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April 2011

Don't Get a Dog, Unless You Want Mine!

There's a great conversation going on at my friend Melisa's blog (a.k.a. the newly revamped questioning whether or not parents should get a dog for their kids, even though, you know, they really, really don't want one?!?

For those of you who have visited here before and been reading along (glutton for punishment, eh?) ya'll know, already (or, is it y'all, I forget?) my husband, Garth (not his real name) and I have this love/hate relationship with Doofus-Dawg.

Although, for Garth (NHRN) if the dog lives to see another day, he's lucky.

FOR EXAMPLE:  We hosted Easter dinner for both sets of grandparents and, once they left, we were enjoying a lovely glass of port, with my SIL (I know, sounds so oh-la-la, but, heck my SIL bought it back from SoCal and, well, I'd be happy to share some with you, but it's ALL gone now) when...BLAM!...something in the house fell, HARD!

Garth (NHRN) ran to the playroom/laundry room, thinking one of the kids MUST have taken a header.

I thought it was the ceiling (stupid rain!)

My SIL said it came from the kitchen.

[eyes go WIDE]


MORALE OF THE STORY:  If you are considering getting a dog, I suggest a hairless breed, no higher than your shin, when standing on its hind legs.

Or, you could always borrow one, then send it home and blame the parents when it does something really, really bad.

Even better, take my dog...instead...PUH-LEEZE!!!

Aaaaand, for the love of meat remember to put away your Easter ham!!!

[blank stare]

My story doesn't help your decision any, I know, and I'm really sorry about that, truly I am.

THE UPSIDE, HOWEVER:  This blog post is NOT about my kids.

You're welcome!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Blogged in the Year of Lord-Only-Knows

I've been spring cleaning the garage (okay, for the last 15 years, but who's counting?) and, as it turns out, I'm also a little behind on updating my kids' baby books.

This is where you ask me, "So, how far behind are you?"

Hope's Baby Book

Seems, my last entry was in 2002, when my youngest daughter took her first steps at 10 months-old.

Hope is turning 10 years-old, in June.

However, I started blogging in 2003 and have been consistently posting my family's milestones, since then, so, there's that, right?

[sound of crickets chirping]

Like, yesterday was my husband, Garth's (not his real name) birthday, just don't ask me which one (I quit counting sometime around 2004) since, you know, in the end, it's not the years that count, it's the mileage, right?

[welcome to cricketcon'11]

Hope's Birthday Card for Garth (not his real name)
So, while Garth (not his real name) and I were out trolling our favorite garden center, yesterday (stupid rain) Hope made this birthday card for her father -- HAH!

Glen's Birthday Card for Garth (not his real name)

Our 12-year-old son made him this one and not only does he have his father's sense of humor (28 my left foot!) Glen also appreciates the value of money and its depreciating effects on one's bank account...DAMMIT.

Heather's Birthday Card for Garth (not his real name)
My 15-year-old, however, seems to have inherited her Hungarian grandmother's affinity for making people cry...especially, on their birthday.

Holly's Portrait of Garth (not his real name)
My 17-year-old daughter drew this brilliant caricature of her father (HAH!) and, now that I blogged about it, I can reflect back and remember what my husband looks like (stupid extended banking hours) also, after uploading the pic, I just noticed that she signs her name to look like a butterfly, too.

I just love that!

"Honey, do you remember when we bought the water heater?"

In fact, I recently found myself referring back to my blog's archives for non-fluff and totally tax related purposes, only.

"Uh, no, but...wait...I blogged about in 2009!"

Too bad my husband, Garth (not his real name) didn't ask me that question, last year, right?

Stupid crickets!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

This One Time, At Camp Poopy

Hope at Pittsgrove 3

Kids are on spring break, this week (note to spring:  feel free to show up, anytime, now, thanks) and Hope, who has been looking forward to staying with her godparents, to work their iris farm, ran from the car, suitcase in hand and excitedly announced her arrival.

