Monday, August 8, 2011

Annie Get Your (Ear Piercing) Gun

At long last, Annie got her ears pierced.

She's wanted earrings for quite some time. I had to wait until I was 10, and since what was good for the goose is supposed to be for the gander, I'm actually proud I was able to make it to almost eight. Sigh. Must work on parenting toughness.

The week before the grand event, I caught her talking to her ears in the mirror. "Don't worry ears!" she crowed. "Soon you will have earrings!"What is this, a 2nd grade version of "The Secret?"

When the actual day arrived, she got pretty nervous. Here she is with a good buddy, who graciously volunteered to hold her hand. Her little sister ran away- she couldn't bear to watch!

First glimpse in the mirror after the earrings are in...


We celebrated with frozen yogurt from Tasti-D...

Today it's earrings, tomorrow she raids my closet. Crikey, this goes by fast.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Jumping off the diving board
Baby ducklings
Night fishing
Fireworks on the beach
Boat ride
floating in an innertube
ceiling fans
Walking on a sand bar
Engagement Party
Water slides
swim meets
library books
High tides
Plane rides
outdoor shower
Cracked crabs
Cab rides
Liberty Island
Subway rides
Lazy river
matinee movies
Train rides
view from the Empire State building
air conditioning
Sonic happy hour
barbecued chicken

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime

It's been a good one so far. A really, really good one. I put the kids in a variety of camps for the month of June, and it went by in a blur. Lucy's new school did a "Here Comes Kindergarten" camp, and it was just the thing to acclimate her & get her excited for the new school year. It helped that she had a "cooking class" in the afternoon. They didn't cook as much as smear frosting on anything that moved.

Annie's new goal in life is to be on "American Idol." This surprised our household- because during her spring school play, Annie looked like she was going to blow chow from stage fright. And yet, she insisted on attending a local theater camp. Last Friday was her performance, and I'm happy to say the stage fright has been reduced from nausea to paralysis. Progress!

As for me, I've got a dear friend with a booming business who asked for me to help her, but really, we just enjoy spending time together. She's an interior designer- and our first venture together is with a lovely local family that just moved in to a new home. (The irony that I was hanging pictures in their foyer while I still had boxes in my dining room did not escape me).

The family are true Texans- and their home reflects this. They have mounted, stuffed (really stuffed) animals on the walls- deer, duck, the occasional wild boar & even a bear. During my first visit, the gracious home-owner told me how she decorated her son's nursery with the stuffed ducks. She said this was a creative way to teach him about animal sounds.

"What does a duck say?" she laughed.
I thought for a moment and said, "Ow?"

Next up: packing up the anklebiters & heading to the East Coast. I cannot wait to see the Statue of Liberty, have a beer with my 92 year old grandmother & hit the beach. If there's a Snookie sighting- you guys will be the first to hear.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Camper In A Coma

The oldest anklebiter starts theater camp tomorrow. We spent a bit of today reading the camp handbook.

"Mom?" she says, glancing over the pages of stage directions. " I think theater camp is going to be a lot like Hogwarts." I smiled, and thought the following:

By Hogwarts if you mean lots of pale children wearing black and listening to the Smiths, then yes, my child, you may be right.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

For Your Reading Pleasure

Last night, I go to tuck my 5 year old in, and she's crying.
"What's the matter, pumpkin?" I ask.
"I sometimes think that Daddy will die, and you will die, and my big sister will die, and I'll be all alone." she says, rubbing her eyes while crawling into my lap.

I quickly give her a kiss and tell her we'll read a story to take her mind off such depressing thoughts.

I picked up Cinderella. Got about 2 pages in, when I realize the Mom kicks it.

Bambi? No go.

Her sister is reading Harry Potter, and pipes up that this will not be a good choice either.

Annie? Nope. Anne of Green Gables? Ballet Shoes? Pippi Longstocking? Orphans, every last one of them.

We settled on Seuss' Yertle The Turtle. A nice allegory of social injustice, to take her mind off the heavier things.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Moving Right Along

I just bought 100 feet of bubble wrap and 25lbs of newprint paper. It felt better than a fancy pair of shoes, because it means I'm finally saying goodbye to our rental house.

