Holly

The Gifts That Keep On Giving!

I loved whenever my kids would bring their school projects home and, considering we've had a kid in preschool, grade school, middle school or high school since 1996, we have certainly collected a fair amount of "pretties" over the years.

Every now and again, I'll find a construction paper greeting card tucked deep in between some books or reach for a pen and grab one with a plastic daisy (my favorite flower) taped to the end of it and I'll remember...ohhhhh, yeah...this was the Mother's Day card Glen made me and that is the pen that Hope gave me one Christmas.

Clay pots

In fact, these 4 little clay pots are the first thing I see...every morning...stacked by oldest to youngest, from top to bottom, all dusty and everything.

Ask me what we ate 2 nights ago and I'll give you an epic.........[blank stare]........oh, wait a minute...I just blogged it, like yesterday...haaaaaaaaang...onnnnnnnnnn...okay, it was my favorite go to family meal: Hungarian Beef (Pork, Lamb or Chickent) Stew!

[blink-blink, blows bangs out of eyes, blink-blink]

Soooooo, point being (because I really do have one) I've got a real super-selective memory.

Me: Can I use your really pretty tea-infuser cup?

I've been trying to cut down on my coffee consumption. That's right, I said it! Because I've recently got hooked on drinking loose tea (I blame Melisa!) and I couldn't remember where in the heck I put my little plastic infuser, but found my daughter's really prettiful tea cup with lid and everything!

Holly: You mean, YOUR really pretty tea-infuser cup?

.......[blank stare]........

Holly: I gave it to you for Christmas, 3 years ago!

My prettiful almost new tea infuser cup

Ohhhhhhhh, isn't that niiiiiiice?!?.........[blank stare]........AAAAAAAAND I LOVE IT!!!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Cape Cod or Bust[ed] Arm!

I used to be an excellent planner. Also, very, very organized and a bit of clean freak...with borderline germaphobe tendencies...especially, during the holidays or whenever we'd have company over.

Seriously, my husband's favorite parlor trick was to take a glass from off of a coaster, slide it onto the living room table and then countdown...5...4...3...2... [whispering] ...watch this!

I'd come into the room, place the glass back onto the coaster, wipe the table off with my apron, and then place the cheese platter in the center of the table, alongside a nice pile of coordinated cloth napkins, of course.

Heh. Just kidding. I never wore an apron. And too much cheese gives me gas (you're welcome!). Also, doing the laundry was NEVER my favorite thing...soooooo, yeah...NO CLOTH NAPKINS, EVER!

Aaaaaanyway, then we had kids. Then a couple more kids came along and, well, nothing gets you over being a bit of a clean freak...with borderline germ-a-phobe tendencies...like your baby throwing up...in your mouth.

On the other hand, being a mom HAS helped me get over OTHER stuff, like my:

  • Fear of needles -- having spent nearly 3 years of my life pregnant and having gone through roughly 32 prenatal visits, 24 of them with children in tow, there were plenty of OTHER things to obsess about.
  • The sight of blood -- AND NEEDLES!!!
  • The sight of any bodily fluid, really -- because, BABIES and... [hurl] ...NEEDLES!!!
  • Running out of bandaids -- got hair thingies and a tissue, you'll live.
  • Running late, again -- 4 teenagers, 3 of them girls, enough said.
  • Running out of clean clothes -- see previous bullets, above.
  • Having the house define me -- meh, it could be messier...ME TOO!!!
  • Flatulence during yoga class -- been there, done that, yoga is stupid.

Just to name a few, but the one thing my husband and I have BOTH learned to live with is: NOT planning stuff until...the...very...last... [picks up cell phone, checks time] ...possible...minute.

Which drives some other people crazy, I'm certain of it -- especially, hardcore planning-types (sickos!).

For example: Garth (not his real name), our two oldest girls and I had Labor Day off, so we thought it would be GREAT if we could try...and I mean try, really, really hard...to get away for the weekend...you know...together...at the same time and everything.

"Do you know where we are going, yet?"

