Life on the Goo Goo Ga Ga Goes Italian!

on Monday, December 15, 2008

I have been absent. There is a good reason. We,….being the whole Goo Goo Ga Ga Staff, are hitting the road for the holidays. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and apparently he is visiting The Goo Goo Ga Ga Griswolds in Italy for Christmas and New year!

Tomorrow evening we are jet setting to Rome and many destinations South of Rome!

How exciting!

How fabulous!

How wonderful!

Yet I am slightly terrified that I will never make it on the plane. Even more terrified that I will not make it OFF the plane!

A 4 year old, a 2 year old, a 78 year old, The Me and The Him – we are all hitting the road for a 12 hour flight to London and then 4 hours to Rome. If we survive the flight….3 weeks of Road Trip await! We will be tripping our way south of Rome to spend Christmas and New Years with my Aunts, Uncles and multitudes of cousins.

We are going to try and be totally awesome and post from the road.

However, knowing myself too well….we will most likely be posting next year!

On that note…I wish all of you….a Buon Natale! And a most Felice Anno Nuovo!!!

Thank you for listening …err…reading! I look forward to happy blogging new year!

Barbra Streisand, Spanish?

on Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Little Man loves music....all kinds....especially soundtracks from his favorite movies. Well...WALL-E is the current favorite that led us down the primrose path to one of our favorite musicals, Hello Dolly. So for the last few weeks all we hear are the pleas of Barbra Streisand telling us to "Just leave everything to me", and "Put on your Sunday Clothes". I want to publicly thank Barbra in helping us out in the *getting dressed department* on Sunday mornings!

Anywho, this morning, Little Man is enjoying the music while relaxing and my Mother (The Nonna) approaches Little man. Here's how the exchange went:

The Nonna: Little Man, do you know who this is, singing? (can you hear the Sicilian accent)
Little Man: Dolly
The Nonna: No, Bello, this is Barbra Streisand. Can you say Barbra Streisand?
Little Man: (clearly ignoring Nonna)
The Nonna: Barbra Streisand. Say Barbra Streisand.
Little Man: No, Nonna, I can't say it...I don't speak Spanish.

So there you go. Little known fact: Barbra Streisand is Spanish. At least to my 4 year old Little Man.

Cracked me up.

p.s. This post is a long time coming. And I'm sure during this holiday season, no one noticed (Except my Super Bestest Bloggy Friend Adlibby!), BUT there is a reason! I will blog about it before long!

The Fourth Installment of the Husband

on Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is my final post of the evening!  Yeah!  I have committed to post 4 times this eve and I will prevail.  After a day putting bucks and doe's on the lawn....putting together IKEA type drawers and shelves for the kids room...I can finally say Goodnight to you all.

This husband is going to sleep...on to Monday!!


Christmas Survey! I LOVE THIS STUFF!

OK. I went over to Georgie's blog at Decisionally Challenged and found two things. She has a CONFESSIONAL which you can comment on anonymously. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?! And found that she had a Christmas Survey posted (which she calls a MEME, but I don't know what that means so I'm just going to say - Survey). seems she found it on The Life of Binks, which is also a cool blog. A day in the life of binks: Christmas Meme

Long story not so is my survey!

Christmas Survey!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
BOTH - Although I typically buy a huge roll of fabulous wrapping paper from Costco that wraps my gifts for Christmas for the next 3 years. I then use it as a central theme and buy bags accordingly. Sounds like I give this too much thought, huh?

2. Real tree or Artificial?
REAL, REAL, REAL - I'm not going to judge you Artificial tree buyers....but OLD people usually use artificial trees. OLD people and people who don't have fun. OK. I am judging you. But I'm kidding. Does that help?

3. When do you put up the tree? take the tree down?
Hmmm...since we are a real tree family and having FUN constantly....we don't generally put the tree up until a week or so before Christmas. We don't' take the tree down until after Jan. 6th - the Epiphany.

4. Do you like eggnog?
Yes. The creamier the better....thick...but not eggy....I don't like thin eggnog.

5. Favorite gift received as a child?
Easybake oven.

6. Hardest person to buy for?
Everyone, except myself as I'm wandering aimlessly looking for everyone else's gift.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. It's a ceramic nativity scene I painted for my father as a gift. Sadly, he died before I could give it to him. Setting out the nativity scene under the tree was his favorite part of the whole Christmas preparation. Now it's mine.

8. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail - always stressful getting them out...but out they go.

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Can't think of one.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Oh, many! OK...I have a top 10 - no particular order:

  • Christmas in Connecticut (Barbra Stanwyck version)
  • White Christmas
  • Love Actually
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Scrooged
  • Holiday Affair (Janet Leigh, Robert Mitchem version)
  • Miracle on 34th Street (original & latest)
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I normally start in earnest a few weeks before Christmas....I was always the girl shopping on Christmas Eve.

12. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No. I've wanted to. But, no.

13. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My Mom's holiday soup. Homemade pasta lasagna (again credited to Mom), cousins Maria and Gisela's homemade cookies.

14. Lights on the tree?
White lights.
(during my formative years...there was a silver tinsel tree that had a rotating colored lights wheel shining on it's pure white)

15. Favorite Christmas song? many to name.
  • O Holy Night
  • Father Christmas - the Kinks
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • O Bambino
  • Waiting For the Man With the Bag
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLaughlin
  • Joy to the World
  • Please Come Home for Christmas (Aaron Neville)

16. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since marrying The's been a lot of travel...sometimes at Christmas...this year...the farthest yet.

17. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
Yes :)

18. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I've always loved an angel - but our 4 year old (who is addicted to The Polar Express) feels really strongly about a star on top of the tree...and since I feel really strongly about what HE feels really strongly about....I feel really strongly about a STAR.

19. Open the presents Christmas eve or Christmas day?
Christmas Morning - after a long winters nap!

20. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
taking the decorations down and the house looking sooooo.....naked.

21. Favorite ornament theme or color?
A little walnut from Hallmark that you open and there is a family scene inside.

22. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Holiday soup, followed by lasagna, meatballs, sausage, bracciole followed by veal cutlet and all of the sides!

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A memento of our trip. (Think GOLD, my love!)

Alright now, you do it....give us the Christmas lowdown....let me know if you do it so I can go read!

Favorite Songs of the Husband

I can not really narrow my list down to one song as my wife has.  I love her favorite song though.  I have many times played the air trumpet to many of their songs.  I love the I AM album.  It reminds me of driving to summer camps.  I would let it blast and run my stick shift into the floor.

Another favorite group of mine would have to be The Eagles.  Driving down the coast to Take it Easy and Hotel California is this Republican golfer's speed.  The last time they were out I talked the wife into going to two of their concerts.  They are still as good as they were back in the 70's...maybe better!

All in all I have a fairly eclectic album of favorite tunes.  I can go from musicals to rock and roll.  In fact the wife and I just went to see Wicked for the third time.  It has been on the car's Ipod for a few days now.  It is quite possibly the best musical since Phantom.  In our book they are neck and neck.

I will try and update the blog with my favorites in the coming days.

Boogiewonderland Husband Out!!

Am I sarcastic??