"I'm ready to spread manure!"

Yes, the kid loves nature THAT MUCH and I am not even kidding, when I tell you, it's ALL that we, her teacher, the kids in her class, our next door neighbor and the mail carrier, have been hearing about, for weeks.

Hope at Pittsgrove 4

Unlike her older sisters, she is not afraid to get dirty and I tease my son that she is actually a lot like what I imagine having a younger brother would be like, too.

Hope at Pittsgrove 1

Much to the delight of her godmother, who raised two boys and also happens to be a little bit crunchy...even before crunchy was cool...and often joked about not knowing what to do with a girl.

Hope at Pittsgrove 2

So, in my eyes, it sort of fits that fate bring these two together and, truth be told, makes my heart feel a little squishy, knowing that, when all else fails (i.e. my attempting to convince some therapist that my youngest daughter's childhood wasn't really all that bad) Hope will remember this one time, at Pittsgrove Farms.

Hope at Pittsgrove 5

When she helped spread manure and really, really liked it.  Actually, I'm not sure what is on her hands and was, at the time, reassured by her godfather that they're really not going to make the kid spread manure...shhhhh...but, don't tell her, okay?

"Aunt Cheryl made applesauce pancakes, this morning!"


"You lucky goose!"

Wait for it.

"Mom made us ALL eat granola."

Yes, but we're having waffles...for brinner!!!

Note to spring:  don't bother, I got this!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Spring Break Day 1: Chocobeast Vs Cheesecakemonster

I don't know about you...but...scaring the pudding...out of MY the point where they will be up...fighting for leg room...IN MY BED...for the rest of the night?

You know, there better be a FREAKISHLY LARGE piece of ricotta

Just sayin'!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Be Kind 2 Earth Day: So, You From Joisey?

BKind2EarthDay-Round2-200x200 We are big time supporters of the National Wildlife Federation (yes, we have Jersey!) my kids have been reading Your Big Back Yard and Ranger Rick for years (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa) so, I was very honored to partner with the NWF as a Founding Mother of their Be Out There campaign.


Contrary to what other people may have told you (if you're not from Jersey) there are some very pretty places to visit here (YES, in New Jersey) and no, I am not even kidding.

Okay, but why SO defensive?

My parents immigrated from Hungary (my father was 19 and my mother was 14, younger than my oldest girls, by the way) and worked very, very hard to make a home for our family, here in Jersey.

Even in retirement, working the land and cultivating their tiny piece of the American dream to the point where they are both barely able to walk, my parents remain passionate about teaching their grandchildren to respect the earth...EVERY DAY!

Morale of the Story:  This is MY home.  My kids live here.  This is their legacy.  Trash our state and I will go all Hungarian on your behind.

Want to help?

My friends Cooper and Emily of have just launched a cool Earth Day inspired digital campaign with the National Wildlife Federation and Nickelodeon, enlisting bloggers in every state to help spread the word about B Kind 2 Earth Day:

The initiative is simple:  promise to do one nice thing for the Earth on April 22nd -- a "like" for the B Kind 2 Earth page equals a promise.

It's been a looooooooong (and HARD!) winter and the kids are on spring break, next week (FINALLY!!!) so, as a BK2 Leader representing New Jersey, I'm calling all you's out (YO!) to do, or say something nice about our home state.

Like, we promised to unplug, go outside and help our 104 year-old neighbor clean up her yard.

Also, doing the same along any of the beaches, walking paths and hiking paths we'll be visiting and generally just helping out around the house during our annual staycation with my parents, next week.

So, you from Joisey?

Go "like" the B Kind 2 Earth page, and let's show everyone how kick-butt New Jersey is by adding to the state participation count...YO!!!

Any-uh-yuhs got a problem witdat?

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Shoulda Asked the Baby Name Genie

The girls and I, along with my mom, were invited to a baby shower a few weeks ago son was not very happy about it.

"Why can't I go?"

