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November 2007
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December 2007

It's your birthday, make a mess; it's your birthday, wear a dress!

Excuse my children, please - yes, they LIVE in a barn - but, it's been a whirlwind of celebrations, here at This Full House of horribly wrapped gifts and mis-matched socks, and they've been singing that stupid song many days HAVE they been home, now?

Doesn't matter.

All I know is, it's like summer vacation...all over again...except, only a bit colder...not to mention, way wetter.

Oh, and DAYUM.

What's up with all the cruddy weather?  We DO live in Jersey, you know?  Where's all the flipping snow?


My husband, Garth (not his real name) was off from work ALL WEEK and - since, it is the first time that he's been home for Christmas vacation in, like, WOW, 10 years - just a little winter-like romping would have been, you know, nice.

"You won't believe this one?"

But, we did get a chance to visit with family - yes, AND managed to live through it, thank you very much - and FINALLY got up to Pittsgrove Farms.

"Would you mind watching the kids for a little while?"

Which happens to be home to two of my and Garth's (not his real name) most favorite people in the world - Mr. and Mrs. Dirtdigger - who also happen to be Mini-me's Godparents.

"You see, tomorrow's Thing Two's birthday."

So, we're more than happy to take whatever time we happen to have open on our very busy calendars and drove up to "the farm" on the day before Thing Two's birthday.

" sort know...FORGOT!"

[blank stare]

"I never got her a birthday present."

I mean - with all the shopping, wrapping, gifting, and then, you know, more shopping - you think I'd remember to get my daughter's birthday present.

[bites lower lip]

"How can I forget my OWN daughter's birthday?"

She's had one for the last 12 years, for goodness sake.

"What kind of mother am I?"

Honestly, I felt even more sorry for Mrs. Dirtdigger.

"You poor thing."

She grabbed me and hugged I really tried my best NOT to cry.

"Man, I suck!"

Yep, cried like a baby.

"Don't worry, I know just what to get her, and we'll only be an hour...I swear!"

Nope, that didn't work out very well either.

"I'm sorry, Ma'am, but, we don't have any left and they seem to be all out of stock, everywhere."

Of course - seeing as it was, like, two days after Christmas, and all - and it's NOT like she's the ONLY 12 year-old who does NOT have an mp3, or anything.

"Well, how much is that one?"

[eyes go wide]


I'm sure the hubs didn't mean to holler so loud - I would have, after regaining my powers of speech, eventually - and it was way more than what Garth (not his real name) and I usually spend on, you know, one gift.

"I know, it's a lot."

Did I mention, we just finished Christmas?

"But, she's a good kid and NEVER asks for anything."

And she's got me, you know, as a mother.



Having to celebrate your birthday, 3 days after Christmas - not to mention, taking a back seat to 3 other kids - even though she seemed to like her gift.

"No, I don't like it...I IT!"

I couldn't really blame her, if she wished for just a little more.

"Wow, it's even way better than an iPod!"

Wouldn't you?



But, Thing Two has always been resilient - even as a baby, suffering with a severe case of colic and having to spend the first 8 months of her life, awake - and I can't think of another person who deserves, well, whatever the heck she wants, really.



I mean, who else would settle for an ice cream the winter?

[blank stare]

Did I mention, I forgot it was her birthday?


But, Mini-me was gracious enough to make me a "special" Christmas cookie and remind me that her birthday isn't until June.

"Don't worry, Momma, you have pwenty of forget my birfday, too!"


It's your birthday...make a's your birthday...

Lord, love a duck - 2 kids born in November and December, I'm really beginning to HATE that song - but, I am SO glad that The Boy's birthday isn't until the end of January!


Happy birthday, baby - I love, that you STILL love me, too - and I can't believe another year has gone by...oh, and just think...NEXT're a teenager!


Just like Thing One.


No sweat.

With a big sister, like her - I mean, the girl is 14 and STILL, you know, likes me, sort of - I'm not worried...too much...I think.


[shrugs shoulders]

Just be happy that you look like your grandmother, m'kay!?!?

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

The Christmas House: More than just a box with pretty lights.


I've been thinking, lately - a dangerous habit, I know - about how my husband Garth (not his real name) and I have started to downsize our family celebrations.

Not that they were HUGE, to begin with - if you have kids, then you know - but, our children enjoy spending time with both sets of their grandparents and have looked forward to their birthday dinners out, wherever they choose.

Christmastime, however, is a bear.

Besides the typical preparations that go along with celebrating a holiday supposedly meant as a time for family and friends - after finding out who is going to be around and wherever that will be, at the time - it always turns out to be a balancing act.

