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September 2011

I Give Good Face(s)

My husband, the kids and I were ALL having a nice, quiet, leisurely dinner at the dining room table the other night.

[blank stare]

Okaaaaay, so, maybe the kids weren't actually at the table.

[eyes go wide]

Fiiiiiiine, they were all out eating at other people's houses.

[taps foot]

Buuuuut, my husband and I were eating...uh...standing up.

[sound of crickets chirping]

Aaaaanyway, my husband was in the middle of telling me a story about something that happened at his work the other day and then ended it, very abruptly.

"What's the face for?"

[blink, blink]

Honestly, I wasn't even aware of my giving a face.

"Which face?" 

I can't help it.  Part of it stems from my being raised by Hungarians, a culture whose emotional heritability increases exponentially.

"THAT FACE, right there!"

Seems some of the kids were home...early...and immediately began to throw their mother (that would be me) right under the proverbial bus.  Apparently, I have six (6) distinct faces, which they then began to categorize, thusly:

The Face Collage A-F 
A = Awesome:  For those moments of pure joy and one that I would hope most folks are probably pretty much used to seeing, right?  RIGHT?  Riiiiight.

B = Be Quiet:  One I use when fighting my inner-12-year-old or trying REAL HARD to keep my mouth shut (shuddup!)

C = Catatonic:  Believe it or not, this is one of my least expressive faces which, come to find out, is a clear sign that I am NOT listening.

D = DER!:  I've got teenagers, enough said.

E = EWW:  My most multi-functional expression and can be easily translated from,"What's that smell?!?" to "Meh, I've seen hairier!"

F = Fear Me:  Thankfully, I don't use this one very often (DO NOT!) but, one my kids, my husband, the dog and whoever else manages to bring out the Jersey in me (YO!) fear the most.

Oh, and jackwagons  who insist on double-parking in the drop-off lane, THIS is the one you'll most likely see from your review mirror, complete with its own personalized set of eye baggage and everything!

You feel me?

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

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

Serving as an Unspoken Example to My Children Since 2003

I wrote my very first blog post 8 years ago (Happy Belated Blogivesary to me, heh) on September 2, 2003 (at 3:38 p.m.) and poop may or may not have been involved.

My youngest was still in diapers and, well, it's understandable, really.  Raising 4 kids, under the age of 10, life revolved around my being the center of their world -- handling poop was a large part of it -- which, thanks to the internet, had just gotten a whole lot smaller.

I now had the ability to communicate, with other people, over the age of 10, unwashed and in my pajamas (as far as anyone knew!)

To be given the opportunity to put my thoughts (scattered and nonsensical, as they may have been) into actual words (thanks to spell check) blogging felt empowering AND downright intoxicating, really.

Minus, the poop, of course.  Especially, for a self-professed, semi-professional, poop-handlers (like me) you know?

We've shared a lot of stories in 8 years and, now that my kids are older (me, too) perhaps even managed to work in a title, involving just about every major bodily fluid and/or function known to the universe.

Because, contrary to what most people think (about moms, who happen to write a blog, or twenty, too) it's not ALWAYS about the poop.

"Grandma's on the phone and she sounds upset."

My in-laws were in Massachusetts, on their way back home to Jersey, they got hit by another car and my husband could hear the emergency crew trying to get her side of the car open, they got there THAT fast (thank you Holyoke EMT!)

While my husband showered and prepared to break the record for driving, round trip, thru MA, CT, NY and NJ traffic (enough said) in 9 hours (it CAN be done) my kids took to task.

My middle girl Googled information for the local authorities, hospital and hotels, while the youngest wrote the information on sticky notes.

Aaaand, for all the worries about kids today and their fascination with the internet (not to mention, the moms who blog about them) I have to say, it was nice to see mine use their cyberpowers for good in the time it took me to find my dumbass phone.

Only, because my oldest used her cell phone to call it.

Gramma & Grampa

Then, she texted this picture to my husband's cell phone and, I am very,VERY happy to tell you, they are ALL back home and doing fine.

Morale of the Story:  Potty-training is hard, raising tweens and teens is like [insert bodily fluid and/or function, of choice, here!] in the wind.

Beeeeeecause, you NEVER know what's gonna get thrown back at you AND it's not always about the poop, anyway.

Don't believe me?  Rather than telling you about the rest of our horrifically emotional weekend (you're welcome!) I did a quick search:  PUKE WINS!

Aaaand thank YOU for allowing ME the chance to, you know, share.

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

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

My Karma Ran Over Your Dogwood!

Last winter, you may or may not remember my telling you about the house next door.

Miss Grace turned 103, this month (bless her hearty little, uhh, heart) so, about 2 weeks ago, I pulled into my driveway and saw our other neighbor cutting her grass.


The 3 of us have very large properties (as in, DANG, but this grass got real long, didn't it?!?)

I don't remember the EXACT measurement (that particular brain cell burned off about 2 kids ago, I think) but, I'm pretty sure we're about 300+ feet long, backdoor to end of mow-able backyard and, well, that's A LOT of grass clippings, my friend.

Our riding mower is broken (of course!) and I can't very well sit by and watch our other neighbor, who works the night shift and coaches in the afternoons, cut Miss Grace's lawn when he could be, you know, sleeping.

But, the self-propelled portion of our lawn mower is ALSO broken (I know, go ahead and act surprised anyway) making it more a non-moving lawn mower (as in, DANG, but Miss Grace has got a lot of shrubs, doesn't she?!?)

