He Said What?

The other day I was reading a post entitled Out of the Mouths of Babes. If you’re a parent, you’ve had a moment where your kid says something so embarrassing you wish you could shrink to the size of a bug and fly away. Even though I have four children, all of the moments that came to mind involved only one…my son, Michael.

There’s a couple of things you need to know about Michael.

  1. He was born with perfect comedic timing.
  2. He has a brain like a sponge, and can regurgitate information at a moment’s notice. (Name a movie and he’ll tell you the actors’ names, the characters they played, and famous quotes from the movie like he just studied for an exam.)

I remember this first story as if it was yesterday.

Michael and I were in a card shop and I was waiting in line at the register. He was three years old. He turned to me and asked loudly “Mommy, why did you fart?!” Ok, first…I didn’t.  And, second…how do you get out of that one?

Looking back, I don’t know why I handled it this way… but I decided to defend myself — in front of a crowd of people. “What? I didn’t fart!” The more I heard myself saying those words out loud, the more humiliated I became, and I sounded like I was lying.

When I got to the cashier, she was doubled over the register laughing. I didn’t learn my lesson. I said it again…“BUT, I DIDN’T FART!!” pleading with her to believe me. And she replied… “Kids are so honest, aren’t they?”

I gave up.

I walked sheepishly to the car with my face as red as a cranberry. Once inside I asked him… “Michael, why did you say that?” His response. “Oh, I know you didn’t. But the lady in front of us did.”

I wasn’t present for this second story. But it’s one for the history books.

My brother, Rick, decided to take Michael to McDonalds for lunch. When the cashier reached out her arm to give my brother his change, he decided to lift Michael up and let her give the money directly to him, for keeps.

As the women stood waiting to drop the change into Mikey’s palm, he keep the changelooked at her and said… “Keep the change, you filthy animal.” [We all remember that line from Home Alone, don’t we?] My brother said he dropped to the floor laughing. I’m glad somebody did. Ugg.

And for the grand finale….

We were staying at my parent’s house, and my dad was at the dining room table going over paperwork with a woman who was purchasing a piece of property from him. Michael was watching television in the next room. When I walked past the dining room I said hello to the woman. She didn’t acknowledge me. My dad seemed agitated…a bit on edge. Something was wrong.

After my dad saw her out, he shut the door calmly, then slowly turned around. “Well…YOUR son almost blew a property deal for me tonight.” What? Now, how could a toddler do that?

He continued… “YOUR son wandered into the dining room and proudly announced to the woman ‘My mom thinks you’re full of crap!’

Well, that explains the cold shoulder.

I assured my dad that I never even met that woman before in my life. I asked Mikey, yet again, why he said such a thing. His answer…“The boy at the birthday party on TV said it to the Ghostbusters2_2Ghostbusters. The boy’s dad thought they were full of crap!” [Ghostbusters 2]

I’m pretty sure this is when I started purchasing an extensive collection of Sesame Street tapes.

Why I Should be Banned from Wegmans

First, if you don’t know what Wegmans is… it’s a grocery store. The Disneyland of all grocery stores. You may have seen Alec Baldwin on the David Letterman show where he suggests that his mom move to California and she says “And leave Wegmans?”

Wegmans is fantastic, but to be honest, I try to steer clear. First, it’s kind of expensive. My friends and I joke that you wear sweat pants to Aldi, jeans to Price Chopper and a tux to Wegmans. And, being on a tight budget, I know I shouldn’t shop there as much as I do. But it’s like a drug — addicting. “I need those damn Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives from the Mediterranean Bar! I can’t stop shaking.”

However, the real reason I shouldn’t go in there, is because I wreak havoc.

I remember the day it started. I decided to get some Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese. Not the small jar – the super large jar – the “let’s top the salads of everyone in the neighborhood” jar. When I got to the check out, I dropped the jar. Yes, it broke. Yes, it splattered. Yes, Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese can travel approximately 32 feet upon impact.

Soon after, I noticed a pattern. I knocked over numerous stacks of yogurt (domino effect), smashed my cart into a free-standing display, dropped-kicked a hand-held shopping basket into a stand of strawberries (I accidentally picked up two basket and the bottom one came loose), and last but not least, I pulled out a bag of white chocolate chips only to find the seam on the back was ripped open.

Yes, I took a picture because I figured nobody would believe that I did it again.
Yes, I took a picture because I figured nobody would believe that I did it again.

