Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What are you afraid of?

Last week I had picked up George from school and was headed to the other school to pick up Luke and Evie when George asked me, "Hey, Mom?"


"What animal are you scared of?"

I paused to think before answering, "Bears."

"No.  Not any animal that is in the zoo."

I sighed, "Okay.  Hmmm.  Probably snakes."

He was quiet, so I asked, "What kind of animal are you afraid of?"

Without pausing he answered matter of factly, "Leprechauns and dinosaurs."

I tried not to laugh but it came out as a snort anyway.  I LOVE this answer.  Just love it!  I asked him, "Have you ever seen a leprechaun or a dinosaur?"


"Then, I guess you don't have much to worry about."

He just nodded his head.

For days I have been thinking in my head, "leprechauns and dinosaurs" and I chuckle to myself.  I don't know why it tickles me so much, but it does.  What are you afraid of?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Wine...it's what's for dinner.

This is a picture of a coaster that sits on my desk beside my computer.  It couldn't be more true, but I've cut back on my wine intake (because I have a "wine waist") and I really miss enjoying the delicious taste of a glass of wine and the feel of the glass in my hand at the end of the day.  I don't know if this makes me an alcoholic -- I hope not -- but I do so enjoy a glass of wine daily.

On that note, some friends of mine just went to the wine country on the east coast.  A trip down the coast visiting wineries is on my bucket list as well as a trip through Tuscany.  Anyone else have that on their bucket list?  If not, I think you should reconsider it.  I mean, just look at these pictures of Tuscany.


Ah, but to dream . . .

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

According to Evie

Evie has a lot to say.

You probably wouldn't guess it if you met her just once.

You probably wouldn't guess it if you met her just five times.

But, get to know her, and get her one on one, and that girl has a lot to say.

As we drove to school this morning, she was her typical self (first reminding me that we needed to pray) and then posing situations and scenarios to Luke.  I only caught one before we changed the subject, but it made my eyes widen when I heard her over the celebrity news I was listening to on the radio (priorities, right?).

Evie asked Luke, "If you were in the bathroom pooping and a wasp was in there too, which is more important: pooping or the wasp?"

My eyes shot open and looked in the rear view mirror, "Did you really just ask that?" 

Evie grinned and said brightly, "Uh huh!"  She looked back at Luke.

Luke was already laughing and said with all certainty, "The wasp, for sure!"

Evie responded, "So that would mean you would be running around with a poopy butt!"

Luke laughted more, "Uh huh!"

I rolled my eyes as they continued the banter about poop on his butt and how much better that was than a wasp stinging him.  (By the way, neither of them have ever been stung by a wasp, bee or any other creature.)

I really don't know how the subject changed, but within a minute or so, Evie had announced that she would grow up to be an old woman without any kids.

I screwed up my face with confusion, "What do you mean?  Why are you not going to have any kids?"

She replied happily, "Because I don't ever want to kiss a boy."

"Hmmm.  You might change your mind..."

"Nope.  I also don't want to deal with (yes, she said "deal with") kids' poop and pee and diapers.  I don't want to change their sheets when they pee in them (referring to herself, by the way) or get new underwear with the kid poops in his pants (totally referring to George, here)."

I looked at her in the rear view mirror again, "So, really, this is all about not wanting to touch poop and pee?"

"Yes.  And I don't want to have to kiss a boy a million times."

I responded dryly, "Interesting.  You know, you might like it."

"I don't think so."

I asked, "Does it look like I don't like kissing Dad?"

Luke, who had been silently watching the exchange until now, piped up loudly and earnestly, "Ohhhh nooo.  You like it!"

I shook my head.  By the sound of it, you'd think Chuck and I were groping each other in front of the kids all the time.  Truth be told, it's mostly a peck on the lips and a hug before we leave for work/school.

Soon after that, the discussion morphed into Evie announcing, "I never want to work, either."

I thought to myself, "Oh, my child, what a rude awakening you are going to have to face!"  And then I said, "That may not work for you.  If you aren't going to have a husband to take care of you and I'm certainly not going to support you your entire life and pay for all your stuff, and you aren't going to get a job, how are you going to support yourself?  Who's going to pay for your house and your food and your clothes?"

She paused thoughtfully.  "Okay.  I'll get a job.  But not one that makes me have to write a lot."

"Like what?" I asked.

"Hmmm.  Not a scientist.  Not a waiter at a restaurant."

I stopped her, "Not a waiter?  Why not a waiter?"

