Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pros and Cons of Working At Home

We recently got laptops at work and have been given the option of working from home when necessary.

Since my area got TWO FEET OF SNOW last weekend, and school was canceled Monday AND Tuesday, I exercised the WFH option yesterday. I am also working this morning to make up for a 1/2 a sick day I took last week when #3 got sick.

So I've been working from home with Diva and Daredevil underfoot. #3 went to day care - I'm under no delusions that I can draft and negotiate contracts while taking care of a 1 year old.

Pros of Working From Home
  • 2 hours of my life back (that's my usual total commute time)
  • Can work in my pajamas
  • Can have the TV on in the background and find out important info like Balloon Boy's father was sentenced to 90 days in jail
  • Can focus on work rather than office gossip
  • Can throw a load of laundry in every so often
  • Save $ on gas and food expenses
  • Can light a fire in the fireplace to enjoy while working
  • I had to stop working in order to break up a fistfight over . . a couch cushion.
  • Diva and Daredevil can't seem to stay out of the room I'm working in (under normal circumstances, I could go for hours in our house without seeing them, but as soon as I tell them I have to work and they have to entertain themselves for a few hours, forget it.)
  • "Mom....I'm bored....Mom.....I'm hungry.......Mom.....what are you working on?.....Mom....when are you going to be done?.....Mom, what's 24 minus 6?.....etc."
  • Instead of going to our awesome cafeteria to get a yummy breakfast & lunch, I actually have to make it myself. And clean up.
  • Can't get to the work gym for the awesome classes they have there . . Zumba, Step and Pump, Kickboxing, and Body Blast.
All in all, I think the pros outweigh the cons! And now I'm logged off until January 4th....happy holidays and winter break to all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

To all 24 fans . . watch this . .it's hilarious!

And Merry Christmas!

Can't wait for the new season of 24 to start . . .love me some Jack Bauer!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Life is Overhwelming, but Good

So our Thanksgiving week trip to South Carolina was quite chaotic, but it was great to see Hunter's family. The week was not without challenges on the health front, though.

#3 was sick the first part of the week with a pretty bad cold, and Daredevil got sick (fever and vomiting) just before we were to make the 12 hour drive home on Saturday, so we stayed an extra night (not good for my sister and law and her family, who were sharing living quarters with us).

Thankfully he recovered fairly quickly (after an ER visit) and we were able to make the trip home Sunday, and I continue to hold my breath that neither of my other kids (or their eight cousins we visited with last week) get it. We got in so late Sunday night that I kept everyone home from school Monday and called in sick to work. I just couldn't send the kids to school when they we got in at 2 a.m. the night before.

I should go on vacation more often. I returned to work on to find out (a) that I was promoted to Vice President (yay!), and (b) I won exclusive use of a locker at the gym at work for December via random drawing for loyal members. Yay!

Unfortunately, the VP promotion did not come with a raise (wtf?), which I really could have used, but OK. I'm just grateful to have a job , and it's very nice to be recognized. I interact with lots of executives in my job, so it's nice to be a little closer to their level.

Life is good, except, as usual, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Today is December 9th, and I have NOTHING done for the holidays. Well, not nothing - the tree is in a bucket of water in the garage and I've bought a few gifts online, but that's IT.

Christmas cards? Not even designed yet. Address labels? List not updated yet, and the printer is out of ink. Decorations? Still in the basement (Actually I think the box of Halloween stuff is still in the dining room). How many times the kids ask about when we will decorate the tree and house? Daily. However, I did fold the laundry last night and carried it upstairs! And I've been keeping up with my exercise classes!

So you'd think this weekend we'd get caught up, right? Not a chance. Friday night: a party for Hunter's work, the second of three parties we must attend, and Saturday: Diva has a dance performance, then Hunter and I are attending a family wedding overnight; and Sunday, birthday party at the local skating rink.

