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April 2013

March 2013

Some of Them Are Revisiting Their Childhood, Already?

Hope revisiting her childhood
She insisted on going "back to childhood" because, you know, it was sooooooo long ago (snort!)

The kids are on their spring break from school, which is sort of funny considering it snowed, this week and, well, now that they're older (me too, dammit!) let's just say I'm sort of cursing myself for ever having uttered the word:  staycation.

Excuse me while I start shaking my virtual cane, but spring break used to be SO MUCH easier...when they were way younger.

Give me clear skies, a full tank of gas, an empty playground and we could go for hours without even one mention of So-and-So's family ski weekend or What's-his-Face vacationing in Disney...again.

"Where are we going?"

Yesterday, we were reminded...once again...that the sky is actually more blue-ish than gray-ish.

"I don't know, we'll see."

After I fill the car up with gas, of course.

"You guys go ahead, without me."

Long story, short (seriously, with teenagers, a person could go on and on, you're welcome!) my 19 yo got called into work (earlier than scheduled) and if you have teens (most especially, teen girls) or have ever had to wait on one of them (see previous parenthesis), then you know:  going out in public takes a bit of an effort and my 17 yo was just not feeling it. 

Aaaaaaand then, like a cement block to the head, it hit me:  our days, of spending any length of time together as a family, are truly numbered.

My heart may or may not have squished, just a little.

"Okay, so where do YOU guys want to go?"

I watched my 14 yo and 11 yo look at each other through the rear view mirror and I knew, right then and there, they were pretty much onto me.

"How about the battlefield?"

Where other families escape to warmer climates on spring break, my kids enjoy revisiting areas known for their history of colonial skirmishes...here in Jersey...where it's still sort of cold, in March.

"Mom, STOP!!!!!"

Aaaaaand, scaring me half-to-death.

I used to worry about my kids climbing too high, now I can't help but feel as if my youngest has grown out of her shoes...way too fast. 

Glen and I are frickin' cold
"Smile, it's frickin' cold out here, already!" she said through clenched teeth.

On the other hand, the fact that my son still allows me to be seen with him, out in public and everything, and then share it on Instagram...priceless.

Monopoly World of Warcraft style
It was left up to a vote:  World of Warcraft or Dr. Who edition of Monopoly (raises hand) I lost :(

Aaaaaand, then there are those rare nights, when we can ALL sit for hours and be happy to be able to just laugh with each other; usually at my expense, but I'm okay with it.

I'll just keep on shaking my virtual cane...like a boss :)

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House 
© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

New York's Finger Lakes: The Canandaigua Wine Trail

Eagle Crest Wine and newly constructed outdoor pizza oven!

I had the extreme pleasure of being invited by new friends at the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection in Ontario County, NY for a girlfriends weekend getaway and join them as guests of the Finger Lakes Foodie Awards.  

We were treated to a wonderful foodie tour and met with some of the most amazing folks spearheading the farm to table (a.k.a. field to fork) food revolution.  

Our 4-day visit was packed with SO MANY wonderful experiences, so I am very excited (and most eager) to share with you the fun things to see and do in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, including the mirepoix of good times:  wine, food and friends.

I've decided to create a series of blog posts to help us along in our journey -- I don't want you guys to miss a thing -- so, I thought today maybe we could focus on wine...yes?!?

Continue reading "New York's Finger Lakes: The Canandaigua Wine Trail" »

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

Sleeping Quadruple in a Sofa Bed

CONFESSION:  I have this thing about sleeping, in the dark.  I know, considering humans are not generally classified as being nocturnal, sucks for me, right?!?

It's like my internal clock crossed wires (or something) because, at the end of the day, no matter how physically tired or mentally exhausted I may be (and let me tell you, raising 3 teens and my youngest a teen by default, I totally be!) as soon as the light goes out...[sound of a pin, dropping]...my senses automatically kick into...HOLY CRAP!!!!...WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?!?

No, my husband is NOT very happy about it.

In fact, we adopted our first cat (a few months after we were married) because Garth (not his real name) was leaving on a business trip for several days; thinking that a pet would, at the very least, keep me company and, well, he was a very affectionate cat.

Still, old ghosts can be REAL hard to kill (right?!?) and we were both a little surprised to find that it worked:  along with the butcher knife I accidentally left under my husband's pillow, which he discovered on his first night back.

