Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

Today my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 21 people. We surrounded ourselves and our children with friends, family, laughter and good food.

It was exhausting, hard work, and messy.

And for all of this, I am thankful.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Daddy is sooo in for it!

Last night my husband came home to a rare treat. A nice hot meal ready for the family. He deserved it.

"I woke up to something quite distrubing this morning" he tells me.

"Yeah? What?"

"My 9 year old daughter standing on the end of my bed dancing around in a bra and underwear."

Muahahahahahahahaha! That is so full of AWESOME!

My kid is great. Keep that daddy jumping, honey. He has no idea what the years ahead hold for him.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Does This Make Me a Bad Mother?

So many times I have to wonder.

How about this. Last night I was awoken around 12:30 to the sound of my daughter vomiting. I hear Ira in the bathroom with her. She is asking him if he is mad that she woke him up and he is talking to her and all. I pretend to still be asleep and ignore the entire situation.

I want no part in THAT. Sick puking kid? Daddy can handle it.

We went on a 3 day cruise this past weekend. It was wonderful. Travel was easy, the kids behaved, weather was fabulous. This morning a coworker asked me what the best part was? Not time spent with kids, not watching them play and swim and all that. No

Easy, I visited the scrapbook store in the Bahamas!

Does all this make me a bad mother? Naaaahhhh. If I had tied the girls to a silver hot air balloon to ride home, then I would be in the running perhaps!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

Neither Ira nor I are very political. I will say that 1. when it comes down to the issue I tend to lean more towards the Democratic side of the line and he would be more towards the Republican line but that 2. we both agree that it is more important to vote for the candidate than the political party they represent.

This being said, we came home about a week ago and there was a campaign sign in our front yard for the democratic candidates running for town council in Cherry Hill. Neither of us is exactly sure how this happened; we probably answered a call from the campaign in the middle of a million other things and then agreed to it without realizing. We prefer NOT to have any political propaganda displayed on our property, regardless of the party it represents.

Anyhow, being too lazy to walk to the curb and remove it, there it stays.

Later that week, one of Ira's clients stopped by. He is looking to buy a home and Ira had mentioned some properties for sale near us. Since it was dark the man was unable to find them, so Ira was going to go for a ride to point them out and Erin decided to go with them. When they returned home, the client asked Ira why he had a democratic sign in the front yard? Not knowing th eclient's political affiliation, and not wnating to step on any toes, thi being a rather big client, he paused for a minute before answering.....

From the back seat, Erin pipes in, "Aren't Democrats the ones that want to give away all the money?"

You gotta love kids.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tap Dancing Dogs, Children Who Wonnnn't Wear Clothes, Cooking for the United Nations.

You can tell when it is dinner time in my house. Things are busy in the kitchen (because unwrapping all those take out containers take many people and utensils) and we all gather around to lend a hand. The kitchen is full of good smells and we are generally all together talking, laughing and just being a general picture of family normality.

Rufus can tell too. This is when he starts dancing around the kitchen. But because he has these dog nails and we have a tile floor, his excitement is audible. It sounds like he is tap dancing. If we leave food on the counter and we sit down to eat, all you hear is the tap-tap-tap-tap of his nails as he dances around the counter waiting for us to feed him.
We have renamed him Rufus-B0-Jangles.

Erin, as usual, will not wear any clothes that are constraining, itching, touch her, or just in general that we like and think she should. On Saturday we needed to go to services at TBS and it was cold and rainy. She puts on a pair of summer, although dressy, capri pants. No. She tries warm and inappropriate sweats. No again. I force her to wear a pair of corduroy pants she has had close to a year that she begged us to buy. They are pink. They sparkle. They are super soft.

This is followed by 15 minutes of her walking around like she just got off a horse because when she walks with her legs together the cords make noise. They are uncomfortable. She hates them. She yells and whines THE PANTS AND IF YOU SAY ONE MORE THING YOU ARE SPENDING THE REST OF THE DAY IN YOUR ROOM WHEN WE GET HOME!" Cause I am all mother of the year like that.

So she wears the pants. And looks grumpy. Yet fashionably adorable.

When we get home I send her up to change.

