Friday, December 31, 2004

Family time

Rich and I often complain about our lack of family time.Since I work every weekend, the time usually reserved for families is just unavailable to us. This week was Rich's vacation so we tried to spend some quality time together. Today we went bowling.

Every now and then Rich will take Lillianna bowling on a weekend but we have never gone just the 3 of us. I generally don't love bowling. I'm not sure why but it's the last thing on my list when it comes to enjoyment. Lillianna LOVES to bowl, and she's darn good at it too.

When we entered the dark bowling alley, cosmic bowling was already in progress. Thank god I hadn't had any recent bouts with vertigo because the strobe lights would've caused me to fall on the floor. The hip-hop/rap music wasn't too deafening but the lights did throw me off when I got to the line to roll the ball. After the second string the lights went back on and cosmic bowling had ended. Rich and I looked at each other and I said, "Wow! That is so much better. Now I can see!" We decided to bowl 2 more strings now that our vision had returned to normal.

Considering I never liked bowling, we had the most wonderful time. We bowled for 2 hours. We laughed,hugged and joked with each other. It was such a relaxing time for us. We each won one string. (One string we messed up because of Rich's strike so he probably won that one too but we didn't count it.) Lillianna beat us both in the last string and we were so proud of her.

This was so much fun. I hope we can find ways to spend more family time in the future.

How does your family have fun together?

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Cleaning time again

Right now I am on a break! "A break from what?" you are asking yourself. Well, let me tell you.....I have been cleaning Lillianna's bedroom for the past 90 minutes and I am only halfway finished. I have already dumped one huge trash bag of junk and after I catch my breath I will head back in there and tackle the other half. I am hoping to be done by noon so that I can shower,make lunch,pack my dinner and go to work. I have to leave at 2:45pm so time is a tickin'.

Lillianna has been helping me and I am so proud of her for finally agreeing to give up some of the things she has been holding onto for so long: broken crayons, unknown pieces of doll furniture ("They must go to something, Mommy!"), pieces of games that she once owned (I found a cherry to Hi-Ho Cherry-O in her Barbie drawer this morning. I just looked at her, sighed and tossed it in the trash.) As I went through her Barbie bin I found an arm, oh not a human arm, gosh what are you people thinking??? It was clearly a Barbie arm,(Isn't that right, Hannibal?)so I asked Lillianna what the heck it went to.

"Oh that goes to one of your old dolls, Mom."

'My gosh, no wonder it fell off,' I thought. 'That doll is almost 40 years old.' I checked her other parts to see how they were holding up. All I can say is that gravity is good to Barbie. I wish it were so kind to me.

Well, my break time is over, *sigh*. I am armed with a new trash bag and I am heading to my dear daughter's room. Wish me luck!!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A nice surprise

Christmas Eve was wonderful as it always is at Debby and Mark's house.(More on this later.) Lillianna got so many wonderful presents.It was overwhelming.In addition to the dolls and other toys,Debby bought Lillianna a beautiful,sparkling,floor length Christmas dress.I thought I was going to burst into tears.I asked Lil if she wanted to try it on so Debby could see it. She agreed but once it was on she wouldn't take it off! She looked like a princess which is the look Debby said she was going for when she bought it.Lillianna twirled and whirled so that her dress whipped around. She loved that.

Lillianna thanked everyone for her gifts and she was so appreciative of what she received. My friend,Kristy, (that's Auntie Kristy to Lillianna)made her a long sleeved flannel nightgown with ruffles for Samantha, her American Girl Doll. Lillianna looked at it in awe.

"Mom, do you know how special this is? I bet it took Auntie Kristy a long time to make it for me," she said as she hugged the nightgown to her chest.

Christmas morning, Lillianna woke us at 6:00am to open her presents that were under the tree. We didn't buy an excessive amount but she had some really nice gifts under there. She was overjoyed with each one.I left her to play while I started to prepare our annual Christmas breakfast. Kristy and Jerry were coming at 10:00am so I wanted to start the bacon and hash browns early so that I wouldn't have much to do when they got there.

A few minutes later Lillianna came into the kitchen and looked at me.

"Hi, honey," I said looking at my very solemn child.

"Thank you so much for all my presents, Mom. I really love them."

My heart melted.Where on Earth did this precious child come from?

"You are so welcome," I said as I hugged her tightly.Then she went off to play.A few seconds later Rich came into the kitchen.

"Do you know how we know that we have a great child? Because she thanked us for her gifts," he said. I just nodded. Lillianna leaves me speechless quite often.

What surprising thing did your child say this holiday season?

Friday, December 24, 2004


While driving around doing last minute shopping today, I saw two disturbing signs.
The first one was in front of a furniture store. The sign read, "Free Delivary."For those of you who know me well, you must realize how hard it was for me to just keep on driving. As a hater of misspelled words, I should have marched into the store, demanded to see the manager and said, "I know I'm not Vanna White but I'd like to buy an "E" please." Then I would've handed it back to him and said, "Now please change your "A" to an "E" and I can continue on my merry way."
If you suck at spelling, that's ok, but don't post your ignorance for all to see. I would definitely not shop in a store with spelling mistakes on their signs.

The second sign that I found disturbing was at a pool store. (This is not the same one Rich works for, by the way.) The sign said, "Three person hot tubs." That made me think. A two person hot tub would be for you and your significant other.....quiet, intimate, romantic....I understand that.
A four person hot tub would be for two couples....nothing inappropriate (I have to live in denial, thank you,) maybe 4 people just want to relax and chat.
A three person hot tub????? Kinky is the only word that popped into my head when I saw this.

What would you think?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Four little girls

I was sitting in Papa Gino's today waiting for my lunch order when a woman with 4 little girls walked in. They seemed to be about 3 years old. They were all the same height but they didn't look alike, which doesn't mean anything, so I couldn't determine if they were quadruplets or completely unrelated. So I was sitting on the bench and the little girls starting talking to me all at once while the woman was picking up her pizza.I looked over to the woman who was smiling at me and I said to her,
"Oh my gosh! They're all talking at the same time!!" She just laughed.

"Her name is Rachel," the little girl sitting next to me said, pointing to the girl who was sitting next to her. "Did you want to say hi to Rachel?"

"Hi, Rachel," I said as I waved and smiled. Rachel waved back.

"I have brown eyes, do you see? Brown eyes, I have brown eyes," said girl #1 as she looked in the mirror behind me.

"Yes, I do see that you have brown eyes," I replied.

"I have a boyfriend," said girl #2 as she stood before us, swinging her arms from side to side.

"A boyfriend?" I exclaimed. "And I thought my 7 year old daughter was young talking about a boyfriend."

"Well his name is Sponge Bob Square Pants. I'm gonna marry that guy," stated girl #2 proudly.

"I'm gonna marry Square Pants too," girl #3 chimed in. "I love him."

"Hmmm," I said thoughtfully. "I'm not sure you can actually marry a sponge.You might want to check into that."

"Ya, I think you can," announced girl #1.

Just then the woman came over to collect the girls and sit them down for lunch. They all smiled and waved good-bye to me. I waved back and laughed. Sometimes kids are really amusing.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun is posted over at DotMoms. I finally wrote about our trip to visit my mom in Florida. Ok, so it's 2 weeks late but at least I got it done!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Is that an elephant?

Last night Lillianna slept in bed with me while Rich slept in her room. That's the arrangement when she is sick because I like to touch her at night to make sure she isn't spiking a fever. Her temp tends to soar around 1:00am so I need her next to me just to be sure. At 3:00am Lillianna woke me up.

"I have to blow my nose," she said.

"Ok, well I might as well go to the bathroom so I will get up with you."

Lillianna's bedroom is right next to mine which is across from the bathroom.As we stepped into the hall, we heard an elephant. You know, that trumpeting noise that elephants make?Well that sound was loud....and very close by. We were stunned. How did an elephant get into our 2nd floor apartment? Was it even possible?

"What the heck is that, Mom?" Lillianna exclaimed.

"Uhm....that is your father." I explained.

"Is he snoring?" she asked, looking very confused.

"Well, not exactly. He is trumpeting like an elephant for some reason."

Lillianna and I burst out laughing as we ran back to bed. We snuggled together and tried to go back to sleep. The trumpeting was getting louder.....and louder.

"Holy moly! It sounds like an elephant trying to pull his foot out of the mud!!" I laughed.

Lillianna had a giggling fit.I couldn't even imagine how those sounds were coming out of my husband. I will admit he has been known to make some other sounds that have almost scared me out of bed but this was quite different. I marched into Lililanna's bedroom.

"Honey," I said as I shook him gently. No response. More trumpet noises.
"Rich," I tried again as I shook him a little harder. Nothing.
"RICH!!" I said more forcefully as I tried to roll him over.

"Huh? What? Was I snoring?" he asked groggily.

"Ah, no....not snoring. You were making elephant noises!" I patiently explained.

Rich looked apologetic. "Sorry, sorry. That's because I was dreaming I was riding an elephant and charging through a village."

I looked at him in astonishment. "Seriously?" I gasped.

"Ya....I was riding an elephant.Sorry for the noise. Sorry."

I left the room shaking my head. I went back to my room and looked at Lillianna.

"OH-MY-GOD! He was dreaming he was riding an elephant. That's why he was making elephant noises!!"

We laughed ourselves back to sleep.

During my break at work I called Rich to ask him about all of this.

"Do you remember me waking you up at 3:00am?" I asked.

"Huh? No...why'd you wake me up?"

I gave him the whole story. He laughed and laughed.He doesn't remember a darn thing!!

Have you ever had anything like this happen to you?


