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August 2006

Summer Vacation - boy toys, dream girls and one rockin’ soccer mom (with bells on!) - Day 65

 

I have a son, who - evidence:  this small space (in the play-slash-laundry room) claimed for his figures and penchant for military history - sometimes thinks living in a houseful of females can be a real drag!

Often times this summer, the girls (there's three of them, btw) will go off and play "story" or have "a dance party" and, more often than not, they do NOT include...a brother.

Don't get me wrong - there are times when at least one of the girls find having a brother can come in handy - even though I believe (and have often gone out of my way to insure) that everybody deserves a little "private time," I sometimes wish I had the balls to try and have another baby!

Because, my husband has insisted his are most definitely (read:  WTF is wrong with you...are you crazy!?!) off limits!

Truth be told - he's the one that had the nerve to bring up the possibility of having...**as bile rises to throat**...a 5th child during dinner on Friday night - my inlaws admitted to feeling the same way, having stated their belief that they're pretty much done with having babies around, too.

My parents?

Well, hell - break out the champagne and the rubber sheets! - there's always room for one more!

 

So, obviously...I can see both sides...and living on the proverbial fence, at the moment...I'm pretty sure that - evidence:  the fact that there just isn't anymore freakin' room, the dog has had to give up his digs to the youngest, already...for the love all things great and really, really, cramped! - Little Man will have to settle with versing (that's what he calls it) Mommy in a battle of...well...every major military campaign, imaginable.

That's what it's been like - ALL SUMMER! - and it's been raining for the last...um...forever...so, I took them to one of our gender-friendly favorite places (read: neutral territory) the book store.

Where's there's something for everyone...

...even if you hate being caught wearing, "stupid-looking-head-phone-thingies"...

 

...because, you're having too much fun rockin' out...

...and...**heavy sigh**...still.

I can't help but feel sad for Little Man - my husband has been putting in god-awfully long hours at work, even on weekends (read: hey, big banking dudes, would it kill ya' to give the poor bastard a day off!?!?) - but, I've been just as distracted.

There's the typical back-to-school stuff to deal with (being Thing Two's last year before Jr. High, Thing One developing way too fast over the summer looking like a junior in high school at 12 and stressing about Mini-Me in full-day kindergarten) not to mention, caring for ailing parents and trying to keep a house (in dire need of repair) from falling down around my ears...along with everything else!

There's just not enough Momma to go around...you know what I mean?

It still makes me sad, but Little Man is going to have learn how to deal...just like the rest of us...and then the phone rings:

"Hey...it's Soccer-Coach-Mom...I'd like to sneak in a quick practice, tomorrow...if Little Man is avail..."

[squeals like girl]
"OMG...oh...he is soooo available...that would be GREAT!...I'm soooo excited...he's gonna be soooo excited...he'll be there with bells on!"

Okay, poor choice of words - but, the woman's a good friend of mine (read:  knows I'm whacked!) and has three boys who have been willing surrogates (of the male sibling kind) in the past.

Running, kicking and screaming his head off is just what Little Man needs - did I mention the fact that two out of three of my girls are also playing soccer!?! - and something that he, Thing Two and Mini-me have in common!

That's something, at least.

Morale of story:  I may not be able to deal with all of the kids, some of the time...but, I can certainly deal with some of the kids...um...I mean...some times the deal is...D'oh...you know what I mean.

Look, I've been doing this mommy-gig for the last thirteen years...and the one thing I've learned is:

"Break out the champagne and the rubber sheets, because I still don't know what the hell I'm doing...and that's okay."

But, I can be one rockin' Soccer Mom - and I don't even need to use any of my husbands balls, either!!

 

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Summer Vacation - sweet sixteen, a magnum of champagne and mooning the Parkway - Day 61

 

Sixteen years ago - I know...I'm old...shuddup! - I was sitting in a white limo, surrounded by taffeta and covered in tulle, cruising down the Garden State Parkway as my soon-to-be-sister-in-law mooned traffic and made me laugh so hard...I sprayed champagne out of my nostrils and nearly peed myself.