"No mommy, I'm ok"
"Why don't you want to change?"
"Cuz these are comfy."
"But I thought you hated them?"
"Yeah, but you know I always do that"
is up with that?

Thanksgiving is in just 2 days. I am having 21 people for dinner this year. Here is the list.....You figure it out.

My parents and inlaws. Ok, makes sense.

Sister-in-law and her family. Yup sounds good.

My 2 cousins from NY. Ok, that is pretty cool. Reconnecting family ties and all that.

My Aunt from Canada. Ok... she already had a Canadian Thanksgiving, but still, it is a nice tradition.

Her son. huh? I found out about him coming on other cousins facebook page. for realz.

My sister. Her 3 kids.

Yup. That's cool.
Her ex-husband.

Ok, that is just showing we are a modern family.

His room mate.

Just call me the United Nations, people. Give me any hungry person. I will feed them turkey.
Pass the large bottle of wine and bring me some mashed potatoes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Time Has Come

...for my first born to grow up. Yes. It has happened.

Last night Erin went to see her friend in the camp play. I was dropping her off at the show and she was going to meet her friend's mom in the lobby to see the camp prodution of Willy Wonka. She and Zoe have been friends since they were 2 years old and Erin was so excited to "support my friend and see her perform!" It was just terribly sweet how excited she was for Zoe.

After dinner, she got dressed and ready. Just this week Erin has suddenly become interested in how she looks, how her clothes match, and all about her "fashion" on a regular basis. Hmm? So we get in the car, and I drive her to the JCC. I pull up in front and give her the cell phone. The directions are that Zoe's mom is meeting her in the lobby and she should call me when she sees her. I will wait right out front. (Erin has gone to the JCC for 5 years of preschool through kindergarten and is very comfortable there, so I didn't need to walk her in.) I say to her, "Ok, have fun! Give me a kiss."

She looks at me.

"No. not here. Someone might see me!"

I didn't want to embarrass her. I know better than to make a big deal. But in that one second, it just killed me.

"Ok, high five." That was apparently acceptable.

And out of the car she went and running up the walk way. She saw another camp friend and they went in the building together laughing and talking about who knows what.

Ok, I teach middle school. 6th, 7th and 8th graders. I know what 12-14 year olds are like. But Erin is only 8. Ok, almost 9. Still.... She is not any where close to being a teenager. Why does she have to be so grown up?

I sat in the car waiting for her call. Sure enough, in less than 2 minutes she called and told me she found Zoe's mom and they were going in to sit down. She was turning her phone off for the show but she would call me after it was over and they were on the way home.

"Have fun, love you honey."

"Thanks, mommy"

Well. She still called me mommy. That's something, right?

Monday, August 10, 2009

The REAL reason I have dogs.

Tonight I was tucking in Haley and tod her she had to sleep in her own bed. Al night. She has been sneaking in to snuggle me every night for I don't know how ong and I just have not slept we lately. Enough is enough.

She asked me if I ever have bad dreams. I tod her I don't because I always have Rufus in bed and he keeps the bad dreams away.

This is how I tucked her in and left her tonight.

Hopefully he stays until morning.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

That is what they say about Disney... but I don't agree. It is hotter than hades, more crowded than the discount purse bin at Macy's on Black Friday, and full of Brazilian Tour Groups trying to out chant and basically annoy the crap out of you. The lines are out of control, the sun is brutal and a can of soda costs $4.50.

Woo Hoo, thrills and spills, folks.

But nothing is as good as old fashioned family time, so we sucked it up (Haley and I, Ira, Erin and Samantha seemed to enjoy all the crap I mentioned above) and we followed our family motto. "It's not a catastrophe. It's an adventure!" When it rained, we wore ponchos and when it was hot, we found shade. Erin is a true thrill seeker. The crazier and faster and higher a ride was, the more she was into it. Tower of Terror? Rockin' Roller Coaster? Splash Mountain? Bring it on! Haley? She went on It's a Small World. Three times. In a row. With mommy.

Did I mention how much I love Disney?

But the kids had a blast doing the things they loved and Ira loved making us crazy getting up to go! go! go! It was great to get to the cruise on Thursday and get some relaxing in.

There are about 250 pictures in the album I added here. If you click to the Picasa page, you can see the rest (if you are bored and want to put yourself to sleep or a coma or something?) there. you can also download them right from Picasa to your own computer (To the grandparents, and Samantha) if you want.