[hands on hips]

"Because, it's for girls ONLY!"

My 9-year-old, however, was THRILLED...until...the part where they played what turned out to be some pretty fun baby shower games.

For example, to help break the ice, guests who liked the names their parents chose for them were asked to stand in the living room and those who, you know, unliked their name moved to the dining room.

My mother (a.k.a. Eva) and I happen to like our names and, even if we didn't, she and I were very happy to stay, right where we were and, you know, not have to lose our seats.

Besides, it was sort of fun watching my teenagers (a.k.a. Holly and Heather) freeze, then rock back and forth, indecisively, for once.


I told them it was perfectly okay if they didn't like their names (eventually) and, since they are 17 and 15, that I would not be offended, in the least, seeing as, at this point in the game, they dislike most everything my husband, Garth (not his real name) and I say, or do, anyway.

My mother then tapped me on my shoulder, pointed toward the dining room and there was my youngest daughter (a.k.a. Hope) with her arms folded across her chest and standing, right there, in the front row.

"I wanted to be called Robin!"

The room burst into laughter (I have that affect on people, sometimes) and, well, shame on me for not listening to her, in the first place and the REAL funny thing is, Robin WAS on our list.

FLASH FORWARD TO YESTERDAY:  After asking my son to take out the garbage for, like, the eleventeenth time, he just stood there, with arms folded across his chest, in the middle of the kitchen.



"You just called me Hope!"


"Which time?"

After hollering, for somebody, or anybody, to do something, after all these years, I sort of forget.

[hands on hips]

"My name is Glen!"

I knew that.

"How come my name doesn't start with an H, like the girls?"

Because, Heidi wouldn't have worked and I told him that there's a pretty neat story behind the reason why we chose the name, Glen (with one N only, please) but, I will save it for another blog post (you're welcome) also, Hunter Thompson was taken.

"I know, I know, it means a quiet place for salsa."


"Actually, it's solace, Hope, not salsa."

[hands on hips]

"Actually, it's Robin!"



Apparently, no one says whatever anymore and, I get it, as a parent of teens and tweens, the only thing hip about me is, you know, my hips....or, should is be are...I forget?

Morale of the Story:  Picking out baby names is hard; having to explain it to your teens and tweens is even harder; just ask the Baby Name Genie!!!

Because, clearly, Ella Scarlett, Reese Delilha, Layton Maurice and Perla Danielle Thompson sound, you know, waaaaay hipper, right?

Fiiiiine, but try hollering those names, five times, real fast, go ahead, I'll wait.

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Don't Make Me Have to Use UPPERGROWL!

Dog Sitting -- No, Doofus is NOT Happy!

We're dog sitting for very dear friends of ours and, uh, no Doofus-Dawg is NOT happy and not just because Sassy enjoys sitting in his favorite chair, either!

Sassy and Glen

Although, Sassy has stayed with us before, I swear, Doofus is still not finished getting over it, yet and I kinda, sorta think he's a little afraid of her, too.  This time, however, she seems to have grown real attached to my son.


Sassy is at Glen's side, constantly, all weekend and even growled at my youngest daughter for tossing one of her game pieces, in frustration (okay, so maybe it was Hope who growled) but, I still thought she was really being, you know, sort of cute (the dog, I mean!)

Sassy and Garth (not his real name)

Until, I cleaned up after dinner with the inlaws and came into the living room to find Sassy lying next to my husband, Garth (not his real name) IN MY SPOT and, when I tried squeezing in, next to them, well, this time, she really DID growl!



Yeah, I know, right? Still, you can't help but admire her, uh, self-determination and yes, I realize that she's just another dog with extreme territorial issues and epic gastronomic concerns (especially, when fed too much table food, or cheese...UGH!) on the other hand...I guess the same could be said about a lot of people (ahem) too.

So, who am I to judge, right?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Yep, it's going to be a looooong week.  I hope Glen gets home, soon!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.