My wife referred to me as sarcastic.   It made me I?.  When you have a comeback, as I do,  for people doing things that are stupid or moronic,  I just say "stupid people don't know they are stupid"  ...simple huh??  Gives meaning to the universe of the unexplained behavior in this world.  If you get a grasp of this statement it puts life into it's place.  You don't have to stress over someones don't have to try to fix have to just let them be.  For to try and explain it will only send you over a cliff of despair.

So I ask...can you concur...look at my I sarcastic??

Husband Out!!

The Other Chin

OK...this is the truth. It's not pretty. I was totally blindsided this week when I realized, while perusing pictures of my nieces visit....that I have developed a second chin.

O. M. G.

It is only visible when smiling...but it's there.

send. help. please.
(do you see how far I will go to make my 30 in 30 quota...and still...I missed it!)

Twilight: The Him Perspective

It was a wonderful day. My wife's niece came into town for a short visit. We loaded up the kids and saw Bolt. As we were working our way into the theater we saw the long lines of 20 somethings standing in line to see this new movie I have never heard of - Twilight.

Well...It peeked my wife's and niece's interest enough to get tickets for it at a later time, after the little munchkins were in slumber land.
Little did I know that I would be headed that way 10 minutes into this movie.
To say it was bad, in my estimation, is an understatement. The last movie that I lost time on was the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. If I were to know that I had an option that evening, I would have opted to see those girls romp all over Greece again.

This movie should have been on TNT or some other cable channel opposite Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm not sure which one would have won the time slot.

In closing...Bolt saved the day!! Twilight put me to sleep. I did discover there is hope for the 20 somethings out there after my 21 year old niece had the same impression of the movie that I had. There is still hope for our youth.

MUSIC: September - Earth, Wind & Fire

on Saturday, November 29, 2008

Taking a page...err..or post out of Jori's blog at Jeff & Me+3 here is my first installment of music that has shaped my life!

When I was 9 years old I was asked an amazing, life altering question by my older cousins who were driving a car through Philadelphia.

What is your favorite song?!?

Well...even as a 9 year old I was terrifically astute and brilliant. I chose wisely and still agree with my choice....30 years later.

Ahhh....this song takes me to every car ride, every dance floor, most parties and good time of my life. It still makes me move and sing along! Every! Single! Time! I hear it!
I think one of the main reasons that it is STILL my favorite song of ALL that I still can't quite figure out what they are saying. I can never conquer this song! It is fabulous!

So I ask you, dear reader, what is your ALL TIME FAVORITE SONG?!


OK. Twilight. There are no spoilers, but if you are a Twilight lover and are easily offended - STOP HERE.

I haven't read the books. I *have* read all of the blogs gushing about this series of books called Twilight. I trust you guys implicitly...well...kinda.... Anyway, my 21 year old niece was visiting from out of town last week and I thought that Twilight might be a great young adult flick to go check out - together. She had never heard of it. However, with me talking it up the week before her visit...we were so convinced that we would LOVE this movie and series that we bought the books the day the movie came out and went to see it the first night. We took my husband, too. Do you see where this is going?


We got in line for the movie. WE GOT IN LINE! We managed to get my favorite seats in the stadium seating movie theater...the first row as it goes up that has a railing in front, perfect to perch my dainty feet. The crowd was excited, to say the least. There was quite a bit of squealing and giggling before the movie started. I was so excited.

Once the movie started....the excitement fizzled and the confusion began.

The crowd seemed pretty engaged and ummm...I wasn't. The crowd was laughing, giggling and screaming at places that I didn't understand. I felt like I was watching a foreign movie without subtitles. I WAS A LOST. We all were. My husband was TRYING to fall asleep.

It WASN'T a BAD movie, but it WASN'T a GOOD movie either. It WASN'T a BAD story..., um....but it WASN'T a GOOD story either. I thought the girl who played Bella was very good. I can imagine that the book might be better....but I had heard some references to this series being the next Harry don't think so.

OK. That's it. I'm done.

Multi-tasking - It's overrated

on Friday, November 28, 2008

When asked how I *manage* to work full time from home in an "office" setting with two little ones in the house, my standard sing-song answer is:  It's the best of both worlds.  

I'm lying.  

It's not the best of both worlds.   

I'm so lucky!, I generally say.  

I'm lying.

I *am* lucky in so many ways, but most days, I don't feel that juggling my position in the company I work for and juggling the emotional, educational, recreational and fundamental needs of my  4 year old and 2 year old qualifies me as being lucky. 

When I'm told that I'm SO lucky that I begin my work day at 5am to finish at 1pm so that gives me an opportunity to be an "active" mother with my children, I want to dummy slap the mentally deficient person who failed to realize that by 1:00pm I've been SO active that there are cuts on my fingers from spinning plates and shards of china on my floor from all of the plates I've dropped and broken.

By the middle of the day I feel like screaming:  I'M DANCING AS FAST AS I CAN!

I'm tired of spinning plates.  I'm tired of juggling.  I'm tired of multi-tasking.  


When I'm having a Pollyanna moment, *which are frequent and not liquor induced*, I do realize that I am fortunate to be able to see my children grow, be available for their daily trauma and drama as well as the laughter and milestones.  But the reality is that I spend most of my day stealing from Peter to pay Paul.

Work, kids, aging fabulous mother with a multitude of doctor appointments and friends to visit, a house to clean, play dates to keep, parent participation afternoon preschool, 3 meals a day to figure out, ...and that's just the obvious stuff.  Add in business meetings, dinner parties, gardening, blogging!, all the stuff I couldn't say "NO" to and all of the stuff I didn't want to say "no" to and you've got yourself a multi tasking maniac.

Here is the worst part.  I'm a generally nice, fun, funny person to be around....however, when the multitasking maniac is in full throttle I am a hectic, annoyed, easily provoked power keg of angst.  I yell at the drop of a hat.  

How many of you guys can relate to this?  Raise your hands.  Ok, put them down...too many to count.

I have always been good at multi-tasking, but now see that multi-tasking has not been good to me.  I'm tired of splitting my view of my job, my kids, my mother, my husband, my *everything*......with everything else!

Get this....I took my mother to a doctors appointment today.  My husband took the kids out and about and there I a doctors waiting room... with my mother... for 3 hours....with nothing else to do...and nowhere else to be.  No kids, no work, no nothing....just uninterrupted time in a doctors office with my mother.  We actually talked...and we was fabulous. We didn't yell at each other.  There was no rushing or angst of what I needed to do next....just a relaxed afternoon with my full attention on one person.

I was giving my attention to one act, one person, one situation.

I want that. 

I want that frequently.

I want that with my children.

I want to raise them and enjoy them.  That's it.

I want to cook dinner...with infrequent interruptions....that's it.

I want to take a shower.  Every day!.  That's it.

I want to perform my duties at work without feeling that I'm compromising my children's emotional needs.  That's it.

I want to spend time with my husband...awake.  That's all.

Ok.  I'm done now.

The NABLOPOMO Walls are CLOSING in...

November 28th, 10:37pm - The whole 30 posts in 30 days err...thing....not going so well.....AND THERE ARE TWO OF US!

Here's the thing....I've got ideas....bazillions of them.....well at least 12! I can do this. I CAN PULL THIS OFF!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...well...tomorrow is another day.

Sign this one,
The Little Engine That Could? aka: Scarlett O'Hara

December 1st, 12:19am - UPDATE - I fell short....but sweetheart and I did a great job and posted 27 times this month! That's phenomenal! I'm so proud I can't stand it! What does NaBLOPMO have up it's sleeve for December? I'm TERRIFIED!

