Friday, October 30, 2009


Twas the night before Boo-day and all through the house

not a creature was stirring, 'cuz Mommy's a louse.

The costumes were chosen with the greatest of care

but Mommy refuses to spray paint their hair.

No pumpkin was carved, no decor to be found

Mommy sucks, there's no candy around!

For Kindergarten, the little ones parade around school,

and Mommy wasn't there to film it - the fool.

You see - Halloween's not my thing. Nor are most Holidays.

I show my affection in much different ways.

I buy candy just before the hour falls

icky things I don't like, like Cabbage Patch Sour Balls.

I'd just as soon give them candy - 'cuz I'm lazy

and save all the effort of door -to-door knockin - You must think I'm crazy!

Is it wrong that we'll travel with wagon behind?

Not for them, but for me - to carry the wine!!


Be safe !

(this is my lame effort to participate in Eat , Drink and Be Scary sponsored by Angie of Seven Clown Circus and Better in Bulk - I wanna win the FLIP video camera)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The One In Which She is The Scariest Mommy

***10/22/09 A hat trick (that's hockey lingo meaning 3 of something for some reason that is beyond me. In any case, Hubby would be proud) Who woulda thought I could write one post and have it apply to so many topics! This latest edit has been brought to you by Mama Kat, of Mama's Losin It and her weekly writers workshop. This week, we were prompted to write about Motherhood. Read on.....

**edited 10/21/09 So I am doing double duty with this post- Angie of Seven Clown Circus asked us to write about Motherhood. This post is applicable ...


So Jill over at Scary Mommy is having this little find out just who is the Scariest Mommy of them all. I can say with all honesty that I have this one in the bag. I am proud to be a card carrying Scary Mommy and will wear that badge with honor.

What makes me scary?? If you've been here before - you probably know already. It's not that I laugh at my kids when they get hurt or fall down (which I do sometimes). It's not that I didn't breast feed because of purely selfish reasons even though it may have been the best thing for my children (yup, I sucked..but they didn't). It's not that I have used television as a babysitter for many years and still allow those airwaves to suck the brain cells from my kids one by one (if you haven't done this - you lie). It's not that when I get a call from the school nurse that one of my children isn't feeling well and threw up, the first question I ask is "Is it chunks or what??" (cuz if it's not chunks, they're fine and should stay at school). And, it's not the yelling ...(oh the yelling) While all of these these may make me a crappy mom - they don't qualify me as a Scary Mommy.

What makes me a Scary Mommy is what makes me scared. I spent the better part of my life hiding in my cacoon; afraid to approach and putting up a wall (couched in humorous observation...hhhmmmm) in order not to be approached. What scares me is that my two daughters will have to go through the same self-consciousness, and self-doubt that I experience even to this day. What scares me is that my girls will wait for happiness instead of being happy. What scares me is that they may allow their fears to color the fabric of their being instead of whipping out the crayola and going full-on into the wash.

I just spent a fabulous weekend with a group of FABULOUS strong , smart, wonderul people {air kisses you all!} who don't know the Scary me. I spent the weekend getting to know the FABULOUS strong, wonderful, smart wonderul women and listening to their stories and for a short time (okay, about 3 days) felt very validated. I learned to always be true to myself - to stay authentic. What scares me is that my children will wait until they are 45+ years old to learn that lesson. What scares me is that my gorgeous daughters have the propensity, at this point in their lives , to swing either way on that pendulum...and what scares me is that I doubt my ability to effect it's momentum.

What scares me is that they will be exactly like me. If that doesn't scare the bejeezus out of're not a Scary mommy, and I am jealous.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The One In Which She Longs For Fifth Grade

This is what our typical dinner banter consists of:

The little one: "I played with Angie at recess and at lunch - I ate only 1/2 of my semi healthy twisted fruit snack thingy you got at Whole Foods because I saw a rolly-polly bug on the sidewalk and tried to save it from being squished by some smelly boys. And next time? Next time - can I tell you what kind of sammich I want to have because I like bologna sammiches with cheese and lettuce. Oh, and I learned the letter of the day was Q.. Queenie Quail - - kwa, kwa, kwa. And I can't remember the rest although someone brought in a real live dead skeleton and did you know that cartiledge is not bones but not flesh? And did you know that mama whales have nipples that feed their babies from ? Had you ever seen a whale boobie , mom? "

The big one: { blink, blink}.