Saturday, December 18, 2004

My congested child

I knew a few days ago that some type of illness was brewing in Lillianna's system. She complained that her throat felt dry when she woke up in the morning.Yesterday she mentioned she felt a bit congested and that some of her friends in school were sick. It was only a matter of time before they passed the germs her way.

This morning at 6:30am Lillianna walked into the kitchen while I was getting my lunch ready for work. I am always surprised when she wakes up before I leave for work on the weekend.

"Ya know,Mom,last night I woke up and Daddy was still up and I told him I was congested so he gave me some grape medicine," she explained.

"How do you feel now?"


She went into the living room to color on the couch after she declined my offer of breakfast. At 7:00am I left for work.I usually don't call home until lunch time but I called at 9:00am and spoke to Rich.He informed me that Lillianna had gone back to sleep an hour before. Every mommy alarm went off. My child is not a napper unless she is absolutely exhausted. I told Rich to check her temperature when she woke up.
I called back at 11:00am and Lillianna reported that she didn't have a temperature.
I breathed a sigh of relief because she usually runs a very high temp when she is sick.

On the way to my second job of the day I called Rich on his cell phone and he told me Lillianna was asleep in the car and they were on their way to pick out a Christmas tree. Since she didn't have a temp he figured it was safe to take her out for a short time. I didn't have any problem with that. I'm not actually worried about her because she has her doting daddy to watch over her but I always want to be with her when she is sick. I like to be able to snuggle her or just sit with her while we watch t.v. It's hard for me to be at work from 7:30am-9:30pm on a day when my congested child is home feeling yucky. She doesn't need me to be with her but my heart wants to be with her.

Do you feel the need to be home with your child even if your very competent partner is home taking care of him/her?

Friday, December 17, 2004

Teenage memories

Last week my co-workers and I were chatting about something I hadn't thought about in over 20 years: sitting and waiting for a boy to call but acting like you didn't care. That's really quite an art!

Justine said she would cue up her stereo so that it would play a really "cool" song when her boyfriend (now husband) would call. As soon as the phone would ring she would crank up the volume and yell,"Hello?" into the phone, thus giving the illusion that she was busy having fun listening to great music and definitely not waiting around for him to call.
MaryJo and I agreed that we did the exact same thing.
I used to go one step further and make sure I was at the other end of the house but I kept my phone right in the hall where I could hear it. When it rang, I ran to my bedroom and gasping for air, I answered in a breathy and surprised voice, "Hello?" That let the caller know I was busy doing something important and I was absolutely not waiting for his call!

How did you pretend you weren't waiting for that special someone to call?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Chanukah frustration

I love Chanukah! Well, I did until this past week when I had to do some last minute shopping. Lillianna and I flew home from our vacation on Tuesday, the first night of Chanukah. I didn't plan ahead so I had to go looking for some Chanukah supplies yesterday. I went into CVS and immediately found their wrapping paper selection.There were three large boxes filled with Christmas paper. I poked through them all to find the Chanukah paper and I was surprised when I couldn't find a single roll. I flagged down an employee and asked where the Chanukah paper was. He took me on a journey to the other side of the store where four rolls of Chanukah paper were jammed in the middle of their Chanukah card display. I was horrified to find that this paper cost $4.99 while the Christmas paper was $1.99.Why did it need to be separated? I would've thought that all holiday wrapping paper would be in one place.

I suddenly got a very bad feeling. I hesitantly asked where the Chanukah candles were and I was told they didn't carry any. I looked around and saw hundreds of red,white and green candles of all sizes and shapes displayed all around the store.
I didn't want to over-react but the word anti-semitism popped into my head.I know it was probably more ignorance than anything but come on! It's 2004. Chanukah is not a new holiday. I bought the wrapping paper but I left feeling very frustrated.

This past year when I went looking for Rosh Hashanah cards this same store had Passover cards in the same display under the heading, Rosh Hashanah. I pointed it out to the woman who was putting out the cards and she showed me her list of instructions and that's what it said to do. Rosh Hashanah is in September. Passover is in April. Even if they wanted to get ahead of the game, why were they under the wrong heading?

Today I was out doing errands and found myself in CVS in another town. I went in looking for something and I happened to walk down the wrapping paper aisle. I was overjoyed to find all the holiday paper happily mingling in the same boxes. This time the Chanukah paper was $2.99. Interesting! I decided to buy a roll there and return the other one when I went to pick up my film. I went to the check-out and put the paper on the counter. A saleswoman in her 60s approached me and asked,

"Dear,you do know that this is Chanukah paper, right?"

"Yes, I do," I answered. I wanted to say,"Ya well the menorahs,dreidels and Jewish stars were a complete tip off," but I held back.

"Ok, as long as you know it's Chanukah paper," she continued.

"Yes, I know," I said smiling through my clenched teeth.

"Because last night a woman came in and was about to buy it and I asked her if she knew that it was Chanukah paper and she said, Chanukah paper? Oh my god! I don't want Chanukah paper!! She was so glad I told her."

"Ya, well this is what I came in for," I snapped and turned to pay the cashier.

My good feeling of seeing all the wrapping paper together was destroyed with this woman's comments. It's not like I was unknowingly buying a cobra and had no idea of the ramifications of owning such a poisonous pet. It was wrapping paper!!
If I had bought blue Santa paper by mistake I wouldn't have had a fit over it. "Oh my god!!!! Santa!!!! UGH!!!!!!"

I went food shopping in my favorite supermarket today and lo and behold they had a Chanukah display with candles, Elite Israeli coin chocolate and other Chanukah items. This store is always right on top of things.
I think all stores that sell Christmas items should also sell Chanukah items. They can't use the fact that Chanukah came weeks earlier than Christmas this year because Christmas decorations went into the stores right after Halloween!

Are Chanukah supplies easy to find where you live?

{Please check out Gary's post about this same subject. He said it better than I did.)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I'm home but I'm not happy about it!

Lillianna and I had a wonderful vacation. I will write about some of the highlights in the next few days. We left sunny Florida yesterday and came home to icy rain in Massachusetts last night.That was depressing!

We were both happy to see Rich at the airport and I was pleased to see that the apartment was clean when we got home.
I was not so happy to see five days worth of mail piled up on the dining room table just waiting for me to sort through. Oh joy! Our rent is going up with the renewal of our lease.This is a huge complex and we already pay the highest rent out of everyone I know here. I am sick that it is going up. We aren't in a position to move yet so I will suck it up and renew the damn lease. That was a fine "welcome home!"

I called to make an appointment with my podiatrist for Friday morning because I can't walk on my right foot without excrutiating pain. I had surgery on both feet about 9 years ago for heel spurs. I am hoping I don't have another one because I will be so royally screwed if I need surgery again. I won't be able to drive for 6 weeks. How will I get to work? I am trying not to panic and imagine the worst but I know what heel spurs feel like and cortisone injections never work on me so if this is happening again.........I can't even think about it. The pain started suddenly on Monday and it really surprised me. Maybe it's something else?

I am still unpacking so that's it for now.Sorry this isn't very interesting but I'm not having a very interesting day.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

And we're off...........

Well....this is it! Tomorrow morning,Lillianna and I will be on a plane for Florida.
I hate to admit that I am still not completely packed. I did manage to give the both of us a manicure and pedicure this evening so I am not completely unproductive. I am hoping to be asleep by 11:00pm since I will be waking up at 4:00am. Lillianna is still tossing and turning in her bed, poor thing. She is so excited but also very nervous.
"Mom, remember all those plane crashes? Well, what if we crash?"
I tried to reassure her although I haven't been on a plane since September 11th. This is going to be a little scary for me too.

This will be my last post until we return next week. I haven't spent 6 days without a computer in ......uhm.......never!! Wow....I hope I survive it.

See you next to speak!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Chewing gum and feeling cool

I almost never chew gum anymore because it pulls my fillings out. My teeth are very sensitive. I chewed a lot of gum when I was pregnant,though. I felt like I couldn't get enough of it. I would buy 2 packs of every fruity gum I could find, chew a piece for 5 minutes, spit it out and chew another one. As the wrappers went flying through the air I would be foaming at the mouth trying to suck every last bit of flavor from the piece I was chewing. Rich would curl up in a ball far off in the corner, hoping my gum craving would be satisfied before the last piece was popped in my mouth. Sometimes he was lucky. Sometimes I would look at his terrified face and demand, "MORE GUM!!" He would immediately race out the front door, jump in the car and speed off to the nearest convenience store to replenish my gum supply.It was a scary time in his life. My obsession with gum was quite overwhelming. Once Lillianna was born, the craving disappeared.

I hate to admit this since I rarely let Lillianna chew gum but I always feel kind of cool when I am chewing it. I am not a chomper or snapper with my gum although you may catch me blowing the occasional bubble. I have always been a gum lover. Clove gum was always my favorite along with the Black Jack gum. The flavor only lasted for 3 chews but it was delicious. Today I chewed my first piece of gum in ages and damn it....I loved it!!

Are you a gum chewer? What is your favorite brand of gum?

Friday, November 26, 2004

Flying south

Lillianna and I are leaving for Florida in 6 days.I am finally going to get a chance to rest and relax.My usual worries about bills and the stress of work will be put on the back burner. My biggest decision in Florida will be,"Should we go to the pool first and then the beach or just skip the pool and head directly to the beach?" There will be no running around to see all my mom's friends that used to live in Massachusetts. We will not be busy. Mom promised not to make any plans for us at all.

I told Lillianna that she won't have any set bedtime on our vacation. She thought that was the best news she had ever heard. All I want to do is enjoy my time with my daughter and sit in the sun and swim. That's it! This will be the first time in 4 years that we have gone to visit mom. I will get to watch the sun rise over the ocean every morning unless I decide to sleep late. Late! That means I can sleep later than 6:00am. I never do that. What a luxury.

