Thursday, February 1, 2018

Science Fair Belligerence

So it's been a while, but here we are.  Lauren's in 3rd grade and Pinteresting like it's her job.  Ben's in 2nd grade...and basically looks like a college freshman, not a 7 year old.  We're smack dab in the middle of the school year, and just got through the dreaded month of January.  As you may remember...January and I never really got along. Historically, January has been a total beyotch and somehow managed to last twice as long as other months.  Although I must say that this year, we played nice together in the sandbox.  This year it seems January and I worked out some of our issues via more empathetic communication, and copious amounts of wine.  So while I may not be ready to wear January's letter sweater, I may be able to call her a "friend".

So since the last blog...which I believe was the great Shopkin Rant of 2016...we've maintained our little circus here with what I'd like to say is some level of decorum.  The Science Fair is coming up, and this year BOTH kids are signed up.  Both.  Today is February 1st.  The fair is on February 13th. Nothing has been done.  Ben is doing his project on Dinosaur Extinction, and Lauren is doing hers on German Shepherds and why they're a top choice for police dogs.  Nothing. Has. Been. Done.  Look.....


HASHTAG- Motheroftheyear

This oughta be an interesting Science Fair.  Stay tuned.  We may just show up with this...



I like to imagine how something like that would go down.  Has anyone ever done anything so belligerent at a Science Fair?  Or would we go down in Science Fair History?  If you look closely, there's a miniature thermometer in both "projects" you know it's very "Scienc-ey"...

And now that I'm back to blogging....I'll leave you with this... "MOM BLOG TUTORIAL FAIL" filmed at my house a few weeks ago....

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dear Shopkin People, Eff You

Dear Shopkins Makers,

I'm equal parts impressed and disgusted with the spectacular stupidity of your absurd product coupled with the wild popularity it has gained in recent months.  I mean, let's call a spade a spade here.... It's fucking ridiculous that your plastic grocery items that do absolutely nothing but serve as something else for my kid to lose and cry about are selling like hotcakes.  Stores can't even keep these fuckers in stock.  I saw a brawl break out recently while Christmas shopping as 2 parents grabbed for the last "season 3" shopkin set Target had in stock.  WHAT DO THEY DO????  No, tell me....what's the fucking point??  Are you lacing these things with powdered crack whereby our children are becoming addicted to these small heads of lettuce or green apples that do nothing as they hold them close to their little faces????  I can't keep my kids interested in an amusement park that long....yet somehow they sit for hours obsessed with a half an inch of plastic nothingness?????   An avacado with a dumb ass look on it's little plastic face?   And when they're not playing with the little figures, they're watching the Shopkins on YouTube!  Little hands moving the Shopkins around while a voice in the background takes on a Shopkin persona. And there are seasons????  Oh, remember back in Season 1 when Corn got jacked up on Hennessey and made some bad decisions?  What the fuck is wrong with everyone?????  And us parents....spending a a hundred bucks on a set of these things....C'MON, how much do they cost for you to make?  .08 cents?   That's like a 2 million percent mark up.   Kudos, Shopkin people....I applaud your success on this absurdity.  This is the dumbest shit since the Pet Rock.  Touché.  One day we'll wake up from our collective Shopkin obsession and feel stupid for having punched a fellow parent in the head on Christmas Eve while shopping for the Mystery Shopkin set from Season 3.
What's next in this foolish plastic franchise??  I see you've moved on to office supplies and clothing accessories.  Oh I know, how about an "Adult" line of Shopkins?  Sex toy handcuffs and dildos, some KY?  Condom Shopkins?  Little plastic pregnancy tests?  Booby tassles?
And to add insult to injury, my dog is currently chewing on a shopkin kumquat as I write this.  Great, I have to buy more so my kid's aren't ostracized from the school playground for not have season 69.  Eff you, Shopkin's people....and you're little produce, too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Summer of Exile

I'm baaaackkkk!!!!
So, it's been a few months... Where have I been?  Well...It's a very complicated case..lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta "what have you's".  Evidently the kids & dogs got together and plotted an uprising a week into the summer vacation.  Apparently, they all decided I wasn't properly amusing them so they decided to go rogue & lock me up in the basement.  The 4 of them then proceeded to play on their iPads for 2 months straight. Because that's what "fun" is these days.  Obviously I'm a terrible mother.. Planning day trips to the beach and rainy day trips to the museum.  How dare I tear them away from minecraft and YouTube?  For endless hours Ben watched someone named "Dan" talk about mine craft in an Australian accent, while Lauren watched mysterious hands unwrap Shopkins with a delicate voice narrating which "season" each Shopkin was from. Confused? Ya me too.  Lauren has since announced that I should set her up with a YouTube account so that she can start making her own YouTube videos.  File under: not gonna happen.