So I'm taking a day off tomorrow. Not to shop, although I need to do that. But to CLEAN and DECORATE my house. I'm afraid I'll spend all day cleaning and get nothing else done, and that might very well be the case. I was hoping to squeeze in an eyebrow wax, pedi, and possible spray tan so I don't look like a winter ghost with ape feet and caterpillar brows at this wedding, but at this point I think it's wishful thinking.

I realize why New Years' Day is one of my favorite holidays - it signifies that this holiday craziness is over and life will get back to normal!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Twilight Obsession Continues

I finished New Moon in record time (4 days). I read it every chance I got, even if it was only for 5-10 minutes at a time. CAN'T WAIT to see the movie, and to start reading Eclipse.

Stumbled across this link - the house used in Twilight as the Cullen's house is FOR SALE. If you've got $3.3 million sitting in the bank and like Vancouver, this house is for you! Check out the fabulous photo gallery.

Despite the facts that (a) I don't have $3.3 million, and (b) I'm a total wimp about cold weather ever since living in Florida, so I would never survive in Vancouver, I LOVE this house and would live there in a heartbeat.

What I like about it:
  • The open floor plan and tons of windows
  • That it's contemporary. I've never lived in a contemporary house and would love to
  • The library! I could put ALL my books in one place, instead of stuffed all over the house on any and every shelf/cabinet I can find.
  • The fabulous kitchen
  • The to-die-for pool area
  • Everything else!

OK, time to snap out my self-induced fantasy real estate coma. Counting the days til I can go see New Moon!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tardy to the "Twilight" Party

I must admit, I had always ignored the whole "Twilight" thing. I thought I just wasn't into vampire stuff. Sure, I liked "Interview with a Vampire" and "Lost Boys", but I just didn't understand the whole Twilight craze.

Hadn't seen the movie. Hadn't read the books. Didn't get what everyone saw in Robert Pattinson.

Until a few weeks ago.

Diva and Daredevil had been begging, so we got "Twilight" from Netflix and watched it.

Wow. I was hooked. I watched it twice and enjoyed it even more the second time.

What a fantastic movie. So well done. And Robert Pattinson - I totally get it now. I'm so on Team Edward.

Being the book fiend I am, I just had to read Twilight, the first book in the series by Stephenie Meyer. I couldn't put it down. I read late into the night and finished it in a couple of days.

Now, the next book in the series, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, opens as a movie this Friday. I am furiously reading New Moon in every spare second (even while blow drying my hair) and CAN'T WAIT to see the movie.

We are heading away next week to visit Hunter's family down south, and once there we plan to see New Moon en masse with his family. That is, if there's a volunteer to watch #3.

The tally in my house:

Team Edward: me, Hunter, Daredevil
Team Jacob: Diva

Next up on the reading list: Eclipse, then Breaking Dawn

Go Team Edward!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A few shots of our Halloween, which was rainy, but very warm for this time of year (70's). These shots were taken before we went out and got drenched.

#3 loved her first trick or treat - she rode in the wagon and looked at books, even in the pitch dark. She didn't mind the rain at all, and didn't want to take her costume off, even though it was drenched!

Key to the following photos:

Diva = "Heavenly Devil"
Daredevil = "Metal Biker"
#3 = Chicken Little

This costume SO fit Diva - part angel, part devil.

The mask looked totally different in the catalog . . .

The sky is falling!
Below is the front of our house. Our skeleton is a fellow Phillies fan and wanted to show off his team pride. We love our Phils even though they are down 3-1 in the World Series. We believe. We have our fingers crossed for a win tonight.

Hope you had a happy Halloween. Can't believe it's November already!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Book Sale Madness

I admit, I have a problem with books. I love them and have WAY too many.

My favorite thing to do is browse used book sales and come home with an armload. This ensures I'm always reading books that are a few years (or more) old, but who cares.

Some of them I read, some I put on the shelf for later, and some of them I sell on when I'm done with them.

I haven't done the book sale thing in a while because I was concentrating on GETTING RID of books, which were overtaking every shelf in my house. I sold a bunch online and gave a bunch away. Hunter said my book collecting was getting out of hand, and I had to reluctantly agree.