As you know, I am NOT very graceful.

This year, the grandparents are dealing with some pretty serious health and family issues.

Which ones?

Both; my parents and in-laws are going through some serious suckage at the moment and, not only does it totally SUCK that my brother's unit is being deployed, AGAIN, it's causing severe damage on my Christmas Mojo.

I'm just not feeling it, ya'll.

Which, of course, means that I have been desperately trying to NOT have my children pick up on the fact that I, obviously, put the desperate into housewife...since, like, 1993.

"Are you coming on Sunday?"


[balancing act in progress]

"No, actually, I'm taking the kids out and hoping to let your daughter try to, you know, catch up with herself."

I love Garth (not his real name) - bless his squishy heart -  but, it's times like this when I wonder.

"How long do you need?"

Will it ever be enough and, you know, WHEN?

"About three weeks should do it, thanks!"

Actually, all I need is to wrap, cook, bake, that's not it...I finished yesterday with my SIL...uh...there's something I'm forgetting, I know...give me a minute and perhaps it'll come to me.

"Can we go to the Christmas House?"

I was trying to download some music into my SIL's new Mp3 player and somehow was trying to pretend that I didn't know, that she knows, I'm NOT technical, like that - bless her squishy heart -  and, YES, we were having problems that were terribly technical-like.

"Tonight; are you kidding me?"

I was so NOT in the mood to go anywhere else.

"But, you promised we would take Aunt Waynicerthanmommy!"

[Wayne, for short]

"I dunno, go ask Daddy."

I mean, it can be tiring, being such a bad guy...mommy...whatever...and all!

"Sure, as soon as Mommy's ready."

Bless his squishy heart.

"Besides, it's not too far, Sis, and it'll be worth the ride, you'll see."


As you can see, the Griswold's have NOTHING on this place.

According to this article, there are 8.4 miles of lights on the property and 79 Christmas trees outside the house; 16 Christmas trees adorn the inside of the house and that the electricity bill is about $3,500 for the seven weeks the lights are on.

"How did you guys ever find this place?"

Driving home from my parents house, I think, go figure.


Some may perhaps argue, that the use of so many brightly colored lights - not to mention, the energy used to fire them up - and the owner's efforts at spreading holiday cheer isn't very, you know, green.

"Can I have some money?!?!"

I kept staring up at all the pretty lights and tried not to add to my growing impatience with Mini-me, this past week.

"There is absolutely NOTHING you need to buy here, Sweetie."

She pointed at the box at the end of the walk - which asks for donations for St. Jude Children's Hospital and the Children's Diabetes Fund - and this message:

"It's not a Christmas well - it's a magical Christmas box. Drop in some love and hope. Lets make the children well."

My eyes fogged up.

"No, I want to drop it in there!"

No, it's not easy being happy - especially, when the world is surrounded in such misery - but, I didn't have to dig very deep to find my Christmas mojo and all it took was simple drop in the well.

I mean, box.

Thank you, Mr. Steinke - the owner of the Christmas House - for interrupting your Christmas party, to come out and greet us, and wish total strangers well.

"We're looking forward to playing Harmonies For Christmas!"

Not just for the cool CD - everyone got one for an $8.00 donation into the box - you've given me (and my family) more than you'll ever know.

"I do it for my kids, your kids and making some people a little happier is what Christmas is all about; don't ya' think?"

You know, I guess, maybe you do.

Merry Christmas to all - especially, YOU my blogging friends - and to all a good night.

[shrugs shoulders]

Oh, just look at ALL the pretty lights!


If anyone needs me, I'll be upstairs counting my blessings - 4 of whom are probably STILL awake - praying for peace and hugging Garth (not his real name) bless his squishy heart!

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

Picture Perfect Thursday: Attack of the Smiley Fries

I am NOT a morning person and my husband is...well, let me just tell you...he's like a fluffy little bird happily twittering about in the early morning sunshine - scary, I know - needless to say, we go to great lengths to stay out of each other's way and try not to, you know, talk...too much.


He hands me a hot steaming mug filled with the sweet elixir of life, as I stumble off to the shower.


Then, feeds the animals.  I mean, the pets.  The kids are old enough to fend for themselves, thank you.

"Turkey, roast beef or peanut butter?"

Also, makes their lunches.

"Nope, uh-huh, I don't think so and NO, because you just bought yesterday!"

And fields any (and all) of their questions - although, the children have not yet appreciated the fact that, in doing so, their father HAS saved them from encounters with the beast, that is their mother - bless his squishy heart.

By dinnertime, it's a whole different story!