Both kids are now in school full days-Lauren in first grade and Ben in kindergarten.  While they're both enjoying school, Ben has some tough mornings parting with mommy.  You know.. The old "wrap himself around momma's leg while screaming dramatically at the front door of the school" routine.  Yeah.. I'm no stranger to this.. As last year Lauren pulled the same thing.  Now I'm a seasoned veteran of these shenanigans.. Last year I'd get in my car and cry, giving in to the never ending "mom guilt". This year, after me and 2 school administrators pried Ben off my leg, I headed to my car, cranked Metallica and sipped my Bloody Mary coffee out of my portable mug. 
Funny the difference a year can make.

I've been volunteering at the school for various things.  I'm somehow heading up the "kindergarten family fun night" later this month with a few other moms.  We had to come up with a we decided on "Fall Festival" after my idea of "Wine & Magic Mike movie night" was shot down. is that not educational??  I thought "pin the tail on Channing Tatum" would've been a nice coinciding activity??  I also helped out at school picture day a few weeks ago.  I got a voucher for a free package of pictures for helping out, which was great since I now have 2 kids to purchase pics for and the cost of these things are out-friggin-rageous.  So the night before picture day, I was filling out the form and picking which package I wanted, when the Vodka Tonic I was drinking spilled all over the picture voucher.  Shit!!!  So I went to pick up the paper and it was so drenched in vodka that it broke off into 4 pieces.  In a mother-of-the-year-move, I left it in front of a window to dry overnight, then scotched taped the voucher back together in the morning, folded it up nicely and was able to salvage it for Ben's pic package.  Lesson learned. Obviously the moral here is I should be drinking my vodka from a sippy cup.

We've also instituted a new thing here at home that I like to refer to as "Silly sock day" which is basically where the kids wear mismatched sox everyday under the charade of "being silly and fun" but really just boils down to the fact that my laundry situation has gone off the rails and the first 2 sox I find while rutting around in the clean laundry basket are the ones they're wearing.  In my defense....1) They're clean, 2) They're sox.  

Finally, it's October and as you know my most favorite month of the year.  It's flippin' beautiful and I can't get enough of the spooky decorations and scary movies.  The trees are goreous right now and the weather is your typical "heat on in the morning....AC on in the afternoon"...doesn't get any better than that.  Here's what's going on at my house....

Oh...that last pic is a guy I've been dating...nice guy, has odd taste in food...not a great conversationalist, but his eyes are dreamy.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Say It Ain't So

Embarrasing Confession # 287:  I keep hearing this song on the radio and everytime I hear it I stop & listen..I know the's in my head all the time. So I finally decide to download it from itunes and upon doing the search, I realize the song is by One Direction.  What in the actual fuck???  I like "Night Changes" by One Direction?  How can this be?  I hate myself for this.  So I quickly close out of iTunes without downloading it, and throw my iPhone into the Connecticut River before anyone can find evidence that I actually searched for that song on my phone.  I then called AT&T and asked them to shred all their phone data records for the last hour and to change the name on my account to "Jane Smith" just in case.  Ok, partially kidding on that last part... but really - this is worse than the time I realized I liked Taylor Swift.  So over the next few days, I hear it and turn it off an attempt to deny my love of the song "Night Changes".  Finally, as I was driving up to Boston on Saturday to see my mother, I gave in and let myself listen to it.  And sing.  Loud.  Ok, ok..I admit it...  I like a One Direction Song.  There, I said it.  I've since downloaded it and have enjoyed listening to it on repeat 632 times.  I now have to download Metallica's "Master of Puppets" in it's entirety in order to offset the lone One Direction Song.