So now that there's room on my shelves again, time to go book shopping! The library a block from my office had a Buck-A-Book sale last week. I waited til the last day, when it was "Bag of Books for $5". I got many books I am SO excited to read (in all my spare time).

Here are all the titles I put in my $5 bag:

You Don't Have To Be Thin To Win - The Official Chub Club's Workout Program (Molnar) (because I can always use a little diet/exercise inspiration)

Bill Neal's Southern Cooking (Neal) I love regional or ethnic cookbooks.

Good Food FAST (Hiller) - good recipes here ...esp one for pumpkin bleu cheese soup that I thought I might try after carving pumpkins, but alas, I was too lazy.

The Palm Beach Story (Roxanne Pulitzer) This looks like a good smutty beach read. I used to live near there, so I like stories set in places I've been.

Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But were afraid they'd ask) (Richardson/Schuster) - because "the talk" with Diva, age 9, is coming soon, and I need all the help I can get.

Generation Risk - How to Protect Your Teenager From Smoking And Other Dangerous Behavior. (Newton) The teen years are coming soon (sometimes it seems like they are already here)

The Juicing Book (Bauer) I've been curious about the whole juicing thing. Wanted to learn more about it.

Snowboarding Know-How (Weiss) This one's for Daredevil. He's been begging to learn to snowboard.

Cook Right 4 Your Type (D'Adamo) This is the companion book to Eat Right 4 Your Type, which professes that you should eat a certain way according to your blood type. Intriguing to me, I wanted to learn more about it. At a minimum, hopefully there will be some good healthy recipes there.

Psychology in Sports - Methods and Applications (Suinn) I'm an armchair psychologist - have always loved the psych stuff and sometimes think I missed my calling (since I am obsessed with psychology and self help books). Thought this may help me (and my kids) become better athletes.

Books on tape - Tourist Season and Lucky You (both by Carl Hiaasen) Love anything by Carl Hiaasen. He is a great mystery storyteller, with most of his crazy stories set in Florida. We drive 12 hours each way to visit my in-laws a couple of times each year, so books on cd are fun in the car while the kids are watching a movie.

I'm so excited about my 14 books for $5. Can't decide which one to read first . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WFMW: Need some creative pumpkin ideas?

Want some new ideas for carving pumpkins this year? Check out this gallery of Wild and Wacky Pumpkins here

My favorite is #21, "Mooning 2"

See lots of Works For Me Wednesday tips here

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Columbus Day

Yes, it's 10:21 p.m. on Monday night, and I'm just getting to the dinner dishes. It's been that kind of day. Busy, but very enjoyable. I had a day off work (love those bank holidays) and the older 2 had school, so it was just me and #3 today.

We had so much fun, and the following thoughts kept creeping into the back of my mind: 1) she is growing up so fast, 2) by working full time I'm missing it, or at least some of it, and 3) I can barely remember when the older 2 were this little, so am I destined to forget #3's general cuteness at 14 months too?

Hunter is away on a business trip (returning very soon) so that explains why I am doing dishes at 10:30 at night. We had to quick eat dinner & do homework so we could get to Diva's dance class at 7:30. Usually Hunter and I divide and conquer this one, since it's a little late for #3 to be at our athletic club, but what can you do? While Diva danced and Daredevil played pickup basketball, I watched #3 in the kiddie maze while simultaneously watching the Phillies/Rockies. Multi-tasking at it's finest. Go Phils!

Haven't forgotten Daredevil's birthday pics. Just haven't had a spare 10 minutes to hook up the camera to the computer. Hopefully I'll get to it this week!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Today my baby boy turns 7 years old.

Seven years ago today, we were living in Florida,
and on a sunny October 4th, 2002,
our Daredevil came into the world.

So today, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and revisit each of his past birthdays.

Here's teeny tiny Daredevil with Hunter and his very proud big sister shortly after his birth:

When he turned one, we were in transition from Florida back to the Northeast, and we were living with my parents since we couldn't find a house we could agree on.
We had a small party at my parents' house.

