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December 2014

November 2014

Teenagers are like video games: I press ALL the buttons and hope for the best!

My husband Garth (not his real name) and I were talking while doing the dishes, yesterday...because it's one of the very few times we can pretty much guarantee ourselves some privacy, at our house.

PSA: Teens have a hard time figuring out when the dishwasher is clean (or dirty) unless they are specifically told the dishwasher NEEDS to be changed and then they suddenly (and very mysteriously) become SEVERELY allergic to doing the dishes.

Aaaaaanyway, I was doing the math...WHAT?!?...it COULD happen...and realized Garth (not his real name) and I had just celebrated our 25th Thanksgiving, together.

Which is REAL weird, considering we only recently got married...in my head, anyway...AND don't EVEN get me started on how it's possible we could have 4 teenagers in the house?!?!

Fiiiiiiiiine, the oldest is twenty-something...I'm in denial...A'IGHT?!?!

Goodbye November

Aaaaaaanyway, I get all mushy, gushy and squishy around the holidaze -- okay, more than usual -- and I seemed to have passed on some of the mushy-gushy-squishy genes to my kids...in varying degrees, of course.

Youngest: Time to break out the Christmas movies, which one do we watch first?!?!

It's a family tradition, that dates back to I don't remember when, but it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving...unless someone is fighting over which one of the Christmas movies to watch...first.

Garth(NHRN): Christmas Vacation.

On this one, Daddy wins.

Middle Girl: What movie should we watch, next?!?!

I only wanted to close my eyes for a few minutes (dang you, turkey coma!), but I somehow managed to sleep right through Christmas Vacation and...well...I've seen it enough times and could probably recite the entire movie...but I won't...you're welcome!

Oldest: How about we see what's on these old VHS tapes?

Last year, I found a couple of unmarked tapes and tossed them into the bucket.

Me: Uh-oh!!!

[blank stares]

Me (to my husband): I dunno, you think it's safe?!?!

[one beat, two beats]

Oldest: OMG!!!

Middle girl: REALLY?!?!

The boy: I just ate, ova here!!!

Youngest: What?!? WHAT?!? Ohhhhhhhhh...and...EWWWWWW!!!!!

And so ended the Thanksgiving that I made Garth (not his real name) belly-laugh all the way to the bathroom.

[wipes eyes]

I win, EVERYTHING!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!

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

James and The Chocolate Advent Calendar

It's the holidays, again -- or the holidaze, as we call it at our house. It hit 70+ degrees, yesterday...and the Weather Channel dudes promised 60's, today...then we're supposed to get hit with a snow storm, tomorrow...and WELCOME TO JERSEY!

I even saw a couple of gnats flying around, all confused and stuff, until I squashed them against the kitchen window...because gnats are gnasty.

[sound of crickets, gasping for breath]

Aaaaaanyway, for the holidaze to have officially arrived at our house, at least one of three things has probably happened.

  1. A major appliance has died or is very nearly dead.
  2. Someone in our immediate family is dealing with a medical emergency.
  3. One of the vehicles is in need of a major repair.

And by Thursday, we hit two out of three: the water heater broke; Doofus-dawg got REAL sick and we had to rush him to the animal hospital on Saturday.

Aaaaaand, YES!!! We consider our pets as immediate members of our family, because fur babies are people, too.

[the sound of crickets, exploding]

Long story, short: the hits just keep coming, it's been a loooooooong and stress-filled week/month/year, you guys.

There IS some good, here: our Doofus-dawg pulled through and is on his way to a full recovery, just in time for "Are you going to eat ALL that Turkey?" Day.

[knocking on wood, until knuckles bleed]

Okay, that's some REAL GOOD news...right there!

"Hey mom, it's me."

Aaaaaand, then...after spending last weekend with friends...my oldest called home, very early (i.e. before I had a chance to finish my first cup of coffee) yesterday morning.

"My car broke down."

Without going into too much detail (you're welcome!) this, my friends, is a fine example of THE WORST possible timing, at it's best.

"GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

My two oldest girls carpool, together. My oldest is in-between jobs, at the moment. Both of our cars have hit 100,000+ miles. For reasons too looooooong and booooooooring to go into, something in my brain broke. I was just two gray cells shy of having a total mental breakdown.

"Call your father!"

Because I'm an awesome mom, like that.

2 cups of coffee later, I dropped my middle girl off at work and, although I was much calmer than when we first left the house (I blame it on my broken brain), my thoughts grew very dark.

