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April 2013

Tell Them About My Name

New-jersey-vietnam-war-memorial-glen-bates-2
My kids love hearing the stories behind their namesakes and each still pretty much like their given names, except for our youngest:  while playing a name game at a friend's baby shower, Hope insisted she wanted to be called Robin.

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

For two reasons:  naming your children with the same letter sounds harmless enough, until you try hollering for one of them, and can't seem to remember their names, without sounding like an idiot...each and every blessed time...because, I'm smart like that.

There is also a pretty neat and totally goosebump-worthy story behind the reason why we chose to name our son, Glen.

One of my husband Garth's (not his real name) earliest childhood memories was from the summer when he was about 4 years-old:  he fell into a rose bush, ten times his size (as he remembers it) when a really big boy from the neighborhood ran over and, without hesitation reached in through the thorns, lifted him out, brushed him off and then walked him home.

The really big boy was a 19-year old, his name was Glen Bates -- a few months later, he was killed in Vietnam.

But wait, my story is about to get a whole lot goosebump-ier.

Continue reading " Tell Them About My Name" »

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

Our Mother/Daughter Weekend, Gone Ugly Cry

I feel extremely lucky to have experienced (what I consider to be) once-in-a-lifetime type moments, via my little corner of the internets and feel very blessed to have a strong online network of friends and peers (yes, they know about it!) most especially, when dissing them during the Type-A Advanced blogging conference in Philadelphia to spend the rest of the weekend, with my oldest daughter.

Me and Holly
it's our first mother/daughter weekend away, can you tell?!?

While my friends Amy Clark and Jo-Lynne Shane fed my inner-squirrel...I mean, what I meant to say was...encouraged my love of Pinterest (heh) and Maria Bailey had me pretty much convinced that I really do need to improve my vlogging skills (or lack thereof), my oldest spent the day taking herself on a walking tour of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia in the SpringtimeWe've been to Philadelphia as a family, but it's been a while since our last visit and this time I did not have to worry about maneuvering through the crowds...with a stroller...yeah, it's been a looooong while.

Later, Holly confessed that she was also much more relaxed, not having to worry about keeping an eye on her siblings and, well, she is (and always has been) more like a mother to them...than I am...apparently, I don't have a very good inside voice OR follow cross-at-the-crosswalk-type rules, very well, either.

Kid is a tyrant, I tell ya!

Even later, while I was checking in at work during a break in between sessions, Holly limped back into our hotel room, and, well, The Franklin Institute is about a 50 minute walk from Independence Hall...one way...just so you know.

I know what you're thinking (maybe), but she didn't want to spend money on a taxi, even though she was wearing the wrong shoes, especially for such a looooooooong walk, and, well, I wonder where she gets THAT from?!?

[face palm]

Even later still, I got a text from Holly:  poolside :D

I texted her back, asking if the water was warm:  no :(

It was an indoor pool, but the hotel had just opened it up the day before, so :( indeed.

Then, the conference came to a close, I headed out to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Philadelphia with my kid.

Holly in her secret pretend victorian garden.

We are both BIG fans of early-American history -- not to mention historical romance novels -- and had LOTS of fun pretending to walk in Poppy Hathaway's unconventional shoes...along the grounds belonging to the roguishly-handsome entrepreneur, Harry Rutledge...an American-born enigmatic hotel owner in London and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life...aaaaaaand...ummmmmmm...what, not a big fan of Lisa Kleypas, eh?

Right.  Soooooo, then we got hungry. 

Dinner in Philadelphia
left: limoncello and prosecco w/strawberries and mint; upper right: cured meat and cheese platter; lower right: warm pear, cranberry, walnut and gorgonzola salad.

Aaaaaaand, boy did we eat!  EVER!!!  The great thing about visiting Philadelphia (or any metro-area city, really) is, of course, the food and we found a little hidden treasure in Pizzicato located in Olde City. 

Mother-Daughter-Weekend
mother/daughter weekends: this is how we do it.

Then came the moment we'd BOTH been waiting for:   getting back to the hotel, ordering dessert and a movie in, where we cried the ugly cry and blew through an entire box of tissues.

"I love...[snort-snort]...the relationship we have...[choke-choke]...and that we could...[gasp-gasp]...do this, together...[choke-choke]...Mom."

Aaaaaand, considering the fact that she knows, that I know, that she knows, I am a total dork (we're BOTH okay wit-it) that right there, my friends, is my MOST favorite part of this ENTIRE weekend and totally worth the over-inflated price of an in-room movie...YO!!!

[lump, meet throat]

On the way home, I asked Holly what she enjoyed most about our weekend away?

[one beat, two beats]

"Taking a nice, long, hot bath WITHOUT having to worry about someone knocking on the door OR the hot water running out."

Yep, she's my kid a'ight :)  She's gonna be a really great mom, one day, don'tcha think?!?

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

New and improved with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

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

How To Do Make Up Wrong, In 5 Minutes or Less

Working in social media, I get to watch a lot of "how to" videos (YES, it's a job!) and I have learned some really interesting stuff along the way:  like, how some beauty bloggers can make putting on their make up look soooooo easy.

So, I was over-tweezing my eyebrows the other day and started thinking to myself; you know, maybe it would be a whole lot easier if someone showed me what NOT to do...and...HEY!!!!...wait a minute...I can do that!!!

So, I present to you, the first in a series of "how NOT to" vlogs.

