Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't Stop Believin'

While discussing the all-important Christmas list last week, Monkey Man told me he wanted the Spiderman Lego game for the Wii. I hadn't heard about this game, but I made a mental note and prepared to jot it down on my list. This child knows more than me on almost every topic, so I especially took his word for it about a video game and that there was indeed a Spiderman Lego game for the Wii.

When Hubby got home from work, I asked Monkey Man to tell his dad what he wanted. In addition to an electric guitar (Hells to the NO says Santa) he told him about the Spiderman Lego game for the Wii. Lego games for the Wii are popular around here and we are the proud owners of Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Star Wars, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Batman, Lego some other game that Mommy has no clue how to play because it involves strategy.

But Hubby didn't seem to know about this Spiderman game. So he asked Monkey Man if there was such a game. And Monkey Man's response? "I don't know, but the Elves can make it."

We told Monkey Man that the elves don't really make technological toys, they go to the store to buy those. What does he think, these little men with pointy ears who live in the North Pole and work for peanuts for a jolly fat man went to MIT? Who would believe THAT?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the 2nd Day of Thanksgiving...

Oh, and the 3rd day. Oops.

Day 2
Today I am thankful for Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, preferably Pepsi, but honestly, I'll take whatever is on sale or in the vending machine. I don't drink coffee and I'm so tired that as soon as I get up in the morning I can't wait until it's 16 hours later and I can crawl right back into bed. That artificially sweet beverage is my special treat at lunchtime and I hug it like a baby with its blankie. I just wish it didn't look so weird when I curl up next to it in the Faculty room for my nappie.

Day 3
Today I am also thankful for mindless "reality" television. I am addicted to Real Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Beverly Hills, and Orange County. I also love me some Jersey Shore, in particular Paulie D and Vinnie. Everyone needs time to just sit in front of a TV and let their minds melt. I am also thankful that I have the courage to tell people that I actually watch these shows while so many walk around saying, "Oh, that's garbage. I don't watch that. I read books." Books. Yeah, yeah, we all read books. So, good for you. While you are boring your friends at parties with talk of Middle East nonsense, I am fighting back the beat and discussing at length whether one can be a Real Housewife when one is not married.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 11 Days of Thanksgiving

Why 11 days? Because I meant to start this on November 1 and write something every day for which I am thankful and end on Thanksgiving. However, since I am 2 weeks late, you get 11 days.

Most everyone is thankful for the same kinds of things: family, children, spouses, the family pet, a job, a roof over their heads, blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong, I am also grateful for those things. But that’s so borrring. There are lots of other things for which I am grateful, too. And I know you are dying to know what these are! I must add, these are in no particular order.

Day 1
I am thankful for pajamas. My perfect world would have us all living harmoniously together in colorful plaid pants, pajamas with stripes, polka dots, animals, and paired with a sweatshirt of some kind, preferably one that is well-loved with at least 10 years mileage on it. And yes, my perfect world would also have Rick Springfield romping around next to me in his most rockin' sleeping attire.

The moment I walk in the door from my day, my day meaning I had to go out into the public, I disappear into my room like Superman retreating into his phone booth, and appear moments later in some combination of super comfy pj bottoms and some top that usually never matches. I am sure Monkey Man will remember me fondly by telling people, “Yeah, my mom dressed like a slob and was lazy. Always in those pajamas.”

No matter the occupation, pajamas would be worn at Board meetings, in classrooms, while fighting crime, or ringing up groceries. Lawyers would try the world’s worst criminals in their finest sleepwear. Moms would gather with their children at the park all decked out in their pjs. Oh, how this would eliminate moms looking each other up and down like middle school girls! Unless they were totally jealous that they didn’t have the cupcakes on their pjs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Or Not.

While completing the nightly routine of shower, brush teeth, read and tickling his back, Monkey Man informed me of something. As he was lying in bed, getting in one last snuggle with the first woman in his life, he announced:

“I just broke up with my girlfriend.”

I looked at him, quizzically, and asked, “Today, in school?” I could barely even stutter those words as my head was spinning at the revelation that he had a girlfriend. But let’s take this in small bites, shall we?

“No, right now, in my head,” he answered, matter-of-factly. Like this was totally normal. But I guess to a 6 year-old, there was absolutely no oddity to this statement. After all, let us take a look at the courting:

Scene: Playground

As retold by Monkey Man: “Anna, Emily and Kate chased me around the playground and asked me to pick which one of them was my girlfriend. I picked Emily.” There you have it, a courtship rivaling that of centuries-old arranged marriages.

Regarding the breakup, I gave Monkey Man some motherly, womanly, HUMANE advice. “You might want to let her know tomorrow.”

“I will. I’ll tell her we are through,” he said, and added the visual of his hand, palm down, going across his neck. Geez, poor girl doesn’t stand a chance.

“That’s a little harsh,” I replied to his Sopranos-like break-up. “How about you tell her that you don’t think it’s going to work out? Maybe that you realized you don’t have much in common, like you see the cookies she eats during snack and you don’t like that kind. Or her taste in music is a little more Disney Channel than your taste in Def Leppard.”

“Yeah, I’m tired, good night,” he said, clearly fraught with worry about the looming real-life breakup he would be initiating tomorrow.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Memo From Mom

TO: School Administration

RE: First Grade = First Laundry Load

I propose you bring Home Economics back to school. And please start in First Grade. With just the boys. My reason? In the last week, I have washed 3 pairs of mud and grass-stained jeans, 1 brand new fuzzy fleece-lined hoodie decorated with splashes of lunchtime dirt, 1 pair of Converse that were once gray but are now green with hints of gray peeking through, and 1 pair of blue suede Vans with pieces of Earth wedged into the suede. This is all thanks to that all-important healthy part of the school day – recess. I don’t know what connection you have to the Tide Crime Family or The Stain Lifter That’s All Waste Management Company, but something’s up and I’m suspicious that this school of yours is a front. I think you have a landfill out near Newark Airport filled with filthy, ripped jeans.

I take great care in making sure Monkey Man looks nice for school. I iron his clothes. I blame it on my mother. She would not let my sister or me out of the house un-ironed. When I rebelled in college and went out all wrinkled and slovenly, she’d comment, “What’d ya have a fight with the iron?” I know. I was wild, out of control. Listen, woman, you can’t hold me back from experiencing life in all its crease-free craziness!

I not only iron Monkey Man’s clothes, but I make sure the clothes match. Then I look around at kids in school and most of them look like they slept in the hamper. I wonder why I put myself through the stress of shopping, and just plain trying. My little boy who I send to school in button-down “long-sleeve short-sleeve” shirts (as he calls them, those fake long sleeves under the short sleeves) and nice jeans, clean white socks and clean, well-maintained sneakers, is an absolute mess when he gets home. When I found out that he is getting this dirty at recess, my first thought was, “So you are sitting in school for almost 3 more hours after lunch time looking like THIS?” Why even bother combing his hair in the morning? Why bother getting dressed at all – just roll out of bed and keep those pj’s on. Hell, let’s not even waste time brushing teeth.

He comes home looking like the antithesis of my child because he loves to play football during recess. Translation: He and a bunch of boys throw a ball and tackle each other in the dirt while the adult supervision is off on the side of the field gossiping about what happened on Glee last night. I am a kind, smart mom and I do know that recess is important for his social development as well as his physical fitness. But, for the love of all mothers just trying to get ahead each night with the housework, teach these kids how to do the laundry.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Observations

1. I have a mild obsession with men's novelty boxer shorts. Each time I pass the boxer short aisle in Target, I feel compelled to buy Hubby a pair of boxers to match the season. A look into his underwear drawer will reveal Snoopy heart boxers for Valentine's Day, decks of cards for Poker nights, shamrocks for St. Patty's Day, popsicles for the summer, dogs because we have a dog and I had no other reason than they were cute, and snowflakes for the God-awful season they call winter. I have my eye on a pair with bats for Halloween and I am sure that during one of my 12 trips to Target in the next 7 days, Hubby will be the proud owner.

2. Today, a gift from a friend fell and broke. I thought for a second how appropriate this event was in that it was symbolic of our friendship. Without going into details, I am sad that our friendship shattered. I consider myself to be a loyal friend, someone whom once I am your friend, I mean a real, true friend not just an acquaintance, I will always be your friend. I have several friends whom I have known for years, some going back to Kindergarten. Weeks and months go by when we don't talk, but we can pick right up where we left off without missing a beat. When I make new friends, I tread lightly, needing to develop genuine trust. But this friendship was different and when this gift broke, I simply felt like it was true to the friendship. It was nice, it was fragile - but then it fell apart.

3. I was so happy to rip September off of my desk calendar at work that I nearly peed myself. As a teacher, September is a loooong month. It is filled with getting kids back on track, reviewing rules, introducing procedures, and it's just a sucky reminder that summer is over. But when October 1st hit, I yelled, "WOO HOO!" Because, 1) It's 1 day closer to summer 2) Thoughts of my beach vacation are so far behind me that I'm no longer thinking, "Just a month ago I was playing mini golf with Monkey Man or laying by the pool or sleeping until 8:30 a.m. or having fun and enjoying the life that works sucks out of me." So, screw you September. October rocks!

4. In just 25 days, Hubby and I will get to enjoy all of the peanut-laden candy that Monkey Man cannot ingest. In just 25 days, I will be in a Reese's peanut butter cup and Snickers coma. Oh, peanut allergy, you are just not fair. To Monkey Man, anyway.

Happy October, everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cleaning the Fridge = Cleaning the Soul

It all started with the parmesan cheese. While innocently looking for the cheese on my refrigerator door, a necessary accompaniment to one of Monkey Man’s favorite meals – spaghetti with broccoli with the all important olive oil and garlic (quite gourmet, right?), I saw that the shelf which the upscale Target brand cheese lay on needed a little wipe down. I decided I had a few minutes until the pasta was done cooking, so I headed to the utility closet for my Clorox wipes.