So, by that Friday, the younger kids were getting a little excited (and curious) about where we were actually going to try...really, really hard...to spend our mini-vacation.

"Not sure, yet."

Me, too!!!

"But, I can tell you, we'll be travelling either North or South."

[cue house phone]

"Don't freak out or anything Mom, but...."

Typically, whenever one of my children begins a sentence with...Don't freak out...it's really code for...Ya' better pop a pod into the Keurig...because, it's probably not going to be good-ish news.

"I'm in the E.R."

See what I mean?!?!

[fires up Keurig]

Long story, short (on the day we were going to try really, really hard to leave): our oldest daughter was finishing up her shift at work, slipped, fell and broke her arm and...well...good thing they finished wrapping it by the time I got there, because...believe it or not...this was our first broken bone, ever... [knocking on wood, until knuckles bleed] ... and HURL!!!

"Will I be able to travel?"

Even longer story, shorter: she broke her elbow, so the hospital wrapped her arm with a temporary cast and instructed us to see an Orthopedist in a couple of days; traveling with it would be fine, as long as she kept it elevated and iced...the ENTIRE 6 HOURS to Cape Cod...while there...and then back, again.

20140831_141808
remember that time when holly broke her arm and we went to the cape, anyway?

What?!? We take our vacation time very, very seriously...YO!...and it turns out this kid has a very high pain tolerance (yes, totally unlike her mother!), she was an absolute trooper throughout the entire weekend!

IMG_20140830_133200
remember how mommy kept asking her if she was alright and how it made holly absolutely crazy?!?

What?!? It was my first time taking care of a kid with a broken bone, a'ight?!? And her baby sister was much worse, if you ask me, always getting in between us, so I wouldn't bump her arm.

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remember how much fun we had visiting some of our favorite spots and...hey...where IS holly, anyway?!?

Holly DID manage to get in A LOT of quality time...with her dad...and the other three kids didn't seem to mind, sort of.

Flash-forward, this past Tuesday: my husband took Holly to the Orthopedist (heh, yeah, we ALL thought it best HE take her) and I'm NOT going to lie to you, I was a little nervous for her...okay, A LOT!!!...and I prepared myself for the absolute worst news...like, surgery... [HURL!] ... and had my game face on...when they got home.

"Ummm...soooo...how'd it go?!?"

She shook her head.

"You're not going to like this."

She started pulling her arm out of the sling...and...OMG!!!...like, I really didn't want to see it...and....

"TA-DAH!!!!"

I winced.

"Wait, no cast? No bandages? No nothing?"

Turns out, you don't want to immobilize a broken radial bone.

"It's the part that allows your arm to turn from side-to-side."

With exercise and using the sling when out and about in public, her elbow should heal itself within 6 months. YAY!!!!

"Oh, but there's a bunch of blood pooled in between the break...mom...MOM?!?"

Apparently, I still have issues with blood...and flatulence.

The End.

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© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Never trust a mother with a camera.

My two oldest girls are 2 years apart, so Holly was still in diapers when Heather was born, because potty training is hard enough, let alone bringing home a brand new baby sister, thankyouverymuch.

Holly and Heather in the pool!They spent the next 3 years together, as each other's constant playmate, before more babies came along and, well, then it became...EVERYONE IN THE POOL!!!...while other parents looked on (in horror, mostly) wondering what it was like to raise 4 children under the age of 10:  it sort of feels as if you are walking around in a drunken stupor...all day...every day.

Holly and Heather box art.

These two monkeys, however, get the credit for molding me into the mother that their siblings would grow to know, as they each continued to help keep their mother (a.k.a. me) in check.

Even today, although they don't always like each other, they share a lot of the same interests and, now that they're 20 and 18 (ZOMG!!!), they've both grown accustomed to being able to stand up for themselves...as well as each other...especially, when their mother (again, me) is being totally unreasonable about curfews, or going to concerts, that happen to be playing two entire states away and such.