It gets worse. The curse was contagious. I passed it onto my daughter. She dropped a tub of sour cream all over the floor in Wegmans just moments after a friend of mine walked by with her cart, packed with perfectly unbroken items, and yelled “Don’t drop anything!”

So, lately I’ve been shopping at Price Chopper. Which is fine by me. Because at Price Chopper… I’m allowed to wear jeans.  🙂

I’m a newbie to blogging, so was thrilled to be nominated by AB Mood, COUCH POTAHTO , for “The Most Versatile Blogger Award.” I always look forward to her encouraging comments, and witty posts. So… thank you for thinking of me “Couch Potahto!”  🙂

Now it’s time to tell you 7 facts about me, and to nominate other bloggers I’m following.

Ok, here goes . . .
1. I’ve been very blessed with four amazing children, three boys and a girl. Love them to pieces! 🙂
2. Unfortunately for them…I can’t cook to save my life. But I can order take-out like nobody’s business.
3. I’m terrified of heights. I learned this about myself while in a hot air balloon. Not good.
4. I grew up in a neighborhood filled with boys, so I was your typical tomboy. I handled snakes, shot a dirt gun, wormed my own fishing hook, built forts, rode mini-bikes, tossed a football and played a lot of baseball. I had to “hide” if I wanted to play with my Barbies.
5. Poopy Humor makes me laugh until I cry (a residual effect of hanging with those boys in # 4).
6. I’ve been a graphic designer for over 20 years, and I love it!
7. My favorite food will forever be the Binghamton (actually, Endicott) LUPOS Spiedie. I grew up, and still live, outside of Syracuse, NY…but I’m originally from the Binghamton area. Thank god, or I may never have discovered the most delicious of all foods!!!  All of my kids are hooked too!!

And now MY nominees for “The Most Versatile Blogger Award.” I’m new, but I do check out some of the awesome blogs out there! Some are informative, some are heart warming, and some make me laugh until my kids say “Hey, what’s going on in there?!”


“DO” Talk to Strangers

For some reason, strangers talk to me. All the time. I don’t know why, but they do.

I’ve seen people walk by an entire aisle of shoppers in the grocery store, then approach me… “Where can I find the cinnamon? My wife needs the cinnamon and I can’t find it. She’s gonna kill me.”

Once a cashier felt comfortable enough to hide behind the counter, then jump up and yell “Boo! Did I scare you?”  Of course, not wanting to hurt his feelings… “Well yes. Yes you did. I didn’t even see the top of your head as you were hiding on me.” Since I never met him before in my life… I don’t know why the comfort zone.

I even had a woman sit down next to me in the mall and tell me about the corns on her feet. She was going to show me. I’m dead serious. She wondered if I thought her shoes gave her enough arch support. Clearly, I look like an orthopedic specialist, and didn’t have the heart to tell her I was just a graphic designer.

And, I love it when people mistake me for someone else. I had a “twin” in college; a local bartender that looked very much like me. People called me by her name all the time. One day, her ex-boyfriend approached me and started conversation. I said “I’m not who you think I am.” He became upset…“Really? You’re going to act like you don’t know me after we dated for nine months?!” So, I showed him my driver’s license. By the look on his face, I think he may have done a doo-doo. And I’m thinking…How could YOU not know your own girlfriend. He apologized profusely.

But, then there are the encounters that are really sweet…

Once, there was a women in a restaurant that was thrilled to see me. She thought I was her niece. Her daughter whispered that she had Alzheimers. When I looked at her face, her eyes lit up! So, I sat down in the booth next to her and visited a while…pretending to be who she thought I was. She was so happy — it made me happy. That stuck with me. When a few minutes of your time can make someone’s day, spare a few minutes of your time.  

But, my all-time favorite was on Christmas Eve. I call this story “Build it Anyway.”

My kids didn’t feel like going to the late night church service, so I went alone. An older, very sweet woman sat next to me. She reminded me so much of my grandmother it was hard not to stare. And, ironically, my grandmother’s birthday was on Christmas Eve.

My sweet granny!

When it was time to greet your neighbor, she reached out and patted the top of my hand. My grandmother always did that. It was one of those things I remember so clearly about her.

When the service ended, we exited out the same door. She veered to the right, and I headed to the left. It was snowing, lightly, but the snowflakes were probably the biggest I’ve ever seen in my life. Now, this woman was about 20 ft away and she stopped suddenly. She turned around and said… “Have you ever seen snowflakes like this before?” I commented that they were really beautiful. She said she wanted to go home and build a snowman. But, considering she was over 80 years old her neighbors would think she was nuts. I smiled at her and said “Build it anyway.” She laughed, “Ya know what…I think I will.” Then she waved good-bye and said “Merry Christmas.”