The rental house with drawers filled with someone else's fingernails. Remember that housewarming gift? I still shudder.

We have lived here live for 7 months. And during that time-
  • the air conditioner broke twice (something you CANNOT live without in Houston).
  • the roof leaked once.
  • our power has gone out more times than I can remember.
  • the ceiling fan in my kids' room almost came out of the ceiling.
  • the kitchen sink leaked.
  • the kitchen faucet refused to work.
  • The single, solitary outlet in the master bath stopped working.
  • A family of (hopefully?) squirrels took up residence in our attic.
  • Someone stole beer out of the trunk of my car when I was bringing in groceries.
  • Someone stole a book of checks from my mailbox.
  • Someone stole my drivers license (with the hideous picture).
  • Someone is now posing as me & is working as a dishwasher in a Texas restaurant. Hey! At least they're paying their Social Security.
Technically, our lease isn't up until July. But the property management company that manages the house is so terrific- they understand the litany of house repairs we've had are somewhat ridiculous, and are being really reasonable. (Blessings everywhere you look!) So yes, this time around- I'm ecstatic to see the packing paper and bubble wrap. I'm wrapping anything I can get my hands on, so the dog better be careful where he naps.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And I Thought I Was Annoying...

I have no idea if this story will even translate- but today at swim lessons, I met the world's most annoying mom. Picture if you will- a bustling, chlorinated hub-bub of afternoon hulabaloo at the local swim club. The kids that are not swimming in the (urine) pool can play on a plastic play set conveniently situated on some wet (hopefully not also urine) artificial grass. Against the wall, parents sit on teeny-tiny benches that immediately humble and degrade- and we try to look cool as our knees graze our chins.

It was a normal afternoon. Filled with the normal sound of kids playing, parents talking, blah blah blah blah blah. And then...SHE comes around the corner. Trailing 3 children, she immediately starts shrieking, "NO LOLLIPOPS ON THE PLAYGROUND! GET DOWN FROM THERE! RIGHT THIS INSTANT!"

I quickly glance up from my Angry Birds (do not judge) and figure her volume and intensity must be a short lived transgression. I thought wrong. This lady has had so many kids, for so long- she simply has forgotten how to talk in a normal voice.


At this point, we all kind of glance around and wonder if someone is playing a joke. She continues.


The lady sitting next to her almost choked on her silent tears. Mrs. Annoying packed up her brood, and yelled the entire way out of the club. After I gathered up my kids and told them the story, we came up with our own imitation of Mrs. Annoying.

(all of these comments have to be said at the top of your voice. As loud as possible).




We laughed (loudly) all the way home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things That Bug Me

Crikey. I'm getting forgetful in my old age. Hello! Remember me?

So, we're slated to close on our house in California in 6 days. I am almost afraid to write those words, fearful that something unexpected may come up. Because it has. In the past. Two other times. Fingers, toes and all extraneous items are crossed. You will hear the cheering from here if it happens. (and the screams if it doesn't).

In other news, we've submitted 3 offers on 3 different Texas houses in the last ten days. Didn't get one. Maybe it's because we've left one of the most horrific housing markets in the country to inexplicably now live in THE hottest real estate market in the WORLD. Like, houses going for $50K ABOVE asking price hot. Ridiculous.

I'm holding out hope that the house fairy will come visit and put a somewhat affordable, decent listing under my pillow.

In other news, my good friend and her kids recently had a bout of head lice. Despite furtively checking my kids every few hours- and finding nothing, I'm convinced my itchy scalp is bug-who-shall-not-be-named. My husband is tired of holding 2 pencils and a flashlight, and last night gave me the professional opinion that I have an itchy scalp. I may listen to this after I dip my head in some malathion.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Real Gas

Colin Firth won an Oscar. Huzzah for Mr. Darcy!

In other news, the licking of blisters has stopped, and I've started the infamous Couch to 5k program.

I got the app for my iphone, and that, combined with the company of my beloved black labrador, try and make up for the fact that I absolutely detest running.

I really and truly hate it.

But maybe, with each passing day, I'm starting to hate it less and less.

