Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Smidge: Sliced Bread or Smelly Fish

I’ve mentioned Smidge several times now (if you don’t believe me see here - #75 - and here, and here, and here, oh and here too) but some of you are still like “Who’s Smidge?” I thought it best that she introduce herself so you can truly understand why this girl is my best friend. Also, she’s a fabulous story teller as long as no shiny objects get in her way so it seems a shame to deprive the world of her awesomeness. I mean, it would just be selfish of me to keep her all to myself. SO! I finally convinced her that she should guest post for me while I basically ignore my own blog and continue to try to convince her to start her own so without further ado….ladies and gentlemen, I give you SMIDGE!!!

Growing up I always thought sleep overs were a ton of fun. Spending the night away from home, staying up late playing games and eating whatever junk food you could get away with. But eventually the night would turn to day and my mom or dad would call to tell me they would be over soon to pick me up. Wanting the fun to last a little while longer I would ask to stay and hang out, but my parents would always say "you know what they say about guests and fish". For those of you who don't know this little gem from the great Mr. Franklin they say that both start to stink after 3 days. So when Lily suggested that I write a guest post on her wonderful blog my first thought was “dude that would be awesome!” I'd get all the joy of writing a post without all the work and worry of having to keep a blog updated. For me this is the best of both worlds. But then I heard my mom's voice reminding me that guests aren't always welcome and I began to have doubts. Would people who have come to read the latest escapade in the life of the mom next door really want to read about little old me instead? Would anyone out there really care about the thoughts bouncing around my head? But Lily is a very convincing person (if you don't know this already) and she insists her readers are going to think I'm a hoot. And being the push over that I am I agreed to write a few guest posts for her just to see how it goes. So here you are readers, my first guest post, with the possibility of more to come. I don’t really expect to produce the greatest thing since sliced bread but I hope I can at least put a smile on someone’s face. And you guys will just need to let me know if you start to smell something fishy. Here goes...

Even Tom Boys like to feel pretty
My poor mother, she had 4 daughters and we’re all Tom Boys. Growing up I always had scabby knees and dirty feet (shoes in my option are over rated). She tried so hard to get us to appreciate the joys of shopping and putting on makeup, but it just never quite stuck. For me having to go shopping for new clothes is right up there with root canals and jury duty (something that you should ALWAYS try and get out of). But you see I’m an Amazing big sister so last week when my sister was complaining about having to go shopping for a new dress (she has a wedding to go to) I told her I would brave the outlet mall with her, and hoped that would make the whole thing go faster. When shopping it’s important to have a battle plan, in my family it’s divide and conquer. This means once in the store we split up and pull cloths we think will work for both of us and meet back at the dressing room to try them all on. Clothes are passed back and forth until the floor is littered with the fallen, and we want nothing more than to punch whoever designed this seasons latest fashions, cause they NEVER fit normal looking girls!! (I’m sure a lot of you out there know how this goes). On this trip only one of us needed a dress so I thought I’d get out of the horror of looking at myself in the mirror in ill-fitting clothes but my sister had other ideas. After several failed attempts to find something, she handed me one of the discarded dresses and told me to try it on. I reminded my dear sister that I didn’t need a dress but she didn’t seem to care. So I put on the cursed thing just to get her moving again. When I came out for inspection my sister took one look at me and said “oh you look like a princess” I, of course, laughed in her face, cause really a princess, come on! But then I looked in the mirror (I even did one of those girly spin things) and by George I did look like a princess!! Despite the fact that I have nothing yet to wear it to I brought that pretty party dress (which was on clearance by the way making it even better). And as they rung me up all I could think about was how proud my mom was going to be.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let sleeping monsters lie