So yeah, I do talk to strangers. I mean, not in a dark alley or anything. And I certainly don’t take candy from them. But I don’t ignore people who cross my path.

Some of them need help, some of them make me laugh…or need us to make them laugh. And some simply leave a lasting impression — one that you wouldn’t give up for the world.

My Apology to the Maternity Ward

After posting Kindergarten Moments, I couldn’t help but think about the day I gave birth to each of my four children…and how blessed I am.

I also thought about my labor with each of them, and what I said, and what I did. And I wondered why I never sent letters of apology to the maternity staff. It’s never too late to say I’m sorry.

Here goes…


To the nurse who held my hands together, and told me to calm down when I was screaming in pain. I’m sorry I called you Nurse Ratched for the rest of the night.

To the hospital administrators who wondered why my mattress was so deformed when I left. I’m sorry I kept pulling the corners of the mattress over my head every time I had a contraction. It won’t happen again.

To the doctor who simply asked “How do you feel?” after I pushed for 2 hours giving birth to my son. I shouldn’t have had a tone. I shouldn’t have said “How do I F-E-E-E-L? You want to know how I F-E-E-E-L? Well…. I’ll tell ya! I FEEL like someone just took an APPLE, and shoved it up my ASS…that’s how I feel!!!” I even heard the staff talking about it the next day. I’m sorry. I was wrong.  

To the doctor who caught me getting ready to leave the hospital, only three hours before my son was born, because I wanted a turkey sandwich. I shouldn’t have insisted it was a false labor. I should’ve checked with you first.

And to the nurse, who kindly said “I can’t give you an epidural now. The window of opportunity has closed.” I’m sorry that I said you COULD give me the epidural and that you just liked to hide behind the door and laugh at me while I screamed. I know better now.  But in my defense, the same thing happened to my friend, Mary, and she said it was a conspiracy. So….

And finally, to the doctor who wanted to know how the hell I got all the way from the jet tub at the other end of the hall, to my room, without a wheelchair. I apologize. If I had known the baby’s head was crowning I wouldn’t have walked that far, or at all. But my husband went to find a doctor and I got tired of waiting. I’ve learned my lesson.

Again, I’m sorry for all of these things. But more importantly I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t have brought home four beautiful, perfectly healthy, babies without you!

A Kindergarten Moment

Today is Friday, June 26th. The little guy in this photo will walk across the stage today, so thought it only appropriate to re-post “Kindergarten Moment.”

grad facebook
Congratulations Tyler!

This week I mailed a check to Manhattanville College; it was a deposit towards my son’s freshmen year. As I put it in the mail, I realized that over the next few months I’m going to have a handful of “Kindergarten Moments” …his senior ball, his high school graduation and the day he leaves home for college.

Why do I call it a Kindergarten Moment? Well, that’s just a term I coined a while back when I tried to make sense of why we can’t hold back the tears when we put our child on the school bus for the very first day of Kindergarten… but the next day we’re fine. What’s so different about the second day that makes it ok?

Then it dawned on me. Every moment in our child’s life, that we consider a milestone, we force ourselves to really think about what it means. We embrace it, even though it makes us an emotional wreck. Because if we didn’t, we’d miss it altogether and we’d never get that moment back. So, on the first day of kindergarten we realize that our child is no longer a baby. And we realize he or she is growing up. And we cry. We had a Kindergarten Moment. Then, on the next day, we allow ourselves to feel normal again. We go through our daily routine. We try not to think about it. Because if we did, we’d go through life as blubbering idiots.

I’m trying to convince myself that this time it’ll be easier to let go. After all, he’s my third child and it’s not like I haven’t done this before. But I know deep down…it won’t be any different.

stay freeThere is one promise I made to my son. As he packs his belongings for college, I will not give him any box with the STAYFREE maxi pad logo stamped on the side… like I used when moving into my dorm. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but in retrospect not a good decision. I want him to have a fighting chance. 🙂

This photo was taken by my friend, Sara, who I’m sure is looking down from heaven and laughing. She was the one that always had her camera on hand to capture OUR Kindergarten Moments. 

That Awkward Moment When….

  • you’re brushing your teeth at a friend’s house and look down to see YOUR toothbrush still on the counter.
  • you return clothes to a store and they announce “You can’t return these. You didn’t buy them here.”
  • you change out of your clothes and realize you sat in chocolate.
  • you’re at work and notice that you’re wearing two different shoes.
  • you get your kids on the bus then find yourself locked out of the house in your bathrobe.
  • you forget where you are for a split second and burp out loud at work.
  • you sing your heart out on the way to work, then see that you never hung up your cell phone when leaving a message on the school’s answering machine.