Thankfully, with his hand (not his head) and by its handle.  True story.

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Aaaaaanywaaaaay, I've been traveling out-of-state and staying in a two-bedroom condo, with two separate floors, for a few nights:  which, in my mind, is tantamount to broadcasting fresh meat to every zombie within earshot.

The first night, I slept in the living room:  without bothering to open the sleeper sofa, because jumping off and out is...you know...THAT much quicker.

The second night, I opened the sleeper sofa:  because I actually didn't really realize it opened, until now...don't judge.

By the third night, I was absolutely exhausted:  because sleeper sofas can be super-uncomfortable (especially, when you are up all night, with a bad back and stacking cushions high enough to be able to watch The Golden Girls marathon on television) and keeping an ear out for zombies is hard work...YO!!!

Sleepover
From left to right: my sorry ass, Corine, Carol and Jen

Last night:  lucky for me, I also happened to be traveling with 3 very good friends who did NOT think twice about babysitting my sorry ass AND calling it a pajama party...instead.

With friends like this, who needs a butcher knife?!?

©2003 - 2013 This Full House

P.S.  Did YOU know that Blanche got married?!?  

P.P.S.  Never mind.

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

S.O.S. The Jersey Shore is Open!

National news crews were very good at bringing the rest of the country (if not, the world) to our doorsteps, when broadcasting heart-breaking images of devistation along our ENTIRE Jersey shoreline (all 130 miles of it) in an effort to record the storm that changed the topography of our state, forever....aaaaand then they left.

Belford Pier Remembered
We spent many staycation afternoons hanging out in Belford, NJ:  I taught my kids how to fish at the pier here.

It's been 5 months since Hurricane Sandy made landfall here in New Jersey (I blogged about our experience, once we got power back) so, some folks may be growing tired or even a little weary of hearing yet another #Sandy story.

Belford Pier
The beach and the pier today, as well as many of the businesses here in the small fishing town of Belford, gone.

I'm going to take this moment to share yet ANOTHER story with you, but it's a good one:  the Jersey shore is OPEN!!!

Shop Our Shore

My husband, Garth (not his real name) is a member of the NJ Chamber of Commerce (Northern Monmouth County...represent!) and he and his collegues have organized Shop our Shores: the BIGGEST shop local movement EVER to help businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy (the witch!) and it's happening this weekend!

So, what does that mean to those of you who do not live in Jersey?!?

Well, there's an awesome list of local shops participating in Shop Our Shores and many of these small business owner's have links to their store's website, as well.

So, grab yourself a beverage or a light snack (or both) and help support our recovery efforts here in New Jersey; with a little virtual window shopping, perhaps?

We may be down a couple miles of coastline, but don't count us out when planning your spring and summer vacations...either :)

Oh...and All the rest of the stuff you may or may not have heard from OTHER folks about Jersey...FUHGHETABOUTIT!...they wish their armpits looked so good.

Come on ova, we'd love to have yuhs!

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

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

Parenting Tip #45,371,381: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Shove a Slushy Snowball Down Someone's Shirt, Instead!

My husband, Garth (not his real name) is really good at not panicking, especially dealing with an emergency situation; when, considering I took to Twitter when my middle girl's butt exploded, clearly I am not.

On the other hand, I have made it my life's mission to NOT sweat the small stuff AND have consistently failed said mission (it was more like a guideline, anyway, really) for the last...ummmm, let's see...how old IS my oldest kid, again?!?

Aaaaanyway, point being (and I really do have one, promise) Garth (not his real name) and I have taken to handling this whole...parenting teens is hard, YO!...by tag-teaming each other, sort of like professional wrestlers would...during a no holds barred steel cage death match.

Blindfolded, with one arm tied behind our backs and buck-naked.

Like, the other night, when my youngest asked for help with an essay and then kept insisting on either disagreeing with or fighting me on ANY and ALL help that was being offered.

My husband walked in through the front door just in time to hear me holler, "Then, why BOTHER asking ME for help?!?"

[ding-ding-ding]

He rolled up his sleeves, loosened his tie and pushed me...every so gently, yet firmly...you know...out of the way.

"I got this!" 

Or, whenever Contradictory Boy shows up (a.k.a. our 14 year-old son's alter ego) and clashes with the gravitational forces on my husband's forehead, causing a massive facial implosion and one gosh-darned scary-looking unibrow.

