Monthly Archives: April 2017

crush crush crush….


Sorry, I was having an in depth conversation about crushes” I read the text my doll sent while awaiting her and the boy to exit the school. Smiling, I texted back, “??? Lol” and then waited anxiously for her to fill me in. By the time she reached the car, she joined Mrs. K, myself and her brother for the ride home. However, what is ordinarily a rather mundane car ride home was anything but, as my doll unloaded all her teenage angst to me about the problem with having crushes.

****as an aside to this blog, I’d also like to admit, I love that she feels safe enough to confide in me****

“Well it all began when Carly and I were talking about crushes and she asked me who mine was. I told her I’d tell her, only if she told me the name of hers-that way we’d be bound by this and not to tell others,” She said and I laughed, knowing her story was going to be a good one. “Well, I told her she needed to guess and guess what? She said his name right off!” “How did she know J was your crush?” I asked and then all hell broke loose.

The boy, who usually enjoys his car rides home in relative peace (headphones are wonderful at toning out others) must have left his headphones at home because he looked at his sister and asked, “You have a crush on J?” “MOM HOW COULD YOU BETRAY ME LIKE THIS???” She said and honestly when she screamed “MOM” the car actually shook! “What? Wait, what did I do?” I asked. “YOU SAID HIS NAME OUT LOUD!!” She replied as her brother began asking, “You have a crush on J? “Hasn’t your brother been in the car all year long…?” I asked talking over her brother, before backing away and saying, “I’m sorry, I thought your brother knew this and I didn’t mean to spill the beans, I’m sorry”, hoping my conciliatory reply would encourage her to continue filling me in with her news. Her brother, smiling at the reaction he evoked from her said, “I’m really good at keeping secrets… (pregnant pause) …for a price,” and then smiled as she turned and hit him. “I’m just kidding. Listen I have a ton of secrets from girls at school who find me endearing. I won’t tell him anything…” He said and then added, “For a price…” and then added, “Just kidding. I’ll protect your secret-you’re my little sister, otherwise that would make me an asshole…”

“Language!” I said, hoping to break up their conversation so she would get back to telling me the juicy details…and she did. “Okay, so Carly said she knew I had a crush on J because my face goes flush every time someone mentions his name, but I don’t think that’s true. However, I could feel my face turn red while we were discussing it…” She explained. “So…who is her crush?” I asked. “I don’t know, because Mary approached and asked us what we were talking about and why my face was so red?”

“And you told her what…?” I asked.

“Carly told her we were talking about crushes and she had to guess who mine was…” My doll said, shaking her head. “And?” I asked in return. “Well at first she asked if he was in a class that we shared and when I said yes, she began naming off all the boys in the class…” She explained. “Then when she came to J, I must have made a non verbal sign, because she said, “OMG it’s J?” and I tried to shrug it off, but was betrayed by my reddening, blushing face. In fact, Mary said knowing this made more sense because at mass today, during the “Our Father,” I had (got) to hold J’s hand and apparently my face blushed then–well according to them anyway,” She explained. “Was his hand sweaty?” I asked. “Yes,” She replied without thought. “Hormones make for sweaty hands around the opposite sex….” I said laughing. “Please mom, all teenagers have sweaty hands regardless…” She argued.

I couldn’t help myself. I laughed out loud, soaking in every morsel of information she was giving me and ate it up with a fork and spoon. The rest of the car ride home was filled with her gushing, giggling and reddening face at the possibility of her crush J finding out from either her brother or girl friends at school.


Over the weekend, every once and a while she would say something like, “I can’t believe Carly already knew…” Or “J follows me on Instagram and posts all kinds of pictures during class…” To which I replied, “Maybe he likes you too?” “Please mom, he barely knows I’m alive…” She replied but then turned trying to hide the smile creasing her face. “Whatever doll…” I replied, pretending not to notice.






tomato soup…


Mr. L hasn’t been feeling very well, so his appetite is out the window. I placed his lunch in front of him and he said, “No thank you”. “Phil, you have to eat something…” I replied. “Okay, bring me something worth eating,” He replied. “If I bring you soup?” I asked. “I’ll eat soup…” He replied. Twenty minutes later, I reemerged from the kitchen carrying a small bowl of tomato soup–his favorite; placed it down in front of him and he said, “No thank you…”

What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

In all honesty, everything. Since we’ve been home from Disney, I’ve written four blogs, but have yet to publish them because they are mostly filled with me venting, less writing about my children. As a mean mommy, those blogs come across more as me being something more than mean and not necessarily a mommy.

So here I go again…

Our fifteen year old, unlikable Jack Russel Terrier, Dixie, has been making us suffer for going out of town last week. Though the dog tends to sleep most of the day, she wakes up, realizes she’s in her crate and begins to cry and bark until someone comes to let her out. “The trick is for her to fall asleep before we lock the crate,” He said at 1:30 this morning when her cries and barks were too hard to ignore. “She was asleep…” I replied with a groggy voice as I rolled over and he got out of bed.

