Thursday, January 21, 2010

A "Chance" of What?

So while I sit here pondering what subject matter to tackle for my next blog; the sound of the morning news plays in the background. I hear those dreaded words: "Wintery Mix."

This caught me a little by surprise. See, I'm an avid news watcher. I could even be referred to as a news junkie. It all begins in the wee hours with the local news. It then moves right into the Today show. While I'm completing my morning chores, the morning paper is likely to be draped over the kitchen island. This method allows me to glance at headlines while I pass by. I continue my obsession of news nerdiness throughout the day by occasionally stopping and reading the front pages of national newspapers generally found at the local doughnut shop. (Go Figure!)

So when the weatherman said those dreaded words this morning, the average Joe may believe that I already had the plow hooked up to the minivan. No Sir EEE!

Instead, little Ms. Maestro has been visiting websites anxiously choosing her Spring flower collection. Oh, I know, it's still January, and I live in Pennsylvania. Even the ski slopes haven't experienced their best weather yet.

But I can't help it...I'm Tropical. As a matter of fact I have always been this way. And I deeply depend on the Weatherman like most people depend on that stupid groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.

So when the word: "chance" came out of the weatherman's mouth this morning, you can imagine I wasn't happy. Especially since I had been watching the news all week and there was no mention of this "chance" before today.

See, us Pennsylvanians know all too well what chance means: A foot of snow will be greeting me tomorrow morning as I open the drapes. But not before the phone rings at 5am. It will be my son's school informing me that we have a delay of 2 hours. Basically that means I have just 2 hours to do the normal morning chores plus now I have to shovel the porch, sidewalk and driveway. In addition, I'll need to crack that code on the gate that freezes and prevents us from loading the car on our first try. So I will march the children back through the house and exit out the front door instead. Oh, I'm already dreading tomorrow.

Well I'm unsure just how much the weatherman will be tweaking his latest prediction, but as for me, I have my own:

There's a "chance" I will be staying home under the covers tomorrow morning.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chicken Nuggets, French Fries And a Pack of Napkins

With the recent holiday weekend I've had a chance to spend a little extra time with the boys. Of course we decided to eat out once or twice. Without a doubt this got the wheels a turning. Nothing like a night out with the family to help inspire a fresh blog post.

My boys are now 6 and 4. I have always enjoyed going out to dinner with them, even through the terrible twos when kicking and screaming was the high point of dinner conversation.

I vividly remember Potter going through the "I'm too big for a high chair phase," and the "I'm too small for a regular chair phase," at the same time. Nothing like trying to balance a toddler on your lap while attempting to digest a meal at the Olive Garden. My husband would just give me that look. The one that said: "Why are we here?" "Couldn't we have waited another 2 years?"

Well, I guess we could have waited. But I live under the assumption that there is a lesson in everyday life. I wondered who would teach my children how to act in a restaurant if they didn't get to experience it until they were six. I have witnessed those children. I've also watched the mother balance her toddler on her lap while attempting to eat her lasagna. (Been there, done that!)

While we are still working on "best behavior practices," we have yet to master the art of spilling. Despite the lovely person (undoubtedly a mother) who invented the safety lid, my children have learned how to to tip their cups in such a way as to blow a lid right off the top. At this rate we should just offer them champagne flutes.

In the years of their existence, I have yet to sit at a dry table. I have finally realized that celebrating a "no spill" dinner takes place in the parking lot. For if I bring up the subject at the table, inevitably the children will get so excited that one is guaranteed to push over a cup.

And everyone knows what that means....Check Please!

Monday, January 11, 2010

To Digress or Not to Digress: That is the Question!!

Digress: to deviate or wander away from the main topic or purpose in speaking or writing; depart from the principal line of argument, plot, study, etc. (

I recently looked up the definition of this word. Why you ask? Well, I noticed that there's a lot of this going on out there. Out there is of course referring to the Bloggy World.

Every time I turn around I'm reading about someone digressing. Whether it's in the beginning, middle or end of their story; digression seems to have a place everywhere.

Just throw down a Welcome Mat, and invite digression in.

As if the typical Mom doesn't have enough to throw her off track. She must now be expected to digress while blogging.

Maybe I'm just worrying too much about this whole thing. Maybe it's just another fad. It will pass in time just like Atari, Cabbage Patch Dolls and Tickle Me Elmo. (Wow, did I date myself there).

On the other hand, maybe I could learn a little from digression. Instead of typing like a wild woman, barreling through a story at rapid speed. All the while my children have taken over the homestead from all corners. Before an average blog is completed I am surrounded by army men with heavy artillery aimed at Yours Truly. Weapons of Mass Destructive have another name in this house: Potter and Scooter. But instead of digressing, I hunker down and own that story. I am a Mom on a mission.

So I wondered, if one is not digressing these days, what exactly are they doing?

Synonym for digress: ramble. (

You must be kidding Me.......Really?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who's Coming To Your Funeral?

Got your attention didn't I?

Well, it all started like this: I was picking Scooter up from preschool the other day. He attends a Catholic preschool so the church and school are connected. There are usually an abundance of parking spaces to choose from, but on that day, it was different.

The parking lot was filled, almost every space. While riding up and down the isles I finally noticed the orange flags on some of the cars which indicated there was a funeral. After a hectic search, I did find a place to park. As I sat in my minivan, I began to wonder about this sea of cars. There had to be over one hundred. Had someone important died?

Outside the church there was a lone bagpiper. This was a first for me, although some of the other parents waiting for their kids informed me that it wasn't out of the ordinary to see a bagpiper at a funeral. I shook my head politely, but silently remembered to myself that the last bagpiper I saw was marching in the Fourth of July Parade.