I’m Sally O’Malley and I’m 50!

So… 2015 is a big year for my friends and I. We all turn 50. And we can ki-i-i-i-i-ck and
stre-e-e-e-e-tch, just like SNL’s Sally O’Malley. If you don’t believe me, I’ll prove it
(somebody must have footage from Friday night).

What happened Friday night? Well… it all started when our friend, Cindy, invited the girls
(a group of us who have been friends since the 7th grade) to attend her art show. Since all of us could make it, we decided to kidnap Cindy afterwards for a night on the town to celebrate her 50th. That’s her in the middle with the cool black and white dress. 

After we visited her exhibit, Cindy’s husband suggested we tour the museum. We just stood there, staring at him. It was time to get Cindy out of there and buy her a cocktail with a sparkler. But then again, here we were looking all fancy, so we decided to go ahead and meander through the museum like a bunch of art connoisseurs.

It didn’t take long for our real personalities to kick in. The big spider on the wall was calling us. “Let’s make it look like it came to life and attacked us!” We have the best ideas. If we only knew the spider was a Louise Bourgeois valued at 1.7 million dollars we may have kept our distance, and stayed near the refreshment table where the chicken fingers were a-plentiful.

11075251_1616478518582747_3501892658830034963_o (1)_copyAfter they kicked us out (joking), it was time to go to the casino and check into our room. Cindy showed us her AARP card. We assured her… “Don’t be sad, you get free donuts now.” 

Soon we headed to dinner, and bumped into a group of girls that were “us” from 25 years ago. They were texting…we were texting. I told them “We are you from the future, and in 25 years you’ll still be texting.” I wish I had used my robot voice.

After dinner, my friend Michele and I passed Elvis in the hall. He was sitting all by himself on a bench. Simultaneously we turned around, walked back and sat down next to him — no words spoken (by now we communicate telepathically).  In our minds . . . ELVIS . . . PHOTO OP . . . GO BACK.

We ended  the night dancing to an 80’s band. It was fun, but a little weird going into a club at our age. I saw two men walk into the Ladies Room and decided to stay outside the restroom door and wait. When they came running out I said “Wrong restroom, boys?” In their defense they responded “We were trying to meet girls.”  Touche’.

Later on, some punk bumped into the birthday girl and scumdidn’t even apologize. Our friend Sandy, who’s never mean, said “What a SCUMBAG!” Well… she was right. Check this out!

11036703_904693446241106_3182916722949028977_n (1)At the end of the night, we were quite proud of ourselves and our old bodies…we closed the bar! And as we walked to our room there was just one regret. Michele (who used to be a gymnast) turned to Cindy and said “I never got to do my one talent.” …to which Cindy replied “You are so talented; you can do a cart-wheel without spilling your beer.” Michele laughed, “That IS my one talent!” I guess we’ll have to save it for the next one. 🙂

A Traffic Ticket? Oh, no thank you, I’m good.


I would pride myself on the fact that in the first 45 years of life I never heard the words “license and registration, please.” And now I realize I shouldn’t have bragged about it, because Karma has a way of biting you in the ass.

In 2011, my kids and I were spending a week with my parents in Florida. I decided to head to Boca for a day to visit a friend and left at the break of dawn. Just when I passed through an early morning fog I saw signs that I was entering a school zone and immediately slowed down. But it was too late. My first offense and I was only going 35 miles an hour.

A police officer, I will call “Chip” because he clearly used to be a Chippendale’s dancer, pulled me over. Instead of being nervous, I was more consumed with what he looked like with no shirt and a bow tie. After looking at my license he said “Oh, you’re from Upstate New York? So am I. And I have a cousin that lives in the same town as you.” So, of course I said “Reeeeeeeeally?” batting my eyelashes seductively. I didn’t know his cousin, but as we talked about our future together… I mean, as we talked, it turns out he grew up in the same town where I went to college. And in the end, his last words were “I’m not going to give you a ticket. Just promise me you’ll drive safe and have fun visiting your friend.”

