Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Flashback - Halloween edition

My Flashbacks are usually of me, and while I appear in this picture, I think we can all agree that there is a certain bandito that steals the show.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Better Than Amateur


I started to get ready to post my Friday Flashback. Except it’s not Friday. Boy that sucks!! The Flashback will have to wait for tomorrow but since I’m all discombobulated and have been really slacking with the feature I was oh-so-excited for just a few weeks ago I figured it’s time to finally post my Better Than Amateur photo prompt! Yay for proscrastination!

So I imagine you all forget what my prompt was (I don’t know why you would, I mean, don’t you commit everything I say to memory?)(Umm, actually, that would be helpful if you could commit everything I say to memory and then you can remind me of stuff. Thanks.) so I shall remind you. It was to take a picture of something inanimate that has special meaning to you.

For me, it’s my backyard swing.

When my husband and I were starting to look for houses we came across the perfect spot. It had a ton of land, lots of privacy, and although the house wasn’t anything spectacular it was big enough and had a few perks. One of those perks was  big swing in a big oak tree in the backyard. I feel in love. I’ve always loved swings (my next goal is a porch swing…but first I need a porch) but seeing that swing in the backyard made me know instantly that whatever house we bought I needed one of those.

We didn’t end up buying that house but I never forgot about that swing. And because I have an amazing husband he never forgot about it either. Shortly after we bought our house, during a routine shopping trip to our home away from home (Lowe’s), he picked up all the fixin’s for a wonderful rope swing. When we got home he pulled out his giant extension ladder and hung it for me.

My lazy days of summer are not so lazy for my husband. Every chance I get I make him push me on the swing (we can’t pump ourselves because it’s too low to the ground – I insisted it be low enough so Bud and Babe could use it with ease, now we are lucky we don’t scrape out butts as we swing. Whatever, I have a fun swing. Stop judging!)

Although I freely (proudly and loudly) admit that I have so much fun on that swing, the thing that brings me the most joy is knowing my kids are making childhood memories on it. (Like last summer when I twisted Bud so much that he got so dizzy and threw up. Seriously. We had macaroni for dinner that night and he waited until we were inside on my carpet. Thank God for Berber and Resolve carpet cleaner!)

If you'd like to join me in my quest to become Better Than Amateur please take a picture about something inanimate that has special meaning to you and then write about it and tell me. If anyone wants to join me in this quest I will figure out how to do a link thing and it will make me feel all special. Feel free to grab my Better Than Amateur button on the side bar to add to your post.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This weekend we noticed Bud was spending a lot of time wrapped up in a blanket. At first I was totally oblivious, until my husband clued me in. My boy is apparently a pervert discovering parts of his body. Desperately trying not to laugh I explained to him that it was not ok to play with your peepee, especially when other people are around, and he certainly wasn’t fooling any one by wrapping himself in a blanket after his father explained to my naïve mind what 5 year old boys do under blankets.

I thought we explained well enough that it was not an ok behavior. Apparently I was wrong. This is what came home in his daily folder yesterday…

In case you can’t read the picture it says:

“I’ve noticed that Bud has been putting his hands in his pants. Today he was sitting on the fish carpet with his pants to his knees and his shirt pulled way down. If you would remind him at home, I will remind him at school. This is a common interest of boys his age."

I'm glad they don't have detention in kindergarten. 

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Monday, October 24, 2011


Sometimes I wish I could keep my mouth shut and stop trying to be so damn nice. Being nice just gets you into trouble! Trouble, such as all of a sudden inviting 17 people over for dinner after trick-or-treating. Good job Lil, good job!!

(I should preface this story with a little background information. I live in a rural area and most people live outside of the village—we live in the village—so when it’s time to trick-or-treat most people have to drive in and then walk around town – or they just keep driving from house to house. Really. Sigh.)

It all started innocently enough at a baby shower on Saturday, “Hey M, why don’t you bring your son trick or treating with us again like we did last year? I’ll make pulled pork so we can eat when we are done.” Great plan! A nice, easy dinner with good friends after the cold walk of trick-or-treating.

Then another friend who lives outside of town asked what we were doing so I invited her as well. As I was saying “come to my house” I realized that she comes as a packaged deal with her sister-in-law (luckily I really like the sister-in-law and her kids) so I had to say “And, of course, B is welcome to come with her kids too.”