Why this? Why now? Why us? And, more importantly, how in the heck was I going to get 2 other people to work, with 1 working car between us?

I pulled a u-ey (or a u-turn, if you're not from Jersey) and decided to make a quick stop at Michaels, because suckage like this calls for some serious yarn-therapy...YO!

Yarn therapy

There were three skeins of the oatmeal-colored yarn I needed...yes, I NEEEEEEDED THEM!!!...and thank goodness, because I was already running dangerously low on gray cells...but I only grabbed two skeins...so as not to deny anyone else some yarn-therapy...and welcome to my brain!

"Hold onto the calendar TIGHT, Jimmy."

I stood in line behind a woman with three little kids, I'm guessing all under the age of double-digit-back-talk, the youngest sitting in a stroller and holding on...TIGHT....to an advent calendar.

[whispering]

"There's chocolate in here!"

[a little louder]

"The kind you eat!"

I looked down and realized that the little boy was actually talking to me.

"Mmmm...hmmm."

Pro-Tip: Little kids aren't very good at understanding when an adult isn't in the mood for conversation, just so you know.

"Every day, we get to eat one piece!"

This time, I just nodded my head, because I'm awesome with little kids, like that.

"Me...my sisters...even my dad..."

A grin broke out all over his face and I began to feel this funny sort of fuzzy warm start to wash over my body.

"Wow...you mean, you share chocolate with your dad, too?!?!"

He smiled, nodded his head and continued to poke at the calendar.

"Uh-huh...aaaaaand...he gets to open the FIRST window!"

Aaaaaand then it hit me...like a trunk-load of unfinished baby books, upside the head...the longing for the days when a quick trip to Michaels and a simple little chocolate advent calendar could bring a smile to our faces, like that.

"We get one of these, all the times!"

Funny thing is, so do we...ALL the times...in fact, arguing over who opened the first (or last) window has become a sort of family tradition, every December 1st.

Along with putting their shoes out on St. Nicholas Day, every December 6th!

Something in my brain began to heal. I was once again reminded of the little things that make this frazzled, wigged-out and very tired mama's heart...happy.

"Wow, it's so nice of you to let your dad open the first one!"

And then the suckage didn't seem all that bad, really. Nothing that we can't live (or haven't lived) through, before.

"Yeah, I know. His name is James, just like mine!"

Nothing that a chocolate advent calendar couldn't remedy, I mean.

"Well, it's very nice to meet you...James!"

I smiled all the way back to my way car, I even made eye contact with folks (some of them, smiling back), because I just got schooled...by a pre-schooler. And thank you for the reminder, little James.

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!  

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

The Growth Plates

It's been 10 years since my parents sold their house and moved further down the shore to live in a retirement village, or what my kids fondly refer to as "Camp Mama and Papa," but they each have their own very special memories about the house on 10 Union Street and enjoy sharing stories that usually begin with, "Remember that time at Mama's and Papa's old house?" and end with my youngest not having a clue about what they are talking about.

"You were just too little to remember."

It's tough being the youngest, sometimes. Okay, mostly every day, especially if you ask our youngest. She was only 3 years-old when my parents moved and, unlike her 3 siblings, she hadn't "learned how to swim in Mama and Papa's pool" or "ride a scooter down their street" and finding little reminders around our own house isn't helping any.

Growth plates 2
"Are these the plates Holly, Heather and Glen keep talking about?"

Hope was helping me clean the house, the other day (someone was probably coming over for dinner) and she came across a set of plates, tucked way into a corner and hanging next to the bookcase.

"Yes, and I forgot they were even there."

They're a set of wooden nesting plates my parents brought back from one of their trips to Hungary, and they used to hang along the stairs in their entryway of their "old house", like this:

Growth Plates at Mama and Papa's house

We would use them to measure how tall the kids were growing, judging by the size of plate they could actually reach and pull off of the nail. But I'm not sure (i.e. that brain cell burned off long ago and I just can't remember) if anyone was big enough to reach the largest plate.

So, I asked Glen and Holly....because Heather was at work and, well, we already know that two out of three ain't bad....according to Meatloaf, anyway....and if you don't know who Meatloaf is....look it up, youngster.

[sticks out tongue, blows bangs out of eyes]

Sooooooo, according to Glen -- who has all sorts of random facts stored in his brain, he gets it from his father -- nope, no one could reach or has ever been able to pull the largest plate from its nail.

"Oh, really? Watch this!"