Me and Hubby: "So, Em - how was your day. What did you learn today?"

She should be ready for this by now. 180 days a year for the past 5 years....we've done the same thing. You can just sense her squirming to come up with something academically significant.

The big one: "Well, I went into class. I hung my backpack up on the hook. We switched desks today. And I got a jolly rancher for turning in my field trip permission slip."

Me and Hubby: {blink, blink}

{{flashback to suburbia circa 1975- when a 'Nut Free' lunch table at school actually meant that just girls sat there.}}

If you asked me, 5th grade was the best. A most influential year for me education-wise, I had the best teacher I have ever had in my 17 year educational career in 5th grade. Jack Sughrue - he was a huge Beatles fan and would blast every Beatles album ever made on the reel t0 reel player. We made our own cribbage boards (out of real wood , and I mean we sanded and stained them and pounded nails into them to make the holes) and played tournaments to learn math and strategy. We wrote screenplays and made 8mm full length films. He read us the entire Chronicles of Narnia...out loud and with different voices and mood lighting. He was the most influential teacher I have ever had in my life - and I've had some great teachers. He was someone who made learning and the thirst for knowledge COOL. And on rainy days (and there were many in Massachusetts) we'd receive visits from "spirits of the great poets," who were kids under sheets reading poetry with flashlights. And the guy would 4-square your DOORS off. I loved his class.

He had the ubiquitous Mr . Rodgers' sweater with the suede elbow patches and sported a cheezy porn star moustache and had wildy crazy hippy hair. We learned so much, but we didn't know we were learning. I remember telling my {wonderful} dad that I was not going to be ready for 6th grade. We hadn't done anything in 5th grade!! Boy was I wrong. 6th grade teachers loved having Mr. Shugrue's former students. We were critical thinkers at the tender age of 12. He made us that way.

In fact, when I was a sophmore in High School, I went back to my 5th grade class and was his student teacher. And I didn't just do it for the extra credit . Okay, maybe it was a little bit for the two day a week early release - but really I went back to him to let him know how much I had learned from him. In December of 1980, I accompanied Jack Sughrue and his then 5th grade class on a museum field trip. He and I sat in first seat on the school bus. True to form, the Beatles were playing on the static-y radio station. Then we heard it. We heard from the deejay that John Lennon had been gunned down. I felt Mr. Shugrue's body tense against the naugahyde seat cover. He squeezed my hand and made no effort to hold back the tears. Wow. Since I am old, but not that old - this was my 'where were you when Kennedy was shot' moment. Indelibly engrained on my mind...not unlike when Nixon resigned, when Luke and Laura got married, when the hostages were freed from Iran, 9/11...

I don't know why I am thinking about him so much today. So much so that all these years later - I just did a Google search for him. I went to and facebook to look for him. Maybe I'm just all nostalgic because my daughter is in 5th grade and I long for her to have a teacher who will be as memorable and important to her as Mr. Sugh rue was to me.

And maybe I am bringing this all up because I remember the conversations at my 1975 dinner table with my family. And just hoping that some tomorrow night from now...Emily will come to me to tell me that she's not ready for 6th grade because she had too much fun in 5th grade to have ever learned anything.

And I'll start humming 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and smile.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today's Post is Brought To You By The Number 14

...because today is my 14th wedding anniversary. And while I love my Hubby loads, and all - I am too tired to write a new glowing tribute to the man. And, I am kind of bummed that I wrote this one last year at the same time while Hubby and I were on vacation. In Hawaii. Without the children. Alone. {sigh}

Hence the rerun post. Still a good one though. Happy 14th Dootie ;)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The One Where Sally Met Her Harry.....

* A note from Swirl Girl: While you are all no doubt reading this with baited breath - to see what little pearls of joy I am about to unleash upon all of you...Hubby and I are, no doubt, elbow deep in some frothy tropical beverage on the island of Kauai celebrating a much needed real live vacation and our 13th Anniversary. Aloha!