I proceeded to clear off that shelf and wipe it down. However, my brain couldn’t fathom having one clean shelf and possibly several other salad dressing, mustard and/or soy sauce coated shelves. I had a few minutes to kill while my intricate meal containing 4 ingredients bubbled and boiled, so I cleared off the other shelves.

I discovered mayonnaise that I used last week that was “Good Until August 2011.” Eww. Vomit. I unearthed Worchestire sauce that should have seen its demise in March 2010. Thankfully, I think I needed that once for some recipe and never used it again, but still, Gag. And I had 3 bottles of mustard, all opened at some point. Why? Why 3 bottles of mustard? And they all expired before December 2010. Barf.

This refrigerator purge left me a bit unsettled. I am not one to leave leftovers in the fridge past their time. My refrigerator is usually pretty bare once we’ve eaten the essentials – I don’t leave much to become science experiments. So this mustard, Worchestire sauce, mayo debacle gave me a little heart palpitation, a moment to wonder while sitting on the hardwood kitchen floor, “Am I losing my OCD?”

Alas, after coming to after my initial shock, I realized that had I lost my OCD I would never have been sitting on my kitchen floor minutes before dinner scrubbing my refrigerator. And feeling SO DAMN GOOD about life when that fridge was clean top to bottom purged of its potential Petri dish goodies. Yeah, when last minute refrigerator cleaning puts a new spring in my step, I know I still got it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ready for School - First Reading Test - Check!

Monkey Man and Hubby went to Illinois last week to visit some of Hubby's family. While Hubby's side of the family took in some good ole fashioned midwestern hobbies like shooting turtles and swimming in ponds, as well as noshing on such cuisine like fried this and non-vegetable that, my mom and I took my sister to Atlantic City for a very big birthday. I won't mention the number, but it's a big one and we celebrated by hitting AC, eating great food, going to a comedy show, and breathing in some "down the shore" air (this is the air OUTSIDE the disgustingly smoky casinos). Oh, yeah, and we stayed at the Borgata. And from what I learned from Hubby, the Borgata was quite the opposite of Small Town Hotel they stayed at in Illinois.

I won't get into the details about the hotel, because Monkey Man's bathroom break tells it all. Hubby took Monkey Man into the bathroom in the lobby. Monkey Man was behind the stall door and asked, "Dad, are you allowed to write on walls?" to which Hubby replied, "No." Hubby told me a few seconds ticked by then he overheard Monkey Man reading, "This is a shiTHole." And he even got the "th" digraph sound correct.

I take away 2 things from this:
1. I think I'll write his teacher a note for the first day of 1st grade so that she can check that skill off her list.
2. I will write a review for the Borgata. It will read, "So totally NOT a shiTHole."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Today's Thoughts: Migraines, McDonald's, Kickboxing, Rick Springfield, and CNN

I’ve had some really bangin’ headaches this past week which have drained every bit of creativity from my head (or at least that’s the story I’m sticking to). But, today, HALLALEUJAH! The headache gods have taken mercy and blessed me with productivity and a painless day.

In a desperate plea for ideas, I put it out there on Facebook for some blog post ideas. I promised that the first 3 people to give me ideas would get a post. And they will. One post. This one here. So enjoy!

The 3 ideas were:
1.Kickboxing instructors who advertise outside of McDonald’s... smart or insulting or funny?

How about brilliant? And hilarious? I’m sorry, but it’s not insulting at all. It’s a reminder that if you keep eating that crap, it does things to you. Bad things. Now, I am not saying you can never eat McDonald’s or any of its artery-clogging brethren. I take Monkey Man maybe once a month when Hubby is working late and I don’t want to cook (well, I never want to cook, but it gives me a good excuse).

I do not want to hear people say it’s cheap and easy to feed a family. Last night, while my headache kicked it up about 10 notches, I baked a lemon garlic tilipia, steamed fresh carrots, and made some 10 minute brown rice. It took me about 10 minutes prep time and probably cost $9 for the entire family. That’s $3 per person for you math wizards out there.

Fitness instructors and facilities, although in it to make money (but what business isn’t?) are at least trying to help people get healthy, both physically and emotionally. McDonald’s is doing nothing more than making money off of humanity getting fatter and unhealthier.

Yes, I have proclaimed my love of the Pop ‘em, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream many times before. But, moderation is key. I would think it just as brilliant and hilarious if I walked past the Entenmann’s end cap and there was a huge blow-up of Jillian Michaels pointing to ME reminding me to workout that day. It might make me think twice about those delectable sprinkled balls of Heaven (but probably not).

2. Top 10 things I'd rather be doing other than this blog with a migraine.

Well, that’s easy. Sleep. And eat mint chocolate chip ice cream. And watch back-to-back episodes of Jersey Shore or any Real Housewives of (Insert any city except DC or Atlanta). And then fill in sleep for the other 7 slots. A visit from Rick Springfield would have been great, too, even if I mostly wore mismatched pajama pants and t-shirts for those days that my head felt like it would explode.

3. How crazy this year has been with the weather or how many days until people catch cabin fever.

Huh? It was very nice of this person to offer up his idea, but I’m guessing he does not read my blog. I don’t really offer anything intellectual or thought-provoking on these pages. Unless I can figure out a way for global warming to make you pee your pants, I’m probably going to avoid it and let CNN take care of that for me. But you know what does make me pee my pants? Fox News. And that’s enough political commentary for now.

Oh, wait! Funny weather-related story - I did have the pleasure of waking up to my 80-pound dog jumping into bed with us the other night when we had yet another thunderstorm. Now that’s funny stuff, right? RIGHT? What, no? Okay, fine. Well, then, over to you, Fox News. You can take care of the funny stuff for me.

Thanks to all who contributed ideas. I hope I have served you well.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don't Get Your Bun In a Knot

I brought Monkey Man to the library today to get his summer reading hours logged from the past 2 weeks. He’s in their summer reading program, which, and I’m going to go way out on a limb here, was designed to give kids incentive to read during the summer. We write down how many minutes he reads every week and then we are supposed to go at the end of each week to get the hours checked in the library’s Super Secret Log Book. Here’s how it works: get your hours checked, pick a piece of plastic crap out of the prize box, enter your name for a chance to win an iPod Shuffle, and off you go. Out the door for another week of wanting to read to get a piece-of-junk-toy made in China that Mommy will throw away when you are not looking. No, just kidding, Mommy would nevvvvver do that.

We haven’t quite made it to the library at the end of each week, but the teen volunteers have been very nice and checked off Monkey Man’s hours for two weeks worth of reading. It is all about getting kids to read, right? Like, “Great job, reading! It doesn’t matter that your only mode of transportation, your mother, keeps forgetting to bring you here so we can make our notes in our Super Secret Log Book. Nope, we just care that you are reading! Because that is what this program SHOULD be all about – getting you lazy, video-gaming kids to use your brains instead of just your thumbs on a Wii controller.”

Well today, we didn’t have the cheerful and helpful teen volunteers. Nope, we had the librarian. She walked over to the Summer Reading Program table and took a look at the front cover of Monkey Man’s log book. First, she read his name. He only wrote his first name, and Miss Librarian felt the need to be snarky and said, “Oh, is Monkey Man your last name? Because I need to know your last name to crack the freakin’ code in my Super Secret Log Book. And I have to write it on the front cover.” The cheerful and helpful teens pleasantly would ask Monkey Man his last name and use their alphabetical orders skills to quietly look up his name. But no, not Miss Librarian. After 5 weeks of this program, she asked him to spell it out for her as she wrote it on the front cover, making sure to once again tell him that he really should have written his last name on the cover. And I told her she really should have taken a job that kept her locked in a room without human contact.

Okay, fine. That was annoying, but then, when she opened his log book and started stamping, she noticed that 2 weeks were not stamped. “It looks like we do not have his hours logged for these weeks. We cannot count those hours,” she announced with a scowl on her face. Or maybe it just always looked like that.

Oh, now, shut the front door, Miss Librarian. Time for Mama Bear to retort, “This is a reading incentive program, right? The purpose of this program is to get kids to read, correct? I’m sorry that I did not get my son here for 2 weeks, but he reads and should not lose those hours because his (slacker, forgetful, absent-minded) mother didn’t bring him here for the Powers That Be to check off his hours. And the cheerful, helpful teens just logged his hours.”

“Well, I’ll give him the hours (Oh, Thank You Your Library Highness! All Hail! Great One!) but he cannot fill out a raffle ticket to win an iPod Shuffle,” was her masterfully created reply. The one reason she did not want to log his hours was because it would be unfair for Monkey Man to enter the raffle for the week.

And what did my dear, sweet child say, under his breath, to me? “Mom, I don’t care about an iPod Shuffle. I have an iTouch.” Side note to readers: He bought an iTouch with his own money. He saved for about 6 months between chores, birthday, holidays, and panhandling from my parents.

Well played, Monkey Man. High Five. Obviously, the iPod Shuffle was not the draw for this kid. Lucky for me he just enjoys reading and decorating my home with tiny plastic pieces of junk. And witnessing the occasional verbal altercation between Mommy and Miss Librarian.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Look at All the Singles, Ladies

Hubby and his brother had a Geek Sale, um, I mean, a Collectibles Sale last week. This is basically a high-end yard sale in which if someone offered them a quarter for an action figure, the neighborhood would have heard a deafening, “Hells to the NO!” After 30 years of collecting what I lovingly refer to as clutter, they finally decided to go through all of their Star Wars, action figures, baseball cards, comic books and other crap-that-takes-up-precious-space-in-my-basement. Praise the Nerd Gods.

In preparation for this highly organized sale of childhood memories, Hubby asked me to go to the bank and get 100 singles so that he had enough money to make change. After the sale (which was quite successful, but we still had a lot of that change left), we had 91 singles. I had 3 choices: hit the local strip joint, go to the bank and trade them in for bigger bills, or just use them.

Guess what I chose? After long deliberation, I decided to not spend the evening shoving bills in some guy’s G-string. I also was too lazy to go back to the bank. So, there I was left with 91 singles.