I swear she looked at me like I was stupid, "Because they have to write down every single person's order."

All I could say was, "Oh."  If she thinks that is a lot of writing, she's in big, big, big trouble.

Luke threw out some options, "What about a lawyer?"

"No.  Too much writing." 

Luke countered, "But they don't write on paper.  They use a computer."

"Can they play games?" she asked hopefully.

I interrupted with a firm, "No."

Luke switched gears, "What about a teacher?"

"Maybe."  She paused, "But they have to write a lot too."  Suddently, her face brightened with an idea and she said, "Maybe a librarian!"

My hopes for her future suddenly brightened and I asked, "Why is that?"

She responded, "They don't have to do anything but help little kids find books." 

My hopes crumbled just as quickly. I said, "Well, they do have to read a lot."

She asked in confusion, "Why?"

Seriously?  I'm pretty sure Luke and I both looked at her like she was crazy.  Really?  How does she make straight A's in school if she doesn't realize that a librarian has to read a lot.  Really?  *sigh*

When I pulled myself together, I said, "Well, if a librarian has to recommend books to you and help you find books to read, she would have to have read all the books in the library so she knows which ones you are looking for or which ones would be good for you to read."

Although I was thankful that she realized what I said was true, I'm terrified that we have raised a child children who are completely devoid of any drive, motivation, or ambition.

As for Luke, he has announced that he wants a job teaching people how to play video games.  Heaven help them.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wild & Loud

We had a long, busy weekend with multiple sleepovers, a birthday party, a soccer game, a basketball game, Sunday school and church, and various errands that had to be completed.  It was really quite lovely, but would have been much lovelier had Chuck been around to field some of the constant calls of, "Mom!" or "Hey, mom?" or "Where are you mom?"  Even though I absolutely adore my children, I found myself ready to sneak off to athe restroom just for a brief moment of peace and quiet.  It is now very obviousl why men spend so much time in the restroom.  Unfortunately, the idea of sitting bare-bottomed on the toilet for more than 5 minutes gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Don't their bottoms get cold?  Instead, I think I'd take the time to enjoy a bubble bath. Does anyone have a better way of grabbing a moment of quiet when the entire non-adult population of your house is running wild and loud?

Friday, January 17, 2014


It kicks,
It sweats,
It pushes,
It shoves,
It rolls,
It snores,
It stretches,
It throws its arms,
It sits up for no reason at all,
It smacks its lips every once in a while,
It sweats,
It farts,
It rubs its eyes,
It steals the sheets,
It comes back even if pushed away,
It dreams,
It snuggles,
But no mater what it does,
It is love without a doubt.
It is the boy who shared my bed last night and stole my heart at first sight.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

George Turned 5!

Can you believe George is FIVE years old?  Yeah, me either.  But, we are headed to Kindergarten roundup in a couple weeks, so it must be true.

Obviously, we celebrated his birthday by getting on a cruise ship, but we also had to have a party for his friends.  Sweetly admiring his sister, George chose to have his birthday party at the trampoline park too.  It's very popular right now, and a great way for kids to expend their energy!

He saw his friends, played, jumped, smiled, laughed, blew out candles, ate cookies, and opened gifts, announcing in the end that it was "the best day of my life!"  You gotta know he was loving his day.  So glad for him. 

The siblings were there too . . .

George loved every minute of it, but it wasn't such a great day for me.  You see, George doesn't like cake (it happens to be my favorite food), and he decided he didn't want a cake at his birthday party.  I should have listened to him.  Instead, he wanted cookies.  I asked if he would like a cookie cake.  But no, he said he wanted Oreos, and I wrinkled my nose trying to imagine shoving a candle into an Oreo.  After much discussion, I eventually convinced him that we could have Oreos but we would also need to have cake or cupcakes since all his friends would expect there to be cake at the party.  He conceded and I ordered a cheap cupcake cake to go along with the Oreos. 

Unfortunately, as I turned into the parking lot, the cake slid off the front seat of my car and fell open on top of the beautiful tan-colored handbag Chuck had given me for our anniversary last year.  I sucked in all the air in the car with my gasp and as soon as my car was stopped, I hopped out of the drivers side and ran around the car to inspect the damage from the passenger's side door.  It was worse than I even expected.  Imagine thick red, blue and yellow icing smeared all on the outside and inside of my purse.  Chuck pulled up beside me and I swear I thought his head was going to explode (apparently it cost more than I originally thought).  All I could do was stare in shock.  He sent me into the party to get it started, while he took over the clean up job.  He spent at least 15 minutes in the men's restroom trying to scrape the thick frosting off of the ouside of my purse.  Unfortunately, it was stained red, blue and yellow. 