 

A few post-production notes:  

  • I realize that, even after editing (which, for a dork like me, is quite an amazing feat, in and of itself, actually!) the video ran 18 seconds long and, if you sat through the ENTIRE 5 minutes and 18 seconds, well, then I love you MORE than my tweezers!
  • For that bitch-slapped look:  you heard it here FIRST folks.
  • Being fans of beauty bloggers, I gave my teens a heads up of my "how NOT to" intentions, they're down wit-it.
  • As long as I do NOT tag them on Facebook or Twitter.
  • No, I do NOT blame them.
  • Yes, I know, so I spelled caterpillar...phonetically...I live in Jersey...shuddup!!!
  • I may or may not have had TOO MUCH coffee, already.

Aaaaand, did anyone ever tell you how pretty you look?!?  Today, most especially :)

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

New and improved with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

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

Middle School Drop-Off, Dropout

Get thee to the bus on time!
Get thee to the bus ON TIME!!!

With multiple kids in school for the last thirteen years, we are at that point in our lives when -- rather than referring to pregnancies as a timeline -- my husband, Garth (not his real name) and I are beginning rely on graduations to help us remember stuff.

Don't even get me started on the years when we had kids attending four different schools (redistricting, halfway through, yeah, THAT was fun!) and, well, a large chunk of that time is still a little fuzzy.

I do, however, remember spending at least two hours...every day...either dropping off or picking kids up from school and a bulk of that time was spent witnessing/experiencing carpool lane ashattery of epic proportions.

Entering middle school:  I waved each of my kids off to the bus stop and may or may not have reinacted the entire first scene of the Sound of Music...four times.

[cue heavenly ray of light]

Unless, my two youngest miss the school bus and...HOLY HANNAH MONTANA...I thought the elementary schools were bad?!?

Middle school drop-offs are a whole OTHER level of hell.

Then my oldest started driving and offered to help out getting her siblings to school on the days they miss the bus.

[cue choir of angels]

Until this morning when, upon entering the seventh level of hell, where everyone else's kid also seemed to be running late, she came home and then proceeded to blow a gasket.

"How did you NOT go insane?"

Yeah...

"How did you NOT get into a car crash?"

...um...

"Seriously, the way THOSE people drive?"

...I...

"I can't believe you did THAT for ALL those years?"

...know.

"Seriously???"

I showed her a couple...HUNDRED...previous blog posts to, you know, back me up.

"Well, g'head and blog this then:  CARPOOLING SUCKS, I QUIT!!!"

Which reminds me, my son is graduating 8th grade.  He'll be a "walker" again in high school (bet you didn't know hell actually had 8 levels, huh?!?) AND first period begins at 7:25 a.m.

[face palm]

Well, it WAS nice while it lasted...YO!!!

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

New and improved with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

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

Tell Us Which City's Shelter Dogs to Feed Next

Doofus in the pillows
PEDIGREE CTNC Blog Post: This post is sponsored by PEDIGREE Brand, which compensated me to develop this content and reader giveaway.

I wanted to share a quick update with you on the special feeding project I've been working on with Pedigree and Miranda Lambert (love her)!

With your help, Pedigree has received more than 14,000 nominations, from all over the country, for their Choose the Next Communities program:  a new initiative to feed more shelter dogs while they wait adoption.

The top five finalists are in and now we get to tell Pedigree which city's shelter dogs to feed next.  I am also excited to be able to share a special gift basket with one of you and your bdf:  best dogfriend forever.

First, the top five community shelters include:

Continue reading "Tell Us Which City's Shelter Dogs to Feed Next" »

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

Who Knew Flashcards Could Be Soooo Funny?!?

50 nifty and very funny states
The 50 nifty, funny states.

With all the technology available at their fingertips (even our school district started going paperless, two years ago) it is sort of refreshing to see my kids revert to using low-tech, old school study tools.

For example:  making up their own vocabulary flashcards.

What's so funny about vocabulary, or flashcards, you ask?!?  Absolutely nothing, I say.  Unless, I am helping my youngest study for a BIG test on naming the capitals of all 50 states, using flashcards she made up with special keywords (in parentheses) to help her remember and then acts all surprised when I start laughing...real hard...which made it EVEN funnier.

Okay, fine, I'll show you.  This is some of what comes to the mind, when identifying the capital city of each state, to my 11 year-old:

  • Arkansas: (Arken saw a _______) little rock and it was good.
  • California:  (Sock sack) don't remember the reasoning behind this one and I sort of don't want to, either.
  • Georgia:  (Real housewives) SNORT!!!
  • Kansas:  (Peek at toes) clearly, they're a bunch of toe-peek-ahs, her Jersey is showing.
  • Michigan:  (I like to sing) lan'sakes, so do I :)
  • Minnesota:  (Holy) sort of like St. Nicholas, only not.
  • New Mexico:  (Christmas) speaking of Santa, must be his favorite vacation spot.
  • Ohio:  (Found America) still up for debate, but we'll go with it.
  • New Hampshire:  (Another word for wire) took me a while to figure this one out, shuddup.
  • North Carolina:  (Really?)  yes, raleigh.
  • Virginia:  (Bill Gates) he is rich...mon...duh.

Aaaaaand, the one that made me laugh-snort:

  • Alaska:  (I know) enough said!

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Clearly, I have the sense of humor of an 11 year-old and who knew people in Alaska speak so funny?!?

© 2003 - 2013 This Full House

New and improved:  with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

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