So my words of wisdom? Don't go to Disney in the summer. I have fulfilled my parental obligation to bring my children to see the mouse, so I can say with much certainty that I am NEVER. Going. to Disney. Again.

At least not in the summer.

For a few years at least.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Example #327 on how my husband and I don't. ever. talk.

Tonight we had the usual craziness. One child had a half day at school. Arrange mom-mom to get her off the bus, me run to pick her up after I am done at work, get 2nd child, home for quick snack and half hour to play in which they go out front to color on new posters and somehow end up destroying plants that are waiting to be re-planted tomorrow by landscaper. (Who knew I had to watch them like a hawk every second at this age?) Get the girls changed into leotards, grab an apple, and off to The Gymnastics Show. Have to get there at least 6 hours early for 5:30 show if you want seats. Ok, so Aubree gave me a seat and Ira stole a seat from Aaron's son.... Whatever. Sit through like an hour and a half of torturous adorable gymnastics routines. Dinner, home, run around the driveway throwing mints from the dinner at each other, in for baths, you know, normal crazy family stuff.

So while the girls are in the tub, Ira and I are in Haley's room. We are doing whatever, and he tackles me and throws me on her bed. Typical Ira stuff. We are laying there talking and he says, "So, My intern, Adam....."


The puzzled look on my face must have been a dead give away because he says, "I told you about my intern, right?"

"Well, no, you didn't actually. How long have you had this intern?"

Now we re completely grinning at each other. So, he now has an intern, and he has totally not mentioned it to AT ALL!

"Three weeks, but we so had this conversation. I told you ALL about it!" Grinning ear to ear.

"No! You DID NOT!" Grinning even more.

At this point we are both well aware that I will SO be blogging about this tonight.

"Yes I did. My mom ran into his mom when she was visiting your mom at the hospital I think? She told her about me and he needed an intern position for school so she told her to have him call me. They knew each other from like 20 years ago when she went to the Dr. that my mom used to work for or something like that."

(side not: I just re-read that, and even having been a part of the conversation, it makes no sense to me, so don't try to make sense out of it. That is just how my man and I roll.)

Ok, now, no way in God's Green Earth did we have this conversation. Ever. But that's ok. This is just the way we operate. I'm good with it. We have other things to talk about. Like Lima Beans and leotards and princesses and pom-poms..... Yeah, our life is pretty full.

You would think taking on an intern that his mom sent him because she knew his mom 20 years ago and ran into her at the hospital visiting my mom would be one of those Small-world-coincidences that kind of comes up over dinner or something. But no. You would think wrong.

And my family continues to tell him stuff like, "Hey, your father is having surgery" or "Your grandmother died" or even "Dinner on Sunday s going to be at your sister's house. We are celebrating mom and dad's something-tieth anniversary." and they think he is going to pass the news on to me. I swear, each of these are things that his family has told him expecting him to tell me. INCLUDING HIS GRANDMOTHER HAS DIED!

Yeah. No. He isn't.

And by the way, to my mother-in-law that reads this blog?

Yeah, he got a call from your friend's son and gave him and internship. As of today, Adam has been working for Ira for about 3 weeks now, 3 days a week.

And he has not mentioned it to you yet.

Although he will swear he has had this conversation with you.


Don't let him play you.

It isn't just me he holds out information on.

Share the love, family. Share the love.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I think my children are adopted.

They can't possibly be mine. Today is proof positive.

I will start with Haley. She is the strongest, thinnest little thing you can imagine. The kid has an actual six pack stomach. I kid you not. You can look at her belly and see defined abdominal muscles. It is disgusting. She must be adopted. Or an alien. She does this cheer leading and gymnastics thing. And she is good. Her coaches tell me how strong she is. All. The. Time. Oh, and did I mention she runs? Just for fun? Fast? Well she does.