Ah, yes...I was truly a vision of lovliness that day...I tell you!

"Aren't you the least bit nervous?"

Nope.

Afterall, I was too busy buying nail polish, picking up extra pantyhose and running about a bazillion other errands FOR MY BRIDESMAIDS, as they (and my mother) sat in my favorite hair salon and got all prettiful, to be nervous.  Much to the amazement of the sales people in Bradless (now defunct) whenever my father felt the need to introduce himself...

"How do you do...I em dee fodder of dee br-eye-duh!"

...to some poor guy buying a shower curtain and a woman picking up a couple of cans of dog food.

He was practicing for later and I told him not to worry too much about his heavy accent - which totally sounds like Bela Lagosi as Count Dracula - and thougt that we'd better hurry, since I was getting married in...like...a couple of hours.

"Damn, how can you be so calm?"

You'd think my maid-of-honor (the aforementioned Parkway-mooner) was the one getting married - the way her hand would shake, everytime she filled my paper cup with champagne - but, we were really good friends before she introduced me to her brother and I guess (after getting engaged two months, later) she was hoping it would work.

I did my hair, finished my makeup and got dressed in record time...still, I can honestly say that I wasn't nervous at all.

Until.

The limo pulled up along side the entrance to the little white church and the chaufferette (she looked so cool wearing a tux!) got out, opened the door for the girls and pumped her arm while, "WHOOT-WHOOT-WHOOT-ing" along with a bunch of buzzed bridesmaids.

My father - looking very dapper in his grey tux and sweating like a man spending his last days on death row - smiled, wiped his forehead with a handkerchief and reached for my door.

I slammed the lock.

[tap-tap]

I sat staring at the back of the driver's side seat and refused to look at the window.
[knock-knock-knock]

I remember turning my head - very, very slowly - squinting as the sun came out from behind a cloud, I looked into my father's eyes and thought how funny...that I would pick this time...to realize...just how blue his eyes really were.

And he looked scared.

I rolled the window down - just a little bit - and we were quiet for a while, before my father finally spoke.

"Mi a baj, lanyom?"

My eyes filled with tears.
"The problem is, I don't know if I can do this, Apu!?!"

He wiped his forehead, again, looked at the church and turned back to the car.

You would have to know my father - and understand that he and I shared the same...um...well, let's just say our relationship was very complex and the mood changed as often as the weather - to really appreciate my surprise at how calm he answered.

"Okay...you don't have to...we can just sit here."

He folded his arms and quietly leaned against the limo for the next few minutes...though, it seemed more like hours.
"Um...I think I'm ready now, Poppie...you can open the door."

He smiled, wiped his forehead and opened the door.
"So, what would you have done...if I wasn't ready to get out...ever?"

He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.
"Nah...you just got nervous...that's all...besides, I knew you couldn't leave the poor bastard just standing there."

I hugged him then and suddenly pulled back, because the back of his jacket was TOTALLY SOAKED IN SWEAT!
"Okay...so, I was scared shitless...but, that doesn't matter now...because, now I'm just really happy you got out of the car...but, now I'm nervous about going in the church...because I can't seem to f**cking walk!"

He took my bouqet, I put his arm around my shoulders, helped him up the bazillion steps and 'till this day...not a lot of people know...how close we came to...NOT making it to the church, on time.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.

After four kids, two cats, one sock-eating dog, enough laundry to circle the planet, twice, and sixteen looong years - most good, a few bad and some really, really bad - I am still very happy, I did...I do...I mean...I'd do it all over again...but, this time...perhaps with a little more champagne and I'd be the one mooning the Parkway!