In the past 2 weeks, I have been given a curious and suspicious eye by several people in Target and Shop Rite after paying for a few $20 orders in all singles. During one checkout, when I pulled out a $5 bill in those singles, I announced, “Well, look at that! Someone tipped BIG!” The lady behind me in Target didn’t find that as funny as I did.

And then there was the guy at the gas station. He was ready to ask me on a date when I paid him in all singles. I pressed the pedal to the metal faster than Danica Patrick before gas guy tried to pump more than my gas.

Alas, my faux stripper days have come to an end. With only about 6 singles left, it really wouldn’t have the same impact. Instead of being known as the stripper mom in town, I’d just be the stripper mom who makes no money, and that is not a reputation I want.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spelling Lesson of the Day

While I was out tonight teaching kickboxing, my husband was left to care for our child. To teach him the ways of the world. To help our son become a responsible man.

Or just to teach him jokes like the two of them are in 6th grade.

As told by Hubby:

They were standing in the bathroom, each taking their turn to do their business when Hubby got the grand idea to teach Monkey Man a joke straight out of his Middle School Joke Book.

“Hey Monkey Man, spell ‘I cup,” Hubby oh-so-wisely instructed Monkey Man.

Our unsuspecting son paused, then answered slowly, “I – C-U-P.” He said it again, putting it all together. “I C U P!” Uproarious laughter filled the bathroom, or as Hubby described it to me, Monkey Man done lost his shizzle.

After catching his breath, Monkey Man told Hubby, “Dad, I thank God that he made you to teach me inappropriate things.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Great (Brita) Depression

I replaced my Brita water filter today. Thanks to this otherwise unmeaningful and mundane task, I was reminded that the next time I replace it will be September 1. The end of summer. The beginning of school. And I know the next time I replace it I will remember fondly the day I put it in, July 14. It was just an otherwise unknown day, but it was summer, school was out, the sun was warm and bright and I didn't have to make lunch at night. Or get up and run around the house trying to get ready for work, get Monkey Man ready for school, get our clothes ready...

Damn you Brita. I should just drink unpurified water for the rest of the summer and save myself the anxiety attack.

Thesis: The Philosophy of Pitbull and How it Directly Correlates to Rick Springfield. Who Knew.

I’ve been hearing that song “Give Me Everything Tonight” by Pitbull, featuring Ni Hao Kai Lan from Nickelodeon, or somebody like that. Maybe it is Ne-Yo. Oh, whatever. It’s some rapper and I have no idea since I am clearly not immersed in the rap culture. Word.

Every time I hear that song, I think, “What a nice message,” because they say “We might not get tomorrow, let’s do it tonight.” I just thought it was a fun go-out-there-and-party message, you know, like live for today because you don’t know if there will be a tomorrow. Okay, so I ignored the following catchy little ditty in the middle of the song:

Excuse me
But I might drink a little bit more than I should tonight
And I might take you home with me if I could tonight
And I think you should let me cause I look good tonight (awesome self esteem!)
And we might not get tomorrow


Hmmmm. Okay, I will give him that if I, indeed, do not have tomorrow, because, say, the Earth is going to swallow me up whole, then I might knock back a few glasses of wine and chase them with tequila just so the sting of feeling the Earth’s burning core around me won’t be so bad. I might even think Armageddon is somewhat humorous if I’ve had one too many.

But it got me thinking. Is this song really about going out there and skydiving, or giving money to the needy, or making sure you give your kid a kiss each night before bed? Well, I listened a little more closely this morning when I heard the catchy tune on the radio (yes, I still listen to the radio. I love the spontaneity, the “Hey, what song will be on NEXT?" My iPod is too predictable).

Well, upon closer auditory investigation then confirmation after googling the lyrics, this song is most certainly NOT about living in the moment. Let me correct myself. It IS about living in the moment. Like having sex. Right. Now.

Put it on my life baby (say what?)
I can make you feel right baby
I can’t promise tomorrow
But I promise tonight
(Big promises. Hope for the girl’s – or guy’s sake – he delivers)

And over and over again, he urges people to grab somebody sexy:

Grab somebody sexy tell ‘em hey
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight


At first I thought, that just isn’t safe. Just anyone sexy? What about diseases? Background check? Just because they’re sexy doesn’t mean they won’t take you home and lock you in their basement. But then again, if we don’t have tomorrow, we don’t have tomorrow, so I guess a basement isn’t a big deal because he or she is sexy, and it’s all going to end by morning anyway.

However, I think the biggest thing that bothers me about this song is what exactly I would do if I might not have tomorrow. Do I really want to spend my last night grabbing someone sexy? I might want to go to Target. I might want to eat 4 boxes of Pop ‘Ems with no regrets. I might want to listen to Jessie’s Girl right before the world ends, or at least before my world ends.

Which then brought me full circle to the point of this song – By God, YES! I would grab someone sexy. I would grab Rick Springfield, bring him to Target, sit my butt down, and eat my Pop ‘Ems as Rick serenades me with “Jessie’s Girl” into the great hereafter.

Apologies to Hubby who is also sexy, but he’s totally on board with the whole Rick thing. I’ll give him the night before the last night. And on HIS last night? He can have Rick’s wife. I’m generous.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twilight Zone: Target Episode

I dropped Monkey Man off at his Science Summer Enrichment class yesterday morning then headed right to Target. There is not much that can be accomplished in detail during a 1 hour and 30 minute class (with a 10 minute drive home then back to school) that is actually shortened to about 1 hour and 10 minutes. You see, his session is supposed to start AT 9:45 a.m. However, by the time the first session comes into the cafeteria, eats their snack and they announce the second session, it’s about 9:55. His session is supposed to end at 11:15, but when I arrive at 11:13, parents are walking their children through the parking lot, having signed them out already. So basically, I hit Target down the road, or the dreaded Shop Rite, or I walk the dog for 30 minutes when it’s not 9,000 degrees like it was today.

But really, that all has little to do with my Twilight Zone experience yesterday, other than it occurred at Target. During my quick trip to pick just a few things up, I stopped by the women’s workout wear. After looking at a tank top that I really didn’t need, I turned back to my cart to head to the check out. When I looked down at my cart, it WAS NOT MY CART. Holy $&#! What the F%#@ happened to MY cart? This cart was filled with toys and stuff that looked like an employee was stocking shelves. This cart did not have my striped bag, waffles, paper towels, Morningstar fake buffalo wings and Hubby’s new bathing suit.

Panic set in. Although I knew this was not my cart, I started looking through the stuff thinking maybe my things were underneath all this crap, as if this nonsense had fallen from the great Target Heavens on top of my stuff. Nope. Definitely not my stuff. So I took off like a lunatic through Target for one reason – Monkey Man’s brand-new iTouch was in my purse. The iTouch that he purchased after saving for months. The iTouch that I have told him if he loses it, breaks it, so much as scratches it, it’s done, over, finished. My kid was totally going to kill me. Forget the fact that I would also have no way to pick up my child who was just two miles away because, oh yeah, in addition to his coveted iTouch, my car keys were in my bag. And my wallet, which was not a huge deal in the cash department, but a gigantic deal in the “I’m now going to have to spend hours calling all the companies linked to my credit card” department.

As I raced through the aisles retracing my steps, I saw mom after mom look at me, probably thinking I was looking for my lost kid. I guess the fact that I wasn’t yelling someone’s name made it appear otherwise, but I’m sure I looked pretty panicked and crazed. I could not find one Target employee, but when I made my way to the front of the store, hey, look! They were ALL up there, clapping and cheering and having some kind of Target Orgy.

I ran up to one of them and explained my situation. I am pretty sure he thought I lost my mind, and honestly, I was thinking I did, too. He had another employee announce on her walkie talkie my situation, asking if anyone mistakenly took a customer’s cart. That answer was a big fat no due to the fact that every single employee was involved in some weird tribal dance by the registers. I’m all for “Go Team Go” but c’mon people, there is an iTouch out there and a 6 year-old who’s gonna have me sleeping with the fishes!

I ran back through the store one more time while some of the Target natives tried to help me. And there, by kitchen appliances, I saw my striped bag peeking out at me. And then my waffles. And all my other stuff. Quick check through the bag – WHEW. iTouch – check! Cash – check! Credit card – check!

I found my original Target contact and let him know I found it. Then I paid at a register that was all the way on the opposite end of where the Target posse was still hanging out – seriously, there had to be about 20 of them – because I was a bit embarrassed that this could have been my early dementia setting in.

And on my way out, Rod Serling, dressed in a red polo and khakis, thanked me for visiting Target and suggested I stop by again.

Cue Twilight Zone theme…

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Needs & Wants

I was on my way out the door the other day to Toys R Us for a few birthday gifts. When Monkey Man heard me tell hubby of my destination, a 6 year-old’s paradise, he asked me, while batting his long, blonde eyelashes, “Will you buy me something?” Now, I am usually programmed to say, “NO” to these questions. I will not have a child that expects a toy or something every time I go shopping. I will not have a spoiled child. ESPECIALLY because I ONLY have one child. And we all know how every single only child in this world is spoiled rotten. Oh, and they don’t know how to play with other kids. And they can’t share. And my fingertips are not oozing any kind of sarcasm whatsoever.

I usually say no, but on this day, I was feeling good. Hubby got good news at work, so I felt like I could pick up a little something (and by a little something, I’m talking $2 or less, people). I answered his angelic plea for a toy with, “Maybe, we’ll see.” Because I took the “Advanced Mom Course for Children in the Age Bracket that Can Ask For Things.” And I learned that all important, noncommittal response.

Monkey Man looked at me, with shock and delight. I know he was thinking, “Did my mother just NOT say NO?” Then he said, “I know you’ll get me something. I get whatever I want.”

To which my reply was, “No, you do not.” Now, I will defend Monkey Man and add that he was joking a little. This was not said in a bratty way. He was trying to be funny. HOWEVER, due to the fact that those words even came out of that child’s un-spoiled, you-will-work-hard-and-appreciate-what-you-have, mouth, I had a lesson to teach.

