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June 2012

On Pandemonium, Pneumonia and Piss-Poor Plumbing

If you were to ask me what pandemonium meant, B.C. (before children) I would have suggested that it sort of sounds like a digestive aid for pandas. 

Panda.  Ammonium.  Get it?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Beeeeeeeecawse, you see, although I had a weird sense of humor (okay, have) I still would NOT have fully understood what pandemonium meant (literally) and probably even spelled it incorrectly as pandamonium, anyway. 

Then I had kids, someone invented spell check (PHEW!) and, well, I can safely say that...YES!...we NOW live in a constant state of:

  1. any scene of wild confusion or disorder.
  2. the abode of all demons (also see: Hell)

Aaaaand, I am NOT even exaggerating.  Not one bit.

For example, last February:  our new-ish dishwasher broke.  I called for service and then had to cancel the day they were scheduled to come and fix the darned thing, because I ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone.

[A whole lot of other stuff happened, since then, but I'm going to just go ahead and fast-forward right by March, April and May, in and effort to save you some time, or perhaps take a quick pause for a bathroom break, or something, you're welcome.]

Fast-forward to this week:   our new-is washer broke (oh, and yeah, dishwasher is STILL broken, see note regarding March, April and May) soooo, I made an appointment to have both of them looked at, because I am REAL good at multi-tasking like that.

An hour before the service call:  this guy comes knocking and tells me, "Water main down the street is broken, we'll have to turn your water off for 5 hours!" and I burst into tears.  Luckily, he was a very understanding fellow (had a wife at home AND knew something about piss-poor plumbing) and even offered me a tissue or twenty.

Half an hour before the service call:  called to cancel service (AGAIN!) and repair people were all "We have NEVER had to cancel service due to a water main break," and I was all, "Of course you haven't," and "This sort of sh*t only happens to us!"

The next day (Wednesday, of this week, to help you keep up):  service guy calls me, while parked in my driveway (sort of like my husband does, so I was okay with it) to ask if our water is on.

During the service call:  Doctor's office calls to tell me that the results of my youngest daughter's radiology report from two weeks ago confirms -- Hope has pneumonia.   Aaaaand, the service guy is all like, "Don't cry!"  He didn't have any tissues and I was all, like "It's okay, I still had some from the other guy."

Flash-back, two weeks ago:  I was scheduled to work the last day of school in Hope's 5th grade class, except she got sick. Good thing my husband was home from work (took day off for oldest daughter's h.s. graduation, later that afternoon) soooo, he took Hope down to the emergency walk in place.  They took an x-ray, said she sounded fine and probably had an upper-respiratory infection and sent them home with antibiotics.

[Note to Self:  emergency walk in place does NOT read x-rays taken at emergency walk in place, okay, good to know.]

Yesterday:  I called our pediatrician, apologized for cheating on her and took Hope in for an emergency follow-up appointment.

Today:  I am happy to report that Hope is fine (she's well onto the road to a full recovery, thank goodness!) and that the parts for both the dishwasher AND washing machine should be here by this weekend.

A few minutes ago:  the phone rings, I get a text message AND an emergency email ALL at the same time saying,"Water company has experienced a significant pipe failure..."

I don't know what the rest of it said.  I sort of stopped listening after pipe failure. 

Morale of the Story:  I wasn't lying when I said this sh*t happens to us ALL the time!

Ummmmm....can I use your bathroom?!?

EDITED TO ADD (6/30):  Believe it or not, right after I blogged this, Monmouth County (that's us!) issued a state of emergency.  A temporary bridge (courtesy of Hurricane Irene) collapsed, damaging some pipes and contaminating our water supply = boil our water until next week, maybe.  Seriously, karma is PISSED!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Because Some Things Just Shouldn't Be Shared on Instagram

Alternate Blog Title: Happy 11th Birthday...OH YEAH!...and congratulations on that OTHER thing, Hopey!

It's not like I'm worried about embarrassing my kids or anything (recap:  3 of them are teens, enough said!) still, I think to myself...SELF!...think before you blog:

  • Okay, so this cool/funny thing happened.
  • Or that would really make an awesome story.
  • OH YEAH!  The other thing?  Totally blog-worthy, right?

Self:  Okay, great, but maybe people don't give a flying rat's tail about this, or that...OH YEAH!...and that other thing too...and, well, there's always Instagram, right?

BAH!  See what I mean?  All this thinking?  Makes my head hurt.  So, I'm just going to go on faith here and share with you this really blog-worthy thing that happened.

Aaaaand, by blog-worthy I mean:

  • I messed up in some way or another and lived to tell the tale, regardless of the fact that you may or may not give a rat's tail whether I did so or not.
  • I feel someone may benefit, by my messing up and then telling the tale, in some way or another and no more talk of rat's tails, okay?

