Thursday, September 30, 2010

Falling for Fall

10 Reasons Why I Love Fall

1.  I am married to a football coach.  It's kind of required to love fall.

2.  Cheerleaders! (Mine specifically, just in case you were thinking of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.)

3.  Waterboys!  (Not Adam Sandler . . . but just as funny. )

4.  Sweatshirts   that can cover a multitude of wobbly and jiggly parts.

5.  Fall food . . . including but not limited to  . . .  pumpkin bread,  pot roast in the crock pot simmering all day, football snacks  (Walking taco?  Hello, yum!),  buffalo chicken dip, homemade potato soup, and well, the list could go on and on.

6.  Apple picking at the orchard.  (Wasn't El so cute last year? Yikes!  She is growing so quickly!)

7.  Dressing up for Halloween.  (Last year hubs was the Pope and I was a genie. One year when I was pregnant, I went as a basketball hoop and my belly was the ball.  That year hubs was a hemorrhoid, which was completely appropriate, because, let's face it, he CAN be a pain in the ass.)

8.  Sleeping with the windows open in a chilly room snuggled underneath my down comforter. . .  Bliss!

9.  Evenings by the fire with my family that include s'mores and family convos.

10.  Leaves changing colors.  Blue skies are the perfect backdrop to the yellows and reds and oranges the trees display at this time of year.

I fall for fall every year.

Linking to Mama Kat . . . and you should too! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Elmo and Katy . . . Hot OR Cold????

You may know Katy Perry.

She sings the song California Gurls and Hot N Cold.

Catchy tunes. Very catchy.  In fact, Ellerie, my 2 year old,  loves to sing the Hot N Cold song.  She first heard it on the Chipmunk's The Squeakqual movie.

Well, Sesame Street picked up on the fact that Hot N Cold is a catchy song and that the kiddies seem to love it, so they paired up Katy Perry and Elmo for a video.  Fun, right?

Apparently, no.

In the video released on You Tube, Katy and Elmo sing as she wears a yellow bustier.  Check it out.

The video begins with Katy explaining that Elmo invited her over to play dress up and that she wore her dress up clothes.  After getting over one million hits on You Tube, some very vocal parents and critics criticized Sesame Street for Katy's outfit in the video.  Most critiques said that the yellow bustier was too sexually suggestive for young children.


I personally thought that it looked like a ridiculous dress up outfit.  Completely normal for the 3 to 5 year old set in my mind especially when I considered the following womanly icons that my little girls have loved.

Isn't Tink wearing a green bustier?  Or is that just me?

And what about Jasmine? Maybe Aladdin was all gaga for her teal bustier.  Just sayin'.

Holy Pocahontas!  Isn't Poca's outfit similar to Katy's?  I didn't see John Smith protesting.

Or what about Ariel?  Those sea shells look as if one wave could knock them right off.  Am I right?


Deep thoughts, huh?

My point is that I don't think that Sesame Street should have pulled the video so quickly because a group of parents objected to Katy's outfit, because when you look at other kiddie figures,  Katy's outfit doesn't seem so risque.

Although, if Sesame Street was looking for publicity . . .  the you tube video now has over 3,500,000 hits and Katy Perry spoofed the show on Saturday Night Live. So, if publicity was Sesame Street's goal, their PR man was genius.

Either that or Elmo may just be getting the cold shoulder.


****pics were from various websites but all ultimately were (and are) Disney icons*****

Love on a School Bus

When Ethan hopped off the bus the other afternoon, he was grinning a wide toothy grin.  Since the start of kindergarten has been a bit rocky, to say the least, I was pleasantly surprised to see a happy kid emerge from the school  bus.

"Today was great mom!" E explained.

Giving him a big, bear-hug, I replied, "Oh Ethan!  I am sooo glad you had a good day."  I extracted myself from his cling, looked him in the eye, and then said,  "What made it so good?"

But before he could answer,  a little girl's blond head popped up in the school bus window and waved frantically.  The impossibly cute little girl shouted out the window, "BYE ETHAN!!!"

Ethan blushed, and I had a bit of a clue as to why Ethan's day was so great.

"Ethan, who was that?"  I asked, playing dumb.

Trying to be cool, Ethan replied, "Oh Mom, that is just Tate.  She's my girlfriend."

I surpressed my giggle and remarked, "Oh really? How did you get to be boyfriend and girlfriend?"

Ethan explained it simply. "Well, she sat down on the bus next to me, and then she said, 'You are my boyfriend, and I am your girlfriend!'  so I figured, OK."

"You figured, OK?" I repeated.

"Yep!"  he answered.  "I thought that she IS a girl and she IS my friend so .  . .it's OK for her to be my girl-friend."