For his 2nd birthday, we had FINALLY moved into a new house,
and used his birthday as a kind of housewarming party.
We rented a big moon bounce and invited tons of people,
a much bigger party than any 2 year old needs.
Since it was so much fun, I don't have many pictures.
So here is one of him right around that time - he's a talker, so he always looked like this!

Spider-Man was the theme for his third birthday in 2005.
This was supposed to be a pony-riding party at a nearby park,
but a Nor'easter storm nixed that plan.
Instead we painted pumpkins at home!

From there we went to pirate theme for his 4th.
This year we wised up and had it at the local kids' paradise, Boomers Family Fun Center
(Yes, he was Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween that year)

Then it was Army dude for his 5th in 2007. Boy, the Army tank cake was a lot of work!
His party was at a place called Moonbounce Adventures.
Yes, it is just that - a huge warehouse full of moonbounces.
Perfect for a gaggle of 5 year old boys!

(He has asked for a replica of this cake for this year)

In 2008, for his 6th, we had Guido the Magician come do a show at our house.
His tricks were amazing, even the adults couldn't figure them out.
He used the kids as his assistants, they loved it!

So this year, the theme is BOOT CAMP. We have an obstacle course and a "rescue your fellow soldier" relay planned. We have camouflage hats and face paint, and dog tags for all the boys,
and of course, the tank cake.

Hunter is getting to live out his fantasy of being a member of the military by playing drill instructor. Of course, being a hunter, he has head-to-toe camouflage already in his closet. Even better, it is supposed to rain buckets.

Daredevil is SO excited! The more mud, the better!

Pictures to come soon.



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Win Ugg Boots!


I don't have a pair. Diva tells me Ugg Boots are so 2004, but they are all the rage here in my tiny little town, which finds the trends at least 5 years after they hit N.Y. and L.A. So of course she wants a pair too.

The main reason I don't have a pair is that I can certainly find better uses for the hundred or so bucks that they cost. But they do look really comfy. I saw this and couldn't resist. Go here to enter.

See other Works for Me Wednesday tips here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Name Change!

I've decided to change the name of this blog. In the back of my mind, I've always thought having "Working Mom" in my blog name sounds kinda redundant. All Moms work, whether they they happen to have a job outside the home, or not. Duh.

So, I'm changing this to simply "Overwhelmed Mom". Maybe at some point I'll come up with something a bit more clever, but until then . . . .

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Me Monday!

Here goes . .

I DID NOT, on Monday, the first day of Diva's dance class, tell her to wear tap shoes that were a full size too small. I DID NOT forget to go to the dance shop and get her new shoes prior to the start of class. Nope, not me!

I could have easily bought them right from her dance school, but it's located in our hoity toity overpriced athletic club and I absolutely refuse to give them one more penny than what is required.

So, on Tuesday, in preparation for her Wednesday lyrical class, we traveled 20 minutes out of our way to go a tiny little mom-and-pop dance shop, where we got tap and jazz shoes (and a leotard, and tights). All at a 10% discount, yay. But we were still missing lyrical sandals, which they didn't stock. Whatever lyrical sandals are.

I DID NOT stay and watch Diva's lyrical class, not because I particularly wanted to watch Diva, but because I DON'T KNOW WHAT LYRICAL DANCE IS. Nope, not me. I still don't think I know, but it looks pretty athletic. And fun.

I DID NOT miss more than one at-bat during Daredevils' fall baseball game because I was chasing around my third child, who thought it would just be grand to either to sit in the mud, lay on our neighbor's Tinkerbell blanket, or grab a book out of another mom's hands. Nope, not me.

Hunter and I DID NOT break Daredevil's heart when we told him Cub Scouts wasn't going to happen this year. Ya gotta draw the line somewhere. Flag football, fall baseball, and karate, (not to mention Diva's activities) - we just couldn't fit it in. Maybe next year.

I DID NOT self-diagnose an ailing #3 last week with either an ear infection, bronchitis, or strep, only to have the Dr. proclaim she had hand-foot-mouth virus. Nope, not me. By the third kid, I always diagnose correctly when symptoms present themselves.