So, he's a morning person and I'm...well, let me just tell you...I'm like a night owl.  All bug-eyed and barrel-chested, with nerves jumping and ready for bear.


Seriously, at the end of the day, the man is an absolute grump!

"Oh, no...look out!"

Especially, when I do something totally unexpected and scare the bees-juice out of him!


[eyes go wide]

"The...the...smiley fries!"

I grabbed his tie, pulled him closer and pointed toward the kitchen counter.



"They're coming to get you, Daddy!"

[rolls eyes]

"Stop it, you're being STUPID!"


"They're coming for you, Daddy!"

[cracks a smile]

"Okay, now you're JUST weird."


"They're coming for YOU!"

[bites lower lip]

"Shhhh, the kids are watching!"


"Look, there comes one of them now!"


"Stop it, they'll hear you!"


"Here he comes now...GAH...I'm getting OUTTA OF HERE!"

I was able to crack through that tough-Daddy shell of his and I ask you, how could he NOT smile!?!


Honestly, with fries like these, what's NOT to love?

"Now, where's my beer?"

So, I guess what I'm saying is, contrary to popular opinion, opposites really DO attract - it's what helps keep the spice in our marriage, anyways - unfortunately, I must have commanded a little too much of The Boy's attention, for once.


Garth (not his real name) got up with him, last night - bless his squishy heart - because, The Boy very rarely calls out for, you know, me.

"Coming, Buddy!"

Go figure.


But, this time, it was ME who got up with the pets, made the lunches, etc...


So, you see, it all works out in the end.

"What's for dinner, tonight?"


"Swedish meatballs!"

[eyes go wide]

"Oooooh, I can't wait!"


[shrugs shoulders]

Yes, there's only 6 more sleeps until Christmas and it's a stressful time for everyone.

"Momma, I don't feel so...[gulp]...BLAAAAAH!"

Especially, when yet other one of your kids wakes up sick and pukes all over the breakfast table...AGAIN!


What; you want fries with that?

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[Edited to add:  Please remember to leave a comment on Bloggers Unite - if you haven't already, won't you consider visiting my post and Delurking for a cause, or for even a DORK, like me!?!?]

Submitted to:
Blog Carnival archive - carnival of family life
Carnival of Family Life

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

Wordless Wednesday: The Hump Day before Christmas!


To:  Garth (not his real name)

From:  F.B. (wouldn't you like to know)

I love you, BUT, dang there's STILL sooooooo much to do and would you even want me this way - see above - HAH, who am I kidding?

Okay, BUT, if you'd only just wait - only 6 more sleeps until Christmas - there would be more time and I promise to fit you in!


Perhaps even twice (no pun intended, MUCH) when ALL the children are off in college, of course.

Happy Hump Day, just the same!

[Blogtip to:  5 Minutes for Mom and the official Wordless Wednesday HQ]

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[Edited to add:  Comments WILL REMAIN OPEN until Friday for Bloggers Unite - if you haven't already, won't you consider visiting my post and Delurking for a cause, or for even a DORK, like me!?!?]

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

Bloggers Unite - When a simple act of kindness means delurking for even a dork, like me!


Bloggers from around the world are performing acts of kindness and today, December 17th - with only 8 more sleeps until Christmas - I am honored to dedicate today's blog post to telling you about Carol for A Cause and, hopefully, share a little of the spirit of giving, with you.

Yes, even YOU - yep, CAN so see you - way in the back, looking all shopped out and blogging in your pajamas!

This is the 3rd year that Marie from Mommy Community is hosting the fundraiser - it started on December 13th and ends on Christmas Day - as we listen to moms and their kids carol for this wonderful cause.

To listen to carols - click here.

You'll be given an opportunity to leave a donation - all proceeds will be given to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation - and any amount you can donate will be greatly appreciated, I'm sure.


It's easy to do good so please join me - won't you? - because, nice really DOES matter and it IS a small act of kindness, after all!

As an added incentive - not to mention, perhaps saving you from yet another to-do, or two - I'm calling you out (yes, YOU) and ask that you consider leaving your name (or, NOT) and This Full House will donate $1.00 for each comment received on this post, to Carol for a Cause!

There, consider your good deed done for the day!

Because I am a major DORK and my name is NOT Dooce - seriously, the woman would be looking at LEAST a triple-digit donation - I'm leaving comments open until the end of the week and thank you, in advance, for your kindness.

Feel free to pass this along, share it with a blogging friend, or two and consider this OUR chance to show the world that bloggers have heart online and off!