In fact, if you've been reading me for any length of time (glutton for punishment, eh?) perhaps you've already benefited by my messing up in some way or another and, well, you're welcome!

Still, I promise NOT to go into any great detail (no, it's my pleasure, really!) because, well, it is somewhat of a sensitive subject and I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone or anything.

WARNING:  We are about to head into female territory and the occasional mention of bodily functions may or may not be shared.

Continue reading "Because Some Things Just Shouldn't Be Shared on Instagram" »

A Blog Post NOT About Graduations, Celebrating a Birthday, Anniversary or My Kids

Holly and Mom Graduation 2012 with Pirates
Because everyone loves a good pirate story, right?!?

I know, I know, though it is sort of a BIG DEAL when your oldest kid graduates high school (d'oh, sorry, won't happen again)!

I sort of try to put myself into your shoes (as difficult as it may be, seeing as your feet are so gosh-darned adorable and all) whenever writing one of these here blog posts.

Aaaaaand, all bad grammar, misspellings, incorrect use of puncuations and run-on sentences aside (because, you know, I have GOT to get this stuff out of my head, like, real fast and sometimes the fingers sort of just take over) I figured some people might get sick of hearing about this sort of stuff.

Like, having a kid old enough to grad...d' know...then again, I think to myself...SELF!...this here blog has never really been just about my kids...uh, that is to say...Those Who Shall Be Named People Living in This House (PLTH, for short).

On the other hand, PLTH have provided me with some pretty gosh-darned good blog fodder over the years.

In fact, one could argue that, if it weren't for PLTH, this blog would probably not exist.

How it survived THIS long (9 years, this September, to be exact) is beyond me and -- considering that everyone and their mother is now an expert in social media -- just your being here defies all logical explanation, really.

Thank you for that!

So, without further ado (sp?) I bring you a blog post NOT about graduations, celebrating anyone's birthday, anniversary or my kids.

[moment of silence]

Holly and Me Graduation 2012
1/3 of PLTH and we're STILL smiling.

SNORT!!!  I mean, really, it is MY blog and everything.  Besides, that one (up there, minus the pirate mask) is NOT a kid...not anymore...DAMMIT!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Freshly-brewed Elsewhere:  I am very honored to be working with Hallmark as a Life is a Special Occasion featured blogger, which allows me to share personal stories, insights and inspirations in enjoying simple, every day moments like this month's post about growing up on the Jersey shore (no, NOT THAT ONE!)

Happily Ever After, Everything!

She's quoting her favorite Dr. Seuss: do you like my hat?

Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, the trouble with having so many kids born 2-3 years apart, I never really did sit down and do the math to figure out that perhaps one day we would be celebrating...a couple of major milestones...THAT SAME FREAKING DAY!

Happy Graduation, Hopey!!!
Watch out middle school, here she comes!

So, I thought to myself...SELF!...why not throw one GIANT graduation party the following weekend or something and just be done with it?

Self:  Okay, ummm, but what about Hope's birthday?

Me:  Ummm, what about it?

Then it suddenly occurred to me (thank you, Self!) this year Hope's birthday happens to fall on the SAME day as the graduation party, tentatively speaking of course.

Coming to America 55 Years Later
Coming to America (these 3 escaped Hungary, as teenagers):  my dad (far right) together again with my adopted uncles.

With Father's Day that Sunday (I think, wait, yeah, I'm pretty sure) then the 4th of July (which, as a 1st generation born American, is really a BIG DEAL at our house) a few short weeks after, well, the rest of the family might as well just sleepover, right?

"Don't make yourself crazy, Mom!"

I have a REAL bad habit of thinking out loud.


BRILLIANT!  Further proof that my kids are SO MUCH smarter than I am.  Really.  Then, it rained almost ALL week and I started freaking out (because, I am freaky like that) about having to be stuck indoors with 20+ people.

Happy Everything Party
We have 2 seasons here in Jersey: hot and cold.

So, we broke down and ordered a tent just in case.  Still.  People might want to use the bathroom, or something.  So, I tried to pace myself and spent 3 days cleaning and/or rearranging the house.

Her future looks bright, let's eat cake!

Then, it stopped raining and, well, at least the house is Thanksgiving clean and thank goodness I won't have to do THAT again...not Thanksgiving.

Happy 11th Birthday, Hopey!

Which reminds me (thank you, Self!) I owe this kid a "Happy Birthday" post, but decided to save it for another time (you're welcome!) because, well, I'm still trying to recover know...EVERYTHING!

Oh, and looky what else I made (DID SO!) courtesy of many, many lost hours spent on Pinterest.

Enough said.  In the meantime, if anybody needs me, I'll be upstairs, trying to convince my kids to help me bring ALL the clean laundry back down from off of my bed.