Although this morning's run didn't go so well. I'm not only referring to the cramp that wouldn't leave my left side, or that my dog needed to stop and sniff every other hedge- but I stupidly threw on an older pair of yoga pants this morning. I didn't realize this particular pair of pants were so shoddy that I would need to hold them up as I ran around our local university. Yours truly looked like a 1930's vaudeville act.

With all of the running I've been doing- the scale isn't moving much. You see, along with this new regime, I've somehow also acquired the appetite of a 14 year old boy. I'm STARVING. I woke up the other night, and there were bite marks on my arm. I'M EATING MY OWN ARMS IN MY SLEEP. Ok, not really eating my arms- but maybe I am eating a Girl Scout cookie or two.

Damn you, Girl Scouts. They need to revise their pledge to something like this- (you can sing it to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy)...

"On my honor, I will try
To sell my cookies to my country.
To help people get real fat
and to live on blood pressure medication."

Sorry. That's the best I could come up with, and I am now stupidly realizing that most of you probably don't know the real Girl Scout pledge to begin with.

In between last week's runs, I squeezed in a yoga class. (Yes, this is the most exercise my body has seen in a decade, and it's like "Hey lady! Shouldn't we be on the couch with a pack of Samoas? What's the matter with you?"). I'm certainly no yoga expert- but it does seem that in the handful of classes I've attended over the years, that somehow, someway- the person on the mat next to me farts. This happened last week. We were supposed to be doing a dog-like, camel something or other- when the lady next to me completely broke wind.

It didn't even faze her. She kept on doward camel-ing, or whatever it was- while I fell over in a collapsed heap of distress. It's bad enough that everyone's in bare feet (I think naked feet are hideous)- but FARTING? Crikey. That couch and cookies are looking mighty fine.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Dirty Story

The oldest anklebiter is trying to master the monkey bars at school. On Friday, she came home with a huge blister- her first battle scar.

All weekend, I encouraged her to keep it clean. This morning, she waved her now-almost-healed blister and said "Look at how good it looks, Mommy!"

I told her it looked great, but reinforced that she needed to keep it clean.

"Yup. I know. I lick it. That keeps it real clean." she replied.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Next Best Thing

So, you know how cool it is when people tell you that you remind them of a famous person? I've gotten Helen Hunt before- and more than a few tell me that my voice sounds exactly like Jodie Foster. But recently, I've gotten more than a few comparisons to this person...

This is Cameron, from the show "Modern Family."

I don't have a mural of myself as an angel above my kid's bed, but did anyone see the episode where Cameron's partner loses his prestigious job as a lawyer? Cameron puts on a brave, supportive front- but then turns his back to the camera and wails "What am I going to do? I like nice things!" My older brother immediately called me to tell me that I was starring on an ABC sitcom.

Last night's episode, included a scene where Mitch is brushing his teeth, and mumbles an unintelligible shopping list while Cameron is in the shower. Cameron later hands Mitch the random assortment of items and Mitch looks puzzled and says "I don't even remember asking you for this." Yes! That IS me!

I'm available for bar mitzvahs, bookclubs and ladies luncheons. Especially if there's someone playing a harp.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Going Viral

Last week, I thought I got a cold.

My nose was stuffy. I had a cough. My body ached. We had a rare snow day on the day I was feeling the worst- and it couldn't have come at a better time. Movies with the kids, some easy going art projects- just what the doctor ordered.

Then it morphed into the flu. Now, my child is slowly working her way through the same virus. She's missed 3 days of school. So has her little sister- because if your favorite person in the entire world was staying home to "maybe" play Wii- wouldn't your stomach suddenly start mysteriously hurting too?

We're drinking lots of tea. Eating soup. Living like the 80 year old party animals we are. Last night I surprised the sick kid with new flannel sheets for her bed. Nothing's better than soft flannel sheets- fresh out of the dryer. Except maybe a day when all returns to normal.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Put Another Dime In Your JukeBox, Baby

We recently got an Apple TV. I love it. My husband and I scurry to see who can get to it first. I'm a gracious loser, because I know he will just try and watch the first episode of the second season of the Wire and start snoring before the theme song ends. I've seen the first five minutes of that episode 15 times now. It's riveting.