What is your idea of a great vacation?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

When is it time to throw in the towel?

I'm not speaking metaphorically. I mean seriously, when do you throw your towel in the laundry?
We went to my aunt's house for dinner this evening and somehow during dessert this topic came up.

"Mmmmmmm.....this cake is delicious......How often do you use a towel before you throw it in the hamper?" "

"Another cup of coffee? Why, thank you......What? You use it for 2 weeks? That's disgusting!" "

"Oh, a clementine? No thank you, I am fine with the cake..... How can you use a towel for 2 weeks? Do you know how much bacteria is on there?"

"Did you hear her? Two weeks!! Does your mother know about this?"

"I use a new towel every day!"

"Every day? Are you insane? Obviously you do not do the laundry.Are there any brownies left?"

"Ya, here's one for you. I use the same towel for 2-3 days and then it goes in the hamper. Did you say there was coffee?"

"Two to three days? Why? I'm showered so I'm clean so what's the big deal if I use the same one for 2 weeks? What? No, I'm stuffed. No dessert for me,thanks."

This innocent topic turned into quite an interesting discussion. I told my family that I would blog about it and ask all of you this burning question:

How many times do you use a bath towel before you throw it in the hamper? What is your decision based on?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Can you help me?

My friend Liane will be looking to sell a product online sometime in the future. How many ways are there to do this? I know some people use Cafe Express (I think that's the name) but I hear they charge a bundle. Also, besides PayPal, what other ways are there to arrange payment?
If you or someone you know has a product they sell online, would you please let me know of some websites that might be helpful to get started?
Thank you so much!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Food for thought

I stepped into the shower and reached for my Vanilla Plum shampoo. When my hair was shampoo free I grabbed my Sun-Ripened Raspberry conditioner and rubbed it through my hair. While I let that sit for a few minutes I washed with my Vanilla Brown Sugar body wash. It was at this time that my brain registered a startling fact. I was trying to make myself smell like food: specifically sugary fruit!

I thought that was quite odd. When did this begin? I remember when I was younger and everyone smelled like flowers,tea roses,lilacs,apple blossoms. Perfumes were strong enough so that if you were out with a guy he would literally fall at your feet in a dead faint due to the heady smell of your perfume. That was one way to catch a guy, I suppose. People felt sick and dizzy and probably chalked it up to being in love when in reality it was just a stinky perfume.

Times have changed. I was shopping in my friend Kristy's store a few months ago and checking out her edible oils and dusting powder; honey, coconut, chocolate and chocolate raspberry.
"Do you see anything that Rich would like?" she asked me.
"Uhm, not really. Call me when they make something that tastes like a turkey dinner with a slice of apple pie and a big glass of Pepsi. He'd love that!"

Do you find yourself using products that smell like food?

{editor's note: Just in case you were wondering, Kristy does not own a porn store or anything like that. She owns a new age store which carries books,tarot cards,candles,incense,jewelry and lots of other great stuff. Once I figure out her website address on e-bay I will let you all know. It's a great place!}

Please pass the duct tape

When I saw this on the news this morning I felt ill. I can't believe the woman who did this wasn't even punished. If anyone dared to duct tape my child to a wall just to see if it would "work on anything", I would do the same thing in retaliation!! I would get the strongest men I know, duct tape the person's mouth shut and then duct tape them to a wall for 24 hours and see how they would like it, ya know, just to see!Apparently there is no real punishment for such a thing.
I don't know who the bigger criminal is: Diane Davis, the woman who committed the crime or the judge who didn't see fit to have this criminal carry out the punishment!One week in jail instead of 2 1/2 years is unacceptable!

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Persistence pays off

When Rich and I went out on November 5th to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, I lost a brand new earring. I had purchased them at my friend Kristy's store the week before and I loved them. I called the restaurant where we had dinner but they hadn't found it. I checked my car. Nothing.

Kristy and I went out this morning and started to talk about my lost earring again. When we got back to her house she put on her sunglasses and got a huge flashlight and marched over to my car.With her feet hanging out of the back seat and her butt in the air she combed every inch of the seats and floor. She sighed as she stood in the driveway. She's a virgo and likes things in their proper place so I knew she wasn't going to be satisfied until the earring was found. She continued to insist it was not lost but I had given up a few weeks ago. If it wasn't lost, where was it?

At 3:55pm, while I was on my way to take Lillianna to dancing school, my cell phone rang. Kristy had been dusting and damp mopping her floor and she found my earring under her couch. Rich and I had gone over there to eat cake after our anniversary dinner 2 weeks ago. Kristy and Jerry had been in our wedding so we wanted to celebrate with them too. I wasn't surprised that Kristy never gave up on my earring. That's the way she is. (Thank you, Kristy!!)

Are you persistent or do you give up easily?

When moms fly south for the winter

Mom and John left for Florida yesterday. You can read When moms fly south for the winter over at DotMoms.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Puddles are not a thirst quencher

Lillianna and I love our walks to and from school because we talk about the funniest subjects. I enjoy teasing her about silly things and she plays along. Here is what we chatted about today.

"I am so glad I had my boots in school today because I had to wear them when we went out for recess."

"Good thing I packed them."

"It sure was because there was a huge mud puddle on the playground."

(I pretended to be horrified as I asked,)

"A mud puddle? Oh my gosh.....did you drink it?"

"Mom! Who do you think I am......?"

That's when we looked at each other and both asked,"Daddy????"

We couldn't stop laughing.

When Rich was a young child his father caught him drinking out of a puddle with a straw he found in the street! To this day Rich doesn't see anything wrong with that.

When I was 7 or 8 years old, my friend and I drank the glittery water out of a ship in a bottle. Why? Who knows why? We were kids.

What goofy thing did you do as a kid?

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Innocence of Youth

When I was about 12 years old, the song AFTERNOON DELIGHT was popular. I even had a t-shirt that had those words printed across my chest. Remember when sayings on t-shirts were made to look like they were painted on and the paint was dripping? Well that was my shirt. I loved the shirt and I loved the song. In case you are not familiar with this classic, here are the words:

Afternoon Delight
( Starland Vocal Band )

Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
Gonna grab some afternoon delight
My motto's always been 'when it's right, it's right'
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night?
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day
And we know the night is always gonna be there any way

Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
Looking forward to a little afternoon delight
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
And the thought of lovin' you is getting so exciting
Sky rockets in flight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight

Started out this morning feeling so polite
I always thought a fish could not be caught who wouldn't bite
But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think I might try nibbling
A little afternoon delight
Sky rockets in flight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight

Please be waiting for me, baby, when I come around
We could make a lot of lovin' 'for the sun goes down

Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
Looking forward to a little afternoon delight
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
And the thought of lovin' you is getting so exciting
Sky rockets in flight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight!

Ya,it seems pretty risky for a sweet 12 year old to be singing, doesn't it? That's because I didn't have any clue what they were singing about! I thought it was about the Fourth of July. Think about it. A nice warm July day, two people fishing by a stream and then fireworks-those skyrockets in flight. In never dawned on me that you couldn't see fireworks in the afternoon until I was much older and actually started listening to the words. Damn! I was singing about wild passionate sex in the afternoon! I don't think I even knew where babies came from at that age.

Did you ever misunderstand a song and then were shocked when you realized what it was about?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The front cover of a magazine

Yesterday Lillianna and I were in the check out at our local grocery store when she pointed to a magazine on the rack and gasped.

"Mom! Look!!"

I glanced at the picture and tried to scan my memory as to who this might possibly be. Nothing.

"Uhm, Ok......who is it, honey?"

"MOM!! LOOK!....It's Rachel Ray!"

Rachel Ray.....Rachel Ray....too old to be a new teen idol.She doesn't look familiar at all. Damn! Lillianna is hopping around waiting for me to give her some type of acknowledgment.

"Rachel Ray? Who is that?"

With her famous eye roll,her hands on her hips and a deep impatient sigh to her clueless mother, she said, "Mom. Rachel Ray has a cooking show. Ya know, 30 Minute Meals. I watch it with Nana."

I had to laugh. My mother has Lillianna watching all of her favorite shows. I shouldn't have been surprised that now she was hooked on food t.v.

Do your children regularly watch a show that is not a typical children's show?

Who decides?

When I was a young girl, I had frequent dreams of having long, luxurious hair. When I woke up, I would reach for my thick, gorgeous locks and be startled back to reality when they weren't there. Oh, I wasn't bald, it's just that my mother thought I looked better in short hair so that's the way it was.

In my senior class picture I am sporting a Dorothy Hamill hairdo.Before my trip to Israel in 1985, my mother assured me there was no electricity there(don't even ask!) so she encouraged me to cut my hair short and perm it. Why did I listen to her? I didn't know I had the option to challenge her and stand my ground.I hate to admit that I didn't realize that kids could argue about such things with their parents and maybe even get their own way.

Now this may lead you to believe that I had an overbearing mother who controlled my every move. Not at all. Mom has always been very loving but she really likes my hair short. I simply never said no to her suggestion of a haircut.

So, here I am the mother of a very opinionated 7 year old daughter.For the past few weeks,Lillianna has been begging me to take her to get her hair cut.

"Mom,it's too long and snarly! I hate it! I want it short!"

Ok, I was stumped. I like her hair the length it is which is about 6 inches below her shoulders. My mom and my sister Kara love it long and definitely didn't want one hair on Lillianna's precious head even touched. Who gets to say what happens to her hair? I honestly didn't give it much thought because I never got to have my hair the way I wanted it until I was much older. I told Lillianna we would go to the hairdresser on Friday after school and that's just what she did.