Next, comes Erin. She brought home this paper a few weeks ago, It was about a triathlon they are holding. A kids triathlon. At the JCC. And she wants to do it. Ok..... So she has to run a half mile, bike a half mile, and swim 50 50 yards. She has been training like mad. She comes home from school and gets on her bike to ride around the block (the horseshoe is .6 of a mile if she does 2 laps) and some days she grabs Izzy and takes her for a run. She has the biking and running down. She is working on the swimming this week. She decided to do this all by herself. Yesterday, when she was running, one of the kids in the neighborhood was shooting baskets out in his driveway. Erin finished her loop and then went over to his house to shoot hoops for a while. We were watching, and she did a pretty good job. I didn't think little white Jewish girls could shoot baskets?

And now... Now this....

I am out numbered. I am surrounded by exercise fanatics.

You know the phrase, "If you can't beat them, join them"?

Yeah, I am stronger than that phrase.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

In House Artist

This week we attended Erin's Art Show at school. These are 5 of her pieces that were displayed around the school that she worked on this year in 2nd grade. There were also 3-D Arts on display, including a beaded necklace made with clay beads where she made the actual beads, but that didn't photograph so well. The talent of students in her school was incredible!

Enjoy my own little talented girl and her creative works....
1) Butterfly
2) Forrest
3) Horses
4) Chinese Dragon
5) Leaves

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Challenge

My two friends and I, Aubree and Jing Jing, have challenged ourselves. Ok, I started it and they are weak and cave to peer pressure, but regardless, we are doing this together! We are going to complete 100 scrapbook pages between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. I won't mention that we are each counting some work we did as early as Wednesday or Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, it was a looong weekend, ok? It is the general time frame we are going for. It is fun to egg each other on, watch the work we each create and have a little friendly competition. Especially with creative ladies like these.

So, here are the first 8 pages I managed to get done last weekend. I have 3 more finished, just not photographed and downloaded yet. I think if we keep each other motivated, 100 pages won't be that hard? Especially if you have seen the stash of supplies we have stock piled. We tend to encourage shopping as well....

Update: Seeking Counselor.

So, as predicted, Erin arrived home from school yesterday and as soon as she found out that Ira .... shall we say "Took care of the bird" she was PISSED! I was talking to him on the phone and she started yelling at him and was angry and he got the Very Mad Face and everything. Do I know my kids or what. And to think, she looks this sweet?

Haley, on the other hand, was rather matter-of-fact about the entire thing. Blase' if you will. She was proud of the fact that she did not tell anyone at school as daddy made her promise not to. Weekend Mermaid, School Day ELmer Fudd (I thought I thaw A Birdy? I did, I did!).

Ira told me that of everyone he spoke to over the course of the day told him the man was just not right. In his defense? If we lived in some parts of the country, the kids would have not only had their own real guns by now, he would have taken them turkey hunting already and taught them how to clean their own kill.

Just saying.
Maybe we should move to the Great Smoky Mountains. Or West Virginia.
Robins is the best we can do in Cherry Hill.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Years. Of. Therapy.

Strangely, this time I am not talking about me. My children. They will most likely need years of therapy. You see, their father is insane. He has an obsession. With birds. And killing them. Not all birds, just the 3 that have nested in my back porch. Where they proceed to shit all over the cushions and table and deck and everything. It is gross, dirty, disgusting and unsanitary. We eat there. The kids and dogs walk out there and then come in the. We have removed the nest, almost daily, just to have it rebuilt over night. The damn robin even laid her eggs on the wood beam with no nest!

So the birds have to go.

The other night, we were on the porch, and one of the cushions was literally PILED with bird poop. Did I mention this was the day after I had spent hours out int eh sun scrubbing the cushions with soap and water and a scrub brush to put them out for the season? No? well, it was. And this cushion had little piles of bird poop. All. Over. It. Gross. There were these two sparrow like birds. Asleep on the wire over head. Ira picked up a small bottle of Gatorade someone left on the porch. He threw it. Would you believe he hit the sleeping bird? Yeah, I wouldn't have either. Until he held up a headless bird at the kitchen window.

Yup. Headless.

Now, here is the part where my kids need therapy. The next morning? Erin asked if he kept the bird so she could see it. Serious. She was mad he didn't wake her up to see it. (He asked, I wouldn't let him, by the way)

Next weekend, birds (well, 2 out of the 3) are still around. Things. Get. Serious. Ira goes to the hunting store and buys an automatic bee bee gun. Thing shoots like 100 pellets in a nano-second.