As I was leaving, the preggo mama (who also has a daughter a couple of days older than Babe) asked what we were doing for Halloween (at this point I feel I should mention that I was invited to this shower more because I’m friends with all of her friends, less because I’m friends with her.) and now that I just invited three of her good friends I can’t NOT invite her! Don’t get me wrong, I like her too and am happy that they want to go together but WHY OH WHY did I have to open my big mouth about dinner?? And now I’m going to be expected to decorate! I don’t DO decorations! Last year I was lucky we got those fake spider webs on our front porch. Honestly, I was hoping to avoid that this year. Now I’m going to have at least 17 people (I say “at least” because knowing me I won’t keep my mouth shut and I’ll manage to invite even more people) and they are all going to be hungry!

If you've been reading me long enough you know that I am NOT a fan of making dinner, NOR a fan of hosting parties. I suck at both and honestly I'm a little panicky at the idea. I wonder if they'll notice if I serve candy as the main course?


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Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Flashback

After volleyball last night (which was super fun and we KICKED BUTT!) my friend’s daughter was doing some of her cheerleader moves (like toes touches and pikes). Never one to be outdone by a middle schooler, I kicked off my flip flops (and yes I had socks on. Didn’t you know it’s ok for “athletes” to wear socks and flip flops after a game?? It is!) and started showing her up with my toes touches and pikes. (Yes, I can still actually do toe touches and pikes. I even got more height than her. I was a gymnast until I was 10! Gymnasts can do stuff like that!. Then I started taunting her and made her cry. I also pulled her hair and stuck out my tongue.) Now that I’m all in the athleticky (I love making up words) spirit I thought today’s flashback would be a great time to break out these gems. I KNOW you are all jealous of those leg warmers...and the belt!!

Bonus points to anyone who knows why "as a gymnast" I'm wearing the belt.

 Please make note of the walkman in my sisters hand. We were both uber-cool!!!

You may also find the setting of these pictures familiar. Our entry way was a perfect "stage" and we used it for all of our productions! 

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday

So you might not know this about me but I think about some really random crap. (I know! Hard to believe, right!) Most of the time I spare you guys the details but I have come across the perfect platform to spew my mind vomit all across the Internet. 

Thought Vomit Thursdays
 was brought to my attention by Josey
over at “My Cheap Version of therapy”
 (Go ahead and click the link. She’s fun.) I’m really looking forward to this feature and plan to stick with it for as long as I can. Here goes…

So you know I’m busy at work when I don’t post for two days in a row! I hope you survived without me. I’m sure it was really easy hard!

I really don’t even have much to say today but if I didn’t post for a third day I was afraid the Earth would stop spinning, or the rains would come and flood the Earth, or dinosaurs would rise from the bowels of the Earth …or something. I couldn’t chance destroying humanity just because I am a little busier than usual. That would be really inconsiderate of me. You’re welcome.

Oh, I should also mention that I haven’t forgotten about my Better Than Amateur photo prompt (I’m too lazy to link it here; you can find it in my archive if you feel compelled to read that awesome post again). I finally got around to taking my pictures yesterday (this is why I didn’t give myself a deadline) but I forgot my camera card today so alas, you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer for the awesomeness that is my photography skillz. (It’s important to spell it with a “z.”)

I’m playing volleyball tonight and I couldn’t be more excited! A friend needs someone to fill in on her team and she asked me to play so they didn’t have to forfeit. I’m still trying to convince my husband to come with me so I don’t have to drive but I don’t know if he will. I’m pulling out the big guns though, I’ve arranged for my friend to bring her daughters who are uber babysitters (I know that’s probably not the most correct use of the word “uber” but I’ve always wanted to use it and you can’t stop me.) so I’m hoping that the fact that they will be there and he won’t have to chase after the kids will sway his decision.

So yeah, that’s about all I’ve got. Happy Thought Vomit Thursday!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NHL, here we come!

“Mom, I wasn’t the best skater out there, but I did really good.” – Bud, after hockey practice.