This Full House Bondfire Together
Our own private little after party.

Once they wake up, of course!  Considering today just so happens to be the first day of their summer well...YO!

The end.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Barbie the Verklempt Killer

Having been married for nearly 22 years (wait, that makes me sound way too old) or the entire life span of an average college graduate (ugh, never mind) I feel it safe to say that one of the reasons our relationship works is that my husband Garth (not his real name) and I are total opposites.

One of us is emotional and the other more of an intellectual.  Guess which one?  Go ahead, I'll wait.

If you guessed me as the emotional one, CONGRATULATIONS!!!


You are ABSOLUTELY right in thinking I am less apt to intellectualize feelings and most likely bringing attention to myself (right now, even) showing off my non-verbal communications public.

In other words, I'm probably hugging someone...who does NOT like, let alone even wish to know...hugged...right now.


Sorry.  I just canNOT help myself.  It's in my genes.  In fact, I'm raising a houseful of emotional empaths, we're ALL verklempt up in here.

"You want to come into the school's office with me?"

My oldest girl is graduating high school and my youngest is graduating elementary school this week.

[hand to heart]

Aaaaand, I'm trying really, really hard not to be know...verklempt.

"Maybe you'll see some of your old teachers."

My two oldest girls were home from school (I forget why, although it doesn't really matter, considering these days it's a chore for me to remember their names, moving on) and we (okay, mostly me) thought it would be fun to see if know...remember how much used to be.

"Look, there's your music teacher, Mrs. B!"

We've gone through many, many teachers in the 13 years my kids have attended this school (at least 13, please don't ask me to name them all) however, Mrs. B is definitely a favorite.

"Are you guys still in high school?"

My middle girl pointed to her oldest sister.

"I am, but she's graduating!"

[eyes go wide]

"Now I feel REALLY old!"

I just stood there, nodding my head, not so much because I couldn't think of anything to say (I know, act surprised anyway, okay?) however, teenagers embarrass rather easily (see previous parenthesis) and, well, they're probably already annoyed with me (right now, even) so, I turned my attention to the office staff.

"I wanted to thank you ladies for all of your..."


"...for all of your...


" over the years."

[clears throat]

"Seeing as it's our last year at this school and everything."

[fans face with hands]

"Thank you...[cough]...all...[choke]...for all that...[clears throat] do."

This time, it was Mrs. B's turn to put her hand to her heart.

"Your getting ME all verklempt!"

And so it goes.  I do that to intellectuals.

"Want to watch a movie together, like we used to when you were little?"

My oldest was exempt from all but one of her finals this week (yes, I know, she does NOT get it from me) so, she offered to help sit with my youngest (she's home sick from school, it's how we roll) and then came running back into the kitchen.

[places hand on heart]

"She...[cough]...picked...[choke]...a Barbie...[clears throat]!!!"

Funny, I always thought her more of an intellectual, she MUST get that part from her father.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Sometimes Bonding With the Dentist, Alongside Your Sister, Can Be a Happy Experience

Got Braces
March 2010 (a.k.a. the year they stopped smiling)

Not that I have anything against dentists...personally.  I feel it takes a special sort of something to actually choose a profession that involves looking into and/or tooling around in other people's mouths...on purpose.

In fact, I have personally supported many dental professionals, my ownself -- I've had several root canals, as well as gum graphing and reconstructive surgery in my mid-twenties, due to a long lost and previously unforeseen baby tooth exploding in my sinus cavity (you're welcome!) -- I've helped hone their dentistry skills AND achieve their long-term financial goals.

In other words dentists, or pretty much anyone involved in any aspect of oral healthcare, absolutely LOVED me!

Then, I had children and, well, nowadays, dentists are also very knowledgeable in creating really cool balloon animals and even allow younger kids to play with Mr. Thirsty (a.k.a. the spit sucker) or have several video game systems set their waiting know...for siblings to play with...on purpose.

In other words, my kids LOVED going to the dentist.

Until, they got older and, well, there are many different levels of "It's like a pinch, really" when kids hit double-digits.

Then, they reach teenhood and, well, I swear pulling teeth has GOT to be easier than getting a teenager to smile.

Trust me, having spent a little more than a third of my life waiting in a dentist's and/or doctor's office, I know -- especially, with my oldest girls.

Holly and Heather have endured two years of having their teeth pulled, prodded and realigned to look like "drunken railroad tracks" (their words, not mine) and I had my doubts the Orthondontist would EVER be able know...pull it/them off.


Holly and Heather June 2012
Two years ago, the Orthodontist promised to make my girls smile and boy did she EVER deliver.

BONUS POINTS:  for being able to do so...3 days before Holly's senior prom...the Orthodontist  happens to be a mother, of teens, as well.


© 2003 - 2012 This Full House