I went to Toys R Us, bought the birthday presents, and some school supplies that were on sale (which, I must add, was the most depressing thing ever. Buying school supplies just one week after school ends is wrong. But they had a sale and I’m just starting to learn that if the store has it now, I must buy it now. Not wait until the week before school starts when they have nothing left). When I arrived home, Monkey Man greeted me with a, “What’d ya get me?” oh. Oh. OH. I will show you what I got you:

“Here you go. I got you a new pair of scissors,” I answered. His reply? A scowl. Geez, maybe he wasn’t joking.

“And a new box of crayons and markers,” I added with much enthusiasm, and maybe just a little sarcasm. Little bit.

“Oooo, and a supply box! Yes, and a new sharpener!” I was actually enjoying how totally annoyed my child was at me.

“Why did you get me this stuff?” Monkey Man asked, totally pissed at me, but I think mostly because I looked so damn happy about my retaliation.

Because you NEED it for First Grade. And I WANTED a good laugh for the day.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Where's the Beef?

We celebrated my niece's 6th birthday tonight at her grandparent's house. When we sat down to eat, I offered Monkey Man some steak. Although Hubby and I don't eat meat, we give Monkey Man the option, and as a chicken nugget lovin' All American boy, he clearly has not been on the path to vegetarian-ism. Hubby and I enjoyed veggie burgers in lieu of steak, with all of the other sides including salad and corn on the cob.

After I cut Monkey Man's tiny sliver of steak - he really is not a red meat eater, so he was just "trying" it - he asked me what steak is made from. I told him cow. He looked at me in horror as if he had just seen his pet cow Clarabelle sent off to slaughter. I said, "You don't have to try it, it's okay. Mommy and Daddy don't eat meat." Although we don't push him to not eat meat, we are hoping one day he makes the decision on his own. He replied, "It's okay, I'll try it."

He put a piece of medium-rare-ish looking steak into his mouth then looked at his plate. Before chewing, he asked me, "What's the red stuff? Is it blood?" I answered candidly, "Yes, it's blood." The child looked like he just found out the truth about Santa Claus. He picked up his napkin and promptly spit that little piece of Clarabelle into it.

Looks like he made his decision. Welcome to the world of veggie burgers and beans Monkey Man!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summertime and the Living is Easy!

Hello loyal readers - I'm BACK! You see, what happened was, a little thing like a job got in the way of my blog, and although life has been happening around me at an alarming speed, I've been too busy to write it down. Fine, I'm a liar. I've been too tired and lazy to write it down.

But, it's summertime, and in teacher-ese that means sweet freedom! Days of still getting up at 6 a.m. because Monkey Man has not gotten the memo that I've taped to his clock a sign that states, "You must sleep until at least 7:30. Please. I beg of you. You are slowly killing the woman who gave you life. Thanks so much! xoxo Mommy." But after I bring my zombie-like body back to life (this happens sometimes around 8:30ish) we will be ready to hit the pool, the park, museums, the library, meet up with friends for playdates - the list goes on. It is 2 months of pretending like I am a stay-at-home mom. And I love every single second of it. Plus I get to go grocery shopping and do laundry any time during the day instead of during my precious evening and weekend hours like the other 10 months.

Thanks for hanging in there and I promise you lots of summer posts filled with Monkey Man antics and other observations of life and its craziness. Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Funny Bone

Monkey Man was in the bathroom earlier while I was in the kitchen pouring freshly cooked sauce (Yes, I make my own sauce now! After 11 years of living out of a jar, I finally started using my mom's recipe!) into containers. I enjoyed a quiet moment, because Monkey Man DOES NOT STOP talking, and then the silence was abruptly interrupted:

"Mommmm! There is a bone in my penis!"

Well, I nearly dropped the entire pot of sauce on my freshly cleaned floors. I simply answered "Okay," and hoped (prayed, pleaded with the Good Lord) that the conversation would end there. It would be another 3 hours until Hubby got home and I just didn't want to field these questions.

"Mommmm, what is INSIDE my penis?" he asked.

And I answered, "Veins." And by some miracle, he stopped talking.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Memo From Mom: Rick Springfield Special Edition

TO: Rick Springfield

RE: Go to Your ROOM!

Date: May 5, 2011

Oh, Rick. Rick, Rick, Rick. I heard the disappointing news the other night of your legal troubles. Now, Rick, I used the word "disppointing" which should trigger major feelings of mommy/child guilt. Which is what you should feel. Now, I'm not your mother, but apparently you need one of your fans to speak to you as such.

You have tens of thousands of adoring female fans that would give up their blue eyeliner and pearly pink Wet n' Wild lipstick for one night with you. And then you go and pull a stunt like you did the other night. Driving under the influence, Rick? Really? What did you think that would accomplish? You are just lucky you did not kill someone, or yourself (GASP!), Young Man!

Maybe you are not as wealthy as Oprah, but I think it's safe to say that I alone have spent enough money on your tickets in the last few years for you to hail a freakin' cab. Even if you spent all your money on booze that night, you could have asked ANY woman to drive you home. Just to have your ass sitting in her car would have been enough. Even if you were all drunk and drooly and incoherent.

I did use this unfortunate event as a teachable moment for Monkey Man, however. He overhead me talking to Hubby about your stupid decision and he asked us what we were talking about. We explained that it is against the law and very dangerous for someone to drink alcohol and drive. We gave him a brief 5-minute speech about alcohol and its effects on the brain as well as legal age. It was all very enlightening and then he threw out a karate move and proclaimed he was a Power Ranger.

And what did Monkey Man take away from our drinking and driving lecture? He told his teacher yesterday that you were arrested for drinking too much oil.


I'm actually whispering in his ear, "If you do that one more time Richard Springthorpe, I'm taking away all your Star Wars figures."

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Single Most Worst Thing To Do on a Saturday Afternoon Part II



After about 6 hours, we became the owners of a brandy-new, shiny black, CD playing, Blue Tooth equipped (HOW did I EVER live without this???) Hyndai Elantra. I have become a man. I am in love with my car.

And I have several things to report, but you might want to refer to Part I of this post so as to not become confused by my cross-references:

1) We cannot agree on the kind of car we want.

I humored Hubby and looked at the Honda Fit. Of course, after I sat in it, chatted with the salesperson about it, and genuinely looked like I gave a crap about this car, I gave a "Hell to the NO!" So I scored points for trying. Thankfully, after going to Hyundai and sitting in the pretty black Elantra, Hubby was as sold as I was. So we totally agreed on the car! People, seriously, this is a huge triumph in our marriage. We often have very different opinions and are quite stubborn. I wish our therapist could have been there to see this.

2) We both CANNOT STAND the process of car shopping and I give the car salespeople a really hard time - I don't trust them, and I let them know it. Hubby wants to crawl in a corner when we go car shopping.

I am happy to report that Hubby DID NOT need to go fetal on this day! When we arrived at Hyundai, Hubby told the receptionist that we would like to speak to a salesperson that would not pressure us. I know, that sounds so ridiculously funny and oxymoronish that even I broke out in an Arnold Drummond, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" Now, we don't know if the lovely receptionist spoke with our salesperson or if this guy was just naturally chill and low pressure, but he was a DEE-LIGHT.

After taking the Elantra for a test drive, falling in love, and proposing marriage to the Blue Tooth, we sat down to talk numbers with Ryan - not his real name, but he looked a little like Ryan Seacrest. If you've ever purchased or leased a car, this is when your salesperson will mysteriously disappear into a room a few times going back and forth with The Manager. Numbers get jotted down, many times with arrows and quick scribbles. It's all trickery, and I always expect a rabbit to pop out of the guy's ass.

But I have good news to report! After Ryan gave us the first round of numbers, I took a deep breath and prepared myself for some hardball. This is usually when my sweet demeanor gets cast aside and I become a force to be reckoned with. We told Ryan that we couldn't do his price, but we gave him our price. "Ryan, give it to us for this amount, and you made a sale," I said, calmly. I liked Ryan. He seemed honest (again with the honest salesperson oxymoron) and had a little bit of that, "I'm good with whatever you want." Ryan did in fact disappear, but he returned ALONE. NEVER during any time that I have leased or bought a car (I've done this about 7 other times) have I experienced the salesperson coming out sans The Manager or The Finance Guy. Ryan said, "We can do it." Well, Ryan, enjoy that commission, buddy!

3) I want the car TODAY. Hubby thinks we're just looking today. Yep, sure to be good times.

We totally bought the car on the day we looked. Score 1 for me. Yay!

4) It is pouring rain and I plan on wearing my Mickey Mouse poncho from Disney World.

Lucky for Hubby, by the time we were actually looking in the lot, the rain had stopped. But the poncho was in the car ready for action.

I must give a Not-So-Honorable Mention to the Nissan salesperson - When we stopped by, he informed us, "We ain't (Yes, he said ain't) got a lot because of the tsunamis," (Yes, he used the plural form of tsunami. To my knowledge, there was just one, no?) My guess is that this Nissan dealer ain't giving out grammar books to the staff for holiday bonuses. Lucky for Ryan he used proper English.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Memo From Mom Monday

TO: My 1998 Nissan Sentra
FROM: Your Mom
RE: So Long, Sentra!


This memo is in reference to your soon-to-be departure from our lives. Sentra, you joined us in June 1999, just 3 months before our matrimony. Hubby needed a new car while I drove a brand-new Honda Civic lease. With the option of getting a brand-new car every 3 years, which I took part in about 5 times. It was a beautiful time.

You drove us many places, Sentra. My fondest memory was our ride to and from Acadia National Park in Maine. We didn’t want to go over our mileage on the lease, so we took you, our totally paid for car and headed out into the wilderness. Well, I WAS on that trip so we headed to a hotel then hiked in the wilderness.

About 3 years ago, our lives changed drastically when I found myself commuting a whole 1 mile and Hubby had to go about 70 miles round trip. Since you were the older car with more miles, I had the great fortune of inheriting you as “my” car. You chugged along, never really giving us many problems, but just looking rather worn and past your prime. Sure, for the past few years I haven’t been able to adjust the volume on the radio off “LOUD” for fear of completely losing the radio, and yes, the heat and A/C only blast on “HIGH” therefore forcing me to continually turn the heat or A/C off and on to get the car somewhat comfortable. Add in some chipped paint on the front bumper and an overall worn-paint look, and you were the car I prayed I’d never drive. But, alas, life is funny. But you were mine, so I kept you clean and neat and looking as pretty on the inside as I could.