Mothering adults can be quite a sobering experience. Until, realizing that I had accidentally set my cell phone on video and then this funny little gif happened:

Silly Gifs

No matter how much these two grown up monkeys insist that...you know...I knew EXACTLY what I was doing, but don't tell them...m'kay?!?

 ©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, thus far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Teaching our kids how NOT to take a compliment, nailed it!

Teaching kids how to take a compliment

I made a lot of dumb choices, early in life (okay, fine, very recently too) and now that I'm older (never you mind just how old) do I understand that stupid choices, more often than not, lead to making better decisions, later on.

But, don't tell my kids...not just yet...okay?!?

Oh, but I feel it safe to say that anyone who knows me (most especially, IRL) would probably agree:  my husband is an example of a pretty gosh-darned good pick.

But, this post is NOT about him (you're welcome, sweetie!) or necessarily even about me.

It is about my husband AND me, because a bulk of our parenting decisions have been based on stuff that we either:

  • Experienced ourselves, as children
  • We've royally screwed up, as young adults

So, we've tried to raise our children to be all the things that we were/are not and, at the very least, a mashup of our better parts, like:

  • I like to keep things light and encourage self-depricating humor as an art form
  • He is super smart and has good sense, especially knowing when to laugh at my jokes

You know, stuff like that.  Teaching our kids how to take a compliment, not so much.

Continue reading "Teaching our kids how NOT to take a compliment, nailed it!" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

I Don't Always Talk To My Teen, But When I Do, We Text

Some parenting-type experts will agree:  most teens have no idea how to have real conversations, because they are too busy texting on their cell phones.

I am NOT one of these parenting-type experts:  in fact, I really do wonder if any of them...you know...actually live with teens and I'm just going to embrace this moment (sorry, I'm a hugger) and share a little parenting-type secret with you, okay?

Wait. For. It.

Teens do NOT talk:  sometimes, even when they are spoken to, and I most humbly suggest that you just go ahead and not expect any serious eye contact, anytime soon, either -- it'll be easier that way, trust me.

However, most parents also own cell phones and, well, messing with your teens just got better.

For example-type purposes:  my oldest daughter went out with a bunch of girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays, after work.

No biggie, right?

I'm going to add some key pieces of information missing from that sentence:  

  • My oldest daughter is 19
  • As are her girlfriends
  • It was teen night, at a dance club
  • My daughter's shift ended at 8 p.m.
  • She got home at 9 p.m.
  • It took her until sometime around 10:00 p.m. to figure out just which shoes goes best with which top

All "yeah, but she's an adult now" and "she's got a good head on her shoulders" arguments aside (because, seriously, with a houseful of teenagers, the line for questioning my parenting abilities forms to the right) I suspect any attention she does get will most probably NOT be kept, above the shoulders.

  • Text me, no maybes!

Long story, short (I know, too late, but we're already too deep into brain vomit, you're welcome) I pretty much did the same thing at her age (YES, I still remember and never mind just HOW long ago it was) and, well, only really important people walked around with briefcase phones.

Aaaaaand, my parents never slept.

Today, my husband and I insist that our kids remember to, at the very least, text us:  but STILL we are NOT sleeping.

  • 10:03 p.m. -- at Snooki's house (not her real name and don't EVEN!) I'll text when we leave
  • 1:29 a.m. -- Heading to get food now then back to Snooki's (seriously, JUST STOP IT!) house!  All safe and sound 
  • 2:19 a.m. -- change of plans, I am sleeping over Annie's (not her real name, either and this would be funnier, if she had red, curly hair, which she doesn't, whatev!) I'm there now

She did stop home long enough to tell me some quick and amazingly funny stories from last night (seems guys have NOT changed, AT ALL!) and then I got this text after she got into work:

Screenshot_2013-05-17-10-20-42
What?!?  Alright, fine, I don't expect everyone will get the 80's movie reference, but my kids are pretty used to my busting out into Broadway show tunes, too...aaaaaaand, YES!!!...this IS the part where you should start feeling a little bit better about yourself :)

Screenshot_2013-05-17-10-20-55

You know, thinking on it some more, I never DID hear back from her.  Maybe she's just too busy Googling "fly dance moves" right?!?  RIGHT?!?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Stupid parenting-type experts; dumbass 80's catchphrases.