Until now, because being the youngest (and smallest) can make a kid feel way more competitive than her siblings EVER were, daaaaaaaaangit. Also, this happens to be the same kid who sent out her own birthday invitations....

"Hi, I'm R.S.V.P.-ing for Hope's birthday party."

....without bothering to mention it to me, her father OR anyone else.

"Oh, I see...and I should have known...it was written in crayon...."

Along with a note scribbled at the bottom, saying:

"Der wilbe food cak fwom da stor and yuky tee"

No, I don't have the invitation. Did I mention, she's the 4th in line? Of everything?

[kicks half-finished baby book under desk]

Yeah. I know. I suck. Soooooo, let it be known that:

Hope is the only kid tall enough to reach AND pull the largest plate from its nail....HUZZAH!!!

[sound of crickets chirping] 

Growth plates

We moved the growth plates to a more prominent and very visible area, you know, as a reminder. In case she forgets. Not to mention, one of the plates happens to cover up a rip in the wallpaper....very nicely....guess which one?!?

"OH WAIT!!! I remember something!!!"

[eyes go wide]

"I remember going with you to take Papa to look for a new house..."

Yes, yes she did!

"Then tripping on the sidewalk, falling down and ripping my knee open!"

Yup, she gets it from her mother.

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! 

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

Wordless Wednesday: Under the Boardwalk

Before my claustrophobia and nyctophobia set it or the terribly weak walls of my bladder, you know, gave out -- you're welcome!

Linky Love BytesWordless Wednesday HQ

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

Garth and the Amazing Technicolor Dream House

Garth (not his real name) and I have been planning to paint our house for a long while, however, like most of our DIY projects (see also: all of them), preparing for one thing...leads to eleven more unplanned projects...which need to be addressed, first...before we can even begin thinking about starting on...ummmmm...wait, what WERE we talking about, again?

[blows bangs out of eyes, looks down at hands, picks at chipped fingernail polish]

OH YEAH! Painting the house. Right. So, it doesn't help that one of us is more of a...let's just sit back and wait...perhaps think about this a little more, rationally...type person. While the other one of us is all...ohhhhhhhh, let's just throw caution to the wind and get'r done, already...DAMMIT!!!

Guess which one of us is which. Go ahead. I'll wait.

[taps foot, counts one Mississippi, two Mississippi]

IT'S ME!!! I am so NOT a good sit back and just wait-er.

 

This Full House Autumn 2014
Autumn is the perfect time to paint the house: look at all the pretty colors!

Loooong...boooooring...even more convoluted than usual...story short...we're to the point where we HAVE to paint the house and, well, Garth (not his real name) had some scheduled time off, last week...sooooo, PERFECT TIMING!!!...besides, we've been prepping for this moment for a very looooong...well...hang on...let me show you.

 

This Full House Autumn 2014 4
Back of the house, color swatches circa at least two kids still in diapers ago (I think)!

We were leaning towards the second color from the left. Some sort of Sante Fe terra cotta, I think. Then our parents got sick. My parents moved. Brother gets married, invites all 6 of us to be in the wedding party. And then "Maybe next year" turned into "Meh...the house doesn't look THAT bad, right?!?"

 

This Full House Autumn 2014 5
Front of the house, circa at least one kid in high school ago (maybe).

Actually, you can't see the color, not anymore. It was a lovely barn red, but my husband HATED IT and covered it with our newest selections.

This Full House Autumn 2014 6
Oh wait, I lied. Here's a small section he missed.

5 years later...I have to agree with him...ICK!!! So, he sent me to Home Depot with the following instructions: pick 3 of your favorite colors (see pic above the blood red) and then we'll just eenie-meenie-minee-moe-it!

GarthNHRN painting sexay
This right here, my friends? Is just all sorts of sexy. After 20+ years, dozens of snow storms, Nor'easters and 2 major hurricanes, the house is getting a fresh coat of paint. The old girl is smiling and looking good, already -- house, too :)

After a week of prepping the house for painting...for real...Garth (not his real name) completed the garage-side of the house, thinking we could let it set overnight and THEN decide if we really, really like it.

 

This Full House Autumn 2014 7
Yeah, I'm leaning towards the smokey plum.

Aaaaand, then it rained...and rained...and I'm all like...MOTHEREFFER!!!...meh, I've waited THIS long, what's another couple of days...or twenty more...right?!? RIGHT?!?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

One could ONLY dream. Besides, at this rate, we could simply continue testing color combinations and have the house painted in...[does the math]...another 30 years...give or take a high school graduation...yo!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

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