And now the time has come, as you push 169,000 miles and my commute is going up to about 55 miles round trip, that I must bid you a fond adieu. As much as I really hated driving you, I know you were a good little car with a lot of spunk and life in you. You saw us get married, buy houses, get a dog, and have a baby. You drove that baby around for 6 years. So I am a little sad to see you go.

Thank you for being so good to us. I can only hope that your next owner totally pimps you out and you get the makeover of your dreams. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my brand-spanking new Elantra while I talk ON THE PHONE THROUGH THE SPEAKERS! I will adjust the volume like a girl with Radio Volume Tourettes, and I will enjoy this summer in a cool, comfortable 70 degree car. Sure, I might think of you from time to time and mention your name, “Aww, remember that Sentra with the TAPE player? It used to make the cutest noise on the right rear side that no mechanic could figure out. Wasn’t that adorable?” But I think I’m going to get over it pretty damn quickly.


Good-bye, Dear Sentra. You will make some 17 or 77 year-old quite happy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

While doing our Easter Bunny duties last night, Hubby and I discovered an egg from last year still filled with some jelly beans. Oops and yuck! Those things were stuck together and looking a little pale, kind of like they were sitting in an attic for a year. Which they were. But then we opened another egg, and found $5. So we totally scored and saved ourselves 5 bucks this year. Which is good because Monkey Man’s Easter basket really started to add up with the Wii Donkey Kong game, Spongebob Invisible Marker Pad, Spongebob sticker activity book, money in the eggs, the chocolate bunny, the chocolate sports game, the ball toss game…So yeah, we needed that extra 5 bucks.

He’s a kid once and he is totally into the Bunny – so much that he was up at 5:10 a.m. and wanted to see what treats he had. Monkey Man is 6 years-old, and we don’t know how much longer we’ll have of him believing so each Christmas and Easter and lost tooth is absolutely precious and priceless. Of course, at 5:10, I wanted to scream, “Seriously?? Do you really think a BUNNY came INTO our house and left a basket? In what world does that make any SENSE?”

However, since I’m barely able to move at 5:10 let alone scream and ruin my child’s sense of wonder, I barely grunted, “Go back to bed. Wait until 7.” Hubby was a bit more coherent and explained that the Bunny might not have come yet and we needed to be quiet. Then at about 6:45, Hubby told Monkey Man that he heard something downstairs and we really needed to wait to make sure the coast was clear. So at 7, we all popped up ready for a day of candy and family and new beginnings and found some nice loot waiting for us. Loot that I’ll be doing double time at kickboxing for in the next few weeks.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Single Most Worst Thing to Do on a Saturday Afternoon

Hubby and I are going car shopping today which means by the end of the day, Hubby and I will not be on speaking terms because...

1) We cannot agree on the kind of car we want. We both want an economical and gas-friendly car, but I want something that looks nice (I like the Honda Civic, Civic Hybrid, Nissan Sentra, Hyndai Elantra/Sonata), and he wants one that looks like it should have a wind-up key in the back of it (Honda Fit AHHHH! Nissan Versa NOOOOO!).

2) We both CANNOT STAND the process of car shopping and I give the car salespeople a really hard time - I don't trust them, and I let them know it. Hubby wants to crawl in a corner when we go car shopping.

3) I want the car TODAY. Hubby thinks we're just looking today. Yep, sure to be good times.

4) It is pouring rain and I plan on wearing my Mickey Mouse poncho from Disney World. Another reason for Hubby to crawl into that corner. Hope he has a comfy pillow - I think he'll be in there for a while.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ding, Dong - It's Jesus!

"Mom, when is Jesus coming?" Monkey Man inquired tonight from the backseat.

"Who told you Jesus is coming?" I asked, knowing what the answer would be, but also wondering if he had been perusing the websites about May 21, 2011 when the world is going to *POOF* disappear.

"I read about it with Grandma," he answered the most obvious answer. Hubby's dad is a pastor. "So, when is he coming?"

"I have no idea," and I thought, I know I'm not too up on my Bible, but I'm pretty sure the day that Jesus comes is the end of the world.

"Is he coming on Monday?"

Just in case, I'll be sure to vacuum, dust and fold the laundry on Sunday night. Oh, and I'll save him some of my chocolate Easter Bunny. Yeah, I'll totally score points with chocolate.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Major League Payback

Monkey Man starts baseball today. For a fee of $125 we received:
a t-shirt
a hat
baseball socks
a size EXTRA LARGE baseball pants (this child is tall and thin - we tried the pants on this morning and two of his friends could jump in with him and have a sack race.

We also needed to purchase on our own: a mitt ($8.99), batting helmet with face guard ($39.99), cleats ($20.00) and the bat is optional, which means screw the bat. The kid is borrowing one that is sitting around.

In addition, either Hubby or I (read: I) has to sit at the concession stand (because we don't already have an obesity problem in this country we have to buy snacks at Little League baseball games) on a DAY THAT MONKEY MAN ISN'T EVEN PLAYING. Yes, you read that correctly. If I don't give of myself on this day, I will forfeit my $50 "worker's bond." I totally get that the concession stand is a fundraiser for the town's baseball program. But really, harassing me out of my $50 if I can't/won't come to my assigned day and time? The concession stand is still going to be there whether I decide to feed the masses hot dogs or not. And the baseball program's bonus in addition to the concession payola is my extra 50 if I want to spend that 90 minutes on a June Saturday with my family. Yes, town of mine - you are not only contributing to the diabetes epidemic, but also to the families not spending time with one another epidemic. Homerun for you!

Hopefully I will be laughing about all this when Monkey Man is winning the World Series with the Yankees in 15 years.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nibbles & Bits

While getting ready for the shower the other night, Monkey Man pointed to his chest and asked me, "Mom, what are these called? Nibbles?"

I tried not to laugh, because it was so freakin' cute, but I didn't want him to feel embarrassed especially because of the impending body part talk that was coming. "They are called nipples," I replied, in my best Serious Health Teacher Anatomy Lesson voice.

"Why are they long on ladies?" he inquired, having obviously viewed cows walking around on their hind legs because certainly he was confusing breasts with udders? Here is when composure went flying out the window. I'm sorry, but I pictured some tubular-like objects projecting from a woman's chest. Sort of like early-90s Madonna, but not as pointy. "Like when I go to the gym with you, they bounce up and down on the girls." Oh. Lord. Help. Me.

Deep breath, regain composure, and delve into the body part speech. Monkey Man has known the "proper" words for penis and vagina for years now, and they are no biggie. However, we just never went into the breast realm.

"Boys and girls both have chests and both have nipples," I said, trying not to let on that I was in disbelief I had to have this conversation with my 6 year-old boy. "When girls grow up, their chests grow (blah, blah, blah - I don't think you readers out there need this lesson. You were probably taught it via film strip circa 1985).

The lesson we have learned from all of this? In the male division of "Boob Man" Vs. "Butt Man," I think we see which side my son is on. Once again, Oh. Lord. Help. Me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You're Getting Sleeeeepy...

This weekend, my sleeping schedule looked like this:
Friday night - 12:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Saturday night - 11:30 p.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Dare I say this? I, who loves sleep possibly more than Holiday Pop 'Ems, think that I might have slept TOO MUCH this weekend.

Monkey Man spent the weekend at my parents' house and Hubby was away for work all weekend. So this meant completely uninterrupted sleep for me. The poor dog got up at around 7:30 on both mornings, probably had to go out really badly since he usually goes out by 6:30, but I think he knew better. Unless the smoke detector is going off, mama ain't budging.

But I've had a headache all day and have felt sore and achy. Yes, I did hours of yard work and went for a run yesterday, but I think my body was horizontal and motionless for too long.

Good thing it's back to work and school tomorrow. Back to structure, sleeping 7 hours and longing for the weekend. To sleep in!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Word of the Day: Meandering

I went to the mall today. Hubby is away for work and Monkey Man is spending the weekend at my parents’ house. This means that I had unlimited time to spend doing whatever I wanted to do. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

While at the mall, I meandered. Normally when I’m at the mall without Monkey Man, I feel like I have to rush. Even if Hubby says, “Don’t rush,” I feel like I have to get in and out as quickly as possible. But tonight? I meandered. Store to store I went, trying on things, buying nothing, but taking as long as I wanted. I did buy clothes for Monkey Man, but for me? Nada. I see lots of cute clothes I like on other people, but I am deficient in buying my own clothes. I wasn’t always like this. I think once I hit my thirties, I feel like things are either too “teeny bopper” or “too old” and I cannot find something in between. It’s frustrating and annoying and I waste too much time trying.

But, at least for tonight, I wandered with no deadlines, no one waiting for me at home. Lord & Taylor, JCPenney, Eddie Bauer, J Crew, Children’s Place, Gap, NY & Company…they all saw a more peaceful, meandering mom tonight. Then I went home and had a healthy dinner of pita chips.

Home Alone

What does a mom eat for dinner when hubby is away for work and Monkey Man is spending the weekend at the grandparents? Pita chips. And wine. I would make such an awesome bachelor. The only difference is I accomplished things today. I took the dog for a run, did lots o’ yard work, then followed that yard work up with a grueling pedicure. After the pedicure, I went shopping for an Easter outfit and some new summer clothes for Monkey Man. A bachelor would’ve just sat on the couch all day and watched baseball, napped, and scratched himself.

Today was Day 2 of hubby gone all day and night for work, and this is Night #2 of Monkey Man spending the night at my parents’ house. I L.O.V.E. my alone time, but I have to say, I think I’m a little lonely. I kind of miss Monkey Man screaming for me to get him his 14th snack or letting me know he has to pee. I also kind of miss kicking hubby out of my favorite corner of the couch. But, nonetheless, I will enjoy the quiet. And then, possibly, I’ll enjoy a brownie.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just Like MTV's Spring Break!