I went to summer camp in New Hampshire for practically every summer as a kid until I was 14 years old. Overnite camp - for one or two months. That is what we did back east. That is what everyone did back east.

Anyway - back in the summer of 1972, I was a mere 6 years old and went to this sleep away camp. It was really a great experience with all the trappings that summer camp had to offer.
I met a boy named David Goldstein. He was a much older boy. Maybe 7 or 8. His older brother was named Steven and he was there to. Steven had this distinct , almost broadcaster type of voice with the ever slightest whistley sound when he said his 'esses'. Very distincive.

Well, that David was what I would call my first boyfriend. We sat together at the Saturday night movies in the rec hall, holding hands and sharing a pillow as we lay on the cold concrete floor. (they actually showed Wait Until Dark and The Birds to a bunch of kids!) I chased and caught him on Sadie Hawkins day and he danced with me all night long . He sat patiently while I auditioned for a part in the Junior dance show. We danced at Prom, and sent little paper candle boats out onto the lake on the last night of camp after the banquet. This David was from a town not too far from where I lived. All winter we would write notes to each other. He would sign his name and then write Shalom in hebrew letters , enclosing a few chocolate pennies in each wet, sloppy envelope.

That David and I were camp boyfriend and girlfriend for many summers after that. And, then I stopped going to camp. Eventually the letters stopped coming. Life went on.

Fast forward to 1984, when I was in college, I had a summer job as a plant tender for a company named Baugh Haus (don't you just love that name?). I would go from office to office on my appointed route and water, trim, shine and care for the office plants. I met a lot of interesting people. One day , in an office in Newton , MA - I heard a voice. There was ever the slightest
whistley sound when this very distinct voice was speaking. I looked at the name plate and it was him - that David's brother Steven! We spoke for a while catching up. That David had gone out west to pursue his life ...blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to summer 1991. I had moved to Florida a few year prior. Livin' off my parents and working in a bar and having waaaay too much fun. ( and since my mom reads this and is at my home taking care of my kids - let's just leave the waaaaay too much fun part at that - 'kay?) I finally got a real job working for a wine and liquor distributor and had to call on my first account. It was a total disaster. The General Manager of this mall restaurant hated my company and the previous sales rep and my supervisor. Great first day on the job. I hated this guy and he was a total dick to me. He practically threw me out. Thank god my boss who was, BTW, also a total dick, made me go back in and get an order from this guy. I did. And it was a good thing I did. Within a few weeks, I had secured the no-name well brand liquor, the entire wine list, and had sold this guy on a series of very successful money making promotions (there was one particular promotion involving butterscotch pudding and JB scotch shooter if you can imagine- but again, my mom reads this....). We soon became fast friends. I sort of set up shop in his tiny office. In those days, we actually used telephones to patch our orders into the big computers at the distributor. I would start the week with a roll of quarters and use pay phones. It saved me time and money to use this guys little office, plus he fed me while I was there. It was just assumed by all of his employees that we were going out. It was that comfortable.

We did everything together outside of work. I met his brother Steven who lives in NYC and all of his friends. We were best friends. We each would share each other dating horror stories. He came to my parents place for all the holidays. Everyone would ask about us and our answer was 'we are just friends'. My sister even said "you're gonna marry that guy" one night while partying at his bar. I said, "no way we are just friends, best of friends."

Fast forward to summer 1992. Hurricane Andrew swept south Florida with devastating results. We camped out together. Surveyed the damage the next day. Right after the hurricane, he lost his job at the restaurant and spent several weeks borrowing on his years in the restaurant business. He gathered donations of food , ice, water, sanitary supplies and a truck and made umpteen trips to the storm territories. We had no cell phones in those when he went down south of Miami , into the National Gaurd territory - it was scary. But I was so proud of his selflessness.

Fast forward a few months. He gets a job working for Kenny Rogers Roasters (remember the Sienfeld episode with the neon sign??) He was in field operations and travelled non-stop for about 3 months. Again, no cell phones. No day to day contact. I missed my best friend. When he finally came back we went to dinner and realized that we were more than just best friends. Neither of us wanted to go another day without knowing where the other one was or what the other one was doing. And, just like in the movie - we started 'dating' ...right there on my apartment couch.