Then, being Super Dad, he ran to Central Market and picked up a new cake for George (had them put a G on the top) and a dozen cupcakes to serve to everyone.  Interestingly, they all asked for Oreos too.


Moral of the Story:  Listen to the five year old and just buy the damn cookies and forget the cake.

My Luke

A couple weeks ago, Chuck and I decided to watch the movie Valentine's Day during the middle of the day when the kids were around.  It's rated PG-13 for adult language and content (sexual, not violent).  This is not their first exposure to a PG-13 movie because Chuck is all about Star Wars and the Marvel movies, so violence is just a part of life that the kids have been exposed to.  I'm not thrilled about it, especially since George is getting exposed to it all at a much earlier age, but that's life.  Interestingly, we have been more diligent about shielding them from sexual content.  Not that we are ridiculously strict about it or anything.  I mean, I was watching an episode of Friends with Evie when they mentioned finding their G-spot, which prompted Evie to ask, "What's a G-spot."  Damn, was that uncomfortable.  Anyway, if you aren't familiar with the movie Valentine's Day, let me give you a general description.  It involves a handfull of people who are all randomly connected and follows them through their experiences on a single Valentine's Day.  It is very cute, although didn't earn any Oscars. 

The point is, that we watched it while they were playing around us. 

SPOILER ALERT: One of the story lines follows a couple of gay men, one of whom is a sports guy.  As the scenes progressed, Luke wondered about it, and we explained that he was a man who loved a man, just like there are women who love women, and men who love women and vice versa.  He nodded his head in understanding.  (By the way, this is not an invitation to debate gay relationships or marriage).  So we continued watching the movie and near the end one of the characters tells another guy that the best course in love is to "marry your best friend."  Chuck looked at Luke and Evie and said, "That's right."

They both looked at him.  Then a twinkle shone in his eyes and he followed it up woth a joke, saying, "I tried to marry Tim, but when that didn't work, I married your mom instead."

Luke didn't pause when he asked earnestly, "So you tried to go gay?"

Chuck and I couldn't contain our laughter.  I was dying.  Finally we recovered enough to tell Luke that Chuck was just joking ant that he is not gay.  Best laugh of the year, so far!  Gotta love this kid...even if he is severely allergic to Mountain Cedear, as you can see here!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mad Parenting Skillz

I love all my children and this is why.  All of them have these spectacular moments of hilarity surrounding them.  However, I have to admit that George has just a bit more than the other two, and so we stay on our toes, giggling behind our hands as we pretend we are coughing or rubbing our noses.  Although these things happen regularly in our house, it is very, very rare that I am able to catch it on video, but here is a little gem of a conversation we had with George two nights ago.

{I tried all day to post the video, but it won't post.  I'll try again tomorrow.  Until then, you'll just have to go see it on Facebook - Em & Mrs. Chesapeake - ask your hubbys to show it to you since you're not on FB. This post is mostly just for you two.}

So, it turns out that a couple of slats supporting the top bunk had been displaced.  It wasn't really a big deal, but I guess it was to George.  I'm pretty sure the other two would have left it until morning and then denied any involvment as soon as Chuck or I noticed that the bed was amiss.  But George marches to his own beat, so when Chuck got up there, he put the slats back while Luke and Evie pretended to be asleep.

Now, when I posted this on Facebook, it received a lot of attention, but some of that attention was directed toward me and my parenting skills, so let me address any issues you (and others) may point out.