Now onto shenanigans that involves embarassing my kids instead of myself...
Here's a overview of Ben's week... Last Thursday he fell running up the 3 steps from the famiy room to the kitchen and hit his chin on the edge of a step.  His chin opened up, he freaked out and off to the emergency room we went.  It took 4 Dr's, nurses & me to hold him down because he was NOT about to let anyone touch the chin.  3 stitches later (and a case of PTSD for mommy), he walks out and proceeds to tell everyone about how it was no big deal and it didn't hurt.  HAHA!  The day he was set to have his stitches out - 6 days later - we were at a field trip for his preschool at the Olive Garden where Ben took a bite of pizza and lost his first tooth.  It was an exciting moment...all his little preschool friends "high fiving" him.  So I put the tooth in a cup (which he carried around all day to show everyone we encountered - including the Dr who took out his stitches) and I warned him like 67 times NOT to lose the tooth, because then the tooth fairy wouldn't come.  Flash scene to 6pm - he had the tooth by his side in that cup (or so I thought) as he watched his after dinner TV show, when I hear him start crying.  By the time I got in there he had worked himself up into a full on frenzy.  When I asked him what happened, he said "Mommy I'm SORRY!!!  Don't be mad, Mommyyyyyy!", and I assumed he had misplaced the tooth. Ok, not the end of the world, right?  So I ask him what happened to the tooth, and he says "I stuck it up my nose"...then breaks down into a sobbing fit of hysteria.  HE STUCK HIS TOOTH UP HIS NOSE!  I literally laughed so hard I cried.  I can't make this stuff up.  So I immediately call my mom (who is a nurse) and she tells me that if I can't get the tooth out of his nose, we'll have to go to the ER...where we'll surely end up with our own personal reserved parking spot.  Meanwhile Ben is sobbing yelling "this is horrible!!" And then Lauren - who can't handle the magnitude of drama in the situation - starts crying.  So I have 2 hysterical kids - one with a tooth stuck up his nose... which sends me off into another fit of laughter - which probably makes me a horrible mom,  but let's face it - what else could I do?

So I block of one of his nostrils and have him blow out the other (basic "get a foreign object out of your kids nose" 101), and thank GOD the tooth came out.  So that was a few days ago.  Every so often, I'll ask Ben, "What lesson did we learn buddy?"  and he'll say "Don't put a tooth up your nose", very matter of factly.

As the spring arrives in full force, life is good.  I've been focusing on my yoga, meditation & really enjoying the beauty of spring.  As you know, I love going to cemeteries - there's one literally 5 minutes from my house that's absoutley beautiful.  In fact, I'm writing this blog from there right now. I'm sitting on my yoga mat in the sun on a little hill of this beautiful place.  I'm feeling blessed and lucky.  I'm exactly where I should be even though it's been a tough road to get here.  Change is never easy, but sometimes absolutely neccesary for growth.  As the sun shines on me and my Dunkin Donuts ice coffee today, I feel blessed with all I have and most especially my awesome mom & sister who have been my rocks in times of need or to text about our obsession with the show "Pretty Little Liars" which is what I'm currently bingewatching.
Well, HAPPY SPRING!   Tip of the day = don't stick anything up your nose :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Welcome to Fantasy Island

Sometimes I wonder how personal to get with my blog... Do I keep it light? How much do I put out there of my own story?  It's a fine line... And generally I enjoy relating funny stories about parenting
or my Seinfeld- esque life.  I like to laugh and try not to take life too seriously- but let's face it, we all have times in life where no matter how much we don't let things affect us... Sometimes they just do.  We find ourselves in a situation that's just hard to make light of.  It's life.  Sometimes we're riding that wave of life and the wave takes us in a direction we weren't expecting and don't like.  And the wave crashes us into the shore leaving us broken and bruised and we look around for a boat or any kind of raft (even those little neon plastic arm floaties would do) so we can get back to where we were before, but there's nothing but the little island we've been left on and a mean looking stormy ocean.  So we have no choice but to swim the stormy sea with no boat or life jacket and it's really scary.  It's dark and stormy (isn't that the name of a drink? Dark & Stormy? Note to self: look into how to make that) and vast- yet, somehow you know through out the entire haggering experience that you'll somehow be ok, and you have faith that the ocean, though it will knock you around in the process, will eventually lead you to a sunny, beautiful tropical resort where there's a cool reggae band playing and Mr. Rourke from Fantasy Island will be waiting to hand you a fruity drink with a little umbrella in it.

Well, I've been in the ocean for a while, but the waves have settled and the sun is peeking though from behind the clouds and I have one of those plastic tube things with a big ducky on the front...

(beggars can't be choosers).. And I'm just yards away from the tropical island and I can see Mr. Rourke waiting for me with the umbrella drink :).  I'm hoping to stay at this resort for a while... I need to soak up some sun and I hear there are shirtless cabana boys with tight black pants and nice tans there to fan guests with those big leaves... So... Yeah.

And things in life always show up when you need them most. Yoga has been such an awesome  outlet.. This teacher training couldn't have come at a better time in my life.  Speaking of which, it will be over in May!!  I can't even believe it!  It's been such a journey and I will miss it.  I've been aiming to practice yoga 3-4 times per week.  It keeps me sane (or as sane as is possible for me :).  Meditation.. Although I'm still working on "quieting the mind".. Has also been a great tool.  When I can stop the mental buzz for even a few moments, I'm amazed at what I find & figure out about myself.  It's a work in progress, but when I can go 3 minutes without singing either a Taylor Swift or Fresh Beat Band song in my head- I consider it a success!