This morning our doll said, “I tried my best to keep the dog from waking you up last night…” “She woke your dad and I up about 1:30 am,” I replied. “What? I went to bed about one… I had her outside several times. I think she’s senile and doesn’t recognize us anymore. Like she’s only following instinct to eat, go to the bathroom and find shelter. Except she’s not happy with her shelter anymore,” She explained. “Whatever she is, she’s a pain…” I said.

This morning I asked my hubby if she got much sleep after seeing to the dog’s need. “I did, about an hour and she was a good girl and did her business outside”. “Did you know she’d been outside more times between  11:30 and when you got up than all of yesterday?” I asked. “I thought I heard the doll trying to cajole her,” He replied adding, “She has to be asleep when you lock that crate…” “She was. She just enjoys torturing us,” I replied. “Maybe…” He said and the conversation came to a close.

Yep, the dog is exactly like tomato soup: an old favorite but not really wanted (especially in the middle of the night) at the moment.

Happy hack inside the Animal Kingdom


Lunch w/Donald…

Yesterday my doll found the single greatest hack inside the Animal Kingdom at Disney, as we exited the Expedition Everest ride our first time. “Look mom, they have a single rider line…” she said pointing back toward the ride. We looked at each other and smiled-stashing away that little nugget of knowledge for later, when we could return and take advantage of that line–which we did two more times, once with the boy in tow. The doll was placed in the last car one of the times and delighted in telling us, that was the best car to be in. I don’t know, going on a roller coaster with out standing in a very long line period,  is the best, in my opinion. 

    But I digress…

    Ah yes, the Animal Kingdom–the park we routinely pick as our favorite from all the Disney theme parks. Why you ask? Because the Animal Kingdom is a walking zoo accented with beautiful sculptures, fun attractions and has an all around good vibe to it. In addition, where else can my brood of animals feel like they most belong?  

    One of the many bamboo stands

    Although, our first hour in the kingdom was not all fun and games. Surrounded by a mass of humanity, one wrong turn can mess up your plans. We had passes for the African Safari ride from 11:10-12:10 and were all headed in that direction, when the boy veered off thinking there were more animal exhibit trails. I followed him, so as not to lose him and the doll followed me for the same reason. When we reemerged on the main trail, we had lost Dad and Grammy. Believing we would all eventually meet at the safari ride we began walking in that direction, but when we arrived, no Grammy or Dad were found. “You two sit here…” I said to the kids and then began walking back toward the spot we lost them. No luck. When I returned to the kids, I tried calling and texting but somehow we were in the only dead spot in the park. “Let’s go on the ride…” I said, out of ideas. When we exited the ride, we found them, upset with us, going on the ride by themselves. Later we found we were within 20 feet of one another, at the entrance to the ride, yet blind.

    The boy asked for a window seat to presumably protect his sister from lions and other nefarious beasts…

    For the most part, the rest of the day we were able to stick together. Whether it was enjoying the many walking zoo trails, or the taking part in the tremendous buffet lunch at the Tusker House (where we also met so many iconic Disney characters) or when we rode the Expedition Everest roller coaster as single riders, we enjoyed the company of our little brood. Our night culminated by watching the Rivers of Light, a night time extravaganza that helped usher in the end of our extraordinary vacation to Disney. 



    Souvenir shopping

    We came, we walked a little slower and we ate really good food. Yet, much as I feared, the Magic Kingdom no longer held the appeal it once had. The boy, who still can’t believe we’re here, didn’t really wasnt interested in going on many of the rides–he deemed they were for a younger audiance and the one ride my doll wanted to ride was broken down. So, much like the day before, we wandered through the crowds, entering every store they had looking for souvenirs instead. In addition, the crowds we were surprised not to find at the other two theme parks, we found here. 

    Smile for camera Grammy!

    After suffering from the heat, crowds and aching feet, hubby, boy and Grammy retired back to the resort, while the doll and I continued on. Two hours later though, we met back up for dinner at The Wave, inside the Contemporary Resort at Disney. Talk about a fancy joint and delicious joint! Then we returned to our cozy resort, where we rested our tires and aching feet, legs and joints (getting old sucks!).

    Today we’re off to the Animal Kingdom–my personal favorite place in Disney. Here’s hoping for my memory is correct and we’re all leave happier for the adventure. 

    Daddy’s little girl holding hands with him too…

    Oh our aching feet…


    By the time we arrived at our resort room last night, we were almost crawling-due to the large amount of blisters forming on our feet. After taking over 20,000 steps in pursuit of walking around Epcot, who could blame our feet for revolting. 

    But we had fun-which is really what matters most…

    A rare moment my doll held my hand as we walked along…

    A glimpse of the very near future…

    Today we are about to embark on an adventure to the Magic Kingdom the place our kids loved the most the last time we were here. There’s no telling whether or not they’ll feel the same today, eight years later; but for our feet’s sake, I sure hope so. 