  1. Yes, that is a bottle of wine behind my son.  Chuck and I are both over the legal drinking age of 21 and typically consume wine every night.  Yes, you read that correctly: Every. Night.  What you don't see is that there were actually TWO bottles of wine on that table.  We have a case of wine that we believe has turned and we were checking one bottle against the other.  The bottles are still sitting out - unfinished - because I'm pretty sure they have turned and we have a pile of wasted wine sitting in our storage room now.  If anyone likes vinegary tasting wine, please let me know and I'll gladly give this stuff to you.
  2. Yes, George is wearing his school uniform to bed.  The kids don't usually change into pajamas.  They have them.  I buy them new sets every year, but they just don't do it.  Probably because we don't bathe them every night.  I admit it.  I'm a bad mother.  Oh well.  I'll get over it and so will they, so long as they don't become the smelly kid in class.  So, the kids either wear their school uniform shirts to bed (I insist that they take off their pants and socks), or they just wear their underwear to bed.  Typically, G would be in his underwear, so I'm glad he was wearing his uniform or else I wouldn't have been able to share this confession with him just in his underwear.
  3. Also, I wasn't there when they were put to bed.  Chuck was in charge that night.  All inquiries regarding the process should be directed to him.  Although, I'm pretty sure it went something like this. 
          Chuck: Kids, go upstairs and brush your teeth and go to bed.
          Kids (in unison):  Awwwwweeee...uuuuugggghhhhh......maaaaaaaannnnn!  We never get to
          stay up!
          Chuck: Go to bed anyway.  And I don't want to hear any talking.
          So, yeah, that's it.  If you are interested in signing up for our next parenting classes, please let me know.  It's a full day of training in which you observe us boss our kids around and drink wine.  It's a pretty good deal too.  All you have to do is bring over a case of wine or champagne, and we will demonstrate our mad parenting skillz (with a 'z' because we are hip and cool).

Thursday, January 9, 2014


That is all.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Firewood to Warm me up!

I know everyone and their dog is talking about it, but damn is it cold!  Early in the fall, I had someone deliver half a cord of wood to my house.  You see, my house is old and retro-fit for heating and air conditioning.  Plus, the back room (where we basically spend 80% of our time at home) was an addition.  It is cavernous and not well insulated.  Luckily, it also has a ginormous fireplace.

 Once you get a fire going in that fireplace, the entire room will warm up.  However, it takes a lot of wood and a big fire to make it extra comfy in there.  So, you can only imagine how wonderfully grateful I was that we had a half a cord of firewood in our back yard when Icemageddon 2013 hit us.

We went through it quick, but we stayed warm!  We were down to just 15 logs last night, but we used half of them to keep us warm while we watched the National Championship from our couch.  Luckily, the wonderful company (called Big Timber College Fund - yeah, they employ college students which is totally awesome) arrived this morning to deliver another half a cord of wood.  I never would have guess that we would need more than what was originally delivered.  But, man, am I thankful to have some of that wood here to keep us warm in this 16 degree weather (which has warmed up to 24 degrees today).  I know the rest of the world is suffering in negative degree weather, so I'm sending warm thoughts your way and hoping that you have plenty of firewood to keep you warm!  Unless you're Goeorge, who likes to wear shorts in the snow!

 That Icemagedon lasted over a week!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Inspire Yourself!

Already feeling like I've given up on some of my resolutions.  As a recap, here are the things I've done to advance them recently (because I know you're all just dying to hear about my day):
  1. Run a marathon: I put my name in the lottery for the New York City marathon.  Not only have I never run a marathon, I have to admit that I've also never been to NYC.  If I get picked to run the marathon, I will be able to cross off two bucket list items in November!
  2. Pray with the kids on the way to school.  Well, today was my first opportunity, and I can put a check next to this one.  Admittedly, George refused to participate, but at least he was quiet and respectful as Luke, Evie and I said the Lord's Prayer and asked for special blessings today.
  3. Stop yelling at my kids so much.  I can also say there was no yelling this morning.  Yay me.  Also, I thought this article by Hands Free Mama called "The Important Thing About Yelling" was pretty compelling.  I've already tried to embrace some of the suggestions in there, especially trying to offer help.  I had some friends over Saturday and just before they arrived (after hours of tidying the house so it only looked slightly messy instead of like a tornado had hit) Luke poured himself a big glass of apple juice and then put the big bottle back in the fridge. 10 minutes later, I opened the fridge and found that he hadn't screwed the lid on completely and then when he closed the door, it had tipped over and the entire contents had spilled down the fridge into the produce drawer, the cheese drawer, and the meat drawer.  It had pooled on two shelves, covering the bottoms of jars and containers.  Everything was sticky.  I called him over and explained the problem, attempting to keep my frustration under control.  After all, I could have easily have done the same thing.  I told him he had to help me clean it up.  I know this is supposed to be a great learning experience for the kids, but it takes so much longer to actually watch them do it wrong and then clean up behind them.  Everyting was sticky, and I watched him simply blot the inside of the produce drawer with a look of disgust.  I offered to help him, explaining that I was not mad or angry -- just frustrated.  So, when my friend Emily arrived, I was sprawled on the kitchen floor in front of an open refrigerator and piles of food sitting on the tile floor around me.  Luke took off as soon as his friend arrived (which was fine) and I continued wiping down each bag of lettuce and container of deli meat.  I survived.  I scowed my displeasure at Emily and tried to bite my tongue.  But damn.  It was everywhere.
  4. Blog more.  Well here it is!
Also, I just saw this posted on FB, and I swear it was really worth listening to.  I know that it looks focused on sports and fitness, but listen to what they are saying.