I laughed at his explanation and assured him that it was, indeed,  OK for her to be his girl-friend. As we walked away, I thought about how Tate had made E's day by just showing she cared about him (even if she was a little direct).  I wanted to  reach out and kiss that little girl named Tate who had made my little boy smile.  That is, I was thinking about kissing her until Ethan broke into my train of thought.

"Mom . . .isn't Tate sooooo stinking  cute?"  he remarked.

And I realized two things.  One,  apparently I was not the only one that was thinking about kissing Tate, and two,  I am in sooooooo much trouble.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Up in Arms or Embracing My Inner Grandma

As Ethan hopped out of the car on his way to kindergarten,  I ethusiastically waved goodbye.   Just then, something caught the corner of my eye.

"Did you see that, Ellerie?"  I asked my almost three year old in the backseat.

"What Mommy?"  she replied.

"Oh nothing, "I said.

I knew that I had seen something, but as my eyes scanned the front passenger seat of my van,  I didn't detect anything out of the ordinary.  Not one to worry, I shrugged it off, and I went on my way.

But, as I pulled away from the curb to drive back home,  I spied one of my girlfriends pushing a stroller on the sidewalk.  I rolled down the window, shouted a "Hey there!", and once again, waved enthusiastically.

And . . . I saw it again.  

There it was!  A flash of tan.  When I waved.  And with a sinking feeling, I instantly knew what it was.

It was me.

It was my arm.

Flapping . . .as I waved.

                                                                               Image from

After I recovered from the horror of discovering that I now have my grandma's arms,  I booked myself a session at the gym with a trainer.

That's right.

I'm not succumbing to my grandma arms without a fight.

(Cue Rocky music.)

Tricep dips, here I come!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I LOVE MY JOB . . . (Really, I Do!)

10 Reasons Why Being a Stay At Home Mom Rocks!

1.  I get to pick which superhero that I want to be . . . first. ('Cause I'm in charge.)  Depending on my mood (or my PMS level), I can join the dark side and be Darth Vader or if I am climbing the walls, I can be Spiderman.  My favorite is Mrs.  Incredible because, let's face it, she's elastic girl, and what mom wouldn't love that superpower?

2. I get to pick what's for dinner.  So, even if I don't bring home the bacon, I still get to fry it up in the pan, nightly, if I want.  And, breakfast for dinner is, well, yum!

3.  I get to play CSI when I find a dark spot on the carpet.  I swab at it, sniff it, and then finally, taste it.  (And, FYI,  smooshed dark chocolate tastes just as good as unsmooshed dark chocolate.)

4.  I get the opportunity to hear my own voice over and over all day long.  And, who wouldn't want to hear their own voice all day long? 

5.  I get to take baths with boats, Dora the Explorer, and a stray kid or two.  Daily.  Bubbles are purely optional.  They do, however, enhance the experience.

6.  I get to laugh at Martha Stewart's idea of a "good" home. A good home is not perfectly clean and decorated.  Instead, it is a place that has smudgy fingerprints on the wall and glitter in the cracks of the wood floors.  It is a place where laughter is heard and hearts are warm.  That's a "good"  home, Martha!

7.  And speaking of glitter . . .I get to make huge messes with glitter and glue and sparkles, and I have the kids and their art time as an excuse. 

8.  I get to play. Yesterday, we had a water fight in the back yard.  Enough said.

9.  I get paid in hugs and tickles and sloppy wet kisses.  And, payday is every day.

10. I get to experience the world and all of its wonder through my kids' eyes, and that, my friends, is priceless!

*****I am linking this to Mama Kat today!  Hop on over to read more prompts.  :)  Go on.  Go!  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tori Writes. Annie Rants.

I just watched an interview with Tori Spelling on the Today Show on NBC this morning.

You may remember Tori Spelling as Donna Martin from the 90's TV show, 90210. 

You may not.

Seriously, she is one of those "pseudo"stars.  You know the ones.  Actresses or actors that had 15 seconds of fame from a popular TV show or movie, but because they happen  to have famous parents or they happen to be savvy business people, they stretch those 15 seconds into hours and hours of semi-fame.  They may appear on a reality TV show that sweats off their pounds or dances their booty off.  They may "write" a book about their experiences.  Either way, their star power is a bit diminished and on the blink.

I watch them more out of curiosity rather than for their true star power.

But today Tori Spelling stepped over the line.

Her crime?

She wrote a children's book.

I know.  I know.  Writing a children's book is not a crime, per se.  Tori's crime was her explanation about why she wrote the book.