How can you not love this kid?? I was so proud of him! He had a smile on his face the entire time and didn’t give up, even when he couldn’t stay on his feet for more than a few seconds. Even if he got a little mad when the coach “tagged” him while playing tag on the ice, he still had a really good attitude about the whole thing! (I don’t know who he gets his competitive streak from! It certainly couldn’t be me! Nope! Not at all!) He sometimes gets upset (slight understatement) when he’s not the best at something, or if it’s hard, but he just loves being on the ice so much that he can’t help but smile and have a good time.

As for myself, I took the easy way out and got there early and dressed him in the lobby area. I totally chickened out, but whatever. And I’m really glad I didn’t go into the locker room because I definitely would have gone into the wrong one. When we were there a few weeks ago they used a different one and I definitely would have used that one, instead of the one that they were supposed to use. See! My fear was not without merit. However, I did end up going into the locker room with Bud right before he went on the ice but that was because the coach told me to follow him so he could give Bud more equipment. And yes, there were other mothers in there. Crisis averted. But I’m still making my husband do it from now on!
Overall, it was a very good experience. I’m looking forward to the season. 

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Monday, October 17, 2011

A "Bud"ding Hockey Star

Bud starts hockey tonight! He couldn’t be more excited! We had him put on all his gear last night just to make sure I know what I am doing everything fit. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous. For me. I have loved hockey since I was 10 but I’ve never played anything but street. I’ve never worn fancy pads and equipment so I don’t have a clue about all the intricacies of putting them on properly. My kid will be the one wearing everything backwards and upside down!

And I have to get him dressed in the locker room. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an NHL locker room or anything, there will be other mothers in there (Please God, let there be other mothers in there. Amen.) but I hate feeling out of place and clueless. I will be both of those things, for sure.

I was hoping that I could pawn off locker room duty to my husband but he thinks he’s all important with his new job (he starts today! YAY!) and he’s leaving me all alone to handle Bud’s equipment and making sure Babe doesn’t cut herself on all the sharp skates they keep laying around the locker room! (Insert Home Alone hands on face screaming sequence here.)

I pray know everything will be fine but I always get the jitters when I go into a new situation. I hate not knowing what to do and where to go. To make matters worse, we missed the first practice so all the cluelessness that was expected during the first practice will be that much more obvious when the seasoned parents stroll in tonight.

As long as I don’t walk into the Big Boys locker room and am faced with large men and their cups I should be fine. Right? RIGHT???

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Flashback

Every few months we have a family get-together at my Grandma’s house. (It’s a big deal; there are a lot of us.) My Aunt who lives on the west coast doesn’t get to attend, as a cross-country flight every few months isn’t in the budget. But this time? This time it’s different! We’ve convinced her to make the trip! I can’t even tell you how excited we all are!

I am dedicating today’s flashback to her. How can you not love her??

I really should just call this weekly feature "80's and early 90's Flashback." I'm just drawn to the high fashion of that era. I can't get enough!
(On another note: my parents still have their beach mat like that. And both of those boys are in college now!)

But nothing compares to the high fashion of the 50's!!
(My aunt has always been a fashionista!) 

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Conversations with Bud

Bud: (showing me his piggy bank) Mom, do you see all the money in here?

Me: Yeah, that’s a lot of pennies money!

Bud: I’m going to save all my money to buy a smart phone.


Bud: Yeah, smart phones are so cool!

Me: What do you know about smart phones?

Bud: You can play games on them and make phone calls! They are SO COOL! It’s like your iPod but only better!

Me: (mumbling under my breathe) You’re 5!!

Me: And are you going to get a job to pay for the monthly data package charge?
Bud: But Mom, I already have jobs! I am a police man, a farmer, and a doctor! Don't you remember? (oh, how I wish I could show you how he talked with his hands while he was saying this! No doubt, he has Italian blood!)

Me: You are too young for a phone, especially a smart phone.

Bud: Well, when can I get one? When I’m 6?

Me: When you are a parent you can buy a smart phone.

Bud: Yessss!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better Than Amateur

So, here’s the deal. When I am enjoying a moment of solitude locked in the bathroom while my kids bang on the door I allow myself to dream of becoming a photographer (and also a airline stewardess and a real estate agent but that’s not what this post is about). I’ve decided that I’m going to start a new weekly feature that will let me get just a little bit closer to that dream. (No, I’m not delusional, I do not expect to become the next famous photographer – note to self: figure out the name of a famous photographer – but it’s my blog and I can do what I want!)