I don't remember the EXACT moment (after 4 tours of potty-training duty, I'm pretty much thankful for even a small fraction of brain activity) but, I'm pretty sure it was AFTER cutting underneath her holly tree.

3 things came to mind:

1.  Poison ivy lives here.

2.  Miss Grace is NOT allergic to poison ivy.

3.  I am SEVERELY allergic to poison ivy.

No worries.  I've done this before (sadly) and know EXACTLY what to do:

1.  Take a shower, IMMEDIATELY!

2.  Dry off, COMPLETELY!

3.  Wash infected clothes and any towels used, SEPARATELY!

Besides, Karma dictates I should be fine (no?)

Poison Ivy Week 2 HAH!  Made you itch!!!

So, here I am, 2 weeks later, fresh from the doctor's office, thinking I was suffering from some sort of horrible contagion, with a prescription of prednisone (it makes my brain itch, like crazy) just so you know:

3. (REVISED) Wash infected clothes and any towels used SEPARATELY and IN HOT WATER!

Next week:  I'm ripping out her holly tree and planting a dogwood (shhhh, but don't tell her, okay?) after I borrow a HAZMAT suit, of course.

STUPID poison ivy, DUMBASS Karma!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

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

Nearly WordlessWednesday:
Same, Only Different

                                                                  Source: via Liz on Pinterest


Now this, THIS IS EXACTLY what my dining room looks like, here at home. 

Minus the nice walls, finished ceilings, those wickedly awesome French doors and fancy furniture, that rug and gorgeous light fixture, WOW, oh and, at second glance, uhhhhh, our floor may or may not look a little less, you know, finished.

Ummmm, did I mention, we have the same color pallet, tho?!?

Stupid houzz!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

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

Are You Smarter Than My
5th Grader's Smart Phone?

NO!!!  Because, my 5th grader doesn't have a cell phone.  She will (eventually) then text me, how much she HATES the bus, like her siblings before her, most likely.

All arguments for or against cell phone use in school and kids today with their entitlement issues, aside (really, 4 kids, living under 1 leaky roof, I get it) her latest argument that, "My friends are texting each other, except me!" is more than just a little disconcerting.

"Which friends?"

I mean, we ARE talking 10 year-old girls, who stop talking to each other, every other day, just so you know.

"ALL my friends!"

Still, I remember when it seemed ALL my friends wore Converse sneakers and, being raised hearing stories of my father entering this country, with borrowed shoes (2 sizes too small) how torn I felt about my Shoprite specials.

Unconvinced (see last paragraph) I remind her that it couldn't possibly be ALL her friends.

"I mean So-and-So calls you on our house phone, every day."

Okay, I mean, at least every OTHER day.

"Beeeeeee-cawse, I don't have a cell phone, remember?!?"

[blink, blink, blink]

GAH!  Whatever!  It's sort of hard to argue with a child's sense of logic, without sounding a little like a 12-year-old, my ownself, yes?

"Well, that's not ALL your friends now, is it?"

See what I mean?


Times like this, squashing my inner-12-year old is really, really hard, just so you know.

"What about So-and-So?"

[one beat, two beats]

"Beeeeeee-cawse, she has me on conference call!"

[eyes go wide]

"I can't even do that with my phone, DAGNABIT!"

There, I said it (keep your Blackberry, Droid and iPhone apps to yourselves, please) I have a dumb phone, don't judge.

"Well, you COULD get a smart phone and we CAN always learn to share!"

Damn, that kid is smart (stupid phone!)

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

Rock, Bumper, Echo Says, "SHOOT!"

We attended a family get-together in memory of Garth's (NHRN) uncle who, sadly and very suddenly, passed away last month.

The kids were a little nervous (me, too!) it's been almost a year since they attended my aunt's funeral and they're still not quite over her passing (me, either.)

I promised it was not going to be like that.


This was, however, an opportunity to meet up with extended family members of the Thompson Clan, from Arizona and Boston, who we haven't visited with in a very long time.

Which also gave us the chance to introduce our kids to another branch of their family.

Okay, so we were ALL a little more than nervous.


Still, it was held here in Jersey (yes, on purpose!) at Garth's (NHRN) cousin's home, which my SIL promised would be, an experience to behold.

She was NOT even kidding.  The wine cellar, alone, filled from floor to ceiling with bottles of pinots, cabs, shiraz and champagnes (they weren't even dusty DANGIT!) you could tell, was created to be a very livable space, with it's own thermostat and humidifier, well, I was ready to move in.

We were ALL blown away and each complimented my cousin-in-law, more than once, on her beautiful home, having done ALL the decorating, herself.

Okay, so we were all, like, "GAWD, this is gor-juss!" and "How many bathrooms DO you have, again?" every danged chance we got, hoping not to have sounded tooooo, you know, envious.


We had a really great time, considering the circumstances and, after watching a rather emotional tribute to my uncle-in-law, we were all a little sad to go.

Until, my cousin-in-law insisted that we come back, for Christmas and, well, one or more of us may or may not have volunteered to help clean up and perhaps stay, you know, until then, or maybe even for forever.

I mean, they DO have the room (DAGNABIT!) the area is absolutely gorgeous (yes, here in Jersey!) and they seemed to like us, just fine, until.


CRASH! I backed up into this rock, left behind when they cleared the lands to make room for their 1/4 mile driveway.


And I may or may not have swapped the two "o's" for an "i" because, you know, I'm from Jersey.

"Do you think anyone heard that?"

Judging by all the cameras on the front porch, visible from way over here, even, I'd say, YES!

"Funny, I thought the rock would be bigger!"

Stupid echo!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

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