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

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Our Mother/Daughter Weekend, Gone Ugly Cry

I feel extremely lucky to have experienced (what I consider to be) once-in-a-lifetime type moments, via my little corner of the internets and feel very blessed to have a strong online network of friends and peers (yes, they know about it!) most especially, when dissing them during the Type-A Advanced blogging conference in Philadelphia to spend the rest of the weekend, with my oldest daughter.

Me and Holly
it's our first mother/daughter weekend away, can you tell?!?

While my friends Amy Clark and Jo-Lynne Shane fed my inner-squirrel...I mean, what I meant to say was...encouraged my love of Pinterest (heh) and Maria Bailey had me pretty much convinced that I really do need to improve my vlogging skills (or lack thereof), my oldest spent the day taking herself on a walking tour of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia in the SpringtimeWe've been to Philadelphia as a family, but it's been a while since our last visit and this time I did not have to worry about maneuvering through the crowds...with a stroller...yeah, it's been a looooong while.

Later, Holly confessed that she was also much more relaxed, not having to worry about keeping an eye on her siblings and, well, she is (and always has been) more like a mother to them...than I am...apparently, I don't have a very good inside voice OR follow cross-at-the-crosswalk-type rules, very well, either.

Kid is a tyrant, I tell ya!

Even later, while I was checking in at work during a break in between sessions, Holly limped back into our hotel room, and, well, The Franklin Institute is about a 50 minute walk from Independence Hall...one way...just so you know.

I know what you're thinking (maybe), but she didn't want to spend money on a taxi, even though she was wearing the wrong shoes, especially for such a looooooooong walk, and, well, I wonder where she gets THAT from?!?

[face palm]

Even later still, I got a text from Holly:  poolside :D

I texted her back, asking if the water was warm:  no :(

It was an indoor pool, but the hotel had just opened it up the day before, so :( indeed.

Then, the conference came to a close, I headed out to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Philadelphia with my kid.

Holly in her secret pretend victorian garden.

We are both BIG fans of early-American history -- not to mention historical romance novels -- and had LOTS of fun pretending to walk in Poppy Hathaway's unconventional shoes...along the grounds belonging to the roguishly-handsome entrepreneur, Harry Rutledge...an American-born enigmatic hotel owner in London and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life...aaaaaaand...ummmmmmm...what, not a big fan of Lisa Kleypas, eh?

Right.  Soooooo, then we got hungry. 

Dinner in Philadelphia
left: limoncello and prosecco w/strawberries and mint; upper right: cured meat and cheese platter; lower right: warm pear, cranberry, walnut and gorgonzola salad.

Aaaaaaand, boy did we eat!  EVER!!!  The great thing about visiting Philadelphia (or any metro-area city, really) is, of course, the food and we found a little hidden treasure in Pizzicato located in Olde City. 

Mother-Daughter-Weekend
mother/daughter weekends: this is how we do it.

Then came the moment we'd BOTH been waiting for:   getting back to the hotel, ordering dessert and a movie in, where we cried the ugly cry and blew through an entire box of tissues.

"I love...[snort-snort]...the relationship we have...[choke-choke]...and that we could...[gasp-gasp]...do this, together...[choke-choke]...Mom."

Aaaaaand, considering the fact that she knows, that I know, that she knows, I am a total dork (we're BOTH okay wit-it) that right there, my friends, is my MOST favorite part of this ENTIRE weekend and totally worth the over-inflated price of an in-room movie...YO!!!

[lump, meet throat]

On the way home, I asked Holly what she enjoyed most about our weekend away?

[one beat, two beats]

"Taking a nice, long, hot bath WITHOUT having to worry about someone knocking on the door OR the hot water running out."

Yep, she's my kid a'ight :)  She's gonna be a really great mom, one day, don'tcha think?!?

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

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