[wipes chocolate from mouth and puckers lips]


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

Parenting Tip# 30,910,007: For every action, there is an equal and positive reaction, followed by total hesitation and a little bit of Charlie Daniels, too!

My children are in love with my SIL - you know, the one who DARED Garth (not his real name) to ask me out on a date - and I can't say as I blame them.  Wayne (not her real name, either) is a fun-loving and engaging adult that kids can totally relate to and...well...all the things I used to be, before children.

Seriously, I've got pictures to prove it - all decked out in gold lame, wickedly high hair and shoulder pads that would make even a line backer look, you know, pretty - and my 23-year-old niece (Wayne's daughter) thought I was cool when she

"Yeah, but Aunt Wayne is really awesome and she DOES have a tattoo!"

Three of them, actually, and my favorite being the two lips on her rearend that reads kiss my...uh...well, just ask anyone in the family and they'll tell you, my SIL, there IS only one Wayne and it's hard NOT to love her.

Even when she makes your 8-year-old son cry.

"What's the matter, Buddy?"

Last weekend, The Boy asked to go home with Aunt Wayne - because, he likes her way more than me, remember? - and kept my SIL company on the way to a family Christmas party, way up in North Jersey.

"I have [sniff-sniff] something [snort-snort] to tell you."

My husband's cousin lives about a little over an hours drive away - way up in Sopranos Land - and The Boy had a great time spending some private time with Aunt Wayne and rocking out to Charlie Daniels.

At least, that's what my SIL told me.

"I did [sniff] something [snort] really, really bad in Aunt Wayne's car!"

Uh-oh, judging that we ARE talking about my SIL and seeing as I've, you know, driven with her before, The Boy's latest admission of bad behavior could range anywhere from flipping off an inconsiderate driver, to being allowed to say a word on the no-no list.

"I said a curse!"

See, I know.


To tell you the truth, I was shocked and NOT by his actually saying a curse word - Holy Hannah Montana, I am his mother - but, The Boy buried his face into the crook of his arm and started, let's see.  Okay, if I were to try to string together a couple of words and describe an accurate account of exactly how badly the kid must have felt, a full blown  snot blowing brain numbing bawl, comes to mind.

"Come on, Buddy, it's NOT that bad."

Seriously, I could think of worse things (shuddup, Wayne!) and we ARE talking about a woman, with a picture of an angel, fighting the devil, and the words, "The devil won!" tattooed on her shoulder.

"It's not like you're going around saying it in school, or anything, RIGHT?"

Judging by the vigorous way The Boy nearly shook his head right off his shoulders, h-e-double-hockey sticks, NO!

"So, why don't you just tell me what you said."

It took him a couple of seconds and - only after he blew his nose, twice - I braced myself for the worst, as The Boy finally shouted out.

"Son of a Bitch!"

[eyes go wide]

"Oh, is THAT all...I mean...really?"

Honestly - if you have kids, then you know - The Boy hears filthier stuff walking around in the grocery store and it COULD have been worse.

"Well, now you told me and..."


He started BAWLING, again.



"Aunt Wayne said that you wouldn't be mad."

More bawling.

"Well, I'm still glad that you told me."

Cheese and rice, I couldn't believe that The Boy was so upset - I mean, really, it's NOT that bad - but, I was secretly taking pleasure in the idea that he seemed really worried what, you know, I thought about the whole thing.

"But, she told me that, she would NOT tell you, and she did NOT want you, to make me, NOT go with, you know, Aunt Wayne, anymore, unless, I wanted to."

Now, I ask you, how am I supposed to react and, seriously, does he really think that I would ever do that?

"That's when I said, HELL NO!"

Needless to say, he's NOT in trouble and neither is my SIL.

[eyes go wide]

Because, Wayne mom-napped me to Starbucks, last night, and we laughed a week's worth of suckage off when I told her.

"No more Charlie Daniels, evuh!"

The Hubs, however, not so much.

"So, what's the matter with you?"

Seriously, Garth (not his real name) WAS mad as a dog.

"I tried to get on the [censored] Internet, and you're right, it's STILL not {censored] working right, so I told [censored] Verizon that they can [censored] KISS MY ASS!"

Mini-me started with the croup and was STILL awake.

"Son-of-a-Bitch, now how am I supposed to get my letter to Santa?"

And, apparently, little ears really ARE listening.

[sound of crickets]

Well, never mind, she's STILL young, there's time and a whole shopping list of mad parenting skillz to rely on.

[shrugs shoulders]

Besides - judging by my total DISDAIN I feel for Verizon, at the moment - I'm STILL working on an answer for that one.

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