Bird doesn't stand a chance.

Kids are running in the house all weekend yelling, "Daddy! Get your gun! The birds are her! You gotta kill them!"

Something is wrong with this. Normal children do not behave this way.

This morning I get a text message from Ira.

The Robin is dead.

I call him on my break. He said he saw the Robin and he grabbed the gun (he keeps the pellets out of it and the CO2 canister out of it all in different places, no way the kids can get to it) and puts it together and sits on the porch. There is dirt and bird crap every place. The thing built its nest. Again. For the 478th time.

He sits an waits. The robin hops down from his nest. Mocking my husband. He hops across the concrete patio and .... DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT-DT! His accuracy may not be true, but with an automatic weapon, just a sweep of the hand and the bird is gone.

Ira goes inside to get something to clean up the remains. He comes out and there is Haley. Kicking the bird with her shoe.

"I just wanted to see if it was still moving!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When did she get so grown up?

Monday night was Haley's cheerleading show. Before that, I took the girls to dinner to meet two of Haley's friends and their moms at a pizza place. Ira met us there. From there, we went right to the show, where Haley and her cheerleading class did an OUTSTANDING job. They performed at the annual meeting for the JCC and were a fabulous success. I felt sorry for whoever had to talk after them. Just adorable.

As we left the JCC, Haley realized she lost her jacket. We knew she didn't bring it into the JCC so she must have left it at dinner. Back to the pizza place we went.... kids!

When we pulled into the parking lot, Erin said she would run in.


Ira and I sat and watched her go in the door. Now, the place has all glass windows, so we could see her and watch what she did. This is a pizza place I have been going to since I was, what, 14 I think? She went to the table where we sat and looked under all the benches. No jacket.

What would she do?

We watched.

She walked up to the counter.

She waited her turn.

We saw her talking to the very big, more than a little gruff and loud Italian-pizza-guy-behind-the-counter-named-Joey (Imagine that?) We saw Joey look around. We saw Joey hand Erin something. We saw Erin smile, say thank you and come skipping out the door with her sister's jacket. Joey smiled at us and waved over his head as she skipped away. He's a dad too. I know.

We were shocked.

She is 8 years old? How is she grown up enough to have the confidence to walk into a restaurant, look for the jacket, ask at the counter that is very over her head, and come skipping out? She didn't know we could see her the whole way?

When Erin got in the car, she was laughing. She told us that is was funny because at first she didn't see the jacket. It was inside out and the inside is white and it was with some white towels so she didn't even know it was there, even though the jacket is pink. The man had to look a few times and then he laughed when he found it. She was so proud of herself.

Erin has always been so independent. Always so willing to do things on her own. It shouldn't surprise me. She is my adventurous child. The one willing to do things.

This moment was just one of those that hit me. She really isn't a little kid any more. My little girl is growing up.

How did that happen?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All Grown Up

No posts for a month, then two in a day. Its a Festivus Miracle!

This deserved being shared right away. Haley had some remarkable news for me when I picked her up today from school. She couldn't wait to show me as soon as we got home. I won't spoil the surprise, I will let her show you.

{It's 3 tissue slide show, if you ask me.}

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Please Excuse My Absence.

"Mommy! You are ALWAYS on your computer! Get off your computer and spend TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN!"

This is what Haley said to me one day after school way back in April. Kind of hit me pretty hard. We had gotten in to this routine, you see. We came home, unpacked bags, checked mail, made snacks... then I got on the computer and the kids played. We were in the same room, but we were not together, I suppose.

And it took a 5 year old to make me realize it.

So I have not blogged for about a month.
I am going to try again. Hopefully I can do better. It is almost summer, so I will have all the time I need during the day to read the gazillion blogs I love and not neglect my children :o) I hope....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cooking for 462 people... or 24. Feels the same.

I have the biggest house in the family. A big family. A very extended family. SO when there is a holiday, it is at my house. Of course, a holiday, or just a random Sunday in the summer, is any reason for us to gather. We no not discriminate. If someone in my family has met you once, and you are not busy on such an occasion, you are invited.

And I will feed you.

This is how it turns out that I was cooking for 247 people for Passover Dinner on Saturday. No, Passover was not Saturday, but my family decided the calendar was not convenient. Niece in college, people working, kids have school, yadda-yadda-yadda... we made it Saturday night.