I was really struck by the line, "The richest place is the graveyard."  That statement has got to be so true!  I know I have so many ideas floating around in my head that would be lost completely if I died tomorrow (heaven forbid).  You probably have some amazing things too, so pursue them!  Spend your time making your dream come true, not working for someone else to help their dream come true (there are limits, of course).

So, I'm inspired now. Are you?

Friday, January 3, 2014

It's been three weeks. Three. Whole. Weeks.

It's official.  I've been in the almost constant presence of my three beautiful children for three full weeks, and they have to go back to school on Monday.  Yesterday, was the breaking point for me.  I looked and felt utterly defeated.  By the time Chuck got home I was ragged from having done nothing spectacular.  All I did was cook, clean a little, herd children, and run housewifely errands.  Unfortunately, I also choose that day to also curb my indulgent eating and drinking, so I was thoroughly beat down and hungry by the time we got home from George's basketball practice around 7 p.m.  I'm not sure how it happened, but it did.  And I looked awful.  Chuck kept asking me what was wrong, and all I could do was look over at him from my slumped position on the couch and say, "Meh..."  It was so bad, that the poor schlep even folded half of the humongous pile of laundry stacked up in our den.  (Now that I think about it, I may have to try this tactic again in the future.)

In the end, I decided the time wasn't right to give up on delicious food and drink...at least, not yet.  The time is coming, and it's coming fast because I've managed to put on five pounds in just the last three weeks.  Pretty pathetic, right?  And certainly not good for my marathon goals, ahem, which I also haven't started working on.  At least I can say I stuck to my blogging commitment!

Have I mentioned that I started a book club?  Probably not. Otherwise, all you millions of readers out there would be clamoring to join and read the little gems of literature we pick out every other month.  Too bad for all of you!  This month we read a book I picked out called Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella.  She's the same author that wrote all the Shopaholic books.  I have to admit that I didn't get totally into the Shopaholic books (although I think I might have to treat myself to a reading marathon sometime soon), but I absolutely adored this book.  It's no great literary piece that might compare with Hemingway, Twain, Homer, Grisham, King, or Morrison, but it made me laugh (out loud) all three times I read it.  Yep, I read it three times (twice before I suggested it for the book club).  You should definitely check it out for a beach read or even if you just want something light and funny to read.  It was a pure pleasure.  Loved it.

So, my friends, on this last and final day at home with my kids (when they would otherwise be in school), I see a few glasses of wine in my future, as well as an unhealthy dinner and dessert.  I hope your evening is as fulfilling as mine (and hopefully a little quieter, too)!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Disney Cruise: Part 2

I think you got the gist of our amazing cruise, but here are some more pictures for your enjoyment!  Let me know if you have any questions specific to the Disney cruise experience.  I've had a lot of inquiries!

After we got back on the ship at our last port of call (Nassau), we had Pirate Night.  It was way fun, but we were pretty damn tired from our day at the beach.  George ended up falling asleep at dinner - his roll still in his hand and a bite still in his mouth.  He slept out our table until the party (that was taking place on the dance floor behind him) woke him up.

He was startled and out of sorts when he woke up, so he ended up snuggled up with his sweet Uncle Tom.

And then there were fireworks!
In my opinion, the most interesting part was seeing several other cruise ships spread out around us in all different directions so they were close enough to see our fireworks display.

Plus, they had an entire pirate themed show.

The next day we spent at the pool, soaking up the sun.  I'm proud to say I went home with some tan lines!

I think the very best thing about the Disney cruise was the characters. They were everywhere!  Pluto once jumped out from an alcove and scared the shit out of me.  We came upon Cinderella, Peter Pan, Ariel, and Belle, just walking the halls.  I swear, it was some of the coolest stuff.  Now, I'll also admit that I was way more impressed with it all than the kids!

There was an amazing gingerbread house that smelled so good everytime you walked past it.  Very impressive!

Character Breakfast.  Not bad.  Only four characters (which is four more than we had at any other breakfast, so don't think I'm complaining).  We had fun!

And the waiters made us all hats out of napkins.  Very cool!

And then, our last dinner complete with a bowl of cherries!

Life is GOOD!