And I'll leave you with an amusing story that will surely inspire you to vote for me as "Mother of The Year"...
So I can have a potty mouth.  I mean... I keep it in check most of the time, but I've been known to wait until the kids go to bed so I can freely use my bad words. Maybe it's a Boston thing..who knows?  Anyway, I'm ever so careful around the kids of course.. But on occasion I slip up.  And it's never outright blatant- it's usually under my breath when I'm frustrated.  Well, my children don't miss a thing.  They're like little super sleuths..  Nothing gets past those 2.  So apparently one day as I was emptying the vacuum into the trash, it spilled over and went everywhere and I said.. "this fucking vacuum!!!"  And I honestly didn't think anyone heard it, but I guess Ben did.  He heard it, and stored it in his little head and waited for an appropriate time to use it.  So days later, as I was vacuuming the living room, Ben was jumping on the couch and I told him to stop and get off, to which he replied "No Mommy! I won't get off so you can fucking vacuum!"  He assumed the 2 words went together.  I was horrified and amused all at the same time.  I sent him to his room for using naughty language and then explained that mommy said a bad word and that I shouldn't have said that, but it was a mistake and I wouldn't say it again!  Then I secretly laughed to myself and vowed to be more careful.  But I'm holding my breath and hoping the next time he sees a vacuum it doesn't trigger anything :).  Me and my potty mouth!! (Sorry mom & dad!).  

Of course now I want to end this blog with "Have a great fucking week" :).  But I won't.  Instead I'll say Happy Monday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

There's a Sock In My Orange Bowl

Ask, and you shall receive... I had to go and ask for snow in my last blog, and here we are.  It's been basically snowing nonstop, with like 18 feet of snow on the ground and another foot or two coming each day.  Ok, that's really dramatic- but seriously it's ri-goddamn-diculous.  Winter is here with a vengeance.  The snow days are piling up, and there's only so many art and science projects I can do to keep the kids entertained before we end up watching Frozen again, or taunting Siri on the iPad for fun.

The other night we were reading a book before bed, and the kids started asking cute questions about when they were babies.  We looked at some old pictures and they wanted to know how we came up with their names and what other names we had considered.. So I told Lauren that we always knew she was going to be Lauren Allison and the only other name we really considered was Allison Grace.  Lauren informed me that we made a good choice and that she likes her name, but wanted to know why we hadn't considered the name "Rainbow".  And she was really perplexed by this, as if it was the logical 3rd choice after Allison and Lauren.  I'm guessing this has something to do with her love of My Little Pony's "Rainbow Dash".

Ben was then excited to hear about how his name came to be.  Then funny thing with him was, as soon as I found out I was having a boy, I already picked out the name "Nicholas".  I loved that name and was 99% sure that would be his name.... Until he was born.  He just didn't look like a Nicholas.  As we got to know him over the next day (yes, he was unnamed for an entire day while we mulled over the perfect name).. Suddenly he was Benjamin.  It seemed so obvious - yes, Benjamin:).  Benjamin Ryan.  And it was the perfect choice for him :).  Hearing his story, Ben has requested I call him "Nicholas" sometimes just for fun.  Which of course got Lauren to thinking she'd like to be referred to as "Rainbow".  At random times now in the grocery store or out in public, they'll insist on me calling them "Rainbow & Nicholas"...  Sure, why not.  Hop aboard the crazy town express... Rainbow & Nicholas will be your hosts.

Benjamin/Nicholas/Bunny actually just celebrated his 5th birthday last week.  We had his birthday party at one of those bounce house places over the weekend which turned out to be lots of fun.. 