I hope you’ll consider joining me in my quest to become “Better Than Amateur” (note to self: figure out how to spell amateur without the help of spell check).

Here’s how it will work. Each week I will post a topic, then go forth and take a picture of said topic, then post it and wow you with my awesomeness. If you would like to join in (every week or just some weeks) feel free to grab the “Amateur” (thank you spell check) button – which I will have the link to on my sidebar as soon as I figure it out. (In the meantime I think you can just copy and paste the image.)

Speaking of figuring it out. Any of you savvy bloggers out there who want to explain to me how I can allow people to “link up” using the button please email me ( I don’t even know if I’m saying it right or even if I understand the concept. (Don’t judge, this is about photography, not being tech literate. Honestly! Sometimes you guys are just SO judgmental!)

So now that all of that is out of the way let’s get down to business. This week’s topic is (drum roll please)…

Take a Picture of…Something inanimate that has special meaning to you. (Sorry, sleeping children and spouses don’t count.)

I hope you'll join me on this fun new adventure!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

That Guy That Found Us

To celebrate the day of "That Guy That Found Us" (or, if you are not familiar with Bud's terminology, Columbus Day) we went for a hike in the Adirondacks. I was a little concerned about how Bud and Babe would handle it (the trail gets pretty steep at times) but they enjoyed every second of it and really did great. Toward the end Babe got a bit tired and cranky but it was nothing a ride on Dad's shoulders couldn't cure!

 I believe his look is saying "Mom, put down the freakin camera and come help me out!!!"

 King of the Mountain!

 He LOVED that the rock was like a chair!

 Bud took this picture. Not bad!

 This was at the top. Thank goodness for the roots!

 They both put their hands on their faces at the same time. It wasn't even planned. I have such cooperative kids!

 A friendly stranger took our picture for us.

 Another Bud picture. Not bad at all!

And another one from Bud. He might have a future!

 My little ham!

Like I said, nothing better than Dad's shoulders!

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Flashback

I blame my sister because she can’t stop me. She was older and made it sound so fun to play a dead girl.

Can you guess what Disney Princess’s we are?

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday

So you might not know this about me but I think about some really random crap. (I know! Hard to believe, right!) Most of the time I spare you guys the details but I have come across the perfect platform to spew my mind vomit all across the Internet.

Thought Vomit Thursdays
 was brought to my attention by Josey over at “My Cheap Version of therapy” (Go ahead and click the link. She’s fun.) Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Here goes…

Did you know that the thick rubber bands that come on fresh broccoli make excellent child locks for your cabinets? I've used only those rubber bands on my kitchen sink cabinets and my kids have never gotten in.

(Thank you husband for attending to my every whim and not asking questions when I text you and ask you to take a picture of our cabinets...and then ask you to retake it so it's closer. You are good to me!)


We had frost this morning. I'm so not ready for frost! Where did summer go? On the bright side, I do love the fall foliage! 


My aunt and cousins came to visit last summer (summer 2010) and after they left we discovered that one of my cousins left a pair of his socks behind. He was starting college that fall so I decided that I would hang onto them and then mail them to him a few weeks into college (who doesn't love getting packages at school??) He is now starting his sophomore year and I still have his socks in my work bag. I carry them with me to work every day. Still haven't mailed them. Maybe he'll get them before he graduates if he comes back to visit me before then.


As you all can see, I changed my background a few days ago. I decided to go all crazy and make even more changes in my life. This time it was my hair. I’ve had long hair forever. I can count on one hand (and not use all my fingers) the amount of times I have cut it short. This time is, by far, the shortest I’ve ever cut it.

I was looking back at old pictures to see if I could find a picture of my sister (she had a similar cut) and I realized that everyone in my family has the same hair. Every single female has had this exact cut at one point or another. It concerns me that my sister had the same style in 1999 but instead of calling it “outdated” I’m going to call it “Timeless.” So without further ado….



Bud's reaction was "Mommy, you look funny" and then later on, "Mommy, you look weird." Thanks Bud!
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