I wondered who all these people were who came to this funeral today? What part did they play in this person's life? Did they know him at all, or was it just his reputation that made them want to come and pay their respects.

I don't often think of death (aside from this past Monday when I hired a personal trainer to get me back on track for the New Year). It's not usually until I have a funeral to attend myself that I go into "what if" mode.

What if there was no tomorrow? Who would show up to my funeral? Aside from my immediate family and a few friends; it's really hard to say.

I'd imagine the girls from my critique group may make a stop. However, I would excuse those of them that may be promoting their books that day.

Most of the friends I've made blogging have indicated at one time or another that they live far from my Pennsylvania home. And since there is generally a few days gap separating my post, chances are none of them would notice I'm gone until Blogger shut down the account.

The folks from the 3 surrounding Dunkin Donuts should stop by, or at best, offer my family a lifetime membership in the Donut of the Month Club. Let's face it, due to my overwhelming addiction to coffee and muffins, I feel I am partly responsible for the BMW parked behind the D&D.

A few of my Avon customers may drop by that day. But then again, they could just be relieved that no one will be pestering them to buy another mascara for the rest of their lives.

My neighbors are truly a crap shoot. See, there are the neighbors that borrow sugar from you, and then there are the neighbors that just wave when you pass on by. There are the neighbors that go to your funeral. And then there are the neighbors that gather at the bus stop and talk about what a swell gal you were. And of course, let us not forget the neighbors that will continue to borrow sugar whether I'm alive or six feet under.

The girls and the one gentleman at my nail salon may definitely make an appearance. That is, as long as I don't pass on a Saturday. This is their busiest day. I would hope however that they give me a complimentary mani and pedi before I cross over. First impressions are everything, and I would like God to believe this Fashionista came prepared.

When it comes right down to it, I suppose it really doesn't matter who comes. It's not like I'll ever know. I have a big problem with a party being thrown in my honor; when I can't even be there to enjoy a cocktail.

Well, if you are one of those people who felt sad, overwhelmed or obligated to attend my big day; let me thank you a million times in advance. However, if you rather just talk about what a swell gal I was, that's OK too. My sugar bowl will always be full.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Always a Blackbelt

Tonight, the tails from his black belt laid heroically along his legs.

Six years ago, the wires from his heart monitor lay gently above his blanket.

Tonight, he held his skinny frame tall. All 46 pounds of him stood proud.

Six years ago, I could hold his 3lb body in the palm of one hand.

Tonight I watched as my older son, the one we call Potter, accept his Student of the Month Award at his Karate School. The speech from his Sensei was followed by the honor of receiving a black belt with a gold stripe through the middle. He was told the black symbolized what he still had to achieve; the gold symbolized what he has achieved already.

Tears streaming from my eyes, his grandmom and I fought over the best camera angles. His little brother Scooter stood with Pop Pop wondering what all the fuss was about, but realized something big was happening, because for a few minutes, even he quieted down.

The first time I laid eyes on my son, the doctor held him above me for a moment then quickly had him rolled away to the NICU. I was not allowed to hold him. The second time I saw my son, his body was being helped to breathe by a ventilator. I whispered: "Potter, it's Mommy." His jaundiced body turned toward my voice and he held tightly onto my finger. I learned that day the meaning of strength.

Tonight again he grabbed me tightly. But this time, his arms ran closely around my waist.

He gets to wear his special belt for the entire month of January, then he will return back to his purple belt. It may just take that long for him to understand just how far he has come. Or like most kids, he may not get it until he's much older.

As I reminisce over the hundreds of hours of physical therapy, the swimming, soccer and karate; one thing I know for certain: This child has always been a black belt.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saying Goodbye To Christmas

The mantle is now empty. Where once the stockings hung for nearly a month, there now sits a few candles I found on sale at Kohls last year.

It's hardly believable that all those decorations fit into this tiny room. On one hand it feels nice to be able to reclaim our living space back. On the other hand though there's an emptiness. It's as if we packed all the joy that is Christmas into twelve Rubbermaid containers; the same containers that will sit undisturbed for an entire year in our storage room until the children remind us it's once again time to put up a tree.

As I sit on my couch tonight I can't help but reminisce about the fantastic week that I have had with my children. It feels as though we've had a month together.

I couldn't wait to pick them up from school to begin their Christmas vacation. They were both so excited. We began Christmas Eve morning at the local Perkins enjoying breakfast.

Christmas Eve night is traditionally spent at my Moms house. Aunt Debbie made a lasagna fit for a king. The children enjoyed opening their stockings. And we all ran outside to see Santa pass by on the fire truck.

Once we returned home, I brought the boys outside to sprinkle reindeer food on our front lawn (a mixture of oatmeal and glitter). Before long they were both fast asleep.

Santa's arrival brought an abundance of toys and gifts for all. The children had a hard time deciding just what toys to play with that day. The grandparents joined us for a gift exchange and dinner that night.

The rest of the week was filled with this, that and the other things (to put it mildly). Hubby spent time with the boys building their new Lego sets; time he generally doesn't have during a regular work week. We spent every waking moment with our boys. It truly has been special.

New Years Eve was spent in our Living Room. While we watched our 6 year old curl up and fall asleep on the recliner, our rambunctious 4 year old gave it hell and made it right into 2010 without incident. Mom and Hubby kissed and were finally glad to be heading to bed.

The last day of vacation will be spent getting ready for tomorrow. Digging out the book bags, lunch boxes and school clothes. Not to worry, everything will come to a halt by 4pm. It is then that the Philadelphia Eagles will be taking on the Dallas Cowboys.......Go Eagles!

I have enjoyed the many blessings that have come my way in 2009. Saying goodbye to Christmas is never an easy task. I look forward to the New Year and all it has in store.