Nope, DID NOT totally miss that one, even though it's the SECOND time she's had it in the past year since she's been born.

I DID NOT gasp when the same Dr. told the resident sitting in on our appointment that #3's beautiful skin was a little yellow, not from jaundice, but from eating yellow and orange vegetables. (So, apparently you can turn your kid orange from feeding them a lot of veggies like squash and carrots. Who knew?)

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

**UPDATE** For those of you who also have no idea what lyrical dance is, according to Wikipedia, Lyrical Dance is a dance style which combines elements of ballet, modern, and jazz dance techniques. It is most commonly set to popular music with vocals. The choreography imitates or pantomimes the lyrics of the music to which the dance is set. This can include use of gesture, facial expression, and melodrama. It is popular primarily with teenage dancers due to its ease in physicality and often emotional inward focus.

So now we know! And why we need "lyrical sandals" to do this, I still don't know.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quote of the Day

As I dropped off Diva and Daredevil at school this morning amid torrential rain, whipping winds and a tornado warning, Diva informed me that she didn't want an umbrella - she wanted to "run around in the rain" on the way to the front door.

I explained that while it's her choice, all that will get her is SOAKING WET first thing in the morning, and she would spend most of the day in wet clothes. Not to mention wet, tangly hair.

Now here comes the Quote of the Day. She gave me a sideways glance and said:

"Who came and took all the fun out of your life?"

I was rendered speechless, a rare event for me. No snappy comebacks popped into my head.

Just then, the moment passed, and Another Crisis reared its ugly head - she had forgotten part of her homework and wanted me turn my SUV right around and take the train back home so she could get it.

I refused.

Not because I'm mean. I did feel bad. We live fairly close to the school, so it wouldn't have been a huge deal.

She had worked hard last night copying photos on the printer and gathering stickers so she could decorate her writer's notebook today. She forgot those things.

But I felt this was a good teaching moment. I must admit, I have turned around in the past. But she's in 4th grade now.

Does running back home to grab forgotten things teach her to be responsible?

Further, why should I be 20 minutes later to work because of this?

Every night I tell her to put all her stuff back in her backpack when she finishes her homework. She never does - leaving things strewn all over the place. Drives me nuts.

I used to gather it up for her, just so I could see my kitchen table, but, she's in 4th grade now. She should be doing that herself, so I haven't done it since school started.

I'm trying to subscribe more and more to the mantra: "Don't Do Things For Your Kids That They Can Do Themselves". It's easier said than done, but I'm trying.

Of course, she tried to blame me, because in Diva-World, everything is my fault. "You rushed me!" and "You must have seen it there, why didn't you remind me?" and so on.

I told her that while I'm sorry she forgot it, I am not responsible for her schoolwork.

She entered the school in tears. So, apparently, not only do I have NO FUN in my life, I'm MEAN.

She's only 9. Am I in HUGE trouble, or what?

I think the answer to that, unequivocally, is YES.

Monday, September 7, 2009

FIrst Day of School!

Here are Diva and Daredevil on their first day of 4th and 1st grades. They started on August 31.

I think it's too funny that it's a MUST that the girls get decked out with new earrings, outfits, and shoes, while boys couldn't care less!

Diva could be dressed for a school dance here. (Which, thankfully, her school does not have. )

This wasn't the outfit Daredevil and I had agreed on, but he showered, and he's wearing his new shoes with presumably clean socks, so those are victories right there - which I'll take.

#3 is transitioning too. She's moving from the infant ro
om to the toddler room at her child care. She is very attached to her teacher, so it's been interesting.

OK, I think I'm caught up with our family's current events now.

Life is about to get even busier with the start of fall sports next week.

Diva does dance, Girls On The Run, and volleyball, and Daredevil does fall baseball, karate, and flag football.

#3 spends a lot of time hanging out at these activities.

