Monthly Archives: April 2011



Thursday night, I attended a “mini reunion” with grade school classmates at Nick and Jimmy’s; a local bar and grill.  While drinking a few beers and catching up with these classmates, I thought to myself, how far we have all come.  There were no more social barriers to separate us.  Finally at 40+ years of age, we had grown up; no drama to be found between us.  Just laughter, shared experiences and traps to look for with teenagers.  A power shift had taken place…and it was simply maturity.

My mother in law finally got her power turned back on Thursday afternoon, much to the happiness of the boy.  He could finally charge his DS and play Pokémon games instead of the mandatory clean up work they have been doing since their arrival  The doll answered the phone when I called to check in on them, “Hey doll guess what?”  “What?”  “Guess….”  Growing impatient with me (as if she had better things to do) she said, “Mom, what does guess what mean?”  “You’re no fun!” I said before telling her that Mrs. Robin had begun to sit on the nest”.  “Are there any eggs yet?” “Not that I saw, but there might be some (this morning found two blue eggs).

“So doll are you excited?  You get to take a shower tonight!”  With no electricity the last few days, they have been unable to take hot showers at Grammy’s.  “I don’t know if I’m going to take one today, I’m not that dirty.”  “Mark my words doll, you’re taking a bath!  You and your brother both need baths.”  “Well the boy might because he’s a stinky boy.  But I’m kinda clean.”  “Doll, you’re taking a shower” I told her one more time only to be told again, “Well, I don’t know….”

When her father came to the phone (the boy excited to have power again was too busy playing his “shouldbeoutlawedbecausetheytrapkidsintobecomingvideozombies” DS to talk to his mother) I said, “The doll and boy need to take baths tonight.  You should encourage this while you still have power.  “Don’t worry they’re taking showers tonight, no doubt” he said in return.  “Well, she’s thinking she’s doesn’t to have to…” I said, trying to push the subject a little.  “Well, she’s not in charge.  I have all the power here and she’s going to take a shower come hell or high-water—in the high-water if necessary.”   Okay then… “Well, whatever.   Have a good night…make them kids take baths…” I said before hanging up.

All kids want power. In grade and high school, the perceived “socials and jocks” are the ones who wield it; Parents have power when dealing with their kids yet, us 40+ year old’s have realized real power, comes from within….unless you’re a an electrical power line, threatened by the whims of nature, then your only true power comes from your supply of candles and flashlights.


Grand adventures….?


My kids and their father took advantage of their Easter break and drove down to Tennessee in order to visit with Grandma Pat.  She recently completed another year as an H&R Block tax consultant.  I chose not to go too, as I recently started a new job. On Easter the doll talked by phone to Mary and Elle who are on vacation in Florida and informed her they were going Jet skiing that afternoon.  The simple thought her cousins were experiencing more fun than she, was intolerable. So she pushed her father into leaving town as soon as possible.   She didn’t want to spend one more day at home; the doll wanted adventure.

My husband’s original plan was to go down and help his mother ready the house for sale.  After living in Tennessee for the last seven years or so, Grammy decided to move back and be closer to her kids and grandchildren.  The kids were aware; once they arrived they would be put to work.  They didn’t care; they were going on a road trip!  They arrived Monday evening to a very dark house.  A recent thunderstorm had uprooted trees knocking out the power to Grammy’s neighborhood.  The kids took this in stride; after all, they were in Tennessee and this would be a grand adventure.

Fast forward to tonight and the grand adventure has gotten old.  They have yet to regain power and the storms continued to pound on them.  This afternoon alone, they had golf and baseball sized hail hit the house, even breaking one of the skylights. When I talked to the doll she sounded very dejected.  “Mom, why didn’t you come down with us?” she asked.  “Doll, you know I just started a new job, I couldn’t leave”.  “We haven’t had any power since we’ve been here.  All we have are candles and each other to keep us entertained and mom, these guys can get really boring.”  “Doll, just hang in there.  One day you’ll look back on this time and think ‘how cool was that?” I said hoping to make her feel better.  “Sigh, I just wish you were here too” she replied.  We gave each other hugs through the phone (in fact I was almost squeezed to death:)) before we said goodnight.  “Doll, just hang in there, okay?”  “Okay mom,” Sigh I wonder where the adventure will take them next…?