Thoughts from a Republican Golfer

on Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The election is over thankfully.  Palin is back in Alaska.  McCain to the Senate.  Bush thankfully back to Texas soon.  I must admit I felt as though I didn't have a dog in this race this year.  I would have preferred a Romney or Huckabee.  I consider myself pretty much a fiscal conservative and a socially so so toward the middle.  That being said I could not rap myself around Obama mania this time around.  He is basically...politically.... on the other side of us supply siders.

In this time though I can't help myself to root for this man with my whole heart.  This country needs someone to rally around and I hope this man brings this country back soon.  I do like the way he has positioned himself to hit the floor running once January 20th comes around.  He has already come to the middle a bit.  He is showing that he can't play politics with this country's future right now.  So far so good.  I can now say at this time Gobama!  


on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I feel like a Superstar today!

Noah's Mommy from Project Mommyhood has given me and my guy a blog award! Can you even believe that? And since we may never pass this way again...I feel that I must celebrate this event with a song :) Soooo...In the words of Mary Katherine Gallagher...."I think my feelings would best be expressed by a song/monologue from "Night and Day" starring Cary Grant! "

Thank you Noah's Mommy! You have a lovely warm blog and I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you consider ours worth your time and consideration! Many thanks!

Now!...everyone go to Noah's Mommy's Blog!

Now make this Award official I must say these incredibly special's special. :)

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Now it's my turn to gift this fabulous, prestigious, popular and oh so important award on the other good little girls and boys of Blogland...(can you hear Glinda the Good Witch now?)

These are all fabulous blogs and you should let your clever little fingers walk you right over to their blogs now....bring a beverage and comfy chair...there is a whole lot of good reading waiting for you!

I now dub you Awarded:

Adlibby on the Loose

Go, now, and use your power for good!

Old Crone??

on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I have read the posts of late on "skin tags".

I would only like to let you all know that my soon to be birthday bride is no where near the crone in Princess Bride. I, being her Wesley, would have to put her in the Princess catagory myself. Knowing what you princesses go through on a daily basis and dare I say "monthly" basis gives me a sense of humbleness at times. We as "the hims" can only imagine the pain and uncomfortableness it can be at times for you all. It is these moments that this Wesley can only say to my princess...."as you wish".


on Monday, November 17, 2008

Since last Saturday, the Southland here has been awash in soot and ashes...the likes we have never seen in our just usually doesn't reach us. The wife and I have noticed recently as we walk in and out of the house that we are actually walking on the charred remains of someone's home. 30 miles away, someone's home was disintegrated and floated to our home. It is sobering when you know that hundreds of residents in the LA area are homeless right now because of this fire. It is not just the rich and famous of Montecito...but in one instance 480 mobile homes went up in smoke in Orange County. So - we look at the ground full of ash and say a prayer for all those that have lost everything in this fire. Please pray for them and send them clothes for their backs...they need them.

Skin Tags....what the....?

on Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am turning 39 on Sunday. Apparently I'm also turning into the old crone in the movie "Princess Bride". In the last few weeks I have noticed something very ODD. The tiniest pieces of skin are popping out in the oddest places....and apparently they are called Skin Tags.

They are harmless.

They are a mystery.

They are annoying.

They are odd and ugly.

The medical world has no idea where they come from.

The medical world is not concerned about them.


And I don't like it.

Apparently you *just* burn them off. JUST BURN THEM OFF!!!! NOT's a procedure in a doctors office...hopefully after a few drinks.

Today my Little Girl found them while sitting on my lap during mass. She was running her hands on the side of my neck and said...Mamma, what's this? I replied that it was skin. She gave me the scrunched up nose and snobby voiced answer that only an over confident 2 year old can pull off and said..."No it's's a boo boo...I kiss it now. Go to the doctor."

Now I know I'm not the only woman in the world with these things. It's only since noticing them, and of course, being vocal about them, that people are coming out of their shrouded skin tag silence and admitting that they too have had them.

WHY DO WOMEN DO THIS TO EACH OTHER!??!?! Why don't we talk about this stuff? Why didn't I know about them before???? This reeks of the time I found out women get mustaches (I'm Italian...I learned this early...but still)....why don't women discuss this sort of thing. Apparently....alot of women get skin tags and even though they are annoying....they are usually a benign cosmetic problem. A benign cosmetic problem I'll take instead of other more dramatic issues...but one that is annoying the crap out of me. just to recap:

  • We get hair on our legs and underarm that we must shave in order to maintain our feminine appeal.
  • We have to tweeze, wax or thread our eyebrows, upper lips and apparently as you approach 40...our chins!!!! <---I'm so freakin annoyed with that one.
  • We get our monthly friend's arrival with her annoying counterparts of bloat and cramps.
  • We get enormous (batting eyelashes) pectoral action that we need to upkeep with horrifically expensive and terribly uncomfortable wire curved straight jackets designed to make us more desirable to once again...maintain our feminine appeal.
  • Personal heatwaves await.
  • We get to carry our progeny for 10 months (9 months???who are we kidding?) and then we get to try to evacuate them from our bodies from *THE* most sensitive area on our bodies.
  • We get to be full time mom's, full time housekeepers and full time workers.
  • The list goes on.....
  • And we introduce Skin Tags.

I'm channeling Rose from "Moonstruck"...."You've got a love bite (skin tag) on your neck...your life is going down the toilet."

Would I trade being a woman?


OK. I'm done. I feel better now.

My Romantic

on Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I being the husband, the him, you might find it amusing that, yes I, before I was even married to my wife, had seen Sense and Sensibility. I also on the other hand love a good shoot up movie like True Lies. I have a wide variety of interest in movies. Bottom line...I love being entertained. I love a good story. I do draw the line at The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. My brother in law and I came to the same conclusion on that movie that we will never get those wasted 2 hours back. If fact my bro in law made mention that he felt like a jackass for wasting his time with it.

That being said...I love a good movie...shoot em up or romantic. I have realized that my son is on the same path....let me set the evening....

As dinner came to a close, the subject of Family Movie Night came up. Different names came up...but we came down on the side of Alladin with the influence of my son :)

As we are cleaning up I start looking for the movie....and looking ...and looking. You who have Disney movies know which ones you have and usually where they are. My wife and I looked high and low. We had to break the news to my son and daughter that Alas we could not find it....It was here where the choice came down to an old classic....Cinderella. My son is usually hesistant on new movies...but once he sees one, it's his new favorite :)

I had my doubts about his interest level it in this long would he watch it before he started in with his cars or trains. Afterall it wasn't Cars, Monsters Inc, Polar Express...action action movies. the evening proceeded, we see that our daughter is GLUED to the screen...motionless. That is to be little princess that twirls on the floor to Once Upon a Dream. We were beaming!

It was my son's reaction that actually brought a tear to my eyes. He too was engaged in the movie the whole time. Actually there were times that he didn't like because they scared him abit. It was about the time that Cindrella's fairy god mother came out and tranformed her that he sat in the corner of the couch...knees up alittle...very engaged. He watch intently as the pumkin is transformed into a carriage and such. It is when she gets to the ball....the prince is perusing his potential brides, he spys Cindrella dancing on the balcony by herself...the prince stares, smiles, walks right by the evil step sisters......It is here where my son out of no where starts clapping his hands with this grin on his face....He was so happy that the prince saw past the step sisters and saw Cinderella. My wife and I just looked at each other and grinned. My cars and trains guy is a romantic at heart. This is not to say that we didn't already know he is a very sweet boy but now we know that he is a romantic too. That makes this daddy very happy.