Monkey Man and I went outside earlier this afternoon to catch the 15 minutes of sunshine that was bestowed upon us. While he jumped on the trampoline, I started the horrible, daunting, never-ending task of cleaning up the backyard of all the leaves, sticks and various junk that has either been left over from the fall cleaning or has made its way to our yard via wind storms. I don’t know why I bother cleaning up in the fall – no one is going to be in the yard all winter and I just have to do it all over again in the spring. Oh well. I was just happy that at least this time, I had summer to look forward to instead of a dreary, cold winter ahead.

While Monkey Man jumped, he announced, “This is the Best Spring Break EVER!” Obviously, it does NOT take a lot to get this kid pumped. Let me now review the most thrilling, exciting Spring Break itinerary ever:

Saturday: Monkey Man stayed over my parents’ house Friday night, so he spent the day there on Saturday.

Sunday: We finally had a sunny, kind of warm day, so we went outside in the yard and played soccer and jumped on the trampoline. Later, we had a belated birthday dinner for Monkey Man with Hubby’s family. This included yet another birthday gift. Score!

Monday: Dentist check-up for Monkey Man. We went to see Hop with friends (absolutely hilarious, I highly recommend it!) then had lunch with our friends. After lunch, we shopped for new Converse (Monkey Man only wears his Converse, so he was in major need of some new kicks. Even with occasional washings, they were looking a little worn).

Tuesday: Annual check-up for Monkey Man which included blood work. After the doc’s office, we continued the par-tay at the Toyota dealer for an oil change. WOO HOO! Spring Break ROCKS! Later that night, I had to teach kickboxing, so Monkey Man’s big cousin and his girlfriend took him for pizza then to an indoor amusement place nearby with go-karts and bumper cars and Laser Tag and foam shooting things and arcade games – a 6 year-old’s dream. Okay, now I see the equivalent of a college spring break starting to take shape here.

Wednesday: I brought Monkey Man to the gym where he sat like a good little boy and played his DS while mommy got her butt kicked. Monkey Man had a friend over (which was a last minute welcome surprise and what prompted the whole Best Spring Break EVER comment).

Thursday: We are going to visit some friends. Monkey Man is excited to play with my friend’s kids.

Friday: Monkey Man is staying with my parents while I go to a doctor’s appointment.

Okay, so without boring you further to tears about the mundane-ness of our week home, I think you see my point. This week doesn’t exactly rival that of MTV’s Spring Break. Not once did someone ask me to join their wet t-shirt contest. My drink of choice over the past few days was Green Tea and an occasional Diet Pepsi. The only dancing I did was because the other day I had to pee really bad and could not get in the house fast enough.

If Monkey Man really thinks this is the best week ever, I am never, ever, ever, EVER letting him go away with his friends when he goes to college. Oh no. Mama’s been there, done that, and if this kid thinks Spring Break can’t get much better than this past week, there are some things better left a secret.

Friday, April 1, 2011

SPRINGfield in the Summer

Guess who has 7th row tickets to see Rick Springfield in July - WOO HOO! In celebration of the awesomeness that will take place in New Brunswick on what I know will be a HOT night in July, I give you a photo recap of some wonderful moments with Rick:


Although highly unflattering, this photo was taken in March 2008 when Rick came out into the audience and gave his fan, who was standing on the armrest of her chair, a hug.


I went to the Virgin Megastore in NYC in July 2008 for Rick's CD signing. This was the first time I actually met him. I was quite eloquent, too, in our first meeting. "You're awesome!" Whatever, just take a picture with me, Rick.



This was perhaps one of the greatest nights of my life, apart from my wedding, of course. Not only did I take lots of pics with Rick, I actually engaged in CONVERSATION with him. Virginia Beach, September 2008


I met a new friend at a Rick concert last year (the friend who I'll be going to the July show with!) and she gave me the tip on where Rick was staying so we could get some pictures! I love this picture - it kind of looks like we are totally meant to be, right? Thanks to Doug for taking the photo of me and my man! Pennsylvania, February 2010

My One and Only

As you know from reading my blog, I have one wonderful, charming, funny, sarcastic, intelligent, exhausting and simply delightful child. However, as absolutely fantastic as he is, people seem to think there should be more of him. Or more of my husband and me, since we made him. Wow, people really like us that much that they want MORE of us!

Monkey Man turned 6 in March and for the past 6 years, I have been asked by many people:

“When are you having #2?” – Hmmm, none of your damn business unless you’re my husband and I need your sperm.

“So, when are you going to GIVE Monkey Man a brother or sister? - Shall I just run out to Target, grab a child off the shelf and hand over my Target credit card which gives me 5% off said child? Then I’ll wrap him or her up in some pretty tissue paper and give baby to Monkey Man?

“Do you think you’re JUST going to have ONE?” – JUST ONE drips out of their mouths like, “I really should have considered that option. She’s a freakin’ genius – gets to be a mom, love her child unconditionally, but only has to worry about one little rugrat instead of 3!”

“He should have a sibling.” Really? And I should smack you. Then you should give me money to raise the village and send them off to college. What Monkey Man SHOULD have is two loving parents who will give him their world and make sure he feels safe, happy and like he is our number one priority always. He should have food, shelter and an education. A sibling will not add or detract from his life. Monkey Man is a friendly, socially adept kid and has friends, and many people know, sometimes friends are better friends than a sibling. I know lots of people who do not get along with their brothers or sisters. I also know lots of people who are best friends with their brothers or sisters. You just never know what you’re going to get.

“C’mon, have another!” - Yes, because having another child is like taking a shot at the bar. Oh, but wait! We all know what that ONE MORE shot at the bar can do to a person! One time (in college, I was young and stupid. And totally of age) it had me sitting under a sink in the bathroom, with my head between my knees. And, hell, sometimes it produces Baby #2 or #3!

If I am out with one of my closest friends, or my mom, or my sister, and one of them says to me, “So, do you think you would like to have another child?” I would be open and candid with them if they didn’t already know the answer and reasons behind the answer. But when Nosy Nancy from the gym asks me, it’s a little annoying. Take a moment and really think about these questions and statements – there are many reasons that a woman or couple might not have another child:

1. They WANT one child. (Oh, the horror! Just one? How could they?)
2. They have been trying to having another child for years and it’s just not happening.
3. Medical reasons would put the woman or child at risk.
4. The woman has actually been pregnant once, twice, several times and miscarried.
5. The couple has adopted (and I’m talking opposite sex and same sex couples) and are either quite happy with one child or cannot afford the cost of multiple adoptions.

Maybe there are more reasons, but I think the ones I listed are enough to get someone to stop and think before opening their insensitive, rude mouth. This post has been swirling around in my head for a few years now, but a comment the other day by a woman really lit the fire under me. So that night, I wrote as my status on Facebook: “Would it be rude for me to ask people why they had more than one child? Maybe look at them with shock like, "WHY did you decide to have TWO? or THREE?" Because it's pretty rude when people ask me when I'm having another or why I don't have another child.”

Everyone who commented on Facebook was very supportive and seemed aghast that people would actually ask these kinds of questions. People had different things to say:

“It’s very rude and none of anyone’s business. I did not have another until my son was 8 and people would say that to me all of the time. Of course my circumstances were a little different but I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with my son and if I didn't have another so be it. Sometimes people are just jealous because they have 2, 3, maybe even 4 kids and they can't give the attention and time that they would like to.” Amen, sista.

"I used to hear this ALL the time! I finally did decide that another hard pregnancy would be worth it, but that was my decision to make. I've even had people say since, "see, we knew you'd come around." and things like that. I just don't get it - having only one isn't some crazy idea! And to be honest, I love daughter #2, but I do miss it just being daughter #1 sometimes. It was much easier to work when I could devote my free time to her. Now my time is so split that I feel like I'm torn in too many directions at once." Love the honesty, and I'll give it another, Amen!

“The second child is the son or daughter of the social pressure. For almost 6 years I was annoyed with the same bs and I'll just tell them if you'll support him/her and off course babysit whenever I want to go out, I'll go for it.” And again, let me add, if you would like to foot the bill for college, then in the words of Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On!

“I just tell it like it is: I'd love to have had another, but she's my miracle baby and I'm just glad she's healthy and happy!” Let’s get another Hallelujah! “Another good comeback- no need, I got it right the first time!” yes. Yes. YES.

Monkey Man was in our plans to be a part of our life. I am thankful everyday that my plans played out and that whatever forces that needed to work with us, did. He gives me (us!) as much joy, laughter, anxiety, delight, sleeplessness, and sheer love as 10 children could. I might be a mom to only one child, but I couldn’t be happier with or prouder of my one-of-a-kind, one and only Monkey Man.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

He's MY Sugar Monkey!

I had a really great day with Monkey Man today. This is not to say that most days aren't really great, but if you are a parent, you know, that many days you daydream about what it was like to not hear the word "Mommy" said 3,567 times. In 5 minutes.

Monkey Man had his "Primary Show" in school today, which makes it sound like he goes to a one room schoolhouse with a teacher named Miss Magillacutty (total phonetic spelling, but you get the idea). We live in a suburban neighborhood, in a town with 5 elementary schools, so we are in no way rural. I guess they developed the Primary Show in 1923 and the name just stuck.

It was a music show, with Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade performing Disney songs for their theme, "The Wonderful World of Disney." Monkey Man was SO EXCITED that he had several guests coming to watch his debut performance - me, my parents, Hubby's parents, and my adopted 23 year-old daughter (not really, she is my nephew's girlfriend, one of the family and we love her dearly. She lives with us when she is in grad school, and Monkey Man calls her his sister). He woke me up this morning with a, "GET UP MOM! IT'S MY BIG DAY!" Apparently the Primary Show is one step above Broadway. The show was fabulous, an agent signed him, and he'll be singing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah for his dinner for the next year.