[ding-ding-ding]

"Sooooooo, how DOES one go about creating a character in World of Warcraft?"

We ARE the King and Queen of Distraction (a.k.a. SziSzi of Pandaria) and, well, whatever works, right?!? 

Saturn Sucks
So, this is happening (RIGHT NOW!) and, well, the groundhog lied...the little jerk!

Long story, short (you're welcome!) I've been driving our oldest to and from work (she's saving for a car, we live in Jersey, enough said!) sometimes even on the days when I don't need to use the car (see last parenthesis) unless it snows.

"You don't want to transfer your fear onto her, do you?"

Now that we have a kid driving (and ANOTHER one driving, this spring) the panic that sets in goes way beyond the fact that I don't do snow and, well, Eastern-European-types aren't very good at keeping a straight face; we pretty much suck at poker, too.

"Noooooo, but don't expect me to stop worrying...DAMMIT...and ANOTHER thing..."

[ding-ding-ding]

Aaaaand, that's when he shoved a slushy snowball down the front of my pajamas.

"WTF, dude?!?!?!?!?"

Although, it worked long enough for me to stand there and forget just what in the heck we were talking about, I am STILL a little confused by his tactics.

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

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

Share Breakfast with a Child During National Breakfast Week

Growing up, my family was no stranger to hunger.  So, yes, it pains me to learn that nearly 1 in 5 kids across our communities go without breakfast, every day.  I am very proud to once again partner with KelloggsAction for Healthy Kids and Mr. Taye Diggs in the Share Breakfast effort to provide breakfasts to kids who might otherwise go without.   How?  By sharing ways in which you can help share breakfast with a child in need, too.  It's really super-simple, promise:

Continue reading "Share Breakfast with a Child During National Breakfast Week" »

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

Girl Scout Cookies Are Evil, We Must Eat Them!

My husband, Garth (not his real name) and I went food shopping, together (I know, don't be jealous!) and it was a really big one (that's what SHE said)!

So, after quickly scanning the sales receipt, to make sure we didn't accidentally purchase another child, or something, we were all, like...oh yeah...THAT'S why we haven't been to Disney (yet!) and I suddenly heard someone holler the 3 most scariest words in parenting.

Girl scout cookies.

Long story, short (we can only hope, right?!?) I broke up with girl scouts a few years ago and, well, it was a really difficult time for me.  

Each of my girls enjoyed their run with the girl scouts (my middle girl lasting the longest at 9 years) and I actually looked forward to each of their troop meetings (sort of) as a reason to get together with OTHER moms, at least once every month.

Selling girl scout cookies, not so much.

I used to dread cookie time, but not as much as the leaders and I'm pretty sure we STILL have a couple of boxes (or twenty) left, out in the garage, too.  

So, we walked by...REAL FAST...and then it hit me...the G.U.I.L.T...like walking into a revolving door...the wrong way...aaaaaaand, please tell me I am NOT the only one who's done that!

Seriously, as an ex-troop mom, I know how hard these ladies work.  

My husband, Garth (not his real name) must have felt it, too (after 20+ years of marriage, you sort of start sharing the same brain, it's sort of weird, really!) he shoved some money into my hand and told me he'd meet me at the car.

"So, how much ARE they?"

All of the girls manning (girling?) the table hollered out "FOUR BUCKS!" at the same time, making me jump and swallow my gum.

[cough-cough-cough]

"But, if you buy 5 boxes, you can enter a drawing for a grand prize!!!"

Dammit.

"Ohhhhhh, HEY YOU!"

Yep, I knew the troop leader.  My youngest was supposed to be in her Daisy troop in kindergarten, but she didn't know any of the girls, so I asked Hope be moved into another troop of pre-school friends and, well, moms have a weird way of remembering this sort of stuff.

Then I remembered:  she also happened to be Hope's class mom, pretty much all through elementary school, I think.

"I'll take 5 boxes, please!"

Even longer story, shorter (seriously, I know you're busy and everything!) I am a BIG believer in karma and, well, suffice it to say that my husband and I could really use a little cosmic intervention, right about now.

"Don't forget to fill out your entry form."

Fine, so while filling out the entry form, I casually asked about the grand prize...hoping that maybe it would a trip to Disney, or something...it COULD happen.

[one beat, two beats]

"5 cases of cookies!!!!"

Stupid girl scout cookies, dumbass Karma.

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

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