To keep my kids busy while I cooked, for 2 days, we colored "Passover" Eggs. Not exactly kosher, but effective.

Like the little faces and hats? I swear, the one with the black hat is a little Hasidic Jew-Egg. The kids kept yelling "Merry Eggs-mas"! It was hysterical.

This is what 462 people looks like in my dining room plus 2 more tables added on extending into my living room. You can't even see the people all the way in the back. I am not that good of a photographer and I didn't have the super zoom long distance lens to get people 87 yards away.

We celebrated Ira's Rachael's and Lindsay's birthdays. With kosher-for-passover cakes. They were.... interesting. But it's the thought that counts, right?

Here is the entire crew on the couch, thanks to the self-timer function!

And this is what my kitchen looked like when everyone left. You can't see the dishwasher is full or the pile of dirty towels on the floor.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Curious Incident About the 5 Year Old and The Dogs in the Middle of the Night.

The other night I went to bed, by myself. Not unusual. Ira was working, and the dogs were each in bed with one of the girls.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and I was not alone. I had the Hounds of Hell all curled up in bed with me.

And Haley sitting on me.

Daddy, still at work.

"Mommy. I need help."

"Wuz-a-matter-its-the-middle-of-the-night?" {whining invloved from mommy, not child here}

"It's cold, and the damn dogs are hogging all the blankets."


mommy rolls dog over, pulls out some quilt and tucks child in.

"That better?"

"Yes, thank you. mommy"

Always polite, even at three a.m.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Example # 648 of how we screw up as parents.

My oldest daughter, Erin, is a slob. She doesn't put away anything. She drops things on the floor where she is and there they stay.

My daughter, Haley, is the anti-Erin. She will stop what she is doing to go upstairs and put her sneakers away. No one taught her this. I swear. No. Wire. Coat hangers. Involved.

The girls each have their own bedroom. Without me telling which belongs to which girl, you could figure it out from the above statement.

The cleaning lady left my house at 4:00 on Monday. At 8:30 as we tucked the girls in to bed, Erin's room was a disaster. Clothes on the floor, papers all over her desk, stuffed animals and blankets EVERY WHERE. We had not even been home much of the night.

Haley's Room? Pristine.

It is who they are.

As my husband tucked Haley in to bed, he told her, "Don't ever turn into your sister. She's a mess."

To which Haley replied"

"That's because mommy screwed up with her. I won't ever be like that."

So I suppose I have over emphasized the lesson of "Learn from your mistakes" to my children a little too much, ya think?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My First Blind Date. Ever.

I am 36 years old. My husband and I will be married 15 years this summer. We dated 5 years before that. (I will pause now for you to get some paper and pencil, or click on your computer's calculator function... go ahead, you can do it.... Got your math done now?)

Now that you have figured out we have been together since I was 16 and in high school together..... Last night was my first blind-date, so to speak. Ever!

Her name was Jing Jing. And no, she is not a Panda Bear.

My friend Aubree and I belong to this scrapbook kit-of-the-month club and talk on the on-line bulletin boards. {Ok, we are dorks. We are ok with that.} We met Jing Jing there about 2 years ago. We have chatted with her and emailed ever since. She is this completely awesome scrapbooker and so funny and we just love her. She seems like the kind of person you could just be great friends with... if she didn't live in Minnesota.

Turns out she was going to be in Philadelphia for a work conference this week. So we arranged to meet her for dinner.

It was a threesome-blind date. Ooh-la-la!

Here was the plan. We would meet in the lobby of her hotel, and go someplace for dinner. Well, I knew she was a small Chinese woman with short hair. She teased me in emails that she would be the one waving a paper trimmer around.

My husband questions if she was an ax murderer. No, silly, then she would have said she would be waving an AX around, not a paper trimmer! Men!

So, I search the hotel for a friendly little Chinese lady with short hair, and sneakers (from a picture she posted of her travels of the city earlier in the day). I was literally stalking every Asian woman with short hair in the hotel lobby checking out their shoes. I am surprised security didn't toss me out? I finally found her.