Love,

F.B.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Summer Vacation - Facing our fears with a little rescue and finding your happy place - Day 54

My son has a terrible fear of bees -- having been the only child to have been stung, ever, and FIVE TIMES in the last summer -- to the point where...if he sees one...no matter how far away...he SCREAMS like a girl...and then pukes his guts up...usually on whatever part of my body he happens to be clinging to for dear life...at that moment.

This is Little Man.

This is Little Man, on steroids.

Any questions?

Not caring for the little stinging suckers, my ownself -- especially yellow jackets -- and spending a lot of time in our big backyard, filled with flowers and a rather large crop of cherries and Jersey tomatoes, I tried to convince my son that he couldn't possibly spend the entire summer...indoors.

My son begged to differ.

"I got Playstation, a television and plenty of oatmeal...OH...YES...I...CAN!"

[heavy sigh]

No, I don't think he's was being weird -- okay, eating oatmeal...IN THE SUMMER...maybe a little -- but, the screaming like a girl thing (and the puking) was getting a bit old and I didn't know what else to do.

So, my husband took matters into his own hands and hung one of these.

I had my doubts -- we have a lot of bees and this looked a little to...you know...friendly, like I'd want to fill it with caffeine or appletinis and hookup by the pool with a couple of friends...or something -- what's this pretty little bag going to do with all these nasty little bees flying around?

 

I don't know if you can tell, but that's a bunch of crispy-critters lying on the bottom of the bag and...DAYUM!...but, if the danged thing didn't work!

Sometimes, we all need a little help in facing our fears - today, it was Mini-Me's turn.

"I DON'T WANNA GET A SHOT....PWEEEZE....I PWUH-MUSS TO BE GOOD....PWEEEZE DON'T MAKE ME GET A SHOT!"

Oy.

Did I mention how much I hate well-visits -- not to mention the fact that I am desperately AFRAID of needles --  but, our pediatrician is cool and allows the rest of my gang to stay in the examining room...for moral support.

"Now...remember...think of your happy place...mine is the beach!...where's your happy place?"

[choke...sob...choke]

"My...happy...pwace...is...CHOKE...shopping in duh mall!"

Thing Two was stroking her arm and Little Man started stroking her foot.
"Yah, just think of your happy place...like...mine is playing in our backyard...oh...except without the bees...because they have those SHARP stingers...but, don't worry...they're dead now and can't hurt...anymore...not like THAT NEEDLE's gonna, anyways!"

[sobbing]

And I made the mistake of looking at the needle(s)...again...burped...did I mention I HATE NEEDLES!?!...and spit up in my mouth...a little...which, made Mini-me laugh.

[poke]

Done.

Yep -- it's been one of those weeks -- an appletini is sounding real good, right about now!

[Note:  No bees suffered in the making of this post - MUCH! - as I'm sure the nasty little buggers died quickly!] 

TGIF!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Summer Vacation - Caution, slippery when wet! - Day 51

Welcome back - Vinnie Barbarino, Horshack, Juan Epstein, the rest of the Sweathogs and Mr. Kotter would perhaps agree - are perhaps the two most universally appreciated words in the English language.  Especially when used in a form of a warm greeting, which would lead one to believe that someone (or something) was lacking in their absence.

Add the words, "I missed you," and...well...perhaps you'd be hard-pressed to ignore the feeling...you know...like, something warm and fuzzy happening inside your head and a slight tingle around your mid-section.  Pretty much like the effects of being greeted by a giant patches of black-eyed-susans, both at the front and back doors of the house.

But, come home very, very late at night - driving about a bazillion miles of traffic (stupid Connecticut) after spending perhaps the best four days of your life (and discovering a taste for watermelon-apple-tinis) with someone you've fallen in love with, all over again - to a quiet house.

Surrounded by silence...peace...serenity...and perhaps an all too sudden reminder of what you've left behind.

Hell yes...I woke the kids...wouldn't you!?!

[whispering]

"Hey, sweetie...shhh...it's okay...it's only me...Mommy's home!"

