'll you with a link. Sarah and the Queen won iPods using it.

But I digress.

How did some of you sickos get here?

By googling.......

  • Ricky Ricardo speech impediment (sorry Ernesto by man you DID sound like Ricky)
  • WW PTS for Sonny's BBQ (first of all they are located at www.dwlz.com ,second of all, give it up fat girls, we can't eat at Sonny's. Give up the Sonnys. This is why we are so chubby, bcse we eat at Sonny's.)
  • Would you like to live in a big city like Chicago USA? (first of all foreigner it's Chicago Il USA, and second - YES! I would thanks for asking.)
  • Peed his pants potty - (ummm, what?)
  • Does Harry Connick Jr sign autographs - (actually yes and quite graciously. He seems quite kind and genuine for someone who is being gawked at by worshipers.)
  • Playboy Bunny -( yeah that was from back when I was still employed by the EVIL EMPIRE. Also known as Sodom.)
  • Why do people who party hard look bloated? ( If you have to ask that, you don't party hard. Why are you on the computer, don't you have church to go to or something?)
  • My left foot aches. Mine too. Sorry about that. Put on some sneaks. It helps.
  • Rice Krispie treats nauseous. Hmmm - really? Can I have them then?

and here is the grand prize winner.........



I never did that.

Ya sickos.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I Swear I'm Really Back - REALLY

I did fill you in on the stupid stuff I did in Chicago, but I didn't tell you about the brilliant, FUN stuff I did there.
The night I arrived I flew into Milwaukee, and coincidentally, two of my bestest friends from FLA happened to be in Chi-Town to see Peeping Tom. We decided that I would drive to Lincoln Park and meet up and go to the show. It's fun when you're the expert in a group - especially about a PLACE. I am by no means a total expert......but, although I HEART them mightily, they were not only out of their normal realm of existence, they were hammered by the time my plane landed.

The first conversation on the phone went like this:

Me: "I just landed in Milwaukee, I'll drive to Waukegan, check into the hotel - change and then zip into the city and meet you at the club. Give me time, though, bcse Lincoln park is hard to park in......okay?"

Them: "Yes, we'll meet you outside the club."

2 1/2 hours later, I'm standing outside the club in Lincoln park on the cell phone: "Where are you guys?"

Them: "Oh we're heading back to the hotel to change...we'll be there soon."

I call them an hour later "Where are you guys?"

"Oh we're almost at the hotel, why what time is it?"

Hilarious. The first act was getting ready to go on.

45 minutes later, I call them back.

They're trying to figure out how to get a bus from downtown to Lincoln Park.

"OH MY GOD GET INTO A FUCKING CAB" I shriek like a sober person surrounded by drunks (I was).

7 minutes later, they showed up.

The show ruled, we got a great seat due to the bold drunk Irish girls they had in two who tossed a "reserved" sign off of a table declaring loudly "They should have been on time if they wanted this table!"

Here is Nik and I happy as clams, and a bit toasty by this point. Yeah it's dark, camera phone, what do you want?

We were having a really fun time. It was a bit surreal, moving 500 miles away from one week, then flying away from home to Chicago where you meet up with your friends from the place you just left.
It was as if I hadn't left at all, actually.

Nik wandered off out of the bar with the Irish girls and Scott, Bud and I went on a journey through Lincoln park. To find her. She was at a bar, whose name varied based on which time we spoke to her on the phone. Finally we had a bar name, and when we realized we didn't know where it was I pulled up to a gas station to ask directions. One of the things I love about Chicago as a massive urban center came shining through........not only did the attendant help me, the guy in line behind me, the guy in line behind him AND the junkie sitting on the ground nearby all had good advice on how to get there. People in Chicago are nice. It's a major city, but you don't that "we are a major city and you are just a hick" attitude. I love Chicago.

So off we headed to 1060 West Addison - WRIGLEY field. The bar was across the street.

The other two really great things I did while I was there was visit my cousins. I have wicked-awesome cousins who live in Chicago. Fun, metropolitan people who are always cool to see. Not a green bean salad in SITE when this family reunion takes place. And we're sort of distant cousins, I'm not sure how to count it.....Bob's grandmother and my GREAT grandmother were sisters. 3rd cousins? Any of you genealogy experts out there know what that makes us? Second cousins once removed?
My cousin Sara (her GREAT GRANDMOTHER and MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER were sisters) met up with us at Bob and Deedee's house and we had dinner, wine and reminisced about the family craziness (good times, such as how when Sara's mom got married we all learned that freezer tape will pull the paint right off of your car, and how when I was little Sara's mom was like my big sister because she was always at my house and how a dinner of Boone's farm wine and LaChoy used to be a girls night in for our mom's when I was little).
Sara also came up to Waukegan one night and we had a WILD and WOOLY evening at the Chili's (woohoo!) with a waiter/bartender who was working HARD to chat up my little cousin (who is finishing her masters and is therefore all grown up)......he told us dirty jokes (bad old dirty jokes) and was very willing to tell us about his 13 tattoos..........6 of which "were visible".
We declined a private showing of the other 7.
It's a fun time, when you realize that people that were little children have grown up and you can hang out and talk and suddenly you're the same age, even though you're still 10 years older. It was so much fun.

The bartender suggested she come back some time.

I'm sure that she and her girls will be rolling up from Lincoln Park to toss a few back at the Chili's in Waukegan. PAR-TAY!

When I got back, the Husband surprised me with dinner one night at FUDRUCKERS! If you aren't one of the people who was teased in the 80s by a short lived presence of FUDRUCKERS in your town.......you don't understand the LONGING you get for a 1 POUND CHEESEBURGER.

Here, my hubby shows you what you are missing.

So the entire post point is......
I had a good time. And I'm home.

And a short post script, how the hell do any of you use WORDPRESS? It's making me want to poke out my own eyes as I try to compose a post for Props and Pans.

Blogger - the blogging software for the addle minded. It works for me!