Fast forward about a year... everyone of his friends told him that it was time to shit or get off the pot. We had been dating for a long time already and where was it going? "She's not going to wait around forever" "Don't let this one go, dude" "She's your best friend and can drink like a guy! How much more perfect can she be?" (adapting reality for the dramatic here) In other words, dude - take the plunge.

So- just like in the movie...he ran 14 blocks to meet me on New Year's Eve to tell me he loved and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me...oh wait, that was the movie...

This David Goldstein (whose brother Steven does not have a whistley sound when he says his 'esses') proposed to me while I was getting my nails done with champagne and flowers and a beautiful ring! I was surprised. Nobody else was.

Everyone but the two of us knew we were kindred spirits. If you believe that some people were meant to be - that would be us. There are so many sort of 'no way' or ' you are kidding me ' moments in our lives. Here's a few:

It turns out that his stepfather and my Aunt were 'sandbox sweethearts' . They have known each other for over 60 years and speak to each other every birthday. Still.

Our grandma's were in the same sewing circle or something like that, back in New Jersey -back in the day.

His cousin was best man at my cousin's wedding. His Providence R.I. relatives are friends with my Providence R.I. relatives. Still.

- and let's not forget the whole that David Goldstein with whistley brother Steven and this David Goldstein with non-whistley brother Steven first boyfriend thing.

Call it fate, kismet, magical, mystical or spiritual - tonight marks our 13th year married.

Who said 13 was an unlucky number?

Certainly not this Sally. So I tap you on the shoulder and ask you this question:

Wanna do it again for another week, Harry?
Happy Anniversary, dude.
Aloha and I Love You.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The One In Which There is Abundance of Self-Deprecating Humor

We all do it, don't we? Come on, you know you do it. And if you are sitting there saying you don't ever do it, you're lying. I can't get through a day without it. Ah, who am I kidding - I can barely get through a post without doing it.

Self -Deprecating humor {thought I was going in a completely other direction there for a moment, huh?}...and when I do it - it's okay. Making fun of myself has long been an intricate part of my psyche. I, like many, use this kind of 'poke fun at oneself' humor as an ice breaker. I use it to make people laugh. I use snarcasm and wit to deflect. I like people to think I am funny. But, sometimes I forget 'who's in the room' when I let shit fly out of my mouth. My children have become so used to hearing my little sayings and jokes (read: curse words and snark) that they have become part and parcel of what they define as Mommy.

The thing is, when they repeat this stuff -it ceases to be self-deprecating humor since it is no longer the self doing the deprecating.

Like just this past Friday, what the 10 year old said while on line at the Frozen Juice Bars at school . Someone had a coconut juice bar (just ewww) they were trying to push . I was all , "No , I'll pass on the coconut juice. But if you have a Frito flavored one back there..." trying to make a joke since what I really wanted was the whole box of Really Bad For You Fudgie Pops that was purchased accidentally and they stick in the back of the freezer. Emily says "Yeah, mom is a total grease and salt junkie. Once, when she was in Rehab -she was totally jonesing for was a bag of chips."

{crickets...from the other PTA mommies standing with their kids on the All Natural , Organic, and, Whenever Possible-Tree Nut and Gluten Free Frozen Friday Treat line}

"Ha , ha (read: totally nervous titter..) Ha, ha...What she meant to say was when I was rehabilitating from surgery ...I was given a institutional size bag of chips as a Get Well gift by a friend who was told (by my children, BTW) when asked "what does mommy like to do?" that mommy's favorite food group is the To's group ..Chee, Fri, Dori and Pota and hence the joke. Not rehab...Ha, ha. Not that there's anything wrong with that...."

{more crickets...and sensing dissolution of PTA By-Laws naming me as President of the PTA and chair person of the Just Say No to Junk in My Lunchbox program we're running )

The thing is, the other part of the joy of self-deprecating humor is that it needs no explanation. So when an explanation of the joke again ceases to be self- deprecating humor since it is no longer humorous.

