Lots of Love :)

It’s a rainy, dreary day here in Maryland, which makes me a little bummed about trick-or-treating tomorrow night… Let’s hope it clears, because I did not lovingly sew – on a sewing machine! – two costumes to be covered by raincoats!  But I may day was brightened when I read Megan’s post at Heartbeats and Little Feet today!  Thanks for the Liebster Award, Megan!


So here are “the rules”
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer the questions given by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 5-11 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers and give them questions to answer.

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We Need to Practice Our L’s

Oh, the glory and wonder of the iPhone video capabilities, with that swivel option so you can see yourself on the screen!  I have Laura on my lap, trying to get her to record a message to her new cousin.  Which is something in itself, since Laura isn’t exactly speaking in messages yet.

So I have Laura on my lap, asking her to repeat words like some sort of parrot, when she sees herself on the screen.  Shock!  Awe!  And instead of answering my stupid promptings, she breaks into song.  About herself. Cute, right?  Because I am just about dying of laughter over here.  Or should I say “yaughter?”  We really need to start practicing those La la la sounds.  If you are wondering?  We did eventually record a very sweet message for Cousin Elizabeth.  On the sixth take.

The same, but different

Hello, hello!

I’m here, writing to you, from my NEW WordPress blog!  This is very exciting times, people.  And also?  A little daunting.  I am faced with a very different interface than with Blogger.  It’s going to take some getting used to!  But change is good.

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Christmas Survey

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Both!  At the same time!  I love making hot chocolate (Swiss Miss, of course), and adding a little egg nog to top it off.  Try it – it’s delicious!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Santa presents are unwrapped.  That man does not have enough time to wrap and label presents for every child!  He’s a visual guy, and all about the delivery!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  Both on the tree, colored on the house.  I grew up with white on the house, but colored fits our family (and style of home) so  much better!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  Nope.  I don’t need excuses to kiss my hubby!

5. When do you put your decorations up?  Growing up, it was the day after Thanksgiving, and not a moment too soon.  But since my family is usually on the road for Thanksgiving, we wait till the minute we are home and able.

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish?  Breakfast Casserole on Christmas morning is up there!  I never enjoyed the goose my father cooked for dinner, but everything else was always delicious.

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The one where I’m a hypochondriac. Or Dying.

Little known fact:  I’m a hypochondriac.

Currently, I believe I have mono (I don’t), strep (no chance) and chronic fatigue syndrome (just lazy).

I do have narcolepsy, though.

That’s a real thing.  I know, because I fall into a deep, coma-like sleep every single time I try to read on my iPad.  I mean, every time.  Typically, I raise the iPad up to begin reading, scroll-scroll-scroll to wherever I left off the night before, and then:  WHAM!  There’s an iPad slapping me in the face.

That sucker’s heavy, too.  I don’t have the iPad Air, you know.  I have the full-on dinosaur, first-release, fat iPad.  The iConcussion.

Back to my (undiagnosed) narcolepsy.  Here’s what I’ve found on WebMD: Continue reading


Being nice.  It should be easy, an unconscious reaction to people and places.  I don’t mean being polite – I mean being a nice person, a good, look-for-the-best member of society.

I’m not nice.

I’m friendly, quick to put myself on the line to make new friends.  I can small talk and chat and smile along with conversation.  But I’m also the first to jump at mean-spirited gossip.  I’m the first to gibe, and barb and tease.  The first to be snotty and catty.  And the first to cry when someone is mean to me back.

My niceness has been called into question quite a lot lately.  By those who are closest to me.  And it really hurts.  The truth hurts.  I’m not a very nice person.

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What is Canadian Internet?

I decided that for a month I will use only “Canadian internet” And so, my year of Canadianness reaches its crescendo this month with all-Canuck Internet use.

What do we mean when we say “the Canadian Internet”? It’s a good question. Do we mean websites that are hosted in Canada? Probably not, because many Canadian companies, media organizations, and blogs host their so-called ‘Canadian content’ on computers that are physically in the United States or elsewhere. Rather stupidly, when I set up this site, I added it to my existing set of sites hosted by the good Americans at Laughing Squid.