Our Tiny Dancers

on Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Here it is Tuesday...the wife, the mom and I are watching our fall season ritual that is Dancing with the Stars...House... Eli Stone...Brothers and Sisters...and Boston Legal.

As we are falling asleep on the couch after our long day..we see the Dancing with the Stars segment of the brother and sister pro members Derek and Julianne dancing on the floor at the same time. We both have the same idea...could that be our dancing duo someday?

As you can see from an earlier video post...our little girl has a style all her own. Our son is a very energetic dancer when the music plays. To see them prance around the floor in front of us gives us such joy. Our little girl has just learned the beginnings of her latest favorite melody....The song from Sleeping Beauty..Once Upon a Dream. She often just peels off..."I know you...I know you...I know you"...of late she has extended it to "I know you...I know you once a pon a ream" As she hears the song she lifts her arms up and just twirls. Our little guy builds his own little stage and steps it out to "Step in Time" looking just like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

As you can see ..we are having fun....not only with the head shots that our youngest gives our oldest but also with our after dinner dancing that fills the house on a regular basis.

It is now that time to go to bed and put the Goo Goo Ga Ga to sleep.

P.S - Now after all that you are probably wondering..."How do these two watch all those shows??" It's called TIIIIIVOOOOOO. Good night all!

My Little Ninja :)

on Monday, November 10, 2008

I smile in the title of this only because I know that I shouldn't have but after it happened at lunch today I had to step into the mom's office and bust a gut.

The scene...lunch time...the kids were playing with their chicken and french fries. Eating but not really in an especially speedy pace. I the dad...having finished my lunch am just watching them. I throw out the "she's going to finish her lunch first it looks like" They both get that look in their eyes and start stuffing the chicken fries into their mouth. I, being the dad that doesn't care to see my kids choking, knocked that off quickly. It did come down though, at that point, that the younger one, in her booster, had a half a piece left. The oldest seeing this proceeded to stuff a whole one in his mouth just as she ate her last piece. He mumbled that he finished first and I corrected him with ..."um mm...nope ..she wins"

Here's where the belated belly laugh came. He with his mouth still full gets down and starts wagging his finger in his sister's face to let her know of his disapproval that she finished's where my ninja quietly and non passionately just...with lighting speedy just popped my son on the forehead...all we needed was that open handed retraction and yell of Jackie Chan. Well he had to respond in kind and by then I intervened any further fisticuffs.

I found myself having a hard time chastising them too much other than saying that "you shouldn't do that" in that fatherly sternness.

The wife, and mom had a huge giggle moment when I recounted it to her.

Are we bad? :) I look at these times we enjoy and remember. Especially when they are older and truly best friends to each other.

Anybody else find humor in parenting???


Powerful Woman's Motto

I just received this via e-mail and had to share:
Live your life in such a way that
when your feet hit the floor in the morning,
Satan shudders and says...
'Oh, shit! She's awake!!!'

Picture angst!

on Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm absolutely torn on whether it's appropriate to post pictures of my children on my blog. Some of you might say....well already have....but I had done that prior to making it a public site....and well...I don't want to take them off.

What do you guys think?

Is this cheating?

on Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hey....psst... I started this post at 11:50 or so last night but was so tired...and had so much work to I get paid to do....that I just could not do I hit SAVE NOW.....Now I do believe that if I hit publish will mark it as last nights that cheating?

Is there blog police?

Do I need legal representation?

Will a Nablopomo rep rip their little thingy off of my site.

Do I really need this to worry about?

Short and SO Sweet!

on Friday, November 7, 2008

My two year old Little Girl (LG) had a little cough that came out of nowhere. So while putting her into her PJ's she started coughing and I asked "Little Girl, where is that cough coming from?".

She looked me in the eye and said "My mouth, Mama!".

Nearly killed me.

When Good Dogs Go Bad: The Gracie Story

on Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gracie is a Labrador Retriever and our first daughter. She will be 5 years old in January. We love her. This is her story.

I've always loved dogs. I grew up with some fabulous mutts, so has my husband. We both wanted a puppy.

We'd been married a year, just bought a house and were expecting our first baby. I was in the throws of the nausea, exhaustion and pure terror that only the first trimester of your first pregnancy can bring. So, good idea, lets introduce a puppy into the mix. We had visited the pound, checked the penny saver and finally found a breeder near our home who had some Lab puppies. We walked into this den of frolicking pups set on finding a *golden* lab when Gracie approached us, leaned on Eric's leg, and gazed at us. WE FELL IN LOVE, but were undecided. As we walked to the car, my sweetie and I looked at each other and voiced what we were both feeling. A puppy was adding a little too much to an already full plate. Phewww! We were on the same page: We just couldn't get the dog now. We were both a little quiet and disappointed on our drive home but by the time I woke up the next morning, I was convinced we'd made the right decision.
Apparently, my sweetie didn't get the sleeping memo.

He came home from work the next day with a leash in his back pocket and a little black lab puppy with enormous paws in his back seat.
I was thrilled.
I was annoyed.
I was pregnant!

Here she was, Gracie..., 6 weeks old and peeing on our new hard word floors. And she started growing at an alarming pace. She started gnawing on her stuffed toys that were roughly the size of a newborn infant. (insert scream here) I started having nightmares about a dingo eating my baby. I was beside myself. I was also home all day working full time telecommuting with a little puppy at my side. I had plenty of time to mentally stress. So I did what any other resourceful pregnant woman would do who grew up watching PBS reality self help TV shows. I called Uncle Matty, the dog trainer. I called Uncle Matty and cried. Here's how the call went:

(brrrring) <---ringing phone

Other Line: Hello, thank you for calling Uncle Matty's Training Center, this is Matty Margolis, how can I help you?

Me: (mid sob) Unnncccle Matty?

Uncle Matty: Yes. How can I help you?

Me: (sniffling) The real Uncle Matty?

Uncle Matty: Yes. It's me. What is your name Dear?

(at this point I'm having an out of body experience! My PBS hero is on the phone with me!)

Me: (actively crying now) Uncle Matty, My name is (Me), and my husband
brought home a big dog, and I'm pregnant and she won't listen (blowing nose),
and, and (stuttering on tears) and the dog is going to eat my newborn baby. What
am I going to do?

Uncle Matty: Ohhh, Me. It's OK. Do you know my wife's name is Me? Are you Italian?

Me: (trying to collect myself) Yes.

Uncle Matty: How nice. Me, your little puppy is not going to eat your baby
because we are going to teach your puppy how to behave and listen. OK. Take a deep breath. You are going to be fine, Me. How wonderful that you have given your child a friend.

Me: But you don't understand, Uncle Matty. My, (sob), husband agreed we shouldn't and brought home a dog anyway and now I'm home all the time and I'm so tired and , and I'm exhausted and, she won't listen and he won't listen and the baby is going to be here and, and...