She giggled with glee during the haircut. She was so excited to have her hair the length that she wanted. She looks absolutely beautiful as I knew she would and I can still pull it up into a ponytail if she wants me to.

What decisions do you make? What decisions do you let your children make?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Respecting authority

When Lillianna came home from school on Wednesday, we talked about her phone call to me to bring her library books to school. She said that she had asked her teacher, Dr.N, if she could call me to bring her books up. Dr.N said she was sorry but,no,because then everyone would want to call home. A few minutes later Lillianna said she had a headache and asked if she could go to the nurse.

When she got there she said how upset she was about not being able to call me. Mrs. A, the school nurse, said that was probably why Lillianna had the headache. Mrs. A then called Dr.N on the school phone and asked if Lillianna could call home. Dr. N gave Lillianna permission to call home.

After hearing this story I asked my very cunning daughter,
Did you defy Dr. N? She told you no but you got Mrs. A to get Dr. N to let you do it anyway?

Ya, but it was ok,Mom.

Well, I will ask Dr.N at parent-teacher conferences tonight and I will get back to you.

The conference went well as I knew it would. Lillianna got a glowing report. She is an excellent reader,follows directions well, she's polite and gets along well with others. I asked Dr. N about the library book incident. Before she could answer I asked,

Did she defy you?

Yes, she did. (Dr. N seemed rather uneasy with my question)

I thought as much. From what Lillianna told me, you said she couldn't call but then she suddenly got a headache and went to see Mrs. A and then she allowed her to call me.

Yes. I felt bad that Lillianna forgot her books but if I let her call home, I have 27 other children that will ask to do the same. Then she started to cry and I felt really bad. A few minutes later she said she had a headache and I let her go to the nurse. Then I got the phone call asking if she could call home so I just let her but that call interrupted my lesson with the class.

That's what I figured.

It's funny that you picked up on that.

Ya, well, she has pulled this trick before on my husband. If I say no she asks him and he says yes without knowing I already said no! I will have a talk with her about this. I don't want this to ever happen again.

After the conference I picked Lillianna up at my friend's house and had a chat with my child. I told her what Dr. N had told me.

If your teacher says no then the answer is no! You can not keep asking people for what you want until finally someone gives you the answer you want. You know that when you ask me something, if the answer is no it's for a reason. If there wasn't a good reason I would just say yes, right? So it's the same with Dr. N. You have to respect her decision, even if you don't agree with it. No more sneaking around to find someone to let you do what you want.

Ok, Mommy. I understand.

Today she went to class and apologized to Dr.N for not listening to her on Wednesday.

At first I wasn't going to do it, Mommy, because I felt embarrassed but then I got my courage and I told her I was sorry.

I was so very proud of her. I know that must have been hard for her but I couldn't let that incident go without a discussion about it and an apology to her teacher.Lillianna is a wonderful child and very normal to want to test the boundaries a bit but she has to know how to be respectful,even about rules she doesn't like.

What would you have done?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Two Peas in a Pod

When the phone rang at 9:22am this morning I glanced at my caller i.d.
"Damn," I thought,"It's Lillianna's school.....again."
I hesitantly answered, "Hello?"
"Hi, Mom," Lillianna said.
"What's wrong now?"
"I forgot my library books and I need them. Can you bring them up?"
"I don't think so. I'm in my pajamas and I'm waiting for the laundry to be done. I haven't showered yet.....what time do you need them by?"
"First we have lunch, then recess then library. I need them by then."
(I took a deep breath and tried again.)
"But what time does that all happen, honey?"
"How should I know?"
"Well, didn't I remind you before you left the house to take your library books?"
"So why didn't you?"
"I don't know."
"I don't think I can get there in time,Lillianna."
"Sure you can, Mom!" she said encouragingly.
"I'll do my best."

I looked on the timer to see how long the laundry had left before it was done. I had 22 minutes. I jumped in the shower,got dressed, moussed my hair and looked at the timer:35 seconds. I ran downstairs,got the laundry(Rich didn't bother to tell me he ran out of 'Bounce' but I figured that out for myself with all that static!),carried it upstairs,dried my hair,grabbed her books, ran to the car,drove to school and delivered her books.
Mrs.D, an office worker, greeted me with a big smile.
"Oh, thank G-d you made it! She was so worried."

I got in the car and called Rich on the cell phone. I relayed the whole story to him.I like to share these crazy stories with my darling husband because that's why Lillianna has two parents!
When I arrived back at our apartment I decided I had to start cleaning up and folding the laundry. I opened the refrigerator to put something away and that's when I saw it: Rich's ham and cheese sandwich that I made him for lunch. I sighed a deep sigh and hit redial on the cell phone.

"Where is your sandwich?"
"I found your ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge. You packed your lunch. Did you pack your sandwich?"
(I don't know why I bothered asking such a question since I knew he couldn't have packed it. I was curious to know what the heck he packed!
At this point Rich couldn't stop laughing as he walked to his lunch box to inspect the contents.)
"Uhm.....I have chips, a brownie and an ice pack."
"No sandwich?"
" sandwich!"
"Ya know, I don't know why I bother. Why on Earth did I make you lunch today?"
"I guess it's a good thing you gave me extra money today so I can buy lunch."
"That wasn't the point. You're just as bad as Lillianna. What would you two do without me?"
"I don't know."
"At least I have something to blog about."
"I love you,honey."
"Oh, I am sure you do!!...........I love you too!"
I hung up the phone and rolled my eyes. Oh, he couldn't see the rolling but I am sure he felt it somehow. Eye rolling is powerful!

At what age do you expect your child to be responsible enough to bring his/her essentials to school? Do you go up to deliver what he/she has forgotten?

Monday, November 08, 2004

I love left-overs

Rich made a delicious meal for us last night. I can't wait until dinner time tonight when I can heat it all up and enjoy it again. Tomorrow night I won't be home until 8:00pm because I work at one job from 7:30am-5:00pm and then I have a meeting at my other job from 6:00pm-7:00pm. I will have to bring dinner to the first job and eat it before the 6:00pm meeting.I will be delighted to eat that mouth watering Italian meal again.

This morning when I told Rich that I was planning to heat up the left-overs, he said, "That's ok. I will eat a bowl of cereal for dinner."
We have had this conversation many times over the past 11 years and it still surprises me each and every time.
"Well, why wouldn't you eat the chicken tonight?" I whined.
"I ate it last night. It was good. I'm done," he replied.
I sighed. The only left-overs that he is ok with is Thanksgiving left-overs. If there is turkey left over from our dinner on the following day,he has me cook the turkey with gravy in an electric frying pan and then pour it over the mashed potatoes. Then that is it. Even if there is 10 pounds of turkey left,he won't eat it!

I am definitely eating my yummy chicken and ziti tonight and Rich can devour a big bowl of Froot Loops.

How do you feel about left-overs?

So that got me thinking........

Blog Explosion is a trip around the blog world with a 30 second stop over at each blog. That way if you are on a blog that is not to your taste, you can hum to yourself until the clock ticks down and you can move on to something better. So that got me thinking.
Aside from humming, what else can you do in 30 seconds?

I came up with the following four things.

1)Put one coat of nail polish on each hand.
2)Pick up all the shoes in the apartment and put them in the closet.
3)Get Lillianna's back pack ready for the next day.
4)Make the bed.

Instead of being bored on this visit, can you add an idea to my list? I bet my life could be more productive with some helpful 30 second tips.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


My workday just dragged today. (No offense to Kim, Kathy or Julie.) It seemed like such an endless day. When Kim and Julie left at 3:00pm I knew I only had to survive for 30 more minutes. When 3:30pm rolled around, I managed to get to my car and drive the 30 minutes home. I hate that drive when I am tired. I feel like I am driving to the end of the Earth.

I could smell something scrumptious as I walked up the stairs.I arrived to a clean house.That was a nice surprise.The table was set for dinner.Nice!I like to eat early on Sundays since I end up going to bed so early. Rich had me sit down with Lillianna and he gave me my salad which I had prepared for myself at 5:30am this morning. I plan ahead. He placed a plate of baked chicken parmigiana with ziti in front of me and it smelled delightful. One bite and I was in heaven. All I could manage to do was make yummy noises as I chewed,"Mmmmmm....cheesy goodness...... chunks of tomatoes......sauce.....delicious....Mmmmmmmm.....good!" It was so absolutely yummy.

We have been together for 11 years. Friday, November 5th was our 10 year wedding anniversary. Tonight was the first time he has ever made this for me! It was worth the wait. I told him he could feel free to cook every Sunday night. He said he would.
Thank you, Rich! I love you! *burp* Oh, excuse me.

Who cooks in your family?
{editor's note: Rich wanted it known that this delicious sauce that I spoke of was not from a JAR! Oh no. He made it himself.So noted.}

All that glitters is not gold

Last night I was barely able to drag my exhausted, over-worked body home. I finally arrived at 10:45pm after a brief stop to the supermarket. I called Rich on the cell phone and asked him to open the front door for me. I was too tired to use my key or even push the heavy door open myself. He met me downstairs and said for me to hold the door for a second, he'd be right back. Huh? What? Where was he going? Hello! Sleepy, cranky wife here!
I was wobbly but I stood there for a minute or so until he returned.

"What the heck were you doing?" I asked even though I really didn't care as long as I could finally go to sleep.
"I saw something shiny from the bedroom window and I wanted to check it out," he lamely explained.
"Well, what was it?"
"Uhm, I don't know. It wasn't shiny when I got there. Come upstairs and I'll show you from our window."
"Ya ya. Ok."