Others have pointed out that I shouldn’t use Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or dozens of other sites because they’re American. This seems overly reductive. The computers that host these sites, and the sites and services themselves are the infrastructure of the web. I don’t require that Canadian music be recorded through Canadian soundboards and played on Canadian speakers (if I did, it would have been a quiet year), so I don’t think I should ban myself from these services. Continue reading

My Beef with Dora

I have something I need to say.  This really bothers me, and I’m just not sure there’s a solution.  It’s been weighing on me for a while, and I need to get it off my chest.

Dora and Swiper really bother me.

Wait, that’s not earth-shattering news?  Dora’s ear-splitting voice is pretty obnoxious for a lot of people out there.  If you’re like me, you’ll do pretty much anything to get out of watching Dora – including tuning in to Strawberry Shortcake instead. *Shudder*

Dora’s voice and the stupidity of the plot are annoying, it’s true.  But is an aspect of the show that is almost sinister: the lack of true role models.

Let’s start with Swiper.  Why is it that we have to tell Swiper not to swipe three times before he’ll listen?  And when he doesn’t listen, why aren’t there any repercussions for his actions?  I struggle with this, as Laura is a typical little kid – who often doesn’t listen to what she’s told.

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No Apologies

I took Laura to Panera for dinner on Monday, because I thought she might like to use the free WiFi for a little Diego fix.  I was all pumped up on “AWESOME MOM” vibes as we hauled our gear to a booth and set up shop.  “Laura is so going to love me for this!  Yay, Diego for making me look awesome!”

And then Laura proceeded to not care a lick for her lover boy, preferring instead to push a gazillion buttons and open and shut the screen over and over.  The more I tried to get her to stop banging on the precious laptop, the harder she banged, and the more frustrated I became.

At that point, I was starting to get all worried and self-conscious of the staring eyes of the other diners.  I imagined them scorning my parenting, “Why can’t she get that little brat to stop yelling and banging?”  In my embarrassed frustration, I whisked the laptop away from the exuberant tot and started trying to collect myself.

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Am I Wrong?

Laura is a small child.  She’s in the 20th percentile for height and weight – and has been since she was six months old.  She’s perfectly healthy.  Perfectly!  She just happens to be smaller than 80% of children her age on average.  Averages have highs and lows on both ends, which is how we come to create averages.  So just being a little smaller on average does not make Laura unhealthy in any way.

So it really bothers me when family obsessively discusses Laura’s small build.  Last time I checked, having a healthy, active and lean child was a good thing.  So why does everyone want to Laura to plump up?

I have had body image issues almost my whole life.  I didn’t recognize my skewed feelings about my body until college when I was 104 pounds soaking wet.  When I realized it then, I felt all the memories of self-disgust woosh in and slap me in the face.

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Hurricane Proofing

I’ve seen my share of hurricanes in my day. At age 3, Hurricane Elena hovered over my family’s then-home in Tampa, FL, for days while my parents were away on a vacation. My grandmother set up our Hurricane Headquarters in the central bathroom. It was at the center of the house with no windows, and made a perfect fort for a three-year-old with her seven-year-old brother. We had a sleeping bag in the tub, apple juice under the counter, and played hour upon hour of “pirate.” It was the best week of my toddler life.

Fast-forward six years to Hurricane Bob in 1991. My mom was due with baby #4 at the beginning of September, so she cut short our annual stay at the summer home on the Cape. My grandmother (the same as above) didn’t think it was fair for me to go home two whole weeks early, so she convinced my mom to let me stay on the Cape with her and my great-grandmother (who owned the house). I was psyched! A whole two weeks with the grammys! It was going to be awesome.

I was even more excited when I heard Hurricane Bob was barreling towards us. My mom swore she’d never leave me with my grandmother again (but she did). I had a sweet set-up in the corner of the kitchen, snuggled in a sleeping bag surrounded by cookies and some new books. And I had a perfect view of the old oak tree as it crashed down onto the house. No injuries, but we were without power for the remainder of that vacation. We had a gas stove and food in the freezer that needed cooking. I stayed up with the Grammies, talking by candlelight of their childhoods. I’ll never have another week like that in my life. Hundreds of games of cards and priceless memories.

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