Uncle Matty: Me,'s OK. We are going to take that wonderful little puppy and teach her how to be your baby's best friend. We are going to teach you the tools to do that..... AND IT'S ONLY GOING TO COST YOU A BAZILLION DOLLARS! (he didn't really say that)

Me: OK. That sounds fine. I'm sure my husband will be happy to pay anything (to get me to stop crying!)

(I KNOW...I KNOW....I'm a whiner...but I was pregnant...and a dog was about to eat my newborn!!!)

So, Uncle Matty sent my new best friend to our house. Let's call her, Deb, because that's her name. Deb walked in and an hour later had Gracie sitting on command, peeing on the grass on command and had given us tips on keeping our baby safe and our dog safe from baby.

Can you hear the angel chorus now? Listen....there it is. Ahhhh.

Through those following months, Gracie became the most beloved, well behaved, exuberant, loving piece of work dog you can imagine. Through the following few years, she has become a best friend to both of my children and an absolute treasure of a dog. We feel so blessed to have her.

About two months ago, the angels chorus came to an abrupt halt. Grrrr.
We started noticing that food left on the table was missing. A piece of bread here... a plate full of breakfast left on the table in a vacant clean.
We've started noticing morning bathroom wastebasket raid remnants on the master bedroom floor.
How did this happen?!??!
How did a beautifully trained Lady turn into a Tramp!?!?!
Do you think Uncle Matty will remember me when I call for my refund?
You know what's funny? Five years ago my brain was hemorrhaging dealing with the peccadilloes of this little puppy. Now, a missing meal here....some ripped up trash there....annoying yes...a deal breaker??? A resounding NO.
Gracie is the first thing my daughter thinks of in the morning and last one she kisses good night. Gracie is the pillow on the floor for our kids during movies and a loving warm footstool for any of us who scratch her ears. She's my constant companion as I work at my computer and my fellow gardener when we are out in the yard. She is teaching my children joy, loyalty and that boundless enthusiasm is contagious.
Who knew good dogs going bad were my style?

It's a new day.

on Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Is it me or does everyone seem a little lighter today?

I've got an idea! GO VOTE!

on Tuesday, November 4, 2008



You'll feel like a Super Genius!

Go vote and put this National Election Nightmare behind us!

And if you are undecided - Think Obama!

Dear Santa Claus,

on Monday, November 3, 2008

Dear Mr. C.,

I love you. I really do. I've enjoyed your yearly visits and yes, in the early years I profited greatly from your drive-bys. As years went by, I have enjoyed being your helper and bringing your joy to the blessed season of Christmas.

I'm writing to ask you to please either disregard all requests from my children for additional toys or, if that seems too harsh, please magically double the square footage of my home so that we can have at least one room that doesn't look like it was shaken by an irritated giant gorilla and left in trauma and disarray.

In fact, if you can't pull off the whole square footage thing, I'd appreciate it if you'd back that bad boy sleigh right up to my front door and clear out any and all toys that are strewn around the room in a haphazard way.

Warmest regards,
The Mom

Does Anyone Else Do this? Or am I the ONLY Nut in the Class?

on Sunday, November 2, 2008

As my husband is leaving the house for work, to go to the store, etc., I absolutely, positively have to say "Be careful!" or "Drive safe" or some other life saving remark. If I don't utter the words and make them heard, I go absolutely spastic fearing he is going to be harmed in some way. I also have to add "I LOVE YOU!" or I call on his cell to make sure those are the last words he hears.

It gets worse.

When me and my Sweetheart leave the house *ALONE*, which is rare, the first conversation we have, every time, as we leave the drive way, is why we haven't arranged our WILLS in a more detailed fashion to take care of the kids in the event of our tragic death on the way for margaritas and a movie! This is on our way out for a fun night of light hearted banter.

That's not all.

Every time I have to travel without my family, I practically hold my breath until I get back for fear that my children will have to grow up without their neurotic mother.

Now, before you guys start to try and figure out my square footage to send the padding for my walls....all of this hysteria happens in the background of a somewhat normal and upbeat personality.

Does anyone go through this stuff since having kids?

Lawn Signs

on Saturday, November 1, 2008

While walking with my children through my neighborhood I've noticed something. 5 Bush/Palin lawn signs. 1 Obama/Biden lawn sign. The Obama/Biden sign is directly across from my home. I really like the people who have the Obama/Biden sign...they don't seem to have a Messiah complex. I also like the neighbors I know with the Bush/Palin signs...they don't seem deranged.

So I ask you dear reader, can you judge a house by it's lawn sign?

Ok. I just noted that I called the McCain/Palin signs Bush/Palin signs. hmmmm.


on Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tomorrow is the big night. Halloween has arrived and with it - all of the excitement of dressing in your best disguise, collecting candy from friends and neighbors and the joy of walking outside at *night*!

I've got two words for you - WONDER WOMAN! I can't remember exactly how many years I did my best impression of Lynda Carter with the help of aluminum foil, but it would be safe to say my Halloween appearances ran as long as the show! Various characters followed those buxom bosomless years - baby, flappers, pirates, Tigger, *THE* Virgin Mary...WHAT FUN!

Now my kids are feeling the magic and excitement of this holiday where we all get the chance to dress up and anticipate the night! Tomorrow morning my children will wake up and enjoy the day as a 4 year old train loving boy and a 2 year old dog loving girl....but by night....they will walk the neighborhood as Curious George and The Man With the Yellow Hat.

The build up to Halloween has been phenomenal and the fun of making the Man with the Yellow Hat costume has been so rewarding! Watching those little eyes light up every day when they see one new piece of the costume puzzle has spurred me on. We've all had a part - The Mom (that's me!) worked on the hat and the tie - The Dad worked on the footwear and shirt - and the Nonna (that's the Grand mom) made the brightest pair of pants I've ever seen. It was a group effort! Maybe that's the real magic...working on a project *together*!

Indulge in candy! Suspend your disbelief! Bask in the magic! Enjoy your little ones!

Happy Halloween!


Phillies WIN the 2008 World Series!

on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Say it with music! Woo Hoo!

The Machiavellian in me has been defeated!

on Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I started off this presidential campaign with glee....I had a huge amount of fun handicapping the Democratic race. Hillary vs. Obama!! I being the Republican golfer in the family was looking on with glee at these two beating themselves up. I even...yes I was one of those Republicans..that sent money to Hillary's campaign to keep her afloat. I wanted to see a convention fight. How much fun?!! Let them expend all their energy and have McCain sweep in. The wife will deny that I felt this way but I was impressed by the grandiose of Barack's speech at the convention. I found it utterly brilliant what McCain did, the next day in announcing Palin the day after Barack's speech. Barack was off the radar map at that point. It was a brilliant move. Would have been an even more brilliant move if they would have briefed her for...oh...maybe 2 months. As time wore on I became very disenchanted with the McCain camp...not for so much their message but how they were running their campaign. Obviously plucking someone that has no national experience or even interest until now and plopping her in front of a nation to pick over was not the smartest move from that camp and really was his down fall. When he started to loose his base, he starting losing this election. He has in this process lost me.

I can not support the other side of the ticket because I just believe ,and I hope that I am wrong, that he has a desire for economic wealth distribution in mind for this country. I have found it troubling that he witnessed in his own voice...said that the constitution and those that framed it left a fundamental flaw in it and it still pervades today. He mentions that the constitution tells us what the government can't do to it's people. If does not though state what it can do for distribution. It's not a good platform to stand on in a capitalistic society.