I trudged upstairs and plodded to the window.
"See?" he asked excitedly, pointing to the glittering object."Now I'll go downstairs and you watch me from up here and tell me when I am there."

He went downstairs and walked towards the shiny object. I kept thinking, "What is he? A magpie?" Aren't they the birds that are attracted to shiny things?
He stood right in front of it.
"There it is," I sighed.
"Oh," he sad sadly as he picked up a plastic propeller from a child's toy.
"Never mind." He tossed it in the yard.

Did you ever think you found a treasure but it turned out to be nothing?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

How far does friendship go?

Kristy and I have been the dearest of friends for the past 14 years. We have been through many things over the years.It shouldn't have surprised me when we discovered we had gynecology appointments within 15 minutes of each other on Friday. Oh ya. It's true. Her appointment was at 9am and mine was at 9:15am. I picked her up and we drove to our appointments together. Are we great friends, or what??????

Thursday, November 04, 2004

No place for my husband

Before I had kids (well, I only have one) I thought it would be so wonderful to have my husband help me through childbirth. We had watched a wonderful movie during our birthing class which was so inspiring it filled my heart with love.The caring, kind and devoted husband helped his panting and sweating wife with tender gestures and concerned touches. They smiled at one another and pledged their undying love. "I love you," he whispered while placing a cool cloth on his beloved's forehead. "I love you more," she answered as she gazed adoringly into her soulmate's eyes. Ahhhhh, it was so beautiful and magical.

The reality was that there was no damn place for Rich in the birthing room. I don't know who the heck the husband and wife were in that movie or what planet they were from but it had nothing at all to do with my childbirth experience. Where do they get this crap from? It's false advertising! That's what it is.

I checked in to the hospital at 8:00pm on October 2, 1997. I was immediately asked if I wanted to sit in the shower to ease the pain of the contractions. Nothing can duplicate the pain of your child trying to find the exit door from inside your body. I was up for anything that could make this pain go away. What the hell was my precious baby doing in there and how did she get a chain saw? "Head for the birth canal, sweetie. Don't hack your way out," I silently pleaded to my daughter.

I quickly agreed to the shower and plodded into the bathroom. I sat on the plastic wobbly stool that is usually reserved for the elderly bather and I aimed the warm spray at my protruding stomach.It was magical. I sat there for a while just enjoying the pain free moments when Rich suddenly became alarmed. (Rich claims that "a while" was actually two hours but I can't verify that.)

"Look at your feet! They're turning blue! You have to get out of the shower," he sputtered and called for my nurse, Maggie. Just then I got a sharp pain and dropped the shower head. I breathed through that contraction and was in a state of rest again when Rich stated the obvious. "You dropped the shower head."
As I slowly reached down to retrieve it I wondered how I could hit Rich over the head with this piece of metal and make it look like an accident. I just wanted him to shut up. I know that isn't a loving thought for a wife to have about her husband but I was in excrutiating pain and he was in the way. I grabbed the shower head firmly. Before I sat in an upright position I noticed his concerned face was right in my line of fire....... so I clunked him over the head. Hard! (To this day he says I punched him in the face with my fist but everyone knows I hit like a girl so I know that's not true!)

I left the shower and Nannette, my mid-wife, gave me a shot of Nubain before I was ushered to the birthing chair. Nubain is the miracle drug that "takes the edge off." I don't know about that. I was pretty edgy. The Nubain caused me to have bizarre hallucinations in between my contractions. So here I was sitting across from Rich and Maggie, huffing and puffing so hard I thought my lungs would burst when suddenly I saw them: blue and white ceramic cereal bowls all stacked one on top of the other. What did this mean? I tried to convey this image to Rich, but he was busy making Maggie laugh with his Arnold Schwartzenegger impression. "Use your Kegel muscles. You are strong woman. You can push out this baby like spitting out a cherry pit." He was babbling some kind of silliness and at any other time I would have laughed too. But not while I was seeing cereal bowls and my insides were trying to come outside!

Maggie laughed hysterically and said to me, "Oh my god he is so funny!You are so lucky.
Hello!! Is anyone going to help the pregnant woman panting in the birthing chair or is this open mike night at the Comedy Stop? Rich and Maggie looked like two distorted faces laughing in silence. I couldn't hear them anymore. I only heard the silent screams inside my head.I willed Rich and Maggie to disappear. I closed my eyes and waited a few seconds. Damn! They were still there.

Sometime later,while I was still writhing in the birthing chair, I noticed Rich was in the corner across the room looking guilty. He was snacking on his crackers and cheese and chugging a Pepsi. I didn't even care at that point. I love him dearly but what was he doing in the birthing room with me? What purpose did he serve other than to irritate me and amuse my nurse? I thought back to the olden days when men paced in the waiting room while their wife gave birth without them. Some time later the nurse announced the sex of the child and the husband passed out cigars. Bring back the good old days, I say!

Near the end of this ordeal,Nannette, made another appearance and she suggested I transfer to the bed. She had been checking on me all night and now it was time to get things moving. She instructed me to breath. Rich made his last attempt at helpfulness. He stood close to my bed, leaned down and encouragingly said, "Breathe, Honey."
That was it! I had had just about enough of his chit chat. My eyes spit fire at him as I growled, "I AM BREATHING!!!!!!!!!!"
He must have ducked for cover because the next thing I knew, I pushed out my daughter in one push and at 4:59am on October 3rd, Lillianna arrived. Nannette plopped Lillianna on my stomach. My hot little wrinkled baby looked like a SharPei puppy lying there. I patted her head in amazement.
Nannette asked Rich if he wanted to cut the cord. He waved his hand back and forth in protest and said, "No! No! That's why we pay you!" That was fine with me since I didn't want my husband to have a weapon. He might try to get revenge for the shower head clunking earlier in the evening.

Maggie asked Rich if he wanted to hold Lillianna. He shook his head no and backed away from the bed. I laughed at him and said, "Yes you do. Hold her!" He had such a look of fear on his face, you would have thought he was asked to hold a basket full of cobras. He put his arms straight out in front of him.As Lillianna was placed in his shaking arms he slowly brought his daughter closer..... and closer......and closer, until she was resting her head next to his thumping heart. All thoughts of killing my husband and hiding the body vanished in that moment.
We were parents of a beautiful baby girl and we were very much in love with each other. All was right with the world.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

You can't always get what you want

What do you do when your child has a meltdown? You can read my newest post,You can't always get what you want over at DotMoms.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Did I read that correctly?

I was trying to write a new post for DotMoms this morning and I had Montel on in the background. I was hoping it wouldn't be another show about boyfriends killing their girlfriends so I grabbed the remote and clicked on the info button. "Vaccinations turned tragic." do vaccinations turn tragic? I mean I have read all the information that the pediatrician hands out before your child gets a vaccination but the chances of your child having these problems is slim, right? I caught the end of one story and it was about a man who got lost and his body was never found. I knew I was tired but how did that happen? Did he get some type of vaccination and then had a bad reaction and got amnesia and wandered off?

The next story was about a young boy who got sucked into some type of tube in a pool in Mexico while on a trip with his family. Did the boy get a vaccination before this trip and became disoriented and.......and what???? What weird story was this.
Just then the daily topic flashed on the tv screen. "Vacations turned tragic." OHHHHHHHH, Vacations??????
Never mind!

Too tired

I had my typical busy weekend working 21 hours and getting very little sleep (even with the extra hour from daylight savings). After work yesterday we went to Kara's to trick or treat in her new neighborhood with Peter's 2 girls, Lena and Bella.
By the time we left at 9:00pm I didn't know how I would survive the 30 minute drive back to mom's to get my car and then the 30 minutes to my house. Somehow I did manage to drag my butt to bed but I couldn't sleep for more than 15-30 minutes at a time.

Lillianna woke me at 2am because she had a rash on her wrist. I put cream on it and put her back to bed. Then it was 3am, 3:15,3:45.........everytime I woke up I felt like I had been asleep for 6 hours but in reality it had only been 15 minutes!
I woke up for good at 6:15am,gave Lil breakfast, made her lunch, walked her to school and then I stopped at my car to get my lunchbox from yesterday and a huge jug of water that I couldn't carry last night in my exhaustion. I called Rich from my cell phone and asked him to meet me downstairs to open the door.

I walked to the front door and Rich immediately took the water from me. I limply followed him up the stairs and through our door when I just wasn't quick enough and my finger got slammed in the door. I burst into tears and Rich rushed over to check on me. I was just so tired and hadn't been paying attention to what I was doing and that made me feel so frustrated. I wasn't able to cope with anything.I dragged myself into our room and plopped on the bed. Rich came in to lie beside me and asked, "Having a bad day?" As the tears streamed down my face I answered, "I guess."
That made him laugh and he used his humor and charm to make me feel better. I was still tired but I didn't feel as bad as I had a few minutes before.

Did you have more energy or less energy after setting the clocks back this weekend?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I don't believe in curses!

The Boston Red Sox won the world series last night: the first time since 1918! I am no sport's fan as I have admitted before but even I watched the game last night. I also watched it in 1975(?) when my junior high school teacher told us all to go home and watch the game because if we won, we would be seeing history! I stayed up way past my bed time and.....we lost. I cried. I am too sensitive to follow sports.

People have been mumbling about "the curse" that has plagued the Red Sox all these years. Apparently this has been the reason they haven't been winning. I don't believe that for one minute.I was glad to hear the players say that they never believed in the curse. The reason this year was different was because they believed in themselves! They didn't take anything for granted until that last out was made and they realized they had done it. They won.