Later in the afternoon, I had to go to the Greatest Store on Earth - yes, Target. I needed about 4 things and Monkey Man asked if he could get something. I told him if he would like to spend his money, he could. Monkey Man has been saving for an iTouch for months now. After we told him that WE would not buy him one, but if he wanted to save for one, he could buy whatever he liked (other than a prostitute. We draw the line at buying a prostitute). He has $215. How does a 6 year-old boy save $215 in 4 months? It's simple: allowance, birthday money, and the biggest money-maker of all - Poppy and Aga, my parents. Aga pays him to let her sleep in when he sleeps over. Monkey Man writes and illustrates books and charges BY THE PAGE. This child has come home from an overnight at my parents' house $9-$12 richer. And he sleeps over almost every weekend.

But I was very proud that he was excited to buy something with his own money. He really wanted a new Wii game, so he decided to get a new game and keep saving for the iTouch, knowing that the game would deplete the iTouch fund. He picked out a new Wii game, and we played it for much of the evening. It just felt really good that he did it himself (and was smart enough to extort from my parents to get him to this point). It felt even better that I didn't lay out a penny for a new game.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's Cooking?

I've written this before on my blog, and said it lots of times - I hate cooking. I do not enjoy taking the time out to buy all kinds of ingredients, assemble them for a recipe, make something, and then eat it. That just takes entirely too much time. And I've discovered I'm like my mom - after I've cooked something, I have no interest in eating it. I've looked at it for almost an hour, I know what's in it, I've smelled it getting ready, and as good as it might be, I have no appetite for it. It's so much more exciting (and so much less exhausting!) to have it arrive magically on my plate.

But I do cook. I just absolutely loathe the process. But this family will not live on take out, so cook I do, not well, not with love in my heart, but for the simple act of survival.

What I don't like about not liking to cook, however, is the vibe I get from people (women) when I tell them, honestly, that I don't like to cook. It's as if my womanhood has been ripped out of me, like my ovaries have been julienned and served au gratin (I clearly have no idea what these terms mean). Why am I SUPPOSED to LOVE slinging a wooden spoon and know exactly what one means when one says "braise" (huh?) or broil (really, what is the difference between broil and roast? Thankfully we don't eat meat)?

I was a part of a marketing focus group about vitamins and supplements, and when I mentioned that I hate cooking, a few of the women looked at me with horror. I wanted to scream back, "But I love to organize! And my house is so clean you could drop your roasted shank pork loin thing on my floor and continue to eat it! What's your house look like, huh, Julia Child? While you're all boiling and basting and sauteeing, I am revelling in the joy of a clean, organized home. I can find my taxes from 2004 in 3 minutes. A friend called and is stopping by in 30 minutes? Not a problem thanks to my rule, 'A place for everything and everything in its place.' "

One woman in particular just kept at it with the, "Well, I just love to cook. I want my family to eat healthy. I love to experiment with all different kinds of foods and herbs and we belong to a Food Co-op and I watch all the food shows..."

Why do I care? I shouldn't care. I do A LOT of things for my family. They are all functioning and alive. They wear clean clothes everyday. Bills get paid on time. I work. Monkey Man eats as balanced of a diet that a picky 6 year-old can get away with. But for some reason, I just feel like I SHOULD love to cook. But, nah. I'd so much rather clean out a closet. Now that's some good times!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sugar Mama's Back

Yep, Sugar Mama is back. That is to say I'm off the wagon. I'm so off the wagon, I can't even see the wagon anymore. I think it took a right turn at, "I have PMS." Then it made a sharp left at, "Just this once, I'll start again tomorrow." There was a brief blinking yellow light screaming, "CAUTION! It's been two days and you haven't gotten back on the wagon." Then the wagon fell off a cliff and I said, "Screw it."

Poor wagon never really stood a chance.

Monday, March 28, 2011

You Down with OCD? Yeah, You Know Me!

There are 3 things one should not do on one's birthday:
1. Laundry
2. Vacuum
3. Pick up dog poop in the yard

So let me justify why I did all 3 of these things on Saturday. It's called OCD.

I could not let a basket of clean clothes sit until Sunday to be folded and put away. So I thought to myself, "I know it's my birthday, but it'll just take a few minutes." And away those clothes went.

The family room is the only carpeted room in my house. And we have a black, shedding dog. I vacuum that room about twice a day. So, really, how could I NOT do it just once? "And while the vacuum is out, I'll just get the area rug in the living room. Oh, hell, I might as well drag it upstairs and get the area rugs in the bedrooms, too."

Monkey Man and Hubby went to see "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." I went to the gym. When I got back from the gym, the dog looked at me like, "Please, please mommy, let's play! Please! I wanna play!" So guilt took over, and I played ball with him. And while I was in the yard I tried to tell myself, "I WILL NOT pick up dog poop on my birthday." But seriously, I'm me. And I cannot ignore dog crap in my backyard.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Three Wishes

For my birthday, which is today, the day I've been dreading a little bit because I've officially moved out of the "mid-thirties" and am now in my GASP. CHOKE. LATE THIRTIES. FAINT.

Monkey Man asked me the other day what I would like for my birthday. I told him I would like 3 things, none of which cost any money at all.
1. A hug and kiss
2. To sleep in
3. A homemade card (this is a tradition in my family for all holidays)

Monkey Man greeted me this morning at about 8:30 with a hug and a kiss. He told me I could sleep until 9:05. Then he presented his card to me:


In just 6 short years of knowing his mother, he has me pegged. Love this kid.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Birthday! Love, the DMV

I had to renew my license by the end of this month, so why not wait until the end of the month? That's when DMV is the busiest, and I absolutely love to stand on long lines and listen to the DMV employess bark at people who just need to know WHICH line to stand on because there are like 34 lines.

While standing on line, I remembered 4 years ago when I last renewed my license and thinking, "The next time I do this, I'll be 37 years-old. Holy Crap." Well, welcome to Holy Crap. In 2 days, I'll be 37. HOW? How did this happen?

And then my next thought came. Almost 20 years ago to the day, I just took my driver's test and got my license for the first time. I even remember what I was wearing on the day that sweet freedom came in the shape of a glossy rectangle. A black windbreaker, jeans that were tightly cuffed around my ankle, and brand-spanking new birthday Nikes was my outfit of choice upon turning 17.

Which brings me to thinking about all of the things that have happened in 20 years. Those years seem to have passed in a flash, with these memories playing back like scenes from a movie. And now, my lucky readers, I give you a bunch of stuff that happened to me in the last 20 years. Feel free to either use this as material to help you drift into slumber or get yourself thinking about YOUR last 20 years...

Starting at age 17:
My niece was born
Received my driver's license
Went to Cancun with my friend and her family
Got my first car (can someone say 1986 Dodge Lancer? Holla!)
Graduated high school
Started college
Got dumped by my high school boyfriend
Joined a sorority
Got myself another boyfriend
My nephew was born
Experienced my one and only college spring break in the Bahamas
Graduated college
Visited Aruba
Bought my first BRAND NEW car (1996 Chevy Cavalier - Oh Yeah!)
Got my first real job
Visited London and Ireland
Broke up with boyfriend
Dated co-worker, who turned into Hubby :)
Got engaged in Disneyland
Got married
Went on several Disney cruises and visited Disney World every year
Bought our first house
Got our dog, Walt
Went back to school for my teaching degree
Became a teacher
Went on a cross-country road trip for my 30th birthday
Found out the best little boy in the world was coming into our lives!
Gave birth to Monkey Man
Survived the newborn stage (how, I'll never know!)
Worked from home with hubby
Sold our first house, bought our current house
Met Rick Springfield!
Returned to teaching part-time

Which brings us here, 20 years later. I might be 37 (in 2 days) on paper, but in my heart and mind, I'm still 17. And that's what counts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This Could Get Ugly

We have a snow day today. It is March 23. I know people sent Mother Nature some memos about this ri-freakin-diculous weather we've had all winter, but it is officially spring. And I saw my grass last week. And I ran in a tank top on Friday. So can we please stop the nice-nice with Mama Earth and just give her a swift kick in the ass?

Not only is she pissing me off with this weather, but now I am stuck in the house today for my snow day. I love a day off from work hanging with Monkey Man, but let's remember I am trying hard not to eat sugar. So what's my plan for the day? To bake about 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies for Monkey Man's school Tricky Tray this weekend. Gotta make good use of this time off.

I just hope Hubby doesn't come home from work later to find me in a sugar coma.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Three Cheers for Fiber One!

Although Fiber One bars do help me keep my chocolate sanity, I have to put out this PSA - TWO Fiber One bars in one day might not make for a comfortable night. But, hey, it's worth it - I didn't touch those mini Oreos that have been snickering at me all day in my pantry.

So Day 1, Take 3 was successful. That friggin' Easter Bunny better get here soon.

This Could Have Been Easier

Here is a list of specific foods containing sugar that should have gotten the boot during this brilliant 40-day fast I can't stick to. The reason? I hate these foods:

Jelly donuts - Purple goo shooting out of a non-chocolate donut? Eww.

Cherry pie - Red, gelatinous material disguised in a yummy crust. No thank you.

Lemon Merangue Pie - The lemon is like a sponge. Clearly, I have food texture issues.

Whoppers candy - Malt is gross.

Danishes - All of them. Even if they have chocolate on or in them. Yuck.

Chocolate Eclairs - I know, this sounds strange because aren't they like the King of Italian Desserts? The cream filling is way too sweet for even my taste buds. And I do love me some sweet!

Anything with coconut on or in it. Again with the food consistency - I don't like those coconut flakes.

I'll think of more. And I'll put that in a different post because I'm totally kicking ass on the blog post quota I set for myself!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh My GANACHE!

Hubby and I have been having a much-needed heaping of good luck these past few weeks. Lots of good news right in the middle of my sugar strike. Good news should be celebrated with chocolate and cake and more chocolate and cookies! Sorry health magazines, but I am not celebrating with a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

Round of Luck #1: Hubby was was chosen as one of the nominees in the Best Newspaper Comic Panel of 2010 Division for the 65th Annual Reuben Awards. Each year, the National Cartoonists Society honors the year’s outstanding achievements in all walks of the profession including newspaper strips, newspaper panels, TV animation, feature animation, newspaper illustration, gag cartoons, book illustration, greeting cards, comic books, magazine feature/magazine illustration, and editorial cartoons. This is H.U.G. to the E.