I’ve mentioned before that Babe is not good at going to sleep. This is not an understatement. I’ve tried everything that I can think of to make her go to bed. I think it comes down to the fact that she is just like my mother a night person. She stays up until 11 almost every night and will be glad to sleep in until 8:30-9 if we let her (unfortunately for her we are out the door by 7:30, the latest, every morning). It would be one thing if she stayed in her bedroom and quietly played with her toys. Instead she prefers to come into our room to tell us she needs to pee/get a drink/ask me a question/find her sock/give me a hug/pick her nose/sing a song/bake a cake/read a book/trace her hand on this piece of paper she found/and other typical almost 3-year old stalling tactics. Another possibly scenario is that she climbs in our bed and MUST crawl between me and my husband. She refuses to sleep on the outside and should we be too close together for her to fit she will wedge her sharp elbows and knees into our back until she can pry us apart. She then proceeds to kick us in the face/lay sideways with her head on my ass and her feet on my husband/slap us in the face…I think you get the point. We have learned that when she climbs in we immediately put our leg pillows (we both sleep with a pillow between our knees, it’s good for your back and flailing 2-year olds, don’t judge) in between ourselves and her to form a buffer from her surprisingly strong “sleeping” kicks and slaps. Eventually I get pissed off enough that I get up and bring her back in her room. Which is followed by her following me back to my room. This usually lasts for about a ½ hour before I duct tape her to her bed post scream at her and she cries and then we are all even more miserable then before. Is it bad that I dream about the nights she’ll be sneaking out of the house while we are all sleeping? At least she won’t be physically kicking me in the face.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Glimpses of the teenage years

Yesterday morning my husband and I were in the kitchen doing our normal morning stuff. I suppose we were talking too loudly because from the top of the stairs (2 rooms and 1 floor away) we hear the following from Babe...

What's going on here you guys?


Can you stop talking so I can go to bed here?

(pause again...mind you we aren't talking because we are trying our hardest not to laugh at her)

Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell a mommy girl that I can eat

(doubled over trying not to laugh audibly) (I normally say to her, Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell a Baby girl and baby girls are yummy. I want to roast that baby girl and fill my tummy.)


(Ranger might terrorize her a little bit)

(She then walks into the kitchen)

(rubbing her eyes) Can you guys quiet down so I can go back to sleep?

I can only imagine what the teenage years will bring if this is her thought process at a two year old.


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Friday, May 18, 2012

Conversations with Smidge

Smidge and I just had this conversation.

Smidge: I saw a clown this morning in the subway…like Fully Dressed Clown. Just walking around like he wasn’t dressed like a clown

Me: Like, red nose and all?

Smidge: YUP!!! Red nose, big shoes and just so you get the full picture polka dots on his jacket and pants

Me: Did he have a flower that squirted water? Because really, that makes the clown (in my opinion).

Smidge: No I don’t think he did…MAN does that mean I didn’t see a clown today in the subway, cause that kinda made my whole work day worth it

Me: No, you are entitled to still say you saw a clown. But I feel you’d be at fault if you didn’t at least add that he was a “poor excuse” for one.

Smidge: You know what when I passed him he wasn’t smiling either now that I think of it…ok agreed let’s start over…

I saw a poor excuse for a clown this morning in the subway…like Fully Dressed Clown but without a flower and not smiling. Just walking around like he wasn’t dressed like a clown.

Me: I miss the city.

I’ve decided that “Conversations with Smidge,” just like “Conversations with Bud,” must become a reoccurring event. You’re welcome.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kitty Witty...or Ranger

Soooo, if you followed me on Instagram (@momnextdoorblog – hint hint) then you’d know we bit the bullet and got a cat. An orange yellow cat we proudly call Kitty Witty Ranger. (Why can’t a cat that’s orange be called an orange cat? Why do people insist it’s a YELLOW cat? Can someone explain this?)

He’s very tiny, very ORANGE, very fluffy, and very mean. I love him! Ok, so he’s not really mean but he hisses at us. And bats at us. And has a general dislike for my husband. We lock him in the bathroom at night for fear he will come steal our breath in the middle of the night. (Smidge, maybe you were right, maybe all cats are evil.) But seriously, for being a non-animal person, I’m pretty well enamored with this cat. It has nothing to do with the fact that he likes me best. Can cats be bipolar? One minute he is terrorizing chasing Babe, and the next minute he’ll be curled up on my lap purring and snuggling into me.

Do cats do the whole "establishing dominance" thing? Like babies, cats really should come with owner’s manuals! Hamsters and birds don’t require nearly the level of knowledge that cats require. Who knew? I feel ill equipped but have the determination to get better. That counts for something right? I wonder if they make an “Owning Cats For Dummies” book. Hmm, I should check Amazon.