She is AWESOME! She is FUNNY! She is a bundle of energy and she doesn't even drink coffee! She can eat her weight worth of Italian food! She can not operate a cell phone and doesn't do Facebook or Twitter, and she is an IT person? She could have been my new BFF right up to the no texting thing. I must be in communications with my peeps at all times. Ask Aubree. We jam each others in boxes on a daily basis. Jing Jing, we will work on you. Come to the dark side!

How cool is it that this obsessive hobby of mine brought me yet another wonderful new friend?

Aubree and I had such a great time. We took Jing Jing to Magiano's for dinner, across from the hotel. They serve huge piles of food (HOLY BUCKETS!) and we ate until we could hardly walk. And we talked. And we laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Like only scrappers can do.

We stepped outside to take a picture {3 scrapbookers, together. DUH! You had to know that was coming!} So I stood in place while Aubree and Jing Jing set up their cameras. When three unsuspecting men walked by wearing the conference badges from the same conference Jing Jing was attending, she asked if they would mid helping us with a few pictures.

Absolutely! They say. The guys all proceed to huddle around me, put their arms around me, the one guy even kissed me on the side of the head! I am thinking they had hit the bar pretty hard at the cocktail reception..... So, Aubree and Jing Jing did what scrappers do best. They took pictures.

I don't know how we didn't pee our pants it was so funny!

So we get the guys to be serious, give them our cameras and get all set up. They say, "One, Two, Three.." and then run. Away. With our camera. LAUGHING!

We completely lost it then.

So, they come back, we try again, and they finally take a picture. Being oh so careful to capture the moment, we ask them to take another, just in case.

The one guy turns the camera around and takes his own picture!

Listen, buddy, we have you on film, and we know what conference you are attending.

We. Will. Find you.

Anyway, photo ops aside, it was just awesome. Like spending the night with a long lost friend you didn't even know you had.

But now, I do.

***I was not able to post the pictures because AUBREE AND JING JING DID NOT SEND THEM TO ME!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I no longer eat Lima Beans.

Yesterday was a fabulous warm sunny spring day. I had my sister's kids for the day while she was moving (I got the easy part of that deal!) so I sent them all outside to play. My oldest came in and was all excited, "Mommy! You have to come outside and see the Lima Beans we found!" It is spring, so I figured it was some kind of seed or pod or whatever. The kids are always finding things like that in the yard. Plus, we had construction last fall, and the yard is a disaster, so there is all kinds of dirt and every thing is all torn up.

Well, I told her to get a cup or bowl or something. I would see it in a little bit, but I know daddy would LOVE to see what they found when he got home from work! I had an 8, 6, 5, and 3 year old all happily entertained. For hours. With Lima Beans. Who was I to question my good fortune?

Around 5:15 or so, Hubby gets home. He comes stomping in the house and yells, "Wheres the damn broom!"


"Hi, honey, nice to see you too? The broom is where it always is. Why?"

"The kids dug up a bowl full of TERMITES and left them in a pile of dirt in the middle of the garage."

Lima Beans
? Yeah, kids? Lima Beans don't move.

Maybe next time they say they found something they are that excited over, mommy should get up off her lazy ass and go take a peek, huh?


But I doubt it.

It is so much more fun to save it for daddy.

and I really don't like bugs.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why do we even bother?

We built this amazing playroom in the basement. There is an area for toys with huge shelves filled with every birthday and holiday gift they ever opened. A big rug, book shelves, more space for toys, a big play table... the other half has an art table, with plenty of organizers for art supplies, an easel, a sink. Next to that there is a couch with a TV and some pillows & blankets and stuffed animals. It is just PERFECT! I would have loved a place like this as a kid!

We have invested $874, 296 in the back yard. There is a ginormous swing set. With the swings the girls picked and a monkey-bar attachment. The top has a play house, and a rock wall, and a picnic table underneath. Daddy even built the world's most adorable cottage in the yard, put in carpet and painted the walls pink. They have cushions out there, doll house, toys, you name it.

They have more stuff in their rooms. They have a desk full of puzzles and games and art supplies in the family office. Computers with stuff they adore bookmarked as favorites, you name it. I have the world's most entirely spoiled kids on the planet. They have everything a child could possible want and a sister they (most of the time) like to play with to share it all with.