I believe that in order to win, the right combination of players had to be there. The team had to be in sync with one another about their attitude and their strategy.
If you watch any of the interviews you will hear them all say the same thing, "We believed." That is really quite a powerful message to all of us. What could we all do if we just believed in the positive things: in ourself, in our ability, in our dreams?

I don't believe in curses because I think the idea of a curse, plays on our fear, that we can't believe in ourself!

What do you believe?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Red Sox day at school

When Lillianna got out of school on Friday she told me that Monday would be Red Sox Day. Everyone would be wearing Red Sox hats or t-shirts to school. I didn't think that would be a problem since Rich already had a Red Sox hat.She could wear that.

During my lunch break yesterday, I called home to see if Lillianna had her bath yet. Rich said he would do that when they got back. I asked where he was going. He said they were heading out to buy a Red Sox hat for Monday since Rich's hat was kind of disgusting and he didn't want Lillianna to wear an icky hat.

I tried to explain that we didn't have the extra money this week to buy a hat just because it was Red Sox day in school. I am trying to figure out the rent money for next week and I didn't want any unnecessary spending to go on. Lillianna began to cry. Rich sounded disappointed. I felt like the worst mom ever. I wish I could run out and buy a hat just for one day but we work our butts off and still struggle with money. We are doing our best.

I got off the phone and felt an anxiety attack coming on. I hate that feeling of having no control over a situation. Just then Julie asked what was wrong and I explained what happened. She smiled and said,"I have a Red Sox hat in my car if Lillianna wants to borrow it......and it's pink." Wow! She had just solved my problem. What probably seemed like a little thing to Julie was actually a life saver to me.I gratefully accepted her offer and brought the hat home to Lillianna.

When Lillianna saw the beautiful pink hat she was overjoyed. This morning she wore her overalls, pink shirt, pink Red Sox hat and socks!! She said she was the only one who wore red socks today. What spirit! I pulled her hair up in a pony tail and pushed it through the opening in the back. She thought that was funny.

When I pulled up to the school to let her out she spotted all the other Red Sox hats on the students entering the school. Her face lit up when she said proudly,"Well, you can tell it's Red Sox day today." She patted the pink hat and walked happily into school.

I walked up to school to get her this afternoon and noticed all the students and teachers in Red Sox gear. I was glad Lillianna was able to participate in supporting our home team. She held my hand,smiled and said, "I wore the hat the whole day, Mom." I smiled back at her.

Thank you, Julie!!!! You're a life saver!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

What song takes you back?

There are certain songs that when I hear them, they take me back to one particular place, one moment frozen in time. I don't mean a large time frame like when I hear Whip It, by Devo,it does take me back to my high school days and my Dorothy Hamill haircut, but I mean one song-one place.

Whenever I hear the original version of Lean On Me by Bill Withers, I am immediately swept off to Pompanesset Beach on Cape Cod the summer when I was 9 years old. I can see the jetty where I used to go and sit and watch the waves crash against the rocks. I can feel the warmth of the sun and the spray of the ocean on my face. Every time I hear it I see that picture in my mind.

Precious and Few by Climax, immediately puts me in the front seat, in between Mommy and Daddy, on my way to the reception for my cousin Richard's Bar-Mitzvah. Mom's friend Bevie was singing in the back seat while that tune played on the radio. No matter how many times I have heard that over the past 32 years, that's where I go when I hear it.

We Built This City by Starship, takes me to the kitchen of the kibbutz in 1985 when I was peeling potatoes. The first time I heard it I loved it. I was bopping all around dancing to this kicky tune at 6am much to the surprise of my overtired co-workers. On the rare occasion that I actually hear this song on the radio, I laugh and remember that moment in the kitchen.

Cross My Heart brings me to Bowser's restaurant parking lot in 1994. I was just about to park my car and go inside to meet Mom and Kara for dinner when George Strait's beautiful voice came over the radio. I immediately pulled in to the parking lot and listened to this song as tears streamed down my face. I had found our wedding song. Up until that point I had decided and Rich had agreed we would dance our first dance to Longer by Dan Fogelberg, but Cross My Heart was "it" for me.Sometimes this song takes me to our wedding but mostly I return to Bowser's parking lot.

Do you have a song that takes you back to one moment in time?

When no one is looking......

I was driving to work at 6:30am this morning and I was the only car on the road for about 10 minutes. It was dark and the fog was as thick as pea soup. Ok, it really wasn't but I always loved reading that expression and wanted to add it in!! I like to think that I am the only one awake at these crazy hours on a Sunday and I probably am! Two thoughts popped into my head during my 30 minute commute and I thought I would throw them out to you.

1) If there is no one in front of you or behind you when you are driving, do you still use your directional? (I do. I am not sure why, but I do.)

2) If you are home alone and no one is expected home any time soon, do you still close the bathroom door? (Yes! Definitely! But again I am not sure why!!!!)

How about you??

Friday, October 22, 2004

The power of toast

People are always searching for the key to a happy life. Some think the key is money or sex but they are wrong. In order to have a happy life you must have a good working toaster.
I grew up with a toaster oven for as far back as I can remember. I think my mom's theory was that if we had something small to bake we could do it in the toaster oven and the big oven would never even be turned on. I can see that being a valid point in the summer but who cares about the heat in the winter?

When Rich and I got married I never thought twice about choosing between a toaster and a toaster oven. Clearly the toaster oven was the way to go. We have had several "top of the line" toaster ovens over the past 10 years and they never seem to toast as well as we would expect. Oh sure it bakes and broils but why doesn't it toast? Our last toaster oven was only a year old when the toast started doing odd things. Out of the 4 slices, 2 would be white, 2 would be black, one side was toasted, one side was raw as if it was on broil but it wasn't!! It was on TOAST!

Rich would look up with his sad puppy dog eyes and hold up his burnt/raw toast and sigh. I didn't know what to say. What the hell was wrong with this damn toaster oven????? He suggested we buy a regular 4 slice toaster. You would've thought he asked to bring another woman into the marriage by the way I reacted. What was he thinking??? A regular TOASTER?
What if I wanted to make two fish sticks or heat up chicken nuggets for Lillianna? Would I have to use the regular oven? What kind of insanity was this?

After the millionth piece of disappointing toast, I headed to Wal-Mart and invested in a 4 slice toaster. I didn't want to spend too much just in case it didn't live up to our expectations.
How could a toaster be better than a toaster oven?
The first morning that I made toast with our breakfast, Rich's face lit up with pure joy. Sounds of, "Mmmmmmm, yum....good......mmmmmmmm, golden brown........mmmmmm," was all I could hear through his happy sighs and butter moistened lips.

Our life has changed drastically since the purchase of the toaster. Who knew that a happy day was one that started with a perfect piece of toast? See, toast is the key to a happy life!

Do you own a toaster oven or a toaster? What made you choose one over the other?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Not a fan of violence

By now you all know the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees last night. Yay Red Sox.
I am not a huge sports fan. I think I can only name two of the Red Sox off the top of my head much to Rich's horror! I am proud that they won. I think we learned from them that nothing is impossible. What an uplifting message to receive.

When I turned on the news today I saw the "fans" pouring out into the street from the bars they had been watching the game in. I guess I am delusional because I believe you can be happy for your team and support them without destroying the opposing team and it's fans.
It seems some fans set an s.u.v. on fire, which was parked on the side of the road. "Why?" you might ask. Because it had New York plates. The cheering fans in the background that were interviewed were so excited that the car was on fire.
"The Red Sox won and we're going to the World Series. We are setting cars on fire and nothing else matters!!!!" was how one enthusiastic fan explained his actions.

I am appalled. Can't you cheer for a team without this kind of destruction? Rich asked me, "What if that car belonged to a family that had to travel to Boston for medical treatment for a child? Now their vehicle is gone." He is right. No one knows who that car belongs to and no one cares. It's from New York so it must be destroyed?

Rich said, "The majority of the damage is being done by out of state kids who come here for college. They wouldn't dream of doing this at home, but because they are away they feel that they can get away with it. It's a nice way to spend your tuition money: on bail! And you wonder why parents are hesitant to put their kids in competetive athletics. Because you see this kind of crazed mentality all the way down to Tee-Ball. And I know all about this because I used to coach basketball, hockey and girls softball back in California."

When did this become normal? Why do people think this is perfectly ok and why are they proud of these actions?

What do you think of this kind of behavior? How do you show support for your favorite team? Has your support ever prompted violence?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Happy Birthday Kara

Thirty years ago today at 10:49am my sister Kara was born. I was the happiest 11 1/2 year old child when I heard the news from my dad that it was a girl!!! Nana and I had been secretly praying for a girl even though we told other people, "Oh, we don't care as long as the baby is healthy." What the heck would I have done with a brother?
This past Sunday, my mom threw a surprise party at a beautiful restaurant for Kara's 30th birthday. We all had a wonderful time. I read the following letter to my sister after dinner.

October 17, 2004

To my dearest sister,
In just 3 days you will be 30. That seems amazing to me. It seems like only yesterday that I wished for a baby sister to love.

Somehow I thought you would turn out to be exactly like me but you asserted your independence early on.
When you were about 6 months old I couldn't wait to dress you in frilly hats. You were not as thrilled about this as I was. Every time I tied a pretty little bonnet around your neck you spit up on me. Even at that age you had your own sense of fashion and nothing that I did was going to change it. Needless to say, there are very few pictures of you in a hat.

I believe the first sentence you ever spoke was directed to me in a nasty tone, with your hands on your hips,"I don't have to listen to you. You're not my mother!" Okay maybe that wasn't the first one but it's the one I heard most often.

I think I spent a lot of time trying to make you more like me instead of just letting you be yourself. I realized my mistake when you were in high school.