[BARK-BARK-and much more-BARKING]

Did I ever mention to you...just how excited...or insanely jealous...our dog can get!?!

Mini-me's legs were wrapped around Thing Two...so, when Thing Two woke up a bit startled...she dumped Mini-me onto the floor...and scared Little Man...who was sleeping in a sleeping bag...and couldn't get up right away...but, wiggled and writhed...like the final death throws of a slug drowning in a bowl full of beer...screaming...I would imagine...although I couldn't hear it...above my own screaming...as Thing One reached for the baseball bat strategically placed just underneath the pretty white ruffles of her bed.

"HOLY SHIT!"

[eyes go wide]
"Ohhh...my...Gawd...I mean...it's MOMMY!...you're finally home...I...can't...believe...I...missed...you...so....much!?!?!?"

Let's just say, caution IS the better part of valor...and sleeping bags CAN become very slippery...when wet...STUPID dog!

In fact, we've been spending...

 

...the last two days...

...un-missing each other...

...and getting very wet!

I'm back...I missed you...and I'm much better, now...what, can't you tell?...STUPID hair!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Summer Vacation - a short break, the long goodbye and seeking balance - Day 45

I have a favorite chair -- it's an overstuffed comfy piece large enough for me to sit sideways and wide arms that house a napping chocolate lab, comfortably -- it's centered underneath the picture window in the livingroom and overlooks the front porch.

Early in the morning, the light filters through the purple plum trees, creeps around the black-eyed susans, stretches a narrow beam over the burning bush and casts a soft glow to the surrounding moss.

The finches -- having begun their day much earlier -- sweep back and forth as the cardinals settle in the holly tree and the mourning doves collect their breakfast from underneath a bird feeder centered between the first two porch posts nearest the front door.

A large grapevine wreath wrapped in white Christmas lights hangs on the otherside of the window as a reminder for them not to fly to close during the day and serves as a distraction from what lies just on the otherside, at night.

It's a place that I come to regroup, relax and reconnect with...myself.

I'm taking a short break, now -- though it seems I haven't done much more than stare at the shadows dancing across the front lawn -- my body already feeling tired long before my childrens' day has even begun.  

My mind, however, is quiet and I find myself enjoying the nothingness that exists between my sleep-encrusted eyes.

I don't often get the chance to sit like this -- in fact, it's a guilty pleasure just to be able to write -- and in less than an hour, my day will be filled with sights and sounds that will, at times, overwhelm every part of me.

But not at this moment.

Right now, I will allow my feelings to ebb and flow, as a tide of sadness slowly begins its way through my chest and collects itself in my throat before spilling down my cheeks, swelling my tongue and causing me to catch my breath in short drafts.

The pain does not become me (to be sure) but, time is precious and I already have very little to spare.

Right now...it's all about me.

A jogger catches my attention and I begin to wonder whether or not I should suck it up, grab a pair of sneakers and just walk it off.  But, as the neighbor from across the street (who I often have waved to for the last thirteen years and have yet to learn her name because, well, she doesn't ever wave back) begins to back out of her driveway, I wonder if perhaps it's not me and that she's feeling a bit sad.

Like me.

I had to say goodbye to a very dear person in my life -- a favorite aunt from very, very far away -- and, in my haste at feeling sorry for myself, I neglected to realize just how much my children have grown fond of having Elizabeth (yes, I was named after her) around.

[wiping Elizabeth's eyes]

"Don't worry, I promise to send pictures of the kids and I'm sure we'll see each other again."

I love visiting with family and friends -- especially from very, very far away -- but, it's the long goodbyes...

[translating for my SIL]

"She says that she hopes that there'll be a day when we can eat, drink and laugh together, again, very soon."

My mother is not well -- she'll be going back to the doctors soon and decide the next step -- and Aunt Elizabeth will be back perhaps sooner than we think.

[translating for my husband]

"She says that she wants me to take good care of my parents and that we should call her the moment we need her, or else, because although she's short, she can still kick my ass!"