I forget. My kids neeed to be reminded that what we talk about around the house is our business and shouldn't be repeated. Okay? So maybe I need to wait a few more years for that . Snark is a hard habit to break. And just now I am listening to Emily telling her friend's mom that she " is starting to look more and more like my mom as I get older. She tells everyone that I have a horseface (read: long and oval shaped- which I do . And, no, I don't describe her as a horseface - but I have been known to call myself a horseface every now and then especially when trying on sunglasses or hats which just look terrible on my big foreheaded horsey-face =-)** now that I'm going through pre-puberty." Oh crap-bloody-tastic. "C'mon Em - gotta go! The liquor store is getting their gift with purchase holiday displays delivered this week! If we hurry, I can complete that set of Jaegermeister and Red Bull snow globes I've been trying for!!"

{{ even more crickets and the sounds of ink to paper scratching out titles of positive self -image websites and parenting guides }}

That and the fact that we;re having soup and salad (read: a dry martini with extra olives) instead of dinner tonight.

When in rehab Rome.....

**see? It's just not funny when you have to explain.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The One In Which She Helps A Brother Out

...and his daughter.

This post is Swirl Girl Lite - no snark, no cynicism. You may see this little button floating around the blogosphere today. Read on:

Kevin of Always Home and Uncool has asked me to post this as part of his effort to raise awareness in the blogosphere of juvenile myositis, a rare autoimmune disease his daughter was diagnosed with on this day seven years ago. The day also happens to be his wife's birthday.

This is their story:

Our pediatrician admitted it early on.

The rash on our 2-year-old daughter's cheeks, joints and legs was something he'd never seen before.

The next doctor wouldn't admit to not knowing.

He rattled off the names of several skins conditions -- none of them seemingly worth his time or bedside manner -- then quickly prescribed antibiotics and showed us the door.

The third doctor admitted she didn't know much.

The biopsy of the chunk of skin she had removed from our daughter's knee showed signs of an "allergic reaction" even though we had ruled out every allergy source -- obvious and otherwise -- that we could.

The fourth doctor had barely closed the door behind her when, looking at the limp blonde cherub in my lap, she admitted she had seen this before. At least one too many times before.

She brought in a gaggle of med students. She pointed out each of the physical symptoms in our daughter:

The rash across her face and temples resembling the silhouette of a butterfly.

The purple-brown spots and smears, called heliotrope, on her eyelids.

The reddish alligator-like skin, known as Gottron papules, covering the knuckles of her hands.

The onset of crippling muscle weakness in her legs and upper body.

She then had an assistant bring in a handful of pages photocopied from an old medical textbook. She handed them to my wife, whose birthday it happened to be that day.

This was her gift -- a diagnosis for her little girl.

That was seven years ago -- Oct. 2, 2002 -- the day our daughter was found to have juvenile dermatomyositis, one of a family of rare autoimmune diseases that can have debilitating and even fatal consequences when not treated quickly and effectively.

Our daughter's first year with the disease consisted of surgical procedures, intravenous infusions, staph infections, pulmonary treatments and worry. Her muscles were too weak for her to walk or swallow solid food for several months. When not in the hospital, she sat on our living room couch, propped up by pillows so she wouldn't tip over, as medicine or nourishment dripped from a bag into her body.

Our daughter, Thing 1, Megan, now age 9, remembers little of that today when she dances or sings or plays soccer. All that remain with her are scars, six to be exact, and the array of pills she takes twice a day to help keep the disease at bay.

What would have happened if it took us more than two months and four doctors before we lucked into someone who could piece all the symptoms together? I don't know.

I do know that the fourth doctor, the one who brought in others to see our daughter's condition so they could easily recognize it if they ever had the misfortune to be presented with it again, was a step toward making sure other parents also never have to find out.

That, too, is my purpose today.

It is also my birthday gift to my wife, My Love, Rhonda, for all you have done these past seven years to make others aware of juvenile myositis diseases and help find a cure for them once and for all.

To read more about children and families affected by juvenile myositis diseases, visit Cure JM Foundation at

To make a tax-deductible donation toward JM research, go to or

Most of us are blessed with healthy children. And while they (thankfully) may drive us batty sometimes, it is because they can - and that's a good thing.

I know I said no snark - but I just can't help myself. Kevin told me that if I didn't post this , that he would post naked pictures of me and all my bloggy friends on the internet. That would surely drive people away from his cause, not reign them in.

So I am tryin' to help a brother out.