Then why do they spend the majority of their time sitting on the cold, hard concrete of the driveway playing with sidewalk chalk or digging in the dirt in the front yard looking for worms?

I have to admit, though, nothing makes me smile like pulling up to the house and seeing the masterpiece they have created.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rites of Passage

This weekend I celebrated 3 Rites of Passage.

1) I drove my kids all over the world to different places, activities, picking up something for school, getting new shoes, this one to gymnastics, Hebrew school for that one, dog food, you name it. I am officialy a suburban mom. Hear. Me. Whine. With a coffee. A LOT of coffee.

2) I attended the Bar Mitvah of my dear friends, Ron and Ivy's son. David, I love you. You were wonderful. I especially loved the reception where you told your brother you could only love him more "If his name was Melve so it rhymed with Twelve" so he could come and light the candle with you. Who had the bright idea to give that kid a microphone?

3)My niece Samantha's Quinceanera. Yes, it is a traditional Hispanic celebration of a girl's 15th birthday and becoming a woman. No, we are not traditional, nor are we hispanic. We had a had a party at my house, played Wii and had ice cream cake. and there was Taco dip. And she turned 15. So close enough.

My niece from college, Rachael, was home, so that made it even specialer. And she isn't Hispanic either. But my Gay-Ex-Brother-In-Law-Who-Buys-Rasberry-Balsamic-Vinager-From-The-Christmas-Tree-Store (Cause dude, they don't just sell Christmas Trees!)is Italian, so that is close. As close as Taco dip....and his 95 year old Italian father who kept making sexual inuendos on all the ladies were there. That is is kind of close to Latino, isn't it?

This is my sister, my niece, and myself. You can see how exactly "Non-Latina" we are. Well, we can dance, so maybe we have a little in us.

All were awesome and are just what weekends are about. Not one minute of my weekend could have been better, unless my hubby had been around to share more of it with me.

3 more Sundays until tax season is over.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Driving in NJ

From Sarah, of If I Could Do Something Else I Would
Seriously, there are only two things needed to drive
effectively in NJ: A horn and a middle finger.
Everything else is superfluous, including knowing where you
are going.
For those of you who live in Jersey or have lived there,
these things may come as no surprise. For those who
haven't travelled there before
Beware, Be Prepared and Be Afraid.... Be Very Afraid.

1. You must first learn to pronounce the city name, it is
Nork - rhymes with Fork, not New-ark. Also, Trenton is not
pronounced Tren-ton, it is Tren-tin.

2. The morning rush hour is from 5 AM to NOON. The evening
rush hour is from NOON to 7 PM. Friday's rush hour
starts on Thursday morning.

3. The minimum acceptable speed on the turnpike is 85 mph.
On the parkway it's 105 or 110. Anything less is considered "Sissy." (Just ask the Governor of NJ)

4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Jersey
has its own version of traffic rules. For example,
cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way
stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second;
However, in Monmouth and Burlington counties, SUV-driving,
cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.
I like
that one!

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear
ended, cussed out, and possibly shot. (I have witnessed this one,
minus the shooting.)

6. Never honk at anyone. EVER ! Seriously. It's
another offense that can get you shot.

7. Road construction is permanent and continuous in all of
Jersey. Detour barrels are moved around for your
entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to
make the next day's driving a bit more exciting.

8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, skunks,
dogs, cats, barrels, cones, Celebes, rubber-neckers, shredded
tires, cell-phoners, deer and other road kill, and the
Homeless feeding on any of these items.

9. MapQuest does NOT work here -- none of the roads are
where they say they are or go where they say they do and all
the Turnpike EZ Pass lanes are moved each night once again
to make your ride more exciting.

10.. If someone actually has their Turn Signal ON, wave them
to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been
"accidentally activated."

11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a
55-65mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will
be "flipped off" accordingly. If you return the
flip, you'll be shot.

12. Do not try to estimate travel time -- just leave Monday
afternoon for Tuesday appointments, by noon Thursday for
Friday appointments, and right after church on Sunday for
anything on Monday morning.

Lastly, there is one driving rule that I would like today,
as witnessed this morning. The first day of spring. There
were snow flurries in the sky. The road was just barely
wet. Drive as though there is 47 inches of snow on
the ground.