She responded to Meredith Viera's question, (and this is not a direct quote but what I remember from the interview,) "Well, Meredith,  I read to my kids every night.  So, I felt that I knew children's books, what worked and what didn't, so I just wrote one."


So, in Tori logic, because I have read good books and bad books, I can now be a successful author and writer.  Would that logic work for anyone?  If I go to an art museum and I observe the art and appreciate the good and the bad,  can I  then go home and paint a masterpiece? If I watch Dancing With the Stars each week and I appreciate the good dancers as opposed to the bad dancers, can I then presume to become a dancing queen?

The answer, dear Tori, is no.

The answer is no, because writing (and painting and dancing and sculpting . . .) is an art.

Good writing is filled with passion and drive.

It is filled with the author's feelings and thoughts and desires.

It pulls the reader into and inside a new world. 

It forces the reader to feel something . . .anything.

Good writing can not just be observed and then imitated.

So, Tori, your flippant words about how you nonchalantly just wrote a children's book, angered me.

It angered me, because I do have a passion for writing.  It consumes me, truthfully.  I write because I feel like I have to write.  I have to express myself.  I have to get it out.

I do not purport to be an authority on good writing, nor do I think that I am the best writer on the planet, but . . . I am practicing and working at my craft each and every day.

And with every word that I type, with every phrase that I create, I am living my passion.

I am becoming a writer.

I am becoming a writer . . . in spite of published authors like you, Tori.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Since You've Been Gone . . .

Dear Hub's Mom,

It has been 8 years since you have been gone, but I still feel you, here, with me, almost daily.

I hear your infectious and hearty laugh, when I try  ( usually unsuccessfully)  to coax Ellerie into pants and out of her daily dose of nudity.  I know that her impish personality and spunk would have delighted you.

I feel your whisper in my ear as I discipline my mischievous Ethan.  "Don't break his spirit," you say, and I try my hardest to balance my words with his actions.  I know that Ethan would remind you of hubs himself when he was a boy, and I know that that would bring you joy. 

I feel your gentle touch on my shoulder as I parent my newly emerging young lady, Abigail.   I know her unfettered and unselfish attitude is a little bit of you, and your loving personality, and it makes me smile to know that she is growing into a lady like you.

But, I have to admit, I want to kick myself for not appreciating you enough when you were still here.

There are so many times that I wish that I could just pick up the phone and call you for one of hub's favorite recipes,  for some parenting advice, or even just to talk and tell you about what a great father and man that your son has turned out to be.

You would be so proud.

Mom,  I just wanted you to know that even though you are gone,  you really are not.  You are very much a part of my life every day.  I see you in my hubs, in Ab, in Ethan, and in Ellerie in so many different ways, and it always brings me comfort to know that you are there. 

So, thanks Mom . . . even if it is a little late.

I miss you.

Love, your daughter-in-law,


******I am linking this to Mama Kat's writer's workshop and to the SITS Back to Blogging event today.  Please visit the sponsors of the event.   Make sure you check in with Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.  They are providing some lucky lady with a teal washer and dryer!!  (Pick me!  Pick me!!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to Blogging . . . Mom is Down with OPP?!

Today's Back to Blogging Challenge from the SITS girls focuses on titles.  I am supposed to repost a post with a title that makes me proud.   Hmmmm.  I took it in a slightly different direction.  I am going to repost a post that I had a hard time titling.  (Is that even a word?)   When you read it, you will know why. 

Positively Mom   (originally posted on 2/26/10)

If you read yesterday's post, then you know that my mom is a little abbreviationally challenged.(Yes. I made up that word. I am good like that.)

In the 90's, mom was working in a new middle school, and I was fresh out of college with a sparkly new teaching degree. We often talked "shop" about work, students and the like.
Well, mom's principal started a movement in her school about positivity. Not a bad idea in middle school and high school if you ask me. (There is a reason why the movie Mean Girls was a success, after all. That kind of stuff really happens. No joke!)

Anyways, mom would often talk about the initiative, referring to it as the Only Positive People idea. Only Positive People in the classroom. Only Positive People on the school campus. Only Positive people on the school bus. You get the idea. Only Positive People was an idea that truthfully I only thought about in the educational setting.

So, imagine my surprise when my mom informed me that she was being featured on the local news for implementing the Only Positive People ideas. I was tickled for her!

That is, I was tickled until I saw the news clip.

There was mom with a microphone in her face, talking about Only Positive People, except, she wasn't using the phrase Only Positive People. She was saying things like, "We here at Blankety Blank Middle School are all for OPP! " And also, "OPP is for me!"

She was so excited to promote the positive attitude, but there was one problem.