I really can't support my party this time. I am so disappointed in Bush I can't see straight. He has spent this country's money like a drunken sailor. He has cozied up to the leader across the border too openly too. Immigration control was a big reason I supported him. He turned out to be Mexico's best friend and proceeded to do nothing for the problem that is undocumented visitors being a drain on the border states of this country. It's one thing if you want to let them stay...It should be the responsibility of the US government though to compensate the states for them....AND THEY DON'T!!

McCain, with his mismanagement of his campaign, has just depressed me to no end. I just can't support him anymore. I am voting this next week. I still want to be able to complain :) I am predicting an Obama presidency though....there is no more to be Machiavellian about :( On to 2012.

Sneaking off the Goo Goo Ga Ga

It had been 4 years and 2 or so months since my wife and I have spent more than 4 or so hours ourselves....during the day :) I mention this because for our anniversary we decided somewhat independently of each other, that we had a desire to visit a local amusement park for our anniversary. It really was a "ya know this is kinda weird but do you want to go to Disneyland for our anniversary" I was happily surprised to hear her say that "I had the same idea".....OK! That is do we accomplish this feat? We managed to put together 2 baby sitters for a close to 12 hour visit. You have to realize that it really took the planets aligning for this to happen. We are ever grateful to our sitters and we intend to hit them up again in the future :) Not too soon though :)

I want to thank the wife, the mom, for a wonderful day of amusement, talking, and holding hands. I truly treasure the time I spend with her. We have so little time to just sit across from each other and gaze...being thankful for all that 6 years has given us. It was difficult to be selfish on our trip though... to the park that our kids looooove....but was our day. Not that the kids didn't come up often. On a few occasions we mentioned that the kids would love this or that. We had to actually catch ourselves and be selfish with Mickey, Minnie and Friends for a day.

In closing, I would like to let everyone know that we had a wonderful day at the Magic Kingdom...few rides...good conversation...good food...and closed it off with fireworks!! We are now back to the fireworks that are our children and gleefully we are back on the Goo Goo Ga Ga train. ALL ABOARD!!!

I'm a bit....UNUSUAL...nice...

on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Debbie from This is the Life had her blogging style I decided to find mine. Considering how infrequently I seems premature to put myself in a box...but "unusual" seems right on the money! What's yours?

Your Blogging Type is Unique and Avant-Garde
You're a bit ... unusual. And so is your blog.
You're impulsive, and you'll often post the first thing that pops in your head.
Completely uncensored, you blog tends to shock... even though that's not your intent.
You tend to change your blog often, experimenting with new designs and content.

I've been WHAT?!

on Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tagged? Wow. What'll I wear?

Adlibby on the Loose is letting me sit at the cool kids blog table! Thank you Adlibby! I love your posts! Love your blog! I heart You! :)

Here's a couple of issues I'm having with the whole 'tagged' thing....I haven't been blogging enough nor am I...err..."popular" enough to tag another 6 people. Nobody knows me. (silently sobbing)

Anywho...I'll do it anyway, Adlibby! I really like you...and you're from Kansas!

So here are the tag/tagged/tagging/tagger rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

6. Let your tagger know when your entry is UP.

Six Totally Random Things About Me:

1. I'm practically perfect in every way & I say SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS on occasion.

2. I watch the Backyardigans after my kids go to bed because I really like the music. (huh?)

3. I was really happy when the lovers finally died in the movie "The English Patient".

4. I quote from the movies "The Godfather 1 & 2" at the very least, once daily.

5. I'd rather pull my bottom lip over my head and stand on it with the heels of my feet than figure out what to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks every day of the blessed week.

6. I've written a novel and several short stories but have never submitted them for potential publication - I fear literary rejection. are a few blogs that I skulk least in the last couple of weeks!

1. - This is the Life! - Upbeat, fun and generally fabulous! Check out Debbie's take on life!

2. - Life with my 3 Boybarians - LOVE the title - love the posts! Darcy and Debbie are friends....good humor abounds!

3. - Pearl has wisdom and HUMOR in spades...check out her fabu blog!

4. - Clever Girl Goes Blog is a MUST READ - grab a drink and relax....the fun never stops.

5. Rubber Slippers in Italy - Excellent account an American living in Italy - the food, the stories...take a look and live vicariously!

6. - Food, Glorious Food...and life in General - AWESOME blog filled with humor and heart. Cup of tea and a sweet required for comfy cozy reading!

Decency Returns to the Elections....if only for a moment?

on Saturday, October 11, 2008

I will not question his motives: Senator John McCain has earned my respect with his attempt to stem the tide of hatred.

John and Barack, put your efforts towards health care, growing the economy and getting our immigration system in order. Let's get a plan together so that we can send our kids to college without having to sell a body part, Gentlemen! We are all aging are we going to retire when our retirement fund is disappearing each passing day!? I didn't save my refrigerator box, so lets figure it out!

The Answer is in the Movie!

on Wednesday, October 1, 2008

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm feeling more than ambivalent about our choices for United States President/Vice President. There isn't a clear cut choice for me. November looms. I'm grasping at straws. But wait. A sign, a's a future president loves my favorite movie! The Godfather! 1 & 2! Regarding The Godfather Part 3...err... "not so much"! I LOVE IT!

Check out the video!

Obama and the Godfather....what a combo. My favorite film! Could this be my guy?!?!?!

I guess I need to give McCain's movie, Viva Zapata, a viewing before November 4th.

In recent months, I've spent some time discussing the possibility of my husband and brother in law running on a write in ticket. Their platform would be the "Untouchables". When asked questions about their stances on the main issues they would look to key lines from the Sean Connery film. Here's how it might go:

Reporter: Presidential Candidate"The Him" what is your stance on terrorism?

The Him: (said in a decidedly Irish accent) They put one of ours in the hospital, we put one of theirs in the morgue!

So I'm that much closer to a decision. I know...I'm reaching....but there have been much lamer reasons to vote for a politician...and at least mine is steeped in Italian American fictional family tradition!

My view (last night)

on Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thank you, Reader!

There is life!!!!!! Thank you, Adlibby, for being our first reader...or if not our first....the first one who stopped and said HI! I have perused your blog and love your humor. People...check out the astute lady's blog! Adlibby on the Loose!

We are live! But who are we?!?!?!?

on Thursday, September 25, 2008

Well, yesterday afteroon I made the blog *LIVE* err...public.

I'm not sure why. The Dad and I have been having fun just having a place to share. Most of the time I've put up polls asking what he wants for dinner. :) How lame is that?!?!?!?

We are trying to find our voice, our president, our socks and the shoes to Little Girl's new Belle doll. I am also trying to figure out just what this blog should be. Is it a diary? Is it a review of current events? There are kind of enough of those, me thinks.

Maybe, like my life...I shouldn't define it....just live it.

LIVE THE BLOG! (chanting, as I push publish post!)

An exciting time in Politics?

on Friday, September 5, 2008

Historically speaking, this is the most invigorating, exciting and groundbreaking time in US politics - A black man has been nominated for President of the United States by a major party. A woman has been nominated for Vice President by a major party. Why doesn't it feel like it's a major party?