Yes, we share a lot more than just a name.

But, it's okay -- to feel sad, I mean -- because the cat is curled up behind my shoulders, the light blue sky is filled with white clouds reminding me that it's going to be a pretty day...and that I'm sitting in my favorite chair.

Not for long.

I can hear my husbands alarm clock going off and little voices in muted conversation, which means I will have to say goodbye, soon.

Separating myself from the sadness and letting it go.

But, it won't be for long -- I'll be back, next time with a warm glass of red wine, sometime tonight -- because there's always tomorrow.

I'll be leaving my chair for a few days -- as I regroup, relax and reconnet...with my husband -- but, you are more than welcome to join me here...or here...and here at the house...when I can share pictures...of another favorite place of mine...and hope to be feeling better, again...on Monday.

TGIF, early, and remember to B.Y.O.C.! 

[photo credit:  Westin Hotel and Resorts]

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Summer Vacation - Talking street, wearing skulls and skating through life in “almost Etnies” - Day 41

Nearing the conclusion to the dog days of summer -- hottest most humid time of the year beginning in July and ending on August 11 - here on the east coast, it'll be a relief to finally get outside and not feel as if my face...were...literally...sliding...off...my skull.

Don't EVEN get me started on boob sweat!

Yesterday, I needed to get out of the house and took the kids to do a little shopping (because it was still Africa-hot!) for a business trip my husband and I are taking next weekend.

Okay, so - I won't be attending any of his meetings...or anything...but, I will be introduced to about a gazillion of his clients...AND THEIR WIVES - I wanted to look a little more put-together and a less...you know...suburban-mommy in the big city.

Although it would make a great title for a Lifetime movie, yes?

Don't get me wrong - my closet isn't all Old Navy and Target, or anything - I have a wide variety tastes in clothes (depending on my mood) and don't subscribe to any one particular style.

But, these people are involved in the financial industry and I'm a little more...you know...rock-n-roll.

I'm not saying they don't know how to party -- though my husband and his pals prefer business casual, they're pretty much freaks after normal banking hours -- but, somehow I got this idea that flip-flops, jeans and a skull-studded black t-shirt...weren't going to cut it. 

And there's this HUGE reception dinner.

The last catered reception I attended was nearly sixteen years ago and...I have to say...I looked absolutely gorgeous and managed to out-do everyone there!

Being the bride, and all.

And it was probably the last time I spent THAT much money...on just one piece of clothing - then the kids came and if the store didn't have the words "depot" and "outlet" or "R-us" after it's name...I probably haven't shopped there...in a very long time.

No matter.

It's supposed to be different when you have kids (isn't it?) and the things that I used to think were important (like taking showers and getting dressed...everyday) just aren't, anymore.  They've been replaced with candy/cookie sales, soccer cleats and getting pumped-up over a picture of you...with your hair a mess and hips gone wild...in crayon!

That's why I was more than happy when my husband suggested I come along ('cause they said I could and are paying, afterall) and since this would be a trip...WITHOUT CHILDREN...that we should extend the weekend!

We're going to take a quick run over to Cape Cod (using our Marriot points) and celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary...a little early.

Yes, we're leaving the kids home - bad mommy, bad daddy - because we don't...all that often...and we've grown accustomed to skating through life...but, can appreciate the fact that our kids don't really seem to miss having...you know...all that much.

Until.

"Yo, these pants is trippin'!"

HUH?
"True that!"

WA-HUH?
"Wear dis and you be bustin' B-town!"

OKAY, STOP!

Even though my girls are straight-A students, I really don't push them about the academics too much...well...the thought of shooting for scholarships, YES!   But, not as much as allowing them to express themselves and -- although, "dis" and "you be" did make me want to throw up a little -- they be comfortable with who they are and that it's okay to be different.

My ten-year-old is currently finding herself "goth."

"No...it's STREET...Momma!"

Whatever.