La vida loca!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Random Dozen Meme

Sunday Stealing: The Random Dozen Meme

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration? Lounging and/or workout clothes

2. What is something that people are currently “into” that you just don’t get or appreciate? Robert Pattinson, skinny jeans

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel “ho-hum” about? People who answer your question, but the answer has nothing to do with the question you just asked.

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car? um, Wheels On the Bus

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient: A yummy dressing

6. What advice in a nutshell would you give to new bloggers? I still consider myself a new blogger, but here goes . . Surf around to find some blogs that you like and follow them. Leave lots of comments - try to get to know your fellow bloggers. They can be a great source of inspiration and ideas.

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you? I have no idea!

8. What in your life are you waiting for? For life to be a little less crazy (yeah, right!)

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from? Books, from Amazon. Yes, I have a problem

10. Today–what song represents you? Stop this Train by John Mayer

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself? That I love writing, and wish I could do it all the time.

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you’re wearing today? I'm still in my pajamas - tank top and shorts - will likely stay this way for a while - it's Sunday morning!

What do they say about you in general or specifically how you’re feeling today? Comfortable!

Join in the fun at Sunday Stealing

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Our Trip Down South

Just got back from a week in South Carolina visiting my in-laws.

For the most part, the weather was gorgeous.

We actually were able to relax, thanks to Grandma's help.

She came to our place and would watch #3 while during lunch and nap time, which allowed us to relax at the beach and pool with Diva and Daredevil.

I actually got to read a book! I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I know, the book has been out for 3 years, and Julia Roberts is now filming the movie.

But I don't get to read for pleasure much. I very much enjoyed the book and can't wait to see the movie.

Anyhoo, here are a few shots of our trip.

Here we are on a bike ride and are looking for alligators. They frequent the lagoons around the island.

There's one . . . a rather big one . . . exiting the water.

Now we are REALLY glad to be on bikes!

Behold our contraption to keep #3 happy on our hour long bike ride - a snack cup attached with string to the bike seat.

Worked like charm, I should patent it.

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One of #3's trips to the beach.

Usually she was hanging with Grandma in the nice cool house, not getting overheated and sunburned. It was darn hot.

But she liked the beach and, as usual, ate the sand.

Diva and Daredevil enjoyed the beach, as usual
Hunter wanted to take Diva and Daredevil on a shark-fishing trip.

Fishing & boats are not my thing, (I tend to get seasick) so I offered to stay behind with #3.

Then Super-Grandma showed up and said she'd watch #3 so I could

I went shopping! I had THREE WHOLE HOURS to myself!

Here, Diva waits to get on the boat.

Knocking back a few at the Salty Dog Cafe before going shark fishing.

Daredevil did some more skimboarding.

He even got some advice from a twenty-something guy on the beach who was REALLY GOOD.

Riding the waves! The water was gorgeous, clean and warm.

We had been warned of jellyfish, but never saw any.

Waves were kicked up from Hurricane Bill, and later Tropical Storm Danny.

We loved it, because there are usually NO waves in Hilton Head.

Walking around and looking at the LARGE yachts at Harbor Town.

The kids begged to go up the lighthouse, but they've done it a million times before.

Not to mention we are slackers, it's a lot of steps. And it ain't free.

Listening to Gregg Russell. He's been singing under this oak tree every summer, 6 nights a week, for 33 years.

I came to listen when I was a kid.

He puts on a great show, fun for parents and kids alike, especially when he makes fun of tourists and yuppie parents.

He said something especially meaningful this time . .

As he talked about his children and how they are almost grown up, he said this to parents:

"Hold on to them as long as you can. It goes by in a blink of an eye."

#3 liked the music and was dancing
So here we all are, waiting for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, the Crazy Crab.

I know, it's a rare picture of me. I don't like getting my picture taken, so there aren't many.

But we were very relaxed by the end of this week, so I relented.


Friday, September 4, 2009

#3's First Birthday

#3 turned 1 on August 12. I can't believe it has been a year already. She is walking everywhere (almost running) and says one (sort of) word besides Ma-Ma and Da-Da: Uh-oh. She tends to say it just before she throws something on the floor.