In the 90's, OPP didn't just stand for Only Positive People. At the time, there was a very popular song by the group Naughty by Nature. It's title? OPP. Now, I probably don't have to tell you that with a group name that includes the word, Naughty, OPP did not reflect any sort of educational positivity. No. Not in the slightest. Naughty by Nature's version of OPP had the abbreviation stand for Other People's P****. (And, if you don't know what the last word is, then here are some hints. The last word starts with a P, rhymes with "wussy", and is another name for a kitty cat . . . among other things.)


My mom went on TV and talked about being down with OPP.

I. was. mortified! How could she not know that she was talking about P**** on TV?!? Where all of our friends and neighbors could hear her?!? P****!!!! My mother!!!! It was too much ! That word (or reference to it) was never supposed to come out of my mom's mouth. I remember wanting to die, or at least leave the country.

No sooner than the news clip ended, the phone started ringing.
Really, looking back, it was my fault. I should have picked up on the abbreviation when we talked about Only Positive People. I am fairly certain her students had picked up on it judging by its immense popularity. After all, there is nothing like an inside joke that will embarrass a teacher. They probably still talk about it.
To this day, I still have friends that remind me of my mom and the OPP incident.

At least now we can laugh (or lol, mom).


So, my peeps,   what should I have titled this post? I decided to play it safe, but, looking back, I think that I could have come up with something a bit juicier.  Any ideas?

*******Also,  make sure you check in with Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances. They are sponsoring the lovely teal washer and dryer that are prizes for this challenge.  You know I love teal, right?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to Blogging . . . 36 . . .24 . . .36?!?

The girls over at SITS are sponsoring a Back to Blogging event this week.  I seriously meant to participate yesterday,  but,  being that it was Monday and that I am currently doped up on allergy meds in the hope that I do not cut off my own drippy nose, I forgot.  Forgive me.  Today, though, the nose is not dripping (as much), and as I sit here with a tissue stuck up my nostrils so that I do not drip on my laptop, I thought that I would participate. 

I know.

I know. 

You're welcome.

Today's prompt was to repost a post that you wish more people had paid attention to.  So here goes . . .
This post was originally written in early November of 2009, after my 36th birthday.  And, as I  come up on my 37th(GULP!) birthday, I think that it still rings very true.

36 . . . 24 . . .36????

My birthday was on Saturday.

 I am officially now 36.  (Thank you for asking!)

And while I am not that phased by the passing of another year, I am phased by the fact that I am no longer in the 24-35 year old demographic.  Nope.  I am now in the 36-45 year old portion of the population.  Just one, tiny 1/4 of an inch separates the two check-off boxes on official paperwork, but in reality, I am finding that these two boxes are worlds apart.

For instance, at 24, it was an accomplishment to hold my pee during a rowdy night of beer drinking with my friends.  We teased each other about "breaking the seal".  No one. No one wanted to be the first to break her pee seal, because we all knew what would inevitably follow.  Once a girl relieved her bladder, she would be back and forth to the bathroom for the rest of the evening.  At 24, I could hold my bladder like a champ!

At 36 . . . not so much.

At 36, I am lucky if my bladder holds my first cup of morning coffee, let alone a night of beer.  In fact, the old girl seems to be rebelling at me at any chance.  If I sneeze, I pee.  If I cough, I pee.  If I laugh, you guessed it, I pee.

I am heading towards the Depends aisle in the grocery store, my friends.  

This.  This does not make me happy.

At 24, I got my eyebrows waxed regularly, at a salon, by a professional.

At 36, I wax my own eyebrows.  Consequently, I have burned the skin between my eyes more than once.  At 36,  not only do I have to wax my brows, I also have to wax my lip . . . a duty that I had once relegated to the ranks of my old and hairy italian aunts.  Apparently, at 36, I am now part of those ranks.  I carry a pair of tweezers with me at all times, and I pluck stray hairs in the car while I am stopped at red lights.  It seems that the magnified rearview mirror is the only place that I can see those pesky hairs that pop up!

At 24, I colored my hair for a change of pace.

At 36, I color my hair for necessity.  While I have very few grays (hooray!), I am not above plucking out a stray gray.  And now that sharpie markers come in so many different colors, I have and will continue to use a sharpie to color in a strand or two of offensive color.  I love my sharpie marker!!

At 24, I had no idea about who I wanted to be, or, for that matter, who I was at that moment.

At 36, I am comfortable being me.  I love my life of wife, mom, teacher, tutor, instructor, friend, laugher, lover and blogger.  My life is full of daily silliness, laughs and hugs.  I never knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom with 3 kiddies, but I wouldn't change it for the world.  I am blessed!