When I look at these candidates, I feel like I've walked into a Coach handbag store, I've looked at all these shiney new bags and instead of wanting to buy, all I see are boring sacks that I've owned before and that didn't really go with any of my outfits. I want something new! I want style and organization like I've never seen and I want it to WORK FOR ME!

I *want* to *LOVE* Barack Obama! Heck, Oprah loves him! Why wouldn't I love him!!! He seems like a good man. He seems like he has all the answers.

I *want* to *LOVE* John McCain! What's not to love? A fatherly figure who has experience life in a way I hope to never experience and who has dedicated himself to the people of the US. He thinks he has all the answers.

I *want* to love Sarah Palin! How do you not love a mother of 5 who calls herself a hocky mom pitbull who wears lipstick! How do you not love a woman who has accomplished so much while raising a family? But yet....I don't love her.

I don't love any of them.

An exciting time in politics? Seems more like "Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody!"

Sometimes, you just need to dance...

on Monday, August 4, 2008

Dreams from the husband

on Sunday, August 3, 2008

In an effort to name and claim.....which I picked up from the wife.....

  • Play the guitar
  • Learn to speak a foreign language (Italian)
  • Learn to dance one ballroom dance
  • Take a photography class and have one of my pictures published anywhere!
  • Be a travel actual childhood dream...not so much with the advent of Expedia.. but would still love it.
  • Have an "honest" conversation with a world leader
  • Show my wife London
  • To see my children grown and experiencing their own dreams.
  • To play Pebble Beach one more time (even though I've said I don't need's a great golf course)
  • Learn how to cook a great tomato basil soup.
  • Ride on the Orient Express
  • A certain Cape Cod home
  • Visit all of the Disney parks.
  • Climb on the Great Wall of China (inspired by my sons interest in it)
  • Go on a cruise anywhere ...well ...maybe Greece

Now on to the claiming.......and also naming some more.

Lessons in Life

on Friday, August 1, 2008

My wife (the wife, the mother, the me) turned me on to a story in the past year. A story of Randy Pausch. She told me of this lecture series called “The Last Lecture”. The lecture that you would give if you knew you were going to die. Unfortunately he was indeed giving his last lecture. Dying of cancer, he had only months to live. I have just recently devoted the time to watch his lecture after seeing a particular interview on TV.

While watching the Diane Sawyer interview of him, I found my eyes welling up with tears. Being the “the him” I tried to hide them from my wife…not really knowing why. But definitely knowing why the tears came. I found his attitude in the face of death absolutely amazing. He had totally come to terms with his death and went on to face it with a smile on his face. One particular segment found me silently shaking though. I saw a man holding and playing with his children. Loving his wife. Knowing his time was limited. Knowing he was not going to experience the fullfullment of his childrens dreams that he talks about himself in his Last Lecture. I thought of myself. Not really a Randy Pausch thing to do. But I had to believe that even he in his quiet moments fought the tears of not being able to cherish the future of his family. I had to put myself in that position. All I could think about was not being able to see my children grow into their dreams. I felt so bad for him, even if he would tell you not to. I felt for his children that would not continue to be effected by this man. I thought of a man that would not live long enough to continue the joys of marriage to a woman that he obviously loved. I thought of all those things that I would be missing. It made me very sad.

Finally, in the quiet of this morning I watched his lecture for the first time. I was riveted so, that I took notes on particular points he made.

*Mothers are someone who love you even when they are pulling your hair (this incident happen last night as our oldest pulling the wifes hair at dinner) How did he know?

*Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted

*Critics are the ones that love you when you are doing something bad. when nobody says anything….That is a sad place to be (please continue to help me stay on the path sweetheart)

*Enabling the dreams of others later in life can be fun (lets have fun)

*Brick walls are there for a reason….It shows you how much you want something (life long process of breaking down those walls)

*Wait long enough and people will surprise you (keep waiting)

*Good and bad ways of saying “I don’t know” (I need to find better ways)

*If you lead your life right…the karma will take care of itself (bingo!)

Girls…when picking “that guy” ignore everthing they say and concentrate on what they do (this is the same advice I have for my little girl)

*Be good at something….It makes you valuable.

*Find the best in everybody: No matter how long you have to wait for them to show it.

*Be prepared. “Luck” is where preparation meets opportunity.

Thank you sweetheart for bringing me Randy Pausch. Now I must get back to work.

Dreams - name it to claim it.

on Wednesday, July 30, 2008

  • I want to grow up and be a professional photographer.
  • I want to be a professional writer.
  • I want to get one of many stories published.
  • I want several or all of my stories to be turned into feature films.
  • I want to be asked to direct.
  • I want to live in Rome for 2 years.
  • I want to live in NYC for 2 years.
  • I'd like to live in London for 2 years.
  • (Not necessarily in that order)
  • I want to study drawing and painting.
  • I want to take a cooking class.
  • I want to teach a cooking class.
  • I want to learn to place several musical instruments well.
  • I'd be willing to start with one.
  • I want to travel and take pictures.
  • I'd like to take horticulture classes.
  • I want to be a docent at the Huntington Library.

I've got to get back to work.

Glad to be still growing....

on Thursday, July 24, 2008

I had an exchange with our very ambitious son the other day. Laying in the bouncer outside with him, he, out of the blue says....."When I'm five I'm going to be as tall as you daddy" To that I said "Great!!". He followed with "When I'm ten I will be taller than you". To that I said "outstanding!!" Then...the topper...he says with an animated voice "...AND WHEN I'M FIFTY!!...I'm going to be REALLY BIG!!" I was very proud that my son has aspirations of being taller than his daddy. It is something that would please me to no end. Of course my son in any package would please me to no end...short or tall. His last proclamation did give me hope for myself though. Ya see I am 46 years old. He has basically confirmed that you can still grow at age 50. I have 4 more years of growing to do :). I hope it also means that I have, atleast, 4 more years of growing mentally as well as physically. If there is one thing that I can say is that, since my wife and I got married, is that I have grown. Not only as a husband but as a father. I hope that I continue to grow for the rest of my life. I hope I continuely learn how to grow into being a better husband and daddy. Both of which I think I'm doing pretty well cause I get alot of smiles. But I want more :)))

Sometimes I'm just tired...

on Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sometimes I’m just tired.

Do you have any idea how much time I spend defending the actions of my children? And one of them isn’t even out of diapers! The two little angels who came into this world with unblemished character are suddenly on the post offices most wanted list…and they haven’t quite reached the ages of 4 and 2.

Did I put them there?

When they don’t say hi correctly or at all….when they won’t acknowledge someone…when they won’t listen……when they throw sand….when they take the only ball to play with and run with it….when they talk back….when they have a pout…when they have a tantrum…when they won’t get on the phone and say hello…when they won’t get off the phone and stop talking…when they are generally rude…heck…even when they are teasing and laughing….I’m defending them. Or am I condemning them? “They are little!” “ It’s developmental!” “They are learning!” “They didn’t get enough sleep!” “They got too much sleep!” “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” (insert scream here)

What the heck am I apologizing for?

Maybe it’s me and not the children who is the issue. Maybe it’s my expectations of who they should be or what I believe my social group expects them to be.