So yeah, we are struggling to establish our dominance but overall I’m enjoying being a cat owner (who knew!). But like I said, I’m definitely a beginner. Now I know that a lot of you have cats so go ahead and pour it on me. Tell me what I need to know people! Inquiring minds want to know!! 

And all together now...AWWWWW

Puss in Boots anyone? Anyone?


He has 7 toes on both front paws! I love my little inbred kitty!

Yes, my kids are in the bath as I ignore them to capture video of the cat.

But seriously people, give me advice!


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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday 13 - Summer Bucket List

What's Mine Is Yours

I'm linking up with Jennifer (@ What's Mine is Yours) and her friends for their weekly Thursday 13. They've had some really good themes and Jenn was nice enough to give me advanced warning this week so I had time to come up with my own post! (Thanks Jenn!) Feel free to join in too and visit Jenn every week for the next installment. I plan to participate as much as possible.

This weeks theme is "Summer Bucket List." (You know, in case you couldn't gather that from the title and the fancy dancy button at the top.) 

I have high hopes for this summer. I'm hoping it brings new beginnings and the healing of souls. I think each item on my list will help me get a little closer to that goal. 

  1. Run in the rain with my kids

  2. Make a day trip Enchanted Forest Water Safari

  3. Have a picnic

  4. Wear a bikini at the beach/pool AND not be laughed at behind my back (work in progress but it's getting there!)

  5. Draw with chalk on the driveway with my kids

  6. Convince Bud to ride his bike without training wheels

  7. Hike to Piseco Lake (in the Adirondacks)

  8. Visit my cousins on Long Island

  9. Have a professional take pictures of my family playing outside

  10. See a movie (it’s been a while!)

  11. Have a camp out in our backyard

  12. Swing in a hammock with my family

  13. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment at least once a day

Summer seems to go by too quickly each year so I'm hoping I can scratch each one of these off  and maybe even have some unexpected fun times too. 

P.S. I would have had more pictures but Blogger is being stupid so please just use your imagination!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

I gave in

This weekend I did what I vowed I’d never to do. (Hanging head in shame.) But the pressure just became too much. It was too constant and then my mother-in-law became involved and imparted even more pressure. Sometimes you have to choose your battles and I was just too overwhelmed from all angles. Yes, I did it. I took my kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s. (Turning head and sobs.)

You may wonder what I have against this place where a Kid Can Be A Kid. You may think I’m being foolish to deny my kids this basic childhood memory. But have you seen all the news articles about the horrors that happen at this place? What about the family feud at the birthday party? Or the one about the poor little girl left behind? Or the 50-year-old grandmother beaten while attending her grandson’s birthday? Dude, seriously? No thanks. If I want my children exposed to the inhumanity of our existence I will read them the Bible.

But Bud has seen the commercials (damn you successful marketing strategies!) and whenever we drive by our local establishment (and by local I mean 40 minutes away where we do all our shopping) he begs and pleads that it’s all he’s ever wanted to do (!!!). Then! Then it happened. His grandma nonchalantly suggested that she might take Babe and their cousin (same age as Babe) to visit Chuck. Cue meltdown. And cue grandmotherly guilt. Grandma promised she wouldn’t take Babe without him. Wonderful. Only problem is he is in school all day and the point of taking Babe was to have something to do during the day when she watches the girls. Cue parental guilt. Increase parental guilt when my husband said “Oh come on, it won’t be that bad.” Sigh. I seem to be outnumbered. I did try to weasel my way out of it in one last-ditched attempt. You see, my mother-in-law has a very strong Mama Bear tendency that extends to each member of her family.  So I laid out my hesitations concluding with, “See, do you want to subject your grandkids to this?” Unfazed by my attempts she said “That doesn’t happen around here.” Damn. Foiled again!

I gave this much thought in the coming days and finally worked out my plan of attack. We’d go on Sunday. The Lord’s day. Certainly He wouldn’t let mayhem and calamity befall us on His day! I determined that we’d do a little bit of shopping beforehand and not let the kids know where we were going but that they had to be good the whole time otherwise they wouldn’t get the surprise. (I am not above blackmail.) The 17 1 ½ hours we spent picture frame shopping was a real test to their desire of the unknown surprise. They held up remarkably well. Well done kidlets. Well done.