Later that year, I was cutting through a neighborhood side street and stopped at a stop sign, then continued on. Well, I guess I didn’t come to a complete stop. And there sits a cop. I distinctly remember looking right at the officer and mouthing the words “OH SHIT!” I had to think fast. I once heard a story of a police officer who pulled over his former English teacher for the same offense; he said to him “…back there at that stop sign, well that was a comma, not a period.” I thought that was a funny line, so I used it – admitting my guilt. He laughed. Apparently officers like comedy. I then told him that if he needed to give me a ticket to please hurry. I had to pick up my daughter from softball practice or she’d be at the school all alone. Which was the truth. He said “How about this? I’ll just give you a warning. Does that sound fair?”  What? He was asking me? “WELL, HELL YEAH THAT SOUNDS FAIR!!!” And I was on my way.

My third offense happened the following year on my way back from Florida. I was pulled over for speeding. I had gotten off the highway and was traveling a country road that turned from 65 mph to 55 mph and I didn’t see the sign. The officer came to the window, and when I reached into my glove compartment I noticed a second officer had his face pressed up against the passenger side window. He scared the living breathing SHIT out of me…and my kids. I literally started to shake. I said to the “nice” officer, “I’m sorry. I’m nervous.” He said “Oh, please, no need to be nervous. I just wanted to give you a warning, Ok? I won’t give you a ticket.”

Three for three.

Then it happened. It finally happened. I was pulled over by a woman. The dreaded female cop. I was traveling in the middle lane of the highway, just following traffic, and she nabbed me.  I didn’t even realize I was speeding. And of course I’m thinking… “Hey, they were all speeding too!” I was the scapegoat and I wasn’t sure what to do.  Plus, she was a meanie. So, I took what was coming to me, and at the ripe age of 48, I got my first ticket.

Those suckers are expensive! I do try my best to follow the rules of the road. And I pray I can go another 48 years before the next one.

Meet Forrest

Who’s Forrest? Well, he’s a dog…and the newest addition to our family. He’s only 9 months old and he’ll be the subject of many blogs, so I thought it only right to introduce him.

Koda and Cosmo Welcome Forrest!

I still can’t believe we adopted him. You see, we already have two Golden Retrievers, Koda and Cosmo, brothers who just turned eleven a couple of weeks ago. So when my daughter asked if she could adopt this puppy from the local pet shelter, my answer was emphatically “NO!” After I said “no” about 193 times we adopted Forrest. And yes, he’s named after Forrest Gump.

It all started when my son and his fiancé were adopting a dog from the shelter and it broke their heart to leave his brother behind. They spoke to my daughter and suggested we adopt him. (Oh, that reminds me, I never thanked them for that.) I did not want a third dog. My reasons? …we 10888686_858162140894237_4367685434504998127_ndon’t have the room …I didn’t want the extra work … and I didn’t want the extra expense. Then I made that dreaded mistake — I went to the shelter and met him. After I held him, then hugged him, then told him that I would be his forever grandma, I had to bring him home.

eyes closedIronically, just like Forrest Gump, he’s taken many pictures with his eyes closed. And can he “Run, Forrest, Run?” Well, yes. He can also jump onto a table with no assistance from a chair, clear the fence in a single bound, and takes pleasure in diving through the spindles of our back deck…instead of using the stairs. Although he’s a mix, the vet said he has the markings and characteristics of a Whippet, a type of English Greyhound (they say the fastest domesticated animal of his weight). Hmmm.

dggie door
Sorry Forrest, the last owners had a Chihuahua.

He’s a handful — more than I bargained for — and his energy is clearly fueled by the protein that he finds in eating our shoes. But, I just love that dog so much! Right now, my main goal is to protect him. Even if that means chasing him around my neighbor’s lawn in my pajamas, with my boots on, and my Phyllis Diller morning hair while they tap on their window pointing and laughing at me. It’s all good. After all, I am his grandmother.

I can’t help but think of him as human. Every morning when I blow dry my hair he waits patiently for me to “pretend dry” his hair too. He loves to wrestle with Cosmo, but leaves Koda alone…almost as if he knows he’s arthritic. When I get out my camera he immediately poses; Class of 2015he’ll even cross his paws as if in a senior photo shoot. He helps me clean by getting the broom out of the closet every day. I guess he doesn’t like to bother me, that must be why he taught himself how to open the back door and let himself out. When he jumps the fence to visit the neighbors, he won’t go more than one lot Forrest w teddyaway…probably because he knows it’s not safe, and he’ll possibly be grounded. And even though he loves to chew up everything in his path, even the sweetest stuffed animal, he has a heart of gold. And when he’s in trouble he stares you right in the eyes, with a very serious look, until you laugh.

Forrest’s reaction when I told him I was writing a story about him.

He’s crazy…but he’s ours. And we can’t imagine life without him.