Easter egg hunts…


Looking over the stash of goodies my children collected I said, “I think the Easter Bunny is going to take one look at this stash of candy and give you a basket filled with apples, oranges and grapes.”  The doll not happy hearing this said,   “Bite your tongue mom; the Easter bunny needs to bring US more of this”.   While she spoke her right hand pointed at the large Ziplock bag of candy she was holding.  We had just spent our morning, over at the park at an Easter egg hunt.  God love these church sponsors, but I had to wonder if these church congregations were mostly dentists.….. The sponsors offered  a refreshment stand (sugar donuts and cookies) , a goody stand (Ziplock freezer bags filled to the brim) and lets not forget, an Easter egg hunt which would further throw my kids into a sugar coma.

There were sections roped off for various age groups.  0-3, 4-6 and then 7-10.  This was the first time we had attended an Easter egg hunt, not hosted by our family on Easter Sunday.  The boy, upon seeing the age groups informed me, “Mom I’m a tall ten year old” Looking around I saw many kids who looked like “tall” ten year old’s and figured he was in good company.

His friend Marg had called early Saturday morning to see if he was going to the hunt.  When he hung up the phone a wide smile emerged from his face and he began to dance.  “Marg is celebrating Passover, so whatever candy she can’t eat, she’s agreed to give to me!”   Upon hearing that, the doll looked at me and said, “That’s not fair”.  I quipped, ‘That’s life.”   As we walked down the street toward the hunt,  he said, “Well Marg told me whatever isn’t Kosher, she’ll give to me”.  “I don’t think there is much candy that’s not considered Kosher” I said, kind of hoping he wouldn’t be disappointed when she didn’t give him much of her stash.  “Well I think where there’s a will Mom, they will find a way to find the candy not Kosher” he said,  then added, “Well that’s what Marg’s mom said anyway”

Smiling I had to agree and kind of wished we had the same excuse to get rid of our new found stash of candy.

attacking girls alert….


The doll stood at the top of the stairs and asked, “Mom, can we play the Wii?”.  The ”we” she was referring to included her brother and his friend Marg, an eleven year old girl, with whom both kids enjoy playing.  Nonchalantly I said, “I don’t care”and went back to my writing.  As I began to type,  I heard the doll come down the flight of stairs and approach me.  Thinking she did not hear me the first time, I turned  and said, “I don’t care…”.  Very seriously she said,  “Please say no.”  Instantly I understood—she didn’t want to lose playtime with Marg to the game system.  I  employed  a serious look to my face, and said in return,  “Okay, no, you may not play the Wii”.  Playacting a sad face she said, “Alright, if you say so…” then returned up the steps to inform her playmates of my decision.

Not long after, the boy approached the top of the stairs and asked me to reconsider “Please Mom, let us play the Wii”.  “No, it’s a beautiful day outside, plus there are plenty of other things you can do that do not require the television being turned on.” I came back.  Unhappy with my response he then said, “But mom, the girls are getting mad at you; I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to hold them back from attacking you….”  Hearing this, I burst into laughter at the absurdity of his response.  “But mom, please, they really might come after you…” he tried to say, but his own laughter betrayed him.  Continuing to laugh I thanked him for the priceless quote.  He made my day.

three hours!!??!!!???


On Good Friday, I informed the kids I was interested in attending the Stations of the Cross beginning at noon.  My plan then was to stay inside the church, praying and meditating until the Good Friday service began at 1:30 pm.  All in all, we would be at the church approximately three hours.  The boy was grounded due to his midterm grades and saw this as an opportunity to show how truly sorry he was for his lack of effort (all in hopes gaining forgiveness and his ability to access the TV again).   The doll on the other hand had no clue.  I encouraged both kids to grab something to keep themselves occupied, as I knew asking them to pray that long was akin to asking them to not go swimming on the hottest day of the year.  As we were about to leave,  my sister Ann Marie called to invite the doll to go shopping with her at Target.

Ever since her Saturday evening ballet performance, she’s be very clingy to me.  I suppose this has something to do with her thinking I wasn’t coming to get her.  In any case, I never expected her to turn down a trip to Target with my sister (who likes to buy presents for her, anytime they spend time together)in favor of attending Good Friday services, but that’s exactly what she did.    By the time we arrived at the church, they were on the third station and we followed right along.

Once that service was over, the doll looked at me and said, “What time is it?”  “I don’t know, I didn’t bring my phone” I said in return.  “What are going to do now?”  “Now we’re going to pray and wait until the Good Friday service begins.”  “Well how long is that going to take?”  “Well, when all is said and done, we’ll have been here about three hours.”  I was impressed she didn’t faint, as I watched the color drain from her cheeks.  Her eyes grew larger, while surprise covered her face.  “THREE HOURS?? Mom, you’re kidding right?”  “No doll, I’m not. ”  “UGH I SHOULD HAVE GONE WITH AUNT ANN!!”  she began to whine.