Finally, after spending way more money on picture frames than I’ve ever spent before, I could hold out no longer. Cue doomsday music. On the way there we intended to keep the surprise to ramp up the effect of pulling in the parking lot (yes, we are evil like that). We told them they would be very excited. Bud said he just hoped it wasn’t a restaurant. Of course this made us chuckle. We asked why a restaurant wouldn’t be exciting, wasn’t he hungry? He said no, he was definitely not hungry (liar) and that he’d really rather just go home. My husband, underestimating successful marketing strategies, said “Don’t you want to go to a place where a kid can be a kid?” Cue high-pitched little girl screams (from Bud of course). Later my husband said he didn’t expect Bud to get the reference. Really? Sigh. Anyway, happiness and excitement ensued.

We went in the door and entered into the cordoned off entry area that only highly trained personal or short people can bypass. The velvet ropes. And no one was manning the turret, I mean bouncer hostess station. Now what? (Oh, I should also mention that I am not a fan of going into new situations where I don’t know what to expect or what is expected of me. Give me details in advance please.) I didn’t anticipate needing instructions to experience Chuck. I definitely didn’t expect a gated entrance. My husband and I looked at each other as if to say, “Now what?” Thankfully the bouncer hostess came over fairly quickly wielding her stamper. A stamper? Entrance into Chuck E. Cheese requires a hand stamp much like the bar I went to in college. Excellent. Shall we walk through the metal detector’s next? Thankfully they didn’t find that step necessary (perhaps they should reconsider?). She ushered us through the ropes and left us standing there not sure what to do next. Do we get a table? Do we order at the fast-food looking counter? Where are my details??

The kids instantly hit the games and rides. Babe mostly stuck to the car rides and the games of chance (pull the lever and push the button to see how many tickets you win) but Bud explored everything. My husband and I? We schooled the kids on skee ball when they allowed us to use one of their tokens.

Overall, it was a fun time and, thankfully, there was no mayhem or calamity. I do think most of that has to do with being there on a Sunday. There was one birthday party going on and that was it (no family feud in sight). When those kids did the cake thing Bud and Babe had the place entirely to themselves. Can’t complain about that! What I will complain about is the prize picking process. But that’s a whole ‘nother post!

So there was no gun violence or kidnap victims (that I know of). Is it weird that I’m a little disappointed?


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Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Flashback - With a Twist

Don't let this sweet face down!

Ok, my dear readers. I am getting desperate just got inspired. I thoroughly enjoy posting my Friday Flashback’s and I think you have too (don’t burst my bubble, just go with it!). While I would just love to post more embarrassing pictures of myself I seem to have run out. Seriously, I can’t find any more worth posting. (I mean come on, there are only so many traditional Dutch costumes and 80’s spandex one girl can claim.) SO! Where am I going with this you ask? I’m begging turning to you! I’d love it if you’d be willing to share any crazy “oh my God, I can’t believe I looked like that” pictures.

SO! Send me your embarrassing pictures, along with the story that tries to explains the photo and we’ll all laugh at you I’ll link to your blog (if you have a blog but it is definitely NOT a requirement – hint, hint Wench and your sisters) and we’ll have a grand time! GRAND I tell you!!!

I hope you’ll join me in embracing our awkwardness and poor choices! Come on, all the cool kids are doing it!

Send pictures to and I’ll be your best friend forever!!


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And all I got was this lousy photo

This is where I want to be. 

Instead I’ll live vicariously through my parents. Yeah, they are vacationing in Hawaii right now because my mom is a hotshot banker and gets invited there for a “conference.” Jerks!

(And those are my dad's legs. I didn't want to give the impression my mom was one of those "hippie" chicks that doesn't shave her legs.) (Although she does go to a witch doctor soooo...)


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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Conversations with Bud

Bud: Dad, do you know what busik means?

My husband: Guess I've never heard of that word before.

Bud: Well there are two kids littler than you that know what busik means.

My husband: Busik? I guess I don't know. What does it mean?

Bud: You know when you're on th
e bus and you get sick? That's busik.



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