Round of Luck #2: In my tireless search for a full-time teaching position, I was hired for a maternity leave. It's not permanent, but could open doors to something. I start in May and could not be happier!

Round of Luck #3: We went to our accountant and let's just say if Uncle Sam really did exist, I would totally give him a lap dance.

So, in celebration of the last two weeks, hubby and I went to a fabulous restaurant last night. It's an old mansion and the decor is all Americana antique. We ate our dinner, and when dessert time rolled around, hubby ordered a mini chocolate ganache cake topped with mint chocolate chip ice cream. I ordered tea, I swear to you. The waiter, like a crack dealer taunting a junkie, said, "Let me bring one out for you,too." I giggled, said, "No, that's okay." And the bastard said, "No, really, I'll bring one out for you." I started scratching at my face, beads of sweat beginning to form on my forehead, and I said, "Okay."

Famous freakin' last words.



This is what my warm Ganache cake with fudge filling, topped with chocolate chip-mint ice cream looked like before it suffered it's death.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Seriously, Enough with the Temptation

Today I got to cut an entire tray of chocolate-frosted brownies for my darling class. With sprinkles. And I'm back on the wagon. Oh, and in case you didn't read in the last post, I have PMS. I'm expecting a serpent to appear with an apple any minute now.

But I didn't have a brownie. So I am back to laughing in the face of sugar! Unless, of course, I am still on this ridiculous no sugar kick when Aunt Flo visits, next month.

Sugarless Update: A Friday Math Equation

PMS + Hubby working late (= no supervision) + Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies in freezer = All sorts of bad things.

And I'll just leave it at that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Kind of Dinner

I've written this before and have said it dozens, if not hundreds of times - I hate to cook. I get no enjoyment out of it and look at it as a waste of time. I cook for 2 reasons - 1) The health of my family - I refuse to do fast food and take out on a nightly basis 2) So that Monkey Man doesn't tell his teachers that he had frozen waffles for dinner again (for many families, this might be peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, but he's allergic to nuts - or cereal, but he is the only child in America that does not eat cereal. He can't even stand the smell of someone else eating it. I know, weird kid).

Tonight, Hubby is working late and Monkey Man is at my parent's house because I have a hair appointment to get my blonde back. I am a natural blonde, and every winter my hair gets too dark for my liking, so I get highlights. There are 3 things I like about my physical appearance: I love my blonde hair, I like my smile, and I like that I'm tall. All the rest depends on the day, but if I only like 3 things, then you betcha I'm getting one of those fixed ASAP!

Blonde stuff aside, I'm home alone for dinner. Which I LOVE, because I just had a gourmet meal of Vanilla Greek Yogurt with Granola. Now THAT'S what I call dinner.

On the 7th Day

I had a very busy day yesterday, or Day 7 of the Sugar-less / Write-a-Post Everyday Experiment. I spent all morning invoicing newspapers for Doug's comic then headed off to work. After work, I went directly to a friend's Daisy Troop meeting and spoke to them about exercise and then we did some kickboxing. I raced home, made dinner and then went back out to teach two kickboxing classes. I got home at 9:30 p.m. and was starving.

There was not an apple, yogurt, or sensible snack to be found in this house. Therefore, I am ashamed to say, Animal Crackers cracked me. They aren't even chocolate. But I ate them with a big glass of milk, so that kind of counteracts the non-nutritional value of them. And I missed my blog post last night - BUT, as long as I write 40 posts in 40 days, I've succeeded. Those are my rules, anway.

Well, back on the fruit and veggie bandwagon...Here's to 33 more days!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chocolate Frosting & Thin Mints: A Dangerous Duo

There is a can of chocolate frosting leftover from Monkey Man's birthday bash this weekend that is sitting in my refrigerator. It has been sitting there since Friday night. And I have not touched that can. Now, in my saner, sugar-eating days, I would have slaughtered that frosting with my mighty spoon and made up for it the next day at kickboxing. But instead, each time I open the fridge, I give it a quick once-over, a cocky "whatever," letting it know it has no power over me and can sit there until April 24 (when I will eat chocolate until I am comatose. If my grave reads "Death By Chocolate" then I have led a rich and full life).

And then there are the Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mints in my freezer. I have been known to inhale a box of these puppies in one sitting, my belly aching afterwards and wondering why these evil little girls must raise money for their organization in the form of freakin' chocolate mint cookies. They are all so innocent in their, "Won't you buy a box to help us girls contribute to society, participate in wholesome activities, and ensure that we don't procreate at the age of 14 because we didn't get an abstinence badge?" Okay, that part I have no idea about, but you get the idea. You HAVE TO buy the cookies.

But they are sitting in my fridge, heckling me each time I reach for my veggie burger or frozen mango.

If only the frosting and Thin Mints knew how I could totally dip one into the other and show them who's really boss. They seriously have no idea of the chocoholic they are messing with. But my chocolate badass-ness will have to wait another 5 weeks.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dover Dairy Open for Business. Sucks to Be Me.

In continuation of Monkey Man’s birthday WEEKEND, we took him for ice cream last night. Since I am on this ridiculous no-sugar experiment for 6 weeks, I went along to torture myself. I L-O-V-E ice cream and to go along for the ride and watch 2 people thoroughly enjoy the neighborhood ice cream joint's season opening is just masochistic.

When we pulled up, Hubby noticed the gigantic sign in the window that said, “Fat Free and Sugar Free Yogurt.” We halla-freakin-lujah! Someone give me a “Loophole Amen!” Clearly, the good Lord was intervening, showing pity on my sugarless soul. The loophole? No sugar, and some nutritional value – calcium and yogurt cultures. Of course, I would have to forfeit my chocolate sprinkles which are really the only reason people should eat ice cream. I have to say, though, I did struggle with the decision to get the yogurt even though it was fat free AND sugar free. Was this cheating? I finally decided that if it had no sugar, then it was okay. I ordered my naked yogurt in a cup (I’m also totally a cone girl, cups are pretty worthless). I also asked the ice cream girl for the nutrition information just out of curiosity.

I read it over, and I’m not sure if she gave me the wrong information, but this paper said “no sugar ADDED” and had 8 grams of sugar. SON OF A *$@&! I sat in the car with my stupid, sprinkle-less, cone-less yogurt and wept.

I brought it home, put it in the freezer and saved it for Monkey Man. Clearly, there is something wrong with me that I went as far as to purchase this “sugar-free” product then NOT EAT IT.

I prepared Monkey Man a treat tonight with my ice cream covered in chocolate syrup and crushed Thin Mint cookies. But I have to tell the truth – I took a few crumbs of the cookie. C’mon people, I have been looking at and touching sugary birthday delightfulness all week, it was just a few crumbs!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It Pays to Spring Forward!

Hubby and I are hoping that his genius, coupled with my monetary bribes, will get us some sleep tomorrow morning. As we all know (or maybe not, so you are finding out now) we have to turn the clocks ahead one hour tonight, so everyone loses an hour of sleep. For parents of children that think they are roosters and must wake up the whole freaking farm at the crack of dawn, daylight savings sucks.

Monkey Man has been getting up at about 6 a.m. every morning. He doesn’t care if it’s a school day or a weekend, he is up and at ‘em. His motto is that of a hardcore, 20-something rockstar, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” He’s got too much to accomplish in a day, why sleep away the hours that could be devoted to Wii Lego Batman, Spongebob, writing and illustrating books, playing basketball, jumping on the trampline, doing flips in the living room, and just generally exhausting his mother and father?

The past few weekends, I have offered to pay Monkey Man $1 if he lets us sleep in until 8 a.m. He will do anything for money – he is saving for an iTouch and a car (gotta give the kid some credit on the short and long-term financial goals – Suze Orman would be proud). Between his birthday, allowance and weekly extortion from his one set of grandparents (my sweet and growing ever-poorer parents) he is almost about to get an iTouch. He has wanted one for months now, and we refuse to buy him one. But if this is what he chooses to spend his hard-earned money on, then so be it.

Now we pair my bribery with Hubby’s sinister and truly brilliant plan to allow us to sleep in tomorrow morning. Hubby approached me after Monkey Man was safely into slumber and said, “Let’s not turn the clocks ahead tonight. We’ll wait until after Monkey Man wakes up. So when he gets up at his usual 6 a.m., it will really be 7 a.m. One of us will get up and get him breakfast, then we can sleep until the clock says 8:30, and it will really be 9:30!” He was practically peeing himself with glee and pride at this revelation.

If this works, we may never have a clock in this house that works again!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cupcakes and Frosting and Cookies Oh My!

I baked and frosted 24 cupcakes tonight to prepare for Monkey Man's 6th birthday extravaganza. I stuffed 17 goody bags with Oreos, Rice Krispie Treats, and Tootsie Rolls.

And I didn't eat one. I'm writing this while in the fetal position drooling, but nope, didn't touch one.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Victory is SWEET!

Yeah, so I totally made those cookies my bitch today. I was volunteering at Monkey Man's school, and I had some cutting and collating to do in the Faculty Room. And what does every Faculty Room in most towns in the U.S. have? Foods containing sugar. Cookies, cake, everything left over from last night's family birthday dinner that no one wants in their house.

There I sat. Two cartons of large Costco-type cookies in one corner (from where I sat, I believed them to be of the oatmeal raisin and sugar cookie variety, but I dared not go too close for fear that one might actually catapult its way into my unsuspecting mouth. They are not my favorite kinds, but who the hell cares? They were COOKIES!) And in the opposite corner - me and all my math copies. Those badass cookies had the advantage, simply because they were cookies. I had a thermos of Green Tea to quell my cravings. The odds were so stacked against me.

But for the next hour, I ignored their mockery. "C'mon, no one is in here. Just take a little bite. It won't even count! You know you're gonna cave before 6 weeks is up, anyway. Just do it!"

And my response? "Eat me."

Yeah, cuz that's how I roll when it comes to the Cookie Vs. Sugar(less) Mama showdown.