Anyway, we had a small family party. She got lots of stuff anyway. I'll start out with the best part, the singing and cake. If she looks serious, that's because she was born serious. She does start to smile towards the end . . .

Here she is with the gifts, from us, my parents, my brother and his family, and her teacher. She's not too spoiled, right? (And I will admit, some of her toys came from the toy storage room in our basement)

The Care Bear was originally Diva's . . . Rainbow Bear has been biding her time in the basement, waiting for another little kid to love her. Her wait is over!

She loves the Cozy Coupe, and plays with it EVERY day! (That's Daredevil's tattooed arm!)

My 3 happy babies

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My princess. She kept taking the crown off and giving it to me.

Happily enjoying a bit of cake . . .

She's had enough here. Sugar overload!

Next up is a post of our vacation last week, and then, back to school! Check back soon - I've got a long weekend at home this weekend, so hopefully I'll find some time to catch up on posts!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Overwhelmed, again

Vacation in South Carolina last week
+ School started yesterday
+ Work is very busy


Updates (and photos) coming . . . soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Don't Cry!

This tip will be a quick & simple one, dear readers, because it's #3's FIRST BIRTHDAY today and I'm busy, busy, busy with work and birthday celebration preparations. A post with pictures (and maybe even a video, if I can figure out how to get it here) coming tomorrow or Friday about #3's big day. But for now:


No, I'm not going to tell you to wear swim goggles. That totally works, but when the goggles are outside by the pool or in the bottom of summer camp bags, that really doesn't make your life easier.

I'm no Martha Stewart, but this is what she told me (and the million other viewers of her show), and I've done it ever since - it really works:

Burn a candle (any candle, doesn't have to be a fancy one) near the cutting board while slicing onions, and the candle vapors will neutralize the stuff that makes your eyes water while slicing onions.

Do this, and you won't have smudgy mascara streaks running down your face at the dinner table. And if you use your favorite smelly candle, a fringe benefit might be that you just may relax a little while cooking dinner. Works for me!

Told ya it would be a quick & simple one today. See more Works For Me Wednesday tips here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Excellent weekend

Whew. Back at work after a whirlwind but fun weekend.

Friday: picked up Diva from her first weeklong sleepover camp. We missed her terribly, but she had a GREAT time.

The theme of the camp was outdoor skills, and they've turned my drama queen into a nature girl. She can now cook over a fire, pitch a tent, use a compass, and flick wolf spiders off her mosquito net without blinking an eye.

We are so proud of her for bravely going off to a sleepover camp where she wasn't going to know a soul. She made a bunch of new friends and can't wait to go back next year. We are enjoying hearing all the camp stories (although the ones involving wolf spiders freak me out. Wolf spiders, apparently, are as big as your shoe).

Saturday: To celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary, we went to see ELTON JOHN and BILLY JOEL at the sold-out Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. It was a beautiful night and the concert was incredible. I had seen Billy before, but never Elton. They sang for about three and a half hours, and we didn't want it to end. We didn't have seats on the floor, but they were still pretty good - we used binoculars a lot. Here's the view from where we were:

There was also celebrity sighting there - Reese Witherspoon (and kids) with Jake Gyllenhaal! I didn't actually see them with my own eyes, as they were in the 4th row and I was not. They showed them on the jumbotron a couple of times.

Elton even dedicated "Tiny Dancer" to Reese, and they showed them rocking out to Crocodile Rock. How cute! Reese is in our area this summer filming a movie. She used to be a frequent visitor to our area when she was married to Ryan Phillippe - he is from here and his mother still lives in my little town, so typically there'd be sightings here in the summer. Not so much since they divorced, though.