Ben and his preschool classmates got to run all their pent up energy off after being couped up in the house for what seems like months.. You could hear the collective buzz of energy from the 20 kids as they ran and bounced and screamed.  If it were possible to bottle all that energy, you'd have a proprietary concoction for an insane energy drink that would surely rival Red Bull.  Although the party was a success, I woke up at 3am the night before and realized I'd forgotten to put together "goodie bags".. (Insert collective gasps of disgust here).  The party started at 10am so I had 7 hours to figure this out. Upon a Google search, I found many forums where absent minded moms just like myself had found themselves in a similar predicament.  At first I thought it might not be a big deal to forego the party bags altogether... But then I started reading, and this is like a whole "thing".  Throw everything you thought you knew about parenting out the window and heed this one piece of advice: DO NOT even attempt to host a 5 year old birthday party without a party favor of some sort, or else you'll have anarchy on your hands. It's simply not done.   I'll spare you the painstaking hours of research I did by telling you that it's acceptable to give just one nicer party favor that ties in with the theme of the party versus putting together an actual bag of "goodies".  If this isn't life changing advice, I don't know what is.  So since Ben's cake was Hot Wheels, I picked up 25 Hot Wheel cars and let each child chose one to take as they left.  It was a success and to the best of my knowledge there were no scuffles in the parking lot between party goers who didn't get the Hot Wheel they wanted. Whew!

Lastly, if you're wondering about the title of this blog, it's as simple as this:  there's an actual sock in my orange bowl.  Don't overthink it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January Blues and a Yummy Cajun Shrimp Recipe

Well, here we are.  It's January again, and as promised, it's bleak and gray.  I'm not going to mince words here... I don't like January.  It's hard to wrap my arms around.  It's not even snowing.  If it's going to be Janurary, bring on a snowstorm.  A REAL one - none of this whimpy 2 inches stuff.  Give me a blizzard!!!  At least then, it's pretty and we can go sledding and enjoy the outside..and make awesome fires (in the fireplace, of course)..and stay in and not have to worry about getting the kids to school.  I can embrace that.  But we're not even getting snow -instead it's cold and gray and BLAH! I've managed to get out for a few hikes with Molly despite the weather, but for the most part - once Christmas has come and gone, winter loses it's luster....

^^Truer words were never spoken.  If I could somehow finagle it, I'd go to Florida and live with my sister for the month of January.   But then we have all the pesky details - like the kid's going to school and my roving gang of animals.  I have visions of my sister coming home from work one Janurary day to find I've moved my llamas into her 2nd bedroom.  Kidding - I don't have llamas...but it's a lot of fun to type.  Llama.  2 L's.  Why not just one L?  Lama.  Get's the point across.  Who thought the 2nd L was necessary?  Losing an L in no way compromises the integrity of the word.  When saying the word, it's not like people are going to know you dropped one of the L's.   In fact, when I say it, I ALWAYS secretly drop one of the L's.  To this day, I've never had anyone call me out on it.  So...'s January.

As mentioned in a previous blog, in an effort to entertain ourselves, Brian & I have been using Lauren's Frozen karaoke machine.  Things have totally gotten out of hand.  We have it all set up in the Family room with youtube connected to the Chromecast on the tv so we can read the lyrics to basically any song we want.  It's gotten so that the kid's are requesting that we "do songs" before they go to bed.  Yep.  It started off innocently enough... doing the usual karaoke songs - Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive", Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home"...  And then one night we started to look for more exciting songs.  Brian started exploring his "thug rap" side and wound up doing "Tricky" by Run DMC.  I thought it would be fun to do some AC/DC and somewhow ended up singing the classic "Big Balls" complete with a britsh accent.  Which is, of course, a song about ballroom dances.  By this point the kids were in the other room playing and we figured they were none the wiser.  So the next evening when they asked if we could do songs, Ben asked if I could sing the "Big Balls" song - totally assuming it was about soccer balls.  Things have gone off the rails here... 

The other thing I'm totally obsessed with now is bingewatching "24"...ya, I realize I'm like 10 years late to that party - but we recently discovered it on Netflix and Kiefer Sutherland has since moved into my living room.  I love being really into a show and being able to watch 3 seasons in a week.  The instant gratification is SOOOOOO wrong and yet so right.  And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go feed my Lama.  I'll leave you with a recipe I made last night - Cajun Shrimp & Crabmeat bake in a Montery Cheese sauce..

Here's what you need:

1 pound cooked shrimp (I buy the precooked frozen)
12 ounces of flaked crabmeat
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tablespoon butter
1 cup cooked long grain white rice
4 cups torn baby spinach - stems removed
2 tablespoons flour
1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded montery jack cheese 
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped scallions

Thaw shrimp and put aside.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a large skillet cook the green pepper, onion, celery, spinach & garlic in 1 tablespoon of butter for 4 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl and add in the cooked rice.  Stir to combine.  

In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour and cajun seasoning and cook for 1 minute while constantly stirring.  Stir in milk and cook until thickened and bubbly.  Reduce heat to low and add montery jack cheese.  Stir until cheese melts. Mix in with rice mixture and combine well. 

Lightly grease a glass baking dish (15 x 9).  Pour mixture evenly into dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.  Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions.