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July 2007

BlogHer, hug her and make her feel creepy...

Yes, I'm back - albeit, a little tired and missing a few more brain cells than usual - and you'll have to excuse the mess.

This is the first time I've sat down in days - seriously, first thing I did was get back from BlogHer, sleep for 4 hours and then take the kids to Six Flags, because I was away from home...FOR FOUR DAYS...alone, and without them, and the summer's almost over, and they, you know, haven't had ANY fun, yet - and I still haven't unpacked, blogged or, anything.

Family comes first, yes?

My BIL is visiting from California (yes, they tagged along with us, yesterday and are just as tired) so, we're heading into visit some of our favorite museums.


Great, more walking - the one thing I did NOT think I'd get to do a lot of at BlogHer '07 and nearly killed me - and you see those beautiful women up there? Except for the dork...second from the left...I am absolutely bananas about Jenny, gone crazy in love with Amber, don't believe I've met anyone as balanced, or felt as connected with as this woman, and Shannon (who, I have met once before and expressed my love for, already) brought out the big Phat dork in me and made me spray soda out of my nose at the airport!


These beautiful women - that's Lisa (a.k.a. Midwestern Mommy) on the left and don't pay too much attention to the sleepy-looking Dork on the far right - are the closest thing to a posse I've ever had the pleasure of, you know, hanging with!


More on that, and Dana, later.

But, before I left for Chicago, I tried to quiet my nerves - by reading blogs, you say? - and found an interesting post that did have me a little worried (you really ought to stop doing that, LatteMan!) about the lack of drama in the blogging world and the conversations that BlogHers have been known to stir up:

"Of course, I am sure that will end next week, as the back biting, insults, and opinions fly once everybody returns from BlogHer. Who snubbed who? Who said the wrong thing, or spoke to the wrong person, or didn't bunk with the right people? Who didn't get the recognition they deserve.  It will be entertaining to say the least, though I certainly feel bad for the sponsors and organizers that have to try and keep these events from getting permanently attached as the inevitable consequences of the conference. To be sure it is not most people, it is in fact a very select few, but vocal they certainly are."

I'd hoped he was wrong, though.

This was my first time attending the BlogHer Conference and I, for one, did not plan on snubbing anyone. Since, you know, I'm nobody special. I was too busy stalking (not to mention, staring down) Busy Mom - she's probably used to it, anyway - and eating all the chocolatety desserts I can find, thank you!

To my surprise, I acted just the high school.

I drifted in and out of groups - because, birds of a feather really do flock together and you can't really blame them - and I pretty much made friends with everyone (and anyone) who was kind enough to reach out their hand, smile and pretend that they really did know me, really.

But, here's the thing - I wasn't feeling it.

Oh sure, there were a handful of bloggers I approached - but, I never did get up the courage to introduce myself, officially (yes, I am that big Dork) - who smiled at me and ran then other way well, they where just too busy working their way through being very successful.

I got that.

But, I respectfully have to disagree with LatteMan - I don't feel bad for the sponsors and organizers, one bit - well, perhaps Pay Per Post and PBS, but more on that, sooner than later - because, one of the inevitable consequences of the conference is (and was, in my opinion) that marketers will come away knowing that women of the world (hello, to my new blogging friends in Germany!) we ALL have a very distinct and powerful voice.

No matter our age, size, color, or whether we speak in UPPERCASE, or no.

We come from different backgrounds (spiritually, economically and sometimes even a bit frenetically) and that's what makes the blogging world so unique.

This weekend proved (to me, at least) that we (and I mean women, in particular) can come together, eat, drink, discuss, argue, disagree and then eat and drink way more, and still feel like a merry band of blogging, anyway.

So, to make a long story short (I know, too late) the next time you get a chance to meet a blogger - especially, if she (or, he) is someone you admire, empathize, or even found yourself disagreeing with, from time to time - forget about all the drama and do what I do...I mean, did.

Blog her, hug her and make her feel all creepy!

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

Summer Vacation: Life is too short, eat dessert first and don't forget your period pants! - Day 36

My sister-in-law flew in from Arizona - and boy, are her arms...uh, never mind - she's moved into Casa de Mucho Hormonal, already and is staying with us for while, anyway. So, in my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be an absolutely fan-TAS-tic idea to surprise her parents (a.k.a. the inlaws) on our way home from the farmer's market.

"Atwhay ouldshay eway ingbray?"


"Orfay essertday!?!"

Well, it finally happened - I thought - I've finally gone and lost my mind and could NOT understand a word she was saying, or they're just plain talking crazy, in Arizona!

"DESSERT...what should we bring, for dessert!?!"

The last time I saw four children scatter, so fast, in opposite directions, I mention how much I hate taking kids food shopping!?!

"There's a reason why I didn't want them to hear, oh and DUH!"

Okay, but I am a DORK and have never really been good at talking, or Pig Latin.

"How about a cherry pie...NO, I want blueberry...EW, that's not desserty enough...let's get something CHOCOLATE!?!?

Whatever, I don't care!

[eyes go wide]

You see, growing up, dessert was never really a big deal in my house - slap an Oreo cookie on my plate and I'm good - but, my mother-in-law has dozens of family recipes, handed down by French-Irish ancestors, none of which I have been able to duplicate, food wise, anyway - nope, not even close, by the way - and her homemade chocolate cake (with mocha butter cream icing) well, dessert nirvana, comes to mind!

Later, my sister-in-law gave my in-laws a call.

"Liz, the kids and I want to stop by for a cup of coffee; is that okay?!?"

Judging by her face - oh, and I'd recognize that eyerolling, anywhere - NOT so fan-TAS-tic.

"No, we haven't eaten dinner, either...and we're not staying long...but, who says you can't have dessert first!?!"

Much later.

"Where do you want me to put this?"

My in-laws decided to come over, AFTER dinner, and she bought cake....YAY!....and there was a little bit left....yay, ME!, I asked her to put it in the microwave oven, of course - right next to the bread and the leftover Dunkin Donuts - where it was less likely to be eaten by a Doofus-Dog!

Much, much later.

"Shhh, Doofus-Dog - you want to wake the kids!?!? - if you shuddup, maybe I'll even share some!"

I felt a little naughty, but - oh, well! - this pms we women speak of, it IS such a turnoff, that - if not fed properly and often - can cause even the nicest of mommies' bitch switch to flip!

"What the?"

I yelped - the cats ran from the kitchen and even the dog sensed that someone was gonna DIE!

"There isn't anymore left!"

I didn't even notice my sister-in-law sitting at the kitchen table and that sudden realization nearly induced a self-fulfilled prophecy. A few more seconds passed and I was still clutching my chest and unable to speak.

"I got my period this morning...and feel like, I took the last of the chocolate cake...and ate it!"

On the one hand, I thought...okay...but, on the other hand, I would've liked to have tasted at least SOME of the chocolate cake!

"I don't see what the big deal is - you don't even eat dessert!"


Morale of the story:  They call it PMS, because Mad Cow Disease was already taken!

If anyone needs me, I'll be upstairs getting in two more sleeps until I leave for Chicago, not to mention, praying I don't get sick on the plane and packing my period pants, just in case!

My sister-in-law?

She's grounded - until menopause, anyway - see ya!

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

Blog Me 2007 - Who the heck are you?

In less than a week, I am about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of my life - since becoming a mom, anyway - and I'm excited to be able to attend this year's BlogHer Conference in Chicago, where I hope to have the pleasure of finally getting together with some of the bloggiest...mommies...I've been reading...for a long time...and who I am dying to meet...face-to-face!

They've allowed me to escape into a private little world - though, quite undeservedly named and rather unpleasant to the ear - blogging has simply become a refuge from, you know, the average, every day, same old-same old.

[breaths in deep]

No need to get dressed, or put on airs with me - what you see is what you get - you don't even need to bother brushing your teeth, if you don't want to!

Heaven knows, I don't and look forward to your visit, anyway.

Traveling across the country, to a strange city, sharing the bathroom with three other women and representing nothing more, than myself, in front of hundreds of other bloggers, in something other than pajamas - not so much!


As if I could do ANYTHING, in ten seconds - besides shave my legs, hide under the covers and make up flimsy excuses for the amount of dirty laundry, or dust bunnies of enormous size, of course - but, Mocha Mom has this great way of knowing just what it takes to make a person feel, you know, welcome.

So, what can I say...about myself...that sums me up in a nut shell - shuddup! - well, since I'm already late for an appointment (I know, act surprised) how about this?

  • Mother of 4, subhuman caretaker to 2 cats and 1 sock-eating Doofus-dog.
  • Lover of multi-functional gadgets and slayer of all appliances proved either slow and/or inefficient.
  • Wife, of nearly 17 years, to The Hubs - rarely photographed, but is said to be a cross between Dennis Miller and Garth Brooks.
  • Born under the sign of Gemini and a very proud twin sister to a Sgt. 1st Class - Go Army!
  • Daughter to a doer and a dreamer.
  • Loved by many; even though she's a total DORK!

Sounds more like a epitaph - I know! - but, I haven't flown in nearly 15 years and I do believe that the 2 1/2 hour ride just may kill me!

If anyone needs me, I'll be cleaning, packing and white-knuckling my way through the week!


[Edited to add....]

Oh, and - just so you know - anyone can join in on the fun and give a 10 second interview of their own. Go ahead. It's always nice to learn something new about the people you love. And...because I said so.

If you are going to BlogHer, look for me - I'll be scoring some major points over at Cool Mom Picks - take a picture with me, because I'll be the blogger:

  • Using a pen and paper - take my laptop and risk losing, or breaking it...are you kidding me!?! - 10 points
  • You now love but who you have never read/knew before - I'm just saying! - 5 points
  • With the same first name as you - Busy Mom, Table4five, Mom101, Liz Henry, Liz Rizzo, - 15 points, EACH

I'm just saying.

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

Summer Vacation: Hump Day Diddy Dumbs - And she's climbing a stairway to 7 minutes in heaven - Day 30

Though, I don't know if I believe in angels, I am pretty sure there's a special place - especially, reserved for tired and wigged-out old mommies and daddies, like us - and perhaps most parents would agree. After years of raising kids and killer dust bunnies, it's sort of, you know, hard to find the magic.

[wink, wink]

You know what I'm saying?

[nudge, nudge]

Say no more.


Are they gone, yet?

Okay - we don't want to scare the straights, or anything - but, here's the thing, my husband and I are coming up on our 17th wedding anniversary (next month) and, I have to say, intimacy isn't an issue and there are times when we're both surprised at how, you know, enthusiastic we can get.

Timing, however, has NEVER been on our side and - having four rugrats running up and down our nerves, all day - we've learned never to take a good old fashioned “quickie” for granted, either!

To hell with seven minutes in heaven…give us at least five…and we're good.

But, there are those moments — you know, when kids are in bed, the dishes are done, the cats and dog are down and the moon’s alignment with the shifting tides coincides with our moods — when time and space seems to stop and we have the best gosh-darned meeting of the mine and his, EVUH!

Now, about last night.

[Just so you know, here's where you should click away, Mom!]

Is she gone - can't say I didn't warn her, right!?!?

My SIL was due in, this morning (shhh...she's upstairs, asleep) and Little Man has graciously agreed to give up his room, next to ours, for his favorite Aunt and it has been a while since we, you know, did I mention she'd be sleeping in the ours!?!

"Are the kids down?"



I mean, it was well passed 11 and, after having waited a good hour, we turned out the lights, climbed the stairway, kicked the cats off the bed, shut the door, made sure to lock the dog out and found a little piece of heaven.



[gasping for breath]


Honest and true, we just replaced the batteries in the fire alarms and I really didn't think the house was hit by lightening, or anything.

"It's me, Thing Two...and Mini-me...we couldn't, we went to the couch...and heard some really weird, we came upstairs...and...and...all we heard is this...OOOOH....UUUUH....OOOOH!"





No, I wasn't.

" thunder....duh."

In fact, I was absolutely dumbstruck and shocked beyond words, actually and I don't believe I've ever seen my husband so calm, collected and get dressed so fast, in all our years together!

"Yes, she's fine...I was just tickling her and she was laughing so hard, she almost puked!"


"You're scaring us, Mommy!"

Heaven knows, they are NOT alone.

"I've been on a plane since 10:30 last night and you guys look more tired, than I do!"

My SIL surprised us early this morning and all I could think about was - besides, cleaning the shmootz out of my eyes, opening the front door and body slamming the dog - thank goodness I had on clean, you know, pajamas!

"Thing Two and me couldn't sweep, because Mommy was noisy and woke-did us up wike, ooooh...uuuuh...ooooh!"


"Soooo...I'm guessing I'll be sleeping on the living room couch with Doofus-dog, after all!?!?"

[hangs head in shame]

To think, I thought her playing Led Zeppelin backwards sounded weird!

[ducks to avoid lightning bolt]

If anyone needs us, I'll be upstairs dusting off the child safety gates and sound-proofing my room, while my husband reintroduces himself to, you know, taking cold showers!

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

Summer Vacation: As nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs - Day 28

Thing Two had her 11-year-well-visit, today - okay, so we're 6 months late, again - and I guess the main reason we've been putting it off so long is...


I absolutely HATE needles.

[burps in mouth, a little]

Always have, always will.

Taking my kids for their shots is never easy and I think most parents would tend to agree with me on this point (no pun intended) but, insisting that they go through something as traumatic and unpleasant as, GULP, getting a shot in the arm with a very sharp object...well, it's painful!

Taking care of sick wet poodle.

Last week, I called my folks and offered to take my father for the second round of his pain management shots and I swear, you could hear a pin drop.


"'s okay, you don't have to come...really...we'll be fine."

It's not that they didn't want me to be there, or anything.

"Besides, you have your hands full, already!"

After all, I did live with them for 25 years - they know.

"We can handle it, this time, without you and don't want you to worry."

Too late - they had me at "handle it" and "without you" - basically, my nerves are shot.

"How are your parents?"


The pediatrician was swabbing one of Thing Two's arms and - after my daughter asked that we try and distract her from the shots and talk about, you know, something else - she spoke and I nearly fell out of my chair and peed my pants, a little.

What - appliances are exploding all around me and even the smallest things are setting my world on fire - I'm a little tense, okay!?!

"Oh...well, they''re CATS!"

I grabbed Thing Two's hand in both of mine, put my forehead against hers and closed my eyes.

"Don't look, baby!"

One alligator, two alligators, three alligators...


...four alligators...five alligators...

"Mrs. Thompson?"

I motioned with my hand for her to give me a second, or two.

"There...that wasn't too bad...good job, sweetie!"

[eyes go wide]

"No, but now my hand hurts like crazy!"

I'm telling you, it's amazing - what a good few seconds of absolutely nothing, will do for a person like, you know, me - and I felt really, you know, good.

"Okay, one down and three more to go!"


Actually, Thing Two decided to get two of her shots now and the other two, later.

"No problem, I can always bring her back during Mini-me's well-visit, next week."

[eyes go wide]

"NO...uh, I mean...that won't be necessary...they can wait a month or, at this point, even two, perhaps it would be better, Mrs. Thompson."

My sister-in-law is coming home from Arizona -- YAY! -- and moving in with us, for a while; my parents are planning one last trip to Hungary, last minute (of course) and I've got the BlogHer conference to get ready for CATS...less than two weeks!

Let me think.


To think, I've only been passing out in her chair for 6 years, or so, give or take a hypodermic.

"You and your kids are so funny...I still remember how the three of you first came to me...before Mini-me was born, I mean...and how you all cried after Little Man got his shots!"

Still - most people would probably be surprised to learn just how nervous I can get, especially about traveling and having to meet new people, ALONE - it's always nice when people remind me to, you know, chill out and get over myself.

"We ARE still babysitting for you, right?"

[eyes go wide]

"NO...uh...thanks guys...but, um...I mean, your calendar's full of doctor appointments...and there's your trip to get ready for...and everything."

One alligator...two alligators...three alligators...
Morale of the story:   Don't let the awkward silence worry you too much, it's those nasty mommy glares - you know, the kind that says, "Die, you over-breeding little twit," and then sets your hair on fire - are the ones we all should learn to watch out for!


Don't worry, I'll be fine - it's bound to grow back, sometime - in the meantime, please feel free to stay a while, clean off a chair and mind the killer dust bunnies.

If anyone needs me, I'll be out the closets and cursing my wardrobe!

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

Summer Vacation: On bad luck, superstition and being scared half to death, twice - Day 25


[...exercising a vested interest in spawning fear since 1993]

Having been raised in a very superstitious household - where spilled salt and broken mirrors were considered unfavorable signs of bad things to come - and being a very clumsy child, I was a cause of deep concern for my family and often times found myself the subject to one of my grandmother's homemade remedies, or lucky charms.

Did they work?

Depends on who you ask - especially, whenever things finally went right - my grandmother swears it did and growing up, I was scared to death that lightening would strike and somehow I would be blamed.

And then, it did - twice - and now, I've got both my husband and poor mother-in-law scared to death!

You see, she reads my blog - hi mom, how's it hanging? - and my husband is simply horrified by the fact that I might, you know, write about something that his mother may NOT necessarily care to know, or read about.


Like, she raised five children and has babysat ALL four of our children on numerous occasions. I mean, my kids can't wait to tell grandma, "Our house almost burned down" and "The car almost broke," or, "Guess what Mommy did?" and give me up...all...the...time.

Trust me, she knows.

"Are you recovered, yet?"

My husband got home from work and I had just finished chasing my husband into the pool - he was in a terrible mood and needed to soak his cranky butt, badly - when my mother-in-law called, as I was finishing dinner.

"Um...from which thing?"

I mean, seriously.

"Oh, I'm sorry, the thing with the lightening, losing power and everything."

See, she knows.

"Oh, that...yeah, how weird was that?"


"We want to come over and hear all about it - when would be a good time?"

Wait a minute.

"Uh...well, it's almost seven...and we're almost ready to have, I guess in an hour?"

My in-laws almost NEVER do anything, without consulting their calendar, or calling, well in advance and - since I am considering changing my first name to, last minute - this was a most welcome and refreshing change of events.

"We'll be there in an hour-and-a-half, then."

Good, just enough time for me to fumigate the house (stupid cat) light some candles (stupid dog) and hide the laundry!

"How are you feeling, today?"

Okay, this time, my husband looked just as confused as, you know, I can get.


"Fine...uh, mom...why?"


"Well, we heard what happened to you...and thought we'd call and come right over...and wanted to see if you were, you know, okay."

You smell something?

"No, I'm fine, lightening either hit the branch, or close enough to fry the circuits and cause it to lose power."

Because, judging by the way my mother-in-law was looking at me, I swear my hair's on fire!

"By the way, how did you know?"


"I read it on HER blog!"

[biting lower lip]

"I didn't say...I mean...I DID say that he came home...I guess it sounded, you know, a lot worse, huh?...I mean...did I mention I made him Grape Nut Pudding!?!"

Morale of the story: be careful what you blog, it could get you fired - or, scare your mother-in-law half to death and cause you to burst into flames and wish you were hit by lightening, twice.

Lucky for me, technically, I don't work and we're not related.

Stupid blog!