Because at 36,  my boobs may be way lower than they were at 24, but there are better things than perky boobs.  

I am wiser.

I am more appreciative.

I am thankful.

So, I don't mind checking off that 36-45 box in the slightest. . .

But, I won't take plastic surgery off the table either!

So there you have it!  My take on aging.  What do you think?
Now go on and visit the sponsors of the SITS girls Back to Blogging event  They are the Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.  Go on!  Go!!

Monday, September 13, 2010


My girls . .  .

They fill up my heart.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Please, Please Me or An Open Letter to My Single Girlfriends

Dear Single Friends,

Please,  please,  please continue to tell me your wild and adventurous tales of your night life,
 . .  .BUT,  do not laugh when I ask,  "You made out with a random guy on the dance floor?  Really?!"  as I am living vicariously through you, if only a tiny bit.

Please,  please, please still invite me out every once in awhile for a girls' evening,
 . . . BUT,  do not take offense that after one margarita I am no longer so much as buzzed, as I am falling asleep in my chips and salsa.

Please, please, please remind me to take some time for myself,
 . . . BUT,  remember that when I am taking some time for myself at say, a pedicure, that laughing at the forest that is growing on my legs is not appreciated, and may make me cry.

Please,  please, please  remember that I am still Annie, not just "mommy" or "wifey" or "crazed lunatic,"
 . . . BUT,  also don't forget that "mommy" and "wifey" and even "crazed lunatic" (at times) are hats that I do wear, and are very much a part of me.  Not ALL of me, mind you, but, still part of what makes me, me.

But most of all . . .

Please, please, please remember that I treasure you and our friendship.  Though we may have differences, I appreciate you, and you bring a joy to my life.

Very simply, thanks.



PS  If you ever want to give me hand-me-downs from your single girl wardrobe,   I'm in.  Just walking around the kitchen in your Manolos would make my day! :)

*** I am linking this to Mama Kat's writer's workshop today.  Hop on over and read some more!******

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Caught in a Landslide . . . No Escape From Reality (Or How I Became a Bohemian Mom)

There are days when being a mom is . . .


and, of course,


It makes you want to ask yourself,  "Is this the real life?  Is this just fantasy?"  just like Queen asks in its Bohemian Rhapsody. Well, the following ladies did more than just ask themselves those rhetorical questions.  They made a ballad out of them, and it rocks!
Watch, laugh, and commiserate!

Don't you wish you were this creative?  Or that you had that much musical talent?  Or that you had an inkling of time to play like this?

Me too!

That is why for the last day I have been walking around my house with the windows open rocking it out to the rhapsody of being a mom.

My children think that I am crazy.

My neighbors suspect that I have been hitting the sauce.

But, I know that I am just one happy (albeit tired) lady that likes to sing out loud!

You may now wave your lighter in approval .

**** Special thanks to a cousin who sent me this fabulous video from you tube. Although we live far from each other, I know that she was singing this ballad too, and that makes me smile.*****

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not Just Any Tom (or Dick or Harry) Makes My List

****I am linking this with Mama Kat this week.  Hop on over and check her out!

Dear Tom,

There was once a time when I proudly displayed your name on my Top 5 list.  Yes, that is right, back when you were on your first impossible mission, back when you were interviewing that vampire, you were one of my Top 5 freebie men.  If the timing had been right,  and if the two us had met somewhere out there, you could have been my celebrity hook-up that was approved by hubs, because, dear Tom, you were on my list.  In fact, at one point, you may have very well been my number one potential freebie, but no more, my friend.

No more.

I regret to inform you that your Top 5 status has been revoked, effective immediately.

The reasons for your fall from my status are as follows:

1.  You jumped on Oprah's couch.  Seriously,  what were you thinking?
2.  You fell "in love" with Katie Holmes.  Really?  I am sure that she is a lovely girl and all, but last time I checked, she was still swimming in Dawson's creek, and you, my dear, no longer have all the right moves
3.  You insulted Brooke Shields when she was down with post-partum depression.  That was some risky business right there buddy.  You are lucky that all of the post partum women of the world did not hunt you down with their top guns.
4.  You went on the Today show and said that psychiatry and mental illness were bogus.  My thoughts? You can't handle the truth that you may, in fact, have a mental illness yourself.
5.  And finally, you made your wife give birth silently and without drugs as per your Scientology beliefs.  I love my husband and all, but, let's face it, no man can silence this mouth,  and even a war of the worlds could not have kept me from my painkillers.  Any man that requires silence and no meds is not one of a few good men in my book.

So to recap, dear Tom,  you are no longer freebie list material.

I thank you for the past fantasies, but your status is far and away no longer needed in this household.



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