Here’s the truth: I don’t judge other peoples kids with the same rules I condemn my children. When someone else’s kid is acting out….my reaction is relief that it’s not my child and my conclusion is that it’s one of the issues I noted above. Not a big deal. But when my child throws down….well…suddenly the world is coming to an end and I don’t let the situation drop without a thorough verbal lesson to which my almost 4 year old replies in one of the next several ways:

a.) “Mama, are you done talking yet?”
b.) Putting himself in time out.
c.) Yelling back at me to explain his side of the situation or….
d.) and kids, this is the most terrifying….a smile …the smile that tells me that he’s already picking out the corrupt nursing home he is going to put me in someday.

Next…the battle to get the child to do THE RIGHT THING….followed by a profuse apology to the possibly injured/annoyed/put-out/upset/uninterested party and the all time stupidest question: Is he/she that bad? Am I raising a serial killer? (insert louder scream here…much more shrill and demonic)

All of this is closely followed by a summit meeting by mom and dad to re-evaluate the discipline/raising plan of the kids and regroup in order to raise good Christian human beings who will give joy and take joy in life.

It’s exhausting and I’m tired of being tired.

In my lucid moments I know this: I’m helping to raise two of the most intelligent, enlightened, intriguingly unique individuals I’ve ever met and I’m overjoyed. I’m thankful. These two children are funny, bright and happy at least 70 percent of the time. I know that these times are some of the best we will have enjoying the development of our pair of human beings. And in my most lucid moments I thank God for entrusting these little people to us and hope that we can meet His expectations for raising them.

I’m going to stop apologizing. (at least try)

A night off from the Goo Goo Ga Ga

It's Wednesday morning and I'm basking in the fact that I actually went out on a date with my wife. The train that is the goo goo ga ga is nice to step down from once in awhile. But as with most parents that "sneak" away for some alone time, the conversation is always dotted with thoughts of our it should. They are such treasures in our life. We go through what all parents, we are finding, go through to some degree. The listening issues. The power issues. The struggles to get them to eat. The struggle to just get them in harmony about taking a wagon ride together. But if you itemize the time spent with this struggle. It really is a short percentage of our time. The goo goo ga ga train usually flows well. It just happens unfortunately when we are the most tired and have the most trouble focusing on the underlying reasoning behind the behavior and addressing it. The wife and mom sent me a video today of a lady that said that the first thing you think you want to say to your child should be shelved...particularly if it is going to be a negative response to a behavior. Rather you should look to the underlying reason for it. It is so true. I'm ashamed to say that I don't practice this as much as I should. I am usually slow to anger, but I am finding myself with a short fuse when it comes to my children. I have to remind myself that they are young children and do not have the capacity for moral clarity at this time. And to expect that is foolish. Not sure that I developed that trait till I was in my 20's. Things like please and thank you were not really in my vocabulary. It wasn't till I was in maybe my 20's that I had an epiphany on the subject. It was right to think of other people’s feelings. It was right to open doors for ladies, and anyone else for that matter. It was right to be thankful for everything thing that was given to me. To expect our little ones to grasp this totally at their age is setting too high a bar. The best we can do is to shape them. Our children do say please, they do say thank you, they do listen to us....some of the time :) It is our job to continually discipline. And disciplining not in the common usage. The Webster's usage tells us that disciplining is "teaching" "molding" not yelling and screaming. I do ramble but I am striving to be a better dad that does what we continually request from our children....LISTEN to them.

As you can see, even on a fabulous evening with my wife, our thoughts continue to be on our beautiful, thoughtful children.

BTW...Indian Jones last night was a fun movie. Lost both of us a little when the aliens appeared Daddy's back on the Goo Goo Ga Ga.

Reminder to self:

on Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these - George Washington Carver.

In Search of World Domination

on Monday, July 21, 2008

It was a beautiful day in the world. Sun was shining. Nonna had just gotten her travel plans ironed out at the local post office, with the assistance of our son and daughter of course. With the remainder of the morning at my disposal I suggested a quick trip to the "airplane park". It is called that because of the vintage Vietnam era jet that is propped up in the entrance to the park. The visit to the park started off innocent enough...big jungle gym...sand...slides...swings. Nonna took our daughter on a little walk. Our son....venturing on the the jungle gym, encounters a boy half his is then that the beginnings of world domination begin. He proceeds to block the little boy with a stern look and a unwillingness to let him pass. I, as the witnessing dad, proceed to tell him to let the boy pass...he proceeds to, begrudingly, let him pass and then proclaims to the rest of the world that "WHEN I GET BIG I'M NOT GOING TO LET ANYONE PASS!!" Made me hope that he would not be tending to a bridge and asking for peoples favorite color. I had to silently chuckle and take him aside and remind him of the ol parenting line of "if you aren't nice to them they are not going to want to play with you" to that my world leader sulked over to a tunnel planning my demise I'm sure. He emerged later and asked to go to another part of the park to which I told him it was almost time to go home. Well...our beautiful sunny morning ended with water works and sadness to my dismay. At this point I was pretty sure I was going to get the silent treatment home and I was correct. I am glad to report though, that as with any good diplomatic world leader, within the hour, he is happy again to let me help him with his train set. I am also glad to report that I received I love you's, smiles, hugs and kisses from my WHOLE family as I left to go back to work. I am truely blessed....Ahhhh....Life is again grand on the goo goo ga ga :) I can't wait to get back home!

4 Things....maybe 3

on Thursday, July 17, 2008

4 Things that I learned, figured out, confirmed or was pleasantly (OK, outrageously) surprised about today.

· My recently potty trained little boy can wipe!!!!!! (outrageously, happily, phenomenally surprised!)
· I confirmed that Elizabeth Hasselbeck on “The View” bothers me in a profound way.
· I learned that watching the reality show “Hopkins” documenting an almost 3 year old's heart transplant and woes can almost put me in cardiac arrest and deep fear. I'm forever thankful that my little ones are sleeping peacefully and healthy. God bless them. God bless Peyton and his family. To read about Peyton's story or see the episode click to:
· I figured out…well…I was hoping that I'd figured out something today, but upon further review….I’ll have to hope for the best tomorrow.

Four year old's musical tastes.

on Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm frequently amazed by my son, T. O. He is almost 4 years old. His taste in music is an evolving fabulous thing to behold. His recent favorites are the soundtrack to the movie Mulan. Tracks 1 2 4 and 5. The soundtrack to Curious George, tracks 1 and 5, and of course, the ever popular and absolute fabulous favorites of Mary Poppins Soundtrack and The Polar Express. What impresses me is his attention to detail of the music and his love for ballads as well as instrumentals. The music suites of these soundtracks are some of his favorite pieces. I remember suffering slowly as a child as my sister made me listen to a slow ballad...and here is my 4 year old getting it. I love it!

Great T. O. moment tonight at an outdoor concert near the beach: I sang a funny little ditty that I remember from a fabulous old movie called "Cheaper by the Dozen".

"We're sorry to see you go, we're sorry to see you go. We hope to heck you never come back, we're sorry to see you go!".
He heard it once while I jokingly told The Husband and proceeded to sing it with the correct tune over and over again. The husband was a laughing and was shocked not only that he could sing it perfectly after hearing it once, but a little nervous that he was going to sing it in front of the people we'd been teasing.

My almost 2 year old is just as fabulous....she knows what she likes and sticks with it. Dalmation Plantation! Again, Mama! Again! Well...that's life on the goo goo ga ga.