    I really do! 

    Mom is the greatest Easter basket hider ever–or so she believes…


    My doll made the mistake of telling me how proficient she is at finding things–namely Easter baskets; the other night. Considering one year I hid her basket on the shower curtain rod and she was in tears fearing the Easter Bunny had forgotten her, until she took her shower before mass, I thought her challenging me wasn’t the smartest thing for her to do. 

    So when my kids finally went to bed (well after 1 am on Holy Saturday, I might add), I began to look around my house for the greatest hiding place ever… 

    and sighed. 

    My doll has an exceptional eye for detail. If I was going hide the basket well, I was going to have to do so in an extreme way. Mulling over my limited options, I began to doubt my ability at pulling this off. 

    But then genius struck! 

    At our house we have 5 different bird feeders, that offer an array of food–one of which contains shelled peanuts. On a recent trip to the Anderson’s we took advantage of their closing discounts and bought a 30 pound bag of peanuts. After successfully digging out a sufficient number of nuts, I placed the basket inside, then covered the basket back up with the removed peanuts. After snapping a photo of my handiwork, I went to bed, satisfied I had met my goal.

    Do you see the basket?

    Easter morning I was scolded by my son for not hiding his well–I put in his bedroom thinking it was in such plain sight he’d never notice–you know like dirty dishes in the sink. Apparently he found his immediately. His sister however,  had a much more difficult road to hoe. “I can’t believe I haven’t found it yet,” she lamented while I smiled. After thirty minutes she said, “Okay playing hot cold hot cold, how hot am I to it’s location?” “You’re warmish…” I replied. She moved to the right of the room , “Now?” “Coldish…” I said. She came back to the warmish area and paused for a moment, looked down at the bag of peanuts and said, “I can’t believe I didn’t notice earlier…” then began to dig out the basket. “Admit it doll…” I began, “Admit that I’m the greatest basket hider of all time!!” I chided. 

    “Mom, that won’t happen based upon where you hid my basket,” the boy butt in. “I’m not talking to you,” I said then returned my full attention back to my doll. “I’ll say you’re the greatest at making me clean up the mess…” She said as peanuts covered the floor due to her extraction. “Say it doll…” I tried again. “Doollll…???” I added. 

    “What do you want me to say?” She asked, trying to act obtuse. “That I am the best basket hider ever…” I reminded her. “Oh. Hmm. That…” She said and the pauses as if she had to overthink her response. “Well, you did a horrible job on the boy’s which clearly knocks you out of the beat basket hider’s ever category…” She began, and just as I was ready to object again she added, “But I have to admit, mine was hid really really well. Good job, Mom!” 

    Though she didn’t quite tell me I was the “best basket hider ever,” like I wanted to hear, she did offer me a pat on the back–which I gladly took. I mean heck, I got some acknowledgement of good from a petulant teenager which as most parents of teenage children know, is a victory unto itself. 

    Even though the rest of us know the real truth! 

    has the sky fallen down?


    If you wanted to know the biggest difference between my kids, besides sex, my answer would be simple: the doll is organized whereas the boy flies by the seat of his pants.  That is to say, her mind likes to make lists and plans, whereas her brother would rather leave things to fate–and see what happens. But the other day, the boy said something curious to me, “Mom, I think I may be organized…” I gasped for a moment, wondering if this was indeed my boy, but the ensuing conversation clarified matters and yes indeed, this was still my boy.

    Over the last six months, my son wrote a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for his friends. This was his first foray into creating a “game” history along with the specialty powers each player would have. As an uninterested parent in the game Dungeons and Dragons, I didn’t quite understand everything he told me, when he began assembling his ideas for the campaign, but encouraged him anyway.  From what I understand, he wrote the background information and came up with all details and consequences which could occur for each character.  In addition, he consulted his friends on their characters and then wrote the background story for all of them; culminating with his friends gathering once a week at a local library or a friends house, to play said game.

    Last Saturday was their first meeting and playing of the game.

    “Whoa, mom, do you realize? This is the first time the boy will be meeting with “friends” outside of school?” His sister asked, proud of her brother, yet not enough to let that small dig go by. “Yes, and for a great reason,” The boy countered. Very excited that his hard work (reference: “Copious Time”) was coming together, he said, “All my planning is coming to fruition, I can actually say I’ve mastered the art of organization…”  “Wha?” I began, but he cut me off adding, “Wait, wait, I would ‘t say mastered…” He began, “We don’t want me to put the cart before the horse, it’s  more like…I’ve learned the value, but still not completely ordered…”He finished. “I know, how about saying you’re a work in progress?” I offered. “Yes, that’s it, I’m a work in progress at organizing and planning my time,” He said proudly and then laughed, “Actually, I’m still a novice”.

    “Baby steps buddy bay, baby steps…” I replied as he nodded in my direction..