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

Summer Vacation: The last woman to call me a girl, totally rocks my Grape Nuts- Day 23

It's 10 p.m. - do you know where your children are?!?

[shakes head in disgust]

In bed, hopefully - unlike mine, who are STILL awake! - but, it's been a stormy night and the hubs is holed up at work, because, apparently, lightening struck and fried the bank.

[blank stare]

Seriously, the tubes in the drive-thru were flying in and out of the tube-flinging thing and all h...e...double hockey sticks broke out and the kids won't go to sleep, unless I provide them proof that their father is indeed alive and well and not looking like a crispy critter.


In other news, we spent a lovely day with my good friend, Kate and barely made it home, our ownselves - STUPID STORM! - seriously, at one point, the rain and lightning got so bad, it made Little Man cry:

"I'm too young to fry!!!"

Thankfully, when it got really bad, I was able to pull off the highway and get them something to eat, well, because nothing evokes comfort, like a double cheeseburger and diet Coke!

"Would you like fries with that, Mamacita!?!"

[blank stare]

"What did you call me?"

[hesitates, then looks at chest]

"Uh...oh, no...don't tell me your a DUDE!?!"



[adjusts bra straps]

"I guess you're right...although, I am NO Mamacita...uh, dude...I am ALL Mama!"

Seriously, birthing four babies, I've earned these hips and totally enjoy hanging (excuse the pun) with my mommy friends, like Kate, who, it just so happens, I had the good fortune to meet, through blogging, but thinks I rock, anyway.

So does Believer in Balance - not only will I have the honor of meeting at BlogHer, this month, I will also have the pleasure of calling roomie - and you know what she called me?

No - a "Rockin Girl Blogger" - shut up!

[looks at watch]

So, the hubs is STILL not home and it's my turn to give five other rockin' bloggers a nod.

[rubs neck]

Okay, I don't like to follow rules, so much - because, I'm tired, cranky and my hair's totally flopped - I've decided to introduce you to five boy bloggers totally hang with me and...uh...the girls...and still be man enough to admit...dude, you rock my world!

Triple Venti - LatteMan is a Jersey guy, who's not afraid to share his thoughts and opinions on, basically, everything and manages to make me think twice before believing, well, anything. He's smart, he's funny and he speaks well of his wife - 'nuf said.

Silly Old Bear - I just want to hug you, squeeze you and call you, "Pooh!" But, don't let that fool you - the man's got a quick wit and leaves the funniest comments - hint, hint!

Blue Sloth - Whenever I visit Philip's blog, I find myself wanting to reach into my laptop and give the man the biggest hug. He's caring for his three children, going through some health issues and still manages to share some of the most beautiful posts I've ever read. The pictures with animals of unusual size, not so much.

Daddy Detective - He's a new read I found through LatteMan (I think) and I just love the way he like watching an episode of Poopie Busters - SDU (special daddy's unit.)

Maybe Baby - Matt is not a Daddy, yet. They're trying and I am rooting for him and sending all the baby cooties I can muster! But, it's obvious that he and his lovely wife will make great parents, one day, soon! Maybe baby, most definitely rocks!

Speaking of rocks, the hubs is finally home and I need to dish up a heaping pile of Grape Nut Pudding - yes, it's one of his favorites and it IS delicious! - he's had a heck of day.

Feel free to visit amongst yourselves - clean off a chair and mind the laundry - if you need anything, I'll be upstairs...ASLEEP!

[Edited to add: If you're liking the sound of Grape Nut Pudding on a stormy night, or anytime, just scroll down and feel free to snag the recipe. For those of you who'd sooner eat dirt and die, go in peace.]


Grape Nut Pudding
4 cups milk, warmed
1 cup Grape Nut Cereal
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In large bowl, soak cereal in milk for 15 minutes
  • Add sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla and spices (and raisins)
  • Mix well
  • Bake for about 60 mins., or until knife inserted in center comes out clean

Serve warm (or cold) with ginormous dollop of whipped heavy cream and enjoy!

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