Sub-culture...call it what you want - it was "punk" in my day - no matter, it's a group of people...with something in common...hanging together...who feel...you know...comfortable in their own skin.

Sort of like blogging.

We shouldn't be afraid to express ourselves - especially when it comes to putting yourself out there for the whole world to see - and I shouldn't be worried that Thing Two talks...uh...what is it again?

"It's called Street...don't ask...she's fine...and we're good."

My poor husband - he did manage to pick his mouth up off the floor and compliment Thing Two on her new "skull cap" - coming home at the end of the day he doesn't know what to expect, anymore...than different.

I asked Thing Two to look...you know...street...and it wasn't easy - she told Thing One to look at her so she could pretend and get all...you know...angry - but, here she is "mean-muggin-it" for her Mama. 

And giggling...'cause...street's not easy...you know!

And she loves her new sneakers and calls them her "almost Etnies" because, "They look a whole lot like the real thing...but, way cheaper!"

I was able to find an awesome white linen skirt at Old Navy...SHUDDUP!...on sale for $14...BOO-YAA!...and a black t-shirt and sweater at Target...SHUDDUP, YOU!...and these very sexy silver strappy-thongs on clearance for $4.88...FO-SHIZZLE!

(the sound of crickets chirping)

OKAY, STOP!

We're not leaving until Thursday...and you can wish me luck, if you'd like...and relax...don't be afraid of us...we're good...just puttin' the "urban" in suburban!

Anyone up for some baby-sitting?

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Summer Vacation - A hot summer nights sleep, spooning and how I forget - Day 39

 

My husband sent me this picture - he snapped the other morning with his cell phone - of me, Thing Two and Mini-Me sleeping in triple-spooning fashion.  And I think it illustrates how tight our family's sleeping arrangements can be, perfectly.

No one goes to sleep (or gets up) in the same bed, twice.

My husband falls asleep on the couch and wakes up (either) in a funk (or) with the dog's snout placed somewhere it ought not to be, naturally.

My three girls share a room and go to sleep in their respective beds, but almost always are doing the triple-spooning thing by daybreak.

Like this morning.

I didn't take a picture because...well...I was just too ding-danged tired to find the camera and can't freakin' find my cell phone.

Yes, I tried calling it - but, I guess it needs to be charged...or something.

But, you know what?

It's really, really hot and - I'm really, really tired - I forget things, sometimes.

Like, when you decide (on the spur of the moment) to take a romantic midnight swim - very late on a hot summer night - make sure the children are ASLEEP!

[floating]

"Ah, man...this feels sooooo...good!" 

[practicing some underwater-spooning]
"Yeah...you should have been in here, earlier...the kids were farting and pretending they had a jacuzzi!"

GASP!
"EWWWWW...are you guys...NAKED!?!"

Talk about a shock - instant jacuzzi, man!

But, hey...the hubs and I work very hard...and we're tired...so, a quick, relaxing dip is certainly worth the few hours they spend on some head-shrinker's couch...yes?  

I'm also tired of getting up in the middle of the night - due to my weak bladder that never fails to remind me that I have given birth...four times - and finding someone, somewhere, they ought not to be.

And as I carefully made my way to the bathroom, I noticed the light peeking from underneath the girls' door and the faint sound of the television...again.

I slowly (and as quietly as possible) opened the door and saw Thing Two, sitting criss-cross-applesauce on Mini-Me's bed, watching television and playing...cards!?!

"Got any fwees?"

[reaches for clicker]
"Nuh-uh...go fish!"

[click]
"If I tell you two...one more time...NOT to turn this television on in the middle of the night...I am going to take away your computer privileges, to!"

WHOOPS!

Did I mention that my son sleeps in his sister's room....sometimes....and especially in the summer....on the floor in a sleeping bag and doesn't....move....a....muscle....even when I accidentally kick him in the head?!?

CHA-CHING!

I can hear 'em now, "So, tell me about your mother."

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.