When you were 15 or 16 your date for the semi-formal hadn't called you all day and never showed up to pick you up. I was visiting a friend in Boston when Mom called to tell me this news. All I could say was, "Oh no, my poor sister! Is she ok?" I was on the verge of tears picturing you in your beautiful dress, crying in your room while eating junk food to help soothe your pain. That's what I would've done and I couldn't imagine any other reaction to this kind of situation. Mom said, "She’s fine. She went to the dance without him. She said no one was going to ruin her good time and she would have fun with her friends."
I was stunned. I would never, ever, ever have thought of going to the dance by myself. I hung up the phone from mom and I clapped for you. I thought you were brilliant for having taken control of the situation. I was so proud of you and so grateful that you didn't handle things the way I would have.

The summer that you were 15 and I was 27 we went off for 4 days to Florida. After 3 days in Disney World you said you wanted to go to a waterslide park. Immediately I said no because I had never been to a water slide park before and it didn't sound like fun to me. NOT AT ALL! You glared at me and told me not to be a big baby (ah, always the compassionate one!) and just try it. Reluctantly I agreed to go even though I was convinced I would hate every minute of it. I couldn't believe how much fun we had. I don't know what was more surprising: the fact that I enjoyed the water slides or that you and I had fun doing the same thing! I had to admit you were right.

The only thing we had in common was cheerleading. I was so honored when you asked me to help you with the cheers for your try-outs that first year. I felt like you finally needed me for something. When you asked me to watch the try-outs I wanted to say no because I would be too nervous but I went and made you smile and I was so proud when you made the squad. Not only were you a great cheerleader but I thought it meant that you were like me.

It has taken me 30 years to realize that you and I are never going to be the same and that's probably a good thing after all. Who could stand two of us?
The important thing is that we are sisters who love each other with one goal in mind: to drive mom crazy.

Happy 30th Birthday to my favorite sister and Lillianna's favorite auntie!

I love you!!


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My Very Reasonable Daughter

Lillianna and I went shoe shopping last week. Lena and Bella had on platform shoes when we had Rosh Hashanah dinner at my mom's house last month. They were cute shoes and I had intended to buy Lillianna the exact pair. As she paraded up and down the little rug in the shoe department of Sears I started to have second thoughts. I didn't love them. They looked too grown up for my 7 year old daughter.
"I can get them, right Mom???" Lillianna asked anxiously.
"Uhm, well, let me look over here a sec," I replied. I was hoping to see something more appropriate.
I found a pair of black patent leather shoes that had a little heel (not the high,thick heel of the platform shoes). I asked her to try them on and she did without one word of protest. As she modeled them for me I was thinking of the conflict we would have when I told her I didn't want to buy the platform shoes.
"Sweetie, I'm sorry to say I don't love these platform shoes and I don't feel like they are practical . For one thing the brown leather doesn't go with as much as the black does and the heel is bigger than I want you to have at this age. I would prefer that we buy the black ones and then come spring time I will buy you something with more pizazz."
Lillianna didn't hesitate when she answered, "Ok, Mom. That's fine with me."
I just love this child!!

Update on Frannie

To my co-workers:
Bobbi and I went to see Frannie tonight. The first thing she said was that I should have the breast reduction surgery too. It was a piece of cake, apparently! She said she felt pretty comfortable. She came through her surgery with ease and said her doctor was wonderful and comforting. She is on the pediatrics floor which struck us as funny but the doctor told her he didn't want her on a "sick" floor. She is scheduled to leave there tomorrow.
Leila was with her and taking excellent care of her. Bobbi and I brought her the chocolates that we had made yesterday and Lillianna drew a picture of a pumpkin for her and we tacked it on her cork board on the wall.
As always Frannie was cracking jokes. Before we left she laughed and said, "I hope I will make it on one of your blogs!" Of course, Frannie! Happy healing!

Monday, October 18, 2004

It ain't over til it's over!

Rich was watching the news this morning when he gasped, "The Red Sox won last night!!"
We had been at my sister's birthday party and ran around all weekend and by 9:30pm we went to sleep. It was a huge surprise to hear they had won.
I am not a huge sport's fan but this is quite a turn of events.

It ain't over til it's over!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Red Sox Fan

I walked Lillianna to school today. As we approached the main entrance we noticed Lillianna's friend, Kyle chatting with his friend. We went over and greeted them. Here is their conversation. Keep in mind, we live in Massachusetts.

Friend: (pointing down the walkway) Hey! Did you see that kid? He's wearing a New York Yankees' hat!

Kyle:(looking around) Where? Where?............Oh, there he is. You're right.

Friend:(getting ready to show the Yankees' fan who is boss) Come on....let's go beat him up.

Kyle:(taking a step back and evaluating the situation) Ya, well maybe we should wait until after tonight.

I had to laugh. I just love Kyle.

Go Red Sox!

I'll Take It!

I got an honorable mention in the Blogging For Books competition from The Zero Boss. I was never brave enough to enter any type of writing competition before this so I am actually quite proud of myself.
Go on over and read the winners but bring plenty of tissues.

Monday, October 11, 2004

A different light

It's funny how you can know someone in one context and then see them in another setting or exhibiting a talent you weren't aware of and it changes you.

When I saw Brian and Pete singing back in July, I was amazed that these young men that I had known for many years were such talented performers.

Today was a day just like that. I went to see my very first soccer game at the local college. What made this special was that one of my co-workers was playing in this game. Michelle is a star soccer player and I have always wanted to watch her play. Her sister, Kim, was also a star on the team but she could only play for 4 years and this is her 5th year since she changed majors. Everyone said that Kim and Michelle were incredible to watch. I regret that I never saw them play together.

Lillianna and I got up to the field a little bit before one o'clock and we spotted Michelle right away. I know nothing about soccer so when Lillianna asked me questions, I was stumped. Luckily Kim walked over to see us so she answered our questions and then we walked over to Kim's mom, Lois who was standing down the end of the field.

Michelle and I used to work together on Sunday mornings and I got to know bits and pieces of her life. She was always sweet and funny and I enjoyed my mornings with her. Nothing could've prepared me for today. Michelle took the field with the confidence of an athlete who knows she is someone to be reckoned with. She wasn't arrogant in any way, just confident in her ability. I gasped when she bounced the ball off her head and off her stomach. Kim assured us that it looked worse than it felt. I'll have to take her word for it! Lillianna said,"ouch" everytime she saw someone do that.

I was in awe when Michelle took control of the ball and ran down the field with it.What footwork! She made it look effortless. A few times she was pushed by a player on the opposing team and she tumbled on the grass. I was appalled but the refs didn't seem to notice this at all. I would've taken the ball and gone home which is why it is a good thing I don't play soccer.

The game went into over-time and ended in a tie: one to one. Michelle came over to say hello and Lillianna got to meet her. She was quite thrilled about that because she had been so excited about going to our first soccer game and meeting Michelle. I got the chance to tell Michelle how happy I was to finally watch her play and how amazed I was that she is so talented. I was so pleased that Lillianna and I got the chance to watch this shining star.

Have you ever gotten the chance to see someone you knew in a different light?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Are you a good cook?

My friend Lorrie is an awesome cook. She can throw together some of the most unlikely combinations and still come up with something absolutely delicious. She knows how to make each item compliment the others. I have looked at her lunch with envy and thought, "Why can't I do that?" We don't all have that special talent. Oh sure, I can make a tasty meal but not like she can.

Unfortunately, just because someone isn't a good cook, that doesn't stop them from cooking or worst of all, pretending they can cook and trying to do it professionally. You have to know when you are out of your league. At some point you have to admit defeat. Throwing a bunch of vegetables and meat into a pot does not guarantee that you will produce a brilliant stew. No matter how much you believe that all it has to do is simmer and let the ingredients find a way to work together, that still doesn't mean you will create something edible and utterly delicious.

If you are truly delusional you will go one step further and add something like cinnamon to this stew and still insist it can work if only the ingredients would co-operate. As a wise cook, you need to discover the reason that certain foods and spices don't go well together.Then be open to learning and really listening to how the change would benefit the entire meal. Maybe you need garlic instead of cinnamon ? Then taste it to see if that made the difference. Is that better? Ah, job well done! Now the stew is perfect!

Are you a good cook?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Happy Health Update!

Today was my 6 month check up with Dr. B, my pcp, to follow up on my blood pressure. I have been on medication for about a year now and hopefully once my blood pressure is completely under control, I can go off the medication.

Dr. B was very pleased with the numbers although I am still not where he needs me to be. He said it is much lower than it was last year and hopefully in 4 months, I can be finished with this medication completely. I was very excited to tell him that I had been walking Lillianna to school 3-4 mornings a week which is a 30 minute trip because he encouraged me to exercise at my last visit. Then I gave him the big news.......I lost 30 pounds.

He nearly fell off his spinning stool when I told him that. His face lit up and he said, "That is fantastic. Congratulations!!" We spoke a bit more and I told him I feel healthier and happier and definitely more energetic than I did before. As I was leaving he shook my hand over and over as he said with a big smile, "You have done a great job, just great! What a good example you are for your daughter. The two of you walking together is fantastic! Keep up the good work."

I left his office feeling like I could fly. I realized I did feel wonderful and proud of myself too.
Today is a really lovely day!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Lesson learned

Well, here is my assignment from Jay at The Zero Boss
For this Blogging for Books, write about a time you were pushed to the brink of insanity (figuratively or literally), and how you lived to tell the tale.