Feeling a little bad for her, I suggested she could go look to see if Aunt Ann’s car was still at my dad’s (across the street from the church).  If she were still there, she could go with her, but they would have to stop back at the church and let me know before they left.  Happily she grabbed her coat and bolted for the door.  The boy meanwhile grabbed the book he brought with him and went out to the narthex to read.  About ten minutes later, the doll came back.  “Mom, her car was there, but she was gone.  I knocked on the door and Grandpa told me she took his car to the store”.  Poor doll, I thought.

We made it through the three hour service, with very few glitches.  I wish I had had my camera with me, as I could have added more shots to the “Today I feel Like this” calendar I’m currently creating. made up entirely of the doll’s faces.  During the veneration of the cross, you are expected to walk up and kiss a large crucifix being held by the priest and deacon.  The doll approached with her arms crossed carrying a large attidude of disgust all the way up the aisle.  Later I informed her the next time she approaches the alter you do so under respect, not repulsion.

But I give my kids credit.  They handled the service better than when I was forced to go as a kid.  I guess that old saying comes into play…what goes around, comes around.  Too bad for the doll!

Holy week


The boy is grounded.  His midterms came home and once again the results were disappointing.  Same issues, turning in finished homework assignments.  One would think by now he would have figured this out, but alas…  He was particularly funny when he first approached me about his midterms.  He emerged from school with a pained look upon his face.  “Hey boy!  How was school today?  Any infractions?” “No”.  “How about homework notifications?” “No, but, uh mom, uh midterms came home today, and uh, well, before you get really angry, just let me say, traditionally, I’ve always done poorly in this class.” Really.  To his credit, language arts is a class he has not performed well in this year, however, had he turned in two missing assignments (which we later found and he  has since turned in) his grade would have been an A.  Unfortunately, Language Arts was not the only class in which he was struggling to turn in work.

Yesterday I expressed my wish to attend Holy Thursday mass at our church, explaining to the kids; we’re attending the last supper.  Afterward there is an Agape, which (with wine, grapes, cheese and dark chocolates) allows us a chance to celebrate the end of the Lenten season.  “What kind of food is going to be served there?” The boy asked.   “Cheese, bread and wine…but I think they will have pop there too”.  The boy had given up pop for Lent.  “I’m in.” he said with a smile.  The doll on the other hand couldn’t decide…attend a church service and be bored or stay home with Dad, but go to bed early.  After hemming and hawing for a time, she decided to go with me. Soon thereafter off to mass we went.

Let me first say, had my parents given me that choice as a kid, I would have chosen to stay home.  So  I am impressed they came with me.   During the mass,  a time came where we imitated Christ by washing one another’s feet.  My kids sat in the chair as I poured Luke warm water on their foot then dried them off.  I think they both thought it was weird and cool at the same time.  When we were seated in the pew again, the doll looked at me and said, ‘Wait, we didn’t wash yours…  I want to wash your foot mom”.  We waited until the right moment and then the doll poured water over my right foot and the boy took the cloth and dried my foot.  When we made our way back to the pew, I was overwhelmed by the love my kids were conveying to  me—whether they realized it or not.

As we exited the church to attend the Agape, the boy coyly leaned over and said, “Thanks mom for having us attend that mass, um, am I still grounded?”  Smiling I pulled him closer in a hug and said, “I love you too bay,  and yes,  you’re still grounded”.

for the birds…..


As we exited the house for school yesterday morning, the boy noted a Robin (redbreast) who seemed particularly interested in one of our window wells.  “Mom and doll look, that Robin has a large piece of sinew in its beak.   I bet he’s thinking of building a nest up there.”  “Aw, he’s cute”, said the doll.  Not giving the bird much thought, I replied, “Well, I’ll take care of that….” which brought much consternation from both kids.   “Mom,what do you mean by that?   Are you going to scare the bird away?”  As per the norm, I gave the kids my usual stock answer, “We’ll see”.  Once the kids were on their way, I promptly forgot about the bird and went on with my day.

This morning the doll asked me, “So mom, what did you ever do about that bird?  Did you scare the poor thing away?”  Remembering yesterday’s Robin, I said, “I didn’t do anything.  I think the bird found a better place to build her nest”.  As we exited our house, the doll was chattering on excitedly about finally having a day of sunshine when I tapped her on the shoulder and told her to look back at the house.  Sure enough, that Robin Redbreast had decided to move in with us; building a nest on the front of our house.

Best part of all, we will all have a bird’s eye view (pardon the pun) of new life when those little blue eggs hatch.

Neat don’t you think?