Here's the set list. Lots of singing along:

Together, they opened the show and sang:
Your Song
Just The Way You Are
Don't Let The Sun Go DOwn On Me
My Life

Then Elton sang:
Funeral for a Friend
Love Lies Bleeding
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
Madman Across the Water
Tiny Dancer
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Rocket Man
Philadelphia Freedom
I'm Still Standing
Crocodile Rock

Billy sang:
Angry Young Man
Moving Out
She's Always a Woman to Me (prior to which, he said, referring to his impending divorce "You'd think by now I'd learn" . . lol)
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
River of Dreams
Highway to Hell (yes, AC/DC, sang by roadie "Chainsaw" with Billy on guitar)
We Didn't Start the Fire
Still Rock 'n Roll to Me
Only the Good Die Young

Then finally, together:
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Uptown Girl
The Bitch is Back
You May Be Right
Bennie & the Jets
Candle In The Wind
Piano Man

It was a fantastic show. Elton never sounded better, and Billy sounded pretty good for having the flu, the reason he had to cancel a couple of shows earlier in the week. Billy did slur a bit sometimes and messed up the words a couple of times, but I'd chalk that up to some strong cough syrup. He also kept waving around an oversized red flyswatter, I don't know if it was buggy up there on stage or if it was some kind of joke.

I hope they continue touring forever, so I can go back again and again.

Sunday: Picked up the kids from the three separate places they spent the night (Diva with a neighbor, Daredevil with his best friend, and #3 from my parents). Then a thunderstorm hit and the power went out, and was out for about 3 hours. I think this should happen more often on the weekends. No TV, no laundry, no appliances. It was very quiet. With #3 down for a nap, I acutally sat and read a book, then took a little nap. Wow! Not to fear, the power came back on and the laundry fest started. And hasn't stopped yet.

By the way, after a few months off the wagon, I've started back up on another weight loss kick, and I've gone back to updating my other blog, Mr. & Mrs. Wannabe Skinny. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vacation pics . . .

Hunter and I spent last week NOT relaxing at the Jersey Shore. Yes, we had fun, had great weather, and sure, we loved spending all the time with the kids and my parents, but it was hectic and exhausting.

We were in Ocean City, New Jersey, which is completely designed for families. I have 92 photos, but I won't bore you with them all. These are my favorites:

#3 rode the merry-go-round for the first time. She is smiling here, but that's before she started moving. Then the smile went away and she was terrified!

Our annual picture in front of the lifeguard stand. The beach bum crew - from back left - my niece "J", Daredevil, Diva, and (in front) #3. Missing from the photo is my nephew "G", who 2 months older than #3's.

Ah, #3's first bike ride. She did not like this helmet and kept taking it off and throwing it in the street. You can see her dislike for it here.

We rode to the bike shop and exchanged her helmet. Here she is much happier, and no longer throws it into either the street or the path of another boardwalk biker.

The boardwalk bikers. OCNJ lets folks ride bikes on the boardwalk (about 20 blocks long) until 12 noon each day. I've done it since I was a little kid. Fun for the whole family.

With another baby in the house and only 1 high chair, #3 got to sit in a booster seat like a big girl. She enjoyed it very much.

#3 thought she would sample some sand. She discovered it's not so tasty. I thought she would learn, but she kept doing it again.

Daredevil on his skimboard. Waves were perfect for skimming. He is getting better at it all the time.
My beach babies . . .

Daredevil watching some surfers. He begged us for surfing lessons, but there just wasn't time. Maybe next trip. I want to take some more lessons. Surfing is very hard, but so fun.

My wannabe lifeguard.

A rainy day trip to Atlantic City. We went to Caesar's and then the boardwalk. Here is the gang with ol' Caesar. Training the kids early, we showed them how a slot machine worked (they watched from afar, we did not break any laws!) All hail Caesar!

Lunch at the Rainforest Cafe on the boardwalk at Trump Plaza. There was a 40 minute wait, so we sat at the bar. As I said, we are training them early.

This is at the Pier At Caesar's. It's a 3 story shopping mall out over the ocean. It was beautiful.
The mall is nice but very high end. I strode around the Louis Vuitton store like I was going to buy something, and Hunter tried on a $3,500 Tag Heuer watch at Tourneau and then pretended he just didn't like it. I'm sure we fooled no one.

To sum up the week, here's a flag someone would put up on the beach every day: It's All Good!