Lesson Learned

I walked with apprehension into the spacious communal dining room of the Kibbutz to begin my first morning of work in the kitchen. I looked around hopefully for a familiar face. People were rushing back and forth looking busy. I didn't recognize anyone and no one made any eye contact with me. I scanned the room again and noticed an Israeli guy, 6'4", dark and serious, looking straight at me. His stare was frightening but I couldn't look away. He slowly walked towards me and gave me a curt, "Hello," as he nodded his head.

I had never heard such a deep and sexy voice in a guy my own age before. He was unlike the boys back home, that was for sure. In that moment, I knew there was something special about him. Somehow we were going to be important to one another. I willed my brain to come up with the proper response to his greeting. I was proud when I managed to regain my composure and mutter, "Uhm, ya, hi!" He must have been dazzled by my brilliant command of the English language because he half laughed when he said, "Ah,..... you are American!"

We introduced ourselves. I told him I was 22 and had only been on the kibbutz for one week. Due to my severe hayfever I had been transfered out of the cotton fields and into the air- conditioned kitchen. Ofer was 20 and he spent 6 months on the kibbutz and then 6 months in the army until his 4 year of army duty was completed. He had just arrived for another 6 month stay on the kibbutz so I would be seeing a lot more of him over the next few months. That was just what I wanted to hear. Ofer escorted me to the kitchen. With a wave and a wink he said softly, "I will see you later." Later seemed like forever and I wanted to rush after him and say "Please don't leave me. I just found you!" But we both had our jobs to do.

I worked in a haze of dreams and Air Supply love songs that first morning. I wanted another chance just to look at him, talk to him, be with him. I was assigned to work with Nourit who was in Ofer's army group. Once I found out that tid-bit of news I tried to casually pump her for more information about him. Who was he? What was he really about? Nourit looked at me with pity in her eyes as she said, "He is no good. You need to keep away from him. He will hurt you. How you say in English......F****** Asshole!"

I learned that Nourit and Ofer had dated for a few years. She had broken up with him but he never got over it and still continued to pursue her. She wanted nothing to do with him. Why didn't I listen to her? Why was I so sure that I knew more about what Ofer needed and wanted than the girl who had dated him? I thought, 'She just doesn't understand him. I am very kind and sympathetic. He needs me! I will be so good for him.'

For the next three months Ofer played a cat and mouse game with me.
On the "good days", Ofer would catch my eye as I entered the dining room for our morning break and wave me over to sit with him. We would talk and laugh and get to know one another. He would tell me how pretty I looked or how sweet I was or how happy he was that we were spending time together. I knew he felt what I was feeling. I could see it in his eyes and in his smile when he allowed himself to relax and be happy. After work he would sit outside his room and wait to see if I would walk by. He would call me over to have coffee and listen to the Israeli music that he knew I loved. We would listen for hours as he patiently translated the music into English so that I could truly appreciate it. He flirted outrageously with me and I flirted right back. Even though I was quite innocent at 22, I didn't mind the flirting. In fact, I enjoyed it. He made me feel so special when we were together. He would hold my hand and look deeply into my eyes and my stomach would flip. What a wonderful feeling that was.

On those "good days" I would look in the mirror and think I looked beautiful. My eyes were bluer, my smile was brighter, my hair was prettier. Ofer made me feel cherished. It was a new feeling and it made me feel so free.

On the "bad days", he would make sure that I saw him looking at me and then spin on his heels and walk away without a backward glance. That always meant no acknowledgement from him at break time either. That was the time that he would surround himself with his friends and completely ignore me. Once I got my morning snub I knew what to expect, but, it still hurt deeply when it happened. I was always surprised when the scenario didn't change and I wondered why I continued to put myself through this. I couldn't understand why he would try to hurt me. It didn't make any sense at all.

On these days I would look in the mirror and see a hag. Of course Ofer ignored me today. I was ugly and dull. Who would want to spend time with someone like that? I would lie on my bed, punch the pillow until my hands were sore and cry for hours. I would think up ways to change myself so that I would be prettier and sweeter and a good candidate to be his girlfriend.

One day Ofer saw me walking with a Danish volunteer named Anna. The following morning he asked me what I thought of her. I told her, "Well, I guess she is ok but there is something I don't really like about her. Why?" He said he was just curious. That evening Anna asked me if she could borrow one of my favorite shirts and my perfume. I said she could and then asked her why. "Oh, this boy asked me to go into town with him tonight. Do you know this boy......Ofer?"

My knees had a mind of their own as they buckled underneath me. I grabbed the railing and sat down on the steps. I couldn't catch my breath. Anna looked at me and smiled, "Are you ok?" No I wasn't ok. What the hell was going on? It wasn't enough that Ofer was playing some mind game with me every day of my life? Now he was going to date someone he didn't even know and who I told him I didn't like? Was he just sitting with his friends dreaming up daily ways to torture me? And if so, for what reason? I didn't like Anna before this happened but now I hated her and wondered if she was in on it all along. Was she pretending to act casual about all this just to torment me too? How many people were plotting against me? I started to become paranoid.

I stumbled to my room and fell to the floor. I grabbed the bedspread and hung on for dear life. I sobbed for the rest of the night. I couldn't understand this. It must have been a mistake. He couldn't be taking Anna out on a date! He liked me! What was all this about?

The next morning brought new hope because I was so sure that Ofer would offer some type of explanation or apology about his date with Anna. I walked into the dining room and I could see that he was waiting for me. I looked at him and willed him to say something first. He made a tsk tsk sound, shook his head and said,
"Poor little girl without a thought of her own."
I spun around to face him. I was suddenly consumed with rage.
"What the hell are you talking about, Ofer?" I demanded.
"I'm talking about you!"
"What do you mean that I don't have a thought of my own? Of course I do, you moron!"
"No. You don't. You think what I want you to think."
"That is absolutely a lie and you know it!"
"No it isn't. Think about it. When I want you to be happy I talk to you and smile at you and make you feel special. I make you believe that you could be my girlfriend. When I want you to be sad I ignore you and I date a girl who means nothing to me just because I know it will hurt you.You feel whatever I choose for you to feel. I control all your feelings!

I wanted to argue with him but he was right. I had given him permission to manipulate me. The craziness had to end at that moment. I deserved to be treated with kindness and respect not be controlled by Ofer, the master puppeteer! How did I get myself into this type of situation? Was I so insecure that I needed some guy to validate my very existence?

I closed my eyes to hold back the tears. I took a deep breath and slowly walked away. Ofer was cruel for doing that to me but I was even more at fault for allowing him to have that much control over my feelings and my life. He taught me that sometimes people are hurtful, spiteful and downright cruel just for the pleasure of seeing someone else in pain. I made a promise to myself that I would never give anyone that kind of control again. I realized that the only person responsible for my happiness was me! Over the past 19 years, that realization has served me well. Lesson learned!

Monday, October 04, 2004


Explaining a public service announcement about racism to Lillianna was not easy for me to do. You can read about it at DotMoms.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

4:59 am........Happy Birthday, Lillianna

Lillianna came into our room last night at 12:20am and couldn't sleep. I was in bed so she cuddled in with me. Rich was busy on the computer playing Scrabble Blast. I rubbed her head and told her that 7 years ago at that moment I was so busy huffing and puffing, I could've blown a house down! She giggled. Is there anything better than the sound of a giggling child?

My alarm went off at 4:30am and I realized that Rich had left Lillianna in our bed and he went off to sleep in her bed. I jumped in the shower, got dressed and checked the clock. It was 4:56am.....4:57am..... at 4:58am I snuggled beside Lillianna and whispered in her ear,"One minute until it's your birthday." She grumbled, "Ya, right mom, whatever." I waited and watched the clock, "It's almost here....just a few more seconds." Lillianna opened her eyes and stared at the clock with me.......4:59am, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LILLIANNA! Oh my gosh. You're seven!!" Lillianna smiled and said, "Wow! I'm seven!" With my hair still wet from the shower (I couldn't take the time to dry it. I was too excited about the presents!) I asked, "Are you ready for your birthday basket?" She said, "Ya ya ya ya!"

I scooped up her birthday basket and had her sit on the bed. Rich groaned. I tried to explain my enthusiasm to my exhausted husband, "Sweetie. I know it's early but I couldn't wait til 5:30am so I woke Lillianna up at 4:59am since that's her official birthday......Rich?.......Rich?.......Can you wake up a minute?" Rich opened one eye which he shielded with this hand. "Huh?"
I said, "It's time for Lillianna to open her birthday basket. Can you wake up, please?"

Rich managed to pry both eyes open as Lillianna opened her presents. He groaned in pain with every flash of the camera. Lillianna was thrilled with all her gifts. "Ok, now we are going in the living room and you stay here til we call you," I said to my excited 7 year old.
I looked at Rich. "You come with me in the living room." Rich got up and grabbed for his t-shirt that was on the end of the bed. "It's not formal. Just get in there already," I laughed. Rich stumbled out of Lillianna's room and into our bedroom. I suppressed my laughter as I helped him, "No no honey. The living room. That's over there."

I sat in the rocking chair as Rich plopped onto the couch. "Ok, Lillianna, come on in!" I called.
She walked in and spotted her doll furniture. Her eyes popped out and her mouth dropped open. "MOM! Oh my gosh!!! Thank you!!!!!" She rain to her armoire and desk and chair set for her American Girl doll, Samantha. She had quite a lot of energy at 5:10am! That's my girl!

She hugged us and thanked us and ran to get Samantha's clothes so that she could hang them up in the armoire. Rich looked like he went to an all night keg party. Considering the fact that he doesn't drink any alcohol made this seem quite me. I told Rich it was ok for him to return to bed. He obediently staggered to the bedroom.

I packed my lunch, got my belongings together, poured a bowl of cereal with milk for the birthday girl and kissed her good bye.

What fun things do you do on your child's birthday?