Apple TV made me realize that my kids will never watch tv the same way I did. (Did you come here to discuss worldy issues? I think not). They will never know what it was like to have "The Wizard of Oz" air once a year- the day before Thanksgiving. They will not be six years old, and borrow a black and white little (like 8 inch mini cube) television from your parents, that you set up in your pink checkered bedroom to watch your first glimpse of "Gone With The Wind."

I started my affair with puffy dresses at a very early age.

In other news- I succumbed to the world of Groupon and bought a swanky haircut/highlight/deep conditioning at a swanky salon. The salon is gorgeous. My stylist appeared to be a short, intense hairdresser with freakishly strong hands. Despite my pleas of "for the love of all that is not frizzy- I have the world's most tender head" at one point, he flexed his strong knuckles and SQUEEZED my hairs so tightly I now look like I've had Botox. Win? I still can't decide.

As for the haircut- it looked great until I got home. And now I look like Joan Jett had a baby with Snookie- pouf, and shaggy layers. Crikey. Luckily, once my normal frizz sets in it will detract folks from asking me to sing a New Jersey rendition of "I love Rock n' Roll".

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Grandma Magic

I read an article recently, about a General Store in Brooklyn. The writer of the article loved the "Grandma magic" the store conveyed- and that got me to thinking. I love Grandma magic. While I don't subscribe to the lace doily fan club, I do have a passion for all things vintage- and believe everyone should incorporate some "Grandma" magic into your house. It makes it cozy. It makes it warm. It makes it feel like home.

What is Grandma magic? Today I took the kids to the park, and while I watched them tunnel down the slide, I wrote a few suggestions down.

Cloth napkins
Candles in the bathroom
Sunday dinner
Clean sheets
Silver polish
Billie holiday
Botanical prints
Lemon furniture polish
Herbs in flower pots
Dishwasher running at bed time
Fluffy towels
Well organized tool box
The smell of perfume (Chanel no.5)
Pot roast in the oven
A well timed cocktail
A beautifully set table on a Tuesday
Fresh flowers
A pot of freshly brewed coffee
A pink box from the bakery wrapped in twine
An impromptu trip to the toystore

So that's my goal for the week- to work a little Grandma magic into my home. But if you guys see me crocheting a doily? Slap me back to my senses.

Friday, January 21, 2011


After the holidays, I gave myself a virtual pat on the back. Almost mid-January, and we seemed to have escaped any bouts of sickness.

I should know better.

A quick stomach virus quickly blew in. Left trembling in its wake, my older daughter got the Fifths Virus. Then the little one got impetigo.

I haven't been alone in 168 hours. Yes, I'm counting.

The dog? He's a happy camper. The Mom? Not so much.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I haven't talked about this guy in awhile.
This is George.

He is adjusting to Texas. He doesn't like the heat, and is apparently allergic to everything in our backyard. He loves to watch the squirrels race by- but quickly learned that barking at them will set off our burglar alarm and cause quite a bit of hulabaloo.

Today is the kind of day that George loves. It's a sick day. My little one is home with a stomach virus, and yours truly isn't feeling that great either. We both fell asleep for a bit, and when I woke up- some kind and considerate four legged friend left a tennis ball on my stomach.

Subtlety is not one of George's strong points.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Um, hi there. Is this thing on?

Happy 2011! Along with the usual "Hey, let's not be a fatty" new year's resolutions, I'm going to try something different this year. When I sit back and think about some of my favorite days- excluding the obvious ones- the wedding, the births, the day I met Jerry Seinfeld backstage at the 1992 Emmys, I realized something.

Most of my life's favorite moments are small ones. Unexpected little gifts that did not come with an anticipated check off of my calendar.

I love those small moments. And I like to think that when I'm gumming jello in the nursing home, my cup will be runneth over with millions of tiny memories that will leave me warm & fulfilled. If not, I sure hope the drugs are good.

So this year, I'm all about the small moments. The connecting with those that I love. The impromptu games of Trouble, the silly voices I give Barbie, a quick walk around the block. This year will have more Saturday morning snuggles. More doughnuts. More puzzles. More letter writing. More phone calls. More reaching out to those that I love that I've lost touch with.

I want to know the people I share my life with. I want to know them BETTER. And I want them to know they are loved.

Happy New Year, my friends!